ThReads Must Roll: the new, improved rolling fantasy, science fiction, speculative fiction &c. thread

Message Bookmarked
Bookmark Removed

Because the old one got too long and Shakey couldn't load it. A sequel to rolling fantasy, science fiction, speculative fiction &c. thread

fgtbaoutit (James Redd and the Blecchs), Thursday, 13 November 2014 00:51 (five years ago) link

Hoping to report on Report On Probability A in the near future.

fgtbaoutit (James Redd and the Blecchs), Thursday, 13 November 2014 00:54 (five years ago) link

Gregory Benford: Artifact --- archaeologists uncover lethal alien thingy in Mycenean burial ground. Not brilliantly written, but interesting enough to continue with. Entertainingly, for a book written in 1985, it contains early 21st-century Greece falling apart because of a worldwide economic depression/recession

ornamental cabbage (James Morrison), Thursday, 13 November 2014 01:11 (five years ago) link

lol @ thread title

Report on Probability A - was idly thinking of re-reading that recently, I remember being p underwhelmed by its central formal conceit. I expected it to be much loopier and disorienting. In general, Aldiss is v hit or miss for me (something I've read Moorcock attribute to his needing a good editor/manager, someone to set goals/targets for him). Cryptozoic is undreadable, for example, but I consider Barefoot in the Head from just a year or two later a masterpiece.

Οὖτις, Thursday, 13 November 2014 17:20 (five years ago) link

Brian W. "Crazy Baldhead" Aldiss

Junior Dadaismus (James Redd and the Blecchs), Thursday, 13 November 2014 17:27 (five years ago) link

Read rep on prob a at least twice a long time ago, didn't know anything about last year at marienbad but enjoyed the formal conceit and the last few pages made me want to high five him.

thread title capitalisation and constant reminder of that dunderheaded heinlein story is gonna make me rmde to eternity.

ledge, Friday, 14 November 2014 10:03 (five years ago) link

agonising as it may be for ledge, this restart is v handy for me, as I meant to start following the previous thread after the initial poll that prompted it, and then i didn't and then it got so long that my approach of 'I must read all of it before participating' turned into hiding from the thread and not ever talking about some of my favourite strands of writing :/

Fizzles, Friday, 14 November 2014 10:41 (five years ago) link

Sorry for thread title, ledge, I did it to annoy Shakey, not you.

Junior Dadaismus (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 14 November 2014 11:17 (five years ago) link

You are not the only one who couldn't read prior thread, Fizzles. Was constantly using the search feature or wondering where something was only to learn it was further upthread.

Junior Dadaismus (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 14 November 2014 11:26 (five years ago) link

Still slogging through the last of Atwood's Maddadam trilogy. The third book is piss-weak, slow going and uninteresting, and her stylistic flaws seem to show through more and more. Because it's sci-fi there's an attempt to be, I dunno, edgy or hardboiled or something and it's about as convincing as one of your parents trying on an ill-fitting leather jacket. Bit of a shame really, becaus eI enjoyed the first two books (Oryx & Crake / Year of the Flood) immensely.

joni mitchell jarre (dog latin), Friday, 14 November 2014 11:34 (five years ago) link

I think I forgotten to say on the previous thread that another one of the best features on fantasticfiction site is it shows you the blurbs writers have done for other people's books.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Friday, 14 November 2014 14:35 (five years ago) link

Cool I'll just keep pasting in stuff from prev thread everytime somebody mentions something already discussed thoroughly, as I kept etc on prev thread its own self. Speaking of blurbs, here's a good 'un from a recent library shop score, Wandering Stars, An Anthology of Jewish Fantasy and Science Fiction, edited by Jack Dann, Introduction by Isaac Asimov:
I loved Wandering Stars, and why not? Two of the thirteen stories are from Orbit, and I would have bought seven of the rest if I had got my hands on them first. If the book had nothing else going for it, it would still be a triumph to get William Tenn to write the great story he was talking about in the fifties.--Damon Knight
(Also a blurb from Leo Rosten, who wrote The Education of Hyman Kaplan, about an immigrant who tends to take over English classes with his own versions and visions of language and lit.)

