The SFFaudio Podcast #240 – READALONG: Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

November 25, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Podcasts 

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #240 – Jesse, Scott, Julie Davis, and Bryan Alexander discuss Frankenstein by Mary Shelley.

Talked about on today’s show:
The 1818 edition versus the 1831 edition, the half-made up prologue, Leaves Of Grass, are there any body changes?, “the corpus”, Downpour.com’s version with Simon Templeman, Anthony Heald, Stefan Rudnicki, Frankenstein vs. the monster, creature, wretch, demon, insect, incoherent with rage, face to face, moving on, the fainting hero or heroine, swooning, Lovecraftian fainting, cosmic horror, Herbert West: Re-Animator, Young Frankenstein, Cool Air by H.P. Lovecraft, Edgar Allan Poe, M.R. James, becoming god, why are we reading a book by a teenager from almost 200 years ago, Edinborough, the broken reader, Sir Walter Scott, Ivanhoe, etymology, Paradise Lost, Gulliver’s Travels, Percy Shelley, William Shakespeare, Macbeth, Caliban, The Tempest, Science!, hey I’m killing your family and stuff, Spirits!, Russia, the Arctic, Prospero, Caliban the dogsbody, Sycorax, the pre-science world to the science world, Christopher Marlowe, “I’ll burn my books!”, the education of young Victor, religious swearing, Brian Aldiss, spark, the electrical element, Galvani and the frog’s legs, more chemical (than electrical), the Romantics, the heart of the the book, “the modern Prometheus”, nature, the North Pole, Siberia, Things As They Are; Or, The Adventures of Caleb Williams by William Godwin, berries and nuts, vegetarianism, the bringing of fire, The Wonderstick (the coming of the bow) “spooky action at a distance”, fire as technology, Eric S. Rabkin, fire -> knowledge -> enlightenment, the blasted oak, the family tree destroyed, this mortal clay, body stealing, Burke and Hare (are a lot of fun), ‘there are some things man was not meant to know’, a motherless monster, Young Frankenstein, what’s so cool about Young Frankenstein is that it solves the problems caused by previous movie adaptations, “Hey there handsome”, is the creature really hideous?, “a very Jewish movie”, “this is a boy that the world will love”, community, Victor had no Igor, Eyegor, or Fritz, well formed, euphemisms, dull yellow eye, proportionate limbs, is he veiny?, black and flowing hear, a pearly whiteness, a feminist novel, a misogynist fantasy, the framing narrative, males behaving badly, Gothic, gender coding, the curse of the Frankensteins, Frau Blücher, the Kenneth Branagh adaptation of Frankenstein, The Revolt Of Islam by Percy Bysshe Shelley, Justine (and the lack of justice she receives), Anne Rice, “I’m never going to sleep again”, the path of evil, Victor had a temper, the abnormal brain (Abbie someone), a “blank slate”, Henry Frankenstein, Young Frankenstein retcons the book and the 1931 movie (and the Hammer movies), Froderick Frankenstein, Boris Karloff, Transylvania Station, The Body Snatcher, Robert Louis Stevenson, The Black Cat (1934), Bela Lugosi, a movie from a parallel dimension, the perfect romantic character, the “noble savage” and the “blank slate”, flowery language and obfuscation, a baby story, that’s Science Fiction right there, an eight foot baby, how do we detect the world, what is light?, a blind man given sight, sphere vs. pyramid, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, an urbane monster, the ideal syllabus, Mary Shelley is showing the heck off, Paradise Lost, The Sorrows Of Young Werther, suicide, Lives Of The Noble Greeks And Romans by Plutarch, Ruins Of Empires by Constantin-François de Volney, Frankenstein’s lab notes, Safie, the Ottoman Empire, Turkey as a proxy for European society, Olaf Stapledon, the hapless fate of the aboriginals of North America, Shelley’s hanging out with radicals, an anti-American dream, three years after the fall of Napoleon, Lord Byron, dreams, “how are we living with each other?”, Prometheus Unbound, The Last Man, Prometheus should be our hero, Harlan Ellison, Walton, Bryan’s dissertation was on Frankenstein, The Rime Of The Ancient Mariner, The Narrative Of Arthur Gordon Pym Of Nantucket, At The Mountain Of Madness, Star Trek, doppelgangers, doubles all the way down, perfectly symmetrical, The Prestige by Christopher Priest, Melmoth The Wanderer by Charles Maturin, The Saragossa Manuscript by Count Jan Potocki, the fire and ice, “in the cottage we are the monster”, lookism, when they see the monster, “as a lion rends the antelope”, Blade Runner‘s ending, all those murders, a child having a temper-tantrum, where you gonna get that wood?, standing on an ice-floe, Dante’s Inferno and the final circle of hell, Inferno by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle, Bryan reads Frankenstein every year, teaching Frankenstein in high-school, a perfect ending, is the monster still out there?, Edison’s 1910 film adaptation of Frankenstein (it’s 10 minutes), imagine Tesla adapting Frankenstein, a shameless self-promoter, “Victory Frankenstein fucked with Mother Nature, and She bore him a strong son”, ‘there are some things that man was not meant to know’, Walton wants to find the source of the pole’s magnetism, “it’s not just loving your family – it’s also loving your fellow being”, “if you make a mistake – own up”, Walton learns from the story, Young Frankenstein, it’s an ethics book, mad scientists, a Kennedy son, Moby Dick, C.L.R. James, a ship as a microcosm of society, “I smell readalong!”, Hitlerland: American Eyewitnesses to the Nazi Rise to Power by Andrew Nagorski, “the kids loved Uncle ‘Dolf”, “charisma leaking out all over the place”, charisma and beauty, a bear doesn’t understand charisma, real-life parallels, what is the function of Henry Clerval in the book, is he us?, a homoerotic reading, Percy and Bryon go hiking, it’s Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, World’s End, Shaun Of The Dead, Hot Fuzz, Elizabeth’s provenance and the weird relationship with her cousin/brother/owner Victor, a subterranean psychodrama, Victor’s wild dream in which Elizabeth dies and then turns into his mom, grave worms, a maternal figure and a corpse.

