Real bookstores with real books suffer a real problem. Where do they shelve some of the fiction that has come out in recent years? There’s only so much shelve space, right? It’s kind of like realestate in that you don’t want to be bumping into the same icecream parlor every other block. Or do you?
Seriously, would you mind have 1-3 copies of a looked-for book in 2-4 categories throughout the store? How many times have you perused the shelves to come across a science fiction book you have read in the ROMANCE section and shook your head and said, ‘That Ain’t Right’? I’ve done it; but today I am thinking that books are starting to defy genres. Authors no longer have to pull a Western formula from a hat, build upon a classic Star Trek episode for a Science Fiction story, nor do they have to turn to the ever-entertaining Dungeons & Dragons manual for a minor beasty in that Fantasy novel they have been working on. Seriously, it’s OK to mix and match, just lie with breakfast cereals.
But how do your local friendly bookstores deal with this?
eBook stores don’t have to scratch their binary-based heads so hard. Afterall, when uploading the book, multiple genres can be selected and will show up on my computer screen in full color whether I think the book belongs in Historical Fiction or Erotica. How can physical stores with limited shelf space keep up with the cybersphere of book selling?
Some of the authors I have bumped into over the years who defy genre boundaries include Neal Stephenson, Jacqueline Carey, Linnea Sinclair, David Lee Summers, Gemma Files, Anne Lyle,and many others. Is this the path forward for fiction in general? In 50 years are we going to be having the discussion, right here on Darkcargo, about the novelty of a story sticking to pure science fiction?