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The New Weird

3.7 of 5 stars 3.70  ·  rating details  ·  769 ratings  ·  69 reviews
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, mod ...more
Paperback, 403 pages
Published February 1st 2008 by Tachyon Publications (first published January 1st 2008)
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The Martian Chronicles by Ray BradburyDangerous Visions by Harlan EllisonMirrorshades by Bruce SterlingThe Science Fiction Hall of Fame by Robert SilverbergBurning Chrome by William Gibson
Best SciFi Anthologies/Collections
30th out of 253 books — 146 voters
The Goblin Emperor by Katherine AddisonThe New Weird by Ann VanderMeerHis Majesty's Dragon by Naomi NovikCity of Stairs by Robert Jackson BennettWierm's Egg by Jennifer C. Garlen
Fantasy for weary
2nd out of 50 books — 6 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,827)
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Apr 21, 2008 Michael rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Michael by: Peggy
This may be the best collection I've read in a decade.

I'd been through Mieville and Vandermeer, cut my teeth on Lovecraft, a pile of slipstream, Barker, but I didn't feel as though I had much of a handle on what "New Weird" was or why I was drawn to it. Boy, I loved every story in this volume, including the oddly vulgar Rennie story at the end. Perhaps if slipstream makes you feel 'a little strange' (and the _Feeling Very Strange_ anthology would make a nice companion to this book), New Weird ma
Althea Ann
Overall, not a bad anthology, mixing elements of horror, sci-fi and fantasy. Most of the stories are not original to this book, so if you're a fan of the authors, it's likely you've read them before. They tend toward the dark, extreme and often grotesque and disgusting, so if that's not your scene, you probably won't enjoy.
My main issue with the book is its tendency toward navel-gazing. It should have just stuck with presenting the work, rather than going on and on about how to define the term "
Ross Lockhart
I’ve been reading The New Weird lately, Jeff and Ann VanderMeer’s recent Tachyon collection of the sort of bizarre, visceral, urban fantasy that’s had the placard card reading “New Weird” hung about its neck for the past few years.

If anything, this collection seems a younger sibling to the 2004 Thunder’s Mouth Press anthology New Worlds. New Weird certainly owes a debt to the New Wave (the inclusion of M. John Harrison’s “The Luck in the Head” makes this undeniably clear), and it is M. John Harr
I enjoy Lovecraft, Mieville, pulp sci-fi, so I thought I would love this volume and was eagerly awaiting its publication. Alas, I am somewhat disappointed. Though I appreciate (on an intellectual level) the tortuous hand-wringing that accompanies the authors' attempts to define or simply talk about a genre that could be called "New Weird" (there is an entire section of the book devoted solely to a discussion among various authors about what New Weird is, whether it needs a name, and why), the st ...more
I like the book as a project but the stories in the book were not always very memorable. I liked them while I read them and I am glad that I read them but they were a mixed bag. Again, not mixed in terms of uneven quality because they all were very well-written. Just some of the stories didn't do much for me. I am changing my rating from three stars to four stars.

I liked the two new features of the book-- the selection of essays that ask "What is the New Weird" and includes authors and editors
The best stories in this collection had what the other, less enticing ones (as well as the very dry introduction) were missing: humor! Only then I knew that the so-called New Weird doesn't fascinate me just because of the grotesque, surreal imagery. It was also the sometimes dark, sometimes (somewhat) lighthearted humor that got to me. Consequently, Simon D. Ings' "The Braining of Mother Lamprey" and Alistair Rennie's "The Gutter Sees the Light That Never Shines" I enjoyed the most (on a sidenot ...more
So far this anthology has some very interesting and disturbing stories in it. But here's the most disturbing thing: there are no significant women characters. None. There's even a story of a pair of lovers traveling through eastern Europe but, guess what? They are both MEN. What is up with that?


Finished reading. This collection of stories is unique in my experience. Bizarre. Strange. Weird. New. It takes some getting used to but is well worth it. There are even a couple of stories a
Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides
I've never cared much for the horror genre*, and perhaps that's why I started reading each of the first four stories in this book and gave up and skipped to the next one before deciding to abandon the volume entirely. The intro informed me that one of the things that distinguishes New Weird from slipstream and interstitial fiction is influence from the horror genre, along with an eschewing of "postmodern techniques that undermine the surface reality of the text (or point out its artificiality)." ...more
As with any collection, the stories are somewhat hit or miss. The precursor stories were actually weaker than the current examples; Watson's Boy was my favorite, though At Reparata was the most emotional. New Weird as a style is the fever dream of Fantasy and Science Fiction, focused on grotesque organics and oppressive places. A large section of the book is devoted to defining the style, which devolves to arguments about whether or not it's worth it to even try, but getting past that and you ge ...more
Chrystal Hays
I chose this book because really, China Mieville can't write fast enough. While the book is in part a discussion of labels for lit, it also is a great selection of writing.
The word "new" at first worried me, when I found older tales in a 2008 collection. However, one was one of my favorites, "In the Hills, the Cities". This is one I can never forget and love to re-read.

