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Tag: The Weird (page 1 of 2)

Stories from the Borderland #8: “Horrer Howce” by Margaret St. Clair

stclairbestMargaret St. Clair seems poised on the edge of rediscovery. Certainly few writers in speculative fiction are more deserving of a revival—or more undeservedly neglected. I know I am not alone in thinking this way, as the VanderMeers included her work in both The Weird and the forthcoming The Big Book of Science Fiction. She receives cover billing on the latter, sixth in a list of eleven, above Philip K. Dick, Ted Chiang, and other brighter draws. Since she is hardly well enough known to serve as a draw, one might interpret their editorial intent as an effort to reestablish her name, half a century past her heyday. Perhaps the revival has already begun. Continue reading

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.”
Continue reading

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

Stories from the Borderland #3: “Or All the Seas With Oysters,” by Avram Davidson

Galaxy_195805When Michael Bukowski and I first conceived this series, our working title was something like “Great Weird Stories Hidden in Plain Sight.” I must take responsibility for that stillborn monstrosity, alas. Fortunately Michael suggested the much more felicitous rubric under which we debuted and now operate. I mention this here because this week’s tale exemplifies that original concept perhaps better than any other. Continue reading

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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