Theodor von Holst - Frankenstein

Frankenstein - illustration (possibly by Ernie Chan)

Frankenstein

FRANKENSTEIN - The Bride Of The Monster - illustration by Mike Ploog

FRANKENSTEIN - illustration by Dino Castrillo

These Books Make Me Feel...

LEGOized Frankenstein

Posted by Jesse Willis

Dimension X: The Potters Of Firsk adapted from the story by Jack Vance

February 8, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Audio Drama, Online Audio 

SFFaudio Online Audio

The Potters Of Firsk - illustration by Edd Cartier

Here’s a hidden gem, a terrific adaptation of a sociological Science Fiction short story by the great Jack Vance! Plus it has materials science!

Dimension XDimension X – The Potters Of Firsk
Adapted from the short story by Jack Vance; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 25 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: NBC
Broadcast: July 28, 1950
Provider: Archive.org
The native population of Firsk produce pots of every colour under the sun, save one. First published in the May 1950 issue of Astounding Science Fiction.

The Potters Of Firsk - illustration by Edd Cartier

Also check out this beautiful character study by Thomas Perkins:

The Potters Of Firsk illustration by Thomas Perkins

[via Tinkoo Valia’s Variety SF blog]

Posted by Jesse Willis

Forgotten Classics: The Green Girl by Jack Williamson

August 28, 2011 by · 4 Comments
Filed under: Online Audio 

SFFaudio Online Audio

Forgotten ClassicsThis week’s episode of the Forgotten Classics podcast saw the explosive conclusion of Julie Davis’ reading of the “scientific classic” The Green Girl by Jack Williamson. This short novel was one of our SFFaudio Challenge #5 audiobooks and so now Julie has won a prize (as well as our enduring respect)!

When I added The Green Girl to the challenge Rick Jackson, of Wonder Publishing described it to me as “early sense of wonder SF.” I think that’s right. I guess I knew what that meant, vaguely anyway, but now that I’ve heard it I’d suggest the fantastic events, with their grandeur of scale, are magnificently preposterous. That said, The Green Girl is never quite cartoonish as there is a reverence, if not slavishly accurate reverence, for both science and the value of scientific knowledge. It’s this that distinguishes The Green Girl from many of its contemporary pulps.

