The SFFaudio Podcast #226 – READALONG: The Iron Heel by Jack London

August 19, 2013 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Podcasts 

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #226 – Jesse, Jenny, and Bryan Alexander discuss The Iron Heel by Jack London.

Talked about on today’s show:
Jenny is not an economist, a Heinlein vibe, God Emperor Of Dune, The first half of this book is talk, a terrible novel but an interesting book, The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, the distancing narrators, 700 years into the future, the audience is for seven hundred years in the future (or is that six hundred), prizefighting, grub = food, the purpose of the footnotes, The Sleeper Awakes by H.G. Wells, Avis Everhard, alternate history, Michael Bishop, an underground book, an underground society, that Buck Rogers stuff, Armageddon—2419 AD by Philip Francis Nowlan, exchanging socialism for the Yellow Peril, Asgard, Seoul, set in the year 419 B.O.M. (Brotherhood of Men), A Thousand Deaths by Jack London, The Island Of Doctor Moreau, predictions, war with Germany, a surprise attack on December 4th, William Randolph Hearst, war economy as a solution to national surplus, Trotsky’s letter to Jack London, London had good reason to be a socialist, work conditions and natural disasters, a chaotic time, Jackson’s arm, race vs. class, Jack London’s racism, The Heathen by Jack London, the dog stories, class consciousness, grinding out the middle class between the 1% and the people of the abyss, The Shadow And The Flash by Jack London, manly overachievers, oligarchy doesn’t use race to divide people, do you want you fruit to be picked or not?, Japanese segregation in California classrooms, Canadian politics, Cooperative Commonwealth Federation, Franklin D. Roosevelt, John Steinbeck, ‘temporarily embarrassed millionaires’, the quote attributed to Abraham Lincoln:

“I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country… corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed.”

Dwight D. Eisenhower, “the military-industrial complex”, Eugene Debs, why was The Iron Heel not more popular?, The Black Hundreds, Das Kapital, Marxian fan-fiction, ‘social evolution is exasperatingly slow’, sooo sad, Marx’s essay on Napoleon III, a Darwinian model, do we live under an oligarchy?, government regulation (anti-trust and child labour laws), why socialism didn’t take hold in the early 20th century USA, Larry Summers, the Chilean cover of The Iron Heel, Salvador Allende, a novel read by revolutionaries, Science Fiction within the novel, the aesthetic end, the role of religion, the God of the Oligarchs, mostly air with a little bit of vertebra, Chicago, religious revivals and the apocalypse, Azusa Street Revival, the 1906 San Fransisco earthquake, William Randolph Hearst, Patty Hearst, John Waters, Cecil B. Demented, personal charisma and bulletproof arguments, Everhard is a porn star name, Benjamin Franklin, London’s didactic reading, Marx’s surplus theory of value, economy is not a science, power wins, the French Revolution, the Commonwealth of England, George Orwell’s review of The Iron Heel, 1984 is in The Iron Heel, coincidental dates, London’s insight into fascism, too much love from the strong and not enough love for the weak, Eric S. Rabkin, unmanning, ‘designed to be crucified’, father figures are destroyed, the chapter titles, The Call Of The Wild, a powerful beast is unmanned, builds up and builds through interaction with others, a sated king, a dominant primordial beast, The Sea Wolf, reading London is like a shot of adrenalin to the heart, surplus value, colonialism, the machine breakers, the trusts did not advertize, consumerism, Paul Krugman, petty bourgeoisie, the genocide of Chicago, the Paris Commune, gothic wooing, We by Yevgeny Zamyatin, Looking Backward: 2000-1887 by Edward Bellamy, the education of the oligarchy,

“They, as a class, believed that they alone maintained civilization. It was their belief that if ever they weakened, the great beast would ingulf them and everything of beauty and wonder and joy and good in its cavernous and slime-dripping maw. Without them, anarchy would reign and humanity would drop backward into the primitive night out of which it had so painfully emerged.”

