Airy Persiflage

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Archive for the 'Weird Fiction' Category

The Arimaspian Legacy, by Gene Wolfe

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011
spoken word, Weird Fiction | Comments

The Arimaspian Legacy is a short story by Gene Wolfe.  It is a fictionalized memoir of a friend, with a twist of an ending.


  • Arimaspians were a tribe of one-eyed bandits from Scythia
  • Gryphons were mythical beasts with the hindquarters of a lion and the head and torso of eagles.  Much used in heraldry.
  • " Haven't you visited Sumer? Hah! Or Akkad? What about Ur?" references ancient cities and modern archeological sites.
  • The story seems to reference this medallion, perhaps..
  • Background music is Kronos Quartet's DEATH IS THE ROAD TO AWE from The Fountain.

The Arimaspian Legacy is hosted online at Infinity Plus short fiction site.

The Goat God Catechism, by Frank Key

Sunday, January 2nd, 2011
spoken word, Weird Fiction, Surrealism | Comments

Today's audio blurb is the Goat God Catechism, by that wonderful Surrealist, Mr. Frank Key, who holds the copyright thereto.

In the following snippet, the part of the integrator is played by your humble narrator.  The part of the respondent is played by young Gar.

Is there anything more frightening than the goat god?

No, there is not.

Must one tremble when the goat god appears, looming from a cloud of foul inexplicable gas?

Yes, one must tremble.

How must one tremble?

In awe and dread.

Must one cover one’s ears when one hears the terrible clattering of the goat god’s cloven hooves upon the linoleum?

Yes, one must clap one’s hands over one’s ears.

When the goat god brays its harsh bray, is it so loud that all birds and small mammals in the vicinity are rendered deaf?

Yes, they are deafened, temporarily.

Is mayhem caused by the deafening of birds and small mammals?

Yes, it can be, because those that depend upon their hearing for orienting themselves in the sky or upon the earth become confused and terrified.

Does the goat god take pleasure from causing such havoc in the natural world?

Yes, it does, there is mirth in its braying.

Is the goat god accompanied by helpmeets?

Yes, the goat god has two helpmeets.

Are the goat god’s helpmeets men or goats?

They are mutant hybrids of both, their upper half being as a man, their lower half being as a goat.

Do the helpmeets speak in a human tongue or do they bray as would a goat?

They do neither, for they are silent.

What horror takes place once the cloud of foul gas has dispersed to reveal the goat god and its helpmeets in all their dreadful majesty?

Some of the deafened birds fall from the sky and some of the deafened small mammals scurry about in circles of disoriented bestial befuddlement.

What else happens?

I continue to tremble in awe and dread with my hands clapped over my ears.

What does the goat god do?

It continues to bray, loud and mirthful and terrifying.

Does it continue to clatter its cloven hooves upon the linoleum?

Yes, it does.

Why is the ground covered in linoleum?

Because the goat god has appeared in its cloud of foul inexplicable gas in the kitchenette of my squalid flat.

For what purpose has the goat god appeared in your flat?

I am not yet sure of its purpose, but it appeared because I accidentally summoned it.

By what accident did you summon the goat god and its helpmeets?

The accident was that I was reading aloud a recipe from Old Ma Purgative’s Wonder Book Of Pies and I pronounced some of the words amiss.

Wait a moment, if you are in your flat, what explains the presence of all these deafened birds and small mammals?

I said my flat is a squalid flat. It has no roof, and it is overrun with wildlife.

Why do you have no roof over your head?

My roof was removed by the regime.

Do you think Old Ma Purgative deliberately inserted words which might easily be pronounced amiss into her pie recipes to trick her readers into summoning the goat god?

Yes, I do.



What happens next?

I am going to finish baking the pie and feed it to the goat god and its helpmeets, and then we shall issue forth from my flat and wreak vengeance upon the regime.

Will you be writing up an account of the terror you unleash?

No, for this whole bailiwick shall be laid waste and there will be neither notepaper nor pens nor pencils when we are done.

Will your flat still be standing?

No, it will not, and I shall vanish with the goat god and its helpmeets in a second cloud of foul inexplicable gas.

Will the regime survive the vengeance you and the goat god and its helpmeets wreak?

Not in this bailiwick.

Happy Easter, by Gene Wolfe

Saturday, April 10th, 2010
spoken word, Weird Fiction | Comments


For my first effort, Mr. Gene Wolfe, the author of the Shadow of the Torturer series, once wrote an Easter story. Here it is, diabolical twist and all. I apologize for the sound quality of this recording-- the microphone is embarrassingly bad, and the music incidental.  Also, I'm not sure what I was attempting with the accents.  Oh well....  For all of my audio shortcomings, this is a great story.  Click the right arrow on the embedded player to listen below.

I find it a delightfully sardonic and very brief story with a very familiar character. Hope you enjoy.