The SFFaudio Podcast #149 – TOPIC: METAPHOR in Science Fiction and Fantasy

February 27, 2012 by · 3 Comments
Filed under: Podcasts 

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #149 – Jesse, Luke Burrage, and Professor Eric S. Rabkin talk about METAPHOR in Science Fiction and Fantasy.

Talked about on today’s show:
Science Fiction and Fantasy sort of undercut the scholastic meaning of metaphor, my friend Bill, metaphors come in two parts – the vehicle and the tenor, giants vs. ogres, denuding the metaphor, Aldebaran 6 has astonishingly beautiful humanoids, unknown vehicles deliver us, The Monsters by Robert Sheckley, The War Of The Worlds, a Tolkienesque task, A Voyage To Arcturus by David Lindsay, Dark Universe by Ron Goulart, Plato’s cave, blindness, dead metaphors, the Burning Bush, Saul vs. Paul, a sound idea, Germanic grounds for divorce, Star Maker by Olaf Stapledon, The Door Into Summer by Robert A. Heinlein, 1984 by George Orwell, “the clock stuck thirteen”, constructing meaning, William Shakespeare, awful as in creating awe, Moses and Mount Sinai, “shining like the sun”, a sun god, Sampson, hairy like the sun, bald like the moon, Genesis, “you may look upon my hindparts”, Childhood’s End by Arthur C. Clarke, unconscious metaphors, Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, wretch, catwomen from Venus, voluptuous sex objects, building up the vocabulary, Halting State by Charles Stross, Neuromancer‘s opening line, text adventure, Enoch lived 365 years (the sun god), The Tower Of Babel by Ted Chiang, comparing the constructed worlds of video games with the constructed worlds of Science Fiction, Battlefield 2, a meta-metaphor for understanding what Science Fiction does for understanding our world, hamartia needs range finding, The Time Machine by H.G. Wells, “any fool can see”, a system of metaphors for the characters and the reader provides meta-uses, metaphor means “carry across”, Greek moving vans are called metaphore, the Morlocks are the workers, the Eloi are the owners, the Time Traveler is the manager, Get That Rat Off My Face by Luke Burrage, Science Fiction as thought experiment, Michael Crichton, deus ex machina, The War With The Newts by Karel Čapek, Finnegan’s Wake, experimental novels, Germinal by Émile Zola, Flatland by Edwin A. Abbott, allusion vs. metaphor, Sampson vs. Goliath, Luke and Eric prime each other, is Science Fiction useful?, should SF be useful?, Science Fiction and Personal Philosophy (SFBRP #100), reading only the Bible, The Cold Equations by Tom Godwin, the hard lesson namely: “sometimes you’re just fucked”, Star Trek II, cannibalism, Eric objects, the physical world vs. unconditional love, NASA staff need to read The Cold Equations, Steve Jobs (and his reality distortion field), a world full of things other than minds, smart by accident, Apollo 13, give the astronauts poetry, the title itself crystallizes the meaning, The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, a parametric center, how do we maintain individuality in the face of fascism?, the vehicle/tenor heuristic, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Nick Carraway, the car is the parametric central of The Great Gatsby, martian vampires, Apollo 1 disaster, Velcro and oxygen, “a failure of imagination”, learning from the past, the metaphor falls and leaves behind a lesson about reality.

Posted by Jesse Willis

The Country Of The Blind by H.G. Wells

December 30, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Audio Drama, Online Audio 

SFFaudio Online Audio

TITLE - The Country O fThe Blind by H.G. Wells

Here’s the editorial introduction to The Country Of The Blind from Amazing Stories, December 1927:

We take many things for granted in this world. We accept many preconceived notions about an amazing large number of things, which, like as not prove to be amazingly wrong. If any story ever proved this point, The Country Of The Blind certainly is that one. The author exploits the well-known saying , “In the country of the blind the one-eyed man is king.” Indeed that statement is most easy to believe and all logic should point that way. In reading this interesting story, you will soon find out how far wrong even seemingly good logic can be.

The above, presumably written by Hugo Gernsback himself, ably covers most of what I thought to say about this story. But that didn’t quite stop me.

This audiobook was my first time reading this story. I’m starting to think that H.G. Wells always wrote allegory and fable. The main character in this piece, and all Wellsian fiction, is completely unlikeable. The society he creates is unlikeable too. What does it say about me that I appreciated the story, even if I didn’t like it? What does it say about modern SF that stories with unlikeable protagonists in unlikeable societies are so few?

I guess I appreciated The Country Of The Blind because there’s a very deep skepticism to it, about human nature, about society but most importantly about the claim of wisdom. Man is a foolish, foolish beast. His only guide to the future is what has come before. But we’re always tempted to take some distilled bit of wisdom and use it that to do our thinking for us. What does it say for us when for every proverb we use to rationalize a decsion there is another proverb that could have supported an alternate?

Better, perhaps, to reject proverb entirely.

