Weird fiction is a subgenre of speculative fiction originating in the late 19th and early 20th century. It can be said to encompass the ghost story and other tales of the macabre. Weird fiction is distinguished from horror and fantasy in its blending of supernatural, mythical, and even scientific tropes. British authors who have embraced this style have often published their work in mainstream literary magazines even after American pulp magazines became popular. Popular weird fiction writers included Edgar Allan Poe, William Hope Hodgson, H. P. Lovecraft, Lord Dunsany, Arthur Machen, M. R. James, and Clark Ashton Smith.
Although "weird fiction" has been chiefly used as a historical description for works through the 1930s, the term has also been increasingly used since the 1980s, sometimes to describe slipstream fiction that blends horror, fantasy, and science fiction.