Weird Tales magazine today announced that the great and glorious Ann VanderMeer will be taking over as editor, starting with the October 2007 issue.
I'm excited by this news for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is that Weird Tales has, in various incarnations, been an important part of the fantasy and horror genre since 1923. It not only served as a home for stories by many of the prominent pulp writers (and is particularly noted for its connection to Robert E. Howard and H.P. Lovecraft, among others), but also published Tennessee Williams's first story, "The Vengeance of Nitocris". (Hardly Williams's finest hour, but he was just a kid, and it's a fun bit of trivia.)
In 1988, WT was reincarnated under the editorship of John Betancourt, Darrel Schweitzer, and George Scithers, and when I was first falling under the spell of weird fiction of all sorts, I would make occasional pilgrimages to Boston to the Avenue Victor Hugo bookstore, where I discovered those issues, each one with a featured writer and artist. It was through those magazines that I first discovered the writing of Thomas Ligotti, Tanith Lee, Gene Wolfe, Nancy Springer, David J. Schow, Brian Lumley, Karl Edward Wagner, Jonathan Carroll, and many others.
Ann is the perfect person to bring some new perspective and spice to WT, and help it become a vital source of new fiction. From working with her on Best American Fantasy, I know that she has eclectic taste in fiction, that she cares deeply about the fantastic tradition in literature, and that she is a meticulous editor. I am tremendously excited to read her first issue. (And as for Best American Fantasy, we'll figure out some sort of policy to account for Ann's new position in a way that is fair to her, to the writers, and to the spirit of our book.)
So congratulations, Ann -- with luck, we will all benefit from this news by getting to read a marvelous selection of strange fiction...