The SFFaudio Podcast #643 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: The Hound by H.P. Lovecraft

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #643 – The Hound by H.P. Lovecraft; read by Martin Reyto for Legamus.eu

This unabridged reading of the story (23 minutes) is followed by a discussion of it.

Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Evan Lampe, Will Emmons, Trish E. Matson, and Connor Kaye.

Talked about on today’s show:
Weird Tales, February 1924, 1922, little things, once you start reading the text, in a real way, we could go on and on about this [but not really], approaches, the timeline, a period of days throughout, two chapters, two parts, no dates, repetitive, the autumn moon, the autumn wind, and we could not be sure, September 24, 19__, a whole 19th century thing, Edgar Allan Poe, Sept 28, October 29th, November 18th, November 19th, the 20th, the 23rd, and before a week was over, November 26th-ish, November 27, 28, 29, scenes are set at night, a pale winter moon, November 30th, the half-frozen sod, all weirded, 1912, before the great war, HPLovecraft.com, pre-war, modernist, their whole youth, modernist philosophies and artistic movements, resonances with other stories, the audiobook version, then the terror came, some time ago, a simple tale?, flowery prose, decaying flowery prose, the plot is pretty simple, what actually happens, what is the “hound”, ghouls, Pickman’s Model, The Dream-Quest Of Unknown Kadath, ghouls don’t have wings, St. John and herself?, Jesse’s surprise, Connor’s interpretation, the batwings, the skull, no literal monster, a real hound in England, bats react, the corpse, a bloodhound, the amulet is a scent on them, the criminals who steal it get killed, The Hounds Of Tindalos by Frank Belknap Long, The Hound Of The Baskervilles, a gigantic hound, sphinx, the baying, Will’s first time, the supernatural reading, ghoulish guy, weird hobbies, if you believe him, a freshly opened grave scent, a very funny story, making fun of people like himself, an effete intellectual, lambasting modernism, engaging with modernism, an unreliable narrator, this criminal act, kills his friend, kills a household full of people, my last rational act, a goth joke, they’re pre-goths, I’m so dismal, Rheinhart Kleiner, a bit of an old gravestone under his pillow, gothy as hell, his cultural fiction, art, Neo-classists, Samuel Johnson, Pre-Raphaelite, William Morris, Da Vinci man, other movements, the decadents, art doesn’t have any meaning at all, art should be meaningless, we copy art more than our true natures are reflected in art, art should lift people, art should reflect the pure virtues of humanity, the symbolists, painfully obvious, the prosaic, every aesthetic, devastating ennui, on their fainting couches, now I’m disdainful again, the narrator’s home (a mansion), we’re too weird to have servants, trips to holland, a museum, the engimas of the symbolists, each new mood was drained too soon, the depth and diabolism of our penetrations, an addiction, criticising the avant garde ideal, Duchamp’s Fountain, Charles Baudelaire, its about that weird feeling, Fleur Du Mal, Clark Ashton Smith, soon exhausted of thrills, the abhorred practice of grave robbing, what the big civilizations do, not more ghoulish than regular explorers, a blasphemous unthinkable, next to you on the bus, he’s enjoying this, how many of Lovecraft stories are about art, The Music Of Erich Zann, The Tree, new trends in art, Hypnos, Igor Stravinsky, W. Scott Poole’s Wasteland, drugs, astrally projecting into space, there was no second guy, a dominating will outside myself, not so much about race as it is about class, whiteish, protestants, where the rabble were in terror, a squalid thieves den, including the children, the fear of the masses, the manor estate, I’m so dark and devious and awful, to avoid mangleation, The Loved Dead, so obvious, how many times that happens in Lovecraft, Harley Warren, The Statement Of Randolph Carter, his descent into more and more depraved actions, a monster piece, his creepy museum, human being taxidermy, stuff a baby, a secret room, basalt and onyx, vomited weird green and orange light, voluminous black hangings, the moods we most craved, funeral lillies, some spicy smells, soul upheaving stenches, intended as a comedy?, he has a sense of humour, a very dry sense of humour, hard not to see it, Byronicly tortured people, sincerely, a plastic skull, what is your other option, working out his stuff, you could go dig him up, you do your best, you think about it, he did a lot of thinking, the most interesting authors are the ones doing exactly that, thinking through their own issues in art, super-dense, tanned human skin, Goya had perpetrated but dared not acknowledged, Clark Ashton Smith, the most horrific paintings, very dark subjects, Saturn devouring his children, Will is irony poisoned, the potency, every detail, their secret lair, how decadent they are, the Klingons are LARPers, they were born into it, born into a family of bikers, you were a biker, these guys are goths, the byronic irony of it all, he has an invisible friend, Re-Animator, his friend Herbert West, made explicit in Hypnos, I’m going to shoot myself in the head, the part he enjoys, a confession, an underground musem, a Lovecraft trope: civilization can tell their story through art, The Nameless City, the art reveals the narrative, from the outside world, a black museum, the civilization of the Elder things (At The Mountains Of Madness), a deeper critique, he uses the power of art to critique, Reading, Short And Deep, how this whole poem came to be made, making fun of a friend who was in love with somebody, using art as a weapon, a mermaid, moaning over girls, he has it both ways, he is the master of it that’s why he doesn’t need to have it, the influence on Poe on this, lifts from Edgar Allan Poe, a chamber door knock, a sound at the window, a turkey vulture (aka a raven), the red death, the oblong box, obeisance, transferred the beautiful dead lady, Annabele Lee is a necrophilia story, the architecture, the churchyard itself, in the dutch language, the tip of the comedy iceberg, on the note of Poe, working Poe out of his system, a Poe pastiche, drawing on Poe’s style, making fun of itself, frustrated, he couldn’t depart from the style of Poe, a play on itself, make it over the top, so it becomes something else, so purple, Usher II by Ray Bradbury, they’re banning all the naughty words, a black museum on Mars, ghoulish skully purple draped funereal stuff, Planet Stories and such, set elsewhere, Poe does the same thing, The Fall Of The House Of Usher, a symbolist piece, Lovecraft engaging with the art and using it to make fun of it, Lovecraft rejected modernism, he artificially constructs his sentences and vocab, he’s conservative, Bobby Derie, transgender operations in the 1920s, a defense technique, sexuality?, I studied it, his way of dealing, Death And The Gravedigger by Carlos Schwabe, another bad Lovecraft explainer, Cthulhu isn’t a plushie, he’s a symbol, who are the people greatly affected by it, this is a dream story, a waking dream, I’d like to be a lord, let’s be real here I visit the graveyards, astral projection is never going to happen, his conservatism is a reaction to this, the reality, vast, we’re insignificant, to retreat to something solid, retreating into a new dark age, they’re just hearing the words, we live on a placid island of ignorance, he’s talking about reality, this is the part that Paul doesn’t