Table of Contents: The Weird, edited by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer

weird cover
(rough of the cover; also see Ann’s parallel post on the Weird Tales blog)

THE WEIRD: A Compendium of Dark & Strange Stories
Edited by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer

Pub Date: Mid-October; Publisher: Atlantic, Corvus imprint (UK edition)

Foreword: Michael Moorcock
Introduction by Ann & Jeff VanderMeer
Afterword: China Mieville

Over one hundred years of weird fiction collected in a single volume of 750,000 words. Over 20 nationalities are represented and seven new translations were commissioned for the book, most notably definitive translations of Julio Cortazar’s “Axolotl” and Michel Bernanos’ short novel “The Other Side of the Mountain” (the first translations of these classics in many decades). Other highlights include the short novels / long novellas “The Beak Doctor” by Eric Basso, “Tainaron” by Leena Krohn, and “The Brotherhood of Mutilation” by Brian Evenson. This is among the largest collections of weird fiction ever housed between the covers of one book.

Strands of The Weird represented include classic and mainstream weird tales, weird SF, weird ritual, international weird, and offshoots of the weird influenced by Surrealism, Symbolism, the Gothic, and the Decadent movement. (A discussion of weird modes of fiction can be found in the introduction.)

A compendium is neither as complete as an encyclopedia nor as baggy as a treasury. Although the backbone of the book reflects the immense influence of both Kafka and Lovecraft, we have ventured out from that basic focus to provide different traditions of weird fiction and outliers that are perhaps open to debate. The anthology is meant to be both an interrogation of weird fiction and a conversation with it. We hope that readers will be delighted by the classics included and by the unexpected discoveries found within its pages.

Also, in support of both the anthology and weird fiction, we will be launching in October.

weird tentacle

Table of Contents

Story order is chronological except for a couple of exceptions transposed for thematic reasons. Stories translated into English are largely positioned by date of first publication in their original language. Authors are North American or from the United Kingdom unless otherwise indicated.

Alfred Kubin, “The Other Side” (excerpt), 1908 (translation, Austria)

F. Marion Crawford, “The Screaming Skull,” 1908

Algernon Blackwood, “The Willows,” 1907

Saki, “Sredni Vashtar,” 1910

M.R. James, “Casting the Runes,” 1911

Lord Dunsany, “How Nuth Would Have Practiced his Art,” 1912

Gustav Meyrink, “The Man in the Bottle,” 1912 (translation, Austria)

Georg Heym, “The Dissection,” 1913 (new translation by Gio Clairval, Germany)

Hanns Heinz Ewers, “The Spider,” 1915 (translation, Germany)

Rabindranath Tagore, “The Hungry Stones,” 1916 (India)

Luigi Ugolini, “The Vegetable Man,” 1917 (new translation by Anna and Brendan Connell, Italy; first-ever translation into English)

A. Merritt, “The People of the Pit,” 1918

Ryunosuke Akutagawa, “The Hell Screen,” 1918 (new translation, Japan)

Francis Stevens (Gertrude Barrows Bennett), “Unseen—Unfeared,” 1919

Franz Kafka, “In the Penal Colony,” 1919 (translation, German/Czech)

Stefan Grabinski, “The White Weyrak,” 1921 (translation, Poland)

H.F. Arnold, “The Night Wire,” 1926

H.P. Lovecraft, “The Dunwich Horror,” 1929

Margaret Irwin, “The Book,” 1930

Jean Ray, “The Mainz Psalter,” 1930 (translation, Belgium)

Jean Ray, “The Shadowy Street,” 1931 (translation, Belgium)

Clark Ashton Smith, “Genius Loci,” 1933

Hagiwara Sakutoro, “The Town of Cats,” 1935 (translation, Japan)

Hugh Walpole, “The Tarn,” 1936

Bruno Schulz, “Sanatorium at the Sign of the Hourglass,” 1937 (translation, Poland)

