The SFFaudio Podcast #370 – READALONG: The Crack In Space by Philip K. Dick

May 23, 2016 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Podcasts 

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #370 – Jesse, Paul, and Marissa talk about The Crack In Space by Philip K. Dick.

Talked about on today’s show:
a terrible funny book, contemporary American politics, Jim Briskin, a bunch of stoners going out to dinner, political sophisticates, the ending, PKD is sick of his own story, precedents, Cantata 140, Johann Sebastian Bach’s When Sleepers Awake, H.G. Wells, seeing it from the wrong end, time travel, putting people into suspended animation, poor political intrigue, House Of Cards, what America is really about, racism and class, the cols and the jerries and the bib, why are they called bibs?, most bibs are cols, cols = coloureds (non-whites), jerries = geriatrics, Robert A. Heinlein, other themes, Dr. Futurity, two books smooshed together, that was a funny two books, other books on this theme, Living Space by Isaac Asimov, you can own an entire empty Earth, aliens come to visit, the sleepers, Lockstep by Karl Schroeder, The Forever War by Joe Haldeman, a sense of deep time, the beginning of this book, so racist, not as racist as it sounds, Herb Lackmore, get an abortion, a “wheel” is a car, more of a U.S. thing, the United States stands in for the entire Earth, an economics issue, other countries have had this problem in the past, England (the enclosures), they sent them to Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, we don’t have that frontier, Dick nailed the economic problems of the early 21st century, a clunky 1960s novel, fun-house mirror prescience, seeing through a Scanner Darkly, white vs. black election, Trump supporters, C.L.E.A.N., the Tea Party, the KKK, super racist organization, interesting payoffs, the pekes (Peking man), sloping foreheads, racism vs. speciesism, and the moral of this story is…, Bill Smith walks into the room, even more hilarious, this whole incident will fade out of reality, whatever political scandal is happening this week…, nothing comes of it, how you gonna terraform Uranus?, a gigantic problem, what happens?, frustrating, but we love it, that mutant peke, even the space brothel comes back online, everybody hit the reset button, like a Star Trek episode, the Prominent Author by Philip K. Dick is entirely explained within The Crack In Space, a jiffy scuttler, Terran Development, Mary (again), “I’m thinking of writing a sequel”, a very funny joke, God is the most prominent author, an almost Jim Briskin, he was a “newsclown”, Stand-by, What Will We Do With Ragland Park?, interesting SFF audios, precognitive songs, weird, The Daily Show, Stephen Colbert, Bill Maher, a flaming red wig, the Philip K. Dick fan page notes, Ace Books changed the title, the title is a double-entrendre, “The Golden Door”, very American, they hate sex and they love it, where’s our flying taxi to take us to our brothel in space, a giant boob in space, bootleg organs, nothing came of that, Doctor Who, Revelation of the Daleks, consumer resistance, are you sure want to do this?, Vanilla Sky, Abres Los Ojos, the two political parties, the Liberal Republicans and the Conservative Socialists, possibly the worst book by Dick, not the book to start with, full of lots of ideas and humour, George Walt (the wind god), he’s a libertarian, see what you get, one long rambling set-up, you can’t live in this novel, Dr. Futurity, a valuable and valueless skill, bonkers, more repairmen, fewer presidents, The Simulacra, they’re all blending together, The Man Who Japed, Vulcan’s Hammer, The Cosmic Puppets, Solar Lottery, Eye In The Sky, these are the golden books, somehow they all got published, Now Wait For Last Year, a floppy fruit salad, he was attempting a trick, it didn’t work, wub fur pajamas, advertising on the doors, like Minority Report‘s ads (the movie), Mr American Buisness, my “golden door”, the Statue of Liberty’s poem:

The New Colossus by Emma Lazarus:

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

that’s why, the abortion therapist wife, we’re supposed to empathize with the cols, if he had had another pass at this…, flying to the coast of the new world, a new Normandy invasion, how many D-Days, Neanderthal strivings are modest, The Long Earth by Stephen Baxter and Terry Pratchett (a sequel of sorts), Stephen Baxter doesn’t write comedy, if this is his worst it does not turn us off at all, clunky and malformed like the brow ridges on a peking man, a slight vacation from our own broken crazy world, the audiobook, the narrator made one character sound like Ronald Regan, Eric Dawe, a few jiggling boobs, almost no women, this novel doesn’t pass any tests.

