The Weird Giveaway: Support the arts for your chance to win!

IMG_7818Who wants a free copy of The Weird? Or maybe Nathan Ballingrud’s fantastic new collection North American Lake Monsters? Jeremy L.C. Jones, the co-director and founder of the Shared Worlds program at Wofford College, thinks a few of you might want one or the other. He also believes in the power of charity and supporting artists, writers, and creative endeavors in general.

That’s exactly why Weird Fiction Review is teaming up with Jeremy on a new giveaway for our readers, which will give you an opportunity to win either a copy of The Weird or North American Lake Monsters. Below, you’ll find Jeremy’s account of how he came across his copies of these books in the first place. At the very end, we’ll have the contest rules and regulations, which you can enter effective immediately. Read on, and read closely! – The Editors


The executive director of a local arts organization came up to me at a wedding last week and said, “I’ve got three boxes of weird.”

My 10-year-old daughter, who was standing between us, looked to me for guidance.  I shrugged.

Would you like them?”

Still not entirely sure what we were talking about, I said, “Sure!”

After all, who wouldn’t want three boxes of weird?

Great,” she said, clearly relieved.  “Come by the bookshop on Monday and pick them up.”

Ah.  The bookshop.  We had scheduled a few readings there during July as part of Shared Worlds, the world-building and creative writing camp I co-direct with Jeff VanderMeer.  And the “weird” was The Weird: a Compendium of Strange and Dark Stories that Jeff co-edited with Ann VanderMeer and Jeff VanderMeer.

Monday morning came – overcast and ten degrees cooler than Sunday.  After a few minutes of confusion, the clerk at the bookshop found the manager who said the executive director was busy in her office, so the manager lead me over to three boxes stacked next to the Biography and Current Events shelves.

The boxes were taped tight, except for the top one.

How many are in each box?” I asked the manager.

Not sure,” she said.  “Weird is a really big book.”

I slid my hand into the box and tried to count spines.  It was hard to count with all the slick and glossy paper, wrapped in butcher’s paper and bubble wrap.

Pull your car around,” she said, hefting the box I’d just palpated.

I hustled to my car which was in the side lot next to the wine store, drove around, and double-parked by the front door.  She met me at the curb.

In the back?”

Yeah,” I said.  She had stacked the other two boxes just inside the door where they usually set up the signing table at readings.  We each got one and wedged the remaining weird between the dog crates in the back.

So,” I said, hoping she’d ask what I planned to do with all that weird.

Yeah,” she said. “’So.’”

There was a ripple of energy in the air, like you feel when someone else discovers you left the bathroom door unlocked.

All right,” I said.


That Marly Youmans reading in November,” I said.  “I sent her an e-mail about the date change — “

There’s time for that later, Jeremy,” she said, nodding toward my double parked car and the three boxes of weird inside.  “Plenty of time.”

Driving away, I squeezed the steering wheel, hummed along with the Grateful Dead, checked to see how much time I had before I need to pick up my daughter, and tried not to think about why we hadn’t talked about why I was being given these boxes of weird or what I planned to do with them.

Somewhere past the brewery but before the stuffed gorilla on a step-ladder, a hole opened in my gut and I kept thinking about the opened box of weird, my hand sliding into the slick, perforated entrails, trying to take an accounting of all that was there.

And I knew what I had to do.


Now, if you want a chance to win one of the free copies of The Weird: A Compendium of Strange and Dark Stories or North American Lake Monsters – free, packed up in a box, bag, or oily satchel and mailed right to your door – here’s what you need to do:

Donate any amount to an arts organization of your choice
Contribute any amount to a crowd-sourced project of your choice
Buy something directly from a small press
Provide support of any amount to a writer or visual artist directly

The guidelines are intentionally broad.  We won’t split hairs.  There’s no need to ask us if a recipient qualifies.  We’re more concerned with the spirit of the rules than the letter of the law.  The idea is simple.  You give, they receive, and you’ve entered.  Enter as often as you like but don’t spread your donations too thin.  And once you’ve given, provide the name of the beneficiary below in the comments section.

