The SFFaudio Podcast #694 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: The Brethren by H. Rider Haggard

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #693 – The Brethren by H. Rider Haggard – read by Elroi Shelley. This is a complete and unabridged reading of novel (15 hours 25 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants include Jesse, Will Emmons, Connor Kaye, and Cora Buhlert talk about The Brethren by H. Rider Haggard

Talked about on today’s show:
1903/4, set during the third crusade, Saladin and the Assassins, The White Company by Arthur Conan Doyle, Haggard was proud, kind of a Haggard guy, this sounds awesome, the famous ones, King Solomon’s Mines, She, Elroi Shelly, what kind of accent does she have?, Arabic, superstormtrooper, a Spanish documentary called Otto Skorzeny, Alemania (Spanish for Germany), Italian, 11th century accent, November 23, 2021, a shield with a skull on it!, Robert E. Howard’s Hawks Of Outremer, did Howard read this?, it is mentioned in the book, a black shield with a white skull, Rosamund’s dad, they’re not Irish, the mythology around Saladin, he’s so mean, all is forgiven, more of a villain in this book, frees with his own money, only a few people become slaves, Templars beheaded, don’t like the Hospitalers either, a huge list of books in Howard’s library, weird erotica, the tone is different, the battles are awesome, Haggard always has great battles, Lord Of The Rings and The Hobbit, counting shots scenes, movements of armies, a little less kissing, a really good book, the other brother, they both get to marry the girl!, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Abduction From The Seraglio, another Robert E. Howard story, The Shadow Of The Vulture, Red Sonja, taken to a harem, loves singing about executing people, quite famous, our hero Saladin, the best PR in the west ever, an eastern potentate, Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott, an artifact of the period it was written, a contemporary review, a really fun read, interesting, great women characters, the rug pulled out from under me, boys’ school style, chivalry and public school ethos are indistinguishable, fair play old chap, so innocent, the christian religion isn’t the motivating factor, an inter-familiar dispute, sister/cousin, when God gives Saladin three repeated dreams, rose of the world, a very Christian book that loves Islam, 5 million Muslims in Germany, the Howard crusader stories, interested in Islam, the whole Arabian Knights thing, kind of a Theosophist, all the religions were good, different facets of the same jewel, She is an Arab, the beautiful illustrations, Chapter 23, Haggard went on a trip to Syria, the impetus for this book, a band of knights, two knights on a personal mission, more like tourists than crusaders, our side is justice, Saint Rosamund, some of the homework that he did, page 631, this chapter is so metal, to these I say, score face and bosom, made loathsome to the sight of man, the brides of Heaven, the swords of furious and savage men, the Faith, St. Clair at Acre, 1291, A Winter Pilgrimage by H. Rider Haggard, this book is so…, these people are getting way to worked up their religions, that’s what Heinlein would do, too hard core, flagellation, gang raped by roman legionaries, medieval snuff porn, a beautiful painting of woman being brutally tortured, a guy on a stick, of some particular imam, in the end you will get what you deserve, what he did wasn’t very nice, trauma by inference, waking up in cold sweats, you have to bow and scrape, you ate some of my salt, that much fun, Robin Hood, slave characters, Saxon-Norman etymology stuff, King John, the father of the modern historical novel, Outlander, the mooning over the girls, nice to the Jews, antisemitism, The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy, a Russian countess, what people think Lovecraft was like, I hate poor people, French people, a city named after Sir Walter Scott’s house: Abbotsford, the fake chivalry code of the Southern USA comes from Sir Walter Scott, a phenomenon in the early 19th century, a book highly influenced by Ivanhoe, 1819, writing about ancestors, Virginia Woolf and modernists couldn’t stand Sir Walter Scott, anything past 10 years ago obviously has no value, we don’t need Jane Austen because we have Bridget Jones’ Diary, the classic chivalry story, 1920, a throwback to classic novels, Don Quixote, a parody of classic chivalry, The Song Of Roland, language issues, stories of heroic knights, drew on older legends and stories, Robin Hood is an old legend, early Hollywood Robin Hood is straight out of Ivanhoe, returning crusaders, a little bit tight-fisted, he wants you to say these are people and they can live in England with us, literal slave collars, accidental pun, Cobra Kai, shocking, Connor is six, dwelling on backstory, dishonorable knights, not having a dad, kidnapping women, disrespecting my family, a