WGBH/PRI: Sound & Spirit: Neil Gaiman talking about Sandman

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Sound & SpiritWGBH/PRI’s Sound & Spirit was a music show, by Ellen Kushner.

Now I’m not much for music, and many people think I’m all wet on the subject, but a chance to hear the great Neil Gaiman talking about The Sandman again is worth me doing a little wading.

The Gaiman content begins shortly after the 32 minute mark. There’s also a nice bit of Gilbert & Sullivan near the end. Here’s the official description:

Prophecies, solutions to pressing problems, windows to the soul… Dreams are wellsprings of creativity, a place where our life and the shadowlands meet. Join Ellen Kushner for a conversation with the Sandman graphic novel author Neil Gaiman; and hear music written about or even received in dreams by Alan Hovhaness, David Maslanka (based on work of Carl Jung) and world artists from Hawaii to Australia.


Posted by Jesse Willis

To The Best Of Our Knowledge: S.T. Joshi on H.P. Lovecraft (and Cosmicism)

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To The Best Of Our KnowledgeI posted about this To The Best Of Our Knowledge segment (and two others) back in 2009, but it’s worth a repost.

The video version below only includes the second segment, which is an excerpt from Garrick Hagon’s reading of Lovecraft’s The Call of Cthulhu and host Jim Fleming’s talk with S.T. Joshi about Lovecraft’s philosophy of “cosmicism.”

Cosmicism, according to Wikipedia, is the “philosophical position that mankind is an insignificant aspect of a universe at best indifferent and hostile.” Though putting it that way it seems to me that “cosmicism” is not so much a philosophical position as just an informed viewpoint.

And bonus How Big is the Universe? from Minute Physics:

Posted by Jesse Willis

To The Best Of Our Knowledge: Philip K. Dick

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To The Best Of Our KnowledgePublic Radio International’s To The Best Of Our Knowledge has a new Philip K. Dick special up. Here’s how they describe it:

Nobody blurred the line between his life and his literature more than the legendary science-fiction author, Philip K. Dick. And that’s only fitting since one of the major themes of his fiction is, “What is reality?” This week we take a look at the life and work of the man who’s been described as “one of the most valiant psychological explorers of the twentieth century,” as we commemorate the 30th anniversary of his death.

And here’s the list of speakers:
Jim Fleming, Steve Paulson, Anne Strainchamps, Jonathan Lethem, Anne Dick, Umberto Rossi, and David Gill.

Here’s the audio |MP3| but I’m afraid the file isn’t directly HuffDuffable (though it does readily download).

[via TotalDickHead and BoingBoing]

Posted by Jesse Willis

To The Best Of Our Knowledge: The Future of Science Fiction

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To The Best Of Our KnowledgeTo The Best Of Our Knowledge on The Future of Science Fiction (broadcast November 23rd, 2008) features two exclusive interviews. One with Ursula K. Le Guin, in which she calls herself a “geek” and one with George R.R. Martin who thinks the distinctions between literary genres are rather unimportant. Also on board are excerpts from two audiobooks (Dreamsongs by George R.R. Martin – Random House Audio and The Call Of Cthulhu by H.P. Lovecraft – Landfall Productions). Consequently this is my kind of show!

Here’s the official description:

Space, the final frontier. But is science fiction the final frontier when it comes to being a literature of ideas? In this hour of To the Best of Our Knowledge, we’ll wax philosophical about science fiction with two of the genre’s greatest writers — George R.R. Martin and Ursula K. Le Guin. And we’ll explore H.P. Lovecraft’s literary philosophy of “Cosmicism.”


George R.R. Martin has been called the American Tolkien. His epic fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire is up to the forthcoming volume five; and he’s published two volumes of Dreamsongs, a career-spanning anthology of his science fiction, fantasy and horror short stories with short connective essays. Martin tells Jim Fleming that he thinks all fiction is about ideas and that only the furniture changes, that is the details of setting, character and storytelling style that the author chooses to use. And we hear Martin read an excerpt from Volume I of Dreamsongs. Also, Ursula K. Le Guin is one of the most honored writers of science fiction we have. Her latest book is called Lavinia. She talks with Steve Paulson about science fiction as a literature of ideas.


We hear an excerpt from the Landfall Productions audiobook production of H.P. Lovecraft’s 1926 The Call of Cthulu, read by Garrick Hagon. And Jim Fleming talks with S.T. Joshi, author of the acclaimed 700 page biography H.P. Lovecraft: A Life. Joshi says Loveraft was always interested in pure science and has many imitators among contemporary writers. And we hear some music from the band H. P. Lovecraft.


Istvan Csicsery-Ronay, Jr. is the author of The Seven Beauties of Science Fiction. He tells Anne Strainchamps where the title of his book came from, and outlines several of the beauties

Have a listen |MP3| to the 53 minute show.

[via HuffDuffer.com]

Posted by Jesse Willis

PRI’s Selected Shorts: Beyond Lies The Wub by Philip K. Dick

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Public Radio International’s Selected ShortsPublic Radio International’s Selected Shorts (an event at New York’s Symphony Space, in which actors read classic and new short fiction before a live audience) recently had Art Spiegelman (comic book auteur) and Françoise Mouly (art editor of The New Yorker) pick some short stories for a series of live readings. One of them was Philip K. Dick’s Beyond Lies the Wub! Spiegleman introduces the tale. It’s interesting to hear this familiar and excellent tale read live. Narrator Denis O’Hare doesn’t perform it as a regular audiobook narrator would, but it’s kind of fun to hear a different take on it. Compare this version to the excellent Wonder Audio version.

Beyond Lies The Wub
By Philip K. Dick; Read by Denis O’Hare
1 |MP3|* – Approx. 22 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Broadcaster: PRI / Selected Shorts
Broadcast: April 13, 2008
*The story runs from 13:54-35:05

Here’s the podcast feed:


[Thanks Esther!]

Posted by Jesse Willis