The SFFaudio Podcast #694 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: The Brethren by H. Rider Haggard

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #694 – The Brethren by H. Rider Haggard – read by Elroi Shelley. This is a complete and unabridged reading of novel (15 hours 25 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants include Jesse, Will Emmons, Connor Kaye, and Cora Buhlert talk about The Brethren by H. Rider Haggard

Talked about on today’s show:
1903/4, set during the third crusade, Saladin and the Assassins, The White Company by Arthur Conan Doyle, Haggard was proud, kind of a Haggard guy, this sounds awesome, the famous ones, King Solomon’s Mines, She, Elroi Shelly, what kind of accent does she have?, Arabic, superstormtrooper, a Spanish documentary called Otto Skorzeny, Alemania (Spanish for Germany), Italian, 11th century accent, November 23, 2021, a shield with a skull on it!, Robert E. Howard’s Hawks Of Outremer, did Howard read this?, it is mentioned in the book, a black shield with a white skull, Rosamund’s dad, they’re not Irish, the mythology around Saladin, he’s so mean, all is forgiven, more of a villain in this book, frees with his own money, only a few people become slaves, Templars beheaded, don’t like the Hospitalers either, a huge list of books in Howard’s library, weird erotica, the tone is different, the battles are awesome, Haggard always has great battles, Lord Of The Rings and The Hobbit, counting shots scenes, movements of armies, a little less kissing, a really good book, the other brother, they both get to marry the girl!, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Abduction From The Seraglio, another Robert E. Howard story, The Shadow Of The Vulture, Red Sonja, taken to a harem, loves singing about executing people, quite famous, our hero Saladin, the best PR in the west ever, an eastern potentate, Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott, an artifact of the period it was written, a contemporary review, a really fun read, interesting, great women characters, the rug pulled out from under me, boys’ school style, chivalry and public school ethos are indistinguishable, fair play old chap, so innocent, the christian religion isn’t the motivating factor, an inter-familiar dispute, sister/cousin, when God gives Saladin three repeated dreams, rose of the world, a very Christian book that loves Islam, 5 million Muslims in Germany, the Howard crusader stories, interested in Islam, the whole Arabian Knights thing, kind of a Theosophist, all the religions were good, different facets of the same jewel, She is an Arab, the beautiful illustrations, Chapter 23, Haggard went on a trip to Syria, the impetus for this book, a band of knights, two knights on a personal mission, more like tourists than crusaders, our side is justice, Saint Rosamund, some of the homework that he did, page 631, this chapter is so metal, to these I say, score face and bosom, made loathsome to the sight of man, the brides of Heaven, the swords of furious and savage men, the Faith, St. Clair at Acre, 1291, A Winter Pilgrimage by H. Rider Haggard, this book is so…, these people are getting way to worked up their religions, that’s what Heinlein would do, too hard core, flagellation, gang raped by roman legionaries, medieval snuff porn, a beautiful painting of woman being brutally tortured, a guy on a stick, of some particular imam, in the end you will get what you deserve, what he did wasn’t very nice, trauma by inference, waking up in cold sweats, you have to bow and scrape, you ate some of my salt, that much fun, Robin Hood, slave characters, Saxon-Norman etymology stuff, King John, the father of the modern historical novel, Outlander, the mooning over the girls, nice to the Jews, antisemitism, The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy, a Russian countess, what people think Lovecraft was like, I hate poor people, French people, a city named after Sir Walter Scott’s house: Abbotsford, the fake chivalry code of the Southern USA comes from Sir Walter Scott, a phenomenon in the early 19th century, a book highly influenced by Ivanhoe, 1819, writing about ancestors, Virginia Woolf and modernists couldn’t stand Sir Walter Scott, anything past 10 years ago obviously has no value, we don’t need Jane Austen because we have Bridget Jones’ Diary, the classic chivalry story, 1920, a throwback to classic novels, Don Quixote, a parody of classic chivalry, The Song Of Roland, language issues, stories of heroic knights, drew on older legends and stories, Robin Hood is an old legend, early Hollywood Robin Hood is straight out of Ivanhoe, returning crusaders, a little bit tight-fisted, he wants you to say these are people and they can live in England with us, literal slave collars, accidental pun, Cobra Kai, shocking, Connor is six, dwelling on backstory, dishonorable knights, not having a dad, kidnapping women, disrespecting my family, a cross-worshiper!, almost biblical, violence at school, teenagers beating up kids, learn karate to defend yourself, the 70s kung-fu phenomena, white kids want to be a Chinese guy, the whole world has passed by the Karate Kid, consistency with real truths about what families are like, many mirrorings, one’s like a Saxon one’s more Norman, a broken family united by respect and love, an outside uncle, a broken family in the religion over there, the backstory of the assassins, Shia and Sunni, Iran is the bad guy even though they had nothing to do with 9/11, Ismaili, a breakaway family, People Of The Black Circle by Robert E. Howard, what’s going on in Tibet?, briefly touched on drugged visions, Masouda is such a great character you want her to have a spin-off show, role of a lifetime, super-mysterious, horrible ending, all for love, he kept pulling the rug out from under us, all set to work out, a happy ending, not much character development, Masouda had a lot, when we find things out, she’s a widow, the inn will run itself, this book was for us to me her, too long to read, she’s our guide, very masterfully written, the two fathers, two muslim brother enemies, Flame and Smoke are the two other best character is the book [and horses], Rosamund and Masouda are mirrors, half-Frank, she’s a fallen princess, the opposite constellation, a French countess mother, Masouda is a tragic Rosamund, her boyfriend has to go live with monks, really effective, making things rich and deep, why William Wilson is such a great story, where there’s smoke there’s fire, the brethren, stylized language, it creates the atmosphere, how you sell your movie, “Extreme Prejudice”, “Collateral Damage”, a euphemism, anticipates, she’s sent off to a nunnery, she’s marrying god!, sent off to become a priest, he didn’t write this by the seat of his pants, good writing, become a priest or a monk, too concerned with dreams, a higher purpose, so well put together, the opposite of the pre-show, squee moments, scenes, harry potter, train scene, quidditch scene, the horses know something, this is my dude, opposite of snarky, not a snark in it, very sincere, Cassell’s Magazine, December 1903, he doesn’t tease us, serialized without cliffhangers, better than the more modern style of serialization, a lot of little stories, anticipating, feeling like it is just about to end, it could end at any point, the final illustration, it was Godwin’s face, “spoiler”, that ending is supposed to be a surprise, when Masouda died, a tragedy, so fucking dark, he touched her head and it rolls away, the Robert E. Howard scene, he commands armies, there’s no supernatural extras to this story, Howard is more hyperbolic, an opening scene for a Robert E. Howard story, selling this as a script, the ultimate reveal, people would be angry at this movie, so fantastic, devastating, foreshadowed, you will meet her in the end, more recently, Game Of Thrones, any character can die at any time, this story set it up fantastically, she’s too good of a character, a heart of gold, she’s saving the brothers, she’s driving the plot, coming up with all the plans and disguises, the perfect anti-payoff, once she died, everyone is going to die, Godwin can’t live, this is how the end of the story is going to go, Rosamund is going to die as well, St. Rosamund, embedding humor into the structure of the story, see it in reflection, abruptly ended, and I’ll let you live, 16 hours, oh my god, so shocking, so satisfying and relieving, it made you want to laugh, catharsis, Saladin got you too, the Italian opera ending, everybody dies, Hamlet, an everybody dies story, happy, it makes me smile (not squee), the best kind, the good kind of squee, it earns its squee, if both brother got to marry the sister (literally), a fantasy setting, very historical, how much of this is real, actually real?, family members of famous people, Nada The Lily, the secret son of Shaka Zulu, another book like this, Haggard on utube, a very early film of Haggard at his home, silent, how wealthy he became from his good writings, she hated She, really long and almost all journey, a lot happening structurally, dock in Cyprus, a hostage situation, and a reverse hostage situation, this book kept derailing Jesse’s expectations, a crusades book but not a crusade, strange inter-relations, Arabic, subtlety, going a little easy on it, it could be shorter, the changes of point of view, abutted scenes, the opening, almost every thread connects, almost perfectly composed, mid-H. Rider Haggard, the eighth H. Rider Haggard for Will, the guy who’s most responsible for squeecore, -doom core, South America?, The Heart Of The World, a secret Mayan civilization, as a prose stylist, what makes the English language work, not writing like a normal person, intentionally antiquated, main literary influces: The King James Bible, the old testament, more action here (than in She), Zulus talking in the thou form, a pack of ghost wolves, The People Of the Mist, classic lost race fantasy, Cora is nocturnal, Treasure Island, “Oh, Connor me lad”, a big project, Jim in the inn, this is a Heinlein juvenile written before Heinlein, its squeecore!, I’ve become what I hate!, it resembles Citizen Of The Galaxy (a retelling of Kim), Robert Louis Stevenson is an interesting person, very unhealthy, adopts an older woman’s son, goes and dies in Samoa, Connor would be keen, a good pirate story, the way the book was written, the Lovecraft – Sonia Green marriage, you’re going to eat right now, you’re going to breathe right now, draw me an island, a writing prompt to bring them closer together, a relationship book, the first manuscript for Strange Case Of Dr Jekyll And Mr Hyde was burned, Travels With A Donkey, some Random series book or a Treasure fucking Island, great material for a biopic, Jim and John Silver, save it for the podcast, Treasure PlanetTreasure Island and The Hobbit, the nicest aunt in East Germany, illustrated Huckleberry Finn, upgrade mic and headset, bone conduction, The Doom That Came To Sarnath by H.P. Lovecraft, The Busy Body by Donald E. Westlake, Almuric by Robert E. Howard, The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin, The Doomed City by The Strugatsky Bros. (Boris and Arkadii), “get the communist!”, you can’t get Eric, good luck bud, trolling vs. invitation, The Door Into Summer by Robert A. Heinlein, The Sea-Wolf by Jack London, a February of novels, shorter than Hour Of The Dragon, reading Donald E. Westlake, nephew novels, addictive, we win all the fun characterization, he’s like a treasure, why science fiction sucks: he can’t get paid, it was science fiction’s loss, really funny, a lot of people want to have written, the craft, he wants it to be awesome, joke poems, Waterhouse’s Circe, why are there flowers all over the floor, attraction and danger, the stories are super-rich, when you write a story based on a picture you’re decoding the picture, encoding a picture in a person’s brain, transfer our brain thought into another person’s brain thought, telepathy, no difference between intention and reception, “Mountain Dew”, something to skip, “you think you’re going to do The Dispossessed without me?”, an anarchist planet, anarchist moon, Poul Anderson, People Of The Black Circle, Sunday BBQ winter or summer, woke scold, a Robert E. Howard kick, Galactic Journey, Will needs to logoff, popping ps, 40 degree heat, thunderstorms, a sworn interpreter, Germany classics, Karl May, a convicted conman, O. Henry, living happily ever after on the prairie, your old Alberta home, a recording booth, a Neumann microphone, Shure dynamic mic, imported musical instruments, luxury goods, RØDE microphones, rood, what is a chapman, the drugged wine, Chapman’s ice cream, the chap part is cheap, the cheap man, Mercedes Benz is a luxury brand in Canada, car industries, Blue microphones, the microphone boom, shockmounts, research the fuck out of it, semaphore eyebrows, German TV adaptation of The Sea-Wolf, Cora comes from a family of sailors, The Red One, hunting moths with a shotgun, the house of a headhunter, Das Millionenspiel, a War Of The Worlds situation, The Running Man and The Prize Of Peril, furious Sheckley, one of the best things German TV ever did, The Running Man by Stephen King, hunting humans, The Most Dangerous Game by Richard Connell, The Hounds Of Zaroff, late night horror, King Kong (1933), The Most Dangerous Meme, Predator (1987), Rogue Male by Geoffrey Household, basically its Hitler, John Buchan, Rogue Justice, 1939 – 1982, your audience may have been born and died in the meantime, Dr. Mabuse by Norbert Jacques, propaganda and lies and misinformation about copyright, Babylon Berlin, Metropolis by Thea von Harbou, Fritz Lang, VPN, Jorge Luis Borges, basically all the Conan stories are public domain, dictionary, Valley Of The Lost aka King Of The Forgotten People by Robert E. Howard, the eyestrain thing, a giant crab!, way more than Solomon Kane, historicals, Dark Agnes, Shadow Of The Vulture, People Of The Black Circle, Almuric, Revival by Stephen King, The Troop by Nick Cutter, The Seascape Tattoo by Larry Niven and Steve Barnes, not a big Heinlein fan?, how dare you, Isaac Asimov, see the weaknesses, good short stories, Arthur C. Clarke, the Foundation stories, The Goddess Of Atvatabar by William R. Bradshaw, a whole continent down there, Klim’s Journey Under The Ground by Ludvig Holberg, patterns, The Cats Of Ulthar by H.P. Lovecraft, H. Rider Haggard, Arthur Conan Doyle, Professor Challenger, cheap classics, import prices, Citizen Of The Galaxy, a month of pocket money, Saladin, disintegrating, Valentina by Fern Michaels, import bookstore, bodice rippers, Angélique by Anne Golon, highlanders, a romanticized version of the Vietnam War, a solid fantasy book, a great story, so filmic, American style, BBC’s The Tourist, TV American style, Doctor Who, really important, something squeecore, just broken.

Cassell And Company - The Brethren

The Brethren by H. Rider Haggard

The Brethren by H. Rider Haggard

The Brethren by H. Rider Haggard

The Brethren by H. Rider Haggard

The Brethren by H. Rider Haggard

The Brethren by H. Rider Haggard

The Brethren by H. Rider Haggard

The Brethren by H. Rider Haggard

The Brethren by H. Rider Haggard

The Brethren by H. Rider Haggard

CASSELL dust jacket The Brethren by H. Rider Haggard

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The SFFaudio Podcast #626 – READALONG: The Jewel Of Seven Stars by Bram Stoker

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #626 – Jesse, Maissa Bessada, Will Emmons, and Trish E. Matson talk about The Jewel Of Seven Stars by Bram Stoker.

Talked about on today’s show:
1903, 1912, there are 7 movie adaptations (at least), audio drama, no comic book adaptations except for one in Graphic Classics, how influential it is, Dracula, Dracula’s Guest, why excised, is it very similar to Dracula or very different from Dracula?, experimental, aka a lawyer, a school teacher, Lucy’s suitor, cowboy, the doctor, the Dutchman, brides don’t get names, not so much in the format, The Call Of Cthulhu by H.P. Lovecraft, the coziness, they way American television deals with stuff (its a cop show), Odile Thomas from Hypnogoria, Role Playing Game characters, the antiquarian, the daughter from away, the solicitor, the detective named Daw, a module, cause and effect are reversed, lifting from books, H. Rider Haggard, She, common elements, less problematic, less interesting, to chew over, perfectly okay, what filmmakers have done with it, story breaking, most of the people are breaking it from other versions of the movie, most movie makers watch movies and most novelists read novels, re-make, John Carpenter’s The Thing, The Thing From Outer Space (1951), Who Goes There? by John W. Campbell, novels are great at a lot of things, tricking you, the toolset is different, Blood From The Mummy’s Tomb (1971), the Hammer adaptation, the gothic style and mid-sixties fashion sense, period pieces, as Mr Jim Moon pointed out, the new woman, participants, Mina vs. Tera, the Dutchman’s journal, the cartouches, wearing men’s clothes, reincarnation is bullshit, the latest Tom Cruise mummy film, The Mummy (1999), Frankenstein, there is no definitive mummy story, what a general audience knows about mummies, they’re back, they’re cursed, and they’re out to get people, she’s wrapped but not embalmed, making prep for a return, I’m blossoming, this mummy was undead, regular mummydom, I have something here, it would have been a series… Dracula II: He’s Back, what’s going on in Tera’s plan, same plan as Dracula’s, a lost chapter, the earlier gods, back to the source gods, its really cool what she wants to do, go back to the beginning, where the magic is, raarrrh!, Silvio the cat, he has his own version of Tera, the vat is wiser than Margaret, what happens at the end of this novel?, fresh in Will’s brain, she’s back!, a less cynical read than Jesse does, a 5,000 year journey, the new woman, is it a threat?, yes, everybody’s a threat, how cops deal with people, resisting being killed, we’re all like that, you have hands, cup a tea or a slash with the knife, where she’s coming from, she’s a magician, a great sorcerer, she exceeded her teachers, look at her history, she murdered a lot of people, a menace, she goes through with the marriage, why?, not so much a takeover as a fulfillment of a plan, kind of like a detective story, he gets out a magnifying glass, it becomes a different kind of book, that skillset is not leaded, physically taken over by the spirit of Tera, Tera was manipulating the dad all along, a character named Winchester, the Egyptologist, Abel’s bedroom is actually a tomb, do not remove any of the items from it, let me lie in state, all the Egyptian tombs were active places of attendance, grave goods, by right of possession, he is the curse of this mummy, he’s got the agent off to get the lamps, all the deaths that happen in the excavations and expeditions are his responsibility, ways of understanding how people are understanding, The Awakening (1980), The Mystery Of Imagination’s Curse Of The Mummy Tomb (1970), they saved money, visually its more interesting, a teleplay, 100% behind, the country house, the train, the electricity, the difference in tone, happy in her domesticity, a happy life at home with her adoring husband, the sinister ending, decked out in the queen’s garments with a predatory expression on her face, the best adaptation, fashion issues, problematic fashion, stylish, the seven fingers, all the covers, sometimes caressing a jewel, Jesse can’t stop noticing, a sixth and seventh digit, the hand does a lot of extracurricular activities, Guy De Maupassant’s The Hand and The Withered Hand, Swinburne, mummy stuff around the house is like having a Tesla, Raiders Of The Lost Ark has no mummy but it does have a jewel, a pretty bad movie, its a horror movie, a suspense story, a supernatural story, The Omen, a certain tone, set before the novel starts, high concept, the whole story (but backwards), The Mummy Resurrected (2014) aka Resurrection Of The Mummy, super-terrible, on Tubi, The Eternal (1998), Christopher Walken, set in Ireland, a female iron age druidical bog mummy, almost like an art film, narrated from two childrens’ points of view, the curse is alcohol, thanks Jorge Luis Borges and Bram Stroker, a typo or not, a license and a rewrite, Lou Gosset Jr. Bram Stoker’s Mummy, very faithful and a complete mess, The Tomb (1986) deliberately and accidentally entertaining, musical sequences for no reason, not a good movie but also quite interesting, The Jewel Of *The* Seven Stars, this is wrongly titled, the happy ending, why is she evil, the Wikipedia summary of the plot, manipulated by evil Queen Tera, wreak her will on the end, she’s a Corbek, confusing, Heston’s amazing, he’s wearing the neckerchief, 18 years previous, a curse movie, when you look at a movie it tells you about its period, 1970s = divorce and marriage breakup, the wife is still alive, they are rhyming with the original story, servicing their own subconsciousnesses and serving the audiences, Bram Stoker loves this setup, one stranger from the United States, in good faith working together to solve the issue, “the great experiment”, this whirlpool, this orbit of this obsessive egyptologist, Silvio, we get to do with it whatever we want, she’s also a time traveler, one of the most famous novels of the 19th century, Looking Backward by Edward Bellamy, all the other films that are basically the same story, Lifeforce (1985), The Space Vampires by Colin Wilson, Hailey’s comet, a retelling of Dracula (in space), the disappearance of her body, she’s astrally all over the place, she’s a star rover, she’s cosmically aware, where’d he get his money, smuggler drug dealers, Cornish smugglers, re-setup your tomb, all the stars aligned, why it was a craze, a very meta-situation, its not because the Egyptians were obsessed with death, China has mummies from 2,000 years ago, a Chinese mummy, “Lady Dai”, decanted from a mysterious liquid, melons, you can see her tongue, changing lives, windows into a period of time from so long ago, Tera has weaponized our interest, knowledge of forethought, alive again in a physical body, the treasurer with the spear, she wanted to be excavated, English servant, a lower class (?) man who knows evil when he sees it, an elite functionary in a think tank, a weapon for hire, genuinely fascinated, Mad Mike Hoare, Egyptology instead of killing, he’s our klaxon, Silvio is our klaxon, robbing tombs, assuaging European guilt, revenge from a great Empire from 5,000 years ago, a decadent civilization, her evil is less Catholic, she’s willful, I’ve got this whole other system going, why would it be deleted?, it underscores the more bleak vision, the ambiguous ending (1912), why Silvio has seven claws on one foot, its really Silvio’s story, her familiar, cat vs. snake, a grey cat, a tabby, the only female pharaoh of upper and lower Egypt, was Hatshepsut gender fluid?, the trappings of masculinity, her name was obliterated, when we think about kings and queens in ancient days, do whatever they want, financial freedom, you can be a gladiator!, strucken, the blasphemy of their life, resistance to the priestly class, the priestly class today, flourish, be your true self, two extra digits, upper and lower, a full and healthy life and an extra life, Ayesha was evil, manipulative vs. evil, presidents and speakers of the houses, is it seven?, a description:

