The SFFaudio Podcast #708 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: The Wendigo by Algernon Blackwood

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #708 – The Wendigo by Algernon Blackwood; read by Amy Gramour

This unabridged reading of the story (1 hour 59 minutes) is followed by a discussion of it.

Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Paul Weimer, Marissa VU, and Bryan Alexander

Talked about on today’s show:
The Lost Valley and Other Stories, isfdb.org, Famous Fantastic Mysteries, June 1944, great Matt Fox illustrations, canoes, portage, chasin the wendigo, northern minnesota, portedge vs. port-ahhj, defago, a french canadian accent, when you get your canoe out of the lake and walk overland carrying it, Lewis In Clark, they’re northwest passage moment, how non-wendigo-like this wendigo is, The Weird And The Eerie by Mark Fisher, Capitalist Realism, the answer is no, is this story weird or is it eerie?, eerier than it is weird?, that fascination, the pull into the horror, a weird feature, easy to conflate the two, an eerie scene, a weird movie, unusual and strange, eerie is on its own orbit, absence vs. presence, seeing it from near Defago’s pov, witnessing with their nose and ears, super-cool, page 61, a failure of absence or a failure of presence, somebody’s talking but your can’t hear them, the absence of the voice, nested story, five guys, off by himself or with a wendigo, the mystery is what is actually happening to him, Easter sunday, the wendigo is Jesus with his feet of fire, tracks becoming like each other, the transformation stuff, so curious, The Willows, a lot more racist, the characters or the author, onto the author, casually thrown in there, the real mythological wendigo, ideas about how the land is empty, places where no one has ever been, natives all up in these areas, untouched by man, pre-Columbus, controlled burns, managed, untrammeled wilderness, this part of Austria that is completely untouched (since the Roman era), building it up vs. ignorance, hyper-maximialized, wendigo psychosis (phenomena), explanations for what happens when one goes wendigos, the Weird Studies podcast, out of Ontario, an incident in 2008, Portage la Prairie, Manitoba, Edmonton, in the right area, a carnival barker, “Vince” Weiguang Li, creepy pastas, decapitated and displayed a severed head, consuming some flesh, he plead non compos mentis, an article writer was worried that he may have caused it by speaking the word wendigo, magical thinking, people react, yellow blue flag in bio vs. going to Ukraine to join the fight, Stephen King banned one of his own books (because it was tied to school shootings), this is what I’ve been thinking about, the guy was crazy, technical difficulties, the people who lived in this area, an explanation for strange behavior, he went bersark, in times of abundance, the skinwalker, Ravenous (1999), plenitude vs. starvation, the climate change community, a sick society, suddenly your head’s being cut-off, triggered by real information, fight for the good guys, if you had just written that story, have your book in their locker (or at home), guilt and fear, mythological vs. rational, what stars did I change to change reality, an interesting take what the difference is, a lot more like a visit to fairyland, taken away by the fairies, transformed into a changeling, Connor MacLoud was my kinsman, La Belle Dame Sans Merci, the hill is made of the corpses of many many, relish sweet and bitter dew, an essentially cool idea, uninterested, the feet of fire is not in the canon (of the mythology), frostbitten and worn away feet, Algernon Blackwood came to Canada, engaging with the landscape, a ghost story, A Haunted Island, a ghost in the bed, that which has happened or will happen, Accessory Before The Fact, native spirituality or native legend, equally evocative descriptions, listening forest, walking around in the forest, spooky fallen trees, a boat on the lake, being in the woods, is it authentic to any native experience?, a colonialist work, the height of Britain’s imperial power, away from the populace near the U.S. border, Blackwood was fascinated with nature, Arthur Machen, the dramatic power, successive isolation, more and more depopulated, more and more alienated, gorgeous terms, a little more unsettling, the Johnny Cash song, Bryan knows it’s connected, great sentences, the party round the blazing fire, recent moose discovering itself, word turns, musin up the fac, a sulky silence, Punk was washing up the dishes, the stars were brilliant in a sky quite wintry, the silence of the vast listening forest stole forward and enveloped them, no-one troubled to stir it, stealthy ice, a wonderful set of sentences, why Lovecraft likes this, about mood, complex moods vs. complex ideas, companionable silences, structural relationship, being offended, little nothing for the outer story, who’s this narrator, the least communicative character, smart character, the wind comes and stirs up that fire, Edward Bulwer-Lytton’s dark and stormy night, the weather is affecting the people, the landscape turns these people into the things they become, caught up in a spell, an inversion of fake realism, Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer, the climax, please come down, stage setting, stage directions, irrational laugh of horror, distinctly audible, circle of light, stumbling motion, motionless and dumb, withered, violent action, hewn of stone, stricken children, The Blair Witch Project, crunching the frozen snow, measured and pitiless approach, cursed, bends reality, appearances and postcards, distortion of Defago’s body, at length the darkness, terribly conceived, a figure, zone of uncertain light, spasmodic motion of a thing moved by wires, it was a man, a skein of horror, three pairs of eyes shone through it, robots and things, do you think it’s the wendigo?, his feet, something horrible with his feet, something dark and oddly massed where moccasined feet, covered it with a blanket, yanked away, not a normal french name, a bundle of sticks, fire, they replace your baby with something that isn’t your baby, corn dollies, True Detective, stick dollies, Downs syndrome, magical requirements of the spell, a mockery of the man who was taken away, visiting via him, back to the real guy, telepresence, its a puppet, stop motion animation, slightly more jaggy, Simpson watching close behind him, the impression of a mask, black and diabloical, revealed in utter nakedness, biologically inhabited, totally erased, possession, becoming wendigo, trying to start a fire, eaten away from the inside, a matchstick lit from the bottom, gravity, as a phenomenon, literal fire or frostbite, what is the wendigo doing across the landscape, people love to draw the wendigo, an outline, a vague figure, Roof Bear, picking up Coffee Cat, the opposite of warmth, dropping frost, what does the wendigo eat, it eats moss, moose, the moose is hunting them, the spirit of winter, the spirit of the land, uninhabited because of how harsh it is, the moose finds them, why it has horns, human scale, antlers, Cernunnos, the deer/elk god of Celtic mythology, the hunt, a hunting expedition

When Did I Go? by Jesse:
My hike through the subarctic foothills that summer suddenly turned sinister when the bridge I had meant to cross was suddenly washed out by a late spring flood.

I’d begun my trek west through northern Alberta and into its border in the North-West Territories in late May, back when my skin was sallow, and my hair short.

Now, in late June, my hair was in my eyes as I thought I should return to that last homely shack I’d seen, the one with the collapsed verandah, just thirteen kilometers back.

My feet felt hot as I turned on the trail where the three lonely larches had turned a lovely and sickly green, that shack held nothing, nothing but a history, a history of this lonely landscape, as it was perfectly placed to shelter me and my needs.

And as I approached the sagging shanty I noticed again that broken sign on the trail’s bed, flipped it over, saw a new growth of lichen had obscured a few of the obscene words scrawled upon its pitted surface.

As I read the words aloud to myself and the wind under those familiar twilight stars I began my hysterical laughter: “Yukon run, butt chew can’t hide from the THING inside” it read.

And as I threw the sign to my feet and crawled under that broken and redolent verandah into what was once my home, I smiled, cracked open my preserves, and began feasting on the salted man-meat I’d made on my last trip through.

