(and a more personal update very soon 🙂
(and a more personal update very soon 🙂
I like the idea of supporting and promoting weird fiction. Of course, how we define weird fiction may be vastly different, although intuitively we all know what weird fiction is. Or do we?
For me, weird fiction is fiction that follows its own logic, with a narrative path that may differ greatly from the usual. Often it’s fiction from another country/culture, and not necessarily just books. Film narrative varies a lot from country to country (Chinese films, Russian films, European films as opposed to Hollywood ones and so on). There may be a beginning, development and ending…or there may not be. Or not in this order.
How do you define weird fiction?
From time to time, I will share here a few links to interesting, weird, different fictions as I find them.
I found an article in LOCUS MAGAZINE, by writer and blogger Harry Markov, about a short stories’ collection by Bulgarian writer Angel G. Angelov: The Act of Walking on Water (2009). The collection sounds really interesting, and if you don’t know Locus Magazine, do keep an eye on it for science fiction and fantasy news and interviews and more in between.
Markov says of Angelov’s stories:
Angelov grows in magnitude and fuels stories with a unique brand of intellectual erotica, philosophical monologues and warped realities…..with a slight nod to the Lovecraftian philosophy of cosmicism.
Now, anyone that hints at Lovecraftian’s cosmicism is someone I’d like to read. I hope this collection gets translated into English (my chances of learning Bulgarian are very slim).
Another good place to find interesting and weird fiction is Electric Literature’s Recommended Reading.
Among the latest offering, a series of short stories by Alex Epstein’s, from his collection: For My Next Illusion I Will Use Wings caught my attention. It’s a very good example of what can be done with flash fiction / micro fiction.
[Alex Epstein] performs an act of distillation, capturing the very essence of fiction.
Epstein’s collection has been translated into English, so I hope to put my hands on it at some point! It makes me think of author Lydia Davis‘ style of writing and preference for short, and extremely short in some cases, fiction.
My style is a reaction to Proust’s long sentences
That’s what Davis says of her choice of short narratives in this Guardian interview. I personally loved Proust’s long sentences, but I also love Davis’ ability to be essential.
One international event for writers keen on flash fiction:
The National Flash Fiction Day: 16 May 2012
This event, organized by writer and lecturer Calum Kerr, celebrates the short story form. Check the website to know what events are being organized and where, how to get involved, competitions and more. You can also find Calum on Twitter: @calumkerr and follow National Flash Fiction Day here: @nationalflashfd
To me, short fiction starts from the drabble – strictly 100 words only (stipulations can be made for including or excluding the title from this word count), then moving up to double or triple drabble. From 500 words upward it’s definitely flash fiction, up to the 1500/2000 words, and then we enter the realm of short stories. Others may think differently, though.
What’s your take on flash fiction and short fiction?
I want to read more in the field of short stories, but I do have one short stories collection to recommend:
I had the chance to meet Robert Shearman during my CW MA. Yes, he came with the shiny aura of being that Robert Shearman, Daleks writer extraordinaire (TV geeks unite), and also with the warmest personality and copies of his short stories collection. He signed it, I read it, I loved it. (I will review it in this blog soon).
As to flash fiction, have you written any? I have, and love it. The form is incredibly precise and restrictive, especially if you go for the strict word count, as I do. And yet, as the Oulipo theorists have shown, constraints can and do promote creativity, forcing writers to come up with innovative ways of writing. To know more about the Oulipo, you can check their website here (in French), a list of books written by Oulipo writers on the website Conversational Reading, and yes, wikipedia if you have to 😉
Do you like constraints in your writing (a fixed word count, a set theme, etc)?