Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Five of the best books that broke genre barriers

Jeff Somers is the author of Lifers, the Avery Cates series from Orbit Books, Chum from Tyrus Books, and We Are Not Good People from Pocket/Gallery. He has published over thirty short stories as well.

At B & N Reads Somers tagged five of the best books that busted genre conventions, including:
The Man in the High Castle, by Philip K. Dick

Convention Busted: Alternate history isn’t serious.

The works of Philip K. Dick continue to be popular, including his novel The Man in the High Castle, which took the previously disreputable and underused trope of alternate history and turned it into something literary and remarkable. Jumping off from a version of history where the United States and its allies were conquered by the Axis Powers, it wasn’t the first alternative history novel ever written, but it was the first to take the trope seriously, to elevate it to a literary status and develop a fully realized universe from the “point of departure” in its version of history. So complex and layered is the novel—to the point that it contains a fictitious novel within the story that tells an alternate history in which the Axis Powers lost the war—it singlehandedly established alternate history as more than a stunt.
Read about the other books on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue