The SFFaudio Podcast #705 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: The Temple Of Death by A.C. Benson

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #705 – The Temple Of Death by A.C. Benson; read by Connor Kaye

This unabridged reading of the story (43 minutes) is followed by a discussion of it.

Participants in the discussion include Jesse and Connor Kaye

Talked about on today’s show:
1911, 1903, previously published?, Jack London’s The People Of The Abyss, Ibister & Co., this folk horror thing, researching folk horror, when did these tropes actually start?, secret pagan cults, Connor was naive at that time, some folk horror tropes, a proto-form, the fingerprints of the sources and inspirations, Connor’s youtube version, American and British, The Wicker Man, what is American folk horror?, evidence of religion that came before Christianity, native American nations, The Wendigo, skinwalkers, a Christian worldview, demons and devils or witchcraft, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Young Goodman Brown, The Minister’s Black Veil, Faith, his beloved signing her name in the book of the devil, a devil worshiping cult, Anerican folk horror is within the christian worldview, secretly in league with the devil, persists to the modern day, the Satanic Panic, Pavlanvs, evangelizing, your new religion is not gonna catch on, this is a wild place, we need wild gods to survive, Lovecraft spans the divide, The Unnamable, the context of Cotton Mather, the witchcraft trials, these things are older than humanity, being an Anglophile, The Moon Bog, the horror from before, Robert E. Howard’s The Lost Race, set in bronze age Cornwall, bandit chief, a secret mission, to which he was used, crude hospitality, a pure Briton but not a pure Celt, a giant cat, a lion and a wolf, he picks a team, they approach it completely different ways, a Christian fairy tale about how Britain become Christian, ancient massive axes to grind, Beowulf, to be Christ-like, Robert E. Howard rejects religion, a Catholic priest, all storytellers and all writers, an intellectual issue to be solved, the movements of people and race mixing, 1927, willing to be a martyr, how good the Christians come across in this story, extremely likeable, tainted opinion, Cornell West wants people to be better, the most charitable position possible, my brother or my sister, bombing people to death, calling out the horror without condemning them as humans, a pre-Christian ideology, if you are a murderer, popish armies, I read about this guy named Jesus, the “good news”, now you don’t have to rot forever in the gray lands, Valhalla for the brave and the good, the promise of Christianity, converted after death, a present evidence of that ancient religion, who doesn’t want peace and love, reverse folk horror, a christian man goes to an island full of pagans, to make him a martyr, its awful vs. there is this awful horrible thing that can be cleansed, more relaxing approach to living your life, hopeful, anti-folk horror, a fear of regression, The Wicker Man (1973), a throwback to what we would have seen before everywhere, proto-folk horror, showing us, The Ritual (2017), worshiped as a duty, a tax, Woodlands Dark And Days Bewitched (2021), a documentary, We Don’t Go Back: A Watcher’s Guide To Folk Horror by Howard David Ingham, fear of regression into more superstitious time, where there is not covenant with god, recent Christian converts, Abraham and Isaac, I ain’t like the other Gods, we’re going for a walk, God’s like jk, no more literal holocaust, what we need instead is for you to understand, Christ is the fulfillment of the promise of the Old Testament, I’m the Prince of Peace not the Prince of Vengeance And Judgement, Cornell West, the vigorous, Spider-Man is a real guy, the stories of Christ, a good story, there’s a guy who came here to teach us the error of our ways, let he who is without sin cast the first stone, second layer of thinking, talking in parables, heaven towards our sisters and brothers on the planet, why we like Paulanus so much, offering a hand of friendship and comfort, converted and forgiven, transmuted, the answer to folk horror’s cynicism or worries about human nature, man against man, beast against beast, the cycle of violence, to become the priest you must kill the priest, the breaking of that cycle, the turning of the cheek, the monster is dead and buried, they turn it into a Christian school, the foundation of the new church is on the bones of the dead religion (that nobody really liked anyway), violence, this bloody big monster that’s going to kill people, our priest of death tells his own story, I killed my own brother, the story of Cain and Abel, Cain is marked by God, he is under My protection, that’s the guy who killed his brother, isolated and shunned from society, no option for forgiveness, down the path of horror, live in death, here comes Christianity to save the day, you’re never beyond redemption, a being that deserves respect, seen as irredeemable, a pariah, do not go into the forest, why is he doing this?, I know who this is?, would you like to know more?, would you like to go through the door?, he always says yes, that’s his mission, which race succeeds which race, a reaching out to those who are mistaken, brother let me show you the way, I would like you to live with me for a time, that sounds dangerous, I will, we don’t see the emotional change inside his head, this is gratitude, relief, relaxation, almost grace, you haven’t seen the real me yet, the plank, foggy, shrouded, dark, there is