The SFFaudio Podcast #784 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: Skull-Face by Robert E. Howard

The SFFaudio Podcast #784 – Skull-Face by Robert E. Howard, read by Connor Kaye. This is a complete and unabridged reading of the book (4 hours, 5 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Connor Kaye, Alex, Trish E. Matson, and Jonathan Weichsel

Talked about on today’s show:
Weird Tales, October and December [1929], The Return Of Skull-Face, by Robert E. Howard AND Richard A. Lupoff, open for a sequel, paid by the word, hoping for a sequel, a bold statement, incredibly clear, the Mary Sue character is Steve Costigan, semi-modern world, super punch powers, a different same guy, WWI shell-shocked veteran, more, Conan in a cave, not the same as Sailor Steve, a wanderer with no ties, expecting Zuleika to die, a shell-shocked Stephen, The Insidious Doctor Fu Manchu, very similar, Seven Footprints To Satan by A. Merritt, he’s Satan, New York, missions, wear the ape suit, kill the guy, the ape suit, Murders In The Rue Morgue, The Curse Of The Golden Skull, a Lemurian sorcerer, [The Howard Collector (#9), Spring 1967], he’s already got the idea, Elmore Leonard, Karen Makes Out -> Out Of Sight, facesucking happens, kisses George Clooney, Double Entendre, a little pause, story proper, a huge mistake, a Poe poem fragment, Thule rhymes with newly, a misnumbered chapter, such a relish and enthusiasm to your voices, growl y work, soliloquy, throws himself at the bars, all poems?, Talbot Mundy, one Swinburne, a lot of Chesterton, Rubaiyat Of Omar Khayyam, magic shadow shapes that come and go, directly quoted, oh there it is!, the epigraph of the very first chapter, right up front, internal comparison, look at the two, more than 10 years, Fu Manchu continues for about 40 years, movies get a hold of Fu Manchu, Nicholas Cage as Fu Manchu, Thanksgiving, still hope for Fu Manchu, The Mandarin from Marvel, the Johnny Quest TV show, Doctor Zen, League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Ming The Merciless, the Klingons, the yellow peril stereotype, Kaiser Wilhelm II, excuses to conquer things, justification for what Fu Manchu is doing, the supposed heroes are archaeological graverobbers, pillaging of archaeological, the James Bond books, the opium wars, European exploitation in Asia, go Fu go!, the unmitigated better, a problem in this book, Skull-Face is racist, turn my blacks and my browns and my yellow, pan-Asian co-prosperity sphere, we’ll chop your heads up, empire no matter where it goes and what it does, playing these oppressed people against each other, seize power for himself, you white people, Howard was smarter, Robert E. Howard and Lovecraft think about their racism a lot, Steve work for this guy, he just saved you from hashish addiction, you don’t have PTSD anymore, the Irishmen who is the American who is Robert E. Howard, allies himself with the British Empire, conflicted here, to flourish, not that detailed, you could have been a king, the sequel book, curious, slash Skull dash Face, the flawed hero, legitimate grievances, Skull Face is Atlantean, as only Robert E. Howard can do, a living mummy, The Hour Of The Dragon, mummified, Acheron, LV-426, Richard Shaver, the prophet, Lemuria, Mu, Thule, amazing poem, Dream-Land by Edgar Allan Poe, the farther last l, out of of space and out of time for the rest of the poem, read more Chesterton, The Man Who Was Thursday, a John Buchan adventure that turns, who is the boss of the network I’m working for, a secret police officer, a smart and funny man, exotic Asian adventures, completely forgotten, having a lot of fun putting this together, playing in someone else’s sandbox, The Black Stone, what if it was Call Of Cthulhu, I read this story by my body, Tuesday class, D&D, wrote up a module, a rip off of the opening of this book, three boys, a recent realms war, hashashiri, an opium like propdict, marks their hands with a trilobite, steal some royal jelly, the unguent, to enhance his mumminess, train tracks walking from home Taito Bandito, directly inspired by, wrote down a dream,

dreamt the alien invasion of the earth began through vapes. dissatisfied humans got addicted to cheap alien vapes smuggled in from “outside”. incompetent earth govts couldn’t stop the smuggling. eventually the poors of earth preferred the alien health care plan that came with… …cheap vapes. the earth govts and their media lapdogs were playing up lies about health care concerns about the alien vapes, but were so corrupt and the lies so obvious that only a puritanical few bought into it. and when any of these got sick they took the alien health care. […] through human fronted proxies the aliens plowed profits from their vapes into real estate and started selling cheap housing to poors. 2 year mortgages. this really got earth’s human overlords mad. after 7 years, the aliens had successfully taken over the earth and most humans… …were absolutely fine with it.

