Oct 30 2017142 Icelandic Dracula

Icelandic Dracula, also known as Makt Myrkranna or Powers of Darkness, is amazing. The translator/author Valdimar Asmundsson made significant deviations to Bram Stoker’s text. There’s more sexy moonlight vampire temptation, Dracula is a straight-up supervillain who wants to overthrow the democratic governments of Europe, and there’s an underground ape cult. The book was hiding in plain sight until 2014 when a scholar finally noticed, over a hundred years ago, that the Icelandic novel was a very early variation on Stoker’s vampire tale.

 

Jan 21 201664 Yesterday’s Tomorrows

It’s always fun to look back on predictions about the future that were wrong. For instance, Victorian portrayals of the 20th and 21st century had everyone flying around in blimps and ornithopters, which did not exactly come to pass.

Looking back at past predictions is especially satisfying now because we are well into the 21st century. For decades, years that started with “20” (or even “199”) were simply vaguely futuristic. Now, they’re simply a date on the calendar. In this episode, we count through some of the most notable years in science fiction that have already happened from 1997 (Escape From New York) to 2001 (2001) and see how the year from pop culture lined up to the actual year that happened.

looking-backward

Aug 20 201544 Live at the Steep and Thorny Way to Heaven, Thoughts on Richard III

Richard III is one of Shakespeare’s most compelling villains. Unlike other tragic figures who do terrible things (Macbeth, Othello, Brutus) Richard does not fall. He does not have some kind of tragic flaw that drives him to perform an evil act. Instead, he is a through-and-through villain from the very first scene of the play, and is all the more compelling for it.

As you can imagine, the actual, real Richard III was somewhat different.

Last week I spoke at a Portland performance space, The Steep and Thorny Way to Heaven, about some differences between the real Richard and the character in Shakespeare’s play. The event was a benefit show for an upcoming performance of Richard III that Steep and Thorny is putting on, and the evening also featured dancing, music, and other performers.

King_Richard_III

Related Links:

More about The Steep and Thorny Way to Heaven here.