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Old 09-27-2015   #21
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Re: The Mark Samuels tribute anthology

Quote Originally Posted by ramonoski View Post
If it's not spoiling too much (and I'll take yes/no for an answer), any word on whether any of the stories use the "language as a virus" theme from some of Mark's work? That's what I would've gone with if I'd written a tribute story.
Yes.

Three of the following people appear as characters in this book, in multiple stories:

Mark Samuels
Thomas Ligotti
Laird Barron
Justin Isis
Quentin S. Crisp
TE Grau
Morrissey
Bram Stoker
Cee Lo Green

As to which three, you'll have to wait to find out...
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Old 09-27-2015   #22
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Re: The Mark Samuels tribute anthology

Quote Originally Posted by Justin Isis View Post
Quote Originally Posted by ramonoski View Post
If it's not spoiling too much (and I'll take yes/no for an answer), any word on whether any of the stories use the "language as a virus" theme from some of Mark's work? That's what I would've gone with if I'd written a tribute story.
Yes.

Three of the following people appear as characters in this book, in multiple stories:

Mark Samuels
Thomas Ligotti
Laird Barron
Justin Isis
Quentin S. Crisp
TE Grau
Morrissey
Bram Stoker
Cee Lo Green

As to which three, you'll have to wait to find out...
Do we still have time to include that short novel where Morrissey and Bram Stoker team up/are thrown together to fight the resurrected Dracula in early 1980s Manchester? What do we get for our trouble and pain?!
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Old 09-28-2015   #23
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Re: The Mark Samuels tribute anthology

My story features Bram Stoker having sex with Laird Barron. I hope that isn't giving away too much.
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Old 09-28-2015   #24
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Re: The Mark Samuels tribute anthology

Quote Originally Posted by brendanconnell View Post
My story features Bram Stoker having sex with Laird Barron. I hope that isn't giving away too much.
Think it should be made clear that this isn't the focal point of the story and so it isn't technically a "sled dogging piece" - i.e. a story focused purely on Laird Barron sexual activity, as in "Bram Stoker sled dogging Laird Barron," in which Bram Stoker initiates the sexual activity, or "Laird Barron sled dogging Taylor Swift," in which Laird Barron initiates the sexual activity. The typical "sled dogging piece" usually starts off like

"Laird Barron had just completed another grueling Iditerod race and was feeling keenly the residual numbness in his extremities. As he headed for the bar, he wondered whether there was anyone capable of infusing the warmth back into him."

etc.

The sled dogging Subreddit used to be pretty active but seems to be down recently.
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Old 09-28-2015   #25
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Re: The Mark Samuels tribute anthology

In case the lack of bare-knuckled Barron vs Wendigo action left anyone disappointed

Quote
Barron Vs Wendigo

Life is a bare-knuckle boxing match with a timber wolf against the backdrop of a merciless cosmos, each day another round. Some days the wolf gets lucky. Today had been one of those days.

[Naked + Bruised + Bound to the remains of an upturned sled in the middle of the freezing wilderness nearly a thousand kilometres from civilisation]

He reached down and felt inside his right boot…

What’s more those cassock-wearing sons of bitches had taken his magnesium flint.

***

750km from civilisation
Several knives. Thick twine originally intended for repairing rips in tent cloth. Crudely stitched coat made from husky skin [filthy but warm and reeking of predatory instinct]. Four skinned huskies = at least enough meat to last him for a fortnight.

***

580km from civilisation
Barron was running. There was something about these woods, something in these woods that was not right. The air tingled with it and the great pines shook their black boughs, whispering about it to one another. Barron was no coward but when the Ancient Horror, the horror that had inspired war-totems and strange cults out at the world’s edge, comes upon them even the greatest of predators must flee.

‘It would be help if I knew which way to flee,’ he thought.

Barron was running. To his right the land curved upwards, the beginnings of a vast plateau which was its self only the first of the foothills of the cyclopean mountain ranges beyond. Upon that rise the pines clustered more thickly than down here, endless tangles of shaggy coniferous hair bursting out of the rocks. The wind and the snow fall made it hard to see but he imagined a cluster of them were shaking.

Barron was running. The blizzard drove lash after lash of ice particles into his face: at first it was exhilarating, even pleasant, but after a short period it became agony, like tiny grains of frozen glass blown at you. The husky skin coat shielded his neck and lower face but his brows [fierce + manly] had no refuge from it. The screeching wind blotted out even the noise of his footfalls, but still he thought he could hear something in the air: it was the horror of the wilderness made audible: an endless bestial howl.

