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The New Weird [Paperback]

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Item Specifications...

Pages   414
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.98" Width: 6.32" Height: 1.14"
Weight:   1.1 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Feb 1, 2008
Publisher   Tachyon Publications
ISBN  1892391554  
EAN  9781892391551  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
Presents a collection of stories from the "new weird" genre--a overlap of science fiction, fantasy, and horror--from some of its well-known writers, along with commentaries and a story featuring emerging authors within the genre.

Publishers Description
This avant-garde anthology that presents and defines the New Weird—a hip, stylistic fiction that evokes the gritty exuberance of pulp novels and dime-store comic books—creates a new literature that is entirely unprecedented and utterly compelling. Assembling an array of talent, this collection includes contributions from visionaries Michael Moorcock and China Miéville, modern icon Clive Barker, and audacious new talents Hal Duncan, Jeffrey Ford, and Sarah Monette. An essential snapshot of a vibrant movement in popular fiction, this anthology also features critical writings from authors, theorists, and international editors as well as witty selections from online debates.

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More About Ann Vandermeer & Jeff Vandermeer

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Ann VanderMeer is the Hugo Award-winning editor of Weird Fiction Review. She was the fiction editor at Weird Tales and the publisher of Buzzcity Press, work for which received the British Fantasy, International Horror Guild, and Rhysling awards. An expert on Victoriana, she is the co-editor of the best-selling World Fantasy Award-nominated Steampunk series. Her other anthologies include the Best American Fantasy and Leviathan series, The Thackery T. Lambshead Pocket Guide to Eccentric & Discredited Diseases, The New Weird, and Last Drink, Bird Head.

Jeff VanderMeer is the best-selling author of City of Saints and Madmen, the noir thriller Finch, and the quintessential guide to writers, Booklife. His award-winning novels have made the year's best lists at Publishers Weekly, the San Francisco Chronicle, and the Wall Street Journal. His nonfiction and reviews have appeared in Washington Post Book World, the Huffington Post, and the New York Times Book Review.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Pseudoweirdos  Jun 26, 2008
In speculative fiction there are many anthologies claiming to define a hot new sub-genre, with editors explaining why the selected stories fit the label, and why that label should be embraced by readers in the know. Such genre boosterism is usually a non-issue if the collected stories are memorable. But this particular anthology falls all over itself trying to define the supposedly groundbreaking new style to be called "The New Weird," and fails to come up with a believable definition or even a working collection of stories to fit the label. The book even contains a non-fiction section featuring various writers and editors trying to define "The New Weird" and to promote their own inclusion in it, while simultaneously whining about how harmful categorizations can be and how the unknowing mainstream is diluting their uniqueness.

The basic, loose definition of "The New Weird" is an edgy mix of dark fantasy and horror, with maybe a dash of sci-fi, and a kinship with the classic old "Weird Tales" and affiliated pulps. That's true of most of the stories here, but knowledgeable readers will know that such creative exercises are hardly new. (The sub-genre has claimed its own groundbreaking superstar, China Mieville, whose bodacious talents are worshipped by everyone else in this book nearly to the point of jealousy.) But the editors and commentators unnecessarily attempt to flesh out the underwhelming basic definition with some English-major gibberish like urban politicization and grotesque transformations of the body. But these attributes don't even appear in many of the stories here, proving that categorizations really are as problematic as these correspondents say they are.

As for the stories themselves, the editors could come up with just nine entries that directly qualify for the working definition of "The New Weird." A few of these are intriguing and memorable, but novel excerpts from Leena Krohn and Steph Swainston are nonfunctional as stand-alone stories, and the tales by Jeffrey Thomas and Jeffrey Ford (Gibson-esque cyberpunk and medieval fantasy, respectively) don't even conform to the sub-genre definition. The same pattern applies to the six other pre-definitional stories that start the book, selected as supposedly early influences on the new sub-genre. Here we have two more tales, by Michael Moorcock and Kathe Koja (alternate military history and psychological horror, respectively), that also don't fit the definition of "The New Weird." Though at least this section of the book is made worthwhile by Clive Barker's stupendous "In the Hills, the Cities" which is just as terrifying and disturbing as when it first dropped back in 1984.

And finally, the book ends nonsensically with a round-robin story by a series of authors, whom the editors admit are not even part of "The New Weird" movement. The story is a directionless and disordered collection of subplots, and it doesn't even have an ending, as for some incomprehensible reason the editors left the conclusion on an outside website. When all is said and done, one of the few commendable things about this book is the selective but far-reaching "Recommended Reading" section, which will launch interested and adventurous readers toward much more fulfilling experiences. [~doomsdayer520~]
A sample of what the next generation of horror, science fiction, and fantasy will bring forth.  May 7, 2008
A look at the darker side of the world with horrifying rituals, insane festivals and more disturbing imagery are to be found in this exciting new short story collection - "The New Weird". Featuring stories by acclaimed authors Clive Barker and Michael Moorcock among a dozen other authors of various level's of experience of fame, "The New Weird" is a collection set on pushing the envelope on what society defines as weird and terrifying - all written in exceptional prose and sure to send some shivers down the spines of readers. "The New Weird" is a highly recommended anthology for anyone who wants a sample of what the next generation of horror, science fiction, and fantasy will bring forth.
Not Free SF Reader  Mar 23, 2008
I thought this anthology would be interesting, and it doesn't disappoint.

