The SFFaudio Podcast #793 – READALONG: Sirius by Olaf Stapledon

The SFFaudio Podcast #793 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, Will Emmons, and Jonathan Weichsel talk about Sirius by Olaf Stapledon

Talked about on today’s show:
1944, some Olaf before this, Last And First Men and Star Maker, wow, this blew Jonathan away, this is a novel, if you told me I’d enjoy a book about a talking dog, it has that cosmic perspective, in a dog who has no hands, real genuine science fiction, not genre SF, not from an American pulp tradition, in the subtitle, “A Fantasy Of Love And Discord”, a scientific romance, something to say, thinking about dogs a lot, a dog as a kid, a pet person, passed away earlier this year, afraid of dogs, allergic to most of them, Irish setter, what I’m hearing is you’re gay, australian shepherd, Karl Barks, still gay, gay for dogs, city boy, Scrappy, got too big, gave him away, cats, Minnesota, a Labrador and a great Pyrenees, border collie, Corgi, loved to death, the dog relationship, neutral to dogs, like our narrator storyteller, the Olaf Stapledon stand-in, affected emotionally, balling my eyes out, hiking, tears, very powerful, a great book, some good things in the review, very American, wanted the book to be genre SF, Philip K. Dick shows instead of tells, make points about philosophy, attempts pulp, Cambridge educated philosopher, from 2020, another reference point, Dick’s philosophy is more cynical, very different, Stapledon trusts people and the community of people, trusts reality more, even though the community if evil, Dick’s stories are more city, vs. more country, more suburban, lives in a “community”, a very small world for you, the college with the town attached, some London here, rural fantasy, through the novel tradition, such a bad comparison, to bring Philip K. Dick into the conversation, a guy named Jesse, correct to reference Frankenstein by Mary Shelly, a more wholesome, humane take, needs to be with other creatures, a 2015 review, no last name, Odd John, as opposed to a book about super and ultra sheepdogs, uplifted, can you get an uplift without it being biologically heritable, the raising, a monkey in Australia as a farmhand, the fox listening to banjo music, an old English children’s magazine, great pets, famous pets, Farmhand Johnny, a rhesus monkey, follow up tweet, interviewing the farmer, the second monkey in a series of farmhands, don’t go on about your handlessness, super-important, this is not a man creating another man, a dog with a man’s brain, a super-canine brain, the thing that’s adressed a lot in the book, bestiality, incest, how intiate they had become, looks at her body mauled by the dog, as are we, Plaxy, such a weird name, a name that people have in England, Wales, the fornication?, discretion prohibits me from saying, how Jonathan would write it, a man relives himself, masturbating, sexual hypocrisy, a very funny sad and tragic book, deeply philosophical, dog-lover wish fulfillment fantasy, this is a being like me that has thoughts and desires and wants, unable to communicate fully, flagging of tails, bristling of backs, wants to have sex, wants to have a relationship with you, that’s remarkable, exploring this idea incredibly well, what is stopping people writing this today, owning a dog, mischaracterizing all of science fiction: space-fucking battles, what about Harlan Ellison’s A Boy And His Dog, Simak, Lester Del Rey, a lot less incest, go off on Jupiter together, a lot more tragic, this conflict between dog-nature and the human society he is raised in, identify with it as a human being, I’m a human, I fit in, nature vs. nurture, other books that explore, Tarzan, so much imagination, the depths of smelling, describing how the female dogs drive him insane, you wouldn’t understand, the narrator’s really good too, that British hidden humour in these character’s voices, Plaxy is the least understandable main character, we don’t love dogs that way, if Sirius had been a female dog or if Plaxy had been a brother, would it have been a better book, a more pure examination?, reverse those genders, heterosexual animals, a husband describing his wife, going up to the line, creepy, unfortunately very reliable narrator, the things he elides, the frame to get at telling this story, a very funny American trope, super-hilarious, the mad scientist and his beautiful daughter, does not like the father the doctor, unimaginative, his subjective point of view, 100% agreed, being prudes about the bestiality, the investigation is less pure or more pure, the animal and Plaxy’s nature, he’s also investigating women, Enemy Mine (1985) by Barry B. Longyear, Dennis Quaid and Louis Gossett, Jr. are fighter pilot, beach planet, give birth to their baby, dies in childbirth, dad and mom, reuinite him with his people, Will bait 101, the novella is 1979, Nebula and a Hugo, fewer people voted, not even a 1000 people, such a scam, throwing it out the window, interesting character, a perspective character, Stapledonian observations, the politics of this book, Hitler bad, why is Hitler bad?, a socialist novel, a communist dog at points, a small businessman selling his children, don’t collectivize my farm, typically Kulak, energetic but unfair, pre-WWII communist party of Great Britain, the hardship and oppression, surrounded by the professional managerial class, the PMC, using the PMC, Barbara Enright, the laptop class, people with a 9-5 job who work in offices, do you like it?, not a manager, includes teachers, lawyers, a little priest action, a parson is not a priest in the Anglican tradition?, holy nature, the guy in the front of the pulpit talkin, secular but mystical, for what this book is about, the way this book ends, like the Frankenstein creature he is not himself, just like the creature does, Jack London’s The Call Of The Wild, a dog that becomes a man that becomes a wolf, To Build A Fire, the best novel Jesse has ever read, inside the mind of a dog, a very alien story, some glimpses, doesn’t commit to the bit, Buck did not need the newspapers, inside of a dog’s head, telling a different story, boyfriend/husband, make a sale, interested in the market, a publisher wouldn’t touch it, how many of the books that you’ve read of him are something a publisher would want, things were different back then, H.G. Wells pioneered something, John Wyndham’s career, a new science fiction writer, been there done that, a repeat of Day Of The Triffids, he must have had a dog, the author of this manual of sheepdogs and their owners, to Will and Maissa, border collie video, sheepdog trial olympics, there for him while he’s doing his stuff, the commentators are going wild, that’s the relationship that this book is about, it was thrilling, made Will tired, that much energy, POV, omniscient narrator, Bob is angry, an omnipresent narrator, Bob seemed angry, more of a naturalistic approach, Guy de Maupassant, maybe the character felt this way, describing Sirius, Sirius was this way, jarring, what he restrict, I ate a man yesterday, Plaxy, and I liked it, as a writer it is important to note these things, in Buck’s head and right over Buck’s shoulder, notes, the humans in Sirius’ world, a more direct picture, this big archive of notes, too fat and complacent, wrote one book, The Lamppost, Beyond The Lamppost, a philosophy of things outside of being a dog, humans like to drink thinks, vee dogs and like to emit liquids, I see what you’ve emitted there, went for a walk with his dog, that’s how dogs be, let me right a novel about this, a terrific book, nobody could write this book today, a huge book of ideas, I can take this paragraph from this chapter of Last And First Men and make a 40 book series out of it, Paul is correct, read it again, what does the word completed mean?, the other projected book, in a state for publication, trying to split a hair your not going to split, the center of interest in Cambridge, Sirius does not understand dogs, he’s pretty young, a sad case, a tragedy from beginning to end, his creator dies, he has plans, has finished writing but not completed can never be published, remarkably, why is this set during WWII, an anti-fascist novel, a pacifist, lived a long time, supported the war effort, Wikipedia rabbit holes, fuzzy, when people are bad, they scapegoated Plaxy and Sirius the way the Nazis scapegoated the Jews, people use the word a lot, 20th century view on fascism, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, wait six months for this show to come out, an interesting take, our POV character is a solider and Plaxy is a landgirl, seems important to the war effort, Bomb Girls, what her views about communism and fascism are, she’s naive, communism isn’t the answer, petite bourgeoisie, create something new, I’m not so sure now Plaxy, literally selling his children, drowns some of his puppies, a flawed creator, religion, Brian Aldiss would do it more that way, an unapologetic J.D. Beresford H.G. Wells kinda guy, those books are dreams, characterless, occasional character name, hallucinations of humanity, an actual novel, Arthur C. Clarke is very spiritual, dealing with religion, goes into the church and sings from behind a veil, I know you will be shocked, don’t you want to hear them, the youtube videos of a dog singing along at the piano, the Right of Spring, out of the ordinary, A World Of Sound by Olaf Stapledon, escapes his body and sees a world of sound, moving over a landscape, he’s just slept through the whole opera, the sparking firework display that is Olaf Stapledon’s genius, like Peter And The Wolf, other notes come in, characters are notes and themes, we can tell a story just with sound, that’s what he’s done here with smells, I’ll be your bitch, this