The SFFaudio Podcast #145 – READALONG: Little Brother by Cory Doctorow

January 30, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Podcasts 

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #145 – Little Brother by Cory Doctorow. Jesse, Tamahome, Professor Eric S. Rabkin and Jenny discuss Little Brother by Cory Doctorow. |ETEXT|

Talked about on today’s show:
Tam can’t trust anyone over 25, Jesse’s review in 2008, re-reading Little Brother in 2012, South Carolina, did Jenny vote Herman Cain (Stephen Colbert)?, SOPA/PIPA, non-fiction essay combined with YA, cliche, didacticism vs. propaganda vs. agitprop, we loved the infodumping, the underlying Oedipal structure, Robert A. Heinlein, libertarian bent, The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, Starship Troopers, Ray Bradbury, Something Wicked This Way Comes, ‘this book has well devolved mythic structure’, levers vs. buttons, relevance, Homer, Electronic Frontier Foundation, the future of money, Luke Burrage’s review of Down And Out In The Magic Kingdom, money is hard to understand, Little Brother is a call to arms, National Defense Authorization Act (suspending habeous corpus as outlined in Article One of the United States Constitution), Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell, Ms. Galvez’s Social Studies class, history, Heinleinian straw men vs. Doctorowan straw men, DHS, TSA, pebbles in your shoes, gait recognition, Oedipus = lame-foot, Charles Walker, the yippies, “this is a masterwork”, Jesse hates sequels, will the sequel to Little Brother deliver anything like what we might expect?, idea based writing vs. character based writing, w1n5t0n, trust, Marcus’ moral problem (RFID cloning without consent for the “greater good”), what act of violence is allowable?, moral relativism, the ends vs. the means, adolescence, “when is it time to overthrow the government?”, treason, Jenny makes “a gorgeous point”, Cory Doctorow’s choice to set Little Brother in, Law & Order (Lenny Briscoe), British North American Act, Canada didn’t have a bill of rights until 1981, The Charter Of Rights And Freedoms, Canada’s founding fathers are not demi-gods, Byron Sonne, G-20, is Little Brother a libertarian book?, “freedom is something you have to take for yourself”, Friedrich Hayek, Prometheus Award, the government of California is the hero (or the CHP), authority tries to perpetuate itself, UC Berkley, sex, juvenile vs. YA, “we live on Mars but we keep our houses extremely hot”, Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson, The Dervish House, Ready Player One, The Diamond Age, Eric makes a minor discovery, Big Brother -> Little Brother, Star-Begotten by H.G. Wells has the origin of “Big Brother”, Olaf Stapledon, “man is the boy who won’t grow up”, Spanish Civil War, The Midwich Cuckoos by John Wyndham (aka The Children Of The Damned), The Iron Heel by Jack London, comparing Doctorow with London, what is propaganda?, pamphleteering, Joseph Goebbels, Eric thinks etymologically, propagation and ideology, the Wikipedia entry on propaganda, is The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress propaganda?, “Oceania is now”, more strawful men, Sinclair Lewis, agitprop fiction, Science Fiction, “it’s a call to arms”, being a hacker, “go forth and hack my children”, “pay attention”, Gitmo by the bay, Iraq, Hacking The X-Box, Mac vs. PC ads, the hacker ethic is the science ethic, LARPing, “just to be smarter about the world around me”, alternative schooling, BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit), SkyTrain, The People Mover (The DPM), jitney, first person perspective, how to care, the terrorism detector and super-AIDS, Jane Jacobs, Jenny’s favourite character was Andrew, crystallizing the Oedipal issues, the Scoville scale, “the word is mister”, Ange vs. mom, The Tempest, severe haircut lady’s sadism, The Dark Knight Returns, is there a hero-normative angle?, The Puppet Masters, Friday, Have Spaceship-Will Travel, the ideal audience, Good Night Moon, Kirby Heybourne’s narration, transitional objects, Cory’s analogies are wonderful, taking a hiatus from Science Fiction, a pleased (but silent) smile, Jesse still has all his LEGO, a balding grey haired kid, Paranoid Linux, Jenny is ambivalent about whether she is of two minds, that couldn’t really happen here … could it?, Erich Fromm’s Escape from Freedom, the closer you get to power the more obvious it becomes, idelogical blindness, Drew wants to be able to believe, “He loved big brother.”

