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

May 22, 2017 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Podcasts 

Podcast

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 , 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

The SFFaudio Podcast #417 – READALONG: The Gripping Hand by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle

April 17, 2017 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Podcasts 

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #417 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, and Maissa discuss The Gripping Hand by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle

Talked about on today’s show:
1993, a sequel to a 1974 novel, a long digression, Protector, where does Larry Niven end and Jerry Pournelle begin?, Larry Niven is the aliens, Jerry Pournelle was the humans and the military, what’s happening?, too many battles, a secret tramline, plot beats, The Mote In Gods Eye is more muscular, a second first contact, the empire is slipping, privileges vs. responsibilities, doing duty, they were shinier, WWII, the least interesting duty ever, graft, echo, the circular spiral of the Moties and the parallels with the human empire, the only difference between the Moties and the men is the differences, codicil to Horace Bury’s will, Isaac Asimov’s Foundation, too many space battles, a spacesuit full of watchmakers, kill them with fire, snow ghost, space Mormons, Reflex, A Spaceship For King David by Jerry Pournelle, the Langston field, read the Wikipedia entries before reading the books, a quasi-magic force-field, handwavium, wormhole subways gets stuff done, Babylon 5, He Fell Into A Dark Hole, kinda-sorta, feel and see the Niven Pournelle overlaps, the Janissaries novels, they’re gonna run out bullets soon, murderous centaurs, Inferno, Lucifer’s Hammer, it is interesting, a 70s disaster novel, Oath Of Fealty, Footfall, Legacy Of Herot, Fallen Angels, the Prometheus Award, anti-environmentalist, The Burning City, the Magic Goes Away universe, hit by the Niven and Pournelle hammer, Escape From Hell, sequels,

Jesse’s laws of sequels: The First Law: The second law is a sequel, and thus unneeded.

health problems, who named a planet Sauron?, too obvious, super-soldiers, military SF, war porn with laser guns, it doesn’t change the battlefield, first person shooter games, the whole point of technology is it changes things, dinosaurs, having done The Lord Of The Rings, a 2 cassette abridgement of The Gripping Hand, coffee, mispronunciations, pooping all over this book, Julie Davis, ruined the first book?, a visit to Mote Prime was missing, asteroid civilizations, the midshipman are a dead end, that’s cool!, birth control pills, the guy who invented a condom, Crazy Eddie, lifespan, tragic fatalism, bottled up, the explanation for super-conservative people, I got mine jack, it’s a fools errand…, all boondoggle, many such, 18 different levels of policing, the weed police (bylaw enforcement), just make a new agency after every crisis, anti-Greenpeace books, Cloak Of Anarchy, libertarianism is completely nuts, green crunchy granola, into that basket of deplorables, we don’t need roads, gold extraction as a proven technology, dude what are you doing?, greeners, let’s go the other way, nothing Ayn Rand ever wrote was wrong, Bury didn’t leave the bathtub, poor Kevin Renner, culinary adventure, he was the Errol Flynn of space, a girl in every port, breeding Blaines, motie rats, more Niven less Pournelle, the UK title: The Moat Around Murcheson’s Eye, mote vs. moat, more planets, helmsman full speed ahead, Sparta, the geology and topology, no map, good touches, unfair to Dr Pournelle, agricultural land reserve, mountains and islands and mountains, the Okanagan, reserving land for agricultural, the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, Coruscant is just the city world (and complete bullshit), the Fleet Of Worlds has four farming planets, almost worth reading just for such touches, why I read Science Fiction, The Mote In God’s Eye was great, the Xindi from Star Trek: Enterprise, everything in TV and movies has to be simpler, the specificity of it, totally cool, you just abstain, progress since the 1970s, lying liars, abandon all orders, in comparison to Protector, it’s all about fate, there’s very little of free will in a motie, an inescapable cycle, going crazy eddy, less well expressed, where’s our stuffed space-marine in the museum?, publisher’s deadline?, they were hot shit in the 1980s, all space battles, families taking over the legacy of their parent’s writings, firmly make this commitment, one and done Dune, use The Gripping Hand of the Protector, focus on the family, free will, Ringworld and The Ringworld Engineers, the Puppeteers, what does this mean when we maximize it?, a second stage, vs., please do not write this book Paul, seeing the world from the master’s perspective, seeing inside their brain, the x-ray laser, the time machine element, the whole idea of crazy eddy is a great idea, Invasion Of The Body Snatchers, amazing, or a crazy Bernie, fairy-duster, you must allow the bloat of the military continuously.