THE END

stealing a little, the unconscious, explaining why people do things is hard, explicit, we have a theory, this is the wendigo, how do we know?, feeling hysterical, went out for a pee, the outer narration is very unsympathetic, he’s cheating, the landscape, somebody’s mouse, a companion sentence, the personification of inanimate things, the landscape is doing something for our experience, scent and smell, what he smells like, the wendigo smells acrid, like lion, musky, lions don’t eat moss, like a living animal, off by 7, food and fire, inwardness, “something he called a wendigo”, mental excitement, that extraordinary odour, pungent, 50 Island Water, a foolish avowal, the preposterous language, an exact miniature likeness, a wholly incredible distance, the fiery tinge in the snow, hesitant on the one and sure on the other, I’m in my right mind now, steam?, char?, burnt off, stumps, do we even see?, lying and concealing, the effect upon the reader, H.P. Lovecraft, its surrogate, you see it by its scent, its effect in the ground, tracks leading through a field, up into the sky, on the treetops, Johnny Cash’s Ring Of Fire, a religious and sexual vision, covers, down down down I went, mythic ring, not quite as awesome as The Willows, Mr Jim Moon, “the ghost man”, the British love their ghost stories, a Christmas tradition, M.R. James, Henry James, a nested narrative, people going away from civilization into the wild, into a Canadian canoe, birch bark canoe, so light, so lovely, make one?, a skin of birch, chopping, marking the trees, so I can find my way back, Hansel and Gretel, blazing the trees, a nice pun, it’s going to hear me, structured, 5 to 2 to 1, 1 to 2 to 5, like the Apollo missions, that style of a story, Operation Black Buck, the Falkland Island War, the fuel planes refueling each other, such a massive distance, this expedition into the wilderness, an telescoping antenna, what was in contact, as it collapses back down, that story structure, how did he manage to do it just this well, an extraordinarily good story, an oblique angle, public domain stories, what responsibility in republishing a public domain story, the PDF Page, Wayne June read a story by Lovecraft, Mr. Niggerman vs. Mr. Blackman, The Rats In The Walls, Jesse’s responsibility, directly offended, present reality as it is as it was, fix history by taking out the icky bits, a terrific story, people’s fixations change, some words are taboo, those words have been replaced, earliest publications whenever possible, taking out illustrations, see the original context, William Wilson by Edgar Allan Poe, there’s a joke in the first line that tells you, The Gift, “In the present volume”, taking out information or lying, the racist character or the racist author, replacing Nigger Jim with Robot Jim, not everybody starts in a position of complete knowledge, this particular story, the n-word popping up, the turd in the punchbowl, thrown in here randomly (seemingly),

He watched the men a moment longer before diving into the stuffy tent where Simpson already slept soundly. Hank, he saw, was swearing like a mad African in a New York nigger saloon; but it was the swearing of “affection.” The ridiculous oaths flew freely now that the cause of their obstruction was asleep. Presently he put his arm almost tenderly upon his comrade’s shoulder, and they moved off together into the shadows where their tent stood faintly glimmering.

the progressive era was the most racist point in American history, meet up in Burlington, struck by the senses, key plot points, the conclusion ends on sense, “He knew what it all meant. Défago had ‘seen the Wendigo.'”, is sound the only trustworthy sense in the story, this is a cube, put in my hand, a scent can be mysterious, pulp mill towns, Thunder Bay, if you live there you don’t notice it, smell is literally invisible, desensitized to it, no need to present this to the brain, hearing a sentence, sight is something we question, smell is less reliable than hearing, sight is more reliable than hearing and scent, putting it in your hand is the most reliable, manuscript found in a bottle, we’re physically holding it, what we’re left with, reversing the human experience, sight and sound, because we don’t have the embedded, me our your lying eyes, we might have a verbal agreement, might hold up in court, send me a fax with your signature on it, makes it real, hearsay, I had a whiff that he was a serial killer, undergrad English majors to lawyers, Nunavut territory hunt, Paul comes back with an armful of fish, the senses are crucial, the unreality of this story, by eating the liver of a polar bear, ecological literary criticism, vegan diet, killing and living on animals, death by starvation, that dependence, “He realized his own utter helplessness. Only Défago, as a symbol of a distant civilization where man was master, stood between him and a pitiless death by exhaustion and starvation.”, the wood, there to eat, an emblem of community’s starvation or too much food, getting the right amount of food to live on, insatiable greed hungry excess, gluttony greed and excess, Blackwood out hunting and canoeing, a leftover from the coureur de bois era, Punk is a crazy name, Tonto, Vivian, a UK name, a boy named Sue, back to Johnny Cash, turnabout is fairplay, poor Marissa, Jesse, Paul, and Bryan, how bad Vermont internet was, what is our duty?, in podcasting terms, in fifty years what are people going to want to have from this podcast?, to understand us better, the latest Dan Carlin podcast interview, Hardcore History Addendum, when a war is happening today, Ukraine, how will people fifty years from now understand us better, Edgar Allan Poe, in the year 18__, be as faithful and understanding as you can, the long tail of the audience, the tail is much longer than that first week, 70 years late would be fine, a perishable age, all your DMs are going to be destroyed, all the ephemeral messages, text chats, podcast resilient, what happened to all the blogs?, the revised manuscript for his new book, possible extinction of the human race, a great conversation, cell phone as a hotspot, a good trick, why does Vermont internet suck so much, for profit telcos, repeated screwups, terrain, lots and lots of woods, small mountains, the wendigo interfering with our podcasts, a bad internet weather day, Elon Musk satellite internet, moving into the forest, pre-Starlink satellite internet, Starlink sent to Ukraine, 2g speed with Russian forces, Crimea, re-annexation, support for Assad in Syria, implausible, Strawberry Spring, Everything’s Eventual, a Spingheeled Jack story, an eerie phenomenon, peak up, the basketball game experiment, if you could only have one author on a desert island, Lawrence Block, re-read and find new things, Gene Wolfe, Cavalier, you can buy Hugo awards on ebay, No-Man’s Land, Uluru, it belongs in a museum!, heist story in which plucky band of wokesters steals all the stuff from the British museum and give them back, cynical Cirsova guy, ladies need eyebrows, the Elgin marbles, Greece is in such, privileging nation states, totem poles in England, trophies, the obelisk, the duly elected government, Aswan Dam, future us’ problem, claims lose power over time, shipping stuff back, without context, “here are the Elgin marbles, ha!”, a thorny problem, when Greece takes Big Ben, the Mexicans who now run England (with Russian accents), Jesse’s mom is moving, Vancouver Island is for retired people, YouTube photographers, videos, Amanda and Gavin, YouTubers tubing together, Nova Scotia is cheaper, seeing icebergs, an Israeli 7.62, Shaun Duke.

