That’s not to say that “New Weird SF” isn’t small segment of particularly outrageous pieces, but I don’t see how something can be weird and yet magically new when the genre itself is full of similar styled pieces. This is not at all a slight on Mr. Sanford, because his story is quite good (I reviewed it here some time back), but while he is quite brilliant, I would not say he is particularly original. Claims to originality are always already flawed, because everything has already been done before, in some capacity or another. Originality now seems to apply only to pieces that make readers aware of their greatness to the extent that they no longer see where its influences arise from (and some obvious exceptions must be made for those people who make it their jobs to always be aware of the past, such as literary critics, etc.). Sanford’s piece does this quite effectively, but it would be unfair to say that his work does not reflect past writers (it should not be misconstrued here to mean that Sanford is obviously or intentionally allowing past writers or ideas to influence his work, or that such influences have been exposed to him; originality ceases to exist in the human construct primarily because we seem to be born with an overabundance of repetition, not just genetically, but psychologically, leaving a certain necessity constant renewal of old, ingrained ideas in all aspects of our creative lives).
But, I say all this with only a mediocre exposure to this subgenre called “New Weird SF,” and perhaps Sanford’s story is not necessarily representative of the movement, per se, but simply a good example of a kind of feeling or imaginative quality that makes up the subgenre. Perhaps “New Weird” is, in and of itself, a developing creature that has yet to break out of its mold, much as Cyberpunk arguably shattered the technological landscape in its predictions and visualized symbologies. Never underestimate science fiction for its unflinching ingenuity.
Having indicated my ignorance, perhaps someone who reads this blog who considers themselves far more versed in the subgenre to provide more adequate answers would be so kind as to leave me a comment refuting my claims. This would be me begging you all for your knowledge, whatever it may be.
P.S.: I should clarify that while I do not believe originality exists in a pure form, I do believe in the power of suggestion inherent in good writing. A good story, in its more pure, unarguable form, will always separate the reader from the genre experience, will remove the past from the reader and create anew the present or future or whatever. This assumes, of course, that an individual reads a piece of fiction as a reader, not a critic or eagle-eyed literary narcissist.