Barron was running the other way. He changed direction and began to power up the slope, his heavy boots sending cascades of semi-impacted snow down on to the track below. Laird Barron was no coward. No Ancestral Horror was going to stop him. He’d fought against everything: mobsters, bears, cultists, Republicans, even the Feds when they tried to instigate licenses for sled dog ownership.

But the voice on the wind spoke of a different law, a primordial wilderness law where the only imperative was to consume or be consumed. Barron struggled after it. At last he made his way into a clearing surrounded by tall bluewood trees, lone columns standing firm against the storm. Here the primordial presence was almost tangible, a violence in the blood. Branches snapped. He turned and faced what was emerging from the trees behind him.

It was tall, too tall and gaunt to ever be mistaken for human even in shadow. Glistening skin the colour of wet basalt stretched over its super-annuated frame revealing powerful muscles beneath. The face was rather like that of a man but somehow worn and eroded as if it had suffered extreme frostbite. The being’s eyes were the worst part … two gaping holes in the world which opened on galactic vistas, worlds not only empty of life but antipathetic to all life anywhere, around which cold blue stars wound their chaotic dances. Here was all the Hunger, ravening emptiness, the insanity which had tempted those who had strayed into the wilderness since the world was young.

‘Wendigo,’ Barron said.

The abomination opened its maw revealing a set of teeth older than the glaciers and ready to bear down upon another insignificant hairless monkey. Barron head-butted it in whatever passed for its chest and stabbed it a couple of times for good measure.

After the wendigo had been appropriately subdued Barron cut a thin sliver of flesh from its still twitching eldritch body and began to chew it quizzically, rivulets of bluey-black ichor dripping down his tangled and carnage-strewn beard. Ordinarily he wouldn’t have been so forward but after four days and a hundred and seventy kilometres the charms of frozen husky carcasses had begun to fade. It was good: lean in texture yet gamey and robust in flavour, somewhat like a cross between otter and grizzly. He carved off four large steaks from the creature’s belly, torso and thighs. After partaking of a few more chunks of this unexpected fare he stuffed the remainder into one of the husky skin sacks and strode off back in the direction of the mountains.

Thirty-four kilometres later he discovered a bush covered in red berries which were not immediately toxic. All in all things had turned out better than he had initially been given to suspect.

* * *

473km from civilisation
Barron had never known an elk that could hold its own in a fist-fight. These were no exception. When he came upon them in the valley they paid him little attention – two locked in combat, antlers together, blood red struggle for power, gold and women, the others rubber-necking the fight whilst chewing on moss or something. He’d change that right away. With a giant leap he threw himself on the biggest, grabbing its neck – thick as a moderate-sized tree trunk – and forcing it to the ground. The snow hissed and turned to steam as the two giant beasts of the wilderness struggled together – the elk drove its horned head at Barron’s stomach, shaggy prongs of pain ready to festoon themselves with his intestines.

Other people’s intestines festooned elk antlers, not Laird Barron’s. The speeding elk’s head encountered Barron’s equally speeding fist coming the other way and promptly burst into bloody fragments. The others perhaps not knowing what to do at such a show of rampant masculinity, raised their heads and looked vaguely perplexed.

He killed the second by snapping its neck and the third by impaling it on the horns of the second. Great bellows echoed out across the frozen wastes heard only by other elk, lemmings, snow grouse and the two hundred year old ghost of an Indian girl still searching for her lost love. None of these paid the slightest bit of attention.

The other elk in the clearing did, however. It turned its jowly bulk and began to make off into the forest. Barron leaped. He grabbed one of its retreating hooves and tore it off. Without that it didn’t get very far. After he had downed it he put both hands on the base of the beast’s antlers, steadied himself with the other one and kicked his feet into the snow. The set of antlers complete with the top part of the skull came off in one movement spraying the already liberally ensanguinated Barron with fresh life juice. Damn, that came off easy, he thought, like one of them rotten gopher nuts. He hoped that the elk was fresh and hadn’t just died on its feet and forgotten about it (he hated it when they did that). No, it was fresh. He raised the piece of shattered elk skull and placed it on top of his own.

Sixty or so kilometres later he found some mushrooms.

