Mixing Genres

I’ve read some of the Temeraire series by Naomi Novik. That’s historical fiction mixed with fantasy. I’ve read a lot of the Pern series by Anne McCaffrey. That’s science fiction with an element of fantasy. And currently, I’m reading the Night’s Dawn trilogy by Peter F. Hamilton. That’s science fiction with a heavy dose of paranormal. There are some genres that are a mix, such as steampunk (historical and science fiction). Sometimes it’s interesting seeing how genres can mix.

Of course, romance can be mixed with anything. So can comedy. How about western horror? How about children’s adventure dystopia? How about romantic thriller self-help?

What are some genre mixes you’d like to read? Any you recommend reading?

The Evil Protagonist

There’s something that has intrigued me for a while. When we read or write books, we usually have a protagonist who is sympathetic, someone who we can identify with and cheer for. The main character should be someone we like, right? But what if it’s the opposite?

Imagine a novel where the main character is not good. It could be an antihero, though they usually have good in them, and we can sympathise with them. But what if the protagonist is your typical antagonist from fantasy? The one we always perceive as evil and never get to see what goes on in their mind. What if the main character is that evil overlord? And this time, we know what they’re thinking, we know their motivation, and we know how they feel.  Could we actually start to sympathise with them?

In a way, when we read a book, we are travelers going along with the protagonist. Not exactly kidnapped, but we are passive observers. But if the protagonist is evil, can we develop a kind of Stockholm Syndrome, and actually start liking and supporting the evil overlord? I wonder how a book like that would do.

So, my questions are:

  • Would you read a book like this?
  • Would you write a book like this?
  • Is there a book like this?

I’m very interested in your answers.