Sunday, October 27, 2013

The Weird: A Compendium of Strange and Dark Stories

Edited by Ann VanderMeer and Jeff VanderMeer

Fiction today is thoroughly categorized. Walk into any bookstore and you can easily find what you're looking for stuck under a neatly printed label, be it fantasy or mystery or romance. But what about those stories that escape generalization? Those odd ones, those black sheep, that refuse to be labeled under any one category?

Well, they can be found within the pages of The Weird, a mammoth tome edited by renowned author/editor couple Jeff and Ann VanderMeer. The Weird is a collection of fiction written over the past hundred years, from 1908 to 2011. Its stories are by turns creepy, intriguing, and mesmerizing, and each one is written by a different author. Some names will be familiar—Stephen King, NeilGaiman, George R. R. Martin. Others such as Haruki Murakami, Olympe Bhêly-Quenum, and Leonora Carrington await discovery.

Not only is The Weird a chance to experience the odd side of fiction, it's also an opportunity to discover unfamiliar authors, most outside our cultural boundaries. The Weird is lengthy (1,100-odd double-columned pages) but worth the time and effort. Most readers will find themselves eagerly sucked into this book, for once The Weird latches on its tentacles, it never lets go.... Five stars from this reviewer.

Robert Green is a confirmed bibliophile and aspiring writer whose love of sci-fi has caused him to own many more books than he has physical room for. He is also the owner and creator of the up-and-coming company Verity Books, which can be seen at various cons throughout the year. Any questions or comments can be sent to or

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