THE NIGHTMARE NETWORK
Go Back   THE NIGHTMARE NETWORK > Discussion & Interpretation > Other Authors > General Discussion
Home Forums Content Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read Contagion Members Media Diversion Info Register
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes Translate
Old 12-02-2005   #1
bendk's Avatar
bendk
Grimscribe
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,496
Quotes: 1
Points: 164,014, Level: 100 Points: 164,014, Level: 100 Points: 164,014, Level: 100
Level up: 0% Level up: 0% Level up: 0%
Activity: 14% Activity: 14% Activity: 14%
T.E.D. Klein

In his book The Modern Weird Tale (2001), S.T. Joshi names Ramsey Campbell, T.E.D. Klein, and Thomas Ligotti as the finest contemporary writers of the weird tale. "The lamentably small body of weird fiction by T.E.D. Klein (b. 1947) is among the most distinguished in the field of the weird." So starts Joshi's essay "T.E.D. Klein: Urban Horror." This outstanding and highly complimentary essay originally appeared in Studies in Weird Fiction #10 (1991).

T.E.D. Klein is best known for his novel The Ceremonies and for his book of four novellas, Dark Gods. He has also written some short stories and nonfiction.

The Ceremonies is an eerie and macabre combination of Arthur Machen and Lovecraft. This novel evolved from Klein's short story "The Events at Poroth Farm." He submitted this story to Nyctalops in 1972, and Harry O. Morris had it published in an offshoot publication From Beyond the Dark Gateway. Klein has said that the main inspiration for this tale was Machen's story "The White People." The Ceremonies is about the attempt to summon forth a vast evil entity through the manipulation of certain people and the use of arcane rituals. The novel was highly praised on its publication in 1984. It even briefly made the New York Times Bestseller List. It was later selected for the book Horror: 100 Best Books. Klein was also a contributor to that volume; he chose the book The House of Souls by Arthur Machen. In his review, he quotes a passage from Machen's story "The Great God Pan," in which a pitiless scientist seeks to rend the 'veil' of everyday reality: "I tell you that all these things - yes, from that star that has just shone out in the sky to the solid ground beneath our feet - I say that all these are but dreams and shadows: the shadows that hide the real world from our eyes." In an essay he wrote when he was the editor of The Twilight Zone Magazine in the early 80s, Klein makes a similar statement when referring to some of the authors he considers the best in the genre: "All these writers share a certain mystical outlook, a conviction that the supernatural world exists around us and within us at this very moment, and that to experience it one only need to rend the veil, whether through madness, trauma, magical or poetic incantation, genetic predisposition, or the influence of some special person or place." This concept of 'rending the veil' is a theme Klein uses with great success in his fiction.


But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into the outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Matthew 8:12

Perhaps the most celebrated novella in Dark Gods is "Children of the Kingdom." This is a terrific story that mixes speculative anthropology with horror. Klein has stated that he got the inspiration for this novella while witnessing the New York blackout of 1977 and the subsequent rioting. He watched the chaos unfold from the balcony of his Manhattan apartment. He envisioned creatures that normally stay hidden from the light seizing this moment of darkness.

As much as I love that story, my favorite in Dark Gods is "Nadelman's God." This is a story about the power of creation, an idea run amok. This story won a World Fantasy Award for Best Novella in 1986.

The other two stories: "Petey" and "Black Man With a Horn" are also great. Dark Gods ranks high on my list of horror books and is the book I think one should start with if you are going to read Klein.

I don't see much similarity in the work of TL and Klein. In Ligotti's work there is a nightmarish sense of unreality or an 'oneiric quality' that some critics have noted - probably due as much to his hypnotic prose style as to the things he is writing about. Klein, on the other hand, immerses you into the mundane realism of everyday life, and then provides you with fleeting glimpses of the supernatural. Klein's characters resist acknowledging the supernatural until by dint of overwhelming unreality they are compelled to believe. Klein is also more concerned with characterization than either TL or HPL.

