Workshop Episode 37 (Guest Host: Larry Santoro)

The Roundtable Podcast, Workshop Episode 37, with Larry Santoro and Michael Bergonzi Larry Santoro – author of “Just North of Nowhere” and “Drink for the Thirst to Come” and host of the splendid “Tales to Terrify” podcast – returns to the Big Chair at the Roundtable to help Paul E. Cooley and myself workshop the tale of a hero’s journey through Hell offered up by Michael Bergonzi. Rogue angels, demon spawn, and the world after Revelations sends us all on a wild hunt for radical story lines and subverted reader expectations… and along the way we find some literary gold! (and once you’re done here, check out Larry’s Showcase Episode!)

PROMO: Walk the Fire” anthology (edited by John Mierau)

Workshop Episode 37 (Guest Host: Larry Santoro)

[caution: mature language – listener discretion is advised]

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In the works for Larry…


And from Michael Bergonzi…


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Comments (4)

Another fine show, guys. One thing that occurred to me was the sheer nebulosity of some parts of the initial concept and the gradual move toward more concrete story. I don’t know about Mike, but that sort of thing is always helpful for me when I’m stuck on a story or idea.

That said, I think the original idea is pretty cool. One thing that didn’t get mentioned in the show (at least not much) was how well this existing mythology has been adapted to a more fantasy-story rather than something like the exorcist or religiously dominated story. I do think puzzling out where the capitol G god is in this story would be important. Barely even handwaving the Christian god when the fate of existence is at stake and angels and demons are already afoot does not seem wise to me.

Something that I don’t recall being fleshed out was how Hell was different than what we think of it. Michael seemed like maybe he had a conception of it, or maybe not, seems important though. What if Hell is a hedonistic party paradise. While Heaven is a cold, repressive, stodgy, dictatorship; sure there’s no hunger or pain or want, but there is no pleasure without pain, no satisfaction without want. Maybe this was the reason for Lucifer’s original revolt, and now after Revelations he’s like “Man, I can’t believe they won. I quit,” leaving Rath in charge. Gabriel, as guardian of Heaven with nothing left to guard, comes in as a victor of Revelation to claim his spoils. Cindy and Luke as still living beings and seeing the reality of the spirital-political climate are in a unique position to both keep Hell free (more power than detached souls?), and to return to the land of the living and maybe work at undoing Revelations.

Russ, you’re right, I wanted to do a reversal on the whole “Hell is bad.” Since that’s probably going to be a big suspension of disbelief for a lot readers to overcome, I decided to have two regions of Hell (Sincota and Impura). As I said in the podcast, Sincota is a steam punk/gear punk city and Impura has a Feudal Japanese vibe to it. I felt the contrast was a nice touch. Of course I didn’t entirely get rid of the “traditional” Hell. Hence why I created the Pyrospace.

I’m doing an in-depth blog post on my site on what I took away from this experience.

It sounded to me like the panel was focusing on “characterization”, because the author sounded like he had a real good grasp on “setting”.

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