Lord of the Rings
New Zealand 2003 One Dollar Coin to Commemorate the Film Trilogy which was completed in the same year
The Obverse has Queen Elizabeth II Head and the reverse has the ring from Lord of the Rings
Comes in air-tight acrylic coin holder
The coin is 40mm in diameter, weighs about 1 oz
Would make an Excellent Gift or Collectable Keepsake to a a great trilogy
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The Lord of the Rings is an epic high fantasy novel written by English philologist and University of Oxford professor J. R. R. Tolkien. The story began as a sequel to Tolkien's 1937 children's fantasy novel The Hobbit, but eventually developed into a much larger work. It was written in stages between 1937 and 1949, much of it during World War II. It is the second best-selling novel ever written, with over 150 million copies sold.
The title of the novel refers to the story's main antagonist, the Dark Lord Sauron,[note 1] who had in an earlier age created the One Ring to rule the other Rings of Power as the ultimate weapon in his campaign to conquer and rule all of Middle-earth. From quiet beginnings in the Shire, a Hobbit land not unlike the English countryside, the story ranges across north-west Middle-earth, following the course of the War of the Ring through the eyes of its characters, notably the hobbits Frodo Baggins, Samwise "Sam" Gamgee, Meriadoc "Merry" Brandybuck and Peregrin "Pippin" Took, but also the hobbits' chief allies and travelling companions: Aragorn, a Human Ranger; Boromir, a man from Gondor; Gimli, a Dwarf warrior; Legolas, an Elven prince; and Gandalf, a Wizard.
The work was initially intended by Tolkien to be one volume of a two-volume set, with the other being The Silmarillion, but this idea was dismissed by his publisher. It was decided for economic reasons to publish The Lord of the Rings as three volumes over the course of a year from 29 July 1954 to 20 October 1955, thus creating the now familiar Lord of the Rings trilogy. The three volumes were entitled The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King. Structurally, the novel is divided internally into six books, two per volume, with several appendices of background material included at the end of the third volume. The Lord of the Rings has since been reprinted numerous times and translated into many languages.
Tolkien's work has been the subject of extensive analysis of its themes and origins. Although a major work in itself, the story was only the last movement of a larger epic Tolkien had worked on since 1917, in a process he described as mythopoeia.[not in citation given (See discussion.)] Influences on this earlier work, and on the story of The Lord of the Rings, include philology, mythology, religion and the author's distaste for the effects of industrialization, as well as earlier fantasy works and Tolkien's experiences in World War I. The Lord of the Rings in its turn is considered to have had a great effect on modern fantasy; the impact of Tolkien's works is such that the use of the words "Tolkienian" and "Tolkienesque" has been recorded in the Oxford English Dictionary.
The enduring popularity of The Lord of the Rings has led to numerous references in popular culture, the founding of many societies by fans of Tolkien's works, and the publication of many books about Tolkien and his works. The Lord of the Rings has inspired, and continues to inspire, artwork, music, films and television, video games, and subsequent literature. Award-winning adaptations of The Lord of the Rings have been made for radio, theatre, and film
The Fellowship of the Ring
The Two Towers
The Return of the King
Author J. R. R. Tolkien
Country England, United Kingdom
Genre High fantasy
Publisher George Allen & Unwin
Published 29 July 1954, 11 November 1954 & 20 October 1955
Media type Print (hardback & paperback)
Preceded by The Hobbit
Samwise Gamgee, gardener and friend of the Bagginses
Meriadoc Brandybuck, or Merry, Frodo's cousin
Peregrin Took, Pip or Pippin, Frodo's cousin
Gandalf, a wizard. He is a Maia, an angelic being sent by the god-like Valar to fight Sauron. He bears the Ring of Fire, one of the three Elven rings, after being given it by Círdan of the Grey Havens.
Aragorn, descendant of Isildur and rightful heir to the thrones of Arnor and Gondor
Legolas Greenleaf, an Elf prince and son of King Thranduil of Mirkwood
Gimli, son of Glóin
Denethor, ruling Steward of Gondor and Lord of Minas Tirith.
Boromir, the eldest son of Denethor
Faramir, younger brother of Boromir
Galadriel, Elf, co-ruler of Lothlórien, and grandmother of Arwen Undómiel (Arwen Evenstar). Keeper of one of the three Elven rings.
Celeborn, husband of Galadriel, co-ruler of Lothlórien, and grandfather of Arwen Undómiel
Elrond, Lord of Rivendell and father of Arwen Undómiel, keeper of another of the three Elven rings.
Bilbo Baggins, Frodo's adoptive uncle
Théoden, King of Rohan
Éomer, the 3rd Marshal of the Mark and Théoden's nephew. Later King of Rohan after Théoden's death.
Éowyn, sister of Éomer, who disguises herself as a male warrior named Dernhelm to fight beside Théoden.
Treebeard, oldest of the Ents
Círdan, the Elf who keeps the Grey Havens. Previous keeper of the Ring of Fire before handing it to Gandalf when he arrives in Middle Earth.
Sauron, the Dark Lord and titular Lord of the Rings, a fallen Maia who helped the Elves forge the Rings of Power long ago. Lieutenant of Morgoth in the First Age.
The Nazgûl or Ringwraiths. Kings of Men of old, they were enslaved by Sauron when they accepted his treacherous gifts of Rings of Power.
The Witch-king of Angmar, the Lord of the Nazgûl, and Sauron's most powerful servant, who commands Sauron's army.
Saruman, a wizard who seeks the One Ring for himself. Corrupted by Sauron through use of the palantír. Like Gandalf, he is a Maia.
Gríma Wormtongue, a secret servant of Saruman and traitor to Rohan, a go-between from Saruman to Théoden who poisons Théoden's perceptions with well placed "advice".
Gollum, originally named Sméagol
Various Orcs, soldiers of Mordor or Isengard. Those who play significant roles in the story include Uglúk, captain of the Uruk-hai of Isengard, Grishnákh, orc of Mordor and Uglúk's antagonist, Shagrat of Cirith Ungol, and Gorbag of Minas Morgul.
Shelob, a giant spider who dwells in the passes above Minas Morgul.
The Balrog, a fire-demon dwelling beneath the Mines of Moria awakened by the digging and mining of Dwarves.
The Haradrim, Men residing south of Gondor. Allies of Sauron.
The Easterlings, Men of the East of Middle-earth who follow Sauron.
The Corsairs of Umbar, enemies of Gondor.
Influences on the fantasy genre
The enormous popularity of Tolkien's epic saga greatly expanded the demand for fantasy fiction. Largely thanks to The Lord of the Rings, the genre flowered throughout the 1960s, and enjoys popularity to the present day. The opus has spawned many imitators, such as The Sword of Shannara, which Lin Carter called "the single most cold-blooded, complete rip-off of another book that I have ever read". Dungeons & Dragons, which popularized the role-playing game (RPG) genre in the 1970s, features many races found in The Lord of the Rings, most notably halflings (another term for hobbits), elves, dwarves, half-elves, orcs, and dragons. However, Gary Gygax, lead designer of the game, maintained that he was influenced very little by The Lord of the Rings, stating that he included these elements as a marketing move to draw on the popularity the work enjoyed at the time he was developing the game.
Because D&D has influenced many popular role-playing video games, the influence of The Lord of the Rings extends to many of them as well, with titles such as Dragon Warrior, EverQuest, the Warcraft series, and the Elder Scrolls series of games as well as video games set in Middle-earth itself.
Research also suggests that some consumers of fantasy games derive their motivation from trying to create an epic fantasy narrative which is influenced by the Lord of the Rings.
In 1965, songwriter Donald Swann, who was best known for his collaboration with Michael Flanders as Flanders & Swann, set six poems from The Lord of the Rings and one from The Adventures of Tom Bombadil ("Errantry") to music. When Swann met with Tolkien to play the songs for his approval, Tolkien suggested for "Namárië" (Galadriel's lament) a setting reminiscent of plain chant, which Swann accepted. The songs were published in 1967 as The Road Goes Ever On: A Song Cycle, and a recording of the songs performed by singer William Elvin with Swann on piano was issued that same year by Caedmon Records as Poems and Songs of Middle Earth.
In 1988, Dutch composer and trombonist Johan de Meij completed his Symphony No. 1 "The Lord of the Rings", which encompassed 5 movements, titled "Gandalf", "Lothlórien", "Gollum", "Journey in the Dark", and "Hobbits". In 1989 the symphony was awarded the Sudler Composition Award, awarded biennially for best wind band composition. The Danish Tolkien Ensemble have released a number of albums that feature the complete poems and songs of The Lord of the Rings set to music, with some featuring recitation by Christopher Lee.