cross-worshiper!, almost biblical, violence at school, teenagers beating up kids, learn karate to defend yourself, the 70s kung-fu phenomena, white kids want to be a Chinese guy, the whole world has passed by the Karate Kid, consistency with real truths about what families are like, many mirrorings, one’s like a Saxon one’s more Norman, a broken family united by respect and love, an outside uncle, a broken family in the religion over there, the backstory of the assassins, Shia and Sunni, Iran is the bad guy even though they had nothing to do with 9/11, Ismaili, a breakaway family, People Of The Black Circle by Robert E. Howard, what’s going on in Tibet?, briefly touched on drugged visions, Masouda is such a great character you want her to have a spin-off show, role of a lifetime, super-mysterious, horrible ending, all for love, he kept pulling the rug out from under us, all set to work out, a happy ending, not much character development, Masouda had a lot, when we find things out, she’s a widow, the inn will run itself, this book was for us to me her, too long to read, she’s our guide, very masterfully written, the two fathers, two muslim brother enemies, Flame and Smoke are the two other best character is the book [and horses], Rosamund and Masouda are mirrors, half-Frank, she’s a fallen princess, the opposite constellation, a French countess mother, Masouda is a tragic Rosamund, her boyfriend has to go live with monks, really effective, making things rich and deep, why William Wilson is such a great story, where there’s smoke there’s fire, the brethren, stylized language, it creates the atmosphere, how you sell your movie, “Extreme Prejudice”, “Collateral Damage”, a euphemism, anticipates, she’s sent off to a nunnery, she’s marrying god!, sent off to become a priest, he didn’t write this by the seat of his pants, good writing, become a priest or a monk, too concerned with dreams, a higher purpose, so well put together, the opposite of the pre-show, squee moments, scenes, harry potter, train scene, quidditch scene, the horses know something, this is my dude, opposite of snarky, not a snark in it, very sincere, Cassell’s Magazine, December 1903, he doesn’t tease us, serialized without cliffhangers, better than the more modern style of serialization, a lot of little stories, anticipating, feeling like it is just about to end, it could end at any point, the final illustration, it was Godwin’s face, “spoiler”, that ending is supposed to be a surprise, when Masouda died, a tragedy, so fucking dark, he touched her head and it rolls away, the Robert E. Howard scene, he commands armies, there’s no supernatural extras to this story, Howard is more hyperbolic, an opening scene for a Robert E. Howard story, selling this as a script, the ultimate reveal, people would be angry at this movie, so fantastic, devastating, foreshadowed, you will meet her in the end, more recently, Game Of Thrones, any character can die at any time, this story set it up fantastically, she’s too good of a character, a heart of gold, she’s saving the brothers, she’s driving the plot, coming up with all the plans and disguises, the perfect anti-payoff, once she died, everyone is going to die, Godwin can’t live, this is how the end of the story is going to go, Rosamund is going to die as well, St. Rosamund, embedding humor into the structure of the story, see it in reflection, abruptly ended, and I’ll let you live, 16 hours, oh my god, so shocking, so satisfying and relieving, it made you want to laugh, catharsis, Saladin got you too, the Italian opera ending, everybody dies, Hamlet, an everybody dies story, happy, it makes me smile (not squee), the best kind, the good kind of squee, it earns its squee, if both brother got to marry the sister (literally), a fantasy setting, very historical, how much of this is real, actually real?, family members of famous people, Nada The Lily, the secret son of Shaka Zulu, another book like this, Haggard on utube, a very early film of Haggard at his home, silent, how wealthy he became from his good writings, she hated She, really long and almost all journey, a lot happening structurally, dock in Cyprus, a hostage situation, and a reverse hostage situation, this book kept derailing Jesse’s expectations, a crusades book but not a crusade, strange inter-relations, Arabic, subtlety, going a little easy on it, it could be shorter, the changes of point of view, abutted scenes, the opening, almost every thread connects, almost perfectly composed, mid-H. Rider Haggard, the eighth H. Rider Haggard for Will, the guy who’s most responsible for squeecore, -doom core, South America?, The Heart Of The World, a secret Mayan civilization, as a prose stylist, what makes the English language work, not writing like a normal person, intentionally antiquated, main literary influces: The King James Bible, the old testament, more action here (than in She), Zulus talking in the thou form, a pack of ghost wolves, The