troy harkin

Season 2, Episode 4—”On Writing”


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Stephen King

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Stephen King

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On Writing is a classic book (published just 20+ years ago, in 2000) by Stephen King. It is part memoir, part writing instruction, part how King did what he did, and does what he does.

What does Stephen King say

about writing?
about what it takes to be a writer?
about what you need to do to be a writer?

Listen, and find out!

Here are four quotes from the book:

= = =

If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot. There’s no way around these two things that I’m aware of, no shortcut.

Stories are relics, part of an undiscovered pre-existing world.

The job boils down to two things: paying attention to how the real people around you behave and then telling the truth about what you see.

In the spring of my senior year at Lisbon High—1966, this would’ve been—I got a scribbled comment that changed the way I rewrote my fiction once and forever. Jotted below the machine-generated signature of the editor was this mot: “Not bad, but puffy. You need to revise for length. Formula: 2nd Draft = 1st Draft – 10%. Good luck.”

= = =

Troy Harkin and David Clink will talk about the book: On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft.

Our special guest is our first return guest, Bev Vincent. Bev was our guest for Season 1 Episode 7, where we talked about The Dead Zone. See author photo and bio below.


Bev Vincent


Bev Vincent is the author of The Road to the Dark Tower and The Stephen King Illustrated Companion, as well as over 100 short stories, including appearances in Ellery Queen’sAlfred Hitchcock’s and Black Cat Mystery Magazines, and Cemetery Dance.

His work has been published in 20 languages and nominated for the Stoker (twice), Edgar, Ignotus and ITW Thriller Awards.

In 2018, he co-edited the anthology Flight or Fright with Stephen King.

Recent works include the novellas “The Ogilvy Affair” and “The Dead of Winter,” the latter found in Dissonant Harmonies with Brian Keene. 

To learn more, visit bevvincent.com


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Season 2, Episode 3—”Universal Classic Monsters”


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Boris Karloff as “The Mummy”

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Famous Monsters

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Nearly one hundred years ago Universal Pictures got into the monster business, and created a legacy that has not been matched. The Mummy; Dracula; Frankenstein; and The Wolf Man were four characters that cemented Universal as the studio where monster movies were made, and audiences thrilled.

Dracula
Frankenstein
The Mummy
The Wolf Man


Universal also added The Invisible Man; and The Creature from The Black Lagoon.

Troy Harkin and David Clink will talk about these early horror films, and more recent ones.

We will also do our recent either/or segment.

Our special guest is Michael Rowe. See author photo and bio below.


Michael Rowe

Michael Rowe is the Shirley Jackson Award-finalist author of three novels, Enter, NightWild Fell, and October, all available from Open Road Media, as well as an essayist and former journalist.

A 17-year veteran of Fangoria magazine, he is also a National Magazine Award finalist, a GLAAD Media Award co-finalist, and the winner of the Randy Shilts Award for Nonfiction from the New York Publishing Triangle.

His essays and reviews have appeared in numerous venues in Canada and the United States including the Globe and Mail, the National PostCanadian Notes and Queries, and the Boston Globe.  Born in Ottawa, he has lived in Beirut, Havana, Geneva, and Paris. He currently resides in Toronto. 


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Season 2, Episode 2—”The Exorcist” PT. 2


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Regan MacNeil, played by Linda Blair.

From the 1973 film, The Exorcist

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The infamous stairs.

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This is the second episode of our two-part Exorcist episode.

We will continue our look at The Exorcist (the book by William Peter Blatty and the film by William Friedkin).

We will do our Dream Cast and Schrödinger’s Cast for the 1973 film. We will look at six key characters in the movie, and pick the actor/actress that would have best fit that role, and also an outside-the-box cast:

Regan MacNeil | Linda Blair
Chris MacNeil | Ellen Burstyn
Father Damien Karras | Jason Miller
Father Lankester Merrin | Max von Sydow
Lt. William Kinderman | Lee J. Cobb
Burke Dennings | Jack Macgowran

Troy Harkin and David Clink will continue to look at the book and the movie, and talk about the impact that they have had.

