Titles that defy genre labeling...

Bear Lee

Feb 11, 2024
Some of my favorite authors, old and new, seem to regularly blur the lines between genres. Many of Dean Koontz's best works, for example, are less horror than sci fi, fantasy, and or mystery. It seems D. Hermit's fiction similarly blends genres, adding the enjoyable aspect of turning well-worn tropes on their heads, making for surprising twists that satisfy. King, of course, has also long ventured into crossing genre boundaries. So two questions: when authors do this, do you feel it dilutes the horror element? And who are your favorite horror writers that do this?
I'd suggest The Land of Laughs by Jonathan Carroll. Starts out rather like a nepo baby memoir and about half way turns to fantasy before becoming a thriller before ending more like horror.

I'd also argue about 1/3 of the titles in The Science Fiction Hall of Fame volumes could easily be argued to also be horror. Some later works like George R. R. Martin's "Nightflyers" and "Sandkings" also navigate between the two.

As for diluting the horror element, not necessarily. That depends on the skill of the writer, also on the needs of the story at hand. Do the psychological aspects of their works diminish the horror in Poe's or Shirley Jackson's stories?

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