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The Smell of Telescopes

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4.55  ·  Rating details ·  22 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
Welsh writer Rhys Hughes regards this as his favourite book, and with good reason. It is one of the funniest and most intelligent books from the lighter side of macabre writing I have ever seen. It clamours with a cast of pirates, floppy-wristed welsh bards, explorers and inventors, imps, squonks, moving public houses, M R Jamesian revenants, M R Jamesian punctuation, blue ...more
Hardcover, 464 pages
Published January 5th 2007 by Eibonvale Press (first published March 2000)
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Karl
Jun 17, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The book features 26 interconnected short stories, subdivided into a number of story cycles that interact with each other and are resolved and justified by the final story.

Michael Moorcock has rated The Smell of Telescopes as one of the ten most overlooked speculative fiction classics

The contents:

The Banker Of Ingolstadt
Ten Grim Bottles
Spermaceti Whiskers
The Blue Dwarf
The Purloined Liver
The Squonk Laughed
Telegram Ma'am
Depressurised Ghost Story
Thanatology Spleen
The Tell-Tale Nose
A Girl Like A Dor
...more
Adam
Smell Of Telescopes features short fictions that are fermented out of batches of Victorian adventure tales, Beckett’s sad/funny absurdism, gothic parodies, English nonsense poetry, M.R. James’s ghost stories, Arabian nights entertainments, and E.A. Poe, and the end result is tales dense with humor, weird jokes, impossible events, puns, references to history and literature, peopled with ghosts, pirates, living dolls, gorgons, imps and lots of tricksters. It’s all a little insane, but also endless ...more
Stephen Theaker
May 05, 2009 rated it really liked it
This is a new edition from Eibonvale Press from 2007 of a collection of short stories first published by the highly respected small press, Tartarus Books, in 2000. I don't have the original version for comparison, but this one has a couple of oddities: like the other Eibonvale books so far, each paragraph begins with a gigantic indent, creating hundreds of unintentional ellipses, and full stops are followed by two spaces instead of one, which gets annoying over the course of a whole book. Also, ...more
Combiner
Jul 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very funny
Marcus
May 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Very unusual and very entertaining with a clearly British style of humor mashing against a macabre backdrop.
Petr
Jul 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Incredible imagination. Most of the stories were too baroque for me. But still four stars, because the other stories make it all worth while.
Chris
Feb 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Rhys Hughes writes stories that are dense with allusion, full of whimsical flights of fancy and weird horror. This was his 2nd book, originally from Tartarus Press in a lovely hardcover edition, reissued by them as an ebook. The formatting looks good, with no noticeable errors in the text. The book was re-re-issued by Eibonville press in HC, which I have not seen (another reviewer here didn't care for the production values of that edition, at all). The author claims this as his favorite of his b ...more
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122631
A writer of Speculative Fiction who often uses fantasy and comedy to explore unusual concepts. Known for his original ideas, intricate plots, love of paradox, and entertaining wordplay.
More about Rhys Hughes...
“During the siege of Panama, he trailed behind his comrades, picking up shreds of purple wool which had once been blue. The fighting was incredibly vicious, but there was a deeper quality to the havoc, an ineffable wiping of belief. Though he wore his name like a sealed pocket, it was picked when he passed into the Cup of Gold, city of burnished lips.” 0 likes
“All that now separated retirement from rest was a single box. The previous owner had been eager to protect its contents, using a lock carved from garlic. He picked it with a sprig of parsley and groped inside, pulling out an exact likeness of himself, a puppet double. Even his cork leg sealed the same dry white panic, judging from the way it jerked.” 0 likes
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