Lynd Ward art for The Wendigo

Lynd Ward art for The Wendigo

The Wendigo art by Matt Fox from FAMOUS FANTASTIC MYSTERIES

The Wendigo art by Matt Fox from FAMOUS FANTASTIC MYSTERIES

Wendigo - frequency: Unique - from Dragon Magazine, issue 38

Roof Bear, Coffee Cat, Wendigo

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The SFFaudio Podcast #692 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: Things As They Are; Or, The Adventures Of Caleb Williams by William Godwin

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #692 – Things As They Are; Or, The Adventures Of Caleb Williams by William Godwin – read by Bev J Stevens, for LibriVox. This is a complete and unabridged reading of novel (16 hours 37 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants include Jesse, Paul Weimer, Evan Lampe, and Bryan Alexander

Talked about on today’s show:
1794, consistently mentioned, extensive shownotes, 2013, “The Modern Prometheus” or Frankenstein, Wieland by Charles Brockden Brown, 9 years of hint, The Star King by Jack Vance, favourite novel or favourite book?, sportsball human named Caleb Williams, Oklahoma Sooners, an evil plan to make us stupider, where everybody lives, how tall or how much money does Caleb Williams make, Google sponsoring Worldcon, the connection to Frankenstein, four people, woho would the first family of British letters (but their politics is too upsetting), anarchist political philosophy, Political Justice by William Godwin, Mary Wollstonecraft, The Last Man, Percy Shelly, one of the greatest poets of all time, their politics are so uncomfortable, vegetarian scary feminist, The Anubis Gates by Tim Powers, The Stress Of Her Regard, neutered their reputations, Percy Shelly as a nature poet, a rich and exciting book, the sentences are long, a cat just climbed on Bryan, better on the page, a really fun book, written in reverse, Dickens wrote a note to Poe to that effect, the fun stuff, very John Buchan-y, escape, Geoffrey Household’s Rogue Male, crime novel, a thriller novel, chase and escape, one man against the state, a detective story, Hamlet, curiosity, a classic tragedy, a Jacobean revenge tragedy, all those modalities, a gothic layer, a doppelganger story, weird tweets, Arthur Mervyn by Charles Brockden Brown, tasting Godwin, teaching a course on those four writers would be a dream course, Women’s Studies/History, connecting these writers with the French Revolution, The Rights Of Man by Thomas Paine, trying not to think about the 1790s, The Making Of The British Working Class by E.P. Thompson, 1810-1815, Ireland was invaded by France in 1797, the nine years war, its not popular, going against what the British like to think about themselves, practicing colonialism on their neighbour, the Easter Rising, WWI, rebellion and mutiny in the British Navy, a continental story, Napoleon, republic is a good idea, incendiary, The REVOLUTIONS Podcast, Queen Victoria’s guillotine nightmares, echoes in Political Justice, this is all messed up, our reliance on hierarchy and authority, the alternate ending (the bleak one), insane in prison, dire notes, true happiness lies in being like a stone (a grave stone), all caps and exclamation marks, literally radical stuff, alternate takes, a shirt nobody with recognize, correct or semi-correct, hot take, a woman fleeing a castle, a thinly veiled reboot, landlord lord boss, the mother in the attic or the kid in the trunk, a homoerotic or homosocial relationship, a classic heterosexual triangle, the young bride and the evil spouse, everybody is corrupted by the villain, local criminal gangs are corrupted, Mrs. Radcliffe, an anarchist book, so tame and so subtle, his starting position is internal, I have to chop of my understanding, things as they are maybe aint so great, set in Naziland, uts okay to kill Hitler, but not okay to say the British power system is corrupt, don’t steal from everybody, the preface being to risque for the publisher, zero out of ten, very hard to read, that person’s not getting it, old books are different from the style we have today, modes and trends and styles of fiction, too trusting, transformed, resigned, meta-ness, escaping into books, becoming a publisher of books, hiding as a Jew, copying their manners, that’s really cool, a way of escaping the godlike detective agency, every man’s hand is against him, a series of veils being lifted, Jews live in a ghetto, trigger, there’s a lot of torture in this book, what’s my duty, what’s my responsibility, denied light and heat, ruffians, manacled, hounded, living you misery, he can’t seem to flee, emigrate, get away from this nutty landlord, not the best plan, a relatively honest person, stealing money, the worst blackguard in all of England, a literary reflection, Tony Blair is getting another knighthood and Julian Assange is being extradited for treason to a country he is not a citizen of, an avatar for how people should act, joins the criminal gang, a cop and a criminal, a thief taker and a thief, you can be moral within yourself and not worry about the laws, or you can worry about what the laws are and bend to the will of liege lords and masters, we see this lesson again and again, an old guy with a ruddy face and white of lock, oh you’re the guy who insulted that leige lord, Ferdinando Falkland, held in such high regard, he can do no wrong, celebrities, people who own the means of communications, worldcon photography sessions, putting money into speech and putting thoughts into people’s heads, regrounding ourselves by making individual foundations, to throw you off the scent, an all in good fun game, he’s had a revolution within himself, he can’t steal, writing and selling your ideas for whatever meager living that gives you is the way, The Castle Of Otranto, what do you do next?, the novel is about consciousness raising, the next step, education, women are reading these stupid books [Jane Austen], universal compulsory education, The Future Trends Forum, climate change, unhappy cats, think better/act better, the solution is more education, Taiwan and China, the answer to social problems is always education (and never guillotines), we are severely educating the population, education is the solution to a lot of these things, the product of it [education], the mid-19th century, Marx and Engels, more unions, assassinations (propaganda of the deed), a one man army, How To Blow Up A Pipeline by Andreas Malm, all bets are off, extreme measures, Lenin’s war communism, “how things could be” (the sequel), it can’t be institutional, there’s something wrong with institutions at their heart, the justice system is beyond redemption, education is the answer but not institutional education, an 18th century version of The Wire, everyone is in the game, ennui, hate the game not the player, a rebuke, marriage, married largely for show, for her reputation, “Mary Junior”, stupid medical care, a lethal idea, which title do you use?, into the 18th century, a classic plot, lords, Bryan had his students play a role playing game about the Luddite rebellion, I get to be the bailiff, I got the cudgel, a Stanford experiment gone wrong, built into a hero, noble, smart, cultured, trying to stop a fire, 18th century life, why its so sad that Falkland becomes a villain, Justine gets in legal trouble because of the monster’s actions [in Frankenstein], reading it backwards, theatre of calamity, tyranny, is a tyrant a bad ruler or an illiterate rulers?, Declaration Of Independence language, William Blake’s America: A Prophecy, Edmund Burke, execrated my name, reputation, pulp fiction horror thing, writing is embarrassing, Anne Radcliffe, I didn’t write this I found it in a weird monastery in Italy, every praragraph sets up bit by bit, like a table of contents, post script:

Why should my reflections perpetually centre upon myself?—self, an overweening regard to which has been the source of my errors! Falkland, I will think only of thee, and from that thought will draw ever-fresh nourishment for my sorrows! One generous, one disinterested tear I will consecrate to thy ashes! A nobler spirit lived not among the sons of men. Thy intellectual powers were truly sublime, and thy bosom burned with a god-like ambition. But of what use are talents and sentiments in the corrupt wilderness of human society? It is a rank and rotten soil, from which every finer shrub draws poison as it grows. All that, in a happier field and a purer air, would expand into virtue and germinate into usefulness, is thus concerted into henbane and deadly nightshade.

insight through a dream:

Dreamt I had to attend a faculty meeting because I was unaware of what we were going to do about the people sent to troll us during the final examination. We’d be moving the university off planet – but the dimbulbs and corporate flacks were people too and they didn’t seem to get they were going to die. The low tier adult children were around now, but what would happen when we moved off planet? They were not assigned seats, at least not yet, and nobody seemed to be looking out for their interests. When I finally got to speak [on] this issue the chair did a silent scream in response. Which was utterly understandable. [there] was still hope their respective senders, two corporations, a small island nation, and a religious organization might send a budget for them prior to launch. I was still worried. On my way out of the meeting one of their number was making a mess and two others doing acts of public indecency (which would be more acceptable if they grokked the gravity of their existential plight). With nothing yet resolved I walked by then into the maker building where the maker collective was busily winding down their own far less formal meeting. I toured their facility and saw and recognized the results of several projects I’d seen them create and toured their funky display space – which had recently been updated – and talked with one of my favourite creators – who was not as popular as many others in the collective, but who was well respected for the seriousness with which he advanced the state of the humour arts. Still shook from the prospect of seeing people left behind I went to the on campus pizza place. What were we gonna do?”

