The SFFaudio Podcast #651 – READALONG: Appendix N: The Literary History Of Dungeons & Dragons by Jeffro Johnson

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #651 – Jesse and Alex talk about Appendix N: The Literary History Of Dungeons & Dragons by Jeffro Johnson

Talked about on today’s:
Brandon Porter, complaints about the audiobook, missing footnotes, appendixes C and D, Dungeon Master’s Guide, 1979, page 224, who the hell are these guys, there’s Tolkien, John , Andrew J. Offutt, Fltcher Pratt, Face In The Frost, The House With A Clock In Its Walls, reading ideas, Paul Weimer, opposed to Castalia House, John C. Wright, chips on both guys shoulders, misplaced chips, not wanting to participate in some books, Jenny Colvin, Reading Envy, Oryx And Crake, too stuck up, complaining the whole time, authors we want nothing to do with, oh you’re a genius Margaret!, Jesse hates her, a book of book reviews, a Christian, Margaret St. Clair, “milieu”, halberd, when you learn things from books, as a professional narrator, names in fantasy books, not having pronunciation in mind, apostrophes, Tolkienesque words, all the role playing games, Gamma World, Traveler, Pathfinder, The Call Of Cthulhu, Car Wars, GURPS, the core rule books, modules, more time reading the books than playing the game, his thesis, Dungeons & Dragons isn’t just Tolkien and it was never meant to be, fundamentally misunderstand the game, how clerics show up, Galadriel with cup of healing water, organized religion was missing from Middle Earth, the Hobbits don’t go to church, Denethor, heathen kings of old, worshiping, he’s a dictator, one of many inspirations, quotes, the Conan section, pastiches, Gary Gygax, the original Howard Conan wasn’t available to Gygax, people kown Conan, most people’s views of Lovecraft are just wrong, The Shadow People by Margaret St. Clair and The Sign Of The Labrys, inspiration, my love my father showed when I was a tad, cloaked old men who could grant wishes, dauntless swordsman, E.C. Comics, the Satanic Panic, juvenile delinquents, ample helpings of fantasy, Andrew Lang, the Brothers Grimm, of particular inspiration, pluck kernels, good reading!, DeCamp, Pratt, Jack Vance, A. Merritt, these will help you make your gaming better, the original AD&D, a collaborative storytelling effort, dice rolling and stats, min-max munchkin play, you have to have read a bunch of stories, things you should be building on, the players limitations make the gaming less good than it could be, most of these books were on the shelf in the 1970s and 1980s, Jack Williamson, publishing, the changing media, talking about movies and TV shows and computer games, pop culture is POPULAR, Stranger Things, True Detective, True Crime, locking a kid in the closet with no books, D&D has become its own incestuous thing, Forgotten Realms, wide open fantasy sandbox, engines to make other games, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, Pool Of Radiance, Pool Of Darkness, Wizardry (on the Apple II), Fallout 3, step out into the wasteland, dependent on a really good Dungeon Master, adventures around every corner, the dialogue tree comes out, I wanna save this farmer, I wanna steal the farmer’s pants, the immaturity of the players, DMing is a skill, like Frisbee, cooperative, THACO, Star Trek Voyager, Naomi Wildman, a kid’s adventure holodeck program, nerfed, magical forest, Neelix, the creatures of the forest recognize Janeway, the ideal form of Dungeons & Dragons, your inventory, torch schedule, Darkest Dungeon, you have enough torches, the rope store, Fallout‘s inventory system, the creativity and the flow, how do we let our players have that same kind of adventure, domain play, tier 1 play, a town or country you kind of run, spouses and retainers, a bigger magic sword, New Vegas, post apocalyptic, stories around every corner, bottlecap currency, what we want is the story, whatever mechanics are there, leveling up, new spells new attacks more attacks, achievement unlocked, a real scholar now, awards, you’re a real boy now, army promotions, Eisenhauer is needed, a false understanding of what we’re here to do, the sense of awe, the first time playing Dungeon & Dragons, lead figures, carrying about what colour dice they have, getting a glimpse of Tsathoggua through a keyhole, console games, computer games, like reading a really good book but completely different, I killed a demon, I am a demon, a more advanced version of cops and robbers, go down to the basement, these dice say I hit you for double damage, FPS, all shooting games, Portal, it breaks what you thought was possible, The Long Dark, making mittens, zen meditative, achieving balance, murder hobos, wilderness adventure, one dungeon, not a lot of dragons, two dragons in twenty years, what we need to do as dungeon masters, what players need to do as players, can I stab this or set it on fire, a character with massive charisma, make friends with the monsters, combat oriented, the epic moments, inter-dimensional travel, you can become a god, Leah Libresco [Back Again From The Broken Land], intelligence, wisdom, strength, in real life, we don’t have the player character sheet at all, keep it under the hood, extra speech options, you are less involved, do you even lift, bro?, a suit of armor because suit of armor, Age Of Conan, I got a dagger, a fur diaper, and maybe some boots, a flagon of wine and a girl, World Of Warcraft, mount armor, change the world, Knights Of The Old Republic, Elder Scrolls: Oblivion, guilds, all these titles, oh you wanted to buy bread?, the game doesn’t care, when games are capable of caring, an anti-perk: gravedigger, the orc said: I know you of old…, The Many Colored Land by Julian May, a one way gate to the Pliocene, exporting criminals to the past, giant toadstool forests, megafauna, visiting aliens with psychic powers, almost all based on Julian May’s interest in geology and history, the Wild Hunt, accommodateable, straight sci-fi, all