The SFFaudio Podcast #160 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: Red Nails by Robert E. Howard

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #160 – Jesse, Tamahome, and Brian Murphy (of The Silver Key and Black Gate) talk about Red Nails by Robert E. Howard (read by Gregg Margarite for LibriVox). The audiobook runs 3 Hours 21 minutes and the discussion begins after that.

Talked about on today’s show:
Comics, the comic adaptation of Red Nails, Conan Saga, Savage Tales, Barry Windsor-Smith, John Buscema, Storyteller, Wolverine, the REH Comics Yahoo! Group, Beyond The Black River, Tower Of The Elephant, Karl Edward Wagner, Queen Of The Black Coast, grimness, pirates, torture, lesbianism, happy endings, “so much for that decades old gang war”, it’s Red Nails is like a Tom Baker Doctor Who serial, haunted city, a feud culture, Tolkemec’s laser, “if it bleeds we can kill it”, Conan the chauvinist, Valeria kicks ass, is the story told from Valeria’s POV?, it begins like a mystery, the “dragon” is a dinosaur (sort of), Techotl, writer shorthand, Star Trek (Let That Be Your Last Battlefield), Techotl is Gollum-like, Red Nails as a gang war, why didn’t they all get rickets and starve, Howard was the original locavore, a roofed city vs. a domed city, Hatfields vs. McCoys, the black pillar of vengeance, ConanRedNails.com, HBO can do no wrong, copyright vs. trademark, Dark Horse’s Chronicles Of Conan #4, colour and colouring, Howard as a stylist, Book X of The Odyssey, The Land of the Lotus Eaters, The Dark Man: The Journal Of Robert E. Howard Studies, using digital copies to research (control-f), Aztec, Toltecs, cannibalism, Jack London, Harold Lamb, William Morris, J.R.R. Tolkien, H.P. Lovecraft, sword and sorcery, horror, The Black Stone, Worms Of The Earth by Robert E. Howard, Tantor Media’s tantalizing collection Bran Mak Morn: The Last King, condemn Howard’s racism praise his writing, Orson Scott Card, Al Harron of The Blog That Time Forgot, Apparition In The Prize Ring by Robert E. Howard, Ace Jessel, Solomon Kane, what will we do after?, just an average weekend with laser beams, the gonzo ending of Red Nails, BrokenSea’s The Queen Of The Black Coast audio drama, Bill Hollweg, legal trouble, Sherlock Holmes, Disney’s John Carter vs. Dynamite Entertainment‘s Warlord Of Mars.

Red Nails - interior fold out art by Ken Kelly

Red Nails - Ending - art by Barry Windsor-Smith

Red Nails by Robert E. Howard

Red Nails illustration by Margaret Brundage from Weird Tales, July 1936

Red Nails illustration by Harold S. De Lay from Weird Tales, July 1936

Red Nails illustration by Harold S. De Lay from Weird Tales, August September 1936

Red Nails illustration by Harold S. De Lay from Weird Tales, October 1936

Red Nails by Robert E. Howard - illustration by George Barr

Red Nails - illustration by George Barr

George Barr ILLUSTRATION for Red Nails

Valeria by Geoffrey Isherwood (in the style of Barry Windsor Smith)

Posted by Jesse Willis

Review of Letters from Father Christmas by J.R.R. Tolkien

Fantasy Audiobooks - Letters from Father Christmas by J.R.R. TolkienLetters From Father Christmas
By J. R. R. Tolkien; Read by Sir Derek Jacobi, John Moffat and Christian Rodska
2 cassettes – 120 minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Harper Audio
Published: 2000
ISBN: 0618087842
Themes: / Fantasy / Christmas /

“Can you imagine writing to Father Christmas and actually getting a reply? For over twenty years, the children of J.R.R. Tolkien received letters from the North Pole – from Father Christmas himself! They told wonderful stories, of mischief and disaster, adventures and battles. Now, for the first time, these letters are brought to life on tape.”

While most of Tolkien’s work was published to great acclaim by ‘Tolkien the fantasy author’ or even ‘Tolkien professor of linguistics’, Letters From Father Christmas was never intended for publication at all, it was simply a collection of letters written over a twenty year period by ‘Tolkien the father’ to his own children. This makes it all the more special. There is no refinement of theme, or distinguishment of plot. Only the fanciful adventures of Father Christmas (that’s Santa Claus for most people) and the other residents of the North Pole. Sir Derek Jacobi along with John Moffat and Christian Rodska read the letters by performing in the voices of the letter writers. Accented with jingling bells in between letters. This is a skillfully adapted audiobook that transmutes the words of the original letters into audio gold. Unfortunately the letters also had wonderful colour illustrations referred to in the letters themselves. I’ve seen them – they were drawn and coloured by Tolkien himself, beautiful and funny images that can’t be adapted to audio. This is a case where the paperbook actually has something over a perfect audiobook translation of a paperbook. Harper Audio should have included a companion insert or something. But for those who already own a copy Letters From Father Christmas makes for perfect listening on the days leading up to Christmas!

Posted by Jesse Willis