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Modern Masters
Posted by: justlookaway (IP Logged)
Date: 26 December, 2012 10:43AM
Lovecraft named Algernon Blackwood, Lord Dunsay, M. R. James and Arthur Machen as his four Modern Masters of horror/weird literature. And rightly so. So he cited Smith throughout his life, I can kind of understand why he did not include CAS in this list. When I read Smith, it is more a reminder of the force of the English Language than a story of terror. Even when reading his horror stories, the sensation I feel is more a wonderful awe than a sense of terror. Not so with Lovecraft.

So, my question to you folks, as weird literature experts and enthusiasts, is who would you put forth in the category of "Modern Master" of the weird tale. By that I mean Weird Fantasy (how I always think of Smith) or the Weird Horror of Lovecraft. I need something to tide me over until my copy of the complete Poetry and Translations arrives, and would love to hear your takes on who I should add to my list. Also, it would be very cool if these were LIVING horror or weird writers. I have a profound love of Bloch, but even if one would classify him as modern he is not the sort of person I am looking for.

I will start: I for one, like Thomas Ligotti, Ramsey Campbell and of course Wilum Pugmire.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 26 Dec 12 | 10:48AM by justlookaway.

Re: Modern Masters
Posted by: The English Assassin (IP Logged)
Date: 26 December, 2012 02:36PM
Hmmm... I'm not really up to date on contemporary authors I'm afraid. I've read some Reggie Oliver, but I wouldn't say he's a 'weird' author really (depending on your definition of this much used, utterly nebulous term) - more a ghost story writer. I've recently read a collection by Quentin S. Crisp that had much going for it, although I've not read enough to call him a Master or not. Like him or loath him, Ligotti is obviously the most important of the recent Moderns and his influence upon the new breed and resurgence of short story writers. I've only read one Jeff Vandermeer, Veniss Underground, which was good... but again, I couldn't call him a Master or not. The only other Moderns I've read remotely recently are Graham Joyce, Mark Samuels and Gary Fry - the latter two did nothing for me, and Graham Joyce again I wouldn't call weird, although Tooth Fairy and the novella Leningrad Nights both had much to recommend them.

Re: Modern Masters
Posted by: wilum pugmire (IP Logged)
Date: 27 December, 2012 12:38AM
I am honored by being included in your wee list! There are so many talents we can name: Mark Samuels, Matt Cardin, Caitlin Kiernan, Laird Barron, Richard Gavin, Joe Pulver. But there is another factor that we can easily ignore, and that is the gifted, intelligent and individual editors who are giving us unique anthologies. Primary among such editors are Ellen Datlow and S. T. Joshi. Joshi is new at this, and yet he is fast becoming extremely active, and not just with Lovecraftian weird fiction--he prefers that stories submitted to the book he is editing for Fedogan & Bremer, SEARCHERS AFTER HORROR, not contain tales of Lovecraftian horror.

Another factor of what's going on in the genre to-day, I believe, is that weird fiction is now primarily published by small houses. I believe these houses are supported by a clientele that are interested in quality fiction, not generic tripe. They are the kind of readers one finds at such such as this and Thomas Ligotti Online. My books, being overly arty and "literary," would never have stood a chance with readers of main stream commercial horror novels. The small presses cater to a very small, definitive and loyal audience. I love writing for that audience, because strange as I am, they appreciate my efforts are a writer, as a prose stylist.

"I'm a little girl."
--H. P. Lovecraft, Esq.

Re: Modern Masters
Posted by: Gavin Callaghan (IP Logged)
Date: 3 January, 2013 05:20PM
justlookaway Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> So, my question to you folks, as weird literature
> experts and enthusiasts, is who would you put
> forth in the category of "Modern Master" of the
> weird tale.

Stephenie Meyer.

I haven't read her myself- but any 14 year-old girl will tell you that she's just the GREATEST.

Re: Modern Masters
Posted by: The English Assassin (IP Logged)
Date: 4 January, 2013 07:48AM
Gavin Callaghan Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

> Stephenie Meyer.
>
> I haven't read her myself- but any 14 year-old
> girl will tell you that she's just the GREATEST.

Heavily influenced by Clark Ashton Smith's Averoigne cycle, of course...



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