The SFFaudio Podcast #701 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: The Hill Of Dreams by Arthur Machen

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #701 – The Hill Of Dreams by Arthur Machen; read by Mark Nelson

This unabridged reading of the story (7 hours 3 minutes) is followed by a discussion of it.

Participants in the discussion include Jesse and Connor Kaye.

Talked about on today’s show:
1907, semi-autobiographical novel, he kills himself at the end, the Lord Dunsany introduction from 1954, narrating audiobooks, a writer of note himself, surprisingly lucky in a way that Machen was not (not just being born a lord), Machen made his money as a journalist, editor, a job here and there, inheriting money from relatives, that allowed him to write, how else do you get the time to write, Lovecraft’s struggles, walking, The Silver Key, ancient Greeks and Romans, The Watcher By The Threshold, the veil, the secret world behind the veil, the colour of that world (is red), the furnace and the fire, light and colour and emotion, a very odd book, this book is a real trip, maybe Machen’s masterpiece, bigger in scope but also very intimate, take out all the parts about the struggle of writing, if condensed down, what makes it into a novel, bounced off this book, what is going on in this book, no clear plot at the start, not having anybody support that, Mark Nelson: fantastic, Mark Nelson has good taste and picks good stuff to narrate, Machen is a tough writer, he’s dense, floating on a river and sensations happen, Mrs. Gibbon and Annie were more important than we thought, the faun on the hill, by the end you understand, the first reading through, the focus is strange, Ambrose Bierce is perverse, Mark Twain, the least understandable way is the best way, this book has its own reading list, Dream-Land by Edgar Allan Poe, this is my guy, Poe and me are best buds, making gold out of letters on pages, even Lovecraft is easier, Lovecraft doesn’t throw us red herrings, a series of red herrings (the troubles of life), significant as a life trauma (not a plot point), incidents from Lucians life, The Cosy Room, a lot of rooms, he really knows place, exhausting your body walking and coming to a space, he can’t look at certain things in the room, the level distance from the harsh realities, I’m an alien, I’m much higher above looking down, a nice coping mechanism, boys torturing insects, they don’t feel pain anyways, the puppy torture scene, kids are like that, Out Of The Earth, bloodlust of children causing WWI, strange connections, put on the button that says “current thing”, Russians are evil now, very interesting but very difficult, get your trigger warning out, how disassociated Lucian is, I wanted to shake him, he didn’t do anything, talking about it, he has to be aloof from these things, so disconnected from what was happening around him, considering the rest of this story, he is the puppy, he feels, he is a victim, the owner of the puppy, she is the one who comforts him, the girl that becomes his religion, the puppy scene is incredible,

The leader saw the moment for his master-stroke. He slowly drew a piece of rope from his pocket.

“What do you say to that, mun? Now, Thomas Trevor! We’ll hang him over that there bough. Will that suit you, Bobby Williams?”

There was a great shriek of approval and delight. All was again bustle and animation. “I’ll tie it round his neck?” “Get out, mun, you don’t know how it be done.” “Is, I do, Charley.” “Now, let me, gwaes, now do let me.” “You be sure he won’t bite?” “He bain’t mad, be he?” “Suppose we were to tie up his mouth first?”

The puppy still fawned and curried favor, and wagged that sorry tail, and lay down crouching on one side on the ground, sad and sorry in his heart, but still with a little gleam of hope; for now and again he tried to play, and put up his face, praying with those fond, friendly eyes. And then at last his gambols and poor efforts for mercy ceased, and he lifted up his wretched voice in one long dismal whine of despair. But he licked the hand of the boy that tied the noose.

