The SFFaudio Podcast #164 – READALONG: The House On The Borderland by William Hope Hodgson

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #164 – Jesse, Wayne June and Mirko Stauch talk about The House On the Borderland by William Hope Hodgson.

Talked about on today’s show:
Wayne undersold the novel, it’s shockingly interesting, you can really see the influence on Lovecraft, Supernatural Horror In Literature by H.P. Lovecraft, blasphemous hybrid anomalies, “a classic of the first water”, the framing sequence, The Willows by Algernon Blackwood, description of sense experience, the best you can expect from the universe is indifference, cosmic horror, Olaf Stapledon, Star Maker, Last And First Men, reading in translation, Chad Pfifer, the readalong concept, getting into the book, Under The Knife by H.G. Wells, the swine beasts, the sister – “she knows he’s fucking nuts”, there’s a lot of going to bed in this book, a very relatable character, Arthur C. Clarke, one of the finest works of Science Fiction ever written, marking the transition from Gothic horror to cosmic horror, 2001: A Space Odyssey, the cover art, the Corben comic book cover, the town (or street) that can’t be found, it’s a kind of haunted house story, compression of time, Einsteinian relativity, Pepper is dead and dust, Brian Stableford, Camille Flammarion, The Night Lands by William Hope Hodgson, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Percival Lowell, S.T. Joshi, parallel development, authors write cosmic horror in cosmic horror time, astronomy,

“In the future, when the end of things will arrive on this earth, the event will then pass completely unperceived in the universe. The stars will continue to shine after the extinction of our sun, as they already shone before our existence.”

Enlightenment thinking and the decline of religion – tying your own shoes for eternity, The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe, you can’t love anything in this universe, the jade house in the arena, mythological creatures, Kalpas (is Sanskrit for aeons), it’s meta, before this book we’re living in a world run by God and after this book were living in a post God world, deep time, the recluse, are the swine people are the villagers, what book is the recluse reading?, two incommensurable realities, Messrs Tonnison and Berreggnog, haunting, Clarke’s third law, Poltergeist, the door inward, the start as poets but they don’t end that way, the unnamed lover (let’s call her Lenore), The Crawling Chaos (SFFaudio Podcast #138), The Conqueror Worm by Edgar Allan Poe, The House Of Usher, Roger Caillois: “The fantastic is always a break in the acknowledged order, an irruption of the inadmissible within the changeless everyday legality” (from Au Coeur Du Fantastique), reading old literature, C.S. Lewis, a passion for commas, a gripping book (while the character’s mind wanders), a pregnant book.

Ed Emshwiller painting for The House On The Borderland by William Hope Hodgson

Vertigo Richard Corben -The House On The Borderland

William Hope Hodgson's The House On The Borderland

The House On The Borderland by William Hope Hodgson - illustration by Ian Miller

Freeway Press - The House On The Borderland by William Hope Hodgson

The House On The Borderland by William Hope Hodgson - dustjacket

The House On The Borderland - illustration by Peter Manesis

PANTHER - The House On The Borderland by William Hope Hodgson

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #138 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: The Crawling Chaos by Winifred V. Jackson and H.P. Lovecraft

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #138 – The Crawling Chaos by Winifred V. Jackson and H.P. Lovecraft, read by Wayne June. This is a complete and unabridged reading of the short story (21 Minutes) followed by a discussion of it (by Jesse, Tamahome, Jim Moon and Wayne June). Here’s the ETEXT.

