The SFFaudio Podcast #331 – READALONG: The Lord Of The Rings (Book 4 of 6) by J.R.R. Tolkien

August 24, 2015 by · Leave a Comment
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Podcast

TheSFFaudioPodcast600The SFFaudio Podcast #331 – Jesse, Julie Davis, Seth, and Maissa talk about The Lord of the Rings Book IV (“The Journey To Mordor”) by J.R.R. Tolkien (aka the second half of The Two Towers).

Talked about on today’s show:
Book 4, from The Taming Of Smeagol to the end of The Two Towers, or “Don’t get tangled-up with a spider”, or “Frodo slogging through the marshes forever”, or “nothing but a bunch of people walking”, Jesse’s least favorite, so gloomy, poems, flora, fauna, stew, Julie thinks it’s necessary, encounters, the overall gloom, the purification of Frodo, also Sam, carry-on and finish-off, Sam as the hero, Sam telling the story, Sam is the lowest of the low, the evolution of Sam, Sam is jealous of Gollum, Jesse loves the meta-stuff, “Mr Frodo, sir”, Smeagol must save them both, once upon a time, “Tell me more about Sam, dad.”, the huge elf warrior, Gollum’s story, we’re never the villain, what inspired Richard K. Morgan’s The Steel Remains, seeing it from the orcs’ point of view, how well structured, looking forward and looking back, nuanced and multi-layered, Tolkien’s reputation, a very black and white moral sensibility…, the other point of view, the creation of orcs, Melkor, one of the seven gods of Middle Earth, the blight of Mordor, the flowers on the crown, dark and light, Frodo and Gollum, old and beautiful vs. old and pitiable, they could have been each other, the argument between Gollum and himself, the editing, why is Gollum bad, stinker and slinker, Sam’s apology to Smeagol, Smeagol is passive aggressive, the timing as the greatest tragedy of the whole book, Cory Olsen, the lost opportunity, twisting the promise, what the ring has promised him, Gollum the great could eat fish three times a day!, his modest dreams, like a dog off a leash, he’s like a dog in every way, guilty dogs, dogs turning on their masters, fish are sweet to Gollum, everything that we like he hates, calling Gandalf’s words to mind, the big picture, the eye is looking for you, Smeagol’s contribution, even the worst evil, chance if chance you call it, diverting evil to good, the deal with Faramir, another structural thing, three travelers in a land, Riders Of Rohan, who be you, it is totally a mirror, Aragorn and crew, revealing vs. being discovered, the righteous, blindfolded again, a foreshadowing of Éowyn, well the Rohirrim are great but…, bear that in mind, Faramir’s mind reading power, who are the Númenóreans?, Jesse thinks it is wisdom, not so much about race, it’s because he’s full of lore, the mind reading thing, Galadriel’s telepathy, “No”, “come hither”, ESP?, character vs. race, country first (Borimir) vs. wisdom first (Faramir),

I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend.

