Recapture by H.P. Lovecraft

November 7, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: News 

SFFaudio News

First published in the May 1930 issue of Weird Tales. Illustration by Boris Dolgov.

Recapture by H.P. Lovecraft

Posted by Jesse Willis

Neil Austin’s Masters Of Fantasy (from Famous Fantastic Mysteries 1947 – 1950) DESKTOP WALLPAPER

October 31, 2012 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: News 

SFFaudio News

I made this desktop wallpaper for my new computer’s desktop – that’s what I did yesterday instead of actually unpacking and setting up the computer itself. Click through to get the full size version. The images were drawn by
Neil Austin for issues of Famous Fantastic Mysteries from 1947 to 1950.

Masters Of Fantasy Wallpaper

Pictured are H.P. Lovecraft, A. Merritt, Robert W. Chambers, Sydney Fowler Wright, Algernon Blackwood, H.G. Wells, Stephen Vincent Benét, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Arthur Machen, M.P. Shiel, John Taine, Lord Dunsany, Clark Ashton Smith, Ray Bradbury, Edgar Allan Poe, Olaf Stapledon, and M.R. James.

Posted by Jesse Willis

The Nameless City by H.P. Lovecraft

October 14, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Online Audio 

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The Nameless City by H.P. Lovecraft (illustration by Jack Binder from Weird Tales, November 1938)

H.P. Lovecraft’s 5,000 word short story, The Nameless City, was based one of his dreams. That dream, in turn, was inspired by the last line of Lord Dunsany’s story The Probable Adventure Of The Three Literary Men, a story from 1911 (itself available as an |MP3| from LibriVox). Indeed, the line is even quoted within the tale:

“the unreverberate blackness of the abyss”

The eponymous, anonymous, city itself seems to have been inspired by “Iram, the City of Pillars” which was a mysterious lost city – a kind of “Atlantis of the Sands” – that is mentioned in the Quran.

And one critic, according to the detailed Wikipedia entry for the story, has it that Lovecraft was inspired by At the Earth’s Core by Edgar Rice Burroughs.

And for all those reasons The Nameless City is certainly worth looking at, if you can find it.

To help I’ve assembled a |PDF| made from a scan of the story, as published in the November 1938 issue of Weird Tales.

And here are several freely available narrations:

LibriVoxThe Nameless City
By H.P. Lovecraft; Read by Mark Nelson
1 |MP3| – Approx. [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: January 23, 2008
It lay silent and dead under the old cold desert moonlight, but what strange race inhabited the abyss beneath those cyclopean ruins?
First published in The Wolverine, No. 11, November 1921.

LibriVoxThe Nameless City
By H.P. Lovecraft; Read by Scott Carpenter
1 |MP3| – Approx. 28 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: October 19, 2008
It lay silent and dead under the old cold desert moonlight, but what strange race inhabited the abyss beneath those cyclopean ruins?
First published in The Wolverine, No. 11, November 1921.

LibriVoxThe Nameless City
By H.P. Lovecraft; Read by Rebecca M.L.
1 |MP3| – Approx. 31 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: April 14, 2011
It lay silent and dead under the old cold desert moonlight, but what strange race inhabited the abyss beneath those cyclopean ruins?
First published in The Wolverine, No. 11, November 1921.

Yog Radio PodcastThe Nameless City
By H.P. Lovecraft; Read by Michael Scott
1 |MP3| – 28 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Podcaster: Yog Radio
Podcast: May 7, 2006
It lay silent and dead under the old cold desert moonlight, but what strange race inhabited the abyss beneath those cyclopean ruins?
First published in The Wolverine, No. 11, November 1921.

Posted by Jesse Willis

Review of 14 by Peter Clines

October 11, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Reviews 

SFFaudio Review

Cover of 14 by Peter Clines14
By Peter Clines; Read by Ray Porter
Audible Download – 12 Hours 42 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Audible Frontiers
Published: 2012
Themes: / Mystery / Science Fiction / Horror

As you might be able to tell from the diverse yet vague range of themes listed above, 14 is a difficult book to classify or review. Much like The Matrix, you can’t really be told what 14 is; you simply have to experience it for yourself. The blurb–or perhaps the term log line would be more appropriate–reads:

There are some odd things about Nate’s new apartment. Of course, he has other things on his mind. He hates his job. He has no money in the bank. No girlfriend. No plans for the future. So while his new home isn’t perfect, it’s livable. The rent is low, the property managers are friendly, and the odd little mysteries don’t nag at him too much. At least, not until he meets Mandy, his neighbor across the hall, and notices something unusual about her apartment. And Xela’s apartment. And Tim’s. And Veek’s. Because every room in this old Los Angeles brownstone has a mystery or two. Mysteries that stretch back over a hundred years. Some of them are in plain sight. Some are behind locked doors. And all together these mysteries could mean the end of Nate and his friends. Or the end of everything….

Aside from giving off a subtle Stephen King vibe, this synopsis doesn’t much help categorize the book either. And yet, in precisely the way book cover pitches are supposed to do, it offers just enough tantalizing hints to draw you in. If I had to pick a single overriding genre for the novel, I would choose mystery. There are indeed some strange goings-on in the Kavach Building, which houses the novel’s motley assortment of tenanets as well as the eponymous apartment number 14. Some of these things are creepy, hence the horror; some are paranormal, hence the science fiction. But ever driving the plot forward is protagonist Nate Tucker’s desire to get to the bottom of it all. The mystery theme is underscored by repeated, almost overdone, references to Scooby Doo. But in terms of literary and historical allusions Scooby and Shaggy are kept good company by the likes of Nikola Tesla and H. P. Lovecraft. Yes, the book is that weird.

