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Old 1 Week Ago   #771
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Re: Recent Reading

I'm currently attempting to write my own "corporate horror" story, so I've been rereading the following as a form of research as well as inspiration:

"My Case for Retributive Action" (Thomas Ligotti)
"Our Temporary Supervisor" (Thomas Ligotti)
"Glyphotech" (Mark Samuels)
"Corporautolysis" (Christopher Slatsky)

Some might not fall directly under the heading "corporate horror;" nevertheless, I enjoy them for perhaps other reasons.

"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 1 Week Ago   #772
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Re: Recent Reading

I read Edmond, my last play by David Mamet. Man, that guy used to be awesome.

Your fall should be like the fall of mountains. But I was before mountains. I was in the beginning, and shall be forever. The first and the last. The world come full circle. I am not the wheel. I am the hand that turns the wheel. I am Time, the Destroyer. I was the wind and the stars before this. Before planets. Before heaven and hell. And when all is done, I will be wind again, to blow this world as dust back into endless space. To me the coming and going of Man is as nothing.
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Old 6 Days Ago   #773
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Re: Recent Reading

Kalpa Imperial: The Greatest Empire That Never Was by Angélica Gorodischer; it was translated into English by Ursula K. LeGuin. I also reread In a Grove and Rashōmon by Ryūnosuke Akutagawa.

Your fall should be like the fall of mountains. But I was before mountains. I was in the beginning, and shall be forever. The first and the last. The world come full circle. I am not the wheel. I am the hand that turns the wheel. I am Time, the Destroyer. I was the wind and the stars before this. Before planets. Before heaven and hell. And when all is done, I will be wind again, to blow this world as dust back into endless space. To me the coming and going of Man is as nothing.
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Old 6 Days Ago   #774
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Re: Recent Reading

I received my preordered copy of Written in Darkness today! Justin Isis got me into Mark Samuels around a year ago and I'm glad he did. Samuels has since become my favorite living author of weird fiction.



Get some:



The special quality of hell is to see everything clearly down to the last detail. And to see all that in the pitch darkness!
- Yukio Mishima, The Temple of the Golden Pavilion
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Old 1 Day Ago   #775
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Re: Recent Reading

Been enjoying the criticism of Jonathan McCalmont. I'm sceptical of some of his claims but he's refreshingly honest and not afraid to criticize beloved figures.

Here's a positive review and some of the recent books he rates highly.
The Many Selves of Katherine North by on Emma Geen: a review by Jonathan McCalmont | The Anglia Ruskin Centre for Science Fiction and Fantasy

Genre Origin Stories | Ruthless Culture
Quote
Cultural commentators may choose to characterise 2015 as the year in which genre culture rejected the misogynistic white supremacy of the American right but the real message is far more nuanced. Though the institutions of genre culture have undoubtedly improved when it comes to reflecting the diversity not only of the field but also of society at large, this movement towards ethnic and sexual diversity has coincided with a broader movement of aesthetic conservatism as voices young and old find themselves corralled into a narrowing range of hyper-commercial forms.

In today’s diverse genre culture you can engage with the voices of people from all over the world as long as you are content to read multi-volume epic fantasy and military science fiction series. In today’s diverse genre culture, authors whose ideas and experiences demand that they write in unconventional or experimental ways are both ignored by the larger genre imprints and overlooked by popular awards. In today’s diverse genre culture you will write the same old rubbish as George R. R. Martin and John Scalzi or you will wind up getting paid six cents a word for stories that nobody will ever read
Future Interrupted: Harder-Core-Than-Thou | Ruthless Culture

Future Interrupted Telling People What They Want To Be. | Ruthless Culture
A very negative review

Future Interrupted The Origins of Science Fictional Inequality | Ruthless Culture

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Old 1 Day Ago   #776
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Re: Recent Reading

Vox Day and his loonies at Castalia blog recently organized one of their harassment campaigns against that guy, editor of Cirsova magazine joined in too...
That alone proves that he is doing good work.
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Old 1 Day Ago   #777
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Re: Recent Reading

Reposted from Goodreads:

Daniel Mills: Moriah (2017)

With his second novel Moriah, Daniel Mills ingeniously weaves together two disparate literary modes of expression: the Victorian Gothic penny dreadful (with its séance scenes and morbid obsession with communicating with the dead) and the Appalachian murder ballad. The plot can be described very simply: in the year 1874, a New York-based journalist (and former army chaplain/Civil War veteran) named Silas Flood is sent by his newspaper to the village of Moriah in Vermont, in order to investigate reports of bizarre phantasmagorical activity revolving around two supposedly psychic brothers named Thaddeus and Ambrose Lynch. We are then quickly introduced to a cast of well-defined characters, of both the living and dead variety: indeed, the dead are, in their spectral way, just as important as the living characters in this novel, and even though we only get to know them through diary entries and the various dreams and memories of the principal characters, their presence permeates the narrative at all times. All this is conveyed in the same elegant and elegiac prose style that made Mills' first novel, Revenants (2011), such a joy to read, and there are plenty of nice period details that do a good job of recapturing what life was presumably like in rural New England in the late 19th century.

