My Love For Weird Fiction

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For some reason, I feel like I am going to make a confession, and a sinful one at that.

After being aspersed for most of my life for being ‘strange’, ‘abnormal’ and ‘eccentric’, it’s hard to de-wire the internalization that being weird isn’t a bad thing.

So. Here is my sin. I adore weird fiction.

Like, the psychedelic kind.

Surreal imagery. Grotesque descriptions. Outlandish, creepy concepts.

Animals turned inside out, suspended in amniotic fluid basins. Flowers that chew the fingers off children. People that weather and disintegrate into hollow skeletons by the end of the merry ground ride. Bugs that slither tongues into mouths and feed off dreams. A mother with button eyes. Dolls that come to life, bloom to full-size, and traverse the floorboards at night, enormous woolen heads nodding, knitted mouths hungry.

My favorite book as a child was Alice in Wonderland.

My favorite writers are Ray Bradbury, Neil Gaiman, Edgar Allen Poe, Paul Jennings, John Collier, China Melville, H.P Lovecraft and Roald Dahl, all of whom are a dab hand at penning bizarre, off-beat tales.  

I find the odd, alien and peculiar absolutely fascinating. Perhaps it’s because I’m odd myself. Or maybe reality is too normal for me, so I seek the abnormality I crave in other, more fantastical realms. I don’t see, and this is just my opinion, the point of writing stories which involve real life, with real people, with no touch of fantasy. Hasn’t reality got enough of that? Instead, my imagination only likes to twist and distort and venture out into strange territory. Let the shoes of inspiration take me where they may.

So what’s the big deal? It’s hardly immoral, right? I used to spout off freakish ideas that sprouted in my mind like gloriously fetid blooms of dream-fungus in the middle of conversations, simply because it struck my fancy and sometimes the ideas were to strange and wonderful to be savored alone. To my horror, I received pointed looks, even reactions of disgust.

It may sound trivial, but as a painfully sensitive and introverted person, further social rejection in response to an aspect of my being was torture.

So. Here’s my confession. I’m an avid reader, love and writer of weird fiction. I’m not twisted or sick. I’m just an average person with an above-average imagination. And I’m going to see where it leads me, whether people in my life accept my eccentricity or not.

What about you? I’d love to hear from anyone who is also a fan of weird fiction. Or have any of you harbored a secret love for something which was unconventional and therefore shunned for it?

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13 thoughts on “My Love For Weird Fiction

  1. I love love love Lewis Carroll and Roald Dahl’s fiction! I can quote verbatim, or sketch out, some of my favorite scenes from his books.

    For example: “Spell difficulty!”
    “Mrs. D, Mrs. I, Mrs. F F I. Mrs. C, Mrs, U, Mrs. L T Y.”
    Trunchbull: “Why are all of these children married!”
    Also the scene when the Wormwoods are having a telly dinner and tells Matilda to shut up. Also the thing about Mrs. Wormwood being a slimy car seller in general. SUCH COMPELLING CHARACTERS and such side-splitting observations! It makes me so glad to know that Roald Dahl wrote such stories, and he’s human, so I can probably write like that someday, too.

    I’ve read the BFG; The Giraffe the Pelly and Me, The Twits, James and the Giant Peach, The Wonderful Story of Henry (Sugar?)– lots. Everything except his autobio, it feels like.

    Sometimes I feel like children’s fiction is the only fiction worth reading. Haha.

    I have H.P. Lovecraft’s At the Mountains of Madness waiting for me to read it. I’m now a bit more excited to read it.

    • And I don’t think they’re “weird” works of fiction– after all, a function of fiction is to look at things in a new or strange way, right? And I’d rather be weird than boring, honestly– more like, “flavorful” with a unique writer’s voice. Now that’s fiction definitely worth reading.

    • I loved all of those, too! And, yeah, I’m a dreamy child at heart, so children’s fiction is practically the home of my heart, if you get what I mean. H.P. Lovecraft’s work is fantastically weird and grotesque – if you love weird fiction, you’ll love it.

  2. Absolutely love Roald Dahl, and I have passed on that love to my kids! We love Matilda, BFG, Danny Champion of the World, and The Twits in particular! I vividly remember my first encounter with Mr Dahl’s work – I was 8 years old, and our teacher read James and the Giant Peach aloud in class. I can still remember it vividly, 40 years later! There’s nothing wrong with enjoying a bit of odd fiction!

  3. Hi! I love Roald Dahl too. Also, I was just wondering: when you said “mothers with button eyes,” did you mean the book Coraline by Neil Gaiman? I remember reading that book. It was creepy but I loved it. I was also wondering whether you liked J.R.R. Tolkien. He is another favorite of mine.

    AnotherINFP

    • Hello! 🙂 Glad to meet another INFP, and Roald Dahl fan to boot. Not too fond of Tolkien, unfortunately, as I find his kind of fantasy to be a little overdone and cliché; I’m sure it was original and amazing at the time, defining fantasy literature, but with all the goblin and dragon and sword-wielding journey books out these days, I’m not a huge fan. Though apparently he was an INFP writer. And yes, you got it right: I was referring to Coraline, which definitely is a deliciously creepy book. I’m not too fond of Neil Gaiman’s work, but that book is lovely. Creepy button eyes – who would have thought? Lots of love, fellow dreamer.

  4. Hi! I see what you mean about Tolkien. I’ve never actually read any other Neil Gaiman books, but you’ve described Coraline perfectly: deliciously creepy. When I read it, I felt I could actually savor the that chilly feeling that zipped through me; it was as if I could taste it or something. Your writing is really awesome 🙂 !
    Love,
    AntotherINFP

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