like, Aurora by Kim Stanley Robinson, someday piecing, terrifying vistas, the deadly light, the personal reaction, 10,000 children died in Yemen today, we seem to be blockading Venezuela for some reason, coming to conclusions, like a vampire sucking out the good juices of the Earth, its all of the things, repetition list, woodwind, nightwind, autumn wind, nightmare, nights everywhere, it doesn’t only mean one thing, super-deep and super-rich, the thing on Leng, all the Leng places, sane and balanced, Necronomicon, the ghastly soul symbol, Kun-Lun, Lost Horizon, they eat corpses, so over the top, of course they have a copy, locked up tight (but everybody has read it), a perceptive interpretation, at the start of the 20th century, this big thing accessible to the masses, From Beyond, micrographia, how insignificant we are, scientific knowledge, tiny little bugs in your eyebrows, the artists are the most sensitive, in their dreams, the main thrust, how they come to the place where they are, people who have gone too far into their artistic delicacies, what’s the solution?, burn the museum down, hide the amulet, bury it deep, retreat, he burns the museum, Dagon, ends with a suicide, that hand?, the hand reaching through the door?, its a dream, its another dream story (Dagon), like the bottom of the ocean, The Sea Thing by Frank Belknap Long, I wonder why I read this?, the uplifted continent, a vampire fish that’s also a man, lampreys, that chapter in Dracula, The Canal by Everil Worrell, writing down dreams, struggling to explain, like watching a movie or TV show or a play, I become the other, somehow back in the boat, take opium, Jesse is afraid of alcohol, coming up with explanations, being a human being, an addiction to artistic pornography, overdose, kind of like a warning story, Old Bugs, not meant to be published, a way of explaining to a friend, the depths of depravity, oh my god this is my guy, Robert E. Howard, his guy really gets it, he’s got some weird fixings in his head, weird stories or poems, its all symbolic, not one person in the dreams, a dominating will outside myself, something repeated, equals vs. one is the leader one is the follower, “he dominated me”, a “dominating will”, a waking dream vs. literally a dream, is this an unreliable narrator, inventing a friend who dominates you (or impels you on) is a way to externalize, Garak talks about his friend Elim, Elim got Garak into so much trouble, Baibars and Haroun, when you’re in the bathroom and putting on the goth makeup, choosing to buy the jeans, a costume, if you don’t know that you’re kind of weird, I’m doing this, it varies from goth to goth, tortured and introspective, self-aware, emo, is emo a slur?, not an emo story, too cheerful for emo, Mary Shelly’s stuff is very Goth, Poe: “I love this shit”, six sentence story, Haverhill Incident by Jesse, Lovecraft’s commonplace book, two Lovecraft things, sanguinary, Lovecraft pastiche, he’s really trying to deal with his problems, he’s conflicted about it, it doesn’t really make sense if we’re all dust, a chalk white giant or an effeminate celt, a nautical negro, everything under the suns, your decadent debauched disreputable rich protagonist(s), the rabble, various pejorative terms for other races, white upperclass rich, horrible people, H.G. Wells, tuetonic anglo saxon, rich and cultured, worse than the rabble, the rabble is always white, the local dutch peasants knowing something, Celephais, The White ship, well to do (at least), The Colour Out Of Space, the something bad that happened was an investment in a dam, rebuild the family estate, Ireland if its saint Patrick’s Day, The Moon Bog, King Kuranes, nouveau-riche, the mighty have fallen, walking off the cliff in his sleep, his corpse is floating on the waters on the beach below, get back that which is lost, his suits things, I once was on boats so I am still a sailor, Jesse you’re not a cowboy are you?, don’t label me!, he’s a wreck as a human being, his disgust for immigrants is well known, as soon as you start thinking about it through the racist lens, I’ve never met a racist Lovecraft reader, just a cool story, it wasn’t the racism that made it cool, the giant monster underwater, the history of Australia, the idea of white people, migrants from the 1950s, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Greeks, Italians, Pakistan or India, Iranians, moving into the neighborhood, good stable jobs, the immigrant work ethic from your parent, anybody who is not the old money like me, these massive exceptions, in his art Lovecraft saw something special, Sonia Greene, she appreciates what he’s doing, his weird fanzine industry, he’s really afraid of what his dad did, consorting with hookers, getting drunk, Ronald Regan’s wife told me, thinking that problems were caused by drugs, the madness, what is his explanation, no explanation, they’re bored, that anomie part, the Star Trek future, a motivation, dealing with your trauma creatively, a goth in a three piece suit that’s seen better days, his armour, being a gentleman, very romantic, I’m very delighted to have your correspondence, the gentleman, from his family, racists, uniquely racist (because he talked about it), Poe doesn’t talk about it, we all know he would have fought on the side of the South in the Civil War, of course he was racist, it would be weird to think he wasn’t racist, (some of) the abolitionists were racists, we should do this for us, free-soilers, what colour is the hound?, the thing in the grave as being the hound, it is or isn’t the hound, its described as white, a black shapeless nemesis, the amulet is green, they summoned something, who is he writing it for?, he put a lot of poetic devices in, Lovecraft liked cats, dogs show up occasionally, The Black Cat by Edgar Allan Poe, alcoholism, the cat came back to haunt him, an unreliable narrator, if you read it carefully, like a Wells character, a horrible person getting jollies while in prison, I’m not responsible, that’s the ticket, an anti-alcohol screed, a hogshead, burns his house down, no beautiful dead, The Hound by Dennis Paoli (directed by Stuart Gordon and starring Barbara Crampton) audio drama, drawing on The Evil Dead version of the Necronomicon, some kind of spell, the hound is a literal monster, he prays at one of the altars, save me from this thing, a ritual aspect, old boy, a surprise spice to the flavour, he probably wouldn’t have a approved, a different sense of humour, he does pray over the grave of the ghoul, sorcerer wizard equivalent from 500 years ago, he prays over St. John, mumbled over his body one of the devilish rituals, Iron Maiden lyrics, biker or goth, you’re in the club, drop an ice cream cone, scoop one out for old HPL, Roddy McDowell’s reading of The Hound, The Outsider, Martin Reyto, very straight, very flat, pronouncing all the words correctly and gravelly voice, Sinjun, used a u in Colour Out Of Space, Evan’s podcast on Lovecraft, things that annoy podcasters, anglopholism, long live the queen, something he came up with on his own, embarrassing at parties, very accepting people, if you read a lot of books, excited about stuff in amateur press, Lovecraft Country, prestige television, Nicholas Cage, 5 adaptations of The Colour Out Of Space, the current one, the worse thing you’ve ever seen, a pet Cthulhu, just a cash in, market research, Free Comic Book Day, Will needs to listen to Jake Sampson: Monster Hunter, let me tell you about how my dead friends, Bill Hollweg, famous for his work in Planet Of The Apes, Cornelius.

