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Re: Golden Age of Modern Fantasy
Posted by: Dale Nelson (IP Logged)
Date: 8 February, 2021 10:54AM
I'd have thought of Leiber as being a favorite author 40-odd years ago, but to tell the truth his work hasn't worn well with me and I believe I sold my Fafhrd and Mouser paperbacks many years ago. But I retain great esteem for his sf story "A Pail of Air."

Re: Golden Age of Modern Fantasy
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 8 February, 2021 11:52AM
Dale Nelson Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Leiber ... I retain great esteem for his sf story "A Pail
> of Air."

It is a good one, but really stretches the plausible. He was inventive with the use of tools and props in his stories, in entertaining ways.

Re: Golden Age of Modern Fantasy
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 9 February, 2021 06:36AM
Knygatin Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Leiber was inventive with the use of tools
> and props in his stories, in entertaining ways.

There is a fascinating climbing staff in "Stardock". I have never seen a tool like that in real life, but I am sure it could be constructed. The staff contains a big screw inside, and by turning either end it will increase or decrease in length. It can be propped firmly between two spots, such as at a rock overhang, to aid in climbing past it.

Re: Golden Age of Modern Fantasy
Posted by: Sawfish (IP Logged)
Date: 9 February, 2021 09:07AM
Knygatin Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Knygatin Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > Leiber was inventive with the use of tools
> > and props in his stories, in entertaining ways.
>
> There is a fascinating climbing staff in
> "Stardock". I have never seen a tool like that in
> real life, but I am sure it could be constructed.
> The staff contains a big screw inside, and by
> turning either end it will increase or decrease in
> length. It can be propped firmly between two
> spots, such as at a rock overhang, to aid in
> climbing past it.

Too late.

It was developed and marketed by shrewd speculators into a pull-up bar that fits into doorways.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. But give a man a boat,
a case of beer, and a few sticks of dynamite..." -- Sawfish

Re: Golden Age of Modern Fantasy
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 9 February, 2021 10:14AM
Sawfish Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Knygatin Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > Knygatin Wrote:
> >
> --------------------------------------------------
>
> > -----
> > > Leiber was inventive with the use of tools
> > > and props in his stories, in entertaining
> ways.
> >
> > There is a fascinating climbing staff in
> > "Stardock". I have never seen a tool like that
> in
> > real life, but I am sure it could be
> constructed.
> > The staff contains a big screw inside, and by
> > turning either end it will increase or decrease
> in
> > length. It can be propped firmly between two
> > spots, such as at a rock overhang, to aid in
> > climbing past it.
>
> Too late.
>
> It was developed and marketed by shrewd
> speculators into a pull-up bar that fits into
> doorways.


I used to have one of those! The staff in the story is however slimmer and much longer, and at either end two wings can be folded out to help screw it tight in place, and then unscrew it when you have reached the other end.

Re: Golden Age of Modern Fantasy
Posted by: Sawfish (IP Logged)
Date: 9 February, 2021 10:57AM
Knygatin Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Sawfish Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > Knygatin Wrote:
> >
> --------------------------------------------------
>
> > -----
> > > Knygatin Wrote:
> > >
> >
> --------------------------------------------------
>
> >
> > > -----
> > > > Leiber was inventive with the use of tools
> > > > and props in his stories, in entertaining
> > ways.
> > >
> > > There is a fascinating climbing staff in
> > > "Stardock". I have never seen a tool like
> that
> > in
> > > real life, but I am sure it could be
> > constructed.
> > > The staff contains a big screw inside, and by
> > > turning either end it will increase or
> decrease
> > in
> > > length. It can be propped firmly between two
> > > spots, such as at a rock overhang, to aid in
> > > climbing past it.
> >
> > Too late.
> >
> > It was developed and marketed by shrewd
> > speculators into a pull-up bar that fits into
> > doorways.
>
>
> I used to have one of those! The staff in the
> story is however slimmer and much longer, and at
> either end two wings can be folded out to help
> screw it tight in place, and then unscrew it when
> you have reached the other end.

Oh, no, mine was exactly like that.

I bought it from the Grey Mouser.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. But give a man a boat,
a case of beer, and a few sticks of dynamite..." -- Sawfish

Re: Golden Age of Modern Fantasy
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 9 February, 2021 11:10AM
Sawfish Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
>
> Oh, no, mine was exactly like that.
>
> I bought it from the Grey Mouser.


I see. Well, good luck with that.

