Crowd-sourcing sites such as indiegogo and Kickstarter have become popular places for authors, editors, and publishers to go to help fund projects they wouldn’t otherwise be able to make. And with your help we can get a Year’s Best Weird Fiction. The re-print anthology will be published by Undertow Publications (run by fellow Canadian Michael Kelly) and the first volume will be edited by Laird Baron.

The goal is to raise $6,750 by September 13, 2013. To donate to this amazing project go to http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/year-s-best-weird-fiction. Here’s the description of the project from their indiegogo site.

The publishing landscape has changed. The big publishers mostly still view weird fiction as a strange and esoteric thing. In short, it isn’t seen as a viable commercial opportunity.  But we think there is a need for such a volume. That is why we are appealing to you to help fund this and future volumes of the Year’s Best Weird Fiction. All the funds will be used to pay the editor, the contributors, the designers, typesetter, printing, shipping, etc. Your money will help support what we hope will be an annual and vital volume of the best weird fiction.

Each volume of the Year’s Best Weird Fiction will feature a different editor. Weird fiction is a diverse and eclectic mode of literature, and we are excited to see varying viewpoints. In fact, we are confident that the volume will see little if any overlap with the various other “Best Of” anthologies. And we could think of no one better than Laird Barron to helm the inaugural volume.

Along with up to 100,000 words of the finest strange fiction from the previous year, each volume will include an introduction from the editor, a year in review column, and a short list of other notable stories. If we reach our funding goal, the book will be available in trade-paperback format and as DRM-free ePub and Mobi eBooks. The Year’s Best Weird Fiction, Volume 1, is slated for publication in late summer/early fall of 2014.

Crowd-funding a book is akin to pre-ordering that book. However, we do hope you’ll take advantage of some of our other great perks and rewards. We’re really excited about the Year’s Best Weird Fiction, and hope you’ll support its publication. We can’t make this happen without you.

So … welcome to the Year’s Best Weird Fiction.

What is weird fiction?

The simple answer is that it is speculative in nature, chiefly derived from pulp fiction in the early 20th century, whose remit includes ghost stories, the strange and macabre, the supernatural, fantasy, myth, philosophical ontology, ambiguity, and featuring a helping of the outré. Weird fiction, at its best, is an intersecting of themes and ideas that explore and subvert the laws of Nature. It counts among its proponents older and newer writers alike: Robert Aickman, Laird Barron, Charles Beaumont, Ambrose Bierce, Octavia Butler, Ray Bradbury, Angela Carter, Neil Gaiman, Shirley Jackson, Kathe Koja, John Langan, Thomas Ligotti, Kelly Link, H. P. Lovecraft, and many others.

Weird fiction is not specifically horror or fantasy. And weird fiction is not new. It has always been present. That’s because it isn’t a genre, as such. This makes the prospect of defining weird fiction difficult, and perhaps ill advised. Weird fiction is a mode of literature that is present in other genres. Weird tales were penned long before publishers codified and attached genre labels to fiction. You can find weird fiction in literary journals, in horror magazines, fantasy and science fiction periodicals, and various other genre and non-genre journals and anthologies that are welcoming to speculative fiction of the fantastique.

There’s been renewed interest in weird fiction, spurred by the writings of the authors mentioned above, and by the likes of Jeffrey Ford, Elizabeth Hand, Margo Lanagan, China Mieville, Reggie Oliver, Kaaron Warren, and by the publication of anthologies such as American Fantastic Tales, Black Water, Black Wings, The Weird, The Uncanny, Strange Tales; and journals such as Black Static, ChiZine, Shadows & Tall Trees, and Weird Fiction Review.

Weird fiction is here to stay. Once the purview of esoteric readers, it is enjoying wider popularity. Throughout its storied history there has not been a dedicated volume of the year’s best weird writing. There are a host of authors penning weird and strange tales that defy easy categorization. Tales that slip through genre cracks. A yearly anthology of the best of these writings is long overdue.

Submitting material for consideration

This is a reprint fiction anthology. Editor Laird Barron is only seeking material that was first published in 2013.

Publishers only are encouraged to send text files, preferably in Word, to: bestweirdfiction@gmail.com

Physical material is also acceptable. See address below.

Deadline for all material is January 7, 2014, but sooner (much sooner) is better. Late submissions may not receive proper consideration, especially if we receive a majority of the material at deadline.

Writers: Please do not send unsolicited material. Urge your publisher to send in any relevant work. Feel free to query with any questions or recommendations.

Please note: Only writers whose work is selected for the volume will be contacted.

Physical submissions of books for consideration, and for the year in review column, can be mailed to:

Year’s Best Weird Fiction, 1905 Faylee Crescent, Pickering ON, L1V 2T3, Canada

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