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Old 01-15-2017   #121
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Re: A Pilgrim Stranger

Quote Originally Posted by ramonoski View Post
I'm looking forward to it.

I can see why some people would be wary of a "catholic novel", but I also suspect some of these folks are expecting Mark to deliver the literary equivalent of those awful 'God's not dead' movies based on that two-word description... that would be the worst case scenario, but I trust Mark has written something that'll be at worth the read.
I hope it's similar in ways to "The Grandmaster's Final Game," my second favorite story contained in The White Hands. That piece was deliberately Christian, yet it was also a great weird story.

"In a less scientific age, he would have been a devil-worshipper, a partaker in the abominations of the Black Mass; or would have given himself to the study and practice of sorcery. His was a religious soul that had failed to find good in the scheme of things; and lacking it, was impelled to make of evil itself an object of secret reverence."

~ Clark Ashton Smith, "The Devotee of Evil"
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Old 01-15-2017   #122
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Re: A Pilgrim Stranger

Interesting. I thought it the weakest story from that collection, as well as the most conventional one. (though, i am not sure I could directly blame that on its religious element)
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Old 01-15-2017   #123
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Re: A Pilgrim Stranger

I'm fantasizing The Oblate meets Vile Bodies in a high Edwardian style.

That would get my money any time.

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falls upon us one summerís day like snow, all we wish for is to be forgotten." - WG Sebald
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Old 01-15-2017   #124
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Re: A Pilgrim Stranger

Quote Originally Posted by Hidden X View Post
Interesting. I thought it the weakest story from that collection, as well as the most conventional one. (though, i am not sure I could directly blame that on its religious element)
It stood out for me because I simply liked the idea of a Catholic priest who must revisit his past in order to save someone, a choice which costs him his life. I also liked the fact that the priest's winning move was the result of him cheating the demon. He breaks the "rules" in order to save Hughes. Christ was perceived as a rule-breaker, so it seemed appropriate. I don't know if that was Samuels' intent, seeing as how I can't read minds.

I thought it wasn't as nearly polished as "The White Hands," though. In fact, none of the other stories are quite as polished as the latter. It's still a great collection as a whole.

I guess I derailed the thread a bit.

"In a less scientific age, he would have been a devil-worshipper, a partaker in the abominations of the Black Mass; or would have given himself to the study and practice of sorcery. His was a religious soul that had failed to find good in the scheme of things; and lacking it, was impelled to make of evil itself an object of secret reverence."

~ Clark Ashton Smith, "The Devotee of Evil"
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Old 01-15-2017   #125
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Re: A Pilgrim Stranger

To be honest, I have a damned hard time parting with increasingly harder-earned and increasingly insufficient money to pad the pockets of someone who goes out of his way to insult me. It doesn't help that the only story I've read was his KEW pastiche, which lead me to reshelve that particular collection several years ago.

Perhaps someday I'll return to The Man Who Collected Machen, and be so inspired that I'm prepared to pay the exorbitant secondary market rates that his books frequently demand. In the mean time, when I want to be condescended to, I'll just go to my office, where they pay me for the privilege...
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Old 01-16-2017   #126
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Re: A Pilgrim Stranger

And that is my own sentiment... We have so many active, productive authors in the field right now, and their works are easier to obtain than ever. Why should anyone feel the need to spend their funds on author who openly detests them and everything they stand for, even more so when we are talking about piece of work that is steeped in his hateful ideology from the get go. World is already going to ****, why should I feel that obligation to support those who subscribe to ideology that is sending it there.
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Old 01-16-2017   #127
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Re: A Pilgrim Stranger

Mr. Veech, I also regard "The Grandmaster's Final Game" as one of the very best stories in an excellent collection. I suspect there's a slight Fritz Leiber influence at work there (Leiber masterfully blended chess and supernatural horror in several of his short stories). Also, in the bleak novella "The Face of Twilight," one of my favorite works by Mark, I thought I detected a subtle and eloquent tip of the hat to Leiber; this time to his fine novel, "Our Lady of Darkness." Mark later confirmed I had been correct..
Like the very best writers of spectral fiction, Mark Samuels honors the greats of the past but in works that are uniquely his own. I look forward to A Pilgrim Stranger.
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Old 01-16-2017   #128
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Re: A Pilgrim Stranger

Quote Originally Posted by Ucasuni View Post
It doesn't help that the only story I've read was his KEW pastiche, which lead me to reshelve that particular collection several years ago.
May I ask what is it that you disliked about that story? I wouldn't call it KEW pastiche, nor do I think that it was disrespectful towards him and his sad fate. (though, there was one part that made me think how Samuels wasn't a big fan of his fantasy fiction as opposed to his horror stories)
If anything, it is Grabinski pastiche, but back when i first read it I knew nothing about Grabinski, and I most certainly had no idea that Samuels is his fanboy, so a thought it a nice Twilight Zone like tale of self-destructiveness, partly inspired by the tragic end of one particularly self-destructive author of weird fiction.
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Old 01-16-2017   #129
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Re: A Pilgrim Stranger

That said, I fully sympathise with yours and durandal's feelings (even if most of this forum was less than tolerant towards that sort of thing in the past). I doubt that I'll be reading this novel either, at least not anytime soon, and Samuels certainly hurt my interest in his future weird fiction output.
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Old 01-16-2017   #130
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Re: A Pilgrim Stranger

Quote Originally Posted by durandal View Post
And that is my own sentiment... We have so many active, productive authors in the field right now, and their works are easier to obtain than ever. Why should anyone feel the need to spend their funds on author who openly detests them and everything they stand for, even more so when we are talking about piece of work that is steeped in his hateful ideology from the get go. World is already going to ****, why should I feel that obligation to support those who subscribe to ideology that is sending it there.
This borders on stupid given the way in which thousands of people buy and read Ligotti's fiction despite not agreeing with Efilist 'Big Red Button' scenarios. I have no interest in Samuels political rants but alot of the responses on this thread are just more of this forum's annoying tendency to bury Pessimism and Nihilism in fuzzy yet belligerent Liberal politics.
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