Episode 70 – The Mound – Part 1

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Check out the sites and facts on The Mound with silky-voiced reader Jimmy Akin’s photos and facts!

AND… we’re pleased to announce our swing at the graphic novel with artist I.N.J. Culbard

Please have a look at the first three pages of DEADBEATS!


Post Comment 34 comments on “Episode 70 – The Mound – Part 1

  • Aram on

    Wow, I couldn’t disagree more with your assessment of this story. We enjoy the same aspects – the western setting, the horrifying fates of the townsfolk who visit the mound – but I was absolutely enthralled by what is to come. Namely, SPOILER ALERT; one of only a handful of examples in Lovecraft’s work where a wholly alien civilization is examined in any detail. We won’t be treated to this again until The Shadow Out of Time and At The Mountains of Madness.

    I loved that Binger and Caddo County are real places. I loved that the real hero of the story is a Spaniard(!) I loved how the ghost story turns out to be something much less prosaic and far weirder than mere ghosts. I loved the tales of pre-historic Earth and I loved Zamacoma’s growing hysteria and revulsion at what he discovers.

    OK, I am seriously rambling. I have much more to say but will save it for the next episode.

  • Keith McCaffety on

    D’oh! You guys! I only read parts 1 and 2 so far, and I’m hooked! So I give your show a listen, and now I’m not so enthused about going on. I’ve disagreed with you in the past, so here’s hoping! Aram’s statement gives me a straw to grasp…

  • Mike Mann on

    So how’s about them Deadbeats, amirite? Definitely looking forward to its fruition, but I also think some supplementary content would be great in a webcomic context (I had fun making the site.)

    Also, would Ian like a colorist to help him out? I don’t want to blow my own horn, buuuuut…

  • Krakow Sam on

    I’m really looking forward to Deadbeats too. I have Culbard’s At the Mountains of Madness and I think his style is perfect for lovecraft. Great job getting him on board guys, you landed a winner!

  • Ollie on

    As Aram says this is certainly relevant in Lovecraft’s bibliography as a rehearsal for MoM and SoT. I was a little disappointed that the K’n-yan people were ‘too human’.

    But still the history of the realms beneath K’n-yan; red-litten Yoth and black N’Kai is interesting, plus a teensy bit of info on Shub-Niggurath as “a kind of sophisticated Astarte, and her worship struck the pious Catholic as supremely obnoxious.”

    Plus some dark prophecy from HPL; “Rationalism degenerated more and more into fanatical and orgiastic superstition…and tolerence steadily dissolved into a series of frenzied hatreds, especially toward the outer world.”

  • Brown Jenkins on

    Ken Hite once asked on the show, “Is the center of madness in Lovecraft’s universe the center of the Earth, or the center of the Cosmos?” This is a very earth-centric story in evidence of the former.

  • Mark Brett on

    Really like the Deadbeats preview pages, guys. That first page, in particular, is hot stuff. Good luck with it!

  • Reber Clark on

    Very good and fun show. It’s been a long time since I’ve read The Mound. This episode sets it up to be a great story. Too bad the latter part may be so disappointing. But either way you guys are entertaining to listen to! Gonna be hard to wait another two weeks. Happy travels!

    P.S. Having grown up in Arkansas and lived in Oklahoma I have seen and walked on these mounds. The Spanish influence in the region is also very heavy (Hernando DeSoto etc). Many things are told about these places and the way Jimmy Akins tells it, it’s right on the money – accent-wise and spooky wise. Good job all.

  • Eric Lofgren on

    Looking forward to part 2 of The Mound (2 weeks? Argh). And I really like what I see for The Deadbeats. Very Nice!!!

  • helios1014 on

    I’m going to count out a roll of bills. Tell me when to stop.

  • Chad Fifer on

    Hmmm… too many self-promotions on this one?

  • Alex M on

    I’ve been listening to your first soundtrack and wanted to compliment you on the great music. “Despite Himself He Dreams” is terribly relaxing, and makes me feel like I’m drifting through an expansive void. “The Witch House” and “Harry Piedmont” are both amazingly chill pieces as well. And who could forget the psychedelic “Ghost Disco” (by the way was that Andrew Leman at the beginning?).

    As for the story this week, don’t feel (too) bad Chris and Chad! It’s always enjoyable to hear your opinions and ideas on the stories.

    Personally I agree with Aram though and found the story to be fascinating, especially with the allusions to an ‘inner earth’, which makes it an unlikely parallel to “A Journey to the Center of the Earth” by Jules Verne. As you pointed out, it’s interesting to see the continuity of the characters from The Curse of Yig. A metallic cylinder, similar to the one that contained Nuñez’s account is also seen later in the story Out of the Aeons.