through the lens of Tolkien, Greyhawk and Dragonlance, Krynn, kinder instead of hobbits, dragon people, Vancian magic, you don’t understand the building blocks, to have the internet back then, so much is public domain, a blogpost in 2014, so much of it has never been republished, what is actually great, what’s being pushed by a publisher, the cult of the new, nothing from before 1987, The Professionals (1966) with Lee Marvin, Dave Arneson, self-enforcing mythology, Charisma Zero (2013), a player is getting divorced, the hipster is way to cool, what made him a loser, some genuine reality going on there, its a lifestyle, live and breathe Dungeons & Dragons is kinda sad and kinda amazing, the first modules, GenCon, where’s Wisconsin, Tomb Of Annihilation, a meat grinder simulator, Jason Thompson’s D&D module poster maps, 37 species of zoogs, the dreamlands, there used to be kinds of stories, it can’t be done without irony anymore, no-one can write it that way anymore, subverting expectations, a lack of planetary romance, August Derleth, The Trail Of Cthulhu, more of what you had, a magic wand, take what you can get, sad puppies, the Hugo Awards contest, John C. Wright, the popular clique, your ability to get into people’s hands, a list of old books, old fiction, some of them sounded pretty weak, Nine Princes In Amber by Roger Zelazny, cigaretty voice, World Of Teirs by Philip Jose Farmer, Gardner F. Fox, a really innovative way, a very small organization, I want more people to read Gardner F. Fox, connected to comics, Crom his Conan ripoff, old-school pulp author, only five?, Walter Gibson and Lester Dent, The Moon Moth, The Dragonmasters, Planet Of Adventure, a kind of depth to his worlds, a plaster castle held up by two by fours vs. a velvet tapestry with a stone wall with grout made from goblin bones, sketching out a world with a few lines, footnotes, Jorge Luis Borges, granular detail, Philip K. Dick wrote a lot about spies, Mr Jim Moon’s show on Piper In The Woods, set in the pacific during WWII, Seabees, I’m a plant, how dryads reproduce, Typee by Herman Melville, a garden of Eden, it takes 20 minutes to build a house vs. pull ropes and get hit with the lash all day, Poul Anderson, The High Crusade is so fun, The Broken Sword, Three Hearts And Three Lions, The Moon Pool by A. Merritt, Dwellers In The Mirage by A. Merritt, vikings at the North Pole, ragging on Michael Moorcock, why people liked Elric, navel gazing, so sad, I murdered a bunch of people now I’m sad about it, Stanley Weinbaum, Jack Williamson, Manly Wade Wellman, A Martian Odyssey, fabulously science fictional, spaceships, a virtual reality story in the 1930s, totally inspirational reading, Andre Norton, read this list as inspiration for your own campaign, the concept of this book, the foundations most people don’t realize are there, this is where I got some ideas, ruleset, where do all the other rules plug in, the monks were added because kung-fu was so popular, illuminating a manuscript vs. a Shaw Brothers character, more books like this, as we discussed in October, a book of Star Trek literary references posts, Arena by Fredric Brown, microphones for eyes, Darmok, Gilgamesh + Arena, Picard would, post-scarcity communist future allows us to read Gilgamesh and archaeology, lifts from literature, lifts from themselves, that idea worked, lets do our version of it, Stuart J. Byrne, he Kirked the computer, V’Ger, The Changeling, Nomad, his influence shows up in the first star trek, The Doomsday Machine, Fred Saberhagen, the Berserkers, hey I read Tolkien and I have a elves and goblins in a forest, break out of that mold, Portal 2, the Logic Bomb, this sentence is false, the cake is a lie, it becomes more of what it is, Doom and Wolfenstein and Spear Of Destiny, its short, literally out of the box thinking, it’s amazing, things can be different, a tavern with an old man giving you a mission, Lord Dunsany’s The King Of Elfland’s Daughter, The Book Of Wonder, gnoles vs. gnolls, Jesse’s favourite kind of Dungeons & Dragons, Thief, old game books, like choose your own adventure with dice, play honest with the book, the gap between the two, a regular novel is completely linear, game books, told in second person, we are so luckly right now, scanning books, finding them and buying them, way more of this and a lot less Tolkien ripoffs, a late 80s, really grimdark, Between Planets by Robert A. Heinlein, you can just read Scalzi, you don’t need to read Heinlein, 2,000 pages of his inspired by Starship Troopers book, Farmer In The Sky, every book was different, why do we have to have another series?, that publishing drive, a sequel hook, advertising a one-off book, “listen Larry Niven if you write just one more Ringworld book we can bring Ringworld back into print”, from 1979 onward, The Martian by Andy Weir, only four or five years old, these things did happen, thinking along parallel lines, the requisite map, you just told me you know noting and I don’t need to read you, that’s just geography, picking up these cues, treating it like a science, arbitrary rules, Lost, what’s in the hatch?, that Sullivan guy, just good set dressing, J.J. Abrams has not content, M. Night Shyamalan, Heroes went nowhere, Star Wars and Star Trek, we as readers need to be chintzy with our attention, where are your bonafides, that’s not how you pronounce Suleiman the magnificent, Shadow Of The Vulture by Robert E. Howard, egret vs. eaglet, we’re conjuring up things with our mouths, a Savage Sword Of Conan plot, Finnish Eskimos? The Summi?, favourite campaigns, a buried dead god they’re trying to resurrect, a turn based dungeon crawl, a quasi-medieval setting, the sanity system, confronted by trauma, gain a mania or a depressive problem, prayer or tavern or wenching, all narrated by Wayne June, The Ancestor is evil, from The Rats In The Walls, Darkest Dungeon 2, computer games tend to get better, becoming more what they are, a hybrid experience.

