The SFFaudio Podcast #410 – READALONG: Protector by Larry Niven

February 27, 2017 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Podcasts 

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #410 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, and Maissa discuss Protector by Larry Niven

Talked about on today’s show:
1973, Galaxy, June 1967, The Adults by Larry Niven, Phssthpok, the name of the ship, the cherubim, Lion, Ox, Human, and Eagle, baby angels, beaked, going deeper, the seraphim, Cherubism

Unhappy is he to whom the memories of childhood bring only fear and sadness. Wretched is he who looks back upon lone hours in vast and dismal chambers with brown hangings and maddening rows of antique books, or upon awed watches in twilight groves of grotesque, gigantic, and vine-encumbered trees that silently wave twisted branches far aloft. Such a lot the gods gave to me—to me, the dazed, the disappointed; the barren, the broken. And yet I am strangely content, and cling desperately to those sere memories, when my mind momentarily threatens to reach beyond to the other.

the end

For although nepenthe has calmed me, I know always that I am an outsider; a stranger in this century and among those who are still men. This I have known ever since I stretched out my fingers to the abomination within that great gilded frame; stretched out my fingers and touched a cold and unyielding surface of polished glass.

how the aliens are described, aliens, The Outsider by H.P. Lovecraft, previous encounters with Larry Niven, channeling all sorts of things, what did Maissa think?, a softer spot for Larry Niven, not sexist at all, Larry Niven’s best book, an abrupt ending, incomplete pieces, more Kobold, the artificial planetoid, Eden II, the first paperback release of Protector, a donut shaped planet with a tibit (Tim Horton’s), the belly button of the donut, donut holes, a monster or a fairy, Friday by Robert A. Heinlein, by all the Lords of Kobol, clicks, Battlestar Galactica, going Old Testament, going Mormon, a masterful novel, The Ringworld Engineers as a reprise of Protector, Ringworld as the light fun novel, the ending is so good, the horror, genocide, fighting for humanity, Roy Truesdale, tricking the nurses, fake cities, WWII, inflatable tanks, a page break, it seems only reasonable to novelize this report, that was fun, check the duplicate Stonehenge, the final three paragraphs, just behind this laser pulse, “I love you”, the novel is wrong, the Beowulf Shaeffer stories, Betrayer Of Worlds, Protector has enough space battle to kill actual space battle novel (barring crappy space opera space battles), space seeds, biological bullshit, a highly motivated character, deeply reasoned, a quasi relative, the opposite of X-Wings and Tie fighters banking in outer space, we love it anyway, exactly the opposite, cool vs. functional, steel jacketed, magnetic field, the thinking behind the space battles wipes out everyone (writer’s) abilities to write any more, a galactic chess game vs. high-stakes poker, sub-light relativistic space battles, positional effects, Rules Of Engagement (or maybe Master of Orion ?, C.S. Forester, broadsides in space, a Frederick Pohl editorial from 1963, Spacewar! (literally mentioned in this book), Asteroids, a right turn in space, that’s why Larry Niven’s the best, playing with the laws of physics and he doesn’t cheat, the Hal Clement essay, honest poker, the panspermia aspect, World Of Ptavvs, the slavers, Homo habilis from the stars, dna based, the Slavers did it, the Sea Statue, a dissertation of free will, two divergent visions of Creation, when god stays or leaves, no progress, still animals, the image of the Eye and the Garden of Eden, the Eye In The Sky, I can see you – I can see through bushes, no art, Brennan can see, a sense of whimsy, a fun character, was Brennan a fake?, Truesdale’s protector, motivation, take me to you leader, so playful, he is their leader, amazing, paying fees, Oldavai, Crete, still in the breeding stage, a good book, bunches of questions and points, building the Ringworld, a different library, an expedition to Earth, an expedition to star X, their achilles’ heel, Ringworld Engineers is all echoes, we needed this book, Alice as in Alice In Wonderland, she left pregnant, play in the fields, but do not touch…, tell her about the Bluebeard myth (aka The Castle Of Murder), an egg, a chicken is an egg’s way of making another egg, you do not want to open that door, you do not want to eat of those Trees, the solution to the mystery of the novel, everyone has been kidnapped is a descendant of Brennan, farming and cultivating descendants, Brennan monster is playful in his play, Vandervecken, making a myth he can enjoy, consciousness before being changed, the vampires get consciousness in Ringworld Engineers, does it help you to have whimsy, the jury is out, a message of despair, the Pak is coming, the Kzinti, The Mote In God’s Eye, hard lessons, genocide, moties, motivation by need, Brennan painting his spacesuit, biding his time, a medieval castle, progeny, deep down the point is art is good, if you’re smart enough there is very little free choice, Teela Brown’s luck, the same subject, the root is perpetuated by a virus, colonizing the pak, what is smartness except efficiency, crossing a continent, struggling with money, why do people want it, what is money anyway?, money is food, keeping your food safe with food, why does Trump need more money, operating as a logical creature it is to make his progeny better off, it worked for Genghis, inheritance, straight out the genes, what motivates people, biological determinism, everyone needs motivation, stop eating, grasping after fake visions of punishment (or reward), a “death wish”, like Phssthpok I’ve made all human children my beneficiaries, the Public Domain PDF Page, a hip street, channeling Frank Sinatra, taking photographs, not sanguine, Larry Niven’s own financial circumstances, writing SF for a long period of time, Greg Bear, Halo novels, Blood Music don’t put money on the table, Niven’s work is playful, the reason for Niven’s renown, making the piece the best piece it can be, Gregory Benford, Bowl Of Heaven, collaborations, there are no spoilers,

