Hypnobobs: What Was It? by Fitz James O’Brien

SFFaudio Online Audio

Mr. Jim Moon, a recent guest on SFFaudio Podcast #126, has recorded another story you just have to hear! It’s an old one, it’s wonderful, it’s obscure and it’s been recorded with an amateur’s enthusiasm and a professional’s sound. Mr. Moon, who I’m coming to realize is something of an expert in weird fiction, tracked down the complete text – apparently nearly all modern editions have used a slightly condensed version – cleanly narrated it (without any added sound effects or annoying bed music), then complimented the reading with what I can only describe as a very thoughtful commentary of an impassioned researcher.

Honestly, how could anyone ask for more than that?

My figurative hat is off to you Mr. Jim Moon. You are what makes the internet a wonderful place to visit.

What Was It? by Fritz James O'BrienWhat Was It?
By Fitz James O’Brien; Read by Jim Moon
1 |MP3| – Approx. 50 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Podcaster: Hypnobobs
Podcast: September 18, 2011
One of the earliest known examples of invisibility in fiction is What Was It? by Fitz James O’Brien – He’s been called “the most important figure after Poe and before Lovecraft” and this story serves as a kind of a bridge between the supernatural and the scientific, between the likes of de Maupassant’s The Horla and Wells’ The Invisible Man.

Podcast feed: http://feeds.feedburner.com/Hypnobobs

Posted by Jesse Willis

CBS Radio Mystery Theater: The Horla adapted from the story by Guy de Maupassant

SFFaudio Online Audio

Here’s a very cool find, the most modern radio dramatization adaptation of Guy de Maupassant’s The Horla yet! This 19th century classic of Science Fiction and Horror is made grand as a radio drama! The CBS Radio Mystery Theatre’s version is more than 40 minutes long, which gives the plot enough time to truly develop the story.

As with so many authors who become famous, this adaptation blurs the distinction between the unnamed protagonist of the original short story and the author himself. The afflicted man, thus, is Guy de Maupassant himself! The adaptation take quite a few other liberties with the story, adding a few telephone conversations, moving scenes around and changing the focus slightly. There is major fire, but unlike the original short story the fire is not of the protagonist’s home. As with all CBS Radio Mystery Theater productions there is a narrator, but as with all the ones I’ve heard, it isn’t a crutch for the storytelling. I heartily recommend this production.

Unfortunately I couldn’t find a direct link to an MP3 file anywhere online but it is available on Archive.org as a part of a fifty |Zipped File| collection. Actually, all 1,399 episodes of the terrific series (!) are available THERE too. And for more information on the CBS Radio Mystery Theater check out this site (it has a very handy searchable database).

CBS Radio Mystery TheaterCBS Radio Mystery Theater – The Horla
Based on the story by Guy de Maupassant; Adapted by Sam Dann; Performed by a full cast
Zipped MP3 File (with many others) – Approx. 43 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: CBS
Broadcast: February 22, 1974
A man becomes obsessed with a ship in the harbor he is convinced harbors a terrible evil that is the doom of mankind.

Cast:
Paul Hecht
Bryna Raeburn
Robert Dryden
Dan Ocko

[Thanks Bill!]

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #125 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: The Horla by Guy de Maupassant

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #125 – The Horla by Guy de Maupassant, read by Gregg Margarite (of LibriVox), followed by a discussion of the story – participants include Jesse, Tamahome and Jenny Colvin (of the Reading Envy blog).

Talked about on today’s show:
“c’est magnifique!”, is this Jesse’s favourite story from the 19th century?, H.G. Wells, is The Horla Science Fiction, aliens, ghosts, Guy de Maupassant is crafting our feeling on how the story should be interpreted, Mont Saint-Michel, Ladyhawke, Second Life, Normandy, Paris, France, ghosts, goats with human faces, biblical stories of possessed pigs, metaphor of the wind, the wind as a telekinetic force, invisibility, personal experience vs. faith, succubi, vampires, Jim Moon’s Hypnobobs podcast (reading of The Horla and Dairy Of A Madman), was Guy de Maupassant interested in science?, his prolific output, Sigmund Freud, is this a psychological drama?, the character in the movie vs. the short story, sleep paralysis and depression, is the unnamed protagonist of The Horla bioplar?, syphilis, H.P. Lovecraft, Benjamin Franklin, the character has a Science Fiction attitude (a disposition towards science), a story of possession (like in The Exorcist), glowing eyes, Rouen, “excuse my French”, external confirmation, diagnose yourself, São Paulo, Brazil, The Horla means “the beyond”, what lives beyond the Earth?, Jenny wasn’t thinking aliens at all, creatures from other dimensions, the Predator’s cloaking device, is the horla really Santa Claus?, hypnotism and hypnotists, post-hypnotic suggestion, confabulation, its a quasi-phenomenon, why can’t everyone be hypnotized?, Hamlet, did he burn down his house or did the horla do it?, noir, movies demand the defeat of evil, “Son Of The Horla and Spawn Of The Horla“, science and skepticism, who broke all the drinking glasses?, the Futurama version of a Twilight Zone episode,

