DD Episode 114: Simon Strantzas and Dead and Buried (1981)

This episode, Jason has a discussion with Simon Strantzas where they talk Clive Barker, weird fiction, how to build character, and the stories within his latest collection Nothing is Everything.

Then Jason and Michael discuss the 1981 horror film Dead and Buried.


Intro: 00:00

Simon Strantzas Interview: 05:30

Dead and Buried: 38:32

Outro: 58:01

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Interview questions for quick reference:

1. How were you introduced to horror and weird fiction?

2. You wrote an introduction to Steve Rasnic Tem's collection, Hidden Figures. How did that come about?

3. How do you differentiate between weird fiction and magic realism?

4. How do you write in a literary style? I find that literary, or at least contemporary is more about people living their lives and are interrupted by horror when horror typically deals with the horror element more straight on.

5. How do you pull and flesh out a fictional life in your work?

6. You add these elements very well into the stories within you're the latest collection, Nothing is Everything. The Fifth Stone, I think might be one of the better examples. You have a woman's entire life in one short story, and it works. It's one of my favorites from the collection. What was the genesis behind this story and how did you take that idea and turn it into what it is?

7. The first story, In This Twilight, I'd say hit me the hardest. I think because it's locations are very familiar to me. I talked to you about this over Facebook Messenger and you said that you like to take liberties with your Central Ontario, Canada settings, which I noticed. But I felt that In This Twilight almost took place in a different reality that only resembled our own. Was that part of the idea behind writing it?

8. There are also stories like Ghost Dogs where it's almost as though you dropped some LSD and began typing once the drug took hold. Do you know when beginning a story how surreal it's going to become or is the surrealism in your stories a more organic experience for you when writing?

9. The Terrific Mr. Toucan is another favorite. I love the hallucinatory feel to a magic show where the audience thinks that it's all an illusion of some sort but are ignorant of something very real going on.

10. Some of these stories I will, especially the ones I mentioned, are ones that I will reread again and again. You posted on Facebook a couple of weeks ago a list of stories you keep returning too. They were:

- “Macintosh Willy” by Ramsey Campbell

- “Afterward” by Edith Wharton

- “The Beckoning Fair One” by Oliver Onions

- “Smoke Ghost” by Fritz Lieber

- “Our Supervisor’s Temporary Town Manager” by Thomas Ligotti

- “Ringing the Changes” by Robert Aickman

What are some of the elements in a story that will make you go back and reread more than once?

12. Who are you reading today that you're excited about?

13. I was saddened to hear of Wilum Pugmire's recent passing, were you a fan of his work at all?

14. What do you have coming out soon that readers can look forward to?

15. Where can listeners find you online?