Discussion:
what is this horror story?
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Ken Quirici
2017-02-22 00:33:22 UTC
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There's a rec.arts.horror.written which gets practically no business so I'll try my question here.

I read a horror novel at least 15 years ago. I think it was Stephen King but it doesn't seem to match any descriptions of his novels that I've read.

A man - I think a private detective - encounters a woman with a young child. She says they're being pursued by members of a religious cult who claim the child is a spawn of Satan, or allied with him, or just evil. They are also followed by large flocks of crows or ravens. He takes on her case and the novel is about their flight from and eventual confrontation with the pursuers.

Anybody know what book this is? I remember being very caught up in the suspense. I think I read it several times over a number of years. I'd like to read it again, at least to see if it's at least as good as I remember.

Ken
The Starmaker
2017-02-22 01:56:12 UTC
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Post by Ken Quirici
There's a rec.arts.horror.written which gets practically no business so I'll try my question here.
I read a horror novel at least 15 years ago. I think it was Stephen King but it doesn't seem to match any descriptions of his novels that I've read.
A man - I think a private detective - encounters a woman with a young child. She says they're being pursued by members of a religious cult who claim the child is a spawn of Satan, or allied with him, or just evil. They are also followed by large flocks of crows or ravens. He takes on her case and the novel is about their flight from and eventual confrontation with the pursuers.
Anybody know what book this is? I remember being very caught up in the suspense. I think I read it several times over a number of years. I'd like to read it again, at least to see if it's at least as good as I remember.
Ken
maybe it's here somewhere...
http://www.dondammassa.com/G3.HTM
Don Bruder
2017-02-22 02:12:18 UTC
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Post by Ken Quirici
There's a rec.arts.horror.written which gets practically no business so I'll
try my question here.
I read a horror novel at least 15 years ago. I think it was Stephen King but
it doesn't seem to match any descriptions of his novels that I've read.
A man - I think a private detective - encounters a woman with a young child.
She says they're being pursued by members of a religious cult who claim the
child is a spawn of Satan, or allied with him, or just evil. They are also
followed by large flocks of crows or ravens. He takes on her case and the
novel is about their flight from and eventual confrontation with the
pursuers.
Anybody know what book this is? I remember being very caught up in the
suspense. I think I read it several times over a number of years. I'd like to
read it again, at least to see if it's at least as good as I remember.
Ken
I can do everything but guarantee it's *NOT* King - based on your
description, there are only two possible candidates in his catalog, but
neither of them fits at all, beyond mentions of birds. First is The
Stand, which is a totally lousy fit for too many reasons to bother
listing - There's no possible way it's what you're looking for. The only
other possibility would be The Dark Half, but other than heavily
involving birds (sparrows, to be precise), it isn't anything even
slightly like what you describe. Except for the giant bird form of
Pennywise in "It", nothing else in his catalog does much more with birds
than mention them as part of the scenery.

Further, King has *NEVER*, in any of his published works, used overtly
"satanic" stuff - not even as window-dressing. Evil? Yes. Absolutely.
Supernatural? All the time. But satanic? *NEVER*. He doesn't even really
nod in the general direction of the satanic - Closer would be to say
that he avoids the concept the same way you'd avoid trying to kiss the
blade of a running lawnmower. Not even his two most-recurring "big bad
evils", "The Crimson King" and Randall Flagg, are satanic - just evil.
Likewise cults - The closest he comes to using that idea is occasional
mentions of Rev. Jim Jones (of poisoned Kool-aid fame) and the story
"Children of the Corn".

