5 Great Works of "Weird" Fiction

5 Great Works of "Weird" Fiction

A selection of books that thrive on the absurd.

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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35 Major Life Facts According To Nick Miller

"All booze is good booze, unless it's weak booze."

Fact: If you watch "New Girl," you love Nick Miller.

You can't help it. He's an adorable, lovable mess of a man and you look forward to seeing him and his shenanigans each week. While living the infamous and incomparable life of Nick Miller, and obviously Julius Pepperwood— he has learned many valuable laws of the land. And, although Nick refuses to learn anything from anyone besides his mysterious, old Asian friend Tran, he does have a few lessons he'd like to teach us.

Here are 35 facts of life according to 'Nick Milla Nick Milla':

1. Drinking keeps you healthy.

"I'm not gonna get sick. No germ can live in a body that is 65% beer."

2. Dinosaurs never existed.

"I don't believe dinosaurs existed. I've seen the science. I don't believe it."

3. A paper bag is a bank.

"A bank is just a paper bag but with fancier walls."

4. Having sex is similar to delivering mail.

"I'm like a mailman, except instead of mail it's hot sex that I deliver."

5. Moonwalking is a foolproof way to get out of any awkward situation.

Jess (about Nick): "Now he won't even talk to me. I saw him this morning and he just panic moonwalked away from me. He does that sometimes."

6. Using a movie reference is also a great way.

Cece: "Come on, get up!"

Nick: "No, I don't dance. I'm from that town in "Footloose."

7. There's no reason to wash towels.

Nick: "I don’t wash the towel. The towel washes me. Who washes a towel?"

Schmidt: "You never wash your towel?"

Nick: "What am I gonna do? Wash the shower next? Wash a bar of soap?"

8. Exes are meant to be avoided at all costs (especially if/unless they're Caroline)

"I don't deal with exes, they're part of the past. You burn them swiftly and you give their ashes to Poseidon."

9. IKEA furniture is not as intimidating as it looks.

"I'm building you the dresser. I love this stuff. It's like high-stakes LEGOs."

10. You don't need forks if you have hands.

Jess: "That's gross. Get a fork, man."

Nick: "I got two perfectly good forks at the end of my arms!"

11. Sex has a very specific definition.

"It's not sex until you put the straw in the coconut."

12. Doors are frustrating.

"I will push if I want to push! Come on! I hate doors!"

13. All booze is good booze.

"Can I get an alcohol?"

14. ...unless it's weak booze.

"Schmidt, that is melon flavored liquor! That is 4-proof! That is safe to drink while you're pregnant!"

15. Writers are like pregnant women.

Jess: "You know what that sound is? It's the sound of an empty uterus."

Nick: "I can top that easily. I'm having a hard time with my zombie novel."

Jess: "Are you really comparing a zombie novel to my ability to create life?"

Nick: "I'm a writer, Jess. We create life."

16. All bets must be honored.

"There is something serious I have to tell you about the future. The name of my first-born child needs to be Reginald VelJohnson. I lost a bet to Schmidt."

17. Adele's voice is like a combination of Fergie and Jesus.

"Adele is amazing."

18. Beyoncé is extremely trustworthy.

"I'd trust Beyoncé with my life. We be all night."

19. Fish, on the other hand, are not.

“Absolutely not. You know I don’t trust fish! They breathe water. That's crazy!"

20. Bar mitzvahs are terrifying.

Schmidt: "It's a bar mitzvah!"

Nick: "I am NOT watching a kid get circumcised!"

21. ...so are blueberries.

Jess: "So far, Nick Miller's list of fears is sharks, tap water, real relationships..."

Nick: "And blueberries."

22. Take your time with difficult decisions. Don't be rash.

Jess: "You care about your burritos more than my children, Nick?"

Nick: "You're putting me in a tough spot!"

23. Getting into shape is not easy.

"I mean, I’m not doing squats or anything. I’m trying to eat less donuts."

24. We aren't meant to talk about our feelings.

"If we needed to talk about feelings, they would be called talkings."

