5 Great Works of "Weird" Fiction

5 Great Works of "Weird" Fiction

A selection of books that thrive on the absurd.
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Weird Fiction is among the strangest and most unique forms of speculative fiction. It exists as a great blend of genres and stylistic approaches, fusing fantasy, horror, science fiction, and sometimes dark humour to create surreal adventures and absurd stories. To use the moniker as an umbrella term reveals a variety of facets and manifestations over the years. Weird Fiction, Slipstream, and New Weird are all basically different pieces of the same overarching genre or style. A truly in depth exploration of Weird Fiction and its various forms could likely occupy multiple extended sessions of research and reading so, for our purposes here, I’ve simply gathered a few examples of great Weird Fiction books, in no particular order.


The City & The City

China Miéville


British author China Miéville’s award winning “The City & The City” is a wonderful place to begin if you’re looking for more modern examples of weird fiction. A murder case sends an inspector down the rabbit hole into the strange underworld of his city and its “twin,” which occupies almost the same location. While the basic plot devices may sound par for the course, it is the setting of the cities and the weird world that he constructs for these events that help to push the boundaries. Most of Miéville’s work could honestly make it onto this list, seeing as he directly identifies his style as Weird Fiction, but “The City & The City” creates a bizarre setting that serves as the perfect primer to such a strange and expansive genre.




The Hike

Drew Magary


While not classified officially under Weird Fiction, “The Hike” by Drew Magary is as weird and absurd as it gets. A short hike becomes an adventure into a world of monsters, demons, and other such oddball entities. It is imagination at its finest, crafting a modern day fantasy adventure full of defied expectations and surreal encounters. Built as fantasy with elements of sci-fi, dashes of horror, and healthy portions of humour, this book comfortably fits into the mould of Weird Fiction.




Welcome to Night Vale

Joseph Fink & Jeffrey Cranor


"Welcome to Night Vale" is the literary companion piece to the ongoing audio podcast of the same name. Creators Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor have, from the outset, made the show's fondness for H.P. Lovecraft and Weird Fiction quite clear. The fictional town of Night Vale is a setting where almost anything can, and usually will, happen. Indescribable horrors, supernatural terrors, government conspiracies, interdimensional beings, and all other manner of strange phenomenon abound in Night Vale, becoming common occurrences for the equally weird and wonderful citizens of the town. The novel, much like the podcast, handles the extraordinary with a sense of mundane bemusement, twisting winking humour throughout what would be psychologically scarring in the hands of other authors. Night Vale is a love letter to Weird Fiction through and through, making it an essential read for those with a taste for the strange.




The Strange Library

Haruki Murakami


Haruki Murakami's works are some of the finest and strangest tales of modern Japanese literature, but his 2008 novella "The Strange Library" is probably among his most outright surreal. When a young schoolboy finds himself locked away within a massive labyrinth hidden beneath his local library he must find a way to escape before the monstrous ancient librarian that tends the books eats his brain. Though it is a quick read this story is one that will likely stick around in your head for some time after you read it. The fantastically bizarre events that take place are absurd to their very core and deftly mix unease with curiosity.




At the Mountains of Madness


H.P. Lovecraft


No primer to the world of Weird Fiction would ever be complete without the de facto father of the genre himself, H.P. Lovecraft. Lovecraft's stories are towering beasts, full of a descriptive language that expands the curious need for more, whilst also creating an atmosphere of crushing fear. His work thrives on the inhuman and the interdimensional, and basically any H.P. Lovecraft story could have made it onto this list, but "At the Mountains of Madness" is my pick. It was my introduction to Lovecraftian fiction, and contains many of the elements that make his other stories so frightful and groundbreaking. "At the Mountains of Madness" is Lovecraft's 1931 novella of an Antarctic exploration mission gone horribly awry. The discovery of a primordial metropolis past a mountain range delves the explorers into a world of ancient alien beings, awesome monstrosities, and creatures far beyond human comprehension. It is horrifying, yet endlessly attractive, and in my opinion a perfect start for any budding fan of eldritch horrors.

Cover Image Credit: https://thevogdscodex.wordpress.com

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I Write Because

It's my escape, and I can go into this whole new world when I do.
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I have been seriously writing for about a year now, and today I questioned why I write? In this year, I have written hundreds of pages in my diary, I have written a rough draft of a book that has 263 pages in its first copy, and I have been writing weekly content for The Odyssey. This is in addition to the schoolwork I have had that has required me to write essays and whatever comes my way.

