The SFFaudio Podcast #219 – The Derelict by William Hope Hodgson; read by the wonderful Mike Vendetti. This is a complete and unabridged reading of the story (1 hour 13 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Mike Vendetti, and Sam Gafford (from the William Hope Hodgson blog).
Talked about on today’s show:
Most popular stories, Audible.com, Out Of The Storm by William Hope Hodgson, The House On The Borderlands, one of the best novels of the twentieth century, a classic of Science Fiction and Horror, The Ghost Pirates, The Boats Of The “Glen Carrig”, The Night Lands, one of the best horror novelists ever, WWI, Belgium, Ypres, Mike did the Vietnam thing, Ambrose Bierce, a love hate relationship with the sea, the merchant marine, why didn’t Hodgson join the Royal Navy?, Sailing Alone Around The World by Joshua Slocum, the sea as an evil monster, a hair pin as a deadly weapon, the sea becomes your god, an indifferent sea, H.P. Lovecraft, a lappet rather than a tentacle, the same basic take on how the universe works, Supernatural Horror In Literature,
Of rather uneven stylistic quality, but vast occasional power in its suggestion of lurking worlds and beings behind the ordinary surface of life, is the work of William Hope Hodgson, known today far less than it deserves to be. Despite a tendency toward conventionally sentimental conceptions of the universe, and of man’s relation to it and to his fellows, Mr. Hodgson is perhaps second only to Algernon Blackwood in his serious treatment of unreality. Few can equal him in adumbrating the nearness of nameless forces and monstrous besieging entities through casual hints and insignificant details, or in conveying feelings of the spectral and the abnormal in connection with regions or buildings.
ghost stories, the frame story, the spontaneous generation of life, The White People by Arthur Machen, Frankenstein, The Eclogues by Virgil, a recipe for wasps, dead matter, The Voice In The Night (Hodgson’s most famous story), don’t come any closer!, the mold taking over, Matango: Attack of the Mushroom People, The Terror Of The Water Tank, Hodgson in the bookstore, Night Shade Books, The Hog, where is the manuscript?, Brown University, Lord Dunsany, Sam Moskowitz, S.T. Joshi, a gathering of papers, the Titanic, the “nautical” theme, travel by sea, Cpt. “Sully” Sullenberger, radio telegraphy, Widow’s walk, Why I Am Not At Sea, the romance of the sea, personal abuse, physical culture, ‘all those reports are untrue’, Slocum may have been on the other side, Hodgson was a hunk, photography, Hodgson’s gym, directing artillery fire, too early, diet and exercise, Super Man and the superheroes, Gladiator by Philip Wylie, 98-pound weakling, Charles Atlas, sailor, soldier, writer, photographer, what didn’t he do?, Hodgson’s family, religion, Blackburn, Downstairs On A Bicycle, Harry Houdini, a flurry of stories and novels, a hungry rejected writer, where did this writing come from?, a notoriety seeker, Arnold Schwarzenegger, good reviews and poor sales, The Night Lands is incomparable, Olaf Stapledon, the ending of 2001: A Space Odyssey, H.G. Wells, The Bookman magazine, Edgar Allan Poe, Hodgson’s women, The Dream Of X, writers rights (copyright), short stories sell better, writing order vs. publication order, The Ghost Pirates is Sam’s favourite, seeping dimensions, Mike is fast, outside sales, Mike Vendetti audiobooks on Audible.com, Robert E. Lee, text was meant to be read aloud, music and reading were social activities, actors are turning to audiobooks.
Posted by Jesse Willis
Shell Game, a short story by Philip K. Dick, is public domain.
A comparison of the copyright renewal form HERE and the original publication of the short story, in Galaxy Science Fiction, September 1954 (below) proves that the copyright was not properly renewed.
Indeed, it appears that the copyright renewal was actually intentionally falsified so as to give the appearance that the story was still under copyright. An examination of the magazine from the issue where its renewers claim it to have been published DOES NOT CONTAIN the story.