Rock bands of the 1970s were musically and lyrically inspired by the fantasy embracing counter-culture of the time; British 70s rock band Led Zeppelin recorded several songs that contain explicit references to The Lord of the Rings ("Ramble On", "The Battle of Evermore", "Over the Hills and Far Away", and "Misty Mountain Hop"). In 1970, the Swedish musician Bo Hansson released an instrumental concept album based on the book entitled Sagan om ringen (translated as "The Saga of the Ring", which was the title of the Swedish translation of The Lord of the Rings at the time). The album was subsequently released internationally as Music Inspired by Lord of the Rings in 1972. The songs "Rivendell" and "The Necromancer" by the progressive rock band Rush were inspired by Tolkien. And Styx also paid homage to Tolkien on their "Pieces of Eight" album with the song "Lords of the Ring," while Black Sabbath's song, "The Wizard", which appeared on their debut album, was influenced by Tolkien's hero, Gandalf. The heavy metal band Cirith Ungol took their name from a fictional place in Middle-earth of the same name. Progressive rock group Camel paid homage to the text in their lengthy composition "Nimrodel/The Procession/The White Rider", and Progressive rock band Barclay James Harvest was inspired by the character Galadriel to write a song by that name, and used "Bombadil", the name of another character, as a pseudonym under which their 1972 single "Breathless"/"When the City Sleeps" was released; there are other references scattered through the BJH oeuvre.
Later, from the 1980s to the present day, many heavy metal acts have been influenced by Tolkien. Blind Guardian has written many songs relating to Middle-earth, including the full concept album Nightfall in Middle Earth. Almost all of Summoning's songs and the entire discography of Battlelore are Tolkien-themed. Gorgoroth and Amon Amarth take their names from an area of Mordor, and Burzum take their name from the Black Speech of Mordor. The Finnish metal band Nightwish and the Norwegian metal band Tristania have also incorporated many Tolkien references into their music. A Swedish metal band, Sabaton, based their song "Shadows" on the nine ring wraiths.
Enya wrote an instrumental piece called "Lothlórien" in 1991, and composed two songs for the film The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring—"May It Be" (sung in English and Quenya) and "Aníron" (sung in Sindarin).
Impact on popular culture
The Lord of the Rings has had a profound and wide-ranging impact on popular culture, beginning with its publication in the 1950s, but especially throughout the 1960s and 1970s, during which time young people embraced it as a countercultural saga. "Frodo Lives!" and "Gandalf for President" were two phrases popular among American Tolkien fans during this time.
Parodies like the Harvard Lampoon's Bored of the Rings, the VeggieTales episode "Lord of the Beans", the South Park episode "The Return of the Fellowship of the Ring to the Two Towers", the Futurama film "Bender's Game", The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius episode "Lights! Camera! Danger!", The Big Bang Theory episode "The Precious Fragmentation", and the American Dad! episode "The Return of the Bling" are testimony to the work's continual presence in popular culture.
In 1969, Tolkien sold the merchandising rights to The Lord of The Rings (and The Hobbit) to United Artists under an agreement stipulating a lump sum payment of £10,000 plus a 7.5% royalty after costs, payable to Allen & Unwin and the author. In 1976, three years after the author's death, United Artists sold the rights to Saul Zaentz Company, who now trade as Tolkien Enterprises. Since then all "authorized" merchandise has been signed-off by Tolkien Enterprises, although the intellectual property rights of the specific likenesses of characters and other imagery from various adaptations is generally held by the adaptors. Outside any commercial exploitation from adaptations, from the late 1960s onwards there has been an increasing variety of original licensed merchandise, from posters and calendars created by illustrators such as Pauline Baynes and the Brothers Hildebrandt, to figurines and miniatures to computer, video, tabletop and role-playing games. Recent examples include the Spiel des Jahres award winning (for best use of literature in a game) board game The Lord of the Rings by Reiner Knizia and the Golden Joystick award-winning massively multiplayer online role-playing game, The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar by Turbine, Inc..
The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien
The Fellowship of the Ring The Two Towers The Return of the King
Production and reception
Composition Themes Influences Translations Reception Fandom Study
The Hobbit The Adventures of Tom Bombadil The Road Goes Ever On The Silmarillion Unfinished Tales The History of Middle-earth The History of The Lord of the Rings Bilbo's Last Song The Children of Húrin The History of The Hobbit The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion
Aragorn Arwen Bilbo Boromir Celeborn Denethor Elrond Éomer Éowyn Faramir Frodo Galadriel Gandalf Gimli Gollum Legolas Merry Mouth of Sauron Old Man Willow Pippin Radagast Sam Saruman Sauron Shelob Théoden Tom Bombadil Treebeard Witch-king Wormtongue
Adaptations and other derivative works
Bored of the Rings (1969) The Last Ringbearer (1999) Muddle Earth (2003)
Fellowship! (2005) The Lord of the Rings (2006, 2007)
The Lord of the Rings (1955) The Lord of the Rings (1979) Hordes of the Things (1980) The Lord of the Rings (1981)
The Lord of the Rings (1978) The Return of the King (1980)
Peter Jackson trilogy
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002) The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
The Hunt for Gollum (2009) Born of Hope (2009)
Journey to Rivendell Game One Game Two: Shadows of Mordor War in Middle-earth Volume I J. R. R. Tolkien's Riders of Rohan Elendor MUME Volume II The Two Towers (MUD) Kingdom O' Magic The Fellowship of the Ring The Two Towers The Return of the King War of the Ring The Third Age The Third Age (GBA) The Battle for Middle-earth Tactics The Battle for Middle-earth II (The Rise of the Witch-king) The White Council The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar Mines of Moria Siege of Mirkwood Rise of Isengard Riders of Rohan Conquest Third Age: Total War (mod) Aragorn's Quest War in the North Lego The Lord of the Rings Guardians of Middle-earth
Middle Earth board game Lord of the Rings board game War of the Ring board game The Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle Game The Lord of the Rings Trading Card Game The Lord of the Rings Roleplaying Game Middle-earth Collectible Card Game Middle-earth Role Playing
Middle-earth Lego sets
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J. R. R. Tolkien's legendarium
Published during his lifetime
The Hobbit The Lord of the Rings The Fellowship of the Ring The Two Towers The Return of the King The Adventures of Tom Bombadil The Road Goes Ever On
The Silmarillion Unfinished Tales The Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien The History of Middle-earth (12 volumes) Bilbo's Last Song The Children of Húrin The History of The Hobbit
Lists of articles
By category By name Writings Characters Peoples Individual Dwarves Individual Elves Individual Hobbits Hobbit families Individual Númenóreans Individual Orcs Kings of Arnor Kings of Dale Kings of Gondor Rulers of Númenor Kings of Rohan Realms Ages Animals Plants Food and drink Objects Weapons and armour Wars and battles Rivers Roads Languages Magic
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Works by J. R. R. Tolkien
See J. R. R. Tolkien bibliography for a full bibliography.
