Favorite fantasy/sci-fi literature other than Tolkien
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Post Posted: Sun Oct 02, 2011 8:32 pm 
 

This was the first of Chaosium's collections of out-of-print Mythos tales, and can hardly be expected to be as refined as later editions. The most useful aspects of the Hastur Cycle are the exploration of the evolution of the concept of Hastur and the major stories about the Mi-go. Of course, I agree with everyone here that the two concepts should not have been joined.
The two Chambers tales, "The yellow Sign" and "the Repairer of Reputations" are both excellent, as well as "the Return of Hastur". Some of the Mi-go tales are pretty good, but clearly the best is "The Whisperer in the Darkness", which can be found elsewhere. Otherwise, it all seemed pretty derivative. I would look for the stories separately.


This has to be one of the dumbest reviewers ever.  


"The most useful aspects of the Hastur Cycle are the exploration of the evolution of the concept of Hastur and the major stories about the Mi-go."   :?:  This contradicts what you say in the next sentence.

"I agree with everyone else"     :?:   Then why write a reveiw?  And, everyone else happens to be wrong.  Did you read what you wrote in the preceding sentence?

"which can be found elsewere"   :?:   This is an anthology, moron.

"it all seemed pretty deriviative"   :?:   How can Lovecraft be "deriviative" of Lovecraft?   Do you know anything about the Cthulhu Mythos and how it is constructed?  Can Chambers copy himself?  Is Bierce a fraud?  The other writers in this book are deliberately writing in an estabilished genre and canon. Of course they're "derivative."  That's the whole point of a Cthulhu Mythos pastiche. When an author like Wagner gives it a new sort of spin, it can be a damn good derivation.

"I would look for the stories separately"  :?:  Because...if the stories aren't good when compiled in an anthology, finding them separately will somehow improve them?

Most of the reviewers on Amazon too obviously want to sound clever. Lovecraft has never been a favorite of literary critics and no one has ever heralded the King in Yellow stories as great literature.  The Cthulhu Mythos is a large inside joke.  Outsiders trying to sound clever are not a good source of advice.

My advice about The Hastur Cycle is to find it for $5 or less and buy it.  (The guys on Amazon charging $6.50 have it about right.) This is a nice collection of interesting stories that would be expensive and time consuming to find elsewhere.


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Post Posted: Sun Oct 02, 2011 8:54 pm 
 

I hear where you're coming from, but I can't bring myself to object too strongly to the review(s) that contain negative comments about the anthology. Sure, the whole point of the book is that it's composed of stories that reference or take inspiration from the Hastur/King in Yellow concept, but I personally don't see much point in including "The Whisperer in Darkness" (one of my top two or three favorite HPL stories, BTW); Hastur is barely mentioned in it. And for the subsequent stories to be just about the Fungi from Yuggoth, as if they have some sort of close connection with Hastur, is a bit of a stretch. I always think of them as being "free agents" with more of a connection to Nyarlathotep and perhaps Shub-Niggurath.

Then again, I'm not a big fan of the "Cthulhu Mythos" concept. I enjoy many of the so-called mythos stories written by the Lovecraft Circle, or whatever you want to call it (Tsathoggua stuff by CAS, "Shambler from the Stars" by Bloch, some of Leiber's HPL tribute stories like "To Arkham and the Stars", etc.), but for the most part the fiction penned under the mythos rubric is a bunch of crap, even when done by otherwise good authors. I've never read anything by Wagner (yeah, sue me :)), so I'm still intrigued enough to pick up this volume if I can find it cheap. In general, though, I'm pretty hostile to the Chaosium take on HPL's legacy. I realize HPL himself encouraged this sort of intertextual cross-fertilization to some extent, but it went too far about 60 years ago. Auggie Derleth has a lot to answer for.. :).


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Post Posted: Mon Oct 03, 2011 8:25 am 
 

All of the Chaosium "Cycle" series are recommended, if only for the fact most of them take long out of print stories and make them available again. Basically the effect of any of the series is just a horror short story anthology, with most stories having a Lovecraftian or Cthulhu Mythos theme, and a nice foreward giving a little info on each story. So instead of having to finding the Chambers, Wagner, Blish, Machen and other stories separately you have them all under one cover.  You can pick up most in the series for $10 or less if you look around.  

Basically Price collects stories for each anthology around a certain "theme" (Cthulhu, Ithaqua, Nyarlathotep, Hastur, Innsmouth, etc) by various authors, some long out of print, some bad, some good, and the books are generally very entertaining. The thing about fiction like this is that when it's done badly (see: Derleth), it's generally awful, but when it's done well (Wagner's "Sticks" or "River of Night's Dreaming", T.E.D. Klein's "Black Man with a Horn", Stephen King's "Gramma", Leiber's "Terror in the Depths") it's satisfying in a way that a really good inside joke can be.