this is the guy, the BBC radio drama, you ran all the way to me!?, Tolkien is teasing us, an echo of Galadriel, grey eyes glinting, not if I found it on the highway, “It’s not a romance novel, Julie.”, “Wow, what a guy!”, David Wenham, Aragorn is a ranger of the North and Faramir is a ranger of the South, Sam’s oliphant, what false promises did Sauron make to these guys?, dressed like Robin Hood and the merry men of Sherwood, one of the most religious things in The Lord Of The Rings, a meeting in the secret lair, Sam’s overspeaking reflecting Frodo’s overspeaking back in the Prancing Pony, heart over head, another geographical reflection, behind a waterfall, Helm’s Deep, seeing Rohan, seeing the storm, the dark skies, Minas Tirith and Minas Morgul, the chapter titles, The Passage Of The Marshes, The Black Gate Is Closed, Of Herbs And Stewed Rabbit, ruin the conies, the homely things, pots and pans, the phial of Galadriel, the Checkov’s shotguns, the belt that Borimir was given, the magic items, used once, Hobbits learn to cook before they speak, the rope!, Shelob stings Frodo like when Frodo is stung by the morgul blade back at Weathertop, running blindly on the bridge, Cirith Ungol, Shelob is Ungoliant’s daughter, the children of Shelob inhabit Mirkwood, South African spiders, how many time has the ring been worn?, Bilbo at the party, Frodo at the Prancing Pony, Frodo at Weathertop, Frodo at Amon Hen, Frodo at Borimir’s confrontation, Sam at Shelob’s lair, the ring’s effect on Sam, different people are effected differently by the ring, Frodo’s power with the ring would be to command, the ring is like a computer, if you think google is the internet…, the ring gives invisibility as a basic power, it gives Sam the power of sharp hearing and translation, Frodo can see more, Sam’s superpower is listening (he was an eavesdropper), as they approach Mordor the ring gets heavier and more powerful, leap from a precipice into a fire, it also blinds Frodo, the ring’s perception, “the master’s back”, because it is linked to Sauron, like a dog?, back to the magic items, if you play Dungeons and Dragons, a bow of plus to killing orcs, even Borimir’s gift, Sam’s dirt, Frodo’s phial, Sting from Frodo to Sam, leaving the Mithril armor, and then there’s the rope, the tying of the rope, is it a magic rope?, Galadriel’s rope?, that’s not her gift, words have power, another manifestation, “We got rope” [says some random elf], cloaks, rope, and bread, who is following?, is Gollum really allergic to the rope, if somebody tied me up, he can’t eat the lembas, he hates light, the ropes, and the nice things, climbing down Dracula-style, he knows his knots, the mystery from the previous, what happened to the entwives?, back in the Green Dragon Inn, “oh those tales”, the Ents tell where the Entwives went, the Brown Lands are brown, Jesse found a thread somewhere on the internet, Teleporno, a lot of digital ink was spilled, the last paragraph of page 258, just after watching the storm, “the skirt of the storm”, primed for finding the entwives, looking at Fanghorn,

At last they were brought to a halt. The ridge took a sharper bend northward and was gashed by a deeper ravine. On the further side it reared up again, many fathoms at a single leap: a great grey cliff loomed before them, cut sheer down as if by a knife stroke. They could go no further forwards, and must turn now either west or east. But west would lead them only into more labour and delay, back towards the heart of the hills; east would take them to the outer precipice.

“There’s nothing for it but to scramble down this gully, Sam,” said Frodo. “Let’s see what it leads to!”

“A nasty drop, I’ll bet,” said Sam.

The cleft was longer and deeper than it seemed. Some way down they found a few gnarled and stunted trees, the first they had seen for days: twisted birch for the most part, with here and there a fir-tree. Many were dead and gaunt, bitten to the core by the eastern winds. Once in milder days there must have been a fair thicket in the ravine, but now, after some fifty yards, the trees came to an end, though old broken stumps straggled on almost to the cliff’s brink. The bottom of the gully, which lay along the edge of a rock-fault, was rough with broken stone and slanted steeply down. When they came at last to the end of it, Frodo stooped and leaned out.

ties it too a stump, got this rope from the elves, oh I don’t want it elf rope behind, the rope is not magic, not really high fantasy, the birch stump untied the rope!, the last of the entwives, Frodo and Sam aren’t looking out for the entwives, “10 points for creativity”, a structural argument, they untie their bonds and sit down on a stump, answering any and every question, Julie goes with Tolkien’s answer, Jesse argues for the book over the author, here’s proof that the entwives are there, every time Galadriel’s name gets mentioned, the last thing he says is Galadriel and he strokes the rope, there is no truth of the matter, we cannot go to Middle Earth except by reading this book, Jesse keeps marshaling the argument, “you will find friends”, “Elrond is right”, two hobbits sit down on a stump and are taken by a tree, on the edge of a forest, symmetrically it works, an undefeatable argument unless, if were trying to solve mysteries…, the fragrant area, it used to be, this place had its history too before it was the Brown Lands, there are things we don’t know and things Tolkien didn’t know about it, world-build the hell out of it, structurally: the time, a three day foot journey to the west and a three day foot journey to the east, near simultaneous action, the end of page 70, even the wind is mapped out, Emun Myul, “almost felt you liked the place?”, a magic talking tree, the final nail in the coffin, the birch, the word book comes from the word birch, bravo bravo, the mystery is left there, when we were talking about the word stuff, Tom Bombadil,

