Radio Free Mid-World
Summary: Welcome to Radio Free Mid-World, a podcast examination of the Dark Tower series of books by Stephen King. Every other week, a panel of hosts will discuss these books that merge fantasy, sci-fi, and western themes... outlining the quest of the last Gunslinger to reach the Dark Tower.
Jim Stormdancer (of Frog Fractions and Video Games Hot Dog fame) joins me to talk about another Tower-related novel, "From a Buick 8". A strange man abandons an even stranger car at a gas station in western Pennsylvania, and it ends up in the custody of a state police barracks nearby. The novel, through flashbacks, tells the story of how a rookie led the charge to investigate the otherworldly happenings spurred on by the car's presence, in what's probably King's most Lovecraftian book to date.
Autumn Greer joins me to talk about Bag of Bones, a novel about a writer who loses his wife under mysterious circumstances... which starts him on a collision course against a conspiracy of old racists in a small Maine lake town.
Evan Thorne joins me for the last chapters of Wolves of the Calla, where we say goodbye to the Wolves, goodbye to the Calla, and goodbye to any feeling of existential certainty. Things go thoroughly 19 as the preparations come to a close and we get more answers about what exactly the Wolves are doing with those twins they abduct.
Two is one and one is none. That's what we learn in this week's episode, as Autumn Greer joins me to talk about the beginning of the end of Wolves of the Calla. We learn why the older Slightman is cooperating with the Wolves, and we also get closer to figuring out how to protect the Rose. However, it involves Eddie taking a brief jaunt into is old, strange home of Manhattan.
Somebody saved Donald Callahan's life tonight. Jeremy Greer joins me to learn who, and how. As the ka tet settles into the Calla and tries to learn more about the impending conflict, the Father settles in and shares the remainder of his story... talking about how he hit rock bottom, was attacked by the Hitler Brothers, and saved by some very familiar people.
Evan Thorne joins me for a history lesson in Calla folkways and close calls, as we learn the tale of Lady Oriza and Gray Dick, and hear from Granpere Jaffords about the time he saw a dead wolf. The ka-tet learns about a potential ace in the hole: the women of the Calla know how to throw sharpened titanium plates. But things start going wrong when Jake witnesses Susannah's nightly fugue states.
Welcome Home. Autumn Greer joins me to talk about a section of the book that focuses very heavily on Father Callahan, and his journey from 'Salem's Lot, across America's hidden todash highways, and finally to End-World. But we must also make a stop at Calla Bryn Sturgis to talk about Roland's weird rice cum dance. It's an eventful episode.
Let's go back to the vacant lot, because the Rose is in danger. Zack Johnson joins me once again to talk about the remainder of the Todash portion of the book. Our ka-tet begins to understand the nature of their nocturnal travels, while Father Callahan makes his introductions. Roland and company learn more specifics about the Wolves, and decide that it's their duty to protect this town, even if they don't want protection.
Time has resumed. Zack Johnson joins me to talk about the opening of Wolves of the Calla, which finds our ka-tet approaching civilization once more. The Wolves are about to return to Calla Bryn Sturgis. Their goal is to steal half of the children and return them Roont, or ruined. And among the simple farmers is a remarkable man, another castaway from Earth. Someone we've met before.
TV's gonna rot your brain, even if you're a demon. Autumn Greer joins me to talk about this absolutely bonkers companion to Desperation. Writing as Richard Bachman, King takes major characters from Desperation and plants them in suburban Ohio, where the demon Tak uses a child's mind and obsession with westerns and cartoons to turn a neighborhood into a killing floor.
Here comes Mister Flip, to chase you out of Jerusalem's Lot. Autumn Greer joins me to talk about this seminal retelling of Bram Stoker's Dracula, as mysterious men named Barlowe and Straker move into town and children seem to be rising from the dead. The events of this book have a great bearing on the final Dark Tower titles, so I'd encourage you to listen in.
The hospital isn't always the place you go to get better. Roland learns this the hard way after a run-in at the dead town of Eluria. Autumn and Jeremy Greer join me to talk about this short story, most readily available in the collection called Everything's Eventual. This tale concerns Roland's discovery of a coterie of vampires masquerading as nuns, and it will serve as a good primer for the Wolves of the Calla and the following books. Thank you for being understanding about our short absence.
We know the "what" of Gilead's fall, but now we know the "how". Bryan May and Murph Murphy join me to continue the journey of Young Roland, as we watches the seeds of Farson and Marten's treachery take root in Gilead and tear it to pieces. This episode covers the trade paperbacks "The Fall of Gilead" and "The Battle of Jericho Hill".
The wild west werewolf mystery is solved, and I'm joined by Evan and Chase to talk through the gory conclusion to this strange book. With the fairy tale told, Roland sets out to identify which of the salt miners is gruesomely murdering the inhabitants of Debaria. As for where that Skin-Man came from? Well, that's another mystery.
Deeper into the endless woods we go, to find a tiger and almost certain death. Evan joins me to talk about the second half of the fairy tale that makes up the core of this book. Tim Ross is following the Covenant Man's directions, headed on a fool's errand to find a cure for his mother's blindness. And he has no idea what wonders (and horrors) he will see on the way.