Songs for the Philologists (1936) The Hobbit (1937)
Leaf by Niggle (1947) The Lay of Aotrou and Itroun (1945) Farmer Giles of Ham (1949)
The Homecoming of Beorhtnoth Beorhthelm's Son (1953) The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (1954) The Two Towers (1954) The Return of the King (1955)
The Adventures of Tom Bombadil and Other Verses from the Red Book (1962) Tree and Leaf (1964) The Tolkien Reader (1966) The Road Goes Ever On (1967) Smith of Wootton Major (1967)
The Father Christmas Letters (1976) The Silmarillion (1977)
Unfinished Tales (1980) Mr. Bliss (1982)
Bilbo's Last Song (1990) The History of Middle-earth (12 Volumes) (1983–1996) Roverandom (1998)
The Children of Húrin (2007) The History of The Hobbit (2007) The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrún (2009)
A Middle English Vocabulary (1922) Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (Middle English text, 1925) Some Contributions to Middle-English Lexicography (1925) The Devil's Coach Horses (1925) Ancrene Wisse and Hali Meiðhad (1929)
The Name "Nodens" (1932) Sigelwara Land Parts I and II, in Medium Aevum (1932–34) Chaucer as a Philologist: The Reeve's Tale (1934) Beowulf: The Monsters and the Critics (1936) The Reeve's Tale: version prepared for recitation at the "summer diversions" (1939) On Fairy-Stories (1939)
Sir Orfeo (1944)
Ofermod and Beorhtnoth's Death (1953) Middle English "Losenger": Sketch of an etymological and semantic enquiry (1953)
Ancrene Wisse: The English Text of the Ancrene Riwle (1962) English and Welsh (1963) Introduction to Tree and Leaf (1964) Contributions to the Jerusalem Bible (as translator and lexicographer) (1966) Tolkien on Tolkien (autobiographical) (1966)
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Pearl, and Sir Orfeo (Modern English translations, 1975) Finn and Hengest (1982) The Monsters and the Critics (1983) Beowulf and the Critics (2002)
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History Literature Sources
Bangsian Comic Contemporary Dark Dying Earth Fairytale Fantastique Fantasy of manners Folklore Mythology (based) Gaslamp Gothic Hard Heroic High list Historical Juvenile Lost World Low Magical girl Medieval Romantic Science Sword and sorcery Urban
Film and television
Anime Films Television programs
Authors Ballantine Adult Fantasy series Comics The Encyclopedia of Fantasy Internet Speculative Fiction Database List of novels (A–H) (I–R) (S–Z) Newcastle Forgotten Fantasy Library Publishers
Fantastic Locus The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction Science Fantasy Weird Tales
Fandom Fantastic art Fantasy art Filk music Harry Potter fandom Inklings Mythopoeic Society Religion Tolkien fandom Works inspired by J. R. R. Tolkien World Fantasy Award
Angels Demons Dragons Elementals Familiars Faeries Spirits Undead
Caveman Heroes Magicians Occult detective list Witches
Animism Evocation Incantation Magocracy Necromancy Shapeshifting Technomancy Witchcraft
Humanoids and Races
Dwarves Elves Giants Gnomes Goblins Halflings Orcs Trolls
Places and events
Quests Worlds list Lost city Hollow Earth Astral plane Enchanted forest
Allegory Epic poetry Fable Fairy tale Fantastic Ghost story Magic realism Mythology
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Books I Love Best Yearly: Older Readers Award
The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13¾ by Sue Townsend (1990) The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton (1991) Where's Wally? by Martin Handford (1992) Flowers in the Attic by V. C. Andrews (1993) Looking for Alibrandi by Melina Marchetta (1995) Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton (1996) The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien (1997) Tomorrow, When the War Began by John Marsden (1998) Bumface by Morris Gleitzman (1999)
Looking for Alibrandi by Melina Marchetta (2000) Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling (2001) The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien (2002) Two of a Kind series by various authors (2003) Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J. K. Rowling (2004) Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J. K. Rowling (2005) Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J. K. Rowling (2006)
Fantasy is a genre of fiction that commonly uses magic and other supernatural phenomena as a primary plot element, theme, or setting. Many works within the genre take place in imaginary worlds where magic is common. Fantasy is generally distinguished from the genre of science fiction by the expectation that it steers clear of scientific themes, though there is a great deal of overlap between the two, both of which are subgenres of speculative fiction.
In popular culture, the fantasy genre is predominantly of the medievalist form, especially since the worldwide success of The Lord of the Rings and related books by J. R. R. Tolkien. Fantasy has also included wizards, sorcerers, witchcraft, etc., in events which avoid horror. In its broadest sense, however, fantasy comprises works by many writers, artists, filmmakers, and musicians, from ancient myths and legends to many recent works embraced by a wide audience today.
Fantasy is a vibrant area of academic study in a number of disciplines (English, cultural studies, comparative literature, history, medieval studies). Work in this area ranges widely, from the structuralist theory of Tzvetan Todorov, which emphasizes the fantastic as a liminal space, to work on the connections (political, historical, literary) between medievalism and popular culture
List of genres
Main articles: Literary genre and List of literary genres
An action story is similar to Adventure, but the protagonist usually takes a risky turn, which leads to desperate situations (including explosions, fight scenes, daring escapes, etc.). Action and Adventure are usually categorized together (sometimes even as "action-adventure") because they have much in common, and many stories fall under both genres simultaneously (for instance, the James Bond series can be classified as both).
Military fiction: A story about a war or battle that can either be historical or fictional. It usually follows the events a certain warrior goes through during the battle's events.
Spy fiction: A story about a secret agent (spy) or military personnel member who is sent on a secret espionage mission. Usually, they are equipped with special gadgets that prove useful during the mission, and they have special training in things such as unarmed combat or computer hacking. They may or may not work for a specific government.
Western fiction: A story talking place in the American Old West. Westerns commonly feature bounty hunters, gunfighters, outlaws and/or cowboys.
Girls with guns and swords:
An adventure story is about a protagonist who journeys to epic or distant places to accomplish something. It can have many other genre elements included within it, because it is a very open genre. The protagonist has a mission and faces obstacles to get to his destination.
Shōnen manga: A manga marketed to males roughly ages 10 and up. It is typically characterized by high-action, often humorous plots featuring male protagonists. The camaraderie between boys or men on sports teams, fighting squads, and the like is often emphasized. Attractive female characters with exaggerated features are also common.
Superhero fiction: A story that examines the adventures of costumed crime fighters known as superheroes, who often possess superhuman powers and battle similarly powered criminals known as supervillains.
Comedy is a story that tells about a series of funny or comical events, intended to make the audience laugh. It is a very open genre, and thus crosses over with many other genres on a frequent basis.
Comedy of manners: A film satirizes the manners and affectations of a social class, often represented by stock characters. The plot of the comedy is often concerned with an illicit love affair or some other scandal, but is generally less important than its witty dialogue. This form of comedy has a long ancestry, dating back at least as far as Shakespeare's Much Ado about Nothing.
Humorous: Fiction full of fun, fancy, and excitement. Meant to entertain.
Tall tale: A humorous story with blatant exaggeration,swaggering heroes who do the impossible with nonchalance.
Parody: A story that mocks or satirizes other genres, people, fictional characters or works. Such works employ sarcasm, stereotyping, mockery of scenes, symbols or lines from other works, and the obviousness of meaning in a character's actions. Such stories may be "affectionate parodies" which merely mean to entertain those familiar with the source of the parody... or they may well be intended to undercut the respectability of the original inspiration for the parody by pointing out its flaws (the latter being closer to satire).
Romantic comedy: A subgenre which combines the romance genre with comedy, focusing on two or more individuals as they discover and attempt to deal with their romantic love, attractions to each other. The stereotypical plot line follows the "boy-gets-girl", "boy-loses-girl", "boy gets girl back again" sequence. Naturally, there are innumerable variants to this plot (as well as new twists, such as reversing the gender roles in the story), and much of the generally lighthearted comedy lies in the social interactions and sexual tension between the characters, who very often either refuse to admit they are attracted to one another, or must deal with others' meddling in their affairs.
Comedy horror: See Shawn of the Dead and Jennifer's Body.
Black comedy: A parody or satirical story that is based on normally tragic or taboo subjects, including death, murder, suicide, illicit drugs and war. So-called "Dead Baby Comedy" sometimes falls under this genre.
Comic science fiction: A comedy that uses science fiction elements or settings, often as a lighthearted (or occasionally vicious) parody of the latter genre.
A crime story is about a crime that is being committed or was committed. It can also be an account of a criminal's life. It often falls into the Action or Adventure genres.
Detective story: A story about a detective (or detectives) and/or person, either professional or amateur, who has to solve a crime that was committed. They must figure out who committed the crime and why. Sometimes, the detective must figure out 'how' the criminal committed the crime if it seems impossible.
Murder mystery: A mystery story which focuses on one type of criminal case: homicide. Usually, there are one or more murder victims, and the detective must figure out who killed them, the same way he or she solves other crimes. They may or may not find themselves or loved ones in danger because of this investigation; the genre often includes elements of the suspense story genre, or of the action and adventure genres.
Main article: Erotic literature
In literature, faction is a text depicted as based on real historical figures, and actual events, woven together with fictitious allegations. Faction is often disliked as confusing to people who are trying to find facts.[according to whom?] For example, schoolchildren told to look for historical information are liable to be confused by Faction literature.
A fantasy story is about magic or supernatural forces, rather than technology, though it often is made to include elements of other genres, such as science fiction elements, for instance computers or DNA, if it happens to take place in a modern or future era. Depending on the extent of these other elements, the story may or may not be considered to be a "hybrid genre" series; for instance, even though the Harry Potter series canon includes the requirement of a particular gene to be a wizard, it is referred to only as a fantasy series.
Fables:A type of narration demonstrating a useful truth. Animal speak's as humans, legendary, supernatural tale.
Fairy Tales:A literary genre about various magical creatures, environments, etcetera.
Epic/High fantasy: Mythical stories with highly developed characters and story lines.
Legends:Stories, oftentimes of a national hero or other folk figure, which have a basis in fact, but also contain imaginative material.
Magical girl: Popular in Japan, of girls who uses magic in either their training, idol stardom or even to fight evil.
Science fantasy: A story with mystical elements that are scientifically explainable, or which combines science fiction elements with fantasy elements. It should be noted that science fiction was once actually referred to under this name, but that it is no longer used to denote that genre, and has somewhat fallen out of favor as a genre descriptor.