Here is the table of contents from the issue where the claimants claimed it was published:
Shell Game by Philip K. Dick is PUBLIC DOMAIN.
Here is a |PDF|.
Posted by Jesse Willis
Talked about on today’s show:
the classic Tarzan yodel, the dum-dum service, Tarzana, California, those beautiful Burroughsian run-on sentences:
“From this primitive function has arisen, unquestionably, all the forms and ceremonials of modern church and state, for through all the countless ages, back beyond the last uttermost ramparts of a dawning humanity our fierce, hairy forebears danced out the rites of the Dum-Dum to the sound of their earthen drums, beneath the bright light of a tropical moon in the depth of a mighty jungle which stands unchanged today as it stood on that long forgotten night in the dim, unthinkable vistas of the long dead past when our first shaggy ancestor swung from a swaying bough and dropped lightly upon the soft turf of the first meeting place.”
A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur’s Court by Mark Twain (and SFBRP #151), Edgar Allan Poe should be read aloud, The Return Of Tarzan, racism, Esmeralda, Gone With The Wind, minstrel shows, Chicago, Arizona, the mammy archetype, radio drama racism, Jar Jar Binks, Star Wars: Episode III, October 1912, historical dialect, Jane (the white lady), “you just shot a woman in the head”, cannibalism,
Conan Tarzan lynches his mother’s killer, rope tricks, out of context vs. in context, Tarzan as a god, Ballantine Books, the dum-dum scholars, Project Gutenberg edition, ERB Incorporated, Tarzan The Censored by Jerry L. Schneider, Tarzan Of The Apes censorship and “improvements” since the original publication, “an English grammar Nazi”, The Heathen by Jack London, taking out or changing a few words can hurt the story, Earnest Hemingway and William Shakespeare are “too wordy”, Tab Cola, Tarzan’s relationship with the cannibal villagers, “mankind and civilization aren’t”, colonialism, the Belgian Congo, King Leopold II, contemplating cannibalism, “the white god of the woods”, Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes (1984), Wisconsin, Tarzan’s ape father is driven away by Kerchak (and turned into a museum exhibit), “the Evil village of Scotland”, the sadness that comes with the deaths is powerful, Paul D’Arno, Obi Wan Kenobi, “Tarzan was the blockbuster hit of the twentieth century”, A Princess Of Mars, Ruritania, The Mad King, “complete in one issue”, All-Story, the scanty Science Fiction elements, feral children, Romulus and Remus, Mowgli, Tarzan is a wild child, “this line from a book”, all of Burroughs characters are excellent language learners, when Tarzan writes a note, Lord Of The Jungle (Dynamite Entertainment), the mistaken dual identity, “Jane has massive bosoms”, Green Mansions (starring Rima, The Jungle Girl), Johnny Weissmuller, “the Sheena of South America”, Audrey Hepburn and Anthony Perkins, Psycho, significantly more significant, the primary driver of fiction of this period is character, Nancy Drew, book serials, Rudyard Kipling dissed Burroughs’ writing and grammar, White Fang is kind of like Tarzan Of The Apes, first person vs. third person, you can’t admire the character from afar if the story is told first person, Sherlock Holmes, “that turn towards character is a turn towards the third person omniscient POV”, “that heroic distance” (1910-1950), Raymond Chandler, “I read Chandler”, Tarzan is the only Burroughs series that doesn’t turn to first person narration, John Carter’s character, why is Tarzan such a big character, Tarzan Alive: A Definitive Biography Of Lord Greystoke by Philip José Farmer, Tarzan as a quiet sophisticate, Doc Savage, The Green Odyssey by Philip José Farmer, Farmer is a fan of character, a stranger in a strange land, what ruined Julie for religion, The Mastermind Of Mars (is PUBLIC DOMAIN), “Tur is Tur.”, copyright, copyfight, jungle Tarzan vs. cafe absinthe drinking Tarzan, “the machine”, the Weissmuller Tarzan, where does he get his razor?, “that knife was his father”, “next book please”, Tarzan And His Mate , “lots of wet people”, “skin friendly”, melon-farmer vs. motherfucker, Boy and Cheeta are Hollywood, Scrappy-do, what did Tantor have to say?, Sabor the lioness, “there are no tigers in Africa, Ed”, Crocodile Dundee, Beyond Thirty, The Mucker, yellow peril looking dudes, The Girl From Hollywood, The Man Eater, early road trips, The Land That Time Forgot, The Lost World, the Caspak series, WWI, “sheer headlong adventure”, The Asylum, closing words, “it’s not what you think”, “really really good fun”, baby ape skeleton in the cradle, a classic of writing, a touching story, “and vengeance is his”, serialization in newspapers, cliffhangers, Charles Dickens, Wilkie Collins,
Posted by Jesse Willis
Let Rob Reid try to make sense out of all the numbers dealing with copyright infringement at a recent Ted Talk. I saw this on TWIT.
