Tag Archives: John Langan

Get Ready to Ragnarok with Christine Morgan’s The Raven’s Table

Our first book of 2017, Christine Morgan’s Viking-themed collection The Raven’s Table, just received a starred review in Publisher’s Weekly. “These original stories of Viking adventure ring with historical glory and drama, rising and falling in the rhythms of legends and myths passed down over the generations. Thriller and fantasy author Morgan (Murder Girls) taps into the power of fireside tales in a collection that is steeped in tradition and yet completely fresh. […] These works have the sure, solid feel of a talented author deeply engaged with her source material and genre. They’re an excellent read for those who enjoy myths and legends of all kinds.” Read the full review at this link.

The Raven's Table by Christine Morgan

Listen…

The furious clangor of battle. The harrowing singing of steel. The desperate cries of wounded animals. The gasps of bleeding, dying men. The slow, deep breathing of terrible things–trolls, giants, draugr–waiting in the darkness. The wolf’s wind howling, stalking like death itself. The carrion-crows, avaricious and impatient, circling the battle-ground, the Raven’s Table.

Listen

The skald’s voice, low, canting, weaving tales of fate and heroism, battle and revelry. Of gods and monsters, and of the women and men that stand against them. Of stormy Scandinavian skies and settlements upon strange continents. Of mead-hall victories, funeral pyres, dragon-prowed ships, and gold-laden tombs. Of Ragnarok. Of Valhalla.

For a decade, author Christine Morgan’s Viking stories have delighted readers and critics alike, standing apart from the anthologies they appeared in. Now, Word Horde brings you The Raven’s Table, the first-ever collection of Christine Morgan’s Vikings, from “The Barrow-Maid” to “Aerkheim’s Horror” and beyond. These tales of adventure, fantasy, and horror will rouse your inner Viking.

Preorder The Raven’s Table today!

In other news, we are quite pleased to see John Langan’s The Fisherman and Livia Llewellyn’s Furnace on the Locus Recommended Reading List, alongside a bunch of other great books. Check out the full list at this link.

And we also note that author Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley died on this day in 1851. Check out our tribute to her: Eternal Frankenstein.

Vote Word Horde

As we mentioned a few weeks ago, it’s Awards Season in the genre fiction community. This is your chance to suggest, nominate, and vote for your favorite books of the year. And if a 2016 Word Horde title made your list of favorites, we’d like to encourage you to suggest, nominate, and vote for it in the appropriate venues.

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Last year, we were honored with wins in the Anthology of the Year (Cthulhu Fhtagn!) and Publisher of the Year categories of the This Is Horror Awards. This year, the This Is Horror Awards have recognized Word Horde in five categories:

Nominated for the 2016 This Is Horror Award for Novel of the Year:
The Fisherman, John Langan

Nominated for the 2016 This is Horror Award for Short Story Collection of the Year:
Furnace, Livia Llewellyn
The Lure of Devouring Light, Michael Griffin

Nominated for the 2016 This is Horror Award for Anthology of the Year:
Eternal Frankenstein, edited by Ross E. Lockhart

Nominated for the 2016 This is Horror Award for Publisher of the Year:
Word Horde

We’d like to encourage you to visit the This Is Horror Awards website and VOTE for your favorite books of 2016. It only takes an email!

Another prestigious award that has just opened up for nominations is the David Gemmell Award for Fantasy. Please consider dropping by their website and nominating John Langan’s The Fisherman for The Legend Award for best fantasy novel. We’d love to see John win an axe. And once again, it only takes an email!

Obligatory Awards Eligibility Post

As we come to the end of another year, it is traditional to look back through the last 365 days and take stock of one’s accomplishments. In 2016, Word Horde published five books: Furnace, by Livia Llewellyn; The Lure of Devouring Light, by Michael Griffin; The Fisherman, by John Langan; A Brutal Chill in August, by Alan M. Clark, and Eternal Frankenstein, edited by Ross E. Lockhart.

