There’s been a lot spoken about post-Seattle fiction, especially by China. Do you see this as in fact happening or is it part of a cycle in literature?
Category-making is an exercise of control. When anything out of the ordinary happens in a genre, an entire immune system of activists–reviewers, bloggers, academics, pseudo-academics, anthologisers, editors, marketeers, piggybackers and other opportunists–rushes to manage, exploit and contain the outbreak by defining it in established categorical and historical terms. Where it centres on the appearance of a young writer, it’s less a discourse than the kind of grooming done by paedophiles. One of its effects is to absorb the other safely into the self and keep the genre’s economics churning. The New Weird started as a joke but rapidly became a way of making an intervention in that process, baiting the immune system a little, bringing it into public view. For me it meant one thing (to name is to claim, and if I have to be claimed then it will be by myself), for China it meant another: but we shared enough goals to have fun. We’ve moved on now, and for us the joke’s over.
I believe that Tachyon are planning a New Weird anthology for next year. Gotta admire the timing.
(Also, it seems pleasingly apt that the Wikipedia page for New Weird has a note at the top saying “The factual accuracy of this article or section is disputed” …)