The SFFaudio Podcast #453 – READALONG: The Hood Maker by Philip K. Dick

December 25, 2017 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Podcasts 

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #453 – Jesse, Paul, Marissa, Bryan Alexander, and Evan Lampe talk about The Hood Maker by Philip K. Dick

Talked about on today’s show:
This guy reads a lot of Philip K. Dick, the American Writers: 100 Pages At A Time (and Philip K. Dick Book Club) podcast, the Philip K. Dick Book Club, the end and the beginning, no reprint, 1987, reading minds, Paul thought it was okay, Marissa thought it was okay, Bryan was intrigued, Evan thinks its not his best post-human story, the stupid twist, they’re freaks?, language, orthogonal to the usual, The Golden Man, flipping the script for a change, the TV adaptation, has it dated?, I want it to be what Bryan is thinking it is, “it’s about Facebook, man!”, reeducation camps, the Third Reich, Communist China, facial recognition software, hoddies as a symbol of insurgent or criminal youth, we don’t even need telepathy anymore because we’re all open books now, the hood maker, the only free state is our mind (our thought), Winston Smith, feminism, Mary Wollstonecraft, power is about articulating and expressing thoughts, voting, when surveillance is used to suppress movements and actions, reversed in sympathies and ideas, emotions, birthmarks, mob mentality, a reversal of the opening scene, McCarthyism, detention camps and black-lists, the show is a sign of the water temperature of society in the United States and Britain right now, “that’s interesting, let’s flip it”, control, use, pitting both groups against each other, some of the words in this story, “teep”, Babylon 5, homo superior, the X-Men, “slem gun”, the Philip K. Dick rhetorizer, The Skull, The Terminator if the guy who is sent back is Jesus, the Resurrection through time-travel, sticky words and phrases, he’s got his finger on something, back to telepaths, post-humans, The Crawlers, abortion and thalidomide, The Golden Man, Psi Man, Heal My Child, Null-O, The World Jones Made, pre-cogs, A World Of Talent, the anti-talent, this is the best episode?, ITV, if this is the best they can manage, an obscure story to start with, Impossible Planet, the fakeness of tourism, kipple, useless needless people, the kipplized human beings, Blade Runner, maybe he can’t be translated to film, a radical interpretation, transmogrifying rather than translating, A Scanner Darkly, world-building, very 1970s, a post-apocalyptic story, where the telepaths came from, broken future technology, people are kipple, the detritus of the world, Philip K. Dick podcasts, PKD’s relationship with the frontier, moving to Mars, A Maze Of Death, a sign of mental illness, externalizing the problem, sometimes it works, Frederick Jackson Turner, stagnant, rebuilding civilization, Mr. Spaceship, The Variable Man, Time Out Of Joint, psychoanalyzing Philip K. Dick, in Canada, Saskatchewan, Alberta, Canada, Vancouver Island, everybody moves west, West Vermont, hew down some trees, a police drama, The Skull, The Gun, a man on the run, Of Withered Apples, fantasy, fairy tales, Out In The Garden, Beyond The Door, Human Is, adultery with a tree and a duck and an alien, cheating, adapting the same stories over and over again, totally different things with the same story, one is pro-state and the other is anti-state, the underground uprising that TV and movies love so much, everything has to have an arc, approaching the medium, anthology series, The Outer Limits, Jesse is really worried, trying to hard to be clever at the end of episodes, go weird with it, are we siding with the telepaths?, I want the emotions to follow, did she open the door, the mind is blocked from us, a bit typecast, —-40 minute mark —- Blade Runner: 2049, the world, sound quality, the villain, a vague and dream-like plot, understanding the motivation, The Two Jakes, when sequels are about being sequels, robots having children, Rossum’s Universal Robots, a male themed action movie, not aimed at 15 year olds, weirdly hypnotic, a tone poem, a story about slavery, the slavery of children, liberation, New York 2140 by Kim Stanley Robinson, Aurora is actively offensive, closer to Dick’s themes than the original, bringing Deckard back, a fake Rachel was fan service, Cushing’s zombie in the new Star Wars, the avenging Love, 21st century science fiction’s interest in equity, Mrs. Underwood, women as props, an experience movie, delete some scenes, cringing, Lost Highway, a hypnotizing atmospheric film, different universe, visually striking, K and his girlfriend, the prize fighter android, garlic pasta, walking through the fog, basically garbage, sequel setup, who’s the bad guy in the first movie?, it was Jesse, the bad guys are cast as the replicants, the strength of the movie is the transition, Roy Batty wants to reckon with God, Gaff is the good-guy, a more positive spin, fan fiction for Archer, a parody of James Bond, Kreiger’s waifu, Japanese pillow wife, Vermont’s telecommunications system (sucks), a digital wife, a hologram, K is Kreiger, The Skiffy and Fanty Show, of marriagable age, the ideal relationship, baggage, are our relationships any less real, falling in love is chemical, seeing innocuous as adorable, adorable little quirks turn to irritation, another step away what makes a person human, a p-zombie (a philosophical zombies), what makes a meat robot different, what does a digital version make, we’re just computers, did Joy really feel all the stuff?, you can hear that programming, in six months, the drugs are real, skin-job, the underground tomb, the girl in the bubble, maybe it wasn’t that amazing, very high level, you didn’t need that stupid Wallace, House Of Cards, let Clare have the spotlight, are any of these people being rehabilitated?, exposed for their crimes and hidden secrets, Harvey Weinstein, condemned for your thoughts, everyone things everything, that’s what ideas are, its really interesting, thinking about how people are writing our history, the Massie Affair, because straight-up racism, 1932, Hawaii, the president to be, now it can be said, a hurricane of truth, exposing all the lies, let all the poisons that lurk in the mud hatch out, Al Franken is sad and pathetic, straight-up monsters, can Kevin Spacey come back, Mel Gibson came back, Woody Allen, go back to the stage, we’re all monsters, fading into the mess, Ghandi came back, Churchill, JFK, the Catholic church, cleansing sunlight and breeze, cycles, we’re having one on Sunday, it isn’t a Hollywood thing (only), if Rose McGowan had said just a few weeks before…, branded as crazy, weird unexpected consequences, the pent-up energy has to go someplace, is this how Evan expected it to go?, thought crime is rather banal, a means to control, actual witch-hunts, Jordan Peterson, what its like in Taipei, a right wing thing, “you’re not of the body”, not in our space, increasing the sensitivity, once you get tagged with a certain kind of label, ideas aren’t hurtful, a real problem on the left, sexism, fractures, dealing with Richard Spencer, if your boss is surveilling you its because they want to exploit you more, the whole free will debate, life in Taipei, Wisconsin, eighty acres, the power of capital in urban planning, The Penultimate Truth, Adjustment Team, a big shopping mall, feeling late capitalism, normal human interactions, getting a little bitter, so sedate, hiking, hierarchical, messing around with Philip K. Dick, about four episode a week, defending the American tradition in the age of Trump, making a claim for the greatness of the American literary tradition, owning Trump.