The Hound by H.P. Lovecraft

The Hound (1997)

Skull Comix - The Hound - Jack Jackson

The Hound by Bryan Baugh

Tales From Beyond The Pale - The Hound

The Monster Times - The Hound

The Hound by H.P. Lovecraft - fotoshopped by Jesse

The Hound by H.P. Lovecraft - illustrated by Jesse

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The SFFaudio Podcast #637 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: In The Clutch Of The War-God by Milo Hastings

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #637 – In The Clutch Of The War-God by Milo Hastings – read by Kate Follis, for LibriVox. This is a complete and unabridged reading of novelette (1 Hour 46 Minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants include Jesse, Paul Weimer, Evan Lampe, Bryan Alexander, Trish E. Matson and Kate Follis.

Talked about on today’s show:
Physical Culture, July – September 1911, the US vs. Japan in the war in the Pacific, a lot about exercise, why this story is so weird, overall impressions of a terrible book, maybe its kayfabe, in a heavy metal voice, who is the war god?, its a metaphor, Jesse thought there’d be a guy, the Emperor of Japan, the Emperor of the United States, who’s in the clutch of the war god?, yellow peril, City Of Endless Night, so interesting, written so quickly, serialized as he’s writing it, not paid off, Ethel has to write a letter, interracial marriage, one issue to discuss, Mrs. Oshima, a happy fruitful marriage, the Shōwa period, the big firm industrialization, the Russo-Japanese War, hence conflict, what the heck happened to Hawaii, not a state yet, set in 1958, astonishingly optimistic, no major wars for 50 years, Latin American revolutions, the Soviets, the Russians, the Nazis, H.G. Wells, an English dilettante vegetarian, The Strand, unclimable mountains, Little Mother Up The Mörderberg by H.G. Wells, Swiss hotels, they all hated me because I was a vegetarian, one of those annoying preaching vegetarians, outdoor exercise, plasmon, in the back, yeasts and pastes and kelloggs, supplement culture, more fit, not just male gym rats, female oriented, other 1911 issues, all the women are fit, 1911 yoga, a baby with a dumbell, reproduction, super-eugenics based, the purity of their race, race purity, eventually the soviets will not be so interested in, surprisingly modern, coming out the same movement, under Bernarr Macfadden, Milo Hastings’ editor, being outside, genetically pure, super cereals, Bovril, east Asia, a worldwide movement, Ling Long magazine, Sixteen, girl’s health, swimsuits, always women, we need to uplift these people for the health of the nation, how these ideas took off in Japanese history, the intro, Liberty, a competitor to Time, Cosmopolitan, one of many he edited, strange story of another day, the ultimate effect, self-satisfied complacency, sustained til the very, rough outline, he lived the stuff he was writing, all buffed up, a strong-man, he believed all this stuff, so annoying and so important, a fraudster, lies about his circulation, Ghost Stories, one Robert E. Howard story, a boxing ghost story, photo illustrations, some lady, a bedstead, supposedly true, geared toward women with a male audience, Il Duce (Benito Mussolini), up in the business, 16 kids starting with the letter B, urinary tract infection, a very important figure, he kept Milo Hastings working, why it is so wonky, chickens, the brood of the wargod, wasteful farmer class, 23 million, that’s bonkers, the Hudson River, they moved the Battery for no reason, Lower Manhattan, the neighbourhood, where’s that water going, a surprise, our quasi-hero, the Regenerationist Magazine, hero editor, a political movement, how weird the combination of ideas, socialism, admiration, positive gazing at the Japanese system, the mirror to Ethel, kimono, unresolved sexual tension, appreciation of the Japanese culture, no makeup, the editorial voice of Hastings, American sinews, vigour of the product of their loins, artifical food, they’re talking about us, tight fitting clothing, diseased and destitute, unsanitary, another movement, prostituted science, Dr. Pepper, doped and perfumed, advertising, very heavily advertising, perfumes and cosmetics, interracial marriages were uneugenic and hence immoral, Japan doesn’t accept immigrants, the problem here is not Japan needs oil, the Texas oil-fields, they need breathing room, new lands for their healthy Japanese babies, Japan’s birthrate, almost nobody fears, over production, population bomb, too many babies, the opposite, Isaac Asimov’s and Frederik Pohl’s Our Angry Earth, Plum Rains by Andromeda Romano-Lax, old Japanese woman, body servant, an example of progressive fiction, the run up to prohibition, every bad guy’s a drunk, old liquors, wet vs. dry, drunken Americans and teetotaler Japanese, Kate Follis joining us, make it a good story, awful as a book, full of terrible ideas, a plot, it moved along, Proof Listener at LibriVox, City Of Endless Night, its really about the world, how did this come about?, recommended by Kate’s dad, what else has this writer done, Dollar Hen, a how to manual for backyard chickens, the connecting tissue between these two books, an ex-inspector of poultry for the government, the Milo Hastings Show, eggs change temperature as they develop, using late cycle eggs to incubate early cycle eggs, using waste heat, another egg joke, constantly pumping out eggs, fascinating stuff, Bernarr MacFadden, weird fetishes, your interest in this is going to turn out really bad, anti-vaxxer, anti-FDR, trying to be incredibly influential in US politics, the original Jack Lalanne, Liberty, November 1940, reasons to be concerned about vaccines, falsifying circulation figures, I Lost 40 Pounds In My Garden (that was careless of you), how I’m Training My Children, the Massie Affair, Benito Mussolini, a bad guy, Michio Kaku, lying about stuff to sell his latest book, in 1900 , platforming, you don’t call him on it, he needs to be countered, eugenics is evil, really dangerous, really dark roads, forced sterilizations, it happens in prison now, it could have been much more, Japanese