Before horror, before bizarro, I was obsessed with weird fiction. For those unfamiliar, it’s a hard to define genre with multiple definitions. Tim Waggoner describes it succinctly as “a mix of horror, fantasy, science fiction, and just about anything else you want to put into it.” The genre often shows the insignificance of human beings compared to an unknown power.
So why am I bringing it up?
About 2 years ago, I fell in love with horror. I thought this was a temporary thing, but I was soon obsessed. I read every horror book I could find, familiarizing myself with the classics, watched horror movies, and wrote over two dozen short stories in the genre (two of which were published). More on this here.
Lately, though, horror just isn’t doing it for me. Don’t get me wrong, I think I’ll be a reader and writer of horror my entire life, but I need to step aside for a while and explore other genres. Weird fiction is the logical choice for me.
I hope to approach it the same way I approached horror: read and write as much of it as possible. Below, I’ve posted a picture of my weird fiction shelf, which I hope to work my way through over the following months. (And yes, I realize some of these books aren’t technically “weird fiction”.)
There are two main eras of weird fiction: one from the early 20th century with authors like Lovecraft, Blackwood, and Hodgson; and the modern iteration known as the New Weird captained by authors like Vandermeer and Miéville. I plan to read widely. Different as the two eras are, they both fascinate me.
As for writing, I’m currently editing Stories From the Infinite City, my weird fiction collection. I must admit that I was losing momentum on this project, but with my renewed adoration of the genre, I discovered how much I love exploring the dark streets of that city.
At the same time, I’m hoping to compose more weird fiction stories for submission. Unfortunately, the publication opportunities are far less than horror, but I’m figuring out ways around that. After all, there are many fantasy and horror publications that are close enough to it.
These last couple months, horror hasn’t excited me like it did. But weird fiction? I’m bananas for it. I’m currently in the middle of China Miéville’s The Scar and I couldn’t be more enthralled. My horror craze lasted 2 years. When will this new craze end? Who knows. But I’m enjoying the hell out of it.
2 thoughts on “Going Weird”
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