Scott Nicolay

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Rios de la Luz: Magical Surrealism, Martian Gemstones and Guardian Abuelas | The Outer Dark: Episode 27 — JANUARY 13, 2016

rios-pulseRios de la Luz explores the “inner workings that were happening in her brain” while writing her first collection The Pulse Between Dimensions and the Desert, and Scott’s suggestion that her stories resemble the Martian gemstones depicted within–each unique, energetic, fresh, multifaceted, and yet interconnected. Notions of magic realism, time travel, science fiction, Junot Diaz, Ray Bradbury, Lucius Shepard, Star Trek, Doctor Who, and her love of outer space and comic books, especially Los Bros Hernandez’s Love and Rockets, emerge, as well as working with her publisher Ladybox Books, a rising imprint of Broken River Books and being part of the dynamic small press community in Portland, Oregon. The discussion also explores diversity as a rising force in both authors and audience for spec-lit, including Rios’ identity as a “Latina-Chicana-Bruja” writer but “mostly just a strange brown girl,” as well as using Spanish to reset rhythm in her narratives, growing up in El Paso, discovering her favorite writer Sandra Cisneros and her passion for creating young characters like herself, including her excitement in seeing female, African and Guatemalan leads in Star Wars and a black Hispanic super-hero in Spider-Man Miles Morales. Another ever-present element in her writing is the guardian abuela, reflecting the importance of her grandmother and great grandmother to whom she says she “owes so much.” Also queer characters, the awkwardness of puberty (“Church Bush”), disappeared women, dead children (“La Reina”), her complicated feelings about borders and a short reading of her hauntingly beautiful story “Marigolds.Hey bros out there. For your own sake, don’t ever take two big Levitra Generic.” Finally, Rios talks about what’s next for her including flash fiction, zines, two horror stories, a bizarro tale and a novel, as well as recommending poet Yesika Salgado, aka Yesika Starr, fellow Ladybox Books author Meliza Bañales, aka Missy Fuego, and Vanessa Mártir.

10374457_627170827394930_3262260669077353846_nNews from the Weird: Ladybox Books Head Editor/Curator Constance Ann Fitzgerald joins Scott to talk more about this innovative women-run press/collective, how it got started, its exciting slate of “fiercely talented” authors, the rebirth of the zine and the current dynamic and label-defying small press scene.

 

Next week’s guest: Garrett Cook, author of You Might Just Make It Out of This Alive (Eraserhead Press)

11059843_737530326358979_7942642027074885308_nMore links:

Yesika’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/yesikastarr

http://www.autostraddle.com/hidden-gems-of-queer-lit-meliza-banales-life-is-wonderful-people-are-terrific-307618/

One of Meliza’s short stories: http://ladyboxbooks.com/2015/02/08/story-of-the-week-face-lift/#more-131

https://www.facebook.com/States-of-Terror-289014071299287/?fref=ts

News From the Weird:

http://ladyboxbooks.com/2014/09/27/ladybox-on-sale-october-15th/

The Punk Singer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fwrXC5OXqgc

http://pioneerspress.com/

Henry Lien: The Elegant Art of the Literary Duel | The Outer Dark: Episode 25 — DECEMBER 30, 2015

TODA25-Henry Lien The Elegant Art of the Literary Duel

There’s no one quite like Henry Lien in spec-lit today. He has generated major buzz with just six unique stories. His first published story ‘Pearl Rehabilitative Colony for Ungrateful Daughters’, which features “an art form that combines figure skating with kung fu”, made the cover of the December 2013 issue of Asimov’s Science Fiction (Henry even pitched cover artist Alexandra Manukyan) and went on to be a Nebula Award nominee. His latest, critically acclaimed ‘The Ladies’ Aquatic Gardening Society’ (Asimov’s, June 2015), perhaps his most distinctly Weird tale, is about two Gilded Age grandes dames dueling for Newport high society dominance via their increasingly outrageous and environmentally devastating theme gardens. On this episode of The Outer Dark, Henry pulls back the curtain on his creative process starting with the rigorous questions he asks himself before moving forward with an idea (0:03:00), diving into stories as “thought experiments”, putting pressure on his writing and matching concept with format, the importance of humor in “humanizing” and “bridging centuries and miles”, the potential for “wonder in modest concepts” and exploring them to their logical conclusion and how he pushes outside himself to tell stories from the viewpoint of girls and women. A self-described “one-man movie studio”, he also waxes enthusiastic about the joy he gets from indulging his multimedia muse including the “crazy fun” and “intense satisfaction” of handing a story over to an artist, voicing his characters in audio rendition, and even dabbling in writing music to accompany his stories. The madcap conversa

"Pearl Rehabilitative Colony for Ungrateful Daughters" (Cover story, Asimov's, Dec. 2013). Art by Alexandra Minukyan.

