The SFFaudio Podcast #367 – READALONG: The Prince And the Pauper by Mark Twain

May 2, 2016 by · Leave a Comment
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The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #367 – Jesse, Julie Davis, and Maissa talk about The Prince And the Pauper by Mark Twain.

Talked about on today’s show:
1881, 1882, Julie’s Mark Twain obsession, realistic fiction, children’s literature, reading with teenagers, old books teach you their vocabulary, quasi-historical fiction, Tom Sawyer, something classier, Sir Walter Scott, like Dickens-lite, sooo Dickens!, Huckleberry Finn, young people of all ages, anything public domain was marketed for children, appealing to children, sympathetic characters, lacking wry cynicism, less biting, he’s an anglophile, making points, how do we treat people, trading places, The Pickwick Papers, Nicholas Nickleby, Bleak House, the progress of an author, everybody knows the story, enters the popular culture like a fable, a meta-issue, where’s the science fiction and the fantasy?, Jesse’s thinking, The Prisoner Of Zenda, Ruritania, inspired by, precursors, an immediate classic, that Ringo (1974) movie, Carrie Fisher, that Monty Python thing, so much fun, and his talentless half brother, Vincent Price, John Ritter, chock-full of fun, The Man In The Iron Mask by Alexandre Dumas, Double Star by Robert A. Heinlein, this phenomenon, replacing the king, Citizen Of The Galaxy, the influence of Twain is in SF, Three Men In A Boat by Jerome K. Jerome, Great Expectations, David Copperfield, the Wishbone adaptation, way down into the culture, Dave (with Kevin Kline and Sigourney Weaver), Moon Over Parador with Richard Dreyfuss, in that continuum, A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur’s Court, research and divergence, footnotes, Edward, Lady Jane Gray, Star Trek: Mirror, Mirror, parrallel worlds, Freaky Friday, so many avenues, Big with Tom Hanks, swapped identity, genre defining, what it says on the tin, parody versions, The Monkees, 25 minutes of ridiculous, The Monkees a fake version of The Beatles, Twain’s Joan Of Arc book, incredibly well plotted, dreaming the life of a king, Tom is the king of Offal Court, crazy, King of the Gamecocks and King Foofoo, Miles Hendon’s story is parallel to Prince Edward’s plot, it goes really deep, Tom’s two sisters, Nan and Bess, Mary and Elizabeth, everybody gets to be king or queen for a day, queen for nine days, Mary’s short reign, Elizabeth’s long reign, a lot of pain and torture and unjust punishment and superstition, the psychological irony, every king should live by the laws of his subjects, the Blue Laws, pardonings, wise judgement, chapter 22/23, not a joke book, situational humour, doing the Robin Hood thing, the Ruffler, a beggar who refuses to beg, threatening the tinker with a soldering iron, a thief who won’t steal, putting a clime on him, a cant term for an ulcer, a slatternly woman and a diseased baby on the side of the road, an here’s the recipe, the mother daughter witches, witchcraft, the wisdom of Solomon from the mouths of babes, foolishly wise, native common sense, hath it always this dread effect?, a parallel scene, when Edward is in gaol as Tom, the crime of being Baptists, who burned?, burned at the stake, Tom had watched a procession, crisp flesh, some gruesome stuff, not a satire, straightforward historical (romanticized), Errol Flynn as Miles Hendon in the 1937 movie, the Oliver Reed movie adaptation (1977), tainted by Ringo, too heavy, Ernest Borgnine, Rachel Welch, interchangeable beauty, you monster!, he’s Errol Flynn-ing it all over the place, a heavy focus on the Miles story, Charlton Heston as Henry VIII, he was every historical male figure, all the time travelers form the 1970s movies, Miles’ brother is sent to the American colonies and becomes a politician, making it more satirical, the 1977 adaptation is very faithful to the novel, comedy, Edith, the children’s hospital, when Twain visited Europe he bought a lot of books, after his ordeal, teachings out of books, The Merchant Of Venice, reading the classics, I’ll make a classic tale, as if it has been with us forever, absolutely historical fiction and yet…, a Disney version, a timeless story, remember the humanity of the people around us, applying your humanity, anchor in reality, the kids, forgoing the crazy laws, I’m going to honor children always, meta-stuff, a short reign, the romantic relationship, she spurns Tom and marries a rich old Earl, Romeo And Juliet, twin brother from another mother, Ivanhoe, close enough, about as far away from SFF as Jesse will go, Moby Dick, Wrath Of Khan, William Shatner is the white whale, Patrick Stewart, the whipping boy, “to cheapen miracles by wasteful repetition”, he’s going places, what do you do with your time?, the Prince’s eyes flashed, speak on, we wade and swim in the canals, reality was so dreary, be careful what you wish for, the grass is always greener, delicious irony, adults child relationships, Mark Twain’s relationship with Dorothy Quick, on a trans-Atlantic crossing, a Disney movie about their relationship, Dorothy Quick was a Weird Tales poet, a New York Times obituary for March 16th, 1962:

