Foreword: Michael Moorcock Introduction by Ann & Jeff VanderMeer Afterword: China Mieville
Over one hundred years of weird fiction collected in a single volume of 750,000 words. Over 20 nationalities are represented and seven new translations were commissioned for the book, most notably definitive translations of Julio Cortazar’s “Axolotl” and Michel Bernanos’ short novel “The Other Side of the Mountain” (the first translations of these classics in many decades). Other highlights include the short novels / long novellas “The Beak Doctor” by Eric Basso, “Tainaron” by Leena Krohn, and “The Brotherhood of Mutilation” by Brian Evenson. This is among the largest collections of weird fiction ever housed between the covers of one book.
Strands of The Weird represented include classic and mainstream weird tales, weird SF, weird ritual, international weird, and offshoots of the weird influenced by Surrealism, Symbolism, the Gothic, and the Decadent movement. (A discussion of weird modes of fiction can be found in the introduction.)
A compendium is neither as complete as an encyclopedia nor as baggy as a treasury. Although the backbone of the book reflects the immense influence of both Kafka and Lovecraft, we have ventured out from that basic focus to provide different traditions of weird fiction and outliers that are perhaps open to debate. The anthology is meant to be both an interrogation of weird fiction and a conversation with it. We hope that readers will be delighted by the classics included and by the unexpected discoveries found within its pages.
Story order is chronological except for a couple of exceptions transposed for thematic reasons. Stories translated into English are largely positioned by date of first publication in their original language. Authors are North American or from the United Kingdom unless otherwise indicated.
Alfred Kubin, “The Other Side” (excerpt), 1908 (translation, Austria)
F. Marion Crawford, “The Screaming Skull,” 1908
Algernon Blackwood, “The Willows,” 1907
Saki, “Sredni Vashtar,” 1910
M.R. James, “Casting the Runes,” 1911
Lord Dunsany, “How Nuth Would Have Practiced his Art,” 1912
Gustav Meyrink, “The Man in the Bottle,” 1912 (translation, Austria)
Georg Heym, “The Dissection,” 1913 (new translation by Gio Clairval, Germany)
Hanns Heinz Ewers, “The Spider,” 1915 (translation, Germany)
Rabindranath Tagore, “The Hungry Stones,” 1916 (India)
Luigi Ugolini, “The Vegetable Man,” 1917 (new translation by Anna and Brendan Connell, Italy; first-ever translation into English)
A. Merritt, “The People of the Pit,” 1918
Ryunosuke Akutagawa, “The Hell Screen,” 1918 (new translation, Japan)
Francis Stevens (Gertrude Barrows Bennett), “Unseen—Unfeared,” 1919
Franz Kafka, “In the Penal Colony,” 1919 (translation, German/Czech)
Stefan Grabinski, “The White Weyrak,” 1921 (translation, Poland)
H.F. Arnold, “The Night Wire,” 1926
H.P. Lovecraft, “The Dunwich Horror,” 1929
Margaret Irwin, “The Book,” 1930
Jean Ray, “The Mainz Psalter,” 1930 (translation, Belgium)
Jean Ray, “The Shadowy Street,” 1931 (translation, Belgium)
Clark Ashton Smith, “Genius Loci,” 1933
Hagiwara Sakutoro, “The Town of Cats,” 1935 (translation, Japan)
Hugh Walpole, “The Tarn,” 1936
Bruno Schulz, “Sanatorium at the Sign of the Hourglass,” 1937 (translation, Poland)
Robert Barbour Johnson, “Far Below,” 1939
Fritz Leiber, “Smoke Ghost,” 1941
Leonora Carrington, “White Rabbits,” 1941
Donald Wollheim, “Mimic,” 1942
Ray Bradbury, “The Crowd,” 1943
William Sansom, “The Long Sheet,” 1944
Jorge Luis Borges, “The Aleph,” 1945 (translation, Argentina)
Olympe Bhely-Quenum, “A Child in the Bush of Ghosts,” 1949 (Benin)
Shirley Jackson, “The Summer People,” 1950
Margaret St. Clair, “The Man Who Sold Rope to the Gnoles,” 1951
