So this is the plan. Read 110 short stories from The Weird over a period of about 100 days, which should lead to mid-February. Why? Well why not! It’s Halloween and I fancy setting myself a challenge. I’ll be blogging about it as I go, occasionally reviewing a story, occasionally commenting on the experience.
What is The Weird? I was given it as a gift a few years ago and I’ve dipped into occasionally, but not read the whole lot. Edited by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer, it contains 110 short stories covering just over a century (1908 to 2010) of weird fiction. Lots of ‘deca’ notation going on here. Weird fiction might be described as a bit indescribable. Apparently, Lovecraft himself came up with the term, but I guess it really is that area of speculative fiction that can’t be described as horror, science fiction or fantasy. It is something ‘other’.
I’m hoping to discover, amongst all other considerations, a few new authors to explore from this collection. If read a few of the stories here, such as the Lovecraft, Gaiman, Miéville, Barker, Carter and others, and I am of course, familiar with many of the writers presented in this glorious collection. There are other authors that I know but have not read (Michael Chabon, Karen Joy Fowler, Lucius Shepard, Robert Bloch and Daphne Du Maurier – looking forward to reading Don’t Look Now especially – for example) but there are dozens of authors that I’ve not come across: Jerome Bixby, T.M. Wright, Kelly Link, Donald Wollheim, Reza Negarestani, Marc Laidlaw, Fritz Leiber…the list goes on.
I won’t be reading a story every day. Some are short enough to get a couple in on any given day (H.F. Arnold’s The Night Wire is only 4 pages long for example). However, I will be reading them in chronological order. So, it’s Halloween. Time to cosy on up on the sofa with a glass of whiskey and enjoy, the Winter of Weird.