Larry Niven proves a point here. Most other authors would be tempted to tell a story of this magnitude in a trilogy consisting of thousands of pages. Niven does it in a little over 200 pages. Granted, he keeps the featuring cast down to only a few individuals. But still…
-Dirk Grobbelaar

Among Others by Jo Walton, all his human characters blur together, Walton has a point, psychoanalyzing, SF isn’t a costume drama, John W. Campbell’s challenge: write me an alien that thinks as well as a man but unlike a man, Isaac Asimov’s The Gods Themselves, Arrival, the story and the movie, Understand by Ted Chiang, Limitless (2011), and the rightly cancelled Limitless TV series, like the Minority Report TV show, from the sub-conscious to uplift and unconscious and conscious, Flowers For Algernon, flourishing and protected, seeing the manipulation happening, Sherlock Holmes, seeing the pattern no one else can see, intelligence, politics and the failures of politics, intelligence vs. manipulation, a smart person doesn’t gamble unless they know it isn’t a gamble, a war longer than the quagmire of the Vietnam War, all of that struggle, that’s the opposite of intelligence, Niven is right about intelligence and options, Brennan is not as bound, the golf course, did Brennan ever play the golf course that he built?, this would be good, having thought those through, how we see Brenna when he interacts with his Adam and Eve, he runs, the next thing that needs to be done, the efficiency we gain as adults, pretending to play dolls, the exigencies of adulthood, being a smart adult, I put away childish things, playing with LEGO, an angle to attack, LEGO as a awards, appreciating the enjoyment of play, having consciousness of his childhood, creations for a purpose, sharing vs. hoarding, pondering deep things, the mother vs. the father, Brennan’s modified suit with the Mother and Child, a savior figure, he’s the Madonna, their garden, playthings for the children, the Sol system is Brennan’s garden, have you noticed you haven’t had war?, exterminating the Martians, The Organleggers, capital crimes, China, the horror of rationality, organ transplantation, the RNA sequence, wiping your whole mind, the premise of Philip K. Dick’s Paycheck, Rammer by Larry Niven, A World Out Of Time, greater than human intelligence, we were manipulated into it, The Draco Tavern, playful comedic pieces, here’s a problem of science and here’s my solution, jokes, a whole subgenre of bar stories, The Callahan books by Spider Robinson, Lord Dunsany’s The Jorkens Stories, Arthur C. Clarke’s Tales Of The White Hart, chirality, thalidomide, an iceberg, Known Space, just one of Niven’s playgrounds, Hard Fantasy, The Magic Goes Away, as you use magic you deplete a natural resource, magic carpet, a dead spot, and back in these days amoeba were the size of whales, that’s how little magic is left, a Niven disc, a sense of sadness, set in the time of Atlantis, The Goblin Reservation by Clifford D. Simak, Niven as an efficient writer, jarring transitions, needing an editor, better than Clement, sex, a vitality, the weather is a little to clement in Clement’s world, Harry Stubbs, revisiting Protector, given Tree Of Life now Paul would… stop eating? wiping out half of humanity for reasons known only to him… in the New World Order, remaining human, being a mom, maternal feelings, a screaming red thing that came out of your body, are Protectors more like moms than dads?, genderless, oh sweetie, killing off all the creatures that threaten her children, warlike, a mother wouldn’t do that, is Niven right?, if you’re smart enough are their fewer and fewer courses of action?, the Teela monster, pretty sure Niven was never a mom, fierce viking grandparents, no free will, different motivation and different results, why does Brennan wait to convert Truesdale, poor Brennan, too much talking baby-talk, gender as an honorific, Protector Mom (please don’t write this as a sequel), something really original, a creation so original it is like a dragon or an elf, seeing the cat vs. monkey you’ve always wanted, the super-strong hominid vs. the intelligent tiger, Speaker vs. Teela, as Douglas Adams put it “Humans are not proud of their ancestors, and rarely invite them round to dinner.”, we got our own stuff going, the Traveller universe, most excellent.

