Popular Fiction and Twenty-First-Century Book Culture
Published by: University of Massachusetts Press
Works of genre fiction are a source of enjoyment, read during cherished leisure time and in incidental moments of relaxation. This original book takes readers inside popular genres of fiction, including crime, fantasy, and romance, to reveal how personal tastes, social connections, and industry knowledge shape genre worlds. Attuned to both the pleasure and the profession of producing genre fiction, the authors investigate contemporary developments in the field—the rise of Amazon, self-publishing platforms, transmedia storytelling, and growing global publishing conglomerates—and show how these interact with older practices, from fan conventions to writers’ groups.
Sitting at the intersection of literary studies, genre studies, fan studies, and studies of the book and publishing cultures, Genre Worlds considers how contemporary genre fiction is produced and circulated on a global scale. Its authors propose an innovative theoretical framework that unfolds genre fiction’s most compelling characteristics: its connected social, industrial, and textual practices. As they demonstrate, genre fiction books are not merely texts; they are also nodes of social and industrial activity involving the production, dissemination, and reception of the texts.
“Genre Worlds brings together traditional literary readings with audience studies and book publishing research in a really crucial way. Readers and fans of various genres will find the book interesting and useful.”—Kristina Busse, author of Framing Fan Fiction: Literary and Social Practices in Fan Fiction Communities
“Genre Worlds’s literary, sociological, and ethnographic approaches leverage insider views based on interviews with writers, editors, agents, and other participants in the production of genre fiction. It offers an illuminating picture of how genre worlds work and the numerous participants in them.”—Jeremy Rosen, author of Minor Characters Have Their Day: Genre and the Contemporary Literary Marketplace