Sword and planet: A subgenre of science fantasy that features rousing adventure stories set on other planets, and usually featuring Earthmen as protagonists. There is a fair amount of overlap between "Sword & Planet" and "planetary romance" although some works are considered to belong to one and not the other. In general, Planetary Romance is considered to be more of a Space Opera subgenre, influenced by the likes of A Princess of Mars yet more modern and technologically savvy, while Sword & Planet more directly imitates the conventions established by Burroughs in the Mars series.
Dying Earth: A sub-subgenre of science fantasy which takes place either at the end of life on Earth or the End of Time, when the laws of the universe themselves fail. More generally, the Dying Earth sub-genre encompasses science fiction works set in the far distant future in a milieu of stasis or decline. Themes of world-weariness, innocence (wounded or otherwise), idealism, entropy, (permanent) exhaustion/depletion of many or all resources (such as soil nutrients), and the hope of renewal tend to pre-dominate
Sword and sorcery: A blend of heroic fantasy, adventure, and frequent elements of the horrific in which a mighty barbaric warrior hero is pitted against both human and supernatural adversaries. Robert E. Howard, creator of Conan the Cimmerian, Kull of Atlantis, the Pictish king Bran Mak Morn, etc. is generally acknowledged as the founder of the genre, chiefly through his writings for Weird Tales and other 1920s and 1930s pulp magazines.
Wuxia: A distinct quasi-fantasy sub-genre of the martial arts genre.
A story about a real person or event. Often, they are written in a text book format, which may or may not focus on solely that person or event.
Biography: The details of the life story of a real person, told by someone else.
Autobiography: Essentially the same as a biography, with the exception that the story is written by the person who is the subject of the story.
Memoir: Similar to autobiography, with the exception that it is told more "from memory", i.e. it is how the person personally remembers and feels about their life or a stage in their life, more than the exact, recorded details of that period. Though memoirs are often more subjective than autobiography works, memoirs are generally still considered to be nonfiction works. There are also some fiction works that purport to be the "memoirs" of fictional characters as well, done in a similar style, however, these are in a separate genre from their nonfiction counterparts.
Historical fiction: A story that takes place in the real world, with real world people, but with several fictionalized or dramatized elements. This may or may not crossover with other genres; for example, fantasy fiction or science fiction may play a part, as is the case for instance with the novel George Washington's Socks, which includes time travel elements.
Alternate history: A more extreme variant of historical fiction which posits a "what if" scenario in which some historical event occurs differently (or not at all), thus altering the course of history; for instance, "What if Nazi Germany had won World War II?" is an alternate history concept that has had treatment in fiction. Alternate History is sometimes (though not universally) referred to as a subgenre of science fiction or speculative fiction, and like historical fiction, may include more fantastical elements (for instance, the Temeraire series uses the fantasy element of dragons to create an Alternate History plot set during the Napoleonic Era).
Counterfactual history: Referred to as virtual history, it is a recent form of historiography which attempts to answer "what if" questions known as counterfactuals. It seeks to explore history and historical incidents by means of extrapolating a timeline in which certain key historical events did not happen or had an outcome which was different from that which did in fact occur. The purpose of this exercise is to ascertain the relative importance of the event, incident or person the counterfactual hypothesis is negating. For instance, to the counterfactual claim "What would have happened had Hitler drunk coffee instead of tea on the afternoon he committed suicide?", the timeline would have remained unchanged — Hitler in all likelihood still would have committed suicide on April 30, 1945, regardless of what he had to drink that afternoon. However, to the counterfactual "What would have happened had Hitler died in the July 1944, assassination attempt?", all sorts of possibilities become readily apparent, starting with the reasonable assumption that the German generals would have in all likelihood sued for peace, bringing an early end to World War II, at least in the European Theater. Thus, the counterfactual brings into sharp relief the importance of Hitler as an individual and how his personal fate shaped the course of the war and, ultimately, of world history.
Period piece: This type features historical places, people, or events that may or not be crucial to the story. Because history is merely used as a backdrop, it may be fictionalized to various degrees, but the story itself may be regarded as "outside" history. Genres within this category are often regarded as significant categories in themselves.
Jidaigeki: A story usually set in the Edo period of Japanese history, from 1603 to 1868.
Costume drama: A type of drama that especially relies on lavish costumes and designs. This type crosses over with many other genres.
It takes place in the past. Normally it involves wars and special memories from the past that are remembered to today.
A horror story is told to deliberately scare or frighten the audience, through suspense, violence or shock. H. P. Lovecraft distinguishes two primary varieties in the "Introduction" to Supernatural Horror in Literature: 1) Physical Fear or the "mundanely gruesome" and 2) the true Supernatural Horror story or the "Weird Tale." The supernatural variety is occasionally called "Dark Fantasy," since the laws of nature must be violated in some way, thus qualifying the story as "fantastic."
Ghost story: A story about the intrusion of the spirits of the dead into the realm of the living. There are sub-genres: The Traditional Haunting, Poltergeists, The Haunted Place or Object (i.e. the hotel in Stephen King's The Shining), or the etching in M. R. James' "The Mezzotint", etc. Some would include stories of Revenants such as W. W. Jacobs' "The Monkey's Paw."
Monster: A story about a monster, creature or mutant that terrorizes people. Usually, it fits into the horror genre, for instance, Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein. Although Shelley's Frankenstein is often also considered the first science fiction story (biological science reanimating the dead), it does present a monstrous "creature." Other clear Monster stories are of the creatures of folklore and fable: the Vampire, the Werewolf, the Zombie, etc. Beings such as that depicted in Karloff's The Mummy would also qualify.
Giant monster: A story about a giant monster, similar to the monster genre. However, giant monster stories are generally about a monster big enough to destroy buildings. Some such stories are about two giant monsters fighting each other, a genre known as kaiju in Japan, which is famous for such works after the success of such films and franchises as Godzilla.
Occult stories: Stories that touch upon the adversaries of Good, especially the "Enemies" of the forces of righteousness as expressed in any given religious philosophy. Hence, stories of devils, demons, demonic possession, dark witchcraft, evil sorcerers or warlocks, and figures like the Antichrist would qualify. The nature of such stories presupposes the existence of the side of Good and the existence of a deity to be opposed to the forces of Evil.
Slasher: A horror genre featuring a usually male serial killer or other psychopath as an antagonist, methodically killing a number of vulnerable, often female protagonists in succession. Dramatic suspense is heightened by the victim's obliviousness of the killer. The victims are typically in isolated settings and often engaged in sexual activity previous to the attacks. The "slasher" kills his victims by stealthily sneaking up on them and then bloodily stabbing and slicing them to death with a sharp object, such as a Chef's knife. Gender roles in slasher films are of particular interest in feminist film theory which has extensively examined the trope of the Final girl.
Survival horror: A horror story about a protagonist who is put in a risky and life threatening situation that he or she must endure, often as a result of things such as zombies or other monsters, and the rest of the plot is how the hero or heroes overcome this.
Although normally associated with the crime genre, mystery fiction is considered a completely different genre in certain circumstances where the focus is on supernatural mystery (even if no crime is involved). This distinction was common in the pulp magazines of the 1930s and 1940s, where titles such as Dime Mystery, Thrilling Mystery and Spicy Mystery offered what at the time were described as "weird menace" stories – supernatural horror in the vein of Grand Guignol. This contrasted with parallel titles of the same names which contained conventional hardboiled crime fiction. The first use of "mystery" in this sense was by Dime Mystery, which started out as an ordinary crime fiction magazine but switched to "weird menace" during the latter part of 1933.
Paranoid fiction is works of literature that explore the subjective nature of reality and how it can be manipulated by forces in power. These forces can be external, such as a totalitarian government, or they can be internal, such as a character's mental illness or refusal to accept the harshness of the world he is in.
Philosophical fiction is fiction in which a significant proportion of the work is devoted to a discussion of the sort of questions normally addressed in discursive philosophy. These might include the function and role of society, the purpose of life, ethics or morals, the role of art in human lives, and the role of experience or reason in the development of knowledge. Philosophical fiction works would include the so-called novel of ideas, including a significant proportion of science fiction, utopian and dystopian fiction, and Bildungsroman. The modus operandi seems to be to use a normal story to simply explain difficult and/or dark parts of human life.
Bildungsroman: A coming-of-age novel presenting the psychological, moral and social shaping of the personality of a character, usually the protagonist. The genre arose during the German Enlightenment.
