The SFFaudio Podcast #683 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: The Mystery Of Sylmare by Hugh Irish

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #683 – The Mystery Of Sylmare by Hugh Irish – read by Connor Kaye. This is a complete and unabridged reading of the story (1 hour 4 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants in the discussion include Jesse and Connor Kaye

Talked about on today’s show:
Weird Tales, July 1927, Connor’s YouTube channel, commentary, essay writing, trying to convince us to go into a war, a Halloween writing contest, writing short stories and novels is a grifter’s game, supply exceeds demand, start writing poetry, long fantasy series possible value, talking about two unrelated horror stories, Run by Noemi Arduini, Inevitable Outcome by Adam Podoxin, a komdo dragon, hair on her arms and legs, braids, a cycle of werewolfery, well written sentence by sentence, more like a scene from a film, this is the end scene or the last paragraph of a story, whoever is tutoring this kid, how books are structured, some kid is being chased, two characters?, totally a story, sets up a problem, closed off, there’s only one character, a circle, a judgement by the author, clunky, not a wholly original idea, Behold The Man by Michael Moorcock, what your goal in writing is very important, well done language, pleasant to read, scary, which one is scarier, catharsis, what the story is doing, start watching a horror movie, teenagers at the lake, why bring this up?, polished but longer than it needs to be, why doesn’t it have more attention?, competent, some of the writing is clunky, a good premise, it resolves, a huge impression?, you are also somehow threatened, operating on an intellectual level, why isn’t it a classic of weird fiction?, the HPLHS’ Voluminous podcast, always be listening, Lovecraft is a great ideas man, Farnsworth Wright, Chicago, “closest to my notion of a weird tale”, a good story, mood, intertextuality, punching up the characters, college friends, selling farm equipment in Saskatchewan, that’s the story, moves on with his life, the most interesting events are distanced by at least three levels, the internal narrator’s now wife, US > THIS NARRATOR > S.T. CHAPMAN > PROFESSOR MORSE, taking turns reading, why the wife is so Lovecraftian traumatized, Cool Air, Pickman’s Model, the best way of having this story told, you can’t allude to it with her in the room, she has PTSD from reading, the knowledge that this place exists, what it says about our place on earth, super-awesome, vegetation having a secret consciousness is really fascinating and creep and scary, there’s some truth in it, a cosmicism poem, all over this story, geology, the size of the universe, and evolution, how we got here, upper-class elite twits, Cuba, Florida, cars and boats, no kids, the biological component is really important, vegetable life, The Shadow Out Of Time, the Migo are fungi, very immediate, the caterpillar, half-way between a plant and an animal, a Lovecraftian character, the Indians thought about this place, not a real place, Syl and Mare, forest and water, huddle near a bunch of lamps, the husband gets water, they start smoking, the word “drug” means “plant”, venom, synthetic production, caffeine from coal tar, urea from pee, the petrochemical process, all jittery, caffeine is related to urea, what is caffeine for?, caffeine is an insecticide, tropical areas, Guatemala, where the spicy stuff comes from, animals and plants in a war all the time, we are the masters of the Earth, tell it as a garden of Eden story from the tree’s point of view, align yourself with the snake, get some good sunlight, they’re there to feed you, mysterious things happening, the rise of Veganism, we don’t like our relationship to factory farming, the horror of slaughter as a moral good (a natural process), we think of it as a moral evil, you can’t make your cat become a vegan, trees communicate with each other, chemicals, cut grass, something is eating us, flatten yourself, a survival mechanism, apples today, the cultivar, tree glue, an innovation we have done as humans, the whole idea behind fruit, whose doing the manipulation, symbiosis, exploiting the apple tree, we have done something, at the core of this story we don’t actually see what happens, fully pined up, becomes entranced, his lighter, lights the island on fire, the monster vs. “the thing”, what its doing to the people, shot themselves, ensorcelled, a chemical attack, the tree doesn’t say anything, trying to fertilize the ground with the corpses of these people, the origin of this effect, a happenstance that produced a particular effect, not a part of a survival strategy, real world parallels, an instance in history, the Dyatlov Pass incident, the mystery of the Dyatlov Pass, geography creating ultra low frequency sounds, unlucky hikers, a natural process seeming to exert a supernatural force, infrasound, like an evil presence, Dreams In The Witch House, advanced mathematics, what percentage of the story is fully nested, page 96, The Grove Of Ashtaroth by John Buchan, do listeners feel it the same way?, get to the action faster, put skulls everywhere, a protection spell, what makes it a sacred grove, if you go in there bad things happen, six incidents, we could see the bodies of the youth and the girl lying in the bottom of the boat, naval reserve uniform, they went to the island to have sex, heavily wooded, lying down on the needles, a pine tree monster with flailing arms, all funked out, the Indians knew about it, the families were for it, consummating the act, why nobody talks about it, an over-reading on the motivation?, menacing, the classic backstory, the finding of the old book, an odd volume of the colonial period, a haunted island, the red men, the heart of the story, the mood part of the story, lessening the impact, long for a story of this material, a crummy setup, men of leisure who go to country clubs, Estelle telling the story, too far from the action, after dinner we went into the library, framing devices, The Oval Portrait by Edgar Allan Poe, the core of what we’re seeing, Lovecraft would have done it even better, a strangely sharp pinnacle of rock, this singular formation, a distinctly weird and