Alternative Fiction

Alternative Fiction (Alt Fic) is defined by Thea Logie as "modern fiction that mucks about with reality and doesn't give a monkey's about the literary establishment", and (paraphrasing) as 'more subversive than Straight Fiction' (for some value of Straight Fiction).

How does Alt Fic relate to Speculative Fiction? Is it a subset? If so, how does it relate to Science Fiction and Fantasy Fiction? How does it relate to Mimetic Fiction? How does it relate to Mainstream Fiction?

Would you (although they're nominally children's fiction) classify things like Joan Aiken's "Black Hearts in Battersea" and the like in that category? -- WJR Quite possibly: sometimes children's fiction, freed largely from the constraints of the literary establishment, is the only decent Alt Fic around. -- TL True, and thank you. -- SDN

I would argue (a) the statement that Alt Fic (whatever that is) is more 'subversive' than Straight Fiction (whatever that is -- TA) is extremely simplistic and that (b) 'mucking about with reality' does not mean an author doesn't give a damn about the literary establishment. The idea that mainstream fiction should be Mimetic Fiction died out sixty or seventy years ago, and most major authors in the UK (Salman Rushdie, Martin Amis? etc.) are perfectly happy 'mucking around with reality' as are most SF authors, who are painfully conscious of the 'literary establishment' because they never stop bloody complaining about how it ignores them. -- MF

It sounds very much like what they're calling The New Weird...

The "mucks about with reality" makes it clear that Alternative Fiction is Speculative Fiction, but the mention of the establishment, and the original context of the definition, indicate that Alternative Fiction is Mainstream Fiction. Perhaps Alternative Fiction is simply the branch of Speculative Fiction which has inflitrated Mainstream Fiction; it's Speculative Fiction at heart, but without the superficial traits which scare mainstreamers off (the tentacled monster thinghandling the blonde in the diaphanous gown towards its rocketship etc).

I believe this has long been known as Slip Stream Fiction?. --MF

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