I've developed this annoying habit lately where I have to find the spot on the shelves where my books will live every time I go into a bookstore. In a Borders the other day, I headed to the fantasy section to admire the tiny space of air between H.G. Wells and Scott Westerfield. But then I turned and saw the horror section. Sitting among the Stephen Kings and other authors of fear fiction were Kim Harrison and Charlaine Harris. Yet, Kelly Armstrong and Lilith Saintcrow were in fantasy.
I asked an employee how they decided who goes where. He shrugged and said it was decided by the corporate office. His best guess was that darker books ended up in horror. Yet, that can't be the only factor since several of the UFs in the fantasy section weren't exactly light fare.
Maybe the decision depends on the types of creatures involved. Magic is heavily used in the fantasy genre. Vampires and demons traditionally fall under the horror umbrella.
Of course, none of this takes into consideration the UFs being shelved in romance.
Either way, I think it's about time bookstores give UF its own section. What say you?