Panel 4 - The Evolution of Weird Fiction
From HPL to 2017, a look at how the face of cosmic horror and Weird fiction has changed - from 50s Sci-fi to 80s speculative fiction, to the modern tale.
John Shirley is an author, screenwriter, television writer, comics writer, singer, and songwriter. He is the author of more than forty novels and eight story collections. He won the Bram Stoker Award for the horror collection Black Butterflies: A Flock on the Dark Side. His novels include DEMONS, CELLARS, IN DARKNESS WAITING, CRAWLERS, BLEAK HISTORY, A SONG CALLED YOUTH, and CITY COME A-WALKIN'. He wrote the first four drafts of the screenplay for the movie THE CROW, and is co-writer with David Schow. He has written TV scripts for Poltergeist: The Legacy, Deep Space Nine, Sinbad, VR5 and other shows. He has written animation for Iron Man Armored Adventures and was nominated an Emmy for a recent episode of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. He is a former Guest of Honor at the World Horror Convention. His most recent story collections are Living Shadows, In Extremis, and Lovecraft Alive (his Lovecraftian stories collected by Hippocampus Press). He also wrote the first novel based on the TV show GRIMM entitled GRIMM: THE ICY TOUCH, and the game tie-in novels Bioshock: Rapture and Halo: Broken Circle. Black October Records has brought out an album of John Shirley's own recordings, BROKEN MIRROR GLASS. He performs with his band, THE SCREAMING GEEZERS.
Nathan Carson is a musician, writer, and Moth StorySlam champion from Portland, OR. He is widely known as co-founder and drummer of the internationally touring doom metal band Witch Mountain, host of the XRAY FM radio show The Heavy Metal Sewïng Cïrcle, and owner of the boutique music booking agency Nanotear. His byline can be found in the Willamette Week and the Oregonian. A regular on the weird fiction convention circuit, he has published many short stories and novelettes in critically acclaimed horror anthologies. His first standalone novella, Starr Creek, was recently released by Lazy Fascist Press and currently sits at #1 on the Goodreads list of “Books Like Stranger Things.”
Paul was born and raised in New Jersey where he misspent his youth playing with matches, poring over Uncle Scrooge and E.C. comics, reading Lovecraft, Matheson, Bradbury, and Heinlein, listening to Chuck Berry and Alan Freed on the radio, and watching Soupy Sales and Shock Theatre with Zacherley.
He is the author of more than fifty books: science fiction (HEALER, WHEELS WITHIN WHEELS, AN ENEMY OF THE STATE, DYDEETOWN WORLD, THE TERY, SIMS), horror thrillers (THE KEEP, THE TOMB, THE TOUCH, REBORN, REPRISAL, NIGHTWORLD, BLACK WIND, SIBS, MIDNIGHT MASS), contemporary thrillers (THE SELECT, IMPLANT, DEEP AS THE MARROW), novels that defy categorization (THE FIFTH HARMONIC, VIRGIN) and a number of collaborations. In 1998 he resurrected his popular antihero, Repairman Jack, and has chronicled his adventures in twenty-three novels, following him to the near destruction of human civilization in NIGHTWORLD.
He has peeked into Jack’s teenage life in the young adult novels, JACK: SECRET HISTORIES, JACK: SECRET CIRCLES and JACK: SECRET VENGEANCE. THE EARLY YEARS TRILOGY recounts a young Jack’s efforts to establish himself in NYC.
Most of Paul’s short stories are collected in SOFT & OTHERS (1989), THE BARRENS & OTHERS (1998), and AFTERSHOCK & OTHERS, Plus, a collection of Repairman Jack short FICTION in QUICK FIXES. He has edited two anthologies: FREAK SHOW (1992) and DIAGNOSIS: TERMINAL (1996). He has written for stage, screen, and interactive media as well.
THE KEEP, THE TOMB, HARBINGERS, and BY THE SWORD, and NIGHTWORLD all appeared on the New York Times Bestsellers List. WHEELS WITHIN WHEELS won the first Prometheus Award in 1979; SIMS won another, THE TOMB received the Porgie Award from The West Coast Review of Books. His novelette “Aftershock” won the 1999 Bram Stoker Award for short fiction. DYDEETOWN WORLD was on the young adult recommended reading lists of the American Library Association and the New York Public Library, among others. He was awarded the prestigious Inkpot Award from the San Diego ComiCon and the Pioneer Award from the RT Booklovers Convention. He is listed in the 50th anniversary edition of Who’s Who in America.
His novel THE KEEP was made into a visually striking but otherwise incomprehensible movie (screenplay and direction by Michael Mann) by Paramount in 1983. THE TOMB is in development as “Repairman Jack” by Beacon Films and (we hope) will not suffer a similar fate. His original teleplay “Glim-Glim” aired on Monsters in 1989. An adaptation of his short story “Menage a Trois” was part of the pilot for The Hunger series that debuted on Showtime in July 1997. “Pelts” was adapted by Dario Argento for Masters of Horror.
Michael Griffin has released a novel, Hieroglyphs of Blood and Bone (Journalstone, 2017), and a short fiction collection, The Lure of Devouring Light (Word Horde, 2016), and the novella "An Ideal Retreat" (Dim Shores, 2016). His short stories have appeared in magazines like Apex, Black Static, Lovecraft eZine and Strange Aeons, and the anthologies The Madness of Dr. Caligari, Autumn Cthulhu, the Shirley Jackson Award winner The Grimscribe's Puppets, The Children of Old Leech and Eternal Frankenstein. He's an ambient musician and founder of Hypnos Recordings, an ambient record label he operates with his wife in Portland, Oregon. Michael blogs at griffinwords.com. On Twitter, he posts as @mgsoundvisions.
JEFF BURK is the cult favorite author of SHATNERQUAKE, SUPER GIANT MONSTER TIME, CRIPPLE WOLF, and SHATNERQUEST. Like the literary equivalent to a cult B-Horror movie, Burk writes violent, absurd, and funny stories about punks, monsters, gore, and trash culture. Everyone normally dies at the end. He is also the the Head Editor of ERASERHEAD PRESS’ horror imprint, DEADITE PRESS and the host of the JEFF ATTACKS podcast. Born in the Pennsylvania backwoods, he was raised on a steady diet of Godzilla, Star Trek, and EC Comics. He now resides in Portland, Oregon. His influences include: Sleep deprivation, comic books, drugs, magick, and kittens.