Chronscast Season 1 Episode 12 - Ghost Stories for Christmas with Alison Littlewood

Dan Jones

Der Vater absurder Geschichten
Nov 14, 2014
I am here to do the thing!
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 on matters relating to plagiarism (don't do it, kids), and we hear November's winner of the 75-word challenge, our very own @AnRoinnUltra, 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
Oh Whistle, And I'll Come To You My Lad (youtube)
Ralan - 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
In January 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.

How To Listen
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Finally, find us on on Twitter (while you still can...) - @Chronscast.
I rated Chronscast on Spotify ages ago (yes, it was more than 1 star), but Spotify doesn't offer the ability to do reviews, unfortunately. And I followed you on Twitter, even if the algorithm rarely brings your tweets up for me these days.

Really enjoying this one with Alison Littlewood. Enjoying, as I find the podcasts too long to listen to in one go. My brain tries to do too many things. So, the excellent interview with Emily Inkpen (talking about one of my favourite books, The Left Hand of Darkness) was consumed in four sittings. I'll finish this latest one off tomorrow.

Also, The Thing next month? :love: I'll sit there with my flamethrower ready.
Do people use Youtube to listen to podcasts in this way (ie audio only?)
Yes, definitely -there are lots of folk at it who seem to have a huge reach doing it if the views widget is anything to go by (use it myself regularly as their 'recommend' algorithm knows me too well) (y)
Yes I've thought of this - we don't have the video feed recorded, but it wouldn't be beyond us to simply add the audio feed and a holding logo. Do people use Youtube to listen to podcasts in this way (ie audio only?)
My ten yen's worth... I listen to podcasts on me smartie-phone while out and about, but I'll have a browser tab for YouTube audiobooks/podcast on the laptop at home. I'm we1rd like that ;-)
If anyone was interested in my talk about the more complicated areas of plagiarism/copyright, the judgements in the two cases I speak about can be found here:

Pasternak -v- Prescott -- very long, but it serves to show the kind of detail into which both sides have to go in order to prove/defend against allegations of plagiarism Pasternak v Prescott [2022] EWHC 2695 (Ch) (25 October 2022)

Baigent & Leigh -v- The Random House Group Limited (The Da Vinci Code case) -- the Court of Appeal decision, which is a lot easier to understand than the original (the Lord Justices didn't try to incorporate a code into the judgment for one thing, unlike the judge at first instance)