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The Weird: A Compendium of Strange and Dark Stories

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | The Weird: A Compendium of Strange and Dark Stories.pdf | Language: ENGLISH
    Jeff VanderMeer(Editor)

    Book details


From Lovecraft to Borges to Gaiman, a century of intrepid literary experimentation has created a corpus of dark and strange stories that transcend all known genre boundaries. Together these stories form The Weird, and its practitioners include some of the greatest names in twentieth and twenty-first century literature.

Exotic and esoteric, The Weird plunges you into dark domains and brings you face to face with surreal monstrosities. You won't find any elves or wizards here...but you will find the biggest, boldest, and downright most peculiar stories from the last hundred years bound together in the biggest Weird collection ever assembled.
The Weird features 110 stories by an all-star cast, from literary legends to international bestsellers to Booker Prize winners: including William Gibson, George R. R. Martin, Stephen King, Angela Carter, Kelly Link, Franz Kafka, China Mieville, Clive Barker, Haruki Murakami, M. R. James, Neil Gaiman, Mervyn Peake, and Michael Chabon.

The Weird is the winner of the 2012 World Fantasy Award for Best Anthology

"What is good about the majority of these stories is precisely that they leave you with many more questions than answers, the mark, in my view, of a superior kind of fiction... It does, in fact, what most of our best fiction does, irrespective of category." --Award-winning author Michael Moorcock, from his introduction

3.3 (2548)
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Book details

  • PDF | 1126 pages
  • Jeff VanderMeer(Editor)
  • Tor Books; Reprint edition (8 May 2012)
  • English
  • 10
  • Science Fiction & Fantasy

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Review Text

  • By M Yon on 9 December 2011

    Here we have the most comprehensive and eclectic story collection of the sub-genre to date.Many will comment on this book's size. It is over a thousand pages of fairly small text, usually in two columns per page (Weird Tales style), 750 000 words of weirdness from writers in over eighteen different countries. There are stories that are known, stories that are much less known and some stories translated into English for the first time.A huge collection of stories and a variety of authors from all over the world, Ann and Jeff here not only try to show what they consider to be a collection of the best representations of the subgenre (if we can call it that) in the last one-hundred years but also try to show readers what weird fiction is, what are its origins and how it has developed. An ambitious target, but one which has been supremely realised. Of the old favourites, many will recognise:F. Marion Crawford, "The Screaming Skull," (1908) , Algernon Blackwood, "The Willows," (1907) , Saki, "Sredni Vashtar," (1910), M.R. James, "Casting the Runes," (1911), H.P. Lovecraft, "The Dunwich Horror," (1929), Clark Ashton Smith, "Genius Loci," (1933), Fritz Leiber, "Smoke Ghost," (1941), Ray Bradbury, "The Crowd," (1943), Shirley Jackson, "The Summer People," (1950), Jerome Bixby, "It's a Good Life," (1953), Daphne Du Maurier, "Don't Look Now," (1971), George R.R. Martin, "Sandkings," (1979), Stephen King, "The Man in the Black Suit," (1994) and China Mieville, "Details," (2002).All are good tales and as good as you could expect, as are stories by F. Paul Wilson, Clive Barker, Caitlin Kiernan, Lisa Tuttle, Garry Kilworth and many others.Where this collection really scores is that there is a lot here even the experienced expert will find new. Many of the tales have been translated from other languages, especially for this edition, and so were new to me. Authors I have heard of (Belgium's Jean Rey, for example) I was now reading for the first time. There's Kafka and Borges here, but new to me were France's Michel Bernanos, Spain's Merce Rodreda, Italy's Dino Buzzati and Japan's Ryunosuke Akyutagawa. What this confirmed to me was that there is an amazing world of the Fantastic beyond the English prose.The Weird, being in chronological order, also gives us glimpses into the latest `new' weird writers: or should that be `new, new weird', as the `New Weird' grouping, if it ever existed, seems to date from the later1980's to early 1990's. Clearly names to look for in the future are Laird Barron, Steve Duffy and Reza Negarestani, many of whom I hadn't encountered until this volume. The final `Afterweird' by China Mieville is as brain-stretching as I'd expect.I haven't even tried to review the tales in depth here. I was pleased to read some old favourites but was more pleased to read stories I'd never heard of before.Consequently there was a joy in just not knowing where a story was going to lead.There is enough here for everyone. It is awesomely weird. There are stories of drama, of fantastic mythology, of creepiness and unease, of tales in the past and ones that might just be happening now.Even in such a major-sized tome there are omissions, some because of space, some because the editors couldn't get the permissions. (I'll mention Thomas Disch, JG Ballard and Arthur Machen, for example.) But these are minor quibbles, considering what is covered.This is essential for anyone with a remote interest in what readers see in weird fiction. It covers the width, breadth and depth of what readers might see as the sub-genre, as well as no doubt some other dimensions usually beyond the traditional three. It has taken me nearly two months to read this, but it has been an amazing read. This is a book to wallow in, to delve into, to pick stories from at random. It is a book once read, readers will keep coming back to, and have since finishing it the first time.As is the book's remit would suggest, not every story will be well liked, not every tale will be understood. It will cause debate, and I suspect will be high on `the best of' lists at the end of the year. I think already it is one of mine.

