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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.
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    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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  • Meet the IAF: Ellen Kushner
    by Ellen | March 10th, 2010 |
    Ellen Kushner

    1. Who are you, and what do you do?

    I’ve never been happy with pigeonholes, boxes or categories; maybe that’s why I run so many different careers all at once! I’m a fiction writer who’s won a weird range of awards, a public radio host (ditto), and I also love performing live, an itch I scratch with everything from MC’ing live multi-cultural, multi-format music performances to lecturing on a range of subjects. I’ve also written myself two one-woman shows, and most recently have performed in the theatrical adaptation of my own children’s book, The Klezmer Nutcracker, for Vital Theatre . . . next I play Gertrude in a reading of the “bad” quarto of Hamlet for Extant Arts NYC in June 2010.

    After years of trying to avoid any position of responsibility, I’m now doing my time as President of the Interstitial Arts Foundation, with a minor in Publicity, Promotion, and roping others into doing stuff for IAF. Interested?

    2. What first attracted you to the interstitial arts?

    Years ago I realized that a lot of the work I enjoy most – from novels to music to performance pieces to visual arts/crafts – flies under the radar of the general public. Due, in part, to the Evil (yet unavoidable) Forces of Marketing, which require rigid categorization to tell consumers what they want, wonderful stuff was being missed by people who would love it a lot. And what’s more, once the work got out there, the poor critics & reviewers would waste tons of ink trying to figure out where to place a work, instead of just engaging with it on its own terms. Here are some examples of what ensues:

    “I saw the greatest band last night!”
    “Really? What was it?”
    “Well, kind of trad Celtic folk – but not really, because they also used a Greek bouzouki, only it was electric, and sometimes they sang in Yiddish, only the Romanian gypsy fiddler was also doing these kind of New Music meets Bluegrass riffs…..”
    “So what is it?” Argh.

    So a few years ago, some friends and I sat down and founded the IAF. I wrote that up here (and maybe this is a good place to say that, while IAF sometimes gets categorized (argh! that word!) as a subset of science fiction/fantasy/fantastic literature, that was never our vision or our intent).
    And, yeah, I’m the one who insisted on using the term “interstitial,” despite some opposition – so blame me if it gives you trouble. (Or thank me if you’ve expanded your boundaries!)

    3. Do you consider any of your own work to be interstitial?

    Most of my work is hard to categorize. I’m one of the lucky ones, in that it still gets published and broadcast, despite that. But it has trouble finding its audience, and sometimes it has meant shoving a rhomboid peg in a round hole.

    For instance, my first novel, Swordspoint, was rejected by many “mainstream” publishers; they didn’t know what to call it, but they thought it might be fantasy, while all the fantasy publishers were sure it wasn’t.* It was eventually published and marketed in a fantasy list, and caused a minor critical scandal because it had an ambiguous hero and no magic. To this day, many genre fantasy readers profess themselves genuinely offended by my work because it doesn’t follow genre conventions, genre rhetoric, and doesn’t deliver on genre expectations. But are mainstream readers flocking to read it? Hell, no, because most of them wouldn’t be caught dead in the Fantasy section of their bookstore. And yet . . . Well, over the years, it’s become kind of a ritual: Friends or public radio colleagues or relatives borrow one of my books because they’re curious, and return it with the ritual response: “I don’t usually like this kind of stuff – but this was good!” I’ve learned to say “Thank you” and shut up.

    My weekly public radio series Sound & Spirit was similarly hard to place. When it launched nationally in 1996, the first thing program directors would ask was, “Is this a music show or a news & information show?” to which the only right answer, of course, was “Yes.” S&S covers a lot of territory, artistic and emotional. It crosses a lot of boundaries – in fact, in our 7th season I finally got to explore that in an actual show on “Borderlands” (go here, click on Episodes & scroll down)!

    *All this was in 1987; by now, there are many such novels, usually published in-genre, and labeled “Historical Fantasy” and/or “Fantasy of Manners” (or even “Mannerpunk”!). So is Swordspoint still “interstitial”? As we like to say in the IAF, “interstitiality’s a moving target” and “it’s on a continuum.” But, hey – there’s a Comments section here if you have an opinion. Interested?

    finish line

    3 Responses to “Meet the IAF: Ellen Kushner”

    1. [dave] Says:

      (Lovely introduction…off to Google “mannerpunk”!)

    2. Ellen Kushner Says:

      Thanks, Dave! I kinda sweated over this, so it’s good to know you liked it enough to comment.

      “Flotsam & Jetpacks” – cool! Stick around; comment some more!

    3. Meet the IAF: Felice Kuan ¦ The Interstitial Arts Foundation Says:

      [...] (Ed.: For the sixth profile in our Interstitial March project, please welcome IAF Executive Board member Felice Kuan. Previous profiles in this series have included Wendy Ellertson, Deborah Atherton, Erin Underwood, Ellen Kushner, Delia Sherman and Geoffrey Long.) [...]

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