13 November 2013

rural science fiction

I'm not sure how it happened but the marvelous new November 2013 issue of Electric Spec has two stories, which for lack of a better term, I'm going to call rural science fiction.
They are:
  • a scary near-future story "Cortex" by Steve Rodgers which will make you think differently about video games and
  • a hilarious present-day (?) story "The IUD that Landed in Grandpa's Backyard" by Fredrick Obermeyer.
Both stories take place in rural areas and have characters that are not, shall we say, classically educated. The characters have distinctive dialogue with lots of regional slang. I'm not sure I've ever come across this sub-genre before but I know you all will enjoy the stories.

It raises the interesting question of sub-genres. Last year I got my M.F.A. in Writing Popular Fiction and extensively studied the different genres and sub-genres associated with speculative fiction. One very popular sub-genre now with readers and writers is urban fantasy. Urban fantasy is not necessarily what it sounds like, however; it doesn't have to be set in an urban area. Urban fantasy is set on the contemporary Earth and fantastical elements are just added in.
Hhm. Based on the concept of urban fantasy, maybe the stories in question should be classified as urban science fiction...

You'll have to read them on November 30, 2013 and decide for yourself. :)

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