Eventernal Slumber – Dreamcaptchas

imageAny of my WordPress sites marked as private or sleeping can be reached by all other WordPress users by inserting their dreamcaptchas then clicking ‘request access’. This one-off process applies separately to each of my many WordPress sites.

But if you can’t reach a continuation part of any Real-Time Review, you may be able to find it by judiciously googling for its duplicate copy here: http://weirdmonger.livejournal.com
Also you can always obtain from me, duly signed, the complete printed text in book form of any of my past Real-Time Reviews – or direct from the printer at Lulu. Details here: http://dflewisreviews.wordpress.com/rtrs-as-books/ Non profit to me.

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Dreamcatchers, Kitecatchers…

Announced on this site on 2 June 2014: MY REAL-TIME REVIEWING CURRENTLY ON SABBATICAL UNTIL SEPTEMBER.

7 June 2014: I am proud to learn that my gestalt real-time reviewing has been nominated for a British Fantasy Award 2014.

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Some dreamcatchers - as envisioned by Heather Horsley

Some dreamcatchers or kitecatchers – as envisioned by Heather Horsley

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The Spectral Link – by Thomas Ligotti

 

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I have just received, from Amazon UK, a copy of this new book of fiction:

THE SPECTRAL LINK by Thomas Ligotti.

Subterranean Press 2014

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My previous reviews etc. about Thomas Ligotti’s work:

The Conspiracy Against The Human Race

‘TEATRO GROTTESCO’ collection

Perpetual Autumn article

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Ligotti’s Didacticism: http://www.ligotti.net/showthread.php?t=8691

Ligotti the Experimentalist: http://www.ligotti.net/showthread.php?t=8678

The Spectral Link (spoilers?): http://www.ligotti.net/showthread.php?t=8677

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Any of my WordPress sites marked as private can be reached by other WordPress users by inserting their normal details then clicking ‘request access’.

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22.7.14
I have now read ‘Metaphysica Morum’, but not yet read ‘The Small People’. I don’t think it’s any accident that Olan is an anagram of Loan, a loan being a two way ‘deal’, infecting and benefiting both ways, just as ‘demoralise’ is, in its modern sense, to make someone lose hope but, in its archaic sense, to strip someone of morals. This story is of the infinitesimal and the immeasurable, both ironic and non-ironic, about futility, where fighting in this literary way for futility is a purpose that outlasts and immortalises the fighter but also this fighter is fighting WITH futility thus landing him back in that bus station toilet where he began.
I am indeed “open to ‘delightful possibilities and interpretations’”, like Dr. O, but also believing “nothing really meant anything”. The story has its own “magnificent symphony” as its ‘new-found context’ for a ‘metaphysical mutant’. Borrow or lend, which comes first? A fascinating tantalisation. Am I ‘uniquely defective’ in thus interpreting this work?

22.7.14 (later)
And now I have read ‘The Small People’…significantly on this the day my own bungalow house begins to take final shape through quite major rebuilding this summer; originally a 1930s built abode into which my wife and I first moved in 1995, the same year that Ligotti’s Bungalow House story was first published. I am now sitting in the back garden writing this in the evening sunshine sometimes gazing up at the reconstituted roof and new dormer extension, the new roof made from the old tiles, now a patchwork of worn and not so worn tiles… “ruins upon inauguration”.
Metaphysica Morum was for me, at times, a sort of Swiftian Modest Proposal; The Small People is more a Gulliver’s Travels merged with Sarban, a genuine masterpiece that will incubate slowly within me… telling of our struggle with entropy and the desperate half-life between offspring and we parents. The vision of the Small People is a unique one, I feel, uniquely defective, like eating backwards…chewing and absorbing ourselves towards where we emerge from the womb, then the womb itself?
The two friends meet in a lavatory in an old park, related to that bus station one in Metaphysica Morum? The spectral link? A gestalt real-time review of one book leading to another book, each word itself a small person dying to express itself, but needing others to join in to give full joined-up meaning.
Is a life a loan with a curse of interest?

23.7.14
It may be significant that the protagonist in ‘The Small People’ addresses a Doctor in telling his tale as a sort of confession, and I imagine this doctor to be Lemuel Gulliver who was a medical doctor and also was imprisoned for public urinating rather than in a toilet or lavatory (although it was to put out a fire that he did it). I was wondering whether there is anything else possibly significant from Swift’s book in relation to Ligotti’s. (I speculatively compared parts of Metaphysica Morum to the Modest Proposal device, for example.)
Having slept on ‘The Spectral Link’, I consider it to be a major work that will continue to resonate with me…

24.7.14
An interview with Ligotti has been issued today here: http://www.ligotti.net/showthread.php?t=8726
This is fascinating and harrowing, and concerns ‘The Spectral Link’. I am split between these following two viewpoints, my heart and my head, but which is which?
1) This is a rich and illuminating interview that helps my future re-reading of the book.
2) It is something that badly infects the book with considerations outside of its published pure text, and this is why I have always tried to resist reading authorial interviews, including the very many Ligotti interviews.
(1) and (2) benefiting as well as infecting like Olan’s ‘loan’?

