The New Weird on The Fix and Not Free SF Reader

Jeff VanderMeer • March 24th, 2008 @ 12:09 pm • Book Reviews

The terse, pithy, haiku-like feel of Not Free SF Reader’s capsule reviews always crack me up (in a good way), but also glad to see this view of Alistair Rennie’s story, which had taken some potshots in Locus and on SF Site (neither reviewer analyzing the story, just dismissing it out of hand): “Most of this stuff is fantasy or horror, and often both. Alistair Rennie being the classic example here of gross, grotesque horror-fantasy. This story is apparently new to the collection, so well done. I’d definitely like to see more of this.” Check out the full review.

Also, note this great Fix review, which says about Rennie’s story: “The Gutter Sees the Light That Never Shines” by Alistair Rennie closes the Evidence section on a high note. The stench of the killer known as the Gutter is close, hovering over our nostrils. Rennie does a fine job balancing gore with humor, provided by a duo of lesbian killers, The Sisters of No Mercy (a tip of the hat to the cyberpunks, I reckon?). A twisted tale with a clever ending.

6 Responses to “The New Weird on The Fix and Not Free SF Reader”

  1. Jonathan Wood says:

    Thinking back on the anthology, I’d say Alistair Rennie’s piece was one of the highlights for me. The sheer in-your-face abandon of it captured something of the original sensation I had when reading first Perdido Street Station. Which is funny, because Mieville’s piece was, in some ways, the most expected (for me).

  2. Jeff VanderMeer says:

    We think Rennie’s definitely part of the next wave of interesting writers doing either new things or creating new “renovations”.


  3. Blue Tyson says:

    Thanks Jeff.

    Jonathan, that was pretty much what I thought, too. Like Mieville filtered through Garth Ennis’ twisted mind, and coming up with something else, too.

  4. Jeff VanderMeer says:

    Sure, Blue Tyson. I did have one question–did you interpret the stories in the Stimuli section as being “New Weird”? Because they’re not–they’re possible “influences” on New Weird writers. Anyone reading that section and thinking “Hey–that’s not a NW story” would be correct.


  5. Blue Tyson says:

    Not as such, no. More on ‘were they weird, weirdish, or weirdesque’. That was what I thought they were supposed to be, examples of getting towards that sort of thing.

    If you instead meant was I ‘marking them down’ as not being New Weird or weird enough? No, just on how much I liked ‘em as stories, overall, but I think I mentioned (as someone who has read copious amounts of Moorcock) that his wasn’t too weird, etc.

  6. Jeff VanderMeer says:

    Yes and no. Moorcock was in there as an example of political commentary in New Wave fiction and of NW fiction generally. No worries, though. Just wondering.

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