New Genres

Every so often I meet someone who doesn’t like sci-fi, fantasy, crime, adventure or horror and I wonder what on Earth they read… So in 2015 I will attempt to read these mysterious genres…

They include :

Contemporary Epics

These are stories about a man or woman rising, falling and occasionally rising again in their chosen career – whether it’s business, sport or marrying money. The American Transatlantic version is big, glossy and ruthlessly aspirational, and is written by people like Jefferey Archer, Danielle Steel, Barabra Taylor Bradford and Sidney Sheldon… There used to be a more realistic British version that stretched from concerned Victorians like Elizabeth Gaskell to kitchen-sinkers like Howard Spring – but they seem to be defunct.


Man meets Woman – quite a lot. Or Teenager meets Mythical Creature – quite a lot. Includes YA titles like Twilight, as well as Mommy Porn tributes like 50 Shades of Grey. Plus I assume Mills and Boon is still kicking about.

Chick Lit

Romance with a bit of comedy careerism chucked in. Sometimes they strive for misery and nuance – but it never gets in the way of the Super-hunk who owns a castle. The covers tend to be pinkish with the silhouette of a woman breezily gadding about or a teacup being vintage or a pair of shoes being t0-die-for. Women get married, they buy a house in Cornwall, they rip off Richard Curtis films and finally they have problems with their off-spring.

Family Saga

Romance and Epic combined and set in the past – most often in the 1940s or the Victorian era.


This genre is usually composed of other genres but written all fancy… occasionally though – it’s a slice-of-lifer – where nothing happens for pages and pages – except maybe a seagull gets melancholy or someone gets violently stabbed in ambiguous adjectives.

Lad Lit

It’s the same as chick lit – except it wins more awards – because worrying about putting your record collection in alphabetical order automatically makes a novel more intellectual.


I did read something vaguely bearable about shagging trees sometime in the early 00s… but I’m not sure this category is psychologically survivable.


Set in the past – might have a story.

War and Western

People will be killed – and possibly horses.

The chances are – I will fail at the first pages… I’ll keep you posted.


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