I'd look to Peter Straub, or perhaps Robert McCammon. (And no, it's NOT
McCammon's Swan Song - Zero fit with your description. Only similarity
is a child being hunted, but this one is, right from the start, "the
good guy", and I can't recall anyone in the story even hinting that she
might be satan-spawned)
--
If the door is baroque don't be Haydn. Come around Bach and jiggle the Handel.
Lawrence Watt-Evans
2017-02-22 05:13:24 UTC
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Post by Don Bruder
Further, King has *NEVER*, in any of his published works, used overtly
"satanic" stuff - not even as window-dressing. Evil? Yes. Absolutely.
Supernatural? All the time. But satanic? *NEVER*. He doesn't even really
nod in the general direction of the satanic - Closer would be to say
that he avoids the concept the same way you'd avoid trying to kiss the
blade of a running lawnmower. Not even his two most-recurring "big bad
evils", "The Crimson King" and Randall Flagg, are satanic - just evil.
I took the bad guy in _Needful Things_ to be satanic. It's been long
enough since I read it that I can't defend that position, though.
--
My webpage is at http://www.watt-evans.com
Greg Goss
2017-02-22 05:30:28 UTC
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Post by Lawrence Watt-Evans
Post by Don Bruder
Further, King has *NEVER*, in any of his published works, used overtly
"satanic" stuff - not even as window-dressing. Evil? Yes. Absolutely.
Supernatural? All the time. But satanic? *NEVER*. He doesn't even really
nod in the general direction of the satanic - Closer would be to say
that he avoids the concept the same way you'd avoid trying to kiss the
blade of a running lawnmower. Not even his two most-recurring "big bad
evils", "The Crimson King" and Randall Flagg, are satanic - just evil.
I took the bad guy in _Needful Things_ to be satanic. It's been long
enough since I read it that I can't defend that position, though.
From Wikipedia:

"Alan forces Gaunt back and grabs his valise, which contains the souls
of his customers."

Seems pretty clear to me.
--
We are geeks. Resistance is voltage over current.
Don Bruder
2017-02-22 09:23:01 UTC
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Post by Greg Goss
Post by Lawrence Watt-Evans
Post by Don Bruder
Further, King has *NEVER*, in any of his published works, used overtly
"satanic" stuff - not even as window-dressing. Evil? Yes. Absolutely.
Supernatural? All the time. But satanic? *NEVER*. He doesn't even really
nod in the general direction of the satanic - Closer would be to say
that he avoids the concept the same way you'd avoid trying to kiss the
blade of a running lawnmower. Not even his two most-recurring "big bad
evils", "The Crimson King" and Randall Flagg, are satanic - just evil.
I took the bad guy in _Needful Things_ to be satanic. It's been long
enough since I read it that I can't defend that position, though.
"Alan forces Gaunt back and grabs his valise, which contains the souls
of his customers."
Seems pretty clear to me.
Except that's never actually *SAID* in the book. Idunno who it was typed
up the wiki entry, but what's there is their interpretation - it's a
boiled-down "This is sure what it sounds like" summary of the events,
not the actual text. Is the Valise full of souls? We never *REALLY* find
out. Is it hinted that's what's in there? *BIGTIME*. Is it *EXPLICITLY
SAID*? Nope. Is it hinted at, then left for the reader to decide?
YOUBETCHA!

Here we go... transcribed from the audiobook version, as read by King
himself - blame any typos and/or blown punctuation on me...

Let's see... Sheriff Pangborn is facing off against Gaunt after popping
the top on the "Tasty Munch Nuts" can with the fake snake that turns
real for a moment, then snatching the "hyena skin valise with its
hideously respiring sides" from Gaunt. Some chatter ensues, Alan makes
some shadow-critters in the headlights, the dialogue picks up:

"You're lucky I'm cutting you loose," Alan went on, "but, what would I
charge you with, come to that? Theft of souls may be covered in the
legal code Brigham and Rose(1) deal with, but I don't think I'd find it
in mine. Still, I'd advise you to go while you still can."

"Give me my bag!"

Alan stared at him, trying to look unbelieving and contemptuous

<elide some scene description and dialog that boils down to "You lose,
Gaunt">

(Gaunt, continuing to speak)
"All right, you win." He began to turn away. Alan relaxed slightly.
"I'll go..." He turned back, quick as a snake himself, so quick he made
Alan look slow. His face had changed again. Its human aspect was
entirely gone. It was the face of a demon now, with long, deeply scored
cheeks and drooping eyes that blazed with orange fire. "But not without
my property!" he screamed, and leaped for the bag. Somewhere, close by,
or a thousand miles away, Polly shrieked "Look out Alan!" But there was
no time to look out. The demon, smelling like a mixture of sulphur and
fried shoe leather, was upon him. There was only time to act, or time to
die.