If you read and enjoyed any (or all) of these Word Horde books in 2016, we ask that you consider nominating those books in their respective categories in the Hugos, Locus Awards, Nebulas, Bram Stoker Awards, or similar awards. Likewise, the Novellas, Novelettes, and Short Stories we published this year that are eligible for your awards consideration. Plus, we’ve included a list of Related Works you may have otherwise missed. Thanks for your consideration, it means the world to us!

Best Collection:
Furnace, by Livia Llewellyn
The Lure of Devouring Light, by Michael Griffin

Best Novel:
The Fisherman, by John Langan
A Brutal Chill in August, by Alan M. Clark

Best Anthology:
Eternal Frankenstein, edited by Ross E. Lockhart

Best Novella:
“The New Soviet Man”, by G. D. Falksen (10738 words, Eternal Frankenstein)
“The Black Vein Runs Deep”, by Michael Griffin (38620 words, The Lure of Devouring Light)
“The Human Alchemy”, by Michael Griffin (11043 words, Eternal Frankenstein)
“The Un-Bride; or, No Gods and Marxists”, by Anya Martin (11669 words, Eternal Frankenstein)
“Mary Shelley’s Body”, by David Templeton (27611 words, Eternal Frankenstein)

Best Novelette:
“Wither on the Vine, or Strickfadden’s Monster”, by Nathan Carson (9342 words, Eternal Frankenstein)
“The Jewel in the Eye”, by Michael Griffin (8862 words, The Lure of Devouring Light)

Best Short Story:
“Thermidor”, by Siobhan Carroll (3490 words, Eternal Frankenstein)
“Sewn Into Her Fingers”, by Autumn Christian (5540 words, Eternal Frankenstein)
“Orchids by the Sea”, by Rios de la Luz (1772 words, Eternal Frankenstein)
“The Beautiful Thing We Will Becone”, by Kristi DeMeester (4010 words, Eternal Frankenstein)
“Baron von Werewolf Presents: Frankenstein Against the Phantom Planet”, by Orrin Grey (5874 words, Eternal Frankenstein)
“Dreaming Awake in the Tree of the World”, by Michael Griffin (4248 words, The Lure of Devouring Light)
“The Accident of Survival”, by Michael Griffin (3609 words, The Lure of Devouring Light)
“The Book of Shattered Mornings”, by Michael Griffin (3948 words, The Lure of Devouring Light)
“Living”, by Scott R Jones (2759 words, Eternal Frankenstein)
“In the Court of King Cupressaceae, 1982”, by Livia Llewellyn (6256 words, Furnace)
“Frankenstein Triptych”, by Edward Morris (3180 words, Eternal Frankenstein)
“Postpartum”, by Betty Rocksteady (6649 words, Eternal Frankenstein)
“Torso Heart Head”, by Amber-Rose Reed (1312 words, Eternal Frankenstein)
“They Call Me Monster”, by Tiffany Scandal (3233 words, Eternal Frankenstein)
“Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice”, by Damien Angelica Walters (4900 words, Eternal Frankenstein)

Best Publisher:
Word Horde

Best Editor, Short Form:
Ross E. Lockhart

Best Editor, Long Form:
Ross E. Lockhart

Best Original Cover Art:
A Brutal Chill in August, Alan M. Clark
Eternal Frankenstein, Matthew Revert

Best Related Work:
Word Horde Presents John Langan, interview by Sean M. Thompson
“The Soul of You” Music Video, (“The Soul of You” as sung by the Bonehill Ghost in the novel A Brutal Chill in August by Alan M. Clark. Song produced by Matt Hayward. Lyrics by Alan m. Clark. Music by Michael Green. Vocals by Gerard Smith. Piano by Anna Muhlbach.)
Facebook Live: Eternal Frankenstein Launch Party at Copperfield’s Books
Live-Blogging Jack London’s The People of the Abyss, Alan M. Clark

 

REVIEWERS: If you missed any of these books, drop us a line and we’ll be happy to send you an electronic reading copy for consideration. publicity[at]wordhorde[dot]com.

