Interview with Eric Schaller
Eric Schaller tells the back story behind his latest collection, Meet Me in the Middle of the Air, including unexpected inspiration from the Old Weird America, i.e. Harry Smith’s Anthology of American Folk Music, and some deep affection for Manly Wade Wellman. The interview then digs deeper into Eric’s creative process exploring disturbing Japanese prints and folklore in his story ‘Hemoglobin,’ his artistic side including collaborating with Jeff VanderMeer on art for Jeff’s Ambergris story cycle, how Eric’s visual work and writing cross-pollinate and differ, the value of first readers with a brief interlude about Stephen King’s Misery, moments of breakthrough in ‘The Parasite,’ why his day job as a biologist feeds Weird fiction more than science fiction, a shared love of comics including Los Bros Hernandez’ Love and Rockets, the inconsistency of memory and ‘The Assistant to Dr. Jacob’ which Ellen Datlow selected for Year’s Best Horror and Fantasy, 16th Ed. (2003), conventions and building a Weird community, the pleasure of working with Michael Kelly of Undertow Books, ‘Story Notes’ as metafiction, and his recommended authors including Mary Rickert, Matthew Cheney, Jeffrey Ford, Carmen Machado, and Sofia Samatar. The discussion also includes meditations on Weird Fiction and the Pizza belt, revelations from The Revelator, the online magazine he co-edits with Matthew Cheney, Weird Tales now and then, next big moves including a ReaderCon appearance, and a reading of ‘The Assistant to Dr. Jacob.’
News From the Weird
(1:49:48) with Arkham Digest columnist/Strange Aeons fiction editor Justin ‘Steely J’ Steele. Steely reviews The Fisherman by John Langan (Word Horde) and ruminates on his current reading of Michael Cisco’s The Divinity Student, followed by a round-up of bizarre bear stories, swimming in Lake Mungo, and recent Weird fiction releases, including recent and future releases from Dim Shores, Hippocampus Press, Paul Tremblay, Richard Gavin, Brian Evenson, and more.
Interview with V.H. Leslie
(2:19:36) V.H. Leslie gets under the skin of her new collection Skein and Bone including her “obsession” with rooms and other physical spaces, the title story ‘Skein and Bone’ and her strategic use of “semantic leaps,” admiration for the language of A.S. Byatt and Angela Carter, exploring linguistic evolution in ‘Wordsmith’ and the evolution of all stories, her pleasure in working with Black Static editor Andy Cox and Undertow Books‘ Michael Kelly, a hint of Robert Aickman but with feminist twists, responding to Jane Eyre and Charlotte Perkins Gilman ‘The Yellow Wallpaper,’ her research into “fallen” and drowned women in the late 19th century for her upcoming novella ‘Bodies of Water’ (Salt Publishing; preorder link), from which she also later reads an excerpt, and how it inspired her to explore The Erotics of Water in folklore as her dissertation topic, the origami origins of ‘Senbazuru,’ a Wuthering Heights “vibe” throughout Skein and Bone, a keen awareness of landscape and history with examples from a variety of authors especially Thomas Hardy’s Return of the Native, what’s next for her fiction, and her recommended current authors Priya Sharma, Carole Johnstone, James Everington, Helen Marshall, and Alison Moore.
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Eric Schaller interview
V.H. Leslie interview
Host/Executive Producer: Scott Nicolay
Co-Host, News From the Weird: Justin Steele
Associate Producer/Show Notes: Anya Martin
Logo Design: Nick “The Hat” Gucker
Music: Michael Griffin
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