genre fiction

The best chart of the shifting sea of genres that you will ever need

By Paul St John Mackintosh
March 20, 2015 // 1 Comment

Pop Chart Lab has come up with a chart that should probably be on any writer’s wall: “A Plotting of Fiction Genres,” with the genres themselves represented by … ahem … representative works, as Pop Chart Labs explains: Peruse literature’s myriad modes with this [...]

Old versus New Horror: Some illustrations

By Paul St John Mackintosh
March 5, 2015 // 1 Comment

This is a follow-up to my previous pieces on Old versus New Horror, and whether there is some kind of faceoff in the horror/dark/weird fiction community similar to developments in science fiction during that genre’s New Wave era. And specifically, I wanted to pin down what I see as the [...]

Yay WiHM 2015 because some seem set on giving women in horror an absolutely horrible time

By Paul St John Mackintosh
February 19, 2015 // 1 Comment

Sad to report, the problem of genre misogyny appears to be well and truly out of the sci-fi ghetto and stalking the halls of the horror community. And this as the 6th Annual Women in Horror Month (WiHM) kicks off for 2015. And the unhappy occasion is an anti-woman rant by a certain well-known [...]

Michael Moorcock to debut first novel in almost ten years – about Michael Moorcock

By Paul St John Mackintosh
February 17, 2015 // 0 Comments

Victor Gollancz, the renowned UK science fiction and general literature publishing imprint, has just announced the acquisition of the UK rights for The Whispering Swarm, the first novel from the pen of fantasy/weird-fiction legend Michael Moorcock in almost ten years. And its subject appears to be [...]

The Spectral Book of Horror Stories Vol. 2 open – submit if you dare!

By Paul St John Mackintosh
February 16, 2015 // 0 Comments

The first Spectral Book of Horror Stories, from independent UK publisher Spectral Press, was a particularly fine compilation of the juiciest, goriest modern horror story writing, with an explicit objective from the editor, Mark Morris, “to become a watchword for genre excellence.” [...]

Horace Walpole’s Committee of Taste and the invention of Gothic

By Paul St John Mackintosh
February 10, 2015 // 0 Comments

Georgian author, aristocrat and aesthete Horace Walpole was one of the first writers who was able to launch an aesthetic movement to match his writing, predating Sir Walter Scott and his cod-Highland pageantry, or William Morris and the Arts and Crafts Movement. And a recent visit to The Vyne in [...]

Lightspeed supports Queers Destroy Science Fiction

By Paul St John Mackintosh
February 7, 2015 // 0 Comments

One of the latest crowdfunding projects in anthology publishing has just totally destroyed its funding goal. With nine days still on the clock at the time of writing, Lightspeed Magazine presents Queers Destroy Science Fiction has reached $34,866 pledged of the $5,000 goal in its Kickstarter [...]

Man Booker rules reinforce genre apartheid

By Paul St John Mackintosh
January 14, 2015 // 0 Comments

The UK’s Man Booker Prize for Fiction has just updated its rules for eligibility for the Man Booker Prize 2015. And although many book trade professionals seem to be most exercised by changes to the timing and stocking level requirements of the rules, which they say favor publishers at the [...]

Book review: Zippered Flesh 2: More Tales of Body Enhancements Gone Bad! edited by Weldon Burge, Smart Rhino Publications

By Paul St John Mackintosh
December 15, 2014 // 0 Comments

The first Zippered Flesh anthology from Smart Rhino Publications was a delirious and often disgusting switchback ride through a very dark subgenre of horror. Zippered Flesh 2: More Tales of Body Enhancements Gone Bad! brings together 22 more extremely unsettling tales of … what it says in [...]

Book review: Academic Exercises, by K.J. Parker, Subterranean Press

By Paul St John Mackintosh
November 12, 2014 // 0 Comments

K.J. Parker is a two times World Fantasy Award-winning author, and also something of a mystery – the name is a pseudonym and the real identify of the author has never yet been revealed. The official K.J. Parker website doesn’t shed much light on the enigma, although it does list the [...]

Infodumps, POV, and sensibility: Can you avoid them and write better?

By Paul St John Mackintosh
November 11, 2014 // 0 Comments

This is a piece of early morning caffeine-fueled speculation, stemming from the superb Academic Exercises by K.J. Parker, which varies its richly detailed invented-world fantasy stories with actual (scholarly?) digressions on the history of arms and armor, etc. To my mind, this takes the principle [...]

The New Weird is the new New Wave?

By Paul St John Mackintosh
October 30, 2014 // 0 Comments

Readers like me who cut their teeth on the New Wave of science fiction of the late 1960s and 1970s will remember the intellectual and imaginative energy of that period, the freewheeling mash-up of genres, the political and social awareness, the maturity and sophistication of much of the writing [...]

Could Japan’s next big science fiction author be Godzilla?

By Paul St John Mackintosh
October 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

A slightly unorthodox take on the thesis of living your art comes in the shape of Japan’s Hoshi Award, a top science fiction prize, which is to be opened to aliens and AIs as well as humans. The Award was launched in 2013 in honor of Shinichi Hoshi (1926-97), “recognized as one of [...]

Book review: The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All: Stories, by Laird Barron, Night Shade Books

By Paul St John Mackintosh
October 27, 2014 // 0 Comments

Laird Barron’s third and most recent short story collection, The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All almost needs no introduction: it’s Laird Barron’s third collection. For many enthusiasts and proselytes of the current renaissance in dark and weird fiction, that’s all they [...]

Is transrealism still a thing? The Guardian thinks so

By Paul St John Mackintosh
October 25, 2014 // 0 Comments

Damien Walter, writing in The Guardian, has resurrected Rudy Rucker’s 1983 essay “The Transrealist Manifesto” to tag transrealism as “the first major literary movement of the 21st century?” As the question mark suggests, though, here’s only one problem: Is it [...]

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