As part of the Ontario leg of his tour for the collection Boundary Problems (Freehand Books), Edmonton author Greg Bechtel was able to swing by the Trent Radio studio to discuss his own work and some overall trends in Canadian Speculative Fiction.
In our interview we postulate that reality is a set of social conventions, a creation and that therefore speculative fiction is partaking in an overall realm of fictive subjects. We discuss the way that good realist fiction, like good SF, should complicate notions of reality and estrange us from taken for granted assumptions about “the way things are”.
Bechtel’s work blends and mixes the speculative and the realist in his collection Boundary Problems and this contributes to his overall sense that reality is a blend of experience and fiction.
Greg Bechtel brings attention to the short story as a focus of interest, not as a stepping stone to the novel. He discusses the potential of the short story as a place for experimentation since readers are more willing to take short ventures into experimental media.
Bechtel is interested in stories and letting stories tell themselves. He reminds listeners that the world and the self are both collections of stories. We discuss memories as stories – flexible, changeable, and suspect. In our overall discussion of memory as it appears in his stories, Bechtel brings attention to the notion of trauma and the idea that trauma is a place where stories can be pulled into a black hole, a place from which nothing escapes. But, telling these stories of trauma, sharing them, means that they are no longer black holes because the story escapes and proves that things can escape.
In our conversation, Greg Bechtel directly faces a challenge many authors who are also academics have – analyzing his own work.
Check out our radio interview by clicking on the link below.
This audio file was originally broadcast on Trent Radio, and I would like to thank Trent Radio for their continued support.
Make sure to allow a few minutes for the file to buffer since it may take a moment before it begins to play.
[…] This week Greg Bechtel was the guest on Derek Newman-Stille’s “Speculating Canada on Trent Radio.” You can listen to their discussion about Canadian speculative fiction, memory, realism, Margaret Atwood, and black holes. Listen here. […]