Saturday, February 14, 2015

Slipstream Goes Mainstream, or Why Weird Is the New Normal

I read an article* in the Wall Street Journal the other day about "Slipstream Fiction". It was a term I'd never heard before, which surprised me, but what surprised me even more is that I've been writing slipstream fiction for years, and didn't even know it!

Wikipedia defines the Slipstream genre as: "fantastic or non-realistic fiction that crosses conventional genre boundaries between science fiction, fantasy and mainstream literary fiction". Um, hello... we authors here in the Supernatural Underground write about ghosts and shapeshifters and time travel and shadowy creatures from other worlds. We weave tales of mystery and magic, blending fantasy with science fiction, modernity with the medieval, and while the settings and characters may differ, the focus remains on the universal aspects of the human condition: the quest for self, the need for love and acceptance, the choices we make on the moral issues between right and wrong, good and evil.

Slipstream fiction is being referred to as "the New Weird", and I, for one, am very glad to hear it.  I've never wanted to be a carbon copy of everyone else - I have my quirks (I adore Halloween, avoid red meat, and talk to my orchids while tending them). According to the WSJ article*, I'm not alone, as Slipstream Fiction is a fast-growing genre, indicating that readers seem to embrace the blending of the mundane with the bizarre. 

In short, I think it's apparent that we humans are becoming more comfortable in embracing our own weirdness.  :)

Do you enjoy "Slipstream Fiction"? Do you embrace your own weirdness? Any quirks you're willing to share?

Go ahead, tell us... we're all a bunch of weirdos here!

*You can read the WSJ article in its entirety right here.

Terri Garey is a Supernatural Underground author who writes award-winning and critically-acclaimed urban fantasy. Even though she's a big scaredy-cat who can't watch horror movies or visit haunted houses, she loves moonlit graveyards, moss-covered headstones and the idea that life goes on even after it's over. Her latest release is WHISTLING PAST THE GRAVEYARD, and you can visit her on the web at, or friend her on Facebook.


Kim Falconer said...

Terri, I thought the first 7 books I wrote were "science fantasy" but now I see, thanks to you and that WSJ article, that I have been writing Slipstream fiction too!

New Weird?

I love it.

Genres can seem like silly classifications, but they are vital for publishers to know how to market a book. Who will read this "genre-blender" is answered with a big question mark in many cases, but who will read this Slipstream series? That's a question publishers and booksellers can answer.


I can't write a word if there are dishes in the sink or my bed's unmade. It sounds seriously compulsive, I know, but I love the Feng Shui of tidiness.

And no, nothing in Virgo.

Weird, right?

Terri Garey said...

Wonderfully weird, Kim! :)

Helen Lowe said...

Helen Lowe said...

I love the idea of our fiction as "Slipstream"!

As for quirks, I shall not admit to too many to mention, but I have always loved colour, to the extent that I've been known to colour coordinate the pegs when hanging out laundry -- just because I can, but also #prettier! ;-)

Amanda Arista said...

Slipstream and proud!