Monday, 9 October 2017

Contemporary Weird Fiction in Anglo-Saxon Countries and 21st-Century Horror

Back in 2013 I wrote a short introductory essay to the Polish weird fiction anthology Po Drugiej Stronie (published by Agharta), which serves as a tribute to S. Grabiński, H. P. Lovecraft and T. Ligotti. I was lucky to be in the fine company of Paweł Mateja, Michał Budak and Mateusz Kopacz who formed part of the jury evaluating submissions and who also provided their introductory essays (I cannot thank Mateusz enough for his encouragement to provide my own input). In my text entitled “Współczesne Weird Fiction w Krajach Anglosaskich” (“Contemporary Weird Fiction in Anglo-Saxon Countries”), I tried to provide a commentary on the condition of contemporary weird fiction with some focus on - what I consider to be - a recent revival of the weird fiction tradition accompanied by a phenomenal amount of small presses that have helped many new significant voices emerge in the field. I have also provided hints as to the names that particularly captured my attention during my massive explorations of the works in the genre throughout the previous decade - authors I am certain would appeal to Polish readers and whose books I myself would wish to find one day in my local bookstore in a Polish translation. I have now added some of these writers to my Translingual Divinations page.

I am more than happy to see that five of the authors I then mentioned (namely Laird Barron, Richard Gavin, Caitlín R. Kiernan, Reggie Oliver and Simon Strantzas) will be covered by S. T. Joshi in his upcoming treatise 21st-Century Horror. These authors were just emerging in the field at the very time I was reading their first or most significant short story collections and most have continued producing quality fiction. Following their growth over the years was fascinating and I am more than happy for having them name-checked in my introduction, even if I have not analyzed their output exhaustively. Considering the overlap in some names and the fact that Mr. Joshi is covering some of these writers for the first time, I am very keen on learning his opinion. His essay on Laird Barron, which is to appear in the book, hits very close what I personally think of this writer’s output. 

I do wish the final version of the treatise also includes names that are currently not listed. Mr. Joshi states on his blog that “If other writers’ names are not on the list at all, it means that I regard them as too insignificant to discuss in any fashion!” I hope that does not mean other 21st-century horror and weird fiction writers who’ve penned outstanding works of supernatural horror, including Joel Lane, Eddie M. Angerhuber, Mark Samuels, Brian Evenson, Quentin S. Crisp and Matt Cardin (let alone those Mr. Joshi, me myself or you, dear Reader, are yet to get acquainted with) should be considered as “too insignificant”!


  1. Z radością przeczytam Twoją recenzję zbioru Barrona- w przyszłości. old weirdman

  2. Dziękuję, old weirdman. Jeśli Barron napisze jeszcze coś godnego naszej uwagi, to zapewne chętnie podzielę się wrażeniami, choć spadek jakości jego prozy jest niewątpliwy (co Joshi sugeruje we wspomnianym eseju). Dwa pierwsze zbiory Barrona (The Imago Sequence & Other Stories oraz Occultation), które czytałem dawno temu, są godne uwagi, ale osobiście nigdy nie uważałem go za autora kalibru T. Ligottiego.