What makes it all work and flow so smoothly is Clines’s knack for characterization. The listless protagonist Nate Tucker, the artist Xela with nudist tendencies, the Hindi hacker Veek, the hardcore Christian Andy, and virtually every other character, major or minor, are people whose stories are minor mysteries in their own right. When, pardon my French, shit gets weird, you’re always anchored by this (mostly) likable ensemble. Clines’s writing is also excellent. His background in Hollywood is evident in the novel’s setting and characters, and the third-person narration is likewise cinematic in pacing. It would be easy to see 14 adapted into a movie or, preferably, a miniseries. The novel excels, as a good mystery should, in dropping tantalizing plot hints, only to cut away to more chapters on characterization, spurring the reader to read on and find out what happens next. In the hands of less capable writers this technique can feel like a cheap trick, but fortunately Clines doesn’t overdo it.

The diverse cast of characters poses a potential challenge for narrator Ray Porter, from the feminine cadence of Veek’s Indian accent to the clipped, harried German accent of Oskar the building manager. Fortunately, Porter is mostly up to the task. He handles these characters, as well as a broad range of accents from our own continent, nearly flawlessly. With a few exceptions near the end, his narration manages to feel unobtrusive, almost as if there were no narrator at all and the listener is simply telepathically absorbing the words from the page. I don’t believe I’ve listened to Ray Porter’s work before, but I’ll certainly watch for him from now on.

The book puts a neat little bow on most mysteries, but there are still a few loose tendrils that could serve as springboards for another novel in the same universe. It really was difficult to say goodbye to the characters and the world. In his review for Fantasy Book Critic, Mihir Wanchoo draws several apt comparisons between 14 and the television series Lost. The resemblance is indeed strong. If you enjoy strong characterization and a whirlwind of genre-bending mysteries, you’ll probably love the hell out of 14. And–sorry J.J. Abrams et al.–Peter Clines actually knew where the plot was going.

Posted by Seth

19 Nocturne Boulevard: The View From Within AUDIO DRAMA (adapted from an H.P. Lovecraft story)

September 7, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Audio Drama, Online Audio 

SFFaudio Online Audio

This is an adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft short story, a very loose one, and the title is different. I think if you’ve read it you have a chance of identifying it, but if you haven’t you probably won’t.

19 Nocturne Boulevard - The View From Within19 Nocturne Boulevard – The View From Within
By Julie Hoverson; Adapted from a story by H.P. Lovecraft; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [AUDIO DRAMA]
Podcaster: 19 Nocturne Boulevard
Podcast: November 15, 2010

Cast:
Richard … Philemon Vanderbeck
Edward … Bryan Hendrickson
Charles … Michael Coleman
Warren … Glen Hallstrom
Herbert … Carl Cubbedge
Auguste … Reynaud LeBoeuf

Music by Kevin MacLeod

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #175 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: The Outsider by H.P. Lovecraft

August 27, 2012 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Podcasts 

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #175 – The Outsider by H.P. Lovecraft, read by Wayne June. This is a complete and unabridged reading of the short story (19 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Julie Hoverson and Fred Godsmark of Audio Realms.

Talked about on today’s show:
the greatest audiobook narrator of H.P. Lovecraft stories ever (Wayne June), you fall in love with this story in high school, it blew Julie’s mind, Fred read The Outsider early, Algernon Blackwood, horror, re-read or re-listen, Julie’s oblique audio drama adaptation, is the main character female?, we’re all outsiders, filming The Outsider, The View From Within, The Lovecraft Five (includes Richard Pickman and C. Auguste Dupin), born and raised in a tomb, zombie or revenant or disfigured person, he’s a rotty person in need of love, Edgar Allan Poe, how could you film it?, The Sixth Sense, the wonderful ambiguity, The Temple by H.P. Lovecraft, “Castle Arrgh”, The Dark Worlds Of H.P. Lovecraft, Volume 3, The Horror At Red Hook, Herbert West: Re-Animator, The Statement Of Randolph Carter, the comedic musical stage play of Herbert West: Re-Animator, Evil Dead: The Musical, Evil Dead 2, Wayne June is a treasure, Michael Moorcock, Blood Memories, Gene Simmons, The Dunwich Horror and The Call Of Cthulhu, Johnny Winter, Ghoul by Brian Keene, AudioRealms.com, Castaways, The Rising, Darkness On The Edge Of Town, Gathering Of Crows, Roanoke, “CROATOAN”, the incredibly reader Jenny Colvin, long staircases in The Outsider go up and the The Rats In The Walls they go down, a metaphorical reading, The Crawling Chaos, The Evil Clergyman (aka The Wicked Clergyman), engagement with the imagination, T.E.D. Klein, S.T. Joshi, we’re not in the know, 4 track recorder, Fred fell into the audio business, amateur vs. professional, reverb diaper pail, toilet echo, spoken word LPs, Caedmon, David McCallum, growing up vs. growing old, YouTube is incredible, Julie’s adaptation of The Temple, paranormal romance, The Dunwich Horror, Dean Stockwell, Lavinia’s not crazy, fathering the child of an elder god may or may not drive you crazy, “oh no I’ve discovered I’m related to fish-men”, The H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society adaptation of The Shadow Over Innsmouth, Robert E. Howard, Lair Of The White Worm by Bram Stoker, The Dark Worlds Of H.P. Lovecraft, Volume 1 is a consistent best seller, The Double Shadow by Clark Ashton Smith, The Empty House, The Whisperer In Darkness, August Derleth, People Of The Dark, The Haunter Of The Ring, DarkRealmsAudio.com, Twitter, an hour per minute of finished audio, recording in your living-room, Dracula, Donald Pickering, Jack London, adding hiss, room tone, put noise in?, The Yellow Wallpaper.

The Outsider by H.P. Lovecraft - from Famous Fantastic Mysteries

Posted by Jesse Willis

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