Elegy by Charles Beaumont

April 6, 2012 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Online Audio 

SFFaudio Online Audio

Elegy - ILLUSTRATION from  Imagination, February, 1953
Elegy by Charles Beaumont

Elegy, by Charles Beaumont, is available over on Gutenberg.org and that means it’s in the PUBLIC DOMAIN. This short story, by the legendary Charles Beaumont, was adapted as an episode of The Twilight Zone. That’s how I found it, and that’s why it was produced as an audiobook for Tom Elliot’s The Twilight Zone Podcast. But before I detail that let me first offer you this handy |PDF| version.

Here’s the audiobook:

The Twilight Zone PodcastElegy
By Charles Beaumont; Read by Jim Moon
1 |MP3| – Approx. 43 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Podcaster: The Twilight Zone Podcast
Podcast: June 27, 2011
|ETEXT|
It was an impossible situation: an asteroid in space where no asteroid should have been—with a city that could only have existed back on Earth! First published in Imagination, February 1953.

Podcast feed: http://feeds.feedburner.com/TheTwilightZonePodcast

iTunes 1-Click |SUBSCRIBE|

And here’s The Twilight Zone adaptation:

And here‘s Tom Elliot’s podcast review of the TZ adaptation |MP3|.

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #154 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: An Occurrence At Owl Creek Bridge

April 2, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Podcasts 

Podcast
An Occurrence At Owl Creek Bridge
By Ambrose Bierce
The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #154 – Scott, Jesse, Tamahome, Mirko and David Stifel talk about An Occurrence At Owl Creek Bridge by Ambrose Bierce (read by Bob Neufeld for LibriVox).

Talked about on today’s show:
The Devil’s Dictionary, comic irony, an American classic, German drama, Famous Monsters Of Filmland, Sleep No More, Nelson Almstead, The Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits, One Step Beyond, civil war stories, quantum mechanics, The Damned Thing, the genres: horror, ghost, “weird”, “weird war”, “dream”, or SUSPENSE, alternate reality, why is An Occurrence At Owl Creek Bridge so popular with high-school English teachers?, time perception, not-SF, “the man who was engaged in being hanged”, passivity, “go for it hands”, “a dream story”, David used to have out of body dreams, “stream of consciousness”, subjectivity, Henry James, the radio drama adaptations (Escape, Suspense, CBS Radio Mystery Theater),

“Each year thousands of short stories roll out from a multitude of typewriter, march across the pages of our magazines toward well deserved oblivion. Few are memorable, fewer still are classics. They pass the time and are forgotten even before the paper on which they are written is reduced to black ash. But occasionally a story is written that is a true classic, an unforgettable tale.”

astral projection, H.P. Lovecraft, Accessory Before The Fact by Algernon Blackwood, near death experience, Bierce’s headwound, Sigmund Freud, A Dream Play by August Strindberg, The Horla by Guy de Maupassant, the driftwood, the slowdown of time, it’s a mystery story, a million blades of grass, infinite detail and infinite depth, Isaac Asimov, The Turn Of The Screw, The Twilight Zone version (which was a French short film), what’s with the corporal?, of the body, a hidden pun or joke, it was a setup, a great suspicion of death or dying, the kicking legs = running, unconscious insight result in surprise and relief, the tongue, wish fulfillment, the suspicion begins, naturalistic interpretation, Igor (Son Of Frankenstein), the history of hangings, botched hangings, popping heads, Hang ‘Em High, Braveheart, can it be truly spoiled?, war,

“Death is a dignitary who when he comes announced is to be received with formal manifestations of respect, even by those most familiar with him. In the code of military etiquette silence and fixity are forms of deference.”

constitutional rights, the Alfred Hitchcock Presents adaptation, The Twilight Zone short film version, HuffDuffer, CBS Radio Mystery Theater adaptation, “it’s best read”, an audio drama adaptation, impressionism, mapping back, additional scenes, a water moccasin, narration, is it a miracle that the rope breaks, a heavenly Eden like land, gates, Sergei Bondarchuk’s War And Peace, Leo Tolstoy, altered state, (The Crawling Chaos), sex choking, speculative fiction, life passing before you, the telescoping of time, remembering the classics, 100,000 high school teachers, one of the most podcast short stories, O. Henry stories are cute, an existential story, “trapped in a world he never made”, an exegesis.