the core problem for all of us, we are the ones who inflict pain, monsters and boys, trying to be kind to everyone, in the city, that quality of generosity, the most beautiful, Annie, a servant girl, Master Lucian, when he meets her in the lane, reverse double leg cling, she caresses his head, the published book with stuff stolen from his book, once something is published, no one wants any of that, something we both do and something that we do to others, it’s amazing, here read my book, they cant see the garbage that they’ve written, they can only see , why would I bother that something isn’t published?, the worst baseball player ever, keep going johnny you can do it!, the cultural movement, late 90s, the rise of self-help, you can do anything, every person can be the best at something they are capable of being, liking to run, long legs and pain inside that can only be healed by having a gold medal around your neck, a horrible reality of the world, a coming of age story, realization of your own limitations is coming of age, a painful aspect, the pain of sexuality, the horniest boy ever, his fellow kids, him alone spinning up his own theories, lusting after almost ethereal objects, highly romantic sense of the world, working class people who don’t give a shit, let’s get trashed, the 12 year old and the 15 year old, going for long walks, idealizing women, under the surface, we don’t know him that well except where his actions bubble up against reality, there is feeling there, when he tries to share his book with people, do pretty flowers, some people are trying to help him, unwillingness to deviate, he’s gifted, he knows he’s gifted, a lot of alchemy symbolism, words are magical, the ability to provoke and control emotions, making people more subject to what they are, mostly used for evil, when he first sees that book with his stuff published in it, validated, apathetic, he’s proud of it, making it all about money, he needed the validation, a stage that a lot of authors get stuck in, the ideas are going to be stolen, Armageddon (1998) and Deep Impact (1998), you gotta sue, a Guy De Maupassant story was totally ripped-off, sold to weird tales, The Tortoise Shell Comb, An Apparition, a cavalry officer, comb my hair for me, if you were Guy De Maupassant, Banksy?, give your mom a book you wrote, a dishonesty of the known relationship, do the esoteric stuff not the commercial stuff, the anti-Edgar Rice Burroughs, kind of suceeds, it’s a victory?, a lot of Lovecraft in this character, the young writer, the particular personality type, unbending, committing to a vision, not compromising, he got that book, a funny line they always say about Lovecraft, so many beans, accentuates the victory, we can’t even read the fucking thing, and yet it’s a victory, who is it a victory for?, a victory for Lucian, overdosing on morphine, Confessions Of An English Opium-Eater, ladies of sorrow, horror movies, Suspiria (1977), a bestseller, How I Smoked Crack And Lived To Tell About It, that French guy who loved Poe, Les Fleurs Du Mal, Suspiria De Profundis, Charles Baudelaire, insight into his mind, an unreliable narrator?, he’s hiding something from us, he has the shakes, smoking a ton of tobacco, overdosed, an addict, emotionless, he probably doesn’t want to masturbate, doesn’t have the materials, burying thoughts in physical weariness, piercing his own body with burrs, a recognized mental illness symptom, cutting, hare shirts, impure thoughts, the fetish, unhealthy, complex organisms in a complex society, get a real job, follow my advice, very real, who’s to say they’re not right?, the middle road, Lucian chose complete dedication art, bending like a reed in the wind, no goals, getting you killed, going along with the current, part of the problem for individuals, living in a society with mass hysteria, why do we have to have that war on another continent, an alliance treaty with France and Russia, white chicken feathers, the current thing, almost a statement, Trevor Towers, Celephais?, sleepwalks off a cliff, a triumph but only from his point of view, capitalism’s threat: knuckle under or become homeless, peruse artistic endeavors, Machen survived where Lucian didn’t, another way he could have gone, this is what could have happened to me, idealistic, circumstances were slightly different, early 2000, Richard K. Morgan, conflict investment, Market Forces, caught up in Netflix deals, ultimately the opposite of the Stephen King/Lovecraft route, success can be something that can hurt you as well, The Bowmen, jotted off in five minutes, the Ghost of Kyiv, the Angel Of The Mons, attestations, Bryan Alexander, Colonel Tomb laughs at this from his grave, just has to be true stories, Vietnamese fighter pilot, Colonel Toon, WWII, Panfilov’s 28 Men (2016), War Thunder, how dare you say that, it’s important!, bullshit made of wholecloth, the rolling thunder of this truth being needed, if Machen had any kind of cultural impact, debunking it, it’s true that it would be good for morale, Rape Of Belgium, these brave Belgian boys, we need them to be hard done by, raped by the pre-Nazis, ginning up anger, encouraging recruitment, a fundamental lie at base, there’s a veil between reality and how we see reality, the veil is real, willful blinders, the noble lie, telling truths, from genuine situations, confabulating slightly, Philip K. Dick’s characters are autobiographical, Horselover Fat, A Scanner Darkly, putting himself on the list, sometimes we slip through, a very odd book, John Steinbeck, East Of Eden, magnum opus, frustrating and meandering, not page turners, ethereal feeling, the veil between reality, The White People, The Great God Pan, monologue about what is reality, investing the time and energy, it feels pretty long, Charles Dickens is very engaging, floating down a river, Machen loves his descriptions of nature, at the fort on the hill, descriptions of the trees and nature, crafted, did this actually happen to Machen as a boy?, ecstatic experience, on drugs, what makes you go back there, how small you are, connection, he tried it with a novel, alcohol, the invention of gin, counter-reaction, massive social impacts, China’s reaction to computer games, a three hour limit, internet games, solo game disconnected from the internet, single player games now require an internet connection, Civilization 2, Roblox, Minecraft, set in its period (late 19th century), love of literature and great texts, 18th century authors knew what was going on, Kublai Khan by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, La Belle Dame Sans Merci by John Keats, knight vs. wight, Tolkien leftovers, because it’s archaic, a horny young man and an idealized woman, a femme fatale story, it destroys him, dissociates, his ideal woman, Annie as a person, as a part of his imagination, the Roman fort, being a Roman senator, the Roman temples of D.C., we are just as great (corrupt) as they were, a false reality, I’m wearing a business suit, folk horror, how women are depicted in folk horror, pagan motifs, witchcraft, blindsided, when Miss Gibbons died, a very fairy tale scene, he’s the wolf, Annie was a witch, unholy wedding, explicitly