MUP 20 - Bumps in the Night With A.S.G.

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Keeper Jon
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Re: MUP 20 - Bumps in the Night With A.S.G.

Post by Keeper Jon » Wed Dec 12, 2012 9:26 pm

Also, my appologies for having to bow-out of the show. I'm not present for the last hour of the show. We had a minor emergency in the house, (very minor... one in which I doubt I needed to attend), so my presence was requested to handle it. Uhg.

I am a huge fan of Scott Glancy's. I have all of the Role Play Public Radio actual plays that he is featured as the Keeper saved on my iPod. Every now and then, if the host of shows I listen to are light on new content, then I usually fall-back and relisten to one of Scott's RPPR shows. Love 'em!

Thanks again for being on the show, Scott. :fhtagn:

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Re: MUP 20 - Bumps in the Night With A.S.G.

Post by Eibon » Fri Dec 14, 2012 1:47 pm

A great discussion with Adam Scott Glancy. Much of what he said was familiar and rang true to me. While I've never been a big Delta Green player (although I brought the books) Pagan have always produced intelligent and thought-provoking games.

He did get one thing definitely wrong though: L. Sprague de Camp! He said that de Camp rescued Howard from obscurity and drew paralells with Derleth's championing of Lovecraft. But Gnome Press, the small press that first issued the Conan books, had already published The Hour of the Dragon (as Conan the Conqueror) prior to de Camp becoming involved in the series. It was on the back of it's success that Martin Greenberg brought in de Camp as a hired hand to edit the series and modify some non-Conan stories to become Conan stories (I believe that the Otis Adelbert Kline Literary Agency suggested doing this, as they had had some success placing Howard's comical westerns when they were re-written to change the hero from Buckner Grimes and Pike Bearfield to Breckenridge Elkins, a more popular series character). And, of course, Arkham House had already issued Skull-Face and Others. If anyone deserves credit for getting Conan back in print it's Greenberg! De Camp almost at once started kicking up a fuss, demanding more money and implying that the stories were out of copyright (due to Weird Tales letting the rights lapse). You can read more about de Camp's actual actively in "The De Camp Controversy" by Morgan Holmes (http://theblogthattimeforgot.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/de-camp-controversy-essential-reading.html has links to all the posts).

The looser format was a nice change, although I wouldn't want it every time.

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Re: MUP 20 - Bumps in the Night With A.S.G.

Post by Keeper Jon » Fri Dec 14, 2012 4:00 pm

Eibon wrote:A great discussion with Adam Scott Glancy. Much of what he said was familiar and rang true to me. While I've never been a big Delta Green player (although I brought the books) Pagan have always produced intelligent and thought-provoking games.

He did get one thing definitely wrong though: L. Sprague de Camp! He said that de Camp rescued Howard from obscurity and drew paralells with Derleth's championing of Lovecraft. But Gnome Press, the small press that first issued the Conan books, had already published The Hour of the Dragon (as Conan the Conqueror) prior to de Camp becoming involved in the series. It was on the back of it's success that Martin Greenberg brought in de Camp as a hired hand to edit the series and modify some non-Conan stories to become Conan stories (I believe that the Otis Adelbert Kline Literary Agency suggested doing this, as they had had some success placing Howard's comical westerns when they were re-written to change the hero from Buckner Grimes and Pike Bearfield to Breckenridge Elkins, a more popular series character). And, of course, Arkham House had already issued Skull-Face and Others. If anyone deserves credit for getting Conan back in print it's Greenberg! De Camp almost at once started kicking up a fuss, demanding more money and implying that the stories were out of copyright (due to Weird Tales letting the rights lapse). You can read more about de Camp's actual actively in "The De Camp Controversy" by Morgan Holmes (http://theblogthattimeforgot.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/de-camp-controversy-essential-reading.html has links to all the posts).

The looser format was a nice change, although I wouldn't want it every time.


Excellent info, Eibon. I'm also a big Robert E. Howard fan, and I greatly appreciate the link above. I'm very glad you are a member here on the forum. I love networking with folks as I try to expand my geek culture knowledge. Thanks man.

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Re: MUP 20 - Bumps in the Night With A.S.G.

Post by Dr. Gerard » Sun Dec 16, 2012 8:15 pm

Eibon wrote:A great discussion with Adam Scott Glancy. Much of what he said was familiar and rang true to me. While I've never been a big Delta Green player (although I brought the books) Pagan have always produced intelligent and thought-provoking games.

