Fantastika was a word I thought I’d find being used much more frequently this year. First brought up by Warren Ellis (of course), it describes the supergenre that encompasses SF, fantasy and horror. When “literary” authors dip their toes into genre fiction (or in the case of Margaret Attwood and more recently Jeanette Winterston, dive in fully clothed, and then claim that what they have written is not SF because SF is rubbish about cloning and robots and space aliens) they are adrift in the seas of fantastika, and it is a thoroughly refreshing dip. Being a writer of fantastika means that you can play with all kinds of genre conventions, and twist them into new shapes that better suit the story that you wish to tell. In my latest (work in progress) book, I’m happily throwing all kinds of junk together, mixing magic with an arms race involving petrol-driven mecha. It’s enormous fun to write, and hopefully will be as much fun to read.
Anyway, co-writer of the Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, John Clute, has come up with a road map for fantastika that’s instantly got me thinking anew about the structure of my book. It’s a fascinating read in it’s own right, and claims a new and unexpected writer to the fold.
(ganked off Warren Ellis – who else?)