“Appeal” as a Framework for Distinguishing Genre Fiction

fairy taleIn this post, Genre fiction – ‘appeal’ as a framework, Urban Archives quotes from author and librarian Joyce Saricks, who uses an interesting perspective in looking at genre fiction.

Instead of looking at the common elements/tropes of a genre (vampires/spaceships), Saricks distinguishes a genre based on what appeals to the reader.

She categorizes the genres into four genre appeal groups:

  • Adrenaline Genres – fast-paced books whose readers don’t care whether we call these Suspense, Thrillers, or Adventure.
  • Emotions Genres – include Gentle Reads, Horror, Romance, and Women’s Lives and Relationships
  • Intellect Genres – Literary Fiction, Mysteries, Psychological Suspense, and Science Fiction
  • Landscape Genres – Fantasy, Historical Fiction, and Westerns

I would think that crossover would be an issue, unless we strictly look at the dominant appeal of why readers want to read that book.

For instance, if we look at Hunger Games, what genre appeal would we get?

Adrenaline Genres – fast paced� survival games
Emotions Genres – Katniss’ feelings for Peeta or Gale
Intellect Genres – Politics of a dystopian world
Landscape Genres – the Capitol versus the districts settings

via “Appeal” as a Framework for Distinguishing Genre Fiction.


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