“Pearl Rehabilitative Colony for Ungrateful Daughters” (Cover story, Asimov’s, Dec. 2013). Art by Alexandra Manukyan.

tion touches upon all his stories from the two aforementioned tales (‘Pearl’, 0:14:45) (‘Ladies’, 1:01:30)to the simple, elegant, tragic ‘Supplemental Declaration of Henry Lien’ (Interfictions, Nov. 2015)(0:24:30) and the life-changing experience at its heart that propelled him into writing spec-lit, the poignant dolphin conservation advocacy tale ‘Bilingual’ (F&SF, March 2015) (0:34:55) told unexpectedly all via Twitter, ‘The Shadow You Cast Is Me’ (Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet, May 2015) (1:38:30) in which he explores the uncomfortable topic of a dysfunctional marriage, and ‘The Great Leap of Shin’ (Analog, Jan. 2015) (1:50:45). His Clarion West instructors Chuck Palahniuk and George RR Martin receive some heartfelt appreciation, “worlds that can be held in a pocket” are mused upon, and there’s a Karel Čapek interlude (1:17:00), plus ruminations on the rapidly diversifying audience for spec-lit, why Henry is done with short stories for the time-being, his just-completed novel which he says is “the best thing I have written”, why it’s OK to be proud of your stories, why he supports bringing back legal dueling to resolve world conflicts (1:51:30), his own ultimate duels, his ‘Radio SFWA’ recruitment anthem performed at the 2016 Nebula Awards (2:00:00), and his recommended living authors (2:05:20) James Robert Herndon

Bilingual-CarolineSirounian2

“Bilingual” (F&SF, March 2015), art by Caroline Sirounian.

and Lian Hearn.

News From the Weird

(2:13:10) With Arkham Digest columnist and Strange Aeons fiction editor Justin “Steely J” Steele. Reviews of two of the best weird fiction chapbooks of 2015: These Last Embers by Simon Strantzas, from Undertow Publications, and The Visible Filth by Nathan Ballingrud, from This is Horror.All day Levitra is great and works fine. Plus Scott and Justin look ahead to 2016, which promises to be another big year in the Weird including another author reveal from the table of contents of the much anticipated Lost Signals anthology (ed. Max Booth III/Perpetual Motion Machine Press).

This archival episode is available at This Is Horror here.

Additional Links

Caroline Sirounian

Kurt Huggins

‘Swim Wants to Know if it’s as Bad as Swim Thinks’ by Paul Tremblay

Sidecar Preservation Society

TheGreatLeapofShin-KurtHuggins2

“The Great Leap of Shin” (Analog, Jan. 2015). Art by Kurt Huggins.

Show credits

Host/Executive Producer: Scott Nicolay

Co-Host, News From the Weird: Justin Steele

Associate Producer/Show Notes: Anya Martin

Logo Design: Nick “The Hat” Gucker

Music: Michael Griffin

H.P. Lovecraft and Racism Panel from Necronomicon Providence| The Outer Dark: Special Presentation — AUGUST 22, 2015

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“H.P. Lovecraft and Racism: Moving Past the Howies.” A Special Presentation of the Panel at NecronomiCon Providence, Sat. Aug. 22, 2015.

Moderator: Niels Hobbs. Panelists: C. Morgan Grefe, Andrew Leman, Silvia Moreno-Garcia, David Nickle, Faye Ringel.

Panel Description: Lovecraft was a racist. Whether you believe that his racism was only privately expressed in letters (and somehow ignore the racist aspects of his stories) and that his views softened later in life, his racism is now an undeniable aspect of his known personality. So how can we respond to this in a productive manner, and create a weird fiction community that is welcoming of diverse voices? Within this discussion, panelists will explore how Lovecraft’s racism shaped his work, and how contemporary fans can still love the craft without necessarily loving the views.

This archival episode will be available again at This Is Horror soon. In the meantime, subscribe at iTunes  or Blubrry to make sure you don’t miss an episode.

More Links:

http://davidnickle.blogspot.com/2014/08/dont-mention-war-some-thoughts-on-hp.html

http://www.silviamoreno-garcia.com/blog/necronomicon/

http://www.rifuture.org/lovecrafts-racism-a-tough-issue-at-necronomicon-providence.html

http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2015/08/hp-lovecraft-125/401471/

http://www.salon.com/2014/09/11/its_ok_to_admit_that_h_p_lovecraft_was_racist/

http://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/dec/09/move-over-hp-lovecraft-black-fantasy-writers-are-coming-through

Photo credit: Todd Chicoine

 NEXT WEEK’S GUESTS:  s.j. bagley and Simon Strantzas discuss new critical journal Thinking Horror.

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