‘It’s a trap!’ said Sam, and he laid his hand upon the hilt of his sword; and as he did so, he thought of the darkness of the barrow whence it came. ‘I wish old Tom was near us now!’ he thought. Then as he stood, darkness about him and a blackness of despair and anger in his heart, it seemed to him that he saw… a light in his mind, almost unbearably bright at first…. Far off… he saw the Lady Galadriel… in Lórien, and gifts were in her hands. And you, Ring-bearer, he heard her say, remote but clear, for you I have prepared this.

and that happens again, Sam brings light by thought, the big theme, with this phial, brandishing this light, intolerable light, unbearable light, the infection of light, Frodo asleep becoming a phial of light, Sam seeing it in Frodo, Frodo fading?, Frodo purified?, light going through him, the pincushion effect!, Frodo the white, the trend of weariness, the fate of all the elves, Mythgard Academy, that’s a choice, The Choices Of Master Samwise, you noodle!, everything that happens in the last book, foolish choices (wise choices), signing a contract you haven’t read, who would have the ring now?, somebody cut this open, the orcs had orders, in the floaty ghosty of the eye, the black hand only has four fingers, does Sauron have a body?, rolling Frodo into a ditch, all my choices have proved ill, what good lay in choice?, the very last map in The Two Towers, the wetwang and the entwash, Rohan, the new book The Fellowship: The Literary Lives of the Inklings: J.R.R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, Owen Barfield, Charles Williams by Philip and Carol Zaleski, telling the story of The Inklings, Lewis’ atheism and conversion, intertextuality, reading each other’s minds, Eagle And Child pub, Hugo Dyson, an alternate theory on the entwives, the vocal mannerisms of treebeard are those of C.S. Lewis, the question is not: “where are the entwives” but rather “where are our husbands?”, Dorothy L. Sayers, a male exclusive club, christian apologetics, a shoo–in.

UNICORN - The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien
MAGNUM - The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien
UNICORN - The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien

Posted by Jesse Willis

The Graveyard Shift with Dudley Knight

August 16, 2013 by · 8 Comments
Filed under: Online Audio 

SFFaudio Online Audio

The Graveyard Shift - Readings by Dudley KnightBeginning it seems in the mid-1970s Dudley Knight, a U.C. Irvine professor of drama, voiced a series called The Graveyard Shift on KPFK, Los Angeles. The purpose was to tell stories of the macabre. His broadcasts aired weekly with shows of variable length (between half and hour and two and a half hours).

Here is a list of broadcast stories, with links to audio when available:

Jan. ??, 1974- The Room In The Tower by E.F. Benson (34 min.)

Divider

May. ??, 1977 – Upon The Dull Earth by Philip K. Dick (55 min.)

Jun. 08, 1977 – I See A Man Sitting On A Chair And The Chair Is Biting His Leg by Harlan Ellison and Robert Sheckley (57 min.)

Jun. 22, 1977 – It by Theodore Sturgeon (57 min.)

Jun. ??, 1977 – Count Magnus by M.R. James (35 min.)

Jul. 06, 1977 – Children Of The Corn by Stephen King (71 min.)

Aug. 03, 1977 – Compulsory Games by Robert Aickman (56 min.)

Aug. 17, 1977 – The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman (37 min.)

Aug. 31, 1977 – Silent Snow, Secret Snow by Conrad Aiken (46 min.)

Sep. 21, 1977 – The Empty House by Algernon Blackwood (42 min.)

Oct. 19, 1977 – Armaja Das by Joe Haldeman (44 min.)

Nov. 08, 1977 – It Only Comes Out At Night by Dennis Etchison (33 min.)

Dec. 14, 1977 – Couching At The Door by D.K. Broster (59 min.)

Dec. ??, 1977 – The Aleph by Jorge Luis Borges (35 min.)

Divider

Jan. 18, 1978 – Suspicion by Dorothy L. Sayers (38 min.)

Jan. ??, 1978 – I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream by Harlan Ellison (41 min.)

Feb. 01, 1978 – The Gentleman From America by Michael Arlen (48 min.)

Feb. 08, 1978 – Bulkhead by Theodore Sturgeon (75 min.)

