Fantasy and Crime Fiction: Bridging the Gap

Last year we saw a hardboiled fantasy (Sandman Slim), a police procedural fantasy (The City and The City) and a noir fantasy (Finch) all come out. As cross genre books become increasingly more commonplace it would be easy to point new readers in the directions of the pioneer books. The ones that were mixing things up well before it was marketable to do so, like When Gravity Fails by George Alec Effinger. But pffft who wants to read that crap.

I’m going to take a different tact. Instead of looking at how these genres are different I’m going to sit here with a not so straight face and tell you they are the same. No really.

Seriously, think about it.

Aren’t The One Ring To Rule Them All and The Maltese Falcon just MacGuffins?

What are criminal empires and fantastical landscapes but secondary worlds that both have their own rules, and language(s), histories and cultures.

In some types of crime fiction and some types of fantasy fiction there is a lot of power in names; having different names, hiding one’s true name, the power of discovering one’s true name.

Isn’t a crime comic like 100 Bullets really a secondary world fantasy masquerading as a crime story?

Isn’t a serial killer nothing more then a real life monster?

There you have it, fantasy and crime fiction are nothing more then brothers from another mother.

C’mon, be honest with yourself. You know I’m right.

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Brian Lindenmuth

Brian is the non-fiction editor of Spinetingler magazine and one of the fiction editors of Snubnose Press. In addition to Spinetingler his work has appeared in Crimespree magazine and at BSC Review, Galleycat and the Mulholland Books website. He also heads the Spinetingler Award committee.

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1 comment for “Fantasy and Crime Fiction: Bridging the Gap

  1. March 15, 2010 at 2:41 pm

    fiction remains fiction 🙂 great post

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