Talked about on today’s show:
all the Jirel Of Joiry stories, incredibly French for some reason, why did Scott want to do, Brian Murphy the great, Flame And Crimson: A History Of Sword And Sorcery, The Silver Key blog, 25 of his favourite stories, Swords & Deviltry, The Best Of C.L. Moore, like we do, Skyboat Road, Gabrielle de Cuir, all 6 stories, the complete stories, 1934. peak CONAN, corresponded with H.P. Lovecraft about Robert E. Howard, The Challenge From Beyond, they’re playing, A. Merritt, Frank Belknap Long, round robins, Asimov and Heinlein as characters, tonally shifting, not trying to be a novel, Poul Anderson, Medea, Murasaki, one of those people who people think, Far Beyond The Stars, stereotypes, Weird Tales, tonnes of female writers, H.P. is not hide his identity, without knowing, Northwest Smith, punished by vampire women, Kuttner, I would just assume it was a female, the female gaze upon herself, she really has these things, Jesse’s poem, the way the plots work, one is particularly,
JIREL MEETS by Jesse
My yellow eyes
THIS flaming red hair
I sit, impregnable, in my mail atop my charging stallion at the sorcerer’s castle’s gate
The air about me trembles, a magic rises here in post roman france!
Soon I’ll journey underground into another pocket universe
I am at the the borderlands, YOU FOOLS!
Remember Guillame? How dare he!
Look you, reader, upon my iron clad form, look at it!
Inside this lobstered armour lays My indomitable heart!
Neath my roman greaves lay my shapely shapely legs.
I must hide the kindness of my mouth.
Do not forget, dear reader, that slimy black thing beneath this castle’s keep
It is a promise, that beyond the purple stars and azure tendrils that I shall resist
Men at arms, you are no use, fall back, these enemies shall fall before my violent will.
The indescribable thing!
It shall fall beneath my gaze, withered by the blinding burning vehemence of my iridescent yellow eyes, beneath my keen visor.
There I shall give my kisses!
And silence shall fall upon you, until the next issue.
quiet, sued or put in prison, droits moraux, French copyright law, Solar Pons stories, Lovecraft never collaborated with August Derleth, operating on poetic description, a mood, as opposed to what Robert E. Howard does, a 15,000 word story, she’s kissed she goes to the underworld she comes back, today’s market, languid, immerses the reader in that mood, Strange Horizons or Uncanny, today’s modern sensibility, they’re all novelettes, a substantial meditation, mindset, pocket universes, SHRIVE ME! SHRIVE ME!, the second story is brooding on the first story, she’s a girl, Evan’s direct messages, some kind of weird love, regret, she wants to rage fuck him for the entire first story, willing to damn her soul, none of her men at arms have names, he dared to defy her, his kiss, a domination, a metaphor for sexual conquest, the female mind, compared to Conan, Conan is very male, the gaze, he’s pantherish, his thews, his black mane, a male gaze on a male, an admiration for his ability to get in there and get shit done, he survives, he figures his way, very basic, a realpolitik, Jewels Of Gwhalur, like a heist, the set piece of her sitting at the gate of a castle, this guy dares to kiss, the opening is a 5th of the story, a journey into the underworld, incredibly female, the letters make it clear, letters from Weird Tales, October 1937, C.L. Moore visits Robert Bloch, Henry Kuttner took her on a rollercoaster ride, James Triptree, Jr., Campbellian times, marginalized, a wave, the number of letters from females is huge, women hiding their gender in order to writer, George Eliot and George Sand, a performance art aspect, Jane Austen, can I trust him, they all blended together as well, Kuttner is really good at blending in with his wife, funnier, playful, Mimsy Were The Borogoves by Lewis Padgett, Quest of the Starstone, the first example of a crossover story?, Savage Sword Of Conan, look Elric’s here!, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Solomon Kane, Moon Knight, Dark Agnes, Roy Thomas’ Red Sonja, the red hair, not the yellow eyes, do we see her fighting?, purple skies and orange plants, The Tree Of Life, she daggered a dude through a door, a Red Sonja figure on a dias, a shying away, Guillaume, she’s an untamed gentlewoman, she was at war, Shakespeare doesn’t put the battles on the stage, you can’t adapt this really, it’s a psychedelic, putting The Night Land on film, trippy colours, Jirel goes into Hell, A Voyage To Arcturus, The Black God is