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Genre Mashing

Another great video from the guys over at Extra Credits, this time discussing the concept of Genre Mashing. Yes, this is about video games, but if you sub in writing in key areas, it applies.

Extra Credits: Genre Mashing

Anyone having trouble with their genre mashing? Finding that zombie fantasy romantic comedy not hitting the right spot?

Does anyone mix their genres with the fantasy base? I'd love to hear what you'd have to say about it.


Well, I'm quite fond of Genre-Mashing myself. In fact, my world building project is nothing but genre mashing of Sci-Fi and Fantasy where mechs and rotorcraft exist alongside sandship and golems. This is probably from my fascination to the notion of "Magic vs Technology" or "Steel vs. Flesh"

Oh, and I also like to mash fantasy with Alternate History, like what if Alchemy (which is basically science with supernatural bits mixed in) developed into Magic instead of chemistry (and thus modern science in general)?

Philip Overby

Article Team
I think genre mashing works in various ways. China Mieville has done this in some ways. Then there's this: Science fantasy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia I think taking conventions from other genres is a great way to make fantasy a bit more different and unique.

Joe Abercrombie's new book Red Country uses a lot of western conventions, and the genre "Weird West" takes elements of Westerns and blends them. More here:Weird West - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Dark fantasy in a way is depicted as a mash-up of horror and fantasy and it works wonders. Same with paranormal romance, which is a blend of romance with zombies, werewolves, ghosts, and vampires. Nowadays, these blended genres have become their own genres, so people may even blend them together with other stuff.

I think it works pretty well if you're not just throwing a bunch of crap together. As long as the concepts work within your world, it's all game.


I have always been fascinated by the idea of taking two or more concepts and mashing them together to see how well it works. I have been world building on a "modern fantasy" concept where magic progressed faster than technology and it's used in everyday life; even those without the capability of working magic.

The Magic Engineer by L.E. Modesitt comes to mind, being about a mechanical engineer who has the ability to use magic and creates the first steam powered vessel for the Isle of Recluse. It is quite interesting.