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James Alan Gardner

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Fiction and Excerpts [1]

Five Books That Have Fun Mashing Up Sub-Genres

One of the glories of science fiction and fantasy is the way that writers can mash up different genres and sub-genres to provide new perspectives on old tropes. This has been happening for at least as far back as Shakespeare: A Midsummer Night’s Dream mixes together Greek mythology (Theseus and Hippolyta), stories of English Faerie folk (Oberon and Titania), romantic comedy (the mismatched lovers), and lowbrow slapstick (the “rude mechanicals”) to obtain a play which throws a fresh light on all its elements. The play is also ridiculously funny, which is why it’s still a favorite with modern audiences.

I like funny. I love funny. Most of the stories I’ve written contain plenty of laughter, even when they deal with serious subjects. And mashing together different sub-genres is a perfect opportunity for jokes.

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Series: Five Books About…

A Clean Sweep With All the Trimmings

Presenting a new original science fiction story, “A Clean Sweep With All the Trimmings,” by author James Alan Gardner, a Damon Runyon-esque tale of courteous guys, bulletproof dolls, and the fedora-clad spacemen that bring them together.

This week marks the seventy-fifth anniversary of the death of American writer Damon Runyon, best known for his delightful, distinctive prose style and for the series of post-Prohibition New York stories that eventually inspired the musical Guys and Dolls.

This story was acquired and edited for Tor.com by editor Liz Gorinsky.

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