TOD 031 Jon Padgett: 20 Years to Ventriloquism

In this podcast Scott Nicolay interviews Jon Padgett, author of The Secret of Ventriloqusim and co-editor of Vastarien: A Literary Journal. Plus co-editor Matt Cardin,  an update on The Outer Dark Symposium on the Greater Weird 2018 and the Annihilation movie reviewed by Eric Schaller and Matthew Cheney.

The Outer Dark Symposium on the Greater Weird is a unique immersive one-day event featuring approximately 12 hours of panels, readings, signings and social activities centered around contemporary Weird and speculative fiction. The second annual symposium will be held Sat. March 24, 2018 at the Winchester Mystery House. one of the Weirdest Places in the U.S. Limited to 75 attendees. Support the Indiegogo campaign here. Buy your memberships here.

Movie Review: Annihilation: “We Didn’t Expect It to Be the Book, But It Is Beautiful”

Scott updates listeners on the latest news about The Outer Dark Symposium on the Greater Weird 2018 including new guests Marc Laidlaw and Paul Mavrides, the Indiegogo campaign, supporting memberships, the limited edition program chapbook, and extreme gratitude to our sponsors (see Additional Links below). Then (00:04:24) Eric Schaller (Meet Me in the Middle of the Airand Matthew Cheney (Blood: Stories), editors of The Revelator, review Annihilation the movie (minor spoiler alert!) including its complimentary relationship to Jeff VanderMeer‘s Southern Reach trilogy and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968),  the tension between the cinematic “beauty” and horror of Area X, Alex Garland‘s direction, its effectiveness as a “genuinely Weird film”,  unexpected mirrors to Borne, They Remain, “misplaced” music, biggest surprises in the movie, and more.

Show Notes

(00:35:15)Jon Padgett, author of The Secret of Ventriloqusim (Dunhams Manor Press) and co-editor of Vastarien: A Literary Journal, joins Scott to talk about his work including the long secret origins of the book, literary catharsis thanks to annihilating and constructive correspondence from Thomas Ligotti, his disturbing roots going from childhood fears of dolls and dummies to becoming a professional ventriloquist, the fascinating genesis of his first publication in The Grimscribe’s Puppets edited by Joseph S. Pulver, Sr. and the second longer version in Lovecraft eZine, accidental interconnectedness among his stories, the Donora Smog and disturbing research behind ‘The Infusorium’, environmental horror, the impact on his fiction of growing up in mill town Mobile, Alabama, living through and after Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans and his professional work in disaster relief,  learning how to write vicariously via his poet wife Carolyn Hembree, being blown away by Matthew M. Bartlett, being ‘touched’ by NecronomiCon Providence,  founding and shepherding Thomas Ligotti Online which just celebrated its 20th anniversary,  meeting frequent collaborator  Matt Cardin via TLO, Jon’s first email with Ligotti, and the significance of Penguin’s reprint of The Conspiracy Against the Human Race. (01:41:52) Then Vastarien co-editor Matt Cardin drops by to discuss the birth of an exciting new Weird magazine, the ongoing rising literary status of Thomas Ligotti, Ligotti’s own influences and role as a nexus for others to discover other authors such as Bruno Schulz, the contents of the first issue including fiction and nonfiction and established and new authors, the highly successful Kickstarter campaign, his recommended new writers in Vastarien #1, observations from editing, the timeline for the magazine and Matt’s final ‘dish’ on Jon’s work.

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Additional Links

The Night Gallery: “The Doll” by Algernon Blackwood 

Twilight Zone: ‘The Dummy’ (1962)

New Yorker: ‘The Fog’ (Sept. 30, 1950)

CBS News: Scientists determine cause of London’s 1952 ‘killer fog’

Un Lun Dun by China Mieville

Sarah Langan

The Purple Cloud by M.P. Shiel

When Smoke Ran Like Water: Tales of Environmental Deception and the Battle Against Pollution by Devra Davis

‘A Rose for Emily’ by William Faulkner

Harry O. Morris

Southwest Organizing Project (Albuquerque)

Book Review: The Radium Girls by Kate Moore (NPR)

‘Agassiz and the Fish’ by Ezra Pound

Thomas Ligotti panel (NecronomiCon 2017)

Lovecraft eZine: Vasterian: A Literary Journal – ‘A Nightmare Made Normal’

Kurt Fawver

Christopher Slatsky

Christopher Ropes

Wade German

Strix Publishing Kickstarter campaign

Argawarga Press

Dim Shores

Dooky Zines (Sumiko Saulson)

Dunhams Manor Press

Lethe Press

Kino Lorber

Martian Migraine Press

Mondo Cult magazine


Perpetual Motion Machine

Planet X Publications

SF in SF

Strix Publishing

Tachyon Publications

Winchester (2018) trailer

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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