The SFFaudio Podcast #422 – READALONG: The Running Man by Stephen King and The Prize Of Peril by Robert Sheckley

May 22, 2017 by · 5 Comments
Filed under: Podcasts 

Podcast
The Running Man
The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #422 -Jesse, Scott Danielson, Paul Weimer, and Marissa talk about The Running Man by Stephen King and The Prize Of Peril by Robert Sheckley

Talked about today’s show:
What’s wrong with society?, Harlan Ellison talking about Stephen King and Robert Sheckley, so eloquent, dismissing Stephen King, The Long Walk, one of the best science fiction books of the 1980s, at the heart of it, the world, when King was hungry and angry, the introduction, giving it away, a pretty extravagant and great ending, he’s old and angry on Twitter now, he talks good, a distant anger, his attiotufe is what makes the book, The Prize Of Peril is a joke, Das Millionenspiel (1970), the Schwarzenegger, turning anger into a farce action comedy, not even a satire, so much hate, shocking lines, smash her and rape her, when King was very poor, Rage, uncomfortable, connections to actual school shootings, bizarre tie between fiction and action, I’m gonna come up to that floor and getcha, pulling books off the shelves, The Dead Zone, the Dead Zone TV show, the world fits this kind of character, psychological, Richard K. Morgan doesn’t write them this angry, Mr. Mercedes, Take The Money And Run, The Hunted, sticking it to the man, “the internet never forgets”, auto-pulldowns by robots, a disturbing show, Myke Cole, without the killing, so freaky, same ethics and motivation, poor people, Jimmy Dore, half of America is poor, Scott would dispute that, it seems high, American poor, healthcare, GoFundMe for healthcare, hoping to put my kids into college, Paul Bishop, everybody loses the money, Big Brother Canada, horror, becoming a homeless person for 30 days, distributing, why did I like this?, interviewing audience members, a War Of The Worlds-effect, cutting to the control room, former CIA, former FBI, former U.S. Marshall, former British intelligence, this isn’t stacked at all, economic incentive, the mother, the book readers are the heroes, The Prize Of Peril, Raeder = Reader, putting ourselves into this situation, the ultimate protagonist, Killian, stick close to your own people, mapping, May of 1958 (everybody’s doing great), real unemployment 24%, I work three jobs, clown for president, the 1970 movie existential interest in, Too Many Cooks, the sponsor of Das Millionenspiel is Stablelite, male enhancement, Stablelite = the stable elite, The Running Man (1987), tracking real-life trends, 1950s = isn’t this funny (a satire), Sheckley was a god in Europe, The Tenth Victim (adapted from Seventh Victim), an assassination game, keeping violence down, Black Mirror: White Bear, X-Minus One, about psychology, the death wish and the life wish, a suicide option, the voluntary suicide act, Prix De Danger, the Sheckley short story, “Hazard”, “Spills”, “Underwater Perils”, “Terroro”, why Marissa loves this podcast, if we go there…, CBC, CTV, remaking American shows, Canadian Idol, people wouldn’t accept, everything commercialized, even Netflix has this, poor loser helpless people, Fear Factor, you haven’t been poor and desperate enough, I’ll just shoot you then, part of the criticism, that feeling, this Stephen King book feels way more relevant today, air pollution, the media, Sam Harris, the attention economy, status, the environmental sub-plot, thinking about and talking about the environment, only for the lip readers, They Live (1988), a spiritual riff, desperately squeezing, the temptation to power motif, we could use you, a three year contract, standard for a network stalker, you do it to your own kind, Fantasy & Science Fiction, Eight O’Clock In The Morning by Ray Nelson, the trickle down economy, the network editing, agreeing on what real is, subtext, looking at SF causally, SF is reflective not predictive, framing, when a hospital gets bombed, Leonard Cohen, “I’m guided by the beauty of our weapons”, Brian Williams, how much in the context, humiliating interrogation by professionals, a