Scott Nicolay

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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

Dwayne Olson, Fedogan & Bremer, and Fungi From Yuggoth: Less a Dream Than This We Know | The Outer Dark: Episode 16 — OCTOBER 20, 2015

715lhhw5FiLDwayne Olson of Fedogan & Bremer discusses the authoritative new two-CD audio re-release of this legendary horror press’s first audio publication, H.P. Lovecraft‘s sonnet cycle Fungi From Yuggoth, including the back story of the bonus disk with never-before-recorded musical pieces by composer Harold S. Farnese such as “Mirage” and “The Elder Pharos“—the only musical settings of the sonnets approved by Lovecraft himself—shared roots in the discovery of Lovecraft through The Dunwich Horror in the Scholastic Press collection 11 Great Horror Stories (1969), how great Weird writers have been lost through poor estate planning or legal controversies, the early days, ongoing history, mission and camaraderie of Fedogan & Bremer, his own early involvement via publishing works by authors/brothers Howard Wandrei and Donald Wandrei (co-founder with August Derleth of Arkham House), the evolution of the sonnet cycle and Fungi from Yuggoth as an important American poetic work, other Weird Circle poets such as Clark Ashton Smith and the oft-forgotten Joseph Payne Brennan, the recurring theme of finding weird books in bookstores in weird fiction, Lovecraft’s unusual sonnet form choice, echoes of key themes and tropes from Lovecraft’s work in the sonnets, similarities between Lovecraft and Kerouac, the sublime non-horrific ending, why Fungi deserves more attention, the planet Pluto in the news, the challenges of running a specialty press, the popularity of Lovecraft today, and his reading recommendations by more obscure lost writers including Unthinkable by Francis H. Sibson, a pre-WW2 novel in which a stranded Antarctica expedition returns to a post-apocalyptic world, and The Thing from the Lake by Eleanor Ingram, which he describes as Lovecraftian fiction before Lovecraft, as well as what’s next from Fedogan & Bremer including a new John Pelan collection, an alternate Fungi from Yuggoth read by William Hart with music by Graham Plowman, an anthology based on The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari edited by Joseph S Pulver Sr. and much more.

Includes: Audio clip excerpts from sonnets “The Key,” “The Window” and “Continuity,” as well as “Elegy for HP Lovecraft,” composed by Harold S. Farnese.

ALSO: Arkham Digest’s Justin Steele reviews A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay.

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.

71XkyOB77GLMore Links:

http://www.yog-sothoth.com/topic/28899-fungi-from-yuggoth-deluxe-two-disc-set/

http://www.hplovecraft.com/life/friends.aspx

http://diceofdoom.com/blog/2011/05/lovecrafts-inspiration-for-at-the-mountains-of-madness-the-paintings-of-nicholas-roerich/

http://benjaminpercy.com/

Next week’s guest: CM Muller, editor & publisher of the new Weird fiction journal Nightscript.

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