We look at our entry points into WOTW fandom, the original 1897 classic by HG Wells, a number of adaptations and spin-offs, and the one adaptation that looms large over all the others (the Jeff Wayne album, obviously).
Dave AKA SÖNUS returns to Derry & Toms and we pick up the exploits of Dorian Hawkmoon and his amusing companion Huillam D’Averc in The Sword of the Dawn, third volume of Moorcock’s epic The History of the Runestaff.
Meliadus gets miffed, Hawkmoon’s stoicism is tested, D’Averc gets naked and Count Brass is bored shitless.
It’s a steely cold and foggy day up in the hills of Bradford, which I’m fine with. It beats cold, wet and muddy and I do find the crispness and crunchiness underfoot weirdly energising. I’ll just listen out for the creak of massive wheels and remain vigilant regarding strange, distorted shapes in the fog and we should be fine.
I had a lovely delivery from Christos AKA Fortress of the Pearl – psychedelic black metal dungeon synth from Greece – timely as I’m in the middle of editing the second part of our deep dive into Moorcock’s The Fortress of the Pearl! Loz and I indulged in some appropriately funky beers along the way, but two ended up being a stretch too far for the evening. Well, technically only one for me but Loz rolled snake eyes on the resistance table so his final brace are going out to a lucky patron – Paul Hillary, they’ll be winging their way to you shortly. Exactly how lucky you are will be for you to judge.
A couple of nights ago I hopped on a call with our friend and collaborator N Λ Ṇ D to talk about a variety of things, not least of which was the second album based upon volume II of the adventures of Gerard Arthur Connelly, my old roleplaying alter-ego from the olden days. As with his first, this is an album suffused with the smells and colours of our own meandering Moonbeam dreams. We’ve nailed down the running order and album art and that should see the light of day very soon. As ever, N Λ Ṇ D’s compositions are inspiring to me and have already provided high-calorie fodder for my imagination as I continue drafting and fleshing out volume III.
The latest edition of Jim Kirkland’s newsletter Pursuit of the Pale Prince is in inboxes right about now. This issue has news about a pending blu ray release of The Final Programme, a Silver Warriors skate deck c/o Frazetta Girls, the latest Centipede Press release and more. Get on that subscription list.
In a week or so the Appendix N Podcast will release their 133rd episode featuring an all new guest. Me! It’s very exciting to be asked to drop in to other talking shops and this was the third time, having previously appeared on Rob Aka Menion’s Confessions of a Wee Tim’rous Bushi and Ralph Lovegrove’s Fictoplasm. I had a great time despite being far too ignorant of the intricacies of D&D. I’ll boost that when it drops.
Tash has settled in to her new country pile in Gloucestershire. She messaged me last night to suggest a date for our next, long past due appointment at Derry & Toms when we will finally take a look at Zelazny’s Nine Princes in Amber. More on that soon.
Take care friends, the Moonbeam Roads are slippery right now, and see you again soon.
Simon is back in Derry & Toms to carry on our chinwagging and this time we’re joined by Guy Lawley, author of Saga of the Man Elf. This 1989 five issue Trident comics run is my most highly treasured Moorcock-related comic and Guy tells us how it came to be, how Mike gave it his blessing and approval to use characters from the Jerry Cornelius chronicles, and how he worked and moved through UK comics and fanzines.
We also discuss the artists involved in the conception of the Man Elf character and story, and dedicate this show to the memory of Steve Whitaker.
Jerry and Una by Steve Whitaker in issue 1
A marvellously corpulent Bishop Beesley by Richard Weston on the cover of issue 5.
Andy Darby joins me in virtual Derry and Toms to talk his tales of the Monkey God, Moorcock, and lots of other stuff including reminiscences about Johnny Seven, Lion annuals, Commando comics, Mme. Blavatsky, My First Two Thousand Years and tripping in Amsterdam.
You can pick up Vol I and The Paddington Incident now and Vol II releases on 5th November. There are QR codes with the illustrations in Vol 2 and The Paddington Incident that link to audio sections narrated by Andy, and you can connect with him on Goodreads.
This episode is played out by the title track from The Dreaming City III by Immryr. At the time of recording (and at the time we released The Black Corridor) this was the latest release from Imrryr but, characteristically, there is another available for pre-order already. Check out One Flesh, One End.
Andy’s reading recommendations:
C J Cherryh: Gate of Ivrel, Well of Shiuan, Fires of Azeroth, Exile’s Gate
Madeline Miller: Circe, The Song of Achilles,
Pat Barker: The Silence of the Girls, Natalie Haynes: A Thousand Ships,
Conn Iggulden: Conqueror series (these are just fucking epic!)
Tim Willocks: The Religion (awesome!), The Twelve Children of Paris (awesome 2!)
Ben Aaronovitch: Rivers of London series
Jonathan L Howard: Johannes Cabal series
Catherynne M. Valente: Deathless
Kim Newman: Anno Dracula
Karl Edward Wagner: Kane series
Chris Carlsen: Berserker series
Stewart Gordon Suaine and the Crow God
Iain Banks: The Wasp Factory, The Bridge Walking on Glass,
It’s been a fun time and it continues to prove a satisfying and rewarding pursuit. It has led to great conversations and hook-ups across the globe and shows just how wide the reach of rambling, often drunken but always enthusiastic conversations about Moorcock, genre fiction, music and anything else that crosses our minds can be.
My better half and regular co-host Phil joining me on the ride has only made it better.
Mad shouts from the mountain tops too to my Buds of Ages for their support:
Loz, getting stuck in from day one with drunken takes and hideous challenging beers only encouraged me to continue
Neil for all that early support showing me what a microphone is, how to plug it in and what is achievable with sound and editing software. He even stepped in and corrected the audio on a particularly drunken session with Tash very early on. Loz and Neil’s old band Giantkind is the source of the intro and outro music on the show too
And Wayne for all of his collaboration, creative and musical input on the Journal of Gerard Arthur Connelly.
Very specific thanks also to Simon Perrins. Simon has provided almost all of the art and banners for this podcast across a variety of platforms and, as a result, he’s a core part of its identity.
And finally of course thanks to all our you, our patrons, and to all of our friends & contributors!
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.