Two Suns Setting
Originally published: Fantastic, May 1976 edited by Ted White
Awards: Won 1977 British Fantasy Award for Best Short Story, Nominated for 1977 World Fantasy Award for Best Short Fiction
Happy to be back with another Kane episode, and such a great story too.
In my recent library delvings, I came across a great article in the February 1978 issue of The Science Fiction Review called ‘Glimpses of the Third World Fantasycon’ by Mark Mansell, a reviewer of genre fiction in the late 70s and early 80s.
The article is Mark’s report from the Third World FantasyCon in L.A. It was the year when Wagner had both ‘Two Suns Setting’ nominated for Best Short Fiction and ‘Dark Crusade’ nominated for Best Novel. Mark describes picking Karl and his wife Barbara up from the airport on the first day of the Con. This was his first time meeting Wagner in person who he previously only had correspondence with. After check-in, Mark spent some time with Karl and Barbara and was introduced to Wagner’s
friend the editor Stephen Jones.
This seems to be his only interaction with Wagner besides attending a panel Wagner was on covering Epic Fantasy. It seems Wagner made a nice impression, Mark closes the article by saying:
“In closing, I’d like to thank everyone who made my first convention so (memorial) memorable, whether through friendship or kindness, made knowingly or unknowingly: Karl and Barbara Wagner, Stephen Jones, Harlan Ellison… You all may not remember my name or why I’m thanking you, but each in your own way made it a very special weekend for me by being very special people. Thanks.” (SFR No. 24 Vol. 7 No. 1 p. 37)
During the episode, Jonathan mentioned the appearance of giants in the bible and I wanted to share a couple of verses. It’s worth noting the word ‘giant’ is not always translated and in some versions left as Nephilim.
“There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.” (Genesis 6:4, King James Bible)
“And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.” (Numbers 13:33, King James Bible)
I also wanted to leave you with the opening poem of Robert Chambers’ King in Yellow that I referenced at the end of the episode.
Along the shore the cloud waves break,
The twin suns sink behind the lake,
The shadows lengthen
Strange is the night where black stars rise,
And strange moons circle through the skies
But stranger still is
Songs that the Hyades shall sing,
Where flap the tatters of the King,
Must die unheard in
Song of my soul, my voice is dead;
Die thou, unsung, as tears unshed
Shall dry and die in
Cassilda’s Song in “The King in Yellow,” Act i, Scene 2
That is all for this episode, join us in two weeks for Part 1 of Bloodstone, the first novel in the chronology. If you are reading along we’ll be covering through Chapter XIV: Flight into Nightmare.
original music: F. N. York
Narrator: Jordan Douglas Smith