Richard Snowden-Leak

Twitter (X): @RSLjnr
Instagram: @awayout92

Thesis Title

The ‘Confrontational Escapism’ of the New Weird: Reading Challenging Fiction in Online Spaces


University of Liverpool


Dr Danny O’Connor
Professor Josie Billington

Research Summary

Author Thomas Ligotti defined his kind of fiction as a form of ‘confrontational escapism’, a way of escaping from the horrors of reality by paradoxically reading or creating fiction about those said horrors. I will not only be examining New Weird literature that deliberately depicts these often sexist, racist, and classist realities so as to critique them, I will also be investigating the re-emergence of the (New) Weird, and why it is that in authors and readers alike are writing and reading difficult and challenging fiction, especially in online spaces.

Research Interests

Capitalist realism,
Medical humanities,
Nonmedicalised approaches to mental health,
and Writing and trauma.



‘Covid-19 CARE – Culture and the Arts, from Restriction to Enhancement: Protecting Mental Health in the Liverpool City Region’


“Patriarchal Puppetry: Inequality in Thomas Ligotti’s ‘The Nyctalops Trilogy” in Captivating Criminality 8: Crime Fiction, Masculinities and Feminities Conference.


(Creative nonfiction) ‘Decadent Fears in The King in Yellow’, Vastarien, Vol 6 issue 1

‘Der Zedernwald’ in CHM, Issue 31

‘He Will Not Fall Until…’ in CHM, Issue 36

‘One More’ in CHM, Issue 27

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