claushetzer’s #CBR4 Review #6: The New Weird by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer (eds.)
Considering that the overwhelming majority of what I read is genre fiction, I read surprisingly few short stories. I seem to gravitate more toward novels, which allow me to immerse myself more fully in an author’s creation, but this tendency has two deleterious side effects. First, I miss out on the concentrated punch that good short stories can deliver; they often will have as much background as a full novel, but due to the constraints of the form they will start the reader off running, in medias res, which can result in an exhilirating read. This goes double for stories that take place in a setting established earlier in an author’s work, often in a novel, allowing the author to revisit some underdeveloped facet of his world without the commitment of building a long work or the temptation to rewrite an earlier work to fill space (I’m looking at you, Terry Brooks). Second, I tend to miss out on lesser-known (to me) or younger authors whose long works are either still unwritten or haven’t made it onto my radar screen, or those who work best in the short story format; I live in the sticks, I have two children and a job, and my local library is small, so it takes real effort and a real commitment of my nonexistent free time to explore new authors in the numbers that I would like.
The New Weird scratches both of those itches very nicely, thank you very much.
Read the rest of the review here.