There’s Still Time to Read the Best Books of 2016 Before the End of the Year

If a Word Horde book was one of your favorite reads of 2016, we hope you’ll help us tell the world by sharing a link, posting a review, telling a friend, or nominating for an award.

And with that, here’s our 2016 lineup. Books make great holiday gifts! Thanks for helping us make 2016 our best year yet!

 

Furnace, by Livia Llewellyn.

furnace“Beautiful and hideous in the same breath, its 13 tales of erotic, surreal, existential horror pack a logic-shattering punch. […] Llewellyn is steeped in the eerie tradition of H.P. Lovecraft and Thomas Ligotti, and a sympathetic sense of dislocation and dread permeates Furnace. […] Bursting with blood and shadow and dust, with horror and wonder.” –Jason Heller, NPR

 

The Lure of Devouring Light, by Michael Griffin

lure“Michael Griffin’s The Lure of Devouring Light is one of those rare first story collections that defines both the writer and the genre, with stories that linger long after the last page is turned. In a year already full of amazing collections from established as well as new writers, we feel this is one collection that will remain one of your favorites for years to come.” —This Is Horror

 

The Fisherman, by John Langan

fisherman“In his superb new novel The Fisherman, John Langan also manages to sustain the focused effect of a short story or a poem over the course of a long horror narrative, and it’s an especially remarkable feat because this is a novel that goes back and forth in time, alternates lengthy stretches of calm with extended passages of vigorous and complex action, and features a very, very large monster.” —The New York Times Book Review

 

A Brutal Chill in August, by Alan M. Clark

abcia“Everything about this novel inspires admiration. It reveals terrible things about the world of London’s poor, yet it is a work of great beauty, ceaselessly entertaining and compellingly readable. The rigging of a ship burning in the fire at the London Docks ‘sparkles like a spider web dripping with dew at sunrise’. When we finally meet Jack the Ripper, he emerges from the darkness like an ordinary man, smelling of sulphur and soap. A Brutal Chill in August is a triumph.” —Ripperologist Magazine

 

Eternal Frankenstein, edited by Ross E. Lockhart

frank“This impressive compendium contains a rich array of short stories inspired by Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. […] All of the writing is high quality, all the stories are suspenseful, and though most involve reanimation of the dead, the perspectives all differ, as do the historical time periods. […] The anthology would make an excellent college classroom companion to Frankenstein because of its relatable narratives interwoven with history and biography, as well as some vivid present-day tales (particularly Tiffany Scandal’s “They Call Me Monster” and Damien Angelica Walters’s “Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice”) that address bullying, loneliness, and body image.” —Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

 

A shout-out to the crew at Copperfield’s Books in Petaluma, CA for helping us show off our books.

 

PS: Just noted at Tor.com: John Langan’s The Fisherman and Livia Llewellyn’s Furnace make the list: Reviewers’ Choice: Best Books of 2016:

“Langan’s novel is deliberate, elegant, and beautifully written; the horror and trauma of these two men is explored to the bone, and in the end, knowing them so well only makes the horrors to come that much more terrifying. If you enjoy horror, I’d highly recommend this incredible novel.”

“…the collection that most stayed with me—I read it back in January—was Livia Llewellyn’s Furnace and Other Stories. Vicious, beautiful, and darkly erotic, these stories got under my skin in the best possible way.”

 

Giallo July

There’s something colorful in the air, things seem super-saturated, and a synthesizer soundtrack just cut in, so we are declaring this month to be Giallo July. To celebrate, we’ve dropped the price of the Giallo Fantastique ebook to just $2.99 (Kindle, Kobo, Nook) for the duration of the month. What’s your favorite shade of horror?

