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Re: Cosmic horror by less known authors
Posted by: Sawfish (IP Logged)
Date: 21 August, 2020 02:56PM
Knygatin Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> 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.


Van Voght was one of the first SF writers I can recall being interested in. I got my Mom to sign me up (this was a big mistake on her part) for the Doubleday SF Book Club and Slan and Voyage of the Space Beagle were two of the first monthly selections. Maybe War Against the Rull, too.

I'm going to veer off here a bit, if you don't mind, because you seem to have read a lot of stuff that I read, as well.

I may have asked this, but have you read J. G. Ballard, in particular Vermilion Sands? If you have, what are your impressions? I most recently re-read this about 6-12 months ago. I'm finding that it stands up, for me, surprisingly well.

In those early S Book Club days, I can recall Nightfall (Asimov?) quite vividly as a mental exercise: what, exactly, would it mean to a world that has never seen complete night to witness a complete absence of sun for a period of time?

There's also a very intriguing story that I have not been able to run down. I sorta thought it was called "Mars Shops, Ltd", but I must have this wrong. The upshot is that a shop with miraculous, unexplainable merchandise--a lot like a Sharper Image if the products came from a higher-order civilization--gets opened on 5th Ave in NYC. There are two significant plot twists beyond this, but I won't tell, just in case you ever get to read the story.

There was the Clark story, Sentinel, that again had a very intriguing POV for a 12-year old to read. I never had any religious upbringing, so I took it probably differently than someone with a more traditionally religious background may have.

All of these are short stories, except the Van Voght stuff. Vermilion Sands is a thematically related collection. like Zothique.

Do you recall reading any of these, Knygatin? If so, I'd be interested in hearing your impressions?

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

Re: Cosmic horror by less known authors
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 21 August, 2020 04:57PM
I have not read any of those unfortunately, except "The Sentinel" which I don't recall in detail (I remember the telescope, because I have one exactly like it). I read Arthur C. Clarke's short story collection The Nine Billion Names of God and enjoyed it very much, especially "Rescue Party" which was humorous. I like how Clarke has an enormous cosmic weird sensibility, and yet, in contrast to Lovecraft being very optimistic in his outlook.

I really haven't read a whole lot of books. I try to read the classics and the, reputedly, very best, in the fields and styles that interest and appeal to me.

Re: Cosmic horror by less known authors
Posted by: Sawfish (IP Logged)
Date: 21 August, 2020 05:56PM
Well, it's all for fun, isn't it?

Literature for enjoyment...very good!

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

Re: Cosmic horror by less known authors
Posted by: Sawfish (IP Logged)
Date: 21 August, 2020 06:50PM
Hah! Found it!

The story about the store with Martian goods...

[www.writing.upenn.edu]

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

Re: Cosmic horror by less known authors
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 21 August, 2020 06:55PM
Sawfish Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Well, it's all for fun, isn't it?
>
>

A bit. But not primarily for me. Maybe in sunny California? ( I have a 20 Golden Greats of Beach Boys record which is wonderful, with songs like Fun, Fun, Fun.)

I would say I primarily seek ecstasy. And it entails at least a verisimilitude of realism (which was also Lovecraft's recipe. Or else it falls flat.), mixed with heightened aesthetic levels of weird beauty.

P. G. Wodehouse is a fun author. I started laughing out loud on the first page of Uncle Dynamite.

Re: Cosmic horror by less known authors
Posted by: Sawfish (IP Logged)
Date: 21 August, 2020 08:04PM
I' read about a philosophy wherein the seeking of ecstasy is the greatest good. That my well be. But I'm thinking that everyone's emotional/spiritual range and capacity differs greatly, and at age 72, I sit here and am unsure I've ever experienced what I have heard ecstasy to be, if we use a common definition:

an overwhelming feeling of great happiness or joyful excitement.

I can feel contentment and satisfaction, possibly in lieu of ecstasy.

I can recall having a discussion with a friend over the topic of "happiness". His definition was a lot closer to the above definition of ecstasy, so I had to admit to him that I'd never been happy.

...but I felt content in saying that... ;^)

I had a pain prescription for a common opioid for about 3 years to combat pain from a hip that I could not have replaced immediately, and that took me places, mentally, that were *different*; the best description is the Kipling story something like "Gate of 100 Sorrows".

This made me aware of *why* many people seem to like opioids/opiates.

But on the whole, not a good trade-off, in my opinion.

So I guess what I'm looking for a some mental stimulation followed by a feeling of contentment--more like what I get out of a lot of music. However, some also gets to some pretty weird places--maybe ecstasy?...

Interesting discussion.

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

Re: Cosmic horror by less known authors
Posted by: Dale Nelson (IP Logged)
Date: 21 August, 2020 11:15PM
Cosmic horror — get the novella “Rogue Moon” by Algis Budrys (SF Hall of Fame: Novellas, Vol. 2).

Re: Cosmic horror by less known authors
Posted by: Cathbad (IP Logged)
Date: 22 August, 2020 05:59AM
Howard Fast wrote a LOT of short stories (re the Martian story) - I have a hardback of one such collection: 'A Touch of Infinity'. It well worth checking out.

Re: Cosmic horror by less known authors
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 22 August, 2020 06:36AM
Knygatin Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
>
> I would say I primarily seek ecstasy. And it
> entails at least a verisimilitude of realism
> (or else it falls flat), mixed with heightened aesthetic
> levels of weird beauty.
>

I need to modulate that statement. I would say I seek truth. And genuine aesthetic beauty is an expression of truth (in contrast to bad art, confusion, and falsity). It is present in Nature and in great art. That gives me ecstasy. Too much chaotic confusion in early life has led me to a great need for seeking truth, in everything I do, not just in literature and art. Often plucking apart and trying to get to the roots of matters, both on the immediate, worldly, and cosmic level.

