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A good weird/horror/sci-fi book to recommend
Posted by: Minicthulhu (IP Logged)
Date: 24 November, 2018 03:11PM
Has anybody lately read a good horror/weird/scifi book to recommend?

Re: A good weird/horror/sci-fi book to recommend
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 25 November, 2018 12:14AM
I enjoyed the following stories, which all contain horror, weird, and science fiction elements:

John W. Campbell: "Who Goes There?", "Twilight", "Night"
A. E. Van Vogt: "The Monster", "Dormant", The Voyage of the Space Beagle, Mission to the Stars
Jack Vance: Star King, The Brains of Earth, The Houses of Iszm (if you find horror implicit in weird beauty).

Re: A good weird/horror/sci-fi book to recommend
Posted by: Avoosl Wuthoqquan (IP Logged)
Date: 25 November, 2018 05:29AM
Allow me to recommend Demiurge: The Complete Cthulhu Mythos Tales of Michael Shea, by -- well -- Michael Shea, most of whose stuff is amazing in my opinion. His oddly titled novel In Yana, the Touch of Undying is weird (very weird!) fantasy with lots of horror elements.

Shea's writing tends to be very detailed, his ideas are often extremely surprising, and I don't recall ever reading a boring sentence by the guy.

I wasn't super impressed by his dystopian SF action novella The Extra, but one scene -- in which a dog is attacked and torn to bits by a giant robot spider -- still sticks in my mind. Anyone who can make such nonsense visceral and believable is a master in my estimation.

Re: A good weird/horror/sci-fi book to recommend
Posted by: Sawfish (IP Logged)
Date: 25 November, 2018 02:01PM
Thanks. I have ordered Polyphemus from the library.

Always good to find a new author!

Sawfish
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Life is a tragedy to those who feel, a comedy to those who think."

Re: A good weird/horror/sci-fi book to recommend
Posted by: Minicthulhu (IP Logged)
Date: 26 November, 2018 02:20PM
Speaking of "Who Goes There?", the other day I read a short story called "From An Amber Block" (1930) by Tom Curry about a huge mass of amber with something dark inside. It is sent to a museum where the dark thing gets out of the amber block at night and kills people. When the characters were considering the strange amber with the ominous dark thing imprisoned inside, the opening parts of "Who Goes There?" came immediately to mind though I am sure Campbell, in writing his masteripece, knew nothing about Curry´s story.

By the way, today I finished re-reading "The Hole of the Pit" (1914) by Adrian Ross and I enjoyed it as I did when I read it for the first time some years ago. It tells a story about a castle standing in huge marshes and surrounded by an enemy so there is no escape for those inside while there is some hideous and nameless evil comming out of the swamps. Sometimes it seems as if huge snakes were coiling under the dirty surface and when a dead man is thrown into the water, his hideously mutilated corpse is thrown back from the mud. Really a nice little book of horror. :-)



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 26 Nov 18 | 02:41PM by Minicthulhu.

Re: A good weird/horror/sci-fi book to recommend
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 26 November, 2018 04:53PM
I have had in mind to read "The Hole of the Pit", but have not yet had a chance to come across it. Aren't the spooks 'traditional' rather than original?

Michael Shea's "Polyphemus" and "Fat Face" are not to be missed (most fans would foremost also mention "The Autopsy")!
Nifft the Lean was impressive, but the prose was a bit too technically dense for me - however, several worthwhile fantastic moments! Brilliant. I look forward to reading In Yana, the Touch of Undying.

Re: A good weird/horror/sci-fi book to recommend
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 27 November, 2018 01:52AM
Knygatin Wrote:
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> Nifft the Lean ...

I found most of the introductions to the novellas impenetrable - too many names introduced without proper attachment. The last novella, "The Goddess in Glass" was in ways incomprehensible; the words just passed me by. Not a book I wholeheartedly recommend, except for "Come Then, Mortal. We Will Seek Her Soul" and "The Pearls of the Vampire Queen" which are good, ... and "The Fishing of the Demon-Sea" which is exceptional.

