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Posts tagged ‘Crossroads’

CROSSROADS: Degrees of Estrangement in Speculative vs Espionage Fiction


It’s Thursday again, and that means it is time for another installment in the ongoing Crossroads genre mash-up series over at Amazing Stories.

This week, we continue this month’s “espionage” theme by exploring how estrangement is both the shared and dividing element of espionage fiction and speculative fiction. In particular, I take a look at how SF/F’s degree of estrangement affect the narrative tension and applicability of espionage themes to readers’ real-world tensions. There’s even an info-graphic!

I hope you’ll stop by and join the conversation.

Crossroads: The Challenge of Espionage in Speculative Fiction

CROSSROADS: Diving into Spy Fiction


Another Thursday has dawned, and that means it’s time for my weekly Crossroads post over at Amazing Stories.

Continuing this month’s exploration of espionage fiction and the ways it intersects (or fails to) with speculative fiction, this week I take a deep dive into the narrative techniques and thematic focus characteristic of spy fiction from the last century.

From William Le Queux and the pre-WWI British invasion stories down to today’s work by Daniel Silva et al, I discuss how these authors build their worlds, play off their reader’s pre-existing apprehensions, and how they generally approach their stories and themes. I hope you stop by!

Crossroads: Society, World-building, and Estrangement in Spy Fiction

Crossroads: I Spy with My Little Eye…Espionage in Speculative Fiction


Welcome to August! Today’s the first Thursday in August, which means that it’s time to kick off a new Crossroads series over at Amazing Stories. This month, I’m going to be taking a look at the ways in which spies, espionage, and spy fiction in general intersect with science fiction and fantasy.

This week, I start by describing a bit of the history of espionage fiction, and then wonder about if and why (despite mainstream spy fiction’s commercial and critical success) its archetypes, structures, and techniques are not frequently adopted by speculative fiction. I hope you stop by!

Crossroads: I Spy with My Little Eye…Espionage in Speculative Fiction

CROSSROADS: How speculative are police procedurals?


Amazing Stories LogoHappy Thursday, everybody! It’s time for this week’s Crossroads post over at Amazing Stories.

This week, I take a look at the degree to which police procedurals are reliant on some of the same narrative techniques which speculative fiction has used and refined for decades (actually, since SF/F’s inception more properly). In particular, this week’s essay explores some of the dangers and trade-offs inherent to world-building set in our real world, and to the use of accurate technical jargon for simultaneous neologism and verisimilitude.

I hope you stop by and join the conversation!

Crossroads: Speculative Devices in Police Procedurals

CROSSROADS: Are police procedurals and speculative fiction incompatible?


Amazing Stories Logo Welcome to Thursday! Okay, for those of you in the US, welcome to Thursday afternoon (I’ve been running around like mad today and haven’t had a chance to get this post up until now). Considering today’s day of the week, it’s time for another Crossroads post over at Amazing Stories. This week, we kick off June’s month-long exploration of how police procedurals intersect with speculative fiction.

And for the first time in the Crossroads series, I’ve found a genre intersection that may be difficult. Noir, romance, westerns, comedy, and literary fiction could all integrate with SF/F, could all easily exchange aesthetic approaches, narrative techniques, structural conventions, and character archetypes. Yet it seems from some of my initial research that police procedurals may be in greater tension with the conventions/devices of speculative fiction. Which is cool, because that gives us the rest of the month to explore why and how!

I hope you’ll stop by and join the conversation!

CROSSROADS: The Difficulty of Police Procedural Speculative Fiction

CROSSROADS: SF/F Techniques in Literary Fiction


Amazing Stories Logo Last Thursday, I looked at how science fiction and fantasy employ a variety of techniques typically found in mainstream literary fiction. Of course, the door swings both ways and literary fiction is increasingly adopting the devices, tropes, and techniques of SF/F. Which brings us to this week’s Crossroads essay over on Amazing Stories, where I look at some of the typical science fictional techniques applied in mainstream literary fiction.

This piece wraps up my month long series on the intersection of speculative fiction and mainstream literary fiction, and if you’ve missed any of this months’ Crossroads essays, here are the links:

I hope you stop by and join the conversation!

CROSSROADS: The Techniques of “Literary” Speculative Fiction


Amazing Stories LogoSomehow, we seem to keep coming back around to Thursday. And what will we do this Thursday? The same thing we do every Thursday. Try and take over the world. Post another Crossroads essay over at Amazing Stories.

This week, I continue our discussion of the intersection between mainstream literary fiction and SF/F. Last week, I outlined a general theory suggesting that literary fiction and speculative fiction are not binary conditions, but instead that they each shade into each other depending on what narrative axis we’re considering. Continuing that exploration, this week I take a look at the techniques that speculative fiction deploys in works “closer in kind” to works of literary fiction.

I do hope you’ll stop by and take a look!

Crossroads: “Literary” Speculative Fiction and Literary Sensibilities

CROSSROADS: Literary Fiction vs Speculative Fiction – Round Infinity!


Amazing Stories Logo Even though I’m theoretically on a blogging vacation, I’m still doing the weekly Crossroads series over at Amazing Stories. This week, we’re continuing May’s exploration of the intersection between mainstream literary fiction and speculative fiction, and to that end I discuss how the core of each genre lies on various creative spectrums.

This week I take a stab at some theoretical groundwork in preparation for next week’s in-depth exploration of literary and speculative narrative strategies. I hope you stop by and enjoy this week’s discussion (and diagrams!)!

Crossroads: The Cores of Literary Fiction and Speculative Fiction

CROSSROADS: Magic Realism and Negotiating the Unreal


Amazing Stories Logo Welcome to Thursday, folks. Somehow, no matter what I do, this day just keeps coming around. Weird, huh? Well, Thursday’s mean that it’s time for another one of our weekly Crossroads posts over at Amazing Stories, and this week we get deeper into speculative fiction’s often-stormy relationship with mainstream literary fiction.

This week’s essay explores some of the structural and thematic differences between (most) magic realist works, and (most) works of fantasy. While the fantastical devices and conceits may often be similar, their purpose and the way they are used structurally tend to be very different. I hope you stop by to take a look and join the conversation!

Crossroads: Negotiating the Unreal in Magic Realism and Fantasy

CROSSROADS: Satire and the Fantastic


Amazing Stories LogoIt’s Thursday, so that means it is time for my weekly Crossroads post up at Amazing Stories. This week, I’m rounding out April’s exploration of humor and speculative fiction by discussing satire and its relationship to the fantastic. (DISCLAIMER: If that sounds familiar, that’s because I explored the same theme here about five months ago as well – but it is a good and interesting theme, so well worth exploring again, I think.)

This is the final post in this month’s series on humor and speculative fiction, but next week brings us the merry month of May, in which I’ll be taking a look at the intersections between mainstream literary fiction and speculative fiction. In the meantime, I hope you stop by to discuss satire with me:

Crossroads: Satire and the Fantastic

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