didn’t think anything of it, smoking hashish, basically opium, is it possible to get addicted to hashish, concentrated marijuana tar?, withdrawal symptoms, brain fog vs. physically debilitating, martini withdrawal, cigarette withdrawal is intense, a headache, why hashish?, assassin, the same story almost as the old man in the mountain, People Of The Black Circle, Marco Polo, the old man in the mountain, a fantasy land, I have the power to send you to heaven, recruited to be an assassin, completely correct, why this story feels its substantial, Omar Khayyam (1957), the world trade center attacks, 77 houris, mixing them together, his first choice, chasing the dragon, Lord Dunsany talking about Lord Dunsany, I just came from the world you created, told like a straight story, the response to stories in The Book Of Wonder, the inspiration for Lord Dunsany style stories, eastern exotic sounding places, aiming for with the girl, Zuleika, white enough, a much more detailed racist, it’s a science, I’m a scientist, not just a wizard, recruiting business, one time dose reducer, get you addicted to another drugs, makes your arms strong, lacking something a little bit, the main character is telling his own story, our drug addicted PTSD hero is telling his story, the descriptions of things are more serviceable, he’s not a poet, published during his lifetime, not even the height of his popularity, Almuric, kinda sad, awesome beautiful description, kicks along, this Gordon character, the stand-in for Petrie and Naismith, amateur detectives/spies, secret police work in reality, go to Oxford, meet your friends, cut up the middle east, as a Robert E. Howard representative story, can’t fully root for the good guys team, chooses the wrong side, he likes his girl, being in the arms of a beautiful girl who he loves and trusts, a strong character, brave, initiatve, saves his butt a couple of time, animal magnetism, he got beefy arms, beefy guns, how quickly he blows through the layers of conspiracy and worldbuilding, secret catacombs under London, the Cult Of The Scorpion, pre-Adamite, any other author, we’re just going, The Shadow Kingdom, They Live (1988), also Plato, the myth of the cave, William Shakespeare, Philip K. Dick, a conspiracy against a footsoldier, a flawed character, too awesome, Solomon Kane’s flaw is he’s insane, he’s a religious whackjob, God’s vengeance on earth, a vessel, that just makes it better, a poem with Solomon Kane, a historical incident, The Hills Of The Dead, flying vampires, holding the Staff of Solomon, Dennis Dorgan or the Mountain Man stories, he’s fixed of that, who’s going to cut up Africa, the tattoo on his hand, a mission to impersonate somebody, ape suit, catacombs are fine, coulda gone so hard, could gone the extra way, cut my own path with my girl, living as a hermit in a cave, living in Celephais, a dead bum in the ocean, gone mad, the end, kinda pulpy at the end, from the very top tier, colourful muscular description, so morally degenerate, my morals had been so beaten, go through some struggle, survive drug withdrawl, willing to die to keep the girl alive, moving on, a ticket to solve his addiction problem, willing to go against Skull-Face, he should have been more conflicted about it, serpent men are not so bad, a lot shorter, saved Skull-Face’s life, we’re square now, you’ll be my slave forever, A Witch Shall Be Born, favourite Conan, he’s not Conan, Kull would be pondering, am I a shadow?, this is all weird, kind of is, supposed to be a realistic story, not this pure force of will, not even Sailor Steve, they search the mummy case, poking at it, hey you just let him go, mesmerism, a great scene, we as the audience know this is Skull-Face, let me look at this sarcophagus, just a dead body, can’t possibly be him, a little down on the art, page 33 of the 46 page one in Famous Fantastic Mysteries, in the foreground, looking very Aryan, over the shoulder of horror, supposed to be a horror story, how to make Skull-Face in the canny valley, skeleton with a bit of skin, an acquired taste, Hugh Rankin is not great, appreciate them, Conan By Tweet, muddy looking, they’re stylized, a sketch, not the same kind of line work as you see in Finlay, a legitimate master, quickly and cheaply, the opening art, scraggly nails, the Fu Manchu vibe, Egyptian for a while, the man who came from the sea will be their god, so good, the dry run for this, literally yellow, parchment like bones, the eyes are very sunken, you can’t understate how awesome, hot under the collar, presumed to be Zuleika, black people, an arab looking dude, and the web, this is the threat, all these races are against the Anglo-American global empire, more cartoony, I don’t like Skull-Face anymore, WWI, Big Trouble In Little China (1986), his best movie, the funnest, wry and clever, playing with tropes, this plot in a large sense, David Lo Pan, Fu Manchewy, marry a girl with green eyes, get his body back, so charismatic, fish out of water, friends with some Chinese guy, not my culture, fumbling and tumbling, he thinks he’s the white savior, he’s the sidekick viewpoint character, starts like a Lovecraft story, why did a whole block of Chinatown explode, Zugartha?, the adventure isn’t over, underground tunnels, black blood of the earth, drink this potion, skepticism of any authority, tied with humour, Howard would have liked Carpenter’s stuff, into conspiracies, conspiracy minded, do the blood test, put on these glasses, drink the potion as you’re going down in the elevator, Eight O’Clock In The Morning by Ray Nelson, The Ten O’Clock People by Stephen King, action sequences, They Live works as the premise, putting on a monkey suit, he’s smart because he looked at his shoes, why isn’t this a better known story?, the 15th thing you would mention, so much other stuff, for other authors, the standard is so high, prejudice against it because it is a pastiche, angling for a certain market, the most successful author of the time, Seabury Quinn, The Vampire Master, Agatha Christie meets this trope, Cora, a reference to Edgar Wallace, Boby Derie, the ideas that carry you not the prose, like a rollercoaster, the smear of not completed by Robert E. Howard maybe, no comic book, no movie, no TV show, a race war with the brown people, a very controversial movie, the new Fall Of The House Of Usher on Netflix, Evan Lampe, Mike Flanagan, Edgar Allan Poe checklist, The Haunting Of Hill House, Shirley Jackson, cheapens his own work, a hill haunted house, no modern writer can write in someone else’s shoes, modern to its bones, can’t adapt someone else’s work, post-modern, not such a problem, so pervasive, everybody is doing it, William Gibson, same with Sword & Sorcery, Fritz Leiber was good, an exception, two Conans!, one is small one is big and they like girls!, there is a dangerous threat to white supremacy, a threat to democracy, a threat to the west, a threat to the rules based older, not international law, aka we say what goes, thinking white supremacy is bad, George W. Bush, make democracy happen, Professor Moriarty starting WWI, something similar here, start a war for reasons, I’m leading the brown races into victory, hah! suckers I’m not actually Egyptian, deciding where to put the twist, good things and the bad things, anticipating what the students like, there’s a beautiful woman: the master needs you, the 9 year old thinks girls are yuck, all identical beautiful daughter, a blue stripe a yellow stripe, everybody gets a love interest, champion you to her father, having so much fun with this story, you want to have an introduction to Robert E. Howard, a lot of understanding, take it at face value, a college student, do you think this is his most racist story?, Black Canaan, The Hyena, where this story fumbles a little, Limehouse, only 48 houses, not at his strongest when not describing Texas, New Orleans, the book research showing, beautifully told, the East of Africa, the racism, super-racist, a werewolf story, a were-hyena, tricking his acolytes, Hasim, a brute, so is the Afghani henchman, disposable characters, a rich field, the assumption that it would work, all those people, undead Atlantean necromancer, such a bad enemy, the situation in Djibouti, in 1977 the French said…, France is like