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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/

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.

It’s a great drug Ultram intended for the treatment of moderate to severe pain.

More Links:

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

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

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

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/

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.

Craig Laurance Gidney: Writing the Beautiful Mess | The Outer Dark: Episode 14 — OCTOBER 6, 2015

12120007_625217597615975_7812391686514725385_oCraig Laurance Gidney recalls pivotal early experiences at Clarion West 1996 under the tutelage of a blockbuster roster of teachers from Jack Womack to Ellen Datlow, as well as studying under Samuel R. “Chip” Delany in college, remembers recently deceased literary titan Tanith Lee, the transgressive and neodecadant qualities that drew him so passionately to her writing, her courage portraying gay characters and the impact of her work on his own, his most recent anthology, Skin Deep Magic, from Rebel Satori Press, including specific stories such as writing about Richard Bruce Nugent, a gay figure in the Harlem Renaissance, in “Conjuring Shadows” and “Coalrose” which was inspired by Nina Simone, the influence of Aimé Césaire, surrealism and the Négritude movement in skin-deep-magicFrancophone literature, exploring his fascination with lucid dreaming in his latest story The Nectar of Nightmares forthcoming from Dim Shores, writing in the “Beautiful Mess,” engaging with racist imagery, epithets, stereotypes and ideology in stories such as “Lyes,” why he feels it’s okay to like problematic fiction—including HP Lovecraft—as long as you don’t deny the problem, horror as intrinsic to the experience of African Americans, women and other liminal groups versus being about the fear of the other, Toni Morrison‘s Beloved as a horror novel, the current boom of diverse writers in fantastic literature, the often overlooked gay weird, writing from every perspective, why everybody should read Queers Destroy Horror!, ssmhis next novel currently titled Invocations—a contemporary fantasy about a family of outsider artists, and his current reading recommendations including Tom Cardamone, Chesya Burke, Amanda Downum’s Dreams of Shreds and Tatters, and Tanith Lee’s posthumous collection Dancing Through the Fire, which has a theme of coming to peace with death, and A Different City, published just before her passing which he calls “classic top-notch over-the-top gothic goodness” set in Marseilles—“Flaubert if he wrote dark fiction”!

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.

bereft_1_full_nameMore Links:

http://www.lethepressbooks.com/

http://www.tinysatchelpress.com/#!__whats-in-the-satchel

http://www.ferris.edu/jimcrow/

http://weirdfictionreview.com/2013/04/wandering-spirits-traveling-mary-shelleys-frankenstein/

Next week’s guest: Gemma Files, author of The Worm in Every Heart, We Will All Go Down Together, the Hexslinger series, and the forthcoming novel Experimental Film.

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