Mike Hodel's Hour 25

Science Fiction Radio for Southern California since 1972

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Christmas Readings - 2018

Christmas Birds

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It's Tuesday - December 25th, 2018 and it's time to celebrate Christmas. That means it's time for parties filled with presents along with good food and drink. It's a time for being with family and friends, showing kindness to strangers and doing all those other things we just don't seem to have time enough to do during the rest of the year.

And it's a time for tales of the supernatural. Authors like Charles Dickens, Jerome K. Jerome, John Kendrick Bangs and many others have used the Christmas season as an inspiration for ghost stories that don't so much scare us as fill us with wonder or make us laugh. And so Hour 25 will continue its long running tradition of reading you holiday stories with a twist of the supernatural to go along with your holiday celebrations.

We've got ghosts in castles, restless mummies in boxes and who knows what else. So light up your Christmas tree, pour yourself some egg nog and grab some Christmas cookies. Get comfortable because you're on a journey to the worlds of Christmas imagination with Mike Hodel's Hour 25 - The Hour That Stretches.

holly barholly bar

The Transplanted Ghost by Wallace Irwin

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Americans with money can be sorta strange. After they have amassed their fortune they seek class and respectability and if they can't earn those things... well... they try and buy them. One thing they have done in this pursuit is to go over to England or Europe and buy titles or old mansions or even castles and then have them dismantled and sent home to America.

Our first story for tonight tells of the misadventures of a man who thought he had bought a haunted castle - because he thought that would make it even more valuable and classy - but for the life of him the ghost just won't appear. And along with that he has a beautiful daughter whom he keeps locked away because he's afraid that young adventurers will want to marry her for her money.

The protagonist of our story is set up for more than a few misadventures when he is invited to spend a night in that castle... on Christmas Eve.


a haunted castle

holly barholly bar

A Christmas Mummy by Richard Marsh

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Christmas is a time when boxes can contain mysteries that might be toys or some other wonderful item. As a result a child's imagination can become overstimulated when presented with a large box on Christmas Eve - especially when told that the box contains a real mummy.

Who could blame a child for wanting to take a peek into such a box? But later - when mysterious scrapings and bumpings are heard coming from the room containing the box - that same child might be wishing she had less curiosity or at least less imagination.

Tonight's story brings you mysterious happenings on Christmas Eve when two young girls discover The Christmas Mummy.

A Christmas mummy

holly barholly bar

Christmas Greetings from the Moon

Listen to a Christmas Greeting from Apollo 8

1968: A Christmas Odyssey

I'll never forget Christmas Eve 1968 - when I went outside on a cold winter's night and looked up at the Moon, shining over snow and Christmas lights, and realized that at that very moment three men from Earth were circling that world. This proved that the Moon was not just a place for science fiction dreams but a real place just waiting to be explored. For a young man who had been dreaming of spaceflight for his whole life the inescapable reality of that moment was a dream come true.

So let us remember that as the crew of Apollo 8 orbited above our lifeless Moon that night, they looked back to see the Earth - a blue and green oasis floating against star filled blackness - and sent the world a Christmas greeting... The first ever from another world.


A Science Fictional Christmas

Back in the 1950's Galaxy Magazine had a tradition of publishing Christmas themed covers for their holiday season issues. {And now Hour 25 has something of a tradition of reprinting those covers for our Christmas show.} While looking at them I was struck by the similarities between what Santa does and what engineers do when designing and flying missions to other planets.

Galaxy Magazine - January 1957 - cover by Ed Emishwiller

First you must establish your mission requirements...

Galaxy Magazine - January 1956 - cover by Ed Emishwiller

Next you must plan your mission...

Galaxy Magazine - January 1958 - cover by Ed Emishwiller

Then you must travel through space whilst being careful to account for any mid-course encounters with other objects or spacecraft...

Galaxy Magazine - December 1959 - cover by Ed Emishwiller

Upon reaching your destination you must carefully deploy your payloads...

Galaxy Magazine - January 1951 - cover by Ed Emishwiller

And when your mission is completed you can sit down with friends and give a toast to a job well done.

holly barholly bar

From all of us here at Hour 25, we wish you the very best for this holiday season whether you celebrate Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa, or any other Solstice holiday. During this season celebrating Peace on Earth and Good Will To All be sure to spend some time with your family and friends. They are an island of peace in a world filled with stress and strife and should be treasured.

