A cross-genre (or hybrid genre) is a genre that blends themes and elements from two or more different genres.
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. In contemporary literature, Dimitris Lyacos's trilogy Poena Damni (Z213: Exit, With the people from the bridge, The First Death) combines fictional prose with drama and poetry in a multilayered narrative developing through the different characters of the work.
Many contemporary women of color have published cross-genre works, including Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, Giannina Braschi, Guadalupe Nettel, and Bhanu Kapil’s. Giannina Braschi creates linguistic and structural hybrids of comic fantasy and tragic comedy in Spanish, Spanglish, and English prose and poetry. Carmen Maria Machado mixes psychological realism and science fiction with both humor and elements of gothic horror.
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)
- Docufiction (documentary and fiction)
- Ethnofiction (Ethnography and fiction)
- 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)
- M. Singer/W. Walker, Bending Genre (2013) p. 21-2
- "Reviews: Z213: Exit by Dimitris Lyacos | Write From Wrong Literary Magazine". Writefromwrongmag.wordpress.com. 2011-03-14. Retrieved 2015-11-07.
- "How I Learned To Love Experimental Fiction As A Brown Girl By Seeking Out Books By Women Of Color". Bustle. Retrieved 2020-10-11.
- ""What to Read Now: Mixed-Genre Literature," Giannina Braschi". World Literature Today. 2012-08-06. Retrieved 2020-10-11.
- Marting, Diane E. (2010). "New/Nueva York in Giannina Braschi's "Poetic Egg": Fragile Identity, Postmodernism, and Globalization". The Global South. 4 (1): 167–182. doi:10.2979/gso.2010.4.1.167. ISSN 1932-8648.
- "13 Latina Fantasy Books For the Sci-Fi Lover in Your Life". Fierce. 2019-01-09. Retrieved 2020-10-11.
- M. Hardt/K. Weekes eds., The Jameson Reader (2000) p. 334 and p. 368
- Koontz, Dean. "Afterword", Lightning, 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)