The SFFaudio Podcast #198 – READALONG: The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury

February 4, 2013 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Podcasts 

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #198 – Jesse, Tamahome, Jenny, and Professor Eric S. Rabkin discuss The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury.

Talked about on today’s show:
Rock Hudson, The Martian Chronicles (TV adaption), Eric’s Coursera course (Fantasy and Science Fiction: The Human Mind, Our Modern World), The Million Year Picnic, I, Mars, The Moon Be Still As Bright, Usher II, the hot dog stand on Mars, fix-up, The Long Years (a robot family), Night Call Collect, There Will Come Soft Rains, a book of poems, novels of recurring characters, “composite novels”, “the culminating image of the whole book”, Cortez burning his ships, “were definitely going to need the daughters” (if the daughters are willing), Joanna Russ, Picnic On Paradise, The Million Year Picnic, “tamed nature”, the publisher’s motivation, Walter Bradbury, the market change (with Ballantine Books), “Mammon rules again”, the table of contents, Way In The Middle Of The Air, a more Edenic ending, 1984, North Korea, Earth Abides, the Golden Gate Bridge, getting a sense of the author, H.P. Lovecraft, colour, repetition, word choice, Spender, The Moon Be Still As Bright, Captain Wilder, the instinct to be cruel, the instinct to minimize the horror, the instinct to shoot the tomb robbers, feeling the emotion he’s trying to give us, the physics, nostalgic, seeing it from all sides, Farewell Summer, Bradbury’s gut reactions, The Martian Chronicles as a fairy tale, Isaac Asimov’s reaction, Fantasies set in space, Usher II and censorship, “the Poe machines”, the colour of Mars’ sky (blue and pink), the Martian canals, The Green Morning, Johnny Appleseed, the epigraph, “…space travel has again made children of us all.”, Christopher Columbus, the Chicken Pox plague, Another America, telepathy, the noble savage, a symbolic America, The Pedestrian, Bradbury was a strange guy, Fahrenheit 451, Edgar Rice Burroughs, the Martian high culture, the second expedition, “look up in space, we could go to the Moon!”, dinosaurs!, Mars Is Heaven, Science Fiction is supposed to have knowledge in it, imagery (sight, light, and fire), the brass band, Columbia, The Gem Of The Ocean, music, Humans are technological, Martians are emotional, the window, Beautiful Ohio, music dominates (not intellectual knowledge), Genevieve Sweet Genevieve, “fully lyrical”, the fire lay in the bed and stood in the window, the dog symbolizes the entire loss of the human race, the long monologues, getting it without filtering it, The Musicians, Rocket Summer, “it made climates”, the silences, the music as a symbol for American culture, the killing spree, The Off Season parallels with the second expedition, an inversion, Bradbury has it every way, Emma Lazarus, The New Colossus, Sam Parkhill, an epitome of perverted American ideals, Bradbury loves hot dogs, Dark Carnival, Something Wicked This Way Comes, mournful Mars, America by Ray Bradbury, the Wikipedia entry for The Martian Chronicles, The Taxpayer, the urge to improve, alas, the silhouettes on the house, Chernobyl vs Hiroshima, a grim meme, what gives this book it’s staying power?, Nightfall by Isaac Asimov, L’Anse aux Meadows and Roanoke, maybe it’s circular, “we’re the Martians now and we will be again”, Night Meeting, Stephen Hoye narrated Blackstone Audio, Bradbury’s reading, Bradbury’s first flight, Harlan Ellison, wasting time on the internet, Ylla, The Ray Bradbury Theater, Mardi by Herman Melville, making this book cohere, what part doesn’t fit?, reading it as short stories, “it’s an American book”, robots, decommissioning is murder, Ray Bradbury and Philip K. Dick had a shared contempt for litterers, crassness, The Electric Ant, Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?, I Sing The Body Electric, Walt Whitman, “it’s the music!”, there’s no switch, gingerbread and tea, Helen O’Loy by Lester Del Rey, are there stories not included in The Martian Chronicles that should have been?, Way In The Middle Of The Air, The Other Foot, different editions of The Martian Chronicles, The Illustrated Man, The Fire Balloons, Stranger In A Strange Land, Grouch Marx (Lydia the Tattooed Lady), The Penal Colony by Franz Kafka, The Veldt, The City, Rod Steiger, Dandelion Wine, The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer.

