TOD 020 Two Weird Panels: ‘Rise of Weird Fiction’ at WorldCon 75 and ‘The Weird in Weird Fiction’ at Fantasycon 2017

In this podcast The Outer Dark presents two panels: ‘Rise of Weird Fiction’ at WorldCon 75 (Helsinki, Finland) featuring Helen Marshall (moderator), Siobhan Carroll, Hal Duncan, Shivaun Hoad, Pete Sutton, and ‘The Weird in Weird Fiction’ from Fantasycon 2017 (Peterborough, UK) featuring Phil Sloman (moderator), Stephen Laws, Tim Major, Helen Marshall, Alistair Rennie, Paul Woodward. Also, Helen Marshall joins Scott to introduce and discuss the panels, conventions, and editing Year’s Best Weird Fiction, Vol. 4. The panels were recorded live on Friday August 11 and Sunday October 1.

Introductions & Epilogue

In exclusive new introductory and epilogue segments to both panels (00:00:18 & 00:55:32), author/editor Helen Marshall joins Scott to discuss her perspective on experiencing a truly global WorldCon, Finnish Weird, codifying and not codifying the Weird, New Weird versus new Weird, her current status as Weird ambassador, ‘irrational systems’ and Weird fiction in Franco’s Spain, and the political timeliness of the Weird. Helen also returns after the panels (2:04:57) for closing thoughts including her experience immersed in Weird reading as a Shirley Jackson Awards judge and editing Year’s Best Weird Fiction, Vol. 4 with Michael Kelly (Undertow Publications), her thoughts on The Weird as ‘witness to the World,’ breaking away from the impact of theme anthologies, author names that will be new to readers, grappling with ‘what do we do with the Weird?’, her first novel coming in 2019, and much more.

Show Notes

(00:07:58) The Outer Dark presents ‘Rise of Weird Fiction’, a panel discussion recorded at WorldCon 75 in Helsinki, Finland, moderated by Helen Marshall, and featuring panelists Siobhan Carroll, Hal Duncan, Shivaun Hoad, and Pete Sutton. The discussion focuses on long term trends in Weird fiction including the timeliness of Weird fiction and living in Weird times, definitions and discomfort, Weird as ruptures of logic, Harold Pinter’s The Birthday Party, distinguishing the Weird from the Surreal, where the Weird is now/New vs. ‘modern’ Weird, the danger of too many Lovecraft-related anthologies and need for new Weird tropes, realities shifting underneath us and a new Weird order, Trump as ‘grotesque’, approaching the Weird as a queer author, where the Weird is going, and reading recommendations (see additional links below). This panel took place at 5 p.m. on Friday August 11.

(01:11:50) The episode continues with ‘The Weird in Weird Fiction’, a panel discussion recorded at Fantasycon 2017 (Peterborough, UK) moderated by Phil Sloman and featuring Stephen Laws, Tim Major, Helen Marshall, Alistair Rennie, and Paul Woodward. The conversation explores what ‘Weird fiction’ means to the panelists, whether Weird is entrenched in horror or crosses into other genres, Weirdness in Narnia and Wonderland, changes from yesterday’s to today’s Weird, the ‘lingering past’, Trump and Brexit and the intrusion of strangeness into our daily lives, Weird as a gateway, the subversive nature of the Weird and its role in social commentary, comedy and light Weirdness, ‘awe’ as essential to the Weird, and many reading recommendations (see additional links below). This panel took place at 11:30 a.m. on Sunday October 1. Thank you to Alistair Rennie for the recording.

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Additional Links

Marian Womack 

“About 5,750 Words” by Samuel R. Delany

The Purple Cloud by M.P. Shiel

“A Visit to Grandpa’s” by Dylan Thomas

“Descending” by Thomas M. Disch

The Weird and the Eerie by Mark Fisher

Neil Williamson

Jeffrey Ford

China Mieville

The Book of Skulls by Robert Silverberg

Paul Tremblay

Ubu Roi by Alfred Jarry: “An Inglorious Slop-House of a Play” (Paris Review)

Magnus Mills

“Global Weirding” issue of Paradoxa

Kelly Link

Michael Wehunt

Stories from The Borderland #17: “Hippie Hat Brain Parasite” by William Gibson

M. John Harrison

Caitlin R. Kiernan

Brian Evenson

Gormenghast trilogy by Mervyn Peake

“My Favorite Richard Matheson Story Is the One I Lived Through” by Victor LaValle

Way Station by Clifford D. Simak (The Guardian)

M.R. James

“The Nightmare” painting by Henry Fessell

Barbarella (1968) trailer

The Etched City by K.J. Bishop (Review by Michael Moorcock, The Guardian)

Ghost Story by Peter Straub

The Pan Book of Horror Stories anthology series

The Doll’s Alphabet by Camilla Grudova (Review, The Guardian)

“Waxy” by Camilla Grudova 

D.P. Watt

Georgina Bruce

“The End of Hope Street” by Malcolm Devlin

Unsung Stories

Sam J. Miller

Jorge Luis Borges, The Art of Fiction No. 39 (Paris Review)

New York trilogy by Paul Auster

Quarantined City by James Everington

Amaryllis Night and Day by Russell Hoban

Mythago Wood by Robert Holdstock

“Thrawn Janet” by Robert Louis Stevenson

Selena Chambers

Kristi Demeester

Michael Griffin

“Grass” by Anya Martin

Damien Angelica Walters

Gemma Files

Joseph S. Pulver Sr.

The Traitor by Michael Cisco

Nathan Ballingrud

Mother (2017) trailer 

Robert Shearman

Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (1988) trailer

“Bestiary” by Julio Cortázar

“Casa Tomada” by Julio Cortázar

Iraq +100: Stories from Another Iraq

An Unreliable Guide to London (Influx Press)

The Ivy War by David H. Keller 

“The Willows” by Algernon Blackwood

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

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 Griffin


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