Our special guest, from episode 1, is back for episode 2. Valentino Assenza will have a lot to add about the 1973 film. See author photo and bio below.


Valentino Assenza

Valentino Assenza has been a published poet and performing spoken word artist for over the last two decades.

In that time he has released four chapbooks and performed all over Canada and the US.

Valentino has been a co-host and co-producer of HOWL on CIUT 89.5FM, where he has interviewed names such as George Elliott Clarke, Anne Michaels, Denise Donlon, Ron Sexsmith, and Margaret Atwood.



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Season 2, Episode 1—”The Exorcist” PT. 1


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The original “Blair Witch”?
Regan MacNeil, played by Linda Blair.

From the 1973 film, The Exorcist

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The infamous stairs.

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The Exorcist is a book by William Peter Blatty, a film by William Friedkin, and there were sequels. The novel (1971) and movie (1973) tell the story of demonic possession. An actress’s daughter is the victim, and after exhausting all medical and psychological possibilities, they are left with a Catholic ritual to “exorcise” the demon from the child.

The book received a lot of praise, and the movie was a hit. Not since Psycho and Rosemary’s Baby has a film gripped the public’s imagination.

Here are six key characters in the novel and movie, and the actor/actress that played the role in the 1973 film:

Regan MacNeil | Linda Blair
Chris MacNeil | Ellen Burstyn
Father Damien Karras | Jason Miller
Father Lankester Merrin | Max von Sydow
Lt. William Kinderman | Lee J. Cobb
Burke Dennings | Jack Macgowran

Troy Harkin and David Clink will look at the book and the movie, and talk about the impact that they have had.

Our special guest is Valentino Assenza. He will also be our guest for part 2. Valentino will have a lot to add about the 1973 film. See author photo and bio below.


Valentino Assenza

Valentino Assenza has been a published poet and performing spoken word artist for over the last two decades.

In that time he has released four chapbooks and performed all over Canada and the US.

Valentino has been a co-host and co-producer of HOWL on CIUT 89.5FM, where he has interviewed names such as George Elliott Clarke, Anne Michaels, Denise Donlon, Ron Sexsmith, and Margaret Atwood.



Listen to the 2of podcast online, or download the episode to your computer using the Download icon!

Season 1, Episode 14—”Something Wicked This Way Comes” PT. 2




The Dust Witch Mr. Dark, and Tom Fury.

From the 1983 film, Something Wicked This Way Comes

Dark and his motley crew, searching for Will and Jim.

From the 1983 film, Something Wicked This Way Comes


     “The trouble with Jim was he looked at the world and could not look away. And when you never look away all your life, by the time you are thirteen you have done twenty years taking in the laundry of the world.”

Chapter 9, page 40, Something Wicked This Way Comes,
this selection is from ISBN 0-380-97727-3. Avon Books, Hardcover, June 1999.
copyright (c) 1962, 1997 by Ray Bradbury.

This episode of Two Old Farts Talk Sci-Fi is part two of our “Something Wicked This Way Comes” episode.

Something Wicked This Way Comes is a novel by Ray Bradbury, one of the great writers of speculative fiction of the 20th century. Bradbury was (and is) an influence on a generation of writers, including Stephen King.

The story idea began in Bradbury’s head, and found its way out via a short story, a comic, a screenplay, a novel, and a movie.

Troy Harkin and David Clink continue to look at the pivotal novel, in all its iterations.

We will also do our Dream Casting, and our Outside-The-Box Casting, which David has referred to as “Scream Casting,” but, going forward, may be called “Schrödinger’s Cast.

Our special guest continues to be Sandra Kasturi. She was our special guest for pt. 1 (Episode 13). See author photo (a different one, this time) and a bio (same one from episode 13) below.


Sandra Kasturi

Sandra Kasturi is an award-winning poet, writer, and editor, with work appearing in many places including ON SPEC, several Tesseracts anthologies, and 80! Memories & Reflections on Ursula K. Le Guin.

