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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #31
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Re: Looming Low Available for Pre-order

Quote Originally Posted by Evans View Post
For all his defensiveness, bellicosity and dogmatic foot-stomping re the Weird, I don't Joshi is the kind of person who would change his opinion on an author's merits based on that individual's personal misdemeanors. He strikes me as honest at least.
I'm reasonably certain Joshi was put off by the cliquishness of Barron's readers and circle of writer friends before the A Mountain Walked issue. Possibly due to their reaction to his review of The Beautiful Thing that Awaits Us All? Maybe I'm pulling that out of thin air, but I remember Joshi complaining about new weird writers being put on pedestals. I also remember being somewhat surprised to see that Barron was included in A Mountain Walked because of Joshi's comments on the matter up to that point.

It's also worth noting that Joshi has continued to champion John Langan, who might be considered part of this so-called "clique."

So, while I don't really see the point of Joshi's exceedingly vitriolic "satire," I don't think it's motivated by personal animus.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #32
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Re: Looming Low Available for Pre-order

I think Keene is one of the most popular authors of the really commercial stuff that didn't break through into the mainstream. I think he even had a reasonably popular forum. He has a novel co-written by Nick Mamatas.

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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #33
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Re: Looming Low Available for Pre-order

Quote Originally Posted by Robert Adam Gilmour View Post
I think Keene is one of the most popular authors of the really commercial stuff that didn't break through into the mainstream. I think he even had a reasonably popular forum. He has a novel co-written by Nick Mamatas.
So he was equivalent - in terms of success - to Ramsey Campbell back in the day?
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #34
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Re: Looming Low Available for Pre-order

I'm not sure. I don't recall seeing his books in British shops but maybe he makes up for it elsewhere.

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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #35
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Re: Looming Low Available for Pre-order

I'd say that would be a pretty fair comparison. In popularity and productivity, if nothing else.
By the way, given how some of you had some objection to Joshi's mixing of his wordview with his judgment of fiction before, I'm surprised that there were no complaints about how large a part of that review was focused on theology... And that is not even going into sheer silliness of over-analyzing philosophy advocated by some side character in a gory pulp novel that never had any pretensions of being anything other than a piece of disposable fun. Also, I don't think that Keene is even religious himself, nor had I ever saw any claims of his fiction being preachy prior to this Joshi review.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #36
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Re: Looming Low Available for Pre-order

Quote Originally Posted by Evans View Post
A simple 'Keene's oeuvre consists of disposable Pulp horror adventure paperbacks' would have sufficed. I'd never heard of the man before. I can understand why Joshi would feel the need to give King (back in the day) the kind of treatment he gave Keene if only because the former was so popular that Horror/Weird Fiction risked being identified with his work. Keene, as far as I know, never had any literary pretensions.
I think it's fair to go on at greater length about the flaws of a smaller writer as long as it's constructive.
Ridiculing famous creators is bad form too even if it's less likely to hurt them.

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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #37
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Re: Looming Low Available for Pre-order

Hidden X & Evans-

I think he'd prefer people kept and reread his books. How many people call their own work disposable?

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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #38
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Re: Looming Low Available for Pre-order

Quote Originally Posted by Robert Adam Gilmour View Post
Hidden X & Evans-

I think he'd prefer people kept and reread his books. How many people call their own work disposable?
I had meant that as an assessment on Joshi's part not a self-description from Keene i.e. that the latter wrote 'thriller' horror novels with no literary aspirations ('holiday reads'). I can understand the concern on Joshi's part that self-conscious literati types might be prone to dismiss Horror/Weird fiction. For Keene himself there is nothing wrong with writing material for light entertainment - expecting them to provide deep literary or philosophical insights is like expecting a coffee machine to shine one's boots though.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #39
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Re: Looming Low Available for Pre-order

I have now finished my review of each story in real-time -
https://dflewisreviews.wordpress.com...1/looming-low/

