Musician and author Allister Thompson navigates the frozen Northern Wastes (Canada) to join me in Derry and Toms and talk about Moorcock, music, writing and, most importantly, his debut novel The Music of the Spheres.
We also run our first competition (sort of) and The Singularity repeatedly attempts to shut down our groove.
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!
I’ve been thinking about how to vary the content on the show and one of the ideas generated is to do an ‘audio book’ version of an old write-up of one of Loz’s Moorcock themed games from a few years years ago.
Gerard Arthur Connelly is a character I created over 25 years ago (perhaps more) and have returned to regularly over the years. Being lazy and just playing variations of the same bod seems suitably Moorcockian.
I’ve shared some of the progress to date with patrons and, as nobody has told me it’s shit, I’ve done some more AND added some music. It’s still a work in progress and the atmosphere music is just to plug a gap until I get around to doing something original for it (probably with some help from Neil and Johnny Royale). I also realised when I got to the last chapter it was never finished so I haven’t recorded that yet. Will have to have a big splurge on the writing front if I decide to continue with it.
Once the individual chapters have had some more attention they’ll probably end up being dropped at the end of regular shows as an episodic deal or, if they don’t really end up working they’ll just stay on the Patreon site as oddities for our glorious patrons.
July is looking like a busier month (at last), I should have The Eternal Champ ep 2 uploaded this week, I’m catching up with Natasha a week tomorrow to round off The Jewel in the Skull and later this month Loz and I will embark upon our tour of the Corum books.
In other news the Gollancz Collection is finally almost complete. They may lack inspiring covers but they are definitive texts and are excellent reading copies. Sadly a lot of my older 60s, 70s and 80s editions are getting a bit fragile.
Finally for today, I just concluded play on Dirk the Dice’s terrific three-part Hawkmoon RPG scenario Casa De Mercurio.It was a ton of fun with a great plot, tons of Moorcockian flavour and a great group of players.
Incidentally, Dirk’s latest episode of The Grognard Files is all about the Hawkmoon Role-Playing Game and other associated bits and bobs. It’s required listening as always. Even if you’re not a gamer Dirk and Blythy’s observations on the Hawkmoon series of novels and the games they inspired are as astute, warm and informative as ever. Check it out here.
The world is a funny place right now and, with Hussein experiencing a very difficult bereavement and Tash stuck in Sri Lanka, the BitR schedule is naturally taking a back seat to events.
As a result it will be a wee while before we get back to Jerry Cornelius on the podcast. Hussein was brilliant on the Phase One show and I have no wish to continue on to Phase Two with anyone else but Hussein so it’s on hold.
The more I learn about and see how the current world crisis is unfolding, the more I’m convinced that the Jerry Cornelius stories are as relevant today as when they were written. A few days before the pubs were closed Phil and I were sitting in a Bradford pub called The Corn Dolly with a small handful of locals and listening to them talking of flash mobs fighting over bog roll in Tesco. The landlord was speaking about his holiday, due to commence on Monday, being cancelled due to the destination country closing its borders. Meanwhile I was reading an Italian nurse’s blog on my phone in which she described ‘war-like’ conditions in her hospital and deaths of her colleagues due to ‘the virus’.
If Shaky Mo had come in and tried to sell me some ‘ludes and stolen army gasmasks from an old Derry & Tom’s carrier bag he wouldn’t have seemed out of place.
At times like this I wish I had the talent to do some Jerry Cornelius fan fiction, but I’ll just have to settle for getting something off the shelf for Phil and I to cover. Now we’re under lockdown we’re determined to fill our time with constructive activity lest we murder each other or end up like Steven and Fran in Dawn of the Dead. That would be terrible, particularly as it would mean I’d end up a zombie and Phil would fly off in a helicopter with young Ken Foree.
I’m just not down with that.
So, we are going to set ourselves a target of doing a show every weekend (setting myself up to fail there I’m sure). We have no idea whether this will work but we’re gonna have a go and in the meantime I’m going to figure out remote recording so we can pick up the schedule with Loz, Tash (if she ever gets back home) and hopefully one or two others.
Phil favours covering the first Erekosë novel but I’m going to dig out some other old stuff that Pops gave me to give us another potential switch from Moorcock. There are a few options when I think back on it and I still have a number of those original copies kicking about so we’ll see what we’ll see.
Stay safe out there and we’ll see you on the other side (on the moonbeam roads, obviously).
Loz is back with me at Derry and Tom’s as we dive into Straasha’s ocean depths to prize open the mysteries below and discuss (most of) Book Two of Elric of Melniboné. Elric is full of pith and vinegar for a change and we get a good look at him from a different perspective.