Weird Fiction: Going Kafkaesque, Weird Editor in Amsterdam, WFR Book Reviews, and Real-Time Weird Review Update

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Over on, we’ve gone “Kafkaesque,” posting the entire introductory essay to the new anthology by John Kessel and James Patrick Kelly, along with an appreciation of Alfred Kubin. (And don’t miss fiction from Leena Krohn, interview and two pieces of fiction from Michal Ajvaz.)

Meanwhile, my co-editor on The Weird: A Compendium of Strange & Dark Stories will be appearing in Amsterdam on December 8th at the American Book Center to do an event in support of the anthology. now has a regular book reviewer, too: Maureen Kincaid Speller. For information on how to send her books, click here.

Finally, both Maureen Kincaid Speller and Des Lewis have continued their story-by-story reviews of The Weird compendium, with Maureen’s latest here (the sidebar used to have the other entries, but you may have to search for them). Des, meanwhile, is up to posts Five and Six.


  1. Luke.S says

    I am really excited to see this. Especailly the inclusion of Michal Ajvaz. I have been very intrigued by Kafka on the point of his unique style patterns. I have a basic summary of what I mean, from my personal notes below:
    Kafka’s Style Pattern: Contrast of events

    Starts paragraphs by establishing either the physical location or time of day in about 5 words and then a comma and Stating the character of interest’s name, followed by the action, inaction, or potential action the character makes.

    Paragraph patter is ~lines to depict the normal/routine behavior associated with the topic. Some character specific input on the topic, often dialogue or internal monologue 2-5 line, then 1-1.5 pages (sometimes broken into 3 paragraphs of what makes this time unique following the pattern of; describe in detail for 4-8 lines, then 2-4 lines internal dialogue stating impressions of this uniqueness. Also using every possible trick to drag a sentence for a much as 20 lines.

    When describing a character use one physical detail, a culturally relatable stereotype, and then one line of an action they perform that gives insight into their personality and ~8 lines to reemphasize that action.

    The dialogue is of a typical male author; 30% Announcement like statements, 30%commands, 30% interrogative question, and 10% conversational. No long monologues, except internal dialogue and most dialogue 5-15 words per statement. No regard for conventional dialogue formate