The SFFaudio Podcast #428 – Jesse and Maissa Bessada talk about Burglars Can’t Be Choosers by Lawrence Block.
Talked about on today’s show:
1977, a Matt Scudder book: A Walk Among Among The Tombstones, cut-up women, he most brutal book Maissa’s ever read, sex, comedy and mystery, a treasure hunt, little gems, is that ever cool!, the 2 cassette audiobook (heavily abridged), just under six hours, it percolated along, coffee drinking, word humour and word play, why I love to read Lawrence Block books, 11 books in the series, 4 short stories, percolating dialogue, an Agatha Christie style mystery, Lawrence Block is an excellent narrator, you’re intellectually engaged, turning the horror of crime into a cozy murder mystery, a magician, sleight of hand, false directions, The Purloined Letter, the Blackstone Audio afterword, maybe I’ll try crime, everything you see on the page is Block’s brain, sparkling personality, Bernie doesn’t age, his burglar charms, Ruth Hightower, you can call me Roger, subsequent books, a front for a burglary business, Block’s dialogue and writing, the whole back end, seeing things we’re not allowed to see, what is happening?, the psychology of the character is a mystery to himself, Carolyn the lesbian poodle groomer, Carolyn is the Watson to Bernie’s Sherlock, it always was a parody, that love of books, contemplating a life of crime, Robin Hood, what kind of dog?, maybe a stuffed dog, no shedding, it’s obvious who the murderer is, carefully set like a jewel, a lot is unconscious, Ruth’s the murderer, suspects, some lurker in the shadows, how small New York is, it fits to Agatha Christie neat, that’s the genre, he’s playing totally by the Hal Clement rules, Mission Of Gravity, Two If By Sea, putting all the evidence before us, a particular hobby horse, The Burglar Who Liked To Quote Kipling, Kipling, The Burglar Who Painted Like Mondrian, Piet Mondrian, baseball, The Burglar Who Thought He Was Bogart, The Burglar In The Library, locked room murder mystery, The Burglar In The Rye, The Burglar Who Counted Spoons, told in first person, Like A Thief In The Night, A Bad Night For Burglars, from this character’s point of view, fitting in to one area of art or collecting, this is the theater one, everybody’s an actor, everybody in the book has another name or a hidden identity, Lauren, the 85 bucks, a burglar code of ethics, “I never believed in overlooking cash”, choices, the cop costume, which one is the real burglar?, they totally switch, Wesley Brill, playing “the heavy”, he’s lost his skill, this is the book where he gets his skill back, writing fiction is a kind of magic, losing the magic, Lawrence Block is always retiring from writing, staying in hotels, breaking into his own hotel room, writers who write for a living, Bernie’s lifestyle is Block’s lifestyle, going through a divorce, moving to California, an amazing soup of goodness, he’s a soup fiend, he’s also the “Man In The Middle”, Russian dolls, why isn’t this book much better known, Burglar (1987), gender swapped, Bobcat Goldthwait, too much in the words, it would make a great comic, imagery, exposition is not great for comics, a Hercule Poirot ending, Penguin Audio audiobooks, Richard Ferrone’s narration, Recorded Books, masks, Roger Armitage, they’re lying to each other, call me “Wes”, John Wesley, oh there you are!, fake names, really recognizable, how you know someone, Sydney Greenstreet, Peter Lorre, The Maltese Falcon (1941), two guys looking for the bird, the rara avis, the pear shaped man, a pre-telling, Ms. Brill by Katherine Mansfield, an ESL teacher in France, creating an internal life, an active imagination, moth powder, his yacht, a fried whiting, a flounder, a fox stole, honey cake, Maissa misread it, Reading, Short And Deep, Julie Hoverson’s narration of Ms. Brill, a little box room, Lawrence Block were you inspired by Katherine Mansfield’s story…?: No., a brill is a fish, the ermine toque = fur hat, knocked on the nose, everything is reflecting everything else, without even having read it, echoes of brill, Goldilocks, archetypes, Bernie assumes Ruth has a husband, Ellie, cheating, the ultimate woman, Darla Sandoval, he hasn’t cheated…yet, his cop costume, you don’t even need those burglar’s tools, a break in as a sexual thing, the ability to open locks, modelling a life on Bernie Rhodenbarr, locks and keys, how many passwords, one password, power and speed, a ream of keys, access, keys