The Mote System
Trans-Coal Sack Sector Of The Empire Of Man

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #281 – READALONG: Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick

September 8, 2014 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Podcasts 

Podcast

Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #281 – Jesse, Mr Jim Moon, and Bryan Alexander discuss Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick.

Talked about on today’s show:
1968, science fiction by Philip K. Dick, Blade Runner, abridged version, audiobook, repetition of theme, an introductory novel to Philip K. Dick, The Man In The High Castle by Philip K. Dick, jam packed with action, one long day, the fake police station, a classic Dick move, how many androids are there in this book?, movies, androids, legitimate slavery, Luba, minority, androids v. slaves, reality of humans, psychological tests, visuals, dialogic science fiction, Wilder Penfield, The Terminal Man by Michael Crichton, mood organ, existential humor, satire, artificial, unbelievable world, endless competition, goat glands, Sydney’s Catalog, the BBC Radio 4 audio drama by Jonathan Holloway & Kerry Shale, parallel characters, undercut truth, an animal theme, religious allusions, Mercer, Unbreakable (M. Night Shyamalan), lurker, detective story, lack of world descriptions, less striking scenes in the movie, Galactic Pot Healer by Philip K. Dick, tomb world, fraud corpses, Mercer v. Jesus, lack of introduction in the movie, Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, the maker, hope of freedom, androids as fiends, humans yet not humans, what is the definition of human?, the question, the title, empathy to androids, Deckard’s predictions, Ubik by Philip K. Dick, predestination, fake things, simulacra, electrically modified ecology, emotional drug, consumerism, The Days of Perky Pat by Philip K. Dick, Nanny by Philip K. Dick, the vale of reality, the cuckoo clock in Blade Runner, layered symbols, visualizing future technologies, Kayla Williams, unobvious connections, paranoia, suspicion of government, The Exit Door Leads In by Philip K. Dick, unimportance of religious reality, environmental awareness, Silent Spring by Rachel Carson, dehumanization in war, androids = inverted human, Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, television, The Veldt by Ray Bradbury, 1984 by George Orwell, podcasting, Metropolis (Fritz Lang), Max Headroom, “Five Minutes Into the Future”, The Red Room by H.P. Lovecraft, haunted media.

Marvel Comics Blade Runner

Blade Runner Haffmans Entertainer

Blade Runner Illustrated by Syd Mead

Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep? WORD CLOUD

SIGNETDoAndroidsDreamOfElectricSheepByPhilipK.DickCOVER565

SIGNET - Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick

Posted by Jesse Willis

Review of Pump Six and Other Stories by Paolo Bacigalupi

August 28, 2014 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Reviews 

SFFaudio Review

Science Fiction Audiobook - Pump Six and Other Stories by Paolo BacigalupiPump Six and Other Stories
By Paolo Bacigalupi; Read by Jonathan Davis, James Chen, and Eileen Stevens
11 CDs – Approx. 13 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Published: December 1, 2010
ISBN: 9781441892201
Themes: / Science Fiction / Dystopia / Biopunk / Politics / Society/ Environmentalism / Technology / Food / Death / Thailand / Asia /

The eleven* stories in Pump Six chart the evolution of Paolo Bacigalupi’s work, including the Hugo nominated “Yellow Card Man,” and the Sturgeon Award-winning story “The Calorie Man,” both set in the world of his novel The Windup Girl. This collection also demonstrates the power and reach of the science fiction short story. Social criticism, political parable, and environmental advocacy lie at the center of Bacigalupi’s work. Each of the stories herein is at once a warning and a celebration of the tragic comedy of the human experience.