<elide Alan pulling the old paper flowers trick and beating back Gaunt
with an assist from Polly and the power of "The White">

(Alan, standing over the valise)
"and I'm telling you for the last time that you're going, without this."

"They'll die without me," the Gaunt-thing moaned. Now its hands hung
between its legs, long claws clicked and clittered in the scattered
debris which lay in the street. "Every single one of them will die
without me, like plants without water in the desert. Is that what you
want? Is it?"

Polly was with Alan then, pressed against his side. "Yes," she said
coldly. "Better that they die here and now, if that's what has to
happen, than that they go with you and live. They - We - did some lousy
things, but that price is much too high." The Gaunt-thing hissed and
shook its claws at them. Alan picked up the bag and backed slowly into
the street with Polly by his side. He raised the fountain of
light-flowers so that they cast an amazing, revolving glow upon Mr.
Gaunt and his Tucker Talisman. He pulled air into his chest. More air
than his body had ever contained before, it seemed, and when he spoke,
the words roared from him in a vast voice which was not his own.

"Go hence, demon! You are cast out of this place!"

The Gaunt-thing screamed as if burned by scalding water...
<end of what I've got the energy to transcribe>

(1) Brigham and Rose are the town's two feuding preachers - One
catholic, one baptist. I forget which was which - not that it actualy
matters for this - The point is that "maybe preachers can say there's a
crime going on, but I'd never be able to arrest you for anything on the
law books."

What I take away from this is pretty straightforward: 1) The valise
*SEEMS* to have "souls" in it. But that seeming is never *REALLY*
confirmed - just hinted at, then left there for the reader to draw their
own conclusion. 2) Gaunt isn't satan, but a demon of some sort that
never truly gets specified. King is real good at that... he does the
same sort of thing over and over in his works - Point at "Object X" and
say "It looks like it's a <FITB>", but never actually comes right out
and says "It really *IS* a <FITB>", just hints around it, then leaves
the reader to decide. He did something similar in Cujo - without ever
actually coming right out and saying so, he hinted over and over that
Cujo wasn't just a St. Bernard with rabies, but was possessed by the
spirit of <I forget the name right now and it's too late for me to
bother chasing it up - a former Castle Rock cop who was exposed as a
serial killer by Johnny Smith (main character of The Dead Zone) - I
think the first name was Frank, but don't hold me to that.>

Similarly, in The Shining, he never actually comes right out and says
that Jack Torrance is possessed by one or more evil spirits that haunt
the Overlook Hotel - but he dances around and around the concept,
pointing and snickering and hinting like crazy, without ever actually
outright saying that's the case. In Needful Things, he does the same
thing with Gaunt - He dances right up to the edge of saying "Gaunt is
ol' Splitfoot hisself!" over and over again, without actually saying so,
and leaves the reader to decide if he really is - or isn't...