DOROTHY QUICK, POET AND AUTHOR
Mystery Writer Dies – Was Friend of Mark Twain

Mrs. Dorothy Quick Mayer of 880 Park Avenue and East Hampton, L.I., a writer who treasured a childhood friendship with Mark Twain, died yesterday at her home here after a long illness.

Miss Quick was a girl of 11 in 1907 when she met the famous author on an Atlantic crossing. She was returning to Plainfield, N.J., from Europe with her parents, the late Mr. and Mrs. Henry Quick.

Recognizing Twain (Samuel L. Clemens) by his wavy hair and white suit, she walked around and around the deck, passing very slowly by his chair each time, until he finally came over and introduced himself.

“It was the beginning of a friendship that was to last until the very day of his death,” [1910] she recalled in 1954.

After the voyage she received a telegram from Twain asking whether she would prefer as a birthday present “one elephant or 10,000 monkeys.” She replied that she would prefer his books – which he sent her, along with a tiny white elephant.

Her memories of Mark Twain were published last year by the University of Oklahoma Press under the title “Enchantment.”

Miss Quick was married in 1925 to John Adams Mayer, who died in 1940. She continued to write under her maiden name. Her collected poems were published by the University Press, Washington. She also wrote mystery stories and contributed a weekly column for many years to newspapers in East Hampton and Riverhead, L.I.

Since 1960 Miss Quick had been honorary president of the Mark Twain Association of New York. Her other literary memberships included the P.E.N. Club, Pen and Brush, the National League of American Penwomen, the Brooklyn Poetry Circle, Women Poets of New York, and the Society of Composers, Artists and Authors.

over-sexualizing everything, Jack London and H.G. Wells, Nathaniel Hawthorne and Herman Melville, Wilkie Collins and Charles Dickens, Edgar Allan Poe and Charles Dickens, a persuasive fan letter, Poe and Dickens had a private lunch, my pet raven, the end of Barnaby Rudge, a can of leaded paint, Poe had been struggling with a particular poem: The Raven, Dickens is the epitome of success, his reviews, there’s a reason why, put that in, worth a reread!

Mark Twain and Dorothy Quick

Posted by Jesse Willis

LibriVox: The Hollow Of The Three Hills by Nathaniel Hawthorne

March 1, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Online Audio 

SFFaudio Online Audio

The Hollow Of The Three Hills - illustration by Esteban Maroto

If you’re a fan of good narration, and creepy short stories about witches, check out Bob Neufeld’s reading of The Hollow Of The Three Hills by Nathaniel Hawthorne. He’s a veteran narrator, with good taste is stories, and a terrific voice.

There is an “excellent” and extensive German Wikipedia entry on The Hollow Of The Three Hills – sadly, an English Wikipedia entry does not even exist.

LibriVoxThe Hollow Of The Three Hills
By Nathaniel Hawthorne; Read by Bob Neufeld
1 |MP3| – Approx. 13 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: 2012
First published in The Salem Gazette, November 12, 1830.

And here’s a |PDF|.