GialloJuly

An anthology of original strange stories at the intersection of crime, terror, and supernatural fiction. Inspired by and drawing from the highly stylized cinematic thrillers of Argento, Bava, and Fulci; American noir and crime fiction; and the grim fantasies of Edgar Allan Poe, Guy de Maupassant, and Jean Ray, Giallo Fantastique seeks to unnerve readers through virtuoso storytelling and startlingly colorful imagery.

Table of Contents:

Introduction – Ross E. Lockhart
Minerva – Michael Kazepis
In the Flat Light – Adam Cesare
Terror in the House of Broken Belles – Nikki Guerlain
The Strange Vice of ZLA-313 – MP Johnson
Sensoria – Anya Martin
The Red Church – Orrin Grey
Balch Creek – Cameron Pierce
Hello, Handsome – Garrett Cook (audio at the link!)
We Can Only Become Monsters – Ennis Drake
The Threshold of Waking Light – E. Catherine Tobler
The Communion of Saints – John Langan
Exit Strategies – Brian Keene

“Lockhart translates giallo fantastique as weird crime, and each story, while very different in style and tone, melds crime and supernatural horror with panache and verve. […] The stories’ conclusions are never definitive, leaving the reader with a delicious sense of lingering unease.” —Publishers Weekly

“A lavish, sumptuous tapestry of luxurious surrealism and strangeness.” –Christine Morgan, The Horror Fiction Review

“…ultimately satisfying, with a few tales that skirt tantalizingly close to brilliance.” –Mer Whinery, Muzzleland Press

Gone Fishin’!

John Langan’s The Fisherman lands today, so if you preordered a copy of the book or ebook, we’d like to encourage you to hang up a “gone fishing” sign while reading it this weekend. Just add the following picture to your profile on social media, grab the book, kick back, and enjoy!

GoneFishingLangan

As always, we love reviews! If you enjoy The Fisherman, or any Word Horde book, PLEASE talk it up online, tell friends, and post your review on Goodreads, Amazon, B&N, or wherever readers look to discover their next book. Thanks!

And, speaking of Goodreads, for a chance to win one of three copies of The Fisherman trade paperback, don’t forget to enter our Goodreads Summer Solstice Giveaway. But hurry, this offer ends July 4, 2016.

Shipping this week: John Langan’s The Fisherman

You’ve enjoyed John Langan’s fiction in numerous anthologies, including The Children of Old Leech and Giallo Fantastique. You devoured his previous novel, House of Windows, and his collections, Mr. Gaunt and Other Uneasy Encounters and The Wide Carnivorous Sky and Other Monstrous Geographies. Now, prepare yourself for a fishing trip unlike any other as Word Horde presents John Langan’s latest novel of cosmic horror, The Fisherman. Available where better books are sold June 30th (ask for it by name!). We will be shipping direct orders of The Fisherman this week. It’s not too late to get your order in.

And while you’re waiting to hook your copy of The Fisherman on your line, check out this brand new interview with John Langan, conducted by Word Horde’s own Sean M. Thompson:

In upstate New York, in the woods around Woodstock, Dutchman’s Creek flows out of the Ashokan Reservoir. Steep-banked, fast-moving, it offers the promise of fine fishing, and of something more, a possibility too fantastic to be true. When Abe and Dan, two widowers who have found solace in each other’s company and a shared passion for fishing, hear rumors of the Creek, and what might be found there, the remedy to both their losses, they dismiss it as just another fish story. Soon, though, the men find themselves drawn into a tale as deep and old as the Reservoir. It’s a tale of dark pacts, of long-buried secrets, and of a mysterious figure known as Der Fisher: the Fisherman. It will bring Abe and Dan face to face with all that they have lost, and with the price they must pay to regain it.

