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Written In Darkness

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3.89  ·  Rating details ·  74 ratings  ·  8 reviews
...Written in Darkness, represents the quintessential statement of Samuelism. “I believe that mental isolation is the essence of weird fiction” he wrote in The White Hands and the isolation of the individual in society is still a major preoccupation, coupled with a singularly vivid understand-ing of the elusiveness of human identity. This last notion is at the roots of som ...more
Hardcover, 128 pages
Published November 10th 2014 by Egaeus Press (first published November 2014)
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Average rating 3.89  · 
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C.M. Muller
Dec 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
In the introduction to "Written in Darkness", Reggie Oliver declares Mark Samuels “the poet and prophet of technological dehumanization”. Having read the majority of this London-based author’s work, I tend to agree. Of course, this is not the only decrepit alley down which Mr. Samuels has trod. There are others as well, those whose bleak entries bear the age-worn signage of decay, decadence, transformation, and dreams.

The first tale, “A Call to Greatness”, finds a modern-day (and hig
...more
Axolotl
Nov 03, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: signed
First off, I would describe myself (at a slight push) as a "Mark Samuels booster" (if it didn't sound so silly).

This slim collection is book-ended by two stories which highlight Mark Samuels in finest form and are the main reason why I chose to give Written in Darkness 3 stars rather than merely 2. My ambivalence towards this book stems from the fact that I found the middle portion to be strangely "hollow" or slight--in any case I wasn't too impressed by the writing or the ideas behind the stories. Ind
...more
Timothy Jarvis
Nov 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
In the crucible of these tales, modern dross and technology are mingled with olden ritual and hermeticism and transmuted. Like the best weird work these stories rend the veil of appearances and offer a vision of what lies beyond, but in them that vision is awful, in the archaic sense of inspiring reverential fear, and not bleak, as it so often is; these stories are mystic not nihilist.

These are some of Samuels's finest tales yet. The prose is lucid, yet ludic, pleasingly fustian at t
...more
Waffles
Nov 18, 2014 rated it liked it
I'm conflicted about rating this book - only 3 stars for a Mark Samuels collection? I love Mark Samuels work and will read anything he writes, but this collection didn't grab me. There were some terrific stories, but I think his other collections are stronger.
Ronald
I've given 5 stars to two previous short story collections by Mark Samuels, and this book did not disappoint. At this time, however, this book has a limited print run. The book exhibits high production values. Also, being one of the first 150 buyers of the book, I also got a postcard written in Russian, signed by Mark Samuels.

A worldview permeates these stories, which I'm going to call Christian personalism. There are swipes against atheistic Communism on the one hand, and dehumanizi
...more
Paul
Jul 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Closer to 3.5 than 4, I guess, but I'll go with 4 since this place doesn't allow for more precise ratings. Not my favourite collection of Samuels', but even the weaker Mark is still notches above the usual modern weird fiction fare.
Stories are as follows:
In "A Call to Greatness", one particularly dissilusioned EU diplomat encounters writings of early 20th century journalist who, for a time, followed one Baron Maximilian - actual, fairly contraversial, historical figure - in his doome
...more
Caleb.Lives
May 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: weird-fiction, horror
This slim volume isn't as uniformly impressive as "The Man Who Collected Machen" or "White Hands", but when Samuels is at his best he is notches above most living weird fiction authors. “The Ruins of Reality” has to be my favorite from this collection - with this story Samuels continues his long tradition of writing the most Ligottian stories not written by Ligotti himself.
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Mark Samuels is a British writer of weird and fantastic fiction in the tradition of Arthur Machen and H. P. Lovecraft. Born in deepest Clapham, South London, he was first published in 1988, and his short stories often focus on detailing a shadowy world in which his protagonists gradually discover terrifying and rapturous vistas lurking behind modernity. His work has been highly praised by the like ...more