Entropic State Report 12th August 2022

The world is on fire. When thermometers in Bradford, up in the hills of West Yorkshire, hit 37 degrees celsius something is definitely way off with the world.

The UK is in the midst of democracy spasms as around 150,000 mostly oldsters choose their favoured mannequin to take over the reigns of government. One an evil billionaire that wants ‘basket case cities’ like Hull, Liverpool and Newcastle to become Charter Cities (think Delta City with less attractive police officers). The other a ruthless void of empathy that seeks only to appeal to the right wing nutjobs in her party. Both will continue to eagerly blow their corporate sponsors, billionaires that want not just a continuation of the status quo, but an acceleration of the wholesale asset stripping of the country.

For most of us it’s like the choice between shit with nuts in or shit with sweetcorn in.

Truly it is the right time for a saviour.

Unfortunately we appear to be short on 12 foot tall golden hermaphrodites at the moment so we’ll just have to suck it up. And when the time comes, vote well. And avoid Russian smoked porters.

In other news, since our Winds of Gath episode (yes, it was about three years too long… don’t @ me) I’ve dived deep down that Dumarest rabbit hole and have ended up with about 17 volumes. I also discovered the joys of Mr Tubb’s Space 1999 novelisations. Excited I was when I realised he’d penned two original novels based on the adventures of the Moonbase Alpha crew. One, Alien Seed, is pictured above. The other, Earth Fall, actually concludes their saga. Unfortunately it’s a bit steep on the price front and I need to hoard my wing-wangs for fuel bills and pickled eggs, so that’s one only to covet for the time being. Irritatingly, friend of the show Miles picked up one of those S1999 novelisations and his cover is way better than mine.

Damn you Miles.

Speaking of Miles, he and his buddy Charlie X have just launched their new show, the Casual Trek Podcast. As a casual Trek fan myself (very casual – I’m TOS to the core with a bit of DS9 and TNG love to spare – all other Trek takes up no space in my brain) I’m looking forward to diving in. Follow Casual Trek on twitter. 

On our own episode schedule, we have:

  • more musings on RPGs are in the can and awaiting editing and there’ll be an addendum to that that is yet to be recorded
  • Dave is ahead of me on his homework for The Mad God’s Amulet Book Two 
  • Derek AKA Imrryr is up for talking The Black Corridor
  • Andy Darby will be coming on to talk Moorcock and his novel Me and the Monkey
  • The Fortress of the Pearl Part Two will happen when Loz and I can actually get co-ordinated
  • Tash has finally rocked up and demanded steak and to talk about Nine Princes in Amber
  • and a couple of other irons are warming

Of course we have also had the poll for our 2022 Halloween episode live for a week or so. The Fog is miles ahead. Still plenty of time to vote though.

That’s all for this report.

Take care… stay safe… something something moonbeam roads.

The Art of Bob Haberfield (1938 – 2021)

The Art of Bob Haberfield

After 40 years of obsessing over the Mayflower covers of Bob Haberfield, Dave and I get to wig out and talk to Ben Haberfield about his Dad’s life, art and the gestating project to celebrate the breadth of his work in the form of two art books.

You can keep up with Ben’s work at bobhaberfield.com and follow him on Instagram.

You can pick up Maureen Cawthorn Bell’s James Cawthorn: The Man And His Art from John Davey’s Jayde Design.

We also mention Jason’s podcast, the Nerd’s RPG Variety Cast and I recently talked pulp and genre fiction with Rob AKA Menion on Confessions of a Wee Tim’rous Bushi.

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The Winds of Gath – an Old Pier Bookshop Special

The Winds of Gath – an Old Pier Bookshop Special

Phil returns to Derry & Toms as we visit Morecambe’s (and perhaps the world’s) premier second hand book vendor to select a candidate for the first ever Old Pier Bookshop Special.

We choose, or rather are chosen by, The Winds of Gath by EC Tubb – first in a 33 book series spanning three decades that charts the adventures of Earl Dumarest of Terra.