is an intimate relationship, going into scents, bite their owners, so rich and deep, what if Plaxy was just a brother, a boy and his dog, sex and raping, about the relationship of humans to animals, part of the household, super-duper rich, moved to tears by this book, never fits in, murdering or killing?, he’s mad, needs to be put down, near human intelligence, back to the demiurge again, a functional being, he lives in Britain, you have the solution in Canada, he’s a flawed creation, he’s not a man and he’s not a dog, he’s alone, had the deep thoughts that he has, invited to say what of man, is man a flawed creation?, the answer is yes, a very cynical view, is it cynical or is it realistic?, he grok fascism, and yet he will sell his own children and drown them, an alien species, kziniti, Jesse has Paul modeled, the aliens from Larry Niven’s Ringworld series, a brilliant writer and everything, a very different use of the ideas, one kzin, in the sequels, the kzinti homeworld on Ringworld, speaker becomes a king, like a Conan story, conquer the map of earth, they’re klingons but they’re cats, officially in the Star Trek universe, plugging Paul’s own game, lamenting the lack of Olaf Stapledon, smart dog novels, demanding, how its coming, the great female kizinti novel (that gets uplifted), she wakes up in the harem, you bastard, Ottoman harems, the power that women tried to wield, the kzinti queen, males don’t get their names, that the civil service says is good, I’m a male chauvinist sometimes, sometimes I’m a coward, sometimes I’m a 300 year old Fu-Manchu, sometimes I’m a lucky girl who gets to spend time with Larry Niven, unfortunately we demanded more books, got any more?, goddamn it, had to be doomed, humans are flawed and doomed, as a species too, leave AI to die, Paul’s Reeve guy’s plan, Elon Reeve Musk’s plan, escape the planet, preppers build bunkers, off planet, to make the air in air factories, this picture of what it means to be a person, a worker intellectual, the intellectual and artistic life, a vigorous physical exercise, really good critique of the Cambridge people, they drop things, talking about the mandarins, cultivate the long finernails, girls too, they’re princesses, intellectual beings contemplating gardens and writing poems with their mouths, denigrate manual labour, the dignity of labour, back to Wales, use his mind to labour also, he can’t be a Conan, conquering bitches, rollicking adventures, because of the landscape, his contribution to the war, I wrote a book about a smart dog, Tarzan goes off to war, Tarzan And The Foreign Legion by Edgar Rice Burroughs, a war corespondent, he thought he was at the center of things, patriotism is crazy, hilarious, go join WWI, go get ground up in the meatgrinder, we hate that, we didn’t want to do that, the cycle continues, alien and sedition act, that goddamn fucking Wilson, divide and conquer, he kept us out of the war, the League Of Nations, what a ringing success it was, return to normalcy, America first platform, Warren Harding, a reaction against Woodrow Wilson, no imperial entanglements outside of the empire itself, alcoholic drank himself to death while in office, sad that he died, why Donald Trump is a teetotaler, locked Wikipedia entry, Teapot Dome where Larry Niven got all his money, Coolidge, Republican presidents, Herbert Hoover, never served in public office, Grecian revival, we got dig him up, traveling across the country giving big speeches, front porch campaign, hide his alcoholism, the wealthiest guy, Hoovervilles, a miner, as usual, to feed Europe during WWI, an extremely popular person worldwide, Secretary of Commerce, one of the most hated and reviled, ran for re-election constantly, pumping money into the economy, a laissez-faire approach, avoided the whole thing, pushing an asteroid, what would president Olaf Stapledon do to fix the world?, major political parties in the UK agreed to a coalition government, forget this democracy thing for the course of the war, Commonwealth, merger between strange socialist, non-state socialism, Christian socialists, willing to contest elections, radicalizing, when they all joined Labour, advocating for a European federal government, a world government, full of good ideas, advocating for the welfare state, Beverage, here’s ghow they’re inadequate, the NHS comes out of that, Churchill, surprisingly he was a conservative, the Left Book Club, an important institution, Victor Gollancz, better known as a science fiction, today, a left wing publisher, they go together, all these great fights with Orwell, stupid and Trotskyist, breaks with the communists, Molotov-Ribbentrop pact, world congress for peace, useless things that we shouldn’t use, what a monster, left wing things, development of the welfare state, common ownership of property, socialism on the installment plan, hard to really grok it, socialism and they had no money, everybody got glasses, Doctor Who, Doris Lessing’s science fiction work, a bit shorter, more grizzled, comin out of the 30s, a healthier society, world government, what a monster!, gentle, as a revolutionary, an ideas guy, today in 2023, the experiment performed by the doctor, let’s hear him out, it would be unethical, cloning, impossible to do in real life, tomatoes with trout DNA, monkey man, Dogman, unethical, we’re a very unethical species, the scientific organizations have codes of ethics, that’s not coming up, doing it on the sly, most people don’t believe it, our narrator believes it, the sheep farm, when the dog sends a letter, called out in one of the reviews, we coulda used more like that, that was demonstrative, this novel doesn’t deal with scientific ethics enough, hey David Brin you haven’t had a hit in a while, go retro, lots of scenes where ethics boards are talking to each other via skype, it’s about our relationship with animals, and specifically dogs, nude in front of them, we won’t fart in front of our wife, put leashes on them, and then we’ll have to get you spayed eventually, neutered, not a major focus, where ethics comes into this book, reasons for the secrecy, commercial interest learning about the dog, mass production of this kind of animal, is there a world in which Sirius could have lived, the circus freaks, displaying themselves because of their oddities, seen that book or read that movie, not going to do the deep relationship between humans and dogs, when you pet Plaxy, she goes to make water, the wistle, its time to pee!, how children are, the devastation, the loss, how dare you!, one after the other, marking my territory, more like twitter, completed uncompleted book, enlightening, where they make their symposia, a peeing party, extends his lifespan, a regular dog would have died, they’re the same age, how old is Plaxy in 1944?, early 20s, a university education, we get that date at some point, less realistic, hung up on the wrong part of the science fiction, injecting human DNA into dog brains, this is not actually possible, they don’t seem to be viable, I’ve never made a monkey man myself, it’s possible for human and a chimpanzee to have sex, taboo, a mules, lots of mules, it wouldn’t line up correctly, somewhat mentally challenged, 99% match in DNA, human female and male chimpanzee, caesarean bud, wild conversation, Jungle Jitters, a genetic dead-end, ligers and tigons, one thing we haven’t talked about in this book, Plaxy is a cat, because she has a pussy?, something going on with cats in this novel, silly cat vs. dog stuff, astute observations, they are kind of mean, whenever Plaxy is mean she’s like a cat, to hurt Sirius, sometimes she’s this, somethimes she’s that, gives clues, very catlike, is he making a comment on women as well, should we be cancelling Mr. Olaf, the book is very doggy, the repeated point throughout: she’s catty, the cats were girls and the dogs were boys, when I’m 2, Treasure Planet (2002), hybrid babies, Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island in space, humans and furries, related to transhumanism, there are also robots in this movie, it’s good?, fun, when we do Treasure Island, pirates, Paul’s being facetious, A High Wind Over Jamaica by Richard Hughes, trying to grok a scene, he has doggy vision, mystical vision, that supreme moment passed, a new reality, monochrome vision, colours seeing by the eye of the spirit, plain greys of ordinary life, gained a new meaning, their own true colours, suffused, the light of the spirit, the religious tinge, the Great Master, the True Creator, he has limited vision, he’s a young dog, Christian mysticism, probably not the best thing to study, one catty observation, turgid prose, actually turgid, looked it up before, swollen, congested, distended, Paul tends to read to fast, this is beautiful, this is poetry, limited view of reality, where you have to start saying the narrator is unreliable, a similar book, the Moon smashes into the Earth, Alec Nevala-Lee, The Hopkins Manuscript, a chicken farmer, a country seated gentleman, R.C. Sherriff, not petting his penis, it ain’t turgid, be his bitch, smiling a lot, the jokes were very funny, his song standing up, world dictator someday, humanize him with these books, a necessary scene in the novel, three possibilities, mystical gobbledygook, dial it back not dial it in, epiphany, the text comes out and says this is an important scene for you to read, a crisis, three paragraphs later, St. Catherine Of Sienna, he faces the absolute, when he goes to talk to the priests and learned people, these guys don’t get it, god is love, we’re all Sirius, born into the world, circumstances we didn’t create, he is a man, he does manly things, he has manly interests, science and muscularity and religion, a 9 hour book, the relationship that dogs