fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsMy writing class is over, and I want to thank Kat for helping me with my FanLit duties. For those that wish to know, my class went well. When I began the class I was pretty sure I wanted to be a writer. Now that the class is over I am still pretty sure I want to be a writer. That’s good. I took the class with every expectation of having my writing aspirations dashed upon the rocks of academic scrutiny. That has not happened, and it gives me heart.

One thing I noticed about my writing is that I couldn’t keep the fantasy from leaking into my pieces. It made for some interesting mixes of genres, and resulted in positive comments from my professor. Little did he know that the fantasy elements were in there not because I was being super creative, but it was because I was unable to stop myself.

Which brings me to the topic for today: genre mash-ups. Fantasy has plenty of genre mixing stories. In fact, if a fantasy novel doesn’t have some mix of genres it is generally marked as “tired” or “clichéd.” Sometimes the mix is very subtle, and that often works out nicely. Our Edge of the Universe column is full of examples of those. However, it’s when an author mixes something completely unexpected into a fantasy novel that it becomes special. For example, Michael Chabon’s The Yiddish Policeman’s Union is a detective story that takes place in a alternate universe and Mark Chadbourn’s The Silver Skull was a delightful mix of Victorian Elizabethan spies and fairies. What are some genre-bending books that you’ve enjoyed? One  commenter will be chosen to receive their choice of a book from our stacks.


  • Justin Blazier

    JUSTIN BLAZIER (on FanLit's staff since September 2009) is a Cyber-Security Analyst/Network Engineer located in Northern Kentucky. Like many fantasy enthusiasts, Justin cut his teeth on authors like Tolkien, Anthony, and Lewis. Due to lack of space, his small public library would often give him their donated SFF books. When he is not reading books he is likely playing board games or Tabletop RPGs. Justin lives in a quiet neighborhood with his wife, their daughter, and Norman the dog.