Scott Nicolay

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Tag: Mexico

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

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.” 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/

John C. Foster: On the Road of a Dark Americana | The Outer Dark: Episode 23 — DECEMBER 15, 2015

Dead-Men-updated-coverJohn C. Foster unburies the genesis of his Libros de Inferno trilogy (Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing) which starts with Dead Men, playing in an ugly rough reality that is slipping and in decay, how he develops his storytelling via set pieces and way stations, his repulsion for spoon-feeding readers, his fascination with the concept of dread and creating a sense of jeopardy even for a tough guy, aiming for a dark Americana, Dead Men’s setting in Texas and northern Mexico, moving the second novel Night Roads (Oct. 2016) to Louisiana, blending hard-boiled and noir with more horrific elements, square-jawed heroes versus flawed characters in new lives, a dialogue with Frankenstein’s creation, writing as a corridor with many windows and doors, a Star Wars interlude, his influences including Stephen King, Raymond Chandler and Donald Westlake’s Parker novels, his other upcoming novel which is a dark espionage thriller called Mr. White (Grey Matter Press, March 2016), why you should “get out of the way when you see that Foster-John Smith sketchblack Cadillac coming,” using Mad Max as a structural model, epic narratives such as Gilgamesh and the notion of demi-Gods, revealing character through action, burial suits, damned books, occult versus super-science, the fearlessness of Laird Barron, what’s next for John including another novel, collection and upcoming short stories including “Dead Air” in the highly anticipated Lost Signals, edited by Max Booth III, and his reading recommendations of other contemporary writers to watch including Peter Straub (Koko), Josh Malerman (Bird Box), Paul Tremblay (A Head Full of Ghosts) and Thomas Ligotti (Penguin editions).

case6.000x9.000.inddNews of the Weird with Justin Steele includes the monumental anthology Leena Krohn: Collected Fiction and the VanderMeer Winter Mix StoryBundle which also includes eBooks of Anna Tambour’s Crandolin, Michael Cisco’s The Narrator, and seven other exciting works, an exciting offer which expires on Dec. 31. Also another major story reveal from Lost Signals, edited by Max Booth III, another upcoming Laird Barron novella, an update on Lovecraft eZine’s Autumn Cthulhu Kickstarter, the Ramsey Campbell tribute anthology The Children of Gla’aki. edited by Brian M. Sammons and Glynn Owen Barrass (Dark Regions Press) and new books from Dunhams Manor Press. Plus, a clue about Stories from the Borderland #3, posting tomorrow at www.ScottNicolay.com and artist Michael Bukowski’s yogblogsoth.

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: Laird Barron and Justin Steele join Scott for a roundtable on The State of the Weird 2016.

More Links:

http://chizinepub.com/books/license-expired

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

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

H.P. Lovecraft and Racism Panel from Necronomicon Providence| The Outer Dark: Special Presentation — AUGUST 22, 2015

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“H.P. Lovecraft and Racism: Moving Past the Howies.” A Special Presentation of the Panel at NecronomiCon Providence, Sat. Aug. 22, 2015.

Moderator: Niels Hobbs. Panelists: C. Morgan Grefe, Andrew Leman, Silvia Moreno-Garcia, David Nickle, Faye Ringel.

Panel Description: Lovecraft was a racist. Whether you believe that his racism was only privately expressed in letters (and somehow ignore the racist aspects of his stories) and that his views softened later in life, his racism is now an undeniable aspect of his known personality. So how can we respond to this in a productive manner, and create a weird fiction community that is welcoming of diverse voices? Within this discussion, panelists will explore how Lovecraft’s racism shaped his work, and how contemporary fans can still love the craft without necessarily loving the views.

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://davidnickle.blogspot.com/2014/08/dont-mention-war-some-thoughts-on-hp.html

http://www.silviamoreno-garcia.com/blog/necronomicon/

http://www.rifuture.org/lovecrafts-racism-a-tough-issue-at-necronomicon-providence.html

http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2015/08/hp-lovecraft-125/401471/

http://www.salon.com/2014/09/11/its_ok_to_admit_that_h_p_lovecraft_was_racist/

http://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/dec/09/move-over-hp-lovecraft-black-fantasy-writers-are-coming-through

Photo credit: Todd Chicoine

 NEXT WEEK’S GUESTS:  s.j. bagley and Simon Strantzas discuss new critical journal Thinking Horror.

Silvia Moreno-Garcia: Never Touch the Record | The Outer Dark: Episode 6 — JULY 28, 2015

signaltonoiseSilvia Moreno-Garcia discusses her transition from short fiction to her novel Signal to Noise, the appeal of the short standalone novel, how growing up in Mexico City has influenced her writing and the importance of place, setting and neighborhood in developing her narrative, her next novel tentatively titled Young Blood, an urban fantasy about Mexican drug-dealing narco vampires (an expansion of her short story “Puddle of Blood”) which she characterizes as “the least romantic vampire romance” and a love letter to the Novela Negra, a form of crime noir in Spanish speaking countries, how spec-lit is different in Spanish-speaking countries and its social power as a literary mode to take on political issues (similar to Russian SF&F, Orwell, or Huxley), optimistic vs pessimistic/realist spec-lit and the disturbing futures of Mexico and Canada, why you should never touch the record that she’s playing, growing up in radio stations, the importance of the name Vincent, her master’s thesis on eugenics in H.P. Lovecraft’s fiction, Erskine Caldwell and The Dunwich Horror, C.L. Moore and her mastery of the weird tale, female protagonists, her other future projects including She Walks in Shadows, the first all-women Lovecraft anthology, and work as editor/publisher of Innsmouth Free Press, the importance of the spec-lit small press and why people should read more women writers including Livia Llewellyn. Angela Slatter, Molly Tanzer and Carmen Maria Machado, and what she’ll be up to as a guest of honor at NecronomiCon August 20-23, 2015 in Providence, RI.

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.

Additional Links:

http://www.silviamoreno-garcia.com/blog/

http://www.innsmouthfreepress.com/

NEXT WEEK’S GUEST:  Damien Angelica Walters, author of Sing Me Your Scars

 

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