Spy movies/ books: On topic?
Are questions about Neal Stephenson's Baroque Cycle allowed on this site? Stephenson is usually labeled as a science fiction writer, but I'm not sure whether the Baroque Cycle fits that label. It's obviously not scifi in the space opera sense, and even a broader speculative fiction label like alternative history seems something of a stretch. On the other hand, according to a quote on the Wikipedia article on the Baroque Cycle, Stephenson himself has characterized it as science fiction; perhaps in the very literal sense of fiction about science:
Labels such as science fiction are most useful when employed for marketing purposes, i.e., to help readers find books that they are likely to enjoy reading. With that in mind, I'd say that people who know and love science fiction will recognize these books as coming out of that tradition. So the science fiction label is useful for them as a marketing term. However, non-S.F. readers are also reading and enjoying these books, and I seem to have a new crop of readers who aren't even aware that I am known as an S.F. writer. So it would be an error to be too strict or literal-minded about application of the science fiction label.