He was certainly a magnificent animal. A chinchilla grey Persian with long silky hair; a really lordly animal with a haughty bearing despite his gentleness; and with great paws which spread out as he placed them on the ground.

a Lovecraftian description of a cat, a good command of language, quite engaging, slow paced, only 10 hours, quite respectably good prose, beautifully written, smooth and easy to read, Will disagrees, cut out about a third, how efficient that 1970 TV movie adaptation is, no train ride, the gas mask, compressed scenes, it could have been shortened, he cut it the wrong place, commercial instinct, he was a stage manager at an acting theater (a playhouse), tweaking to improve stories, playing to it, right from the beginning, the opening chapter is a dream, this is how Tera manipulates people

It all seemed so real that I could hardly imagine that it had ever occurred before; and yet each episode came, not as a fresh step in the logic of things, but as something expected. It is in such a wise that memory plays its pranks for good or ill; for pleasure or pain; for weal or woe. It is thus that life is bittersweet, and that which has been done becomes eternal.

ways of reading this,

Again, the light skiff, ceasing to shoot through the lazy water as when the oars flashed and dripped, glided out of the fierce July sunlight into the cool shade of the great drooping willow branches—I standing up in the swaying boat, she sitting still and with deft fingers guarding herself from stray twigs or the freedom of the resilience of moving boughs. Again, the water looked golden-brown under the canopy of translucent green; and the grassy bank was of emerald hue. Again, we sat in the cool shade, with the myriad noises of nature both without and within our bower merging into that drowsy hum in whose sufficing environment the great world with its disturbing trouble, and its more disturbing joys, can be effectually forgotten. Again, in that blissful solitude the young girl lost the convention of her prim, narrow upbringing, and told me in a natural, dreamy way of the loneliness of her new life. With an undertone of sadness she made me feel how in that spacious home each one of the household was isolated by the personal magnificence of her father and herself; that there confidence had no altar, and sympathy no shrine; and that there even her father’s face was as distant as the old country life seemed now. Once more, the wisdom of my manhood and the experience of my years laid themselves at the girl’s feet. It was seemingly their own doing; for the individual “I” had no say in the matter, but only just obeyed imperative orders. And once again the flying seconds multiplied themselves endlessly. For it is in the arcana of dreams that existences merge and renew themselves, change and yet keep the same—like the soul of a musician in a fugue. And so memory swooned, again and again, in sleep.

who is having the dream, an Egyptian river aka the Nile, a brief boating expedition with Miss Trelawny, Tera inserting herself,

It seems that there is never to be any perfect rest. Even in Eden the snake rears its head among the laden boughs of the Tree of Knowledge. The silence of the dreamless night is broken by the roar of the avalanche; the hissing of sudden floods; the clanging of the engine bell marking its sweep through a sleeping American town; the clanking of distant paddles over the sea…. Whatever it is, it is breaking the charm of my Eden. The canopy of greenery above us, starred with diamond-points of light, seems to quiver in the ceaseless beat of paddles; and the restless bell seems as though it would never cease….

coming out of the dream, the doorbell, the knocking, you know about the plow, big dipper, Polaris, north of Egypt, he’s definitely a good writer,

The record of a soul is but a multiple of the story of a moment.

deep time, the Egyptians didn’t have a dualist perspective, Jews tend not to go with dualism, there’s your Ka, your astral thing, your body, your id, your ego, your superego, programs inside, my brain is a computer, my mind is the software running on the computer, glitches and reboots (sleep), how does it technically work for Tera, a takeover?, a new vessel, pour your spirit, the dualist take on it, all part of Tera’s plan, moments of clarity, William Wilson by Edgar Allan Poe, don’t fall asleep because you die and some guy wakes up in the morning with your memories, The Body Snatchers, a worse version of you, let’s share this space, she’s like an immigrant, old and new, the upstairs and the batcave, the upper and lower, bring the foreign into England, central to the Empire, the author wrote the book, he’s the guiding hand, he doesn’t have full access to why he’s doing stuff, inhabited by Tera, giving permission, the old woman who’s the new woman, I’ve killed 9 people in the last 5,000 years, ancient alien metal, aerolite, meteorites, star spawned, a magic sword, star connected, she is in some way divine, a symbol of something, the devil is real in a certain sense, numerology, explained as science, the radium that is so prominent, an astral body, hey pick up that fork, corporeal transference, there need be no bounds, its fun to taste stuff, you don’t want to have a sequel, the wrong scale, the possibilities opened up, Will doing his Farmer impression, what the ka does, the Riverworld series, When The World Shook by H. Rider Haggard, a millionaire socialist, a striking resemblance, reincarnation, a science fiction plan to destroy the world, theosophical adventures start to become science fiction stories, so many valances, gothic or weird stories, that X-Files feel, The Jewel Of Seven Stones by Seabury Quinn, Weird Tales, April 1928, a bad priest and a good princess, less ambiguous, Jules de Grandin, no deep philosophy and stuff, read more Bram Stoker, The Crystal Cup by Bram Stoker, super-obscure, very abstract, souls, what does it mean?, a cup filled with nothing in it, taking the reality of materialism and transmuting it into poetic beauty, a stage play, it could be a short film, there’s no characters except for the cup and the light, A Voyage To Arcturus by David Lindsay, super-cool and very weird, a feature length no budget film adaptation, A Princess Of Mars with LSD, how John Carter gets to Mars, various relationship, the party, the tower, suicidal action, metaphysical, audiobook and readalong available in the feed, Will’s cup of tea, down for more stoker, subtle, she’s got a plan.

The Awakening (1980)

Bram Stoker's The Mummy (1998)

Blood From The Mummy's Tomb (1971)

The Tomb (1986) VHS

BORIS VALLEJO cover of The Jewel Of Seven Stars by Bram Stoker

The Jewel Of Seven Stars by Bram Stoker

FRENCH edition of The Jewel Of Seven Stars by Bram Stoker

Oxford Paperback - The Jewel Of Seven Stars by Bram Stoker

ZEBRA - The Jewel Of Seven Stars, 1979

The Jewel Of Seven Stars by Bram Stoker, Arrow 1975

ARROW - The Jewel Of Seven Stars (1962)

Arrow - The Jewel Of Seven Stars by Bram Stoker

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The SFFaudio Podcast #606 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: Behind The Curtain by Francis Stevens

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #606 – Behind The Curtain by Francis Stevens; read by Mary Jo Escano.

This unabridged reading of the story (29 minutes) is followed by a discussion of it.

Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Paul Weimer, and Maissa Bessada

Talked about on today’s show:
Famous Fantastic Mysteries, All-Story Weekly, the original, Mary Jo Escano, Connor Kaye, an inversion of The Cask Of Amontillado, unhinged, paranoid, the slight, Reading, Short And Deep, The Purloined Letter, hiding something in plain sight, C. Auguste Dupin, Voltaire’s Zadig, the origin of Sherlock Holmes, a couple of lines in Latin, a story from ancient Greece, like most people, the content of the letter, blackmail, Poe is so twisted, feed the child to the parent, revenge, the general outline Fortunato is unlikely, don’t tread on me, a foot stamping on a snake, coded, carnival day, the way the story is framed, you who know me so well, a return to the frame, fifty years, confess to a murder crime, confessing to his confessor, a little twist, an unrepentant evil fuck, bad deal, Poe is very revengy, Francis Stevens, Terrence E. Hanley’s blog, the math, the golden age for SF is 12, a new edition of Poe came out when Francis Stevens was 12, H.G. Wells, a number of Poe stories, read and listened, a whole other story, every single line, incredibly interesting how much work each little thing does, densely short, idea matrix, dream, didn’t feel cheated, Castalia House, more Lovecrafty, Schrodinger’s Beatrice, a back frame, The Turn Of The Screw, the dream thank god was a lie, what was the dream, both, this avenging poison, really questioning, this is an actual dream Francis Stevens had, Lovecraft’s letters, Jesse’s dreams, this thesis, dreams and creative writing are basically the same thing, multiple passes, the power of dreams, if that’s not the case, that’s how the narrator tells the story, dreams are very slippery things, worried that something in the dream is reality, what you feared, neglecting pets [sooo neglecty], undo, what is actually real, everyone they say has a streak of incipient madness, the potentiality, Beatrice wants a divorce, Santallos, she was going for italiante, Spanish background, The Fall Of The House Of Usher, a mummy in his house, read stories then write based on prominent, at 3am on your birthday, a very long dream

Dreamt I traveled to a small island nation, a tourist destination, &took the usual tourist trap tour with a semi-stranger. He’d lured me there like Harley Warren, with hints& half-promises about some semi-history some semi-mythology of that island nation. A Twitter acquaintance, I was his Randolph Carter, his audience and student. We toured the caves with the others, but at a certain passage broke with the group and wound down tunnels of the known path. There he pointed out subtle signs no local guide would mention or noticed. A glyph here, a scratch there. And eventually he showed me the wall which concealed that culminating theory, or so he said. I feared my Carter might be his Fortunato and said so. But his knowing laugh reassured and also frightened me. He asked my help in rolling the wall, a large round rock, aside and I did, and with my small extra strength added to his the wall moved. We pass into the passage beyond and found evidence that the island’s rumors about a great power once visiting but somehow sparing them the devastation of similar remote island nations to be literally true. For beyond that wall we found a small group of skeletons seated round in a ring. Each a cup in their bony hands. Each cup contained a reddish residue and as I [p]awed and sniffed at the bottle between them my semi-acquaintance explained the scene to me. They’d crashed their ship upon the island’s rocky shores, he said, after being wrecked upon them by a swirling tempest. But surviving and being provisioned, their leader, a ship’s surgeon told the poxxy crew they could expect a rescue and relief. But this had been a ruse for the surgeon somehow knew that his European crew carried a disease too deadly to be treated on the isolated natives of this island nation and so instead he’d planned a party where in truth he’d drugged their wine, and collapsed the cave wall behind which lay this sordid scene.

I sat there stunned.

How could this Twitter acquaintance know all this about this hidden history, this suicidal plan, this involuntary pact, this truly tainted tontine in which all its members had only learned their fate at the hands of their deceaser doctor who himself imbibed the tainted wine?

Again

my Twitter acquaintance, nigh a friend, laughed and explained his morbid methodology.

And as I heard his terrible words, and sniffed again at that reddish residue I realized that the island’s isolated events and the ships surgeon from long ago were less a quaint [story] than a repeating pattern and as this realization dawned upon me and he laughed the final words I heard that round rock roll back into place as I awoke to write these words.”

no joke, experience the horror, deliberative cruelty, a wind so strong, a bunch of images, quite interesting, now I’ve gone too far, that happens in this story, really cool, Poe-esque, less something to be proud of than to be interested in, How Jesse Dreams podcast, 6 weird words,

HIS GREAT GRANDSIRE’S WILL by Jesse
Upon the death of his despised great grandfather, the portly boy was surprised to learn he had been bestowed his mouldering ancestral estate, consisting of a remote mountain fortress, a deep black lake, and crumbling thatch-roofed stables.
Yet when he first visited that stone citadel, that deep still tarn, and those rotting horse stalls, the ample boy was not particularly impressed with his great grandsire’s wizardry.
But the more he investigated that ancient demesne the more the big boy came to appreciate his great grandfather’s antiquarian peculiarities.
So it was particularly poignant when one November evening the rotund boy was plumbing the depths of the manor’s many cellars when, after sliding aside a purple velour curtain, he discovered the shriveled and still swinging corpse of his great grandfather in a magnificent rocking chair.
Shocked, but no longer surprised, the seemingly faithless boy instantly kicked his old ancestor’s body out of the chair, draped that sumptuous violet hanging about his still plush shoulders, seated himself, laughed and began to rock.
When in the spring sunshine they eventually found him in that basement of that shining citadel, the boy’s body was dry and desiccated, the stables had been rebuilt, the lake was lush with lively loons, and a freshly empty casket lay resplendent in an upper turret.
THE END

Jesse writes better in his dreams, the original Virgil Finlay illustration, having Poe on your mind, a Poe-ish story, in your reading gets inside of you, how this story was constructed, a cliche, and it was all a dream, genuinely what it is, it feels like it was written by a woman, the way he talks about the other male, the female gaze, he sat in the woman’s chair, he wishes he could see himself, his litheness of his body, its almost like a gay thing, sometimes Jesse’s not in his own dreams, third person dreams, an expy, Maissa doesn’t know whose in her dreams, interfering with access, designed to be forgettable, kettle on the stove, dream memory would harm reality if it persisted, looking for the cat you’ve never owned, maladaptive, I must be enjoying it while its happening, try to hold on to dreams, free association, a deliberately difficult order, the arbitrariness of dreams, how could this work?, writing your way out of it, plotters vs. pantsers, writing by the seats of your pants, the unpublished first novel of Clark Ashton Smith (The Black Diamonds), a Dungeons & Dragons adventure, an old castle, rotting tapestry, another dinner, there’s wrestling, a mysterious letter delivered by a bird, you are now my enemy, forsworn, no explanation, this wonderful imagination, he’s got the right attitude, the font is too small, why it is a dream story, she read a lot of Edgar Allan Poe and she had this dream, her own personal psychology, Poe’s life, his parents, his adoptive family, super-randy, romanced everybody around, you better straighten up, defiant, West Point, excelled and kicked out, a trouble maker, Tomahawk Poe, how mean he was, Baltimore Gazette, trouble holding a job, alcoholic, Poe’s executor was his enemy, Poe was not a normal person, Francis Stevens was a normal person (extraordinarily gifted), not a Harlan Ellison type, Poe would be very tiring, we have to work with this guy, he’s the son of the boss, the narrator is upset by the actions he thought he took, he didn’t kill Beatrice, but he thought about it, jealousy, putative lover, yay my marriage failed, easy come easy go (but its not that easy), the timing of this story, 1918 vs. 1922, King Tut’s tomb, waves of Egyptmania, a little premature, The Mummy, 1940, its very short, subtle, authentic, she was 34 when this story came out, the bulk of her stories appear The Curious Experience Of Thomas Dunbar, the superhero Sampson, the very first superhero story, super-science, comic-booky, unrelated experiments, all of the metal, vibranium or adamantium, like Captain America, tremendous strength, the mythological character, written when she was a teenager, she’s got something, a real dynamism, it feels clunky at the beginning, it’s a short story, to be sure of my visitor, this is all planned, our friend, our Beatrice, it throws you off, a blast of sharp November air, each purple curtain, from Poe, ah distinctly I remember, wrought its ghost upon the floor, burn, I had to throw my weight upon the door, the storm without (he thinks), you’re very cautions, a password, this house stands somewhat alone, thieves everywhere, full of import, a feat of considerable muscles, sarcophagus, yes, the woman it contains, don’t you agree?, counterfeited a shudder, mummy horror, selling everything, tear jars and tombstones, a meme, drinking a cup full of “liberal tears”, making light, that relationship, neglecting his wife, another Poe story, The Oval Portrait, her name is not insignificant, trying to escape a bad relationship, she just wants to have it quits, the kind of chair that women love but most men loathe, like a cat, occasional blundering candor, the litheness of his body, why does he want to be understood?, with a single exception, the entire lot is going to the dealers, the costume of the mummy, he’s transferred his affection, very weird, where is Beatrice, a sea-cruise, another Poe story, The Oblong Box, its a coffin, Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick, the coffin as a flotation device, she’s in her boudoir?, we don’t know, what’s behind the curtain?, what is the curtain?, the dream?, the space between life and death?, the rosy velour curtain, constantly billowing, a rose coloured sail, must be a door behind there, huh?, my voice checked him, are you quite strong enough to close that door, chin on shoulder, his face seemed scarcely familiar?, what door is it?, his eyes fled mine, the invading winds, Annabelle Lee, you feel like you’re with them, heft to the things, the foot of the gilded case, gilded cage, a prisoner of his own thoughts and his own fear and his own making, he can’t escape them, a repulsive fantasy, yes?, you are too lovely Beatrice, you shall have your freedom, the father’s friend sent the wine, a very female story, kill with poison, enemy and himself, a murder suicide, none of us are going to survive that night, The Sleeper, a story not just a description, by the tomb by the sea by his Annabelle Lee, big frost ship poem, The Rime Of The Ancient Mariner, you’re walking down the highway, who are you?, its a story of necrophilia, a dude like Romeo outside of a house, she’s either dead or asleep, The Sleeper, curtains, superhard to understand, a nice tomb (she deserves it), to hear the echo (that’s a ghost), the horror of your loved one being dead, your in-laws, if Beatrice is to die, she should be given the most grand tomb imaginable, the mummy’s tomb, be with her (kinda), definitely thinking about it, the underdog stand, one more try, my father’s jealous blood, the mummy or his wife?, he was paying more attention, let her mate with who she would, my brown perfect princess of the Nile, as I had seen it in my vision, did he do that?, he was prepping, prepping for the murder, so good, page 41, erect in the doorway, more beautiful, bound across her bosom, amulets, the amulet of purity of the heart, Dante Alighieri, lost in the dusk of her hair, the flesh of any of us three, what he says about her hair, pallor, an interesting growth, the billowing of the titular curtain, the same totem, the catacombs, a distraction to Fortunato, the niter, it grows, an indication of growth in death, bird poo, an alchemical idea, crystalline growth, do you notice the curtain it blows?, half the estate, even to the sarcophagus itself, the unclosed frozen eyes, a motif used again again, Dream-Land, there the king hath forbid the uplifting of the fringed lid, the courtesy due a guest, a gauge, a measure of his suffering, drive home the jest, you’re joking with me, dressed in motley, a jester, Beatrice had seen, Romeo And Juliet, Pyramus and Thisbe, any use, the melting pot of dissolution, almost Lovecraftian, you asked what door, there are doors and doors dear, charming friend, close it now in my face, wither you have, the heavy heavy door of the Osiris, very cool story, so many layers, more notes from Connor, pretty much a reasonable person, to consummate their affair, juicy horror elements, without plot being committed, a reasonable person, your writing sucks, dude, a magician’s act, the whole dream is a magic trick, the stage assistant has not been sawn in half, a comparison between Beatrice and the dead princess, changed vs. unchanging, the dead princess, he can project all his stuff onto her, no, no I hate those, watching movies with his mummy bride, their all independently wealthy, take your stuff home to work with you, one story in Weird Tales, Sunfire, running out of Francis Stevens to read, alas!, three stories to go, The Thrill Book, Impulse, set in the Society Islands Of The South Pacific, how much we will enjoy this story, completely gone, Friend Island, make sure you keep a copy, and that’s that, evocative, stuff to say, Unseen—Unfeared, Google Books, one photo of Francis Stevens (unattributed), why she stopped, some falling out with her kid, alternative dates for her birth and death, changed her name again?, R.M. Burrows, with women its hard, Lovecraft’s name is unusual, we don’t quite have the technology yet, new stuff gets scanned, 1948 newspaper Washington, D.C., Book Club called The Outsiders, first order of business, write a stern letter to the government, Weird Tales was banned in Washington, D.C., “different stories”, like a television channel, “The Unique Magazine”, those misfits, the weird stories, this isn’t a science fiction story, its not even a fantasy story, a horror story, a Poe story, not following a particular set of tropes, why I like Francis Stevens.