Fantasy & Science Fiction, July 1964 - Cantata 140 by Philip K. Dick - illustrated by Ed Emshwiller

The Crack In Space by Philip K. Dick - Ace Books F-377

The Crack In Space by Philip K. Dick - illustration by Chris Moore

Ace Books 12126 The Crack In Space by Philip K. Dick

MAGNUM - The Crack In Space by Philip K. Dick

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #346 – READALONG: The Man Who Japed by Philip K. Dick

December 7, 2015 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Podcasts 

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #346 – Jesse, Paul, and Marissa and Luke Daniels talk about The Man Who Japed by Philip K. Dick.

Talked about on today’s show:
When did Luke record The Man Who Japed?, a spate of Dicks, a good six months, generic knowledge, Dick’s writing is like Jack Kerouac’s, Now Wait For Last Year, Dick’s favorite The Man Who Japed, not Marissa’s favorite The Man Who Japed, post nuclear war, censorship and morality, the three-way war before Earth the Starmen and the Reegs, JJ-180, swimming through time, Eric Sweetscent, Alan Purcell, minor-Dick, it’s a big jape, the novels blend together, classic Dick, Allen’s ambivalence, it feels long for a short book, the corporate stuff, Dick’s women are never “flat” they are either “dumpy or perky”, girls and gals, full present or drugged up there’s always a wife, they love each other, loyal and sweet, home development, something pedantic and yet timely, something you’ve never seen, what’s happening in China at the time, living in a condo…, when I first moved into my conapt, a note under the door, “you have ruined my marriage”, using new found powers to search for nude women, you teach a man how to fish he has sex with that fish, council meetings, gossip, condominium apartments, how do people live together, overpopulation world, his bedroom turns into a kitchen, she’s putting her clothes in the oven, Billenium by J.G. Ballard, Make Room Make Room by Harry Harrison, Hokkaido is a radioactive wasteland, Newer York vs. New New York, drugs, how Dick writes the book, undercooked, free will, “it just happened”, a former NHL enforcer, the psychiatrist, memory, A Scanner Darkly, his propaganda job, the juveniles (the robots), “inDickitave”, a society running on fumes, extra-Solar colonies, you don’t want to stand all the way do you?, the big jape, how Dick’s vocab works, the title if it was written today “The Man Who Punked”, the alternate reality, Talking Heads’ Once In A Lifetime, the consequences here, the ending, the faces of the teenagers, as a narrator, what is Allen seeing in the faces of those teenagers?, Allen was always trying to protect people, immigration to Canada in 1988, how harsh the immigration officials were, skimming off the cream, oh you’re an audiobook narrator… ok, a couple Brit narrators are up in the seed vault in Svalbard, The Prisoner episode “A Change Of Mind”, unmutual, conforming drugs, writhing, adultery can get you kicked out of your lease, Mao as Major Streiter, The Three Body Problem, The Red Violin, juveniles -> Juvenal (the Roman satirist), teenagers as opposed to juveniles, the Cultural Revolution was pushed by kids, everything pulling toward the center, The Americans, the world “soviet” means committee, the cohorts (are kids), how Nazi Germany worked, Nazi youth in The Netherlands, kids acting like little-SS, witch hunts, more American than Dick admits, V, a very soft version, no-death camps, slave labour, nobody watches TV in the colony worlds, the spire and the statue of Major Streiter, Colonel Gaddafi character, General Washington and the Washington Monument, can you imagine state TV making fun of Ronald Regan, humour vs. the dictatorship, every authoritarian government, Mr. Whales is rewarded with another apartment, oomphalos, the center, the more morec you are, anti-morec, in anticipation of the big jape…, Dick japes the reader, active assimilation, the cultural revolution, like evil-BBC, the poll, this is the emperor’s new clothes, Jonathan Swift, it’s something Ronald Regan would do!, if it was good enough for the founding fathers…, if John Adams and the founding fathers were all cannibals, it was a different time, he was really good to his slaves (food), turning it into a joke, society is obsessed with propriety, is this the start of the fall of this society, dystopia, optimistic ending, when the cohorts arrived their reaction was to laugh, “Repent Harlequin!” Said The Tick-Tock Man by Harlan Ellison, like Metropolis, infected with laughter, this happens all the time in SF, science fiction like satire, Dick was going on and on about not being a Marxist, timelessness, a crapsack world, a tiller, The Space Merchants, that’s Madison Avenue taking over society, food isn’t really food anymore, the food is always in quotation marks, simulated “baked Alaskan”, we have all the things he was writing about, an artificial meat, tofu has long been with us, simulant meat, Secret Army, ‘Allo ‘Allo!, this isn’t real coffee, WWII is the really big start of all artificial foods, chicory coffee, after WWII Korea and Japan get Spam, Spam restaurants, Minnesota is the home of Spam, it reminds you of your youth, coming to love the crappy stuff that you have, we come to love the crappy worlds Dick creates, the radioactive island, Hokkaido is full of ideas, where’s the government?, society is just kind of null, not total totalitarianism (bottom up), there isn’t a death in the book, a surprisingly soft dystopia, busy-bodied woman, anything over 20mph is terrifying, milquetoast, The Coming Of The Quantum Cats by Frederik Pohl, a pro-Muslim Christian American theocracy, a prim 38mph, the Harvard Law review (on the Black Market), I The Jury by Mickey Spillane, “I Shot Her In The Uterus”, The Killer Inside Me by Jim Thompson, Guy de Maupassant, “breasts like two cones of white marble”, James Joyce, $10,000 for Ulysses, the sickness, The Grifters, Donald Westlake, how to advance your career in business by killing people, the mental health planet, an alternate world that’s not real, “but I only have $50!”, the missing 15,000 words, getting stuck in debt is a kind of dystopia, Mavis, taking care of cows, clean activities, soul sucking grinding horrible, the interrogation that happens there…, full of resentment, anonymous accusers, an open marriage, a c-class Dick novel, needs a little more spiced, not fully poached,

