TOD 063 Dark Matters: Weird Fiction from the African Diaspora and Chesya Burke Reading from NecronomiCon 2019


In this podcast The Outer Dark presents a reading by Chesya Burke and ‘Dark Matters: Weird Fiction from the African Diaspora’ Panel at NecronomiCon 2019 moderated by Errick Nunnally and featuring  Chesya Burke, Craig Laurance Gidney, Victor LaValle, Hysop Mulero,  and teri.zin, plus News from The Weird with Justin Steele. The panel was recorded live on Saturday August 24, 2019, and News from The Weird was recorded Monday December 16, 2019. 

News from The Weird

Justin Steele joins Anya to introduce the episode, including deep appreciation to the NecronomiCon 2019 programming committee for allowing us to partner and air three of their panels as well as host readings and our 2019 State of The Weird Roundtable. The jam-packed end of the year news round-up includes recent and upcoming 2020 publications from Raphus Press, Trepidatio/Journalstone, Lethe Press, Sumiko Saulson, MV Media, Dim Shores, Valancourt Books, H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival, Gehenna & Hinnom Books, and Grimscribe Press. See Additional Links below for direct links and more information on featured titles.

Show Notes

In this podcast The Outer Dark first airs a reading by Chesya Burke (0:13:28), followed by the panel ‘Dark Matters: Weird Fiction from the African Diaspora’ (0:40:04) at NecronomiCon 2019. The panel was moderated by Errick Nunnally and featured Chesya Burke, Craig Laurance Gidney, Victor LaValle, Hysop Mulero,  and teri.zin. After panelist introductions, the writers explore how they define The Weird and how they personally first encountered and developed an affinity for Weird/cosmic horror. Discussion includes the Weird fiction legacy of African diaspora authors such as Charles W. Chesnutt (The Conjure Woman), Henry Dumas (Ark of Bones ), Nigerian author Amos Tutuola, Zora Neale Hurston, and Nella Larsen, as well as the panelists’ thoughts on use of black “dialect” by white writers, code-switching, the film Us (2019), ‘how some cultures are simply closer to horror’ in Nunally’s words, how perspective changes how one approaches Weird fiction, sensitivity readers, and the importance of representation. Chesya talks about teaching a college course in ‘Black Horror’ from the silent movie Birth of a Nation (1915) to the ‘Sunken Place’ (Get Out [2017]) and how she addresses ‘what is black horror’ versus ‘horror with black characters’. Her observations segue into how Lovecraft turned people of color into monsters and responses to his work by black readers, especially women. The panel concludes with questions from the audience. Both reading and panel were recorded live on Saturday August 24, 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

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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