Virgil Finlay's illustrations for PROTECTOR by Larry Niven (aka The Adults) Galaxy June 1967

Virgil Finlay's illustrations for PROTECTOR by Larry Niven (aka The Adults) Galaxy June 1967

Virgil Finlay's illustrations for PROTECTOR by Larry Niven (aka The Adults) Galaxy June 1967

Virgil Finlay's illustrations for PROTECTOR by Larry Niven (aka The Adults) Galaxy June 1967

Ballantine Books (1973) Protector by Larry Niven

Protector by Larry Niven - illustration by H.R. Von Dongen

Posted by Jesse Willis

StarShipSofa

October 8, 2008 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Uncategorized 

SFFaudio Online Audio

Star Ship Sofa Podcast Science Fiction Magazine StarShipSofa: The Audio Science Fiction Magazine has a show to end all shows today. Well, again, I would say that… but, honest… even if I do so… it is a good show! Find out for yourselves.

Aural Delights No 45 Paolo Bacigalupi mp3

Flash Fiction: Reality 2.0 By Ian Creasy 4:00 Shimmer Interview

Flash Fiction: I’m a Stranger Here Myself by Mack Reynolds 09:40

Fact: Fiction Crawler No 2 by Matt Sanborn Smith 24:20

Main Fiction: Pump Six by  Paolo Bacigalupia  34:00 

Narrators: MCL, Lawrence Santoro, Grant Stone

Subscribe to the podcast via this feed:

http://www.starshipsofa.com/rss

Posted by Tony C. Smith

Five Free Favourites #3

August 1, 2008 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Audio Drama, Online Audio 

SFFaudio Online Audio

Five Free Favourites
Five more faves, five more of my best bets. These are stories to make your mind say “yum yum” and your wallet say “nightie-night”…

1.
Mech Muse - After A Lean Winter by David FarlandAfter A Lean Winter
By David Farland; Read by Rick Jelinek
1 |M4A| File – Approx. 1 Hour [UNABRIDGED]
Podcaster: MechMuse
Podcast: Spring 2006
I’m very pleased to see all the released MechMuse stories still available online. Of the dozen or so of stories released, I think this one is my favourite. It’s set six months or so after the events of H.G. Well’s The War Of The Worlds and features a protagonist named “Jack London,” who like the other residents of the Yukon, is still struggling against a Martian menace that still survives up there.

2.
The Time Traveler Show - Beyond Lies The Wub by Philip K. DickBeyond Lies The Wub
By Philip K. Dick; Read by Mac Kelly
1 |MP3| – [UNABRIDGED]
Podcaster: The Time Traveler Show
Podcast: December 2006
The best Xmas gift I received in 2006 was this podcast short story! This was Dick’s first ever published tale, it’s one of his best too. And, I find holds up to multiple listenings. I recommend it often. Knowledge of Homer’s Odyssey is recommended.

3.
Librivox Audiobook - The Green Odyssey by Philip Jose FarmerThe Green Odyssey
By Philip Jose Farmer; Read by Mark Douglas Nelson
10 Zipped MP3s or Podcast – 6 Hours 6 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Published: December 2006
Publisher: LibriVox.org
This FREE audiobook was created on a dare. As one of the titles from the first SFFaudio Challenge I asked budding narrators to make single-voiced audiobooks from a list of public domain titles. This was the very first to meet the challenge – it is also one of the best. Set on a grassy plain on an obscure alien planet – it’s fast, funny, and makes for quite a romp. A novel in the spirit of Mark Twain’s A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur’s Court

Subscribe using this feed:

http://librivox.org/bookfeeds/the-green-odyssey-by-philip-jose-farmer.xml

4.
Science Fiction Audiobook - Star Surgeon by Alan E. NourseStar Surgeon
By Alan E. Nourse; Read by Scott D. Farquhar
14 Zipped MP3 Files or Podcast – 5 Hours 25 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Podiobooks.com
Published: October 2007
Dal Tigmar is an alien doctor with a sort of interstellar Médecins Sans Frontières. As a recent graduate of the Galaxy’s most prestigious medical school, on Earth, he’s been trained to treat every disease in the book. But racism isn’t a disease even he can treat. This is a real peppy 50 year old novel, that still crackles with energy. It plays out like a typical Heinleinian juvenile, minus the lectures. You’ll love it.

5.
X Minus 1X-Minus One: The Lifeboat Mutiny
Based on the story by Robert Sheckley; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 28 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Broadcaster: NBC Radio
Broadcast: September 11, 1956
Provider: Archive.org
I find a lot of X-Minus One hit or miss, but this Robert Sheckley story works. In fact, I’ve used the script for it twice just this month! Kids love it, adults love it. It’s funny, and it’s FREE! My only nit-pick is that the actor playing the lifeboat is not emotional enough – he totally underplays the scripted dialogue. When I do this part, I always play it highly emotional.