Appendix N by Jeffro Johnson

Dungeon Master's Guide

@Algncs' Appendix N Bookshelf

Appendix N by Gary Gygax

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The SFFaudio Podcast #612 – READALONG: Black God’s Kiss by C.L. Moore

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #612 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, Scott Danielson, Evan Lampe, and J. Manfred Weichsel talk about Black God’s Kiss [and the complete Jirel Of Joiry stories] by C.L. Moore

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.

Black God's Kiss by C.L. Moore

Black God's Kiss by C.L. Moore

Black God's Shadow by C.L. Moore

Hellsgarde by C.L. Moore

Quest Of The Starstone by C.L. Moore and Henry Kuttner

The Dark Land by C.L. Moore

Black God's Kiss by C.L. Moore

Alicia Austin illustration of a scene from "Jirel Meets Magic" from Chacal, issue 2

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The SFFaudio Podcast #589 – TOPIC: WORLDCON 2020

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #589 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, Scott Danielson, Trish E. Matson, Evan Lampe, and Alec Nevala-Lee talk about WorldCon 2020.

Talked about on today’s show:
WorldCon had some panels, Hugo Awards 2020, George R.R. Martin, 3.5 hours long, we love the stories but maybe on a panel, Robert Silverberg, Jeannette Ng Astounding Award Speech that won a Hugo, Alec Nevala-Lee on John W. Campbell, bottle of scotch, Retro Hugos 1945, magazines in 1945, rules for Best Series Hugo, Arkham House, hero pulps, continue the Retro Hugos?, Leigh Brackett, Clifford Simak, C.L. Moore’s “No Woman Born”, New Zealand authors, Sir Julius Vogel Awards, Vogel Award voting packets, where was New Zealand in the award ceremony, WorldCon is a fan convention, WorldCon is a party put on by fans that we get to attend, gravitation field has shifted, mispronouncing names, award shows in general, Hugos are often tedious, fanzines have been buried – now they are all available, DIY History, University of Iowa, Leigh Brackett’s The Science Fiction Field, lists, Pellucidar better than Derleth’s contribution to Cthulhu Mythos, audience for younger writers, affording new books, R.F. Kuang, Poppy War, Lovecraft Country, The City and the City, libraries, a 35 cent book should today be $3.50, successful writers doing Patreons to help ends meet, Arkady Martine, A Memory Called Empire, local conventions, S.B. Divya, Becky Chambers, “Run-Time”, “To Be Taught, if Fortunate”, Wayfarers Trilogy, Suyi Davies Okungbowa, afrofuturism, Who Fears Death, Kirinyaga by Mike Resnick, Tade Thompson’s Rosewater, 2006 Worldcon, David Brin, “Killer B’s And A V”, Brin, Benford, Bear, Vinge, Karl Schroeder, get New Zealand another one, WorldCon bids, Chicago, Saudi Arabia, not feeling safe to go places, Dublin, should WorldCon have some kind of minimum standards of safety for attendees or trust voters to reject unsafe places, Memphis, Chengdu, China, travel to the United States, always expensive to go somewhere when you’re poor, kudos to CoNZealand volunteers, con panels are like podcasts every hour, Prisoners of Gravity, Fritz Leiber, Kim Stanley Robinson, doing research, lack of recordings of panels, loss of oral history of the genre, dealer’s room, do we have to have conventions?, environmental costs, Olympics ought to have one Olympic village at Athens and use it every 4 years, face to face has advantages, any future bids should include plans for a healthy and vigorous virtual component, Jesse likes podcasts better, comments better on Zoom than in person because no hijacking, Discord was used as if it were the hotel, breaking news: panels will be archived at Toronto’s Merrill Collection, CoNZealand Fringe panels, Gary K. Wolfe, near future SF, the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement, The Population Bomb, near future SF tends to be cautionary, writing more positive futures, Joe Haldeman, F&SF, Asimov’s, Analog, print!, the masquerade, Alec Nevala-Lee on feelings about award name change, a new Hugo category “Best Non-Fiction Work” where scholars can be recognized, what he is writing now, Buckminster Fuller, Syndromes short story collection, thanks to WorldCon volunteers.

