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Author Topic: Episodes 77 - 83 ~ At the Mountains of Madness  (Read 88503 times)
kulain
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« Reply #15 on: May 19, 2011, 01:27:18 PM »

I still think John W. Campbell's Who Goes There? (famously adapted as The Thing from Another World in the '50s and by John Carpenter as The Thing in '82) was written as a response to At the Mountains of Madness.

There's an x-file episode "ice" that is a rip off of the Thing as well, speaking of horrors unleashed by digging around in the antarctic...

"At the Mountains of Madness" was one of the very first Lovecraft pieces I have ever read (I still have the paperback), sadly I didn't really like it as I kept hoping the scary looking dude on the cover with the cloak would show up and he actually has nothing to do with the story at all. It felt like a more fleshed out version of "The Nameless City" to me, and the ending was somewhat unsatisfying in that we never find out what is so horrible to the elder things.
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DMcCool
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« Reply #16 on: May 19, 2011, 01:50:49 PM »

Haha

When you guys started talking about mixing up the word "organism" with "orgasm", it was dead on.  I was that guy.

I was reading a homework assignment to my dad once and kept making the mistake.  After about the fourth time correcting me, my dad decided it was time to have "the talk".
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Bob Lovecraft
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« Reply #17 on: May 19, 2011, 03:14:23 PM »

As many people talk about "The Thing" being a take-off of AtMoM, I have to say I just don't' really see it. Yeah, I get that it is in Antarctica, and has an ancient evil being unearthed and that shoggoths are shape shifters, but really the plot simply isn't there. Lovecraft did not write a "last man standing" story, nor did he write a "bug hunt". His story was massively more thought-provoking than anything John Carpenter ever did, and I just kind of think comparing the two is like comparing apples to apple trees. Now I don't know if John Carpenter ever read AtMoM or not, nor if he based "The Thing" on the story if he had read it, but i still think the two are distinct.

Bob
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« Reply #18 on: May 19, 2011, 03:19:35 PM »

Well, John Carpenter directed In the Mouth of Madness, which is one big love letter to H.P. Lovecraft, so I'd be very surprised if he hadn't read AtMoM.
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Boneworm
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« Reply #19 on: May 19, 2011, 08:57:17 PM »

The Thing is definitely descended from Mountains of Madness, but through "Who Goes There?", like Kryptych said.  Antarctic expedition discovers ancient entombed alien life, wakes it up, and hilarity ensues, though the Thing itself rolls the Elder Things and shoggoths into one package.  Except in the Howard Hawks movie, where it is James Arness in Dickies.
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« Reply #20 on: May 19, 2011, 11:14:30 PM »

I still think John W. Campbell's Who Goes There? (famously adapted as The Thing from Another World in the '50s and by John Carpenter as The Thing in '82) was written as a response to At the Mountains of Madness.
At the Mountains of Madness was originally published (horribly abridged) in Astonishing Stories, a pulp magazine which later changed its name to Astounding Science-Fiction and would be the first to put in print the stories of Asimov, Heinlein and other writers who first made SF "legitimate" when John W. Campbell became its editor. Campbell didn't write any fiction during his editorship, but he was getting stories published in Astounding around the time they put out Mountains, so I agree--he probably read it.
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« Reply #21 on: May 20, 2011, 12:58:08 AM »

I would be surprised if Carpenter's The Thing wasn't a nod to AtMoM, myself. Although I've never really heard it said specifically. But Carpenter is a Lovecraft fan. And if you look at Carpenter's so called "Apocalypse Trilogy" of The Thing, The Prince of Darkness and In the Mouth of Madness, they really are all love letters to Lovecraft's ideology of a cold, impassionate universe. And for me, it's the second one that I find the most Lovecraftian.

All in all an excellent beginning to an excellent story! 
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« Reply #22 on: May 20, 2011, 09:37:16 AM »

I'm fairly certain that Carpenter said it was a nod in the Wyrd documentary, Lovecraft: Fear of the Unknown.  I'll have to watch it again to check.
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Chad Fifer
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« Reply #23 on: May 20, 2011, 01:00:27 PM »

Man!  This is MY favorite of HPL's stories...so chocked full of geological/paleontological goodness! 

It's funny, but in this episode, Chris says that geology students should read this story...well, actually, I'm a geologist, and I have my undergrads read "At the Mountains of Madness" in my Historical Geology course.  The course is taught in the Fall (usually), and I generally give them the story as a fun assignment over Halloween; we have a pretty neat discussion afterwords, and I usually use it as a lead-in to a discussion of nifty concepts and geological uses of ichnofossils (= tracks, trails, burrows, etc of organisms preserved in the stratigraphic record).  Some of the geology is wrong, even at the time when Lovecraft was writing, but still!  Neat stuff!  And heck, he even has some Wegener and "Continental Drift" thrown in there, when the whole idea was generally rejected by American geologists!  It's great!

Looking forward to more of the story!

That is straight up awesome.
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« Reply #24 on: May 20, 2011, 04:39:29 PM »

I haven't listened to the podcraft yet.

Crinoid: Yes, it was so heavily "continental drift" that the Plateau of Leng and Kadath moved.

