Weird Fiction is one of my favourite genres to read and there’s no shortage of great authors in this field if you look hard enough! In no particular order, here are ten wonderfully weird authors.
- Premendra Mitra – The Discovery of Telenapota” by Bengali author Premendra Mitra is a good place to start if you want to skip over some of the more famous authors in The Weird. You won’t find much of Mitra’s work in English, and nothing at all in the U.S. apart from this tale. It’s a hallucinatory trip into rural India where you get to do some fly-fishing, fall in love, take a rather cramped ride in a miniature cart pulled by miniature bulls, and accept a marriage proposal under a false name. And it’s all directed at you in a mesmerizing future tense. But “Telenapota” is not just the trippy prose-poem that all suggests. There is some genuine emotion in the tale and a kind of clever twist in the end too. – Thommy Ford Reads
- Mike Russell – “Everything we see hides another thing, we always want to see what is hidden by what we see. There is an interest in that which is hidden and which the visible does not show us.” If I had to concisely summarize these little stories, I seriously couldn’t think of a better way to do it than via Magritte’s words. – Oddly Weird Fiction. Read one of his short stories for free here. Disclaimer: Mike is my other half. I was a fan before we became a couple though :p If you enjoy Examining the Odd, supporting Mike is the best way to show your support! Thank you dear readers.x
3. Joanna Russ – The narrator has just returned from one of these worlds where she was fomenting a revolution dressed up as a (male) arch-demon/faery prince, Issa/Ashmedai, in “Storybook Land” (122), and is telling her lover, the recipient of her letter, all about it. This is a performance of something like theater; the narrator compares it repeatedly to kabuki drama. The characters of Storybook Land are all faintly (or very) preposterous and unreal, so the narrator can do her job with some ease, but eventually Art and Bob (two noblemen) prove a problem. She has to keep them away from a woman they seem intent to rape by pretending to be the only one who can have her. Then she ends up having to have sex with the princess, who is determined to be had by her (in her male persona), and all sorts of bizarre courtly intrigues. Finally, the playacting done and pretty well injured, the narrator gets to come home and finds out that her own world isn’t at the probability center, either. There’s a revolution going, too. – TOR
4. Fitz James O’Brien – His writing contained both weird fiction and horror, and he is considered one of the forerunners of science fiction writing. What Was It, today’s short story, contains one of the first examples of invisibility in fiction, wherein the occupants of an apparently haunted house are assailed by, and then catch a strange invisible creature. It’s a traditional short mystery story with strong leanings towards Edgar Allan Poe, and short enough to read in a sneaky Friday coffee break (well, if you are quick!). Enjoy! Read the story here! – Dublin2019
5. Carl Richard Jacobi – Carl Jacobi was a journalist, weird-fiction and adventure-story writer, and one of the last surviving pulp-fictioneers to have contributed regularly to the legendary American horror magazine Weird Tales during its “glory days” (the 1920s and 1930s). – Independent. Read one of his short stories for free here.
6. H. G. Wells – Short, cold, economic and totally unrelenting. – China Mieville writing for the Guardian.
7. Hanns Heinz Ewers – If you’re here for a weird tale about a supernatural earthly being, this was so much fun to read.
obviously the fact that it was written at the beginning of last century, adds up to the beauty of it. – Astrid Diaz on Amazon. Read one of his short stories for free here.
8. Maurice Level – Almost wholly devoted to this form is the living writer Maurice Level, whose very brief episodes have lent themselves so readily to theatrical adaptation in the “thrillers” of the Grand Guignol. As a matter of fact, the French genius is more naturally suited to this dark realism than to the suggestion of the unseen; since the latter process requires, for its best and most sympathetic development on a large scale, the inherent mysticism of the Northern mind. – H.P.Lovecraft.com. Read his short stories for free here.
9. Jay Lake – Joseph Edward “Jay” Lake, Jr. (June 6, 1964 – June 1, 2014) was an American science fiction and fantasy writer. In 2003 he was a quarterly first-place winner in the Writers of the Future contest. In 2004 he won the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer in Science Fiction. He lived in Portland, Oregon, and worked as a product manager for a voice services company. – Wikipedia. Read some of his short stories for free here.
10. Luigi Ugolini – A compelling tale of weird transformation, “The Vegetable Man” was originally published in 1917 in an Italian publication whose title translates as The Illustrated Journal of Travel and Adventure Over Land and Sea. Brendan and Anna Connell’s skilful translation of the story for The Weird is the first in the English language. Brendan Connell has lent further insights on this story, deriving valuable context for reading not just from the author’s experience and viewpoints, but also from the spirit of the times in which he wrote. – Weird Fiction Review.