Paranormal Romance

Dec 12, 17:40 by IROSF
A thread to discuss this exploding market, or Cynthia Ward's awesomely monumental treatment. Additions? File 'em here!

The article can be found here.
Dec 12, 20:30 by N. K. Jemisin
A good overview, but I hope there's a future article on the subject addressing the problems of quality within this "new" genre. Maybe it's a mismatch of standards or something, but a surprising number of the paranormal romances I've read have been... well... I can't think of a tactful euphemism. But I'll just say that I cringed when you mentioned Christine Feehan in your list.

Anyway, good article!
Dec 13, 12:15 by Tracy Bovee
I think any article which addresses problems of quality must not do so in terms of just this '"new" genre.' Frankly, it's an issue everywhere within SF/F, given the worship of the almight buck at the alter of series-and-sequel. If people have the rights to a well-known name or universe, or are simply able to spin a quick-and-dirty tale that readers in the effort to escape will swallow, they're gonna do at least okay. And isn't that what we see in the mass market? I don't care what genre you wish to name; it's there. Simply pointing it out for one particular genre is just as good as throwing up a pail of water during a hurricane - next to pointless, unless your object was simply to get more wet than you already were.

But honestly, every genre could use a good dose of quality work injected into it; and Romantic SF/F is no exception. Rather than focus on what it doesn't have or why, why don't we take a look at the exhaustive work Cynthia Ward's done, and see where it's succeeded in those terms? For I think examples - to me McCaffrey's Pern material, which she named, is a strong one - do exist.

I'll even name another, although I don't think anyone off the top of their head would agree straight off - Robert Anson Heinlein's Job: A Comedy of Justice. Wonderfully fun novel (with some very fascinating philisophic/religious points, especially for a committed Christian such as I) ... but at it's heart, if you take Ms. Ward's definition of what a romance is, is not Job ultimately a romance about Alec and Marga? Think carefully about it. And it even has the HEA ending that's proscribed within Ms. Ward's article.

It's almost scary to think how many works, if we really consider them, could potentially end up within this category. And perhaps in doing so, we'll find a bit more quality within the genre than we might otherwise have thought ...

Dec 15, 18:54 by Michael Turner
I think you have to be careful trying to talk about quality writing in reference to mass market distribution. Every genre is indeed awash with less than stellar written works, certainly. That is because a large portion of the reading public really isn't searching for high-quality lit. The "trashy romance novel" is a cliche because its a real market force, people really want to buy and read them, despite any lack of writerly virtues excersized by their authors.
This doesn't take anything away from better composed works or better performing authors, it just fills a demand the public has. There is still plenty of well written works in any genre available on the shelves and the readers know how to find them. Sometimes they just want to kick back and enjoy a trashy novel, of whatever flavor.
Jan 10, 20:41 by Bluejack
Interesting take on paranormal romance and this article, here

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