The SFFaudio Podcast #792 – READALONG: The Weirwoods by Thomas Burnett Swann

The SFFaudio Podcast #792 – Jesse, Will Emmons, Cora Buhlert, Jonathan Weichsel, and Alex [Cirsova] talk about The Weirwoods by Thomas Burnett Swann

Talked about on today’s show:
1965, 1967, DAW book?, ACE, Alex was a big fan, how come I never heard of him?, the audiobook existed, nobody had pirated it, special work, a list, why this particular one, the old Ace paperback, The Minotaur trilogy, most well know, Cry Silverbells, The Forest Forever, The Day Of The Minotaur, fun fantasy, a particular kink, good narrator, he was okay, the female voices, a female narrator, feminine language, same takeway, chapters 1 – 4 are perfect literature, seducing, the rest of the book 5 – whatever are imperfect, the flaw is in the plotting, go from one place to another, why does Arnth return to the town, Swann knows this, no real reason, Tannaquil, no motivation, well I escaped that net, a slave uprising, the weirones, a little more careful plotting, the language, the imagery, the themes, the worldbuilding, really magical, the naivete, that it had a plot, the kidnapping, enslavement, a sex fantasy, even the ones that are knowing we’re naive, erotic artwork, Pompeii, even cuter, traveling exhibitions, fauns and satyrs, Herculaneum, a classicist, a student of classic period, vast encyclopedic knowledge of antiquity, what if all of the myths from antiquity were literally true, a Dunsanian mold, why are they heartless?, they’re fairy creatures, they’re not human, they’re not gods, centaurs have two hearts, mythology, celtic mythology, the Christian god, god was getting tired late on the 5th day, fully antiquity, the meta-narrative across all of his books, the retreat of fey up until Christianity, The Gods Abide, early Christian Rome, because of the spread of the Christian faith, compatible with some other set of beliefs he had, ancient Etruria, UNESCO World Heritage protected, narrow to the exact year, the Rape of the Sabine, having happened, we can do it though, set in our world, panisci, the corn sprites, what about the fossil record, does that mean they don’t have bones, a weird kind of fantasy, set in our world, Robert E. Howard, urban fantasy novels, vampires or werewolfs, Doggerland, why am I even focused on this?, let’s talk about you having no heart, fossils, approaching this with hard SF bone, her heart starts beating, mostly what this book is is sex fantasy for everybody, chill and relaxed, until everybody gets killed, that’s a sex fantasy too, a Marxist with 7 cats, orgy of revolutionary violence lead by cats, making a claim about the past reality, everything we know about the ancients is true, science fiction brain, when they die out how do they die out, stopping having children, what do they do with their dead?, sarcophagi, buried archaeological things, temples underneath the earth, speaking of buried, our bear barely gets to do anything, Ursus, the eye-patched bear, he got a girlfriend in the end, dancing or trained bears, Eastern Europe, animal cruelty, the romance, that seduction scene, one of the most amazing things I’ve ever read, the central core idea of the book, French erotica movies, Emmanuelle (1974), have big passions, not remotely artistic, Sylvia Kristel, softcore erotica, late night tv, non-erotic movies, airplane accident movies, the decline or death of the fey, the macroscale, the meta-narrative, their encounter with humanity, tragic, leads to a little bit less magic, fey has to retreat, the resentment of the fey, kill all the fauns and centaurs, the sprite sorceress, costs her her life, a meaningful connection, temporary and passing, pure sensuality, feeling pretty bad, not that sympathetic, a violent guy, kills all these people, you only hate him because you didn’t know what he was or refuse to see it, throws himself on the axe, his own hands that do him in, homosexual themes in these books, a Biblical one, how are the mighty fallen, rubbing the wine off, sweet musician, just friendship, breaks him, fey people, pretty interesting, that Jesse is obsessed with, she becomes the thing she says she will never become, becomes obsessed with him, pure and innocent person with a real love and passion for her that she’s met, is this like a joke?, the heart of the book, our main character is not having sex with women because they’ll trap you, can’t bear his child, not the right class, playing with some interesting stuff, chronic white girl syndrome, my compassion will be reciprocated, magnanimous gesture for someone who is low class, these people resent her, she didn’t want him to be her slave, she wants to help free him, she’s shocked by the notion, once