have always had with man, the relationship of domesticating man or man domesticating animals, a man and a woman and a dog, man and dog and other dog, he doesn’t love in the right way when being a king, beaten by the man in the red sweater, he’s lost, ultimately he’s a wolf, this character is broken that requires a tragedy, a flawed creation, a powerful but not perfect creator, you don’t even need the god of the bible, puts us in the bad place, he loves him as a father, always seeking his approval, always arguing with his father, in the title of the book, the love part, the discord part, wherever he goes he’s singing a different tune, Apple of Discord, fuck around with things, smart like a man, he can read he can write he can sing he can make foolish religious claims, bigger brain equals smarter, really cool ultimate point, able to communicate with other beings using language, tantalizingly close to understanding the animals, when Soleks is looking at Buck, desires and goals, pack positional shit, dogs don’t have human morality, they don’t have shame but they can fake shame, it was bred to do that, that’s what goodness is is doing that, make a slave of another human being, program the robots, the revolt of the robots, so deeply science fictional, hormones, it’s not a breeding program, no robot arms, allowing a dog to understand us, science fiction is evil, some professor, on the whole a negative, had a negative social impact, if Elon Musk learned the lessons of Robert A. Heinlein, Nineteen-Eighty Four as an instructional manual, you wanted a hot-take, I’ve studied this stuff, trust me on this, bro, for you feed, are we done with the book, Return From The Stars, Omega: The Last Days Of The World by Camille Flammarion, a chapter missing, very early and very French, all collaborative, a comet that’s about to strike Earth, everybody buys telescopes, the United Nations, the international community, miscalculating things, a near death experience, moratlity, a technological boom, evolving, where Joe Rogan is very stupid, fallback stupidity, we just need to evolve more, man, this human being don’t change, people exactly the same, expresses different, merge man and machine, a very unwise person, almost Stapledonian, a science fiction book, the history of the species, another human species, in real life Stapledon believed, the transhumanism thing, the ability to see the colour blue, a linguistic trick, the wine dark sea, a myth that people believe, the 1917 Bolshevik revolution, a much better claim, the French Revolution with the experience of the French Revolution, what does it mean to be a domesticated animal, slaves, are human beings domesticated animals, school, factory workers, it loses its hair and becomes very social, domesticated apes, the overarching history of humanity, the unifer of the state, domestication is about the home, the family exists without the state, the family is a legal relationship, he becomes their owner, the mom has a relationship with her pups, their nice about it, a wolf gives birth to pups, uncles, an extended family unit, a condor, three little chicks, pushed it to its death, the weakest, the calorie intake I’m able to bring in, marriage is a legal construct, family, brings food to, it does it for a while, more like horses than tigers, make decisions collectively, by following people and leading people away from predators and towards prey, privatized, exceptions to that, the state will interfere with your shit, it should, it shon’t, tell condors how to run their families, we wanna catch that baby bird and raise it up, we never let it go, we’re different creatures than they are, not really possible, women leave their babies in bathrooms, in handbags, they drive them into lakes, are we thinking that’s a bad thing, abandoning babies, embrace that, horrific, you think the state has a place in people’s lives, lots of tutoring, enslave Jesse, hit him over the head, apprenticing, don’t go down that road, if you put it that way, Groucho Marx, the Groucho tendency, Harpo, Chico, very much a Groucho, individualized tutoring, university is still allowed, what Socrates was doing before being cyberbullied into killing people, making fun of people, follow him in conversation, the role of religion, worship Chebu and Sheemish, unequal opportunity, less unequal opportunity, more unequal, who was your best teacher?, he was fired, teaching his own things, an individualized tutor, the answer to this question is more institutions we can refor them, we live in a post-scarcity society, a theoretical conversation, how to improve the lot of black slaves in 19th century, it could be practical, its important that the students take it seriously, what money does, it’s important you gotta learn, kids who’ve been taught properly by their moms, learning is joyful, learning is wonderful, The Other Gods, everything is purposeful, it ought to be read, resonant, by Lovecraft, having multiple purposes in mind, just fun?, the fun came in the joyful experience of being taught, materially, Sirius enjoys audiobooks, don’t buy the product, often don’t, pirate, we live in a post scarcity society, knowledge should be free, no money, everything should be pirated, at no cost, this philosophy doesn’t distinguish, created from knowledge, they are the same, ebooks, your ideal purchasing audiences, commissioned audiobooks, the economic justification, quite interesting, Jesse is not going to make you a lot of money, doesn’t take into consideration, some are doing it to make money, knowledge leaves to the death of knowledge, freedom is restrictive, nobody will write a book, so what is he really saying, think of the long tail, don’t think about that, in 400 years you’ll be dead, sorry, get that Blue Yeti, haltered and faltering, rushes through words, Eric does almost everything, into people’s ears, ebooks are dying, paperbooks are dying, a superior medium: audio, who has opportunity to learn to read, gotta learn braille, sad story, Helen Kellers, most people, Isaac Asimov short stories where kids no longer read, perfectly like people, a disability to study old things, let her read, major disability, sound like a libertarian, argue with each other, Jonathan is more realistic and responsible, wanted to open a used bookstore, neither realistic nor responsible, small property, we’re in a post-scarcity society, make a sacrifice, money, kids are broken by school, learning is painful torture, want it both ways, to get the Jesse service, every middle class professional, be wanting to be there, Stapledonian paradise, post-scarcity spread-around, workers education association, you and an old book are your best teacher, show me one person that had that happen to them, they learn at home or not at all, learn to read in a new language, the family relationship would fall apart without the state to support it, capital, can’t afford to live in your home, sent across the country, a relationship between capital and the state, it exist, it make kids go to school, the laissez faire welfare state, Guardian/Colossus I can trust, how socialist planning would work, an idealistic socialist, planning by the people, a technocratic socialist, educate people into be awake to these things, state forcing people to do stuff is really horror, make the horror less horrible, if Will were president of Planet Earth, two colleges, Hampshire College, somehow you have to pay tuition though, did not thrive at all, Fordham, Jesuit rigid and structured, success undefined, own limitations, what I could accomplish, very experimental temperament, discuss books like Sirius, breadth of knowledge, politics and current events, European history, history of science, Colin Powell’s school, college and university, millions of hours being wasted, regular school, being babysat, always an issue, Paul doesn’t remember school very well, their lives are being wasted sitting in rooms learning nothing, inefficient, obedient workers, edification, lifelong-learning, how much we learn together, having read the book, now we get a great discussion out of it, richer and deeper, a relatively small group, everybody gets a chance to be criticized and drilled down on, we learn more from it, Will goading Jesse into it, anti-vaxxer stuff, bad new definition of vaccine, unable to respond, what can you do?, just do your best?, how the white man discovered inoculation, learned it from African slaves, smallpox, in Africa for centuries and centuries, Cotton Mather, Lovecraft talks about him, he wrote about it, this is a case of witchcraft, put too much pus in there, the new one is gene therapy, polio, defined polio away, the March Of Dimes, Modern and Pfizer, our theory is its going to work like this, 75 years from now you’ll be allowed to look at the data, very very clear, milking the public purse, lousy tech company, that woman who went to prison, Theranos, some people have died from twitter, quit twitter, forcibly having twitter injected into my body, dead virus, spike protein, you might want to read one of his books, you might find it quite moving, what the news said about Olaf Stapledon, [Dr. John Campbell’s youtube channel], pushing Ukraine, provincial health care system, trying to help people, also trying to hurt people, but compared, the B.C. government forced Jesse to get two injections, laboured into, took the hit and was lucky, a workforce issue, some random lady, no one else is doing it, doesn’t seem to be killing most people instantly, six shots, six of any vaccine, not a vaccine, that’s what it used to mean, different stages of protection, white blood cells and t-cells, when someone is listening six months later, teaches medical practitioners, pay attention to this guy, mysterious deaths in your family, doesn’t have