“The vulture has eaten the dove, and the wolf has eaten the lamb; the lion has devoured the sharp-horned buffalo, and man has killed the lion with arrow, sword and gun; but the Horla is going to make of man what we have made of the horse and the ox: his chattel, his servant and his food, by the mere exercise of his will. Woe to us.”

Tamahome should read some H.P. Lovecraft, here’s H.P. Lovecraft’s description of The Horla:

“Relating the advent in France of an invisible being who lives on water and milk, sways the minds of others, and seems to be the vanguard of a horde of extra-terrestrial organisms arrived on earth to subjugate and overwhelm mankind, this tense narrative is perhaps without peer in its particular department.”

Lovecraft is using deep time to scare us instead of the supernatural, The Statement Of Randolph Carter, sorry I cant talk right now I’m being digested, Cthulhu’s guest appearance on South Park, the elements, space butterfly,

“We are so weak, so powerless, so ignorant, so small — we who live on this particle of mud which revolves in liquid air.”

a cosmic view, the Carl Sagan view, evil is everywhere, an allegory for science, Frankenstein, “men ought not meddle in affairs normally deemed to women”, the Frankensteinian monster, a warning against science vs. science is our only way of understanding the universe, we have one place to look and that is to science, the propaganda he’s pushing, “there are things we can’t explain”, gentlemen did science back then, Library Of The World’s Best Mystery And Detective Stories on Wikisource, the case of my body being haunted, Edgar Allan Poe, Diary Of A Madman, turn us into batteries, “this is a looking glass”, the main character holding a photograph of himself, foreshadowing, out of body experience, Tama fails the quiz of the lesson earlier, when we don’t know – don’t conclude, we ought not conclude anything from this scene, we are not supposed to know we know the answer, Harvey Keitel’s appearance on Inside the Actor’s Studio, becoming comfortable with the unknown, The Necklace by Guy de Maupassant, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Jesse proceeds to recount the entire plot of The Necklace, like a really sad O. Henry story, Somerset Maugham, Henry James, A String Of Beads, “Mais oui.”

The Horla by Guy de Maupassant

The Horla by Guy de Maupassant - illustration by Julian-Damazy

The Horla by Guy de Maupassant - illustration by Julian-Damazy

Guy De Maupassant's Le Horla 1908 Edition

Posted by Jesse Willis

The Weird Circle

SFFaudio Online Audio

I’ve been sitting on this post for a while. The problem was that even though I’ve spent a considerable amount of time working on it, it has been slow going. I figured it will be years more before I finished it at that rate. If you’ve got some ideas about the authors I haven’t been able to discover please drop a comment. In the meantime here’s what I’ve got:

The Weird CircleThe Weird Circle was a 1940s half hour radio drama series that ran 78 episodes in syndication from 1943 to 1945 in the USA.

One story I suggest fans of SF check out is What Was It? by Fitz-James O’Brien, this 1859 story, starts off with all the proto-typical mumbo jumbo about seances and haunted houses and then takes a more Science Fictiony turn. It’s also, according to Wikipedia, one of the earliest modern stories about invisibility. The show’s producers primarily drew upon early and mid-19th century gothic fiction stories for their adaptations.

The final story in this series, The Black Parchment, seems something like a French version of The Monkey’s Paw.

Episodes:

The Fall Of The House Of Usher
Based on the story by Edgar Allan Poe; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: August 29, 1943
Provider: Archive.org

The House And The Brain
Based on the story by Edward Bulwer-Lytton; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: September 5, 1943
Provider: Archive.org

The Vendetta
Based on the novel by Honoré de Balzac; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: September 12, 1943
Provider: Archive.org

The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym
Based on a novel by Edgar Allan Poe; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: September 19, 1943
Provider: Archive.org

Declared Insane
Based on a story by Honoré de Balzac; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: September 26, 1943
Provider: Archive.org
Based on the story Interdiction by Honoré de Balzac

A Terribly Strange Bed
Based on the story by Wilkie Collins; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: October 3, 1943
Provider: Archive.org

What Was It?
Based on a story by Fitz-James O’Brien; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: October 10, 1943
Provider: Archive.org

The Knightsbridge Mystery
Based on the story by Charles Reade; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: October 17, 1943
Provider: Archive.org
First published in Life in 1882, later republished in Argosy (UK) Jul 1931.

