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Does flying cars make a book science fiction?

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A book has flying cars, a space resort and takes place in the future. Is it science fiction?

What if the plot has a mystery and maybe enough romance to make it the main plot line?

Maybe you could call such a book science fiction, a mystery and a romance all the same time.
What would you call it? How would describe the book to someone?

As a reader, I suppose it depends on two things.

1) Which, if any genre, dominates.
2) How strictly you define science fiction, mystery and romance.

Me? I don’t have strict definitions. As long as it meets the genre’s tropes, I’ll call it by all three genres. That doesn’t help with actually picking one.

For marketing purposes, I suppose you need only ask one question: which genre has the largest readership?

I am talking about the In Death series by JD Robb. They are marketed as romantic suspense. I’ve found them in the romance and general fiction isles.

On my nook, I have decided to go with the marketers and shelve it under romance. I am just wondering if I could also shelve them under science fiction. I can’t decide.


11 thoughts on “Does flying cars make a book science fiction?

  1. Just because it takes place in the future or has flying cars doesn’t necessarily make it science fiction. If the new technology is defined and a big part if the story I would say yes. If not I would call it fantasy rather than science fiction. Only my opinion as I am far from an expert!

  2. I agree with you that it matters which part of the story dominates the plot line. For instance, I would agree with people that just being set in the future definitely doesn’t make something science fiction (dystopian stories for example) because technology often plays no role in the plot – even if it helped cause the current situation. LIkewise, nearly every book has some romance, but unless that’s the point of the book, I wouldn’t describe it to someone else as a romance.

  3. I used to work at a bookstore, and I disliked seeing the In Death series categorised under the romance section, since they look more like suspense/thriller books (at least from what I read on the back cover). From what I gathered, the category team would sometimes place the books there because they want Nora Roberts fans to be aware, in case they weren’t, that she writes in other genres as well. Also, the book would likely sell better in the romance section rather than the crime/thriller section. Like for some paranormal books, some of them are shoved into sci-fi & fantasy rather than romance, even if the main theme was romance. Used to annoy the hell out of me.

    Anyway, here’s my musing:

  4. Sounds like futuristic romantic suspense. Science Fiction focuses more on the world building and the technology than on the mystery or romance.

    Thanks for stopping by the Harem.

    1. Lots of people would describe it like that, yes. And . . . I believe the in death spend a lot of time on world-building. There are some romances that do.

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