The SFFaudio Podcast #699 – READALONG: The Doomed City by Arkady Strugatsky and Boris Strugatsky

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #699 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, Marissa VU, and Bryan Alexander talk about The Doomed City by Arkady Strugatsky and Boris Strugatsky.

Talked about on today’s show:
Strugatsky, 1989 kind of, 1972, late 1960s, how to classify this book’s publication story, who had read this before, Roadside Picnic, weird late publication, Stalker (1979), 2017 audiobook, the afterword, the introduction, Soviet science fiction, literature in the Soviet Union, Red Plenty, if a book doesn’t have a manuscript, if it doesn’t get read by readers it doesn’t exist, the carbon copy, a book that can frustrate people, not really a science fiction novel as much as it is an existential novel, a role playing game made out of this setting, a worker in a big office building, possessed vending machines, Control, freak your shit out, single player video game, garbage worker, baboons show up, wander off into the North, jump off the precipice, Disco Elysium, strange philosophical conversations, skill tree, intrusive thoughts, weird psychology, hilarious, playing it straight, completely deranged, develop different relationships with people, a meta, did this book remind you of any books?, Dark City (1998), an undefined place and time, 1950s Leningrad, Driftwood by Marie Brennan, fantasy kingdom, squeezed towards the center, City At the End Of Time by Greg Bear, dream-like reality, the Red Building, Cinnabar [by Edward Bryant], M. John Harrison’s Viriconium series, resonance, Plato’s The Republic, The Just City by Jo Walton, The Investigation by Stanisław Lem, the Riverworld series by Philip Jose Farmer, To Our Scattered Bodies Go, chess board, internal stuff, John Brunner’s The Squares Of The City, moving people around, Charles Stross’ Missile Gap, an Alderson disc, ICBMs no longer work, the Siege Of Leniningrad, Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell, The Drowned World by J.G. Ballard, The Half-Made World by Felix Gilman, Last Exit by Max Gladstone, the pyramid, A Maze Of Death, Solar Lottery by Philip K. Dick, Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer, The City And The Stars by Arthur C. Clarke, amalgamated and reconstituted, a book about art, The Wall Of Darkness by Arthur C. Clarke, Super Science Stories, July 1949, Hannes Bok, Virgil Finlay, distinctive styles, contemplating a stairway and holding a Möbius strip, an Elon Musk style character funds a stairway to see over a wall, awesome story, an Omni story, The Infinite Plane by Paul J. Nahin, Travel By Wire by Arthur C. Clarke, the food becomes poison, the clock of the Long Now [Foundation], left handed food, no comparative thoughts, The Truman Show (1998), artificial worlds, the Soviet context, the heroic stage, friendly with a Nazi, the end, art and culture being the greatest good, the Temple, powerful writing, the Siege of Leningrad, I was in Cambodia, I was in Waco with Koresh, the most lethal, a rival source of power, the Soviet center, the great strategist, playing chess with human bodies, another Omni story, imaginary numbers, math fiction, a Soviet peasant makes a set of chessmen, capitalists vs. workers, enchantment, how chess can be played, it doesn’t matter if your king is taken, Nineteen Eighty-Four, the truth is whatever I tell you it is, angel/alien, a deeply flawed main character, he wants to leave the library, an emblem, not answering that stuff, this is us on Earth here, randomocracy, it’s just happening, the ethnography, Swedes, Germans, Koreans, an American with a cowboy hat, that open time, so global, the existential element, everybody is here, we’re told it is voluntary, you died there, bud, a camouflaged criticism, everybody will become communist, continue the program, lacking geographic specificity, NATO, good branding, if you have faith, there are no kids in this city, a garbage collector to a policeman to the mayor to the president to the leader of an expedition, doctors too?, a lawyer, bricklayer, somewhat failing experiment, it can only be failed, out of control, German efficiency, a classic utopian thing, The Lottery In Babylon by Jorge Luis Borges, a gardener, a response to a reality, you can not fall any further, a stoic philosophy, choosing not to be upset, willing to suffer the swamps, pleasant swamps, 1950s gulag, city/country divide, the farmers, the Truckers this week, coming into the city in a convoy, one of these farmers has a machine gun, we need that machinegun to get rid of the baboons, policies made in extremis, German POWs lodged with farmers, trapped on the continent, we called that slavery, 3rd amendment to the U.S. constitution, the baboon invasion, a metaphor for something, Dan Simmons’ The Terror, leaded meat, going insane, the crystal palace, endless plain, monsters, a premonition, the giant statue, an obvious super-metaphor, Stalin and Lenin statues, William Hope Hodgson, the heat death of the Solar System, The Night Land, geothermal energy, an anti-city, wireless transmission, a horseless knight with a circular saw, a geological force, a 17th century gentleman, existential and talky, a classical romance in an insane setting, there is meaning in images and events, we are not privy, the stuff that is not there, the guy who issues the toilet paper, important notes, committee meeting minutes, a curious puppy, playing the game in his way, giggling at everything, anti-semitism, he gets the last word, he’s the brains of the operation, physically jewish, an engagement with judaism, what the temple is about, producing culture, respecting the intellect, the people of the book, Jerusalem and Moscow, crazy reviews, misogyny, skank (not slattern), a Soviet style phrase, whiny sluts, wankrags for the guys, udders, in the police station, I don’t have that file, we don’t know everybody’s backstory, how could you?, no woman’s perspective, the basic pass on this is they are in Hell, Earth is Hell, capable of receiving pain, if you want to stay alive you have to kill, what are we to do, the experiment is the experiment, the devil god, hunger isn’t the problem we just don’t have enough food, our swedish friend, the military skank, they pickup somehow, everything that’s elided, previous iterations of the city, left incomplete, going downstairs to sleep with her, corrupted, WWII into the 1970s, a story of disillusionment, very Colonel Kurtz, Aguirre, The Wrath Of God (1972), the book begins with shit, the book ends with shit, reflected things, her beautiful white pristine legs, scabs bruises and abscesses, physically degenerating, their will is breaking, a blank landscape allows for deep reflection, Lena on Goodreads:

