Reading, Short And Deep #400
Eric S. Rabkin and Jesse Willis discuss In A Dim Room by Lord Dunsany
Here’s a link to a PDF of the poem.
In A Dim Room was first published in the London Evening News, July 18, 1945.
The SFFaudio Podcast #357 – Jesse and David Stifel talk about Captain James Hook And The Curse Of Peter Pan by Jeremiah Kleckner and Jeremy Marshall.
Talked about on today’s show:
that Burroughs guy (or Captain Hook), Jeremy Marshall, Jeremiah Kleckner, a modern book?, a little under six hours, a take off on a well known property, not a kid’s book, the Peter Pan play, the starting point for this book, childish irresponsibility, a Twilight Zone episode, J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan, written for adults, vocabularies, they got a dog, in-jokes, Alice In Wonderland, he workshopped it, Hook wasn’t in the play originally, kids love pirates, this kid kidnaps other kids, a sequel, the timeline, Harry Potter of a hundred years ago, Hook, Pan, the Disney film, the black and white Broadway broadcast, kinescope, what a great role, the prototypical adult, the Etonian accent, Cyril Ritchard’s voice, The Roar of the Greasepaint – The Smell of the Crowd, the writing is so good, subtly twisted scenes, why it is short, Jeremiah Kleckner is an English teacher, how to enjoy reading, pre-production, the competition, an ACX book, Jeremiah Kleckner’s blog, auditions, the new publishing model, the cover art, Jesse is very cynical, so is David, self-published, word-wooze, wound and wooze, guberreality?, Chinese food, David Baldacci, what writing is about, a lot of gushing, an alternate take, a prequel to Peter Pan, fairies, a crocodile, Neverland, the Lost Boys, a jigsaw puzzle, who is Captain Hook?, Hook is right, Peter Pan is a self-indulgent little brat, flying, too bad!, Peter Pan treats the Lost Boys like toys, set on a course for evil, with Billy Mumy, It’s a Good Life, “happy fun”, the alliterative punctuation, the god Pan, the god of lonely shepherd boys and the god of panic, panopticon, pan was able to multiply himself infinitely, not the horny goat god, the god of wildness, children and childhood became a thing, children’s literature, child focused culture, child labour, Barrie was the peak of child culture, anti-science, “who believes in fairies?”, why we need Mr Jim Moon, the push pull of science, science killing all the fantasy of being a child, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, he just wants to believe, The Best Of Sick Jokes,
Willie, with a thirst for gore,
Nailed his sister to the door.
Mother said, with humor quaint,
“Willie, dear, don’t scratch the paint.”
the symbol of how good the writing is, James Hoodkins, breaking the bottle, the night before his thirteenth birthday, “have fun forever”, a lucky escape, Michael Darling, the Darling family, a failed adult, a funding problem, Smee, Captain Hook’s boatswain (bo’sun), an interesting backstory for Smee, “it’s me”, Blackbeard, Long John Silver, Treasure Island, Black Sails mixes historical and fictional pirates, Robert Louis Stevenson, the second reality, Jesse Labette, Smee by A.M. Burrage, clean fun, hide-and-seek, The Demolished Man by Alfred Bester, sardine, a retelling, why does Hoodkins have a sidekick in William, responsibility, double-sided reality, watch out for William, a first step towards manhood, be his mommy, what if…, a stunning achievement, “I’m taking them to heaven.”, a child’s heaven, death, never land, just step out the window, jumping off the roof, almost a real place, The Etymologicon: A Circular Stroll Through The Hidden Connections Of The English Language by Mark Forsyth, the impact of Peter Pan, Wendy, Jonathan Swift, Vanessa, Hermione, a romp, a great performance in a meaty role, natives will tell, by today’s standards, losing regionalisms, mid-Atlantic accent, the Edgar Rice Burroughs audiobooks, a swashbuckling adventure, a completely flawless performance, a sleeper that deserves to be heard, a really fine audiobook that deserves more exposure, the Amazon.com reviews are excellent, “masterful narration”, little Billy at 5, an undersold masterpiece, with the marketing budget…, David’s tastes, science fiction as a modernization of fantasy, thinking critically about a classic, Hook was right!, Hook’s the hero!, it’s not just what you know about Peter Pan, a lot of pirate research, more real than The Pirates Of The Caribbean, not an arrrgh until the appearance of Long John Silver
Posted by Jesse Willis
Hounded: The Iron Druid Chronicles
By Kevin Hearne; Read by Luke Daniels
8 Hours – [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Themes: / Fantasy / YA / Druids / Occult / Werewolves / Vampires /
This is the first of a hugely popular YA series, highly recommended by a friend and, luckily for me, available as a review book from SFFaudio.
