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Topic: Weird fiction

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Subject: Weird fiction
Date Posted: 6/21/2010 9:25 PM ET
Member Since: 10/18/2009
Posts: 110
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Anybody read much in the way of Weird fiction?

Date Posted: 6/21/2010 10:22 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,485
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Weird Tales is still being published.  It came back to life in 1988.  Much steampunk and Lovecraftian hijinks.  Costume parties and events.

Date Posted: 6/22/2010 12:44 AM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2009
Posts: 1,376
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Well I recently read The King of Elfland's Daughter, by Lord Dunsany (who is on that Wikipedia list) but there's no stretch of my imagination that will let me call it anything but quest fantasy, so I don't think it counts. ;)

Other than that all I've read are a few H.P. Lovecraft short stories. Horror's not really my genre, so I've skipped over most of the authors mentioned on that page. Although, following the links, on China Mieville's list of top 10 weird fiction books, I've read Jane Eyre and plan to read Gormenghast and Through the Looking Glass someday.

Date Posted: 6/22/2010 6:25 PM ET
Member Since: 5/16/2010
Posts: 6,395
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I don't know what weird fiction is but Tietam Brown by Mick Foley is as weird as it gets..............

Date Posted: 6/22/2010 10:09 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2009
Posts: 826
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Huh.  Not sure I really get what they mean by weird fiction as a genre.

Is it fantasy/horror that works more off of atmosphere rather than events?

Off the Wiki page and China Mieville's list linked at the bottom, I've read Jane Eyre (of course), Stranger Things Happen by Kelly Link, The Island of Dr. Moreau by Wells, Through the Looking Glass, a couple of Lord Dunsany's books, and a small handful of Lovecraft's stories.

All the ones I've mentioned do tend to work off atmosphere, I guess.  If that's the case, maybe Dunsany's on the list more for The Charwoman's Shadow than for The King of Elfland's Daughter.  It's been quite a few years but I remember The Charwoman's Shadow as being a bit darker and more mysterious than the other.

The Gormenghast trilogy and Mieville's Perdido Street Station are on the long lost of things I want to read sooner or later.

So, I guess without really knowing it, I've read quite a bit of Weird Fiction.

Last Edited on: 6/22/10 10:37 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 6/22/2010 11:16 PM ET
Member Since: 10/18/2009
Posts: 110
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Most of what I have read has been from the early 1900s.  I may have to read some of what you all mentioned, see how the new/modern stuff compares.

Date Posted: 6/28/2010 10:31 AM ET
Member Since: 9/10/2009
Posts: 438
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I just started reading Perdido Street Station -- and I'll definitely concur that it is weird.  I've read some horror novels that didn't unsettle me as much as some of the stuff Mieville has envisioned.  I really had to push myself to get through those parts; I figured if the rest of the book was as powerful the book would be fantastic.

Date Posted: 7/7/2010 7:44 PM ET
Member Since: 5/17/2006
Posts: 50
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I've read a truckload of Dunsany, Lovecraft, and C.A. Smith -- all excellent writers with some truly weird visions.  Hodgson is also good, but I haven't read as many of his stories.  Eddison's inclusion on the list is surprising; it's been years since I read his work, but his Zimiamvian Trilogy and excellent novel The Worm Ouroboros all seem to be more in the category of fantastic romance (in the traditional sense) similar in affectation to the works of William Morris or James Branch Cabell.  Only a fraction of R.E. Howard's work falls into the weird category.  The few tales I've read have been very good, but REH will always be first and foremost remembered for his heroic fantasy (Conan, Kull, et al.)

Mieville's Bas-Lag novels are terrific.  Even though I don't recall them having the required "atmosphere of breathless and unexplainable dread of outer, unknown forces," they're still plenty weird...

Edit to add:

Weirdest Dunsany: Pegana stories (collected in Chaosium's Complete Pegana volume)

Weirdest Lovecraft: Dreamlands cycle ("The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath," etc.)

Weirdest C.A. Smith: Zothique and Xiccarph stories

Last Edited on: 7/8/10 2:19 PM ET - Total times edited: 2