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1  Mythos Matters / Lovecraft Literary Talk / Re: BATTLE OF THE VILLAINS: Obed Marsh vs. Joseph Curwen on: September 06, 2013, 07:14:26 PM
Totally. I'm on Team Obed. Curwen is a badass, no doubt about it, and in terms of outright villainy, he blows Obed out of the water (pun unintended, but welcome). He tortures, he plots, he murders, he keeps Merlin in a jar in his basement, and he body-snatches Ben Franklin. That's all some villainous shit... but if he were to go toe-to-toe with Obed Marsh, I think Obed would come out ahead.

Cap'n Obed is certainly more charismatic, and could probably talk Curwen into joining his side anyway. Obed would have seen through "Dr. Allen's" ruse immediately, 'cause o' them sharp-readin' eyes that can read folks like they was books. In a face-to-face confrontation, Curwen might have some magic up his sleeve, but Obed's an old sailor, a salty blue-collar kind of guy, and could likely brain Curwen with a marlinspike before he got his incantations out. And of course, while Curwen has a handful of undead servitors who he has to raise personally and threaten into doing his will, Obed is backed up by an undersea army of millions of immortal fish monsters.

Or maybe I just prefer Obed's brand of villainy. While Curwen runs around town drinking blood and stealing Ben Franklin, Obed looms. That's the only word for it. He looms darkly in the background while his will works itself in Innsmouth. Joseph Curwen is one man, but Obed is a social movement.
2  Mythos Matters / Lovecraft Literary Talk / BATTLE OF THE VILLAINS: Obed Marsh vs. Joseph Curwen on: September 03, 2013, 05:16:10 PM
LOVECRAFTIANS: Who is the superior villain, Joseph Curwen or Captain Obed Marsh? For the sake of this battle, assume they both have all of their monstrous allies and whatnot.

Consider:

Joseph Curwen is a skilled magician and alchemist, but can be reduced to ash with a few words.

Obed Marsh has no supernatural powers of his own, but commands (or at least is backed up by) an army of sea monsters.

Both are wealthy.

When he's not engaged in necromantic experiments, Curwen is scholar and a merchant. Marsh, on the other hand, is a grizzled sea captain, and thus could probably take Curwen in a fistfight.

Curwen can raise the dead, and perhaps other, stranger forces, but cannot always control them, or put down that which he calls up.

...

Feel free to contribute your own pros and cons, and decide amongst yourselves that ultimate question that all pop culture fandoms must eventually come to: WHO WOULD WIN IN A FIGHT?
3  General Category / Episode Discussion / Re: Episode 165 The Dead Smile on: July 10, 2013, 10:48:34 AM
This, my reading of "The Screaming Skull," and the "Upper Berth" episode have, like Chad, inspired me to pick up an anthology of his stories. Of note here is that he apparently only wrote 8 weird / ghost / horror stories, which means my idea for an F. Marion Crawford podcast is DOA.

Still, can't wait for it to get here.

Anyway, as for the story, yeah, Sir Hugh is absurdly evil, and I do sort of get the sense that the kids may still get married after all.
4  General Category / Episode Discussion / Re: Episode 165 The Dead Smile on: July 09, 2013, 11:09:50 AM
Oo, I didn't think of that. Of course, I haven't read the story either, but now I have to!

So F. Marion Crawford is batting 2 for 2, and I was just told via Twitter that they're also gonna be tackling "The Screaming Skull." Now, I HAVE read that one, and I can't wait for the guys to get into it.

At this rate, I'm thinking someone should start up an F. Marion Crawford podcast...
5  General Category / Episode Discussion / Re: Episodes 99 - 100: The Thing on the Doorstep on: July 03, 2013, 11:45:23 AM
Oh, Lambeth... Lambeth Lambeth Lambeth...


6  General Category / Forums Support / Re: The Bot Invasion on: June 19, 2013, 09:55:49 AM
Well that's just... really weird. So it's not just spam, it's fake spam?
7  General Category / Episode Discussion / Re: Premium Feed Episode Recommendations on: May 21, 2013, 09:42:52 AM
I just picked up a collection of weird/horror stories* by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, among which was "The Captain of the Pole-Star," and I could not get Chad and Chris's voices out of my head the whole time I was reading it. So I'm gonna recommend "The Captain of the Pole-Star." It's about a whaling ship that gets trapped in the ice up north, where ghostly happenings begin taking place, and the captain seems to recognize the ghost.

*The collection is actually called Vampire Stories, and each story features a little blurb at the end in which the editors try their damnedest to make a case for why this is actually a vampire story. They clearly started with a title ("hey, vampires are big right now, right?") and then had to consciously distort the stories to make them fit the theme. It's hilariously pathetic; the editors (one of whom enjoys the implausible name of Robert Eighteen-Bisang and is apparently a big vampire buff) try to claim that "The Captain of the Pole-Star" is the story of an Eskimo vampire that drains heat from its victim, which is... no. No, no, no, no, no. That is not what that story is about by any stretch of the imagination, and you know it, R18B.
8  General Category / Episode Discussion / Episode 157 - "Fishhead" on: May 03, 2013, 02:11:00 PM
You know, I wasn't expecting to like this one. Robert M. Price talked about this in the introduction to one of the Chaosium "Innsmouth Cycle" books, and clearly didn't think much of it; he makes it sound like the whole thing is a racist mockery the black folk and American Indians that form Fishhead's heritage. I was rather surprised when the podcast opened up with Andrew reading that great opening description of the lake (in a Southern accent, no less!), and then again when the story that followed turned out to be... well, quite good, actually, unless our noble hosts skipped over some awful racist crap in their presentation. Makes me want to read the story.