The Fisherman by John Langan

“John Langan’s The Fisherman is literary horror at its sharpest and most imaginative. It’s at turns a quiet and powerfully melancholy story about loss and grief; the impossibility of going on in same manner as you had before. It’s also a rollicking, kick-ass, white-knuckle charge into the winding, wild, raging river of redemption. Illusory, frightening, and deeply moving, The Fisherman is a modern horror epic. And it’s simply a must read.” –Paul Tremblay, author of A Head Full of Ghosts and Disappearance at Devil’s Rock

The Fisherman is an epic, yet intimate, horror novel. Langan channels M. R. James, Robert E. Howard, and Norman Maclean. What you get is A River Runs through It…Straight to hell.” –Laird Barron, author of X’s for Eyes

Feeling lucky? Take a chance at winning a copy of The Fisherman in our Goodreads Summer Solstice Giveaway, running now through July 4, 2016.

The Word Horde Summer Solstice Goodreads Giveaway (Plus the Latest News)

We’ve just kicked off our biggest Goodreads Giveaway yet, with copies of Michael Griffin’s The Lure of Devouring Light, Livia Llewellyn’s Furnace, Orrin Grey’s Painted Monsters & Other Strange Beasts, Ross E. Lockhart’s Cthulhu Fhtagn!, and John Langan’s The Fisherman up for grabs. All you have to do is click through, sign up for Goodreads (if you haven’t already), and enter to win. On the Summer Solstice, June 20, we will select winners and ship books (July 4 in the case of John Langan’s The Fisherman).

Here are the Goodreads Giveaway links:

The Lure of Devouring Light
Furnace
Painted Monsters & Other Strange Beasts
Cthulhu Fhtagn!
The Fisherman (runs June 1-July 4, 2016)

In other news, The Driftless Area Review just posted a new interview with the Bram Stoker Award-winning author of Mr. Suicide, Nicole Cushing, wherein they discuss conventions, “likeable characters,” Louisville, KY, and the definition of evil. It’s a great read.

And you can now read the title story from Livia Llewellyn’s Word Horde collection, Furnace, courtesy of the folks at Weird Fiction Review. Llewellyn’s Shirley Jackson Award-nominated story “Furnace” originally appeared in the Joseph S. Pulver, Sr.-edited Thomas Ligotti tribute anthology The Grimscribe’s Puppets. Read it here.

Cover Reveal/Now Available to Preorder: John Langan’s The Fisherman

Coming June 30, 2016: John Langan’s long-awaited second novel, The Fisherman. We think you’re going to enjoy the hell out of this one. Here’s your first look at the cover:

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Here’s the teaser:

In upstate New York, in the woods around Woodstock, Dutchman’s Creek flows out of the Ashokan Reservoir. Steep-banked, fast-moving, it offers the promise of fine fishing, and of something more, a possibility too fantastic to be true. When Abe and Dan, two widowers who have found solace in each other’s company and a shared passion for fishing, hear rumors of the Creek, and what might be found there, the remedy to both their losses, they dismiss it as just another fish story. Soon, though, the men find themselves drawn into a tale as deep and old as the Reservoir. It’s a tale of dark pacts, of long-buried secrets, and of a mysterious figure known as Der Fisher: the Fisherman. It will bring Abe and Dan face to face with all that they have lost, and with the price they must pay to regain it.

And here are just a couple of the blurbs The Fisherman has picked up so far:

“John Langan’s The Fisherman is literary horror at its sharpest and most imaginative. It’s at turns a quiet and powerfully melancholy story about loss and grief; the impossibility of going on in same manner as you had before. It’s also a rollicking, kick-ass, white-knuckle charge into the winding, wild, raging river of redemption. Illusory, frightening, and deeply moving, The Fisherman is a modern horror epic. And it’s simply a must read.”
–Paul Tremblay, author of A Head Full of Ghosts and Disappearance at Devil’s Rock.

