Get LOST In the Walls of Eryx!
Thanks to Stephen Brewster for lending us his voice!
Music for this episode is from David Maurice Garrett’s album Al Azif – available now for download!
Next week, The Night Ocean.
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two weeks! OMG!
Very nice one guys, I never picked up on the connection with Avatar. Sorry you didn’t like it Chris… I had about the same reaction to it as I did to Avatar: It’s okay, but nothing special.
It was my thought that the 4:20 plant (and I will always think of it that way now…thanks fellas!) was actually thrown in to explain the walls’ invisibility. That they were not actually invisible, but there was some alien technology or organism that caused Stanfield to simply not see the walls that are there!
Can’t wait ’till next week… The Night Ocean has long been my favorite Lovecraftian story–But is it a Lovecraft story?
Check out Stanley G. Weinbaum and Clark Ashton Smith for far better interplanetary thrills
Here are links
Clark Ashton Smith
Stanley G. Weinbaum
The surface features on Venus were not named until the 1980s and after, when radar mapping could see through the permanent cloud cover. HPL or his coauthor presumably adopted “Eryx” from the name of an ancient site in Sicily.
Nice Episode this one! Usually your opinions on a story don `t differ that much, so that lended a different dynamic to the whole thing. Really was fun.
Chris is right on most of the points he makes – although I don `t find any of them bothersome – but he is sooo wrong (Flame! Flame!)with his conclusion. If you wanna know how to make the same subject into a truely annoyingly stupid pulpy sci-fi story, check out sump`n like “The Terrible Tentacles of L-472″! Almost the same story, but THAT is terrible.
Hear it an weep!
Great show as always guys. I did not mind this story as a kid. There were no curmudgeonly Englishmen to bother my head with details and (in)consistencies. Being lost in a maze is a common trope now but to a kid who had never read or seen such an idea it was new. Geez, I’m old.
Ugh I hated this story too. Initially I thought it was a postmortem collaboration, just because I had to excuse the lameness of it, but yeah. Not a fan.
Paper thin walls. Bam!
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I did not like this story much at all. With these types of science fiction where it doesn’t have much connection with reality. Though I am excited about next week’s the Night Ocean. I happen to love that story. Also, the music in this episode was excellent.
I love this story. I gotta say, until Chad suggested it was some kind of force field I had always thought it was a material substance. Of course, that’s the conclusion that Stanfield comes to, but the force field thing makes more sense since it explains the lack of trenches. Perhaps it’s a pseudo-material energy field, ala Yog Whately?
I have not read this tale for well over a decade. I remember thinking it was pretty weak at the time. I do remember being convinced that there was a twist, that twist being the maze had a mobile exit, the exit being positioned at the back of the victim. All he would have to do is *walk backwards* for 20 feet to escape.
I have no idea now how I ended up thinking that as no one else seems to share my opinion.
I’ve never enjoyed reading science fiction. Some of my favourite TV shows and movies are Sci Fi, but I just can’t get into it in print, it feels forced and shallow (this from someone who loves reading for its own sake and has been devouring all sorts of books and making excuses for why they’re better than movies since he learned how to read). Walls of Eryx was the same; I’m sure it’d make a good movie, but I just couldn’t really get in to it.
All that aside, though, I got the impression that the invisible walls were moving. Neither of the characters ever had a chance, and the exit near their bodies was just to mock them.
The way around that obnoxious kid’s force field is to teleport your guys past it. He’ll say it’s an anti-teleporting field, too, but you can get around that by saying that if it was really an anti-teleporting field he’d have said so in the first place.
Too bad Chris didn’t like it. I think the only explanation is that it must have subconsciously reminded Chris of a childhood trauma he is repressing, in which he got lost, perhaps in a store, or fair ground, for an extended period of time. IOW, the story is so good, it has triggered a repressed memory, and the only way Chris can deal with it is to try to convince himself that the story is a lousy effort. It won’t work. He’s just demonstrating all the more how skillfully and compellingly it was written.
By the way, I had long held a very different interpretation of the story:
I thought the walls were shifting around, but since they were invisible the narrator never noticed or thought of it. That would explain why he spends days lost in the maze while the big team that arrives later finds a clear exit near his body.
Hi guys, just wanted to say that Venus’s atmospheric pressure is actually 90 times that of Earth. Oh, and the surface temperature is 860 degrees Farenheit. It has clouds of sulfuric acid. People compare it to Hell. And it’s rotation is 224 days, and backwards. So yeah,people got a lot wrong about it early on.
I agree that this isn’t one of HPL’s best, and Chris raises a lot of good points.
I think though thematically, this story is a lot like HPL’s scariest (in my opinion) writings where the protagonist -as a consequence of their own hubris- has a horrible death which they can see approaching for a long time. The Temple, the Thing on the Doorstep, and the Horror at St. Martin’s Beach are some of his stories I find scariest for this reason.
The guy in this story is basically buried alive! With the added torture that he can see freedom, but will never be able to reach it. That’s pretty horrible, but then the story starts off by our guy advocating genocide, so maybe it’s deserved?
Hang on, why did I put the thing on the doorstep in that list?? No-one there deserved the terrible stuff that happened! (Although it was still a insidious, horrible thing that they were powerless to prevent).
Great shows guys, and great story TOO! really I couldn’t see any of the point Chris put forward against it. To enjoy it, I only had to picture myself trapped in totally invisible maze, whose walls don’t even reflect the light. If that it’s something naive, well… Suppose that a good version of it would be to put the guy trapped in a concentration camp.
And you forgot to say that the story is much better than Avatar.
Hmm.. A story so good it reduced the price of Weird Tales by 40%!
I liked the way the Venusian flora and fauna stripped Dwight’s body down a little at a time infront of Stanfeild. I too thought the walls were shifting (wish the authors had mentioned it somehow – the end is kinda cheesy without that idea…) I didn’t think the story was too science fiction jargony.. but hey, that’s just me —
Dubois Sponge-Reservoir Mask Co.
I too assumed that the maze walls were moving. That makes the narrator’s belabored cataloging of his exploration especially horrible and pointless.
So, will you start POEdcraft.com after you finish with Lovecraft? That would be cool.
I had always envisioned the walls moving with as needed. That is why they seemed to extend forever when the character was outside and descend forever when he tried to dig. However, for something to be a viable story device, it has to be described in the story so I’ll have to agree with the “Where are the mud trenches” argument. I’d like my reason to be correct, but since the authors didn’t detail it out, no amount of fan speculation can strengthen the story. Still, I like this one. Being lost is a understandably scaring thing we can all relate to, even if the description here is dry.
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