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Feeling Very Strange: The Slipstream Anthology

James Patrick Kelly, Editor, John Kessel, Editor . Tachyon $14.95 (288p) ISBN 978-1-892391-35-3

This primarily reprint anthology attempts to define "Slipstream" as the "literature of cognitive dissonance and of strangeness triumphant ," with examples showcasing the work of various mainstream and genre writers. Highlights include Bruce Sterling's "The Little Magic Shop," an allegorical fantasy story; Jonathan Lethem's "Light and the Sufferer," which uses the SF trope of superior aliens to comment on a story of character; Ted Chiang's "Hell Is the Absence of God," which presents a believably horrific picture of God's lack of compassion; Kelly Link's "The Specialist's Hat," which plays with the ghost story form; and Michael Chabon's "The God of Dark Laughter," a reinvention of Lovecraftian horror. Original to this volume is M. Rickert's "You Have Never Been Here Before," which the editors believe is an example of what slipstream does best by being "hauntingly familiar and very, very strange." While these intriguing stories (and accompanying essays) may not be enough to define the canon of a new subgenre, they provide plenty of good reading. (July)

Reviewed on: 06/05/2006
Release date: 06/01/2006
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