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Re: A good weird/horror/sci-fi book to recommend
Posted by: Yluos (IP Logged)
Date: 19 March, 2019 08:56PM
Knygatin Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
>"A Voyage to Sfanomoë" is beautiful, with a sad (or
> sardonically fatalistic) ending.

I always found the ending to Sfanamoë a glorious one. True the brothers and even their vessel were lost in the oblivion of orchids, but they so enjoyed themselves as they were slowly and gently consumed. The way they carried on with their passions even after the passing of their people is such a life-affirming journey. In spite of the merciless passage of aeons and the evanescence of human existence, this plays out like one of Smith's most optimistic tales.

Unless perhaps I'm missing something, and I've been seeing glorious delight where there is none. Haha :) I'm not as experienced as you or most people here I'll admit. Maybe everyone else would sneer at someone describing anything of Smith's in such sincerely bright, cheerful terms.



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 19 Mar 19 | 09:16PM by Yluos.

Re: A good weird/horror/sci-fi book to recommend
Posted by: Sawfish (IP Logged)
Date: 19 March, 2019 09:31PM
For whatever it's worth, I think your interpretation is entirely justified.

Hah! I just remembered: I feel the same way about The Symposium of the Gorgon. Oddly optimistic because the narrator, by great good fortune, has foiled the cannibals.

Of course, he's bored to tears, but...

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



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 19 Mar 19 | 09:38PM by Sawfish.

Re: A good weird/horror/sci-fi book to recommend
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 20 March, 2019 03:00AM
Yluos, that is an excellent impression of "A Voyage to Sfanomoë", and I agree. "Life-affirming journey" and "glorious", indeed! Only the ending is a bit ambiguous. It could be glorious (ecstatic transformation), but ultimately also very destructive; like the pleasure of drugs. I personally don't do drugs, and I quit smoking, ... only have a glass of wine every once in a while.

But on the whole, yes a very life-affirming tale. Grabbing life, taking risks, and living to the full. A fresh and youthful expression. I believe that was CAS's own affirmative perspective, even though living isolated and in poverty; compensating with intellectually expanded inner journeys.

Re: A good weird/horror/sci-fi book to recommend
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 20 March, 2019 03:49AM
Sawfish Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> > "Symposium of the Gorgon"
>
> Hah! Liked it as well! It almost seemed like the
> narrative POV was a proxy for Smith, himself,
> when young... :^)
>
> An "alcoholically flaming youth", indeed!
>
>
> > the follow-up "The Death of
> > Malygris" is much richer in imagination.
>
> The setting is almost cinematographic, ...
>
> Too, it's an odd feeling for the reader when the
> familiar leaves at the end of the story,
> indicating that this time Malygris is dead. It
> implies that he stayed in a semi-dead state only
> long enough to wreak vengeance on his rivals--a
> final act of focused hubris and apparently
> motivated by Malygris' ability to foresee his own
> end.
>
> This is entirely believable within the character
> context CAS created for Malygris. No small feat,
> in my opinion. Here I am, a 21st C cynic in his
> 70s, and I'm publicly admitting to believing that
> there could be a guy like Malygris.
> ...


Thanks Sawfish for your generous comments. So heartfelt and true. You must be the ultimate CAS fan of deep appreciation. I agree with it all, and it enhances my own perspective. Your observations transcend academia.

I understand that your reading of Smith has mostly been from the Ballantine paperbacks published in the 70's, and I imagine you read them very closely. But have you read "The City of the Singing Flame"? It was not in those books, but is another of his masterpieces. Its publication is a bit confused, some books have only printed half the story; the full version has seven chapters.

Re: A good weird/horror/sci-fi book to recommend
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 20 March, 2019 04:00AM
Knygatin Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> "The City of the
> Singing Flame"? ... some books have only printed half
> the story; the full version has seven chapters.


Originally the second half was printed as a second story, "Beyond the Singing Flame". I don't know what Smith's intention was. To keep them together as one, or separate.

Re: A good weird/horror/sci-fi book to recommend
Posted by: Sawfish (IP Logged)
Date: 20 March, 2019 09:58AM
Knygatin Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Sawfish Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > > "Symposium of the Gorgon"
> >
> > Hah! Liked it as well! It almost seemed like
> the
> > narrative POV was a proxy for Smith, himself,
> > when young... :^)
> >
> > An "alcoholically flaming youth", indeed!
> >
> >
> > > the follow-up "The Death of
> > > Malygris" is much richer in imagination.
> >
> > The setting is almost cinematographic, ...
> >
> > Too, it's an odd feeling for the reader when
> the
> > familiar leaves at the end of the story,
> > indicating that this time Malygris is dead. It
> > implies that he stayed in a semi-dead state
> only
> > long enough to wreak vengeance on his rivals--a
> > final act of focused hubris and apparently
> > motivated by Malygris' ability to foresee his
> own
> > end.
> >
> > This is entirely believable within the
> character
> > context CAS created for Malygris. No small
> feat,
> > in my opinion. Here I am, a 21st C cynic in his
>
> > 70s, and I'm publicly admitting to believing
> that
> > there could be a guy like Malygris.
> > ...
>
>
> Thanks Sawfish for your generous comments. So
> heartfelt and true. You must be the ultimate CAS
> fan of deep appreciation. I agree with it all, and
> it enhances my own perspective. Your observations
> transcend academia.

