Personally, I always thought of paranormal as human-based fantasy… as in humans with magical power, or beings that used to be human. Witches, ghosts, vampires… that fit my definition. But what about beings that weren’t human, never had been? Like the Fae (fairies, Sidhe, trolls, etc)? Angels? Demons? Aliens? How about books that have magical beings of the human AND non-human varieties?
So, I used my Googling powers for the good of all [our readers], and set about finding out what the general consensus is, or if there even is one.
Wikipedia was my first stop…
Don’t look so surprised.
It says that: “Paranormal Fiction is a genre of fiction whose storylines revolve around the paranormal”. Facepalm… I know that, Wikipedia! Everyone knows THAT.
So, I check out the definition of “paranormal”, to see if that gets us anywhere, and found that it means: “Beyond the range of normal experience or scientific explanation.” Well, I kinda knew that too, now didn’t I?
Where were we? Ah, paranormal. Well, basically, it means… everything. Does it have space travel? Paranormal. Necromancers? Paranormal. Gnomes? Paranormal. Talking dogs? Yup, you guessed it. Paranormal.
Of course, there are MANY subgenres under it. Or, I should say, many genres it’s involved in. Just because something is technically paranormal, doesn’t mean it doesn’t fit better under a different genre title…. And this, well, this is where it gets complicated.
Why are some books considered Fantasy, Sci-fi, or… um… Paranormal? I checked out many (MANY) blogs, asked other readers, and nobody ever really agreed on what they thought about it. Some people feel that if you take out all the magic extra bits, if the world resembles our own, then it’s paranormal; otherwise you have a fantasy on your hands. A few said that paranormal was more character based than world based. I like my earlier definition best… that it’s human-based. You probably like your definition best, as well. That’s okay. Luckily, we’re both right. Because the ONE thing I was able to definitively find out was, there isn’t a right answer. Different readers consider different books as different genres. So do authors, bookstores, and publishers. It probably has something to do with marketing. Or something. Haha.
What do YOU consider Paranormal? Do you even consider it at all? What’s your favorite fiction genre that belies scientific explanation and normal experiences?