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Authors of Weird Fiction > Frank Belknap Long

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message 1: by Dan (new)

Dan | 775 comments “At the Home of Poe: A Poem in Prose”
By Frank Belknap Long
To H. P. Lovecraft

The home of Poe! It is like a fairy dwelling, a gnomic palace built of the aether of dreams. It is tiny and delicate and lovely, and replete with memories of sere leaves in November and of lilies in April. It is a castle of vanished hopes, of dimly-remembered dreams, of sad memories older than the deluge. The dead years circle slowly and solemnly around its low white walls, and clothe it in a mystic veil of unseen tears. And many marvellous stories could this quaint little old house tell, many weird and cryptic stories of him of the Raven hair, and high, pallid brow, and sad, sweet face, and melancholy mien; and of the beloved Virginia, that sweet child of a thousand magic visions, child of the lonesome, pale-gray latter years, child of the soft and happy South. And how the dreamer of the spheres must have loved this strange little house. Every night the hollow boards of its porch must have echoed to his footfall, and every morn the great rising sun must have sent its rays through the little window, and bathed the lovely tresses of the dream-child in mystical yellow. And perhaps there was laughter within the walls of that house—laughter and merriment and singing. But we know that the Evil One came at last, the grim humourless spectre who loves not beauty, and is not of this world. And we know that the house of youth and of love became a house of death, and that memories bitter as the tears of a beautiful woman assailed the dreamer within. And at last he himself left that house of mourning and sought solace among the stars. But the house remains a vision out of a magical book; a thing seen darkly as in a looking-glass; but lovely beyond the dreams of mortals, and ineffably sad.

message 2: by Dan (new)

Dan | 775 comments There is a nice audio version of this prose poem here:

I wonder if this house being described was the one in Richmond or if it was the one in Baltimore. Has anyone ever seen either of these?

message 3: by Dan (last edited Sep 26, 2019 05:46PM) (new)

Dan | 775 comments A strange book arrived in the mail for me today: The Horror Expert by Frank Long. All day at work today I wondered who is this Frank Long fellow? Why in the world did I order this old 35 cent paperback novel from 1961 by him? On the back cover we see some woman with her dress pulled down, her entire back exposed, and in bold words, "The Sadist". It goes on in smaller print: "She'll insert the knife so delicately that the man won't feel any pain at all. Just a warm gratefulness, an intoxicating sort of happiness. Then she'll start twisting the blade back and forth . . . back and forth . . . until the poor devil has been tormented beyond endurance." And on the back cover continues in similar vein.

I don't read smut or erotica. Ever. And I'm not a gray shade of anything type of person, not that there's anything wrong with that (Seinfeld). How in the world did this make it to my mailbox?

I got home, looked it up, and discovered Frank Long is really Frank Belknap Long. Back on September 18 when I wrote the original posts above I saw this title. It was less than $4 including postage. Curious about what The Horror Expert could possibly be about, I ordered it, went to bed, and promptly forgot about it. Isn't it strange how once we learn a person has three names we can't possibly recognize him when we have only two?

I hope this work isn't just pure smut. I don't need another addition to my DNR pile.

message 4: by Dan (last edited Sep 26, 2019 09:58PM) (new)

Dan | 775 comments I read 30% of the work just now and am happy to report it was completely mismarketed. I can't tell quite yet if it's a simple crime thriller or if it's a story about a struggling visual artist trying to make break into the business world as a commercial artist. What it's not is speculative fiction or erotica, just an oddly told business office drama of some sort.

message 5: by Scott (new)

Scott It sounds good either way, haha.

message 6: by Ronald (new)

Ronald (rpdwyer) | 71 comments A few years ago I read a short story collection by Frank Belknap Long. Honestly, it was better than I expected. I expected pulpish prose but the stories were written in a straightforward style.

That collection had the story "The Hounds of Tindalos". Going by memory: the protagonist sends his consciousness backwards in time, as far back as the early universe, which inadvertently alerts the Hounds of Tindalos. The Hounds of Tindalos--I don't think that they are canines but more like ethereal beings--chase the protagonist as he travels back to his time. It doesn't end well for the protagonist.

That collection also had author notes. My impression was that Frank Belknap Long held Isaac Asimov in high regard.

I also read Frank Belknap Long's story "Homecoming" which appeared in another anthology. It stuck me then as an ok story, but I have almost no memory of it. I think was a supernatural/occult story.

message 7: by Dan (last edited Sep 30, 2019 01:21PM) (new)

Dan | 775 comments Scott wrote: "It sounds good either way, haha."

That was one strange read. Here's my review, not my best work:

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