General Weird discusion thread

Discussion in 'Classic SF&F' started by Lobolover, Jun 10, 2008.

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    Lobolover

    Lobolover New Member

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    For a general discusion on the authors.

    (to a special someone:I'd need you here! :D)
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    GOLLUM

    GOLLUM Moderator Staff Member

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    Hmmm..wonder if you're referring to JD?...;)

    I assume you mean Old Weird as in Ashton Smith etc.. or more general?...
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    Lobolover

    Lobolover New Member

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    (yeep)

    Old,dolder,oldest,Modern stuff leaves me cold,their all just emulating.


    On the subjecz,how many here have read Cline's "The Dark Chamber"
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    AE35Unit

    AE35Unit ]==[]===O °

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    Are we talking SF here or horror? And who is Cline? I know what you mean about modern SF tho,seems to have run out of ideas.
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    Lobolover

    Lobolover New Member

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    I mean modern horror and fantasy,but SF fits the bill as well.

    Leonard Cline.You know.Author of "The Dark Chamber" :?
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    AE35Unit

    AE35Unit ]==[]===O °

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    Never heard of it,will have to Google.
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    j d worthington

    j d worthington Moderator Staff Member

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    These days, Leonard Cline isn't much known; though The Dark Chamber has been brought back into print recently. In fact, many of the weird writers of the period (or weird books by writers of the period) have fallen by the wayside; in part due to the mannerisms of the time no longer being in vogue. Some of them, however, do deserve to be remembered (Sinister House and Cold Harbour being amongst them, IMO). Once again, Lovecraft provides a service in that it is through his comments on such books that they are being rediscovered, due to his own popularity....
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    Lobolover

    Lobolover New Member

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    Both Sinister House and Cold Harbour have been re-issued in one book by Hipocampus press two months ago,but no online sellers besides them have it.

    So,you read it?Your opinion?

    And to sprout discusion:Arthur Machen.
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    j d worthington

    j d worthington Moderator Staff Member

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    Have not read the new edition, no -- haven't yet received my copy. However, I did read both novels several years ago (about 17 years ago, iirc), and finally picked up my own copies of the same editions about 2-1/2 years ago, though I haven't reread them yet. My response to these is, first, that HPL's comments are pretty much on target here; and also that, despite some of the mannerisms of the period, they both achieve a remarkably powerful atmosphere and make for quite good reading. Certainly not "modern" horror, no... but I'd say that's all to the good in this case. (And no, I'm not averse to all modern horror; I just prefer it to be done well.)

    Now... what about Machen? There's a lot of material to cover there, some of which is, frankly, not worthwhile; much of which is interesting and well-written, but may not be germane to the discussion here, and a certain percentage of which stands deservedly among the classics of the field, such as "The White People". I'd even claim a pretty high place (though not as horror) for "A Fragment of Life"....
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    Lobolover

    Lobolover New Member

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    Heard about "a fragment"

    I'd like to know what your peoples idea is of which of his stories are good, besides the clasic "Novel of the Black Seal","Novel of the white powder"," The great god Pan" and "The white people".For instance,I very much liked "The shining pyramid",even though the "homles-ness" kinda killed the atmosphere in the beging,the ending was superb-and "The red Hand" which I like equaly.

    Higher then theese I'd put "The inmost light"a briliant litle tale.
    Of the Three Impostor's stuff that was ignored mostly,I'd point out:
    "The novel of the dark valley",which I believe is nigh at the same level as the two other noted "Novels".

    As to his other horror stories (besides "the great return" and others concerning the grail which I think are more fantasian),ive only managed to locate "The children of the pool",though I havent read it and would like to know if it be worth it.

    Oh,when I said "you read it"-I dont have neither of them now,cause its not avalible yet by Bookfayre.cz,however I meant if you read "The Dark Chamber" .
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    j d worthington

    j d worthington Moderator Staff Member

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    Cline's The Dark Chamber? No. This one was like Ransome's Elixir of Life; I'd been trying for years to get my hands on a copy and couldn't even track it down via interlibrary loan. I finally found a copy a couple of years ago, but by that point I'd begun my reading of all of this stuff (as noted elsewhere) in order, mingled with other material, so I've not got around to it yet. 'Sokay. I'm a very patient individual.

    Speaking of the Ransome novel... I still haven't got a copy of my own on this one, but I did finally manage to get one via ILL (which was not easy; there are only 5 libraries in the U.S. that have a copy of the thing, and they charge a bundle to loan it out). I did enjoy it, though it faltered a bit now and again. Still, at its best, it's a tremendously powerful novel where atmosphere and a genuine feel of the eerie are concerned.....
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    Lobolover

    Lobolover New Member

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    Havent read the Ransome story ,never found it.But Cline's story came out recently in a small format,published by Gold Spring Press and sold for 6.99 US.