are responsibilities that weigh you down, physically and metaphorically, memorization, having lockpicks, lockpicking, water my plants, his burglary life, Mrs. Hesh, power is attractive, like sexual triumph, tumblers finishing, he doesn’t want it to be too clear, on the tip of understanding, “I suppose you’re wondering why I’ve gathered you all here”, Rex Stout, Raymond Chandler, a true consulting detective, Archie Goodwin, Nero Wolfe is a cogitating machine, perfect recall, fine living, food, a reveal, parceled out, we get all of the story, The Hound Of The Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle getting bored of the form, we are Bernie’s Watson, The Silver Blaze, he totally cheated us, cheating, honest cheating cops, the person behind everything, the second gun, triggering, a real play?, second cabbie, James Garner, “Sound Of Distant Drums”, phrases, things that suggest, suggesting rather than saying, a certain feeling, Block is a master manipulator, you flinched, he charmed me out a lot of money, playing a role from the very beginning, he’s an actor, really great, incredibly enjoyable, examining the furniture, shaking out the books, so much in there, intellectual exercise, whodunit?, if you want to know about Watergate now’s the time to read about it, wait twenty years, a good mystery novel gives you all the facts, I feel like Ray Kirschmann, we were totally cheated, a bed is a bed is a bed, no bed of roses, set apart from our world, everybody smokes, no internet, cellphones, computers, answering services, the world has been transformed, visiting a simpler time, sexism of the period is quaint, slightly askew.
Talked about on today’s show:
podcast hardware and podcast software, Jesse is stuck in Apple’s iOS, Android, does good hardware matter?, Marissa’s Nexus, podcatching apps, Player FM, play later, playlists, Stitcher, speed controls, Downcast (a former SFFaudio Podcast sponsor), volume booster, VLC, Dan Carlin, still in the 20th century, Paul’s decrepit iPod Mini, manual syncing, the iTunes nightmare, space, the search function, Bryan’s crappy internet, Galaxy Note 3, Pixel vs. Samsung S8, sausage fingers, the No Sleep podcast, RISK! offers The Moth style stories, the downsides of Stitcher, bad broadband, isolated on the internet, 30-pin connector, churning iTunes, 5 minute feed checks, WiFi vs. 4g, programmability, the glory days of podcasting, RSS reader, manual downloads, organization, between Google and iTunes podcast search is very hard, iTunes is an abusive relationship, the dwindling of RSS, Google and Facebook, Sam Harris’ Waking Up podcast, autoplay on Facebook and YouTube, the “Tragedy Of The Commons”, the death of RSS, Louis Rossmann: “Repairman Philosopher”, UBC, YouTube search, the world’s single greatest cultural venue: YouTube, the open wild west internet, Secrets, Crimes & Audiotape, their Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale audio drama, the Hulu series, fiction vs. non-fiction, Welcome To Nightvale, Hello From The Magic Tavern, podcasts about podcasts, audiobooks, on the Serial wagon, Missing Richard Simmons, book revisions, S-Town, The Black Tapes Podcast, Rabbits, Tanis, The X-Files, paranormal events, urban legends, investigating an alternate reality game, serial storytelling, serial stories, mystery, the Pacific Northwest, meta-podcasting, almost Borgesian, listening while walking to work, connections, a very Tanis like thing, Wormwood podcast, Escape Pod, Pseudopod, Podcastle, BBC Radio Podcasts, Mythos, the podcast audio medium has infected itself, a gimmick, a gag, Drama Of The Week podcast, William Shakespeare, the Dangerous Visions series, Lenny Henry, The Stroma Sessions, Goodrun’s Saga,The Hatton Garden Heist, King Solomon’s Mines, X Minus One, Fritz Leiber’s A Pail Of Air, Reading, Short & Deep, The Star by H.G. Wells, a terrific new Philip K. Dick podcast We Love Dick, The Philip K. Dick Philosophical Podcast, what makes a good show, start with great material, The Man In The High Castle, becoming stellar, talking through and thinking through great stuff, the hall of mirrors effect, each medium has its own strengths, what podcasts are good at, Decipher Scifi, The Thing, I Am Legend, the science psychology and linguistics, hidden gems, we don’t have a term for this, GE Podcasts Theater: The Message and LifeAfter, like Her (2013), rich and dense, Limetown, a novel for the ear, quasi-fiction, Doorway To The Hidden