Depressing surreal social criticism that pretends to be a sci-fi. The parody on communism and soviet propaganda is quite obvious, but the story also takes deeper study of human society and nature. One star for misogyny, disgusting realism and unnecessary cruelty. Moreover authors didn’t give any explanation to the world-building nor uncover any plot’s mysteries.

where the reader has gone wrong, a funhouse mirror, through a mirror darkly, satire makes it sound like its fun, showing us truths, a misogynistic, its already in the world, when the revolution happens, sees the results, the emphasis on diarrhea and dysentery, things start in the gutter, a shit job, simple, available for you to see, the opening was terrific, The tanks were rusty, dented, and their lids were lose, potato husks, the mouth of an unkempt indiscriminate food pelican, a competent cop, it’s going to be gone when they get there, Andre is pretty incompetent, he doesn’t want to understand, haunted by the end, the temple speech, humanities, an astronomer, a sky that has one star and doesn’t move, Theodore Sturgeon’s Microcosmic God, the neoterrics, Sandkings by George R.R. Martin, just neglect, the humanities vs. the sciences, the mute mentor, circles, the emphasis on fecal matter, the afterlife, blast away at somebody, there’s no art in this city, all these shitty pulp magazines, no great writers, no great poets, a complaint, they’re not here, in the outer world, always in development, a very meta-book, its hard to write good art, are we writing good art?, a book review inside of a book, showing television in Robocop (1987), a condemnation of society, abundance riots, Nazi art, I don’t understand anything, reveal the truth about their world, the truth of the Red building, all will be revealed, nope, the authors know what they’re doing, Roadside Picnic [Stalker (1979)], Swiftian misanthropy, American conservative literature, apes and monkeys as a critique of Darwin, that realistic, that bestial, casually fucking in the streets, monkeys, an incredibly dark view, aren’t we?, a fishtank, to quote Marlowe, a decisive ending, raising our science fiction and fantasy hope, a meta-science fiction book, not a fantasy, following the rules, fantastic, Exhalation by Ted Chiang, Plato’s The Republic, H.G. Wells’ The War Of The Worlds, crappy adventure stories, later you became obsessed with it, the strivings of a story like The War Of The Worlds are to put us in our place, this is what you really are, have yourself humbled, we are humbled, a mimetic sense, what would we do if we were placed in this very strange RPG, more shit is around the next corner, worship at the temple in the crystal palace, William G. Shepherd, Omni, Discovery, Popular Science, Popular Mechanics, is that the best we can hope for?, a minority adds to and maintains the temple, the temple persists, participate in keeping the temple going is a great way of life, six months of a magazine, nobody’s going to look at them, a friend in Australia, the little builder, somebody else’s job, its not Jesse’s job to put Jesse’s statue up in the temple, his job is to polish the temple steps, and point people in the right direction to find the right book inside the temple if they come by, maybe call them in from the street, no donation needed, they walk by and spit on Jesse, coral reef, all of our art, if you’re not creating, hiding hoping the squid doesn’t eat him, Jesse the clownfish, Hemingway, drunk, pedophile, Dostoevsky was an extreme right-winger, the temple creators are flawed, the canon contains shit but it has beauty within the shit, horrible creators, whatever politics is now, cancel culture, the pederast Tchaikovsky, thief and gallows-bird, O. Henry was an embezzler, Ezra Pound, open fascist, defender of the Soviet Union, defending human rights abuses, the temple that endures, whatever flag people are waving, holding up the flag, wearing a flag is an act that is very different, planting a flag on your house, when the flags come out, in division, this doomed city, it’s important, nationalities are incidental, all united as doomed, yesterday’s enemy, when you strip them of the flag, this kind of work is important, a suggestive sketch, points it’s making, high poetry, as an aesthetic way to be, endings are disappointing (usually), where it takes you to emotionally, did he shoot himself?, he met himself and he shot himself, it’s left open, capable of killing the best person we know, capable of self destruction, capable of destroying other human beings, he pulled a pistol out of the holster, tall tattered exhausted with a dirty beard, a return shot, he doesn’t check his cap, not being able to recognize this other, a