Posted by Jesse Willis
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The SFFaudio Podcast #583 – READALONG: The King Of Elfland’s Daughter by Lord Dunsany

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #583 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, Scott Danielson, and Will Emmons talk about The King Of Elfland’s Daughter by Lord Dunsany

Talked about on today’s show:
1924, anglo-english? (anglo-irish), a famous fantasy novel, first Dunsany, put off by the preface, scaring readers away, the fields we know, don’t worry, apologizing, tounge in cheek, the narrative voice, “in our day”, a reflection towards the reader, who comes before Dunsany?, fairy tales, the Saga of the Volsungs, before Tolkien, before Lewis, before Robert E. Howard’s Conan, George MacDonald, like urban fantasy of today but not urban, The Encyclopedia Of Fantasy, polder, absorbed into fairy, the tragedy of this book, mixed feelings, a merging, a marriage, aimed poetry, when the witch creates the sword, as much magic as we have, all this magic and all that magic, a column of zeroes, the cleverness of Lord Dunsany, now you’re gone, a repeating motif or theme, The Wonderful Window, from far off Baghdad, the terrible bullshit job he has in the city, the way you get into the fantastic realms is through our world,

“Nobody can tell you about that sword all that there is to be told of it; for those that know of those paths of Space on which its metals once floated, till Earth caught them one by one as she sailed past on her orbit, have little time to waste on such things as magic and so cannot tell you how the sword was made, and those who know whence poetry is, and the need that man has for song, or know any one of the fifty branches of magic, have little time to waste on such things as science, and so cannot tell you whence its ingredients came.”

