What are we reading in Spooky October?

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What are we reading in Spooky October?

Editado: Nov 1, 2022, 1:03 pm

Dusty's TBR for October
SF/F genres
Roger Zelazny - A Night in the Lonesome October
C L Moore - Jirel of Joiry
Murray Leinster - First Contact
H P Lovecraft - The Outsider ✔
Clark Ashton Smith - Dweller in the Gulf
Neil Gaiman - Coraline
Edgar Allan Poe - The Raven

from other genres
John Masefield - The Box of Delights
Georgette Heyer - The Convenient Marriage
Dennis E Taylor - Heaven' River

Set 30, 2022, 3:43 pm

I'm going to line up The Martian Chronicles before too much longer, something I've been meaning to read for a while.

Set 30, 2022, 4:06 pm

>2 Cecrow:
I read The Martian Chronicles just a few years ago. Edition history is worth paying attention to for this book, and I think I'd recommend the pre-1997 editions.

Editado: Set 30, 2022, 8:39 pm

>3 paradoxosalpha:, looks like that's what I have, whew.

Edit: it's a Simon & Schuster printing from 2012, but the story begins in 1999 and ends in 2026. It doesn't have the 1997 story swaps that Wikipedia describes. So I guess the original pre-1979 is still being used in some printings.

Editado: Set 30, 2022, 5:30 pm

Both The Martian Chronicles and Stranger in a Strange Land got new editions in the 1990s that were inferior to the originals, and that have since been treated as standard editions. Something in the air, maybe, but sad for Mars. Bradbury had a hand in the "updating" of his book, I think. Heinlein was the victim of a posthumous un-editing in which the book was reverted to a bloated earlier manuscript, sacrificing the author's edits that had tightened it up considerably.

Set 30, 2022, 8:11 pm

>5 paradoxosalpha: That is so disappointing! Why would editors do that to what were already classics of SciFi?

Set 30, 2022, 8:17 pm

Having an old edition of Martian Chronicles myself, I didn't realize the 1990s-era editions changed anything other than updating the dates.

Editado: Set 30, 2022, 9:16 pm

>4 Cecrow:

I'm glad to hear that the original edit has seen 21st-century printings. I know that there have been re-issues of the original text of Stranger too, but it has definitely become easier to find the "original uncut" (i.e. posthumously de-edited) edition, both new and secondhand, over the course of the last three decades. It always pains me to see recent reviews that indict the book for being tedious or overlong, where the reviewer was obviously a victim of the later edition ignorant of the edition history.

>6 Neil_Luvs_Books: Why ... ?

In the case of Stranger, I'm afraid it must have been motivated by the opportunity to sell an "unexpurgated" edition to readers who had already bought the original book.

The Martian Chronicles seems to have been changed in a futile attempt to stay ahead of the curve of history. But it was really a product of the US ca. 1950, and that's integral to its virtues.

>7 lorax: anything other than updating the dates.

A couple of stories got swapped out.

Out 1, 2022, 9:03 am

I think that I'll get to Mexican Gothic this month. I'm not sure what else.

Out 1, 2022, 4:01 pm

I sped through the two shorts contained in Celia Fremlin's Ghostly stories, which are sparse but very efficiently told examples of the form.

I'm also continuing to read Evil roots: Killer tales of the botanical gothic. It's nice to be re-acquainted with some classics (e.g. Hawthorne's Rappaccini's daughter), and to discover more spookiness by H.G. Wells and Charlotte Perkins Gilman.

Editado: Out 2, 2022, 5:46 am

Every year I start A Night in the Lonesome October intending to do it the traditional way,reading one day's diary entry on the specific day,but as usual I've just got to read more. Day 2,October 2nd,and I'm already on the October 12th section! lol.I usually read ahead,then stop and re-engage on 31st,to read the final attempt to open the gate.Such an engaging romp,and a nice windup to Roger's career.
Today I will read Clark Ashton Smith's Dweller in the Gulf. Why do I hope against hope for a different,kinder outcome to the story? :0) Also will read another tale in the Jirel of Joiry book.
Apart from this, off genre I am doing a nice comfort reread (5th? 6th? 7th? reread?) of a Georgette Heyer regency romp.