Posted by Jesse Willis

LibriVox: The House Of The Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne

February 11, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
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SFFaudio Online Audio

The famous and exquisitely wrought novel, The House of the Seven Gables, in which the relentless working out of an ancestral curse is developed with astonishing power against the sinister background of a very ancient Salem house … from this setting came the immortal tale — New England’s greatest contribution to weird literature — and we can feel in an instant the authenticity of the atmosphere presented to us. Stealthy horror and disease lurk within the weather-blackened, moss-crusted, and elm-shadowed walls of the archaic dwelling so vividly displayed, and we grasp the brooding malignity of the place when we read that its builder — old Colonel Pyncheon — snatched the land with peculiar ruthlessness from its original settler, Matthew Maule, whom he condemned to the gallows as a wizard in the year of the panic. Maule died cursing old Pyncheon — “God will give him blood to drink” — and the waters of the old well on the seized land turned bitter. Maule’s carpenter son consented to build the great gabled house for his father’s triumphant enemy, but the old Colonel died strangely on the day of its dedication. Then followed generations of odd vicissitudes, with queer whispers about the dark powers of the Maules, and sometimes terrible ends befalling the Pyncheons.

-H.P. Lovecraft, Supernatural Horror In Literature

The House Of The Seven Gables

For an upcoming SFFaudio Podcast READALONG of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The House Of The Seven Gables I point you towards this unabridged 12 hour 20 minute solo narration by Mark F. Smith:

With novels on LibriVox my preferred file type is M4B (DRM-FREE of course) because they’re natively bookmarkable – but a Zipped MP3 version, and a vanilla podcast feed are also available.

Part 1 |M4B|
Part 2 |M4B|
Part 3 |M4B|

Podcast feed:
https://librivox.org/rss/2961

The House Of The Seven Gables - an 1875 illustration of Clifford Pyncheon by John Dalziel

Posted by Jesse Willis

The Dreams In The Witch House by H.P. Lovecraft

August 13, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Online Audio 

SFFaudio Online Audio

Bryan Baugh‘s illustration of The Dreams In The Witch House is fabulous.

The Dreams In The Witch House - illustrated by Bryan Baugh

It captures everything I love about this novelette. In a stating his inspiration for the illustration Baugh explains his own experiences, of not being able to appreciate The Dreams In The Witch House, until he had matured. But he also goes on to call it “[an] insane little epic” one “which offers a mind boggling blend of old fashioned haunted-house horror with sci-fi quantum physics and alternate dimensions.

In The Nyarlathotep Cycle, a collection of related stories by various authors, editor R.M. Price wrote this for the introduction to The Dreams In The Witch House:

“Fritz Leiber was right: Lovecraft effected a Copernican revolution in horror by using the fearsome implications of modern science as the subtext for Gothic horror.”

Julie Hoverson, a Seattleite polymath and sometime guest on the SFFaudio Podcast, narrates it for us. A Lovecraft expert herself, Julie has adapted several of his short stories as audio dramas for her 19 Nocturne Boulevard series.

And me? I’m just glad that the twisting non-Euclidean angles of the actual real life witch house, as seen in the Masters Of Horror adaptation of this story, allow me to live within driving distance of Caprica City (where I attended university), the Tomb of Athena (where I went hiking), and Kobol (where I go dog walking).

The Dreams In The Witch House by H.P. LovecraftThe Dreams In The Witch House
By H.P. Lovecraft; Read by Julie Hoverson
1 |MP3| – Approx. 1 Hour 42 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Provider: Julie Hoverson
Provided: April 2013
Walter Gilman, a student of mathematics and folklore at Miskatonic University, rents a local rooming house. First published in the July 1933 issue of Weird Tales.

Posted by Jesse Willis

Hypnobobs: Mother Of Toads by Clark Ashton Smith

June 8, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Online Audio 

SFFaudio Online Audio

Mother Of Toads by Clark Ashton Smith

The horrors of medieval witchery in rural France! Hear Mr. Jim Moon narrate the “darkly erotic” Mother Of Toads, originally censored in its Weird Tales publication, Mr. Jim Moon reads it in its “full uncut glory.”