this literal monster caged up, as big as a horse, when it dies we can find another way now, a bizarre god, it sounded like Pan, an idol in the temple, half-goat half-man, The Guide To Supernatural Fiction by E.F. Bleiler, 729 pages, densely typed story summaries, Nemi, he merely held the spear and it killed itself, in the face of Christianity the old religion killed itself, how Christianity came to Britain, no residential schools, how it was done in North America, becoming Catholics by default, how Ragnar Lodbrok became a Christian, that show (Vikings), we don’t know what the priest knows, his fears, his worries, legitimated, I got something in the back room that scares the shit out of me, when the beast breaks out of its cage, a square island, a moat, pens, a temple, a hovel, weapons, ancient weapons?, far away in time or space, he puts down a club, this god who have a half-man half-god to be sacrificed, a sophisticated weapon/religion, story attraction, how strong can your god be if he died on a wooden stick, that’s interesting, just give obedience to that guy over there with the fish hat (the pope), fairy tale structure, William Hope Hodgson, no scroll being uncovered, fairy tale timeline, him as an old man, a one to one, he lived happily ever after, omniscient, the description of the beast, as huge as a horse, his small head was laid back on his hairy shoulders, his red mouth, it could be a lion, a giant wolf, a giant man, its up to your imagination, a series of rough hewn gates, the forest, drawbridge, sheep, a great statue on a pedestal, half-man half-goat crouched to spring, the beginning is interpretable through the end, Cernunnos, the horned god, Herne The Hunter, the Green Man with horns, the merging with man with his primary prey (deer/goats), pre-Christian religion in England is murky, per-Christian Roman culture and religion, The Golden Bough by James Frazer, comparative mythology, the priesthood of Diana, the goddess of nature and hunting, sacred grove, a certain tree, a drawn sword, set upon by an enemy, a priest and a murderer, such was the rule of the sanctuary, how you become a priest of Diana, The King Of The Wood, if A.C. Benson was interested in folklore or mythology, he could have read the first page and got this idea, a Christian Roman, an ironic cyclical thing, what Caesar says, they like sickles and harvesting oak moss, druids, that song from Spinal Tap, nobody knows, they’re strange, Diana of Nemi, conflated with Artemis, Lake Nemi, according to the legend, the Tauric Diana, the myth has it, the temple of Saturn, sacrificed on her altar, a milder form (of human sacrifice), a scared grove, a carved cult image, archaic and Etruscan in form, go to their danger, her priest will hunt you, page 13 (of 36), Paul <- Paulanus, a transformation on the road, the way of Christ, so it is this that is taking hold of the world, women and children in fair houses, the god who made these woods, he loves death and darkness, a brutish sort (of love), the sharp woes and agonies, death sweats and cries of despair, your simple easy-going god might dwell within them, beyond the memory of man, I should be content if it had victory, go to sleep, a nice story, I wish it were true, I’d like you to live here with me, don’t you want to see the scary god in the back shed?, all externalized, a good religion for middle class people with good incomes, the grinding horror of this forest, my God is patient, things will work out in the end, a strange way, hey, you’re not the priest, your god killed him, he goes through the whole story, it’s all about the story, maybe you should be the teacher and replace that temple, how Christianity got its grip on this island, a way of solving the question: how did it come to be?, how did Christianity come to the British isles, this isn’t a colonizer, a fiction, a wandering disciple, it feels Biblical, the language of it, particular style, a good choice, the story of Paul, the messenger of Jesus, that transformational character, apostles vs. disciples, Judas is forgiven too, Tarsus, the apostle of the gentiles, where the most success there is with Jesus, non-Jews become Christians, through personal revelations, post-ascension Jesus, a post-prophet, neither Connor nor Jesse are not a bible expert, contemporaneous but not present, he is the guy who converts non-witnesses, how the the Latter Day Saints do it too, so your religion spreads, to model the behavior, the Good News, Jews don’t prosthelytize, an appeal to it, like Christianity and Islam, god not having to be seen is more fitting, what colour Thor’s armour is, we don’t give his real name, let it be to your imagination, some churches, Jesus embodied on the cross vs. the cross without a Jesus, intellectual strategies, we’re all brothers vs. crusades style, more Jesus centered Christianity, the oldness the art, the discipline, monks, nunneries, self-denial, self-abnegation, literal news, you don’t have to do it the old way anymore, modelling the behavior, acting the Christian, why it works as a really good story, a very strange story, we wouldn’t see the appeal of the change, preachy and judgemental, the way of love and peace among brothers, a whole new world (not being worried about being killed), an insane method of succession, propaganda, Julius Caesar’s accounts, pre-Christian religions written about through and by a Christian lens, human history, the blood eagle, to wield power, to intimidate, the way Genghis operated, the Romans were brutal, openly and ultimately corrupt, cool takeaways from Nietzsche, take it like a