He did get one thing definitely wrong though: L. Sprague de Camp! He said that de Camp rescued Howard from obscurity and drew paralells with Derleth's championing of Lovecraft. But Gnome Press, the small press that first issued the Conan books, had already published The Hour of the Dragon (as Conan the Conqueror) prior to de Camp becoming involved in the series. It was on the back of it's success that Martin Greenberg brought in de Camp as a hired hand to edit the series and modify some non-Conan stories to become Conan stories (I believe that the Otis Adelbert Kline Literary Agency suggested doing this, as they had had some success placing Howard's comical westerns when they were re-written to change the hero from Buckner Grimes and Pike Bearfield to Breckenridge Elkins, a more popular series character). And, of course, Arkham House had already issued Skull-Face and Others. If anyone deserves credit for getting Conan back in print it's Greenberg! De Camp almost at once started kicking up a fuss, demanding more money and implying that the stories were out of copyright (due to Weird Tales letting the rights lapse). You can read more about de Camp's actual actively in "The De Camp Controversy" by Morgan Holmes (http://theblogthattimeforgot.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/de-camp-controversy-essential-reading.html has links to all the posts).

The looser format was a nice change, although I wouldn't want it every time.


I second what Jon said about having your contributions on here, Eibon. Great to have your literate, veteran perspective.

I think, to be fair, that ASG's main point in bringing up de Camp was actually to say that Derleth gets flack for being a bad foster parent for Lovecraft's work, but at least he didn't butcher the fiction like de Camp did to REH. I thought he was pretty harsh on de Camp, deservedly. I hadn't known that Novalyne Price Ellis's memoir was a response to de Camp's self-flattering bio of REH. Hilarious.
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Re: MUP 20 - Bumps in the Night With A.S.G.

Post by Eibon » Mon Dec 17, 2012 12:11 pm

Dr. Gerard wrote:I think, to be fair, that ASG's main point in bringing up de Camp was actually to say that Derleth gets flack for being a bad foster parent for Lovecraft's work, but at least he didn't butcher the fiction like de Camp did to REH. I thought he was pretty harsh on de Camp, deservedly. I hadn't known that Novalyne Price Ellis's memoir was a response to de Camp's self-flattering bio of REH. Hilarious.


Yes, you're right. That was his main point. But I thought it worth correcting what was a casual aside, because it's those things that prolong misconceptions.

Derleth does get attacked, and there's a case in both directions. Derleth did devote a lot of time to promoting Lovecraft and pushing book deals that would keep Lovecraft in print. On the downside he did try to pass off some of his own Mythos writing as "by H. P. Lovecraft", with the result that some careless critics were put off Lovecraft by Derleth stories. He did claim some form of copyright over the Mythos and blocked fan fiction which was not helpful. On the other hand, he did develop new young writers he liked, such as Ramsey Campbell and Garry Myers. And, as said, he didn't tamper seriously with Lovecraft's texts (just made transcription errors due to Lovecraft's famously bad handwriting).

De Camp seems to be in the same position, until you get passed his version of events and then you find that his actions are much more self-serving than Derleth's (who was also looking after number one). De Camp is heavily editing and inserting his own material to claim copyright over the whole Conan property. His version of Howard as a paranoid, oedipal, schizophrenic, man-child is at best unsympathetic (to be fair, he's building on comments made by E. Hoffmann Price, who spent a couple of days with Howard). Harold Preece, a Texan friend of Howard's, who knew him for some years, objected to de Camp's depiction and believed that de Camp disliked Texas as a place and its people. I don't know on what he based that opinion, but it's an interesting one in light of de Camp's Howard biography. Perhaps de Camp's biggest "crime" was stopping Baen Books for issuing a Conan volume in their series of Howard paperbacks in the 1990s. When the supposed "champion" of a writer is actively keeping his works out of print something has gone very wrong! The irony, which I think de Camp was aware of, is that Howard's name will survive much longer than de Camp's, for all his efforts to hijack it!

I think Derleth can be praised as a publisher and editor. L. Sprague de Camp, however, must stand on the reputation of his own fiction -- his adventures with Howard's legacy are rarely commendable.

