Archive for April, 2006

And now, something completely different — a short, fast-paced novel set after the fall of modern civilization, written by an early genius of science fiction who died too soon — but not before he changed the field forever. Come travel with Hull Tarvish as he sets forth to see the world!

Chapter 1: The World


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Blog Announcement

Blogging will be light during Holy Week, as I will need my time and voice for singing with the choir on Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and during the Easter Vigil. Just to give you fair warning, I don't think I'll post anything from Mr. Sponge's Sporting Tour or The Eye of Osiris (and I'm not sure about Belloc). I will most likely finish Dawn of Flame on Monday. However, I promise that the remaining pre-Easter Catechetical Lectures will be posted. (There's only three; I didn't fall that far behind.)

Easter week, however, everything should be back to normal.

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As the novel (and the session of probate court) continues, we meet the outspoken Miss Dobbs, hear closing arguments, and learn a little more about the amazing Judge Toad.

Ch. 14 (cont.)


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Chapter 14: Which Carries the Reader into the Probate Court


When the judge is like a soft-voiced toad, you know you're in a Thorndyke novel! In this part, we hear Mr. Hurst's barrister's opening argument, and hear Mr. Jellicoe called to the witness stand.

In other news, this audiobook and novel got a very nice review on the page over at archive.org. Believe me, I too wish that there were more than one reader to play all the parts. But I'm afraid I haven't managed to persuade any of my friends or relations to this view.

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The lecture concludes with more good stuff about the Last Judgement.

"When the Son of Man," He says, "shall come in His glory, and all the Angels with Him." Behold, O man, before what multitudes thou shalt come to judgment. Every race of mankind will then be present. Reckon, therefore, how many are the Roman nation; reckon how many the barbarian tribes now living, and how many have died within the last hundred years; reckon how many nations have been buried during the last thousand years; reckon all from Adam to this day. Great indeed is the multitude; but yet it is little, for the Angels are many more. They are the ninety and nine sheep, but mankind is the single one. For according to the extent of universal space, must we reckon the number of its inhabitants. The whole earth is but as a point in the midst of the one heaven, and yet contains so great a multitude; what a multitude must the heaven which encircles it contain? … Think it not a slight doom, O man, even apart from punishment, to be condemned in the presence of so many. Shall we not choose rather to die many deaths, than be condemned by friends?

Lecture 15, Part 2


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The Catechetical Lectures have almost reached their close. Today we learn all about the Last Judgment and the Antichrist — including one of the lesser known signs of oncoming Armageddon!

But the sign concerns not only rulers, but the people also; for He says, "And because iniquity shall abound, the love of the many shall wax cold." Will any then, among those present, boast that he entertains friendship unfeigned towards his neighbour? Do not the lips often kiss, and the countenance smile, and the eyes brighten, forsooth, while the heart is planning guile, and the man is plotting mischief with words of peace?

Lecture 15: On the Clause, 'And Shall Come in Glory to Judge the Living and the Dead – Of Whose Kingdom There Shall Be No End'


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The novel "backs the train" to give us a look at what Mr. Jogglebury Crowdey has been doing while Mr. Sponge was out hunting.

Chapter 53: Puddingpote Bower


Sorry for being so late with this. I was busy Tuesday night. And Monday night. And tonight, for that matter….

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The Long Tail

You primary audience members for this podcast are very important to me, and I want you to know that. For all that I insist on doing readings of all kinds of weird stuff just because I feel like it, I really appreciate the fact that y'all download files and stay subscribed. You keep me going.

However, I thought I might show you some of the stats off archive.org, so you can see how the "long tail" works. Keeping the audiobooks archived in a public site like archive.org allows people to discover and use the podcast at any time. I also tallied up the numbers of downloads back at the end of November and put them in parentheses next to the current numbers. You will see that we've had a bit of growth since then, though usually nothing dramatic. "New" just means it had no number ranking in November.

