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Old 11-24-2014   #1
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John B. Ford; a master of our nethermost nightmares.

I have been reading the short horror-stories of John B. Ford lately, finishing his collection Tales of Devilry and Doom and beginning Dark Shadows on the Moon, and I must say that these noxious and unholy tales of black, infinite nightmare are amongst the greatest weird writings ever committed to paper. Ligotti has written enthusiastically of Mr Ford, even collaborating on a story entitled The Mechanical Museum. Like Ligotti, Mr Ford eschews all identification with our real world and instead paints a strange and curious world of ineffable horror and terror wherein human life is but the luckless playthings of cosmic, terrible forces beyond the feeble ken of little man. There is, however, a vitiating air of occasional melodrama that almost threatens to diminish his stories to parody. Though he is associated with Ligotti, Mr Ford has a style and personal signature that is entirely his own. Does anyone here know if Mr Ford is still active to-day, or has he, like so many of the genre's too-rare talents, disappeared off the face of the earth? The collections and works of John B. Ford are extremely scarce to find; but if you can find even one story by he, then I can guarantee you a night of nightmares. Here is The Strangest Interview:

''How could I not approve of the sentiments expressed below?''
- Thomas Ligotti.

Q: What would you do if your death came soon?
A: I'd paint black shadows on the moon.

Q: Does your work portray yourself?
A: Perhaps it does my mental health.

Q: How will you end your dark vocation?
A: One day will see my annihilation.

Q: What do you believe in, Mr Ford?
A: All things evil, darkness, and discord.

Q: Do you believe in God or Heaven?
A:.............................................

Q: What is your greatest expectation?
It's probably evil exultation.

Q: Are you married, do you love your wife?
A: I'm married to the darkness in the Crypt of Life.

Q: Are you real or an image contrived?
A: I'm the lodger in a human with his mind deprived.

John B. Ford was interviewed by John Basford.

Let us admit...the hallucinatory nature of the world. Let us...seek unrealities which confirm that nature.
-- Jorge Luis Borges

https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rc...FBrqgtg6hy-w0w
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Old 11-24-2014   #2
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Re: John B. Ford; a master of our nethermost nightmares.

I am proud to have had a collaboration with JBF published a number of years ago.

MY WEBSITE: www.nemonymous.com
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Old 11-25-2014   #3
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Re: John B. Ford; a master of our nethermost nightmares.

John B. Ford wrote one of the best weird tales I have read, circa ten or even more years back; "The Illusion of Life".

He nailed a certain William Hope Hodgson vibe and I think he's been under the radar, alas, ever since. I still have a great deal of respect and admiration for all he did for a close group of all we Brit weird fiction devotees way back then. Before it was fashionable in fact.

On a side note, it's strange to see that portrait of him. I designed it myself, believe it or not. Strange how it's still out there in the internet ether! I'm glad.

Mark S.

"You have no idea how much nastier I'd be if I were not a Catholic. Without supernatural aid I would hardly be a human being." Evelyn Waugh
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Old 11-25-2014   #4
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Re: John B. Ford; a master of our nethermost nightmares.

Agreed about John's literary skills and powerful weird fictional vision, especially as demonstrated in "The Illusion of Life," as you've pointed out, Mark. He and I had some great email conversations in the early 2000s, and I'm happy to own signed and inscribed copies of both of his collections under discussion here. He was also the first to publish my essay "Thomas Ligotti's Career of Nightmares," in the Terror Tales email newsletter/e-zine that he sent out for awhile circa 2000-2001.

I'm forgetting at the moment: wasn't that email-zine a kind of successor to the formerly ultra-lively Terror Tales site and community that John created and presided over? Or was it the other way around?

In any event, how very interesting to learn that you designed that portrait photo, Mark. Well done.

EDIT/ADDENDUM: It was the other way around: the Terror Tales email newsletter presaged the Terror Tales site. Speaking of which, good Lord, a ghostly revenant of the site is available via the Wayback Machine at the Internet Archive: Terror Tales. Remember how hoppingly active the "Terror Talk" forum used to be?

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Old 11-26-2014   #5
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Re: John B. Ford; a master of our nethermost nightmares.

Interesting. Anyone know of any of his work that can be read online?
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Old 11-28-2014   #6
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Re: John B. Ford; a master of our nethermost nightmares.

I have enjoyed a number of John B. Ford's stories. And I have a few of his books: Dark Shadows on the Moon, the chapbook The Mechanics of False Hilarity, and The Evil Entwines. I don't have the The Evil Entwines - Extended Edition. Does anyone know what the difference is between the books? Is Ligotti's story revised?

Here is the Ligotti blurb on the back of Dark Shadows on the Moon:

"I particularly appreciate the fact that the overall mood is dire and the endings so grim... I especially admired 'The Curse' and 'The Enemy Within.' (The Illusion of Life) reminded me of one of my favorite, truly uncanny tales - 'The Fashionable Tiger,' by Jean Ferry.

- Thomas Ligotti

Contents and very cool cover art:

http://www.eternalnight.co.uk/books/...onthemoon.html


The story in this volume that is (Dedicated to Thomas Ligotti ) "The Eternally Descending Blade," has been available at TLO for quite a while.

http://www.ligotti.net/showthread.php?t=236&highlight=eternally+descendin g
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Old 11-28-2014   #7
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Re: John B. Ford; a master of our nethermost nightmares.

OMG!!!!!!!!!

I don't know whether to thank you, Matt, for your link's reviving old memories or slip a noose around my neck in embarrassment ...

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Mark S.

"You have no idea how much nastier I'd be if I were not a Catholic. Without supernatural aid I would hardly be a human being." Evelyn Waugh
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Old 11-28-2014   #8
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Re: John B. Ford; a master of our nethermost nightmares.

Perhaps, essentially, my endless self-indulgent posts haven't changed that much.

Look at this link:

Html Gear - Guest Gear View Guestbook

Back then I could only post lyrics.

Now I can post total Hank Williams Sr songs.

Perhaps modernity isn't all bad, after all.


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"You have no idea how much nastier I'd be if I were not a Catholic. Without supernatural aid I would hardly be a human being." Evelyn Waugh
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