“For some fishing is a therapeutic, a way to clear one’s head, to chase away the noise of a busy world and focus on one single thing. On good days it can heal the worst pains, even help develop a sense of solace. John Langan’s The Fisherman isn’t about the good day fishing, it isn’t even about a bad day fishing, its about the day that you shouldn’t have even left the house, let alone waded chest deep into a swollen stream of churning water. Langan tells you that up front, warns you this isn’t going to be that story, but you ignore the signs, lured in by the faint smell of masculine adventure, hooked by tragedy and the chance of redemption, and reeled in by a nesting tale of ever growing horrors. By the time you realize what has happened it’s already too late, you’re caught in an unavoidable net of terror that can end in only one way. It doesn’t matter how strong you are or how prepared, John Langan has you hook, line and sinker, and he doesn’t let go until the very last page.”
–Pete Rawlik, author of Reanimatrix

The Fisherman is an epic, yet intimate, horror novel. Langan channels M. R. James, Robert E. Howard, and Norman Maclean. What you get is A River Runs through It…Straight to hell.”
–Laird Barron, author of X’s for Eyes

Preorder your copy of The Fisherman today!

Xmas Hiatus / An Interview with John Langan

We’ll be taking a short break this week in order to spend the Xmas holiday with family, but we’ll be back to shipping orders on December 29. In the meantime, we’d encourage you to order Word Horde from the better bookstore near you. And to fill your stocking with Holiday Horrors, here’s Sean’s interview with John Langan.

What do you think the role of genre is in fiction?

I think of genre as a fundamental component of narrative (and here I’m using genre as Michael Chabon does in his introduction to Maps and Legends: Reading and Writing Along the Borderlands, to indicate regions in a country, as compared to countries on a globe). It’s inescapable: every story has a context, has a set of texts to which it is related. To me, this is something to be celebrated and explored.

Your story from The Children of Old Leech, “Ymir,” deals with the Norse myth of, well Ymir. Do you often like to draw from myths in your work?

I love myth; I love comparative mythology. No doubt, I was led to it via comic books, The Mighty Thor in particular. When I was a kid, most of the books I could find dealt with Greek and Roman myth; although there were a couple about the Norse pantheon. I picked up a copy of Edith Hamilton’s Mythology when I was eleven or twelve, and it laid the Greek and Roman myths out in order; there was also a brief section at the end about the Norse deities. Hamilton remains my go-to; though I loved Roberto Calasso’s The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony (so much I named a character in a story after him [actually, he’s shown up in a few stories]). I suppose the differences between the Greek and Roman treatments of a figure such as Ares/Mars were what led me to an interest in comparative mythology, which was fed by reading both in other mythologies and in literary critics such as Northrop Frye, who pointed out the underlying similarities among mythic narratives. Especially given the current predominance of the Cthulhu mythos in fantastic fiction, the older myths can provide a welcome alternative narrative context.

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I know you can’t say a lot about your upcoming novel, The Fisherman, but what can you say about the novel?

The Fisherman tells the story of a fishing trip two widowers take to a haunted river that promises to allow them one last meeting with their loved ones. In the middle of that, they learn some of the occult history of the construction of the Ashokan Reservoir in upstate New York. Terrible things ensue. I hope to have more news to share about the book in the near future.

Have you ever wondered why memory works the way it does? Why some things burn themselves into your brain, but others won’t stay unless you go over them over and over?

Yes, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about memory and the way it functions. It’s at the heart of some of my favorite writers’ works: Ford’s The Good Solider, Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury and Light in August and Absalom, Absalom!, Straub’s Ghost Story and Koko and Mrs. God. Proust and Eliot both obsess over the relationship between memory and time. The nature of memory is at the heart of the way influence functions, I think, which is one of my academic preoccupations. I did some reading of trauma theory years ago—especially Cathy Caruth’s Unclaimed Experience: Trauma, Narrative and History—as a way to approach questions of memory and influence (in light of what you might call traumatic memory, I suppose). Caruth explores the idea that it’s the very wound in your psyche that allows you to speak, which is kind of an updating of the argument that Edmund Wilson made decades earlier in The Wound and the Bow and which I’m not sure I (completely) agree with. At the same time, I think of Kirk’s declaration, in the otherwise-atrocious Star Trek V, that he won’t relinquish the pain in his life, because that’s what makes him who he is. To take things down a notch, it may very well be that the things that lodge in your memory, from annoying tunes to bits of dialogue to images you can’t place, are part of the material from which you construct yourself.

