The SFFaudio Podcast #455 – READALONG: The Moon Moth by Jack Vance

January 8, 2018 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Audio Drama, Podcasts 

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #455 -Jesse, Paul Weimer, Marissa Vu, and Bryan Alexander talk about The Moon Moth by Jack Vance

Talked about on today’s game:
1961, dude!, The Science Fiction Hall Of Fame, the Seeing Ear Theatre adaptation, a setting and a culture and an experience, not very science fictiony, no weird transhumanism, deep interesting cultures and settings, more in the fantasy, a science fiction setting but it feels like fantasy, anthropological science fiction, Rite Of Passage by Alexi Panshin, Dune by Frank Herbert, goblins, the fantasy element of the masks, are you bold enough to wear a sea-dragon conquerer mask?, the adaptation follows the plot fairly faithfully, other POVs, a little more linearly, the ambassador’s folly, a masterful adaptation, like nothing we’ve ever seen before, it feels relaxing, gorgeous description, the plot is very stressful, how does this work?, the Larry Niven of economics and culture, high praise, Haxo Angmark, a Vance specialty (names), stealing his “money belt”, Cory Doctorow’s wuffie, so fascinating, I want to walk these streets, my father is a magistrate, a very libertarian society, Texas, L. Neil Smith, no expansionism, the night men, like a role-playing game, cannibalize whatever’s on the shore, indigenous people, captured by the night men!, social status, far weirder than any kind of Marxian communism, when he’s embarrassed about the fish with a face in the water, he’s acculturating to the culture, “religious convictions”, sticky and annoying like a thistle, the philology of our language and hacked it, Edwer Thissle, David D. Levine’s Tk’Tk’Tk’, what Jesse senses what walking the streets of Japan would be like, a dystopia, no government, it all comes down to violence, a very humble mask, how Saudi society works, a married couple would never show their faces to each other, a mock mask?, the afterword, clothes and nudity, the slaves are for having sex with, Jesse has questions, “I’ve been working on it for seventeen years”, a public ledger (like blockchain), a robot, electronic devices, an electric instrument, practically speaking, a bat-belt full of tiny musical instruments?, ornate and complex, the aliens are humans right?, orcs?, a weird human culture, the four outsiders, essentially humans (with pale faces), the consular representative, an anthropologist, Thomas Piketty, how do you have trade with these folks?, a trade port, fun to imagine, maybe you have people who hold value (for trade), expatriates, I will return you to the islands if you don’t obey me, food is incredibly plentiful, kind of like Venice, imaging Venice the whole time, the Dunsanian stories by H.P. Lovecraft, or Idle Days On The Yann by Lord Dunsany, the fantastic orient?, what Korea would be like from an Italian point of view, some happy fools have opened up a bookstore, people don’t want books, nail salon, skin salon, hair salon, tooth whitening, did you see a man come in here and did he take something?, why Steen was mad at somebody, he’s not acting like a Canadian, everyone in the states is so rude, so apologetic, if you don’t acknowledge how terrible you’ve been, an immoral slouch, Iranians have a way of talking around a subject (and will become annoyed when Jesse doesn’t understand), what would it have taken?, a kind of meritocracy, how reputation works in the States, infamous, Chelsea Manning, going from being a reviled traitor to having cachet, a celebrity in need of a couch, their visit to me makes me higher in the society, I gave Al Pacino a place to sleep for the night because his car broke down, how selfies work, some percentage of people want their picture taken with celebrities, our strakh in our culture is attention, Instagram people without their Instagram filters, Sirene is 1000 years in our future, free stuff, stereotypes about New Zealanders, people love Kiwis, an alien as a woman (than as a foreigner), cultural