SciFi Strange: online short sf ‘dream anthology’ curated by Jason Sanford

Paul Raven @ 20-08-2010

Subgenres proliferate in fecundity, their fuzzy edges perpetually osmosing* into one another. Or something like that, anyway… however you want to look at, Jason Sanford’s trying to describe and categorise an identifiable strand of modern science fiction short stories:

SciFi Strange isn’t a label. It isn’t a definition.  Instead, it’s an attempt to describe the science fiction being created by some of today’s most exciting writers. These stories combine the literary standards and cultural understandings of the New Wave movement with the basic strangeness and sensawunda from the golden age of science fiction–all seen through the lens of today’s multicultural world, where diversity and difference are the norm even as basic human values and needs still bind us together.

SciFi Strange also flirts with the boundaries of what is scientifically–and therefore realistically–possible, without being bounded by the rigid frames of the world as we know it today.

(Which may be why no Futurismic stories made the cut. Sad face… 🙁 )

But don’t call SciFi Strange fantasy. This is pure science fiction. It’s merely an updated version of the literature of ideas. A science fiction for a world where the frontiers of scientific possibility are almost philosophical in nature.

However you define it, Sanford’s got a great list of stories by some interesting authors rounded up on that page: fourteen tales, all free to read on the web or download as a PDF, from some of the most reputable publications (dead-tree and digital) in the business. Should keep you busy for the rest of the weekend, eh? 🙂

[ * Not sure is this is the correct way to conjugate osmosis as a verb, but by hell, it should be. ]

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One Response to “SciFi Strange: online short sf ‘dream anthology’ curated by Jason Sanford”

  1. Martin says:

    It sounded interesting but Sanford lost me when I saw that the first story in the “anthology” was ‘Exhalation’ by Ted Chiang. This seems entirely unconnected to the SciFi Strange description you quote. I’ve gone back and read his original post on the subject and again, the fit doesn’t seem that good. I don’t think there is anything particularly weird about the fiction of Chaing and Ian MacDonald; they are straight SF writers.