Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Name That Genre! #12


Thirteen-year-old Kurtis heard his heartbeat for the first time. Not the sound of his withered lungs choking on his breathes. Not the sound of death. Life, that’s what he heard pounding from his flesh, and it was a nice change. Nice enough for him to smile for a second. He stood on the rooftop, under an ocean of red stars as his heartbeats tapped against his chest like somebody knocking on a door. Like somebody wanted to get in. Or get out. And that’s when Kurtis remembered something. An important thought dropped into his head.

Happy endings were gone.

All of them.


Kurtis remembered they were extinct in his world, a planet called Serius. His dad had warned him about it right before he dumped the boy off at the HOME.

A nuthouse for kids.

But that wasn’t as bad for Kurtis as having a girl inside his head.


  1. Science Fiction.

    The "planet called Serius" line clinches the genre for me. Otherwise I would actually have guessed urban fantasy, because it sounds like he's maybe undead or something.

  2. Science Fiction

    ocean of red stars, a planet called Serius.

  3. Sci-Fi.

    Watch the details here. It's breaths, not breathes and you only have one heartbeat (if you're human, that is). Also, try to keep the narrator out of the POV. Kurtis would not think of himself as "the boy" and his dad would just be Dad.

    Good luck!

  4. Science Fiction

    The red stars and the "Serius" reference.

  5. Science Fiction

    red stars and Serius

  6. Science Fiction for the same reasons as others have posted: reference to red stars and a planet named Serius. Interested in finding out why this boy was "dumped" here.

  7. Science Fiction--

    Red stars, a planet called Serius, and 'having a girl inside his head.'

  8. I'm going with Sci-Fi because of the planetary reference, but did debate whether it might be paranormal because of the 'having a girl inside his head' line.

  9. Sci-fi for sure. Red stars, planet named, and happy endings bit.

  10. Science fiction/fantasy - good use of description to pull the reader in. I am curious how he can observe being extinct at his planet, and curious what the HOME would be like for Kurtis. (nice spelling of name to show a different age).

  11. Sci-Fi Fantasy
    Great world building. We know that the MC's a stranger on this planet, and has been put in a HOME for some reason not yet explained.

  12. Dystopian.

    The other planet says sic-fi, but no happy endings.

  13. Dystopian - feels like he's extinct because the world as he knew it had ended.

  14. Sci-fi, probably with heavy romantic (girl inside a boy's head) and adventure (dropped off on a planet, no parents to answer to, the need to overcome depression with action) themes. Nice job doing some world-building with just a few details. Seems very mature for MG, and reminds me just a touch of my favorite MG series, Animorphs.

  15. Sounds very Sci-Fi

    The sea of red stars, another planet, a girl in his head. :)

  16. Science fiction.
    He would be smiling for more than a second as his heartbeats went by. Try "Nice enough for him to smile as he stood on the rooftop under an ocean of red stars, his heartbeats tapping against his chest like somebody knocking on a door."
    Since your next two sentences are short, it's all right to try a long sentence.

  17. Sci-Fi

    The red stars, planets. But it sounds like he is a bit crazy.

  18. science fiction -- red stars and Syrius reference.

    Was "the boy" who was dropped off at the home the protagonist? If so, this line is a little clumsy and confusing. (Acually the whole line feels like and info dump -- is it necessary?)

    A girl in his head. Now that seems fun.

  19. Science Fiction

    I'm not sure what I thought it was before, but as soon as got to "planet" I knew it was sci-fi.


    But there are way too many concepts being dropped on the reader all at once, and none explained:

    - Why hasn't Kurtis heard his heartbeat before?
    - Why is he hearing it now?
    - Why was everyone's happy endings gone?
    - Who are "they" and why are they extinct?
    - What's the HOME (and why is it in all caps)? Is it on Serius? Is that where Kurtis is?
    - Why is there a girl in Kurtis's head?

    It's too much too fast. You need to draw the reader into the weirdness slowly, gradually. If the reader is overwhelmed with it, he'll give up.

    The description of the planet and stars. He even sounds like he could be a cyborg or something.

  22. Science Fiction

    planet, stars, mind-sharing. Possible horror - nuthouse.

  23. SciFi.

    Red stars, planet called Serius, speak of science fiction. Although, coupled with the nuthouse for kids and the girl inside his head they could mean mental illness instead or contemporary.

  24. Science Fiction

    At first I thought Paranormal, but then it became clear he's in another world.

  25. sci-fi

    from the planet ref, but before that I thought contemp and he'd just had some kind of surgery, then post-apoc with all the happy endings gone

  26. Speculative Fiction.

    The red stars and a planet called Serius point to SF, but the kids in the nut house, to me, points to speculative fiction.

  27. SCI-FI

    He mentions being on a different planet. Plus there's a girl in his head and he isn't alive in the normal way.

  28. Sci-Fi and a good start. I'd read more. Good luck, Sarah

  29. Science Fiction

    Being on a different planet with red stars points to science fiction. But then the idea that there are no longer happy endings said possibly Dystopian. There's a girl inside his head, and I don't know if I should think that's psychic, psychological, or paranormal. But Sci-fi seems like the base genre.

  30. Hi everyone:

    This piece is Science Fiction. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment. I really appreciate that. If you have any questions feel free to ask them.

    Thank you,