Highlights // 28 Sep – 4 Oct 15

A smattering of exciting stuff in the world of contemporary fiction. Relaying news on upcoming titles, bookish events and anything with a literary flourish.

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“Rules for Werewovles” by Kirk Lynn 

A brand-new book from début novelist Kirk Lynn, published by the amazing indie press Melville House. The story has been described as a subverted take on the suburban novel; the book deals with displaced people and unoccupied spaces. See an interview with Kirk Lynn here and a review of his novel on Boobpeople’s Blog here.

Links: http://www.mhpbooks.com/i-think-its-pretty-clear-youre-wrong-an-interview-with-kirk-lynn/

https://bookpeopleblog.wordpress.com/2015/10/06/read-this-book-rules-for-werewolves/

global_437444520The Horror Book Club (London, UK) – The Horror Book Club are reading the classic Dracula for their meet-up tomorrow, Thursday 8th October. A great group dedicated to horror and the Weird, they meet near King’s Cross station at 7pm. Details here for anyone interested in this or future events: http://www.meetup.com/The-Horror-Book-Club/

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Jeff VanderMeer – The author of the iconic Ambergris novels and the phenomenally successfully Southern Reach trilogy has just completed his new novel, Bliss. This will be his first novel since the Southern Reach trilogy, and is due out in either later 2016 or early 1017. But this is not the only project VanderMeer’s been working on! As usual, he’s been a busy bee; he and his wife Ann have a mountain of other schemes they’ve been working on. VanderMeer posted this list of his current undertakings on his Facebook page:

“Right. One informational post. My novel BORNE will be out in fall 2016 or spring 2017. The next one, BLISS, just went to my agent. BIG BOOK OF SF, almost 700k of a century of SF stories, is out from Vintage in June 2016. *This* year, our 900-page omnibus of Leena Krohn’s fiction is out Dec. 8. Ann’s BESTIARY antho (with original fiction from Mieville and Valente) is out in December as well from Centipede Press. In addition, we’re putting together a STORYBUNDLE for December (ebooks) that is like none you’ve ever seen. It’ll include the Krohn as well as Anna Tambour Michael Cisco’s The Narrator, and some other things I can’t talk about yet. BUT one of them will be an e-book of fiction by a writer out of print for almost 20 years. Finally, we have a month of events in Canada starting next week–will do a blog post about that soon. Both Ann and I are really exhausted, but I think it was worth it.”

Some useful links to VanderMeer’s Facebook page and VanderMeer’s blog

What is the Contemporary?

The key concern for Meglo is contemporary fiction. So, we’ve put ourselves in a bit of a difficult situation here, because this means we have to define what “the contemporary” means. On the one hand, and for the simple the purpose of this blog, “contemporary fiction” plainly means new fiction. Anyone who is writing and publishing fiction at this moment can be considered contemporary. But, then, what is “this moment”? And does contemporary really simply mean “new” or “happening now”, or is it more of a cultural construct?

The idea of the contemporary implies time, and since human beings experience life inside time, the implication is that the contemporary is also an experience. Therefore, the contemporary is difficult to categorise because it is constantly in flux; once we state “this is now”, that “now” has already past and we are living in a future moment of “now”. Yet this difficulty of the contemporary is also its strength. The beauty of the contemporary is that it is constantly moving forward, propelled by the arrow of time.

So,  where does this leave contemporary fiction? When you study literature, you learn about literary movements in blocks of time – you move from medieval, to Romantic, to Victorian, to Modernism. This is a terribly simplistic overview, but you get the picture; literature is contextualised within its (very general) historical moment. But it is not unusual to hear people state that there is no movement within contemporary fiction. But Meglo is a space that seeks to prove this sentiment is false. There is so much happening in the contemporary literary sphere, in fact, there is not just one movement, but there are several!

The contemporary captures the spirit of an age, but the irony is that that spirit only becomes concrete once the current moment has past. We encourage constant discussion about contemporary fiction, because we believe that such a dialogue is  the sphere of the contemporary. Channels of communication enable the continuous flux, and the internet is the best place to open these channels, because here, everyone has a platform and everyone has a voice.

We concentrate particularly on weird and speculative fiction, because we think that the sf community is a vibrant place full of intriguing and cutting-edge ideas. Sci-fi has moved from it’s parents’ basement to join the populace, and the results are pretty interesting. Speculative fiction is also of specific interest because it blurs those antiquated boundaries between pulp/genre fiction and traditional literary fiction. And, as we’ve readily discovered, the contemporary is pretty much all a blur!

So does the contemporary come with the “end of history”? Does it belong in the moment of postmodernism, or evern post-postmodernism? Does the contemporary emerge with the dawn of the information age? We’re not sure, in fact, nobody’s really sure (seriously, try discussing this topic with a literature scholar)! Literature is constructed from and a response to the concerns of its time. Contemporary fiction is built of our current cultural, social and historical experiences, and the conversations these experiences inspire.

So let’s keep taking, the floor is yours

-MEGLO

Intro to Meglo

A little bit about MegloBlog:

This is a space to discuss the latest news in the world of contemporary speculative fiction. There are so many impressive authors emerging right now, and we aim to keep the public informed on exciting developments and projects in the literary world.

If you are interested in fiction that blurs boundaries, this is the place for you!
We are primarily concerned with fiction that is a little bit strange and hard to place. Weird fiction, horror, science fiction, urban fantasy, magical realism … anything that feels slightly odd and unnerving, anything that breaks down the division between genre fiction and traditional literary fiction. We live in a time where binary categories and social norms are constantly shifting, so why should the norms of literature be any different!

Meglo Aims:

This site is an open channel, and we are keen to start a discussion about the state of literature in the present moment. If you would like to throw your opinions out there, please don’t be shy and leave a comment! We are based in the UK and our focus is mainly on British and North American fiction, but we are happy to hear from writers further afield.

Happy reading, happy writing, and remember to always keep an ongoing dialogue. Literature stays alive through continuing discussion of its readers!