magical aspects, seduction, the magic is in the men, brain chemicals, the shapely waist, her skin, the Platonic ideal, in the air in the period, Mr. Skelmersdale In Fairyland by H.G. Wells, I’m ruined now, transformed him, it isn’t played for laughs, The New Accelerator, The Invisible Man, comic possibilities everywhere, bittersweet, a triumph as a tragedy, a silk purse of a sow’s ear, lemonade from lemons, the slippery idea of the ideal world or woman, when we read Lovecraft that’s the absent part, Edgar Allan Poe, the ideal woman is the dead woman, she can never be limited by reality (growing old, not being smart enough, fighting), the Baudelaire way, beautiful cruelty, life is cruel, damaged people managing their trauma (in ways other than alcohol), a moment later, joy and happiness, drunk on love, bronze hair, come for a walk with me, a statue, very Greek, his visions, there was death in the woman’s face, she had indeed, the brink of utter desolation, a sex scene too, the carpet matches the drapes, a very sexual novel for a guy who’s so chaste, he falls asleep on the hill, none of them are real and all of them are, is this kid mentally ill?, the end of Dagon, he’s seeing the thing he’s fearful of in himself and not recognizing it, a troubled kid, maybe it’s like he has down syndrome or he’s autistic, kindness, the world is retarded and not him, he’s so extreme in his uncompromisingness, expressed as greatness, isolation, pushes him to the brink, again he was astray in the mist, splendid as Rome, terrible as Babylon, the place of eternal gloom, ring within ring, circle within circle, high writing, the sanctuary of the infernal right, wresting, muscles that could throw down mountains, a flaring street, naphtha fires, pure poetry, dusky figures, a noise like a chant of the lost, orgy, bronze hair, a gulf of darkness, all symbolism, precious robes, the room!, a vapour of the grave, horrible caresses, the matted thicket, the desire rose up like a black smoke, amazing, she lures him, he forces himself upon her, she turns into a very bad trip, exaltation to pain and torture, the elm tree was riven, Lucian is a good name, the tumult and the shock came as a sudden murmur, he overdosed, is he chasing the dragon?, are all of these dreams on the hill?, his dependence on tobacco, a symbol for a later addiction, walking to get rid of his energy, thick black tobacco to cloud his mind, he chases her across a landscape that is not a city, a difficult triumph, no one else is wealthier for it, a vast silence overwhelmed him, Ex Oblivione, dissolving into the Realm of the Forms, a temporary escape from reincarnation, The Novel Of The White Powder, going to seed or dissolution, a continuous issue, Lovecraft was a teetotaler, the other way you can go, morphine?, The Green Meadow, ecstatic states, walking to exhaustion, a difficult topic, there’s truth everywhere in it, sloppy racism, the primitives being in touch with sensations and sense, barbarian hating civilization, Robert E. Howard, nine times, barbarians, pleasantly, prigs perfected, joyous manly young fellows, raped?, devious backstreets, the respectable inhabitants are barbarians, The Lost Club, a Weird Tales reprint, The Lost Room by Fitz James O’Brien, places that go missing, The Music Of Erich Zann, The Lost Street [by ], a strange experience, experiencing weirdness, N, a more definite divide between fantasy and reality, a magical world intruding upon London, The Wonderful Window by Lord Dunsany, does he go through it?, Golden Dragon City, Game Of Thrones, the only guy with HBO in 1902, Dunsany had it much easier, a crazy man confronts Dunsany in a restaurant, I just make them up you see, the story that is described is one Dunsany wrote, as extreme as Dunsany gets, not quite on the level of Guy de Maupassant, rigid principles, flowery words and a suit, a lifestyle that could so endanger them, is N unfinished?, a warning story, prurient interest in seeing how far one can descend, reality TV shows, I’m not that depraved, morbid curiosity, not edifying curiosity, The Cosy Room And Others, Hippocampus Press, The Ancient Track: The Complete Poetical Works of H. P. Lovecraft, nothing of Lovecraft is copyrighted, you don’t know how many letters he wrote where he put a poem in for a newborn baby’s birthday, so nested and so rich with vocabulary, a werewolf story, Psychopompos, exhausting a sonnet, more time invested in reading Clark Ashton Smith is a good thing, if this is Machen’s worst I want to read more, difficult, The Shining Pyramid, tiny details that fly by, The Unknown World, May 15 – June 15, 1895, Robert E. Howard wrote way more than H.P. Lovecraft did, the vastness of his other work, popular for his supernatural stories, Robert W. Chambers flips a switch, the opposite of what Lucian does, The Secret Glory, The Three Impostors, a fix-up, chasin a dragon out of the window, spent it all on insane asylums, The Horla, Maupassant rented a hot air balloon to promote a book, before airplanes, The Troop by Nick Cutter, trained up and fought a poet to promote his book, Uwe Boll, Ed Wood, completely talentless, maybe he just got past it, self-awareness is a stumbling block, Ed Wood (1994), found family, he has an eye and no talent, as innocent as a war veteran could be, a go getter, $5, Golan Globus Theatre podcast, the Tijuana Bible, historical records we need to have preserved, what Julian needed (was printed pornography), Conquering Goddess, it needs to be fully illustrated, BDSM, Robert E. Howard, nudy pulps before Playboy, the first Playboy with Marilyn Monroe, weird repression, Penthouse, happening but hidden away, human nature never changes, more evidence that this is how we have always been, embarrassing, left out in the woods, pre-WWII, this is somebody’s great grandma, challenged one of his critics to a boxing match, if he won the boxing match, you won the fight therefore, dueling, humour was our way of escaping bullies, laughter is disarming, intellectual overpowering, more than halfway through (life), a very thinly veiled autobiography, drawing on his own experience, a lot of philosophy, writerly philosophy, more about writing than it is about mysticism, why Maupassant wrote weird fiction, Maupassant’s career, A Piece Of String, A Ball Of Fat, a Star Trek episode [The Galileo Seven], hypocrisy, my servants are stealing from me, I am my servant, these terrible experiences he must relate, very healthily not on Twitter, No Man’s Land by John Buchan, Esteban Maroto, Australian youtube audiobook narrator, Steve Parker audiobooks, simple guy: likes audiobooks, iPads, Randall’s Round, you should always record, The Wind In The Portico, The Temple Of Death by A.C. Benson, 23 temples, spread out the Buchan, doing the same authors but not back to back, The Horror Horn by E.F. Benson, a yeti story in Switzerland, The Inn by Guy De Maupassant, the horror of being alone, afraid of a lot of stuff, The Terror, Who Knows?, the little shop dwarf, his homunculus, “oh monsieur, all your furniture is gone”, this is alarming, the furniture is the faculties of his mind, all metaphorical, symbolist, a good discussion of a complex book.

