The SFFaudio Podcast #696 – READALONG: The Busy Body by Donald E. Westlake

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #695 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, Maissa Bessada, Evan Lampe, Will Emmons, and Trent Reynolds talk about The Busy Body by Donald E. Westlake

Talked about on today’s show:
1966, paperback or hardcover?, it’s better if it is a paperback, not by Westlake, Burglars Can’t Be Choosers by Lawrence Block, while burgling, on the run, five pages before the end, what the mystery was and how all things came to be, a subgenre between Westlake and Block, little excerpts, a real book, Block introduced Jesse to Westlake, from reading a series, self-flagellation, a movie the very next year, a Frazetta cover, a pretty bad movie, an episode of The Monkees, sets in relief author choices, the jacket that goes missing, heroin, literal cash, a million dollars, a typical Hollywood move, a cargo ship filled with cash, massive stakes inflation, our hero is a murderer, grave-digging was one thing, a functionary of the institution, an apparatchik of the organization, he’s redeemed, he gets out, he goes to California, he abandons his month, tell us more about your mafia connections, heat of the moment self-defense vs. deliberate planned murder, Gravito, all fun mafia stuff, over his shoulder for the entire book, comedic, tightrope walk, a Westlakeian attitude, how he can get himself out of this lifestyle he’s in, Westlake’s view of the world is very funny, human absurdity, a caper, the big send off, definitely fun, as a person living in the world, reconcile, a lot of books like this, most of the [Richard] Stark books, Paul felt bad for him, framed for something he didn’t do, go get the world, we should have trouble, 20 years after The Sopranos, a very old book, kids have turned to glue, white slavery, prostitution, running girls, subverting the religion, the roads are bad, a Protestant a Catholic funeral, if it was a less naturally gifted writer, less absurd it would be more disturbing, heightened reality, the laws of physics still work in this place, he rolls out of a moving car, a missed opportunity, Westlake adaptations to film, The Stepfather (1987), The Grifters (1990), Jim Thompson, the novel medium, one little sequence, when he wakes up in the bed with the widow, dream sequence, a frame-shift, kneeling, this guy is really old, a young vigorous guy, the fish-eye, so talented, looking in a mirror, those details mark out Westlake, great language, this guy’s a killer, future comic novels, mildly funny, more sympathetic, robbing an orphanage, a conscious move, dead serious, the desperate circumstances, keystone cops, intrusive music in bad movies in the 1960s, CW shows, music over conversation, ruinous, a detective story, phone calls, inherent in the absurdity of the situation, in real life, a phone tag conversation, it’s one of those days, like candy, Westlake’s thoughts on society are all over the page, a few years ago, all the potholes are marked, New York City, all of these things feed into reflections, how city management could be done, corruption at the airport, hashmarks up and down his uniform, the yellow brick novel, Dancing Aztecs, what it all means, the title is kind of misleading, Weekend At Bernie’s, Weekend At Bernie’s II, every decision is bad, they make the jack brown in the movie, low rez, brown for shitty, a red herring, the title, we never see the body, somebody moved it at some point, Al Engel, Aloysius, Mr. Kan, a lot of widows (fake and real), The Busie Body, a 1709 play, Susanna Centlivre, the venice carnival, gigolo, all these people wanting to get with each other, everybody is in everybody’s bedroom, kinda similar, a French farce, I’m busy, nosing into other people’s business, an older meaning, nosy Parker, 17th century meaning, sexually active, she’s a busy body, a kissing book, Gentleman Prefer Blondes [subtitled: The Intimate Diary of a Professional Lady by Anita Loos], a new release on LibriVox, Marilyn Monroe, a musical, a flapper prostitute’s POV, super funny, a blank book, a funny cutesy attitude, super-naive, inference work, she’s a busybody, a lot of gentleman callers, one sex scene, this woman who keeps showing up, the list of suspects, who framed him?, he didn’t play fair, you don’t feel cheated though, It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963), I recognize you, dinner, very small payoffs, low stakes, the threat of California, Dolly, Brody who’s a body we never see, a light confection, a nephew novel, Somebody Owes Me Money, The Organization, yeaah, pushing towards, a replacement for government, it used to be there was always big hits all the time, now that things are organized, a warlord, turned into a bureaucracy, things settle down, the origins of government, before the progressive era in the United States, the mafia providing social welfare, why Sicily is important, when the cops won’t give satisfaction, the competition, the government has a monopoly on violence, coercion, threats, asking, and paying, a second government, Engle, he’s not a murderer he’s just a soldier, Secret Service, doing his duty, they are crime books, twisted, Callahan, bribed, lots of cops are on the take, Serpico and all these other stories, paying attention to tiny details, reading the paper and seeing how things actually work, we don’t need to know his service history, a very subtle take, the insurance angle didn’t come up until the end, the fake widow, this was just honest insurance fraud, Double Indemnity, Black Widow (1987), Debra Winger and Theresa Russell, the eraser, marrying her way to riches, the great personality, neo noir, she disappears from the bathroom, he’s a great card player, the book’s greatest weakness, the funeral parlor employee, suspicious as hell, in a more mature Westlake book, the reader expects a cutesy flirty relationship, the resume sticker, the romantic love interest was behind it all, too obvious, they’re going to hook up later, the restaurant that used to be a barn, wagonwheels on the wall, workmanlike, great scenes, the explanations, Dortmunder books, long for the content, like a ping pong ball bouncing around New York, he wasn’t really steering his ship, a lair, a manipulator, thin, The Producers, a blueprint for Dortumnder, driven by circumstances, Westlake calls the tune and the characters dance the jig, recurring motifs, government is incompetent and/or corrupt, Cops And Robbers, two cops decide to supplement their income, playing both sides, moral judgement, he’s a criminal!, profiting off of death and misery, making a mockery of religion and subverting good order, good gags out of the prostitution angle, the heroine character, she gets away with it, leaving the life of prostitution when she got married, run away, one of the best tricks in the novel, a lifestyle that’s somewhat voluntary, sexual rewarding, she writes a nice note, he’s a thinker, he isn’t just punching a clock here, Humans, a fireman at Chernobyl, what does it all mean, the early days of the web, please enter, “I believe my subject is bewilderment, but I could be wrong?”, isn’t it weird we live this way that we do?, this mob world is normal, aren’t you surprised?, a bizarre situation, there’s something wrong with the world, get back in the good books, be chairman himself!, get back to normal, a pretty happy ending, an exhausted guy gets out of the thing that exhausts him, the organization put him through the ringer, pursing the widow instead of Dolly, she’s got the money, get away to Hawaii, escape the system, parallel motivations, his face was disfigured, his head was burned off, does Engel have an angle, just a name, the Brody/body, what’s his angle?, sometimes Rose is a man, this Rose person, comedic, laughing out loud, almost productive in death as he was in life, 5 books since 2008, a manuscript for a Henry Winkler production, Call Me A Cab, Redbook, eBay, $1550, $79, Redbook is the woman’s magazine, Bluebook was a men’s magazine, Yellowbook, Australian Woman’s Weekly, in Westlake’s writing career, a break from Parker, Campus Lovers, Campus Lovers, The Man With The Getaway Face, you can imagine this book ending today (as a series), change the ending and give me one a year, like a shark, emotionless vs. driven by revenge, standalones, Castle In The Air, John Scalzi comes to mind, feature not bug, what does that do for the author?, flex some other muscles, designed not to be a series, the characters are exhausted, gone off with the widow, they’ve got the money, it’s the principal, smart, 6’1, his hair colour, he’s heterosexual, he has a mom, Grofield, full time actor, part time heister, this was a character that could work, a person to see the world through, he’s not like Parker, he’s not a turncoat, a lens through which they see the world, answering the phone: California, Westlakeian humour, subtle fun, maybe’s he’s going to be a milkman, Richard Pryor, charisma, Soylent Green (1973), it’s whats for dinner, standard in American crime fiction, all the institutions are corrupt from top to bottom, chess, locked room mysteries, the social aspects, Dashiell Hammett, everyone is dirty, notable, talking to booksellers, filed under mystery, Agatha Christie style, Mysterious press, these are crime books, classifying, where to put Two Much, to get it in the bookstore section, put a dragon on the cover it’s fantasy, put a gun on the cover: mystery, a spaceship = science fiction, a heaving bosom -> romance, always slotted in as a mystery writer, much more about crime, slices of life of people in the crime industry, quotidian, a bank job, always in the background, the reality, this is business, why are you so weird, thinking weird thoughts that come across as not weird, what his philosophy is or are, the robustness of the descriptions of things, what we call in fantasy “worldbuiklding”, the geography of New York, fabulous, mixing drinks, how much scotch does this guy drink?, it was the sixties and he was on the run, God Save The Mark, Oliver Wyman rage quit twitter, an excuse, The Spy In The Elevator, it would be crime not to do it, on the heels of it, 3 or 4 a year in early years, They Also Serve, Tomorrow’s Crimes, the Starship Hopeful series, Call Him Nemesis, a pulp hero kind of deal, this is a holdup, it was in IF.

