Scott Nicolay

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Nisi Shawl and Cynthia Ward: Midwifing the Other: Nurturing Diversity in Weird and Speculative Lit | The Outer Dark: Episode 31 — FEBRUARY 17, 2016

writingtheotherAuthors/editors Nisi Shawl and Cynthia Ward join Scott for a very special show focusing on diversity in Weird and speculative fiction. They start by recounting the story behind the origins of their Writing the Other workshop/book, its connections to Clarion West, the next set of upcoming online classes (March 13), its impact on spec-lit writers over its 25-year history, and their hopes for an updated book to reflect new language and examples. The conversation proceeds to positive directions with diverse characters, how writers need not to be afraid to write what they don’t know but they do need to research, the concept of “parallax” and W.E.B. DuBois, writing the other as a collaborative process, why treating equally or fairly doesn’t mean not seeing color, gender or other differences, rewarding examples of people who learned and gained courage from the Writing the Other program to increase Lost Trails Forgotten Tales of the Weird West Final Cover 6-26-2015their own representation of people of color as characters, teaching the “reptile brain,” the good example of Joe R Lansdale, and midwifing works by Sarah Smith and South African writer Nick Wood (Azanian Bridges. NewCon Press, Nov 2016). Cynthia and Nisi also talk about some of their own written and edited works. Cynthia discusses her edited anthology Lost Trails: Forgotten Tales of the Weird West, which features stories about non-white characters on the frontier, in the context of growing interest in the Weird Western in books, film and graphic novels, a second volume on the way, and several novels in progress, including Night Rising, the first in The Return of the Dark trilogy, an apocalyptic magic story set in Tucson which she calls a “cozy catastrophe.” Nisi reveals some of the back story about Stories for Chip: A Tribute to Samuel R. Delaney, which she co-edited with Bill Campbell (Rosarium Publishing), which has received everfairconsiderable praise, as well as contemplating her interaction with horror and exploring a different relation to death and the status quo in the African diaspora in her 2008 James Tiptree Jr.  Award-winning collection Filter House, confronting steampunk’s embedded imperialism in her upcoming Belgian Congo set novel Everfair (Tor, Sept. 2016), encountering ghosts in her middle grade novel Speculation, and much more. The conversation concludes with their recommended writers including Bill Campbell, J. Comer (Planetary Stories), Ayize Jama-Everett ( whose works include The Liminal War and The Entropy of Bones), Australian feminist writer Sylvia Kelso (The Blackston Gold and The Amberlight series), Aqueduct Press’s L. Timmel Duchamp (The Red Rose Rages Bleeding, The Marq’ssan Cycle, and more), Nigerian writer Tade Thompson (Making Wolf and Rosewater, Sept. 2016), Matt Ruff (Lovecraft Country) and Amy Wolf (The Misses Bronte’s Establishment).

gamutNews From the Weird: Special Guest Richard Thomas gives The Outer Dark listeners an exclusive sneak peek at the exciting plans for his highly anticipated new neo-noir spec-lit fiction magazine Gamut, featuring a who’s who of writers, artists and staff, and its Kickstarter campaign.

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.

Next week’s guest: Will Ludwigsen, author of In Search Of and Others (Lethe Press).

Please vote for The Outer Dark in the People’s Choice Project iRadio Podcast Awards. http://www.projectiradio.com/podcast-awards/

storiesforchipOrder The Outer Dark T-shirts at SkurvyInk: http://skurvyink.com/products/outerdark-shirt

More Links:

Bert and I: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EPGf77t9hRA

Stagecoach Mary: http://www.blackcowboys.com/maryfields.htm

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_Leopold%27s_Ghost

Review of Lovecraft Country by Nisi Shawl: http://www.seattletimes.com/entertainment/books/matt-ruffs-lovecraft-country-horrors-in-1950s-america/

http://www.thedarkhousepress.com/

lovecraftctryShow credits:

Host/Executive Producer: Scott Nicolay

Co-Host, News From the Weird/Producer: Justin Steele

Associate Producer/Show Notes/Publicist: Anya Martin

Logo Design: Nick “The Hat” Gucker

Music: Michael Griffin

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

Gemma Files: Every Movie Is a Ghost Story | The Outer Dark: Episode 15 — OCTOBER 13, 2015