The Hill Of Dreams by Arthur Machen

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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 #689 – READALONG: The Midwich Cuckoos by John Wyndham

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #689 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, Maissa Bessada, and Trish E. Matson discuss The Midwich Cuckoos by John Wyndham

Talked about on today’s show:
we’re all taking the black pill today, The Day Of The Triffids, Chrysalids, Margaret Atwood, she’s on the stamps now, first president of Canada, just birthed a new monarch, stealing from Barbados, very John Wyndham, cozy catastrophe, Brian Aldiss, the John Carpenter movie, John Carpenter’s The Village Of The Damned, In The Mouth Of Madness, more sinister, surprised and pleased, the 1960 movie and the BBC audio drama, all the homework, the sequel movie, its in the public imagination, The Stepford Wives by Ira Levin, this book is very very dark, nicely mannered, really dark, escape to New Zealand, where they are accepted, the main character doesn’t blow himself, darker than how it ends on the page, most of the book, pods, every recorded place, the implication, we’ll be back, you’re going to kill us, picking up on the hints, what people get wrong, they make a big deal about the hands being cold on the initial night, zapped, fiddling with their hands, a symptom, based on both, it was cold, worst John Carpenter movie ever, Ghost Of Mars, Vampires, a good bad movie, Kirstie Alley was terrible, she looks nervous, Christopher Reeve is mostly just tall, David being different, not hive mind across genders, an excuse to get a kid away, Virginia Madsen, maybe goodness can survive, you need to feel suffering and loss in order to be a good person, dwelling in the graveyard, “the one who’s made for me”, they don’t gestate inside of themselves, probes, the aliens were not human shaped, the actual aliens, breaking the rules, Seanan McGuire, an ambush predator, Mimic by Donald A. Wollheim, Sarah Selby, very much X-Men, derivative of the period of mutants, New Mutants, the origin of this novel, The Golden Man by Philip K. Dick, sparkly skin, weird hair, xenogenesis, parthenogenesis, not marketed as Science Fiction, hard SF, how to setup societies, a very talky book, how to believe things, what to act on, mass hysteria, clipping a kid, the current real problem in society of doctors not believing women and people of color, swallowing it in little bits and pieces, we’re the ones eating that barley sugar, set in the 1990s, abortion is available on demand, home abortions, taking very hot baths, hanging themselves, Roe V. Wade, $6000 a month, you can abort with us, an on purpose death, pickle it, an alien, handled very badly, deftly handled, all euphemism, have a nice cup of tea, cuckolded, this book cuckolds women as well as men, the Zeleby nose, experimenting with this idea, a dog version of an alien in Alien 3 (1992), asking and answering questions, was it an alien spaceship that landed in the middle of the town, a deliberate landing, remote villages, on different dates, one ship on a mission, time taken between the needles, the kids don’t lie, refusing to answer, the behavior of cuckoo birds, sibling eggs, you’re just genes, your instinct is to kick the other eggs out of the nest, you mature faster, you’re meaner, you’re more aggressive, the sympathetic mother POV, mothers (and sometimes fathers) must be doting, you must live as the jungle does, sugar coating it, trying to tell us something about ourselves, it is not an allegory, our relationship to our children and each other and how we interact with the world around us, the cows start giving birth to strange looking cows, cows and dogs, we think of ourselves as top cow, we do that to dogs and cows all the time, we treat them the way aliens are treating us, this book is very old, women of child bearing age are implanted, a 17 year old, as young as 9, British nutrition in the 1950s, get the right pickles, girl power!, dreams: keep your baby, how are they going to handle it?, why won’t they do twelve year olds, perfectly accurate biology would be too toxic, some people think we couldn’t handle it, we don’t like thinking about it, guy shotguns himself after shotgunning a kid in the head, 1950s people vs. 2022 people, what about all the women who are women who weren’t born women, a trans man with a uterus, they won’t touch it in the show, there’s a difference between scientific accuracy and being an asshole, biology trumping everything, we need more sugar or it will be rejected, its medicine, facing facts as they are vs. believing what they want, the big lie and the big truth, COVID, The Death Of Grass by John Christopher, over in China something bad is happening, rust on wheat and rye, the stuff that keeps the topsoil from disappearing, a planetary catastrophe, hoarding, a veneer, a busy body, amped up, starvation, the safe zone, turning on a group that is outside of us, when the Russians nuke their small town, atomic cannons, Starship Troopers, Ogre, Ogle, the grange, like Hermione Granger, time to pay up, the Lord owns your land, the bailiff, the Lord hall, the kids move into the Lord’s hall, the serfs are denied movement off of the land, an accidental metaphor, the narrator is talking about his wife, because it was my birthday, John Wyndham is the main character, everything is soft, pleasant, lobster and chablis as Wheelers, Ustinov’s latest extravaganza, enjoyed the bathrooms, fascination with other people’s plumbing, why did they have to zap the birds, whatever living thing, which one of theses looks like its in charge?, speculation, this is God, can we disprove it?, a lab test, divine punishment, barrenness vs. fecundity, the greater god: the God of the universe, H.G. Wells, I’m doing an H.G. Wells story, colonialism coming back to bite you in the ass, what we do to the Earth, nature finds a way, Jurassic Park, stupid humans find a way to fuck themselves, we can fuck ourselves, an infodump philosophy dump, mother nature being misnamed, a book about infanticide, Charles Stross, Nyarlathotep, a nanny for supes, Now We Are Nine, Christopher Robin, emphasizing the two hive minds, chapter titles, No Entry To Midwich, All Quiet, Midwich Revisited, Midwich Comes To Terms, Matters Arising, Interview With A Child, Impasse, Ultimatum, Zeleby Of Macedon, all of the Spartans, Leonidas, assassinated by whom, who will rid me of my awful husband, what happens in this chapter, he kills himself, a suicide bombing, the right an proper thing to do, right?, by the standards of homo sapiens, I want humans to win, a primitive matter, will you agree to be superseded?, The Forever War by Joe Haldeman, one collective Adam and one collective Eve, what’s the appropriate action?, you can’t take the law into your own hands?, a stiff police officer, playing an interesting game, an alien invasion story that’s an examination of the humans, the primitives, esquimaux, Monlogia, Russia, the iron curtain, sleeping with demons, a second crop to come?, in Australia they all mysterious died, a dingo virus?, why they didn’t put all their eggs in one basket, they lay their eggs wherever there is a willing basket, words, Midwich, wich = a bundle of thread (a nest?) or an old English settlement, all of them were midwich, little nests, are they keeping track, this is how we do it, droppin their spores, fire and forget, lay and forget, Invasion Of The Body Snatchers by Jack Finney, something going on the 1950s, The Puppet Masters by Robert A. Heinlein, communism?, collective individuality, collectivism, trends in science fiction, we talk about stuff, fleeing the cities, jamming the highways, in Washington, DC, meanwhile in Kentucky…, 1930s science fiction, Stanley G. Weinbaum, will this book have the international aspect?, what does that do to the story?, this is a resource for exploitation, not because they’re humans in need of money, resources to exploit, getting the birth rate up, soldiers, armies, the children’s desks, mini office desks, lots of good framing by Carpenter, the house from Halloween, recycled from The Fog, the house looks like a cuckoo clock, zoom in and pull back, popping out like a cuckoo clock, the audio of a cuckoo, the word cuckoo, it isn’t a crazy bird, perfectly natural, a gaslighting bird, the baby doesn’t say I’m one of you, the behavior that is not learned (its