Since the publication of Interfictions 2, the book has been receiving some glowing attention in the press. Here are a few of our favorite clippings so far.
"Interfictions 2 will appeal to readers (and writers) who lurk on the borderline between speculative fiction and literature. As Alaya Dawn Johnson writes in her contributor's note, 'It's in the spaces between the pieces of the puzzle that the reader finds a story'; while this was written as a commentary on The Score, it can also apply to Interfictions 2 as a whole. Many of the stories have a devil-may-care brio to them the verve of knowing that their experiments might not hold completely together and that gives the book a freshness and insouciance that many 'best of'-type anthologies don't have."
"The thing that immediately struck me when I had finished reading the collection was the sheer variety of the stories contained within. Nothing is off limits here from a house that travels across country to avenge an apparent murder, to a narrator who has an angel attached to his shoulder, to post apocalyptic societies and everything in between. This is both the collection's strength, and a possible weakness if 'interstitial' becomes a genre in itself, a thing the collection is trying to avoid."
"If you're familiar with only one genre, you might suppose this book compiled stories crossbred from many genres. Perhaps a historical mystery set in Celtic Britain or a lesbian romantic suspense story or a Southern gothic fantasy/mystery like HBO's True Blood and so on. If you're familiar with many genres, you might expect experimental/avant-garde fiction. It may be safely said that Interfictions 2: An Anthology of Interstitial Writing, edited by Delia Sherman and Christopher Barzak, will shatter such expectations. And it does so in a way that may disappoint: it's an anthology of literary fantasy."
"Interfictions 2 is a great example of how many different forms Interfictions can take. For myself I thought for some reason Interfictions had to be science fiction in some way but that is so so so wrong. It's simply skirting genres and bending traditional literary 'rules' there are many stories in this anthology with no science fiction or 'fantasy' at all."
"Interfictions 2 not only did a fine job of presenting interesting stories, it filled the gap left by the erratic publishing schedule of the Polyphony anthology series, while also seeming more focused and accessible. In a generally conservative publishing environment, the Interfictions series now serves as an important bastion for new writers, both as an anthology with an open reading period and for its encouragement, like such online venues as Strange Horizons and Clarkesworld, of risk-taking. Such safe harbors are essential."
"Interfictions 2: An Anthology of Interstitial Writing performs the paradoxical feat of containing what does not want to be contained: a collection of inventive, genre-flouting stories that unnerve as much as they delight."
"At first I thought [M. Rickert's 'The Beautiful Feast'] was a ghost story based on the first few paragraphs. But I'd finished my latté at the coffee shop where I read, so I put the book down and went home. The next day I picked it up again, and re-read from the beginning. And then I wasn't so sure it was a ghost story."
"Risk is at the heart of this collection. It takes a measure of courage to bite into Interfictions 2. Finishing one story, you can make no assumptions about the next. You're in a different ballpark, a different sport, and speaking a different language. The stories are narrated by sentient houses, or slowly unfolded by transcripts of government surveillance. They halt you mid-step and go sideways in time. They're told in ways that defy your experience. Interfictions 2 covers topics you haven't seen before (or often), because stories like these don't cluster in noticeable groups. They scrape the rim of things. Every time I finished one, I had to put the book down and focus on the lingering aftertaste of something wholly unexpected."
"What's interesting about a collection of 'interfictions,' aka 'interstitial fictions,' is that this isn't just another descriptor (e.g., new wave fabulism, new weird, slipstream, paraspheres, fill-in-the-blank) made up by an editor or a marketing department or critic that subsequently becomes blogosphere fodder about how inaccurate and/or stupid it is. Rather, interfictions is the self-proclaimed terminology of an actual organization that sponsors not only this second volume of what presumably is an ongoing anthology series, but promotes all kinds of 'interstitial' literary, musical, visual and performance arts."
"This anthology celebrates its cross-genre concept as much as its content, with a lengthy introduction, contributor notes, and afterword. Will Ludwigsen's lovely, melancholy "Remembrance is Something Like a House" combines paranormal and true crime elements. Alaya Dawn Johnson's dystopian "The Score" reads like a post-9/11 Twilight Zone episode. A scientist tries to prevent a world war in Elizabeth Ziemska's winsome "Count Poniatowski and the Beautiful Chicken." Stephanie Shaw's strong and earthy writing grounds her story of dragons and a four-headed obstetrician in "Afterbirth." ... Fans of the first Interfictions anthology will dig it."
"The distinction between Interstitial Fiction and other genres isn't such a big deal to me although the introduction by Henry Jenkins makes for a compelling argument as to why this genre (or rather, lack of a distinct genre) is appropriate for this generation of readers. For me, this is simply a collection of great stories, each of which tries something different and unconventional."
"If anyone else feels like we're still drowning in slipstream or, rather, drowning in definitions of slipstream this follow-up to the 2007 anthology Interfictions certainly won't offer any easy answers to the question of what's been going on lately with all this genre-bending stuff. What Interfictions 2 does offer is a set of stories that, if united by only the most tenuous thematic and generic threads, couldn't be more worth reading. Indeed, the folks at Small Beer Press and the Interstitial Arts Foundation have once again produced an enormously rich anthology that takes an almost manic diversity for its guiding principle, not so much in order to provide something for everyone, but seemingly to include something from just about everywhere."
"Of course I don't read interstitial fiction for interstiality's sake. At the end of the day, I ask, did I enjoy this story, and did the form suit the function? In the case of Interfictions 2: An Anthology of Interstitial Writing, it's a resounding yes. There's no bad story here, and only a few are what I consider barely above mediocre. A lot are standouts and favorites (although not the "best of the best") such as 'The War Between Heaven and Hell Wallpaper' by Jeffrey Ford, 'The Beautiful Feast' by M. Rickert, 'The Two of Me' by Ray Vukcevich, 'Black Dog: A Biography' by Peter M. Ball, 'Child-Empress of Mars' by Theodora Goss, and various other authors that I've never heard of (making this a doubly pleasant read). And when it comes to agenda, as Jetse de Vries pointed out, there's a couple of 'international writers' (whether by descent or actual nationality) in this book and one only needs to read their stories to affirm how richer the book is for their inclusion, as opposed to simply being a token presence. (The Anglophone presence is also great.)"
How to Order Interfictions 2
Interfictions 2 is now available from Small Beer Press, Powell's and Amazon, and via IndieBound. The book was published on November 3rd, 2009 from Small Beer Press and was named one of Amazon.com's Top 10 Books of 2009: Science Fiction & Fantasy.