It is hard not to write Satire. For who is so tolerant
of the unjust City, so steeled, that he can restrain himself…

and

Pathic men that pretend to be moral exemplars are much worse than those who are open about their proclivities.

he’s talking about Republicans, the “wide stance”, puritanism, strider -> Streiter, making choices, that’s what this book is about, just wing it, self-assured hubris, “he’s an idea, not a man”.

The Man Who Japed by Philip K. Dick
Le Profanateur by Philip K. Dick
Word Cloud for The Man Who Japed by Philip K. Dick
The Man Who Japed by Philip K. Dick - Cast Of Characters

Posted by Jesse Willis

Review of Terms of Enlistment by Marko Kloos

March 5, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Reviews 

SFFaudio Review

Terms of EnlistmentTerms of Enlistment
By Marko Kloos, read by Luke Daniels
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Publication Date: 28 January 2014
[UNABRIDGED] – 8 discs; 11 hours

Themes: / military sf / basic training / overpopulated earth / battle armor combat / aliens /

Publisher summary:

The year is 2108, and the North American Commonwealth is bursting at the seams. For welfare rats like Andrew Grayson, there are only two ways out of the crime-ridden and filthy welfare tenements, where you’re restricted to 2,000 calories of badly flavored soy every day. You can hope to win the lottery and draw a ticket on a colony ship settling off-world, or you can join the service. With the colony lottery a pipe dream, Andrew chooses to enlist in the armed forces for a shot at real food, a retirement bonus, and maybe a ticket off Earth. But as he starts a career of supposed privilege, he soon learns that the good food and decent health care come at a steep price . . . and that the settled galaxy holds far greater dangers than military bureaucrats or the gangs that rule the slums.

