Slipstreams Mass Market Paperback – May 2 2006
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
By doomsdayer520 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Themed anthologies usually can't stick with their concepts, and often promote a "theme" so narrow that no stories can be found that comply with such strictures. That challenge is very noticeable in this book. One of the editors, John Helfers, attempts to make the case for an emerging genre called "slipstream" fiction. This is a pretty dubious claim, and a half-hearted attempt to find a hip new label to something that has been around for ages -cross-genre experimentation in speculative fiction. Most of the stories here can be considered experimental and even groundbreaking, but it's not exactly a bold new genre that's setting the literary world on fire. Fortunately, most of the stories in this book are enjoyable reads for speculative fiction fans. Winners include Jane Lindskold's examination of a marriage told in the form of a cookbook, Irene Radford's mix of Arthurian fantasy and Jewish theology, and Donald Bingle's combination of true crime and thought experiments in quantum physics. Several of the authors here ably mix fantasy and/or sci-fi with other genres, such as detective noir, horror, mystery, and western - and they're usually (though not always) successful at not appearing forced or contrived. Of special note for the adventurous reader is Michael M. Jones' tale of a retired Santa Claus as a self-destructive private eye, while the closer by Russell Davis is a gut-wrenching treatise on self-examination and emotional salvation. So if you're interested in modern speculative fiction, this is a mostly successful collection of strong writers and engaging stories. Just don't read too much into the concept. [~doomsdayer520~]
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By Eric Hawkes - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
This collection of stories appears to be a vehicle for authors to sell previously rejected stories. The editor's introduction attempts to excuse the fact that most of the stories contain little that would distinguish them as slipstream (other than those that meet its vitiated definition, "cross-genre"). Most would not be out of place in a mainstream science fiction or fantasy anthology - in fact, many of these stories are simply entries in existing fantasy and SF series by the same author. The title is probably an attempt to cash in on slipstream's fading novelty as an emerging genre. Most are mediocre, ranging from worse than average to somewhat better than average.