Scott Nicolay

Ana Kai Tangata

Tag: The Ceremonies

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

Old Weird, New Weird or Just Plain Weird? Panel at World Fantasy Convention 2015 | The Outer Dark: Special Presentation — NOVEMBER 13, 2015

November 7, 2015, World Fantasy Convention, Saratoga Springs, NY

Moderator: Thomas F. Monteleone. Panelists: Ellen Datlow, Michael Kelly, Anya Martin, Maura McHugh, Scott Nicolay

Description: When and where do they converge and converse?

weirdpanel-wfc2015Writers and editors discuss the roots and history of Weird fiction back to Weird Tales, 19th century authors and even The Iliad, editors’ perspectives on the Weird in their own work experiences, the Weird tale as independent of tropes, early definitions of the Weird by Le Fanu as a gothic supernatural tale and Lovecraft as dread-ridden cosmic horror, its evolution to an increasingly fluid and open vision and variety in the explosion of Weird fiction today, tapping into the strangeness of reality and the element of the unexplained but why not all odd stories are weird stories, where Weird tapers and becomes surreal, whether Weird fiction needs darkness as an ingredient and when fantasy and science fiction becomes Weird, writer Gemma Files’ suggestion from the audience that the nuance may lie in how the characters react to the Weird in the story, scares versus unease, David Lynch as Weird filmmaker, why keeping a wide open definition is better for nurturing the Weird, a peek inside the editorial process behind The Year’s Best Weird Fiction and the value of changing editors every year, the growing interest in the weird outside the spec-lit community and the upcoming Wave from Hollywood and mainstream publishing, a possible danger in letting the outside world define the weird, keeping the door open as long as we can, the role of the small presses in driving the Weird explosion, Weird as a pre-existing condition, Weird fiction in the novel form, the future of Weird fiction, the recurring theme in weird fiction of the environment rising up including when the environment is a house, when ghost stories can be weird stories, the etymology of the word “Weird” in the Anglo-Saxon “Wyrd” and its many connotations including fate/destiny/transformation, why the word “Weird” is Weird itself, following the River to an inevitable destiny versus appeal of unpredictability to the reader, Jack Spicer’s Martian, and many, many recommended authors from the 19th century to now.

Thanks to Stephen Barringer for the panel photo.

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://borderlandspress.com/

http://www.hplovecraft.com/writings/texts/essays/shil.aspx

http://weirdfictionreview.com/2011/11/dogme-2011-for-weird-fiction-by-scott-nicolay/

http://weirdfictionreview.com/2014/11/the-expanding-borders-of-area-x/

s.j. bagley and Simon Strantzas: Thinking Horror in the 21st Century, Before and Beyond| The Outer Dark: Episode 10 — SEPTEMBER 8, 2015

thkhrrrs.j. bagley and Simon Strantzas converse about collaborating on their new Thinking Horror journal premiering in October, why it’s important now to have a journal that focuses on the philosophy and criticism of horror, the theme of the first issue “Horror in the 21st Century,” addressing the problematic nature of how the term “horror” is viewed by mainstream movie/reading audiences versus writers, the curse and boon of the horror boom of the 1980s and 1990s, the transgressive possibilities of horror, an ever-wider, ever-deepening field of diverse writers and content, the importance of recovering older weird writers to seeding the Weird Renaissance and the importance of the Weird in horror now, Weird horror as a mode to reconcile the self with an ever-expanding world and the relationship between contemporary Weird fiction and modernism, Asian and African influences on horror and Weird fiction, understanding the different facets through which specific writers see horror, upcoming issue themes, the importance of affordable reprint editions, the future of horror, their reading recommendations including Steven Millhauser, Kristi DeMeester, Michael Wehunt,Daniel Mills, Helen Marshall, and Jeffrey Thomas, and when and where readers can get copies of Thinking Horror (paperback and eBook).

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:

www.thinkinghorror.net

www.valancourtbooks.com

NEXT WEEK’S GUEST: Daniel Mills, author of The Lord Came at Twilight

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