Reading, Short And Deep #355 – A Vision Of Judgement by H.G. Wells

Podcast

Reading, Short And DeepReading, Short And Deep #355

Eric S. Rabkin and Jesse Willis discuss A Vision Of Judgement by H.G. Wells

Here’s a link to a PDF of the story.

A Vision Of Judgement was first published in The Butterfly, September 1899 (with illustrations by Sidney Sime)

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

Podcast

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

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

Participants in the discussion include Jesse and Connor Kaye

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

The Temple Of Death by A.C. Benson

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The SFFaudio Podcast #699 – READALONG: The Doomed City by Arkady Strugatsky and Boris Strugatsky

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #699 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, Marissa VU, and Bryan Alexander talk about The Doomed City by Arkady Strugatsky and Boris Strugatsky.

Talked about on today’s show:
Strugatsky, 1989 kind of, 1972, late 1960s, how to classify this book’s publication story, who had read this before, Roadside Picnic, weird late publication, Stalker (1979), 2017 audiobook, the afterword, the introduction, Soviet science fiction, literature in the Soviet Union, Red Plenty, if a book doesn’t have a manuscript, if it doesn’t get read by readers it doesn’t exist, the carbon copy, a book that can frustrate people, not really a science fiction novel as much as it is an existential novel, a role playing game made out of this setting, a worker in a big office building, possessed vending machines, Control, freak your shit out, single player video game, garbage worker, baboons show up, wander off into the North, jump off the precipice, Disco Elysium, strange philosophical conversations, skill tree, intrusive thoughts, weird psychology, hilarious, playing it straight, completely deranged, develop different relationships with people, a meta, did this book remind you of any books?, Dark City (1998), an undefined place and time, 1950s Leningrad, Driftwood by Marie Brennan, fantasy kingdom, squeezed towards the center, City At the End Of Time by Greg Bear, dream-like reality, the Red Building, Cinnabar [by Edward Bryant], M. John Harrison’s Viriconium series, resonance, Plato’s The Republic, The Just City by Jo Walton, The Investigation by Stanisław Lem, the Riverworld series by Philip Jose Farmer, To Our Scattered Bodies Go, chess board, internal stuff, John Brunner’s The Squares Of The City, moving people around, Charles Stross’ Missile Gap, an Alderson disc, ICBMs no longer work, the Siege Of Leniningrad, Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell, The Drowned World by J.G. Ballard, The Half-Made World by Felix Gilman, Last Exit by Max Gladstone, the pyramid, A Maze Of Death, Solar Lottery by Philip K. Dick, Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer, The City And The Stars by Arthur C. Clarke, amalgamated and reconstituted, a book about art, The Wall Of Darkness by Arthur C. Clarke, Super Science Stories, July 1949, Hannes Bok, Virgil Finlay, distinctive styles, contemplating a stairway and holding a Möbius strip, an Elon Musk style character funds a stairway to see over a wall, awesome story, an Omni story, The Infinite Plane by Paul J. Nahin, Travel By Wire by Arthur C. Clarke, the food becomes poison, the clock of the Long Now [Foundation], left handed food, no comparative thoughts, The Truman Show (1998), artificial worlds, the Soviet context, the heroic stage, friendly with a Nazi, the end, art and culture being the greatest good, the Temple, powerful writing, the Siege of Leningrad, I was in Cambodia, I