Scott Nicolay

Ana Kai Tangata

Tag: Science Fiction (page 1 of 3)

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 #7: “A Walk in the Dark” by Arthur C. Clarke

tws8I was lucky enough to grow up only a few blocks from my hometown’s public library. By the time I was eight or nine and allowed to cross Middlebrook’s busy main street on my own, I became as frequent a visitor there as my father. My family was so familiar to the regular librarians that they never had to look up our number when we checked out books. By the Sixth Grade I had graduated to the adult sections, and I became a habitué of that one aisle just past the entrance on the right, where all the books on one side were marked with blue cloth tags depicting a pipe-smoking mustachioed sleuth, while those opposite bore white squares emblazoned with a red rocketship at the nucleus of a lithium atom. Continue reading

Nisi Shawl and Cynthia Ward: Midwifing the Other: Nurturing Diversity in Weird and Speculative Lit | The Outer Dark: Episode 31 — FEBRUARY 17, 2016

writingtheotherAuthors/editors Nisi Shawl and Cynthia Ward join Scott for a very special show focusing on diversity in Weird and speculative fiction. They start by recounting the story behind the origins of their Writing the Other workshop/book, its connections to Clarion West, the next set of upcoming online classes (March 13), its impact on spec-lit writers over its 25-year history, and their hopes for an updated book to reflect new language and examples. The conversation proceeds to positive directions with diverse characters, how writers need not to be afraid to write what they don’t know but they do need to research, the concept of “parallax” and W.E.B. DuBois, writing the other as a collaborative process, why treating equally or fairly doesn’t mean not seeing color, gender or other differences, rewarding examples of people who learned and gained courage from the Writing the Other program to increase Lost Trails Forgotten Tales of the Weird West Final Cover 6-26-2015their own representation of people of color as characters, teaching the “reptile brain,” the good example of Joe R Lansdale, and midwifing works by Sarah Smith and South African writer Nick Wood (Azanian Bridges. NewCon Press, Nov 2016). Cynthia and Nisi also talk about some of their own written and edited works. Cynthia discusses her edited anthology Lost Trails: Forgotten Tales of the Weird West, which features stories about non-white characters on the frontier, in the context of growing interest in the Weird Western in books, film and graphic novels, a second volume on the way, and several novels in progress, including Night Rising, the first in The Return of the Dark trilogy, an apocalyptic magic story set in Tucson which she calls a “cozy catastrophe.” Nisi reveals some of the back story about Stories for Chip: A Tribute to Samuel R. Delaney, which she co-edited with Bill Campbell (Rosarium Publishing), which has received everfairconsiderable praise, as well as contemplating her interaction with horror and exploring a different relation to death and the status quo in the African diaspora in her 2008 James Tiptree Jr.  Award-winning collection Filter House, confronting steampunk’s embedded imperialism in her upcoming Belgian Congo set novel Everfair (Tor, Sept. 2016), encountering ghosts in her middle grade novel Speculation, and much more. The conversation concludes with their recommended writers including Bill Campbell, J. Comer (Planetary Stories), Ayize Jama-Everett ( whose works include The Liminal War and The Entropy of Bones), Australian feminist writer Sylvia Kelso (The Blackston Gold and The Amberlight series), Aqueduct Press’s L. Timmel Duchamp (The Red Rose Rages Bleeding, The Marq’ssan Cycle, and more), Nigerian writer Tade Thompson (Making Wolf and Rosewater, Sept. 2016), Matt Ruff (Lovecraft Country) and Amy Wolf (The Misses Bronte’s Establishment).

gamutNews From the Weird: Special Guest Richard Thomas gives The Outer Dark listeners an exclusive sneak peek at the exciting plans for his highly anticipated new neo-noir spec-lit fiction magazine Gamut, featuring a who’s who of writers, artists and staff, and its Kickstarter campaign.

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: Will Ludwigsen, author of In Search Of and Others (Lethe Press).