Let me get the praise out of the way first: Paolo Bacigalupi is an imaginative genius with a message. At times the writing is brilliant. “The Fluted Girl” is excellent, well-written, surely a classic. Every idea in every story is worthy of exploration and consideration and the three narrators are just fine, thanks. His views of dystopia are clever warnings; his ideas endlessly fresh and characters sympathetic. Slow pace is forgivable in his stories, like home-cooked food, worth the wait. James Chen’s reading of the Chinese accents is a great addition to the appropriate stories.

But there are problems. I don’t like having a book of short stories that doesn’t list the names – I shouldn’t have to look on-line for names of the stories and the order in which they appear. I also feel strongly that there is a missing editor. Some of the stories feel as though they are not in final draft version. If I had the print version, my teacher’s red pen would have been in hand marking suggestions for edits. Some information seemed more than unnecessary to the stories (these are short stories after all). It is disappointing that such genius is allowed “out” without polish. Is it possible that the world he created in Pump Six, where literacy has all but disappeared, is actually at its beginning, or did Paolo do it on purpose to see if we are paying attention?

Should you listen to this audiobook? Yes. Brilliant, not perfect, but should definitely not be missed.

*Only ten stories included in the audiobook:
Pocketful Of Dharma • (1999) • novelette • read by James Chen
The Fluted Girl • (2003) • novelette • read by Eileen Stevens
The People Of Sand and Slag • (2004) • novelette • read by James Chen
The Pasho • (2004) • novelette • read by Jonathan Davis
The Calorie Man • [The Windup Universe] • (2005) • novelette • read by Jonathan Davis
The Tamarisk Hunter • (2006) • short story • read by Jonathan Davis
Pop Squad • (2006) • novelette • read by Jonathan Davis
Yellow Card Man • [The Windup Universe] • (2006) • novelette • read by James Chen
Softer • (2007) • short story • read by James Chen
Pump Six • (2008) • novelette • read by Jonathan Davis

Posted by Elaine Willis

Spartan Youth Radio: Interview with Margaret Atwood

January 26, 2010 by · 10 Comments
Filed under: Online Audio 

SFFaudio Online Audio

Spartan Youth RadioSpartan Youth Radio (a Northern Ontario high school radio station) has an interview with Margaret Atwood. Reporter Madeline Lemire talked to Atwood during her book tour for The Year Of The Flood. In the interview Atwood talks about her novel, moon landing conspiracy theories, biotechnology, religion, environmentalism, coffee, twitter and “the future of novels.”

I always thought Margaret Atwood’s position on ‘not being a Science Fiction writer’ had some merit. She’s never been all that interested in science. After listening to Atwood explain her position on the moon landings being fake (she thinks that they were) I have to agree she’s definitely not all that interested in science. I shake my head at your smug oleaginousness Margaret Atwood. You are a history denier. The moon landings were not fake. We did them, they were done.

Here’s the interview |MP3|

Our review of The Year Of The Flood |READ OUR REVIEW|!

Here’s a video featuring a multi-performer “dramatic reading” from The Year Of The Flood:

Aren’t you glad Atwood doesn’t narrate her own audiobooks?