dow, Friday, 14 November 2014 15:47 (five years ago) link

Contents (some of these titles are corny, but the few stories I kinda remember from mags etc were good):

"Why Me?" by Isaac Asimov

William Tenn: "On Venus, Have We Got A Rabbi"

Avram Davidson: "The Golem"

Isaac Asimov: "Unto the Fourth Generation"

Carol Carr: "Look, You Think You've Got Troubles"

Avram Davidson: "Goslin Day"

Robert Silverberg: "The Dybbuk of Mazel Tov IV"

Horace L. Gold: "Trouble With Water"

Pamela Sargent: "Gather Blue Roses"

Bernard Malamud: "The Jewbird"

Geo. Alec Effinger: "Paradise Lost"

Robert Sheckley: "Street of Dreams, Feet of Clay"

Isaac Bashevis Singer: Jachid and Jechidah"

Harlan Ellison: "I'm Looking For Kadah"

dow, Friday, 14 November 2014 16:00 (five years ago) link

I just looked at a full schedule of all the books on SF Gateway (presumably this is the ebook titles). It's 2599 books!
Cant remember where I found the document.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Friday, 14 November 2014 21:16 (five years ago) link

UK or US or other?

Junior Dadaismus (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 14 November 2014 21:39 (five years ago) link

Probably UK

Robert Adam Gilmour, Friday, 14 November 2014 22:02 (five years ago) link

Considerably fewer in US

Junior Dadaismus (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 14 November 2014 22:12 (five years ago) link

Mark Sinker makes some connections (for inst., between Gothic and Futurist lit) new to me, after viewing the National Gallery's William Morris exhibition:

dow, Sunday, 16 November 2014 14:51 (five years ago) link

Thanks. Surely the friend mentioned there is an ILB poster.

Junior Dadaismus (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 16 November 2014 14:59 (five years ago) link

RMDE at that this thread title too, as well as the terrible screenname I had at the time. Don't know why I did it. I guess the door dilated and I just had to go through it.

Junior Dadaismus (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 16 November 2014 14:59 (five years ago) link

before I forget: this Brazilian writer recently died and Clute tweeted link to very appealing SFE overview of his work:

dow, Sunday, 16 November 2014 15:51 (five years ago) link

Ooh! I mean RIP but yknow

Οὖτις, Sunday, 16 November 2014 16:02 (five years ago) link

Thanks. Often hard to find something like that in translation or even not in translation. Wonder if he had anything in that Cosmos Latinos anthology? Don't seem to recognize the name.

Junior Dadaismus (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 16 November 2014 16:03 (five years ago) link

(xp, obv)

Junior Dadaismus (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 16 November 2014 16:03 (five years ago) link

okay, "Brain Transplant."

Junior Dadaismus (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 16 November 2014 16:05 (five years ago) link

I've only read Brain Transplant but would def read more provided stuff gets translated

Οὖτις, Sunday, 16 November 2014 16:06 (five years ago) link

Hey James, tried to reply to yr kind email, but it won't let us reply directly, and the webmail form has the worst captcha evah, I refreshed it a half-dozen times, got rejected over and over and over and over and over and over. So I'll reply here: thanks, you keep up the good posts too!

dow, Monday, 17 November 2014 02:06 (five years ago) link

has this been posted already?