excusing colonialism, the white man’s burden, ignoring the starving masses, the Roman Empire, steampunk, Lloyd Blankfein “doing God’s work”, Margin Call, oppositional films, “The Social Network deeply hates Zuckerberg and the online world”, Nine Inch Nails, Michael Douglas, Wall Street, the cleaning lady, why isn’t The Iron Heel more generally appealing to SF readers?, British Space Opera vs. American Space Opera, Commune 2000 A.D. by Mack Reynolds, a broken utopia, job cash vs. job love, the social end of SF, the storytelling technique doesn’t attract, the unsuccessful revolution, Winston Smith’s diary, looking back when writing doesn’t have the same power, the Goldstein Book, brainwashing, the bomb in congress, spy and counterspy, Starship Troopers is a series of lectures punctuated by gunfire, Frank Herbert, “a raving genius”, doing Dune (and Dune Messiah), Chilton Books, the boot crushing the human face forever, the leaky suspense, a Norton critical edition, how to record The Iron Heel, the footnotes are problematic, a crazy wild marvelous book, WWI, WWII, Metropolis, armoured cars or tanks, The Last Man by Mary Shelley, a terrifying future found in a cave written on leaves, A Journal Of The Plague Year by Daniel Defoe, The Scarlet Plague by Jack London, Idiocracy, The Marching Morons by C.M. Kornbluth, on Lenin’s deathbed he was read Jack London, The Cold Equations, To Build A Fire, The Empire Strikes Back,

“The cold of space smote the unprotected tip of the planet, and he, being on that unprotected tip, received the full force of the blow.”

cosmic and Lovecraftian, as snug as a Jedi in a hot tauntaun, Robert Sheckley, Metro 2033 by Dmitry Glukhovsky.

The Iron Heel by Jack London (Viva Allende)

The Iron Heel by Jack London - Capital V. Labour

Posted by Jesse Willis

Recent Arrivals: Audio Realms and Dark Realms Audio

August 30, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Recent Arrivals 

SFFaudio Recent Arrivals

Audio RealmsHere’s a stack of mostly horror titles that have been inching their way into my dreams! It’s a solid mix of public domain novels (and collections) along with brand spanking new series and standalones. Check out Brian Keene’s modern horror tale, Castaways (its at the bottom). Keene writes comics, it may be the best place to start with the modern stuff! With regards to the PD material, I’m torn between People Of The Dark, which includes my favorite Conan story Queen Of The Black Coast, and Algernon Blackwood’s The Empty House And Other Ghost Stories. All of these titles should also be available in MP3-CD editions and MP3 download editions via TheAudiobookShop.com too.

A novel idea, take several of the modern issues of Weird Tales, and make an audiobook out of it…

AUDIO REALMS - Weird TalesWeird Tales
By various; Read by Wayne June and others
5 CDs – Approx. 6 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Audio Realms
Published: August 2009
ISBN: 9781897304075
Includes tales from issues #336, 337 and 338 of Weird Tales: The Unique Magazine
Stories included:
Ripper! by William F. Nolan
Shore Of Night, Shore Of Day by Katrien Rutten
Hearts And Minds by Barbara Krasnoff
The Ghost Of Me by Melinda Thielbar
The Sacredotal Owl by Michael Bishop
Sympathy For Dragons by John Gregory Betancourt
The Upper Berth by F. Marion Crawford

This cover looks rather boring on first glance, but look closer, it has a bit more than you expect…

AUDIO REALMS - A Princess Of Mars by Edgar Rice BurroughsA Princess Of Mars
By Edgar Rice Burroughs; Read by Brian Holsopple
6 CDs – Approx. 6 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Audio Realms
Published: August, 2009
ISBN: 9781897304457
Ex-confederate army captain John Carter finds himself unwittingly transported to Mars, while fleeing Apache Indians. This new world is populated by a race of monstrous Martians, whose culture is based on the ability to fight for their race. Fortunately, the gravitational difference between Mars and Earth has given him the strength that he will need for survival.on this hostile planet. John Carter battles ferocious Martian creatures, but gains the respect of the beautiful Dejah Thoris, Princes of Helium. This is the first of eleven in the ‘Mars’ series.