genetic), “crazy”, “insane” as a legal term, crazy means “don’t understand”, very efficient, cruel, women are supposed to act a certain way, time to kill, time to take whatever pill, he did the right thing for the survival of the (human) species, an alternative, this is Ceti Alpha Five, genetic better humans, cruelty is as old as life, barley coloured, a bullseye, the sequel movie, set around the same period, Children Of The Damned (1964), the aunt, just a blonde, the audio drama was excellent, they forgot about the first movie, a UN guy giving intelligence tests in Britain, unmarried prostitute, go get killed in a tunnel, respective London embassies, the barn or the grange, a church, a dog they can command, to harness the power of these kids, use these kids as cold war weapons, more sympathetic in the second movie, varied skin and hair colours, batch two they blend in better now, can’t we all get along, leave us alone but bring us food, a screwdriver, a metaphor for tools, a knife is good for stabbing and cutting, knife technology implies knife fights, using people as tools is immoral, countries using people as population for their offices, to service the capitalism, blackpilling, they don’t teach field-hand skills, typing?, teaching about the Aegean, some island somewhere, if nations use people as tools that’s wrong, that’s why the cuckoo people are bad, using us the same way we use animals, the cuckoo people are to blame (but the kids aren’t), you can’t easily kill the kids, we’re here to be killed, why are you here?, we don’t know, why are any of us here?, the second movie was solid, as a reflection, a little unrealistic, a counterbalance, behind the Iron Curtain, left with a lot of questions, the new Doctor Who episode, fashioning the Doctor’s companions into weapons, shaping people to do things, is it right?, an amoral alien with alien ideals, space hobo, The Littlest Hobo, Patrick Troughton, the show has evolved, the second movie is a reaction to the first, that’s their reaction to this idea, the sign of a really good book, an abandoned sequel, she definitely knows about science fiction, Chrysalids is (was) assigned in school in Canada, Chocky, The Trouble With Lichen, slow down the aging process, Quirks And Quarks, The Outward Urge, The Kraken Wakes, Stowaway To Mars, off-earth, Tyrant And Slave Girl On Planet Venus, Wonder Stories, the sucess Wydham had in the UK, zilcho reputation in short stories, the market, the town he moved to, thought out the plot of his next book, what kind of a setting for a story would this be, writers are very strange people, Donald E. Westlake and Lawrence Block, writers who only do writing for their job, tapped into the psychology of 1950s Britain, why did that happen?, destroyed industry and commerce, I thought they won WWII, a devastating peace, used themselves up winning the war, really good aircraft industries, what point are you trying to make here, Jesse?, what happened to the Empire?, Australians were mailing care packages to England in the 1950s, paying back some loans, the war had to be fought, Hitler was a bad guy?, how did it get started in the first place, the Treaty of Versailles, prideful assholes , there’s always a connection, benign censorship, when we do the censorship its benign, about power relations, you are just a thing to be manipulated, objects vs. subjects, no birth control is not allowed, the House of Lords?, oh its cute, he’s leading up to that ending, means to ends, a glancing reference to the Dionne quintuplets, the dirty newspapers, don’t embarrass the government, Wyndham thought about a lot of things, it isn’t about entertainment, super-cozy, it feels mainstream, a pyrotechnic ending, Stephen Fry does English women so well, a wonderful narrator to listen to, Jim Dale, a delightful reader, a Homer for our times, a poet from 10,000 BC, a very literate fellow, super-fresh audiobook, the SKY tv adaptation [then forthcoming], a known name, hosting TV and radio shows, [here’s Jesse’s scan of the paperback], scanning difficulties, make your own version of John Wyndham’s the Midwich Cuckoos, The Twilight Zone, It’s A Good Life, Jerome Bixby, its a good thing you took mommy’s mouth, that’s a good thing, Wandavision, 1953, something in the water, it was injected into them, Philip K. Dick, Jerome Bixby, John Wyndham, Robert A. Heinlein, cosmic rays have come into our brains, world events, Jack Finney, it wasn’t a bad review, Eric S. Rabkin, YouTube video viewer counts vs. like counts vs. comments, almost nobody comments on anything, Gresham’s Law, comments, 70 emails an hour, boner increaser is where the money is, so you don’t have a lot of cuckoos in your nest, cuckoos and cuckolding, Beyond The Door by Philip K. Dick, super-short, he gives her a cuckoo clock, why was everybody in the 1950s into cuckoo-clocks?, why did your grandparents have cuckoo clocks?, fuck those British guys, 2 seater sports cars, cultural output, 60s British TV and movies, the British Invasion, Hammer Horror, Doctor Who, shot on video tape, high class acting and really good writing, supported by the British tax-payer, medical coverage, marmite and vegimite, is it vegan?, Veganism, guess what decade Veganism started in, 1944 in England, making a virtue of a necessity, a vegetarian movement, movements, seedlings, 25 founding members, a newsletter, the official vegetarian zine, and cheese or eggs, fish, a section just for them, the first three letters and the last three letters veganism, sanivore, what veganism is, does anybody know these amazing facts?, a fascinating history, people are starting weird cults and organization and religions, trampled on seedling, big giant unweildly organization, fruitful and bountiful, sometimes religious, a reaction against farming practice, physical culture magazines, modeling the perfect body, the perfect woman, the perfect dude, body sculpting, going to the gym is a spiritual belief, look pretty, eugenics, percolating in the background, take the black pill, read the Wikipedia entry pill, following the links through, how to look at reality, bringing it back somehow, Michael Pare’s character, I’m driving so don’t distract me so I’ll crash, I’ll quit smoking when you decide to get pregnant, helium, a big smoking pile of smoke (he broke his word), what you put in your body, females feeling what males could feel like, Prometheus (2012), cuckolded as a species, the woman’s instinct and the men’s instinct, you did wonderfully, I feel like I’ve done something wrong by telling them to keep their babies, Angela’s speech, well written, thoughtful, weird science fiction pulpy short stories, Arthur C. Clarke prose, cosy literate, something different about the British mid-1950s science fiction, Brian Aldiss, who are the damned?, a terrible title, how damned shows up a lot, swearing in the title, Fuck The Movie, biblical, The Midwich Cuckoos is not a good movie title, a children’s movie about little birdies, the British book industry, Children Of The Damned is even more confusing, damned to live on the Earth, a podcast listener, two dinosaurs are looking at the fireball, what do you suppose that is Steven? nice!, life causes more suffering than happiness, we are born to be cowards and cling to live, we lack the crucial choice, thank you for the stimulating conversation, radically alter the climate, wanna get some lunch, sure, Paul would not have worried, is it dark tho?, a reflection of reality that we have, Existential Comics #423, a webcomic, something even darker, goes back in time to the womb and he kills himself, a Quantum Leap suicide, The Butterfly Effect (2004) extended director’s cut guy, Ashton Kutcher, Journeyman, trying to reboot Firefly, how long did it take Star Trek to get a reboot, Wesley’s shirt and haircut was 1980s, cut things in, is there a pill list?, this is what people do instead of having decent lives, incels, fatalism, a fun conversation about nihilism, the hardest to swallow red pill, depraves you, comedic, Kevin, the blue pill implies the existence of the red pill, a narrative process of creation, its all alright, Maissaville, a nice surprise, not very blackpillish, a really nice tweet, hybridmind, you can’t have parthenogenesis, Jesus was secretly a chick, clones so we don’t have to happen, centrifuge, clone army, monocultures are vulnerable to diseases, just backstory, old profitable books from the 50s, Smithsonian.

