Library Journal Gives Starred Review to New Weird

Jeff VanderMeer • February 27th, 2008 @ 8:08 pm • Uncategorized

“Highly recommended” they say in their starred review (scroll down). So, that means a starred review in Publishers Weekly and LJ, a positive review in Booklist, and Kirkus just interviewed us about the anthology for an upcoming issue. Also, there’s a ton of amazing stuff that’s going to happen in the next two or three weeks that I can’t really talk about until it happens. Next week, after we get back from Tucson, I’ll do a post collecting all of the reviews. I think the only mixed review thus far is the rather snarky one in Locus.

jeff

14 Responses to “Library Journal Gives Starred Review to New Weird”

  1. Steve Tem says:

    Congratulations–I’m almost done reading it and I’m sure there are sections I’ll be re-reading in the future–it’s one of my favorite anthologies in a long time. What I most appreciate about the book is its particular blend of key fiction and thought-provoking essay material. I wish more anthologies would attempt that kind of content mix–it’s like buying a seriously entertaining handbook, a volume you know you’re going to be putting on your shelf of essential fictional references.

  2. Jeff VanderMeer says:

    Thanks, Steve! That’s awfully kind of you. Which reminds me, I need to be in touch with you about a couple of upcoming projects.

    Jeff

  3. Jay Steneker says:

    That’s a bummer about the Locus review- seeing as its a genre mag a positive review could of got a lot more people interested in picking it up.

    Was the reviewer someone who didn’t like the general concept or just had a problem with the stories.

    Congrats on all the other reviews though, it sounds like a great book. I’m looking forward to reading it.

  4. Jeff VanderMeer says:

    Fifteen years ago Locus was central to success. Today, it’s one of many venues. The reviewer just refused to buy in to it and was personally insulting, too. That’s when you know the review is not legitimate. Happy to take a negative review that isn’t personal! It’s really no big deal. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, having 20 raves and 1 mixed review isn’t going to hurt a book. At the same time, you always have to be appreciative of coverage, and Locus has given me some great reviews over the years, so that’s another reason to take it in stride.
    JeffV

  5. Steve Tem says:

    Jeff–you’re welcome, and hey, you’ve got my email address.

  6. James says:

    The collateral material in the book by itself would have been worth the purchase price for me. You really nailed down what New Weird is all about and where it came from. I suppose a definitive anthology of a relatively minor subgenre might not have the broadest appeal, but it should be widely read as an example of how to put together a collection like that.

    I was particularly interested to note the Finnish editor who said that “New Weird” had a different application for him. I’ve always thought that the term would be best used to refer to the fiction that’s currently trying to occupy the space between literary and speculative writing, and I think it may well eventually be remembered that way. Assuming anyone forty or fifty years from now still cares to read this stuff, but I think they will. At least I will, if I’m still around.

  7. Jeff VanderMeer says:

    James:

    I don’t think it’s that minor a sub-genre, as it has influence today, even after it’s more or less dissipated as a “moment”. Some of our absolutely best writers wrote what could be termed “NW” fiction. That’s one thing I realized after we put the antho together: every single last writer in the book is a prose stylist–and not an invisible stylist, either. But more importantly–it’s impossible to note the influence of something like NW when we’re only a couple of years away from its greatest popularity. We also don’t know what some of those writers will do next. For example, KJ Bishop is writing a mainstream novel now. So, I don’t really disagree with you per se, just that I think the jury’s still out on its importance.

    JV

  8. brett says:

    I’m really enjoying the way the book has been put together: more than an anthology, but less than a textbook! I wish more subject specific anthologies would educate the reader as well as TNW. I’m hoping that the upcoming Steampunk antho will do the same.

    Congratulations on the positive reviews. It is pretty evident from picking up the book that this is something you and Ann felt passionate about, and I’m glad to see you getting kudos for it. (Locus review notwithstanding.)

    One thing I’d love to see in future anthologies is a bit of an introduction to the individual stories from either you or Ann. Oh, and more stories from Jay Lake! ‘The Lizard of Ooze’ was delightfully creepy and atmospheric.

  9. Lane says:

    Can’t say how excited I will be to find this in my mail. Like that magic Christmas morning all the kids seem so crazy about.

  10. Jeff VanderMeer says:

    Cool, Lane! Soon.

    Thanks, Brett–yeah, we thought that’d be great, to have that mix.

    Story intros we’re not so keen on, to be honest. I’ve never liked them myself, BUT we made an exception for the Steampunk antho. That one has story intros.

    Jeff

  11. Jeff VanderMeer says:

    I gotta say, also, that this was a project of love. We *love* all of the writers in the New Weird anthology. We love these stories.

    JV

  12. James says:

    Oh, I didn’t mean to suggest that NW was an unimportant subgenre. As subgenres go, it’s a big-un, it’s just that subgenres by definition seem to have relatively narrow appeal. Most prospective readers would first have to be interested in the genre and then have to decide if they’re interested in the subgenre. I think the anthology, though, is just the kind of thing that should be read widely outside its apparent affinity group. I already know a bit about New Weird, which made me want to read the book, but I bet there are equally significant movements and moments–alternative baseball histories or Jane Austen detective procedurals or post-WTO political thrillers–that would fascinate me if they were introduced as well as your anthology does its subject. Fans of my hypothetical subgenres or actual other ones should pick up The New Weird, too.

    The kind of fiction in the book will have some lasting attention, I think, even if everyone involved heads in a different direction henceforth, and I think the term may have even more lasting, quasi-academic attention as a way to refer to the whole slipstream/interstitial/infernokrusher phenomenon, which still doesn’t have a universally accepted name.

  13. Jeff VanderMeer says:

    No, no–I totally understand where you’re coming from. I really wasn’t meaning to sound in opposition to that. It’s more that I don’t think we know yet just how influential or non-influential it will be. In the grand scope of things, it’s early days.

    JV

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