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Old 08-22-2005   #1
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D.F. Lewis

TL has mentioned D.F. Lewis as being among the best contemporary writers of horror fiction. I recently finished reading the chap book THE BEST OF D.F. LEWIS. It was published by Tal Publications in 1992. It has great cover art and interior illustrations by t. Winter-Damon. The introduction is by Ramsey Campbell. He points out that D.F. Lewis has built his reputation with stories in small press publications, and then states: "No doubt this is a reason why he has been compared to Thomas Ligotti, but he is unlike Ligotti as Ligotti is unlike anyone else."
I agree. This author has quite a unique voice. His prose is highly stylized but succinct. He wastes very few words. Most of the stories in this collection are 2 or 3 pages long.

On the back cover of this book is one of the best compliments that I've ever read.

"If you can imagine a cross between Lovecraft and a large demented rat observing humanity from the vantage point of a dumpster or sewer drain, you'll begin to grasp what sort of philosopher is D.F. Lewis. His stories aren't merely fantasies, they're dark truths."
-Jessica Amanda Salmonson

More recently, in 2003, Prime Books published a larger collection of his work entitled WEIRDMONGER.
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Old 08-22-2005   #2
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Re: D.F. Lewis

A list of fiction by D. F. Lewis available online (yeah, I like to google):

-Why Behind the Fence? http://lostpages.net/dfl2004fence.html

-Laughter in the Distance http://lostpages.net/dfl2004laughter.html

-Beyond Ulthar http://lostpages.net/dfl2004ulthar.html

- Small Fry http://www.archipelago.org/vol3-4/lewis.htm

-Spanning the River http://www.nhi.clara.net/z25.htm

- Book Ends (with Hertzan Chimera and M.F. Korn) http://www.gdarkness.com/bookends.html

- Muck and bones (with MF Korn and Hertzan Chimera) http://www.steelcaves.com/vault/fantasy/mucknbones.htm

- Ancient crafts http://www.book.co.nz/lewis.htm

- The Smell of the Past http://www.corpse.org/issue_9/ficciones/lewis_lim.htm

- Swine Before Pearls (with Scott Urban) http://www.computercrowsnest.com/sfnews/newse0301.htm

- Visitors (with Keith Brooke and Lawrence Dyer) http://www.aphelion-webzine.com/shor...visitors3c.htm

- Processors http://members.tripod.com/~night_wan...rocessors.html

- The Dodgy World of Ear-Recorders http://www.sabledrake.com/2000a/ear_recorders.htm

- Let Me Whisper in Your Ear http://www.dusksite.ukgo.com/article.php?20.255

- Missed Opportunities http://www.dusksite.ukgo.com/article.php?21.255

- The Quest of the Mouther (with Rhys Hughes) http://www.dusksite.ukgo.com/article.php?51.255

- The Exquistion http://www.etext.org/Zines/TwilightTimes/df_Lewis5.html

- Dear Mum http://www.dowse.com/fiction/Lewis.html

- Queuing Behind Crazy People http://www.infinityplus.co.uk/stories/queuing.htm

- The Horn of Europe http://www.infinityplus.co.uk/stories/horn.htm

- Wild Honey http://www.fables.org/autumn01/wildhoney.html

- The Shiftlings http://www.demensionszine.com/stories/0302f3.html

- And Never Was Piping So Sad http://www.etext.org/Zines/TwilightT...f_Lewis11.html

- The Raw Brain http://www.kamikazee.freeserve.co.uk/rawbrain.htm

- A Backbone for Frangible Dreams http://www.demensionszine.com/stories/0304s1.html

- The One-Eyed Fly http://www.computercrowsnest.com/Holotales/ss5.htm

- Norris Fetter http://www.afn.org/~vampires/ss.html

- Nits (with Paul Bradshaw) http://www.house-of-pain.com/fiction...on6-02-01.html

- Downdraught http://maxpages.com/drift/Bibliofantasiac_issue_14

ENJOY!

P. S. Please, add a link if you find some more.

"In my imagination, I have a small apartment in a small town where I live alone and gaze through a window at a wintry landscape." -- TL
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Old 08-22-2005   #3
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Re: D.F. Lewis

I was going to mention the many Lewis stories in my small press magazine collection. Why bother? They must be somewhere above. Seriously, check your moldering back issues for bits and pieces of the Lewis oeuvre.

(O.K., Official Librarian Slawek, arrange them by the Dewey Decimal System....)

"What does it mean to be alive except to court disaster and suffering at every moment?"

Tibet: Carnivals?
Ligotti: Ceremonies for initiating children into the cult of the sinister.
Tibet: Gas stations?
Ligotti: Nothing to say about gas stations as such, although I've always responded to the smell of gasoline as if it were a kind of perfume.
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Old 08-23-2005   #4
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Re: D.F. Lewis

Thanks for these links! I happen to have a copy of "Weirdmonger" on the way; I stumbled upon a few of these online stories myself and was impressed enough to take the plunge. He writes with the sort of subtlety and ambiguity I like best in horror and weird fiction. (But maybe that goes without saying....)
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Old 08-24-2005   #5
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Re: D.F. Lewis

Some more links of interest:
Nemonymous - http://wordonymous.esmartdesign.com/
The journal of parthenogenetic fiction and late labelling - edited by D.F. Lewis.

