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Great Science-Fiction & Fantasy Works

Science-fiction & fantasy literature: a critical list with discussions.

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Arthur Machen

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Standard Disclaimer:

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

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Other Arthur Machen Resources

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Arthur Machen Resources on the Web

While Machen is not and never was a household name, there seems to have been a modest revival of interest in him, and there is now quite a bit to be found about him on the web.

The Friends of Arthur Machen have a dedicated Machen web site. Here are some other pages of Machen interest:

Other Machen-related oddments include a 1925 essay on Machen by famed fantasy author M. P. Shiel [archived copy].

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

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Arthur Machen Resources in Print

Again, there is quite a bit to choose from:

(There was a 2017 movie titled Holy Terrors that is an anthology of six stories from Machen’s work. Here is a link to its entry at the IMDB.)

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

(Machen’s work seems to having a revival: where once there were only numerous little books—chapbooks, really—containing overlapping smatters of his work, now there are several all-inclusive, or nearly so, omnibuses and sets: the problem is selecting. One set, in 3 volumes, from Hippocampus Press is pretty thoroughly inclusive, but expensive, around $80 as I write; another set, also 3 volumes, from Chaosium is distinctly less inclusive, but can be had for about $40. Nor does it make much sense to list the many various works individually, as one-off copies of most of his important works tend to be about as expensive as an omnibus volume.
My suggestion is to consider the two volumes listed below, one from each set, that together cover almost all the ground, with no overlap, at a reasonable total cost of about $35.)

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This page was last modified on Tuesday, 7 February 2023, at 6:25 am Pacific Time.