eerie aspect, a great loneliness depressed me, a sense of guidance, the transition, maybe the tree is doing this to him, a toilsome passage, emitting a chemical sense, the mystery, a small circular rift, a precipice, the weird gloom, a thick mist in colour and opaqueness, the renting, similar abrasions, the evil genius of this baleful deft spot, two slight indentations, somebody brought back the tips of the fir boughs, a little bag full of some pine needles, life superimposed on death, ever growing ever dying, layering and layering of rock, fossils built on top of fossils, the earth is a living thing, a fungus growing on layer upon layer of death, a non-biological phenomenon?, really fun stuff, the self-made murmur in the silence of a cavern, the sound of the sea from some freak of acoustics, a resonance chamber, the soft mill-like murmur, the gloom of the wood, man’s earliest lullaby, the druid’s oak, fetish wold, sylvan shrine of the South Sea savages, duseute avenues of the soul, obsolete, a much older kinship, life’s dim beginnings, this vengeful death trap, ruing, an ancient covenant, parallel consciousness, it is a sure thing, plants retain the sex character, direct fixation of carbon (man), fix nutrients, catalepsy and kindred states, insectivorous plants, the whole island is a Venus fly trap, creating sugars, primitive on and off sentience, sterile soil, idle aeons, mobility’s parallel, mentality, their grey and terrible web, this is awesome, an otherwise slow story, island of the coast of Romania (Snake Island), Jason And The Argonauts, WWII, yeast, alcohol, where wine and beer came from, [almost] no animal based alcohols, “magical wine”, too pure a form, chop each other down (instead of trees), a taboo, the third one of the west coast of norther Florida, he’s really got something here, fantastic, gold, the foreshadowing is good (but too long), you got some Rus, Dionysus’ island, make an exact timeline, pick the exact time to start the story, Jesse’s never been to the Black Sea, whoever Hugh Irish may be, a visitor to this place, caught up in the wrong part of the story?, a little bit off, not enough personal family trauma?, the farther you go back in time the harder it is to get the details right, and space, with jets and nuclear powered submarines, get lost in the storytelling, WWII has Nazis, but that’s distracting from the point, a biological phenomena, dangerous and valuable, if it is the trees…, why haven’t these trees taken over North America, resonance of sound, struggling towards consciousness, evolution as a series of flukes (that stick), he burns it down, South Africa/Rhodesia, little bit racist, a parallel story without the supernatural goddess element, conquer the Earth Day Of The Triffids style, a moral horror story, crazy interesting, an ashy island, rather than one particular tree, killing the last (or first) dinosaur, human beings are too smart and they have fire, how Evan Lampe would read this, this chemical funk, psychic rays?, a typewriter or a pen, his writing gets kind of lazy, a very Lovecraftian ending, Dagon, overcome by these feelings, succumb to this knowledge, Lovecraft explainers, the opening of Supernatural Horror And Literature vs. The Call Of Cthulhu, crushing realization, we must remain unconscious of the whole, a placid island of ignorance, our level of grasp of the size and age of the universe, a bad case of the glooms, a bargain with the plants, the faith is broken, don’t eat of the tree of knowledge, you’re doing our stuff, upper class elites, they’re like fail sons, Hunter Biden, growing up in an elite household, directionless, just facts, the Naval reserve, get credibility, doing drugs instead, his parents are in the position to inveigle that, a level of failing upwards, psychological problems of elites children, fail sons and daughters, not engaging with the meaning, not sentient enough, people not being excised about the right things, God’s dead? I guess I’m transgender now, sudden realization, Nitchze, God’s dead and we killed him!, a comet is coming to hit the earth and did you see that new Netflix special?, a plant-human covenant, what the horror should be, rewriting The Mystery Of Sylmare, before I’m lost, human skulls, dying for centuries, the same effect as cosmic horror, shifting a human being’s consciousness, I am me being myself, more of a plant consciousness, phermones, vegetize, a story called Philip K. Dick called Piper In The Woods, Jason Thompson is a plant monster guy, a collective of evil trees, Algernon Blackwood style, mad scientists, alien plants, making them like plants in that they don’t move anymore, becoming plants vs. going mad, understanding of the cosmos or infinity is too much for the human mind, it consumes their normal human consciousness, sanity blasted, you as the reader beware, pockets of this may still exist in danger, end with the outer narrator with a fireaxe, email or a tweet, Of Withered Apples by Philip K. Dick, taxes at the dinner table, inferable reasons, appendicitis, she at the seeds, a fable or something, Out In The Garden by Philip K. Dick, Zeus impregnated a story in the suburbs in the 1950s, weird paranoia, nailing a real truth, where life came from, In The Case Of Bradner, The Smart Set, Lord Dunsany, the opening paragraphs, written by the same guy, a mortal coward in storms, under the potato bin, it taught our progenitors, cunning and mind, fear: greatest friend that man ever had, same kind of personality, same kind of wavelength, Este Chapman is a writer, a fiction writer?, deadlines, a couple of columns in Collier’s from 1913, E.F. Bleiler, Hugh Rankin, short story, Florida, a segment of the vegetable world, burning oil, overwritten and two many frames, the layering and layering, the layering down of stories, the professor is the most interesting character in it, the red men on the far end, a style that’s not popular today, Arthur Conan Doyle, Tony Walker and the CLASSIC GHOST STORIES PODCAST, immediate, immediate and simple, Lovecraft doesn’t care, The Lurking Fear and Herbert West: Re-Animator, the focus on the market, fucking up readership, trying to influence reality, high ideals for writing, making a true work of art, Obama, the Unabomber, or Frank Herbert, who is the moral superior?,

