The New Weird discussion

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message 1: by Steven (new)

Steven | 91 comments Mod
With all the new members I thought I would make a place to introduce yourself. So, if you haven't already and feel like it, please let us know who you are and your favorite books.


message 2: by Steven (new)

Steven | 91 comments Mod
Wow, we have a lot of new members recently. Welcome all.


message 3: by Jenn (new)

Jenn Hi Steven, was browsing through groups and saw this one. So what are some books that are listed in this genre? Can you recommend a book to start with? Seems like an interesting genre that combines the best elements of others.


message 4: by Steven (new)

Steven | 91 comments Mod
Hi Jenn and welcome.

If you haven't read Perdido Street Station by China Mieville, I think this would be a great place to start. It's a great book and a great example of the New Weird.


message 5: by Jenn (new)

Jenn Excellent, thanks!!


message 6: by Steven (new)

Steven | 91 comments Mod
You're most welcome. Please let me know what you think.


message 7: by M (new)

M (zombiefilledwithlove) | 4 comments Hello everyone!

I read the description for this group and thought (still thinks) that it is so cool to have found this group! I am also interested on exploring this new genre.

looking forward on having discussions with all of you!


message 8: by Steven (new)

Steven | 91 comments Mod
Maureen Monlore wrote: "Hello everyone!

I read the description for this group and thought (still thinks) that it is so cool to have found this group! I am also interested on exploring this new genre.

looking forward on..."


Hi Maureen and welcome. I hope you enjoy the group. Let us know if you need anything.


message 9: by M (new)

M (zombiefilledwithlove) | 4 comments Thank you Steven for welcoming me! :)


message 10: by Steven (new)

Steven | 91 comments Mod
Maureen Monlore wrote: "Thank you Steven for welcoming me! :)"

My pleasure. What New Weird books are you interested in reading?


message 11: by M (new)

M (zombiefilledwithlove) | 4 comments Well, I would like to start with your recommendation above... Perdido Street Station by China Mieville.
I read comments about the book and I am very interested in reading it.

I have already read some of the works of H. P. Lovecraft and Lord Dunsany. Are they considered one from this genre too?


message 12: by Steven (new)

Steven | 91 comments Mod
Maureen Monlore wrote: "Well, I would like to start with your recommendation above... Perdido Street Station by China Mieville.
I read comments about the book and I am very interested in reading it.

I have already read s..."


HPL and Lord D are considered influences; they are more of the original weird. But, I really love both of these writers.

HPL is one of my favorites. If you like him, you may be interested in the podcast www.hppodcraft.com

They have great discussions of his stories.


message 13: by M (new)

M (zombiefilledwithlove) | 4 comments oh okay... I get it now.

A friend of mine lent me his copy of Veniss Underground by J. VanderMeer... I haven't had the time to read it yet but I think I will be really into it once I start. The plot as well as the setting are really intriguing... not to mention all of the praises I'm hearing about Mr. VanderMeer's unique writing style.


message 14: by Scott (new)

Scott Robinson (ScottBRobinson) | 3 comments I just joined the group. As a writer, I think a group like this might be the best fit for the type of fiction I write.

I recently self-published an eBook collection of five fantastical short stories set in modern day Bangkok:

Divine City: Bangkok Fantasies

Divine City Bangkok Fantasies by Scott B. Robinson

This is a collection of tales hybridizing Western and Eastern myths. I believe it will appeal to readers who enjoy a lyric and richly textured narrative style.

The eBook is available in many electronic formats.

You may also listen to free podcast excerpts at ScottBRobinson.net.

And of course, as a GoodReads author, I am more than happy to hear feedback or answer questions. That's the fun of joining this community, right?

Thanks for having me!

Scott B. Robinson


message 15: by Steven (new)

Steven | 91 comments Mod
Welcome Scott. Good luck with the book. Keep us up to date on your career.


message 16: by Michael (new)

Michael Eisenberg | 4 comments Hi all,

I'm actually keying on the early 20th century weird (Lord Dunsany, Lovecraft, WH Hodgson, C. L Moore, A Blackwood etc. etc.) but am also intrigued by the new weird.

Pretty big fan of M. John Harrison and think very highly of his Viricoium cycle. Also, loved Mieville's Perdido Street Station but I'm sure you all have heard that before.