yup, just looking at the history, a home invasion, almost a century goes by, divesting of colonies, gun pointed at the floor right now, this guy isn’t leaving, mutual security, a treaty between two equal countries, hey Italians, Italy sits on the couch with a big gun, Russia would you like a military base next to France?, within walking distance from each other, at what point did that independence come filling the house with potential foes, right near the Suez canal, Panama Canal, Noriega stopped talking orders, they don’t call it that anymore, revolt against the guy who won’t leave your country, not the ideal leader, so vague, grow a lot of bananas?, more sarcophaguses out there, the first one to awaken, if this was a movie, the last shot would be a bunch of sarcophagus floating, the sequel comes out and it, this time a lesbian Skull-Face, licked together, on youtube, commenting and liking, released as one audiobook, as fast as possible, an American accent, getting tired, the accent slipping off, are they called thick accents?, strong accents, not a very sweaty Australian accent?, Crocodile Dundee was ocker Australian?, British texan accent, when you think of horror books, Razorback, so many great Australian horror movie, The Cars That Ate Paris (1974), art film Paris, a car movie, an Australian biker movie, specializing in car chases, terrorizing gangs of bikers, Soylent Green (1973), a Volkswagen beetle with spikes coming out of it, gang takes over town movie, Christine, Trucks, Dead End Drive-In (1986), aka regular Australia right now, juvenile delinquents, Brave New World but with movies, dystopian drive-in, escape the drive-in, so many good films, so lucky, whatever video stores, a lot of video stores, previously not rewound, a big thick thousand page book of every movie on VHS, so much treasure, do a rental, nightmare, late fees, when you buy a movie, come back never, a great pleasure we still kind of have, so hard to search through now, JustWatch service, Plex, pirate any movie you want, Tubi has the best set of movies, Prime’s pretty good, Netflix, Shudder, Razorback (1984), Stone (1974), Bubba Zanetti’s my hero, Cinefamily, victims of the me too movement, are you an attractive woman, still can’t get work, secret job, all the shareholders (board?) got an anonymous email about an anonymous woman, a non-profit, Alamo Draft House, things to pirate, if you could choose only one country per decade, Americans made a lot of good movies at one point, Britain made some good movies, an exciting time for world cinema, each country wanted to be that new dominant, Italian movies, French producers, American actors, Dreamspeaker, (CBC tv Movie 1976), they adopt him, runaway kid who burns things down, sympathetic judge, that was unexpected, mute companion slash husband, put in a tree and let their corpse be eaten by birds, a Vancouver Island bases sort of story, Thunderbird blanket, a pretty brutal ending, a TV movie that came out on TV in the 1970s, child suicide, kid strangling himself, dies of broken heart, this is impossible, Jesse loved it, Chief Dan George, George Clutesi, Kelly (1981), realistic vs. Hollywood ending, about the horrible institution that school is, her blind friend, sets fires to things, go live with your dad, robs a bank, these two movies so like each other, kids being institutionalized, people like a happy ending, times for certain mediums of art, that was Jonathan, Dead Calm (1989), boat sabbatical and Billy Zane shows up, music in the 1970s, The Beatles, the next big thing, unique and original music, one guy would become the next big thing, a bit too calculated, new service bringing in tons of cash, throwing money at weird things, get a hit with any of these things, a short period of experiment, the president show, House Of Cards, Robin Wright Penn turns to the camera, a condemnation of the actor, a meta-thing, grievance on screen, all the 1980s movies, Stranger Things, Extraction (2020), a low budget action horror movie, Prey (2022)?, Slash/Back (2022), one of three Canadian territories, Nunavut, Yukon, North-West Territories, so much heart, some social issues, tremendous fun to watch, Reservation Dogs, APTN, The Beachcombers, a fun discussion, Wolfen (1981), Poltergeist (1982) with skyrises, irony, Whitley Strieber, 80s UFOlogy, considering doing a podcast, write my book, the picture that Alex is going to delete, a Yeti Nano, Elgato low profile mic arm, iphone 11, upgraded, android guy, more thinkpads, working for Lenovo, a T510, Skylark Dequesni, start wt, pocketknifes, arm a youth gang, brand new keyboard, lowprofile mechanical, cherry ultralow profile, $99, swing over, Blue now owned by Logitech, it’s Swiss!, $20, XP was running, downgraded, 7 was good, law firm as the head of IT, bought out, three month notice, wind everything down, a ton of laptops with no legal owner, shrug, cases and cases, they go in waves, what laptop should I get?, LGR (Lazy Game Reviews), old computer hardware, 45 hours researching laptops, modular, no glue, fixup and give to homeless person, engage that much with the local homeless, Connor must run a laptop, a little bit of noise, from the fan, too intense, good specs for processing videos, limit the processor, 10% of its power, put it across the room, connecting it to a monitor, quickly edit things, a luxury, if you travel, a suitcase style computer, everythings embeded like a tick, millions of files, half-processed, these torrents are on this harddrive, Gulliver Of Mars, The Languages Of Pao, a Don Pendleton, Thunderball, From Russia With Love, came from Trish, Eaters Of The Dead, a fun book, look how thin it is, Sands Of Mars, The Song Of The Whip, cylindrical black thing, the one with the martini, deleted by now, wireless hockeypuck, lightbar, brand and product number, scrutinizing the photo, two middle names, investment companies, hey we’ve been hacked, very popular, it doesn’t take up any deskspace, electric standing desk, cable managment, Uplift desk, an old Ikea Jerker, you should make a website for this there’s money top be made, servicing these desks, facebook page and reddit threads, these desks dont die, super-customizable, modular like Lego, standing desks didn’t exist, they were not an idea yet, sit-stand desks at work, back problems, you shouldnt be sitting for 8 hours a fuckin day, sat with a rigid back, you know actually it’s good to slouch a bit, lied to their whole life, running around with sticks in the forest, thrown into a canoe taken to a farm, left in the library for 18 hours, students that can’t recognize animals, schools so fucked up, scare them straight, its like prison, homeschooling, grow up without huge neurosis and giant deficits, Poland farm work, the culture in this small village is so fucked up, next generation of toxic bullshit, a lot of bullying, the Aryan Nations gang, prison mentality, a daypass to go home, traumatized, empire building, told one thing as a kid, margarine is for lubricating metal at a cheaper price, I Can’t Believe We Were Lied To, the irony of life, plastic bag tablet to dye it, the butter lobby, mush it together, whenever the topic came up, hasn’t grown any mold on it, something you can eat and not die from, a rock will pass through you, not something that’s supposed to be in a human body, food pyramid, students back to back, early Russian Revolution history, the three precursors to the NKVD, Kadets, three political parties vying for power in 1919, designed to show how the Russians were bad, the old curriculum, the regular history of India, massacre in Amritsar, policy of being evil, decided to breakup the country, this is the British doing that, divide and conquer, we don’t learn that much, a hateon for the Russians, 2014, the Holodomor entering Canadian curriculum, have them read The Gulag Archipelago (is 75 hours), there’s a prison system, not a complete picture, the focus is on the things you want to make them think, The Trail Of Tears, why school is evil, testing you on the adherence to these lies, what next?, There Werewolf Of Ponkert by H. Warner Munn, The Devil’s Elixir by E.T.A. Hoffmann, unabridged, wacky stuff, may need more time, books to do, Februrary next year, that coffee bud, vodka, loosens you up, maybe the show wouldn’t be so good.