Which would you prefer

Having written short story, or _haha_ a novel, and have had it read by 1000 people

or have had 1000 people listen to your words for the time it would have taken to read your story or _haha_ novel?

preferring readers, trying to make the scales even, teasing out the number, a mug’s game, a lie wannabe writers tell themselves, it’s about identity, a bit cynical, to have a book on the shelf, I wrote this one, an element of vanity, willing to make compromises to get it, readers vs. listeners, old episodes get listened to, millions of downloads, we don’t respect the medium we respect the medium of books or TV shows, angry at Joe Rogan, jealousy, get their dignity back, most people don’t read, who are you deluding?, how many J.K. Rowlings are there?, a winnowing over time, H.G. Wells, The World Set Free, The Food Of The Gods, what makes something wonderful, what makes something important, b films, The Spirits Of The Dead (1968), William Wilson, Don’t Bet The Devil Your Head, it deserves more status than it has, the best time ever to be a person digging into the past, never been easier, search engines are fucking wizardry, like the flakes in this story, you have to write H.P. Lovecraft, libraries sprining up all over, Carnegie libraries, read the book Dune, Dune‘s not a film its a book, The Canal by Everil Worrell, for a film, In The Earth (2021), folk horror, The Stone Tape (1972) BBC TV movie, The Blair Witch Project (1999), be in the mind of the narrator or the character, voice over, the idea driving vs. just writing, forgiving non-action, this is why these woods have that effect, Laird Barron, keep punching up, the core defined concept, Lovecraft is all about mood (caused by the idea), what if my ancestors were fishmen?, if I was Arthur Jermyn, my grandmother was a gorilla?, best news ever!, humour as a reaction to an idea, how to make your sentences look and smell nice, reduce the stories characters by one, make the title a key, making people want to read, reading for different reasons, reading for fiction, reading for intellectual engagement, confusing the actor for the character, Nicholas Cage is compelling on screen, Steve Buscemi chooses better movies, The Color Out Of Space (2019), Pig (2021), who wrote it?, David Mamet movies vs. James Bond movies, movies with x actor, whether the author did the work or not, those are Poe stories, story is important, does budget matter that much?, Hey! Stop Stabbing Me (2003), movies with subtitles, training up, enjoying Soviet movies, Akira Kurosawa movies, what school should be about, The Woman Of The Dunes (1964), how much money do you need?, the bare minimum and a little bit more, Hex (2019), The Interlopers by Saki, Connor gave some wisdom, easy to be too negative, when analyzing, if you’re lying to yourself, be more demanding.

The Mystery Of Sylmare by Hugh Irish

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The SFFaudio Podcast #599 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: Hawks Of Outremer by Robert E. Howard

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #599 – Hawks Of Outremer by Robert E. Howard; read by Connor Kaye. This is an unabridged reading of the story (1 hour 5 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Paul Weimer, Evan Lampe, Trish E. Matson, Alex, and Connor Kaye

Talked about on today’s show:
Oriental Stories, Spring 1931, Weird Tales, Boom Studios, Mark Finn, Savage Sword Of Conan #222, “freely adapted”, did Connor say Conan?, square cut black mane, lightning blue yes, iron thews, a very unConan conclusion, “sheer weight of numbers”, man against man, Cormac Fitzgeoffrey, characters get in the head, ultra-brain damaged, punch drunk, his father was bastard, half norman half celt, a very special story, really interesting, super fun, very manny, Robert E. Howard nerding-out about history, historical references, who was real and who was not, Robert de Vale, Richard Lionheart, Saladin, Mark Finn’s essay, rewriting history in the guise of fiction, the markets are too scanty, if I twist facts too much, my stories center entirely on my conceptions of my characters, writing to a point, pooping on Lovecraft, Howard’s racism, England’s fucked up, Ireland’s fucked up, France is fucked up, religious zealots on a conquering spree, A Means To Freedom, the peopling of the British Isles, anthropology, its all migration, the Normans, two generations away from Vikings, civilization and barbarism, he’s obsessed with it, the German’s the bad guy, entrenched in the blood and the soil, Lovecraft doesn’t really care about characters, we remember Robert E. Howard characters, the themes are always the same, manliness vs gentlemanliness, a character up against them, The Black Stone, Lovecraft couldn’t or didn’t do that, the Saladin movie, Kingdom Of Heaven, Bertran de Born, 1140s-1215, Dante’s Inferno, Gustave Dore, jousting, He nicknamed Richard Lionheart…”Oc-e-Non” (Which translates to “Yes-and-No”),a translation of one of his war poem/songs (by Ezra Pound):

“…We shall see battle axes and swords, a-battering colored haumes and a-hacking through shields at entering melee;
and many vassals smiting together, whence there run free the horses of the dead and wrecked.
And when each man of prowess shall be come into the fray he thinks no more of (merely)
breaking heads and arms, for a dead man is worth more than one taken alive.
I tell you that I find no such savor in eating butter and sleeping, as when I hear cried “On them!”
and from both sides hear horses neighing through their head-guards, and hear shouted “To aid!
To aid!” and see the dead with lance truncheons, the pennants still on them, piercing their sides.
Barons! put in pawn castles, and towns, and cities before anyone makes war on us.
Papiol, be glad to go speedily to “Yea and Nay”, [Richard Lionheart] and tell him there’s too much peace about.”

