The Weird

The Weird: A Compendium of Strange and Dark Stories
Ed. by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer

the weirdWhat is “weird” fiction? In this sturdy new anthology the editors’ introduction, as well as the “Foreweird” and “Afterweird” (groan) by Michael Moorcock and China Miéville respectively, make some gestures toward definition, but finally conclude that the label can’t be pinned down beyond saying that the weird has some supernatural elements and plays around the edges of various genres — SF, fantasy, horror — in unconventional ways.

That settled, the reader can dig into a buffet of over a thousand double-columned pages of classic and contemporary weird. Arranged chronologically (beginning in 1908, so no 19th-century forerunners like Hoffman, Hawthorne or Poe), the editors have collected a solid line-up with stalwart genre giants (Lovecraft, Bradbury, King), edgy literary lions (Kafka, Borges, Oates), and lots of new writers with feet in both worlds (Chabon, Gaiman, Murakami). Along with the Weird’s Greatest Hits are also some less well-known international gems, including a number of specially commissioned original translations. More than just an anthology, it’s a one-volume library of strangeness with a whole lot of something for just about everyone.

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