More Wrestling With Gods: 18 Days of Tesseracts interview

Corey Redekop has undertaken the Herculean feat (like that Greco-Roman mythic metaphor there? I’m so subtle) of interviewing the contributors to Tesseracts 18: Wrestling With Gods as part of the 18 Days of Tesseracts event, on now. I have the honour of being interview number seven.  Here’s a taste of the thought-provoking questions he had, and my best attempts at provoked-thought answers. You can see the entire series as it unfolds at Corey’s site.

What is it about so-called “genre” writing that makes it such an effective avenue for theological discussions?

I think genre stories can tap into what we now call myth. Modern audiences maybe need that little lever to get us out of literalist thinking—as if any fiction, genre or otherwise, is absolutely realistic. I don’t think people treated stories in such a fragmented way in the past; we didn’t have to distinguish between the historical or factual or fantastic to get enjoyment and value out of a story. But since religion and faith necessarily deal with questions of meaning, as I think the really old stories do, and aren’t bounded by what we conceive of as the natural world, I think speculative fiction is aptly suited to tackle similar questions.

Who’s your favourite god?

My favourite is Thor, but I think the best stories in the Norse tales we still have access to are about Loki. If you take them as a whole, you see how problematic but also necessary the Trickster figure is. Loki is at times helpful, indispensable, foolish, spiteful or disastrous. We’re much poorer for all the Norse myths that went unrecorded and were lost.

If you were a god for one day, what would you do?

I’d visit the bottom of the ocean and wrestle with krakens.

You can read the entire interview here.

They Don’t Stand For That: Symbols, Vampires, and Faith

fright-night-1985-w-roddy-mcdowall-and-william-ragsdaleI have a guest post up at the Tesseracts 18 blog on the story seed for my vampire story “The Harsh Light of Morning” in Tesseracts 18: Wrestling With Gods — here’s a brief excerpt. The whole post can be seen here.

It’s funny how an idea can get stuck in your mind and stay there.

For me, the concept of what a symbol is wasn’t something I bothered thinking about until two separate times in my life. One, watching Fright Night in high school. Two, trying to understand what a theatre prof in university meant when he went on a tangent about the difference between a metaphor and a symbol.

But first: some backstory.

Vampires have always creeped me out. I do enjoy the fun recent incarnations (hello Angel, Blade, et. al.) but when you get right down to it, at their core they speak to a certain dread — usually, that people are prey.

But there is always hope — folklore gives us tools to strike back at the monster. The sign of the cross is one of them. A powerful symbol of Christ, and therefore, of good; it can drive back the vampire, an incarnation of evil if there ever was one.

Full post here.

Guns and Romances now available

Guns&Romances LRI announced landing a story in the Guns and Romances anthology some time ago, but now I’m thrilled to say the book is now available.

Edited by Nerine Dorman and Carrie Clevenger, the concept for the book was that each story had to feature “two characters interacting, flavoured with guns and music.” My story, “Caged,” has a same-sex romance, a werewolf, running commentary on the top five heavy metal drummers of all time, and at least two firearms being used in accordance with Anton Chekhov’s maxim. Oh, and a snowmobile chase.
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Long Hidden nominated for World Fantasy Award

LongHiddenWoot! Always an honour to be nominated, as they say, and Long Hidden has already been nominated for a prestigious award (Sofia Samatar’s “Ogres of East Africa” was nominated for a Locus Award, and so was Long Hidden) — but this feels especially “big”: Long Hidden has made the shortlist for the World Fantasy Award.

Full props to publishers Crossed Genres and editors Rose Fox and Daniel José Older for making the anthology happen, and to all the artists and authors who contributed. Yes, I’m biased! So what. If there was any anthology in English that strove to put the “world” in world fantasy in 2014, Long Hidden was it.
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