TOD 022 Two Weird Panels: ‘Mary Shelley & Frankenstein: The Roots of Cosmic Horror’ at NecronomiCon 2017 and ‘Women in Weird Fiction’ from HPLFF 2017

In this podcast The Outer Dark presents two panels: ‘Mary Shelley & Frankenstein: The Roots of Cosmic Horror’ at NecronomiCon 2017 (Providence, RI) featuring Gwendolyn Kiste, Faye Ringel, Holly Schwadron, and Anya Martin (moderator), and ‘Women in Weird Fiction’ at H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival (Portland, OR) featuring Michael Griffin, Ross Lockhart, Rose O’Keefe, Liv Rainey-Smith and Anya Martin (moderator). Also, Rose O’Keefe joins Scott and Anya to discuss the panels and preview BizarroCon 2017 (Nov 16-18, Portland, OR). The panels were recorded live on Sunday August 20 and Friday October 6.

Show Notes

(00:01:14) The Outer Dark presents the panel ‘Mary Shelley & Frankenstein: The Roots of Cosmic Horror’ at NecronomiCon 2017 (Providence, RI) featuring author Gwendolyn Kiste, scholars Faye Ringel and Holly Schwadron, and author/The Outer Dark Associate Producer Anya Martin (moderator). The discussion explores first encounters with Frankenstein,  sympathy with the Monster, Weird fiction elements of Frankenstein and other works by Mary Shelley, sublimeness in the narrative, the lineage of Mad Science, cosmic insignificance and The Last Man, ‘strangely beautiful’ aspects, solitude and the influence of Mary’s parents William Godwin and Mary Wollstonecraft, the shadow of her famous husband, different versions, unreliable narrators, Mary’s Weird contemporary children such as Damien Angelica Walters, Brian Aldiss, and Angela Carter,  her relationship to other 19th century works by women from Gothics to Jane Austen, the evolution of women readers and writers of horror and fantasy, Mary’s works as predecessors to Beloved by Toni Morrison and Richard Matheson,  and more.  This panel took place at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday August 20, 2017 and is followed by brief round-up commentary by Anya Martin (00:57:17), including a statement by author Gemma Files, who was originally a member of this panel.

(01:02:22) The episode continues with another panel, ‘Women in Weird Fiction’ at H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival (Portland, OR) featuring author Michael Griffin, editor/author Ross Lockhart (Word Horde), editor Rose O’Keefe (Eraserhead Press), artist Liv Rainey-Smith and Anya Martin (moderator). The conversation covers the roots of women writing Weird fiction including Mary Shelley & C.L. Moore,  discrediting the idea that women writing Weird fiction is a new phenomenon, thematic and content differences in how women writers and artists confront The Weird, body horror, limited agency and domestic cosmic horror, Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s The Yellow Wallpaper,  political undertones, the ‘Weird Renaissance’ as opening up more markets for fiction from a female perspective, changes in editorial expectations, moving towards transcendence of gender, more boldness among women and the importance of being willing to go Weird, the importance of She Walks in Shadows/Cthulhu’s Daughters (edited by Silvia Moreno-Garcia & Paula R. Stiles),  and many, many reading recommendations (see Additional Links below). This panel took place at 8:30 p.m. on Friday October 6, 2017. Thank you to Michael Griffin for the recording.

Commentary: Rose O’Keefe & Anya Martin

(2:01:42) Rose O’Keefe joins Scott and Anya to debrief the panels,including the need to ‘fuck that box’ and move beyond gender-specific panels, dismantling the myth that women haven’t been writing spec-lit, the impact of more women publishers and editors, Weird and Bizarro/small press receptiveness to experimentation and welcoming to women writers, Ann VanderMeer as Weird hero, women as agents of change, and an exclusive preview of BizarroCon 2017. 

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Additional Links

Frankenstein: The True Story extended trailer

Charles Brockden Brown

Mary Hays

The Sadleir-Black Collection of Gothic Fiction at University of Virginia

Shilling Shocker

Pride and Prometheus by John Kessel

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

Ann Radcliffe

Margaret Cavendish

The New Annotated Frankenstein, edited by Leslie Klinger

Inside the Starry Wisdom Library (Liv Rainey-Smith)

Kathe Koja

Poppy Z. Brite

Caitlin R. Kiernan

Margaret Brundage, artist, Weird Tales

Eternal Frankenstein (Word Horde)

Rios de la Luz

James Tiptree, Jr.

Margaret St. Clair

Mary Elizabeth Counselman

Autumn Christian

Looming Low, ed. by Sam Cowan & Justin Steele (Dim Shores)

Tiffany Scandal

Cassilda’s Song, ed. by Joe Pulver (Chaosium)

Molly Tanzer

S.P. Miskowski

Wendy Wagner

Livia Llewellyn

Nadia Bulkin

Kristi DeMeester

Ann Leckie

Christine Morgan

M.P. Johnson

Monica J. O’Rourke

Laura Lee Bahr

Helen Marshall

Chesya Burke

Alyssa Wong

Selena Chambers

Farah Rose Smith

Mantid Magazine

Signal to Noise by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

‘Ponies’ by Kij Johnson

Nnedi Okorafor

Remastering the Mythics: Questions for Ruthanna Emrys (NPR) 

Amber Fallon

Kaaron Warren

Lisa Hannett

Brooke Warra

Maura McHugh

Lynda E. Rucker

Allyson Bird

Rebecca Lloyd

Ellen Datlow

Kelly Link

The Baby Jesus Butt Plug by Carlton Mellick III

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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