Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders
 

Lincoln in the Bardo

Review

 
Raw (2017): Disturbingly Brilliant Body Horror
 

Raw

Film Review

 
Books & Booze: The Lions of Al-Rassan
 

The Lions of Al-Rassan

Books & Booze

 

Browsing all articles tagged with literary fiction.

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders
4.5

Welcome to the inaugural column for the new series “Fantastic Literature.” As part of this series, I hope to explore new and new-to-me writers and works of literary fiction that include genre elements. Just like the bookshelves in most bookstores, the two categories are often considered to be miles apart. And fans of each category […]

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Slipping by Lauren Beukes

Slipping by Lauren Beukes
4

Slipping by Lauren Beukes is a collection of previously published short stories and nonfiction. Having read—and loved—two of her novels, The Shining Girls and Broken Monsters, I jumped at the chance to read this collection. Everything I liked about her novels I found here: dark and unsettling imagery, relationships forming and exploding, clever turns of […]

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A City Dreaming by Daniel Polansky

A City Dreaming by Daniel Polansky
4

A City Dreaming by Daniel Polansky is the story of M, a very old and very powerful magician, who has returned to New York City after some time away. Although he’d much rather spend his time getting drunk, getting high, and getting laid, he can’t avoid taking a subway train through hell, sidestepping into a […]

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The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro

The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro
3

British writer Kazuo Ishiguro is widely celebrated for his literary fiction, including the Man Booker Prize-winning Remains of the Day (1989), and more recently his sci-fi sampling Never Let Me Go (2005), which saw a film adaptation by Mark Romanek in 2010. Ten years after his last novel, The Buried Giant (2015) saw Ishiguro once […]

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The Year of the Ladybird by Graham Joyce

The Year of the Ladybird by Graham Joyce
5

It is 1976, the hottest summer in England since records began, and a young man called David is about to start work at a holiday camp close to the seaside town of Skegness. Under skies that are bright and cloudless, David helps to entertain holidaymakers of all ages, whether it be judging the quality of […]

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Class Warfare: Fantasy, Sci-Fi and Literary Fiction

Class Warfare: Fantasy, Sci-Fi and Literary Fiction 

The line drawn between so-called literary fiction and genre fiction has always irked me. As I embarked upon a re-read of the first two volumes of Lev Grossman’s frustrating Magicians trilogy, this issue resurfaced. Grossman’s books have, for reasons that boggle my mind, sparked a debate about just what constitutes literature. As the final book […]

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The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell

The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell
4

If you’ve come into contact with any of David Mitchell’s work before, you’ll be well-acquainted with the sort of genre-switching, time-slipping, scene-shifting fiction that the author is best known for. A film adaptation by the Wachowski siblings in 2012 brought his lauded tapestry of souls, Cloud Atlas, to a wider audience. 2014 heralds the debut […]

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The Woman Who Thought She Was A Planet And Other Stories by Vandana Singh

The Woman Who Thought She Was A Planet And Other Stories by Vandana Singh
3.25

Less traditional fantasy and more subtle speculative fiction, Vandana Singh’s collection of short stories The Woman Who Thought She Was A Planet ranges far and wide over the fertile ground of India’s rigid traditionalism, puncturing targets like religion and domesticity with a series of intriguing departures from reality. Set for the most part in modern […]

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Weight by Jeanette Winterson

Weight by Jeanette Winterson
3.75

Weight is, at its heart, a re-imagining of the myth of Atlas and Heracles (also known as Hercules in Rome and the modern west). As punishment for siding with Cronos against Zeus, Atlas has been compelled to carry the weight of the celestial sphere upon his back. Heracles, the only other strong enough to shoulder […]

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Which Writers Are Asking The Hard Questions Today?

Which Writers Are Asking The Hard Questions Today? 

As I move from summer to winter, I tend to switch from lighter, fun reads to deeper, more complex reads. I don’t know if I am simply echoing Hollywood’s transition from summer blockbuster action movies to Oscar-worthy dramas. Or perhaps after consuming a steady diet of “candy” books, I need something a bit more substantial, […]

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Fantasy As Escapism: Avoiding Boredom or Uncertainty?

Fantasy As Escapism: Avoiding Boredom or Uncertainty? 

In my last Fantasy-Faction article, I quoted a recent article in The New Yorker by Arthur Krystal in which he denigrated genre fiction, suggesting that readers rely on it as a form of escapism to avoid their otherwise “humdrum” lives. Apparently, Mr. Krystal believes that fans need tales of wizards and elves to spice up […]

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Layers of Reality

Layers of Reality 

As an English Undergraduate at a UK university, I often feel an obscene sense of guilt and embarrassment when asked what, specifically, I enjoy reading. When I respond with “science fiction and fantasy”, I’m greeted with blank stares, or, worse, with outright derision. “What do you read those for?” is the implied question, “they have […]

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