Welcome to the Weird!

ConversesThe Weird Tradition

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Welcome to the Weird!

1KentonSem
Editat: ag. 9, 2007, 12:02pm

Greetings! The purpose of this group is to explore the Weird Tradition, a style of fiction made famous by such great writers as H.P. Lovecraft, Clark Ashton Smith, Frank Belknap Long, and others.

The "big bang" of the Weird Tradition may have been the works of Edgar Allan Poe and Nathaniel Hawthorne. More inspiration can certainly be found in tales by Lord Dunsany, Robert Chambers, and Ambrose Bierce. These authors and their influence should also be discussed.

Generally, our focus should be on those writers of the Weird who worked from the 1920's and 1930's through the 1970's, although there is certainly some leeway at either end of that range, such as Manly Wade Wellman's John the Balladeer novels from the early 1980's.

Also encouraged is an examination of the many different story collections available, whether it's an old Arkham House edition, a Jove paperback, or something new from Chaosium.

Thanks to Precarious333 for the Cthuloid icon!

2myshelves
Editat: ag. 9, 2007, 11:08pm

ken10,

About those "Most commonly shared books" . . . . Was "For Your Eyes Only" really about The Necronomicon? Is there an Arkham branch of Casino Royale?

3Dannelke
ag. 10, 2007, 11:46am

Well, Kenton and I share a Mickey Mouse book. But that's no real surprise 'cause you know the ghost of Uncle Walt is planning something horrible in those Florida Swamps involving sacrificing tourists on Strange Altars. And forget The Rats in the Walls, it's the rats in the palm trees you have to be aware of.

- Barney

4myshelves
ag. 10, 2007, 12:27pm

I see that my post is already out of date. When I joined & posted (last night), there were 2 shared books showing on the group page --- both of them James Bond novels by Fleming. I wondered just how the "weighting" was done.

5john_sunseri
ag. 12, 2007, 7:35pm

Hello, all!

I'm not an expert on the Weird Tradition, but I know a little and would love to know more. I'm familiar with Lovecraft in some detail, Robert Bloch, some work by William Hope Hodgson and Edgar Rice Burroughs and I've read Fritz Leiber in scattershot fashion.

As to modern Weird writers, I think you might make an argument for Clive Barker's inclusion, but perhaps 'weird' was of a certain time only...

Nice to meet everyone!

6OldSarge
set. 25, 2007, 9:19pm

Greetings all.

I would like to ad to the list of authors if I may. To the above I would have to include Robert E. Howard and Algernon Blackwood.

Why Blackwood? Read The Complete John Silence Stories and see.

REH wrote some serious weird fiction himself. I'm in the process of collecting the complete series of The Weird Works of Robert E. Howard, which is a ten volume set by Wildside Press.

http://www.wildsidepress.com/index.html

7KentonSem
set. 26, 2007, 1:38pm

Welcome, OldSarge!

Robert E. Howard - absolutely. In fact, I'd even go so far as to say that his work constitutes a great hidden treasure of American fiction. While not flashy or gimmicky, REH is a true storyteller. Make that Storyteller. Of course, 'Pigeons From Hell', despite it's rather unlikely title, is one of THE masterpieces of Weird Fiction.

I do like Blackwood very much, although I'm not that familiar with the John Silence stories. Thanks for the recommendation. Millipede Press has put together a collector's edition of Blackwood as part of their Masters of the Weird Tale series that looks VERY nice:

http://millipedepress.com/centipede-press/masters-of-the-weird-tale-algernon-bla...

I've seen those Wildside Press editions before. They do look purty. I need to be a millionaire. There's just too much good stuff out there!

8OldSarge
Editat: set. 27, 2007, 8:51am

The Weird Works of REH by Wildside are available in hardcover ($35) and trade paper ($10-13) editions.

There is also a series published by the University of Nebraska Press called The Works of Robert E. Howard. Only one of them is weird fiction though. The rest are historical and western fiction

The Black Stranger and Other American Tales

9jseger9000
oct. 4, 2007, 10:27pm

Hey all!

Thanks for the invite.

As for Weird Robert E. Howard I'm too cheap to buy any deluxe or special editions, but Baen has put out some great stuff over the years. Try the Cthulhu: Mythos and Kindred Horrors collection for instance.

Also, there was the series of books listed as the REH Library. For the weird side of things I would recommend Beyond the Borders, Trails in Darkness and Eons of the Night. Too bad those didn't stay in print longer.

It's a shame to see so many of the great old pulp writers falling out of print or only available in pricey special editions.

