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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Useful Resources: Some Handy Weirdness

Weird.  I'll not waste time defining the word.  Nor do I intend to waste time further debating or defining Weird Fiction versus the New Weird, (which are really more Market Categories than any sort of distinct genres in and of themselves) since I prefer to simply pursue my own take on the matter and listen to my particular Muse in this regard and leave such fiddly-farting polemics and debates to people too busy to actually write (or draw, or paint, etc.) Weird stuff.  As a genre, it seems to be slippery, ambiguous and quite mercurial, often appearing very differently to each author, editor, fan or connoisseur.  That's just how it ought to be.  Below are a few handy dandy Weird resources.  Make of them what you will...

The Weird Review is a rather nice e-zine/website devoted to Vintage Victorian Weird Fiction , to quote from the Home Page: "The focus is on vintage weird fiction, especially Victorian give or take a couple decades, with a little extra focus toward the Short Story. Reviews of anthologies, single-author collections, & even on individual short stories of merit are just the thing, but also of course old weird novels of ghosts & the supernatural."  If you are at all interested in Weird fiction, then this site is a truly wonderful resource.  There are some nice essays and the like on Lost Race tales and novels, vintage Swashbuckler tales, and H. Rider Haggard is well represented.  The essay on Dennis Wheatley was particularly excellent.  You don't necessarily have to be a vetted and papered scholar to contribute, though it could help, probably, especially if you can babble blasphemously, yet prettily, in print.  The Gallery sections will also prove to be of some interest to the usual suspects engaged in vulgar gaming endeavors.  The Weird Review grew out of the Alt.Fiction.Ghost-Fiction UseNet group, the archives of their postings are available here. Overall this is part of the excellent Aunt Violet's Book Museum site, one of those treasure troves of Weirdness online that can steal hours from your day and leave you wondering just where you ran into a Shambleau...oh and they are open to contributions/submissions pertaining to the Weird, and anything else pertinent to the editor's various special interests, including swashbuckling/pirate romance tales, juvenile series (Tom Swift), and Lost Race novels, etc.  Very Highly Recommended and with a very high Rabbit Hole Index...

Grim Reviews is a blog that provides thought-provoking reviews, essays and articles on various and sundry aspects of Weird fiction, both vintage/classical and modern, with an emphasis on scholarship and definite opinions, which makes it a lot of fun to read--and often inspirational as well.

Weird Fiction is a blog/site that is ... well ... pretty Weird, and it's another online venue that could drain away some precious moments from your schedule if you're not ultra-careful.

Skulls in the Stars is the blog of an Associate Professor of Physics...and he likes Weird Fiction, which he blogs about off-and-on.  Anyone who mentions Henry Kuttner, Manly Wade Wellman and Marie Corelli in the course of their posts is well worth giving a few minutes of your attention to in order to hear what they have to say, or at least write/post.

The obligatory link to H. P. Lovecraft on How To Write Weird Fiction...if only to make sure that it's handy for later.  You can alternate versions of this essay here, here, here, here, here, and here, as well as several other venues.  There's also the Supernatural Horror in Literature essay (Public Domain version), which is also available in a variety of versions/formats herehere, here, herehere, here and here.  Whew.  Yes, there are other locations where you can find this essay, but that ought to be enough to at least get you started...

Clark Ashton Smith weighs-in on Atmosphere in Weird Stories over at The Eldritch Dark site, another high-risk Rabbit Hole Index site that might drain hours from your life before you even realize that you've read half a dozen classic tales...

Arthur Machen gets some respect.  Finally.

A Quick and Painless Introduction to the Lovecraft Circle of correspondents, which had an enormous impact on Weird Fiction.

A decent essay on Horror Fiction that crosses-over into the Weird quite a bit, which is super-easy to have happen as horror is a major component to the weird, be it vintage or modern.

Still Weird After All These Years, a nice short article on how Weird hasn't become passe or stale.

Another blogger examines what Weird Fiction means to them, and still manages to self-promote her new book...which might interest some of you folks, either in terms of the opinions expressed, the overall subject matter, or the mechanics of marketing one's work online.

Creative Fluff has a page where they started to work out just what Weird Fiction is/was, but it hasn't progressed very far as yet, perhaps they just need encouragement, feed-back or a few dozen hits to show that anyone cares?  In the meantime, the main Creative Fluff blog itself hosts a lot of resources worth taking a look at, especially for designers, artists, etc.

Supernatural Fiction Resources courtesy of Alan Gullette (another excellent resource that'll potentially send you off on wild tangents into the dark recesses of the internet...)

China Mieville turns around and thanks that dead old white bourgeois gent Mr.Tolkien, which may be a sign of the impending apocalypse.  Very interesting reading, at least I thought so...

A Few Small Publishers devoted to Weirdness
Hippocampus Press

Tartarus Press

Fedogan & Bremer

Arkham House

Nightshade Books

Necronomicon Press

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