And remember, when happiness comes to your party be sure to give it a comfortable seat.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all.

santa in an airplane delivering presents

The Hour 25 Broadcast

  • Click here to listen to the entire show. {1:26:30}


  • Click here for the show's intro music. {0:41}

  • Click here for the show's opening. {1:52}

  • Click here for Warren's reading of The Transplanted Ghost by Wallace Irwin. {36:03}

  • Click here for Suzanne's reading of A Christmas Mummy by Richard Marsh. {42:23}

  • Click here for a Christmas greeting from the Apollo 8 astronauts. {2:50}

  • Click here for the show's closing. {2:41}

  • For more Christmas readings you can listen to our shows from 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002 and 2001.

  • And to add some music to your holiday season you might want to listen to our show featuring holiday carols with a Lovecraftian twist.

  • Click here for links to all of the previous Shows that you can listen to on the Hour 25 Website.

If you enjoyed this show and would like to know when other interviews are uploaded to the Hour 25 Website, then send an email to me at wwjames@earthlink.net and I will add your name to the free Hour 25 Newsletter mailing list. That way you'll get a brief notice in your email every time a new show gets uploaded to the web.

Useful Space Related Links

Space news - Asteroids

  • More information about the first asteroid to be discovered in 2014 can be found in this article from Space Daily, this article from Sky and Telescope, this report from the Minor Planet Center, or this report from NASA's Near Earth Object Program.

  • The homepage for JPL's Near Earth Object Program contains a great deal of news and other information about asteroids and includes an interactive orbit display program that can show the orbit of any known asteroid.

  • The Minor Planet Center is a clearinghouse for information about asteroid orbits and keeps track of newly discovered asteroids as well as objects that have been tracked for decades or even centuries. Their blog is an on-going source of news for all things relating to asteroids.

    Space News - Dawn - A Mission to the Asteroids

  • Updates and additional information about the mission of the Dawn spacecraft can be found at the project's Home Page at JPL or at this NASA Web Site.

  • Additional information about asteroids can be found at the NASA Near Earth Asteroid (NEO) Web Site.

  • Dawn is a part of the Discovery Program of deep space missions. Information about Dawn and other missions can be found at the Discovery Program Web Site.

    Space News - Mars

  • Much information about the Phoenix mission to Mars can be found at this JPL Web Site or at this Web Site from the University of Arizona or this NASA Web Site. Additional information about various past NASA missions can be found here.

  • For more information about the Mars Exploration Rovers be sure to check out the MER Web Site at JPL or this Mars Rover site at Cornell University. You can also get information about the MER mission by reading the News Updates posted by Dr. Steve Squyres, the project's Principal Investigator.

  • To learn more about the Mars Express mission you can go to this ESA Mars Express Web Site, this Mars Express Web Page from JPL, this NSSDC Mars Express Web Page, or this Web Page from Mars News.Com.

  • For more information about the Exploration of Mars be sure to go to the JPL Mars Exploration Site, the Center for Mars Exploration at NASA Ames, or the Mars Missions Web Site at the Planetary Society.

  • Information about the data returned by previous Mars missions can be found at this Mars Web Page at the NSSDC.

  • Information about the Phoenix Mission to Mars can be found at this Press Release from the University of Arizona. You can view a 3D picture of the Mars Phoenix spacecraft here.

  • For more Mars news be sure to check out the Mars News.Com Web Site.

  • Percival Lowell did much to shape our ideas about Mars in the early years of the 20th Century. You can learn more about his work by reading this on-line copy of his 1895 book Mars.

    Space News - The Cassini Mission to Saturn

  • Much information about the Cassini mission can be found at the Project's Official Web Site at JPL.

  • JPL is constantly releasing pictures from Cassini. You can find them by going to this JPL Web Page.

  • Additional information about the Cassini mission can be found at this ESA Web Site.

  • The University of Arizona Web Site for the imaging system used to take the Huygens pictures of Titan has much information about how they were obtained and processed as well as a collection of processed and unprocessed images.

  • The Huygens probe carried a microphone and recorded the various sounds that it heard while descending to the surface of Titan. You can listen to those sounds at this Web Page sponsored by the Planetary Society.

    For On-Going Updates on Space News

  • Links relating to the loss of Space Shuttle Columbia can be found here.

  • The Reusable Launch & Space Vehicle News Web Site Web Page that is part of the Hobby Space Web Site is a really good place to watch for news about, well... Reusable Launch Vehicles and related subjects. I check it out just about every day and often find news there that doesn't show up anywhere else. Give it a look. {And while you're there be sure to check out some of the site's other pages. Wow! Is there a lot of information there.}

  • The Space Today Web Site is a great place to find space news from all over the 'net.

  • The Spaceflight Now Web Site carries real time information about current space missions and presents a lot of space and astronomy news. This is the place I go to when I want up to the minute information about current space missions. Do I need to say more?