The Horla
Based on the story by Guy de Maupassant; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: October 24, 1943
Provider: Archive.org

William Wilson
Based on the story by Edgar Allan Poe; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: October 31, 1943
Provider: Archive.org
First published in October 1839.

Passion In The Desert
Based on the story by Honoré de Balzac; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: November 7, 1943
Provider: Archive.org
Turned into a film.

Mateo Falcone
Based on a story by Prosper Mérimée; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: November 14, 1943
Provider: Archive.org
First published in 1829.
Turned into an opera.

The Man Without A Country
Based on Edward Everett Hale; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: November 21, 1943
Provider: Archive.org
First published in Atlantic Monthly December 1863.

Dr. Manette’s Manuscript
Based on a story by Charles Dickens; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: November 28, 1943
Provider: Archive.org
Adapted from the novel A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens.

The Great Plague
By Thomas Hood (?); Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: December 5, 1943
Provider: Archive.org
Adapted from the short story A Tale Of The Great Plague by Thomas Hood.

Expectations Of An Heir
Based on a story by Samuel Johnson; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: December 12, 1943
Provider: Archive.org
Adapted from The Lingering Expectation Of An Heir

The Hand
Based on a story by Guy de Maupassant (?); Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: December 19, 1943
Provider: Archive.org

Jane Eyre
Based on the novel by Charlotte Brontë; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: December 26, 1943
Provider: Archive.org

The Murders In The Rue Morgue
Based on the story by Edgar Allan Poe; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: January 2, 1944
Provider: Archive.org

The Lifted Veil
Based on a novella by George Eliot; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: January 9, 1944
Provider: Archive.org
The Lifted Veil was first published in 1859.

The 4:15 Express
Based on the story by Amelia B. Edwards; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| -Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: January 16, 1944
Provider: Archive.org

A Terrible Night
Based on a story by Fitz James O’Brien; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| -Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: January 23, 1944
Provider: Archive.org

The Tell Tale Heart
Based on the story by Edgar Allan Poe; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| -Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: January 30, 1944
Provider: Archive.org

Niche Of Doom
Based on a story by Honoré de Balzac; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| -Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: February 6, 1944
Provider: Archive.org
Based on the story La Grande Breteche by Honoré de Balzac.

The Heart Of Ethan Brand
Based on a story by Nathaniel Hawthorne; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| -Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: February 13, 1944
Provider: Archive.org
Based on the story Ethan Brand by Nathaniel Hawthorne. First published in .

Frankenstein
Based on the novel by Mary Shelley; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: February 20, 1944
Provider: Archive.org

Feast Of The Red Gauntlet
Based on a novel by Sir Walter Scott; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: February 27, 1944
Provider: Archive.org
Based on the novel Redgauntlet.

Murder Of The Little Pig
Based on a story by Émile Gaboriau; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: March 5, 1944
Provider: Archive.org

Specter Of Tappington
Based on the story by Richard Harris Barham; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: March 12, 1944
Provider: Archive.org
First published in 1837. Lieutenant Charles Seaforth is back from India, and will stay in “the oak room” a notoriously haunted room in Tappington manor. But when a skeletal specter steals Seaforth’s pants in the night he’s forced to wear his tropical shorts to breakfast!

Strange Judgement
; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: March 19, 1944
Provider: Archive.org

Wuthering Heights
Based on the novel by Emily Brontë; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: March 26, 1944
Provider: Archive.org
First published in 1847.

