PODCAST:

S4E11P – Preview Episode (2001: A Space Odyssey)

SUBJECT MATTER:

“2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)” by Arthur C. Clarke (book)

The classic science fiction novel that captures and expands on the vision of Stanley Kubrick’s immortal film—and changed the way we look at the stars and ourselves.

From the savannas of Africa at the dawn of mankind to the rings of Saturn as man ventures to the outer rim of our solar system, 2001: A Space Odyssey is a journey unlike any other.

This allegory about humanity’s exploration of the universe—and the universe’s reaction to humanity—is a hallmark achievement in storytelling that follows the crew of the spacecraft Discovery as they embark on a mission to Saturn. Their vessel is controlled by HAL 9000, an artificially intelligent supercomputer capable of the highest level of cognitive functioning that rivals—and perhaps threatens—the human mind.

Grappling with space exploration, the perils of technology, and the limits of human power, 2001: A Space Odyssey continues to be an enduring classic of cinematic scope. (from Amazon.com)

*** * ***

“2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)” by Stanley Kubrick (movie)

“The sci-fi masterpiece from acclaimed director Stanley Kubrick about a space voyage to Jupiter that turns chaotic when a computer enhanced with artificial intelligence takes over.” (from Amazon.com)

 

 

* DISCLAIMER: Please be advised that the views and opinions of the hosts and guests of NDIOS are completely their own and do not necessarily reflect the views and beliefs of the other hosts and guests or that of NDIOS.

PODCAST:

S4E10X – The Haunting of Hill House (series)*

SHOW NOTES:

Wherein we slink through the many rooms and scurry past the plethora of ghosts in this ten episode arc, which ambitiously devours and expands upon the underlying source material forever circling the shadow of the director’s authorial inspiration. Thrice, now, we charm a tale of haunted houses and the psychological toll they reap upon their entrants. This rare late return bonus episode is abided again by Amanda Andros (playwright: https://www.instagram.com/scribblergrll/) and Laura Valle (Major Horror community fansite: https://www.facebook.com/welovescary/).

Everyone ranked this series above the 1999 remake, but below the 1963 classic. Ryan appreciated the chances the director took and the way he was able to weave in clever easter eggs, nods, and callouts to the novel. For Amanda, the character development was superb and cleverly done. Laura agreed on this point and lauded the director for excelling in this trait, but also questioned if the spirit of the book was maintained. Many comparisons were made to Stephen King. The ending proved a more difficult pill to swallow and the change in tone was perplexing if not frustrating and we digressed long on that subject.

All in all, the show was enjoyed and the general consensus was that watching the characters develop over the series (especially the middle episodes) provided an enjoyable, though sometimes uneven, experience. Laura was quick to point out that despite her reservations on how things wrapped up, she would be curious to check out other efforts by this director whose previous work she enjoyed.

-Ryan

 

WRITTEN SERIES REVIEWS:

“The Haunting (1963)” by Robert Wise (Julie Harris) (movie)

Ryan: 4 Stars “…they were ambitious and I think for the most part they succeeded in doing something that, in general, kept with most of the spirit of the book and also…survived on its own and I like sometimes when director’s do take a chance and just do their own thing…and he didn’t completely ignore the source material…

Amanda: 3.75 Stars “…the character development is amazing…especially the female characters…and the relationships between the children both in their adult lives and as small children and the parents as well…the ending killed it for me I was just like this is so corny I can’t even see straight…

Laura:  3 Stars “….if I could rate each episode individually there are some that I would give…a five…so many like really truly creepy moments…I wanted to see more of that…I wish he’d been braver with making that ending actually a haunting disturbing ending…

 

FUN FACTOIDS:

Ryan mentioned listening to two podcast interviews with the director in preparing for this episode: Post Mortem with Mick Garris – https://audioboom.com/posts/7194291-mike-flanagan and Blumhouse: Shock Waves – http://podcast.blumhouse.com/shock-waves-episode-4-the-horrors-of-mike-flanagan.