Re: A good weird/horror/sci-fi book to recommend
Posted by: Minicthulhu (IP Logged)
Date: 27 November, 2018 08:51AM
It is not a classic "spook tale" in the style of M.R.James who was a friend of Ross and to him, by the way, the book is dedicated. The main aspects of the book are an Earl growing mad, an evil Italian woman, a puritan hero, a beautiful and chaste girl, a family curse, a gelatinous creature living in the depths of the marshlands, a ghost of a murdered wife (or what it was :-)) and last but not least an old castle standing in the swamps, besieged by enemies and filled to the roof with dynamite. :-)
Here you have several reviews of the book. On of them likens it to "The Terror" by Dan Simmons or "The Thing" by John Carpenter which I am not sure about but the fact is there is the element of being in a desolate place where on has nowhere to run, with an unknown creature that can strike any time.

[www.goodreads.com]

Re: A good weird/horror/sci-fi book to recommend
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 28 November, 2018 04:08PM
A. E. van Vogt's good short story "The Monster" is here available online, for those not lucky enough to have it in glorious paperback.

http://prosperosisle.org/spip.php?article220

Re: A good weird/horror/sci-fi book to recommend
Posted by: Minicthulhu (IP Logged)
Date: 29 November, 2018 01:38PM
Thanks. I am gonna read it one of these days.

Re: A good weird/horror/sci-fi book to recommend
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 30 November, 2018 01:25AM
Minicthulhu Wrote:
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> Thanks. I am gonna read it one of these days.

I am not sure what your preferences are, but it appears to be mainly older atmospheric horror and supernatural fiction. "The Monster" is actually quite different, it does not place Man in the position of victim like Lovecraft does and traditional horror; its approach is from the opposite direction. So it may be a disappointment to some, or not. Its reward comes from an intellectually uplifting idea. Van Vogt believed positively in Mankind's future potential, much like Arthur C. Clarke did.

Re: A good weird/horror/sci-fi book to recommend
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 2 December, 2018 05:53PM
I just read the first paragraph of "Hawley Bank Foundry" by L. T. C. Rolt, an author I have never read before. A hunch tells me this is going to be great. He has a very funny sense of sardonic humor. I'll be back when I am done.

Re: A good weird/horror/sci-fi book to recommend
Posted by: Sawfish (IP Logged)
Date: 3 December, 2018 03:20PM
Thanks, please do.

I'll look forward to the report.

Sawfish
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Life is a tragedy to those who feel, a comedy to those who think."

Re: A good weird/horror/sci-fi book to recommend
Posted by: Minicthulhu (IP Logged)
Date: 4 December, 2018 08:41AM
Ok, I have read "The Monster" by A. E. Vogt. Well, at first I was afraid it was some 1940´s sci-fi version of "Some Words With a Mummy" by Poe but fortunately it turned out to be something different. I will not say I will read it again but its plot was interesting.

Re: A good weird/horror/sci-fi book to recommend
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 5 December, 2018 07:21PM
Knygatin Wrote:
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> "Hawley Bank Foundry" by L. T. C. Rolt ...

I understand that Rolt was also an industrial machine engineer and historian, knowledge which he used in his ghost stories to instill them with convincing detailed settings. (Let's face it, most fantasist authors are dreamers and not very practical in other matters than writing. It is a joy to read a text which gives the illusion of actual movement of energy, workers in strenuous, stoic effort of shoving heavy masses around, and constructing impressive physical objects, while you sit in your comfy chair and lazily watch it performed through your book.) In this story he also reveals obvious familiarity with pushing ambitious business men, effective at making money but with little imagination for else; which serves the amusing aspect here. Otherwise a story in similar English tradition as M. R. James, but not quite as high quality as his from the supernatural standpoint. Easy to read clear prose that draws you in. I enjoyed it, especially the excellent settings with foreboding little touches.
However, the older I get the more impatient I grow with these commonly constructed stories, in which you first have to read a long preparatory realistic build-up (you must eat up your potatoes first, lots of them!) before finally, by the end, being served the delicious supernatural dessert. Although he throws in a few spectral suggestions along the way, I do prefer literature that is more or less feverishly supernatural fantasy from beginning to end.

The central setting of this story is an iron foundry work. You can imagine, an accident in there may lead to nasty consequences. Or, 'nasty', that is a grave understatement.

But even more horrible than this story is a real life story I heard on the news a few years ago, taking place in a Chinese iron foundry. A large amount of molten iron was accidentally dropped onto the floor. In a nearby changing room the next shift was preparing for work; the iron flowed in through the door. When others came to inspect several hours later, the floor of the changing room was covered by an even layer of iron; there was not even a trace of the missing men.

I read "Hawley Bank Foundry" in the highly regarded collection A Wave of Fear.

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