Blog Categories
  • Visit our Indiegogo campaign!

  • Support the IAF!

    The Interstitial Arts Foundation needs your support. Click here to donate and become a Friend of the IAF!

  • @InterstitialArt

  • About the IAF

    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!

  • Latest IAF News

    IAF INTERFICTIONS ONLINE INDIEGOGO CAMPAIGN ends above target goal

    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.

    [...]

  • Featured IAF News

  • Events

    Interstitial Indy

    Sunday, Nov. 25

    Interstitial Indy

    7-11PM
    Indiana Writers’ Center
    812 E 67th Street
    Indianapolis, IN
    (off College Ave. just behind The Indianapolis Art Center in the Cultural Complex Building)

  • Recent Posts

  • Recent Comments

  • Archives

  • Categories

  • Meta

  • Is Interfictions 2 “Literary Fantasy”?
    by Erin | March 3rd, 2010 |
    Interfictions 2

    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.

    finish line

    6 Responses to “Is Interfictions 2 “Literary Fantasy”?”

    1. Geoffrey Says:

      To a certain extent, I suspect that this is a case of a fantasy specialist looking at Interfictions 2 and seeing fantasy; a science fiction specialist might look at it and see sci-fi, or a literature professor might look at it and see literature. This is not to say that the Interfictions books (and the IAF) haven’t been pretty heavily fantasy-leaning so far, but like you said, we’re working on that.

    2. Chandra Says:

      I find it interesting that some of my favorite authors who deal in the fantastic are not categorized as such, like Angela Carter and Alice Hoffman. To find their work one must raid the literature section. This seems to point to the difficulty that the industry has in seeing beyond categories. As fantasy appears to be the point of fixation in the review, it cannot be underscored too much the vast array of work that is deemed “fantasy”. Can one seriously accept that the mythic fiction of Charles de Lint belongs alongside the Dragonlance series? The term “fantasy” is currently forced to mean too many things, and the issue of categorization, or the need to categorize, seems to lie at the heart of the problem.

    3. Kaolin Fire (GUD Magazine) Says:

      The writers are definitely out there; as are the publishers, the readers, etc. :)

      Crossed Genres is a magazine that pushes their contribs to bend and/or mix different genres every issue, and they have no shortage of submissions. I recommend checking them out. :)

      Greatest Uncommon Denominator Magazine takes a slightly different approach, making the magazine a blend of genres (though we’ll gleefully take pieces that genre-bend as well), trying to broaden the horizons of our readers (trying to publish selections that don’t fall into “comfortable reading” for any given genre; trying to publish selections that don’t set off “oh, this is a space opera” flags to folks who don’t tend to care for that genre, etc.).

    4. Erin Says:

      Thanks, Kaolin. I’m adding these magazines to our literature web page this weekend!

    5. Nebula Nominees, Official and Otherwise ¦ The Interstitial Arts Foundation Says:

      [...] Although I’d argue that interstitiality is much, much more than “literary fantasy”, the official 2009 Nebula award ballot is full of such interstitial friends and fellow travelers as China Mieville (The City and The City), Jeff VanderMeer (Finch), Interfictions 2 co-editor Christopher Barzak (The Love We Share Without Knowing), James Morrow (Shambling Towards Hiroshima), Scott Westerfeld (Leviathan) and Catherynne M. Valente (The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland In A Ship Of Her Own Making). John DeNardo at SFSignal brilliantly went one step further, however, and asked the nominees: “If your work couldn’t have been on the ballot this year, what work would you have liked in its place?” [...]

    6. Genre: a moving target? ¦ The Interstitial Arts Foundation Says:

      [...] To me, this could be a comment on the angst we’re having over people’s reading of “interstitial fiction” (as expressed in our anthology, Interfictions 2), as being on the far edge of contemporary f/sf, and not something that transcends genre (see “Is Interfictions 2 “Literary Fantasy?”).  After all, even genre definitions move:  that “far edge” didn’t even exist 10+ yrs ago when we first decided the world needed an Interstitial Arts Movement.  So where are we now? [...]

    Post a Comment