Out 2, 2022, 11:47 pm

>13 dustydigger: Thanks for the reminder, I picked up Night in the Lonesome October to read, but would have forgotten!

In the meantime, I'm reading a previous ER book, Face of the Waters by Robert Silverberg, which so far has a very Majipoor feel to it.

Out 3, 2022, 10:12 am

Prompted by another thread, I'm re-reading The Castle of Otranto as my spooky entry for October. Also a comic anthology, You Died, which is a mix of non-fiction and supernatural shorts.

No SFF for the moment.

Out 3, 2022, 2:16 pm

>10 Shrike58: I too have August Kitko and The City Inside on the list for this month, thanks to my local library.

Out 3, 2022, 4:50 pm

After a sojourn in reading about some sobering reality, I've returned to SFF with Exodus from the Long Sun.

Out 4, 2022, 8:41 am

Finished Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia. Liked it well enough. Next up is The Golden Enclaves by Naomi Novik.

Out 4, 2022, 1:23 pm

Finished Who Fears Death, going non-SF for E is for Evidence, then onto Metaphase, the third in the Starfarers tetralogy.

Out 5, 2022, 9:05 am

I've just started Expiration date by Tim Powers, after enjoying Last call.

Out 5, 2022, 1:07 pm

>20 Sakerfalcon: Just last night, I finished Earthquake Weather, the book that ties those two titles together. Glad to hear you liked Last Call. It's one of my favorite Tim Powers novels.

For the rest of October, I plan to finish Sunshine, which I dipped a toe into last night, followed by Certain Dark Things. Then, I will dive into Jeff Vandermeer's City of Saints and Madmen. If I find time, I might also re-read We Have Always Lived in the Castle, but my copy of Jake Arnott's The House of Rumour is also beckoning, so I may pick that up instead.

Out 6, 2022, 8:15 am

>21 ScoLgo: And you are about to read some of my favourite books too! Sunshine, Certain dark things, City of saints and madmen and We have always lived in the castle are books I reread frequently.

Out 6, 2022, 2:05 pm

>22 Sakerfalcon: That's good to hear! I'm ~100 pages into Sunshine at the moment and liking it quite a bit.

Out 6, 2022, 2:45 pm

>22 Sakerfalcon: & >23 ScoLgo:. Sunshine is a very different sort of vampire novel. I liked it, too.

Out 6, 2022, 4:09 pm

Reading my last Kairos novel by Madeleine L'Engle, An Acceptable Time.

Out 6, 2022, 7:21 pm

I was looking for a gonzo adventure story from August Kitko and the Mechas from Space, and I pretty much got what I wanted; good times.

Out 7, 2022, 10:01 am

I finally read Scalzi's The Ghost Brigades and it reminded me how much I love military sci-fi. So I've gone and grabbed Fifteen Hours, the first of the WH40k Imperial Guard series. I imagine more of that and some David Drake is on the horizon. Of course my Read List has a life of its own, so who knows.

Out 7, 2022, 12:46 pm

Almost done with The Face of the Waters by Silverberg, which is definitely speculative fiction, not scifi. In the beginning it reminded me of the Majipoor books, but it really isn't much like them once you get into it.

Out 7, 2022, 5:33 pm

It was lovely revisting dear old Jirel of Joiry She still can put many of the modern kick - butt sword wielding fantasy heroines of the genre in the shade,even after 90 years.Its put me in a C L Moore reading mood. Must search out the Best of C L Moore collection,and perhaps some Lewis Padgett stuff too. Maybe next month.

Out 8, 2022, 5:43 pm

Reading Face by Joma West. Wow. And it's a first novel, too (though not first published work). I'm not sure what to say about it, but it's blurbed by Sylvain Heuvel, Claire North, Samit Basu, Andrea Hairston, TL Huchu, Genevieve Cogman, and Oliver Langmead. Kinda brilliant. I predict that it's a strong contender for the Clarke Award (not a thought I usually have).