From Eerie Magazine #23

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #153 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: Small Town by Philip K. Dick

March 26, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Podcasts 

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #153 – Small Town by Philip K. Dick, read by Gregg Margarite. This is a complete and unabridged reading of the short story followed by a discussion of it with Jesse, Tamahome, and Gregg Margarite!

Of Small Town Philip K. Dick wrote:

“Here the frustrations of a defeated small person — small in terms of power, in particular power over others — gradually become transformed into something sinister: the force of death. In rereading this story (which is of course a fantasy, not science fiction) I am impressed by the subtle change which takes place in the protagonist from Trod Upon to Treader. Verne Haskel initially appears as the prototype of the impotent human being, but this conceals a drive at his core self which is anything but weak. It is as if I am saying, The put-upon person may be very dangerous. Be careful as to how you misuse him; he may be a mask for thanatos: the antagonist of life; he may not secretly wish to rule; he may wish to destroy.”

Talked about on today’s show:
Gregg is getting better at girls, girls are always questioning you, horror, urban fantasy, The Twilight Zone, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Rod Serling, paranoid Verne Haskell, a lead quarter, the redistribution of wealth, playing god, “…and he rested and he made a sandwich”, god games, SimCity 2000, churches can’t be stopped, Microcosmic God, “shoved into the next dimension”, is it slipstream?, Stopover In A Quiet Town, transformers are the science, diorama, the train doesn’t run them over, “moral”, “extremely moral”, train guys, Lego, erector sets, Lincoln Logs, Meccano, matchbox cars, small towns can be hell, comic book stores, “urbane-al-ity”, is Verne the god of Woodland?, pet shops and mortuaries, little man, SFSignal’s Sword And Sorcery Panel suggest characters should be the focus, “Finished!”, world warping, John Carter, handwavium, “make out”, Beyond The Door, Dick’s faithless women, Clans Of The Alphane Moon, how risque were SF mags in the 1950s?, San Fransisco, Silvia is one of Dick’s most common female character names, a life sized diorama, The Tell Tale Heart, The Days Of Perky Pat, The Three Stigmata Of Palmer Eldritch, the game of Life, Barbie, chew-z, the documentary Marwencol (2010), “he wants love”, Mark Hogancamp’s world is open, living in a real dream world, Deja Thoris has a time machine, Jeff Malmberg, A Clockwork Orange, adding layers, “well done Jeff”, R. Crumb, Blade Runner‘s androids take photographs to take memories, “reality and consciousness are fluid constructs”, crazy vs. differently enabled, Esopus magazine, a world without irony, authenticity, people are complicated, Greenwich Village, cross-dressing, WWII.

Small Town by Philip K. Dick second publication in the April 1967 issue of Amazing Stories

Marwencol

Posted by Jesse Willis

The Twilight Zone Podcast: interview with the creators of Charles Beaumont: The Short Life of Twilight Zone’s Magic Man

January 30, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Online Audio 

SFFaudio Online Audio

The Twilight Zone PodcastBack in August 2011 Tom Elliot, of the terrific The Twilight Zone Podcast, posted a wonderful interview with the makers of Charles Beaumont: The Short Life of Twilight Zone’s Magic Man. Jason and Sunni Brock talk to Tom for 45 minutes, it’s great stuff!

|MP3|

Podcast feed: http://feeds.feedburner.com/TheTwilightZonePodcast

iTunes 1-Click |SUBSCRIBE|

Posted by Jesse Willis

What You Need by Lewis Padgett (aka Henry Kuttner and C.L. Moore)

November 22, 2011 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Online Audio 

SFFaudio Online Audio

Tom Elliot’s excellent The Twilight Zone Podcast features the original short story What You Need written by Henry Kuttner and C.L. Moore under their joint pseudonym of Lewis Padgett. If you’re a fan of words and the subtleties of their many meanings you’ll enjoy this tale of a store that will only sell you only what you need.

