CBC Ideas / Entitled Opinions – an interview

SFFaudio Online Audio

I don’t get a ton of feedback on most posts. So, I tend to argue, mostly with myself, that Science Fiction and Fantasy includes a great many things: Crime, Noir, Horror, History, ancient literature, philosophy, mythology.

Today I might try to argue that the SFF genre is ‘larger than it appears,’ or that ‘much that many would define as within SFF actually isn’t’ (i.e. the stuff I don’t care about). Or I might argue both.

Now that I’ve carefully constructed a wall to indemnify myself against phantom accusations of “off topic” – I’d like to talk about gardening.

A couple months back CBC Radio One’s Ideas producer, Richard Handler, talked to Robert Harrison, the host of one of my favorite podcasts, Entitled Opinions. Topics discussed in the interview include Dante, the dead, the origins of Stanford University, Karel Čapek, and gardening.

CBC Radio One - IdeasCBC Radio One – Ideas
1 |MP3| – Approx. 53 Minutes [INTERVIEW]
Broadcaster: CBC Radio One / Ideas
Broadcast: Thursday March 5th, 2009
Robert Harrison is an eminent American scholar and a Dante specialist by trade. He wants the humanities to ask big and searching questions. He even runs an intellectual talk show from his perch at Stanford University.

If after this you’re more interested in gardening, check or Handler’s BLOG POST on the “gardening” topic.

Also, mentioned in the above podcast is Harrison’s show on Heart Of Darkness – it’s awesome |MP3|. I’ve put both files in my HuffDuffer feed, I hope you check them out.

Posted by Jesse Willis

P.S. Apocalypse Al, I haven’t forgotten you!

BROKEN SEA: 31 Nights Of Horror

SFFaudio Online Audio

Broken Sea Audio Productions HALLOWEEN 2008 - Season Of Screams

Broken Sea AudioBrokenSea Audio Productions is following up their 2007 Halloween Season special with a second month long audio release schedule that is proving popular with audio fans. This year’s season is called: 31 Nights of Horror

BSAP is releasing new AUDIO material (short stories, poems and audio drama) every day on their website, and via podcast. Included are classic tales from authors like H.P. Lovecraft, Joseph Conrad and Edgar Allan Poe, full cast audio drama and readings of great new horror tales by authors who have contributed works to the project. The season runs from October 1st to the 31st. With a major event planned for All Hallows Eve itself – think undead, think cheerleader.

Posted by Jesse Willis

Heart Of Darkness analysis from BBC Radio 4’s In Our Time podcast

BBC Radio 4 Podcast In Our TimeIn Our Time is a BBC Radio 4 podcast covering the “big ideas” of our age. Coincidentally, they happen to have Joseph Conrad’s Heart Of Darkness as their topic for this week! If you’d like to download the show |MP3|, here’s the description.

“Written in 1899 by Joseph Conrad, Heart Of Darkness is a fascinating fin de siecle critique of colonialism and man’s greed. Conrad draws on his own adventures for the plot. The story’s main narrator is Marlow, a merchant seaman who pilots a steamship upriver in what is largely assumed to be the Belgian Congo. He finds the scramble for Africa well underway, with Europeans desperately competing to make their fortunes from ivory. Marlow’s journey takes him into the interior of this mysterious silent continent. After a dangerous passage he finally arrives at the company’s most remote trading station. It is reigned over by Kurtz, a white man who seems to have become a kind of God figure to the local people. Marlow is fascinated by him, preferring his messianic ravings to the petty treachery and mercenarism of the other white traders. On the journey back, Kurtz dies, whispering ‘the horror, the horror’. The interpretation of these words has perplexed readers ever since and the book has prompted a diverse range of readings from the psychoanalytical, that sees the novella as a metaphor for the journey into the subconscious, to feminist readings that examine how Conrad excludes female characters and focuses on the male consciousness. Conrad wrote; ‘My task is, above all, to make you see’. So did he intend this novella to provoke a discussion of the immorality and rapacity at the centre of colonialism? Was he questioning the hero’s welcome given to those famous explorers who came back from ‘civilising’ Africa, as they saw it? Or was he, as the Nigerian writer Chinua Achebe put it, ‘guilty of preposterous and perverse arrogance in reducing Africa to the role of props for the break-up of one petty European mind?'”

Contributors to this week’s show include: Susan Jones, Fellow and Tutor in English at St Hilda’s College, Oxford. Robert Hampson, Professor of Modern Literature at Royal Holloway, University of London and Laurence Davies, Honorary Senior Research Fellow in English at Glasgow University and Visiting Professor of Comparative Literature at Dartmouth College, New Hampshire.”

Scholarlly inclined listeners can subscribe to the podcast via this feed:


Heart Of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

SFFaudio Online Audio

Podcast - Heart Of Darkness by Joseph ConradI’m sure it could be argued, and maybe even successfully, that Joseph Conrad’s Heart Of Darkness doesn’t qualify as Horror. But I’ll be damned if I’ll be the one to make that argument! First published in 1902, this novella explores morality and human nature in “darkest” Africa and comes to a deeply noirish conclusion, one I can only describe as true-horror. As a co-production between LoudLit.org and LiteralSystems.org this is quite a fine sounding audiobook, reading duties are split between Tom Franks, providing the narration and David Kirkwood, who performs the story within the story. Check it out and let me know if you agree with me that Heart Of Darkness is Horror.

Heart Of Darkness
By Joseph Conrad; Read by Tom Franks and David Kirkwood
10 MP3 Files – Approx. 4 Hours 15 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Podcast: LoudLit.org
Podcast: February 2007

Subscribe to the podcast:


Or download all ten sections of the novella directly:

Section I, Part 1 |MP3|
Section I, Part 2 |MP3|
Section I, Part 3 |MP3|
Section I, Part 4 |MP3|
Section II, Part 1 |MP3|
Section II, Part 2 |MP3|
Section II, Part 3 |MP3|
Section III, Part 1 |MP3|
Section III, Part 2 |MP3|
Section III, Part 3 |MP3|