not the devil, transdimensional stuff, H.P. Lovecraft Clark Ashton Smith, the cross, so sexual, Hellsgarde, a trap door, she experiences all sort of things, impregnable twice, it never really was France, even the time is weird, guns, 1,500, when and where are these stories set?, early-Middle Ages, pagan beliefs, sword and sorcery, combined into a world, its not meant to be historical, The Hyborian Age, 10,000 years ago, lower ocean, Doggerland, The Dying Earth, Jack Vance, Fritz Leiber, too limiting, the spicy pulps, pornography, Weird Tales would try to draw in the audience, women with whips, a woman kissing a statue, this is going to be a sexy story, 1980s movies, a sex scene in Lethal Weapon, all sorts of different things, ways of selling it to the audience, here’s a powerful woman who wants to be dominated (even though she says she doesn’t), its a complicated thing to be a woman, tell me about if fellow man, battles, leader, she denies the guy, regrets, C.L. Moore’s second husband, very prolific, the benefit of hindsight, K.J. Parker, he came out as a male, Robert Silverberg, James Triptree, Jr., J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter, thinking like a woman mode, H.P. Lovecraft never does it, Philip K. Dick does it a lot, an empathy thing, look at me in my amazing armour, in my shocking red hair, in my yellowy eyes, what have I done?, that black beard split by his white teeth, your hands are like daggers but your mouth perhaps is sweet, getting that bonus for the cover, trying to make livings, aiming for the cover, why stuff that’s in there is like that, providing a need for the market, Ann Douglas’ The Feminization Of American Culture, as religion lost its hold on the public mind, she’s talking about men and women, timidity, piety, Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe, sentimental literature, fighting against these values, almost like a flapper, embracing sexuality, this literary creation, rage, sexy, hot rage, passion, in the context of other C.L. Moore stories, some kind of female force, the vamp, roleplaying as archetypes, a sex streamer, a sexuality performance, a stand in for C.L. Moore, I want to be Joan of Arc (but less holy), how. dare. he., the Martian France, other sword and sorcery, Conan crucified, biting the heads off the vultures, playing out in reverse, Black God’s Shadow, A Witch Shall Be Born, twins whipping each other, whipping up the sensations, attract the eye and make you buy it, your chaste great grandma, twice impregnable, she wants to be chased (not chaste), I’m going to make you my bride, I’ll destroy myself, a domination, its a play, a back and forth, this moldy trunk, that was not the point of this adventure, what’s in there?, the same thing that’s in the trunk in Pulp Fiction (1994), comrades in arms, running up against vampire women on Mars, more chaste, it’d be like Solomon Kane and Conan making out, Jerisme the sorceress, a magician vs. emotion, what women were about at the time, marrying or killing for power, a classic villain, a whole bunch of stories that are so similar, the same tonal notes, similar movements, when you hear the Imperial March, the 1960s Spider-Man cartoon, animated or anime, the music and the colour and the logic, what the Japanese want to think France looked like, all within a five year span, she and the public taste had changed, Conan’s Compeers, L. Sprague de Camp, Judgement Night by C.L. Moore, what a coincidence, this underworld, this relationship, runaway chase me, I’m angry but its all love!, very distinctive, this is their niche, we don’t really know why we do stuff, a shift from fantasy to science fiction, a war, a novella, it took the cover, riveting descriptions, the ghost, intense, very well written, again into another universe, trapped in another world, Lovecraft’s models Poe and Dunsany, a particular thread, the dream world, the thief, The Tale Of Satampra Zeiros, both Lovecraft and Moore are picking up Dunsany ideas, The King Of Elfland’s Daughter, turning it dark, a drippy scary cold stone, that Theives’ World phenomenon, aka guarding, going in a getting, going in and taking, being playful, Dunsany is being cutesy, Lingerie Serious, Leisure Suit Larry’s cousin, ambivalent about magic, an affective kiss, that’s what she says, her magic is her rage, this temporal geography, barbarian kingdoms, a much more modern figure, an uncomfortable relationship with the past, Black Gods Kiss by Lavie Tidhar, magpie, poke poke poke, its that thing that Jon hates?, The