One possible similarity that I see might be the format of TL's story "Professor Nobody's Little Lectures on Horror" to Klein's four part essay that he wrote while editor of The Twilight Zone Magazine: "Dr. Van Helsing's Handy Guide to Ghost Stories." This essay appeared in four consecutive monthly issues in 1981. If TL was submitting his work for publication in the early 80s, he probably would have been reading this mag. I'm sure it paid more than most small press publications - if they could afford to pay anything at all. In fact, in the contributor bio in Eldritch Tales #9 (1982) it says that TL had work published in the Twilight Zone. (I have the full run and I have looked and I can't find anything)

He also wrote a nonfiction book called Raising Goosebumps for Fun and Profit. This short book originally appeared as an article for Writers Digest. It draws on both his experience as a writer and an editor. It is an informative and entertaining read. Joshi said of this work and Klein's essay on ghost stories "The two taken together form a virtual Poetics of weird fiction - its purpose, appeal, and philosophical foundations."

His other nonfiction work includes book reviews, introductions, and essays. As a student at Brown University, he wrote his Honors Thesis on HPL and Dunsany: "Some Notes on the Fantasy Tales of H.P. Lovecraft and Lord Dunsany; A Leisurely Voyage Along the Yann to the Cerenarian Sea." (1972) His professor and thesis advisor was Barton St. Armand, a Lovecraft scholar who has also written a few books on HPL.

Klein's worldview is begrudgingly similar to TL's. Although he has said that he likes 'happy endings' in literature and in life, his fiction does not reflect it. S.T. Joshi's essay provides more than a few examples of this contradiction.

Klein has stated " religions, all of them, the occult included, strike me as nonsense - pernicious nonsense, as often as not," and he goes on to say that his view of the world is "pretty bleak": "I see it as a crusher of dreams - a place where most living things experience a lot more pain and fear than pleasure, and where most hopes and ambitions are ultimately disappointed."

The small press horror 'zine Dagon dedicated a double issue to Klein #18/19. It contains some of his fiction, an interview, biographical notes and a bibliography provided by Klein, and numerous essay about him and his work. There is also some outstanding artwork by Dave Carson and Gahan Wilson. It is one of my favorite issues of Dagon.

He is currently working on a novel called Nighttown, but it was supposed to be published by Viking Press way back in the late 80s. The status of this novel is uncertain. A limited Untitled collection that contains some of his uncollected stories is due out in the near future from Subterranean Press.

Last edited by bendk; 04-18-2013 at 05:39 PM..
bendk is offline   Reply With Quote
2 Thanks From:
Jezetha (08-04-2008), MTC (07-20-2014)
Old 12-02-2005   #2
yellowish haze's Avatar
yellowish haze
Grimscribe
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 1,242
Quotes: 0
Points: 52,064, Level: 100 Points: 52,064, Level: 100 Points: 52,064, Level: 100
Level up: 0% Level up: 0% Level up: 0%
Activity: 7% Activity: 7% Activity: 7%
Re: T.E.D. Klein

bendk,

Thanks for this most interesting information about T. E. D. Klein. The Ceremonies and Dark Gods remain on my endless list of "books-I-still-have-to-buy" (hopefully just at the very top!). The only thing by Klein I have read so far is his short story "Growing Things" in 999 anthology. Unfortunately, I don't remember much of the story - I think it simply didn't impress me back then. Maybe I should give it a second chance...?

"In my imagination, I have a small apartment in a small town where I live alone and gaze through a window at a wintry landscape." -- TL
Confusio Linguarum - visionary literature, translingualism & bibliophily
yellowish haze is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2005   #3
G. S. Carnivals's Avatar
G. S. Carnivals
Our Temporary Supervisor
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 26,616
Quotes: 397
Points: 272,439, Level: 100 Points: 272,439, Level: 100 Points: 272,439, Level: 100
Level up: 0% Level up: 0% Level up: 0%
Activity: 100% Activity: 100% Activity: 100%
Re: T.E.D. Klein

Ah, Klein. Dark Gods is one of the finest horror collections I've ever read! (I have two variously beaten copies of the Bantam paperback--I'm an upgrader--and a fine copy of the Viking hardcover.) My favorite piece in the book is "Black Man with a Horn." It's a Cthulhu Mythos story that is quite unusual and memorable. (The blurb: "A chance encounter over the Atlantic lures a traveler into a web of ancient mystery and fiendish retribution.") Truly one of the best Mythos stories of its time (circa 1980) and ever.

I also have multiple copies of The Ceremonies, but I've not read it yet. I have read its seed, though, kind of. "The Events at Poroth Farm" exists in several states. In the 1990 Necronomicon Press version's introduction, Klein says: "Each time the story has been reprinted, I've been unable to resist making a few minor alterations, and in expanding it for the novel I of course made many more. I've succumbed to that temptation again in the present edition...." Good work getting better each time. I can't help but think of Thomas Ligotti's endless polishing of "The Last Feast of Harlequin."