this is hardcore, yo, the spirit inside of Cormac, war-madness, Apocalypse Now, he’s a ghost, a skull on his shirt and his shield, the West is open, Heart Of Darkness, Cormac is the crazy one, “My most somber character”, an unsalable version of Conan, the story works perfectly without any sorcery (without any sword), spartan in the backgrounds, Joe Jusko‘s covers, an eight page sequence which is almost completely wordless, arms floppin’ off, Medieval castle in Outremer, his hand swelling up like a glove and then exploding, crush the vertebrae, not for the faint of heart, quite vivid, Conan The Salaryman, “the giant”, his catlike slept, pantherish movements, so formidable in battle, he is a fool, a lot of backstory, Robin Hood is running around, the timeline, killed about a people burned a castle, took a sword from a sea-king, a ‘magic’ sword, his true beliefs, he swears by Satan, a symbol of the craziness that is the crusades, Richard is a fool (admirable), I would have you among my men, acting in honour to obey a blood debt, historical fiction, a tiny interregnum between another crusade and another betrayal, everyone is becoming free agents, craft their own little kingdoms, all these bastard sons, what the title means, a girl at the center of the action, a death wish, he’s like The Punisher from the 1190s, a war on crime that will never end, he’s a vigilante, he goes looking for trouble, you broke him, at least one more adventure, Richard Lionheart died in 1199, Saladin’s rule, unhorsed in battle, an Arabian steed and an English warhorse, Saladin was a Kurd, break up the two teams, united in their religion, dismounted?, a french she-knight, a belly fat German, throwing battle axes and lances, that impossible grip, bending the iron bars, this unstoppable Punisher plowing through people, going everywhere trying to make trouble, makes friends with people who are getting into trouble, Howard is so different from Lovecraft, H.P. Podcraft, The Picture Of Dorian Grey by Oscar Wilde, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Oscar Wilde defeats you using nonsense logic that sounds great, rhetorical flourish vs. rhetorical substance, enough words, time to move, an experiment in manhood, why his stuff is so incredibly powerful, buffin’ up at the gym, military warriors, uncles and advisors and friends, unsurpassed for what it is, walking down the street wearing a time with a notebook and thinking about the stars, the boxing ring, wrestling with what it is to be a man, King Kull is a lot more philosophical than Conan, A Man Returns, were he a total caricature, he thinks its a trick, not just a walking sword, what Europe is like, a feint, betraying fealty, friends betrayed, Queen Of The Black Coast, a big long moral lecture, cleaves the judge’s head, manly loyalty that gets you into wars, the same kind of mentality, the thin blue line, I’m not a knight I’m a lord in my own land, running around in bearskins, philosophizing in fiction about what it is to be a man, the women in the stories are there for addressing men’s duties towards women, ideals of masculinity, a love letter to Saladin, a compeletly different way of being a man, a charismatic chivalrous civilized man, Saladin and Richard, fresh fruit, eat this get better, Joppa, prisoners of war, a Kurd among Arabs, I’m gonna prove you wrong, a Mary Sue, writing about the man he wants to be, strong and chivalrous, kind to his friends and cruel to his enemies, male fantasy,

Cormac glared at him, tensing himself for a sudden leap that would carry the Kurd with him into the Dark. The Norman-Gael was a product of his age and his country; among the warring chiefs of blood-drenched Ireland, mercy was unknown and chivalry an outworn and forgotten myth. Kindness to a foe was a mark of weakness; courtesy to an enemy a form of craft, a preparation for treachery; to such teachings had Cormac grown up, in a land where a man took every advantage, gave no quarter and fought like a blood-mad devil if he expected to survive.

Now at a gesture from Saladin, those crowding the door gave back.

“Your way is open, Lord Cormac.”

The Gael glared, his eyes narrowing to slits: “What game is this?” he growled. “Shall I turn my back to your blades? Out on it!”

“All swords are in their sheaths,” answered the Kurd. “None shall harm you.”

Cormac’s lion-like head swung from side to side as he glared at the Moslems.

“You honestly mean I am to go free, after breaking the truce and slaying your jackals?”

“The truce was already broken,” answered Saladin. “I find in you no fault. You have repaid blood for blood, and kept your faith to the dead. You are rough and savage, but I would fain have men like you in mine own train. There is a fierce loyalty in you, and for this I honor you.”

Cormac sheathed his sword ungraciously. A grudging admiration for this weary-faced Moslem was born in him and it angered him. Dimly he realized at last that this attitude of fairness, justice and kindliness, even to foes, was not a crafty pose of Saladin’s, not a manner of guile, but a natural nobility of the Kurd’s nature. He saw suddenly embodied in the Sultan, the ideals of chivalry and high honor so much talked of—and so little practiced—by the Frankish knights. Blondel had been right then, and Sieur Gerard, when they argued with Cormac that high-minded chivalry was no mere romantic dream of an outworn age, but had existed, and still existed and lived in the hearts of certain men. But Cormac was born and bred in a savage land where men lived the desperate existence of the wolves whose hides covered their nakedness. He suddenly realized his own innate barbarism and was ashamed. He shrugged his lion’s shoulders.

“I have misjudged you, Moslem,” he growled. “There is fairness in you.”

“I thank you, Lord Cormac,” smiled Saladin. “Your road to the west is clear.”