That’s important.  You have to enter the recipient in the comments or you won’t be entered in the contest. Also, make sure to include links to who or what you donated to whenever possible.

We have a total of seven copies of The Weird and three copies of North American Lake Monsters, so please indicate your preference in your entry in the comments. Those copies of Lake Monsters would be especially great for those of you who already have a copy of The Weird, of course.

You can enter in to this giveaway between now and September 30. On October 2, we will select TEN people at random, then contact each person via e-mail for shipping information, and mail each person their respective prize.

All Best,
Jeremy L.C. Jones
Founder & Co-Director
Shared Worlds @ Wofford College

Michael Cisco and The Divinity Student on

We’re back! After a month-long hiatus to end the summer, we’ve returned rested and ready to post and reprint quality material for the rest of the year, and we’re returning in a big way. Starting today and running through this month and into October, we will be serializing the entirety of Michael Cisco’s novel The Divinity Student.

Cisco is a favorite here at, and for good reason: his body of work stands as one of the most impressive, darkly imaginative and wonderful achievements in weird fiction. When it was initially published by Buzzcity Press back in 1999, The Divinity Student quickly garnered high praise as a tour de force of gothic fantasy and a stellar debut novel. It eventually won the International Horror Guild Award and set the stage for the rest of Cisco’s writing career, which has seen many other fantastic novels and stories.

However, for as high regard as Cisco holds within weird fiction and related communities, we believe his writing hasn’t gotten nearly the level of fandom it deserves, which is why Cheeky Frawg Books has recently released Cisco’s first four novels in e-book form. Besides The Divinity Student, that also includes The Golem, The Traitor, and The Tyrant. You can find them in’s Kindle Store and also at Weightless Books.


The Cheeky Frawg wraparound cover for all four e-books; Art © Jeremy Zerfoss

As you may know, we’re always open to take donations here at, which you can do via the PayPal link at the bottom right of this page. That said, as extra incentive, any donations we receive for the duration of The Divinity Student’s serialization will go towards the author. Cisco will also take a higher-than-average slice of income from the purchase of his e-books, as is common practice at Cheeky Frawg.

Over the course of the next few weeks, we’ll also feature various material related to either Michael Cisco or The Divinity Student. Today, we’ve posted Ann VanderMeer’s introduction to the novel, originally written for the Centipede Press edition published just recently, to provide readers with excellent commentary and context on the novel from the editor and publisher responsible for putting it in print in the first place. In weeks to follow, we will also have an essay by returning WFR contributor Alistair Rennie and an interview with Cisco himself.

We hope you enjoy The Divinity Student, whether you’re reading it for the first time or rereading it. Likewise, if you enjoy the serialization of the novel, please consider either making a donation to the site or buying the e-book so Cisco can receive much deserved compensation for his work. Summer Break

It’s been a great summer here at so far. Earlier this week, we featured the work of writer/editor John Kessel, courtesy of his story “Buddha Nostril Bird” and my interview with the writer, both of which I hope our readers have had the chance to read already. Even before then, we’ve featured stories from writers like Eric Basso, Marc Laidlaw, Marly Youmans, and Bruno Schulz. This summer has also featured some of the finest installments of the 101 Weird Writers essay series yet, not to mention the continually excellent work of our regular columnists and contributors.

That said, we need to take a brief recess for the rest of the summer to take care of various projects. Rest assured, though: we will return with new material on September 2, and we’ve got some great fiction, nonfiction, and art in the pipeline waiting to be shared with everyone.

In the meantime, I highly recommend exploring the archives and reading up on some prior material you may have missed. It seems strange to say it, but sometimes I forget just how huge is, mainly because I manage the day-to-day postings of material and read everything as it’s prepped for the site. Once I zoom out a bit and look at the collective of everything we’ve posted over the past two years or so, it’s quite staggering. And, as a few relatively new readers have confessed to me at times, the prospect of digging through everything can be a bit daunting, understandably so!

To get everyone started, here’s a brief list of some of my personal favorites from the site. These are stories and standalone essays that have lingered with me ever since I read them, and I highly recommend them to any reader, let alone anyone interested in exploring the archives.