The Hood Maker by Philip K. Dick

The Hood Maker based on the short story by Philip K. Dick

Channel 4 - The Hood Maker

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #451 – READALONG: Puttering About In A Small Land by Philip K. Dick

December 11, 2017 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Podcasts 

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #451 – Jesse, Paul and Marissa talk about Puttering About In A Small Land by Philip K. Dick

Talked about on today’s show:
1985, 1957, a magnificent novel!, struggling through, Paul is not a fan, opinions about this book, Marissa really enjoyed it, problems, interesting, not a mainstream book, marriage and cheating, Jesse’s gutter definition of mainstream, it has them all beat, an existential novel, mainstreaminess, dread, creeping social order dread, where did it start to go wrong for Paul, why am I listening to this book, technical difficulties, the opening, the school, why am I listening to this?, mimetic fiction, I’m not interested in this, there’s no hook, their lives, the son, the poor victim, Roger recapitulates, his mother-in-law, the inevitability of the break-up of the marriage, his third time, failed relationships, spending time with these people, they’re awful awful, flip-flopped, disregarding the content of the novel…, badly composed Philip K. Dick novels, he’s really smooth, most beautiful in a few places, a way for Paul to get through this novel, Jesse’s last theory, the Mexicans are not really Mexicans (they’re Martians), what the heck are you talking about, Martian Time-Slip, his autistic son, he gives his son to the Martians, put on the lap of one of the hitchhikers, psychology, moving to Chicago with a load of stolen televisions, a secret science fiction novel, becoming a science fiction novel for a moment, at the point where it would spin fantastic… its averted, ruminating and undercutting, when Jesse reads and Isaac Asimov mystery, mind bendy, under Galactic Pot-Healer, no access to higher beings or aliens who live across the street, Lord Running Clam, well and truly lost, there’s no way out other than to move about, Puttering About vs. puttering around, what is this thing about, its not really about anything, when Virginia talks about her husband, she’s made this mistake, the mores of the 1950s, waiting for her husband to screw up, Roger is a prat, they’re all Philip K. Dick, Mrs. Alt, the teachers are all robots, The Simulacra, the math teacher, the horses, the character realization is amazing, all real people, the TV repairman, R. Childan from The Man In The High Castle, a fascinating book for anybody who wants to go deep on Philip K. Dick, you have to let it hypnotize you, bootstrapping opportunities, being in the right mood for things, if you classify this book differently, this is a crime novel scene, they commit adultery and that’s a crime, James M. Cain, adulterous relationships, the Greek fate track they get on, a car-wreck of murder and sex and love, if I was in this car…, tearing him down, he married into this, there’s no escape, a horror, a horrible human being, horrible people, being terrorized and terrified and having no escape, good writing, feeling something coming, a payoff, what all the school means, what (other than the fact that this actually happened) does this mean?, like he was experiencing this stuff, screw you all, feeling the tedium, attention to detail, open and closed to the experience, little kid psychology, sometimes adults have a greater wisdom and experience than the kid, an emotional sponge, to get that cheque, Mrs Alt is a change, the chickens and the eggs, that chicken scene is straight out of The Father Thing, old and mouldy and rotten down to the center of the earth, its turning science fiction its turning fantasy, its turning PKD!, his brother, a multiple reality thing, it wouldn’t take much to flip it into a science fiction story, Paul remembers he hated mimetic fiction, A New Apartment, I hate these people, Paul nearly failed reading in seventh grade (because of the books they gave him), A Man In Full by Tom Wolfe, mis-classified, listening to my neighbours talking about their marriage, the periodness of it, a picture of the 1950s that is so complete, immersed into the 1950s, oh this is a real place, this is a real time, so many scenes, The Hanging Stranger, the basement, everything in his 1950s town is exactly the same except for the corpse hanging from a lamp post, lynching, transparency into a social reality, the racism, he didn’t mutter it quietly enough, teeth flying all over the street and he deserved it, seeing the consequence, it felt so real, so visceral, what happened?, explaining to his wife, refusing to go to the dentist like a little kid, new horrors to come, he’s constantly