A cross-genre (or hybrid genre) is a genre in fiction that blends themes and elements from two or more different genres. As opposed to the (literary and political) conservatism of most genre fiction, cross-genre writing offers opportunities for opening up debates and stimulating discussion.
Such hybrid genres are not new but a longstanding element in the fictional process: perhaps the most famous example is William Blake's Marriage of Heaven and Hell, with its blend of poetry, prose, and engravings.
Fredric Jameson has highlighted the progressive elements in Third World Literature that defies genre expectations such as Xala; and in Science Fiction like The Left Hand of Darkness with its exploration of gender roles.
Dean Koontz considers himself a cross-genre writer, not a horror writer: “I write cross-genre books-suspense mixed with love story, with humor, sometimes with two tablespoons of science fiction, sometimes with a pinch of horror, sometimes with a sprinkle of paprika...”
- Action comedy (action and comedy)
- Comedy-drama or dramedy (comedy and drama)
- Comedy-horror (comedy and horror)
- Comic fantasy (comedy and fantasy)
- Comic science fiction (comedy and science fiction)
- Crime fantasy (crime and fantasy)
- Dark fantasy (horror and fantasy)
- Romantic comedy (romance and comedy)
- Romantic fantasy (romance and fantasy)
- Science fantasy (science fiction and fantasy)
- Science fiction Western (science fiction and Western)
- Supernatural drama (supernatural and drama)
- Tragicomedy (tragedy and comedy)
- Weird West (Western and horror, science fiction and/or speculative elements)
- I. Ousby ed., The Cambridge Guide to Literature in English (1995) p. 367
- M. Singer/W. Walker, Bending Genre (2013) p. 21-2
- M. Hardt/K. Weekes eds., The Jameson Reader (2000) p. 334 and p. 368
- Koontz, Dean. "Afterword, Lightening", G.P. Putnam's Sons hardcover edition, January 1988. Berkley Publishing Group, mass market edition, May 1989. p. 360
Diane P. Freedman, An Alchemy of Genres (1997)
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