Tag Archives: weird fiction

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Now Available in Kindle!
J. A. Nicholl’s Venus & Her Thugs

480 words

J. A. Nicholl
Venus and Her Thugs: Fifteen Weird Tales
San Francisco: Counter-Currents, 2017
228 pages

Kindle Ebook: $2.99

Release date: December 10, 2017

Venus & Her Thugs is a collection of fifteen weird, allegorical, and horrific stories about life in the Current Year. Read more …

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Review of Venus & Her Thugs

1,619 words

J. A. Nicholl
Venus & Her Thugs: Fifteen Weird Tales
San Francisco: Counter-Currents, 2017

What is a weird tale? To keep the question manageable, it makes sense to think only about modern, literary tales. In that respect, then, the weird tale is a scion of the ghost story family. The modern, literary ghost story is widely acknowledged to have been created by M. R. James. James’ stories followed a formula of a cerebral, monastic academic discovering some sort of occult object, and subsequently being assaulted by a supernatural emanation connected to that object. Read more …

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The Sleeping Beauty

8,156 words

They were walking past a Fernwood gym one day while out shopping when Shannon uncharacteristically sighed, “I’ve put on so much weight this year. If only I had time to get to the gym!”

Nick responded by getting overly excited: “Hey, why not? Maybe we could go together.”

“Together? You do know that’s a women-only gym!”  Read more …

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Miss Polly

Leonardo da Vinci, Madonna Litta

Leonardo da Vinci, Madonna Litta

3,068 words

They were sleeping apart after Yusuf had yet again failed to stand up to his parents, who still refused to acknowledge their son’s de facto relationship with her. Maureen had just overheard heard him yet again tactfully and without remonstration decline to be set up with someone more to their liking, who would make him a “good wife.” They would sleep apart that night.

Her bed was a raft out in a pitch black sea reminiscent of an illustration in a book of nursery rhymes from when she was a child. Read more …

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Halloween Season Reading
“Aickman, Robert. Man of Mystery”

thelatebreakfasters1_orig4,244 words

Robert Aikman[1]
The Late Breakfasters and Other Strange Stories
London: Victor Gollancz, 1964; Bath: Cedric Chivers, 1978; London: Faber Finds, 2014.

Richmond, Va.: Valancourt, 2016 (with 6 additional stories and a new Introduction by Philip Challinor)

Read more …

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The First Alt-Right Novel?
M. P. Shiel’s Weird Anti-Semitism

LordoftheSea4,859 words

M. P. Shiel
The Lord of the Sea
London: Grant Richards, 1901

“Why are the Jews, a people who are obsessed with their own past, so afraid of other people, say ‘White’ people, being nostalgic for their own past? . . . They are fearful of being relegated to the ghetto. But do they have reason? Read more …

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“Our Hemingway, Only Better
Lovecraft Illuminated

AndersonLovecraft4,583 words

James Arthur Anderson
Out of the Shadows: A Structuralist Approach to Understanding the Fiction of H. P. Lovecraft
Introduction by S. T. Joshi.
Wildside Press, 2014

“Drawing the line between concrete detail and trans-dimensional suggestion is a very ticklish job.” — H. P. Lovecraft[1]

Read more …

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The Baker Street Männerbund:
Some Thoughts on Holmes, Watson, Bond, & Bonding

Holmes-and-Watson3,008 words

“These,” he pointed around, “are my other guns. The parallel is exact!” — Sherlock Holmes, “The Empty House.”[1]

Having devoted considerable time and attention to the genres of weird fiction and science fiction,[2] it is perhaps long overdue that I should spend some time considering the remaining one of the Three Disreputable Genres,[3] detective fiction.  Read more …

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Worlds Enough & Times:
The Unintentionally Weird Fiction of Fred Hoyle

4,547 words

October1stFred Hoyle (Sir Fred Hoyle, FRS)
October the First Is Too Late
London: Heineman, 1966; New York: Harper & Row, 1966
New York: Fawcett Publications, Inc., 1968 (paperback)
Richmond,Va.: Valancourt Books, 2015 (with an Introduction by John Howard)

Penny: So, how you been?

