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Re: A good weird/horror/sci-fi book to recommend
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 5 December, 2018 07:35PM
Minicthulhu Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> 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.


It is fortunate that you at least found it interesting. Van Vogt is all about ideas, futuristic ideas, sometimes gigantic ideas that strain your sanity. But his prose is very uneven, sometimes sloppy, especially in the novels. The single short stories are better written, some very well.

They say that while other science fiction writers wrote about the future, van Vogt wrote from the future.

Re: A good weird/horror/sci-fi book to recommend
Posted by: xtrmntr1 (IP Logged)
Date: 6 December, 2018 11:28AM
Hi all,

For anyone interested, I self-published an apocalyptic cosmic horror novel. It's a touch on the graphic side and is probably pretty crap, but if you're looking for something like that, feel free to check it out.

US [www.amazon.com]

UK [www.amazon.co.uk]

Hope this sort of thing isn't too tacky. Anyway, cheer.

Re: A good weird/horror/sci-fi book to recommend
Posted by: Sawfish (IP Logged)
Date: 7 December, 2018 02:57PM
From a collection named "Wolf's Complete Book of Terror", I read "The Hours in the Life of a Lousy-Haired Man' an episode from Maldoror by Comte de Lautréamont.

I still don't know what to make of it.

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: 7 December, 2018 04:27PM
The collection looks very interesting, maybe I will give it a try in the future. By the way, speaking of short story collections, one of these days I am expecting to get a book called "The People Of The Pit and Other Early Horrors from the Munsey Pulps." It is a collection of short stories that were published in Frank Munsey´s pulp magazines prior to 1920. I know next to nothing about Frank Munsey but he seems to have been a pioneer in publishing what is generally called "pulp magazines", so I am curious what the book is going to turn out to be. A collection of short stories that came out in magazines that were a grandfather of Weird Tales, Astounding Stories, Tales of Terror etc.? We shall see. :-)

[www.goodreads.com]



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 7 Dec 18 | 04:33PM by Minicthulhu.

Re: A good weird/horror/sci-fi book to recommend
Posted by: Sawfish (IP Logged)
Date: 8 December, 2018 12:30PM
Thanks!

I'm developing a pretty good list of new (to me) weird fiction to explore next year!

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: GreenFedora (IP Logged)
Date: 13 December, 2018 02:56PM
Side note: I took a college course with Leonard Wolf and his "Complete Book of Terror" was the textbook. I did my thesis for the class on Clark Ashton Smith. What goes around, right?

Re: A good weird/horror/sci-fi book to recommend
Posted by: Sawfish (IP Logged)
Date: 14 December, 2018 12:37PM
Hah! Pretty neat!

Quite a varied collection, isn't it? I recently mentioned another varied and eclectic collection, "The Weird: A Compendium of Strange and Dark Stories" edited by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer. It is 110 stories from all across the spectrum.

I'm a cheapskate and first got it from the library, but plan to buy it soon.

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: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 22 February, 2019 06:15PM
Has anyone read Philip José Farmer's collection Strange Relations? How is the quality of the writing and imagination? Is it rich? Would it appeal to someone who enjoys Clark Ashton Smith?

Re: A good weird/horror/sci-fi book to recommend
Posted by: Sawfish (IP Logged)
Date: 22 February, 2019 07:42PM
Knygatin Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Has anyone read Philip José Farmer's collection
> Strange Relations? How is the quality of the
> writing and imagination? Is it rich? Would it
> appeal to someone who enjoys Clark Ashton Smith?

It's not clear from the above if you're asking about Farmer, in general, or how this particular collection is. I'll gamble that it's the former, and must admit to having not read the collection.

Farmer is one of those authors whose main strength is originality of idea rather than true writing ability. I'll quickly add context: I'm reading a short story collection by Rudyard Kipling, mainly because I got it for free from Project Gutenberg. I am in a sense discovering him for the first time.