Her two poetry collections are: The Animal Bridegroom (with an introduction by Neil Gaiman) and Come Late to the Love of Birds (both from Tightrope Books).

Sandra recently won second prize in The New Quarterly’s Nick Blatchford Occasional Verse Contest. She is also the winner of the Sunburst Award for her story “The Beautiful Gears of Dying” and ARC Magazine‘s Poem of the Year Award for “Old Men, Smoking.”


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Season 1, Episode 13—”Something Wicked This Way Comes” PT. 1




Something Wicked This Way Comes
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Dark confronting Jim and Will. Cooger stands behind the boys.
From the 1983 film, Something Wicked This Way Comes


     “They peered in at the merry-go-round which lay under a dry rattle and roar of wind-tumbled oak trees. Its horses, goats, antelopes, zebras, speared through their spines with brass javelins, hung contorted as in a death rictus, asking mercy with their fright-colored eyes, seeking revenge with their panic-colored teeth.”

Chapter 18, page 73, Something Wicked This Way Comes,
this selection is from ISBN 0-380-97727-3. Avon Books, Hardcover, June 1999.
copyright (c) 1962, 1997 by Ray Bradbury.

Why do so many people who have read Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury consider it a classic, and one of their favorite novels? What is it about this tale of good vs. evil, carnivals and side shows, that stays with us?

This is the story of two children, Will Halloway, and Jim Nightshade. They are both thirteen years old, born minutes apart, living across the street from each other, best friends. This is their adventure, an adventure that will take them to a carnival with a Ferris wheel, a mirror maze, an illustrated man, and the most beautiful woman in the world, an adventure that will forever change them and the town they live in.

The cast of characters include:
A lightning-rod salesman.
A dust witch.
A father working as a janitor working in a library who feels that he failed his son when he needed him most.
And the two men who run the carnival, Mr. Dark and Mr. Cooger.

Some characters in the novel long for the past.
Others have an eye to the future.
And the ever-pressing present rolling forward that no one can avoid.

And wishes do come with a price.

Troy Harkin and David Clink will look at the novel, the movie, the comic book, the short story it was all based on, and try to provide the answers.

We are introducing a new segment with this episode:
“These are a few of our favorite words”
This is where Troy, David and their special guest will read short excerpts from their favorite passages in the novel.

Our special guest is Sandra Kasturi. See author photo and bio below..


Sandra Kasturi
(photo by Michael Rowe)

Sandra Kasturi is an award-winning poet, writer, and editor, with work appearing in many places including ON SPEC, several Tesseracts anthologies, and 80! Memories & Reflections on Ursula K. Le Guin.

Her two poetry collections are: The Animal Bridegroom (with an introduction by Neil Gaiman) and Come Late to the Love of Birds (both from Tightrope Books).

Sandra recently won second prize in The New Quarterly’s Nick Blatchford Occasional Verse Contest. She is also the winner of the Sunburst Award for her story “The Beautiful Gears of Dying” and ARC Magazine‘s Poem of the Year Award for “Old Men, Smoking.”


Listen to the 2of podcast online, or download the episode to your computer using the Download icon!

Season 1, Episode 12—”Back to School”




Starfleet Academy
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Back to School. Just the thought of it strikes fear into the hearts of children everywhere. But for some, it is something to look forward to.

It is September, and we have bought our school supplies, and are ready for the next grade.

What’s the connection between schools and science fiction, fantasy, and horror?

Troy Harkin and David Clink will look at the linkages, the places we wish we had gone, like Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry; Sunnydale High School; Brakebills University for Magical Pedagogy; Starfleet Academy; The Jedi Praxeum. Perhaps the greatest question of all – do you want to attend a school that is on top of a Hellmouth?

Our special guest is Maaja Wentz. See author photo and bio below..


Maaja Wentz

Maaja Wentz is a Toronto teacher-librarian who writes mystery and speculative fiction. School closures inspired Maaja to write the Saltwater Spy School series. Imagine Sponge Bob Squarepants meets James Bond featuring a wannabe spy hermit crab overcoming childhood fears.

