Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Season 11, Episode 1 - Law-Shooters of Cowtown



Howdy, friends! We're lighting out down The Western Road this season, taking a look at Robert E. Howard's Western stories, along with tales from other influential western authors! We kick things off in wild fashion this week with "Law-Shooters of Cowtown" by Howard! You can find this story in  "The End of the Trail" collection from Bison Books.

Image result for end of the trail bison books
We Know The Editor!

Interested in some actual Texas history as told by an actual Texian? Visit our friend Ben Friberg's podcast "The Texian"! Tell him The Cromcast sent you!

Luke cites Frank Gruber's list of seven basic plots for westerns (via Wikipedia):
  1. Union Pacific story. The plot concerns construction of a railroad, a telegraph line, or some other type of modern technology or transportation. Wagon train stories fall into this category.
  2. Ranch story. The plot concerns threats to the ranch from rustlers or large landowners attempting to force out the proper owners.
  3. Empire story. The plot involves building a ranch empire or an oil empire from scratch, a classic rags-to-riches plot.
  4. Revenge story. The plot often involves an elaborate chase and pursuit by a wronged individual, but it may also include elements of the classic mystery story.
  5. Cavalry and Indian story. The plot revolves around "taming" the wilderness for white settlers.
  6. Outlaw story. The outlaw gangs dominate the action.
  7. Marshal story. The lawman and his challenges drive the plot.

Josh calls out the TV Tropes page for Westerns. Check it here. The relevant quote to us is as follows: 
Much has been made of the distinction between the "classic" Western and the "revisionist" Western, the former being shiny and heroic, the latter Darker and Edgier and often embodying a paradox: "Civilization can only be defended from barbarians by men with guns, but once you pick up a gun, you become a barbarian yourself.
Seems to align with some themes we frequently discuss on the show, doesn't it?

One Things
Jon: The Political Process, a game in early development on Steam!
Josh: The Mandalorian, a very satisfying space western set in the Star Wars universe!
Luke: Mr. Robot, which is highly recommended television!

Next week - We try to catch the "Stage to Lordsburg", an influential western short story written by Ernest Haycox, which forms the basis for the 1939 John Ford western "Stagecoach", starring John Wayne. Read it online here!

Questions? Comments? Curses?
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We're also on Stitcher Radio and Google Play!
Finally.... Call us! (859) 429-CROM!

Legal Mumbo-Jumbo
Our episode is freely available on archive.org and is licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/ Themes by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0. 
Outro: "Desert's On Fire" by Murder by Death. Music was obtained legally; we hope our discussion of this content makes you want to go out and purchase the work!

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Bourbon & Barbarians, Season 3 Episode 7: A Pyre, and Portents of Days to Come

Greetings, brave wanderers! We continue our third season of Bourbon & Barbarians! Herein our adventurers visit the Burgomaster, and prepare themselves to enter the proper, actual, for-real-this-time classic AD&D module, I6: Ravenloft!
Our episode is freely available on archive.org and is licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0. "Gnarled Situation" by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Likewise Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/ Our final track is an abbreviated version of "Epitaph" by King Crimson. All music was obtained legally; we hope our discussion of this content makes you want to go out and purchase the work!

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Bourbon & Barbarians, Season 3 Episode 6: Passage of Years, then a Letter on the Doorstep!

Hile, travelers! We return to our third season of Bourbon & Barbarians! Herein our adventurers have aged a couple years, learned a couple things, and now piece together the breadcrumbs that lead to STRAHD!
Our episode is freely available on archive.org and is licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0. "Gnarled Situation" by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Likewise Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/ Our final track is an abbreviated version of "21st Century Schizoid Man" by King Crimson. All music was obtained legally; we hope our discussion of this content makes you want to go out and purchase the work!

Monday, November 18, 2019

Announcing Season 11 - The Western Road Story List!



Howdy, Cromrades! Where do we turn after our jaunt off-world to Arrakis? How about the Wild West? Saddle up and join us on our trip through the plains for stagecoach robberies, gunfights at high noon, and adventure!

