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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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  • ≡ IAF Press

    The Interstitial Arts Foundation has received a gracious amount of coverage in the popular press. Below we’ve included a few of our recent clippings.

    Fantasy That Doesn’t Fit
    by Anya Martin, Mythic Passages, Winter 2009

    I am sure the editors may wish to make a case why this anthology of “interstitial” stories shouldn’t be classified as fantasy, so I want to start by saying that I have no intention of pigeonholing it as such. But because it is co-edited by Delia Sherman who is best known as a fantasy author, many members of the Interstitial Arts Foundation (IAF) come from fantasy, and most of the stories have an otherworldly element, a case can be made that it will appeal especially to those who love fantasy literature but also are frustrated by its general lack of creativity in recent years or are drawn to less-American approaches such as works of magical realism or fiction by Jonathan Carroll and Milan Kundera.

    Walking the White Road: An Interview with Tania Hershman
    by Tim Jones, Books in the Trees, November 26, 2008

    I did hope I was writing mostly what is called “literary fiction”, which is incredibly hard to define and might be best defined as generally being the opposite of commercial fiction and more concerned with the quality of the writing and with language than with page-turning plots. But as to where it fits now, I am waiting to see what readers think. I have been told that some of the stories remind people of science fiction. I had a long discussion on Vanessa Gebbie’s blog about magical realism but am unsure whether some of my stories fall under that heading. Some of the stories are “realist”, sort of. So, I guess the long answer is yes, my stories tend to fall between, rather than within, genres as they are currently defined.

    I am most definitely attracted to interstitial fiction. It has a wonderful appeal, that it doesn’t fit neatly into anywhere. I don’t like neat and tidy. I like things that shake up the establishment, writing that can’t be easily labelled. If I am in this category, I am delighted to be here! I have only read one anthology that was defined as interstitial (although �defined� seems like the wrong word!); the Interfictions anthology published by the Interstitial Arts Foundation. I enjoyed it greatly, but it seemed to chime with a lot of what I already love to read � stuff I would call surreal, irreal, magical realist, stories you can find in publications such as Cafe Irreal, Sleepingfish, Conjunctions.

    The Nebula Awards: Delia Sherman Interview
    by Charles Tan, The Nebula Awards, November 11, 2008

    In your opinion, what are the strengths of interstitial fiction?

    Interstitial art, art that draws from a number of established genres to create its effects, is how art grows. To stick to literary examples, where would SF be without the hybrid of the gothic and the scientific paper that is Frankenstein? Where would contemporary fantasy be without the self-conscious melding of myth and epic poetry and modern adventure novel that is The Lord of the Rings? These things are genres now, but they weren�t when they were written. The interstitial works that are too odd, too out there (Lawrence Sterne�s Tristram Shandy is a good example), tend to stand alone, the end as they are the beginnings of their literary lines. Others spawn genres of their own. It�s happening all the time, at every level of culture. Remember when mysteries with vampires and werewolves plus romance was something only Laurel K. Hamilton wrote?

    The Go-Betweens
    by Adrienne Martini, Baltimore City Paper, May 30, 2007

    Interfictions: An Anthology of Interstitial Writing, edited by Delia Sherman and Theodora Goss, doesn’t clear up the mystery of the label’s meaning all that much. According to the back copy, interstitial art is “work that falls in the interstices &emdash;�between the cracks &emdash; of recognized commercial genres…[it] wanders across borders without stopping at Customs to declare its intent.” Think of it as the airport, an interstitial location that most readers know, of fiction. Only this airport is your intended destination.

    The 19 stories contained within Interfictions serve as examples but not as points of an argument that could lead to a listing in a Funk and Wagnalls. The airport analogy only holds for so long, once you start to read these tales and realize that the one aspect that binds them together is their lack of convenient genre markers. Perhaps interstitiality is like porn. You know it when you see it.

    Tale of a Blackbird
    by Adrienne Martini, Bookslut, Feburary 2007

    Priest�s work isn�t really straight-up horror. Instead, it starts to nibble around the edges of interstitiality, where it�s easier to define what it isn’t than what it is.

    Perhaps the best-known interstitial author would be Gabriel Garcia Marquez. While his works have quite a few of the trappings of genre fantasy, you�d be hard pressed to slap that label on them. Instead, we call his writing magical realism, which seems like a convenient label to bridge both genres. But “magical realism” seems like simply another way to describe “interstitial.” Or, if this description pleases you more, Cherie Priest also writes magical realism � but about Southern Appalachia rather than Latin America.

    The Interstitial Arts Foundation
    by Chandra Cerchione-Peltier, Faerie Magazine, Winter 2007

    How does one shelve a book that has elements of the mythic, of horror, of perhaps even romance, and yet can argue a place for itself in the literature section, that is to say, a book that defies categories? This was precisely the question plaguing novelists Ellen Kushner, Delia Sherman, and other colleagues one otherwise pleasant afternoon in the mid-nineties. In an industry that often relies on clearly defined genres for the purposes of trying to match an author to an audience, these fashioners of literary fairytales found that their work was meeting with resistance: �When our work is published in genre,� remembers Ellen Kushner, the award-winning author of Thomas the Rhymer and host of the national public radio show, PRI�s Sound and Spirit, �it finds a faithful audience � except for those who are utterly baffled by the fact that it fails to follow the rhetoric of strict genre fantasy, and complain bitterly. When we submit it out of genre, we�re told it contains too many non-realistic elements � code for �it has Fantasy Cooties.� We also wax indignant on behalf of our favorite science fiction writers whose quirky, brilliant short stories fly under the radar of literary critics, and, more importantly, of the reading public.�

    The Space In-Between – Delia Sherman and Theodora Goss Interviewed
    Yatterings, November 26, 2008

    How would you describe interstitial art? Indeed, how do you define interstitial? What made it interesting to you both?

