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The First Days (As the World Dies, #1)
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Group Questions? > Genres getting skewed all over the place?

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message 1: by Ed (new)

Ed Morawski | 54 comments I just noticed in my Goodreads Recommendations that several books listed under Paranormal are about zombies.

What? Whoa, when did zombies become 'paranormal'? I always considered paranormal as ghosts, telepathy, mind reading, remote viewing, etc.,etc.

I see Wikipedia says the most notable paranormal beliefs include those that pertain to ghosts, extraterrestrial life, unidentified flying objects, psychic abilities or extrasensory perception. And I don't even feel that UFOs and ETs should be included in this category.

Does Paranormal now include zombies, werewolves, vampires, and the like?

message 2: by Lynne (new)

Lynne Stringer | 179 comments It certainly includes werewolves and vampires, and I thought it included zombies as well. I've seen a lot of books about all three that are considered paranormal, especially if they're not strictly horror, which is where these three originally sat, I think. But where else would they be situated? I guess it could be fantasy, but I always thought that was more goblins and elves, etc.

message 3: by Ed (new)

Ed Morawski | 54 comments I would have thought zombies, werewolves, and zombies would be in Horror - where they certainly were situated before. Zombies could also be classed as science fiction depending on the story line.

message 4: by Ed (new)

Ed Morawski | 54 comments Example: Wikipedia quote: 'An American Werewolf in London' is a 1981 horror comedy film

message 5: by Lily (new)

Lily Vagabond (lilyauthor) I really feel this is due to the fact that Amazon doesn't allow Supernatural as a genre or subgenre. Paranormal has become a dumping ground for a lot of indies, epecially those published with Amazon. At least, that's my impression.

All anyone has to do is petition Amazon to include all the proper genres and subgenres...

message 6: by Quentin (new)

Quentin Wallace (quentinwallace) | 388 comments I write about zombies and werewolves and I always classify it as Horror, even though it's really more action/horror. I wouldn't really think it was paranormal either, but I think that has become a really broad category lately. Not sure if I agree with it though, I go more with Ed's definition of Paranormal.

I think the romance genre has sort of lead to this, because you have these shifter and vampire romances, and horror romance doesn't have the right ring to it, hence paranormal.

message 7: by Lily (new)

Lily Vagabond (lilyauthor) I also feel zombies is part of the horor genre, but then, with self-published works and lack of proper genre categories, well, things get skewed, don't they?

message 8: by Ed (new)

Ed Morawski | 54 comments Yeah but, this does seem to be coming from Goodreads. The book in question is clearly marked 'Horror' by the author. So why does Goodreads take it upon themselves to shove it into Paranormal and screw up my Recommendations? Yes, it's a minor point but when I'm looking for my next book I guess I have to read the blurb very carefully...

message 9: by Ashe (new)

Ashe Armstrong (ashearmstrong) Can librarians add genre classifications? If they can, maybe some of them have? Not sure. And I'm reminded of the need to pester Amazon to add Weird Westerns at some point.

message 10: by Lily (new)

Lily Vagabond (lilyauthor) Depends on how the book was added, or if it was the author themselves. No way to tell as far as I can see.

You can now import the books you bought on Amazon to GR. So that might a factor.

I don't suppose you can post a few examples? We might be able to solve this little mystery.

message 11: by Lily (new)

Lily Vagabond (lilyauthor) Ashe wrote: "Can librarians add genre classifications? If they can, maybe some of them have? Not sure. And I'm reminded of the need to pester Amazon to add Weird Westerns at some point."

Yep, librarians can change or add any info for a book.

If Weird Westerns could be added, that would save me a crapload of grief.

message 12: by Ashe (new)

Ashe Armstrong (ashearmstrong) The genre's big enough at this point that it'd be useful. Amazon has a Western Horror subsection in the ebooks tree but nothing in the other.

But yeah, maybe it was a librarian who added it. Or it synced with Amazon.

message 13: by Ed (new)

Ed Morawski | 54 comments My entire Paranormal recommendation list is filled with zombies!