The Martian Chronicles illustration by Michael Whelan
The Martian ChroniclesThe Off Season by Ray Bradbury - illustration by Vincent Napoli
Way In The Middle Of The Air by Ray Bradbury - illustrated by Robert Fuqua

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #178 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

September 17, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Podcasts 

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #178 – An unabridged reading of The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman (32 minutes, read for LibriVox by Michelle Sullivan) followed by a discussion of it. Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Tamahome, Jenny Colvin, and Julie Hoverson.

Talked about on today’s show:
Charlotte Perkins Gilman vs. Charlotte Perkins Stetson, wall-paper vs. wallpaper, a seminal work of feminist fiction, a ghost story, a psychological horror story, the Wikipedia entry for The Yellow Wallpaper, Alan Ryan, “quite apart from its origins [it] is one of the finest, and strongest, tales of horror ever written. It may be a ghost story. Worse yet, it may not.” postpartum depression, “the rest cure”, phosphates vs. phosphites, condescending husbands, infantilization of women, superstitions, is she dangerous?, is she only pretending to go insane or is she actually mad?, will reading The Yellow Wallpaper drive you to insanity?, an androcentric society, Titus Andronicus by William Shakespeare, Life by Emily Dickinson

MUCH madness is divinest sense
To a discerning eye;
Much sense the starkest madness.
’T is the majority
In this, as all, prevails.
Assent, and you are sane;
Demur,—you ’re straightway dangerous,
And handled with a chain.

Jenny is the husband’s sister (or mistress?), “gymnasium or prison, she doesn’t know she’s living in a short story”, does the family think she’s crazy a the story’s start?, biting the bed is a bit suspicious, barred windows, suicide, has she forgotten that she’s the wrecked the wallpaper to begin with, a haunted house vs. a haunted woman, is the supernatural only within minds?, Julie goes crazy without something to read, first time motherhood can be a struggle, duplicity, crazy people are known to make unreasonable requests, “why is the cork on the fork?”, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, what’s the rope for?, “all persons need work”, counting the holes, are women moral by default?, Herland by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, utopia, “everything is both beautiful and practical”, the eighteenth amendment to the U.S. Constitution (prohibition), the husband faints (and so she wins?), creeping vs. crawling, the creepiest ending, smooch vs. smudge, neurasthenia, William James (brother of Henry James), “Americanitis”, the fashion of being sick, hypochondria as a fad, the “fresh air” movement, Kellogg’s cereal 9and other patented medicines), a yogurt colonic, mental illness is shameful in Asia, mental illness vs. oppression, an absolutely unreliable narrator, Stockholm syndrome style thinking, “You think you have mastered it, but just as you get well under way in following, it turns a back-somersault and there you are. It slaps you in the face, knocks you down, and tramples upon you.” worrying a tooth, tooth loss as an adult is horrific, as a kid it’s fun, why are we rewarded by the tooth-fairy?, is the tooth-fairy universal?, was chronic fatigue syndrome a fad?, fame is popular, Münchausen’s syndrome (the disease of faking a disease), take up a hobby!, distinguishing genuine from real, syndrome (symptoms that occur together) vs. disease (dis-ease), “which is worse…”, how to look at doctors, Tam’s doctor is nicer than House, M.D., witch doctors, non-invasive cures, gallium, Vitamin C, The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements by Sam Kean, Julie Hoverson’s reading of The Yellow Wallpaper, the unnamed narrator (let’s call her Julie), “what’s with the plantain leaf?”, a modern version of The Yellow Wallpaper would be set at fat camp (is that The Biggest Loser), starts off, Flowers In The Attic by V.C. Andrews, arsenic doughnuts (are not Münchausen syndrome by proxy), The Awakening by Kate Chopin, civilizing influence, bathing!, “men know what side their sex is buttered on”, In The Next Room (or The Vibrator Play) by Sarah Ruhl, Changeling (screenplay by J. Michael Straczynski), what is your Yellow Wallpaper?, fiction is Jesse’s wallpaper, ‘tv, videogames, comics … none of these make you crazy’, heroin chic, Julie has many yellow papers, Tam’s yellow wallpaper is the bookstore, Sebastian Junger vs. J.G. Ballard, 1920s, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, posing gowns, identical wigs, Jenny’s yellow wallpaper is dreams, The Evil Clergyman (aka The Wicked Clergyman) by H.P. Lovecraft, nice wallpaper, authorial self-interpretations, Eric S. Rabkin, re-reading as an adult something you read as a kid, The Prince Of Morning Bells by Nancy Kress, The Portrait Of A Lady by Henry James, The Lord Of The Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien, old time radio comedies, should you read fiction from the beginning? Start with Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer?, Hyperion by Dan Simmons, Jonathan Swift, Peter F. Hamilton, E.E. ‘doc’ Smith, Mastermind Of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs.

