The SFFaudio Podcast #686 – READALONG: Danse Macabre by Stephen King

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #686 – Jesse and Evan Lampe talk about Danse Macabre by Stephen King

Talked about on today’s show:
non-fiction, explain what horror is, what is horror?, King has a lot of good stuff in this book, very casual, easy listening, frothy, an anti-academic style, high school teacher and university lecturer, a chip on his shoulder, It, not enough theme, drawn from life, incidents, a book he wrote later, Misery, the dead cat, Stand By Me (aka The Body), “Lovecraft was a racist”, “Stephen King was an is a shitlib”, conservative, bad takes in general, did you just say Lovecraft was a bad poet?, good ideas, Clark Ashton Smith’s poetry, American Liberals, vote blue no matter who, call for you favourite candidate, makin calls for Joe Biden, talking back to the Black Panthers, King is obsessed with Sputnik, obsessed with JFK, he’s dumb, a fear of political radicals, Randall Flagg, political buttons, a chaos agent, Nyarlathotep, a proud liberal, liberals are fucking idiots, when he got rich, get isolated, an op-ed called Guns by Stephen King, started off well, worn assertions, just got tired of the topic after the first cup of coffee wore off, technical complaints, this Rittenhouse thing, Boogaloo Bois, not a smart or a wise man, the worst case for making guns illegal, Biden got shat all over, other trials going on, inequities in the judicial system, public pressure, the video is exculpatory, “crossed state lines”, gut feeling reaction, where we start to go wrong, a good way of dismissing him, why did he bring that up?, paranoia, boomers, if Johnson had run again in 1968, a quantum leap moment, the Patty Hearst stuff, he lives in the public culture, Carrie, he’s not an idiot, he’s really good at making fun of people, image poems, little horror stories, not just movies, the fiction section, drifted into movies a lot, sitting in the movie theatre, the Sputnik announcement, that’s only horror if you think the United States is the good guy, thinking it through in writing, a broad outline, conspiracy dismissal of facts on the ground, Fred Hampton, extrajudical murder, playing for team America, a nice country(side), Invasion Of The Body Snatchers, Jack Finney, it comes from the same place, social horror, The Amityville Horror, the fear people have about investing in real estate, The Money Pit (1986), how children believe in magic, adult horror, my life is going to leave me, I’m going to lose my job, this is not a disciplined book, Supernatural Horror In Literature, some similarities, the fiction of his lifetime, 1950 to 1980, 1880 to 1930, Dionysian horror, terror, horror, gross-out, how much he researched it, approaching it like a researcher, his love of B-movies, I Was A Teenage Werewolf (1957), Lovecraft Explainers, “he was a horror writer”, the cosmic, through the idea, the house never dreamed, it saw reality as it is, Salem’s Lot,

No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality; even larks and katydids are supposed, by some, to dream. Hill House, not sane, stood by itself against its hills, holding darkness within; it had stood so for eighty years and might stand for eighty more.

