Entropic State Report 5th June 2021

June already. Ridiculous. The year seems to be running away.

Tolstoy said, “The strongest of all warriors are these two—time and patience.” 

Now, apart from the fact that that is plainly bollocks (the right answer is undoubtedly Conan and Thrud), time has definitely kicked my arse this past month in more ways than one.  On the other hand, as Phil will attest, I regularly fail my patience tests.  As a result, the BITR schedule has gone slightly off beam.

We still have City of the Beast (AKA Warriors of Mars) lined up and Loz and I have fixed a date to record in person this month for the first time in yonks and we’ll be looking at a couple of short stories from the White Wolf collections (as randomly rolled at the end of The Knight of the Swords Part Three).  Also, excitingly, as we tentatively emerge from the fug of lockdowns and begin to populate our filofaxes with actual social events, Hussein and I have time allotted this month to hit Phase Three of The Final Programme!  I suspect we will set a new record for:

1. Time taken to cover a book in terms of calendar – Phase One was unleashed way back in the ‘before-times’ (January last year) so it’s looking like it will have taken eighteen months to cover it 

2. Time taken to cover a relatively short book in terms of actual minutes – by the time we’re done we’ll probably have spent almost five hours on The Final Programme! I’m not sure we’re doing it right. Too many diversions into wrestling in Featherstone library perhaps… But as the kids would say:

WHATEVS!!!

To cap it all off I’ll be finally catching up with an esteemed guest to depart from our shabby opinions about Moorcock and look at Moorcock’s own musings on his inspirations and other giants of the field in some of the essays collected in Wizardy and Wild Romance. 

So, we’re getting back to our re-read, but whilst the schedule in  terms of direct Moorcock action has wobbled a bit over the past couple of months I have had some terrific opportunities to talk music once again with a couple of creative geniuses in the fields of MM inspired space rock and bleak experimental electronica.  Watch out for that over the next few days.

As it happens, I had mulled over the possibility of them being short standalone episodes, but as we breeched the two hour mark with the last show and nobody pelted us with tomatoes I’m going for another bumper bonanza.  It could be of course that you’re all just terrible shots but damn it, I’m committed now.

In other news, the Journal of Gerard Arthur Connelly continues to progress and I hope to have volume 2 completed in the Autumn.  The audio versions are once again undergoing an overhaul as, in the splendid company of NΛND, we further refine and develop the sound and format.

In short then, we have enough lined up to make Summer a bumper bonanza of Moorcockian meditations.

On a final note, I had lunch with Tash the other day and we mused upon the existence of three pubs in Yorkshire called The Moorcock Inn, thus raising the possibility of an additional theme for the show… eating and supping in Moorcock Inns.  Whilst we may not all agree on the veracity of that idea in terms of interesting content for anyone else, Tash and I (and our bellies) will nevertheless  do our best to explore the notion to the fullest.

Watch out for us on the moonbeam roads.

BITR Nominated as a Top British Fiction Podcast by ‘Best Startup’

Born in war airships became a peaceful mode of travel in 1919 | Daily  Telegraph

BITR has landed on a ’20 Best British Fiction Podcasts of 2021′ list c/o Best Startup, itself a startup online business magazine looking to showcase British businesses. Breakfast in the Ruins isn’t a business of course, but as a hobbyist podcast/t’interweb radio station it’s always gratifying to make ANY list.

There’s some interesting stuff on there, including a Blakes 7 podcast I was totally unaware of called Zenith by Decorative Vegetable. Those chaps have covered not only B7 but a ton of Doctor Who and a whole host of other scifi TV shows on their Inevitable podcast series including… STAR COPS! Well worth digging into.

The other big find on there for me is Here’s Looking at You by Dr Ellen Wright (aka @DrSmut). The latest episode looks at British exploitation cinema publicity & includes conversations about Tony Tenser & Norman J Warren (along with Pete Walker one of my favourite low budget exploitation film directors).

Rounding out the list there are also public domain audiobook streams of William Hope Hodgson’s The House on the Borderland (which we WILL cover at some point in the future) and ERB’s The Land that Time Forgot.

