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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
We have returned from our sojourn to the windy Highlands where our digs were in a converted 18th century cell block originally used to house debtors in the historic Inverary Jail. It was a deeply refreshing break despite having to return home early to avoid having to drive the 6 hours home through Storm Eunice. It blew some cobwebs away and we managed to pick up a few nice second hand books on our way up there thanks to an overnight stay in Wigtown (known as Scotland’s Book Town), including a Karl Edward Wagner Kane novel that I didn’t own. Some nice synchronicity there too as only a couple of days earlier I’d been discussing Kane with Dave Wachsman and I’d pulled down the three I do still own from a dusty shelf.
I just need to actually read them now. We may cover a Kane novel at some point soon. Let us know if that’s something you’d like to hear.
In other developments, a couple of weeks ago I was surprised to see the artwork that I commissioned a couple of years ago for the podcast avatar appear on an Instagram post on a mug. I was a bit disappointed at this to be honest as, until that point, the representation of Moorcock was unique to this podcast and its social media presence. So to find that the artist was selling it on mugs from his website took the shine off a little bit. On an extremely positive note though, this prompted me to drop Simon Perrins a line to see if he was up for designing a replacement. Just one short week later he sent me the pic above and blew my mind. So, as of now, the imagery around this website is exclusively down to Simon and he is an integral part of our identity. This makes me very happy as all of his work is glorious AND I get to frame that painting for posterity.
In wider Moorcock flavoured music news, friend of the show Imrryr is closing in on releasing his opus based upon The Black Corridor and that book will be the subject of an upcoming show so watch out for that. I’ve had an advanced listen of that new album and it is immersive, doom-laden and cosmic. I’ll be sure to let you all know when it drops on the Imrryr bandcamp page.
This week the Appendix N Book Club released their latest episode looking at The Jewel in the Skull with our good pard Rob AKA Menion . They made some great observations (as always) on this occasion about Hawkmoon and the implementation of Moorcockian tropes in gaming and AD&D in particular. Rob is a deep thinker and he complemented Jeff and Hoi perfectly. It’s been a while since we’ve talked gaming here at Derry and Toms and Rob was involved in one of those shows himself of course. I am now itching to gas about that stuff again and I may just be making an appearance on Confessions of a Wee Tim’rous Bushi in the near future to do just that.
In book news (and sheer frustration at seeing our pards across the pond showing off their Saga Press editions of the Elric Saga vol 01 yet only having delivery dates over here in Blighty repeatedly pushed back), I’ve picked up three more Millenium editions in hardcover. As I go about this grand replacement project (ie drunken impulse purchases) I’ve been piling up the paperback editions they are replacing and they will go into a draw for patron giveaways in the next couple of months. I have a couple of other bits n bobs for that pile too.
Speaking of the Elric Saga, new Elric novel The Citadel of Forgotten Myths is available for pre-order. It just seems to be inevitable that whenever a new, definitive collection of Elric stories emerges it’s never too long before a new tome emerges from Mike’s pen to disrupt the state-of-the-art, but within a couple of months must set a new record. Fortunately design-wise and stylistically the hardcovers look to match nicely, even though this novel will interrupt the I – III sequence on your shelf. I’m anticipating these volumes with a little bit of trepidation though, as you’ll know from our reaction to the revisions to the 60th anniversary edition of The Dreaming City on the last show.
Right, I think that’s about it for this report. New show will drop in the next couple of weeks, but in the meantime take care and stay safe.
After the Halloween Special we couldn’t stay away. Phil needed questions answered.
Where did they come from?
How did they come to be?
So we read Crabs Moon and discovered the answers to none of these questions. But we did have a hoot and we were joined by Graham (aka @opensussex AKA Apkallu of Enmerkar AKA DECADNIDS) to have a couple of beverages, discuss Crabs’ Moon and to talk in general about the late Guy N Smith and his diverse writing career.
We also raised a glass to the man as this show lands close to a year after his passing.
We play this show out with Proditol from the album The Black Corridor by DECADNIDS vs ＮΛＮD.
***warning: unlike Night of the Crabs, Crabs Moon contains references to sexual violence and we do talk about them so please proceed with caution and look after yourselves – this month’s Patreon funds have been donated to The Survivor’s Trust – please do look them up and consider donating***