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Old 11-07-2016   #1
R.P.Dwyer
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Glyphotech and Other Macabre Processes

_Glyphotech and Other Macabre Processes_ was published in hardcover a few year ago. That edition is now out of print. Mark Samuels has joined the revolution in publishing and recently self published this book in paperback.

One thing that struck me about these stories is that they are, indeed, macabre, more so, in my opinion, than the stories of other writers in the field such as Robert Aickman and Thomas Ligotti.

There is some difference in the contents between the two editions. This book has:

Preface by Mark Samuels
Glyphotech
Sentinels
Patient 704
Shallaballah
Ghorla
Cesare Thodol: Some Lines Written on a Wall
Destination Nihil
The Vanishing Point
Regina vs. Zoskia
A Gentleman From Mexico

"Glyphotech" Corporate horror (I know that sounds redundant). The narrator's employer has motivational seminars which seems awfully like cult indoctrination. The narrator quits his job and becomes the target of a strange organization.

Two train stories: the Twilight Zone-style "Destination Nihil" and the excellent "Sentinels". In "Sentinels", a detective investigates the disappearance of a writer on the paranormal. One of this writer's books was on the dark, mysterious aspects of London's train system, which our detective explores in his search for the writer.

" The book was divided into several chapters, each specializing in a subterranean urban legend: (1) Cases of Posthumous Mutation in London in London Cemeteries (2) Derelict reverse Skyscrapers 1936-1957 (3) Mass disappearance of Persons sheltering in the Underground during the Blitz (4) Graffiti or Occult Symbolism? (5) Suppressed Eyewitness account during the Construction of the Underground Railways 1860-1976 (6) The Fleet Line extension to Fenchurch Street must be Halted (7) Secret Bunkers or Extermination Centres? (8) The deep level Platforms of the proposed Express Tube: Why they caused Insanity (9) The Hidden Shafts that connect Subterranean London."

"Vanishing Point" reminded me a little of John Carpenter's movie They Live. In "Vanishing Point", the protagonist is making plans for suicide when he sees a strange transmission on TV. The story has a Twilight-Zone style twist.

"Patient 704" and "Cesare Thodol: Some Lines Written on a Wall" uses the old horror trope of the insane asylum, nevertheless they are interesting stories.

In "Ghorla", the protagonist researches an obscure, dead pulp fiction novelist named Ghorla who had an interesting idea about consciousness in one of his novels. Ghoul's ideas about consciousness turn out to be horribly true.

"Shallaballah" is about a Punch and Judy show broadcast live after death.

"Regina vs. Zoskia" is a Kafkaesque story about a lawsuit against an asylum.

In "A Gentleman From Mexico" the British protagonist encounters in Mexico a writer who writes like Lovecraft himself. Not like an imitator. Could Lovecraft have been re-incarnated in this Mexican writer? Our protagonist, at the end of the story, winds up in an unusual state.

For me, the stories ranged from 4 to 4.5 stars.

"Reality is often dangerous...And of course be prepared for a big change; something indescribable, unpredictable. " -- Robert Aickman
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Old 11-07-2016   #2
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Re: Glyphotech and Other Macabre Processes

Yeah, I was kind of sad to see that Mark had omitted "The Cannibal Kings of Horror" (along with Ramsey Campbell's introduction) from the 2nd edition. I can understand his reasoning re: the former, but maybe he could have updated the satire!

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-Colin Wilson, Religion and the Rebel
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Old 11-07-2016   #3
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Re: Glyphotech and Other Macabre Processes

Well Campbell owns the rights to his intro.. and Mark, since this is him publishing it, most likely did not want to have to pay Campbell...
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Old 11-07-2016   #4
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Re: Glyphotech and Other Macabre Processes

This anthology was the subject of my first ever real-time review in 2008. It has the blame for starting me off on this personal rite of passage...

Here: www.nemonymous.com

MY WEBSITE: www.nemonymous.com
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Old 11-07-2016   #5
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Re: Glyphotech and Other Macabre Processes

Why was The Cannibal Kings of Horror not included?

'I believe in what the Germans term Ehrfurcht: reverence for things one cannot understand.'
― Robert Aickman, An Essay
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Old 11-07-2016   #6
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Re: Glyphotech and Other Macabre Processes

Quote Originally Posted by luciferfell View Post
Well Campbell owns the rights to his intro.. and Mark, since this is him publishing it, most likely did not want to have to pay Campbell...
Ramsey actually offered his encouragement for using his intro in the reprint, on Mark's blog. Introductions are typically a freely given resource, as I understand it.
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Old 11-07-2016   #7
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Re: Glyphotech and Other Macabre Processes

Quote Originally Posted by Prince James Zaleski View Post
Why was The Cannibal Kings of Horror not included?
In the preface Mark states that the satire in that story has become, after less than a decade, "hopelessly inadequate," having been "wholly overtaken by even more outlandish developments."

"The Outsider must find a direction and commit himself to it, not lie moping about the meaninglessness of the world."
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Old 11-14-2016   #8
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Re: Glyphotech and Other Macabre Processes






This is my life. This is my damnation. This is my only regret--that I ever was born.

-- Swans, "Beautiful Child"
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Old 11-15-2016   #9
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Re: Glyphotech and Other Macabre Processes

Having just read "the white hands," I'm eager for glyphotec to come out on kindle. These story descriptions sound fantastic. Can't damn the Sam!
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