Scott Nicolay

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Tag: John Pelan (page 1 of 2)

Stories from the Borderland #10: “Who Goes There?” by John W. Campbell and “The Crawling Horror” by Thorp McClusky

AVONFR61948 “We must make friends with the many-tentacled alien idea.”
—John H. Lienhard, “Medicine and Maggots”

Hardly a week goes by without at least one reference to John Carpenter’s 1982 masterpiece The Thing appearing in my Facebook feed. No other film has wound its way so deeply into the collective psyche of the quirky amorphous Weird Fiction community that comprises the largest single segment of my social network. Although Carpenter’s film is essentially a science fiction film in its elements and a work of horror in its structure, a powerful consensus clearly exists that it constitutes the finest and purest exemplar of The Weird in cinema. Interestingly its closest rivals to this title, Alien (1979) and Phase IV (1974), are also science fiction/horror hybrids. This aspect of The Weird’s manifestation on the screen deserves further exploration…but not right now, not while we have other dark fissures to explore. Continue reading

Stories from the Borderland #9: “Feesters in the Lake” by Bob Leman

feesters-midnighthouseSeveral years ago John Pelan and I were shooting pool at Sammy C’s in Gallup, New Mexico. As usual, he was running the table, and also as usual we were shooting the shit about Weird Fiction. I put forth the proposition that H.P. Lovecraft’s oeuvre really only offered at most half a dozen or so genuinely great stories, and after that the drop-off comes on steep as the continental shelf—for the record, my picks are “The Colour Out of Space,” “The Dunwich Horror,” “The Call of Cthulhu,” “The Shadow Over Innsmouth,” “The Outsider,” and maybe “The Music of Erich Zann.” I’m open to a discussion of “Pickman’s Model,” “The Festival,” and maybe a few others, but that’s pretty much it. Continue reading

Helen Marshall: Lessons in the Raising of the Monsters in the Basement | The Outer Dark: Episode 26 — JANUARY 5, 2016

Boy Eating

Boy Eating

Awards seem to come naturally, or perhaps supernaturally to Helen Marshall whose words weave threads across horror, dark fantasy and into the Weird. Her most recent collection Gifts for the One Who Comes After (ChiZine Publications, 2014) earned her both a World Fantasy Award and a Shirley Jackson Award, and is shortlisted for the ReLit Awards which honor the best new works from Canadian independent publishers. Her first collection Hair Side Flesh Side (ChiZine Publications, 2012) won the British Fantasy Sydney J Bounds Award for Best Newcomer.

Helen traces her transition from small town Ontario to poet to a PhD in Medieval Studies to managing editor for ChiZine Publications to short story writer and now novelist (she hopes to finish her first novel Icarus Kids, which draws on her Medievalist background and explores “plague, denial and apocalypse” this week). She also discusses how the writing community sustains her work, a certain unencumbered freedom in current Canadian spec-lit, and the strong indie press movement in Canada including ChiZine and Undertow Publications. References are made to Robert Aickman including Helen’s unexpected fondness for his story “The Swords” and a shared philosophy of endings, as well as Clive Barker, Stephen King, Etgar Keret

Boy Eating

Boy Eating

and Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Helen takes us on a wild ride, peeling back the skin of her imagination including playing with the “rules” of genre, the capaciousness of the Weird, the strange economy of medieval relics, where magic realism and absurdism and medievalism intersect, and how personal transitions provoked her to engage the “monster in the basement” of her second collection: Legacy. They delve deeply into the archaeology of specific stories including “Sanditon” which plays off the concept of “body as book” in Medieval lit, “Ship House” which explores a legacy of violence inherited from her South African mother, her recurring theme of offbeat consumerism meets a childish sense of make-believe turned disturbingly real in such tales as “Supply Limited, Act Now” about kids in an idyllic Bradburyesque community who order a shrink ray that works, and more. Finally, Helen recommends Indian author Indra Das (The Devourers), recent The Outer Dark guest Gemma Files (especially her recent novel Experimental Film), and Nina Allan (The Race).

News from the Weird: Arkham Digest columnist/Strange Aeons fiction editor Justin Steele reviews a weird work from the Vault, Matt Cardin’s Divinations of the Deep (Ash-Tree Press, 2002), an excellent collection of five cosmic horror stories that may lurk just outside the radar of some readers recently discovering the Weird.