Skull-Face illustration by Hugh Doak Rankin

Skull-Face - illustration by Hugh Doak Rankin

Skull-Face - illustration by Hugh Doak Rankin

Ken Kelly - Skull-Face

Posted by Scott D. Danielson Become a Patron!

The SFFaudio Podcast #734 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: The Black Stranger by Robert E. Howard


The SFFaudio Podcast #734– The Black Stranger by Robert E. Howard – read by Connor Kaye. This is a complete and unabridged reading of the novella (3 hours 30 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants include Jesse, Paul Weimer, Trish E. Matson, Connor Kaye, Alex, and Cora Buhlert.

Talked about on today’s show:
with changes, Fantasy, February 1953, Gutenberg Australia, some art, is that supposed to be Conan, always cleanshaven, he has a knife so he would have shaved, buck naked, a great costume, Conan has a hat!, Conan cosplays, a blue jacket with silver buttons, a lacquered hat, researching hats, 100 years out of date, a pirate hat, the Del Rey edition, Gregory Manchess, Irene Gallo, the comic adaptation, an adaptation of the L. Sprague de Camp, he never gets the hat, inferior version, more authentic and more Robert E. Howard, pirate sword, broadsword, Villains Of All Nations by Marcus Rediker, piracy in the golden age, Howard doesn’t care about piracy as much as storytelling, how terrible De Camp is when he puts his hands on Conan, respectful of the lady’s title, not within his character, he’s not a classist, protective not deferential, Gary Gianni, the pirate sword, full pirate, his hat is a girl named Tina, tricorn hat, not recognizable, not normally naked with a loincloth, armour, Conan doesn’t have its own look, fur diaper, barechested, entering dynamically into the argument, the manor house is the ship wreckage, not a cutlass, par for the course, a hundred years earlier sword in Conanland, well worth getting, original typescripts, great illustrations, introductory essays, the title, Treasure Of Tranicos, the appeal, which is the more Howard Conan title?, not evocative, Swords Of The Red Brotherhood, slowly over the course of a week, who the Black Stranger was, think of how many times some stranger shows up, also refers to Conan, three pirates, the busiest beach in Pictland, so full of coincidences, what? who’s this?, built this castle, there’s a black stranger on the beach, a whipping scene, some Pict’s head comes flying out of nowhere, black hair, black skin, Thoth Amon, gladly excised, a drinking party where everybody’s frozen, he’s having fun, he’s pulling a Rings Of Power, is this hobbit Sauron?, left as an exercise for the reader, he is the author insert, his clothes are described awesomely, stepping out of the shadows, Conan, who else?, Blackbeard, famous pirates stepping out of history, that’s the gimmick is going for, all after the treasure, the misunderstanding of what Howard is doing, I can fix it, a very abrupt ending, the comic’s ending, a bag of jewels, that’s when men of civilized lands want, the speech, I’m gonna go be a pirate again, the demon has been destroyed, finance a revolution, his Conan chronology, the story doesn’t need this, Howard didn’t care about the myth arc, it weakens the story, strengthens its position in the myth arc, de Camp is good if he does his own thing, he cannot impersonate Howard’s writing, his rewrite detracts from the story, a weird twist in Conan’s story, Beyond The Black River, he feels ready, maybe somebody needs to go fix this, maybe a year, runs through the Pict wilderness, off we go, carefree younger bloodthirsty pirate Conan, why he thought that, didn’t fit his character, a line of paperbacks he wants to push, numbers on the spine, collect them all, a way for him to make money, it’s better now I improved it, Jesse the Cimmerian, the Black Vulmea version, you might get sued, perfectly legal, the name change, Verezano, what August Derleth did to H.P. Lovecraft’s writings, all the stories are separate, the milieu, loosely connected, Jules de Grandin, a reference back to an earlier, “complete in this issue”, the promise, a Varney the Vampire, I hate waiting that week, anthology series vs. the appeal of series, sold out that week, massive problems finding copies of Weird Tales in Cross Plains, loose series, what happened so far, they’re the thing that keeps your reading, 3.5 hours, a substantial chunk of Weird Tales, Famous Fantastic Mysteries [or Fantastic Novels], too long, Red Nails was split, the whipping scene, Howard specialists, Bobby Derie, how absolutely terrified, an urbane cultured individual, a descent into madness, not very weird, supernatural elements, a historical story, a straight pirate story, unsold Kull stories, relistening to prepare, where Conan really enters the story (at the 2 hour point), The Cromcast, Rusty Burke, their pre-chat is at the beginning, Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson, in real-life pirates never buried their treasure, their whole deal, Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn were wrong about pirates, Blackbeard’s Ghost (1968), they live a brief life, they want some earthly pleasure, a very unrealistic portrayal of pirates of the golden age, Fafhrd and The Grey Mouser, they wenched, it they drank it, the ISIS flag, found family vs. war against the world, anti-slavery, becoming a free man, they’re going to want to have me as a captain, a captain is elected, democracy and everybody having their share, they need me for navigation, Conan is not a class guy, he’s a race guy, in Queen Of The Black Coast, we get it wrong, she rules the seas, worshiped of the goddess, Valeria is another pirate, like Mary Read, a classic ancient roman dictator, The Isle Of Pirate’s Doom, quartermaster, Robert Louis Stevenson’s Master Of The Ballantrae: A Winter’s Tale, playing a game like in The Slithering Shadow, a gothic novel, supernatural seeming events, a giant slug monster, frog-monster, black heart, A Winter’s Tale by William Shakespeare, a coming together, sack of gold very small, woman on the arm, Tina is the hardest to explain story character, a prophetic gift, uncanny, what’s going on the beach, she sees, more plot device than character, a whipping scene, child characters, he liked children (not that way), Solomon Kane, The Moon Of Skulls, a kid he knew?, a Nathaniel Hawthorne sort of story, The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, a story set in a witch worried land, in the wilderness, the conception of a daughter out of wedlock, the scarlet A, why is that?, just a way to pad out the book, he’s read a book, what can I do with this, about men, our Duke runaway, civil war, no matter who wins the house and the land is saved, a lord who has runaway from his land to escape a demon, manifested, two demons, the collapse, Thoth is the black man, he sent the demon, in the comic book adaptation, a silver candelabra at the demon, in the original it is a silver bench weighing 100 pounds, what makes this a weird story is two things, the frozen men, the poisonous air, playing a role as in Nathaniel Hawthorne, the idea that people think there are supernatural elements, demons in the woods, Arabian Nights, folktales, the Mary Celeste, The Oval Portrait by Edgar Allan Poe, eerie circumstances, Beyond The Black River, just a great story, tacked on, otherwise Farnsworth Wright, sold into slavery, a juju man?, African voodoo priest, the central character, the game he’s playing, who is the central character, the count’s story, after he’s hung himself, the demon made him do it, tear him apart, if this was The House Of The Seven Gables, a a mouthful of blood, a curse on the family, something you internalize, externalize the demon, a slug/frog monster in the basement, an amazing scene, it might all of been in his head, kicking him into the fireplace, a superstition barbarian, knew the Picts pretty well, the shape of a man but the shadow was not that of a man, very against the Picts, he would kill us but he wouldn’t leave another white man to die amongst the Picts, the mythology and lore, in a cage in an toucan or eagle tribe villages, listening carefully, they’re neighbours, ancient rivalry, the Hyborian lands are basically Texas, in league with the Picts, you don’t understand , a feud older than the world, you know your enemy, traded from one to the other, tangling with each other, the Atlantean, geography is very important, Aquilonia is France, Nemedia is Germany, Zingara is Spain, Shem is Israel, Stygia is Egypt, do you have a map of the Hyborian lands, every issue of every Conan comic, a little splash of blood, just fucking terrible, Koth is south of this place, Bossonian Marches, and Poitain, a giant forest, a temperate rainforest, David J. West, bring to me your grey squirrel knowledge, a jungle off of France, it’s all Texas, get drunk and have sex with women, New Orleans, Tulane University, Cimmeria, Dark Valley, lots of trees so depressing, you bring your depression with you, buckskin, Hawkeye, Natty Bumbo, The Last Of The Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper, Mark Twain, the difference between Robert E. Howard and H.P. Lovecraft, jokes written for an individual, not meant for publication for everyone, same stories same ideas, Robert E. Howard is like a sponge, his ideas, he’s doing somebody else’s work, Thunder River, a very Texas names, toponyms, character names, he doesn’t care, how much time did he spend on that map, exactly straight lines, why does the German border with France look the way it does?, it used to be the ocean, it helps dictate so much, one of the first nation states, the ancient inhabitants of Scotland, his overall attitude is exactly the same as the timeline, is the story good?, indistinctness, a really nice fantasy story, the maps in books is a newish invention, it’s Tolkien, the timeline, that timeline, The Phoenix On The Sword, don’t read them in order, Conan Of The Isles, a finite amount of time, so many adventures that happened, there can always be more, it’s mythical rather than historical, Conan is an old guy in a tavern telling stories about his life, I was king of Aquilonia once, listening to old frontierspeople, P. Schuyler Miller’s Probable Outline Of Conan’s Career, savage sword is in this, very broad strokes, and then an age of man passed, story notes, Almuric, a massive infodump, four or five pages of explaining, the decamp rewrite, connects us to the next story and the next book, extrapolation, in the fur diaper every single time, slightly different breeks, he’s hard on his clothes, The God In The Bowl, just stepped out of the cradle, climbs up a tower and kills an elephant and buys a drink and a hat, Afghulistan, silk, knee-breeches, a gay pride parade, made up by Frank Frazetta, he was really good at it, Margaret Brundage’s Conan looks malnourished, default D&D barbarian, we forget how little people read Howard, a long stretch where he wasn’t a thing, Frazetta, De Camp, and Lin Carter, the comics, a little Gnome Press, Lancer and Ace, the comics define that image, as opposed to the text, how excited Savage Sword Of Conan readers, the Conan movie is coming, he’s got a broadsword, a fur diaper, his super-hero costume, the S on his shirt, the underwear, and a cape, cowl with ears, serial, something we never see in American television, Doctor Who, film serials, The Lone Ranger, 52 episodes a season, they never connect, Batman (the Adam West TV show), two-parter, 77 Sunset Strip, Babylon 5‘s serialized arc, Twin Peaks was a weird fiction soap opera, a soap opera, hyper-reality, sexual molestation, deep horror, heavy for today, a father molests his daughter, L.A. Law, a crime drama, final exam, eating crisps, back to the story, the things that make this story work, how stories should be, people think that they can fix it, let me tell you how to open a story, before chapter one, the log walls of the manor walls he had built, his hard earned security, where the darkness seemed thicker than elsewhere, limp with damp sweat, a bluish glow, even in his swoon, what does that add to the story?, Conan fans, oh, it’s a conan story, having Conan in it, Beyond The Black River, Wolves Beyond The Border, Valeria, The People Of The Black Circle, posthumous collaborations with Robert E. Howard, August Derleth’s career, a tension between the audience, a fan petition to reshoot the ending of a movie, what we want from Conan or Robert E. Howard stories, all the arguing and infighting, two different pirates, some kind of code, what is a truce?, I have a ship, how are we going to resolve this, the cabbage, wolf, and sheep, other people reacting to Conan, I don’t want you on my ship, you will to turn my ship against me, preconceptions, the Schwarzenegger movies, three terrible people, fascinating characters, Black Colossus, weird intrigue, Yasmina, doesn’t want to fight a bunch of wizards, letting go of your preconceptions, different than in other stories, more raw and less sympathetic, willing to take advantage of other people, is the character always like this?, The Hour Of The Dragon, written after, similar personalities, really cynical, not very sympathetic, you’re in the wrong place at the wrong time, not sad about it, even the women and children massacred at the end, the young man and the dog, not even a likeable dog, a terrible dog, collect some Pict heads for the dog, the character we’re getting, younger, more selfish, the oldest Conan, among the first written, Zenobia the slave, a noblewoman, he needs to flee, go without me I’ll just slow you down, I’m gonna come back, I’m going to remember it, this honour, another adventure, that sense of responsibility, come back for them, the ladies of his court are being debauched by Nemedians, being King pushed him, The Phoenix On The Sword, this weird dream, I don’t care about all this king stuff, absolutely furious, horrible stuff happening, why the barons are not taking responsibility for it, did his personality stand out?, Queen Of The Black Coast Conan, he’s in pirate mode, they’re all in the game, the wildcard, who else am I supposed to root for?, sweep the board, Knives Out (2019) Robert E. Howard style, he never tries to take advantage of them, not very honourable, Pool Of The Black One, he’s done it before, washes up on a pirate ships, take over pirate ships, he’s first mate, Iron Shadows In The Moon, slave mutiny, go back to your villages, myth busted, Connor’s thesis, women and children without names, fairly innocent people, they’re all foolish because they followed this mad count, why it’s his story, that’s how we shouldn’t read it, the Jeremy Brett adaptations of Sherlock Holmes, they opened almost every episode NOT with Sherlock Holmes, consultation, when Conan Doyle gets tired of Sherlock Holmes stories, weirder, where Watson is almost the only character, The Hound Of The Baskervilles, 221 Baker St., we see some weird things happen, that preview is saying “this is the important part”, what makes series popular, The Twilight Zone, an amazing afterlife, as the reboots have shown, a serialized mystery murder series that sustained, an Alan Moore style iconic character, a professional entertainment show, we don’t criticise the author on stage, editing it for television, good writing, where Conan is reintroduced, two other pirates have shown up on the beach, being Weird Tales readers,

