As I sit down here with my extra-large cup of coffee and prepare to dig into the first chapter of my next novel, I got a message from one of my readers. He had purchased Indomitable first, as he liked the superhero genre, but was initially reluctant to buy The Opening Bell. It was a wrestling novel, after all. How good and how deep could it really be? One could argue that this was coming from a superhero fan but, frankly, the superhero genre has proven itself with many great works (Watchmen, The Dark Knight Returns, The Killing Joke, All-Star Superman, much of Gaiman’s graphic work, etc.). Still, he decided to give it a try after reading Indomitable.
He told me that he was surprised. He felt that The Opening Bell was possibly more, as he put it, ‘mind-grabbing’ than Indomitable was. He devoured over half the book in one sitting. That made me realize something that I suppose I already knew: A genre book, no matter how obscure the genre, doesn’t have to be popcorn. It isn’t inherently limited to ‘a fun read’. You can make it something deeper and more fulfilling. Not to be taken as a stick-in-the-mud, there isn’t anything wrong with being ‘a fun read’. It’s just that if you crack open your next sci-fi or fantasy novel and just limit your brain to the possibilities, you could really miss out on something truly special.