Jeff Vandermeer – An Introduction


Jeff Vandermeer

Jeff Vandermeer

People ‘s choice of books is usually influenced by the genre they most favor when they want to be taken out of the reality they’re in. There are so many literary genres to choose from as there are innumerable literary writers and their works to read and brush up on. If you want to try a new genre, something that’s not normally your cup of tea, you may want to read the works of Jeff Vandermeer who is quite popular for his works on weird fiction, loosely called New Weird.

The New Weird

To understand the writer and his works, you have to first understand which literary genre they belong to. Though it’s a relatively new term, the New Weird, it has its origins from literary works of the late 19th and early 20th century, similarly called Weird Fiction. Weird fiction is the category that blends the supernatural, mythical and sometimes scientific in stories that often feature ghost stories and the generally “weird” hence the term.

Blossoming from such a foundation, the new weird genre is basically a revival of such stories and often take these stories to the next level. They can be written through novels, anthologies and even graphic novels which mean they can cross genre boundaries and literary styles. Some even consider new weird as plying both weird fiction and slipstream genres because they can combine fantasy, horror in an existential setting.

Jeff Vandermeer – The New Weird author

If there’s an author that should be the one to initiate you into the world of the New Weird, it is Jeff Vandermeer. His work, the “City of Saints and Madmen”, has won two World Fantasy awards, the Le Cafard cosmique award in France and the Tahtifantasia award in Finland. His anthology, “The Weird” is an exceptional compendium of 110+ stories encapsulating the genre from 1908 up to 2010 and features the works of Michael chabon, Neil Gaiman, Stephen King and Franz Kafka just to name a few.

Among his other works, he also has best-selling novels like “Shriek: An Afterword” and “Veniss Underground. Notable anthologies that he has edited include the Leviathan series and the “Thackery T. Lambshead Pocket Guide to Eccentric and Discredited Diseases” (which some consider a cult classic).

You can look forward to more of his works in other media like movies, graphic novels and short films that are soon to be released in the near future.