10KentonSem
Editat: oct. 5, 2007, 3:17pm

Welcome to the Weird Tradition, jseger9000! Good to have you aboard. Thanks for those REH recommendations.

I have a really good Howard collection that Chaosium put out called Nameless Cults: The Complete Cthulhu Mythos Fiction of Robert E. Howard that's worth finding. Also, Del Rey has been issuing some nicely done, inexpensive, and unexpurgated collections featuring Conan, Solomon Kane, Bran Mak Morn, and Kull. I got my hardcovers from the Science Fiction Book Club, but the softcovers can be had from Amazon. I hope that they keep going and produce some volumes containing some lesser-known REH tales, such as "Skull Face", Son of the White Wolf, and Black Vulmea's Vengeance.

11beschrich
oct. 5, 2007, 4:21pm

I must also mention (pardon me if he's already here and I missed the name) Arthur Machen, particularly for his short stories "The Great God Pan" and "The White People."
Also, for a critical approach: S.T. Joshi, probably the greatest scholar of HP Lovecraft working at the moment (and a cool guy besides) has numerous relevant books, particularly The Weird Tale, which has chapters on Machen, Dunsany, Blackwood, M.R. James (author of Ghost Stories from an Antiquary) Bierce and Lovecraft.
Oh, and Thomas Ligotti... not sure where he fits on the border of weird and horror, but he's definitely worth the read. I've read much of his collection The Nightmare Factory (I think) but its not in print now. The Shadow at the Bottom of the World is another worthwhile collection.

12KentonSem
des. 5, 2007, 12:18pm

Welcome to the other 19 new-ish members who have joined this group so far! Feel free to introduce yourselves, chime in, or start a new topic... It's been as quiet as the unfathomably vast reaches of an interstellar void around here lately!

13Thulean
Editat: maig 19, 2011, 6:09pm

I never introduced myself, so I will take that opportunity now. I live in Essex county Massachusetts, though I came here from Texas only a few short years ago. I am a fan of REH and HPL but I am really not all that well read on the Weird, though I am trying to rectify that situation. I own several volumes that I have not delved into yet that I really should have by now. The Night Shade CAS set comes immediately to mind. Anyhow, I really like this group and I wish it was more active so in an attempt to liven things up I will make an effort to be more active myself.

14AndreasJ
maig 20, 2011, 1:10am

Evil Internet, give me back my post! Grr ...

Anyway, I was saying I don't believe I've introduced myself either. I'm from Linköping, Sweden, and within the weird tradition I've read a fair lot by Poe, Hodgson, Dunsany, Lovecraft, and CAS, plus a smattering of various other authors.

Where are people seeing "Most commonly shared books" on the group page?

15KentonSem
maig 20, 2011, 11:02am

Thulean and Andreas - thanks for bringing the "Welcome" thread back to the top! I live in eastern Pennsylvania and I've been interested in the history of horror in all media for just about as long as I can remember. I work in a library and I'm also on the jury for a local week-long film festival which will run again in June. Membership in this group has been growing slowly, and I agree that it would be nice to have some of the other members join in, too!

"Most commonly shared books" sounds like it would be found in the "Group Zeitgeist" link in the upper right corner, but it hasn't worked to date, as far as I know. Must be one of those LT "coming eventually" things. I do see "Touchstone Works" in the upper right of threads like this one...

16KentonSem
des. 15, 2011, 2:15pm

Just thought I'd mention that this group is up at the "8th bar" on the Activity Level meter, which happens every now and then. We just hit 164 members (wish more would post, though!). If you check the LT Group Zeitgeist, you'll find that The Weird Tradition is #30 on the Top 100 Groups list! This group has really exploded since this past summer. Thanks, everyone who has been posting. It's been intriguing, informative and ... weird! Wonderfully so. Here's to continuing onward in 2012!

17artturnerjr
des. 15, 2011, 3:47pm

>16 KentonSem:

Hear, hear! :D

18KentonSem
març 14, 2012, 12:40pm

Not to boast... well, what the hell, to BOAST: The Weird Tradition is #21 on the Top 100 Active Groups on LT as of 3/14/12.

19bertilak
març 14, 2012, 1:25pm

"When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro".

-- Hunter S. Thompson

20paradoxosalpha
març 14, 2012, 1:31pm

> 18

I'm not at all surprised. I wonder if there are any other groups that host a weekly short story discussion the way that this one does? It's a winning format. We also have some well-defined open threads in the orbit of the genre, like news, illustrators, comics, games, and audio.

