Classic noir presented worlds of corruption and inequality, but it was still primarily inequality between white men. Women remained cutouts: luscious objects of desire, their mystery no more than the question of whether they would prove to be princesses awaiting rescue, or seductive sirens waiting to drag you to hell or the gas chamber.
Racial and sexual minorities fared even worse: they were cast mostly as set dressing, or as villains, tempting innocent white people into depravity.
Consider for a moment how even the name, noir, defines the world: through the absence of whiteness, i. The genre of Cain and Hammett just had less to say to a racially and sexually diverse counterculture. Her bleak, brutal stories eschew noir tropes, but exist in truly noir worlds, where female protagonists struggle to solve crimes in the face of mental illness, gender and class discrimination.
Lit Noir # 7 (Lit Noir Magazine) - Kindle edition by Jack Lehman. Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones or tablets. Use features like. Lit Noir # 10 - Kindle edition by Jack Lehman. Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones or tablets. Use features like bookmarks, note.
Megan Abbott has spent a decade writing classic hard-boiled tales in the vein of James M. Cain, but with women in all the big roles. At the same time, the genre, particularly where it intersects the mainstream, is still blindingly white and Anglo-centric.
There are a few lights on this horizon. Franco-Vietnamese writer Aliette de Bodard writes science fiction and culturally diverse alternate history, but her Xuya universe features a number of noir-influenced detective stories. British-Israeli writer Lavie Tidhar explores his obsession with classic pulp and noir in strange and magical crossover tales like Osama and A Man Lies Dreaming, that take the genre tropes in profound and unexpected directions. More female noir, black noir, Latino noir, queer and trans noir.
More noir from English writers outside the Anglo-American axis, and more translation to and from other languages and cultures.
I hope some of them choose noir. Light can slant harshly though Venetian blinds in most any neighborhood on the planet; tough-as-nails private investigators can come in any gender identity or color of the rainbow; doom-driven crooks can ride from first kiss to gas chamber with a member of the same sex as easily as the opposite.
Nicholas Seeley is the author of Cambodia Noir. He is an international journalist based over the past decade in the Middle East and Southeast Asia. His fiction and criticism has been published in Strange Horizons. He is originally from Fairfax, Virginia. Sign up for our newsletter to get submission announcements and stay on top of our best work.
Kassandra Montag, author of "After The Flood," recommends books about violation, betrayal, and justice. Enjoy strange, diverting work from The Commuter on Mondays, absorbing fiction from Recommended Reading on Wednesdays, and a roundup of our best work of the week on Fridays. Personalize your subscription preferences here.
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Don't miss out Subscribe Sign up for our newsletter to get submission announcements and stay on top of our best work. I was in Hamilton that night at a Tragically Hip concert, and I think it goes without saying that I had a great time. Sarah Harmer opened, which pleased me to no end. Coming later this year is Toronto Trek I will be there, fending off geeks and nerds and pontificating about the publishing industry on a handful of panels.
If you want to check out the freaks or argue about the scientific inaccuracies of Enterprise , it might be worth your while. I went last year and had a great time. I suddenly took interest. Not much, mind you, but enough to wonder what the hell the world was coming to. World War III?
With nuclear weapons? Who the hell is supposed to read my novels when the smoke clears? The cockroaches? I think the world needs to be reminded that no one should use these weapons — EVER. I apologize for that little diatribe. I have always made an effort to prevent Lit Noir from becoming a blog no offense to you bloggers out there; keep boring us with your bland and mundane existences. I think part of the reason I update so infrequently is because I never want this site to become So I woke up today and went for a run. The mail came: phone bill and another rejection letter.
I thought that was a good question, and one that should be addressed here. And so:. I suppose I should begin by saying I have no particular bone to pick with blogs or bloggers. I simply believe that there are some writers out there who complain too much about never having any time to write.