ghost don’t exist except where human brains are, a guy with an axe!, a guy with a machete!, chainsaw, reflecting starlight and fears, a literary theory that authors apply, Poltergeist (1982), Bag Of Bones, a buried corpse, noisy ghost vs. spectre, descending levels, 1. terror. 2. , 3. gross-out., see the monsters, At The Mountains Of Madness, he knows Lovecraft, Philip K. Dick, the Dick horror stories, The Father Thing, The Hanging Stranger, The Three Stigmata Of Palmer Eldritch, Eye In The Sky, two levels: child, adult, caring about vampires, the horror of bills, financial stuff, what kids are like, those kids all grew up, Joe, semi-good takes, regress himself, afraid of the wrong things, what is it that makes someone capable of writing this stuff, the child in their eyes, author portraits, something in Peter Straub’s eyes, Harlan Ellison, Ray Bradbury, James Herbert, Ramsey Campbell, King’s take on Robert E. Howard, The Crabs, The Rats, The Blob (1958), danger in enjoying b-movies, his movie analysis is somehow connected to getting his writing done, getting you into the heads of characters, cinematic influence, watching a bad movie with a good scene, a frisson, your teacher wants you to hit these 6 bullshit points, know what your teacher wants, writing for himself, not hitting series very often, the pull from publishers, in syncopation with a large part of the reading audience, Hollywood, MGM is going to go out of business, they’re not very good at making movies, it drives you up the wall, movies and storytelling, The Twilight Zone, Night Gallery, and The Outer Limits, Pigeons From Hell, Thriller, an old plantation house, axed in the head, like a folktale, Hansel And Gretel, a famine, a horrible truth, why its always the stepmom, the evil witch is the stepmom, dad went along with it, the story dominates rather than the character, built this podcast around audio, audio drama, radio drama, CBS Radio Mystery Theater, Suspense, revelations of horror through the medium of audio drama, Alien (1979) is so dark, it is not obvious in the movie, when watching a b-movie, only the things that you’re given give you the picture, a revival of audio drama as podcasts, genuine practitioners, Julie Hoverson’s 19 Nocturne Boulevard, comics, Philips and Brubaker’s Reckless, superheroes are stupid, the comics medium, a skill, training on watching a play, Arch Oboler, The Mist in 3D sound, a white blackness, hysteria, “I’m going to let a little of you out”, connecting to your anxieties, a healthy interest in horror, 1399 episodes, the Vietnamese refugees and the Metric System!, Alfred Bester, Fondly Fahrenheit, perspective is important, what the mutilation looks like, what the bad guy did to the kid, a guy without the internet, getting the materials and doing the research has never been easier, Starlog magazine, as good as it is without the internet, updated in a few places, an hour of introductory material, you can agree with him or not, like a utuber, Frankenstein, Dr Jekyll And Mr Hyde, the tarot, the ghost story, the werewolf, the vampire, thing with no name, the technological horror, the outside evil, the thing from within, The Horror At Party Beach (1964), Ghost Story by Peter Straub, Ramsey Campbell, The Shrinking Man by Richard Matheson, male anxiety, a feminist reading, the woman’s domain (the house), child molester truck driver, its all about him, apolitical, exploring the agenda (with no agenda), horrors and the terrors, the cat, the bird, the spider, I Am Legend, my personal psychiatric reaction, revisiting the child molester moment with The Talisman, I strictly AC (or DC), straight, a boomer phrase, he uses everything, seeing Revival in Danse Macabre, the horrible death, The Bazaar of Bad Dreams, where Thinner came from, fantasy, Matheson is using 20th century magic, bug spray and radiation, The Amityville Horror (1979), Ira Levin, a dabbler in science fiction, an outsider, hanging out with the gutter people, 70s technothriller or urban gothic, This Perfect Day, Rosemary’s Baby, satirist, standing toe to toe with 1984 and Brave New World, doubling down on the utopia, The Giver, a dystopia by way of utopia, “Wood, Wei, Christ, and Marx”, do the genre, more like H.G. Wells, the pulps, mainstream fiction, and literature, the paperbacks on the shelves, snubbed by the best people, anything Asimov wrote, Harold Robbins, Taipan, James Michener, airport fiction, Tom Clancy’s spot, Evan’s podcast, Henry James, The Turn Of The Screw, high-end highbrow fiction doing lowbrow fiction, where the gutter starts or ends, he lives in the (movie) gutter, the shudder pulps, Weird Tales, horror fetishing, the cover, the scantily clad woman, torture fiction, cults, satanic panic, weird menace, Pulpcovers.com, man pulp magazines, I escape the Nazi dagger girls, “true stories”, some guy saw an SS wife one time, tapping into a mental space men are into, horror seems to be more popular with women than with men (compared with other genres), watching b-movies on first date, the amusement park roller coaster, terror as you feel you are going to die, you don’t go to a horror movie by yourself, reading a book with somebody is weird, a cheap place to go get cash, Stephen King readers are women (too), Larry Niven, Harlan Ellison, going for horror, Touched By An Angel, bad attitude, Michael Landon, mad scientist, when humans were werewolves, killing spree, the puberty experience, I Was A Teenage Frankenstein, the horror of embarrassment, the mirror, the plot is he’s really ugly, very simple, you’re going to be my assistant, a new race of superhumans to save the earth, young dead people!, collecting body parts, a descendant of Dr. Frankenstein, teenagers are not juvenile delinquents, King signed up for the society he was in, his grandfather with no teeth, sane but incomprehensible, they had a dental program, satellites are useful in space, never class resentment, the rats in the cellar, Graveyard Shift, clean the basement, taken from his own life, progressively bigger rats, this boss sucks, always very personal, Road Work fails, existential crisis unconnected to the bill of goods that is the American dream, the conservatism of horror and Alice In Wonderland, this modernist direction, if things go wrong, if a plague destroys 99% of the people, Lovecraft definitely has that, we don’t want to pick at that (science) scab, his fanzine was The Conservative, Bobby Derie’s tweets, 133 slaves in his will to gift to family members, people still have that same idea, more brownouts, drive a body, things as they are or things better, gas prices, electric cars, groups of people who are pouring co2 into the environment, The Ministry Of The Future by Kim Stanley Robinson, the capitalist system forces you to go where the work is, psychopathy of recycling, this responsibility was shifted to me, tend your own garden, those plastic measures being pushed and pushed and pushed, guillotines are carbon neutral, the great straw debate, carry around metal straws, like straws are the big problem on the planet, something you can push on to the consumer, The Troop by Nick Cutter, to fulfill a kind of niche of that horror experience you get at a movie, a gross out, terror, body horror, contamination, how Jack Finney’s The Third Level, Ray Bradbury, Reading, Short And Deep, a book begging to be filmed, in service, accept your crappy role in your life, fantasy, The Wheel Of Time fantasy TV series, 909 pages, long fantasy series are to escape from the mundanity of your job, the shared survival experience, horror being different, Lord Of The Rings, supernatural elements, magic, a secondary world, low fantasy, fantasy set in our world, the supernatural intruding on our life, On Writing, James Herbert’s The Fog, as close to a supernatural experience as you can imagine, a rational explanation in the idea of the story, terrifying, when you see the world as it truly is, not mediated by your fantasies, Lovecraft’s opening the window, the geometry doesn’t work, the rules of the world don’t work anymore, in dreams we find our way through, it wasn’t a question, he knows that he’s bullshitting, to strawman it, he knows on some level he’s wrong, the wrong messaging, we need to lie to the kids, he’s writing lies most of the time, children create their own kind of magic, the sneezing powder works against the monster (because they believe it), how society and parents deliberately lie to the kids, based on his own experiences, the reader knows its a lie, the Sputnik story, was it constructed?, that really happened to him, stories he’d have told himself over and over again, the hiking story, King on twitter, strawmanning in order to denounce, you need to have a fantasy to not go insane, a theory of reality, constructing the argument, Star Trek episode, Counselor Troi, his wife’s reaction to Rosemary’s Baby, The Stepford Wives, Sliver, a satire not considered a satire, Prometheus Award, libertarian science fiction, Heinlein’s Friday, Samuel Delany, Time Square Red Time Square Blue, F. Paul Wilson, Margaret Atwood, can you be a shitlib and a libertarian?, fear of radical institutional change, West Wing episodes, Pirate Cinema by Cory Doctorow, an American export, State Of Fear by Michael Crichton, ecoterrorists using untraceable drones, buying trucks, underground people, freedom fighter, there’s probably a term he would prefer?, liberal, People Of The Black Circle by Robert E. Howard, Klim’s Journey, Midwich Cuckoos, The Pre-Persons, Croatoan by Harlan Ellison, aborted fetuses, Captain Jellico tweets, the new Stephen King covers are all horrible except for Hard Case Crime, Four Past Midnight, whoever Chomper is he’s wrong, Space Prison by Tom Godwin, science fiction prison, The Doom That Came To Sarnath, 14,000 years ago, politicians willing to go to war over it, 54/40 or fight, PUBG with Americans who don’t read, “Trump’s my guy”, they’ll think he’s Mexican, ex-military, control systems, 3D printing, Dungeons & Dragons, really into games, Norther Saskatchewan, the difference in lifestyles between the Canadians and the Americans, I hate to do this but I need money (for his cat), Patreon for my life, 21st century capitalism doesn’t hit everybody in the mail, mandates, Fauci and Pelosi, smashed in the midterms, banning cars would save lives, gas prices in France, Fight Club and Breaking Bad being expressions of fascism, this is a reality, Game Of Thrones is cultural feudalism, the Queen tweets, the Queen is “entering a new phase”, Charles III, some kind of consort, William and the brats, killing your sister, Princess Eugenie, Prince Andrew went to Fuck Island, that’s the lady that owns this country.