was in Waco with Koresh, the most lethal, a rival source of power, the Soviet center, the great strategist, playing chess with human bodies, another Omni story, imaginary numbers, math fiction, a Soviet peasant makes a set of chessmen, capitalists vs. workers, enchantment, how chess can be played, it doesn’t matter if your king is taken, Nineteen Eighty-Four, the truth is whatever I tell you it is, angel/alien, a deeply flawed main character, he wants to leave the library, an emblem, not answering that stuff, this is us on Earth here, randomocracy, it’s just happening, the ethnography, Swedes, Germans, Koreans, an American with a cowboy hat, that open time, so global, the existential element, everybody is here, we’re told it is voluntary, you died there, bud, a camouflaged criticism, everybody will become communist, continue the program, lacking geographic specificity, NATO, good branding, if you have faith, there are no kids in this city, a garbage collector to a policeman to the mayor to the president to the leader of an expedition, doctors too?, a lawyer, bricklayer, somewhat failing experiment, it can only be failed, out of control, German efficiency, a classic utopian thing, The Lottery In Babylon by Jorge Luis Borges, a gardener, a response to a reality, you can not fall any further, a stoic philosophy, choosing not to be upset, willing to suffer the swamps, pleasant swamps, 1950s gulag, city/country divide, the farmers, the Truckers this week, coming into the city in a convoy, one of these farmers has a machine gun, we need that machinegun to get rid of the baboons, policies made in extremis, German POWs lodged with farmers, trapped on the continent, we called that slavery, 3rd amendment to the U.S. constitution, the baboon invasion, a metaphor for something, Dan Simmons’ The Terror, leaded meat, going insane, the crystal palace, endless plain, monsters, a premonition, the giant statue, an obvious super-metaphor, Stalin and Lenin statues, William Hope Hodgson, the heat death of the Solar System, The Night Land, geothermal energy, an anti-city, wireless transmission, a horseless knight with a circular saw, a geological force, a 17th century gentleman, existential and talky, a classical romance in an insane setting, there is meaning in images and events, we are not privy, the stuff that is not there, the guy who issues the toilet paper, important notes, committee meeting minutes, a curious puppy, playing the game in his way, giggling at everything, anti-semitism, he gets the last word, he’s the brains of the operation, physically jewish, an engagement with judaism, what the temple is about, producing culture, respecting the intellect, the people of the book, Jerusalem and Moscow, crazy reviews, misogyny, skank (not slattern), a Soviet style phrase, whiny sluts, wankrags for the guys, udders, in the police station, I don’t have that file, we don’t know everybody’s backstory, how could you?, no woman’s perspective, the basic pass on this is they are in Hell, Earth is Hell, capable of receiving pain, if you want to stay alive you have to kill, what are we to do, the experiment is the experiment, the devil god, hunger isn’t the problem we just don’t have enough food, our swedish friend, the military skank, they pickup somehow, everything that’s elided, previous iterations of the city, left incomplete, going downstairs to sleep with her, corrupted, WWII into the 1970s, a story of disillusionment, very Colonel Kurtz, Aguirre, The Wrath Of God (1972), the book begins with shit, the book ends with shit, reflected things, her beautiful white pristine legs, scabs bruises and abscesses, physically degenerating, their will is breaking, a blank landscape allows for deep reflection, Lena on Goodreads:

