I think there has to be something more sinister going on ashore.
The robotics technician is pretty obviously murdered. How does someone cut his wrists "almost to the bone" and then hang himself or vice-versa?
Missing the big drop-off in the canyon could be explained as a genuine error, a recent tectonic event (though you think someone would mention that), or deliberate lying by the administrator. Maybe I've been too well trained by the last four years to take anything at face value.
Could Jacova Angevine's book's title Waking Leviathan be a reference to the power of the state, related to Thomas Hobbes' Leviathan? Several parts of this story talk about state and non-state power like nuclear weapons.
Sorry I'm late to the party, but I'm loving the podcasts on Elder Sign. I am a huge fan of Caitlin R. Kiernan, and was thrilled to hear the Houses Under The Sea two parter. thank you so much, it was fantastic. it was Kiernan's birthday this past week, and I sent her this podcast as a birthday gift. I must recommend her two anthologies, 'Beneath An Oil Dark Sea', and 'Two Worlds and In-Between'.
I would also like to recommend the 'Black Wings Of Cthulu' series, which is up to five volumes (so far) (various authors inspired by H.P. Lovecraft'..........
Andromeda Among The Stones is part of the "Danbridge Cycle", a group of four related short stories at the end of Kiernan's Houses Under The Sea collection. I thought all four of the stories were really good.
It may be in other collections of her work as well.
I feel like the more I read of Kiernan's stories, I'm developing a bit of a love/hate relationship with them. Well, "hate" is probably too strong a word. I find Kiernan's writing style often isn't really my sort of thing, although I can't really explain why. In the better stories, though, the content more than makes up for that. Fortunately this is one of those stories, and there was so much to love here!
Like Glenn, I have a secret fondness for pseudo-science. Even though I know it's all nonsense, I can't help but be compelled by it. I think weird fiction in particular is a good venue for exploring pseudo-scientific ideas, especially stuff like ancient aliens. Really, that's exactly what the Cthulhu mythos is all about anyway, albeit not in the way that Von Däniken had in mind.
Also like Glenn, I love fictional books in stories, and it was great to see Keirnan giving us some nice meaty excerpts here. All to often weird fiction authors just give a title, a sentence, or at most a short stanza. This was much better! The publication details were the icing on the cake too. Some excepts from Waking Leviathan would have been nice though. On the other hand, maybe that would ruin too much of the mystery...
Anyway, as for my reading of what was going on. I actually leaned more towards the Call of Cthulhu reading, with the narrator as the investigator and Jacova Angevine as the cult leader, but not actually a Deep One hybrid. That certainly doesn't explain everything, though, and after listening to the discussion episode, I really like Brandon's idea of Jacova being a changeling. It still doesn't explain everything, but that is the ultimate appeal of this story: there are so many layers that multiple interpretations are possible, and maybe - in true post-modernist style - multiple possibilities are true.
Finally, I want to repeat my recommendation for Keirnan fans to read Andromeda among the Stones. For me, it probably the best Lovecraftian story I've ever read that wasn't written by the man himself. Maybe even a near perfect weird story. Hopefully it will be covered on Elder Sign one day, but even if not, you should read it!
As I said earlier, I love Kiernan's work (I dare to say after reading just two of her tales), but I have more work of her already waiting on my reading shelf. They succeed in writing modern tales with a real Lovecraftian atmosphere (with, it almost pains me to say, even better writing skills than Lovecraft himself), but mixing it - as was said in the Elder Sign episode - in a postmodern way with other fictional as well as non-fictional genres and tropes and 'memetic' allusions (I think 'noise' of today's world was a great description). When I (and better writers than me) should write with this technique I'm afraid it will become a great mess, but Kiernan manages to use it making the building blocks of the tale enforce each other and making it into one great whole.
It was fun to hear and read and think about the different interpretations of the story. I don't have a favorite one, or one I think is most plausible, and I think that is exactly what makes this tale count as 'weird'. Good weird stories never have one closed interpretation - the doubt of the protagonists as how the world really is (and the fear to belief in this strange world), to me is one of the most important characteristics of weird (whether it's classical weird or new weird).
By the way, Arthur Conan Doyle is very high on my must-read list, so I hope one day it will pass by on Claytemple Media.
Oh, awesome. We should do a whole series on Holmes stuff. We want to do A Study in Scarlet by Doyle before we do Gaiman's A Study in Emerald. And then we should do this!
We're excited to do more Kiernan, for sure. I rather assumed that the people responsible for the death of the guy with the video tape was the Cthulhu cult who, of course, do similar things in The Call of Cthulhu. But it would be really fun in an X-Files sense to think that the science organization is run by cultists!
Thanks for introducing me to this outstanding author, by the way. I bought this as part of a collection titled Houses Under The Sea: Mythos Tales from B & N online and am really looking forward to reading the other stories. It was only $5.99, which is a pretty good deal for a 450-ish page book.