The SFFaudio Podcast #277 – The Wonderful Window by Lord Dunsany; read by John Feaster. This is an unabridged reading of the story (11 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants in the discussion include Jesse and John Feaster.
Today’s podcast is sponsored by Downcast, a terrific podcast app for iPhone and iPad.
Talked about on today’s show:
Saturday Review, February 4th, 1911, the secret story behind of all of modern fantasy, do you listen to podcasts?, our SPONSOR: Downcast, an app for iPhone and iPad, small size, big impact, location based downloading, a super-customized experience, audio drama, The Red Panda Adventures, Decoder Ring Theater, Downcast allows you to lock episodes, the key to understanding, the beginning of binge-watching, Sidney Sime, The Book Of Wonder by Lord Dunsany, its criminal that Lord Dunsany, H.P. Lovecraft, J.R.R. Tolkien, a new podcast idea, Appendix N: Inspirational And Educational Reading, The Dungeon Master’s Guide, take up this mantle, Gary Gygax, Dunsany’s last champion, Poul Anderson, John Bellairs, Leigh Brackett, Frederic Brown, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Lin Carter, L. Sprague de Camp, Fletcher Pratt, August Derleth, Lord Dunsany, Philip Jose Farmer, Gardner Fox, Robert E. Howard, Sterling Lanier, Fritz Leiber, H.P. Lovecraft, A. Merritt, Michael Moorcock, Andre Norton, Andrew J. Offutt, Fletcher Pratt, Fred Saberhagen, Margaret St. Clair, J.R.R. Tolkien, Jack Vance, Stanley Weinbaum, Manly Wade Wellman, Jack Williamson, Roger Zelazny, let’s understand it, S.T. Joshi, “the death of wonder”, bullshit, the inaccessibility of our fantasies, did the Arabic man see Golden Dragon City?, wouldn’t we see something different?, “the magi”, the Scheherazade salesman, its about writing fantasy, its about reading fantasy, reading life and real life, getting addicted to Game Of Thrones, it seems like it is about television, serial fiction, the August days are growing shorter, winter is coming, George R.R. Martin, prose poems, deft brushstrokes, a more devastating fairy tale, is the window a metaphor within that world, The Monkey’s Paw by W.W. Jacobs, the yellow robes, mood and temperament, what would Oprah see?, a soap opera, silent pictures, the constellations, The Crystal Egg by H.G. Wells, science fiction, Jesse’s pet theory on the opening credit sequence of Game Of Thrones, the four houses, dragons and bears, orrery, Ptolemy vs. Copernicus, epicycles, orbital clockworks, Ringworld by Larry Niven, the inside of a Dyson sphere, Westeros, a fish-eye lens, a D&D style hex system, the mechanistic unplaying of the plot, it’s not a half-assed Tolkien, HBO, a metaphor for The Wonderful Window, maybe it’s a bowl?, a fantastically wealthy Lannister home?, that guy’s based on The Kingpin, credit sequence, Dexter‘s morning routine, murdering coffee, “oh my god it’s over”, envisioning greater lives, some guy in Golden Dragon city is looking through a window at 1911 London, Lion City (London), make it WWI, the zeppelin terror, had it been written a few years later would we not assume the red bear as Communist Russia, escape to the secondary world, beaten down into the proper shape for Business, capital “B” business, “a touch of romance”, daydreaming, a frock coat, a bookstore, “emporium”, Walmart as a soul crushing emporium, howling newsboys, the birds in the belfries, “the seven”, analogues for priests and nuns, dragons the most evocative fantasy animal, a silver field, what prompts the destruction of Golden Dragon city, Darkon (2006), LARPers, interesting, good, and sad, fantasy lives on the weekend, a cardboard factory, typical American upper-lower class jobs, religion, plunking away god-dollars, the popular conception of D&D, video games, Elvis’ hips, KISS, better jobs, Detroit in ruins, work, podcasts to stave off the rats gnawing, John’s gaming group, soul crushing and beautiful, Edward Plunkett, H.G. Wells, toy soldiers, the start of modern war-gaming, empire, “this dang story”, 14th century Hungary, Angelmaker by Nick Harkaway, names, Friend, Spork, Carmilla (is a savory name), carnstein (flesh-stone), Mergin and Chater -> margin and cheater?, a used bookstore business is not one designed to make money (precisely), Chapters, the artificial love of books, the way Scrooge would run his business, the one room apartment, “tea-things”, we ended on a happy note, fantasy and escapism, there’s not much else past The Silmarillion, Elmore Leonard, Jack L. Chalker‘s last unpublished book, old-fashioned TV watching (no recording), “this window goes nowhere”, Mr. Sladden’s destruction of the window is better than had it been broken by someone else, the scent of mysterious spices, a breath of Golden Dragon City.
