Mike Hodel's Hour 25

Science Fiction Radio for Southern California since 1972

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Halloween Readings - 2015

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On Saturday - October 31st, 2015 - Hour 25 will be joining you to celebrate Halloween - a time to enjoy a good scare and celebrate the outre and otherworldly. So we're going to read you some classic horror stories while you decorate your Halloween Tree and get ready for the evening's festivities.

Tonight's stories will start with a tale of a ghostly encounter in Paris at a time when the guillotine stood ready to drink the blood of the virtuous and the venal. We'll move on to a story that has fun with the tropes of gothic romance. Then finally we'll go to the Pacific Ocean where a newly risen island brings us a nightmare from the imagination of H. P. Lovecraft.

So close the drapes, light the candles and listen to some stories fit for a dark and stormy night brought to you by The Hour That Stretches.


The Tale of the German Student by Washington Irving

The Tale of the German Student takes place in Paris during the infamous 'reign of terror', when the French revolution took an especially violent tack and people - powerful or powerless, rich or poor, venal or virtuous - were given over to the guillotine. In this time of chaos a German student with a fragile mental state meets the woman of his dreams - only to find that the gap between dreams and nightmares can sometimes be vanishing small.

from the reign of terror

Selina Sedilia by Bret Harte

Once a genre has become established with tropes and other standard fare then it does not take long before someone parodies it. That is what Bret Harte does with tonight's story, Selina Sedilia. In this he takes on the gothic romance by sending up all of its tropes and cliches, turning it into a Halloween laugh fest.

Bret Harte, which was a pen name for Francis Bret Harte, was known for his Condensed Novels where he openly parodied famous authors of the day, going so far as to put their names under his - with a few letters missing. He is, perhaps, best known for his Conan Doyle pastiche of Sherlock Holmes, The Stolen Cigar Case, with detective Hemlock Jones. Ellery Queen said it "was probably the best parody of Sherlock Holmes ever written".

In tonight's story Bret Harte parodies the gothic romances of Mary Elizabeth Braddon and Mrs. Henry Wood. Both of whom were prolific creators of gothic novels in the 19th century as well as prominent magazine editors.

      the secret panel

So feel free to have a good laugh at this hilarious satire of gothic romances. Halloween's not just the time for a good scare - it's a time for a good laugh.

Dagon by H. P. Lovecraft

Our final story for tonight is Dagon by H. P. Lovecraft. Lovecraft is widely acknowledged as a master of the horror genre. His stories scare us at a level that goes beyond the frights created by stories and movies that focus on gore and dismemberment.

It has been said that 'conventional' horror stories derive their frightfulness from some horrific element that intrudes into our life and that at the end of the story - once the 'monster' has been vanquished - then everything returns to normal. But in a Lovecraft story the horror that we discover comes from the realization that 'placid normal life' is but an illusion and the horror that was discovered in the story isn't going to go away because it is, in fact, the reality of our existence.

Readers of Lovecraft will be familiar with Dagon since it played a part in his stories The Shadow Over Innsmouth and The Call of Cthulhu. In The Shadow Over Innsmouth we are introduced to The Esoteric Order of Dagon where humans collaborate with those unspeakable horrors from beneath the sea. And in The Call of Cthulhu Dagon gets mentioned as one of the dark forces working evil on the world. Also, in The Call of Cthulhu there is a line that mentions someone committing suicide by jumping out a window while Cthulhu's dreams create madness and chaos in the world. Remember that line while you listen to this story.

Dagon was written in 1917 and appeared in the amateur magazine the Vagrant in November 1919. It was later published in the October 1923 issue of Weird Tales and marked Lovecraft's first appearance in the magazine that was to publish so much of his fiction.


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Listen to this show

  • Click here to listen to the entire show. {57:39}


  • Click here for the show's intro music. {0:41}

  • Click here for the show's opening. {1:18}

  • Click here for Warren's reading of The Tale of the German Student by Washington Irving. {13:54}

  • Click here for Suzanne's reading of Selina Sedilia by Bret Harte. {22:08}

  • Click here for Warren's reading of Dagon by H.P. Lovecraft. {17:47}

  • Click here for the show's closing. {1:51}

  • For more Halloween readings and interviews you can listen to our shows from 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2001 and 2000.