The Midwich Cuckoos by John Wyndham

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The SFFaudio Podcast #684 – AUDIOBOOK/READLONG: The Strange High House In The Mist by H.P. Lovecraft

Podcast
The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #684 – The Strange High House In The Mist by H.P. Lovecraft; read by Gordon Gould. This is an unabridged reading of the story (18 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Evan Lampe, and Jason Thompson

Talked about on today’s show:
Weird Tales, October 1931, rather different, this guy has a family, a series of wellness checks, some tea, knock knock knock, old people are the gateway to the mystic, an old sailor, worldbuilding, Granny Orne (The Shadow Over Innsmouth), The Terrible Old Man, written in 1926, the Klinger anthologies, Kadath, The Horror At Red Hook, He, walking tours of New York, back in Providence, Sonia Greene, Pickman’s Model, Kingsport, a 17th century city, temporal geographies, set in the modern era, architecture, clothing, tudor clothing, maratime connections, 17th and 18th century, The Festival, the third family, the masks and the religious ceremony, underground temple visit, the modules for Call Of Cthulhu, the graveyard, burrows under the graveyard, Indians, sea-folk, Portuguese sailors, a love letter to the sea, between the woods and the sea, positive and uplifting, Olney, he made a friend vs. damned for all time, the sea is faery, horror, a dream story, the Brown library, a fantastic short story by me, like a fantasy, dream-like, raining down dreams, very poetic, improving the language, old replaced with ancient, the original Weird Tales publication, white and feathery, the rim of all the earth, the rim of all earth, a deliberate repeat, its brothers the clouds, conchs and seaweed cities, laden with lore, the solemn bells of the bouys tolled-free in the aether of faery, forgetting and then remembering, when Olney begins learning, Olney’s supposition, faultless, dark skinned, a sailor, a demigod of some kind, he flew in there, he’s airing out the place, sailing the abysses of heaven, a great disposition, Lovecraft’s mystic friend stories, an essay about friendship, a literary trope, super-best friends, an awareness of queerness, a pre-homophobic era, The Rim Of Morning by William Sloane, we were super close friends (not in a weird way), not that kind of too close, don’t grow Granny Orne under the bus, the wife’s name doesn’t matter, male male, immediate bromance, Cool Air, Dr. Munoz, Hypnos, dangerous friendships, friends in his bottles, Robert E. Howard, everybody’s super-religious, indoctrinated by the horrors, stupid pedantic, taboo and scary and yuck, a communicable level, a delight, a lot of people thought he was a weirdo, it wasn’t always easy, they’re not gay for each other all the time, something we think about a lot, evidence please, he makes really good friends, huggings and walkings, taking women on walks, the pink beam moment in Philip K. Dick’s life, ankh moment, Lovecraft’s Kingsport, Marblehead, cruising those streets, Orne looking down, Jason Thompson’s changed the focus to home, the subconscious reading, the doormat, what he is thinking subconsciously, dwelling differently, he left some of himself up there, he’s a philosopher, unlike the tourists, unlike the locals, a chasm, he leaves a note to his wife, he comes back in the morning, experiences with the friend, like him with a beard, the doubles in Hypnos, admirable doubles, in comes Poseidon, Nodens, the diadem of father Neptunes and tritons and naiads, back to Olney, a boring philosopher, The Shadow Out Of Time, a nice little frame, having to pay his mortgage, the bored students, “Nargasucket Bay”, Randolph Carter in The Silver Key, his eyes, plant monsters, the blueberries and briars, set in August, The Festival is set at Christmas, April, we need a Granny Orne story for autumn, she’s got a gambrel roofed house, the idols, immortality, an undeniable theme, The Thing On The Doorstep, The Alchemist, Cool Air, The Tomb, page 14, the life of the mundane, alone high on a mountain peak communing with that which is beyond, the abysses above and below, what planets tell planets, romance is something we can delight in, coffee is great an all (its not an end in itself), coffee is an end in itself, appreciating of the beauty, where his spirit dwells within the house, its a party, a joyous mystic brotherhood, a community of dreamers beyond, friendship and joy, they’re not made of the gossips, lore, lore is something you learn from a local, one of the longest tunnels in North America, there’s a silver mine, water street and ship street, nothing you will learn in those schools, that book needs to be handed to you by one who knows, wiggling at the windows, a hand reaches out and pulls him through, come in come in, don’t try and housebreak him, a very positive and uplifting story, almost completely devoid of horror, the introduction of the supernatural into your life, the ending with the kids, a new kind of unfear, the horror of parents seeing kids playing videogames or social media, my kid is not conforming, generational curiosity, hereditary, The Other Gods, thrown up into the sky, the apprentice survivor, soul trapped in fairyland, the weird shadow against the windows, Futurama, Kif with more fingers, alcohol, going on a bender, bottles everywhere, he resumes his life, a large tradition, H.G. Wells’ Mr. Skelmersdale In Fairyland, La Belle Dame Sans Mercy by John Keats, a powerful and amazing place, fairies are tricksters, he’s lost something, the children have gained the spirit that he’s left, the caves leviathan, raining down as dreams, vernacular knowledge, Ex Oblivione, that whiteness, a black canvas over the rim of the world, the realm of the forms, Lovecraft doing another kind of reincarnation, small changes, the young men, young folk, aspects of sexism, highlights, the symbolist painters, an old man digging a grave, wheat stalks growing in the winter, the gravedigger’s space, an angel with black wings, time has come, the children hearing the music, polyps, venturesome youths, a light may be gone from their eyes, barnacles, humans coming out, a tie of the sea, connected to us, these things are fantastic in our youth, a book of gods, is there a god of forklifts?, the goddess of the sewers, going up there to play, what makes them responsible adults, the horror, they’re playing the Dungeons & Dragons, they’re going to summon demons, return to childhood, less literal, very symbolic, adulthood is being a barnacle (stuck in place), oysters on the rocks, being sedentary, stuck in place, oppositional elements, elfin horns rang over the ocean, elfin things hiding, looking with the right eyes, old and sad, like Lovecraft wearing glasses and signing, drinking, spaghetti, fairyland but straightedge, nightgaunts, sea creatures, The White Ship, Celephais, afraid but still finding beauty, the horror of danger, the horror of revelation, the celestial city in our mind, From Beyond, beautiful, what the sing brings, immigrants, weird smelly fish things, leave the sea alone, Hayao Miyazaki’s Ponyo (2008), fantasy sea imagery, Wagnerian moments, sea-fairies, the castle, the graphic novel, The Dreamquest Of Unknown Kadath, the same gods, everybody’s adaptations of Robert E. Howard’s Conan, using Lovecraft’s words, his cap, the sign you’re an adult, kids can’t be held responsible for their hats, hat callback, a ray of hope, he stays in the dreamlands, returned to a mundane life, less irresponsible on the weekends, go work for a law firm, any sort of horrible job, pressure, finding the way to be, a gentleman has a car and a driver and a house and not just a room, keep that initial dream alive, how to avoid a mid-life crisis, a kiddie thing to do, how life should be all the time, a series of mundane commutes to work, the mundanity of a terrible commute, massively depressed, blunt and grim, Thomas Ligotti-like, called back again to the horror of flesh, why keep picking at this scab?, Dagon, sleep is oblivion and the Dreamland, describing an experience in words is difficult, more like computer gaming or a great story, not getting out of bed, the place where oblivion can be found, having the experience even if you don’t remember it has to count for something, a general anesthetic doesn’t dull the pain, it makes you forget it, its about Lovecraft’s marriage and place in life when he wrote it, their body lives on and does all the responsible things that bodies do, conflicting desires, that normal life, talk to ancient sea-captains and gods, cut away from Nodens, help me fight the frogpeople, a sense of responsibility, afraid to disappoint, the body remains but the soul escapes, his doppleganger [has] to stay on the world, the soul of Olney, an apocalyptic conclusion, use anything to escape reality, you can have it both ways, closeted gay, queer in a broad sense, the sequence where he talks, sea-creatures getting forked and speared, going through a temple, Gulliver’s Travels, The Drowned Giant by J.G. Ballard, Towing Jehovah by James K. Morrow, snowglobes polyping, a bivalve’s foot, this what they talked about, hardness and liquidity, an hourglass, Ernst Haeckel’s sea-life illustrations, constellation like gods making gestures, the opening sentence is missing a comma, In the morning comma, how grammar works, why didn’t he fix that?, make somebody read it the way you want it to be read, explicitly, where is the comma?, morning mist still, the same morning mist, a cycle, the skydial, what is obscured, paying attention to the missing comma, Aeneid, noir unending or unfinished?, how do you know that?, it flows faster, to what’s in the mist, doing its work, a little curiosity, something to note, more about Granny Orne, solitary figures, she has to be something, he consults them, bachelors or bachlorettes and widows or widowers, The Case Of Charles Dexter Ward, essential saltes, the made up name of one of his friends?, the really young people and the really old people, a Stephen King thing, the old standing watch, one of the definitions of fantasy, where is the magic, the hole in reality where magic creeps in, the magic of childhood, drugs, old age, the ancient past, the sea, where the sea leads, a widows walk on one of the gambrel, shipping out for Herman Melville stories, why bouys are important, conflating the sound of the buoys with other things, a lighthouse for sound, something is happening, an inference, what’s going on in the sea, the lampreys and the fish, the fisherfolk, the shells, the bubbles and the copulation, that mysterious mass, Marblehead with an added grey frozen wind cloud pointing to space, this vast connection, a bottomless pit, infinity, the sky is an abyss, pointing us up and pointing us down, creatures near the coastline, philosophy for the fisherfolk, ascending, astronomy, what’s going on on Pluto, the magic of science, why reading Lovecraft is joyful in a story like this, the North side of the Golden Gate Bridge, San Fransisco, ascent and experience with the other, the view back down, The Tomb, Kadath and Celephais, The Doom That Came To Sarnath, The Beast In The Cave, insubstantial as a story, The Alchemist, about sexuality, H.P.L. (fanzine), Freudian analysis of H.P. Lovecraft stories, body hair, colouring the images, what happens, literally set in a dreamland, what going into a fairyland does to a person, very biblical, set in the age of myths, high house studio, fairly wise use.

