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R & R in Lovecraft Country
39 minutes | Oct 20, 2020
Episode 10: Well, That Was an Episode Alright
Well, that surely was an episode. We do our best to reflect on the season as a whole and consider why some of these decisions might've been made. We try to identify a few of the things that we felt were missing to have made it work. And how do we feel about where the characters are now? It depends. We've still got some transcripts to finish, but will be on hiatus otherwise for the foreseeable future. Ruth: If you're missing Lovecraft Country, we encourage you to check out the IGNYTE awards finalists list for tons of new worlds to explore. The awards are sponsored by FIYAHCon, for BIPOC+ in speculative fiction, to “celebrate the vibrancy and diversity of the current and future landscapes of science fiction, fantasy, and horror." The awards include novels, novellas, short stories, young adult, comics, anthologies, podcasts and more. It includes some of my favorite reading of the last year, plus plenty of stuff for my to-read and listen lists! Intro music from "The Ninth Crewman" by Patrick de Arteaga. Outro music "In the Pines" performed by Micah Tillman.
44 minutes | Oct 14, 2020
Episode 9: Coming Full Circle in Tulsa
Content note: This week we'll be talking about the episode which takes place during the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921. We primarily discuss family relationships and plot threads and how they connect to this week's events. Rather than do a media break, we'd recommend our fellow white listeners spend some time learning how widespread such massacres were and spend time reflecting on the knowledge, connection, sense of home, and lives taken. There is also a technical issue in this episode. Rachel was using a very old microphone which began giving out during the episode. Ruth did her best to salvage it for the episode, but next week should be better. Intro music from "The Ninth Crewman" by Patrick de Arteaga. Outro music "In the Pines" performed by Micah Tillman.
41 minutes | Oct 7, 2020
Episode 8: Haunted by White Imagination
In one of the most terrifying episodes yet, Dee is left on her own to face down police violence, evil magic, and two monstrous creatures dreamed up by white imagination. And let's not forget the trauma of her mother's disappearance and the murders of her father and good friend. She began the series as a little girl with a beautiful Afrofuturist vision and we don't want her to lose that—but as Montrose says, they keep taking. All the adults, except Montrose, are caught up in making devil's bargains with Christina. Montrose really tries to come through for Dee, but it's not what she needs. On that note, the Harvard Gazette recently published a story on the financial fallout of the Tulsa massacre. Nor was that the only one. The authors mention that every lynching was a reminder the entire community that personal security, freedom to work and innovate, could be taken away at any moment. It's true and also so much more, which we see in the devastation Montrose carries. While the shoggoth who never skips leg day can't fix things, it evens the score a little bit in this episode. Ruth: While we shouted-out Chris Spivey's work in one of our earliest media breaks, I want to talk about the Harlem Unbound RPG setting again in light of this week's episode. Like our protagonists, you may cast dangerous spells, carry curses, and fight monsters who just happen to be the police—you'd be lucky to get a Lovecraftian monster on your side, and by lucky I mean it would come with a dangerous consequence, for sure. The first edition sold-out in print and available as PDF supports the Call of Cthulhu and Trail of Cthulhu systems. The second available now in PDF and for pre-order supports Call of Cthulhu 7th edition and includes 4 new scenarios. You can check out an August 2020 actual-play of "Harlem Hellfighters Never Die" Intro music from "The Ninth Crewman" by Patrick de Arteaga. Outro music "In the Pines" performed by Micah Tillman.
48 minutes | Sep 30, 2020
Episode 7: She IS Hippolyta
We've been on a few road trips this season, but Episode 7 is a full-fledged journey across time, space, and dimensions. After a quick checkin with Montrose (oh dear), Christina (strong bisexual energy), Ruby (on a break, but we think she's hooked), and our main duo, we follow Hippolyta on her journey of discovery. She is Hippolyta, free and in Paris and being smooth as fuck with Josephine Baker's cigarette. She is Hippolyta, Dahomi Amazon warrior, fighting for her freedom and avenging herself and her ancestors. She is Hippolyta... Discoverer, woman who named a comet. It's a shift from the horror, haunted house, Indiana Jones, and war movie tones so far, and we're delighted with the Afrofuturist aesthetic which comes alive in it. Voiceover in the episode was from Space is the Place, one of the earliest Afrofuturist works (from the 1970s, before the term was coined). Listen to Sun-Ra, P-Funk (still at it!), and Janelle Monae's Cindi Mayweather Trilogy (Metropolis: Suite I (The Chase), The ArchAndroid, and The Electric Lady). Titles recommended during the media break: Octavia Butler's Xenogensis trilogy (renamed Lilith's Brood) and all her work from Parable series to Kindred Mothership: Tales from Afrofuturism and Beyond, with stories from many authors already named on this podcast Nnedi Okorafor's Binti (or the whole trilogy) Rivers Solomon's An Unkindness of Ghosts (also check out their The Deep) N.K. Jemisin's Broken Earth Trilogy and remember, buying from a real bookstore will take more time than buying from Amazon! But it's worth it. And some videos (may require being on the site to view): Intro music from "The Ninth Crewman" by Patrick de Arteaga. Outro music "In the Pines" performed by Micah Tillman.