HypnobobsMother Of Toads
By Clark Ashton Smith; Read by Mr. Jim Moon
1 |MP3| – Approx. 1 Hour 16 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Podcaster: Hypnobobs
Podcast: January 27, 2013
Weird and powerful was the effect on the young apprentice of the potion given him by Mere Antoinette, known by the villagers as “the Mother of Toads.” First published in Weird Tales, July 1938.

Here’s a |PDF| made from the censored version that appeared in Weird Tales.

Posted by Jesse Willis

Review of Sinner by Mark Teppo

March 21, 2013 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Reviews 

SFFaudio Review

Sinner by Mark TeppoSinner: A Prequel to the Mongoliad
By Mark Teppo; Read by Luke Daniels
Publisher: Brilliance Audio (separate or included in deluxe edition of The Mongoliad: Book One)
2 hours [UNABRIDGED]

Themes: / witchcraft / mongoliad /

Publisher Summary:

A severed head and a cry of “Witchcraft!” start a frenzied witch hunt in a sleepy German village. When Konrad von Marburg, a Church inquisitor, arrives on the scene, innocent and guilty alike find themselves subject to the inquisitor’s violent form of purification. Two knights of the Ordo Militum Vindicis Intactae, Andreas and Raphael, soon arrive in the village. Though each journeys on a separate path, they quickly band together to confront the inquisitor as he whips the townspeople into a righteous bloodlust. When her dead husband’s severed head appears on her doorstep, a local woman is charged with practicing heretical rituals. It is up to the knights to discover the truth behind the brutal murder before the torches are lit and the woman is burned at the stake. Their task proves daunting, though, as the townspeople have their own long-buried secrets and sins that they want to keep hidden — even if it means allowing the sacrifice of an innocent woman. With Sinner: A Prequel to the Mongoliad, Mark Teppo forges the first link in a chain that leads to the world-shattering events of the Mongoliad series.

I got this book as a part of my copy of the audiobook of  The Mongoliad: Book One. I haven’t yet read The Mongoliad: Book One; I decided that I wanted to read the prequel first. I have one or two other prequel stories, which I think I’ll wait to read until after I’ve read The Mongoliad: Book One and The Mongoliad: Book Two and possibly The Mongoliad: Book Three. The reason I read this one before the others was that I happened to have it on my iPhone in that order. I don’t think anything was lost by reading it before the main books…I just want to see what the main books offer before going into the shorter-story prequels.

The story itself introduced two characters who I believe play a role in The Mongoliad: Book One, Raphael and Andreas, two knights who meet by happenstance in a small town at a time when the town has suffered a tragedy. Otto, the husband of Goetta, was murdered, and Goetta stands accused for the crime. To make matters worse, an Inquisitor of the Roman Catholic Church is also passing through the town and he decides to personally adjudicate the matter. Raphael is an older knight, mostly wiser, and has a history with this Inquisitor. Andreas is younger, brasher, quicker to jump in…and that’s where I’ll leave the description, without spoiling anything.

The story was light and I’m guessing sets the stage for events in The Mongoliad: Book One. I suspect readers will learn more about the Inquisitor (named Conrad) in that book, and of course about Raphael and Andreas. One hopes that Raphael will be able to teach young Andreas a bit of his worldly wisdom. And I expect that Andreas will be able to help Raphael recover…or possibly seek revenge, from issues in his past. The story here really set up these characters, wrapped around an otherwise predictable plot.

There’s nothing wrong with predictability, especially when interesting and intriguing characters are introduced. It’s even better when the story isn’t drawn out; it didn’t need to be any longer. This story whet my appetite for the main tome and now I’d like to see what else is in store for these guys.

Luke Daniels is a prolific audiobook narrator, with good reason. His narration for this story, as with so many of the stories he’s done, is spot-on. He adds life to the characters without distracting from the story. If I had one minor complaint, it’s that it was sometimes hard to understand what he was saying when he was using Raphael’s voice. He played the character with a heavy accent, which was sometimes hard to hear while driving down the road. The best way to listen to this type of book is to lay back and relax, put the earbuds in, and just listen. Daniels will take you to another place entirely…in this case, 13th century Europe. I’m looking forward to my next trip there with him in The Mongoliad: Book One.

Review by terpkristin.

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