The genre is Military SF. The year is 2108. Andrew Grayson, a welfare kid from the slums, enlists in the armed forces, and the journey begins.

In Terms of Enlistment, Marko Kloos fails to score any points for originality. But I’m okay with that, and you should be too. Yes, Kloos appears to reboot Heinlein’s Starship Troopers. So much so, that some of the similarities are awkward and eerie (see basic training and the coed showers). The big difference between Heinlein and Kloos is that Heinlein was deliberately hyperbolic, whereas Kloos is not. In Heinlein’s universe, humanity fights bugs. With Kloos, we see an overpopulated Earth, the Chinese and Russians still battle the West, and humans have begun to colonize other worlds; we are the bugs now.

Kloos writes in the present tense, and barring a few anachronistic banana peal phrases, the writing is solid and strikes a brisk pace. I liked discovering a narrative where future humans have shed Earth’s gravity but still cling to terrestrial grudges. Kloos doesn’t write a unified humanity gathered in a handholding sing-along, rather, government’s war over resources, and the only way out is bound to military service or the space colony lottery.

I listened to the audiobook, and Luke Daniels delivers another standout reading. Keep up the good work, Mr. Daniels. Each audio cd begins and ends with a musical track overlay, and while it doesn’t completely ruin the audiobook experience, the music is distracting.

If you’re a fan of Military SF, battle armor, and combat, then you’ll probably enjoy this book. Be aware that this story ends on a bit of a cliffhanger, which is picked up in Lines of Departure, the second book in this series by Marko Kloos. No spoilers here, but I absolutely love the aliens that Kloos creates.

Posted by Casey Hampton.

The SFFaudio Podcast #129 – READALONG: The Mote In God’s Eye by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle

October 10, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Podcasts 

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #129 – Jesse, Tamahome, Julie and Jenny discuss the Audible Frontiers audiobook of The Mote In God’s Eye by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle.

Talked about on today’s show:
Aliens, first contact, alien aliens, Theodore Sturgeon, Microcosmic God by Theodore Sturgeon, evil genius inventor, a society in a bottle, how do we figure out which information is true, L.J. Ganser, “Fyunch(click)”, space empire, the Horse-Head Nebula, the depth of the alien alienness, who has free will in The Mote In God’s Eye?, “there was little of free will in an engineer”, “humans have free will – we know that”, Ron Paul has gone Crazy Eddie, Outies, The Gripping Hand, Renner is an independent minded contrarian, the CoDominium Series, “an American eagle holding the hammer and sickle”, MacArthur and Lenin, brownies, espionage, Sally never questioned her Fyunch(click), the characters are peripheral to the novel’s power, Niven and Pournelle arguing with each other, perfunctory romance, The Sandkings by George R.R. Martin, Treehouse of Horror VII, god games, Populous, Sid Meier’s Civilization, Master Of Orion, Science Fiction is not really about the future it’s about the present (except for Niven/Pournelle books), Protector by Larry Niven (in which humans are infantilized aliens), “only bad girls take birth control”, Footfall by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle, The Mote In God’s Eye is a yellow peril story!, Philip K. Dick’s The Man In The High Castle, gunboat diplomacy, “China has fake Apple stores”, the exotic East, “I asked myself … would that be so bad?”, “they’re not evil, they’re just our enemies”, Declare by Tim Powers, Soviet goals, “every place should be communist”, Russia vs. The USA, an unsustainable quarantine, this book is really about “the pill”, overpopulation, Malthus, Moties are people too (at least most of them are), a non-ideological clash of species, what “sentient” means, Eric S. Rabkin, do they have souls?, is it “scientifically proven” that an untrained kitten can never hunt?, “I don’t eat monkeys”, “nuclear war is the continuation of evolution by other means”, the long pig, is there an unused Chekov’s Gun in this book?, ozone smells good, imitations and perma-smiles, anti-yellow peril blinders, John W. Campbell, “give me an alien that thinks as well as a man but not like a man”, “if only the humans wee more human.”