Behind The Curtain by Francis Stevens - Illustration by Virgil Finlay

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The SFFaudio Podcast #580 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: Pygmalion’s Spectacles by Stanley G. Weinbaum

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #580 – Pygmalion’s Spectacles by Stanley G. Weinbaum; read by Gregg Margarite. This is an unabridged reading of the story (42 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Paul Weimer, and Will Emmons

Talked about on today’s show:
Wonder Stories, June 1935, 1939, 1949, the only text you should be reading is the original, dead guy friend of mine, Gregg Margarite, trim ankles, the board of trade, to make real a dream, what you hate is conquered, compressed for space, Startling Stories publication, the Scientifiction Hall Of Fame, busts of Poe, Wells, Doyle and Verne, stand the test of time, this is the “subscribe and hit the little bell” of the era, we are those people they’re talking about, an incredibly important story, Weinbaum would have been a much bigger name, from Louisville, Kentucky, Will’s a baby, A Martian Odyssey, so pioneering, here’s what an alien would look like, wrinkles on his head, again and again, super-cartoonish, an early cyberpunk story, philosophical questions, all about that, he does it all without computers, he’s inventing virtual reality, bio tech, his explanation, Marissa, 1990 VR, computer games, this is a computer game, blowing heat cool and scent on your face, the idea of getting yourself into the matrix, just the tip of the iceberg, he’s doing a bunch of impossible things, no body suit, its all in your head, its all scripted, Call Of Duty single player on rails, Fallout, nobody, wanderer, gender neutral, in Mass Effect your last name is always Shepherd, does Galatea have a history, does she have volition, she’s just an NPC, he put all that shit in here in 1935, you cooperated, self-hypnosis, Paul felt it, buying into the illusion, Paul did it to himself, eXistenZ (1999), Inception (2010), the laws of their land, programming rules, yo, just on the tip of her lips, she’s all ROM she has no RAM, prefigures emotionally unhealthy attachments, Kreiger’s Waifu on Archer, 29 or 30 year old bachelor, sexy ankles, drunk in Central Park, he falls in love with this NPC, the intellectual frameworks, they’re just like us just a little more racist, the actress is a real person, she’s an undergraduate, I can make my real life this game, grokked it as well then?, she makes a plan to leave the land (like her mom) by dying, an NPC character to refuse her programming, in dying she may be able to escape, paracosma is “the world beyond”, our world is the fallen world, the shadow realm, bullshit laws, shitty jobs, no big deal, he’s got other liquids, did she exist before he went into the matrix?, how the whole story started, our gnome/elf, a deliberate word choice, wearing the camera on his head like a google car, filming VR sex, short guys, dejected, it doesn’t scale, (and IRL VR doesn’t scale), the positive, the electrolysis, why VR isn’t as popular in our world, Burke, Professor Ludwig, Mad King Ludwig, Weinbaum’s very erudite, Greek roots, sat down in a chair, the girlfriend experience, a dating sim, romantic training, filming at his campus near Chicago, saying things not in his own voice, maybe the program that he’s running has a memory, the backstory about the mother, she broke the law, the previous guy, my destiny is to have a female baby girl also called Galatea, things we can’t talk about, its not just a story about cool VR, The Elf Trap by Francis Stevens, a science fiction way of getting into the fantasy realm, a nymph, a dryad, givem a break, super-rich full, secondard world stuff, its SCIENCE FICTION, Planet Stories, tech consequences, gravity, how mass works, social relations, rocketships, an alien worm come to earth, becoming interstellar, space opera (vs horse opera), Edgar Rice Burroughs’ barsoom, genuine science fiction, if you don’t read this, a Hugo Gernsback magazine, GENUINE SF, almost in a way H.G. Wells doesn’t do, previewing things that are possible, thinking about computer programming without computers, thinking out of the box, what alien minds could be like, human psychology in relation to a conceivable, Plato’s cave, truly speculative, a utopia, totally not a utopia, what sells in games, Strange Brigade, co-op The Mummy, first person shooter, the opposite of the a first person shooter, sword fighting games, boxing games, violence based games, The Long Dark, making coffee and chopping wood, the reason I can’t sell this, the program is wrong, really interesting things about sexuality, gender selection and gene mixing, a clone of her mom, no disease, no need for genetic diversity, more impervious to diseases, you don’t need social cohesion with an infinite number of valleys, WWI sim, the wrong program, an echo of Eden, to leave means you can’t return, the perfect place, a fantasy, it represents a pre-state, even plants are in competition, representing the womb, the womb’s a nice place, are there any animals, bird-song but no birds, she doesn’t know any of those, the whole universe of that world doesn’t have them, it doesn’t obey the rules of our reality, ultimately underneath everything, to avoid the problems of clones, Paul’s head cannon, he’s romancing his own niece, for show, he you wanna meet my niece?, in the Glorantha role playing universe…, she’s looking for someone to pollinate her, Will doesn’t know what ‘too far’ is, a sign of the current moment, none of the plants are plants, club-mosses, another world, a dangling thread, the fictional universe within the story, immersive experiences, Star Maker by Olaf Stapledon, the other men, relating on the level of taste, radio that send taste to your hands, the radio-bliss, very bad, communists, don’t do it, everyone wanted to get in on the radio-bliss, is there a difference between the fictional universe and the real life?, this actress who played this character I fell in love in, this magic liquid, I’m going to move to New Zealand and marry Lucy Lawless, a whole other level, willing suspension disbelief, not our words, passively accepting the words, his words are not in his voice, how did he film himself?, a whole other level, the silver weaver, he’s both, wow, Lucon the grey weaver, philometrios the measure of my love, a lot of water in this story, he let himself grow old, Robert Nozick’s experience or the pleasure machine, ethical hedonism, pleasure is the good, value theorists, classical utilitarians, hedonism is defeated, would we prefer the machine to real life?, an overriding reason, philosophy is very behind science fiction these days, a philosophy generator, the movie adaptation of this story we read, the 1980s classic: Mannequin (1987), the story of Pygmalion, the sculptor doesn’t like girls, he idealizes a woman, a statue comes to life, two other stories, The Oval Portrait by Edgar Allan Poe, a reversal of this story, The Painter of Dead Women by Edna Worthley Underwood, a serial killer, that same attitude, some deranged sex maniac, he ignores her to death, statuesque women, a perennial theme (The Smart Set, January 1910), engaging with obsessing over the beauty of women, that really old deep story, Robert W. Chambers, how did the artist do that, a still photograph into a digital painting, copying and creating and transferring ideas, how the liquid positive works, photographic techniques, motion pictures, talkies, it’s like that, what about this story?, every drop has the whole story, every drop of the guava juice that I’m drinking tastes like guava juice, her milky white skin, the milky colour of the liquid in the goggles, he really did know what he was doing, he wasn’t looking for what the market was saying, an idea man, we were hurt by his death, a tragedy, Campbell’s influence, so much fucking telepathy, the same bunk, they didn’t know it at the time, they didn’t think what they were talking about was bunk, race science, Charles Murray’s IQ theory, eugenics mania, race is as bad a concept as we’ve had in science, phlogiston, nobody ever gets upset somebody used to be a phlogiston theorist, ether theory, plate tectonics, the expanding universe, nobody cancels them, not knowing how oxygen works, the consequence are not the same, the white man’s burden, self-justifying, Russiagate stuff, if you buy into it at all, all we can do is try to deprogram you, you’re choosing to be fooled, they’re not communists, “adversaries”, massive consequences to mistaken beliefs, the heat death of the universe is so far away, Tau Zero by Poul Anderson, Paul got the gist, flavour text, trim ankle flavour, a comic adaption, Graphic Classics, Marvel adaptation, a 70s Curtis magazine, Jack Vance, Lester Del Rey, L. Sprague de Camp, Kim Stanley Robinson, time to research into his other stuff, Dawn Of Flame, The New Adam, his isfdb.org, mars, alien, telepathy, alien ecology, space pirates, silicon life, tidal locking, doppelganger, fatalism, passivity, mutation, collective consciousness, intelligent plants, more time spent reading A Martian Odyssey, a separate thread, classic twitter, modern stuff and old stuff, W. Scott Poole, the name change of Matheson, this bothered me, but not a lot, the show doesn’t have the horror tone, Potter-world feel, Netflix is for kids, Russian Doll, a woman caught in a time loop, all Jesse’s students under 20, Locke & Key, kids are more resilient to fictionalized violence and horror than what adults think they’re able to handle, adults triggers, Jesse warped and weird, horror is for simulating trauma, we didn’t talk about spoilers don’t spoil.

