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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

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/

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