My friend Julie Hoverson described this story as “Runyonesque” (I had to look it up). Having now heard it I can see why she read it. Julie is an absolute ham for certain quirky American accents and she nails this one beautifully. Of the story itself she said it featured a jazz style band, made up of some suitably jazzy types. The plot, such as it is, is kind of beside the point. It’s a kind of a fish out of water story in which the band, though seemingly born in the future, still finds themselves sounding very much like a set of 1950s characters. Indeed, they find themselves stuck in a Science Fiction future but with 1950s problems.
At the time of publication of The Flying Cuspidors, August 1958, the author, one V.R. Francis, was said to have been a 21 year old Californian, who had “previously appeared in men’s magazines.” But whether that was as a model, or an author, is unfortunately lost to history.
This is the only known story by V.R. Francis
The Flying Cuspidors
By V.R. Francis; Read by Julie Hoverson
1 |MP3| – Approx. 23 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Provider: Julie Hoverson
Provided: May 2013 This was love, and what could be done about it? It’s been happening to guys for a long time, now. First published in Fantastic Universe August 1958.
Here’s a |PDF|, and Gutenberg has |ETEXT| versions.
Moonlight Audio Theatre and veteran audio producer David Farquhar, are showcasing a podcast audio drama anthology consisting more than 200 programs!
I’ve subscribed and I think you’ll want to to for among the many productions you’ll find in the feed are those by Julie Hoverson (19 Nocturne Boulevard), Roger Gregg (Crazy Dog Audio Theatre), and Jack J. Ward (Electric Vicuna). The genres seem to include mystery, horror, suspense, drama, comedy, Science Fiction, and Fantasy.
Here’s a list of producers supplying shows:
Atlanta Radio Theatre Company
Brokensea Audio Productions
Campfire Radio Theatre
Crazy Dog Audio Theatre
Electric Vicuna Productions
Bargain Basement Productions
Chatterbox Audio Theatre
The Great Northern Audio Theatre
Midnight Radio Theatre
19 Nocturne Boulevard
Precarious Audio Theatre
Design Sound Productions
Icebox Radio Theater
The Wireless Theatre Company
Voices In The Wind Audio Theatre
Washington Audio Theatre
Faith Muskoka Productions
Do you like really sad short stories? I promise this one will do the job.
In fact it may just be the saddest short story ever written.
I summarized it in SFFaudio Podcast #194, and then recently told it to my friend Julie Hoverson. She was taken with it, and has now kindly narrated it for us!
What I love about this recording is the genuine emotion, prompted by the story’s end, that comes into Julie’s voice for those final lines. That’s not acting! That’s the real stuff!
And if you listen closely enough you may even hear the sound of teardrops sliding down flushed cheeks – though if they are coming from Julie – or from you – may be somewhat hard to determine.
By Katherine Mansfield; Read by Julie Hoverson
1 |MP3| – Approx. 14 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Provider: Julie Hoverson
Provided: January 2013 Miss Brill, an English teacher working in France, lives in a small room near the Jardains Publique. Every Sunday she visits the gardens and listens to the music of the band, admires the attire of her fellow park-goers, and eavesdrops on their conversations. First published in Athenaeum, November 26, 1920.
The SFFaudio Podcast #186 – An unabridged reading of The Lady, Or The Tiger? by Frank R. Stockton (17 minutes), read by David Federman – followed by a discussion of it. Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Tamahome, and Julie Hoverson (of 19 Nocturne Boulevard).
