In this week’s episode I discuss “The Charnel God” by Clark Ashton Smith. This short story is set in Smith’s Zothique Cycle, as well as the larger Cthulhu Mythos.
“The Charnel God” deals with Phariom, a nobleman who visits the city of Zul-Bha-Sair. This is a strange city where the citizens give their dead over to their local deity, Mordiggian, to feed upon without hesitation. Phariom’s love, Elaith falls into a death-like state after suffering a seizure while in the city. She’s pronounced dead by the local physician and the priests of the Charnel God collect her body. The story follows Phariom as he attempts to rescue her from Mordiggian’s temple.
Panelists John D. Haefele, Don Herron, Rick Lai, Tom Krabacher (moderator), and Nathan Vernon Madison explore the inspirations and origins of the Cthulhu Mythos as opposed to the Lovecraft’s Mythos and the Mythos of his contemporaries, as well as the controversies and personalities involved with these ideas over the years.
From PulpFest.com: http://www.pulpfest.com/2015/07/the-call-of-cthulhu-and-the-lovecraft-mythos
In this week’s episode I’m going to be discussing “The Hounds of Tindalos” by Frank Belknap Long, credited here as Frank Belknap Long Jr. It first appeared in the March 1929 issue of Weird Tales. “The Hounds of Tindalos” stands on its own as a quality weird tale, but H.P. Lovecraft mentioned both The Hounds of Tindalos and the Doels in “The Whisperer in Darkness” two years later in the April 1931 issue of Weird Tales. The tale is now in the public domain and readily available online.
I want to thank Toren Atkinson for allowing me to use his illustration for the title card of this episode. I think Toren absolutely nailed what the creatures featured in the short story, the Hounds, look like.
“The Hounds of Tindalos” actually features Frank Belknap Long himself as the narrator of the story. The short story chronicles Long’s meeting with a friend of his who is an occult writer named, Halpin Chalmers. Chalmer’s is for lack of a better word attempting to time travel by tapping into the fourth dimension. He uses both mathematical and spiritual means (such as smoking an unknown drug) to attempt this. Chalmer’s asks Long to observe and record the experience for him. Although, Chalmer’s doesn’t physically leave the room, he is mentally able to access the fourth dimension and break the bonds of time. His presence is noted by the titular, Hounds of Tindalos who get his scent.
“Take a werewolf story, for instance — who ever wrote a story from the point of view of the wolf, and sympathising strongly with the devil to whom he has sold himself?” - H.P. Lovecraft in a letter to Edwin Baird, November 1923. This letter would later appear in Weird Tales, where a young writer named H. Warner Munn would read it and be inspired.
In this weeks episode I will be discussing The Werewolf of Ponkert by H. Warner Munn. It’s a werewolf story that Munn wrote after being inspired by H.P. Lovecraft’s comment.
The Werewolf of Ponkert was first published in July 1925 issue of Weird Tales. It was the cover story that month. The story is the first entry in Munn’s Tales of the Werewolf Clan series. The Werewolf of Ponkert takes place in north eastern Hungary, during the mid to late 15th Century.
It has been recently collected by Altus Press in the collection, “Tales of the Werewolf Clan”. This collects all of Munn’s werewolf clan tales and includes a new introduction by his grandson, John Munn. It’s available in both a hardcover and trade paperback from the Altus Press website.
In this weeks episode I’m going to be discussing, The Bat Is My Brother by Robert Bloch. It first appeared in the November 1944 issue of Weird Tales. It’s been reprinted in a handful of vampire and weird fiction anthologies over the years, but I read it on unz.org. They have the original Weird Tales scan up for you to download and read. If you’re new to the pulps, but recognize the name, it’s most likely due to Robert Bloch being the writer of Psycho, the book that inspired the Alfred Hitchcock film of the same name.
The story is most likely not in the public domain as Bloch passed away in 1994, but it’s there on unz.org if you’re interested. I’ll put a link to it and also a link to the isfdb bibliography in the show notes, in case you want to read the story online or purchase a used copy of one of the anthologies it appeared it. From what I saw I don’t believe this tale is currently in print, so the secondary anthology market is probably your best bet other than unz.org. The original issue of Weird Tales is probably a bit pricey, as most Weird Tales issues are.
