The SFFaudio Podcast #385 – READALONG: The Parasite by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

September 5, 2016 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Podcasts 

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #385 – Jesse, Mr Jim Moon, and Maissa Bessada talk about The Parasite by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

Talked about on today’s show:
1894, 1895, 1970, in the shadow of Holmes, lurking like a post hypnotic suggestion, first reactions, unfolds like a novel but with a short story ending, it’s over?, the thinking of the time, animal magnetism, mesmerism, the society for psychical research, hypnotic sleep for minor surgery, hypnosis in lieu of pharmacological anesthetic, dental hypnosis, yo best believe it will work if you have not other options, The Power Of Dreams by Brian Inglis, maybe we missed a trick, helping people get inside their own heads, reading closely, it made sense, an interesting idea about the ending, Miss Penclosa died at half-past three, a bottle of vitriol, a lucky escape for the girlfriend (Agatha), the parasitism, a vampire story, a psychic vampire story, the “will”, consciousness transference, what was Miss Penclosa’s evil plan?, romantic possession vs. actual possession, the cost of sorcery, had the story continued…, where do you go?, astral projection, that half-hour killed her, the broken journal entry, the crutch, from Trinidad, she’s a witch (past 40), she’s old, a young and vigorous 34, a “hag” and “hag-ridden”, pseudo-scientific power, Wilson, alienism, psychology with a spiritual bent, set in London, Charles Sadler, the punch up, the skeptic, off-page action, breaking into a bank, sitting rooms, a 1950 TV adaptation, a 2015 short film, 1980sor90s feature film, two thumbs down, modern adaptations, not sexist, but rooted in the society of the day it was set, psychology is not a proper science, he turns every firefly into a star, early Doyle, The Horla by Guy de Maupassant, super-science fiction, super-horror, a different approach, the story formats, March 24th, a florid start, “everywhere the work of reproduction going forward”, very sex, if Eric S. Rabkin were here…, “stiff with sap”, May 8th, the striking hypnosis scene in The Horla, July 16th, Dr. Parent, English scientists, another skeptic, close to a mystery, physiology vs. psychology, the Work-Man Creator, a presentiment of something new, as if to fascinate – to interest but also to fix to attach, a visiting card, he is twisting his mustache, “that is quite enough”, 5,000 francs, Agatha’s breaking off of the engagement, crazy interesting, similar opening, a lot of shared DNA, more adventure and crime/mystery, a two-fisted man-of-action, May 5th and May 8th, from London to Normandy, going to see such demonstrations, an issue of the age, the history of hypnotism, hypnotized into crime, hypnosis against the will, now that’s a great idea for a story, post-hypnotic suggestion, “regular hypnosis”, lose weight, stop smoking, hypnotic susceptibility vs. hypnotic ability, understanding what hypnosis is, reading a really good story and buying it, this is preposterous!, the willing suspension of disbelief, “dude, we’re appreciating the story”, that word: will, one kind of will that is so powerful, even the state is forced to submit to a certain kind of will, their “will” does not exist beyond their grave, under the right circumstances…, professional wrestling, non-concomitant injuries, the act of reading as an act of self-hypnosis, a skillful author can put voices and images in your head, seeing the book play out in your mind, people with an imagination are better hypnotic subjects, the skill of the hypnotist, Steve Jobs and Jesse’s mom: the reality distortion field, a great book can become a part of you and you can act upon it, Hitler’s speeches, Trump’s hypnotic ability, self-exclusion, the mob-mentality, work-training talks, what planet is he from?, usually there are no pictures in Maissa’s head, a sudden image, “did you see me?”, he projected himself into Maissa’s mind, convincing someone to adopt a vision, religion: “there’s this book!”, L. Ron Hubbard, adopting Sam Gamgee, confabulation, a dream, why are your boots dirty?, making something you’ve read a memory, thinking about what a will is, stage hypnosis, clucking like chickens and barking like dogs, a Las Vegas hypnotist, going along with it, there’s something going on, thinning the line, thoughts become more permeable, a verification, there’s something really deep there, the two theories of what hypnosis is: participating actors (psychological) and the trance (physiological), the thesis: you can’t do anything against your moral nature, robbing banks, splashing acid, the Symbionese Liberation Army, Patty Hearst, Stockholm syndrome, the winnowing process needs to happen, a glass of water, it’s all right – we’re not evil mind-control wizards, given permission to be extroverted…, perception of circumstances, littering, broken windows, a shopkeeper robbed by a hypnotist, an instant trigger, a skill you learn, Jim Moon struggles with chopsticks, Stephen King: talent is a knife, The Manchurian Candidate, the Jason Bourne series, Call Of Duty: Black Ops, “programmed”, The Men Who Stare At Goats, post-hypnotic suggestion as programming, MKUltra, Lee Harvey Oswald, “I’m a patsy”, the motivation all leads back to him, not completely bunk!, The Thing On The Doorstep by H.P. Lovecraft, a sub-genre of evil mesmerists, foreign mystics, a racist element?, Miss Penclosa is not of voodoo descent, the Horla comes from Brazil, interesting!