I am aware of the lures of opioids (have received it before surgery) and other drugs, like alcohol and simple cigarettes. It numbs and tricks the ego to let go of worries, and gives sensations of "ecstasy". But it is destructive, and not a path toward truth. I think CAS's "The City of the Singing Flame" and its sequel allegorically describe the effects of opioid/heroin.

I will not say more about that here.


Back on topic, perhaps I might again recommend C. L. Moore's (with Henry Kuttner) "Vintage Season". Not sure about horror (maybe in the eye of the beholder), but some fine weird cosmic suspense.
I just read Kuttner's "The Graveyard Rats" (1936). It copies Lovecraft, but without the atmosphere and unique artistic vision. Only trying to be gruesome, which it succeeds at fairly well. Could make a very good EC Horror Creepshow film episode.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 22 Aug 20 | 07:27AM by Knygatin.

Re: Cosmic horror by less known authors
Posted by: Sawfish (IP Logged)
Date: 22 August, 2020 10:07AM
Cathbad Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Howard Fast wrote a LOT of short stories (re the
> Martian story) - I have a hardback of one such
> collection: 'A Touch of Infinity'. It well worth
> checking out.


Thanks! I will.

Re-readibg the story yesterday, probably for the first time since maybe 1960 or so, I was struck with two thing: it's aimed at a fairly credulous and immature audience--possibly the same audience that went big-time for Heinlein; and it was very *cleverly* put together.

I see where the guy was a veritable writing machine, and if practice makes perfect...well, he had plenty of practice.

Also, I could see where this might appeal to the 12-year old me, and I enjoyed the concept and the descriptions a lot yesterday, even.

The denouement was clumsy as hell, though...

BTW, checking some of the titles I mentioned as influential in my youth, I mentioned "The Sentinel". Wrong. It was "The Star".

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

Re: Cosmic horror by less known authors
Posted by: Sawfish (IP Logged)
Date: 22 August, 2020 10:16AM
Dale Nelson Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Cosmic horror — get the novella “Rogue Moon”
> by Algis Budrys (SF Hall of Fame: Novellas, Vol.
> 2).


Dale, meant to ask you a while back...

I had an English department class that was titled something like "Modern Science Fiction". This was at Cal Poly, SLO, in the early 70's. I still can recall the prof; he was very engaging in class, and a very tough grader. This was a great combination and motivated me to really become absorbed in the material.

Sadly, the brain cells have fallen away since then...

One writer that drew a lot of class discussion at that time was Barry Maltzberg. At that time he was using 2nd person present tense as a narrative device, with an unreliable narrator.

Have you ever encountered his works? I haven't seen anything of his since that class, and for sure, that particular style can wear thin.

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

Re: Cosmic horror by less known authors
Posted by: Dale Nelson (IP Logged)
Date: 22 August, 2020 10:49AM
Sawfish, do you remember other authors or works from that course?

But, no, as far as I remember I’ve never read Malzberg.

At Fancyclopedia 3 online you can check the entry on Brian Bond, who taught various courses on fantasy and sf in the early and mid-1970s. He was a great guy.

Re: Cosmic horror by less known authors
Posted by: Sawfish (IP Logged)
Date: 22 August, 2020 11:01AM
Dale Nelson Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Sawfish, do you remember other authors or works
> from that course?

No.

I was trying to, but all that happened was that smoke came out of my ears... :^(

>
> But, no, as far as I remember I’ve never read
> Malzberg.

I looked at Wikipedia just after I posted and he seems to have been a really varied commercial writer--a sort of Kilgore Trout.

[en.wikipedia.org]

>
> At Fancyclopedia 3 online you can check the entry
> on Brian Bond, who taught various courses on
> fantasy and sf in the early and mid-1970s. He was
> a great guy.

I am also trying to recall the prof's name. He was Jewish and from the east coast. He was not a whole lot older than I was when I took the class--I'd guess he was in his early thirties; maybe I was about 28 or so.

I'll try to recall more works; sometimes that helps, just to make mental links...

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

Re: Cosmic horror by less known authors
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 7 October, 2020 01:05PM
Minicthulhu Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> L. A. Lewis ... his stories are very
> bizzare, true weird tales. "Animate in Death",
> "The Tower of Moab"

Can these be found online somewhere?

Re: Cosmic horror by less known authors
Posted by: Minicthulhu (IP Logged)
Date: 9 October, 2020 04:14PM
Knygatin Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Minicthulhu Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > L. A. Lewis ... his stories are very
> > bizzare, true weird tales. "Animate in Death",
> > "The Tower of Moab"
>
> Can these be found online somewhere?


I do not think so but the stories are definitely worth reading. The best one is "Animate in Death", it takes place at The Broads and tells a tale about a man living in his houseboat who has a strange, recurring and horrible dream about a female corpse, that is suspended in a state which is not life nor death in some kind of a water medium.

"I remembered the exact conditions of falling asleep, precisely how I had been lying and how the furniture had looked in the light of the lamp which I had left burning; but, try as I would, I could not think myself back into reality. All that I saw was real: the green, cloudy water, the corpse, and the sluggish fishes. My ordinary life was cut off from me by an invisible, impalpable barrier, suggesting that Death itself had overtaken me. It was not until the body's rotting lips opened as though to speak and an eel swam out that I awoke out of that horrible sleep. I fainted then for the first time in my life—or, if you like, dreamed that I fainted—and came to lying just where your chair is on the cabin floor."

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