Posted by Jesse Willis
Filed under: Audio Drama, New Releases, Podcasts, Recent Arrivals
Talked about on today’s show:
Recent arrivals first, here’s Jenny’s list, Harry Harrison’s Deathworld, Speculative! Brilliance audiobooks (from public domain works), “he’s super clear”, author of Make Room! Make Room! (aka Soylent Green), Planet Of The Damned, “nice font”, Ursula K. Le Guin’s The Telling is in the Hanish Cycle, the out of print Harlan Ellison version of A Wizard of Earthsea, The Lathe Of Heaven and the PBS TV-movie with Bruce Davidson (trailer), Work Of The Devil by Katherine Amt Hanna, “the devil has no time for long novels”, Joe Hill’s Horns and In The Tall Grass (with Stephen King), Philip K. Dick’s Vulcan’s Hammer, similar to Colossus: The Forbin Project (film), “goes Skynet on your ass”, The Game-Players Of Titan has slug aliens, good names for bands, Time Out Of Joint, Tears In Rain by Rosa Montera is inspired by Blade Runner (it has a female Rutger Hauer), translated from Spanish, The Woodcutter by Kate Danley has fairy tale characters, Beowulf, Jeff Wheeler’s Legends Of Muirwood series released all at once, House Of Cards is a great British show, Dead Spots by Scarlett Bernard sounds like one of those Lifetime movies, The Mad Scientist’s Daughter by Cassandra Rose Clarke has a disturbing android romance, ewww!, Tam knows who Steven Erikson is (Forge Of Darkness), re-read of the Malazan series, we need urban fantasy and military SF people, Tenth Of December by George Saunders, prefers short stories, on Colbert, Vampires In The Lemon Grove by Karen Russell, her novel Swamplandia has been optioned by HBO, New releases start, Poe Must Die by Marc Olden, Ben Bova’s Farside comes out soon (hard SF), narrated by Stefan Rudnicki, Stefan’s Fantastic Imaginings, where’s James P. Hogan’s Inherit The Earth?, the movie Frequency didn’t star Kevin Bacon, the entire X Minus One radio drama run, short story audio collections having chapters and a table of contents, Star Wars audiobooks with enhanced sound, Bryce’s review of Star Wars: Scoundrels, more Star Trek novel audio books, more classic sf, Leigh Brackett, Jerry Pournelle, Harlan Ellison, Arthur C. Clarke, George R.R. Martin, “you’re welcome, Audible”, The Mad Scientist’s Guide To World Domination by John Joseph Adams, short fiction is back, Olaf Stapelton, like a science fiction The Silmarillion, SF Crossing The Gulf podcast will discuss Olaf Stapledon and others, Mary Doria Russell, where’s the audio version of Karen Lord’s The Best Of All Possible Worlds? (actually it came out the same day as the print version), Jenny loved it, what is the Candide connection Karen?, indie Scifi Arizona author Michael McCollum on Audible (Steve Gibson approved), the Audible Feb2013 Win-Win $4.95 sale, get the first in a series cheap, Sharon Shinn’s Archangel Samaria series, Image Comics’s first issue sale, The Red Panda audio drama becomes a comic (cover), John Scalzi’s The Human Division serial, wish science fiction authors in TV series, George R.R. Martin to develop more shows for HBO, football jerseys vs Star Trek uniforms.
Posted by Tamahome
I’ve posted about this story before. But I was provoked to point to it again after discovering Alex Schomburg‘s wonderful interior art illustration, above, and the editorial about it, probably written by Samuel Mines, below.
SOME few decades ago an artist was only a man or woman who painted pictures. The word was not applied to sculptors, to poets, to composers, to actors or to authors. You painted pictures or you weren’t an artist and that was that.
Fortunately the term was expanded to include anyone in any sort of work who dies his job an artistic fashion – whether that work is juggling cigar boxes like the late W.C. Fields or stealing based like Tyrus Raymond Cobb. And authors, since fiction-writing is today rated as an art, are generally awarded the term.
Most of the time they don’t rate it – for the artist must convey feeling through the creation of an illusion that casts a tight web around the beholder and impels him into the mood the artist desires. It is a very special magic and only a very few authors have acquired its mastery.
Leigh Brackett is certainly one of them. She can cast a mood-net more unerringly than the most expert fisherman, can paint word-pictures that strike correspondingly vivid images in the mind and the imagination of the reader. Using the same keyboards employed by less gifted authors she can evoke high tragedy, ecstasy, the sense and vision of unbearable beauty or decay or horror.
We have a hunch that this story finds her at her very best. There may be some who will say that it is not properly science fiction. To which, as in the case of Ray Bradbury, we can only counter, “Who cares?” – THE EDITOR
The Last Days Of Shandakor
By Leigh Brackett; Read by Nathan Osgood
2 MP3 Files via TORRENT* – Approx. 56 Minutes [ABRIDGED]
Broadcaster: BBC 7 / 7th Dimension
Broadcast: March 2007
An epic space adventure written in which Mars is portrayed as a dying planet where desperate Earthmen compete with the last Martians and other alien races for lost knowledge and hidden power. First published in April 1952 issue of Startling Stories.