Feed (Newsflesh #1)
by Mira Grant

Married with Zombies (Living With the Dead #1)
by Jesse Petersen

The Living Dead (The Living Dead #1)
by John Joseph Adams

Rot and Ruin (Benny Imura #1)
by Jonathan Maberry

The First Days (As the World Dies #1)
by Rhiannon Frater

message 14: by Lily (new)

Lily Vagabond (lilyauthor) Paranormal recommendation? I'm not sure where the paranormal part is listed.

message 15: by G.G. (new)

G.G. (ggatcheson) | 506 comments I think I see where the problem may lie with zombies. What do you do if your story isn't really a horror one?
Let's say you have a man who's married and tries to live a normal life but has to be locked down at night because he turns into a zombie. It's not really a horror story so what would it be? Paranormal I guess.

With the paranormal romance strong on werewolf, vampires, and (maybe?) zombies, it's understandable that when people can't classify their story as horror they opt for the closest thing they can think, which is paranormal.

message 16: by Lynne (new)

Lynne Stringer | 179 comments Horror is something that is more determined by the level of gore and violence than by the characters within the story. Because vampires, werewolves and zombies were traditionally horror tales but have now drifted out of that genre into books that don't have that kind of violent content, the question is where to place them. Paranormal is probably the only available one unless, as Lily said, they make Supernatural an Amazon genre.

message 17: by Justin (new)

Justin (justinbienvenue) | 1398 comments Mod
Unfortunately I see this constantly and Ed your not wrong, Zombies as far as I'm concerned is not paranormal. The problem? Overlapping similar genres together and then assuming the theme in them can go with any of the genres. Just because zombies and paranormal are both associated with Horror some places and list such as the ones that have already been mentioned decide that zombies are like paranormal and associated with horror therefore zombies are also paranormal..which of course is absolutely ridiculous. Zombies are dead like ghosts yes but does that make them paranormal? No.

It's like of like a saying a romance novel is Erotica because it has some kissing scenes and talks about the possibility of sex but it's never actually that's not Erotica it's still a romance. Sometimes places like Amazon do a poor job in classifying genres and they should really do their research and extend their categories to more accommodating ones.

message 18: by Tabitha (new)

Tabitha Vohn Yes, what everyone else said.

I think the whole genre skewing is symptomatic of the greater flaws within genre classification itself. Too broad in some respects, too narrow in others, riddled with stereotypes.

There ought to be some standardized checklist that calculates which genre would best fit your book. That'd be nice; simplify things.

Too often there's a huge difference between what someone wants the book to be and what it actually is. IDK how many times I've browsed listopias or the giveaway page and have seen some bubble-gum pink covered chick lit masquerading as "literature"...but I digress. Reality checks for all genre label-ers!

message 19: by Amber (new)

Amber Foxx (amberfoxx) | 287 comments Genres don't always fit books. The BISAC categories
have paranormal as a subcategory of "fantasy."
It doesn't get to stand alone.
I don't know if this relates to Ed's zombie invasion or not. :)

message 20: by Lynne (new)

Lynne Stringer | 179 comments Man, sometimes the BISAC codes drive me insane when I'm at work and trying to categorise our novels before uploading them as ebooks! It's amazing what categories they don't have. The BIC codes, which I also have to use, are even worse.

message 21: by Justin (new)

Justin (justinbienvenue) | 1398 comments Mod
Lynne wrote: "Man, sometimes the BISAC codes drive me insane when I'm at work and trying to categorise our novels before uploading them as ebooks! It's amazing what categories they don't have. The BIC codes, whi..."

Very true it amazes me too. Also I've found this to be the case with websites that allow you to submit your book for free. Some don't have Horror but they have Paranormal, they don't have Crime but they have Thrillers..kind of too small a genres.

message 22: by Mary (new)

Mary Catelli | 232 comments The Genre assignments spring from people shelving it. If you look at the Genre pages, they often have a sidebar saying, "Tags contributing to this page include: "

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