World, a fictional Alex Jones, fake ads, conspiracy theory, surreality, Suspense Radio Drama or HERE, Robert Sheckley, Fritz Leiber, Far Below, The Horla, Robert E. Howard, Cool Air by H.P. Lovecraft, The Fire Of Asshurbanipal, Fireside Mystery Theatre, Campfire Radio Theater, Earbud Theatre, Signal Hill Radio, The Long Dark, when TV talk-shows trying to act like podcasts, people who make TV shows that have podcasts about their shows, Better Call Saul, celebrity podcasts, even PC games have podcasts, meditation, movie review podcasts, a radio show without a fixed length, The SFFaudio Podcast, Jenny Colvin’s Reading Envy, The District Of Wonders Podcast, Tales To Terrify, primary sources, Luke Burrage’s Science Fiction Book Review Podcast, an emotional visceral reaction, pulling punches, ugly babies, Bryan’s video conference series, we need a YouTube scraper, Wednesday Adamms, Creepy Pasta (from Copy Paste), Slenderman style stories, public intellectual podcasts, sequestering academics, what podcasts are good at, Michio Kaku, a godawful lying idiot, he’s read some books, Stephen Fry, if Isaac Asimov had a podcast, The Bell Curve, race and intelligence, fuck that bullshit, interesting points, challenging, challenge me, make me question my assumptions, Hardcore History, Common Sense, there’s something great about public intellectuals able to do podcasting for a living, Joe Rogan, professional pit fighters, depressed public commentator, podcasts are rebellious (or were), the new main medium, splitting, BBC or NPR or major funders vs. DIY podcasts (like this one), Julie Hoverson, Mr Jim Moon’s podcast: Hypnogoria, the history of zombies, going deep instead of wide, werewolfy, a 15 part series on werewolves, Witchhouse Media’s The H.P. Lovecraft Literary Podcast, Frankenstein, paying for podcasts, actually visiting websites, The Partially Examined Life podcast, academia is sorta screwed, this new “readalong” podcast phenomenon, Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell, Voltaire’s Candide, life sucks: hahahhaha, a thing like that can exist, there’s no other medium that could have a show like this, CBC Podcasts, BBC Podcasts, a first and foremost podcast, aggressive British imperialism, In Our Time with Lord Melvyn Bragg, history, John Clare, something from everybody, Nigel Warburton’s Philosophy Bites, we’ve been held back by idiot television and Michio Kaku for so long, kindergarten public intellectuals, The Lovecraft Geek with Robert M. Price, The Bible Geek, Marshall Mcluhan, the shape of the media informs the content, pity those without podcatchers, The Bible back to front, they’re in your ears, getting together with your friends who you’ve never met, an intimacy to sound, more non-fiction podcasts, Revolutions, The French and Haitian Revolutions, sounds good, The History Of Rome podcast, the Revolution of 1830, so cool, walking around learning crazy stuff, better than university level, HW = homework, The History Of Philosophy Without Any Gaps, the history of mistakes, skip it, always find another, again the big problem of search, avenues and resources, all the best podcasts are via recommendations, an underground now, google’s distinct lack of interest in podcasts, an audio search engine, audio search went away, the weird history of Twitter, like Slack, the Techdirt Podcast, patents, looking at history, copyright and patents, Canadaland, The Young Turks, The Jimmy Dore Show, Slate podcasts, the elite East coast media bubble hates Science Fiction, Behind The News with Mark Henwood, Radio Open Source, The Economist: Babbage Podcast, it has it’s issues, Oh No with Ross & Carrie, joining religions and cults, convince us, how creepy and damaging it was, Outside Podcast: The Science Of Survival, haunting, hypothermia, 2nd person, another Long Dark experience, learning, a thing that happens, of niche interest, Kenneth Hite, Ken And Robin Talk About Stuff, rpg ideas, strange bits of history, Mad Baron Roman von Ungern-Sternberg, twelve weird books, LEGO, good fodder, on the eme of audio, Archive 81, three different levels of sound, a frisson of mystery and horror, Clive Barker, slowly unfolding mysteries.
The SFFaudio Podcast #227 – The Dreams In The Witch House by H.P. Lovecraft; read by Julie Hoverson. This is a complete and unabridged reading of the novelette (1 hour 42 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Julie Hoverson, Mirko Stauch, and John Feaster.
