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Conjunctions: 39, The New Wave Fabulists Paperback – December 15, 2002

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Product Details

  • Series: Conjunctions (Book 39)
  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Bard College (December 15, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0941964558
  • ISBN-13: 978-0941964555
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 5.9 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #133,586 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By C. Fletcher on September 26, 2003
Format: Paperback
It took me about four months to finally track down a copy of this book (which is a literary journal published quarterly by Bard College). It proved well worth the time and effort.
I've been a big fan of Peter Straub's since I was totally captivated and transported by his novel GHOST STORY the summer I was 14. Peter Straub has made a name for himself over the years writing dense, deeply textured, and psychologically compelling horror novels that often deal with the dark conflicts that flow between the broken rocks of the past into the deceptively quiet flatlands of the present.

Although Straub's area of expertise is undoubtedly the novel, he's no stranger to short fiction. He's published two collections of his own shorter work, and edited a previous anthology called PETER STRAUB'S GHOSTS.
CONJUNCTIONS is definitely superior to GHOSTS, which had its moments--both good and not so good. In this latest anthology, which is consistently edgy, smart, and entertaining, Straub weaves together shorter works by some of the most talented writers working today into one impressive quilt.
CONJUNCTIONS is admittedly something of a mixed bag. The poetic musings of "serious lit" authors share the page with more plot-concerned stories from popular genre writers. I think it's all for the good, though. What you get in CONJUNCTIONS is a trick or treat pillow case stuffed with fancy rich truffles and plenty of Snickers and Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. It's an interesting mixture, and you're never sure what you'll bring up next.
Of the twenty stories, only one or two are duds (the requisite black licorice-apologies to anyone who likes it.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By K. Freeman on September 16, 2003
Format: Paperback
Conjunctions is actually a periodical anthology, but normally
doesn't, as far as I can tell, publish spec fic. 39, "The New Wave Fabulists", edited by Peter Straub, is an exception.
Straub's introduction doesn't tell one what a New Wave Fabulist is, but the stories do. The anthology features Crowley, Link, Harrison (M. John, not the other guy), Straub, Morrow, Hopkinson, Lethem, Haldeman, Mieville, Duncan, Wolfe (Gene), O'Leary, Carroll, Kessel, Fowler, Hand, Park, Gaiman, Wolfe (Gary) and Clute, the last two being essays. Most of the stories are slipstreamy, as I'd define it; in fact Gene Wolfe's
apparently traditional otherworld fantasy was the only exception. The majority are set in real world/present day; most are literary and sophisticated in diction; several, rather than traditional "character with a problem" plot structures, have alternative structures such as character sketches (Straub) and nested interlocking narratives (Link). The essays, of which I found Wolfe's more understandable, discuss the "New Wave Fabulist" movement in terms that sound like slipstream: authors who use tools from many different genres to produce something generally speculative-feeling, but conforming to few or no traditional genre standards.
NWF, slipstream, whatever it's called, it is certainly one, though not the only, cutting edge in SFF today, and I'd think that anyone really interested in professional publication as an SFF author would want to have a look at the book. Although I enjoyed a fair number of the stories (particularly the Duncan, Carroll and Mieville), I found a few of them a bit short on plot and conflict, too self-consciously literary.
Overall, this seems like an important anthology to me and I recommend it.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Frostokovich on August 26, 2003
Format: Paperback
While the publisher saddled Peter Straub and his collected artists with the subtitle "New Wave Fabulists", the essential element linking these diverse stories is how they assemble elements from across genres to create vivid, engaging fiction. The authors are powerful storytellers and there is hardly a disappointing work in the bunch--which is more than you can say for more anthologies with some sort of thematic bent. This is interstitial fiction at its finest. Highly recommended.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Got the good names plus the good taste. It's not the easiest reading, which indicates that sf/fantasy is no longer the go-to escapist genre: this stuff requires attention. My favorites so far both have religious overtones (in fiction, religion belongs in the overtones). Peter Straub's "Little Red's Tango" is a truly original take on a jazz-obsessed Christ figure. Elizabeth Hand's "The Least Trumps" combines Tarot, thrift-shopping, tattoo inking, and the discovery of a new reality. Hand is a John Crowley intimate, and it shows, and that's very good.
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