***

412km from civilisation
Elk blood + Fly Agaric + indigenous root + melted snow = a private corona of sub-Arctic bliss. chewing, enthusiasm both with fungi and with new hat, more chewing... digestive chemical reaction flow of enzymes, unusual neurochemical cocktails unleashed. A gut filled with half-digested wendigo meat. 5-(Aminomethyl)-isoxazol-3-ol and several other Ibotenic acids. …An open bar for every brain cell. The world inverted, the night sky a blue-black puddle with gravel patches of white stars beneath his feet. The air tasted of maple taffey with a faint hint of putrefied husky. With a yawn he lifted his feet from the ground and leap to the next mountain top.

Great Star Bear speaks: ‘You may have killed more people than me but I will live longer and have more children.’

Laird Barron speaks: ‘Don’t bet on it’.

The lone warrior goes forth leaping from peak to peak smashing fire-birds’ nests and knifing Inuit with Mitt Romney’s face as he passes.

***

???km from civilisation
The tribes of the Tundra do not have fifty words for snow but they have at least three for avalanche.

***
0.5km from what passes for civilisation
Barron was irritable. The wendigo meat had run out, his head felt like a pack of wolves had camped in there for the winter and for some reason his left thigh hurt too.


When he got back to Grizzley’s Paw, Yukon–Koyukuk everyone was dead. ####, he hated it when that happened.
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Old 09-28-2015   #26
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Re: The Mark Samuels tribute anthology

Well.
I'm a fan of Mark Samuels and Laird Barron. I even co-edited an anthology that was a tribute to Laird Barron's work, so I'm quite down with anthologies that pay tribute to living authors. I even think this sounds like a cool project, mostly. Yet I'm reading the thread and wondering why it's starting to seem less a Mark Samuels tribute and more an anti-LB anthology. The comments even become rather homophobic. "We need to get Laird back for tagging on Samuels so we'll write a story about him having sex with a man, tee hee." It's disappointing to see people taking that route.

I've reviewed all but one Samuels book on my blog. I'm a fan. I don't know him too personally at all, and I understand that many of you are his friends. I get it. But all of the controversy surrounding "More Dark" that I've seen on here seems to come down to no one understanding why "poor, innocent little Mark Samuels" was "attacked" by Laird when Mark did nothing to warrant it.

I remember a female author whose book took an award over Mark's. I remember the really, really ugly fallout because of that. It was gross.
I remember a really tasteless story being written that involved a fictional version of that lady. A sister's decapitated head with the man's penis stuffed into it, when the woman's real life sister had recently passed. So come on. Maybe the jabs in More Dark were in response to that ugliness? The jabs weren't even THAT bad. To be honest, most people who aren't in the know or are friends with either author probably thought LB was taking the piss, and that they were probably real life friends.

Anyway, I'll say again: I'm a fan of both authors. I am. But when I did The Children of Old Leech I wouldn't have taken a story poking at Samuels. Why? Because that's not what the anthology is about.

It's cool there's a Samuels tribute coming, but the stories should be a tribute to Samuels legacy more than using the story as an excuse to take a jab at an author who took a jab at Samuels. To me that's less of a "tribute" and more of a "feel better buddy look what I wrote to cheer you up" story.

But really, the homophobia is gross. "How can we really get back at this guy? I know, we'll write a story about him getting stuffed by another dude. Ha!" I thought this group of people would be above that sort of thing, so it's pretty upsetting.

I just think the response has been disappointing. Samuels is free to take a shot back for MD, but it seems like all his buddies want to instead. But I hate seeing the "he's an innocent victim" shtick when, as stated before, there was a pretty good reason he was poked at in MD.

Justin Steele

The Arkham Digest
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Old 09-28-2015   #27
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Re: The Mark Samuels tribute anthology

I started this thread because I was excited about an anthology in tribute to the work of Mark Samuels, presumably featuring other authors' fiction on similar themes as his work or as work not necessarily the same but inspired by his work.
I genuinely did not know whose fiction was also appearing in it when I started this thread.
And that's all I do know now. I look forward to seeing it next May.