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Within an Eventernal Summer

It was all predicted in March 2013 with my ‘Relaxed Snowman’ blog and my withdrawal from Facebook in June 2013, including the fact that ‘Horror Without Victims’ was likely to be my final paying publication for other authors (the twelfth such publication). And, in recent days, my own slippage showing up with most of my many WordPress sites starting to vanish from public view, but still clinging on? Who knows what is next?

As promised, I intend to resume real-time reviewing when the current Summer break or Sabbaticess (a form of Eventernal Slumber or Perpetual Autumn?) ceases at the end of August – using the books I have already been showing on this site as recently purchased.

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Harvesting the Moon – Ursula Pflug

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I have just received this book after purchasing it from its publisher.

Harvesting the Moon and other stories
By Ursula Pflug

PS Publishing Ltd 2014
Introduction by Candas Jane Dorsey

Ursula Pflug appeared in Zencore (Nemonymous 7) 2007 and in Null Immortalis (Nemonymous 10) 2010 with ‘Red Velvet Dust’ and ‘Even the Mirror’, respectively.

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Ana Kai Tangata – Scott Nicolay

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I have just received this book after purchasing it from Amazon UK.

Ana Kai Tangata by Scott Nicolay
Tales of the Outer the Other the Damned and the Doomed

Fedogan & Bremer 2014

Introduction by Laird Barron
Afterword by John Pelan (John Palen according to contents list)
Artwork by David Verba

I look forward to real-time reviewing this book once my Sabbatical is over in September.

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SITE RECONSTRUCTION

12 July 2014 Noon

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All my WordPress sites, other than this one, have just closed down from today for a Sabbaticess and an intended reconstruction, but all their current content and links will be preserved unchanged. Currently, you may enter these sites by requesting access if you are a WordPress registered user. Nobody will be refused.*

During this period, if you can’t find a continuation part of any Real-Time Review, you may be able to find it by judiciously googling for its duplicate copy here: http://weirdmonger.livejournal.com
Also you can always obtain from me, duly signed, the complete printed text in book form of any of my past Real-Time Reviews – or direct from the printer at Lulu. Details here: http://dflewisreviews.wordpress.com/rtrs-as-books/
Non profit to me.

My ‘Rameau’s Nephew’ site continues unchanged here: http://weirdmonger.blogspot.co.uk

*All you need to do is sign in normally as a WordPress user and then, on the next page, click ‘request access’. This needs to be repeated for each separate WordPress site.

[This real-time reviews site is nominated for the 2014 BFS award for non-fiction.]

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Mann and Pynchon

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Yesterday, I finished reading the uniquely momentous and monumental Mann’s ‘Doctor Faustus’. My thumbnail thoughts about it HERE. Dead Tooth, Sea-Maid, Young Echo and Germany’s two World Wars in palimpsest. And its accompanying lamentatory music.
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I am continuing the reading of the massive ‘Against the Day’ by Thomas Pynchon. For anyone who enjoys SF like Michael Wyndham Thomas’s ‘Valiant Razalia’, Jules Verne, Dr Who, LOST, Christopher Priest and, dare I say, ‘Nemonymous Night’ – as well as much more that is uniquely Pynchon, with Wild Western Dynamiters and seekers of Iceland Spar…
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Fearful Symmetries

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I have just received FEARFUL SYMMETRIES: edited by Ellen Datlow, as purchased from Amazon UK.

ChiZine Publications (2014)

Stories by: Gemma Files, Nathan Ballingrud, Bruce McAllister, Gary McMahon, Pat Cadigan, Helen Marshall, Terry Dowling, Stephen Graham Jones, Brian Evenson, Jeffrey Ford, Caitlín R. Kiernan, Robert Shearman, Michael Marshall Smith, Kaaron Warren, Laird Barron, Catherine MacLeod, Siobhan Carroll, John Langan, Carole Johnstone, Garth Nix.

My previous review of an Ellen Datlow anthology: Wild Justice.

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Strange Gateways

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I have just received STRANGE GATEWAYS by Simon Kurt Unsworth as purchased from its publisher PS Publishing Ltd

Cover by Jason Van Hollander

My previous reviews of books by this author:
Lost Places – by Simon Kurt Unsworth
Quiet Houses – by Simon Kurt Unsworth

 

 

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Doctor Faustus – Sabbath’s Theater

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During my current sabbatical from real-time reviewing proper, I am due to read , with great anticipation, Doctor Faustus by Thomas Mann (received for tomorrow’s Father’s Day) and Sabbath’s Theater by Philip Roth. The Mann is one I really should have read before now, a novel about a composer, and if it is as great as the same author’s Magic Mountain (my real-time review of it here) – well, surely, it can’t be as great as that! And judging by yesterday’s completed reading of Roth’s American Pastoral (a truly powerful tale of genes with their gloves off, as I put it), then, Sabbath’s Theater looks even more strange and powerful (as a friend has told me when recently recommending Roth to me as a writer to try). Roth is a real find, I feel, for those who share a similar taste for literature as demonstrated by what I have chosen for ‘dreamcatching’ over the last six years…

I continue, meanwhile, to read, in spirts and bouts, the enormous, incomparable Against the Day by Thomas Pynchon, which will possibly take me several months to appreciate properly. I say ‘incomparable’, but if I had read it before 2005 (which I didn’t), then I would have considered it to be a certain influence on my own novel that was published in 2011.