an axe to grind, if you really want to know about this stuff, puts a checkmark beside each of things you’re reading, don’t trust the science, don’t trust the Moderna, it turns out that this gene therapy, don’t trust Trump, operation Warp Speed was a great idea, that whole ivermectin thing, propaganda for making billions, sucking money from government coffers and injecting it into private, loss of taste, paxlovid, increased your chance of getting COVID again, attack the body, pressured by Will’s dad, got his doctorate from CNN, brought to you by AstraZeneca, open to the idea, objectively true, Jesse didn’t change the definition, that’s what they changed to, it stops with every person who takes it, reduce hospitalization, reduced the amount of time you have the disease, literal videos, in that one instance, Fauci is the easiest one, the best example, Trump don’t know nothing, they kicked people of twitter and youtube for saying things that were true, banned accounts, deleted video, very nuanced, these are people who didn’t get the vaccine, the median age of people who died of COVID, older than the average of death, 84ish, how is that reconciled with what we were told, to children and babies, before the Tri-City News deleted itself, family court, in favour of the caution of having the baby vaccinated, a lot of excess deaths best explained by people, didn’t work for you either, the evidence of your eyes, a characterization of how the vaccine was promoted, make you less sick, after they noticed getting the disease, they lied about it, big surprise, after the Emergency Use Authorization, in Cuba, China, in Russia, the global conspiracy of not doing science is global, preventative health care, China did these lockdowns, hospitals being built, drones telling people to stay indoors, the ventilator shit, hospital workers, the ventilators were killing people, the disease crystalizes the lungs, weird lack of work, hours and hour researching boring little things, all the other things, David J. West, twitter guys who write books and have good covers, a little more successful than Jonathan, more prolific, a danish dessert locally made in Minnesota, palm oil, soy oil, margarine, glyphosate, not allowed in Italy, celiac disease and gluten intolerance, what possibly caused it, literal weedkiller, lubrication for machines, still available for sale, forced into our foods, find a vegan section, food minus industrial lubricants, we could reform the FDA, new broom, the changing perspective on how the drugs were sold, Will wants change, pump us full of toxic shit for cash, cheaper, pretend it’s fine, try living without these ingredients in your life, The Stuff (1985), this delicious looking thing, like a supplicant, give him money to buy some margarine, homeless person inside a store, some coffee, have to pee to much, hyped up and hopped up enough, in six months everybody will know, potatoes, it makes the potatoes ripen, a big fight about GMOs, literal provincial politics, I wonder if I should be worried about that, in the news, they got their way and now nobody talks about it, genetically modifying plants, sprayed with toxin for killing plants, you have not been genetically modified to thrive on roundup, weren’t as corrupt as they are now, when did you start hearing the words “celiac” or “gluten intolerant”, redpilled on smoking causing cancer, if it makes your body feel good, Canadian doctor, industrial health, smoke breaks, the boss can understand why you want a break, Ulysses S. Grant, skin cancer and lung cancer, maybe stayed out of the sun more [or been in it more], Lovecraft died of cancer, a teetotaler, sad story for Mrs. Lovecraft, didn’t die of bean cancer, you don’t read him for pleasure, a whole collection, circa 2006, a terrible story, people get it so wrong, The Colour Out Of Space, At The Mountains Of Madness, Suitable Flesh (2023), a body switching story, a wizard who’s been switching bodies, it’s a comedy, Lovecraft is really fanny, the film adaptation is hilariously wild, The Unnamable, Mr Jim Moon, hushed innuendoes, the Cotton Mather one, something had caught my ancestor, mixed marks of split-hooves, and many believed him, I saw it – it happened to me, it was it was unnameable, a little bit of gore, not pinhead style gore, a cat that got squished, people get squished, pure delightful comedy, so lucky, what a birthday present, From Beyond (1986), some people can only watch new movies, undisciplined, these comics are somewhat tolerable, reviewing myself out of reading them, a good podcast is better than anything else for drawing out, those don’t make great shows, 100% a criticism of the work, movie-tie in comics, I don’t remember Yoda having 17 arms, Star Wars output in the 1990s, coherent in a way the new stuff was not, we know you like memberberries, we’re bringing Han Solo back, to kill him, Princess Leia and storm trooper get lost on a planet, Starbuck teams up with a cylon, Enemy Mine (1985), a Christmas present, evil humans come to a planet, very Andre Norton but good, a good short story, The Beast Master, a tv show, her father was into “Indian lore”, needed more trauma to be more interesting, there’s trauma in this book, he had a dog die, thinking about his dogs, Navajo, genetically altered animals, a good pulp novel, not a big think, one note villains, the TV show ran 66 episodes, 2005, you hope she made some money, pass away rather than die, you want good things to happen, have their legacy edified, a good word, vacation being sick, complaining about being sick six months later, smarter than to listen to the propaganda, a new car, a new pair of shoes, you shouldn’t take the flu vaccine, hate to hear, shingles, people who’ve got the shingles vaccine aren’t protected from shingles, shingles can be brought out by flu or gene therapy COVID vaccines, I’m protecting myself, allergic reaction disease, another podcaster complaining, shingles vaccine, booster, the brands for the companies pushing the product, NIH, when Joe Rogan was painted green on CNN, ivermectin, public domain, reactivation, assumed to be significantly higher, statistically detectable, hypothesis confirmed, the more ups of your dosage the more chances you have of having this disease reassert itself, above median age of death, it never does come out unless you look at history, trying to hide WWII from us, eventually nobody cares, more and better facts about what was going on, look at these stupid things, still making money off of slavery, do you want to be subject to the slavery?, educate ourselves as best we can, follow the money, a lot of groupthink, go-along play-along people are not scientists, make their publications known, those people get kicked off of youtube and twitter, makes lots of mistakes, likes professional wrestling, he couldn’t watch the show, not happy about it, a pathetic show at the time, cooties all over it, Trump’s you’re fired show, cooties all over it, Survivor, fake tiki ritual, this is fucking moronic, that show continues, not everybody is intellectually interested int he same things, motorcycles, kangaroos, reading NIH papers for fun, I wonder what causes it, instances of people getting it, being phased out, Dallas Buyers Club (2013), the bad guy was Fauci, everybody’s going to get AIDS, somebody’s going to touch your blood, blood transfusion, I don’t want to die from AIDS, only game men and people who got it from blood transfusions, massive puritanical panic, garnered some control, cultural homophobia, who dies of COVID, ancient people, people over the median age of death, 6 month old children, in any reasonable understanding of reality, fear and panic are used to control the flow of cash, if you don’t play along, super-evil and very interesting, send a text message, certain cookware, dog shaped pans, Christmas Archie comics, not a big Christmas guy, like going to the dentist, so personal, Hanukkah, fuck those dreidels, go to the Chinese restaurant, ethnically, philosophically, we ran out of oil but somehow the oil continued, Masada, a good miniseries, stars Peter O’Toole, the ethnostate takes it on as a mythological thing, jews are really awesome, a lot of bad ones too, the Jewish experience in North America, the most Jewish person on the internet is Paul, kvetching, schlemiel, schmuck, sex based on, schlepp, sister lived in Israel on a Kibbutz, came back feral, a lot of cattiness, things that make you cynical, oh the scratches!, loves dogs, can roll with punches, cry cry cry, onto new things!, I’m still processing the trauma, I’m going to learn everything there is to know about cow breeding, how much overspill about border collies, only polite to listen, they need lots of walks, closing in on 5 hours, bagels with roundup!, find some Italian flower, she’s really shaky, nice bread, look at the ingredient list on the bread, that’s why I’m dying, The Cave Girl, easy to get people for Burroughs, a hard time of the year, Terence would have contributed greatly, Maissa is a cat lady but had a dog, everybody has something to say and a different experience to bring to it, the reason we do this, just listeners, beautiful, such an important difference, hear himself reading too quickly, how many people are listening to this from 5 hours deep?, how many downloads, onsite plays, wordpress, the files are hosted on servers elsewhere, most people don’t listen on site, Mike listens and gives feedback, imagine if there’s ten listeners, 50 hours of people’s lives being enriched, how much money it got you, even if you’re hate listening, something deranged about you, gotta dog pans for Christmas, demographics, people like Mirko, Cora (isn’t a listener), Peter, other Germans, Germans are very cosmopolitan, post-WWII occupation, only 8 more minutes.