Οὖτις, Monday, 17 November 2014 16:18 (five years ago) link

Laird Barron wrote a parody of the horror/weird scene, it included jabs at Mark Samuels in particular (however serious they were intended, nobody knows), there was some discussion of this at the Ligotti forum and eventually that resulted in Justin Isis writing hilarious rap battle lyrics.
Several spread across this page

Robert Adam Gilmour, Monday, 17 November 2014 23:35 (five years ago) link

The xpost link to Mark Sinker's William Morris exhibit etc is back online this afternoon. Read that before reading further, for max headroom:
When his fellow visitor/ILXor xyzzz (sic?) said it was down this morning, I told Mark, and we had this email exchange:

Mark:oh cheers, yes, the guy who hosts it (on a laptop in his spare room) sometimes has to reboot :)

me: OK, will keep in mind. I fairly recently got into Morris and those Kipling stories (if you meant "As Easy As A-B-C" and "With The Night Mail," for inst), but hadn't made the connection. Now I'm also thinking of Blade Runner's Earth, a mostly abandoned First World-as-Third World backstreet, where it rains all night in perpetual eco-ruins; also PKD's original setting, more like a slightly-future-to-us Beijing, with workers scuttling between buildings, hoping not to be singed/cancer-seeded by the invisible sun. Some later Tiptree stories too, and Mary Shelley's The Last Man, for me amazing as Frankenstein.
Probably some of Kim Stanley Robinson's later novels too, though they've gotten so long I may never know (early The Wild Shore was fine, best I recall). But I recently saw a mention of "cli-fi" as emerging trend, so we may get sick of the whole thing even before it all comes true.

Mark: Yes, Kipling’s mum was related to a famous Pre-Raphaelite in the Morris circle — his dad of course ran the Lucknow museum — and when he was boarded in England as kid (not the notorious time that became Baa Baa Black Sheep) he stayed with the De Morgans, who were also minor slebs in Arts&Crafts terms: William DM a high-end potter and tile designer (he did the fireplaces for the Titanic iirc!)

Yrs partly (Kipling's)sic-fi stories, but also the stories about ships and trains and cars — esp.the ones from the perspective of the train or ship. The ones abt cars are really intriguing: he was totally an early adopter.

me: Didn't know any of that, thanks! Will def have to read more Kipling----recently found one of his I mentioned in an anth w HG's "The Land Ironclads"---getting back into Wells, and suspect the Eloi and Morlocks might have gotten Morris (and Tolkien) going. Finally read The Lord Of The Rings, and feel like I totally/mostly get it! Specific associations re the "not allegorical, dammit!" Ring/magic can shift, but lately I think of fossil fuels as thee ancient source of modern marvels, source which must now be sacrificed to/for any chance of future lives, bearable legacy But once that ship sails off into the autumn sea, it sails, buddy. So the book is a tragedy, but fairly often experienced as a comedy, in a commedia sense: fascination of the vivid details, robustly acted out, with some mortal meat joy, and other meat conditions.

dow, Tuesday, 18 November 2014 19:08 (five years ago) link

William DM a high-end potter and tile designer (he did the fireplaces for the Titanic iirc!

De Morgan Centre looking for a foothold. (Those are Tolkien's ships, right there)

alimosina, Thursday, 20 November 2014 01:24 (five years ago) link

Just heard "Dream Weaver" on the radio. Wasn't there an sf writer named Gary Wright who had a much anthologized story about some futuristic luge called something like "Ice Slide"? "Ice Capades"? "Ice Rink" ? "Ice Mutants"? and then was never heard from again? I'll guess I'll see what Clute & Co have to say.

Junior Dadaismus (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 23 November 2014 20:44 (five years ago) link
"Mirror of Ice"

Junior Dadaismus (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 23 November 2014 20:48 (five years ago) link

Looks like some Canadian teacher assigned it to his students to adapt as a short film. Don't think it was clemenza, though.

Junior Dadaismus (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 23 November 2014 20:55 (five years ago) link

Can anyone tell me what on earth Science Fiction Poetry is? Poems of fantasy and horror just uses tropes of those genres but how do you achieve the conceptual framework of SF in poetry? Because without that, the tropes by themselves would just be fantasy poems or poems about radical change.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Sunday, 23 November 2014 20:56 (five years ago) link

If you have to ask you'll never know.

Tom Disch might have had something to tell you about it, but he is sadly no longer with us.