    Two things-whats "The elixir of life" about (in a nutshell?)

    And-have you ever hard of "The lady who came to stay" by Spencer.
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    j d worthington

    j d worthington Moderator Staff Member

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    Heard of, but not read... or read any reviews on, for that matter.

    On the Ransome... it has some slight similarities to Auriol, but even more to A Strange Story, involving as it does an alchemist who has found a way to prolong his life far beyond the normal span. It's more of a romance in some ways, as this rather diabolical personage also has a young female companion with whom the narrator falls in love -- which gives the antagonist a broad field for playing cat-and-mouse in a rather nasty fashion. Though set some centuries ago, the style is careful to avoid too much archaism, being fairly modern without quite spoiling the distancing effect. The final confrontation with the alchemist, too, is given more preparation (and is, IMO, more memorable) than that which Bulwer allowed to Margrave. Not a first-class classic, as the quality wavers somewhat, but worth a read; and when it is good, it is indeed very good....
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    j d worthington

    j d worthington Moderator Staff Member

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    Incidentally, as you mention both the collaborative team of Erckmann-Chatrian as well as Ralph Adams Cram in your PMs, why don't you go ahead and bring them on into the discussion? I've only read a single tale by the former (and that was some years ago), but I have read Cram's Black Spirits and White, and that has some very good pieces in it. (Interestingly, I read it at about the same time I did John Metcalf's The Smoking Leg and Other Stories, which also has some very memorable pieces to it....)
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    Lobolover

    Lobolover New Member

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    I read only one story from the duo,"the invisible eye",but I can link you to more.Realy chilling,though I imagind,from HPL's description it would actualy show the story from the view of the witch! (which actualy gives me an idea for a story of my own) .

    Hmm.Ill check that Cram colection,HPL only mentioned "The dead valley" and god was it powerfull.I can just see that stretching plain,dead,filled with the horrid mist!

    Metcalf,you say?Never seen it.Hmm.May,but I doubt ill find anything on-line/in books as usual (stupid country)

    To "the lady"-its gotta be the most least referenced story on the net!Its just thaat Joshi talked about it as being similar to "The Place Called Dagon", and other such tales,but I dont know why.

    To Auriol-so youve read it.Quite good and quite the phantastical book to pass the time-I liked the prologue the most,the old times seting gave aditional magic into it.
    But boy I was pissed when I found out it didnt have a conclusion.
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    j d worthington

    j d worthington Moderator Staff Member

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    The Smoking Leg is the volume containing his "The Bad Lands", which Lovecraft praised (rightly, in my estimation). His work in general deserves to be more known than it is....
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    Lobolover

    Lobolover New Member

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    Yep,but sadly thats the only online tale I've found.

    On another note-what do you think about Shiel?For instance,did you like "The Pale ape" and "The case of Euphemia Raphash" (im reading the rest of the book) .And-returning to Cram-is "White Villa"
    a good choice? (horrormasters.com have the whole volume from which "the dead valley" came-too bad they dont have de la Mare's "the tree")

    Also-I wonder if Shiel ever heard of Lovecraf,seeing as he was asking for an acquiring of reprint rights to his tales by WT.
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    AE35Unit

    AE35Unit ]==[]===O °

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    Is this the Shiel as in MP Shiel of The Purple Cloud?(i have that book on my bookmooch wishlist)
    I know nothing about him but thought he was an early 20th century science fiction writer. Yet he wrote horror too?
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    j d worthington

    j d worthington Moderator Staff Member

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    LL -- that does complicate matters, yes. All I can suggest is to keep an eye out for used copies of one of the editions of the collection online. IIRC, when I found it a few years ago, it was going for an extremely reasonable price....

    As for the two Shiel stories: I don't recall the second right offhand, and may not have got around to that one; but the first I recall as being rather flawed, but at points quite effective....

    That particular tale of Cram's is... negligible. Written well enough, but not particularly memorable in concept. And as for Shiel... I'm sure he did know about HPL, as he and August Derleth had (iirc) considerable contact....

    The same. And, like many writers of the period, yes, he wrote both. In part, this is because there wasn't such a divide between the two as we see nowadays -- in fact, that didn't come into quite such common practice until the 1970s or 1980s, and for a long while these and the various forms of fantasy were all considered as part of the overall umbrella of "fantastic literature"....
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    Lobolover

    Lobolover New Member

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    In fact,id prefer if there wasnt.Some of history's best weird tales came out before.

    Hmm.So,if we disregard that,the colection has theese other tales

    No. 252 Rue M. Le Prince
    In Kropfsberg Keep
    Sister Maddelena
    Notre Dame des Eaux

    Which one of those would be good to read? (and is "White villa" realy that bad?)

    To "The Palle Ape"-hmm,well,I thought it was just a tad rushed.But stil,very good.

    On a related note-
    how about "The Place Called Dagon"-you read that yet?
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