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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.
    Now [...]

    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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  • Life Between Borders

    Will Shetterly, 2003

    Crossing from Canada into the U.S., I was arrested for possession of hashish found in the car that I drove. I was at the border; federal charges applied, not state ones. Instead of a misdemeanor, I faced a felony. Instead of a fine, I faced hard time.

    I tell you this because life’s dangerous between borders.

    After I hired a lawyer and learned that I’m one of those who fail polygraphs when telling the truth, the woman who lost the hash heard what had happened and confessed. The Ontario Provincial Police sent their report to the U.S. Since the hash was discovered outside of Canada, she wasn’t charged by the O.P.P., and my charges were dropped by the U.S.

    I tell you this because rules work differently between borders. That can be to your advantage.

    I tell you this because life’s dangerous between borders.

    I first noticed genre borders in libraries: a rocket ship on the spine meant one thing, a cowboy hat meant another.

    I first found artists crossing genre borders in comic books and B-movies: Billy the Kid could face Dracula, a World War II tank crew could be advised by J. E. B. Stuart’s ghost.

    I first found artistic borders in English class: fiction is about story, literature is about style.

    I first found artists crossing artistic borders in genre fiction: most Nebula winners in science fiction, most Spur Award winners in westerns, writers like Chandler and John D. McDonald in mysteries.

    But the writers who crossed the borders of art usually stayed within the borders of their genres, and the writers who crossed the borders of genre usually cared more about story than style.

    When I tried to write my first novel, I started a naturalistic story inspired by my childhood at a Florida tourist attraction called Dog Land. I wrote some pages, got frustrated, and decided I would never be a writer. Then I started a naturalistic coming-of-age story inspired by my teen years as a poor kid who was expelled from an exclusive prep school. I wrote some pages, got frustrated —

    So I decided to write something that felt safe, a fantasy adventure called Cats Have No Lord. Witch Blood was another fantasy adventure, but I used a first-person voice inspired by Robert B. Parker. Both books were easy to sell, though I hadn’t written them with the market in mind. I wrote them because I was afraid to try something more artistically dangerous.

    Then I wanted to fuse science fiction and fantasy, to create a book that could be either. The Tangled Lands is my problem child: it ended up being more science fiction than fantasy, not both. Marketing it was a disaster: the cover has a man teleporting next to a unicorn. Elsewhere and Nevernever are both set in Terri Windling’s Bordertown. I love the setting because the city’s in the Borderlands between Faerie and the World. The implication is that magic works on one side, science on the other, and both work oddly in Bordertown. I love its borderness, its sense of unpredictability, its focus on the border and its lack of interest in the equally mundane worlds of science and magic.

    With Dogland, I was finally ready to write about my childhood. I kept two models in mind: Marquez’s novel One Hundred Years of Solitude and Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird. And I decided to try a different version of the game I had played with The Tangled Lands: I wanted this to be a work of ambiguous fantasy, so readers could decide for themselves whether they were reading a gothic tale or a realistic story about a boy at a tourist attraction who gets caught up in the civil rights struggle.

    Dogland has had three editions so far. Its hardcover suggests it’s a quirky contemporary novel. The trade paperback suggests it’s a quiet literary novel. The young adult paperback suggests it’s a weird kid’s adventure. I like them all.

    After Dogland, I didn’t know what to do. I felt like it was my best work; why write something inferior? Then I realized that "best" is a matter for readers, not writers. Chimera is a science fiction mystery that uses genetically altered creatures and the tropes of film noir. Thor’s Hammer is a historical fantasy about three boys from San Francisco in 1876 who go to the land of the Norse gods.

    Now I’m writing The Secret Academy, a sequel to Dogland. Part of it is set at a prep school. The rest is in Jesus’s Galilee and Jerusalem. I don’t know how it’ll be marketed. I can’t care now, while I’m writing it. The artist’s job is to make something new. Let the marketers decide how to sell it.

    To me, Interstitial Arts is a formal recognition of an ancient phenomenon: in every creative area, you find artists who need to explore the boundaries they see. Just last night, I had dinner at Cafe Roka, one of Arizona’s most highly praised (but reasonably priced!) restaurants. Their wine menu has a paragraph suggesting people order what they like and not be bound by other people’s conventions of what wine goes with a particular dish.

    Take what you like. Use it how you will. Don’t be afraid of failure. Delight in success.

    If there’s better advice for artists, I don’t know it.

    finish line

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