The SFFaudio Podcast #349 – READALONG: The Ghost Pirates by William Hope Hodgson

December 28, 2015 by · Leave a Comment
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Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #349 – Jesse and Mr Jim Moon talk about The Ghost Pirates by William Hope Hodgson

Talked about on today’s show:
1909, from the later middle, more sophisticated than The Night Land, more tightly plotted than The Boats Of The Glen Carrig, all the letters of H.P. Lovecraft that talk about William Hope Hodgson, revisions to Supernatural Horror In Literature, a doomed an haunted ship, terrible sea-devils of quasi-human aspect, latent horrors in nature, “reaches enviable peaks of power”, the LibriVox audiobook, not as jam-packed with incident, the Carnacki stories, cosmic vistas, accessibility, a straightforward story, what it was like to being a working sailor, cliques and alliances, tremendous fun, time travel that good literature can give you, the poopiest book of all of Hodgson’s work, the taffrail, mood, a ghostly haunted ship, From Beyond by H.P. Lovecraft, Algernon Blackwood’s The Willows, an intrusion by other forces, shadows, strange figures, disappearances, underwater ships, not just a ghost, predation, dimensional drift, pirate skeletons ghosts don’t fit, its the ship that’s haunted, but not only the ship, the ship’s name is “Mortzestus”, “Sangier” (the bloodier), “I’m going to get my money out of this ship”, the pay scene in Aliens (1979), a thing from outside, bubbling below the surface is the corporatism problem, a commercial venture, mutiny, the officers want it hushed up, writing it up in the log, it is regrettable that Bryan isn’t here, why Marx wrote his works in England, the relationship between the means of production (the ship) and its sailors, taking care vs. making money, commercial considerations, historical piracy, in the lulls between sea-devils, “mate” reminds us of “comrade”, we’re all in this together mate (or comrade), why were there so many pirates?, why piracy happened, a Freudian (or Marxist) reading, the Sindey Sime illustration of The Ghost Pirates, “pale eyes”, mummified figures, are the ghost pirates a projection of the crew’s submerged collective unconscious?, the pirate articles, communism and democracy, parallels the Russian Revolution style, the captain, the quartermaster, the hatred that Hodgson had for commercial sailing, spooky, a sub-layer to the tale, the frustrations of the crew, “that old bully”, we are in trouble now, the devils take them all, the slang for the ship is “this packet”, the crew as a wrapping on the parcel, the language of spiritualism, Jessup’s theory as to what’s going on:

“Well, I’ve formed a bit of a theory, that seems wise one minute, and cracked the next. Of course, it’s as likely to be all wrong; but it’s the only thing that seems to me to fit in with all the beastly things we’ve had lately.”

“My idea is, that this ship is open to be boarded by those things,” I explained. “What they are, of course I don’t know. They look like men— in lots of ways. But—well, the Lord knows what’s in the sea. Though we don’t want to go imagining silly things, of course. And then, again, you know, it seems fat-headed, calling anything silly. That’s how I keep going, in a sort of blessed circle. I don’t know a bit whether they’re flesh and blood, or whether they’re what we should call ghosts or spirits.”

this ship is “open”, what happened on this ship that “opened it up”, The Haunted Jarvee (a Carnacki story), there’s something about the ship, there’s a crack in it, a tear in the fabric of reality, a sitting duck for otherworldly buccaneers, what is the goal of the sea-devils, what are they doing up in the rigging, four ghost ships, aliens?, aliens from the ocean?, are they Doctor Who sea-devils?, are they deep ones?, a parallel reality, From Beyond, Crawford Tillinghast is turning up ghosts, vestigial organs, ultra-violet,

“What do we know,” he had said, “of the world and the universe about us? Our means of receiving impressions are absurdly few, and our notions of surrounding objects infinitely narrow. We see things only as we are constructed to see them, and can gain no idea of their absolute nature. With five feeble senses we pretend to comprehend the boundlessly complex cosmos, yet other beings with wider, stronger, or different range of senses might not only see very differently the things we see, but might see and study whole worlds of matter, energy, and life which lie close at hand yet can never be detected with the senses we have. I have always believed that such strange, inaccessible worlds exist at our very elbows, and now I believe I have found a way to break dawn the barriers.

if this was adapted today it would be explained by the cargo, an intra-dimensional material from atomic tests, 1920, The Dreams In The Witch House, 1934, The Banshee Chapter (2013), From Beyond (1986), a Freudian reading, Bill Clinton, in the language of apology, venereal disease, drugs, a found footage film, the framing story, believe it or not, The Ghost Pirates would make a great audio drama, showing the figures, crystallizing, Carnacki’s explanation in The Haunted Jarvee:

