The SFFaudio Podcast #383 – READALONG: The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton

August 22, 2016 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Podcasts 

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #383 – Jesse, Bryan Alexander, and Steen Hansen talk about The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton.

Talked about on today’s show:
1969, before the Apollo 11 Moon Landing, contemporary critics, SF critics vs. mainstream critics, the defense of the ghetto against interlopers, Ray Bradbury, Doris Lessing, a deep feeling, spoiling the book, showing what was wrong with it, getting the facts wrong, interpretation, Luke Burrage reviewing, Robert J. Sawyer, bad writing, had they done nothing … nothing would have happened, the mutation, the Wildfire facility, Star Trek, scientists out for the good of humanity, self-destruct sequences, MAD: Mutually Assured Destruction, every nuclear sub movie, film-like, The Ipcress File by Len Deighton, airport fiction tropes, hyper competent high level government high tech mcguffins, brain-washing, novel -> film, written for film?, ER, picky fiddly science and bureaucratic operation, killed or useless, trusted scientists to save the world, ruthlessly hard science, Hollywood couldn’t make this movie now, restrained, chilly, the gender swap, Robert Wise, Shirley Jackson, The Haunting Of Hill House, Alfred Bester, a document dump, classified material, overloading the reader with verisimilitude, Eaters Of The Dead by Michael Crichton, The Thirteenth Warrior, Vikings, Russians and Byzantium, completely bullshit, Mr. Bullshit, regular SF vs. techno-thriller, a yummy INFODUMP, nobody had a definition for life, black cloth, a watch, a piece of granite, pure Science Fiction, Bryan’s mind destroyed at age 8, binary numbers, lasers vs. darts, Larry Niven, 24, Colossus: The Forbin Project, Steen welcomes our robot overlord, high-scale AI, Iain M. Banks, humans as pets, humans as cogs, I Have No Mouth And I must Scream, Prof. Eric S. Rabkin, Dante Alighieri, lost race, the descent into Hell, from red to blue, the harrowing of Hell, a cold war story where the Russians aren’t the bad guys, The Bedford Incident, James Follett’s The Light Of A Thousand Suns, set in the recent past, the shotgun approach, Margaret Atwood, picking and choosing at the buffet table, dedicated to A.C.D., M.D. -> Dr. Arthur Conan Doyle -> Dr. Michael Crichton, “not a new story”, the glowing review in Life magazine, a retelling of The Blob, the Technovelgy, auto-doc, the suppressed cancer drug, Jensen Pharmaceuticals, gut flora, nudity and ass-grabbing, rectal suppository, astro-Tang, coffee, all that cleaning, they’re too holy, the five levels is a gimmick, the leveling, it’s bullshit!, we all know we have to wash our hands, the Wikipedia entry for the Airport Genre

Airport novel(s) represent a literary genre that is not so much defined by its plot or cast of stock characters, as much as it is by the social function it serves. An airport novel is typically a fairly long but fast-paced novel of intrigue or adventure that is stereotypically found in the reading fare offered by airport newsstands for travelers to read in the rounds of sitting and waiting that constitute air travel.