samurai cannibals, The Mucker by Edgar Rice Burroughs, the same stuff, Hastings is full of ideas, seems to lack the space (and perhaps the planning), astonishing stuff, cultural distinctions between Japan and the US, the Japanese way of life, racial fear, attraction and fear, anti-foreign riots, the Boxer Rebellion, The Decline Of the West by Oswald Spengler, 1922, always this fear, anxiety about being replaced, subtitled: The Tale of the Orient’s Invasion of the Occident, as Chronicled in the Humaniculture Society’s “History of the Twentieth Century”, Japan is ready and doing things we aren’t doing, we need to wear looser robes, a healthy outdoors, M*A*S*H, nudism, nudist colonies, keeping ourselves healthy and beautiful, land for their babies, breathing room, that’s what healthy societies want to do, take a piece of Texas, the way things looked, consolidation of the West, before the dust-bowl, especially verdant, empires, Camp Of The Saints by Jean Raspail, Europe invaded by African and Asian immigrants, feinting towards Panama, planting seeds, wasn’t allowing immigration, boat full of immigrants turned back, the Gentleman’s Agreement of 1907, the Chinese Exclusion Act, The King In Yellow, H.P. Lovecraft, 1960s, the shocking nature, the Okies make it to California, so easy to grow, he can’t resist, homesteading, aircraft carriers, the Wright Brothers, how aircraft can dominate forces on the land, flat-tops, Two Dooms by C.M. Kornbluth, breeding out the continent, yellow peril-ish, the start of a novel, a great premise of the story, early 20th century culture, just go to Wikipedia and pick a year, and pick a day, March 30, 1908, Durham Stevens assassination, wars still raging 20 years after they’d started, changed the nature of public focus, making friends with the Japanese, Midway (2019), planetary society, an inevitable clash, can’t just hand over the empire, publicly assassinated, what you’re doing overseas, suddenly a reveal, Americans aren’t focuses on foreign policy, really what matters is what they do with the military, domestic policy, my vote doesn’t count, what a story like this is really interesting for, a grain merchant killed in a dynamiting, Dan Carlin’s Supernova In The East, the Japanese Army and Japanese Navy in conflict with each other, teasing that out, somewhat relatable character, maybe I could learn to fly, a feminist angle, flying for the newspaper, stealing gasoline and food at gun point, a really good story here, the choice of the protagonist, if it had a male protagonist would he be a resistor from the beginning, they like athletic women, you need to do kickboxing, beautiful like me, Bernarr flexes, I Grouched Myself Into A Divorce, we;re getting there, Yawning Your Way To Health, the Acme of Physical Perfection, flexes his pecs, Do You Glow With Health?, Virex, violet rays, a crossover audience, metaphysical fitness, bodies not landscapes, what you put in your body, the truth about marijuana, Finding America’s Most Beautiful Women, When Is Marriage Sin?, this is what you do instead of going to church, walking dogs is a kind of church (very ritualistic), we need things to believe in, not spiritual, raising a healthy baby, pseudoscience, related to science, maybe violet rays do something, flower garden, healthily brown, reading a French novel (is bad), she tosses it aside, til up their gardens, cultivating the beautiful, the Hitler Youth, the Boy Scouts, scary stuff, the backlash against digital technology, Sherry Turkle, social and mobile, another anti-trust suit against Facebook, you don’t want to be downstairs playing Dungeons & Dragons, play football, you don’t want to be 4F, Captain America, bone spurs, F is like fail, you’re not fit enough to be killed, the Universal Army, the free healthcare you need, not eugenically pure enough, make them even more fit, Corporal Klinger, 1A, Black Hawk Down (2001), a modern American draft, the Progressive Era, WWI, the Wilsonian dream, the perverse progressivism, No Magic Bullet: A Social History Of Venereal Disease In The United States Since 1880 by Allan M. Brandt, the quadriplegic do not qualify for service, how the Empire can continue as it is, in case, you can’t hold territory with drones, starve the population, this book certainly brought out a few things, attempted rape, unrealistically gentle, we could poison cities, the scientist we’re supposedly following, what was the plan, the roller control GPS system, gyro stabilized GPS, Japanese scientists are a trope, The Curious Experience Of Thomas Dunbar by Francis Stevens, first superhero origin story, has the power of Samson, not finished, The Wind Rises (2013), Anthony Fokker, they had the best planes but their fuel was so bad, a massive interest in science and technology, the scientist here had a role to play, a basket, the number of hours in the air, grandson of the author, he should be known, a country under Berlin, the Third Reich but with royalty, producing under stress, cognitive dissonance, The City In The Middle Of The Night, he happens to look exactly like…, a phenomenon of books back then, Ruritanian Romance, a wonderful trope, relinquish the power, these whining dogs, commercial work, YA novels, love the old stories, The Mystery of the Fifteen Sounds by Van Powell, Planet Stories, the ninteen-teens, very focused on socialism, Mystery Boys and Sky Scout books, Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys, public domain reading is much more fun, less back and forth with the author, too whiny, much appreciated, everybody who works at LibriVox is wonderful, Planet Stories podcast, THIS issue of Planet Stories, book coordinators, The Dancers by Margaret St. Clair, how much content has hit in the last month and half, the OCR is the hard part, you just have to trust Jesse, Internet Archive, this ancient science fiction, definitely speculative fiction, Vegan Death Metal Chef, chop the carrots, Cookie Monster is Death Metal, plant rice, Kate Follis is really good, so many people are talented with their voice, this is the free culture, the post-scarcity world is coming through Gutenberg and LibriVox.

