The contemporary short story
January 14, 2012 8:58 PM   Subscribe

Is a modern short story that isn't sci-fi or fantasy called contemporary fiction? What's the genre?

If you write fiction, whether it's short stories or novels, but you don't write sci-fi and you don't write fantasy, what do you call your genre? What do academics call your genre? Is it contemporary fiction? Like Raymond Carver, for instance.
posted by Avenger50 to Media & Arts (6 answers total)
Best answer: Lots of people find this designation annoying, but it is most commonly called "literary fiction."
posted by escabeche at 9:04 PM on January 14, 2012 [3 favorites]

The genre that is not genre might also be acceptable, but what escabeche said.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 9:43 PM on January 14, 2012

Literary fiction, or mainstream fiction (if you're in a community of genre writers).
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:57 PM on January 14, 2012

Lot of writers out there making a good living writing "mysteries" AKA "detective fiction". (Agatha Christie is no more, but she was.)
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 10:22 PM on January 14, 2012

There's also the "romance" genre.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 10:23 PM on January 14, 2012

There are lots of genres besides sci-fi and fantasy -- Mystery, horror, historical, military, romance, young adult, thriller, etc...

Non genre stuff is just 'fiction', but almost everything can be put in a genre, even if the bookstore doesn't have a shelf for it.
posted by empath at 2:13 AM on January 15, 2012

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