Thursday, January 07, 2010

The Witch's Tale in Weird Tales

Imagine my surprise when I was perusing a few issues of Weird Tales magazine and on the cover of the November 1941 issue is "A WITCH'S TALE Specially Adapted From the Famous Radio Program by ALONZO DEEN COLE". I have talked previously about early horror radio and especially Cole's The Witch's Tale, a couple of years ago. Please check that post out for more background info on the show.

So here's something a little different from the Pulp Reader norm. This is the story as adapted by Cole himself straight from the pages of Weird Tales. Plus you can also read the script of the original radio program as transcribed by Kevin Rimney here. And the two part broadcast can be found here and here.

The Spirits of the Lake
Page 1
Click on images for full-sized readable page.
Page 2
Page 3
Page 4
Page 5
Page 6Page 7 - final

Sunday, January 03, 2010

McLevy the Edinburgh Detective

Happy New Year! It's been a busy one for me. Isn't it always? I haven't been encoding many books to audio lately and haven't had much to post about, but do have some items of interest that I've been listening to and will pass on to you.

First off, there's my love hate relationship with Wormwood, and excellent supernatural detective mystery. The acting is mostly good, the stories are sharp and exciting and the incidental music and sounds effects are great. My only complaint is that it is mixed very poorly. In situations such as driving in a car or surrounded by other ambient noise, you may find you have to fiddle with the volume knob of your radio or mp3 player to alternately listen to quiet dialog and back off on sudden crashing loud jabs of sound. Quite unpleasant aurally, but the stories are good enough to keep me going, annoyed as I am. Doctor Xander Crowe was a formidable psychologist until a terrible tragedy sent him spiraling down the dark pathways of the occult. Now, a strange vision leads Doctor Crowe to the hidden town of Wormwood, where shadows lurk in every corner and evil stains the souls of the inhabitants. Welcome to Wormwood.

Also, the latest seasons of Black Jack Justice and Red Panda have started, which are a joy all the way around. Red Panda is a fun detective pulp with sprinkles of scifi/fantasy and comic book hero action. Black Jack Justice is a hard-boiled detective comedy. Both are great fun but written and played in very different styles.

And then there is also McLevy, an audio drama from the BBC which airs weekly on their iplayer. I find this to be a very fascinating series and have put together a mini webpage about him. In short, James McLevy was a real detective in 1800's Edinburgh. He wrote several memoirs about his exploits which were very popular. There's some speculation that aside from the obvious homages to his teacher, Doctor Joseph Bell, that Arthur Conan Doyle may have gleaned some bits of inspiration for Sherlock Holmes from McLevy's memoirs.

I was fascinated by stumbling across the exsistance of McLevy but have not found an ultimate website or font of information about him, which is why I put this together. Please visit McLevy The Edinburgh Detective to find out more.