In The Clutch Of The War God by Milo Hastings

In The Clutch Of The War God by Milo Hastings

In The Clutch Of The War God by Milo Hastings

In The Clutch Of The War God by Milo Hastings

In The Clutch Of The War God by Milo Hastings

In The Clutch Of The War God by Milo Hastings

In The Clutch Of The War God by Milo Hastings

In The Clutch Of The War God by Milo Hastings

In The Clutch Of The War God by Milo Hastings

Bernarr Macfadden

Michio Kaku

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Reading, Short And Deep #258 – Little Mother Up The Mörderberg by H.G. Wells

Podcast

Reading, Short And DeepReading, Short And Deep #258

Eric S. Rabkin and Jesse Willis discuss Little Mother Up The Mörderberg by H.G. Wells

Here’s a link to a PDF of the story.

Little Mother Up The Mörderberg was first published The Strand Magazine, April 1910.

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

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The SFFaudio Podcast #611 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: Jewels of Gwahlur by Robert E. Howard

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #611 – Jewels of Gwahlur by Robert E. Howard; read by Phil Chenevert

This unabridged reading of the story (2 hours 5 minutes) is followed by a discussion of it.

Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Paul Weimer, Will Emmons, Trish E. Matson, and Alex.

Talked about on today’s show:
Weird Tales, March 1935, The Servants Of Bit Yakin, The Teeth Of Gwahlur, Farnsworth Wright, the giveaway ending, Conan actually says that, a monster vs. some jewels, an awesome story, a really cool political intrigue story, realpolitik, what country wants to invade what country for what resources, Russia to invade Afghanistan, Americans invade, they want the minerals, a police that believes in the bullshit, we’re going in as liberators!, Conan’s attitude, inhuman ape-ghouls, what an idiot, not a lot of swordfights, any actual magic?, the preserved body, a lich, the ghoul men, C.H.U.D.S, Lovecraftian ghouls, very preserved lives, what did Bit-Yakin even wanna do in there?, food delivery, a shitty life, implied backstory, broad strokes, that scroll, undercuts the interpretation of the vast public, he knows his shit, Conan’s grasp of languages, Bit-Yakin is self-obsessed, the only mummy on the entire granite curtain, the geology of it, Star Hunter by Andre Norton, comic book adaptations, climbing the cliff, a little nichey cave, slightly less sheer, a secret entrance, he’s a hill climber, he just happened to find the only mummy on this 20 km, Jesse’s Monkey’s Paw theory, W.W. Jacobs, a free meal, an elaborate show, mangled in a factory accident, a great con from idea, a whole sea-chest full of monkey’s paws, a reality based story, black magic is real, the way you focus the story tells you what the reality is, the Stygian dude, Thutmekri, there’s mummies at the top of every part of the palisade, this is a con-game story, at the end, Muriella, the Punts they have a thing for an ivory goddess too, Conan needs to be given a house full of gold, the Conquistadors, H. Rider Haggard’s She, a con on us as well, they’re all playing the same game, next village over, the Seven Cities Of Gold, what Robert E. Howard has done here, the icky international, a grifter whose name is Conan, the richest man on the planet or hang out with a sexy girl for a while, I can make use of you, that’s all its for, its the getting not the having for Conan, 40 pairs of red silk breeks, the P. Craig Russell, the fur diaper, iconic, you know who you’re looking at, no heirloomed possessions, just Conan and his black mane and his pantherish thews, his sandeled feet, we get it he’s a panther, tigers, big cats, Kull’s the one with the scar on his eye, Solomon Kane has a hat, Will’s first Conan story, how truly bleak a person Conan is, addicted to risk-taking, the only way he could feel, everything in it, westerns, bleak man comes to town stories, fascinated with the hand of H. Rider Haggard in this story, Ayesha done realistic (its a scam), the ending, the exact same scam in the next country over, pre-ice age Hyborian Africa, racial mythology, Zimbabwe, Shemitish archers, they’re just trying to figure things out (they’re completely wrong), John Buchan’s The Grove Of Ashtaroth, beehive huts, the Cromcast, a white kingdom inside of an African nation, a whole cool thesis, trying to prove to H.P. Lovecraft, its always collapse, civilization is a passing fad, collapse is the real thing, always arguing with Lovecraft, The Shadow Out Of Time, At The Mountains Of Madness, ancient civilizations on Earth, the leftovers, the pyramids, Nubia, pyramidal leftovers, their culture wasn’t a culture of pyramids that’s the only thing left, a long time ago they were really into skulls, a guy who knew how to weave things, collapsed civilizations everywhere, at the bottom of the Black Sea, the Mediterranean, the mounds of Moundsville, the Mound Builders, Howard’s not wrong (really), Howard’s obsessed by it, layer upon layer, this great Dungeons & Dragons style module, a great scenario to run characters through, a great VR, a great computer game, The Pygmalion’s Spectacles scenario you’d like to do, scaling forbidding crags, if things had worked out slightly differently…, still a threat, issue 25 of Savage Sword 1977, Conan Saga reprint, a very solid adaptation, expressive faces, camera angles, Conan’s sort of the least interesting figure in it, that splash page showing the wall and the temple, the terrific use of the actual Howard prose, colour to a black and white image, the 2006 P. Craig Russell adaptation, the caldera of a volcano, continent sized caldera, Devil’s Tower, a volcanic plug, could something like this exist?, he made it so awesome, the palace of the king, now its all jungle everywhere, green sward, pleasure pavilions, Zhargeba, take some of the teeth, Dagon and Derketta, Palishtim, layers and layers of strata, servants never even given a name, bound magically perhaps against their will, literally happens in this story, #LegCling, that’s the real thing, her costume is magical, Yaleah, you’re a liar, all the oracles are liars, the same costume, a room of sacred vestments, she’s fine, her clothes rot away, her jeweled breastplate, her silk short skirt, run to the closet, doing some work, an instinct, robots left to run a bit too long, what the priests are doing, an ancient system, reliable information from the oracle, what’s the modern version of that?, should we invade Iraq?, what’s the Oracle think?, only the wooden walls will hold?, a great kingdom will fall, Themistocles, the