ROMANCE SUBGENRESUpdated 11 November 2003 over 34 Kilobytes of text, may load slowly
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As explained in ROMANCE AUTHORS Table of Contents there are many GENRES of popular fiction. How can I find a book similar to one I love? This web page creates order, and uses it to present the "If You Like This, Then You'll Like That" booklists here. We know the Romance Writers of America's Official Definition: "A romance is a book wherein the love story is the main focus of the novel, and the end of the book is emotionally satisfying." "Romance is unabashed escapist fiction, following the love story of a (usually female) protagonist, and intended to sweep women readers away from their day-to-day problems.... However, also key to Romance novels is an absence of moral ambiguity. Courage saves the day, justice triumphs, good defeats evil, and it is always readily apparent who and what is good and who and what is evil. Almost uniformly, Romance involves the 'taming' or 'civilization' of a wild man by a woman. Sub-plots and minor characters are kept to a minimum; these are not multi-layered works. Romance readers are seeking to relax and enjoy. Romances should be easy to read, but should strike strong emotional chords. Marriage is almost without exception the desired goal of a Romance plot." [Courtesy of Candice Furhman Literary Agency] "The subject matter of category (genre) fiction usually occupies at least part of the territory once covered by the traditional╩ mainstream novel.╩ It is the category writers who now describe the real world and its crises.... The explanation of the extraordinary success of category fiction is not that the public is craven and uncultured.... More than ever they need clear relections of╩themselves and their world....The most successful works have always presented these reflections in the form of entertainment." [John Ralston Saul] Hence, combining other Fiction Genres with Romance, we get a set of ROMANCE SUBGENRES which contain elements of each. The following is compiled from various sources, as referenced. According to Romance Writers of America statistics, readers ranked the following settings for romance novels in order of most enjoyable to least enjoyable: (1) Romantic suspense (91% of readers "interested") Romantic Suspense (2) Contemporary romance (80% of readers "interested") Contemporary/Literary (3) Romance novels set in exotic locations, such as the tropics (78% of readers "interested") Exotic Locations (4) Historical romance set in Colonial America (65% of readers "interested") Frontier Suspense (5) Historical romance set in the American West (64% of readers "interested") Western Suspense (6) Inspirational romance with a spiritual sub-plot (61% of readers "interested") Inspirational (7) Historicals set in England (56% of readers "interested") Historical England (8) Historicals set in Scotland (53% of readers "interested") Historical Scotland (9) Medieval-set romances (49% of readers "interested") Historical Medieval (10) Futuristic or time-travel romances (39% of readers "interested") Futuristic (11) Paranormal romances (37% of readers "interested") Paranormal Now, let us collate this with definitions of the Genres from which these Romance Subgenres take their style or setting.
(1) Romantic suspense (91% of readers "interested") This connects with these three literary genres: Thriller/Espionage, Courtoom Drama/Legal Thriller, and Crime/Detective/Police/Mystery. In a Romance that crosses over with these genres, the hero or heroine is likely to be a lawyer, crime victim, innocent person caught in a network of intrigue, a policeman, a private detective, or an amateur sleuth. Courtoom Drama/Legal Thriller: "In a courtroom drama, the action takes place primarily before a judge and jury, and the protagonist is most often a lawyer. We are all familiar with the works of John Grisham, for instance, and the excitement of seeing whether justice will be served. A courtroom drama often depends upon the absolute identification of the reader with either the prosecutors or defendants, and in the righteousness of their cause. This form is chock-full of inherently suspenseful and engaging