Saturday, April 10, 2021

Some swordly-and-sorcerous goings-on, and guest appearances

If you want to get invited on a podcast, the thing to do is to write a book (it's that easy! Well, not the writing of the book part, which is rather hard). Then apparently you have become an authority, or a quasi-celebrity, instead of an average boring dad who likes to read about men stabbing monsters, and each other, during his spare time.

Tomorrow I will be serving as guest on the UK-based Innsmouth Book Club, a podcast which covers HPL, CAS, REH, and other like authors. The hosts will be covering "The Slithering Shadow"/"Xuthal of the Dusk," then I'll be on to talk S&S more broadly. Little do these guests know I live within a stone's throw of the historical Innsmouth, Newburyport MA. And have seen Deep Ones (or maybe they were just drunk bar patrons ... who knows).

Next month I've been asked to guest on a new show called Unknown Worlds of the Merril Collection, with the episode to appear sometime this summer.

I've also been told that a podcast episode I did with Robert Zoltan on the Literary Wonder & Adventure Show last June is nearing 2K views. Check that out here.

Among the reasons I love to write is that it allows me to express my true and actual voice, which due to a combination of natural introversion (I definitely recharge in solitude, away from people) and mild social anxiety is far easier for me to do in the written word than in conversation. That's why I've resisted starting a podcast myself. I fear I'm not very glib, or interesting. Just interested in certain things, like S&S and heavy metal, if that makes sense.

I hope I can deliver something of value to these programs. Even against my natural inclinations I'm leaning into the apprehension and doing my part to spread the gospel of sword-and-sorcery.

On the writing side of things, I recently had published an academic essay, "From Pulps to Paperbacks: The role of medium in the development of sword-and-sorcery fiction," in The Journal of American Culture. The publisher is the Wiley Online Library and it's behind a paywall, but if you're interested and/or have library or other free access, you can find it here. One of my discoveries during the research and writing of Flame and Crimson was that sword-and-sorcery was shaped as much by medium as by the idiosyncratic contributions of individual authors. That's what this essay is about, covering the role of pulps, magazines and fanzines (in particular Amra), and mass-market paperbacks, on how sword-and-sorcery came to be. It was done on a very tight deadline after Jason Ray Carney, editor of The Dark Man, asked me to fill in for someone else who had to bail last minute, and so it relies on much material from Flame and Crimson. But the focus is more squarely on the medium, not the authors. I do hope it opens up S&S to some academic-types and other cultural observers.

1 comment:

Matthew said...

Sounds interesting.