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Books reminiscent of Fallen London Messages in this topic - RSS

Amsfield
Amsfield
Posts: 176

11/2/2017
It has taken me entirely too long to discover this thread.
If you are comfortable with YA I recommend Robin Jarvis. Pretty much all his books have a fitting tone of bizarre, wonderful horror through out, but I'd especially recommend both The Deptford Mice Trilogy (and the prequel Deptford Histories) and Deathscent. (The Whitby Witches are also great books, but less London-y)

The Deptford Mice stories are set largely in, and under, a London full of lurking menace (well, the middle book is set in the country with lurking menace)and certain thematic similarities to these childhood favorites might be part of why FL appeal so much to me.

Deathscent is Elizabethan, rather than Victorian, and therefore less urban focused, but still has some similarities. There is plenty of steampunk oddness, with archaic scientific theories being realised, very complicated otherworldly presences and a sense of doom. Its effectively a story of Ascended England. (Minor SPOILERS) the premise is roughly the took the queen and her subjects up into space for largely unknown reasons and now they operate in an environment where certain natural laws are little different. Seem familiar?

Outside Jarvis, I'd recommend Clark Ashton Smith to fans of Weird Fiction. A contemporary and friend of Lovecraft, his work covers broadly similar themes to H.P.'s but he has a little more beauty and wonder in amongst the grotesquery and horror, in contrast to the cold revulsion of Lovecraft. Speaking of, whilst there is some overlap, Lovecraft differs from FL in a fairly significant way, specifically inclusivity. I'm sure most people here are aware of his lack of female character and his truly horrendous racism, it worth pointing out his works should come with a huge trigger warning.

My last recommendation is Bram Stoker's Lair of the White Worm. The aspect of FL most present here is the absurdity of English Society. This is a book in which (SPOILERS) the protagonists are unable to prevent or interfere with what is presented as possibly an actual psychic duel as it would appear rude, and must come up with a plan to defeat a centuries old monster in a way that won't harm their reputations. In many ways this is not a good horror, nor even really a good book, but it is possibly the only time I can think of where etiquette is placed alongside horror and scifi happenings in importance with absolute sincerity and a straight face. I found it funny, YMMV
edited by Amsfield on 11/2/2017

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galatine42
galatine42
Posts: 3

12/8/2017
I recommend the writer Michael Cisco. His writing reminds me very much of the surreal, oblique style of Fallen London's recurring dreams. Here's an excerpt from his first novel, The Divinity Student, the beginning of which can be found online.

"..quickly they bring him inside, lay him across two sawhorses and start cutting at him—they gut him like a fish, cut open from throat to waist, red hands pull his ribs apart, head and shoulders hanging down, his arms lying flat on the ground, tugged back and forth as they empty him out. They dump his contents cooked and steaming on the floor, and bring up stacks of books and manila folders, tearing out pages and shuffling out sheets of paper, all covered with writing, stuffing them inside, tamping them down behind his ribs and crushing them together in his abdomen. What pages they select and what books they tear are of little importance, only that he be completely filled up with writing, to bring him back, to set him to the task. Then they suture him shut again—drag him to the tub (his arms and legs dangling and catching on things overturning tables and chairs) and dump him in the water, slopping blue water on gray stone pavings, and together they draw breath and drop open their mouths, screaming noiselessly as they shove his face under the running tap and pushing him full under the water with their red hands, under their wings."

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gronostaj
gronostaj
Posts: 403

12/8/2017
you had me at sawhorses

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galatine42
galatine42
Posts: 3

12/8/2017
gronostaj wrote:
you had me at sawhorses



I hope that's a good thing smile

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Shadowcthuhlu
Shadowcthuhlu
Posts: 1558

12/13/2017
I recommend reading the city of Saints and Madmen by Jeff Vandermeer along with City of Flowers and Trial of Flowers by Jay Lake.
Also my recommendations come without spam smile

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gronostaj
gronostaj
Posts: 403

12/13/2017
Shadowcthuhlu wrote:
Trial of Flowers by Jay Lake.

i'm surprised to recognize trial of flowers..... i've once picked it up on a whim because it had unique-looking cover, courtesy of the polish publisher's in-house artist who must've read the book and, like me, decided that the horse scene was iconic

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curtistruffle
curtistruffle
Posts: 139

1/22/2018
An inevident entry: Arkady and Boris Strugatsky' novel "The Doomed City". It is a depressive surrealistic "social fiction" thing (like a lot of their authorship). People drawn from our world by mysterious Mentors live there in a City for a sake of bizarre experiment. Artificial sun turns on and off at certain time like a lantern. People of different languages communicate easily for a reason unknown. There are no known human settlements outside of the City, yet there are rumours of sinister Anti-City on the other side of the world. In the final part of the novel protagonists are involved into a scientific expedition to the wasteland seeded with remains of previous settlements of different historical periods, there are modern ruined cities, 10th century watchtowers and prehistoric enormous stone faces. They encounter crazy things like talking wolves (hello Neath) and walking statues. And a final is bitter, open and enigmatic. You may read a plot summary there, but beware of last paragraph if you fear spoilers and inspired to read it.
P.S. I read it in Russian as I am a native-speaker, and I don't know if it was translated to English (yet it b---dy should be, they are notable writers and notorious counter-Soviet authors and stuff) and I would be pleased to try reading a translation. If anyone go for it, could you PM me a link? Many thanks in forward.
edited by curtistruffle on 1/22/2018

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Greg M
Greg M
Posts: 197

1/30/2018
If you've ever found Hollywood Christmas movies to be excessively sentimental, City of Lost Children has one of the greatest correctives of all time in its opening scene. One of the most glorious and disturbing openings to a film I've ever seen.

Teaspoon wrote:
While not a book in any way, shape or form, and indeed revolving around *gasp* the French, I found the Cato-Jeunet film "The City of Lost Children" to be very reminiscent indeed. There's a number of Urchins in it, naturally. And a Docker. Also an inexplicably peckish child who eats candles, and an atmosphere that is...let us say, adjacent to steampunk, in the same ways that FL is. Much of the story is left teasingly unelucidated. More than all of this, it is profoundly visual, so if you ever wanted to spend a few hours just enjoying the spectacle of what a Fallen city might look like, there's your chance.

(*Yeah, it's in French. But no one on this forum minds a little extra reading, right?)

Update: Definitely the City of Lost Children. Freudian slip.
edited by Teaspoon on 3/13/2017


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Absalom Agenbite
Absalom Agenbite
Posts: 13

2/7/2018
curtistruffle wrote:

P.S. I read it in Russian as I am a native-speaker, and I don't know if it was translated to English (yet it b---dy should be, they are notable writers and notorious counter-Soviet authors and stuff) and I would be pleased to try reading a translation. If anyone go for it, could you PM me a link? Many thanks in forward.
edited by curtistruffle on 1/22/2018


Looks like this publisher has translated five of their books into English, including The Doomed City. http://www.chicagoreviewpress.com/strugatsky--arkady-contributor-234678.php

The recommendation of the later two M. John Harrison Viriconium novels is spot on (even thought I'd be the first to make it). Particular resonance with the ideas of the ruins of the previous Fallen Cities, layers of history mostly forgotten, and the more Baroque dream-like storylets.

And I think the Calendar Council is a definite nod to The Man Who Was Thursday.

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