My Personal Top 20 as of March 31, 2006:

1. Dunsany, "The Sword of Welleran" – 113 (102)

2. Freeman, "The Blue Sequin" – 101 (93)

3. Freeman, "A Message from the Deep Sea" – 94 (79) was 8th
3. Dunsany, Fifty-One Tales, Part 1 – 94

4. O'Brien, "The Dragon Fang Possessed by the Conjuror Piou-Lu" – 88 (79) was 3rd

5. Pope Benedict XVI, "Deus Caritas Est" – 87 (new)

6. Dryden, "Annus Mirabilis" – 78 (67) was 4th

7. Browning, "Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came" – 76 (56) was 7th

8. Tennyson, "Locksley Hall"/"Locksley Hall Sixty Years After" – 76 (58) was 6th

9. Freeman, The Red Thumb-Mark, "Part 1" – 71 (59) was 5th

10. Freeman, The Red Thumb-Mark, "Part 5" – 68 (33) was 16th

11. O'Brien, "A Terrible Night" – 66 (46) was 12th

12. Chesterton, "The Nightmare" – 63 (46)

13. O'Brien, "The Man without a Shadow – A New Version" – 62 (49) was 11th

14. a Kempis, The Imitation of Christ, Book 1, Part 1 – 61 (new)

15. Burke, "Speech on Conciliation with America" – 60 (new)

15. Hilton, "Of the Song of Angels" – 60 (50) was 10th

16. O'Brien, "Jubal the Ringer" – 59 (51) was 9th

17. Dunsany, "The Hoard of the Gibbelins" – 58

18. O'Brien, "What Was It? – A Mystery" – 47 (43) was 13th

19. Riley, "Little Orphant Annie" – 53 (46) was 12th

20. Freeman, The Red Thumb-Mark, Part 2 – 42 (37) was 14th

Just in case you're interested, here are the next 20:

21. Locke, "A Christmas Mystery – The Story of Three Wise Men" – 38

22. "The Didache" – 37 (30) was 17th

22. Folk Tales of Napoleon – 37 (35) was 15th
22. Van Dyke, "The First Christmas Tree" – 37
22. Browning, "Love Among the Ruins" – 37

23. St Ignatius, "Epistle to the Romans" – 35 (30) was 17th
23. Scott, The Bridal of Triermain – 35 (29) was 18th
23. Surtees, Mr Sponge's Sporting Tour, Part 1 – 35

24. St. Catherine of Siena, The Dialogue, Part 1 – 34 (28) was 19th

25. Surtees, Mr Sponge's Sporting Tour, Part 2 – 32

26. St. Bede, "Sermon for All Saints' Day" – 30

27. Peattie, "Two Pioneers" – 29 (26) was 20th
27. Freeman, The Red Thumb-Mark, Part 3 – 29

28. Saki, "Sredni Vashtar" – 27
28. Burns, "Halloween" – 27
28. O'Brien, "The Wondersmith", Pt 1 – 27
28. Dunsany, Fifty-One Tales, Part 2 – 27

29. St. Justin Martyr, "The First Apologia" – 26

30. The Rosary – 25

You'll notice that I got a lot more downloads from the more fun stuff than from the dry. This is no surprise, of course. What I need to do is figure out, though, is how to make the dry stuff sound more appealing to people. A good summary is worth a lot of downloads.

I should also point out that some of the stats may be misleading. What does it mean if I got 94 downloads of the first part of Dunsany's Fifty-One Tales? Hard to say, with 17 separate files included.

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This is an unusual science fiction story — it deals with ancient Egypt! (And no, there’s no aliens.) Enjoy.

“The Ring of Thoth”


And yes, I’ve decided to give Clan Honor Monday a rest for a while. I think people will enjoy the podcast more if Friday isn’t the only day for literature that’s not pre-programmed.

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In the second half of the third chapter, Belloc examines what actually happened when Alaric attacked Rome, and who Alaric really was.

Chapter 3 (cont.)


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In the third chapter, we start out with a look at the place of the army and of ‘barbarians’ in the Roman Empire. Belloc also debunks the sort of silly talk about Teutonic virtues that sadly would eventually lead to Nazi delusions of superiority.

Chapter 3: What Was the ‘Fall’ of the Roman Empire?


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