Christian, seeing that, they seem to have a conviction that we don’t have, there story is an inversion of ours, submission and peace and willingness to suffer, a judo flip on the mind, a weird flex, Constantine, hey we’re all Christians now, a politic move, literally leading an army, all of that considered, a more mentally healthy worldview, murder or sacrifice, human sacrifice doesn’t seem that cool, there is a textbook, apocrypha, the King James Bible, Jesus wants you to support the war in Iraq, when somebody was accused of adultery, having literacy, a subset of Christians, these are our brothers and sisters we need to cherish them, it doesn’t negate bravery, act as if you believe because you hope it is true, why people believe things, a kind of discipline and rigor, codes of behaviors that need to be served, he doesn’t have a book with him, spreading the word based on what he has read or what he was told, this is how you read, you can read it for yourself, the power struggle, controlling who can read, be rich and hire a tutor, send your kid to be a copyist, minor nobility, acquiring wealth, roles for people even if they can’t read, when the printing press comes in, Koreans who became Christians in the 19th and 20th centuries, analyzing through angles, nothing is in a steady state, a story science, like science, an ice-core sample, as early as 1903, through the other data that we know, folk horror is still with us, our first urban legend for Reading, Short And Deep, urban legends don’t have a first publication, Rapunzel, Lucy Crane and her brother, High Beams, The Killer In The Back Seat, my cousin heard this from her brother, this is a story that can only exist in the 20th century, coming out of a context, working with a specific text, who told it to who in what context?, a document frozen in time, we can infer some things, what A.C. Benson may be doing that we didn’t notice, the Greeks and the Romans were from peoples that had these things, they might have their version of Pan, we can trace a lot of it, Google Books scanning, the two things, a connection there, drawing those connections, use an index, The Tempest by William Shakespeare, Caliban’s mom (Sycorax), Setebos, Solomon Kane, The One Black Stain by Robert E. Howard, Patagonia, a reference to Magellan, Antonio Pigafetta, that’s the same god!, a contemporary book, deep archaeological extractions, we can be wrong but we can always go back to the original sample, people like to fiddle, like chain of custody, reading old stories richer, who cares if a book references Trump now, the golden haired dunce, they just assumed people would know what they were talking about, 1921/7, Randall’s Round by Eleanor Scott, it’s obvious when you know, new volumes of The Golden Bough, here in the future where we are, all we see is the racism, they’re so sexist back then, how randy 1950s Americans were, going steady, the 1950s slick magazines, sex habits of teenagers, we think they’re so repressed, you’re only getting part of it, there can be nudity, why women should get married younger, a vague memory of your parents or grandparents, the actual archaeological stratum, the fossils of the culture, they have skin and put on makeup, recording history, leaving out bits of information, holding yourself accountable, humans are self-centered, when recording history, print media sources, what were the gossip rags talking about, Victorian England as prudish, venereal diseases, orphans in Dickens, public prudity and private indulgence, The New Accelerator [by H.G. Wells], all the drugs, heroin at the grocery store, hashish, poppy smoking clubs (opium dens), heroin was a product made by Bayer, give it to your kids, moral panics over coffee and tea, kill lots of people to get tea or rum cheaper, deploy your soldiers with rum, the Rum Rebellion in Australia, an act of rebellion against Governor Bligh, hiding under his bed, a government overthrown, the trucker rebellion in Canada, a Boxer Rebellion is china, not just religious mania, twice, famously he had mutinies under him, reading about 5 or 6 times, as many stories, historical significance, it has a literal monster in it, folk horror that contains monsters and monster-free folk horror, werewolfy creature, the symbolic part, at the center, the reason it is locked up, how native people dealt with criminals, paddle you out to an island, we don’t want to kill each other, governments make us kill, a committee, why the hangman wears a mask, a faceless thing, indigenous Australian criminal justice, a free shot, go back to livin, it’s hard when it’s murder, a chaotic person who can’t be controlled and is dangerous, anthropology in uni, much like Julius Caesar, like JFK, royalty from the society, they disaffect from the royal line, punishments come from the community of power, rogues, the philosophy of love, “take care of it”, whack em, so many metaphors, synonyms for words that has massive taboos, euphemisms, obscured behind layers of meaning, execute means do, to carry through to the end, executive power is the power to do, he gotta get done, gotta get got, a murder who wants to be forgiven, all people are good or can be,
the breaking of the cycle, the priest’s brother is like that, what are the options, a much harder story to tell, asking for forgiveness (rather than permission), talking to little kids about Spider-Man, he’s a do-gooder, in a punishment society, make a virtue of thinking through , what would Jesus do, N-Law launchers to blow up tanks in Ukraine, don’t send weapons to death squads, chickenhawks run the society.

