This week The Outer Dark welcomes Niels Hobbs, executive director of the Lovecraft Arts and Sciences Council and prime mover behind the biennial NecronomiCon Providence. Niels discusses why he and others resurrected this convention after a dozen years of dormancy and its emergence as the essential summit for writers, editors, artists and academics in the world of H.P. Lovecraft and weird fiction, the transformative nature of NecronomiCon 2013 as a catalyst in the Weird Renaissance, the exponential growth of contemporary high-quality Weird fiction, the small press explosion and its mutual support network, the importance of pie, the generally good-hearted nature of the weird fiction community, his early love of fiction and the arts, Lovecraft as a gateway drug on the way to the complex, vibrant and international continuum of the Weird, punk rock, marine biology, the unique weirdness of Providence, confronting and moving beyond racism/sexism/homophobia in Lovecraft’s work and some corners of his fandom, the fantastic array of artists embracing the Weird today and the joy of assembling the Ars Necronomica exhibitions of 2013 and 2015, more triumphs and challenges of the 2015 NecronomiCon, and looking ahead to NecronomiCon 2017 (Aug. 17-20, 2017) without abandoning Lovecraft but expanding to a broader, more diverse, global vision of the Weird. Niels also reveals some of the names on his dream guest list for 2017 including Ann and Jeff VanderMeer, Ellen Datlow, Chesya Burke, Craig Laurance Gidney, Jayaprakash Satyamurthy, Usman T. Malik, Junji Ito, and others.
Next week’s guest: Nick Gucker, AKA “Nick the Hat,” cover artist and illustrator