The Twilight Zone PodcastThe Twilight Zone Podcast – What You Need
By Lewis Padgett (Henry Kuttner and C.L. Moore); Read by Tom Elliot
1 |MP3| – Approx. 37 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Podcaster: The Twilight Zone Podcast
Podcast: February 27, 2011
First published in the October 1945 issue of Astounding Science Fiction.

Illustrations by Williams from the original publication in Astounding:
What You Need by Lewis Padgett - illustration by Williams
What You Need by Lewis Padgett - illustration by Williams

What You Need has been adapted for television twice (first for Tales Of Tomorrow and later for The Twilight Zone).

While you’ll have to find The Twilight Zone episode yourself Tales From Tomorrow is PUBLIC DOMAIN and here’s the |MP4| video download. This episode originally aired live on February 8, 1952 (Season 1, Episode 19).

Cast:
Billy Redfield
Edgar Stehli

Directed by Charles S. Dubin

Posted by Jesse Willis

The Adjustment Bureau’s cheaper better cousin (a 2002 Twilight Zone adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s Adjustment Team)

November 20, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: News 

SFFaudio News

After listening to the recently re-released public domain audiobook of Adjustment Team (or the Brilliance Audio audiobook |READ OUR REVIEW|), you’re probably looking forward to watching the well advertized film adaptation entitled The Adjustment Bureau.

Here’s what I wrote about the trailer back in April:

The Adjustment Bureau movie trailer: Powerful, handsome bachelor boy meets cute girl -> handsome boy loses beautiful girl -> handsome boy is chased by powerfully fedoraed men -> handsome gets beautiful back again.

Now, after having seen the film I can say it is exactly like a longer version of the trailer.

The Adjustment Bureau is a competently written romance. But as such it is neither toned nor focused like any Dick story you’ve read.

In their recently filed lawsuit the lawyers for the Philip K. Dick Testamentary Trust got one thing right. They said this:

“[the filmmakers] took every opportunity to exploit the valuable imprimatur of … the Dick name … they did everything they could to capitalize on the fame, the cachet, the brand of being BASED UPON A STORY BY PHILIP K. DICK.

The estate seemed happy to have the Dick name on there, however diluted its “brand” should become, but only so long as they get to “hoard any and all monies” they think they’re owed. But this post isn’t about that, not directly. This post is about stories, and why ideas matter in stories.

Nearly every element of Adjustment Team‘s plot has been dispensed with in the film. Gone are the talking dog and the “friend with a car.” In are a MAGICAL NEGRO in the form of a dozing black man (replacing the dozing dog), a MEET CUTE ballerina girlfriend and an off the cuff why-can’t-they-do-that-in-real-life political speech that’s also an old trope (called THROWING OUT THE SCRIPT). Also gone are the questions such a world as Ed Fletcher has discovered he lives in would mean to you an me. I came away from Adjustment Team thinking metaphyscial, seeing the idea that Dick was working through, seeing how I’d thought similar ideas, and why my ideas were wrong. I came away from The Adjustment Bureau needing to pee and no wiser than I went in.

The Adjustment Bureau is a fine Hollywood date movie, and it bares almost no resemblance to any Philip K. Dick story you’ll ever read.

I’ll give it this, the film is very competently put together – it’s a by the numbers Hollywood romance with a snappy chase sequence sandwiched between some quasi-fantasy/religious elements. And several fine actors got paid to show up and Carthage must be destroyed.

But the story, Adjustment Team, while only a minor work (just 18 pages). is a paranoid think piece in a suburban setting.

So what are you to do if you’re looking for a more genuine adaptation?

I recommend you check out The Twilight Zone (2002), which has a better, cheaper adaptation of the same story. They’ve called it Gabe’s Story.

The script for Gabe’s Story is credited to Dusty Kay (not PKD) but many of the Dick story elements are in there. Plus the episode is just the right length (22 minutes) to get in with the idea, pose some interesting questions, and let you move on. and in case you’re curious, it’s also got the poor married shlub (with a wife who thinks he’s crazy) a black man in the back yard (not dozing this time) and a trip downtown to an unusual office building. By dispensing with all the romance it gives you the chance to think about what Dick was aiming at, namely what it would all mean if the world was really run from the top down and not the bottom up.

Posted by Jesse Willis

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