Authors/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 their 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 considerable 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).
News 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).
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Bert and I: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EPGf77t9hRA
Stagecoach Mary: https://www.blackcowboys.com/maryfields.htm
Review of Lovecraft Country by Nisi Shawl: https://www.seattletimes.com/entertainment/books/matt-ruffs-lovecraft-country-horrors-in-1950s-america/
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