Robert Bloch, “The Hungry House,” 1951
Augusto Monterroso, “Mister Taylor,” 1952 (new translation by Larry Nolen, Guatemala)
Amos Tutuola, “The Complete Gentleman,” 1952 (Nigeria)
Jerome Bixby, “It’s a Good Life,” 1953
Julio Cortazar, “Axolotl,” 1956 (new translation by Gio Clairval, Argentina)
William Sansom, “A Woman Seldom Found,” 1956
Charles Beaumont, “The Howling Man,” 1959
Mervyn Peake, “Same Time, Same Place,” 1963
Dino Buzzati, “The Colomber,” 1966 (new translation by Gio Clairval, Italy)
Michel Bernanos, “The Other Side of the Mountain,” 1967 (new translation by Gio Clairval, France)
Merce Rodoreda, “The Salamander,” 1967 (translation, Catalan)
Claude Seignolle, “The Ghoulbird,” 1967 (new translation by Gio Clairval, France)
Gahan Wilson, “The Sea Was Wet As Wet Could Be,” 1967
Daphne Du Maurier, “Don’t Look Now,” 1971
Robert Aickman, “The Hospice,” 1975
Dennis Etchison, “It Only Comes Out at Night,” 1976
James Tiptree Jr. (Alice Sheldon), “The Psychologist Who Wouldn’t Do Terrible Things to Rats,” 1976
Eric Basso, “The Beak Doctor,” 1977
Jamaica Kincaid, “Mother,” 1978 (Antigua and Barbuda/US)
George R.R. Martin, “Sandkings,” 1979
Bob Leman, “Window,” 1980
Ramsey Campbell, “The Brood,” 1980
Michael Shea, “The Autopsy,” 1980
William Gibson/John Shirley, “The Belonging Kind,” 1981
M. John Harrison, “Egnaro,” 1981
Joanna Russ, “The Little Dirty Girl,” 1982
M. John Harrison, “The New Rays,” 1982
Premendra Mitra, “The Discovery of Telenapota,” 1984 (translation, India)
F. Paul Wilson, “Soft,” 1984
Octavia Butler, “Bloodchild,” 1984
Clive Barker, “In the Hills, the Cities,” 1984
Leena Krohn, “Tainaron,” 1985 (translation, Finland)
Garry Kilworth, “Hogfoot Right and Bird-hands,” 1987
Lucius Shepard, “Shades,” 1987
Harlan Ellison, “The Function of Dream Sleep,” 1988
Ben Okri, “Worlds That Flourish,” 1988 (Nigeria)
Elizabeth Hand, “The Boy in the Tree,” 1989
Joyce Carol Oates, “Family,” 1989
Poppy Z Brite, “His Mouth Will Taste of Wormwood,” 1990
Michal Ajvaz, “The End of the Garden,” 1991 (translation, Czech)
Karen Joy Fowler, “The Dark,” 1991
Kathe Koja, “Angels in Love,” 1991
Haruki Murakami, “The Ice Man,” 1991 (translation, Japan)
Lisa Tuttle, “Replacements,” 1992
Marc Laidlaw, “The Diane Arbus Suicide Portfolio,” 1993
Steven Utley, “The Country Doctor,” 1993
William Browning Spenser, “The Ocean and All Its Devices,” 1994
Jeffrey Ford, “The Delicate,” 1994
Martin Simpson, “Last Rites and Resurrections,” 1994
Stephen King, “The Man in the Black Suit,” 1994
Angela Carter, “The Snow Pavilion,” 1995
Craig Padawer, “The Meat Garden,” 1996
Stepan Chapman, “The Stiff and the Stile,” 1997
Tanith Lee, “Yellow and Red,” 1998
Kelly Link, “The Specialist’s Hat,” 1998
Caitlin R. Kiernan, “A Redress for Andromeda,” 2000
Michael Chabon, “The God of Dark Laughter,” 2001
China Mieville, “Details,” 2002
Michael Cisco, “The Genius of Assassins,” 2002
Neil Gaiman, “Feeders and Eaters,” 2002
Jeff VanderMeer, “The Cage,” 2002
Jeffrey Ford, “The Beautiful Gelreesh,” 2003
Thomas Ligotti, “The Town Manager,” 2003
Brian Evenson, “The Brotherhood of Mutilation,” 2003
Mark Samuels, “The White Hands,” 2003
Daniel Abraham, “Flat Diana,” 2004
Margo Lanagan, “Singing My Sister Down,” 2005 (Australia)
T.M. Wright, “The People on the Island,” 2005
Laird Barron, “The Forest,” 2007
Liz Williams, “The Hide,” 2007
Reza Negarestani, “The Dust Enforcer,” 2008 (Iran)
Micaela Morrissette, “The Familiars,” 2009
Steve Duffy, “In the Lion’s Den,” 2009
Stephen Graham Jones, “Little Lambs,” 2009
K.J. Bishop, “Saving the Gleeful Horse,” 2010 (Australia)
It's got a UK publisher so it hopefully won't be too expensive. Produced by the people currently editing 'Weird Tales' (although they won't be for much longer as it's just be bought out).
