What is weird fiction?
Writers of weird fiction explore a blend of myths and legends, the supernatural and modern science, leading to tales that disturb the soul and send a shiver down the spine. At the same time, they ask important questions. Weird fiction is sometimes described as a blend of horror, fantasy and science fiction, and has been around since the19th century. It’s currently undergoing a revival under the title of New Weird.
“…and there must be a hint… of that most terrible conception of the human brain—a malign and particular suspension or defeat of those fixed laws of Nature which are our only safeguard against the assaults of chaos and the daemons of unplumbed space.” HP Lovecraft
Popular female authors include: Mary Shelley, Daphne du Maurier, Tanith Lee and Caitlin R Kierman.
Below is a list of female weird fiction authors throughout different periods of history. It’s interesting to see how many men were represented in the genre at that time, compared to women. It’s clear from these figures that women are still underrepresented. (source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weird_fiction)
pre 1940 108 men to 15 women, some of whom used male pseudonyms Zealia Bishop Mary Shelley Evangeline Walton Merce Rodoreda Greye la Spina C L Moore Charlotte Gilman Gertrude Barrows Bennett (alleged inventor of Dark Fantasy) Ann Radcliffe Daphne du Maurier Margaret Irwin Mary Elizabeth Couselman Leonora Carrington Mary Freeman Charlotte Bronte 1940 to 1980 57 men to 11 women Octavia Butler Angela Carter Jane Gaskell Shirley jackson Anna Kavan Jamaica Kincaid Leena Krohn Tanith Lee Joyce Carol Oates Joanna Russ Margaret St. Clair 1980 to present 84 men to 18 women K J Bishop Poppy Z Brite Nancy Collins Karen Joy Fowler Elizabeth Hand Caitlin R Kierman Kathe Koja Margo Lanagan Deborah Levy Kelly Link Sarah Monette Helen oyeyemi Rachel Pollack Cat Rambo Sophia Samatar Steph Swainston Lisa Tuttle Liz Williams