“Where Dead Men Go To Dream” by A.C. Wise: Choosing a story from Fungi for sharing with readers was difficult, due to the overall high quality of the stories in that anthology, but I still look back fondly on “Where Dead Men Go To Dream” for its visionary, darkly horrific aesthetic and its soulful emotional impact.

“The White” by Berit Ellingsen: I love this story, a visionary journey into another world and culture, a zone of strangeness identifiable by means from our world and yet starkly different. What impresses me so much, in addition to all of that, is how optimistically the story reads, which can be a rarity sometimes in this kind of weird fiction.

“The Dead Valley” by Ralph Adams Cram: Of all the classic, non-contemporary stories we’ve featured on since I started working as managing editor, this story is my likely favorite. The sense of menace that emanates from the landscape in this story is inexplicable and yet tangible and scary, placing it favorably alongside similar stories by writers such as Algernon Blackwood and H.P. Lovecraft (who was a fan of this story, by the way).

“The Dust Enforcer” by Reza Negarestani: This might be the most “difficult” text we’ve posted on, a hybrid text of fiction, environmental science, philosophy, and demonology. It has always stood out to me as an example of new frontiers that can be explored in weird fiction when writers choose to pursue formal and thematic innovation, rewarding readers who are willing to train themselves how to read a new kind of story.

“Creature” by Ramsey Shehadeh: This was perhaps my favorite story from our 12 Days of Monsters special back in March 2012 (which also featured “The Dust Enforcer”). It’s a frankly bizarre story, with a kind of childlike simplicity in its details that somehow enables a mature, melancholy emotional impact. I think of it as a Miyazaki-like weird short story, in a way.

“Hunting for Stories in the Philippines” by Rochita Loenen-Ruiz: One of my favorite essays in the history of this site thus far. It functions so well on multiple levels: as an analysis of Filipino-language fantasy and horror versus English-language literature of the same; as a recounting of growing up in the Philippines; and as a story of a writer in the modern era and her quest to find and understand the folklore and character of her home culture, and the impact it has left on her.

“Stories in the Key of Strange” by Matthew Cheney: I’m quite fond of Cheney’s writing and regularly read his blog, the Mumpsimus. I find his insights into writers and stories stimulating and useful, by and large. Such is also the case for “Stories in the Key of Strange.” In and among these little vignette-like excerpts from larger reviews and essays, a larger picture coalesces in regards to fantastical and weird fiction that should leave readers with plenty to think about, as well as a formidable to-read list!

“It’s Not, Quite Frankly, A Wholesome Situation: Dr. Seuss’ The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T” by Sonya Taaffe: I recently had the chance to watch this movie on TCM, and it’s every bit as weird and baffling as Taaffe describes it here. It’s also the kind of movie that demands (and defies) analysis and curating for the viewership of others. Thankfully, Taaffe provides this excellent review that lends the movie important context while not spoiling the fun for prospective viewers.

“Ghosts, Fear, and Parallel Worlds: The Supernatural Fiction of Jean Ray” by António Monteiro: Like many readers, I was captivated by Jean Ray’s stories in The Weird, “The Mainz Psalter” and “The Shadowy Street.” I wanted to read more from and about this writer who I knew hardly anything about beforehand. Thankfully, posted this essay by Monteiro back in the early days of the website, alongside two more stories by Ray (which are still online!). Between this essay and the additional stories, I gained crucial additional context about Ray and picked up a copy of his novel Malpertuis in the process.

“Caught In A Moment: The Poetry of Eric Basso” by Larry Nolen: One of my favorite pieces from Eric Basso Week, back in March 2012, and perhaps my favorite thing Nolen has written. In order to honestly write about Basso’s poetry, emotionally challenging and difficult as it is, Nolen confronts his own emotional traumas and memories head on, to conflate them with the conditions that drove Basso to write the way he did. By doing this, Nolen achieves a clarity of insight into Basso and his writing that I’ve rarely encountered elsewhere. I walked away from this essay with a new appreciation for both Basso and the man who profiled him.