situations: the witty repartee of a lawyer cross-examining a witness, the 'a-ha' moment when the prosecutor finally discovers the thread that ties all his evidence into a can't-fail case." [Courtesy of Candice Furhman Literary Agency] Courtroom Drama Romances * Medieval Courtroom Drama Romances * Beloved Lord, Mallory Burgess  * Regency Courtroom Drama Romances * Kindred Spirits, Allison Lane  * The Wolfe's Mate, Paula Marshall  * American Historical Courtroom Drama Romances * The Law and Miss Hardisson, Lynna Banning [HH-537, 2000] * Breathless, Laura Lee Guhrke  * Dancing with Sin, Jane Goodger  * Nightingale's Gate, Linda Francis Lee  * Comanche Eagle, Sara Orwig  * Morning Glory, LaVyrle Spencer  * European Historical Courtroom Drama Romances * Bridal Season, Connie Brockway  * Captives of the Night, Loretta Chase  * Sweet Awakening, Marjorie Farrell  * The Widow's Kiss, Jane Feather  * To Have and To Hold, Patricia Gaffney  * Flowers from the Storm, Laura Kinsale  * Strong Poison, Dorothy Sayers  * Strangers at Dawn, Elizabeth Thornton  * Contemporary Courtroom Drama Romances * C.J.'s Defense, Carolyn Andrews [HT-498, July 1994] * Tangles, Barbara Boswell [LS-183, Mar 1987] * When Lightning Strikes Twice, Barbara Boswell  * Billy Bob Walker Got Married, Lisa G. Brown  * The Crush, Sandra Brown  * Dark Journey, Sandra Canfield  * Voices on the Wind, Sandra Canfield [HSR-252, Mar 1987] * Courthouse Steps, Ginger Chambers [TY-11, Jan 1993] * Love in the First Degree, Patricia Coughlin [SIM-632, Apr 1995] * False Pretenses, Catherine Coulter  * In Defense of Love, Kathleen Creighton [SIM-216, Nov 1987] * Trial, Desire, Elissa Curry [SC-174, Feb 1984] * Elise and the Hotshot Lawyer, Emily Dalton [HAR-666, Feb 1997] * An Accidental Woman, Barbara Delinsky  * Sensuous Burgundy, Bonnie Drake [Barbara Delinsky] [CER-32, 1981] * The Ripple Effect, Lynn Erickson  * Crime of Passion, Maggie Ferguson [HI-347, Nov 1995] * A Legal Affair, Bobby Hutchinson [HT-371, Nov 1991] * Courting Trouble, Janet Joyce [SD-313, Nov 1986] * River Rising, Merline Lovelace  * Reluctant Witness, Linda Markowiak [HSR-785, Apr 1998] * The Best for Last, Gail McFarland  * Fathers and Sons, Carolyn McSparren [HSR-829, Mar 1999] * All the Evidence, M.J. Rodgers [HI-202, Nov 1992] * Baby vs. the Bar, M.J. Rodgers [HI-342, Oct 1995] * Beauty vs. the Beast, M.J. Rodgers [HI-335, Aug 1995] * For the Defense, M.J. Rodgers [HI-1137, June 2003] * Heart vs. Humbug, M.J. Rodgers [HI-350, Dec 1995] * Love vs. Illusion, M.J. Rodgers [HI-375, June 1996] * Overruled, Love, M.J. Rodgers [HDJ-7, Mar 1998] * To Have vs. To Hold, M.J. Rodgers [HI-392, Oct 1996] * Without Precedent, Jo Ann Ross [HT-96, Feb 1986] * Verdict of Love, Beverly Sommers [HAR-62, July 1984] * Bride of My Heart, Rebecca Winters [HR-3325, Aug 1994] Thriller/Espionage: "Thriller is a loosely applied label, often used to describe any book with action or adventures elements. Thrillers, though, tend to be jam packed with linear plot action, usually involving some kind of race against time. They're full of chases, showdowns, rescues, and vigilante justice, and any 'whodunit' element takes backseat to these heart-racing plot devices. Espionage novels usually follow the capers of a spy, working to defend his country's secrets or security against another, enemy country. The genre finds its models in such early classics as Erskin Childers' The Riddle of Sands (1903) and Joseph Conrad's The Secret Agent (1907). Interest in espionage novels has declined in recent years, perhaps due to the end of the cold war. One of the hottest categories in the nineties was the Technothriller, lead by works such as Tom Clancy's The Hunt for Red October. [Courtesy of Candice Furhman Literary Agency] "Crime/Detective/Police/Mystery: The detective novel, in which the plot revolves around uncovering and piecing together clues from a fictional crime that has occurred prior to the start of action, is the most highly represented genre in most public libraries. The thrill for readers of this genre is in the process of solving a puzzle, and classic 'whodunits' can be quite cerebral experiences. Though 'Mystery,' as a kind of overarching category encompassing