The SFFaudio Podcast #390 – AUDIOBOOK: Second Variety by Philip K. Dick

October 10, 2016 by · Leave a Comment
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Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #390 – Second Variety by Philip K. Dick, read by Gregg Margarite.

This UNABRIDGED AUDIOBOOK (1 Hours 42 Minutes) comes to us courtesy of LibriVox.org. Second Variety was first published in Space Science Fiction, May 1953.

We will discuss it next week.

Second Variety by Philip K. Dick
Second Variety by Philip K. Dick
Second Variety by Philip K. Dick - Urania #359

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #324 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: This Crowded Earth by Robert Bloch

July 6, 2015 by · Leave a Comment
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Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #324 – This Crowded Earth by Robert Bloch; read by Gregg Margarite. This is an unabridged reading of the novel (3 hours 30 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants in the discussion include Jesse and John Feaster.

Talked about on today’s show:
the only public domain novel by Robert Bloch, a member of the Lovecraft circle, fans of Lovecraft vs. the public at large, The Shambler From The Stars, a sense of humour, Leffingwell = livingwell, a Nazi-esque character, Paul F. Thompkins, 1958, Make Room, Make Room, 1968, overpopulation, The Population Bomb, the baby boom, the Asiatics, a terrible book, a monster of a book, the yardsticks aren’t a metaphor for racism, “midgets”, The Lonely Crowd, the women in this story…, housewives and pretend nurses, not a pure SF novel, Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut, a sociological novel, Jesse isn’t a fan of Psycho, Yours Truly Jack The Ripper, mainstream hack solutions, Bloch is a fan of science fiction, he’s talking about Clifford [D.] Simak here, the solution to overpopulation is to make everybody smaller, you have to lean into that, a weird pacing, Game Of Thrones, an underground secret society, the meta stuff is pretty good, the opening chapter, 70s era Jack [L.] Chalker, caesarian section is the solution?!, an entertaining story, why the heck is little Harry Collins named Harry Collins?, “you’ve dropped your premise”, western wildernesses, why is the President of The United States so excited about 20 pounds of hamburger, really undercooked (hamburger), the 7 hour workday, the 5 hour workday, the 4 hour workday, a 15mph commute, population efficiency, just fix the trains in this world, Soylent Green, not enough room (physical space), telecommuting, personal transport laws, a mash-up of Nineteen Eighty-Four, the Project Mayhem portion of Fight Club and The Wizard Of Oz, Collins is constantly searching for the wizard, mistaking Beatniks for a religious order, a high-Daddio, The Planet Of The Apes premise, a dog and cat disease, accepting the premise, playing with science fiction tropes, an impressionistic idea of the world and the path it is on, the naturals or naturalists, its almost hippies, a generational metaphor, drug use, everybody takes yellow jackets, barbiturate, mixing with alcohol, a one child policy is IMPOSSIBLE?, emigration is IMPOSSIBLE, faster maturity faster death, living on Mars would make you barrel chested, island isolated animals change their size (Island gigantism or Insular dwarfism), pilots need to be short, small people and women endure g-forces better, little people on generation starships, food consumption, he follows through with his own joke, a buffet of ridiculous premises, a strange buffet, an entertaining buffet, politics and the super-rich go hand-in-hand, “the little plan”, “small government”, “it’s a small world after all”, Little John, silly, packed with a lot of weirdness, like a season of Star Trek, written over a weekend?, such a little apartment, “he’s living in a closet”, this would have to be a cartoon if it were a film, the world is a Flintstones background, if there had only been a female character who…, Stephen King loves westerns but can’t write them, lean into it, so why is this world not our problem?, LosSisco, William Gibson’s the Sprawl, Chicago and Milwaukee, well crafted characters (for talking heads), Pol Pot, no actual shitbags, the story of a 15 year old, sociologically and emotionally, the Goodreads reviews, Isaac Asimov’s the Hari Seldon plan, Marching Morons by C.M. Kornbluth, breeding a crazy man, West End Games, Paranoia, the crappy text adventure games (that were fun to play), walking off to the unmapped areas, what about this bugbear?, in a future where cows are caviar, “bring your wife, we’ll have a party”, I’ll bang off something for Planet Stories, Psycho, 1959 and 1960, John defends Psycho, Bloch’s Star Trek script “Wolf In The Fold“, Bloch’s obsession with Jack The Ripper, Richard Matheson’s Night Gallery episode, Time After Time, a future thrill kill story [sounds somewhat like The Roller Coaster by Alfred Bester], before The Silence Of The Lambs, Hannibal, charismatic serial killers is a trope now, Ed Gein, H.H. Holmes (not H.H. Munro), the Chicago murder castle, a writer re-writing and thinking about an idea over and over again, serial writers must do it again, to “recreate it”, seeing a writer writing outside of his main genre, Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series, it’s a little 15-year old, simply written to pay a bill, finally Scotty gets his own episode, I canna remember, Star Trek with a serial killer is weird, That Hellbound Train, The Gold Key The Twilight Zone comics, an EC Comics knockoff, I’m being published for crappy reasons, nobody’s going to read this in two weeks so read it now, this story is a bird-house made by a talented mechanic, a giant truck that is the internet, 60s and 70s era Robert Bloch are sealed up outside of the trunk that is the internet, accept it within its boundaries, a character from the 1950s in a crazy 1950s future, how does the story affect you?, a Rorschach test, it doesn’t care about you, this story is a friend of yours off in the corner playing with LEGOs and the only thing you can do is criticize what he’s building.

