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Monthly Reads > April 2016 Read Nominations

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message 1: by Randolph (new)

Randolph (us227381) | 2 comments Let's start with some noms for April. I can vet things better since I quit my worthless job, at least until I get the next one (Does working for a big corporation always have to do with doing BS instead of the right thing?).

I'm going to be a little more picky (one might also say "snooty") about the Literary in our group's title.


message 2: by Canavan (new)

Canavan I’d like to nominate Michael Arlen’s novel, Hell! Said the Duchess: A Bedtime Story . I’m not sure how “literary” it might be considered, Randolph, so feel free to shoot down the suggestion if you think it inappropriate. The short novel was reprinted a few years ago by Valancourt Press, so it’s readily available in both print and electronic form. The following book description is from Valancourt’s web site.

A female killer stalks the streets of London, sleeping with young men before slashing their throats and mutilating their bodies. The crimes have baffled the police and enraged Londoners, who demand the murderer’s arrest. Mary, Duchess of Dove, a gentle young widow who is beloved by all who know her, seems an unlikely suspect, but the clues all point to her. The police have a variety of theories — perhaps the Duchess has been hypnotized or drugged, maybe she has an evil double, or could it be a Communist plot to discredit the peerage? Inspector Basil Icelin is determined to solve the mystery, but the true explanation is far more shocking and terrifying than anyone could ever imagine.

Michael Arlen (1895-1956) became a rich and world-famous celebrity after the publication of his bestseller The Green Hat in 1924. Hell! said the Duchess (1934) is a delightfully bizarre book, telling a “bedtime story” in a light, humorous style that contrasts oddly with its gruesome and horrific subject matter. This first-ever reprinting of what Karl Edward Wagner has called the best supernatural horror novel ever written includes an introduction by Mark Valentine.



message 3: by Randolph (new)

Randolph (us227381) | 2 comments I'll check it out. I've found that Karl Edward Wagner isn't always the best yardstick by which to measure a book. He used to delight at filling his top tens with books that were often terribly obscure instead of necessarily terribly good. People would scramble to acquire his recommendations which were usually op and sometimes even hardly known when they were new, only to be disappointed with the actual quality of the resulting find. Sometimes things remain obscure for a very good reason.

However, knowing nothing about this I will give it a fair shake and probably include it in any voting just because you were here first.


message 4: by Canavan (new)

Canavan Randolph said (in part):

I've found that Karl Edward Wagner isn't always the best yardstick by which to measure a book. He used to delight at filling his top tens with books that were often terribly obscure instead of necessarily terribly good.

I suppose I harbor similar feelings about Wagner’s semi-famous 3 x 13 lists, Randolph. To be completely fair to Wagner, I’ve always assumed that while rarity was almost certainly one of the criteria for inclusion, he did actually admire the novels he selected since I fancy I see similar ideas/motifs amongst those few of the entries I’ve read. Anyway, of those that I’ve read, I’d personally judge a few as genuine masterpieces, some as disturbing, but flawed, and a few as just plain goofy. For those who might be curious, here’s a representative discussion on the lists which I found on Ligotti’s board.


message 5: by Randolph (new)

Randolph (us227381) | 2 comments Certainly some of the Wagner picks were outstanding and obscure, but it seemed to me like obscurity often came to dominate at times.

Wagner is a big figure in horror, in more ways than one, and I have admired both his editorial and creative work immensely. He was a great loss.


message 6: by Canavan (new)

Canavan Randolph said:

Certainly some of the Wagner picks were outstanding and obscure, but it seemed to me like obscurity often came to dominate at times.

Yes, I don’t think we really disagree, Randolph. I read somewhere that Wagner was extremely well-read when it came to genre literature. And I always supposed that the Twilight Zone lists were his way of showing off that erudition. But, in addition, remember that the lists first appeared way back in 1983, when many of the entries were not well known and were almost impossible to procure. One way to view the lists more charitably is to think of them as providing the impetus for future small-press publishers to make some of the rarer entries more readily available to fans (even if it’s true that not all the them deserved that more widespread attention).

