10 January 2013

Book review: Interfictions

Interfictions, edited by Delia Sherman and Theodora Goss, 2007, Interstitial Arts Foundation

What is interstitial fiction? The introduction by Heinz Insu Fenkl and the interview with the editors try to put a point on it, but the answer seems to be "I know it when I see it." It's about liminality, fuzzy borders, and being between things. Some stories are on the border between magical realism and fantasy; others are about characters who are liminal or liminal places.

My favorites in this collection were "Black Feather" by K. Tempest Bradford, "A Drop of Raspberry" by Csilla Kleinheincz, and "What We Know About the Lost Families of ---- House" by Christopher Barzak.

"Black Feather" reminded me a bit of Princess Tutu, because it seemed to be about fairy tales and changing the story that's been written.

"A Drop of Raspberry" was about a lake awakened by a man throwing himself in after his wife left him. The lake becomes human.

"The Lost Families" was a haunted house story, but it was a little more, too. The author's note at the end says it was inspired by his return to his hometown after a while away and realizing how he'd changed over time.

"Burning Beard" was also interesting, because it has Joseph (of the dreams) dreaming of Moses and the future of the Hebrew people and finding it terrifying.

Some of the stories weren't really my thing, and I thought some were a bit twee. I wish I'd liked "Emblemata" more than I did, because the idea--a lost/wandering god talks with a traveler in 1931 near the Buddhas of Bamiyan, now destroyed by the Afghan Taliban--appeals to me, but it's more a philosophical treatise than a story, which isn't my thing.

All in all, it's an interesting collection of stories, and I enjoyed reading it. I recommend it to anyone who wants to expand their reading horizons beyond the Usual Genre Stories.

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