I’m still soliciting podcasters and bloggers for their lists, if you’ve a batch of five free faves you think just can’t be ignored, either post em below, or send me an email.

Posted by Jesse Willis

Review of The Green Odyssey by Philip Jose Farmer

December 21, 2006 by · 3 Comments
Filed under: Reviews 

SFFaudio Audiobook Review

LibriVox - The Green Odyssey by Philip Jose FarmerThe Green Odyssey
By Philip Jose Farmer; Read by Mark Nelson
10 MP3s or 10 OGG Vorbis files – 6 Hours 6 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Published: December 2006
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Themes: / Science Fiction / Space Opera / Planetary Romance / Swashbuckling / Pirates / Slaves / Planetary Ecology / Panspermia / Humor /

Alan Green is a space traveler stranded on a barbaric planet. He’s been taken as a slave and made a consort to an insipid and smelly queen. His slave-wife, though beautiful and smart, nags him constantly. He’s given up hope of ever returning to Earth when he hears of two astronauts who have been captured in a kingdom on the other side of the planet, and sets out on an action-packed journey on a ship sailing across vast grasslands on rolling pin-like wheels in a desperate scheme to save them and return home.

This audiobook was created on a dare. Back in November 2006 I challenged anyone to make an unabridged single-voiced audiobook from a list of titles of public domain Speculative Fiction novels that had not been previously released as audiobooks. This is the first audiobook to complete the aforementioned “SFFaudio challenge.” With its completion, the narrator, has won himself a copy of Galactic Pot Healer by Philip K. Dick as read by Tom Parker. Congratulations Mark! Now, on to the review proper…

The Green Odyssey roughly parallels the adventures of the original Odysseus, except that the Mediterranean sea here is instead a sea of grass on an endless plain on an obscure alien planet. Perhaps most original in this tale are the ships that sail that grass sea of this land-dominated planet. The idea of sails and roller ships to ply the prairie between cities is a neat one (something similar was used the Dragonlance AD&D module Dragons Of Ice by Douglas Niles). The lead character, Alan Green, is a Earthman who has been shipwrecked (or is that “spacewrecked”) on a planet inhabited by a branch of quasi-medieval Homo sapiens sapiens. If his alien origins were to be revealed they’d think him a demon. For two years already he’s been enslaved and humbled. The worst of it is his being forced into the bed of a lusty, but fickle, Duchess. Her merest whim would mean his death, so when Green hears of two strangers, like himself, who’ve come from the sky in a strange ship, his ears perk-up. Upon further investigation it seems the two “demons” are being held in a distant city. With a death sentence not too far in their futures, Green hatches a shrewd escape plan with a wily merchant. His only problem – his adopted family wants to go with!

This is a exuberant adventure. It reminds me of vintage Poul Anderson, in fact the whole novel is a kind of an inverse of Anderson’s excellent The High Crusade. Its also funny, in the same smile and smirk way, and lets not forget another of its vitures, The Green Odyssey is quick! I often think this, the classic short novel of the 1950s and 1960s, is the perfect length for SF. Moreover, Farmer has scripted lots of fun details for fans of both Robert E. Howard and Edgar Rice Burroughs – the colloquial language is also full realized and amusing. Now a word of caution, this is by no means a classic on the scale of To Your Scattered Bodies Go, Jose Farmer’s best know work. That said, it is absolutely and addictively listenable – I plowed straight through the 6 hour running time with nary a dry spell. Since it is FREE, thanks to the good efforts of Mark Nelson, I can unreservedly recommend it even to people who’d otherwise give it a miss.

Mark Nelson has a real narrators voice. He puts as much characterization into the various characters into this exposition heavy novel as is probably possible. Sound is good, loud enough and pretty clean of noise. Two minor problems, Mark pronounces a word wrong and there is one line repeated, I’d guess the latter got missed in the editing, the former is almost inevitable. I’ve heard professional productions far less “professionally” produced. I am looking forward to hearing a lot more public domain SF novels from Mark!

Editors note:
In a last minute email Mark has said that he does indeed expect to be reading more Science Fiction for LibriVox in the months ahead. He’d prefer titles that “haven’t been done commercially, just to increase the variety of audiobooks out there”. But here’s the problem he’s having; Mark is not super-familiar with the Science Fiction from the 50’s and 60’s. His reading thus far has tended to read much more recent. And so he asks that we come up with with some recommendations. Recommendations, in fact, from what he calls “the knowledgeable” – Hey! That’s you guys out there! So, which public domain Science Fiction novels from the 1950s and early 1960s would you like to hear Mark read?

Posted by Jesse Willis