Thomas Ligotti Interviewed by the Weird Fiction Review

Grimscribe by Thomas Ligotti

Here’s an interview with Thomas Ligotti from Weird Fiction Review:

Ligotti: The first story I read that is usually classed as a specimen of weird fiction was Arthur Machen’s “The Great God Pan.” I didn’t fully understand the story, but I felt immediately captivated by it. There was a real whiff of evil behind the events of the narrative. I then read other stories by Machen — “The White People,” The Three Imposters—and sensed that I had found a world where I belonged: a kind of degenerate incarnation of the Sherlock Holmes tales I loved so much. Immediately after reading Machen, I read Lovecraft and recognized the resemblance between the two authors, no doubt because Lovecraft was influenced by Machen.

Read entire article

Weird Fiction is Thriving on the Vine

Great good news! Ann and Jeff VanderMeer have launched a very promising online journal dedicated to the examination and enjoyment of outré literature, called Weird Fiction Review. Not only does the first issue contain an interview with Neil Gaiman, I see on GalleyCat that “the journal will maintain a ‘symbiotic relationship’ with S.T. Joshi’s print journal, The Weird Fiction Review.” This is a very good thing, Joshi being one of the world’s foremost scholars of the uncanny genres.

I like the way Jeff and Ann refer to their project as “a non-denominational approach that appre­ciates Love­craft but also Kafka, Angela Carter and Clark Ash­ton Smith, Shirley Jack­son and Fritz Leiber — along with the next gen­er­a­tion of weird writ­ers and inter­na­tional weird.” That quote is also from GalleyCat, and here’s a link to the entire article.

But Ann and Jeff VanderMeer didn’t stop there. They have a new book out. You know those old, weird/horror/sci-fi anthologies I like to talk about in my Bill’s Bookshelf series? Most of those books are from the 1960s or 70s, but here’s a brand new collection that carries on the tradition and brings it into the 21st Century. It’s called The Weird: A Compendium of Dark and Strange Stories. This ambitious labor of love  boasts over one hundred years of weird fiction collected in a single volume, representing  more than 20 nationalities, with seven new translations. Check out the table of contents.

Apparently, when Weird Tales magazine decided to replace Ann VanderMeer as editor, the magazine’s loss was our gain. Ann & Jeff’s book-life is flourishing like the verdant foliage of Ambergris.

The Rich Mystique of Pirate Lore

Fast Ships, Black Sails

A new anthology edited by the always top-notch team of Jeff and Ann VanderMeer. Publishers Weekly says:

“Saintly pirates, loony pirates, pirate cooks and talking animal-buccaneers slash and swagger through the Caribbean, the Internet, the perpetually frozen Atlantic and the seas of distant planets in this collection of 18 original stories. The anthology begins strongly with Elizabeth Bear and Sarah Monette’s Boojum, a tale of one space pirates self-discovery, and concludes equally well with a gentleman rogue and his magical puppet in Garth Nix’s Beyond the Sea Gate of the Scholar-Pirates of Sarsköe. The levity of Castor on Troubled Waters, Rhys Hughes’s playful romp through time and space, and Howard Waldrops conflation of fictional pirates, Avast, Abaft!, are balanced by 68° 07′ 15″ N, 31° 36′ 44″ W, Conrad Williams’s …horror [story]. These ingenious variations on a theme deserve to be savored slowly.”

Click here to read more about the book and to watch a really cool & entertaining short video featuring some of the authors represented in the anthology

World-Wide Weird

Horia Ursu, also known as the Big Bad Bear, was guest blogger at Ecstatic Days (what a great name for a blog) this past week. The Bear is one of Jeff Vandermeer’s Romanian editors. He is active in the Romanian literary community and runs the Millennium Press. I hope he doesn’t mind that I used a portion of one of his photographs in my latest collage (above). He took the group shot of (left to right) Bogdan Hrib, Ann VanderMeer, Mike Haulica, Jeff VanderMeer, and Marius Dimitriu in Romania. For more good pictures and interesting information, check out Ecstatic Days.

I think it’s very cool that Jeff’s work is published internationally. This is especially exciting to me because I hope one day to travel to Hamburg, Germany to visit Erni Bar, who translated my book, Time Adjusters, into German.