The Science Fiction Handbook. New York: Bloomsbury, Kevin LaGrandeur. Routledge Studies in Renaissance Literature and Culture. Carlen Lavigne. Cyberpunk Women, Feminism and Science Fiction. Marina Levina and Diem-My T. Bui, eds. Monster Culture in the 21st Century: A Reader. Lindy Orthia, ed. Doctor Who and Race. Bristol, UK: Intellect, Frenchy Lunning, ed. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, Michelle Pierson. Special Effects : Still in Search of Wonder. Valentina Polcini. Roma: Aracne, Joshua Raulerson. Liverpool: Liverpool UP, David Seed.
Christopher A. Kathleen Singles. Alternate History: Playing with Contingency and Necessity. Berlin: De Gruyter, Jad Smith. John Brunner. Modern Masters of Science Fiction. Chicago: U of Illinois P, Walter Smyrniw. Peter Szendy. Kant in the Land of Extraterrestrials: Cosmopolitical Philosofictions. Will Bishop. New York: Fordham UP, Robert T. Tally, Jr. Motoko Tanaka. Apocalypse in Japanese Science Fiction. Richard Toronto. William F. Lord Dunsany, H. Lovecraft, and Ray Bradbury: Spectral Journeys. Alexandra Urakova, ed. Heather Urbanski. Thomas Van Parys, and I.
Hunter, eds. Canterbury, UK: Gylphi, Natacha Vas-Deyres. Paris: Honore Champion, Jennifer A. Postmodern Utopias and Feminist Fictions. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, Gary Westfahl. William Gibson. Rosalind Williams. Chicago: U of Chicago P, David Wittenberg.
Ytasha Womack. Chicago: Lawrence Hill, Anindita Banerjee. Matthew Beaumont. Ralahine Utopian Studies. Mark Bould. Science Fiction. Routledge Film Guidebooks. London: Routledge, Keith Brooke, ed. Andrew M. Solar Flares: Science Fiction in the s. John Cheng. Philadelphia: U of Pennsylvania P, Sabine Coelsch-Foisner and Sarah Herbe, eds. New Directions in the European Fantastic. Claire P. Samuel R. Grace Dillon, ed. Tucson: U of Arizona P, Amsterdam: Rodopi, Alexander C.
Geppert, ed. Distrust that Particular Flavor. New York: Putnam, Sherry Ginn and Michael G. Cornelius, eds. Elizabeth Ginway, and J. Andrew Brown, eds. New York: Palgrave Mcmillan, Simon J. Maps of Utopia: H. Wells, Modernity, and the End of Culture. Oxford: Oxford UP, And very funny as well as relentlessly dark. Just Kafka-esque weirdness? But, when all is said and done, R. Oh, and one more! Consider Whitley Strieber… SF or not? The Iain M. Not for everyone, but truly experimental. Or ? I know Bolano was a fan of SF, and wondered whether there was a connection.
It seems to run through all the layers of the story and reveals itself more on re-reading. Probably so. Nabokov was a particular focus of mine in college, as well as Melville the Encantadas! Why not? What about using an online war-game as a story telling platform?
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There are two ways for a book can be crazy. You might say a book is crazy in the sense that it deals in wild ideas, or just tries to pack in as much gonzo stuff as it can manage. This is the sense in which R. This kind of book is less likely to be good, but is often enjoyable despite itself. However, to apply the term experimental to science fiction should mean so much more than simply how a novel is written.
The four parts of the novel, and its related coda, experiment with all elements of what we think a novel can be. The Book of the New Sun is experimental science fiction at its best. Again…this is all just IMHO. And besides, us peeps in genre tend to misuse terms like experimental, surrealism, magical realism and the like and make them into genres rather than classifications for criticism….
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Oh hey look, a soap box. I defy anyone to read it in one sitting. Still brilliant as the day it was pulped….
Fantasy & Science Fiction (Extended Edition) (July/August 2012)
Jerry Cornelius is one of the oddest, most mystifying, most satisfying characters ever created. The heroine solves a mystery by becoming an art critic. I also found Philip K. This chapter had nothing to do with the rest of the novel, which concerned Japanese spies in brightly colored zoot suits attempting to sabotage the Manhattan project in multiple universes. All incredible, making it for me the better experimental novel.
Is the main focus of this book going to revolve around imaginary worlds that have already been conceived in literature? If so, you should definitely include all types of fantasy biomes — not to mention a good chapter or two on those unusual settings that are entirely unique to their respective tales. Barefoot in the Head by Brian Aldiss.
A trip into a chaotic Europe that has been blasted with hallucinogenic chemical weapons, written in that infuriating style of literary surrealism characterised by profligate malapropism. His later mid to post 60s short fiction is also very experimental, and better IMO than the book I just mentioned.
Also check out any of the Orbit anthologies edited by Damon Knight you can find in the second hand stores. With the exception of Aylett, all the above would count as mid 20th century modernist surrealism in the ostensibly SF genre — very much a product of the New Wave. Oh, and Terry Dowling can be quite odd, though in a quieter way. See his collection An Intimate Knowledge of the Night. The are many bizarro novels which probably match the criteria. Michalel Avjas, another favourite of yours, went surreal in The Other City, but possibly even more experimental in his multiply layered narrative in The Golden Age.
