The SFFaudio Podcast #316 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: The Golden Man by Philip K. Dick

May 11, 2015 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Podcasts 

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #316 – The Golden Man by Philip K. Dick; read by Mike Vendetti. This is an unabridged reading of the story (1 hour 15 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Tamahome, Paul, and Mike.

Talked about on today’s show:
1954, The God Who Runs, bad titles, Next, Homo Aureus, The Man In The high Castle (TV series), hashtag marketing, an episode of The Twilight Zone, the film adaptation, Knowing, a working train-wreck, the main character has no sapience, autism, the diner scene, not just an exposition scene, the fake salesman, a lady with 8 boobs, shades of Total Recall, he’s looking for Jews, the secret police, the DCA are the secret police, the locals protect the mutant, Philip K. Dick:

“Here I am saying that mutants are dangerous to us ordinaries, a view which John W. Campbell, Jr. deplored. We were supposed to view them as our leaders. But I always felt uneasy as to how they would view us. I mean, maybe they wouldn’t want to lead us. Maybe from their super-evolved lofty level we wouldn’t seem worth leading. Anyhow, even if they agreed to lead us, I felt uneasy as where we would wind up going. It might have something to do with buildings marked SHOWERS but which really weren’t.”

what we did to the neanderthals, this is super X-Men, the John W. Campbell mutants vs. the Philip K. Dick mutants, House Of M, for those who are not Tamahome…, Spider-Man trying to “pass” as a mutant, the Scarlet Witch can re-write reality, to the beginnings of the superhuman genre, the origins of Superman, powerful superheroes are going to save us, Astounding -> Analog, John W. Campbell was obsesses with psychic powers being a science, mutation as evolution up, Slan by A.E. van Vogt, “fans are slans”, a lot of stuff going on, looking into the future, this so isn’t a movie, they just put a golden tint on the film-stock for Next, single word titles, Audible ratings, a story that is repulsive to everybody, we are the monsters, Audible’s return policy, Mike grew up in the Cold War era, Mutual Assured Destruction, no real external threat anymore, the Soviets have their own DCA, all the “deves” are getting “euthed”, Cris Johnson is the character’s name in the book and the movie, Dick was really interested in what happened in Nazi Germany, the atomic war caused all these mutations, the diner scene again, they’re everywhere!, the Johnson family seem to love Cris, he’s got the James Bond gene, women can’t resist, the unfaithful wives (and husbands), the crappy Wikipedia summary, can they sterilize everybody, they know this is the end, Cris can never be outmaneuvered, the whole last 40 minutes of Next didn’t happen, the movie does a good job of illustrating how Cris’ super-power would work, Groundhog Day, computer save gaming, because Cris can’t talk…, how we interact with NPCs in computer games is how Cris is interacting with everyone around him, we’re all sort of trapped like that, marketing it as a X-Men or superhero type story, imaging a dollhouse and all the different possibilities he could do, Philip K. Dick is Mr. Innovative, a chilling world that’s pretty much like ours, a very ’50s feel in terms of the country and random energy shields, the X-Men explanation for mutation (atomic bomb testing), The Crawlers by Philip K. Dick, the golden man is beautiful and the crawlers are ugly, the crawlers have their own agenda, they are not seen as human, Harlan Ellison, a mutant psionic, The Skull by Philip K. Dick, “we met the enemy and he is us”, the mutant theme has dried up in SF, Deus Irae, an armless and legless hero, Tibor McMasters, a huge sense of pathos, “how come people are such assholes”, The Turning Wheel by Philip K. Dick, White Man’s Burden, what if we would have lost the war (WWII)?, Cañon City, Colorado, Mike is the man in The Man In The high Castle again, Nazis vs. Imperial Japan, the American occupation of Japan, Two Dooms by C.M. Kornbluth, occultist, even more surreal than Dick, we’re number 1 and their number 10, the werewolves (post-war German resistance against occupation), going to the movies, after the atom bomb, you never saw the Hollywood movie where the Americans invade Russia (the reverse of Red Dawn), the ridiculous premise behind the remake of Red Dawn, North Korea, auto-immune disease, the acronym-itis that sinks the ship, government conspiracies, aliens, Mexicans are aliens?, what?, what would happen if the Americans left California, don’t spread that rumor, Pacific Edge, the California drought, Washington and Oregon, archetypical Dick, A Canticle For Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller, to quote Solaris, Dick is wise, if humans go on as Cris Johnson, this is why people are upset that their kids are autistic, he is in a sense “superior”, ok you say you want a superior being… how do you like that John W. Campbell, he’s a golden god, the Steve McQueen of mutants, a swelling torrent of sheer force!, are they having sex?, cigarettes as symbols, explicit sex, a seduction, is she going to be the mother of dragons?, Genghis Khan style, Cris is unique (for now), dumb feral cubs, dominant or recessive, there is no hope, it won’t be us, grinning wryly, In The Mouth Of Madness, every species can smell its distinction, man will be a myth, one perfectly adapted animal, more of a threat to the men than it is to the women, Species, a female golden man, that’s why you have the mutants with the eight breasts, what do you think of that? what do ya make of this?, a litter of kids needs eight arms, turning people into animals, rats, subhumans, what do ya make of that?, he’s covered in fur, how does he put on pants?, he’s like a peacock, Hyperpilosity by L. Sprague de Camp, why peahens choose peacocks with the longest tails, peahens want their male offspring to be attractive to peahens, they’re going to breed us out of business, The Turning Wheel (again), racism, H.P. Lovecraft, it’s an act!, there are mutants all around them, he’s one thing in the restaurant he’s another to the cop, a super-secret agency that everybody knows about and talks about, every family is hiding a mutant, FBI agents infiltrating anarchists groups, ATF Operation Fearless, Kafka by way of Dick, the NRA, welcome to America, Anita, sexism, nobody is clean in this fight, Cris ruins the horseshoe game (by way of saying goodbye?), a repulsive attractive powerful story, Cris’ mom, Cris’ dad, how could this story have been adapted otherwise, a stupid plot, why do the French want to blow up Los Angeles?, the movie is a train-wreck and yet…, Juliane Moore’s character is a monster, she’s driven, strapped to the Clockwork Orange chair watching CNN, that’s burying the lead, the two minute rule, he’s got no past, you have to have a past to decide what you’re going to do in the future, his present is our future, the movie has lots of problems, what was the “next” card, domestic rendition, there are people, don’t ask this question, Cris doesn’t need to speak because speaking is for planning, he’s just an animal, you have to have a past to plan.