In the end, he leaves Gaunt wide open to be either satan, a demon, or
something else entirely. Whatever he *REALLY* is, there's one thing we
come away knowing he's *NOT*: Human. In the same way, we never *REALLY*
know that it's a bag full of souls from the book's text - We get a whole
bunch of hints that this is PROBABLY what's in the valise, but no
definitive word. King is wonderfully ambiguous that way, both here in
Needful Things, and in MANY other places in his catalog. It's one of the
things that make him so good at what he does - He points and implies and
hints, but in the end, leaves the reader to decide for himself if that's
*REALLY* what's going on.
--
If the door is baroque don't be Haydn. Come around Bach and jiggle the Handel.
Don Bruder
2017-02-22 09:14:38 UTC
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In article
Post by Lawrence Watt-Evans
Post by Don Bruder
Further, King has *NEVER*, in any of his published works, used overtly
"satanic" stuff - not even as window-dressing. Evil? Yes. Absolutely.
Supernatural? All the time. But satanic? *NEVER*. He doesn't even really
nod in the general direction of the satanic - Closer would be to say
that he avoids the concept the same way you'd avoid trying to kiss the
blade of a running lawnmower. Not even his two most-recurring "big bad
evils", "The Crimson King" and Randall Flagg, are satanic - just evil.
I took the bad guy in _Needful Things_ to be satanic. It's been long
enough since I read it that I can't defend that position, though.
Nah, I wouldn't call Leland Gaunt satanic. He's a supernatural whatsit
of some sort never-quite-specified, no question, but not satanic.
Demonic, perhaps, but not satanic. (Yes, I know - it's a subtle
difference, but while the two are close, they're not the same thing in
my book)

But I can see where someone might think so, since he's all about "the
deal", and he does seem to want something that could reasonably be
called "souls". (although unless I'm mis-remembering, SK hints all
around it, but never actually comes right out and says that souls are
what's in Gaunt's "little black bag")
--
If the door is baroque don't be Haydn. Come around Bach and jiggle the Handel.
Gene Wirchenko
2017-02-23 00:23:58 UTC
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On Wed, 22 Feb 2017 01:14:38 -0800, Don Bruder <***@sonic.net> wrote:

[snip]
Post by Don Bruder
Nah, I wouldn't call Leland Gaunt satanic. He's a supernatural whatsit
of some sort never-quite-specified, no question, but not satanic.
Demonic, perhaps, but not satanic. (Yes, I know - it's a subtle
difference, but while the two are close, they're not the same thing in
my book)
What is your distinction, he asked, hoping not to start a
definition war.

[snip]

Sincerely,

Gene Wirchenko
Gutless Umbrella Carrying Sissy
2017-02-22 23:27:16 UTC
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Post by Gene Wirchenko
[snip]
Post by Don Bruder
Nah, I wouldn't call Leland Gaunt satanic. He's a supernatural
whatsit of some sort never-quite-specified, no question, but not
satanic. Demonic, perhaps, but not satanic. (Yes, I know - it's
a subtle difference, but while the two are close, they're not
the same thing in my book)
What is your distinction, he asked, hoping not to start a
definition war.
I suspect it has to do with Satan being specifically Christian, or at
least Judeo-Christian, while many other religions throughout history
have had demons.

One could argue one is a subset of the other, or not.
--
Terry Austin

Vacation photos from Iceland:
https://plus.google.com/u/0/collection/QaXQkB

"Terry Austin: like the polio vaccine, only with more asshole."
-- David Bilek

Jesus forgives sinners, not criminals.
Juho Julkunen
2017-02-23 01:00:20 UTC
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Post by Gutless Umbrella Carrying Sissy
Post by Gene Wirchenko
[snip]
Post by Don Bruder
Nah, I wouldn't call Leland Gaunt satanic. He's a supernatural
whatsit of some sort never-quite-specified, no question, but not
satanic. Demonic, perhaps, but not satanic. (Yes, I know - it's
a subtle difference, but while the two are close, they're not
the same thing in my book)
What is your distinction, he asked, hoping not to start a
definition war.
I suspect it has to do with Satan being specifically Christian, or at
least Judeo-Christian, while many other religions throughout history
have had demons.
One could argue one is a subset of the other, or not.
ISTR _The Stand_ had distinct Christian overtones, but that might be
the miniseries coloring my memory. It's been nigh on two decades since
I read the novel.
--
Juho Julkunen
Don Bruder
2017-02-23 02:50:08 UTC
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Post by Juho Julkunen
Post by Gutless Umbrella Carrying Sissy
Post by Gene Wirchenko
[snip]
Post by Don Bruder
Nah, I wouldn't call Leland Gaunt satanic. He's a supernatural
whatsit of some sort never-quite-specified, no question, but not
satanic. Demonic, perhaps, but not satanic. (Yes, I know - it's
a subtle difference, but while the two are close, they're not
the same thing in my book)
What is your distinction, he asked, hoping not to start a
definition war.
I suspect it has to do with Satan being specifically Christian, or at
least Judeo-Christian, while many other religions throughout history
have had demons.
One could argue one is a subset of the other, or not.
ISTR _The Stand_ had distinct Christian overtones, but that might be
the miniseries coloring my memory. It's been nigh on two decades since
I read the novel.
In both forms, The Stand is a "Good vs Evil" tale.

