Thursday, 31 January 2013

THE CASTLE OF DREAMS by Clark Ashton Smith

The Castle of Dreams a poem by Clark Ashton Smith, read by Mr Jim Moon. First published in The Potion of Dreams - The Fugitive Poems of Clark Ashton Smith (1975).

The Castle of Dreams
by Clark Ashton Smith

It lies beyond the farthest sea,
This castle where onto I flee
When life and time hang wearily.
Yet though so far, 'tis strangely nigh:
Within the breathing of a sigh
One gains the walls secure and high
Of the Castle of Dreams.

Divinely beautiful and great,
Of pearl each dome and tower, and gate,
It stands, a hold of kingly state.
There gyving Time and Space are not,
And cares of Life are all forgot.
No breath of restless change is brought
To the Castle of Dreams.

I walk each wondrous court and hall,
Their varied treasures mine at call,
For there I am the lord af all.
If gold and gems of land and sea,
And broad estates were offered me,
I would not take them for the key
Of the Castle of Dreams.

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

TWILIGHT ON THE SNOW by Clark Ashton Smith

Twilight on the Snow, a poem by Clark Ashton Smith read by Mr Jim Moon. First published in the collection Ebony and Crystal (1922)

Twilight on the Snow
by Clark Ashton Smith

Before the hill's high altar bowed,
The trees are Druids, weird and white,
Facing the vision of the light
With ancient lips to silence vowed.

No certain sound the woods aver,
Nor motion save of formless wings—
Filled with phantasmal flutterings,
With thronging gloom and shadow-stir.

Unseen, unheard, amid the dell
Lie all the winds that mantic trees
Have lulled with crystal warlockries
And bound about with Merlin-spell.

Photograph by Mr Jim Moon

Tuesday, 29 January 2013


The Song of the Necromancer, a poem by Clark Ashton Smith first published in Weird Tales V29 #2 (1937) and later in the Arkham House collection Selected Poems (1971) read by Mr Jim Moon.

The Song of the Necromancer
by Clark Ashton Smith

I will repeat a subtle rune—
And thronging suns of Otherwhere
Shall blaze upon the blinded air,
And spectres terrible and fair
Shall wake the riven world at noon.

The star that was mine empery
In dust upon unwinnowed skies:
But primal dreams have made me wise,
And soon the shattered years shall rise
To my remembered sorcery.

To mantic mutterings, brief and low,
My palaces shall lift amain,
My bowers bloom; I will regain
The lips whereon my lips have lain
In rose-red twilights long ago.

Before my murmured exorcism
The world, a wispy wraith, shall flee:
A stranger earth, a weirder sea,
People with shapes of Fäery,
Shall swell upon the waste abysm.

The pantheons of darkened stars
Shall file athwart the crocus dawn;
Goddess and Gorgon, Lar and faun,
Shall tread the amaranthine lawn,
And giants fight their thunderous wars.

Like graven mountains of basalt,
Dark idols of my demons there
Shall tower through bright zones of air,
Fronting the sun with level stare;
And hell shall pave my deepest vault.

Phantom and fiend and sorceror
Shall serve me...till my term shall pass,
And I become no more, alas,
Than a frail shadow on the glass
Before some latter conjurer.

Cover art - Necromancer by AnaNevermajndSliver

Monday, 28 January 2013

THE NEREID by Clark Aston Smith

The Nereid, a poem by Clark Ashton Smith first published in the collection Ebony & Crystal (1922) read by Mr Jim Moon.

The Nereid

Her face the sinking stars desire:
Unto her place the slow deeps bring
Shadow of errant winds that wing
O'er sterile gulfs of foam and fire.

Her beauty is the light of pearls.
All stars and dreams and sunsets die
To make the fluctuant glooms that lie
Around her; and low noonlight swirls

Down ocean's firmamental deep
To weave for who glimmers there
Elusive visions, vague and fair;
And night is as a dreamless sleep:

She has not known the night's unrest
Nor the white curse of clearer day;
The tremors of the tempest play
Like slow delight about her breast.

The berylline pallors of her face
Illume the kingdom of the drowned.
In her the love that none has found,
The unflowering rapture, folded grace,

Await some lover strayed and lone,
Some god misled, who shall not come
Though the decrescent seas lie dumb
And sunken in their wells of stone.

But nevermore of him, perchance,
Her enigmatic musings are,
Whose purpling tresses float afar
In grottoes of the last romance.

Serene, an immanence of fire
She dwells for ever, ocean-thralled,
Soul of the sea's vast emerald.
Her face the sinking stars desire.