Depressing surreal social criticism that pretends to be a sci-fi. The parody on communism and soviet propaganda is quite obvious, but the story also takes deeper study of human society and nature. One star for misogyny, disgusting realism and unnecessary cruelty. Moreover authors didn’t give any explanation to the world-building nor uncover any plot’s mysteries.

where the reader has gone wrong, a funhouse mirror, through a mirror darkly, satire makes it sound like its fun, showing us truths, a misogynistic, its already in the world, when the revolution happens, sees the results, the emphasis on diarrhea and dysentery, things start in the gutter, a shit job, simple, available for you to see, the opening was terrific, The tanks were rusty, dented, and their lids were lose, potato husks, the mouth of an unkempt indiscriminate food pelican, a competent cop, it’s going to be gone when they get there, Andre is pretty incompetent, he doesn’t want to understand, haunted by the end, the temple speech, humanities, an astronomer, a sky that has one star and doesn’t move, Theodore Sturgeon’s Microcosmic God, the neoterrics, Sandkings by George R.R. Martin, just neglect, the humanities vs. the sciences, the mute mentor, circles, the emphasis on fecal matter, the afterlife, blast away at somebody, there’s no art in this city, all these shitty pulp magazines, no great writers, no great poets, a complaint, they’re not here, in the outer world, always in development, a very meta-book, its hard to write good art, are we writing good art?, a book review inside of a book, showing television in Robocop (1987), a condemnation of society, abundance riots, Nazi art, I don’t understand anything, reveal the truth about their world, the truth of the Red building, all will be revealed, nope, the authors know what they’re doing, Roadside Picnic [Stalker (1979)], Swiftian misanthropy, American conservative literature, apes and monkeys as a critique of Darwin, that realistic, that bestial, casually fucking in the streets, monkeys, an incredibly dark view, aren’t we?, a fishtank, to quote Marlowe, a decisive ending, raising our science fiction and fantasy hope, a meta-science fiction book, not a fantasy, following the rules, fantastic, Exhalation by Ted Chiang, Plato’s The Republic, H.G. Wells’ The War Of The Worlds, crappy adventure stories, later you became obsessed with it, the strivings of a story like The War Of The Worlds are to put us in our place, this is what you really are, have yourself humbled, we are humbled, a mimetic sense, what would we do if we were placed in this very strange RPG, more shit is around the next corner, worship at the temple in the crystal palace, William G. Shepherd, Omni, Discovery, Popular Science, Popular Mechanics, is that the best we can hope for?, a minority adds to and maintains the temple, the temple persists, participate in keeping the temple going is a great way of life, six months of a magazine, nobody’s going to look at them, a friend in Australia, the little builder, somebody else’s job, its not Jesse’s job to put Jesse’s statue up in the temple, his job is to polish the temple steps, and point people in the right direction to find the right book inside the temple if they come by, maybe call them in from the street, no donation needed, they walk by and spit on Jesse, coral reef, all of our art, if you’re not creating, hiding hoping the squid doesn’t eat him, Jesse the clownfish, Hemingway, drunk, pedophile, Dostoevsky was an extreme right-winger, the temple creators are flawed, the canon contains shit but it has beauty within the shit, horrible creators, whatever politics is now, cancel culture, the pederast Tchaikovsky, thief and gallows-bird, O. Henry was an embezzler, Ezra Pound, open fascist, defender of the Soviet Union, defending human rights abuses, the temple that endures, whatever flag people are waving, holding up the flag, wearing a flag is an act that is very different, planting a flag on your house, when the flags come out, in division, this doomed city, it’s important, nationalities are incidental, all united as doomed, yesterday’s enemy, when you strip them of the flag, this kind of work is important, a suggestive sketch, points it’s making, high poetry, as an aesthetic way to be, endings are disappointing (usually), where it takes you to emotionally, did he shoot himself?, he met himself and he shot himself, it’s left open, capable of killing the best person we know, capable of self destruction, capable of destroying other human beings, he pulled a pistol out of the holster, tall tattered exhausted with a dirty beard, a return shot, he doesn’t check his cap, not being able to recognize this other, a