the way this book is positioned is the anti-deplorables condemnation, a revolutionary czar, he wants nobody to be hung for anything, moral crimes, legal crimes, the reason they’re bad, that’s the way they were made, we need to fix things, not writing people off, all the good people are on my side, we need to make this a personal choice, a personal revolution, trying to drag all the people who are reading the book, what its like to be punished for doing no wrong, always making it personal, having revelations of how things are given to him, when she gets arrested, it would be better for me not to have done anything, not a guillotine book, lets think on this thing together, come together and be friends, bound up in his reputation, your focusing on the wrong part, it isn’t about with a name its character with a personality, how to be in the world, a precursor to a utopian novel, The Fugitive, Les Misérables [by Victor Hugo], The Count Of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas, I have No Mouth And I Must Scream [by Harlan Ellison], fear of embarrassment, Ghislaine Maxwell trial, Jeffrey Epstein, Prince Andrew, we just can’t allow this, what we are as beings, growing literacy, rumour opinion, face and losing face, the doppleganger idea, dopplegangers are almost always lethal, reading the doppleganger’s story from the other side, I now have no character I wish to vindicate, a half told and mangled tale, he’s done, he’s William Wilson [Edgar Allan Poe], the Jane Austen comedy of manners, Jeremy Bentham, panopticon, Volume 3 Chapter 6, extreme verbal violence:

I now took it for granted that I was once more in the power of Mr. Falkland; and the idea was insupportably mortifying and oppressive to my imagination. Escape from his pursuit, freedom from his tyranny, were objects upon which my whole soul was bent. Could no human ingenuity and exertion effect them? Did his power reach through all space, and his eye penetrate every concealment? Was he like that mysterious being, to protect us from whose fierce revenge mountains and hills, we are told, might fall on us in vain? No idea is more heart-sickening and tremendous than this.

is he God?, lyrical, keep being revealed the conspiracy, literally true of the world, outside Julian Assange’s prison, cars full of cops, CIA literally plotting to assassinate him, they were embarrassed, make an example, the CIA was laughing at the State Department, agents all over the British isles, had you stepped on a ship there, a broken figure, barely alive, very convincing, I don’t want to be a Falkland, only a personal political solution, we have to call things as they are as we see them, we lie, we obfuscate, we do it for profit, playmobil Scooby Doo TIKI, tropical trees, a guy wearing a mask, Scooby Doo is very gothic, voodoo, you can’t use that because someone would be upset, Lego Magical Caravan is not cultural appropriation,

LEGO “Magical Caravan” is not cultural appropriation because the vardo wagon and bender tent complete with crystal ball is all euphemismed away so as to be simply a “magical caravan” with no cultural specificity, you see

“Charming details

The horse-drawn caravan is brimming with traditional features, such as cute latticework shutters and an old-fashioned lantern. The roof is side-hinged to allow kids to explore the living quarters. Inside they’ll find a bed, a kitchen with a stove and…

a table they can eat around. They can then care for the horse or play with the owl. In the tent is a crystal ball. Controlled by a twisting function, it spins to reveal Mia’s future. Kids can choose whether it lands on a sad face or a happy face or simply let fate decide”

a gypsy wagon, I wanna see the names so I have knowledge, whitewashed or anonymized, this attractive concept, they can’t name it for what it is, sail back dinosaur, Queen Of The Black Coast by Robert E. Howard, there are black people on the boat, Belit’s commanding non-blacks makes it non-problematic, not allowing speech to be said, by making nobody unhappy we’re making everybody happy <- is the theory, objecting things to showing things as they are, arrested for a crime he didn't commit, everybody is corrupt all the way up and all the way down, here I am I can be no other (and he disappears), I was told this was an anarchist book, where's the anarchism?, revolution from within, but it didn't work, William Morris and his crew, 100 years later, a similar expression, long, his wallpaper becomes popular, the Stickley furniture, craftsman’s houses, Capitalist Realism by Mark Fisher, there’s no escape, acts of terror get people’s attention, unintended effects, drone attacks, The Ministry Of The Future by Kim Stanley Robinson, kidnap people from Davos and make them watch powerpoints, a panic over beef, killings and property damage, killing the Czar is the big success, Alexander Berkman blasting Henry Clay Frick, Falkland’s power is too big, Caleb is a cool guy, a chameleon, a publisher, a criminal, a personal assistant, too much, its overwhelming, justice might grind out the occasional victory, Ferdinando Falkland, when he flips out, he goes insane, detested, if it were in my power, things are not so bad as you imagine, range, genteel country squire, fits of insanity, Byronic villain hero, 18th century hero to romantic villain, literary merit, dramatist personae, more useful in a paperback, Arcadian, old hag, housekeeper, 2020s, the role of women in books and what it says about the character of the writer of the book, the bad guy in the band, stab him with a clever, demonically strong, bewildered, how to be, how to respond to the world as it is, more wild less educated, cooking and cleaning and making a person like her, experience not unlike this, avoid being physically injured, some violent person, how do we deal, she informs, going to bring down the gang, they should reform, Caleb Williams mirror without formal education, their own rustic knowledge, vernacular intuition, somehow subverted by the system, eaten the propaganda, all the encounters he has are focused on teaching us something, pedagogical or exploratory, it doesn’t have any answers, News From Nowhere, Herland by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, how bad patriarchy is, how much, Britain is the last country to figure out that novels exist, very realistic, about class, Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe, Evan’s escape, Clarissa by Samuel Richardson, probing and sketching, Pamela, views and sketches of British life, clear dystopia, where it could have gone, broke a whole bunch of ground, good book, making apologies, they’re doing stuff very differently than the way we would do it, the conscience of the king, who am I supposed to root for here everyone is terrible, Caleb you idiot, I can explain, good character writing, the double has to be the double, the biggest objection (a Louisiana thing), it was just the one murder, who hasn’t?, Quantum Of Nightmares by Charles Stross, Caleb as victim of broadsheet cancel culture, penny dreadfuls, the meta-stuff, writing about the things that he knows, a book he finds is The Adventures Of Caleb Williams, sent to Cancelvania, resonance today, so disreputable you can’t listen to anything he says, acts of public indecency, does Williams lie?, putting on an accent isn’t lying, taking alternate or no name as a writer, what lying, or does anything really immoral?, an excuse, saving his masters papers, his one sin, he broke into it, his job is to save those papers, his motivation was wrong, close to the line, a confession, he breaks into it, guilty of the opposite of lying (too honest), pressing him, as an ancestor to detective fiction, social awkward detectives (Holmes and Nero Wolfe), if Caleb had an Archie Goodwin, a Law & Order series, Asperger’s detective with his minder, Tyrell and Falkland, why are they obsessing over me, turning a good person to evil, an orphan, broke, almost homeless, feeling guilty, in contrast to the bitter hag, a Buddhist enlightened figure, we could all go that way, the captain is kindly, cruel to animals!, they don’t live under the law, snitch, the appeal to outer authority is a shit move, physical violence in the school yard, the relationship kids have to principals, teachers and parents, prison guards and wardens, the logic works, knuckling to their authority, anarchistic at its heart, why he doesn’t want to inform, Falkland stands in for the state, he’s a justice of the peace, the stand in for institutions, penetrating society, Philip K. Dick, the black iron prison of our institutions, perverted loyalty, to do a false accusation, strongly infers, repress and control, you will never leave my service, What Happens After Nora Leaves Home?, The Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen, dead or a prostitute, gothic romances from the 1960s, women with great hair fleeing a house with a high lit window at night, Caleba Williams, a pregnant prostitute, just find a suitable marriage, test the character of your potential husband, the end of Wall-E (2008), Down And Out In The Year 2000 by Kim Stanley Robinson, suffering cyberpunks in Washington, D.C., the author made the fire,