  • By J. Everington on 15 October 2012

    I don't know if you've ever seen the Man Vs. Food TV program (if not, basically some idiot attempts to eat an 40oz steak or 3ft pizza or something...) but I've just finished reading The Weird, a vast (100+ stories, 750000 words) anthology of weird fiction put together by Jeff and Ann VanderMeer."The publishers believe this is the largest volume of weird fiction ever housed between the covers of one book" the blurb says, as if there's any doubt...Just the physical size of the book is somewhat imposing, especially when you see the double-columns of small type inside. I've been reading this on and off since January, and part of the reason it has taken so long is that its pretty much impossible to read this book (in its non-ebook version) on public transport or in bed. It's just too heavy and unwieldy.But unlike those huge steaks (I imagine) The Weird doesn't let quantity get in the way of quality. Given the sheer number of selections there's no way people will love every one, but there's not a story here that's anything less that interesting to the horror fiction aficionado. I don't think any anthology before this one has stories spanning such a range before, whether in time (the oldest story is from 1908; the newest 2010); geography (stories from twenty countries across the globe, some in translation for the first time); or genre (traditional horror rubs shoulders with science-fiction, literary fiction, fantasy and even humour).Some of the stories I had read before - and it's always a pleasure to read The Willows or The Hospice again. But many others were brand new to me; of those that I've not read before these were my favourites:Hanns Heinz Ewers, "The Spider,"H.F. Arnold, "The Night Wire,"Clark Ashton Smith, "Genius Loci,"Robert Barbour Johnson, "Far Below,"William Sansom, "The Long Sheet,"Robert Bloch, "The Hungry House,"Jerome Bixby, "It's a Good Life,"Charles Beaumont, "The Howling Man,"Mervyn Peake, "Same Time, Same Place,"Gahan Wilson, "The Sea Was Wet As Wet Could Be,"Dennis Etchison, "It Only Comes Out at Night,"James Tiptree Jr. (Alice Sheldon), "The Psychologist Who Wouldn't Do Awful Things to Rats,"George R.R. Martin, "Sandkings,"William Gibson/John Shirley, "The Belonging Kind,"Joanna Russ, "The Little Dirty Girl,"F. Paul Wilson, "Soft,"Garry Kilworth, "Hogfoot Right and Bird-hands,"Lucius Shepard, "Shades,"Joyce Carol Oates, "Family,"Karen Joy Fowler, "The Dark,"Lisa Tuttle, "Replacements,"William Browning Spenser, "The Ocean and All Its Devices,"Craig Padawer, "The Meat Garden,"China Mieville, "Details,"Brian Evenson, "The Brotherhood of Mutilation,"Margo Lanagan, "Singing My Sister Down,"Steve Duffy, "In the Lion's Den,"K.J. Bishop, "Saving the Gleeful Horse,"But that's not to belittle the quality of the others.In my opinion The Weird sets a new standard for an anthology of `weird fiction' - as well as the stories themselves, the Introductions and Afterwords are thought-provoking, and as if the book itself wasn't enough there's a whole website called The Weird Fiction review with articles, interviews and fiction by many of the authors.In short, if you're a horror fiction fan with a taste for the weirder, more articulate or surreal side of the genre, this is pretty much a must-read.

  • By DrZoidberg on 24 December 2015

    My favourite collection of short stories.

  • By Davey on 17 May 2012

    My order for the book was placed as soon as the release date of the hardback copy was announced way back in January of 2012.The contents of this Compendium are a joy for the eyes to behold, stories that will last forever.The Weird, Strange and Dark tales within it`s 1120 pages will see me it`s owner reading late in to future nights until all pages are read.My only reason to criticise this book is the quality of it`s paper used, I expected better then it`s disappointing paperback standard.A finer class of paper for such a hardback such as this would have been more appropriately appreciated by it`s readers, lastly a fixed bookmark ribbon would not have gone a miss.A missed opportune moment by the publisher Corvus who choose rather to save a few odd pennies.Small points of complaint to the few but to me important ones when owning a future classic hardback rather then just a simple paperback runabout.Enjoy the read , the stories will not disappoint the readers.

  • By Monkey Man on 17 January 2014

    This is a great book that helped me discover a raft of authors I've never heard of before and whose work I'd been missing out on. It's only let down by the fact that the text is so small and a bit of a strain on the eyes. Other than that it is well worth getting hold of.


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