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #091

January 17, 2011 by · 3 Comments
Filed under: Podcasts 

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #091 – Scott and Jesse talk about the new Audible Frontiers audiobook Oath Of Fealty by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle.

Talked about on today’s show:
Footfall by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle, The War Of The Worlds by H.G. Wells, Robert A. Heinlein, The Godwhale by T.J. Bass, Half Past Human by T.J. Bass, overpopulation, genetic engineering, artificial intelligence, FROMATES (“Friends of Man and the Earth” – an anti-technology group of eco-terrorists), arcology, Todos Santos, Los Angeles, California, are arcologies a stepping stone to generation starships?, SimCity 2000, Sid Meier’s Civilization, architecture + ecology = arcology, Coruscant (the city planet), Tantor (the elephant), Trantor (the city planet), Tantor Media, Mega City One (Judge Dredd), being a free accountant for the government, bylaws vs. customs and culture, engineering, “we can’t write a story that is just setting”, Luke Burrage (of SFBRP), is a cruise ship an arcology?, the reality of reality vs. the dreams of utopia, “Crisis in utopia…”, existing means interacting, the hermit kingdoms, transportation, Zipcar, cultural vs. technological developments, living differently in an urban environment, arcology as shopping mall, security conscious vs. security theater, safety as a selling point, TSA, terrorism, a Heinleinian uncomfortablenesses, THINK OF IT AS EVOLUTION IN ACTION, “humanity is more than just one type of person”, what’s wrong with Oath Of Fealty, not unrealistic vs. realistic, eco-terrorism, resentment and the response to resentment is yucky in Oath Of Fealty, what are the references to blacks and lesbians doing in this book?, Job: A Comedy Of Justice, “the Disney connection”, Disney World, Walt Disney, Epcot, gated communities, Celebration (Florida), brain drain, Canadian immigration policy (is draining the third world of its best educated), colonizing Mars, Jerry O’Neill’s space colonies, “not anything like reality”, overpopulation, community tool libraries, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Stephen Hawking, NASA spinoffs, spiritual reasons for space travel, Beijing olympics opening ceremony, cut the defense budget to actual defense, “we need an alien threat”, China’s moon program, McMurdo Station (Antarctica), Herzog’s Encounters At The Of The End Of The World, the Canadian (Sir George Reedy) is the most unrealistic thing in Oath Of Fealty, there are no knights for Canada, the Order Of Canada, the case of Conrad Black, House Of Tones blog (interview with Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle), the role of GOOD editors, Robert A. Heinlein did the editing on The Mote In God’s Eye by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle (!), series aren’t a new thing, Anne Of Green Gables, The Great Brain, Tarzan, the Barsoom series, The Wizard Of Oz, expecting the series and not demanding the series is the cart leading the horse, John Joseph Adams (should be a guest on the SFFaudio Podcast), Orson Scott Card as an editor, Technovelgy.com’s Oath Of Fealty entry, the audiobook version of Oath Of Fealty, GLADOS, Portal, artificial intelligence, the speech recognition on the Google App is amazing (!), Google Goggles, cyborg, “BrainPal”, Old Man’s War by John Scalzi, telling Oath Of Fealty from a different POV, check out the DRAMATIS PERSONAE for Oath Of Fealty below, this book needs more average folks, Cory Doctorow, “a lot more agitation and a lot less Heinlein”, do it as a YA novel, UCLA, the Weather Underground, drink coffee while you waldo on the moon, slidewalk, The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, The Caves Of Steel by Isaac Asimov |READ OUR REVIEW|, Lucifer’s Hammer by Larry Niven and Pournelle.

