Sunday, August 17, 2014

Season 2, Episode 3: Blades for France (Or, The Cromcast Apologizes to the Nation of France)




I found myself in a small chamber, without visible doors or windows, though there must have been some subtle system of ventilation. A hooded lanthorn lit the room with a vague and ghostly light. Nine figures huddled against the walls on settles – nine figures wrapped closely in dark cloaks, feathered hats or black morions pulled low to meet the black masks which hid their faces. Only their eyes burned through the holes in the masks. None moved nor spake. It was like a conclave of the damned.

Jehan did not speak, but motioned me to take my place on a settle, and then he glided across the chamber and drew back another panel. Through this opening stalked another figure, masked and cloaked like the rest, but with a subtly different bearing. He strode like a man accustomed to command, and even in his disguise, there was something faintly familiar to me about him. 

He stalked to the center of the small chamber, and Jehan motioned toward us on the settles, as if to say that all was in readiness. The tall stranger nodded and said: “You received your instructions before you came here. You know, all of you, that you have but to follow me, and obey my commands. Ask no questions; you are being well paid; that is sufficient for you to know. Speak as little as possible. You do not know me, and I do not know you. The less each man knows of his mates, the better for all. As soon as our task is completed, we scatter, each man for himself. Is that understood?”
 
 
Cromrades, we have returned yet again to provide the insightful discussion, poor French pronunciation, and delightful non sequitur you've come to expect! This time, your three humble sword arms bring you Blades for France! No open source copy this time, but you can find this story in a few collections, including the Del Rey Sword Woman and Other Historical Adventures.
 
There is a kiss that happens during this story, and we ponder the significance of this scene. Read, listen, and let us know what you think!
 
Next time, we will journey to Istanbul and Vienne with Red Sonya of Rogatino. It's Shadow of the Vulture (Read it on Project Gutenberg Austrailia) on the next episode of The Cromcast. Join us, won't you?


This episode is freely available on archive.org and is licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Beginning theme: "Sudden Defeat" by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

Ending theme: "Hooked on a Feeling" by Blue Suede. Used without permission. Purchase their album here!

Questions? Comments? Curses? Email us! (thecromcast at gmail dot com)

Call us! (859) 429-CROM!

Follow us on Twitter! Or on Facebook!

Subscribe to our feed on FeedBurner! Or, check us out on iTunes!

The music included in this episode's discussion is used without the permission of the creators. All music was obtained legally. We hope our discussion of this content makes you want to go out and purchase their work. Support the artists!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Season 2, Episode 2: Sword Woman

 


"Aye, Dark Agnès!” said Étienne, lifting himself on elbow. “A star of darkness shone on her birth, of darkness and unrest. Where ever she goes shall be blood spilling and men dying. I knew it when I saw her standing against the sunrise that turned to blood the dagger in her hand.”

“I have paid my debt to you,” I said. “If I placed your life in jeopardy, I have bought it back with blood.” And casting his dripping sword at his feet, I turned toward the door.
Guiscard, who had been staring like one daft, shook himself as if from a trance, and strode after me

“Nails of the Devil!” quoth he. “What has just passed has altered my mind entirely! You are such another as Black Margot of Avignon. A true sword-woman is worth a score of men. Would you still march with me?”

“As a companion-in-arms,” I answered. “I’m mistress to none.”

“None save Death,” he answered, glancing at the corpses.


Art by Stephen Fabian
Art by Ken Kelly



Art by John Watkiss


Hail, Cromrades! We have returned from the pages of deep history to discuss another thrilling adventure with you! This time, we join the swashbuckling sword woman Agnes de Chastillon on her quest. Does she search for lost gold, or magical artifacts? Nay, brave traveler, she seeks that most elusive treasure - equality.

We weren't able to find an open source copy of this tale for you this time. However, you can snag a copy from eBay or Amazon.com, or better yet, peruse your local book store. Luckily, these Dark Agnes tales aren't hard to find!

Next time, we'll cover the second Dark Agnes tale, Blades for France! Join us!


This episode is freely available on archive.org and is licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Beginning theme: "Sudden Defeat" by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

Ending theme: "Violence of the Red Sea" by Earthless. Used without permission. Purchase their album here!

Questions? Comments? Curses? Email us! (thecromcast at gmail dot com)

Call us! (859) 429-CROM!

Follow us on Twitter! Or on Facebook!

Subscribe to our feed on FeedBurner! Or, check us out on iTunes!

The music included in this episode's discussion is used without the permission of the creators. All music was obtained legally. We hope our discussion of this content makes you want to go out and purchase their work. Support the artists!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Cromcast - Bonus Episode: Interview with publisher and author Jason Sizemore


Hello Cromrades! This week we are joined by our friend Jason Sizemore, author of the short story collection Irredeemable, and owner of the excellent sci-fi and fantasy publishing house Apex Publications! Get ready for some insight into small press, submitting short stories, and the weirdest story submission Jason has ever seen. It's a good episode folks, and we hope you enjoy getting to know Mr. Sizemore.

Some links:

Jason's blog: A Writer's Vanity

Jason's book Irredeemable on Amazon

Website for Apex Magazine

Justin Stewart's website

Steel yourselves, for next time we join Dark Agnes in a journey of awakening and self discovery. Sword Woman - NEXT on The Cromcast!