he’s murdered and their chains are off, give it multiple readings, a little wolf-puppy, grows into a wolf and eats the family, wicked and evil and heartless, she’s a spoiled rich girl, she’s so great, they rise up and kill her, the wicked slaves, the book intentionally gives these things the double meaning, the book intentionally doesn’t pick sides in these sociological debates, the sensuality, the food, the warmth, the cold, the bodily feelings, drinking the wine, the immediate attention to sensuality, Dunsany is ironic, cutesy, there’s no bent toward sexuality in Dunsany, Clark Ashton Smith, a celebration of life, and the joys of living, the rustic, the pastoral, the pastoral vs. the urban, an attention to the body, people’s skin like an otter’s skin, Sutrium is small, taste, texture, smell, every meal, the coziness of somebody in your sleeping bag, hammocks, can I sleep in your hammock, do we have to sleep?, assume this is throughout all of Swann, a particular fetish, really cute, his biggest influence is A.A. Milne, Winnie The Pooh, tea and honeycakes, 100 Acre Woods, everybody is fucking everybody else, Piglet and the sad donkey are getting it on, Kanga’s got a baby, Hobbiton, look there’s an elf Mr. Frodo, nobody in Middle Earth fucks anybody else, there’s no female hobbits, reproduction, incredibly focused on the sensual, visit Italy, a book of the mid-60s, early 20th century, Science Fantasy, Donald A. Wollheim, David and Jonathan having a relationship, a very specific kink, fits as fantasy, a writer writing what he’s interested in, literary, the magazines that would take him, fashion for retelling Greco-Roman mythology, out of time, read another one of these, barely a plot, stuff happening, sensuality and spending time with a bunch of fey in the forest, unique, doing something off in his own world, if you work on the internet, people who are passionate about Swann, producing these audibooks, doing reprints, the reviews online are hostile, 2 stars on audible, an audience mismatch, an American thing, very prude Americans, people just don’t understand the breadth of fantasy, sword & sorcery, a Tolkien clone, cosy sensuous fantasy set in antiquity, the sex element, depicting sexuality is wrong, this is the focus, tastefully hand, it’s beautiful, he really digs it, cottagecore, big push, fake cover, “everyone is gay for minotaurs and now you are too”, hampered, always 10 years ago, died way to soon, dying early is not great for being remembered, posthumously published, a body of work, the last handful of books aren’t as strong, a professor of English at the University of Florida, A Spell For Chameleon by Piers Anthony, a hero’s journey type plot, the late 70s, the good one, English language books, import book shop, Poul Anderson, set on actual Earth?, borders Florida, a magical border wall, exiled from the world, exiled to Florida, very cute, probably a good thing, Galactic Star, 55 years late, good that he won, a Hugo or Nebula nomination, the letter pages, because they don’t fit anywhere else, harmed, Good Show Sir, dunking on the covers, local independent bookshop, that book on that one cover, George Barr, Mark liked him so much, a brief biography, 1928, Korean War, Duke, Florida Atlantic University, literary scholarship, poetry, traveled extensively, WWI poet, The Not-World, DAW 1975, the last hideout, 2 centuries ago, the lore of the little folk, master of fantasy, one of his finest and most piquant, Thomas Chatterton, a balloon fight, Arachnae, spiderwoman, transposed to England the same sort of idea, against series, not a true series, some of the same characters, reverse chronological order, reconcile the differences, Cry Silver Bells, The Gods Abide, the final retreat of fey, The Green Phoenix, The Dolphin And The Deep, mythic Greek antiquity retelling of the Little Mermaid, will investigate his public domain status, mass market paperback, Wildeside, John Betancourt, a mix of public domain and regular, getting a narrator, never heard of him, writing really interesting books, why not, booking into the new year, Queens Walk In Dusk, the collected, a romantic type relationship, German fantasy author, Michael Ende, relationship with a minotaur, way too adult, Wonder And Whimsy: The Fantastic Christina Rossetti, Goblin Market, consequences, fucking a centauress, gender, consequences for sex, even more dire, reliable contraceptive, sensuous, a problem for human females, kinda weird that he chose, paniscii, not the product of dudes running around the forest having sex with animals, the most reasonable impersonation, dudes are having sex with goats, minotaurs, half human half animals, we are our own separate