Kryptych: http://www.4shared.com/audio/u2d6zpKT/chillers_TheThing_AD_BBC_WhoGo.html

Fad Ficherch: Totally. Best post. Way outposts the CDC's lame attempt at co-opting the Zombie Apocalypse.

Some thoughts:

Carpenter certainly took inspiration. Jules Vernes's Sphinx of the Glaciers takes up Ed Poe's Narrative of Pym, a rescue mission. Pym is all about tekele-li. Tekele-li in Ed Poe is about "the writing on the wall" in the Biblical sense. Beware the Persians, destruction, etc.

The Antarctic is the last "dream-land" as witnessed by the myth of Nazi survival there, the secret UFO base in Neu Schwabenland, the "secret Byrd diaries" et al ad absurdum.

The Mandaeans have a sacred story called The Mountain of the Maddai. There are tunnels and stuff. Maddai and Manda are somehow cognate, sort of, and with Medes. North is good, south is bad.

Some books that might help make sense of the whole mess for Sich and Chard and all the others, are, in no certain order, Arktos by Joscelyn Godwin, and--actually not a great deal of sense here, but it does touch on the National Science Foundation and TRW or whatever it is Antarctic Services and Logistics (did you know telephone numbers to American Antarctica all have a Colorado area code?) mafia de facto in charge of the southern antipodes--Kim Stanley Robinson's Antarctica. Both are freely downloadable from library.nu

Now I'll have to listen to the 'craft and see if I made any relevant points. Convention banning mining? Military activity? I'll have to look up the corresponding chapters in Fletcher Prouty's Guns of Dallas and Secret Team. hahahaha






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« Reply #25 on: May 21, 2011, 08:51:13 AM »

Oops, Raytheon, not TRW. Raytheon Antarctic Services. I forgot. Another giant corporation doing all kinds of stuff.

http://pastebin.com/VF4AXSe5

I listened to the 'craft, it was good, I laughed. I couldn't put it down, as I listened in my tanktop in bed trying to get some sleep.

Oh, and the Verne book is translated as An Antarctic Mystery, sometimes, and Dirk Peters of Pym shows up. It's available here:
http://www.gutenberg.org/files/10339/10339-h/10339-h.htm

or if you read French, here:
http://www.ebooksgratuits.com/pdf/verne_sphinx_des_glaces.pdf
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« Reply #26 on: May 21, 2011, 06:03:39 PM »

So, it's "Pea-body" and not "Pa-body"?  Man, I dunno, I'm gonna havta stick with "Pabody."  Everytime I read it "Peabody" I picture Mr. Peabody from the Rocky & Bullwinkle show. 

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« Reply #27 on: May 22, 2011, 02:09:20 AM »

Yeah, I'm gonna stick with "PAY buh-dee." Just because that's how I've always read it, and I don't like change.
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« Reply #28 on: May 22, 2011, 04:22:43 PM »

Is anyone familiar with the Piri Reis map? Or perhaps I should say, the 'mystery' of the Piri Reis map- http://historicmysteries.com/the-piri-reis-map The short of it is that this is a map that was discovered at the beginning of the last century, but dated to the early 15th century, credited to a Turkish captain named Piri Reis. Besides supposedly depicting geographical detail that should not have existed at that point, of various coastlines, it also depicted parts of Antarctica in incredible detail, but more importantly, detail of Antarctica as it appears without the layers of ice that rests on it. Apparently, the majority of the map's detail derives from other, pre-existing maps; some of which are said to pre-date Christ. Which begs the question; at that early date who could have had the ability to depict with such accuracy geography that most people of the time wouldn't even know existed?

Every time I hear of Antarctica (such as with this story) I think of this map. No doubt there's some logical explanation, but it's still fun to speculate Smiley 

Quote
From the site- What is baffling is not so much how Piri Reis managed to draw such an accurate map of the Antarctic region 300 years before it was discovered – but that the map depicts the coastline under ice!  Evidence confirms that the latest date Queen Maud Land could have been charted in an ice-free state is 4000 BC.

Just idling away the time until the next episode Cheesy

You are more right than you might realize. Readh Prof Charles H. Hapgood's book, Maps of the Ancient Sea Kings.  Prof Hapgood and his graduate students analyzed the Piri Reis map and concluded that Piri Reis put together his map from more ancient source maps, that were not only dead on accurate, but were built using modern cartographic methodologies. Antartica's landmass was not under ice in the remote past (one million years BC), and certainly it was ice free no later than the end of the last ice age (about 11,000 BC).
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ajg
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« Reply #29 on: May 22, 2011, 05:26:00 PM »

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Antarctica’s landmass was not under ice in the remote past (one million years BC), and certainly it was ice free no later than the end of the last ice age (about 11,000 BC)

Actually, Antarctica has been extensively glaciated for ~45 Million Years, with continental scale glaciation well established by the Earliest Oligocene.  There's an extensive record of glacial sedimentation, including marine end-moraines plowed up by icebergs calving into the sea, that goes back around 40 million years.  We also have a huge amount of isotopic evidence from marine microfossils that show evidence for huge ice-mass effects in the Oligocene on up to today.  Sadly, the ol' Piri Reis map's "Antarctica" is just S. America being wrapped around in a kind of goofy projection.  Oh well!
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