asteroid metal from outside our world, meteoric iron, its magical yo, stronger than bronze swords, an ongoing theme, clarified and made concrete, we wanna be ruled by a magical lord, be careful what you wish for, a Monkey’s Paw wish, My Talks With Dean Spanley by Lord Dunsany, Dean Spanley (2008), a visiting swami, the transmigration of souls, a welsh spaniel, the joys of sniffing, how he thought of his previous master, the reason Dean Spanley is a priest is his idea of master, such a good boy he was promoted, not a takedown of religion, reincarnation, not typical of his work, what he’s good at, poking ideas, the solid writing, that mythic quality, The Book Of Wonder, Sidney Sime, capturing lightning in a bottle, scenes that are like that, the characters are little dolls, the troll coming to our experiencing the fields we know, watching time, here’s our clever joke, the Pope has a unicorn horn, it all refers back to the preface, Italo Calvino and Michael Chabon, bemusing, a parliament of trolls, infusing the trolls with trollishness, Gentlemen Of The Road, a fantasy without the magic, a road movie, Clifford Simak, The Goblin Reservation, Goblin Market by Christina Rossetti, Shakespeare’s Planet, Over The Fields And Through The Woods, the magic door quality, portal fantasy, the silver wall, a wall of magic, that final rune, the mythic quality, Elric Of Melniboné, The Broken Sword by Poul Anderson, every five lines or so, The Odyssey, rosy fingered dawn, waystations, totems, consciously doing, Don Rodriguez: Chronicles Of Shadow Valley, fields we know, the gentle waves, elfland washing forward like a wave, incredibly subtle, too deep or he didn’t put it in, The Coronation Of Mr. Thomas Shap, The Silver Key, OMG this guy Dunsany!, the half-penny papers, talking about sports, projecting a kingdom on the landscape, camel trains, Hanwell, Bedlam, Arkham Asylum, “go to pretty bed now”, tragic, his name is kinda weird, Shap -> shape -> Lord Shaper, shap -> the husk of silkworm, the home for a transformation, a nice little story, resonances so strong, these stories will stay with you even if you don’t think they will, where does magic come from?, magic as a limited resource, why 3?, Orion, she wants some things, what is he coming across, he encountered a toy he had as a child, snippets of conversation, wistful memories like lost things, this foreign thing, what’s going on in the heads of the people, its made magical and she’s a witch, just three runes, Jesse teaches magic, too young for essay writing, spellcasting, connotation and denotation, the rule of three, threefold magic, it just works, and you can’t question it, the Three Little Bears in Goldilocks, the Three Little Pigs, its not falsifiable, politics, the magical words without any substance [Pete Buttigieg], nonsense poetry, the sounds, that repetition, if I tell you three times its true, he’s a word magician, a spellcaster, we four are already in this world, a bookbuyer, not a reader of The Sketch or The Smart Set, your terrible commute to work, that Ballantine publication, “Adult Fantasy”, all his characters are adults who live in a fantasy world somehow connecting with it, we’re not in the perfect position to appreciate it, Neil Gaiman’s preface to The King Of Elfland’s Daughter by Lord Dunsany, a rich red wine, trust the book, a true magician practitioner, Alan Moore can’t really believe what he’s saying, “I’m a magician”, sometimes the spells don’t work, ingredients/elements/components, you just heard it, there’s this powerful word you can use to solve your problem, training wheels sort of writing, when you uses this magic word, once per essay, the word is: “indeed” says “yes, I agree with myself”, its actually true, if you break the spell, Rumplestiltskin, names have power, true names, the original Lin Carter introduction, Beyond The Fields We Know by Lin Carter, the 18th baron of the ancient line, a 12th century fortress, among hills rich, William the Bastard, steeped in a golden legend, a sensitive poet, a huntsman, one jump ahead of the Nazis, scores of plays, volumes of verse, a complete translation of Horace, with a quill pen, Eaton and Sandhurst, a full exciting and adventurous life, he didn’t have to work, his last speaking tour of America, H.P. Lovecraft, spelling Edgar Allan Poe wrong, YWHA, tall, slender, erect, ruddy apple cheeks, a sloppy baggy suit, deeply moved, linked to greatness, the death of Tennyson, L. Sprague de Camp, William Morris, the single greatest influence, The Dream-Quest Of Unknown Kadath, Robert E. Howard, Clark Ashton Smith, Dunsanian influence, Jack Vance, Jorkens Tales, Arthur C. Clarke, Tales of the Draco Tavern by Larry Niven, Thieves’ World, Lin Carter’s self-boosterism, the Appendix N podcast, he doesn’t mind telling you he’s read all these great books, Dungeons And Dragons, a long neglected masterpieces, May 1924, passages of amazing power, scintillates, into the twilight meadows of fairy, a high land near the thunder, to gather the thunderbolts, from under the cabbage leaves, a stylistic experiment of subtlety, the marriage was doomed from the beginning, welding the two elements, one of the last great masters of English prose, James Branch Cabell, E.R. Eddison, August Derleth, Lin Carter knew his limitations and was happy to be in the room, Neil Gaiman is a magician, tuckerized, the wordspells, Paul Cornell, what’s he going to say to me, he doesn’t know us, The Graveyard Book, now we’re selling it on eBay, a spiritual figure, this aura, the main character (The Sandman) looks a lot like him, he uses his magic for good, that level, test a thesis, the fantasy author who is successful is a magician, Philip K. Dick is a philosopher, an alchemist?, good SF is idea filled, Arthur C. Clarke is the most religious science fiction writer, Olaf Stapledon, Gene Wolfe, Doris Lessing, metaphors are magic, once you start arguing for not facts, whose magic better, can I dispel this with a word, magic is dangerous, making you think things are the way they aren’t, philosophy of science fiction, Hal Clement, a very narrow branch of philosophy, a great connection between mystery fiction and science fiction, Isaac Asimov’s The Naked Sun, philosophy is the magic of science fiction, the magical thinking of SF, to broaden your point, a supplementary, its a better dig, I’m polishing up what you’re doing, distracted (not subtracted), the philosophy of science fiction, playing the role of magic in a fantasy, philosophy in its earliest form is science, lets look at this snail here, nautiluses, mushroom eyes, incredibly ancient and weird, another kind of magic, a way of knowing, the difference between knowledge and story is lore, not subject to the same rules as science, this is the way we do it, analyzing jokes, just keep using it, sometimes jokes don’t have a normal structure and still work, something profoundly philosophical in the way magic is used in this novel, tongue in cheek, making a statement about the world as it is, trying to convert people to his belief system, be enchanted with the world that we have, Dean Spanley as a puppy, enthusiastic, born a famous lord?, a beagle in a previous life, Orion playing a role outside of this book, he mounts a stag on his head, its the Wild Hunt, Herne the Hunter, Deities & Demigods, The Sound Of His Horn by Sarban, veganism, its a new movement, when Will came of age in 2005, vegetarian, the RSCPCA, he’s like a bad man, he’s not a common Irishman, he took a bullet to the head in the Easter Rising, everybody’s full of contradictions, the rich of the late 19th and early 20th, vigorous and interesting people, chessmaster, the Boer War, WWI, go into business, a strange phenomenon, Upstairs, Downstairs except fancy (Downton Abbey), a flourishing in people who have the ability to not worry about cashflow, we have it a lot more and a lot less, that enthusiasm is something we can have, a rising religion, a 1911 issue of The Sketch, The Smart Set, The New Yorker, Winston Churchill in the witness chair, a bank heist, a maxim machine gun, movies made out of it, explaining the plot, anarchists and vegetarians go together, Eric and Evan are also vegetarians, i think about it, something like that, a philosophical position, a following on, 19th century vegetarianism, vegan bodybuilders are a thing, a ground up, so many people who are not religious, the same kind of assurance, I wanna be a good person, what are the rules for me, all these guys at the gym buffing themselves up, when the cannibalism religion comes in the vegans will be the premium beef, so yummy, sustainable, the free range eggs taste better, from Lord Dunsany to cannibalism, out of elfland and into neverneverland, cannibalism from Jesse’s id, the thighbone of a materialist, denying the duality of spirit and matter, an anti-materialist novel, poking and playful, the ancient magazines, Richard Dawkins on eugenics (it could would work), people can go off, new proposal for assigning alignment outside of role playing games, he’s not Chaotic Good,

