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Re: Ballantine Adult Fantasy Series

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  • Joe Hoopman
    Best would probably be the usual suspects: Clark Ashton Smith, James Branch Cabell, Lord Dunsany (although I must say I prefer his short stories to the
    Message 1 of 13 , Sep 19, 2009
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      Best would probably be the usual suspects: Clark Ashton Smith, James Branch
      Cabell, Lord Dunsany (although I must say I prefer his short stories to the
      novels), Lovecraft, Lud-in-the-Mist by Hope Mirrlees, and maybe the
      occasional William Morris or George MacDonald. And I have to say I really
      enjoyed the anthologies Lin Carter edited for the series -- Young Magicians
      and New Worlds for Old in particular. Worst would definitely be, as
      mentioned, The Shaving of Shagpat by George Meredith. I've also mentioned
      my feelings about the Night Land -- I really wish James Stoddard would
      finish his project/hobby of rewriting it in more readable prose. But I did
      find Hodgson's Boats of the Glen Carrig to be remarkably creepy and
      effective.

      Honorable mention would also go to Mervyn Peake and E.R. Eddison --
      technically, I think they were precursors to the series although they may
      have been retroactively folded into it.

      And whenever I'd get a new volume, even if I wasn't going to read it right
      then, I'd always sit down and at least read Lin Carter's introduction. I
      know that much of what he said was factually dubious at best, but I still
      enjoy his clear enthusiasm and love for the books he was presenting and for
      the genre as a whole.

      So if we were going to assemble a contemporary version of the BAF, what
      would it include? My suggestions would include (in no particular order):

      Stardust by Neil Gaiman
      Dragonfly by Frederic Durban
      Night's Master by Tanith Lee
      The Thread That Binds the Bones by Nina Kiriki Hoffman
      Un-Lun-Dun by China Mieville
      War for the Oaks by Emma Bull

      But that'd be just the tip of the iceberg (and subject to sudden and
      unexplained change in the future) . . .

