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Old 12-19-2009   #21
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Re: The Man Who Collected Machen and Other Stories

It was also rather sarky, for which I apologise. Lack of sleep.
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Old 12-19-2009   #22
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Re: The Man Who Collected Machen and Other Stories

No need to apologise. I deserve all I get.

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Old 06-02-2010   #23
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Re: The Man Who Collected Machen and Other Stories

I have started a real-time review of this booK:

http://weirdmonger.blog-city.com/the...er_stories.htm

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Old 06-02-2010   #24
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Re: The Man Who Collected Machen and Other Stories

Hare Krishna.


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 02-27-2011   #25
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Re: The Man Who Collected Machen and Other Stories

While reading the new edition of The Man Who Collected Machen for review, I noticed an interesting passage in the new tale, "The Tower," concerning pessimists. I thought this might be a reply by Samuels to TCATHR. Did anyone else wonder about this?

But alas, perhaps it's a bit early to expect a reply, as the Chomu paperback isn't due for a couple more weeks. Just thought I would mention it.

Grim Reviews: Illuminating H.P. Lovecraft, Weird Fiction, and Other Dark Phenomena Since 2007.
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Old 02-28-2011   #26
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Re: The Man Who Collected Machen and Other Stories

Firstly, let me express how humbled I feel by confirmation (and not just here) of my dictum that, if your work is considered of genuine artistic significance by others, self-promotion becomes secondary. Over the past week I've been amazed by the interest and enthusiasm shown towards TMWCM & OWT.

It seems to me that barricades against impartial criticism are all too hastily erected when it conflicts with the demands of political correctness (for want of a better term). It's a factor that needs to be carefully guarded against in the interests of a genuinely relevant and long-term appreciation of weird fiction.

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 03-01-2011   #27
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Re: The Man Who Collected Machen and Other Stories

Indeed, Mark, your point is well made. The more that I have found myself doing Real-Time Reviews of other writers' works (appropriately beginning with one of your books in 2008), the more humbled I have felt and the more I have been trying to trim my own participation in what you call 'political correctness' and what I call the cult of Internet promotion generated by and about the author him- or herself. As you imply, the works themselves are what count and what other people say about them. I should have learnt this lesson when starting my own rite-of-passage with the Intentional Fallacy and, later, Nemonymity. This begs the question, however - i.e. the general question of how a particular work 'makes a noise' for attention when nobody has heard of it except the author and perhaps, at best, a select unvocal few, if that is the result of applying in practice what you say above (and what I agree with above). I recall that you did at one time draw attention to your work on Shocklines and elsewhere, even though you don't now. And I do admire the way your book THE WHITE HANDS came 'out of the blue' in 2003 from Tartarus. Was that a genuine parthenogenesis of a book from nowhere or from some form of networking at the time? Perhaps a rhetorical question.

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Old 03-01-2011   #28
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Re: The Man Who Collected Machen and Other Stories

Good luck with the new version of the MACHEN book, by the way, Mark. I'm sure it will do well, and now be obtainable by many more readers. (I reviewed the original version, as you know). I only addressed your points above about promotion and political correctness as I know you have been concerned about them more and more in the last few years.
des

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Old 03-01-2011   #29
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Re: The Man Who Collected Machen and Other Stories

Quote Originally Posted by Nemonymous View Post
And I do admire the way your book THE WHITE HANDS came 'out of the blue' in 2003 from Tartarus. Was that a genuine parthenogenesis of a book from nowhere or from some form of networking at the time? Perhaps a rhetorical question.
Hi Des - I'm not sure it's good form to reply to a rhetorical question, but here goes:

As far as I remember the "birth" of the book was quite traditional -- I'd been a friend and admirer of Mark and his work for a number of years. He had slowly accumulated enough stories for a collection, and The White Hands was the natural result.
It was only published in 2003? In many ways it seems like such a long time ago! The early reviews (ie, the means of spreading the word outside of the publisher's mailing list) were mainly in old-fashioned "print" magazines. The book would have been publicised on the Tartarus website, but chat-rooms etc weren't that commonly used, especially by authors with work to sell.
The White Hands initially sold to committed Tartarus customers, but rather than sales then fading, they held-up through word-of-mouth. I know that Mark is reticent when it comes to promoting his work, and Tartarus isn't the pushiest of publishers... Luckily, quality will out. As a collection, The White Hands has acquired a reputation as a modern classic of weird fiction, and the paperback quietly sells to people who put a little work into unearthing it. It has its own momentum...

So much has changed since 2003. It is now common for authors to take on duties previously belonging to publishers, and for publishers to expect that of their authors. I'm personally very uncomfortable with this, not because I feel threatened (;)), but because I hate to see authors constantly promoting themselves. (They ought to be writing!)
I've no problem with self-promotion on an author's own website, blog or facebook page, but when they go out into the wider community they ought to be more aware of how self-promotion appears to others. For example, if an author (or a publisher, or anyone else!) has a thread in a chat room and they are the only person contributing to it, then good form suggests that they should quietly drop it. If a third-party draws my attention to, say, an interview with an author, then that's fine, but when the author themself does the same, it looks incredibly vain. Those who constantly self-promote can do themselves a disservice. The old adage that there is no such thing as bad publicity is wrong -- in my personal experience excessive self-promotion pisses people off.
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Old 03-01-2011   #30
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Re: The Man Who Collected Machen and Other Stories

Quote Originally Posted by tartarusrussell View Post
Luckily, quality will out. As a collection, The White Hands has acquired a reputation as a modern classic of weird fiction, and the paperback quietly sells to people who put a little work into unearthing it. It has its own momentum...
Indeed!
And I agree wholeheartedly with the thrust of everything esle you say, Ray.
The internet is a learning process about one's self or a useful tool of networking or a dangerous place for friendships / careers - or all three!
des

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