The SFFaudio Podcast #517 – READALONG: The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #517 – Jesse, Julie Davis, and Maissa Bessada talk about The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

Talked about on today’s show:
2008, a children’s book, hardcover, a book for kids, better than most adult books, Neverwhere, Coraline, who hates Neil Gaiman?, Sandman, pictures slow it down, he didn’t feel competent, a genuine classic, character and sentences, crafting language, the wisdom of his prose, insights into basic human beings, you know its true, his evil characters, thinking about The Jungle Book, he started with chapter 4, MouseCircus.com,

“We were young, and very poor. The rooms I was renting above a shop were in a building tall and spindly and old. The kitchen and lounge were on one floor, a bedroom and my office and a bathroom on the next, and, at the top of the house, there was a big attic bedroom, and a low, long room in which an adult could barely stand up straight and in which there was a crib and a playpen. My son, Michael, who was two years old, loved his tricycle more than anything, but there was nowhere to ride it in the house, not without him tumbling down the stairs, so I would carry him and his tricycle across the narrow lane to the grounds of the local church, and he would pedal around to his heart’s content, and I would sit and read a book in the sunshine, and watch him, and look at the grey gravestones, names half-erased by time, and marvel at how comfortable a child looks in a graveyard. That was where it started. I’ll call it The Graveyard Book, I thought. Like Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book.”