The Golden Man by Philip K. Dick - Illustrated by Frank Kelly Freas

Posted by Jesse Willis

19 Nocturne Boulevard: An adaptation of Robert Sheckley’s The Leech

February 25, 2011 by · 4 Comments
Filed under: Audio Drama, Online Audio 

SFFaudio Online Audio

19 Nocturne BoulevardJulie Hoverson’s long running and prolific anthology podcast, 19 Nocturne Boulevard, features original and adapted “strange stories.” Since it began back in 2009 I’ve pretty much ignored it completely. This is pretty odd considering that Hoverson’s output rivals that of the mighty Bill Hollweg and that she’s been doing something I’m always boosting (adapting public domain Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror). To be fair though, I had heard a couple of shows, most recently Snafu, but every time I’d listened to a 19 Nocturne show I’d come away with nothing to say. It took a recent email from Hoverson to get me to write something. Hoverson pointed out her new adaptation of Phillips Barbee’s The Leech. That title stirred a vague memory, then piqued my interest greatly, as I recalled that Phillips Barbee was actually the great Robert Sheckley!

When it was first published, in the December 1952 issue of Galaxy magazine, The Leech was credited to “Phillips Barbee” – a one-off pseudonym, presumably it was only used at all because there were two Sheckley stories running in that issue. All subsequent publications have credited The Leech to Sheckley alone.

As one of the first ever Sheckley stories to be published, The Leech is interesting in itself. But as a kind of precursor to The Blob – which itself has an ancestor of sorts in H.P. Lovecraft’s The Colour Out of Space (which Hoverson has also read) it is even more interesting. The trope of a knowledgeable professor character investigating a dangerous object from space would be picked up for the 1953 BBC serial The Quatermass Experiment. In structure, however, The Leech more closely resembles the 1959 Manly Wade Wellman novel Giants From Eternity (look for a review of that soon). And it also bears some small resemblance to John W. Campbell’s 1938 novella Who Goes there? (and thus the movies The Thing and The Thing From Another World). Even Dean Koontz’s Phantoms |READ OUR REVIEW| has some sort of ancestry or parallel in The Leech. In short this is a kind of a subgenre’s subgenre that I don’t know the name of.