And the Moslem warriors courteously salaamed as Cormac FitzGeoffrey strode from the royal presence of the slender noble who was Protector of the Califs, Lion of Islam, Sultan of Sultans.

that’s the author talking, a lion like roar, Richard the Lionheart is the other lion, wasting all these lives, Robin Of Sherwood, Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves, maybe their religion aint that bad, reading Howard in comics, its never Cimmeria, interacting with not nice people, he comes from the north, that wanderlust, a lack of the gigantic mirth, that being towards death thing, in search of a calling, he’s clearly looking for someone, we want him to go there, its corrupt, decadence, Bêlit is probably supposed to be Jewish, she’s a Shemite, hawk-nosed Shemites, was so passionate her love, she’s a psycho killer, corruption everywhere, this person is not corrupt, a romance of the westerners towards this history, the propaganda is that he was exceptionally good, Howard inspired by history stories, his themes are not shallow, redeeming features to the latest Marvel Conan?, Conan the Gambler, it just carries you along and you hardly notice the philosophizing, he is so skilled at writing the prose, the dialogue is used in the Boom Studios adaptation, Roy Thomas era of Conan, text boxes, virtually no text boxes, losing all the sidelights that Howard is throwing, it feels like a novel’s worth of material, two major flashbacks, he storms two castle, a really strong workout, a lot of the tension came from Howard’s writing, it ends and you almost want to cheer, Two-gun Bob, His Own Barbarism by Mark Finn, he saw suddenly embodied in the sultan, the Frankish knights, his own innate barbarism and I was ashamed, he’s literally a werewolf, semi-mythological metaphors, Smaug, The Hobbit, J.R.R. Tolkien rewriting the Saga of the Volsungs for his own children, Thorin becomes the next dragon, a representation of turning into a dragon, a wolf-like figure, there’s too much peace around, a dead man is worth more than one taken alive, ransom, the butter and the sleeping, propagandistic: let’s do this fucking think, a hype-up, flex contests, let’s get this war on, fuck the money, it feels so fucking good, PUBG, trench warfare, become a wizard (like Evan), become a lich, ways of winning this manhood game, Connor is so lucky to be young and have Jesse giving him his wisdom, Mark Finn, Robert’s relationship with Doctor Howard, I got a $120 for that story, Blood & Thunder The Art & Life Of Robert E. Howard by Mark Finn, Connor’s narration, the voice of Cormac, really fun to narrate, The Blood Of Belshazzar, more of the same?, Magic Carpet Magazine, looking east, Orientalism, the interest in the east, Connor’s big Hippocampus Press purchase, R.H. Barlow, W.H. Pugmire, Clark Ashton Smith, The Tindalos Cycle, John Ajvide Lindqvist, The Black Diamonds by Clark Ashton Smith, a Boy’s Own Adventure by a kid who didn’t know what he was doing, ridiculously fun, an enthusiasm, Lovecraft seems to be a fanboy of Clark Ashton Smith, that prose that is a painting, the reds from Robert E. Howard, Scarlet Citadels, Red Shadows, it was a colour but I can’t describe it, four issues on Archive.org, 33 stories up on the PDF Page, The Sowers Of Thunder by Robert E. Howard, set in Otremer, an Irish crusader with a troubled past, maybe Connor’s got another project, talking about manhood, Lovecraft is more correct about the status of masculinity in the 20th century, Lovecraft knows the future is going to be libraries, academics, Lovecraft’s Roman dream, a fantasy of the working class, Wastelands by W. Scott Poole, it doesn’t matter how much you train, what it is to be a man and what it is to be masculine and what it is to be an adult, trophies, the female gaze upon the muscles, female characters who are wimps, the Indiana Jones second movie, Willie Scott’s job is to scream, The People Of The Black Circle, The Hour Of The Dragon, Zenobia, Red Sonja, Valeria from Red Nails, she’s a companion, not a plot object, the exact same plot as Iron Shadows In The Moon, the stupid squire character, Zula, Grace Jones is great, a little horse battle, Conan: The Destroyer is garbage, N’Longa, I need you, I’m yours, if Will were here, Tonto to The Lone Ranger, fifties square, Jay Silverheels, rancher’s daughter needs rescuing, range romance on the edge of civilization, Beyond The Black River, Conan fighting Indians on the frontier, John Carter, Tharks, not having magical element, sword and sorcery, didn’t need an evil wizard, Hashshashin, other than being really strong, Sharpe’s Rifles is historical fiction, that axe-throw was borderline, Harold Lamb, Adventure (magazine), it doesn’t really matter what he applies his writing to, The Tower Of The Elephant, he steals from the best, the puzzle solving, the pathos of the elephant, Almuric, and here’s some fragments, a description of a real town, how the houses loom, those sentences are still him talking, the natural storytelling, a jigsaw puzzle and a protractor, the soul of a poet.

Hawks Of Outremer by Robert E. Howard

Joe Jusko - Hawks Of Outremer

Cormac Fitzgeoffrey by Chris Schweizer

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Reading, Short And Deep #234 – The Hidden Beast by J.D. Beresford

Podcast

Reading, Short And DeepReading, Short And Deep #234

Eric S. Rabkin and Jesse Willis discuss The Hidden Beast by J.D. Beresford

Here’s a link to a PDF of the story.

The Hidden Beast was first published in Signs & Wonders, 1921.

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

Posted by Scott D. Danielson Become a Patron!

Reading, Short And Deep #227 – Arctic Justice by Harold Willard Gleason

Podcast

Reading, Short And DeepReading, Short And Deep #227

Eric S. Rabkin and Jesse Willis discuss Arctic Justice by Harold Willard Gleason

Here’s a link to a PDF of the poem.

Arctic Justice was first published in Argosy, May 1, 1937.