  • And to add some music to your holiday season you might want to listen to our show featuring holiday carols with a Lovecraftian twist.

  • Click here for links to all of the previous Shows that you can listen to on the Hour 25 Website.

If you enjoyed this show and would like to know when other interviews are uploaded to the Hour 25 Website, then send an email to me at wwjames@earthlink.net and I will add your name to the free Hour 25 Newsletter mailing list. That way you'll get a brief notice in your email every time a new show gets uploaded to the web.

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Useful Space Related Links

Space news - Asteroids

  • More information about the first asteroid to be discovered in 2014 can be found in this article from Space Daily, this article from Sky and Telescope, this report from the Minor Planet Center, or this report from NASA's Near Earth Object Program.

  • The homepage for JPL's Near Earth Object Program contains a great deal of news and other information about asteroids and includes an interactive orbit display program that can show the orbit of any known asteroid.

  • The Minor Planet Center is a clearinghouse for information about asteroid orbits and keeps track of newly discovered asteroids as well as objects that have been tracked for decades or even centuries. Their blog is an on-going source of news for all things relating to asteroids.

    Space News - Dawn - A Mission to the Asteroids

  • Updates and additional information about the mission of the Dawn spacecraft can be found at the project's Home Page at JPL or at this NASA Web Site.

  • Additional information about asteroids can be found at the NASA Near Earth Asteroid (NEO) Web Site.

  • Dawn is a part of the Discovery Program of deep space missions. Information about Dawn and other missions can be found at the Discovery Program Web Site.

    Space News - Mars

  • Much information about the Phoenix mission to Mars can be found at this JPL Web Site or at this Web Site from the University of Arizona or this NASA Web Site. Additional information about various past NASA missions can be found here.

  • For more information about the Mars Exploration Rovers be sure to check out the MER Web Site at JPL or this Mars Rover site at Cornell University. You can also get information about the MER mission by reading the News Updates posted by Dr. Steve Squyres, the project's Principal Investigator.

  • To learn more about the Mars Express mission you can go to this ESA Mars Express Web Site, this Mars Express Web Page from JPL, this NSSDC Mars Express Web Page, or this Web Page from Mars News.Com.

  • For more information about the Exploration of Mars be sure to go to the JPL Mars Exploration Site, the Center for Mars Exploration at NASA Ames, or the Mars Missions Web Site at the Planetary Society.

  • Information about the data returned by previous Mars missions can be found at this Mars Web Page at the NSSDC.

  • Information about the Phoenix Mission to Mars can be found at this Press Release from the University of Arizona. You can view a 3D picture of the Mars Phoenix spacecraft here.

  • For more Mars news be sure to check out the Mars News.Com Web Site.

  • Percival Lowell did much to shape our ideas about Mars in the early years of the 20th Century. You can learn more about his work by reading this on-line copy of his 1895 book Mars.

    Space News - The Cassini Mission to Saturn

  • Much information about the Cassini mission can be found at the Project's Official Web Site at JPL.

  • JPL is constantly releasing pictures from Cassini. You can find them by going to this JPL Web Page.

  • Additional information about the Cassini mission can be found at this ESA Web Site.

  • The University of Arizona Web Site for the imaging system used to take the Huygens pictures of Titan has much information about how they were obtained and processed as well as a collection of processed and unprocessed images.

  • The Huygens probe carried a microphone and recorded the various sounds that it heard while descending to the surface of Titan. You can listen to those sounds at this Web Page sponsored by the Planetary Society.

    For On-Going Updates on Space News

  • Links relating to the loss of Space Shuttle Columbia can be found here.

  • The Reusable Launch & Space Vehicle News Web Site Web Page that is part of the Hobby Space Web Site is a really good place to watch for news about, well... Reusable Launch Vehicles and related subjects. I check it out just about every day and often find news there that doesn't show up anywhere else. Give it a look. {And while you're there be sure to check out some of the site's other pages. Wow! Is there a lot of information there.}

  • The Space Today Web Site is a great place to find space news from all over the 'net.

  • The Spaceflight Now Web Site carries real time information about current space missions and presents a lot of space and astronomy news. This is the place I go to when I want up to the minute information about current space missions. Do I need to say more?

  • The NASA Watch Web Site is another great place for getting information about current space missions. Check there also for news about other 'goings on' within NASA. Highly recommended.

