The Formulas of Popular Fiction: Elements of Fantasy, Science Fiction, Romance, Religious and Mystery Novels  

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This book creates a taxonomy for the major bestselling fictional genres: romance (e.g., authors Heyer, Cartland, Woodiwiss and Roberts), religious and inspirational (Corelli and Douglas), mystery and detective (Conan Doyle, Christie and Mankell), and science fiction, horror and fantasy (Wells, Tolkien, Orwell, Niven, King and Rowling). Chapters look at a genre from its roots to its most recent works. The structural patterns in the plot, characters and setting of these genres are then explained. The book also provides a critique of currently popular hyper-formulaic, hack, unliterary writings that have multiplied in recent decades. Special topics such as the publishing oligopoly and the resulting homogeneity among bestselling works and the steady movement from literary to unliterary fiction are also examined.

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