Pygmalion's Spectacles

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #570 – READALONG: The Sound Of His Horn by Sarban

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #570 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, and Olav Rokne talk about The Sound Of His Horn by Sarban

Talked about on today’s show:
1952, the great Stefan Rudnicki, Dying Inside by Robert Silverberg, gravitas, how much should we think of it as a great book?, 100 best novels 1946-1987, number 12 amongst fantasy novels, a fantasy novel or a science fiction novel, an alternate history kick, The Man In The High Castle, Harry Turtledove, The Guns Of The South, Lest Darkness Fall, Bring The Jubilee, For Want Of A Nail by Robert Sobel, here today in 2019?, Axis victory novels, In The Presence Of Mine Enemies, techno veneer, the toxic nostalgia at the heart of fascism, the rejection of modernity, sylvan existence, mythologizing of the past, neo-feudalism, 100 years after reign?, The War For German Rights, not that far from our future, 2030s, Fuhrer means God now, Living Space by Isaac Asimov, kinda like Sliders, barely even know who Hitler was, the SS rituals, race theory, eugenics, genetic engineering, lions and dogs, vegetarian vs. Hermann Goering’s aesthetic, a symbolism book, vs. Albert Speer’s vision, SS-GB by Len Deighton, Fatherland by Robert Harris, Nazi-world, an analog for life behind the Berlin Wall, Kit, slightly tweaking the ideology, the world we don’t see, what makes it such an intriguing book, tech, the support system for a game preserve on a private estate, the horror of a Nazi regime, Two Dooms by C.M. Kornbluth, the body horror, fear horror, a Gothic castle, an anticipation not fully fulfilled, the Wild Hunt, was it real or was it all a delusion?, Deities & Demigods, the Huntmaster, Thor, driving game, myths versus legends, hearing the horn, join the hunt or become one of the hunted, pre-fascism, Herne The Hunter, inarticulate dread, fantastic stories, The Hounds Of Zaroff aka The Most Dangerous Game by Richard Connell, unencumbered from morality, a throwback, not the only one, Hans von Hackleburg, the curse of the Baskervilles, The Hound Of The Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle, an evil morality, inferring the system, a strong warning, people who have suffered gender or race based violence, Allan’s fears, creeped, sexism, misogynist, anti-human, women are turned into cats and men are turned into hounds, a vegetarian argument, Pierre Boulle’s Planet Of The Apes, the difference between of human and prey, The Oval Portrait by Edgar Allan Poe, The Turn Of The Screw by Henry James, the framing story, a four hour audiobook, 42 minutes into the book, almost 1/4 of the story is the frame, two narrators, authenticated, kinda fun, The Wolf or The White Wolf by Guy de Maupassant, a wonderful funny horrible story, kill everything, a true story of France, strangles it “gently”, true from one end to the other, less about gender than it is about class, Reichmaster of Forests, the cat girls and the fiance in the frame, it could be interpreted that way, the descriptions of meat were stomach churning, “The unspeakable in pursuit of the uneatable!”, The Yellow Book (magazine), the book inside the book, the yellow 90s, a decadent book, Wayne June, $1.50 in 1895, a book for artists and high class folks, before he’s arrested and thrown in prison he’s playing a game, An Ideal Husband, The Importance Of Being Earnest, powerful versus popular, when Hillary Clinton was on Saturday Night Live, they pull their punches, Trump has been on Saturday Night Live, too thin skinned, more thin skinned, if you offend too much you’re going to get in trouble, going to far, Sinéad O’Connor, too true, not politic, a vegetarian propagandist book, I’m not so sure, the cat, a metonym for his wife, Kit, why doesn’t he want to tell her?, some distant 100 year old future, a screed against an activity she so enjoys, the terror, a world famous hunter, trophy room, a bridge too far, what is animal and what is human, a lot of science fiction, The Island Of Doctor Moreau by H.G. Wells but with Nazis, vivisection, The Time Machine, unreliable narrators, Wells allusions, another thread, utopian futures, the Bellamy school, Edward Bellamy’s Looking Backward, Robert A. Heinlein’s For Us, The Living, Just Imagine, The Marching Morons by C.M. Kornbluth, Idiocracy (2006), Rip Van Winkle by Washington Irving, Buck Rogers In The 25th Century, it’s a happy liberal future inside the city and homeless and we don’t spend time with the homeless people who are outside the city everybody is super happy enjoying their fancy clothes with robots and they spend time in outer space fighting Ming The Merciless and then outside the city we never talk about those dirty disgusting folks, it’s the same thing, clones of each other, a Marxist analysis of Gil Gerard’s Buck Rogers, intellectual property, we haven’t had a Space: 1999, a good point, the Dille family trust, Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle, we don’t need more Buck Rogers, overdosed on Superman, When Worlds Collide by Philip Wylie and Edwin Balmer, the sequel, that Galt’s Gulch stuff, we are the elites, this lifeboat is for us, that comedy movie 2012 (2009) an unofficial reboot, Elon Musk is like Heinlein, Wernher von Braun was a fuckin SS nazi, D.D. Harriman, we don’t cut anything, dancing around The Sound Of His Horn, aged more in the last 25 years than in its first 40, more dated now, the ponderousness, become more of its time, flowery beautiful description, oooh this stuff is wonderful, the material is perfect for what it is, maybe its the relationship people have to it, imagine reading The Man In The High Castle in the 1960s, WWII was that much closer, its only aged in its relationship to us, a piece of art rather than a commercial work designed to put bums in seats, much more intellectual despite physical, spectacle, Blumhouse horror torture porn, the first Saw movie, the explanation is not the point the exclamation point was the point, the novel medium, dwelling more on certain paragraphs and certain sentences, immerse in Allan’s plight, feel his fear and apprehension, spend more time noticing connections between the outer narrator’s story and the inner narrator’s story, academic theses that nobody reads vs. big long blog posts that analyze the shit out of stuff, so many things in the meals in the hall the torchbearers, is that what I think it is?, trussing up the girls they’ve hunted as if they’re going to eat them, its not cannibalism its more like sadism and rape, the gentlemanly country estate of England vs. Nazi baronial estate, the two teams that went to war, the two cages (the POW camp and the estate), the games that they play within, another camp on the outside, concentration camps, slave labour employed, servants vs. slaves, not so much “you need to become a vegan, today” vs. considering the feelings of others, otherkin, a call for empathy, dwelling on the results of war and that setting, more connections sparking away, reading it in paper, not an easy book if you get squicked out, surgically modified, running to fat, brain surgery, bred, what’s happening to Kit, sent for reeducation, something to practice on, utopias and dystopias, all a part of a flow, patterns repeating throughout, in a dystopian novel it feels like everything is frozen, here’s a society that is perfected, Kim Stanley Robinson’s Pacific Edge, lots of little shitbirds fucking things up, we’re in a system headed in a good direction, Nineteen-Eighty Four, Brave New World, the resistance was gelded, News From Nowhere by William Morris, everybody should be an artist, The Wood Beyond The World, a rural paradise, adding a lot of filigrees to their hoes, a science fiction fantasy, things can’t change, we have that within us too, cultivating good habits, coming to a steady state, we’ve refined our morality, we’re refined our diets, and we’ve brushed our hair in just the right way, Francis Fukuyama’s the end of history, NATO’s still a thing, yup, life’s ridiculous, people can be cruel, Jesse doesn’t visit the United States, when Peter Watts got the shit kicked out of him at the border, if you give in, drawing lines in the sand, a job in Texas, if Bernie wins, the abuses heaped upon the Nazis are justified, a personal story, personally suffered, one nice way to read it, a walking dream, walking across Eastern Europe, he walks 100 years into the future, a daydream, he spins up the whole story, has this happened more than once to him?, falling back into fairy, The Elf-Trap by Francis Stevens, no fay element, Paul is arguing against himself, Thomas the Rhymer, mental illness, we don’t have perfect access to that, Oberon and Titania, torches as an affectation, plastic cup technology, high quality clothing, rich folks, not about the Nazis, what they did in Africa, you can’t really tell stories about swaths of people, stories about individuals, those personal relationships with a culture, without that frame the story doesn’t work very well, he is questioning hisself, speculating about Sarban’s knowledge of the crimes of the British Empire, parallels, Great Britain’s colonial history vs. the crimes of the Nazis, surveillance, no conscious critique of the British, what is our relationship to hunting, they do it unconsciously, a turkey hunt, why there are no lions, bears, and wolves in England, the gauleiter’s fake hunt, hunting fish in a barrel, mini-golf hunting, Barkerville, British Columbia, you pay for the pan the bag and the trough, a fake experience, not training, an ersatz experience, the reichforester has contempt for everybody around him, why is it like that?, a Medieval Times restaurant in Nazi Germany, its good to go out for a walk, a safe walk in nature, Mark Twain: golf as a good walk ruined, facial hair, the incarnation of the wildness, I will save you for another moon, a Nazi Utopia is a dystopia for the reichforester (he’s a manager at Disneyworld), I didn’t expect it to be like this, its different, what Sarban means: the kind of storyteller who traveled with caravans and entertained the travelers with stories, what Homer was, he’s basically a bard, a diplomatic career in the Middle East, how short it is, all the more plausible, you have your coffee you have your smoke, how to classify it, a horror book, no visceral reaction, Olav went vegetarian, no vegetables at that banquet, the dressing up of the game, two does, its not clear, on purpose, dehumanizing the pray, more dreamlike and more fey, the Star Wars experience in Disneyworld, a Star Wars store, a Star Wars lightsaber, the Batman costume with Batman’s face on the shirt, he’s not having fun, its not for him, Universal Studios’ Miami Vice experience, a spectacle vs. a ride, a cool idea, all of the jousting is every night, they’re actors, striving for utopia, regularize things, make things improved, best practices, self-driving cars, one day…, a trap, a fantasy we fall into, it fails to be a classic on a few levels, very affecting, a rich text, an intellectual experience, it doesn’t need to be that long, how much not spent in the actual world, where is the divergence point?, it doesn’t want or need to explore that, if it had been written in the 1890s, Prussian or Russian nobleman, it’s not about Nazis its about people, humans are fuckin weapons, dealing with things that have agency, what makes a bad society is having lots of people trending towards badness, not even saying that foxhunting is bad, Mike Vendetti, The Ballad of Reading Gaol by Oscar Wilde, people in power are fuckers, the cat’s name is Jan Smuts, best buds with Winston Churchill, both of them were in concentration camps in South Africa, Prime Minister of South Africa, maybe it is a critique, John Buchan’s The Grove Of Ashtaroth, in the hands of John Buchan (Lord Tweedsmuir), yellow 90s ruin, the last place on earth for this goddess to inhabit, it does matter, how we come out of the inner frame, who named that cat?, where is that damn cat?, let it out, why the outer narrator doesn’t understand why he shouldn’t tell her this story, Aneurin Bevan (father of the NHS), fascism is the future refusing to be born, toxic nostalgia.

