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Arthur Machen

Arthur Machen(1863-1947)
Arthur Machen was born in Wales in 1863. His Celtic heritage left an indelible impression on him, for his writings are an elaborate and rich tapestry of ancient, yet timeless themes. He believed that the superficialiity of the modern world offered little in exchange for the colorful customs and imagery of the past. You can read some of Arthur Marchen’s work at this website devoted to him.

The Great God Pan: A horror classic

The Great God Pan by Arthur Machen

Written in 1894, Arthur Machen’s The Great God Pan is a short novel which was highly influential to H.P. Lovecraft and Stephen King. King, in fact, said The Great God Pan is “…one of the best horror stories ever written. Maybe the best in the English language. Mine isn’t anywhere near that good…” The Great God Pan used to be hard to find, but is now available free on the Kindle (and at other public domain e-book outlets) and is easily read in one dark and rainy evening... Read More

The House of Souls: The Best of Arthur Machen

The House of Souls: The Best of Arthur Machen by Arthur Machen

I had been wanting to check out Arthur Machen's 1906 collection of short stories, entitled The House of Souls, for quite some time; ever since I had read two highly laudatory pieces written about this work and its author. The first was H.P. Lovecraft's comments in his widely referred to essay "Supernatural Horror in Literature," in which he claims "Of living creators of cosmic fear raised to its most artistic pitch, few if any can hope to equal the versatile Arthur Machen." And, in Jones & Newman's excellent overview volume Horror: 100 Best Books, T.E.D. Klein, in his essay on The House of... Read More

SHORTS: Cho, Machen, Rambo, Scalzi, Andrews

SHORTS: Our column exploring free and inexpensive short fiction available on the internet. Here are a few stories we've recently read that we wanted you to know about.

“Head of a Snake, Tail of a Dragon” by Zen Cho (2018, free on the author’s website)

This short story is a delightful sequel to Zen Cho's Hugo award-winning novelette, “If at First You Don't Succeed, Try, Try Again.” And both are free online, so win-win!

Jin-Dae is an imugi, a magical serpent that can — if it learns and grows in the right way — turn into a dragon. But Jin-Dae has no particular interest in becoming a dragon; she's just fine with her life the way it is. Except that there aren't as ... Read More

Weird Tales: The Magazine That Never Dies

Weird Tales: The Magazine that Never Dies edited by Marvin Kaye

Marvin Kaye's Weird Tales: The Magazine That Never Dies anthology from 1988 takes a slightly different tack than its earlier sister volume, Weird Tales: 32 Unearthed Terrors. Whereas the editors of that earlier collection chose to select one story from each year of the magazine's celebrated 32-year run (1923-1954), Kaye has decided here to not just limit himself to the periodical's classic era of 279 issues, but to also include tales from each of the four latter-day incarnations of "The Unique Magazine" (from 1973-87). The result is 45 pieces of generally superb speculative fantasy and horror, including six "Weird Tales Reprints" by such luminaries as Dickens, Poe, Flaubert and Stoker, as well as Otis Adelbert Kline's "Why Weird Tales?," an article that clearly delineated the magazine's goals and intentions in its first anniversary issue, the one dated May/June/July... Read More

More books by Arthur Machen

Arthur Machen The Great God PanThe Inmost Light — (1894) A scientist imprisons his wife’s soul in a shining jewel, letting something else into her untenanted body, but the jewel is stolen before he can reverse this.Arthur Machen book reviews The Hill of Dreams

The Hill of Dreams — (1907) Publisher: But already about the town the darkness was forming; fast, fast the shadows crept upon it from the forest, and from all sides banks and wreaths of curling mist were gathering, as if a ghostly leaguer were being built up against the city, and the strange race who lived in its streets. Suddenly there burst out fro the stillness the clear an piercing music of the réveillé, calling, recalling, iterated, reiterated, and ending with one long high fierce shrill note.

The Great Return — (1915) Publisher: They were purged as if they had passed through the Furnace of the Sages governed with Wisdom that the alchemists know. They spoke without much difficulty of what they had seen, or had seemed to see, with their eyes, but hardly at all of what their hearts had known when for a moment the glory of the fiery rose had been about them. Arthur Machen The Green Round book reviews

The Green Round — (1932) Publisher: Why is studious, bookish, quiet Lawrence Hillyer suddenly reviled and shunned by his fellow holiday-makers at a genteel Pembrokeshire coastal resort? Why is staunch and respectable Mrs Jolly, a landlady of many years seniority, all at once the source of police interest and knowing looks from her neighbours? What weird projectile smashed suburban Mr Horncastle’s domed glasshouse from such an improbable distance? What is the inner secret of the Reverend Thomas Hampole’s modest little book recounting his rambles in lesser-known London? What draws an eminent nerve specialist to study all this with such deep interest? Arthur Machen includes within the pages of The Green Round all of the many interests and preoccupations of his writing career. His hero, Hillyer, takes a holiday in West Wales and visits the “Green Round”, a mysterious natural hollow. He soon finds that he has acquired an unwanted shadow, and the novel becomes a study in disclocated parallel realities. With a perceptive new introduction by Machen’s most recent biographer, Mark Valentine.

The Best Weird Tales of Arthur Machen:

Some of the finest horror stories ever written. Arthur Machen had a profound impact upon H.P. Lovecraft and the group of stories that would later become known as the Cthulhu Mythos.

fantasy book reviews Three Imposters The Terror The White People Story CollectionVolume 1: Three Imposters and Other Stories — The first volume of Chaosium’s Arthur Machen collection begins with the chilling “The Three Impostors” in its complete form, including the rarely seen sections “The Decorative Imagination” and “The Novel of the Iron Maid.” Rounding out the first volume are “The Great God Pan,” “The Inmost Light,” and “The Shining Pyramid,” all are excellent tales. Introduction by S.T. Joshi.

fantasy book reviews Three Imposters The Terror The White People Story CollectionVolume 2: The White People and Other Stories — Born in Wales in 1863, Machen was a London journalist for much of his life. Among his fiction, he may be best known for the allusive, haunting title story of this book, “The White People”, which H.P. Lovecraft thought to be the second greatest horror story ever written (after Blackwood’s “The Wilows”). This wide ranging collection also includes the crystalline novelette “A Fragment of Life”, & “The Angel of Mons” (a story so widely reported that it was imagined true by millions in the grim initial days of the Great War), and “The Great Return” telling of the stately visions which graced the Welsh village of Llantristant for a time. Four more tales and the poetical “Ornaments in Jade” are all finely told. This is the second Machen volume edited by S.T. Joshi and published by Chaosium.

fantasy book reviews Three Imposters The Terror The White People Story CollectionVolume 3: The Terror and Other Stories — The complete version of “The Terror”, “The Lost Club”, “Munitions of War”, “The Islington Mystery”, “Johnny Double,””The Cosy Room”, “Opening the Door”, “The Children of The Pool”, “The Bright Boy”, “Out Of The Picture”, “Change”, “The Dover Road”, “Ritual”.