Great novels that are hard to categorize

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Sticking to one path and picking a genre is common advice for budding writers. But in literature, all the rules can be broken. Many great writers make us wonder which shelf their book should occupy: science fiction, fantasy, thriller or… miscellaneous? Let’s discuss some of the best books that defy categorization.

Silvia: The black Angel“(1982), by Meredith Ann Pierce is a fascinating novel for young adults that is technically science fiction – it is set in the nebulous and distant future – but reads like a fairy tale. A vampire must obtain 14 wives before he can become immortal, but things get complicated when a young woman breaks into his castle.A charming read.

Patrick Suskind”Scent(1985) focuses on a man from the slums of 18th century Paris with such a sublime sense of smell that he leaps into the realm of the fantastic. But it’s also the story of a serial killer in search of the perfect perfume and the ideal victim. In the same way, “Prestige(1995), by Christopher Priest, may at first glance look like a historical novel in epistolary form about two rival stage magicians, but as the book progresses it becomes part mystery, part science story. -fiction.

Let’s talk about sci-fi and fantasy books that would make good TV

I saw “Moan of Titus” (1946) by Mervyn Peake described as a “mores fantasy” and a “gothic” novel, although neither term is entirely relevant. It details life in a labyrinthine castle extensively, unveiling a wide range of characters and following the machinations of an ascending kitchen boy.”Piranesi(2020) by Susanna Clarke, shares a resemblance to Peake’s impossibly grand Gormenghast Castle, so if you liked one, you might like the other.

Life: Shimon Adaf’s “Lost Detective” trilogy comes out this summer, translated from Hebrew by Yardenne Greenspan. While the first novel,One thousand and two days before sunset“, is an almost traditional mystery, set in the wake of Israel’s short-lived ’90s rock revival, by volume three (and epically sized),”take and read», it veers into science fiction, combining and crossing realistic, detective and completely bizarre fiction. But even in the first book, Adaf’s love of science fiction is expressed through its detective hero, Elish Ben Zaken, whose reading tastes of the genre’s benchmark classics. If you like Roberto Bolaño, you’ll like Adaf.

Speaking of Bolaño – another writer who had a real love of science fiction – I have a soft spot for his “Nazi Literature in the Americas(2008), translated from Spanish by Chris Andrews. Everyone should read Bolaño, but if you’ve struggled with the epic”2666Consider this an easier entry point – a meandering saga of dreamers, conspirators and, yes, fascist sci-fi writers that’s a joy from start to finish.

Science fiction: a story

Silvia: For those looking for shorter reads, I recommend the new “Help meetingby Naben Ruthnum. A wife takes care of her sick husband, who suffers from an illness that takes this tale from the realm of historical fiction to weird fiction. At times a deeply disturbing body horror story and at others a tender love story, this is one of the most beautiful books I’ve read this year. To finish, “Lesser Known Monsters of the 21st Century” by Kim Fu is a beautiful new collection of eclectic tales, with everything from virtual simulations with the dead to a man made of sand.

Life: Disturbing and tender reminiscent of Christie Sims and Alara BranwenTaken by the T-Rex(2013), which took the literary world by storm and ushered in a new golden age of dinosaur erotica. Yes, it really is a thing — talk about mixing genres!

by EJ Swift”Adrift Paris(2018) has its young protagonist toiling late in a bar in Montmartre – where the cellar foresees an escalating series of time slips in the history of Paris. Sci-fi, historical adventure or contemporary flourishing? is adorable.

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Finally, one of the funniest and most surprising SF novels of recent years is undoubtedly that of Philip PalmerVariant 43(2010), in which a RoboCop-like cyborg (the titular “Version 43”) is sent to a distant planet to investigate a crime. He quickly does this, discovers the conspiracy behind it all, and is murdered for his troubles. Enter Version 44. Bodies pile up in this mix of sci-fi, detective and conspiracy thriller, with plenty of humor and hyperkinetic energy on the big screen. And you, dear reader? What hard-to-categorize titles do you like?

Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s books include “mexican gothic,” “The velvet was the night” and “The Return of the Witch.” Lavie Tidhar’s most recent novels are “The exhaust” and “The hood.”

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