What is the Slipstream genre?

What is the Slipstream genre all about?

The eight (8) short stories you will find in Idaho Powwow & Other Tales from the Slipstream – sold right here on this author site – are in the Science Fiction, Slipstream, Horror and Romance genres.

So, what exactly is Slipstream?

It has been defined as “the fiction of strangeness.” Slipstream is a kind of fantastic or non-realistic fiction that crosses conventional genre boundaries between Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, the Supernatural, and literary fiction. While some slipstream stories employ elements of science fiction, fantasy, or the supernatural — not all do. The common unifying factor of these pieces of literature is some degree of the surreal, the not-entirely-real, or the markedly anti-real. This is a nice definition given by Wikipedia.org.

The term slipstream was coined by cyberpunk author Bruce Sterling in an article originally published in SF Eye #5, in July 1989. He wrote:
“…this is a kind of writing which simply makes you feel very strange; the way that living in the [twentyfirst] century makes you feel, if you are a person of a certain sensibility.” —Sterling, Bruce (July 1989). “CATSCAN 5: Slipstream”. SF Eye (5). Retrieved 2014-09-13.

Science fiction authors James Patrick Kelly and John Kessel, editors of Feeling Very Strange: The Slipstream Anthology, point out that cognitive dissonance is at the heart of slipstream and that it is not so much a genre as a literary effect, like horror or comedy. —Adams, John Joseph (12 June 2006). “James Patrick Kelly, John Kessel”. SciFi.com. Archived from the original on 15 June 2006. Retrieved 2014-09-13.

It is Axel Martinsen’s personal opinion that a compelling story with a fascinating character, such as heroes journeys described in Joseph Campbell’s The Hero of a Thousand Faces, is one where we feel for and care about the characters. These kinds of stories are very powerful because they are the story of Mankind — take Quest For Fire as an example. They are on a par with beautiful songs that resonate in our minds and hearts because we see that they recognize our internal suffering and struggles and thus they humanize and empower us. Tales on this level that come to mind are: Interstellar; Melancholia; American Beauty; Valhalla Rising; Ursula Le Guin’s The Lathe of Heaven; Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley’s Frankenstein; Dean Koontz’s Seize The Night, Watchers, Life Expectancy, and Fear Nothing; Lisa Tuttle’s Riding the Nightmare; Bentley Little’s The Walking; Alastair Reynolds’ Diamond Dogs; Jack Vance’s Demon Princes; Harry Harrison’s Deathworld Trilogy; and many other fabulous gems.

We just feel better after the experience because we are reminded that others understand the struggles we face in our own lives, and with our own fears and life challenges, and also the joy of love’s discovery — and the pain of its loss.

In fiction and in life if the characters have laundered their karma and get really lucky, they sometimes get to replevin the precious love they’ve lost.

I sincerely hope you enjoy these tales as I most definitely enjoyed writing them. As I’ve said, these stories take place in the Penumbrian Universe, a slightly altered reality to our current one.

You may find Synopses (Summaries) for each story here on this website. Simply use the Menu above to navigate to
BOOKS and then select the one you’d like to read about from the drop-down menu.

Sincerely Yours,

AXEL MARTINSEN