creation, fey, transposing, Greco-Roman mythology, tweeting about how Swann treats the morality of the fey, touch on it, an alien morality unto themselves, what humans could necessarily understand, spitefulness, chaotic, unpredictable, morality, moral code, when humans have sex, they just do it, a right interpretation, tapping into something, that’s really cool, one of the two main influences, A Most Exquisite Specimen by J. Manfred Weichsel, Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood, etymologist capturing butterflies, human butterflies played by ballerina showgirls, take the pin out, little dance number, a different plot, August [2023], Fall or Summer issue, see you in cyberspace, a pretty good show out of this good book, Mildred Klingerman, a young woman and a minotaur, Shirley Jackson, modern trad wife, Galactic Suburbia writers, domestic stories, Zenna Henderson, post-war domesticity, Letters For Laura, 6 pages, using euphemisms and language, copyright renewed, unlikely to happen, sure why not, if this show gets taken down, delete you from reality, full speed ahead damn the torpedoes, one of those, Dear Mom, A Cupful Of Space, Ballantine books, time travel, Love, Laura, my breasts are displayed in the style of ancient Crete, not who but what?, that’s the trouble with books, ancient Crete, so the minotaur wouldn’t eat her, they’re not as prude as people think they were, super-mainstream, visual, quite prudish, Clingerman stories, women’s magazines, now they’re both hungover, sleeping it off, working on his stuff in the garage, birdwatching, a dream that an alien is birdwatching her, exposing her lady parts, bye bye hangover, not super-prudish, stories for women, stories for men, Kay Tarrant, kinda prudish, there for fifty years, excised the erotic stuff, children read the magazine, prude, Slow Season by Robert Sheckley, Clark Ashton Smith, The Prize Of Peril, Das Millionenspiel (1970), better if you are German, such a different attitude towards sex, 1961 vs. 1965, double language, if you’ve seen those pictures there’s no top, with English subtitles, famous German comedian, The Running Man by Richard Bachman, Richard Dawson, the problem is he’s young, Family Feud, 1 year old in 1987, a unique style, human hunting, Suzanne Collins, Battle Royale (2000), PUBG, violence, hangups about violence, Evil Dead (1981), a censorious country, voluntary self control, if Jonathan took that job: “good I can censor some films”, juche, very particular to the Korean peninsula, worker’s uprising crushed, relying on other countries, allies turned their back on them, starve for a decade, the craziest stories about North Korea, a crazy story, Yeonmi Park, always lying, had to push the trains, local TV station, engaged in Pyongyang, desperately want to be a normal country, millions of people, Ukraine War, free fire zones, no buildings standing more than two stories tall, they didn’t lose, that’s amazing, they don’t want to win wars, they just want to have them, Grenada, Iraq – Kuwait, Bush War 1, Bush War 2, heating up in Iraq, seems like things are pretty bad, they wouldn’t put you in charge, Jonathan is the great unifier, a radical centrist, in a podcasting zone right now, sleeping 16 hours a day, contribute around the house, a lot of comics, mediocre comics, Mœbius, Jean Giraud, The World of Edena, have to eat natural foods, we should go to that planet, get yourself very dirty and roll around in it, dangerous in Canada, Quebec is very insular, engagement outside of Quebec, essentially its own country, East Germany, lovely talking to you, Franco-Belgian-Dutch[-Flemish] comics, a thank you, great bookstore employees, something expensive, one day she’s going to grow up and have money, Eurocon in Rotterdam, Confessions Of An English Opium Eater, how many languages does Cora speak and read?, decent at Dutch, sell me on it, 19th century, most popular youtube video ever, an old book, LibriVox narrations, assigned at universities, the comments are interesting, Martin Geeson is the narrator, serialized in the London Magazine, upset and shocked by it, 1821, long walks, too happy to observe, humorous, interesting, drug literature, glorious imagination, acute speculation, Edgar Allan Poe, Jack Kerouac, Charles Baudelaire, Boston Blackie, barn full of books, The Lone Wolf, radio drama, the early part of next year, Valentine’s Day, go die now, drink some coffee, The Cave Girl, the Lawrence Block, a thin volume, feel better, get better.

The Weirwoods by Thomas Burnett Swann 1977

The Weirwoods by Thomas Burnett Swann ACE

The Weirwoods by Thomas Burnett Swann SCIENCE FANTASY, October 1965

Posted by Jesse Willis

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