mirror, he’s shooting himself, sitting in his tent, all the possible things he can do to avoid what needs doing, how you maintain discipline, these are animals, the traditional way of doing it, The One Black Stain by Robert E. Howard, Solomon Kane, Sir Francis Drake, Magellan, returns to England, you can now murder people because you are a chief of an expedition, the maritime tradition, they are the law, they can marry people, the dominant navy on the planet, unless you’re a pirate and have signed the articles, a precedent, you’re a bad person, you’re a coward, the Golden Hind, head in hands, wracked with doubt, the misery of having killed a friend for a wrong reason, we put ourselves in these Hells, regretting or doubling down, I didn’t choose to be here, nobody explains how the , no authorial infodump for us, the anti-Neal Stephenson, the thermodynamics of the big wall, deal with it, what does it mean that the sun is off, is it a coincidence?, is it a sign?, about to become a dictator, the Russian kitchen drinking scene, here it is, they’re all completely disagreeing with each other but not actually coming to blows over anything, it’s just talk, pretty deep, not something we see in American literature that often, written about drinking, F. Scott Fitzgerald, a manly thing to do, a classy thing to do, very realistic, all the russian drinking, before the blackout, the snacks, all the stages of inebriation, a positive, a bright spot, the party, Raymond Chandler, a rich guy drinking himself to death, set in Los Angeles, blendy, Dashiell Hammett, hiding the truth of reality by drinking, Mike Hammer, American detective stories are about uncovering reality, that guy was beating his wife, somebody died, his daughter killed herself, hiding the truth through alcohol vs. a communal defiance against the reality they already acknowledge, the vomiting, more thoughts, Herodotus on the persian court, Peter the Great, the drunken synod of fools, Stalin plying with vodka, in vino veritas is legit, WWII, Churchill couldn’t go 2 weeks without his prescription alcohol, Nixon drunk, Yeltsin, russians thought he drank too much, Voltaire’s conclusion Candide, a dark russian take on Candide, zoom out a bit, one last russian thing, awkward conversations, the extreme opposite of Frank Herbert’s conversations, it’s painful to read, I don’t understand what you’re saying, the dialogue is very fun, pulling out 10,000 quotes, a commonplace book, self-journal, write down your dreams, a diary is very narcissistic, what twitter is for Jesse (a commonplace book), Paul’s Miscellany, whoever exercises power, man has to have a goal, hence the expedition, hence the experiment, we’ve got to do something, general outrage, goals and enemies, very easy to be uncharitable, words on a page, you don’t need to be outraged about everything, a set of beliefs is dangerous, a blob of ideas I’m currently carrying around, squish some of them, taking a model of what someone else is saying, how other people’s mannerisms work, ongoing public conversation, these vast swaths of people who comment, a massive list of comments, they’re talking to themselves, this is what you do because , when you see Jesse on twitter it’s because he has to wait 15 seconds, in the before times (pre-covid), monitoring mentions, believing in the conversation, great for connecting with people, a really interesting bookshelf, detecting outrage, plugins, moderate your anger, road rage is like twitter isolation, indistinct, a look of concentration and fear (or don’t), this person is the worst human being in the entire world, essentially bad drivers, perfectly nice people, an excuse for it, it’s hard not to be a hypocrite, how good is that narration?, he had a voice for everybody, good show, good take, by special request of Chowbacca, a random twitter guy, exactly, a fan of the show, looking forward to everyone’s thoughts, thank you so much @chowbacca415. make the temple as pretty and nice as possible, the temple is a library, trucks being impounded, ready when you are, Mentor, Mentor is actually Athena (in The Odyssey), how to deal with Circe, some of the characters are on hands experimenters, Touched By An Angel, like Quantum Leap but for christians, make things right, a science fiction explanation, mentoring, pedagogy, the last words of the book in russian, stacks of firewood, there’s a lot of burning to come, a demon or a devil, Athena’s hobby horse for Odysseus, he’s the wise and wily one, Heracles gets a special interest from Zeus, as a psychological story, Nietzsche, no psychological depth, Get Smart, cone of silence room, a black room, an anti-room somewhere in the house, there’s a metaphor there for you.

