Goto Thread: PreviousNext
Goto:  Message ListNew TopicSearchLog In
Goto Page: Previous12345AllNext
Current Page: 3 of 5
Re: Cosmic horror by less known authors
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 19 May, 2020 06:30AM
I don't have The A'rak, but I am eagerly waiting for In Yana, the Touch of Undying to surface in my towering to-read book pile.

Re: Cosmic horror by less known authors
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 19 May, 2020 07:01AM
A. E. van Vogt - The Voyage of the Space Beagle. Which includes four connected stories. "Black Destroyer" (has my favorite science fiction moment ever, in both book or film, when they step out on the planet in translucent space suits. A feverishly inspired vision.) and "Discord in Scarlet" are both good classic s-f horrors. "M33 I Andromeda" is very cosmic, and carries relation to John W. Campbell's "The Last Evolution", "Twilight", "Night", and to Arthur C. Clarke's The City and the Stars. It gives an effective glint of Man's future machines which become perfected self-repairing and self-generative geological automatons that start growing and multiplying, and change the nature of the galaxy. A very interesting concept and take on cosmic creation.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 19 May 20 | 07:06AM by Knygatin.

Re: Cosmic horror by less known authors
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 19 May, 2020 07:32AM
Cathbad Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
>Nifft the Lean
>
> I'm not sure what that last story was about either
> (aren't they assembling some sort of giant
> skeleton?) - it's as atmospheric as it is
> incomprehensible.


Yes, building or reinforcing some sort of giant structure. That at the same time is eaten away by other forces? And they find aid beneath the sea, from some element that help them in the building? I can't remember. Strange and evasive as dream.

Re: Cosmic horror by less known authors
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 19 May, 2020 10:49PM
Dracula is one of the most horrifying books I have read! I am reading it slowly, one chapter at a time every now and then, in-between other books. It is a book that can be read that way, because it is very rational and clear, easy to understand and remember. It is extremely well written! I would call its approach basic and logical, but Bram Stoker does it masterfully, sees the underbelly, and nails every creepy situation just right! A true joy, and I feel no rush at all to get it done, no sense of labor to this reading, not a trace of padding.

Can Dracula be called cosmic horror?

Re: Cosmic horror by less known authors
Posted by: Platypus (IP Logged)
Date: 20 May, 2020 06:47PM
George R.R. Martin is not a lesser-known author, but he did write a lesser-known sci-fi piece called THE DYING OF THE LIGHT (1977), which was his first novel. I don't know if I would classify it as cosmic horror, but perhaps it could be classed as cosmic melancholia. Certainly, Martin used the vastness of space as a prop to enhance the mood of nihilistic despair that was apparently engulfing him when he wrote it, one that, in the novel at least, is in some way obscurely related to mourning a lost love.

I don't think it is a good book, and I don't agree with its nihilistic message, which, in a nutshell, is despair and the pointlessness of human existence. But it has its points, and it is interesting as an illustration of the use of the vastness of space as a mood enhancer.

The opening chapter is where most of the cosmic elements are found, and I once had fun writing a mocking summary of this opening chapter and its over-the-top nihilism. I also read the book all the way through, which I do not necessarily recommend, though there is an impressive passage here or there. Also, a piece of trivia for those who are familiar with DUNGEONS AND DRAGON sourcebooks … this is the work where the "githyanki" are first mentioned, the name having been borrowed from Martin without permission by the folks at TSR.

Re: Cosmic horror by less known authors
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 21 May, 2020 05:45AM
A. E. van Vogt's "Repetition" (aka "The Gryb"). Emissary struggles for survival on one of Jupiter's moons under hellish conditions, hunted by invulnerable and persistent monster. Simulates the sensation of a nightmare, when not being able to escape.

Re: Cosmic horror by less known authors
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 23 May, 2020 12:45PM
Knygatin Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> "M33 I
> Andromeda" is very cosmic ... it gives an effective glint of
> Man's future machines which become perfected
> self-repairing and self-generative geological
> automatons that start growing and multiplying, and
> change the nature of the galaxy. A very
> interesting concept and take on cosmic creation.

If you don't appreciate the evocative vastness of this, then you are really missing out. It is utterly fantastic, while at the same time harboring a likely future, which makes it all the more compelling for the soul and senses. It is science fiction completely in touch with Time and Space and the Cosmos. Science fiction genius at its very best.

For example, I don't think Jack Vance ever reached this high level, comparatively his stories are "space opera", contemporary human interaction set against a space back-screen. As to CAS, well, I don't know, ... I would call his "science fiction" tales fantastic fantasy, and I appreciate them for what they are; bizarre, rich imagination, and their truths are more on the spiritual level, than scientific. And a well developed artistic sense. Similar for Vance.

Re: Cosmic horror by less known authors
Posted by: kojootti (IP Logged)
Date: 23 May, 2020 03:36PM
Knygatin Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> If you don't appreciate the evocative vastness of
> this, then you are really missing out. It is
> utterly fantastic, while at the same time
> harboring a likely future, which makes it all the
> more compelling for the soul and senses. It is
> science fiction completely in touch with Time and
> Space and the Cosmos. Science fiction genius at
> its very best.
>
> For example, I don't think Jack Vance ever reached
> this high level, comparatively his stories are
> "space opera", contemporary human interaction set
> against a space back-screen. As to CAS, well, I
> don't know, ... I would call his "science fiction"
> tales fantastic fantasy, and I appreciate them for
> what they are; bizarre, rich imagination, and
> their truths are more on the spiritual level, than
> scientific. And a well developed artistic sense.
> Similar for Vance.

