“Why Weird Fiction” by Jackie Gamber
When I first learned of the potential project “Writers Workshop of Science Fiction and Fantasy”, I knew it would be amazing. The editor, Michael Knost, had already garnered a Bram Stoker award for a similar compilation, “Writers Workshop of Horror,” and was just the guy to bring together another anthology for the partner side of genre fiction.
But, something was missing; a subgenre of speculation fiction that has been near and dear to my own heart hadn’t found its way into the project yet.
Weird Fiction. That numinous form of storytelling that hovers between science and fantasy, in the sepia-toned crevice of imagination, where creepy, or stunning, or unsettling-but-hard-to-define-why tales are born.
I’ve been writing weird tales for as long as I can remember, even before I learned there was a name for them. Not exactly horror, not exactly standard, Weird Fiction tends to be compared to what it isn’t, rather than be defined as what it is.
So, what is Weird Fiction, you ask?
See? We all want to know.
I couldn’t think of anyone better to ask than Ann VanderMeer, a Hugo Award-winning editor and publisher. Her many accomplishments include serving as fiction editor for the iconic Weird Tales for a number of years. Ann founded (along with her husband, Jeff VanderMeer) WeirdFictionReview.com, and has co-edited such works as The New Weird, and The Weird, A Compendium of Strange and Dark Stories which, according to Locus, “…is probably the largest single volume of fantastic fiction ever published.”
So I pitched the idea of a Weird Fiction interview with Ann VanderMeer. I couldn’t help myself. And the editor agreed!
The result is a gold mine of information I don’t think readers will find anywhere else. Ann is a lovely person, and a wellspring of talent. Her experience and knowledge base is vast, and her willingness to participate (despite an overwhelming schedule) is testament to where her heart lies: in helping writers.
What a thrill it has been to be a part of the project! I know writers in all stages of development will find Writers Workshop of Science Fiction and Fantasy illuminating, useful, and a joy to read, delivered by some of the top names in genre fiction.
Jackie Gamber is the award-winning author of many short stories, screenplays, and novels, including “Redheart” and “Sela”, Books One and Two of the Leland Dragon Series. For more information about Jackie and her mosaic mind, visit http://www.jackiegamber.com
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