Ambitious in the extreme, the Vandermeers’ latest genre-blurring endeavor (after Steampunk II: Steampunk Reloaded), which compiles 110 weird stories from the past century, is one of the most far-reaching and inclusive speculative anthologies to ever see print. Alongside familiar names—from Lovecraft and Kafka to Link and Kiernan—the Vandermeers unveil a menagerie of obscure authors and impressive stories from around the world. These short works and novel excerpts explore every definition of weird, including Borges’s surreality (“The Aleph”), Shirley Jackson’s slow descent into darkness (“The Summer People”), Octavia E. Butler’s subtly horrific SF (“Bloodchild”), and Michael Chabon’s ornate unease (“The God of Dark Laughter”). This standard-setting compilation is a deeply affectionate and respectful history of speculative fiction’s blurry edges, and its stunning diversity, excellent quality, and extremely reasonable price point (even more so for the $29.99 trade paperback and $14.99 e-book) will entice a wide variety of readers—including those who think they don’t like “weird.” (May)
Reviewed on: 03/19/2012 Release date: 05/08/2012 Genre: Fiction
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