Howard Pyle illustration of The Parasite by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Howard Pyle illustration of The Parasite by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Howard Pyle illustration of The Parasite by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Howard Pyle illustration of The Parasite by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #266 – READALONG: When The Sleeper Wakes by H.G. Wells

May 26, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Podcasts 

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #266 – Jesse, Luke, and Juliane Kunzendorf discuss When The Sleeper Wakes by H.G. Wells

Talked about on today’s show:
Julianne’s first SFFaudio Podcast, what do we call them?, readers and talkers, 1899/1910/1923, When The Sleeper Wakes, The Sleeper Wakes, The Sleeper Awakes, Blackstone Audio’s audiobook version, the serialization in The Graphic magazine, the 1910 preface, “an editorial elder brother”, going to the original sources, a forecast of technology, technological changes between the revisions, aeroplanes and aeropiles, the introduction to the 1923 edition, “fantasias of possibility”, “suppose these forces go on novel”, H.G. Wells thought the rich were evil geniuses (prior to meeting them), “rather foolish plungers”, “vulgar rather than wicked”, Ostrog, “a nightmare of capitalism triumphant”, capitalist/socialism (kind of like Japan), The Unincorporated Man is pretty much the same story, yay Marxism!?, when Graham wakes up, Chapter 7, there only audiobooks in the future, The Man Who Would Be King by Rudyard Kipling, The Madonna Of The Future by Henry James, Heart Of Darkness by Joseph Conrad, phonetic spelling, an H.G. Wells way of writing, is it the nature of a serial, the reader transplanted into the year 2100, The War Of The Worlds, suicide, Isbister, Warming, Ostrog, Lincoln, “body fag is no cure for brain fag”, “while he was breaking his fast”, the language, lying in a crystal box, a passive character, establishing the genre, space elevators, Buck Rogers has the same premise, Idiocracy, Eine Billion Dollar by Andreas Eschbach, A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur’s Court by Mark Twain, the importance of money, the gilded age, wealth disparity, the labour company, a dystopia along the lines of Brave New World, the Martian invasion, The Time Machine, is this the start of the Morlocks and the Eloi?, 1984 by George Orwell, the proles, the pleasure cities, distractions, the value of work beyond being paid, a class trap, what is Wells saying?, Wells’ ambivalence towards the proles, there are no more school examinations, is this a meritocracy?, technological dystopias (like 1984), social dystopias, Brave New World is a medical dystopia, genetic dystopias, knowing you live in a dystopia, North Korea, knowledge of other societies, the time before Big Brother, Julia, the Anti-Sex League, genetically dumbified, Flowers For Algernon by Daniel Keyes, religious dystopia, advertizing Christianity, prosperity gospels, church revivals, advertising, the babel machines, movies and television, what will this culture do to the culture?, “people don’t read”, airplanes, heavier-than-air aircraft, smashing airplanes into other airplanes, aerial ramming, flying machine vs. aeroplane vs. airplane vs. aeropile, My First Aeorplane by H.G. Wells, rocketships, the pilot’s union, the look of the airplane, the clothing, Victorian age dresses, the church, hanging in the air, the Thames has run dry, megalopolis, the building material, the Eiffel Tower, steel, concrete, plastic, glass, carbon fiber, biotech, Pandora’s Star, a coral house, 3D printing, Ikea Hacks, print on demand houses, economics, factories and automation, The Roads Must Roll by Robert A. Heinlein, The City And The Stars by Arthur C. Clarke, slide-walk, edamite, Ostrog, Ostrogoths, Lincoln, foment a revolution, race and racism, Senagalese, ostrog as “fortress”, a Serbian Orthodox Church, Ostrog will boss the show, “in bounds”, are these are revolutionary names?, Che Guevara, Abraham Lincoln’s freeing the slaves, thug force, Berlin, June 17th, 1953, the Berlin Wall, outside forces, Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History, Gurkhas, “see we’re all friends”, smiling bright shiny teeth, “they are fine loyal brutes”, racism is in there but it is not the point of the book, The War Of The Worlds, a little hypocritical, we can’t see the issue, massive economic suppression, calculating boys, hypnotism, economic slavery, the wealth gap, the White Council, the blaring speakers, the media firehouse, talk radio, people wearing their headphones everywhere, podcasts, each one of those streams are newspapers, a newspaper for everybody, broadsheets vs. tabolids, your newspaper tells your class, daily free newspapers, Jack The Ripper, Melville Macnaghten, Michael Ostrog (thief and con-man), the symbolism of the aircraft, the three books, Helen is the Madonna of the future, it’s a joke, the novel’s end, ‘my Graham dies without certainty of victory or defeat’, ambiguous airplanes, “literally that’s his dream”, flying dreams, cliffs and high places, Isbister and Warming -> Lincoln and Ostrog, “its fun”, “in such a fall as this countless dreams have ended”, dream falling, the different endings, the future of that future, Olaf Stapledon’s The Last And First Men, many futures, Olaf Stapledon takes what Wells does a little farther, Graham as a Christ figure, risen from the dead… etc., in Graphic detail, full colour holographic Jesus, the empty tomb moment, allusions to other literature in the Bible, Arthur C. Clarke, the Son of Man, A Story Of The Days To Come, the emptying of the countryside, the enclosures, Scotland, Canada, Glasgow, Berlin, well more than 50% of the world’s population lives in cities now, Among Others by Jo Walton, Wales, the merits of country living, the economic theory behind everything, access to internet, staring at the internet, services, live entertainment, “my choice of Christian girls was three girls”, poor Luke.