In honour of old school SF we drink old school beers. Well, I do. Phil drinks fancy wine. But we meet in the middle when the mysterious books of booze box appears for the first time in D&Ts.

What mysteries does the books of booze box hold?


Our banner art and logo is by Simon Perrins. Follow him on Twitter and check out his store.

Chapter 13 of The Journal of Gerard Arthur Connelly was scored by N Λ N D.

Listen to BITR Breakfast in the Ruins Radio on Radio Garden.

Breakfast in the Ruins is hosted on Podbean and available on iTunesSpotifyStitcherGoogle PodcastsiHeart RadioOwltailPodparadiseTuneInOvercastAmazon Music and most other podcast clients. If we’re not on your favourite let us know and we’ll sort it.

Entropic State Report 30th June 2022

We’ve returned from a wonderful sojourn to one of our Zen places… Morecambe. Morecambe has that perfect blend of urban decay, old Victorian seaside glamour and a perfect bay. Not to mention great boozers, cake and The Old Pier Bookshop.

As usual we picked up far too many books, not only from The Old Pier but also via trips to Lancaster and Grange-Over-Sands. Even better we hooked up again with Ian AKA @biomassart and his lovely partner Angie for libations, although no pickled eggs on this occasion sadly.

Probably the most significant pick-ups were from Morecambe. Phil and I decided that we should do an Old Pier Special, the subject of which would be whatever pulp scifi or fantasy we could find two copies of (one for each of us). We ended up with E.C. Tubb’s The Winds of Gath, the first in a 35-odd series of short scifi adventures focusing on the travels and travails of Earl Dumarest of Terra. We got our reading done so will be recording that soon. As it happens, I had about twenty of those books back in the day c/o Pops but I never read any of them and, when I moved over to Bradford, they went to charity shops in the great cull. After reading the first instalment though, I may be headed down the rabbit-hole as, a few shops later and after a bit of internet shopping, I’ve amassed a dozen of them again. Place face-palm gif here.

Over at Grange-Over-Sands, in the fabulous Daisyroots Books, I found a couple of nice and tidy 70s Scifi Book Club editions of John Brunner books. I’ve picked up many Brunners over the years and still have the copy of Stand on Zanzibar that I got from Pops. Therefore it is time methinks to put John on our schedule. One for later in the year perhaps. Or 2033. Who knows.

In other news, listeners will be aware that the last six chapters of the audio version of the Journal of Gerard Arthur Connelly have been marvellously and atmospherically scored by N Λ N D. We’ve also previously discussed the standalone album project that spun out from volume one. That album is now available on Spotify, iTunes/Apple Music and soon to be on Amazon Music too. Even better, Vol. 2 is just around the corner and will follow later in the summer. An early release from that second album, Gallery of the Lost, is available now.

Staying with Moorcockian Music, Imrryr remains as busy as ever and this month released his opus interpretation of The Black Corridor. At current count Imrryr has an incredible 29 releases on his bandcamp page and you can bag them all for an incredibly decent price. They include a range of bleak, experimental electronica inspired by not only Moorcock, but Alastair Reynolds, Frank Herbert, Phillip K Dick and others.

In podcasts, a few days ago I hooked up with Rob AKA Menion to talk Moorcock and genre fiction for his podcast, Confessions of a Wee Tim’rous Bushi. We had a tipple and chewed the fat about all sorts of digressions. We almost got onto gaming but not quite. Maybe next time. That will be out soon and thanks Rob for having me. It was great fun.

Finally, massive thanks to Dave AKA SÖNUS for stepping into the breach and talking about The Mad God’s Amulet Book One last time around. And additional thanks Dave for the official Usurper of the Universe cassette tape-a-ma-tron! These are still available direct or via Forbidden Place Records.

That’s all for this update other than to say TFP Phase Four (The Last Days of Man on Earth) remains delayed until H and I can hook up again following the last postponement.