This still doesn’t answer the question, why do I write? What could be going on in my head that has led to me write so much in a relatively short amount of time? A lot of people probably don’t write the amount of I’ve written in a year of writing in their lifetimes.

It’s a lot, and I don’t blame them. Writing takes a lot of time and it’s a skill that can be hard to master. I know I am nowhere near mastery with writing, but I hope to get there one day. It’s something I’ve always loved, but in this past year or so it’s something I’ve grown to be passionate about.

Why? I write because I am someone that thinks a lot. There is always a thought going on in my brain, and sometimes these thoughts consume my daily activity. Writing is how these thoughts escape my brain.

If something bad happened, I need to write about it in my journal. I am the type of person that gets so fixated on either something huge or miniscule and it will distract me from whatever I am doing, and writing gets me out of that. Writing helps me escape my own demons in my brain.

When I write, I am brutally honest with myself and I do this, so I can reflect later on. One of my key values is growth, and to me writing allows me to grow because when I write, I reflect on what I did wrong and I can better myself for the future. I am not perfect, I make mistakes and writing allows me to see those mistakes, so I don’t make them again.

I document the good, the bad, the ugly, and I love it. The good days make me happy when I am sad, and the bad days keep me humble and teach me. I look at old entries from 3 months ago, and I see the growth I have made since then. It’s awesome.

When I write, I get into this vortex where it’s me and my keyboard. Nothing can stop me when I am writing, and it is my therapy.

Sometimes, I document days when I need to make a decision and the people that I get advice from, their words don’t click in my brain. I write every factor in the decision, others advice, and how I feel.

I suck at public speaking; my brain goes a million miles per hour and my mouth keeps up. When I am nervous, and I have to talk in big groups of people, I cannot make a cohesive sentence. It’s because of nerves, and it’s why I force myself to participate in class because public speaking is an important skill.

That’s another reason why I write all the time. When I write, it forces my brain to slow down. It gives me a layout of what I want to follow, and it’s why in class or meetings I am always taking notes. Taking notes keeps me on track.

Bringing this back to advice, sometimes I forget words, or I don’t quite know how to explain something. When I write it out, the words naturally come to my brain and I don’t struggle to find words because my brain has had time to process it.

Writing things down forces my brain to process things and to digest big issues, instead of just accepting it and moving a million miles per hour. Since I have been writing, I feel like I am more mature because I have taken the time to understand more things.

People ask me, why I write so much? This is why, I need time to digest what is going on, and to make sure I can grow from it. In life we are constantly growing as people, I want to document that for my future self and my future kids. Also, I want to make sure that I don’t repeat history and make the same mistake twice.

As for writing anything that is not about my day, why do I do it? I love it. I love typing on a computer and writing an article or an essay. When we got essays in high school, I would challenge myself and I would take a different perspective and learn what other people think.

I loved it because I dove myself into a computer and became an introvert while I wrote the essay. In college, I had a ten-page research paper and I loved it because I was able to talk about this topic and teach a different perspective to my professor.

It’s the same reason why I write for The Odyssey. I write because I am different, and I own it, and I want the people who read my articles to hopefully think differently. Another reason, I get to teach and share my knowledge through writing, and teaching that I want to do for the rest of my life. If writing enables me to do teach, I will write till the cows come home.

As for fiction, I am creative by default. Since there is always a thought in my brain, I begin to wonder what if, and I create these stories based on that what if. It’s how I wrote a novel at the age of 18.

My whole novel that I wrote started with a what if that I asked myself when I was little. Since then I have been creating this whole story to that what if and have developed it over time with my life experiences. It is the biggest reason to why I may never publish the book because it is so personal.

Also, creatively writing get these ideas out of my head and I can focus on my schoolwork. Sometimes creatively writing distracts my brain from feeling a certain way, and it’s a channel for me to get to this happy place. That is the biggest reason to why I always travel with something to write on because it’s a need for me.

Essentially, I write because I need to get out of my head and writing enables me to do that. For me, writing is my therapy and escape that’s why I write.

Cover Image Credit: @fuertes_clara

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50 Amazing Songs From Someone Who Actually Listens To Everything

What music do you like? "A little bit of everything."
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I cannot tell you the number of times someone has asked me what music I listen to without them actually getting a good answer.

To me, music is everything. It is that motivating kick to work on homework. It is that eloquent touch missing from a homemade dinner. It is the immersion of memory from a sound you heard years ago. It is the beat that makes you dance like you actually know how to dance. It is that connection you can share with someone while singing a song at the top of your lungs!

