Adult Fantasy–Worst Genre Name Ever

I stumbled on this post from Rachel Aaron entitled “We need a new name…” which made me laugh.

Me, "I’m a fantasy author!" (always so cool to say)

Lady, "Oh wow! So like Harry Potter?!"

Me, "No, Harry Potter’s YA, I write adult fantasy."

Lady, "…………."

Me, "NO! Not THAT kind of adult fantasy!"

This is probably one of the main reasons I’m using the name Everett Renshaw. Because it is unbelievably embarrassing to say to real people in real life that I write in a genre that the industry calls “adult fantasy.” I don’t even like telling people that I read in this genre. It would be marginally better to call it “epic fantasy” or “urban fantasy” but unfortunately I’m not writing those. Pretty much anything with the word “fantasy” in it makes me cringe and want to resign myself to a life of cubicles.

I’m thinking that I might start adopting the term “magical realism” when talking to an “unsafe” audience. Most people won’t have any idea what that means, and nobody likes to sound stupid, so they won’t ask what it is. And if someone does happen to know what it means, they’ll think I’m writing pretentious literary material. (When in fact, magical realism is … well, I better not say it or someone somewhere will feel compelled to argue about it.)

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