The Temple Of Death by A.C. Benson

Posted by Jesse WillisBecome a Patron!

The SFFaudio Podcast #681 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: The Goddess of Atvatabar by William R. Bradshaw

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #681 – The Goddess of Atvatabar by William R. Bradshaw – read by Nigel Fisher. This is a complete and unabridged reading of the novel (8 hour 40 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Evan Lampe, Will Emmons, Trish E. Matson, Connor Kaye, and Alex

Talked about on today’s show:
how to pronounce Atvatabar, “BEING THE HISTORY OF THE DISCOVERY OF THE INTERIOR WORLD AND CONQUEST OF ATVATABAR”, 1892, hollow earth book, regretting the , kissing book, Vril with more science, a textbook to Theosophy, war, political intrigue, kissing, evolutions, sideye with philosophy, lift the labourers dreary lives, a classist perspective, dime novels, good intentions, travelogue genre, a little in there ideas, the plant birds, the Gutenberg illustrations, spider monkey plants, orchids, birds, fairies, ceremonial garb, silver polar bears, blue serge, a colour illustrated, her hair is blue, she has golden skin, blue black, the lighting from Swang!, the names of anything, the greeglazat of glosset gozzel, Lewis Carol, terrorite, exploding gender reveal parties, Dimitri Mendeleev, the hot new thing, a dictionary of explosives, rando 21st century novel, what an NFT is, plant bird NFT, a yarp happy, a castern owl, a haplid, the cavalry units in the air, bird like machines, studied for a dissertation, piling on, this doesn’t matter to the plot, Battle Of The Five Armies, sailing over the rim of the world, heading towards the center sun, a planet orbiting that sun, 25 miles across, not a big dumb object book, an entire planet inside of a planet, why Ringworld is so cool, rishathra, standing on the Plutasian shore, seeing another continent across the space of the earth, teasing hard for a sequel, E.F. Bleiler, an anti-vivisection, the phonetic Irish accent, a bad book, primitive, an indisputable bore, Jesse doesn’t understand kissing, philosophy of kissing, a revolution because people just want to bone, firearms, musk ox?, his dogs who are always eating each other, vivisection, its exciting to shoot off guns, what are their standing armies for?, such an imperialistic book, the British and Americans show up, team America, the American declares himself king, emperor of the roof of the world, co-equal, scientist buddies, Starbottle, a comedy, comic relief, Flathootley, eating food in the sky, a loveable Irish rogue, the avatar for the author, not a satire, empire all the way, decorative armies, no imminent threat, the conquest of Mexico, I love your philosophy, you aren’t allowed to have sex? burn, I just want to have sex with your goddess, twenty years after Vril (aka The Coming Race), reincarnation, the longing couples are like batteries, pining for each other, priest and priestess, they worship the human soul, we’ll surrender and dies, I just want some gold, a gold rush mentality, the gold rush period, the deus ex machina, timeline questions, at least a year, how many ceremonies, two weeks on the invisible island, the restrained horniness of a thousand priestesses, practice your spirit religion, Lexington White, convert them to Christianity, resurrection, banished to the weird rock in the sky, muscular Christians, just war, Tahiti, they see all the shows, the most realistic part of this book, this spiritual shit, get your prana adjusted, physical culture, sold a whole lot of horseshit, how the gravity kind of works, ok, Arthur C. Clarke, fun and interesting explanations, Edgar Rice Burroughs wrote this book and did it much better, At The Earth’s Core, lesbian pterodactyls tore my flesh, a different kind of hollow earth, no upside down like Connor, The Narrative Of Arthur Gordon Pym by Edgar Allan Poe, the hint, the promise, A Descent Into The Maelstrom, donut hole, a Symes hole, a model of the hollow earth over his grave, Giacomo Casanova’s utopian novel, Ludvig Holberg’s Niels Klim’s Underground Travels, ripping off Jules Verne’s Journey To The Center Of The Earth, we’re drilling, where do volcanoes come from?, I’ll weigh myself, John Carter’s jumping around on Mars, they drop it, nothing comes of it, more virile (or more Vril?), electric wings, no gunpowder, who’s tilling the fields, food gathering, surplus army corps, many many many government officials, Nazis under Berlin, The City Of Endless Night by Milo Hastings, exotic India or China, caucazoids with golden skin and blue hair, more or less human, a damsel fly, the baby buds off like a plant, I overthrew and entire continent for you, sex by holding hands, all for the good of mankind, I’m a man its good for me so its good for mankind, little hints, the Nicaraguan Canal, dead plans, effect on the outer world, if this was a movie, terrorite guns and the Nicaraguan canal was finished, we have to infer, M_ Valdemar, save the guilty from being exposed, what kind of document are we supposed to be reading here, voyages extraordinaires, that it is widely publicized is what makes it very science fictional, the philosophy of theosophy stuff, Edgar Allan Poe, most of Jules Verne isn’t science fictional, Around The World In Eighty Days, vs. a journey of scientific exploration, where the sun will be in the sky, the science fiction explorations, the Vril stuff is not science fiction (or fantasy), “science fiction of the soul”, how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, you have to deal, Rene Descartes, the tripartite god, under your table, he’s in your pants, and the oil pan of Jesse’s car, dualism, when you go to the gym you get buff, when you breathe through your nose…, claiming it is science, where are their experiments?, you can create matter?, the explanation is a whole bunch of wands, spiritualism, weighing bodies, social science fiction, a sound mind and a sound body, is Jesse just empirically wrong?, William James, altered states, religious experiences, chemical explanations, just because Jesse doesn’t have a soul…, Protector by Larry Niven, an unsatisfactory mutation, an extensive explanation, a demonstration of this theory, charging up the 100 wands, we’re firing the cannon because