The SFFaudio Podcast #684 – The Strange High House In The Mist by H.P. Lovecraft; read by Gordon Gould. This is an unabridged reading of the story (18 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Evan Lampe, and Jason Thompson
Talked about on today’s show:
Weird Tales, October 1931, rather different, this guy has a family, a series of wellness checks, some tea, knock knock knock, old people are the gateway to the mystic, an old sailor, worldbuilding, Granny Orne (The Shadow Over Innsmouth), The Terrible Old Man, written in 1926, the Klinger anthologies, Kadath, The Horror At Red Hook, He, walking tours of New York, back in Providence, Sonia Greene, Pickman’s Model, Kingsport, a 17th century city, temporal geographies, set in the modern era, architecture, clothing, tudor clothing, maratime connections, 17th and 18th century, The Festival, the third family, the masks and the religious ceremony, underground temple visit, the modules for Call Of Cthulhu, the graveyard, burrows under the graveyard, Indians, sea-folk, Portuguese sailors, a love letter to the sea, between the woods and the sea, positive and uplifting, Olney, he made a friend vs. damned for all time, the sea is faery, horror, a dream story, the Brown library, a fantastic short story by me, like a fantasy, dream-like, raining down dreams, very poetic, improving the language, old replaced with ancient, the original Weird Tales publication, white and feathery, the rim of all the earth, the rim of all earth, a deliberate repeat, its brothers the clouds, conchs and seaweed cities, laden with lore, the solemn bells of the bouys tolled-free in the aether of faery, forgetting and then remembering, when Olney begins learning, Olney’s supposition, faultless, dark skinned, a sailor, a demigod of some kind, he flew in there, he’s airing out the place, sailing the abysses of heaven, a great disposition, Lovecraft’s mystic friend stories, an essay about friendship, a literary trope, super-best friends, an awareness of queerness, a pre-homophobic era, The Rim Of Morning by William Sloane, we were super close friends (not in a weird way), not that kind of too close, don’t grow Granny Orne under the bus, the wife’s name doesn’t matter, male male, immediate bromance, Cool Air, Dr. Munoz, Hypnos, dangerous friendships, friends in his bottles, Robert E. Howard, everybody’s super-religious, indoctrinated by the horrors, stupid pedantic, taboo and scary and yuck, a communicable level, a delight, a lot of people thought he was a weirdo, it wasn’t always easy, they’re not gay for each other all the time, something we think about a lot, evidence please, he makes really good friends, huggings and walkings, taking women on walks, the pink beam moment in Philip K. Dick’s life, ankh moment, Lovecraft’s Kingsport, Marblehead, cruising those streets, Orne looking down, Jason Thompson’s changed the focus to home, the subconscious reading, the doormat, what he is thinking subconsciously, dwelling differently, he left some of himself up there, he’s a philosopher, unlike the tourists, unlike the locals, a chasm, he leaves a note to his wife, he comes back in the morning, experiences with the friend, like him with a beard, the doubles in Hypnos, admirable doubles, in comes Poseidon, Nodens, the diadem of father Neptunes and tritons and naiads, back to Olney, a boring philosopher, The Shadow Out Of Time, a nice little frame, having to pay his mortgage, the bored students, “Nargasucket Bay”, Randolph Carter in The Silver Key, his eyes, plant monsters, the blueberries and briars, set in August, The Festival is set at Christmas, April, we need a Granny Orne story for autumn, she’s got a gambrel roofed house, the idols, immortality, an undeniable theme, The Thing On The Doorstep, The Alchemist, Cool Air, The Tomb, page 14, the life of the mundane, alone high on a mountain peak communing with that which is beyond, the abysses above and below, what planets tell planets, romance is something we can delight in, coffee is great an all (its not an end in itself), coffee is an end in itself, appreciating of the beauty, where his spirit dwells within the house, its a party, a joyous mystic brotherhood, a community of dreamers beyond, friendship and joy, they’re not made of the gossips, lore, lore is something you learn from a local, one of the longest tunnels in North America, there’s a silver mine, water street and ship street, nothing you will learn in those schools, that book needs to be handed to you by one who knows, wiggling at the windows, a hand reaches out and pulls him through, come in come in, don’t try and housebreak him, a very positive and uplifting story, almost completely devoid of horror, the introduction of the supernatural into your life, the ending with the kids, a new kind of unfear, the horror of parents seeing kids playing videogames or social media, my kid is not conforming, generational curiosity, hereditary, The Other Gods, thrown up into the sky, the apprentice survivor, soul trapped in fairyland, the weird shadow against the windows, Futurama, Kif with more fingers, alcohol, going on a bender, bottles everywhere, he resumes his life, a large tradition, H.G. Wells’ Mr. Skelmersdale In Fairyland, La Belle Dame Sans Mercy by John Keats, a powerful and amazing place, fairies are tricksters, he’s lost something, the children have gained the spirit that he’s left, the caves leviathan, raining down as dreams, vernacular knowledge, Ex Oblivione, that whiteness, a black canvas over the rim of the world, the realm of the forms, Lovecraft doing another kind of reincarnation, small changes, the young men, young