This is the second novel in a new series, but I’m betting that wouldn’t effect the story one whit…

AUDIO REALMS - Hunt For Adventure: Through The Cradle Of Fear by Gabriel HuntHunt: Through The Cradle Of Fear (#2 in the Adventures Of Gabriel Hunt series
By Gabriel Hunt (aka Charles Ardai); Read by Jim VanDusen
6 CDs – Approx. 8 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Audio Realms
Published: November 2009
ISBN: 9781897304761
From the towers of Manhattan to the jungles of South America, from the sands of the Sahara to the frozen crags of Antarctica, one man finds adventure everywhere he goes: GABRIEL HUNT. Backed by the resources of the $100 million Hunt Foundation and armed with his trusty Colt revolver, Gabriel Hunt has always been ready for anything – but is he prepared to enter… The Cradle Of Fear? When a secret chamber is discovered inside the Great Sphinx of Egypt, the mystery of its contents will lead Gabriel to a remote Greek Island, to a stone fortress in Sri Lanka … and to a deadly confrontation that could decide the fate of the world!

Five words: QUEEN OF THE BLACK COAST. ’nuff said…

AUDIO REALMS - The Weird Works Of Robert E. Howard - Volume Two: People Of The DarkThe Weird Works Of Robert E. Howard – Volume Two: People Of The Dark
By Robert E. Howard; Read by Wayne June, Brian Holsopple, Gary Kohler, Bob Barnes and Charles McKibben
5 CDs – Approx. 5.5 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Audio Realms
Published: August 2009
ISBN: 9781897304136
People Of The Dark is the second volume of The Weird Works Of Robert E. Howard presented in audiobook form. It continues to offer many of Howard’s works from the classic magazine Weird Tales meticulously restored to it’s original texts. This volume contains;People Of The Dark, Queen Of The Black Coast, The Garden Of Fear, The Haunter Of The Ring, Valley Of The Worm, The Challenge From Beyond and includes some of his famous heroes such as Conan.

The Willows gave me the willies, so I’m thinking these are perfect tales for a dark and stormy night and a bucket of ice cream…

AUDIO REALMS - The Empty House And Other Stories by Algernon BlackwoodThe Empty House And Other Stories
By Algernon Blackwood; Read by Brian Holsopple
6 CDs – Approx. 6 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Audio Realms
Published: August 2009
ISBN: 9781897304686
Most connoisseurs of modern horror fiction rate Algernon Blackwood (1869-1951) as the finest horror writer of all time. Blackwood was unsurpassed in originality, atmosphere, and characterization. His finest works still surprise and shock today’s readers. The Empty House And Other Stories, originally published in 1906, was Blackwood’s first collection. It includes such classics as the title story, A Haunted Island, A Suspicious Gift, and many more.

This one sounds like a reverse Marco Polo story, with dragons, sorcerers and magic instead of pasta…

AUDIO REALMS - Gonji: Red Blade From The East (Volume 1) by  T.C. RypelGonji: Red Blade From The East (Volume 1)
By T.C. Rypel; Read by Brian Holsopple
8 CDs – Approx. 9 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Audio Realms
Published: July 2009
ISBN: 9781897304549
Cast out from his Japanese homeland, Gonji, the Samurai warrior, journeyed across barbaric Europe in the quest of Vedun, the distant city in the loftiest peaks of the Carpathian Alps. Ceaselessly fighting the hated plague and hostile peasants, Gonji struggled to reach the mighty walls of majestic Vedun. But demons and dragons, and mages and monsters pursued the warrior across the wintry plains and the jagged mountains. His swords flashing with fury, Gonji battles his foes and strengthened his will, determined to conquer his hardships, and fulfill his destiny!

Apparently this is the first in a series, perhaps something along the lines of Jim Butcher’s Dresden series?