Danse Macabre by Stephen King

Posted by Jesse WillisBecome a Patron!

Reading, Short And Deep #157 – The Cosy Room by Arthur Machen

Podcast

Reading, Short And DeepReading, Short And Deep #157

Eric S. Rabkin and Jesse Willis discuss The Cosy Room by Arthur Machen

Here’s a link to a PDF of the story.

The Cosy Room was first published in T.P.’s Weekly, May 1908.

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

Posted by Scott D. Danielson

LibriVox: Fear by Achmed Abdullah

SFFaudio Online Audio

Wow! I’m loving this story, as narrated by John Feaster. Sez Feaster of his narration “it’s more a performance than a reading” and that’s absolutely true – Feaster seems to be taking the events of the plot very personally, and that lends power to what is the sort of twistily fantastic tale you’d see on something like Alfred Hitchcock Presents. And yet, Achmed Abdullah’s pulpy writing seems damned good too!

And, if even half the stories about the author, as detailed over on the Wikipedia entry for him, are true, he may be one of the most fascinating writers I’d never heard of.

Alexander Nicholayevitch Romanoff (aka Achmed Abdullah) was, apparently, a Russian born relative of the last Czar, the son of an Afghan princess, an Academy Award nominated scriptwriter, an officer in the British, Indian, and Turkish armies (serving in India, Afghanistan, Tibet, Africa, China, and Turkey), as well as being a Muslim, a Catholic, and a spy!