My mind was already raised to its utmost pitch. In a window-seat of the room lay a number of chisels and other carpenter’s tools. I know not what infatuation instantaneously seized me. The idea was too powerful to be resisted. I forgot the business upon which I came, the employment of the servants, and the urgency of general danger. I should have done the same if the flames that seemed to extend as they proceeded, and already surmounted the house, had reached this very apartment. I snatched a tool suitable for the purpose, threw myself upon the ground, and applied with eagerness to a magazine which inclosed all for which my heart panted. After two or three efforts, in which the energy of uncontrollable passion was added to my bodily strength, the fastenings gave way, the trunk opened, and all that I sought was at once within my reach.

then a gun is pointed to his head, a Bluebeard story, sins are not in thought, this is the excuse I’ve needed, take the things to safety, he was a scrivener, at every opportunity to lie he does not, lying to the F.B.I. is illegal, the only thing we shouldn’t do to mom and dad, computer game logic, handy tools, fire, a repetition, fire scenes become drama is heightened up, Eric S. Rabkin, Psychoanalysis Of Fire by Gaston Bachelard, fire is literally illumination, symbolically too, Saul becomes Paul because of light, the MacGuffin opened up for us to see, an action movie, Pulp Fiction (1994), the Blade Runner link, tyranny, death to tyrants, autocratic or illicit or illegal rulers, Oedipus Tyrannus by Sophocles, he solves the crime, the detective being the criminal, Shutter Island (2010), the guilty party, setting up an axe throwing station, Vermont roots to D.C., gleefully splitting, bloody handed, more walking the streets with a bloody axe, a plague doctor mask, happy new year!

Caleb Williams by William Godwin

LEGO 41688 - Magical Caravan

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The SFFaudio Podcast #677 – READALONG: The Weird And The Eerie by Mark Fisher

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #677 – Jesse and Connor Kaye talk about The Weird And The Eerie by Mark Fisher