In my humble opinion, the man is narrative genius. I learned today that had been awarded the Nobel Prize for literature, and considered it to be justified. He's been out of vogue due to changing sensibilities concerning cultural interactions (read: he expresses the commonly held 19th C idea that western civilization, and in particular British civilization, are the apogee of human cultural development).

But enough!

Farmer is a good writer, but no Smith. For example, I would rate him below R. A. Lafferty in t erms of execution. He has some very interesting, and amusing, ideas. I would point to the novel Flesh as an example, which is to me better than his Riverworld series.

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: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 23 February, 2019 03:25AM
Thanks Sawfish. I am particularly curious about the collection Strange Relations, because I understand it is about Man's meeting and interaction with alien and weird animal/plant life, a subject related to Smith's bizarre conceptions.

There is an omnibus collection by the same name, which includes Strange Relations and the novels Flesh and The Lovers. All those works seem connected in subject matter.

I have never read anything by Philip José Farmer. As a teen I remember handling his Riverworld books while they were on the shelves in the book stores, but did not find them teasing my curiosity enough. Instead I picked books by Alan Dean Foster, H. P. Lovecraft, and Jack Vance. Clark Ashton Smith was not readily available at the time, and I discovered him only ten years later.

Re: A good weird/horror/sci-fi book to recommend
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 23 February, 2019 03:33AM
Knygatin Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> As a teen ... I picked books by Alan Dean Foster, H. P.
> Lovecraft, and Jack Vance.

Among others, including Edgar Rice Burroughs of course!

Re: A good weird/horror/sci-fi book to recommend
Posted by: Sawfish (IP Logged)
Date: 23 February, 2019 12:17PM
Knygatin Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Thanks Sawfish. I am particularly curious about
> the collection Strange Relations, because I
> understand it is about Man's meeting and
> interaction with alien and weird animal/plant
> life, a subject related to Smith's bizarre
> conceptions.
>
> There is an omnibus collection by the same name,
> which includes Strange Relations and the novels
> Flesh and The Lovers. All those works seem
> connected in subject matter.
>
> I have never read anything by Philip José Farmer.
> As a teen I remember handling his Riverworld books
> while they were on the shelves in the book stores,
> but did not find them teasing my curiosity enough.

This is understandable. I got pretty tired of dialogues with famous deceased characters. It was amusing in a sort of irreverent way, and now that I think of it, one of the main characters, Mark Twain, was probably a big influence on Farmer as a wit. I suspect that he wanted to have the same playful sensibilities as Twain.

But Flesh is something else...

Imagine a future world that has some of the same grounding entities--there's a sort of United States--but the central feature of this alternate universe, at least in this alter-US, is a fertility cult that is the national religion.

Each year a sort of sacrificial "stag king" is selected and treated with both hormones and cultural veneration until each spring, when he is turned loose on a sort of ceremonial procession along the east coast, to Washington DC, or what passes for it, fornicating all women in his path. This is considered highly desirable, to give birth to the child of the stag king, and the entire progress is played for ironic, comic effect.

The authorial tone is lighthearted and absurd, and is quite an amusing read.

No serious topics are broached, which is fine for entertainment, but lots of cultural icons are parodied. Baseball as the national pass time, in one notable instance.

So once I read a short story by a 1950s SF author in a large anthology. Maybe I was about 11 or 12. The theme was loss of religious faith by a starship's chaplain because the mission had happened on the burnt out remnant of the planetary system destroyed by the nova that was the star of Bethlehem. There had been an advanced, but planet-bound civilization that had known of the impending immolation, prepared and preserved artifacts for subsequent explores to discover, then perished.

This understandably depressed the chaplain.

Farmer does not write stuff like this; he'd like to be Twain.

> Instead I picked books by Alan Dean Foster, H. P.
> Lovecraft, and Jack Vance. Clark Ashton Smith was
> not readily available at the time, and I
> discovered him only ten years later.

Me, too, and it did not take long for him to stand out once I'd read Zothique, my first exposure.

That was 1969 or 1970, I think.

Always nice to exchange with you!

