ConDFW Report Part IV: Whodunit?

This panel was devoted to the merging of the tropes of the mystery genre with sci-fi/fantasy.  It was very interesting.  The biggest thing I probably got out of it was a list of some interesting authors to try.



  • Genre tags are for booksellers, not writers
  • Recommended authors
  • Mystery audiences want to figure it all out…they want that “I should have seen it coming!” feeling, not “What the hell was that?”
  • POV makes a big difference in not revealing too much
  • Characters most important…people want to see them succeed
  • Mystery + Fantasy
    • Supernatural elements must have hard rules
    • Mystery = logic
  • Usually good to have the “psycho sidekick”…can be a plot catalyst or at least someone to whom the hero will look brilliant
  • Dorothy L. Sayers wrote that the “fair-play” rule of mysteries…that you must “play fair” with the audience and show them the clue at the same time as the detective.  This is largely ignored by our authors because there are so many different ways to approach a mystery.

About Shedrick

I am a professional librarian and a part-time writer that's working to do that the other way around. I currently live in North Texas in the lovely city of Denton (“The Home of Happiness“) with my lovely wife and the obligatory demon-spawn cats. When not writing, gaming, or watching cheezy kung-fu flicks, I can sometimes be found in a pub (or the American equivalent) enjoying a fine brew.
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