mirror, he’s shooting himself, sitting in his tent, all the possible things he can do to avoid what needs doing, how you maintain discipline, these are animals, the traditional way of doing it, The One Black Stain by Robert E. Howard, Solomon Kane, Sir Francis Drake, Magellan, returns to England, you can now murder people because you are a chief of an expedition, the maritime tradition, they are the law, they can marry people, the dominant navy on the planet, unless you’re a pirate and have signed the articles, a precedent, you’re a bad person, you’re a coward, the Golden Hind, head in hands, wracked with doubt, the misery of having killed a friend for a wrong reason, we put ourselves in these Hells, regretting or doubling down, I didn’t choose to be here, nobody explains how the , no authorial infodump for us, the anti-Neal Stephenson, the thermodynamics of the big wall, deal with it, what does it mean that the sun is off, is it a coincidence?, is it a sign?, about to become a dictator, the Russian kitchen drinking scene, here it is, they’re all completely disagreeing with each other but not actually coming to blows over anything, it’s just talk, pretty deep, not something we see in American literature that often, written about drinking, F. Scott Fitzgerald, a manly thing to do, a classy thing to do, very realistic, all the russian drinking, before the blackout, the snacks, all the stages of inebriation, a positive, a bright spot, the party, Raymond Chandler, a rich guy drinking himself to death, set in Los Angeles, blendy, Dashiell Hammett, hiding the truth of reality by drinking, Mike Hammer, American detective stories are about uncovering reality, that guy was beating his wife, somebody died, his daughter killed herself, hiding the truth through alcohol vs. a communal defiance against the reality they already acknowledge, the vomiting, more thoughts, Herodotus on the persian court, Peter the Great, the drunken synod of fools, Stalin plying with vodka, in vino veritas is legit, WWII, Churchill couldn’t go 2 weeks without his prescription alcohol, Nixon drunk, Yeltsin, russians thought he drank too much, Voltaire’s conclusion Candide, a dark russian take on Candide, zoom out a bit, one last russian thing, awkward conversations, the extreme opposite of Frank Herbert’s conversations, it’s painful to read, I don’t understand what you’re saying, the dialogue is very fun, pulling out 10,000 quotes, a commonplace book, self-journal, write down your dreams, a diary is very narcissistic, what twitter is for Jesse (a commonplace book), Paul’s Miscellany, whoever exercises power, man has to have a goal, hence the expedition, hence the experiment, we’ve got to do something, general outrage, goals and enemies, very easy to be uncharitable, words on a page, you don’t need to be outraged about everything, a set of beliefs is dangerous, a blob of ideas I’m currently carrying around, squish some of them, taking a model of what someone else is saying, how other people’s mannerisms work, ongoing public conversation, these vast swaths of people who comment, a massive list of comments, they’re talking to themselves, this is what you do because , when you see Jesse on twitter it’s because he has to wait 15 seconds, in the before times (pre-covid), monitoring mentions, believing in the conversation, great for connecting with people, a really interesting bookshelf, detecting outrage, plugins, moderate your anger, road rage is like twitter isolation, indistinct, a look of concentration and fear (or don’t), this person is the worst human being in the entire world, essentially bad drivers, perfectly nice people, an excuse for it, it’s hard not to be a hypocrite, how good is that narration?, he had a voice for everybody, good show, good take, by special request of Chowbacca, a random twitter guy, exactly, a fan of the show, looking forward to everyone’s thoughts, thank you so much @chowbacca415. make the temple as pretty and nice as possible, the temple is a library, trucks being impounded, ready when you are, Mentor, Mentor is actually Athena (in The Odyssey), how to deal with Circe, some of the characters are on hands experimenters, Touched By An Angel, like Quantum Leap but for christians, make things right, a science fiction explanation, mentoring, pedagogy, the last words of the book in russian, stacks of firewood, there’s a lot of burning to come, a demon or a devil, Athena’s hobby horse for Odysseus, he’s the wise and wily one, Heracles gets a special interest from Zeus, as a psychological story, Nietzsche, no psychological depth, Get Smart, cone of silence room, a black room, an anti-room somewhere in the house, there’s a metaphor there for you.

