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Exploring niche book genres can be overwhelming—where to begin, and why are so many books part of an endless series? But don’t let the colorful sci-fi and fantasy shelves at your favorite bookstores in New York intimidate you! Like beloved cross-genre writers Margaret Atwood and Neil Gaiman, lots of brilliant authors are writing stand-alone books and short trilogies ripe with other-worldly mystery and great feats of imagination. And as stories of dystopian futures, mythic fairy tales and alien visitors become more mainstream, it gets difficult to pigeonhole books in such broad categories. So we’ve rounded up some new books that explode the idea of classification, because who needs labels anyway?