In some sense surely all novels are experimental, or none are—experiments of will this work , is this the best way , will it evoke the response I hope for? I feel there is a conceptual separation between novels that contain experiments, and novels that are experimental.
But with content you get into the matter of what is experimental for the author vs. Would a novel written by someone with synesthesia, that accurately conveyed their experience of the world, be experimental? I also wanted to add a few more titles. John Harrison.
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It blurs the borders of reality in convincing ways. Oh yes, and the novels of Jeremy Reed, especially his take on the lives of various artists such as Isidore Ducasse a. Ballard and Andy Warhol. His poetry and essays are awesome too. Danielewski is The Naked Singularity of Strangeness. A book that pushes ergodic literature all the way to the breaking point and maybe a little bit beyond. Most of the stuff by James Morrow — a brilliant writer and one of the best satirists out there.
Funny and strange stuff, but tinged with certain melancholy as well. Tall Tale Punk? Funny and absurd but still somehow relevant book about the nature of utopias. Translating the book in Finnish was a closest thing to tripping without drugs I can imagine…. Definitely a lot of interesting books listed in the thread. Dead Girls goes some strange, cool places—ideas of gynoids, vampirism, and reality, all perhaps just ahead of its time in terms of appreciation and notoriety for the books. The prose is challenging and sometimes quite beautiful.
The Orange Eats Creeps Grace Krilanovich is definitely experimental in every sense of the word, but ultimately, I have a very hard time seeing it associated with SF. I guess that depends on personal criteria. Gorgeous book, and challenging to a degree that I could only deal with it in small doses, which is fine; I just had to learn how to read it. Beautiful book. That little book is a nice little trip. Thomas Pynchon. Is Borges a genre writer?
A few more, though these barely qualify even in the broadest terms as SF or Fantasy—you did say you were disinclined to define yer terms, so, at the far reaches of what might be included are:. The height of new wave narrative weirdness. Off to Google it.
All three novels were crafted using the cut-up method, in which existing texts are cut into various pieces and put back together in random order. You can argue about how successful this experimentation with narrative form turned out to be but I think they certainly could be read as genre novels.
Patton, I agree.
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I can only say that Vadis, by Philip K Dick reads like the writer was having a psychotic episode — Report on Probability A by Brian Aldiss is pretty strange, Barefoot in the Head is almost a docudrama in comparison. For weirdness with humour what about The Final Program — Moorcock? I still love it. He will be totally messing with reading protocols in this one. That is in some ways a more daring experiment. Remember, there are also books out there whose experiments were flawed and failed that need discussion too.
Ummmm…thank you…heh…that was not expected…but a happy surprise. Glad you enjoyed it. He published a series of anthologies celebrating it, called The Journals of Experimental Fiction, and they were filled with great stuff.
Then I think he went on to do Bizarro stuff, which is pretty much the same thing, yet not :. Actually, his recent novels I think really fit this bill- My Landlady the Lobotomist a prime example. Completely gonzo, in the most wonderful way. The Rat Veda by James Chapman is also another really good one. I do love those anthologies though, the writing is so…just all over the place. Each one experiments entirely different than the last. Brilliant, bold, beautiful. This is the part where I realize how far over my head the conversation is, but that both Dhalgren and a different McDermott book than mentioned earlier Last Dragon seem to fit into this conversation somewhere.
Though on that score: The Man in the High Castle. The Universe in Miniature in Miniature is an experiment, but with mixed results. Paul: need to scan my bookshelves at home, so perhaps tonight I can address the question of good tries and awful failures. It comes back to our own definitions of experimental, crazy, or whatever other adjective we want to apply to work that makes us scratch our heads or makes milk come out of our ears ahem, Mr Jessup!
For myself, I think that writing that is intentionally subversive or pointedly designed to rock your assumptions may come under this banner. Which makes it strange that I neglected Last Dragon earlier, since I wrote a goram review of it. Never Knew Another is at the top of my queue for review. McDermott is doing some crazy, subversive stuff in his fiction.
What about Brian Evenson? His use of tone and the role of violence is pretty experimental not to mention the plot of Last Days is somwhat crazy. Subjective, as with damn near everything, but also a definition more susceptible to the ravages of time than most. Made me feel a bit odd in the noggin when I read it, and for my purposes, that qualifies as experimental. Pretty much anything by Phillip K. Dick was experimental at the time it was written. Most of the stuff would still be considered experimental now.
Strange, satirical stories about a world of cyborgs. A Clockwork Orange was pretty experimental for me when I first read it because of the use of Nadsat, the fictional teen slang. Some books you admire more than you love though…. I think it was quite experimental, especially in its own time. The Atrocity Exhibition by J. Ballard Nova Express by William S. Good catch no pun intended. I re-read it last year, and it is still bizarre and wonderful. Roger wrote it as an experiment and exercise, and did not intend to sell it.
Part of the problem with the is the limitation you have put on the question. Philip K. Dick: Dr. Bloodmoney Brian M. Y Also agree about M. John Harrison: Light.
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Its not like other Stableford books afaik from reading a few others , so I assume he was intentionally experimenting — an approach that failed for me I could not finish it. Zelazny writes some of the most awesome, drugged-out pulp on the market! Both blend Kipling-esque colonial adventure tales with counter-culture psychedelia to create a read that is both mind-blowing and fun!
Great montage cover.