This episode is freely available on archive.org and is licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
Beginning theme: "Sudden Defeat" by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

Questions? Comments? Curses? Email us! (thecromcast at gmail dot com)

Call us! (859) 429-CROM!

Follow us on Twitter! Or on Facebook!

Subscribe to our feed on FeedBurner! Or, check us out on iTunes!

The music included in this episode's discussion is used without the permission of the creators. All music was obtained legally. We hope our discussion of this content makes you want to go out and purchase their work. Support the artists!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Season 2, Episode 1: The Isle of Pirate's Doom!




"Satan's throne! There is a great ruby ring you've overlooked!"

Now I looked for the first time at the face. It was a delicate oval with red lips that curled in mockery, large grey eyes that danced, and only then did I realize that I was looking at a woman and not a man. One hand rested saucily on her hip, the other held a long ornately-hilted rapier-and with a twitch of repulsion I saw a trace of blood on the blade.


 "Do you know who I am'?"


"There could be only one name you could wear-what with your foppery and cold-blooded manner."

"And that's-?"

"Helen Tavrel."

Garrgghhh! Here be a pirate's tale for ye!!!



We kick off Season 2 with the tale of Helen Tavrel.... Download the episode directly here!

REH wrote this tale back in the '20's, but it didn't see print until a chapbook in 1975. The art from that publication (see above) was from Steve Fabian. You can read the story on Wikisource, or it has been recently included in a collection offered by the Robert E. Howard Foundation!

Looking to listen to some classic pulp stories? Check out Protecting Project Pulp!

Looking for some great music? Check out Flogging Molly! We close out the episode with a portion of "Seven Deadly Sins," which is the sea shanty to end all sea shanties! Within a Mile from Home is an unbelievable album and, if you're inclined towards the punk or a bit o' the Irish, it belongs in your collection. Pick it up directly from the band here, or if you get the chance, be sure to check 'em out if they have a show in your area!

Thanks for listening, ye scurvy lads and lassies!

We hope you're reading along with us! Our next story with be The Sword Woman. There's lots of publication options for this story, so dig it up at your local bookstore!

This episode is freely available on archive.org and is licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/ Beginning theme: "Sudden Defeat" by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

Questions? Comments? Curses? Email us! (thecromcast at gmail dot com)
Call us! (859) 429-CROM!
Follow us on Twitter! Or on Facebook!
Subscribe to our feed on FeedBurner! Or, check us out on iTunes!


The music included in this episode's discussion is used without the permission of the creators. All music was obtained legally. We hope our discussion of this content makes you want to go out and purchase their work. Support the artists!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

SEASON TWO: THE ROAD OF QUEENS

Hile, adventurers! Here we stand, with a new path before us!

Season Two of The Cromcast will cover many of the heroic women of Robert E. Howard. Will you join us on this adventure? If so, tighten your belt, adjust your cutlass, and be of stout heart! The stories we'll cover are as follows....

Helen Tavrel, Swashbuckling Pirate of the Caribbean!
The Isle of Pirate's Doom

Dark Agnes de Chastillon, the French Heroine that Meets Out Death with a Sword!
The Sword Woman
Blades for France

Red Sonya, the Sword and Pistol-Wielding Princess!
The Shadow of the Vulture

Beyond that, we'll return to some discussion of our favorite Heroines of the Conan Stories. We'll also cover the Red Sonja character that is so well-known from comics and film, and we'll of course have some talk regarding Novalyne Price Ellis! Will you join us?

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Episode 25: Our Year With Conan





Art by Boris Valleho

This is it! This week we reflect on our year spent reading the original Conan the Barbarian stories, and what we've learned about Robert E. Howard. These stories are full of passion, action, and adventure! But there is much more to them! If you look closely, you can see fragments of a man's life, his philosophy and outlook, his sense of humor, and yes, perhaps even some of his faults. They are interesting, well written, pulse-pounding adventures that laid the groundwork for the heroic fantasy genre, shades of which can still be seen in the works of modern fantasy authors. It has been so much fun to discover and discuss these stories with you all over the past year, and we greatly look forward to more conversations about the pulp fantasy, horror, and fighting stories of Robert E. Howard as we roll on down the road.

Spend a bit of time reflecting, whenever you read this. Think about Robert E. Howard. When did you discover him? What do his works mean to you? Let us know what you think of Conan. What does this character mean to you? Did we overlook something? We know we left some of the original but unpublished stories behind, but someday we'll revisit those. After a year with Conan, we're ready for some other REH material! Are there stories you're excited for us cover? Let us know!

For now, we leave Conan to his reaving, and depart The Road of Kings to travel for a while along a different path. Season Two of The Cromcast will focus on the heroines of Robert E. Howard's stories. We will post the Road of Queens very soon, and let you know what stories we'll be covering. For next time, the assignment is an exciting pirate story "The Isle of Pirates' Doom", featuring Helen Tavrel, which you can read for free on WikiSource.

Helen Tavrel - Artist unknown
See you on down the road!

Questions? Comments? Curses? Email us! (thecromcast at gmail dot com)
You know you want to follow us on Twitter! Or on Facebook!
Subscribe to our feed on FeedBurner! Or, check us out on iTunes!
Call us! (859) 429-CROM!

Beginning theme: "Sudden Defeat" by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

Ending Theme: Anvil of Crom arranged by Victor de Andres. Found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2DYpJkV9Mls