crime, takes its inspiration from Edgar Allen Poe, the crime novel's most significant development was the advent of the formal detective in the 19th century. Just as with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes then, and with Sue Grafton's Kinsey Millhone now, a detective's personality can inspire great devotion among readers. The work is always highly plot-driven. As Dorothy L. Sayers described it: 'There is one aspect, at least, in which the detective-story has an advantage over every other kind of novel. It possesses an Aristotelian perfection of beginning, middle, and end. A definite and single problem is set, worked out, and solved; its conclusion is not arbitrarily conditioned by marriage or death." [Courtesy of Candice Furhman Literary Agency] "Mystery/Suspense Chapter (Kiss of Death) [of Romance Writers of America]: KOD was formed by writers world-wide to promote and support the reading and writing of suspense and mystery fiction with strong romantic elements (woman's suspense, woman-in-jeopardy, romantic suspense, & Gothic). This chapter was created to provide a gathering place for writers of romantic mystery/suspense fiction." Mystery/Suspense Romance * Medieval Mystery/Suspense Romance * Masques of Gold  Roberta Gellis * Regency Mystery/Suspense Romance * A Double Deception  Joan Wolf * A London Season  Joan Wolf * American Western Historical Mystery/Suspense Romance * Spring Rain  Susan Weldon * European Historical Mystery/Suspense Romance * Heartless  Mary Balogh * Heir of Starvelings by Evelyn Berckman * Captives of the Night  Loretta Chase * Moura  Virginia Coffman * The Wild Baron  Catherine Coulter * The Scapegoat  Daphne Du Maurier * Jamaica Inn, Daphne Du Maurier * Frenchman's Creek  Daphne Du Maurier * Lily  Patricia Gaffney * To Have & To Hold  Patricia Gaffney * Dark Angel  Anna Grant * Shadows of the Heart  Tracy Grant (1st in "Lescaut" series) * Clara Reeve, by Leone Hargrave * The Talisman Ring  Georgette Heyer * Mistress of Mellyn  Victoria Holt * Greygallows  Barbara Michaels * The Scarlet Pimpernel  Baroness Emmuska Orczy * The Anglophile  Egan O'Neil (a.k.a. Elizabeth Linington) * Silk & Shadows  Mary Jo Putney * Mischief  Amanda Quick * Ravished  Amanda Quick * Rendezvous  Amanda Quick * Scaramouche  Rafael Sabatini * The Devil Earl [HH-317, May 1996] Deborah Simmons * Strangers at Dawn  Elizabeth Thornton * Contemporary Mystery/Suspense Romance * Exposure  Susan Andersen * The Voice of Air, by Evelyn Berckman * "The Troubleshooter" series, Suzanne Brockmann * The Bodyguard  Suzanne Brockmann * Mirror Image  Sandra Brown * Slow Heat in Heaven  Sandra Brown * The Daughter  Jasmine Cresswell * The Desires and Deceptions  Jasmine Cresswell * No Sin Too Great  Jasmine Cresswell * Abbeygate  Cecily Crowe * Northwater  Cecily Crowe * The "Stephanie Plum" series, by Janet Evanovich * Every Breath She Takes  Suzanne Forster * Heartbreaker  Julie Garwood * Mercy  Julie Garwood * Dark Paradise  Tami Hoag * Cry Wolf  Tami Hoag * Lucky's Lady  Tami Hoag * Still Waters  Tami Hoag * After Caroline  Kay Hooper * Finding Laura  Kay Hooper * Haunting Rachel  Kay Hooper * Hiding in the Shadows  Kay Hooper * Stealing Shadows  Kay Hooper * Out of the Shadows  Kay Hooper * Kill & Tell  Linda Howard * Mr. Perfect  Linda Howard * Open Season  Linda Howard * Long After Midnight  Iris Johansen * The Ugly Duckling  Iris Johansen * Deep Waters  Jayne Anne Krentz * Flash  Jayne Anne Krentz * Season of Evil  Elsie Lee * Bloodline, by Caroline Llewellyn * Call of Duty  Merline Lovelace * Midnight in Ruby Bayou  Elizabeth Lowell * Moving Target  Elizabeth Lowell * Pearl Cove  Elizabeth Lowell * Tell Me No Lies  Elizabeth Lowell * Sleeping Beauty  Judith Michael * In Sinful Harmony  Marilyn Pappano * Passion  Marilyn Pappano * Suspicion  Marilyn Pappano * Most Wanted [SIM-948, 1999] Maggie Price (3rd in "Prime Suspect" series) * Garden of Dreams  Patricia Rice * Taming the Night [1999?] Paula Detmar Riggs * Heartbreaker [1979?] Karen Robards * One Summer  Karen Robards * Walking after Midnight  Karen Robards * Carnal Innocence  Nora Roberts * Divine Evil  Nora Roberts * Hidden Riches  Nora Roberts * Montana Sky  Nora Roberts * Private