Pretty strange

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It's a sliver of a story in the form of a chapter from a travel guide. Weird in his usual fashion, though less atmospheric and more cheeky than his work in Veniss Underground. Solid 4 stars for amusing me. Not sure it fits "slipstream," being that it's a basically science fictional take on religious concepts. As I said in my review of Chiang's Stories of Your Life , he is definitely in a classic SF tradition, not really strange or sneeringly post-modern though certainly acquainted with Borges. It's a bit puzzle-like and kinda confounded me, so 3. I really don't get how this fits the definition of "slipstream," though.

Mildly unsettling, I guess, but nothing really genre. I loved this story, best one in the collection IMHO. Post-modern meta-narrative is so hit-or-miss with me, but he pulls the self-reference off very well without forcing the issue. Also, it's about a mysterious lost story by Kafka, and I love Kafka, so that made me all squishy. I was almost convinced this story existed. Strange, though. Great writing that got me itching for more.

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Solid 4. This was less overwrought than the last story of his I read and was just a really effective tidbit of strange, unsettling mild horror with an overtone of the ridiculous. A modern strangeness? I dunno. It makes use of fictional text, reminding a bit of Lovecraft. I don't know. I kinda loved the way it was written, with this subtle self-aware irony to offset the aching beauty of some language and imagery.

This is a very difficult balance to strike, but she manages it. The only writer I didn't really know that made a strong impression. So about 8 of the stories worked some magic on me, issues with definition aside. The rest, as I said, had interesting elements and some clever bits but failed to excite.

Though I believe she might have been going for that irreal sensibility that cares not for congruity. This kind of ambiguity is rampant throughout the book, revealing the difficulties of pulling off this kind of thing. Beautiful language or a clever twist can only do so much. Other stories simply suffer from not leaving a strong impression, like Sterling's own "The Little Magic Shop. Happily, it isn't intolerably sneering in its approach, and I think Saunders was implying sympathy for the poor "white trash" family.

But then it also keeps them as the butt of the joke. No clear SF elements either, confused why this is slipstream. It attempts to be self-referential and ponder the nature of causality and narrative, but feels more like rambling than anything profound.


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These both got about All in all, this collection contained a few good tidbits and might be worth reading for anyone like me, looking for new stories by writers they don't know so well. Otherwise, you may already know the writers or stories well enough to pass. Those seeking clarity in terms of defining or learning about "slipstream" will likely be as lost, though it might help clarify the difficulties of definition and ongoing discussion on that subject. Also, the scope is intended to be broader and clearer in terms of genre.

I wrote a review of it, which can be read here. May 20, Isaac Tawyer rated it liked it. Feeling Very Strange was a slipstream book. This meant that it was a combination of short stories that had little to do with each other. They were all set in the modern world, but each had some sort of sci-fi twist on them. The point of the story was to make the reader feel strange.


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Throughout the book, there are multiple essays and stories about just what slipstream is as a genre. Mixed in with the analysis were some incredible short stories that leave the reader feeling very strange and an end Feeling Very Strange was a slipstream book. Mixed in with the analysis were some incredible short stories that leave the reader feeling very strange and an ending that makes the reader question their entire existence.

I enjoyed about half of the stories and disliked the other half. The good half was packed with deep meaning and crazy plot-lines while the bad half was hard to follow and easy to skip over. If I could edit this book, I would drop some of the worse stories altogether, and focus more on the good ones. I would recommend this to someone who wants something new with their book. The slipstream genre is definitely worth looking into but only for someone who can get through the slow parts of a story. Nov 03, Wallwaster rated it liked it.

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Katy Perry has a pretty strange love life

When I discovered slipstream it sounded like it's going to be a mix of sci-fi and Borges. Not so. It's more like if Borges was boring or just didn't finish his short stories. There is one brilliant short story and a few I liked in here, and they were worth reading the whole book for, but most feel like half-baked experiments in literature, some are okay, some are just frustratingly empty. The lengthy introduction and the four internet forum conversations scattered through the short stories delib When I discovered slipstream it sounded like it's going to be a mix of sci-fi and Borges.

The lengthy introduction and the four internet forum conversations scattered through the short stories deliberating whether slipstream is even a thing or not, and introducing some of the worst short stories as the ones that are too good to be slipstream doesn't help. It feels forced as fuck. I will try not to spoil because everyone should read it, but the world we find ourselves in is a brilliant idea, which could be summarized in just one sentence, but Ted Chiang delivers on that idea all the way through, we see all the things that are different there from our world and it's fascinating.