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

Posted by Scott D. Danielson

The SFFaudio Podcast #517 – READALONG: The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #517 – Jesse, Julie Davis, and Maissa Bessada talk about The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

Talked about on today’s show:
2008, a children’s book, hardcover, a book for kids, better than most adult books, Neverwhere, Coraline, who hates Neil Gaiman?, Sandman, pictures slow it down, he didn’t feel competent, a genuine classic, character and sentences, crafting language, the wisdom of his prose, insights into basic human beings, you know its true, his evil characters, thinking about The Jungle Book, he started with chapter 4, MouseCircus.com,

“We were young, and very poor. The rooms I was renting above a shop were in a building tall and spindly and old. The kitchen and lounge were on one floor, a bedroom and my office and a bathroom on the next, and, at the top of the house, there was a big attic bedroom, and a low, long room in which an adult could barely stand up straight and in which there was a crib and a playpen. My son, Michael, who was two years old, loved his tricycle more than anything, but there was nowhere to ride it in the house, not without him tumbling down the stairs, so I would carry him and his tricycle across the narrow lane to the grounds of the local church, and he would pedal around to his heart’s content, and I would sit and read a book in the sunshine, and watch him, and look at the grey gravestones, names half-erased by time, and marvel at how comfortable a child looks in a graveyard. That was where it started. I’ll call it The Graveyard Book, I thought. Like Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book.”

listening to it, ghoulheim, there it is!, the monkey scene with Mowgli, Silas is Bagheera and Ms. Lupescu is Baloo, the tribute to Lovecraft, The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath, the rubberfaced night gaunts, something Lovecraft dreamt as child, they became his friends, they tickle you, creepy and wonderful, chew off any meat left on the bones, tip-up the lead-lined coffin and all the juices, when the angles were wrong, a city built to be abandoned, just as odd, to find the equivalent, King Louis, the Emperor Of China, the 33rd President of the United States, Harry S. Truman is a ghoul, the full cast version, recorded in a Minnesota radio station, so fantastic a narrator, no better author narrator, Gaiman’s reading of Coraline, Scott Danielson, a boy story and a girl story, The New Mother by Lucy Clifford, Heather Ordover, the CraftLit podcast, very insightful, The Count Of Monte Cristo, a man and woman in a box, glass eyes and a wooden tail, the cycle repeats three times, never naughty enough, live on berries, worse than the Other Mother, children in Hell, where Coraline came from, no redemption, no mercy, fairy-tale-like, very Neverwhere-ish, has he ever written a book that isn’t about gods, regular Neil Gaiman stuff, the Endless, is there a god in this book?, who is the grey lady on the grey mare?, she’s Death, the sickle and the hood, The Old Gray Mare, she ain’t what she used to be, the Hounds of God, Romanian soup, boiled cabbage is kinda a good, eating Twinkies, Mr Lupescu by Anthony Boucher, Mr Jim Moon’s Hypnogoria (Hypnobobs) podcast, Neil Gaiman’s breadth of reading, Mr Jesse, macabre (macabray), imaginary friends, Thus I Refute Beelzy by John Collier, Scarlet has an imaginary friend, Scarlet’s story is a mini-version of this story, a kid romance, the angry teenager, play houses, meany, totally girl, so cute, very brave, going into the dark, five years old, before Julie was 3, barely remember yesterday, summer used to last several years, the perception of time, how you could get bored really easily, the world is so boring, tapped into the youth, the Sandman series, the conference of the Jacks, serial killer convention, where is Silas going?, he’s like Gandalf, standard mean horrible character, time-traveling hit-men, Connie Willis, the characters that work, there’s the deepness, Jack Frost is Shere Khan, fresh, very fresh, quite refreshing, the comic book adaptation, some of the art in here, Jill Thompson, P. Craig Russell, Galen Showman, the scale is bigger, the horizon is bigger, the ghouls, comic gross humans, monkey creepy horrible awful, the sleer, Gaiman gives you the outline and then you fill it in, the Indigo Man, the broach, the graveyard, the antique shop, super complementary, look how Silas dominates the room, there’s never a haircut scene, so intriguing, why does he hang out in this graveyard, knowledge of the prophecy?, the whole plot is way less important, why is the Danse Macabre in this?, Death is so beautiful, living forever, the living with the dead, each to each, names aren’t really important, find his name, one day everybody does, how come death’s so cool?, really smart, what’s true and what do we need to remember, the dead should have charity, Elizabeth Hempstock, Toomai of the Elephants, referential, winter flowers, we’ve crossed worlds, within generations enough, the other book that was homework, A Fine And Private Place by Peter S. Beagle, Beagle’s narration, ended up perfect, brought to life, ride that raven, they are both stories about a human living in a graveyard and they are fantasies, very gentle and slow, it could have been a little bit shorter, he made his case for all the relationships, overcoming fears, only 19 when he wrote it, mature, living a fantasy world life, a raven, taking some inspiration from Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven, Ezekiel in the desert, a loose connection, the raven is what kept him there, psychopomp, a real personality, a ride in a back of a truck with a squirrel, set somewhere in England, so rich, find some weird house, adventures in her back yard, fully realized, how stiking is it that 10 year old kids and adults can enjoy it and not be lost, Coraline is not as amazing as this book, aimed at the children’s market, 188 pages for $10 US, images conjured by the book, no description of the lines on his face, the relationship has to Bod (she’s not going to eat him), it takes a (graveyard) village, out of time, his parents are almost the least interesting characters in the book, the poet who punished all his enemies by refusing to write his poems for the public, from my cold dead hand, kinda like Scrooge, some Lord Of The Rings stuff, the broach the knife and the cup, the Sleer is awesome, Elidor by Alan Garner, a family of jerks, William Shakespeare’s King Lear, a sword, a spear, a bowl, and an anvil, escaping into a fantasy world while you’re a kid, The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe, weaving in true history, he liked the roads, Celtic mythology, the ring connection, the barrow wights from The Fellowship Of The Ring, Jesse’s Roof Bear calendar, there has to be rules behind stuff to make it interesting, Roof Bear can’t leave the roof, Ghost Horse is waiting for his master to return, lifting from the Sleer?, children’s adventures, Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson, fun stuff for kids (and for Jesse), remembering the sort of fun you had as a kid, we don’t get to play house anymore, the pretend has a lot of value, mud pies, hanging out in childhood, beautiful, children and grandchildren, so Christmas becomes magic again, that acknowledgement, Bod’s getting too old, talking to Mother Slaughter, you’re always you and that don’t change, truth, I’m still me, that double memory, one of those profound things, LEGO robotics on Apple II computers (LEGO Logo), you really do loose something, its impossible, something you loose and yet retain the memory of it, Locke & Key: Welcome To Lovecraft by Joe Hill and illustrated by Gabriel Rodríguez, the head key, take out memories, the gender key, you forget, exploring a big old house, a menace, it works in the same way, brilliant and well worth reading, The Stepford Wives by Ira Levin, This Perfect Day by Ira Levin, 1984 by George Orwell, “Christ, Marx, Wood, and Wei”, very 1984, The Giver by Lois Lowry, a remake, the witch chapter, time in libraries, what forms your imagination, what tempts Bod is an apple, wish I’d left…, the groundskeeper’s pile of grass, she’s just a girl (who was murdered), “then I did my death curse”, when Bod falls out of his crib, a pile of plush toys, a nice doubling, do this kind thing, sends him out into danger, all the influences, nothing is forced, the mechanisms of writing, a six sentence story, all unconscious, it feels very natural, I want the magic, it takes him years and years, Tolkien: there were all these Catholic things in there, a good book, a good movie, what Neil Gaiman can do, just crafting your work, a lot of it is unconscious, an apple orchard, seeing things evolving, re-reading is not Jesse’s thing, when you run out you have to go back, re-watching, all these little things, Julie’s project, have they earned my shelf space?, deep in our cultural unconscious, 43 Bollywood movies last year, legal/police/moral situations, western culture branched-off, vengeance is looked at very differently, cultural thinking, shocked and taken-aback, northern Europe is full of apple trees, a ghost outside, Good book, what’s Ace barking at?, thought-yells, a Man Jack in the yard, a fun read.