Highbridge Audio - The Busy Body by Donald E. Westlake

The Busy Body by Donald E. Westlake

The Busy Body (1967)

The Busy Body - Australian Woman's Weekly - Part 1 of 3

The Busy Body - Australian Woman's Weekly - Part 2 of 3

The Busy Body - Australian Woman's Weekly - Part 3 of 3

Posted by Jesse WillisBecome a Patron!

The SFFaudio Podcast #688 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: Niels Klim’s Journey Under The Ground by Ludvig Holberg

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #688 – Niels Klim’s Journey Under The Ground by Ludvig Holberg; read by Alan Winterrowd

This unabridged reading of the story (3 hours 45 minutes) is followed by a discussion of it.

Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Evan Lampe, Will Emmons, and Connor Kaye.

Talked about on today’s show:
1741, Latin, 1845, underground journey, great Latin accent, difficult, funny stuff, interesting physics, satire, the midway point, old books, Edgar Allan Poe didn’t have electricity, nobody had a typewriter, a whole century before that, the farther back in time, upfront heavy lifting, explaining Elvis, a k-pop star from the Southern United States, girls go wild, in the tree society, not discussing the nature of God, he becomes a baron, Catholicism, anti-Catholic remarks, Denmark, the Holy Trinity, intellectual Catholics, upperclass twits and fashion, a criticism of Danish society, sick of religious debates in general, the book with the book, a book review of the book you’re reading in the book, a satire of travel literature, wild places, the unknown, to the center of the earth, The Goddess Of Atvatabar, how old this inner world concept, different physics, City Of Endless Night, in orbit around a sun at the center of the earth, another planet (a ball), he was treated like a comet, blown back through the same hole, the firmament, the opposite crust, a meta-argument, we see them as the heavens, balls all the way up, 2021 North America, and Australia, and Taiwan, causes eclipses on the world of the Firmament, their planet turns away from the sun, two hollow Earths, a donut within a donut, in 1740…, what Galileo and what Newton is doin, we haven’t seen out planet from a larger perspective, he big dumb object that is the planet earth, dumb in the sense of stupid, tigermen, monkeymen, treemen, the trees take his blood, they put branches on him to help him fit in, the Enlightenment, Cesare Beccaria, the prison reformer, capital punishment, criminal justice, people having different humours in their blood, making fun of it, utopian aspect, Mark Twain, A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur’s Court, they star the same way, Mardi by Herman Melville, The Fall Of The House Of Usher by Edgar Allan Poe, a Poe poem, the sentience of all vegetable things, colocation of stones, fungi, reduplication, they got up their own asses in terms of rationalism, travel narratives, duplicated, our books, the mental existence of the invalid,

Our books — the books which, for years, had formed no small portion of the mental existence of the invalid — were, as might be supposed, in strict keeping with this character of phantasm. We pored together over such works as the Ververt et Chartreuse of Gresset; the Belphegor of Machiavelli; the Heaven and Hell of Swedenborg; the Subterranean Voyage of Nicholas Klimm by Holberg; the Chiromancy of Robert Flud, of Jean D’Indaginé, and of De la Chambre; the Journey into the Blue Distance of Tieck; and the City of the Sun of Campanella. One favorite volume was a small octavo edition of the Directorium Inquisitorium [[Inquisitorum]], by the Dominican Eymeric de Gironne; and there were passages in Pomponius Mela, about the old African Satyrs and œgipans, over which Usher would sit dreaming for hours. His chief delight, however, was found in the perusal of an exceedingly rare and curious book in quarto Gothic — the manual of a forgotten church — the Vigiliae Mortuorum secundum Chorum Ecclesiae Maguntinae.

a prequel to an underground world story, The Narrative Of Arthur Gordon Pym Of Nantucket, these are bullshit books, alchemy is bullshit, what we do at the FDA now, peer review, a council of elders, Benjamin Franklin, the Royal Society, secret locked cages vs. done publicly, methinks thou do protest to much, Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels, sniffing out bullshit is hard for most people, why Poe has Usher so fucked up, he doesn’t leave his estate, through books, out the window, only testing books against other books, Sir John Manderville, Marco Polo, outlandish [bullshit], people with their face on their chest, Antonio Pigafetta, talking about Maoris, you’re a peasant, weird consulting, why is there so much in Science Fiction, exogamy, incest is what you do when you’re up your own ass, keeping money in the family, trying to breed traits, Roderick Usher once went to school, the Poe figure, dude, you went to seed quick, he doesn’t have the light of the sun, we need the stars to tell us where we are and what we are, other kinds of underground books, a really big thread in science fiction, the inner psychedelic journey, a nation of sensible tigers, the musical instrument people, the subtitle:

“being a
narrative of his wonderful descent to the subterranean
lands; together with an account of the
sensible animals and trees inhabiting the
PLANET NAZAR AND THE FIRMAMENT.”

you get what you paid for and the people who are like viola, play a viola at them, they play themselves, types of people you hang out with, musicians, the priests, special areas where menfolk were sent and grew fat and smooth, monasteries, cannibals,

“I have a kind of suspicion that the Europeans are cannibals; for they shut large flocks of healthful and strong persons in certain inclosures, called cloisters, for the purpose of making them fat and smooth. This object seldom fails, as these prisoners, free from all labor and care, have nothing to do but to enjoy themselves in these gardens of pleasure.

big protestant comment, not exactly Ents, don’t be hasty, let’s think this through, they have Entwives, we can go one further, a guy with a heart in his leg, a recurring theme, rape comedy, put on trial for rape, a Dutch hotel, Italy, sleep with the innkeeper’s wife, a comment on Italian hospitality, the Spanish sleep all day, he’s attacking everybody in Europe, fragment missing [Denmark], the crown scepter, he’s burning everybody, he criticized the German language, the main verb goes to the end, Mark Twain, good for jokes, Norwegian, The Bridge, why Pete Buttigieg can speak six languages, an empty title, the language of this land, the whole land is called holy, the continental augmenter of his country, invincible notwithstanding he is sometimes slain, worth reading the whole book just for this section, the famous Voltaire quote, a running joke, Charlemagne, one Mark Twain quote, people will quote stuff change all the worlds and attribute it to Ambrose Bierce, why wouldn’t it be Twain?, don’t let the truth get in the way of a good story, the monkeys with the wigs, the Australian and Canadian judicial system still does wigs, they gave him a fake tail in their descriptions of him, the book follows a pattern, he gets run out of town, a series of episodes, Candide by Voltaire, a monkey sequence, picaresques are for lower class heroes, Huckleberry Finn, rough and dishonest and appealing hero, a deacon who used to be an emperor, Jack Vance, low class, low brow characters, incidents, comedic, not a novel though novel lengthy, active vs. passive protagonists, it is active but doesn’t seem to be, just surviving, he changes the world, when a little kid writes copyright on a story for their mom, why would a little kid care about that, there is no international copyright, the printers are the ones who make money, a pension for life, he takes wives later, he draws the line at lioness wives, the men own the women but by social custom the women are run by the men, the woman runs the house so the man has to go the club, co-equal slaves to capitalism and there is no domestic sphere, the house sits empty all day long, so far before electricity, they’ve got gun, telescopes, printing, if you want to see something printed you have to go to a printer who writes it backwards on a piece of metal, why printed up in volumes, where the word “subscribe” comes from, comparing Donald E. Westlake to Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey, you go to Bath, by the author of…, you put your name under, “preorders are love”, “likes are love”, write me a hate thing, tell me how I suck, the true measure of success, angry comments, you’re boring, bitcoin and supermodel asses, flashy mics and spinning gifs, the upload takes a long time, 500 episodes, if its easy do it, what Baron Ludvig Whatsiname, he would have been happy to have been abolished, meritocracy, distinct from Europe, earned the pension, Ben Shapiro talking to Joe Rogan, The Rise Of Meritocracy by Michael Dunlop Young, what Hillary Clinton thinks they’re in, we earned what we got, 1958, Obama looked down his nose at Biden, you’re not one of us, an aristocracy, parents wanting to get their kids into an ivy league school, it effects our reality, a student bragging about being a billionaire, Hannah Arendt, not technically a meritocracy, a youtuber, the different societies and cultures we’re seeing, plays, essays, poems, history, exploring how societies could work, the tree society, the women have too much equality, maybe we could improve the life of women, is he named after a real person?, in the fiction of the story he’s a real person, just graduated from seminary (college), the ending, the Wandering Jew , his crazy king getup, Jerusalem, Prester John, like a time traveler, the Flying Dutchman, wanting position, I’m a king here, John Smith with Pocahontas, how you got rich, people are interested in you, you are a weird celebrity, a nobody, given honors, revolutionize cultures, rise to power, feeds the fantasy, when you go to a foreign land and you eat a food, worried about Canadian culture (in opposition to the United States), food is a technology, a bowl of fruit, cheese is a technology, all technologies are copying, Newcomen’s steam engine, incest vs. exogamy, take you lumber to Scotland and they give you kilts, Pasta is not that interesting but getting silk out!, why India happens, movin that product, how people work with knowledge, you heard the news?, its built into us, its bullshit, not everything that you hear is real, reinforcing the bullshit detector, Star Trek, mad at the guy with the opposite tan, The Wheel Of Time, the travel genre, episodes, no overall massive goal, The Canterbury Tales, Jason And The Argonauts, Medea, an old genre, The Epic Of Gilgamesh, waiting for the complete volume, very interesting, some really funny bits, he acts the same way, Twain would have read a lot, what version did Poe read?, Poe in Scotland and England, why isn’t there a really good Edgar Allan Poe biography?, an alcoholic or not, he was a drinker, the Army of Northern Virginia, 3.5 hours, immensely more enjoyed, too airy fairy, above The Goddess of Atvatabar, The Coming Race by Edward Bulwer Lytton, flying armies, the illustrations in both, The Mound by Zealia Bishop and H.P. Lovecraft, Richard Shaver, 1943, as true as Scientology, I Remember Lemuria, Amazing Stories, Ray Palmer, in the guise of fiction, “rock books”, like Joseph Smith, a branch of SF, like prions, mystical, good SF should challenge you, bad SF converts you into some whackjob who’s breathing though his nose to get more Vril power, fans are Slans, I have access to secret reality, these were popular because they had a quasi-true story thing about it, the letters column, the UFOs are Real, now that Space Force is a thing, ball lightning has been around long before space force, UFO means spaceship for most people, what an alien would say, I’m a lizard man from beneath the earth in Los Angeles, why are these guys arguing so much, rationalists are nice people but I wouldn’t let one marry my daughter, like a part of a cult, you’re either in a cult or you’ve just broken through the cult you’re in, what Michio Kaku purports to do, more elegant but still untestable, prayer, which would you rather have as a worshiper: a guy who follows all the edicts of your divinity and almost never asks you for favours or a guy who is always breaking your edicts but is constantly asking for favours?, understanding prayer, praying in my presence, god is apparently telepathic, praying in a language you don’t understand, prayer wheels, we know what we’re doing, why Robert E. Howard’s response to the Tibetan monks is The Black Seers Of Yimsha, unless its there to remind you of something, community, why is prayer intoned if God is telepathic?, your community can go insane, the First World War, go in the meatgrinder, don’t hang out with those ladies, go live into a cave, the sex strike in ancient Greece, the chicken feathers, we wont bang you if you don’t go into the meatgrinder, Lysistrata, war is a community activity, go to the trenches, you can make community with dead people Voltaire is my guy, he’s saying things that are in your head, “A friend is a second self” -Mark Twain, you want to hang out with Socrates, he’ll get you into trouble, have a symposium with, Alcibiades is hot, have a cat, The Midwich Cuckoos, Paul is going to Worldcon, triple vaccination, a super-spreader event, what screed has been nominated?, two dumb tweets in a row will get you unfollowed, down on the tweetcount, getting canceled, the secret is to only tweet about things that are universally appealing (cats), tweets about a slave to the COVID gods, masks are redundant in Taiwan, foreigners tend to be bootlickers, a nice hot take, Cold War on both sides, pro-China, a decent job and a hot date, they’re Neils Klim, there’s no Kentucky Colonels around here at all, Nebraska has a navy, so many chicken jokes, knighting people, giving them away like candy, the Congressional Medal Of Honor, as soon as you have a president putting a decoration around someone who isn’t one of the elite he now has power, having a beer with Obama, you’ve just given a sergeant power, real honorifics, Sergeant York, Audie Murphy, if they’re not on board….