So, many thanks to Mark at Best Startup for the inclusion and for pointing me at some great content that should keep me out of mischief for a while.

Dannus Competition Completed!

Tash’s drunken, impromptu competition for her copy of The Dark Straits of Reglathium has been concluded!

The lucky winner Graham (aka @opensussex) has received his care package along with a follow up warning from tash:

“Please make sure he knows that the clubs will expire before he works out wtf ‘game’ they play at the start of the book……”

Aaaah Favor!

As a follow up comp, if anyone can summarise the game on one page and make it make sense before those clubs go out of date I’ll send you one of my spares. And a packet of… Blue Ribands?

Enjoy it Graham.

Moorcock and RPGs Part Three – A Deep Fix?

In the third and final part of our Moorcockian RPG triptych Rob (aka OldShabbyGamer), host of the Confessions of a Wee Tim’rous Bushi podcast, joins me at Derry & Toms to talk Moorcock, D&D, when a beer is not a beer, and Tolkien!

Graham, Neil and Norman also drop by to talk Stormbringer 3e, ploons, shit sailors & what would make our own ideal Moorcockian RPG. It’s a really Deep Fix. No prizes for guessing who provides the soundtrack!

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.

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Check out our Patreon for exclusive updates and content.

Our banner art is by Simon Perrins. Follow him on Twitter.

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Entropic State Report 7th May 2021

Unbelievably it’s May already, 2021 is galloping by, and hanging a shipwrecked monkey suspected of being a French spy is now officially only the second most eye-rollingly baffling thing enacted by the good folks of Hartlepool. Stay strong Hartlepool. I still love you for your patties. They may now be Tory patties but heck… patties are patties.

In other news the third and final part of our Moorcockian RPGs triptych is a few days out from upload (guest starring @oldshabbygamer, host of the Confessions of a Wee Tim’rous Bushee podcast and the stout party that braved the depredations of my rusty games mastery).  Following that we’ll leave RPGs alone for a good while, or at least until we’ve something substantially different to play with.

Next up will be another look at some terrific musical projects inspired either all or in part by MM, and a delve into some of the great man’s own musings on the fanstastical fiction form in the company of an all new guest co-host! Looking forward to that one and I have some interesting libations lined up, one of which was care of our very own Randall Gatlin!  Randall, thanks again for the bevy.  I can’t wait to reveal it to the world in all of its thick, syrupy glory.

In other news, Tash and I had a great time gabbing about Dannus (no really, we did) and I’m considering what other diversions may lay ahead in the coming months.  As it happens, since the Halloween episode on The Rats Guy N Smith has been popping into my eyeline regularly and, with a degree of synchronicity, I’d just picked up another vintage New English Library edition off the auction site when a Guy N Smith account emerged from the twittersphere and liked a couple of Guy related tweets from a week or two back. The account is being operated by Black Hill Books, a publishing company dedicated to keeping his extensive oeuvre in print as well as other new writing from a small selection of other authors in the horror, thriller and mystery genres. If you want in a new Guy N Smith newsletter mailing list you can send your request to blackhillbooks@gmail.com

Finally for this report, I had a really good chat with O.G. patron Norman about a potential recommendation from him as, when I originally set up the patron tiers, I asked Patron Demons to suggest books for us to cover that impacted upon them in the 80s much as Pops’s hand-me-downs impacted upon me. For better or for worse. So, after a bit of back and forth we settled on a formal nomination…

The Survivalist 01 – TOTAL WAR  by Joe Aherne.

I’m surprised I never came across these back in the day, but then Pops mostly read things with a scifi or fantasy bent.  Having had a peek into the Survivalist rabbit hole I can see that there is an element of risk attached. It’s a Dumarest/Gor/Casca-like series that never ends but I just thought in for a penny, in for a pound and picked up a bundle of 5.  They can always go the charity shop. Also, the briefly discussed alternative was Tarnsman of Gor and I need a much longer period of contemplation before I put my toe in that particularly wacky mudhole. So I just need to identify a guest for the Survivalist mission. It might even count as a one-shit book recommendation but Tash has her eye firmly set on covering Nine Princes in Amber.  Anyway, it will be a fair way down the track as we have more Moorcock to talk and Phil is getting into City of the Beast in preparation for her next trip to Derry & Toms.