Political fiction is a subgenre of fiction that deals with political affairs. Political fiction has often used narrative to provide commentary on political events, systems and theories. Works of political fiction often "directly criticize an existing society or... present an alternative, sometimes fantastic, reality." Prominent pieces of political fiction have included the totalitarian dystopias of the early 20th century such as Jack London's The Iron Heel and Sinclair Lewis's It Can't Happen Here. Equally influential, if not more so, however, have been earlier pieces of political fiction such as Gulliver's Travels (1726), Candide (1759) and Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852). Political fiction frequently employs the literary modes of satire, often in the genres of Utopian and dystopian fiction or social science fiction.
Utopian fiction: The creation of an ideal world, or utopia, as the setting for a novel
Dystopian fiction: The creation of a nightmare world, or dystopia, as the setting for a novel
Survivalism: The creation of world where traditional society has collapsed usually due to some post apocalyptic or doomsday scenario, as a setting for a novel
Traditionally, a romance story involves chivalry and adventure. In modern writing, a story about character's relationships, or engagements (a story about character development and interpersonal relationships rather than adventures). It has produced a wide array of subgenres, the majority of which feature the mutual attraction and love of a man and a woman as the main plot, and have a happy ending. This genre, much like fantasy fiction, is broad enough in definition that it is easily and commonly seen combined with other genres, such as comedy, fantasy fiction, realistic fiction, or action-adventure.
Science Fiction romance:
The sagas (from Icelandic saga, plural sögur) are stories about ancient Scandinavian and Germanic history, about early Viking voyages, about migration to Iceland, and of feuds between Icelandic families. They were written in the Old Norse language, mainly in Iceland. The texts are epic tales in prose, often with stanzas or whole poems in alliterative verse embedded in the text, of heroic deeds of days long gone, tales of worthy men, who were often Vikings, sometimes Pagan, sometimes Christian. The tales are usually realistic, except legendary sagas, sagas of saints, sagas of bishops and translated or recomposed romances. They are sometimes romanticised and fantastic, but always dealing with human beings one can understand.
Family saga: The family saga is a genre of literature which chronicles the lives and doings of a family or a number of related or interconnected families over a period of time. In novels (or sometimes sequences of novels) with a serious intent, this is often a thematic device used to portray particular historical events, changes of social circumstances, or the ebb and flow of fortunes from a multiple of perspectives.
Often strictly defined as a literary genre or form, although in practice it is also found in the graphic and performing arts. In satire, human or individual vices, follies, abuses, or shortcomings are held up to censure by means of ridicule, derision, burlesque, irony, or other methods, ideally with the intent to bring about improvement. Although satire is usually meant to be funny, the purpose of satire is not primarily humour in itself so much as an attack on something of which the author strongly disapproves, using the weapon of wit. A very common, almost defining feature of satire is its strong vein of irony or sarcasm, but parody, burlesque, exaggeration, juxtaposition, comparison, analogy, and double entendre are all frequently used in satirical speech and writing. The essential point, however, is that "in satire, irony is militant." This "militant irony" (or sarcasm) often professes to approve (or at least accept as natural) the very things the satirist actually wishes to attack.
Science fiction is similar to fantasy, except stories in this genre use scientific understanding to explain the universe that it takes place in. It generally includes or is centered on the presumed effects or ramifications of computers or machines; travel through space, time or alternate universes; alien life-forms; genetic engineering; or other such things. The science or technology used may or may not be very thoroughly elaborated on; stories whose scientific elements are reasonably detailed, well-researched and considered to be relatively plausible given current knowledge and technology are often referred to as hard science fiction. Owing to the wide breadth of the genre, it very commonly has elements from other genres, such as action, comedy, alternate history (which is sometimes considered a sub-genre of science fiction), military or spy fiction, and fantasy mixed in, with such combinations often forming new major subgenres in their own right (see below).
Apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction: Science fiction that is concerned with the end of civilization either through nuclear war, plague, or some other general disaster. Post-apocalyptic fiction is set in a world or civilization after such a disaster. The time frame may be immediately after the catastrophe, focusing on the travails or psychology of survivors, or considerably later, often including the theme that the existence of pre-catastrophe civilization has been forgotten (or mythologized). Post-apocalyptic stories often take place in an agrarian, non-technological future world, or a world where only scattered elements of technology remain. There is a considerable degree of blurring between this form of science fiction and that which deals with false utopias or dystopic societies. The genres gained in popularity after World War II, when the possibility of global annihilation by nuclear weapons entered the public consciousness. However, recognizable apocalyptic novels existed at least since the first quarter of the 19th century, when Mary Shelley's The Last Man was published. Additionally, the subgenres draw on a body of apocalyptic literature, tropes, and interpretations that are millennia old.
Hard science fiction: Science fiction in which the science is detailed, well-researched, and considered plausible such as Jurassic Park or Prey (novel).
Future noir: A hybrid genre of other works of fiction combining the film noir and science fiction or cyberpunk genres such as seen in Blade Runner (1982) and The Terminator (1984). It is a form of Neo-noir concentrating more on science fiction themes. The term was coined in The Terminator as the name of a nightclub, Tech Noir. The director James Cameron wanted a name for the particular style he was invoking.
Soft science fiction: Science fiction which isn't detailed about the science involved, and typically deals more with cultural, social, and/or political interactions.
Christian science fiction: Science fiction with Christian religious themes.
Comic science fiction: Science fiction which exploits the genre's conventions for comic effect.
Military science fiction: Science fiction told from the point of view of the military, or a main character who is a soldier in the military. It usually has technology far superior to today's, but not necessarily implausible. Military science fiction essentially is the addition of science fiction elements into a military fiction story. (Note that some military science fiction stories fit at least somewhat into the "hard science fiction" sub-genre as well.)
Feminist science fiction: Science fiction which tends to deal with women's roles in society. Feminist science fiction poses questions about social issues such as how society constructs gender roles, the role reproduction plays in defining gender and the unequal political, economic and personal power of men and women. Some of the most notable feminist science fiction works have illustrated these themes using utopias to explore a society in which gender differences or gender power imbalances do not exist, or dystopias to explore worlds in which gender inequalities are intensified, thus asserting a need for feminist work to continue.
Libertarian science fiction: Science fiction that focuses on the politics and social order implied by libertarian philosophies with an emphasis on individualism and a limited state—and in some cases, no state whatsoever. As a genre, it can be seen as growing out of the 1930s and 1940s when the science-fiction pulp magazines were reaching their peak at the same time as fascism and communism. While this environment gave rise to dystopian novels such as George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four, in the pulps, this influence more often give rise to speculations about societies (or sub-groups) arising in direct opposition to totalitarianism.
Social science fiction: Science fiction concerned less with technology and space opera and more with sociological speculation about human society. In other words, it "absorbs and discusses anthropology", and speculates about human behavior and interactions. Exploration of fictional societies is one of the most interesting aspects of science fiction, allowing it to perform predictive and precautionary functions, to criticize the contemporary world and to present solutions, to portray alternative societies and to examine the implications of ethical principles.
Mecha anime: Popularized from Japan, humans pilot giant robots for battle, may even be in space.
Space opera: Science fiction story characterized by the extent of space travel and distinguished by the amount of time that protagonists spend in an active, space-faring lifestyle. Firefly, Star Trek, Star Blazers and Star Wars have often been categorized as such.
Science fiction Western: A work of fiction which has elements of science fiction in a Western setting. It is different from a Space Western, which is a frontier story indicative of American Westerns, except transposed to a backdrop of space exploration and settlement. A science fiction Western occurs in the past, or in a world resembling the past, in which modern or future technology exists. The anachronistic technology of these stories is present because scientific paradigms occurred earlier in history but are implemented via industrial elements present at that time, or because technology is brought from another time or place. The genre often overlaps with Steampunk.
Planetary romance: A sub-genre of science fiction in which the bulk of the action consists of adventures on one or more exotic alien planets, characterized by distinctive physical and cultural backgrounds. Some planetary romances take place against the background of a future culture where travel between worlds by spaceship is commonplace; others, particularly the earliest examples of the genre, do not, and invoke flying carpets, astral projection, or other methods of getting between planets. In either case, it is the planetside adventures which are the focus of the story, not the mode of travel.
Space Western: A subgenre of science fiction, primarily grounded in film and television program, that transposes themes of American Western books and film to a backdrop of futuristic space frontiers; it is the complement of the science fiction Western, which transposes science fiction themes onto an American Western setting.
Punk: Several different Science Fiction subgenres, normally categorized by distinct technologies and sciences. The themes tend to be cynical or dystopian, and a person, or group of people, fighting the corruption of the government.
Cyberpunk: A futuristic storyline dealing with people who have been physically or mentally enhanced with cybernetic components, often featuring cyborgs or the singularity as a major theme, and generally somewhat cynical or dystopian (hence the "punk" portion of the name). This is often confused or placed with Techno-thriller, which is actually a separate and less specialized genre.