38 minutes | Sep 23, 2020
Episode 6: Can Monsters Love?
We finally get to learn about Ji-Ah, who's been a voice on the phone and a figure in Tic's nightmares. We look at the parallels between her life, Tic's, and those of the episode's supporting characters while asking an important question... can monsters love? This podcast supports monsters loving. We're not too big on the whole eye-tail-tentacle mashup thing. We're also not big on proxy wars and imperialist interference in other peoples' lives. Some additional context, this 1996 retrospective on 1st Lt. Leon Gilbert delves into his 1950 court-marshalling and death sentence (later changed to 20 years with parole after 5), his PTSD from Italy, the state of the Korean war at the time, and the obliteration of the last remaining all-black regiment. It's a long read but also talks about the U.S. Army's complete inability to handle psychiatric stress at the beginning of the Korean war. Ruth: This week, I'd like to recommend two books which take on the same thing in vastly different ways. The first is N. K. Jemisin's THE CITY WE BECAME (hardcover, pre-order paperback). It fully falls into the category of Weird Fiction, while being so much more too. The second, Alyssa Cole's WHEN NO ONE IS WATCHING (paperback) is a gentrification thriller, set in Brooklyn, in a reality so close to our own that I felt the urge to check the news. Both tell stories of communities forming or drawing on deep roots help them create something bigger than themselves as they go up against sinister adversaries. I try not to get involved in series before they're finished, but I am itching to order the next book in Jemisin's Great Cities series. Intro music from "The Ninth Crewman" by Patrick de Arteaga. Outro music "In the Pines" performed by Micah Tillman.
40 minutes | Sep 16, 2020
Episode 5: Monstrosity and Metamorphosis
A note on content: Episode 5, "Strange Case," contains a graphic sexual assault. We decided to discuss it in the most abstract terms, not to linger over it, and instead to explore some of the themes we saw throughout the character plots in this episode. This one's tough. We explore themes of embodiedment, monstrosity, control, and the legacy of last week's "History of Violence." Is Ruby hooked to using this as a tool? Is William real at all, or is he 100% Christina's tool now? (also, Ruth was right!) Can Montrose actually find a path toward healing, or is he just too broken? Ruth: I've previously shared Nightlight, a horror fiction podcast, in our media break. Creepy and unsettling tales from black authors, performed by black actors. Since then, they've dropped another story, "Last Stop on Route Nine" by one of the greats, Tananarive Due. Family memories, unfortunate encounters, and endless fog trouble the characters as they return home for their grandmother's funeral lunch. Not only can you subscribe to the podcast anywhere you listen to podcasts, you can support it on Patreon, where your money goes to pay the writers and actors and you get bonus interviews with lots of the authors. So don't just listen, join me in the Nightlight Legion. Learn more at nightlightpod.com or Patreon.com/nightlightpod. Intro music from "The Ninth Crewman" by Patrick de Arteaga. Outro music "In the Pines" performed by Micah Tillman.
38 minutes | Sep 9, 2020
Episode 4: Trust Issues, Trauma, and Timed Levels
This week's got it all: trust issues, trauma, timed levels, and Tree's Big Adventure. Jurnee Smollett gets yet another acting challenge, just add water. Ruth speculates on the nature of Christina and William's relationship. We shout out shushing kid. What's going to happen to Ruby next week? Hippolyta is making some choices we support, but we're still worried. And will Tic ever learn to trust Leti? She's already died the once. Don't miss the post-music stinger, for some thoughts on a classic videogame. Ruth: This week, I've got a reading recommendation for horror fans looking for another dose of Weird. Victor LaValle's novella, "The Ballad of Black Tom" retells Lovecraft's "The Horror at Red Hook" from the perspective of Tommy Tester, an...entertainer… ok, scammer, swindler, con...who gets in over his head on the night of Robert Suydam's infamous party. Your library might have it, or, pick up a copy at some not-Amazon source. The excellent audiobook version is on libro.fm, an Audible alternative which allows you to support your local bookstore while enjoying audiobooks. Listen to LaValle talk about the book and his take on Lovecraftian horror. (This isn't an ad, but if you do sign up for Libro.fm, see if your favorite local bookstore's site has a referral link. Or find one on a Black-owned bookstore's site, like Loyalty Bookstore, my own bookstore of choice). Intro music from "The Ninth Crewman" by Patrick de Arteaga. Outro music "In the Pines" performed by Micah Tillman.