The Doomed City

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Reading, Short And Deep #343 – The Fearsome Touch Of Death by Robert E. Howard

Podcast

Reading, Short And DeepReading, Short And Deep #343

Eric S. Rabkin and Jesse Willis discuss The Fearsome Touch Of Death by Robert E. Howard

Here’s a link to a PDF of the story.

The Fearsome Touch Of Death was first published in Weird Tales, February 1930.

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The SFFaudio Podcast #695 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: The Doom That Came To Sarnath by H.P. Lovecraft

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #695 – The Doom That Came To Sarnath by H.P. Lovecraft – read by Mr Jim Moon. This is a complete and unabridged reading of story (25 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants include Jesse, Evan Lampe, Trish E. Matson, Connor Kaye, and Alex.

Talked about on today’s show:
a magazine in Scotland, The Scot, 1920, issue 44, S.T. Joshi, Marvel Tales, Weird Tales, Jason Thompson’s adaptation, how many people have recorded this story, ISFDB, recent responses to this story, The Doom That Came To…, The Doom That Came To Gotham, Batman is intertwined with Lovecraft, The Colour Out Of Space, interpretation and guesswork, evocative, in dialogue with Lovecraft, the title, The Doom That Came To Ib, reading Lovecraft’s politics, is Ib a civilization, a prophecy, the runes of doom, horrible people decide to slaughter everyone, how awful and corrupt they are, jelly-like, massacre them all, Ibianians, they’re horrible dancers, deserving genocide for being bad dancers, outside force, decadence, is he going to go industrial?, a fully industrial or post-industrial, He, not just foreign hordes, established stabled civilizations, Robert E. Howard, materialism, Arnold J. Toynbee, karma, the laziness of the priests, worried, there might be an issue, poking the lizard demon, don’t other Bokrug, the salamander people, ugly beyond comprehension, bulging eyes and the greenish cast to the skin, adorable, little babies, almost none of the text is Jason’s own, see the lake, his relationship to nature, The Dunwich Horror, architecture, the laying out of the city, the beautiful rocks, The Moon Bog, lakes with secrets in them, the Moon, you do the wrong thing something bad will happen, the 1958 French , rumor rumor rumor all the rumor are true, vernacular knowledge, the wounds of the Moon, a bug explosion in the South Pacific, the bird is sitting on eggs, the swamp god, alligator, lily pad pac-men, babies in their baskets, Jason is so smart, round canoe, the moon is in the sky, a baby died, arrival celebration and death, coracle, a viking funeral, the arrival of man, just like killing the duck would be horrible, Connor: “I grew up on a farm, all I know are kangaroos,” the judgement is a leftover, they literally become that which they ate, only a line of text, these fish that you love to eat, a Thanksgiving story for Americans, parading around in their costumes, amateur journalism, all online at Mockman.com, gold rings, tearing a fish apart, we’re basically just a big tube, teeth on one end and a pooper on the other, cut to the party inside the mouth looking out, more bones, reeds, in the seed of those bones, the symbol that’s on Bokrug, Jason’s interpretation, a symbolic showing, the relationship with the Moon, what should they have done better, stop murdering all the people, 50 generations, Polaris, the answer is don’t sleep, don’t have so many parties, invest more heavily in your military, reparations, mocking, I never had a slave, Wilmington, North Carolina, 1898, a violent coup, people were hanged and driven into the marshes, the “black wall street”, eastern North Carolina, myth and just a story Lovecraft made up, parallels with real life, Mr Jim Moon’s show, Sarnath was a real place in India, another explanation, this is a true story, Kadatheron, the Moon might be real, opinions vary, nobody has an expectation that Sarnath was a real place, slightly relevant side-story, Adonis, the city is named Adonis, it sounded cool, Elantris, pre-squeecore, Eragon, a kid wrote it, that’s the idea, Lovecraft had read a lot of history, a very very Biblical story, set in the Dreamlands now we think, Cthulhu mythos story, looking them as individual pieces of art, the cubism or squeecore portion of his career, the serial of Re-Animator, what the story tells us it is, the stone cylinders of Kadatheron, the papyrus of Ilarnek, putting this tory together, how Sarnath came to be doomed, there are no characters in here, this period of time, these people did this, the history of the Jews, a story of that kind, what the bible is about, literally true, a myth cycle, make it manifest, why is this one less true, what is the truth that it is trying to tell us, turning them into the thing that they killed, a servant to a force, the other gods, eventually they get soft, a peacock for dinner, the cycle of civilizations, a coincidence, Batman lives in Gotham, this is ripped off from that, whther it is saying something true or not, “that’s Jordan Peterson of you Jesse”, Dagon, we know what it is saying, maybe he’s crazy, maybe he’s high on drugs, even with Polaris, based on a dream, based on a dream of a historical event, Old Testament, mixed with the Dreamlands style, Idle Days On The Yann by Lord Dunsany, after reading Dreamland, Polaris was written in 1918, this is my guy, Dunsany doesn’t have an axe to grind, vs. amusing, a nice comfy story trying to provoke a sense of wonder, Ex Oblivione, The White Ship, Book Of Wonder Stories, The Idler, Sidney Sime, The Second Book Of Wonder, we as humans mostly read our stories, others only watch their stories, before most people were literate, noticing the details of where the hand is, telling the story of the image, Puss In Boots, this cat teaches him how to do capitalism, why Jason is so extraordinary, this whole opening page, a way of pre-programming us for his own conclusion, brilliant, some