17 episodes

Welcome to Chronscast! We are the official podcast of SFF Chronicles, the world's largest science-fiction and fantasy community.  Each episode your hosts Dan Jones, Christopher Bean, and Pete Long will take a deep dive into some classic science-fiction, fantasy, and horror with a special guest.  

We'll also discuss the challenges of writing and publishing SFF, and our guests' experiences. Episodes feature specialist advice on writing and publishing, feature the winners of the monthly writing challenges on SFF Chronicles, as well as comedy skits.

Chronscast Dan Jones

    • Fiction
    • 4.8 • 4 Ratings

Welcome to Chronscast! We are the official podcast of SFF Chronicles, the world's largest science-fiction and fantasy community.  Each episode your hosts Dan Jones, Christopher Bean, and Pete Long will take a deep dive into some classic science-fiction, fantasy, and horror with a special guest.  

We'll also discuss the challenges of writing and publishing SFF, and our guests' experiences. Episodes feature specialist advice on writing and publishing, feature the winners of the monthly writing challenges on SFF Chronicles, as well as comedy skits.

    Coronation Special! Titus Groan with Toby Frost

    Coronation Special! Titus Groan with Toby Frost

    It's Coronation Day! Well, not quite. But in the UK we are steadily approaching the moment when the king, Charles III, formally takes the Oath and is crowned. 

    This month we're tackling Mervyn Peake's Titus Groan, the first book in the seminal Gormenghast series. Titus follows the birth of the titular character and the first eighteen months of his life, which culminates in a very strange, ersatz coronation of its own. Joining Pete and me as we clamber across the rooftops and sneak through the dungeons of Gormenghast is the author Toby Frost, best known for his the Space Captain Smith novels, Dark Renaissance fantasy series, and Straken from the Warhammer 40K universe.

    We consider the sprawling castle-state of Gormenghast and it means when the old and new clash head-on, and specifically what it means when the ossified state, for so long indulged in its own wilful blindness and ritualised behaviour, comes into contact with the shock of the new, especially when the "new" - in this case, the kitchen boy Steerpike) is violent, psychopathic, and ruthless. We consider the utterly bizarre and grotesque cast of characters, from the wilfully blind, Prospero-like Earl Sepulchrave, who ostensibly rules the castle, to the ensemble of witless, violent, and occasionally noble people who live beneath his crumbling sovereignty. And we consider Titus himself, a marginalised titular character if ever there was one, who only appears as a baby, and yet whose coronation the book slowly builds to.

    Elsewhere, The Judge considers the coronation as a way of revivifying the state, just as we mentioned when discussing Excalibur last month). She considers the Crown Jewels, the Coronation Oath, and how the relationship between the Crown and its subjects has changed over the centuries. To see how a real monarchy like the House of Windsor can stop itself from becoming a fossilised version of itself a la Gormenghast, The Judge shows how the coronation is a living, shifting thing, where rituals, symbols and laws either change or stay the same to maintain a crucial balance between antiquity and modernity.

    Though Bean is away this month he's still here in spirit as he won the 75 word challenge this March with his entry The Death Of Ageing, and The Martian Space Force find unexpected kindred spirits in the crazy, smelly, stupid inhabitants of Gormenghast.

    Next month

    Next month we'll be joined by the winner of the British Fantasy Award and one of the brightest lights of modern fantasy, the author RJ Barker, who will be talking with us about one of his greatest loves, Richard Adams's Watership Down.


    [0:00:00 - 56:42] Interview Part 1

    [0:56:43 - 0:59:59] Skit

    [1:00:00 - 1:15:05] The Judge's Corner

    [1:15:06 - 1:16:21] Challenge Winner

    [1:16:22 - 1:55:25] Interview Part 2

    [1:55:26 - 2:00:40] Credits and close

    • 2 hr
    Episode 16 - Excalibur with Bryan Wigmore

    Episode 16 - Excalibur with Bryan Wigmore

    Merlin's Beard! What better topic to talk about as we enter the springtime and the regeneration of the land than Excalibur and the legend of Arthur, King of the Britons, who is prophesied to restore the land to verdance and glory and who knows much about the average velocity of unladen swallows. But we'll not be focusing on that particular cinematic incarnation of the once and future king. We'll be talking about the operatic 1981 John Boorman film Excalibur, which boldly attempts to condense a significant amount of Thomas Malory's 15th century manuscript, Le Morte d'Arthur, into two and-a-half hours of dreamlike cinema.

    Joining us to talk through this is the fantasy author Bryan Wigmore, best known for his ongoing fantasy series The Fire Stealers, comprising The Goddess Project (2017), The Empyreus Proof (2018), and the forthcoming third instalment, The Mandala Praxis. With Bryan we discuss Arthur's connection to the land, what the Holy Grail represents, why it appears in the story when it does, and the mysterious figure of the Fisher King. We discuss the explicitly Christian imagery, the use of opera music in the score, the preponderance of Irish accents in a story about the King of the Britons (clue: it was filmed in County Wicklow); the scalable aspect of the Arthurian story, Merlin's pratfalls, and Brian Blessed's head.