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The SFFaudio Podcast #687 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: The People Of The Black Circle by Robert E. Howard

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #687 – People Of The Black Circle by Robert E. Howard; read by Mark Nelson

This unabridged reading of the story (3 hours 34 minutes) is followed by a discussion of it.

Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Evan Lampe, Trish E. Matson, Alex, and Connor Kaye.

Talked about on today’s show:
when “the”, Strange Case Of Dr Jekyll And Mr Hyde, Savage Sword Of Conan adaptation, 116 page adaptation, feeling that text raw, the 1982 Conan movie is a really good movie, lifting a lot from this, it is all of the Howard stories, our counter hero is done with you now, spear through his gut, Thulsa Doom, come to me my child, the magic system, the snake transformation, The Frost Giant’s Daughter, Robert E. Howard’s Greatest Conan Story, what you like about Conan, political wheeling and dealing, how to make your writing better, the three ways of viewing movies, the auteur theory, the star theory, the genre theory, Poe copy, looking for Conan, Kull and Solomon Kane, more paid by the word than usual, rushing through it, broad strokes and hinting, Conan The Buccaneer by Lin Carter and Fritz Leiber, cool intrigue, when the Devi, really good chess movement, Planet Of Iron Shadows?, Iron Shadows In The Moon, pirates, how the story actually works, three adaptations, Ablaze’s French translation, Dark Horse, Marvel’s full SSOC adaptation, gorgeous, atmospheric, action panels, covered in veils and things, trades clothes with the hill woman, smoky mystic, half naked before and half naked again, Alfredo Alcala’s inks are unfinished, John Buscema’s pencil’s, rocks are beautiful, scales and turbans and clouds of dust, the decline in comics, what happened to comics, Ablaze is muddy looking, sorta manga style, when they get angry people go manga, his proportions are wrong, he looks like a mutant, a cartoon aesthetic, not enough nudity, butt and sideboob, her regression scene, one of the best scenes in all of Conan, Skull-Face, “I’ve kissed ladies from Hell”, so good, the shell of the story, the Devi is on a revenge quest, Conan is trying to be a leader, admitting responsibility towards his men, the mark of a leader, Queen Of The Black Coast is run by Belit, Yezdigerd, why all of this plot is happening, agents, Thoth Amon, the King of Turan, gaining the kingship not administering the kingdom, betraying and intriguing, the names, servants of the seers, a little carelessness, action, Conan is very Conan, stupid magic belt, Yasmina, Evan shares a lot of Trish’s views, political factions and relations, who is loyal to who, that really long climax, the transformation into the bird, the forces of sorcery, decadent empire and barbarism, the class element, Gitara, what is Gitara’s motivation to convert Green Turban, does she really love him?, I’ll make you king, outside of her powers, you’re a powerful man, he could have challenged me, both baddies, they’re both slaves, Howard is ambivalent about a lot of things Evan isn’t, smashing elites, the individual within a corrupt society, forge an empire of our own, you’re powerful and I’m tricky, an underdetermined character, a Great Game story, Iraqis, pre-Iraq, Afghulis, Iranistanis, what’s missing is he doesn’t get to fight a tiger, giant snakes, giant eagle, Conan is never really in India, Kull fights tigers, a wizard dressed up as a tiger, a book of essays about Robert E. Howard, real geography, Himalayas, the Zaibar Pass is the Khyber Pass, Afghanistan, an El Borak story with Conan, is Turan Persia or Turkey?, the Vilyaet Sea, the Aral Sea not the Black Sea, Iron Shadows In The Moon, mid northern asia border with Europe-ish, Buddhist evil priests, The Nine Billion Names Of God by Arthur C. Clarke, they’re from the Mysterious East, out of The Shadow, anti-Buddhists, a Fu Manchu style Buddhists, red dust and blue dusts, prayer wheels, a perfectly calm, Buddhist sash thing on his head, he’s a lich, a lecherous lich, catch the Devi, the genre vs. the medium, it feels like a serial but it isn’t a serial, Flash Gordon serials, lets make this longer, feeling the drag, Vale Of Lost Women cooks, the ending is pristine, I’ve still got men, the dog attacking a guy is there to fill pages, a bunch of challenges, a boss fight, that’s how you get paid, a D&D module, the belt of magical resistance, Conan doesn’t have a magic sword or a loyal horse, its wielded by Robert E. Howard, the “Atlantean sword” shit, Conan fights a giant magnet, Conan fighting a polar bear, Conan has to fight magic because its Weird Tales, the power of evil wizards moving the plot, you’re to stupid to know what it is: $250 vs. $50, four parallel characters, Yasmina’s vs. Gitara’s third eye (her Bindi), the loss of vocabulary is palpable, “lambent”, pages of no dialogue and no text, great, good, bad, and terrible all on one page, three shadows and a nightstand, elf-style ears and facial piercings, its a reveal he’s a lich, no I’m just a man but I command demons, the psychological torture of living through reincarnation cycles, she’s humbled, household drudgery, back beyond the dimmest dawn, skin clad, looms, dragged, the bite of the lash, the bloody block, Alfredo Alcala, Big John Buscema, are doing it without reference materials, two words for throw, he hurl throwed, Savage Sword was the Golden Age, Roy Thomas, Ernie Chan (Chua), a decline and a decline and a decline, we think it is the character that we like, hard to sell an El Borak story?, some bias against going to places and learning things, Thomas Jane, handsome actor, a local sidekick, demons and armies and the , The Fire Of Ashurbanipal, Steve Clarny, Swords Of Schaharazar, Hawks Of The Hills, The Lost Valley Of Iskander, lost valley trope, The Lost Valley, Temple Of Doom doesn’t exist without this story, guy has his heart ripped out, modeled on the movies, some ladies in the jungle, snake footage, magic items in the bible, an excuse to go to India and China, visiting a place but not as tourists, the gross out scenes, presented with food that you can’t eat, Stephen Spielberg’s ex-wife is the kid character, Short Round is our viewpoint Mary Sue, the stupid and the smart the cool and the uncool, pairing Conan up with a bunch of regulars, Crom is a repeating character, why Evan is having trouble finding something to say, Howard’s philosophy is not intellectual as it is honorable, when confronted with the problem of her clothes are on, a man should kill a woman if she’s too dangerous, slaps her on the butt and she accepts it as a complicated, doing the monkey dance, how do I as an individual interact with the world, why Yasmina is such a good character, the Conan Destroyer princess, human beings acting in the world, when Green Turban refuses to die, you get him for me, ate his salt, Solomon Kane is insane and there are no demons (but he’s doing his best), I guess I have to use this magic staff, why these weird plots happen, doomed hirelings, they’re fucked and they know it, coming away with a philosophy of what his ideas are, how to live in the world in the moment, his feminist moment, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, as to Yasmina, a classist person, not thrilled to be slapped on the butt, an appreciation not a denigration, not a fan of royalty, The Hour Of The Dragon, Xaltotun is the best villain, plans, give me your horse and I’ll save you, we can’t get married, chief of the guard, there are customs, we’ll work it out, I have a very nice harem you can be a part of, she literally kills him, horrible childbirths in her retrogression, silly putty, she knew the agonizes of childbirth, Solitude Of Self, individual struggle with nature that women experience but men don’t, Russian roulette, Robert E. Howard is not wedded to Conan the way we are, the last set of stories were Conan tales, had he lived, classifying his stories