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Great Science-Fiction
& Fantasy Works

science-fiction & fantasy literature:
a critical list with discussions

Science-Fiction and Fantasy Books by
Arthur Machen

Standard Disclaimer:

This is a brief discussion of Arthur Machen and, of course, of some speculative-fiction books by Arthur Machen

This discussion and list does not necessarily include every book by Machen: it includes only those books that I both know and like. Just as with the author list itself, omission of a particular item may mean I didn't think highly enough of the omitted item, or it may simply mean that I have not yet sufficient familiarity with it. (In a very few cases, I have listed some books merely on the strength of my opinion of the author: all such books are clearly marked below, as throughout these lists, with a hash mark (#) before the title so you know what's what.)

I don't pretend that this discussion is a deep analysis. My intent is no more than to give you a rough idea of what kinds of tales Machen tells, how those tales are usually told, and what makes them and Machen worthy; in sum, to help you rank Machen (and the works by Machen listed here) on your personal literary "to do" list.

A Few Words About Arthur Machen

Regrettably, I have not yet had an opportunity to write an essay on this author, but the "Other Resources" section below will lead you to some information about the "Notable Books" listed farther down this page.


Other Arthur Machen Resources

Arthur Machen Resources on the Web

Considering that Machen is no longer--if he ever was--a household name, there is quite a lot out there to be found.

The Friends of Arthur Machen have a dedicated Machen web site. And there is another dedicated site from the "Order of the Twilight Star", which holds quite a few useful essays and commentaries on Machen (such as Lin Carter's "Introduction" about Machen's fiction for the Ballentine edition of The Three Imposters).

Of individual web pages, there is an extensive and most useful essay, Arthur Machen and The Fall, at the Idiot and the Dog blog. The Guide to Supernatural Fiction has a combination biography and annotated bibliography at its Arthur Machen page.Walden East has some interesting essays at itsArthur Machen Pages. maintains an interesting Arthur Machen Page, with annotated quotations from his autobiography. Alan Gullette has a brief but useful Arthur Machen page up. And the ever-useful Violet Books web site has an extensive review of one of Machen's works (but with general Machen observations) titled The Shock of the Numinous: Arthur Machen's "The White People". Another review is The horror writings of Arthur Machen (covering the collection Unholy Terrors but also containing useful general Machen commentary).

Other Machen-related oddments include a 1925 essay on Machen by famed fantasy author M. P. Shiel, and a touching and interesting reminiscence, "Memories of Arthur Machen" by one Joan Hyde (Machen was married to Joan's aunt, Purefoy Machen, nee Hudleston; the article probably appeared in the Listener magazine).

Those interested in images of Machen book and magazine covers will enjoy this online Arthur Machen Gallery.

Arthur Machen Resources in Print

Again, there is quite a bit to choose from:

  • Machenology: Tributes to the Master of Mysteries, Gwilym Games, editor

  • Arthur Machen - A Novelist of Ecstasy and Sin, by Vincent Starrett

  • Arthur Machen - A Short Account of His Life & Work, by Aidan Reynolds and William Charlton

  • Arthur Machen, by Wesley D. Sweetser

  • Arthur Machen, by Mark Valentine

  • A Bibliography of Arthur Machen, by Adrian Goldstone and Wesley Sweetser

  • Arthur Machen - Weaver of Fantasy, by W. F. Gekle

Notable Science-Fiction and Fantasy Books by Arthur Machen ****

(For more possible titles by this author, see the "Unrated Books by Rated Authors" page.)

Machen's work is hard to catalogue because much of it was novellas, and publishers are constantly playing mix'n'match with them. They are usually available in collections, but some money-gribbers print each little one separately: caveat emptor. I here list the full books and the major novellas (there are also numerous short stories); clicking on any will take you to lists that include the omnibuses in which each appears. There are too many posthumous story collections to list them all.

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