People Of the Mist, classic lost race fantasy, Cora is nocturnal, Treasure Island, “Oh, Connor me lad”, a big project, Jim in the inn, this is a Heinlein juvenile written before Heinlein, its squeecore!, I’ve become what I hate!, it resembles Citizen Of The Galaxy (a retelling of Kim), Robert Louis Stevenson is an interesting person, very unhealthy, adopts an older woman’s son, goes and dies in Samoa, Connor would be keen, a good pirate story, the way the book was written, the Lovecraft – Sonia Green marriage, you’re going to eat right now, you’re going to breathe right now, draw me an island, a writing prompt to bring them closer together, a relationship book, the first manuscript for Strange Case Of Dr Jekyll And Mr Hyde was burned, Travels With A Donkey, some Random series book or a Treasure fucking Island, great material for a biopic, Jim and John Silver, save it for the podcast, Treasure PlanetTreasure Island and The Hobbit, the nicest aunt in East Germany, illustrated Huckleberry Finn, upgrade mic and headset, bone conduction, The Doom That Came To Sarnath by H.P. Lovecraft, The Busy Body by Donald E. Westlake, Almuric by Robert E. Howard, The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin, The Doomed City by The Strugatsky Bros. (Boris and Arkadii), “get the communist!”, you can’t get Eric, good luck bud, trolling vs. invitation, The Door Into Summer by Robert A. Heinlein, The Sea-Wolf by Jack London, a February of novels, shorter than Hour Of The Dragon, reading Donald E. Westlake, nephew novels, addictive, we win all the fun characterization, he’s like a treasure, why science fiction sucks: he can’t get paid, it was science fiction’s loss, really funny, a lot of people want to have written, the craft, he wants it to be awesome, joke poems, Waterhouse’s Circe, why are there flowers all over the floor, attraction and danger, the stories are super-rich, when you write a story based on a picture you’re decoding the picture, encoding a picture in a person’s brain, transfer our brain thought into another person’s brain thought, telepathy, no difference between intention and reception, “Mountain Dew”, something to skip, “you think you’re going to do The Dispossessed without me?”, an anarchist planet, anarchist moon, Poul Anderson, People Of The Black Circle, Sunday BBQ winter or summer, woke scold, a Robert E. Howard kick, Galactic Journey, Will needs to logoff, popping ps, 40 degree heat, thunderstorms, a sworn interpreter, Germany classics, Karl May, a convicted conman, O. Henry, living happily ever after on the prairie, your old Alberta home, a recording booth, a Neumann microphone, Shure dynamic mic, imported musical instruments, luxury goods, RØDE microphones, rood, what is a chapman, the drugged wine, Chapman’s ice cream, the chap part is cheap, the cheap man, Mercedes Benz is a luxury brand in Canada, car industries, Blue microphones, the microphone boom, shockmounts, research the fuck out of it, semaphore eyebrows, German TV adaptation of The Sea-Wolf, Cora comes from a family of sailors, The Red One, hunting moths with a shotgun, the house of a headhunter, Das Millionenspiel, a War Of The Worlds situation, The Running Man and The Prize Of Peril, furious Sheckley, one of the best things German TV ever did, The Running Man by Stephen King, hunting humans, The Most Dangerous Game by Richard Connell, The Hounds Of Zaroff, late night horror, King Kong (1933), The Most Dangerous Meme, Predator (1987), Rogue Male by Geoffrey Household, basically its Hitler, John Buchan, Rogue Justice, 1939 – 1982, your audience may have been born and died in the meantime, Dr. Mabuse by Norbert Jacques, propaganda and lies and misinformation about copyright, Babylon Berlin, Metropolis by Thea von Harbou, Fritz Lang, VPN, Jorge Luis Borges, basically all the Conan stories are public domain, dictionary, Valley Of The Lost aka King Of The Forgotten People by Robert E. Howard, the eyestrain thing, a giant crab!, way more than Solomon Kane, historicals, Dark Agnes, Shadow Of The Vulture, People Of The Black Circle, Almuric, Revival by Stephen King, The Troop by Nick Cutter, The Seascape Tattoo by Larry Niven and Steve Barnes, not a big Heinlein fan?, how dare you, Isaac Asimov, see the weaknesses, good short stories, Arthur C. Clarke, the Foundation stories, The Goddess Of Atvatabar by William R. Bradshaw, a whole continent down there, Klim’s Journey Under The Ground by Ludvig Holberg, patterns, The Cats Of Ulthar by H.P. Lovecraft, H. Rider Haggard, Arthur Conan Doyle, Professor Challenger, cheap classics, import prices, Citizen Of The Galaxy, a month of pocket money, Saladin, disintegrating, Valentina by Fern Michaels, import bookstore, bodice rippers, Angélique by Anne Golon, highlanders, a romanticized version of the Vietnam War, a solid fantasy book, a great story, so filmic, American style, BBC’s The Tourist, TV American style, Doctor Who, really important, something squeecore, just broken.