LibriVoxThe Country Of The Blind
By H.G. Wells; Read by llite (aka George Cooney)
1 |MP3| – Approx. 61 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: January 17, 2010
While attempting to summit the unconquered crest of Parascotopetl, a mountaineer named Nunez slips and falls down the far side of the mountain. At the end of his descent, down a snow-slope in the mountain’s shadow, he finds a valley, cut off from the rest of the world on all sides by steep precipices. Nunez has discovered the fabled Country of the Blind. The valley had been a haven for settlers fleeing the tyranny of Spanish rulers until an earthquake reshaped the surrounding mountains and cut it off forever from future explorers. The isolated community prospered over the years despite a disease that struck them all blind. As the blindness slowly spread over the generations and the last sighted villager had died, the community had fully adapted to life without vision. First published in the April 1904 issue of the Strand Magazine.

The Country Of The Blind - illustrated by Frank R. Paul

Included below are all the audio drama adaptations I could find. I recommend the episode of Escape with Paul Frees.

EscapeEscape – The Country Of The Blind
Based on the story by H.G. Wells; Adapted by John Dunkel; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 29 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: CBS Radio
Broadcast: November 26, 1947
produced/directed by William N. Robson
Cast:
William Conrad … Ibarra
Paul Frees … Nunez
Produced/directed by William N. Robson

EscapeEscape – The Country Of The Blind
Based on the story by H.G. Wells; Adapted by John Dunkel; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: CBS Radio
Broadcast: June 20, 1948
Cast:
Berry Kroeger … Ibarra
Paul Frees … Nunez

EscapeEscape – The Country Of The Blind
Based on the story by H.G. Wells; Adapted by John Dunkel; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: CBS Radio
Broadcast: March 20, 1949.
Cast:
Berry Kroeger … Ibarra
Edmund O’Brien … Nunez
Produced/directed by Norman MacDonnell

SuspenseSuspense – The Country Of The Blind
Based on the story by H.G. Wells; Adapted by John Dunkel and William N. Robson; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 19 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: CBS Radio
Broadcast: October 27, 1957
Cast:
Raymond Burr

SuspenseSuspense – The Country Of The Blind
Based on the story by H.G. Wells; Adapted by John Dunkel and William N. Robson; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 24 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: CBS Radio
Broadcast: December 13, 1959
Cast:
Bernard Grant
Produced/directed by Paul Roberts

Favorite Story Favorite Story – Strange Valley
Based on The Country Of The Blind by H.G. Wells; Adapted by ???; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 27 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: KFI
Broadcast: April 23, 1949
Cast:
Ronald Coleman … Nunez

[via Escape-Suspense.com]

Posted by Jesse Willis

Marvel Podcast: Daredevil #1 – an unabridged reading

August 20, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Online Audio 

SFFaudio Online Audio

The Mighty Marvel PodcastHere’s an interesting experiment, something I’m not sure works, but think was definitely worth trying. Here’s the official line:

Since his inception in 1964, Daredevil has stood out as a unique figure in comic books: A blind man able to leap through the air and battle evil thanks to a special radar enhancing his other senses. The Man Without Fear has been a Marvel stalwart for nearly 50 years as well as a representative of the visually-impaired in popular fiction, but up to this point, those deprived of sight themselves have had to rely on friends reading them copies of DAREDEVIL in order to experience Matt Murdock’s adventures.

About a month ago, Marvel Senior Editor Steve Wacker came up with the idea to record an audio edition of DAREDEVIL #1 so that the visually-impaired could enjoy the dawn of a new era for DD, his friends and his enemies. Additionally, this special project provides those who can see with a new take on what’s already being hailed as one of the best comics of 2011.

DAREDEVIL writer Mark Waid provides full panel descriptions directly from his script on this audio edition, while Marvel editors Tom Brennan, Ellie Pyle and Jordan D. White lent their voices to Daredevil/Matt Murdock, Kirsten McDuffie and Foggy Nelson, with White and Wacker also providing additional vocals. Marvel.com Video Editor Todd Wahnish recorded the piece, Marvel.com Associate Editor Ben Morse directed and Jordan White edited the final recording.

MARVEL COMICS - Daredevil, Issue #1Daredevil #1
By Mark Waid; Performed by Mark Waid and several other readers
1 |MP3| – Approx. 27 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Podcaster: The Mighty Marvel Podcast
Podcast: August 18, 2011

Mark Waid – Panel descriptions
Associate Editor Tom Brennan – Daredevil/Matt Murdock
Assistant Editor Ellie Pyle – Kirsten McDuffie
Assistant Editor Jordan White – Foggy Nelson/others
Editor Stephen Wacker – background voices
Marvel.com Associate Editor Ben Morse – Mark Waid

The recording was directed by Ben Morse, engineered by Marvel.com Video Editor Todd Wahnish, and edited by Jordan White.

There’s also an interview with Waid available |MP3|

Daredevil - Issue One, Page One

[via Tristan Winch’s HuffDuffer feed]

Posted by Jesse Willis