Archive for the ‘The 85 Weirdest!’ Category

The 85 Weirdest, Day 64: Tanith Lee

Tuesday, July 15th, 2008

The 85th anniversary issue of Weird Tales features our big list of “The 85 Weirdest Storytellers of the Past 85 Years.” We’re breaking it down online, too: one honoree per day, in no particular order, for 85 days!

Comic young-adult author, robust adventure fantasy novelist, gothic poetess: TANITH LEE (1947– ) has more writing personas than Sybil. But in her short fiction, much of it published in Weird Tales, all aspects of her various writing modes come together. Such pieces as “La Vampiresse,” “Antonius Bequeathed,” and “The Persecution Machine,” with their death-defying mixture of prose poetry, genre trope reversals and ominous wit, could be written by no one else.

The 85 Weirdest, Day 63: Gunther von Hagens

Friday, July 11th, 2008

The 85th anniversary issue of Weird Tales features our big list of “The 85 Weirdest Storytellers of the Past 85 Years.” We’re breaking it down online, too: one honoree per day, in no particular order, for 85 days!

GUNTHER VON HAGENS (1945– ) invented the science behind the original Body Worlds exhibit, which opens up preserved human bodies for educational display; he’s also the final word on its striking aesthetics. While his competitors have been accused of using corpses from unethical sources, von Hagens’s own exhibits hold documented proof of informed consent for the use of all the bodies. Which still leaves a healthy debate over the morality of showing dissected remains to paying onlookers — but, undeniably, it is powerful storytelling, and it is among the most profoundly weird.

The 85 Weirdest, Day 62: M.C. Escher

Wednesday, July 9th, 2008

The 85th anniversary issue of Weird Tales features our big list of “The 85 Weirdest Storytellers of the Past 85 Years.” We’re breaking it down online, too: one honoree per day, in no particular order, for 85 days!

Let’s face it: math isn’t just confounding and painful for many of us word nerds — it’s downright weird. Nobody captured the weirdness of geometry and spacetime more viscerally, or rendered it more fantastically, than M.C. ESCHER (1898–1972). He took abstract notions of physical transformation and made them real places to see, touch and get lost in, complete with dimensionally transcendent staircases. But what lurks just beyond the walls? In Escher’s worlds, what he left out is brain food of the weirdest kind.

The 85 Weirdest, Day 61: Ray Bradbury
PLUS: Win free weird theatre tickets!

Monday, July 7th, 2008

The 85th anniversary issue of Weird Tales features our big list of “The 85 Weirdest Storytellers of the Past 85 Years.” We’re breaking it down online, too: one honoree per day, in no particular order, for 85 days!

With The Illustrated Man and Something Wicked This Way Comes, RAY BRADBURY (1920-) confirmed forever the ineffable link between the fantasy crowd and the tattoo crowd. With Fahrenheit 451, he unsettled us all with the repugnant vision of firemen whose job is to set things on fire — the fact that said things were books just made it all the more horrific. His storytelling genius was cultivated in Weird Tales; it’s gone on to profoundly affect humankind for generations thereafter.

WIN FREE TICKETS TO WEIRD THEATRE THIS WEEKEND! Weird Tales is proud to be a media sponsor of the new play “Without Whom,” inspired by the life of Ray Bradbury and his late wife Marguerite. Written by Toronto playwright R.J. Downes and onstage now at the Toronto Fringe Festival, “Without Whom” draws upon elements of the Bradburys’ lives to ask the question: “What if we could make death wait — even if only for a little while?” The play runs through Sat., July 12 ( and again next month at the Hamilton Fringe Festival) — and we’ve got two pairs of tickets to give away for the show this Saturday at 5:15 pm! If you’re in the Toronto area and want to see the show, just email events at weirdtales dot net with the subject line “Weird Theatre Tickets” and give us your name and address. On Wednesday we’ll randomly select two winners from all the entrants and notify you by email!

The 85 Weirdest, Day 60: Rand & Robyn Miller

Saturday, July 5th, 2008

The 85th anniversary issue of Weird Tales features our big list of “The 85 Weirdest Storytellers of the Past 85 Years.” We’re breaking it down online, too: one honoree per day, in no particular order, for 85 days!

When they designed, wrote, and produced the computer game Myst, the brothers RAND & ROBYN MILLER (1959–, 1966– ) didn’t just create a spooky, ethereal, otherworldly puzzle-solving experience reminiscent of a collaboration between Clark Ashton Smith and M.C. Escher. They also revolutionized videogame architecture, making first-person narrative the default gamer perspective. Another 85 years from now, literary historians will note that moment as the major paradigm shift on the road to truly interactive storytelling — weird or otherwise.