“In The Crawling Chaos the narrator flees inland, taking his adjectives with him.” -L. Sprague de Camp (from Lovecraft: A Biography)

Talked about on today’s show:
Wayne June is still alive!, first impressions of The Crawling Chaos, Wikipedia’s plot summary of The Crawling Chaos, dream logic, an opium vision, the tripiness, the philosophy behind The Crawling Chaos, The Haunted Palace by Edgar Allan Poe, the self as a haunted palace, Poe is so 19th century, The Raven, The Fall Of The House Of Usher, entropy, there is no meaning in this uncaring universe, “and all the planets mourned”, you’d need a lot of Prozac (or opium) to go through a life like that, the catharsis of apocalypse, a cosmic apocalypse, the plot is a jumble of junk, the biblical echoes, “only the gods reside there” (in Teloe), a very old testament vibe, “lest you turn into a pillar of salt”, the protagonist is us (mankind), Lovecraft’s recurring themes, the ordinary man who swaps places with another, The Shadow Out Of Time, Polaris, Beyond The Wall Of Sleep, transcendental mind-swap stories, the story was a pseudonymous collaboration between Elizabeth Berkley (aka Winifred V. Jackson) and Louis Theobald, Jun. (aka H.P. Lovecraft), Nyarlathotep, “send me some money”, a lot of dross with a powerful effect, “the year of the plague”, the “oriel window” is an eyeball!, “calm down Howard”, “he’s in his own brain”, who or what is “the crawling chaos”?, the ocean pounding is his heart beating, “We’re all doomed!”, what is the crawling chaos?, S.T. Joshi, Rudyard Kipling, the peninsular beach house, Tiger Tiger (from The Jungle Book), The Tyger by William Blake, is the beautiful youth Mowgli?, who are “they”?, a fawn faced youth, Weena from H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine, did Winifred read The Time Machine before sleep?, what is the meaning of “Teloe”? is it teleology, reaching for meaning or purpose and losing it, Amber and Chalcedony, pleasure barges bound for blossomy Cytheron, Liquid Gold, Lord Dunsany, the heavenly host, the destruction of the physical (the corpse-like clay), black clouds like vultures, Supernatural Horror In Literature by H.P. Lovecraft, “the oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear”, City In The Sea by Edgar Allan Poe, opium addiction, why opium?, Confessions Of An English Opium-Eater by Thomas De Quincey, Charles Baudelaire, a waking dream, if the story was written in the 1960s…, LSD, morphine and Morpheus (dream), a waking dream, Aldous Huxley, Timothy Leary, The Doors Of Perception, out of Plato’s cave, Philip K. Dick, mindset and environment, mescaline, dreams vs. drug trips, journeys into the unconscious, Mouthpiece by Edward Wellen, decoding the death ravings of Dutch Schultz (HERE), William Burroughs, Robert Anton Wilson, “French Canadian Bean Soup”, stream of unconsciousness, Frances vs. French people, “swimming through New York”, The Librarian TV series, “perfectly ordinary strange adventures”, puns are big for the subconscious, Samuel R. Delany, Groucho Marx.

The Tyger by William Blake

The United Co-Operative, April 1921 - The Crawling Chaos

Posted by Jesse Willis

Changersurfer Radio: Lurking Terror: H.P. Lovecraft’s Socialism

SFFaudio Online Audio

H.P. Lovecraft fans take heed, this fascinating and informative interview is absolutely unmissable!

S.T. Joshi‘s matter-of-fact description of Cthulhu’s decent into the Pacific Ocean made me think of Philip K. Dick’s own godlike alien (the Glimmung) in Galactic Pot Healer.

Changesurfer RadioChangesurfer Radio – S.T. Joshi – Lurking Terror: H.P. Lovecraft’s Socialism
Interviewer Dr. J. Hughes
2 MP3 Files – Approx. 29 Minutes [INTERVIEW]
Broadcaster: WHUS / Changesurfer Radio
Broadcast: Friday, September 21, 2001
Recorded and broadcast on University of Connecticut’s radio station, WHUS, this is an interview with weird fiction scholar S.T. Joshi about H.P. Lovecraft’s life and political views.
Part 1 |MP3| Part 2 |MP3|

[via the excellent Lovecraft ezine]

Posted by Jesse Willis

LibriVox: The Frozen Pirate by W. Clark Russell

SFFaudio Online Audio

LibriVoxDo you like old books about pirates? What about books about old frozen pirates?

