Monday, April 13, 2015

Season 3, Episode 8 - Wings in the Night

"Kane poured water from his canteen between the mangled lips, and bending close, said: "Tell me more of these devils, for by the God of my people, this deed shall not go unavenged, though Satan himself bar my way."

It is doubtful if the dying man heard. But he heard something else. The macaw, with the curiosity of its breed, swept from a near-by grove and passed so close its great wings fanned Kane's hair. And at the sound of those wings, the butchered man heaved upright and screamed in a voice that haunted Kane's dreams to the day of his death: '"The wings! the wings! They come again! Ahhh, mercy, the wings!"'
Art by Gary Gianni

Welcome back, Cromrades! We apologize for our tardiness in bringing you this episode, but we had a great discussion about this week's tale Wings in the Night! (Read it on Project Gutenberg Australia.)
This is the last Solomon Kane tale to have been published, though interestingly, The Footfalls Within seems to take place after this story. We've been watching Kane's spiritual and mental conditions deteriorate during his journey through Africa, and now we see the feather that broke the camel's back, so to speak. This story is fatalistic, brutal, and bleak, as Kane becomes completely unhinged and deconstructed. What will be left of him? 

(Edit: We mention Michael Wojcik's excellent essay "Finding Subversion in Solomon Kane" which was very useful in preparing for this episode, and we urge you to check it out once you've had a chance to read the story!)

The Madness of Solomon. Another excellent piece of Gianni art.
One Thing (x 3)
Jon recommends It Follows
Luke found a neat copy of The Golden Guide to Stars (and has been watching the skies for celestial bodies and extraterrestrial threats.)
Josh recommends reading On The Origin of Species and is working on a podcast with his friends at work focusing on the writings of Charles Darwin.  
Bonus Thing - Our friend Laurence suggested we check out some of Charles Saunders' sword and soul stories. We found Griots: A Sword and Soul Anthology and it looks excellent! If you've read this, send us your review! 


The next stop on the Road of Vengeance will be the Solomon Kane tale, The Footfalls Within. (Read it on Project Gutenberg Australia). Until then, Cromrades, watch the skies!

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/ 

The closing theme for this episode is "God's Gonna Cut You Down" performed by Johnny Cash and found on the album American V: A Hundred Highways. All music was obtained legally; we hope our inclusion of this content makes you want to go out and purchase the work!

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

Leave us a voice mail! (859) 429-CROM! (That's 859-429-2766)


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Subscribe to our feed on FeedBurner! Or, check us out on iTunes! Don't forget Stitcher!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Season 3, Episode 7 - The Hills of The Dead


"Yonder in the unknown vastness"--his long finger stabbed at the black silent jungle which brooded beyond the firelight--"yonder lie mystery and adventure and nameless terror. Once I dared the jungle--once she nearly claimed my bones. Something entered into my blood, something stole into my soul like a whisper of unnamed sin. The jungle! Dark and brooding --over leagues of the blue salt sea she has drawn me and with the dawn I go to seek the heart of her. Mayhap I shall find curious adventure--mayhap my doom awaits me. But better death than the ceaseless and everlasting urge, the fire that has burned my veins with bitter longing." 
N'Longa stirred the fire, saying nothing..."
[The Hills of the Dead]
Art by Gary Gianni

This week we return to Africa for the third time with Solomon Kane in Robert E. Howard's pulpy vampire-slaying adventure, The Hills of the Dead. (Read it on Project Gutenberg Australia). In contrast to our last story (The Blue Flame of Vengeance), this tale is full of magic and supernatural creatures. We think it's an interesting tale with layers that go much deeper than you might guess at first glance!

Ecoregions of Africa. Based on the descriptions in the tale, we think Kane began his journey to the Hills of the Dead somewhere near Gabon/Congo and traveled north into the Tropical Dry Forest and Savannahs. 

As in Red Shadows, Kane would not have made it through the events of the tale without the aid of the might N'Longa. In fact, without the staff that N'Longa gives Kane at the beginning of the tale, it is likely the initial confrontation with the two vampires would have ended much differently. Though Kane's will is nigh-unbreakable, N'Longa's power far exceeds that of Solomon Kane's and arguably N'Longa is the true hero of the tale, though Kane is not minimized by this statement! What mortal man can hope to stand against magical powers like N'Longa's? We're just glad N'Longa's a good guy!

