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Old 09-08-2014   #141
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Re: Octavia E. Butler against Lovecraft (World Fantasy Award).

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I would like to read a weird story by someone who does a lot of white water rafting. Also weird writers who are postal workers--BrendanConnell.
No, you don't. Has Bartleby (Dead Letters Dept.) taught you nothing?

Postal workers are so grim they bum out Grimscribe.
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Old 09-08-2014   #142
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Re: Octavia E. Butler against Lovecraft (World Fantasy Award).

Maybe a weird horror writer who works for Xfinity? Or a Walmart greeter. A manager of a Burger King. A hot rod racer. A bouncer who reads ghost stories on his kindle as he stands around waiting to kick someone's ass.
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Old 09-08-2014   #143
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Re: Octavia E. Butler against Lovecraft (World Fantasy Award).

I was on a panel once, at a BFS convention several years ago, about William Hope Hodgson.

The example of H.G. Wells was brought up as being a too non-acknowledged influence on Lovecraft's cosmicism. I cleared my throat and pointed out that everything Wells did in his fiction had a political agenda: The War of the Worlds, far from being a cosmic epic of the order of The Night Land, was a in fact a deliberate commentary on British Imperialism under the guise of an alien invasion.

I went on to say that I loathe and detest British Imperialism, but I'm not prepared to give credit where none is due. Especially when Wells outlined an underhand totalitarian program for world domination through eugenics and via Fabianism, and who became a fat self-satisfied millionaire, as opposed to a someone like WHH, a self-educated genius, who fought and died for his belief in basic human decency, and who has since been unfairly neglected.

For me, one Hope Hodgson is worth a thousand H.G.s.

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 09-08-2014   #144
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Re: Octavia E. Butler against Lovecraft (World Fantasy Award).

A book of Hodgson's complete poetry is coming out at the end of the year. I think I'm only missing a few poems but it'd be nice to have them all.

I want to say something about The Night Land that people would probably advise I keep secret: I loved the romance parts with Mirdath/Nani. People tend to regard this as one of the most obnoxious parts but I found it really moving, infectious and it increased my appreciation of adorable cutesy petite girls by a hundred times.
Reading him describe her is like listening to someone make high pitched squee sounds when they see something unbelievably cute. I love that and I feel like it changed my life in an odd way.
There are sexist, prudish and annoying old soul-mate ideas wrapped up in the romance though.

People often mention the attempt at archaic language being the main flaw but I don't know why more people don't recognise that the main flaw is how much he repeats himself and even acknowledges several times that he is repeating himself!
He keeps going over his daily routines and reminding you about things in case you had forgotten.

I would have liked more monsters too. I don't think there was quite enough.

I haven't read the Dream Of X version yet but I have a feeling it won't contain everything good about the original.

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Old 09-08-2014   #145
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Re: Octavia E. Butler against Lovecraft (World Fantasy Award).

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For me, one Hope Hodgson is worth a thousand H.G.s.--Mark S.
--I absolutely agree with Mark!

I discovered Poe when I was six, Lovecraft when I was eight, Doyle and Sherlock Holmes a year or so later and Hodgson when I was fourteen (I still remember the wonderful Ace cover of House on the Borderland). All were to my liking but I never felt passionate about Wells, as I did the others.. I'm quite fond of The Time Machine but I remember reading a Classics Illustrated version that was magnificently done and even more creepy! Wells was never much for exploiting atmospheric potential in his tales.

I may well have sensed he was in the game for different reasons.
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Old 09-08-2014   #146
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Re: Octavia E. Butler against Lovecraft (World Fantasy Award).

Earlier in this thread, Robert, I think it was, mentioned the contempt in which a whole bunch of writers (they're usually Fabianists) demonised the working classes and hoped they could eventually abort them out of existence with eugenics.

Take a look at Wells's The Time Machine to see how HG's ideas influenced that concept.

Next up, M.P. Shiel. The socialist who becomes more loathsome the more you learn about him.

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 09-08-2014   #147
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Re: Octavia E. Butler against Lovecraft (World Fantasy Award).

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People often mention the attempt at archaic language being the main flaw but I don't know why more people don't recognise that the main flaw is how much he repeats himself and even acknowledges several times that he is repeating himself!
He keeps going over his daily routines and reminding you about things in case you had forgotten. --Robert Adam Gilmour
I suspect a lot of the repitition was due to Hodgson's immersion in the writing. A good editor would have helped. And if this was really his first written work and not his last (as commonly assumed) we can, I think, cut him some slack.

I've always viewed the language as an interesting creation of Hodgson's. Not just a failed attempt at aping 18th century style but a mash-up of the language he remembers from his dreams and the language of his future self.
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Old 09-08-2014   #148
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Re: Octavia E. Butler against Lovecraft (World Fantasy Award).

I am happy to dismiss M.P. Shiel, but will do it on the grounds of his writing rather than his socialism. In principal, I prefer socialists to racists. But Shiel's writing seems fantastic... fantastically boring.
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Old 09-08-2014   #149
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Re: Octavia E. Butler against Lovecraft (World Fantasy Award).

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I am happy to dismiss M.P. Shiel, but will do it on the grounds of his writing rather than his socialism. In principal, I prefer socialists to racists. But Shiel's writing seems fantastic... fantastically boring.--Brendanconnell
Writers as different as Lovecraft and Avram Davidson have sung the praises of Shiel's style. Personally, I'm only interested in a handful of brilliant short stories and The Purple Cloud. To some degree, it's a matter of taste...but not completely. Just curious, Brendan, do you enjoy Davidson's work,(assuming you've read him)? Not a trick question. Davidson also had a very elaborate style which I've always enjoyed.
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Old 09-08-2014   #150
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Re: Octavia E. Butler against Lovecraft (World Fantasy Award).

Quote Originally Posted by brendanconnell View Post
I am happy to dismiss M.P. Shiel, but will do it on the grounds of his writing rather than his socialism. In principle, I prefer socialists to racists. But Shiel's writing seems fantastic... fantastically boring.
You obviously haven't read Shiel's The Lord of The Sea. Both anti-semitic and socialist at the same time. Somewhat National Socialist, in fact. Despite Shiel's being of Afro-Caribbean origin (a fact he did his best to conceal).

I corrected your "in principal" to "in principle", btw.

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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