Anyway, great to be here, looking forward to some discussion.


message 17: by Steven (new)

Steven | 91 comments Mod
Welcome Michael,

I'm a huge fan of HPL myself, and, to a lesser degree,the other guys you mentioned. Arthur Machen is worth looking at too.

Perdido Street Station is really what jumped me in to the New Weird.

Do you ever listen to www.hppodcraft.com?


message 18: by Michael (last edited Apr 23, 2011 02:43PM) (new)

Michael Eisenberg | 4 comments Hi Steven...thx for the welcome.

Over the last 3 months I've read all the Penguin editions of HPL's fiction. This was my first readthough ever and my only regret was...why did I wait so long!! His writing works on so many levels it's not even funny. Every story is like a mini history lesson of the weird in and of itself. Despite his faults (not something to go into here I suspect) the man is certainly one of the most brilliant minds of the 20th century.

The only Machen I've read is The Great God Pan which I loved, and should have included in my into paragraph. He, as well as CA Smith are on my short list of authors to delve into.

M. John Harrison is what brought me into the new weird, if you haven't read his Viriconium cycle you should. Granted, it's not an easy read, and it would help if you did some homework about him on the net, but, in the end, what an amazing sequence of books. I would get the Gollancz edition as it collects all the Viriconium stories in the order MJH thought they should be read.

Perdido Street Station was fantastic. It actually lived up to all the hyperbole that has been spilled over the years. I dream about someone filming it someday, probably a pipe dream. :)

Not sure what hppodcraft.com is, is that related to Hippocampus Press by any chance? I'll check it out.

best
Michael


message 19: by Steven (new)

Steven | 91 comments Mod
Hppodcraft.com is a podcast about the literature of HPL. They do a really great job and also have a forum about everything HPL.

I will definitely check out Viriconium Cycle. Please put it on our list if it's not there already.


message 20: by Michael (new)

Michael Eisenberg | 4 comments Steven, I see you're reading Thomas Ligotti's Teatro Grottesco. I read that a couple months ago and thought you might be interested in this short review I wrote. Don't think there is any spoilers here...


I took a short detour from H.P. Lovecraft and read "Teatro Grottesco" by Thomas Ligotti. I shouldn't really say detour as Ligotti, in a way, carries the modern day muse of the old man from Providence. The theme of mechanistic materialism...mankind being nothing but a shell, a bag of bones, a vessel of wet, slimey organs with no purpose other than to serve the body they are residing in is explored vividly in his stories. (Lovecraft, being an atheist had a similar disregard for anything resembling a soul, or a god that is centered around man.) Ligotti is often (when you can find his books, they are horrendously scarce nowadays, with "Teatro Grottesco" being the only one that is currently in print)filed under Horror, and, that would be quite accurate as this was some of the most disturbing, psychologically distressing and philosophically nilhist writing I've ever read.

Stylistically, he reads quite fluidly. I'm never taken out of the story by awkward descriptions or unnecessary plot developments. Each story can be fairly easily read, and frankly should be, in one sitting and they flow right along effortlessly. His descriptions and settings are most often of the desolate, rundown ghost town variety and the souless, nameless office workspace which fit right into his theme of...humans are nothing but bodies. No soul, no personality, no sense of self, no imagination, no artistic ability whatsoever...all these thing are a, as Ligotti puts it, a circus sideshow, a swindle, a conspiracy against the human race. There is a shadow, a darkness, that serves the body, and once it's used up...well, thats all folks.

I've found that his stories are best taken in small doses. Careful reading is definitely in order, and leaving time for rumination and reflection after each piece felt necessary to even begin to get a jist of just what Ligotti is trying to say. It was during these downtimes for me, that the real horror manifested itself. There is very little, if anything that is uplifting here, and I often considered these stories coming from a man who was more than a little damaged. Interviews I've read seem to back this up. So, if you are looking for a different kind of horror, one that is all encompassing and worse that the worst nightmare you could possibly imagine, seek this guy out. I'll be trying to source more of his books, but I now plan to go back to my third, and final volume of HPL fiction, the Penguin edition of "The Thing on the Doorstep and other Weird Stories"...which actually will be quite light compared to this stuff.


message 21: by Steven (new)

Steven | 91 comments Mod
I couldn't agree with you more on this review, especially the part about small doses of Ligotti, unless you're trying to build up the courage to commit suicide :)

But, the Ligotti stories are great. It is very annoying to not be able to find his other collections at a reasonable price.

