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Categorizing Our Books

Book categories

Today’s writer topic comes from QSFer ‘Nathan Smith:

How do we walk the fine line between categorizing books as readers (or writers) in order to challenge the industry to be more representative?

A novel with gay characters is often listed as gay (or, m/m) primarily, and discussed that way, even if it’s a science fiction or fantasy or romance or mystery.

In SF we have a bit more leeway and I feel like we’ve made a bit more progress than other genres, but even then: if the book involves LGBTQ characters, it’ll be very much treated as a queer book–which isn’t really a genre so much as it’s rarer seen–rather than the Fantasy novel it is, for example.

So what do y’all think? Does the way publishers and vendors categorize LGBTIQA books work against us? If so, what can we do to change that? And if not, how do you think it helps?

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