Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Episode 12: Queen of the Black Coast

"Let teachers and priests and philosophers brood over questions of
reality and illusion. I know this: if life is illusion, then I am no
less an illusion, and being thus, the illusion is real to me. I live,
I burn with life, I love, I slay, and am content."

Welcome back, ye scurvy dogs! And prepare yourselves for a swashbuckling tale of ancient cities, lost treasures, and lost loves! This week's tale is the nautical adventure, Queen of the Black Coast (episode mp3 here). This episode is packed with good discussion of this classic Robert E. Howard tale, and a plethora of extras.

First, a quality reading of Queen of the Black Coast on Librivox. Or, if you prefer, a full cast recording on the Internet Archive!

You might be interested in running a GURPS game based on Queen of the Black Coast! (Or converting it to Savage Worlds, perhaps?)

Try some original fiction by fantasy author John Fultz! He has a slew of publications at The Black Gate, including When the Glimmer Faire Came to the City of the Lonely Eye and The Persecution of Artifice the Quill. Beyond that, read about the fantasy and pulp inspirations for his Shaper Trilogy here and read his literary criticism regarding Clark Ashton Smith's The Hashish Eater here!

Finally.... Check out Becky Cloonan's digital comics DemeterThe Mire, and Wolves here! These three stories are SERIOUSLY some of the best fantasy in the past year. Which is your favorite? Sound off below in the comments and let us know!

We think you'll love it!
Our next story is The Devil in Iron (read it on Project Gutenberg Australia).

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

Ending theme: Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer Metal version. Found at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8HpNafadNuM. Used without permission.

Thanks for listening!

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  1. Great episode guys! Great discussion and I loved the reading of Song of Belit in the end.
    Glad you liked this story! It is certainly among my favorites.

    The discussion Belit and Conan have on the ship is good. It gives some insights
    into Conan's mind. Conan comes out as a somewhat existentialist. I think Conan/Howard gives also some great wisdom regarding religion:
    "He who denies them [gods] is as blind as he who trusts them too deeply."
    I think these are wise words for everybody, religious and nonreligious people.

    From the Conan movie (1982) the Theology/Civilization music is great and the discussion with Subotai about religion and then the two traveling is my favorite bits of the movie. Too bad that as a Howard guy it gives me pain how incorrect and wrong the whole conversation is. :)

    There is still some evidence left in the published version of the story that Conan's and Belit's love might have been violent: "I have lain in your arms, panting with the violence of our love; you have held and crushed and conquered me, drawing my soul to your lips with the fierceness of your bruising kisses."

    I think it would be great and poetic if Conan never returned to the sea but it seems that he does return to the western sea at least on one or more different occasions (none of which we really see but there is some great stuff coming up which has to do with pirate Conan).

    So next time back to the Blue Sea.
    Happy holidays! And beware, Santa is not the only one out there flying on a chariot drawn by strange steeds!

  2. Far-Fetched Fables' sister podcast Protecting Project Pulp has posted a reading of "Queen of the Black Coast" for its recent episode: http://protectingprojectpulp.com/protecting-project-pulp-94-robert-e-howard/