Letter from the Editors

by Meera Velu and Devon Montgomery
Issue 8: Weird

Thank you for tuning into Speculative City’s Summer 2020 issue: Weird.

Speculative fiction is a relatively young genre, yet it boasts a robust collection of subgenres that explore its conventions in novel ways. Unique among these subgenres is the Weird.

If weird fiction is new to you, first take a look at Victor H. Rodriguez’s “Save Yourself: John Carpenter’s Prince of Darkness and the Cinema of the Weird.” This essay delves into the Weird’s emergence through the works of H.P. Lovecraft and highlights the mainstays of the subgenre: inexplicable threats with limited resolution.

While Lovecraft has come to be associated heavily with weird fiction, we don’t wish to celebrate the Weird through a rehashing of his narratives, which carry blatant bigoted messaging and contempt toward Black Americans and immigrants.

Instead, through this issue, we hope to redefine the subgenre in readers’ minds. We present works that focus on what makes weird fiction fun—the numinous. In each of the issue’s stories, that nebulous unknown forces characters, who typically live in relative peace, to finally confront the ills created by their societies.

Through the enigmatic imagery of shards, in “I’m sorry, I tried, I love you,” G.G. Silverman portrays the self-sacrifice a woman must make to achieve credibility as mother and wife. Dona McCormak’s “Terminal” depicts the downward trajectory of a pharmacist who, after making a career from selling lies in the form of drugs, must confront the monster she’s been aiding. “Descent into the Archives” by Dennis Mombauer, while lighter in tone, demonstrates the perils in navigating systemic labyrinths that have been built to hide information. The issue’s fiction section ends with Steve Toase’s “No Sun to Guide the Way,” which captures the Weird’s play with conventions and delivers a supernatural horror revenge story that animal advocates might appreciate. We wrap up the issue with Amelia Gorman’s “Laundromancy,” a poem that intones the mystical that one can find in the mundane.

Find your portal and don’t stop speculating.


Outside of the magazine, here are some weird fiction authors we’ve appreciated reading:
– Nicky Drayden
– Tananarive Due
– Victor LaValle
– China Miéville
– Silvia Moreno-Garcia
– Rebecca Roanhorse