I try my best to categorize the books I read by its genre (I’m quite the OCD). And I like that people on goodreads do that, too. It’s easy to search a book that I would like to read if I know what genre in it. I’m moody type of reader, sometimes I want a fantasy book, sometimes contemporary and a lot of times, romance, haha. But in all seriousness I really want things neatly labeled so if I want to look, it’s easy to find. But sometimes I wonder if I’m labeling them right.
I’m re-watching an old favorite of mine. It’s an anime series called Tegami Bachi (Letter Bee in English). I really loved this one because of it’s very unique premise. The story is about a boy named Lag Seeing, who is a letter bee (to put it simple, a postman, er boy). The setting is in this fictional world called Amberground and it is continuously night there. Only a place where the rich folks live called Akatsuki has daylight and it is provided by an artificial sun. Letter bees are not just delivering letters/packages, they have far graver duties than that. And this was originally caught me.
And because it’s been a while since I last read/watched the series (like years!), I decided to check wiki to refresh my mind and lo and behold that genre it belongs to caught my interest: gaslamp fantasy. Have you heard of this term? Honestly, I haven’t until I checked this one out. When I read about it, I was quite fascinated. Wiki says that gaslamp fantasy “is a subgenre of both fantasy and historical fiction.” Also, “this particular realm of fantasy employs either a Victorian or Edwardian setting. The gaslamp fantasy genre is not to be confused with steampunk, which usually has more of a super-science edge and uchronic tone.” The person that coined this term, Kaja Foglio, didn’t want her work to be labeled as steampunk because she thought that her works “have no punk but have more than just steam.”
I guess fantasy has more sub-genres than I thought. And for me it was really cool to find out about it. Although wiki says that examples given on the page is not exactly accurate but one series that I know many of you bookish folks knew that was cited is Cassandra Claire’s The Infernal Devices series. Neat, isn’t it? It’s not steampunk! It’s Gaslamp fantasy!
Your turn! Have you heard of this genre? What can you say about it? Have you read a book that you think belongs to this genre? Care to share it with me?