I mentioned in the May Book Releases
thread that The Weird: A Compendium of Strange and Dark Stories
looked really good, if a little expensive for me. The introduction is available online
and I thought it might make a good launching point for a general discussion of weird fiction. In searching for previously existing threads, the only relevant one I came across was on Borges
who is represented in the anthology.
While not a big fan of generic fantasy I do like some "weird" stuff and am interested in far more that I just haven't gotten around to yet but I'm not well-versed in the (sub?)genre, so I figured I'd mostly listen. But I will say that, while inclusiveness may be a good thing, the only apparent defect this anthology has is that it may be a little too
inclusive. It seems like to me that, while I guess the extremes of everything connect to each other, SF would generally be antithetical to "the weird". SF is (quintessentially speaking) about the rational and natural and, while "weird" can be just a mood, that ought to be more "strange" or "whacked out" or something, and actual weird would be about incursions of irrationality and/or the supernatural. Things like Butler's "Bloodchild" and Tiptree's "The Psychologist Who Wouldn’t Do Awful Things to Rats", and even Martin's "The Sandkings" are SF with maybe just an infusion of horror and not very "weird" at all. I mean, there are obviously some rules of exclusion if only to explain Poe not being "weird".
Still, if selecting superb tales like these are the only "defect", then there's not much to complain about. (An actual defect in the intro concerning one of those stories is that Tiptree's real name is given as Ann rather than Alice, though.)
Anyway - what do people who are already fans and better read think of the essay, the genre, and the great examples of it?