Sheldon Cooper: Well, my existence is a continuum, so I’ve been what I am at each point in the implied time period.  Read more …

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On The Blunt Edge of Weird Fiction:
Two Short Novels by William Sloane

RimofMorning3,945 words

William Sloane
The Rim of Morning: Two Tales of Cosmic Horror
New York: NYRB Classics, 2015

“Have you been hearing some weird stories recently? About telepathy, the fourth dimension, or GHOSTS?”[1]

NYRB Classics started off seeming like a nice little boutique imprint that would “rescue” lost classics that proudly never stood a chance at best-seller status, Read more …

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We are at Home Here

3,475 words

VirginiaWhy did I agree to become involved? As I look back now I can see no clear decision or conscious choice, just a hapless falling into circumstance. If I had refused to entertain the stupid idea from the beginning would that have absolved me from the knowledge that was to come to me? Or was I already destined to find it no matter what I willed or thought? Read more …

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Albion’s Hidden Numina
Folk Horror Revival

FolkHorrorRevival2,512 words

Katherine Beem and Andy Paciorek, eds.
Folk Horror Revival: Field Studies
Wyrd Harvest Press, 2015

The term “folk horror” is a relatively recent invention that can be applied to a wide range of artistic creations, not all of them belonging to the horror genre. It was popularized by the 2010 BBC TV documentary A History of Horror where the term was used to describe three horror films: Witchfinder General, The Blood on Satan’s Claw, and The Wicker Man. Read more …

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If You Could See What I Hear:
The “Music” of “André Pogoriloffsky”

temporalists3,885 words

André Pogoriloffsky (Andrei Covaciu-Pogorilowski)
The Music of the Temporalists
Charleston: Createspace, 2011

“The fact that no new pitch system ever replaced the twelve tone system is no proof that our forefathers were right.”

Having unwittingly unleashed upon myself a tsunami of abuse by publishing a series of essays questioning the value, or validity, of the European musical tradition — accompanied by, I thought, the “say something positive,” Read more …

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The Horrible Thing

4,426 words

arachnids_c44f5dddAuthor’s Note:

This story is based on a “creepypasta” entitled “Channel 67” published in a collection edited by Gregory West and Hayley Wicker. Like most such urban legends, the story sounded familiar to me when I read it, although I have not been able to find any other closely similar versions online. Read more …

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Dry Leafless Trees

5,255 words

leaflesstreeI see them crowd on crowd they walk the earth
Dry, leafless trees no Autumn wind laid bare;
And in their nakedness find cause for mirth,
And all unclad would winter’s rudeness dare;
No sap doth through their clattering branches flow,
Whence springing leaves and blossoms bright appear;
Their hearts the living God have ceased to know,
Who gives the springtime to th’expectant year;
They mimic life, as if from him to steal
His glow of health to paint the livid cheek; Read more …

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Put Down That Rifle & Read This Instead

Weiser3,047 words

The Weiser Book of Horror and the Occult: Hidden Magic, Occult Truths, and the Stories That Started It All
Edited and Introduced by Lon Milo DuQuette
San Francisco: Weiser Books, 2014

“What would your feelings be, seriously, if your cat or your dog began to talk to you, and to dispute with you in human accents? You would be overwhelmed with horror. I am sure of it. And if the roses in your garden sang a weird song, you would go mad.” — Arthur Machen, “The White People”  Read more …

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The Devil in the Details

Michael Pacher, "The Devil showing St. Augustine the Book of Vices," ca. 1480

Michael Pacher, The Devil showing St. Augustine the Book of Vices, ca. 1480

3,892 words

Alan Judd
The Devil’s Own Work
London: HarperCollins, 1991
New York: Knopf, 1994
Richmond, Va.: Valancourt, 2015; with an Introduction by Owen King and an Afterword by Alan Judd

Oh boy, another weird novella unearthed and republished by the folks at Valancourt![1]

Well, not really unearthed, as The Devil’s Own Work is a 1991 novella by Alan Judd which won the Guardian Fiction Award. Read more …

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Monsters, Madness & Memories:
The Creepy Flash Fiction of Gregory Miller

Johann Heinrich Fuseli, "The Nightmare,"

Johann Heinrich Fuseli, “The Nightmare,”

1,592 words

Gregory Miller
Scaring the Crows: 21 Tales for Noon or Midnight
Illustrations by John Randal York
Pittsburgh: West Arcadia Press, 2014

Read more …

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The Baby Shower

4,078 words

botticelli_birth_venus_3It happened on a housing estate in the inner city. A piece of former parkland that had been handed over to developers to build two storey homes, based on the town house concept, for yuppies who’d come along too late to be part of the last gentrification wave. I never would have known such a place existed, though it was a short bike ride away from where I lived.  Read more …

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The BNP’s Red, White, & Blue Rosette of Horror:
Exploring the Dark, Cramped World of Politically Correct Weird Fiction

Their Cramped Dark World front cover2,073 words

David A. Riley
Their Cramped Dark World and Other Tales
Parallel Universe Publications, 2015

I’ve frequently hammered at the notion that “weird fiction,” like its predecessor, Gothic, is an inherently conservative genre, not only in its themes – the persistence of the past, the reality of hierarchy, the inescapability of genetics and destiny – but also in its techniques; Read more …

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