baggage, James Clavell’s Shōgun miniseries adaptation, feudal Japan, swaggering samurais, you’re disgusting and hairy, easing us into it, learning Japanese, the cultural barrier, Jesse’s strahk level plummets, the murder mystery aspect, brilliant!, the weak part, subtle or detailed, an excel sheet, a locked planet or locked houseboat mystery, Robert van Gulik, the whole murder mystery detective genre, you participate in the solving of the mystery, almost there, Judge Dee, like Sherlock Holmes but set in Ming China, a rich and decadent society, Bernard Cornwell’s Sharpe series, there is a structural class system, you guys are building one, number one in plutocrats!, Upstairs Downstairs, Downton Abbey, their highest hope, falling from class position, how one gets raised out of the strakh level you’re born in to, how people change classes, sociology and anthropology, the business department, Jesse is insulting someone, everybody can be a manager, this story raises so many questions about our own societies, it is not a mirror to us, StarShipSofa, Tony C. Smith, obsessed with the baroque, in the way that Tolkien is obsessed, the ornate social structures, The Potters Of Frisk, Planet Of Adventure, a tapestry of different cultures, unlock the puzzle of the culture, powned!, one delicious five volume package, what are Vance’s literary roots, science fiction friends, Poul Anderson, Frank Herbert, diverse life experience, California, sui generis, the Demon Princes novels, phone booth, his roots are not in the Clarkeian-Sturgeonian tradition, The Dying Earth, one book leads to another book, Paul got lucky, getting the urge, the BBC In Our Time on Moby Dick, the whiteness of the whale, the pasteboard masks, Philip K. Dick, Halloween, thing are quite different, we wear a mask that blinds us to the world, we wear a mask that blinds us to us, Herman Melville, hijab, it plays to the base, what would it be like to be in a world, this is a very weird world, what form of popular entertainment is being satirized, opera, music, scary talented, an operatic world, musical accompaniment, 24/7 opera, the first audio drama Marissa enjoyed, in the audiobook, an animal!, Marissa got into it, Bryan is nodding, a metaphor for getting used to a new society, a metaphor for learning a foreign language, that sense of fear, a classic mystery novel, almost a western, John D. MacDonald, plotting was the hard thing, gathering the tools up to bluff your way through, what is the author thinking, what are they trying to do, isn’t wonderful to think about beautiful dead women, I think the mystery is the plot, what would it be like where nobody has any identity except what they say is their identity, nicely shoehorned, wow! look at this world, its the one with the masks, Marissa used to be so shy, if you’re in anyway alien or introverted this is playing with the fear of that, fear of bureaucracy, at the mercy of the killer, a judo flip, Vance always has a sardonic sense of humour, The Dying Earth, civilizations rising and falling, magic, Chun the unavoidable, one of the greatest villains, a sub-genre, Hothouse by Brian Aldiss, Clark Ashton Smith, Last Castle, The Dragon Masters, I want more, so much is in it and it has a plot too?, more Vance on the schedule, the orbits that writers move in, the focus on language, Prof. Eric S. Rabkin, transformed language, Isaac Asimov, a total twin of science fiction, we do this job, we engage in the reality, fantasy as escape, working it out, this is the anthropology section of the lirbary, the soft sciences, Larry Niven did too much of it, there’s nothing more to say at the moment, if its not bio – what else you got?, genetics and epigenetics, philosophical science fiction, Mack Reynolds, a post-scarcity society, a great problem to have, nobody is starving to death, cheap food, a rich society, wearing the right suit, look at Bill Maher in his french cuffs, its a $5,000 suit, they look like clowns out of their context, the hair and makeup departments, that’s what all the slaves are doing on Sirene, hair and nails, tuning the instruments,

