I’ll be teaching this…

I'll be teaching this Saturday (4/3) in Chicago at the Guild Complex: Women and New Media Conference.

Larissa Lai will be giving a keynote performance this Friday (her excellent novel Salt Fish Girl was on the short list for last year's Tiptree Award). On Saturday, there'll be a sequence of workshops, including mine:

In this class, participants will review the current state of the speculative fiction field, considering the recent explosion of zines, chapbooks, and online publications, along with more traditional magazines and anthologies. What are editors looking for these days? And what do the terms 'slipstream' and 'interstitial' fiction mean? A brief review of submission protocols for online and print publications, including appropriate cover letters for short fiction, and the advisability of simultaneous submissions will be given. Finally, workshop participants will be provided with a set of helpful materials, including a list of useful market guidelines and other informative sites.

More details on the site!

(Oh, and Jed? If you could tell me what 'slipstream' and 'interstitial' mean sometime before Saturday, that'd be great! :-)

2 thoughts on “I’ll be teaching this…”

  1. Your wish is my command. I shall explain these difficult concepts through the miracle of the Internet, and thereby prove that everyone disagrees on what the terms mean.

    1. Bruce Sterling defines slipstream in his seminal 1989 essay on the topic. Problem: he defines it several different ways, and everyone who’s read the essay for the past twenty-five years has come away with a different idea of what Sterling was talking about.

    2. In 2001, Hartman discusses genre and incidentally attempts to provide an overview of various definitions of slipstream. He pretty much ignores the term “insterstitial.”

    3. In late 2003, Jim Kelly writes an Asimov’s column on slipstream, asking Jeff VanderMeer and Rich Horton to define it. They give different definitions.

    4. Meanwhile, the Interstitial Arts quasi-movement has been quietly gathering steam for years, having (apparently) subsumed the Young Trollopes and the Endicott Studio folks. They present information about interstitiality on panels at conventions, leaving audiences variously inspired, bemused, and/or irritated.

    5. In late 2003, as people start to hear about the soon-to-launch Interstitial Arts Foundation website, argument erupts all over the sf-writing parts of the Net about what “interstitiality” really is and whether the term means anything useful at all. A bunch of interesting people discuss the question at great length in Nick Mamatas’s Night Shade Books forum, among many other places. Many harsh words are bandied about all around.

    6. Some people just plain don’t like slipstream; other people argue with them.

    7. The IAF website launches. Various people disagree about whether it does or doesn’t usefully define “interstitial.”

    8. Rich Horton mentions that Nick writes slipstream, and Nick objects vehemently.

    9. Haddayr asks “What is ‘slipstream’?” and Nick (among others) replies.

    10. I may as well mention that there’ve been running arguments all through most of the above about other genre movements and boundaries, such as the “New Weird” stuff. For a recent example, Luís Rodrigues discusses Nick’s take on New Weird.

    Conclusion: Your guess is at least as good as mine (and everyone else’s) as to exactly what the terms mean. But if you pick a definition (and/or explicitly refuse to define the terms) and argue your point of view, at least you’ll be in good company.

  2. Perfect! I shall make this information up into a handout and distribute it to my class, refusing to answer any further questions on the subject. That should do nicely. Love you.

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