A man strode out from the hangings that masked a chamber door, and advanced toward the table without haste or hesitation. Instantly he dominated the group, and all felt the situation subtly charged with a new, dynamic atmosphere.

The stranger was as tall as either of the freebooters, and more powerfully built than either, yet for all his size he moved with pantherish suppleness in his high, flaring-topped boots. His thighs were cased in close-fitting breeches of white silk, his wide-skirted sky-blue coat open to reveal an open-necked white silken shirt beneath, and the scarlet sash that girdled his waist. There were silver acorn-shaped buttons on the coat, and it was adorned with gilt-worked cuffs and pocket-flaps, and a satin collar. A lacquered hat completed a costume obsolete by nearly a hundred years. A heavy cutlass hung at the wearer’s hip.

‘Conan!’ ejaculated both freebooters together, and Valenso and Galbro caught their breath at that name.

‘Who else?’ The giant strode up to the table, laughing sardonically at their amazement.

Conan The Salaryman, the favourite pronoun for Conan, the thrillpoint, those amazing reveal scenes, that word “stranger” comes up 18 times, “The Coming Of The Black Man”, a pretty good story, the best of the unsold stories, The Vale Of Lost Women is better, Conan fights a god, The Frost Giant’s Daughter, Niord, Amra, The God In The Bowl, he’s playing games with literature, it’s time to do a detective story, Conan does Agatha Christie, an investigator, this mysterious murder case, a locked room murder, Mary Roberts Reinhart, the snake did it, The Speckled Band, Rogues In The House, Edgar Allan Poe’s Rue Morgue story, the monkey did it, sardonic, having fun making his own version of somebody else’s story, L. Sprague De Camp in fighting against the story, read the stories individually on their own, the order they are written, Man Eaters Of Zamboula, the best story of all of them, Red Nails, ambitious, it’s got a dinosaur, it’s got lasers, the laser wands are hard to beat, decadent, doing black lotus all day, a practice run for Red Nails, one big thing that shocked Jesse, railing against, pirate ship lay at anchor (full sails), always put gunports, we get this line, saw them drawing barrels of wine, if I had a hundred men, there goes a rocket from the red hand, they have rockets!, part of the argument that had been made, redone as Conan, part of the argument, the video comments, [Karl Edward] Wagner, magic or alchemy, even if they had black powder, a very modern term, feels kind of jarring, weird glowing gems, radium, radiation sickness, one city that developed way to fast, his version of The Time Machine, Morlocks and Eloi, evolution is real, shaking me to my core, a rocket from the red hand, Black Colossus, a practical pirate ship, a rocket store, Rocket Outlet, rockets imply Gandalf, the rocket passes with the sound of an express train, a football, Tolkien, a clock on his mantle, evokes westerns, The Treasure Of The Sierra Madre, the Picts are Indians, moccasins and tomahawks, Normandy or Brittany, toucans are not a European bird, grey squirrels are not a European squirrel, The Brain Eaters by Frank Belknap Long, the Mi-go, Robert Bloch, The Were-snake, a famous piece of art from Weird Tales, Clark Ashton Smith, The Isle Of Pirates Doom, a Poseidonis story, A Voyage To Sfanamoe, super-scientists the only island of Atlantis that has yet to sink, naturally, blind and deaf mute slaves, they fly off to Venus, they map Earth before they live, old men with five foot beards, evil twins, Dr Seuss like animals, one of them sprouts a flower from his hand, die painlessly, the whole story, they die horribly, The Forbidden Forest, becomes enflowered, monster flowers, the evil garden, organs turned into plants, he’s gone, a new Robert E. Howard story, wow this is amazing, Conan By Tweet, The Country Of The Knife, El Borak, Complete Stories Magazine, August 1936, every chapter has a title, a Jane Austen and Cinderella ripoff, super-classist, Keeping The Castle by Patrice Kindl, a YA, 2012, very well done, hate the stepsisters, some over the shoulder stuff, a feature not a bug sort of thing, Disney princesses, his character doesn’t matter very much, her unique goodness, the prince is faceblind, matrimony choices, she’s short, a weird feature if it is a feature.

THE BLACK STRANGER facsimile typescript

The Black Stranger - art by Orban

The Black Stranger - art by Orban

The Black Stranger - art by Gary Gianni

The Black Stranger - art by Gary Gianni

The Black Stranger - art by Manuel Perez Clemente

The Black Stranger by Robert E. Howard

Posted by Jesse WillisBecome a Patron!

The SFFaudio Podcast #682 – READALONG: The Screwfly Solution by James Tiptree, Jr.

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #682 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, Scott Danielson, Evan Lampe, and Trish E. Matson talk about The Screwfly Solution by James Tiptree, Jr.

Talked about on today’s show:
Racoona Sheldon, Analog, June 1977, special women’s issue, Eyes Of Amber by Joan D. Vinge, Analog, not just for men, Ben Bova, a 1970s thing, Women Destroy anthologies, all Harlan Issue, throw all the women in one basket, J. Michael Straczynski, a sausage fest, representation by gender, a piss per job, one woman per this episode, making room for women, what her logic was, Angel Fix, to suit different markets?, James Tiptree, Jr had to intervene on behalf of Racoona Sheldon, Robert Silverberg had to make a huge apology, it was very clear James Tiptree, Jr. was a man, the Andre Norton story, she was not hiding, a quasi-medieval romance, rationalization, this story is about rationalization, the whole religious cult element, super hard SF, as a historian, certain biological experiences (like love), fairly universal across humanity, across time however…, culture, movies, love songs, something physically is changing in these men, all the cultural baggage would be dispensed, morality wouldn’t win out?, the first time a zombie wakes up, turning some aspect up to 11, to set the society’s norms, urges, the story of Adam and Eve, uncomfortable, people use it for whatever they want, good science fiction, why Jesse likes adaptations, The Twilight Zone adaptation, the new Dune movie, The Masters Of Horror adaptation, the 90210 guy and Elliot Gould, commas missing in the PDF, the narrator of the story has comma problems but the characters writing the letters don’t, her diary entry, a fun format, enough material for a hefty novel (or a quintology), if Steven Baxter wrote this story, a hard topic to fully satisfy everybody with, like H.G. Wells’ The War Of The Worlds, horrific, creeping dread, clamping down on the news [censorship], the horror of the nice rational scientist, feels himself changing and can’t stop it, bestial/primal instincts, awakened by the aliens, existential dread, we are the monsters, we’re all going to die, humanity is going to kill itself, people do it to themselves, completely chilling, On And Off A Mountain Road, metaphors, cursed film episode Cigarette Burns, a slasher, the focus is on the micro, the outer image, Alan in Colombia, his job is what the aliens do to us,

the 2019 reboot of THE TWILIGHT ZONE has an episode called “NOT ALL MEN” which is credited to Heather Anne Campbell

it seems to be an uncredited remake of the MASTERS OF HORROR episode “THE SCREWFLY SOLUTION” scripted by Sam Hamm

Not All Men / The Screwfly Solution

except the latter is an adaptation of a 1977 story by James Triptree, Jr.

and the former isn’t

evidence:

Both have family dinner parties

The Screwfly Solution DINNER

Both have cakes with words written on them (“welcome home” and “happy birthday”)

Not All Men DINNER

Both have women being murdered by men

Both have the military showing up

Both have atypical meteors showers

and

Both have their respective blonde female protagonists driving around by day, and being chased by night, in identical yellow Volkswagen Beetles

on the left TWILIGHT ZONE on the right MASTERS OF HORROR

Not All Men / The Screwfly Solution BEETLES

THE SCREWFLY SOLUTION is biological Science Fiction and visceral Horror – an alien invasion story like THE WAR OF THE WORLDS by H.G. Wells, as intellectually rigorous, but brutal, scary, and gripping

NOT ALL MEN is decidedly not – it is almost a comedy, but there are no laughs

THE SCREWFLY SOLUTION suggest we are victims of biology

NOT ALL MEN suggest everyone has a choice and most men choose to be bad

the MASTERS OF HORROR episode makes a character from the short story gay, and makes him resistant to the biology that effect most men

the TWILIGHT ZONE episode has a gay character who chooses to be resistant

and both have females disagreeing, in their yellow Volkswagen beetles, about how to understand what is happening to the men around them

THE SCREWFLY SOLUTION is full of conscientious men and women, scientists, trying to figure out what is happening and how to help their families and the world

NOT ALL MEN has basically no scientists (@ the end, maybe?) but has a marketing company doing some sciencey or something?

THE SCREWFLY SOLUTION has the most brutally noir ending imaginable, an ironic one given the characters we follow around for the story, perhaps the last woman alive on earth watching the new tenants of Earth arriving and knowing humanity is finished

NOT ALL MEN ends with a deus ex machina, with cops or the army saving our viewpoint characters, fade to black

blood tests turn up nothing

a twist ending that throws out the main idea they’ve been pushing (the red meteors were a red herring)

there a line at the end of the episode that supposedly explains it all:

“The meteors…they were a placebo.”

then we get the cut-rate Rod Serling closing narration:

Jordan Peele (cut rate Rod Serling)

“Tonight, Annie Miller found herself in the center of a mysterious and violent epidemic. What she encountered was no material disease but rather a plague of conscience. One that gave men permission to ignore decency, consent, and fear. And tonight, all it took was a few an
innocuous little rocks to turn men into monsters here in the Twilight Zone.”

at one point during the craziness in the streets one guy says

“Fuck your feelings”

And this is the level of analysis and writing we are dealing with.

more than 2000 imdb ratings for each

IMDB RATINGS

4.8/10 for THE TWILIGHT ZONE “Not All Men”

6.4/10 for MASTERS OF HORROR “The Screwfly Solution”

Finally, both were filmed in British Columbia

THE SCREWFLY SOLUTION is set in several places, including Texas, Michigan, and British Columbia

i don’t think we know where NOT ALL MEN is set (other than a really lame corner of The Twilight Zone)

