Is there a good name for that?

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Is there a good name for that?

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1slothman
set. 15, 2006, 12:10am

Sometimes there's an obvious group that ought to have a succinct name, but you just can't think of it.

Here’s the one that’s puzzling me right now: Is there a short way to refer to nonfiction books that discuss fiction, like The Language of the Night and Dancing at the Edge of the World and The Dreams our Stuff is Made Of, which are about science fiction and fantasy? “Metafiction” is technically just “after fiction” but would be read as “fiction about fiction”...

2Aquila
set. 15, 2006, 12:43am

I would understand 'metafiction' if you used it. The tags people are using seem to include 'literary theory', 'literary criticism', 'essays' and 'sf essays'.

3ryn_books
set. 15, 2006, 3:48am

I've used the tag 'books about books' as my two weren't quite essays, nor critiques.

4ellen.w
set. 15, 2006, 9:53am

I use "writing" (plus "nonfiction," of course) for anything that's about writing -- how-to, criticism, whatever. I favor one-word tags, for no particular reason.

5coloradoreader
set. 15, 2006, 11:02am

I also use the tag "Books about books".

6quartzite
set. 15, 2006, 2:27pm

I use "Books" sort of like a subject tag, sometimes with a second tag like 'Reference" "essays'" or "criticism''

7princemuchao
set. 16, 2006, 10:43am

The problem with "books about books" is... what do you use for Borges, Calvino, etc... fictional books that are primarily about books?

Metafiction might work, but to me metafiction implies layers of reality - like when an author appears in their own fictional book.

8angharad
set. 16, 2006, 9:59pm

For those, I seem to use "meta" without any "fiction" on the end. It seems broader or more versatile to me.

9lilithcat
set. 17, 2006, 12:22am

I call it "lit crit", short for "literary criticism". They aren't "books about books"; that tag is reserved for bibliographic, book arts, book collecting and the like.

10AsYouKnow_Bob
set. 17, 2006, 1:10am

slothman: I have all three of those, and I've tagged them "sf nf" which (somewhat obviously) I use for that distinct-but-hard-to-describe genre of "non-fiction about (speculative)(or science) fiction".

I have a huge library of stuff related to science fiction: my taxonomy tags it all as "sf"; and then, depending, any given book gets another tag for "science fiction" or "fantasy" or "sf nf".

My "sf nf" tag is somewhat different from either "books about books" or from the more straightforward "lit crit" tags.

(Of course, I then proceed to shovel a lot of 'associational' stuff under that tag, so maybe I need to further sub-divide "sf nf". But using it, I can at least group stuff like your three examples together into a managable subset of "sf".)

11lilypadma
set. 30, 2006, 4:20pm

I use Lit Analysis.