by character, that poem is really hot (or rough), Delenda Est by Robert E. Howard, the star is the important thing, the new Dune half movie, a bunch of models, Dark Horse, people standing in scenic locations, no text scrawl, no banquet scene, the beats of the action, it doesn’t capture what is the story, the monster beats, Robert e. Howard philosophy infodumps, the descriptions, C.L.A.I.M.: Character Language Allusion Imagery Message, what is the message of the new Dune movie, Sardukar complaining about things, explaining the weirding way in a film, transmuting poison in your body, showing buffed up people, who wants to do a Conan story vs. who wants to do a Robert E. Howard story, thinking of the setting and the setup, marketing purposes, scenes, ideas, and philosophy too, a princess who has been captured by a cult, Thulsa Doom’s cult, Red Nails, Valeria, mostly Belit, The Tower Of The Elephant, Oliver Stone and John Milius, to string the plot together, the weirding modules in the first Dune (1984) movie, Conan isn’t a character in the stories as much as they are stories with Conan in them, a backstory, an unhappy brooding king, By This Axe I Rule, tidbit of philosophy, listen to the philosophers, he kills the judge, trying to connect all the stories together, they don’t really understand, it isn’t just swords and giant snakes, an individual with an unhelpful god, treat it like an auteur rather than a star, Quentin Tarantino movies in different genres, telling yarns, the fun action adventure stuff, an idea somewhere in it, how to relate to women, he likes hot women, rape and threats of rape, how to relate to the weaker sex, be a man about it, the barbarian from outside, the savage vs. the barbarian, his own code, the distinction Lovecraft didn’t get, he’s the Jordan Peterson of Weird Tales, a moral code, a set of attitudes, what is, a magic system, hypnotism, a set of tricks that they work, an illusion?, a lock of hair, autosuggestion, he’s not as afraid of them, magic works on success, D&D rolling a 1, illusionists, the dog outside of the temple eating the offal, he is defeatable, becoming an eagle, we needed a tiger, fingernails, how witches work in the real world, my penis doesn’t work anymore, somebody’s balls swelled up, superstition makes you more superstitious, people are suggestible, your milk goes sour, they can kill the king with a lock of his hair (when the stars are right), his cortisol levels are high, fleeing the village, Khemsha, stampeded by Conan’s horse, his magic doesn’t matter, stepped on by a horse, a knife is a hardy incantation, hey Gitara how do you like that ride on our air horse?, cloud things, whirling dervishes, Paul got his 3rd shot, Gibraltar has 130% vaccination and full of COVID, like a magic charm, if we are to believe the science, sympathetic magic, why things happen as they do, really ugly, an earthquake in Haiti is punishment from God, magical thinking vs. Jack Vance style spells, propaganda techniques, the Lisan al Gaib, fighting the unbelievable, his muscles are bigger, beginner’s luck, confidence in the steel, the riddle of steel, the hand that wields the steel, only this you can trust, surrogate dad (James Earl Jones), so deluded, the real magic, women going through the streets of England putting white feathers on men during WWI, an attitude as well as knowledge, be an empiricist vs. be a rationalist, spinning up bullshit, Plato, the gold blooded and the silver and the bronze, this person is a natural slave, a natural leader, what makes the Devi divine is that her dad was the Rajah, Yasmina Devi, Genghis Khan, a backwards translation, through myth and 10,000 years she’s a goddess now, revenge is her god, the audiobook is a bit hard to follow, what all the factions were and what they wanted, a slow story, the middle section, people reading this in the 1930s knew what lambent is, H. Rider Haggard, we’ve become illiterate, the minimalist and conversational style, for a low class culture, mass market, people loved it, Savage Sword has awesome vocab on every page, we know she’s sad and worried about her son because she’s crying, we need big chunks of text, narration in movies is good, trying to explain a complex, know then it is the year 10,191, plans within plans wheels within wheels, just read the book, the ornithopters are better, they should have been birds not dragonflies, the ornithopter looked like a hawk, so forgettable, the fur diaper, neat and not tattered, he brushed his fur diaper that day, not in league with the devil, Kevin Sorbo’s Kull movie, Red Sonja (1985), supposed to be a comedy, fantastic bad, that scene is in here, Evan’s podcast, the Robert E. Howard Lovecraft letters, Pigeons From Hell was adapted for Thriller, stars two white guys, a black legend (folk tale), sleeping in an old plantation house, interesting revenge (symbolically), more pathos to that story, Hansel And Gretel has a sense, people were acting badly, Almuric, one big chunk, restricted zone, some time next year, Klim’s Journey Under The Ground, in the 18th century twice, Caleb Williams by William Godwin, The Goddess Of Atvatabar, The Midwich Cuckoos, The Pre-Persons by Philip K. Dick, Robert A. Heinlein’s boy scouts gone wrong in space, revelry, The Doom That Came To Sarnath, Connor doesn’t live on twitter, deep and rich, lemmee give you this magic belt made from Stygian lady’s hair, Alex’s ancestor was convicted of witchcraft in New France, cursed her womb by cutting a piece of her hair off, convicted and exiled, killed by Indians, 12 more kids, 11 kids, he might have actually been a witch, Alex’s last name is “Lich”, in the family archives, a convicted witch, Joan Of Arc, what a jerk, villains in Alex’s family, When Time Turned by Ethel Watts Mumford, like Back To The Future without a Delorean, The Clock That Went Backwards by Edward Page Mitchell, Reading, Short And Deep, set in the Netherlands, written disposably, half of Wisconsin, really well written, a historical siege scene, all the tropes (from 1881), Neal Stephenson’s The Baroque Cycle, The Ganymede Takeover, Benjamin Franklin, The Stars My Destination, Alfred Bester, WWII and boxing journalism, Henry James, Mark Twain, Ambrose Bierce, The Devil’s Dictionary, trying to make it hard for you to understand, An Occurrence At Owl Creek Bridge, the Civil War, Stephen Crane, Walt Whitman, make bank, Jack London, Herman Melville, lunchtime upside down, Solomon’s Gold, overwhelmed with work, a month on Egypt, classroom management, the students disrespect Evan, dig into their computer, insane coworkers, Evan can’t out himself as a freak (yet), Ancient Egypt, bad textbook, Kufu was a cruel pharaoh, the poor didn’t need mummification because they were buried in shallow graves, its not a work of love, Works Progress Administration, I’ve been told that Biden is the new FDR, Walker Evans taking photographs of people working in Walmart and living in the vans, New Deal money putting artists and musicians to work, all the bridges were built in the 1930s, interviewing former slaves, giving money to rich people, the vaccine mandate is exactly that, government research money, an NFT game, blockchain, “we got funded”, it sounds like a scam, web 2.0 was a scam, Pets.com, why Elon Musk is so rich, Bezos sells servers to the US government, planting the seeds, omicron variant, Foster, You’re Dead by Philip K. Dick, booster shots in perpetuity, fear moves money better than anything else, you can’t mandate, a healthy response, the weird nanny state in Taiwan, the pet industry, pet nannies, licensing pet nannies, I’m an unlicensed pet nanny, you need the barbarians to sweep in, wipe away (some) of the old, clean up your own room (style of thinking) vs. communism will solve all our problems, these emerging men, you need to get your house in order, stupid when off topic smart when on topic, trad dads, interpreting the bible, funny Bible stories, a book of fairy tales, Howard is highly influenced by the Bible, The Song Of Solomon, three volumes with big print.