we’re tired now, isn’t it weird that humans have bad backs, aches and pains are because of a lack of vitamin c, cleverly developed, science and industry, lens-grinding and telescopes, as soon as we develop rockets the inner world stuff becomes less interesting, King Kong Vs. Godzilla (2020) went into the hollow Earth, discredited after it was proposed, where Dinotopia is, “the world beneath”, a fantasy book, magical powers, the priests of witchcraft and sorcery and necromancy, telepathy, what if there were telepaths?, the Earth’s frontiers, that drive to explore and take lands over and make profit from them, a BIG portal fantasy, we need another world somewhere, this is not a utopia, ships made out of gold, they worship a steam engine, they fly in the sky, overthrowing the utopia, local resistance, more like the CIA, an Omelas or Lottery situation, why the heart that should stay out of marriage, abstinence? burn it all down, Vril is much more obviously a utopia, a lot of parades, the catalogue of ships, the Amazon brigade, tuckerization, like part of The Iliad, the arabesques, Barsoom is not supposed to be a utopia, healing with rods, another battle and another victory, more concerned with weird wish fulfillment, I gotta find the perfect girl with blue hair, pretend it is a satire, Lexington is awesome in every way, he’s so into it, its fascinating, military history catnip, playing with tropes in the air, I have to set it up then I get to do the battle, the Throne of the Gods, we’re done with this Christian shit now, we’re going to do the god of Reason, worship invention and honesty, cutting the church out, the god king’s son, the church can change the game in radical ways, from Chapter 19, masturbating on the best ideas, all the best guys, Wheel Of Fortune, fucking bullshit, all the stuff in this book that is awesome is bullshit, scholarship to understand ancient religious texts, the book of names, dude, you fucked up, cool worldbuilding, funny, post scarcity so much they’re spinning up any old idea, Reading, Short And Deep, the perfect scientist, The Ideal by Stanley G. Weinbaum, what he’s doing here is not philosophy, not a way of knowing, spinning up theories, divine evidence through revelation, Thales, water, trying to understand how the universe works, life after death, we know the answer to this and we don’t like the, arguments for life after death, context for Lovecraft’s racism, spiritualism is not science, spiritualism, bad philosophy is not philosophy, play-doh, spore drives, warp drives, because spore drives, warp technology is to get to the stories, parts of Star Trek are science fiction, uniforms vs. replicators, Egon and crew in the Ghostbusters movies, Venkman, Courtney Brown and remote viewing, Stranger Things, the stuff in the middle is not science fiction, implausible but…, a fun exploration of known properties of science, astronomer, hire a sorcerer or a spiritualist, conjuration, clairvoyance, sideshow, theosophy, spiritualism, seership, the most ridiculous part of this books, pig Latin, Julian Hawthorne, the introduction, very long and enthusiastic, his opinion, a book review that’s nice to the author, some plausibility, future adventures of Lexington White, piling up better novels, Cirsova is publishing a bunch of his stuff, The Cosmic Courtship reads a lot like this , jetpack, nude swim, I’m doing mad science, the King Of The United States, the jockey got arrested for murder, dangerous horserace, accidentally goes to Jupiter, son of Nathaniel Hawthorne, like Lovecraft but with a lot less eldritch and a lot more adultery, witchcraft, Young Goodman Brown, The House Of The Seven Gables, the groom man, The Hollow Of The Three Hills, Feathertop, the Scarecrow man, The Birthmark, a cool continuum of people to read, how did this book come to be, straight-up adventure fiction, The Lost World, baseless but it feels like its not, brainstates and chemicals in your food, internal consistency of the story, accept whatever, falling in love with the lady vs. falling in love with their society, the battles are competently done, the clouds of blood, sleeping in the air, crushed in a clump, these batteries, admantium and vibranium and twenty more, a lot of lists, this made of word is like a pineapple, in favour of the writing, in media res, they had great artwork, oh my god triceratops!, vast cities, people riding pterodactyls, people and dinosaurs co-exist and they’re friends, burn it all down, the Anglo-American empire, the character names are comedic, he’s basically Cortez, so much blood, you should all be down here getting gold like me, free trade, their eyes glitter, if he’s doing satire, half the book, different kinds of things, sexism, why is their no triggering?, she could veto, she’s not allowed to talk, more equal, equaler, the most equal, first among equals, amazonian brigades, segregation in the units, elected for life, his dad gave him five million dollars, inherited wealth is ok, an eyerolly book (in an enjoyable book), too dumb, Spock’s Brain, pulp tropes, every issue of Fantastic Adventures, a blonde haired giant lady in her icy kingdom, She by H. Rider Haggard, men’s romance, costumes out, playing captain, golden braiding, only for formal occasions, unconscious, wasted food, indelible for some reason, firing in a semi-circle, a lot of killing, a whole herd of musk ox, cuz America, flirting with satire, is it unconscious?, it starts really well, frames, navigator vs. divination, dating blue haired locals, thinking about how awesome Lexington is, going to a lot of banquets, airship, fills a little crack, Hollow Earth Adventures RPG, set in the 1930s, Space: 1889, pith helmet and martini rifles on spaceships, like Edgar Rice Burroughs with some Nazis, a D&D sourcebook, a massive infodump, page after page, what are the powers of the Lesbian dinosaur ladies, magical, telepathic, mind-control, open source, lists and thrones and banquets, what do the other places look like, almost a whole world opened up to us, a list of their household items, cotton gins, printing presses, what are their voting machines like, what is their average day, are they post scarcity, just cosplaying like the Klingons, Vril is a better book in general, better than Tolkien (at the battle scenes).

