Several millennia ago, towering anthologies of fantastical fiction roamed the world, usually ridden by ancient wizards with the ante-dilluvial names of Isaac Asimov, David G. Hartwell, Martin Greenberg, Harlan Ellison and Robert Silverberg. We’re talking paleo-anthology here. Those great collections, while not exactly extinct, are rare these days ( aside from Otto Penzler’s editorial work. )
So “The Weird” is like some sort of fossil from a mythical Lovecraftian past, and I couldn’t be happier for its emergence. The editors are Ann and Jeff Van der Meer, with thoughtful foreweirds and afterweirds by Michael Moorcock and China Mieville. I couldn’t recommend this more. It’s de rigueur when talking anthologies to give caveats about the hit-or-miss nature of the form. I’ll skip that, because every story here was a freaky delight, whether they were surprises or re-reads. This creepy tome belongs on every single library of imaginative literature; keep it by your bedside, and every night before you go to sleep you will eye it with awe and a respectful fear.
Then you will plunge into weird nightmares of lumbering reptilian divinities that have slithered into your consciousness from lands before time.