|Fantasy based upon ideas of the universe which science has discredited. It was originally fiction which aimed to produce an emotional effect of horror or the like - the "make 'em shiver" movement - but in fan classification designates all fantasy of the type which is neither s-f nor pure fantasy, and it does not include scarey stories with a mundane explanation.
Fandom centers around science-fiction, so that weird is a sort of off-cousin, but for certain purposes, such as poetry and humor, is found to be a better field than s-f.
Since the treatment is at least as important as the subject-matter, for a survey of the field of weird fiction, we reproduce here by permission of Weird Tales, from its November 1938 issue, Robert E. Howard's poem, "Recompense" (Copyright 1938 by Weird Tales.)
I have not heard Lutes beckon me, nor the brazen bugles call,
But once in the dim of a haunted lea I heard the silence fall.
I have not heard the regal drum, nor seen the flags unfurled,
But I have watched the dragons come, fire-eyed, across the world.
I have not seen the horsemen fall before the hurtling host,
But I have paced a silent hall where each step walked a ghost.
I have not kissed the tiger feet of a strange-eyed golden god,
But I have walked a city's street where no man else had trod.
I have not raised the canopies that shelter revelling kings,
But I have fled from crimson eyes and black unearthly wings.
I have not knelt outside the door to kiss a pallid queen,
But I have seen a ghostly shore that no man else has seen.
I have not seen the standards sweep from keep and castle wall,
But I have seen a woman leap from a dragon's crimson stall,
And I have heard strange surges boom that no man heard before,
And seen a strange black city loom on a mystic night-black shore.
And I have felt the sudden blow of a nameless wind's cold breath,
And watched the grisly pilgrims go that walk the roads of Death
And I have seen black valleys gape, abysses in the gloom,
And I have fought the deathless Ape that guards the Doors of Doom.
I have not seen the face of Pan, nor mocked the dryad's haste,
But I have trailed a dark-eyed Man across a windy waste.
I have not dies as men may die, nor sinned as men have sinned,
But I have reached a misty sky upon a granite wind.