Definition: Genre Sausage

Meat ready for sausage making in Hungary
Image via Wikipedia

Will Ellwood provides a perfect and succinct definition of ‘genre sausage’. Maybe we need some European Union legislation forcing publishers of such sausage to reveal exactly what percentage of original imagination is in every book?

Fiction produced for any genre written using the mechanically reclaimed ideas blasted from the carcasses of other stories and shoved inside a fatty skin of glossy marketing. As it is sold on the basis of quantity and low cost rather than overall quality and satisfaction, genre sausage is generally high in calories but low in overall nutritional . Fine when eaten occasionally as part of a healthy and varied diet with regular exercise, but can lead to significant health problems if eaten in excessive quantities. Genre sausage can often be spotted by the cover copy advertising the book as the next X or from the citation of the one positive review from Publishers Weekly. Endorsements from friends of the author are also common sight on the packet of sausages.

Genre sausages rarely uses organic ingredients and instead relies on intensive factory farming methods to produce the required quantities of unrefined fiction. Not for vegetarians, vegans or people concerned about the environment.

I may well be making use of ‘genre sausage’ on panels at the Alt.Fiction festival starting tomorrow at Derby QUAD. Come along and join in the argument!


Published by Damien Walter

Writer and storyteller. Contributor to The Guardian, Independent, BBC, Wired, Buzzfeed and Aeon magazine. Special forces librarian (retired). Teaches the Rhetoric of Story to over 35,000 students worldwide.


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