The Doomed City

Posted by Jesse WillisBecome a Patron!

Reading, Short And Deep #328 – The One Black Stain by Robert E. Howard

Podcast

Reading, Short And DeepReading, Short And Deep #328

Eric S. Rabkin and Jesse Willis discuss The One Black Stain by Robert E. Howard

Here’s a link to a PDF of the poem.

The One Black Stain was first published in The Howard Collector, #2 Spring 1962.

Podcast feed https://sffaudio.herokuapp.com/rsd/rss

Posted by Scott D. Danielson Become a Patron!

The SFFaudio Podcast #286 -AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: The Red One by Jack London

Podcast

Jack London's The Red One

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #286 – The Red One by Jack London; read by Oliver Wyman. This is an unabridged reading of the novelette (1 hour 3 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Bryan Alexander, and Oliver Wyman.

Talked about on today’s show:
Bryan and Ollie, 1918, WWI, Jack London in Hawaii, a super science fiction story, H.G. Wells, existential concerns, the misogyny and racism, “unbeautiful”, London was racist and anti-racist, Lovecraft, cosmic science fiction, a beautiful sad ending, a transcendent ending, the motifs (motives), head and finger injuries, head blown off, his guide loses his head, the final head chopping, the devil devil house, twisting in the smoke, breadfruit, banyan, God’s Grace by Bernard Malamud, the Solomon Islands, Guadalcanal, the mosquitoes, headhunting, blackbirding is essentially slavery, giant butterflies, the Atlas Moth, it’s not an alien spaceship is it?, Stephen King’s Dark Tower series, Philip K. Dick, unresolved endings, a potential stage production of Flow My Tears The Policeman Said, a giant alien head, the striker has helmeted figures, ancient astronauts is the next year, 1919, Charles Fort, Erich von Däniken, Jack London’s 10 Sex Tips, Cosmopolitan -> cosmos -> cosmetology, Rendezvous With Rama by Arthur C. Clarke, The Sentinel by Arthur C. Clarke, a tripwire, a Lovecraftian sense of the universe, explorer narratives, Mungo Park, Bassett,

“And beneath that roof was an aerial ooze of vegetation, a monstrous, parasitic dripping of decadent life- forms that rooted in death and lived on death.”

