TOD 108 M. Rickert: Ships and Stories Built Out of Bones and Memories

The Outer Dark podcast presents a conversation with M. Rickert, author of The Shipbuilder of Bellfaire (Undertow, 2021) and many, many stories. The main audio was recorded on January 5, 2022.

Show Notes

In this podcast, Anya Martin interviews M. Rickert about her second novel The Shipbuilder of Bellfaire (Undertow Publications, 2021) including its long genesis, egg sentences, messy writing, connections to her first novel The Memory Garden (2014), the Weird sensation of returning to the community where one grew up, the shared human experience of dreaming, murderers who do not think of themselves as monsters, duality, writing from a perspective of negative capability, the Gothic foundations of her fiction, funerals, and more. The wide-ranging conversation also touches upon her first published story ‘The Girl Who Ate Butterflies’ (1999), her more recent published story ‘Funeral Birds’ (When Things Get Dark: Stories Inspired by Shirley Jackson, edited by Ellen Datlow, Penguin Random House, 2021), and others. The episode closes with a reading of the novel’s first two chapters (0:51:50), some other recent stories, her upcoming publishing news, and her many fiction and nonfiction reading recommendations (1:15:50). The main audio was recorded on January 5, 2022.

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Additional Links

M./Mary Rickert (ISFDB) – list of publications

You Have Never Been Here: New and Selected Stories by M. Rickert (Small Beer Press, 2015)

Angela Carter (official Website of her estate)

READ: ‘The Girl Who Ate Butterflies’ (Lightspeed reprint, 2015; orig F&SF, 1999)

In the Lake of the Woods by Tim O’Brien  (Mariner Books, 2006: Goodreads)

Tales from the Crossroads #1: ‘Solid Objects’ by Virginia Woolf (Scott Nicolay blog, 2017)

READ: ‘Journey into the Kingdom’ by M. Rickert (, 2011)

Vince Haig (artist and book designer)

Tithi Luadthong (cover artist, paperback edition, The Shipbuilder of Bellfairie)

TOD 101 Body Shocks: Extreme Tales of Body Horror Featuring Ellen Datlow

Dark Tales by Shirley Jackson (Penguin RandomHouse, 2017)

READ: ‘The Little Witch’ by M. Rickert (, 2020)

READ: ‘The Mothers of Voorhisville’ by M. Rickert (, 2014)

READ: ‘Cold Fires’ by M. Rickert (, reprint, 2015)


The Krampus and the Old, Dark Christmas by Al Ridenour (Feral House, 2016)

Gothic by Fred Botting (2nd. ed., Rutgers University Press, 2014)

Folklore and the Sea by Horace Beck (Mystic Seaport Museum, 1970; Goodreads)

Strange Piece of Paradise by Terry Jentz (Macmillan, 2007)

The Tattoo Artist by Jill Ciment (Penguin RandomHouse, 2006)

Infinity Dreams by Glen Hirschberg (Cemetery Dance, 2021)

Lolly Willowes by Sylvia Townsend Warners (orig. 1926; NYRB, 1999)

‘A Brutal Real-Life Crime Inspires Chicago Author’s New Haunting Novel'(See How Small by Scott Blackwood, 2015; Chicago Magazine Review)

TOD 070 David Surface: Finding Hope in Terrible Things

Emma J. Gibbon

TOD 074 Craig Laurance Gidney: Dreaming a Weird that Shimmers

TOD 100 Steve Toase: The Archaeology of Rot and Snails

TOD 068 Kay Chronister: Arms that Hold You in the Middle of Nowhere

TOD 106 Quarantine Readings: Jeffrey Ford and Zin E. Rocklyn

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

Symposium Assistant Director: Melanie Crew

Symposium Programming Coordinator: Jess Lewis

Symposium Logistics: Melissa Eisner

Logo Design: Nick “The Hat” Gucker

Music: Michael Griffin

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