      Joe Hoopman

      >3a. Re: Ballantine Adult Fantasy Series
      > Posted by: "pegasus48124" pegasus48124@... pegasus48124
      > Date: Fri Sep 18, 2009 5:48 pm ((PDT))
      >
      >You say you've read the whole series (I'm getting there slowly,also reading
      many other things as I go). What were some of the best and the worst for
      you, if you don't >mind sharing?
      >
      >
      >--- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, "Joe Hoopman" <hoopmanjh@...> wrote:
      >>
      >> I didn't start seriously collecting the BAF until the 1990's, but I
      already
      >> had several volumes (Clark Ashton Smith and some of the Carter
      anthologies)
      >> even before I realized there was such a thing as a Ballantine Adult
      Fantasy
      >> series. I was able to acquire most of the series over the years just by
      >> stopping in at Uncle Hugo's Science Fiction Bookstore and at Dreamhaven
      >> Books, both in Minneapolis, MN, and scanning the shelves; I picked up the
      >> last few stragglers online when this new-fangled Internet thing started
      to
      >> take off.
      >>
      >> Back in the late 1990's I went through and read the entire series in BAF
      >> publication order. (Not all at once -- I'd read, say, five BAF volumes,
      >> then shift to something else for a while, then come back.) Some of the
      >> books were, um, challenging -- I found The Shaving of Shagpat almost
      >> unreadable, and there's always The Night Land to consider -- but it
      really
      >> was an amazing collection.
      >>
      >> And after finishing the BAF, I sat down and read James Stoddard's The
      High
      >> House and The False House, which I highly recommend to any Ballantine
      Adult
      >> Fantasy fans (or indeed to anyone who just likes good book) -- Stoddard
      is
      >> also a BAF fan and the books have lots of references, some subtle, some
      not
      >> so much, to various characters and places from the series.
      >>
      >> Joe Hoopman
    • David Lenander
      I think that I remember _Lilith_ by MacDonald as the book that I liked best, and which impacted me most. But there was an anthology of 4 shorter pieces,
      Message 2 of 13 , Sep 20, 2009
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        I think that I remember _Lilith_ by MacDonald as the book that I liked best, and which impacted me most.  But there was an anthology of 4 shorter pieces, including one of Richard Garnett's _Twilight of the Gods_ stories (or maybe two) which I really liked, the four Evangeline Walton *Mabinogion* books, the Joy Chant _Red Moon, Black Mountain_, and all of the Dunsany, especially _The King of Elfland's Daughter_, and at the time I was very taken with _Deryni Rising_ by Katherine Kurtz, though that didn't wear so well for me. I like Cabell better now than I did then, and for that matter, much of Dunsany was too ironic for my tastes at the time. Saunders Anne Laubenthal's _Excalibur_ was a big hit with a lot of people in the Society, but I didn't like it quite so well, though I liked it better than some of the others mentioned.  I can't remember if the Peter Beagle books eventually acquired the logo, but they may have been part of the series, and they'd be among my top choices, too.  The Gormenghast Books were added to the series later on, and I loved those, too. Oh, and I almost forgot Poul Anderson's _Broken Sword_ and _Hrolf Kraki's Saga_, which are wonderful.  The latter is something of a masterpiece.  The Bramah Kai-Lung books are fun, though didn't actually read them until long afterwards. _Vathek_ is another masterpiece, and Lin Carter did something that was obvious but no one else had done, he put in the short stories in the middle, the ones that were told in the course of the narrative, but which Beckford actually wrote later on, after publication of the original edition.  Another Lin Carter editorial change was to leave the poetry out of _Phantastes_.  His version is the only one I've read, I wonder sometimes what I would think of the poetry.  I didn't actually read _The Man Who Was Thursday_ until much later, in another edition, but it would've been a book I liked a lot if I had discovered it then. Oh, and David Lindsay's _A Voyage to Arcturus_.  I still don't know what I think of that book, but it had a big impact on me (as it clearly did on C.S. Lewis, not to mention Harold Bloom).  I did like _Lud-in-the-Mist_, but not to the degree that many people, especially other writers, seem to love it. And I have to confess that I still haven't managed to read _The Shaving of Shagpat_, despite starting it several times, and even though as someone who is supposedly interested in the Victorians, and particularly the Pre-Raphaelites, I ought to have done so long ago.  I mostly read Morris in the public library, but I may have first discovered his books in the Carter editions, at least the first one.  I never really liked Morris in my teens, but I read him dutifully, and could see how influential he was. Years later, after some essay in one of the MSA-nominated anthologies, I went back to the _Water of the Wondrous Isles_, which I had in the Carter-edited edition, and I liked it a lot. LIkewise, I finally came to appreciate Morris's "Defense of Guenivere," but that wasn't part of the Ballantine Series.  


        On Sep 20, 2009, at 4:27 AM, Joe Hoopman wrote:
        1a.

        Re: Ballantine Adult Fantasy Series

        Posted by: "Joe Hoopman" hoopmanjh@...   hoopmanjh

        Sat Sep 19, 2009 9:25 pm (PDT


        Best would probably be the usual suspects: Clark Ashton Smith, James Branch

        Cabell, Lord Dunsany (although I must say I prefer his short stories to the
        novels), Lovecraft, Lud-in-the-Mist by Hope Mirrlees, and maybe the
        occasional William Morris or George MacDonald. And I have to say I really
        enjoyed the anthologies Lin Carter edited for the series -- Young Magicians
        and New Worlds for Old in particular. 

