But what really got my attention was the part about the catfish, and the giant catfish that the guys talked about hearing legends of when they were growing up by the Mississippi. I just about jumped out of my chair at that, because I'm from north Alabama and we have the exact same legend! They're supposed to live in the warm, deep water by Browns Ferry nuclear plant, feeding on the fish and whatnot that have been chopped up by the turbines. I thought it was just a local thing. Of course, our giant catfish are real, so they must have served as the inspiration for all those copycat myths up and down the Mississippi.
9  General Category / Episode Discussion / Re: Episode 154-155 - "The Death of Halpin Frayser" on: April 29, 2013, 05:19:55 PM
Chris: that's actually S.T. Joshi's interpretation, so you're in good company! He wrote the following introduction to this story in the collection American Supernatural Tales:

Quote
"The Death of Halpin Frayser" (first published in the Wave, December 19, 1891) is Bierce's most celebrated horror tale. Although narrated in a highly fragmented manner, it can be pieced together to reveal a hideous series of events: Halpin Frayser, moving to California, had married his mother, Catherine, living under the name of Larue. Frayser later kills her, but, overwrought by his actions, loses his memory of these events. Catherine's reanimated corpse then exacts revenge upon him by killing him over her own grave in a California cemetery.

So yeah. In the opinion of the foremost living scholar and proponent of weird fiction, Halpin Frayser is indeed an Oedipus. A dead Oedipus. A Doedipus.
10  General Category / Episode Discussion / Episode 156 - "The Middle Toe of the Right Foot" / "An Inhabitant of Carcosa" on: April 26, 2013, 11:10:41 AM
Episode is up. Listen and discuss!
11  Welcome / Introductions / Re: Member Introductions on: April 17, 2013, 10:56:59 AM
Damn... the spambots have found an area of the forum from which I do not have the power to delete them!

Also, welcome aboard to all the real people.
12  General Category / Episode Discussion / Episode 154-155 - "The Death of Halpin Frayser" on: April 14, 2013, 05:57:19 PM
Way to give the ending away right there in the title, Ambrose...

Anyway, episode is up! Discuss! I demand it.
13  General Category / General Discussion / Re: Any Clark Ashton Smith fans? Recommendations? on: April 12, 2013, 01:38:51 PM
Edit - just one curiosity I've been ignoring for a while now. I'm kind of confused as to what the term "cycles" actually means, in the context that I see them used. Is it interchangeable with "mythos"?

Kinda sorta.

Quote
cycle,  in literature, a group of prose or poetic narratives, usually of different authorship, centring on a legendary hero and his associates.... The word cycle is also used for a series of poems or novels that are linked in theme, such as Émile Zola’s Rougon-Macquart cycle of 20 novels (1871–93), tracing the history of a single family.

-- Britannica.com

Quote
myth•os (?m?? ?s, ?ma? ??s)

n., pl. myth•oi (?m?? ??, ?ma? Huh)
1. the underlying system of beliefs, esp. those dealing with supernatural forces, characteristic of a particular cultural group.
2. myth (def. 1).
3. mythology (def. 1).

-- TheFreeDictionary.com

So "Mythos," as regards H.P. Lovecraft and Clark Ashton Smith, refers to the underlying mythology -- the Great Old Ones, the overall view of the universe presented in these stories, etc. The "cycles" refer to groups of stories joined by a common theme or setting, like Lovecraft's Dream Cycle (dealing with common themes and settings in the world of dreams), his "Cthulhu Mythos cycle" (all the stories dealing with his invented mythos), even a sort of generic "Gothic horror cycle" (his horror stories not dealing with the Cthulhu Mythos, like "The Tomb," "Pickman's Model," etc.).

In Clark Ashton Smith, you would have the Hyperborea cycle (all the stories that take place in Hyperboria), the Averoigne cycle (stories taking place in Averoigne), etc. I don't know if Clark Ashton Smith really has one definite "mythos" of his own the way Lovecraft has, since each of Smith's settings seems to have its own set of gods and monsters and whatnot, though there is some overlap ( like how Tsathoggua, who belongs to the Hyperborea stories, is name-dropped in a couple of Averoigne stories, stuff like that).
14  General Category / General Discussion / Re: Any Clark Ashton Smith fans? Recommendations? on: April 10, 2013, 09:46:42 AM
Smith is the bee's knees. If you didn't know already, there is a delightful Clark Ashton Smith podcast called The Double Shadow, and you should go listen to every episode right now. If you're looking for a guide as you wade into Clark Ashton Smith, I can't direct you to any better than that.

As for recommendations, here are some of my all-time favorite Smith stories:

"The Colossus of Ylourgne"
"The Beast of Averoigne"
"The Death of Malygris"
"The Double Shadow"
"The Dark Eidolon"
"Empire of the Necromancers"
"The Seven Geases"
"The Door to Saturn"
"The Charnel God"
"The Abominations of Yondo"
"The Maze of Maâl Dweb"

These all take place in various fantasy settings (mostly Atlantis, the future continent of Zothique, the ancient land of Hyperborea, and France). He wrote in cycles revolving around his favorite settings, so you have the Hyperborea stories, the Zothique stories, and so on. He wrote several stories that take place in space, and even a few (like "The Chain of Aforgomon") that take place, at least partially, in the modern world. These include:

"Ubbo-Sathla"
"The Return of the Sorcerer"
"Genius Loci"
"The City of Singing Flame"

... and I'm sure plenty of others, but I haven't read the entire Smith canon yet.

You can read pretty much anything you like by Smith over at The Eldritch Dark, and as I mentioned at the beginning of this post, you really ought to go check out The Double Shadow.
15  General Category / Episode Discussion / Episode 153 -- "The Damned Thing" on: April 05, 2013, 01:47:58 PM
Ghost werewolf represent.
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