Genre

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See also: Story Tropes, Gen, Bob (genre), Het, Slash, Femslash
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Genre is commonly used in many fandoms to indicate whether a fanwork is gen (or close to gen) or focuses on one or more het, slash, or femslash romantic or sexual pairings.

It can also refer to other sexual, relationship or character-based elements; topics such as polyamory, threesomes, trans characters, or kink (especially BDSM) are often considered to constitute their own genre.

Genre may also be used, particularly in archives, to classify fan fiction into literary genres, such as romance, humor, PWP, angst or fluff.[1]

Fanfiction also includes many genres rare outside of fandom, such as anthropomorfic or Mpreg, and many fandom-specific genres such as Muldertorture. Fandom-specific genres may spring up in reaction to canon events, such as Harry Potter Epilogue? What Epilogue? fic or Blake's 7 Post Gauda Prime fic (both subgenres of denialfic). Other fanfic genres are related to the structure of canon; for instance, post-eps are common in episodic fandoms which make heavy use of the reset button, and the casefile is usually found in a procedural fandom.

Fandom may also create genre distinctions based on an aspect of the source text, such as litfic or Britfic. Many fans consider RPF a separate genre, distinct from FPF.

A Little History of the term "Gen"

From a 2014 discussion at Fail-Fandomanon:
[Gen] originally stood for "general". You had slash zines and general zines. General, at that point, also included het, though the het porn was usually categorized as "Adult" - but it was still filed with the General stuff.

Sometime in the early/mid 90s, General and Relationshipper split off from each other. At that point 'shipper exclusively meant het. Slashers were not 'shippers. So you had General, Shipper, and Slash. (I think the split came in X-Files fandom, which invented the entire term 'relationshipper', which is where we get ship from, and had the Mulder/Scully vs No Romance wars, but don't quote me on that.)

Then, in the early 00s, 'shipper lost it's apostrophe, lost it's -per, and just became "ship". It stopped meaning exclusively m/f, and started meaning all romantic relationships in fic, which is when we start calling things "het".

General, which had long since lost it's -eral, therefore became exclusively about non-romance sometime in the mid 90s, because the romance camps had so firmly split themselves into separate categories by that point. [2]

References

  1. Skyhawke archives Harry Potter story listing, with menu to sort by genre, accessed 6 October 2008
  2. March 23, 2014, at Fail-Fandomanon; WebCite
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