Scandals  Nora Roberts * Public Secrets  Nora Roberts * River's End  Nora Roberts * Sanctuary  Nora Roberts * Confessions  JoAnn Ross * No Regrets  JoAnn Ross * A Kiss in the Dark  Meryl Sawyer * Tempting Fate  Meryl Sawyer * Bed of Roses  Katherine Stone * Illusions  Katherine Stone * Imagine Love  Katherine Stone * Promises  Katherine Stone * Rainbows  Katherine Stone * Twins  Katherine Stone * Night Fall  Anne Stuart * Ritual Sins  Anne Stuart * Shadows at Sunset  Anne Stuart * Shadow Lover  Anne Stuart * Columbella  Phyllis Whitney * Futuristic Mystery/Suspense Romance * The "Eve Dallas" series, J. D. Robb * Time Travel Mystery/Suspense Romance * Son of the Morning  Linda Howard * Paranormal Mystery/Suspense Romance * Dream Man  Linda Howard (Psychic) * Now You See Her  Linda Howard (Ghost) * Bride of the Mist  Christina Skye (Ghost) For the greatest free on-line encyclopedia of Mystery and Detective Fiction, see: Ultimate Mystery/Detective Web Guide
(2) Contemporary romance (80% of readers "interested") The Contemporary world is the usual setting for these Genres: Commercial/Mainstream and Literary. Commercial/Mainstream: "Commercial novels are works expected to sell well and be highly marketable. Generally speaking, they tend to be more plot-driven than literary works. Other traits of commercial (or, in alternative parlance, mainstream) novels are difficult to pin down, and may depend upon trends in public interest. Simply put, commercial works are books predicted to attract a large and diverse audience. They are seen as highly marketable books with great potential to gather cross-over readers." [Courtesy of Candice Furhman Literary Agency] Literary: "Literary is, of course, a qualitative term, arrived at not by formula or definition but by aesthetic judgment. But, in general, a literary novel tends to be much more character driven than a commercial novel. But just what qualifies a book as literary is difficult to identify, and open to debate even among well established literary writers. Some cite moral ambiguity, an effort to grapple with dark and light and to see a situation in its full complexity, as a key characteristic. Others might point to layers of meaning, or resonance, of the careful use of language itself. Many speak of the 'truth' of a novel, of an ability to address the human condition. Still others might stress universality. A dozen other qualities of 'literature' might be discussed, but with most of them, whether a book possesses it and in what degree can never be an objective matter." [Courtesy of Candice Furhman Literary Agency]
(3) Romance novels set in exotic locations, such as the tropics (78% of readers "interested") This relates to the Genre of Travel Writing (both fiction and nonfiction).
(4) Historical romance set in Colonial America (65% of readers "interested") Oddly enough, the "Western" literary genre includes Historical novels set in Colonial America. When colonists from England, Scotland, Germany, and the Netherlands were spread over the 13 original American Colinies, up and down the East Coast of America, they were in the frontier. The frontier gradually spread West. But at once time, the dense forests just West of the early colonies were places of tremendous beauty, mystery, and danger. Just perfect for a romance! For the greatest free on-line encyclopedia of Frontier Novels, see: Ultimate Westerns Web Guide
(5) Historical romance set in the American West (64% of readers "interested") For the greatest free on-line encyclopedia of American Western Fiction,see: Ultimate Westerns Web Guide
(6) Inspirational romance with a spiritual sub-plot (61% of readers "interested") New Age/Inspirational: "These novels tend to be didactic, with a thinly disguised message intended to inspire people to create a better world. The plot and the writing are secondary to the message. Successful examples are The Celestine Prophecy, The Way of the Peaceful Warrior, and Jonathan Livingston Seagull." [Courtesy of Candice Furhman Literary Agency] "Faith, Hope, and Love, Inc.: The purpose of this chapter [of Romance Writers of America), sometimes known as FHL, is to promote excellence in romantic fiction, primarily inspirational romance."