This Crowded Earth by Robert Bloch - illustrated by Virgil Finlay

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #248 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: Goliah by Jack London

January 20, 2014 by · 2 Comments
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Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #248 – Goliah by Jack London; read by Gregg Margarite. This is a complete and unabridged reading of the short story (57 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Bryan Alexander, Seth, and Maissa Bessada

Talked about on today’s show:
Colossus: The Forbin Project; title’s reference to biblical Goliath; story’s title a reference to the famous Pacific steam ship; colonial capitalism; the story’s Gilded Age context; child labor; Eugene Debs and American socialism; Karl Marx; Thomas Hobbes’s Leviathan; the story’s fictional energon evocative of Transformers energon; Nikola Tesla; Goliah has a palantir; Goliah as Santa Claus; the story’s invented island Palgrave in the South Sea; parallels to London’s other speculative fiction including The Iron Heel; the story’s unreliable narrator; Asgard; origin stories and foundation myths; nineteenth-century racism rears its ugly head again; Übermenschen; contempt for military and militarism; The Unparalleled Invasion; Seth works too hard; the theoretical increase of productivity through automation; 1984Twilight casting a sparkly shadow over modern culture; Edward Bellamy’s Looking Backward as a possible influence; Karl Marx’s German Ideology; the importance of laughter; Herland; the story as a response to nihilism; similarities between Guy de Maupassant and Friedrich Nietzsche; The Scarlet PlagueCanticle for Leibowitz; the medieval investiture controversy; animal metaphors in Goliah; accurate predictions of World War I; structural similarity to the Book of Job; “you don’t get a lot of laughter in the Old Testament”; Arslan by M.J. Engh; The Bookman literary magazine; It’s a Good Life by Jerome Bixby; steampunk by tag cloud; we make a dismal attempt at discussing the Stock Market; the dark underbelly of Goliah’s utopia; the unrealistic perpetuation of a utopia; Autofac and Pay for the Printer by Philip K. Dick; With Folded Hands by Jack Williamson; Star Trek: The Next Generation; Lenin’s dying wish; Jules Verne; Goliah relinquishing power; Hot Fuzz; more on the palantir and the NSA; “grumblers grumble”; attitudes toward the criminally insane; “Goliah has spoken”; nukes not MOOCs; Cuban Missile Crisis; Douglas MacArthur biography American Caesar by William Manchester; Doctor Who episode “The Happiness Patrol”; Japanese Manga Death Note; the “bread and roses” U.S. labor strike contemporary with Jack London; the Pax Romana; The Better Angels of Our Nature by Stephen Pinker, a discourse on lethal violence; the Franco-Prussian War; Earle Labor’s Jack London: An American Life available in audio.

