A first start at it, anyhow. Amazon tells Romance authors – and publishers – to stop inflicting their romances on the readers of other genres, starting with Science Fiction & Fantasy:
Do not add books from any Romance category to these categories: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Children’s.
PRAISES BE TO THE GODS! Unfortunately, it is too little, too late. I’ve been complaining about this sort of thing ever since Twilight got crammed into my horror genre. :'(
Romance is a separate genre from sci-fi and fantasy. And I don’t care how much authors argue otherwise, no, your book cannot be both. You can’t serve two (or three) masters.
A romance, at its root, specifically focuses on romantic love between two people, with an emotionally satisfying ending (usually, happily ever after, or HEA). In a romance, the relationship itself is the most important and driving motivator of the plot.
A fantasy, at its root, specifically focuses on magic and the supernatural as the primary motivators of the plot, presented within a self-contained world. In a fantasy, the presence of magic and the supernatural is the driving motivator of the plot.
A sci-fi, at its root, specifically focuses on fantastic but logically plausible creatures and technological developments while looking at the consequences of such developments. It is generally defined as writing rationally about alternative possibilities.
The fundamental problem is that too many authors neither understand nor respect the meaning and function of genre categories. Genres exist to help READERS find the type of stories they want. As others have said, I can’t use Amazon to search for fantasy or sci-fi anymore because half the search results come up as romances. Your romance might be set in a futuristic setting, but that doesn’t mean you are serving the needs of the science fiction genre. Just because the hero in your romance is a werewolf doesn’t mean it is a fantasy. It just means you took your romance and gave it a paranormal cosmetic makeover.
This is particularly frustrating since Amazon DOES, in fact, have rather substantial sub-categories that can call out your fantasy-leaning or futuristic leaning romances. There is zero reason to take a romance novel and shove it into a non-romance category.
Of course, the romance authors trying to game the system by putting their wereseal erotica in science fiction are whining up a storm. But the fact is, it is a massive turnoff to readers of military science fiction to see their bestseller lists infested by My Secret SpecOps Lover and whatnot.
Bullshit like The Quantum Rose isn’t science fiction any more than Taken by the T-Rex is. It’s just romance in space. Amazon should have done this a long time ago. It would be good to see them add this restriction to Western and Military categories as well.
Now, there is nothing wrong with writing, or reading, romance in space if that’s what floats your boat. But stop pretending it is science fiction! And stop pretending elf erotica is high fantasy! As one author, Edwin M. Grant, commented, Taken by the Alien Alpha Barbarian is not Military SF just because it’s set in space and the barbarian beats up a few people.
And as for those books that cross both genres, the obvious answer is to throw them in Romance. The Romance readers won’t mind, since they’re happy as long as there is a female protagonist pursued by two alpha males between whom she must choose. They don’t care if the alpha males are men, vampires, wereseals, elves, angels, or artificial intelligences. Most of the SF readers will mind.
It’s rather amusing. All the authors who understand what Amazon is doing and support it have a wide variety of book covers indicating various genres beneath their posts. All the authors who can’t understand it and think it is unfair and wrong have book covers that feature either a) women in poofy dresses or b) headless male torsos with abs underneath theirs.
You’re fucking romance writers. Now shut up and go away.