WONDER EBOOKS - The Green Girl by Jack WilliamsonThe Green Girl
By Jack Williamson; Read by Julie Davis
5 MP3 Files (Podcast) – Approx. 4 Hours 27 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Podcaster: Forgotten Classics
Podcast: August 2011
|PDF|EPUB|
Melvin Dane has been seeing a vision of a green girl since he was a child. Images of her came over the ether. Is she just fantasy? Or a reality that managed to cross time and space? And now, with the Earth under threat of extinction, will Melvin ever meet that girl of his dreams? With an alien force trying to bring Earth back to the Ice Age, Melvin and his foster father, scientist Sam Walden, embarked on a heroic quest to save their world. Their adventures took them from their sleepy little cottage in the beaches of Florida to the unexplored and totally unexpected world beneath the ocean. First published in the March and April 1930 issues of Amazing Stories. Later collected in 1950 as Avon Fantasy Novel #2.

Chapters 1-8 |MP3|
Chapters 9-16 |MP3|
Chapters 17-24 |MP3|
Chapters 25-29 |MP3|
Chapters 30-32 |MP3|

Podcast feed: http://feeds.feedburner.com/forgottenclassics

I’d hoped to find a copy of Amazing Stories, March 1930, in which the first half of the novel was serialized, but haven’t found one so far. If you’ve got a copy I’d love to add them below (please email me)! In the meantime, here are three scans from the April 1930 issue:

Amazing Stories April 1930 - Page 60 - The Green Girl by Jack Williamson

Amazing Stories April 1930 - Page 61 - The Green Girl by Jack Williamson

Amazing Stories April 1930 - Page 77 - The Green Girl by Jack Williamson

[Thanks again also to Rick Jackson of Wonder Ebooks where you can find plenty more vintage SF and criminally under-published crime books]

Posted by Jesse Willis

Review of The Adventures of Doc Savage

August 9, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Reviews 

SFFaudio Review

Audio Drama - The Adventures of Doc SavageThe Adventures of Doc Savage
Adapted from novels by Lester Dent
Starring Daniel Chodos as Doc Savage
8 Hours – [AUDIO DRAMA]
Publisher: RadioArchives.com
Published: 2010
Themes: / Science Fiction / Hero / Adventure / Pulp / Audio Drama / Skeletons / Chemistry /

Doc Savage is the strongest, smartest, most resourceful, best-looking guy you’ll ever meet. And he fights crime. Born in pulp magazines in the 1930’s, he’s also the subject of 181 novels, and a movie.

The Adventures of Doc Savage contains 13 half-hour episodes of audio drama that were originally broadcast on NPR in 1985. These episodes tell two complete stories that were adapted from novels written by Lester Dent. “Fear Cay” was published in September 1934 and “The Thousand Headed Man” in July 1934. The scripts were written by Will Murray and Roger Rittner.

Having never read a Doc Savage story, I was interested for historical reasons. I’ve run across these novels regularly over the years, but the pulp hero never caught my reading eye. I’m very happy, though, to have heard these audio dramas. They are very well done. They’re action packed, thoroughly entertaining, and as full of camp as you’d hope.

With the opening of “Fear Cay”, I learned that Doc Savage doesn’t work alone. He’s got a team around him that reminds me of Buckaroo Banzai’s crew. (Now, why was Jeff Goldblum wearing that ridiculous cowboy outfit again?) I now realize that Buckaroo had to have been influenced by Doc Savage. Savage also has a diverse team around him – from physical strength to electronic genius – and there’s nothing they can’t handle.

Still, Doc Savage is the best of them all. He’s not among equals. He can overpower multiple men at once, but he’s just as apt to talk himself out of a situation. And he’s got gadgets and/or chemical formulations for everything else that occurs.

In short, I had a great time listening to these dramas. They’re fun.

Find them over at RadioArchives.com.

Posted by Scott D. Danielson

The SFFaudio Podcast #119

August 1, 2011 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Podcasts 

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #119 – Scott, Jesse and Tamahome talk to author Paul Malmont about his novel The Astounding, The Amazing, And The Unknown.