During one of the interviews Mike Flanagan recalled watching Jim Henson‘s Fraggle Rock and in particular the Terrible Tunnel. You can watch this snippet of the Fraggle Storyteller muppet singing the song of the tale of the Terrible Tunnel here on YouTube:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p9iQMJTVsTs. To learn more about the Terrible Tunnel go to this muppet fandom wiki: https://muppet.fandom.com/wiki/Episode_108:_The_Terrible_Tunnel.

Laura talked about two articles that reflected on the ending of this series. One article, “Let’s Talk About The Ending OF The Haunting of Hill House,” written by Alissa Fikse for Syfy Wire contains an interview with the director where he talks about how he decided to change the ending: https://www.syfy.com/syfywire/lets-talk-about-the-ending-of-the-haunting-of-hill-house. The other article, “‘Haunting of Hill House’: Oliver Jackson-Cohen Points to Red Room Clue That Hints Crains Never Made It Out,” written by Jenifer Maas for The Wrap contains an interview with one of the actors who has an interesting take on some of the hidden or not so hidden symbology woven into the episodes: https://www.thewrap.com/haunting-of-hill-house-red-room-ending-luke-oliver-jackson-cohen/. For more fun hidden images check out this article, “The Haunting of Hill House: All the Hidden Ghosts You Missed,” written by Brian Tallerico for Vulture which talks about the hidden ghosts in the show : https://www.vulture.com/2018/10/the-haunting-of-hill-house-hidden-ghosts.html. Ryan brought up another podcast (Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy) that reviewed the series and mentioned actor Russ Tamblyn (who played “Luke” in the 1963 film) made a cameo appearance as the psychologist for Nell: https://geeksguideshow.com/2018/10/26/ggg333-the-haunting-of-hill-house-season-1/.

Lastly, the three of us all took a guess (when recorded this episode) on whether or not there would be a second season of this show due to its perceived success. We were only kinda right. Check out this article, “‘Haunting of Hill House’ Renewed as Anthology, Creators Ink Overall TV Deal at Netflix,” written by Joe Otterson for Variety that explains what’s next: https://variety.com/2019/tv/news/haunting-of-hill-house-renewed-netflix-1203144815/.

 

* DISCLAIMER: Please be advised that the views and opinions of the hosts and guests of NDIOS are completely their own and do not necessarily reflect the views and beliefs of the other hosts and guests or that of NDIOS.

PODCAST:

S4E10M – The Haunting (movie)*

SHOW NOTES:

Wherein we weigh the two filmic adaptations of this supernatural horror story by two journeymen directors with somewhat similar tutelage, both of whom were supported by talented and capable casts, but with diverging results: one held close to the book’s psychological leanings while the other, bolstered by advancements in special effects, reached for a more thrilling terror experience. Amanda Andros (playwright: https://www.instagram.com/scribblergrll/) and Laura Valle (Major Horror community fansite: https://www.facebook.com/welovescary/) join me again as we return twice more to this not sane haunted house (with yet another review to follow later). 

Our discussions were lengthy and centered mostly around the production aspects for both movies. Amanda brought up the auteur style of directing, and while we contrasted these movies with that directorial form, we also saw a great deal of effort put into these visual expressions of the story. Laura had seen the first movie before and felt it was just as enjoyable to re-watch, but she was sorely disappointed in the later version which she had hoped would simply be a fun ride if nothing else. Ryan agreed with the overall consensus of his guests that the earlier black and white film captured all too well the psychological horror present in the book, yet the later director’s background in action films seemed to lead this work too far away from what made the original story great: i.e. the delicate balance between the psychological and supernatural.

We had loads of fun delving deeply into the backgrounds of these two talented directors and the various thoughtful elements they incorporated into their films. Contrasting the results led to interesting talk about various competing theories which directors must choose or blend when they undertake to make a visual representation of a work of literature. In many ways, this episode exemplifies the core of what the podcast is about. 

So, ignore creaky doors, incorporeal mutterings, those strange wall scrawlings, and odd spots of temperature shift–lean in, listen, stream and thrall with podcast musings and scary delight!

