Originally Posted by J-Sun
[...]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".[...]
I'm waiting to read the essay until I have the book in my hands. Still, the general tenor of weirdfictionreview.com is that the anthology was meant to poke, prod and push the borders of what might be considered weird, and controversy was not only expected but encouraged.
The inclusion of the Butler surprised me, but I could probably cook up a rationalization if not a rationale, so I'm curious to see what the Vandermeers say about it. Ditto Michael Shea's "The Autopsy," which is a terrific blend of s.f. and horror; again, I could come up with my own reasons, but I do stumble at the question, if this, why not "Who Goes There?" by John W. Campbell, Jr., which seems to me a sort of template for this story. There are definite tonal differences between the two, and I wonder if that's what the Vandermeers focused on.
As for the Tiptree story. I haven't read that one, but I would nominate her "The Man Who Walked Home" as weird and, maybe, "The Girl Who Was Plugged In," the former providing, for me, that sense of cosmic awe (coupled with sadness) that Lovecraft spoke of and occasionally achieved, while the latter puts you pretty nearly in the mind of a delusional young woman.