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The New Weird movement is a post-modernist take on certain kinds of literary genre fiction. In a nutshell, it's a specific genre of Scifi/Fantasy/Horror literature that does not follow the conventions of derivative Sci Fi, Fantasy or Horror, without being an outright parody or deconstruction. It took off in the mid-nineties, and was at its peak in the early-to-mid Turn of the Millennium.
New Weird incorporates elements from certain genres, but tries to avoid being typecast as stereotypical examples of any of them. The purpose of the movement is partly as backlash against the lack of respect that sci-fi, fantasy and horror works get. Proponents of New Weird are of the not unreasonable belief that the reason genre fiction is held in such low regards is because it caters to a very specific audience who likes to read the same sorts of things. The word "Fantasy" becoming almost a brand name that invokes the idea of pseudo-Europeans living in medieval times using sorcery while Tolkienesque elves and/or dragons putter around somewhere in the background. Sci-fi and Horror share similar fates, just with different connotations (spaceships, aliens and explosions for the former; serial killers, monsters and the undead for the latter). Some writers in the genre are playing right into the Sci Fi Ghetto themselves, with the belief that any Science Fiction that does not involve spaceships, robots and lasers must be an entirely new genre.
Genres such as Romance or Historical Fiction do not lend themselves as well to the concept of New Weird. Writing characters in a non-mundane setting would end up with the work in question being recategorized as science fiction or fantasy.
Works in the New Weird genre are therefore, heavy in their use of Deconstructor Fleets and Mind Screw. Some of them may even take on a disdainful stance against the genres they hailed from, with liberal amounts of Take That. New Weird fiction will often - but does not have to - take place in an Urban Fantasy setting. For some reason, the various "punk" subgenres are acceptable, if not downright embraced in New Weird fiction. For the most part, anything goes as long as it doesn't Follow the Leader.
- Most of China Mieville's writing, actually.
- The Etched City, by K.J. Bishop.
- Phillip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy.
- House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski.
- The Iron Dragons Daughter, by Michael Swanwick.
- Author Johanna Sinisalo does this genre among other fantasy.
- Kafka on the Shore
- Most of Neil Gaiman's stuff:
- southernfriedweirdness.com - a website that compiles New Weird stories.
- Tales of the Talisman is a magazine that will only publish stories in this genre.
- The works of Ann and Jeff VanderMeer
- Going Bovine
- Most of Jasper Fforde's work is this.
- Some of Dan Simmons' work can also fall into this, since he definitely blends and deconstructs and blends the types speculative fiction in all of his works; on the other hand, the end result tends to end up looking enough like science fiction or horror that it can be put into one of those categories.
- Thomas Ligotti is often considered part of the New Weird, though his work is usually far less overtly post-modern than his contemporaries', with a few exceptions.
- Samuel R. Delany's Dhalgren