When it comes to literary techniques, pastiche can be one of the most subtly volatile out there. Most of the time when it’s utilized, it’s effectively invisible — effectively cloaking an author’s work in the voice of another. When it’s done badly, it can be utterly unbearable; I’ve still never been able to make it through the segment of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Black Dossier in which Alan Moore channels Jack Kerouac. There’s something about Cthulthu mythos stories that brings pastiche to the foreground — there’s a Lovecraftian Wodehouse pastiche in the aforementioned Black Dossier, for instance, and it’s far from the only one.
In our afternoon reading: an interview with Elisabeth Thomas, new writing from Sarah McCarry, and more.
In our afternoon reading: a playlist from Leland Cheuk, a conversation with Deborah Levy, and more.
There’s a telling moment to be found in the history of one of the stories in Nick Mamatas’s new collection The People’s Republic of Everything, likely the only collection you’ll encounter this year that includes both a counterfactual account of Trotsky’s early days and an account of a garden gnome-turned-nuclear weapon. It comes after “Slice of Life,” a tale of a particular corner of medical research and the philosophical tangents it inspires among those involved in it.
In our afternoon reading: interviews with Nick Mamatas and Julia Dixon Evans, new writing by Rebecca Mead, and more.
In our afternoon reading: interviews with Anelise Chen and Nick Mamatas, thoughts on “The Long Goodbye,” and more.
In our afternoon reading: an interview with Junot Díaz, thoughts on books by Marisa Silver and Nick Mamatas, and more.
In our afternoon reading: interviews with Colson Whitehead and Annie DeWitt, new writing on music from Amanda Petrusich, and more.