The New Weird

Ann and Jeff VanderMeer, eds.

Descend into shadowy cities, chaotic festivals, and deadly cults. Plunge into terrifying domains, where bodies are remade into surreal monstrosities, where the desperate rage against brutal tyrants. Where everything is lethal and no one is innocent, where Peake began and Lovecraft left off—this is the New Weird.


The New Weird

by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer, eds.

ISBN: 9781892391551

Published: 2008

Available Format(s): Trade Paperback

Descend into shadowy cities, grotesque rituals, chaotic festivals, and deadly cults. Plunge into terrifying domains, where bodies are remade into surreal monstrosities, where the desperate rage against brutal tyrants. Where everything is lethal and no one is innocent, where Peake began and Lovecraft left off—this is where you will find the New Weird.

Edgy, urban fiction with a visceral immediacy, the New Weird has descended from classic fantasy and dime-store pulp novels, from horror and detective comics, from thrillers and noir. All grown-up, it emerges from the chrysalis of nostalgia as newly literate, shocking, and utterly innovative.

Here is the very best of the New Weird from some of its greatest practitioners. This canonic anthology collects the original online debates first defining the New Weird and critical writings from international editors, culminating in a ground-breaking round-robin piece, “Festival Lives,” which features some of the hottest new names in New Weird fiction.

“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. Highlights include strong fiction by authors such as M. John Harrison, Clive Barker, Kathe Koja, and Michael Moorcock, whose work pointed the way to such definitive New Weird tales as Jeffrey Ford’s ‘At Reparata’ and K. J. Bishop’s ‘The Art of Dying.’ Lingering somewhere between dark fantasy and supernatural horror, New Weird authors often seek to create unease rather than full-fledged terror. The subgenre’s roots in the British New Wave of the 1960s and the Victorian Decadents can lend a self-consciously literary and experimental aura, as illustrated by the ‘laboratory,’ where more mainstream fantasy and horror authors, including Sarah Monette and Conrad Williams, try their hands at creating New Weird stories. This extremely ambitious anthology will define the New Weird much as Bruce Sterling’s landmark Mirrorshades anthology defined cyberpunk.”
Publishers Weekly

“This collection of 16 stories and essays, including a round-robin (‘Festival Lives’) in seven parts plus a conclusion available on the publisher’s website, presents a select sample of previously published and new examples of the ‘new weird.’… Highly recommended for all libraries interested in the latest in SF and fantasy as well as modern horror.”
Library Journal 

“The first comprehensive anthology of the movement….”
The Guardian

“…mix(es) elements of sci-fi, fantasy, and horror into a style that reaches back to Lovecraft and Jack Vance while grasping at the darker future of speculative fiction.”
The A.V. Club

“If you’re into ‘lit-speak’ and the debate over what any of this means, this is your kind of collection. If you don’t care and are just interested in some cool disturbing stories set in gritty alternative worlds, this is your kind of book, too.”
Black Gate

“This anthology is a must-read for lovers of literate dark fiction…. If the only way to grade an anthology is by its ability to provide fascinating dreams, then the New Weird gets an A+.”
Internet Review of Science Fiction

Ann VanderMeer is the Hugo Award–winning editor of Weird Fiction Review. She was the fiction editor at Weird Tales and the publisher of Buzzcity Press, work for which received the British Fantasy, International Horror Guild, and Rhysling awards. An expert on Victoriana, she is the co-editor of the best-selling World Fantasy Award–nominated Steampunk series. Her other anthologies include the Best American Fantasy and Leviathan series, The Thackery T. Lambshead Pocket Guide to Eccentric & Discredited Diseases, The New Weird, and Last Drink, Bird Head.

Jeff VanderMeer is the best-selling author of City of Saints and Madmen, the noir thriller Finch, and the quintessential guide to writers, Booklife. His award-winning novels have made the year’s best lists at Publishers Weekly, the San Francisco Chronicle, and the Wall Street Journal. His nonfiction and reviews have appeared in Washington Post Book World, the Huffington Post, and the New York Times Book Review.