Rudyard Kipling’s fiction was published as a railway magazine, the origin of pulp fiction, The Lion’s Game by Nelson DeMille, the opening to The Strain, having the reins of political power at your fingertips, in the 2008 miniseries remake, back stories/love stories, a muddy anti-science mess, pre-Apollo -> Watergate -> conspiracy theories, the technical glitch (paper between the bell and the striker), germ warfare?!, the remake of The Manchurian Cantidate, the films and adaptations reflect the times, the 2008 version is super-militarized, X-18, F-4 phantoms, Dracula, the long gothic tradition of found documents, Plan 9 From Outer Space, a cold war document, The Parallax View, Captain America: Winter Soldier, Crichton like Spielberg loves power, Close Encounters Of The Third Kind, the end of Raiders Of The Lost Ark, medical people as superheroes, uber-expert scientists, power fantasy fiction, scepticism of power, image Michael Crichton at a Science Fiction convention, the immune reaction, You are not of the body!, techno-thrillers, why Ian Fleming’s James Bond books became so popular, JFK, Ronald Reagan was a big fan of Tom Clancy, The Hunt For Red October, Reagan based foreign policy of Red Storm Rising, Jack Ryan was a wonk Navy -> CIA agent -> CIA Director -> President, Firefox, political fiction written for a jet-set audience, conservative Heinleinian, Andromeda Strain cosplay?, Footfall by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle, SF writers save the world from alien invasion, science matters vs. science fiction, the first biology crisis, outflanking the ghetto, the 2006 Worldcon, Greg Benford, Greg Bear, David Brin, thinking up scenarios, if I was a terrorist how would I destroy the the United States, Wildfire, Cold War contingency planning, the Rand Corporation, the odd-man out element, his name was Hall but should have been Corridor, does this make sense?, the odd man is gay?, The Odd Couple, gay coding?, gay men are most likely to turn off nukes?, The Great Train Robbery, timing pacing planning tricking, that roller-coaster spark, opening observation, we are always observing, fun fiction for Henry Kissinger and the jet set, bureaucrats of a class, this function material is reflective, Science Fiction writers are poor, Robert Silverberg, Lawrence Block and Donald Westlake, Isaac Asimov, a biology book, Paul Di Filippo, bio-punk, Ribo-funk, The Bay (2012), The Hot Zone, the wet science, cloning, the neglected science, Coma, Protector by Larry Niven, how electron-microscopes work, crystallography, “it mutated”?!?!?, that was odd, it’s communicating with itself, block-chain virus, deep hurting, The Door Into Ocean by Joan Slonczewski, medicine without silicon, the Patriarchy, The Highest Frontier, Blood Music by Greg Bear, a Halo novel, The Wind From A Burning Woman, a “wild” writing style, bio is hard to do, Pontypool, prions, the worst part of The Walking Dead, we’re all infected, a symbol for regular death, Titan by John Varley, a 100ft tall Marilyn Monroe monster, The Satan Bug by Alistair Maclean (1962), where does the techno-thriller begin, a precursor to techno-thriller, The Stolen Bacillus by H.G. Wells, a really obvious anarchist, Wells defused the whole genre for sixty years, The Food Of The Gods, a convincing linguistic maneuver, fawning of technology bureaucracy power and the function of government, a stack of Jane’s Fighting Ships, the Sputnik shock, British invasion novels, Tom Clancy as a zombie brand, special helicopter trip, massive government expenditure for the competent man, an empty jetliner, vicarious thrill, power fantasy, “he’s the most important person right now”, this is our bailiwick!, nice and short, Dean Koontz, Phantoms, A Game Of Thrones by George R.R. Martin, Ghost Fleet by August Cole and P.W. Singer, Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child books, no CRISPR, China is no Soviet Union, futurism, education moves so slowly, Little Brother by Cory Doctorow, an X-Box with Paranoid Linux, Reamde by Neal Stephenson, a Kurt Vonnegut vibe, a Welsh Muslim terrorist, like pornography you know a techno-thriller when you see it.

The dedication for The Andromeda Strain

title page for The Andromeda Strain

Algis Budrys review of The Andromeda Strain

Life Magazine review of The Andromeda Strain

The Andromeda Strain - illustration by Dusty Abell

The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton - Random House Audio read by Chris Noth

Posted by Jesse Willis

Coast To Coast AM: Interviews with Paul Di Filippo, Joe Haldeman, Lois McMaster Bujold, and Larry Niven

June 25, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Online Audio 

SFFaudio Online Audio

Coast To Coast AM, a long running overnight U.S. based conspiracy show has aired a nearly three hour long episode featuring interviewing with Paul Di Filippo, Joe Haldeman, Lois McMaster Bujold, Larry Niven.

Niven explains the basic premises behind Ringworld, Protector, The Soft Weapon, The Long Arm Of Gil Hamilton, The Draco Tavern, Lucifer’s Hammer – as well as 1984, The Marching Morons, The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress. Early on Technovelgy.com gets a shout out too.

Here’s the official description:

Saturday June 22, 2013

John B. Wells welcomed four highly respected science fiction authors: Larry Niven, Joe Haldeman, Lois McMaster Bujold, and Paul Di Filippo. They discussed their respective works, and how sci-fi can help us predict the future.
Host: John B. Wells

[Thanks Eric!]