listening to it, ghoulheim, there it is!, the monkey scene with Mowgli, Silas is Bagheera and Ms. Lupescu is Baloo, the tribute to Lovecraft, The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath, the rubberfaced night gaunts, something Lovecraft dreamt as child, they became his friends, they tickle you, creepy and wonderful, chew off any meat left on the bones, tip-up the lead-lined coffin and all the juices, when the angles were wrong, a city built to be abandoned, just as odd, to find the equivalent, King Louis, the Emperor Of China, the 33rd President of the United States, Harry S. Truman is a ghoul, the full cast version, recorded in a Minnesota radio station, so fantastic a narrator, no better author narrator, Gaiman’s reading of Coraline, Scott Danielson, a boy story and a girl story, The New Mother by Lucy Clifford, Heather Ordover, the CraftLit podcast, very insightful, The Count Of Monte Cristo, a man and woman in a box, glass eyes and a wooden tail, the cycle repeats three times, never naughty enough, live on berries, worse than the Other Mother, children in Hell, where Coraline came from, no redemption, no mercy, fairy-tale-like, very Neverwhere-ish, has he ever written a book that isn’t about gods, regular Neil Gaiman stuff, the Endless, is there a god in this book?, who is the grey lady on the grey mare?, she’s Death, the sickle and the hood, The Old Gray Mare, she ain’t what she used to be, the Hounds of God, Romanian soup, boiled cabbage is kinda a good, eating Twinkies, Mr Lupescu by Anthony Boucher, Mr Jim Moon’s Hypnogoria (Hypnobobs) podcast, Neil Gaiman’s breadth of reading, Mr Jesse, macabre (macabray), imaginary friends, Thus I Refute Beelzy by John Collier, Scarlet has an imaginary friend, Scarlet’s story is a mini-version of this story, a kid romance, the angry teenager, play houses, meany, totally girl, so cute, very brave, going into the dark, five years old, before Julie was 3, barely remember yesterday, summer used to last several years, the perception of time, how you could get bored really easily, the world is so boring, tapped into the youth, the Sandman series, the conference of the Jacks, serial killer convention, where is Silas going?, he’s like Gandalf, standard mean horrible character, time-traveling hit-men, Connie Willis, the characters that work, there’s the deepness, Jack Frost is Shere Khan, fresh, very fresh, quite refreshing, the comic book adaptation, some of the art in here, Jill Thompson, P. Craig Russell, Galen Showman, the scale is bigger, the horizon is bigger, the ghouls, comic gross humans, monkey creepy horrible awful, the sleer, Gaiman gives you the outline and then you fill it in, the Indigo Man, the broach, the graveyard, the antique shop, super complementary, look how Silas dominates the room, there’s never a haircut scene, so intriguing, why does he hang out in this graveyard, knowledge of the prophecy?, the whole plot is way less important, why is the Danse Macabre in this?, Death is so beautiful, living forever, the living with the dead, each to each, names aren’t really important, find his name, one day everybody does, how come death’s so cool?, really smart, what’s true and what do we need to remember, the dead should have charity, Elizabeth Hempstock, Toomai of the Elephants, referential, winter flowers, we’ve crossed worlds, within generations enough, the other book that was homework, A Fine And Private Place by Peter S. Beagle, Beagle’s narration, ended up perfect, brought to life, ride that raven, they are both stories about a human living in a graveyard and they are fantasies, very gentle and slow, it could have been a little bit shorter, he made his case for all the relationships, overcoming fears, only 19 when he wrote it, mature, living a fantasy world life, a raven, taking some inspiration from Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven, Ezekiel in the desert, a loose connection, the raven is what kept him there, psychopomp, a real personality, a ride in a back of a truck with a squirrel, set somewhere in England, so rich, find some weird house, adventures in her back yard, fully realized, how stiking is it that 10 year old kids and adults can enjoy it and not be lost, Coraline is not as amazing as this book, aimed at the children’s market, 188 pages for $10 US, images conjured by the book, no description of the lines on his face, the relationship has to Bod (she’s not going to eat him), it takes a (graveyard) village, out of time, his parents are almost the least interesting characters in the book, the poet who punished all his enemies by refusing to write his poems for the public, from my cold dead hand, kinda like Scrooge, some Lord Of The Rings stuff, the broach the knife and the cup, the Sleer is awesome, Elidor by Alan Garner, a family of jerks, William Shakespeare’s King Lear, a sword, a spear, a bowl, and an anvil, escaping into a fantasy world while you’re a kid, The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe, weaving in true history, he liked the roads, Celtic mythology, the ring connection, the barrow wights from The Fellowship Of The Ring, Jesse’s Roof Bear calendar, there has to be rules behind stuff to make it interesting, Roof Bear can’t leave the roof, Ghost Horse is waiting for his master to return, lifting from the Sleer?, children’s adventures, Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson, fun stuff for kids (and for Jesse), remembering the sort of fun you had as a kid, we don’t get to play house anymore, the pretend has a lot of value, mud pies, hanging out in childhood, beautiful, children and grandchildren, so Christmas becomes magic again, that acknowledgement, Bod’s getting too old, talking to Mother Slaughter, you’re always you and that don’t change, truth, I’m still me, that double memory, one of those profound things, LEGO robotics on Apple II computers (LEGO Logo), you really do loose something, its impossible, something you loose and yet retain the memory of it, Locke & Key: Welcome To Lovecraft by Joe Hill and illustrated by Gabriel Rodríguez, the head key, take out memories, the gender key, you forget, exploring a big old house, a menace, it works in the same way, brilliant and well worth reading, The Stepford Wives by Ira Levin, This Perfect Day by Ira Levin, 1984 by George Orwell, “Christ, Marx, Wood, and Wei”, very 1984, The Giver by Lois Lowry, a remake, the witch chapter, time in libraries, what forms your imagination, what tempts Bod is an apple, wish I’d left…, the groundskeeper’s pile of grass, she’s just a girl (who was murdered), “then I did my death curse”, when Bod falls out of his crib, a pile of plush toys, a nice doubling, do this kind thing, sends him out into danger, all the influences, nothing is forced, the mechanisms of writing, a six sentence story, all unconscious, it feels very natural, I want the magic, it takes him years and years, Tolkien: there were all these Catholic things in there, a good book, a good movie, what Neil Gaiman can do, just crafting your work, a lot of it is unconscious, an apple orchard, seeing things evolving, re-reading is not Jesse’s thing, when you run out you have to go back, re-watching, all these little things, Julie’s project, have they earned my shelf space?, deep in our cultural unconscious, 43 Bollywood movies last year, legal/police/moral situations, western culture branched-off, vengeance is looked at very differently, cultural thinking, shocked and taken-aback, northern Europe is full of apple trees, a ghost outside, Good book, what’s Ace barking at?, thought-yells, a Man Jack in the yard, a fun read.

The Graveyard Book - comics adaptation

The Graveyard Book - comics adaptation

The Graveyard Book - comics adaptation

The Graveyard Book - comics adaptation

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #460 – READALONG: Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #460 -Jesse, Paul Weimer, and Maissa Bessada talk about Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