  • The NASA Watch Web Site is another great place for getting information about current space missions. Check there also for news about other 'goings on' within NASA. Highly recommended.

    ISS News

  • The Florida Today Web Site has a very interesting report about the causes of the ISS budget problems and their impact on the space program. It makes very interesting reading.

  • Click here to view the press kits for various ISS missions.

  • Check out the NASA International Space Station Web Page or the Boeing Web Page to learn more about this project.

  • A great source of news about Russian space activities, including their work on the ISS, can be found at the Russian Space Web.

  • Do you wonder where the Space Station is right now? You can use your browser to view real time maps showing the location of the ISS by going to this link at the NASA Space Link Web Site or here at the Johnson Spacecraft Center. Please note that your browser must support Java to make use of this satellite tracking software.

  • You can find out when the ISS - or many other spacecraft - can be seen from your location by going to this NASA Web Page. Please note; your browser must support Java for this application to work.

    Space Related Organizations

    If you are interested in learning more about current space activities there are many local and national organizations you might want to know about. Joining these organizations and taking part in their activities is a good way to stay abreast of things going on in space as well as a way to show your support for those activities. Listed below are some of those organizations.

  • The Organization for the Advancement of Space Industrialization and Settlement has long been place for persons living in the Los Angeles area to gather and discuss the promise of space. Be sure to check out their Web Site for information about their meetings and other activities.

  • The Orange County Space Society is another Los Angeles area organization that provides a focal point for persons who are interested in space developments to get together and share their ideas. They have created a number of displays explaining the history and importance of space exploration that have appeared at various public events. Be sure to check their Web Site for information about their meetings and other events.

  • The National Space Society has a long history of being an advocate for a vigorous space program and provides much information to its members through their magazine and Web Site.

  • The Space Frontier Foundation is a strong advocate for a non-governmental space program and serves as a focal point for much activity in that arena. Their annual conference in Los Angeles during the Fall is a great way to find out what is happening in the non-government space arena.

  • The Space Access Society is focused on reducing the cost of going into space by promoting non-governmental launch vehicle programs. Their annual conference in the spring is a major source of information on non-traditional launch vehicle activities.

  • The Planetary Society is focused on the exploration of the Solar System and has a wealth of information for its members and others.

  • Click here for information about the audio files used for Hour 25 and for information about configuring your browser and downloading audio players.

    Please note Web Pages from external sites will open in a separate browser window and that Hour 25 Productions are not responsible for the content of any external Web Sites.

    Upcoming Shows

    Join us in the coming weeks and months when our guests will include authors and scientists from the worlds of science, science fiction, mystery, horror and suspense.

    If you'd like me to let you know exactly when our next show is available, then send me an email { wwjames@earthlink.net } and I'll add you to the Hour 25 Newsletter Mailing List. That way you'll get an email notice telling you when the latest show was uploaded and who had joined us on that show. Being on the Hour 25 Newsletter mailing list will let you know when those specials are available as soon as they are uploaded. {Privacy notice: The Hour 25 Newsletter mailing list is kept in strict confidence and will not be used for any other purpose nor will it be given, sold or in any way provided to any other person or group for any other purpose.}

    Previous Shows

    Go to our Previous Shows Page to find out about previous guests on the show and to listen to some of our past shows.

    Audio Index

    Go to our Audio Index for a listing of the various shows, interviews and readings available on the Hour 25 Web Page. The exact locations of the shows will constantly be changing as this Web Site evolves, but the Audio Index page will always be your shortcut to finding what you want to hear.

    Note to Web Masters : If you wish to link your site to an Hour 25 interview you should do so using the Hour 25 home page as that page will be able to direct people to the specific information they are looking for.

    Science Fiction Matters

    Check out the pages below for more information about matters having to do with science fiction.

  • Click here to read what Suzanne had to say concerning children's and young adult books about fantasy and magic.

  • Click here for information about the various awards in the science fiction field.

  • Hour 25 - Background

    Burt Suzanne Warren

    Burt Handelsman
    Crack Engineer

    Suzanne Gibson
    Our Producer

    Warren W. James
    Your Host


      Mike Hodel   Terry Hodel  

    Mike Hodel
    The First Host of "Hour 25" {Picture Copyright © Burt Handelsman}


    Terry Hodel
    Our Late Executive Producer {Picture Copyright © Joel Farr}

    Click here to view a page with some of our thoughts about Terry.



  • Warren's Niftoidal Web Sites - Release 8

  • Long time listener Eric Foss has an Hour 25 archive page.

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