Mike Hodel's Hour 25

Science Fiction Radio for Southern California since 1972

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Christmas Readings - 2015

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santa

On Friday - December 25th, 2015 - Hour 25 will be joining you to celebrate Christmas - a time to enjoy the company of family and friends and celebrate kindness and charity.

You know, there's a long history of reading stories out loud on Christmas and many authors, such as Charles Dickens or Jerome K. Jerome, had a personal tradition of writing new Christmas stories each and every year and then sharing them with friends over the holidays. Today we're going to continue Hour 25's tradition of being a part of your holiday celebrations by reading you some Christmas stories with a touch of the fantastic.

So get some eggnog, start a fire in the hearth, trim the Christmas tree and settle in for a few minutes of Christmas magic brought to you by The Hour That Stretches.

candlecandle


Their Dear Little Ghost by Elia W. Peattie

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Our first story for tonight is Their Dear Little Ghost by Elia Wilkinson Peattie. This story tells us about a child so enchanting she can take you into fairyland. How could you possibly disappoint such a child a Christmastime? But a tragedy has struck and her parents and godmother learn the importance of cherishing the ones we love while they are with us.

The author of this poignant tale was an amazingly prolific author and hard working woman, despite growing up in a household with no books all and who had to leave school when she was thirteen to work in the family printing business.

She was born in 1862 in Kalamazoo Michigan and in 1883 married a reporter from the Chicago Tribune. She and her husband would stay up nights writing to supplement his reporter's salary. Her writing career took off and she became the first woman reporter for the Chicago Tribune, making her the second woman reporter in Chicago. By 1890 she had her own column and wrote about controversial issues of that time which often were in opposition to the views of many readers.

She produced more than 800 editorials, features and columns, and also wrote her own books, stories and plays. She once wrote 100 stories in 100 days to make ends meet and published over 5000 book reviews.

Like so many women, she wrote because she needed to help support her three children, a sister, mother-in-law and mother. She knew that if there was going to be a roof over their heads and food on the table, she'd better keep writing.

Here's a link to a site created by researchers at the University of Nebraska dedicated to "an Uncommon Woman who was an Uncommon Writer".

little fairy girl

We venture into fairyland.


The Amalgamated Brotherhood of Spooks by J.K. Bangs

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Our second story of the night comes to us from John Kendrick Bangs, an author who is well known for his ghost stories with a humorous or moral twist.

Last year we brought you a story of his wherein an author learned that accepting ghostly help with one's writing - especially for a Christmas ghost story that's late in being delivered to the editor - might not be a good idea.

This year J.K. Bangs is back with another story of an author who won't be able to deliver a promised Christmas ghost story to his editor. {I see a pattern here. I wonder if Bangs had difficulties making his deadlines?} The problem in this story is that the delinquent author can only write ghost stories based on his interactions with actual ghosts and they've all gone on strike because he offended their union boss.

So now we present to you a story of labor relations, authorial misadventures and holiday magic.

the spectre vanished            the spectre band

The spectre vanished in a rage.

        

The ghostly band howled and shrieked.


Christmas Greetings from the Moon

Listen to a Christmas greeting from Apollo 8

2001: A Christmas Odyssey

I'll never forget Christmas Eve 1968 - when I went outside on a cold winter's night and looked up at the Moon, shining over snow and Christmas lights, and realized that at that very moment three men from Earth were circling that world. This proved that the Moon was not just a place for science fiction dreams but a real place just waiting for discovery and exploration. For a young man who had been dreaming of spaceflight for his whole life the inescapable reality of that moment was a dream come true.

So let us remember that as the crew of Apollo 8 orbited above our lifeless Moon that night, they looked back to see the Earth - a blue and green oasis floating against star filled blackness - and sent the world a Christmas greeting... the first ever from another world.

A Science Fictional Christmas

Back in the 1950's Galaxy Magazine had something of a tradition of publishing Christmas themed covers for their holiday season issues. While looking at them I was struck by the similarities between what Santa does and what engineers do when designing and flying missions to other planets.

Galaxy Magazine - January 1957 - cover by Ed Emishwiller

First you must establish your mission requirements...

Galaxy Magazine - January 1956 - cover by Ed Emishwiller

Next you must plan your mission...

Galaxy Magazine - January 1958 - cover by Ed Emishwiller

Then you must travel through space whilst being careful to account for any mid-course encounters with other objects or spacecraft...

Galaxy Magazine - December 1959 - cover by Ed Emishwiller

Upon reaching your destination you must carefully deploy your payloads...

Galaxy Magazine - January 1951 - cover by Ed Emishwiller

And when your mission is completed you can sit down with friends and give a toast to a job well done.

Now go and enjoy the holidays with your family and friends. From all of us here at Hour 25, we wish you a very Merry Christmas and the happiest of New Years. And remember, when happiness comes to your party, be sure to give it a comfortable seat.

candle candle candle


The Hour 25 Broadcast

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  • Click here to listen to the entire show. {51:00}

    Or

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

  • Click here for the show's opening. {1:05}

  • Click here for Suzanne's reading of Their Dear Little Ghost by Elia W. Peattie. {17:32}

  • Click here for Warren's reading of The Amalgamated Brotherhood of Spooks by John Kendrick Bangs. {26:13}

  • Click here for a Christmas greeting from the Moon. {2:50}

  • Click here for the show's closing. {2:39}

  • For more Christmas readings you can listen to our shows from 2014, 2013, 2012, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002 and 2001.

  • And to add some music to your holiday season you might want to listen to our show featuring Christmas 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.



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.


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    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.

     



    Links

  • Warren's Niftoidal Web Sites - Release 8

  • Long time listener Eric Foss has an Hour 25 archive page.

  • Science Fiction

  • Space

  • Computers

  • CGI

  • Science Fiction Modeling

  • Other Fun Stuff




  • Hour 25 Newsletter

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    Concerning the privacy of your email address and the Hour 25 Newsletter... Being on the Hour 25 mailing list will get you the Hour 25 Newsletter and nothing else. I will not use the Hour 25 mailing list for any other purposes. Being on this mailing list won't cause you to get unsolicited mailings for 'work at home opportunities' or other SPAM. The mailing list for Hour 25 will never be provided to anyone else for any purpose. Period. Personal privacy on the 'net is very important to me, so I'll defend your privacy in every way possible.




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