Postcyberpunk: a subgenre of science fiction which some critics suggest has evolved from cyberpunk. Like its predecessor, postcyberpunk focuses on technological developments in near-future societies, typically examining the social effects of a ubiquitous datasphere of computerized information, genetic engineering, modification of the human body, and the continued impact of perpetual technological change. Unlike "pure" cyberpunk, however, the works in this category feature characters who act to improve social conditions or at least protect the status quo from further decay.
Nanopunk: The genre is similar bio-punk, but depicts a world where the use of biotechnologies are limited or prohibited, so only nanotechnologies in wide use (while in biopunk bio- and nanotechnologies often coexist). Currently the genre is more concerned with the artistic and physiological impact of nanotechnology, than of aspects of the technology itself which is still in its infancy. Unlike the Cyberpunk, a low-life yet technologically advanced character, the personification of a Nanopunk can be set 'hard' or 'soft', depending on your views of the impact Nanotechnology will have on our future.
Retropunk: As a wider variety of writers began to work with cyberpunk concepts, new sub-genres of science fiction emerged, playing off the cyberpunk label, and focusing on technology and its social effects in different ways. Many derivatives of cyberpunk are retro-futuristic, based either on the futuristic visions of past eras, or more recent extrapolations or exaggerations of the actual technology of those eras.
Atompunk: Atompunk relates to the pre-digital, cultural period of 1945-1965, including mid-century Modernism, the "Atomic Age", the "Space Age", Communism and paranoia in the USA along with Soviet styling, underground cinema, Googie architecture, space and the Sputnik, moon landing, superhero-comics, art & radioactivity, the rise of the US military/industrial complex & the fall-out of Chernobyl. Communist analog atompunk is an ultimate lost world. The Fallout series of computer games is an excellent example of Atompunk.
Dieselpunk: Initially proposed as a genre by the creators of the role-playing game Children of the Sun,  dieselpunk refers to fiction inspired by mid-century pulp stories, based on the aesthetics of the interbellum period through World War II (c. 1920-1945). Similar to steampunk though specifically characterized by the rise of petroleum power and technocratic perception, incorporating neo-noir elements and sharing themes more clearly with cyberpunk than steampunk. Though the notability of dieselpunk as a genre is not entirely uncontested, installments ranging from the retro-futuristic film Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow to the 2001 Activision video game Return to Castle Wolfenstein have been suggested as quintessential dieselpunk works of fiction.
Steampunk: A story that takes place around the time steam power was first coming into use. The industrial revolution is a common time frame which steam punk stories take place in, and the steam technology is often actually more advanced than the real technology of time (for instance, Steam Detectives features steam-powered robots). The most immediate form of steampunk subculture is the community of fans surrounding the genre. Others move beyond this, attempting to adopt a "steampunk" aesthetic through fashion, home decor and even music. This movement may also be (perhaps more accurately) described as "Neo-Victorianism," which is the amalgamation of Victorian aesthetic principles with modern sensibilities and technologies. This characteristic is particularly evident in steampunk fashion which tends to synthesize punk, goth and rivet styles as filtered through the Victorian era. As an object style, however, steampunk adopts more distinct characteristics with various craftspersons modding modern-day devices into a pseudo-Victorian mechanical "steampunk" style. The goal of such redesigns is to employ appropriate materials (such as polished brass, iron, and wood) with design elements and craftsmanship consistent with the Victorian era.
Clockpunk: It has been occasionally used to refer to a subgenre of speculative fiction which is similar to steampunk, but deviates in its technology. As with steampunk, it portrays advanced technology based on pre-modern designs, but rather than the steam power of the Industrial Age, the technology used is based on springs, clockwork and similar. Clockpunk is based very intensively on the works of Leonardo da Vinci and as such, it is typically set during the Renaissance. It is regarded as being a type of Steampunk.
Biopunk: A story that is about genetics and biological research (often falling under the horror category). It often focuses on some harmful effects characters have created when they change an animal's code to (unintentionally) create a violent monster. Biopunk emerged during the 1990s and depicts the underground of the biotechnological revolution that was expected to start having a profound impact on humanity in the first half of the 21st century. Biopunk fiction typically describes the struggles of individuals or groups, often the product of human experimentation, against a backdrop of totalitarian governments or megacorporations which misuse biotechnologies as means of social control or profiteering. Unlike cyberpunk, it builds not on information technology but on synthetic biology. As in postcyberpunk however, individuals are usually modified and enhanced not with cyberware, but by genetic manipulation of their chromosomes.
Slice of Life
A Slice of Life is a story that might have no plot, but represents a portion of (everyday) life.
Speculative fiction is a fiction genre speculating about worlds that are unlike the real world in various important ways. In these contexts, it generally overlaps one or more of the following: science fiction, fantasy fiction, horror fiction, supernatural fiction, superhero fiction, utopian and dystopian fiction, apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction, and alternate history.
Slipstream: Fantastic or non-realistic fiction that crosses conventional genre boundaries between science fiction/fantasy and mainstream literary fiction. The term slipstream was coined by cyberpunk author Bruce Sterling in an article originally published in SF Eye #5, July 1989. He wrote: "...this is a kind of writing which simply makes you feel very strange; the way that living in the 20th century makes you feel, if you are a person of a certain sensibility." Slipstream fiction has consequently been referred to as "the fiction of strangeness," which is as clear a definition as any others in wide use.
Supernatural fiction: fiction that exploits or requires as plot devices or themes some contradictions of the commonplace natural world and materialist assumptions about it. It includes the traditional ghost story. The Turn of the Screw by Henry James is an example of a work of literary fiction that is also largely concerned with supernatural fiction elements, making play of the possibility that they are psychological at root, but requiring the option that they are not for effect. The newer speculative fiction genres of horror fiction and fantasy fiction, growing out of some of the basic propositions and generic conventions, to a certain extent replaced it.
Superhero fiction: Subgenre of fiction that deals with superheroes, supervillains, super-powered humans, aliens, or mutants, and their adventures. Distinct from (but often derived from) comic books, animated films, and graphic novels, these are prose stories and full-length novels. Superhero fiction is a type of speculative fiction. This subgenre is often considered part of the genres of science fiction, fantasy, action, adventure, horror, or detective mystery fiction. Some are stand alone novels, some books in a series, and some are anthologies. Some are individual or unique creations while others are corporate product or promotional tie-ins. Some are also the novelizations of films or television series. The largest and longest running of the corporate series are those associated with the DC Universe and the Marvel Universe.
Utopian and dystopian fiction: The utopia and its offshoot, the dystopia, are genres of literature that explore social and political structures. Utopian fiction is the creation of an ideal world, or utopia, as the setting for a novel. Dystopian fiction is the opposite: creation of a nightmare world, or dystopia. Many novels combine both, often as a metaphor for the different directions humanity can take in its choices, ending up with one of two possible futures. Both utopias and dystopias are commonly found in science fiction and other speculative fiction genres, and arguably are by definition a type of speculative fiction. More than 400 utopian works were published prior to the year 1900 in the English language alone, with more than a thousand others during the 20th century.
Weird fiction: Speculative literature written in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Weird fiction is distinguished from horror and fantasy in that it predates the niche marketing of genre fiction. Because genre or stylistic conventions had not been established, weird tales often blend the supernatural, mythical, and even scientific. British "weird" authors, for example, published their work in mainstream literary magazines even after American pulp magazines became popular. Although "weird fiction" is chiefly a historical description for works through the 1930s, the term has also been used since the 1980s, sometimes to refer to slipstream fiction that blends horror, fantasy, and science fiction.
Suppositional fiction is a subcategory in which stories and characters are constrained within an internally consistent world, but this category is not necessarily associated with any particular genre. A work of suppositional fiction might be science fiction, alternate history, mystery, horror, or even suppositional fantasy, depending on the intent and focus of the author. An author of suppositional fiction is free to "pull the rabbit out of the hat", but her characters are not–they must have the tools and abilities she has set out as requirements or they are as powerless as any of us. Contrast this with less constrained genres in which characters can do pretty much anything from moment to moment, even things previously established to be impossible, or things not logically explicable.
A Thriller is a story that is usually a mix of fear and excitement. It has traits from the suspense genre and often from the action, adventure or mystery genres, but the level of terror makes it borderline horror fiction at times as well. It generally has a dark or serious theme, which also makes it similar to drama.
Disaster-thriller: A thriller story about mass peril, where the protagonist's job is to both survive, and to save many other people from a grim fate, often a natural disaster such as a storm or volcanic eruption, but which may also be a terrorist attack or epidemic of some sort.
