For context: When I submitted to Tevun Cruz at one point, I was listed in a couple of categories: one was of my own invention, though it had precursors before I. The other was something that’s been somewhat obscure in science fiction.
Is Slipstream fiction closer to Science Fiction or Fantasy? I’ve heard it’s even compared with Magical Realism and Surrealism. My work is a bit less that way now, but there was a time when my work was headed less into a Science Fantasy direction, and more in the Slipstream/Transrealism/Magical Realism/Surrealism.
The other was Satanic Scifi, which I joked about, as I didn’t really know of what else to call a science fiction story that had elements of The Satanic Templee. Grey faction, if the question arises. Though non practicing currently.
I must admit I tend to think that Slipstream is more Fantasy based, but like all genres and subgenres they can evolve and broaden. Science Fiction was once a subgenre of Fantasy. Like many stories I see no reason why a work can’t have elements of all sorts of interesting categories in it
I guess the point is, much of it is surreal in nature and little of it based on a technology or areas of science. It is likely that a thorough examination of each work sticky-labled “slipstream” would need be done to decide whether a particular work even contains any Sci-Fi elements in it, let alone drop it into the SF basket.
Does it actually have some element of futurism to it? Does the outworking of the plot use or leverage some sort of technology or research to progress it? Does it instead depend on mysticisim, magic, or other occult trope?
Just being weird does not automatically interest buyers and readers of speculative or science fictions. There are perhaps too many who feel, because they have writ something about something, that they can now declare a new sub-genre of science fiction as the catch-bucket to put it in.
There is a growing disdain for this trend among the followers of SF, and perhaps rightly so. The publishing industry, that gave us the segregation of genres to begin with, has abandoned control over what goes into it, partly because there are fewer specialty magazine venue publications with the clout or circulation to set trends, and discriminate work.
The mechanics of how this happened has to do with the costs of producing and widely distributing printed magazines to small if consistent pools of consumers. The average magazine of any size can run to ten bucks an issue or more, or ungodly annual subscription fees. There is no congress, or court to pronounce judgement with authority on what can be considered part of what venue. Their are no more John Campbells, or small cadres of controlling editors to set such standards for the market.
While many revel in this, it penalizes genres like SF that do suffer from dumpster-itis. “We don’t know what this stuff is,so throw it onto the SF shelf”, notes the indie book bookstore owner.
Giant arcologies? you mean like the Toronto mall? Psychology, which I have a degree in, by the way, features in many science fiction dramas, but save for the occasional use of a syllogismobile to transport people into story fiction myth worlds for fantasy works, is fairly rare for a story structure itself. Perhaps because it is not a thing, but a system of knowledge with few mechanical applications. Dunno. But a state of mind by itself doesn’t automatically categorize something as SF. Being crazy, or having, eh, a less average grip on reality doesn’t on its own make something a SF hit either. I can reach onto my bookshelf, pull down a title and instantly decide whether it is Fantasy or SF without a lot of thought or running through attribute tables. (Shrug). This seems to be a superpower few have, to read some posts here. Why? Again, dunno.