Persians are coming, we’re know for our ships, yo, some horrible political decision, let’s have a task force, white paper, push it off of the schedule, half measure or wholesale, a delaying tactic, hold a referendum, quit the British Empire, some special day for it, Upper and Lower Canada rebellions, Lord Durham’s report, holy shit you guys are totally corrupt, actual autonomy, democracy, everybody in the family of the governor gets to run things, Conan and Howard are mostly right, an actual politician who believes in the system, what gets you killed, by believing in these gods you’re gonna get scammed, have your mineral resources stolen from you, organized religion, Cimmeria, Crom never shows his face, Crom never answers prayers, its hard to remember, in a rural community there’s a ton of pressure to think about god, its not just me, Queen Of The Black Coast, Belit’s will, a cool takeaway, Howard is intellectually a heavyweight, how little attention the player character pays to the world building, I have all this backstory, he’s a hack and slash character, The Slithering Shadow, Conan’s not a fan of the railroad, return to the backstory, the ape fantasies here, ape people, half-men, Mangani, super-gorillas all over the place, Atlanteans of Opar, an ape-man aspect, Conan doesn’t care about ape-men, sorta apey, The Monster Men by Edgar Rice Burroughs, a Frankenstein-style doctor’s creations, a comic book adaptation, A Man Without A Soul, The Island Of Dr Moreau, pirates, the turn, dude, nobody has a soul, the prose, the opening paragraphs, a much better writer than Burroughs, away and away, the ocean of fronds and leaves, its full of that, Clark Ashton Smith, the color of Conan’s pants, different beats, plenty, that broad lofty hall, a fortune in itself, a series of tweets, every sentence is gorgeous, the part Lovecraft would have loved, the twin arches over the subterranean river, its an Indiana Jones story, the Sankara Stones, The Temple Of Doom, the difference between Indiana Jones and Conan, Conan is Belloc but more competent, she was a Nazi, greed doomed her, a pretty good movie, a steep cliff, a hard climb to save it, there’s a sequel to this, L. Sprague de Camp, The Ivory Goddess, Savage Sword would fill in the gaps, mining little bits, Roy Thomas, much of his career is riding on the coat tails Howard laid down, a Howard Lin Carter joint, the general public, the old used bookstore that doesn’t exist on its own, the dipshit (Fritz Leiber), repetitious and childish a self-vitiating brew of pseudoscience stage illusions, Francis X. Grodon, playing the Great Game better than them, The Hawk Of The Hills, living in a small town, that letter to Farnsworth Wright, burdened down with a bad healthcare system, an only child, his favourite stories were the historical ones, Fafhrd and The Gray Mouser, some random boxing story is good, the Conan that’s presented here, a thoughtful dude, rough and tumble, the fantastic he wrote about is very grounded, The Efficiency Expert by Edgar Rice Burroughs, two guys punched each other a lot, Fantastic, May 1968, Will’s assessment: about as good as what Fritz Leiber would writer but better than something C.L. Moore would write, ranking the Conan stories, the middle, the backstory, The Vale Of Lost Women, parked his horse, this story is in real-time almost, if the lions havent eaten him, what are you crying about now, slim shoulders, a Corinthian accent, a valley girl accent, I immediately regret that decision, a lot of philosophy in Conan, Diogenes, Alexander the Great comes to town, get out of my light, I was just enjoying my mug, 2020 is wrecked, if you have a favourite cup, cynicism, skepticism, if you have a favorite and its broken now its sad, I had a cup and then I saw a boy drinking cupping, a tiny house down by a river, a flatline life, John Waterhouse painting, he’s got his scroll, a pile of onions for lunch, collecting to many motorcycles, a parallax on your own life, light enough to see, the worst Conan stories, Red Nails, a furious effort, exotic maniacs and hop-heads, opium dens, snaking through endless corridors, butcher shop carnage and the like, I don’t like Conan stories, The People Of The Black Circles, “All the obscenity and salacious infamy spawned in the muck of the abysmal pits of Life seemed to drown her in seas of cosmic filth.”, all good things, there’s a great scene, tearing a dude like he’s a chicken, cannibalism, Howard slaughtered a chicken, 1 Shadows, 2 Gwahlur, 3 Vale, a solid story, Beyond The Black River, Tower Of The Elephant, what he does there kinda fails, too much magic, a reskin, suiting it to his magazine, bonus for the cover, LibriVox, The Crushing Hands Of Death, Tiger Cat by David H. Keller, apparently people want whipping, whipping scenes, Frank Frazetta’s surefire way of getting on the cover, a documentary about Frank Frazetta, Painting With Fire, Frazetta paints himself (and his wife), Virgil Finlay and Margaret Brundage, the Dark Horse adaptation, he looked young, some of the architecture is good, the jungle valley, @FrazettaGirls, the series sold 10 million copies, the tan looking priests, shying away from the race angle, in 1977 they were aware of different races, Ayesha’s supposed to be an Arab, she should have black hair, a blonde in the movies, a thing in Hollywood, dark foamy hair, proto-greeks, how you describe a Venus, born of the foam of Zeus’ sex with the sea, Chronos, his step-dad, flashbacks, the court intrigue, more faithful to the flow of the story, the way it starts, Howard is a much better plotter than most people, why he didn’t put these scenes them in the story, that narrative technique, a mystery he wants us to be distracted from, a very good mystery writer technique, you can see it in retrospect, incredibly valuable techniques, Lovecraft read a tonne, Howard’s instinct, Spear And Fang, Argosy and Adventure, Harold Lamb, any LibriVox of Harold Lamb?, ask the experts, what kind of swords did they use in 6th century Uzbekistan?, inter-library loans, Howard Andrew Jones, the PDF Page, The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, Virgil Finlay, The Black Diamonds by Clark Ashton Smith, Arabian Knights set in 1650 Baghdad, a boy’s adventure, literal Dungeons & Dragons style playthrough, an abandoned castle, Zoroastrian?, the Temple of the Fire Worshippers, hitting the Haggard hard, a stern lecture about what he’s going to tell him later, pretending to be black, Scheherazade, are they diamonds?, the briefcase with the glowing object in Pulp Fiction, Orientalism, Shanghai and Afghanistan, Mountain Man by Robert E. Howard.