Talked about on today’s game:
the television series, Lenny Henry, Chef, tribes of homeless people in London, the novel, a little sandwich, what book would you take to a desert island?, The Sandman, not the way that things usually run, in the back of Paul’s mind, a full and visceral fall into London Below, the audio drama, Paul buys too many ebooks and audiobooks, Paul’s poor little TV, a new life in the world below, the sewer folk, the comic book adaptation, sadly and tragically, Glen Fabry, Preacher, DC Vertigo, Door has a keyhole over her eye, a completely different vision, insane, shot on videotape, early Doctor Who, Paterson Joseph, Mr Croup and Mr Vandermar, working hard to say bad things about Neverwhere, a children’s book for adults (true about everything Neil Gaiman writes), a metaphor for homelessness, Mr Stockton, Richard’s career as a security analyst, a metaphor for going inside yourself, looking for a critique, real damn good, a sketch, suggesting rather than telling, when Gaiman goes spare he goes better, Charles Dickens, here comes the pressure, the new illustrated edition, William Morrow Harper Collins, Chris Riddell, illustrations throughout, long noses, an eye, a branch twining through the pages, taking you down into it, the Angel Islington, Door is a child, Anesthesia, parallel characters, packed with illustrations, old-wordiness, “entwined”, Jesse’s book fell through the cracks, allusions to semi-mythical literary stuff, referencing earlier materials, The Graveyard Book, The Lord Of The Rings, Alice In Wonderland, Coraline, WONDERFUL, Neil Gaiman tattoos, we completely agree Neil Gaiman is awesome, Gaiman speaks to people, The New Mother by Lucy Clifford, why is it called Neverwhere?, physical place that has never existed in time, that fairy tale fantasy title, Stardust, reflective, gods and angels, pixie-like elfin girls, killers with knives, The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling, a murder of a family, a knife in the darkness, the backstory of this book, getting the same stuff in a different package, writing about marriage, a hand in the darkness, consider how London Below works, an unperson, utterly cut-off, social interaction, hitting Paul in the feels, nobody gives a damn if I live or die, tapping into fundamental fears, deep and true mythic social stuff, the beginning and the end, so much really works, very H.P. Lovecraft, Celephaïs by H.P. Lovecraft, disconnection with reality, the doubt, the ordeal, the trial, a subversion reading that’s IN the text, on the train platform, suicide, potent stuff, if they wanted to film it again today, too sensitive, romanticizing homelessness, if you’ve ever gone camping, romantic in the theoretical or in retrospect but there’s no romance in reality, too empathetic, an issue, defenses built up, its very very hard, people are strong even when they’re strong in the wrong ways, a problem you can’t easily fix, homelessness, many kinds of failures, Jessica’s reaction to Door’s body lying there, getting taken, a horrible thing to say “the all have homes, really”, generosity of strangers, it depends on how sympathetic you are, the book version, Jessica is not a monster, misplaced priorities, interested in the wrong things, exemplars of humanity, Aurora, Ontario, bags bags bags, she’s starving, “no thank you, I’m fine”, housing costs, pets, smoking, not enough money, schizophrenia, forbearance, neat hoarding, Jesse doesn’t have any doilies, if you don’t have a plant there’s something wrong with you, if you are not able to conform yourself, if it was not for a social safety-net more would be homeless, falling through the cracks of the bureaucracy, not a romantic story of homelessness, Lir (the musician), you always need another favour in you pocket, I don’t think he’s 100% reputable, rats and fur, a good craftsman, well polished, his turns of phrase are virtually perfect, a long list of things that are in (or not) a room, how Croup and Vandermar are alike, who they are without how they came to be, a very small world, Hunter, a little bit “dodgy” in the same way rats are a little bit covered in fur, How The Marquis Got His Coat Back, the Marquis de Carabas is from Puss In Boots, the sewer as a river, a non-existent person, the last door is opened by the Marquis, its clear to Paul, mutual friends, the Marquis came back from the dead, Richard left and returned, we’re going to lie-in, seeing it all laid out, Dante’s Inferno, the Marquis is like Virgil, Dracula, Frankenstein, Transformers, a tiny bit from the audio drama, the 15th century, they’re time travelling psychopaths, The Facts In The Case Of M. Valdemar by Edgar Allan Poe, Valdemar wants “Dead things. Extra teeth.”, we’ve never killed a marquis before, Men?, if you prick us do we not bleed?, no, the timelines, his watch and his debit card stop working, bubbles in time and space, three thousand years ago, the remnants of a Roman legion still camped, more fantastical elements, more 12th century England, no allowance for Jesse, Jesse was in competition with homeless people, Dungeons & Dragons modules, a quasi-homeless industry, if you want to help the homeless increase the bottle deposit, 2018 vs 1980 money, people don’t like to be condescended to, Jesse’s penurious poorness, a trunk full of bottles is a treasure, they wear weird clothes, pushing shopping carts around, its not only about homelessness, choosing your own way to live, Richard’s apartment is taken away, he has a duty to his fiance but a greater duty to a stranger, there re just some things that are wrong, the difference between rude and cruel, we’re dangerous as humans, you have to be sensitive, invisible people, standing at an intersection asking for money, you have to look away, horror, too sensitive a soul, the people who don’t see it, when Jessica sees and can almost remember Richard’s name, is Mr Stockton an angel in the world above?, angel investor, the restoration of an angel, a kind of underdeveloped parallelism, a media guy, Rupert Murdoch, he’s a monster, “I’m in banking”, oh my god…how can you live like that?, being Neil Gaiman, being Maissa, being a creator of a whole universe of characters is fun, choosing a life of mystery and adventure, a life of horror, a recipe for making money, Jessica is more down that path, no pet names, choosing you life, pre-history, the trolls he has on his desk, that’s lampshaded, TV Tropes, Spaceballs, replacing an actor, Iron Man, “I’m here, get over it”, you look different, no answer, that’s how you write the story, the fortuneteller, destiny, the trolls, his new office, the nice cup of tea, Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, talk about the mice, vastly intelligent pan-dimensional beings, the rats, ratty, Neil Gaiman’s book about Douglas Adams, “yes, this!”, zany but controlled, Gaiman has much more discipline than Douglas Adams, procrastinating, Dirk Gently, Last Chance To See, Starship Titanic, the very Englishness, the parallels that happen, the incompetent of the group, Arthur Dent, madcap adventure, Richard levels up, surviving the ordeal, he had empathy for himself, like Door’s sister, the bracelet, the level of humanity, Jesse am unashamed about reading this urban fantasy, the number of times “duck” comes up, “duck under”, like water off an oiled duck, poor towel substitutes, a small yellow rubber duck, inside the silver box, another velvet, a duck’s egg, why are there so many ducks in here?, a weird little affectation, somewhere in between the size of a duck and a planet, plotting’s not my thing, let’s see where this goes, Gaiman can do it line after line, incredibly talented at the job of knowing how to tell the story, being Neil Gaiman, Paul Cornell’s Shadow Police novels, a cameo.

Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere Issue 1 Page 10

Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere (Preferred Text)

Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere BBC Radio Drama

Posted by Jesse Willis

Chilling Tales For Dark Nights: The New Mother by Lucy Clifford

SFFaudio Online Audio

Chilling Tales For Dark NightsChilling Tales For Dark Nights is a new podcast, and YouTube channel, offering unabridged terror and horror audio.

Podcast feed: http://www.chillingtalesfordarknights.com/feed/

Their most recent show is one SFFaudio Podcast listeners should be well familiar with:

The New Mother by Lucy Clifford, narrated by Craftlit‘s Heather Ordover!

If you missed it our original podcast discussion, with Heather Ordover, is HERE. There’s also an illustrated |PDF| version.

Posted by Jesse Willis

Printable PDFs Posted

SFFaudio News

SFFaudio MetaI’ve created a PDF Page, that is a page full of printable PDFs. Most are short stories, most are in the public domain (in most places). There are more than fifty PDFs there. All ready for download and printing.

Now I’m afraid that most have no OCR. But on the other hand the files are unlocked and so you could OCR them yourself should you so desire.

It’s currently filed under out FEATURES page, but HERE‘s the direct link.

Please let me know if any of the files there don’t download.

Authors included:
Charles Beaumont, John Buchan, Ambrose Bierce, Ray Bradbury, Anthony Boucher, Emily Brontë, Lucy Clifford, John Collier, Philip K. Dick, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Laura Lee Hope, Robert E. Howard, W.W. Jacobs, Henry Kuttner, Jack London, H.P. Lovecraft, C.C MacApp, William Morrison, Fitz-James O’Brien, Edgar Pangborn, Edgar Allan Poe, Robert Sheckley, T.S. Stribling, Voltaire, H.G. Wells, and Manly Wade Welman.

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #162 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: The New Mother by Lucy Clifford

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #162 – The New Mother by Lucy Clifford, read by Heather Ordover (of Craftlit). This is a complete and unabridged reading of the short story (21 Minutes) followed by a discussion of it by Jesse, Tamahome, Julie Davis, and Heather Ordover.