Talked about on today’s show:
Monty Hall, Let’s Make A Deal, a can of sardines, a donkey and a block of hay, the Dungeons & Dragons meaning of “Monty Hall”, use in schools, weighting the scales, what is the character of women?, equally loving and equally jealous, love vs. jealousy, how barbaric are women?, where are the female criminals, a fully barbaric king, trial by ordeal, a box with a viper, a box with a knife, the swift choice, a curious justice system, jaywalking into the people’s court, like father like daughter, women were so emotional, unmodernizable sexism, guilt, there are tigers behind both doors, The Price Is Right, imaginary morality in an imaginary land, fairness conflated with arbitrariness, “when he and himself agreed upon anything”, Julie’s problem with philosophy, game theory, a thought experiment, Ray Bradbury style stories convey Bradburian feelings vs. Rorschachian style stories which elicit only the reader’s feelings, The Discourager Of Hesitancy (a sequel to The Lady, Or The Tiger?), smile vs. frown, Batman, Two-Face’s decisions are not actually coin tosses, The Man in The High Castle by Philip K. Dick, I Ching, “the tiger does not eat the straw because the duck has flown away”, phone psychics should agree with their customers, “the cards are telling me…”, psychics as impartial observers, a Ponzi scheme, selection bias, is it a double bluff?, does the father know that the daughter knows?, what is the punishment for adultery?, obsolete pop-culture, zoot suit riots (not just a joke, seriously), “six of one, half a dozen of the other”, “as snug as a bug in a rug”, we have to invent rug technology, nitpicking, Bugs Bunny dialogue, Max Headroom (is still ahead of it’s time), “blipvert”, They Live, shantytowns in the Regan era, Shock Treatment, The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
The SFFaudio Podcast #183 – An unabridged reading of Out Of The Storm by William Hope Hodgson (10 minutes), read by Brian Murphy) followed by a discussion of it. Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Tamahome, and Brian Murphy.
Talked about on today’s show:
Stefan Rudnicki, Brian Murphy should peruse audiobook narration, Julie Hoverson (of 19 Nocturne Boulevard), The Frost Giant’s Daughter (aka Gods Of The North) by Robert E. Howard, William Hope Hodgson, the dragon, Gustav Dore, Leviathan, naturalistic vs. super-naturalistic, anthropomorphism, literal vs. metaphorical readings of the Bible, Thomas Hobbes, Behemoth, The Book Of Job, H.P. Lovecraft, The Statement Of Randolph Carter, wireless telegraphy, Supernatural Horror In Literature, Hodgson’s career in the merchant seaman, physical culture, photography, nautical phenomena, Edgar Allan Poe, like a nautical version of H.P. Lovecraft, Sargasso sea stories, is it merely madness?, a previously unreportable phenomenon, why doesn’t the scientist (John) respond?, an audio dramatization would be interesting, an extremely disturbing message, cosmic horror, the mother and the child, “like a foul beast”, contemplating the unimaginable, “God is not He, but It”, the universe is either cruel (Hodgson) or indifferent (Lovecraft), “her soul hideous with the breath of the thing”, spirit as breath, “this is the most horrific thing ever”, uncontrollable laughter, unstoppable, an undignified death in the face of an indifferent, the Titanic disaster, Schindler’s List, a greater good calculation, unconscionable selfishness, “to talk of foul things to a child”, the evil in itself and the evil of sharing the knowledge of that evil, Jaws, if this was a true account…, did Jaws cause Shark Week?, this guy is a little bit off, putting on a King James accent, skies the colour of mud, a sky monster?, aliens, Cthulhu, tentacles or waterspouts?, flotsam or an iceberg or a shark or just the waves themselves, “oh crap I’m nuts”, “tell her how it was”, is it like telling or not telling war stories?, clarity before death, so many ideas per square centimeter, Murf plays the Call Of Cthulhu RPG, sanity points, everybody loses, investigation vs. hack and slash, the Big Cypress Swamp, will acquaintance with Lovecraft’s stories harm or enhance your enjoyment of the game?, The Miskatonic University Podcast, “actual play” podcast, Skype of Cthulhu podcast, dice rolls on the honour system, Paranoia, Chaosium, The Horror On The Orient Express Kickstarter project, single player computer RPGs vs. pen and paper RPGs with real people, would Lovecraft play the Call Of Cthulhu RPG?, MMOs, World Of Warcraft, Dungeons & Dragons.
The SFFaudio Podcast #178 – An unabridged reading of The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman (32 minutes, read for LibriVox by Michelle Sullivan) followed by a discussion of it. Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Tamahome, Jenny Colvin, and Julie Hoverson.