21KentonSem
Editat: juny 6, 2013, 11:38am

Say, we're up to 261 members as of today! Now, we have a fantastic core group of regular posters that I truly appreciate, but how about some of you other WT members? You're not just group collectors, are you? That won't get you anything, but conversation will! Don't be shy - we hardly ever bite! Feel free to start a discussion or join in on the weekly DEEP ONES discussions.

ETA

Make that 263 members as of today

22Nicole_VanK
juny 6, 2013, 11:20am

Love you guys, and I'm a "dedicated lurker" of the 'Deep Ones' threads. But, for personal reasons, I haven't been able to keep up with reading along with you. Alas - wish I could.

23elenchus
juny 6, 2013, 11:39am

> 22

Similar for me, but though I do a fair bit of lurking I credit the DEEP ONES for prompting me to read several stories on my shelves, and discover new ones. For all my sporadic participation, the best reading group I've known, online or off.

For our World Gazette feature, I'll note here that I've been a Chicago resident for 15+ years, though not consecutively, having moved around the US and parts of Germany at various times (primarily as an Army brat).

24KentonSem
Editat: juny 6, 2013, 11:51am

>22 Nicole_VanK:,23

Semi-lurkers you may be, but I know the screen names BarkingMatt and elenchus, and I appreciate your occasional posts! It's the other couple of hundred or so members I sometimes wonder about. Could this be caused by some kind of Facebook-related virus? :-D

25Jarandel
juny 6, 2013, 12:11pm

>21 KentonSem:,24 Was lurking for a while too, and will probably on go on doing so. My interest in reading what I usually tag as "horror & fantastical" in my library and which partly overlaps the WT group's interests is sporadic, whimsical and not broad enough to be conducive to elaborate insights :)

26KentonSem
set. 13, 2018, 8:55am

Just thought I'd mention that as of today our group has 440 members and is #14 on the Top 100 Active groups list. Well done, everyone!

27elenchus
set. 13, 2018, 9:23am

Yeah, and our DEEP ONES weekly reading list is over 360 stories and stretches back to Fall 2011. That's stunning, frankly.

28Crypto-Willobie
set. 13, 2018, 9:46am



👍

29paradoxosalpha
Editat: set. 13, 2018, 9:59am

Check out https://www.librarything.com/groups/theweirdtradition/groupzeitgeist

Our Most-Shared has predictably bottomed out with global staples like The Hobbit and 1984, but Characteristic Works has us dead to rights.

30elenchus
set. 13, 2018, 10:23am

>29 paradoxosalpha:

Characteristic Works is an inspired metric, avoiding the emptiness that follows from popular books we all tend to be familiar with. Could be a good place to review when thinking of future nominations, too.

Oddly I cannot see more than 63 Characteristic Works, despite the promise to "See all 110 works".

31paradoxosalpha
set. 13, 2018, 10:41am

>30 elenchus: Oddly I cannot see more than 63 Characteristic Works, despite the promise to "See all 110 works".

Same here. Good thought about trolling that list for nominations too.

32KentonSem
Editat: set. 13, 2018, 11:42am

>30 elenchus:
>31 paradoxosalpha:

It's not too late to snag nominations for Fall 2018! ;-)

I'll ask about that 110 viewing issue over on the Bugs group.

33frahealee
Editat: maig 26, 2020, 6:00pm

>26 KentonSem: Well, #441 (me) hangs by a thread, but my recent ebook acquisition includes:
The Damned Thing / Bierce
A Prisoner in Fairyland, The Empty House & Other Ghost Stories, The Willows / Blackwood
Wieland: or, The Transformation / Brown
Keeper of Cademuir, No-man's-land, Grove of Ashtaroth, Watcher by the Threshold / Buchan
The King in Yellow / Chambers
The Signal-Man / Dickens
Trilby / du Maurier
The Lost Stradivarius / Falkner
Curious, If True: Strange Tales / Gaskell
The Yellow Wallpaper / Gilman
The Three Strangers / Hardy
The Night Land, Carnacki, Ghost Finder, Ghost Pirates / Hodgson
Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner / Hogg
Vision Of Tom Chuff, The Familiar, Ghost Stories of Chapelizod, Child That Went With The Fairies / Le Fanu
At the Mountains of Madness, Dunwich Horror, Call of Cthulhu / Lovecraft
The Inmost Light, The Terror, Great God Pan, Novel of the White Powder / Machen
The Beetle / Marsh
The Vampire / Neruda
In the Dark, The Power of Darkness / E Nesbit
The Vampire Maid,The Demon Spell / H Nisbet
The Thousand-and-Second Tale of Scheherazade / Poe
Varney the Vampire / Rymer
Dracula's Guest / Stoker
The House of the Vampire / Viereck

