Does a genre label like "cli-fi'' matter? Yes, it does, in the right context!
In a recent ''convo'' at the New York Times book review, two ''debaters'' go at it:
''Do Genre Labels Matter Anymore?'' they asked at the Times BOOKENDS page
DANA STEVENS and LESLIE JAMISON were the debaters
Even better than the New York Times lame debate, which answered nothing, was Seattle literary critic and novelist Joe Follansbee's very good blog column on genre. A few excerpts. He started off:
" I find the genre wars incredibly entertaining, mostly because they’re pointless, and the participants waste an amazing amount of time making their points when they could be writing good stories. ....''
HE GOES ON:
''Why do suggestions for new genres always suck? I crunch my face into something resembling a crushed newspaper whenever I hear one. My latest favorites are “dark pastoral,” “solarpunk,” and “robofi.”
''Dark pastoral is about nature so screwed up by people that the only way to fix nature is by getting rid of the people. Margaret Atwood and Karen Traviss are dark pastoral priestesses.''
''Solarpunk—part of a separate trend to transform the word “punk” in a suffix, pioneered by “cyberpunk” and “steampunk"........ Nobody famous is working in this sub-sub-sub-genre. ''
Robofi is all about robots taking over human work, but it’s so new that nobody’s written any stories. That didn’t stop the publishing website Teleread to suggest the neologism.
''Why do we waste so much time squabbling about genre?''
''One, we can’t help ourselves; we’re born organizers. Adam himself named the animals at Yahweh’s behest, and we’ve been classifying and reclassifying the universe ever since.
''Two, booksellers can’t put every book on one big shelf and hope to get the sales volumes needed to turn a profit.
''Three, a pointless argument is great entertainment, akin to sports, or Donald Trump..... ''
WELL SAID, JOE FOLLANSBEE-- A VOICE OF REASON IN THE CURRENT GENRE CONVERSATIONS GOING ON ALL OVER THE WORLD.....