The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street, Volkswagen Beetle, understanding the point of the original, we might be unable to control ourselves vs. choosing to be bad, just attacking, just aggro, one of these is science fiction and the other is something else, nightmares, mass hysteria and people’s choices or an alien disease, the hope of the species, woken from crazy aggressive killings, In The Mouth Of Madness (1994), The King In Yellow by Robert W. Chambers, a meme vs. an enzyme or a hormone, social pressures vs. biological pressures, do you read Sutter Cane?, if so you’re infected, the reason I’m killing you is because you’re a communist or a homosexual, explaining inexplicable impulses, a phenomenon we see in reality, Trump as a symptom, the Cult of Adam, “angels”, interesting things in a compressed space, Dracula, the epistolary format, the personal and the broader picture, different perspectives, perfectly expressed, something terrible is happening in England, layers and layers of intertextuality, this is all a suicide note, yesterday I saw an angel, a real estate agent, a devastating last line, all the adults over six years old, feral kids, like a lot of Star Trek episodes, we did it to ourselves!, higher doing what we do to lower or higher species, Huston, Huston, Do You Read?, gender dynamics, women disposing of men, this thing called kissing, Y: The Last Man, a response to When It Changed by Joanna Russ, ovafusion, all female civilization, Sheri S. Tepper, a whole genre conversation, The Children Of Men by P.D. James, The Last Hawk by Catherine Asaro, gender reversed romance plots, men are the hysterical, the second most dangerous primate, another primate note, the rhesus monkeys, spider monkeys, chimpanzees, biological similarity, not well discussed at the dinner table, mating behaviors, Fritz Leiber, opinions from twitter, wishing people would read it, even the uninfected nodded and saw the killing as natural, the result is extermination, God’s will, committees, kill camps, bad things are happening, no one in authority, the mundane aspect, being called to Florida, a car flotilla [aka a convoy], the NIH, Triptree lived in Washington, D.C., her husband and her were both CIA, part of the interest here, Deep Impact (1998), a bunch of people in a control room, the media, something weird is happening in India, 150 adulteresses in Saudi Arabia, very similar headlines, “so-called Sharia Law”, Michael McKean (of Spinal Tap), #YesAllWomen, scarier and scarier every day, an over-reading, anonymous submission, George Sand, other reasons, “trans-phobic”, whatever else, transphobic by structure, a binary opposition of genders, gender binarism is real and meaningful, structurally queasy, men as naturally pedophilic, socially compelled into a straight marriage, there’s a lot there, you gotta consider the context of the story, Heinlein was, reading transphobia into texts [from 1977], Trish is cancelled, a failure of imagination, phobia is without meaning, outside the scope of what she’s exploring, how they turn on the boys, a non-binary view of sexuality, reading too much into this?, aggression hacked sexuality, a less binary reading of sexuality, she’s thinking super-hard, what is sexuality?, this strange focus on a part of science that doesn’t get a lot of attention in Science Fiction, our hero Alan, his relationship with his wife, it gets hot, he starts fantasizing on the airplane, crushed the Coke can, you need to kill me if I show up, I should throw this knife away, really good hard SF, he knows there’s something wrong with him, he should kill himself, killing (and possibly raping) his own daughter, slightly misreading what’s going on, the chase mentality is real, ovulation in some animals needs this, kinda Kinsey, the weaker have been killed, artificial wombs, Podkayne Of Mars, freeze your zygotes, Lois McMaster Bujold, people’s wrong takes, the most devastating counterargument to #NotAllMen, they are connected, an expression, traction after #MeToo, the defensive reaction, downgrading the impact of #MeToo, #BlackLivesMatter vs. #BlueLivesMatter, sarcastic uses, #AllMen, aggressive seeds, bombing Dallas, men are evil, seeds of violence, misogynistic in structure, a jihad against women, in order to do evil is to choose evil, we are biologically determined, human beings are more than their biology, condemned by our biology, its not a disease, on the ground, isn’t it horrifying that we are biologically determined?, the hashtag vs. the Twilight Zone episode of the same name, explicitly rejecting Tiptree Jr.’s idea, we should summon the will, what if we are biologically determined to do everything, an MRNA injection, a hard bitter pill to swallow, what the story is suggesting, it helps Scott make choices, seeing this in all its horror, if we don’t have choices in reality, the illusion of choices?, what about the screwflies?, they’re just flies, we write stories, we’re not as complicated as we think, slaves to our hormones, he doesn’t kill himself, noir, not pulling its punches, biological determinism or mostly biologically determined?, influenced by stories, closer to chimps or rhesus monkeys, bonobos?, sex as a way of saying hello, a dispute over a sandwich settled by sex, institutions and ideology shape how we interpret and overcome biological, the birth control pill, change society, what science fiction is, geology, how old the Earth is, life-changing, a very good science fiction story, harder than H.G. Wells’ The War Of The Worlds [not The Time Machine], take the war to Mars, maybe somebody’s working on something somewhere, so good, 1 hour to read, that fake stuff that’s 16 books long, fake science, 2 north 75 degree west, anthropology, WHO inoculations, just watched an episode of Masters Of Horror, Cordwainer Smith, off in Africa with her parents, the horse latitudes, bringing experience to the table, its not because she’s a girl, long short story format, The Women Men Don’t See, The Woman Who Was Plugged In, semi-interesting, externalize evil, religions antagonists fighting god, the devil is trying to put bad thoughts in your head, avoiding responsibility, easier, Alcohol Anonymous’ plan, accept the higher power because you’re weak, these religious pamphlets make so much sense, Genesis 3:16, women: feel the pain of childbirth and obey your husbands, short stories are a technology for delivering ideas, don’t be anti-good story, some people are willing to put anything into their bodies, good short SF is a vaccination against long terrible series that do you wrong.

The Screwfly Solution by James Tiptree, Jr.

Posted by Jesse WillisBecome a Patron!

The SFFaudio Podcast #555 – READALONG: Shadows In The Moonlight by Robert E. Howard

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #555 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, Terence Blake, Mark Finn, Alex talk about Shadows In The Moonlight aka Iron Shadows In The Moon by Robert E. Howard