The Strange High House In The Mist from Weird Tales, October 1931

The Strange High House In The Mist - from the comic by Jason Thompson

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The SFFaudio Podcast #674 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: The Cats Of Ulthar by H.P. Lovecraft

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #674 – The Cats Of Ulthar by H.P. Lovecraft – read by Steve Mann. This is a complete and unabridged reading of the story (8 Minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Paul Weimer, Evan Lampe, Trish E. Matson, and Jason Thompson

Talked about on today’s show:
The Tryout, November 1920, Weird Tales, Fantastic Novels, Hannes Bok, a girl or a young woman, cats looking very satisfied with themselves, 3 pages or 8 minutes, 88 shows mentioning The Cats Of Ulthar, most of them are not in English, the best introduction to Lovecraft, a lot of little things that work as an introduction, witches, wandering weirdos, foreigners, geographies, are the couple witches?, they’re witch-ish, ogres, frightening, can this be read subversively, sorry Trish, why is this such a popular story, the narrator is present, a murder mystery, The Tree by H.P. Lovecraft, popular to least popular, At The Mountains Of Madness, this fictional list, Old Bugs, The Wicked Clergy Man, a scultping contest, this story sucks, the sound of the bees, the beekeeper tells the narrator, who tells the story, we know, what do you remember?, the reason people don’t like that story is they don’t get it, telegraphed from the beginning, the wrath of Bast, super-simple, people love cats, has cats in the title, not that much racism in it, the mysterious dark foreigners are the good guys sort of, catskins nailed all over the wall, eating them?, a meanspirited old couple, what people in the town are saying, hiding the truth, we gotta burn these manuscripts, a push pull, the beetles, scarabs, Dreamlands, what of their spirits?, did the cats steal their souls?, sucking the baby’s breath, activating the cats, the circularity, who is the narrator?, purring before the fire, the last image of the story (in Jason’s adaptation), sexily vs. hungrily, the dog lies patiently until it starves to death, the cat will eat you, a village full of cats ate a couple, the heroes are the cats, the moral simplicity of an EC comic, questioning the validity of the human eating cats, all he did was jaywalk, The Terrible Old Man, home invade a pirate from 3 centuries ago, gypsies vs. travelers, the Roma people of Europe, India and Alexander the great, the India connection, where the word Egypt comes from Menes, pre-Egyptian, another possible source, the dark wanderers in Idle Days On The Yann by Lord Dunsany, turban wearing, such frightened and passive people, live in a hovel, they’re treated like witches, The Witch-Cult In Western Europe by Margaret Murray, Christians who believe in , a fairy tale, Diodorus Siculus heard it from some crocodile god priests, all the things that are being described, not only Bast, their quiet mien, the referent is missing, the mother of all these cats?, before and beyond human Earth history, definitely (kind of) in the Dreamlands, Polaris on its own, Meroe, Nubia, a lost port mentioned in the Bible, the connections come later, ex post facto in the Dreamlands, resurrect them?, every cat was back, dead or busy feasting, telling fortunes, investigate the cotter’s cottage, still extant cats, cats on a mission, dream like, dream logic, reason to be skeptical, the villagers are always getting it wrong, sacrificed, coyotes are a serious issue, real life experience, gossip, baseless, the villagers sicced this little boy and his magic on that couple and got even though they are innocent, gullible gods, tricking the gods, they show up in the sky, Scooby Doo, no Nancy Drew activities, the follow up to the Cats Of Ulthar, the gods fucked up, the fallibility of the divine, the Greek gods every day of the week, I want vengeance, a devotee, his parents are already dead, almost like a storm, the gods are obedient to those who are believe in them, vernacular tradition, non-institutionalized beliefs, passed on by spoken words, the common people know about it, the Esoteric Order Of Dagon has some metal plates they pass around, folktales before they get written down, the opening sentence, Skai, the Yann river, no man may kill a cat, the species is male?, who are we?, retconned around Kadath time, the past vs. a dream, if only the dream had been set not in ancient Greece, the fairytalishness, the realm of myth, long ago and far away as many fairy tales say, who the narrator is usually matters, the wagon leaving the town, a tour of Innsmouth, the burgers, why are you telling me all their names, look at the list of characters who show up, sustaining a mood, he’s trying to tell us about the purpose of this law is, why?, the burgers pass a law, it becomes a folk belief, mouths to feed, bag in the river, the story of Moses, this Egyptian quality, Egypt is the breadbasket for Rome, food is wealth, the mousers vs. the pets, eatin the rodents that will eat your grain, myth vs. propaganda, what a stan is, Lovecraft is a cat stan, not the dogs of Ulthar, what do dogs do, dogs bark, bears three days a week, there to protect to the property, hungry bears, many many odes to cats, cat love, propaganda for cats, a wish fulfillment story, that tiny black kitten, cat lives are worth more than human lives to Lovecraft, the roving folk, Egyptians in all but name, their magic, their magic show, Evan’s story about losing his cat, knowing how devious Lovecraft can be, The Rats In The Walls has a cat, Delapore eats another man, still defending them, a swarm of rats, the cat is the hero, you’re crazy man, “I, as a cat, will not support this cannibalism”, Jesse derailing, The Black Cat by Edgar Allan Poe, your house burned down because of a cat, The Raven, working on a psychological level, why does it take so long to get to the point, so obviously put together that way, an untrustworthy story, Evan is neutral, the townspeople are dumb, no police arresting people for killing cats, what scarabs were, we don’t know what scarabs are, amulets placed in the wrappings, tradable items, we don’t know why they’re there, Egyptology, Egytpomania, another Egypt-ism, eating of the dead, a cleansing of the evil of what they did, the cleansing mechanism, not a memorable story,

On a verdant slope of Mount Maenalus, in Arcadia, there stands an olive grove about the ruins of a villa. Close by is a tomb, once beautiful with the sublimest sculptures, but now fallen into as great decay as the house. At one end of that tomb, its curious roots displacing the time-stained blocks of Pentelic marble, grows an unnaturally large olive tree of oddly repellent shape; so like to some grotesque man, or death-distorted body of a man, that the country folk fear to pass it at night when the moon shines faintly through the crooked boughs. Mount Maenalus is a chosen haunt of dreaded Pan, whose queer companions are many, and simple swains believe that the tree must have some hideous kinship to these weird Panisci; but an old bee-keeper who lives in the neighboring cottage told me a different story.

a shared studio, the townspeople report, such good friends, the story of the fall,

However, the Syracusans obtained after a while a very splendid statue in Athens, and the Tegeans consoled themselves by erecting in the agora a marble temple commemorating the gifts, virtues, and brotherly piety of Musides.

city vs. country, one is better than the other,

But the olive grove still stands, as does the tree growing out of the tomb of Kalos, and the old bee-keeper told me that sometimes the boughs whisper to one another in the night wind, saying over and over again. “Oida! Oida!—I know! I know!”