25. We're all a little bit too hard on ourselves.

"The enemy is the inner me."

26. Freezing your underwear is a good way to cool off.

"Trust me, I'm wearing frozen underpants right now and I feel amazing. I'm gonna grab some old underpants and put a pair into the freezer for each of you."

27. Public nudity is normal.

"Everbody has been flashed countless times."

28. Alcohol is a cure-all.

"You treat an outside wound with rubbing alcohol. You treat an inside wound with drinking alcohol."

29. Horses are aliens.

"I believe horses are from outer-space."

30. Turtles should actually be called 'shell-beavers.'

Jess: "He calls turtles 'shell-beavers."

Nick: "Well, that's what they should be called."

31. Trench coats are hot.

"This coat has clean lines and pockets that don't quit, and it has room for your hips. And, when I wear it, I feel hot to trot!"

32. Sparkles are too.

"Now, my final bit of advice, and don't get sensitive on this, but you've got to change that top it's terrible and you've got to throw sparkles on. Sparkles are in. SPARKLES ARE IN."

33. Introspection can lead to a deeper knowing of oneself.

"I'm not convinced I know how to read. I've just memorized a lot of words."

34. It's important to live in the moment.

"I know this isn't gonna end well but the middle part is gonna be awesome."

35. Drinking makes you cooler.

Jess: "Drinking to be cool, Nick? That's not a real thing."

Nick: "That's the only thing in the world I know to be true."

Cover Image Credit: Hollywood Reporter

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The Zodiac Signs As Bath And Body Works Scents

Just in case you want to know what scent you are!

Bath and Body Works fans could be considered to be part of a cult. The scents draw you in as if calling your name, if you ever
wondered what your scent should be based on your zodiac sign, here it is!

Aries: Country Apple

The rather impulsive Aries takes their time picking and choosing the scents from Bath and Body Works. The soothing scent of a fresh apple orchard is just what they need on a daily basis to keep up with their shenanigans.

Taurus: Japanese Cherry Blossom

The personality of a Taurus is stubborn, or what I like to say, is stuck in their ways. When they first discovered this scent in middle school, this was it. This is the only scent you will find anywhere around a Taurus.

Libra: Pink Chiffon

Pink Chiffon is another cult classic. This best selling scent went out of style for a hot second but is back and bigger than ever.

Leo: Thousand Wishes

Thousand Wishes is a purr-fect scent for a Leo. The light scent adornes the wearer just the right amount to get the desired reaction from those around them.

Aquarius: Be Enchanted

The rather cold personality of an Aquarius is counteracted by the loving scent of Be Enchanted. The scent is just enough tenderness for the wearer to be relaxed.

Gemini: Moonlight Path

Gemini's constantly change their favorite scent and are in and out of the store almost weekly to by new lotions, candles, and body washes. You will never see a full empty bottle of anything, however, Moonlight Path is the scent they keep coming back to again and again.

Virgo: Sea Island Cotton

The clean personality of a Virgo must be matched with the clean scent of Sea Island Cotton.

Capricorn: Cucumber Melon

Another clean scent of Cucumber Melon is the exact thing a Capricorn needs. The balance and calming scents are what make this scent so attractive to a Capricorn.

Scorpio: Paris Amour

The light scent is what you would expect from an extreme sign like a Scorpio. The scent lightly washes over the wearer in almost a cloud that

Sagittarius: Cashmere Glow

Cashmere Glow is a perfect scent for the winter sign. The vanilla and golden peach scent is just the mixture that creates the perfect accessory in the chilly months.

Pisces: Warm Vanilla Sugar

This lovely scent accentuates the lovely personality of a Pisces. They can never get enough of this scent so they just keep buying and buying until they have a full stockpile.

Cancer: Velvet Sugar

Velvet Sugar is the perfect blend of red velvet and strawberries and a Cancer is always changing their mind. The wearer can tell if it is a more red velvet or strawberry kind of day, and that is the balance that they need in their lives.

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