The Sound Of His Horn by Sarban

The Sound Of His Horn by Sarban - cover by Richard Powers

SPHERE - The Sound Of His Horn by Sarban

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The SFFaudio Podcast #555 – READALONG: Shadows In The Moonlight by Robert E. Howard

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #555 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, Terence Blake, Mark Finn, Alex talk about Shadows In The Moonlight aka Iron Shadows In The Moon by Robert E. Howard

Talked about on today’s show:
trademark, registered, copyright, Vale Of Lost Women, rattle Mark’s cage, red caped monkey, more construction, more constructed, barbarism vs. civilization, propagandizing this idea, the middling Conan, formula, Rogues In The House, the beginning of the greatest hits album, if he were Aerosmith this would be “Walk This Way”, touchstones, essential elements, the damsel in distress, bloody trail of vengeance, piracy, savage ape, supernatural menace, what do you want from a Conan story, a representative story, there’s wizardry, dream magic, this is what Conan is all about, this is what Conan does, if there was a snake, squirmed an burrowed like a snake, the comics, it starts similarly to Red Nails, the end of the beginning, fruit, giant monster, alone in the wilderness, why did you run out of this jade palace, the Garden of Eden, Queen Of The Black Coast, monkey monsters, a forbidden place, working through, this is what manly men act like, this is what a man is, where Olivia looks at the two jungle creatures, how they’re alike, Shah Amurath, barbarian in response, a Cimmerian vs. the Cimmerian, a response to what he and Lovecraft were arguing over, Howard thought Lovecraft was smarter than him, test those theories, page 30, was there a serpent in..?, PulpCovers doesn’t want to be PC, without judgement but with a pattern, unashamed of being a manly man, pirate costumes, carrying a gun around, chivalrous towards women, Lovecraft is a gentle-man (a gentlemen), what a man is, Terence territory, a pre-philosophy for manhood, the way men love Conan, doing ablutions, iron thews, a male and female gaze, ewww gross, powerful, Tweets Of High Adventure, tweet length prose, every sentence has the language, art, unashamed, its all pure, Vale Of Lost Women is “problematic”, a distilled essence, no casual Conan readers, in for penny in for a pound, this masculinity, did he have a choice in Texas in the 1920s?, acceptable work for a man, vocational training, taking a day job, begging letter, worst fucking human being ever, the boxing stories, bareknuckle boxing, intellectual conversation, never about particulars, newspaper stories to back up their thought processes, news clipping, the only way to run a city, the story in the boat, in the prose, we don’t sell our children, stories of Comanche, a warts and all presentation, ethnic cleansing, riding with the Cherokee, a mindset, an ideal, there are no rules right now, Gertrude Hemken loved Conan, studying philosophy, Nietzsche, John Milius and Oliver Stone, Conan The Barbarian (1982), a through line, sitting in the agora listening to the philosophers, life is an illusion then I’m an illusion too, Solomon Kane is the religious philosopher, scenes of melancholy, a debate on masculinity, a constructed virtue, the body or the mind, the idea of the wild and nature, Lovecraft’s wild, you’ve got the wild inside you, human beings , women are shapely, every muscle is supple, pantherish, his scabbard purrs, it comes from silk, a relationship between what shah Amurath vs. the ape vs. Conan, toxic masculinity, I’m a barbarian buy I’m not a monster, a king of Akif, Turanians vs. Hyrkanians, Hyrkanians are a race and Turanians are a nationality, the Persian Gulf vs. the Caspian Sea vs. the Black Sea, maps of Hyboria, Vedyha is India, Khitai is China, the islands of Mu, filling in the historical record, a starting place, walk these things back into the Hyborian age, analogs, she’s a devi not a rani, he needs a Mediterranean, adventure locations, a pirate this week, the Kozaki are the Cossacks, the Mongols, Red Sonja vs Red Sonya, her sister’s a real person, her father’s a real person, Haws Of Outremer by Robert E. Howard, Mark wrote the afterword, the Punisher in armor, the Cormac Fitzgeoffrey stories, the same emotional space, riding out on the steppes, Oriental and Middle Eastern adventures, Flesh + Blood (1985), Rutger Hauer and Jenifer Jason Leigh, the Dark Horse Comics adaptation, the art, Olivia doing the narration doesn’t make sense, 2 and half days, the confrontation in the reeds is one of Howard’s best scenes, you really hate that guy, when he’s getting chopped to bits, Olivia has two dreams, when Conan’s rowing and the other in the ruined temple, a prologue, what her dream is, the negroes who aren’t negroes, not-kushites, black and made of iron, what does it mean?, expressing their otherworldliness, black statutes but not statues of black people, an artificially baroque language, some sort of race thing, the golden youth, possibly raped, the sky reflected in the water, both a sea and a lake, one third the salinity of the rest of the oceans, flying through the sky, she’s describing it to Conan, she’s supposed to be telling Conan’s story, we shouldn’t be inside her head and not past tense, he can’t hold down a job, pillage a few towns over, holding out for a management position, wear sandals to tread the jeweled thrones, the blue of the sea, mirrors of stars, a phantasmal oarsmen, a quiet slumber, his iron thews, that female gaze, shying away from Robert E. Howard, annoyed by the mire, unmanned by bugs, how far a man can throw a stone, showing off his thews, testing his theory, she’s traumatized, a princess laid low to the status of a slave, a couple (at the end), not telling fairy stories, men and women equally tough in a fight, Ronda Rousey, women are subject to male violence, a romance (an adventure) out of horrible circumstance, we’re not used to today, Yemen right now, 70-80 year old text, a historical basis for women adventurers, easy to gravitate to, Joan of Arc, the women pirates, women doing what men do, he’s not pulling this stuff out of his butt, Howard’s historical stories, Conan was a commercial endeavor, pulp era titillation, why Margaret Brundage did those covers, Seabury Quinn, when he comes back, the women have changed positions, evil queens, swordswomen, a shift in agency, in the Dark Horse adaptation, in the actual story it’s all her, saving him in order to save himself, Valeria is competition for Conan, Red Sonja’s character is mostly that, equally wily, Olivia is just a regular person, crawling into that den of pirates, how tortured they have been, the male version of Olivia, Conan knows everybody, Sergius, a boss fight, the TV tropes for this story, three point landing, divine right of kings, Conan the rules lawyer, Tim Truman’s Dark Horse comics adaptation, a defense of the switch to Olivia’s POV, the thing that Conan did, the guy in the story that everybody’s heard about, getting into it, Conan’s perspective, the disembowelment, seeing that same scene again from that POV, the Roy Thomas adaptation is not to add any words, Roy Thomas is amazing when he captures Howard’s prose, the new Marvel travesty (Conan The Barbarian and Savage Sword Of Conan) “ass” is used twice in July 2019 issue, cur, dog, slut, special language, Island of the Temple Statues, why that change, it changes the dynamic, hard not cruel, quartering, “quarter? I’ll give you quarter!”, Olivia’s really active, this formula, beautiful babe in distress, check off those boxes, you can take my stories or leave them, playing it up, why the text feels so weird, three