Posted by Tamahome
The SFFaudio Podcast #146 – Eight O’Clock In The Morning by Ray Nelson, read by Gregg Margarite. This is a complete and unabridged reading of the short story (16 Minutes) followed by a discussion of it with Jesse, Gregg Margarite and Ray Nelson himself!
Talked about on today’s show:
This story was suggested by a listener [thanks], Eight O’Clock In The Morning, a terse procedural aspect of the text, Ray is a fan of bare bones writing, alien forks and knives, inspired by flies, a new adaptation of Eight O’Clock In The Morning (on IMDB), John Carpenter’s They Live, occupy wall street, the 1% aren’t just mean, one of the best short story adaptations, Nada = nothing, a traitless character, a modern fable, The Twilight Zone, sowing a distrust of television, “Work Eight Hours, Play Eight Hours, Sleep Eight Hours”, Ray co-wrote The Ganymede Takeover with Philip K. Dick, Gregg likes it, The Ganymede Takeover has been translated 15 times, Ray and Phil are a hit in France, Edgar Allan Poe owes his classical status to Baudelaire, the short story form itself, Again, Dangerous Visions, Hillside School in Berkley, CA, Ray went to school with Philip K. Dick and Ursula K. Le Guin, France, 1950s, Harlan Ellison, Jean Paul Sarte, book smuggling, Henry Miller, Ray gave Phil acid twice, Philip K. Dick’s acid trips (and flashbacks), answers vs. questions, public and private realities, Ray loves radio theatre, the new audio drama, Tim Heffernan, The Drama Pod, The Cosmic Circle on KPFA, live broadcast, live TV, Saturday Night Live, Your Show Of Shows, Mel Brooks, Woody Allan, Larry Gelbart, the last unsafe TV show was Buffy: The Vampire Slayer, anthology series, The Twilight Zone, Black Mirror, Carleton E. Morris, radio drama in Canada, Carleton E. Morris, Prairie Home Companion, appointment radio, X Minus One, Dimension X, Escape, Suspense, I Love A Mystery, BrokenSea’s OTR Swag Cast, The Temple Of The Vampires, Bill Hollweg, The Quantum Door, Gregg gets to be Rod Serling, Jake Sampson: Monster Hunter, Egypt, Texas, Robert E. Howard, H.P. Lovecraft, paperbook publishing is tough, we want ebook and audiobook editions of , iambik.com, $0.30, William Blake, Laser Books, pseudonyms, RayNelson.com, cartoonism, American Window Cleaner Magazine, “Inflate my girl James … the Viagra is kicking in.”, the propeller beanie, Flying Down To Rio, the 1939 Worlds Fair, The World Of Tomorrow, Elektro the smoking robot, Treasure Island, Hitler’s swastika farm at the world’s fair, The Old Beatnik, Herb Caen, how the beatniks got their name, Jack Kerouac, a synchronistic view of the universe, theology, the University Of Chicago, my Edgar Allan Poe drawing, why don’t people draw more often?, every little kid knows how to draw, essay writing, the death of newspapers, the smell of a used bookstore, How To Fuck Like The Stars aka How To Do It, drawing, writing and smuggling pornography, the Wikipedia entry on Ray Nelson, “Push where it gives”, singing black spirituals in a cowboy suit in Paris, Ray “Tex” Nelson aka Tex The Singing Cowboy, Jeffrey Lord’s Richard Blade, Harlequin Books, Slave Of Sarma by Jeffrey Lord (read by Lloyd James), California Ray, Allen Ginsberg, “I wrote verse. I wrote verse and verse as I went along.”, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Howl, the San Fransisco Renaissance, Sex Happy Hippie, Robert Silverberg, Lawrence