In this case, "Good" is represented by Mother Abigail and her followers.
Mother Abigail defines herself as christian, and is depicted as being
blatantly so. Those of us, such as myself, who look at the over-arching
tale that The Stand is just a subplot of(1), call her an agent of "The
White".

On the other side, "Evil" is Randall Flagg, who, when we encounter him
in other works by King (in particular, the second half of the Dark Tower
series, though he also appears in other tales, sometimes obviously,
sometimes disguised, but always, in the end, revealed for who he is) is
specifically stated to be an agent of an entity known as "The Crimson
King", who, so far as we've learned to date, is in turn, the primary
agent of "The Red". He's nasty, and a magician, but, as is explained in
the Dark Tower books, he's just a man - albeit a *VERY* old, and very
powerful one.

Overall, King *SEEMS* (to borrow a wiki notation: "original research?")
to follow the "Good done in the name of evil is still good, and evil
done in the name of good is still evil" school of thought - Call the
good guys superheroes, jesus, yahweh, jehovah, Diana, Apollo, etc, and
you're talking about "The White". Call the bad guys supervillains,
demons, devils, Pluto, Hades, or whatever other "evil" name you like,
and you're talking about "The Red". Aside from Mother Abigail in The
Stand, and Father Callahan in 'Salem's Lot and the second half of the
Dark Tower, King seems to go out of his way to stay out of the whole
"God/Satan" discussion.

(1) King himself has repeatedly stated that *EVERYTHING* (except his
non-fiction, of course) he has written in one way or another connects
back to the tale of Roland of Gilead, the last Gunslinger, and his quest
for The Dark Tower, which is the axis of all existence. Sometimes the
connections are obvious - A prime example being Insomnia, which directly
refers to characters and events in the Dark Tower books (and
vice-versa). Sometimes you really have to work at it - "Carrie",
ferinstance, is an indirect indirect (No, that wasn't a stutter) linkage
- "The Shop", a rather mysterious organization in King's universe,
investigates the events in Carrie. In Firestarter and The Dead Zone,
"The Shop" figures prominently. Also in both Firestarter and The Dead
Zone, there is frequent mention of a "National Enquirer" style tabloid
newspaper, "Inside View", which shows up all through King's writings,
including the Dark Tower books. Others are somewhere in between.
--
If the door is baroque don't be Haydn. Come around Bach and jiggle the Handel.
David DeLaney
2017-02-23 06:27:10 UTC
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Post by Don Bruder
(1) King himself has repeatedly stated that *EVERYTHING* (except his
non-fiction, of course) he has written in one way or another connects
back to the tale of Roland of Gilead, the last Gunslinger, and his quest
for The Dark Tower, which is the axis of all existence.
... so Roland is actually just another incarnation of the Eternal Champion,
and his Tanelorn takes Dark Tower form?

Dave, will reread certain Moorcock for food, once it gets to where I can access
the boxes again
--
\/David DeLaney posting thru EarthLink - "It's not the pot that grows the flower
It's not the clock that slows the hour The definition's plain for anyone to see
Love is all it takes to make a family" - R&P. VISUALIZE HAPPYNET VRbeable<BLINK>
gatekeeper.vic.com/~dbd - net.legends FAQ & Magic / I WUV you in all CAPS! --K.
Peter Trei
2017-02-23 14:00:07 UTC
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Post by David DeLaney
Post by Don Bruder
(1) King himself has repeatedly stated that *EVERYTHING* (except his
non-fiction, of course) he has written in one way or another connects
back to the tale of Roland of Gilead, the last Gunslinger, and his quest
for The Dark Tower, which is the axis of all existence.
... so Roland is actually just another incarnation of the Eternal Champion,
and his Tanelorn takes Dark Tower form?
Dave, will reread certain Moorcock for food, once it gets to where I can access
the boxes again
Isn't the reference to Browning?