Talked about on today’s show:
The Chinatown Death Cloud Peril, Jack London In Paradise, Hawaii, The Iron Heel by Jack London, the rise of the oligarchy, The Washington Post review of The Astounding, The Amazing, And The Unknown, Robert A. Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, L. Ron Hubbard, the Philadelphia Experiment, the movie The Philadelphia Experiment, “a psuedo-historical event” vs. “a cultural phenomena”, legend, John W. Campbell, Astounding Science Fiction, Unknown (magazine), Kamikaze pilots vs. the Kamikaze group, L. Sprague de Camp, chemistry, Orange Nehi, the Tunguska event, Nikola Tesla, the Wardenclyffe Tower, historical fiction, meta-science fiction, Walter B. Gibson, Lester Dent, H.P. Lovecraft, the “hero pulps” vs. science fiction pulps, The Shadow, Doc Savage, L. Ron Hubbard as a tragic hero, Dianetics, an atomic age religion, Virginia Heinlein, Janet Asimov, Gertrude Asimov, “The robot felt…”, using social networks to promote a novel, Frank Herbert, Aleutian Islands, the Manhattan Project, Cleve Cartmill and the atomic bomb, The Green Hills Of Earth, Tim Powers, “twenty weird true things”, Murdoch Mysteries, the AC DC wars, remixing modern historical fiction, Iain M. Banks, mash-ups, The Chinatown Death Cloud Peril has zombies, the TVO interview with Walter B. Gibson, magic, In Search Of….

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #104

April 18, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Podcasts 

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #104 – Scott, Jesse, and Gregg Margarite talk about two Robert Sheckley short stories, Untouched By Human Hands (aka One Man’s Poison) and Seventh Victim.

Talked about on today’s show:
extravaganza vs. jamboree vs. hootenanny, the absent article, The Tenth Victim, Is That What People Do? The Selected Stories Of Robert Sheckley, “one man’s poison is another man’s meat”, writing with your mind, On The Road by Jack Kerouac, Gregg has been on many bloody campaigns with his typewriter, Scott loves the pen and notebook, Jesse uses a camera, whiteboard technologies, our podcast about FOOD, Douglas Adams, “Sheckley is not as vaudevillian as Adams”, Tom Baker’s Doctor Who, The Pirate Planet, a building shaped like a doughnut, “food-worthy”, c-rations vs. sea rations, “fill all your stomachs and fill them right”, Hellman and Casker, how do you determine food from non-food, chemists have horribly burnt tongues, Geology exams require the use of tongues, giggling food, drinking vs. being drunk, short stories should throw off sparks, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Untouched By Human Hands was sixty years ahead of its time, Laurel And Hardy vs. Gilligan’s Island, the SyFy channel is sixty years behind the times, Melancholy Elephants by Spider Robinson |READ OUR REVIEW|, Robert A. Heinlein, copyright, Mickey Mouse vs. Mighty Mouse, keeping murder alive, Sheckley’s late career, Stanton Frelaine = Stand In the Free Lane?, The Most Dangerous Game, Richard Connell, The Lottery by Shirley Jackson, The Lifeboat Mutiny by Robert Sheckley, The Leech, Warrior Race, Watchbird, La Decima Vittima, Marcello Mastroianni, New York, World War IV, World War VI, feminism, Mindswap, the economy in Seventh Victim, wordlbuilding in a short story, Spotters, Morger, the Tens Club, a game where people kill people, “there is no such thing as human rights”, are these rights not self-evident?, thou shalt not kill/murder, “the age of the half-believer”, Catholicism vs. protestantism, cherry-picking the beliefs from the old and new testament, the three legs of the scientific method (rational, empirical, scholastic), fads, should we require a degree in science to wear a lab-coat?, cargo cults, philosophy, the Emotional Catharsis Bureau, “damn women”, “gladiatorial events complete with blood and thunder”, does a desire to murder start wars?, Gregg thinks we are vehicles for genes, Professor Eric. S. Rabkin, Genesis, 2001: A Space Odyssey, is aggressiveness (or competition) a requirement to move on, the Space Race, the architects of tech during WWII, Michael Faraday isn’t getting any royalties, copyright vs. copyfight, seek technology got a patent!, For Us The Living: A Comedy Of Customs by Robert A. Heinlein, guaranteed minimum income, William Shakespeare, West Side Story, “there are only seven stories [basic plots]”, “we stray”, Frelaine’s reaction to the suicidal Victim, the purpose of catharsis, the deep unsatisfaction of an unfinished play, an unrequited kill, how many [TV] series are canceled before their plots unfold? (too many), Dexter vs. Babylon 5 vs. Lost, Game Of Thrones, Drive, The Wire is deeply unsatisfying every episode, ambivalent storytelling, “you can’t fix this neighborhood, move.”, The Corner, Firefly and Serenity, “he had a plan”, how to watch Babylon 5, what is the message of Seventh Victim, X-Minus One, Battlefield 2, do violent video games (and computer games) reduce violence?, Penn & Teller’s Bullshit, Killer: The Game Of Assassination, Gregg wants it with collateral damage.

Posted by Jesse Willis

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