Friday, April 13, 2007

What's it all mean, then?

We see a conversation between Interfictions contributor Christopher Barzak and U.K. SF critic Niall Harrison has grown into an interesting debate about the usefulness of the "interstitial" descriptor for fiction.

Our two cents: "Interstitial" was never really meant to be a label as such -- and certainly not a marketing label. Rather, it's a deliberately vague adjective that acknowledges the frustrating in-betweenness of certain works of art that are therefore difficult to explain (and, thus, sell). The Interstitial Arts Foundation -- still a very young group -- seeks to find ways of supporting and nurturing those who create such works.

Because the founders of the IAF are speculative fiction authors, there's an understandable but mistaken impression that "interstitial" is somehow a competing literary movement with "slipstream." Not at all. There are interstitial works of performance art. There are interstitial works of visual art. There are interstitial works of music and film. There are interstitial works of art which fall in between the aforementioned mediums themselves. And there are interstitial works of literature -- some of which fall under Bruce Sterling's designation of "slipstream." We hope Interfictions will serve as an illustrative snapshot of what the editors consider, in 2007 at least, interstitial writing.

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