Appearance: The 2019 Outer Dark Symposium–Atlanta, Georgia

Screen Shot 2019-02-21 at 5.28.45 PMI am pleased as punch to announce that I will be a guest at this year’s OUTER DARK SYMPOSIUM in Atlanta, Georgia. It’s been an evolving and wonderful conference, with each year outdoing the other, and I was sorry to have missed last year in CA. I was honored to be at the first one, and looking forward to reconnecting to old friends, and making new ones. Will I see you there?

What is especially exciting this year is this: “This year we’re beyond excited to welcome our largest line-up yet, 40 of the most dynamic authors, editors, artists, publishers, and scholars in Weird fiction today. As with The Outer Dark podcast, our goal is to foster conversation and community among a diverse slate of program participants–inclusive, safe and welcoming to women, LBGTQ+, and writers of color. Returning to Atlanta allows us again to involve SOBSF/BlacktastiCon organizers Milton Davis and Balogun Ojetade. And sponsor support from Silvia Moreno-Garcia‘s Innsmouth Free Press is helping us bring World Fantasy Award-nominated Mexican author Gabriela Damián Miravete.” (This is a huge deal. Don’t believe me, here are some of her stories online here and here.)

In order to fund this conference, Scott Nicolay, Anya Martin, and Melanie Crew are holding an Indiegogo with some pretty insane perks–signed Hellraiser memorabilia, rare and out-offprint chapbooks, and bundles by your favorite Weird authors. (They also make an amazing program book, with exclusive art and such. When I went in 2015, Yves Tourigny illustrated my piece on Leonora Carrington’s “Down, Down, Down.” This year it features original cover art by Liv-Rainey Smith!

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I was happy to donate a few books and some services: currently, there are a few copies of my first Dunhams Manor Press limited-edition chapbook, Of Parallel and Parcel, which was sold out in 2014, and has a run of 50 copies. You can also get this chapbook in a bundle with an ARC of my short story collection, CALLS FOR SUBMISSION. All signed and personalized!

I’m also offering some Tarot reading services. Tarot has become an important creative tool for me, and I love sharing its power with friends and colleagues, so I’m doing two kind of readings for Outer Dark fans and supporters. For $25, you can get a personalized email reading with images, or for $50, you can get a 60-min Skype session with me, plus follow-up email with a write-up and images.

Of course, I know there are other things needing your money, but if you had just $5 to spare in support, that would be of great help and will get you some swag and a shout-out in the program book.

If you are unfamiliar with THE OUTER DARK, here is more info quoted from their Indiegogo page:

“The Outer Dark Symposium on the Greater Weird is the world’s only conference focusing on contemporary Weird fiction, film and art. The third annual symposium will gather more than 40 writers, artists, filmmakers & editors on March 22 and 23, 2019 at Silver Scream FX Lab and Hotel Indigo-College Park in Atlanta, GA. Hear all the readings and panels on The Outer Dark podcast, which airs on This Is Horror, reaching thousands of listeners who are readers of Weird and speculative fiction.

“GUESTS/PROGRAM PARTICIPANTS: Mike Allen, Gregory Norman Bossert, David Bowles, Jesse Bullington, Nadia Bulkin, Selena Chambers, Gerald Coleman, Nancy A. Collins, Milton Davis, Kristi DeMeester, Kurt Fawver, John Foster, Chris Gavaler, Fiona Maeve Geist, Craig Laurance Gidney, Larissa Glasser, Orrin Grey, Edward Austin Hall, Lynne Hansen, Brian Kirk, Gwendolyn Kiste, Marc Laidlaw, Ian McDowell, Violette L. Meier, Gabriela Damian Miravete, Sunny Moraine, Shane Morton, Balogun Ojetade, Liv Rainey-Smith, Zin E. Rocklyn, Eric Schaller, Jeff Strand,  Damien Angelica Walters, Brookelynne Warra, Michael Wehunt, Lesley Wheeler, Gordon B. White, Lisa Yaszek.

 

 

Ann VanderMeer on CALLS FOR SUBMISSION

17917211_1494939143881552_7421868425875040407_oSo, this one is going to get a bit personal, so bare with me.

I am very lucky to live in the same town as Ann VanderMeer. She lit a torch with her lit zine, Silver Web, that illuminated experimental and weird writing here in Tallahassee (and everywhere) that counteracted the academic literary presence that looms from the local universities. For years, she was a mystery to me. I’d see issues of Silver Web on the racks of my favorite used bookstore Paperback Rack (R.I.P.) and marvel that this was all happening in my proverbial backyard…way out in the dark beyond. Who was this Ann Kennedy? What was she like?

Tallahassee being Tallahassee, I eventually got to meet Ann, now VanderMeer, and better yet, got to learn and work with her when I started collaborating with her husband Jeff  on The Steampunk Bible. Even though her torch had exploded into the sun-like body of work with her editorship at Weird Tales, and seminal anthologies The Weird: A Compendium of Strange and Dark Stories, The Time Traveler’s Almanac, and Sisters of the Revolution: A Feminist Speculative Fiction Anthology, Ann took the time to talk to me like a neighbor and a friend who just happened to be into the same bizarre stuff. She talked to me like a peer and made me feel like a real writer.

I learned a lot from her during that time, and felt bolstered to pursue my fiction and be more public with it. Thanks to the encouragement of both she and Jeff, I was honored to have my first professional sale with them for “Dr. Lambshead’s Dark Room,” which appeared in their Dr. Lambshead’s Cabinet of Curiosities. (Jeff is taking his Lambshead history into the YA world with a newly sold trilogy The Adventures of Jonathan Lambshead).

So…perhaps this is way more personal than a professional thing about a book should be…but I can’t help it. When I met Ann, not only did I gain a mentor, but a friend, someone who embodies everything I ever wanted in a cool, older sister. That is why I am blabbering on because it meant the world to me that she approved of this work, because she knows what is off these pages as much as on them.

Thank you, Ann!

SPEAKING OF BACKYARD:  Tonight in Tallahassee, Jeff will be appearing at an event from Midtown Reader and The Tallahassee Democrat celebrating his new, tour de force, Borne. Ann will be joining him to interview him and help present the book. It should be a great night, and if you are in the area, definitely check it out.

Here’s info about the event, if you are in the area:  Jeff VanderMeer-Borne!

Shadows in Summerland by Adrian Van Young

41PuXGGDajL._SX335_BO1,204,203,200_I am getting back into book reviewing, starting with Adrian Van Young’s debut weird historical novel Shadows in Summerland (ChiZine) for Strange Horizons.. It’s an intimate look at the Spiritualism movement and the Spiritualist photographer William H. Mumler. I really enjoyed it, and found within it something of a mini-manifesto for how we go about recreating history in our pages. Please check it out here.