TOD 054 Her Own Dark Mythos: Tanith Lee Panel at NecronomiCon 2019


In this podcast The Outer Dark presents Her Own Dark Mythos: Tanith Lee Panel at NecronomiCon 2019 moderated by Sonya Taaffe and featuring Craig Laurance Gidney, Paul Di Filippo, Allison Rich, Thomas Broadbent, and Daniel Braum, plus an introductory interview with Craig Laurance Gidney and the debut of new feature Reviews from The Weird with Gordon B. White.  Her Own Dark Mythos: Tanith Lee was recorded live on Friday August 23, 2019, and the Introduction and Reviews from the Weird were recorded Sunday September 22, 2019. 

Intro & Reviews from The Weird

In the debut of a new biweekly feature, Gordon B White reviews Anais Nin at the Grand Guignol by Robert Levy (Lethe Press)(0:03:12) and  A Spectral Hue by Craig Laurance Gidney (Word Horde)(0:08:36) (Minor Spoilers) . Then Craig Laurance Gidney joins Anya (0:14:45)to introduce the panel, as well as the positive reception he’s received for A Spectral Hue, his affinity with the ‘dreamlike’ quality of Weird fiction, language that you can taste, some personal anecdotes about Lee, observations on the uniqueness of her fiction, some authors who are her literary ‘children’, and his upcoming public appearances and literary news including his upcoming Tor.com series revisiting Lee’s works.

Show Notes

(0:42:00) In this podcast The Outer Dark airs Her Own Dark Mythos: Tanith Lee Panel at NecronomiCon 2019 moderated by Sonya Taaffe and featuring Craig Laurance Gidney, Paul Di Filippo, Tanith Lee’s official bibliographer Allison Rich (Daughter of the Night: An Annotated Tanith Lee Bibliography), Thomas Broadbent, and Daniel Braum. The panelists first introduce themselves and discuss their personal connections to Tanith Lee and her work, then dive into her capacity for genre-bending and genre-blending and their ‘favorite flavors’ of her fiction including her recognizably Weird writings which are nothing like Lovecraft, her particular skill in ending twists, her ability to blend the fantastic and the mundane, her talent for ‘de-familiarization’, and her use of mythology. Next, the conversation turns to Tanith’s characterization of herself as ‘channeling characters’ as past lives, her humor, synchronization, liminality, automatic writing, and as a ‘remarkable stylist’. Di Filippo likens her to Joyce Carol Oates. Rich compares her to Angela Carter. Braum talks about her groundbreaking role in fractured fairy tales that don’t end well for women. And  Gidney relates an anecdote from Samuel R Delany. The conversation turns to Tanith’s complex dialogue about morality, taboo, and eroticism/sensuality, and Di Filippo reads from Electric Forest (1979), followed by examination of Raymond Chandleresque, tactile, humorous, and inclusive qualities to her work. Tribute is made to Donald A. Wollheim for recognizing her talent and advancing her early career and Tanith’s mother Hylda Lee, also a published author. The panel concludes with the fluidity of her characters including Sonya commenting on her skill at pointing out at ‘how shapeshifting people are in their ordinary lives’, for example, a ‘haunted mummy drag queen’ or a ‘vampire piano’.  Plus a ‘musical’ anecdote about Tanith and her writing, her publishers and editors, translations, what she was like as a person, questions from audience-members including artist Tanya Finder and writer Fiona Maeve Geist, and more. 

Panel description: Tanith Lee (1947–2015) wrote broadly, including work for children and adults, poetry, and television. With her lush, dark, and often deeply psychosexual prose, she created bizarre fantasy worlds and turned familiar horror tropes upon their heads. Join our panelists as they explore the work of this grand master of the decadently weird and impossibly strange. This panel was recorded live on Friday August 23 at NecronomiCon 2019.

The Outer Dark Symposium on the Greater Weird is the only annual conference centered around contemporary Weird fiction. Our mission is to foster conversation and connect communities among the diverse slate of creators and audience members under the umbrella of speculative fiction—inclusive, safe and welcoming to women, LBGTQ+, and writers of color. The fourth annual symposium will be held March 26-27, 2020 at Silver Scream FX Lab. Find out more, including a link to purchase supporting and attending memberships at TheOuterDark.org.

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Additional Links

‘Where to Begin with Tanith Lee (Follow Up to Her Own Dark Mythos Panel)’ – Craig Gidney’s blog

‘Weird Beauty: The Weird Fiction of Tanith Lee’ by Craig Laurance Gidney (Weird Fiction Review, Sept. 2017)

Patricia A. McKillip

Immanion Press

Storm Constantine

Catherynne M. Valente

Theodora Goss

Robert Levy

Ruthanna Emrys

Marianne Kirby

Victor LaValle

Violet Ghosts: An Evening with Trebor Healey and Craig Laurance Gidney (NYC, Oct. 18)

Enclave Presents Xavier/Healey/Gidney/Tucker/Stroud (NYC, Oct. 20)

Sea, Swallow Me and Other Stories (new edition, Lethe Press)

QUILTBAG+ Speculative Classics: Sea, Swallow Me and Other Stories by Craig Laurance Gidney (Tor.com)

Nowhereville: Weird is Other People — Tales of the Urban Weird (Broken Eye Books, preorder)

Works by Tanith Lee mentioned during the panel:

Novels

Black Unicorn (The Unicorn series #1, 1991)

The Book of the Dead (The Secret Books of Paradys #3) (1991)

Dark Dance (1992)

Delirium’s Mistress (Tales of the Flat Earth #4)(1986)

Electric Forest (1979)

The Gods Are Thirsty (1996)

Madame Two Swords (1998)

Mortal Suns (2003)

Sung in Shadow (1983)

Collections

Dreams of Dark and Light (1986)

Red as Blood or Tales from the Sisters Grimmer (1983)

Redder Than Blood (Penguin, 2017)

Tamastara or The Indian Nights (1984)

Tanith Lee: A to Z (2018)

Short Stories

‘All the Birds of Hell’ (1998)

‘Because Our Skins Are Finer’ (1981)

‘Bloodmantle’ (1985)

‘Ceres Passing’ (1989)

‘La Dame’ (1995)

‘God and the Pig’ (2009)

‘Magritte’s Secret Agent’ (1981)

‘Medra’ (1984)

‘The Princess and Her Future’ (1983)

‘That Glisters Is’ (2000)

‘Written in Water’ (1982)

Show Credits

Host/Executive Producer/Founder: Scott Nicolay

Host/Producer/Show Notes: Anya Martin

Co-Host, News From the Weird: Justin Steele

Reviews: Gordon B. White

Logo Design: Nick “The Hat” Gucker

Music: Michael Griffin


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