More info on Lewis himself:
http://www.augusthog.esmartguy.com/

A D.F. Lewis special at the 'zine Lost Pages:
http://www.lostpages.net/lostpages2004.html
(scroll down to the Aug. 24, 2004 update)

An interview @ the 'zine Sein un Werden (which incidentally is looking for fiction submissions - check the guidelines here: http://www.kissthewitch.co.uk/seinundwerden/sixth.html - I know for a fact that Rachel, the editrix, is looking for more short fiction- it's a non-paying market, but she likes dark decadent nasty stuff - exactly the sort of thing that pops up here...) -
http://www.kissthewitch.co.uk/seinun...ve3/page9.html

"Weirdmonger" is a fantastic book, and probably the best place to start w/Lewis' stuff. A bit of a warning though, it's not an easy read. The stories are short, but incredibly dense. I made the mistake of going cover to cover - the best way is to approach it like Ballard's "The Atrocity Exhibition"; find a title that grabs your interest and start there.

I've heard a rumour that if read in the proper order, the stories for a novel of sorts - Lewis would neither confirm or deny this when I interviewed him, but did say to look for the story that's out of order in the ToC.
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Old 08-24-2005   #6
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Re: D.F. Lewis

One more quick note - more links to stories can be found here:
http://weirdmonger.blogdrive.com/

And scattered throughout the posts here:
http://www.nightshadebooks.com/discu...tml?1124311790
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Old 08-26-2005   #7
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Re: D.F. Lewis

Slawek and N/A, thank you for posting those links. They have made for some interesting reading.

I just found my copy of Dagon 26 which is the D.F. Lewis Special issue. In it TL is quoted as saying:

"...the Stories of Murkales" series and "Digory Smalls" are the product of a highly sophisticated and wonderfully nightmarish imagination, an expertly controlled and sardonic vision that reminds me as much of avant-gardists like William Burroughs as it does the best traditions of horror literature as represented by Lovecraft, Poe, Machen, Blackwood etc.)... Mr. Lewis's stories form part of a larger pattern in my own imagination...composed of the efforts of certain writers, artists, and editors who in the middle 1970s lured me into their sub-world of supernatural horror. These people and their works are admittedly few and far between, but they have been prevalent enough to create a powerful mystique which has pleasantly obsessed me for the past fifteen years or so. And I don't mind confessing that the greater part of this mystique has been and continues to be British in origin...Since I am not particularly Anglophilic, as were those two American gods of horror, I can only explain this predilection as part of a general affinity for the products of relatively decayed cultures, even when these products are, on the surface, aggressively nouveau. And this brings me back to D.F. Lewis, whose work I hope to continue to read..."

I agree with N/A's description of Lewis's prose as being short but densely written. I have long since abandoned the notion that I was going to breeze through one of his two page stories.

Of the stories I have read so far, I must mention "Blasphemy Fitzworth." This is one of the most memorable stories that I have read in years. It is set in the merciless and unrelenting world of, what is probably, the London slums of the 19th century. It has a sick, but plausible, logic to it that turns one's stomach. A realistic nightmare right out of Mayhew's "London Labor and the London Poor" and Jack London's "People of the Abyss." Who knows what horrors this environment spawned.

Ramsey Campbell made this apt statement: "His succinctness suggests that of poetry, and some of the stories are best read as prose poems: "Blasphemy Fitzworth" is a fine example. He has the poet's ability to light up our minds with a phrase."
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Old 08-26-2005   #8
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Re: D.F. Lewis

Oh, what a dumb thing have I done with those links. I guess I was trying to outsmart everyone.

THIS IS THE SINGLE LINK EVERYONE NEEDS: http://www.nymous.esmartbiz.com/

Here you will find a list and links to over 500 (sic!) stories by D.F. Lewis which form part of his Weird Monger Wheel project.

Wow, I'm off to collect them and print them out. THE HORROR, THE HORROR!

"In my imagination, I have a small apartment in a small town where I live alone and gaze through a window at a wintry landscape." -- TL
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Old 08-26-2005   #9
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Re: D.F. Lewis

http://www.sabledrake.com/2000a/purgatory.htm

Hmm, interesting title...

"In my imagination, I have a small apartment in a small town where I live alone and gaze through a window at a wintry landscape." -- TL
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Old 08-27-2005   #10
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Re: D.F. Lewis

Slawek,
As a member of the "get it while you can" camp, I truly appreciate your shrewditudinousness (yes, it's a word now). I'd send you a case of paper, but the shipping cost would be atrocious. Enjoy!
Phil

"What does it mean to be alive except to court disaster and suffering at every moment?"

Tibet: Carnivals?
Ligotti: Ceremonies for initiating children into the cult of the sinister.
Tibet: Gas stations?
Ligotti: Nothing to say about gas stations as such, although I've always responded to the smell of gasoline as if it were a kind of perfume.
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