(Cover art is A Sketch for A Mermaid by John William Waterhouse)

Sunday, 27 January 2013

HYPNOBOBS 107 - Leg of Toad, Eye of Gorgon: An Introduction to Clark Ashton Smith

This week Mr Jim Moon has unearthed from the Great Library of Dreams the works of a much overlooked but thoroughly fantastic author, Mr Clark Ashton Smith. Considered in his day as one of the top three authors in the legendary pulp magazine Weird Tales alongside Robert E Howard and HP Lovecraft, his canon hasn't attracted quite the same standing as his two good friends. However in this episode  Mr Moon attempts to rectify this with an introduction to his works and readings of two of his tales. First we encounter the horrors of medieval witchery in rural France in the darkly erotic Mother of Toads, originally censored but presented here in its full uncut glory. And then we voyage back into the age of myth for drinks with Medusa in the comic fable Symposium of the Gorgon

The cover image for this episode is a photograph of a sculpture by Clark Ashton Smith, a piece entitled Young Ghoul. For more about Clark Ashton Smith, do visit the fabulous

DIRECT DOWNLOADLeg of Toad, Eye of Gorgon: An Introduction to Clark Ashton Smith

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Friday, 25 January 2013

Lightsabers, lensflares and lies

So then you probably all heard the "news", JJ Abrams is to direct Star Wars VII. Yes, that means he's now in charge of both Star Wars and Star Trek the two biggest SF franchises in the world with the word 'Star' in the titles to confuse the pop culture illiterati!

Now some of you, who liked his Star Trek reboot, will be applauding this decision. Other who clung on with limpet-like tenacity to Lost until the bitter end will be no doubt in actual raptures.

Others however who still grieve for fallen Vulcan and a 'vandalised' continuity will be weeping, while others less invested in Star Trek but not buying the 'JJ is God' line, are merrily making the already tired crack about lens flares on lightsabers and muttering about how one man should not be in charge of two geek sacred cows.

But the more astute among you will have noticed I put the term news in quotation marks. Well done! If you are among this third band, know this - our numbers may be small but we alone shall live to see Star Wars VII without dying of whiplash beforehand from making panicked knee-jerk reactions to every goddamn rumour that's going to be splashed all over the internet between now and then.

And yes folks, that's all this "news" is so far - rumour.

But looking at the internet, that's not the impression you get. It appears to be set in stone, an absolute fact, and wars are already raging between fans on whether this is great and terrible news. Personally, I must confess, this whole thing has filled me with sadness... BECAUSE JUST LAST WEEK WE HAD THE SAME BULLSHIT OVER SOME COMPLETE LIES THAT ZACK SYNDER WAS DIRECTING A STAR WARS MOVIE!

Honestly! Are you all ruddy goldfish???

Now then, you'd think that after the Synder-meltdown we might treat the next time tidbit of Star Wars gossip a little more cautiously but no...

Here's what actually happened - The Wrap, a site I'm not going to link to as they already generated enough hits from this, ran 'an exclusive' story announcing that Abrams IS directing the next Star Wars. And they had this on the lofty authority of 'an insider'. In other words, this is no official announcement from Disney or Abrams or even bloody Yoda, just some anonymous dude, no doubt standing moodily in shadows and living out his old X-Files Deep Throat fantasies.

Pretty sharpish Variety picks up the story. However what exactly have they picked up? They report, and I use the term loosely, that the House of Mouse is closing talks with Abrams to direct. No source given and the rest of the article is biographic fluff filched off IMDB. Again I point out, there is no source mentioned at all for this and note that the "news" has changed from Abrams will direct to being close to signing a deal to direct. Bet-hedging to avoid egg on face? Well, in an "article" whose only new information is referring to Disney as "the House of Mouse" I ruddy think so!

Other movie and geek sites all join the rumour gangbang, citing The Wrap story and claiming that because they are all repeating it this somehow confirms it as true. However none of them have actually confirmed jackshit - several also wheel out some unnamed source, some backing up the original 'will direct' line, but others "confirming" the Variety 'close to signing' variant. Apparently getting the helm of the new Star Wars movie works like Candyman - say it three times and it happens!

Now an unnamed source I just invented, I mean, spoke to, who's close to all these news outlets told me -

"The Wrap noticed all the hits that Synder tosh got the other week and hence decided to run an anonymous rumour as an 'exclusive'. Of course anyone who knows or cares about journalism knows that you can't really have 'an exclusive' from an anonymous source with no evidence whatsoever but what the hell! The rest of us just hopped on the bandwagon as there's a lot of money to be made from those stupid Ewok fuckers... They'll buy into any old bullshit and in the meantime our traffic goes through the roof and we can up the advertising rates!"

See how easy it is folks! With a little imagination and no scruples whatsoever anything could be an unnamed source - that lamp, that sock, that venal desire to get as many hits as possible by any means possible!