        David Lenander
        2095 Hamline Ave. N.
        Roseville, MN 55113

        651-292-8887


      • pegasus48124
        Wikipedia places all the Tolkien books, the E.R. Eddison, Peake and two by Beagle and the David Lindsay in a kind of publisher s pre-series, follwed by the
        Message 3 of 13 , Sep 20, 2009
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          Wikipedia places all the Tolkien books, the E.R. Eddison, Peake and two by Beagle and the David Lindsay in a kind of publisher's pre-series, follwed by the first actual series book "The Blue Star" by Pratt. Some of the pre-series obtained unicorns on their covers in reprints, including the Beagle books.
          My most recent reading in the Ballantine books include Bok's "Sorcerer's Ship", which I liked but found suitable for young readers and not too adult at all (it also contains an unbelievably good first person description of a sword fight on board a ship); a rereading of "Well at the World's End" by Morris, first read when I was 17. I read these slowly, a few chapters at a time while reading other books. I loved it then and I love it now, especially his ability to tell stories within stories and keep everything tied together--also the final book of Vol. 2 is amazing as the couple backtrack to Upmeads and find big changes in the world they left behind. Far from a simple recap, the story continues to progress as Ralph arrives to drive the bad guys out of his homeland just in time (shades of Tolkien when his newly returned and battle-hardened Hobbits return to save the Shire in Return of the King--this is the part of the LORs movies I wanted so badly to see, and it was not even included--instead we see four Hobbits indistinguishable from their comrades at a pub, seemingly unchanged by their adventures); Beagle's absolutely brilliant "A Fine and Private Place", especially the way he brings back at the very end the story about the seagull in Iowa told him by the Raven, which ties everything together so nicley (this book makes an odd companion novel to Iain Banks' "Crow Road"); and lastly I have just finished Pratt's "Blue Star", an odd book I didn't care for very much (it is very much an adult book). Presently I am rereading "King of Elfland's Daughter" by Dunsany.




          --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, David Lenander <d-lena@...> wrote:
          >
          > I think that I remember _Lilith_ by MacDonald as the book that I
          > liked best, and which impacted me most. But there was an anthology
          > of 4 shorter pieces, including one of Richard Garnett's _Twilight of
          > the Gods_ stories (or maybe two) which I really liked, the four
          > Evangeline Walton *Mabinogion* books, the Joy Chant _Red Moon, Black
          > Mountain_, and all of the Dunsany, especially _The King of Elfland's
          > Daughter_, and at the time I was very taken with _Deryni Rising_ by
          > Katherine Kurtz, though that didn't wear so well for me. I like
          > Cabell better now than I did then, and for that matter, much of
          > Dunsany was too ironic for my tastes at the time. Saunders Anne
          > Laubenthal's _Excalibur_ was a big hit with a lot of people in the
          > Society, but I didn't like it quite so well, though I liked it better
          > than some of the others mentioned. I can't remember if the Peter
          > Beagle books eventually acquired the logo, but they may have been
          > part of the series, and they'd be among my top choices, too. The
          > Gormenghast Books were added to the series later on, and I loved
          > those, too. Oh, and I almost forgot Poul Anderson's _Broken Sword_
          > and _Hrolf Kraki's Saga_, which are wonderful. The latter is
          > something of a masterpiece. The Bramah Kai-Lung books are fun,
          > though didn't actually read them until long afterwards. _Vathek_ is
          > another masterpiece, and Lin Carter did something that was obvious
          > but no one else had done, he put in the short stories in the middle,
          > the ones that were told in the course of the narrative, but which
          > Beckford actually wrote later on, after publication of the original
          > edition. Another Lin Carter editorial change was to leave the poetry
          > out of _Phantastes_. His version is the only one I've read, I wonder
          > sometimes what I would think of the poetry. I didn't actually read
          > _The Man Who Was Thursday_ until much later, in another edition, but
          > it would've been a book I liked a lot if I had discovered it then.
          > Oh, and David Lindsay's _A Voyage to Arcturus_. I still don't know
          > what I think of that book, but it had a big impact on me (as it
          > clearly did on C.S. Lewis, not to mention Harold Bloom). I did like
          > _Lud-in-the-Mist_, but not to the degree that many people, especially
          > other writers, seem to love it. And I have to confess that I still
          > haven't managed to read _The Shaving of Shagpat_, despite starting it
          > several times, and even though as someone who is supposedly
          > interested in the Victorians, and particularly the Pre-Raphaelites, I
          > ought to have done so long ago. I mostly read Morris in the public
          > library, but I may have first discovered his books in the Carter
          > editions, at least the first one. I never really liked Morris in my
          > teens, but I read him dutifully, and could see how influential he
          > was. Years later, after some essay in one of the MSA-nominated
          > anthologies, I went back to the _Water of the Wondrous Isles_, which
          > I had in the Carter-edited edition, and I liked it a lot. LIkewise, I
          > finally came to appreciate Morris's "Defense of Guenivere," but that
          > wasn't part of the Ballantine Series.
          >
          >
          > On Sep 20, 2009, at 4:27 AM, Joe Hoopman wrote:
          > >> 1a.
          > >> Re: Ballantine Adult Fantasy Series
          > >> Posted by: "Joe Hoopman" hoopmanjh@... hoopmanjh
          > >> Sat Sep 19, 2009 9:25 pm (PDT
          > >>
          > >
          > >> Best would probably be the usual suspects: Clark Ashton Smith,
          > >> James Branch
          > >>
          > >> Cabell, Lord Dunsany (although I must say I prefer his short
          > >> stories to the
          > >> novels), Lovecraft, Lud-in-the-Mist by Hope Mirrlees, and maybe the
          > >> occasional William Morris or George MacDonald. And I have to say I
          > >> really
          > >> enjoyed the anthologies Lin Carter edited for the series -- Young
          > >> Magicians
          > >> and New Worlds for Old in particular.
          > >>
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          >
          >
          > David Lenander
          > d-lena@...
          > 2095 Hamline Ave. N.
          > Roseville, MN 55113
          >
          > 651-292-8887
          > http://www.umn.edu/~d-lena/RIVENDELL.html
          >
        • David Bratman
          ... Here they are merely following series editor Lin Carter s classification, as listed in his book _Imaginary Worlds_, which contains a list of all the Adult
          Message 4 of 13 , Sep 20, 2009
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            pegasus48124 <pegasus48124@...> wrote:

