The Guardian’s quest for weird fiction across the electronic universe

Apparently Damien Walter from the Guardian newspaper is searching for weird fiction. Got a story about a dwarf in a parallell universe who’s in love with a donkey? Send it to him. Original article here. Here’s what he had to say (I cut it pretty short):

 

“Over the next four weeks I will be scouring the internet for the best independently-published weird stories. I genuinely have no idea what to expect. I’m hoping I might stumble upon a new Angela Carter, Mervyn Peake or China Miéville; a weird and fantastically baroque masterpiece from a unique imagination. Maybe even a few of them. On the other hand, I might end up destroying my mind with a steady diet of third-rate Stephen King clones and Harry Potter rip-offs. So to avoid the latter I’m turning to the wisdom of the crowd, and asking you, the readers of guardian.co.uk/books, for your help. And here is how you can give it.

1. Nominate your weird stories.
Make your nominations for weird stories in the comments below. Please let me know the title, author and where I can read more. That might be a link to a website or blog, or a listing on the Kindle or iBook store. Only add one link or your comment will be filtered as spam. You can include the opening sentence of the story as well if you like, but no more than that. And if you want to include your own review of the story, please do.

2. Help spread the word.
You can link back to this article from your blog or website. Or mention it on Facebook or other social networks and on Twitter using the #weirdthings hashtag.

3. Follow my quest for weird stories on Twitter.
I’ll be tweeting my thoughts on the stories I read over the next four weeks on @damiengwalter and using the #weirdthings hashtag.

These instructions may leave a few questions unanswered. I’ve done my best to answer some below, but if you have any others please leave comments and I will endeavour to respond to them.

1. What qualifies as weird?
This is really for you to decide. SF, fantasy and horror stories certainly do, but I’m also looking for stories that are far weirder than commercial genre fiction. If you think it’s a weird story, then go ahead and nominate it.

2. What do you mean by independently published?
Ideally published either by the author or an independent publisher. Books from major publishers already get a lot of attention, and this is a search for books that might otherwise go unseen. But if you think there is a neglected masterpiece from a major publisher then please go ahead and nominate it.

3. Can I nominate my own story?
Yes. In fact I hope you will.

My quest for weird stories starts today and will carry on for the next four weeks. We’ll be keeping the comments open on this post for some of that time, but the sooner you make your nomination, the more likely I’ll get to your story in a timely fashion. I’ll be reporting back on what I find in a future Weird Things column that will include a review of each of the best stories I find.

So. Please make your nominations, and wish me luck!

So there we are. Get on with it fellow loonies!

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