Now then, it may well transpire that the rumour is true - although I find it a tad suspicious that there's no official announcement now the news has leaked - but my central point remains valid no matter who ends up directing. And that is that between now and the release of Star Wars VII, there's going to be an awful lot of this kind of thing. All manner of bullshitters and losers are going to be reporting "exclusives" from various Drop Dead Freds who are "close to the production" about the script, the casting, the technical crew, and probably even who's doing the catering. And my advice is, before you take to the internet spouting off on whether each of these revelations is A VERY GOOD THING or A VERY BAD THING, do have a look to see if it's actually true and not just a pile of steam bantha turds cooked up by some coke-addled tosswit.

Believe me folks, a little fact checking and and a lot less frothing will save you a massive amount of stress over the next two years.

Nevermind the Force - may the Facts be with you!

Sunday, 20 January 2013

HYPNOBOBS 106 - The McClure Quartet

This week we're venturing to lost worlds where strange rubbery beasts lurk! In the company of adventurer extraordinaire Mr Doug McClure, we're taking a trip to The Land That Time Forgot (1974), discovering what lies At The Earth's Core (1976), meeting The People That Time Forgot (1977) and facing the wrath of the Warlords of Atlantis (1978). It's a truly epic journey through '70s dinosauria, in which we'll meet luminaries such as Peter Cushing, Caroline Munroe, Amicus Films, and Edgar  Rice Burroughs!

DIRECT DOWNLOAD - The McClure Quartet

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Saturday, 19 January 2013

Happy Birthday Edgar Allan Poe

On January 19th 1809 Mr Edgar Allan Poe was born. And the celebrate this great man's 204th birthday I've rounded up a host of audio delights!

First  we have an epic quintet of podcasts featuring reading of Poe's stories and his discussion of the movies they have inspired!

This episode's page - HYPNOBOBS 40 - Two Tales from Mr Poe
DIRECT DOWNLOAD - HYPNOBOBS 40 - Two Tales From Mr Edgar Allan Poe

In order to prepare for some forthcoming shows in which we shall be discussing the various feline noir movies inspired by Mr Edgar Allan Poe, this week we return to the Library of Dreams, where curled up by the fire is Mr Jim Moon who will read for you Mr Poe's classic tales The Black Cat and Ligeia.

This episode's page - HYPNOBOBS 41 - The Black Cats of Poe I 
DIRECT DOWNLOAD - HYPNOBOBS 41 - The Black Cats of Poe (Part I)

This week Mr Jim Moon begins an examination of the various screen adaptations of Edgar Allan Poe's classic tale The Black Cat. In this show, we look at The Black Cat (1934) starring Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff, the early exploitation flick Maniac (1934), the chills and chuckles of The Black Cat (1941), Roger Corman's Tomb of Ligeia (1964) starring the legendary Vincent Price, and the obscure but distinctly groovy The Black Cat (1966).

This episode's page - HYPNOBOBS 42 Two More Tales from Mr Poe

In order to prepare for the second round of movie adaptations of The Black Cat next week, this time round we have two more tales by Poe that feature in the anthology films Tales of Terror (1962) and Two Evil Eyes (1990). So settle back by the fireside for readings of The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar and Morella.

This episode's page - HYPNOBOBS 43 The Black Cats of Poe II
DIRECT DOWNLOAD - HYPNOBOBS 43 - The Black Cats of Poe Part II

Continuing our exploration of adaptations of Edgar Allan Poe's The Black Cat, Mr Jim Moon first dissects in depth Roger Corman's Tales of Terror (1962) starring Peter Lorre, Basil Rathbone and the patron saint of Hypnobobs Mr Vincent Price. Then in an unplanned tangent, rambles about the history of Italian cinema and the birth of giallo, before getting stuck into Sergio Martino's catchily titled Your Vice Is A Locked Room And Only I Have The Key (1972) and tries not to drool over Edwige Fenech...

This episode's page - HYPNOBOBS 44 - The Black Cats of Poe III 
DIRECT DOWNLOAD - HYPNOBOBS 44 - The Black Cats of Poe Part III

After something of an enforced break, we're back with a full length episode, concluding our Black Cats of Poe series! But we saved the best for last! For this episode is a veritable who's who of horror maestros with the legends Lucio Fulci, Dario Argento, George A. Romero and Stuart Gordon all bringing Poe to the screen!

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Wednesday, 16 January 2013

HYPNOBOBS 105 - The Find

For the first trip to the fireside in the Great Library of Dreams in this new year, Mr Jim Moon is cracking open once more the fabled Casebook of Carnacki the Ghost Finder. In this short but unusual account, entitled The Find, we learn of one of the Ghost Finder's most intriguing and unique investigations...


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Monday, 14 January 2013

POLARIS by HP Lovecraft

While HYPNOBOBS may be a tad late returning to the shores of your hearing, in the mean time you can hear Mr Jim Moon read HP Lovecraft's classic weird tale Polaris over on the SFF Audio Podcast. Plus he joins the regulars for a discussion of this early HPL story afterwards!

Direct download - SFF AUDIO - Polaris