N.K. Jemison on Experimental Fantasy

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Over at Electric Literature, Tobias Carroll interviews fantasy author N.K. Jemison about her character- and world-building processes, the evolution of her publication history, and narrative structure.

I read pretty widely, not just fantasy, so I don’t feel particularly wedded to the genre conventions. Fortunately, my publisher has been supportive in letting me explore, and my readers have been supportive in buying those books, so that I can continue to explore. I think that’s because the fantasy audience is not just interested in formula, as I think a lot of popular wisdom would have people believe. The experimental stuff that I have done is not that different from what a lot of the great and enduring novels in the genre have done, and things that end up changing the genre have done. I don’t think of it as being particularly unusual.


Kelly Lynn Thomas reads, writes, and sometimes sews in Pittsburgh, PA. Her creative work has appeared in Sou’wester, Thin Air Magazine, Heavy Feather Review, metazen, and others, and she received her MFA in Creative Writing from Chatham University. She is hopelessly obsessed with Star Wars and can always be found with a large mug of tea. She also runs the very small Wild Age Press. Read more at kellylynnthomas.com. More from this author →