Borderlands Volume One: The Anthology of Weird Fiction – Thomas F. Monteleone

DNF @ 24%

I had never heard of ‘weird fiction’ prior to reading this book’s blurb and was immediately intrigued. I usually enjoy stories that have unexpected twists and turns or cover terrain I haven’t encountered before. I love weird stuff!

So it both surprised and disappointed me that this book wasn’t for me. I did enjoy the first story, The Calling by David B. Silva. It reminded me of Roald Dahl’s Tales of the Unexpected with its macabre ending, so I had hope for the rest of the stories.

I found the second story so disjointed and jarring that I kept putting off finishing it. I finally decided I had to finish it to get to another story I’d connect with more so I pushed through to the end and then slogged through another three stories. I didn’t like a single one.

Perhaps if I’d read these stories when this anthology was first published in 1994 I would have found them shocking but most of what I read felt either clichéd or bad weird. I acknowledge that I may be missing out on some gems by throwing in the towel at this point (there are some really positive reviews for this book) but I think I can live with that, especially when I read some reviews commenting on the amount of stories featuring women being abused by men.

Whenever I rarely DNF a book I usually feel guilty about it and plan to give the book another shot in the future because I don’t want to miss out on any magic that I didn’t find for whatever reason during my first attempt. I don’t think I’ll be doing that with this book and I’m probably more sad than anything because I was really looking forward to discovering this amazing new (to me) world called ‘weird fiction’.

Thank you to NetGalley and Riverdale Avenue Books for the opportunity to read this book. I really wish I had loved it.

Once Upon a Blurb

It’s hard to believe, but this anthology first appeared 28 years ago. In re-reading the stories in this gathering of the weirdest tales, I am also reminded of how strikingly fresh and original the material remains. 

As its title implies, Borderlands contains fiction that resides out there on the edge, on the perimeter of what’s being done in the field of horror, dark fantasy, and suspense literature. When I solicited material for what I hope will be the first of many volumes, I made it clear I didn’t want stories that employed any of the traditional symbols and images of the genre. I wanted writers to expand the envelope, to look beyond the usual metaphors, and bring me something new. 

Some fresh meat, so to speak. 

So, dig in! 

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