11.29.2006

Does fiction mean me?

When "literary" web and print journals say they accept fiction, does that usually include Sci-fi and Fantasy too? Or do they just usually mean, normal everyday type of fiction?


When people want science fiction they generally use those words. On the other hand it won't kill some of those guys to read some good alternative world stuff every once in a while. The New Yorker managed to publish Stephen King and he's the very antithesis of normal everyday fiction.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

If it's good, the "literary fiction" editors will write you a little note on the rejection form that says they really enjoyed the story, great prose, very funny, etc. but it suffers from unreality or "just doesn't fit" in their serious pub. Once in a while you'll find a wild-eyed rebel who decides to live dangerously and accept it. But subbing to publications that acknowledge a genre tendency is a lot more efficient than subbing to those that say they want LITERARY fiction, which means "NO GENRE unless you are as old, rich, and famous as Stephen King."

chris said...

As I recall, the Stephen King short story in the New Yorker was a "serious" piece--no vampires, aliens, dogs with rabies or haunted cars. It could've been written by Anne Tyler or John Updike.

BernardL said...

Do agents give any credence to the target audience mentioned in a query letter? Can an agent visualize profitability beyond preference? I understand it to be extremely important a writer who writes thrillers not query an agent interested in only non-fiction; but once a writer places the material at the proper doorstep, does an agent search out profitability first, or their own taste in writing style? I see a huge market for fantasy adventure fiction. Murphy/Sapir's Destroyer series having sold millions of copies over the years is a prime example. The books are pulp fiction of the basest kind, but highly entertaining to their target audience. Do personal preferences in style or story slant rule rather than profit when an agent reads a query letter?