The Weird on This Week: China Mieville, Thomas Ligotti, Tanith Lee

The Weird
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As you may know from prior entries on this blog, Ann VanderMeer and I launched this past week with a great selection of interviews, features, comics, fiction, and art. Week two is no different. Here’s a run-down of what we posted today and, under the cut, previews from the rest of the week…

Excerpt from China Mieville’s Afterword to The Weird compendium:
“These are strange aeons. These texts, dead and/or not, burrow, and we cannot predict everything they will infect or eat their path through. But certainly your brain, and they will eat the books you read from today on, too. That is how the Weird recruits….This is a worm farm. These stories are worms.”

Reading the Weird, Leah Thomas’s original web comic, episode 2:
“The point is it was awful. He liked attributing deep meaning to my brothers’ lazy idiocy.”


Webcomic Creator Leah Thomas Interview, talking about Sandkings, Scary Stories, and More:
“Is there any family that isn’t weird? My parents are both full-time social workers, so ‘weird’ doesn’t really exist for them anymore. In any case, I am grateful that they raised me on a steady stream of strange.”

Classic Algernon Blackwood story “The Willows”:
“But this cry found no expression, for as my eyes wandered from the plain beyond to the island round me and noted our little tent half hidden among the willows, a dreadful discovery leaped out at me, compared to which my terror of the walking winds seemed as nothing at all.”

Coming up Tuesday through Thursday of this week:

Exclusive interview with Thomas Ligotti: “I believe that if a work of weird fiction fails the reason for its failure is that the author is innocent of the emotional states and experiences that are necessary if one is to conjure a sense of the weird in the reader.”

Edward Gauvin’s new translation of “The Society Tiger” by Jean Ferry, called an underrated weird classic by Ligotti: “The tiger walks in a fairly human fashion on its two hind legs; he is suited up as a dandy of a refined elegance, and the suit is so perfectly tailored it’s hard to make out, beneath the gray flared pants, the flowered waistcoat, the blindingly white jabot with its irreproachable ruffles, and the frock coat fitted by a master’s hand, the body of the animal beneath.”

Exclusive interview with Tanith Lee: “My environ was quite strange also. My parents were dancers, moving endlessly where the work was. I was often up at midnight in glittering dance venues. And my parents and I would frequently discuss Hamlet, or Dracula – or Rider Haggard’s She. I’ve no doubt all this had its due effect.”

Nancy Hightower on the Grotesque: “The grotesque, however, is not a thing in itself. It’s not a genre or trope or an “ism” that can be qualified by a time period. It is an operation, a process that occurs when one is caught in between a moment of humor and horror, or horror and beauty—held in perfect suspension so that neither overrides the other. We are left in momentary paralysis, unsure of what to think, unable to look away.”

Ann VanderMeer on the Cute & Creepy Art Show, with video and gallery: “Last month something wonderful happened in Tallahassee, Florida – an event that brought together people from all walks of life and all artistic persuasions.”