Out 9, 2022, 7:55 am

>30 karenb:. I'm putting that one on my wish list. Thanks.

Out 9, 2022, 5:04 pm

I finished reading Utopia Avenue and posted my review. I've moved on to the just-published Arkham Horror novel In the Coils of the Labyrinth, and in other "seasonal" reading, I've got a library-borrowed copy of the graphic novel version of Gaiman's A Study in Emerald.

Editado: Out 11, 2022, 8:59 am

Oh dear,couldnt resist reading ahead in Night in the Lonesome October and finished it at 4 am this morning when I was in pain and couldnt sleep. I had intended to keep the last part,October 31st,to read on Halloween night,but couldnt resist! :0)
I have almost completed The Book of Three and next up are short stories,Murray Leinster First Contact and HPLs The Shadow out of Time.I always feel so sorry for the poor protagonist.Then its Coraline.......black button eyes........eek!

Out 11, 2022, 11:02 am

I plan to start Clifford Simak's City at lunch today.

Out 11, 2022, 7:40 pm

>34 dustydigger: The Shadow out of Time is one of my favorite HPL stories. Classic Lovecraft: the scientific journalism beginning; the advanced alien race; the purple-prose ending with its ghastly final revelation that pushes him over the edge. Chilling (an adjective which HPL would've found more scary than the story :-) )

Out 12, 2022, 7:37 am

Worcester Public Library's SF Book Club is reading Frederik Pohl's Gateway for October. Not spooky.

I'm personally reading a graphic novel biography of Bela Lugosi on Hoopla.

I've been hearing about Babel by R.F. Kuang from my husband.

Seeing the mention of Lovecraft: I read a bit about some of his stuff being connected to the 1918 influenza pandemic in Viral Modernism. I've got a whole bunch of his stuff on my tablet: I should dive in finally.

Out 12, 2022, 9:42 am

>37 AmyMacEvilly:
I'd recommend "The Colour Out of Space" as a first go. It's creepy, sfnal, and one of HPL's own favorites.

Out 12, 2022, 3:11 pm

Re-reading The Dreaming Void and enjoying it as much as the first time around.

Out 12, 2022, 7:38 pm

Finished The Last Adventure of Constance Verity, an effective send-up of pulp serial heroes with the best character the author has ever come up with.

Out 13, 2022, 1:10 am

Starting to read The Temps, a new novel by a guy out of the Twin Cities, Andrew DeYoung. As someone who has worked as a temp in the past, this could be interesting or it could be horrifying. Stay tuned!

Out 13, 2022, 12:51 pm

Finished Metaphase, started Nova Swing.

Out 13, 2022, 4:28 pm

>42 ChrisRiesbeck: how did you like Metaphase?

Out 14, 2022, 12:50 pm

I'm (re)reading M. T. Anderson's Landscape with Invisible Hand in preparation for teaching it next week.

Out 14, 2022, 1:57 pm

>43 Neil_Luvs_Books: A step up from Transition which was a step up from Starfarers. There's more time spent with an alien intelligence and hence somewhat less time spent on the handful of crew members who are wearing out their welcome, as far as I'm concerned.

Out 14, 2022, 3:38 pm

>44 Stevil2001: Sounds a bit like The Greks bring Gifts by Murray Leinster.

Out 14, 2022, 5:09 pm

Just finished Exodus from the Long Sun. I feel as though Wolfe painted his characters into a number of different corners at the end of the third book, and they spend the first two thirds of this one talking their ways out of said corners. It also seems odd that when the Flier talks of Mainframe, which is where Fliers are located but which all the characters we've met so far think of as some sort of afterlife, and of worlds beyond the Whorl, the world-ship they've all been inhabiting, everyone seems to take that conceptual shift in their stride. I'm beginning to get the feeling that endings aren't Wolfe's forté.

Now for a change of focus - next up is New Worlds, in the 1991 relaunch edited by David Garnett.

Out 15, 2022, 12:03 am

I wrapped up my read of In the Coils of the Labyrinth and posted my review. Now I'm moving along to Men, Martians, and Machines.