[The Hills of the Dead]
Kane did serve as a good distraction to buy time for N'Longa to cast his powerful magic, though.
Michael Whelan's interpretation of Roland's fight with The Slow Mutants from Stephen King's The Gunslinger.
Similarities abound!

It seems as though we have been watching the gradual disintegration of Solomon Kane's worldview, and wonder how much longer his faith, will, and sanity can hold out!

One Things

Jon: Netflix's Original Series, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt!

Josh: All Things Song of Ice and Fire, specifically the upcoming Dunk and Egg collection A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms and The World of Ice and Fire, a history of Westeros and Essos!

Luke: AMC's Better Call Saul!

Also be sure to check out the new book from Brian Keene, The Lost Level. All of our Cromrades will receive a 50% discount off either the trade paperback or digital copy of this book if you order it from Apex Publications and use the promo code mentioned in this episode... Listen for that promo code! And get your hands on a tale of high adventure!

While you're at it, check out the new publisher, Strange Books, and stay tuned in the future for more discussion of their material!

Our next stop on the Road of Vengeance will be the Solomon Kane tale, Wings in the Night. (Read it on Project Gutenberg Australia). Until then, Cromrades, safe travels!

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/ 

Our closing theme for this episode is "Africa" performed by Toto and found on the album Toto IV. All music was obtained legally; we hope our discussion of this content makes you want to go out and purchase the work!

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

Leave us a voice mail! (859) 429-CROM! (That's 859-429-2766)


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Subscribe to our feed on FeedBurner! Or, check us out on iTunes! Don't forget Stitcher!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Season 3, Episode 6 - The Blue Flame of Vengeance




Art by Gary Gianni

"The Lord hath led my feet into many strange places, and over many queer paths," said he sombrely. "Some were fair and many were foul; sometimes I seemed to wander without purpose or guidance but always when I sought deep I found fit reason therefor. And harkee, lad, forbye the fires of Hell there is no hotter fire than the blue flame of vengeance which burneth a man's heart night and day without rest until he quench it in blood."

"It hath been my duty in times past to ease various evil men of their lives - well, the Lord is my staff and my guide and methinks he hath delivered mine enemy into mine hands."


Hello fellow travelers on the path of vengeance! Today we present unto you the Solomon Kane tale, The Blue Flame of Vengeance. Join us for a swashbuckling tale of civilized savagery, smuggling, the knife fight to end all knife fights, and of course, that constant companion, Death! Luke finds beauty in the humanity of Solomon Kane while Josh and Jon wonder if there isn't something supernatural about the man.  

Tune in and also let us know what you think of the tale down in the comments!

Our next tale of savage and bloody vengeance will be "The Hills of the Dead" (Read it on Project Gutenberg Australia.) 


One things
Jon: Dr. San Guinary's Creature Feature (It features creatures!) 
Josh: The Cat Lady, the official old cat lady video game (also a psychological thriller that will make you reflect on the choices you've made in your life...)
Luke: Lore, Elder's newest album (THUNDEROUS RIFFS! Really, these guys are good!) 

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/ 

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


Our closing theme for this episode is "Blue Flame" performed by Sylvan Shulman and His Orchestra. All music was obtained legally; we hope our discussion of this content makes you want to go out and purchase the work!


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


Leave us a voice mail! (859) 429-CROM! (That's 859-429-2766)


Follow us on Twitter! Or on Facebook!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Season 3, Episode 5 - The Moon of Skulls (with guest host Jeffrey Shanks!)


Hile, adventurers! Today's show focuses on the Solomon Kane epic, The Moon of Skulls. We were lucky to have Howard scholar Jeffrey Shanks join us to discuss this controversial story. Our discussion was a doozy! Be sure, this is an episode for the ages!


Our One Things for this episode include...


Also be sure to check out the new book from Brian Keene, The Lost Level. All of our Cromrades will receive a 50% discount off either the trade paperback or digital copy of this book if you order it from Apex Publications and use the promo code mentioned in this episode... Listen for that promo code! And get your hands on a tale of high adventure!