Memorial Day Break at

It seems strange that we’re already almost five months into 2013 here at, with 2012 still fresh in our minds, but that’s exactly the case. We hope everyone has enjoyed the fiction, nonfiction, and art we’ve been able to present to you these past few months, and we’ve got even bigger plans for the rest of the year.

That said, we’re taking a little break here at for the end of May, starting this week. All of us at the site are taking a brief holiday to relax and recharge going into the summer. We will return with new material for the site the week of June 3.

We’re leaving you with some quality material in the meantime, to help tide you all over while we’re gone. We have an excerpt from Nick Mamatas’s novel Move Under Ground, one of the best and most innovative Lovecraftian stories in recent memory. Those of you who haven’t had the chance to read this novel should certainly check out the excerpt we’ve posted, even if you’re not normally a fan of Lovecraftiana. We also have an interview between Mamatas and our managing editor, Adam Mills, about Mamatas’s writing and his feelings on weird fiction, among other things, that we definitely recommend reading.

On top of that, we have a new entry in the 101 Weird Writers series, courtesy of returning contributor Leif Schenstead-Harris, about Beninese writer Olympe Bhêly-Quénum and his classic story “A Child in the Bush of Ghosts,” which readers may recall from The Weird: A Compendium of Strange and Dark Stories. Fans of that particular story and other works of Bhêly-Quénum’s (including his story “The Night Watchman,” previously reprinted here at should enjoy the more in-depth examination of the writer and his work provided by Schenstead-Harris.

As always, if you enjoy and admire the work we do, please consider donating to You can use the paypal option on the main page, lower left, which sends a donation to vanderworld at Any donations we receive go toward allowing us to continue finding the best, weirdest, most unclassifiable and energizing work we can, and to also reward our amazing contributors.

Thanks for all your support so far this year! We’re not nearly done yet, either. We’ve got some really great projects in the work for later this year that we hope to unveil very soon, so stay tuned!

The Story Until Now by Kit Reed

storyuntilnow-210Back in March, Wesleyan University Press published The Story Until Now: A Great Big Book of Stories, a collection of Kit Reed’s best short fiction, ranging chronologically from 1958 to 2013. These stories serve as a fitting testament to Reed’s abilities over the course of her career. Her work isn’t difficult to classify, but that’s primarily because she has already provided her own classification: “transgenre.” Some of the stories in this particular collection are straightforwardly fantastical or science fictional, but more often they simply feel fantastical or weird without exhibiting explicit genre characteristics many may be familiar with (aside from the occasional zombie or Bigfoot sighting).

Some of the best stories in The Story Until Now showcase Reed’s talent for taking familiar (and sometimes cliché) topoi and situations and twisting or interrogating them, either exposing the assumptions lying at their foundations or renovating them outright. A particular highlight is “High Rise High,” a tale of a high school overthrown by its disgruntled students in the near future; politicians plot secret bombings, government agents infiltrate the school in disguise, and everyone, kid and adult alike, still worries about the prom at the end, where they think all their dreams will either come true or fail miserably. The story is on one level dystopian SF, of course, but it’s also a parody of stories of high school angst and rebellion, while at the same time asking readers why they enjoy these kinds of stories and the often less-than-realistic climaxes and endings they offer. (Which brings up another key trait of Reed’s stories: like it or not, the reader will often get dragged into the fray with the characters.)

The unique brand of weirdness in Reed’s writing, which I previously mentioned, is a type of weirdness not tied to a particular genre. Rather, it’s a weirdness of perspective, a knack for finding the strangest, most faithful way of inhabiting a character’s head and plumbing the depths for the things that are both surprising and compelling, things we wouldn’t think to look for without Reed pointing them out. In “Special,” which we’ve reprinted this week for our fiction feature, Reed has, on the most rudimentary surface reading, a story of a celebrity coming to a small town, its inhabitants gone starry-eyed with the possibility of becoming her newest best friends. Such a premise could easily serve as fodder for sitcoms and romantic comedies. In Reed’s hands, however, this story is sharply satirical, dissecting in equal measure the mysterious and seemingly vapid Ashley Famous (part religious prophet, part tabloid star) and the fawning, obsessive townspeople, exposing the core strangeness of all participants. The town dynamics become subtly, increasingly creepy, building up to a surprisingly dark finale that’s truer to our conception of celebrity and fandom than we may realize.

