Rachel Neumeier

Fantasy and Young Adult Fantasy Author

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Have Petard, Will Hoist —

Hah hah hah!

That’s a great title for a post, isn’t it? What it’s about, is Janet Reid ranting about how there’s no such category as “realistic fiction” and immediately being shown evidence that at least one bookstore doesn’t agree.

Which is funny. But . . . IS there such a category as “realistic fiction”? Not having seen what that bookstore included in that category, my guess is it includes Issues Books for Teenagers. (The sign in the store is aimed at teens.)

Me, I LOATHED all Issues Books with a burning white hot passion when I was a kid. But I certainly knew kids who loved Judy Blume, so there you go.

What *I* have noticed in YA/Teen sections in bookstores, is that those sections have been totally conquered by paranormal. The whole YA section, nothing but paranormals. And, oh, right, dystopias too. So my other guess is, this bookstore simply means “YA but not any flavor of fantasy/sf”. That could be a useful designation, for teens (or anyone else) who has maxed out on paranormal and/or dystopia for the next decade. (Which is not me. But I admit the paranormals all blur together a bit for me. And the dystopias.)

On the other hand, I would’ve said we already had a designation for the realistic fiction: We call that “Contemporary.”

Still like the “will hoist” line, though.

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