    I’m really looking forward to the readings of The Picture in the House and From Beyond!

  • JBL on

    When you did YIG I commented that THE MOUND didn’t grab me like that Bishop collaboration; you have now discovered why. HPL tries this sort of thing again in MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS, where it works quite a bit better, and — in my opinion — finally succeeds completely in SHADOW OUT OF TIME. But more on all that later.

    I do like the idea of making THE MOUND more like ERICH ZANN…or, for that matter, THE COLOUR OUT OF SPACE… eliminating all the explanations and histories and simply making it a mood piece chronicling a series of weird incidents that no one could ever suss to the core. After all, not everything has to have an origin. Weren’t Clive Barker’s Cenobites a lot scarier before you found out they had once been human? So call that THE MOUND THAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN. Alas, THE MOUND that is, is all we’ve got.

  • Mark Brett on

    Okay, just finished reading The Mound. I can understand not liking it; the back half is a let-down from the absolute WTF horror of the first half. But I might argue that, had Lovecraft shown a bit more restraint in telling the story, this might go down as a classic.

    *SPOILER ALERT* He shows an archeologist’s zeal for documenting detail in this story that, while appropriate for his narrator, is also really boring. I found myself skimming in places, until my eyes came up against something that seemed promising. Even once Zamacona is introduced to the particulars of K’n-yan society, it’s too much in places. When the narrator says that the manuscript leaves so many inticing questions unanswered, I actually laughed out loud.

    But. I love the way Lovecraft pulls me into K’un-yan society nonetheless. It seems perfectly reasonable at first, then disquieting little details start to slip in (“No, no! They’re only PARTIALLY-human, so it’s okay!”). By the time Zamacoma is introduced to his “affection group” I’m completely creeped out. It’s like an evil version of Gulliver’s Travels!

    I also thought it was significant from a Mythos perspective that Cthulhu somehow brought the Old Ones (and therefore humans) to Earth. That shows him being far more active than we usually see (since he’s, you know, asleep and all). Plus, sex is actually hinted at, and there’s a female character who plays an important role in the story!

    And when the narrator finally makes his descent down the stairs into the mound, I’m genuinely scared for him. I felt like this was what we didn’t get to see in “The Statement of Randolph Carter.” Of course, the final italicized line fails utterly. Even if you bought into the idea that the manuscript was a hoax (which nobody who’d even be reading this story would ever believe), you’ve got to know that it’s real by that point.

    But the portrait of this highly-advanced and casually cruel society falling into decadence is, I think, good stuff. More science fiction than horror, perhaps, but I found it compelling.

  • […] Check out the sites and facts on The Mound with silky-voiced reader Jimmy Akin’s photos and facts! AND… we’re pleased to announce our swing at the graphic novel with artist I.N.J. Culbard… Please have a look at the first three pages of DEADBEATS! HPPodcraft.com – The H.P. Lovecraft Literary Podcast […]

  • Paul Rouzer on

    Hi, guys — I’ve never commented before, but I’ve been listening since the beginning — love the project!

    I’m not sure what you’ll say about “The Mound” in the next part, but it looks like you feel it’s a failed horror story. I agree with you in many ways — I think the beginning is wonderfully creepy, but there is no pay-off. However, I think you might be a little unfair by blaming it for not doing what it was never trying to do to begin with. The story seems very much in the vein of a fictional travel account to fantastic places used as a satire on contemporary society (the most famous example is Gulliver’s Travels — in fact I think there are some resemblances here to the fourth book of GT that describe the Houyhnhms and the Yahoos). Seen in that light, I think much of the story is intentionally funny in a black sort of way. (My favorite sentence: “Several horned gyaa-yothm would be provided for his transportation and errand-running, and ten living slaves of intact body would serve to conduct his establishment and protect him from thieves and sadists and religious orgiasts on the public highways.”)

    The maybe less attractive aspect of this is that it participates in the general assumption floating about among educated people in the 1920s and 1930s that Western civilization was suffering a period of decadence and needed to return to more authentic roots (which made fascism intellectually respectable for a while in some places). This fits in pretty well with Lovecraft’s hatred of modern art and literature (he makes some cracks about the “abstract” nature of later Kin-yan art).

    God knows what poor Zealia Bishop thought when she got this back from him!

