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    The Interstitial Arts Foundation is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the study, support, and promotion of interstitial art: literature, music, visual and performance art found in between categories and genres – art that crosses borders. Find out more!

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    Thanks to 277 generous backers for our Interfictions Indiegogo Campaign, we raised $10,318 by the time our campaign ended at midnight, July 14th, 2014.  When we launched on June 3rd, we were staggered to find donations doubling almost daily, until after about 3 weeks we had reached our original target goal of $8,500, and were able to move on to our Stretch Goal of $10,000.

    Which means we not only get to publish Interfictions Online for another year, but we can pay our contributors at higher rates now, rates more in line with the effort and talent that innovation requires. Thank you, each and every one of the 277 generous donors who stepped forward to say that interstitial art is valued and valuable. The number of people is as important as the number of dollars raised. We are awed by your generosity.
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    INTERFICTIONS issue #3 is up online!

    The editors of Interfictions Online are happy to announce the birth of the journal’s latest issue, on May 22, 2014!

    The Spring 2014 issue’s non-fiction offerings include Mark Craddock’s poignant collage in Aerial Acrobatics and Gender Reassignment Surgery – A How-To Guide, while Inda Lauryn’s Parallels and Transitions splices analysis of contemporary female vocalists into a graduate school memoir. Isabel Yap’s Life Is Not a Shoujo Manga speaks for itself. And in an interview with Jeff VanderMeer and Jeremy Zerfoss, the two creators discuss their illustrated guide to writing, Wonderbook.

    The fiction offerings remix tropes from ghosts to automata, with new work by Richard Butner, Su-Yee Lin, Kat Howard, Tade Thompson and S. Craig Renfroe Jr.

    Several of the poems in this issue reimagine older narratives: Sridala Swami’s AI Winter draws on the Mahabharata, Sonya Taaffe’s Double Business on Hamlet, and Mary Alexandra Agner’s Hypothesis Between Your Ribs on the brief life of Charles Darwin’s daughter.


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  • Meet the IAF: Stephen H. Segal
    by stephen | March 29th, 2010 |

    (Ed.: For the eighth profile in our Interstitial March project, please welcome IAF Executive Board member Stephen H. Segal. Previous profiles in this series have included Felice Kuan, Wendy Ellertson, Deborah Atherton, Erin Underwood, Ellen Kushner, Delia Sherman and Geoffrey Long.)

    1. Who are you, and what do you do?

    I am Stephen Segal, a kid from the Jersey shore who grew up loving Greek mythology and giant Japanese robots and Legos and Captain America and The Twilight Zone, and who – after most of a decade as a journalist and then four years reinventing the venerable magazine Weird Tales as its editorial and creative director – now works as an acquisitions editor for Quirk Books, an independent publisher in Philadelphia dedicated to making books that break out of the usual molds.

    2. What attracts you to the interstitial arts?

    There are so many different answers to that question, and I’m going to go with the one that occurred to me most recently, which struck me when I was listening to a lyric from songwriter Dan Bern:

    If you must put me in a box
    Make sure it’s a big box
    With lots of windows
    And a door to walk through
    And a nice high chimney
    So we can burn, burn, burn
    Everything that we don’t like
    And watch the ashes fly up to heaven
    (Maybe all the way to India)
    I’d like that…

    Here’s the thing: interstitiality is the state of being in an in-between space, right? Neither belonging properly to one category or the next? Well – people are interstitial. All people. There’s not one person on this earth who strictly, wholly, embodies a category of people.

    Sure, when we encounter someone we don’t know, we start by assigning them into whatever categories seem most obvious: Athlete. Woman. Caucasian. Well-dressed person. Smiling person. But a human existence is such a singular thing that, not only is there an inconceivably large number of categories anyone could be categorized into, if you start to examine those categories at the fine level, you find contradictions between the assumptions of your basic category templates. She’s a socialite who takes the bus? He’s a jock who reads Tolkien? Hitler was a vegetarian who killed six million people and loved puppies? What?

    If you think about it, most conflict in the world arises when we insist on cramming other people into a conceptual box we’ve built rather than acknowledging their interstitiality and its kinship to our own. We can snub that kid, because she’s a weirdo. We can sneer at those other partisan fools, because their beliefs are based on hopeless naivete. We can bomb those people’s country, because they’re backwards anyway. Every day, we put people into a box – mostly, because our lives seem so crowded that, in order to cope, we need to box some things up and get rid of them. Well, it’s much easier to box people up when we see them as simple, as reducible, as mere categories.

    So why am I attracted to interstitial artwork? Because I’m attracted to art that says something true about life. And life is made up of other people, and other people are not categories. They are not templates. They are not action figures or Barbie dolls or stock characters. They are fucking complicated. All of them. You just have to keep looking.

    And when art is equally singular – when, like the people it reflects, it’s made of complications and contradictions and mysteries that go beyond mere exercises in fine craftsmanship, and into the realm of intangible, unexpected truth – then I find I’ve become a fuller person for having experienced it.

    Genre art is great. I enjoy a good science fiction adventure. I enjoy a lushly colored pastoral landscape. But I get more excited when I look deeper and find that there’s more in there than I thought. And I get most excited of all when I know there’s something real there but I’m not sure what exactly it is.

    3. How do you consider your work interstitial?

    These days, in the wake of Quirk’s huge success with the 2009 literary-mashup novel Pride and Prejudice and Zombies – which represented a big fiction coup for a publisher of mostly nonfiction – I am working to find ways to produce fantastical books that fall outside the familiar formal boundaries of genre fiction. It is an awesome challenge; I hope I prove up to the task.

    finish line

    3 Responses to “Meet the IAF: Stephen H. Segal”

    1. Deborah Atherton Says:

      Terrific thoughts on interstitiality, Stephen. I particularly like the idea that other people are not categories, and that great art is truly singular. And in some ways genre is a denial of that idea – once the new, singular work is created, then a thousand spring up behind it. And we will enjoy, them, sure, but they are unlikely to have the resonance of the original. Deep thoughts for a Monday morning!

    2. Meet the IAF: Larissa N. Niec ¦ The Interstitial Arts Foundation Says:

      [...] (Ed.: The ninth profile in our Interstitial March project features IAF Executive Board member Larissa Niec. Previous profiles in this series have included Stephen H. Segal, Felice Kuan, Wendy Ellertson, Deborah Atherton, Erin Underwood, Ellen Kushner, Delia Sherman and Geoffrey Long.) [...]

    3. Meet the IAF: Christopher Barzak ¦ The Interstitial Arts Foundation Says:

      [...] (Ed.: Continuing our series of profiles of IAF people, Christopher Barzak is both a member of the IAF Working Group and, with Delia Sherman, the co-editor of Interfictions 2, our 2009 anthology of interstitial fiction. Previous profiles in this series have included Larissa N. Niec, Stephen H. Segal, Felice Kuan, Wendy Ellertson, Deborah Atherton, Erin Underwood, Ellen Kushner, Delia Sherman and Geoffrey Long.) [...]

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