Talked about on today’s show:
Capitalist Realism, Connor’s suggestion, Watcher By The Threshold by John Buchan, The Willows by Algernon Blackwood is both weird and eerie, column of souls, an intrusion from outside, an otter or a man, an absence as opposed to a presence, what is vs. what isn’t there, a sense of agency, a force, an important distinction, building a concept on top, involving agency, Connor’s essay on folk horror, a disconnection between us, it meant something to somebody but it doesn’t mean that to us, disconnection through time, Stonehenge, folk horror is an eerie genre not a weird genre, a very interesting book, a David Lynch movie, Twin Peaks, seen most of the movies, heard none of the music, this book presented itself, the new chapter, that’s eerie, following a similar path (and seeing his life path ending), a despairing: Is There Any Alternative?, Blue Velvet (1986), is this weird or ear-y?, a sock on the side of a road, clothing or shoes, Spike Jonze’s How They Get There (1997), something curious vs. something eerie, sounds vs. manifestations, interchangeable, synonyms, Ghost Stories, Strange Stories, there’s something the name, Analog vs. Astounding, weird seems more common than eerie, a misunderstanding, weird interactions in your daily life, unusual and eerie are not really synonyms, its hard to create the sense of eeriness, shocking is easier, he wrote it after he’s dead, radical narrative modes, transcendental shock, de-centering the human subject, denaturalizing, Picnic At Hanging Rock (1975), Brian Eno, The Fall, Under The Skin (2013), better without the explanation, eeriness, its weird as well, Annihilation (2018), I’m watching this Russian movie with bad translation, the Andrei Tarkovsky movies, like 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) with a foreign language, Siberia, make so coffee?, no just sit there, Dwayne Johnson, in a garbage mood (when you’re sick), when you’re ready and you’ve trained yourself, unusual if not weird, have the right expectations, what the hell is this?, Scarlett Johansson may be an alien, understand what you’re seeing, appreciate the atmosphere, concretize, Nigel Kneale Quatermass And The Pit (1967), the colour adaptation, a subway tunnel they find an unexploded bomb and apemen scientist, weirdness with science fiction, dispelling the eeriness, Quatermass and a lady, breathing heavily and staring off, the importance of the human spirit, ending with a purge, an unconscious memory (programming), ape men with weird heads is unusual, government pressure to reopen the station, Professor Quatermass, your civilian rocket program is a military program, Colonel Breen, a German propaganda weapon, meta-evidence, the area had been haunted for centuries, eerie phenomena explainable by what’s buried beneath Hobb’s End, aliens from Mars, we are their descendants, psychic stuff, we can infer it was science based, what the Martians were doing on their planet and what we were doing to ourselves, a program of exploration, othering the enemy, a political movie, very Doctor Who-like, stuff is happening and we might get a quasi-explanation for it, why Data disappeared, offering a meta-question, a connection in Mark Fisher’s brain, transcendental shock, we might need to despair, capitalism eats it up, seeing Mark Fisher’s stuff everywhere, AOC’s TAX THE RICH dress, a masked servant, once you see it it is hard to unsee it, commodifying the resistance to commodifying, the “Squad”, we need to create a “ruckus”, an unannounced event with staffers, Nancy Pelosi, a fake protest (a protest with permission from you boss), “mamma bear”, the appearance of change, those evil Republicans, performance rather than action, vote for the Speaker of the House (“force the vote”), the Canadian Federal Election 2021, they’ve always had a plan and that plan is to say they have a plan, different reasons for being for the pipeline, we wanna work on it, we don’t want to talk about it, the corruption isn’t unknown, the other team is more corrupt so we can’t do anything about it, apathy, stupor, I hate the people you hate, there are a lot of people in this country worthy of hate and you know who you are, Margaret Thatcher’s pro-market slogan “There Is No Alternative”, engaged with modern philosopher’s, Slavoj Žižek, Jacques Derrida, organic, the sentiment, the vibe of the thing, a tough book to read during lockdown working from home, music points, rebellion was commodified in music, Rage Against The Machine, a product sold for money, made ingenuine even if made from a genuine place, if Mao Zedong suddenly got popular, Che t-shirts, Lovecraft, a tweet from the Snickers account about student debt, Nihilist Arby’s tweets, nothing matters, eat Arby’s, Moonpie twitter, unemployed English grads, a billionaire in Scotland got it all locked up, smart people forced to sell shit, temporarily embarrassed millionaires, an elite class, a useless piece of paper in exchange, bone spurs, the sensitivity, AOC’s team, just a way to boost your brand, Snickers can’t sympathize, there’s no escape, you haven’t hung yourself yet, The Parallax View (1974), go live in the woods, drop out, a dirt floor, a quad bike, how to escape running Snickers twitter account, not in the marriage market, women tend to like to have linoleum floors, no need for a Roomba, lucking through life, parents don’t understand, the commodification of education, artificial barriers, to communicate difficult truths requires the right mindset, they need to be eat and be warm, shooting a film, wilderness in the UK, looking at the landscape, the Romantic poets, they experienced things, a nice short book, some connection between the sensitivity of certain people, he’s really sensitive to stuff, H.P. Lovecraft and Philip K. Dick are connected in a way that is not obvious, Time Out Of Joint, Lovecraft stories are generally weird (not eerie), poverty in the country, Australia is vast, an enclave surrounded by thousands of kilometers of no people, compared to England, depopulated vs. unpopulated, left behind, I can just live here, you have to build up capital, the story of us all, Connor’s cohort moved away, capital demands that you move, a mobile society, you have to move, deep connections, is choice real?, its not that Quatermass wants to kill all the people around him its just that’s what humans do, memory transmissions or activation, are those the ones we must kill?, everybody is on team lynch, The Hanging Stranger by Philip K. Dick, Invasion Of The Body Snatchers, capital is an eerie concept conjured from nothing and it directs everything (its the invisible hand), shadowy, the way it influences people is eerie, The Red Riding trilogy, who kills him?, the opening scene, the Space Needle, Seattle, a parade, a politician on a float, glad-handing, assassination, an assassin for the assassin, JFK’s assassination, Oswald and Ruby, I’m a patsy, lots and lots of evidence that the official story is bullshit, forty minutes into the movie, Hobbs And Shaw (2019) is garbage, there is no other responsible party he can turn to, deceiving the cops, its almost like this movie is about science, papers on Ivermectin’s use for treatment of covid, we have to do our own investigations, subject to the capitalist forces all around us, the tenuous connections as seen in the film, what it is a good movie (it allows participation by the viewer), when he deceives his handler, a snipe hunt to Hawaii, the guy who was driving the politician, what makes it weird or eerie is it is an unusual even that is difficult to replicate, meat robots with computers in our heads, a strong (non obvious connection), vaccines and the eeriness of capital, motivated by gaining capital, corporations are free floating motivation, ally yourself with a corporate team, a strong impulse, countries outside of the system like Cuba is making vaccines too, selling off our infrastructure and talent, one of the weirdest things: health Canada name changes for vaccines, a banding exercise, Washington Redskins, if you a person with principles you will do badly under capitalism, capitalism needs flexibility from its workers, a class of people who live on rent from other people, and a class of people who live on rent from investment, bitcoin mining, if you are willing to compromise your principles capitalism is for you, left behind or forgotten, make this a hypothetical, a continual drive to do more with less, people are lining up to be exploited, Ernst & Young, exploited, behind the scenes, everyone wants to be the person noticed, coercive, you’re not a company man, more overtime, how that effects the modern family, one of the national, the Liberal federal government (in Canada) and the NDP provincial government, early cheaper childcare, we have institutions for that, what the fuck went wrong?, is there a bottom to this?, the French revolution, the food problem vs. the housing problem, students in his classroom, a kid was wearing headphones in class, a confabulated story, the real answer is the thesis of his book, i can’t even hear it, I am that guy and I know those kids, Jesse is a weird guy, bone conduction headphones, do two podcasts a week, an excuse to hide what Jesse’s really afraid of, students can’t read sentences because they’re boring, I’m not allowed to play computer games, girls have it easier for school, give him a sword and throw him into a war, built into us as creatures, programmed into us, wealthy kids or adopted by wealthy people, exposure to the classics of literature, there are people who buy books, most people don’t read at all, the way people interact with words, words as symbols, word pictures, resistant to hashtags, the value of hashtags is irony, hashtags are a great way to punctuate a joke, using hashtags unironically is scary, more difficulty focusing, in his own writing, Weird Al Yankovic, intellectual stimulation, radio from the 1970s, we have instant access to whatever kind of streaming we want, you can do images on twitter, what’s the appeal of Instagram, twitter threads, removing capitals or adding punctuation or the clap emoji, taking in words through their eyes, bad spelling on youtube comments, why should they be ashamed?, twitter doesn’t need an edit button, gaslit all the time?, everything goes down the memory hole, the PDF Page was down for three weeks, being lied to about what the reality was, OCR, people change things over the years, this was that, an anthology of stories from