What Is Sci-Fi? 9 Book Genres Explained

April 3, 2023

By Shreesha Ghosh

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World of Books

Book genres are categories that help us understand what type of story a book is conveying. Fiction genres are about imaginary stories, like a made-up movie, while non-fiction genres are about real things, like a true documentary. Here, let’s explore nine genres and what they each mean.

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FICTION: Fantasy

Fantasy is a genre of books that uses magic and supernatural elements, often inspired by mythology and folklore. In high fantasy, the story takes place in a fictional world with lots of magical elements.

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FICTION: Science

Science fiction stories focus on real or believable science and often take place in the future, exploring themes of time travel and space exploration. They can also use soft sciences like sociology and anthropology to predict humanity's future.

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FICTION: Mystery

Mystery, or detective fiction, is a genre of books with an exciting plot that revolves around solving a puzzle. The setting, characters and tone determine if it's a cosy mystery, a hardboiled mystery or somewhere in between, but all have a crime that the hero must solve.

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Horror is a book genre that aims to create a feeling of fear and suspense in readers. It's not about theme, plot or setting, but rather the creepy atmosphere it creates. Different subgenres can make readers feel scared in different ways.

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FICTION: Historical

Historical fiction is a genre of books that tells made-up stories set in the past. The author combines imagination and real historical facts from a specific time period to create a balanced and believable story.

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NON-FICTION: Graphic Novel

Graphic novels are books that use art like illustrations and typography to tell a story. They can use the traditional panel layout like comic books or a unique style. Once not taken seriously, they are now respected for their blend of visuals and writing.

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NON-FICTION: Autobiography

Memoirs and autobiographies are true stories about an author's life. Autobiographies tell the story in chronological order, while memoirs focus on the most important, emotional moments. They are often grouped around a theme, time, place or relationship to communicate a message to the reader.

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NON-FICTION: Children’s

Kids enjoy reading nonfiction books just as much as fairytales and stories about talking animals. Nonfiction books include activity books, true stories like Malala's Magic Pencil, and children's encyclopaedias that make learning fun.

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NON-FICTION:  Self-help

Self-help books encourage personal growth and confidence. They can focus on relationships, emotional well-being or finances and aim to uplift and empower the reader. Many of the bestselling non-fiction books help readers improve themselves.