folk, aspects of sexism, highlights, the symbolist painters, an old man digging a grave, wheat stalks growing in the winter, the gravedigger’s space, an angel with black wings, time has come, the children hearing the music, polyps, venturesome youths, a light may be gone from their eyes, barnacles, humans coming out, a tie of the sea, connected to us, these things are fantastic in our youth, a book of gods, is there a god of forklifts?, the goddess of the sewers, going up there to play, what makes them responsible adults, the horror, they’re playing the Dungeons & Dragons, they’re going to summon demons, return to childhood, less literal, very symbolic, adulthood is being a barnacle (stuck in place), oysters on the rocks, being sedentary, stuck in place, oppositional elements, elfin horns rang over the ocean, elfin things hiding, looking with the right eyes, old and sad, like Lovecraft wearing glasses and signing, drinking, spaghetti, fairyland but straightedge, nightgaunts, sea creatures, The White Ship, Celephais, afraid but still finding beauty, the horror of danger, the horror of revelation, the celestial city in our mind, From Beyond, beautiful, what the sing brings, immigrants, weird smelly fish things, leave the sea alone, Hayao Miyazaki’s Ponyo (2008), fantasy sea imagery, Wagnerian moments, sea-fairies, the castle, the graphic novel, The Dreamquest Of Unknown Kadath, the same gods, everybody’s adaptations of Robert E. Howard’s Conan, using Lovecraft’s words, his cap, the sign you’re an adult, kids can’t be held responsible for their hats, hat callback, a ray of hope, he stays in the dreamlands, returned to a mundane life, less irresponsible on the weekends, go work for a law firm, any sort of horrible job, pressure, finding the way to be, a gentleman has a car and a driver and a house and not just a room, keep that initial dream alive, how to avoid a mid-life crisis, a kiddie thing to do, how life should be all the time, a series of mundane commutes to work, the mundanity of a terrible commute, massively depressed, blunt and grim, Thomas Ligotti-like, called back again to the horror of flesh, why keep picking at this scab?, Dagon, sleep is oblivion and the Dreamland, describing an experience in words is difficult, more like computer gaming or a great story, not getting out of bed, the place where oblivion can be found, having the experience even if you don’t remember it has to count for something, a general anesthetic doesn’t dull the pain, it makes you forget it, its about Lovecraft’s marriage and place in life when he wrote it, their body lives on and does all the responsible things that bodies do, conflicting desires, that normal life, talk to ancient sea-captains and gods, cut away from Nodens, help me fight the frogpeople, a sense of responsibility, afraid to disappoint, the body remains but the soul escapes, his doppleganger [has] to stay on the world, the soul of Olney, an apocalyptic conclusion, use anything to escape reality, you can have it both ways, closeted gay, queer in a broad sense, the sequence where he talks, sea-creatures getting forked and speared, going through a temple, Gulliver’s Travels, The Drowned Giant by J.G. Ballard, Towing Jehovah by James K. Morrow, snowglobes polyping, a bivalve’s foot, this what they talked about, hardness and liquidity, an hourglass, Ernst Haeckel’s sea-life illustrations, constellation like gods making gestures, the opening sentence is missing a comma, In the morning comma, how grammar works, why didn’t he fix that?, make somebody read it the way you want it to be read, explicitly, where is the comma?, morning mist still, the same morning mist, a cycle, the skydial, what is obscured, paying attention to the missing comma, Aeneid, noir unending or unfinished?, how do you know that?, it flows faster, to what’s in the mist, doing its work, a little curiosity, something to note, more about Granny Orne, solitary figures, she has to be something, he consults them, bachelors or bachlorettes and widows or widowers, The Case Of Charles Dexter Ward, essential saltes, the made up name of one of his friends?, the really young people and the really old people, a Stephen King thing, the old standing watch, one of the definitions of fantasy, where is the magic, the hole in reality where magic creeps in, the magic of childhood, drugs, old age, the ancient past, the sea, where the sea leads, a widows walk on one of the gambrel, shipping out for Herman Melville stories, why bouys are important, conflating the sound of the buoys with other things, a lighthouse for sound, something is happening, an inference, what’s going on in the sea, the lampreys and the fish, the fisherfolk, the shells, the bubbles and the copulation, that mysterious mass, Marblehead with an added grey frozen wind cloud pointing to space, this vast connection, a bottomless pit, infinity, the sky is an abyss, pointing us up and pointing us down, creatures near the coastline, philosophy for the fisherfolk, ascending, astronomy, what’s going on on Pluto, the magic of science, why reading Lovecraft is joyful in a story like this, the North side of the Golden Gate Bridge, San Fransisco, ascent and experience with the other, the view back down, The Tomb, Kadath and Celephais, The Doom That Came To Sarnath, The Beast In The Cave, insubstantial as a story, The Alchemist, about sexuality, H.P.L. (fanzine), Freudian analysis of H.P. Lovecraft stories, body hair, colouring the images, what happens, literally set in a dreamland, what going into a fairyland does to a person, very biblical, set in the age of myths, high house studio, fairly wise use.