The Moon Moth - illustration by Dick Francis

The Moon Moth - illustration by Dick Francis

The Moon Moth - illustration by Dick Francis

Posted by Jesse Willis

Review of On the Make by John MacDonald

July 21, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Reviews 

SFFaudio Review

On the Make by John D. MacDonaldOn the Make
By John D. MacDonald; Performed by Robert Armin
Publisher: Gutter Books on Audible.com
Published: 31 May 2013
[UNABRIDGED]  – 5 hours, 18 minute

Themes: / hard-boiled / noir / crime / mystery /

Publisher summary:

Tal Howard, a disillusioned Korean War vet, breaks away from his old life, looking for answers and convinced he’s going to find them in the small town of Hillston. What’s in Hillston? Sixty grand in embezzled funds that Howard learned about from a dying friend in a POW camp. He just needs to find out where the money is hidden and contend with another former POW who has come looking for it, Earl Fitzmartin–a psychopath they were all terrified of in the camp. Howard soon learns that the secret to the money’s location lies in the dead man’s past, which must be discovered through the women he knew, such as the respectable Ruth Stamm and the sultry and dangerous Toni Rassele.

A reissue of John D. MacDonald’s 1955 standalone novel On The Make was among the first books to be released from independent publisher Gutter Books after evolving from a 7 issue run of the amazing Out of the Gutter short fiction journal which debuted in 2008. Gutter books released to date have included other classic crime reprints, new original crime novels from authors such as Joe McKinney, the anthology Atomic Noir edited by Duane Swierczynski with Lou Boxer, and even a reprint of Gold Medal’s 1950 UFO inquiry The Flying Saucers are Real by former Marine Corps naval aviator Donald Keyhoe. Now On The Make has launched as the first of what hopes to be many titles to be brought to the audiobook format by Gutter Books.

The reissue includes an introductory essay “The Two Sides of John D.” by Martin L. Kohler and a concluding essay by Gutter Book’s own Matthew Louis, both which I appreciate being included in the both the new print edition as well as the audiobook. I do have one slight issue with the introductory essay in that although On the Make was in fact the author’s intended title for the novel, the publishers went with a different title, one that in my opinion serves as a major plot spoiler consider a specific main character in the novel. Therefore my own recommendation would be to save both essays for enjoyment later after listening to the story first. That being said, my understanding is that the mention in the prologue was left intact so as not to mislead any readers who may have already be familiar with the book from the former title.

The hard-boiled 1st person narrative of On the Make is handled well by narrator Robert Armin, whose other audiobook credits include non-fiction, self-help, children’s, and crime titles as well as his own writing. The main character, Tal Howard, is a veteran of the Korean War brought to a small town seeking buried riches hinted to him from the last wishes of a fellow prisoner of war. Tal quickly finds many others snooping around and that other strangers have already outstayed their welcome in the town of Hillston. I’ve personally only read other standalone novels from the John D MacDonald bibliography and based on what I’ve read I feel this novel serves as a great introduction to this period. The essays give a good comparison and contrast from this era with his later and better known Travis McGee series of novels. Also of interest and mentioned in high regard is the science fiction works of the author which have included short stories and a handful of novels. I recalled enjoying On the Make first time around when I read the Gutter Books paperback, and enjoyed revisiting the story with the audiobook. I may have to check out some of the John D. MacDonald series or sci-fi novels.

Posted by Dan VK

Audible.com: Carl Hiaasen talks about John D. MacDonald’s Travis McGee series

April 25, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Aural Noir, News 

Aural Noir: News

Carl Hiaasen talks about John D. MacDonald’s Travis McGee series. Hiaasen suggests that a sense of place was central to the series.

Posted by Jesse Willis

Audible.com: Lee Child talks about John D. MacDonald’s Travis McGee series

April 24, 2012 by · 3 Comments
Filed under: Aural Noir, News 

Aural Noir: News

Lee Child talks about John D. MacDonald’s Travis McGee series – which he argues is a series that doesn’t get worse as it goes along (perhaps because it’s about a character and not a plot).

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #090

January 10, 2011 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Podcasts 

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #090 – Jesse talks to Hard Case Crime author and editor Charles Ardai.

