Back of the Bookshelf
Episode 8 - The Legend of Sir Dinar
Don your armour and saddle your horse, because in episode eight we're journeying back to the age of chivalry courtesy of Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch's classic Arthurian fantasy, The Legend of Sir Dinar. The story was originally published in The Speaker in 1891 under Quiller-Couch's pseudonym of Q. It is about the quest for the Holy Grail, but focuses on a lesser known knight called Sir Dinar, who is left at Camelot because of his inexperience. Sir Dinar is not happy about being excluded, and...
Episode 7 - The Higher Life
In honour of Halloween, our seventh episode is a ghost story by Mary Elizabeth Braddon. Braddon is remembered chiefly for her sensation novel, Lady Audley's Secret, a true classic of the genre, but left behind a considerable body of other work which is equally worthy of attention, as this story demonstrates. It's called The Higher Life and was originally published in 1907 in an anthology called Tales for the Homes. In it, we look back on the life of an old man as he approaches death and join...
Episode 6 - The Cone
Few people have had a bigger impact on science fiction than the great H.G. Wells, who is our episode 6 author. His contributions to the genre are regularly adapted for stage and screen, and his debut novella The Time Machine is widely regarded as one of the best ever written. His other work is less well known, though equally accomplished, and it is from this that our story comes. It's called The Cone and was first published in Unicorn magazine in 1895. Originally intended to be the opening...
Episode 5 - A Masked Ball
In this episode we return to 19th century Paris for Alexandre Dumas' A Masked Ball, which was originally published in 1833 in Scènes du Beau Monde. Dumas is loved the world over for his novels, which include classics like The Three Musketeers, The Count of Monte Cristo and The Man in the Iron Mask, but as he demonstrates here, he was equally adept at short stories. Intrigue, betrayal and heartache are skillfully woven together as the hero ventures into a high society den of debauchery and...
Episode 4 - The White Cat Of Drumgunniol
Here at Back of the Bookshelf, we love a good ghost story, so for this week's episode we are giving you exactly that, courtesy of J. Sheridan Le Fanu, a true master of the genre. Le Fanu is most famous for his classic vampire novel, 'Carmilla', but in line with our mission statement, the story we have chosen is rather more obscure. It is called 'The White Cat of Drumgunniol' and was originally published in a weekly journal called 'All Year Round' on 2nd April 1870. It's about a family in...
Episode 3 - Into the Sun
In episode three of the Back of the Bookshelf podcast, we whisk you away to 19th century San Francisco in Robert Duncan Milne's apocalyptic science fiction story, Into the Sun. Milne is a true Back of the Bookshelf author, whose work appeared primarily in local newspapers and magazines, so would very likely have been forgotten if Sam Moskowitz hadn’t introduced it to a new audience with his 1980 collection, Into the Sun and Other Stories. Fans of classic fiction will find much to endear them...
Episode 2 - The Jewels
Episode two of the Back of the Bookshelf podcast, featuring a Guy de Maupassant story called The Jewels. As you might expect from the title, it's thematically similar to Maupassant's more famous The Necklace, but is arguably superior with its multifaceted approach. The characters and situations are easy to relate to and with our carefully selected sound effects you'll almost believe you've stepped back into 19th century Paris. The episode is narrated by C.J. Carter-Stephenson with music by...
Episode 1 - The Disintegration Machine
Inaugural episode of the Back of the Bookshelf podcast, featuring a story by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Doyle is best known as the creator of Sherlock Holmes, but here he writes about another memorable character, Professor Challenger, in a thrilling science fiction adventure. The story is narrated by author and actor, C.J. Carter-Stephenson, with music by Kevin MacLeod and an immersive soundscape. Join us now on a journey back to London of yesteryear, and if you like what you hear, please...