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“Yes, wouldn’t life be so much less futile if we could do it at the scale of one-sixteenth inch to a foot?”
– from American Pastoral by Philip Roth

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Touchstones – John Howard

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I have just received TOUCHSTONES by John Howard: Essays on the Fantastic (Alchemy Press 2014) after having purchased it from Amazon UK.

 

My previous reviews of John Howard works:
The Silver Voices by John Howard
The Defeat of Grief – by John Howard
Secret Europe by John Howard and Mark Valentine
NUMBERED AS SAND OR THE STARS – John Howard
The Emperor’s Pavement by John Howard
Cities and Thrones and Powers by John Howard
Individual John Howard stories in: Beneath the GroundNever AgainCinnabar’s GnosisThe Master in Café MorphineThis Hermetic LegislatureRustblind and SilverbrightHorror Without Victims – The First Book of Classical Horror Stories – Strange Tales IV

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A Pastoral Dyncopation

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Since commencing my Summer sabbatical from gestalt real-time reviewing proper, I have been reading two amazing books: ‘American Pastoral’ by Philip Roth and ‘Against the Day’ by Thomas Pynchon, the latter being a HUGE novel in every sense, where I have, via some tentacular tales of LOST-like dynamiters, reached the end of the first section with a Jules Vernian NEMONYMOUS NIGHT-like entry into a hollow earth by the airship chums. Absolutely breath-taking, adventurous, constructively dense. Priestly Adjacency. The Roth book, meanwhile, is full of Wrath, pacy yet textured, relentless, incantatory…surely something that is capable of changing its readers lives. Genes with their gloves off. About halfway through so far in that one. Only about a tenth of the way through in the Pynchon.
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My previous Real-Time Reviews of British Fantasy Award 2014 nominees

Links:

Dogs With Their Eyes Shut, Paul Meloy (PS Publishing)

Spin, Nina Allan (TTA Press)

Vivian Guppy and the Brighton Belle, Nina Allan (Rustblind and Silverbright)

Whitstable, Stephen Volk (Spectral Press)

Death Walks En Pointe, Thana Niveau (The Burning Circus)

Signs of the Times, Carole Johnstone (Black Static #33)

North American Lake Monsters, Nathan Ballingrud (Small Beer Press)

Rustblind and Silverbright, David Rix (ed.) (Eibonvale Press)

Black Static, Andy Cox (ed.) (TTA Press)

Interzone, Andy Cox (ed.) (TTA Press)

Total list of nominees HERE.

It just proves to me how few I have read among the nominees! Probably why I never feel able to vote.

I would have thought the Colin Insole and Christopher Harman collections might have been included. But there are many other books I would have included in the various categories, and, as I say, I feel I have not read enough to make any choice meaningful. For example, a student of Weird Fiction in any year should have read the Zagava/Ex Occidente canon. And likewise, I myself have no doubt missed out on other large canons of stuff that should be considered for award.

My own 2013 collection (‘A Dead Monument To Once Ancient Hope’ – “…as much a ‘D.F. Lewis’ collection as it is an Ex Occidente Press homage to an European icon.”), and my 2013  edited anthology (‘Horror Without Victims’ – “… this is among the strongest anthologies published in 2013 and confirms Lewis’ standing as one of the most innovative editors currently working in the field of fantastic literature.” – Black Static review), and my Small Press Organization (Megazanthus Press) should have been nominated – well, of course!

Seriously, I am very grateful and proud that my ‘gestalt real-time reviewing’ itself has been nominated. Thanks so much. And congratulations to all nominees. And thanks to the British Fantasy Awards administrator for his hard work.

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Today’s skyline — I have never before seen the North Sea with such a blue colour since I moved to this coast nearly 20 years ago:
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More of my skylines, trees, rocks and items of ‘found art’ on my main blog if you scroll gradually through it.

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Burnt Black Suns – Simon Strantzas

 

bbsBURNT BLACK SUNS by Simon Strantzas
Hippocampus Press 2014

I have just received this book as purchased from the publisher.
Cover Art by Santiago Caruso
Foreword  by Laird Barron

My previous reviews of Simon Strantzas books:

Beneath The Surface

Cold to the Touch

Nightingale Songs

 

 

 

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Summonings – Ron Weighell

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I have just received my purchased copy of SUMMONINGS: a collection by Ron Weighell (Sarob Press 2014)

Dust Jacket  & Signature Page Art by Santiago Caruso

My previous review of this author’s ‘Tarshishim’ HERE.

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