Spinetingler Magazine, of which I am co-founder and editor, is non-genre specific. We publish literature.
In my opinion, one of the best examples of this over the past year was MG Tarquini's story, ABSOLUTION. Brilliant, haunting. The caliber of the writing convinced me that I wanted MG on my editorial team. In fact, I am hoping there’s a suitable award to nominate that story for, because it’s an exceptional piece.
We review non-genre books too. Ian Rankin’s THE FLOOD was used in university courses in Scotland. Next issue I’ll review AFRICAN PSYCHO, which I would not label as crime fiction either. THE CLOUD OF UNKNOWING is in the pile, as is LIGHT ON SNOW, AS I LAY DYING and THE SOUND AND THE FURY.
Hardly what I’d call exclusively crime fiction. Not by a long shot.
Google alerts have tipped me off that my recent post on reviews has revealed that I am a member of the forces of evil. Oh no, my cover’s blown! (Not like that’s a newsflash – evilkev’s been saying that for years. And at least I’m in good company.)
The funny thing is, I have nothing against “literature” except one thing: A lot of the authors and anti-genre lobbyists are arrogant. They are all about putting others down to elevate themselves. I can’t be bothered with that.
Funny thing is, I even have a non-genre author on my list for upcoming interviews for Spinetingler. Ooooohhhh, look at me. Really being evil, promoting someone outside my genre. (Where is the roll eyes emoticon when you need it?)
The only thing I’ve ever been interested in doing is promoting great books. You want to know why we don’t run more stuff from outside crime fiction? We don’t receive it. It isn’t genre authors who turn up their nose at the thought of being interviewed by us or having us review their book. And with so many authors eager for the attention we certainly won’t waste time and energy on those who are difficult.
We deliberately made Spinetingler non-genre so that what we published wouldn’t be narrowly construed. A great story is a great story, no matter what label it falls under. Movies like THE HOURS or AMERICAN BEAUTY are far more poignant and meaningful than movies like CASINO ROYALE.
I’m not begging for review copies. I have more than I can handle already. But maybe the reason we aren’t offered non-genre fiction more is because the authors are afraid of whether or not their work will measure up under the scrutiny of people who are not automatically predisposed to be impressed by it.*
* This is referencing published authors and review copies, not unpublished stories. We actually have published quite a few that fall outside "crime" or "genre" fiction.