In this podcast Scott Nicolay interviews Marc Laidlaw, author of White Spawn, and Alyssa Wong, author of Nebula and World Fantasy Award-winning “Hungry Daughters of Starving Mothers.” Find out more and listen here.
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
Laird 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.
Plus 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.
Gemma Files goes behind the lens of her new standalone horror novel Experimental Film, its roots in her background as a film critic who has seen more than 5000 movies, the difference between horror in cinema and horror literature, Stephen King, Peter Straub and Clive Barker, the hyper-reality of anything that happens behind the camera, her ongoing fascination with found footage narrative, why inside every movie is a ghost story, the aftertaste of Candyman and swimming deep into Lake Mungo, why she likes people who are monsters, accepting the monster inside herself and writing the monster, how the experience of raising an autistic son and discovering a shared language with him using music and movies has contributed to her own growth and work, why we are attracted to certain narratives and stories, personal narratives and the survival imperative of reframing one’s own narrative versus “collapsing to no one,” her tendency to set stories in war zones and the end of days as not an end but a transformation, moments of transfiguration and decision, crafting language in narrative, rap music, minute details of historical fashion, the unlikely genesis of her Weird western Hexslinger trilogy, opening oneself up to diversity and letting LBGT and culturally diverse characters speak for themselves, why she decided to write deliberatively about women, “Grave Goods,” her story in the upcoming Autumn Cthulhu from Lovecraft eZine about an all-women archaeological dig including a transgender character, how H.P. Lovecraft’s legacy today is to be subverted and how she approached writing for two all-female Lovecraft-themed anthologies, and her current reading recommendations including John Connolly’s short stories, The Book of Lost Things and his Charlie Parker noir novels, which she says are “totally horror” and “make it look effortless,” Adam Nevill, whose most recent book is No One Gets Out Alive and whom she says is ‘the real deal”—”so good and so vicious and so layered and beautifully, beautifully detailed” —and Shirley Jackson Award-winning author Helen Marshall—”My God she can write!”
Arkham Digest’s Justin Steele joins The Outer Dark as resident reviewer to discuss Gemma Files’ latest novel, Experimental Film.
Former film critic and teacher Gemma Files won the 1999 International Horror Guild short fiction award for her story “The Emperor’s Old Bones,” which appears in her collection The Worm in Every Heart. Both it and her earlier collection, Kissing Carrion, feature stories adapted into episodes of The Hunger, an anthology TV show produced by Ridley and Tony Scott. Her first novel, A Book of Tongues: Volume One of the Hexslinger Series (ChiZine Publications), won a DarkScribe Magazine Black Quill award for “Best Small Press Chill” in both the Editor’s and Readers’ Choice categories. A Rope of Thorns (2011) and A Tree of Bones (2012) complete the trilogy. She is also the author of We Will All Go Down Together: Stories of the Five-Family Coven. Her latest novel, Experimental Film, was released in November 2015 and .
Next week’s guest: Dwayne Olson of Fedogan & Bremer Press discusses the authoritative new two-CD audio release of H.P. Lovecraft‘s sonnet cycle Fungi From Yuggoth.