23 June 2010

20 Under 40 and the Fantastic

With one post, Larry Nolen simultaneously offers a thoughtful and well-informed response to folks who got all "wwaaaahhrrr!  waaaahhhhrrr!  genre good!  waaahhhhrrrr!" about the New Yorker's "20 Under 40" promotional list (whereas I just offered snark) and he proves what we already knew -- that he was the perfect successor as Best American Fantasy series editor, because his perspective is exactly the one we wanted for the book when we created the series (and he's a much faster reader than I am, which will make the work perhaps a bit less arduous for him than it was for me).  It's a post well worth reading -- one of the things being inundated with piles of lit mags does is show you the extraordinary variety of writing out there, both in terms of content and form.

Now if I can just get him to stop calling it "mimetic fiction", I'll have achieved all of my goals for world domination, bwahahahahahahahaaaa!

Update: The link for "20 Under 40" above goes to interviews with the 20.  Here are some questions and responses:

Chris Adrian:
Who are your favorite writers over forty?
Ursula K. Le Guin and Marilynne Robinson, John Crowley and Padgett Powell.


What was the inspiration for the piece included in the “20 Under 40” series?
Kate Bernheimer asked me to contribute a piece to her new anthology of fairy tales, “My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me,” and I was excited to have a chance to revisit a story that disturbs me: Goethe’s “The Erlking.”

What are you working on now?
A story about a haunted house.


What was the inspiration for the piece included in the “20 Under 40” series?
[...]I wanted to try a sort of fantastical-historical story—Hitchcock meets the swamp.

What are you working on now?
New stories and a novel about a whacked-out imaginary town during the Dust Bowl drought.

Who are your favorite writers over forty?
Just a very few on a long list would be George Saunders, Kelly Link, Joy Williams, Ben Marcus, Jim Shepard, and whole cemeteries of the well-over-forty deceased ones.