Talked about on today’s show:
Brownies!, The Mote In God’s Eye by Larry Niven, what is the lesson of The New Mother, naughtiness will be punished without chance of redemption, Lucy Clifford’s children were good, the big people, Coraline by Neil Gaiman, button eyes, crafty, The Father Thing by Philip K. Dick, Philip K. Dick had two fathers, glass eyes and a wooden tail, stand the baby on it’s head, “don’t talk to strangers”, free range children, scared straight, dancing dogs, hopelessness, don’t give in to temptation, “listen to your mother”, the magic cupboards, cargo cult mindset, is the girl the devil?, Something Wicked This Way Comes, creepy warnings, has the girl been the victim of a curse?, a moral story, evil things sometimes look attractive, Anyhow Stories: Moral And Otherwise, the Wikipedia entry for Coraline, The Father Thing and Coraline have hope, horror, The Shining by Stephen King, G.K. Chesterton “fairy tales are more than true”, The Hanging Stranger by Philip K. Dick, To Kill A Mockingbird, Stand By Me, BB guns vs. aliens, did Dick read The New Mother?, Beyond The Door by Philip K. Dick, fantasy, the world is a magical place for children, the magic of housework, mom’s like God providing manna, the “good clock” that tries to keep going, frozen peas and creamed corn, the McCarthy era, The Twilight Zone, The Monsters Are Due On Maple Street, Invasion Of The Body Snatchers, child abuse, untrustworthy parents, “this is real”, stepping into adulthood, 19th century, 1950s, Coraline’s ineffectual parents, the Turkey and Blue Eyes, what happened to the turkey?, what’s up with the peardrum?, the Dictionary Of American Regionalisms, horrormasters.com, “it’s too heavy“, deception vs. self-deception, when do we learn do we naughty?, or do we learn it?, is it a game?, naughty vs. evil, reverse psychology, Tom Sawyer, a dead rat on a string, what’s the deal with the missing father?, fairy tales, Persuasion by Jane Austen, away at sea, fun garages, the feeling of bigness, Julie makes it all sound homey, Philip K. Dick’s father was a WWI veteran, pastoral vs. mechanized hell, Vietnam veterans, the new father in Coraline, the s-word, the movie of Coraline, a giant spider with bony arms, Neil Gaiman’s inspirations are classic literature, The Graveyard Book, The Jungle Book, Silas, Nobody Owens’ governess is named Mrs. Lupescu, Mr. Lupescu by Anthony Boucher, Weird Tales, Neil Gaiman is a fantasy master like J.R.R. Tolkien or Robert E. Howard, The Sandman, Aladdin, The Sandman: Season Of Mists, rescuing readers with Neil Gaiman, the teacher’s conundrum, there’s nothing better for a young reader than comics, Red Nails by Robert E. Howard, comic adaptations, don’t play down to your audience, Gargoyles, William Shakespeare, don’t pile on memorization, pile on fun, everything of value is learned through story, if you invert everything the girl in The New Mother you still don’t know what’s going on, is she just evil?, did she sit upon a baby?, are the two dogs the man and woman missing from the box?, many locks and many keys, unanswered questions, “perhaps you’ve lost yourself”, levels of naughtiness, being naught isn’t following orders, truth in advertizing, critical thinking, Grimm’s fairy tales, the etymology of “grim”, the University of Arizona, Grima Wormtongue, Harry Potter, Grimm, Once Upon A Time, Lee Arenberg, “to wend the grim tooth” (to recourse to harsh measures).

The New Mother - Then She Kissed Them
The New Mother - A Peardrum

Posted by Jesse Willis

READ: The New Mother by Lucy Clifford (it’s your homework for an upcoming SFFaudio Podcast)

SFFaudio Online Audio

The SFFaudio PodcastWe’re going to be recording a discussion for the SFFaudio Podcast this weekend. It’ll be centered around a wonderful, horrible, 19th century short story by Lucy Clifford. It’s called The New Mother.

Our narrator, Heather Ordover from the wonderful Craftlit podcast, has just sent me the file!

Happily it will be included in the podcast, along with our discussion of it, but I thought it might be interesting to share the audiobook with everyone early.

If you do download the audiobook |MP3| (which I’ll keep in my DropBox folder for the next week or so) and have a comment about the story, post it below. If it’s interesting we may refer to it in our discussion. And, for extra credit, we participants are planning on talking about The New Mother‘s relationship to Neil Gaiman’s Coraline and Philip K. Dick’s The Father Thing.

I’ve also put together a |PDF| from the original scans of The Anyhow Stories, Moral and Otherwise (1882) over on Archive.org.

Posted by Jesse Willis