MY WEBSITE: www.nemonymous.com
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Old 09-28-2015   #28
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Re: The Mark Samuels tribute anthology

Des, you're fine. I was reading the thread with interest, the later parts I just found to sink into the distasteful. I wasn't going to say anything at first, but it nagged me enough that I felt compelled,

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Old 09-28-2015   #29
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Re: The Mark Samuels tribute anthology

Quote Originally Posted by Malachi_Constant View Post
Well.
I'm a fan of Mark Samuels and Laird Barron. I even co-edited an anthology that was a tribute to Laird Barron's work, so I'm quite down with anthologies that pay tribute to living authors. I even think this sounds like a cool project, mostly. Yet I'm reading the thread and wondering why it's starting to seem less a Mark Samuels tribute and more an anti-LB anthology.
Even though we've stated we've no deep ill-will towards Barron and that back when we had no authors lined up we'd considered asking permission for 'More Dark' itself?

Quote Originally Posted by Malachi_Constant View Post
The comments even become rather homophobic. "We need to get Laird back for tagging on Samuels so we'll write a story about him having sex with a man, tee hee." It's disappointing to see people taking that route.
Yes, it is rather silly and school-boyish. The reason for the gay jokes though is nothing to do with 'homophobia', a duplicitous assertion, but because Barron himself wrote a story which featured gay type jokes and Mark and a certain other figure in the British Weird Fiction community. That's fine; he has a right to do so and nothing in that story either was that offensive - unfortunately once started that ball tends to keep rolling, hence the jokes now.

Quote Originally Posted by Malachi_Constant View Post
I've reviewed all but one Samuels book on my blog. I'm a fan. I don't know him too personally at all, and I understand that many of you are his friends. I get it. But all of the controversy surrounding "More Dark" that I've seen on here seems to come down to no one understanding why "poor, innocent little Mark Samuels" was "attacked" by Laird when Mark did nothing to warrant it.

I remember a female author whose book took an award over Mark's. I remember the really, really ugly fallout because of that. It was gross.
I remember a really tasteless story being written that involved a fictional version of that lady. A sister's decapitated head with the man's penis stuffed into it, when the woman's real life sister had recently passed. So come on. Maybe the jabs in More Dark were in response to that ugliness? The jabs weren't even THAT bad. To be honest, most people who aren't in the know or are friends with either author probably thought LB was taking the piss, and that they were probably real life friends.
I don't think the jabs in 'More Dark' were that bad either nor that Barren himself is necessarily a bad person for writing it. Once the joke has entered the collective consciousnesses though it tends to linger there though, even though it shouldn't be taken seriously.

EDIT: It has to be said the other party in that ancient controversy also comes up for gentle satire in 'More Dark' too. If anything that story was more a satire of award ceremonies and the Weird Fiction community (Tommy l?) in general than any kind of score settling with Mark.

Yes, I remember certain female author too who became very upset when Mark and others voiced skepticism over whether collection deserved the award it won, or whether said award should have went to Paul Meloy's Islington Crocodiles. Not having read her collection I cannot comment here (for it's worth I hated IC). Mark wrote to her soon after it became apparent that she actually was quite upset as opposed to just annoyed; unfortunately she wasn't interested in letting it die there, and in consequence the controversy later spilled over into plans into another publication.

As to stories featuring fictionalized versions of that woman I can say there were none. There was a scholky Black Book of Horror type story, which I have not read, about a celebrity wanna-be which featured references to necrophelia - I am assuming this is the one you are referring to - but that was inspired by some what different events. Unfortunately, but perhaps not unreasonably the woman in question took it as an attack on her and her sister who had recently passed-away. Realistically even if Mark had wanted to attack her in that way he couldn't have as no-one knew about the sister's death until this came up.

Quote Originally Posted by Malachi_Constant View Post
Anyway, I'll say again: I'm a fan of both authors. I am. But when I did The Children of Old Leech I wouldn't have taken a story poking at Samuels. Why? Because that's not what the anthology is about.
I agree. But we never claimed it was.

Quote Originally Posted by Malachi_Constant View Post
It's cool there's a Samuels tribute coming, but the stories should be a tribute to Samuels legacy more than using the story as an excuse to take a jab at an author who took a jab at Samuels. To me that's less of a "tribute" and more of a "feel better buddy look what I wrote to cheer you up" story.
Pray refer to point one and my post in response to the initial question.

Quote Originally Posted by Malachi_Constant View Post
I just think the response has been disappointing. Samuels is free to take a shot back for MD, but it seems like all his buddies want to instead. But I hate seeing the "he's an innocent victim" shtick when, as stated before, there was a pretty good reason he was poked at in MD.
This is getting rather boring now but pray refer to virtually all the other points I've made.
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Old 09-28-2015   #30
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Re: The Mark Samuels tribute anthology

Anyway:

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