hiding the truth The White Ape The Facts Concerning the Late Arthur Jermyn and His Family, to hide the truth, his grandma was a monkey, there’s sometimes a key, sometimes they are straightforward?, half more again as complex as this one?, The Street, The Statement Of Randolph Carter, The Whisperer In Darkness, At The Mountains Of Madness, The Lurking Fear, pay attention, beefy guys, he needs a lot of meat, The Strange High House In The Mist, a lot of weird stuff happens, not straightforward but simple, this outside frame, we’re not supposed to trust, picky about his own work, Philip K. Dick, a personal favourite, S.T. Joshi, walks in the forest, letters about cats, the College Street address, a gang of feral cats living on his roof, if Lord Dunsany the dog guy meets the cat guy, Dean Spanley, a great sense of humour, The Book of Wonder, a randy centaur, Bride Of The Man-Horse, its the getting there that’s fun part, how men should court women, how centaurs get their brides, a Dunsany imitation in terms of style, 7-10 minutes to read, ebullient detail, once per week, The Idler, filling pages for the idle rich, not the ideal Weird Tales story, a Clark Ashton Smith adaptation, The Dreamquest Of Unknown Kadath, a retconned cosmology, The White Ship and Celephais, a cats themed comic anthology, a comic twist at the end, these smiling cats, ambiguous intent, lest they kill us, who is this law for?, how the Ultharians feel about it, The Doom That Came To Sarnath, the most dreamlandsy one, chronologically, its before people, almost like he’s talking to Robert E. Howard in that one, the psychology is implicit, sometimes a story is just a story, readers in the 1920s, that level of morbidity is day to day for us, extra gross for 1920s readers?, Ambrose Bierce and Edgar Allan Poe, too gross, Wastelands by W. Scott Poole, horror has its birth after WWI, the symbolists, The Troop by Nick Cutter, PG-13, this is not supposed to be a horror story, folktales and household tales, more than humans, add more magic to the story, drag out linger, so much detail, Sergio Aragonés, some guy with nemes on, a German beer stein, there’s beer, what they’re making with those crops, a pseudo Germanic look for Ulthar, the curls of an Egyptian, ankh everywhere, two gods, Ibis, the staff is an open mouth with teeth, Lovecraft foreshadows with a magic spell, repetition a symmetrical thing, all the animals are playing cutesy roles, a wellness check, a kind of horror, a mode, terrible youth trauma, return to the Dreamlands role playing game, their giant noses and their blank eyes and their implements, for the people are simple, four cats suckling, a sphinx, all ayres book of dallaire book of Greek and Norse myths, Echidna the mother of monsters, weird slug woman, the baby hydra and the baby sphinx, exiled to a cave, Cerberus is a they, tentacles, gimme milk gimme milk, added blood, you have to love them anyways, licking their genitals, motherhood is difficult for humans!, firm but gentle, the cats of Saturn, a gamification thing, Jason’s drawing game, Mangacon Cartooner, like Pictionary but producing comics, get the most fame points possible, you have to sell out to whatever trend, so meta, Evan made a huge mistake, fan service, obsession cards, giant sword, three point landing, gamifying his own letters, worldbuilding, the Lovecraft industry is a huge industry, uncountable unnameable, you play dreamers, drawn from Dunsany, The Neverending Story by Michael Ende, the sanity mechanism, go mad or die, memory resources, spend memories, performing marvels, Randolph Carter lost his memories of Providence, creating monsters out of the air, dream logic, Carter remembers he can speak nightgaunt, he always spoke nightgaunt, coincidental magic, conjuring cats, what’s the core activity?, go on dream quests, fairy tale style quests, breaking the pillars of Dreamland, as a responsible dreamer, a plague of fairies, word currency, 300 word cards, make little speeches, blasphemous, wonder, and road, an excuse to be eloquent, the Jack Vance role playing game, The Dying Earth, interesting and fun, dialogue with each other, why don’t you try to make friends with these ghouls?, Horror On The Hill, charisma rolls, neanderthals on the team, DREAMRPG.com, look at this art, its stunning!, that lady with a mask, the watchseller selling digital clocks!, The Call Of Cthulhu: Dreamlands, modern tech doesn’t work, its infinite, continually expanding, the distance between spaces grows greater and greater, like the distances between the stars, low tech vs. modern tech, in Jason’s headcanon…, stuck in the Dark Ages, an existential ramble, a zoog hiding in curtain by the hookah, some lich guy hanging out, the attention to tiny details, “yeah, she’s a medusa what of it?”, where I go to get my equipment for my dreamquest, this is awesome awesome dreamstuff, semi-announced, an Edgar Allan Poe module, an Oz module, Dreamland, Ulalume, a list of dreamers and stats for them, outside of time, they’re dreamselves, established in Celephais, a message in a bottle from two centuries later, Fungi From Yuggoth: Continuity, dream psychiatrist stories, Dreamscape, Inception, trying to tap into deep time (eternity), the Jungian dreamlands, Lovecraft’s conception of the cosmos as an eternal machine, mechanistic, grinding towards the heat death, paradoxes, all night and all day, Jamieson by Margaret St. Clair, just happy to be there, a kind of a Jorkens style story, through the hole in the wall, tiny little grape press, forever cursed to walk the earth, basuto wood and moon grapes for the moonwine, straight out of dreamquest, Dunsany style, epic mythological vs. Terry Pratchett/Neil Gaiman goofy, Paul’s play by email diceless RPG: Strange Bedfellows, set in the world of Roger Zelazny, expanding into a dreamspace, stealing shamelessly, contact the dreamer, Kij Johnson’s Dream-Quest Of Vellitt Boe, a complete stylistic pastiche, The Riverbank by Kij Johnson (a stylistic doppleganger of The Wind In The Willows), when those letters come out, his family is very rich, what dirt he has, is there anybody that’s better documented than Lovecraft?, thank you, kid oriented D&D stuff.

The Cats Of Ulthar by H.P. Lovecraft

Hannes Bok - The Cats Of Ulthar

Hannes Bok - The Cats Of Ulthar

Jason Thompson - The Cats Of Ulthar

Echidna

Jason Thompson - The Cats Of Ulthar

Jason Thompson - The Cats Of Ulthar

Frej Agelii- The Cats Of Ulthar

Jesse Willis - The Cats Of Ulthar

-Seo Yung - The Cats Of Ulthar

Jacen Burrows - The Cats Of Ulthar

Jason Thompson - Gathering Of Beasts

Jason Thompson - Dreamland City

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Reading, Short And Deep #310 – The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty by James Thurber

Podcast

Reading, Short And DeepReading, Short And Deep #310

Eric S. Rabkin and Jesse Willis discuss The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty by James Thurber

Here’s a link to a PDF of the story.

The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty was first published in The New Yorker, March 18, 1939

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

Posted by Scott D. Danielson Become a Patron!