MY WEBSITE: www.nemonymous.com
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Old 6 Days Ago   #40
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Re: Looming Low Available for Pre-order

Quote Originally Posted by Evans View Post
Quote Originally Posted by Hidden X View Post
From Keene's response to Joshi:
Quote
My friend and peer Laird Barron was recently a target of his invective, under the guise of a “review”. What the public doesn’t know is that said review wasn’t inspired or created under the auspices or intention of literary criticism. No, it was pure spite. You see, Joshi was a self-avowed fan of Laird’s work. Joshi bought a story by Laird for the A Mountain Walked anthology (published by the wonderful Centipede Press). When Joshi later reached a deal with Dark Regions to reprint the anthology, he asked Laird for permission to reprint the story again, even though a second printing wasn’t in the original contract, for a sum that was less than what Laird found agreeable. Laird politely declined and sold the story elsewhere for a greater sum, as any professional writer would. And suddenly, Joshi decided to “critique” his work in a transparent take-down that caused a minor stir among horror authors but wasn’t even a blip on the radar of most horror readers.
This indeed coincides with Joshi's drastic change of opinion about Barron around that same time.
It would speak poorly (to say the least) of Joshi and of his credibility as a critic if this claim was to be proven true. Interestingly enough, in his response to this write-up of Keene's, Joshi failed to address this in any way... You'd think that he would at least quickly dismiss it in his usual manner.
When did specifically did Joshi's opinion of Barron change? Thought he said some favorable things about The Imago Sequence and later became very defensive due to Nicolay connections?

I have a suspicion that some of the developing elements of Barron's work i.e. ongoing protagonists, 'action' characters et cetera et cetera rub Joshi up the wrong way. Somewhere in his mind is suspicion that active resistance, even if doomed to utter failure, detracts from Cosmic Horror (shadows of the Dunwitch Horror and Derlethism).
Here's his latest comment on this subject:
Quote
As I have said before, Mr. Barron and his various bootlickers were miffed at the fact that my review of his third collection, The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All (2013), was less than wholeheartedly enthusiastic, even though it was still generally favourable. It was at this time that I was compiling A Mountain Walked; but my publisher, Jerad Walters of Centipede Press, was intimately involved in the compilation as well. Some submissions came to me, some to him. Mr. Barron sent his story to Jerad, who then passed it on to me, recommending that we print it. I confess to having misgivings about the story, since (a) I did not think it particularly good (and, at nearly 19,000 words, it would take up a fair amount of space in the anthology), and (b) I felt that it was not even remotely Lovecraftian, hence inappropriate for an anthology whose subtitle was “Great Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos.” But this was 2013 (or maybe 2014), and one did not reject Laird Barron; so I reluctantly agreed to include the story in the Centipede Press edition. Then my agent negotiated terms with Dark Regions Press for a paperback edition. The publisher offered a modest advance, which I—in accordance with standard practice—sought to distribute to contributors on a pro rata basis, based on the length of their individual stories. Every other contributor was happy to assent to this plan; but Mr. Barron, in addition to wanting his pro rata share, demanded an additional sum of money that would have exceeded the entire amount given to all the other contributors.

To this day I do not know why Mr. Barron made such an unwarranted demand. Perhaps he was in need of money at the time; perhaps he wished to dissociate himself from me, and therefore made a demand to which he knew I could not accede. I replied to Mr. Barron (politely, I trust) that I could not give him this kind of special treatment, and so we mutually agreed to drop the story from the Dark Regions edition. Far from being angered by this result, I was rather relieved; for not only was I able to remove a story that I felt should not have been in the anthology in the first place, but I was able to include a much better story—namely, Jason V Brock’s “The Man with the Horn”—in its place. Several reviewers of the paperback edition made special mention of Brock’s tale as a noteworthy contribution. As for Mr. Barron, I wish him all the best and hope that he can resume the scintillating work that made him so significant a figure back around 2010. But he should know better than to lie about this matter. I have the emails to prove his deceitfulness, and with his permission would be happy to publish them.
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