http://www.bartleby.com/246/654.html

“Childe Roland to the Dark Tower came.”

pt
Don Bruder
2017-02-24 02:35:26 UTC
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Post by Peter Trei
Post by David DeLaney
Post by Don Bruder
(1) King himself has repeatedly stated that *EVERYTHING* (except his
non-fiction, of course) he has written in one way or another connects
back to the tale of Roland of Gilead, the last Gunslinger, and his quest
for The Dark Tower, which is the axis of all existence.
... so Roland is actually just another incarnation of the Eternal Champion,
and his Tanelorn takes Dark Tower form?
Dave, will reread certain Moorcock for food, once it gets to where I can access
the boxes again
Isn't the reference to Browning?
http://www.bartleby.com/246/654.html
“Childe Roland to the Dark Tower came.”
You are indeed correct in that King states unequivocally that Roland was
inspired by that piece. (and in fact, as an appendix to volume 7 of Dark
Tower, the piece is reprinted in its entirety)

But the Moorcock/Eternal Champion comparison *DOES* hold some water, at
least conceptually - Both Roland and (whoever the current incarnation of
the E.C. happens to be) are questing for a seemingly unattainable,
perhaps even mythical, goal.

One key difference: When I say "axis of all existence", that's *EXACTLY*
what is meant - The Dark Tower is the axle that *EVERYTHING* turns on.
In story terms, if The Dark Tower falls, all worlds, all universes, all
dimensions, all men, gods, demons, devils, and assorted creatures,
histories and futures, primaries and alternates - all *EVERYTHING*
ceases to be. Game Over. Don't bother to insert coin, 'cause there are
no more coins. Nor coin slots to insert them into. Nor anybeing to do
the inserting. Existence itself vanishes, leaving not even an empty
null, because even the concept of null is gone. Tanelorn, on the other
hand (at least, so far as I've read of the various Eternal Champion
volumes, and that most definitely isn't all of them - I liked Elric, I
liked SOME of the Runestaff books, etc, but I haven't read Moorcock's
entire catalog the way I have King's, so I certainly don't have all
pertinent in-world information) is just "eternal" - With or without it,
the multiverse goes on. Perhaps not happily, perhaps not "as it ought
to", perhaps not as planned, but it doesn't vanish into a puff of
nothingness because Tanelorn is gone. Without Tanelorn, existence may
well be a less-good place, but at least it's there. Without the Dark
Tower, the very concept of existence itself ceases to exist.
--
If the door is baroque don't be Haydn. Come around Bach and jiggle the Handel.
Don Bruder
2017-02-24 02:05:50 UTC
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Post by David DeLaney
Post by Don Bruder
(1) King himself has repeatedly stated that *EVERYTHING* (except his
non-fiction, of course) he has written in one way or another connects
back to the tale of Roland of Gilead, the last Gunslinger, and his quest
for The Dark Tower, which is the axis of all existence.
... so Roland is actually just another incarnation of the Eternal Champion,
and his Tanelorn takes Dark Tower form?
Eh... Kinda almost sorta slightly like...

But with less angst, methinks.
--
If the door is baroque don't be Haydn. Come around Bach and jiggle the Handel.
Don Bruder
2017-02-23 02:50:03 UTC
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Post by Gene Wirchenko
[snip]
Post by Don Bruder
Nah, I wouldn't call Leland Gaunt satanic. He's a supernatural whatsit
of some sort never-quite-specified, no question, but not satanic.
Demonic, perhaps, but not satanic. (Yes, I know - it's a subtle
difference, but while the two are close, they're not the same thing in
my book)
What is your distinction, he asked, hoping not to start a
definition war.
[snip]
Sincerely,
Gene Wirchenko
Satanic is *OF SATAN*. "There can be only one!" you might say. For
something to be "satanic", *THAT UNIQUE INDIVIDUAL* must be involved or
it just ain't satanic, regardless of any spin that might be applied.
Demonic is evil, but Satan need not be involved in any way, shape or
form.