Out 16, 2022, 4:21 pm

Added The Spare Man by Mary Robinette Kowal to my rotation.

Out 17, 2022, 5:46 am

Finished Expiration date, which I didn't like quite as much as Last call but still enjoyed. Moving on to Earthquake weather.

Out 20, 2022, 4:58 am

Forgot to post here that I was reading Station Eternity, first in a series of sfnal murder mysteries. This book took place mostly on a space station with a variety of aliens (and a few humans).

Out 20, 2022, 7:05 am

Had the opportunity to read A Half-Built Garden. While I'm happy to have gotten a new novel from Ruthanna Emrys, that she is using this story to basically vent her unhappiness and defiance against the contemporary American political and social scene will not be to everyone's taste.

Out 20, 2022, 5:18 pm

I finished Men, Martians and Machines and posted my review. It was really nothing to write home about.

I think I'll dive into VanderMeer's Ambergris next.

Out 20, 2022, 6:37 pm

Out 20, 2022, 6:53 pm

>53 paradoxosalpha: Are you reading the omnibus or each novel of the trilogy separately? I'm well into the appendices of City of Saints and Madmen at the moment and really enjoying it, (there is more humour than I expected). I ended up buying both the Ambergris omnibus and a trade paperback of the first volume because the omnibus lacks the extras, (with the exception of The Cage, which I now have three copies of since it also appears in The Weird).

Out 20, 2022, 7:01 pm

>55 ScoLgo:

I've got the omnibus, which is so materially lovely. I'm sorry to hear that the contents are less than complete!

Out 20, 2022, 9:50 pm

>56 paradoxosalpha: Here are pics of the ToC in each:

The Ambergris Omnibus: (ISBN: 0374103178)


City of Saints and Madmen (ISBN: 1509848150)

I would estimate that the items in the appendix comprise at least half of the book. I first became aware of this issue when reading Amazon reviews while contemplating the purchase. As I mentioned, I ended up buying both. It actually was less expensive than buying the trilogy in trade paperback. Plus, the omnibus is a very nice hardback.

Editado: Out 21, 2022, 12:46 pm

I did a reread of Neil Gaiman's Coraline. I'm glad I am reading as an adult,dont know if I could have coped with it as a child!lol.Spooky,scary,weird,atmospheric,and perfect for Spooky October.
Certainly a worthy winner of the novella section of the Hugo,Nebula,BFSA,Stoker and Locus awards,and also nominated for the Mythopeoic and World Fantasy awards.Thats really impressive. Good stuff.Continuing on with Murray Leinster First Contact and John Masefield Box of Delights
Also working through Heaven's River Love stories about megastructures,Big Dumb Objects and the like.But 635 pages is a wee bit excessive ,dont you think?

Out 21, 2022, 12:47 pm

>57 ScoLgo:
I might try the public library for City of Saints and Madmen to read the Moorcock intro and the appendices after I've read the first book in the omnibus.

Out 23, 2022, 12:50 pm

Finished Nova Swing, did another Grafton with F is for Fugitive, and just started the final Starfarers novel Nautilus.

Out 23, 2022, 1:35 pm

>59 paradoxosalpha:

Although some of the appendices are almost unreadable - without working for it. I have the version which has the encrypted version of "The Man Who Had No Eyes". ISTR there is one item which has loads of redacted text too.

Out 23, 2022, 9:27 pm

Reading Thistlefoot, which is pretty spooky, even without the graveyard scenes.

Out 24, 2022, 5:35 am

Finished Earthquake weather this weekend. I really enjoyed this trilogy, and I'm glad I read the books back to back as there were some subtle callbacks to the first book (in addition to the obvious plot points) that I'd have missed if I hadn't.

Out 26, 2022, 12:41 am

Inspired by other posts, I've just reread The Shadow Out of Time, and am going on to The Shadow Over Innsmouth. If I get on a roll I might go on to The Rats in the Walls, an old favorite. By then I'll be ready for some heartwarming, life-affirming upbeat novel. :-)

Out 26, 2022, 8:56 am

Finished The Spare Man by Mary Robinette Kowal. Enjoyable. Next up is Memento by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman.