The Goddess Of Atvatabar

The Goddess Of Atvatabar

The Goddess Of Atvatabar

The Goddess Of Atvatabar

The Goddess Of Atvatabar

The Goddess Of Atvatabar

The Goddess Of Atvatabar

The Goddess Of Atvatabar

The Goddess Of Atvatabar

The Goddess Of Atvatabar FORGOTTEN FANTASY

Posted by Jesse WillisBecome a Patron!

The SFFaudio Podcast #675 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: Jetta Of The Lowlands by Ray Cummings

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #675 – Jetta Of The Lowlands by Ray Cummings – read by Richard Kilmer. This is a complete and unabridged reading of the story (4 hours 5 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Evan Lampe, and Will Emmons

Talked about on today’s show:
a serial in Astounding Stories Of Super Science, Sept – November 1930, The Girl In The Golden Atom, The Diamond Lens by Fitz-James O’Brien, antisemitism precedes other forms of European racism, 600 stories, avoiding Cummings, full of shitty writing, the assistant to Edison, Huxley’s lab assistant, learned science from Darwin’s bulldog, science science science vs. invention, very pulpy, not awesome pulpy, filler, why is it this long?, the reading doesn’t help, the setting is interesting, is the setting that interesting?, it should be, a South American country, ecological disaster, bandit planet, a dull read, why pulp gets a bad name, the characters, a terrible book, acknowledging an error, how do you know?, should Ray Cummings be canceled?, not interesting enough to cancel, the years have canceled him, for those who managed to struggle through the audiobook and are now listening…, reading from E.F. Bleiler, science fiction and weird fiction, Science Fiction The Gernsback Years (page 87), entry 298, economic espionage and intrigue, 2020, north of Puerto Rico (dry sea bottom), Nerita, almost any word you can think of is a village in India, the National Detective Service, a lowlands bandit, mercury smuggling?, Spawn, Debeer, the ending is predictable, pure adventure, super-radio, light rays bent by magnetic fields, the lowland concept, more on this economic relation, a thug of the powerful state, colonial setting, there to take a child bride, Harry Turtledove, Down In The Bottomlands, set in a dry Mediterranean, a geographical lesson, where are the rivers, the seas, the lakes, what does this do to the rainfall, radioactive mercury, just a gimmick, its filler, get out from under Hugo Gernsback and get out under John W. Campbell, uncontroversial, I want you to think harder about this, getting tied up every few pages, a western movie serial, helicopter/airplane, secret gear, he fights science pirate, going to the kernel of the concept, better Ray Cummings, Phantoms Of Reality, different worlds at different vibrational wavelengths, you go to a weird little planet and weird little things happen, dies 1957, not able to adapt himself, about 350 1945-1942, 750 stories in all, a whole bunch of awesome concepts, three or four interesting ideas, like South America, an enforcer of empire, Jetta’s not even sexy, half mermaid?, she’s illiterate, when did the seas go down, a mercury rush, no Indians at the bottom of the sea, no displaced mermen?, what caused it?, one story and one book, Til A’ The Seas by Robert Barlow, a last man, pretty well done, H.P. Lovecraft helped polish it, the imagery is beautiful, Jack Vance’s Dying Earth, Olaf Stapledon-y, set at the bottom of the ocean, one of the biggest writers of the period, Cornell Woolrich, read him because you like tension, H.G. Wells, E.E. Doc Smith, the action sequences of Star Treks, lots of beams, wrist controls, they just invented force fields, Scotty trying to invent force fields and warp drive during the battle, Ted Chiang, Larry Niven, a lot more like Stanley G. Weinbaum and a lot less like John W. Campbell, the deGernsbacking, there was no sense that the reforms were needed, make me a serial out of it, why pulps get a bad name, Buck Rogers style serials, everything’s weird and there’s a lady and he needs to adapt, Flash Gordon, the slicks did it with essentially Superman’s origin story, Edwin Balmer and Philip Wylie’s When Worlds Collide, the exact same plot as 2012 (2009), everything is cliche, a Wonder Woman fetish person, the electrodes on the skin does it for Will, he’s getting a little tingle, that black knife, if it had been 1 hour long, somebody other than Ray Cummings, we learned something, there’s a reason he’s receded, what made pulps disposable, fiction magazines are sort of gone, alternate history, time travelers bring Kalashnikov to South during the U.S. Civil War, Adaptation by Mack