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Cross over

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Scott J Robinson:
What do people think of cross over novels?

I love both reading and writing them, I think mainly because I like both genres and don't like to have to chose which I'll read next. Of course, I think some cross over stuff is about as terrible as it's possible to be because it can come across as forced or totally ridiculous.


I'm assuming that you mean when one genre crosses over into another such as fantasy figures (elves etc.) appearing in a traditional SciFi setting. Personally, I don't mind as its the quality of the story which usually decides for me if it is a good read or not. I have read some very good stories where a fantasy element has been introduced into a SciFi setting and some interesting science has been introduced to try and explain how this was possible.

Having said that, I do get annoyed when an character or element gets introduced that is so clearly out of context or is inconsistent with the environment of the story.

In the Doc Sidhe story I just read the hero crosses over into the fair world which in all respects is similar to this world but is populated by elves, dwarves etc. and has reached a technological level similar to this worlds 1930's era. The big bug bear is that all the fair folk are allergic to iron. An element so abundant on both worlds that they are building with it. This is clearly inconsistent as any species that develops a species wide allergy to an abundant element will very soon become an ex-species.

Scott J Robinson:

I think it's probably harder to write than straight stories. It takes a lot of extra work and thought to make sure everything works. And you might be trying (hopefully) to please readers of both genres.

One of the books I really enjoyed with a sci-fi character going to a fantasy setting was the Morant's Need series by Stephen Donaldson. I'll have to get back and read them again one day--it's been years.


Hi Scott,

Having thought about it I'd have to say that I think it is almost certainly harder to write crossover stories. People have expectations of their favourite genre when reading a story so you have at least two sets of expectations to contend with, which may be contradictory.

And thats before you start!


Have either of you read  The City and the City by China Mieville? That's a pretty good crossover novel, but this time merging a science fiction setting with a crime thriller. I've seen this on the crime shelves in my local library and I think that it could open a few eyes to a new genre if an unsuspecting crime lover picks it up. For me it's an interesting mix - you have the fully created world of a scifi novel and all the complexities of a twisting crime plot. I have a Jeff vanDerMeer one called Finch from the library at the moment and that looks to be a similar crime/fantasy crossover.

I'd agree that it's harder to write than  a very genre specific novel as you have two very different, and probably equally hard to please, audiences that your book could appeal to. However, in the same vein, this potentially opens up a good chunk of new readership for an author too. If you can get a couple of crime fans thinking that hey, this scifi lark isn't bad, then maybe they'll be willing to go out and try something they normally wouldn't have given a second glance.



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