The Weird: A Compendium of Strange and Dark Stories (table of contents)

The Weird
Hot off the presses: a photograph of The Weird, taken by our fearlessly weird editor at Corvus Command & Control. 

We’re proud to announce the publication by Atlantic’s Corvus imprint
of The Weird: A Compendium of Strange and Dark Fictions. We have collected over one hundred years of weird fiction in a single volume of over 750,000 words, starting from around 1908 and ending in 2010. More than eighteen nationalities are represented and seven new translations were commissioned for the book, most notably definitive translations, by Gio Clairval, of Julio Cortazar’s “Axolotl” and Michel Bernanos’ short novel “The Other Side of the Mountain” (the first translations of these classics in over fifty years). The publishers believe this is the largest volume of weird fiction ever housed between the covers of one book.

Strands of The Weird represented include classic US/UK weird tales, the Belgian School of the Weird, Japanese weird, Latin American weird, Nigerian weird, weird SF, Feminist weird, weird ritual, general international weird, and offshoots of the weird originating with Surrealism, Symbolism, and the Decadent movement.

Although anchored in many familiar and iconic names — including Stephen King, Shirley Jackson, Jorge Luis Borges, Octavia Butler, Clive Barker and George R.R. Martin — The Weird also gave us an opportunity to showcase several great writers not as well known to readers of the weird. French master of weird fiction Claude Seignolle, for example, is represented herein with “Ghoulbird.” Readers will also be delighted to discover the work of the great Catalan writer Merce Rodoreda (with the phantasmagorical “Salamander”), grotesqueries by English surrealist Leonora Carrington, an excerpt from Kafka precursor Alfred Kubin’s cult classic The Other Side, and Hagiwara Sakutoro’s quintessential rumination on the boundary between reality and the weird, “The Town of Cats.”

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.

Here’s the full table of contents for The Weird, which we’ll be talking about throughout the month of November. – Ann & Jeff VanderMeer

Table of Contents

Foreweird by Michael Moorcock
Introduction by the Editors
Afterweird: China Mieville

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 Sakutaro, “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 Awful 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)

31 replies to “The Weird: A Compendium of Strange and Dark Stories (table of contents)

  1. Pingback: Cheryl's Mewsings » Blog Archive » Weird Fiction Review

  2. Just bought myself a copy. Looks weirdly awesome.

    Question for Vandermeers, how often do you guys experience brain breakage when typing the word weird over-and-over? Weird weird weird weird weird… its just one of those words that looks weirder and weirder the more it is repeated.

  3. Hey, Jeff! Honestly, we can break our brains on a lot of different things, but not weird fiction. Or the word. You’d think it’d become totally meaningless over time, but not so far!

    Yes, a Kindle edition in the UK very soon, and then announcing US publishing plans too.

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  8. An impressive collection. Always nice to see a Margaret St Clair story anthologised, though sadly it always seems to be ‘Gnoles’ — which I’ve always felt is fairly good, but nowhere near her best. For weirdness I’d recommend her ‘Brenda’, ‘An Egg a Month From All Over’ or ‘Horror Howce’.

  9. Steven: Thanks! We read Horror Howce, and it didn’t really suit in our opinion, in the context of the anthology. “An Egg a Month” we would’ve probably included in a more general fantasy anthology. There’s also a synergy in including the Dunsany story she’s riffing off of that increases the strength of both stories. It would be nice to see a collected stories back in print. Best, Jeff

  10. Jeff: indeed: I can recommend her collections ‘The Best of’ and ‘Change the Sky’ to anyone who’s interested — she could do anything from horror to fantasy to SF, usually with humour (dark or light) but able to play it straight if need be (e.g. ‘Brightness Falls from the Air’ or ‘Hathor’s Pets’). I understand Wildside Press may be issuing a collection in the next year or so (they’re already issued her first novel ‘Agent of the Unknown’).
    Every so often I try to read all the stories I can find by a relatively unknown author of the 1940 – 1980 era, who are remembered only for one or two stories — sometimes, it turns out, for good reason (though I often find the well known stories aren’t their best e.g. Theodore Cogswell wrote two fine stories, but they were ‘The Cabbage Patch’ and ‘The Burning’, not ‘Wall Around the World’ or ‘The Spectre General’). However, for me, Margaret St Clair stood out as someone who should be mentioned in the same breat as, say, Damon Knight or Frederic Brown.

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  15. I was surprised to see that W.H. Pugmire wasn’t included in this anthology — he’s the best Weird writer today!

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  17. Interesting anthology, I first came across it today and browsed through it and it looks fetching. I particularly found the inclusion of numerous modern authors compelling as I’m not familiar with contemporary fiction and the anthology could be a good introduction to it.

    To Jeff Vandermeer: Congratulations on the handsome tome, I hope you come up with more of their kind. I’d just like to ask: is the “Weird” collection inspired by Otto Penzler’s anthologies? I noticed the similarities — the thick volume, the numerous and varied authors devoted to a single topic, the double columns of the text, the short introductions on the authors preceding their stories, etc.. A few stories in the anthology were included too by Penzler in his collections.

  18. I think the publisher wanted a similar effect, but I have to point out – and Otto’s of course an amazing anthologist – that the ratio of public domain to non-public domain is pretty high in his massive anthologies. That’s not the case in ours. It’s a different beast entirely. As for direct influence, we read through the vampire anthology but Weird isn’t really vampire fiction. There was no other influence. What story is in common with Penzler’s collection?

  19. Hello Jeff, nice of you to reply. The stories in your book that can be found in Penzler’s anthologies are Saki’s “Sredni Vashtar” and Lisa Tuttle’s “Replacements”.

  20. Fantastic points altogether, you just won a emblem new reader. What may you suggest in regards to your publish that you simply made some days in the past? Any sure?

  21. That´s pretty awesome. But I have never heard of Feminist weird. What is that strand?

    Anyways, I already bought this — just did, a couple of minutes ago — I´m from Brazil, so your book is coming to Brazil to be together in the shelf with my Ligotti and Lovecraft. Just thought you should know.

    And congrats on this great idea and accomplishment.

    Cheers

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