Junior Dadaismus (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 23 November 2014 21:00 (five years ago) link

Oh gosh, now that you mention it, I've seen poetry in science fiction mags as far back as I can remember, though I don't remember any specific poem, at least in part because I haven't read any sf mags in a long time. I do remember there being quite a range, from short light verse (limericks, even)to much more ambitious testimonials and mini-sagas(never got much space in the page sense).
I'll have to dig up some of those zines; meanwhile this looks like a good place to start:

dow, Sunday, 23 November 2014 22:22 (five years ago) link

Also notable were the infusion of a quantity of poetry into the text of Brian W Aldiss's novel Barefoot in the Head (1969)

Thinking about what Aldiss to read next, since I finished Report on Probability A , which I will give a report grade of 'A' to, and this is on my short list.

There are some poems in the anthology Sense of Wonder.

Junior Dadaismus (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 23 November 2014 22:51 (five years ago) link

Just came across a 1962 American printing of The Long Afternoon of Earth, AKA Hothouse; unabridged edition didn't come out in the US 'til 76.

dow, Sunday, 23 November 2014 23:37 (five years ago) link

Did you buy it? It is currently out of print. I loved the story/extract in the Silverberg SF 101 book, as mentioned on prior thread.

Junior Dadaismus (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 23 November 2014 23:41 (five years ago) link

This is the abridged version I got (for 25 cents),204,203,200_.jpg

dow, Monday, 24 November 2014 00:00 (five years ago) link

in terms of thematic vibe, this cover may be more appropriate, but the UK is awesome o coures

dow, Monday, 24 November 2014 00:01 (five years ago) link

In your favorite online sf reference work I believe that book has the tag ***SEMISPOILER ALERT** "Space Elevator" **END OF SEMISPOILER ALERT

Junior Dadaismus (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 24 November 2014 00:28 (five years ago) link

Vandermeer has come back to one he still thinks is underappreciated. The title and author seem vaguely familiar; anybody read it?

dow, Monday, 24 November 2014 05:22 (five years ago) link

New Yorker won't let me link, but check out Laura Miller's "Fresh Hell" for clear lens view of profuse YA dystopias, and how the lit varies from Classic adult-aimed (later school-assigned). TNY's Amy Davidson later agrees with much but not all of Miller's take.

dow, Tuesday, 25 November 2014 17:40 (five years ago) link

been reading LeGuin's "A Fisherman of the Inland Sea" (they had it at the library). I took Disch to task in "The Dreams Our Stuff is Made of" for his attacks on her, and while I won't recant on that count (he was unnecessarily harsh and dismissive), she really can let her didacticism get in the way. I can think of few fiction writers that have a more keenly developed political agenda that is so readily apparent in their work. Ayn Rand obviously (lol) and Heinlein and Scott Card I suppose. But LeGuin's well to the left of those boorish blowhards, and arguably more audacious conceptually. I wonder if I should go back and re-read the Kestrel books for any political subtext I may have missed in jr high, I always liked those...

Οὖτις, Tuesday, 25 November 2014 22:17 (five years ago) link

I don't think I'll read her for a very long time unless I come across her work in anthologies. Because once Moorcock said her work was self-consciously literary and left him cold. But he was very fond of her as a person.

That really put me off and what you say here adds to that. But Wizard Of Earthsea is an attractive name so I'm not totally discouraged.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Wednesday, 26 November 2014 01:28 (five years ago) link

Moorcock doesn't always make the right choices...