-Ryan

 

WRITTEN MOVIE REVIEWS:

“The Haunting (1963)” by Robert Wise (Julie Harris) (movie)

Ryan: 5 Stars “…The 1963 Film is a cleverly undertook film that perfectly captures the essence of Jackson’s book while empathizing the more psychological aspects in just the right way so that something slightly different and sinisterly Beautiful is realized…

Amanda: 4 1/2 Stars “…The 63’ version was very Hitchcockian and Orson Wells with the camera angles, it was visually striking…it was a very close adaptation and visually enthralling as well as with the sounds and dialog…lot of internal monologuing in the 63’ version…

Laura:  5 Stars “…The 63’ version is a fairly faithful adaptation of the book that really…used a lot of fantastic camera work and sound…was really scary and effective…

*** * ***

“The Haunting (1999)” by Jan de Bont (Liam Neeson) (movie)

Ryan: 3 Stars “…while the 1999 remake attempts to pay tribute to the older cult classic but from a new angle by interjected thriller elements and choosing to focus on the supernatural elements which the previous film tended to avoid in a more grandiose way so that it tends to overshadow itself despite the heaps of talent involved…

Amanda: 1/2 Star “…which was also very captivating. The 99’ version is just a grotesque funhouse and distortion of the novel…it was not faithful to the vision of the novel…

Laura: 1 Star “…the 99’ version veered quite a bit from the original source material and was kind of a big mess of special effects and over the top…”  

 

FUN FACTOIDS:

On this episode we mentioned the real life hotel in England where some of the cast stayed and which served as the outside of Hill House for the 1963 movie. To learn more about the Eddington Park Hotel visit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ettington_Park_Hotel, or book a stay there: https://www.handpickedhotels.co.uk/ettingtonpark/#. Some of the strange experiences of the crew for that film reminded Amanda of the infamous curse alleged to afflict the cast and crew of the Poltergeist film series. Snopes did an article on this topic, “Is the ‘Poltergeist’ Curse Real?” which is found here:  https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/poltergeist-curse/.

The film school interview of director Jon de Bont mentioned by Ryan on the show took place at the New York Film Academy for the director’s release of his hit film “Twister,” and you can watch this here: https://youtu.be/CBuj1N-jVa0. Ryan also compared some of the over-the-top special effects in the 1999 movie to a typical concert by outrageous heavy metal rockers GWAR. You can watch the official music video from one of their original hit singles “Sick Of You” on the Metal Blade Records music channel on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dbnm-0r3suM.

Last, but certainly not least, we made much ado about the cameo appearance of incomparable actor Bruce Dern in the 1999 movie, which reminded Laura of his role in cult classic film “The Burbs” directed by former NDIOS subject director Joe Dante. Enjoy this short compilation clip of the actor in the aforementioned film aptly titled “The Burbs: Bruce Dern, Master of Physical Comedy” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vbQbflIH8E8.

 

* DISCLAIMER: Please be advised that the views and opinions of the hosts and guests of NDIOS are completely their own and do not necessarily reflect the views and beliefs of the other hosts and guests or that of NDIOS.

PODCAST:

S4E10B – The Haunting of Hill House (book)*

SHOW NOTES:

Wherein we dance through the gray miasma blurring the boundary between psychological and supernatural horror. I am pleased to be accompanied by two previous guests who bring with them an enthusiasm befitting this eye-opening peer into the gothic terror of one of literature’s paramount tales on the classic haunted house archetype. Joining me this trip are Amanda Andros (playwright: https://www.instagram.com/scribblergrrrl/) and Laura Valle (Major Horror community fansite: https://www.facebook.com/welovescary/).

Our trio was equally fascinated by the storied background of the author, which entailed a deservedly lengthy biographical overview. She was someone we were all vaguely familiar with due to her epic success in the short story world due to a piece permanently burned into the American literary canon: The Lottery. In preparing for the podcast, Laura and Amanda were both inspired to earmark other works by this author as well as a fairly recent biography of her life. Her personal tale was found to be just as up and down as that of the protagonist in her book.