[via the Digital Copyright Canada blog]

Posted by Jesse Willis

Review of The Year Of The Flood by Margaret Atwood

January 13, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Reviews 

SFFaudio Review

RANDOM HOUSE AUDIO - The Year Of The Flood by Margaret AtwoodThe Year Of The Flood
By Margaret Atwood; Read by Bernadette Dunne, Katie MacNichol and Mark Bramhall
11 CDs – Approx. 14 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Random House Audio
Published: September 22, 2009
ISBN: 9780739383971
Themes: / Science Fiction / Dystopia / Disaster / Environmentalism / Environmental Disaster / Ecology / Planetary Ecology / Religion / Genetic Engineering / Sex / Activism / Genetics /

The long-awaited new novel from Margaret Atwood. The Year of the Flood is a dystopic masterpiece and a testament to her visionary power. The times and species have been changing at a rapid rate, and the social compact is wearing as thin as environmental stability. Adam One, the kindly leader of the God’s Gardeners—a religion devoted to the melding of science and religion, as well as the preservation of all plant and animal life—has long predicted a natural disaster that will alter Earth as we know it. Now it has occurred, obliterating most human life. Two women have survived: Ren, a young trapeze dancer locked inside the high-end sex club Scales and Tails, and Toby, a God’s Gardener barricaded inside a luxurious spa where many of the treatments are edible. Have others survived? Ren’s bioartist friend Amanda? Zeb, her eco-fighter stepfather? Her onetime lover, Jimmy? Or the murderous Painballers, survivors of the mutual-elimination Painball prison? Not to mention the shadowy, corrupt policing force of the ruling powers . . .Meanwhile, gene-spliced life forms are proliferating: the lion/lamb blends, the Mo’hair sheep with human hair, the pigs with human brain tissue. As Adam One and his intrepid hemp-clad band make their way through this strange new world, Ren and Toby will have to decide on their next move. They can’t stay locked away . . .By turns dark, tender, violent, thoughtful, and uneasily hilarious, The Year Of The Flood is Atwood at her most brilliant and inventive.

Margaret Atwood’s book The Year Of The Flood spans several years, before, after and during the waterless flood which is a plague that affects only humans. There are three readers, Bernadette Dunne, Katie MacNichol and Mark Bramhall. Throughout the eleven discs (14 hours), I enjoyed listening to the women, and began to dread the onset of the male reader. He was certainly professional. Was it his character, Adam One, a religious cult leader of God’s Gardeners? Was it the inevitable sermon he would read in a church-appropriate voice? Or was it the hymns, written by Atwood and set to “original” music that would have me engaging in positive procrastination in order to avoid finishing this audiobook.

The loveliest parts of the book take place from the point of view of Ren, a child in God’s Garden. The religion is a logical outcome for a near future on Earth following environmental disasters not too difficult to imagine. Technologies we toy with today lead to some A Clockwork Orange style vocabulary. Words such as “garboil” (a kind of petroleum made from trash) lend a frighteningly vital immersion into this eco-nightmare. Other wonderful vocabulary delights come through the genetic alterations of food and creature such as soydines and bugs with little smiley faces engineered thereon so thoughts of squishing them would be repugnant. The Gardeners have a host of saints to celebrate, showing Atwood’s ability to relate some important environmentalists and peaceniks to her tale including Saint Rachel Carson, Saint David Suzuki and Saint Mahatma Gandhi.

The main female characters, Ren and Toby, both fully developed, are compelling. Throughout the story, one is interested in them as human beings, in their suffering, in their losses, in their desires. Despite the time shifts, the readers manage to keep the characters believable; one is lost in the story (as one should be!) until the final disc. Maybe Atwood can’t write optimistic endings. With all the violence, sadistic sex and death in the world of the Gardeners who are staunch vegetarians who don’t even kill the insects that invade their gardens; with spray guns, layabout body parts and a world of human-pig hybrids conducting funerals, the last disc felt wrong. Ren’s character becomes childish. Toby becomes a murderous cold-blooded killer and then suddenly has another personality shift. The only character to remain true is the one-dimensional ADAM ONE. I was strung along on the brilliant imagination, left flat on story line, and confused in the end by the characters I thought I liked.

Am I waiting for that third expected book in a TRILOGY featuring some of these characters? My interest in Atwood’s “exfernal” world is now lukewarm.

Posted by Elaine Willis

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