Adventures Of The Solar Pons, Sherlock Holmes, are there any of them that were any good?, thinking August Derleth is a good writer, Without A Clue (1988), The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes’ Smarter Brother (1975), is there any case to be made, Conan fights a magnet, Philip Jose Farmer, Fred Saberhagen, his own attitude, continuing the series after the author dies, good stories from work for hire, why Jesse likes adaptations by Roy Thomas’ stuff, abridging and visualizing, in colour or with colour prose, Fantastic Four, The Ring Cycle, Richard Wagner, are they mythological characters, adaptation, Neil Gaiman, Odin, I’m going to write a story, The Ring of the Nibelung, Lin Carter, diluted, she gotta care about the scene and the feeling, if you compress the actions of the plot it could be 20 minutes long (or less), beings and creatures and elves that need to be waded through, emotionally charged description, emotion to inanimate objects, tumultuous, better in audiobooks, into Jirel’s world, all the illustrations for Weird Tales, the way the weird tales market developed, railroad stories, ranch romances, a market for weird stories, Argosy, Off-Trail, A. Merritt, Geusy, The Blind Spot by Homer Eon Flint, Francis Stevens’ stuff, the first issue of Weird Tales had Sunfire, she invented the superhero genre, bit by bugs, exposed to radiation, The Hulk, Captain America, The Curious Experience Of Thomas Dunbar.
The SFFaudio Podcast #611 – Jewels of Gwahlur by Robert E. Howard; read by Phil Chenevert
This unabridged reading of the story (2 hours 5 minutes) is followed by a discussion of it.
Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Paul Weimer, Will Emmons, Trish E. Matson, and Alex.
Talked about on today’s show:
Weird Tales, March 1935, The Servants Of Bit Yakin, The Teeth Of Gwahlur, Farnsworth Wright, the giveaway ending, Conan actually says that, a monster vs. some jewels, an awesome story, a really cool political intrigue story, realpolitik, what country wants to invade what country for what resources, Russia to invade Afghanistan, Americans invade, they want the minerals, a police that believes in the bullshit, we’re going in as liberators!, Conan’s attitude, inhuman ape-ghouls, what an idiot, not a lot of swordfights, any actual magic?, the preserved body, a lich, the ghoul men, C.H.U.D.S, Lovecraftian ghouls, very preserved lives, what did Bit-Yakin even wanna do in there?, food delivery, a shitty life, implied backstory, broad strokes, that scroll, undercuts the interpretation of the vast public, he knows his shit, Conan’s grasp of languages, Bit-Yakin is self-obsessed, the only mummy on the entire granite curtain, the geology of it, Star Hunter by Andre Norton, comic book adaptations, climbing the cliff, a little nichey cave, slightly less sheer, a secret entrance, he’s a hill climber, he just happened to find the only mummy on this 20 km, Jesse’s Monkey’s Paw theory, W.W. Jacobs, a free meal, an elaborate show, mangled in a factory accident, a great con from idea, a whole sea-chest full of monkey’s paws, a reality based story, black magic is real, the way you focus the story tells you what the reality is, the Stygian dude, Thutmekri, there’s mummies at the top of every part of the palisade, this is a con-game story, at the end, Muriella, the Punts they have a thing for an ivory goddess too, Conan needs to be given a house full of gold, the Conquistadors, H. Rider Haggard’s She, a con on us as well, they’re all playing the same game, next village over, the Seven Cities Of Gold, what Robert E. Howard has done here, the icky international, a grifter whose name is Conan, the richest man on the planet or hang out with a sexy girl for a while, I can make use of you, that’s all its for, its the getting not the having for Conan, 40 pairs of red silk breeks, the P. Craig Russell, the fur diaper, iconic, you know who you’re looking at, no heirloomed possessions, just Conan and his black mane and his pantherish thews, his sandeled feet, we get it he’s a panther, tigers, big cats, Kull’s the one with the scar on his eye, Solomon Kane has a hat, Will’s first Conan story, how truly bleak a person Conan is, addicted to risk-taking, the only way he could feel, everything in it, westerns, bleak man comes to town stories, fascinated with the hand of H. Rider Haggard in this story, Ayesha done realistic (its a scam), the ending, the exact same scam in the next country over, pre-ice age Hyborian Africa, racial mythology, Zimbabwe, Shemitish archers, they’re