EAT MY LITERARY VITTLES REGARDLESS.
There's a video somewhere on the Internet where Chuck Schuldiner, the musician behind the revolutionary metal band Death, rejects his band being labelled death metal and criticizes the dicing of metal into "heavy," "power," "black," "doom," "death," "industrial," and et cetera; in other words, criticizing genre. Schuldiner says (something like), "If you're playing metal, you're playing metal. And that's it."
Maybe that's not exactly how the video clip goes, but that's how it's stuck with me because that's how it rang with me: metal is metal. Similarly, when it comes to fantasy and science fiction, it's fantasy and science fiction; you can conjure up all sorts of names to make yourself different, but sooner or later you'll have to rely, not on the familiar elements that a particular genre is known for, but what you can add to it that is new and different - i.e., outside the pale of the current canon.
|Excuse me, but I am desperately |
in search of categorization.
That said, I am a base and callous person and I like to trot my writing out as New Weird. Ostensibly, a lot of the New Weirdos I like to read don't consider themselves thusly; and some of them are considered just plain "fantasists." (Aside: My personal definition of New Weird might, right now, but not later when you read this, read as, roughly, not-steampunk-soft-science-no-dragons). Admittedly, I write various kinds of fiction that can easily be pigeonholed as straightup fantasy or space western sans gras. But, when pressed to explain myself, I like to say:
"Yeah, you know, I be writing some weird stuff."
At least that way, I don't walk away worrying that the people I've just met are imagining me gallivanting in the park on Saturdays dressed in chainmail.
Because I just bought a suit of full plate and that's, like, way better AC.