Jewels Of Gwahlur by Robert E. Howard - WEIRD TALES

Savage Sword Of Conan, number 25

Jewels Of Gwahlur - illustration by P. Craig Russell

Two Dominoes - Jewels Of Gwahlur

illustration by Sanjulian (Manuel Perez Clemente) Jewels Of Gwahlur

Oliver Cuthbertson - Map Of Hyboria for JEWELS OF GHWALUR

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The SFFaudio Podcast #609 – READALONG: Anarchaos by Donald E. Westlake

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #609 – Jesse, Scott Danielson, Evan Lampe, Maissa Bessada, and Will Emmons talk about Anarchaos by Donald E. Westlake

Talked about on today’s show:
Curt Clark, Jesse’s favourite writer?, talkin bout Westlake, Lawrence Block, 1967 ACE paperback, less than a finger thick, Paul’s reaction, the audiobook is much abridged, that’s what they did back then, Reader’s Digest Condensed Books, the Columbia House, the Science Fiction Book Club, Scott’s origins (YouTube), night and day, all the anarchist stuff is not in the audiobook, the CBR, how vast a difference, about 70% of the book is cut out, the history, an experiment in anarchism, this is really bad anarchism, into two cassettes, Tomorrow’s Crimes by Donald E. Westlake, when Westlake quit science fiction, it could have been half of an Ace double, a super-interesting guy, Chuck Wendig, Under An English Heaven, a weird writer, peripheral writings, characterization and crime, Xero, I’m not sitting around bragging, no place for it?, I cannot sell good science fiction, John W. Campbell, gatekeepers, science fiction’s lost is crime’s gain, Analog, a side bit character, $450, the economics of writing science ficton, a go fund me, one of the most popular science fiction writers, a kickstarter to make ends meet, how good this book is, subjective reactions, rafts of stuff, the anarchy and the philosophical, the butchery is surgical, a very good abridgement, Stefan Rudnicki, decisions being made, only a few characters, this guy just gave up, rewriting the book, Westlake doesn’t waste words, parsimoniously, Westlake’s trademark: the movement of hands, the whole tell, Richard Stark, a fast writer, Man Of Action, December 1960, supplementary homework, Or Give Me Death, Patrick Henry, 270 years old, an editor getting pitched, in 1823 he almost died, November of 1954, a highly political story, it makes a point, Who are the heirs of Patrick Henry?, Robert A. Heinlein, a libertarian, the founding fathers, it is a good book, he’s fudging a little bit, another version of The Call Of The Wild, he think he’s the toughest dog around, over the horizon, the uninhabitable zone, John Thornton, men are dangerous and dogs are subservient to men, the king of the slaves, Buck doesn’t talk or think in words, Buck did not read the newspapers, the house slave, the top dog, his true nature, the man is a man, Rolf Malone, he basically murders a dude, so shocking, our main character is an evil murderer, his real reason for coming to the planet, the society, he kills dozens and dozens of people, he wants to kill the planet, Lybia, would people be like this?, Newton’s first law, Malone was the external force, that one strangling hand, Cloak Of Anarchy by Larry Niven, the origins, Mikhail Bakunin, an insurrectionary anarchist, Peter Kropotkin, how cooperative systems can exist, post-scarcity, the conquest of bread, an anarchist utopia, corporations came, anarcho-capitalism, slavery without a state, marriage without states, a meta-element, a whole series of novels, Cockaigne, a prison planet where the natives cant leave, Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World‘s reservation, the U.C. is interfering with the running, the immigration official, a very unwise priest, Dracula, Jonathan Harker, The Woman In Black, repossess a computer, being sent to be killed, these are my people, the corporations run this planet, an economic shit zone, the offworlders moved in, in the hands of profit-seekers, anarchism sounds really great its gonna get co-opted by corporations, no government that can hold the corporations accountable, pirates eating into their slavery business, the polities, guns, who is a slave in a west African society, state making taking place, more laws that lead to more people being criminals to make them slaves, definitely the political, extracting the resources from Anarchaos, Martha Wells’ Murderbot Diaries, get the pronouns right, a big multi-national corporation and a nation, a body, it has arms, if this was a completely cut-off planet, its supposed to be a failed utopia, how Westlake cheats, the star is Hell, the names of the cities, Ulich and Nigh, Cockaigne is middle ages fantasy of young monks, Valhalla, afterlife places, tidally locked, the temperature, 29 Celsius, how the ecosystem can work, The City In The Middle Of The Night by Charlie Jane Anders, a drug that can take away his responsibility, we can trust what he’s saying or what he’s doing, the femme fatale, time itself, usual rituals, Will should have some thoughts about this book, the hard science is not what this novel is about, an anthropological big think, soft science, Vietnam after they win the war, the Chinese path, the worker state welcomed investment back in, how can this little socialist utopia exist?, purposely isolated, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea), self-reliance, The Green Odyssey by Philip Jose Farmer, how respectful of physical space, Texas with no rangers, a comedy, the products of the authors, a long time ago this planet had some sort of galactic relationship with the other planets, Atlanta, an airport hub, a straight-up planetary romance, not a fun adventure planet with cool creatures, the hovels, this tradition, Kirinyaga by Mike Resnick, a fix-up novel, an asteroid terraformed into ancient Kenya, the mundumugu witch-doctor, the Transmetropolitan reservations, the Coventry reservation, the Westlake Review, Westlake was interested in SF, Nackles, anti-Santa Claus, Xmas, it’s not me it’s you, what this book is an indicator of, we withdraw our society from you, society and individual and crime, how Jesse wants to frame this story, John Savage, the Director of Hatcheries and Conditioning, a kind of similar relationship, that savage lifestyle, she’s non-functional, nice