Talked about on today’s show:
Charlotte Perkins Gilman vs. Charlotte Perkins Stetson, wall-paper vs. wallpaper, a seminal work of feminist fiction, a ghost story, a psychological horror story, the Wikipedia entry for The Yellow Wallpaper, Alan Ryan, “quite apart from its origins [it] is one of the finest, and strongest, tales of horror ever written. It may be a ghost story. Worse yet, it may not.” postpartum depression, “the rest cure”, phosphates vs. phosphites, condescending husbands, infantilization of women, superstitions, is she dangerous?, is she only pretending to go insane or is she actually mad?, will reading The Yellow Wallpaper drive you to insanity?, an androcentric society, Titus Andronicus by William Shakespeare, Life by Emily Dickinson
MUCH madness is divinest sense
To a discerning eye;
Much sense the starkest madness.
’T is the majority
In this, as all, prevails.
Assent, and you are sane;
Demur,—you ’re straightway dangerous,
And handled with a chain.
Jenny is the husband’s sister (or mistress?), “gymnasium or prison, she doesn’t know she’s living in a short story”, does the family think she’s crazy a the story’s start?, biting the bed is a bit suspicious, barred windows, suicide, has she forgotten that she’s the wrecked the wallpaper to begin with, a haunted house vs. a haunted woman, is the supernatural only within minds?, Julie goes crazy without something to read, first time motherhood can be a struggle, duplicity, crazy people are known to make unreasonable requests, “why is the cork on the fork?”, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, what’s the rope for?, “all persons need work”, counting the holes, are women moral by default?, Herland by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, utopia, “everything is both beautiful and practical”, the eighteenth amendment to the U.S. Constitution (prohibition), the husband faints (and so she wins?), creeping vs. crawling, the creepiest ending, smooch vs. smudge, neurasthenia, William James (brother of Henry James), “Americanitis”, the fashion of being sick, hypochondria as a fad, the “fresh air” movement, Kellogg’s cereal 9and other patented medicines), a yogurt colonic, mental illness is shameful in Asia, mental illness vs. oppression, an absolutely unreliable narrator, Stockholm syndrome style thinking, “You think you have mastered it, but just as you get well under way in following, it turns a back-somersault and there you are. It slaps you in the face, knocks you down, and tramples upon you.” worrying a tooth, tooth loss as an adult is horrific, as a kid it’s fun, why are we rewarded by the tooth-fairy?, is the tooth-fairy universal?, was chronic fatigue syndrome a fad?, fame is popular, Münchausen’s syndrome (the disease of faking a disease), take up a hobby!, distinguishing genuine from real, syndrome (symptoms that occur together) vs. disease (dis-ease), “which is worse…”, how to look at doctors, Tam’s doctor is nicer than House, M.D., witch doctors, non-invasive cures, gallium, Vitamin C, The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements by Sam Kean, Julie Hoverson’s reading of The Yellow Wallpaper, the unnamed narrator (let’s call her Julie), “what’s with the plantain leaf?”, a modern version of The Yellow Wallpaper would be set at fat camp (is that The Biggest Loser), starts off, Flowers In The Attic by V.C. Andrews, arsenic doughnuts (are not Münchausen syndrome by proxy), The Awakening by Kate Chopin, civilizing influence, bathing!, “men know what side their sex is buttered on”, In The Next Room (or The Vibrator Play) by Sarah Ruhl, Changeling (screenplay by J. Michael Straczynski), what is your Yellow Wallpaper?, fiction is Jesse’s wallpaper, ‘tv, videogames, comics … none of these make you crazy’, heroin chic, Julie has many yellow papers, Tam’s yellow wallpaper is the bookstore, Sebastian Junger vs. J.G. Ballard, 1920s, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, posing gowns, identical wigs, Jenny’s yellow wallpaper is dreams, The Evil Clergyman (aka The Wicked Clergyman) by H.P. Lovecraft, nice wallpaper, authorial self-interpretations, Eric S. Rabkin, re-reading as an adult something you read as a kid, The Prince Of Morning Bells by Nancy Kress, The Portrait Of A Lady by Henry James, The Lord Of The Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien, old time radio comedies, should you read fiction from the beginning? Start with Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer?, Hyperion by Dan Simmons, Jonathan Swift, Peter F. Hamilton, E.E. ‘doc’ Smith, Mastermind Of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs.