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Monday, November 5, 2018

Best Genre Fiction That Isn't SF/F/Horror Not by a Cis Het White Man (Nominations Needed)

[I'm officially making the poll now, so no more nominations.]

What is the best genre fiction that isn't science fiction, horror, or fantasy by a woman, POC, or member of the LGBTQIA+ community. We need your nominations!  

This is the last poll we will run in our Year of Diverse Polls. Please check out this link if you have any questions about the limitations. Understanding the defining lines of (and liminal spaces between) between overarching genres will also be important in this poll, so please read carefully.

For our last Diverse Poll, having covered all the polls folks really get into and seeing a desire for some of the unconventional stuff in my friends' suggestions, I turn to genre fiction--BUT NOT THE STUFF WE'VE ALREADY DONE.  No HORROR. No SCIENCE FICTION. No FANTASY. But other than that, any genre fiction is fair game up to and including the touchy feely shit that "literary fiction" is trying to convince you ISN'T genre (like magical realism). I will, however, put the kibosh on futurism since that showed up in sci-fi polls already.

Examples include, but aren't limited to:
Alternate history
Crime/detective 
Historical fiction
Humor
Magical realism
Meta fiction
Mystery 
Mythopoeia 
Noir
Romance
Suspense/thriller
Western  
And since I've made the case several times that literary fiction IS a genre complete with stylized conventions and tropes, it would be first rate hypocrisy of me not to allow it.


The Rules:


  1. Please note the diversity requirements above. 
  2. As always, I leave the niggling over the definition of genres to your best judgement because I'd rather be inclusive. If you feel like Little House on the Prairie is a western, I'll furrow my brow, but accept it. 
  3. You may nominate two (2) books or series. If you nominate three or more I will NOT take any nominations beyond the second that you suggest. (I will consider a long list to be "seconds" if someone else nominates them as well, and will only take the first two.)
  4. You may (and absolutely should) second as many nominations of others as you wish. Also stop back in and see if anyone has put up something you want to see go onto the poll. I imagine with such a broad poll, the nominations will cover a lot of ground and are absolutely going to need your seconds.
  5. Put your nominations here. I will take nominations only as comments and only on this post. (No comments on FB posts or G+ will be considered nominations.) If you can't comment for some reason because of Blogger, send me an email (chris.brecheen@gmail.com) stating exactly that, and I will personally put your comment up. I am not likely to see a comment on social media even if it says you were unable to leave a comment here. 
  6. You are nominating WRITTEN genre fiction, not their movie portrayals. If you thought the new Murder on the Orient Express was a great flick, but you didn't really care for Agatha Christie, then that shouldn't be your nomination.
  7. This is probably well known by vets of this blog by now, but there will be no more endless elimination rounds. I will take somewhere between 8-20 best performing titles and at MOST run a single semifinal round. So second the titles you want even if they already have one. (Yes, I guess that would make them thirds, fourths, etc...) The competition on THIS poll is going to be FIERCE so please come back and second, third, fourth, and twenty-fifth everything you want to see go on to the poll. You may have to get your friends involved. Buy them a pizza. Make it real. 


46 comments:

  1. Beloved by Toni Morrison (is that genre?)

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  2. "Fingersmith" by Sarah Waters (historical crime novel)

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  3. "Briar Rose" by Jane Yolen (dunno if YA counts as genre on its own, but I'd say it's also magical realism and historical)

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  4. The Caster and Fleet series by Paula Harmon and Liz Hedgecock. Victorian era mysteries with two female protagonists. The plots have flaws, but the characters and romance which is only one of multiple important relationships and has zero "assault = twue wuve if he's hot" more than make up for them. (Things like surprising co-incidence gets them out of a problem rather than into one.)

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  5. Any of the Maple Syrup Mysteries by Emily James (cozies)

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  6. The Broken Girls by Simone St. James.

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  7. Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter by Laurell K. Hamilton. A zombie raiser, Anita is also the Master Vampire of the City's servant and lover, and she hunts paranormal creatures who disobey US Laws or prove nasty. Due to her later books of polymorous relationships, she's now sectioned in romance but I would also add magical realism.

