Feeling Very Strange: A Fantastic (Scifi?) Short Story Collection

So, is slipstream fiction a genre? As I first wrote when starting to read Feeling Very Strange, an anthology that tries, in part, to exemplify just what slipstream fiction is… I don’t think it is. I’m not sure if there are any stories here that don’t already fall under the regular speculative fiction umbrella, and …

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“Sea Oak,” a Story (and a Cancelled Amazon Show) from Feeling Very Strange

I’ve just about wrapped up the short story collection Feeling Very Strange, which I wrote about a little earlier. Before a big talk about the book, here’s a standout worth mentioning: “Sea Oak” by George Saunders. If you recognize that name, he’s the guy who wrote Lincoln in the Bardo (2017 Man Booker Prize winner), a …

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Hernan Diaz’s In the Distance = Frankenstein

In the Distance is an interesting novel. And I say that, recognizing that I tell students never to call anything “interesting” (you can usually find a better descriptor). It’s by Hernan Diaz, and is the story a young boy named Hakan. He leaves his native Sweden for New York, is accidentally separated from his brother, …

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“Feeling Very Strange” — the Anthology I’m Reading, NOT my Current State of Mind

“Slipstream” is a genre of fiction. Or it isn’t—that seems to be the big debate. I’ve been sending fiction to get published for the last year or so, and “slipstream” is a term that keeps coming up, alongside “cyberpunk,” “dystopia,” “military scifi,” “science-fantasy,” “weird fiction,” and all the other subgenres of science fiction or speculative …

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What The Road to Dune has to do with Martin Scorsese… and Alfred Hitchcock

Frank Herbert’s Dune is often #1 on various “best” scifi novel lists. If you aren’t familiar with the text, you’re certainly going to be hearing a lot more about it soon: Dennis Villeneuve is adapting it into a two-part film, and he’s the guy who made the most recent Blade Runner, as well as Arrival, …

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Reading and Teaching The Stranger (Deuxième Partie) (Part Two!)

So a follow up on teaching The Stranger by Albert Camus: what a success! Which initially surprised me, since I thought this would be a “we-need-to-read-this-novel-because-its-important-so-power-through-it” kind of text. Unfortunately, in high school this situation comes up every now and then. For younger students, it’s often with Shakespeare. Last year, it was with Washington Irving …

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On Translating and Reading Camus’s The Stranger

In my senior literature class we’re finishing up The Stranger, by Albert Camus. Believe it or not, but before this summer I’d never read the novel (there’s a lot of literature out there!). And I am absolutely loving it. Our copy was translated by Matthew Ward, which is a point worth noting—Camus wrote in French, …

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