Robert Barbour Johnson, “Far Below,” 1939

Fritz Leiber, “Smoke Ghost,” 1941

Leonora Carrington, “White Rabbits,” 1941

Donald Wollheim, “Mimic,” 1942

Ray Bradbury, “The Crowd,” 1943

William Sansom, “The Long Sheet,” 1944

Jorge Luis Borges, “The Aleph,” 1945 (translation, Argentina)

Olympe Bhely-Quenum, “A Child in the Bush of Ghosts,” 1949 (Benin)

Shirley Jackson, “The Summer People,” 1950

Margaret St. Clair, “The Man Who Sold Rope to the Gnoles,” 1951

Robert Bloch, “The Hungry House,” 1951

Augusto Monterroso, “Mister Taylor,” 1952 (new translation by Larry Nolen, Guatemala)

Amos Tutuola, “The Complete Gentleman,” 1952 (Nigeria)

Jerome Bixby, “It’s a Good Life,” 1953

Julio Cortazar, “Axolotl,” 1956 (new translation by Gio Clairval, Argentina)

William Sansom, “A Woman Seldom Found,” 1956

Charles Beaumont, “The Howling Man,” 1959

Mervyn Peake, “Same Time, Same Place,” 1963

Dino Buzzati, “The Colomber,” 1966 (new translation by Gio Clairval, Italy)

Michel Bernanos, “The Other Side of the Mountain,” 1967 (new translation by Gio Clairval, France)

Merce Rodoreda, “The Salamander,” 1967 (translation, Catalan)

Claude Seignolle, “The Ghoulbird,” 1967 (new translation by Gio Clairval, France)

Gahan Wilson, “The Sea Was Wet As Wet Could Be,” 1967

Daphne Du Maurier, “Don’t Look Now,” 1971

Robert Aickman, “The Hospice,” 1975

Dennis Etchison, “It Only Comes Out at Night,” 1976

James Tiptree Jr. (Alice Sheldon), “The Psychologist Who Wouldn’t Do Terrible Things to Rats,” 1976

Eric Basso, “The Beak Doctor,” 1977

Jamaica Kincaid, “Mother,” 1978 (Antigua and Barbuda/US)

George R.R. Martin, “Sandkings,” 1979

Bob Leman, “Window,” 1980

Ramsey Campbell, “The Brood,” 1980

Michael Shea, “The Autopsy,” 1980

William Gibson/John Shirley, “The Belonging Kind,” 1981

M. John Harrison, “Egnaro,” 1981

Joanna Russ, “The Little Dirty Girl,” 1982

M. John Harrison, “The New Rays,” 1982

Premendra Mitra, “The Discovery of Telenapota,” 1984 (translation, India)

F. Paul Wilson, “Soft,” 1984

Octavia Butler, “Bloodchild,” 1984

Clive Barker, “In the Hills, the Cities,” 1984

Leena Krohn, “Tainaron,” 1985 (translation, Finland)

Garry Kilworth, “Hogfoot Right and Bird-hands,” 1987

Lucius Shepard, “Shades,” 1987

Harlan Ellison, “The Function of Dream Sleep,” 1988

Ben Okri, “Worlds That Flourish,” 1988 (Nigeria)

Elizabeth Hand, “The Boy in the Tree,” 1989

Joyce Carol Oates, “Family,” 1989

Poppy Z Brite, “His Mouth Will Taste of Wormwood,” 1990

Michal Ajvaz, “The End of the Garden,” 1991 (translation, Czech)

Karen Joy Fowler, “The Dark,” 1991

Kathe Koja, “Angels in Love,” 1991

Haruki Murakami, “The Ice Man,” 1991 (translation, Japan)