Talked about on today’s show:
1933, a pretty terrible Lovecraft story, which story?, science fiction vs. horror, crappy cheesy, Julie’s audio drama adaptation of The Dreams In The Witch House, bad ending vs. interesting journey, nobody wants August Derleth to be right, Mirko likes it, a magnificent failure?, an unusual narrative, standard witch story #4, The Size Of The Universe by Willem de Sitter, is the Dark Man made out of dark matter?, the first fanfic Mary Sue writer, Hypnos, witches, magic, what does a being from beyond space need with baby guts, why is Nyarlathotep crusing the streets with a dude in his pajamas?, Prohibition, a supervillain squad, a nerve specialist, Herbert West, Re-Animator, Douglas Adams, space is really really really big, the total perspective vortex, Lovecraft humour, Pickman’s Model, Walter Gilman is blind to the danger, the Masters Of Horror adaptation, The Whisperer In Darkness, The Colour Out Of Space, a homesteading concept, Darkest Of The Hillside Thickets, The Shadow Out of Tim, the science fiction aspect, a scary fascination, the sunburn, the blown out ear drums, Azathoth, the Pythagorean view, “everything is made of numbers”, mathematics, Galen, is Keziah Mason dead?, is Walter Gilman doomed from the start?, Brown Jenkin looks like Chuck E. Cheese, what is Brown Jenkin?, witches familiars, Blackadder, “bloody milk!”, bubbles -> Beelzebubbles, modern witches, “the witch stole my penis”, mob mentality, Caligula, proscription, Crassus, the Polish landlord and tenants, a drunken loom-mender?, the looming evil, the cross prayer, the cross giver, the cross as a weapon, Walpurgis Night, the skeleton is quantum physics, Halloween, the maypole, the Brocken, pagan rituals, prank gardening, tree stealing, mascot kidnapping, “excessively religious”, Elwood, The Thing On The Doorstep is internally logical, Tales From The Crypt, Lovecraft’s racism, The Haunter Of The Dark, presenting light, superstition, Mount Everest, icky areas, Lovecraft’s characters aren’t into self-preservation, 1960s, addiction, psychedelics, helmet refusers, “outspokenly Wiccan”, The Call Of Cthulhu RPG, 20 sided die, weird angles, 4 sided die, Julie’s die scar, sharp Doritos, caltrops, “grimoire”, sleeping on Elwood’s couch, a cohesive awesome, the endings, the star wanderings, Beyond The Wall Of Sleep, Polaris, an obsession with evil stars, astral projection, the movement of the stars, Lovecraft’s astronomic efforts, The Festival, a weird plot thread, Lovecraft as an untethered balloon, there’s a lot of puppy dog in H.P. Lovecraft, “the poky little Lovecraft”, Montreal, a historical-building-o-phile, Bingo The Birthday Clown, Star Crunch (a Lovecraftian sponsor), “a field of red jelly with bones floating in it”, hot dog water, ultimately everyone is consumed, Tunus the Unstoppable, a soap opera with only three people, an anthropomorphic supercomputer, Krusty the Klown, a fascinating unpleasant series, The Lovecraft Five, Facts Concerning The Late Arthur Jermyn And His Family, He, The Picture In The House, H. Rider Haggard’s She done as a comedy, Brown Monkey’s The Dreams In The Witch House, Uncle George’s House Party, 19 Nocturne Boulevard, The Hole Behind Midnight by Clinton Boomer, Broken Eye Books’s Kickstarter, a professional audio novel, a giant evil naked clown, the HPLHS movie adaptation of The Whisperer In Darkness, the changes, Mr. Jim Moon’s review of The Whisperer In Darkness, it’s fucking terrifying, Julie’s reading, Julie loves to play crazy old people, a love letter to H.P. Lovecraft, “fun, surprising, and terrifying”, The Creeping Unknown, more suspense and less action, Charles Fort (played by Andrew Leman), Septimius Felton by Nathaniel Hawthorne, “Doctor Portsoaken”, “Robert Hagburn”, Charles Dickens, Curse Of The Crimson Altar, Die, Monster, Die!, The Curse, Thriller, Pigeons From Hell, The Resurrected, Bleeders (aka Hemoglobin), a micro-budget with Rutger Hauer.
Bryan Baugh‘s illustration of The Dreams In The Witch House is fabulous.
It captures everything I love about this novelette. In a stating his inspiration for the illustration Baugh explains his own experiences, of not being able to appreciate The Dreams In The Witch House, until he had matured. But he also goes on to call it “[an] insane little epic” one “which offers a mind boggling blend of old fashioned haunted-house horror with sci-fi quantum physics and alternate dimensions.
