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Episode 35: The Most English Story Ever Told

April 19th, 2013 | Robin

We start in the leatherbound precincts of the Book Hut for a look at a classic piece of early travel writing, Alexander William Kinglake’s Eothen. Grab as a Gutenberg ebook, or in print.

Still in a choleric mood, we nip over to the Gaming Hut to examine the presentation of epidemic disease in fantasy gaming worlds.

Among My Many Hats provides an inside look at Ken’s new subscription series from Pelgrane Press, the euphoniously titled Ken Writes About Stuff. Snag it from the newly spiffed-up Pelgrane shop.

A recent TED talk controversy provides a jumping-off point for the Eliptony Hut, in which we consider the works of cross-disciplinary eliptonist Graham Hancock.

12 Responses to “Episode 35: The Most English Story Ever Told”

  1. Terry says:

    In Ken Writes About Stuff: Deep Ones, why didn’t Ken mention that Jason Bourne is clearly a Deep One Hybrid? Was it a word count limitation, or does he intend to cover this subject in detail elsewhere?

  2. Michael Cule says:

    The effect Robin speculates about of a narrative that kills off characters with the plague may be seen in the opening episodes of both the original BBC series SURVIVORS and the 2008 remake.

    In both cases the first episode casts a quite well known actor (Peter Bowles in the original and Freema Agyeman in the remake) as someone who we meet and get some feel for and who is then swept away by the disease leaving their friends and family (played by less well known performers) to be the long running characters. It may have been an accidental effect in the original but I’m damn sure the revival did it deliberately.

    I wonder if you could run an RPG campaign on that basis? Have a whole mess of heroes start off and only a few make it to the end. Let the players know in advance that some will die and they will have to step up to play the former NPCs as death sweeps through the company.

    There’s a plague hovering in the background of BANESTORM and the Black Death is set up to be the ending of the Mythic Age in ARS MAGICA.

    And Glorantha has the broos and their hideous goddess of disease, Malia. Why yes that does lead to a certain amount of mental dissonance in long term Gloranthaphiles when hearing discussions of the President’s daughters, thank you for noticing…

    (And thank you for the name check…)

  3. Mike Jamison says:

    Good show! I’m still trying to wrap my brain around Deep Ones with dolphin characteristics. I really see the potential for scaring the crap out of a party, but only if you exclude the players who haven’t seen this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V0YEsrlACc0

    I look forward to reading the Wade story and your upcoming take on it.

    And never forget: “There’s only one solution for seventy-five foot nonconformist dolphin.”

    Thank you, Dyna-red.

  4. Steve Dempsey says:

    Sheldrake is not only around but he’s talking in London next week. It’s too late to get tickets (and probably prohibitive with the flights and all), but Paula is going so I’m expecting a report.

  5. Cambias says:

    Another great travel book is Engelbert Kaempfer’s History of Japan. Kaempfer was a German naturalist and physician who went out to Japan as a doctor for the Dutch East India Company in the 1680s, and he wrote a very chatty and informative book about pretty much everything he saw, did, ate, read, or heard along the way.

  6. Simon says:

    The ’80s marvel comic Strikeforce: Morituri (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strikeforce:_Morituri) experiments with random death of the main characters. The premise is the in order to fight off an alien invasion, humans are mutated into “superheroes” but the process will kill them…. soon.

    My recollection is hat when scripting issues the writers would throw darts at a dartboard with characters names to pick who dies next.

  7. Justin F says:

    Interestingly, if you rotate the coastline of ‘Antarctica’ on the Piri Reis map by about 90 degrees, it corresponds very well to the actual coastline of Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina. This part of South America is missing from the map, as is the waterway between Argentina and Antarctica. Now if we just apply Occam’s Razor…

  8. Terry says:

    Someone on the interweb tweeted that they’d like to get Ken Hite and Robert M. Price together in a room with a bottle of whiskey and record the conversation. Any chance of a “Ken and Robert Talk About Stuff” one-off special edition of KARTAS?

  9. Jeromy French says:

    I probably missed a couple. I had a toddler chatting about wanting to watch Curious George. She had to wait.

    Bibliography:

    William McNeil – Plagues and People.
    Graham Hancock – The Lords of Poverty: The Power, Prestige, and Corruption of the International Aid Business.
    Graham Hancock – Underworld: The Mysterious Origins of Civilization.
    Graham Hancock – Sign and the Seal: The Quest for the Lost Ark of the Covenant.
    Graham Hancock – Talisman: Gnostics, Freemasons, Revolutionaries, and the 2000-Year-Old Conspiracy at Work in the World Today.
    Charles Hapgood – Maps of the Ancient Sea Kings: Evidence of Advanced Civilization in the Ice Age .
    Lynn Picknett – The Stargate Conspiracy: The Truth about Extraterrestrial life and the Mysteries of Ancient Egypt.
    Alexander William Kinglake – Eothen.

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