Also from Randolph:

Wagner is a big figure in horror, in more ways than one, and I have admired both his editorial and creative work immensely. He was a great loss.

Yes, definitely agree with this.

Perhaps because I’m a list kind of guy, what I find fascinating is that Wagner’s rather eclectic lists, more than 30 years after first appearing in print, are still being discussed. And, finally, I’ll also point out that while Wagner’s lists are still being bruited about today, not many remember that they were part of a column that spanned a couple of TZ issues (entitled “The Five Foot Fantasy Book-Shelf”) that additionally incorporated lists by Thomas Disch, R. S. Hadji (aka Robert Knowlton), and T. E. D. Klein.


message 7: by Latasha (new)

Latasha (latasha513) I would like to nominate No One Gets Out Alive his books are good & actually scary.


message 8: by Randolph (new)

Randolph (us227381) | 2 comments Good nom.


message 9: by Ronald (new)

Ronald (rpdwyer) | 547 comments I nominate Alectryomancer and Other Weird Tales by Christopher Slatsky.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2...

The book is available both for the Kindle and as a paperback. I've read the first two stories and I think they are good. I might resume reading the book now.

Christopher Slatsky has an interesting voice, perhaps even an aesthetic. There is Fortean stuff in his fiction. The vocabulary is somewhere between mainstream writing at one end and Clark Ashton Smith's on the other end.


message 10: by Randolph (new)

Randolph (us227381) | 2 comments I'll probably close this for April nominations around March 15 to allow time for a short poll and people to acquire the book. Feel free after that to make suggestions for beyond April.


message 11: by Ronald (new)

Ronald (rpdwyer) | 547 comments I'll make another nomination:
Furnace by Livia Llewellyn
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2...


message 13: by Randolph (last edited Mar 16, 2016 07:33PM) (new)

Randolph (us227381) | 2 comments I put a poll up for the April read. I hope it gets a better turnout than a Marco Rubio rally. The poll is here:

https://www.goodreads.com/poll/list/1...


message 14: by Randolph (new)

Randolph (us227381) | 2 comments Moderator breaks ties, so Alectryomancer and Other Weird Tales by Christopher Slatsky is the April 2016 read. Since it was a dead tie, we will read the Adam Nevill novel No One Gets Out Alive for May and probably read Furnace by Livia Llewellyn in June, although I retain the prerogative of having another nomination round before then, but I promise to leave Furnace in the mix.


message 15: by Logan (new)

Logan Plonski | 4 comments I'm psyched to read this.


message 16: by Latasha (new)

Latasha (latasha513) Randolph wrote: "Moderator breaks ties, so Alectryomancer and Other Weird Tales by Christopher Slatsky is the April 2016 read. Since it was a dead tie, we will read the [author:Adam..."

I bought Alectryomancer and I'm ready to go!


message 17: by Ronald (new)

Ronald (rpdwyer) | 547 comments Is a thread for Alectryomancer and Other Weird Tales created?


message 18: by Randolph (new)

Randolph (us227381) | 2 comments Ronald wrote: "Is a thread for Alectryomancer and Other Weird Tales created?"

No, but thanks for reminding me. If you see something like this that I've overlooked, go ahead and start a discussion, etc. I'll edit it or move it later so you really cannot do anything wrong as long as you follow the rules.

I'm not so possessive that I feel like I own this group. I feel responsible for it and feel a duty to it, but it is really here for those that are interested in, well, things horribly literary. I would actually welcome anyone to start threads, buddy reads, add to the photos and bookshelf. Even you budding authors can add to the bookshelf, but only under the "to read" shelf. If I start to find pure rubbish or pornography or way off topic spammy stuff then I'm going to boot it, and probably spank you if you keep it up, but otherwise go ahead. I can always move things if they are misplaced.

Anyway, to make my long story even longer, I'll start a thread for this month's read. I forgot because I haven't truly started it yet.


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