410 pages
$13.95 (paper)
ISBN 1-57366-080-9

Read an Excerpt

In The Slipstream: An FC2 Reader - Reviews

"In 1973, a group of frustrated American writers, united in their disgust with trade publishing, founded the Fiction Collective, an organization dedicated to finding and publishing "worthwhile fiction outside of the impoverished commercial taste of mainstream publishing." For the next 25 years, the Collective has suffered decided economic and critical ups and downs, identity crises, and a name change (to FC2). They have survived all of this, and have now issued an anthology of excerpts drawn from the books published by the Collective over the past quarter century. The twenty-nine pieces provide a useful survey of the varieties of experimental writing in the US, ranging from stream of consciousness (Richard Grossman, Alphabet Man) to the surrealistic (Constance Pierce, When Things Get Back to Normal) to the aggressively postmodern (John Shirley, New Noir) and to the incendiary (Samuel Delany, HOGG). Most of the writers here, though (Gerald Vizenor, Fanny Howe, Mark Leyner, Rob Hardin, Steve Katz, Marianne Hauser, et al.), defy easy categorization. They have in common only a willingness to alter the definitions and intentions of fiction. What they have produced ranges from the puerile to the masterful, and, in its variety, the anthology offers a useful (and unsettling) introduction to the vital byways and back alleys of modern fiction. Libraries should have it, and more adventurous readers should seek it out."

-Kirkus Reviews

"Readers seeking a genuine alternative to [the] "Alt-Lite" syndrome need look no further than the FC2's wild (and wildly eclectic) anthology Into the Slipstream. [...] the 29 stories and novel excerpts [...] provide convincing evidence that rumors of the death of serious innovative writing in America have been greatly exaggerated. [...]In keeping with the avant-garde's emphasis on shock and transgression -- this as a means of breaking through the cocoon of habituation that deaden people's response to the world -- a number of the most memorable selections depict the most extreme forms of human sexuality, perversion and violence. But whereas most mainstream treatments of such materials tend to use shock merely to grab the attention of its increasingly jaded audiences, several of the Slipstream selections burrow into the sources of human depravity and eroticism with the kind of nightmarish vividness and psychological conviction that one associates with Poe, Kafka, Sade and Bataille. [...]This is strong and disturbing stuff indeed, but "Slipstream" also showcases a rich variety of other kinds of innovation strategies. [...] If you prefer "Alternative Culture" served straight up, no chaser, check out In the Slipstream. It packs a wallop."

-Larry McCaffery,The San Diego Union-Tribune, November 7, 1999