Wilder Beasts: The Global Scary and Supernatural
We’ve seen so many werewolves in the last decade that they’re starting to look a little, well, house-trained.
With the recent explosion in popularity of genre fiction, many of the loathsome figures of western mythology and pop culture are losing their scare-factor. Are vampires and zombies still lurking in the shadows of your imagination? Please. You can do so much worse.
Sami Shah's fantasy/horror novel, Fire Boy, is set in Karachi, Pakistan – and it's riddled with soul-stealing djinns (shape-shifting demon/genies made of smokeless fire) and various other nightmarish creatures from Muslim mythology. Sami chats with fellow writer Nadia Niaz about genre (and particularly, horror) fiction originating beyond the Anglosphere. What creepy spirits lurk under Malaysian, Moroccan and Mexican beds? Do demons and monsters share similar qualities across the world? Or do their powers reflect something of the culture of their origin?
Comedian and writer Sami Shah has been profiled in the New York Times and ABC's Australian Story, and appeared on BBC Radio 4, BBC Asian Network, TEDx, The Project and the Soho Theatre. He is currently based in Melbourne, Australia and is co-presenter of 774 / ABC Breakfast Radio.
Nadia Niaz is a writer and academic who is now mostly from Melbourne, and still a little bit from lots of other places. She has a PhD in Creative Writing and Cultural Studies, and teaches poetry and creative writing to everyone from pre-schoolers to postgraduates. Nadia’s own writing has appeared in Strange 4, Text, Mascara Literary Review, Cordite, and Alhamra Literary Review. She is the recipient of a 2016 Wheeler Centre Hot Desk Fellowship for the completion of her first novel.
Serpil Senelmis is an Australian broadcaster with Turkish heritage. She is the co-director of Written & Recorded, a content agency.