The Klein issue of Dagon is excellent! (I lament my lack of the D.F. Lewis issue.)

Hey, Slawek, got a matter transmitter?

"What does it mean to be alive except to court disaster and suffering at every moment?"

Tibet: Carnivals?
Ligotti: Ceremonies for initiating children into the cult of the sinister.
Tibet: Gas stations?
Ligotti: Nothing to say about gas stations as such, although I've always responded to the smell of gasoline as if it were a kind of perfume.
G. S. Carnivals is offline   Reply With Quote
Thanks From:
Jezetha (08-04-2008)
Old 12-02-2005   #4
Stu's Avatar
Stu
Chymist
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 497
Quotes: 0
Points: 19,591, Level: 96 Points: 19,591, Level: 96 Points: 19,591, Level: 96
Level up: 73% Level up: 73% Level up: 73%
Activity: 14% Activity: 14% Activity: 14%
Re: T.E.D. Klein

I enjoyed Dark Gods. And I've got a battered copy of The Ceremonies still waiting to be read. And Growing Things rings a bell -- if it's the story I'm thinking of I wasn't too impressed either.

I heard a rumour that a collection of Klein's short fiction was due to be released at some point in the near future but I can't remember where I heard that or who the publisher was. I may possibly have dreamt it.

The Mask Behind the Face, Pendragon Press 2005
Shards of Dreams, Double Dragon eBooks 2004
Spare Parts, Rainfall Books 2003

Stuart Young\''s blog: http://stuartyoungwriter.blogspot.co.uk/
Stu is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-2005   #5
Dr. Bantham's Avatar
Dr. Bantham
Town Manager
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,777
Quotes: 19
Points: 151,862, Level: 100 Points: 151,862, Level: 100 Points: 151,862, Level: 100
Level up: 0% Level up: 0% Level up: 0%
Activity: 36% Activity: 36% Activity: 36%
Re: T.E.D. Klein

Quote Originally Posted by Stu";p=&quot View Post
I heard a rumour that a collection of Klein's short fiction was due to be released at some point in the near future but I can't remember where I heard that or who the publisher was. I may possibly have dreamt it.
Your rumour apparatus rings true, Stu. Subterranean Press announced an UNTITLED COLLECTION over a year ago.
This as-yet-untitled volume will include "The Events at Poroth Farm," the novella out of which The Ceremonies grew, as well as his other uncollected stories.

Contents:
  • One Size Eats All
  • Camera Shy
  • Curtains for Nat Crumley
  • Well-Connected
  • Growing Things
  • Ladder
  • S.F.
  • Magic Carpet
  • Renaissance Man
  • The Events at Poroth Farm
  • They Don't Write 'em Like This Anymore
  • The Ceremonies excerpt (not in the novel)Camera Shy
I pre-ordered this book in the lettered state upon announcement, as with the hard cover edition of SUBTERRANEAN MAGAZINE #1 bundled with the Ligotti volume. According to a recent newsletter, the hard cover magazine was to be printed in November, but I have yet to receive either. I have inquired as to the status of all this morning, as I had cleanly forgotten about the forthcoming Klein offering until you mentioned it!

THOMAS LIGOTTI ONLINE
A Shining Brainless Beacon Of Elegant Mutations And Cunning Annihilations
Dr. Bantham is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-2005   #6
Aetherwing's Avatar
Aetherwing
Chymist
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 403
Quotes: 0
Points: 17,202, Level: 90 Points: 17,202, Level: 90 Points: 17,202, Level: 90
Level up: 72% Level up: 72% Level up: 72%
Activity: 0% Activity: 0% Activity: 0%
Re: T.E.D. Klein

Guys!

Klein is a wonderful author. I still have a tattered copy of DARK GODS somewhere about. Sadly, my copy of THE CEREMONIES was lost in that damn'd tornado.

Now, for a tidbit. In my freshman year of college at the University of South Alabama, I took a class called LIT 498: THE NUMINOUS IN SUPERNATURAL FICTION. Great class...the instructor, a wonderful old gent name of Dr. Lowery Varnado, was a correspondent of Klein's. He would regularly share Klein's letters with our class, which was quite a treat.

I really need to find a new copy of CEREMONIES...