As I recall, CAS was not very fond of writing science-fiction, stating he preferred the imaginative, unbound freedom of writing fantasy stories, so I can see why most of CAS's sci-fi feels half-hearted and forgettable, while his best ones usually verge on fantasy to some extent. I've only begun reading Vance, so I can't say much about him, except that he is at least a creative and highly competent writer.

I am very interested in "M33 in Andromeda" and will read it very soon. Strangely, it's uncommon for science-fiction authors to write anything that expresses and appreciates the vast scope of existence, so I look forward to something that can follow a humanistic and futuristic perspective without losing that very primal, glorious, above-human element.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 23 May 20 | 03:51PM by kojootti.

Re: Cosmic horror by less known authors
Posted by: Cathbad (IP Logged)
Date: 23 May, 2020 07:14PM
'I would call his "science fiction" tales fantastic fantasy'.'

Very much so. The first CAS story I ever read was The Maze of Maal Dweb. Apart from the extraordinary prose, what struck me was that - as a story - it was unclassifiable. In my head, 'fantasy' meant some sort of quasi-medieval culture and 'science fiction' meant spaceships. The Maze of Maal Dweb is neither, or rather it is primarily fantasy, but with SF trappings (Dweb's giant metal servitors, for example) although I appreciate it was being written at a time when the divisions between the two genres wasn't as clear as they later became.

'Strangely, it's uncommon for science-fiction authors to write anything that expresses and appreciates the vast scope of existence.'

It is strange! I find the notion of space - its vastness, its coldness, its general emptiness, those huge areas of darkness - far more unsettling than some tentacled being from the deep, but SF rarely conveys or acknowledges this, perhaps because (a) in most SF books, space is just a place between destinations & (b) a tendency of the genre to stress the positive: that man has mastered space and (by extension) somehow contained it.

Re: Cosmic horror by less known authors
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 23 May, 2020 11:02PM
For notions of the vastness of space and time, we may also have Olaf Stapledon who wrote Last and First Men and Star Maker, but I cannot assess his quality, because I have not read him yet. He was an inspiration for Arthur C. Clarke.

Not sure though if Stapledon touched on the unsettling aspects of space. Most authors make of space an intellectual gymnastics, but rarely explore the horror of it.

I think CAS referred to space as the Abyss, so he had an artistic poetic notion that somewhat perceived the horror.
Lovecraft reminded us of the madness that would consume us, if our minds were confronted by and opened to this vastness.

Re: Cosmic horror by less known authors
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 12 June, 2020 03:08AM
"The Terror on Tobit" (1933) by Charles Birkin. A fine little weird tale, taking place on the summer Isles of Scilly. I also recommend his stylish and harrowing conte cruel "The Smell of Evil" (1964). And "Ballet Nègre" (1964), about voodoo magic visiting England in the form of a theatrical group.

Re: Cosmic horror by less known authors
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 19 August, 2020 04:24PM
Knygatin Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Dracula is one of the most horrifying books I have
> read! I am reading it slowly, one chapter at a
> time every now and then, in-between other books.
> It is a book that can be read that way, because it
> is very rational and clear, easy to understand and
> remember. It is extremely well written! I would
> call its approach basic and logical, but Bram
> Stoker does it masterfully, sees the underbelly,
> and nails every creepy situation just right! A
> true joy, and I feel no rush at all to get it
> done, no sense of labor to this reading, not a
> trace of padding.
>
> Can Dracula be called cosmic horror?


Good Lord, I haven't read a single page of Dracula in probably a month! The spectacularly enjoyable beginning of the book lasted a few chapters, but then came to a grinding halt. I have been struggling almost halfway through, but it is slow and resisting my progress. I have just drifted away from it, and forget to read. But I still hope I will be able to complete it. People complain over Hodgson's Night Land, but this is slower.

Re: Cosmic horror by less known authors
Posted by: Minicthulhu (IP Logged)
Date: 19 August, 2020 05:39PM
I know that feeling. This is probably the worst thing that might happen to a book. You are reading without paying attention to what the plot is about ... It happened to me the other day, when I was reading a book so boring and dull that I had not the slightest idea what the several pages I had "read" were about because I was thinking about something else all the time ... It was useless to try to read on or to pretend to read on so I put it aside, promising to myself I would get round to it sometimes in the future but I wonder if I ever will ...

Re: Cosmic horror by less known authors
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 19 August, 2020 11:27PM
Exactly. I have had too many reads in the past where I fought to reach the end of the book, so I could begin another "better" instead. It doesn't happen so often anymore, because I have become much more careful in selection. I don't just pick up any book with exciting cover art, and start to read. I do my research first.

But it is bound to happen. When one has done a lot of reading, fantasy "action adventure" formulas repeat themselves in book after book. The chase through underground complexes, and exploring one room after another, probably being the most recurring example of chewed formula. Ugh! And the limited human perspective of mediocre authors handle the same basic issues over and over. Finally it becomes very boring. Then one demands to read only exceptional authors that bring something new or look deeper. But those become increasingly rare. The very best authors of superior intelligence are worth re-reading over and over.

Re: Cosmic horror by less known authors
Posted by: Minicthulhu (IP Logged)
Date: 20 August, 2020 02:39PM
By the way, the book I referred to is "Zanoni," a fact which may take a connoisseur of the genre by surprise because Mr. Lovecraft praised the book so much, but I really was unable to finish it ... I am sorry Mr. Bulwer-Lytton ... But, still, as far as boredom goes, "Zanoni" is no match on "La Révolte Des Anges" (1914) by France Anatome; this is probably the worst book I have ever read, in the teeth of the high ratings it gets.

Goto Page: Previous12345AllNext
Current Page: 3 of 5


Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.
Top of Page