TOD 070 David Surface: Finding Hope in Terrible Things

In this podcast Anya Martin interviews David Surface about his debut collection Terrible Things (Black Shuck Books). The interview was recorded on Tuesday May 5, 2020.

Show Notes

In this podcast Anya Martin interviews David Surface about his debut collection Terrible Things (Black Shuck Books) beginning with his quarantine experience and then shifting to the origins and evolution of Terrible Things, including a key role played by Lynda E. Rucker whose horror writing blows David’s mind and ultimately would write the book’s intro, the pleasure of working with editor/publisher Steve J. Shaw, how he chose which stories to include, David’s talent for the Weird ending, domestic horror and a different perspective on hope, and author Mary Rickert (M. Rickert) who wrote the only two horror stories that made him cry. The conversation then delves deep into the stories in the collection, carefully trying to avoid major spoilers. Topics covered include working with editor Michael Kelly to nail the end of the title story which originally appeared in Shadows and Tall Trees, capturing the relationship between a good teacher and students via a  ‘ghost story’,  the traumatizing effect of landscape, the short distance between art scene and crime scene in Lower East Side NYC, his proclivity to pen stories about ‘people driving at night and weird stuff happens’, the Weirdness of 16mm documentary film, memories than haunt, why sometimes you need to just write ‘a story where you can really see the monsters’, Halloween, his first stab at a novelette,  the ‘wrong kind of nothing’, and more. David reads from his story ‘Writings Found in a Red Notebook’ (0:57:53) and concludes with what’s next in his writing including a new  novel collaboration with his wife Julia Rust, his ‘One Good Story’ column in Black Static Magazine, and his recommended contemporary Weird authors Christopher BarzakPatricia EakinsLaura Mauro, and Gary McMahon.

The Outer Dark Symposium on the Greater Weird is the only annual conference centered around contemporary Weird fiction. Health-safety allowing, the fourth annual symposium will be held August 14-15, 2020 at Silver Scream FX Lab and Hotel Indigo-College Park. Find out more at

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Additional Links

TOD 027: A Strange & Darksome Night: A Panel & Readings Celebrating Nightscript III

TOD 029: Daniel Braum: How to Write Weird without Turning to Stone

Bannerman Castle

Tales of Pain and Wonder by Caitlin R. Kiernan (2002, Goodreads)

READ ONLINE: ‘True Crime’ by M. Rickert (2018, Nightmare Magazine)

TOD 056 The Outer Dark Symposium 2019, Part 5: Ecstatic Weird Panel 

Tracy Fahey (author Website)

TOD 057 Home Is Where the [Cosmic] Horror Is Panel at HPLFF 2019

Supernatural Tales #38 ‘Story Taster’: ‘Intruders’ by David Surface

Toadstool Geologic Park (Nebraska; Atlas Obscura)

Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum (Weston, VA)

TOD 064 Brian Hauser: Filming Monsters Beyond the Edge of the Frame

Darkest Minds anthology (Eds. Ross Warren & Anthony Watson (Goodreads)

‘History of America’s Other Revolution: The Anti-Rent Wars’ by David Levine (Hudson Valley Magazine)

Down Rent War, Around 1845 (mural study by Mary Earley, Delhi, NY post office)

Murder Mansion: A True Kentucky Horror (Reddit)

The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury (Wiki)

Lyndhurst Mansion

House of Dark Shadows (1970) trailer

Something Wicked This Way Comes (1983) trailer

‘The Mystery of Dogtown: New England’s Most Famous Abandoned Settlement’ (Yankee Magazine)

Nightscript 1-6 (order link) 

Michael Wehunt

Ralph Robert Moore

‘The Good Husband, Rilke, and The End’ (blogpost by Nathan Balingrud)

The Reservoir: Stories and Sketches by Janet Frame (includes How Can I Get in Touch with Persia; Goodreads)

Weird Dream Society (ed. Julie C. Day; benefitting RAICES)

Show Credits

Hosts/Producers: Scott Nicolay and Anya Martin

Co-Host, News from The Weird: Justin Steele

Co-Host, Reviews from The Weird: Gordon B. White

Logo Design: Nick “The Hat” Gucker

Music: Michael Griffin

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  1. Thanks for linking to my Eakins interview! : )

  2. Our pleasure! Apologies for the delay in reply–the notification got dumped in my spam.

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