The blurb for Weird Dream Society describes the tales as “playful, whimsical, or dark, but always thoughtful and tinged with the inexplicably weird.” I agree with most of this, but I can’t think of many tales that I interpreted as playful or whimsical. The vast majority would be better described as bleak, though not entirely hopeless. What I appreciated about these strange, dark stories is that most of them, and all of my favorites, were not weird for the sake of being weird but rather delivered a point. There were only a few that missed the mark and, to me, seemed aimless.
This anthology is often an uncomfortable read, but that doesn’t mean it’s not an enjoyable one. If you know you’re not a fan of stories that make your skin crawl or questions that might not have satisfactory answers, this is not the book for you. That doesn’t mean that this anthology is only for fans of horror; I’m certainly not one and I really liked most of the stories. If you were intrigued by the premises listed in the intro of this review, I’m willing to bet that you will find at least a couple of stories here that you love.
Averaging my ratings for every individual story, Weird Dream Society is a 4 out of 5 star read for me. This anthology does not only contain great stories but also supports a great cause, with proceeds from the book going to support RAICES, an organization that “envisions a compassionate society where all people have the right to migrate, and human rights are guaranteed” and works towards this vision by providing legal services for immigrants and refugees. It’s worth mentioning that a number of the short stories in this book contain themes of immigration and/or otherness. Weird Dream Society will be published on May 26th, 2020, and I recommend you pick up a copy if you’re a fan of weird speculative fiction.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for a free ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.