45 minutes | Sep 2, 2020
Episode 3: Haunted Home Ownership
A content note: We discuss the ways the violence represented in these first 3 episodes has not gone away, from sundown towns to rough rides. While viewers will have seen these, not everyone is aware that Emmett Till is represented in the ouiji scene. After talking about the ways the episode identifies him, the next 2-3 minutes touch on the ways in which the level of white supremacy that led two white men to murder him and get away with it persists today. While it is not graphic, some listeners may want to skip forward 3 minutes (to around minute 28:50). We follow Leti's emotional journey as she tries to bounce back from the trauma of death and resurrection. How can she make a difference in the world? Healing some ghosts is a good start, but it's so much more badass than it sounds. Links to things referenced in the episode: Thanks to blackwomeninopera for identifying the wonderful Marian Anderson recording of Schubert's Lieder. Hawaiian community resists the 30 meter telescope on Mauna Kea. An open letter started by graduate students at institutions affiliated with the telescope, opposing criminalization of protestors and questioning the methods used to build it. However, we ask whether expedience must come through violation of consent and leverage of apparatuses of state-sanctioned violence. We ask the community to consider whether the future of our field is worth the damage to our relationship with Kānaka Maoli by continuing to criminalize Maunakea protectors on their ancestral land. Click the orrery symbol at the top of this page to see virtual orrery representing everything's position in the current moment. ... it requires Flash. Ruth: If you are enjoying this podcast, you probably like horror by black authors. And if you like horror by black authors, you will enjoy Nightlight, a horror fiction podcast. Creepy stories, written by black writers and performed by black actors. Not only can you subscribe to it anywhere you listen to podcasts, you can support it on Patreon, where your money goes to pay the writers and actors and you get bonus interviews with lots of the authors. So don’t just listen, join me in the Nightlight Legion. Learn more at nightlightpod.com or Patreon.com/nightlightpod. Intro music from "The Ninth Crewman" by Patrick de Arteaga. Outro music "In the Pines" performed by Micah Tillman.
41 minutes | Aug 26, 2020
Episode 2: Foreboding String Music
Wow, the musical captioning on Episode 2 was a journey. Distressed music? Hard same. Eerie music? Seriously. Tender music? I don't trust this. Ominous music... yeah, told ya. In this episode of the podcast, we ask "what is up with this village?" "who IS this racist dog lady anyway?" "why did your fantasy film ride into my horror?" and "who is this birthright from anyway?" Why is the spoken-word poem "Whitey's on the Moon" a good choice for a ritual taking place 15 years earlier? We digress on the weird takes Christianity has on Gensis and whether powerful white men can even imagine the untamed fertility of Eden (strict hierarchies and orderings? everything in its place really?). Pour one out for George, who knows that real power is a thorough knowledge of the bylaws. Rachel: This week, I need you to know about The Black Guy Who Tips podcast. Rod and Karen are a couple from Charlotte, North Carolina, who host this free comedy podcast with the motto "nothings wrong if it's funny". They are funny, incisive, topical, and all around great people. and they produce a LOT of content, including the best recaps in the game. You can hear their Lovecraft Country recaps on episodes 2162 and 2167. Check the archives for recaps of Game of Thrones, Walking Dead, and subscribe to Premium for even more content, including shows like This Too Much where Rod and bestselling author Bassey Ikpi discuss shows like This Is Us, Atlanta, Insecure; The Nerd Off where a panel of black nerds discuss movies, video games, anime, comic books and more, Spoiled Movie Reviews, reviews where they spoil the movies (and you can check out the old episodes of spoiled movie reviews for free as well!) You can find The Black Guy Who Tips wherever you listen to podcasts. Go there, hit subscribe, I can’t recommend them enough. Intro music from "The Ninth Crewman" by Patrick de Arteaga. Outro music "In the Pines" performed by Micah Tillman.
38 minutes | Aug 19, 2020
Episode 1: It's Not Arkham
... that would be silly. What would happen if a stranger told you to claim your birthright? In its action and story-packed first episode, Lovecraft Country sets the tone: "this ain't your racist uncle's Lovecraft." We dive into our reactions to the mystery of Atticus's mother, the daylight monster of white supremacy, the fight/chase/terror scene that left us holding our breath, and more. Things we forgot to mention (vs. things that got cut out when we tried to make our episode a manageable length): our rating: truly an unknoweable number of tentacles. the captions are truly wonderful, [gibbering] and [chittering] and [ominous music] Ruth: Rather than do ads, we're sharing the work of a Black RPG/Horror writer whose work listeners might want to check out. Chris Spivey is the founder of Darker Hue Studios. His best-known project, the award-winning Harlem Unbound has two editions. The first sold-out in print and available as PDF supports the Call of Cthulhu and Trail of Cthulhu systems. The second available now in PDF and for pre-order supports Call of Cthulhu 7th edition and includes 4 new scenarios. You can check out an August 2020 actual-play of "Harlem Hellfighters Never Die" Read the episode transcript. Intro music from "The Ninth Crewman" by Patrick de Arteaga. Outro music "In the Pines" performed by Micah Tillman.
24 minutes | Aug 12, 2020
Episode 0: Rachel Has Some Questions
With HBO's new series Lovecraft Country starting on 8/16, Rachel's got a few questions for Ruth: Who is this guy? What's his deal? ...and more We get into our hopes for what we'll see in this first season, just how unspoiled we remain, and a digression on why Ruth can't do zombies but loves ghouls with every fiber of her being. Read the episode transcript. Intro music from "The Ninth Crewman" by Patrick de Arteaga. Outro music "In the Pines" performed by Micah Tillman.
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