place of love, he’s really grokked it somehow, his interpretation of the doom, waters retaking the city, reading that into other Lovecraft stuff, karma for a decadent civilization, Mnar, nothing left but the idol, an ecological thing, the British, the Romans were kinda like us, Washington, D.C., Greek and Roman architecture, what happened to those guys?, carrying on the Ibish culture, gothic cathedrals are Islamic in influence, did you know that alcohol is illegal in Saudi Arabia, transference, far enough away in time, we should be worried about this, drinking the same kool-aid, the priests joined in the orgies, it can include kissing, it’s a kissing story, too hard on the decadents, weird moralism, he’s worried about alcohol, fish, the sins of the fathers, “gee bible, that seems awfully harsh”, their families will suffer, murder celebration, the dog that shows up, slaughter scene, spearpoint, a big smile and a knife, Lovecraft doesn’t make it real, the splashing, shitting on them and peeing on them, smiling and laughing, warning!, the four fingered handprint, wholly undercooked, waxing mightily, at the feast, a goat’s head, the fish is the focus, the birds, Eric S. Rabkin, food in Science Fiction, The Food Of The Gods by H.G. Wells, biotech companies are doing this, everything bigger, selective breeding, the boy grows up to be big, the fish as the Jesus symbol, the absence of a Christian allegory, the wrath of god, we got a way out of this guys, we don’t have to be doomed, make a sacrifice of yourself, religion is important for people, the coelacanth and such, salamanders, reptiles, what you threw in that lake, an environmental story, you gotta listen to the rumors, its true in a certain way, talking with Christians, listening to the guy at the front, a consistent message, it provides great atmosphere, what is he trying to say?, why that thing is happening, anything presented to you is defaulted as true, the fake version of that, a lie presented as the truth, only humans have this problem, mimicry in nature, whether it is true or not if it helps you survive it gets incorporated, it looks really dangerous, whether a rumour is true or not it only has to be true some of the time to propagate, the meme idea, that’s appropriate, if I had a die, rumors are not random, dog psychology, fear presented as anger, frustration manifesting as anger, he’s touchy about that subject, don’t come near me, if Jason was here, a point of view from inside someone’s mouth, the thing being eaten, why so many intellectuals are vegetarian, we’re eating a thing that had feelings, how can a story that is so simple be so resonant, more resonant story than Dagon, a thing that happens throughout history, rabbit rumors, cow stampede, the boy cried wolf, he reaps what he sows, animals are communicating with each other, animals can be deceptive, a fake thump, false information, one function of rumors, I heard that guy’s a sexual predator, as long as you don’t get killed, the Russians are trying to interfere with our elections, busybody motives, be the center of attention, for their benefit, Chekhov’s brothers and sisters, they sorta gotta be, it would annoy people, there’s much more in the universe that we’re aware of, we’re on that island of ignorance, we have to suppress this knowledge, Einstein, this tendency to go around doing that, trying to understand reality, exploring an idea, don’t celebrate the colonial conquest, don’t steal Bokrugs, amazingly sympathetic to the frog people, unsympathetic to the humans, they grew up in a different casually dissolving pearls in wine, eating gold, this isn’t decadence is it?, this place sure is decadent, it doesn’t register as a thing, if there is a message, the higher sweep of history, caring about all the chalcedony, on a grid system, he’s doing SimCity, double lane highway, such decadence, the cubit high priests are literally high, reflecting on the moon and the stars and the planets, it’s very rich, we should burn this story, just read Scalzi, just read Matt Ruff, other better writers, an anti-colonization story, green mist off the lake, something coming down from the Moon, his idol goes missing, the prophecy of doom, animated itself, the frog people coming back, the people changing into, its hinted at, it’s only 12 or 15 minutes, the ghosts of the murder Ibians coming back, nothing lives at the lake, now they’re all woke, they hate themselves from what they’ve done, the ambiguity, upset, genocide scene, realizing the doom has come, partying on party beach, kids enjoying the beach, an Ibian cookie, pinatas, blow up baloons, an Ibian doll, x on its stomach where you’re supposed to stab, overinterpreting, they’re kids were really cute even though they danced horribly, you were too young last year, adults becoming like children, realization, get educated, 11 year olds will get the comic, why would anybody do that?, we have this ideology, they have stuff we want, they live near us and they’re ugly, all the foods that are describe, camel feet delicacies, it’s not cool Connor, don’t kill that chicken, two coffins full of chicken, no wonder the chicken is traumatized, we have to be reconciled, we want to extend it to the Ibians, receive all that praise, you’re correct I am the best, very relaxing, how it was intended to be, rich people’s entertainment, ascot is not this week, ads for airplanes and cars, expensive toys for rich people, not a common man’s magazine, we have their stories 100 years later, on that depressing note.

The Doom That Came To Sarnath - MANUSCRIPT

The Doom That Came To Sarnath adaptation by Jason Thompson

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Reading, Short And Deep #338 – The Green Door by A.A. Milne

Podcast

Reading, Short And DeepReading, Short And Deep #338

Eric S. Rabkin and Jesse Willis discuss The Green Door by A.A. Milne

Here’s a link to a PDF of the story.

The Green Door was first published in Ladies’ Home Journal, December 1925.

Posted by Scott D. Danielson Become a Patron!