TOD 002 Eric Schaller: Meet Me in the Middle of The Weird and V.H. Leslie: The Author’s House Has Many Rooms

TOD 002 Eric Schaller Meet Me in the Middle of the Weird VH Leslie The Authors House Has Many Rooms

In this podcast Scott Nicolay interviews Eric Schaller, author of Meet Me in the Middle of the Air, and V.H. Leslie, author of Skein and Bone

Show notes

Interview with Eric Schaller

Cover of "Meet Me in the Middle of the Air," by Eric Schaller. For Alex Good review

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

Skein-and-Bone(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 GilmanThe 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.

Upcoming Guests

Matthew Bartlett, author of Creeping Waves (Muzzleland Press), and A.C. Wise, author of The Ultra Fabulous Glitter Squadron Saves the World Again (Lethe Press).

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Additional Links

Eric Schaller interview

Brother Claude Ely – “There Ain’t No Grave Gonna Hold My Body Down”

Weird Fiction Review Interview: Eric Schaller and Weird Art

Weird Fiction Review New Hampshire Weird: Eric Schaller and Matthew Cheney in Conversation

Author Brian Slattery

Michael Bukowski’s Yog-Blogsoth 

Yves Tourigny

Robin Blaser’s The Moth Poem

Poet Lesley Wheeler

Chris Gavaler: The Patron Saint of Superheroes blog

Tom De Haven’s blog Café Pinfold

‘After Lorca’ by Jack Spicer

Stories from the Borderland #11: ‘The Cactus’ by Mildred Johnson

Stories from the Borderland #12: ‘The Damp Man’ by Allison V. Harding

V.H. Leslie interview

A History of Art in Three Colors: Blue

Foundling Hospital, London

Ophelia by John Everett Millais

Rebecca Lloyd Author Website

The Glittering World by Robert Levy

Gossip from the Forest by Sara Maitland

Mythago Wood by Robert Holdstock

John Muir and Yosemite

Wandering Spirits: Traveling Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein by Selena Chambers

Landmarks by Robert Mcfarlane

Koji Suzuki

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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3 pings

  1. […] was delighted to be interviewed by Scott Nicolay from The Outer Dark in a double bill including fellow Undertow author Eric Schaller. In this podcast I discuss my […]

  2. […] To Look At Monsters?”), Kool Kat Balogun Ojetade (The Chronicles of Harriet Tubman: Freedonia), Eric Schaller (Meet Me in the Middle of the Air), Grafton Tanner (Babbling Corpse: Vaporwave and the […]

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