Reynolds, how bad John W. Campbell was, a communist getting purchased by a fascist, a red brown alliance, not actually a fascist, Black Man’s Burden, Samuel Delaney is not a John W. Campbell writer, ornate?, do you believe a man at his word, he vibes with Mack Reynolds, colonial Africa, not trying to praise the white man, deep in his dementia, more New Wave than science fiction of the kind Weinbaum was doing, competing theses, a think piece that doesn’t and does resolve, a goofy concept, chill out for a few generations, the Aztec level of civilization at the time of Cortez’s contact, the Italian city states (late medieval early modern period), the Pedagog, state socialism or free market capitalism, the power goes to their heads, the natives run them out of town, a planned economy vs. a free market economy, it argues with the idea that only American style colonialism is good, productivism, forces of production Marxism, the natives appreciate, we’ll consider joining you, the capitalists and the socialists team up, free nations, science fiction writers for an against the Vietnam War, Howard vs. Lovecraft, the origins and the results and what it means for human nature, barbarism vs. civilization, Robert A. Heinlein, is barbarianism our natural state?, competing in the same pages, this story is my argument, we’re after mercury and its being smuggled, why?, don’t care, the only woman at the bottom of the well, that’s why I’m going on this adventure, radiumized!, the Star Trek, Kirk on a motorcycle, Red Matter has nothing to do with science fiction, not idea struggling, what did Evan say about this story?, contextualize it for us?, empire maybe, Wizard In Glass: Dark Tower 4 by Stephen King, an agent of a declining state, fantasy Mexico, a 14 or 15 year old sexy and brave character, the concubine of the mayor, a frontier region secretly in rebellion against the Empire, cool Stephen King stuff, criminal frontier full of bandits, smugglers, science pirates!, lots here about technology and the state, Seeing Like A State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed by James C. Scott, a letter, Ray Cummings should stay in Ray Cummings’ grave, a Lovecraft explainer explainer, explaining Lovecraft to his or her liberal friends, Lovecraft Mythos explainer, this phenomenon, dig up the bones of a guy who was dead before their grandma is born, The Painful Threshold: Why We Can’t Stop Flogging Lovecraft’s Dead Bloated Corpse, why Lovecraft Country is good and Lovecraft is bad, fox spirits, a new Netflix series with a Henry Kuttner and two H.P. Lovecraft stories, Graveyard Rats, Cool Air and The Statement Of Randolph Carter, Guillermo del Toro, missing the class analysis, Bobby Derie, Jesse has never met a racist reader, what was his cat’s name, hahahah, at the end of the serial of Jetta, the Invisible X-Fliers, October 1930, 2021, the Anti-War Department of the United States of Department, the defense department, mechanical invisibility, many men, great scientific discoveries, a new combination of older seemingly impractical knowledge, steal all the right stuff, making the inefficient efficient, almost no role in the book, bending of light rays, the cloaking device from Star Trek, the Martel Effects, two real kinds of currents, pseudoscience technobabble, camouflage style invisibility, Jack London’s rip off of The Invisible Man, Discover is Star Trek and Star Trek is science fiction, warp drive, not totally void of ideas, spore drive, warp drive, transwarp drive, transwarp conduits, the journey to get to the story, The Devil In The Dark, the last of her kind, mining some shit that doesn’t exist, silicon based life form and can we exist with a native population are two radical ideas, mind melds aren’t real, “NO KILL I”, Konglish, bringing in the Klingons again, bringing in the Romulans again, as if Spock is a traitor, who cares about Romulans?, there’s nothing there, we’ve dug you up we’ve had your cadaver trial and found you wanting, she liked to look at pictures in a book, I don’t know about this reading stuff, he’s black (with no skin and a republican too?), Todd McFarlane, blew up the comics industry, too obvious?, no secret keys to the name, a Volkswagen named after the character?, designed to be disposable.

Jetta Of The Lowlands by Ray Cummings

Jetta Of The Lowlands by Ray Cummings

Jetta Of The Lowlands by Ray Cummings

Posted by Jesse WillisBecome a Patron!

The SFFaudio Podcast #448 – READALONG: The Broken Sword by Poul Anderson

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #448 – Jesse, Scott, and Paul Weimer talk about The Broken Sword by Poul Anderson

