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The New Weird

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  1,248 ratings  ·  99 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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Sep 11, 2020 rated it liked it
This is a very valuable endeavor, putting together this volume. I enjoyed it very little.
That's a matter of taste, obviously. I certainly appreciate the VanderMeers work in editing this.

There are sections. The contents are listed below.

1) Short stories. I only really liked the first one, by M. John Harrison. Every time I read Harrison, I think, "This is great! I should read more Harrison!" But then I don't. Very well written, very weird. I had read most of these authors before liked several of t
Mar 11, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 21, 2011 rated it liked it
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
Oct 18, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
Merl Fluin
Jun 25, 2019 rated it did not like it
DNF. You say "new weird", I say "dreary urban fantasy", let's call the whole thing off. ...more
The VanderMeers have become deeply annoying to me. Who made these untalented people authorities on anything? Is there literally a worse genre name than "The New Weird"? Will Jeff ever manage to write a book as semi-decent as Area X again, or will he just keep publishing landfill? Can someone explain to me why Ann's fantasy anthology included stories by Tolstoy and Nabokov? Also, what is this shit? ...more
Aug 16, 2010 rated it really liked it
20 August 2010 - ****. The anthology is made up of four sections.

"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

Apr 01, 2008 rated it liked it
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
Aug 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
I'm going to read this, Interfictions, and Feeling Very Strange back-to-back and write a longer review for all three, but I will say about this one that it seems to focus on genre stories that have eccentricities that tilt them into the literary realm. Yes, the characters and plots are very odd, often with no connection to any human reality, but the prose itself is very pulpy, intentionally and self-consciously so. Most of these are not much more capital-w Weird than the stories I grew up with i ...more
Oct 05, 2018 rated it it was ok
I didn't quite finish every piece of this but certainly enough to make a fair assessment. I consider myself a fan of the New Weird in general, though I guess in retrospect I've only read a few novels I would class as such. A surprisingly small fraction of this book is actually dedicated to presenting a wider palette in that genre beyond Mieville, Swainston, and VanderMeer.

Only one of five parts is composed of New Weird shorts, and while some of these are plenty good, I just found the selection
Dec 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
One of the best anthology collections I've come across for some time. This is almost Dangerous Visions level for me with the sheer number of excellent writers in here. This is an attempt to revamp HP Lovecraft's Weird Tales for the current century.

While not "Outsider Art", these are often literate pulp stories or at least bizarro fiction. It's got throughlines back to Jack Vance's Dying Earth, Mervyn Peake, New Wave Scifi and Horror. It can be traditional and avant garde (Lynchean but with books
Dec 31, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
Aug 23, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
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
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
Jun 01, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Jan 02, 2009 rated it liked it
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. ...more
Apr 01, 2019 rated it liked it
This book is split into sections and this review focuses solely on the sections containing the short stories. What I can tell about this "genre" from the sampling here is that it gorges itself on bizarre details. These authors are shaping worlds and introduce so many new ideas often in so rapid a succession it all comes as much too much. Silly, futuristic sounding words and names are almost mandatory in these stories and become comical and predictable, like some sort of random generator was bein ...more
Nathan Shumate
Nov 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
Taken as a whole, this collection of "New Weird" stories might be overwhelming in its surreal, boundary-breaking excess, but read little by little, these examples of "fantastic" writing which relies on no outworn traditions and tropes is refreshing. ...more
Jan 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
I liked some stories more than others. But then, that's to be expected from an anthology. I really appreciate how this was put together, especially the "laboratory" section. I wish more stories were written that way! It's a fun idea. ...more
Ursula Pflug
Apr 04, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
Sep 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Favorite stories in here:
“At Reparata” by Jeffrey Ford - A self-declared royal, rich from inherited pirate treasure creates a court of misfit wanders. Everyone has bizarre titles and plays castle until their leader loses the love of his life and falls into a deep depression. The healer they employ to cure the king takes them down a bizarre pathway that pulls in elements of Gormenghast and Perdido Street Station. But the tone is still dark comedy?

“The Lizard of Ooze” by Jay Lake - Trippy and does
Sassa Margot
This anthology of short stories was recommended to me in a creative writing workshop on speculative fiction (upscale science fiction and fantasy). I'm really glad I followed through and read the book. I'm now reading other works by the authors collected here, from China Mieville who I knew from Perdido Street Station to Clive Barker, who seems to be famous for horror, which I don't generally read, but whose story in here I loved, so...I'm going to venture into new reading waters. And isn't that ...more
May 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was a very interesting examination of the New Weird as a genre movement (or potential movement?) The first two sections of the anthology included a variety of short stories, which of course are the main draw to the book. The stories were hit or miss for me; I liked most of them to some degree, although one of them (unfortunately the first story in the book, which made me hesitant initially) my brain just repeatedly rejected and I eventually had to DNF. That said, a few of these stories I'd ...more
Mar 17, 2021 rated it liked it
3 star rating an average of my ratings for each individual story, as follows:

* The Luck in the Head - ⭐️
* In The Hills, The Cities - ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
* Crossing Into Cambodia - ⭐️ (Why is this even in here? Not weird enough to even be pre-weird if you ask me.)
* The Braining of Mother Lamprey - ⭐️⭐️⭐️
* The Neglected Garden - ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
* A Soft Voice Whispering Nothing - ⭐️⭐️
* Jack - ⭐️⭐️
* Immolation - ⭐️
* The Lizard of Ooze - ⭐️⭐️
* Watson’s Boy - ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
* The Art of Dying - ⭐️⭐️
* At Reparata - ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Sín Wellroth Lång
Jun 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Most of these stories are wonderful and intriguing - some, not for the faint of heart, but that's not the case for me. I found weird with this book, and I love it immensely, even though a few stories are quite bland. But for the most part, these stories and authors are wonderful and attribute much with so little. ...more
Sep 07, 2020 rated it liked it
Like all anthologies, this is a mixed bag. Some of the stories are very good. A few are marginal. The genuine tragedy of this collection, however, is that fully a quarter of the book is given over to non-short stories. While writers writing about the genre of the New Weird has some interest to the reader, this reader felt the material took up entirely too much of the book.
Folk up to no good
passive-aggressive lovers
sons and slaves rebel.
Aug 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
This collection gave me a good feel for New Weird in all its twisted, grotesque (old-timey sense, not gross sense. Although...) glory.
Radovan Kopečný
Feb 15, 2019 rated it liked it
This book was like sex. First much of tiresome work, then sweet orgasm (China Mieville), and then falling to sleep.
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
Weird Fiction: "New Weird" Discuss Everything *Spoilers* 52 20 Jun 05, 2019 06:29PM  
Weird Fiction: "New Weird" First Impressions *No Spoilers* 8 11 May 06, 2019 01:33PM  
The Sword and Laser: Ann: The New Weird 24 247 Feb 05, 2015 08:28PM  
June 2014 Discussion 1 4 May 22, 2014 07:12PM  
Another good anthology? 2 8 May 17, 2012 08:43PM  

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Ann VanderMeer is an American publisher and editor, and the second female editor of the horror magazine Weird Tales. She is the founder of Buzzcity Press.

Her work as Fiction Editor of Weird Tales won a Hugo Award. Work from her press and related periodicals has won the British Fantasy Award, the International Rhysling Award, and appeared in several year's best anthologies. Ann was also the founder

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