In this podcast The Outer Dark presents the panel “Weird Tales: Beyond Lovecraft” from the 2016 H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival. The moderator was Ross E. Lockhart (Word Horde Press), and the panelists were Jesse Bullington, Michael Griffin, Anya Martin, Edward R. Morris and Wendy N. Wagner. It was recorded live on Saturday October 7, 2016. The broadcast also includes an introductory interview with Wendy N. Wagner and an all-new News from the Weird with special guests Michael Matheson and Paul Jessup and a review of Bracken MacLeod’s Stranded by Justin Steele.
(00:00:28) Wendy N. Wagner previews the panel, as well as her role as managing and associate editor at Nightmare Magazine, including her stewardship of The H Word column, sister publication Lightspeed, the Destroy series and the current “flowering” of short spec-lit fiction.
(00:15:45) The panelists discuss the ongoing legacy of Weird Tales magazine, including its iconic original run from 1923-1954, its revivals from 1973-2014 and their future hopes for its return and Weird fiction overall. The first part of the panel goes beyond the magazine’s three best known writers H.P. Lovecraft, Clark Ashton Smith, and Robert “Two-Gun Bob” Howard to lesser known writers in its pages, especially women such as C.L. Moore, Mary Elizabeth Counselman, Margaret St. Clair, Francis Stevens and L.M. (Lucy Maud) Montgomery (Anne of Green Gables). The panel notes that an estimated 127 women wrote for Weird Tales (13.5% of its fiction), points out that the most prominent longest running cover artist was a woman—Margaret Brundage—and delves into some of the lesser-known women writers whose work appeared within its pages, including never-before-revealed details of Anya’s and Scott Nicolay’s personal search for Allison V. Harding, aka Jean Milligan. The panelists question scholars’ traditional deification of certain authors and the Farnsworth Wright editorial era (1924-1940) and wonder if there are missed stories and social histories during the later years of its first run when it was edited by a woman Dorothy McIlwraith (1940-1954) and published Manly Wade Wellman, Robert Bloch, the art of Lee Brown Coye and more. The conversation then moves forward in time to discuss Ann VanderMeer’s fearless stewardship of the magazine (2007-2011), the current Weird Renaissance and the direction where the panelists would like to see a future Weird Tales go if the magazine was resurrected including recommended authors such as Victor LaValle, Kij Johnson, Garrett Cook, Nathan Carson, Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Craig Laurance Gidney, Chesya Burke, Alyssa Wong, Alistair Rennie, Livia Llewellyn, Rios de la Luz, Asamatsu Ken and more. The panel concludes with a global perspective on the Weird, different tastes of Weird all the way back to its archaic origins, the impact of the small press on the Weird, and where readers can get their Weird Tales fix today from magazines to the Year’s Best Weird Fiction series. (Panel photo credit: Lena Griffin)
News from the Weird
(1:15:06) Featuring special guests Paul Jessup, editor of Grendelsong magazine, and Michael Matheson. Paul revisits Grendelsong’s history, the upcoming exciting third issue and his own recent short fiction. Michael introduces Anathema, a new “triannual speculative magazine of work specifically by queer people of color” launching in 2017, including its IndieGoGo campaign, its positive response in the spec-lit community, and why creating a space for intersectional authors is needed now. What follows is a provocative, in-depth conversation about the key role of magazines in providing opportunities for new voices in speculative fiction. (1:58:52) And Arkham Digest’s and Strange Aeons’ Justin Steele reviews Bracken MacLeod’s Stranded (Tor).
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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