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #567 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: The Alchemist by H.P. Lovecraft

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #567 – The Alchemist by H.P. Lovecraft; read by Martin Reyto (for Legamus.eu). This is an unabridged reading of the short story (30 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Paul Weimer, Marissa VU, Maissa Bessada, Terrence Blake and Julie Hoverson.

Talked about on today’s podcast:
The United Amateur, November 1916, 1908, 17 or 18 years old, consistently left out, The Beat In The Cave, a straight up Lovecraft story, the very last part of the very last episode of The H.P. Lovecraft literary Podcast‘s last Lovecraft episode, the opening, the ending, peters and swoons, the surprise that’s no surprise, the happiest (funniest), perfect, those words, a dramatic reveal, so inbred, incredibly dense, “ok, boomer”, black death, okay Tithonus, Eos the goddess of dawn, gods are merciful, Endymion, sleep forever, Cassandra, be careful what you wish for, Charles le Sorcier, why it is a comedy, claws for hands, same old clothes from 600 years, ago, skeletal, he’s a lich, Antoine is incredibly dense, weird phenomenon, who is telling this story and why, age 90, who is he telling this to?, subversive ways of reading it, The Oval Portrait by Edgar Allan Poe, set in Italy, wounded somehow, banditi, the scions of the house he’s in, the chateaus are both frowning, metonymy or synecdoche, the head of an old man, wooded around the base and has a head, a less sexual reading, given the crowning, the women are immediately killed, sacrificed to the devil and died in childbirth, 25 (or 32) generations without girls, Crusader Kings II, the painter paints his wife so well, entranced, wrought, THIS IS INDEED LIFE ITSELF!, aghast, FOOL! CAN YOU NOT GUESS MY SECRET?, it is I I I I, I love that ending, do you not know how the secret of life was solved?, I’ve been studying these texts, he speaks Latin, if you stick only to the text, the new document that has been handed down from father to son, why is that gold there?, to rebuild the estate, he never leaves the house, wait another 32 years, Antoine has these secrets now, he kills him with fire, the relationship between the two men and the two families, all about the other, cursed to fulfill his curse, move on, in the comic adaptation, 10,000 generations, feeling sorry for Charles, they live in the same castle, you idiot!, a black blob still alive, look at how many of these have the same theme, The Case Of Charles Dexter Ward, about a lich who inhabits one of his own descendants, The Thing On The Doorstep, ancestral papers, The Rats In The Walls, its within, the H.P.L.H.S. adaptation, De La Pore, the letter is lost, the family curse, an excellent adaptation by Julie Hoverson of 19 NOCUTURNE BOULEVARD, A(udio)D(rama)Infinitum, Maissa’s podcast: The Destiny Of Special Agent Ace Galaksi, free and amateur audio drama, as a comedy, single person narrative, the phone call is coming from inside the house, what he’s doing in that room, House Of Long Shadows, Lovecraft’s little twist on the Gothic, a serial killer, The Castle Of Otranto, at the end of a traditional gothic, traditional Scooby-Doo, a naturalistic explanation, a narrative within the narrative, a framed story, a framed portrait, wooo spooky, the second to last page, disliking the sight I turned away (from the Gothic door), very wondering about his father and his ancestors, his servant Pierre, upon my 21st birthday, of the most startling nature, the gravest of my apprehension, a certain circumstance which I always deemed strange, a certain sandwich place, my belief in the supernatural was firm and deep seated, OF COURSE!, he’s been studying the occult books in the library, at age 90 his beliefs are no longer firm, he literally faints, not an actual curse, the sorcery in this story, the house of C__., straight out of Shakespeare, the magic spell, that was Charles pushing that rock, it IS a comedy, is he the son of the devil?, presumably she gave birth prior to the burning, this story is getting better and better, so many parallels between the two families, one redeeming ray of humanity, a fierce intensity, a more than filial affection, “you killed my stepdad/lover”, he’s an alchemist not a sorcerer, the appearance of magic, I figured out a way to make gold and I also learned how to make the elixir of life, the curse is that he’s cursed himself, the philosopher’s stone, things move around, a liquid stone, the burning liquid, the progenitor, Pierre means stone, is Pierre a golem?, a reagent, a catalyst, there’s this stuff called DNA that’s magic, he passes through the Gothic door, why does Lovecraft do it?, is he making this interesting point?, it MAY have been gold, I was strangely effected by that which I’d undergone, Dark Of The Hillside Thickets, the boy Antoine, the wild ravines and grottoes, dusty forest, it’s The Outsider, in trying to sell this to Maissa, he had a dragon head, he was not allowed to talk to the kids of the village, maybe the castle has no mirrors, the dragon-headed boy that you are, he doesn’t know what he is, there IS no Charles le Sorcier, suckered in with poetry, the gothicness of it, I preceded back some distance, suddenly feel to my experience, its rusted hinges, a dream from 1909, two human skulls, Carl Jung, that’s a death-wish who do you want to kill, a map of his soul, its in the air, a plumbing the depths of your own castle, clothing the hills, The Haunted Palace by Edgar Allan Poe, all skully, all rotty,

