It occurs to me as I am writing a lot of book reviews here, I should touch base on genres and their sub categories as I will most likely be referring to them in my reviews.

I won’t go into in depth definitions, that’s what Wikipedia is for.  But I will give a quick generalization to hopefully try and make things easier.  Now there are so many sub genres and each are subject to personal definition so there is no way I would be able to list and define them all.  As a result, I am only listing the most common ones that I know most people I come across use, as well as one or two I don’t think are very common with my own personal definitions of each.  Therefor if you’re interested in an in depth Merriam Webster kind of definition, what I list here you may not find on the wide world of web.

Enjoy, and hopefully this helps.

Action-adventure : Sub genre of Fiction, generally guys going off to save the world and stuff gets blown up/shot up.

*Archeological Fiction: Sub genre of Fiction again.  Modern timeline, generally speaking the main character is an archeologist and they spend the story uncovering ancient mysteries.  Can also be considered Action/Adventure as usually things get blown/shot up.  I consider it separate as it does have some basis in fact and history whereas Action/Adventure not so much necessarily.

*Chick lit: Sub genre of Fiction.  Stories that are generally light/humerous in tone, women are generally the main characters, and you rarely see men reading it.  Think Confessions of a Shopaholic.

Crime : Sub genre of Fiction and Mystery, and are usually stories told from a criminal’s point of view

Detective: Sub genre of Fiction and Mytery, and pretty self explanatory.  Stories from the point of view of the investigator.

Fantasy : Can be a sub genre of Fiction, but largely considered a genre by itself.   Consists of things classified as ‘make believe’.  Witches, elves, dwarves, dragons, etc.

Fiction: Genre on its own, generally encompasses all non-fiction genres and stories.

Historical Fiction: Sub genre of Fiction.  Stories set in the world’s past, and has basis in fact.  Can be romantic, but romantic relationship is secondary rather than main plot line.

Historical Romance: Sub genre of Romance.  Romance stories set strictly in the past, can have basis in fact but not usually.

Horror:  Sub genre of Fiction, generally seen as a genre on its own.  Largely consists of more suspenseful/gruesome stories.  I find a lot of zombie and vampire stories here, along with Stephen King and Dean Koontz.

Mystery: Sub genre of Fiction, again usually seen as it’s own genre.  Pretty self explanatory.  Usually revolves around the plot of “Something is hidden and we need to find it!”

Paranormal Romance : Sub genre of Romance.  Can be set in any timeline, involves mythical/fantastical creatures, can also involve time travel.

Romance: Sub genre of Fiction, seen as it’s own genre.   Lots of love in all its forms, and sex.  Can’t have love without sex I guess…

Science Fiction: Sub genre of Fiction, seen as it’s own genre.  99% futuristic stories, lots of technology, sometimes set in outer space.

Urban Fantasy : Sub genre of Fantasy.  Creatures of myth and make believe living (usually hidden) in today’s timeline.

*Urban Paranormal Romance: Sub genre of Romance.  I consider this seperate from Paranormal Romance because it’s always set in the modern timeline.

Urban Romance: Sub genre of Romance.  Romance stories set in modern time line with an all-human cast.

Western: Definitely a sub genre of fiction. Never really seen anyone consider it a genre of its own myself.  Stories set in the Wild West of our past in the days of the OK Corral and Billy the Kid.  Can have basis in fact.