A group of folks have been blogging about a new genre called visionary fiction. Many books that fit into the mystery, thriller, fantasy, or literary category also fit into this one. Hampton Roads published my first novel, Under the Stone Paw, in their visionary fiction category. I thought I’d written a contemporary fantasy, but Borders put it in the mystery section. Denver’s independent bookstore, Tattered Cover, had shelf space labeled Visionary Fiction, so the book found its true home there.
What is visionary fiction? The Visionary Fiction Alliance defines it this way:
“Visionary Fiction embraces spiritual and esoteric wisdom, often from ancient sources, and makes it relevant for our modern life. Gems of this spiritual wisdom are brought forth in story form so that readers can experience the wisdom from within themselves. Visionary fiction emphasizes the future and envisions humanity’s transition into evolved consciousness. While there is a strong theme, it in no way proselytizes or preaches.”
This will appeal to some people and not others, but that’s what genre is all about. McKee claims genre reflects world view. How we see the world will often be the underpinnings of our writing, and McKee suggests basic genres reflect our basic assumptions about how the world works.
What are some examples of visionary fiction? People have suggested many books, including Marion Zimmer Bradley’s The Mists of Avalon, Dan Millman’s The Way of the Peaceful Warrior, Dion Fortune’s The Sea Priestess, Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code, C.S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia, Kathleen McGowan’s The Expected One, Kate Mosse’s Labyrinth, Jodine Turner’s The Awakening: Rebirth of Atlantis, and Rea Nolan Martin’s Mystic Tea. One person even suggested the film Maleficent is another example.
You’ve probably thought of other books that might fit into this genre. Or do you think it is a genre?