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§25.3. Genres

The "story genre" is not used in the banner at all, and exists purely to help librarians. If it is at all possible to do so, authors are asked to use one of the following standard categories:

Comedy, Erotica, Fairy Tale, Fantasy, Fiction, Historical, Horror, Mystery, Non-Fiction, Other, Romance, Science Fiction, Surreal

These categories are based on those currently used by bookshops, but a few notes may be helpful. "Fiction" is intended for works whose essential purpose is literary, in a way which trumps any subject they happen to have: if Julian Barnes writes a mystery, for instance, a bookshop will shelve it with modern novels rather than in the detective stories section, whereas P. D. James's Adam Dalgliesh mysteries will end up filed with detective fiction even though she has appreciable claims to be an important novelist.

"Comedy" is used rather than "humour" to avoid the clash of spellings with "humor". This genre includes parodies.

"Non-Fiction" would be used for a work of IF which is essentially a presentation, perhaps in a novel interactive format, of true information. A meticulous simulation of the Great Exhibition of 1851, for instance, might qualify.

The distinction between "Surreal" and "Other" is that "Surreal" works contain at least some semblance of narrative, whereas "Other" is intended for works which "abuse" the format to present some entirely different sort of game - Tetris, say, or Minesweeper.

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