    Delia: I can�t define it. Trying to define it has gotten me into a lot of trouble with the people to whom clear definitions are important and useful. My story (and I�m sticking to it) is that Interstitial art defies precise definition. It is art that drives a critic, a reviewer, a theorist to hedging (it�s a little of this and a little of that), negative definition (it�s not this, but it�s certainly not that either), and frustration (I couldn�t figure out what it was). It�s art that forces the beholder to suspend his expectations and accept the fact that he�s not going to know where the rhetoric of the work is taking him until he gets there.

    And that�s what makes it interesting to me.

    France and the Interstitial Movement: A Video Interview with Calmann-Levy’s Sebastien Guillot
    by Jeff VanderMeer, The SF Site, December 2006

    Sebastien Guillot works for Calmann-Levy in France, editing various imprints. The most recent is an interstitial fiction imprint that features work by Sean Stewart, Ellen Kushner, myself, and many others. Sebastien was kind enough to subject himself to an interview while I was in Paris this summer. In this excerpt, he talks about his views on fantasy fiction and on publishing in France. Please also see the related interview below.

    Interview: Ellen Kushner and Delia Sherman on Sebastien Guillot and the Interstitial Arts
    by Jeff VanderMeer, The SF Site, December 2006

    Clearly, Sebastien’s Interstitial line of books is influenced by coming into contact with you and other writers connected to the Interstitial effort. How did you come to meet Sebastien and how did you come to find yourselves in agreement?

    Ellen: When I was in Paris a few years ago, my agent sent me to lunch with Sebastien because he had just bought the mass market paperback rights to Thomas the Rhymer, and she thought we should meet. It was astonishing: we were both a little nervous for about five minutes, and then we found ourselves talking and laughing like old friends. We both felt passionate about the same authors, often for the same reasons. We both love the fantastical, don’t turn up our noses at it at all… but we both care deeply about use of language, about careful craftsmanship, and that there should be a point to even the most fantastical work; they should be original, and acknowledge their existence in the present moment in time: another retread of someone else’s quest novel just isn’t enough. I think some of what makes fantasy, in particular, “interstitial” is originality. Tolkien was amazingly interstitial in 1965. Now his work has spawned a very recognizable, classifiable genre with endless repeats that are stuck in a groove. So when someone breaks out of that, and adds elements ��stylistic, setting, whatever ��that make some readers go “Huh?”, you know you’re into the interstitial realm.

    Captain Buzz
    by John Clute,, April 17, 2006

    In case it’s not made clear enough over the course of the next few paragraphs, it should be said right away that praise is due Theodora Goss, praise be. In the Forest of Forgetting ranks with Joe Hill’s 20th Century Ghosts, Glen Hirshberg’s The Two Sams (2003) and Kelly Link’s Stranger Things Happen (2001) and Magic for Beginners (*2005*) as one the finest collections of short fiction from a member of that class of authors of the 21st century who are comfortable here.

    God Bless the Internet
    by Adrienne Martini, Bookslut, July 2004

    …The Interstitial Arts Foundation, whose mission is to give artists who cross genre borders a passport to do so with impunity. Or, as writer Emma Bull, whose work has always flirted with the no-man’s-land that exists between genre territories, explains it:

    “Interstitial Arts are unorthodox. They’re out on the side streets of the mainstream art forms, out in the neighborhoods where the houses are painted purple and red and the front yard fences are made of old iron headboards or bicycle wheels. They’re the antithesis of covenants and restrictions, of the gated community.

    “That unorthodoxy sweeps away people’s preconceptions about what art is, and who is allowed to make it. Creativity isn’t some rare quality reserved for annointed artists; it’s what humans do, every day, all the time. Interstitial art slips past the boundaries that we’ve placed between ourselves and art. It dismantles the rules and assumptions that keep us from seeing our lives as a series of creative acts. By doing so, it opens the possibility that, by making things consciously, lovingly, and with our whole selves, we can change the world.”

    The wealth of material on the site, which was pointed out to me by founding member Ellen Kushner after my Bookslut column about trying to define Stephenson’s Quicksilver, is impressive and frighteningly well organized. Particularly useful are the essays about what Interstitiality is, pondered by such notables as Delia Sherman, whose Porcelain Dove is a wonderful tale that flirts with fantasy, history and romance with ease, Jeff VanderMeer, Terri Windling, Susan Stinson. But within each of these short pieces are the names of other writers whose work may be more familiar to those examining the borders, like Angela Carter, P.D. James, Tony Hillerman and Umberto Eco. On the whole, the site and its forums are heady and content-rich, and so I’ve been exploring slowly, in order to really think about each new definition of what this large corner of modern fiction looks like.

    Borderlands Between
    by Kimberly Bradford, Fortean Bureau, June 2003

    This Memorial Day weekend I attended WisCon, the feminist science fiction convention, in Madison, Wisconsin. During a panel I was introduced to a new way of thinking about art – one I immediately recognized as being in line with our editorial philosophy at the Fortean Bureau: Interstitial Art.

    Interstitial comes from the word interstice, which means to ‘stand between’ or ‘stand in the middle.’ “It generally refers to a space between things: a chink in a fence, a gap in the clouds, a DMZ between nations at war, the potentially infinite space between two musical notes, a form of writing that defies genre classification.”