    We also talk about Bryan's own work and its foundation upon such ancient myths as these; his use of the land and the environment, the question of timing a publication to retain its topicality, and the bones of myth. We also talk about his forthcoming YA fantasy series called Earthwyrms, which leans heavily upon the Arthurian mythos, and we pester him for an update on when The Mandala Praxis will be ready.

    Elsewhere, The Judge throws down her own gauntlet and challenges us to trial by combat, and how that strange aspect of the ancient judiciary came to be, and how the trial by combat we see in such films as Excalibur might work in reality.

    We also hear Paranoid Marvin's victorious 75-word challenge entry from February, and The Judge's winning entry to the January 300-word writing challenge. Finally, a certain King Of The Britons is perturbed and discombobulated when he is approached by the Lieutenant Bungalow of the Martian space force for a rare interview.

    • 2 hr 2 min
    Introducing Peat Long

    Introducing Peat Long

    When Chronscast was originally set up I wanted different co-host folks for different co-host strokes. I wanted my guest today, the blogger Peat Long, to contribute to the podcast particularly in the area of fantasy fiction, in all its guises and possibilities. For various reasons he couldn't commit at the start of the venture, but I'm pleased to say that Peat has agreed to be an occasional co-host with me in the future.

    Today Peat and I are having a short conversation to introduce him, his thoughts on genre fiction, his prolific blog, and his own writing habits and capacities. Pete will be joining us later in the spring to discuss books such as Mervyn Peake's Titus Groan, and Stephen Donaldson's Lord Foul's Bane.

    Peat Long's Blog [https://peatlong.wordpress.com/]

    Next Episode
    Our next full episode will see Bean and I joined by the inimitable Bryan Wigmore, who'll be telling us how to make like Michael Jackson and heal the world with the sword pulled from the stone in John Boorman's 1981 Arthurian epic, Excalibur. 

    • 28 min
    Sandman with Tade Thompson

    Sandman with Tade Thompson

    We're joined today by Tade Thompson, the multi award-winning author of such books as Rosewater, Making Wolf, Far From the Light of Heaven, and the Molly Southbourne novellas. He is also a self-confessed comics junkie, which he proved when he joined us last year to delve into the great WATCHMEN. This year Tade talks with us about Sandman, arguably Neil Gaiman's greatest piece of work, and another example of the comic book medium bursting free from its pulpy roots and demonstrating that it can stand up as art and literature. Sandman's mantelpiece, groaning under the weight of a World Fantasy Award (the only comic to have achieved this), a Bram Stoker Award, and no fewer than 26 Eisner awards, attests to this. The recent and long-awaited Netflix adaptation of Sandman starring Tom Sturridge has also been a worldwide success.

    Be warned! This show comes with huge spoilers not just for the first couple of volumes of Sandman, which have been adapted by Netflix, but for the whole comic book series, and we will be discussing the final ending. You have been advised!

    We talk about the psychoanalytic and mythological structures that form the foundation of Sandman, and particularly the characters of Dream and his siblings. We discuss our capacity as humans to use our dreams to simulate strategies in the waking world, and why dreams rub up against desires. Tade walks us through the history of the Sandman IP, and we pontificate on whether a piece of work such as this can be fully formed in the mind of the author, or whether it was discovered as Gaiman progressed through the telling.

    We also discuss horror more generally, reflecting some recent conversations on the Chrons boards, and how to best define that slippery genre. In particular we talk about Tade's most recent novella Jackdaw, a magnificent exploration into obsession, art, the creative act, and its relationship to science.

    Elsewhere The Judge wraps up the topic of plagiarism, with some advice to authors on how we can protect ourselves against copyright infringement, or having your work stolen. Important stuff for all writers, so take note. Our winner from January's 75-word challenge is Ashleyne and, staying with our topic of dreams, we see what happens when Captain Halkmilkcarton from Mars Radio 14 attempts to stay awake for three weeks straight.

    Listener Poll
    Lastly, please fill out our very short poll, which is going to inform some future content we're bringing to the show.

    Next Month
    Next month we'll be joined by none other than Bryan Wigmore, author of the Fire Stealers series, including The Goddess Project and The Empyreus Proof, to talk about John Boorman's 1981 cinematic take on the Arthurian myth, Excalibur. 

    [0:00:00 - 0:51:23] Tade Thompson talk part 1
    [0:51:24 - 54:53] Skit 1
    [0:54:54 - 1:08:18] - The Judge's Corner
    [1:08:19 - 1:09:51] - 75-word challenge winner
    [1:09:52 - 1:12:25] - Skit 2
    [1:12:25 - 2:01:46] - Tade Thompson talk part 2
    [2:01:46 - 2:03:43] - Credits and close

    • 2 hr 3 min
    John Carpenter's The Thing with Chad Fifer and Chris Lackey

    John Carpenter's The Thing with Chad Fifer and Chris Lackey

    We see in 2023 with Chad Fifer and Chris Lackey, the hosts of the Strange Studies of Strange Stories podcast covering genre fiction. As well podcasting, they are quite the polymath duo; Chad is a filmmaker, screenwriter, and musician, and Chris is a writer of books for tabletop RPGs and co-host of other podcasts such as Rachel Watches Star Trek.

