Abraham Lincoln

Episode 81: If I Were an Otter

March 21st, 2014 | Robin

In the Cartography Hut we set out techniques to add a dose of psychogeography to the map of your imaginary city.

The Gaming Hut looks at the elasticity of vampire mythology, as inspired by Ken’s golden steampunk vampires of El Dorado, as seen in Fenix magazine.

How to Write Good confronts the pesky threat of word clusters, and how to avoid using the same word twice in one…dammit!

Consulting Occultist meets Tradecraft Hut as, at the request of listener Johnstone Metzger, we examine the work and shocking demise of mythological studies scholar and Romanian dissident Ioan Culianu.

Once again Fenix Magazine occupies our coveted anchor sponsor slot. After ten years delighting the Swedish gaming scene, they’re now bringing the Best of Fenix to English-language GMs and players with their now-active Indiegogo campaign.  This project so resounds with Hitean goodness that you have surely chipped in already. But if you haven’t, that burning bird of prey is still passing the hat.



It’s yo ho ho and a pocketful of doubloons as Atlas Games serves up another special deal for Ken and Robin listeners, this time in the form of their innovative game of piratical sea battles, Pieces of Eight.



That rumble in your molars heralds the thundering approach of the Open Metalcast Podcast, joining us as sponsor in a crescendo of aural extremity!


8 Responses to “Episode 81: If I Were an Otter”

  1. (BTW: The track playing behind the Open Metalcast bit is Cloudkicker: “Here, wait a minute! Damn it!” off the album Beacons (CC-BY))

  2. Michael Cule says:

    On the topic of anachronistic words, I begin to despair I really do. I used to have this rant about American authors trying to do Victorian British dialogue and not having a clue about vocabulary or the differences in tone between the classes: you wouldn’t believe what some people think Queen Victoria would have sounded like.

    But then I encountered a British author writing a police procedural set a year after the Ripper murders who has an Inspector talk about “giving some closure to the families of the victims”!

    This implies cluelessness not only in the writer but also in the editor and everyone else at the publishing house. The blind leading the blind.

    Oh, and on breasts (especially in 80s SF) I have one word to say which is: SPUNG!

  3. GB Steve says:

    The smell of pre-chewed Doritos is the smell of Boston for me. Specifically whale-watching with a bunch of hyperactive snacking teens.

  4. Paul S says:

    Love the podcast. Not a comment on this episode, rather I just wanted to suggest the following topics for future episodes:
    – The ringwoodite “diamond”, and the eliptonic & RPG possibilities of a vast subterranean ocean;
    – True Detective, with side trips into the King in Yellow, Ligotti & other weird fiction influences, and “what it all means” in light of the (unsatisfying to many) ending;
    – Finally, you will need to talk about MH370 at some point, but it might be in poor taste to do so just yet.

  5. RogerBW says:

    I suspect that part of the elasticity of the vampire myth may be that one can define it very broadly: anything associated with people wasting away, or with blood drinking, or with sex that someone disapproves of (i.e. any sex), can be tied into the general ethos and called “vampiric”.

    The Malaysian Penanggal for example gets considered a vampire variant even though, once you look at the legends, it’s pretty clear that sociologically it’s much closer to the European witch-panic, a means of attacking inconvenient women.

    • Tom says:

      Funnily enough, the penanggalan* was exactly what I started thinking of during that segment.
      While searching the house, clue number 1 is “why does this bathroom smell strongly of vinegar?”

      *Confusingly also the Indonesian word for ‘calendar’.

  6. Markus Widmer (@wienna) says:

    Gentlemen, let it be noted that it is a joy to listen to your juggling ideas on psychogeographic world-building. Incredibly inspiring stuff.

    I find myself living in the former capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, which tends to be a place filled to the brim with psychogeography. And we love our dead and our undead. I would even propose that Austria itself is psychogeographically undead.

  7. Phil Masters says:

    (Duplicating something I sent to slightly the wrong place – sorry about that…)

    A request for Time Incorporated crossed my mind. Could they perhaps assign Ken to try and preserve Andalucian civilisation in some form, preferably at its tolerant best? I suppose it would be preferable not to do too much damage to western Europe in general and even Christian Spain in particular in the process, but if the plan involves hamstringing or even deleting a few centuries of Most Catholic Monarchs, I for one won’t shed any tears.

    And I’m sorry if this means sending you to a deal with people who don’t drink.

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