If the answer to those questions is “Yes.” Then we’ve got a great audiobook for you. Here are a couple of reviews, circa 1888, of The Frozen Pirate by W. Clark Russell:

“The most enthralling romance which Mr Clark Russell has written since The Wreck of the Grosvenor There has been no finer story of Antarctic adventure at once so thrilling so strange and so realistic In vivid beauty and effect there are passages transcending anything in The Wreck of the Grosvenor or in The Golden Hope and than this no higher praise could be given It did not need The Frozen Pirate to place Mr Russell indisputably foremost among all living writers of sea life but if there were any lingering doubt this romance would settle the uncertainty.” – Academy

and

“Mr Clark Russell has spun many a good yarn for the delight of landsmen and The Frozen Pirate will rank among the best of them. Vigorous, breezy and healthily exciting the story will be read with keen enjoyment by every one who takes it up.” – Scotsman

Amongst its more ardent fans are:

Dr. John Watson of 221B Baker Street, who can be found reading an 1887 (or earlier) novel by W. Clark Russell in The Five Orange Pips: “Sherlock Holmes sat moodily at one side of the fireplace cross-indexing his records of crime, while I at the other was deep in one of Clark Russell’s fine sea-stories until the howl of the gale from without seemed to blend with the text, and the splash of the rain to lengthen out into the long swash of the sea waves.”

H.P. Lovecraft. His biographer, S.T. Joshi, wrote: “Lovecraft had been fascinated with the Antarctic continent since he was at least 12 years old, when he had written several small treatises on early Antarctic explorers. At about the age of 9, inspired by W. Clark Russell’s 1887 book The Frozen Pirate, Lovecraft had written ‘several yarns’ set in Antarctica.”

And here’s a snippet from a 2002 SFSite.com review by Georges T. Dodds:

“The scenes on the pirate ship are quite gripping and the tension developed when the thawed pirate begins drifting into madness is also very well done. The horror elements are well handled without being over the top, the atmosphere Russell develops in his description of the frozen pirate ship does much more to ‘creep one out’ than any mere description of the dead bodies would have”

Yep, it has all that and a frozen pirate, quickly defrosted, too!

LIBRIVOX - The Frozen Pirate by W. Clark RussellThe Frozen Pirate
By W. Clark Russell; Read by various
32 Zipped MP3 Files or Podcast – Approx. 11 Hours 39 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: April 26, 2010
Sailing adventure with storms, icebergs, shipwrecks, treasure, and the reawakening of a pirate frozen in suspended animation for nearly fifty years. First published as a serial in 1887 in “Belgravia, an illustrated London magazine.”

Podcast feed: http://librivox.org/rss/4043

iTunes 1-Click |SUBSCRIBE|

[thanks also to Nadine Eckert-Boulet, Jessi and Barry Eads]

Posted by Jesse Willis

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

SFFaudio Online Audio

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.”

SEGMENT 1:

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.

SEGMENT 2:

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.

SEGMENT 3:

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

Weird Tales: The Strange Life Of H.P. Lovecraft (originally on BBC Radio 3)

SFFaudio Online Audio

BBC Radio 3Here’s the terrific 2006 BBC Radio 3 documentary Weird Tales: The Strange Life Of H.P. Lovecraft, broken up into 5 parts and with unnecessary images (which I’ve minimized) for YouTube.

“Geoff Ward examines the strange life and terrifying world of the man hailed as America’s greatest horror writer since Poe. During his life Lovecraft’s work was confined to lurid pulp magazines and he died in penury in 1937. Today, however, his writings are considered modern classics and published in prestigious editions. Among the writers considering his legacy are Neil Gaiman, S.T. Joshi, Kelly Link, Peter Straub and China Mieville.”

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

[via Monster Rally]

Posted by Jesse Willis