Cassell And Company - The Brethren

The Brethren by H. Rider Haggard

The Brethren by H. Rider Haggard

The Brethren by H. Rider Haggard

The Brethren by H. Rider Haggard

The Brethren by H. Rider Haggard

The Brethren by H. Rider Haggard

The Brethren by H. Rider Haggard

The Brethren by H. Rider Haggard

The Brethren by H. Rider Haggard

The Brethren by H. Rider Haggard

CASSELL dust jacket The Brethren by H. Rider Haggard

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The SFFaudio Podcast #337 – READALONG: The Lord Of The Rings (Book 5 of 6) by J.R.R. Tolkien

Podcast

TheSFFaudioPodcast600The SFFaudio Podcast #337 – Jesse, Julie Davis, Seth, and Maissa talk about The Lord of the Rings Book V (“The War Of The Ring”) by J.R.R. Tolkien (aka the first half of The Return Of The King).

Talked about on today’s show:
Published 60 years ago; research is Jesse’s “security blanket”; The Black Stone by Robert E. Howard; stone of Erech has parallels to the Kaaba in Mecca; Moses’s ill-fated water-rock in Old Testament; the Stone of Scone; palantíri; War? What is it good for? We aren’t fans of all the battles; Éomer’s poetic “all is lost” moment; The Last Samurai and heroic fatalism; World War I; Faramir’s dislike of war; the movies’ over-reliance on spectacle; the power of words; the Lord of the Nazgûl; Éowyn’s badassery; Houses of Lamentation vs. Houses of Healing; the strength of the weakest; parallels between Merry and Pippin; the flaws of film versions of Éowyn–and Faramir; great deeds vs. duty; Éowyn as Old Norse valkyrie archetype; the twisting of the Nazgûl; debating the corporeality of Sauron; Sauron and Denethor use others for their dirty work; Ghân-buri-Ghân and other marginalized figures; woodwoses; no authorized Lord of the Rings fan fiction; Jesse wants public domain story following Gimil and Legolas on postwar adventures; Fifty Shades of Grey as Twilight fanfiction; Tolkien’s scholarly inside jokes; we don’t know our Greek numbers; on foils, parallels, and the integrity of Tolkien’s work; Théoden and Denethor; Gandalf’s healing power, “see the light”; Denethor’s false wisdom; Denethor passages have quality of a Greek tragedy; modern society, like Denethor, can’t see the whole picture; film portrayal of Gandalf whacking Denethor is not canon; Christ parallels and the resurrection of hope; the layering of symbolism; barrow wights and Théoden’s barrow; Korean harvest festival Chuseok; the aggression of the Tolkien estate; the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings animated movies of yore; “the hands of the king are the hands of a healer”; athelas (kings foil) to the rescue!; the king’s power to call the wounded back from the dead; the title of lore master; the last big distraction and self-sacrifice at the Black Gate; on the division of Lord of the Rings into books and volumes; on the pleasures of slow reading; more discourse on Denethor; Pippin and Merry are interchangeable (!?); even Sauron is just one evil power, parallels cyclical historical events in our world (cf. resurgence of Russia under Putin); no spoilers for Maissa!; the Mouth of Sauron’s terms, and what if Gandalf had surrendered?; Hitler, appeasement, and Alexander the Great; envisioning flamethrower guitarist from Mad Max: Fury Road at the Battle of the Black Gate;

Draggy The Dragon with THE RETURN OF THE KING by J.R.R. Tolkien

Eowyn And The Lord Of The Nazgul - illustration by Jim Reid

Ballantine Books - The Return Of The King by J.R.R. Tolkien

Methuen - The Return Of The King by J.R.R. Tolkien

UNICORN - The Return Of The King by J.R.R. Tolkien

Posted by Jesse Willis

Review of A Hero Of The Empire By Robert Silverberg

Science Fiction Audiobooks - A Hero of the Empire by Robert SilverbergA Hero Of The Empire
By Robert Silverberg; Read by George Guidall
Audio Download [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Random House Audible
Published: November 2000 – No Longer Available
ISBN: 0375417982
Themes: Science Fiction / Alternate History / Roman Empire / Islam /

A Hero Of The Empire is one of Robert Silverberg’s “Roma Eterna” stories, set in alternate history world where the Roman Empire never fell. A homosexual Roman nobleman is sent in punishment to a remote corner of the Empire – the Arabian city we know as Mecca. The time is 600 years after the reign of the Emperor Augustus – by this time the Empire has expanded to include the entire Arabian Peninsula. Written in the style of a letter to a dear friend, this novella is a fascinating examination of both Roman and Islamic history. George Guidall’s excellent reading infuses every word of this novella with his unique vocal magic. Audible’s recording is good, and even includes appropriate music, but the sound has been degraded by heavy compression – it sounds digitized. Unfortunately, and inexplicably, Audible.com has pulled A Hero Of The Empire from its catalogue and it is no longer available by itself. This was one of the best science fiction audio downloads ever available. And its disappearance from Audible.com makes me want to download and listen to all their titles immediately, for fear that they too will disappear!

NOTE: A Hero Of The Empire is no longer available singly, but is available as a portion of “Audible Exclusive Sci-Fi, Volume 1”.