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  • eine
    replied
    Ahh - a friend was telling me about this - Moorcock had M John Harrison reviewing books for New Worlds when he was 16 or so, right? Have a strong stomach for avant guarde lit so I will enjoy this.

    Sometimes I wish I was a Borg and was endless and cold and could assimilate IT ALL.

    Leave a comment:


  • Sonovox
    replied
    Originally posted by eine View Post
    Have absolutely no idea what 'New Worlds' style is
    Basically, in the 60s the British SF magazine 'New Worlds' started to be used as a vehicle for 'avant garde' literary techniques, ultimately resulting in tons of experimental weird writing, and/or the wheels falling off. Lots of interesting stuff from this period. Check out the section on New Worlds And The New Wave on this Wikipedia page for more.

    Leave a comment:


  • eine
    replied
    Originally posted by medlar View Post
    Simon King Of The Witches - exploito trash to tie in with the film of the same name. I expect Pencilface knows the film, it's trash but actually quite enjoyable
    Plot, Simon wants to become a magician etc etc. The book adds lashings of extra sex and trash.
    Collectable paperback alert! Nice.

    Originally posted by medlar View Post
    The Clay Machine Gun - Not finished, but this is rather absurdist stuff by the author who describes it as 'the first novel in world literature which takes place in an absolute void'. So far we've had vodka, cocaine, Arnie Schwarzennegar and Lenin.
    Very very Russian.
    I've read Omon Ra by Pelevin, lots of cosmonaut fantasy. Pretty ace from memory

    Originally posted by Sonovox View Post
    If you can handle the 'New Worlds' style of new wave SF writing, then track down 'The Machine In Shaft Ten', a collection of his early short stories. The title story in particular is a minor masterpiece of deadpan weirdness.

    His 'Viriconium' novels are well-regarded; they are kind of similar to Gene Wolfe's 'Book Of The New Sun' sequence in that a) they are set in the distant future combining fantasy tropes with irruptions of ancient technology, b) I didn't find them very engaging.
    Have absolutely no idea what 'New Worlds' style is, but I was pretty impressed by this M. John Harrison. His style is a bit fussy, but it really got into my head. Not sure I can take a sequence of sci-fi novels, but thanks, I've just bought 'The Machine In Shaft Ten' - looks like there's been a bit of a price war on Amazon and you can get the very lovely Panther Science Fiction softback for

    Leave a comment:


  • Sonovox
    replied
    Originally posted by eine View Post
    M John Harrison is new to me - another sci-fi writer, but this book is not sci-fi, but rather an hallucinatory story of contemporary magic, passion and an imagined medieval spiritual zone manifesting in the heart of Europe. It's VERY odd, wonderfully written and metaphysically psychedelic in its effect. When I was in the midst of it I felt I my morals and values were tripping out. Certainly changes how you look at the world. Any others dig him/recommend more?
    If you can handle the 'New Worlds' style of new wave SF writing, then track down 'The Machine In Shaft Ten', a collection of his early short stories. The title story in particular is a minor masterpiece of deadpan weirdness.

    His 'Viriconium' novels are well-regarded; they are kind of similar to Gene Wolfe's 'Book Of The New Sun' sequence in that a) they are set in the distant future combining fantasy tropes with irruptions of ancient technology, b) I didn't find them very engaging.

    Leave a comment:


  • medlar
    replied
    Originally posted by alanmck View Post
    milieu/ genre/ themes/ reasons for recommendation/ plots/ etc?
    Scott - classic, I would have thought most people know of it. His first trip to Antarctica. Very well written with an extraordinary level of detail. I have lined up next his diaries from his second fateful trip

    Simon King Of The Witches - exploito trash to tie in with the film of the same name. I expect Pencilface knows the film, it's trash but actually quite enjoyable
    Plot, Simon wants to become a magician etc etc. The book adds lashings of extra sex and trash.

    Tibetan Skylines - apparently Eckvall was a missionary in Tibet before the Chinese rolled it. Truly wonderful book where the author gets let into Tibetan society and in simple but effective prose tells of various adventures during his stay in Tibet.

    The Clay Machine Gun - Not finished, but this is rather absurdist stuff by the author who describes it as 'the first novel in world literature which takes place in an absolute void'. So far we've had vodka, cocaine, Arnie Schwarzennegar and Lenin.
    Very very Russian.

    Leave a comment:


  • alanmck
    replied
    Originally posted by medlar View Post
    Recently finished:

    Robert Falcon Scott – The Voyage Of The Discovery
    Baldwin Hills - Simon King Of The Witches
    Robert Eckvall – Tibetan Skylines

    And currently reading:

    Victor Pelevin – The Clay Machine-Gun

    All recommended
    milieu/ genre/ themes/ reasons for recommendation/ plots/ etc?