different authors, the skeleton of the thing rather than the thing itself, the editorial introduction can sometimes tell you how to read, reality is slippery enough as it is, no one has time to read these classic works of literature, books written to be book length, filler and examples, the school industry, audible audiobooks, fetishizing reading, H.P. Podcraft is essentially a story summary podcast, Jesse doesn’t summarize stories, talking about The Outsider by H.P. Lovecraft, Surfacing by Margaret Atwood, Oryx And Crake, the argument Jesse makes to himself, an independent senator is shot, some other guy is shot, what kind of movie is it?, a crazy movie, these guys were indicted, it connects up, enter the contest, a core idea, the eerie events that happen with the film are all agented but not explained, innocuous events leading to innocuous events leading to unusual events, inferring there’s a bomb on the plane, this is the scientific process, your life my depend on a hypothesis, once we put our ideas out there that’s science, a consensus as to what was an wasn’t a good movie, a relatively new magazine, classic stories, technical objection, classic fiction from 2020?, we have some reprints too, the word “classic” is to bootstrap more sales, truth had value at one point, lying is something we think is bad because it interferes with our understanding with reality, what makes it true is that it has been tested and tested and tested over time, realism, what’s really happening?, what lie are we telling ourselves?, deep down you know it is a falsehood, sometimes it is genuine merit, some people have an ability to be productive, nepotism, how hard you seem to be working, Paul’s job, what happens, giving someone a promotion can create another problem, teachers grading themselves, outsourcing the job, whose the best shot in the unit?, teaching essay writing to grade 3 kids, eight year olds can’t write essays, judging essays, the factory Maoist element, what matters is they’re always making some improvement, make the writing fun for you, hauntology, Mr Jim Moon could be a BBC all by himself, defining people’s view of the present, 2022 is haunted by the past image of 2022, Back To The Future (1985), where’s my flying car?, we’re gonna be on Mars, optimism crumbling to pessimism, Jesse lived in a pirate town, the reason Star Wars (1977) looks the way it does is the WWII imagery, Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon, we’re haunted by the endless Star Wars, the VHS tapes and constant broadcasts on HBO damaged us, The Tempest by Willy Shakes, a live performance, professional actors, 400 years of performances are gone and snuffed out, we can watch Ant Man (2015) over and over and over again, the new technology, capitalism’s virus is infecting us the way it wasn’t before, where’s the Jesse?, a treatment for immortality that requires you to delete your personality, Elidor by Alan Garner, Among Others by Jo Walton, media engagement, oral and visual cultures lecturer, drawing connections and creating a larger picture, a whitish name, math and chemistry tutoring, trained to study, a phone shapes a kid, playing games all night or watching streams, computer or video games are better than reading, sleep hygiene, it has only become more relevant, the repetition of culture, What Is Hauntology? by Mark Fisher, the way neoliberalism tends to reproduce rather than promote novelty, having real estate in somebody’s head is capital, how many TV shows exist now? 540 scripted English language TV shows, primetime, 3 hours a night for scripted TV, how is it that we’ve come to be able to support a larger number of scripted TV shows?, we’ve colonized people’s brains, there’s more people, with streaming you can have more than would fit on a channel, ABC 1 and 2, reruns in primetime, the original Star Trek, 700 Star Trek episodes, Netflix might be running a scam, there’s no independent auditing, a tulip inflation thing, now there’s all these shows and I can’t trust the reviews, IMBD is not trustworthy, what is valuable now is honesty about what’s worth your time, we’ve reversed our interaction with reality, blogs don’t exist anymore, blogging has turned into videos, how he became famous, a revise feature on Twitter, google street view through archiving, the difficulty of the world we live in now, how Connor got into early podcasts, new releases/recent arrivals, be the thing you want to see in the world, off the cuff thinking, chunks of words, people read that way, construct information just from hashtags, a symbol that conveys a bunch of information, at the beginning of the web, a spinning gif, engaging through apps, the difference between apps and programs, Jesse doesn’t ask for feedback, a serious storm, if you ask for things you get it, soliciting comments, when things go wrong, what people like about the podcast, stuff where we go off topic, a weird catchup at the start of podcasts, ideas in science fiction, through characters (people who wrote those books), Isaac Asimov is more like an encyclopedia, Philip K. Dick will definitely hit on my wife, there’s no such real thing as going off topic, why Joe Rogan is popular, leading to interested places, the after show and the pre-show as extra material, Reading, Short And Deep is popular but has fewer downloads, older people enjoy the shorter format show, a little breathing room, everything is relevant even tangentially, its important to not overthink what people don’t tell you about, issue both praise and criticism, you can trust me and I can trust me, comics reviews, goddamn this art is so good, Providence by Jacen Burrows and Alan Moore, a deep passion in two directions, we should call out the crappy things, this show will be out in seven months, when shownoting later, wait six months and see how you feel, when 9/11, a cathode ray tube, “this is not going to go well”, they’re not going to do this right, see how politicians voted, what they said back then, keeping a consistency of character over a long period of time is the opposite of gaslighting, at what point in a movie do you say this is fucked I’m out of here?, if they don’t care why do I care?, a new world parrot in Europe in 1300, a set dresser or somebody didn’t care, the only reason they do things is: squeeze more money (out of this product in your head), things are becoming more generic, 5 Spider-Man reboots, way more weird movies, an independent weird fiction movie The Endless (2017), shitty capitalist jobs, Heaven’s Gate cult, Algernon Blackwood’s The Willows, time relations, he’s really saying something, a shopping list, its our job to find the three things and say this is what you want, I am satisfied with the work, click a like button or rate out of five, iTunes reviews, the ratings are all gamed, fake followers, movies have incredible interest in doing this, Netflix’s rating system, a mini-scandal, manipulating you to trey to engage more, an existential movie disguised as a political thriller, The Stone Tape (1972), the reveal at the end, the way they portrayed the entity within the stones, Nigel Kneale has got the goods, real science fiction, an unlikable character but more real as a human being, Quatermass (1979), a millenarian end of the world, difficult concepts, they’re actually about the same thing, information within unalive objects, things that are dead, nothing is alive, somethings that are dead are temporarily alive, things that are locked inside, skulls, relics from five million years ago, there’s nothing alive there, in this race to compete, L. Ron Hubbard’s Scientology, trauma in our own lives, go clear, wouldn’t this be interesting?, why are we doing that? for reasons., there is no alternative, both of them start from a supernatural perspective, what mark Fisher is doing too, on the periphery of reality, I wasn’t doing this ironically, you don’t know what you’re doing, if you are a person who stood by principle you couldn’t have got in that position (or if you do what happens?), the company exists, who or what is running the company, somebody could do this, A Clockwork Orange (1971), that’s not a lie that’s a metaphor, people are subscribed to the Snickers account, the central argument of capitalist realism, is there any alternative?, a comedy thesis that could be true, the public square, gravity [monopoly], you’re a part of the system, Aaron Swartz, Unauthorized Bread by Cory Doctorow, Case from Neuromancer, creative commons, RSS, out from behind a paywall, blogs were killed, youtube, twitter, blogs, podcasts are the only thing that is left that is independent, Spotify, Audible has a podcast reader, the iPod and the ability to look for podcast submitted to iTunes, claim your podcast, just break the connection between the independent people, before Facebook there was MySpace, sharecropper, they killed this kid, Julian Assange, rentseeking, Jstor, he contributed so much to modern internet technology, not playing by the rules, not a billionaire and so he’s dead, writing about places you’ve never been, you don’t know how they go through a doorway, where does he plug in his iPhone, modern fantasy novels are Dungeons & Dragons, worldbuilding, when electricity came into being, how can you possibly teach me anything if the basic things you’re telling me are already wrong, does A Game Of Thrones have Earth’s Moon, a lot of nudity to distract us, a picture of Scott with George R.R. Martin, a floppy disk camera, the entourage of women, the con suite party, The Mystery Of Sylmare by Hugh Irish, Irish hue would be green, The Wind In The Willows by Kenneth Grahame, a fable with humans being the animals, a whisper version of The Wind In The Willows on Librivox, just a sex thing, proof listening, Wayne June, reading Edgar Allan Poe is way easier, a cosmicism poem for Reading, Short And Deep, one of the bests little sections, The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien, free as in speech or free as in beer?, gratis vs. libre, a good name for a political party: The Guillotine Party, all the billionaires get the chop but they all get ice cream, Elon Musk is last in line, we start from a position of guillotining everybody, when we get somebody up on the debate stage, the A.I. Party, we’ve tried the humans in charge and it isn’t working out, don’t let the Dems and the Repubs set the parameters for the debate, we kinda need a hardass, when Trump got kicked off twitter but was still president, these are all cops.

