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TOD 009 Alistair Rennie: Metaphysical Swordplay or The Ever Decreasing Circle of Bleak Expectations

In this podcast Scott Nicolay interviews Alistair Rennie, author of BleakWarrior. This broadcast also includes the return of co-host Justin Steele and Gabino Iglesias (LitReactorZero Saints) reviews The Twenty Days of Turin by Giorgio De Maria.

Please join us in Atlanta on March 25 for The Outer Dark Symposium on the Greater Weird (Purchase tickets at Indiegogo campaign link here or support by buying books, T-shirts & more!). And as always we welcome our show sponsor, Tanis Podcast (0:0:18 and 2:13:05). Thank you, Bob Pastorella!

Show Notes

(0:0:48) Alistair Rennie joins Scott and “dashing” co-host Justin Steele to venture behind the warped blades of BleakWarrior from its “movie moment” big break in Jeff and Ann VanderMeer’s groundbreaking New Weird anthology to how it almost became a graphic novel and ultimately developed into his acclaimed transgressive debut novel. The ensuing word-parlay explores how Alistair built the visual quality and powerful precision of his prose pushing the narrative deep into Uncanny Valley—or as he puts it, his principle of taking everything to “extremes” —the book’s literary uniqueness pushing beyond the realms of pulp/lowbrow/bizarro, its wild metaphorical concepts inspired by metaphysical poets of the 17th century, off-balancing complexity with fun, the attraction of chaos, compulsion-driven characters, the particular pleasure of penning the Sisters of No Mercy, Shakespearean tragedy meets Michael Moorcock and Robert E. Howard, sword and sorcery with metaphysics versus magic, his insane and sometimes “metal” character names (!), weaponry and identity, a MetaWarrior trilogy, spin-offs, a not totally unexpected Dickensian interlude, 19th century storytelling, future MetaWarrior “cabals,” wandering the Scottish moors, and much more. In the midst of the mayhem, Rennie also reads an excerpt from BleakWarrior (0:38:54) and as a special exclusive treat for listeners, a piece from its upcoming sequel (1:30:20), as well as creating MetaWarrior names for Scott and Justin, and recommending some of his favorite current Weird writers including Anya Martin, Michael Griffin, Damien Angelica Walters, and Neil Williamson.

News from the Weird

(01:52:30) Scott, Justin, and Gabino Iglesias (LitReactorZero Saints) discuss the latest news in Weird fiction including the release of Black Feathers: Dark Avian Tales edited by Ellen Datlow, Undertow Publications’ 2017 Subscription Series, and Chuck Tingle. Also Gabino reviews the first English translation of cult classic novel The Twenty Days of Turin by Giorgio De Maria (2:00:50).

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Additional Links

Venus on the Half-Shell by Philip José Farmer

Idlewild by Nick Sagan

Ross Lockhart

Karl Edward Wagner

D.P. Watt

Sunny Moraine

The Dragon in the Sea by Frank Herbert

NPR Review of The Twenty Days of Turin by Giorgio De Maria

Artist Giorgio De Chirico

Show Credits

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 Griffinanya


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