Be sure to check out Jeffrey Shanks' blog, An Age Undreamed Of, for a taste of Mr. Shanks' perspective on all things pulp! Consider picking up the book that Jeff edited, "Zombies From the Pulps!" And, for a bit of info about Howard's adaptation of Atlantean themes, check out this presentation by Jeff at the 2011 PCA/ACA National Conference.

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/ 

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


Our closing theme for this episode is "Vengeance is Mine" performed by Alice Cooper from the 2008 album "Along Came a Spider". All music was obtained legally; we hope our discussion of this content makes you want to go out and purchase the work!


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


Leave us a voice mail! (859) 429-CROM! (That's 859-429-2766)


Follow us on Twitter! Or on Facebook!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Season 3, Episode 04 - The Castle of the Devil and Death's Black Riders


The hangman asked of the carrion crow,
but the raven made reply:
"Black ride the men who ride with Death
beneath the midnight sky,
"And black each steed and grey each skull
and strange each deathly eye.
"They have given their breath to grey old Death
and yet they cannot die."

Art by Gary Gianni
Hello friends! Today's show features two original Howard fragments "The Castle of the Devil" and "Death's Black Riders". While they may be short they still feature Howard's signature style and will get your mind racing and your blood pumping. We focus a portion of the show on adaptations of each fragment and other people's attempt to finish what REH started. 

Let us know what you would have done to complete each tale!

One Things:
Luke: Joe Abercrombie's The First Law Series
Josh: Talisman the Board Game (app)

Also be sure to check out the new book from our pals at Apex Publications: The Lost Level by Brian Keene. Preorder now or wait till it comes out on Jan. 19th!

We are working on a review of a new book, Titled "J.R.R. Tolkien, Robert E. Howard and the Birth of Modern Fantasy (Critical Explorations in Science Fiction and Fantasy)" by Deke Parsons. You can purchase it on Amazon.com here. We'll post a review as soon as it's ready!

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/ 

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


Our closing theme for this episode is "Ghost Riders in the Sky" performed by Johnny Cash All music was obtained legally; we hope our discussion of this content makes you want to go out and purchase the work!


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


Leave us a voice mail! (859) 429-CROM! (That's 859-429-2766)


Follow us on Twitter! Or on Facebook!


Monday, December 29, 2014

Season 3, Episode 03 - Rattle of Bones

The host brought wine and food to the rough-hewn table and then stood back in the shadows, like a somber image. His features, now receding into vagueness, now luridly etched in the firelight as it leaped and flickered, were masked in a beard which seemed almost animal-like in thickness. A great nose curved above this beard and two small red eyes stared unblinkingly at his guests.
"Who are you?" suddenly asked the younger man.

"I am the host of the Cleft Skull Tavern," sullenly replied the other. His tone seemed to challenge his questioner to ask further.

"Do you have many guests?" l'Armon pursued.

"Few come twice," the host grunted."
  Kane started and glanced up straight into those small red eyes, as if he sought for some hidden meaning in the host's words...


Illustration by Gary Gianni

Greetings, fellow travelers! We trust your winter holidays were great, and hope that all is well with you as we hurtle headlong into a new year!

This week, we journey with Solomon Kane and Gaston l'Armon through the perils of the Black Forest. What sinister secrets does the innkeeper of the Cleft Skull Tavern keep within the walls of that foul place? This week's episode features the Solomon Kane story "Rattle of Bones" (read it on Project Gutenberg Australia).

Check out this blog entry by Mike Perry which contains excellent concept art and storyboards for "Rattle of Bones". Looks great! Makes us wish for some animated adaptations of Solomon Kane stories!

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/ 

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


Our closing theme for this episode is Engel by Rammstein. Some 90's German industrial metal to go along with our vengeance tale set in the Black Forest! All music was obtained legally; we hope our discussion of this content makes you want to go out and purchase the work!


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


Leave us a voice mail! (859) 429-CROM! (That's 859-429-2766)


Follow us on Twitter! Or on Facebook!


Subscribe to our feed on FeedBurner! Or, check us out on iTunes! Don't forget Stitcher!