putting himself into these horrible situations, how great is the rage trip?, raging at the whole world, every middle class white guy’s fear, the emotional experiences, perfectly encapsulated, maybe this was written by a woman, Liz is a fantasy character, Upon The Dull Earth, digging the trench, all the other stories reflected, a Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode, a waking dream, in a very PKD sense, you can’t tell which universe you’re in, the photographs, so amazing, Time Out Of Joint, we don’t want to live in the world where PKD became a successful mainstream writer, decaying royalties, he is a success in this world, being recognized during his lifetime, worth digging out, he’s such a great idea man that his work will live on past his mere boring and terrible existence, mainstream writers that have wasted their lives, Martian Time-Slip can’t exist without this mundane book, squint a little bit, the PKD genre, the shoe-repair boy, none of them can hear me, our perceptions of reality, it felt like it was about to turn into a science fiction novel, almost a witch, a sorceress, Roger’s seeing something in her, children and schizophrenics, a secret brother living inside, an asshole father, an amazing horror story, Tony And The Beetles, what does this mean, Evan Lampe American Writers: One Hundred Pages At A Time podcast, kids, an empathetic sponge, where it turns into a science fiction novel for a moment, the stamp collection, dad did they use stamps in Roman times, I think I have one, that’s the end of that scene, where’d that come from and where did it go?, the denouement of so many Philip K. Dick novels, Ubik, that is the turn, how often Jesse talks to kids, its almost like they have schizophrenia, I think my feet are on fire, they sound insane, what if that’s true?, the fact that he thinks he has a Roman stamp is true in that moment, those little touches are what make this a great, great book, eliciting the sense of existential dread, I might read another mainstream Philip K. Dick, The Man Whose Teeth Were Exactly Alike, the premise is like nothing, horrible people, I love reading about these fuck-ups, asshole after asshole, Stephen King, Nelson De Mille, a Goodreads review by Hyzenthlay:

The worst part of having a favourite author who died before you started reading him is that eventually you will run out of new reading material. The best part of that favourite author being Philip K Dick is that he was prolific as fuck AND he has so many books that are only recently coming back into print and/or being published posthumously for the first time that even though I’ve been reading him for 20+ years, I still haven’t run out of new-to-me shit to read.

Puttering About in a Small Land is one of those mythical PKD volumes I searched used book stores and thrift shops for for years. It was first published in the mid-80s, following Dick’s death, then went out of print for almost three decades cos there was never much call for his literary fiction. It’s not sexy enough to be referred to in hushed reverential tones like a DADoES or mind-fucky enough to be a scholarly treatise on humanity and reality like the VALIS trilogy.

It’s a quiet book, dealing with adultery and retail. It’s undeniably an early Dick book, exploring what exactly it means to be human; to feel eternal, knowing all this pain is an illusion. The prose and style will be familiar to anyone who’s read more than a handful of his books or short stories, but it’s not one of his Big Damn Idea books.

I feel I’m not explaining myself very well.

If you’re a genre fan thinking to dabble in Dick, don’t start here. [Waves hand] This is not the book you’re looking for. You go read something else (if you don’t want to start with the usual suspects, I applaud you and would recommend The Penultimate Truth, Dr Bloodmoney or The Cosmic Puppets), cos you will likely find this book’s slightly plodding pace infuriating.

If you’re a litfic reader, looking to broaden your reading horizons, you *could* give this one a go. Maybe only if you’re already into mid-20th Century Americana, though. This might not be the best starting point. You’d be better served picking up Confessions of a Crap Artist or Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said (which, yes, is genre fiction, but ONLY JUST).

Fellow Dickheads? Obviously you need to read this. After Milton Lumky (who knew typewriter sales would be so compelling?). You might hate it, but your need for completion will compel you.

TL;DR This book isn’t for you. Or you. Or you. But it might be for YOU.

stealth sex scenes, she’s consuming him, a spider crawls on her hip, a great review, Red Harvest, The Maltese Falcon, Mario Puzo’s Fools Die,

Puttering About In A Small Land by Philip K.Dick

Posted by Jesse Willis