‘Well,’ replied Carnacki, ‘in my opinion she was a focus. That is a technical term which I can best explain by saying that she possessed the “attractive vibration” that is the power to draw to her any psychic waves in the vicinity, much in the way of a medium. The way in which the “vibration” is acquired – to use a technical term again – is, of course, purely a matter for supposition. She may have developed it during the years, owing to a suitability of conditions or it may have been in her (“of her” is a better term) from the very day her keel was laid. I mean the direction in which she lay the condition of the atmosphere, the state of the “electric tensions,” the very blows of the hammers and the accidental combining of materials suited to such an end – all might tend to such a thing.

making a magnet by hammering a nail, it’s not a person, it’s not something on the ship, it is the ship, electrical technology, a blend of science and the supernatural, BPRD: Plague Of Frogs, Mark Turetsky, slaves in chains at the bottom of the sea, a ship on its last voyage, the detritus of previous voyages, a Marxist resentment of the treatment of every crewman brought to the ship, end the of The Willows by Algernon Blackwood, working the same mine of feeling, the preface to the original edition, The House On The Borderland, certain conceptions of elemental kinship, flinging open the door wide, a kaleidoscope, scene upon scene, the door is open only a crack, speculation, what was the purpose, four shadowy galleons, the four ships below, are they mirrored (upside-down in the water), visualizing it is shocking, the Red Scare, they’re going to come here and take what we have, the Spartacus rebellions, an inter-dimensional idea, overwhelmed and pulled down, the other side of the veil, working a different passage in a nether dimension, if Neil Gaiman were to take this book as inspiration…, the surface of the sea, scraping along the surface of another world, the power of nautical ghost stories is in that liminal space between an ocean of air and an ocean of water, water as a liminal place in folklore, “where two elements meet strange things may intrude”, an inverted frog-men version of our world, are the sails like fins?, trade routes, how you portray the shadow ships, invisible would be fun, mirror world beneath the waves, the covers of various editions, skull and crossbones with a cutlass, whatever you see when you see through the eyes of Jessup, a fishy version of the pirate captain, mood effect, what the hell’s going on with those pig men?, a short novel, extended novellas, “I AM A NOVEL”, the Wikipedia entry, the unfinished novel, had Hodgson lived longer…, Captain Dang, the Sargasso Sea, the dawn of the pulp era proper, embracing the 20th century, The Hog, a complete collection.

The Ghost Pirates by William Hope Hodgson - illustrated by Sidney Sime

The Ghost Pirates by William Hope Hodgson

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #253 – READALONG: The House Of The Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne

February 24, 2014 by · 1 Comment
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Podcast

TheSFFaudioPodcast600The SFFaudio Podcast #253 – Jesse, Seth, and John Feaster discuss The House Of The Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Talked about on today’s show: H.P. Lovecraft’s essay Supernatural Horror in Literature; the House as a character in the novel; the novel’s memorable characters; The Scarlet Letter is “a sentence, a trial unto itself”; the novel’s modern resonance; Jim Crow gingerbread; setting and character trump plot; the rambling plot imitates life; Hawthorne’s subtle use of humor; Hepzibah = Lovecraft?; the family chickens, Chanticleer is an allusion to Chaucer’s Nun’s Priest’s Tale; Chanticleer dredges up John’s horrible memories of Rock-a-doodle; comparison to various Lovecraft stories; Hawthorne’s characters are concepts, but well-drawl concepts; allegory with depth à la Tolkien; atavistic guilt; hypnotism, mesmerism, and phrenology, oh my!; phenomena as fads in science fiction and popular culture; Edgar Allen Poe’s work, especially The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar and Fall of the House of Usher; Arthur Conan Doyle is to spiritualism as Glenn Danzig is to Satanism; The X-Files, “I Want to Believe”; John Keats’s theory of negative capability; Mark F. Smith’s LibriVox narration; man’s identity tied to real estate; a Marxist reading of the novel; the house as metaphor for the human heart; Pennsylvania and the great American land grab; the novel’s peculiarly Puritan nature; real-life Pynchon family ancestors of author Thomas Pynchon; inspiration for the fictional house now a tourist attraction; Hawthorne’s defense of writing a romance in the novel’s preface; the novel’s horrendous screen adaptations and slightly better comic book adaptations; The Haunting of Hill House; the power of interpretive haunting; revival of the Gothic tradition e.g. in The Duchess of Duke Street; Hawthorne plays amazing tricks with point of view; “guns are America’s pit bulls”; Joe Hill’s Locke and Key.

The House Of The Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne

The House Of The Seven Gables - Classics Illustrated

Characters in The House Of The Seven Gables

Gold Key - The Twilight Zone - Pinup #5

Word Cloud for Supernatural Horror In Literature by H.P. Lovecraft

Word Cloud for The House Of The Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Phoebe and Holgrave

The House Of The Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne -illustrated by Maude Cowles, 1898

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #121 – READALONG: Forever Peace by Joe Haldeman

August 15, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Podcasts 

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #121 – Scott, Jesse, Tamahome and Gregg Margarite talk about Joe Haldeman’s novel Forever Peace.