(7) Historicals set in England (56% of readers "interested") Historical: "A Historical novel is set in a well-defined period and derives much of its interest from painstakingly accurate historical details. It can also involve the fictionalized recreation of a historical even or figure(s), as do E. L. Doctorow's Ragtime and J. M. Coetzee's The Master of Petersburg (which takes liberties with the events of Fyodor Dostoyevsky's life). Many historical novels are meticulously researched for fine points of setting, and they depend upon the reader's delight in the idea of vicariously experiencing another time and place." [Courtesy of Candice Furhman Literary Agency] It's only natural that English-speaking readers are drawn to novels set in historical England. Certain eras in English History attract the Romance writers and readers in particular. * The Beau Monde Regency Special Interest Chapter (of Romance Writers of America): "The purpose of this chapter is to promote excellence in romantic fiction, set primarily in the Regency period (1811-1820). This chapter is committed to helping writers become published and establish careers in their writing field as well as providing continued support for writers within the romance publishing industry."
(8) Historicals set in Scotland (53% of readers "interested") The Historical Novel as such was invented by a Scotsman: Sir Walter Scott. It's only natural that Historical Novel readers are drawn to novels set in historical Scotland. For a fine overview, with gorgeous illustrations, of Scotland's castles, history, legends, and literature (including the very romantic Mel Gibson as "Braveheart") see: Braveheart Images King Robert the Bruce Scottish Writers (including Sir Walter Scott, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Robert Louis Stevenson, R. M. Ballentyne, and Kenneth Grahame -- author of The Wind in the Willows.") Edinburgh, Scotland's Capital City Historical Scotland Romances * Medieval * Lion's Heart, Suzanne Barclay [HH-252, Jan 1995] * Lion's Lady, Suzanne Barclay [HH-441, May 1998] * Lion's Legacy, Suanne Barclay [HH-304, Feb 1996] * Lion of the North, Suzanne Barclay [HH-272, June 1995] * Beloved Lord, Mallory Burgess  * Highland Velvet, Jude Deveraux  * The Bride, Julie Garwood  * Saving Grace, Julie Garwood  * The Secret, Julie Garwood  * Highland Jewel, Lois Greiman  1st in series * Highland Flame, Lois Greiman  2nd in series * Highland Wolf, Lois Greiman  3rd in series * Lady and the Knight, Lois Greiman  4th in series * Highland Scoundrel, Lois Greiman  5th in series * Highland Enchantment, Lois Greiman  6th in series * Highland Hawk, Lois Greiman  7th in series * My Valiant Knight, Hannah Howell  * The Chieftain, Arnette Lamb  * Highland Barbarian, Ruth Ryan Langan [HH-41, Mar 1990] * Highland Fire,, Ruth Ryan Langan [HH-91, Sep 1991] * Highland Heather, Ruth Ryan Langan [HH-65, Feb 1991] * A Gentle Feuding, Johanna Lindsey  * Angel of Skye, May McGoldrick  3rd in series * Heart of Gold, May McGoldrick  2nd in series * The Thistle and the Rose, May McGoldrick  1st in series * A Kingdom of Dreams, Judith McNaught  * Lord of Fire, Emma Merritt  * Regency Romances in Scotland * The Highland Countess, Marion Chesney  * The Scottish Lord, Joan Wolf  * Other Historical Romances in Scotland * Mclairens Island: The Passionate One, Connie Brockway  1st in series * Mclairens Island: The Ravishing One, Connie Brockway  3rd in series * Mclairens Island: The Reckless One, Connie Brockway  2nd in series * Beloved Heart, Mallory Burgess  * Bride, Stella Cameron  * The Pride of Lions, Marsha Canham  * The Blood of Roses, Marsha Canham  * The Scottish Bride, Catherine Coulter  * The Camerons, Robert Crichton * All We Hold Dear, Kathryn Lynn Davis  nearly a romance * Too Deep For Tears, Kathryn Lynn Davis  nearly romance, in Scotland and England, with exotic locations in India and China * Somewhere Lies the Moon, Kathryn Lynn Davis  nearly a romance, in Scotland, England, India, France * No Other Woman, Shannon Drake  * Fairy Tale by Jillian Hunter  * Outlaw, Susan Johnson  * Highland Rogue, Arnette Lamb  * Heather & Velvet, Teresa Medeiros  * Whisper of Roses, Teresa Medeiros  * Fleeting Splendor, Julie Moffett  * The Thorn & the Thistle, Julie Moffett  * A Rose in Scotland, Joan Overfield  * A Promise of Love, Karen Ranney  * Border Bride, Amanda Scott [reissued 1990] * Beloved Rogue, Penelope Williamson  * Highland Sunset, Joan Wolf  * Contemporary Scotland Romance * The Festival, Victoria Barrett  * The Castle Keep, Jennifer Greene [SD-439, Aug 1988] * Beyond the Glen, Diane Haeger  * Pieces of April, Diane