AUDIO REALMS - The Things That Are Not There by C.J. HendersonThe Things That Are Not There
By C.J. Henderson; Read by Charles McKibben
10 CDs – Approx. 9 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Audio Realms
Published: July 2009
ISBN: 9781897304426
Private detective Theodore London ran the best agency in New York City until a demon-driven storm trashed his operation. Ready to quit the business, fate delivered a beautiful woman to his doorstep—one being pursued by an army of winged monsters determined to use her as the key to unlock a doorway that will lead the world to madness.

The plot of this novel kind of reminds me a bit of Terminal Freeze |READ OUR REVIEW|, but warmer…

DARK REALMS AUDIO - Castaways by Brian KeeneCastaways
By Brian Keene; Read by Maynard McKillen
7 CDs – Approx. 8 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Dark Realms
Published: March 2010
ISBN: 9871897304709
They came to the lush, deserted island to compete on a popular reality TV show. Each one hoped to be the last to leave. Now they’re just hoping to stay alive. It seems the island isn’t deserted after all. Contestants and crew members are disappearing, but they aren’t being eliminated by the game. They’re being taken by the monstrous half-human creatures that live in the jungle. The men will be slaughtered. The women will be kept alive as captives. Night is falling, the creatures are coming, and rescue is so far away.

Posted by Jesse Willis

StarShipSofa: Aural Delights No. 82 Michael Bishop

April 29, 2009 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Online Audio 

SFFaudio Online Audio

Aural Delights No 82 Michael Bishop

Editorial: Michael Bishop by Tony C. Smith

Poetry: Jamie’s Hair by Michael Bishop 02:00

Intro to Main Fiction: Michael Bishop

Main Fiction: Vinegar Peace by Michael Bishop 07:41

Sofa Art Cover: Ed Bellisimo

Narrators: Diane Severson, Dale Manley

Published in the July 2008 issue of Asimov

StarShipSofa narrates Vinegar Peace, an SF story writtten by Michael Bishop for his son Jamie Bishop who died two years ago at the Virginia Tech shooting.

Michael Bishop says:

I wrote “Vinegar Peace” — in August of 2007 — because I had to. Our 35-year-old son, Jamie, died on the morning of April 16, 2007, as one of thirty-two victims of a disturbed shooter on the campus of Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia.

Jamie, an accomplished digital artist who did lovely covers for four or five of my books, was holding forth in Room 2007 of Norris Hall in his German class more than two hours after his eventual murderer had slain two students in a dormitory on another part of campus. The administration failed to issue a warning — a warning that might well have saved many lives — in a timely fashion. However, some of its members secured their own offices and notified their own family members of this initial event; and so the worst school shooting in the history of the United States claimed our son, four other faculty members (including a man, Dr Librescu, who had survived the Holocaust and who held a table against his classroom door until all own students could escape), four of Jamie’s students, and twenty-one other young people in Norris Hall, not to mention the first two victims in West Ambler-Johnston dorm. Another twenty-eight students were wounded by bullets or injured leaping from upper-story windows. Some of these young people will live with their injuries the rest of their lives.

All of the administrators, with the exception of a woman who later died of a stroke or a heart attack (a death that my wife and I can’t help but attribute partially to the stress of living with the mistakes of the President and the other Policy Group members), remain in their positions. So much for accountability, and so much for justice.

In any case, “Vinegar Peace” grew from this disaster and from a grief that I can’t imagine ever laying totally aside. Jeri and I mourn Jamie’s loss every day in some private way, and we think continually of all the other parents and loved ones of the slain and injured who will carry a similar burden with them until they die. We think, too, of the parents and loved ones of the dead and wounded from the United States’s optional war in Iraq, who long for their dead and who pray for their injured with an intensity not a whit different from our own. How ironic that our son died on American soil. How sad the wasted potential and disfigured lives resulting from violence everywhere. And forgive me the inadequacy of these remarks. Clearly, I wrote a story because I could not address either my outrage or my grief in any other way.

-Mike Bishop

StarShipSofa is very honoured and humbled to be allowed to bring this story to a wider audience. I know I speak for the SF community when I say our hearts and prayers go out to Mike and Jeri and all the families who have to live with this grief every day.

Posted by Tony C. Smith