Talked about on today’s show:
trademark, registered, copyright, Vale Of Lost Women, rattle Mark’s cage, red caped monkey, more construction, more constructed, barbarism vs. civilization, propagandizing this idea, the middling Conan, formula, Rogues In The House, the beginning of the greatest hits album, if he were Aerosmith this would be “Walk This Way”, touchstones, essential elements, the damsel in distress, bloody trail of vengeance, piracy, savage ape, supernatural menace, what do you want from a Conan story, a representative story, there’s wizardry, dream magic, this is what Conan is all about, this is what Conan does, if there was a snake, squirmed an burrowed like a snake, the comics, it starts similarly to Red Nails, the end of the beginning, fruit, giant monster, alone in the wilderness, why did you run out of this jade palace, the Garden of Eden, Queen Of The Black Coast, monkey monsters, a forbidden place, working through, this is what manly men act like, this is what a man is, where Olivia looks at the two jungle creatures, how they’re alike, Shah Amurath, barbarian in response, a Cimmerian vs. the Cimmerian, a response to what he and Lovecraft were arguing over, Howard thought Lovecraft was smarter than him, test those theories, page 30, was there a serpent in..?, PulpCovers doesn’t want to be PC, without judgement but with a pattern, unashamed of being a manly man, pirate costumes, carrying a gun around, chivalrous towards women, Lovecraft is a gentle-man (a gentlemen), what a man is, Terence territory, a pre-philosophy for manhood, the way men love Conan, doing ablutions, iron thews, a male and female gaze, ewww gross, powerful, Tweets Of High Adventure, tweet length prose, every sentence has the language, art, unashamed, its all pure, Vale Of Lost Women is “problematic”, a distilled essence, no casual Conan readers, in for penny in for a pound, this masculinity, did he have a choice in Texas in the 1920s?, acceptable work for a man, vocational training, taking a day job, begging letter, worst fucking human being ever, the boxing stories, bareknuckle boxing, intellectual conversation, never about particulars, newspaper stories to back up their thought processes, news clipping, the only way to run a city, the story in the boat, in the prose, we don’t sell our children, stories of Comanche, a warts and all presentation, ethnic cleansing, riding with the Cherokee, a mindset, an ideal, there are no rules right now, Gertrude Hemken loved Conan, studying philosophy, Nietzsche, John Milius and Oliver Stone, Conan The Barbarian (1982), a through line, sitting in the agora listening to the philosophers, life is an illusion then I’m an illusion too, Solomon Kane is the religious philosopher, scenes of melancholy, a debate on masculinity, a constructed virtue, the body or the mind, the idea of the wild and nature, Lovecraft’s wild, you’ve got the wild inside you, human beings , women are shapely, every muscle is supple, pantherish, his scabbard purrs, it comes from silk, a relationship between what shah Amurath vs. the ape vs. Conan, toxic masculinity, I’m a barbarian buy I’m not a monster, a king of Akif, Turanians vs. Hyrkanians, Hyrkanians are a race and Turanians are a nationality, the Persian Gulf vs. the Caspian Sea vs. the Black Sea, maps of Hyboria, Vedyha is India, Khitai is China, the islands of Mu, filling in the historical record, a starting place, walk these things back into the Hyborian age, analogs, she’s a devi not a rani, he needs a Mediterranean, adventure locations, a pirate this week, the Kozaki are the Cossacks, the Mongols, Red Sonja vs Red Sonya, her sister’s a real person, her father’s a real person, Haws Of Outremer by Robert E. Howard, Mark wrote the afterword, the Punisher in armor, the Cormac Fitzgeoffrey stories, the same emotional space, riding out on the steppes, Oriental and Middle Eastern adventures, Flesh + Blood (1985), Rutger Hauer and Jenifer Jason Leigh, the Dark Horse Comics adaptation, the art, Olivia doing the narration doesn’t make sense, 2 and half days, the confrontation in the reeds is one of Howard’s best scenes, you really hate that guy, when he’s getting chopped to bits, Olivia has two dreams, when Conan’s rowing and the other in the ruined temple, a prologue, what her dream is, the negroes who aren’t negroes, not-kushites, black and made of iron, what does it mean?, expressing their otherworldliness, black statutes but not statues of black people, an artificially baroque language, some sort of race thing, the golden youth, possibly raped, the sky reflected in the water, both a sea and a lake, one third the salinity of the rest of the oceans, flying through the sky, she’s describing it to Conan, she’s supposed to be telling Conan’s story, we shouldn’t be inside her head and not past tense, he can’t hold down a job, pillage a few towns over, holding out for a management position, wear sandals to tread the jeweled thrones, the blue of the sea, mirrors of stars, a phantasmal oarsmen, a quiet slumber, his iron thews, that female gaze, shying away from Robert E. Howard, annoyed by the mire, unmanned by bugs, how far a man can throw a stone, showing off his thews, testing his theory, she’s traumatized, a princess laid low to the status of a slave, a couple (at the end), not telling fairy stories, men and women equally tough in a fight, Ronda Rousey, women are subject to male violence, a romance (an adventure) out of horrible circumstance, we’re not used to today, Yemen right now, 70-80 year old text, a historical basis for women adventurers, easy to gravitate to, Joan of Arc, the women pirates, women doing what men do, he’s not pulling this stuff out of his butt, Howard’s historical stories, Conan was a commercial endeavor, pulp era titillation, why Margaret Brundage did those covers, Seabury Quinn, when he comes back, the women have changed positions, evil queens, swordswomen, a shift in agency, in the Dark Horse adaptation, in the actual story it’s all her, saving him in order to save himself, Valeria is competition for Conan, Red Sonja’s character is mostly that, equally wily, Olivia is just a regular person, crawling into that den of pirates, how tortured they have been, the male version of Olivia, Conan knows everybody, Sergius, a boss fight, the TV tropes for this story, three point landing, divine right of kings, Conan the rules lawyer, Tim Truman’s Dark Horse comics adaptation, a defense of the switch to Olivia’s POV, the thing that Conan did, the guy in the story that everybody’s heard about, getting into it, Conan’s perspective, the disembowelment, seeing that same scene again from that POV, the Roy Thomas adaptation is not to add any words, Roy Thomas is amazing when he captures Howard’s prose, the new Marvel travesty (Conan The Barbarian and Savage Sword Of Conan) “ass” is used twice in July 2019 issue, cur, dog, slut, special language, Island of the Temple Statues, why that change, it changes the dynamic, hard not cruel, quartering, “quarter? I’ll give you quarter!”, Olivia’s really active, this formula, beautiful babe in distress, check off those boxes, you can take my stories or leave them, playing it up, why the text feels so weird, three set pieces, don’t forget the giant ape, strung like beads on a string, Conan on a weekend, they should hire the person who runs Conan The Salaryman, how it resonates with Paul, flipping your desk, Thor: The Dark World (2013), adjectives attitude and viewpoint on the world, Frank Miller’s Sin City, Conan in a noir story, just a crazy guy (with a code), code vs. philosophy, a personal moral compass, allowing for an exception, Conan is his own arbiter, there’s always an angle to be played, we can take Conan at his word but nobody else can, Olivia over his shoulder and he’s running away, high heels vs. mountain cat, the only thing that can unman me is mosquitoes, a supple ass, those outside, too nice a guy, Gertrude Barrows Bennett, faces and asses?, girls like prepping, men like to be thought of as competent, how to be, how to be a man, the right attitude, its more like…, why does Howard never take us to Cimmeria?, the whole point is to see a man out of his element and see how he should act, those roving feet, something powerful about that idea, how to be a man, “what’s real, man?”, it’s good to have skills, the prose is gorgeous, the unnamed monkey, we need to talk about the parrot, bad biology, if this is near the tropics, New World parrots are colourful, a thousand year old parrot, Jesse wasted his time, the parrot as the harbinger, the chorus, we got the idea, if Howard had seen a parrot, Da Vinci’s Demons, the communist memes, some Nazi left over from WWII is giving a speech, justifications for tweets, macaw, why he put it in this fantasy world, research is hard, fantasy world, letters to Harold Lamb in ADVENTURE, it’s so good, a fruit they’ve never seen before, there’s a dinosaur in it, getting snakes wrong, a failure of the work, a fringe moment, the new Age Of Conan Belit comic is shit, a ship at full sail in a storm hidden in a harbour with gunports, Baggywrinkles by Lucy Bellwood, a sailor’s story should be written and drawn by people familiar with ships, Lovecraft defends him as a poet, his poetry is beautiful, 700 poems!, the complete poetry of Robert E. Howard, Cimmeria, some great lesbian stuff, the alliteration and rhythm, the lull of the rowing, he was fantastic at it, how he did it, looking at meters and couplets, Howard intuited, his prose has that richness, scenes of horrible violence, kings dying from poison, beauty in the savagery, why nobody has been able to write a convincing Conan story, the vocabulary and the rhythm, Howard was able to write Lovecraft stories, a different disposition, The Black Stone, The Challenge From Beyond, Queen Of The Black Coast, the language is the main character, the checkpoints could be seen as mechanical, a complex story, an inspiration to early Dungeons & Dragons, mixing and matching, skill checks, Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson, not enough angry monkeys, Giant Ape, kobolds, why does he like monkeys so much, is Howard wrestling with Darwin, Thak, Moon Of Zimbabwe, he doesn’t like to come out of the forest, gorillas, base emotions, Howard’s stance on mankind, cycles of history, that backslide into savagery and barbarism, Thak wants to be a man, a ladder you can climb, Gulka the Gorilla Slayer, gorilla as a stand in for the lecherous intentions of people of colour, to refute Darwin and prop up racism, that wonderful willful disconnect to justify a bad belief system, using the stories of the bible and the trappings as a weight of authenticity, The Murders In The Rue Morgue by Edgar Allan Poe, from the monkey’s POV, the sailor who brought him to France, dragon, flying monkeys in Queen Of The Black Coast, a thing in culture at the time, King Kong, The Uncharted Isle by Clark Ashton Smith, the Hippocampus Press documentary: Clark Ashton Smith: Emperor Of Dreams, Dagon, a per-Atlantean civilization, babies sacrificed to a gorilla god, an Atlantean dream story, monkeys are in the air man, The Wizard Of Oz, a phenomenon, everybody got gorillas on the brain, gorilla suits, a course correction after the 1970s, Planet Of The Apes, Sailor Steve Costigan stories, an animal reflection, using natural terms, why Solomon Kane is always a wolf, El Borak is fast and deadly, hawk noses, vulpine eyes, connecting to a larger natural world, sacrificing something superior to them, the psychological basis for bullfighting, suppleness vs. strength, he wins with dexterity as much with strength, he’s upped his wisdom, his constitution, he can lie in a snowbank, the Tibetan monks, the yoga of inner heat, pro-nature, Conan is a part of nature, Lovecraft as a nature as a scary other, nature with gambrel roofs nearby, how much was Howard out in boats, a rural existence, hiking and camping, New Mexico, Carlsbad Caverns, Galveston, Texas, how he writes about stuff, the Walden variety of gentlemen on holiday, longhand letters, the things some writers will do not to finish a story, going back to it vs. being out of it, getting past miscegenation, deep ones, Cthulhu, shapeless formless, slithering shadow, in Howard’s world, the last of their kind, the end of the age of megafauna and megaflora, he’s still working on his monkey ideas, fringe science, discredited anthropological stuff, one of the greatest magazines ever printed, a whole series about the Kozaki, a fight with Yildiz, making whole connections by people who can capture the voice, The Scarlet Citadel, this guy’s lived a life, I’m gonna git Conan, we can fill in that stuff for ourselves, the best thing about Conan, he’s the least asshole asshole in the room, why he’s in a bad mood, I already told him I wasn’t going to do it, Black Gate blog, Hither Came Conan, The God In The Bowl, the one with the snake god, barbarism vs. civilization, the reason why you have them in so many of the stories, Farnsworth Wright, in the first 11 Conan stories, issue 21 of the Dark Horse series, the reason Olivia was sold, the Queen of Ophir, undercutting the idea, ABlaze‘s Conan series, Jesse will fight that monkey god, Terence doesn’t hang out in the French comic book stores, more spare more simple, a feminist ending, I want to sail the seas with you, I will bring you with me, Conan, “I will make you the king of this inland sea, Conan”, it ends with the parrot, scorch king Yildiz’ pantaloons, John Bolton anti-Iranian propaganda, People Of The Black Circle, the Persians as the bad guys in western history, Howard’s sympathies, “Oriental Adventures”, the El Borak stories, throwing the Brit under the bus, every man has the capacity to be a shithead, shithead or victim, the compass needle, the course correction, melded with a dark god from an ancient tomb, Conan as the antidote for too much corruption, where the politics comes in, Conan The Cimmerian, Tomas Giorello, you gotten soften, unexpectedly cheerful, if this was happening in the 1990s, the Del Rey Conans, disengage the De Camp and Lin Carter, pop-culture Conan fighting pop culture Wolverine, Savage Avengers, the onramp, CHiPs , you’re sullying the legacy, deeply understanding and respecting the prose, how the fuck can they get away with this?, an editorial failure, she has the voice in her head, that it’s funny, we need thews and no ass, the recipe, Red Sonja with Roy Thomas and Esteban Maroto, it will get cancelled, By Crom, Shel Kahn’s Conan Is My Spirit Animal, attributed to Genghis Kahn, what is best in life, coffee, women lamenting, pulp magazine philosopher, Philip K. Dick as a paperback philosophy, what these weird guys spread across the United States, everybody should be lucky enough to have access.