There's an introduction by VanderMeer, J. To sum that up he says wants to provide a rough guide to the New Weird, acknowledging that it is quite possibly a past history thing.

On the rest of the non-fiction, there is part of a forum discussion from a few years ago, wherein the existence or not of the topic is debated. Amusingly, Jonathan Strahan calls it a load of old cobblers, then over the page comes up with this very anthology title (and also sort of implies that the New Space Opera might be something similar, and goes on to produce a great anthology titled exactly that, too). A kiss of life Super Editor, perhaps, is he?

There are some essays by others talking about the subject, and also some European editors, some from more Eastern Europe, and a German, talking about this sort of fiction in their countries and how it does commercially. The Czechs hung a fiction line of it that has done well, and not so good in dour Germany, it seems.

On the fiction front, things go from the fabulous find of a story about Jack Half-A-Prayer from China Mieville's New Crobuzon, to a poor excerpt from a novel by Steph Swainston. She is one of the names invoked along with Mieville, Di Filippo, and Bishop (whose story is rather good, and I had read before), as being part of the early moment of this stuff, around Perdido Street Station time. However, the Swainston excerpt isn't from the book mentioned - perhaps that one is better, being as it appears the first in a trilogy, and higher rated and more widely held on librarything, too. However, her writing in this excerpt isn't within a bulls roar of any of the others mentioned. Extremely cheesy science fantasy that veers more towards the romance science fiction romance subgenre at time, it seems to me. It has that crossover dabbler not quite getting it feel, it seems. Excerpts are problematic enough in anthologies without sticking in dodgy examples.

Moorcock's war story seems to be just a garden variety slightly nutty people at war tale, certainly not even remotely weird, particularly if you are thinking of mad scientists in Gran Bretan, or Warlords of the Air, or multiversal chasing grail hunting super nazis.

The actual cover itself isn't particularly weird, either, being sort of virginal white, with a clockwork bug - dime a dozen on the internet, these days, those sort of things, it seems.

Jeffrey Thomas has a pure SF story here, though, and I noticed a free novel released recently online - if it is anythinglike this, it will be worth checking out. Judge Dredd meets Blade Runner, or something like that.

Most of this stuff is fantasy or horror, and often both. Alistair Rennie being the classic example here of gross, grotesque horror-fantasy. This story is apparently new to the collection, so well done. I'd definitely like to see more of this.

The last fiction part includes a 'laboratory', wherein the editors ask some writers who aren't Weird enough, mostly, perhaps, to try New Weird. PDF sets it up for them, and then they take a crack at various parts of a related set of stories. Whether it was worth doing this rather than including some other good New Weird stories, I think I'd come down on the side of no, given the retrospective aim of this book.

In a good move, they have included a list of 70 odd books that are New Weirdish, while noting at the start they are leaving out Alastair Reynolds and company 'space opera new weird' books. Cyberpunk is ok, presumably, given Thomas. Then they go and leave half a page blank on their book list. Why not put them in at the end rather than waste the space? At least given the wasted paper they could have said why - don't read it/not familiar with/don't like it/publisher said no, especially as they open the book with writers than have committed space opera in the pat.

Chasm City, for example, is way weirder and more grotesque than the very tame Ligotti story that could easily have fallen out of a rift in time to 1920.

So, overall this anthology manages to make it to good, but nothing past that, and does contain a couple of excellent and a few good stories.

As a final note, the Tachyon publisher site has a 'part 8' of the Festival Lives laboratory experiment, also by PDF.

New Weird : The Luck in the Head - M. John Harrison
New Weird : Crossing into Cambodia - Michael Moorcock
New Weird : In the Cities the Hills - Clive Barker
New Weird : The Braining of Mother Lamprey - Simon D. Ings
New Weird : The Neglected Garden - Kathe Koja
New Weird : A Soft Voice Whispers Nothing - Thomas Ligotti
New Weird : Jack - China Miéville
New Weird : Immolation - Jeffrey Thomas
New Weird : The Lizard of Ooze - Jay Lake
New Weird : Watson's Boy - Brian Evenson
New Weird : The Art of Dying - K. J. Bishop
New Weird : At Reparata - Jeffrey Ford
New Weird : Letters from Tainaron - Leena Krohn
New Weird : The Ride of the Gabbleratchet - Steph Swainston
New Weird : The Gutter Sees the Light That Never Shines - Alistair Rennie
New Weird : Death in a Dirty Dhoti - Paul Di Filippo
New Weird : Cornflowers Beside the Unuttered - Cat Rambo
New Weird : All God's Chillun Got Wings - Sarah Monette
New Weird : Locust-Mind - Daniel Abraham
New Weird : Constable Chalch and the Ten Thousand Heroes - Felix Gilman
New Weird : Golden Lads All Must - Hal Duncan
New Weird : Forfend the Heavens' Rending - Conrad Williams

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