Author Topic: Pseudopod 503: The Horror From The Mound  (Read 2946 times)

Bdoomed

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Pseudopod 503: The Horror From The Mound
« on: August 12, 2016, 06:05:55 AM »
Pseudopod 503: The Horror From The Mound

by Robert E. Howard.

“The Horror From The Mound” was first published in WEIRD TALES, May 1932.

Most famous for inventing the modern sword & sorcery tale with his Conan stories, ROBERT E. HOWARD (1906-1936) often introduced horror elements as a threat in his short fiction but the evocation of supernatural dread is only incidental in most of his tales; the chronicling of titanic adventure is the primary purpose. When Howard later switched from fantasy to westerns, he made the transition with this story. Howard’s major horror genre reputation rests with three stories (sadly, all of which are a bit too long for the podcast): “Black Canaan” (Weird Tales, 1936) was praised by Lovecraft for its “genuine, regional background and its compelling picture of the horror that stalks through the moss-hung, shadow-cursed, serpent-ridden swamps of the American far south”; “Pigeons from Hell” (Weird Tales, 1938) was praised by Stephen King as “one of the finest horror stories of our century” and “Worms of the Earth” (Weird Tales, 1932) is thought by many Howard fans to be his best story. The Del Rey series of Howard’s collected fiction includes Horror, Historical Adventures and Desert Adventures, in addition to his better known Conan, Kull and Solomon Kane tales. Please see this site. More info on Howard can be found at the REH Foundation and Project Pride, the caretakers of the REH House and Museum in Cross Plains, TX.

Your reader – Anson Mount – should need no introduction, but just in case we hope you;ve been watching him on AMC’s HELL ON WHEELS. He was last heard on Pseudopod in the Artemis Rising episode Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose by Kelly Link. Anson’s audio producer is the impeccable Branan Edgans (whom you last heard reading on Pseudopod in The Influence Of Thomas Glittio. And we would also like to thank Chris and Rob at BrickShop Audio in Industry City, Brooklyn for the recording help!

The CAST OF WONDERS Flash Fiction Contest info can be accessed at the link.

Info on Anders Manga’s album can be found here.



“Steve Brill did not believe in ghosts or demons. Juan Lopez did. But neither the caution of the one nor the sturdy skepticism of the other was shield against the horror that fell upon them — the horror forgotten by men for more than three hundred years — a screaming fear monstrously resurrected from the black lost ages.”




Listen to this week's Pseudopod.
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Fenrix

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Re: Pseudopod 503: The Horror From The Mound
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2016, 01:10:59 PM »
A quick note to pull back the curtain for a moment. While there is a ton of REH in the public domain, this is not one of them. We worked on and off for three years to secure permission. So they may just very well be another REH story coming next year.

I didn't have time to preview the audio, so I cannot wait to hear what Anson did with the narration.
All cat stories start with this statement: “My mother, who was the first cat, told me this...”

Uncanny Valley

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Re: Pseudopod 503: The Horror From The Mound
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2016, 01:07:22 PM »
Loved this one... a lot.  I have a thing for horror set in the west, and Anson's narration was incredible.  It's got to be tough to do an Hispanic accent without it sounding like a cartoon, and his was spot on to my (midwestern vanilla) ears.

Unblinking

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Re: Pseudopod 503: The Horror From The Mound
« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2016, 01:45:58 PM »
I thought the characters were well-drawn here--though the story was more than a bit crappy to Juan, I felt like that was more about Steve's point of view than the author's.  I find it really interesting the note about REH using this story as a bridge between writing sword and sorcery and westerns.

As for the story itself, I thought it was fine.  I've read so many vampire tales over the years that they're a pretty hard sell for me anymore.  That is not Howard's fault, of course, this story being more than 80 years old.  It is very well written and I thought the characters were reasonably well drawn, but the vampire subject material is hard to get into.

DerangedMind

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Re: Pseudopod 503: The Horror From The Mound
« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2016, 03:24:06 PM »
I enjoyed the story too.  The narration was excellent.

I hadn't been familiar with any of REH's work other than the Conan books, so this was unexpected.  I'm not normally a fan of the *Weird Western* category, but this one worked for me.

Fenrix

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Re: Pseudopod 503: The Horror From The Mound
« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2016, 06:51:25 PM »

I'm not normally a fan of the *Weird Western* category, but this one worked for me.


I'm not sure the sub-genre existed prior to this story.
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adrianh

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Re: Pseudopod 503: The Horror From The Mound
« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2016, 07:38:45 PM »
I really rather liked this, aided by a strong reading. Which was a bit of a surprise to me since the REH I've tried in the past didn't really appeal.