Boris Vallejo cover for Iron Shadows In The Moon

Mark Schultz illustration for Iron Shadows In The Moon by Robert E. Howard

Posted by Jesse Willis

Reading, Short And Deep #197 – The Pimienta Pancakes by O. Henry

Podcast

Reading, Short And DeepReading, Short And Deep #197

Eric S. Rabkin and Jesse Willis discuss The Pimienta Pancakes by O. Henry

The Pimienta Pancakes was first published in McClure’s, December 1903.

Here’s a link to the PDF of the story.

Posted by Scott D. Danielson

The SFFaudio Podcast #387 – READALONG: Double Star by Robert A. Heinlein

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #387 – Jesse, Paul, and Julie Davis talk about Double Star by Robert A. Heinlein.

Talked about on today’s show:
Astounding Science Fiction, February, March, April 1956, Scaramouche by Rafael Sabatini, making connections, good job, 100% first person, mistaken shallow perception -> deeper understanding, The Prince And The Pauper by Mark Twain, The Prisoner Of Zenda by Anthony Hope, the LibriVox audiobook levelated and made beautiful, humour, light, twitter conversation “bland” vs. “light”, bubbles along, swashbuckler, Heinlein is that you?, this is a book about politics, here are all the political systems, making fun of Heinlein is very easy, bullheaded, popular quotes, one character sitting in a room and another character walks in and says “no”, refusing, listen to me young man I am the old man and I know best, Heinlein’s negotiation tactic is brinkmanship, it’s not your turn, more about politics and racism and perception (than SF), I think my father would be proud that my life is a work of art, from Lorenzo Smythe’s POV, a failed actor, not a loser, penniless, working as a stripper, the illustrations from the serialization, this is not in the book, non-info-dump info-dumps, Coriolis vs. Coriolanus, narrator Lloyd James, in the voice of Bonforte, a better person or politician than Bonforte, remember Bill, a bunch of people talking on a spaceship, not a juvenile, Hitler, Satan, assuming the attributes of divinity, a politically astute novel, Heinlein’s earlier jobs, owning a silver mine, running for political office, being in the room, libertarian, California state assembly 1948, no prizes for second place in politics, an British parliamentary system, William King Of The Dutch and Emperor of The Earth, Queen Elizabeth II (former Empress), head of state vs. head of government, when you go to visit Lincoln, Lincoln is a God in the temple, larger than life, a Greek temple, The Simpsons, political corruption, the Jefferson memorial, you went to Lincoln first!, understanding why the book is resonant, the emperor of Known Space likes playing with trains, meeting the Queen, no statue for John Major, 100 units in pocket, politics as a team sport vs. saviors, taking care of the day-to-day crap, Primary Colors (1998), John Hightower, I take that on so you can get something done, taking on the mantle of the President, there’s no special charm to Prime Ministers (usually), confidence votes, the show must go on, “always take sides”, the “poltroons”, a second look, the title, human = martian, equality for all, doubling, Lorenzo Smythe = Lawrence Smith, an instinctual hate of the aliens, squiggly arms, hating aliens is racism, the aliens are just Texans, the life wand, induction into the Martian clan, introduction at William’s court, Prof. Eric S. Rabkin’s lecture on Heinlein, Stranger In A Strange Land, the TV Tropes entry on Double Star, orange morality and blue morality, wise man and straw man, showing up late, a cycle humans keep falling into, a 1970 Double Star cover, a modern art prize (2000 Turner Prize) controversy, Stuckists and Sad Puppies, scale matters (?), Marcel Duchamp, “artist”, Fountain, ponies?, movements for and against, Paul’s biased POV, taking umbrage, Rabid Puppies, SF is overrun with leftists (?), “no award”, like every awards thing, TOR Books, inclusionary authors, Larry Correia’s books, U.S. elections, trying to destroy the system, SJW = social justice warrior, what’s fundamentally interesting about Double Star is that we’re in on a massive fraud to subvert democracy, Humans First, for Jefferson’s sake, takes the facts the same story from the other side: a response book, I don’t want people walking around with open carry for their “life wands”, no guns allowed signs in Texas churches, The Good Wife, the Hillary Clinton – Bill Clinton story, telling lies in public, seeing politics from up close and personal, The West Wing, Dave (1993), a little humour there, “sick”, the wife, a little bit inverted, interesting parallels, taking the role and making it better, he’s better at Bonforte than Bonforte was, to be an actor you have to be every man, I’d like Jack the Ripper, an unreliable narrator, the theatrical way he describes himself, he thinks it’s all true, hyperbolized in some ways, acting with a burst appendix, biology can be conquered by will, ripping off the novel/plot, Moon Over Parador (1988), The Magnificent Fraud (1939), we are rooting for the hero, who is ripping off who?, it depends on what you do with it, To Be Or Not To Be (1942), To Be Or Not To Be (1983), the new Ben Hur, going by Hugos or awards or contests, Connie Willis, the Oscars, Guardians Of The Galaxy, two CG characters and it doesn’t suck?, being burned by award winners, Theeb, a disillusioning moment, boycotting and protesting, N. K. Jemisin, a Heinlein letter, race relations, the lucky ones were the ones that were enslaved, the inciting incident, Heinlein was the most liberal of SF writers, more left than Wells, a Missouri dude who was always into pushing fellow humans, “huh, he’s Filipino”, “he’s not even American!”, Heinlein’s always pushing talking heads that turn out to be diverse, Farnham’s Freehold, time travel, Blacks have taken over the world, castrating the son, cannibals, a less PC version of Planet Of The Apes, the Pierre Boulle book is a comedy (satire), Pierre Boulle, the ending of the Planet Of The Apes is a comedy, sexism, Charlton Heston in the Civil Rights movement, for both martians and men, making peace amongst all, here’s my problem, get in the system, The Fifth Season, where’s the idea?, where’s the idea?, Cory Doctorow does Heinlein in Little Brother, paint by numbers, Robert J. Sawyer, that shows the diversity you find in Toronto, the magic system is based on the manipulation of earth (geological) forces, it’s anti-racist, it’s important to be seeing doing it, more Bonforte than Bonforte, more Heinlein than Heinlein, the one female character, Heinlein doesn’t understand women, criticizing Dickens, he’s terrible at writing other humans, his villains are stick-figures, the old man, the young looking older woman, and the young narrator who has to be taught, transcending limitations, he’s bad at women who aren’t from the 1940s, violence towards women was an everyday thing, assault with violence, not that I laid a finger on her, proper and sensible hitting, the way people talked back then, from the wife-beating 1950s, acting like this guy, no no no no no, totally unrealistic, a six hour book, SFFworld.com, Double Star was written in three weeks, creep in.

Double Star by Robert A. Heinlein - illustrated by Frank Kelly Freas
Double Star by Robert A. Heinlein - illustrated by Frank Kelly Freas
Double Star by Robert A. Heinlein - illustrated by Frank Kelly Freas
Double Star by Robert A. Heinlein - illustrated by Frank Kelly Freas
Double Star by Robert A. Heinlein - illustrated by Frank Kelly Freas
Double Star by Robert A. Heinlein - illustrated by Frank Kelly Freas
Double Star by Robert A. Heinlein - illustrated by Frank Kelly Freas
Double Star by Robert A. Heinlein - illustrated by Frank Kelly Freas
Double Star by Robert A. Heinlein - illustrated by Frank Kelly Freas
Double Star by Robert A. Heinlein - illustrated by Frank Kelly Freas
Double Star by Robert A. Heinlein - illustrated by Frank Kelly Freas
Double Star by Robert A. Heinlein - illustrated by Frank Kelly Freas
Double Star by Robert A. Heinlein - illustrated by Frank Kelly Freas
Double Star by Robert A. Heinlein - illustrated by Frank Kelly Freas
Double Star by Robert A. Heinlein - illustrated by Frank Kelly Freas
Double Star by Robert A. Heinlein - illustrated by Frank Kelly Freas
Double Star by Robert A. Heinlein - illustrated by Frank Kelly Freas
Double Star by Robert A. Heinlein - illustrated by Frank Kelly Freas
SCIENCE FICTION BOOK CLUB - Double Star
FRANK KELLY FREAS - Double Star
Posted by Jesse Willis