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Old 01-26-2017   #131
Hidden X
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Re: Books You Will Never Read

Quote Originally Posted by Robert Adam Gilmour View Post
I find John C Wright dislikable in many ways, not only his extreme prejudices and taking part in screwing up the Hugo awards but I've heard good things about some of his early work. Might go for some, might not.
If it means anything, I actually liked his old Night Land stories. I never read all of them, but Awake in Night Land was like a Greek tragedy set in Hodgson's setting, with style that was more like Gene Wolfe than Hodgson.
Sadly, they can't be read online anymore, and owner of small press that published them is, as you well know, one particularly nasty piece of far right activism.
I've never read his early SF stuff as hard SF and space opera aren't my cup of tea, but from what I know his first SF trilogy (written before his conversion to christianity) was generally praised on release. And it's published by Tor, so I guess that might make it easier.
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Old 01-26-2017   #132
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Re: Books You Will Never Read

Thanks for your sane thoughts Raul Urraca.

Kevin, photos of my library feels much too private. It is really not a big collection, it is very tight, and I have weeded out all excess I feel is not essential to my needs. I do like to collect books as artifacts, so I have a few rare editions, especially of C. A. Smith (Arkham House), Jack Vance, Arthur Machen, and Dunsany. Lovecraft I updated to the corrected editions, and sold my old Arkham House copies (which I regret now).

L. P. Hartley is another author I forgot to mention among my new discoveries. But there is no stress associated with him. Very relaxed. I have one fat volume, The Complete Short Stories ... , and on rare occasions, when in the mood, I read one of his beautifully composed stories, and then lay the book aside. It is always a pleasure.

M. R. James was also a late discovery for me. Of course I had heard of his name, but the idea of reading "traditional" ghost stories did not appeal to me. Same with him, no pressure or stress involved, and only one book owned, The Collected Ghost Stories ..., . I was fully captivated and read the stories all in a row. Feel now that I know them by heart. It is something to take out, by common tradition, around Christmas time, if in the mood for it.

J. R. R. Tolkien of course. I read him as a teen, and was afraid he would not hold attraction for me any more as an adult. But his mastery of language, way with names, and his mythic allegories for English and European culture, is astounding and profound.
I recently acquired his Unfinished Tales and Lost Tales. These early writings have been said to have a sardonic tone, reminiscent of Clark Ashton Smith.
Part of me would like to submerse myself completely in Tolkien.

Let me see, ... are there some other books I will never read? Yes, I don't think I will ever read anything by Asimov or Heinlein. I get bad vibrations from both of them.
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Old 01-26-2017   #133
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Re: Books You Will Never Read

I've been meaning to sample Hartley's ghost stories for some time now, since I've read some high praise for them on various corners of the net (Including TLO) and he was apparently a pretty interesting character. Kinda strange that they were out of print for decades compared to the rest of his work. Anyway, I've mentioned this in the reprint thread, but Valancourt will be releasing paperback and kindle versions of "The Traveling Grave and Other Stories" sometimes during this year, so it'll be nice to finally experience some of his weird stories.
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Old 01-26-2017   #134
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Re: Books You Will Never Read

I have the big thick volume of Hartley's collected short fiction. Even when there is an absence of the supernatural in his macabre stories there is a sense of the eerie and the uncanny. A sorely forgotten writer of horrors. I think Podolo is my favourite.

'I believe in what the Germans term Ehrfurcht: reverence for things one cannot understand.'
― Robert Aickman, An Essay
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Old 01-26-2017   #135
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Re: Books You Will Never Read

Quote Originally Posted by Hidden X View Post
Quote Originally Posted by Robert Adam Gilmour View Post
I find John C Wright dislikable in many ways, not only his extreme prejudices and taking part in screwing up the Hugo awards but I've heard good things about some of his early work. Might go for some, might not.
If it means anything, I actually liked his old Night Land stories. I never read all of them, but Awake in Night Land was like a Greek tragedy set in Hodgson's setting, with style that was more like Gene Wolfe than Hodgson.
Sadly, they can't be read online anymore, and owner of small press that published them is, as you well know, one particularly nasty piece of far right activism.
The first four of his Night Land stories are in Andy Robertson's two anthologies.
Series: William Hope Hodgson's Night Lands

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Old 01-26-2017   #136
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Re: Books You Will Never Read

Can't ever imagine myself with a restricted collection. There's always the promise of finding writers who suit me better. More more more!

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Old 01-26-2017   #137
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Re: Books You Will Never Read

Quote Originally Posted by Raul Urraca View Post
I'm quite with you, Knygathin. I have a similar sort of panic myself.
Slow, savory reading with plenty of rereading seems to be the best. A few books you know well are infinitely better than a bunch of books you're only vaguely familiar with. A man of one book is a formidable thing!
I wish I had figured that out long ago. Learning what not to read is more important than reading whatever comes your way.

"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 01-29-2017   #138
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Re: Books You Will Never Read

Did Kosinski really beat up dogs?

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