Another collection features:
Present at a Hanging, Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge / Bierce
Ethan Brand, The Gorgon's Head, The Gray Champion, The Great Stone Face, The Miraculous Pitcher, My Kinsman Major Molineux, Rappaccini's Daughter, The Snow Image, Three Golden Apples, Wakefield, Young Goodman Brown / Hawthorne
The Gift of the Magi, The Ransom of Red Chief, Strictly Business, The Trimmed Lamp, The Voice of the City / O. Henry
Rip Van Winkle / Irving
Daisy Miller / Henry James
etc.

Is that worth price of admission?! I have limited UK/USA insight, boast zero knowledge of weird or horror/sci-fi, etc. but one of my sons brought to my attention a Clarke short story (about pollution on another planet), awaiting immediate feedback (he studies biotech). No getting out of that! Another son prefers dystopian sci-fi (military paramedic), yet another son chose college robotics. Trying to keep stride with them, sifting through GothicLit and defining sub-genres. No graphic novel exposure, or hard horror (only read one by King) but admire Canadian director David Cronenberg.

Housefulofpaper brought Wendigo into focus, now I see a 2001 movie trailer based on the story, with Patricia Clarkson. Reading must run alongside research, which slows me down. With the overlap between Gothic/Weird, maybe I know more than I think. Active on LT only since Dec2017 (one reading site, one writing site, one research site, no social media/tv/streaming/Netflix and no local movie theatre). We find films hit and miss. Limited internet usage, no smartphone, no printer (self-imposed strict guidelines). It will take awhile to catch up but at least my foot's in the door. There. (plunk!)

34KentonSem
set. 13, 2018, 8:21pm

>33 frahealee:

Good to hear from you! Machen is heady stuff, and those are excellent collections you've listed. Are they ebooks? Otherwise, that's a wheelbarrow's worth. I see several titles in there that could be future Deep Ones discussion nominations. Lovecraft's "At the Mountains of Madness" is currently being voted on. We have examined a number of those titles previously, but none of the discussions are closed by any means. A complete list with links can be found on the main WT page. Feel free to continue the commentary on any of them, at any time, as you read them. You don't need to be an expert as long as weird fiction moves you in some way. The 2001 WENDIGO isn't based on the Blackwood story specifically, but it contains some of the same themes. I liked it very much. Just about any of Larry Fessenden's films are worth tracking down.

35KentonSem
set. 14, 2018, 10:30am

>32 KentonSem:

Not much from the Bug Collectors group about the "110" issue. Someone pointed out that several of the titles listed are included as part of a series (such as the CAS volumes), but it still doesn't add up to 110. Not even close. Apparently, it's this way for other groups, too.

36AndreasJ
set. 14, 2018, 10:55am

At a guess, it only lists works above some cut-off level of characteristicness*, so if there's less than 110 of those there simply isn't more to show.

* Characteristicality? Is there an established nominalization?

37paradoxosalpha
set. 14, 2018, 11:10am

But why promise 110?

In Folio Society Devotees, it says "See all 100," and then it actually shows 100.
In Science Fiction Fans, it says "See all 147," and then it only shows 78.

38AndreasJ
set. 14, 2018, 4:03pm

I leapt to the evidently erroneous conclusion it was 110 for all groups.

39paradoxosalpha
set. 14, 2018, 4:20pm

>36 AndreasJ:

I like characteristicity.

40frahealee
Editat: set. 6, 2020, 9:20am

>34 KentonSem: Thanks =) Just dusted off the Wendigo Deep Ones thread, with reminiscences of my own. It seems fitting to start with Blackwood and Machen before reading Lovecraft or others who followed their leads. Yes, both collections are ebooks. Plenty of bang for a buck there, but I was going by author names, not story titles, mostly.

I don't write book 'reviews', simply my impression of a story, or tidbits to remember or refer to down the line. There seems to be considerable overlap. JMJ save souls.

41frahealee
Editat: set. 6, 2020, 9:21am

>26 KentonSem: ...ssshhhh… anyone notice this group total quietly climbed to 507?!

42WeeTurtle
Editat: oct. 30, 2018, 8:48pm

Hi guys! I'm new here, blame the person above me. ;)

I'm relatively new to the "weird" end of things. I tried reading Poe a way back and found it quite dry. I recently picked up a cheap Lovecraft e-book compendium because, as a horror fan, I kept hearing the term "Lovecraftian" and wanted to learn what it actually meant ("Kafkaesque" is next ;)).