It proved to be a collection of things I had not read...besides the above, Mieville's "Jack" I had also read and liked.

The en
G. Brown
This is one of the best anthologies I've ever read. It is laid out brilliantly, including an explanation of what the movement or "moment" is all about, a section that offers stories in which we may find the roots of New Weird, a section that proposes to offer exemplars of New Weird, and a round robin that is (unfortunately) pretty forgettable created just for this book. The book follows in the footsteps of Feeling Very Strange: A Slipstream Anthology, but does a superior job of summing up what t ...more
I tried to read the whole anthology, I really did. However, I found the introduction to be less educational than condecending. I attempted to start several stories, but could finish none but China Mieville's Jack [which was the story that drew my attention to the anthology in the first place]. Perhaps I don't "get" the sub-genre, but I just couldn't engage with this material.
This review will be in confessional mode, I'm afraid:

One of the most influential anthologies that I've ever read. Having come across it almost immediately after I graduated with a degree in English Lit, the stories collected here catered to both my submerged genre sensibilities and a love for interesting, finely crafted fiction that pays attention to language and style. It even helped shape the aesthetic direction of an online magazine I went on to co-found with some of my like-minded peers... a
So, here goes: “The New Weird: ‘It’s Alive?'”, Jeff VanderMeer - 5

M. John Harrison, “The Luck in the Head” - 4.5 - the almost-perfect story with the most intriguing, disturbing and elaborate world in this collection for me - it all seemed as if it was based on some sort of a nightmare - and one that I would not fancy having at that.
Michael Moorcock, “Crossing into Cambodia” - 4
Clive Barker, “In the Hills, the Cities” - 3
Simon D. Ings, “The Braining of Mother Lamprey” - 4.5
Kathe Koja, “The
It's difficult to assign a point value to this book, because the stories were hit 'n miss. On the other hand it did what I wanted by showing me authors to look out for and others to avoid. That being said none of the stories really excited me the way that Chine Mieville has. I don't think Mieville's own story in the collection would have interested me as much as it did if I hadn't read his other works.

The poorer stories were:

The M. John Harrison story was intended to unsettling and did so in th
This genre is super fun because it's shamelessly grotesque, as well as sinisterly and patently ridiculous. Much of the hilarity comes from the frequent crossing of the fine and squiggly line between Lovekrafkaesque existential dread and Pratchetterian or Gaimanic silliness. I don't normally care so much for the pseudo-Victorian setting (Steampunk yay, hierarchical fantasy yawn) in novels, but I'm starting to see the appeal when it's not played straight. There is just so much imagination and wond ...more
Jun 10, 2013 J. rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: People already into the New Weird
This book has four sections, the third of which reprints a blog discussion about whether the New Weird exists or not. Judging from the contents of this book, it doesn't. (But really, I think it does.) The first part are some stories that supposedly "influenced" the New Weird, but they are of varying quality, and of varying weirdness. Part 2 has some actual New Weird stories--9 of them--and while they aren't all great, some of them are great and only a couple of them didn't do anything for me at ...more
Uneven collection. Finished the first section, entitled "Stimuli". Stories from six different authors from UK and US. Never read any of these pieces before. Post reading impressions follow:

The Luck in the Head by M. John Harrison: Lucid. A catalogue of strange details that does not suffer diminishing returns because the fear, bewilderment & arrogance is crucial to the writing, rather than a display of writerly gifts alone. MJH is literate like few genera authors.

In the Hills, the Cities by C
Although not all of the stories in this collection were satisfying and one, "Watson's Son", I hated, the overall quality of writing and richness of imagination of the fiction is impressive. I'd only read a few writers presented in this collection before -- Moorcock, Mieville, and Barker -- and the exposure to over a dozen writers was welcome. I plan to read more from several of them: books by M. John Harrison, Simon D. Ings, Jeffrey Thomas, and K.J. Bishop have been added to my to-read list. Sta ...more
Ursula Pflug
My review of this wonderful book is up at The Internet Review of Science Fiction. IROSF has folded, sadly, but their wonderful archives remain online.

