From Spoetry to Cli-Fi, here are the new genres you need to know

By Mahita Gajanan
Updated May 16, 2016 at 12:00 PM EDT

Looking to dive into something really different? Writers are bending and twisting literary categories into all sorts of unusual directions these days.

1. Cli-Fi

What It is: This offshoot of eco-fiction consists of short stories and novels that address the effects of climate change

What To Read: Margaret Atwood’s MaddAddam trilogy

2. Bizarro Fiction

What It Is: Books that aim to be both strange and entertaining, with hefty doses of absurdism, satire, and the grotesque.

What To Read: Brian Evenson’s A Collapse of Horses

3. Nordic Noir

What It Is: Dark, often morally ambiguous police procedurals or psychological thrillers set in Scandinavia.

What To Read: Henning Mankell’s Faceless Killers

4. Flash Fiction

What It Is: This genre, which consists of stories in a few hundred words, has been around, but it’s now more popular than ever.

What To Read: Look no further than “For sale: baby shows, never worn,” often attributed to Hemingway

5. Spoetry

What It Is: Poetry composed from the subject lines of spam email messages.

What To Read: Anthologies exist, but you’ll find the best examples at

6. Twitter Fiction

What It Is: Short stories and novels composed entirely of tweets.

What To Read: David Mitchell’s “The Right Short,” which he developed into a full-length novel, Slade House

7. Cashier Memoir

What It Is: Just what it sounds like: true-life tales from behind the cash register.

What To Read: Anna Sam’s Checkout Girl