The roots of genre fiction can be found in everything from mythology and folklore to narrative poetry and Victorian gothics and beyond. With this in mind, we asked our panelists:
Q: What genre roots have you found to be most influential and inspiring for you and your own writing?
Usman T. Malik is a Pakistani writer of strange stories. His fiction has won a Bram Stoker Award and has been nominated for the Nebula. He resides in two worlds.
I grew up reading in Urdu first, so childrens magazines Bachon Ki Dunya, Bachon Ka Bagh, Jugnoo and Mazhar Kaleem M.A.s childrens books about Chaloosak Maloosak, Chan Changloo, and others were my entry into genre literature. This was followed by abridged Urdu renditions of Central Asian, Arabic, and Subcontinental classics such as Hatim Tai, The Adventures of Amir Hamza, Talism Hoshruba, et cetera. I began reading Enid Blytons books and fell in love with them around ten or so. After that, it was Christopher Pike, Stephen King, Guy De Maupassant, Poe et al. There is a wealth of untranslated Urdu spec fiction, which is still being written and reprinted. Hopefully some day I can read more of it (these days I mostly read in English, which is a pity really and I need to do better than that, to be honest).