CLF: WHAT ARE WE?
CLF, The Council for the Literature of the Fantastic, is a literary organization whose purpose is to promote thei "fantastic" in a world where literary values tend overwhelmingly to favor "realism." We prefer to talk about "LF," the *literature* of the fantastic, rather than sf or sci-fi or fantasy or magic realism or the surreal or horror or slipstream. We use LF as an umbrella term for all of these subcategories of the fantastic. Our interest is in bringing to light neglected or potentially neglected *literature* of high quality (a redundancy?) that employs non-realistic modes of narration, a trait that often excludes such writing from mainstream publication.
By no means opposed to realism, we want to correct a culturally destructive imbalance. We offer our services to publishers of eclectic tastes who *include* non-realistic works among the sorts of fiction they print, as well as to publishers who deal exclusively in fiction of a fantastic nature. (Our concern, of course, extends to all you writers and readers and editors and agents out there, too, who have a taste for high quality LF and wish to see the finer work in the field gain the widest possible public recognition.)
We believe that LF, fantastic fiction of high *literary* quality (and by that we do NOT mean a stuffy academicism!) is under-promoted and under-appreciated in this country. Our counterpart in England, Chris Reed of Back Brain Recluse magazine, levels a similar criticism at the British literary marketplace. As to the scene here in America, we ought to be particularly upset at the way literary "seriousness" has come to be identified with Realism, because the American literary mainstream, our great nineteenth-century fiction writers, were virtually all fantasists, or writers of LF--e.g., Irving, Poe, Hawthorne, Melville. What has been sacrificed in this turn toward "sobriety"? Too much, in our opinion. And we are out to right the balance with every means at our disposal, including innovative marketing tactics.
The home base of CLF is the University of Rhode Island , whose administration has been very supportive of our concerns and leaves us editorially free to promote the literary fantastic however we see fit. We have received State, national, and international support in pursuing our goals, and we solicit editorial contributions from all interested parties.
Please check out our CLF Newsletter ONLINE Previously, the hardcopy versions of Issues #1-#5 have been distributed i gratis to about 2,500 recipients--writers, readers, publishers, i booksellers--in the endeavor to publicize our efforts and i develop a wide base of support. Starting with Issue #6, we have moved toward an exclusively online version of of our newsletter so that we may reach the maximum number of interested persons.
Let us know what you think of our initial efforts and how you think we can improve upon what we're doing or attempting to do.
For all matters concerning the CLF, Contact me:
|The Council for the Literature of the Fantastic is based at the Department of English of the University of Rhode Island. We thank the University and the Department for their support.|
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