My music history started off with my mom. My mom would play Christian pop for me and my siblings while we cleaned the house. During airplane flights, I would listen to the jazz radio for hours on end. From there, I transitioned to the country music my dad would play through the speakers of his work truck. My sister turned me onto soft rock through the RCHP, Jack Johnson, and the Goo Goo Dolls.

Then I got my first iPod. Suddenly, I no longer had to rely on others to play music for me. I could listen to anything and everything I fancied at the moment. I would write down songs I heard at dances to download later from YouTube videos. I would wait in agony for the end of a movie to see the song list. I would carefully select my next fifteen songs to buy with my iTunes gift card, to the point of creating brackets to see which ones were the best.

Throughout high school, my brother introduced to me to rap music and dubstep. My friends would tell me their favorites, and I would listen to every song of their favorite artist in a week. Soon I would know more about that artist than they did. I jumped from Lil Wayne to Boyce Avenue to Taylor Swift, even touching One Direction because that’s what girls liked.

Every day was a chance for a new song. Every moment was a chance for a new beat and lyric to turn my entire viewpoint of music upside down.

When someone asks me what type of music do I listen to, then I have to say everything. I listen to everything! I can’t have a favorite picking between Beethoven and Drake. I can’t have a favorite between Flatland Calvary and Post Malone.

So here is my list of the most defining songs in my life. There are from every genre and each one holds different memories with them. Give them a listen. Everyone can be a banger or an anthem. Never stop listening to music. Never stop clicking shuffle. Enjoy.

Side Note: These are in no particular order. All of them are NOT SAFE FOR WORK. These are not my top 50 songs. These are just 50 good songs that I enjoy a lot.

1. “Doses & Mimosas” - Cherub

2. “Suga Suga” - Baby Bash, Frankie J

3. “Enchanted” - Taylor Swift

4. “Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked” - Cage the Elephant

5. “Dani California” - Red Hot Chili Peppers

6. “Elastic Heart” - Sia

7. “Gangsta’s Paradise” - Coolio, L.V.

8. “Mr. Jones” - Counting Crows

9. “The Devil Went Down To Georgia” - The Charlie Daniels Band

10. “All of Me” - John Legend

11. “Love Me” - Lil Wayne, Drake, Future

12. “Gangsta” - Kehlani

13. “Your Body Is a Wonderland” - John Mayer

14. “Banana Pancakes” - Jack Johnson

15. “Howlin’ For You” - The Black Keys

16. “Pray For Me” - The Weeknd, Kendrik Lamar

17. “Stay” - Rihanna, Mikky Ekko

18. “iSpy” - KYLE Lil Yachty

19. “Creep” – Radiohead

20. “God Bless The U.S.A.” – Lee Greenwood

21. “Freeze Frame Time” - Brandon Rhyder

22. “Simple Song #3” - David Lang, Sumi Jo

23. “Light of the Seven” - Ramin Djawadi

24. “Suite No. 1 G Major Prelude” - Johann Sebastian Bach

25. “Hallelujah” - Pentatonix

26. “Higher Ground” - TNGHT, Hudson Mohawke, Lunice

27. “Sabotage” - Beastie Boys

28. “T.N.T” - AC/DC

29. “Blockbuster Night Part 1” - Run the Jewels

30. “White Iverson” - Post Malone

31. “The Hills” - The Weeknd

32. “Shoot Me Down” - Lil Wayne, D. Smith

33. “Black Belts” - Pyramid Vritra, Pyramid Quince

34. “Thinkin Bout You” - Frank Ocean

35. “Sky Walker” - Miguel, Travis Scott

36. “Pray” - Sam Smith, Logic

37. “Yonkers” - Tyler, The Creator

38. “Flexicution” - Logic

39. “Hypnotize” - The Notorious B.I.G.

40. “Boondocks” - Little Big Town

41. “Hotel California" - Eagles

42. “Danger Zone” - Kenny Loggins

43. “Toes” - Zac Brown Band

44. “I think I’ll Just Stay Here and Drink” - Merle Haggard

45. “Song of the South” - Alabama

46. “A Country Boy Can Survive” - Hank Williams Jr.

47. “Chicks Dig It” – Christ Cagle

48. “She Likes the Beatles” - William Clark Green

49. “Long Hot Summer Day” - Turnpike Troubadours

50. “Summer III” – Vivaldi

“You know what music is? God's little reminder that there's something else besides us in this universe, a harmonic connection between all living beings, everywhere, even the stars.” August Rush

Cover Image Credit: Flickr

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