Thursday, March 27, 2008

"Subtle Edens - The Elastic Book of Slipstream"

This book will be a mixture of fiction and non-fiction. To be edited by Allen Ashley. To be published as an original paperback by Elastic Press in Autumn 2008.

General Information:

All works must be original to the author(s), not under consideration anywhere else and not previously published. Any quotations from other people's work must be either public domain, approved by the quoted author or fall under the "body of a review" copyright allowance. As a general rule: Write your own material, don't rely on someone else's!


Allen Ashley has made the following provocative statements:

"Slipstream is essentially a 1990s and noughties extension and subtle reconfiguration of New Wave science fiction."

"How do I define science fiction? Somewhere between 1967 and 1974."

Slipstream uses the tropes and ideas of science fiction, fantasy and horror but is not bound by their rules and will often make those elements only a minor feature of the story rather than its raison d'ĂȘtre. Likewise, a plot and set-up may appear conventionally literary but fall outside the staid boundaries of the mainstream. Slipstream may start off with a science fictional or broadly realistic appearance but then take a sideways step into its own unique microcosm or socio-psychological state. Slipstream writers may sometimes experiment with form, presentation and the usurpation of traditional techniques but these are not ends in themselves. As with all great literature, Slipstream is concerned with people, perceptions and the human experience. Slipstream contains and proudly maintains a strain of solipsism and encourages the individual viewpoint and the unique vision. We appreciate the sentiments behind the recent coining of the phrase "The New Weird" but reject this notion as limiting and somewhat off-target.

In a sound bite, Slipstream is somewhere between the literary aspirations of the mainstream and the pulp excitement of genre fiction.

Slipstream is a living genre. J. G. Ballard called science fiction the true literature of the twentieth century. Here in the noughties, we believe Slipstream is a vital genre and is the only true literary response to the challenges of the new millennium.

As you can see, Allen is already halfway through his anthology introduction. But then again, maybe Slipstream is the genre that ultimately defies easy categorisation. Throw off the constraints of branding, marketing and labelling! Make Slipstream what you believe it to be.

How to Submit Stories:

If all the above hasn't put you off - and it ought to have done, folks! - then we'd really like to read your work. Stories should be written in English, be original, unpublished, not under consideration elsewhere and no longer than 5000 words in length. Standard presentation rules apply. Please send "Disposable" paper copy plus C5 stamped addressed envelope. We can reply by email if you prefer. Overseas contributors: we will only reply by email. The editor prefers to relax on a sofa and enjoy reading a hard copy of your opus - he was brought up on books, you know. For email submissions, please query first to check what mood he's in.

Send your manuscripts to: Allen Ashley, Editor - "Subtle Edens", 110 Marlborough Road, Bounds Green, London N22 8NN, England.

Please allow 8 weeks response time.

Please email Allen if you have any queries about this anthology, no matter how trivial or, indeed, testing!

For email queries to Allen:

For general Elastic Press business such as purchasing Elastic Press books, email Andrew Hook at or visit

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