When The Sleeper Wakes by H.G. Wells
When The Sleeper Wakes by H.G. Wells - illustration by H. Lanos
When The Sleeper Wakes by H.G. Wells - illustration by H. Lanos
When The Sleeper Wakes by H.G. Wells - illustration by H. Lanos
When The Sleeper Wakes by H.G. Wells
When The Sleeper Wakes by H.G. Wells
When The Sleeper Wakes by H.G. Wells
When The Sleeper Wakes by H.G. Wells
When The Sleeper Wakes by H.G. Wells
When The Sleeper Wakes by H.G. Wells
H.G. Wells' 1921 Preface to The Sleeper Wakes
Amazing Stories Quarterly, Winter 1928 - illustration by Frank R. Paul

Posted by Jesse Willis

The Parasite by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

April 4, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Online Audio 

SFFaudio Online Audio

The Parasite by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

First published in Harper’s Weekly November 10, 1894 this novella combines the two poles of Doyle’s personality – the skeptic and the dupe. Playing out like a combination of Guy de Maupassant’s The Horla and The Manchurian Candidate. The protagonist, Austin Gilroy, a professor of physiology, meets a woman at a party who can perform frightening feats of mesmerism.

Variously described as being a tale of a “psychic vampire” other editors and anthologists have classified it as “weird fiction” or “horror”

LibriVoxThe Parasite
By Sir Arthur Conan Doyle; Read by Delmar H Dolbier
4 Zipped MP3 Files or Podcast – Approx. 1 Hour 54 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: 2012

Podcast feed: http://librivox.org/rss/7030

iTunes 1-Click |SUBSCRIBE|

LibriVoxThe Parasite
By Sir Arthur Conan Doyle; Read by Carl Vonnoh, III
4 Zipped MP3 Files or Podcast – Approx. 1 Hour 58 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: 2006

Podcast feed: http://librivox.org/rss/621

iTunes 1-Click |SUBSCRIBE|

And here’s an easy reading |PDF| version (41 pages)

Posted by Jesse Willis

LibriVox: The Facts In The Case Of M. Valdemar by Edgar Allan Poe

August 4, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Online Audio 

SFFaudio Online Audio

LibriVoxIn my reading about The Frozen Pirate, back in 2010, I discovered that Edgar Allan Poe’s The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar was possibly the first account of suspended animation.

I normally mention The Case Of M. Valdemar as part of a set lecture I give, explaining to my students why root words are important. I start by asking them if they’ve read any Harry Potter. They usually have, and that’s when I point out that they know, just from the sound of his name, that Voledemort is a bad guy. I point out that J.K. Rowling chose this name carefully, even pointing out that “Voldemort is pronounced with a silent ‘t’ at the end, as is common in French.” I point out that Draco Malfoy’s name too, is just as connotatively powerful. Then I point out that J.K. Rowling didn’t invent these names in a vacuum. I point to Edgar Allan Poe’s The Facts In The Case Of M. Valdemar.

Hypnosis itself is a somewhat mysterious psychological phenomenon. It arose from the proto-psychological work of the 18th century physician Franz Mesmer. For those in the know “mesmerism” and “animal magnetism” had, by the time of Poe, lost most of their occult mystique. But for the general public, even today, there is a left-over supernatural feel – to the phenomenon – owing in part to the the strangeness of the phenomenon itself, and in part to Poe’s stories about it.