Weird Tales The People Of The Black Circle

Weird Tales The People Of The Black Circle

Weird Tales The People Of The Black Circle

Weird Tales The People Of The Black Circle

Weird Tales The People Of The Black Circle

Ken Kelly - People Of The Black Circle

SSOC #16 - People Of The Black Circle

SSOC #16 - John Buscema and Alfredo Alcala - People Of The Black Circle

SSOC #17 - People Of The Black Circle

ABLAZE (Ejikure cover) People Of The Black Circle

DARK HORSE - People Of The Black Circle

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The SFFaudio Podcast #681 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: The Goddess of Atvatabar by William R. Bradshaw

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #681 – The Goddess of Atvatabar by William R. Bradshaw – read by Nigel Fisher. This is a complete and unabridged reading of the novel (8 hour 40 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Evan Lampe, Will Emmons, Trish E. Matson, Connor Kaye, and Alex

Talked about on today’s show:
how to pronounce Atvatabar, “BEING THE HISTORY OF THE DISCOVERY OF THE INTERIOR WORLD AND CONQUEST OF ATVATABAR”, 1892, hollow earth book, regretting the , kissing book, Vril with more science, a textbook to Theosophy, war, political intrigue, kissing, evolutions, sideye with philosophy, lift the labourers dreary lives, a classist perspective, dime novels, good intentions, travelogue genre, a little in there ideas, the plant birds, the Gutenberg illustrations, spider monkey plants, orchids, birds, fairies, ceremonial garb, silver polar bears, blue serge, a colour illustrated, her hair is blue, she has golden skin, blue black, the lighting from Swang!, the names of anything, the greeglazat of glosset gozzel, Lewis Carol, terrorite, exploding gender reveal parties, Dimitri Mendeleev, the hot new thing, a dictionary of explosives, rando 21st century novel, what an NFT is, plant bird NFT, a yarp happy, a castern owl, a haplid, the cavalry units in the air, bird like machines, studied for a dissertation, piling on, this doesn’t matter to the plot, Battle Of The Five Armies, sailing over the rim of the world, heading towards the center sun, a planet orbiting that sun, 25 miles across, not a big dumb object book, an entire planet inside of a planet, why Ringworld is so cool, rishathra, standing on the Plutasian shore, seeing another continent across the space of the earth, teasing hard for a sequel, E.F. Bleiler, an anti-vivisection, the phonetic Irish accent, a bad book, primitive, an indisputable bore, Jesse doesn’t understand kissing, philosophy of kissing, a revolution because people just want to bone, firearms, musk ox?, his dogs who are always eating each other, vivisection, its exciting to shoot off guns, what are their standing armies for?, such an imperialistic book, the British and Americans show up, team America, the American declares himself king, emperor of the roof of the world, co-equal, scientist buddies, Starbottle, a comedy, comic relief, Flathootley, eating food in the sky, a loveable Irish rogue, the avatar for the author, not a satire, empire all the way, decorative armies, no imminent threat, the conquest of Mexico, I love your philosophy, you aren’t allowed to have sex? burn, I just want to have sex with your goddess, twenty years after Vril (aka The Coming Race), reincarnation, the longing couples are like batteries, pining for each other, priest and priestess, they worship the human soul, we’ll surrender and dies, I just want some gold, a gold rush mentality, the gold rush period, the deus ex machina, timeline questions, at least a year, how many ceremonies, two weeks on the invisible island, the restrained horniness of a thousand priestesses, practice your spirit religion, Lexington White, convert them to Christianity, resurrection, banished to the weird rock in the sky, muscular Christians, just war, Tahiti, they see all the shows, the most realistic part of this book, this spiritual shit, get your prana adjusted, physical culture, sold a whole lot of horseshit, how the gravity kind of works, ok, Arthur C. Clarke, fun and interesting explanations, Edgar Rice Burroughs wrote this book and did it much better, At The Earth’s Core, lesbian pterodactyls tore my flesh, a different kind of hollow earth, no upside down like Connor, The Narrative Of Arthur Gordon Pym by Edgar Allan Poe, the hint, the promise, A Descent Into The Maelstrom, donut hole, a Symes hole, a model of the hollow earth over his grave, Giacomo Casanova’s utopian novel, Ludvig Holberg’s Niels Klim’s Underground Travels, ripping off Jules Verne’s Journey To The Center Of The Earth, we’re drilling, where do volcanoes come from?, I’ll weigh myself, John Carter’s jumping around on Mars, they drop it, nothing comes of it, more virile (or more Vril?), electric wings, no gunpowder, who’s tilling the fields, food gathering, surplus army corps, many many many government officials, Nazis under Berlin, The City Of Endless Night by Milo Hastings, exotic India or China, caucazoids with golden skin and blue hair, more or less human, a damsel fly, the baby buds off like a plant, I overthrew and entire continent for you, sex by holding hands, all for the good of mankind, I’m a man its good for me so its good for mankind, little hints, the Nicaraguan Canal, dead plans, effect on the outer world, if this was a movie, terrorite guns and the Nicaraguan canal was finished, we have to infer, M_ Valdemar, save the guilty from being exposed, what kind of document are we supposed to be reading here, voyages extraordinaires, that it is widely publicized is what makes it very science fictional, the philosophy of theosophy stuff, Edgar Allan Poe, most of Jules Verne isn’t science fictional, Around The World In Eighty Days, vs. a journey of scientific exploration, where the sun will be in the sky, the science fiction explorations, the Vril stuff is not science fiction (or fantasy), “science fiction of the soul”, how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, you have to deal, Rene Descartes, the tripartite god, under your table, he’s in your pants, and the oil pan of Jesse’s car, dualism, when you go to the gym you get buff, when you breathe through your nose…, claiming it is science, where are their experiments?, you can create matter?, the explanation is a whole bunch of wands, spiritualism, weighing bodies, social science fiction, a sound mind and a sound body, is Jesse just empirically wrong?, William James, altered states, religious experiences, chemical explanations, just because Jesse doesn’t have a soul…, Protector by Larry Niven, an unsatisfactory mutation, an extensive explanation, a demonstration of this theory, charging up the 100 wands, we’re firing the cannon because we’re tired now, isn’t it weird that humans have bad backs, aches and pains are because of a lack of vitamin c, cleverly developed, science and industry, lens-grinding and telescopes, as soon as we develop rockets the inner world stuff becomes less interesting, King Kong Vs. Godzilla (2020) went into the hollow Earth, discredited after it was proposed, where Dinotopia is, “the world beneath”, a fantasy book, magical powers, the priests of witchcraft and sorcery and necromancy, telepathy, what if there were telepaths?, the Earth’s frontiers, that drive to explore and take lands over and make profit from them, a BIG portal fantasy, we need another world somewhere, this is not a utopia, ships made out of gold, they worship a steam engine, they fly in the sky, overthrowing the utopia, local resistance, more like the CIA, an Omelas or Lottery situation, why the heart that should stay out of marriage, abstinence? burn it all down, Vril is much more obviously a utopia, a lot of parades, the catalogue of ships, the Amazon brigade, tuckerization, like part of The Iliad, the arabesques, Barsoom is not supposed to be a utopia, healing with rods, another battle and another victory, more concerned with weird wish fulfillment, I gotta find the perfect girl with blue hair, pretend it is a satire, Lexington is awesome in every way, he’s so into it, its fascinating, military history catnip, playing with tropes in the air, I have to set it up then I get to do the battle, the Throne of the Gods, we’re done with this Christian shit now, we’re going to do the god of Reason, worship invention and honesty, cutting the church out, the god king’s son, the church can change the game in radical ways, from Chapter 19, masturbating on the best ideas, all the best guys, Wheel Of Fortune, fucking bullshit, all the stuff in this book that is awesome is bullshit, scholarship to understand ancient religious texts, the book of names, dude, you fucked up, cool worldbuilding, funny, post scarcity so much they’re spinning up any old idea, Reading, Short And Deep, the perfect scientist, The Ideal by Stanley G. Weinbaum, what he’s doing here is not philosophy, not a way of knowing, spinning up theories, divine evidence through revelation, Thales, water, trying to understand how the universe works, life after death, we know the answer to this and we don’t like the, arguments for life after death, context for Lovecraft’s racism, spiritualism is not science, spiritualism, bad philosophy is not philosophy, play-doh, spore drives, warp drives, because spore drives, warp technology is to get to the stories, parts of Star Trek are science fiction, uniforms vs. replicators, Egon and crew in the Ghostbusters movies, Venkman, Courtney Brown and remote viewing, Stranger Things, the stuff in the middle is not science fiction, implausible but…, a fun exploration of known properties of science, astronomer, hire a sorcerer or a spiritualist, conjuration, clairvoyance, sideshow, theosophy, spiritualism, seership, the most ridiculous part of this books, pig Latin, Julian Hawthorne, the introduction, very long and enthusiastic, his opinion, a book review that’s nice to the author, some plausibility, future adventures of Lexington White, piling up better novels, Cirsova is publishing a bunch of his stuff, The Cosmic Courtship reads a lot like this , jetpack, nude swim, I’m doing mad science, the King Of The United States, the jockey got arrested for murder, dangerous horserace, accidentally goes to Jupiter, son of Nathaniel Hawthorne, like Lovecraft but with a lot less eldritch and a lot more adultery, witchcraft, Young Goodman Brown, The House Of The Seven Gables, the groom man, The Hollow Of The Three Hills, Feathertop, the Scarecrow man, The Birthmark, a cool continuum of people to read, how did this book come to be, straight-up adventure fiction, The Lost World, baseless but it feels like its not, brainstates and chemicals in your food, internal consistency of the story, accept whatever, falling in love with the lady vs. falling in love with their society, the battles are competently done, the clouds of blood, sleeping in the air, crushed in a clump, these batteries, admantium and vibranium and twenty more, a lot of lists, this made of word is like a pineapple, in favour of the writing, in media res, they had great artwork, oh my god triceratops!, vast cities, people riding pterodactyls, people and dinosaurs co-exist and they’re friends, burn it all down, the Anglo-American empire, the character names are comedic, he’s basically Cortez, so much blood, you should all be down here getting gold like me, free trade, their eyes glitter, if he’s doing satire, half the book, different kinds of things, sexism, why is their no triggering?, she could veto, she’s not allowed to talk, more equal, equaler, the most equal, first among equals, amazonian brigades, segregation in the units, elected for life, his dad gave him five million dollars, inherited wealth is ok, an eyerolly book (in an enjoyable book), too dumb, Spock’s Brain, pulp tropes, every issue of Fantastic Adventures, a blonde haired giant lady in her icy kingdom, She by H. Rider Haggard, men’s romance, costumes out, playing captain, golden braiding, only for formal occasions, unconscious, wasted food, indelible for some reason, firing in a semi-circle, a lot of killing, a whole herd of musk ox, cuz America, flirting with satire, is it unconscious?, it starts really well, frames, navigator vs. divination, dating blue haired locals, thinking about how awesome Lexington is, going to a lot of banquets, airship, fills a little crack, Hollow Earth Adventures RPG, set in the 1930s, Space: 1889, pith helmet and martini rifles on spaceships, like Edgar Rice Burroughs with some Nazis, a D&D sourcebook, a massive infodump, page after page, what are the powers of the Lesbian dinosaur ladies, magical, telepathic, mind-control, open source, lists and thrones and banquets, what do the other places look like, almost a whole world opened up to us, a list of their household items, cotton gins, printing presses, what are their voting machines like, what is their average day, are they post scarcity, just cosplaying like the Klingons, Vril is a better book in general, better than Tolkien (at the battle scenes).