Talked about on today’s show:
Hard Case Crime, Gabriel Hunt (Hunt For Adventure), BBC Audiobooks America, iambik audio, Little Girl Lost by Richard Aleas (aka Charles Ardai), Audible.com, Songs Of Innocence by Richard Aleas (aka Charles Ardai), the best kept secret in the audiobook world, L.J. Ganser, The Confession by Dominic Stansberry, Money Shot by Christa Faust, Noircon, The Bobbsey Twins, Edward Stratermeyer, Titan Books, Choke Hold by Christa Faust, Porn + Mixed Martial Arts, “book reviews aren’t generally found in the adult film industry magazines”, the porn industry vs. newspaper publishing vs. podcasting, the Quarry series, Max Allan Collins, Road To Perdition, Dorchester Publishing, Random House, HCC is a NEW Lawrence Block novel, The Girl With A Long Green Heart, Killing Castro by Lawrence Block |READ OUR REVIEW|, Grifter’s Game |READ OUR REVIEW|, re-numbering the HCC series, “this is a book that demands a naked woman on the cover”, “this the nakedest cover we’ve ever done”, Getting Off by Lawrence Block (writing as Jill Emerson), paperback book, the Gold Medal books, Max Phillips, Dell Mapbacks, Ace Doubles, Robert Bloch, Nightstand Books, Robert McGinnis, Glenn Orbik, an upcoming HCC book (HCC-102) is a collaboration between two major writers one deceased one alive, Memory by Donald Westlake, SFFaudio Podcast #082, there is a ANOTHER NEW unpublished Westlake novel coming to HCC in 2012, The King Of Comedy, Honey In His Mouth by Lester Dent, hard core aficionados, The Dead Man’s Brother by Roger Zelazny, Will Murray, Ken Bruen, Jason Starr, Fake ID, Bust, Slide, Max, finding HCC in bookstores will be nearly impossible until January 25th 2011, The Valley Of Fear by A.C. Doyle is a well known public domain novel cleverly disguised (for fun), Gabriel Hunt: Through The Cradle Of Fear by Gabriel Hunt (aka Charles Ardai) |READ OUR REVIEW|, the tradition of dressing up old books with new art – conning the reader into reading classic literature, Edgar Allan Poe, Sherlock Holmes, the most hard-boiled of the Sherlock Holmes novels, the Lion Books edition of Frankenstein, the pulp tradition, being playful with the book-buyer, the first hardcover HCC, Fifty To One by Charles Ardai is a book for bookcovers, Subterranean Press, Otto Penzler, a hardcover edition of Memory by Donald E. Westlake, the new paperbacks (with Titan Books) will be trader-paperbacks, the mass market paperback business is difficult if you’re not named Dan Brown, paperback book collecting is crazy, who is modeling Naomi Novick, the Quentin Tarantino Roast, Michael Madsen, Steve Buscemi, Fade To Blonde, Witness To Myself, woman on the cover sells, The Great Gatsby, Cornell Woolrich, Quarry’s Ex, the new sexiness on the covers is because HCC won’t be sold in the mass market format, Jim Thompson, Fright by Cornell Woolrich, Stanley Kubrick commissioned Jim Thompson film script, Richard Stark, Somebody Owes Me Money by Donald E. Westlake |READ OUR REVIEW|, a sequel to Somebody Owes Me Money?, the nephew books, Max Allan Collins, the problem with James M. Cain, Jealous Woman, Sinful Woman, Black Lizard books, The Cocktail Waitress (an unpublished James M. Cain book), John D. MacDonald, knocking my socks half-way off, send Charles Ardai your suggestions and submissions, The Colorado Kid will soon be very hard to find (it is out of print), The Valley Of Fear (the HCC edition is out of print), where are the HCC posters?, HCC t-shirts, Hunt For Adventure will be coming in trade-paperback, Hunt Through Napoleon’s Web, Hunt Among The Killers Of Men, where is the adventure fiction section of bookstores?, “the coffin of Atilla the Hun”, Nor Idolatry Blind The Eye by Charles Ardai, Indiana Jones, Best American Noir of the Century, Otto Penzler’s upcoming adventure anthology, why are there no adventure magazines?, Five Graves To Cairo, The Treasure Of The Sierra Madre, Argosy, a Gabriel Hunt adventure magazine?, adventure comics?, Prince Of Persia, the Gabriel Hunt bible, Gabriel Hunt fan-fiction is a-ok with Charles Ardai.

The Great Gatsby and Grifter's Game

Frankenstein and The Valley Of Fear (a Sherlock Holmes novel)

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #012 – NEW RELEASES/RECENT ARRIVALS

November 17, 2008 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Audio Drama, Podcasts 

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #012 – Our sickest show yet. How sick? Well, I’d like Stanley Kubrick to direct the next Conan movie. We also talk about the SFFaudio Challenge #3, which is not as bad as Red Sonja (1985).

Talked about on today’s show:
Fallout 3 has a built-in radio drama (The Adventures Of Daring Dashwood), The Little Book, Selden Edwards, time travel, The Book Of Lies, Brad Meltzer, Nelson DeMille, The Border, The Third SFFaudio Challenge, Muureen O’Brien, Maria Lectrix Podcast, The Risk Profession, Donald E. Westlake, Spider Robinson, John D. MacDonald, Travis McGee, John Varley, The Persistence Of Vision, Scott Brick, Aural Noir, The Case Of The Dancing Sandwiches, Frederic Brown, The Fabulous Clipjoint, H. Beam Piper, Murder In The Gunroom, Galaxy Press, Elantris, Brandon Sanderson, Dennis Stocks, LibriVox, Masters Of Space, E.E. “Doc” Smith, E. Everett Evans, R.J. Davis, BSAP’s Queen Of The Black Coast, Robert E. Howard, Bill Hollweg, Stevie Farnaby, Brian Murphy, The Silver Key, Brett Ratner’s new Conan movie, HBO’s new A Song Of Ice And Fire show.

Posted by Jesse Willis