Biblical allusions abound, most prominently the Binding of Isaac (the story from which this novel obviously derived its name) but also Eve's temptation of Adam in the Garden of Eden (it's also worth noting how the novel unfolds over the course of seven days, and seven chapters, which is suggestive of the Genesis creation narrative). This Biblical feel also extends to the names of some of the characters, and I'm sure there is some symbolic reason why many of them are given the names they have (I presume that Ambrose, the medium who channels the voices of the dead, is named after the 4th century saint and bishop of Milan, who was also known for his "honeyed tongue"). And like the Bible itself, it all builds up to an apocalypse of blood and revelation. Only this apocalypse does not seem to end with any sort of redemption or salvation: here, everyone and everything seems damned. Initially, when Silas arrives at the demesne of the Lynch brothers(suggestively called "The Yellow House") early on, I wondered if maybe this was the start of some manner of haunted house narrative. I quickly realized that the characters themselves were ambulatory haunted houses, each one permanently scarred by the scourges of Time and haunted by their own private memories: the one thing they all have in common is that they seem doomed to repeat the tragic past. The depiction of time presented in this novel is thus seen as cyclical (which is of course in the manner and methodology of the Pagans), as opposed to the Christian concept of time as a linear phenomenon, with a clear beginning and ending; seeing as most of the characters are lapsed Christians of some sort or another, its not surprising that they should view this cyclical representation of time with fear and loathing.

The impression I'm trying to give here is that this is a very grim book, more fire and brimstone Old Testament in its events than anything else. It doesn't give much away when I state that in my opinion the ending is something of a downer: I haven't felt this depressed since the last time I listened to the Skeleton Tree album by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. I could imagine someone like Cave setting this book to music, or maybe Children of God-era Swans; if they ever issue an audio book the publisher should lobby for Michael Gira to do the narration. Actually, in my opinion the most fascinating musical reference in the novel itself is its nod towards the 1763 Methodist hymn Idumæa. I first became aware of this song thanks to the masterful 2006 Current 93 album Black Ships Ate The Sky, where it is performed nine times by nine different singers (the Marc Almond version that opens the album is especially worth listening to). Seeing as how Mills had a story appear in the Current 93/David Tibet tribute anthology Mighty in Sorrow a few years ago, I'm going to assume that he's a fan of Current 93 and is familiar with this album as well.

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-Colin Wilson, Religion and the Rebel
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Old 1 Day Ago   #778
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Re: Recent Reading

Nice review of Moriah. I may even read it;

In general, I don't give a damn about contemporary Horror. It lost its way and stumbled off into darkness (not the good kind) a long time ago. Only the work of Ligotti and Samuels strike me as meritorious.

Sue me.

The best Old Testament--influenced horror novel I've ever read or expect to read is McCarthy's "Outer Dark." A classic.

And "Child of God" was great as well.

Last edited by Druidic; 16 Hours Ago at 10:31 PM..
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Old 3 Hours Ago   #779
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Re: Recent Reading

Quote Originally Posted by Druidic View Post
Nice review of Moriah. I may even read it;

In general, I don't give a damn about contemporary Horror. It lost its way and stumbled off into darkness (not the good kind) a long time ago. Only the work of Ligotti and Samuels strike me as meritorious.

Sue me.

The best Old Testament--influenced horror novel I've ever read or expect to read is McCarthy's "Outer Dark." A classic.

And "Child of God" was great as well.
I feel the same for the most part, even though I'm probably not as well read as you are. I have, however, discovered a handful of other great contemporary writers because of TLO. Christopher Slatsky, Jon Padgett, and T.E. Grau come to mind. Nevertheless, I'm pretty cynical about discovering equal writers in the future. I'd rather reread books I know are good than pursue other authors blindly. Limiting what you read is, I believe, an important aspect of learning how to read.

"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 1 Hour Ago   #780
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Re: Recent Reading

To be honest I don't reread books all that often, and when I do I usually let at least 5 to 10 years go by since the last time I read it (and sometimes even longer). One of the main reasons for this is simply that I have a very good memory (especially when it comes to novels), and can usually remember much of things that I have read in the past. To provide an example, earlier this year I decided to reread Timothy Zahn's so-called "Thrawn Trilogy" of Star Wars novels. The last time I had read these books was way back in 1995, when I was a freshman in high school, so well over 20 years ago. And yet to my surprise as I was reading the book I realized that I knew pretty much everything that was going to happen next in great detail. Of course, it doesn't always work. Around 2015 or so I read Anna Kavan's Ice and I'll be damned if I can recall a single thing about the book now.

But I suppose one of the big motivations for my constantly seeking new things to read is that I have a great thirst for knowledge and am obsessed with learning about new things, discovering new words and expanding my vocabulary, and so on and so forth. In regards to seeking out works by new Weird Fiction writers, it's more a case of my being interested in what the competition is up to (being a writer who somewhat falls into that category myself). Not that I view someone like Mills as a rival for, in the interests of transparency, I should add that we're casual acquaintances in an online context and have even appeared in some of the same anthologies!

"The Outsider must find a direction and commit himself to it, not lie moping about the meaninglessness of the world."
-Colin Wilson, Religion and the Rebel
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