Scott Neigh's Reviews > The New Weird

The New Weird by Ann VanderMeer
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's review
Jan 16, 2011

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 named and reified, but the work that went into this collection will help me track down other authors and other books that I'm sure I'll want to read, which I think was largely its purpose. My only moments of distaste were a few instances where I felt the presence of a kind of masculinist tendency to glorify in the extreme for its own sake, especially when it comes to harm done to bodies -- certainly, as one of the essays closing the volume notes, forays into this general territory by more feminist and/or queer writers would be welcome. Still, I generally liked the politics, liked the rejection of the boring standbys of fantasy, liked the dark tone, liked the focus on cities.

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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by Kersplebedeb (new)

Kersplebedeb did you make it all the way through it? i couldn't finish the first story...

message 2: by Scott (new) - added it

Scott Neigh Yes, I made it through...though I can understand why you ask the question...

Ursula Pflug I like your comment about "the masculinist tendency etc..." Have you read Stepan Chapman? I can't remember whether he's in that...

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