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KaiAustin
01-03-2016, 02:04 PM
I am trying to find more agents to query, but I am having a little difficulty due to my book being cross-genre.

On one had, it is a psychological thriller. On the other hand, the setting is comparable to 1984, X-men, and The Time Machine on a different planet--hence, it is blatantly science fiction too. But similar to magical realism, the SF aspect is just a normal part of the characters' lives and not a source of conflict (i.e. they are not fighting robots, society is not dystopian, being born with superhuman abilities is not a game changer, etc.). SF is a pretty consuming and well established genre though, so forcing psychological thriller to be a sub-genre can be easier to sell.

So my question is: How do you determine cross-genre/sub-genre priority when you are looking for/querying an agent? Are there genres that are higher up the hierarchy than others? Can I query an agent who does thrillers and not necessarily SF? Or does it need to be consistently both?

Lillith1991
01-03-2016, 03:20 PM
I am trying to find more agents to query, but I am having a little difficulty due to my book being cross-genre.

On one had, it is a psychological thriller. On the other hand, the setting is comparable to 1984, X-men, and The Time Machine on a different planet--hence, it is blatantly science fiction too. But similar to magical realism, the sci-fi aspect is just a normal part of the characters' lives and not a source of conflict (i.e. they are not fighting robots, society is not dystopian, being born with superhuman abilities is not a game changer, etc.). Sci-fi is a pretty consuming and well established genre though, so forcing psychological thriller to be a sub-genre can be easier to sell. But then the reader would already have the wrong idea of what the book is about because sci-fi is obnoxiously formulaic.

So my question is: How do you determine cross-genre/sub-genre priority when you are looking for/querying an agent? Are there genres that are higher up the hierarchy than others? Can I query an agent who does thrillers and not necessarily science fiction? Or does it need to be consistently both?

Did I just read you diss an entire genre? That isn't exactly RYFW or going to endear you to the people you're asking for help in this matter. SF is no more formulaic than Romance is easy to write just by virtue of the required HEA.

What you have is a SF Thriller and that's all. There's nothing wrong with that and there's plenty of market for an SF Thriller where the SF element is intergral while not being the source of conflict.

Old Hack
01-03-2016, 05:07 PM
I am trying to find more agents to query, but I am having a little difficulty due to my book being cross-genre.

On one had, it is a psychological thriller. On the other hand, the setting is comparable to 1984, X-men, and The Time Machine on a different planet--hence, it is blatantly science fiction too. But similar to magical realism, the sci-fi aspect is just a normal part of the characters' lives and not a source of conflict (i.e. they are not fighting robots, society is not dystopian, being born with superhuman abilities is not a game changer, etc.). Sci-fi is a pretty consuming and well established genre though, so forcing psychological thriller to be a sub-genre can be easier to sell. But then the reader would already have the wrong idea of what the book is about because sci-fi is obnoxiously formulaic.

So my question is: How do you determine cross-genre/sub-genre priority when you are looking for/querying an agent? Are there genres that are higher up the hierarchy than others? Can I query an agent who does thrillers and not necessarily science fiction? Or does it need to be consistently both?

*mod hat on*

My bold.

We have one rule at AW: Respect Your Fellow Writer. Labeling any genre as "obnoxiously formulaic" is rude, and so breaks that rule. It's also wrong: if you'd read enough SF (and note, it's "SF", not "sci-fi") you'd know that while some SF books are obnoxious and formulaic, many are very clever and hugely creative. Let's not do this again, OK?

Moving on to your question: you can query agents who take SF and psychological thrillers. Lucky you, having so many to approach!

Latina Bunny
01-03-2016, 08:52 PM
Sounds like a Scifi (SF) thriller.

Pretty sure SF thrillers exist already...? It's not a new concept, I would think...

KaiAustin
01-04-2016, 12:40 AM
We have one rule at AW: Respect Your Fellow Writer. Labeling any genre as "obnoxiously formulaic" is rude, and so breaks that rule. It's also wrong: if you'd read enough SF (and note, it's "SF", not "sci-fi") you'd know that while some SF books are obnoxious and formulaic, many are very clever and hugely creative. Let's not do this again, OK?

My apologies. I did not intend it to sound as bad as it did and corrected the post. I love a lot of things about SF because of the whole creative aspect, but I can never seem to find the right books to actually get into it, so I have my frustrations. I am more than happy to take recommendations in that regard.

lizmonster
01-04-2016, 01:15 AM
I don't have any documentation to support this, but it's my impression that SFF readers are extremely welcoming of subgenres. That doesn't mean all readers will care for all subgenres, but I've never heard anyone complain that (for example) a mystery set in the future isn't "proper" SFF.

If you're on a different planet, you're SFF. The thriller aspects will be clear in your query letter.

And...yeah. You may need to revisit your assumptions about the genre. There's a huge variety of SFF books out there. There are a lot of "best of 2015" lists out right now, listing a pretty wide variety of both SF and fantasy titles. You might find some you like that way.

mayqueen
01-04-2016, 01:55 AM
I've queried a historical thriller before and my approach was to query any agent who represented historical fiction as long as they did not say "no thrillers" and vice versa. Keep the pool of agents you're querying as broad as possible, but don't send them anything they explicitly say they don't want.

Treehouseman
01-07-2016, 01:19 AM
If you go to the Query Tracker website and put both genres into the search function, you can query first those agents who rep both.