The Graveyard Book - comics adaptation

The Graveyard Book - comics adaptation

The Graveyard Book - comics adaptation

The Graveyard Book - comics adaptation

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman - with illustrations by Dave McKean

The Graveyard Book illustration by P. Craig Russell

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #485 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: The Undying Thing by Barry Pain

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #485 –The Undying Thing by Barry Pain; read by Dan Grozinski (dg73). This is an unabridged reading of the novelette (59 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Paul Weimer, and Maissa Bessada

Talked about on today’s show:
is Paul kinda glum?, staying up too late with a flask of whiskey and a revolver in his pocket worrying about the sins of his ancestors, so appropriate, WEREWOLVES!, being an evil genius, a method to Jesse’s madness, fortuitous, drifting off, how Barry Pain writes, an AMAZING story, the more Maissa listens to it the more questions she has, the monster never shows up on screen, checking the audio against the text, cut-off?, this story provokes questions, so many hints, so rich, nothing to say on Sunday, sleepless nights, unpacking it, the rhythm and the structure, implied, asked but not answered, more nuanced, elliptical digressions, diagraming this story, this would make an amazing movie!, Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing, filmed in black and white with sepia flashbacks, The Hound Of The Baskervilles, Sherlock Holmes, which is the more famous story, they came out exactly the same month!, the way the stories unfold, one has no detective, on has Mr Marsh, points in contact, barnoets get the title “sir”, ancestral baddie, murders happening in the community, the friend that comes to the house, a wolf or a hound that haunts the family, the tavern rumor mongers, astounding!, Pain’s not copying Doyle and Doyle’s not copying Pain, seeds of evil, spoiling this 1901 story, a trained creature, an heir to the estate, an evil dalliance, a bastard son, enacting the plot of The Undying Thing, avatar, very Lovecraftian, Lovecraft liked this story, Brotherhood Of The Wolf (2001), the first Sir Edric Vanderquests’ evil plan, Supernatural Horror In Literature,

“Ugh! I really half-believe I ought to mention this in my article.”

