Today is New Weird Wednesday, in case you missed it on the calendar.
The New Weird antho, an April BookSense Notable selection, has a brand-new MySpace Page, which includes a rather trippy and buggy video, free download of Jay Lake’s “The Lizard of Ooze” from the book (along with a short interview), a podcast of the same story by Jay, a slideshow of NW-related titles, and (so cool!) music from, among others, Henry Kaiser, Tarantella, Robert Devereux, Doug Hoekstra, and Danny Fontaine, much of it rare. So go check it out, have fun, and be-friend us! And, if that weren’t enough, Tachyon’s offering a substantial discount for direct orders right now. (A huge thanks to Matt Staggs, btw, for his help.)
As noted on this blog, The New Weird anthology has received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Library Journal, with a rave in The Guardian (â€œA damn fine read.â€) and a profile forthcoming in Kirkus (along with other cool stuff we can’t mention yet). Momentum keeps building for this â€œreprintâ€ anthology, called â€œa milestoneâ€ by The Fix and featuring almost 100 pages of original material.
What’s has been going on with NW in the reviews department lately? I’ve obsessively compulsively compiled all links for those who are interested here, and also below the cut.
THEM WOT LIKED THE WEIRD
Agony Column – Fascinating stuff, and top-notch; another must-buy anthology. More importantly, an anthology from which one could quite easily teach a class, because this is stuff that people need to know about.
Booklist -The title of this collection of stories, essays, and online discussion threads refers to a subgenre of modern horror that has roots in New Wave literature and the off-kilter fantasy spawned by Weird Tales. In contrast to the eerie nostalgia of Bradbury or the haunting supernaturalism of Lovecraft, the New Weird more often leans toward grotesque urban noir and cross-genre experimentation. The contributors here constitute a multitalented lineup ranging from such veterans as Clive Barker and Michael Moorcock to rising stars, such as Jay Lake and Alistair Rennie.
Matt Cody, author – Iâ€™m mighty impressed. What the editors Jeff and Ann Vandermeer have done is put together not only a great sampling of authors (such Barker, Mieville, Moorcock, Ford, Harrison and many others) but they have also assembled this hefty book as a dialogue on the very topic of the new weird genre. There are essays, histories. Thereâ€™s even a reproduction of the original internet thread that coined the term “New Weird.” This bookâ€™s a primer, a debate, an analysis and a darn good read for those interested in mature speculative genre.
The Fix -The New Weird, edited by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer, is a veritable case study in anthology-making. Definitely a milestone in the world of anthologies.
The Guardian – This volume, bringing together stories and essays by such writers as MiÃ©ville, M John Harrison, Kathe Koja and Michael Moorcock, is an ideal primer to a movement that dominated genre awards for several years. It is also a damned fine read.
Library Journal (starred review) – Highly recommended for all libraries interested in the latest in sf and fantasy as well as modern horror.
Ross Lockhart – In short, an attractive volume examining a burgeoning SF subset. Though it attempts to be a definitive word on the subject, it falls a bit shy of such lofty ideals by declaring the movement over, though its best may still be yet to come.
OF The Blog of the Fallen – Defined precisely or not, the New Weird certainly has had a major impact on writing both inside and outside the narrowly-defined genre limns. This eponymous anthology does an outstanding job in presenting the New Weird in all its unsettling, vague, weird glory. Highly Recommended.
Publishers Weekly (starred review) – The VanderMeers (Best American Fantasy) ably demonstrate the sheer breadth of the “New Weird” fantasy subgenre in this powerful anthology of short fiction and critical essays… This extremely ambitious anthology will define the New Weird much as Bruce Sterlingâ€™s landmark Mirrorshades anthology defined cyberpunk.
Skullring - Whether or not you buy into the idea of “the New Weird,” I can assure you that youâ€™ll enjoy the book regardless, and in time I think it will come to be regarded as a standard in the study of fantastic and cross-genre literature…
THEM WOT MAYHAP LIKED THE WEIRD?
Not Free SF Reader – I thought this anthology would be interesting, and it doesnâ€™t disappoint… overall this anthology manages to make it to good, but nothing past that, and does contain a couple of excellent and a few good stories.
SF Site – Now we have another addition to the ranks of genre propaganda: The New Weird. If we have to continue with these desperate attempts to convince us all of some innovative take on SF, can we at least hope that the editors will follow the example of Jeff and Ann Vandermeer…By the end, I understood what people were talking about when they discussed new weird, and I saw why these particular stories were chosen as exemplars. If I remain unconvinced, it is not a criticism of the book but rather a sign that it has done its job too well.
THEM WOT DIDNâ€™T LIKE THE WEIRD
Bookfetish - As incredible as this anthology should be, it fails in almost every conceivable way. The essays are pretty much dedicated to pinning down a definition of what exactly New Weird is and, when it eludes description, the rallying cry of â€™New Weird is unclassifiable! Itâ€™s unique and defies description!” is sounded. This goes on and on, ad infinitum, ad nauseum. Really, if you canâ€™t define your nichey little subgenre, you donâ€™t have a subgenre, you have a bunch of stories that read like a weekâ€™s worth of dreams mixed for five minutes in a blender stuck on retarded and thrown against a page in the hopes something sticks.
Locus – Eh. It be all right. The litul bones stick in me throat. Me no likey Rennie story.