Grotesque Art, Miskatonic U., Kafka, and More

(Sneak peek of next week’s “Reading the Weird”–catch up on episode 1 and episode 2 before part 3 runs next week.)

If you head on over to today you’ll find a great piece on the grotesque in art by Nancy Hightower and an interview with Tanith Lee, on top of a Thomas Ligotti interview, fiction, and much more.

Tomorrow we’re posting a sampling of eerie paragraphs from our The Weird antho and a Miskatoni University feature.

Next week, we have the next installment of our original webcomic, fiction from Finnish writer Leena Krohn, a feature on Franz Kafka, exclusive interview with Margo Lanagan (including an awesome photographed handwritten page with edits from her classic story “Singing My Sister Down”), and essays on Alfred Kubin. In addition, we will have two pieces of fiction (one new, one reprint) from famed Czech writer Michal Ajvaz, along with a new interview. And, to top it off, we’ll feature our managing editor and World Fantasy Award-finalist writer Angela Slatter.

In future weeks, we’ll be running fiction by Tanith Lee and Steve Rasnic Tem, original features on the likes of Michel Bernanos, and more interviews with Lucius Shepard, Stephen Graham Jones, Liz Williams, and more.

Here’s a little snippet previewing next week’s Ajvaz selections…

“The Europeans were made nauseous by multiplication because now they perceived it as a diseased swelling, a proliferation anterior to any kind of sense and order, a growth which had arisen by the dull repetition of the same numbers and their resigned coa¬lescence in the whole; they dreaded division because in it they saw disintegration, made more horrifying still by the unnatural disinte¬gration of wholes into parts of equal size. Addition was yet worse, as it meant a progressive decline in new units, heralding the de¬struction of all divided shapes and the enthronement of One that is nothing, the victory of the monster of the Whole.”

Compendiums, The Weird, and Life in General


It’s been a weird week—one that started with receiving our The Weird: A Compendium of Strange & Dark Stories and also having my wisdom teeth removed, even as we continued to post a lot of content at our new site Painkillers have left me floaty, drifty, and susceptible to highs and lows, which is only intensified by The Weird itself. This is a project, clocking in at 750,000 words (TOC here), that has consumed our lives for two years. It’s drained us, exhilarated us, left us for dead in pits of despair, energized us, and now it’s real and out in the world. I’ve learned more from compiling this anthology with Ann than any other book we’ve done, and perversely it’s both delayed some of my fiction writing simply because of the work involved and been essential to inspiring other pieces of fiction.

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What Story Have You Always Known?

I am struck, in Maureen Kincaid-Speller’s latest post about reading The Weird anthology, by the sentence “I cannot remember a time I didn’t know this story.” She’s referring to Saki’s “Sredni Vashtar,” but I’m curious, dear readers, as to what story you have known as long as you’ve been alive? Or, at least, it seems that way…

Weird Fiction Review: Ligotti, Jean Ferry Translation, and Intrepid Story-by-Story Weird Readings

The Weird

Check out the latest entries posted at today, including an extensive interview with weird fiction legend Thomas Ligotti and one of his favorite “under-rated” classics by Jean Ferry in our fiction section.

We’ve also got a post on some heroic readings-in-progress, story by story. As we say there, although there is a lot of coverage forthcoming for The Weird: A Compendium of Strange and Dark Stories in the UK is November 10 (Book Depository has free shipping to the US), in the meantime a couple of intrepid reviewers have already begun to tackle The Beast, story by story: D.F. Lewis and Maureen Kincaid-Speller. This is an act of extreme heroism, as far as we are concerned, no matter what their reactions to the anthology over all and we applaud them for it. Here are the relevant links to their read-throughs:

D.F. Lewis’s “Real-Time Reviews”
(he also coined the term “srednidipity while reading The Weird)

Post introducing the anthology and covering the stories by Alfred Kubin, F. Marion Crawford, Algernon Blackwood, Saki, and M.R. James.

Post covering stories by Lord Dunsany, Gustav Meyrink, Georg Heym, Hans Heinz Ewers, Rabindranath Tagore, Luigi Ugolini, A. Merritt, Ry?nosuke Akutagawa, and Francis Stevens thus far, with the post being updated as Lewis finishes each new story.

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

The Weird
(Corvus’s page and Book Depository listing with free shipping to the US.)

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:

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Weird Fiction Review with Neil Gaiman, Kelly Link, Webcomics, and More!

The Weird

Well, we’ve completed our first week over at and Ann has some thoughts in her editorial. I’d say it was an unqualified success, as noted in this post by Ann. If you haven’t checked out this source for all things weird, take a look. Luis Rodrigues, who build this blog, did a great job with it—love the image slider. The site has a donation button, which is important.

Ann’s editorial goes into what’s planned for next week. All I have to add is that before the end of the year you’ll see more on international weird over there, more translations, interviews with the likes of Liz Williams, Michal Ajvaz, Tanith Lee, Lucius Shepard, and Gio Clairval, some great old classic weird articles, a 101 Weird Writers ongoing feature, the continuation of Leah Thomas’s webcomic, and some other cool stuff we can’t mention yet.

Also, of course, the site supports the launch of our The Weird: A Compendium of Strange & Dark Stories from Atlantic/Corvus, with media coverage beginning for the most part next week. You can check out the contents and all 116 first lines here and here.