Welcome back to a very spoooooky part two of the Novel Ideas Halloween Extravaganza (consisting of two episodes of questionable quality). This episode is about The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson. Shirley Jackson is probably best known for her excellent short story, “The Lottery,” which you can read by clicking on the link. In this episode we talk about that story, as well as distorted reality, queer coding, scary moments, and social isolation. We also get into Professor Dad, people with nothing better to do, the greatness of Mrs. Dudley, and listen to Gabs be impressed by Mr. Jackson. There’s also a higher than usual level of background noise which is caused by a combination of loud neighbors, snack seeking girlfriends, and (maybe) ghosts?
The music bump is “Hauntings” by Dan Welcher.
Our recommendation: A relatively easy read with some genuinely creepy moments. This is more of a psychological thriller than a straight genre horror story.
Ben: 7/10 silly psychic cards. A well written story that stands up well to the passage of time.
Gabs: 7/10 creepy knocks upon the door.
If for you it makes it to 10, remember that Mrs. Dudley clears at 10.
We’re back with what is becoming something of a modern science fiction classic, Old Man’s War by John Scalzi. This is a book where humanity is defended by soldiers over the age of seventy-five and under the age of ten. Listen to the episode to hear us discuss universe building, characterization, imperialism, and bioethics. We also talk about the fuuuuture, quip machines, strange alien religions, and, of course, boobs.
Also, next week will be our year in review episode. If you have any last minute comments or questions about anything we’ve covered in the last year, get them in ASAP! If you’re not sure what we’ve covered since last March, go to the Episodes page and look at the titles in “Season Two.”
The music bump this week is a Carl Reike march called “Old Comrades,” performed by a tuba quartet because who doesn’t love that?
Gabs: 6/10. Easy to read, but probably best recommended to science fiction fans.
Ben: 8/10. Solid writing and an interesting universe, plus it made me laugh a couple of times.