    Chad and Chris's bread and butter is H.P Lovecraft - they cut their teeth on HP Podcraft, a podcast dedicated to the master of cosmic horror - and they join us today to talk about a movie that has Lovecraftian DNA running through it - John Carpenter's The Thing, the 1982 science-fiction horror masterpiece. We'll talk about the evolution of the film, from At the Mountains Of Madness to Who Goes There?; we'll cover fears of the unknown, a post-Covid reading of the film, and ponder upon alternative versions of the film starring Ernie Hudson and Christopher Walken (which almost happened!).

    We also chat about the various projects Chad and Chris have on the go, including Chad's 2022 movie The Time Capsule, his music with Pitch Black Manor, and Chris's unexpected podcasting adventures with his wife Rachel.

    Elsewhere The Judge concludes her series of talks on plagiarism, we hear Mosaix's winning entry from December's 75-word writing challenge, and Elon Musk tells Mars Radio FM how his acquisition of Twitter is paving the way for his journey to the Red Planet.


    The Strange Studies Of Strange Stories [https://www.strangestudies.com/] Podcast
    Chad's band Pitch Black Manor [https://pitchblackmanor.bandcamp.com/]
    Chad's movie The Colossus, adapted from Clark Ashton Smith's short story, can be viewed for free (!!) on Youtube [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4kGzDtem9FM].
    For more info on Chad's 2022 sci-fi romance movie The Time Capsule visit https://thetimecapsulemovie.com/
    Chris's other podcast, Rachel Watches Star Trek, is available on all good podcast platforms, and there are more details here [https://rachelwatchesstartrek.com/].


    [0:00:00 - 0:41:07] - Interview Part 1
    [0:41:08 - 0:43:26] - Skit 1
    [0:43:27 - 0:59:25] - The Judge's Corner
    [0:59:26 - 1:00:41] - 75-word challenge
    [1:00:42 - 1:03:37] - Skit 2
    [1:03:38 - 1:31:24] - Interview Part 2
    [1:32:25 - Close] - Credits

    • 1 hr 33 min
    Ghost Stories For Christmas with Alison Littlewood

    Ghost Stories For Christmas with Alison Littlewood

    As the nights draw in and we approach the midwinter, what better way to celebrate the season than dipping into that most macabre of festive traditions, the Christmas ghost story? While we're all familiar with Dickens's A Christmas Carol, more modern traditions include the BBC's A Ghost Story For Christmas, adaptations of typically M.R James stories, and which themselves are continuations of ancient storytelling customs that stretches back several centuries, when midwinter and the winter solstice, rather than Hallowe'en, was the time of year where the veil between the lands of the living and the dead was at its thinnest.

    Adding to that tradition is our guest Alison Littlewood, the author of Mistletoe, a festive Gothic ghost story that follows in those traditions of tales that see the past interfering with the present, seeking reconciliation and peace. We discuss the idea of the revivification of the bleak midwinter landscape, folk horror and how Christmas builds upon more ancient customs, rites. We talk about short stories, and where the market lies for them in 2022 and 2023, the necessity of failure, and how writers can keep their heads up even when through those long bleak winters of grafting which yield little fruit.

    Elsewhere The Judge updates us all on matters relating to plagiarism (don't do it, kids), and November's winner of the 75-word challenge, our very own Brian Sexton, with his reimagining of the Moon Landings. Last but not least, reports of paranormal activity emanating from the planet Earth catch the attention of the Martian Space Force Ghosthunting Division, and lead to some confusion as to the true meaning of Christmas.

    Merry Christmas, and thanks to everyone who tuned in to listen throughout this year. See you in 2023!

    Links and further reading
    Mistletoe [https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mistletoe-Alison-Littlewood-ebook/dp/B07KFLNL7F]
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mistletoe-Alison-Littlewood-ebook/dp/B07KFLNL7FOh Whistle, And I'll Come To You My Lad (youtube) [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TAuvasKBNic]
    Ralan [https://ralan.com/] - the place to visit for finding short story markets

    [0:00:00 - 35:36] - Alison Littlewood interview part 1
    [35:37 - 38:07] - Skit 1
    [38:09 - 53:23] - The Judge's Corner
    [53:29 - 55:48] - Skit 2
    [55:54 - 58:18] - Writing Challenge Winner
    [58:20 - 1:33:13] - Alison Littlewood Interview Part 2
    [1:33:14 - 1:35:15] - Credits and close

    Next Month
    Next month we'll be joined by Chad Fifer and Chris Lackey, hosts of the H.P Podcraft and Strange Studies podcasts, to talk about the 1982 cult science-fiction horror masterpiece, John Carpenter's The Thing.

    • 1 hr 35 min

Customer Reviews

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4 Ratings

4 Ratings

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