Right now, the internet is aflame with discussions regarding the current state of crime fiction. There are side topics of whether crime fiction actually explores current social issues, the genre vs. literary debate, and the publishing industry's gutless encouragement of cookie cutter thrillers.

The part of this discussion that I want to hone in on is this: is anything new being done in crime fiction?

To bring up a music analogy, I’d like to compare crime fiction to electronic music. In the world of literature, crime fiction as a concentrated genre is relatively new (I could easily be wrong here, as I’m not as literate as I’d like to be), just like electronic music is in the world of music.

Forgive me if this doesn't mean much to you, but I think that crime fiction’s done techno, house, maybe even drum and bass, but where is the glitch or the IDM? Where are the Aphex Twins and Squarepushers of crime fiction? Their stuff is still electronic, but far more experimental and boundary pushing, so much so as to almost create new genres of music, if not new sub-genres.

Is it then a case of aesthetics not being pushed, rather than moral issues or messages? Where are the Danielewskis or Steven Halls of crime fiction? Who is pushing the boundaries of presentation and language of story in this genre?

Seriously, I’d like to know. Is there anyone out there writing crime fiction that is truly new? I’m not as well read as I’d like to be and so I’m wondering if this is already happening but we don’t have the hindsight to see it.

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Haven't found any, though there are some very good crime novels that have just come out and some outstanding new authors. I think we are trying to throw out the baby with the bath water instead of just concentrating on writing good books regardless of the market.
I agree that it's not exactly productive to be so self-conscious about the creation of any art form, but all genres are limiting in some ways, so I think it's still possible to find a new set of limitations within the form.

Maybe it's already happening in the form of flash fiction. If any new form of writing suits the fast pace of our modern society (and now I have my finger in my throat while making gagging noises), it's flash.
I like flash fiction but it still feels inconsequential as a form. Like consuming potato chips. There is a lot of potential though in the form and I will be curious to see if it stays around and where it goes. Also flash fiction seems to exist in the mystery/crime fiction community but not in other genres.
There are a few flash fiction anthologies on Amazon that don't seem to include any crime fiction. It's only on the web that you find crime flash.
The music analogy doesn't really work for me. The novel is a unique art form, evolving at its own unique pace. We have only words on a page to work with, the same as all writers through the centuries have had.

While technology races by at warp speed, Story in its purest form will always manage to survive. I believe that.
The reason I picked electronic music as a comparable genre is that the newer, experimental work is using the same basic set of tools and equipment that the early music did. Aphex Twin in particular did a lot more with his Roland drum machines and synths, but in some instances still kept the form of a basic song. What I mean here is that electronic music moved forward in a huge way, but only in an artistic sense, not with changes in technology.

I totally agree with you in terms of story--I think humans have it hardwired in them, so it will never change, but ... I think it can be added to and presented differently. I'm just not sure how.
...I think it can be added to and presented differently. I'm just not sure how.

How about a hero from another planet who can leap tall buildings in a single bound?

Oh, crap. I think it's already been done. :)
Or a teenage genetic mutant who can read minds and uses her powers to solve crime and fight bad guys while NOT wearing skimpy outfits?

I guess all of that's been done--in comics (except the skimpy outfits).
Or a teenage genetic mutant who can read minds and uses her powers to solve crime and fight bad guys while NOT wearing skimpy outfits?

Read Stephen King's Firestarter. :)
You say skimpy outfits like it's a bad thing.
ROFL! You "man" you!
Going back to the music analogy (even if it doesn't totally work), it's not uncommon to see whole new sub-genres spring into existence with a single, defining song (or track). Obviously with music that can work a lot faster, but I wonder if there isn't already a book or handful out there that are already starting a new revolution (viva la revolution!) .

FIGHT CLUB might be one. It has some elements of crime fiction in it, but maybe not.


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