Curse Of The Mantle
Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: April 2, 1944
Provider: Archive.org

The Cask Of Amontillado
Based on the story by Edgar Allan Poe; Performed by a full cast
Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: April 9, 1944
Provider: Archive.org

A Rope Of Hair
Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: April 16, 1944
Provider: Archive.org

Falkland
Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: April 23, 1944
Provider: Archive.org

The Trial For Murder
Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: April 30, 1944
Provider: Archive.org

The Werewolf
Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: May 7, 1944
Provider: Archive.org

The Old Nurse’s Story
Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: May 14th, 1944
Provider: Archive.org

The Middle Toe Of The Right Foot
Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: May 28, 1944
Provider: Archive.org

The Dream Woman
Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: September 3, 1944
Provider: Archive.org

The Phantom Picture
Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: September 10, 1944
Provider: Archive.org

The Ghost’s Touch
Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: September 17, 1944
Provider: Archive.org

The Bell Tower
Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: September 24, 1944
Provider: Archive.org

Evil Eye
Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: October 1, 1944
Provider: Archive.org

The Mark Of The Plague
Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: October 8, 1944
Provider: Archive.org

The Queer Client
Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: October 15, 1944
Provider: Archive.org

The Burial Of Roger Melvin
Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: October 22, 1944
Provider: Archive.org

The Fatal Love Potion
Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: October 29, 1944
Provider: Archive.org

Mad Monkton
Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: November 5, 1944
Provider: Archive.org

The Returned
Based on a story by Neville Brand (?); Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: November 12, 1944
Provider: Archive.org

The Executioner
Based on the story by Honoré de Balzac; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: November 19, 1944
Provider: Archive.org
First published in 1830.

Rappaccini’s Daughter
Based on the story by Nathaniel Hawthorne; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: November 26, 1944
Provider: Archive.org
First published in 1844.

The Wooden Ghost
Based on a story by Sheridan Le Fanu; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: December 3, 1944
Provider: Archive.org
Adapted from Schalken The Painter by Sheridan Le Fanu. First published in 1839.

The Last Days Of A Condemned Man
Based on the novel by Victor Hugo; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: December 10, 1944
Provider: Archive.org
First published in 1829.

The Warning
????; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: December 17, 1944
Provider: Archive.org

The Doll
????; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: December 24, 1944
Provider: Archive.org

The Diamond Lens
Based on the story by Fitz-James O’Brien; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: December 31, 1944
Provider: Archive.org
First published in 1858 in The Atlantic Monthly.

The History Of Dr. John Faust
Based on a story by anonymous; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: January 7, 1945
Provider: Archive.org
Based on a chapbook story Historia von D. Johann Fausten first published in 1587.

Duel Without Honor
????; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: January 14, 1945
Provider: Archive.org

The Spectre Bride
Based on a story by William Harrison Ainsworth; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: January 21, 1945
Provider: Archive.org
First published in 1822.

The Tapestry Horse
????; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: January 28, 1945
Provider: Archive.org

The River Man
????; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: February 4 1945
Provider: Archive.org

Ancient Mariner
Based on a poem by Samuel Taylor Coleridge; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: February 11 1945
Provider: Archive.org
Based on The Rime Of The Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. First published in 1798.

The Oblong Box
Based on the story by Edgar Allan Poe; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: February 18 1945
Provider: Archive.org

The Mysterious Bride
Based on a story by James Hogg; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: February 25, 1945
Provider: Archive.org
First published in 1830.

The Thing In The Tunnel
Based on a story by Charles Dickens; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: March 4, 1945
Provider: Archive.org
Based on The Signal-Man by Charles Dickens. Later adapted as an audio drama for Hall of Fantasy (1950), Suspense (1956), Nightfall (1982) and Seeing Ear Theatre (1998?). A spectral figure in a dark railway tunnel has a message

The Moonstone
Based on the novel by Wilkie Collins; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: March 11, 1945
Provider: Archive.org
Based on the novel The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins. First published in 1868.

The Pistol Shot
Based on a story by Alexander Pushkin (?); Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: March 18, 1945
Provider: Archive.org
Based on the short story The Shot by Alexander Pushkin. First published in 1830.

The Possessive Dead
????; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: March 25, 1945
Provider: Archive.org

The Goblet
Based on the story by Ludwig Tieck; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: April 1, 1945
Provider: Archive.org
Translated from German into English in 1827. Donaldo is the governor of an Italian island. He chooses a woman of low birth as his bride to be and gives her a series of engagment gifts, a silver ring, a silver pendant, and a silver goblet. The problem is, Francesca, his intened, has falllen in love with the silversmith!

The Case Of Monsieur Valdemar
Based on a story by Edgar Allan Poe; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: April 8, 1945
Provider: Archive.org
Based on The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar by Edgar Allan Poe. First published in 1845.

The Shadow
Based on a story by Hans Christian Andersen; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: April 15, 1945
Provider: Archive.org
Based on The Shadow. First published in 1847. Classified as a “fairy tale.” A man’s shadow becomes another person and tries to control his life.