Lisa Tuttle, “Replacements,” 1992

Marc Laidlaw, “The Diane Arbus Suicide Portfolio,” 1993

Steven Utley, “The Country Doctor,” 1993

William Browning Spenser, “The Ocean and All Its Devices,” 1994

Jeffrey Ford, “The Delicate,” 1994

Martin Simpson, “Last Rites and Resurrections,” 1994

Stephen King, “The Man in the Black Suit,” 1994

Angela Carter, “The Snow Pavilion,” 1995

Craig Padawer, “The Meat Garden,” 1996

Stepan Chapman, “The Stiff and the Stile,” 1997

Tanith Lee, “Yellow and Red,” 1998

Kelly Link, “The Specialist’s Hat,” 1998

Caitlin R. Kiernan, “A Redress for Andromeda,” 2000

Michael Chabon, “The God of Dark Laughter,” 2001

China Mieville, “Details,” 2002

Michael Cisco, “The Genius of Assassins,” 2002

Neil Gaiman, “Feeders and Eaters,” 2002

Jeff VanderMeer, “The Cage,” 2002

Jeffrey Ford, “The Beautiful Gelreesh,” 2003

Thomas Ligotti, “The Town Manager,” 2003

Brian Evenson, “The Brotherhood of Mutilation,” 2003

Mark Samuels, “The White Hands,” 2003

Daniel Abraham, “Flat Diana,” 2004

Margo Lanagan, “Singing My Sister Down,” 2005 (Australia)

T.M. Wright, “The People on the Island,” 2005

Laird Barron, “The Forest,” 2007

Liz Williams, “The Hide,” 2007

Reza Negarestani, “The Dust Enforcer,” 2008 (Iran)

Micaela Morrissette, “The Familiars,” 2009

Steve Duffy, “In the Lion’s Den,” 2009

Stephen Graham Jones, “Little Lambs,” 2009

K.J. Bishop, “Saving the Gleeful Horse,” 2010 (Australia)

62 comments on “Table of Contents: The Weird, edited by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer

  1. Mike Allen says:

    Looks hella awesome.

  2. Paul says:

    This looks amazing! Can’t wait to read it and catch up on old and new favorites.

  3. Finally, the ultimate answer to: What is Weird??? Gahhhhhhhhhhh! I’m so excited! It will be like Christmas!

  4. Ben says:

    Wow. I mean, this is incredible!

  5. Tadmad says:

    Awesome! I just miss a bit by Lucy Taylor and Joe R. Lansdale.

  6. Marian says:

    Woaw! A truly impressive collection! And very nice cover, too.

  7. GB Steve says:

    That’s impressive. I’m very much looking forward to it. I appreciate your dedication to the weird.

  8. midas68 says:

    At first I was anxious about a audio edition. But I’ve never seen one done for a book this large.

    Maybe you guys can do a few for the website????

    I agree Lansdale should be involved and its a travesty how forgotten Lucy Taylor is.

  9. jeff vandermeer says:

    We love Lansdale and it was just a matter of how much naturalistic horror verging on the weird to take. He’ll be in many another reprint antho we do.

    Taylor is a tough one. More horror than weird, to our minds.

  10. Richard Arndt says:

    Wish there’d been a Theodore Sturgeon or William Hope Hodgson story here but, damn, that’s still a great line-up!

  11. Gardner Dozois says:

    Nice lineup.

    I’m pretty sure that it’s “The Psychologist Who Wouldn’t Do AWFUL Things to Rats.”

  12. jeff vandermeer says:

    gardner–yep. will fix. it’s correct in the book.

  13. Some amazing names on that table of contents. And it’s absolutely thrilling to see so many translations.

  14. I think this is the most ambitious anthology since those published by Alberto Manguel (Black Water: 1 & 2). My sincerest wishes for its success.

  15. JK West says:

    Now there’s a list it was well worth a year to see, kudos in particular on the Ray and Leman selections. I only wish there could have been space for Sarban, his work serves as a bridge between the cosmic mysticism of Machen/Blackwood and the psychological ambiguity of Aickman, and derserves to be rediscovered. But as for now, October can’t arrive soon enough!

  16. That’s a hell of a line-up, and I’m flattered you included me.

  17. Al Roots says:

    Great line-up. Very interesting, Jeff!
    But no Ballard, Machen too, and no one from Russia =(
    By the way, what is an original title for Seignolle’s story?

  18. Huw says:

    Terrific lineup! I would have loved to have seen Hoffmann, Le Fanu, Erckmann-Chatrian, Machen, Lafcadio Hearn, de la Mare, Davis Grubb, Richard Matheson, Glen Hirshberg included – maybe in a follow-up volume?