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Post Posted: Mon Oct 03, 2011 12:48 pm 
 

Badmike wrote:T.E.D. Klein's "Black Man with a Horn"


I enjoyed this short story quite a bit.  I thought the idea of a jaded Lovecraft circle member writing a letter to his long-dead friend, "Howard," was a good format.  The story has much more human emotion in it than your typical Lovecraftian tale.


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Post Posted: Mon Oct 03, 2011 1:48 pm 
 

I remember that one too. It must have been included in "Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos", as I think that's the only anthology of mythos stories I currently own. I'll have to read it again when I finally get everything out of storage into the new house.


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Post Posted: Mon Oct 03, 2011 3:32 pm 
 

One of the great tragedies of horror fiction is the 25 year writer's block of Klein.  He could have been one of the greats, if just looking at his few published works.

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Post Posted: Mon Oct 03, 2011 4:38 pm 
 

FormCritic wrote:Lovecraft has never been a favorite of literary critics


That's debatable (which is the whole point of literary criticism: endless debate over ambiguities). Lovecraft is what snobby academic types call Outsider Art. No pun intended.

In other words, it's the outpouring of authentic folk expression, also known as the idiot savant. Quite unlike nerdly fanbois who read it un-ironically. Which is sort of like saying that whoever designed the Campbell's Soup can was a bourgeois cretin, but Warhol was a genius for putting it in a gallery frame.  

On the other hand, much of HPL's work was not the heavy handed melodrama of monster horror. Much of it was as earnestly artsy-fartsy as anything in a university poetry anthology. And in some cases, the li'l dude may have actually succeeded in crafting fine modernist prose, like The Music of Erich Zann.

  

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Post Posted: Sat Dec 10, 2011 9:20 am 
 

My Mother is Famous for buying absolutely useless, silly, ridiculous Birthday and Christmas presents... God Love Her !!  She knows generally what I like but misses the target constantly... Like for instance this year she was being a bit more cautious and called and asked if I ever heard of or read George Martin... lol... if she didn't call I would have ended up with a Game of Thrones...



So a few years ago I decided to take control of the process and pick something I'd like within "the budget" which is usually like $200.  Anyway, I thought I'd share my Christmas Present from Mom..



http://www.ebay.com/itm/120817914961?ss ... 1439.l2649



http://www.ebay.com/itm/110782367261?ss ... 1439.l2649



Oh and Last Years Christmas Present was a 1st edition 1st Print Mint Conditioned Sword of Shanarra Signed by Terry Brooks and Greg Hildenbrandt... for exactly $200.  Which I thought was a Deal.



Merry Christmas All



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Post Posted: Sat Dec 10, 2011 9:36 am 
 

DiscoDadda wrote:My Mother is Famous for buying absolutely useless, silly, ridiculous Birthday and Christmas presents... God Love Her !!  She knows generally what I like but misses the target constantly... Like for instance this year she was being a bit more cautious and called and asked if I ever heard of or read George Martin... lol... if she didn't call I would have ended up with a Game of Thrones...

So a few years ago I decided to take control of the process and pick something I'd like within "the budget" which is usually like $200.  Anyway, I thought I'd share my Christmas Present from Mom..

** eBay auction listing blocked.  Please enable cookies in your browser for this site and for eBay! **

** eBay auction listing blocked.  Please enable cookies in your browser for this site and for eBay! **

Oh and Last Years Christmas Present was a 1st edition 1st Print Mint Conditioned Sword of Shanarra Signed by Terry Brooks and Greg Hildenbrandt... for exactly $200.  Which I thought was a Deal.

Merry Christmas All

Tom aka DiscoDadda




Great gift.  Gods in Darkness was an absolute steal at that price!  FWIW, these editions have a lot of annoying typos not found in the originals (why, who knows), but otherwise these collections will look awesome on your bookshelf! It's great to have all the Kane tales in two books.



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Post Posted: Sat Dec 10, 2011 1:54 pm 
 

DiscoDadda wrote:My Mother is Famous for buying absolutely useless, silly, ridiculous Birthday and Christmas presents... God Love Her !!  She knows generally what I like but misses the target constantly... Like for instance this year she was being a bit more cautious and called and asked if I ever heard of or read George Martin... lol... if she didn't call I would have ended up with a Game of Thrones...

So a few years ago I decided to take control of the process and pick something I'd like within "the budget" which is usually like $200.  Anyway, I thought I'd share my Christmas Present from Mom..

** eBay auction listing blocked.  Please enable cookies in your browser for this site and for eBay! **

** eBay auction listing blocked.  Please enable cookies in your browser for this site and for eBay! **

Oh and Last Years Christmas Present was a 1st edition 1st Print Mint Conditioned Sword of Shanarra Signed by Terry Brooks and Greg Hildenbrandt... for exactly $200.  Which I thought was a Deal.