    ISS News

  • The Florida Today Web Site has a very interesting report about the causes of the ISS budget problems and their impact on the space program. It makes very interesting reading.

  • Click here to view the press kits for various ISS missions.

  • Check out the NASA International Space Station Web Page or the Boeing Web Page to learn more about this project.

  • A great source of news about Russian space activities, including their work on the ISS, can be found at the Russian Space Web.

  • Do you wonder where the Space Station is right now? You can use your browser to view real time maps showing the location of the ISS by going to this link at the NASA Space Link Web Site or here at the Johnson Spacecraft Center. Please note that your browser must support Java to make use of this satellite tracking software.

  • You can find out when the ISS - or many other spacecraft - can be seen from your location by going to this NASA Web Page. Please note; your browser must support Java for this application to work.

    Space Related Organizations

    If you are interested in learning more about current space activities there are many local and national organizations you might want to know about. Joining these organizations and taking part in their activities is a good way to stay abreast of things going on in space as well as a way to show your support for those activities. Listed below are some of those organizations.

  • The Organization for the Advancement of Space Industrialization and Settlement has long been place for persons living in the Los Angeles area to gather and discuss the promise of space. Be sure to check out their Web Site for information about their meetings and other activities.

  • The Orange County Space Society is another Los Angeles area organization that provides a focal point for persons who are interested in space developments to get together and share their ideas. They have created a number of displays explaining the history and importance of space exploration that have appeared at various public events. Be sure to check their Web Site for information about their meetings and other events.

  • The National Space Society has a long history of being an advocate for a vigorous space program and provides much information to its members through their magazine and Web Site.

  • The Space Frontier Foundation is a strong advocate for a non-governmental space program and serves as a focal point for much activity in that arena. Their annual conference in Los Angeles during the Fall is a great way to find out what is happening in the non-government space arena.

  • The Space Access Society is focused on reducing the cost of going into space by promoting non-governmental launch vehicle programs. Their annual conference in the spring is a major source of information on non-traditional launch vehicle activities.

  • The Planetary Society is focused on the exploration of the Solar System and has a wealth of information for its members and others.

  • Click here for information about the audio files used for Hour 25 and for information about configuring your browser and downloading audio players.

    Please note Web Pages from external sites will open in a separate browser window and that Hour 25 Productions are not responsible for the content of any external Web Sites.

    Upcoming Shows

    Join us in the coming weeks and months when our guests will include authors and scientists from the worlds of science, science fiction, mystery, horror and suspense.

    If you'd like me to let you know exactly when our next show is available, then send me an email { wwjames@earthlink.net } and I'll add you to the Hour 25 Newsletter Mailing List. That way you'll get an email notice telling you when the latest show was uploaded and who had joined us on that show. Being on the Hour 25 Newsletter mailing list will let you know when those specials are available as soon as they are uploaded. {Privacy notice: The Hour 25 Newsletter mailing list is kept in strict confidence and will not be used for any other purpose nor will it be given, sold or in any way provided to any other person or group for any other purpose.}

    Previous Shows

    Go to our Previous Shows Page to find out about previous guests on the show and to listen to some of our past shows.

    Audio Index

    Go to our Audio Index for a listing of the various shows, interviews and readings available on the Hour 25 Web Page. The exact locations of the shows will constantly be changing as this Web Site evolves, but the Audio Index page will always be your shortcut to finding what you want to hear.

    Note to Web Masters : If you wish to link your site to an Hour 25 interview you should do so using the Hour 25 home page as that page will be able to direct people to the specific information they are looking for.

    Science Fiction Matters

    Check out the pages below for more information about matters having to do with science fiction.

  • Click here to read what Suzanne had to say concerning children's and young adult books about fantasy and magic.

  • Click here for information about the various awards in the science fiction field.

  • Hour 25 - Background

    Burt Suzanne Warren

    Burt Handelsman
    Crack Engineer

    Suzanne Gibson
    Our Producer

    Warren W. James
    Your Host


      Mike Hodel   Terry Hodel  

    Mike Hodel
    The First Host of "Hour 25" {Picture Copyright © Burt Handelsman}


    Terry Hodel
    Our Late Executive Producer {Picture Copyright © Joel Farr}

    Click here to view a page with some of our thoughts about Terry.



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