*Available through the number one source for publicly funded radio drama on the internet, RadioArchive.cc.
Posted by Jesse Willis
The “All Star Anniversary Issue” of Fantasy And Science Fiction Magazine (for October 1958) featured famed editor Anthony Boucher’s regular “Recommending Reading” column – but with a twist. In celebration of the magazine’s 9th anniversary Boucher challenged himself to create a list of “Fifty Review Copies I Would Not Part With.” He failed in this herculean task – he just couldn’t pair down the list to fifty (even by restricting what would qualify in a number of ways). Instead, he ended up listing 52 Science Fiction novels or collections that he had no hand in publishing, another six that he did, and twelve Fantasy titles that were absolute must keepers as well. Of them Boucher wrote:
“These are novels and collections which have, from 1949 through 1957, given intense pleasure to a man professionally, obligated to read every s.f. book published in America; and I venture the guess that any reader, novice or habitué of our field, will find stimulation and delight in a high number of these titles.”
That’s good enough for me! I have reproduced as Boucher listed them (in alphabetical order by author). But I’ve added links to extant audiobook editions:
Boucher’s 52 best SF books:
Brain Wave by Poul Anderson |BLACKSTONE AUDIO|
I, Robot by Isaac Asimov [COLLECTION] |READ OUR REVIEW|
The Caves Of Steel by Isaac Asimov |READ OUR REVIEW|
The Naked Sun by Isaac Asimov |READ OUR REVIEW|
Earth Is Room Enough by Isaac Asimov [COLLECTION]
The Demolished Man by Alfred Bester
The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester
The Long Tomorrow by Leigh Brackett
The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury [COLLECTION] |READ OUR REVIEW|
What Mad Universe by Fredric Brown
The Lights In The Sky Are Stars by Fredric Brown
Angels And Spaceships by Fredric Brown [COLLECTION]
Cloak Of Aesir by John W. Campbell [COLLECTION]
No Blade Of Grass / The Death Of Grass by John Christopher |AUDIBLE FRONTIERS|
Prelude To Space by Arthur C. Clarke
Expedition To Earth by Arthur C. Clarke [COLLECTION]
Against The Fall Of Night (and The City And The Stars) by Arthur C. Clarke
Mission Of Gravity by Hal Clement
The Wheels Of If by L. Sprague de Camp [COLLECTION]
Rogue Queen by L. Sprague de Camp
Nerves by Lester Del Rey
Eye In The Sky by Philip K. Dick |BLACKSTONE AUDIO|
The Third Level by Jack Finney [COLLECTION]
Bullard Of The Space Patrol by Malcolm Jameson
Takeoff by C.M. Kornbluth
The Explorers by C.M. Kornbluth [COLLECTION]
Not This August by C.M. Kornbluth
Gather, Darkness by Fritz Leiber
The Green Millennium by Fritz Leiber |WONDER AUDIO|
The Big Ball Of Wax by Shepherd Mead
Shadow On The Hearth by Judith Merrril
Shadows In The Sun by Chad Oliver
Another Kind by Chad Oliver [COLLECTION]
A Mirror For Observers by Edgar Pangborn
The Space Merchants by Frederick Pohl and C.M. Kornbluth
The Other Place by J.B. Priestly [COLLECTION]
Deep Space by Eric Frank Russell [COLLECTION]
Untouched by Human Hands by Robert Sheckley [COLLECTION]
City by Clifford D. Simak [COLLECTION] |AUDIBLE FRONTIERS|
Strangers In The Universe by Clifford D. Simak
Slan by A.E. van Vogt |BBC AUDIOBOOKS AMERICA|
The Weapon Shops and The Weapon Makers by A.E. van Vogt
Player Piano by Kurt Vonnegut Jr. |AUDIBLE MODERN VANGUARD|
A Martian Odyssey by Stanley Weinbaum [COLLECTION] |LIBRIVOX|
The Throne Of Saturn by S. Fowler Wright
Excellent titles that had origins on the pages of Fantasy And Science Fiction:
Bring The Jubilee by Ward Moore
Tales From Gavagan’s Bar by Fletcher Pratt and L. Sprague de Camp [COLLECTION]
The Sinister Researches Of C.P. Ransom by H. Nearing Jr. [COLLECTION]
One In Three Hundred by J.T. McIntosh
Boucher’s best dozen Fantasy books:
The Devil In Velvet by John Dickson Carr
Fancies And Goodnights by John Collier [COLLECTION]
The Worm Ouroboros by E.R. Eddison |MARIA LECTRIX|
The Circus Of Dr. Lao by Charles G. Finney
The Private Memoirs And Confessions Of A Justified Sinner by James Hogg
Fear by L. Ron Hubbard |GALAXY PRESS|
The Lottery by Shirley Jackson [COLLECTION] |BBC AUDIOBOOKS AMERICA|
The Ghostly Tales by Henry James [COLLECTION]
Pogo by Walt Kelly
Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis |BLACKSTONE AUDIO|
Further Fables For Our Times by James Thurber [COLLECTION]
The Lord Of The Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien |RECORDED BOOKS|
Posted by Jesse Willis
I’ve updated our LEIGH BRACKETT page to include a few new finds – including this cool 1975 interview…
