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Many people have given their valuable time to create a website for the pleasure of posing questions to Michael Moorcock, meeting people from around the world, and mining the site for information. Please follow one of the links above to learn more about the site.

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Reinart der Fuchs
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Finished two books this week!

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  • Heresiologist
    Mothra Worshipper
    • Jan 2012
    • 982

    #16
    Originally posted by postodave View Post
    I liked The Ghost Pirates. But, i agree, it's not scary. He knows the sea so well. The House on the Borderland - what remains with me is a sense of abiding strangeness, a sense of the uncanny. It certainly works for me. The sense of vast ages of time and events that can never be explained or come into the realm of the rational. I never got into the Night Land, but maybe should give it another shot. The hints thing I do find in the Carnacki stories, as if two kinds of fiction were at war, the scientific rationalism getting in the way of the horror and leading to occasional absurdities like the one given above, and yet there are also elements of good Edwardian adventure story, not quite working.
    I should add that though I found them a bit of a chore to get through I still see a fair bit of value in Hodgson's (difficult-ish for me) works. They're like missives from a different, but closely neighbouring, dimension. Offhand, it seems a combination of "the past is a foreign country" and what I'll call "related culture an ocean and a continent distant is also a foreign country" effect. That guy thinks differently there.

    I heard that the stories were inspired by Blackwood's John Silence stiories, so I've picked those up. Do you know them?
    Yes. They were mentioned a number of times here before the Miscellany's Long Hiatus. I think it was a recommendation from Octo-Seven that convinced me to load Project Gutenberg's collection of the stories onto my e-reader. It's been a few years, but I've yet to read them.

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    • postodave
      Citizen of Tanelorn
      • Jul 2011
      • 227

      #17
      Originally posted by Heresiologist View Post
      I should add that though I found them a bit of a chore to get through I still see a fair bit of value in Hodgson's (difficult-ish for me) works. They're like missives from a different, but closely neighbouring, dimension. Offhand, it seems a combination of "the past is a foreign country" and what I'll call "related culture an ocean and a continent distant is also a foreign country" effect. That guy thinks differently there.
      C.S Lewis said regarding types of science fiction
      But in the next type . . . the marvelous is in the grain of the whole work. We are, throughout, in another world. What makes that world valuable is . . . its quality, its flavor. If good novels are comments on life, good stories of this sort (which are very much rarer) are actual additions to life; they give, like certain rare dreams, sensations we never had before, and enlarge our conception of the range of possible experience . . . Specimens of this kind, at its best, will never be common . . . W. H. Hodgson's The Night Land would have made it in eminence from the unforgettable sombre splendor of the images it presents, if it were not disfigured by a sentimental and irrelevant erotic interest and by a foolish, and flat archaism of style.
      Which may be similar to what you are saying. Something comes over but the mechanics are not working. Lewis did this kind of thing a lot. There is a conversation between him and Brian Aldiss and Kingsley Amis where he is praising David Lindsay's Voyage to Arcturus and saying how in spite of the stylistic problems something comes across. And the other two keep saying, 'not to me it didn't'. Then Lewis used what he found in Lindsay but in a much better style to do his own first couple of Science Fiction novels.

      Originally posted by Heresiologist View Post
      Yes. They were mentioned a number of times here before the Miscellany's Long Hiatus. I think it was a recommendation from Octo-Seven that convinced me to load Project Gutenberg's collection of the stories onto my e-reader. It's been a few years, but I've yet to read them.
      Thanks. I'll see how I go with them. There is quite a lot in the science examines ghosts angle but the trick is to keep the fear element. One of the best examples is Nigel Kneale's TV play 'The Stone Tape'. He gets the balance right by leaving most of the mystery intact.

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