Michael Kelly and Kathe Koja talk about editing Year’s Best Weird Fiction, Vol. 2,, the overarching vision behind the Year’s Best Weird Fiction series and much more. The conversation begins with their gratification at the thoughtful reviews of the second volume, Kathe’s excitement when first asked to edit, how they collaborated on the editorial process, the decision to include not just contemporary authors but the first English translations of deceased Weird masters such as Argentinian master Julio Cortázar and Belgian fabulist Jean Muno, Kathe’s comparison of the story selection process to composing a symphony, similarities and differences working with four different guest editors (Laird Barron, Kathe, Simon Strantzas [Vol. 3] and Helen Marshall who will be editing Vol. 4), casting a wide net as an organic way to achieve gender balance and diversity, embracing an expansive view of the Weird, YBW facilitating the discovery of new authors, the fine art of judging bests/awards and looking out for the one who brings the “metaphorical chicken,” the Weird as the “closest mode of fiction to the way the brain works,” the Weird as absorbing the vital parts of New Weird/New Fabulist/slipstream/interstitial/horror, sushi-shaming, the stunning covers by artists Santiago Caruso (1), Tomasz Alen Kopera (2), Beatriz Martin Vidal (3), working with book designer Vince Haig, sourcing from single-author collections to spec-lit and mainstream lit publications not associated with the Weird, occasional frustrations in rights negotiations, the fine art of translation and international authors that can be classified as Weird, a quick anecdote about Eraserhead, their biggest takeaways of working together on Vol. 2, origins of the series, looking ahead to Vol. 3 and even Vol. 4, Kathe’s immersive performative fiction project nerve based in Detroit from her own Under the Poppy to Dracula, unreliable narrators and Wuthering Heights, a brief Doctor Faustus/Christopher Marlowe interlude, and a few of their recommended authors including Priya Sharma and Charles Wilkinson (Michael), as well as Paul Witcover and Maryse Meijer.
Send submissions (stories published for the first time in 2016) for Year’s Best Weird Fiction Vol. 4 to firstname.lastname@example.org.
News From the Weird: Arkham Digest columnist/Strange Aeons fiction editor Justin “Steely J” Steele returns to review Meet Me in the Middle, the new collection by Eric Schaller, also from Undertow Publications. Also, news from Dim Shores, Shock Totem, a much anticipated new audio book, and Ellen Datlow!
Order The Outer Dark T-shirts at SkurvyInk: https://skurvyink.com/products/outerdark-shirt
Eraserhead chicken scene: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hyB4Vx-TavQ
Undertow subscription deal: https://www.undertowbooks.com/2016-subscription/
Livia Llewellyn’s Furnace: https://wordhorde.com/books/furnace/
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