As promised, all our regular content at SteynOnline - columns, audio, video, movie reviews and songs of the week - is staying well outside any paywall and available to all. But Founding Members of The Mark Steyn Club do get to enjoy a few bonus features, including live Q&A sessions with yours truly, the first of which is coming up this Wednesday at 4pm Eastern - that would be 1pm Pacific, 9pm British Summer Time, 10pm in Western Europe, and a rather early start to Thursday morning for our Australian readers, but we hope a few of them will be up and about. I'm looking forward to it.
~On Friday we launched a new audio series called Tales for Our Time - my readings of various pieces of classic fiction referenced in my own books over the years. We're starting with a serialization of a novel by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of Holmes and Watson, all about the Isis of his day, the Mahdists of the Sudan, and very relevant to our own challenges 120 years on. For Founding Members, you can hear Part Three of our story here. The earlier episodes can be found here.
~One other benefit to Founder Membership is our Comment Club privileges. So, if you like or dislike the first of our Tales for Our Time or anything else, then feel free to comment away. I chip in in the threads myself from time to time - for example, here in response to Katie:
I would love it if the beautiful and evocative accompanying musical pieces could be identified....
MARK REPLIES: The theme for Tales for Our Time is Sir Edward Elgar's Imperial March, Op 32, written for Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee the same year - 1897 - as Conan Doyle's novel. The music throughout The Tragedy of the Korosko is from Albert Ketèlbey's In the Mystic Land of Egypt. I'm very fond of some of Ketèlbey's exotica.
Indeed I am. Even if you don't know his name, a lot of readers would recognize "In A Persian Market" from its deployment in TV shows like "Morecambe & Wise" to its slurping-sax arrangement in a semi-hit version by Billy May.
~Another of our Founders' Club benefits is the ability to enjoy our video content in your preferred medium. If you'd prefer not to regard my visage as I opine, you can get SteynPosts and The Mark Steyn Show in audio only. On the other hand, if my accent grates on you like culturally appropriative chalk on a safe-space blackboard, you can get it in text only, too. The transcript of our latest SteynPost - "Tomorrow by the Numbers" - is now posted, as is the audio of The Mark Steyn Show's interview with long-serving Aussie PM John Howard. We're working through the back catalogue, too - starting with the audio-only version of SteynPost #14: "The White Death." Eventually, all our audio and transcripts will be located here.
~We only launched The Mark Steyn Club a week ago, but I'm immensely touched by all those readers from across the globe who've signed up to be Founding Members. As I said, Founder Membership isn't for everyone, but it is a way of ensuring that all our content remains available for everyone - because, in contrast to, say, the CRTV model, I want it out there in the world, being read, being heard, being seen, and maybe changing an occasional mind. The point of The Mark Steyn Club is to come up with a way to keep funding some of the more logistically complex and labor-intensive stuff, like my live show from Phoenix, or the interviews with Canadian Tory leadership candidates. So I thank those longtime readers and viewers who've volunteered to be part of that.
Founder Membership is for a limited number and a limited time only. And, aside from Tales for Our Time, it does come with other benefits:
~A free personally autographed book or CD
~Exclusive Steyn Store member pricing
~The chance to engage in live Q&A sessions with yours truly, starting on Wednesday
~Transcript and audio versions of our video content
~My new quarterly newsletter The Clubbable Steyn, the first issue of which ships next month
~Advance booking for my live appearances around the world
~Customized email alerts for new content in your areas of interest
~and the opportunity to support our print, audio and video ventures as they wing their way around the world.
To become a Founding Member of The Mark Steyn Club, or to sign up a friend, please click here.