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Old 09-28-2015   #41
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Re: The Mark Samuels tribute anthology

Quote Originally Posted by Justin Isis View Post
Quote Originally Posted by Malachi_Constant View Post
The jokes, to me, read "we'll make jokes at Laird's expense by writing about him and other men having sex." Which is a juvenile way to mock someone. The type of mockery my students would engage in with each other. If it's meant to mock, or ridicule it implies that homosexuality isn't normal or favorable.
I think Brendan was joking about him having sex with Bram Stoker, which is funny because it's Bram Stoker, not because the sex is homosexual.

In the sled dogging post I mentioned both Bram Stoker and Taylor Swift, implying that some kind of bisexual "sled dogging community" of Laird Barron fans was covertly and passionately writing stories of this sort (which is actually the case with slash fiction fans of other writers, actors, etc.).

For what it's worth, that's a gay Mark Samuels fan in my previous post holding a copy of Black Altars. Some of the authors contributing to Marked to Die are also gay (I'll let them identify themselves if they feel the need to).

I don't dislike Laird Barron, either personally or artistically.

I feel really stupid having to explain all this.

I acknowledged that maybe I read too into it. I'm not accusing anyone of being a homophobe, I just said the jokes seemed a bit homophobic, and maybe I spoke too soon. Like I said, knowing the history of this forum and their response to LB's "More Dark" had me reading it more seriously than maybe I should have.

Des - it's fine. I've enjoyed their works too, and wouldn't let something like this keep me from enjoying them any more.

Justin Steele

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Old 09-28-2015   #42
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Re: The Mark Samuels tribute anthology

The main requirement for the Bram Stoker tribute anthology I am editing is that every story has to have Bram Stoker having sex with another author. Aside from this, people can use their own creativity.
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Old 09-28-2015   #43
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Re: The Mark Samuels tribute anthology

Quote Originally Posted by brendanconnell View Post
The main requirement for the Bram Stoker tribute anthology I am editing is that every story has to have Bram Stoker having sex with another author. Aside from this, people can use their own creativity.
I'd totally read this.

Justin Steele

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Old 09-28-2015   #44
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Re: The Mark Samuels tribute anthology

I also enjoy both authors. However, while I appreciate their work, I don't see/feel the need for undue reverence. I sometimes feel that this unprecedented communication with authors we respect has had a detrimental effect upon our critical faculties in public forums. Also, why does everyone have to be "nice" when stating their opinion? When did that start? I can understand being respectful when interacting with someone but when you are spouting off an opinion in the potentially fathomless hole that is cyberspace, why feel the need for modesty? Having said that, however, my last post was totally sincere: I was genuinely interested in whether the overblown MD controversy-consciousness was anywhere in evidence in the this new anthology.

I have read Mr. Steele's anthology.

Though I like Mark Samuels' work, I can't help but wonder if the very idea of giving him a tribute is in itself a sort of opportunity for the editors to comment on the the sort of fatuousness and blowjobishness (gay and straight) of all these tribute anthologies so in vogue at the moment---this type of commentary is very much in line with my interests. At the same time, less facetiously, if Barron is a worthy recipient of the "tribute treatment", than surely Mark Samuels is too--so my feelings about this are complicated: On the one hand it is great that Mark is getting one (Yay) but on the other tribute anthologies are kinda dumb, too.
My own take on "horror" in general is that it is an outmoded, trashy vehicle. Yet this vehicle can sometimes, in the proper hands, be maneuvered into areas where questions of relevance can be raised, and territories in which the imagination can become fired beyond (or--even better---in spite of!) Blood and Guts and High School Kids Making Out, Male-empowerment as Rape Fantasy, Werewolves and Vampires.
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Old 09-28-2015   #45
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Re: The Mark Samuels tribute anthology

All the great figures in weird lit were controversial. Poe had and has his detractors. Lovecraft? You either love the old gent or hate him. Ligotti? Natch.
Welcome to the crowd, Mark.
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Old 09-28-2015   #46
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Re: The Mark Samuels tribute anthology

I am not sure what other authors did - but having got Justin's guidelines, I saw this as at once a tribute to Mark and an opportunity to poke fun at the Tribute Anthology genre - not, I think, in a mean way. If some of the other authors interpreted Justin's guidelines in a similar way, I suspect that this book will be a bit different than some of the other like anthologies.
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Old 09-28-2015   #47
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Re: The Mark Samuels tribute anthology