Even people I know who don't usually like her (or science fiction in general) tend to like this

dow, Wednesday, 26 November 2014 01:40 (five years ago) link

Back onto Joanna Russ, this time the collection "Zanzibar Cat", which appears to cover a broad swathe of the 70s and a scattering of other pieces, a couple I've read before. A worshipful foreword by Marge Piercy. As with the collection I read a few months ago, the stylistic breadth and the humor are really striking, it seems like she really stretched out in shorter fiction as opposed to her novels. So far:
- Nebula-winning "When it Changed" is brief but dense, theme is adjacent to "The Female Man" but posits the (re)introduction of men to an all-female colony as a kind of "first contact" scenario; the interactions with the male explorers are so well rendered.
- "The Extraordinary Voyages of Amélie Bertrand" is a relatively straight Jules Verne homage, although there is a feminist undertone in the titular protagonist's fate (forbidden any further "voyages" and compelled to deny she ever took any at all by her oppressive husband).
- "Soul of a Servant" delves into racial politics, specifically assimilation, in a quasi-medieval scenario.

Οὖτις, Tuesday, 3 March 2020 21:01 (one month ago) link

"New" old stories by Octavia Butler coming soonish:

Tsar Bombadil (James Morrison), Wednesday, 4 March 2020 06:28 (one month ago) link

I have never been able to get into Butler. One of these days

Οὖτις, Wednesday, 4 March 2020 16:00 (one month ago) link

v curious about this guy, unable to find any of his books through the library system though

Οὖτις, Wednesday, 4 March 2020 16:01 (one month ago) link

Which no doubt makes you even more curious.

Something Super Stupid Cupid (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 4 March 2020 16:36 (one month ago) link

I love a challenge

Οὖτις, Wednesday, 4 March 2020 16:38 (one month ago) link

Know the feeling

Something Super Stupid Cupid (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 4 March 2020 16:46 (one month ago) link

The only thing I've read by Strete is his short story 'Time Deer', in this volume:

Ward Fowler, Wednesday, 4 March 2020 16:50 (one month ago) link

You can get one of his collections from the open library

Tsar Bombadil (James Morrison), Wednesday, 4 March 2020 20:45 (one month ago) link

there are also several books on 1ibgen

mookieproof, Wednesday, 4 March 2020 20:51 (one month ago) link


Οὖτις, Thursday, 5 March 2020 20:00 (one month ago) link

that is 100000x better than my boring edition:,204,203,200_.jpg

adam, Thursday, 5 March 2020 20:05 (one month ago) link

that's the one I have too and... no way! That '77 one has absolutely nothing to do with the content

Οὖτις, Thursday, 5 March 2020 20:18 (one month ago) link

yeah but don't you want to hang out with that guy

adam, Thursday, 5 March 2020 20:55 (one month ago) link

I finished 'Children of Ruin', and I gotta say it was very enjoyable. Writing-wise it plays to its strengths (forward motion, exploring all the angles of the chosen topic, which is mostly communication between species with radically different modes of thought) and avoids spending much time on its weaknesses (character & relationships basically, although I appreciate that it has a casually progressive attitude toward sexuality without actually including any embarrassing sex scenes).

change display name (Jordan), Thursday, 5 March 2020 21:14 (one month ago) link

Imagining the plot as a mashup of those three covers and I really want to read it now!

Daniel_Rf, Friday, 6 March 2020 11:18 (four weeks ago) link

Space biker escapes mushroom planet and learns to play the cello from a skeleton

Οὖτις, Friday, 6 March 2020 15:34 (four weeks ago) link

What is this fascination Russ has w duels, it pops up a lot

Οὖτις, Friday, 6 March 2020 15:58 (four weeks ago) link

Imagining the plot as a mashup of those three covers and I really want to read it now!

I myself was underwhelmed and disappointed by that book given my high expectations.

Lipstick Traces (on a Cigarette Alone) (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 6 March 2020 16:03 (four weeks ago) link

Bram Stoker - Dracula

I knew going in that this wasn't going to be my ideal version of Dracula (I doubt one exists), which would have been one of my favourite books of all time. Although there are predecessors it surely has a big part to play in creating a lot of my favorite gothic horror aesthetics in wonderful things like the Castlevania videogame series (though I would have preferred this series without actually featuring Dracula as a character), the dark prog band Jacula and probably a host of other things with great castles in them.