As you can probably guess from the title, and the image I chose for the episode title card, this is a vampire story. It’s about a guy named Graham Keene who wakes up in a paupers grave and busts through the cheap casket to emerge up out of the soil. After emerging he meets a vampire who informs Graham that he’s a vampire now too.
In this week episode I’m going to be discussing the World of Tiers series written by Philip José Farmer. I finished reading this series a few weeks back and I thought it would be a good time to do an episode on the series while it was still fresh in my memory. Besides the novels written by Philip José Farmer, I’ll also be discussing World of Tiers fiction written by other authors since Farmer passed away.
I’m not going to be giving away any spoilers in this episode. I’m going to give you a nice idea of what the World of Tiers series is about, though.
First I’ll start off with an overview and give some background information on the series. The theme of the series revolves around an advanced race of beings known as Lords. They are also called the Thoan, and Farmer refers to them early on as the Vaernirn. He abandons the term Vaernirn, though and sticks with calling them either Lords or Thoan in the rest of the books. In this episode I will just be calling them Lords to make it easier.
The Lords are advanced beings who are human in appearance. However, they have at their fingertips vastly advanced technology. This includes immortality without aging past their prime, being able to construct artificial pocket universes, traveling between universes via gates, bio engineering, terraforming, gravity manipulation, the list goes on. It should be noted that within each Pocket Universe there is only one planet, but the planet can have orbiting satellites.
In this weeks episode I’ll be discussing a unique and cool item that’s been recently published. I just got it in the mail this week, as a matter of fact. The Weird Tales Collection Magazine published by Adventure House. I’m a big fan of Weird Tales, it’s my favorite pulp magazine by far, and when I saw this item listed on Pulp Coming Attractions, I was immediately drawn to it.
The magazine is 40 pages and packed with full color images of Weird Tales covers. The magazine doesn’t offer a complete assortment of Weird Tales covers, as that’s not the purpose of the publication, but it’s full of covers of landmark and key issues.
The magazine is really an auction program book, printed to coincide with a complete collection of Weird Tales being auctioned off on May 1st 2015 with Adventure House Auctions. Besides being a publisher, Adventure House also conducts auctions. It was a great idea for them to put out this magazine.
Something tells me a complete collection of Weird Tales is going to go for a pretty penny, but everyone can at least get in on the action with this magazine. I flipped through it for about an hour or so the first night I got it and really enjoyed seeing a ton of covers for the first time. It’s well worth the $10.00 in my opinion.
In this weeks episode I will be discussing a pulp themed comic book collection, Five Ghosts Volume 1: The Haunting of Fabian Gray. It is written by Frank J. Barbiere and the art is by Chris Mooneyham. S.M. Vidaurri and Lauren Affe are the colorists. The logo and graphic design are by Dylan Todd. It is published by Image Comics.
Five Ghosts Volume 1: The Haunting of Fabian Gray was published in 2014 and it collects Five Ghosts #1-5. The regular price for this collections is only $9.99, which is cheaper than buying these in individual issues. The price comes out to only $2.00 an issue before tax, which is a nice bargain, and a great way of introducing readers to a new series.
The premise of Five Ghosts is a cool take on a classic concept going back to characters such as Mimic from Marvel Comics (who could take the powers of five different characters at a time) and Amazo from DC Comics (who had all the powers of the Justice League) and the 1970’s Captain Action toys (where Captain Action could transform into various comic book and TV heroes).
The lead character in Five Ghosts, Fabian Gray has similar abilities. His abilities are more similar to Mimic and Amazo as his physical appearance doesn’t change all that much during the process, but he can summon the abilities of five different literary ghosts. The Five Ghosts are: The Archer, The Wizard, The Detective, The Samurai, and the Vampire. Although these literary ghosts aren’t named, it appears they are meant to be: Robin Hood, Merlin, Sherlock Holmes, Miyamato Musashi, and Dracula. He is able to do this via a chunk of Dreamstone that is lodged in his chest.