Have fun out there.


The Mad God’s Amulet – Book One

The Mad God’s Amulet – Book One

Dave AKA SÖNUS returns to Derry and Toms to dive into the fast-paced and very metal, yet weirdly just OK-ish first part of The Mad God’s Amulet, second in the Hawkmoon sequence The History of the Runestaff.

As always, digressions await the unwary traveller as well as ostentatious coughing and just excellent pants.


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Chapter 12 of The Journal of Gerard Arthur Connelly was scored by N Λ N D.

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Entropic State Report 8th June 2022

It’s been a joyous few weeks since I sent out the Patron Demon and contributor copies of Vol II of the Journal and I’ve heard back from most folks that they arrived safe and sound across the globe. So, despite frequent reports to the contrary, Brexit has not quite fucked up our postal system. 


Sunlit Uplands and all that.

Since bunging FotP Part One out in May we continue to get some nice feedback from various angles around the social media landscape. It’s very satisfying. We’ll be hitting you up with part two very soon but, in the meantime, Hussein is coming back to Derry & Toms to pick up our last bits of chat around The Final programme. Back when we did Phase Three we didn’t spoil the climax, which is quite unlike us as we generally spoil everything. However, part of the reason for our return to JC is my successful effort to convince H to dive into the film adaptation and having done that there are things to talk about. If you’ve seen the film you’ll be fully aware that one can’t really talk about it WITHOUT looking at the different approaches to that climax. So that’s coming up very soon and I would dearly love to coerce him into watching a few other films that, in my opinion, align with The Final Programme rather nicely (Jubilee, The Bed Sitting Room, Performance, any of Lindsay Anderson’s Mick Travis trilogy but probably Britannia Hospital in particular… there are many others). As it took me months to get him to do this though, that may be a long shot.

Meanwhile, in music news, I came across experimental, electronic music duo Network 23 and their epic release Elric of Melniboné. I dropped them a line via Bandcamp and they groovily allowed me to give them some airplay (netplay?) on BITR Radio too. Very cool. The album is excellent, driving electronica with some rock overtones and also has a really nice cover c/o Isra Llona. Their discography is extensive and there’s plenty to go at including some atmospheric Lovecraft-inspired ambient pieces if that’s your bag. Check their gear out and give them some support if you can.

I have something of a mixed relationship with HPL. Oddly, I never got any of his stuff from Pops and only became aware of him due to the one-liner from him on the cover of  the Sphere edition of The House on the Borderland by William Hope Hodgson, describing it as “a classic of the first water”. Later, I came across the Call of Cthulhu RPG in an early issue of White Dwarf and decided to give him a look. I picked up the Grafton editions with the excellent but entirely misleading Tim White covers. I was a bit underwhelmed by most of it but did come to appreciate bits and pieces in later years, although it’s a good twenty or more since I gave them any real attention. As HPL is much maligned (including by MM himself as briefly touched upon in the Wizardry and Wild Romance episode) and more recently has received much criticism for his politics and attitudes to race, I have been thinking about dusting off his Dreamlands cycle for another look. Not to pull him apart for any of the aforementioned reasons particularly, but rather because I do remember enjoying them more than his ‘Mythos’ heavy tales.  Also, I was listening to The Silver Key again by Ah Pook the Destroyer on a long drive recently, an excellent album. Don’t be put off by the odd name.   They recently followed that up (after a ten year hiatus) with The King in Yellow, also well worth a listen. They are quite theatrical but thoughtful, layered and proggy as fuck.

Anyway, should anyone be interested in listening to us waffle on about Randolph Carter, the Plains of Unknown Kadath, Thog, Ghouls and the Cats of Ulthar, give us a shout.

That’s all for this update, TFP Phase Four (The Last Days of Man on Earth) coming in the next week or so.

Have fun out there.


