In this podcast Scott Nicolay interviews Marc Laidlaw, author of White Spawn, and Alyssa Wong, author of Nebula and World Fantasy Award-winning “Hungry Daughters of Starving Mothers.” Find out more and listen here.
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
Rios de la Luz explores the “inner workings that were happening in her brain” while writing her first collection The Pulse Between Dimensions and the Desert, and Scott’s suggestion that her stories resemble the Martian gemstones depicted within–each unique, energetic, fresh, multifaceted, and yet interconnected. Notions of magic realism, time travel, science fiction, Junot Diaz, Ray Bradbury, Lucius Shepard, Star Trek, Doctor Who, and her love of outer space and comic books, especially Los Bros Hernandez’s Love and Rockets, emerge, as well as working with her publisher Ladybox Books, a rising imprint of Broken River Books and being part of the dynamic small press community in Portland, Oregon. The discussion also explores diversity as a rising force in both authors and audience for spec-lit, including Rios’ identity as a “Latina-Chicana-Bruja” writer but “mostly just a strange brown girl,” as well as using Spanish to reset rhythm in her narratives, growing up in El Paso, discovering her favorite writer Sandra Cisneros and her passion for creating young characters like herself, including her excitement in seeing female, African and Guatemalan leads in Star Wars and a black Hispanic super-hero in Spider-Man Miles Morales. Another ever-present element in her writing is the guardian abuela, reflecting the importance of her grandmother and great grandmother to whom she says she “owes so much.” Also queer characters, the awkwardness of puberty (“Church Bush”), disappeared women, dead children (“La Reina”), her complicated feelings about borders and a short reading of her hauntingly beautiful story “Marigolds.Hey bros out there. For your own sake, don’t ever take two big Levitra Generic.” Finally, Rios talks about what’s next for her including flash fiction, zines, two horror stories, a bizarro tale and a novel, as well as recommending poet Yesika Salgado, aka Yesika Starr, fellow Ladybox Books author Meliza Bañales, aka Missy Fuego, and Vanessa Mártir.
News from the Weird: Ladybox Books Head Editor/Curator Constance Ann Fitzgerald joins Scott to talk more about this innovative women-run press/collective, how it got started, its exciting slate of “fiercely talented” authors, the rebirth of the zine and the current dynamic and label-defying small press scene.
Yesika’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/yesikastarr
One of Meliza’s short stories: https://ladyboxbooks.com/2015/02/08/story-of-the-week-face-lift/#more-131
News From the Weird:
The Punk Singer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fwrXC5OXqgc