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.

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.

Entropic State Report 6th January 2021

The new year is upon us and… without much further ado… it feels much like 2020.

Here in the UK we’ve entered another full lockdown and have been awarded the nickname Plague Island. Meanwhile our cousins across the pond once again have some 24 hour election coverage to get stuck into (and I must confess I’m keenly following developments as I type this). Therefore I expect that here at Derry & Toms we will be confined to remote recording for at least another three months. We’ve had some practice now though and are getting a bit better at it as we go.

In better news, our fellow traveller Jim successfully kickstarted Urish’s Horde: The Guide to Elric Collectibles. Jim assures me that us UK folks (and anyone else outside the US) will be able to pick this up via online retailing once its published. I can’t wait to get my mits on it!Meanwhile, I’ve continued to play around with The Journal of Gerard Arthur Connelly and have Chapter 8 recorded and 9 written. Try as I might to do 160 pages in three days, a la the man, the reality is a bit more creaky and painstaking. Still, it’s good fun and a nice distraction from the ongoing barrage of bad news. Even more exciting (for me at least) is the collaboration I’ve just undertaken with a very old friend of mine from my salad days. Way back in the mists of time I collaborated a little with a couple of friends on some electronic music and, 28 years after we last spoke, we reconnected on twitter and had a good natter. One of the outcomes is that, compared to previous episodes, Chapter 8 has had a polish and the Journal now benefits from an entirely original score. More will be revealed soon.

Finally, as we’re racking up the chapters, I’ve decided to have another play around and compile the Journal into a series of chapbooks. I’m working on volume one right now. If it works out Chaos Engineers and Jugaderos will get PDFs and Patron Demons will receive a hardcopy. This is a work in progress for now, but watch this space.

Right, that’s it from me for now.

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

Entropic State Report 11th September 2020

Autumn is upon us (or Fall for our American pards… interestingly I learned from the grey fees only a few days ago that the British nomenclature of Autumn is only a fairly recent thing (century or so) and prior to that we said Fall too, but I digress) and temperatures are plummeting up here int’ Bratfud ‘ills.  Also the plague continues to ravage the land, resulting in local lock-downs being extended and national restrictions being implemented and seemingly changed about every 37 seconds. I write this on a Friday and I suspect by Monday it will be mandated that we may not leave our bunkers lest we don full rubber suits and gimp mask accoutrements to nip round corner for all remaining bags of wine gums to restock the kitchen apocalypse box (or, at a push, sports mixture).


Given that in-person recording seems to have fucked off again for a while (Phil and I excepted of course) I’ve dusted off the online recording manual I wrote* after trial runs with Hussein (see previous Patron extra) and Loz (see pending patron extra… well you can’t yet but you will soon) and we’ll be giving that a ruddy good going over to keep our steady, some might say languid, pace up.  Hussein will be back in the saddle shortly, provided he stops causing mini-civil wars in the North-West of England. Loz and I will be coordinating a selection of stupid beers so we can crack on with part two of The Knight of Swords, and Phil and I will be shortly knocking out the final part of our look at The Eternal Champion. In the ‘to be pursued further’ pile, we also have the possibility of another ‘side-scursion’ into the realms of brutal WW2sploitation and a first dive into the realms of Moorcock-infused prog rock in the company of a true expert. So many pies, not enough fingers, or hours in the day.


Meanwhile, we’re spending this weekend in the entertainingly uneven seaside town of Skegness, the only place I’ve ever found a bucket and spade shop that also sells crossbows.  They don’t know it yet but my intention is to co-opt my travelling companions into an impromptu game of Stormbringer and record it.  I’ll let you know how that goes and if they don’t tell me to bury my head in the Skeggy dunes or take a crossbow to me, I’ll upload that next week as another patron exclusive.


Reet, as they say somewhere or other here in the North, I hear a transition approaching. Before I get whisked away, thanks again to Simon Perrins for another refreshed version of the BitR logo!


Take it easy pards, I look forward to setting you a table at the Terminal Cafe.
Andy


*did not actually write

Entropic State Report 26th August 2020

So, Bradford remains on localised lockdown for at least another week. Meanwhile the second of two shows we managed to record in that brief spell when Loz was able to visit has hit the…

Airwaves?

T’interwebs?

Grey fees?

It’s done nicely so far too, continuing the upward trend of downloads and listeners and taking the record for activity in the first 48 hours for an individual episode.

In sadder news, I was due to record The Final Programme Phase Two remotely with Hussein this week but yesterday he lost his uncle to Covid19. This coming so soon after losing his dad in March is a real blow. He’s doing it tough at the moment but he’ll be back and just like before he’ll have plenty of groovy insights to share.

On a slightly different note, I found out at the back end of last week that I’d been quoted and referenced in a Danish book of literary criticism. This is a rare thrill for me and all the more exciting and mysterious because I don’t read Danish. I instantly ordered a copy though and it’s a gorgeous tome. The chief side effect of this is that it’s nudged a Wheels of Terror episode that little bit closer and I already have a willing co-host.

There have also been some developments regarding the potential for a couple of shows looking at Moorcock’s relationship with music and Hawkwind in particular. I’m looking at a couple of very tasty collaborations with some esteemed and learned Hawkwind specialists. More on this soon.

Right, that’s about it for tonight.

Stay safe pards, and I’ll see you on the moonbeam roads.