It’s common wisdom that in the last decade “literary” writers have fully embraced genre fiction. Whether it’s zombies (Colson Whitehead’s Zone One), superheroes (Jonathan Lethem’s The Fortress of Solitude), fairy tales (Karen Russell’s St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves), or the apocalypse (Cormac McCarthy’s The Road), you can find it shelved in the literary section of your local bookstores. These writers are hardly the first literary writers to toe the genre line though. Here are ten other literary authors who you may not have realized wrote speculative fiction, as picked by our friend Lincoln Michel, who is the co-editor of the forthcoming science flash fiction anthology Gigantic Worlds, which will include work from Jonathan Lethem, Lynne Tillman, J. Robert Lennon, J. G Ballard, and many more. You can find more information about the anthology on their Kickstarter page.
Fiskadoro, Denis Johnson
Known for his dreamlike tales of drug-fueled outcasts (Jesus’ Son, Angels), Denis Johnson’s sophomore novel took a more nightmarish turn: a post-apocalyptic coming-of-age tale set in the aftermath of a nuclear war, written in Johnson’s characteristic poetic and hallucinatory style.