Monday, January 25, 2010

A Weird Dream

I've been having a lot of weird dreams lately. Last night I had one in which author L. Sprague de Camp -- looking more or less like this -- showed up on my doorstep and invited himself to dinner at my house. Despite the abruptness of his arrival, he proved a very charming guest, regaling me with lots of fascinating anecdotes about other science fiction and fantasy authors. Throughout it, though, he was clearly trying to steer me toward talking about my opinion of Robert E. Howard and the Conan pastiches he and Lin Carter wrote. Not wanting to upset him -- why I'm not sure; perhaps I just wanted to be a polite host -- I deftly avoided his verbal snares and kept the conversation on other topics, including De Camp's own writings, which seemed to please him.

Like I said: weird dreams.

17 comments:

  1. I have a new found respect for LSdC based upon that photo.

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  2. I wonder what Freud and Jung would have to say about your dream ...

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  3. I think I would find myself in a similarly awkward situation were I to find myself in the scenario you dreamed.

    I am a big fan of the Shea stories, and believe fantasy fans everywhere owe Lin Carter a mountain of thanks.

    But their Conan pastiches...oh, the Conan pastiches. There is just no kind way to put how disappointing they are.

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  4. I once made the mistake of reading HPLs Call of Cthulhu while I was sick. The fevered dreams I had that night are ones I will not soon forget.

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  5. Grognardia is taking over your life!

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  6. It seems to me L. Sprague must of got wind of you in the afterlife and took a detour into the Dreamlands to meet with you ;-)

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  7. You probably need to stay off the stinky cheese.

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  8. James, don't eat pickles before bed. :)

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  9. Maybe it was the ghost of De Camp trying to get you to write glowing reviews of his Conan stories.

    I've had a couple dreams where I'm talking with Albert Einstein. Dreams are fun sometimes.

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  10. In the interests of providing an alternative point of view from the other comments here, I personally place great store in dreams as a rule.

    If I had such a "significant" dream, I would not discount it out-of-hand. I will doubtless appear as a foolish old man seeing an omen in every croaking of a crow (which, for the record, I do not), but I would encourage you to be open to the idea that you had a genuine visitation.

    In such a case, I would count it as a good omen.

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  11. If I found myself in a similar situation, I imagine I'd try to redirect the conversation to de Camp's Pusadian stories -- they make up for any failings LSdC exhibited as a Conan pasticher.

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  12. Obviously de Camp was looking to increase his postmortem standing in the pulp lit blogroll.

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  13. Perhaps the dream would make more sense if you looked at it with the idea that everyone you interact with in a dream is just another facet of yourself.

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  14. G. Benedicto, I agree with your praise for the Pusadian stories. I just read "The Eye of Tandyla" yesterday. They, along with the Viagens and Novarian stories, are superb.

    If there was one fantasy author I would like to have witty conversation with over dinner it would have been L. Sprague de Camp.

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  15. Sounds like you are conflicted about Sprague.

    I wonder where the dream would go if you would have been honest with him. I assume that you respect his position as a influence on Gygax but think his Conan stories are weak.

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  16. What an awesome dream. I corresponded with both de Camp (I sent him nerdy errata from the first edition of his Lovecraft biography) and Carter. It was ages ago, but I recall dreams of this sort plagued my teenage years.

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