Last thing before I go, massive thanks to David Dempster AKA the Tentacled Whisperer for the fab Eternal Champion t-shirt.  I’m wearing it whilst typing this and I automatically feel 769% more metal!!! The Whisperer is running Stormbringer games and is often looking for interested players for his Friday and Saturday night sessions, so seek him out if you’re looking for some Moorcockian table top action.

Take care, stay safe, and I’ll see you soon… on t’moonbeam roads.

Dannus – The Dark Straits of Reglathium (a one-shit book?)

Tash is back in Derry & Toms as we embark upon an epic quest to the Jennithusian Continent to search for the perfect one-shit book!

Is it Mike Sirota’s fourth Dannus opus, The Dark Straits of Reglathium?

TUNE IN AND FIND OUT.

We talk Sword & Planet fiction and how to ruin expensive spirits, and reminisce about No Frills Value Cola Flavour Drink.

Rum features.

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.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram.

Check out our Patreon for exclusive updates and content.

Our banner art is by Simon Perrins. Follow him on Twitter.

Our avatar is by Wyrmwalk. Follow him on Instagram.

Entropic State Report 21st April 2021

Dear friends,

As mentioned in the last report, my travails in the editing booth assembling the rum soaked ramblings of Tash and I regarding…

DANNUS – THE DARK STRAITS OF REGLATHIUM

…have been challenging, but the process is complete and a new show will be out in the next few days.

Meanwhile, the third and final part of our Moorcockian RPGs triptych is approaching completion with a great talk with friend of the show Rob AKA @oldshabbygamer, host of the Confessions of a Wee Tim’rous Bushee podcast. Rounding that out will be a discussion with the stout chaps that braved my rusty GM skills and played some Stormbringer 3rd edition. Following that we’ll leave gaming alone for a while, but I do want to thank Tanya Floaker AKA @timeoftribes for extending the hand of gaming friendship to Loz and I and introducing us to the marvellous game Houses of the Blooded! It was a terrific experience and the gang we played with were really welcoming. Tanya mentioned that she’d used it in the past to run a game of Melnibonean nobility and I can see how perfectly that system would accommodate it.

Also, on the back of the last show talking Stormhack! I got to play in a con game run by Ralph and experienced the system first hand. It did not disappoint and I encourage you to support his work on this game over at his itch.io page and, of course, listen to his Fictoplasm podcast.

Other things in the pipeline include getting back to Moorcock re-reads with Phil, Hussein (finally completing our psychedelic trip into The Final Programme) and Loz, and more forays into Moorcockian music. Also, we’ve tentatively discussed looking into New Worlds and Wizardry and Wild Romance with a couple of all-new guests. Very exciting!

Right, that’s all for now. Stay safe and I’ll see you soon on t’moonbeam roads.

Andy

PS Now socially distant cafe visits are a thing again, Phil and I visited our habitual Saturday morning stomping ground the Rooftop Cafe. It’s a venue with lots of space, fantastic food and a terrific view. As the year goes by perhaps we’ll give some thought to Moorcock RooftopCon for 2022 if there was any interest. A couple of games maybe, a showing of Fuest’s The Final Programme, a live panel for a future show? Loads of booze? We’ll see.

Entropic State Report 29th March 2021

Verdun Stimpson 1952

Another show out and what a pleasure it was talking gaming again, this time in the fine company of Ralph Lovegrove.  I have another one in the can looking more closely at the seeds of Moorcock planted deep into the early iterations of Dungeons and Dragons with another fine guest, but that one will be in a couple of shows time.

Phil will be back soon too, although we made the decision to postpone our original next foray for her which should have been The Warhound and the World’s Pain.  Ralph made a couple of observations that it makes numerous call-backs to previous stories that we haven’t covered so I’ve reconsidered the schedule, but more on that later.

We’ll also dig into music again.  I was supposed to be recording with Dave Waschman aka SÖNUS a day or two ago but technical issues threw a spanner in the works. We’ll get that back on track though.