            >Wikipedia places all the Tolkien books, the E.R. Eddison,
            >Peake and two by Beagle and the David Lindsay in a kind
            >of publisher's pre-series, followed by the first actual series
            >book "The Blue Star" by Pratt.

            Here they are merely following series editor Lin Carter's classification, as listed in his book _Imaginary Worlds_, which contains a list of all the Adult Fantasy series books up to that date (June 1973). "I list them below, in sequence of publication, as a sort of preface to the Series proper: they are all books I would certainly have urged Ballantine to publish." He then goes on to explain how the series itself began and how he was brought in to edit it.
          • Joe Hoopman
            Phantastes was another one I enjoyed. I actually first encountered it in a book called A Treasury of Fantasy edited by Cary Wilkins. It included, in addition
            Message 5 of 13 , Sep 21, 2009
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              Phantastes was another one I enjoyed. I actually first encountered it in a
              book called A Treasury of Fantasy edited by Cary Wilkins. It included, in
              addition to Phantastes, The Wood Beyond the World by William Morris, King of
              the Golden River by John Ruskin, and stories by Lovecraft, Le Guin and
              Howard, amongst others. Quite a nice collection, actually, with a really
              dreadful cover.

              On a semi-BAF-related note, University Press of Kentucky just (re?)
              published a volume containing translations of Amadis of Gaul, books III and
              IV. (Carter included at least one Amadis excerpt in one of the
              anthologies.)

              Hmmmm . . . Now I'm thinking it may be time to continue my next go-round
              through the series -- I think Cabell's High Place would be next in line . .
              .

              Joe Hoopman

              ________________________________________________________________________
              1a. Ballantine Adult Fantasy Series
              Posted by: "David Lenander" d-lena@... davidlenander
              Date: Sun Sep 20, 2009 10:45 am ((PDT))