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: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 23 February, 2019 01:50PM
Sawfish Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> This is understandable. I got pretty tired of
> dialogues with famous deceased characters. ...

Ha Ha Ha! I remember now, feeling immediately tired only from reading it in the blurbs on the backside of the books.

> But Flesh is something else...

It certainly sounds a whole lot more interesting.

> So once I read a short story by a 1950s SF author
> in a large anthology. Maybe I was about 11 or 12.
> The theme was loss of religious faith by a
> starship's chaplain because the mission had
> happened on the burnt out remnant of the planetary
> system destroyed by the nova that was the star of
> Bethlehem. There had been an advanced, but
> planet-bound civilization that had known of the
> impending immolation, prepared and preserved
> artifacts for subsequent explores to discover,
> then perished.
>
> This understandably depressed the chaplain.

I believe that is a short-story by Arthur C. Clarke. It was very good. I think I read it in his collection The Nine Billion Names of God. "Rescue Party" is my favorite story from that collection, both weird and humorous ... a group of scientist aliens from different planets set out together on a quest, but their individual anatomies can't handle the gravity of the surface, stumbling and falling, jeering at each other.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 23 Feb 19 | 02:17PM by Knygatin.

Re: A good weird/horror/sci-fi book to recommend
Posted by: Sawfish (IP Logged)
Date: 24 February, 2019 10:29AM
Knygatin Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Sawfish Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > This is understandable. I got pretty tired of
> > dialogues with famous deceased characters. ...
>
> Ha Ha Ha! I remember now, feeling immediately
> tired only from reading it in the blurbs on the
> backside of the books.
>
> > But Flesh is something else...
>
> It certainly sounds a whole lot more interesting.
>
> > So once I read a short story by a 1950s SF
> author
> > in a large anthology. Maybe I was about 11 or
> 12.
> > The theme was loss of religious faith by a
> > starship's chaplain because the mission had
> > happened on the burnt out remnant of the
> planetary
> > system destroyed by the nova that was the star
> of
> > Bethlehem. There had been an advanced, but
> > planet-bound civilization that had known of the
> > impending immolation, prepared and preserved
> > artifacts for subsequent explores to discover,
> > then perished.
> >
> > This understandably depressed the chaplain.
>
> I believe that is a short-story by Arthur C.
> Clarke. It was very good. I think I read it in his
> collection The Nine Billion Names of God. "Rescue
> Party" is my favorite story from that collection,
> both weird and humorous ... a group of scientist
> aliens from different planets set out together on
> a quest, but their individual anatomies can't
> handle the gravity of the surface, stumbling and
> falling, jeering at each other.

Hah! I'll try to find it, for nostalgia's sake.

Here's a puzzler for me, and maybe you can help me with it. It's about an SF story from the same era as the Clarke one.

Mars chooses to announce itself to the world by setting up a shop on one of the main shopping thoroughfares on Manhattan. The goods are truly amazing and this causes quite a stir.

For some reason the sales staff--masked, mysterious, probably--raises suspicion, and the store is raided by the police after hours. The Martians are tipped and escape, taking most of their stuff with them. However, documents are recovered that reveal that the sales mission was a front to set up for a full-scale invasion of the Earth.

The UN meets, and the world powers of the time, US and USSR, agree to cooperate to oppose this existential threat. Mankind is unified for the first time in history.

Then it is revealed that the entire Martian episode was financed by a group of international philanthropists who hoped to unite the peoples of the earth, and avoid a nuclear war. There were no Martians, at all.

I *believe* the title was something like "Mars Shops, Ltd.".

Do you recall anything like this?

BTW, I was also unduly influenced, as a callow youth, by Asimov's "Nightfall". :^)

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: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 24 February, 2019 12:13PM
I am afraid I don't know which story that is. The initial premise sounds similar to A. E. Van Vogt's "The Weapon Shop", although the locations don't quite correlate. I think these came from the future, not Mars, and they sold weapons to help citizens protect themselves against the abusive State. The weapons were actually free, to all with honest intentions.

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