The SFFaudio Podcast #076 – READALONG: Mindswap by Robert Sheckley

September 27, 2010 by · 3 Comments
Filed under: Podcasts 

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #076 – Jesse talks with Gregg Margarite, Julie Davis and Luke Burrage about Robert Sheckley’s 1966 novel Mindswap.

Talked about on today’s show:
Blackstone Audiobooks audiobook edition of Mindswap by Robert Sheckley, The Status Civilization by Robert Sheckley, Rick Jackson’s Wonder Audio version of The Status Civilization, Marvin, existentialism, Jean-Paul Sartre, Søren Kierkegaard and Martin Heidegger, Mars, swapping minds vs. swapping bodies, xenophiles, “metaphoric deformation”, one of the greatest scenes of comedy ever in a novel, mind vs. body, mind vs. brain, consciousnesses and memories, Mindswap is “a subversive ontological satire,” Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift, extracting sunlight from a cucumber, “theory of searches”, existentialism for a Science Fiction audience, Voltaire’s Candide, Douglas Adams, The Hitch-Hiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, balance is superfluous, “contemplation is the most direct form of involvement (and so it is avoided by everyone)”, Bertrand Russell, New York, solipsism, cognitive dissonance, Mark Twain, A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur’s Court, Future Shock by Alvin Toffler, Chekhov’s gun, comedic soliloquies, speaking with a lisp, the twisted world, the interventionist fallacy, the authorial sting, “the ripe greenness of her ovipositors”, Luke defends the honour of the name Kathy, Marvin The Paranoid Android vs. Marvin The Martian, Roland Barthes, absurdity is funny, a pseudo-Gulliver’s Travels, the mechanics of the humor, Gregg’s top five written objects, Laputa, “the pinnacle of satire”, A Modest Proposal, “everything is bullshit”, Dr. Jeykll And Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson (our next readalong), Dracula, Lair Of The White Worm, Ken Russell, Gothic, On The Buses, Africa, “Africa? Where do you mean in Africa?”, Namibia vs. South Africa, Kilimanjaro vs. Everest, a set can’t be a member of itself, “it’s all a big giant steaming pile of absurdity” vs. “the glory and excitement of being alive”, monsignors vs. bishops, “you’re just not in our target market”, “I don’t believe what someone believes has to be true or not”, spiritual experiences vs. explanations of them, there’s a helmet for that (spiritual experiences), the charismatic formula, true vs. honest, Luke’s blog post on spiritual experiences and atheism, Thomas Aquinas, “truth is relative”, Gregg has big sets!, Julie is completely talk-able, Margaret Atwood history denier, the Apollo missions, making stupid easier, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart is a great aggregator , Glenn Beck’s snakedance, smart people are making the universe complex, “the enemy of nuance” vs. “the enemy of history”, rejecting reality, why they argued with Jefferson, their totally alienable, “this is why I watch 30 Rock“, Kids In The Hall, you have the potential of niche markets, ‘the United States is the greatest country in the world (with the greatest failures and great achievements)’, nobody cares about Africa (or South America), not knowing the Prime Minister of Canada vs. not knowing the Governor of Guam, Peter F. Hamilton’s latest book, a bunch of fun loving existentialists, Sheckley’s short stories, City by Clifford D. Simak (it has conflict), Sheckley at his best is Voltaire and soda (or Voltaire and tonic), Flannery O’Connor, the keyword game, Earth Abides by George R. Stewart, art and craft are the same thing, craftsmen aren’t artists, I Hate Music, “I’m NOT tone deaf!”, Charlie Parker, iTunes=music, mp3=music, “it’s like I’m gay and I’m the only one”, This Is Your Brain On Music, Gregg is too emphatic (?), “I – do not – sound – like – William Shatner.”, Weird Al Yankovic, “my guitar is the best girlfriend I ever had.”

Gray Morrow‘s illustrations of Mindswap from the June 1965 of Galaxy:

Galaxy June 1965 - MINDSWAP by Robert Sheckley - Cover

Galaxy June 1965 - MINDSWAP by Robert Sheckley - Page 7

Galaxy June 1965 - MINDSWAP - Page 9

Galaxy June 1965 - MINDSWAP by Robert Sheckley - Page 27

Galaxy June 1965 - MINDSWAP by Robert Sheckley - Page 53

Galaxy June 1965 - MINDSWAP by Robert Sheckley - Pages 67 and 85

DELL - Mindswap by Robert Sheckley

Posted by Jesse Willis

LibriVox: Allan’s Wife by H. Rider Haggard

December 14, 2009 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Online Audio 

SFFaudio Online Audio

LibriVoxYou can make a good case for the sexism in old books. Just look at the Book of Genesis: Lot’s Wife. Noah’s Wife. These are the ladies so oppressed that they didn’t even deserve names. However, I think we can attribute what looks like the exact came same kind of sexism in titling Allan’s Wife more to marketing than anything else. This is, after all, the third novel in the Allan Quatermain series. And it’s not actually very much about his wife, at least at the start. It tells more tales of Quatermain’s time in South Africa, his observations about two dueling witchdoctors (they use their magic to control lighting), his father’s death, and eventually the fate of his wife. For the record Allan Quatermain’s wife (of the title) is named “Stella Carson.” Come to think of it, some clever writer could probably do a whole series of YA books called The Adventures Of Allanah Quatermain (perhaps a secret grandaughter?). Until then…

LibriVox - Allan's Wife by H. Rider HaggardAllan’s Wife
By H. Rider Haggard; Read by Elaine Tweddle
15 Zipped MP3 Files or Podcast – Approx. 4 Hours 49 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: December 2009

Podcast feed: http://librivox.org/rss/3718

iTunes 1-Click |SUBSCRIBE|

[Thanks also to [email protected] and James Christopher]

Posted by Jesse Willis

LibriVox: King Solomon’s Mines by H. Rider Haggard

September 13, 2009 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Online Audio 

SFFaudio Online Audio

Listening For The League's Gentlemen At LibriVoxThis is the first in a series of posts in which I will examine LibriVox’s back catalogue looking for the characters and references that Alan Moore has put into his comic The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen. This, the first post, features Allan Quatermain, adventurer and man of action, in his first novel. This is prior to his descent into a despicable opium addiction. It’s a single voiced narration, and I’ve made some cool cover art for it too.