XVI. The Window

The house was old, with tangled wings outthrown,
Of which no one could ever half keep track,
And in a small room somewhat near the back
Was an odd window sealed with ancient stone.
There, in a dream-plagued childhood, quite alone
I used to go, where night reigned vague and black;
Parting the cobwebs with a curious lack
Of fear, and with a wonder each time grown.

One later day I brought the masons there
To find what view my dim forbears had shunned,
But as they pierced the stone, a rush of air
Burst from the alien voids that yawned beyond.
They fled—but I peered through and found unrolled
All the wild worlds of which my dreams had told.

David Lindsay’s Voyage To Arcturus, an inner journey, Music Of Erich Zann, Julie’s Lovecraft Five audio dramas are now out in Germany, full of morphine charm and comfortable goose, archetypes, Arthur Jermyn, backstory, The Dunwich Horror is all backstory, C. Auguste Dupin, The Picture In The House, the way it is told is different, at least that’s what I told the police, The Haunter Of The Dark, From Beyond, The Shunned House, a vampire’s elbow, beautiful dead women vs. architecture, a library of an ancient family, is my line cursed?,

The House

‘Tis a grove-circled dwelling
Set close to a hill,
Where the branches are telling
Strange legends of ill;
Over timbers so old
That they breathe of the dead,
Crawl the vines, green and cold,
By strange nourishment fed;
And no man knows the juices they suck from the depths of their dank slimy bed.

In the gardens are growing
Tall blossoms and fair,
Each pallid bloom throwing
Perfume on the air;
But the afternoon sun
With its shining red rays
Makes the picture loom dun
On the curious gaze,
And above the sweet scent of the the blossoms rise odours of numberless days.

The rank grasses are waving
On terrace and lawn,
Dim memories sav’ring
Of things that have gone;
The stones of the walks
Are encrusted and wet,
And a strange spirit stalks
When the red sun has set,
And the soul of the watcher is fill’d with faint pictures he fain would forget.

It was in the hot Junetime
I stood by that scene,
When the gold rays of noontime
Beat bright on the green.
But I shiver’d with cold,
Groping feebly for light,
As a picture unroll’d—
And my age-spanning sight
Saw the time I had been there before flash like fulgury out of the night.

Lovecraft sees a house, The Lurking Fear, the grass is strangely over-nourished, drawing the conversation, what does this evoke in us?, appreciating what’s going on, you’re seeing things better, a different myth cycle, connections between The White Ape and The Picture In The House, what this evolution stuff, the narcissistic wound, we thought we were god’s chosen turns out , a white man in somebody’s basement getting your revenge every 32 years, it seems a rudimentary story, no cosmic or metaphysical element, there’s something about the end, You fool! Warren is dead!, recognize the will, Arthur Schopenhauer, the only way out is to deny the will, he’s a bad alchemist, the eternal return of killing, he’s made a metaphysical mistake, not everyone really lives, The Cask Of Amontillado, you who know me so well, his confessor, Fortunado, I got away with it, why are we being told this story, is he living in an old folks’ home, The Name Of The Rose by Umberto Eco, renewing an old horror?, The Beast In The Cave, The Lurking Fear, became a C.H.U.D., whatchoo gonna do about it son?, so many thing unsaid, Marissa couldn’t stop thinking about it, he has a dragonface, from its machicolated parapet, stones or boiling oil, mounted battlements, worm eaten wainscots, that’s what he does with his time, he explores the ruins, called to the land beyond, the only human creature, cobwebs in profusion, untenanted gloom, dream holiday, bat and alchemist guano, he’s down there sciencing, the kid was fine, Lovecraft’s interest in witches, a political or social charge, sorcery in Saudi Arabia, Russia’s interfering in our elections (with magical ads on Facebook), Russian stooges, the old fashioned way, back to the children being killed, Gilles de Rais, The Unnameable, Mr Jim Moon, Cotton Mather, at the southward there was a Beast, this fellow was hereupon examined, infamous, they tortured him, the eye thing, he’s reading all these old books, he is that guy in the tower, his house is collapsing, he achieved his immortality, Malleus Maleficarum, vanishing testicles, he spent his whole childhood in a castle reading books.

