As I read through the reviews for “Are We Monsters” online, there is one aspect of the book of which there is anything but a consensus, and that is the story’s genre.
An earlier reviewer stated he loved a good mystery and good science fiction thrills him. He goes on to say that I combined genres in “Are We Monsters” adding that science fiction has to have mystery to be good and that this story is excellent. Another reviewer wrote that “Are We Monsters” is classified as science fiction but due to the author’s narrative style and pacing, it could also be a mystery.
One reviewer writes that they love science fiction when it’s done well, and this book does it well. Another writes that the story is more mystery than sci-fi, though they could see how the series could become more sci-fi as it progresses. Another reviewer writes that she thought she was getting a sci-fi, but she got a bit of mystery too, adding that she had never read anything like it. One reviewer said I took them away into a fantasy from which I did not want to return and that the book is a must-read for sci-fi fans, while another opted to classify my story as survival fiction.
Some reviewers, struggling with identifying the genre, have taken to comparing the story with a favorite book, television show, or movie. The first example is when a reviewer wrote that the book is hard to put down and is a great sci-fi thriller, reminding her of a cross between Gatica and I, Robot. Another example is a reviewer who said that “Are We Monsters” reminded them of a twist-off of Stranger Things. One reviewer said the book was more mystery than sci-fi, reminiscent of an M. Night Shyamalan movie—one of the good ones.
While there are many others I could point to, this last reviewer sums up the genre dilemma by saying that she highly recommends this genre-bending science fiction/thriller.
Genre-bending. Okay, that works.
What exactly is science fiction? Philip K. Dick stated that when someone writes science fiction, they are addressing new things that are conceivably possible, while fantasy is writing a story that is conceivably impossible. For want of a better definition, I will stick with that for now.
What I see in “Are We Monsters” and the upcoming book “Virgin Birth” are fictional stories with strange aspects of science that are conceivably possible. In fact, there is enough evidence out there now to remove us from a position of conceivably into reality and even inevitability.
We are living days that in some aspects might be like Stranger Things, or at the very least, Strange Things. And things are about to get stranger. So if you can help me properly categorize my story genre, please do. In the meantime, I’ll just keep writing what I write, whatever it is.