Do you consider yourself a weird fiction author, a horror author, or do you simply think of yourself as an author?

I think of myself as a writer working within the horror tradition. If someone wants to call me a horror writer, I’m fine with that. I’m also fine with being called a weird writer; though, to be frank, much of what has been included under the weird umbrella strikes me as a semantic fig leaf, horror writing looking to rebrand itself with a more appealing name.

widecarnivorous

I remember hearing in passing that you, sir, are a fan of comic books. What are some of your favorites, and do you think that comics have influenced your work in any way?

Comics played a foundational role in my development, first as a reader, then as a writer. I became interested in comics during the seventies, when Marv Wolfman and Roy Thomas were working on The Amazing Spider-Man and Conan the Barbarian, respectively. I followed Wolfman’s work on Spidey, The Fantastic Four, and then The Teen Titans and Night Force; recently, I picked up the black and white reprints of his and Gene Colan’s Tomb of Dracula. During the later seventies, there were paperback reprints of the first issues of The Amazing Spider-Man and The Fantastic Four, and this introduced me to Stan Lee and Steve Ditko and Jack Kirby. When I was a little older, I discovered Alan Moore’s work on Swamp Thing, which led me to The Watchmen, V for Vendetta, and pretty much anything by Moore I could get my hands on. In more recent years, I’ve been a fan of Gaiman’s Sandman, Mike Carey’s Lucifer and Unwritten, and Bill Willingham’s Fables. The entire run of DC’s Hellblazer was probably my single favorite comic, ever: pretty much every writer who worked on it rose to the occasion and produced some of their best work, ever. Lately, I’ve been reading Eric Powell’s The Goon, which I love for its astonishing, Bernie-Wrightson-esque art, and for the way it swerves wildly between raucous comedy and utter pathos, and the books in the Hellboy universe, especially The B.P.R.D., which seems to me unparalleled in its portrayal of a world dealing with the consequences of an ongoing apocalypse. I could talk about comics all day.
As to how they influenced me: when I was younger, I aspired to work in comics, first as an artist, then as an artist-writer. I think the Marvel comics I was reading when I was very young showed what you could do if you brought a relative degree of realism to your fantastic situations, if your superheroes struggled to balance their private and public lives, if they operated in a world something like ours. At their best, those Marvel books are master-classes in melodrama. Alan Moore’s work built on all of that, deepening the characters’ psychologies and thinking through the implications of their powers and places in the world more thoroughly. Gaiman, Carey, Willingham, and the Mignola crew constructed elaborate mythologies that they followed through long, intricate narratives.

How much of a role do you think where you live has to do with the type of fictional landscape you choose to create?

It would seem it has to have some connection, wouldn’t it? In my own case, I wonder how much my use of the mid-Hudson Valley in my work has to do with the fact that this is where I was living when I started to read those writers who made use of their particular places, Stephen King and William Faulkner (though I’m pretty sure I was planning a comic book set in this region before that, so maybe I’m wrong [or maybe I was responding to Stan Lee et. al.’s use of Manhattan and its environs…])? And yet, there have been places I’ve been to, Glencoe in Scotland, the varied landscape of Kentucky, that struck me the moment I saw them, and that have stuck with me since then. It’s funny, Simon Schama wrote an interesting book, Landscape and Memory, that touches on a couple of these interview questions.

Thanks for stopping by. Long live the Word Horde.

Thank you!

For more on all things John Langan, visit his website, or, better yet, read one (or more) of his books.