As for Hoverson’s adaptation of The Leech, it’s pretty darned slick, with good acting and sound effects. There’s even a theremin! It’s also fairly faithful to Sheckley’s story going with the humor, using much of the dialogue, the setting and the period. But, as with most audio drama, Hoverson’s script completely disposes with the third person omniscient narration, opting instead for to give the alien a voice – or voices in this case (the Leech seems to be performed as a kind of hive mind). This choice leaves the ending more open to interpretation than does the original text. The Leech is one of the best amateur audio drama adaptations of a public domain story yet! Highly recommended.

19 Nocturne Boulevard - The Leech19 Nocturne Boulevard – The Leech
Adapted by Julie Hoverson; From the story by Robert Sheckley; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 40 Minutes [AUDIO DRAMA]
Podcaster: 19 Nocturne Boulevard
Podcast: February 23, 2011
Classic era science fiction about a very odd visitor from outer space. The Leech was first published in the December 1952 issue of Galaxy Science Fiction.

Cast:
Professor Michaels … Grant Baciocco
Frank Connors … Bryan Hendrickson
Mrs. Jones … Kimberly Poole
Sheriff Flynn … Glen Hallstrom
General O’Donnell … Chuck Burke
Allenson, scientist … Cary Ayers
Moriarty, physicist … Eleiece Krawiec
Brigadier-General … H. Keith Lyons
Driver … Cary Ayers
Soldier1 … John Carroll
Soldier2 … Lothar Tuppan
Pilot … Mark Olson
The Leech … Suzanne Dunn, Will Watt, James Sedgwick, Julie Hoverson

Music by misterscott99
Editing and Sound: Julie Hoverson
Cover Design: Brett Coulstock

Podcast feed: http://nineteennocturne.libsyn.com/rss

And since we’re talking The Leech, I should also point out there is a new reading, found in the recently completed LibriVox Short Science Fiction Collection Vol. 042 collection…

LibriVox - The Leech by Robert SheckleyThe Leech
By Robert Sheckley; Read by Gregg Margarite
1 |MP3| – Approx. 40 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: November 28, 2010
Etext: Gutenberg.org
A visitor should be fed, but this one could eat you out of house and home … literally! From Galaxy Science Fiction December 1952.

Posted by Jesse Willis

LibriVox: Short Science Fiction Collection 026

February 14, 2010 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Online Audio 

SFFaudio Online Audio

He Walked Around The Horses is a kind of story I really like. It’s based on an historical mystery. It follows the logic of the events, if accurate, to their natural, but very exceptional, conclusion. Pleasant Journey is the story of a carnival ride manufacturer’s latest product, which is a kind of virtual reality machine! It’s notable, if only for it’s 1963 vintage.

LibriVox - Short Science Fiction Collection Vol. 026Short Science Fiction Collection 026
By various; Read by various
10 Zipped MP3 Files or Podcast – Approx. 5 Hours 49 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: September 13, 2009
Science Fiction is speculative literature that generally explores the consequences of ideas which are roughly consistent with nature and scientific method, but are not facts of the author’s contemporary world. The stories often represent philosophical thought experiments presented in entertaining ways. Protagonists typically “think” rather than “shoot” their way out of problems, but the definition is flexible because there are no limits on an author’s imagination. The reader-selected stories presented here were written prior to 1962 and became US public domain texts when their copyrights expired.

Podcast feed:

http://librivox.org/bookfeeds/short-science-fiction-collection-026.xml

iTunes 1-Click |SUBSCRIBE|

LibriVox - The Adventurer by C.M. KornbluthThe Adventurer
By C.M. Kornbluth; Read by Gregg Margarite
1 |MP3| – Approx. 31 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: September 13, 2009
For every evil under the sun, there’s an answer. It may be a simple, direct answer; it may be one that takes years, and seems unrelated to the problem. But there’s an answer—of a kind… From Space Science Fiction May 1953.

LibriVox - Death Of A Spaceman by Walter M. Miller Jr.Death of a Spaceman
By Walter M. Miller, Jr; Read by Gregg Margarite
1 |MP3| – Approx. 38 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: September 13, 2009
The manner in which a man has lived is often the key to the way he will die. Take old man Donegal, for example. Most of his adult life was spent in digging a hole through space to learn what was on the other side. Would he go out the same way? From Amazing Stories March 1954.

LIBRIVOX Science Fiction - Earthmen Bearing Gifts by Frederic BrownEarthmen Bearing Gifts
By Fredric Brown; Read by Jody Bly
1 |MP3| – Approx. 6 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: September 13, 2009
“Mars had gifts to offer and Earth had much in return—if delivery could be arranged!” First published in the June 1960 issue of Galaxy magazine.