All three of us felt the sparse style of writing was able to capture the mood and compliment the plot quite well. Laura noted the isolation of the protagonist who was desperately trying to fit in and compared the detailed insight akin to the style utilized by Stephen King (though she found this author’s ability to wrap things up a much tidier affair). Amanda compared the writing to Flannery O’Connor in that the dark parts came sudden, sharp, and abrupt. Ryan appreciated the false climax that led up to a much more original and powerful ending. 

Please enjoy this exuberant review of a well-respected, but sometimes overlooked important author and one of her crowning achievements.

-Ryan

 

WRITTEN BOOK REVIEWS:

“The Haunting of Hill House (1959)” by Shirley Jackson (book)

Ryan: 5 Stars “…A place of nuanced genius where psychological suspense meets the supernatural, highlighting the lulls of reality in which we deceive ourselves while we all slowly tilt toward an inevitable yet unpredictable whizz-bang ending!…

Amanda: 5 Stars “…The embodiment of psychological darkness…a manifestation of horror in a physical sense…

Laura: 5 Stars “…What’s so haunting…is the sort of like devastating character study of the protagonist, and just sort of watching this…ascent into hopefulness, and then like crashing descent to hopelessness…

(Click the links to read full written reviews on Goodreads.com)

 

FUN FACTOIDS:

Although not read by us prior to the recording of the podcast, we checked out an interview of Ruth Franklin who wrote a biography on the author that was published in 2016: Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life. The interview of the biographer for “BBC Books and Authors” was on the episode “A look back at the year and the work of Shirley Jackson”(https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0856lt1). We also listened to the fourth season review “Shirley Jackson: Her Life & Her Stories” on the podcast “Good Mourning, Nancy” (https://goodmourningnancy.com/season-four/), which was very enjoyable and informative. You can learn more about Shirley Jackson by visiting this website http://shirleyjackson.org/. To check out the award established in her name “for outstanding achievement in the literature of horror, the dark fantastic, and psychological suspense” visit: https://www.shirleyjacksonawards.org/.

Shirley is probably most famous for her short story “The Lottery,” which was first published in 1948 by the New Yorker magazine (read it on their website here: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/1948/06/26/the-lottery). The first visual adaptation of this story was made for Encyclopædia Britannica’s ‘Short Story Showcase’ series and featured the film debut of a young Ed Begley, Jr.. You can watch this 1969 short film here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vQQoMCaUz5Y. Ryan talked about the rumors that Jackson wrote this work in a fit of passion, which reminded him of a similar tale about the subject-fitting song “Paranoid” by metal legends and originators Black Sabbath. Check out their eerie and trippy original music video for this song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hkXHsK4AQPs.

Like a lot of authors, Shirley Jackson, was inspired by the real world when she created her stories. We mentioned the disappearance of Paula Jean Welden, which resulted in her book Hangsaman. Ryan also brought up two places that directly inspired elements of this book. For more on the Borley Rectory of England check out episode 87 of the “13 O’Clock” podcast (https://goddessofhellfire.com/2018/04/17/13-oclock-episode-87-borley-rectory-plus-keith-linder-haunting/) and an article in “The Observer” by Amelia Hill called: Hoaxer’s confession lays the famed ghosts of Borley (https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2000/dec/31/books.booksnews). For more about Glamis Castle of Scotland check out episode 103 on the “History Goes Bump” podcast (http://historygoesbump.libsyn.com/ep-103-glamis-castle). 

During our show we talked about the author inserting a humorous scene with the Doctor’s boorish wife and her sycophant helper, the former who unsuccessfully used automatic writing via a planchette (this website has some good depictions of the device: https://museumoftalkingboards.com/planchet.html) to summon the spirits of Hill House. These characters reminded us the character “Otho” played by Glenn Shadix in the cult classic film: Beetlejuice. You can enjoy YouTube snippets of the actor’s performance in the movie here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D0Lgti4p3-k, as well as his work in the famous ghostly inspired dinner dance sequence here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dzSP-J90tqA.

