Next week marks the second anniversary of The Mark Steyn Club. We shall have some special celebrations throughout May, starting tomorrow. But the important, critical element of the Club is its members - and I'm very touched by all those who signed up on that first weekend just under two years ago who are so eager to re-re-subscribe they took the plunge a few days early. It means an awful lot to me to know you value what we do here - transient politics, civilizational collapse, audio fiction, video poetry, live music. I promise we shall be here for many years yet. If you'd like to join us for our third year, please see here - and don't forget our special Gift Membership.
One benefit of Club membership is access to our more than two dozen audio adventures in Tales for Our Time. I'm very touched by all the mail we received about my somewhat hastily thrown together Easter episode from Victor Hugo's Notre-Dame de Paris. A First Day Founding Member of the Steyn Club, Jean-Paul Jean, writes:
One of the more enjoyable readings. It caused me wonder upon hearing the eleven steps disappearing from the rising Paris?!?
That's the next phase of climate change, Jean-Paul: After rising sea levels, rising land levels.
Meanwhile, welcome to Part Eight of our current Tale for Our Time: H G Wells' horrific exploration of the fine line between man and beast - The Island of Dr Moreau. In tonight's episode, Prendick determines not to wind up as the next supersized guinea-pig in Dr Moreau's laboratory:
"What are you doing, man?" cried Montgomery.
I turned, standing waist deep, and stared at them. Montgomery stood panting at the margin of the water. His face was bright-red with exertion, his long flaxen hair blown about his head, and his dropping nether lip showed his irregular teeth. Moreau was just coming up, his face pale and firm, and the dog at his hand barked at me. Both men had heavy whips. Farther up the beach stared the Beast Men.
"What am I doing? I am going to drown myself," said I. "...That is better than being tortured by you..."
"What makes you think I shall torture you?" asked Moreau.
"What I saw," I said. "And thoseâ€”yonder."
"Hush!" said Moreau, and held up his hand.
"I will not," said I. "They were men: what are they now? I at least will not be like them."
I looked past my interlocutors. Up the beach were M'ling, Montgomery's attendant, and one of the white-swathed brutes from the boat. Farther up, in the shadow of the trees, I saw my little Ape-man, and behind him some other dim figures.
"Who are these creatures?" said I, pointing to them and raising my voice more and more that it might reach them. "They were men, men like yourselves, whom you have infected with some bestial taint,â€”men whom you have enslaved, and whom you still fear."
If you've yet to hear any of our Tales for Our Time, you can do so by joining The Mark Steyn Club. For more details, see here. And please join me on Saturday for Part Nine of The Island of Dr Moreau.