This is a worthwhile effort, especially in a time where the classics seem to vanish. (And it is not helping that the ebook-market is turning into a "4 pounds of public domain classics for .99 p" dump. I bought some and was slightly pissed when I saw the content.)
But I still don´t get the this new (?) Kafka thing. ;D I am no literature professor, but there is a gulf of space between american magazine literature and eurpean literature. Of course you could argue that "In the Penal Colony" is like SAW, but it seems a bit superficial.
Apart from this is a very good compilation. Writers like Jeffrey Ford for instance are so underrated, I would range him in the same class as Ligotti or Borges.
Post by cauldronbrewer on Dec 28, 2017 1:56:32 GMT
I'm finally working my way through Ann and Jeff Vandermeer's The Weird after spending a long while avoiding it in favor shorter books. At more than 1100 pages (with small, double-columned print, at that), it might be the longest book I own. It's an impressively varied collection, veering between pulp classics such as "The Night Wire" and highfalutin pieces of surrealism, existentialism, and/or magical realism. So far, the revelations for me have been "The Other Side of the Mountain," by Michel Bernanos, and "The Dirty Little Girl," by Joanna Russ. In particular, I recommend the Bernanos story to readers who like Poe, Hodgson, and Jean Ray.
Eric Basso's stream-of-consciousness "The Beak Doctor" is the one story in the first 700 pages I couldn't finish.
The Weird also includes that story I can never quite place about the man who meets a woman with an unusually long arm.
Post by cauldronbrewer on Jan 22, 2018 0:21:57 GMT
After two months I’ve made it all the way through Ann and Jeff VanderMeer’s 110-story, 1116-page The Weird, and I’m relieved to be done with it. The editors included many outstanding stories, but for my tastes it was heavy on works in the decadent, existential, surrealist, and/or Kafkaesque veins. Eventually, I reached the point where I groaned at seeing yet another story with long, winding paragraphs and no dialogue.
Some highlights from the final third (1991 onward):
The Ocean and All Its Devices (William Browning Spencer). A husband and wife discover the dark secret of the family that visits their North Carolina beach hotel every late fall. A creepy story, and it brought back good memories of my own out-of-season trip to a North Carolina beach during which I read Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House for the first time.
The Man in the Black Suit (Stephen King). I think I sometimes judge King too harshly, so I’ll say that I liked this one. A simple tale of a boy going off into the Maine woods and running into the title character.
Yellow and Red (Tanith Lee). A straightforward story by the late, great Lee. A man who has inherited a new home discovers family photographs that reveal ghostly parasites.
The Specialist’s Hat (Kelly Link). I first read this story during my honeymoon. I reread it to see how it held up, and it remains one of my favorite horror stories from the past twenty-five years. You can read it for free on the author’s website.
The God of Dark Laughter (Michael Chabon). Despite being a Pulitzer Prize-winning literary sensation, Chabon is right at home writing pulp-style cosmic horror. I loved this story involving two ancient cults, each related in a different way to modern-day clowns. As an aside, Chabon has also edited two interesting retro-pulp anthologies: McSweeney’s Mammoth Treasury of Thrilling Tales and McSweeney’s Enchanted Chamber of Astonishing Stories.
The Town Manager (Thomas Ligotti). Ligotti leaves me scratching my head sometimes, but this one—about a town ruled by a series of unseen and increasingly malevolent managers—worked for me.
The White Hands (Mark Samuels). Two men obsess over the works of a mysterious female poet who may exert a malign influence even from the grave.
Singing My Sister Down (Margo Lanagan). A family stands with one its members during her public execution by immersion in a tar pit. Echoes of Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery.”
And one bit of real-life weirdness:
Flat Diane (Daniel Abraham). This story revolves around a real-life game in which children send cutout (flat) versions of themselves on adventures through the mail. Unfortunately for Diane, someone chooses to use her likeness as a voodoo doll in the worst possible way. As it happens, I received a flat version of a friend’s child in the mail just a few days after reading this story. Spooky!