Haeger  * The Silent Ones, Elisabeth Ogilvie * Dillion's Promise, Cinda Richards (aka Cheryl Reavis) [SCH-330, Apr1998] * Duncan's Lady, Emilie Richards [SIM-625, Mar 1995] * Iain Ross's Woman, Emilie Richards [SIM-644, June 1995] * Macdougal's Darling, Emilie Richards [SIM-655, Aug 1995] * Time Travel Scotland Romance * Outlander, Diana Gabaldon  * Dragonfly in Amber, Diana Gabaldon  * Voyager, Diana Gabaldon  * Drums of Autumn, Diana Gabaldon  * Son of the Morning, Linda Howard  * A Dance Through Time, Lynn Kurland  * The Very Thought of You, Lynn Kurland  * Paranormal Scotland Romance * Festival, Victoria Barrett  * The Starry Child, Lynn Hanna  Reincarnation * Circle of Time, Lynn Hanna  Reincarnation * Bride of the Mist, Christina Skye  Ghost * Key to Forever, Christina Skye  Ghost * Season of Wishes, Christina Skye  Ghost
(9) Medieval-set romances (49% of readers "interested") To find the history of earlier centuries, and what fiction is set in each, see: Timeline especially the 1st century through 5th century (fall of Rome and start of the Dark Ages), the 6th through 12th centuries (the Dark Ages and the Medieval world before the Crusades), and the 13th through 15th centuries (the Crusades through the dawn of the age of Science).
(10) Futuristic or time-travel romances (39% of readers "interested") This Romance Subgenre blithely mixes two Genres: Time Travel, and Science Fiction. Let's take these one at a time. First, Time Travel: Time Travel Definitions 120 Movies About Time Travel Next, Science Fiction in general. "A book with a future-based plot which either extrapolates upon existing scientific principles and theories or involves some deviation from them. The key element of Science Fiction is believability; the plots are to be understood literally, not metaphorically as in a novel such as Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale, and therefore Sci Fi novels truly do find their basis in real science, even if they are not restricted by it. The genre is highly beholden to the culture and expectations of its cult-like, primarily young male audience. Sci Fi has gathered a reputation as essentially an unliterary genre, and Sci Fi writers who find mainstream success (such as Ray Bradbury and Kurt Vonnegut) are often reclassified as literary authors. Sub-types of the Sci Fi novel include Apocalypse, Dystopia/Utopia, Space Travel, and Messianic." [Courtesy of Candice Furhman Literary Agency] For further definitions: 22 "Science Fiction" Definitions For the greatest free on-line encyclopedia of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror: Ultimate Science Fiction Web Guide
(11) Paranormal romances (37% of readers "interested"). The Paranormal occurs in the two Genres of Horror and Fantasy. Horror/Psychic/Supernatural: "Horror works depend on the absolutely visceral reaction of pure fright. Their plots can take up everything from the supernatural to the occult, but their emphasis is always on unadulterated fear and a sense of dark, unknown forces. Horror fiction often overlaps with Fantasy and Sci Fi, and many of its authors write in all three genres, crossing boundaries indiscriminately. The Horror genre is rife with imitation; stories of haunted houses, vampires, and evil children are reincarnated almost to infinity and originality can be hard to come by. Horror tales most often take the form of the short story." [Courtesy of Candice Furhman Literary Agency] "Fantasy is often lumped together with Science Fiction, though the two genres are quite different. Fantasy is based upon departure from reality. James Gunn described the difference this way: where Sci Fi novels represent an egalitarian world in which knowledge, not inherent abilities, is the key to discovery, Fantasy novels are predicated on the belief that some people are 'special'; i.e., some people can cast spells or travel to parallel universes while other people cannot. But for both Sci Fi and Fantasy, an utter suspension of disbelief is key. Fantasy sub-genres include Fairy Tales, Arthurian Legend, and Sword and Sorcery." [Courtesy of Candice Furhman Literary Agency] For a selection of definitions of Fantasy, see: Fantasy Definitions "Futuristic, Fantasy and Paranormal: The mission of FF&P Special Interest Chapter [of Romance Writers of America] is to promote excellence in romantic, futuristic, fantasy, time travel and paranormal fiction, to help writers become published in the genre, to provide current information and continuing support to the writers in the romantic, futuristic, fantasy, time travel and paranormal industry."
Ultimate Science Fiction Web Guide