Lastly, here is the Instagram post mentioned by Ryan depicting acorns, which he felt indicative of the moods in the novel:

* DISCLAIMER: Please be advised that the views and opinions of the hosts and guests of NDIOS are completely their own and do not necessarily reflect the views and beliefs of the other hosts and guests or that of NDIOS.

PODCAST:

S4E10P – Preview Episode (The Haunting)*

SUBJECT MATTER:

“The Haunting of Hill House (1959)” by Shirley Jackson (book)

“First published in 1959, Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House has been hailed as a perfect work of unnerving terror. It is the story of four seekers who arrive at a notoriously unfriendly pile called Hill House: Dr. Montague, an occult scholar looking for solid evidence of a “haunting”; Theodora, his lighthearted assistant; Eleanor, a friendless, fragile young woman well acquainted with poltergeists; and Luke, the future heir of Hill House. At first, their stay seems destined to be merely a spooky encounter with inexplicable phenomena. But Hill House is gathering its powers—and soon it will choose one of them to make its own.” (from Amazon.com)

*** * ***

“The Haunting (1963)” by Robert Wise (Julie Harris) (movie)

“A group is introduced to the supernatural through a 90-yearold New England haunted house. Be prepared for hair-raising results in this classic horror film!” (from Amazon.com)

 

 

*** * ***

“The Haunting (1999)” by Jan de Bont (Liam Neeson) (movie)

“In the 1860’s, industrialist Hugh Crain financed the construction of Hill House, a beautiful but forbidding mansion where Crain hoped to house a wife and children. However, Crain died an unexplained death at Hill House, and ever since tales have circulated that the mansion is haunted by evil spirits. 130 years later, Dr. David Marrow (Liam Neeson), long fascinated by the Hill House legend, brings three people there for what he tells them will be a study in sleep disorders.” (from Amazon.com)

 

*** * ***

“The Haunting of Hill House (2018)” by Mike Flanagan (Kate Siegel) (netflix series) ++bonus follow up++

“Flashing between past and present, a fractured family confronts haunting memories of their old home and the terrifying events that drove them from it.” (from Netflix.com)

 

 

* DISCLAIMER: Please be advised that the views and opinions of the hosts and guests of NDIOS are completely their own and do not necessarily reflect the views and beliefs of the other hosts and guests or that of NDIOS.

PODCAST:

S4E9M – The Last Unicorn (movie)*

SHOW NOTES:

Wherein we visit and revisit this cult classic animated film directed by an iconic duo of americana animation (cultivated mainly in Japan), featuring a star-studded cast of voice talent, and spots of dated folksy music with vocals by members of the band “America.” Kaelin O’Reilly, a book reviewer (Kaelin Reads YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3r-oumDi_CsMoFH4-vTqSA) joins me again as we cover this important 80’s esque cartoon fairytale, that as of yet, doesn’t have anything to do with the Disney company.

We both enjoyed delving into the history of these directors and recounting their many and varied forays into animation which peppered our respective childhoods. The attention to detail that was paid to creating unique characters impressed us and contributed to making their efforts memorable along with the voice talent which was well cast. 

Neither of us were over the moon about the music and felt that the songs were done well enough to carry the movie, but lacked something that might have launched this film into the big leagues of all time classics (Kaelin, in particular, felt that sometimes these were done off-key). The book was preferred by both, but Kaelin expressed favorite parts in each while Ryan noted that the author, who served as the screenwriter, took out some noted bits of the book that had felt unnecessary without losing anything of the narrative. 

While Kaelin felt the movie was slow at times, overall she enjoyed the nostalgic revisit to this cartoon style. For Ryan this brought him back to the directors’ soulful versions of the Tolkien cannon which was equally nostalgic for him.

Enjoy this sometimes overlooked fantasy fairy tale of old school animation!

