Just ahead of our audio Tale for Our Time, let me put in a word for our complementary (North American) afternoon entertainment: The Mark Steyn Show returns tomorrow Wednesday at 8pm British Summer Time - that's 3pm Eastern/12 noon Pacific. I do hope you'll dial us up.
Meanwhile, welcome to Episode Three of our summer diversion, Out of Time - my variation on a theme of H G Wells. I kept Wells's structure for these opening episodes, but it looks like I made yesterday's ending too much of a cliffhanger. Mark Steyn Club member Nicola Timmerman writes from francophone Eastern Ontario to say I left her hungry for more:
Oh no! Tu m'as laissée sur ma faim! Just as he arrives in the future...
Mancunian Steyn Clubber John Cameron felt the same:
Oh it just had to stop there didn't it! I was on the edge of my seat ha ha, loving this Tale for Our Time!
Well, our Victorian time traveller has now catapulted himself into the third millennium - and, in tonight's episode, decides he is not terribly impressed:
Oh, to be sure, the pavement was lined with what we would call horseless carriages. But we have all heard of the advances of Herr Benz and his spirited lady with regard to what they know as Motorwagens. It is hardly surprising that by the twenty-first century small gaily-coloured Motorwagens are available to all. Yet is it worth propelling oneself a century-and-a-quarter into the future merely for a few modifications to a nineteenth-century invention?
For a moment I was crestfallen, and determined to return to my machine and press on to an epoch a little more interesting. But I chanced to glance north, and saw various commercial emporia just beyond Clareville Street. It occurred to me that I should at least linger long enough to see whether there had also been some subtle improvements in antimacassars and the like...
You can enjoy Out of Time episode by episode, night by night, twenty minutes before you lower your lamp. Or, alternatively, do feel free to binge-listen: you can find all the earlier installments here.
J B, a Montana Steyn Clubber, has been enjoying the literary supporting cast:
Kipling will be joining! As I was listening to part one, I thought with the cast of contemporaries that it might be interesting if Haggard and James showed up as well.
Very much appreciate this. It's been so long since the last Tale that it's easy to forget just how enjoyable it is. What a treat.
Hate to disappoint you on Rider Haggard, J B, but all our bit-part authors are either actual members of J M Barrie's cricket team, or chaps whom he expended considerable effort in persuading to join. So no test match in King Solomon's mines, I'm afraid.
If you'd like to test J B's thesis on "how enjoyable" our first sixty Tales for Our Time are, you can do so by joining The Mark Steyn Club. Or, if you need an extra-special present for someone, why not give your loved one a Gift Membership and start him or her off with five dozen cracking yarns? And please join me tomorrow for another episode of Out of Time - a few hours after The Mark Steyn Show.