Historied Historian
Agendaed Historian
Agendaed Historian (Niall Ferguson)

Unlawful Vegan
Unlawful Omnivore
Lawful Cannibalism

Libertarian Buffet-enthusiast
Truly Principled
Polite Chaos-agent

“would you come out please, we need to burn your house down”, read his short stuff, The Highwaymen by Lord Dunsany, definitely against the Man, totally normal, an archbishop, from the ghost’s POV, on attack on authority and an upholding of authority, I’m a rich guy and I can tell these lesser people how to live their lives, sensitive to the needs of the working man, a duality and a sensitivity, the Parliament Of Erl, a misadventure, “the common people get ideas, women are voting, my god!”, the czar’s been overthrown, the result is folly, the alternative is guillotines, the mega-guillotine patent, Guillotine 2020, Bernie is my compromise candidate, how can it continue as it is, until the revolution comes, you can put it down, the British ruling class, hence their still having a monarchy, they’re still lording it up, because of that sensitivity, Churchill is a mass of contradictions, a lust and enthusiasm for life, he didn’t find a war he didn’t like, terribly outrageous, semi-competence and full competence, of you time and of your class, wearing a yellow vest, Kenya, second sons, respecting the lust for life, a more compassionate version of it, people are kind dangerous, a crow with a knife, crow with knife now reformed is father, bears, tigers are beautiful, mercifully killed suddenly by a tiger, the flourishing we see is in tension with the fantasy world, a new kind of flourishing not previously available to the common man, there’s a guy who knows where his towel is, a couple of Star Trek 2 cassette audiobooks, a tidal wave endlessly wave, a wall of magic, the killing of the unicorn, a narwhal horn, the death of innocence, the killing’s cool?, The Book Of The New Sun, Shadow Of The Torturer, hunters are obsessed with the things they prey on, the role of hounds and dogs, part of his vigorous spirit, PUBG is a murder simulator, the temptation to kill is very strong, a kind of fight or flight thing, this could be the end, not even the winning, a 100% real, that vigour that chase that victory, its built into your cells, the most beautiful thing and I’m going to kill it, the great white hunter, you can deny it, and it can be cultivated, hunters everywhere, transforming a desire to kill, that’s why they’re called shots, trophy hunting, undeniable, the hunter, Joe Rogan, you can be an oppressor and an uplifter, will-o-wisps, war, this weird conflict, venerable traveler, star naked, it was a troll that had tricked them, tricksters tricked, fairy tale creatures, a unified thing, so early, The Shadow Of Yesterday, ratkin, an interesting mechanic, the animated Return Of The King, Jesse would become a beaglekin, sniffing at gates and bases of trees and jumping over pots, Jesse really enjoyed the troll.

Ballantine - The King Of Elfland's Daughter by Lord Dunsany

BB - The King Of Elfland's Daughter by Lord Dunsany

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #563 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: The Lurking Fear by H.P. Lovecraft

Podcast

The Lurking Fear by H.P. Lovecraft - Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #563 The Lurking Fear by H.P. Lovecraft; read by Mike Vendetti. This is an unabridged reading of the story (56 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Paul Weimer, Mr Jim Moon, Evan Lampe and Terence Blake