Bride Of Death
By ????; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: April 22, 1945
Provider: Archive.org
A beautiful woman is fated to marry a dead man.

Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde
Based on the novel by Robert Louis Stevenson; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: April 29, 1945
Provider: Archive.org

The Red Hand
By ????; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: May 6, 1945
Provider: Archive.org
A money hungry husband bent on murder chases his wife across France.

The Haunted Hotel
Based on a story by Wilkie Collins; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: May 13, 1945
Provider: Archive.org
First published in 1878. Set in Venice.

Markheim
Based on the story by Robert Louis Stevenson; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 25 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: May 20, 1945
Provider: Archive.org
This is a radical adaptation, set in a contemporary (to 1945) setting, and providing much of the presumed back-story (stuff that isn’t actually in the text of Stevenson’s original tale). First published in 1885 |ETEXT|.

The Black Parchment
By ????; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: May 27, 1945
Provider: Archive.org
Raphael Roland, a degenerate Parisian gambler intent on suicide, saves a drowning man in the Seine. In response he’s given a certain black parchment, written is Sanskrit, that grants wishes to the bearer. But, as an owner’s wishes are granted the parchment gets smaller and smaller and its owner gets older and older.

Posted by Jesse Willis

The Horla by Guy de Maupassant

SFFaudio Online Audio

The subject of SFFaudio Podcast #125 [which will be live Monday September 12th, 2011] is The Horla, a sort of ghost story by Guy de Maupassant. If you’re still not familiar with this particular Guy let me place him in context for you. He was one of the inventors of the short story and a master of the form. The stories he wrotes hold up incredibly well, being completely fresh despite being more than century old. His style is simple, straightforward and even more accessible than the works of either H.P. Lovecraft and Edgar Allan Poe (despite their tales having been written in English and his being written in French). Poe’s writings, of course, all preceded Guy de Maupassant. In fact Poe died the year before Maupassant was born! There’s kind of a succession going on here…

Poe -> Maupassant -> Lovecraft

…Maupassant died in in 1893, Lovecraft was born in 1890. But unlike so many of Maupassant’s tales, the ones that leave you smirking sympathetically at a collection of colourful characters, The Horla is not a tale of a social faux pas with an ironic twist – instead, I judge it as being three-fifths Science Fiction, two-fifths Horror, and 100% totally freaky!

Check out this haunting passage:

“The vulture has eaten the dove,
and the wolf has eaten the lamb;
the lion has devoured the sharp-horned buffalo,
and man has killed the lion with arrow, sword and gun;
but the Horla is going to make of man what we have made of the horse and the ox:
his chattel,
his servant
and his food,
by the mere exercise of his will.
Woe to us.”

I think what I like best about The Horla is the strong bent towards skepticism and naturalistic explanation that’s exhibited by the unnamed protagonist. He comes across like a hard Science Fiction reader, full of excitement for the wonders of the universe. He’s unwilling to accept magical explanations for the obviously strange phenomena he witnesses. He tells us his story in diary entries that seem to track both his mood, variously ebullient and depressed, as well as the facts and impressions of the strange happenings on his estate and elsewhere in France. When he leaves his seaside home, where the bulk of the action takes place, he relates a story that sounds like it must be fully supernatural. And in Paris, where he has first hand experience of disturbing para-psychological phenomena (post-hypnotic suggestion), he reserves judgement. And finally, when lying in bed he repeatedly experiences something we today might describe as sleep paralysis. Is it that the narrator insane? Or does the universe have a secret that is not yet widely known? Find out for yourself!

Here are two fantastic audiobook versions:

LibriVoxThe Horla
By Guy de Maupassant; Read by Gregg Margarite
1 |MP3| – Approx. 57 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: July 11, 2009
|ETEXT|

Hypnobobs - The Horla by Guy de MaupassantThe Horla
By Guy de Maupassant; Read by Jim Moon
1 |MP3| – Approx. 57 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Podcaster: Hypnobobs
Podcast: February 22, 2011
“Mr Jim Moon delves into classic French literature to unearth a seminal vampiric tale of creeping fear, dread and madness”

And from the same podcaster, a thorough and fascinating exploration the story and the film adaptation:

Hypnobobs - Diary Of A MadmanDiary Of A Madman
1 |MP3| – Approx. [DISCUSSION]
Podcaster: Hypnobobs
Podcast: March 05, 2011
“This week Mr Jim Moon launches into an in-depth discussion of Guy de Maupassant’s The Horla. Also we have a look at its screen adaptation – Diary of a Madman starring Vincent Price.”