Here’s the brief summary for those who, like me, hadn’t heard of this book:
Atticus O’Sullivan, last of the Druids, lives peacefully in Arizona, running an occult bookshop and shape-shifting in his spare time to hunt with his Irish wolfhound. His neighbors and customers think that this handsome, tattooed Irish dude is about twenty-one years old — when in actuality, he’s twenty-one centuries old. Not to mention: He draws his power from the earth, possesses a sharp wit, and wields an even sharper magical sword known as Fragarach, the Answerer. Unfortunately, a very angry Celtic god wants that sword, and he’s hounded Atticus for centuries. Now the determined deity has tracked him down…
The book begins with verve as Atticus is a charming narrator who introduces us to his friends, who are mainly from the supernatural world. We meet Druid gods, local werewolves, a Viking vampire, the local coven of witches, and Atticus’s Irish wolfhound, Oberon, with whom Atticus can carry on mental conversations. There are few genuine humans in Atticus’s life and none are developed beyond a paltry few amusing characteristics, such as the Irish widow who likes to get drunk before going to Mass and forgives murder on her lawn if she is told the victims were British. The most likable character in the group is the dog Oberon who is charmingly focused on doggish things and has just enough understanding of Atticus’s world to offer his own solutions from time to time.
My initial attraction to the story soon ground to a halt. The problem with this book, and it is a large problem, is that Atticus is a perpetual Peter Pan character. His emotional development seems to be frozen at several years younger than his outward 21 years since a heaving bosom is all it takes to permanently distract him from whatever he’s doing. Pity. One would have hoped that 2,100 years of living would result in a certain amount of experience leading to wisdom. Instead, Atticus spends more time in a practical joke on an ambulance attendant than in thinking through how much he should have healed himself from a bullet wound to make it seem convincing to local law enforcement. That’s ok though because Atticus has friends and allies who unfailingly show up to give an easy solution without readers ever feeling that Atticus himself is too worries about the outcome. This leads to a permanent lack of dramatic tension.
It’s a pity there isn’t a “Wendy” to accompany Atticus’s “Peter Pan.” That would give Hounded the necessary depth and contrast. Now we can see how wise J.M. Barrie was in the construction of his tale. Without a truly human element who lacks control of the situation, all the adventures are one boring episode after another with nary a worry about how Atticus will escape.
The one good thing about this book is the narrator, Luke Daniels. I haven’t come across him before but will keep an eye out for him in the future. His talents kept me listening long past the point where I would have given up. His voicing of Oberon has found its way into my head whenever we “speak” for what our dogs in our household.
Sadly, Daniels’ talents aren’t enough to make this shallow story worth your time. There are many wonderful YA stories out there that are worth reading and rereading: The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling, Eon: Dragoneye Reborn by Alison Goodman, White Cat by Holly Black, and Assam and Darjeeling by T.M. Camp are just a few.
For that matter, try Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie. You’ll see what Hounded could have been with proper attention given to the storytelling.
Posted by Julie D.
Can anyone resist Blackstone Audio’s just announced $5.00 clearance sale?
This comes not a month after they announced their $9.99 overstock sale!
$5 for an audiobook.
That’s the deal of the year people!
Admittedly, not all of the available titles in this sale are unabridged, but they mostly are. There are a dozen SFF titles, plenty of crime, mystery and noir as well as a shelfload of history audiobooks. There are even a couple of audio dramas in there.