Posted by Jesse Willis

StarShipSofa

November 12, 2008 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Online Audio 

SFFaudio Online Audio

Star Ship Sofa Podcast Science Fiction MagazineThis week sees the StarShipSofa’s audio magazine Aural Delights hit Paul di Filippo’s great short story Escape From New Austin and if that was not enough, how about the Fact Article on writing, Plot Part 2 by Terry Edge or if you ever wanted to know what went on over there at SF Signal listen to John DeNardo explains all; or if you are so inclined and want to drift away with some audio poetry take a listen to the fabulous Cinderella’s Funeral by Samantha Henderson, then to finishes off sample Sebastian Cevery’s excellent flash fiction Fork Bomb. Take all of those above, mix it with the best of narrators and a host who lives life on the edge… (who once stayed a week in Margate in a caravan) and you have the makings of a perfect SF audio magazine. Blast Off!

Aural Delights No 50 Paul di Filippo mp3

Poem: Cinderella’s Funeral by Samantha Henderson 02:46

Flash Fiction: Fork Bomb by Sebastian Cevery 05:30

Fact: “Plot Part 2” Terry Edge 08:55

Article: “SF Signal” by John DeNardo 22:20

Main Fiction: Escape From New Austin by Paul Di Filippo 27:29

Narrators:  Amy H Sturgis Ray Sizemore Julie Davis

Subscribe to the podcast via this feed:

http://www.starshipsofa.com/rss

Posted by Tony C. Smith

Hey if you haven’t already subscribed today is t…

March 2, 2006 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Online Audio 

News

Escape Pod LogoHey if you haven’t already subscribed today is the day to do it, you absolutely have to, because Steve Eley‘s awesome ESCAPE POD: The Science Fiction Podcast Magazine today features a Paul Di Filippo short story called Little Worker read by fellow SF author Jonathon (Sullydog) Sullivan. Its a “ribofunk” story, that’s a cross between Cyberpunk and Biotech, and it is more proof that the future’s so bright you’ve gotta grow nictating membranes!

If you have iTunes you can subscribe directly by CLICKING HERE.

Audible.com is publishing some excellent science f…

April 14, 2003 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: News 

SFFaudio News

Audible.com is publishing some excellent science fiction and fantasy on audio. Earlier this year, they put out three collections: The Best of Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine 2002, The Best of Analog Science Fiction Magazine 2002, and The Best of Fantasy and Science Fiction Magazine 2002. I reviewed all three titles for SF Site and enjoyed them all. My clear favorite, though, was the Fantasy and Science Fiction collection, so I was very pleased to see them follow up with two more titles: The Best of Fantasy and Science Fiction Magazine, January-February 2003 and The Best of Fantasy and Science Fiction Magazine, March-April 2003. The stories are all unabridged, and each collection runs five to six hours.

Over the past two or three years, I’ve experienced a growing appreciation for short-form science fiction on audio. Unabridged novella and novellette length stories make the finest audiobooks, in my opinion, and there is a lot of good science fiction and fantasy out there at that length that has yet to be recorded. I’ve got a copy of The Best of Fantasy and Science Fiction Magazine, January-February 2003 and have listened to the first story, called “Anomalous Structures of My Dreams” by M. Shayne Bell. M. Shayne Bell is an intensely emotional writer. All of his stories I’ve read to date have been memorable – he really makes me feel. His website is here. It hasn’t been updated for a long while, but you can read “Lock Down”, one of his best. The site also has his essay A Defense of Science Fiction and Fantasy, which is worth a read.

There are five other stories in the The Best of Fantasy and Science Fiction Magazine, January-February 2003 collection:

“Vandoise and the Bone Monster” by Alex Irvine

“Grey Star” by Albert E. Cowdrey

“Old Virginia” by Laird Barron

“The Seasons of the Ansarac” by Ursula K. Le Guin

“Reach” by Sheila Finch

(Readers include Stefan Rudnicki and Gabrielle de Cuir)

There are also six stories in the The Best of Fantasy and Science Fiction Magazine, March-April 2003 collection:

“The Resurrections of Fortunato” by John Morressy

“Decanting Oblivion” by Lawrence C. Connolly

“Shutdown/Retrovival” by Aaron A. Reed

“Hunger: A Confession” by Dale Bailey

“The Lightning Bug Wars” by Gary Shockley

“Seeing is Believing” by Paul Di Filippo

(Readers include Harlan Ellison and Gabrielle de Cuir)

I’ll revisit these once I get them heard… but I hope they continue to produce these titles. Current science fiction and fantasy audio by great writers, right there for the grabbing.

Posted by Scott D. Danielson