Praise for Steampunk

“The VanderMeers (The New Weird) have assembled another outstanding theme anthology, this one featuring stories set in alternate Victorian eras. Michael Moorcock, the godfather of steampunk, is represented by an excerpt from his classic novel The Warlord of the Air. In ‘Lord Kelvin’s Machine,’ a fine tale from prolific steampunk author James P. Blaylock, mad scientists plot to throw the Earth into the path of a passing comet, declaring that ‘science will save us this time, gentlemen, if it doesn’t kill us first.’ Michael Chabon’s vivid and moving ‘The Martian Agent, a Planetary Romance’ recounts the lives of two young brothers in the aftermath of George Custer’s mutiny against Queen Victoria, while historical fantasist Mary Gentle describes a classic struggle between safety and progress in ‘A Sun in the Attic.’ This is a superb introduction to one of the most popular and inventive subgenres in science fiction.”
Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Chock full of brass, steam, diabolical engines, villains, Victorian aesthetics, romance, and humour…. An essential primer!”
—Jake Von Slatt, The Steampunk Workshop

“All stories contained in the anthology Steampunk collected by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer are of high quality…. Recommended for those who enjoy steampunk and those who want a diverse exposure to the possibilities within steampunk.”
SF Revu

“The VanderMeers’ anthologies seem to be establishing a new landmark for the oughts…. Blimey, guv’nor! Mission accomplished!”
The Fix

“It is as if a mad scientist had done all his shopping at Victoriana instead of Sharper Image…. [E]ffectively captures what the steampunk genre is all about.”
Los Angeles Times

“…of all speculative fiction’s subgenres, steampunk is proving to be among the most popular and influential…. Anne and Jeff VanderMeer have gathered many of the gnarliest examples of the genre in their Steampunk anthology.”
Manchester Guardian

“…dark pseudo-Victorian fun…a great deal to offer the casual reader and the critic alike….”
SF Site

“…from the inception of steampunk right up through today…a great book…. I can’t put it down.”

“This new collection of previously published stories spotlights some of the best short work in the subgenre.”
San Francisco Chronicle

“…if you want to go deeper into realms where high tech and the old world meet, be sure to pick up the Steampunk anthology….”
San Francisco Examiner

“The diversity of the sci-fi subgenre is amply demonstrated in this anthology…. Both fans of steampunk and readers for whom it’s a foreign concept should find this collection rewarding.”

“The VanderMeers, ardent steampunkers themselves, historically sample that fantasy genre in which the Victorian era is reimagined to include Martian technology, steam-powered robots, airships, alchemy, and various anachronistic technologies.”

“In addition to offering a quick-shot education in the history and development of the genre, it also contains some truly excellent short fiction. Recommended.”

“The VanderMeers’ first Steampunk anthology (2008) can already be considered a classic”

Visit the Ann and Jeff VanderMeer websites.

Introduction: The New Weird: “It’s Alice?” by Jeff VanderMeer

“The Gutter Sees the Light That Never Shines” by Alistair Rennie
“Watson’s Boy” by Brian Evenson
“Cornflowers Beside the Unuttered” by Cat Rambo
“Jack” by China Miéville
“In the Hills, the Cities” by Clive Barker
“Forfend the Heaven’s Rending” by Conrad Williams
“Locust-Mind” by Daniel Abraham
“Tracking Phantoms” by Darja Malcolm-Clarke
“Constable Chalch and the Ten Thousand Heroes” by Felix Gilman
“The Lizard of Ooze” by JayLake
“Festival Lives: Preamble: An Essay” by Jeff VanderMeer and Ann VanderMeer
“At Reparata” by Jeffrey Ford
“Immolation” by Jeffrey Thomas
“The Art of Dying” by Darja Malcolm-Clarke
“Whose Words You Wear” by K. J. Bishop
“The Neglected Garden” by Kathy Koja
“Letters from Tainaron” by Leena Krohn
“The Luck in the Head” by M. John Harrison
“Crossing Cambodia” by Michael Moorcock
“Death in a Dirty Dhorti” by Paul Di Filippo
“All God’s Chillun Got Wings” by Sarah Monette
“The Braining of Mother Lamprey” by Simon D. Ings
“The Ride of the Gabbleratchet” by Steph Swainston
“A Soft Voice Whispers Nothing” by Thomas Ligotti
“European Editor Perspectives on the New Weird: An Essay” by Martin Šust, Michael Haulica, Hannes Riffel, Jukka
alme, Konrad Walewski
“The New Weird: I Think We’re the Scene” by Michael Cisco
“New Weird Discussions: The Creation of a Term” by various authors

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