Scott Nicolay

Ana Kai Tangata

Tag: Do You Like to Look at Monsters

Stories from the Borderland #11: “The Cactus” by Mildred Johnson

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“The Cactus” in its original appearance in Weird Tales, Jan. 1950.

Previous episodes of Stories From the Borderland have already considered how both the comics industry and Hollywood shamelessly plundered the old pulps for story ideas. Theodore Sturgeon’s “It!” (1940) spawned a long lineage of comic book swamp monsters, beginning with Heap in 1942, while the illicit progeny of Joseph Payne Brennan’s “Slime” from The Blob on down are almost as numerous. At least Who Goes There received credit in three out of four film adaptations—although The Crawling Horror did not, even when it was ripped off directly in a comic story with the same title in the November 1954 issue of Terror Tales. Continue reading

E. Elias Merhige: The Greatest Apple You’ll Ever Eat | The Outer Dark: Episode 29 — JANUARY 28, 2016

85307_4070_1433688357_413a0b In possibly the most mind-blowing episode to date, filmmaker E. Elias Merhige (Shadow of the Vampire) traces his path from the genesis of the acclaimed experimental film Begotten to its highly anticipated rebirth in definitive and alternate versions on 35mm and Blu-ray in the near future. He explores and dissects his cinematic vision in the context of a shared interest with the Weird to push boundaries to create beautiful, powerful and terrifying works, recounts his first epiphanal encounters with Nietzsche and Artaud and the birth of his obsession with “art that actually lives,” relates his own creative process to a form of possession culminating in a volcanic eruption, transports listeners back to the life-changing screening of Begotten in Susan Sontag’s New York apartment when he was just age 25, discusses the fertile artistic nexus in the early-to-mid 20th century with surrealism, Dadaism and expressionism, muses on the artist/writer/filmmaker as our culture’s shamans, gets passionate about cinema as alchemy and Shadow1creating film emulsions that act as a lens for exploring meaning, effuses about the CERN Collider (an example of how now there is “more going on in science and biotech than in most art galleries”) and photographs as “life forms,” discusses why he feels more freedom working with lower film budgets, talks about the joy he gets from conversations with his creative contemporaries and his excitement in connecting with the Weird community, draws back the curtains on a beautiful back story involving John Malkovich, cocktail napkins and the powerful train scene in Shadow of the Vampire, provides an eclectic playlist of the music that drives his creativity (Wagner, Iggy Pop, John Cage, Nurse With Wound, Diamanda Galas, Stuart Dempster, and many more) and reveals an intriguing roll of artists, authors, poets and filmmakers who have served as his biggest influences and provocateurs from Homer to Baudelaire, Bely to Ligotti.

The conversation concludes with what’s next for Merhige including making the final feature-length installment of the trilogy that started with Begotten, writing a new film script which relates the Hiroshima bombing through the eyes of schoolchildren, editing the second draft of his first 900-page novel, and culminating with the restoration of Begotten. Included are exclusive announcements about the upcoming Kickstarter campaign for Begotten’s restoration and dynamic details about the endeavor which go beyond your wildest imagination. As Merhige says, ”some exciting shit, my friend.”

throatsprockNews from the Weird:. Arkham Digest columnist/Strange Aeons fiction editor Justin Steele joins Scott for the latest news and a retro review of classic horror novel, Throat Sprockets (1994), by Tim Lucas, editor/publisher of the venerable Video Watchdog. The book was inspired by cinema, has been described as “If JG Ballard wrote Dracula,” and was recommended by author Gemma Files.

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: Simon Strantzas, author of Burnt Black Sons and editor of The Year’s Best Weird 3.

More Links:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E._Elias_Merhige

Begotten on IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0101420/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Begotten

Din of Celestial Birds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XCnp63TbxXw

Suspect Zero trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jJLYRnHk8AE

Brian Jones Presents The Pipes of Pan at Joujouka: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LwEoDGeNyrE

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Death_of_Virgil

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adalbert_Stifter

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Der_Nachsommer

http://weirdfictionreview.com/2012/05/the-dissection/

News From the Weird:

https://vdarcangelo.wordpress.com/

http://perpetualpublishing.com/

https://chthonicmatter.wordpress.com/nightscript/

http://www.darkregions.com/books/new-releases/burnt-black-suns-by-simon-strantzas-deluxe-special-edition

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. 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

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“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

Orrin Grey: Who’s Afraid of the Painted Monster? | The Outer Dark: Episode 19 — NOVEMBER 11, 2015

pm-cov72dpiOrrin Grey, author of Painted Monsters & Other Strange Beasts, shares the secret origins of his latest collection including how artist Nick Gucker deftly worked details from all the stories into a monstrously macabre cover, the dialogue with horror cinema from Universal to Hammer to giallo that runs through his wonderfully plotted works, what he describes as a “Clive Barker influence,” exploring “philosophy” through narrative, using tropes as shorthand but in surprising, unconventional ways, ghost stories not about ghosts as we expect them to be, similarities to Robert Aickman, acknowledging and celebrating dramatic influences from William Shakespeare to William Castle, the extraordinary significance of Peter Bogdanovich’s Targets starring Boris Karloff and how that film juxtaposed an older Gothic, creepy school of horror with the modern paranoia-laced violent horror of the Sixties, scholarly approaches versus jazz riffing on many different traditions of horror film and literature especially in the title story, his love of wax museums, the dialogue between the stories in both of his anthologies, John Langan who wrote the introduction, his obsession with obsession, The Prestige, twin novella finales about selling your soul to the Devil, what he learned about pacing from Mike Mignola and giving the Golem the Universal treatment via Hellboy pulp expressionist styling, affinities with Belgian Weird author Jean Ray and buried Malpertuis in “Painted Monsters,” Old Dark House movies, death as a recurring theme in every single story, what’s next for Orrin Grey including stories, novellas, and a nonfiction book about horror films, talking movies with Gemma Files, musing about seeing his own work someday on film, and his recent reading recommendations including previous The Outer Dark guest Silvia Moreno-Garcia and Amanda Downum.

Justin Steele reviews Orrin Grey’s Painted Monsters & Other Strange Beasts, and joins Scott for this week’s installment of News from the Weird including coverage of World Fantasy Convention 2015 and the World Fantasy Awards, as well as exciting upcoming collections, novels and other works by some of the biggest names in Weird.

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:

https://www.patreon.com/orringrey?ty=h

http://www.paulchadwick.net/

http://www.strange-aeons.com/

Next week’s guest: Mike Davis, editor/publisher of Lovecraft eZine. and the upcoming anthology, Autumn Cthulhu.

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