If you have any interest in theology or christianity more generally, you must read this short story and think about it. Jun 01, Dave rated it it was amazing.

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A collection of stories that are ostensibly slipstream. As the sections in the book discussing what 'slipstream' fiction is decide, there is no real definition. This is a remarkably strong collection, with no 'filler' stories, and numerous potent ones that linger longafter finishing. Sep 19, John Wiswell rated it really liked it. This is a very fuzzy collection. It opens with an essay about how hard it is to pin down Slipstream as a genre or sub-genre, and later intersperses conversations between Slipstream authors about what the heck it is.

If Slipstream really is the genre of stories that make you feel strange, then arguing over its boundaries is utterly futile, because like Horror being "the genre that makes you scared," what does it for one person does nothing for others. Eventually we defined Horror as "whatever loo This is a very fuzzy collection. Eventually we defined Horror as "whatever looks like it's trying to scare you," and so perhaps eventually Slipstream will turn into "whatever looks like it wants to be weird. Here James Patrick Kelly and John Kessel have done their best to use the stories as example of what Slipstream can be in practice, and they've at least assembled some great short fiction.

The collection immediately relays how hard it is to recognize this genre. Bruce Sterling "Little Magic Shop" tells a fairly straight-faced parody of immortality stories, with a young man making the devil's bargain to live forever, only to find he enjoys it, while the magician who granted it to him becomes increasingly miserable at the lack of moral development, and ultimately, it's the granter who is punished. The next story is Aimee Bender's "The Healer," which is a fairly straightforward story about two girls, one with power over fire and the other over ice.

Sterling and Bender's stories are both strong regardless of their sub-genre, and later there are entries by Kelly Link and Michael Chabon, who always deliver style.

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It's well worth picking up the collection just for whichever stories hit for you, which ones make you feel strange, or simply stretch how Fantasy and Science Fiction normally work. Slipstream has the reputation for pretention or being more Literary with the capital 'L,' and the editors have selected many works of much stronger than average prose.

Two sisters who love to pretend they're dead and might actually be dead are babysat by someone who might the ghost of their house's previous occupant. Except if the babysitter is the ghost, how did she get this job? And if the child are dead, why doesn't their father notice? Like Magical Realism, the story never winks at its own oddities, never explains or even brings them up.

Charlie Rouse Quintet, "Pretty Strange"

They are subtle questions in the lining of the structure. Is the babysitter going to do something nefarious by teaching her kids how to perfectly play dead? Will we even have an ending that makes sense to our living minds? Link's prose, and particularly her penchant for dialogue that radically changes subjects based on the whims of character, keeps it spicy and engaging even as we try to figure out which impossibility is the case in her narrative. You can see the story trying to elicit strangeness. Yes, his name is in the title, because the story is about a version of him in another world where Eastern nations and religions conquered the globe and fight zeppelin-based wars.

It is delivered in a crackling riff on 19th century proper prose. For a pure story it is brilliant, needling both theology and nihilism, and is one of the few I've seen that grasped how silly it is for fiction, which is clearly created to express a point, to have its characters think their existences are pointless.

It's thoroughly strange to its own characters and rules, and might evoke strangeness in readers. For me, it felt welcoming and familiar. So while Link and Rosenbaum's entries were strange, none of these stories made me feel strange. I don't see how something like Ted Chiang's "Hell is the Absence of God" could do that to someone, particularly not the average SciFi reader who has been bombarded with so many secular takes on religious ideas that they're common tropes, and displeasure with religion almost a prerequisite for SF these days.

So, again, Slipstream feels like Horror, for Horror very seldom scares me, but its trappings entertain. The real question before you is if you want Slipstream's trappings, which as best as I can peg, are telling stories that are further from SF and Fantasy's major conventions; no knights on horseback, no scientists racing for the cure or encountering aliens with awe, but stories that are deliberately set up to seem unusual.

This Finn Wolfhard meme is pretty strange

As far as genres go, that is a tenuous place to exist. Yet if Slipstream ever developed tropes akin to the haunted house and axe-wielding maniac, they'd become familiar and thus no longer be Slipstream. Feb 16, Alexander Pyles rated it really liked it. This was more of an educational experience for me, considering slipstream is brand new to me and my first real foray into true "weird" lit.