There have been two audio dramatizations:

The Weird CircleThe Horla
Based on the story by Guy de Maupassant; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 25 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: October 24, 1943
Provider: Archive.org

Mystery In The AirMystery In The Air – The Horla
By Guy de Maupassant; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 25 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: NBC Radio
Broadcast: August 21, 1947
The Horla, written in 1887 by Guy de Maupassant, is an unusual horror tale about an invisible alien entity that seeks to inhabit and control human beings. It was cited by Lovecraft as being the inspiration for his classic story, The Call Of Cthulhu, and as an important forerunner to the weird horror genre pioneered by himself, August Derleth, Clark Ashton Smith, and others, in the early-mid 20th century. This version, from Mystery in the Air (oddly, a summer replacement for the Abbott and Costello Show), benefits from a brisk script and a wonderful live performance by Peter Lorre as your weekly raging psychopath.”

Two stunning illustrations, by Lynd Ward, from The Horla:

The Horla - illustration by Lynd Ward

The Horla - illustration by Lynd Ward

An uncredited illustration from Library Of The World’s Best Mystery And Detective Stories, Volume 4:

The Horla - illustration from Library Of The World's Best Mystery And Detective Stories Volume 4

Here’s the trailer for the very loosely adapted 1963 movie starring Vincent Price:

Posted by Jesse Willis

The Necklace by Guy de Maupassant

Aural Noir: Online Audio

Sometimes titled “The Diamond Necklace” this story is a 3,000 word short story that is often upheld as a tale at, or very near, the pinnacle of ironic fiction. Guy de Maupassant’s short story La Parure is usually given the English title “The Necklace” – despite “La Parure” literally translating into English as “The Finery”.

The Necklace has been reprinted hundreds of times, in books, textbooks and newspapers. It has been collected volumes of “mystery or detective” stories – which is pretty damn odd considering that it has neither a detective nor a mystery in it. And stranger still, it has been anthologized in collections with titles like Masterpieces Of Terror And The Unknown and Isaac Asimov Presents The Best Horror And Supernatural Of The 19th Century.

How does this modest little tale, featuring a Parisian couple, and their acquaintances, a story with no supernatural elements at all qualify as a “supernatural” tale?

How can a story, like The Necklace, in which nobody dies, or is even physically injured, be considered ‘a tale of terror or horror’?

Perhaps the mystery lies not within such questions, but instead with one’s interpretation. Perhaps, just as with the translation from one language to another, there are kinds of horrors, kinds of terrors, indeed kinds of fates which can only be classified as a moral horror, a social terror, or one of life’s little mysteries that leaves us asking questions like the ones above.

Guy de Maupassant has created a story for the ages, a mystery story in which you, the reader, are the detective. Your job is to solve the case of…

LibriVoxThe Necklace (La Parure)
By Guy de Maupassant; Read by Patti Cunningham
1 |MP3| – Approx. 19 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: November 21, 2009
|ETEXT|
Mathilde is a beautiful bride of a mid-level Parisian bureaucrat. Her natural elegance and grace seem somewhat out of place with her husband’s junior position. This is the story of a beautiful woman who works hard and gets everything she wants. First published in the February 17, 1884 issue of Le Gaulois (a French daily newspaper).

Here’s the cover illustration (artist unknown) for La Parure from the October 8, 1893 issue of Gil Blas (a Parisian literary magazine):

The Necklace (La Parure) illustration from Gil Blas, 1893

The most evocative illustrations I’ve seen for The Necklace are by Gord Rayner- they accompany an uncredited radio style play adaptation (for four actors) in the 1960s Canadian textbook entitled Sense And Feeling edited by R.J. Scott. Here’s the 12 page play |PDF| and here are the illustrations:

THE NECKLACE - Illustration by Gordon Rayner from SENSE AND FEELING

THE NECKLACE - Illustration by Gordon Rayner from SENSE AND FEELING

THE NECKLACE - Illustration by Gordon Rayner from SENSE AND FEELING

Update:

Here’s a wonderful radio dramatization that keeps most of the tale intact:

Favorite Story Favorite Story – The Necklace
Adapted from the story by Guy de Maupassant; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 27 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: KFI
Broadcast: October 7, 1947
Cast:
Heather Angel … Mathilde Loisel
Hans Conried … Pierre Loisel

Posted by Jesse Willis