The 85 Weirdest, Day 59: C.L. Moore & Henry Kuttner

Thursday, July 3rd, 2008

The 85th anniversary issue of Weird Tales features our big list of “The 85 Weirdest Storytellers of the Past 85 Years.” We’re breaking it down online, too: one honoree per day, in no particular order, for 85 days!

The original Weird Tales power couple, CATHERINE L. MOORE (1911–1987) & HENRY KUTTNER (1915–1958) met and married after Kuttner, not knowing C.L. Moore was a woman, wrote “him” a fan letter that was printed in WT’s letters/editorial column, “The Eyrie.” Moore’s heroine Jirel of Joiry was the first female protagonist in the sword-and-sorcery genre, not to mention the source for the classic WT cover “The Black God’s Kiss.” Kuttner &  Moore’s story “Mimsy Were the Borogoves” was just Hollywoodized last year as The Last Mimzy.

The 85 Weirdest, Day 58: Stanley Kubrick

Tuesday, July 1st, 2008

The 85th anniversary issue of Weird Tales features our big list of “The 85 Weirdest Storytellers of the Past 85 Years.” We’re breaking it down online, too: one honoree per day, in no particular order, for 85 days! Today we resume after a two-week break with the legendary STANLEY KUBRICK (1928-1999).

Dairy-based Beethoven-fueled ultraviolent rape-a-thon? Acid trip space pregnancy? Thermonuclear protonazi doomsday over precious bodily fluids? Mask-clad Cirque du Scientologist orgypalooza? Vietnammy soap-sock blanket party Pyle-on? Humberty Humberty cross-country lollipopping? Snow-induced secluded-hotel indoor unwelcome lumberjacking? Who is Spartacus? I am Spartacus. No, I am Spartacus. No, I am Spartacus.

What’s new: Warner Bros. releases DVD documentary Stanley Kubrick: A Life in Pictures.

The 85 Weirdest, Day 57: Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Monday, June 16th, 2008

The 85th anniversary issue of Weird Tales features our big list of “The 85 Weirdest Storytellers of the Past 85 Years.” We’re breaking it down online, too: one honoree per day, in no particular order, for 85 days!

GABRIEL GARCIA MARQUEZ’s (1927– ) brand of writing, dubbed magic realism, serves as a lyrical reminder that in some cultures ghosts, spirits and unseen forces are just part of everyday life. The Colombian author’s One Hundred Years of Solitude introduced the world to a romantic mysticism that could only be made convincing by prose of incomparable precision. Visiting with Marquez for the 468 pages it takes to finish Solitude should be a requirement for all those wishing to explore their own capacity for wonder.

The 85 Weirdest, Day 56: Alice Cooper

Sunday, June 15th, 2008

The 85th anniversary issue of Weird Tales features our big list of “The 85 Weirdest Storytellers of the Past 85 Years.” We’re breaking it down online, too: one honoree per day, in no particular order, for 85 days!

With buckets of fake blood, electric chairs, boa constrictors, coffins and (of course!) guillotines, ALICE COOPER (1948– ) put flesh on the bare bones of “shock rock.” His traveling carnival may have horrified parents, but what looked like violent self-indulgence was a much-needed escape valve for a collective psyche that was ready to blow. Cooper gave voice to disaffected teens, form to nightmares nobody wanted to mention, and carved a bloody path for later acts to follow. (Marilyn Manson, anyone?)

What’s new: Cooper is touring this summer!

The 85 Weirdest, Day 55: Dave McKean

Friday, June 13th, 2008

The 85th anniversary issue of Weird Tales features our big list of “The 85 Weirdest Storytellers of the Past 85 Years.” We’re breaking it down online, too: one honoree per day, in no particular order, for 85 days!

Dave McKean - Mr. PunchFew artists have so widened the possibilities for how to create graphical narratives than DAVE MCKEAN (1963– ). And even fewer artists have the ability to pack so much storytelling into single images. Yet McKean, known for his work illustrating writers ranging from Neil Gaiman to Jonathan Carroll to Tori Amos, possesses something rarer still: the uncanny ability to create images that spark an instant visceral reaction in the viewer. Powerful tools for a wielder of weird, these. We thank our lucky stars for his breathtaking body of work.