Robert E. Howard, Solomon Kane, Mexico, London stole from others and his own life, journal writing, Heart Of Darkness by Joseph Conrad, “the abrupt liberation of sound”, the walls of Jericho…, two score feet in length, an alien ark, the libraries of supermen from other stars?, the Jungian analysis, a giant egg with Bassett as a sperm, Earle Labor, the ending resonates, the red one as a mandala, from a distance it appears lacquered, fever dreams, childhood hallucinations and visions, what’s the logic behind head-hunting, mortification, the other white man’s head, helmeted figures sitting inside the mouths of crocodiles, a labour of thousands of years, the twelve tribes, breadfruit is called “nimbalo” in the Solomon Islands -> “nimbus”, ringmanu -> Manu -> the progenitor of all humanity, the twelve apostles, the red one is a voice, twelve deaf apostles, gospel = good news, cure it well, immortality, London was a super-atheist, Lovecraft was an atheist, the harsh horrifying reality of death, “the serene face of the Medusa. Truth.”, Lovecraft’s poems, Alethia Phrikodes, “Omnia risus et omnia pulvis et omnia nihil”, Thomas Ligotti, True Detective, “I think human consciousness, is a tragic misstep in evolution. … species to do is deny our programming, stop reproducing, walk hand in hand into extinction”, Edgar Allan Poe, Songs Of A Dead Dreamer, The Conspiracy Against The Human Race, Pseudopod The Bungalow House, being a narrator doesn’t give you time to read, comics maybe, The Manhattan Projects, dealing with the problem of physical, Rainbow’s End, Geoffrey Household, Limbo by Bernard Wolfe, not enough physical volume in the universe, books with maps, books with art, Eadweard Muybridge, Jeff Bezos, ebooks are notorious for not having good art in them, the art of Alex Ross as a PDF, London as a tangible writer, “a mighty cry of some titan of the elder world”, Olaf Stapledon, Starmaker, the separation of the soul and the body, you are your head, the martians in The War Of The Worlds, who is telling this story?, feelings and questions, The Call Of The Wild, he’s a basset hound chasing after a big red ball, London was a dog man, the two dog books, The Sea Wolf is an intense book, To Build Fire, “the cold of space”, a hypnagogic state, the physical and the philosophical, The Iron Heel, so many writers never leave the room where they write the book, the premise for The Red One was suggested by George Sterling, A Wine Of Wizardry, what if aliens sent a message to the earth and it was not understood, if it had been shot, the gun that doesn’t go off, King Kong and Skull Island, a cynical take on religion, the Cosmopolitan illustrations, definitely an artifice, the core of a star that fell to Earth, aliens came out and they killed them, ships or jet fighters, organic ships, the spore of the organic ships, Prometheus, worth looking at and listening to, the most expensive work of fan fiction ever made, the autodoc scene, this is the thing that didn’t need to be made, Alien, Ron Cobb and Geiger, 1966, the year of Star Trek and Batman, Alan Dean Foster, Alien: The Illustrated Story by Archie Goodwin and Walt Simonson, recent alien invasion fiction, Footfall, Protector by Larry Niven, infantilized aliens, the fruit of the tree of life, Forge Of God by Greg Bear, “I have bad news”, Orson Scott Card, reared by robots, astrogation, Anvil Of Stars by Greg Bear, Sundiver by David Brin, Forbidden Planet, Glen Cook‘s Starfisher series, Captain Harlock, Anathem by Neal Stephenson, William Dufris, the glossary, Gateway by Frederik Pohl, mushrooms, characters in therapy, one of the greatest works of Science Fiction period, the serialization of Gateway in Galaxy, Dagon by H.P. Lovecraft, 1920, The Temple, black muck, they’ve got cults going.

The Red One illustrated by Jim Nelson
The Red One by Jack London COSMO
The Red One by Jack London COSMO
The Red One by Jack London COSMO
The Red One by Jack London COSMO

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #236 – AUDIOBOOK READALONG: The Hills Of The Dead by Robert E. Howard

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #236 – The Hills Of The Dead by Robert E. Howard, read by Paul Boehmer (courtesy of Tantor Media’s The Savage Tales Of Solomon Kane). This is a complete and unabridged reading of the story (60 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Mr Jim Moon, Matthew Sanborn Smith, and Bryan Alexander

