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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

A Care for Dark Cookery: Sampling the Menu Chez Clint Smith| The Outer Dark: Episode 21 — NOVEMBER 24, 2015

(1) Ghouljaw and Other Stories - FINAL CoverClint Smith talks about his latest story in C M Muller’s journal Nightscript and the excitement of sharing a table of contents with both other established and emerging voices, the strength and good new work in the Weird fiction community now, his first collection Ghouljaw and Other Stories, the weirdness of Henry James’ “The Jolly  Corner,” his repetitious obsession with haunted houses, his knack for crafting titles that resonate, allusions to Night Gallery and The Day of the Locust, his propensity towards young protagonists trapped on the path to adult maturity, the barbershop and other father-son rituals, a favorable comparison to Breece D’J Pancake, when insects intrude into the house, a Bradbury inversion, obstacles and contradictions in the Mythic Indy coverMiddle American town, a pleasant face on the street, his background in the culinary arts, a future work involving race, sex and hierarchy in restaurant kitchens of the 1950s, moving away from the single white male protagonist to use the Weird to engage in more robust relationship issues, his Dunhams Manor chapbook “When It’s Time For Dead Things To Die,” his story “The Fall of Tomlinson Hall” in Mythic Indy, more upcoming work including “Dirt on Vicky” in Year’s Best New Horror 26 edited by Stephen Jones, and his reading recommendations of contemporary Weird writers including Kristi DeMeester, Ralph Robert Moore, Marc E. Fitch and Christopher Slatsky.

YBWF-2 News of the Weird Special Guest: Michael Kelly, editor/publisher of Undertow Publications and 2015 World Fantasy Award nominee for the journal Shadows and Tall Trees, visits The Outer Dark to remind writers, editors and publishers that the deadline draws near for Year’s Best Weird Fiction, Volume 3, edited by Simon Strantzas. Send all submissions (up to 20,000K) to bestweirdfiction@gmail.com before Dec. 31. Michael also previews upcoming 2016 Undertow releases.

xsforeyesAnd Justin Steele joins Scott to review X’s for Eyes, the latest novella by Laird Barron and a JournalStone/Bizarro Pulp Press release in softcover and eBook in December.

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: Robert Levy, author of The Glittering World.

whenitstimeMore Links:

Twitter:  @clintsmithtales

Amazon.com:  Author’s Page

Cooking:  cookingwithclint.com

bnh26-pshttp://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/aug/08/breece-pancake-trilobites-baffled-love

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/mythic-indy-an-anthology-of-short-stories#/

http://www.indystar.com/story/entertainment/2015/11/04/mythic-indy-looking-beyond-legends/75169948/

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

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