    Leave a comment:


  • medlar
    replied
    Recently finished:

    Robert Falcon Scott – The Voyage Of The Discovery
    Baldwin Hills - Simon King Of The Witches
    Robert Eckvall – Tibetan Skylines

    And currently reading:

    Victor Pelevin – The Clay Machine-Gun

    All recommended

    Leave a comment:


  • Filthy Rich
    replied
    Originally posted by eine View Post
    That sounds great Rich. I like the hardback artwork:

    Yeah, nicer than the softback I've got which is ok.

    Leave a comment:


  • eine
    replied
    That sounds great Rich. I like the hardback artwork:

    Leave a comment:


  • Filthy Rich
    replied
    Just reading Mumbo Jumbo by Ishmael Reed - it's a kind of conspiracy theory meets reevaluation of black/white culture set in 20s NY. A contagious dance called Jes Grew is spreading around the US and its influence is being resisted by a sinister secret group called The Wallflower Order (they don't dance I guess) who are in league with the Templars. The good guys are voodoo practitioners and the mutafika group who steal non-western art from museums and redistribute it to its country of origin. I haven't had as much time as I'd like to read it though cos I'm so busy but I am certainly enjoying it.

    Leave a comment:


  • eine
    replied
    Originally posted by ladyboygrimsby View Post
    I have just finished reading Jonas Jonasson's The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out Of A Window & Disappeared. What a fantastic book, delightfully bonkers, and actually quite eccentrically English in its writing style. It reminded me very much of a novelistic version of the EAling comedies.

    One of my favourite lines:
    President Lyndon Johnson had ordered beer and vodka to be served with the food, because French wine reminded him of Frenchman and this was meant to be an enjoyable evening.
    A few other people I've been speaking to have read this. Can't remember who they are and their opinions but this book is certainly making ambient ripples around me.

    I have recently read Valis by Philip K Dick and The Course of The Heart by M. John Harrison.





    Both have mystic and gnostic themes. The first is ostensibly sci-fi and has 70s rock stars in it who make a trashy sci-fi film with a moog soundtrack which communicates knowledge about God/a sateillite in space to Philip K Dick's alter-ego Horselover Fat. I thought it was great but you have to have a high tolerance for mysticism to enjoy it (everyone here would love the 70s rock star film scene though).

    M John Harrison is new to me - another sci-fi writer, but this book is not sci-fi, but rather an hallucinatory story of contemporary magic, passion and an imagined medieval spiritual zone manifesting in the heart of Europe. It's VERY odd, wonderfully written and metaphysically psychedelic in its effect. When I was in the midst of it I felt I my morals and values were tripping out. Certainly changes how you look at the world. Any others dig him/recommend more?

    Leave a comment:


  • Mondays Child
    replied
    Originally posted by jakartajive View Post
    Read this - by John Williams from 1965 - on holiday and would recommend it to anyone still interested in perfectly shaped novels.



    Forget the misleading title with its unfortunate modern connotations, this is simply an achingly beautiful and emotionally true rendering of a life most ordinary, which somehow becomes transformed in the telling into something universal.
    Remarkable subtle moving stuff.
    Just got this in a batch of other books because my other half bought a few for her book club. Very much looking forward to reading it when I get some time.
    The wife wants me to read 'Oh Dear Sylvia' by Dawn French but I'm not convinced!

    Leave a comment:


  • jakartajive
    replied
    Read this - by John Williams from 1965 - on holiday and would recommend it to anyone still interested in perfectly shaped novels.



    Forget the misleading title with its unfortunate modern connotations, this is simply an achingly beautiful and emotionally true rendering of a life most ordinary, which somehow becomes transformed in the telling into something universal.
    Remarkable subtle moving stuff.

    Leave a comment:


  • ladyboygrimsby
    replied
    I have just finished reading Jonas Jonasson's The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out Of A Window & Disappeared. What a fantastic book, delightfully bonkers, and actually quite eccentrically English in its writing style. It reminded me very much of a novelistic version of the EAling comedies.

    One of my favourite lines:
    President Lyndon Johnson had ordered beer and vodka to be served with the food, because French wine reminded him of Frenchman and this was meant to be an enjoyable evening.

    Leave a comment:


  • eine
    replied
    Originally posted by ginghamkitchen View Post
    You had me at the cover, the description was a bonus.
    I think it's great! You can read it all online but I don't have the patience for it. There's a very good (book grading) copy on Amazon for a tenner all in right now. Can't recommend it enough - a pleasant way to pass a couple of hours.

    Leave a comment:

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