Talked about on today’s show:
Written in November 1922 – serialized January to April 1922, Home Brew, a semi-prozine, copyright dates, an obscure periodical, the PDF of the first serial, illustrated by Clark Ashton Smith, notice all the penises?, Leslie S. Klinger, coloured?, the chimney, the valley and the peak, shower for thinking, explicitly not mentioned, a similar theory from Mr Jim Moon, is Lovecraft hiding something from us that he will go on to use in another story, Pickman’s Model, Rats In The Walls, heterochromia, when not physical or genetic damage its inbreeding, related to the Martenses, three encounters, The Shadow Over Innsmouth, he’s going to dynamite the place, the fish eyes and the gilly look, save it for the podcast, how weird it is, stunningly beautiful passages,

‘in the throes of a nitemare wen unseen powers whirl 1 oer the roofs of strange ded cities toward the grinning chasm of Nis, it is a relief & even a delight 2 shriek wildly & throw 1self voluntarily along with the hideous vortex of dream-doom in2 watever bottomless gulf may yawn’

he’s a dreamer, red viscous madness, kaleidoscope mutations, unnamable juices, what’s the difference between CHUDS and ghouls, degredation of humans, modded humans, mutations, The Beast In The Cave, a lot of crawling around in tunnels, a recognition ones’ self in the thing that he saw, connections to other stories, The Dreamquest Of Unknown Kadath, Richard Upton Pickman, The Case Of Charles Dexter Ward, backwoods triracial isolates, The Graveyard Rats by Henry Kuttner, feasters, so explicitly stated in all the movies, Dark Heritage (1989), pretty good except for its terrible, 1994 Dan O’Bannon, the femme fatale is tied up, Leffert’s Corners, Tremors, Jeffrey Coombs, Dr Haggis, this whole delicious cannabilist joking, The Hound, The Dark Adventure Radio Theatre adaptation, talks like a goddamned Edgar Allan Poe, Dunsany mode, Poe mode, drawing heavily from The Fall Of The House Of Usher, the house has definitely fallen, laid on with a trowel, [incest euphemism], specters and devils and ghosts, I’m gonna get these muscular men, homoeroticism, he’s subconsciously bringing them a sacrifice (aka dinner), back to inbreeding, this is what Lovecraft is, he writer about race and degeneration, this is Lovecraft’s voice, blue and brown eyes, the numerous menial classes about the estate, the mongrel population, race mongrelism, racial degeneration, race and class as the same thing, Robert E. Howard, S.T. Joshi, Terence sees class, what makes you a high class person is your race, he wasn’t of the low type, interbound, Facts Concerning The Late Arthur Jermyn And His Family, if you have this idea in your head, paranoid about degeneration because there’s a belief in racial degeneration, they deigned to breed with the family help, keep that inbreeding going, Bleeders (1997), raised in Paris on a trust fund, emptying the graveyard, Leffert’s Island, I’m with these people now, degenerate elves, he eats a pickled baby and follows it with a sex scene with his wife, hermaphroditic, twin sister, making explicit what Lovecraft eludes to, changing the order of the story, a distancing effect, how insane the narrator clearly is, a birthmark, The Festival, actual cultists, welcoming, Kingsport, the draw of the family and deep tradition, he bought into this witchcraft stuff, The Witch-Cult In Western Europe by Margaret Murray, suppress working class traditions and alternatives, the violence of isolation The Dunwich Horror, The Call Of Cthulhu, just bomb it, The Horror At Red Hook, we need a wall, At The Mountains Of Madness, shoggoths are the working class, forget the past, eradicate the memory of the past, Curwen’s crimes, interesting threads of history that seem to challenge civilization, solution: destroy it, on the side of the barbarians, each chapter title, the fear within the narrator, I can’t think about that, focus on the external, The Shadow On The Chimney, two comic adaptations, the fireplace is decorated with scenes from The Prodigal Son, the meaning of the story of The Prodigal Son, Jan Martense goes off to the French and Indian War, how he died, a shout out to that story on the mantle, and to the narrator himself, a different ending, a Derleth “collaboration”, he destroys the family, a betrayal, come on let’s go to the beach!, concentration camps, they forgive him, there’ll be a penance (but it’ll be a small one), come again, good eating, A Passer In The Storm, Arthur Monroe, being watched, another thunderstorm, his face has been gnawed away, is this a joke, he passed away when a passerby ate his face, What The Red Glare Meant, redness would be anger?, hellish, demonic, a goblin-like creature lurking in the shadows, riffing on the “And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air, Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there”, pre-Revolution, The Horror In The Eyes, double meaning, he’s got the Martense eyes, he sees his family, he sees himself, the terrible and thunder crazed house of Martense, solved, efface, oblivion, blot it, Dagon, inability to sleep, run out of money for opium, his brain thunders, radiating lines from the house, lay lines, tentacles, tunnels, The Old Straight Track by Alfred Watkins, The Red One by Jack London, ancient astronauts, a stretch, tentacles, what does all the lightning mean, a genetic story, is this god?, Wieland by Charles Brockton Brown, weird cult (of one), supernatural phenomenon, Frankenstein, lighting the family tree, who knows what juices they suck, overnourished, strange nourishment, Undine aka @horriblesanity, Too Much Fertilizer, The Colour Out Of Space, enjoying the wrong things, blowing up the trees, trees with testicles and tentacles, the land responding to the twisted nature of the family, plagued with storms, the taint is in the land itself, it’s just a monkey man, who is the shadow?, anything urban New England, seeing himself in the shadow, The Outsider, his grandma, Tempest Mountain, trying to attack the ground, the fulgurites, from the police’s point of view, the family name is Money, it’s spelled Money, eugenicists at the time, Ishi, backwoods Virginia, the Jukes, started the cancer, indentured servants and slaves ran away, rediscovered in the 20th century, in the consciousness today, race is NOT incidental to Lovecraft’s work, How The Irish Became White by Noel Ignatiev, the Italians and the Greeks, reading over and over, getting mixed ideas, crawling around under the earth, two demoniac reflections, two reflections, effulgence, nebulous memories, of the thing that bore them, a claw, but what a claw!, the voice of Zoidberg, the wild thunder of the mountain, those eyes, with vacuous viciousness, thank god I didn’t know what it was, gashes of disturbed earth, with cyclopean rage, what is going on?, he’s interpreting, you’re getting inside his psychology, externalizing and internalizing, in what sense would you have died?, in the chaos of sliding shifting earth, a rebirth, Joseph Campbell, my brain was as great a chaos as the earth, more horror, an orgy of fear, a nameless thing, done a deed, fired in frenzy, doing that deed, many rather than one, the ghost of a particular person, its the founder and the family name giver, the narrator’s name, hiding it or saving it for another story, with the full knowledge of his canon, Re-Animator -> Hypnos, The Lurking Fear -> The Shadow Over Innsmouth, “Lovecraft couldn’t have written Lovecraft stories without being obsessed with race in a way that Poe is not and Dunsany is not”, Celephaïs, F. Scott Fitzgerald style parties is the sadness, The Temple, the falling of a great house is the greatest tragedy for Lovecraft, for Poe it is the death of a beautiful woman, raised to be a gentleman, against modernity, 18th century English gentleman, Howard’s letters, primordial ancient migration and motion, that can’t be it, Rome was strong because it was racially pure?, nope, you’re completely wrong young man, strength in mobility, New Englander and a Texan, one is for the static, the other sees a liquidity in world history, a liquid mobility of ideas, a very American connection, both [H.P. LOVECRAFT and ROBERT E. HOWARD] died because the American health care system was so shitty, begging the editor of Weird Tales for back-pay, really terrible, highbrow historical forces and trends, `what connected them in their deaths was shitty healthcare, that’s not in their letters, Virgin Islanders, Henry S. Whitehead, plebeian danes, left handed fathers or grandfathers, a physical totem, the sinister end of the coat of arms, zombie stories, Jumbee, missionary, a creepy tale, Barlow was going to publish a volume of Whitehead’s letters, anecdotal stories, my friend in China, how we get out information, marshaling arguments, Hippocampus Press, A Means To Freedom, The Thing On The Roof, Lovecraft light, Lovecraft’s letters are black holes, history of anthropology, a second meaning, he liked his barbarians, the Italians are stabby, hilarious, imagining Julius Caesar saying “stabby”, way back when, no where near his best stuff, so many great lines, Poe poetic, his Poe period, a Poe-potpourri, sitting here all Poe face.