In an effort to "put a handle on it", in AD&D (1st & 2nd edition, dunno
what it may have mutated into these days) terms, Satan would be a
singular devil. A devil is, by AD&D definition, lawful evil. Demons, on
the other hand, are chaotic evil.

Gaunt *DOES* display a pretty strong lawful evil behavior pattern - I'll
grant that. But Gaunt is NOT Satan. Or at least, is not recognizably
Satan by any description I know of in the "standard" folklore. Calling
him "satanic" is therefore at least a misnomer, and might be said to
make one subject to some form of supernatural trademark and/or copyright
infringement, if you get my drift. Calling him demonic is likewise less
than accurate, though more accurate than calling him satanic. On the
gripping hand, calling him "devilish" would be about as accurate as you
can get.
--
If the door is baroque don't be Haydn. Come around Bach and jiggle the Handel.
Gene Wirchenko
2017-02-26 03:50:40 UTC
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Post by Don Bruder
Post by Gene Wirchenko
[snip]
Post by Don Bruder
Nah, I wouldn't call Leland Gaunt satanic. He's a supernatural whatsit
of some sort never-quite-specified, no question, but not satanic.
Demonic, perhaps, but not satanic. (Yes, I know - it's a subtle
difference, but while the two are close, they're not the same thing in
my book)
What is your distinction, he asked, hoping not to start a
definition war.
Satanic is *OF SATAN*. "There can be only one!" you might say. For
something to be "satanic", *THAT UNIQUE INDIVIDUAL* must be involved or
it just ain't satanic, regardless of any spin that might be applied.
Demonic is evil, but Satan need not be involved in any way, shape or
form.
I thought that was probably what you meant, but osme words are
slipperier than others. Thank you.

[snip]

Sincerely,

Gene Wirchenko
Robert Carnegie
2017-02-26 15:03:49 UTC
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Post by Gene Wirchenko
Post by Don Bruder
Post by Gene Wirchenko
[snip]
Post by Don Bruder
Nah, I wouldn't call Leland Gaunt satanic. He's a supernatural whatsit
of some sort never-quite-specified, no question, but not satanic.
Demonic, perhaps, but not satanic. (Yes, I know - it's a subtle
difference, but while the two are close, they're not the same thing in
my book)
What is your distinction, he asked, hoping not to start a
definition war.
Satanic is *OF SATAN*. "There can be only one!" you might say. For
something to be "satanic", *THAT UNIQUE INDIVIDUAL* must be involved or
it just ain't satanic, regardless of any spin that might be applied.
Demonic is evil, but Satan need not be involved in any way, shape or
form.
I thought that was probably what you meant, but osme words are
slipperier than others. Thank you.
But on the other hand - a writer may (1) represent
Hell as a large organisation, either bureaucratic
or chaotic, and/or (2) present a fantasy-universe
Hell with a similar staff of demons but a different
person in charge. But arguably, these are of a
piece with stories where Satan appears in person.

Examples:

Milton's Paradise Lost - presumably the archetype
of literature where Satan appears. (Not the bible.
He is not very much used in that, and not consistently.)

Dante's Inferno (Guide to Hell) - AIUI Satan only
appears at the end. So not very Satanic really,
if involving Satan himself is the standard.

Faust - most or all of the devilry is not by
Satan but by someone called Mephistopheles.
That could be Satan with a pseudonym, but it
seems pointless to use one since apparently
Faust asked Satan for help in the first place.

<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eric_%28novel%29>
by Terry Pratchett is a parody of Faust with
different characters, and the master of Hell
having trouble with his board of directors.