LibriVoxFear
By Achmed Abdullah; Read by John Feaster
1 |MP3| – Approx. 22 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: June 19, 2010
First published in Detective Story Magazine, 1919.

[Thanks to Julie Hoverson for the recommendation!]

Posted by Jesse Willis

The Necklace by Guy de Maupassant

Aural Noir: Online Audio

Sometimes titled “The Diamond Necklace” this story is a 3,000 word short story that is often upheld as a tale at, or very near, the pinnacle of ironic fiction. Guy de Maupassant’s short story La Parure is usually given the English title “The Necklace” – despite “La Parure” literally translating into English as “The Finery”.

The Necklace has been reprinted hundreds of times, in books, textbooks and newspapers. It has been collected volumes of “mystery or detective” stories – which is pretty damn odd considering that it has neither a detective nor a mystery in it. And stranger still, it has been anthologized in collections with titles like Masterpieces Of Terror And The Unknown and Isaac Asimov Presents The Best Horror And Supernatural Of The 19th Century.

How does this modest little tale, featuring a Parisian couple, and their acquaintances, a story with no supernatural elements at all qualify as a “supernatural” tale?

How can a story, like The Necklace, in which nobody dies, or is even physically injured, be considered ‘a tale of terror or horror’?

Perhaps the mystery lies not within such questions, but instead with one’s interpretation. Perhaps, just as with the translation from one language to another, there are kinds of horrors, kinds of terrors, indeed kinds of fates which can only be classified as a moral horror, a social terror, or one of life’s little mysteries that leaves us asking questions like the ones above.

Guy de Maupassant has created a story for the ages, a mystery story in which you, the reader, are the detective. Your job is to solve the case of…

LibriVoxThe Necklace (La Parure)
By Guy de Maupassant; Read by Patti Cunningham
1 |MP3| – Approx. 19 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: November 21, 2009
|ETEXT|
Mathilde is a beautiful bride of a mid-level Parisian bureaucrat. Her natural elegance and grace seem somewhat out of place with her husband’s junior position. This is the story of a beautiful woman who works hard and gets everything she wants. First published in the February 17, 1884 issue of Le Gaulois (a French daily newspaper).

Here’s the cover illustration (artist unknown) for La Parure from the October 8, 1893 issue of Gil Blas (a Parisian literary magazine):

The Necklace (La Parure) illustration from Gil Blas, 1893

The most evocative illustrations I’ve seen for The Necklace are by Gord Rayner- they accompany an uncredited radio style play adaptation (for four actors) in the 1960s Canadian textbook entitled Sense And Feeling edited by R.J. Scott. Here’s the 12 page play |PDF| and here are the illustrations:

THE NECKLACE - Illustration by Gordon Rayner from SENSE AND FEELING

THE NECKLACE - Illustration by Gordon Rayner from SENSE AND FEELING

THE NECKLACE - Illustration by Gordon Rayner from SENSE AND FEELING

Update:

Here’s a wonderful radio dramatization that keeps most of the tale intact:

Favorite Story Favorite Story – The Necklace
Adapted from the story by Guy de Maupassant; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 27 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: KFI
Broadcast: October 7, 1947
Cast:
Heather Angel … Mathilde Loisel
Hans Conried … Pierre Loisel

Posted by Jesse Willis

The Memory Palace: The Mad Gasser Of Matoon and Edgar Allan Poe’s death-day

SFFaudio Online Audio

The Memory Palace with Nate DiMeoOne of the cool things about podcasting is that it’s old enought now to have developed it’s own distinct ethos. I’ve mentioned my favorite history podcast on SFFaudio before, it’s called Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History. Carlin takes the dramatic events of real history and makes them into a story – an amazing history story, told by an enthusiast. Another program I’ve long enjoyed is much more frequent than Carlin’s slowly releasing podcast. It follows essentially the same formula, but delivers the history in tiny five minute (or so) doses. Here are the most recent two podcasts from the feed of Nate DiMeo’s The Memory Palace.

a gas gas gas
By Nate DiMeo
1 |MP3| Approx. 6 Minutes [HISTORY STORYTELLING]
Podcaster: The Memory Palace
Podcast: October 28, 2009
This show tells the story of “The Mad Gasser of Mattoon.”

this ungainly fowl
By Nate DiMeo
1 |MP3| Approx. 5 Minutes [HISTORY STORYTELLING]
Podcaster: The Memory Palace
Podcast: October 16, 2009
This show tells what happened to Edgar Allan Poe on his death-day.

Podcast feed:

http://feeds.feedburner.com/thememorypalace

iTunes 1-Click |SUBSCRIBE|

Posted by Jesse Willis