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October-ganza Day 3: Beyond HPPodcraft

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October 3, 2015 by Bret Kramer (aka WinstonP)

Last year we unreservedly recommended the H.P. Lovecraft Literary Podcast (and if you’ve not yet checked it out, take a look).  This year I thought I might highlight two other podcasts that do similar things for other writers, one from Lovecraft’s circle and the other a writer whom Lovecraft admired.

The Double Shadow – A Clark Ashton Smith Podcast

The Double Shadow covers the weird fiction of Clark Ashton Smith (1893-1961), author, poet, & sculptor.  He is the creator of such Mythos entities as Tsathoggua, Eibon, and (Miskatonic University Podcast favorite) Ubbo-Sathla.  The trio of host, Phil Gelatt, Tim Mucci, and Ruth Tillman have been (albeit rather slowly of late) working their way through Smith’s stories.  So far they have covered all his stories set in Averoigne, Hyperborea, Poseidonis, and Mars (and some tales set elsewhere) and have recently started dipping into his stories of Zothique.  They bring a lot of humor as well as some actual scholarly research to the table (enough to be informative, but without the dry airs of an academic dissection) to make even Smith’s hoariest story enjoyable.  It is a great introduction to a writer whose impact on the Call of Cthulhu RPG has long been under-appreciated.  If nothing else, a Keeper could do worse than cribbing bits out of Smith to surprise your Lovecraft-centric players.  My only regret is that I’ve run out of episodes to listen to; I hope we get a new one soon!

A Podcast to the Curious – The Weird fiction of M.R. James

M(ontague) R(hodes) James (1862-1936) is the focus of today’s other recommended podcast.  James’ stories were highly regarded by H.P. Lovecraft, and while he is most often thought of as a ghost story author, his tales include all manner of supernatural horrors.  Though his outlook is not Lovecraft’s cosmicism, his stories still delight and shock.  Hosts Will Ross and Mike Taylor serve as most able guides in the paneled chambers and darkened antique churches that serve as the setting for much of James’ horror.  While they are very nearly out of source material (why do these authors insist on dying?!) I hope they find some new vein of material to explore when there is no more MR.

(If your interests are more ocular than auditory, I recommend The Eldritch Dark (for Clark Ashton Smith);  James’ stories are available in the public domain, on such site as on Archive.org.)

Do you have a good literary podcast similar to these to recommend?  While I’ve seen one for Robert E. Howard (the Cromcast), they seem to be more focused on his voluminous output of Conan stories rather than his scattered Mythos tales.  Share your favorites in the comment section!

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2 thoughts on “October-ganza Day 3: Beyond HPPodcraft

  1. Dan Kramer says:

    I love the CromCast as well. They tackle Howard by topic. They started with the Conan stories, then the female protagonist stories, then Solomon Kane, now they’re into the Lost Empires type of stories, like Atlantis. And this time of year they make a point of covering the horror stuff.

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