Japanese game show, Trans-America Ultra Quiz, the look and the inspiration is from Japanese game show, The Hunger Games, what it’s all built from, ancient Rome, the tension, I have no idea what I’m supposed to feel, here’s this phenomenon, non-judgemental, the conclusion is not in the movie, you’re watching the host, through the host’s eyes, the Italian French Russian movie, Le Prix Du Danger (1983), surveillance cameras all over England, mailing in your tapes, at the homeless shelter, the meta-issue, Raeder is the first thing you see in the story, we become the Ben Richards, Richard Dawson, Harlan Ellison doesn’t give you his varnished opinion, The Pest, The Most Dangerous Game by Richard Connell, battle royale style, Battle Royale, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, even a frying pan, the war of all against all, Thomas Hobbes, Paul is tribute, first person shooters, so funny so dark, Tag: The Assassination Game, Gotcha! (1985), thinking about fake news, a cartoon for stupid people, so great and stop stupid, Dweezil Zappa, Mick Fleetwood, Stephen King movies are mostly horrible, 1408, The Storm Of The Century, The Shining, The Mist, “Whitman, Price, and Haddad”, basking under the Maui sun, the big lie, when a revolution becomes show business, he’s a game show host, ultimate reality show, Scott has checked out, Jesse Ventura and Arnold Schwarzenegger two future governors wrestling each other, wrestling as ballet for big guys, set in 2017, when Killian gets his ending, when the truth is known the people will revolt, no agreement on what the truth is, agreeing on what the facts are, brainwashing, it’s not all bottom down, ignorance at the bottom, the school system is broken, teaching civics, getting a good SAT score, good job vs. good citizens, bubbles, the “freeview”, greater than Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 or The Veldt, subtlety in The Running Man movie, bread and circuses, healthcare too, vacation time, better education, grow our minds, some clean air (or water), automated manufacturing, technicians, robotics, what will society look like in 20 years?, an opportunity, truck driver, work through what it means, truck guard like Mad Max, the reason for pirates in Somalia, dignity, stepping on his own guts, a dignity in defiance, living with your mom in your 40s or 50s or 60s, food riots, nerve gas in the mid-east, protests did not work, a thin scythe, jellyfish slime, and he’s pimping out his wife, is anybody thinking about it, earlier industrial revolutions, a new Roosevelt with a new New Deal, analyzing art, buying literature written by A.I., kiosks and self checkouts, robots cooking the food, nursing the babies, all a prequel to Wall-E, the soft apocalypse, The Machine Stops, to feed their kid, medicine for the kid, people do that, that’s where the sex industry comes from, the power of a pseudonym, Thinner, Donald E. Westlake and Richard Stark, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, embarrassed about, 100% honest, admire them, The Long Walk, Misery, Steve Brown, 1985, real journalism, you can tell, one thing we know about writers is that they used to be readers, Ben Richards is really well read, fuck off and get me some books, a general atomics novel, book reviews, William Shakespeare, off center of Science Fiction, Stephen King is the gateway drug, The Dark Tower, The Gunslinger, Richard from Richard Stark, a Westlake novel about the pseudonym problem, The Hook, writer’s block, the hall of mirrors effect, King has a voice that is different than Koontz and Dick and Lovecraft, other Bachman books, Rage, Thinner, Misery, his biggest fan, writing the novel in the novel, meta, Roadwork, an interstellar bypass without the interstellar, The Bachman Books, Different Seasons, an official photo of Richard Bachman, Philip K. Dick, Four Past Midnight, The Langoliers, Kevin Kenerly was a terrific narrator, George Guidall, American Gods, damn good listen, damn good book, The Millions Game, after death beauty products, the Kling Klang knife company, a knife for killing your wife, Germany in the 70s was a very interesting place.