In Reed’s hands, more often than not, people are the weirdest things of all, and the things they do, say, and think. She excels at depicting the conflicts and bizarre turns of relationships between parents and children and between husbands and wives. Reed is also superb at dissecting gender and how gender politics restrict and affect both men and women (her feminist SF story “Songs of War,” where the wives and daughters of a small town form a militia to fight for their independence, is definitely the prime representative of this theme in the collection). She also has a knack for honestly depicting the experienced strangeness of adolescence and sexual awakening and awareness. All of this is filtered through what I would consider a Reed-esque viewpoint, that of a true skeptic: incisive and satirical, with an eye for the absurd, but also surprisingly honest and fair, with a willingness to try different perspectives and invest them with a sense of authenticity and personal belief.

I highly recommend picking up a copy of The Story Until Now and reading it cover to cover. Reed is a masterful writer with a unique voice who can, and will, adapt to whatever story she tells. Give yourself plenty of time to read this collection, though. These stories create and inhabit their own worlds and characters in and of themselves, generating not one overarching shared milieu but many individual ones, and so every story deserves to be read on its own terms.

The Flesh Made Weird: The Zombie Bible on

This week on, we’re featuring Strangers in the Land, the most recent installment in the Zombie Bible series written by Stant Litore, published by 47North. Other books in the series include Death Has Come Up Into Our Windows and What Our Eyes Have Witnessed, all of which are available in trade paperback and e-book form.

Doubtlessly, WFR readers are familiar with zombies in film, through classic movies like Night of the Living Dead and popular TV shows such as The Walking Dead (itself based on an acclaimed comic book series). Zombie fiction seems to enjoy less public visibility overall than zombie film, but that hasn’t stopped books like Max Brooks’s World War Z from becoming bestsellers. Unfortunately, sometimes zombie stories and their inherent monsters fall into the pit of cliché, as any other popular horror trope does at some point or another, until it is reinvigorated or innovated in some way (the line between iconic and cliché can occasionally be too thin for comfort).

That said, there is a strong degree of overlap between the best of zombie stories and the appeal and effects of weird fiction. Consider the zombie story in its perhaps most essential form: the human body made alien; the flesh in revolt against itself; the negation of life and the uprising of something else we don’t understand; the feeding of once-human upon still-human, a deeply transgressive and terrifying act for many. At an existential, deep-gut level, zombie stories can be profoundly unsettling. I’m thinking of Night of the Living Dead, with the zombified little girl devouring the flesh of her father, unthinking, operating on an instinct foreign and frightening to us.


Scene from Night of the Living Dead (1968)

That kind of existential concern with zombies and what they mean to us is very much at the heart of Strangers in the Land and the rest of the stories in the Zombie Bible series. The threat of the undead, in the context of these particular stories, is at the heart of ancient Hebrew society. Rules of kosher living and cleanliness are created and refined as consequence to living with the undead, as are burial rites. And, at times, the existence of the undead in the first place makes characters question their relationships with God and what kind of role He has in mind for them and the undead in the first place. In a world created and ruled by an omniscient being, does the existence of zombies betray the possibly indifferent or even malignant nature of God, or does it suggest something else entirely? What does the afterlife even mean if your body can be reanimated against your will?

Strangers-in-the-LandStrangers in the Land and the other installments in the Zombie Bible series are well worth checking out. By transplanting zombie tropes and traditions to Biblical stories and characters, both elements are equally invigorated with creativity and relevance. The tone of the stories is appropriately apocalyptic, which takes on an even greater intensity given the faith of the characters and the setting. There is added value as a reader if you are familiar with the Bible and the characters used wherein (Strangers in the Land takes its cue from Judges 4 and the story of Deborah), but that book and the series as a whole isn’t written from an evangelical viewpoint. Instead, it treats the Biblical figures it utilizes as round characters with their own hopes, fears, and desires; their faith is important to them, naturally, and even plays a key role in their fear of the undead, but the reader does not need to share their faith to become engrossed in their stories.

