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I would like to talk to all of my readers for a moment about a pet peeve of mine.   It is an issue that you encounter in nearly every bookstore, video rental store, or large retail outlet in America.

I speak of course of the Science Fiction/Fantasy issue.

Now, many of you may be saying to yourselves: what science fiction/fantasy issue?  There’s an issue?  But, I assure you that an issue does in fact exist.  It is an issue that will make many a geek grind their teeth in frustration, but too often gets simply overlooked.

Simply stated, for those unaware, Science Fiction is not Fantasy or vice-versa.  The two genres are entirely unique.

But, somehow, somewhere in the ivory towers of corporate America, it has been decided that the two genres are undeserving of their own unique space.  The two are simply lumped together and tossed into a disused area of the store, often in a darkened back corner.

Now, I an understand the mistake to a point.  The two share a common fan base in many cases.  They even at times cross over in ways that make certain works difficult to place in one or the other.  But, this does not mean they are not deserving of proper respect!  And, we, as the fans of both are tied of being pushed off into a disused area of the store.  Is our patronage really that embarrassing to you?  Well, then perhaps our money should be as well!

Anyone initiated into either genre understands that Tanis, Half-Elven and Frodo of the Shire come from a vastly different place than Ender Wiggin and Lazarus Long.  To have them standing side-by-side on the shelves seems like putting apples and oranges in the same display in the produce department.  I shouldn’t have to sort through the apples to find an orange just as I shouldn’t have to sort through tales of intergalactic war to find the Battle of Helm’s Deep.  We, as consumers and fans of these products, should demand a certain level of respect, even admiration, from our retailers.

And, don’t get me started on Horror with Stephen King in the Fiction section while Laurel K. Hamilton and Charlaine Harris (among others) mixed in with the Science Fiction/Fantasy debacle.

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