Reading, Short And Deep #099 – The Damned Thing by Ambrose Bierce

Podcast

Reading, Short And DeepReading, Short And Deep #099

Eric S. Rabkin and Jesse Willis discuss The Damned Thing by Ambrose Bierce

The Damned Thing was first published in Tales From New York Town Topics, December 7, 1893.

Here’s a link to a PDF of the story.

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

Posted by Scott D. Danielson

The SFFaudio Podcast #238 – AUDIOBOOK: The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells

Podcast

H.G. Wells' The Invisible Man

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #238 – The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells, read by Cathy Barratt (for LibriVox.org).

This audiobook, 4 hours 35 minutes, is complete and unabridged.

Griffin, a scientist, devoted himself to research into optics – he invented a chemical that could change his body’s refractive index to that of air – he absorbs no light, he reflects no light – he is completely invisible.

First published in Pearson’s Magazine, June 12, 1897.

The Invisible Man - illustration by Dino Castrillo and Rudy Mesina

The Invisible Man arrives - illustration by Val Mayerik and Dan Atkins

The Invisible Man - illustration by Val Mayerik and Dan Atkins

And Now Do You See What I Am, Idiots?

The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells - POCKET CLASSICS

The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells

Posted by Jesse Willis

LibriVox: The Horla by Guy de Maupassant

SFFaudio Online Audio

If I had to name the one story that’s influenced my reading, and thinking, most in last couple of years I’d name The Horla by Guy de Maupassant. It possesses my mind like a dark and deep tunnel running through my imaginative landscape – if you haven’t heard it yet you should. Below you’ll find my preferred version, but there are more readings, and adaptations HERE – and we did a whole podcast about it, that’s HERE.

One new thing though is this |PDF| which I made from a scan of an issue of Famous Fantastic Mysteries – it features the 1911 George Allan England translation.

LibriVoxThe Horla
By Guy de Maupassant; Read by Gregg Margarite
1 |MP3| – Approx. 57 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: July 11, 2009
First published in Gil Blas; Oct 26, 1886.

The Horla by Guy de Maupassant

The Horla by Guy de Maupassant

The Horla by Guy de Maupassant

Posted by Jesse Willis

LibriVox: What Was It? by Fitz-James O’Brien

SFFaudio Online Audio

I’ve posted about this story before. It’s worth posting about again and again. What’s new now is this reading, which is PUBLIC DOMAIN, and therefore extremely handy. Included also, for the first time, is some really stunning art!

I’ve also added a PDF, for handy printing!

What Was It? by Fitz-James O'Brien

"In Five Minutes We Had A Plaster Mold Of The Creature"

What Was It? by Fitz-James O'Brien - illustration from Famous Fantastic Mysteries, December 1949

What Was It? by Fitz-James O'Brien - from A Stable For Nightmares, 1896

LibriVoxWhat Was It?
By Fitz-James O’Brien; Read by Peter Yearsley
1 |MP3| – Approx. 35 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: May 2006
|ETEXT|
One of the earliest known examples of invisibility in fiction is What Was It? by Fitz-James O’Brien – He’s been called “the most important figure after Poe and before Lovecraft” and this story serves as a kind of a bridge between the supernatural and the scientific, between the likes of de Maupassant’s The Horla and Wells’ The Invisible Man.
First published in Harper’s Magazine, March 1859.

Here’s a |PDF| complied from the Famous Fantastic Mysteries, December 1949 publication.

Posted by Jesse Willis

The Shadow And The Flash by Jack London

SFFaudio Online Audio

The Shadow And The Flash by Jack London

Famous Fantastic Mysteries, June 1948 COVER - The Shadow And The Flash by Jack London

Famous Fantastic Mysteries, June 1948 - The Shadow And The Flash by Jack London

Here’s one of Gregg Margarite’s earliest narrations for LibriVox. Because it was so early it sounds like one of his more amateur recordings – mostly because Gregg reads it too fast. But one thing that didn’t really change, that needed no refinement, his skill at picking stories to record. This Jack London short story is fun Science Fiction. It’s about a pair of nearly identical, ferociously competitive, brothers. The tale was written in 1902, five years after The Invisible Man, by H.G. Wells, was published as a novel.

Indeed, the plot is rather … how shall I put this ? … familiar ? … with the The Invisible Man. But that’s okay as there’s a line aknowledging it by one of the brothers. At least it’s a hat-tip in that direction. But instead of one mad scientist as in Well’s novel, we have two in The Shadow And The Flash – in fact were they a pair of superheroes (or supervillains) that’d be each of their names (The Shadow and The Flash) as they get their powers from the way they approached the problem of invisibility – that is to say from opposite ends, as it were.

It was at about seven minutes in before the story really took off – here’s the part that grabbed me:

Lloyd warmed to the talk in his nervous, jerky fashion, and was soon interrogating the physical properties and possibilities of invisibility. A perfectly black object, he contended, would elude and defy the acutest vision.

“Color is a sensation,” he was saying. “It has no objective reality. Without light, we can see neither colors nor objects themselves. All objects are black in the dark, and in the dark it is impossible to see them. If no light strikes upon them, then no light is flung back from them to the eye, and so we have no vision-evidence of their being.”

“But we see black objects in daylight,” I objected.

“Very true,” he went on warmly. “And that is because they are not perfectly black. Were they perfectly black, absolutely black, as it were, we could not see them—ay, not in the blaze of a thousand suns could we see them! And so I say, with the right pigments, properly compounded, an absolutely black paint could be produced which would render invisible whatever it was applied to.”

“It would be a remarkable discovery,” I said non-committally, for the whole thing seemed too fantastic for aught but speculative purposes.

LibriVoxThe Shadow And The Flash
By Jack London; Read by Gregg Margarite
1 |MP3| – Approx. [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: March 12, 2009
A tale about two brothers who take different routes to achieving invisibility, as narrated by their best friend. First published in The Bookman, June 1903. Later published in The Windsor Magazine, October 1904, and in Famous Fantastic Mysteries, June 1948, Leoplan #502 (May 18, 1955).

Here’s The Windsor Magazine edition |PDF|, here’s the Famous Fantastic Mysteries edition |PDF|, and here’s a Spanish translation from Argentina’s Leoplan |PDF|.

Illustrations from The Windsor Magazine publication:
The Shadow And The Flash - illustration from The Windsor Magazine
The Shadow And The Flash - illustration from The Windsor Magazine
The Shadow And The Flash - illustration from The Windsor Magazine
The Shadow And The Flash - illustration from The Windsor Magazine

Virgil Finlay’s illustration from Famous Fantastic Mysteries:
Famous Fantastic Mysteries, June 1948 - The Shadow And The Flash illustration by Virgil Finlay

Raul Valencia’s illustrations from LeoPlan 502:
The Shadow And The Flash - illustration by Raul Valencia
The Shadow And The Flash - illustration by Raul Valencia

Posted by Jesse Willis

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

SFFaudio Online Audio

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

Honestly, how could anyone ask for more than that?

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

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

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

Posted by Jesse Willis