Time to give him another go I guess ;-)

Fenrix

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Re: Pseudopod 503: The Horror From The Mound
« Reply #7 on: August 19, 2016, 07:53:31 PM »
REH was a workhorse. He could pound out stories. He rarely agonized over a lot of them. So I'm not sure I could recommend a "complete works" exploration.

PIGEONS FROM HELL is a phenomenal story, but the last act is marred by what could be read as a problematic message.

SEA CURSE has great Poe-like visuals particularly the dead girl floating in from the sea. While it's predictable, it evokes a very solid Tales of the Black Freighter feel.

There's also several more weird west stories that combine a classic western with the subterranean snake-folk that appear frequently throughout his oeuvre, including Conan. Definitely worthwhile reads. The Solomon Kane stories are also worth checking out.

I've been poking through some of his other non-horror stories. He does a great job with action. I also need to crack open the Red Sonja stories, as I hear they are quite different from (and significantly better than)  the modern adaptations. Although the latest iteration of graphic novels by Gail Simone (Wonder Woman, Batgirl, Pirds of Prey) are rather enjoyable.
All cat stories start with this statement: “My mother, who was the first cat, told me this...”

adrianh

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Re: Pseudopod 503: The Horror From The Mound
« Reply #8 on: August 20, 2016, 07:50:45 AM »

PIGEONS FROM HELL is a phenomenal story, but the last act is marred by what could be read as a problematic message.


Just realised that I read (and enjoyed) the Dark Horse comic adaption of this. Didn't really sink it that it was REH.

bounceswoosh

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Re: Pseudopod 503: The Horror From The Mound
« Reply #9 on: August 30, 2016, 01:44:24 PM »

My primary response to this story: DAMMIT, BRILL!

Loved the narration of the PoV character. I just realized the difference between the terse way Lopez communicated in speech vs the eloquent language of the letter was because the letter would have been in Spanish. Nice touch.

For some reason, I pictured Brill as the werewolf cowboy guy from Penny Dreadful, and then couldn't shake it. No complaints.

I just really wish that Brill had paid for his own recklessness, rather than Lopez having to pay.

davidthygod

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Re: Pseudopod 503: The Horror From The Mound
« Reply #10 on: August 31, 2016, 02:57:05 PM »
This was fantastic.  The old stories are really the ones that bring me in.  Great narration and a good general feel. 
The man is clear in his mind, but his soul is mad.

joeb1kenobi

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Re: Pseudopod 503: The Horror From The Mound
« Reply #11 on: September 12, 2016, 12:50:58 AM »
I really enjoyed the weird west story with a credible, creepy vampire.  The old west is not that old, but it has it's own history, and usually, there ain't anyone out there to hear you scream.

bounceswoosh

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Re: Pseudopod 503: The Horror From The Mound
« Reply #12 on: September 12, 2016, 02:03:41 AM »
I really enjoyed the weird west story with a credible, creepy vampire.  The old west is not that old, but it has it's own history, and usually, there ain't anyone out there to hear you scream.

Space, desert, jungle, ocean ... they all share that remoteness that is perfect for horror.

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Re: Pseudopod 503: The Horror From The Mound
« Reply #13 on: September 30, 2016, 05:12:35 AM »
The reveal in this one kinda ruined it for me.

I was expecting something primordial to be buried in the tomb, and to find out it was a vampire just sapped all the tension for me. I didn't find the explanation very engaging or believable, either. The narration was good, though. No complaints there.

Marlboro

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Re: Pseudopod 503: The Horror From The Mound
« Reply #14 on: November 28, 2019, 02:56:20 AM »
A quick note to pull back the curtain for a moment. While there is a ton of REH in the public domain, this is not one of them. We worked on and off for three years to secure permission. So they may just very well be another REH story coming next year.

I didn't have time to preview the audio, so I cannot wait to hear what Anson did with the narration.


Interesting. How are things handled if a story is in the public domain in one country but not in another?

I went on a little mini-marathon of Howard stories after listening to this one and I noted that one of the better ones, Worms of the Earth, was in the PD in Australia but not the US (as far as I know.)


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Re: Pseudopod 503: The Horror From The Mound
« Reply #15 on: November 28, 2019, 03:14:55 PM »
ESCAPE ARTISTS is a US company - so those are the rights we acknowledge.

"Worms of the Earth" was not registered by Howard, but WEIRD TALES magazine registered that issue where it first appeared, so rights fees would be held by them.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2019, 03:31:54 PM by Sgarre1 »

Marlboro

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Re: Pseudopod 503: The Horror From The Mound
« Reply #16 on: November 28, 2019, 04:32:52 PM »
Interesting. Thanks for the info.


Oh, and the reading of this episode was very good. I meant to mention that in my first comment.