Welcome to the third issue of Interfictions: A Journal of Interstitial Arts, an extension of the Interfictions anthology series published in conjunction between the Interstitial Arts Foundation and Small Beer Press. As writers and editors with one foot in the academic world and one in the world of genre fiction, we seek to bring together a diverse roster of work that plays at and between the edges of both.
Before we introduce the offerings of the Spring 2014 issue, we’d like to make our readers aware that a fundraiser for Interfictions Online launches next week (on May 27th). Whether you’ve already enjoyed any of our first three issues, or are coming to this one fresh, we hope you’ll want to support our desire to keep the Journal free to all readers, while paying professional rates to all our contributors. We’re also looking to expand to include a Visual Art section under the editorship of Henry Lien. The Indiegogo campaign offers some great swag for contributors, including exclusive e-chapbooks with work by Kelly Link, Peter Straub, Jeff VanderMeer, Nalo Hopkinson and many other interstitial artists who’ve chosen to support our fundraiser. We’ll be appearing soon in the Transmedia section of Indiegogo; please be generous if you can. We appreciate it!
The fiction offerings of our latest issue remix tropes from ghosts to automata to explore the relationship between loss and the artifice meant to solace it. Richard Butner’s “Circa” revisits a house haunted by the past and the future; Su-Yee Lin’s “What is Lost” captures modern China at the brink of a disastrous future; and Kat Howard’s “To Hold a Mirror” sees mass extinction through the eyes of an automatist who creates bejeweled replicas. S. Craig Renfroe’s swift, racy “The Etiquette” guides readers through the world’s cruelest party, and Tade Thompson’s “The Madwoman of Igbobi Hospital” portrays the interlocking exile of father and son through the ghost haunting them both.
Several of the poems in the issue reimagine older narratives: Sridala Swami’s “AI Winter” draws on the Mahabharata, Sonya Taaffe’s “Double Business” on Hamlet, and Mary Alexandra Agner’s “Hypothesis Between Your Ribs” on the brief life of Charles Darwin’s daughter. Others take off in mysterious new directions: Matt Jones spins a dark fairy tale in “Leftment,” while Saudamini Deo’s “Tainted Margins I” traces the shape of a fragile and mutable identity through sudden leaps in time and space.
The leap, or the cut, also features in our nonfiction. Mark Craddock creates a poignant collage in “Aerial Acrobatics and Gender Reassignment Surgery – A How-To Guide,” while Inda Lauryn’s “Parallels and Transitions” splices analysis of contemporary female vocalists into a graduate school memoir. Isabel Yap’s “Life Is Not a Shoujo Manga” juxtaposes the reliable form of manga and the messiness of life and love. Finally, in our interview with Jeff VanderMeer and Jeremy Zerfoss, the two creators discuss how words and images work together in their illustrated guide to writing, Wonderbook.
Interfictions‘ mission is to blur boundaries, not reinforce them. Consider the categories of “fiction,” “nonfiction,” and “poetry,” as frames and questions, not prescriptions. The work presented here speaks on its own terms.