Etymologically the word itself, “hypnosis”, takes its name from Greek – “Hypnos” meaning “sleep” and the suffix “-osis” meaning “disorder” or “abnormal state”.

LIBRIVOX - The Facts In The Case Of M. Valdemar by Edgar Allan PoeThe Facts In The Case Of M. Valdemar
By Edgar Allan Poe; Read by Gregg Margarite
1 |MP3| – Approx. 22 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: August 12, 2009
In an attempt to halt rumors surrounding a widely publicized incident, the author gives the facts about a grisly experiment in mesmerism that he recently conducted. First published in the December 20, 1845, issue of the Broadway Journal.

Here’s a |PDF| version of the story as taken from the April 1926 issue of Amazing Stories (the very first issue).

The Facts In The Case Of M. Valdemar - illustration by Irv Docktor

The Facts In The Case Of M. Valdemar - illustrated by Harry Clarke

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #126 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: The Statement Of Randolph Carter by H.P. Lovecraft

September 19, 2011 by · 8 Comments
Filed under: Podcasts 

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #126 – a complete and unabridged reading of The Statement Of Randolph Carter by H.P. Lovecraft, read by Wayne June (from the Audio Realms collection The Dark Worlds Of H.P. Lovecraft – Volume 3), followed by a discussion of the story. Participants include Jesse, Scott, Tamahome, Jenny Colvin (of the Reading Envy blog) and Mr. Jim Moon (of Hypnogoria.com).

Talked about on today’s show:
H.P. Lovecraft never played soccer?, Mr. Wayne June is the voice of Lovecraft, Michael Clarke Duncan has a swarthy voice, Pat Bottino’s voice might work for Lovecraft, Tama was a Lovecraft virgin until The Statement Of Randolph Carter, The Statement Of Randolph Carter is a good place to start with Lovecraft, forbidden writings, nameless things with many adjectives, Edgar Allan Poe, The Tell-Tale Heart, a radical thesis: Harley Warren is a mean practical joker, Jesse renders the story meaningless, The Turn Of The Screw, Big Cypress Swamp, Florida, Imprisoned With The Pharaohs, alligator-men, secret places and cultists, legion (many – demons – The New Testament), The Lovecraft Vocabulary Challenge, necrophagous niter, The Cask Of Amontillado, did Randolph Carter cover up that tomb?, using The Statement Of Randolph Carter for vocabulary expansion, “hoary”, adding horror, The Silver Key, Randolph Carter is an occult thrill seeker, “we’re one lid away from total doom”, I don’t find books of forgotten lore in used bookstores, Harry Houdini’s book on the occult had an introduction written by Lovecraft!, Lovecraft’s letters, the Call Of Cthulhu RPG works differently than other RPGs, Dungeons & Dragons, From Beyond, Re-Animator, Herbert West Re-animator, it’s such a cute little horror, showing Lovecraft on screen may be best done humorously, dripping oozing ichor, China Miéville, piling on the connotations, bringing home the horror, “it was an eldritch night and I was feeling squamous”, night terrors, Tama had a nightmare that DC was going to relaunch all their comics, “Warren is calling”, what does a gelatinous voice sound like? it’s a rip-of from Poe, The Facts In The Case Of M. Valdemar, hypnotism, Warren’s theory about why certain corpses say fat and firm, Demons by John Shirley, The Unnameable, a funny riposte, “your giant zombie theory doesn’t work”, In The Mouth Of Madness, The Strange Adventures of H.P. Lovecraft, The New Cthulhu, Robert E. Howard, The Black Stone, Clark Ashton Smith, Conan lives in a Lovecraftian universe, Scientology, L. Ron Hubbard, The People Of The Dark, Worms Of The Earth, Howard’s non-Lovecraftian horror, Pigeons From Hell, Howard was a collector of words and ideas, what’s the Mongolian word for sword?, Cimmeria was a real place, Lovecraft was a crafter of stories whereas Howard was a storyteller, Lovecraft’s poetry, yellow peril, The Horror At Red Hook, raging racist, respectable white folks turning into fish people, Clive Barker, “you’re one puzzle box away from doom”, dark fantasy, hidden secret magical worlds.