just trying to figure things out (they’re completely wrong), John Buchan’s The Grove Of Ashtaroth, beehive huts, the Cromcast, a white kingdom inside of an African nation, a whole cool thesis, trying to prove to H.P. Lovecraft, its always collapse, civilization is a passing fad, collapse is the real thing, always arguing with Lovecraft, The Shadow Out Of Time, At The Mountains Of Madness, ancient civilizations on Earth, the leftovers, the pyramids, Nubia, pyramidal leftovers, their culture wasn’t a culture of pyramids that’s the only thing left, a long time ago they were really into skulls, a guy who knew how to weave things, collapsed civilizations everywhere, at the bottom of the Black Sea, the Mediterranean, the mounds of Moundsville, the Mound Builders, Howard’s not wrong (really), Howard’s obsessed by it, layer upon layer, this great Dungeons & Dragons style module, a great scenario to run characters through, a great VR, a great computer game, The Pygmalion’s Spectacles scenario you’d like to do, scaling forbidding crags, if things had worked out slightly differently…, still a threat, issue 25 of Savage Sword 1977, Conan Saga reprint, a very solid adaptation, expressive faces, camera angles, Conan’s sort of the least interesting figure in it, that splash page showing the wall and the temple, the terrific use of the actual Howard prose, colour to a black and white image, the 2006 P. Craig Russell adaptation, the caldera of a volcano, continent sized caldera, Devil’s Tower, a volcanic plug, could something like this exist?, he made it so awesome, the palace of the king, now its all jungle everywhere, green sward, pleasure pavilions, Zhargeba, take some of the teeth, Dagon and Derketta, Palishtim, layers and layers of strata, servants never even given a name, bound magically perhaps against their will, literally happens in this story, #LegCling, that’s the real thing, her costume is magical, Yaleah, you’re a liar, all the oracles are liars, the same costume, a room of sacred vestments, she’s fine, her clothes rot away, her jeweled breastplate, her silk short skirt, run to the closet, doing some work, an instinct, robots left to run a bit too long, what the priests are doing, an ancient system, reliable information from the oracle, what’s the modern version of that?, should we invade Iraq?, what’s the Oracle think?, only the wooden walls will hold?, a great kingdom will fall, Themistocles, the Persians are coming, we’re know for our ships, yo, some horrible political decision, let’s have a task force, white paper, push it off of the schedule, half measure or wholesale, a delaying tactic, hold a referendum, quit the British Empire, some special day for it, Upper and Lower Canada rebellions, Lord Durham’s report, holy shit you guys are totally corrupt, actual autonomy, democracy, everybody in the family of the governor gets to run things, Conan and Howard are mostly right, an actual politician who believes in the system, what gets you killed, by believing in these gods you’re gonna get scammed, have your mineral resources stolen from you, organized religion, Cimmeria, Crom never shows his face, Crom never answers prayers, its hard to remember, in a rural community there’s a ton of pressure to think about god, its not just me, Queen Of The Black Coast, Belit’s will, a cool takeaway, Howard is intellectually a heavyweight, how little attention the player character pays to the world building, I have all this backstory, he’s a hack and slash character, The Slithering Shadow, Conan’s not a fan of the railroad, return to the backstory, the ape fantasies here, ape people, half-men, Mangani, super-gorillas all over the place, Atlanteans of Opar, an ape-man aspect, Conan doesn’t care about ape-men, sorta apey, The Monster Men by Edgar Rice Burroughs, a Frankenstein-style doctor’s creations, a comic book adaptation, A Man Without A Soul, The Island Of Dr Moreau, pirates, the turn, dude, nobody has a soul, the prose, the opening paragraphs, a much better writer than Burroughs, away and away, the ocean of fronds and leaves, its full of that, Clark Ashton Smith, the color of Conan’s pants, different beats, plenty, that broad lofty hall, a fortune in itself, a series of tweets, every sentence is gorgeous, the part Lovecraft would have loved, the twin arches over the subterranean river, its an Indiana Jones story, the Sankara Stones, The Temple Of Doom, the difference between Indiana Jones and Conan, Conan is Belloc but more competent, she was a Nazi, greed doomed her, a