    Dark Hunter series by Sherrilyn Kenyon. Romance and magical realism.

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  8. Salt to the Sea and Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys. They're both historical fiction. Salt to the Sea chronicles the 1945 refugee evacuation out of East Prussia and the MV Wilhelm Gustloff maritime disaster. Between Shades of Gray is about the genocide of the Baltic people following Soviet occupation in 1941.

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  9. Auctioned by Cara Dee (M/M Suspense/Thriller with a touch of Romance, the first in a series of 5 books)
    The Aftermath series by Cara Dee (M/M, Dark Romance, suspense, psychological thriller... Honestly I'm not sure how to define this. 2 books)

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  10. Neurophysiology and the Human Heart - AV McClane ;) LGBT magical realism.

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  11. The Book of Night Women by Marlon James
    Cane River by Lalita Tademy

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    1. Oh, no editing comments ... I forgot to say both are historical fiction.
      The first one is extremely clever with language (a sort of hypnotic version of black Jamaican vernacular)

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  12. Life After Life - Kate Atkinson (alternate history)
    Kitchen - Banana Yoshimoto (Magical realism)

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  13. Blue Fingers: A Ninja's Tale, by Cheryl Aylward Whitesel - a historical fiction set in Japan

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  14. Bless Me Ultima by Adolpho Anaya. Mexican Magical Realism.

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  15. Still Life by A.S. Byatt (not sure what genre you would call it, but it’s magnificent)
    The God of Small Things - Arundhati Roy

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  16. The Devil's Arithmetic, by Jane Yolen. It's mostly historical fiction, though there is a bit of a time travel element to it. Not in a sci-fi way, though.

    The Secret History, by Donna Tartt. It's basically crime fiction, though without a mystery element.

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    1. Totally second The Devil's Arithmetic! If we were allowed third nominations, I would have gone with this book -- it was honestly a toss up between this, and Yolen's "Briar Rose," which I ended up going with. Along with historical fiction, it has a sort of magical realism element.

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    2. I second The Devil's Arithmetic!

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  17. The Under Lights Duet- Under Winter Lights: Part One & Under Midnight Lights: Part Two, a ballet romance both written by Bree M. Lewandowski

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  18. Das Lächeln der Fortuna, by Rebecca Gablé. She writes awesome historical fiction set in medieval England, but since she writes in German, I think that only one book of her is available in English.

    Purple Hibiscus, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. A wonderful novel (I would say romance, postcolonialism, and Bildungsroman) about a girl in Nigeria finding her voice and independence. This one really touched me.

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  20. Bellwether by Connie Willis.
    The satanic verses bu Salman Rushdi.

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  21. Bellweather by Connie Willis
    The satanic verses bu Salman Rushdi.

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  22. Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro

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  23. Como agua para chocolate (Like Water for Chocolate) by Laura Esquivel

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  24. Free Verse by Sarah Dooley and Ashes to Ashville by Sarah Dooley

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  25. Her books are a combination of many things, several of which were in your list of acceptable things, so I'm going to put Diana Gabaldon (Outlander) on the map here...

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  26. I nominate Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward (who's a woman of color). Set in Mississippi just as Hurricane Katrina starts, it focuses on a black teenage girl who learns that the real love she receives is not from her manipulative boyfriend but from her family.

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  27. The stars are legion by kameron hurley female author of a scifi novel about a series of all female worlds that organically live through the women

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  28. Han Kang’s The Vegetarian!!! Hands down one of the strangest yet most beautiful books I’ve read

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  29. I'm adding a couple of nominations that people couldn't get posted for some reason (and sent me an email about).

    Susan X. Meagher’s lesbian romance series, “I Found My Heart in San Francisco.”The Decker/Lazarus Series by Faye Kellerman (Detective Mystery)

    Always been a fan of Dumas.
    The Three Musketeers (Medieval Spy Thriller Adventure)


    And a second for Count of Monte Cristo (Adventure) if anyone nominates it.

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  30. Colleen McCullough "First Man in Rome"
    Arundhati Roy "The God of Small things"

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  31. Doomsday Book by Connie Willis

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