Clark Ashton Smith illustration of THE LURKING FEAR: The Shadow On The Chimney by H.P. Lovecraft

The Lurking Fear - The Martense Mansion illustration by Clark Ashton Smith

The Lurking Fear - Giant Bat Winged Gryphons illustration by Clark Ashton Smith

The Lurking Fear - Tempest Mountain illustration by Clark Ashton Smith

The Lurking Fear - I Playfully Shook His Shoulder - Illustration by Clark Ashton Smith

The Lurking Fear - Nearest Of All Was The Graveyard - Illustration by Clark Ashton Smith

The Lurking Fear - The Eyes And The Claw - Illustration by Clark Ashton Smith

The Lurking Fear - The Lines Radiated - illustration by Clark Ashton Smith

The Lurking Fear - Spreading Like A Septic Contagion - Illustration by Clark Ashton Smith

The Lurking Fear by H.P. Lovecraft - illustration by Octavio Cariello

Posted by Jesse Willis

Reading, Short And Deep #205 – The Doomdorf Mystery by Melville Davisson Post

Podcast

Reading, Short And DeepReading, Short And Deep #205

Eric S. Rabkin and Jesse Willis discuss The Doomdorf Mystery by Melville Davisson Post

Here’s a link to a PDF of the story.

The Doomdorf Mystery was first published in The Saturday Evening Post, July 18, 1914.

Podcast feed https://sffaudio.herokuapp.com/rsd/rss

Posted by Scott D. Danielson