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Posts tagged genre fiction

The New Weird is the new New Wave?
October 30, 2014 | 12:12 pm

fanficReaders like me who cut their teeth on the New Wave of science fiction of the late 1960s and 1970s will remember the intellectual and imaginative energy of that period, the freewheeling mash-up of genres, the political and social awareness, the maturity and sophistication of much of the writing compared to most of what comprised the genre before. An adolescent genre - or rather, one stuck in a permanent delayed adolescence - suddenly grew up. In the UK, it was all about authors like Brian W. Aldiss, J.G. Ballard, M. John Harrison, Michael Moorcock, and Christopher Priest; in the U.S.,...

Could Japan’s next big science fiction author be Godzilla?
October 29, 2014 | 4:25 pm

A slightly unorthodox take on the thesis of living your art comes in the shape of Japan's Hoshi Award, a top science fiction prize, which is to be opened to aliens and AIs as well as humans. The Award was launched in 2013 in honor of Shinichi Hoshi (1926-97), "recognized as one of Japan's most influential science fiction writers of all time," who "published more than 1,000 of his signature 'short-short' stories, sometimes dubbed "the 'Haiku of Science Fiction'." Potential winners might not in fact be far away. Computer-generated literature and generative art have been around for over a decade, and it's...

Book review: The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All: Stories, by Laird Barron, Night Shade Books
October 27, 2014 | 2:25 pm

Laird Barron's third and most recent short story collection, The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All almost needs no introduction: it's Laird Barron's third collection. For many enthusiasts and proselytes of the current renaissance in dark and weird fiction, that's all they will need to know. Superlatives fall from its hide like Geatish spear points from Grendel's. And such wide, and wide-eyed, acclamation might seem open to question if it weren't for the (almost) uniform excellence of the contents. This is the kind of collection destined to find the same sort of place in the history of its genre currently occupied...

Is transrealism still a thing? The Guardian thinks so
October 25, 2014 | 2:25 pm

Damien Walter, writing in The Guardian, has resurrected Rudy Rucker's 1983 essay "The Transrealist Manifesto" to tag transrealism as "the first major literary movement of the 21st century?" As the question mark suggests, though, here's only one problem: Is it so? Rudy Rucker's original essay defines transrealism as "not so much a type of SF as it is a type of avant-garde literature," and, incidentally, "the only valid approach to literature at this point in history." According to Rucker, "the Transrealist writes about immediate perceptions in a fantastic way," because "the genre of straight realism is all burnt out. Who needs more straight...

Book review: The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy and Horror 2014, edited by Paula Guran, Prime Books
October 24, 2014 | 12:25 pm

The latest in the excellent Year's Best Dark Fantasy and Horror series, edited by Paula Guran, does a pretty good job of living up to exaclty what it says on the cover, and pulling together the year's real best achievements in the genre/genres. Some of the 32 tales will be familiar from elsewhere, especially to an avid dark sider like me, as many have already been anthologized or otherwise put out in book form. That doesn't change the fact that if you want to get a very broad and compendious perspective on the field - at 576 pages and 32 stories...

Book review: The Book of the Dead, edited by Jared Shurin, Jurassic London
October 6, 2014 | 2:25 pm

After the endless, shambling horde of faceless zombie horror anthologies, The Book of the Dead presents stories centred on a rather more ancient and dignified genus of animated corpse: the Mummy. It also comes with a sort of official endorsement from the actual tradition of Egyptology, being "published in collaboration with the Egypt Exploration Society, the UK's oldest independent funder of archaeological fieldwork and research in Egypt," and introduced by John J. Johnston, Vice Chair of the Society. The selection doesn't rest on its premises, and the 19 stories range far wider than simply animated-bundle-of-bandages tales. If anything, the keynote of the anthology is variety...

Book review: The Imago Sequence and Other Stories, by Laird Barron, Night Shade Books
September 30, 2014 | 12:47 pm

Public health warning: This book has been known to induce anomie, despair, alienation, disenchantment, toxic doubt, and pervasive crawling fear. It has also been known to make people write about it ecstatically. I'm not the first to succumb. And this isn't a new book review: The Imago Sequence has been around spreading terror and acedia since 2007, picking up a Shirley Jackson Award along the way. It also, incidentally, put its author on the map - in the same way that the 1883 eruption put Krakatoa on the map. The geography of horror would never be the same again. Rather, this...

R.I.P. Eugie Foster
September 29, 2014 | 2:41 pm

Nebula Award-winning writer and editor Eugie Foster died on September 27th of respiratory failure after a long and hard-fought battle against aggressive cancer of the sinuses. Full details can be found on her blog, with a short obituary from her husband Matthew M. Foster, here. Eugie won the 2009 Nebula Award for Best Novelette for her novelette "Sinner, Baker, Fabulist, Priest; Red Mask, Black Mask, Gentleman, Beast," and a whole series of other awards for her work as writer and editor. She was also a regular participant in conventions and science fiction/fantasy events. In the course of her struggle and treatment, Eugie...

Interview with Peter Watts
September 19, 2014 | 4:08 pm

Style: "Neutral"I asked Peter Watts, author of the brilliant and genre-redefining science fiction novels Blindsight and Echopraxia, a few questions about his own working methods and the genre (or genres) he works in. Here are his responses. TeleRead: Do you see any ingrown shortcomings in the genre/subgenre you work in, and do you try to correct those? Peter Watts: I don't think I'm competent to answer this question; I'm not sufficiently familiar with the genre to make valid generalizations about its shortcomings. One of the few things that really bugs me about my life at this point is that I don't get much...

British Fantasy Awards deliver strong, diverse slate
September 11, 2014 | 10:25 am

The British Fantasy Awards 2014, as announced on September 7th at the awards banquet at FantasyCon 2014 in York, held by the British Fantasy Society, demonstrated again that the Society, and the Awards, are anything but narrowly parochial and right-little-islanderish. American and South African as well as British, writers, publishers, and even TV networks, appeared on the list of winners. In the key categories for writers and readers, the Robert Holdstock Award for Best fantasy novel went to A Stranger in Olondria by Sofia Samatar, from Easthampton, MA's very wonderful and already much feted Small Beer Press. The August Derleth Award...

Book review: Year’s Best Weird Fiction, Volume 1, edited by Laird Barron, ChiZine Publications
September 9, 2014 | 2:25 pm

The Year's Best Weird Fiction project has quietly been gathering quite a volume of buzz on its way to Volume 1, which is due out shortly in October. For one thing, it's edited by Laird Barron, himself one of the best current practitioners of this not-quite-genre. And it doesn't hurt that its list of authors include  a wish list of his peers: Jeffrey Ford, Simon Strantzas, Joseph S. Pulver Sr, Scott Nicolay, John Langan, Richard Gavin, and W. H. Pugmire, among others. Also, it comes from the very estimable house of ChiZine Publications, already producer of some fine anthologies from Ellen...

The Gothic blue book: Time for a revival?
August 31, 2014 | 12:04 pm

An enterprising independent publisher, Burial Day Books, recently launched a submissions drive for the fourth in an anthology series that draws on the tradition of the Gothic blue book, a form of short-to-medium Gothic and horror story imprint that flourished briefly at the end of the 18th century and into the 19th. According to Burial Day, Gothic blue books were: ... abridgements of full-length Gothic novels. The subjects of these books fell into one of two categories; the first being set in a monastery or convent and the second being set in a castle. In terms of the physicality of the...