Arianna Reiche is a Bay Area-born writer living in east London. Her award-winning fiction has appeared in Glimmer Train, Ambit magazine, Joyland, and Popshot, and her features have been published by New Scientist, USA TODAY, VICE, The Wall Street Journal, and Vogue. She researches metafiction and lectures in interactive media at City, University of London
Whether its origins lie in Lovecraft, the Decadence Era, or all those “vagaries of taxonomy” that Jeff VanderMeer wrote about in his New Weird manifesto, weird fiction is making its way into the mainstream in a very real way. Just look to the social media reception for All’s Well by Mona Awad, or the cultural explosion of Annihilation: readers, it would seem, are desperate to feel strange. Not quite horror, not quite sci-fi, and certainly not literary fiction, the New Weird (or simply “Weird Fiction”) has thrived in small, devoted communities for decades, often in anthologies or as a subset of the heftier genres. (Even then, as VanderMeer has noted, “some writers and critics refus[ed] to even look at the term seriously.”) But its new popularity is raising more than a few questions about how we categorize those peculiar works which refuse to be categorized. . .