Merry Christmas All

Tom aka DiscoDadda




Does Gods in Darkness include any new or previously unseen material, or is it just the novels as published?


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Post Posted: Sun Dec 11, 2011 4:47 pm 
 

Badmike wrote:
Great gift.  Gods in Darkness was an absolute steal at that price!  FWIW, these editions have a lot of annoying typos not found in the originals (why, who knows), but otherwise these collections will look awesome on your bookshelf! It's great to have all the Kane tales in two books.

Mike B.


Night Shade does a crappy job of editing. Many of their titles are rife with typos (the Collected Fantasies of CAS are a mess).

Those were great deals, though, DiscoDadda.


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Post Posted: Sun Dec 11, 2011 9:14 pm 
 

I just read the Book of Skulls by Silverberg. Then on the shelf of the house we rented in Cook Islands, there was an old pulp SciFi .... Technos by E.C. Tubb ... which I read an quite enjoyed - haven't read a pulp SciFi book for years.  :)

  

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Post Posted: Sun Dec 11, 2011 10:04 pm 
 

HermitFromPluto wrote:I just read the Book of Skulls by Silverberg. Then on the shelf of the house we rented in Cook Islands, there was an old pulp SciFi .... Technos by E.C. Tubb ... which I read an quite enjoyed - haven't read a pulp SciFi book for years.  :)


I have a worn, tattered, and well-loved copy of The Science Fiction Hall of Fame, Volume I, that I take with me on travel.

It contains classics like "Arena" and "Mimsy were the Borogroves."

I love that old genre, warts and all.
For every good story there are quite a few lousy ones, but the good ones make it worth it.  And the innocence of those stories really does evoke a sense of wonder.   In fact, they are more akin to fantasy than science fiction if you think about it!

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Post Posted: Mon Dec 12, 2011 12:27 pm 
 

If you enjoy Lovecraft inspired anthologies try the following two books:

http://www.miskatonicriverpress.com/products/dbd.shtml

http://www.miskatonicriverpress.com/products/dbd2.shtml

This one is currently at the printers and should be shipping any day now:

http://www.miskatonicriverpress.com/products/hh.shtml

This one is currently being written by Wilum Pugmire but may be delayed due to a recent health issue that he suffered.

http://www.miskatonicriverpress.com/products/sdo.shtml


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Post Posted: Mon Dec 12, 2011 12:33 pm 
 

jasonw1239 wrote:If you enjoy Lovecraft inspired anthologies try the following two books:

http://www.miskatonicriverpress.com/products/dbd.shtml

http://www.miskatonicriverpress.com/products/dbd2.shtml

This one is currently at the printers and should be shipping any day now:

http://www.miskatonicriverpress.com/products/hh.shtml

This one is currently being written by Wilum Pugmire but may be delayed due to a recent health issue that he suffered.

http://www.miskatonicriverpress.com/products/sdo.shtml




I just bought New Cthulhu at the bookstore.  

So far it's quite good.



New Cthulhu: The Recent Weird: Paula Guran: 9781607012894: Amazon.com: Books


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Post Posted: Mon Dec 12, 2011 12:59 pm 
 

Keith the Thief wrote:

I just bought New Cthulhu at the bookstore.  
So far it's quite good.

New Cthulhu: The Recent Weird: Paula Guran: 9781607012894: Amazon.com: Books




I have been planning on picking that one up. Lots of familiar authors in it.


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Post Posted: Mon Dec 12, 2011 1:03 pm 
 

jasonw1239 wrote:
I have been planning on picking that one up. Lots of familiar authors in it.


I'm really pleased with the attention to character by the authors.
And there are some great authors in this anthology.

The intro references some other recent Lovecraft anthologies, one of which was edited by Ellen Datlow.
She puts together some great collections!


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Post Posted: Sat Dec 17, 2011 10:15 am 
 

In Case Anyone is Interested...



http://www.ebay.com/itm/Gods-Darkness-C ... 3cbebb6216



Not sure what edition it is... whether a 1st or a gook club... but price seems lower than what I've seen.



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Post Posted: Sat Dec 17, 2011 1:34 pm 
 

DiscoDadda wrote:In Case Anyone is Interested...

** eBay auction listing blocked.  Please enable cookies in your browser for this site and for eBay! **

Not sure what edition it is... whether a 1st or a gook club... but price seems lower than what I've seen.

Disco




Is it just me, or has there been an increase in the number of Goodwill Stores that have books and games for sale?


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Post Posted: Sat Jan 21, 2012 5:05 pm 
 

Just Finished KILLER by Karl Edward Wagner et al

Interesting sci-fi/fantasy... entertaining but kinda anti-climatic.

Just Started Night Winds.

Peace Out

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