July, 2008
The New Weird
A Review of the Anthology
by Ursula Pflug

The New Weird
Edited by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer
Tachyon Publications,
trade paperback: 432 pp.,
ISBN-13 9781892391551

The New Weird begins with a ten-page footnoted introduction by Jeff VanderMeer. Later on, in the section entitled Symposi
3,5 - 4*
Jsou to povídky, tak některé jsou lepší a některé jsou podle mě horší, i když vyloženě slabé kousky tu nejsou. Na druhou stranu mě ale ani nic nechytlo tak, abych tomu dala 5*.

New weird je divný žánr. Slepenec toho zvláštního z žánrů jako jsou sci-fi, fantasy (urban i jiné podžánry), krimi a v jedné z povídek je dokonce něco jako steampunk říznutý magickým realismem. Ovšem bizarnosti, absurdnosti a podobné fantasknosti jsou tu opentleny vysokým stylem. Pár povídek vybízí svou divností k
Scott Neigh
A neat collection focused on an area of genre literature I didn't even know had a name -- and which, according to the debates in the book, may or may not actually deserve to be treated as a distinct moment or movement. The focus is a particular kind of fantastic fiction, the most visible producer of which is China Mieville, of whom I am a fan. It is fiction that tends to be gothic and highly crafted, and which tends to focus on cities and bodies. I'm not sure whether it really does deserve to be ...more
"Stimuli" contains short New Wave and New Horror fiction pieces which the anthologists consider precursors of New Weird. These are almost all quite good.

* The Luck in the Head, by M. John Harrison
* In the Hills, the Cities, by Clive Barker
* Crossing into Cambodia, by Michael Moorcock
* The Braining of Mother Lamprey, by Simon D. Ings
* The Neglected Garden, by Kathe Koja
* A Soft Voice Whispers Nothing, by Thomas Ligotti

"Evidence" contains short fiction pieces which the anthologists hold as
Sep 01, 2014 Eddie rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: weird
There were a few interesting stories, but not enough to say I really enjoyed the book. On the whole, the stories were just weird for the sake of being weird. No direction, no plot... most just seemed unfinished. Almost like the authors starting writing a 500-page story, but stopped when they hit page 4.

Also, much of the content wasn't really what I would call "weird". It was just straight up sci-fi, or dystopian fantasy, or just gross.

A few gems in there, but largely disappointing.
Most of my favorite authors of recently-published fiction fall within the New Weird genre category, but reading this compilation convinced me that not all New Weird is worth my time. Doing uncomfortable things with embodiment and body boundaries seems to be a prominent recurring theme in New Weird fiction. The best authors do brilliant things with this-- Jeff VanderMeer's fungal infiltrators and China Mieville's punitive grafts are the stuff of nightmares.

Unfortunately, some authors working in
Ever since reading Perdido Street Station, I've been a sucker for anything described as New Weirdish. Sometimes my enthusiasm for the sub-genre/style/movement/whatever-the-hell-you-call-it has been more fervent than my appreciation for the examples of it I read. So it was nice to find that even the stories by authors whose novels I disliked (ah screw it, I'm referring to K.J.Bishop and The Etched City) I liked in this anthology. That said, none of the stories really quite reached the levels that ...more
Nicholas Barone
A very enjoyable anthology. Most of the stories are good, with only 1 or 2 that didn't do anything for me. Stories by China Mieville, Jeffrey Ford, Alistair Rennie, and K.J. Bishop were the stand outs. I also enjoyed the final work - a tag team effort by 7 different authors. The collection does a good job of exploring the literary territory covered by the New Weird movement - a movement that derives its heritage from the likes of Lovecraft, Clarke Ashton Smith, Mervyn Peake, and Clive Barker and ...more
Fantasy Literature
It’s easy to imagine two different readers reacting in opposite ways to The New Weird. One might find it delightfully odd; the other might find it as terrifying as Kafka on LSD. And a third might find it delightfully odd because it’s as terrifying as Kafka on LSD. Certainly, no one is likely to find it boring.

The New Weird is a well-organized anthology, with a short, useful introduction; a section entitled “Stimuli,” containing older selections (though not very old; the oldest piece, by Michael
An interesting attempt to define a sub-genre that was briefly much discussed if never really formally defined. This selects stories that were pre-cursors to the movement from the likes of M. John Harrison and Michael Moorcock stories from some of the key players like China Mieville. These are all generally interesting, and would make for an entertaining anthology on their own. What makes it much more interesting is the section of essays and discussions of what the New Weird is (or isn't) whether ...more
Amy Peavy
This book gets five stars. First for the subject matter. There are many different examples of what the "New Weird" means to different authors. My vary favorite story was written by seven different writers. Much to the surprise of the editors it formed a cohesive story. The last part of the story is available online at the Tachyon Press website. At the end of the book were several different essays on the New Weird. They also contacted four different European editors for their perspectives on New ...more
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Another good anthology? 2 7 May 17, 2012 08:43PM  
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