Feb. 22, 1978 – Gonna Roll The Bones by Fritz Leiber (60 min.)

Mar. 22, 1978 – Sometimes They Come Back by Stephen King (58 min.)

Apr. 05, 1978 – Three Miles Up by Elizabeth Jane Howard (42 min.)

Apr. 19, 1978 – Eine Kleine Nachtmusik by Fredric Brown (49 min.)

Jun. 07, 1978 – The Ash Tree by M.R. James (36 min.)

Jul. 26, 1978 – The Squaw by Bram Stoker (35 min.)

Aug. 30, 1978 – Batard by Jack London (39 min.)

Sep. 06, 1978 – The Game Of Rat And Dragon by Cordwainer Smith (37 min.)

Oct. 17, 1978 – The Body Snatcher by Robert Louis Stevenson (49 min.) |MP3|

Nov. 21, 1978 – The Other Celia by Theodore Sturgeon (48 min.)

Dec. 06, 1978 – Benlian by Oliver Onions (44 min.)

Divider

Jan. 03, 1979 – Before Eden by Arthur C. Clarke (32 min.)

Jan. 31, 1979 – The Haunters and the haunted by Edward Bulwer Lytton (106 min.)

Feb. 23, 1979 – Space Rats Of The CCC by Harry Harrison (37 min.)

Apr. 03, 1979 – Breakfast At Twilight by Philip K. Dick (41 min.)

Apr. 17, 1979 – Thurnley Abby by Perceval Landon (43 min.)

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???. ??, 1985 – Afternoon At Schrafts by Gardner Dozis, Jack Don, and Michael Swanwick Part 1 |MP3| Part 2 |MP3|

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???. ??, ???? – The Whisperer In Darkness by H.P. Lovecraft

Posted by Jesse Willis

FREE LISTENS (top 10) includes: The Adventures Of Sherlock Holmes

July 8, 2010 by · 3 Comments
Filed under: Aural Noir, Online Audio 

Aural Noir: Online Audio

Free Listens BlogSeth, of the FREE LISTENS blog, (a site that focuses exclusively on reviewing FREE audiobooks), has posted a TOP TEN list of FREE AUDIOBOOKS. Here it is:

1. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle |FREE LISTENS REVIEW|
2. Howards End by E.M. Forester |FREE LISTENS REVIEW|
3. King Solomon’s Mines by H. Rider Haggard |FREE LISTENS REVIEW|
4. The Prisoner of Zenda by Anthony Hope |FREE LISTENS REVIEW|
5. The Woman In White by Wilkie Collins |FREE LISTENS REVIEW|
6. Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson |FREE LISTENS REVIEW|
7. Riders Of The Purple Sage by Zane Grey |FREE LISTENS REVIEW|
8. Pride And Prejudice by Jane Austen |FREE LISTENS REVIEW|
9. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum |FREE LISTENS REVIEW|
10. Whose Body? by Dorothy L. Sayers |FREE LISTENS REVIEW|

There’s a a lot of good listening in there!

I’ve tried to convince Seth (AKA “The Listener” as he’s known over there) to come blog for us exclusively. Sadly, that hasn’t happened yet.

But, upon his recommendation, I’ve taken the liberty of checking out just the first audiobook on the list, The Adventures Of Sherlock Holmes (as read by John Telfer).

“The Listener” is right, it is absolutely terrific! Be sure to check it out for yerself…

The Adventures Of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan DoyleThe Adventures Of Sherlock Holmes
By Sir Arthur Conan Doyle; Read by John Telfer
25 MP3 Files – Approx. 6 Hours 15 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: AudiobooksForFree.com
Published: 2003
Provider: Gutenberg.org
Originally published in the Strand Magazine from July 1891 to June 1892.

