It’s not everyday that a Pulitzer Prize-winning critic drops your name in a newspaper article. But Michael Dirda, one of the attendees at Necronomicon a couple of weekends ago, apparently was in the audience for the Tanith Lee panel, and wrote a piece about the convention.
Below is an excerpt:
You can read the rest of the Washington Post article here. Now, back to toiling in obscurity!
HER OWN DARK MYTHOS: TANITH LEE – Capital Ballroom, Graduate 2nd Floor 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.
Panelists: Paul Di Filippo, Craig Gidney, Paul Tremblay (M), Sonya Taaffe, Allison Rich, Daniel Braum
Saturday Aug 24 10:30am
DARK MATTERS: WEIRD FICTION FROM THE AFRICAN DIASPORA – Biltmore Ballroom, Graduate 17th Floor Writers of African descent around the world have been contributing to speculative fiction since the days of Charles W. Chesnutt, W. E. B. Dubois, and George S. Schuyler, but their contributions have not always been acknowledged. Our panelists discuss the history and importance of this literary movement and how the Diaspora experience has shaped and informed it.
Panelists: Victor LaValle, teri zin, Errick Nunnally (M), Craig Gidney, Hysop Loreal Mulero, Chesya Burke
I also wrote the introduction to Love in a Time of Dragons a new Tanith Lee collection of her short fiction put out by Immanion Press which will be released in August!
Thanks to Niels Hobbs/ the convention committee, I will be attending NecronomiCon next month in Providence, Rhode Island.
The title of this post refers to Carl Brandon, the mythical black person in fandom created by a couple of science fiction authors as a way of commenting on the lack of diversity in SF fandom.
Weird Fiction/ Lovecraft fandom has a race problem. Lovecraft fandom is full of apologists who downplay his virulent racism and excuse it. (A common argument–”He was a man of his time.” Lovecraft wrote and published fiction during the same time as the Harlem Renaissance). I find Lovecraft near unreadable due to both the overt and the subtextual racism present in his work. (His racism was of the “People of Color are subhumans” type).
However, there are Lovecraft fans and acolytes who not only excuse the author’s racism. They embrace it. (Check out the racist site Stormfront or any of the alt-right Reddits and online groups; have barf bag and brain bleach on hand).
That being said, people who play with the Mythos–particularly recent work by Victor LaValle and Kij Johnson (both will be at the con) have deepened my appreciation for H.P’s genius imagination. And the existential/cosmic horror is my second favorite kind of dark fiction. (The first being ghost stories).
Before the short story, the novel, or even the play- there was the fable and fabulism has been a constant thread throughout the history of horror and weird fiction and, in recent years, many writers have been more openly showcasing fabulism in their work. This panel seeks to explore the phenomenon, it’s history, and it’s current use with several contemporary writers who have, themselves, embraced fabulism as a driving factor in their own work.
Panelists: Craig Gidney, J.T. Glover, Kij Johnson, Nnedi Okorafor, Simon Strantzas (Moderator), Peter Straub
Sunday – 10:30-11:45am
THE DREADED SURREAL: Landscapes in Weird Fiction – Omni 2
External landscapes have been something of a dark playground for weird fiction writers and artists throughout the history of the genre. Many bizarre and unsettling places have served as the settings for countless memorable works. Which of these fictional places have been most memorable in the minds of artists and writers working in horror, weird fiction, and science fiction today? What strange, terrifying places may yet be created? And how might they steer the genre in terms of narrative structure and content?
Panelists: Christopher Burke, Craig Gidney, Mike Griffin, Eric Schaller (Moderator), Farah R. Smith, Jeffrey Thomas