Related image


Season 11: The Western Road
1.    “Law-Shooters of Cowtown”- Robert E. Howard (Cross Plains 1974): An intro episode where we talk about our experiences with westerns and how REH started writing them as well. We’ll begin with a grim western that features Grizzly Elkins and a fist fight with a mob that is supposed to be quite memorable. (From End of the Trail (Bison Books)

2.    “Stage to Lordsburg”- Ernest Haycox (Saturday Evening Post 1937): Called by some “the greatest stagecoach story ever written” this short story also served as the inspiration for John Ford’s “Stagecoach”. Haycox was a pulp writer who published two dozen novels and about 300 short stories and was an early pioneer of the western. University of Arizona PDF

3.    “Old Garfield’s Heart”- Robert E. Howard (Weird Tales 1933): A focus on REH and his hand in creating the weird western. What has this genre offered us in pop culture. This story specifically focuses on an old Texas Pioneer gains immortality by replacing his heart with something from another world. Was adapted into a Conan story “Old Garrod’s Heart” in SSoC #203.
                The Horror Stories of REH (Del Rey)
                Black Stranger and Other American Tales (Bison Books)
                Project Gutenberg Link

4.    “A Man Called Horse”- Dorothy Johnson (Collier’s 1950): A rich Bostonian is enslaved by Crow Indians. While enslaved he eventually gains the respect of the tribe through cunning and bravery in battle. Eventually he takes the name “Horse” and falls in love with an Indian woman.  PDF Link

5.    “Trap of Gold”- Louis L’Amour (Argosy 1951): The master of the western, L’Amour was prolific in his production. How has the genre solidified 20-30 years after Howard was tinkering with it? This short story focuses on a prospector, Weatherton. Weatherton finds the dream of a lifetime, a vein richer in gold than he ever cared to imagine. He knew he had more than he needed, but he almost lost his senses - and his life - as the fever began to take control of him. PDF Link

6.    Western Film Fest: The Cromcast talks western movies with a classic “The Wild Bunch” by Sam Peckinpah and a modern western “The Proposition” by John Hillcoat.  

7.    “Mountain Man”- Robert E. Howard (Action Stories 1934): Breckenridge Elkins is a lesser known but extremely important Howard creation. With 26 published stories, he was actually Howard’s most commercially viable and longest published character. His stories are called “funny westerns” and feature tall tale structure with printed Texan vernacular. We will be reading and analyzing his first appearance.
Wikisource link
The Complete Action Stories (Wildside Press)
 Riot at Bucksnort (Bison books)

8.     “Vultures of Whapeton”- Robert E. Howard (Smashing Novels Magazine 1936): A conclusion to The Western Road, where we wrap up by talking about what is considered to be REH’s finest western story. Steve Corcoran, a Texas pistoleer, finds a job as deputy of the boom town of Wahpeton. At first, he doesn’t know that his boss is the secret head of the outlaw gang of “Vultures” who are preying on the town.
                Vultures of Whapeton (Zebra Books)
                Best of REH Vol 2: Grim Lands (Del Rey)
                End of the Trail (Bison Books)
                Project Gutenberg link
               

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Season 10 Episode 4: "The Prophet"

Welcome back for one more episode this season, Fremen Cromrades! We wrap up our journey to Arrakis with a discussion of Book III of Dune entitled, "The Prophet."
One Things:
Jon: Blurry Photos' episode on Creepy Cults!
Josh: David Fincher's Zodiac!
Luke: Luca Guadagnino's Suspira!
Where do we go from here? What road will we walk next? Lay your ear close to the ground, and soon you may hear a tale of a new season!

Questions? Comments? Curses?
Email us! (thecromcast at gmail dot com)
You know you want to follow us on Twitter!
Did you know that we're on Facebook?
We're posting photos on the Instagrams!
Subscribe to our feed on FeedBurner!
Or, check us out on iTunes!
We're also on Stitcher Radio and Google Play!
Finally.... Call us! (859) 429-CROM!

Legal Mumbo-Jumbo
Our episode is freely available on archive.org and is licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/ Themes by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0. 
Outro: "Dune (Desert Theme)" by Toto. Music was obtained legally; we hope our discussion of this content makes you want to go out and purchase the work!

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Cromtober 2019 - Tailypo & Others

We just can't quit you, Cromtober! We're back for one more episode, wherein we are just gathered around the fire and telling some spooky stories... Join us, won't you?
Questions? Comments? Curses?
Email us! (thecromcast at gmail dot com)
You know you want to follow us on Twitter!
Did you know that we're on Facebook?
We're posting photos on the Instagrams!
Subscribe to our feed on FeedBurner!
Or, check us out on iTunes!
We're also on Stitcher Radio and Google Play!
Finally.... Call us! (859) 429-CROM!

Legal Mumbo-Jumbo
Our episode is freely available on archive.org and is licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/ Music is "Ghost Processional - Alternate" by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0.