Re: Golden Age of Modern Fantasy
Posted by: Sawfish (IP Logged)
Date: 9 February, 2021 11:31AM
HAH! ;^)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. But give a man a boat,
a case of beer, and a few sticks of dynamite..." -- Sawfish

Re: Golden Age of Modern Fantasy
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 7 March, 2021 08:19AM
The other day I finished reading Swords Against Wizardry. Leiber is great on psychology, understands magic very well. And an expert with visuals ... his stories run like films ... excellent makeup, wardrobes, and settings. The last story, "The Lords of Quarmall", had some really bizarre deformed freaks in it, and shocking rot & disintegration of human bodies. (Not sure how much of this was Harry Otto Fischer's contribution, who cooperated with Leiber on this story. Lovecraft has mentioned in a letter that he thought Fischer probably had a greater imagination than Leiber.)

But, did I hear in it the tinkle of elfin bells? No.

I have begun reading Merritt's The Ship of Ishtar, and immediately hear the tinkle of invisible elfin bells. Therefore I think Merritt is ultimately a greater fantasist.

Re: Golden Age of Modern Fantasy
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 7 March, 2021 08:27AM
Do I hear the elfin bells in the work of Smith? Not sure about that. Perhaps there is something else, even greater, that lifts its fantastic components above Leiber and others.

Re: Golden Age of Modern Fantasy
Posted by: Sawfish (IP Logged)
Date: 7 March, 2021 11:18AM
Knygatin Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Do I hear the elfin bells in the work of Smith?
> Not sure about that. Perhaps there is something
> else, even greater, that lifts its fantastic
> components above Leiber and others.


OK, this is a very nifty and interesting departure, K.

I *believe* I intuitively understood what you meant, and it was a very skillful metaphor, in my opinion.

I believe that I hear "elfin bells" in much (all that I've read, anyhow) of Dunsany, in the early Dunsany-esque HLP (Cats of Istar), in Eddison's Worm Ourborous, but not in CAS that I can recall, *at all*.

Am I on the right track here? If so, there is a lot of interesting stuff to explore.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. But give a man a boat,
a case of beer, and a few sticks of dynamite..." -- Sawfish

Re: Golden Age of Modern Fantasy
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 7 March, 2021 12:28PM
Sawfish Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
>
> I believe that I hear "elfin bells" in much (all
> that I've read, anyhow) of Dunsany, in the early
> Dunsany-esque HLP (Cats of Istar), in Eddison's
> Worm Ourborous, but not in CAS that I can recall,
> *at all*.
>
> Am I on the right track here? If so, there is a
> lot of interesting stuff to explore.


Yes, you definitely are (I have not read The Worm Ouroboros though). It is a quite evasive subject, I think. One can point toward it. But it is difficult to intellectually capture and cage in.

Re: Golden Age of Modern Fantasy
Posted by: Sawfish (IP Logged)
Date: 7 March, 2021 01:38PM
It's really interesting.

So to expand the list, Tolkien has it, right?, and I've not read that much in this sub-genre (Hah! "elfin bells sub-genre"! You need to copyright this, Knygatin!), so I can't easily name any more. Maybe you can expand this list a bit?

But the Cthulu Mythos, or any such works that are derivative, or expand it, have pretty much zero elfin bells, I'd guess.

I think you might enjoy The Worm Ourboros. It is the only one of Eddison's works I like, and it is formulaic, in a sense, but has excellent sense of place and an arcane and archaic vocabulary that I really liked.

"Ensorcelled," indeed!

Just the names of the main characters are worth reading.

It also has a strong sense of underlying dynastic ambitions, as in Game of Thrones, or Dune--or even The Godfather.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. But give a man a boat,
a case of beer, and a few sticks of dynamite..." -- Sawfish

Re: Golden Age of Modern Fantasy
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 7 March, 2021 02:20PM
I'd like to read The Worm Ouroboros. We'll see when I find time for it.

The tinkle of elfin bells is not my invention, it is an old expression. I borrowed it.

Not sure if it can be attached onto a sub-genre. I think it is too subtle, and really an individual matter of very special ability and sensitivity.

Tolkien? He should have it. But does he? I hope so, ... at least in some of his work, that is not outright "meat and potatoes".



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 7 Mar 21 | 02:23PM by Knygatin.

Re: Golden Age of Modern Fantasy
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 8 March, 2021 12:05PM
Sawfish Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> It's really interesting.
>
> So to expand the list, Tolkien has it, right?, and
> I've not read that much in this sub-genre (Hah!
> "elfin bells sub-genre"!!).
> Maybe you can expand this list a bit?
>

Depending on what we mean by it, ... but if we say, a genuine presence of faery, I would list David Lindsay's The Haunted Woman. The scene where they look out through a magic window into the past, and see a "troll" with back turned sitting on the grassy slope below, playing the violin. It totally creeped me out. (Would Pan relate to this, or is that a different kind of energy?)



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 8 Mar 21 | 12:19PM by Knygatin.

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