The book is far too long, could have done with many more paragraph breaks and could have done with cutting a quarter of the length, if not a third. I started off liking Van Helsing but it wasn't long before I got sick of him, he talks far too much. Lucy's illness and everything that develops from that goes on far too long. And far too many declarations of trust, friendship and love.
Mina and Lucy are often treated as if they're a better species than most women, there's a brief caricature of a jew. The introductions and appendixes (see below) examine Stoker's prejudices, examples of his journalism have assertations about the corruptibility of women and a racial slur about runaway slaves.
When working class men are featured, I wondered if when they are described as something like "not a bad sort of fellow", if we're normally supposed to assume otherwise.
The descriptions of Dracula's lips remind me of many prejudiced depictions of foreigners and criminals but I'm less confident in making this connection.

Despite the length, much of the plot is impressively composed. I am pleasantly surprised by how much I hadn't seen in screen and comic book adaptations, but understand why some of them would be difficult to include and there were obvious opportunities to make things scarier that other versions arguably bettered. I particularly liked the scenes in the graveyard overlooking the seaside and even though it goes nowhere, the talk about the blue fire is interesting.

Biggest surprise might be just how many characters have a major role. Dr Seward gets roughly as much viewpoint time as Jonathan and Mina. The vampire hunting team is 6 people but adaptations usually cut it down to 2 or 3 of them.
Renfield's parts are consistently enjoyable and he's somehow the most convincingly realized character. It is interesting just how much the diaries and documents are a major feature of the story.

The first several chapters and the last chapter are easily the best parts and if I ever re-read it, I'll probably stick to those chapters, as they contain the majority of the pleasing atmosphere and images. First few chapters could have come from a much better book and I kind of wish the story had never left Romania.

Some commentators would have you think this book is all sexual heat but I think the plot drive ends up dominating everything else, so much time devoted to strategies, reading and planning, going back and forth large distances.

I have the 2003 Penguin version edited by Maurice Hindle, with long introductions and appendixes. A great deal of it looks into Stoker's life and psychoanalyses him. I normally find this sort of thing lazy, reductive and full of confirmation bias, but a lot of the evidence here is fascinating and most of the arguments pretty compelling; above all the significance of the scene which Stoker dreamed about and retained through each draft.
One major complaint: I would have liked to read "Dracula's Guest" (I'm sure I have it somewhere in an anthology) but it somehow isn't even mentioned anywhere in all the extras.
Stoker's letters to Walt Whitman are a spectacle for just how much he pours himself out and Charlotte Stoker's (his mother) account of the disease ravaging her town has some amazing stories.
I couldn't hold my patience for much longer and skimmed through his pro-censorship article and his interview with Winston Churchill.

I'm inclined to read the Icelandic version (Powers Of Darkness) and Dracula In Istanbul but not for a few years at least. Then sometime the sequels by Freda Warrington and Reggie Oliver.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Friday, 6 March 2020 18:53 (four weeks ago) link

Should have emphasized more just how fucking overlong it is. But the best parts are beautiful.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Friday, 6 March 2020 19:05 (four weeks ago) link

The Icelandic version is the opposite of overlong. It follows the early Harker chapters fairly faithfully, then accelerates through to a different conclusion in about 25p.

Tsar Bombadil (James Morrison), Monday, 9 March 2020 06:52 (three weeks ago) link

The descriptions of Dracula's lips remind me of many prejudiced depictions of foreigners and criminals but I'm less confident in making this connection.

Pretty sure I read there was an influx of Eastern European immigrants to the UK around this time and that Stoker was definitley tapping into xenophobia there.

What confuses me is how this story is almost never told from a class pov, even though Dracula is quite clearly a member of the nobility preying on those below him. People just too interested in the horny side of it to care, I guess.