reading a little a bit for the readers, hands of white fire, burglar?, why does he think it has come for him?, our companion buddy reads the confession and then burns it but he doesn’t tell his Sir Edric, electric lighting, why does he think that?, go back to your room, the night he spent by himself, there’s somebody in the dining room, what is it?, its there!, go BACK!, who are you…what are you?, he’s talking to IT, you wouldn’t say “who are you?” to a dog, we don’t actually see the baby, trying to find anybodys criticism, Sir Edric wanted another boy, is it a boy?, was it a boy?, how to get rid of the baby, covering the mouth, and nose, no snout, somewhat human-shaped, BANG!, perfectly empty, he went through the window, he knew that Sir Edric would be found there, how did he know that, the final paragraph, a great flash of lightning, the plantation had collapsed, this time he had fainted away, what’s going on?, Jesse has a theory, sentence by sentence, very very Gothic, really good use of weather, the whole of the trees fling their heads upwards, the collapse of the tunnel system, heads vs. crowns, so we can see it, the leaves staying still with the ground subsiding, an amazing piece of writing, a deafening crash, listening to it as an audiobook, being specially attuned (like Wayne June) and timing every word, The Fall Of The House Of Usher by Edgar Allan Poe, a metaphor or symbol for the family itself, collapsing into a tarn, the penultimate sentence, earlier collapses, this time he had fainted away, did he die?, he died with a petrified look on his face, the viewpoint character is gone, The Dead Smile by F. Marion Crawford, a family curse, corpses moved around the tomb, a giant smiling skull, a smile only they can pull off, the Willis family “ookel face”, a really unusual look, a family curse, that smile is going to come again, a hideous grin of terror, an alternate reading of the ending, he says its there, why did he call his friend?, hands of white fire, a tap at his door, he had dressed, a curious subdued voice, how did the Undying Thing get in?, is it a ghost?, it had a body, its not a question, why does sir edric think that?, Sir Edric is the Undying Thing, he is the inheritor of the curse, he doesn’t know that he is, he’s about to transform, what happened to the first woman?, she saw the previous incarnation, it’s dead and not dead, keeping this THING alive, Maissa’s theory, pledging to God, be thou with eve, he’s bargaining with God on Eve’s behalf, he goes back on his word, some sort of spirit, purgatory, Morella, well read in the German philosophers, kind of like a mom, she’s basically a witch or something, like Alia in Frank Herbert’s Dune, the family tomb, she’s my daughter and my husband, such an open story, page 135, on the following morning, weregild!, roaming the countryside at night, why were they not welcomed, they found her corpse, what is she doing there at night?, her body was found there at noon the following day, if there’s a werewolf there should be someone torn apart, she died in a “fit”, Maissa’s right, trying to prove something?, “he goes out with a rug, a flask of whiskey and a revolver”, The Red Room by H.G. Wells, definitely not a cow, a stray cow, no cow, too much for a cow, too whimsical, I was awakened by a cry, swishing through the bracken, half-awake, he persuaded himself to go to sleep again, a subterranean spring, some slight subsidence, legend says, Hal’s planting, why he thinks its the Undying Thing, only haunts the planting, a charge of dynamite, criticizing the story, running on familiar tracks, a well beaten path, feeling the resonances, The Grove Of Ashtaroth by John Buchan, the tragedy of that small goddess, the curse of the land, to dynamite the tower and the trees, kill the sacred birds, “colonial fiction”, set in England?, thinking along the same thoughts, a genetic understanding of a family curse, because he was a Jew, does he believe the legend?, he knows its real underneath, he’s cursed, the opposite of The Hound Of The Baskerville, the end of the (family) line, blowing up Hal’s Planting brings the end, look through these papers for me, a doctor who doesn’t practice, interested in science and out of the way science, Guerdon, Geurdon and Bird, positive inheritances, Ray, “season”, in season, mating time, introduced to society, it was assumed, is he trying to save him, her “mourning” room, she’s a ray of sunshine, built with such ingrained malice and vexatious, he is the heir to the curse, both dead and alive, are they all Edrics?, the wolf attack, but then in rereading…, I can’t say why, a group of wolves, one of these wolves must have escaped, question mark end of chapter, more of Maissa’s theory, Jesse’s theory, intending wolves to serve as (hunting) dogs, he chased down a woman with his dogs, destroy these beasts, he loved his second wife even more than he hated his first, she was not bitten, why did they frighten her so, indicative lines, when it was too late, was it nine months afterwards?, she died in childbirth, that old woman is the nurse, attacked by the wolves as in raped by the wolves, werewolf-baby, I have superpowers because my mother was spooked by a goose while she was pregnant with me, some thing, this is such a good story, why is it called undying not undead, reading Plato on the immortality of the soul, snow at the approach of heat, a philosophical argument for the existence of life after death, killed and not killed, raised and not raised in the caves, eternal in the curse of the family, is the THING dead?, the obstetrician, the appendage to the letter, the devil’s wolves seem to hunt me in my sleep nightly, the ghost of the wolves, darker ink, initials R.D., it is not dead, I do not think it will ever die, the curse is real, in light of The Wolf Leader, light and fluffy vs. dreaded and cursed, a deal with the devil, Jesse is worried about podcast listeners not being as impressed as they should be, it would make a fabulous movie or a wonderful comic book, everybody should read this story if they’re at all interest in wolf tails (or wolf tales), Mansteath (man’s death), sounds British, even English, the Midlands?, Hal’s planting (Hell’s planting?), the orchard, Jesse’s Roof Bear drawings, Cellar Feller, That Only A Mother by Judith Merrill, Born Of Man Of Woman by Richard Matheson, the powerful revelation, looking monstrous, in Roof Bear world everybody’s sort of friendly, in the real world, an orchard outside of the hill, Pan lives in the orchard, exploring your unconscious or your genetic memory, it’s always night in Roof Bear world, a kind of truth no science can tell you, science is wonderful, this is art, it could come back and haunt you, the power in this story, a kind of truth that is completely fictional, the latest incarnation of Edric, walking sunshine, in his final hours he’s trying to save his friend, what are you who are you?, is he looking in a mirror, what’s it eating, we need Mr Jim Moon and Marissa’s thoughts, getting attacked by coyotes, and Paul by blackflies, Mr Jim Moon getting in a punch up with a kangaroo,

Stories In The Dark by Barry Pain

The Undying Thing And Others by Barry Pain

Posted by Jesse Willis