Having read all of that, I love the whole Eldritch angle and have been hoping to capture something like it in my own writing efforts. My favourite story of his would be "The Shadow out of Time," and I'm somewhat annoyed that there won't be anymore Lovecraft coming.

Exploring more I've picked up copies of The King in Yellow and The Wendigo but haven't read them yet as I've got some obligated reading to do for reviews and other side things.

I have my Conan omnibus as well, and some of Howard's stuff tends to lean towards the weird end when you start creeping towards Styiga, or it seems for now. Haven't finished that yet. Conan as a character doesn't seem the sort to be as susceptible to Eldritch horror and understanding as much as some of Lovecraft's protagonists, but then, he's the sensible sort and not one to overthink a situation you are best to just run from.

Edited after the fact because I'm a terrible proofreader.

43AndreasJ
oct. 28, 2018, 2:42am

44paradoxosalpha
oct. 28, 2018, 11:03am

If we weren't already terribly cosmopolitan and international, we'd be sweating the Canadian invasion!

45frahealee
Editat: set. 6, 2020, 9:30am

>42 WeeTurtle: Yes, welcome to TWT, lover of Lovecraft! The research is insane but enjoyable. Bring on the extra estrogen! >44 paradoxosalpha: Think of it as having a new West Coast female pen pal, diverse in the difference of not only geography but demographic. =) I am looking forward to WeeTurtle's input as a feisty university-trained librarian with Gothic & CanLit tinged humourous opinions on horror, terror, or weird tales, and also to missing her various pop culture and gaming references. I have only ever played Mario Golf (badly), and cried when I was forced to learn chess (cribbage is more my thing). Plus, she writes! I am a practising devout RC woman in Canada with a large family, including a daughter with special needs, none of which most in this group would admire or defend. Such is life. We'll likely displace your comfort level with a few pebbles tossed in the male pond. JMJ save souls.

46WeeTurtle
oct. 28, 2018, 7:08pm

>45 frahealee:
>44 paradoxosalpha:

Trying to write! It's not going as well as it could these days. Doesn't help when I look at people like Lovecraft and think "yeah, he's already beat me." On the video game front, Call of Cthulhu is getting a reboot based on the role playing game (never played) so I'm interested in that (there'a sanity meter and everything!)

Never was into Chess much. It was fun to play but only against people who also had my lack of skill level. Dad did try to get me into Bridge.

My literary slant is towards the Romantics, but that brought me Mary Shelley and such delights, and later courses in Pop Culture (Frankenstein again, along side the character "Adam" in Buffy the Vampire Slayer series) and Dystopian lit brings in some extra fodder for weird and bizarre. What fun!

47KentonSem
oct. 28, 2018, 7:27pm

>42 WeeTurtle:

Greetings and welcome aboard!

48elenchus
oct. 29, 2018, 9:41am

Love the new enthusiasm and always interested in different readings of what we read. Hope you join us for one or more DEEP ONES reads (a dedicated thread each week), a great way to both learn of new writers and practise putting thoughts and impressions into writing.

49WeeTurtle
Editat: oct. 30, 2018, 8:52pm

>48 elenchus: I see those! Most of the material I haven't read yet but I'm using those threads as a launch point for more reading. The links on the thread devoted to The Wendigo helped me find a pdf copy for my e-reader, which has been eluding me up until now.

50KentonSem
maig 26, 2020, 4:25pm

I see we just hit a milestone - 500 members!

51RandyStafford
maig 26, 2020, 6:28pm

Excellent. And we keep at it week after week without diminishing enthusiasm.

52paradoxosalpha
maig 26, 2020, 7:45pm

Cool. Nice to bump the "welcome" thread into currency.

53AMP1972
maig 28, 2020, 3:46pm

Thank you!

54Charrlygirl
juny 5, 2020, 11:50am

Hello all!

I'm Char. I may not be as up to date with older weird fiction, but I am a fan. It's nice to be here!

55elenchus
juny 5, 2020, 12:05pm

Great to have a new fan. I'm not as up to date with new weird fiction, this forum has been great in correcting some of the gaps in my reading. But I think the group will welcome anyone, even if the interest is "narrow". We can focus on the shared interests and still get a lot from the discussion.

Welcome!

56AndreasJ
juny 5, 2020, 2:25pm

>54 Charrlygirl:

Hello Char, I hope you’ll feel at home in the Weirdness :)

57KentonSem
juny 5, 2020, 3:54pm

>54 Charrlygirl:

Greetings, Char!