Daniel_Rf, Monday, 9 March 2020 10:35 (three weeks ago) link

Franco Moretti has a wonderful essay which I am forgetting the name of in which he reads Dracula as a figure of ascendant capitalism: the foreign businessman, with a fortune of dubious provenance, who is not bound by conventional Victorian morality in his pursuit of a return on his investments.

handsome boy modelling software (bernard snowy), Monday, 9 March 2020 13:16 (three weeks ago) link

Looks like a basic take on The Way We Live Now, although Trollope's supporting characters are more engaging/bearable than Stoker's, judging by great descriptions of the latter above! (Both books long-ass, but AT makes it work, I think.)

dow, Monday, 9 March 2020 19:31 (three weeks ago) link

Snagged the Audrey Schulman book on Kobo for 2.99, fyi

change display name (Jordan), Wednesday, 11 March 2020 15:47 (three weeks ago) link

maybe the coronavirus is just the living planet's way of preparing our bodies for helliconia summer

mookieproof, Thursday, 12 March 2020 03:10 (three weeks ago) link

Reminds me: I've been thinking of trying to dig up my old paperback of Charles Oberndorf's Sheltered Lives: published in the early 90s, it looks back on AIDS as in the first or next wave of pandemics, leaving chronic conditions in their wake, for which sex is to blame, can't ever be anything else in the environment, no no no. Mainly what I remember are distant "quarantine" camps, other people keeping heads down and working for the fuel to keep working in cubicles etc. Mainly, state of siege as new normal is what I related to, since there was always some kind of crisis humming back there, even before post-9/11!---- SFE adds: His first novel, Sheltered Lives (1992), sets the fully realized lives of his protagonists – a male prostitute and his client, who may be a terrorist – in a mid-American, Dystopian, Near Future world where vast Keeps house vast populations under constant surveillance by an AI with a sense of humour; the AIDS-like plague, that has distorted Sex and justified repression in general, is not cured. The possible terrorist is def against the camps, so look out.

dow, Thursday, 12 March 2020 04:31 (three weeks ago) link

The male prostitute works in a state-run, sanitized facility.

dow, Thursday, 12 March 2020 04:35 (three weeks ago) link

Some observations I made elsewhere...

I really wish the blue flame thing came up again, I wonder if he did have further plans for that which he didn't use. Maybe in Powers Of Darkness or Dracula's Guest, both which use discarded ideas?

Although the journey to the castle in Coppola's version is lovely, it doesn't really compare to the book with it's more impressive landscape. And the packs of wolves at command!
Murnau and Coppola kept Dracula as the driver but seemingly nobody kept Dracula as Jonathan's daily chef or briefly wearing a straw hat. These might seem to undermine his aristocratic bearing but Stoker's Dracula prefers to take whatever he can into his own hands.
How about the woman demanding her child back?

I was wondering a lot about what a more decadent Bram Stoker would have done with his "this man belongs to me" dream.
And the idea of Henry Irving's acting being grotesquely over the top is quite tantalizing; Stoker going into a hysterical fit during a performance.

For all the fame of the book I've hardly seen much discussion of so many aspects.

Although decadents, foreigners and New Women might have inspired the vampires to an extent, I think it's a boring way to view classic vampires as simply misunderstood liberals being hunted by conservatives.

There's some very interesting takes here and I like the idea of Mina being a compromise or concession to liberals. Very very good reviewer I discovered recently.

I think the aristocratic element has been commented on a fair amount. Guy Maddin leaned hard on this by focusing on the idea of foreign wealth and deliberately cast Dracula as an east Asian dancer.
Holmwood/Godalming uses his own aristocracy extensively and Mina praises the power of his money to help them all. Again, these things never seem to get re-used, partly because they are so long and convoluted; Holmwood/Godalming is probably the least interesting character.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Friday, 13 March 2020 19:18 (three weeks ago) link

I after reading so much about it, I think it's clear that it cant just be about one thing above all else, there's a lot going on. I think that's usually true of things with lasting power.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Friday, 13 March 2020 19:24 (three weeks ago) link

Or perhaps just things that last for a wide audience who like different aspects of the thing. Maybe simple yet powerful things hold a smaller audience but for just as long.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Friday, 13 March 2020 19:28 (three weeks ago) link

The guy flying on the We Who Are About To cover reminds me of 2000 AD's Tharg.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Friday, 13 March 2020 19:30 (three weeks ago) link

Looks like I picked the wrong week to start reading The Parable of the Sower.