Anyway, this is straying away from Cthulhu role playing. So let me say that I'm actually in agreement with ASG over Derleth. While he's not a good writer he had as much right to contribute to the growth of the Mythos as any of the other friends of Lovecraft, and even his silliest contribution can be reworked into something more interesting. Where would CoC be without Elder Signs? Also, people should remember that the Mythos is not one consistent mythology, but a series of interconnected, and often conflicting, myths. So a Christian monk like Clithanus might cast the Mythos as a conflict between good Elder Gods and bad Old Ones and write that in his book, but it doesn't mean it's true. Evidence suggests that the Elder Gods are not nice, while Dr Shrewsbury uses Hastur, an Old One, in his fight against Cthulhu, anther Old One. Again, the idea that the Old Ones correspond to the Elements (Fire, Earth, Water, Air) is a human concept imposed on alien gods. Clearly it doesn't work, but that doesn't mean it needs "throwing out", just understanding as the patina of a mythology.

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Re: MUP 20 - Bumps in the Night With A.S.G.

Post by Dr. Gerard » Tue Dec 18, 2012 3:21 am

Eibon wrote:Yes, you're right. That was his main point. But I thought it worth correcting what was a casual aside, because it's those things that prolong misconceptions.


Agreed. Nothing wrong with more context -- especially some scholarly background. Very thoughtful stuff about Derleth's elemental and good/bad varnish on the Mythos. It's almost as though he made his SAN check and thus was able to suppress the cold cosmic dread behind it all. Do you have any good recommendations for non-fic about the publishing side of pulp lit?

Dude, I wish you had a podcast.
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Re: MUP 20 - Bumps in the Night With A.S.G.

Post by Eibon » Tue Dec 18, 2012 1:04 pm

Dr. Gerard wrote:Do you have any good recommendations for non-fic about the publishing side of pulp lit?

Dude, I wish you had a podcast.

You've caught me a bit on the hop, there. I'm not sure there's a single definitive book. I've just picked up information from all sorts of sources over the years. I would recommend anything by Mike Ashley (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mike_Ashley_%28writer%29) -- he's one of the best Sci-Fi historians. A lot of his stuff is intros to anthologies. In the 70s he did a series of anthologies under the "History of the Science Fiction Magazine" banner which had a lot of background information, I believe they've been re-issued as the "The Story of the Science Fiction Magazine" without the stories. He also wrote a biography of Algernon Blackwood.

Sam Moskowitz's Under the Moons of Mars (1970) is a classic in a similar vein. There is a copy at Archive.org, although I'm not sure of it's copyright status (http://archive.org/details/UnderTheMoonsOfMars_768).

John Clute's weighty encycolpedias, The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (1979, with Peter Nicholls) and of The Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997, with John Grant) are good solid reference works with cover some publishers (later, revised editions exist).

Works like the Joshi edited Sixty Years of Arkham House gives lots of tit-bits on Arkham House and other small presses of the period.

A lot of the rest are assorted articles from fanzines, books collections, these days blogs and web sites, and sometimes magazines (Savage Sword of Conan published an early article on Gnome Press!). It's that thing were you find out about Farnsworth Wright or John W. Campbell as editors by the comments writers make about them.

As an aside, people looking for a good Robert E. Howard biography should definitely try Blood and Thunder by Mark Finn.

As for a podcast: I don't know. If I can think of a Unique Selling Point and a don't sound too awful, then it's something I'd consider. The obvious thing would be an REH podcast... as the other two are covered.

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Re: MUP 20 - Bumps in the Night With A.S.G.

Post by Dr. Gerard » Tue Dec 18, 2012 2:18 pm

Excellent bibliography, thanks. Would you consider recording a review for the show?
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Re: MUP 20 - Bumps in the Night With A.S.G.

Post by Keeper Jon » Tue Dec 18, 2012 4:27 pm

Eibon wrote:As an aside, people looking for a good Robert E. Howard biography should definitely try Blood and Thunder by Mark Finn.


Well, it looks like this is a rare out-of-print book, but a used paperback edition isn't too horrible. I'll be ordering this someday soon.

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Re: MUP 20 - Bumps in the Night With A.S.G.

Post by Dr. Gerard » Tue Dec 18, 2012 6:03 pm

Keeper Jon wrote:
Eibon wrote:As an aside, people looking for a good Robert E. Howard biography should definitely try Blood and Thunder by Mark Finn.


Well, it looks like this is a rare out-of-print book, but a used paperback edition isn't too horrible. I'll be ordering this someday soon.

Nice! You know, for future show topics, REH would be really fun to cover -- but from a game perspective. We've done a pulp show already, but dialing into the flavor of a particular author would be a blast.


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