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Slipstream Ponderings - Michael M Jones

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June 17th, 2006


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01:52 am - Slipstream Ponderings
As one might guess, I've developed something of a mild personal interest in the whole "slipstream" concept, based on my involvement of an anthology of the same name.
The publication of another book that claims to be even more definitive where "slipstream" is concerned (Feeling Very Strange, by James Patrick Kelly and John Kessel) has apparently sparked some interesting debate in various places. (Go here for more: http://14theditch.livejournal.com/)

It's interesting. I don't know what to think. I don't think I know nearly enough about slipstreams after all. Maybe after some lengthy thought and studying of the Kessel/Kelly book, I'll have answers. Anyone have some wisdom to share? Anyone think that "my" anthology is really slipstream, or would a better name have suited it?

I'm not going to pretend that "Claus of Death" is breaking down the literary barriers. It's urban fantasy with mystery tones. It's fantasy/mythology meets noir detective. It's Santa Claus by way of Ross McDonald's Lew Archer (with Harris Yulin as the narrating voice...)
And it's fun. I'm hoping to sell more of Nick St. Claus' adventures. But it still leaves me wondering just what slipstream is, and how one can really figure out what stories belong in that category.

Ran across a pair of reviews for Slipstreams.
The first, http://www.myshelf.com/scifi_fantasy/06/slipstreams.htm is a fairly positive look at the collection. Nick gets a kinda-mention, which pleases me.

The second, http://www.davidchess.com/words/revs/slipstreams.html is a very lukewarm entry that makes me wonder A) If the author reads much SF/Fantasy at all, and B) if they made any effort to actually enjoy themself while reading it. Oh, and C) why the author bothered writing about the book if it evoked such a passive, unenthusiastic reaction. (Me, I only review something if I like/love, or hate/loathe it. The stuff in the middle isn't worth the energy. Of course, there's lots that I like or hate that doesn't get reviewed, but I only have so much time and energy...) On the bright side, this review also managed to make note of Nick.

So, out of the three Slipstreams reviews I know of, they've all at least mentioned my story, either directly or indirectly. What's this suggest to me? Well, the idea of Santa Claus as an eggnog-swilling, down-and-out P.I. seems to be unusual enough to attract attention. This is good. I like attention. I musta done something right. Now to just do it many more times.
Current Mood: contemplativecontemplative

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[User Picture]
From:ellen_kushner
Date:August 7th, 2006 06:49 pm (UTC)
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Congrats on your story publication! May there be many more.

I think there's often confusion between "slipstream" and just plain fusion - fusion is when you take one or more recognizable genres, and mix them together so that they complement each other. What slipstream is, I'm not exactly sure, since I've been spending the last couple of years trying to outline "Interstitial Arts" (see various essays up at the IAF website - and come join our discussion board!) . . . but I know that when someone asked Gavin Grant on a panel "What's the difference between Slipstream and Interstitial?" he replied, "Nobody at a Mystery convention gives a __ about Slipstream." Seriously; we feel Interstitial is kind of the Connective Tissue between a lot of different movements, including Slipstream. Hope you'll come check us out!

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