As an aside, if any of you recall that old cartoon series THE REAL GHOSTBUSTERS, you may have seen an episode called THE COLLECT CALL OF CTHULHU. The episode opens in the library of Miskatonic U., where the sinister Dr. Clark Ashton is dismissing the concerns of fellow Dr. Ted Klein over the wisdom of displaying the Necronomicon in a glass case in the library...the real Klein wrote he was amused at seeing himself depicted as a short, portly, balding fellow.

WINSTON: "Cthulhu? I heard of him. He's bad, right?"

EGON: "Bad? He makes Gozer look like Little Mary Sunshine."

-Aether

"The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane."

-Nikola Tesla, July of 1934
Aetherwing is offline   Reply With Quote
Thanks From:
Jezetha (08-04-2008)
Old 12-03-2005   #7
matt cardin's Avatar
matt cardin
Grimscribe
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 628
Quotes: 0
Points: 27,957, Level: 100 Points: 27,957, Level: 100 Points: 27,957, Level: 100
Level up: 0% Level up: 0% Level up: 0%
Activity: 0% Activity: 0% Activity: 0%
I, too, ordered both the announced Klein collection and the Ligotti book from Subterranean some time ago. I've simply been waiting to see whether anything ever comes of either order.

Slawek -- I concur with what Stu said, and with what you implies, that Klein's "Growing Things" in the 999 anthology wasn't a memorable showing.

As for his long-delayed second novel, I have been informed by science fiction/horror writer Gene O'Neill, who is a longtime friend of Klein's (Klein having published two of Gene's stories in the Twilight Zone magazine many years back), that Klein is simply blocked. For years the novel has sat nearly finished, with only the ending left to write. I don't know whether this means it's lacking a mere final chapter or the entire climax and resolution, but in any event, this seems to me a most tantalizing and agonizing bit of news.

matt cardin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-2005   #8
waffles's Avatar
waffles
Grimscribe
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,032
Quotes: 0
Points: 29,209, Level: 100 Points: 29,209, Level: 100 Points: 29,209, Level: 100
Level up: 0% Level up: 0% Level up: 0%
Activity: 43% Activity: 43% Activity: 43%
Re: T.E.D. Klein

T.E.D. Klein is one of my favorites too.
I think my favorite short story is Petey.
I wish he wrote more.
Still, I'd rather be yearning for more than disappointed.

Happy Festivus!
waffles is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-2005   #9
Dr. Bantham's Avatar
Dr. Bantham
Town Manager
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,777
Quotes: 19
Points: 151,862, Level: 100 Points: 151,862, Level: 100 Points: 151,862, Level: 100
Level up: 0% Level up: 0% Level up: 0%
Activity: 36% Activity: 36% Activity: 36%
Re: T.E.D. Klein

In response to my inquiry, I received the following production update from Subterranean Press:

TED Klein is writing his intro. That's the last thing we need before his collection kicks into high gear.

Subterranean #1 HC is en route from the binder to our offices, and should arrive the coming week, or next. The softcover Ligotti chapbooks are en route to the binder, where it will take roughly a month to convert them to hardcovers.

THOMAS LIGOTTI ONLINE
A Shining Brainless Beacon Of Elegant Mutations And Cunning Annihilations
Dr. Bantham is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-2005   #10
The Silent One's Avatar
The Silent One
Grimscribe
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 826
Quotes: 1
Points: 26,379, Level: 100 Points: 26,379, Level: 100 Points: 26,379, Level: 100
Level up: 0% Level up: 0% Level up: 0%
Activity: 14% Activity: 14% Activity: 14%
Re: T.E.D. Klein

Amazing author. I first read "Black Man with a Horn" at around 1:00 AM. Scared the hell out of me, since my bed was right next to the window....

Praise Shug-Oran!
-TSO

"And into his dreams he fell...and forever."
The Silent One is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Tags
klein, ted

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Was Chris Carter (X-FILES) partially inspired by Klein? ether T.E.D. Klein 0 06-17-2016 03:13 PM
Any book with T.E.D. Klein's "Nadalman's God"... (DARK GODS...others, too?) Nicole Cushing Items Wanted 27 11-21-2014 04:33 AM
The ever-elusive T.E.D. Klein simon p. murphy Other Authors 5 04-27-2009 06:02 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 06:07 PM.



Style Based on SONGS OF A DEAD DREAMER as Published by Silver Scarab Press
Design and Artwork by Harry Morris
Emulated in Hell by Dr. Bantham
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Template-Modifications by TMS