-Ryan

 

WRITTEN BOOK REVIEWS:

“The Last Unicorn (1982)” by Arthur Rankin Jr. and Jules Bass (Mia Farrow) (animated film) 

Ryan: 3 Stars “…A folksy take on an american fantasy classic, which manages to capture the tone of the original work. Bonus: includes an all-star cast of voice talent who all seem to get it…

Kaelin: 3 1/2 Stars “…Fun and whimsical film that sticks closely to the novel, features many recognizable voices and good humor and adventure. The songs are cheesy and the singers off-key, but the animation is great…

 

FUN FACTOIDS:

During the episode we talked about Rick Goldschmidt who is dedicated to preserving the legacy of Arthur Rankin, Jr. and Jules Bass. Here is an audio interview with the historian on YouTube: https://youtu.be/PsdwZk2uNRo. He has also established and collaborates on websites that sell collectibles from the beloved films which these two directors made their mark. There is http://miserbros.com/ which is “Home of merchandise related to the Animagic of RANKIN/BASS,” and also http://www.rankinbass.com/ which is “The Enchanted World of Rankin/Bass: Preserving the history of Rankin/Bass Productions.”

Ryan also mentioned a video interview of Arthur Rankin, Jr. at the Museum of Television & Radio in 2003 hosted on the Miser Bros Press YouTube Channel which can be see here: 

 

We also briefly talked about the actor and comedian, Brother Theodore, who did the voice of Ruhk (Mommy Fortuna’s assistant and carnival barker) in the movie. Ryan recognized the voice and noted the he also played the infamous character Gollum in Rankin/Bass Productions foray into J.R.R Tolkien‘s world of Middle-earth for both “The Hobbit” and “The Return of the King.

Kaelin mentioned that he was a character in the 1989 comedy horror film “The ‘Burbs” which was directed by previously covered director Joe Dante and starred Tom Hanks, Bruce Dern, and Carrie Fisher (among others). Here is an article by M.V. Moorhead for Topless Robot recounting some of Brother Theodore’s more memorable moments with video clips: https://www.toplessrobot.com/2013/10/top_ten_coolest_manifestations_of_brother_theodore.php. Below is the clip from “The ‘Burbs”:

 

* DISCLAIMER: Please be advised that the views and opinions of the hosts and guests of NDIOS are completely their own and do not necessarily reflect the views and beliefs of the other hosts and guests or that of NDIOS.

PODCAST:

S4E9B – The Last Unicorn (book)*

SHOW NOTES:

Wherein we discuss a beloved classic of american fantasy literature as well as some unfortunate and lengthy legal travails undertaken by its author. I am joined again by my cousin, Kaelin O’Reilly, a book reviewer (Kaelin Reads YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3r-oumDi_CsMoFH4-vTqSA) for her second appearance on the podcast. This is our first recorded duo episode for NDIOS, but the second to be released (podcast time doesn’t adhere to the normal rules of the space time continuum). 

Both of us enjoyed the author’s noted lyrical quality of prose and appreciated the depth of dimension found in the main and secondary characters. The bumbling well intentioned wizard was a favorite. Kaelin brought out some quotes demonstrating the author’s writing as well as his skill in light-touch worldbuilding. He manages to create a secondary world that hints at our own but is very much different with an effective brand of low-magic based in wonder, and absurdist humor that is contrasted by real world consequence. 

After an utterly epic book synopsis that went on far too long, Ryan noted that the ending was particularly unique and powerful and Kaelin identified aspects of feminism coming through. Ryan admitted to be influenced by the highly esteemed praise and love for this piece of literature, but found that there was simply nothing else he wanted from it that might cause it to fall short of a perfect rating. Kaelin said that the more she discussed the story the more she discovered new layers of meaning to enjoy, which pushed her rating higher than it was at the start of the show (an occurrence not so uncommon on NDIOS). 

