These days, whenever I ask a question, next minute I find Gallifreyan (and always Gallifreyan :)) has added the tag. A quick glance at the tag shows that it is always there on questions.

Do we really need such redundancy?

  • 1
    Possible duplicate of Do we need a sci-fi and a fantasy tag?
    – Möoz
    Commented May 9, 2017 at 22:06
  • @Mooz That question is unrelated - as it currently stands, the tag in question is not used to describe the genre of the work, but for question about the genre itself. Commented May 9, 2017 at 22:10
  • It's not redundant: science-fiction-genre and fantasy-genre are two different things. Think of it like putting books or movie tags on ID questions.
    – Rand al'Thor Mod
    Commented May 9, 2017 at 22:21
  • @Mooz Not a dupe: the science-fiction-genre tag is very different from the science-fiction tag (the latter is actually blacklisted so that it can't be used - try adding it to a question and you should get some sort of error).
    – Rand al'Thor Mod
    Commented May 9, 2017 at 22:22
  • @KutuluMike <in George Carlin's voice> Consistency! Consistency! Commented May 9, 2017 at 22:52
  • "science-fiction" and "science-fiction-genre" should become amalgamated into one.
    – Möoz
    Commented May 9, 2017 at 23:03
  • @Mooz As Rand said (and I just tested) - science-fiction and fantasy are banned, and you can't append them to questions. I think it's for a good reason. Commented May 9, 2017 at 23:21
  • 3
    @KutuluMike The phrase "excessive over-tagging" seems excessive to me. How does "excessive over-tagging" differ from "excessive tagging" or "over-tagging"?
    – user14111
    Commented May 10, 2017 at 7:34

2 Answers 2


Genre tags are generally accepted, as we do ask questions specifically about those genres using the tags alone, (which was merged with ), , and others.

We also have a number of other genre tags:

The thing is to be careful with them, and to make sure the question is actually about the genre as a whole. They're not used to just classify a question such as + , because that's not particularly notable. The sub-genres I listed above get used with because that is notable, and helps in both finding the questions and researching answers. A parallel is how we use author tags only when the question is about the author, not just about something that the author wrote.

If that's the case, then it should be applied. If it's not, it should be removed.

Also, to address another user consistently editing your question's, you may find that I'd do the same to Marvel questions that lacked . Some users just watch different tags than others, depending on their interests.

  • Why aren't genre tags used to classify story-ID questions? The tags on this site seem to be mostly useless, but it could actually be useful to be able to search for military-sf story-id or horror-story id questions.
    – user14111
    Commented May 10, 2017 at 7:37
  • @user14111 Because no one does it. The top level genres would be on everything. The subgenres just aren't used much, period.
    – user31178
    Commented May 10, 2017 at 7:44
  • For a moment there I thought I'd found a use for tags.
    – user14111
    Commented May 10, 2017 at 7:47
  • 1
    @user14111 If you add them, they'll be in use. Military-sf is used with story id plenty. The trouble is, it's hard to know the genre of an unknown story if the asker doesn't know, until it's correctly ID'd. And ID questions don't generally get tags edited afterwards (I think there's even a meta about not adding the specific work tag after proper identification)
    – user31178
    Commented May 10, 2017 at 8:10

Yes we do.

They are not redundant.

Let's look at usage guidance for all three tags:

  • Science fiction genre:

    Used for questions on the science fiction genre itself, including its tropes and conventions. Should not be used to categorize questions about specific works of science fiction.

  • Fantasy genre:

    Used for questions on the fantasy genre itself, including its tropes and conventions. Should not be used to categorize questions about specific works of Fantasy.

  • History of:

    Use this tag for questions about the history of the genre: the origin and evolution of ideas in speculative fiction. Example topics include the first work of speculative fiction with a particular property, or the origin of a term or trope.

It doesn't look like we can do without any of those three tags: each describes a specific area, and they aren't really interchangeable. One can (sure, why not?) have a question about the science fiction genre without the history-of tag, but it is not hard to see that history-of adds a specific description of the question - that the question is interested in the history of the genre, not tropes or conventions (hard to draw a line, I admit).

On the other hand, purging the genre tags will certainly leave those ~200 questions orphaned - they will have , but history of what? It looks to me like those three tags were specifically created to work together, and it looks like they're doing a good job.

Sure, there is always a chance that some of those questions are wrongly tagged, and in fact don't need some of the tags they have, but I find those sample sizes too large to be easily changed by a few mistags.

There's little chance they'll be used wrongly (I ocasionally see them in first post story-ID questions, but it's not a big deal) since they're no ambiguous - at least they have a tag excerpt that tells you where you do use them and where you don't.

  • I don't quite undesrtand what you're saying, but the choice of tags is in the hands of the asker - if they're willing, they can use either or both. Unlike a qustion about a work of fiction that is either fantasy of science fiction, a question about the genre wouldn't cause controversy, since it's OP's decision to limit the scope of the question. Commented May 9, 2017 at 23:29

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