Here’s just a smattering of what excited me:
THE ADVENTURES OF SHERLOCK HOLMES by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle; read by Ben Kingsley
THE AENEID by Virgil; read by Frederick Davidson
BABYLON BABIES by Maurice G. Dantec; read by Joe Barrett
THE CALL OF THE WILD by Jack London; read by Ethan Hawke
CASINO ROYALE by Ian Fleming; read by Simon Vance
CHRISTOPHER’S GHOSTS by Charles McCarry; read by Stefan Rudnicki
A CONNECTICUT YANKEE IN KING ARTHUR’S COURT by Mark Twain; read by Carl Reiner
CRIMINAL PARADISE by Steven M. Thomas; read by Patrick Lawlor
THE DEAL by Peter Lefcourt; read by William H. Macy
DEATH MATCH by Lincoln Child; read by Barrett Whitener |READ OUR REVIEW|
DON QUIXOTE DE LA MANCHA by Miguel de Cervantes; read by Robert Whitfield
EVIL, INC. by Glenn Kaplan; read by Glenn Kaplan
THE FLIGHT OF THE PHOENIX by Elleston Trevor; read by Grover Gardner
FRANKENSTEIN by Mary Shelley; read by Julie Harris
FRANKENSTEIN, OR THE MODERN PROMETHEUS by Mary Shelley; read by Simon Templeman, Anthony Heald, and Stefan Rudnicki
HOW TO SURVIVE A ROBOT UPRISING by Daniel H. Wilson; read by Stefan Rudnicki |READ OUR REVIEW|
HUCK FINN AND TOM SAWYER AMONG THE INDIANS by Mark Twain and Lee Nelson; read by Grover Gardner
I AM LEGEND by Richard Matheson; read by Robertson Dean |READ OUR REVIEW|
I, CLAUDIUS by Robert Graves; read by Frederick Davidson
THE INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS by Jack Finney; read by Kristoffer Tabori
IT’S SUPERMAN! by Tom De Haven; read by Scott Brick
JAMES BOND BOXED SET by Ian Fleming; read by Simon Vance
KING KONG by Edgar Wallace and Merian C. Cooper; novelization by Delos W. Lovelace; read by Stefan Rudnicki |READ OUR REVIEW|
THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE by Richard Condon; read by Christopher Hurt
THE MARTIAN CHILD by David Gerrold; read by Scott Brick
MARTIAN TIME-SLIP AND THE GOLDEN MAN by Philip K. Dick; read by Grover Gardner
MILDRED PIERCE by James M. Cain; read by Christine Williams
MYSTIC WARRIOR by Tracy and Laura Hickman; read by Lloyd James
PETER PAN by J.M. Barrie; read by Roe Kendall
THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY by Oscar Wilde; read by Simon Vance
THE PRESTIGE by Christopher Priest; read by Simon Vance
QUANTUM OF SOLACE by Ian Fleming; read by Simon Vance
RINGWORLD’S CHILDREN by Larry Niven; read by Barrett Whitener |READ OUR REVIEW|
ROCKET SHIP GALILEO by Robert A Heinlein; read by Spider Robinson |READ OUR REVIEW|
SUPERMAN RETURNS by Marv Wolfman; read by Scott Brick |READ OUR REVIEW|
SWEENEY TODD AND THE STRING OF PEARLS by Yuri Rasovsky; read by a full cast
TARZAN OF THE APES by Edgar Rice Burroughs; read by Ben Kingsley
THE TEN-CENT PLAGUE by David Hajdu; read by Stefan Rudnicki
THERMOPYLAE by Paul Cartledge; read by John Lee
THE THREE MUSKETEERS by Alexandre Dumas; read by Michael York
THE TIME MACHINE by H.G. Wells; read by Ben Kingsley
THE TRIAL by Franz Kafka; read by Geoffrey Howard
UTOPIA by Sir Thomas More; read by James Adams
V FOR VENDETTA by Steve Moore; read by Simon Vance |READ OUR REVIEW|
THE WAR OF THE WORLDS by H.G. Wells; read by Christopher Hurt
WHERE’S MY JETPACK? by Daniel H. Wilson; read by Stefan Rudnicki |READ OUR REVIEW|
THE WINTER OF FRANKIE MACHINE by Don Winslow; read by Dennis Boutsikaris
THE WORLD ACCORDING TO NARNIA by Jonathan Rogers; read by Brian Emerson
Posted by Jesse Willis
Since the inception of the SFFaudio in 2003, and especially since the SFFaudio Challenge back in 2006, there have been many queries directed my way about copyright. I’ve had no formal training, but having a blog and getting questions about it means I’ve had to learn quite a bit about it. Copyright is a form of protection grounded in law granting original works of artistic creation protection for a set period. Various copyright laws are in force in many countries of the world. One source I’ve found for my own country is the indispensable CopyrightWatch.ca blog. As today is the first of 2008, this day marks the birth of many new public domain works. As CopyrightWatch author Wallace McLean points out “thousands, indeed millions, of creative works from the collective cultural past of our little planet and its many countries [become] Public Domain [today] in most countries of the world” That makes January 1st a birthday party of sorts! Included amongst the newly public domain works are some by notable SFF authors. Here are a few of the details from the extensive post on the
