Last year, to celebrate the bicentenary of the birth of Irish writer J. Sheridan Le Fanu, Swan River Press released a tribute anthology, Dreams of Shadow and Smoke: Stories for J. Sheridan Le Fanu that included my riff on “An Account of Some Strange Disturbances on Aungier Street” titled “The Corner Lot.” Yesterday, we learned that the anthology had won the inaugural Ghost Story Award for best ghost story book published in English in 2014! Congratulations also are due to D.P. Watt, whose story “Shallabalah,” originally published in the Ghost & Scholars Newsletter, won for best short story.
It’s a busy one. Also, be sure to stop by the fan table for the Worldcon bid for Dublin 2019, and come to our party on Saturday night! The full program for Loncon 3 is here.
Tove Jansson’s Moomins: Their Legacy and Influence
Thursday 12:00 – 13:30, Capital Suite 13 (ExCeL)
It’s 100 years since the birth of Finnish author/artist Tove Jansson, the award-winning creator of the beloved Moomins. Moomins appeared in novels, illustrated books, comic book strips and today are celebrated with their own theme park called Muumimaailma (Moomin World).
Why did Jansson’s Moomins capture the attention and affection of the panellists, and how do Moomins continue to fire the imagination of new generations despite being nearly seventy years old?
What is the legacy of the Moomins, and how do they continue to influence European comic books today?
Kathryn (Kate) Laity (M), Lynda Rucker, Alexander Dan Vilhjálmsson, Mary Talbot, Karrie Fransman
Horror Without Monsters
Thursday 13:30 – 15:00, Capital Suite 8 (ExCeL)
It’s often said that some of the most frightening horror fictions stir fear without ghouls or gore. Is this true? What are the psychological horror tales that stay with us past the final page? Does the greatest terror lie within ourselves?
Jonathan Oliver (M), F. Brett Cox, Elizabeth Hand, Sarah Pinborough, Lynda Rucker
Fantasy and Medievalism
Friday 13:30 – 15:00, Capital Suite 7+12 (ExCeL)
High fantasy is almost invariably set in invented worlds inspired by medieval Europe. Can we put this down to the legacy of Tolkien and to genre works being in close conversation with each other? Or is there something about the place that medieval Europe occupies in our imagination that makes it a perfect companion for tales of epic striving and larger-than-life Good versus Evil? Either way, does this help or hinder the genre?
Kathryn (Kate) Laity (M), Suanna Davis, Robin Hobb, Marieke Nijkamp, Lynda Rucker
Comic Book Networking: It’s Not Just The Interwebs
Friday 19:00 – 20:00, Capital Suite 3 (ExCeL)
Social media – Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter – are all de rigeur for networking for creators and fans, but what about all the other ways to meet your audience, your favourite creators, or just to talk to people about comic books?
What are the benefits of comic book reading groups, conventions, comic book jams/drawing sessions, or networking meetings like Laydeez do Comics?
In a virtual world, there’s still a lot of meeting face-to-face going on.
Reading: Lynda Rucker
Saturday 21:00 – 21:30, Capital Suite 13 (ExCeL)
Master of Dark Arts – an insight into editing for writers
Sunday 15:00 – 16:30, Capital Suite 5 (ExCeL)
Editor Stephen Jones is interviewed by Lynda E. Rucker about being an editor of short dark fiction, providing insight for new and current writers and afterwards answering questions from the floor. Advice and pointers, pitfalls, how a professional editor should deal with writers and what a writer’s expectations of editors should be will be among the topics covered.
Lynda Rucker (M), Stephen Jones
A couple more terrific reviews for The Moon Will Look Strange have turned up recently. From Paul St. John Mackintosh at Telereads:
Because this is a Very Good Book. Indeed. Of the eleven tales in it, three – “The Burned House”, “In Death’s Other Kingdom”, and “These Foolish Things” – are first-time appearances. That actually comprises a large portion of her published work to date. But on such slender bases great reputations are built.
Maura McHugh has also written a long, thoughtful review of the book for the journal published by Swan River Press, The Green Book. You’ll have to buy a copy to read the whole thing, but you should anyway, because The Green Book is a terrific publication. Here’s an excerpt from her review:
Rucker writes the kind of effortless prose that reads easily, but is only created from careful, determined craft. Her stories describe conflicted, lost people, and dreadful situations you could never imagine, yet believe must have happened.
This is the mark of a superior storyteller, and points to Rucker as one of the most promising purveyors of the supernatural weird tale writing at the moment.
You can of course purchase The Moon Will Look Strange from Amazon at the links below, or check my page for instructions on how to order a signed one directly from me (will cost you a bit more due to exorbitant postage costs, I’m afraid!).
I’m pleased to announce that my story “The House on Cobb Street,” which originally appeared over at Nightmare Magazine, will receive its first print publication in volume 6 of Ellen Datlow’s Best Horror of the Year. I am particularly delighted by this news because it marks the first time I’ve sold a story to Ellen Datlow, who of course is one of the top short fiction editors in the field. Here’s the rest of the terrific lineup:
Apports by Stephen Bacon Black Static #36
Mr. Splitfoot by Dale Bailey Queen Victoria’s Book of Spells
The Good Husband by Nathan Ballingrud North American Lake Monsters
The Tiger by Nina Allan Terror Tales of London
The House on Cobb Street by Lynda E. Rucker Nightmare #9 June
The Soul in the Bell Jar by KJ Kabza F&SF November/Dec
Call Out by Stephen Toase Innsmouth Magazine #12
That Tiny Flutter of the Heart I Used to Call Love by Robert Shearman Psycho-Mania
Bones of Crow by Ray Cluley Black Static #37
Introduction to the Body in Fairy Tales by Jeannine Hall Gailey Phantom Drift #3
The Fox by Conrad Williams This is Horror chapbook
The Tin House by Simon Clark Shadow Masters
Stemming the Tide by Simon Strantzas Dead North
The Anatomist’s Mnemonic by Priya Sharma Black Static #32.
The Monster Makers by Steve Rasnic Tem Black Static #35
The Only Ending We Have by Kim Newman Psycho-Mania
The Dog’s Paw by Derek Künsken Chilling Tales: In Words, Alas, Drown I
Fine in the Fire by Lee Thomas Like Light For Flies
Majorlena by Jane Jakeman Supernatural Tales 24
The Withering by Tim Casson Black Static 32
Down to a Sunless Sea by Neil Gaiman The Guardian.com
Jaws of Saturn by Laird Barron The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All
Halfway Home by Linda Nagata Nightmare #12
The Same Deep Waters as You by Brian Hodge Weirder Shadows Over Innsmouth
I’ve been reading Steve Rasnic Tem for two decades, and so when I learned he would write the introduction to my first short story collection, The Moon Will Look Strange, I was overjoyed. I was equally pleased to have the opportunity to interview him in connection with his latest collection from Swan River Press, Here with the Shadows, which is available now for pre-order and shipping next month. I got the opportunity to ask him about specific stories and themes in the book, his own approach to writing such powerful and moving fiction, and his personal history among other things. His responses were terrific, and very enlightening. You can find the interview here at the Swan River Press website, and while you’re there, take a look around at some of the other books and chapbooks for sale.
A few months ago, Kate Jonez and S.P. Miskowski asked me to contribute something relating to an authorial obsession–in other words, ideas, themes, objects, anything that we repeatedly return to in our fiction. I chose sense of place and my own past (and my sense of place as filtered through that past), although much to my surprise, my actual story, “The Receiver of Tales,” ended up being about the very act of storytelling itself.
I mine and manipulate my own past for stories. I really did once meet a next door neighbor the same way Aisha meets hers, only it happened in Portland, not Athens. And everything that happened after that was different as well. I’ve said before that in my fiction the lines blur between what happened and what didn’t, what is true and what is not. And even though my stories are ultimately 100% fiction, if you really want to know me–read my stories.
Here is the table of contents for the anthology:
The Receiver of Tales by Lynda E. Rucker
Needs Must When the Devil Drives by Cory J. Herndon
A Thousand Stitches by Kate Jonez
The Point by Johnny Worthen
Calligraphy by James Everington
This Many by S.P. Miskowski
JP by Brent Michael Kelley
Kestrel by Mary Borsellino
An Unattributed Lyric, In Blood, On a Bathroom Wall by Ennis Drake
Black Eyes Broken by Mercedes M. Yardley
Bears: A Fairy Tale of 1958 by Steve Duffy
You can purchase the anthology in print or for your Kindle at the links below: