• Among those who think of themselves as literary writers and readers there are generally two aesthetic approaches, two attitudes, to genre fiction. One attitude takes the mode as a kind of repository or composter, a source of energies it might not otherwise tap: jayhawkers, basically. Then there are the postmoderns, skimming like waterbugs across the surface barely touching, out to "subvert" genre conventions.

But there are also those among us who appreciate genre fiction for just what it is. We relish its profound strengths, often wonder if Jim Thompson or Horace McCoy may not represent his time as authentically as Raymond Carver or Faulkner his. Literature, I keep saying, is not a bureau with drawers discretely labelled Meat, Potatoes, Salad, Fruit, Cheese, but a long banquet table piled with all sorts of food. You go along the table, taste this and that, go back for seconds and thirds, take portions of what you need.

It's from writers who understand this, that I want to hear.

We're looking for stories up to 3500 words. "Mystery, Crime and Science Fiction," our announcement reads. I'm not sure what we mean by that. Once out of familiar territory, nomenclature's always a problem - and getting out of familiar territory is precisely what this is all about.

Please place "Attn: Jim Sallis" in the subject line.

Jim Sallis



In Posse: Potentially, might be ...