Then Mike Davis, editor of Lovecraft eZine, joins Scott and Justin again to talk about exciting Kickstarter stretch goals for his highly anticipated Autumn Cthulhu anthology and more. Plus two new fiction magazines and a major Weird market now reopened to submissions, as well as another author reveal from the much anticipated Lost Signals anthology (ed. Max Booth III/Perpetual Motion Machine Press).

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: Rios de la Luz, author of The Pulse Between Dimensions and the Desert.

More links:

https://www.facebook.com/gamutmagazine/?fref=ts

http://whatdoesnotkillme.com/2015/12/22/gamut/

https://www.facebook.com/mantidmagazine/?pnref=lhc

http://mantidmagazine.tumblr.com/

Nightscript: https://chthonicmatter.wordpress.com/

Stories from the Borderland: http://scottnicolay.com/blog/

Laird Barron & Justin Steele: The State of The Weird 2015 | The Outer Dark: Episode 24 — DECEMBER 22, 2015

X's for Eyes state of the weird 1000pxLaird Barron and Justin Steele join host Scott Nicolay in the most epic episode of The Outer Dark yet. Laird updates listeners on what he’s been working on lately, including his new review columns at Dark Discoveries and Locus, Justin discusses his vision as new fiction editor, columnist and reviewer for Strange Aeons, as well as more future anthology plans with Ross Lockhart. And Scott reveals some plans as well including his next collection in 2017, editing a short story collection of works by John D. Keefauver for Lethe Press, and more. The three then dive deep into a discussion of all the “good stuff out there” released in 2015 and upcoming in 2016 in weird fiction, especially short stories and so many must-have collections and anthologies. One stand-out in late 2015 is the “wonderful” and historic Cassilda’s Song, edited by Joseph S Pulver Sr. and featuring a who’s who of not just the top women writing weird fiction today but some of the very best authors and stories of the year period. In 2016, new collections from Laird Barron, John Langan, Livia Llewellyn, Jeffrey Ford, and Brian Evenson lead the pack of highly anticipated publications, as well as collections such as Autumn Cthulhu (ed. Mike Davis/Lovecraft eZine) and Lost Signals (ed. Max Booth III/Perpetual Motion Machine Press), a major new novel by the consistently excellent Stephen Graham Jones and many more writers and editors driving the Weird Renaissance.

YBWF-2Plus the Roundtable discusses innovative takes on werewolves, different types of rejections, the small press boom and its sustainability, the economics of limited editions, advice to authors on strategies to grow careers, the loss of some titans (Joel Lane, Michael Shea, Lucius Shepard, Melanie Tem, Tanith Lee) in recent years, why writers should embrace and savor weird and horror influences, the Weird’s big move into major publishing and cinema/TV, heading into the third annual Year’s Best Weird Fiction, key editors and publishers (including Ellen Datlow, Michael Kelly, Ross Lockhart, Simon Strantzas, and more), where Bizarro and Weird meet and diverge, and much more.

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: Henry Lien, author of “The Ladies’ Aquatic Gardening Society” (Asimov’s, June 2015) and more.

cassilda's songMore Links:

http://jonathanstrahan.podbean.com/

http://weirdfictionreview.com/2011/11/dogme-2011-for-weird-fiction-by-scott-nicolay/

http://www.eibonvalepress.co.uk/books/books_scarcity.htm

http://www.lethepressbooks.com/

http://dimshores.apps-1and1.com/

http://smallbeerpress.com/

http://journalstone.com/

autumn-cthulhu-midsizehttp://dunhamsmanor.com/

http://centipedepress.com/

http://www.undertowbooks.com/

http://chizinepub.com/

http://perpetualpublishing.com/

http://www.fedoganandbremer.com/

Stories from the Borderland #3: “Or All the Seas With Oysters,” by Avram Davidson

Galaxy_195805When Michael Bukowski and I first conceived this series, our working title was something like “Great Weird Stories Hidden in Plain Sight.” I must take responsibility for that stillborn monstrosity, alas. Fortunately Michael suggested the much more felicitous rubric under which we debuted and now operate. I mention this here because this week’s tale exemplifies that original concept perhaps better than any other. Continue reading

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