Fantasy Magazine posted a new review of Interfictions 2 by Cynthia Ward, which compliments the overall quality of the stories and highlights a few specific pieces. It’s a good review. However, it labels Interfictions 2 as being “an anthology of literary fantasy” that may disappoint people who are “looking for experimental/avant garde fiction” or “stories crossbred from many genres.”
It’s not altogether surprising that Interfictions 2 garners the literary fantasy label since many of the stories include fantastic elements that are common to the fantasy genre. In another review, by a blogger called “King Rat”, the reviewer says, “The content seemed to be consistently playing with the boundaries between fantasy and realism.” Even Amazon recently chose Interfictions 2 as one of the Top 10 Science Fiction and Fantasy Books of 2009.
The composition of an interstitial anthology is complicated by the cross-genre nature of the stories chosen. Grouping interstitial stories together creates the potential for a larger theme to develop within the work, which may affect how readers interpret the collection as a whole. While each Interfictions 2 story blends multiple genres, the use of fantasy elements is the common denominator for several stories within the anthology. The stories in question incorporate a wide variety of elements from other genres, not just fantasy. As a result, they defy the traditional definition of fantasy literature just as they defy the classification of crime fiction, personal essays, science fiction, etc.
One of the most intriguing aspects of the reviews from Fantasy Magazine and King Rat is the unasked question, “Where are the writers who incorporate other genres into their fiction?” It’s an excellent question. Where are the interstitial writers whose work crosses into historical fiction, biography, romance, comics, history, true crime, etc? Is there a composer somewhere who has written sheet music to a piece of flash fiction? Is there a graphic novelist who includes long sections of true crime poetry in his work?
Rat ends his review with an interesting statement. He says, “For all I know, authors in other genres may not be interested in writing this sort of thing.” We’re sure those authors are out there. Writers love to experiment, but rarely find a venue to publish work that doesn’t fit firmly within an established genre.
Finding interstitial writers (as well as musicians, artists, performers, etc.) is part of the mission of the IAF. In fact, one of our goals for 2010 is to reach out to writers and artists in other genres who haven’t yet heard of us. If you know an author who writes outside, around, and through the box, we’d love to know about him.
The IAF’s greatest resource is our friends. We’d love to hear your thoughts on what other interstitial writing is out there that we haven’t yet tapped. Who are some of your favorite writers who have written pieces that defy the genre label? Please leave a comment for this post and share your thoughts.
To read more Interfictions 2 reviews, please visit the Interfictions 2 press page.