Colossus The Forbin Project

Posted by Jesse Willis

Five Free Favourites #18: The 5 first Philip K. Dick AUDIOBOOK/READALONG episodes of The SFFaudio Podcast

August 5, 2013 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Online Audio 

SFFaudio Online Audio

Five of my favourite SFFaudio podcasts are our first five Philip K. Dick AUDIOBOOK + READALONG episodes. We’ve done more than five podcasts about Philip K. Dick stories, but these five all have the audiobook up front!

I think they are among the best podcasts we’ve recorded.

Five Free Favourites

1. The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #109 (May 23, 2011)
AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: The Hanging Stranger by Philip K. Dick
|MP3|
Also available, the |PDF|
Narrator: Mac Kelly
Participants: Jesse, Scott, Tamahome
First published in Science Fiction Adventures, December 1953.

Divider

2. The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #122 (August 22, 2011)
AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: Beyond The Door by Philip K. Dick
|MP3|
Also available, the |PDF|
Narrator: Gregg Margarite
Participants: Scott, Jesse, Tamahome, Gregg Margarite
First published in Fantastic Universe, January 1954.

Divider

3. The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #153 (March 26, 2012)
AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: Small Town by Philip K. Dick
|MP3|
Also available, the |PDF|
Narrator: Gregg Margarite
Participants: Jesse, Tamahome, Gregg Margarite
First published in Amazing Stories, May 1954.

Divider

4. The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #194 (January 7, 2013)
AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: Of Withered Apples by Philip K. Dick
|MP3|
Also available, the |PDF|
Narrator: Julie Davis
Participants: Jesse, Tamahome, Jenny, Julie Davis
First published in Cosmos Science Fiction and Fantasy Magazine, July 1954.

Divider

5. The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #224 (August 5, 2013)
AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: Exhibit Piece by Philip K. Dick
|MP3|
Also available, the |PDF|
Narrator: Mark Turetsky
Participants: Jesse, Jenny, Maissa Bessada, Mark Turetsky
First published in If: Worlds Of Science Fiction, August 1954.

Posted by Jesse Willis

The Risk Profession by Donald E. Westlake

July 12, 2013 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Online Audio 

SFFaudio Online Audio

One of my favourite writers, Donald E. Westlake, mostly left the SFF field for the greener pastures of crime fiction after the 1960s. He was very successful there.

The Risk Profession, first published in 1961, is a fun SF novelette and one well worthy of our continued attention.

Another guy who appreciated Westlake was my friend, Gregg Margarite, who narrated it for LibriVox back in 2010.

The plot, a murder mystery, concerns an insurance investigator who makes a trip to the asteroid belt to investigate the death of an asteroid miner.

The Risk Profession by Donald E. Westlake - illustrated by Ivie

LibriVoxThe Risk Profession
By Donald E. Westlake; Read by Gregg Margarite
1 |MP3| – Approx. 1 Hour 4 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: January 17, 2010
“The men who did dangerous work had a special kind of insurance policy. But when somebody wanted to collect on that policy the claims investigator suddenly became a member of… The Risk Profession.” First published in Amazing Stories, March 1961.

Here’s a |PDF| made from the publication in Amazing.

[Thanks also to Wendel Topper and Lucy Burgoyne]

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #204 – AUDIOBOOK: The Status Civilization by Robert Sheckley

March 18, 2013 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Podcasts 

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #204 – The Status Civilization by Robert Sheckley, read by Gregg Margarite.

This UNABRIDGED AUDIOBOOK (4 Hours 53 Minutes) comes to us courtesy of LibriVox.org. The Status Civilization was first published under the title Omega and was serialized in the August and September 1960 issues of Amazing Science Fiction Stories Magazine.

Go back to episode (SFFaudio Podcast #056) to hear our discussion of it.

Will Barrent awakes without memories just before being deposited on Omega, a planet for criminals where the average life expectancy is three years. He’s listed as a murderer and released into the illicit society as a “peon” the lowest class imaginable. A mysterious girl gives him a weapon that starts him on his path to status, a path that requires constant brutality. But it must be borne if our hero is to discover the reason for his imprisonment; A reason that pits him against himself, and involves the sardonically similar but devoutly different creeds of Omega and Earth.

Amazing Science Fiction Stories - OMEGA by Robert Sheckley

Omega by Robert Sheckley - illustration by Grayam

Omega by Robert Sheckley - illustration by Grayam

Posted by Jesse Willis

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