Sci-fi, fantasy, biography, romance, mystery–I bet each of us could list plenty of book genres off the top of our heads. But there are a ton of other book genres out there. A lot of them are sub-genres, but they are unique enough to have their own following. If you’re having trouble finding a book that is exactly what you’re looking after, don’t worry–chances are you can find an obscure genre that will point you in the right direction.
A cousin of steampunk, mannerpunk focuses on Regency-era manners and society, but puts them into a fantasy-like setting. Mannerpunk is a great lens for exploring gender boundaries and societal constraints. You may have heard of it without knowing you were hearing of it: Seth Grahame-Smith’s infamous Pride and Prejudice and Zombies has become so well-known that it is now a feature film. (If you don’t know what steampunk is, it’s set in the 19th-century or Victorian eras and blends futuristic technology with technology of the past.)
LitRPG–short for Literature plus Role Playing Games–combines science fiction or fantasy with computer games. The characters, who are usually aware that they are inside a game, go through the novel on their adventures, but they encounter game-like challenges along the way. It’s like playing Fable or Skyrim without the worry that your potential lack of skill might kill you.
Inspired by the rise of social media platforms, these types of novels are written in tiny bits. The amount of characters or words they use is limited by the platform the author uses to publish the piece; for instance, a Twitter novel is written 140 characters at a time. A Facebook novel is written in about 300 at a time. There’s also the cell phone novel, where pieces of the novel are texted to readers via SMS.
Yep, those coming-of-age novels we read in high school–The Outsiders, Great Expectations, Jane Eyre–are actually part of their own sub-genre. Bildungsroman, which is a German word, are specifically coming-of-age novels that focus on the psychological development of the character. We could all write great pieces of bildungsroman if we delved into our respective adolescences–which is probably why they make popular assigned reading.
Don’t delete your Spam folder. It could be a gold mine. Spoetry is a type of poetry composed from the subject lines of spam emails. Actual anthologies of this exist. Change your career and become a poet. But don’t actually open those emails, because you also don’t want to get a virus…