Entropic State Report 14th May 2022

After lots of flubbing about with rogue commas, proofreading and test prints, vol II of The Journal of Gerard Arthur Connelly is complete. Pdfs are with patrons and print versions for Patron Demons are in the works with Doxdirect. Massive thanks to Simon Perrins as ever for his support getting this together, Ed Scott for illustrations, Phil for her proofreading and of course our patrons for their support and encouragement.

If you’ve listened to the latest episode you’ll have heard the audio version of Chapter 11 at the end. Wayne (AKA N Λ N D) and I have been busying away, in bursts of activity in between real life shenanigans, firming up sound issues and scores. A more polished version will appear relatively soon when we finally get both volumes nailed down and uploaded to Bandcamp. Once we do so, patrons will get download codes.

In addition, Wayne’s second pure electronica album based on GAC’s exploits will hit too. You can hear the first (Journal Vol. I) on his Bandcamp Page as well as a track from Vol. II, Gallery of the Lost. If you dig it, do drop him a couple of quid and purchase them.

I’m now starting to think about when all of this is compiled into one thing (expect there’ll be a vol IV too) and how to package it up. Most importantly though, it will need a proper pulp novel name. eg The Something in/of the Someotherthing (subtitled The Journal of etc).

There really should be a random pulp genre book name generator for these purposes.

As noted previously, this is all just for the fun of it at the moment, although collaborating with Simon, Neil, Ed and Wayne on these has made me try a little bit harder.

Now on to vol III!

The Fortress of the Pearl – Part One

The Fortress of the Pearl – Gollancz SF 1989
The Fortress of the Pearl – Part One

Loz returns to Derry & Toms to revisit an old adversary, Michael Moorcock’s The Fortress of the Pearl.

Join us and marvel at our declining energy.

Bridle, as Loz declares The Chronicle of the Black Sword a shit book and denigrates poetry.

Along the way we ‘wake the chicken’. What does that even mean? How many names are there for trousers? Why would anyone smoke stout?

Listen as we mull over the answers.

(Spoiler – we don’t know)

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Chapter 11 of The Journal of Gerard Arthur Connelly was scored by N Λ N D

Entropic State Report 3rd May 2022

We’re a third of the way through spring here in Old Blighty and the weather is trying its best to shape up, with slow progress.

Better progress has been made on the podcast though and Loz and I recorded our first stab at The Fortress of the Pearl, the 1989 Elric novel that we each had mixed feelings about about back in the day. As ever we had some particularly curious beers along the way. We have however agreed to a moratorium for now on imperial stouts and porters. Anyway, that will be out later this week.

Also, and perhaps more momentously, volume two of The Journal of Gerard Arthur Connelly is just about ready to go. I’ve done a couple of test prints, tweaked the text to the point I no longer have the ability to spot any errors or blobs that may remain, and finalised some bits of art. So, that will be available as a pdf for all patrons and the print copies will follow for Patron Demons shortly after. As it happens I’ve already stole a march on volume three so I hope it won’t be a year before that gets out into the wild.

Finally, after having nailed some recording issues, Chapter 11 of the audio version of the Journal has been scored and mixed by N Λ Ṇ D and that will be included on the next episode. Only two more to be recorded and the audio version of Volume Two will also be complete!

So a good week on all fronts. Well, except the weather.

That’s all for today though, so we’ll crack on with our itinerary.

Have fun out there.


My Experiences in the Third World War

My Experiences in the Third World War

Finally, we’re back at Derry & Toms to take a look at the 1980 Moorcock collection My Experiences in the Third World War. Along the way Phil and I compare notes regarding our mindsets in the 1980s, laugh at the preposterous Controller and let fate decide on the Wandering Traumatic Nuclear War Film Table.

Also, on this occasion we might not offend a small town in the UK, but potentially all of Canada. But seriously what DOES ‘pie-dish of privilege and broken promises’ really mean?

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CONTENT WARNING – there are discussions in this show regarding sexual violence and exploitation