The Weird And The Eerie by Mark Fisher

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The SFFaudio Podcast #671 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: The Watcher At The Threshold by John Buchan

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #671 – The Watcher At The Threshold by John Buchan – read by Connor Kaye. This is a complete and unabridged reading of the story (55 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Evan Lampe, and Connor Kaye

Talked about on today’s show:
Harper’s, December 1900, distraight is a word, distraight is distracted, hearth, fucking deep!, the reference level, operating on a different continent, an earlier period, Supernatural Horror In Literature, August Derleth, The Lurker at the Threshold, the first half, Evan’s bike, prepared for the subtext, folk horror as a genre, the earliest examples of folk horror, a weird tales with hints of folk horror, so good, its hard, nothing happens in this story, coffee and dinner, a restaurant in a small town nearby, an email or something, better than a lot of Lovecraft stories, kinda banal on the service, a friend going around the bend, that moment on that ride together, the evening in the library, Roman history, Roman law, just a few paragraphs, all this happens in the very very end of the story, scenes we can read out, way deeper, hallucinating a little bit, clearer simpler movie, The Grove Of Ashtaroth, no girl, set in Africa (probably Rhodesia), Roman/Scottish folk horror, Semitic folk horror, dynamite and shotgun everything, a descent into a cave, Ash Tree Press, another of Buchan’s weird tales No Man’s Land, take the best scenes in making a comic, a dog cart and a lady at the door, don’t look at that sculpture over there, the narrator is a bit odd, the narrator is a lawyer on vacation, he’s come from Norway, a storycap, in love with his cousin, our narrator is not interested in the story (as much as his cousin), he’s kinda dumb but good at dropping all the hints, the opening, 189_, why is he hiding the year from us, a “true story”, the footnote also makes it a “true story”, lustful after a cousin, I can take her away from here and we can be together (and dump this guy), a familial duty, a former love, she was better off to marry him, he was in love with her, there to service her needs (not his), there’s some sort of underlying thing going on, where he got this from, underdeveloped for a modern audience, not a rip-roaring, The Fall Of The House Of Usher by Edgar Allan Poe, this mid-Atlantic region, Buchan has read Poe, a great setup, what kind of disease does this guy have?, a venereal disease, no successful treatment for the Maupassant disease, The Horla etc., syphilis, a disease of the heart, his left side, always talking about woodcocks, a hillclimb?, billiards, our narrator is dumb, a “sun-worshipper”, the moor is indistinct, he’s not a weird fiction fan, Ladlaw, his disastrous trip to Norway for the hunting, never explained, grumpy the whole time, the case is not going well, eager to get back, too weird for me, I can’t solve it, way to uncomfortable, compared with the fresh highland glen all was chilly and dull and dead, a very bad temper, other John Buchan works, the Clan Roydens, you know the house., who is he talking to?, on the moors, walks and hunts and fishes, pleasant people in the house, a fortnight in Norway, overly dramatic, he just likes shooting, when we finally get to the letter, a PS and another PS, my affectionate cousin, laidlow, Bob is terribly ill and I’m crazy, it is not doctor’s business, he’s dying, she has the same infection, a whole other level to his researches playing a role, shotgunning a goddess, 100% supernatural vs. a supernatural story (a possession story) and venereal disease, Barry Pain, laurels, death figure and life figure, Madam Blavatsky and the Theosophists, a symbolist painting, talking about his left side, kinda dumb, its the devil, in the universe of the story, Justinian making a deal with the devil, Laidlaw, Sybil, Theodora, hip deep in Theosophy, Falun Gong, congregationalist church with theosophy on the side, why this story is so weird, technical things, why is Lovecraft so racist, not everybody was into Theosophy, not ancient Biblical stuff, very specifically about Justinian, law school for a minute, he doesn’t read that much, I’m not going to tell you the story as he said it, set it down exactly as it is said, our narrator than the audience, John Buchan is laying it down so heavy, page 802, three fools alone in the dank upland, gobbling his food and getting scared at his napkin, a mad tea party with a vengeance, the doormouse and the hatter, Alice In Wonderland, Theodora -> a doormouse -> a watcher by the threshold, watching her husband at the threshold of death, very atmospheric and moody, gruesome and spooky, they don’t have any ducks for me to shoot, The Tomb, The Case Of Charles Dexter Ward, details about ancient defensive structures, a Yithian taking him over?, a reincarnation?, a past life exposed by this illness?, what he’s been doing, it used to be full of books about badminton, neat and scholarly (I hated it), horses and shooting, how much time doing Lovecraftian research, the secret history of Justinian, all real books, roll against Library Science, made a deal with the devil, The Thing On The Doorstep, The Shadow Out Of Time, the relationship between Scotland and Justinian, the Roman Inheritance: Christianity and Law, Edward Bulwer Lytton’s Zanoni, confronted by every aspirant, really lame spirituality, it covers everything, Justinian and Theodora are both saints, how they’re really rotten, an evil whore actress, an egoist, how much labour is involved in keeping the estate up, the town is full of poor people, a groom, the employee, they want to go on vacation, a class criticism, the narrator is unaware of class, Robert -> Robin, his sinister side, more bookish, Justinian’s bust, the spirit of Justinian was inside the bust?, the footnote, sleeping trouble, Delacroix Byzantium, the intertextual, The Horla theory, the disease that shall not be named, infected with Justinian’s disease, right up to but not including Scotland, The Rats In The Walls, 18th century England and Rome, John Buchan was an imperialist, WWI, The Thirty Nine Steps, on the path of being responsible for the extinction of a goddess, friends at school, some sort of fascinating connection, “going to seed”, they come into their flower and then go to seed, seedy = disreputable, why Poe and Lovecraft are so different, there are bigger issues than girls, the role of Justinian, he’s a Lovecraftian character, the most basic interpretation, the same spirit or demon, he recognized his own symptoms, Secret History by Procopius, this is an echo of that, textual verification, an amorphous shadow, the divide between the spiritual world and the modern reality, something’s attached to him through that divide, sundown syndrome, you lawyers, sounds like Lovecraft talking, this Mannan, the real landscape, the red earth and the red rock and the red streams of the hills, a new gospel, it would kill materialism, the poets who have deified nature, the profundity, the shaggy somber eyed forefather, wise wise, a queer land nowadays, inscrutable, an important part of this story, reading it literally, the Howard Lovecraft debate about civilization, law tames it, the Mad Hatter, the basic laws of the Enlightenment, 1900, fin de siecle, the yellow nineties, at a precipice, a gilded age, hints of Nietzsche, law can save us, getting that empire back, why is the land red red red, what’s missing is all the people, the Picts, what we think they were like, druids vs. the national spirit of Germany, Tacitus, Buchan’s a Scot who’s part of Empire, servants of Empire, this Empire shit is really bad, keeps the books on rich people’s investments, Montrose by John Buchan, the Jacobites are mentioned, a billiards game sort of story, I would show you the back of simple nature, the groom, I must have speed or go mad, til the ghoulish elder world, a solitary lit window, the red desert?, we’re having trouble picking it all up, putting all the work in, not filmable, a comedic narrator character, I’m a simple guy, I just like shooting things, how’s he gonna help?, the house literally cracks apart and collapses into the surrounding tarn, a metaphor for venereal disease, where are the kids in this family?, the house of MORE, the end of the cycle of empire, we’ve reached our peak, its all downhill from there, Buchan is very much like Ladlaw, photos of Buchan as Governor General in Canada, all the native tribes, Indians, Innu, and Inuit, when the royals come to Canada, you’re a part of the tribe now, a plains Indian headdress, the royal estate, the natives have a closer relationship to Britain than Canada does, Lord Beaverbrook, neo-Jacobites, the Stuart heirs, the divine right of kings, the Scottish kings, political conservatism, send him to Australia, in a way that the Welsh aren’t, engineers of Empire are Scottish, Airstrip One etc., either Scottish independence or a Jacobite restoration, more Buchan, The Green Wildebeest, No Man’s Land by John Buchan, way out into the moors of Scotland, Picts, Worms Of The Earth by Robert E. Howard, brutal but also wise, action packed!, less deep?, he got a writing career in addition, The Thirty-Nine Steps is a potboiler, parallel to this house of More, page 805, the actress harlot devotee, shapeless thing at his side, he dumb, the man in the chair before me, grim earnest, nonsense or no, devilish fancy, two inappropriate laughs, you doofus, he’s a real jerk, horribly anxious, giggling to himself, so insensitive, camped out outside the library, its the devil, oh, you’re serious, always dismissing, wry senses no jokes, clever wordplay, we see it as funny because of our distance, mooching, his ecosystem, Clan Roydens, his Lovecraftian universe, being a Scottish Lord, filing off the serial numbers, a very realistic story, for money, endless vacation time, non-productive lords, a slight realization, all built on labour and the deaths of people who lived here, the official histories are followed by the secret histories, a small incident among upper class twits, a hypocrite but he admits it, subversive in the sense that these upper class people are fucked, Will Emmons says science fiction comes in lots of different flavours but fantasy is for elitists, an Irish Lord and an Oxford don, diplomat, soldier, and writer, he’s solid, Ambrose Bierce is so subversive of his own text, all irony all the time, he’s having fun, William Gibson is always talking about what things are made of, an ironic overlay, adventurey overlay, stymied at all opportunities, a weird thing to do to your story, what the hell is this, so different and boring (comparatively), Supernatural Horror In Literature, his weirdest story, the atmosphere is great, The Weird And The Eerie by Mark Fisher, what is weird?, what is eerie?, the moor is eerie, this vast empty thing, the situation with Ladlaw was weird, leave it and never resolve, you should know what these things are, no resolution, publishers probably hate that, available as an audiobook, tackling many different films and TV shows and books, Prester John by John Buchan.

The Watcher By The Threshold by John Buchan

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