Talked about on today’s show:
Second-to-last Solomon Kane story chronologically, “Red Shadows” and “Wings of the Night” close contenders for Solomon Kane stories, the latter featuring harpies from Jason and the Argonauts, history of Solomon’s staff explained in other stories, fetishes (not THAT kind!), juju stick, magical weapons, Wandering Star edition illustrated by Gary Gianni, comic book adaptations, vampire-slaying, story uncharacteristically well-plotted including foreshadowing, “plains and hills full of lions” oh my!, lion sleeping habits, “Africa is full of never-explained mysteries” excuses plot holes, prefigures Richard Matheson’s I Am Legend, Kate Beckinsale’s Underworld movies, one of few stories to depict ‘nation of vampires’, Kiss of the Vampire (film), Transylvania, homeopathic symbolism, sex sells, ‘Howardian damsel in distress’, voodoo, feminization of the jungle, homoerotic undertones, Howard biography Blood and Thunder by Mark Finn, post-Colonial critique, vampires in fiction oscillate between sexualized and homicidal, Stephen King slams Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight vampires, Nosferatu (relatively unknown at the time of this story’s writing) introduced the idea that sunlight kills vampires, the Devil as source of Kane’s lustful urges, “Howard doesn’t do metaphors very well”, vampire-zombie continuum, Howard as great visual writer, animal characteristics ascribed to Kull and Conan but not Kane, snake imagery (related to serpent in Garden of Eden?), Slave Coast, vultures, nature of the soul, “Rogues in the House” (written in one sitting while Howard had a headache), the dangers of over-interpreting Howard, Howard’s subconscious, early 20th-century magazines preoccupied with race, Cosmpolitan (it was once a literary magazine), race hierarchy, Solomon Kane less racist than Howard himself, racial hierarchy, Berbers, Solomon Kane’s conflicted personality, the New Model Army, Howard’s characters are solitary, Puritans, Kane has a death wish, Kane’s celibacy, significance of Solomon Kane’s name, Ben Jonson satirizes Puritan names (in Bartholomew Fayre), so does Terry Pratchett (in Lords and Ladies, Mormonism, concept of congregation of all believers, English Civil War and its sects, Grendel in Beowulf as descendant of Cain, Sandman comics, Kane is “always on the road”, Matthew Hopkins witchfinder general, wood imagery, we learn what a palaver is, The Dark Tower series, temptation, inquisition, H. P. Lovecraft, cohesion of Howard’s works, history of the English language, George Harrison’s coyright infringement, parallel evolution in fiction, Clark Ashton Smith, Charles Baudelaire, genocide, the importance of a shared reader-author premise, shared cultural values, Hitler, The King in Yellow, Woodrow Wilson was a racist, zombies vs. animals.

The Hills Of The Dead - Illustration by Greg Staples

The Hills Of The Dead by Robert E. Howard

The Hills Of The Dead

Solomon Kane's Fetish Staff

Solomon Kane in Africa

The Hills Of The Dead by Robert E. Howard

The Hills Of The Dead by Robert E. Howard - illustration by Hugh Rankin from Weird Tales, August 1930

ad for The Hills Of The Dead by Robert E. Howard from WEIRD TALES, July 1930

ad for The Hills Of The Dead by Robert E. Howard from WEIRD TALES, July 1930

The Hills Of The Dead - illustrated by Gary Gianni

Guillem H. Pongiluppi illustration of The Hills Of The Dead

Posted by Seth Wilson

Solomon Kane’s Homecoming by Robert E. Howard

SFFaudio Online Audio
Solomon Kane's Homecoming by Robert E. HowardFirst published in Fanciful Tales of Time and Space, Fall 1936.
Mr Jim Moon narrates this poem |MP3| by Robert E. Howard.

Here’s a |PDF| made from that publication.

Solomon Kane’s Homecoming by Robert E. Howard

The white gulls wheeled above the cliffs, the air was slashed with foam,
The long tides moaned along the strand when Solomon Kane came home.
He walked in silence strange and dazed through the little Devon town,
His gaze, like a ghost’s come back to life, roamed up the streets and down.

The people followed wonderingly to mark his spectral stare,
And in the tavern silently they thronged about him there.
He heard as a man hears in a dream the worn old rafters creak,
And Solomon lifted his drinking-jack and spoke as a ghost might speak:

“There sat Sir Richard Grenville once; in smoke and flame he passed.
“And we were one to fifty-three, but we gave them blast for blast.
“From crimson dawn to crimson dawn, we held the Dons at bay.
“The dead lay littered on our decks, our masts were shot away.

“We beat them back with broken blades, till crimson ran the tide;
“Death thundered in the cannon smoke when Richard Grenville died.
“We should have blown her hull apart and sunk beneath the Main.”
The people saw upon his wrist the scars of the racks of Spain.

“Where is Bess?” said Solomon Kane. “Woe that I caused her tears.”
“In the quiet churchyard by the sea she has slept these seven years.”
The sea-wind moaned at the window-pane, and Solomon bowed his head.
“Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, and the fairest fade,” he said.

His eyes were mystical deep pools that drowned unearthly things,
And Solomon lifted up his head and spoke of his wanderings.
“Mine eyes have looked on sorcery in dark and naked lands,
“Horror born of the jungle gloom and death on the pathless sands.