Feeding Frenzy: Curse of the Necromancer won a Watty award. In the sequel, a rival magic faction has taken control of Loon Lake, cursing Tonya’s allies with amnesia and framing her mother for murdering a man who was already dead. To free her mother, Tonya must find the real killer while navigating secret university magic classes surrounded by her worst enemies.


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Season 1, Episode 11—”Shrinkage – pt. 2″




Land of the Giants
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“Shrinkage” could not be held to one episode. The smaller something becomes, we guess, the more you need to to talk about it.

For those who missed part 1, Shrinkage is another term for miniaturization. making things small. Imagine if you are an inch tall, and you have to fight off a spider, or a cat.

Troy Harkin and David Clink are at the cottage, but this time they are at a campfire, as they continue to talk about shrinkage, while being eaten alive by insects.

Troy Harkin will sing an original song about shrinkage. Not to be missed.

Our special guest is Cam P. Fire. See author photo and bio below..


Cam P. Fire



Cam P. Fire is hot right now.

His favorite MASH character is major Burns.


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Season 1, Episode 10—”Shrinkage – pt. 1″


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The Incredible Shrinking Man
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Why “Shrinkage”?
Miniaturization by any other name wouldn’t smell so sweet.

Troy Harkin and David Clink are at the cottage, on the dock, in this installment of Two Old Farts Talk Sci-Fi, discussing Shrinkage. From Alice in Wonderland and The Borrowers, The Master from Doctor Who, Irwin Allen’s Land of the Giants, Honey I Shrunk the Kids, and Richard Matheson’s The Incredible Shrinking Man, why is there such a fascination with the shrink ray? Does size matter?

Our special guest this week is Cott Age-Country. See bio and author photo below.


Cott Age-Country

Cott Age-Country is the son of Ravine the Impossibilist, and Rand E. Bush. Cott can be found in the Muskoka region, near Huntsville, where he keeps company with fireflies and mosquitos, and enjoys the sounds of loons and moose in heat. Cott likes to barbecue, and then relax later by sunning himself on an inflatable floating island, while drinking a brewski. He is a self-proclaimed expert on everything about shrinkage, and likes to shrink-wrap things. In his youth he was an Olympic diver, known for his tuck position.


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Season 1, Episode 9—”BARD TREK – Shakespeare in Star Trek”




BARD TREK: Shakespeare in Star Trek
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Shakespeare. Star Trek. The combination seems a bit odd.

From Wikipedia: William Shakespeare (bapt. 26 April 1564 – 23 April 1616) was an English playwright, poet, and actor, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world’s greatest dramatist.

Star Trek, the original series, was set in the 23rd century, created by Gene Roddenberry. From Wikipedia: In creating Star Trek, Roddenberry was inspired by C. S. Forester’s Horatio Hornblower series of novels, Jonathan Swift’s 1726 novel Gulliver’s Travels, the 1956 film Forbidden Planet, and television westerns such as Wagon Train.

But, the writers of Star Trek were also influenced by Shakespeare.

Troy Harkin and David Clink will do a deep dive on Bard Trek, and will also look at how theatre, plays, and drama became a part of Trek, with special guest Trevor Rines (see author photo & bio below).

Also, on this podcast, Dream Casting and The OOTB (outside-of-the-box) Casting, for Star Trek and Shakespeare.


Trevor Rines

Trevor Rines is an actor, musician, writer, notorious punster, & boardgame designer & developer, with a background in Astrophysics, who is quoted on DNA in The Dictionary of Canadian Quotations.

Since the start of the pandemic, he’s performed (online, of course) in every single one of Shakespeare’s plays with The Quarantine Players.

As a composer, he’s written music for many theatrical productions, including the incidental music & songs for two Shakespeare productions.

As a voice actor, his low, rumbling voice has been heard onstage with orchestras, as well as on TV, radio, film, documentaries, audio dramas, radio plays, & even on other podcasts…



Listen to the 2of podcast online, or download the episode to your computer using the Download icon!

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