Read now Haggard’s introduction from the 1898 edition:

“The author ventures to take this opportunity to thank his readers for the kind reception they have accorded to the successive editions of this tale during the last twelve years. He hopes that in its present form it will fall into the hands of an even wider public, and that in years to come it may continue to afford amusement to those who are still young enough at heart to love a story of treasure, war, and wild adventure.”

LibriVox - King Solomon's Mines by H. Rider HaggardKing Solomon’s Mines
By H. Rider Haggard; Read by John Nicholson
20 Zipped MP3 Files or Podcast – Approx. 9 Hours 50 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: 2006
King Solomon’s Mines, first published in 1885, was a best-selling novel by the Victorian adventure writer H. Rider Haggard. It relates a journey into the heart of Africa by a group of adventurers led by Allan Quatermain in search of the legendary wealth said to be concealed in the mines of the novel’s title. It is significant as the first fictional adventure novel set in Africa, and is considered the genesis of the Lost World literary genre. – Haggard wrote over 50 books, among which were 14 novels starring Allan Quatermain.

Podcast feed:
http://librivox.org/bookfeeds/king-solomons-mines-by-haggard.xml

iTunes 1-Click |SUBSCRIBE|

Here’s the cool map from the back of the Dell Books “mapback” edition:

King Solomon's Mines - Dell Mapback map

Posted by Jesse Willis

Review of Voodoo Planet by Andre Norton

February 17, 2009 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Reviews 

SFFaudio Review

Science Fiction Audiobooks - Voodoo Planet by Andre NortonVoodoo Planet
By Andre Norton; Read by Chuck McKibben
3 CDs – 3 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Audio Realms
Published: 2007
ISBN: 9781897304372
Themes: / Science Fiction / Adventure / Space Travel / Africa /

Voodoo Planet is the tale of three crew members from The Solar Queen spaceship who are invited to go on a hunting safari on a Khatka, a planet colonized by people from Africa. Dane, Medic Tau, and Captain Jellico soon run up against Lumbrilo, a local witch doctor, who has strong reasons for not wanting outsiders to explore the jungle. After their flitter crashes in the wild, the spacemen and their local hosts soon become the targets of bizarre attacks from wildlife as they try to make their way back to civilization. Tau has studied magic on many different worlds and a battle of wills emerges as he must counter the attacks and provide the edge to overcome their enemy.

This is a short and simple tale of adventure, it is best enjoyed at face value – a sampling of classic science fiction. It makes foe an exciting story as one waits to see what Lumbrilo will next launch against the heroes. Andre Norton is a legendary author in science fiction and fantasy, but this is one of her earlier and lesser works. That does not mean that one should ignore the book, but simply that one should not expect a master work.

The narration of the story is fine with slight shading added to various characters’ voices to provide both personality and help the listener differentiate when a conversation is occurring. However, the editing is not very careful. There were several occasions when a sentence or two was repeated as the narrator corrected a misstep. Failing to catch a duplication is common enough in free podcasts but when one is paying for an audiobook it is inexcusable. One hopes that the editors will more carefully proof the other books from this publisher.

Overall, well done and recommended.

Posted by Julie D.

Surviving a sudden time travel to 1000 AD

June 25, 2008 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Podcasts 

SFFaudio Online Audio

History According To Bob podcastSFSignal.com today posted a link to a story on the Marginal Revolution blog which answers a question about what would happen if you suddenly time-traveled back to 1000 AD Europe. Read that article HERE.

I think this is far too softball a question. What if you got suddenly transported to somewhere else on Earth? Why do those pesky time travel machines always send you to Europe? Don’t we already have like a thousand answers to that question already?

I mean, just read Mark Twain’s A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur’s Court for one!

Why not go for something or somewhere we are less familiar with here?

Well, it just so happens Bob Packett of the History According To Bob podcast has just completed a 7 part tour of the year 1000 AD. In it he tours all around the world in the year 1000 AD. This was done in celebration of History According to Bob‘s 1000th podcast! Have a listen…

1000 AD Part 1 |MP3| Africa, South America, Meso-America, North America
1000 AD Part 2 |MP3| Oceania and Australia, East Asia, South East Asia
1000 AD Part 3 |MP3| South Asia (India and Himalaya)
1000 AD Part 4 |MP3| West Asia (Middle East, Anatolia, Arabia, Iraq, Iran), Central and North Asia (the ‘stans)
1000 AD Part 5 |MP3| Europe (Balkans)
1000 AD Part 6 |MP3| Europe (Eastern Europe and Scandinavia)
1000 AD Part 7 |MP3| Europe (Italy, Iberia, France, and the British Isles)

Or subscribe to the podcast feed:

http://www.summahistorica.com/podcast/rss.xml

Posted by Jesse Willis

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