We hope you enjoy the exclusive excerpt we’ve posted from Strangers in the Land, “Navi,” in addition to our interview with the author about his work on the Zombie Bible series and his impressions of weird fiction and horror, among other things. Strangers in the Land, like the other books in its series, is a standalone story that can be read independent from the installments before it, but do be sure to check out the other books if you enjoy this one.

2012 Shirley Jackson Award Nominees

Earlier today, the Shirley Jackson Award nominees were announced. Our deepest congratulations to all nominees! Many of them are friends of WFR and have even had their material featured on this site in the past year or two. We’d love to bring special attention to two nominees in particular:

Both of these pieces were featured on WFR back in 2012 and are still available to read, if you haven’t had the chance to do so yet.

159767The 2012 Shirley Jackson Awards will be presented on Sunday, July 14th at ReaderCon 24 in Burlington, Massachusetts. The ReaderCon 24 Guest of Honor, Maureen McHugh, will host the awards ceremony. More information on the nominees and the awards ceremony and history can be found at the Shirley Jackson Awards organization website.

Best wishes to Kiernan and Muir! We’re delighted to have had the chance to feature their work, and we hope everyone has had the chance to read it and enjoy it. Best of luck once more to all of the nominees as well!

This Week: Nike Sulway and Rupetta

This week on, we’re featuring the work of Australian writer Nike Sulway. Her latest novel, Rupetta, was published earlier this year by Tartarus Press in a limited hardback edition and a more widely available e-book version, both of which are available for purchase from Tartarus’s website.

rupettaRupetta is a singular work of fiction that should be of interest to readers of the Weird. In terms of genre, it deftly blends elements of fantasy and science fiction in such a fashion that it cannot be exclusively termed as either. There are self-conscious automatons that enact rituals of “Wynding” with their human guardians, creating a kind of psychic link that imprints one upon the other in the process. There are humans that surgically carve out their own hearts and replace them with mechanical ones, as a kind of historical society and religion rolled into one (indeed, in the world of the novel, history itself becomes a kind of religion, and the reader is reminded of the power and vulnerability of both throughout). The novel itself features a book-length quest on the titular character’s part that feels truly global, encountering distinct geographies and cultures along the way, invoking a similar feel as what one might encounter reading a work of secondary fantasy.

The truest strengths of the novel, however, lie in its more elemental characteristics, which imbue whatever concepts or tropes Sulway decides to use with uncommon grace and resonance. Rupetta and Henri, the dual narrators, are deeply felt, and their narrative voices are rendered in evocative epistolary prose that weaves around itself, supporting, clarifying, and contradicting wherever necessary. Beyond and below even that, the novel itself is driven and enhanced by a strong sense of existential questioning: What is a soul? What is a person? And what causes some to reach sentience and consciousness while others don’t? The excerpt we’ve featured from Rupetta this week, “The Miracle of Consciousness,” shows these questions sprouting in the beginning of the novel, and the beginning of Rupetta’s story proper. It also demonstrates, in a subtly weird way, just how much of a marvel and a mystery consciousness and selfhood really is.

Those who enjoy the excerpt from Rupetta should definitely check out our interview with Sulway, where she explains the impetus behind her novel and various writers and stories that motivated her in its writing, in addition to more general insights into her favorite kinds of stories, her love of fairy tales, and other things. While you’re on the site this week, make sure to also read Edward Gauvin’s latest column, this time a profile of a likewise weird, genre-bending novel by French writer Serge Brussolo.

