Synopses & Reviews
If it is true that the test of a first-rate mind is its ability to hold two contradictory ideas at the same time, then we live in a century when it takes a first-rate mind just to get through the day. We have unprecedented access to information; cognitive dissonance is a banner headline in our morning papers and radiates silently from our computer screens. Slipstream, poised between literature and popular culture, embraces the dissonance.
These ambitious stories of visionary strangeness defy the conventions of science fiction. Tales by Michael Chabon, Karen Joy Fowler, Jonathan Lethem, Carol Emshwiller, George Saunders, and others pull the reader into a vivid dreamspace and embrace the knowledge that life today is increasingly surreal.
"This primarily reprint anthology attempts to define 'Slipstream' as the 'literature of cognitive dissonance and of strangeness triumphant,' with examples showcasing the work of various mainstream and genre writers. Highlights include Bruce Sterling's 'The Little Magic Shop,' an allegorical fantasy story; Jonathan Lethem's 'Light and the Sufferer,' which uses the SF trope of superior aliens to comment on a story of character; Ted Chiang's 'Hell Is the Absence of God,' which presents a believably horrific picture of God's lack of compassion; Kelly Link's 'The Specialist's Hat,' which plays with the ghost story form; and Michael Chabon's 'The God of Dark Laughter,' a reinvention of Lovecraftian horror. Original to this volume is M. Rickert's 'You Have Never Been Here Before,' which the editors believe is an example of what slipstream does best by being 'hauntingly familiar and very, very strange.' While these intriguing stories (and accompanying essays) may not be enough to define the canon of a new subgenre, they provide plenty of good reading. (July)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Don't stop until all have been read." Booklist
Intending to establish a canon for the controversial slipstream science-fiction subgenre, the editors of this anthology have brought together a group of convention-defying tales set in vivid and disorienting dreamscapes that offer no distinction between reality and hallucination. A cross between the literary surrealism of Franz Kafka and escapist-popular-fiction, this ambitious new species sometimes also called interstitial fiction is exemplified here in stories by Carol Emshwiller, Karen Joy Fowler, Jonathan Lethem, and George Saunders.
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"For fans of surreal David Lynch and Wim Wenders films. Highlight: Lethem's crack-smoking aliens." Entertainment Weekly"This book is a joy, and could easily become a staple of college syllabi in the not-so-distant future." Time Out Chicago "Whether you're interested in the boundaries of slipstream or not, Feeling Very Strange is a terrific collection of stories." Intergalactic Medicine Show"If you would like to understand this phenomenon called slipstream, then this is definitely the book for you." SFRevu"The genre-defining collection for the genre that deliberately defies definition.... Lots of great stories here." The Agony Column "Worth buying? Well if you want to be the hippest cat on the block, then yes." SFCrowsnest.com"A collection of the vanguard of the strange." SF Site"Unique, challenging, engaging, and excellent stories . . . a triumph." Fantasy Magazine