Right now I’m heading into the editing booth (aka my study aka the box room) to assemble the drunken mess that is the return of Tash as we probe some 70s paperbacks in search of a potential one-shit book.  Yes… finally we settle down to discuss another of the well-thumbed old paperbacks I received from the stacks next to Pops’s rocking chair…

DANNUS – THE DARK STRAITS OF REGLATHIUM

It may take a while.

Due to that trauma Tash has demanded that we cover something less chancey next time so she has her next assignment in hand… Nine Princes in Amber will be coming in the next couple of months.

In other news the radio station had now been active for a couple of weeks and it’s been getting a few listens from around the globe.  As I’m typing this someone in Germany has had it playing for 18 hours.  

Weird.

It’s an eclectic mix on there with blues, electronica, drone, metal, goth, prog, space rock, experimental…  at some point as we get more content I’ll probably start programming it a little more consistently. But then again I might not.  I kind of like hearing the late 80s Driffield/Bridlington goth stylings of Stiff Kittens immediately followed up by a 17 minute drone mind-fuck courtesy of Apkallu of Enmerkar.

Just need some sea shanties on there too, but I may have that covered…

Last thing for today… it was my Dad’s birthday a few days ago and when I was talking to him I asked if he had any old photos of Pops kicking around and you can see above what he sent me. 

Miss you Pops.

Moorcock and RPGs Part Two – STORMHACK!

Moorcock and RPGs Part Two – STORMHACK!

We’re back in Derry and Toms and returning to Moorcock’s influence and presence in RPGs in the company of Ralph Lovegrove, host of the Fictoplasm Podcast and designer of STORMHACK!

We talk Moorcock (obviously), gaming, podcasting and other bits n bobs, as well as Ralph’s own take on the Moorcockian role-playing game… STORMHACK!

We also mention Appendix N and other recommended reading lasts from RPGs such as RuneQuest.

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.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram.

Check out our Patreon for exclusive updates and content.

Our banner art is by Simon Perrins. Follow him on Twitter.

Our avatar is by Wyrmwalk. Follow him on Instagram.

Entropic State Report 12th March 2021

It’s been a productive few weeks here at Derry & Toms.

The chapbook version of The Journal of Gerard Arthur Connelly Volume 01 is nearing completion, with some fabulous art arriving c/o Neil Burton to accompany the superb portrait and design work of Simon Perrins. Hopefully not too long now before it can be shared with patrons.

Staying with Lieutenant Connelly for a moment, N Λ N D and I are also revisiting the earlier episodes of the Journal to re-record and re-score them to drag the quality of my earlier efforts up and into line with episodes 8 – 10.  Along with some cracking N Λ N D compositions inspired by the Journal we may, at some point, put it all out on Bandcamp as free/pay-what-you-want WOTW style ‘story album’ (is that how you’d describe it…? I dunno).

Meanwhile, a friend of mine pointed out a radio app called Radio Garden. It’s a terrific way to spend time roaming the globe discovering stations and learning a thing or two about tastes around the globe (I for example had no idea that the remote sub-arctic Russian city of Arkhangelsk was so firmly committed to hard core techno).  The interface is also excellent and it led me to thinking about how one would go about setting up an internet radio station.  Anyway, long story short, I set up BITR Breakfast in the Ruins Radio and this morning Phil found it on Radio Garden. What a buzz!

As well as using it as another outlet for the show, I’m delighted that some fellow Moorcock enthusiasts and patrons of this show are happy to have their cracking tunes gracing the station too, so Corum, SÖNUS, N Λ N D, Apkallu of Enmerkar and Giantkind are all on there and we’ll be doing some additional bits n bobs to drop into the schedule.  

In show-related news, we have some more material in the can awaiting editing including Tash’s next appearance as we try to dredge our way through a potential one-shit book, and a great discussion with a new guest around Moorcock and gaming for part two of our look at Moorcock in RPGs.

It appears we will also soon conclude our deep dive into The Final Programme with Hussein.

Right, that’s it from me for now.

Take care, stay safe, and I’ll see you soon… on the moonbeam roads.