NEL - The Running Man by Richard Bachman
Signet - The Running Man by Richard Bachman
The Running Man (1987)
The Prize Of Peril by Robert Sheckley

Posted by Jesse Willis

Recent Arrivals: Justinian’s Flea: Plague, Empire, And The Birth Of Europe by William Rosen

April 27, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Recent Arrivals 

SFFaudio Recent Arrivals

William Rosen’s appearance on The Daily Show with John Stewart, a couple of years ago, prompted me to pick up his audiobook The Most Powerful Idea In The World. It’s a terrific book, and a very solid audiobook (with Michael Prichard narrating). It delivered a concise, impressively researched and argued, history of the industrial revolution’s engine and it’s causes. I highly recommend that book (also available from Tantor). But what I hadn’t realized was that Rosen had already penned a book on another fascinating historical period.

Sample |MP3|

Tantor Media - Justinian's Flea: The First Great Plague And The Fall Of The Roman Empire by William Rosen

Justinian’s Flea: Plague, Empire, And The Birth Of Europe
By William Rosen; Read by Barrett Whitener
MP3 Download – Approx. 11 Hours 51 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Tantor Media
Published: May 22, 2007
The Emperor Justinian reunified Rome’s fractured empire by defeating the Goths and Vandals who had separated Italy, Spain, and North Africa from imperial rule. At his capital in Constantinople, he built the world’s most beautiful building, married its most powerful empress, and wrote its most enduring legal code, seemingly restoring Rome’s fortunes for the next 500 years. Then, in the summer of 542, he encountered a flea. The ensuing outbreak of bubonic plague killed 5,000 people a day in Constantinople and nearly killed Justinian himself.Weaving together evolutionary microbiology, economics, military strategy, ecology, and ancient and modern medicine, William Rosen offers a sweeping narrative of one of the great hinge moments in history, one that will appeal to readers of John Kelly’s The Great Mortality, John Barry’s The Great Influenza, and Jared Diamond’s Collapse.

Posted by Jesse Willis

Spartacus on television and in history podcasts

February 26, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Online Audio 

SFFaudio Online Audio

Spartacus - Season 3

I’ve been enjoying, with a growing admiration, the New Zealand based Spartacus television series. I like it not least for the unique grammar the writers have developed. It’s a kind of a latinized English – mighty and subjectless sentences that are admirable.

The first episode nearly made me dismiss the show entirely. I didn’t like the 300-style effects, the slow motion blood, the constant bobbling of boobs nor the wall to wall green screening. But as the season went on I realized there was more to the show that the jeering mobs, the spectacle, and the nudity. By the final episode I was hooked. That was Spartacus: Blood and Sand. It gave us our hero’s origin story and his various reactions to slavery (denial, acceptance, pride, rebellion). And just as good were a pair of intensely (un)likeable villains, played by a pair of terrrific actors, showcased a cockeyed view of morality, Roman morality. Indeed, that first season began to tell the same story as the 1960 epic film staring Kirk Douglas (which itself was based on an book by Howard Fast). It did so at a slower pace, allowing for more of the historical detail to be played out.

Then there was the prequel series, Spartacus Gods Of The Arena, showing more of the background for the villains and supporting players. That season was supposed to be a stopgap, and it was, telling stories that were themselves only a background for the later seasons. But their own resonances resonated and proved themselves worthy. And now with the second (or third season depending on how you look at it) we have Spartacus: Vengeance, which outlines the beginnings of the bigger story, the latter half of the film version, and the massive slave rebellion that began in the Roman Republic.

the time, the first century BC, approximately 25% of all persons in Italy were slaves. And that’s where the heft of Spartacus comes from. It’s like Battlestar Galactica, but with a grounding in actual history. Spartacus was a real person. As were Crixus and Oenomaus. In these current episodes we see the foundations of the Third Servile War. It is history as drama, but it’s also the history of the opressed, not the rich, not popes, or kings, or robber barons. And this makes Spartacus unique among television programs currently airing.

Here are a couple of excellent old podcasts that made the show work all the better for me:

The History Of RomeMike Duncan’s excellent and long running The History Of Rome podcast covered the Spartacus story back in 2008. It’s still available and still fascinating!

|MP3|

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


Military History PodcastAlso in 2008 George Hageman, who had a great podcast called the Military History Podcast, looked at the story of Spartacus from a more battles-based-perspective. Perhaps giving us a peek at the next season?

|MP3|

Podcast feed: http://geo47.libsyn.com/rss

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #132 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG – Home Is The Hunter by Henry Kuttner and C.L. Moore

October 31, 2011 by · 5 Comments
Filed under: Podcasts 

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #132 – a complete and unabridged reading of Home Is The Hunter by Henry Kuttner and C.L. Moore, read by Pat Bottino. The audiobook is followed by a discussion of the story. Participants include Scott, Jesse, and Tamahome.