  19. jeff vandermeer says:

    Thanks for all of these perceptive and useful comments. And thanks, Ramsey!!!

    Huw–some of those you mention pretty much predate our general start date chronologically or their best work was before then….Re Sarban…the story we liked best took a lot of pages before it got to a weird element. He’s in the back of our mind along with several others for a second volume with a slightly different focus…Re Russians…I love Russian fiction but so much of what we saw was more in an absurdist/ fantastical mode and we had to make a decision as to where we spent our time in exploring international work. I desperately wanted to include, for example, Bulgakov, but nothing fit…It would be lovely to do a huge antho of general fantasy and surrealism to do so…We also think there’s a lot more Indian horror/ghost stories out there, etc….As for Ballard, he’s listed in the intro with three others we could not acquire the rights for. But rest assured all of these things we considered, debated, etc. Re Machen–definitely mentioned in the intro along with William Hope Hodgson. I can go into more detail later about that decision.

  20. Jeff VanderMeer says:

    Oh–original title of the Seignolle was “The Night Charmer”. But “Ghoulbird” is more in line with the tone of the story. And quite honestly the original translation is just mediocre.

  21. marco says:

    Looks Awesome. I’ve read 40 of these, but funnily not the one by Ugolini – a writer hailing from Tuscany, the region of Italy where I live.
    The one absence that hurts for me – the only one of my favorites among contemporary writers of the fantastic in English that has been left out – is Thomas Disch (say, The Asian Shore).

  22. jeff vandermeer says:

    Marco: Thanks for the kind and thoughtful comment. Re Disch–we agree he would be essential to a comprehensive volume of dark fantasy, horror, or SF…slightly less so for the weird. We went back and forth on that particular story with regard to this antho. But I am glad that for you we largely seem to have gotten it right.

  23. Steve Duffy says:

    Reflecting on the long and distinguished list of people who DIDN’T get in makes me all the more honoured to have made the cut. As Ramsey says, I’m both flattered and hugely grateful. Thanks, Ann & Jeff!

  24. Al Roots says:

    Great thanks, Jeff!

  25. jeff vandermeer says:

    Steve: Your story is awesome and unique! Yes, we have long lists of stories and writers for future anthologies with somewhat different foci.

  26. Loathsome Toad says:

    Why no Thomas Ligotti? He surely belongs in such an anthology?

  27. jeff vandermeer says:

    read the list again

  28. An incredible line-up. Well done.

  29. degsy says:

    Will the font-size be readable?

  30. drew says:

    Lovely. I always thought you had excellent taste.

  31. Ruben Cordero says:

    I see it will be published by Corvus in the UK. Will it be released in the U.S. ?

  32. Tulkinghorn says:

    The Amazons (US and UK) have only incoherent information about the availability of this book… Any insight from the half-editor?

  33. Clifford Streat says:

    Spoke to one of the staff at Piccadilly Waterstone’s at start of month (as Amazon was saying it’s out the 1st); they told me they had a release date down for Nov 1st (for UK), so am hoping it’ll materialise then. Looks truly awesome (this, and Machen out in Penguin Classics in Dec, makes for a salivating winter of weird)

  34. Clifford Streat says:

    Ps. When’s someone going to republish Kubin’s The Other Side in full? The Dedalus ed was out a decade or so ago now and trades at about £30+ on ebay/abe (for paperback). Really needs to be in print.

  35. jeff vandermeer says:

    totally agree about the kubin!

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  37. I just got this for Christmas! Its brilliant!

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  39. Some Other Eric says:

    This looks amazing. Pre-ordered the U.S. version. The TOC looks jam-packed with excellent work. Great job.

  40. Michelle West says:

    I got this book for my birthday. I don’t get to read often, but when I do, I pour through as much as I can. Last night I read “Mother” and “Sandkings”. Tonight it’s hopefully “Window” and more. Some of these stories are truly unsettling. Terrifying. Thought provoking. I love every second I get to spend reading this book.

    Thank you. Job well done.

  41. jeff vandermeer says:

    Thanks! So glad you like it!

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