  • Iranon, the singer of songs on

    I loved the beginning of this show; Jimmy Aikin’s accent and the music used both feel perfectly complimentary to the story, in the imagination of a Singer of Songs who hails from an ancient fishing port in Hoary Old Kent…

    I can’t wait for the second part of the story, that is if I don’t get chased away in the meantime by those-um half-human unicorns…

    ***He Rolls His Eyes Slightly***

    The Deadbeats is looking real good, guys. Looking forward to that too…

    All the Beast,
    I. 🙂

  • Iranon, the singer of songs on

    Perhaps you should refrain from delving any further into The Mound. Will you not heed the warning words of Grey Eagle; “You let um ’lone, you have no bad medicine. Red man know, he no get catch. White man meddle, he no come back. Keep ’way little hills…”


  • John H. on

    Er, that trumpet wasn’t given to that guy by “Louis Armstrong,” was it?

  • Andrea on

    Hi, guys,

    Still loving your podcast–and telling my friends, too!

    Congrats on the new project.

    One request: could y’all make the Cthullium t-shirt available for the ladies, too? I really, really want one.


  • Jakeula on

    I for one love this story, and was very surprised by your reactions, as I think it’s one of his best. However, it could because I read right around dusk, in the summer, on a particularly quiet night, which made me quite tense. Though I agree that it probably would’ve been better as an Erich Zann, or Colour Out of Space, as the latter is my personal favorite, and consider it his best story, I still consider it to be a great novella, and a prototype of Mountains of Madness.

  • Barbra Streisand on

    I’ve not read “The Mound” in over a year — I’m waiting for the forthcoming two volume set, THE CRAWLING CHAOS AND OTHERS, his annotated volumes of Lovecraft’s revisions and collaborations to be published this year by Arcane Wisdom Press.

  • Mike Mann on

    @ Andrea: There are actually 2 womens shirts with the Cthulium design on it already! You just need to scroll down a bit more on the store page. =)

  • Reber Clark on

    The Mound abounds with sounds from the ground.

  • Ernst Bitterman on

    I’m of the same opinion as you fellows on this story (good bits, tedious whole), but I wonder whether the sense of being told something over and again might not be an artifact of our artistes expecting the work to be chopped up for serialization, and thinking that the audience of the day might want refreshers. I have no foundation for this, having only ever read it in a whole lump in a collection of HPL’s collaborations, but I found that imagining it to be the case made slightly easier going as one slogs through it.

  • Dannicus on

    The story was bookended by interesting events, but boy did the history ever get taxing after a while. I loved that it was told by a Conquistador, with the prejudices and insights that voice brought, but it suffered from that common sci-fi/fantasy trap of getting bogged down too much in the minutia of another culture. I always throw my hands up in the air and go: “And why do I care?”

    The classic example is a chapter in ‘The Lord of the Rings’ called ‘The Council of Elrond’, where Tolkien decides to veer off from the plot and proceed to outline an entire mythology in masturbatory detail. Lovecraft is often guilty of this, though he craftily fuses elements of a recounted mythology or history into the main plot. Take ‘The Nameless City’, which retains a sense of suspense throughout, simply because the hieroglyphs have us thinking: “Oh hell, and this guy’s miles underground WITH THOSE THINGS!” Or in ‘The Call of Chtulhu’ where the myth percolates through into the investigations, which -ingeniously, like Russian dolls- themselves become part of the history.

    Ah well. Still good to read for the completists.

  • Commissar Manul on

    I’m just curious, when the next part will come out?

  • Steve on

    Chris….? Chad…? Guys…?

  • Reber Clark on

    …the tension is Mounding…where be our hosts?

  • Andy H on

    I disagree and I avoided reading this one a long time because I heard you guys hated it, and I usually agree with you guys. It’s not a great story, but it’s not really BAD either. I think people ought to read it for themselves and give it a chance, I’m glad I did.

  • Lovecraft Sketch MWF: The Mound | Mockman.com on

    […] (typeof(addthis_share) == "undefined"){ addthis_share = [];}As the hosts of HP Podcraft pointed out, “The Mound” is a VERY scary and mysterious story at the beginning, but […]

  • Korman643 on

    Couldn’t agree less on your assessment of “The Mound”. It’s one of the best collaboration Lovecraft did, very scary and depressing (VERY depressing) and dark, particularly because there’s a lot of pain inflicted not by nameless monster on humans, but by semi-humans on humans. Great stuff.

  • Raúl Moreno on

    After reading The Mound I enjoyed reading Robert M. Price’s sequel “Under the Mound”:

    More of his short stories here:

  • GoodleShoes on

    Nah, this story is sick. One of my favorites. It’s more of a philosophical piece imo. More about showcasing an interesting advanced alien society and covers some weird ideas about future society that our could eventually happen to our own.

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