Making Sense of The Weird: What Do You Think About the First Three Weeks of Weirdfictionreview.com?

by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer

After three weeks rich in content here at Weirdfictionreview, we’d like to know what you’ve enjoyed the most and what you have found the most surprising. Please tell us!

We’d also like to acknowledge the Behemoth in the room once more, the book (or aircraft carrier) that has made this site possible: The Weird: A Compendium of Strange & Dark Stories (Corvus/Atlantic). At 750,000 words and almost 1,200 pages, covering a century of weird fiction, The Weird provided the space and time for us to research weird fiction to the extent that things we discovered will be popping up on this site and in future anthologies for years to come. (It’s also the subject of this really fun piece today, online at The Guardian.)

You can buy The Weird now on Amazon.co.uk and at the Book Depository (free shipping to the US – the publisher’s page for the book has information on additional sellers. We hope you’ll consider picking it up. Also check out this interview in which we talk more about The Weird compendium and read the latest real-time reviews, story-by-story, from Des Lewis and Maureen Kincaid Speller, as well as Solar Bridge. The table of contents for the antho can be found here. John H. Stevens has also written about several stories on SF Signal. The Financial Times has now posted a review as well.

Please also come back Monday, as we will be posting the entire week’s content then, due to the upcoming US Thansgiving holiday.  This will include a lot of material  on Belgian legend Jean Ray, The Other Side of the Mountain’s Michel Bernanos, a Weird manifesto, the best episode yet in Leah Thomas’s “Reading the Weird” web comic, and much more. You’ll want to check it out early and often. We’ll also begin running a “From the Archives” in case you’ve missed anything.

In future weeks, we will be running fiction from Kathe Koja, Tanith Lee, and Marc Laidlaw, as well as Japanese weird, a unique story by Michael Cisco, and much more.

Thanks very much for your support!

22 replies to “Making Sense of The Weird: What Do You Think About the First Three Weeks of Weirdfictionreview.com?

  1. WFR, top to bottom, is addictive and wonderful. Over the moon to see the Kubin articles.

    Thanks to all involved in this site for the early Christmas present.

  2. Well, so far so AHHHH MY SOUL MY SOUL MY SOUL!!!!

    OK, apparently I am cosmically enjoined from saying that.

    I am enjoying the interviews quite a lot. They’re pithy and often insightful and it’s good to read about what authors are thinking about when they pen their strange missives. I think the site has started strongly and I’m looking forward to it continuing and growing, like a fungus that feeds off of our dreams.

  3. I don’t have one specific post to point to as a favorite, but I really appreciate the professional approach of the site, the variety of posts so far, and the detail and research obvious behind them. I’m looking forward to its future.

  4. Thoroughly enjoying the website. Feels at little bit subversive having such a rich variety of unusual content being fed to me via the otherwise mundane Google Reader. Brightens up the day in the office, darkening it at the same time. Lovely addictive stuff, long may it run.

    Marginally off topic, my copy of The Weird turned up yesterday and I can see it keeping me company throughout the winter. I’m picking my way through it at the moment and trying my damndest to ration it, although having said that I made a beeline for the Robert Aickman which I hadn’t read before. (The Aickman books I do have are from Faber’s POD service and full of OCR errors — very luxurious to read his work without anything unintentionally weird distracting from it.)

    Anyway, a Herculean effort, much appreciated. Thank you very much indeed. A minor (and rather silly) complaint is that it’s so big, I get the impression it’s going to do something weird to my wrists as I try and prop it open. Although I appreciate that it would be a tough sell in this wintry economic climate, I would have happily paid more for a two or three volume version in a slipcase — if only so I could take part of it on the bus with me in the morning. In the event, I’ll likely double-dip for an ebook version should one materialise.

  5. I have to say I love that image loop on the main page. It’s really classy. And I like the fact that the site is covering both authors from The Weird anthology and branching out beyond that.

