GGG#13: John Langan
Episode 13 << Click to Listen
John Langan, author of Mr. Gaunt and Other Uneasy Encounters and House of Windows, joins us for our horrifying thirteenth episode to discuss reading comics, becoming part of academia, and his love/hate relationship with Henry James.
Panel Topic: Horror
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0:00 Introduction by Tor.com
0:38 Dave and John introduce the show
Interview: John Langan
02:10 Interview begins
02:25 Comics, Conan, and King: some of John Langan’s early influences, and how he became a writer
06:58 What scares a horror writer?
09:25 John’s return to academia and its influence on his short story “Tutorial”
14:05 Are professors allowed to read comics? For that matter, are students?
16:03 Regarding some comics that have made the cut as ‘literature’:Ghost World, Maus, The Watchmen, and more
18:19 John’s major milestones in short fiction, and how he turned to novels
21:48 About John’s new novel, House of Windows
22:49 The story-within-a-story form and why it appeals to John
25:12 How students receive a professor teaching speculative fiction
26:43 Regarding the professor’s love/hate relationship with Henry James
28:33 Feedback from readers
29:08 What’s coming up from John: “City of the Dog” appeared in the January/February issue of F&SF, and “The Shallows” is coming out in the Cthulhu’s Reign anthology in April
30:49 John offers some reading recommendations
31:39 End of interview
Dave and John discuss terror, horror, and…grammar? (Okay, that’s scary too.)
31:41 Stereotypes of horror writers and comedians
35:52 What scares John and Dave? A question inspired by Temple Library Reviews
41:34 Terror, Horror, and the Gross-out
42:43 Upton Sinclaire’s The Jungle
43:11 Regarding Splatterpunk
44:39 John finds a horror movie that actually scares him
45:54 Urban legends that Dave found seriously creepy
47:27 In which we learn that some writers really need medication (and also, we’re glad that John is still alive)
48:52 News as horror, and how advertising uses fear to manipulate us
52:09 How news influences horror fiction
53:58 Color coding our fears, and lessons for horror writers
57:42 Dreamscape, Fallout, George R.R. Martin’s “Sandkings”, and more things that John and Dave find scary
01:02:08 Finding horror outside the usual horror context: Greg Egan’s “Learning to be Me”
01:03:35 The fine line between fiction and reality–kids, don’t do drugs!
01:08:20 From horror to grammar! Regarding Strunk and White:Geoffrey K. Pullum’s “50 Years of Stupid Grammar Advice”, and when to ignore the rules
1:12:58 Show wrap-up
Next week: Holly Black, best-selling author of The Spiderwick Chronicles
Thanks for listening!