Posts Tagged ‘essay’

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My nonfiction essay titled “What’s Next for the Weird West” is available in Aurealis Magazine’s last issue of the year, along with excellent speculative stories, essays and reviews.

This essay explores one of my increasingly favorite areas of fiction. I cover some of the crossover aspects of weird west fiction along with new and must-read books, and why the time is ripe for a resurgence in this fun genre.

Editor Dirk Strasser writes about this issue of the award-winning Australia-based monthly SF/F magazine:

We always like to go out with a bang in the last issue for the year and Aurealis #126 is no exception. In this bumper issue we feature ‘Marked for Life’, J.R. Schuyler’s powerful tale of blood magic, snowbeasts and transformation, Stephen Higgin’s quirky and enigmatic ‘Cradle’, and the dark science fiction of Eric Del Carlo’s gender and identity exploration story ‘Flesh of the Other.’

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Excerpt from “What’s Next for the Weird West” is below:

“Howdy, partner.”

A figure silhouetted in a hat and dusty jacket bursts into a bar. Poker players and prostitutes scramble as the loner saunters in, steely eyes prepping for a showdown.

The scene is all too familiar in Wild West stories, which usually incorporate iconic characters ranging from outlaws, gunslingers and law-keepers. On the frontier, where one must keep their wits about them and where anything goes, the stoic cowboy hero archetype helped set the foundation for some of today’s superheroes and modern American fiction. But the Weird West genre offers a fresh take on the iconic—and often overused—imagery and caricatures of the Wild West.

The Weird West genre—where Wild West elements mash with other genres ranging from horror, scifi and fantasy—has been around as long as the Wild West itself though never fully in the limelight. Something about the unknown wilderness invites more speculative wanderings; infusions of werewolves, demons, ghosts, aliens, magic and otherworldly elements seem right at home amidst wild mountains, endless desert and a vast, unforgiving landscape.

Issue #126 also finishes with reviewers’ picks of the best speculative fiction in 2019. 

To read the full essay and other pieces in this issue, visit here.

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I’m happy to announce that my nonfiction article “Legendary Women of Horror” appears in Aurealis Magazine‘s issue #119, alongside of two other essays, “Suffer the Little Children: An Analysis of Parental Horror in Stephen King’s Early Fiction” by Kris Ashton and “Worldbuilding: The Bad and the Just Plain Ugly” by Amy Laurens.

The issue of this esteemed Australian monthly SF/F magazine is rounded out with three fascinating stories by Gordon Grice, Michelle Birkette and Chris Walker, as well as reviews and excellent art.

Aurealis Magazine, founded in 1990, and, in 1995, instituted the Aurealis Awards for Excellence in Australian Speculative Fiction. This issue was edited by Michael Pryor, an award-winning writer and prolific novelist.

I begin “Legendary Women of Horror” with a nod to the master, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley:

Over 200 years ago, Frankenstein’s monster lumbered across the minds of readers around the globe. The tale of Victor Frankenstein and his monster’s anguish tapped into fears about science, nature, and both the power and helplessness of humanity.

After a brief historic overview and discussion on why diverse viewpoints are particularly important in the horror genre, I dive into some of the cutting-edge modern horror writing by women today, as well as highlight two key efforts to showcase women’s work: a social media movement that happens every February called Women In Horror (which just celebrated its 10th year) and a website and comprehensive directory called Ladies of Horror Fiction.

To read the full essay and other pieces in this issue, check out #119 here, for just $2.99.