  6. Change nothing! Keep the weirdness coming! (And find out what the heck China Mieville’s new book, Railsea, is about!!)

  7. isn’t it about a huge intelligent seabird traveling a weird ocean by way of amphibious train?

  8. I’m enjoying the interviews and essays; I especially like encountering some new names (new to me, at least) in addition to familiar ones.

  9. Loving the diversity of the content (fiction, non-fiction, the comics). Always curious to see what’s coming up next.

  10. Love this site, just what the world of weird fiction needs. I am a newcomer to the wider sub/genre, though I have loved Lovecraft, Smith, Poe, and Borges for years. What I like best about this site is that it regularly introduces me to new stories and authors that I’m (now) interested in pursuing. Just the right amount of sample pieces, snippets, light analysis. Don’t really care for the webcomic, though I recognize the humorous aspect that the Weird has in its history; I guess I prefer Smith’s dark smirk to camp or satire. If I want that, I’ll visit xkcd.com. In any case, thanks for all you do, very pleased with your project!

  11. Jason: Thanks. I hope you’ll give the comic a chance awhile longer as it deepens and gets more serious.

  12. I like the web comic! It’s a nice contrast and I find the axolotl fascinating.

  13. This site is amazing! It’s just nice to have a regularly updated website devoted to weird fiction (the regularly updated part is crucial).

    I’m enjoying the fiction and nonfiction sections the most. I especially like that you’re able to post weird fiction that has been largely unavailable to English speaking audiences (e.g., Owen). I’m also enjoying the pieces on individual authors (e.g., Alfred Kubin) and the artist posts (e.g., Myrtle Von Damitz III). I confess to not reading the web comics as I’m not a comic guy myself.

    Let me say again that I think frequent updates to the site are crucial. Keep up the great work!

  14. This Jason very much enjoys the web comic. I don’t see much satire or camp in it, and it certainly is not of the same tone as that xkcd series that was referenced above. The last two episodes also quite strongly show that there is something deeper, perhaps sinister, going on underneath the travels of the two leads.

  15. Wonderful, just wonderful. Breathe on. There’s way too much absurdity in this world; seems it’s time to suppress it with weirdness.
    And rest assured that someone follows your exploits even in weird, weird Russia)

  16. Oh, and the high points… For me those were Jean Ray and Alfred Kubin — it’s great they have a chance to escape from obscurity. And Ligotti, Ligotti, Ligotti…

    By the way, you might be interested in having a peek at stories by Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky (1887 – 1950), a lesser-known Russian writer — I believe he knew a thing or two about weirdness (a good example is the animated adaptation of his “Quadraturin” [Квадратурин], available legally on YouTube).

    And there is also “He”, the brilliant short story by Leonid Andreyev which is probably unknown in English-speaking countries. Written in 1913, it is truly Lovecraftian without being Lovecraftish, so to speak. Still, I am not even sure if it has ever been translated into English.

  17. Vlad – I may contact you further about both of these authors. We’re aware of Andreyev, but I don’t think we’ve read his story “He”.

  18. I will be happy to help, Jeff.
    Andreyev’s story which is perhaps best known in English is “Lazarus”, you might have bumped into it in a number of ghost-story anthologies. As for “He” (“Он”, that is 3rd person singular in Russian), I might have a whack at translating it into English (for free, of course) if you’d need it and if it hasn’t been translated by someone else. However, I must warn you that my usual vector of translation is English –> Russian (the latest translated novel being Cherie Priest’s Boneshaker), so this hypothetical text might need some good editing.

  19. I think I love the interviews the best. Especially the usual questions about weird influences that bring forward lots of reassuring names. I might still navigate through the New Weird with caution, but ‘Old’ Weird is like coming home. Meyrink and Borges anthologies, The Society Tiger and Sredni Vashtar — all of it is strangely reassuring.
    My only regret is that I didn’t make it to the Cute and Creepy exhibition. It’s not an awfully long drive, but timewise it was a bit tight.

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