25 June 2019

slipstream fiction

There's a relatively new genre of speculative fiction called 'slipstream.' Author Bruce Sterling is credited with first defining it in 1989, It is a contemporary kind of writing which has set its face against consensus reality. It is fantastic, surreal sometimes, speculative on occasion, but not rigorously so. It does not aim to provoke a 'sense of wonder' or to systematically extrapolate in the manner of classic science fiction. Instead, this is a kind of writing that simply makes you feel very strange; the way that living in the late twentieth century makes you feel, if you are a person of a certain sensibility. Supposedly, slipstream falls between speculative fiction and mainstream fiction, so it's a sort of spec-fic 'lite.'

On the other hand, authors John Kessel and James Patrick Kelly say it's less about genre, rather, cognitive dissonance is what slipstream is all about. I've read quite a bit of fiction by Kelly Link that is considered slipstream. It's lovely. :) What do you think? What's slipstream? Who does a good job with it?

Whatever it is, we'd be happy to get some at Electric Spec. The deadline for the amazing August 2019 issue is July 15, 2019!

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