David Mitchell

Wicked Wonders Wicked Wonderful

In the battle between literary fiction and genre fiction, Ellen Klages belongs to both sides, as her engaging collection of short stories Wicked Wonders demonstrates.

Review: The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell

The Bone Clocks consists of six linked novellas chronicling the life of one woman, Holly Sykes, from rebellious teenager in 1984, to grandmother in 2043. Each novella is narrated in the first person present tense, but only the opening and closing sections are see directly through Holly’s eyes. In the other four sections she is a character in someone else’s story. It is a strong framework on which to build a novel. Unfortunately Holly is not herself a particularly interesting person

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

Crossroads: “Speculative” Literary Fiction and SF/F Techniques

Last week, we talked about how works of speculative fiction deploy techniques commonly found in literary fiction. This week, we’re going to flip that coin and look at how mainstream literary fiction employs techniques developed and refined in science fiction and fantasy. There are many theories as to what constitutes the “core technique” underlying speculative […]

Venn diagram of Literary Fiction/Speculative Fiction along Character/Plot Spectrum

Crossroads: The Cores of Literary Fiction and Speculative Fiction

The relationship between speculative fiction and mainstream literary fiction is complicated by decades of group identity dynamics, mutual ignorance, and overbroad critical generalizations about both genres. However, if we try to put our long-held attitudes to one side and focus our attention on the works themselves, we find that the two genres are neither incompatible, […]

The Ergodic* Nature of Games

When I was in college studying creative writing, I fell in love with a lot of writers: Haruki Murakami, Jonathan Lethem, David Mitchell, Michael Chabon, all of the genre-bending literary fiction authors.  It was probably a sign of something: on graduation, I would detox with a deluge of genre work, Raymond Chandler’s detectives and J.K. […]