Post by David A. Riley on Apr 23, 2008 13:30:48 GMT
I'm sure I read somewhere that most of these "weekenders" that he wrote were done mainly to help finance New Worlds, which I don't think ever showed a profit - something I can well understand!
I wish it was still possible for books that length to be published these days. I am honestly put off by tomes I can barely prise open, never mind read in bed without the serious risk of brain damage if I fall asleep reading them. (Something that has happened at least once to me with a Stephen King - ouch! That is some rude awakening, believe me).
Post by Craig Herbertson on Apr 23, 2008 13:35:31 GMT
I mentioned Vance Rog. Love Vance.
I think I never quite regard Lovecraft and Smith as 'fantasy' per se - too much creeping horror (you can never get too much of course) but maybe too much to be considered 'fantasy' with a big F which usually involves a quest a sword, a hero or two....
Mention of Clark Ashton-Smith reminds me that I first read his tale "The Vaults of Yoh-Vombis" over twenty years ago whilst going through a tunnel in a narrowboat. And the captain of the vessel was Redbrain.
I remember taking young Mark through canal tunnels. I didn't realise, though, that he'd made much good use of the opportunity. Excellent! ;D
Post by Craig Herbertson on Apr 23, 2008 13:39:11 GMT
Moorcock also David. I ate that stuff up. The quicker he wrote the better. I looked again at his books and clearly now I see him laying a tarot pack out on the table as his plot and then rapid fire on the typewriter. Thoroughly brilliant yarns.
Craig - the only Vance I've read are Tales of the Dying Earth (the Cugel stories I liked a lot) and Lyonesse, which was also very good - the first part (Suldrun's Garden) was a lot more 'adult' than I was expecting it to be & I devoured the rest one weekend in Dublin.
Only two days ago someone said they'd tried to read a fantasy epic and "God it just went on and on and there were too many characters and the thing that really put me off was that there was this bloody great cast of characters at the front"
Was it by chance by Stephen Erikson? I asked, and indeed it was. I've tried a couple of his and found them turgid, dry and very confusing, which is why I tend to stay away from modern fantasy
Well I'm a big fan of Robert Bloch but I can understand how some might find him a bit annoying after a while.
Same here, hence lame excuse to resurrect Dragons & Nightmare comments and comparison to R. Chetwynd-Hayes from old board. With both of 'em, it depends which version turns up. There are certain stories - in Bloch's case, almost invariably those which only exist to set off his 'hilarious' punning punchlines, in RCH's, when he gets so 'zany' I want to slap him - which, had I read them first, would have put me off going anywhere near either of them for good. And missed out on some really class work.
From the first, I set myself against "literature"; the story was the thing, and no amount of style could persuade me to select a story that lacked genuine, unadulterated horror. For those who wanted something high-brow there was plenty.
Post by Craig Herbertson on Apr 23, 2008 14:25:07 GMT
The Dying Earth is for me an absolute classic - very dark antihero. I'm still waiting to get hold of the last one in that series - there were three. All about Cugel - the quintessential bastard with certain admirable qualities for the non politically correct.
I've never read Bloch or Erikson - is there anything worth it among the dross?
Post by franklinmarsh on Apr 23, 2008 15:12:10 GMT
Michael Moorcock! Gawd bless him! The Elric stories, his work with Hawkwind, and The Deep Fix, Jerry Cornelius, Behold The Man, The Dancers At The End Of Time, The Warhound & The World's Pain, even the comedy throwaways like The Russian Intelligence.
Post by Craig Herbertson on Apr 23, 2008 16:45:26 GMT
Anyone read the last in the Cugel series - can't remember the title but Vance is not one to write a bad novel.
Likewise Moorcock - some indifferent ones but the pulp classics take some beating. I have an outside chance of meeting the guy if I ever get to one of immanion press's things in England. If I do it will be the groveling fan routine followed by the 'oh look what I happen to have found in a box' - my entire Moorcock collection begging to be signed.
Need to have a few pints before making the sneak approach.
Post by Craig Herbertson on Apr 23, 2008 18:46:12 GMT
four in 'the dying earth saga' - that's good news John.
re modern fantasy I read Tim Powers - The Drawing of The Dark and that was a very, very well written book. But generally, I don't get moved by modern fantasy at all. It can sometimes entertain. Compare it the pugnacious abandon of the first Corum series or the sinister Gormenhghast and it falls far short for reasons I can't explain.
One thought that occurs to me more and more though is that there is generally speaking too much dialogue, multi perspective and cheap psychological motivation. Likewise economic religious social backgrounds to carefully worked out novels. In Moorcock's time you didn't give jackshit about how impossible the landscape was or whether the sheep matched pro rata the population of the Dark lords island...
Tim Powers has written some splendid stuff - Drawing of the Dark is excellent & I thought The Anubis Gates was even better.
I agree with you Craig about a lot of modern fantasy, which seems to have been written by people with degrees in military strategy that are meticulously planned with lots of subplots and characters, but there's buggerall heart and soul to them.
Part of Moorcock's skill is that you're having such a good time with his stuff you're not going to nitpick as to whether something fits or not because who cares? In the multiverse it just happens.
And yes the first Corum trilogy is great, the second feels very 'for the money'