C. S. Lewis wrote _The Screwtape Letters_ as
a Christian imagining one devil advising another
on how to tempt a human being, even a Christian,
into sin and damnation. Again I don't know
if Satan personally is mentioned by name or
title e.g. "senior management".

Are these not Satanic?

Greg Goss
2017-02-22 05:27:21 UTC
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Post by Don Bruder
Further, King has *NEVER*, in any of his published works, used overtly
"satanic" stuff - not even as window-dressing. Evil? Yes. Absolutely.
Supernatural? All the time. But satanic? *NEVER*. He doesn't even really
nod in the general direction of the satanic - Closer would be to say
that he avoids the concept the same way you'd avoid trying to kiss the
blade of a running lawnmower.
Um, who would you consider the central character in Needful Things to
be representing?
--
We are geeks. Resistance is voltage over current.
Sea Wasp (Ryk E. Spoor)
2017-02-22 02:27:56 UTC
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Post by Ken Quirici
There's a rec.arts.horror.written which gets practically no business so I'll try my question here.
I read a horror novel at least 15 years ago. I think it was Stephen King
Nope. Dean Koontz, The Servants of Twilight.
--
Sea Wasp
/^\
;;;
Website: http://www.grandcentralarena.com Blog:
http://seawasp.livejournal.com
Lynn McGuire
2017-02-22 03:12:31 UTC
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Post by Sea Wasp (Ryk E. Spoor)
Post by Ken Quirici
There's a rec.arts.horror.written which gets practically no business so I'll try my question here.
I read a horror novel at least 15 years ago. I think it was Stephen King
Nope. Dean Koontz, The Servants of Twilight.
Dude, you rock ! I was thinking "Swan Song" but knew it was wrong.

Lynn
Lynn McGuire
2017-02-22 03:43:20 UTC
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Post by Lynn McGuire
Post by Sea Wasp (Ryk E. Spoor)
Post by Ken Quirici
There's a rec.arts.horror.written which gets practically no business so I'll try my question here.
I read a horror novel at least 15 years ago. I think it was Stephen King
Nope. Dean Koontz, The Servants of Twilight.
Dude, you rock ! I was thinking "Swan Song" but knew it was wrong.
Lynn
If I remember correctly, I bounced on this one. Too creepy for me.

But I love his _Lightning_ book and have reread it several times.

Lynn
Sea Wasp (Ryk E. Spoor)
2017-02-22 12:56:00 UTC
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Post by Lynn McGuire
Post by Lynn McGuire
Post by Sea Wasp (Ryk E. Spoor)
Post by Ken Quirici
There's a rec.arts.horror.written which gets practically no business
so I'll try my question here.
I read a horror novel at least 15 years ago. I think it was Stephen King
Nope. Dean Koontz, The Servants of Twilight.
Dude, you rock ! I was thinking "Swan Song" but knew it was wrong.
Lynn
If I remember correctly, I bounced on this one. Too creepy for me.
But I love his _Lightning_ book and have reread it several times.
I didn't like _Servants of Twilight_ as much as many of his others either.
--
Sea Wasp
/^\
;;;
Website: http://www.grandcentralarena.com Blog:
http://seawasp.livejournal.com
Ken Quirici
2017-02-23 01:11:42 UTC
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Post by Sea Wasp (Ryk E. Spoor)
Post by Ken Quirici
There's a rec.arts.horror.written which gets practically no business so I'll try my question here.
I read a horror novel at least 15 years ago. I think it was Stephen King
Nope. Dean Koontz, The Servants of Twilight.
--
Sea Wasp
/^\
;;;
http://seawasp.livejournal.com
Sea Wasp -

The Wikipedia article on The Servants of Twilight sounds exactly like it - I didn't read what it said the ending was out of some peculiar superstition since I already read the ending years ago and remember it. And its 1984 which sounds just right.

Can't wait to read it again!

If by some unfathomable coincidence I read a totally different book in 1984 with exactly the same first few chapters' plot - well, I'm going to stop buying lottery tickets, at least. I'll also let you know.

Thx much!
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