The Alchemist by H.P. Lovecraft - comic book cover art by Octavio Cariello

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #414 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: The Unnamable by H.P. Lovecraft

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #414 – The Unnamable by H.P. Lovecraft; read by Mr Jim Moon. This is an unabridged reading of the short story (24 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants in the discussion include Jesse Willis, Paul Weimer, and Mr Jim Moon.

Talked about on today’s show:
Weird Tales, a joke, W. H. Pugmire, the Lovecraft learning curve, a very short story indeed, the meta-story, beyond our ken, a literary argument, someone from the Great Race Of Yith came back in time, defending his own fiction, playtesting, every paragraph has vocabulary expanding words, resonances between stories, Philip K. Dick, the night, architecture, the numinous, a fake and also legit defense against the arguments marshaled against him, Neil Degrasse Tyson, dark matter, dark energy, a scare story, the orchestration of the vocabulary, the bat, Carter and Manton, the beginning of it, The Unnamable (1988), mercifully short,

It is all in that ancestral diary I found; all the hushed innuendoes and furtive tales of things with a blemished eye seen at windows in the night or in deserted meadows near the woods. Something had caught my ancestor on a dark valley road, leaving him with marks of horns on his chest and of ape-like claws on his back; and when they looked for prints in the trampled dust they found the mixed marks of split hooves and vaguely anthropoid paws. Once a post-rider said he saw an old man chasing and calling to a frightful loping, nameless thing on Meadow Hill in the thinly moonlit hours before dawn, and many believed him.

New England puritanical horror, who it is or what it is, Cotton Mather, The Tree by H.P. Lovecraft, a hidden murder, Pan, one aspect of the unnameable creature, a faun, a creature of indiscriminate sexuality, pan -> panic, the panisci, the panic of the herd, what are they doing in the hospital, attacked by a bull, a rape story, Archive.org, fs for Ss, the Attic Window, Whispers, The Gable Window by August Derleth, a cruel joke, precipitating the event, Manton’s reaction, ha ha ha I told you so, I whispered an awestruck question, was it like that?, like my memory?, in an earlier age, What Was It? by Fitz-James O’Brien, an unseen demonic force, The Shunned House by H.P. Lovecraft, a two-fisted investigation, flamethrowers, bones and a skull with horns, noisome frigid air, a piercing shriek, a rifted tomb of man and monster, Carter’s sucker punch, an inverse Scooby Doo ending, a malice, a more charitable reading, spinning up a story with a similar effect, the short film, The Shadow Of The Unnamable (2011), the hint of a German accent, the Germans love Lovecraft, the aspect of the animals, the snails, moths, the bat, experiences with bats, tangled in women’s hair, brushed by a bat at night, what is going on in the original Cotton Mather story?, the goose barnacle, bothering farmyard animals, Ring Of Bright Water, a pet otter, a diving terrier, in the film the unnamable has a name: Elida, the 1988 film, the empty Miskatonic University campus, the under-dressed sets, the blank slate (or slab), tabula rasa, nicely drawn out, The Unnamable II: The Statement Of Randolph Carter, a being from “we best not speculate where”, co-terminus beings, an illegible slab, colossal roots sucking, illegible vs. blank, an olive tree, The House by H.P. Lovecraft, magnifying an aspect, a real house, Fungi From Yuggoth, The Howler by H.P. Lovecraft

They told me not to take the Briggs’ Hill path
That used to be the highroad through to Zoar,
For Goody Watkins, hanged in seventeen-four,
Had left a certain monstrous aftermath.
Yet when I disobeyed, and had in view
The vine-hung cottage by the great rock slope,
I could not think of elms or hempen rope,
But wondered why the house still seemed so new.

Stopping a while to watch the fading day,
I heard faint howls, as from a room upstairs,
When through the ivied panes one sunset ray
Struck in, and caught the howler unawares.
I glimpsed—and ran in frenzy from the place,
And from a four-pawed thing with human face.

Lovecraft books become the books, The Weird Writings Of H.P. Lovecraft, spellcasting books,

It had been an eldritch thing—no wonder sensitive students shudder at the Puritan age in Massachusetts. So little is known of what went on beneath the surface—so little, yet such a ghastly festering as it bubbles up putrescently in occasional ghoulish glimpses. The witchcraft terror is a horrible ray of light on what was stewing in men’s crushed brains, but even that is a trifle. There was no beauty; no freedom—we can see that from the architectural and household remains, and the poisonous sermons of the cramped divines. And inside that rusted iron strait-jacket lurked gibbering hideousness, perversion, and diabolism. Here, truly, was the apotheosis of the unnamable.

combining points of view, going back to that 17th century New England horror, The Witch (2016),

Others knew, but did not dare to tell—there is no public hint of why they whispered about the lock on the door to the attic stairs in the house of a childless, broken, embittered old man who had put up a blank slate slab by an avoided grave, although one may trace enough evasive legends to curdle the thinnest blood.

inviting speculation, the image of a person retained in glass, Bob Shaw’s stories about Slow Glass, The Light Of Other Days by Bob Shaw, images imprinted on glass, the motif of photographic lightning, the emotions in physics, The Martians by Ray Bradbury, Oh!, when Paul became an SF fan, legend, the murderer’s eye,

Whether or not such apparitions had ever gored or smothered people to death, as told in uncorroborated traditions, they had produced a strong and consistent impression; and were yet darkly feared by very aged natives, though largely forgotten by the last two generations—perhaps dying for lack of being thought about. Moreover, so far as aesthetic theory was involved, if the psychic emanations of human creatures be grotesque distortions, what coherent representation could express or portray so gibbous and infamous a nebulosity as the spectre of a malign, chaotic perversion, itself a morbid blasphemy against Nature? Moulded by the dead brain of a hybrid nightmare, would not such a vaporous terror constitute in all loathsome truth the exquisitely, the shriekingly unnamable?