              I think that I remember _Lilith_ by MacDonald as the book that I
              liked best, and which impacted me most. But there was an anthology
              of 4 shorter pieces, including one of Richard Garnett's _Twilight of
              the Gods_ stories (or maybe two) which I really liked, the four
              Evangeline Walton *Mabinogion* books, the Joy Chant _Red Moon, Black
              Mountain_, and all of the Dunsany, especially _The King of Elfland's
              Daughter_, and at the time I was very taken with _Deryni Rising_ by
              Katherine Kurtz, though that didn't wear so well for me. I like
              Cabell better now than I did then, and for that matter, much of
              Dunsany was too ironic for my tastes at the time. Saunders Anne
              Laubenthal's _Excalibur_ was a big hit with a lot of people in the
              Society, but I didn't like it quite so well, though I liked it better
              than some of the others mentioned. I can't remember if the Peter
              Beagle books eventually acquired the logo, but they may have been
              part of the series, and they'd be among my top choices, too. The
              Gormenghast Books were added to the series later on, and I loved
              those, too. Oh, and I almost forgot Poul Anderson's _Broken Sword_
              and _Hrolf Kraki's Saga_, which are wonderful. The latter is
              something of a masterpiece. The Bramah Kai-Lung books are fun,
              though didn't actually read them until long afterwards. _Vathek_ is
              another masterpiece, and Lin Carter did something that was obvious
              but no one else had done, he put in the short stories in the middle,
              the ones that were told in the course of the narrative, but which
              Beckford actually wrote later on, after publication of the original
              edition. Another Lin Carter editorial change was to leave the poetry
              out of _Phantastes_. His version is the only one I've read, I wonder
              sometimes what I would think of the poetry. I didn't actually read
              _The Man Who Was Thursday_ until much later, in another edition, but
              it would've been a book I liked a lot if I had discovered it then.
              Oh, and David Lindsay's _A Voyage to Arcturus_. I still don't know
              what I think of that book, but it had a big impact on me (as it
              clearly did on C.S. Lewis, not to mention Harold Bloom). I did like
              _Lud-in-the-Mist_, but not to the degree that many people, especially
              other writers, seem to love it. And I have to confess that I still
              haven't managed to read _The Shaving of Shagpat_, despite starting it
              several times, and even though as someone who is supposedly
              interested in the Victorians, and particularly the Pre-Raphaelites, I
              ought to have done so long ago. I mostly read Morris in the public
              library, but I may have first discovered his books in the Carter
              editions, at least the first one. I never really liked Morris in my
              teens, but I read him dutifully, and could see how influential he
              was. Years later, after some essay in one of the MSA-nominated
              anthologies, I went back to the _Water of the Wondrous Isles_, which
              I had in the Carter-edited edition, and I liked it a lot. LIkewise, I
              finally came to appreciate Morris's "Defense of Guenivere," but that
              wasn't part of the Ballantine Series.


              On Sep 20, 2009, at 4:27 AM, Joe Hoopman wrote:
              >> 1a.
              >> Re: Ballantine Adult Fantasy Series
              >> Posted by: "Joe Hoopman" hoopmanjh@... hoopmanjh
              >> Sat Sep 19, 2009 9:25 pm (PDT
              >>
              >
              >> Best would probably be the usual suspects: Clark Ashton Smith,
              >> James Branch
              >>
              >> Cabell, Lord Dunsany (although I must say I prefer his short
              >> stories to the
              >> novels), Lovecraft, Lud-in-the-Mist by Hope Mirrlees, and maybe the
              >> occasional William Morris or George MacDonald. And I have to say I
              >> really
              >> enjoyed the anthologies Lin Carter edited for the series -- Young
              >> Magicians
              >> and New Worlds for Old in particular.
              >>
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >


              David Lenander
              d-lena@...
              2095 Hamline Ave. N.
              Roseville, MN 55113

              651-292-8887
              http://www.umn.edu/~d-lena/RIVENDELL.html
            • Diane Joy Baker
              What a great question. One I might add is *The History of Our World Beyond the Wave* by R. E. Klein. That has a lot of lingering imagery. ---djb ... From:
              Message 6 of 13 , Sep 21, 2009
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                What a great question. 
                 
                One I might add is *The History of Our World Beyond the Wave*
                by R. E. Klein.  That has a lot of lingering imagery.  ---djb
                 
                ----- Original Message -----
                Sent: Sunday, September 20, 2009 12:24 AM
                Subject: [mythsoc] Re: Ballantine Adult Fantasy Series

                 

                Best would probably be the usual suspects: Clark Ashton Smith, James Branch
                Cabell, Lord Dunsany (although I must say I prefer his short stories to the
                novels), Lovecraft, Lud-in-the-Mist by Hope Mirrlees, and maybe the
                occasional William Morris or George MacDonald. And I have to say I really
                enjoyed the anthologies Lin Carter edited for the series -- Young Magicians
                and New Worlds for Old in particular. Worst would definitely be, as
                mentioned, The Shaving of Shagpat by George Meredith. I've also mentioned
                my feelings about the Night Land -- I really wish James Stoddard would
                finish his project/hobby of rewriting it in more readable prose. But I did
                find Hodgson's Boats of the Glen Carrig to be remarkably creepy and
                effective.