A 1975 Interview With Leigh Brackett
Interviewer Tony Macklin
1 |MP3| – Approx. 70 Minutes [INTERVIEW]
Posted: June 2009
“My interview with author Leigh Brackett took place in Kinsman, Ohio. I drove with my young daughter on a hot, humid, blazing July 1975 day to Leigh’s rural farm house. She was a gracious hostess and introduced us to her husband, fellow science fiction author Edward [sic] Hamilton. A lot of heady imagination was born in that rural locale. I vividly remember Leigh’s making us lemonade to help cool us — it was pure sugar. My teeth still cringe when I think of it. On the way home we stopped in the woods by a lake and took a refreshing dip in the warm water. The whole trip was like a trip to an alien world, where we were welcomed by a fairy godmother.”
Posted by Jesse Willis
Wow! Five Great New Titles from Wonder Audio!
Life changes on Earth when the population tips the scales at over X billion people. Harry lives in a single room without a window and hates the commutrain ride, which is like the black hole of Calcutta on wheels. If he can get his private car out of commugarage, he might be able to get to work on time. If only it wasn’t for his headaches….
Also included are the stories “The Old College Try”, “Black Bargain”, “Founding Fathers”, and “A Good Imagination”.
By Frederik Pohl & C.M. Kornbluth; Read by Mark Douglas Nelson
5hr, 34min – [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Wonder Audio
Available at Audible & iTunes
“A work of sheer, exuberant imagination.” (Arthur C. Clarke)
The Earth has forcibly been taken from its orbit. It began with an extra-terrestrial pyramid on top of Mt. Everest. And then a “runaway planet” took the Earth as its binary. And now harsh generations have passed since the inhabitants last saw the light of their sun, Sol.
Society has grown rigid. The meek lambs have inherited the Earth, even if it’s a very poor Earth, indeed. It’s a hard world for all. But Glenn Tropile is no lamb, and if his citizens finds out he’s a wolf, it will be the wolf that goes to slaughter.
The Four-Sided Triangle
By William F. Temple; Read by Tim Rowe
53min – [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Wonder Audio
Joan Leeton was certainly a lovely girl. A perfect girl for an English scientist to fall in love with. Unfortunately for Will Fredericks and Bill Josephs that’s exactly what happened, to both of them – and to the same girl too, Joan! But they were no ordinary scientists, and they created the most marvelous invention. A device that could perfectly replicate anything. But could it replicate a lovely girl named Joan Leeton? Could they create a love triangle with four people?
A classic story from Science Fiction’s Golden Age. First published in Amazing Stories in 1939.
The Vanishing Venusians
By Leigh Brackett; Read by Mark Douglas Nelson
1hr 20min – [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Wonder Audio
Matt Harker and his people have journeyed for far too long. They’re a rag-tag group of Earthmen and Venusians floating on the Sea of Morning Opals… floating without a home and with very little hope, victimized by hostile natives, burning fevers, bad soil, and bad luck.
When land is sighted, Harker makes the decision to scale the mountainous terrain in the dim hopes of finding a new home. With two companions, he ascends to encounter unknown malevolent alien beings. Harker thought he’d be lucky to find a habitable land – but now he thinks he will be lucky to just survive!
Plague of Pythons
By Frederik Pohl; Read by Mark Douglas Nelson
4hrs 9min – [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Wonder Audio
The pythons had entered into Mankind. No man knew at what moment he might be possessed! On Christmas, the world’s freedom died. Every man, woman and child lay in the grip of fear, for no one knew at what moment his nearest friend or a casual stranger might suddenly be possessed by some brutal mind… and begin to murder and destroy.
For Chandler it was worse than for most. He was both victim and executioner. He had suffered himself, and he had committed a violent crime while under the strange domination. Accused of hoaxing, he was driven from his home. He wandered the world and found it smashed like a spoiled child’s plaything. Now Chandler was in the very presence of the destroyers! But what could one person do against such power? The power of gods!
Did you know you can get either of these titles, as well as any other Wonder Audio title for just $7.49? Just sign up at Audible.com/WonderAudio
Posted by The Time Traveler of the Time Traveler Show