William Gibson on Genre

Genre is that dubious bargain whereby the reader is offered (for our present purposes) a novel, a form whose very name promises a new experience, but offers, in genre, the implicit and crucial promise of the repetition of previous pleasures.

— William Gibson (Sui Generis: A Testimony, his introduction to Rudy Rucker’s WareTetralogy)

Interesting point of view, no? What do you think?


  1. Calliope November 4, 2010

    Obviously. The reason genre fiction can surprise you, is because you expect it to adhere to the rules. choosing by genre is an insurance that even though you may not like the tone of the novel there’ll at least be a cool monster (or another what have you) hidden within. :)

  2. Eeleen Lee November 13, 2010

    Gibson has succinctly described the hook (or the set of hooks) upon which the marketing of books have been hanging for years, “…that dubious bargain whereby the reader is offered..’

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