Talked about on today’s show:
The July 1953 issue of Galaxy Science Fiction, Henry Kuttner, C.L. Moore, the questionable authorship, Worlds Of Wonder: Exploring The Craft Of Science Fiction edited by Robert Silverberg (aka Science Fiction 101), this is a really really really Science Fiction story (soft SF), sociology, psychology, politics, Scott didn’t like it (at first), Robert Silverberg’s essay Home Is The Hunter: The Triumph Of Honest Roger Bellamy, Central Park in New York, an alien mindset, philosophy, “why do you want things?”, the accumulation of things, “the ultimate gathering of stuff”, glass vs. plastic, immortality, “the Bellamy within”, caring about posterity, “victory over self”, rejecting the premise, Hunters are trained from the age of six, television, “the most powerful man in New York”, boxing’s ranking system, being Honest Roger Bellamy is akin to being Brad Pitt, “incentives change constantly”, “not in this age of science”, populi, “a post scarcity society”, sometimes he wears a hare shirt, “women weaken knees”, fratricide, A.E. Housman’s Home Is The Sailor, Robert Louis Stevenson’s Requiem, home is death, compare it to Philip K. Dick, “plenty deep”, the loss of love (in favour of discipline and obedience), girls were turned out into the populi, ancient history, Ancient Rome, Sparta (had a Spartan lifestyle), the Agogae system, Crypteia (secret society/secret police), Helots, Frank Miller’s 300, is Roger Bellamy crazy?, why did the Spartan’s live as they did? the Peloponnese, the Persian Empire, their culture, the Protestant work ethic, “idle hands”, his self esteem is tied to the number of heads he holds, if you could have anything…, “I want a machine that can make me money”, after you collect everything you want what is left to want?, a “status” society, a trustworthy criminal in a world without material want, is Roger Bellamy happy? Has he triumphed?, happiness is “the exercise of vital powers, through lines of excellence, in a life affording them scope.”, workaholics, Steve Jobs, satisfaction vs. happiness, why the death of a young person is a tragedy, “I did not really want to kill”, brainwashing vs. culture, what makes you rich is the number of heads you hold, “I have more points than you”, “most kills badge”, turning the infinitely reproducible into scarcity (grinding), “there’s no deeper explanation”, gold farming, Cory Doctorow’s For The Win, Occupy Earth, hunting for friends on facebook, the ultimate in keeping up with the Joneses, the shrinking (but still comfortable) middle class, the great depression, the great machine is society, “we have all the high fructose corn syrup we need.”
Home Is The Hunter- illustration by Ashman from Galaxy July 1953

Posted by Jesse Willis

BBC Radio 4 Extra: The Eagle Of The Ninth RADIO DRAMA

October 25, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Audio Drama, Online Audio 

SFFaudio Online Audio

Last weekend saw the re-broadcast of first episode (of four parts) of the 1996 BBC’s radio dramatisation of The Eagle Of The Ninth, that’s Rosemary Sutcliffe’s excellent YA novel. It was recently turned into a pretty good film (The Eagle). If you’re a fan of Henry Treece, as I am, you’ll probably also like Sutcliffe. The next three parts will air on subsequent weekends. I hope to collect them all over on RadioArchive.cc when it completes. Based on the first episode, listenable HERE, you may want to do the same. Sadly no unabridged version of the audiobook currently exists.

BBC Radio 4 ExtraThe Eagle Of The Ninth
Based on the novel by Rosemary Sutcliffe; Dramatised by Sean Damer; Performed by a full cast
4 (half-hour) Broadcasts – Approx. 2 Hours [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: BBC Radio 4 Extra
Broadcast: Sunday October 23, 2011 (and the subsequent three Sundays)
Can Marcus recover his father’s reputation and the lost Eagle from his legion in Rosemary Sutcliffe’s children’s adventure set during the Roman occupation of Britain?

Cast:
Tom Smith
Mark Coleman

Produced by Hamish Wilson

Here’s the trailer for the recent movie version:

Posted by Jesse Willis

Ancient Rome Refocused: Interview with Eric Shanower artist/author of the Age Of Bronze comics

September 8, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Online Audio 

SFFaudio Online Audio

Ancient Rome RefocusedI’m a big fan of Roman history, but over the last twenty-five years or so I’ve pretty much exhausted every source and story. I could probably tell you more about the Imperial family tree than my own. And that’s probably why I hadn’t subscribed to any new Roman history podcast recently. But, a recent visit to Age-Of-Bronze.com informed me that Eric Shanower, the artist/author of Age Of Bronze (an amazing comic book series detailing from beginning to end the entire epic story of The Trojan War), was a recent guest interviewee on a podcast called Ancient Rome Refocused.

Here’s the interview: |MP3|

There’s also a transcript of the interview HERE.

Podcast feed: http://rob33.hipcast.com/rss/ancient_rome_refocused.xml

And, if you’re looking for a massively longer interview, check out SFFaudio Podcast #080, which is my own two hour talk with Shanower from last fall.

Posted by Jesse Willis

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