Psychological thriller: A thriller that emphasizes the psychological condition of the hero that presents obstacles to his objective, rather than the action. Some psychological thrillers are also about complicated stories that try to deliberately confuse the audience, often by showing them only the same confusing or seemingly nonsensical information that the hero gains.
Crime thriller: A thriller story that revolves around the life of detectives, mobs, or other groups associated with criminal events in the story.
Techno-thriller: A thriller story whose theme is usually technology, or the danger behind the technology people use, including the threat of cyber terrorism such as State of Fear.
Urban fiction, also known as Street lit, is a literary genre set, as the name implies, in a city landscape; however, the genre is as much defined by the race and culture of its characters as the urban setting. The tone for urban fiction is usually dark, focusing on the underside. Profanity (all of George Carlin's seven dirty words and urban variations thereof), sex and violence are usually explicit, with the writer not shying away from or watering-down the material. In this respect, urban fiction shares some common threads with dystopian or survivalist fiction. Often statements derogatory to white people (or at least what is perceived as the dominant Eurocentric culture and power structure) are made, usually by the characters. However, in the second wave of urban fiction, some variations of this model have been seen.
See also: Film genre
Animation: the use of computer renderings or drawings (or occasionally photos of representational objects, known as stop-motion animation or claymation) shown in a sequence in order to depict an action or event rather than using the filming of live actors.
Traditional Animation: also known as "cel animation", this is one of the oldest animation subgenres. Basically, it is a way of animating a cartoon by drawing and painting pictures by hand. Each drawing or painting is a different frame of animation, and when they are flipped or put in sequence at the right speed, they give the illusion of movement. Examples are Beauty and the Beast and Spirited Away.
Stop motion: similar to Traditional Animation; however, instead of using hand drawn pictures, stop motion films are made with small figurines or other objects that have their picture taken many times in order to provide the animation frames. Examples are The Nightmare Before Christmas, Coraline, and The Corpse Bride.
Computer Generated imagery (CGI): A genre of animation that includes animating a cartoon on a computer modeling program. Models of characters or props are created on the computer, and then programmed to do something specific. Then, when the animation is completely programed, the computer can play a completely computer generated movie. CGI is often used for the visual effects in Live Action films as well. Examples are Up or Toy Story.
Puppetry: Although it is technically live action, puppetry is a different way of "animating" a movie and puppets are often used in lieu of live actors. Usually, there are small figurines or figures (similar to stop motion), but these are controlled and filmed in real time. Like CGI, puppetry can be found in Live Action films as a method of achieving a special effect. Examples are The Muppets and The Dark Crystal.
Live action: The filming or videotaping of live actors instead of animation. Essentially, it is filming using real people, props and sets.
Action comedy: A subgenre of comedy which emphasizes physically humorous antics, unorthodox body-language and oftentimes exasperating situations. Examples are: Charlie Chaplin, Jackie Chan, and Lucille Ball.
Slapstick is a type of comedy involving exaggerated physical violence and activities which exceed the boundaries of common sense. These hyperbolic depictions are often found in children's media, and light comedies.
Documentary: A story that re-tells events rather than create them. Usually, it is about true historic events.
Mockumentary: A story that employs the style of the documentary to present fictional, and generally humorous, events or characters. Very common in film and television programs, both as a full film or series, or as a brief sequence or episode within a larger work. Examples include This Is Spinal Tap, Best In Show and SpongeBob SquarePants.
List of adult television channels: (Rated shows)
Animated series: A television show which is traditionally, stop-motion or 2D or 3D computer animation.
Art: shares some of the same traits of art films. Television shows such as David Lynch's Twin Peaks series and BBC's The Singing Detective also have "...a loosening of causality, a greater emphasis on psychological or anecdotal realism, violations of classical clarity of space and time, explicit authorial comment, and ambiguity."
Children's series: A television show which is aimed at kids and/or children and/or families.
Documentary: A documentary is a feature-length or near-feature length film depicting a real-world event or person, told in a journalistic style (if told in a literary narrative style the result is often a docudrama). Example: Hoop Dreams, The Thin Blue Line (documentary)
Docudrama: A program depicting some sort of historical or current news event, with specific changes or fabrications for legal, continuity or entertainment reasons. Depending on the quality of the feature and intended audience, these changes can minimally or completely change the story in relation to the actual events. These programs often depict crime or criminals but can also be used to depict heroics or tell a less-explored side of a well-known story. Example: United 93 (film) by Paul Greengrass depicts the events aboard United Airlines Flight 93 on September 11, 2001 via reconstruction from the available evidence. Since the specific words the passengers exchanged while planning their assault on the cockpit will never be known, the filmmakers created the dialogue based on research and evidence. The Onion Field is another example. This genre is often criticized for creating sensationalized programs intended to capitalize on public interest in lurid news stories; in the case of the Scott Peterson murder trial, a docudrama starring Dean Cain was filmed and aired during jury deliberations.
Dramality: a combination of television drama and reality television genres (e.g., the soap opera The Only Way Is Essex).
Medical Drama: A medical drama is based around a team of medics helping patients who have been involved in accidents serious or otherwise. Most commonly, an accident occurs which results in the medics being called to help the injured. Most are usually based around a hospital, however, some are based around a mobile medical team etc. Examples of this genre are Casualty, Holby City and ER.
Educational: A type of program that helps kids learn their basics to go through school.
Reality: A purportedly unscripted show (although evidence suggests some scripting or manipulation occurs) featuring non-actors interacting with each other or dealing with invented or contrived challenges, such as competing against others for a prize. Produced in a similar fashion as the documentary film genre, but with more emphasis on the showing of interpersonal conflict, emotional reactions, or unusual occurrences. The genre has numerous widely-varying sub-genres (see main article).
Game Show: A television show depicting a real contest, typically a trivia competition or physical challenge, with rewards in prizes or money. The players may include celebrities.
Music television: A program where viewers listen to music on the television similar to a radio station apart from commonly having a visual or complete music video,
News show: A television program depicting real, up-to-date events.
Current Affairs: Broadcast journalism where the emphasis is on detailed analysis and discussion of a news story.
Police procedural: A television genre some say was pioneered by the popular show Dragnet. The stories revolve around a crime that has been committed and must be solved by the end of the episode following a very generic and usually unchanging structure of events. The crime is committed, witnesses are questioned, an arrest occurs, and then a judicial conclusion wraps it up. As the name implies, the show communicates everything "by the book," as it would happen in real life. In such modern Police Procedurals such as Law & Order, you see and hear even the officers reading freshly arrested criminals their Miranda rights. Not quite as dramatic or action-oriented as the Dick Tracy-style of detective shows.
Public affairs (broadcasting):
Religious: A program produced by religious organizations, usually with a religious message. It can include church services, talk/variety shows, and dramatic movies. Within the last two decades, most religious programming is found on religious television networks.
Serial: A television show which is one continuous story. Each episode picks up from where the last one left off. The story may shift with a new season.
Sitcom: Short for Situational Comedy, a generally lighthearted genre which features characters having to deal with odd or uncomfortable situations or misunderstandings.
Soap opera: A television show which is one continuous story. Usually on every day of the week instead of once a week. Can go on for over 20 years. Example: All My Children, Days of our Lives, The Young and the Restless, General Hospital, and Coronation Street
Telenovela: A television serial melodrama popular in Latin America. They are similar to a soap opera in miniseries format. They often feature Love and Drama, as well as other situations depending on the genre of telenovela. Examples include: Desire (TV series), Fashion House and Wicked Wicked Games.
Video game genres
Genres in video games are somewhat different than other forms of art because they are very seldom based on theme, style, tone, or audience as in film or literature. Instead most video game genres are based on the way in which the player interacts with the game. Genres from other types of media like science-fiction or fantasy are sometimes applied to games, but rarely does this concept of genre ever supplant the types described below.
Main article: Video game genres
Genres unique to video games:
Shooter: A game where the main purpose is to fight using, and/or shoot guns.
First-person shooter: A variant of the shooting game. In the game, the camera is actually in place of the character's eyes, so that you are playing the game from his or her view.
Third-person shooter: A shooting game where the camera angle is actually hovering over the playable character as you play.
Massively multiplayer online First-person shooter (MMOFPS): is an online gaming genre which features a persistent world and a large number of simultaneous players in a first-person shooter fashion. These games provide large-scale, sometimes team-based combat.
Strategy: A game where the purpose is to strategize. You have an opponent with the same abilities as you, more or less, and to beat him, you must use your abilities in a much more tactical way.
Real-time strategy (RTS): A strategy game where everybody plays at the same time, and races to think of a better strategy than the other players. Most of these video games are about military.
