Monday, January 26, 2009

Ashley (ed.), Subtle Edens (2008)

Allen Ashley (ed.), Subtle Edens: An Anthology of Slipstream Fiction. Elastic Press, 2008. Pp. 320. ISBN 978-0955318191. £7.99.

Reviewed by Steven Pirie

What exactly is slipstream? From the back cover of Subtle Edens: “Slipstream may use the tropes and ideas of science fiction, fantasy and horror but is not bound by their rules. Slipstream may appear to be conventional literary fiction but falls outside the staid boundaries.”.

So, this definition suggests, some stories are most definitely literary, and some are most certainly genre, and between the two there lies a kind of buffer zone, where each may dip into the other’s tropes and ideas. But not quite with impunity, because the progeny of this mixed marriage can no longer be thought purely genre nor literary, and so needs a name of its own: Slipstream.