In The Nyarlathotep Cycle, a collection of related stories by various authors, editor R.M. Price wrote this for the introduction to The Dreams In The Witch House:
“Fritz Leiber was right: Lovecraft effected a Copernican revolution in horror by using the fearsome implications of modern science as the subtext for Gothic horror.”
Julie Hoverson, a Seattleite polymath and sometime guest on the SFFaudio Podcast, narrates it for us. A Lovecraft expert herself, Julie has adapted several of his short stories as audio dramas for her 19 Nocturne Boulevard series.
And me? I’m just glad that the twisting non-Euclidean angles of the actual real life witch house, as seen in the Masters Of Horror adaptation of this story, allow me to live within driving distance of Caprica City (where I attended university), the Tomb of Athena (where I went hiking), and Kobol (where I go dog walking).
The Dreams In The Witch House
By H.P. Lovecraft; Read by Julie Hoverson
1 |MP3| – Approx. 1 Hour 42 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Provider: Julie Hoverson
Provided: April 2013 Walter Gilman, a student of mathematics and folklore at Miskatonic University, rents a local rooming house. First published in the July 1933 issue of Weird Tales.
The SFFaudio Podcast #214 – The Shadow Over Innsmouth by H.P. Lovecraft; read by the fabulous Mike Bennett. This is a complete and unabridged reading of the novella (3 hours 2 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Julie Hoverson, and Mr. Jim Moon.
Talked about on today’s show:
My only holy book, Deities & Demigods, Deep Ones, Dagon, serving the will of Cthulhu, “they can only be killed by violent death”, why are they evil, seafood, miscegenation, the war on alcohol, they like to drink and wear jewelry, are there Deep Ones in Guantanamo Bay?, only crackers and soup, Innsmouth, Massachusetts, Captain Obed Marsh, persuaded to breed with a deep one, immortality, 19th century, “festering quietly”, “a nice family reunion”, why is The Shadow Over Innsmouth so cherished?, Call Of Cthulhu The Dark Places Of The Earth, a Skyrim mission, Dagon and Mother Hydra, Dagon, New England Tahitians, Walter Gilman in The Dreams In The Witch House, The Thing On The Doorstep, Doctor Who’s The Sea Devil is The Shadow Over Innsmouth with less schtupping, The Silurians, can’t go wrong with a good sea monster, The Creature From The Black Lagoon, Julie’s adaptation will have more sex!, Alan Moore’s Neonomicon, g-men, an Esoteric Order Of Dagon style-cult, a traumatic read, the end, the film of Dagon (set in Spain), Stuart Gordon, Castle Freak is one of the best dramatic Full Moon films, the Masters Of Horror adaptation of The Dreams In The Witch House, The H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society adaptation (Dark Adventure Radio Theatre), the framing story, The Statement Of Randolph Carter, who is our protagonist confessing to?, Double Indemnity, heredity and atavism, 1920s, 1930s, Zadok Allen, Julie’s adaptation of The Rats In The Walls, The Picture In The House, female characters in Lovecraft, Cool Air, Lovecraft cares about words, House Of The Dead, the San Juan Islands, the naming of islands, Lovecraft crafts with love, August Derleth!, “the full gibbous moon”?, racism, the “Gilman Inn” is a pun, The Whisperer In Darkness, he’s there for the architecture, “reluctant fascination”, that old uncle who smells weird, The Shuttered Room by August Derleth, the worst fanfic writer ever, posthumous collaboration, Fishhead by Irvin S. Cobb, The Harbor-Master by Robert W. Chambers, an inbred wild-man, local rednecks, “a bit too close to the sea”, an economic depression, isn’t it a good deal?, arranged marriages, what’s with the Innsmouth Chamber Of Commerce?, in the Octopus’ garden, Brown Monkey, Dick Dynamo: The Fifth Dimensional Man, meta, 118 Migration, Afterlives (a Bangsian fantasy), the golden era of internet audio drama, a new idea, Hypnobobs, classics vs. moderns, old books have vocabulary, Jack London, MTV saturated audiences?, Goodreads reviews of Dracula, Fifty Shades Of Grey, atheist vicars?, the stress on the importance of reading may breed bad books, teachers pick books with big social value, Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol, turning kids off literature, Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone, using Robinson Crusoe as a guide to life, police procedural, obstreperous, The Murders At The Rue Morgue by Edgar Allan Poe, the audiobook of The Moonstone.