The hour must now have grown very late. A singularly noiseless bat brushed by me, and I believe it touched Manton also, for although I could not see him I felt him raise his arm. Presently he spoke.
“But is that house with the attic window still standing and deserted?”
“Yes,” I answered. “I have seen it.”

the skull, the telling of the tale is the summoning of the creature, if only…, Arkham Asylum, rough sex or something, thinking about Elida, why is she so white?, justification, home invaders, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974), Leatherface takes a moment, backstory, bringing dignity to the situation, get off my tomb!, 6 pages of high level vocab words, the meta-aspect, lazy critical opinions, a linguistic trap, Lovecraft’s riposte to his critics, rumor, imagination, illusion, what effect does it have upon us?, the real horror, what does that do to a man?, Boston, the delicate overtones of life, what are they?, silly milksops, having it both ways, there’s no California gothic, what Algernon Blackwood can do with the wilderness, the power of nature vs. the power of an old building or a graveyard, The Wendigo, a reverence for that witch is unnamed, afflicted by a being, how could Lovecraft exist in a place like California?, had Lovecraft been to Florida by 1925, C.M. Eddy, The Loved Dead, withdrawn from Indiana, Farnsworth Wright, Kissed (1996), a very tasteful and very repellent film, “love knows no bounds”, a take that, Dagon by H.P. Lovecraft, In Defense Of Dagon, an old argument, every day things transcribed, a proper film about Albanian engineers, give us some awards, Tropic Thunder (2008), never go full retard, skewering truth, gameas that people play, pretending to have seen movies or read books, the guilty pleasure, don’t listen to the milksops (whatever they are), Philip K. Dick wanted to write realistic fiction, Lovecraft never dabbled in trying to be respectable, intertextual obssession, a library and a graveyard and a grove, F. Scott Fitzgerald, all the problems that the people at the Great Gatsby party have, facing the nature of the universe, keep the fright away, the beauty and terror of the universe, daytime is for writing letters, petting cats, and eating ice-cream, dreams, attacking F. Scott Fitzgerald, great writing, rushingly boundlessly toward, as an even more concrete opposite: Upton Sinclair and Theodore Dreiser, grinding detail, social documents but not fun to read.

Magnalia Christia Americana Book VI page 35 by Cotton Mather
PROVIDENCE - The Unnamable
The Unnamable scene in Providence, issue 8
H.P. Lovecraft's The Unnamable UNEARTHED CLASSICS

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #290 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving

Podcast

The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving
The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #290 – The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving; read by Chip (for LibriVox). This is an unabridged reading of the novelette (1 hour 23 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Mr Jim Moon, and John Feaster.

Talked about on today’s show:
1820 (1819), the idea behind the story, Celtic folklore, Sir Gawain And The Green Knight, the Wild Hunt, Geoffrey Crayon, Popular Tales Of The Germans, Volksmärchen der Deutschenby Karl Musäus, racing to a bridged, a shattered gourd, Sir Walter Scott, “the wizard of the north”, Tam O’ Shanter by Robert Burns, headless ghosts, Anne Boleyn, headless horses!, jack-o’-lantern, is this a Halloween story or a Thanksgiving story?, 1834, the word “coconut” (head and soul), the South Pacific, breadfruit, The Red One by Jack London, the shattered pumpkin becomes carved into a Jack-O-Lantern, Brom Bones, meta-textual inference, Washington Irving is buried in Sleepy Hollow, NY, a Hessian artilleryman, a sleepy forgotten area, Rip Van Winkle, the Dutch of New York are like the Irish of the British empire, a Connecticut Yankee teacher, sleep, bustling New York City, Tarrytown, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Irving’s loving description of the landscape is like Lovecraft’s loving description of architecture, the jokey Washington Irving, Guests From Gibbet Island by Washington Irving, pirates, Pluto, “nod, wink, and giggle”, a comedy with a great sense of mood, the many birds, Crane, pudding in their bellies, the Van Tassel larder, a low yield version of 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea by Jules Verne, an excellent ragù, an exquisitely painted portrait, Jeff Goldblum playing Ichabod Crane, the dilating abilities of an anaconda, the full orchards, the rooster with his wives, The House Of The Seven Gables, “the world’s first Scooby Doo ending”, Brom Bones is a colossal prick, anti-intellectual, having read several books all the way through, Cotton Mather, the labour of headwork, headlessness, a practical joke, the post-script, the moral (if it has one or if it needs one), The Cask Of Amontillado by Edgar Allan Poe, a deathbed confession, family portraits or a mirror, “in pace requiescat”, alternate endings, the 1999 movie adaptation with Johnny Depp, “Rip van Kolchak”, beheading an embryo, the imagery, Christopher Lee, Marvel Comics adaptations, Ghost Rider, a goblin, J.R.R. Tolkien, distinguishing between goblins and orcs, interchangeable terms, Scrooge, FOLKLORE ON FRIDAY – Headless Horsemen, a whip made of a human spine, the Comics Code Authority, Morbius: The LIVING Vampire, the gaffers at von Tassel’s quilting frolic, an old brower, the Wild Hunt (again), rivers marking town boundaries, “liminal areas”, “a marvelously gruesome book”, Vampires, Burial, and Death: Folklore and Reality by Paul Barber, vampires can’t cross running water, a Dukes of Hazzard crossover, the Disney/Bing Crosby cartoon, The Wind in the Willows, The Partially Examined Life (talking the American philosophers), walking while reading a book vs. walking while reading a phone, van Ripper, Gunpowder (the horse), anti-intellectual vs. hyper-competence, Sleepy Hollow as a vision of America (as opposed to Europe), William James, Henry James, young and different, Henry David Thoreau, Walden, the American Revolutionary War, NYC vs. NY State, Irving regretting the American revolution, Lovecraft’s nostalgia, a very American story, “the world’s turned upside down!”, Ivanhoe, enbosomed in the mountains, a debunking, Frank L. Baum’s new creations for an American fantasy, Kansas, the tin woodsman’s chopping, a cyborg version of the Ship of Theseus, written for little children, the heart is more important than the brains, Brom Bones as the hero, Ichabod mucks-in, haunted tulip tree, Major Andre, an unselfconscious hero, corporal punishment, Wackford Squeers from Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens, a wise-schoolmaster, spare the rod and spoil the child, “six of the best when they were ten”, dancing around the issue, squishing, Starship Troopers by Robert A. Heinlein, “if this were the middle ages and he were a viking…”, Sons Of Anarchy vs. Vikings, bearded vengeance, ichthyology, von Ripper, von Brunt, von Tassel, von Brunt Colonel Ichabod Crane, The Castle Of Indolence by James Thomson, Gothic credentials, autumn, the sleepy hollow boys, Twin Peaks and the Bookhouse boys, the good old boys, more references to NASCAR, Brom Bones as an archetype, the Sleepy Hollow TV show, we can’t CGI our way out of bad writing, “Alan Moore-esque”, “nice, self-contained, and pretty much done”, Katrina as a master manipulator, singing lessons, it’s been haunted forever (maybe 30 years), belief in hauntings vs. belief in ghosts, a haunted green shag carpet, the stain, something was dragging itself on the ground, “The Stone Tape” hypothesis, “creeped by some creepy creepness”, a bad place, Salem’s Lot by Stephen King, poltergeist activity, Brom Bonesey, the 1790 setting, a haunted beach?, Center Lake, a hat sodden with blood, a headless borrower, a local Jimmy Hoffa, folklore becomes enmeshed, why does she settle for Brom Bones?, “a man of great parts”, Shakespeare: “Ale promoteth the desire but taketh away all performance”, Diogenes: “If only I could alleviate my hunger by rubbing my belly”

Supernatural Thrillers - The Headless Horseman Rides Again
The Headless Horseman and Ichabod Crane
The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow - Word Cloud
The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow - "What Fearful Shapes And Shadows Beset His Path" (1899)
The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving - illustration by Jason Juta
Sleepy Hollow - illustration by Scott Gotto

Posted by Jesse Willis