The Highwayman by Lord Dunsany (read by Mike Vendetti)

July 7, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
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The Highwayman by Lord Dunsany

I love The Highwayman by Lord Dunsany. It’s a terrific twelve minute tale, a prose poem of career criminals turned beneficent brigands. And my friend Mike Vendetti liked it a whole bunch too, have a listen a listen to his reading of it! |MP3|

Here’s a fully illustrated |PDF|.

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #219 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: The Derelict by William Hope Hodgson

July 1, 2013 by · 1 Comment
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Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe 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.

The Derelict by William Hope Hodgson

Posted by Jesse Willis

The Wonderful Window by Lord Dunsany

May 2, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
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The Wonderful Window by Lord Dunsany

Very comparable in theme to H.G. Wells’ The Door In The Wall is The Wonderful Window by Lord Dunsany. It’s a Fantasy about the silliest young man in Business, and his foolish acquisition of a small leaded glass window from an oriental vagrant. It was first published in Saturday Review (UK), February 4, 1911.

And here’s the cleaned up LibriVox version, read by Greg Elmensdorp. |MP3| Approx. 13 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]

The Wonderful Window by Lord Dunsany |PDF| 11 Pages

The Wonderful Window by Lord Dunsany |PDF| 4 Pages

Posted by Jesse Willis

The Ghosts by Lord Dunsany

April 10, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
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I quite like this one. It makes a fit companion to The Hound Of The Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and The Red Room by H.G. Wells.

The Ghosts begins as straightforward haunted house story, one coming out of the Gothic tradition. Our hero, a skeptic, is staying with his brother at an ancient baronial estate. There, he argues with his brother about the existence of ghosts, and what sorts of evidence for their existence would be acceptable. Then, in order to make his point, he proceeds to induce in himself a ghostly experience by means darkness, drugs, and deprivation.

Are the ghosts he sees real and if so, is his point proved?

The Ghosts by Lord Dunsany - illustrated by Sidney Sime - "Oneleigh"

The Ghosts by Lord Dunsany - illustrated by Sidney Sime - "A Herd Of Black Creatures"

Miette’s Bedtime Story PodcastThe Ghosts
By Lord Dunsany; Read by Miette
1 |MP3| – Approx. 15 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Podcaster: Miette’s Bedtime Story Podcast
Podcast: March 21, 2006
First published in 1908.

LibriVoxThe Ghosts
By Lord Dunsany; Read by William Coon
1 |MP3| – Approx. 12 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: 2006
First published in 1908.

Here’s an illustrated |PDF| made from the publication in The Sword of Welleran and Other Stories.

Posted by Jesse Willis

The Hoard Of The Gibbelins by Lord Dunsany

April 10, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
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Lord Dunsany’s take on the sword and sorcery sub-genre is high on the Dunsany and low on the Lord (which is itself a very Dunsanian trait).

The Hoard Of The Gibbelins illustration by Sidney Sime

LibriVoxThe Hoard Of The Gibbelins
By Lord Dunsany; Read by Greg Elmensdorp
1 |MP3| – Approx. 10 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: June 24, 2007
The bold knight Alderic seeks the fabled hoard of the Gibbelins. First published in the Jan 25, 1911 issue of The Sketch.

Here’s a |PDF|.

Posted by Jesse Willis

The Raft-Builders by Lord Dunsany

March 16, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
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The Raft-Builders by Lord Dunsany

Maureen O’Brien, of the Maria Lectrix podcast, reads the prose poem The Raft-Builders by Lord Dunsany:

|MP3|

First published in the December 18, 1909 issue of Saturday Review.

Here’s the entire text:

The Raft-Builders by Lord Dunsany

‘All we who write put me in mind of sailors hastily making rafts upon doomed ships.

When we break up under the heavy years and go down into eternity with all that is ours our thoughts like small lost rafts float on awhile upon Oblivion’s sea. They will not carry much over those tides, our names and a phrase or two and little else.

They that write as a trade to please the whim of the day, they are like sailors that work at the rafts only to warm their hands and to distract their thoughts from their certain doom; their rafts go all to pieces before the ship breaks up.

See now Oblivion shimmering all around us, its very tranquility deadlier than tempest. How little all our keels have troubled it. Time in its deeps swims like a monstrous whale; and, like a whale, feeds on the littlest things–small tunes and little unskilled songs of the olden, golden evenings–and anon turneth whale-like to overthrow whole ships.

See now the wreckage of Babylon floating idly, and something there that once was Nineveh; already their kings and queens are in the deeps among the weedy masses of old centuries that hide the sodden bulk of sunken Tyre and make a darkness round Persepolis.

For the rest I dimly see the forms of foundered ships on the sea-floor strewn with crowns.

Our ships were all unseaworthy from the first.

There goes the raft that Homer made for Helen’.

Posted by Jesse Willis

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