pretty good movie, a steep cliff, a hard climb to save it, there’s a sequel to this, L. Sprague de Camp, The Ivory Goddess, Savage Sword would fill in the gaps, mining little bits, Roy Thomas, much of his career is riding on the coat tails Howard laid down, a Howard Lin Carter joint, the general public, the old used bookstore that doesn’t exist on its own, the dipshit (Fritz Leiber), repetitious and childish a self-vitiating brew of pseudoscience stage illusions, Francis X. Grodon, playing the Great Game better than them, The Hawk Of The Hills, living in a small town, that letter to Farnsworth Wright, burdened down with a bad healthcare system, an only child, his favourite stories were the historical ones, Fafhrd and The Gray Mouser, some random boxing story is good, the Conan that’s presented here, a thoughtful dude, rough and tumble, the fantastic he wrote about is very grounded, The Efficiency Expert by Edgar Rice Burroughs, two guys punched each other a lot, Fantastic, May 1968, Will’s assessment: about as good as what Fritz Leiber would writer but better than something C.L. Moore would write, ranking the Conan stories, the middle, the backstory, The Vale Of Lost Women, parked his horse, this story is in real-time almost, if the lions havent eaten him, what are you crying about now, slim shoulders, a Corinthian accent, a valley girl accent, I immediately regret that decision, a lot of philosophy in Conan, Diogenes, Alexander the Great comes to town, get out of my light, I was just enjoying my mug, 2020 is wrecked, if you have a favourite cup, cynicism, skepticism, if you have a favorite and its broken now its sad, I had a cup and then I saw a boy drinking cupping, a tiny house down by a river, a flatline life, John Waterhouse painting, he’s got his scroll, a pile of onions for lunch, collecting to many motorcycles, a parallax on your own life, light enough to see, the worst Conan stories, Red Nails, a furious effort, exotic maniacs and hop-heads, opium dens, snaking through endless corridors, butcher shop carnage and the like, I don’t like Conan stories, The People Of The Black Circles, “All the obscenity and salacious infamy spawned in the muck of the abysmal pits of Life seemed to drown her in seas of cosmic filth.”, all good things, there’s a great scene, tearing a dude like he’s a chicken, cannibalism, Howard slaughtered a chicken, 1 Shadows, 2 Gwahlur, 3 Vale, a solid story, Beyond The Black River, Tower Of The Elephant, what he does there kinda fails, too much magic, a reskin, suiting it to his magazine, bonus for the cover, LibriVox, The Crushing Hands Of Death, Tiger Cat by David H. Keller, apparently people want whipping, whipping scenes, Frank Frazetta’s surefire way of getting on the cover, a documentary about Frank Frazetta, Painting With Fire, Frazetta paints himself (and his wife), Virgil Finlay and Margaret Brundage, the Dark Horse adaptation, he looked young, some of the architecture is good, the jungle valley, @FrazettaGirls, the series sold 10 million copies, the tan looking priests, shying away from the race angle, in 1977 they were aware of different races, Ayesha’s supposed to be an Arab, she should have black hair, a blonde in the movies, a thing in Hollywood, dark foamy hair, proto-greeks, how you describe a Venus, born of the foam of Zeus’ sex with the sea, Chronos, his step-dad, flashbacks, the court intrigue, more faithful to the flow of the story, the way it starts, Howard is a much better plotter than most people, why he didn’t put these scenes them in the story, that narrative technique, a mystery he wants us to be distracted from, a very good mystery writer technique, you can see it in retrospect, incredibly valuable techniques, Lovecraft read a tonne, Howard’s instinct, Spear And Fang, Argosy and Adventure, Harold Lamb, any LibriVox of Harold Lamb?, ask the experts, what kind of swords did they use in 6th century Uzbekistan?, inter-library loans, Howard Andrew Jones, the PDF Page, The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, Virgil Finlay, The Black Diamonds by Clark Ashton Smith, Arabian Knights set in 1650 Baghdad, a boy’s adventure, literal Dungeons & Dragons style playthrough, an abandoned castle, Zoroastrian?, the Temple of the Fire Worshippers, hitting the Haggard hard, a stern lecture about what he’s going to tell him later, pretending to be black, Scheherazade, are they diamonds?, the briefcase with the glowing object in Pulp Fiction, Orientalism, Shanghai and Afghanistan, Mountain Man by Robert E. Howard.