“And I have known a deathless queen in a city old as Death,
“Where towering pyramids of skulls her glory witnesseth.
“Her kiss was like an adder’s fang, with the sweetness Lilith had,
“And her red-eyed vassals howled for blood in that City of the Mad.

“And I have slain a vampire shape that sucked a black king white,
“And I have roamed through grisly hills where dead men walked at night.
“And I have seen heads fall like fruit in a slaver’s barracoon,
“And I have seen winged demons fly all naked in the moon.

“My feet are weary of wandering and age comes on apace;
“I fain would dwell in Devon now, forever in my place.”
The howling of the ocean pack came whistling down the gale,
And Solomon Kane threw up his head like a hound that sniffs the trail.

A-down the wind like a running pack the hounds of the ocean bayed,
And Solomon Kane rose up again and girt his Spanish blade.
In his strange cold eyes a vagrant gleam grew wayward and blind and bright,
And Solomon put the people by and went into the night.

A wild moon rode the wild white clouds, the waves in white crests flowed,
When Solomon Kane went forth again and no man knew his road.
They glimpsed him etched against the moon, where clouds on hilltop thinned;
They heard an eery echoed call that whistled down the wind.

Solomon Kane's Home-Coming

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #160 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: Red Nails by Robert E. Howard

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #160 – Jesse, Tamahome, and Brian Murphy (of The Silver Key and Black Gate) talk about Red Nails by Robert E. Howard (read by Gregg Margarite for LibriVox). The audiobook runs 3 Hours 21 minutes and the discussion begins after that.

Talked about on today’s show:
Comics, the comic adaptation of Red Nails, Conan Saga, Savage Tales, Barry Windsor-Smith, John Buscema, Storyteller, Wolverine, the REH Comics Yahoo! Group, Beyond The Black River, Tower Of The Elephant, Karl Edward Wagner, Queen Of The Black Coast, grimness, pirates, torture, lesbianism, happy endings, “so much for that decades old gang war”, it’s Red Nails is like a Tom Baker Doctor Who serial, haunted city, a feud culture, Tolkemec’s laser, “if it bleeds we can kill it”, Conan the chauvinist, Valeria kicks ass, is the story told from Valeria’s POV?, it begins like a mystery, the “dragon” is a dinosaur (sort of), Techotl, writer shorthand, Star Trek (Let That Be Your Last Battlefield), Techotl is Gollum-like, Red Nails as a gang war, why didn’t they all get rickets and starve, Howard was the original locavore, a roofed city vs. a domed city, Hatfields vs. McCoys, the black pillar of vengeance, ConanRedNails.com, HBO can do no wrong, copyright vs. trademark, Dark Horse’s Chronicles Of Conan #4, colour and colouring, Howard as a stylist, Book X of The Odyssey, The Land of the Lotus Eaters, The Dark Man: The Journal Of Robert E. Howard Studies, using digital copies to research (control-f), Aztec, Toltecs, cannibalism, Jack London, Harold Lamb, William Morris, J.R.R. Tolkien, H.P. Lovecraft, sword and sorcery, horror, The Black Stone, Worms Of The Earth by Robert E. Howard, Tantor Media’s tantalizing collection Bran Mak Morn: The Last King, condemn Howard’s racism praise his writing, Orson Scott Card, Al Harron of The Blog That Time Forgot, Apparition In The Prize Ring by Robert E. Howard, Ace Jessel, Solomon Kane, what will we do after?, just an average weekend with laser beams, the gonzo ending of Red Nails, BrokenSea’s The Queen Of The Black Coast audio drama, Bill Hollweg, legal trouble, Sherlock Holmes, Disney’s John Carter vs. Dynamite Entertainment‘s Warlord Of Mars.

Red Nails - interior fold out art by Ken Kelly

Red Nails - Ending - art by Barry Windsor-Smith

Red Nails by Robert E. Howard

Red Nails illustration by Margaret Brundage from Weird Tales, July 1936

Red Nails illustration by Harold S. De Lay from Weird Tales, July 1936

Red Nails illustration by Harold S. De Lay from Weird Tales, August September 1936

Red Nails illustration by Harold S. De Lay from Weird Tales, October 1936

Red Nails by Robert E. Howard - illustration by George Barr

Red Nails - illustration by George Barr

George Barr ILLUSTRATION for Red Nails

Valeria by Geoffrey Isherwood (in the style of Barry Windsor Smith)

Posted by Jesse Willis