All around a good book discussion was had by all.**

-Ryan

**CORRECTION: During the podcast Ryan incorrectly stated that Peter S. Beagle wrote the screenplay for the 1978 animated film “The Hobbit,” and possibly the 1980 animated film “The Return of the King,” which were both directed by Arthur Rankin, Jr. and Jules Bass. The screenwriter for both of those films is credited as Romeo Muller who also worked on other famous screenplays for the duo directors. Kaelin had it right when she stated that Peter S. Beagle worked on the screenplay for the 1978 animated movie “The Lord of the Rings,” which was directed by Ralph Bakshi. In actuality, Beagle is given co-writing credit on that screenplay with Chris Conkling who is named first. (Updated 9/17/19)

 

WRITTEN BOOK REVIEWS:

“The Last Unicorn (1968)” by Peter S. Beagle (book) 

Ryan: 5 Stars “…Magical prose that flows in lyrical quality and somber notes in deft creation of a profound myth that is familiar and yet completely unique. Hope and regret and joy and sadness–a complete and wondrous tale…

Kaelin: 3.75 Stars “…it’s filled with pretty round characters that are interesting and very different, and it’s an adventure story but it also has a really good touch of humor in it as well…a really good fantasy fairy tale…

(Click the links to read full written reviews on Goodreads.com)

 

FUN FACTOIDS:

During the episode Ryan and Kaelin briefly mentioned working together on a short comedic film called “Shut-Eye” written and directed by her brother and past NDIOS guest Mike O’Reilly which is available on Mike’s YouTube Channel and can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FxzJP1cjrjk. Kaelin has her own BookTube channel there where she has done some video blogs on books she has read: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3r-oumDi_CsMoFH4-vTqSA. She is currently more active with her bookish interests on Goodreads here: https://www.goodreads.com/KaelinO.

The author for this book has influenced many other authors over the years including fantasy writer Patrick Rothfuss (The Kingkiller Chronicle) who interviewed Peter S. Beagle at the 2018 SFWA Nebula Award conference. That interview is available here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=shesTIgpibc. On the podcast we discussed how this author wrote screenplays including co-writing the uniquely animated and story-stunted version of “The Lord of the Rings” released in 1978 and directed by Ralph Bakshi. On a side note, Peter S. Beagle’s absurdist humor and playful nod at classic fantasy and fairy tale tropes in this work reminded Ryan of Harvard Lampoon‘s parody effort at LOTR called: Bored of the Rings.

During the bio portion of the Podcast the author’s various legal struggles were talked about. There are a few websites tracking this over various blog posts including a Snopes article which were used for research. These can be found here:

 

We also stated that over the years the author has either wrote more tales set in the same universe as this story or about the subject of unicorns. There are at least two which can be found free online. If you want to read these check out the story “Two Hearts” which acts as a Coda to this book at: http://www.peterbeagle.com/works/shorts/two_hearts.htm; and a story about the bumbling wizard, Shmendrick, that was featured in Fantasy Magazine called “The Woman Who Married the Moon” here: http://www.fantasy-magazine.com/new/new-fiction/the-woman-who-married-the-man-in-the-moon/. Two more stories about the wizard (The Green-Eyed Boy” and Schmendrick Alone”) and three stories about different kinds of unicorns (Chinese in “The Story of Kao Yu,” Persian in “My Son Heydari and the Karkadann,” and North American in “Olfert Dapper’s Day”) unrelated to this narrative are collected in the author’s anthology “The Overneath,” which was reviewed by Gary K. Wolfe for science fiction industry magazine “Locus” here: https://locusmag.com/2018/01/gary-k-wolfe-reviews-the-overneath-by-peter-s-beagle/. In addition to these, we talked about the early manuscript version of this novel which was released at least a couple times in special editions with commentary from the author as “The Last Unicorn The Lost Version” or “The Last Unicorn The Lost Journey“.

Lastly, both Ryan and Kaelin mentioned being fans of the bumbling wizard character in the book. Ryan compared him to the likable and often perplexed superhero protagonist of the 1980’s science fiction comedy/drama series “The Greatest American Hero.” Watch the opening of that show to get a quick sense of how the two would compare:

 

* DISCLAIMER: Please be advised that the views and opinions of the hosts and guests of NDIOS are completely their own and do not necessarily reflect the views and beliefs of the other hosts and guests or that of NDIOS.