                Honorable mention would also go to Mervyn Peake and E.R. Eddison --
                technically, I think they were precursors to the series although they may
                have been retroactively folded into it.

                And whenever I'd get a new volume, even if I wasn't going to read it right
                then, I'd always sit down and at least read Lin Carter's introduction. I
                know that much of what he said was factually dubious at best, but I still
                enjoy his clear enthusiasm and love for the books he was presenting and for
                the genre as a whole.

                So if we were going to assemble a contemporary version of the BAF, what
                would it include? My suggestions would include (in no particular order):

                Stardust by Neil Gaiman
                Dragonfly by Frederic Durban
                Night's Master by Tanith Lee
                The Thread That Binds the Bones by Nina Kiriki Hoffman
                Un-Lun-Dun by China Mieville
                War for the Oaks by Emma Bull

                But that'd be just the tip of the iceberg (and subject to sudden and
                unexplained change in the future) . . .

                Joe Hoopman

                >3a. Re: Ballantine Adult Fantasy Series
                > Posted by: "pegasus48124" pegasus48124@ yahoo.com pegasus48124
                > Date: Fri Sep 18, 2009 5:48 pm ((PDT))
                >
                >You say you've read the whole series (I'm getting there slowly,also reading
                many other things as I go). What were some of the best and the worst for
                you, if you don't >mind sharing?
                >
                >
                >--- In mythsoc@yahoogroups .com, "Joe Hoopman" <hoopmanjh@. ..> wrote:
                >>
                >> I didn't start seriously collecting the BAF until the 1990's, but I
                already
                >> had several volumes (Clark Ashton Smith and some of the Carter
                anthologies)
                >> even before I realized there was such a thing as a Ballantine Adult
                Fantasy
                >> series. I was able to acquire most of the series over the years just by
                >> stopping in at Uncle Hugo's Science Fiction Bookstore and at Dreamhaven
                >> Books, both in Minneapolis, MN, and scanning the shelves; I picked up the
                >> last few stragglers online when this new-fangled Internet thing started
                to
                >> take off.
                >>
                >> Back in the late 1990's I went through and read the entire series in BAF
                >> publication order. (Not all at once -- I'd read, say, five BAF volumes,
                >> then shift to something else for a while, then come back.) Some of the
                >> books were, um, challenging -- I found The Shaving of Shagpat almost
                >> unreadable, and there's always The Night Land to consider -- but it
                really
                >> was an amazing collection.
                >>
                >> And after finishing the BAF, I sat down and read James Stoddard's The
                High
                >> House and The False House, which I highly recommend to any Ballantine
                Adult
                >> Fantasy fans (or indeed to anyone who just likes good book) -- Stoddard
                is
                >> also a BAF fan and the books have lots of references, some subtle, some
                not
                >> so much, to various characters and places from the series.
                >>
                >> Joe Hoopman

              • Joe Hoopman
                Coincidentally, I just read City at the End of Time a couple of months ago. I think there was actually a clear (if not explicit) reference to Hodgson and the
                Message 7 of 13 , Sep 23, 2009
                • 0 Attachment
                  Coincidentally, I just read City at the End of Time a couple of months ago.
                  I think there was actually a clear (if not explicit) reference to Hodgson
                  and the Night Land at one point. I quite liked City, but I've always been a
                  fan of entropic romance . . .

                  Joe Hoopman

                  ______________________________________________________________________
                  ________________________________________________________________________
                  Re: FW: Ballantine Adult Fantasy Series
                  Posted by: "alexeik@..." alexeik@... celtbear49
                  Date: Mon Sep 21, 2009 10:44 am ((PDT))


                  Greg Bear's _City at the End of Time_ (on the long list for the last
                  MFA) is rather obviously indebted to _The Night Land_.
                  Alexei
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