The Statement Of Randolph Carter by H.P. Lovecraft - illustration by Andrew Brosnatch

The Statement Of Randolph Carter

The Statement Of Randolph Carter scene in Providence, issue 8

Posted by Jesse Willis

The Horla by Guy de Maupassant

September 9, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Audio Drama, Online Audio 

SFFaudio Online Audio

The subject of SFFaudio Podcast #125 [which will be live Monday September 12th, 2011] is The Horla, a sort of ghost story by Guy de Maupassant. If you’re still not familiar with this particular Guy let me place him in context for you. He was one of the inventors of the short story and a master of the form. The stories he wrotes hold up incredibly well, being completely fresh despite being more than century old. His style is simple, straightforward and even more accessible than the works of either H.P. Lovecraft and Edgar Allan Poe (despite their tales having been written in English and his being written in French). Poe’s writings, of course, all preceded Guy de Maupassant. In fact Poe died the year before Maupassant was born! There’s kind of a succession going on here…

Poe -> Maupassant -> Lovecraft

…Maupassant died in in 1893, Lovecraft was born in 1890. But unlike so many of Maupassant’s tales, the ones that leave you smirking sympathetically at a collection of colourful characters, The Horla is not a tale of a social faux pas with an ironic twist – instead, I judge it as being three-fifths Science Fiction, two-fifths Horror, and 100% totally freaky!

Check out this haunting passage:

“The vulture has eaten the dove,
and the wolf has eaten the lamb;
the lion has devoured the sharp-horned buffalo,
and man has killed the lion with arrow, sword and gun;
but the Horla is going to make of man what we have made of the horse and the ox:
his chattel,
his servant
and his food,
by the mere exercise of his will.
Woe to us.”

I think what I like best about The Horla is the strong bent towards skepticism and naturalistic explanation that’s exhibited by the unnamed protagonist. He comes across like a hard Science Fiction reader, full of excitement for the wonders of the universe. He’s unwilling to accept magical explanations for the obviously strange phenomena he witnesses. He tells us his story in diary entries that seem to track both his mood, variously ebullient and depressed, as well as the facts and impressions of the strange happenings on his estate and elsewhere in France. When he leaves his seaside home, where the bulk of the action takes place, he relates a story that sounds like it must be fully supernatural. And in Paris, where he has first hand experience of disturbing para-psychological phenomena (post-hypnotic suggestion), he reserves judgement. And finally, when lying in bed he repeatedly experiences something we today might describe as sleep paralysis. Is it that the narrator insane? Or does the universe have a secret that is not yet widely known? Find out for yourself!

Here are two fantastic audiobook versions:

LibriVoxThe Horla
By Guy de Maupassant; Read by Gregg Margarite
1 |MP3| – Approx. 57 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: July 11, 2009
|ETEXT|

Hypnobobs - The Horla by Guy de MaupassantThe Horla
By Guy de Maupassant; Read by Jim Moon
1 |MP3| – Approx. 57 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Podcaster: Hypnobobs
Podcast: February 22, 2011
“Mr Jim Moon delves into classic French literature to unearth a seminal vampiric tale of creeping fear, dread and madness”

And from the same podcaster, a thorough and fascinating exploration the story and the film adaptation:

Hypnobobs - Diary Of A MadmanDiary Of A Madman
1 |MP3| – Approx. [DISCUSSION]
Podcaster: Hypnobobs
Podcast: March 05, 2011
“This week Mr Jim Moon launches into an in-depth discussion of Guy de Maupassant’s The Horla. Also we have a look at its screen adaptation – Diary of a Madman starring Vincent Price.”

There have been two audio dramatizations:

The Weird CircleThe Horla
Based on the story by Guy de Maupassant; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 25 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: October 24, 1943
Provider: Archive.org

Mystery In The AirMystery In The Air – The Horla
By Guy de Maupassant; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 25 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: NBC Radio
Broadcast: August 21, 1947
The Horla, written in 1887 by Guy de Maupassant, is an unusual horror tale about an invisible alien entity that seeks to inhabit and control human beings. It was cited by Lovecraft as being the inspiration for his classic story, The Call Of Cthulhu, and as an important forerunner to the weird horror genre pioneered by himself, August Derleth, Clark Ashton Smith, and others, in the early-mid 20th century. This version, from Mystery in the Air (oddly, a summer replacement for the Abbott and Costello Show), benefits from a brisk script and a wonderful live performance by Peter Lorre as your weekly raging psychopath.”

Two stunning illustrations, by Lynd Ward, from The Horla:

The Horla - illustration by Lynd Ward

The Horla - illustration by Lynd Ward

An uncredited illustration from Library Of The World’s Best Mystery And Detective Stories, Volume 4:

The Horla - illustration from Library Of The World's Best Mystery And Detective Stories Volume 4

Here’s the trailer for the very loosely adapted 1963 movie starring Vincent Price:

Posted by Jesse Willis

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