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Ichneumon on Ligotti Classics
at 16:52 on 24-11-2015 - link
Hmmmm. You've already mentioned two of the best in Grimscribe, and I've already mentioned "The Music of the Moon", so I think I'll go with the following excellent also-rans: "The Troubles of Doctor Thoss", "Dream of a Mannikin", "The Greater Festival of Masks" "I Have a Special Plan for This World", "The Town Manager", and maybe "The Glamour", "'Sideshow' and Other Stories" and "A Soft Voice Whispers Nothing"; and in the vignettes department: "Autumnal", "The Spectral Estate", "The Unfamiliar", "New Faces in the City", "The Ever-Vigilant Guardians of Secluded Estates", and the incomparably disquieting "Ten Steps to Thin Mountain", which thank Azathoth they added to the very end of the Subterranean reissue of Noctuary because letting it languish another twenty years would be fucking criminal.
God, I am such a nerd.
- Arthur B on Ligotti Classics at 14:56 on 24-11-2015 - link Doctor Voke and Mister Veech is some hardcore shit, though it's also in The Shadow at the Bottom of the World and I was specifically reaching for some top-tier stuff that didn't appear in that compilation.
Ichneumon on Ligotti Classics
at 14:42 on 24-11-2015 - link
"The Dreaming in Nortown" is actually a personal favourite of mine; the wry humour and wan griminess of the setting are delectable. That said, I generally lean toward the more blatantly surreal end of his work: My entrée was "The Music of the Moon", but "Doctor Voke and Mister Veech" is probably more indicative of my predilections. He really does dream atmosphere exceptionally well, and Songs in particular has him pulling out all the stops in that department. There are certainly intense visionary moments in his later work, but he seems to have shifted more exclusively into a kind of hyper-bleak satirical mode of late.
On the subject of the cut sketches: They all appear in slightly altered form in the very rare and delightfully titled The Agonizing Resurrection of Victor Frankenstein and Other Gothic Tales which, coincidentally, I happen to have a copy of. It is certainly an entertaining volume, and as one might expect of Ligotti, extremely literate, but compared to his more developed metafictions like "Notes on the Writing of Horror" or "The Bungalow House" it is fairly slight. I also haven't read it in a while because I keep it in a safe place, for obvious reasons.
- Arthur B on Ligotti Classics at 11:19 on 24-11-2015 - link The Shadow At the Bottom of the World is a decent compilation, though I have to disagree with you on Ligotti's hit-or-miss rate. The Night School and The Dreaming In Nortown rank next to anything in Shadow to my mind, for one thing.
James D on Ligotti Classics
at 10:48 on 24-11-2015 - link
First off, I'll say that I love Thomas Ligotti when he's at his best. Second, I'll say that loving Thomas Ligotti is incredibly frustrating. I first started getting into him in 2006, when Teatro Grottesco came out. It blew me away, and so over the next year or two I dug around for anything I could get my hands on - which ended up being Grimscribe, The Shadow at the Bottom of the World, and My Work Is Not Yet Done. Unfortunately as it turned out, TG, Grimscribe, and TSatBotW share a huge amount of material; only MWINYT is wholly unique. Worse, to my taste, Ligotti has always been very hit-or-miss (as most horror authors are), and the stories unique to Grimscribe and TSatBotW are mostly misses. There's good material, but most of it is already found in the superior TG.
Of course, I only have myself to blame for forking over extra money to acquire the out-of-print Grimscribe and TSatBotW, and for not doing the research to find out exactly which stories appeared in each, but it still rather ticked me off. Now it looks like I'll have to get this new collection for the Songs of a Dead Dreamer material that did not get reprinted for TSatBotW, which of course means getting all of Grimscribe yet again. At least this time it'll be for a reasonable price.
In short, the publication history of Ligotti is nothing but the most outrageous nonsense.
- Arthur B on The Reading Canary: Fighting Fantasy (Part 5) at 10:44 on 24-11-2015 - link There's this book later in the series, when it got much deeper into dark horror-fantasy, where you're hunted throughout the book by this hideous undead nemesis who regularly pops up to fight you - dying to that guy was terrifying but never felt anticlimactic or weak.
https://me.yahoo.com/a/gNLVidA.xeLuPiOU_2B_USM.HYNFjA--#b0b6b on The Reading Canary: Fighting Fantasy (Part 5)
at 03:14 on 24-11-2015 - link
I was sooo into these books when I was in my teens! I still have several on my shelf and like to flip through them occasionally.
I'm enjoying your critiques too. I admit, I was always more into immersing myself in the narrative than into 'rigorous' gameplay (cheating? me?), so your take on the books as games is really interesting to me.
I agree that House of Hell is a masterpiece, though for some reason, I remember liking Scorpion Swamp, probably because it was so ridiculously easy ...
There was an unofficial (I think) fansite I used to visit way back in 1998, which once asked fans to nominate and vote on the most gruesome Fighting Fantasy death paragraph. I couldn't decide which one to pick. Reading the grisly details of my own death in many violent and horrible circumstances is one of the things I love best about the books :) Do you have a favourite death?
- Craverguy on We Apologise For the Inconvenience at 11:00 on 23-11-2015 - link Long live the Ferret! May it reign ten thousand years!