The Goddess Of Atvatabar

The Goddess Of Atvatabar

The Goddess Of Atvatabar

The Goddess Of Atvatabar

The Goddess Of Atvatabar

The Goddess Of Atvatabar

The Goddess Of Atvatabar

The Goddess Of Atvatabar

The Goddess Of Atvatabar

The Goddess Of Atvatabar FORGOTTEN FANTASY

Posted by Jesse WillisBecome a Patron!

The SFFaudio Podcast #674 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: The Cats Of Ulthar by H.P. Lovecraft

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #674 – The Cats Of Ulthar by H.P. Lovecraft – read by Steve Mann. This is a complete and unabridged reading of the story (8 Minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Paul Weimer, Evan Lampe, Trish E. Matson, and Jason Thompson

Talked about on today’s show:
The Tryout, November 1920, Weird Tales, Fantastic Novels, Hannes Bok, a girl or a young woman, cats looking very satisfied with themselves, 3 pages or 8 minutes, 88 shows mentioning The Cats Of Ulthar, most of them are not in English, the best introduction to Lovecraft, a lot of little things that work as an introduction, witches, wandering weirdos, foreigners, geographies, are the couple witches?, they’re witch-ish, ogres, frightening, can this be read subversively, sorry Trish, why is this such a popular story, the narrator is present, a murder mystery, The Tree by H.P. Lovecraft, popular to least popular, At The Mountains Of Madness, this fictional list, Old Bugs, The Wicked Clergy Man, a scultping contest, this story sucks, the sound of the bees, the beekeeper tells the narrator, who tells the story, we know, what do you remember?, the reason people don’t like that story is they don’t get it, telegraphed from the beginning, the wrath of Bast, super-simple, people love cats, has cats in the title, not that much racism in it, the mysterious dark foreigners are the good guys sort of, catskins nailed all over the wall, eating them?, a meanspirited old couple, what people in the town are saying, hiding the truth, we gotta burn these manuscripts, a push pull, the beetles, scarabs, Dreamlands, what of their spirits?, did the cats steal their souls?, sucking the baby’s breath, activating the cats, the circularity, who is the narrator?, purring before the fire, the last image of the story (in Jason’s adaptation), sexily vs. hungrily, the dog lies patiently until it starves to death, the cat will eat you, a village full of cats ate a couple, the heroes are the cats, the moral simplicity of an EC comic, questioning the validity of the human eating cats, all he did was jaywalk, The Terrible Old Man, home invade a pirate from 3 centuries ago, gypsies vs. travelers, the Roma people of Europe, India and Alexander the great, the India connection, where the word Egypt comes from Menes, pre-Egyptian, another possible source, the dark wanderers in Idle Days On The Yann by Lord Dunsany, turban wearing, such frightened and passive people, live in a hovel, they’re treated like witches, The Witch-Cult In Western Europe by Margaret Murray, Christians who believe in , a fairy tale, Diodorus Siculus heard it from some crocodile god priests, all the things that are being described, not only Bast, their quiet mien, the referent is missing, the mother of all these cats?, before and beyond human Earth history, definitely (kind of) in the Dreamlands, Polaris on its own, Meroe, Nubia, a lost port mentioned in the Bible, the connections come later, ex post facto in the Dreamlands, resurrect them?, every cat was back, dead or busy feasting, telling fortunes, investigate the cotter’s cottage, still extant cats, cats on a mission, dream like, dream logic, reason to be skeptical, the villagers are always getting it wrong, sacrificed, coyotes are a serious issue, real life experience, gossip, baseless, the villagers sicced this little boy and his magic on that couple and got even though they are innocent, gullible gods, tricking the gods, they show up in the sky, Scooby Doo, no Nancy Drew activities, the follow up to the Cats Of Ulthar, the gods fucked up, the fallibility of the divine, the Greek gods every day of the week, I want vengeance, a devotee, his parents are already dead, almost like a storm, the gods are obedient to those who are believe in them, vernacular tradition, non-institutionalized beliefs, passed on by spoken words, the common people know about it, the Esoteric Order Of Dagon has some metal plates they pass around, folktales before they get written down, the opening sentence, Skai, the Yann river, no man may kill a cat, the species is male?, who are we?, retconned around Kadath time, the past vs. a dream, if only the dream had been set not in ancient Greece, the fairytalishness, the realm of myth, long ago and far away as many fairy tales say, who the narrator is usually matters, the wagon leaving the town, a tour of Innsmouth, the burgers, why are you telling me all their names, look at the list of characters who show up, sustaining a mood, he’s trying to tell us about the purpose of this law is, why?, the burgers pass a law, it becomes a folk belief, mouths to feed, bag in the river, the story of Moses, this Egyptian quality, Egypt is the breadbasket for Rome, food is wealth, the mousers vs. the pets, eatin the rodents that will eat your grain, myth vs. propaganda, what a stan is, Lovecraft is a cat stan, not the dogs of Ulthar, what do dogs do, dogs bark, bears three days a week, there to protect to the property, hungry bears, many many odes to cats, cat love, propaganda for cats, a wish fulfillment story, that tiny black kitten, cat lives are worth more than human lives to Lovecraft, the roving folk, Egyptians in all but name, their magic, their magic show, Evan’s story about losing his cat, knowing how devious Lovecraft can be, The Rats In The Walls has a cat, Delapore eats another man, still defending them, a swarm of rats, the cat is the hero, you’re crazy man, “I, as a cat, will not support this cannibalism”, Jesse derailing, The Black Cat by Edgar Allan Poe, your house burned down because of a cat, The Raven, working on a psychological level, why does it take so long to get to the point, so obviously put together that way, an untrustworthy story, Evan is neutral, the townspeople are dumb, no police arresting people for killing cats, what scarabs were, we don’t know what scarabs are, amulets placed in the wrappings, tradable items, we don’t know why they’re there, Egyptology, Egytpomania, another Egypt-ism, eating of the dead, a cleansing of the evil of what they did, the cleansing mechanism, not a memorable story,