food, a soft bed, new clothes, a shower, to be drugged up and not be, might makes right, colours in this book, the red light of Hell, a single name, Ice or Sledge, a Disneyland Chenzen special economic zone, an Alaska, a free extraction zone, cesspools and tailings, where the animals went, no mention of race, the state of nature argument, a raw canvas, an anarcho-syndicalist utopia for about 15 minutes, big offshore corporations, what anarchism is, in what circumstances could it work, that premise, the post-apocalyptic works, The Road by Cormac McCarthy, The Walking Dead, big walls, in a context, a rich network with other groups, a different kind of slavery, the kind of slavery that parents have to children or to family, the relationship between marriage and slavery, the Roman Empire, Debt: The First 5,000 Years by David Graeber, go to the neighbouring community and get some girls, the caveman cartoon, the carrying over the threshold, the collar around the neck kind of slavery, women can be slaves but not men, he’s a bad dude, go wherever you want, exporting troublemakers, exporting their worst corporations, Jerry Pournelle’s CoDominium books, hello Australia, the west, Evan kinda likes this model, where all the wild ones are, The Many-Colored Land by Julian May, exporting of excess population, the Greeks were doing it with their colonies, an alternative to prisons, Siberia!, an open-air prison, Escape From New York, how shocked were you all when Malone gets his hand cut-off early in the book?, The Dark Tower, unless it gets infected…, he gets his brother’s college ring back, the ring finger of his left hand, some guy chewing on his hand, the limited contact we have with the natives, youre my slave now (cuz I found you in a ditch), you’re my brother or you’re my son, their aren’t teams and syndicates other than corporations, who is keeping the stuff like that?, the slum-dwellers from being unionized, doubly abridged, so heavy and dark, slightly higher gravity, the gravity thing, a subversion of a traditional planetary romance, subversion, confederate veteran, John Carter, weighted down morose lethargic, mentally and physically, the Colonel’s secretary, A Princess Of Anarchaos, the planet killed Gar, and two women, his mind flex, give me a planetary romance exploring an idea, a sixties slim paperback, full of SF ideas, Humans by Donald E. Westlake, angels are real, a very experimental writer, Smoke by Donald E. Westlake, The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells, crime books, very philosophical, those crime books can be very philosophical, what makes crime bad?, killing’s just something you do, fearful for my own life, an imposition on their liberty, a pure goal oriented…, Parker is deluding himself, he wants to kill vs. he wants the action, why we’re reading it, find his brother’s killer, he didn’t have the stomach for it, feeling sorry for himself, now I have to kill the whole planet, essentially a villain, there is no hero, Jesse loves the ending, eighteen hours and twenty three minutes, oh shit, kill a whole lot of people, Morogeth, revenge on the actual people who killed his brother, the heart of the monetary system, rot in its own juices, absurd anarchy with some protective colony, how the story started, the boredom of travel by shuttle, Rolf I’m going to have a second chance, the only real relationship he has, the only person he respected, the only person he admired, a reverse inversion of this, from the other side, Fight Club, another political book, man’s relationship to himself, how’m I spossed to live now in this modern world with Ikeas, Fight Club 2, the comic book sequel, tear it all down, Phail and Gar, met across a loaded gun, Phail -> veil?, the names are weird, the veil of rule of law, pull the veil away, the naked relationship, the look in Colonel Whistler’s eyes, Anarchaos was a cancer, thus the suitcases, that promise, voyages to seven planets, the other planets in the UC system, Jack Vance, The Moon Moth, a planet full of people wearing masks all the time, The Lego Movie (2014), Cloud Cuckoo Land, framings and levels, interpreting what’s going on, a popular genre in the middle ages, young monks, writing poems, satirizing their lives,Land of Cokaygne

There is another abbey nearby,
a great nunnery in fact,
up a river of sweet milk,
where there is great plenty of silk.
When the summer’s day is hot,
the young nuns take a boat,
and go forth on that river
rowing with oars and steering.
When they are far from the abbey,
they undress to play,
and jump into the water
and swim secretly.
The young monks who see them
get ready and start out
and come to the nuns immediately,
and each monk takes one for himself
and carries his prey away quickly
to the great grey abbey,
and teaches the nuns a prayer
with their legs up and down in the air
The monk that can be a good stallion
and knows where to put his hood
he can easily have
twelve wives each year.

the power of translation, the power of writing, the power of reading, goddamn it I’m a monk, the nuns in that nearby abbey are quite sexy, it rains cheese from the sky, a comedy reaction to the difficulty, the place where they took his weapons away, richness that went into this, he loved the process of creation, Planet Of Adventure by Jack Vance.

Ace F-421 - Anarchaos by Donald E. Westlake
Ace F-421 Anarchaos by Donald E. Westlake

Donald Westlake's Anarchaos - illustration by Patrick Dean

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

Podcast

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

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

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

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

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

I sat there stunned.

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

Again

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

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

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

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

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

Behind The Curtain by Francis Stevens - Illustration by Virgil Finlay

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