What a Fantasy

Neil Ayres, editor of the new online zine Serendipity, writing on the Man Booker site about how magic realism and its less socially acceptable cousins have fared (or not) with the award and why:

From the wealth of experimental and magical realist writing on the Man Booker shortlist and winners’ podium over the years, the judges would seem to agree. So it won’t be the decision to write outside of our own reality that causes Animal’s People to win or lose this year, it will be the quality of the writing. It’s just a shame the same can’t be said of all the great eligible science fiction, horror and high fantasy that has been published.

There is interesting work in this area coming from the left-field, mostly from America, with magazines like Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet and Electric Velocipede tending a stable of successful mid-list authors working across the gamut of genre. Some have attempted to present a manifesto, define it as a movement, or at least seek a common thread running through the work of these authors. In my opinion, though, the only common thread is that these authors are writing outside of realism, whether in science fiction, fantasy, horror and steampunk, absurdism, surrealism, or magical realism.

With Man Booker’s ongoing recognition of the quality of the talent writing in magical realism today, perhaps the future is looking up for well-written, original speculative fiction of all kinds.

We can only hope. And, anyway, it’s worth reading this whole essay. (Via.)

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