Ad for The Yellow Wall Paper from 1910

The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman - illustration by J.K. Potter

Sebastian Junger vs. J.G.  Ballard

Posted by Jesse Willis

Telling Atwood’s Tale

December 15, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Audio Drama, Commentary 

SFFaudio Commentary

Offered here, with small commentary, is a complete listing of the audio editions and adaptations of Margaret Atwood’s novel The Handmaid’s Tale. A note from the Wikipedia entry:

“The [paperbook version of the] novel concludes with a metafictional epilogue that explains that the events of the novel occurred shortly after the beginning of what is called ‘the Gilead Period.’ The epilogue itself is a ‘transcription of a Symposium on Gileadean Studies written some time in the distant future (2195),’ and according to the symposium’s ‘keynote speaker’ Professor Pieixoto, he and ‘a colleague’, Professor Knotly Wade, discovered Offred’s narrative recorded onto thirty cassette tapes. They created a ‘probable order’ for these tapes and transcribed them, calling them collectively ‘the handmaid’s tale’.”

Enotes.com offers a critical analysis of Offred’s experiences in the Republic of Gilead; There, you’ll find an assertion that the novel’s title title – arguing that it’s – a “sexist pun on the word tale/tail” playing off the association with Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales and the role that handmaids are forced to play in Gileadean society.

BBC Radio:

BBC RADIO COLLECTION - The Handmaid's Tale [RADIO DRAMA]The Handmaid’s Tale
3 Broadcasts (2 Cassettes) – Approx. 3 Hours [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: BBC Radio 4
Broadcast: 2000
ISBN: 0563553561
Recorded on location in and around New York.

BBC World ServiceOff The Shelf – The Handmaid’s Tale
By Margaret Atwood; Read by Jocelyn Cunningham
fifiteen 15 Minute Episodes – Approx. 3 Hours 45 Minutes [ABRIDGED]
Broadcaster: BBC World Service / Off The Shelf
Broadcast: May-June 1993


BBC Radio 4Book At Bedtime? – The Handmaid’s Tale
By Margaret Atwood; Read by Buffy Davis
10x 30mins or 10x 15mins [ABRIDGED?]
Broadcaster: BBC Radio 4 / BBC Radio 7?
Broadcast: 1995 / December 2007?


BBC Radio 3English National Opera – The Handmaid’s Tale*
Based on the novel by Margaret Atwood;
1 Broadcast – Approx. 2 Hours 45 Minutes [OPERA]
Broadcaster: BBC Radio 3
Broadcast: 2003
*Performed for the first time in Copenhagen in 2000.

CBC Radio:

BTC AUDIO - The Handmaids Tale - CBC RADIO DRAMAThe Handmaid’s Tale
Based on the novel by Margaret Atwood; Adpated by Michael O’Brien; Performed by a full cast
2 Broadcasts, 2 CDs – Approx. 1 Hour 43 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: CBC Radio / Sunday Showcase
Broadcast: August 11 and 18, 2002
Publisher: BTC Audiobooks
Published: 2004
ISBN: 0864923414
Cast:
Janey Amos … Cora
Greg Bryk … Guardian
Alex Bulmer … Ofglen #2, Woman being chased
Emma Campbell … Offred
Kim Campbell … Aunt Elizabeth
Richard Clarkin … Nick
John Cleland … Guardian, TV announcer
William B. Davis … The Commander
Shirley Douglas … Aunt Lydia
Michelle Fisk … Rita
Catherine Fitch … Oflgen #1
Donna Goodhand … Serena Joy
Juliana Hayden-Nygren … Daughter
William Johnston … Guide, Guardian, TV announcer
Kim Kuhteubl … Ofjohn, Woman
Richard Lee … Cashier, Tourist, Man who dies, Guardian
Hardee T. Lineham … Doctor
Juno Mills-Cockell … Ofwarren
Rahnuma Pathaky … Woman in gym, Woman, Woman in washroom
Andrew Tarbet … Luke, Guardian
Kristen Thomson … Moira
Diana Tso … Tourist, Woman, Woman greeting
Terry Tweed … Mother