Please vote for The Outer Dark in the People’s Choice Project iRadio Podcast Awards. http://www.projectiradio.com/podcast-awards/

storiesforchipOrder The Outer Dark T-shirts at SkurvyInk: http://skurvyink.com/products/outerdark-shirt

More Links:

Bert and I: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EPGf77t9hRA

Stagecoach Mary: http://www.blackcowboys.com/maryfields.htm

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_Leopold%27s_Ghost

Review of Lovecraft Country by Nisi Shawl: http://www.seattletimes.com/entertainment/books/matt-ruffs-lovecraft-country-horrors-in-1950s-america/

http://www.thedarkhousepress.com/

lovecraftctryShow credits:

Host/Executive Producer: Scott Nicolay

Co-Host, News From the Weird/Producer: Justin Steele

Associate Producer/Show Notes/Publicist: Anya Martin

Logo Design: Nick “The Hat” Gucker

Music: Michael Griffin

Garrett Cook: Narrative Tyranny and the Gilawalrus in the Living Room | The Outer Dark: Episode 28 — JANUARY 21, 2016

Cook-HungryWallsGarrett Cook discusses his latest novel A God of Hungry Walls, an extreme, brutally transgressive and claustrophobic haunted house tale that not only pushes the limits of Bizarro but provides the latest twist on a lineage of “malevolent genius loci” that starts with Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House. Twisted topics include the influence of “growing up in a grim and antiquated place,” i.e. New England, his commitment to make each story “really different,” literary and cinematic influences from Robert Marasco’s Burnt Offerings to Clive Barker’s Coldheart Canyon, uncomfortable intimacy among roommates, using narrative to invoke an unpleasant hypnotic state, his poetry roots, Dante (yes, that Dante), existential psychosis that doesn’t trace back to anything, avoiding haunted house story tropes such as the psychic, the microfiche research scene, the occult detective and the Scooby Doo ending, a Nouveau Roman approach that makes the novel seem like Jack Ketchum’s Last Spring at Marienbad,” the tyrannical nature of surrealism versus Bizarro’s narrative omnipotence, Jeff Burk’s couch, and bench-switching and writing in his own swan spot. Garrett also talks about some of his other works, including his first novel Murderland, his first foray into Bizarro Archelon Ranch, his intentionally historically inaccurate science fiction novel Time Pimp, and his short story collection You Might Just Make It Out of This Alive (Eraserhead Press).

widenerThe conversation then veers to the relationship between weird and Bizarro and Bizarro Central’s New Bizarro Author Series, which Garrett edited, including Karl Fischer’s Towers, Betty Rocksteady’s Arachnophile, Madeleine Swan’s Rainbows Suck, Chris MeekingsElephant Vice, Anthony Trevino’s King Space Void, Christoph Paul’s Slasher Camp for Nerd Dorks, Pedro Proença’s Benjamin and Lee Widener’s Rock n Roll Head Case, which Garrett calls the “absolute buy-ticket-and-ride” of the series or “Bill Plimpton’s Laser Blast.” He also “screams” about Autumn Christian, Danger Slater, and John Skipp, who is publishing them both via his Fungasm Press, a groundbreaking new imprint from Eraserhead. Finally: Garrett’s new performance series in Portland, Ore., Gilbert Road Grotesque, co-hosted by Alicia Graves, and hats.

furnace_cover_sm-662x1024News from the Weird:. Arkham Digest columnist/Strange Aeons fiction editor Justin Steele joins Scott once again with the latest about Livia Llewellyn, Richard Gavin, Xnoybis 2, Nightscript 2, Lost Signals, and more. Then special guest Michael Griffin unveils The Lure of Devouring Light, his much-anticipated first collection, now available for preorder from Word Horde Press and scheduled for release in April 2016. And Justin reviews Christopher Slatsky’s Alectryomancer and Other Weird Tales (Dunhams Manor 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: Mark Shapiro, marketing/brand management at Laika Studios (ParaNorman, Coraline) talks about this innovative stop-motion animation house’s upcoming release Kubo and the Two Strings.

More Links:

http://www.amazon.com/Autumn-Christian/e/B006QJ5USQ

http://www.theionpublishing.com/books/the-benighted-path-primeval-gnosis-and-the-monstrous-soul/

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/

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