LibriVox - The End Of Time by Wallace WestThe End Of Time
By Wallace West; Read by Megan Argo
1 |MP3| – Approx. 55 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: September 13, 2009
By millions of millions the creatures of earth slow and drop when their time-sense is mysteriously paralyzed. From Astounding Stories March 1933.

LibriVox - He Walked Around The Horses by H. Beam PiperHe Walked Around The Horses
By H. Beam Piper; Read by tabithat
1 |MP3| – Approx. 44 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: September 13, 2009
This tale is based on an authenticated, documented fact. A man vanished—right out of this world. In November 1809, an Englishman named Benjamin Bathurst vanished, inexplicably and utterly.He was en route to Hamburg from Vienna, where he had been serving as his government’s envoy to the court of what Napoleon had left of the Austrian Empire. At an inn in Perleburg, in Prussia, while examining a change of horses for his coach, he casually stepped out of sight of his secretary and his valet. He was not seen to leave the inn yard. He was not seen again, ever. At least, not in this continuum… From Astounding Science Fiction, April 1948.

LibriVox - History Repeats by George O. SmithHistory Repeats
By George O. Smith; Read by Ric F
1 |MP3| – Approx. 26 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: September 13, 2009
There are—and very probably will always be—some Terrestrials who can’t, and for that matter don’t want, to call their souls their own… From Astounding Science Fiction May 1959.

LibriVox - The Last Evolution by John W. Campbell Jr.The Last Evolution
By John W. Campbell Jr.; Read by Timo B.
1 |MP3| – Approx. 59 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: September 13, 2009
First published in AMAZING STORIES, August, 1932. Reprinted in Amazing Stories March 1961.


LibriVox - Pleasant Journey by Richard F. ThiemePleasant Journey
By Richard F. Thieme; Read by Bellona Times
1 |MP3| – Approx. 14 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: September 13, 2009
It’s nice to go on a pleasant journey. There is, however, a very difficult question concerning the other half of the ticket… From Analog Science Fact & Fiction November 1963.

LibriVox - The Second Satellite by Edmond HamiltonThe Second Satellite
By Edmond Hamilton; Read by Gregg Margarite
1 |MP3| – Approx. 59 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: September 13, 2009
Earth-men war on frog-vampires for the emancipation of the human cows of Earth’s second satellite. (A Novelet.) From Astounding Stories of Super-Science, August 1930.

LibriVox Science Fiction - Solander's Radio Tomb by Ellis Parker ButlerSolander’s Radio Tomb
By Ellis Parker Butler; Read by Stephen Phillips
1 |MP3| – Approx. 18 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: September 13, 2009
“I first met Mr. Remington Solander shortly after I installed my first radio set. I was going in to New York on the 8:15 A.M. train and was sitting with my friend Murchison and, as a matter of course, we were talking radio.” First published in Amazing Stories June 1927, later in Amazing’s April 1956 issue.

Posted by Jesse Willis

Hey Want To Watch A Movie? podcast talks John Carpenter’s The Thing

February 10, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Online Audio 

SFFaudio Online Audio

I just finished watching one of John Carpenter‘s earliest movies. Someone’s Watching Me! (1978) is a very obscure Carpenter movie, filmed for TV, and featuring a number of what I guess would be called prototypical Carpenter signatures. After a few minutes I started taking notes. Here are a few of my notes:

-Stars David Birney (a well respected audiobook narrator)

Adrienne Barbeau‘s character is a lesbian (and that has nothing at all to do with the plot)

-The main character, Leigh Michaels (played by Lauren Hutton) works at a Los Angeles TV station with the call sign WJHC (J.H.C. = John Howard Carpenter)

-Leigh Michaels lives in “Arkham Towers”

This got me thinking about other John Carpenter movies I’d watched – which reminded me of a podcast I participated in a couple years ago. I did a podcast commentary on John Carpenter’s The Thing with Christiana Ellis, Mike Meitin, Adam Morey, Brandon Hill, Tee Morris, and Philippa Ballantine for the Hey Want To Watch A Movie? podcast.

Hey Want To Watch A Movie? John Carpenter's The ThingThe Thing
Commentators Christiana Ellis, Mike Meitin, Adam Morey, Brandon Hill, Tee Morris, Philippa Ballantine and Jesse Willis
1 |MP3| – Approx. 2 Hours 13 Minutes [FILM COMMENTARY]
Podcaster: Hey Want To Watch A Movie?
Podcast: September 23, 2008

Podcast feed:

http://watchamovie.libsyn.com/rss

Posted by Jesse Willis