Dramatized by Michael O’Brien
Directed and produced by Ann Jansen
Recording Engineer Joe Mahoney
sound Effects by Wayne Richards and Matthew Wilcott
Mastered by Lloyd Hanson
Introduction by Robbie O’Neill
Original music by Michael White

Audiobooks:

CHIVERS AUDIO - The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret AtwoodThe Handmaid’s Tale
By Margaret Atwood; Read by Joanna David
8 Cassettes – Approx. 10 Hours 15 Minutes Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Chivers Audio
Published: 1985
ISBN: 0745168086
Near the end of the 20th century, birth control and the effects of nuclear fallout have caused fewer births, so the Biblical story of Rachel is invoked to handle the declining birth rate.

DURKIN HAYES - The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret AtwoodThe Handmaids Tale
By Margaret Atwood; Read by Julie Christie
2 Cassettes – Approx. 3 Hours [ABRIDGED]
Publisher: Listen For Pleasure / Durkin Hayes Audio / dhAudio
Published: 1987 / 1988
ISBN: 0886462142
“A dystopian novel of a world ruled by militaristic fundamentalism in which sexual pleasure is forbidden.”

RECORDED BOOKS - The Handmaids Tale by Margaret AtwoodThe Handmaid’s Tale
By Margaret Atwood; Read by Betty Harris
8 Cassetes or 10 CDs – Approx. 11 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Recorded Books
Published: 9781556902161 (cassette), 9781436179850 (cd)
ISBN: 2002
This novel has been described as “a women’s 1984.” As with Orwell’s futuristic thriller, The Handmaid’s Tale is well-written, politically astute, and contains enough reality mixed in with the fantastic to compel and horrify. Although the novel has a feminist perspective, it addresses the universal issues of individual autonomy and freedom.

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #064 – READALONG: The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester

June 28, 2010 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Podcasts 

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #064 – Scott and Jesse talk with Julie Davis and Luke Burrage about The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester!

Talked about on today’s show:
Forgotten Classics, Science Fiction Book Review Podcast, Richard K. Morgan’s The Steel Remains, The Invisible Man, Robert Sheckley’s The Status Civilization, exploding volcanoes, Gulliver Foyle, jaunting as teleporting, BAMF, The Uncanny X-Men, Jumper by Steven Gould, Charles Fort Jaunte (is a reference to Charles Fort), Fortean Times, The Tyger by William Blake,Tā moko (Maori facial tattoo), religion, swearing, tabernac, future swearing, Louis Wu in Larry Niven’s Ringworld, the frivolity of the wealthy, satire, sailing as conspicuous consumption, telepathy, Paul Williams, The Stars My Destination as a “pyrotechnic novel”, the power of the narrative imagery, the audiobook (a Library of Congress Book for the Blind version), the heirs of Alfred Bester are fighting over the rights, transformation, Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift, “Most scientific!”, Alfred Bester’s years writing comics, WWII, the Wikipedia entry for The Stars My Destination, synesthesia, the long forgotten histories of synesthesia, Of Time, And Gully Foyle by Neil Gaiman, cyberpunk, a hard-boiled Philip K. Dick novel, passive schlubs, The Count Of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas, Pyrenees, the induction scene in William Shakespeare’s The Taming Of The Shrew, a shotgun approach to transformation, The Stars My Destination as meta book, Peter F. Hamilton, the renaissance man, Classics Illustrated #3 The Count Of Monte Cristo, Fourmyle of Ceres, PyrE, (the inspiration for Pyr Books?), Napoleon Bonaparte, thought turning into action, our overcrowded future, Second Life, Surrogates, only in a cyberpunk future, retroactive foreshadowing, the 1991 BBC Radio Drama version of Alfred Bester’s Tiger Tiger, the old language, Hyperion by Dan Simmons, The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer, Pyrene, cyborgs, wired nerves, bullet time, you can’t spoil a book like this.

The Stars My Destination (Mediascene No. 36) 1979

The Revenge Of The Cosmonaut by Alfred Bester

Posted by Jesse Willis