The Alluring Art of Margaret Brundage

To put it simply, Margaret Brundage is a legend. Her sensual, transgressive covers for Weird Tales are among the most memorable of the pulp era, and through them she set a new standard for pulp art. Her work was sui generis in its time and still very much feels that way, possessing an intangible spirit of the artist that many continue to adore. And yet, beyond her art, for a long time Brundage herself has remained a mystery many fans have wished to solve, partly because of the greatness of her art and partly because of the secrecy surrounding much of her life beyond it.

alluring-art-margaret-brundage-queen-pulp-pin-up-stephen-d-korshak-paperback-cover-artEnter The Alluring Art of Margaret Brundage, compiled by Stephen D. Korshak and J. David Spurlock, which will be released May 15 this year. Part art book, part biography, this monograph collects all of Brundage’s covers for Weird Tales alongside previously unpublished pictures, paintings, and sketches. The art portion of the book will be no surprise to fans of Brundage, nor does it need to be: it is a joy to see all of her covers collected in one place, in fantastic quality. The insight into the method of her art is more than welcome, however, as we get to see how she built her covers from sketches and possible photographic references.

What’s truly surprising (and impressive) about this book is the plethora of research divulged by the various contributors, most notably in co-editor Spurlock’s essay “The Secret Life of Margaret Brundage,” which unifies previously unknown details about the artist’s life, especially her rich and complex family life, with important historical context. Spurlock hints at this in our interview with him this week, as he points out how Brundage was heavily involved in several important countercultural movements of the 1920s and 30s – the Dil Pickle Club, Bronzeville, the International Workers of the World – alongside her husband, Slim Brundage; together, the two of them were active players within the larger labor movement in politics at the time. Throughout the book, these glimpses into the previously unseen parts of Brundage’s life fill the gaps in our understanding of her in unexpected and poignant ways. They provide valuable context for her art, but they also show us how Brundage herself and her actions beyond her art are just as important.

Those interested in Margaret Brundage, the art of the Weird Tales era, and pulp art in general would be well advised to visit Vanguard Publications to read more about this book and pre-order it. Vangaurd is offering three different versions of this book – softcover, hardcover, and a deluxe hardcover limited edition with additional, exclusive material. Regardless of your preferred edition, this book is a strong investment and a fitting tribute to one of weird fiction’s greatest artists.

Brundage PR covers

This Week: K.J. Bishop and That Book Your Mad Ancestor Wrote

This week on, we’re featuring the work of Australian writer K.J. Bishop. Readers of The Weird and this site are hopefully no strangers to her work; her novel, The Etched City, is regarded as a neo-Decadent classic of urban fantasy, and her story “Saving the Gleeful Horse” is collected in The Weird. Her new collection of short fiction and poetry, That Book Your Mad Ancestor Wrote, has been available in the Amazon Kindle Store since last December and is newly available in trade paperback form via CreateSpace.

mad_ancestor_createspace_yb_finalThose who have read The Etched City and Bishop’s short fiction can attest to the fluidity of her prose and the vibrant strangeness of her imagination, equally surreal, absurd, and lush. Reading Mad Ancestor in a single flush, however, or even reading it with focus over the course of two or three days, is a surprising experience. There is, of course, the influence of surrealism and Decadent literature that manifests in highlights such as “Maldoror Abroad,” “We the Enclosed,” and “Saving the Gleeful Horse.” From there, though, readers may find themselves in the realm of posthuman singularity via “Beach Rubble,” or the post-apocalyptic animal warfare of “The Heart of a Mouse,” or the deal-with-the-devil metafiction of “Between the Covers.” It’s entirely possible to start with one story, flip to another at random, and find oneself in startlingly different territories altogether.

This kind of  stylistic variety is why it’s so important to read the whole of Mad Ancestor, to understand that what we have in Bishop is someone capable of writing just about anything that comes to mind, and not just that but writing it wonderfully. That same variety makes the selection of one story from the collection for reprinting here at a sad dilemma; there’s no hope of demonstrating the full spread of her ability with just one example. That said, we’ve reprinted her story “The Love of Beauty” in hopes of pursuing that end. Readers should also check out our interview with Bishop as well, which provides some additional context for that story and others from Mad Ancestor, among other things. We also have a new column from regular contributor Edward Gauvin, returning to the work of French fantasist Noël Devaulx, who Gauvin more than ably profiled earlier this year on this site.

We hope you enjoy our material this week, and be sure to keep your eyes peeled for more fantastic material from our regular contributors and featured writers in the weeks to come!