On a verdant slope of Mount Maenalus, in Arcadia, there stands an olive grove about the ruins of a villa. Close by is a tomb, once beautiful with the sublimest sculptures, but now fallen into as great decay as the house. At one end of that tomb, its curious roots displacing the time-stained blocks of Pentelic marble, grows an unnaturally large olive tree of oddly repellent shape; so like to some grotesque man, or death-distorted body of a man, that the country folk fear to pass it at night when the moon shines faintly through the crooked boughs. Mount Maenalus is a chosen haunt of dreaded Pan, whose queer companions are many, and simple swains believe that the tree must have some hideous kinship to these weird Panisci; but an old bee-keeper who lives in the neighboring cottage told me a different story.

a shared studio, the townspeople report, such good friends, the story of the fall,

However, the Syracusans obtained after a while a very splendid statue in Athens, and the Tegeans consoled themselves by erecting in the agora a marble temple commemorating the gifts, virtues, and brotherly piety of Musides.

city vs. country, one is better than the other,

But the olive grove still stands, as does the tree growing out of the tomb of Kalos, and the old bee-keeper told me that sometimes the boughs whisper to one another in the night wind, saying over and over again. “Oida! Oida!—I know! I know!”

hiding the truth The White Ape The Facts Concerning the Late Arthur Jermyn and His Family, to hide the truth, his grandma was a monkey, there’s sometimes a key, sometimes they are straightforward?, half more again as complex as this one?, The Street, The Statement Of Randolph Carter, The Whisperer In Darkness, At The Mountains Of Madness, The Lurking Fear, pay attention, beefy guys, he needs a lot of meat, The Strange High House In The Mist, a lot of weird stuff happens, not straightforward but simple, this outside frame, we’re not supposed to trust, picky about his own work, Philip K. Dick, a personal favourite, S.T. Joshi, walks in the forest, letters about cats, the College Street address, a gang of feral cats living on his roof, if Lord Dunsany the dog guy meets the cat guy, Dean Spanley, a great sense of humour, The Book of Wonder, a randy centaur, Bride Of The Man-Horse, its the getting there that’s fun part, how men should court women, how centaurs get their brides, a Dunsany imitation in terms of style, 7-10 minutes to read, ebullient detail, once per week, The Idler, filling pages for the idle rich, not the ideal Weird Tales story, a Clark Ashton Smith adaptation, The Dreamquest Of Unknown Kadath, a retconned cosmology, The White Ship and Celephais, a cats themed comic anthology, a comic twist at the end, these smiling cats, ambiguous intent, lest they kill us, who is this law for?, how the Ultharians feel about it, The Doom That Came To Sarnath, the most dreamlandsy one, chronologically, its before people, almost like he’s talking to Robert E. Howard in that one, the psychology is implicit, sometimes a story is just a story, readers in the 1920s, that level of morbidity is day to day for us, extra gross for 1920s readers?, Ambrose Bierce and Edgar Allan Poe, too gross, Wastelands by W. Scott Poole, horror has its birth after WWI, the symbolists, The Troop by Nick Cutter, PG-13, this is not supposed to be a horror story, folktales and household tales, more than humans, add more magic to the story, drag out linger, so much detail, Sergio Aragonés, some guy with nemes on, a German beer stein, there’s beer, what they’re making with those crops, a pseudo Germanic look for Ulthar, the curls of an Egyptian, ankh everywhere, two gods, Ibis, the staff is an open mouth with teeth, Lovecraft foreshadows with a magic spell, repetition a symmetrical thing, all the animals are playing cutesy roles, a wellness check, a kind of horror, a mode, terrible youth trauma, return to the Dreamlands role playing game, their giant noses and their blank eyes and their implements, for the people are simple, four cats suckling, a sphinx, all ayres book of dallaire book of Greek and Norse myths, Echidna the mother of monsters, weird slug woman, the baby hydra and the baby sphinx, exiled to a cave, Cerberus is a they, tentacles, gimme milk gimme milk, added blood, you have to love them anyways, licking their genitals, motherhood is difficult for humans!, firm but gentle, the cats of Saturn, a gamification thing, Jason’s drawing game, Mangacon Cartooner, like Pictionary but producing comics, get the most fame points possible, you have to sell out to whatever trend, so meta, Evan made a huge mistake, fan service, obsession cards, giant sword, three point landing, gamifying his own letters, worldbuilding, the Lovecraft industry is a huge industry, uncountable unnameable, you play dreamers, drawn from Dunsany, The Neverending Story by Michael Ende, the sanity mechanism, go mad or die, memory resources, spend memories, performing marvels, Randolph Carter lost his memories of Providence, creating monsters out of the air, dream logic, Carter remembers he can speak nightgaunt, he always spoke nightgaunt, coincidental magic, conjuring cats, what’s the core activity?, go on dream quests, fairy tale style quests, breaking the pillars of Dreamland, as a responsible dreamer, a plague of fairies, word currency, 300 word cards, make little speeches, blasphemous, wonder, and road, an excuse to be eloquent, the Jack Vance role playing game, The Dying Earth, interesting and fun, dialogue with each other, why don’t you try to make friends with these ghouls?, Horror On The Hill, charisma rolls, neanderthals on the team, DREAMRPG.com, look at this art, its stunning!, that lady with a mask, the watchseller selling digital clocks!, The Call Of Cthulhu: Dreamlands, modern tech doesn’t work, its infinite, continually expanding, the distance between spaces grows greater and greater, like the distances between the stars, low tech vs. modern tech, in Jason’s headcanon…, stuck in the Dark Ages, an existential ramble, a zoog hiding in curtain by the hookah, some lich guy hanging out, the attention to tiny details, “yeah, she’s a medusa what of it?”, where I go to get my equipment for my dreamquest, this is awesome awesome dreamstuff, semi-announced, an Edgar Allan Poe module, an Oz module, Dreamland, Ulalume, a list of dreamers and stats for them, outside of time, they’re dreamselves, established in Celephais, a message in a bottle from two centuries later, Fungi From Yuggoth: Continuity, dream psychiatrist stories, Dreamscape, Inception, trying to tap into deep time (eternity), the Jungian dreamlands, Lovecraft’s conception of the cosmos as an eternal machine, mechanistic, grinding towards the heat death, paradoxes, all night and all day, Jamieson by Margaret St. Clair, just happy to be there, a kind of a Jorkens style story, through the hole in the wall, tiny little grape press, forever cursed to walk the earth, basuto wood and moon grapes for the moonwine, straight out of dreamquest, Dunsany style, epic mythological vs. Terry Pratchett/Neil Gaiman goofy, Paul’s play by email diceless RPG: Strange Bedfellows, set in the world of Roger Zelazny, expanding into a dreamspace, stealing shamelessly, contact the dreamer, Kij Johnson’s Dream-Quest Of Vellitt Boe, a complete stylistic pastiche, The Riverbank by Kij Johnson (a stylistic doppleganger of The Wind In The Willows), when those letters come out, his family is very rich, what dirt he has, is there anybody that’s better documented than Lovecraft?, thank you, kid oriented D&D stuff.

The Cats Of Ulthar by H.P. Lovecraft

Hannes Bok - The Cats Of Ulthar

Hannes Bok - The Cats Of Ulthar

Jason Thompson - The Cats Of Ulthar

Echidna

Jason Thompson - The Cats Of Ulthar

Jason Thompson - The Cats Of Ulthar

Frej Agelii- The Cats Of Ulthar

Jesse Willis - The Cats Of Ulthar

-Seo Yung - The Cats Of Ulthar

Jacen Burrows - The Cats Of Ulthar

Jason Thompson - Gathering Of Beasts

Jason Thompson - Dreamland City

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The SFFaudio Podcast #660 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: Bartleby, The Scrivener by Herman Melville

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #660 – Bartleby, The Scrivener by Herman Melville; read by Bob Neufeld

This unabridged reading of the story (1 hour 53 minutes) is followed by a discussion of it.

Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Paul Weimer, Evan Lampe, Marissa VU, and Will Emmmons

Talked about on today’s show:
A Story Of Wall Street, Putnam’s Monthly, November and December 1853, college and high school, fucking great, so funny, very humorous, no joke, Seinfeld style, sad and existential, struggles with depression, is Bartleby depressed?, what was Melville trying to say, different ways of reading, a moment of silence for all the poor kids in school, 4 minute explainers on youtube, hard to classify, a weird tale like you would get in Weird Tales, cadaverous, Fitz-James O’Brien, Franz Kafka, kafkaesque, William Wilson by Edgar Allan Poe, its a piece of science fiction, Bartleby is an android, Star Trek’s Data, radioactive suitcase, the ghost story angle, the most important way of reading it, its all about the lawyer, the other clerks, Ginger Nut, John Jacob Astor, I prefer not to pay, other people are inscrutable, master of chancery, work ethic, real estate law, Turkey is drunk by noon, Nippers, low wages, allowed to listen to music, ginger cakes, useless in the afternoons, Nippers is a criminal, capitalism, before the clock took over, working on Saturday, time and motion studies, a copyist pretending to be an attorney, the Roman patron system, seedy coats, great language, McTeague by Frank Norris, practicing dentistry without a license, The Confidence-Man by Herman Melville, a lot to glean, I am a rather elderly man, writing for an audience, other biographies, the law copyists, physical xerox machines, monk work, reading aloud, take student texts with punctuation, perfection in sentences, a creative work vs. copying from one document to another, divers histories, other law copyists, an irreparable loss to literature, the original sources aka him, the second part of the serialization of the story, this kind of artifact, serialized over two months, Bartleby’s previous career, most lawyers want to be writers, imprimus, the easiest way of life is the best, unambitious lawyers, a snug retreat, a snug business among rich men’s bonds, keeping track of rich people’s money, an eminently safe man, a nice pun, the late John Jacob Astor, all the negatives, prudence, method, not unemployed in my profession, a rounded and orbicular sound to into it, rings like unto bullion, complimenting himself, John Jacob Astor the first, how old this story is, the story is set way earlier, an interesting pacific connection, trans-continental, 1848, Astoria, the incensed landlord, a metaphor for the United States, fugitive visits, Bartleby like an Indian who refuses to leave to go to the reservation, named after an act of enclosure, walls, the dead letter office metaphor, Touched By An Angel, a Christian show, the science fiction equivalent is Quantum Leap, The A-Team, solving problems with guns, the Hallmark Channel, Christian niceness, Signed, Sealed, Delivered, Dear John I miss you, items, your job is to open up the letter, any objects in the mail, a ring or money or tires is then auctioned off, unrequited letters, instead of reading and deleting letters you copy letters, reading the contents, contracts between billionaires, what debt is owned to whom, reading Bartleby as a dead letter, he has no place to go, there is no dead letter office for humans, taken to the prison, the grub man, he’s a person not a letter, the focus on Bartleby as the main character is not as interesting, he’s the one with the problem: Bartleby, he’s a weird employer because he cares about his employees a lot, fighting the system, stalkers, roses and letter, not leaving someone alone and being outside their place, playing with social norms, interest becomes stalker, no women in this story, Ginger Nut as a woman, Bartleby (2001), a zombie apocalypse done through sound, Pontypool (2008), Pontypool Changes Everything by Tony Burgess, when you hear certain words on the television, earworms, things are going to change, a bit of visual or auditory information can change the world, what makes it existential, he’ll just stand there, won’t do anything, embarrassment, amazingly passive, as a strategy of work resistance, Office Space (1999), most employers, The Last Article by Harry Turtledove, he tolerates him vs. he escapes, rather move himself than move Bartleby, prefer, the way his hands are, behind the screen, so handy to me, I had in hand, my right hand sideways, nervously extended, in this very attitude did I sit, imagine my surprise, rallying my stunned faculties, prefer not to?, are you moonstruck?, Žižek, backwards grammar, ending with a preposition, plaster of paris Cicero, this is very strange, had his face been any different he would have fired him, what do you think about what this guy’s doing?, our narrator is allowing this to happen, ah Bartleby, ah humanity!, Bartleby is in such a horrible position, this is our situation, the main character wants to be fired, this guy’s got spunk!, I’m going to need you to go ahead and…, upper management hears you’re an up and comer, the other authority figures in the story, King Of The Hill, Dale Gribble likes firing people, maybe Evan understands American history, the institutions aren’t there, SWAT the employees, dump the vagrants, when the cops hung up on Jesse, wrote a stern email to the chief constable, the busybody was just making trouble, a local crime gang, not SWATing people as much, the normal response is to give up, if you invent the post office, some items are undeliverables, setting up policies, an Indian with no band, mentally ill but not causing a disturbance, just not going home, he has no home, you can’t do that with people, what makes our unnamed lawyer protagonist so strange is that he cares about Bartleby, we put ourselves into capitalism, feeling spicy at work, ginger is a hot spice, he whom it would relieve, charity, pallid hopelessness, continually handling these dead letters, the finger it was meant for moulders in the grave, hope for those who died un-hoping, these letters speed to death, hopelessness and misfortune, one of Melville’s kids killed himself with a gun at home, Melville worked at the customs house, what we know of Melville’s going to sea, he needs to get to sea because the land is not for him, Typee, malingering or mutiny or deserting, Evan’s YouTube video: Herman Melville Wants You To Quit Your Job, Mardi, failing to find paradise, screw all this, Whitejacket, Redburn, Moby-Dick, bored from his normal life, disappearing from the novel, just there to tell the story, what are you doing here, sitting on the banister, the cause of great tribulation, a clerkship in a drygoods store, too much confinement, a bartender’s business, Nippers is always adjusting his work table, Joe Piscopo, no standing desk like Rumsfeld, trying time trying to entertain, I like to be stationary (stationery), I am bound to quit the premises myself, not wholly indulged before, go home with his boss, like a force of nature, he’s like a letter that’s a human, he can’t say where he needs to go, Melville’s first attempt to write a short story, I prefer not to, the driving thesis of Paul’s professor, here we are, when Paul was young and callow, confronted by reality, I know I’m talented I know I have the goods, some time goes by people catch up to what he’s doing, why his story is being taught in school, appreciating it at as piece of art, The Willows by Algernon Blackwood, I Have Placed My Sickness Upon You by Karin Tidbeck, Frritt-Flacc aka The Ordeal Of Doctor Trifulgas aka Dr Trifulgas by Jules Verne, volcanic France, what the fuck is this?, there’s a document involved, it means something, The Lost Room by Fitz-James O’Brien, about our mental condition, metaness, what does Wall Street have to do with it?, balancing out his other employees, its wrong to read it from its wrong, it must happen daily, he’s his own doctor and he’s having a heart-attack, have we exhausted Bartleby?, religious stuff, the lawyer is a messed up guy, this uncanny guy, he stopped working because his eyesight was bad, this earworm of I prefer not to, they’re making fun of him, they’re making fun of the lawyer, they’re bullying him, the drunk is funny, their solidarity is with their boss, false solidarity, the boss’ neuroses, in the Tombs, I know who you are, I know what this place is, Bartleby gets it, the antagonist, not a good place, the military angle, he’s been drafted into the army, we’d like you to go shoot that man, he’s seen the Lovecraftian document, the horror behind the veil, being like a cadaver, weird trick, Ginger Nut, Bartleby only eats ginger nut and cheese, he’s called to go get them, Coffee Boy, why is Turkey called Turkey?, dies of starvation, Nippers is the eating of food, the religious aspect, moral suasion, act like a Christian, charity, governed by paternalism, as resistance strategy, the reform era, 1830s-1840s, the Second Great Awakening, reforming American sins, perfecting American society, the anti-flogging campaign, vagrancy, part of the that culture, are your eyes recovered?, in word will you do anything at all?, behind a blind, the tragedy of the unfortunate Adams the unfortunate Colt, his fatal act, had that altercation taken place in the public street, doubtless of dusty haggard of appearance, a murder, A kills C, Bartleby (B), I grappled him and threw him, recalling the divine inter-junction, ye love one another, a great safeguard to its possessor, a murder for charity’s sake, drowning my exasperated feelings, benevolently construing his conduct, he has seen hard times and ought to be indulged, charity is the answer, if I focus on charity I won’t kill him, a servant to John Jacob Astor, Upstairs, Downstairs , Highclere Castle, servants and rich people in a period setting, Downton Abbey, know her place, they need to know their place, but there’s dignity in working for good people above us, in doing our jobs well we become elevated, you know its fucking evil, she’s lying to herself, ground up by the music hall industry, wenching, seeing the household from both POVs, the head butler, a lot like Uncle Tom’s Cabin, we are meant to be outraged by it, I feel unplaced in the world, I feel unmoored, Bartleby is moored, the judgement of history, Edgar Allan Poe’s life, “no, no, no, guys, I’m great”, we don’t have infinite time, made to punish children, a deflection, another form of property ownership, northern firms involved in slavery, what this person’s business is, he’s not an abolitionist, when the suing comes, they’re not copying out literature or love poetry, their literal job is photocopier, why he likes copying at first, gaining information, read back what you’ve already written, as a re-reader, checking someone else’s work, One Hour Photo (2002), a kind of stalker, so late in the lifecycle of the film camera, taking your work to seriously, too solitary in your work, what were you thinking when the lawyer finds the door locked, I’m not ready yet, what was he doing in there?, in public records, pretending he’s a music producer, this is an impropriety on his part, is our lawyer married?, I’m bringing a strange Bartleby home, the first moment of aggression, he’s not aggressive at all, he’s very ethereal, maybe he’s playing VR or something, Bliss (2021), Paul got baited and switched, Owen Wilson as Bartleby, Crispin Glover, David Paymer, Glen Headley, Maury Chaykin, there’s no audience for this really good movie, made for schools, some menace there, Dickensian, Dickens isn’t philosophical enough for this, the names, the sense of humour, very much like a weird tale, the uncanny, The Paradise Of Bachelors And the Tartarus Of Maids, pale women in a paper factory, put together a new issue of Weird Tales just out of Herman Melville stories.

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