set pieces, don’t forget the giant ape, strung like beads on a string, Conan on a weekend, they should hire the person who runs Conan The Salaryman, how it resonates with Paul, flipping your desk, Thor: The Dark World (2013), adjectives attitude and viewpoint on the world, Frank Miller’s Sin City, Conan in a noir story, just a crazy guy (with a code), code vs. philosophy, a personal moral compass, allowing for an exception, Conan is his own arbiter, there’s always an angle to be played, we can take Conan at his word but nobody else can, Olivia over his shoulder and he’s running away, high heels vs. mountain cat, the only thing that can unman me is mosquitoes, a supple ass, those outside, too nice a guy, Gertrude Barrows Bennett, faces and asses?, girls like prepping, men like to be thought of as competent, how to be, how to be a man, the right attitude, its more like…, why does Howard never take us to Cimmeria?, the whole point is to see a man out of his element and see how he should act, those roving feet, something powerful about that idea, how to be a man, “what’s real, man?”, it’s good to have skills, the prose is gorgeous, the unnamed monkey, we need to talk about the parrot, bad biology, if this is near the tropics, New World parrots are colourful, a thousand year old parrot, Jesse wasted his time, the parrot as the harbinger, the chorus, we got the idea, if Howard had seen a parrot, Da Vinci’s Demons, the communist memes, some Nazi left over from WWII is giving a speech, justifications for tweets, macaw, why he put it in this fantasy world, research is hard, fantasy world, letters to Harold Lamb in ADVENTURE, it’s so good, a fruit they’ve never seen before, there’s a dinosaur in it, getting snakes wrong, a failure of the work, a fringe moment, the new Age Of Conan Belit comic is shit, a ship at full sail in a storm hidden in a harbour with gunports, Baggywrinkles by Lucy Bellwood, a sailor’s story should be written and drawn by people familiar with ships, Lovecraft defends him as a poet, his poetry is beautiful, 700 poems!, the complete poetry of Robert E. Howard, Cimmeria, some great lesbian stuff, the alliteration and rhythm, the lull of the rowing, he was fantastic at it, how he did it, looking at meters and couplets, Howard intuited, his prose has that richness, scenes of horrible violence, kings dying from poison, beauty in the savagery, why nobody has been able to write a convincing Conan story, the vocabulary and the rhythm, Howard was able to write Lovecraft stories, a different disposition, The Black Stone, The Challenge From Beyond, Queen Of The Black Coast, the language is the main character, the checkpoints could be seen as mechanical, a complex story, an inspiration to early Dungeons & Dragons, mixing and matching, skill checks, Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson, not enough angry monkeys, Giant Ape, kobolds, why does he like monkeys so much, is Howard wrestling with Darwin, Thak, Moon Of Zimbabwe, he doesn’t like to come out of the forest, gorillas, base emotions, Howard’s stance on mankind, cycles of history, that backslide into savagery and barbarism, Thak wants to be a man, a ladder you can climb, Gulka the Gorilla Slayer, gorilla as a stand in for the lecherous intentions of people of colour, to refute Darwin and prop up racism, that wonderful willful disconnect to justify a bad belief system, using the stories of the bible and the trappings as a weight of authenticity, The Murders In The Rue Morgue by Edgar Allan Poe, from the monkey’s POV, the sailor who brought him to France, dragon, flying monkeys in Queen Of The Black Coast, a thing in culture at the time, King Kong, The Uncharted Isle by Clark Ashton Smith, the Hippocampus Press documentary: Clark Ashton Smith: Emperor Of Dreams, Dagon, a per-Atlantean civilization, babies sacrificed to a gorilla god, an Atlantean dream story, monkeys are in the air man, The Wizard Of Oz, a phenomenon, everybody got gorillas on the brain, gorilla suits, a course correction after the 1970s, Planet Of The Apes, Sailor Steve Costigan stories, an animal reflection, using natural terms, why Solomon Kane is always a wolf, El Borak is fast and deadly, hawk noses, vulpine eyes, connecting to a larger natural world, sacrificing something superior to them, the psychological basis for bullfighting, suppleness vs. strength, he wins with dexterity as much with strength, he’s upped his wisdom, his constitution, he can lie in a snowbank, the Tibetan monks, the yoga of inner heat, pro-nature, Conan is a part of nature, Lovecraft as a nature as a scary other, nature with gambrel roofs nearby, how much was Howard out in boats, a rural existence, hiking and camping, New Mexico, Carlsbad Caverns, Galveston, Texas, how he writes about stuff, the Walden variety of gentlemen on holiday, longhand letters, the things some writers will do not to finish a story, going back to it vs. being out of it, getting past miscegenation, deep ones, Cthulhu, shapeless formless, slithering shadow, in Howard’s world, the last of their kind, the end of the age of megafauna and megaflora, he’s still working on his monkey ideas, fringe science, discredited anthropological stuff, one of the greatest magazines ever printed, a whole series about the Kozaki, a fight with Yildiz, making whole connections by people who can capture the voice, The Scarlet Citadel, this guy’s lived a life, I’m gonna git Conan, we can fill in that stuff for ourselves, the best thing about Conan, he’s the least asshole asshole in the room, why he’s in a bad mood, I already told him I wasn’t going to do it, Black Gate blog, Hither Came Conan, The God In The Bowl, the one with the snake god, barbarism vs. civilization, the reason why you have them in so many of the stories, Farnsworth Wright, in the first 11 Conan stories, issue 21 of the Dark Horse series, the reason Olivia was sold, the Queen of Ophir, undercutting the idea, ABlaze‘s Conan series, Jesse will fight that monkey god, Terence doesn’t hang out in the French comic book stores, more spare more simple, a feminist ending, I want to sail the seas with you, I will bring you with me, Conan, “I will make you the king of this inland sea, Conan”, it ends with the parrot, scorch king Yildiz’ pantaloons, John Bolton anti-Iranian propaganda, People Of The Black Circle, the Persians as the bad guys in western history, Howard’s sympathies, “Oriental Adventures”, the El Borak stories, throwing the Brit under the bus, every man has the capacity to be a shithead, shithead or victim, the compass needle, the course correction, melded with a dark god from an ancient tomb, Conan as the antidote for too much corruption, where the politics comes in, Conan The Cimmerian, Tomas Giorello, you gotten soften, unexpectedly cheerful, if this was happening in the 1990s, the Del Rey Conans, disengage the De Camp and Lin Carter, pop-culture Conan fighting pop culture Wolverine, Savage Avengers, the onramp, CHiPs , you’re sullying the legacy, deeply understanding and respecting the prose, how the fuck can they get away with this?, an editorial failure, she has the voice in her head, that it’s funny, we need thews and no ass, the recipe, Red Sonja with Roy Thomas and Esteban Maroto, it will get cancelled, By Crom, Shel Kahn’s Conan Is My Spirit Animal, attributed to Genghis Kahn, what is best in life, coffee, women lamenting, pulp magazine philosopher, Philip K. Dick as a paperback philosophy, what these weird guys spread across the United States, everybody should be lucky enough to have access.

Boris Vallejo cover for Iron Shadows In The Moon

Mark Schultz illustration for Iron Shadows In The Moon by Robert E. Howard

Posted by Jesse Willis