Quote Originally Posted by Murony_Pyre View Post
Though I like Mark Samuels' work, I can't help but wonder if the very idea of giving him a tribute is in itself a sort of opportunity for the editors to comment on the the sort of fatuousness and blowjobishness (gay and straight) of all these tribute anthologies so in vogue at the moment---this type of commentary is very much in line with my interests. At the same time, less facetiously, if Barron is a worthy recipient of the "tribute treatment", than surely Mark Samuels is too--so my feelings about this are complicated: On the one hand it is great that Mark is getting one (Yay) but on the other tribute anthologies are kinda dumb, too.
I don't think I've ever yet read a tribute anthology to a living writer but I imagine that I would feel pretty much the same way as what you expressed up there. Having said that, I would like to add that I don't believe think this book will come off as one big circle jerk. The contributors to this anthology were given very loose guidelines when it came to what to write (in fact, it's been a couple of months since I saw the original guidelines but I seem to recall that we were even told to not try to slavishly pastiche Samuels or even write a Samuels-style story if we didn't want to). I haven't read what anyone else has written but I imagine the book will be a good mix of horror/Weird Fiction-type stories and WTF experimental type material.

I don't see anything homophobic about some of the material posted in this thread.

I find it amusing that this book is generating controversy already and that's even before a single sentence of it has appeared in print! I hope that's a good sign!

"The Outsider must find a direction and commit himself to it, not lie moping about the meaninglessness of the world."
-Colin Wilson, Religion and the Rebel
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Old 09-28-2015   #48
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Re: The Mark Samuels tribute anthology

I've been intending to comment on this thread for a while, but have limited time at present. For now, I wanted to quote from a letter written by J.-K. Huysmans, a writer that I know many people associated with this anthology (and on these boards generally) admire:

Quote
So let things take their course! No one here will mind; in the first place, no criticism would be possible if we were constantly having to put corks on our pen-nibs!

This perpetual swinging of the censer by the Parnassians over the most wretched works by the most wretched among them seems to me stupid. What is more, my cutting words did not spare their feelings. Let others do likewise!

There in a nutshell is my opinion, which is certainly that of every artist: accept! Accept!

"As the Director of one of the five greatest museums in our Eastern States has more than once remarked to me, From the Stone Age until now, what a decline!" - Ananda Coomaraswamy
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Old 09-28-2015   #49
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Re: The Mark Samuels tribute anthology

Quote Originally Posted by Murony_Pyre View Post
Though I like Mark Samuels' work, I can't help but wonder if the very idea of giving him a tribute is in itself a sort of opportunity for the editors to comment on the the sort of fatuousness and blowjobishness (gay and straight) of all these tribute anthologies so in vogue at the moment---this type of commentary is very much in line with my interests.
Short answer: yes.

We were aware of the tendency of tribute anthologies to reduce an author to a single image (Lovecraft's Tentacle, Ligotti's Puppet, etc.), and the tendency of pastiche to caricature an author's concerns. Even dead authors don't deserve to be embalmed this way, much less living ones. We didn't want Mark to feel that we were sneaking up on him with a coffin in the shape of a commemorative statue.

One of the contributors, Jon Hersh, is making his publishing debut with this book. Jon Hersh lives down the street from me in Ikebukuro, central Tokyo. He hadn't read Mark Samuels or any kind of horror fiction before writing his story and said that he didn't know what he was supposed to write. I told him to imagine what he would write if he were a Catholic horror writer born in England in 1967. The resulting story is a purely conceptual exercise.

Other stories touch on Mark Samuels the living human being as much as they engage with his plot elements and thematic content.

We also haven't clarified to what extent Mark himself is involved in the project, and to what extent he may have collaborated on, or revised, certain stories, which raises the question of what would happen to a writer's style if he were forced to impersonate himself.

There may also be a second, extremely limited volume, Marked to Die II, which may be a tribute to Marked to Die and may engage with its own caricature issues in the same way the initial volume engages with its issues in caricaturing/homaging Mark Samuels's original body of work.

Lots of surprises are in store...more will be revealed over the following months.
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Old 09-28-2015   #50
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Re: The Mark Samuels tribute anthology

Quote Originally Posted by brendanconnell View Post
The main requirement for the Bram Stoker tribute anthology I am editing is that every story has to have Bram Stoker having sex with another author. Aside from this, people can use their own creativity.
Stoker and L R Hubbard
Stoker and Andrea Dworkin
Stoker and William McGonagall
Stoker and Barbara Cartland
Stoker in an orgy with every writer that ever wrote a Dracula story (which includes his great grandnephew Dacre)

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