Talked about on today’s show:
1954, a reconstruction of a Norse Saga with Dungeons & Dragons elements, Scott loved it, Jesse found it terrible, and Paul has read it thrice, what would have happened…, Eric Bright Eyes by H. Rider Haggard, idiots and assholes and magic, low magic, striving toward wisdom, the nuclear weapons of magic, Odin, sacrificial Paul, the rules, in the realm of mythology, Beowulf, The Lord Of The Rings, Michael Moorcock’s Elric Of Melnibone, archetypes and gods, greater and deeper, mythic vs. inspired by myth, the language was amazing, Jesse’s not saying much, directly inspired by Beowulf, The Völsunga Saga, an insight into 1000 year old society, The Odyssey, the characters tended to not be very wise, semi-historical, Ragnar Lodbrook, simile nice, toning down the massive metaphors, more about power than it is about ideas, the whole magic sword thing, magic items, H.P. Lovecraft, huge and menacing and powerful and on the edge of our ability to perceive, Skafloc, drawing runes, there’s a demon in here, cursed staves, Dreams In The Witch House, his counterpart (his changeling), screwed at birth, cursed in a Greek or Norse way, more action, not an idea book, all about the ideas, The Forever War, the ideas are not front in center, you can’t touch iron, that’s the rule!, The Magic Goes Away by Larry Niven, werewolves, becoming an outlaw, becoming savage, why is he a werewolf, Gilgamesh and Enkidu, not unlike the world was viewed, the revised edition, Bronson Pinchot’s narration, the 1971 revision (made it worse), Gollanz’s reversion, ‘I welded the Broken Sword back together’, a ‘Book For The Blind’ narration, luke warm, The High Crusade, Three Hearts And Three Lions, a WWII officer dropped into the land of fairy, the plot of the Wonder Woman movie, for copyright reasons?, fiddling, the language in this book, poetry, evocative descriptions, half converted Christians, a ghost tells them, that’s the rules, her brother her lover, that’s the tragedy, echoes, the ending was rushed, Valgard, killed by the device, E.F. Bleiler, noir, doomed from the beginning, the characters doom themselves vs. their doomed because of their destiny, why is this happening?, he calls to the raven, hey there’s a battle down the road, dude!? why did you do that?, James M. Cain, for no good reason, stirring the same area of Scott’s brain, pale recreation of Tolkien, thinking about the meta-aspect, that GRAVITAS, WWII, truth, the eternal verities, the truth of story, poetic truth, philosophers, a truth and a resonance, Dunkirk, its hard to criticize anything that is tongue-in-cheek, the bad geography of Middle Earth (Tor.com), philology, Frank Herbert, geology and ecology, monsters doing monstrous things to each other, what makes them powerful, Marissa, imagine you’re copy-editing someone’s work, fixing a falsity, the Goodreads reviews, the reviews of Beowulf, what’s the Bible’s Goodreads reviews, Gilgamesh The King by Robert Silverberg, the epic vs. the novel, ringing false, is this a high fantasy book?, Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser, science vs. magic, lets shoot the fireballs at each other, Robert E. Howard, the magic sword mentality, Excalibur and King Arthur, his human thews (though very jaguar-like), the strength of 10-hill giants, a really problematic definition, epic vs. sword and sorcery, about scale and stakes, who is casting the fireballs, “an Atlantean Sword”, the magic is in his manliness, about willpower, born to be screwed, the characters don’t seem to know themselves, they are almost pre-conscious, The Odyssey, I’ve made mistakes – I’m going to make more – and here I go, sticking with the tradition he is writing in, that northern tradition, the Neil Gaiman movie script adaptation of Beowulf, The Saga of Eric Brighteyes, set in Iceland, Henry Treece’s Viking Trilogy, on the PDF Page, Viking Dawn, The Road To Miklagard, Viking Sunset, Beothuk, throw down some quotes, a sequel hook, Ragnarok, the unfinished comic book adaptation from the 1960s, good stuff, a book full of sadness, “whence came you hither, fawn?”, the sacred grove, the dryad screams, The Grove Of Ashtaroth by John Buchan, arbitrary rules, the White Christ, real gods vs. fake gods, who and how much power a particular name has, see American Gods by Neil Gaiman, The Elf-Trap by Francis Stevens, Carcassonne, Kentucky, why are some characters not allowed to touch iron?, that’s the rules, the afterword, a science fiction-y take, when he isn’t being playful, Three Hearts And Three Lions, marrying science fiction with fantasy, how they can intertwine and make sense of each other, when the Devil shows up, Dante (Alighieri), “the White Christ, time and love”, I knew him of old in my incarnation of Loki, things as other things, fairies from China and India, a very old idea, that’s some deep stuff right there, elf girlfriends vs. human girlfriends, mocking eyes, “oh, you’re one of thooose guys”, “like calls to like”, cold mystery, adopted by elves, mythic, Dragon Magazine, some of the cartoons, straight out of Elric (and this), intelligent swords, willful swords, when you’re sword has a higher intelligence that you do, a tragedy, where’s my place in this world, where’s my place in a Norse saga?, sword dances, a novel for Dungeons & Dragons players, “Brutal, romantic and tragic. no cute hobbits.”

Ballantine Books - The Broken Sword by Poul Anderson

The Broken Sword by Poul Anderson (1961) fanzine illustration

comic book adaptation of The Broken Sword

The Broken Sword by Poul Anderson - Italian

BLACKSTONE AUDIO - The Broken Sword by Poul Anderson

Boris Vallejo illustration of The Broken Sword by Poul Anderson

Poul Anderson letter to Eldritch Dream Quest (fanzine)

Posted by Jesse Willis