A Scandal In Bohemia Part 1 |MP3| Part 2 |MP3|

The Red Headed League Part 1 |MP3| Part 2 |MP3|

A Case Of Identity Part 1 |MP3| Part 2 |MP3|

The Boscombe Valley Mystery Part 1 |MP3| Part 2 |MP3|

The Five Orange Pips Part 1 |MP3| Part 2 |MP3|

The Man With The Twisted Lip Part 1 |MP3| Part 2 |MP3|

The Adventure Of The Blue Carbuncle Part 1 |MP3| Part 2 |MP3|

The Adventure Of The Speckled Band Part 1 |MP3| Part 2 |MP3| Part 3 |MP3|

The Adventure Of The Engineer’s Thumb Part 1 |MP3| Part 2 |MP3|

The Adventure Of The Noble Bachelor Part 1 |MP3| Part 2 |MP3|

The Adventure Of The Beryl Coronet Part 1 |MP3| Part 2 |MP3|

The Adventure Of The Copper Beeches Part 1 |MP3| Part 2 |MP3|

[via Free Listens]

Posted by Jesse Willis

Five Free Favorites #6

August 22, 2008 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Aural Noir, Online Audio 

Aural Noir: Online Audio

Some of my favorite science fiction freebies have already been picked for the Five Free Favorites feature. Since SFFaudio has recently added Aural Noir reviews, I decided to choose favorites from that genre instead. So, I reached back into the archive of reviews at Free Listens for the best free stories and books from the noir/crime/mystery genres.

Five Free Favourites

1.
Whose BodyWhose Body?
By Dorothy L. Sayers; Read by Kristin Hughes and Kara Shallenberg
Publisher: LibriVox | 13 Zipped MP3s, 6 hr, 31 min [UNABRIDGED]
Lord Peter Wimsey’s mother has telephoned him to get her son to help out her friend Mr. Thipp. Thipp is apparently in trouble with the police over a dead body wearing nothing but a pince-nez who was found in the bathtub of Thipp’s upper-floor apartment. Meanwhile, the family of Sir Reuben Levy has reported Sir Reuben to be missing. Are the two events connected? Is the body Sir Reuben’s? If not, whose body is it?

2.
Bullet in the Brain“Bullet in the Brain”
By Tobias Wolff; Read by T. Coraghessan Boyle
Publisher: New Yorker Fiction Podcast | 1 MP3, 19 min [UNABRIDGED]
The story, in the beginning, is a harsh portrait of a book critic who has lost the joy of literature and instead sees cliches in every novel he reviews. The man is such an ass, in fact, that he can’t help but smirk and heckle in the middle of a bank robbery, exactly when he should keep his mouth shut. In the second part of the story, the plot takes a major turn and we get to see the humanity of the critic. This contrast of putting a comic figure into a serious situation makes the story both laugh-out-loud funny and deeply profound.

3.
A Jury of Her Peers“A Jury of Her Peers”
By Susan Glaspell; read by Cori Samuels
Publisher: LibriVox | 1 MP3, 53 min [UNABRIDGED]
Most mysteries focus on the “who” or sometimes the “how” of a crime. In this story both who and how seem to be apparent from the beginning. The real question is why Minnie Wright would strangle her husband. While the county attorney, the sheriff, and a neighbor search the house for clues, the wives of the sheriff and neighbor are left alone in the kitchen.

4.
The Adventures of Sherlock HolmesThe Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
By Sir Arthur Conan Doyle; Read by John Telfer
Publisher: Audiobooksforfree.com
Distributed by Project Gutenberg | 25 MP3’s (download page) 6 hr, 15 min [UNABRIDGED]
This collection includes some of the best Sherlock Holmes stories. A Scandal in Bohemia offers a tantalizing glimpse into what Holmes in love might look like. The Red-Headed League appears in many anthologies and is a great example of an archetypal Sherlock Holmes mystery. While the solution of The Adventure of the Speckled Band appears improbable, the suspenseful storytelling and spooky atmosphere make it easy to see why this was one of Doyle’s favorites.

5.
Thriller“Jack Penny’s New Identity”
By Lee Child; Read by Dick Hill
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Distributed by AudiobookStand | 1 MP3, 37 min [UNABRIDGED]
This story, from the James Patterson-edited collection Thriller, follows factory worker James Penny as he is laid off from his job. Penny rather emphatically cuts off his ties to his old life, catching unfavorable attention from the local police in the process. The direct style of Child’s prose reminds me of Cormac McCarthy’s novel, No Country for Old Men, probably now better known from the movie adaptation. Like that novel, the protagonist is a basically good person who has done something illegal, though without malice.

Posted by Seth