Gemma Files goes behind the lens of her new standalone horror novel Experimental Film, its roots in her background as a film critic who has seen more than 5000 movies, the difference between horror in cinema and horror literature, Stephen King, Peter Straub and Clive Barker, the hyper-reality of anything that happens behind the camera, her ongoing fascination with found footage narrative, why inside every movie is a ghost story, the aftertaste of Candyman and swimming deep into Lake Mungo, why she likes people who are monsters, accepting the monster inside herself and writing the monster, how the experience of raising an autistic son and discovering a shared language with him using music and movies has contributed to her own growth and work, why we are attracted to certain narratives and stories, personal narratives and the survival imperative of reframing one’s own narrative versus “collapsing to no one,” her tendency to set stories in war zones and the end of days as not an end but a transformation, moments of transfiguration and decision, crafting language in narrative, rap music, minute details of historical fashion, the unlikely genesis of her Weird western Hexslinger trilogy, opening oneself up to diversity and letting LBGT and culturally diverse characters speak for themselves, why she decided to write deliberatively about women, “Grave Goods,” her story in the upcoming Autumn Cthulhu from Lovecraft eZine about an all-women archaeological dig including a transgender character, how H.P. Lovecraft’s legacy today is to be subverted and how she approached writing for two all-female Lovecraft-themed anthologies, and her current reading recommendations including John Connolly’s short stories, The Book of Lost Things and his Charlie Parker noir novels, which she says are “totally horror” and “make it look effortless,” Adam Nevill, whose most recent book is No One Gets Out Alive and whom she says is ‘the real deal”—”so good and so vicious and so layered and beautifully, beautifully detailed” —and Shirley Jackson Award-winning author Helen Marshall—”My God she can write!”

News From the Weird

Arkham Digest’s Justin Steele joins The Outer Dark as resident reviewer to discuss Gemma Files’ latest novel, Experimental Film.

Birthday Hair sm

Guest Bio:

Former film critic and teacher Gemma Files won the 1999 International Horror Guild short fiction award for her story “The Emperor’s Old Bones,” which appears in her collection The Worm in Every Heart. Both it and her earlier collection, Kissing Carrion, feature stories adapted into episodes of The Hunger, an anthology TV show produced by Ridley and Tony Scott. Her first novel, A Book of Tongues: Volume One of the Hexslinger Series (ChiZine Publications), won a DarkScribe Magazine Black Quill award for “Best Small Press Chill” in both the Editor’s and Readers’ Choice categories. A Rope of Thorns (2011) and A Tree of Bones (2012) complete the trilogy. She is also the author of We Will All Go Down Together: Stories of the Five-Family Coven. Her latest novel, Experimental Film, was released in November 2015 and .

Buy Tramadol is an analgesic that belongs to the list of potent narcotic drugs.

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://www.innsmouthfreepress.com/blog/books/she-walks-in-shadows/

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/dreams-from-the-witch-house-women-of-lovecraft#/

Next week’s guest: Dwayne Olson of Fedogan & Bremer Press discusses the authoritative new two-CD audio release of H.P. Lovecraft‘s sonnet cycle Fungi From Yuggoth.

Craig Laurance Gidney: Writing the Beautiful Mess | The Outer Dark: Episode 14 — OCTOBER 6, 2015

12120007_625217597615975_7812391686514725385_oCraig Laurance Gidney recalls pivotal early experiences at Clarion West 1996 under the tutelage of a blockbuster roster of teachers from Jack Womack to Ellen Datlow, as well as studying under Samuel R. “Chip” Delany in college, remembers recently deceased literary titan Tanith Lee, the transgressive and neodecadant qualities that drew him so passionately to her writing, her courage portraying gay characters and the impact of her work on his own, his most recent anthology, Skin Deep Magic, from Rebel Satori Press, including specific stories such as writing about Richard Bruce Nugent, a gay figure in the Harlem Renaissance, in “Conjuring Shadows” and “Coalrose” which was inspired by Nina Simone, the influence of Aimé Césaire, surrealism and the Négritude movement in skin-deep-magicFrancophone literature, exploring his fascination with lucid dreaming in his latest story The Nectar of Nightmares forthcoming from Dim Shores, writing in the “Beautiful Mess,” engaging with racist imagery, epithets, stereotypes and ideology in stories such as “Lyes,” why he feels it’s okay to like problematic fiction—including HP Lovecraft—as long as you don’t deny the problem, horror as intrinsic to the experience of African Americans, women and other liminal groups versus being about the fear of the other, Toni Morrison‘s Beloved as a horror novel, the current boom of diverse writers in fantastic literature, the often overlooked gay weird, writing from every perspective, why everybody should read Queers Destroy Horror!, ssmhis next novel currently titled Invocations—a contemporary fantasy about a family of outsider artists, and his current reading recommendations including Tom Cardamone, Chesya Burke, Amanda Downum’s Dreams of Shreds and Tatters, and Tanith Lee’s posthumous collection Dancing Through the Fire, which has a theme of coming to peace with death, and A Different City, published just before her passing which he calls “classic top-notch over-the-top gothic goodness” set in Marseilles—“Flaubert if he wrote dark fiction”!

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.

bereft_1_full_nameMore Links:

http://www.lethepressbooks.com/

http://www.tinysatchelpress.com/#!__whats-in-the-satchel

http://www.ferris.edu/jimcrow/

http://weirdfictionreview.com/2013/04/wandering-spirits-traveling-mary-shelleys-frankenstein/

Next week’s guest: Gemma Files, author of The Worm in Every Heart, We Will All Go Down Together, the Hexslinger series, and the forthcoming novel Experimental Film.

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