A classic horror author writes a book, and then a classic science fiction author writes a sequel
I’ve not been reviewing a lot here recently because I’ve been reading mostly as research for a book I’m writing, and I’ve been listening to Librivox audiobooks. I have just written my 80th review over on Archive.org, so perhaps I should see how many of those items we have in our collection. I’m getting ready for a Librivox project next year that will let me review dozens of Australian classic texts, so perhaps I’ll post some of those here.
First though, I’d like to highlight two recordings which fit our theme for the month really well, and show the power and mastery of two of the greatest writers of the weird genre.
Edgar Allen Poe only published one novel in his entire career. It’s The narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket. It starts out as a sort of South Sea Tale, and wanders off into philosophical speculation, but it has genuinely atmospheric parts, despite the modern desire for stronger and darker flavours of horror. The link above gives the Librivox recording: if you’d like books from the Gold Coast Library Service, click the cover to the left.
Jules Verne took Poe’s novel, assumed in his fictional world that it was a chronicle of real events, and wrote a sequel. This was An Antarctic mystery or The Sphinx of the Ice Fields. I’d say its the better book, as Verne wanted a plot which would clip along, and so it has a form that’s more accessible to the modern reader. Again, the link above is to the free audiobook: a paper copy can be placed on hold by clicking the cover to the left.