The Todos Santos Arcology from the cover of the 1986 Pocket Books paperback

Dramatis Personae
Joe Dunhill — Probationary Officer, Todos Santos Security
Isaac Blake — Lieutenant, Todos Santos Security
Preston Sanders — Deputy General Manager, Todos Santos Independency
Tony Rand — Chief Engineer, Todos Santos
Arthur Bonner — General Manager, Todos Santos
Frank Mead — Comptroller, Todos Santos
Delores Martine — Executive Assistant to the General Manager, Todos Santos
Barbara Churchward — Director of Economic Development,Todos Santos
MacLean Stevens — Executive Assistant to the Mayor of the City of Los Angeles
Sir George Reedy — Deputy Minister of Internal Development, Canada
Genevieve Rand — Tony Rand’s former wife .
Alice Marie Strahler — Executive Assistant to Tony Rand
Allan Thompson — Student
Sandra Wyatt — Assistant General Manager, Todos Santos
James Planchet — City Councilman, Los Angeles
Mrs. Eunice Planchet — James Planchet’s wife
George Harris — Businessman and convicted tax evader
Thomas Lunan — Newsman
Amos Cross — Chief, Todos Santos Security
John Shapiro. LLD. — Counsel, Todos Santos
Samuel Finder, M.D. — Medical Resident, Todos Santos
Hal Donovan — Lieutenant, Robbery/Homicide, Los Angeles Police Department
Cheryl Drinkwater — Todos Santos resident
Armand Drinkwater — Waldo Operator
Glenda Porter — Tattoo Artist
Sidney Blackman — District Attorney, County of Los Angeles
Penelope Norton — Judge, Superior Court, State of California
Phil Lowry — Newsman
Mark Levoy — Publican; former Yippie
Ronald Wolfe — General, American Ecology Army
Arnold Renn, Ph.D. — Professor of Sociology, UCLA
Rachael Lief — Bulldozer operator
Mrs. Carol Donovan — Lt. Donovan’s wife
Vito Hamilton — Captain, Todos Santos Security
Vincent Thompson — Subway mugger

Posted by Jesse Willis

GeekBlips: TV that inspires

November 8, 2009 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: News 

SFFaudio News

Geek Blips Robyn Lass, the editor of GeekBlips.com asked me to contribute to a “blogger opinion” article, kind of a mind meld like post (of the kind SFSignal.com regularly does). Here’s the question she asked:

“If you could have the ability/gadgetry of your favorite science fiction TV or Movie character and join them – in their world – on one of their adventures, who would it be and why?”

Yeah. So, I wasn’t sure I could answer the question. Join their adventures? That’s not me exactly. But, there was something there. I thought about it for a few hours. Then, I finally wrote this:

A few years ago there was a pirate broadcast called Prisoners Of Gravity that would regularly interrupt a lame TV Ontario nature show called Second Nature. Lasting just under a half hour, it was hosted by a crazy Canadian who had strapped a rocket to the roof of his Camaro, launched himself into space and then crashed into an orbiting satellite. From there, in his high castle, Commander Rick (aka Rick Green) lived, surrounded by the things he’d brought with him: computers, comics and lots of paperback books.

Meanwhile, back on Earth, a shadowy crew of SF fans would rove the bookstores and Science Fiction conventions recording interviews with the creators of SF and Fantasy. They’d take the interviews with writers like Robert J. Sawyer, Alan Moore, Ray Bradbury, Neil Gaiman and Garth Ennis, and upload them all to Commander Rick in the satellite. From there Rick would record these interviews onto audio cassettes and keep them for use in his live broadcasts. He would also make use of the telephone and satellite video feeds that he had access to in order to record live interviews with his guests during the show. The programs were compiled and broadcast with the help of a mute, but highly intelligent, computer named NanCy. Topics discussed were different every episode,with individual shows on censorship, superheroes, humor, religion, fairy tales, Mars, cyberpunk, war, overpopulation, sex and much, much more.

The series aired 139 episodes over a five years mission – it is rumored that Commander Rick died (having perhaps run out of food) – but it is also rumored that he returned to earth – since then NanCY has managed just a very few transmissions in the form of reruns. There was no better news magazine program that explored SF, Fantasy, Horror and comics and their various themes and ideas.

I’ve been thinking it would be really great to strap a few solid rocket boosters to the roof of my own car and do my own show. In the meantime I’ve been bidding on ebay for used spacesuits. One day I may win one.

You can see the original article |HERE|. You’ll find a few other peoples’ answers too.

Posted by Jesse Willis

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