In the largest bloc of countries of the world, with the majority of the world’s population, the general copyright term of life+50 expired no later than midnight this morning for the works whose author, or last-surviving of multiple authors, died in 1957. These works, which have passed out of copyright and become part of our commonly-held cultural heritage, include works of art and literature, accounts of discovery and adventure, biographies and autobiographies, scientific and philosopical treatises, film and theology, architecture and poetry; in short, products of the human mind in every medium, in every field of creativity, discovery, and endeavour.
The life+50 class of the newly-Public Domain includes:
Anglo-Irish fantasy writer Lord Dunsany
American pulp sci-fi author Ray Cummings
And many more!
The second-largest bloc in the world copyright map, with about half the countries of the life+50 universe, is the life+70 universe, which includes much of Europe (this means that works by authors, or last-surviving authors, who died in 1937 are now public domain in the life+70 countries. Authors or other creators of “works” who died in 1937) include:
American fantasy and science fiction writer H.P. Lovecraft
Scottish novelist and dramatist J.M. Barrie
And many more!
In the United States, unpublished works by the life+70 class of authors are also in the public domain as of today, joining published works by the same authors, if published before 1923. Published works by those auhors, if published after 1922, may still by under copyright in the U.S. In Canada and the United Kingdom, however, the situation is reversed. While published works by authors who died 50 or more years ago are public domain in Canada (or more than 70 years ago in the U.K.), unpublished works, such as letters and other papers, are still under copyright in Canada for works by authors who died after 1949, and in the U.K. for unpublished works by all authors, no matter how long ago they died. This anamolous class of unpublished works will not see their British Public Domain Day until January 1, 2039, or in Canada until January 1, 2049, unless and until the Parliaments of the two countries finally see fit to eliminate this confusing and culturally counterproductive bit of legislative stupidity.
Also entering the public domain around the world today are works of anonymous or pseudonymous authorship which were published in 1957 (or whichever other year applies according to your local copyright term for such works.)
But let us nevertheless pause to celebrate the gains that the public domain has made today, in Canada and throughout the world. It’s your past, your cultural heritage, your public domain. Promote it, celebrate it, and use it, or we will lose it.
Happy Public Domain Day 2008! If you start making audiobooks or audio dramas out of these author’s works let me know. I’ll make links!
Posted by Jesse Willis
LibriVox bills itself as “acoustical liberation of books in the public domain”, we bill it as “really cool”! The LibriVox volunteers read and record chapters of books in the public domain using the equipment they have at home, and then release the files as FREE audiobooks. The objective is to eventually make all books in the public domain available in the audio format. Several Science Fiction and Fantasy titles are already under way, and few have already been completed. Here’s a peek:
The Road To Oz by L. Frank Baum
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
A Modest Proposal by Jonathan Swift
Multiple Narrator Forthcoming:
Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie
The Trial by Franz Kafka
Dracula by Bram Stoker
A Journey To The Interior Of The Earth by Jules Verne
Single Narrators Forthcoming:
Flatland by Edwin A. Abbott
The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Anderson
Sky Island by L. Frank Baum
The Wizard Of Oz by L. Frank Baum
Anthem by Ayn Rand
A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur’s Court by Mark Twain
The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells
The Time Machine by H.G. Wells
The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams