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  #31  
Old 02-10-2017, 09:00 AM
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Hi everyone!

Today marks a momentous occasion: Loki and I have talked about a book for so long that we can't talk about it anymore!

We released our final episode on The Sorcerer's House today, and we're now moving on to a series of short stories by the same author (Gene Wolfe): Underhill, The Hero as Werwolf, and Forlesen. The first one is a Free online short story. The last two can be found in The Best of Gene Wolfe, which is easily available.

If you're interested at all in the podcast, but didn't want to have to read a whole book, these next few weeks are a great opportunity; you can read a short story in one sitting and find out whether or not you like our style in one episode.

Thanks, and let us know if you have questions.
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  #32  
Old 02-10-2017, 09:34 AM
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Oh man, I completely missed that (late Sorcerer's House spoiler) Old Nick is Mr. Black. I somehow just didn't make the connection and thought that Black showed up because Bax used a spell. In my defense, I sped through the last 1/4 of the book and was up really late the night I finished it. I thought I was really on top of stuff, but that's a big one.

I'm on the lookout for a copy of The Best of Gene Wolfe.
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  #33  
Old 02-10-2017, 09:48 AM
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I'm on the lookout for a copy of The Best of Gene Wolfe.


Don't forget your local library!
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  #34  
Old 03-02-2017, 08:27 AM
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Don't forget your local library!
I did it!

I read the three short stories, and I also picked up the two volumes of The Book of the New Sun, which I started this morning.
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  #35  
Old 03-02-2017, 08:49 AM
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Surprise! You needed to read FOUR short stories.

The guestcast we did with British Pop-culture show "You Know What I Like" went up yesterday. We cover Wolfe in general, some SH stuff, and go through "The Toy Theater."

You Know What I Like
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  #36  
Old 03-02-2017, 09:02 AM
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Just when I think I'm done, you guys pull me back in!

I guess I could fit in one more short story.
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  #37  
Old 03-02-2017, 04:01 PM
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Make sure you try out Arcadia when we move on to that one, too. It's not Wolfe, but it's still amazing!
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  #38  
Old 03-07-2017, 12:36 PM
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^Yeah, it's on my list.

A while ago you guys mentioned an artist who was posting Book of the New Sun art on Twitter. At the time I checked it out, but had no idea what it was about. Now I'm halfway through the Claw of the Conciliator and I wanted to look him up again, but I have no idea what his name was or what episode you mentioned him in. Do you remember who it was?
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  #39  
Old 03-07-2017, 12:57 PM
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Eric He
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  #40  
Old 03-07-2017, 01:15 PM
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Thanks very much!
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  #41  
Old 04-21-2017, 04:06 PM
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Hi Everyone!

Just giving the thread a quick bump to remind folks that starting next Friday (4/28) we'll be diving into Gene Wolfe's The Fifth Head of Cerberus. This trio of novellas (particularly the first, which won a Nebula) is among Wolfe's most recognizable and celebrated work. It also happens to be a great entry point if you've been intimidated by him before now!

Please join us and give a listen!
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  #42  
Old 04-21-2017, 05:15 PM
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I'm still making my way through The Book of the New Sun, but I'm close to the end.
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  #43  
Old 04-21-2017, 06:49 PM
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I'm still making my way through The Book of the New Sun, but I'm close to the end.
I finished it.

Turns out he was banging his grandma, so that's fun?
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  #44  
Old 04-21-2017, 07:50 PM
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I finished it.

Turns out he was banging his grandma, so that's fun?
There's a couple other details in there...just a couple.
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  #45  
Old 04-21-2017, 11:45 PM
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Quote:
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I finished it.

Turns out he was banging his grandma, so that's fun?
Severian is a Christ figure.
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  #46  
Old 07-13-2017, 08:58 PM
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If you're following along with the podcast (or think you might be interested) we're announcing our next lineup of books on tomorrow's episode. Here's the sneak peak of where we're headed.

After we finish Fifth Head, we've decided it will be a good time to explore some of Wolfe (and Sci-Fi/Fantasy's) literary influences. Wolfe often mentions specific authors time and again as major influences or inspirations for his work, so we expect you'll recognize most of these names. In addition, we're including a few authors who may not have been directly or extensively mentioned by Wolfe, but who have had a big enough impact on speculative fiction (or Wolfe's stated influences) as a whole that they're unavoidable.
These episodes will be a less in-depth and more of a survey approach about the author and their work. We plan to make this a five-episode series divided as follows:
  • The Probable Adventure of the Three Literary Men, Chu-Bu and Sheemish, and The Three Sailors' Gambit by Lord Dunsany. These stories are all public domain.
  • The Man Who Was Thursday by G. K. Chesterton. Also public domain.
  • The Time Machine by H. G. Wells and With the Night Mail by Rudyard Kipling. Again, both of these novellas are public domain.
  • Liane the Wayfarer, Guyal of Sfere, and The Sorcerer Pharesm by Jack Vance (the first two stories are in The Dying Earth, while the third is a selection from The Eyes of the Overworld).
  • The Martian, The Long Years, There Will Come Soft Rains, and The Million Year Picnic by Ray Bradbury (These stories can be found separately, but are all collected in The Martian Chronicles).

In addition to the "Wolfe Influences" theme, you can see we're also doing an exploration of various takes on the Dying Earth (or Mars, if you want to stretch it) sub-genre. We're hoping that will help us as we attempt to tackle our next exploration Wolfe himself. After this 5-episode series we'll begin our discussion of The Shadow of the Torturer which will probably see us through the conclusion of 2017.
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  #47  
Old 07-14-2017, 06:58 AM
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Nice, I recently read the Bradbury stories and the first two Vance ones, and I just finished the Book of the New Sun. The rest sound interesting.

I haven't started fifth head of cerberus yet because I wanted to wait until all of the episodes were ready. I feel like it might be better to listen to a whole book's worth of episodes right after finishing the book. I'll let you know how it goes.
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  #48  
Old 07-15-2017, 08:27 PM
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I'll let you know how it goes.
You'd better. Mostly because I want to see if anyone can stand binge listening to 20 hours of Loki and me.
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  #49  
Old 07-18-2017, 08:02 AM
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Hah, I probably won't marathon them. Spreading them out over a few days is probably the best way to approach it. I got the book from the library yesterday, starting it soon.
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  #50  
Old 08-24-2017, 08:37 PM
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Hi everyone! For those who are interested, just a quick reminder that we're dropping our last episode on The Fifth Head of Cerberus in just a few minutes. Starting next Friday we're doing a 5-week series on "Wolfe Influences," and we'll be continuing with The Shadow of the Torturer (the first volume in the Book of the New Sun) in October.

If you've wanted to check us out but were too intimidated to dive into a whole novel, our next several weeks focus on short stories and novellas, so it's much lower impact to read along.
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  #51  
Old 09-01-2017, 04:33 PM
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We're already starting to get angry comments about New Sun and those episodes aren't even out yet.

This will be a fun time. -_-
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  #52  
Old 09-05-2017, 09:30 AM
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I just finished listening to the Fifth Head episodes. I came to a lot of the same conclusions as you guys, but I missed a lot of details (I didn't notice anything odd about Marsh's initial description, I missed a ton of little details in A Story, etc). Overall I think it was a bit easier to listen to them all together, since it kept the whole thing fresh in my mind.

Although you weren't big fans of the idea, I also thought the cat in VRT was an Aboriginal/Annesse. Marsch's weird intuition that VRT was with a woman and the way he was holding the cat when Marsch returned to camp just really stuck out as odd, and for whatever reason it gave me a strong sense that something more was up. It seems like the main issue Phil took with it was that it contradicted the way things were portrayed in A Story, but I felt that the whole middle Novella was highly suspect since it was probably written by VRT. Marsch interviewed a number of people who said that Aboriginals had more extreme shapeshifting powers, and V's encounter with the four-armed-creature suggests that some sort of shape shifting might still exist. It also contradicts Veil's Hypothesis, but we never get any reason to believe that she was correct. Of course, nothing is solid enough to really say one way or the other. Wolfe gives the reader just enough to start making up their own ideas about what's going on.

I've already read The Dying Earth, The Martian Chronicles, and The Book of the New Sun. I got a copy of The Man Who Was Thursday from the library and I'll check out the public domain stories soon.
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  #53  
Old 09-05-2017, 09:40 AM
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Yeah we never came to a conclusion on the cat/the end of V.R.T. Just too nebulous to get a good grasp on. There's def the implication that the thing might be an anesse, but it's all so vague.
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  #54  
Old 10-01-2017, 03:44 PM
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A quick reminder that this Friday, 10/6 at midnight EST, Alzabo Soup will begin our chapter-by-chapter discussion of The Shadow of the Torturer. This is Wolfe's best known work by far. If you're interested, here's what you need to know:
  • Click here to visit our podcast page. You can also subscribe through Itunes, Google Play, or Stitcher by searching for "Alzabo Soup" on the podcasts storefront.
  • We plan to do 1-2 chapters per week (this first week will cover an introduction to our approach and Chapter 1).
  • We're using the 1994 "Shadow & Claw/Sword & Citadel" printing.
  • We do plan on going through all four books of BotNS and The Urth of the New Sun in this manner, potentially with short breaks between each book. The whole project will likely take a year or more to complete.

Thanks, and let us know if you listen!
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  #55  
Old 10-02-2017, 09:59 AM
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I still listen, just am super far behind. I'm at the halfway mark on Sorcerer's House after taking almost a year break. I'm also a year further away from my last reading, so I remember the high plot points, but the moment to moment stuff is "new". I'm glad that you cover both in your podcast, helps me to jump back in without a re-read.

By this time next year I hope to have Sorcerer's House done!
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  #56  
Old 10-10-2017, 12:37 PM
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I liked the first episode of Shadow of the Torturer, it did a good job of introducing things. I hadn't considered how his claim that he remembers everything makes the reader more accepting toward his account. That's totally true, and something that I missed.

I read the series for the first time this year, but it might not be a bad idea to re-read as I listen since there's a lot that happens. Loki, you mentioned the audio book. Would you recommend it? Otherwise I was thinking about picking up the two-volume paperback set.
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  #57  
Old 10-10-2017, 12:47 PM
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Yes! I like the audiobook a lot. It's narrated by Jonathan Davis and he has this slow, subtlety aloof performance complements the tone of the book nicely. He also does character voices very well. I especially like his Dr. Talos and Baldanders.
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  #58  
Old 10-10-2017, 01:31 PM
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I'll check it out. Thanks!
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  #59  
Old 10-11-2017, 10:52 AM
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Loki, is only Shadow of the Torturer on audiobook, or are the other three as well? I don't go in for all this "read with your ears" stuff.
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  #60  
Old 10-11-2017, 11:14 AM
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All of New Sun is on Audible. Urth, Long, and Short aren't unfortunately. There are torrents of recordings of those made as part of the Spoken Books for the Blind program. They captured off old tapes and there's a bit of charm as every hour or so the narrator tells you to flip the tape over. However, there's no captures of Exodus from the Long Sun or Return to the Whorl so those two books remain audio-less.
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