Have you read Laird Barron? I just finished his Imago Sequence and was very impressed.


message 22: by Michael (new)

Michael Eisenberg | 4 comments Hi Steven...Ligotti's "The Nightmare Factory" volumes 1 and 2 are available as graphic novels but I don't know much about them. I would kill for a copy of the regular edition of "The Nightmare Factory" as I've been told by a few people it collects his best stories. But, just take one look at the prices it fetches (on Amazon) and shake your head. It's really to bad, the guy would go over well with HPL fans

Without giving anything away, when you get to the last story in "Teatro Grottesco" it does have a very small touch of something uplifting and positive happening, albiet in a completely warped and deranged way. The story is called "A Shadow, A Darkness" if I remember correctly, and it's one of the best in, what I think is a very strong collection of weird.

I haven't read Laird Barron but will take a look at your rec. Thanks for that btw.

best
Michael


message 23: by Eric (new)

Eric Hendrixson | 1 comments Hi. I'm a Bizarro writer. The Bizarro and New Weird genres are closely related, and my book, Bucket of Face, seems to fit the definition of New Weird. I hope to learn more about the genre in this group.


message 24: by Scott (new)

Scott Robinson (ScottBRobinson) | 3 comments I'm trying to develop a readership and some frank GoodReads reviews for my new eBook: Divine City: Bangkok Fantasies.

So I'm offering free downloads of the title from SmashWords. Just enter the coupon code "UB62B" to download the work for free. There are many eBook formats available. The offer is good through May 5th.

Again, this is a collection of short fantastical tales set in modern Bangkok. I think there is something strange contained within for everybody...

Many thanks to readers who are curious about new writers!


message 25: by Benjamin (new)

Benjamin Uminsky (benjaminu) | 3 comments Hello everyone,

I'm fairly new to goodreads groups of any sort. I read a ton of speculative fiction, and probably have come across some "new weird" fiction in my reading exploits. Of the new weird authors I have read so far, I have taken a particular liking to Jeff Thomas' works.

Generally though I have read a lot of the "old" weird fiction like HPL, Leiber, Brennan, etc. One of my favorite classic weird fiction writers is Jean Ray. If you have never read Ray, you are doing yourself a literary disservice. Bob Leman is another one that comes to mind, quite the hidden gem if you like authors to meld Sci-Fi and Horror.

I'm glad there is a group here to discuss new traditions and approaches being forged for this newish genre.


message 26: by Steven (new)

Steven | 91 comments Mod
Hello Benjamin,

Thanks for all the suggestions. I'm a big fan of HPL, Leiber, and Machen. I haven't read Jean Ray yet. Can you suggest any good anthologies?


message 27: by Benjamin (new)

Benjamin Uminsky (benjaminu) | 3 comments Hey Steven well... the two most recent Ray collections are saddly OOP and probably could not be had for less than $175 on the secondary market. You won't even be able to find Midnight Houses Ray title... if you see it on e-bay for really any price, you should think about snagging it.

Its absolutely shocking that Ray has not been reproduced more ubiquitously. Anywho, I understand that a couple of Ray's stories have found their way into a couple antho's. Check out the Marvin Kaye anthology called Witches & Warlocks (for the Mainz Psalter), and you can find Shadowy Street Hartwell's Foundations of Fear.

Mainz Psalter is one of my favorite Ray stories. I think any wierd fiction fan would love Ray...


message 28: by Steven (new)

Steven | 91 comments Mod
Thanks for the tip. I try to see what I can track down.


toria (vikz writes) (victoriavikzwrites) I just thought I 'd say hi.


message 30: by Steven (new)

Steven | 91 comments Mod
Vikz, welcome. I noticed we had some other new members as well. I hope everyone enjoys the group.


message 31: by Donna (new)

Donna (Mull529) | 1 comments Hi,

Mention Mervyn Peake and that is all I need to know. I am Donna. I live in Finland, but not a Finn. Pleased to meet you.


message 32: by Mirvan. (new)

Mirvan. Ereon (mirvanereon) | 9 comments I am Marvin Enore, and I would like to introduce my other personalites... Mirvan Oreon and Ervan Merion... the other ones are not here yet but they also want ot join.. they are busy having sex or daydreaming. =P But I am the author... well, the others are authors too... but they have their own styles of writing... =P


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