There are so many types of genres in the literary world that it’s virtually impossible to know them all. With new ones coming into popularity so regularly, it’s admittedly hard to keep up. But every now and then a genre emerges that we can’t ignore; one so baffling as to disorient us from our regular way of seeing things. Here are a few of the weirdest rising new genres that have made their way into current popular culture:
1. Centaurs and Satyrs (Romance)
Since Ancient Greek and Roman times, hybrid creatures that are half man and half animal have been featured in tales of sexual conquest. The satyrs in particular are often found romping with the nymphs. Today, an entire genre of romance fiction has grown out of the forbidden relationships with the wild inhuman creatures of the forest. The interspecies erotic fiction takes center stage in books like Rescued and Ravaged by the Centaur, Unbridled and The Lords of Satyr. These types of genres, both centaur and satyr, are mostly written by women and are a type of erotic fantasy fiction.
2. Calligram (Poetry)
The idea behind this kind of poetry is to structure the letters of the poem so that they make a picture. The image they create should display the core central meaning of the poem. This type of structure was created by the French poet Guillaume Apollinaire, who had his work published after his death in the book Calligrammes. Many artists and poets have continues his work, creating beautiful and complex imagery. Most elementary schools teach children how to create Calligrams from very early on and they have become a modern part of both literature and art.
3. Slipstream (Science Fiction/Fantasy)
In this style, the story slips in and out of reality so that it can become hard to understand what is real and what isn’t. It’s been described as “cognitive dissonance” meaning that a reader is forced into holding two contradictory beliefs at the same time. Some films that make good examples of this literary style are The Matrix, Memento, and The Tree of Life. It’s often described as “the fiction of strangeness” and popular authors of the genre include James Patrick Kelly and John Kessel.
4. New Weird or “Noird” (Horror/Fantasy/Science Fiction)
This style is a kind of genre bending speculative fiction that is ultimately based in horror. Noted for combining fantasy and/or science fiction in an ultra-realistic way, this genre stems from one commonly known as Weird Fiction, whose writers include Edgar Allen Poe, H.P Lovecraft, and William Hope Hodgson. Weird Fiction was a style of strange horror wring that included ghost stories, the macabre, fantasy, and science fiction. Writers of New Weird include China Mieville, Jeff VanderMeer, K.J. Bishop, and Steph Swainston.
5. Bizarro (Absurdism)
This style of fiction was started in 2005 by various independent publishing companies including Eraserhead Press, Raw Dog Screaming Press, and Afterbirth Books. Often featuring absurdist, satirical, and grotesque elements, the genre focuses on the weird and has been referred to as “new absurdism” and “irreal”. It tends to be closer to speculative fiction, including horror, fantasy, and science fiction as opposed to the avant-garde movements. Popular authors in this genre include Violet LeVoit, D. Harlan Wilson and Bradley Sands, Carlton Mellick III, and Jeremy C. Shipp.
As you can see, the human imagination is constantly expanding as the types of genres available for our exploration continue to grow. Each new genre offers an unexpected and fresh perspective with a chance to shake up the stagnant and stale old ways, breathing new life into our literary world.