Scott Nicolay

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Tag: Ann VanderMeer (page 2 of 3)

Stories from the Borderland #5: “La scolopendre” by Jean Ray

Ray-LGN2A double veil extends between the monoglot Anglophone reader and Jean Ray’s oeuvre. As with Joseph Payne Brennan, with whom Michael and I began this series several weeks ago, death and subsequent estate issues choked off the publication of much of his work for decades, but of course it is the immense and elemental barrier of Babel that yet separates most of his work from readers in the Anglosphere. The Belgian School of the Weird produced many great authors, but even from amongst the ranks of Anne Richter, Thomas Owen, Franz Hellens, and Jean Muno, only Raymundus Joannes de Kremer, AKA Jean Ray, rose to the status of “the Belgian Poe.”
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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

https://whatdoesnotkillme.com/2015/12/22/gamut/

https://www.facebook.com/mantidmagazine/?pnref=lhc

https://mantidmagazine.tumblr.com/

Nightscript: https://chthonicmatter.wordpress.com/

Stories from the Borderland: https://scottnicolay.com/blog/

Stories from the Borderland #4: “Beyond the Dead Reef” by James Tiptree, Jr.

tip2Nothing is what it seems to be chez Tiptree, least of all, Tiptree. Don’t think for a moment that knowing their legal name was Alice Sheldon, AKA Raccoona, AKA Alli, leaves you on any solid ground. Our subject is a psychologist who helped forge the modern CIA from the disjointed remnants of the OSS—and who was still leaking classified information in their first novel over a decade after they supposedly left The Agency. They must have been a regular terror at the old “tell me three things about yourself, one of which is a lie” game. Consider how well a CIA psychologist could fuck with your mind. After they pinched a pseudonym from a venerable UK manufacturer of marmalades they found they could fuck with more minds than ever through the medium of fiction. 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.

However, as these drugs cause addiction and their action becomes less expressed, Tramadol 100mg is just a step between the NSAIDs and narcotic analgesics.

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:

https://borderlandspress.com/

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

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

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

Orrin Grey: Who’s Afraid of the Painted Monster? | The Outer Dark: Episode 19 — NOVEMBER 11, 2015

pm-cov72dpiOrrin Grey, author of Painted Monsters & Other Strange Beasts, shares the secret origins of his latest collection including how artist Nick Gucker deftly worked details from all the stories into a monstrously macabre cover, the dialogue with horror cinema from Universal to Hammer to giallo that runs through his wonderfully plotted works, what he describes as a “Clive Barker influence,” exploring “philosophy” through narrative, using tropes as shorthand but in surprising, unconventional ways, ghost stories not about ghosts as we expect them to be, similarities to Robert Aickman, acknowledging and celebrating dramatic influences from William Shakespeare to William Castle, the extraordinary significance of Peter Bogdanovich’s Targets starring Boris Karloff and how that film juxtaposed an older Gothic, creepy school of horror with the modern paranoia-laced violent horror of the Sixties, scholarly approaches versus jazz riffing on many different traditions of horror film and literature especially in the title story, his love of wax museums, the dialogue between the stories in both of his anthologies, John Langan who wrote the introduction, his obsession with obsession, The Prestige, twin novella finales about selling your soul to the Devil, what he learned about pacing from Mike Mignola and giving the Golem the Universal treatment via Hellboy pulp expressionist styling, affinities with Belgian Weird author Jean Ray and buried Malpertuis in “Painted Monsters,” Old Dark House movies, death as a recurring theme in every single story, what’s next for Orrin Grey including stories, novellas, and a nonfiction book about horror films, talking movies with Gemma Files, musing about seeing his own work someday on film, and his recent reading recommendations including previous The Outer Dark guest Silvia Moreno-Garcia and Amanda Downum.

Justin Steele reviews Orrin Grey’s Painted Monsters & Other Strange Beasts, and joins Scott for this week’s installment of News from the Weird including coverage of World Fantasy Convention 2015 and the World Fantasy Awards, as well as exciting upcoming collections, novels and other works by some of the biggest names in Weird.

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:

https://www.patreon.com/orringrey?ty=h

https://www.paulchadwick.net/

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

Next week’s guest: Mike Davis, editor/publisher of Lovecraft eZine. and the upcoming anthology, Autumn Cthulhu.

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