Ted AKA @tedankhamen joins me in Derry and Toms for the second leaf of our Summer diptych musing on Moorcock, gaming and whatever else enters our eyeline.
Some choice cuts in here including miniature bashing, Tolkien (again), a shock Strongbow appreciation story, chaosium-isms… but mostly some good, chewy thinking on modelling Moorcockian worlds and cosmology. I also bang my BoL drum again.
You can check out the Tentacled Whisperer of Secrets Discord by making an offering to… THE TENTACLED WHISPERER… or just check out his profile. He’s pretty lax on gatekeeping for an ancient deity of unspeakable power.
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.
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.
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.
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?