Accepting certain unknown elements as they are births fantasy. If met with fear and avoidance, they transform into horror. A thorough analysis, pondering their impact on the world, turns them into science fiction.— Joseph Tiss From “Labels Called Genres”
On the other hand, some elements become genres in themselves. The presence of mysteries and their solutions breeds the mystery genre, while love and romance give rise to romantic tales.
If elements truly define genres, what happens to stories encompassing multiple genres?
A tale with love, romance, mysteries, and solutions could become a romantic mystery. Similarly, romantic science fiction is born if an unknown element is analyzed while intertwining love and romance. Indeed, hybrid genres are possible; in fact, stories that do not encompass elements from multiple genres are rarer in modern and classical literature.
While the primary genre can be discerned based on the focal point, attempting a clear “genre classification” in stories since the classical era is nearly impossible.
However, it’s worth noting that some genres are incompatible, making hybridization difficult.
For instance, the different approaches of science fiction, fantasy, or horror.
Similarly, the combination of mystery with fantasy and horror is challenging. This is because mysteries thrive on elucidation, which can be disrupted when elements of acceptance or avoidance, characteristic of fantasy and horror, are introduced.
“Fiction is essentially all fantasy, right? Fairy tales, folklore,” Mike started to argue. “It’s different from reality.”— Qualibre Quabbatta From “The Death of a Rabbit”
“Wait a minute,” I interjected, surprised. “Non-fiction is fantasy, too. Once it becomes a story, everything is fantasy. We unconsciously create stories to live by. We’re living in a reality that’s a fantasy.”
“Is that an opinion from a psychiatrist?”
“No,” I shook my head vigorously. “It’s an opinion from a writer.”
“I can’t believe it.”
The old sorcerer’s voice could not hide his atypical agitation.
The two relatives of the victim were speechless, eyes wide open.
Even the young prodigy, known for his sharp intellect, covered his mouth as if to endure the shock.
The proud middle-aged man and the always-composed lady were both struck dumb.
Me, my companions, students, teachers, outsiders— everyone in the room surrounding the dead body of the girl was frozen.
All of us, refusing to believe what was before our eyes, were in denial.
Yet, more than anyone else, I could not believe the scene before my eyes.
Because this was an impossible crime. Nobody else has realized it yet, but this was an undeniably impossible crime, something often found in mystery novels.
In this world of swords and magic, an impossible crime?
An event that should not have been possible.
No, that’s not right.
It should have been possible.
I should have believed it was and acted accordingly.
It just happened at the worst possible moment.
The sacred room, once pristine and untainted, was now sullied with blood, and the dead girl was missing her head.