Out 27, 2022, 10:20 am

Finished Memento by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. Liked it.

Editado: Out 29, 2022, 11:43 am

Made a start on Gridiron (vt The Grid in some markets where the original title would make the book sink without trace under a flood of sports titles). Some of Philip Kerr's earlier titles bestrode the gap between sf and techno-thriller, though this one seems more techno-thriller. Havig said that, there's some subtle world-building going on; though written in 1995, most things seem pretty relatable to the world of 2022 - so much so, that when a character used someone else's phone, I was surprised when the conversation finished and they put down the receiver.

Out 27, 2022, 9:17 pm

Finished The City Inside; not the first quasi-dystopian slice of life novel I've ever read, but a good example of the type. I'd read more by this author.

Out 28, 2022, 4:21 am

Doing a re-read of The Quantum Thief for my SF&F book group.

Out 28, 2022, 6:36 am

Finished Heaven's River and Murray Leinster's influential novelette First Contact plus HPLs wonderful The Outsider So sad. And it leaves us with so many unanswered questions about that underground castle. What did the narrator do to be left there? Good stuff.
Keeping Ted Sturgeon's It and for halloween evening,for now am reading The Box of DelightsThe Raven

Out 28, 2022, 10:31 am

I finally got to A Night in the Lonesome October by Zelazny. Good stuff. Nothing like his other works, but a fun read.

Out 28, 2022, 11:01 am

Making slow progress, but having a great time with Ambergris. The first section was like The Divinity Student or The Physiognomy. The second has features of Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, The Third Policeman, and "V.R.T." from The Fifth Head of Cerberus.

As much as I like all of that stuff, I don't feel like the coherence and craftsmanship of this work quite measures up to what VanderMeer did later in the Southern Reach books.

Out 28, 2022, 11:41 am

I am just finishing the Witches of Lychford series by Paul Cornell - it is really very fun with just enough actual drama to keep the plot going. Somehow he manages to fully develop characters and plots and settings in less than 200 pages; there are five parts to the series and I haven't been able to put them down all week.

Out 29, 2022, 7:36 pm

I finally finished The Boy Who Would Live Forever by Frederik Pohl. Took me nearly two months! 😜 Clearly it wasn’t as engaging for me as his previous works. Next up is William Gibson’s The Peripheral. I want to read it before I watch the series on Amazon Prime.

Out 30, 2022, 6:41 pm

>74 Neil_Luvs_Books: Good plan. I've watched two episodes so far and it pretty well looks like the book felt to me that far in.

Out 31, 2022, 3:21 pm

Starting The book eaters by Sunyi Dean, new to me. Blend of SF & fantasy in that some of the characters may be aliens and are trying to treat certain problems with science.

Out 31, 2022, 4:05 pm

>73 Darth-Heather:
I am glad you like them.

Out 31, 2022, 7:06 pm

Nov 1, 2022, 8:20 am

I read Terry Pratchett's The Dark Side of the Sun. Very impressed: it has some of the humour of his mock-fantasy books, but it also stands in its own right as a decent SF novel in the genre it is partly parodying.

Nov 1, 2022, 12:23 pm

Quick read: Eat the rich is a graphic novel written by Sarah Gailey with art by Pius Bak and colors by Roman Titov. Takes the title literally.

Nov 1, 2022, 2:14 pm

>77 pgmcc: they were really delightful. And you got me with another BB - I just finished The Green Man's Gift and am still greatly enjoying the series!

Nov 1, 2022, 2:20 pm

Finished Nautilus, the last of the StarFarers tetralogy before the month ended. The half that focus on relating to aliens is pretty good, the half that focuses on humans relating to each other is pretty weak.

Nov 1, 2022, 3:52 pm

>81 Darth-Heather:
I am glad to be of service.


Editado: Nov 6, 2022, 9:11 am

While at a book sale I picked up a like new condition Orbit 1. It was nice to read some old scfi short stories, though several of them were more horror than scifi. Good stuff.

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