Kaiser Wilhelm II biting the world
Govenment Tech Support

Posted by Jesse Willis

A Good Story Is Hard To Find 023: Waystation by Clifford D. Simak

November 17, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Online Audio 

SFFaudio Online Audio

A Good Story Is Hard To FindSFFaudio’s sister podcast, if there is such a thing, must be A Good Story Is Hard To Find. It’s like a slimmed down and Catholicized version of The SFFaudio Podcast. At the beginning of every show Scott and Julie describe the show as a podcast “where two Catholic friends talk about popular the books and movies they love, and the one reality we see beneath.” Now while I’m a bit suspicious of that “one reality” (especially after reading a Philip K. Dick story) I still love the show to bits. Scott and Julie, the participants, talk intelligently about great books and movies. Their latest book is a great favourite of mine:

Way Station by Clifford D. Simak |READ OUR REVIEW|.

Have a listen |MP3|.

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

And while you’re listening check out these great Wood illustrations from the original serialization of Way Station (under the title Here Gather The Stars) in Galaxy Science Fiction June and August 1963:

Here Gather The Stars by Clifford D. Simak - Illustration by Wood
Here Gather The Stars by Clifford D. Simak - Illustration by Wood
Here Gather The Stars by Clifford D. Simak - Illustration by Wood
Here Gather The Stars by Clifford D. Simak - Illustration by Wood
Here Gather The Stars by Clifford D. Simak - Illustration by Wood
Here Gather The Stars by Clifford D. Simak - Illustration by Wood
Here Gather The Stars by Clifford D. Simak - Illustration by Wood
Here Gather The Stars by Clifford D. Simak - Illustration by Wood
Here Gather The Stars by Clifford D. Simak - Illustration by Wood

Posted by Jesse Willis

Review of Quantico by Greg Bear

September 23, 2007 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Reviews 

SFFaudio Audiobook Review

SF Audiobook - Quantico by Greg BearQuantico
By Greg Bear; Read by Jeff Woodman
11 CDs – 13 Hours 25 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: BBC Audiobooks America
Published: 2007
ISBN: 9780792748441
Themes: / Science Fiction / Terrorism / Saudi Arabia / Iraq/
“Well, its kinda the sum of your worst possible fears that you don’t know.”

-Greg Bear: June 21st 2007 on Jon Stewart’s Daily Show
responding to a request for a brief synopsis of Quantico.

The United States is under attack from all quarters, including from within. In the near future where America is in an arms race with high tech terrorists, sanity vies with ancient religious hatreds. Only three new FBI agents will be able to battle a plague as “10/4” becomes the next “9/11.” From Washington to Iraq confusion is afoot and only a covert mission to a forbidden city can preserve an already grim future.

This is Greg Bear doing Tom Clancy. The question is why? Is Bear pulling a Dean Koontz, (Koontz dropped SF for suspense in 1972)? Is he trying to shift his career out of a poorly paying Science Fiction genre into a more mainstream, higher paying, airport terminal fiction? If Quantico is anything to go by, one of my favorite authors has indeed thrown in the towel on idea SF. What he’s written here is a technothriller, set in a near future. Is this Hugo and Nebula award winning author, known for his Byzantine plotting and earth shattering ideas, still writing interesting fiction? Yes, but the SF elements are so minimized, playing such a marginal role in the story that I was ready to give up on it. I wanted Bear’s original Science Fiction ideas coming from his oddly motivated characters. What I got was better than Tom Clancy, but I don’t like Clancy. It was refreshing to see some post-9/11 terrorism fiction that includes domestic born terrorists, but I am not able to recommend it to SF fans.

Narrator Jeff Woodman was a capable reader, he disappeared into the text, voicing a clear delineation between characters from similar backgrounds while giving a individual and believable American and Arabic accents. Production values were, as expected, BBC quality.