Massively multiplayer online real-time strategy (MMORTS): A Real Time Strategy game that is played online. Many players can sign on a play at the same time, creating empires and battling each other.
Turn-based strategy: A strategy game where everybody takes turns. Once everybody has placed their units and military characters in the right spot they can't move again until the next turn begins.
Musical: A game where music is usually played. To win, the players must match the rhythm of the music by pushing the right button combination until their opponents are unable to keep up with them. Not to be confused with the stage musical or musical film, which are stories that feature characters singing about the events in the plot.
Simulation: A game where you must manage and develop fictitious business. For example, in a game you might be asked the manage and build a zoo, and the game simulates this for you in as accurate a way as possible.
Simulation shooter: A game that features the basic mechanics of a shooter, where using a gun is the primary method of gameplay, but emphasizes realism, often incorporating features like ballistics and realistic character damage.
Simulation strategy: A strategy game that emphasizes realism, such as the Total War series of games, usually focusing on a specific time and location in human history, such as the Roman Empire.
Puzzle: A game where you must solve puzzles in order to progress through the levels.
Party: A type of game, mostly suitable for multiple players and social gatherings. In most of these, the player or players compete or cooperate in smaller games, or minigames, within the main game.
Platform: A Game Where the player must jump on to various platforms to evade obstacles and reach their goal, these games are fairly linear most of the time with levels adhering to a simple A to B structure.
Fighting: A game where two or more playable characters fight. Each character usually has their own unique moves, and the goal of the game, usually, is to be the last man standing.
Role-playing game (RPG): A game that isn't (necessarily) about combat. It is a game where the player plays a character, and goes around pretending to be a real person in a fictitious world. This is also similar to non-video game forms of gaming that involve roleplaying, including play by post gaming and tabletop roleplaying games.
Massive multiplayer online role playing game (MMORPG): A game similar to a regular Role Playing Game, but it is a multiplayer game played via the internet. During this game, thousands of players from around the world can play the same game at the same time and chat with each other. Players sign onto the game and complete quests while exploring the virtual world. Many MMORPGs are free to play by just signing up on the specific game site and downloading the game file but some require a monthly fee.
Survival/horror: Survival horror games place the player in a horrifying situation to which he/she must escape. The major emphasis of most survival horror games is placed upon tension and a truly terrifying or grizzly scenario. Solving clever or complicated puzzles is a major characteristic of the genre. Examples of survival horror games include the Silent Hill, Siren, Resident Evil, Clock Tower, and Parasite Eve series.
Main article: Music genre
Middle Ages: Music composed from around the middle of the 5th century to the middle of the 15th century, largely characterized by monophonic and polyphonic music.
Renaissance: Music largely composed from the middle of the 15th century to around 1600.
Baroque: Music composed from around 1600 to the middle of the 18th century.
Classical: Music that was composed from around the middle of the 18th century until the early 19th century. Also includes some more recently-written music (neo-classical) that contains many of the same musical elements.
Romantic: Music composed from the early 19th century to about 1900. Also includes more recently-written music (Neo-romantic) that contains similar musical elements.
20th century: A wide classification of music composed in the 20th century. This music deals largely with sound experimentation and moving away from the traditional tendencies of tonality.
Opera, Operette and Zarzuela
Folk: Musical adaptations of old stories that were passed from generation to generation. Considered somewhat more niche now. Also see Neofolk, Folk Noir, Pagan Folk.
Country music is a genre of American popular music that began in the rural regions of the Southern United States in the 1920s. It takes its roots from southeastern American folk music and Western music. Blues modes have been used extensively throughout its recorded history. Country music often consists of ballads and dance tunes with generally simple forms and harmonies accompanied by mostly string instruments such as banjos, electric and acoustic guitars, fiddles, and harmonicas.
The term country music gained popularity in the 1940s in preference to the earlier term hillbilly music; it came to encompass Western music, which evolved parallel to hillbilly music from similar roots, in the mid-20th century. The term country music is used today to describe many styles and subgenres. In 2009 country music was the most listened to rush hour radio genre during the evening commute, and second most popular in the morning commute in the United States.
Rock: Music that originated from Folk and Blues. It used newer electrical instruments instead of relying solely on the classical woodwinds and stringed instruments. It first became popular in the mid-20th century because of famous bands like The Beatles.
Heavy metal: Similar to Rock, and generally considered a subgenre of it. It usually uses the same electrical instruments, but the music is more intense and less "pop" in style (see below) such as Black Sabbath or Iron Maiden.
Punk rock: a rock music genre that developed between 1974 and 1976 in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. Rooted in garage rock and other forms of what is now known as protopunk music, punk rock bands eschewed the perceived excesses of mainstream 1970s rock. Includes work by The Adverts, the Sex Pistols and The Clash.
Pop: "Pop music" once referred to any popular music during the time period, though the term has slowly gained use as a more specific (yet still somewhat vague) genre descriptor for music with a catchy, relatively consistent melody, among other aspects. It is commonly placed as having started in the mid-20th century, alongside Rock music. Much dance music falls under this genre, and much modern Rock music is considered to include elements of it as well, since bands such as the Beatles were a significant stylistic influence on what is now considered Pop.
Rhythm and blues (R&B) - an evolving range of genres that first began to develop in the early 20th century.
Blues: A somewhat somber, quieter style of music whose name refers to the unhappiness of the performer, and which gained popularity in the early 20th century alongside Jazz, and influenced the early development of Rock music. A major genre within R&B, and one of its earliest genres as well.
Hip hop - more rhythmically-based, mostly urban-derived genres, with a wide array of subgenres between them.
Jazz - Jazz originated at the beginning of the 20th century in African American communities in the Southern United States from a confluence of African and European music traditions. Jazz has, from its early 20th century inception, spawned a variety of subgenres, from New Orleans Dixieland dating from the early 1910s, big band-style swing from the 1930s and 1940s, bebop from the mid-1940s, a variety of Latin jazz fusions such as Afro-Cuban and Brazilian jazz from the 1950s and 1960s, jazz-rock fusion from the 1970s and late 1980s developments such as acid jazz, which blended jazz influences into funk and hip-hop.
Electronic music - music that employs electronic musical instruments and electronic music technology in its production. It consists of a number of separate genres, many of which are still evolving. One major category within this form of music is electronic dance music (EDM) which consists of a multitude of genres and sub-genres and is primarily associated with the dance and club scene.
Breakbeat - a group of related sub-genres of electronic music, usually characterized by the use of a non-straightened[clarify] 4/4 drum pattern (as opposed to the steady beat of house or trance). Includes work by The Chemical Brothers, Fatboy Slim and Orbital.
Drum and Bass or Jungle - a type of electronic dance music which emerged in the late 1980s which is characterized by fast breaks and basslines. Includes work by Roni Size, Chase & Status and London Elektricity.
Ambient - a musical genre that focuses on the timbral characteristics of sounds, particularly organised or performed to evoke an "atmospheric", "visual" or "unobtrusive" quality.
Downtempo - a laid-back electronic music style similar to ambient music, but usually with a beat or groove unlike the beatless forms of Ambient music.
Electro - a genre of electronic music directly influenced by the use of TR-808 and funk records. Includes work by Kraftwerk.
House - a style of electronic dance music that originated in Chicago, Illinois, USA in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Includes work by Fedde Le Grand and Frankie Knuckles.
Trance - a style of electronic dance music that is generally characterized by a tempo of between approximately 128 and 150 BPM, melodic synthesizer phrases, and a musical form that is progressive as it builds up and down throughout a track. Includes work by Darude, ATB and Chicane.
Techno - a form of electronic dance music that emerged in Detroit, Michigan, USA during the mid-to-late 1980s. Includes work by Tomcraft, Leftfield and Moby.
UK Garage - several different varieties of modern electronic dance music generally connected to the evolution of house in the United Kingdom from early/mid-1990s. Includes work by T2, The Artful Dodger and Shanks & Bigfoot.
Reggae - a music genre first developed in Jamaica in the late 1960s. While sometimes used in a broader sense to refer to most types of Jamaican music, the term reggae more properly denotes a particular music style that originated following on the development of ska and rocksteady. Reggae is based on a rhythmic style characterized by accents on the off-beat, known as the skank. Reggae is normally slower than ska. Reggae usually accents the second and fourth beat in each bar. Reggae song lyrics deal with many subjects, including religion, love, sexuality, peace, relationships, drugs, poverty, injustice and other social and political issues.
Calypso: A music form that developed in the mid-20th century out of Kaiso music. The genre became a worldwide hit in the 1950s when the 1956 album titled Calypso was the first full-length record to sell more than a million copies. Calypso's most notable and popular subgenre is Soca music.