Far, far too generous!

If there is any advantages I've had it's that I've had the time to read the stories many times, at many stages of my life. Needless to say, Smith holds up well, or I'd not be here now.

BTW, this is the same relationship I have with several books. Catch-22 is one of them. Multiple readings, perhaps 10+ in some cases.

>
> I understand that your reading of Smith has mostly
> been from the Ballantine paperbacks published in
> the 70's, and I imagine you read them very
> closely.

All true.

> But have you read "The City of the
> Singing Flame"? It was not in those books, but is
> another of his masterpieces. Its publication is a
> bit confused, some books have only printed half
> the story; the full version has seven chapters.

I have it upstairs.

I read it once. I'll read it again soon. Maybe I'll start a discussion thread.

Thanks!


I just discovered two very pleasant things in life: e-readers, and Project Gutenberg. Between spending $20 for a used Barnes & Noble Nook e-reader, and going to the Project Gutenberg free library, I've read a decent amount of Kipling for the first time. Not the kids' stuff, but The India Stories, etc.

Same with Stephen Crane, Ford Maddox Ford, Gibbon's 8-volume The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.

Aside from the $20 for the e-reader, all free.

[www.gutenberg.org]

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: 20 March, 2019 11:07AM
Do you know about the Australian Gutenberg mutation? It is chiefly dedicated to older horror/sci-fi/weird fiction/mystery atc.

[gutenberg.net.au]

Some other useful sites dealing with older scifi and horror (and other genres).

[gaslight-lit.s3-website.ca-central-1.amazonaws.com]
[freeclassicshortstories.blogspot.com]
[woolrich3.tripod.com]
[freeread.com.au]



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 20 Mar 19 | 11:08AM by Minicthulhu.

Re: A good weird/horror/sci-fi book to recommend
Posted by: Sawfish (IP Logged)
Date: 20 March, 2019 01:19PM
TERRIFIC!!!

Thanks a lot!

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: Avoosl Wuthoqquan (IP Logged)
Date: 22 March, 2019 12:23PM
Since this wonderful conversation refers to "The Death of Malygris", I feel obligated to mention this delightful Malygris sculpture.

Re: A good weird/horror/sci-fi book to recommend
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 23 March, 2019 06:38PM
... Solaris is so bizarre I am beginning to feel sick. It even seeps into my dreams at night. Has never happened with a book before.

Re: A good weird/horror/sci-fi book to recommend
Posted by: Minicthulhu (IP Logged)
Date: 24 March, 2019 07:49AM
I am going to read Solaris one of these days so I am curious if I will be affected in the same way like you are. :-)

Re: A good weird/horror/sci-fi book to recommend
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 24 March, 2019 01:35PM
I think you should stay away from it. It could make you mentally ill. That is my recommendation to you. But, of course, you will do as you please.

Re: A good weird/horror/sci-fi book to recommend
Posted by: Minicthulhu (IP Logged)
Date: 24 March, 2019 03:30PM
Mentally ill? Are you reading "Solaris", or "Necronomicon"? :-)

Re: A good weird/horror/sci-fi book to recommend
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 25 March, 2019 04:19AM
I am sorry, I am not feeling very well right now. I have here seen suggestions of alien planet visions, that my mind is not stable enough or ready to handle. My outer and inner perceptions are shifting, or oscillating in a very unpleasant way. I don't know how else to describe it, a kind of psychosis or wakeful nightmare. Necronomicon, hahahaha, .... yes, maybe this is something similar? I think I will need a few days of rest, and come back to the forum later.

Re: A good weird/horror/sci-fi book to recommend
Posted by: Minicthulhu (IP Logged)
Date: 25 March, 2019 12:15PM
Sawfish, in one of your previous post you wrote you just discovered e-raders. Do you know the site below? You can find tons of old weird/horror/fantasy/pulp/mystery/etc. fiction in epub/kindle format for a mere song. There are authors like Machen, Doyle nad others I have never heard of, compillations of old sci-fi stories, of weird tales, of gothic tales etc. etc.

[wildsidepress.com]

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