Paperbag raita (ledge), Monday, 16 March 2020 16:49 (two weeks ago) link

Haven't heard of a single author of those announced so far!

Robert Adam Gilmour, Saturday, 21 March 2020 22:30 (two weeks ago) link

Watched a French youtube interview with Stableford from 2016, but it's quite long and a lot of time is spent going through a translator. I always assume that prolific translators must know their languages well enough to listen and speak fluently, but yesterday saw a prolific chinese translator who taught in china for several years say he still needs help from his chinese wife to understand chinese language films.

Stableford says his personal favorite books by himself are Prelude To Eternity, Alien Abduction: The Wilshire Revelations and Vampires Of Atlantis. None of them his better known works.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Sunday, 22 March 2020 13:45 (two weeks ago) link

Was just informed that M. Luke McDonnell is the pseudonym of an acquaintance of mine

Οὖτις, Sunday, 22 March 2020 19:32 (two weeks ago) link

her husband’s office is across the street from my house

Οὖτις, Sunday, 22 March 2020 19:33 (two weeks ago) link


Robbie Shakespeare’s Sister Lovers (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 28 March 2020 16:33 (one week ago) link

Might even create a separate thread for that kind of thing.

Robbie Shakespeare’s Sister Lovers (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 28 March 2020 16:34 (one week ago) link

It's kind of secret, Report on Probability A keyhole side view into ILX.

Robbie Shakespeare’s Sister Lovers (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 28 March 2020 17:01 (one week ago) link

Some fairly promising pitches and prices here:
Incl this:
The Empress of Salt and Fortune
Nghi Vo
With the heart of an Atwood tale and the visuals of a classic Asian period drama, Nghi Vo's The Empress of Salt and Fortune is a tightly and lushly written narrative about empire, storytelling, and the anger of women.

“A tale of rebellion and fealty that feels both classic and fresh, The Empress of Salt and Fortune is elegantly told, strongly felt, and brimming with rich detail. An epic in miniature, beautifully realised.”—Zen Cho

And maybe this, despite heavy breathing---simmer down now, Library Journal!
K. M. Szpara's Docile is a science fiction parable about love and sex, wealth and debt, abuse and power, a challenging tour de force that at turns seduces and startles.

“This powerful debut is filled with achingly tender and brutally raw prose. Szpara strikes out at capitalism as well as the pharmaceutical trade and its effects, while dancing on the emotional knife's edge between love and obedience.”—Library Journal starred review

dow, Saturday, 28 March 2020 20:54 (one week ago) link

I have had my eye on the Nghi Vo book.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Saturday, 28 March 2020 21:34 (one week ago) link

This is the writer and publisher of Tartarus Press

Robert Adam Gilmour, Tuesday, 31 March 2020 01:13 (five days ago) link

This video has been removed by the user

Was it controversial or something?

threnody for the victims of alan shearer (Matt #2), Tuesday, 31 March 2020 09:03 (five days ago) link

Not at all, unless showing off museum worthy collectables is making people rage with jealousy.

Think this is a re-upload here

Robert Adam Gilmour, Tuesday, 31 March 2020 15:36 (five days ago) link
Had a lot of fun listening to this, especially when she talks about Thomas Day and Roald Dahl

Robert Adam Gilmour, Tuesday, 31 March 2020 17:26 (five days ago) link
Making me bump Charnas up my list, because she said the third book of Holdfast put almost everyone off the series. She says it's the proudest mistake she's ever made. They both seem calmly pessimistic.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Friday, 3 April 2020 21:27 (two days ago) link

You must be logged in to post. Please either login here, or if you are not registered, you may register here.