The other day I asked my fb friends these questions: What is your preferred genre of books? Why do you like that genre? What is your favourite example of the genre?
I was rather surprised that fantasy came back as the number one answer. I knew some of my fb friends were fantasy readers, but was interested at how many people came back with that as their number one. Some people blended sci fi with fantasy (I don’t, reasons previously posted) and some people had sci fi coming a close second to fantasy. One person said mysteries were a guilty pleasure. I’m not sure why my dog-loving friend finds mysteries a guilty pleasure unless she has murdered someone?
While Fantasy was the overwhelming winner of my completely unscientific online poll, there were other genres mentioned — survival stories (non-fiction), travel, biography/memoir, and historical fiction.
Me? I am having a hard time with the question. I am prone to purchase/borrow and read mysteries by the ton because these have a predictable shape that I enjoy, and they make good brain candy reads. I am much more inclined to try a new mystery author than a new sci-fi or fantasy author without recommendation. BUT I do like sci-fi a lot. And I do like fantasy a lot. Those kinds of books tend to stick in my mind longer than formulaic mysteries. I am more likely to be completely blown away by a sci-fi or fantasy work than by a mystery novel. So what is my favourite genre? It depends what I’m looking for.
Some favourite examples of the genres I like? All these are 21st Century books, and they are pretty sweet examples of things that I like in each genre.
Mystery, Val McDermid, Killing the Shadows
Fantasy, Lois McMaster Bujold, The Curse of Chalion
Sci-Fi, Walter Jon Williams, Implied Spaces