Block, Donald E. Westlake, Marion Zimmer Bradley, I, Lesbian by Lee Chapman (aka Ray Nelson and Marion Zimmer Bradley), copyright, fanzines, the smell of a mimeograph machine, Ray Bradbury, Clark Ashton Smith, H.P. Lovecraft, Robert E. Howard, Weird Tales, H.P. Lovecraft is more like a blogger than a 1950s writer, Farnsworth Wright, Astounding Stories, Pickman’s Model by H.P. Lovecraft, extraterrestrial monsters, cosmic horror, L. Sprague de Camp, H.P. Lovecraft in a dress, flipped his lid, the Fascinators are fascinating, the adaptation of They Live, Frank Armitage, scripting They Live, the sunglasses, the venetian blind glasses, Blade Runner, Total Recall, John Carpenter’s The Thing, The Thing From Another Planet, John W. Campbell, John Carpenter’s music, Roddy Piper doesn’t look like an everyman, the five minute fight scene works great!, Keith David, Seeing Ear Theatre, Tales From The Crypt |READ OUR REVIEW|, Eight O’Clock In The Morning is a kind of Lovecraftian tale, The Lurking Fear, “anything includes everything.”
Posted by Jesse Willis
There’s a fascinating article by Kurt Kuersteiner HERE titled “OTR: The Evil Influence Behind EC.” In it Kuersteiner maps some of the many stories swiped from radio drama series and turned into EC Comics.
It came to me at the perfect time too. I’ve just been getting into EC comics over the last few months. Having grown up under the censorship of the Comics Code Authority I didn’t really know what I was missing. Now though, reading these pre-code comics, I can now see that my intellectual growth had been greatly stunted.
I’d have been a far smarter person if I’d been able to buy and read comics like these as a kid.
My favourite such tale so far was published in the July/August 1953 issue of Weird Fantasy (issue number 20). It’s called The Automaton. At first it seemed to me like a mashup of a Philip K. Dick’s The Electric Ant, Alfred Bester’s Fondly Fahrenheit and George Orwell’s 1984. But looking at the chronology that can’t be what it is. First off Philip K. Dick was just getting started around then. And while he was a comics reader The Electric Ant wasn’t published until 1969.
And while by 1953 Bester had already been working in comics – he hadn’t yet written Fondly Fahrenheit. So the story is definitely Orwellian and very cool, and certainly like a couple of Dick and Bester tales that were yet to be written. But then again, maybe it was inspired by a radio drama that I’ve not heard yet. Anybody know of one like this?
As it stands The Automaton is set in the futuristic dystopian world of Los Angeles in 2009. Our protagonist is XT-751, a man recounting his story of being sent to a northern labour camp after a suicide attempt. Suicide is illegal in this world because the state owns every person from the cradle to the grave.
I actually have been thinking about The Automaton for months now. And after reading Kuersteiner’s article it somehow gelled into a post. It’s just been something I could’t quite shake. The story is not only extremely thought provoking, and still timely, but also extremely frightening. And maybe a lot of the rest of it is that it is about as far away from superhero comics as you can possibly get. Best of all it’s told in just seven pages – that’s a highly distilled story.
The only credit for The Automaton is for the artist, Joe Orlando, but maybe he wrote it too?
Posted by Jesse Willis