Talked about on today’s show:
The Forever War, Forever Peace, Forever Free, Haldeman’s experiences in South-East Asia (during the Vietnam War), William Mandella, Mandala, Julian Class, Philip Klass (William Tenn), racism, remotely controlled soldier robots, jacks, empathy, sharing menstruation, baldness as a fashion, the nanoforge (a molecular nanotechnology), caper, Stranger In A Stranger Land, heist, “two novellas smushed together”, John W. Campbell, Ben Bova, self help groups, one conceit that remains unexamined, magic machine (aka a sub-atomic replicator), Mack Reynolds, telepathy, asymmetric warfare, prescience, Libya, Pakistan, the two peaces of Forever Peace, what of the aftermath?, applying Isaac Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics to people, Gregg is a creature capable of killing, not everyone wants to be the black sheep, is 98% of humanity humanizable?, the earth where everyone is gay, the earth where everyone is a clone, “a giant of SF”, The Memory Of Earth by Orson Scott Card, The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, do you grok the group?, “The Hammer of God”, Jonestown, David Koresh, a religion that requires you believe in evolution, punctuated equilibrium, treating the bible like a science book (is problematic), we’re gonna drill into you brain and then you won’t have those feelings anymore, a utopian dystopia, Malthusian theory, the singularity, A Clockwork Orange, moral conviction vs. physical restriction, Gregg needs his murderer (and we do too), Starship Troopers, false consciousness, Women’s Studies, The Tea Party,

“False consciousness is the Marxist thesis that material and institutional processes in capitalist society are misleading to the proletariat, and to other classes. These processes betray the true relations of forces between those classes, and the real state of affairs regarding the development of pre-socialist society”,

following orders (as false consciousness), Stockholm syndrome, identifying with your oppressor, why do people do things that are against their own interests?, Costa Rica, withholding technology vs. holding resources hostage, Plato’s cave, “from each according to his ability, to each according to his need”, is Jesse making an argument for absolute truth?, what is truth?, “one person’s murder is another person’s dinner”, “God exists or he doesn’t exist”, “assuming we agree on the definition of God”, “we have a bedrock of truth”, Aristotle’s law of non-contradiction, “we’re here and we’re invading your software”, our perception of reality changes, “how can it not always be this way?”, “it’s The Matrix“, Gregg can find reasonable doubt in his own existence, Cogito Ergo Sum (I think therefore I am), René Descartes, “I doubt therefore I am”, Tama has no take, good and bad vs. right and wrong, a mass of conflicting impulses (ambivalence), Heinlein’s militaristic thinking vs. Haldeman’s militaristic thinking, Heinlein’s Future History series, religious conversion, telepathy vs. total immersion, Jonathan Swift, “you can’t reasons someone out of something they weren’t reasoned into”, there are two tenets in Greggism, what you believe doesn’t has to be true, Alan Moore’s personal made-up religion, Scott isn’t a Catholic because of feeling alone, Joseph Campbell “everything is true”, “he was born with a plowshare”, magical thinking, “that’s true for you and that’s fine”, a religious wacko who wants to end the world seems like a tired villain, Source Code, Moon is fantastic (but Source Code is not), the Norwegian whack job, can’t we find another kind of religion, Carl von Clausewitz, The Operative from Serenity (played by Chiwetel Ejiofor), effective villains, Robert E. Lee, Adolph Hitler vs. Joseph Stalin vs. Mao Zedong, the Tehran Conference, “Uncle Joe”, Stalin’s ending was noir, Pandora’s Star by Peter F. Hamilton has a great (and dirty) villain, Orson Scott Card’s Buggers, Speaker For The Dead, Ender’s Game, zombies are like a force of nature, Heinleinian villains are not diabolical, the ultimate orbital platform, the English Empire, “besides we’re better than you”, why do English actors always play villains? American accents = movie stars, Vancouver is a science fiction ghetto, iambk audio, the proper pronunciation of “about” in Canada, shock vs. shark, accents are lazy ways of speaking, George Wilson (the narrator of Forever Peace), P.G. Wodehouse, Bertie and Jeeves, the secret language of (drunken) Cockneys, no stupid voices please (in audiobooks), if you hire Nicholson for you movie your movie is a Jack Nicholson movie, Gregg’s signature voice may lose him work, why does the narrative switch between first and third person throughout Forever Peace, Yes, Minister, Goodreads.com, senior civil servant (3rd person) vs. elected official (1st person), The Long Habit Of Living by Joe Haldeman, The Forever War is told in first person (right?)

RECORDED BOOKS - Forever Peace by Joe Haldeman

Posted by Jesse Willis