The SFFaudio Podcast #422 – READALONG: The Running Man by Stephen King and The Prize Of Peril by Robert Sheckley

May 22, 2017 by · 5 Comments
Filed under: Podcasts 

Podcast
The Running Man
The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #422 -Jesse, Scott Danielson, Paul Weimer, and Marissa talk about The Running Man by Stephen King and The Prize Of Peril by Robert Sheckley

Talked about today’s show:
What’s wrong with society?, Harlan Ellison talking about Stephen King and Robert Sheckley, so eloquent, dismissing Stephen King, The Long Walk, one of the best science fiction books of the 1980s, at the heart of it, the world, when King was hungry and angry, the introduction, giving it away, a pretty extravagant and great ending, he’s old and angry on Twitter now, he talks good, a distant anger, his attiotufe is what makes the book, The Prize Of Peril is a joke, Das Millionenspiel (1970), the Schwarzenegger, turning anger into a farce action comedy, not even a satire, so much hate, shocking lines, smash her and rape her, when King was very poor, Rage, uncomfortable, connections to actual school shootings, bizarre tie between fiction and action, I’m gonna come up to that floor and getcha, pulling books off the shelves, The Dead Zone, the Dead Zone TV show, the world fits this kind of character, psychological, Richard K. Morgan doesn’t write them this angry, Mr. Mercedes, Take The Money And Run, The Hunted, sticking it to the man, “the internet never forgets”, auto-pulldowns by robots, a disturbing show, Myke Cole, without the killing, so freaky, same ethics and motivation, poor people, Jimmy Dore, half of America is poor, Scott would dispute that, it seems high, American poor, healthcare, GoFundMe for healthcare, hoping to put my kids into college, Paul Bishop, everybody loses the money, Big Brother Canada, horror, becoming a homeless person for 30 days, distributing, why did I like this?, interviewing audience members, a War Of The Worlds-effect, cutting to the control room, former CIA, former FBI, former U.S. Marshall, former British intelligence, this isn’t stacked at all, economic incentive, the mother, the book readers are the heroes, The Prize Of Peril, Raeder = Reader, putting ourselves into this situation, the ultimate protagonist, Killian, stick close to your own people, mapping, May of 1958 (everybody’s doing great), real unemployment 24%, I work three jobs, clown for president, the 1970 movie existential interest in, Too Many Cooks, the sponsor of Das Millionenspiel is Stablelite, male enhancement, Stablelite = the stable elite, The Running Man (1987), tracking real-life trends, 1950s = isn’t this funny (a satire), Sheckley was a god in Europe, The Tenth Victim (adapted from Seventh Victim), an assassination game, keeping violence down, Black Mirror: White Bear, X-Minus One, about psychology, the death wish and the life wish, a suicide option, the voluntary suicide act, Prix De Danger, the Sheckley short story, “Hazard”, “Spills”, “Underwater Perils”, “Terroro”, why Marissa loves this podcast, if we go there…, CBC, CTV, remaking American shows, Canadian Idol, people wouldn’t accept, everything commercialized, even Netflix has this, poor loser helpless people, Fear Factor, you haven’t been poor and desperate enough, I’ll just shoot you then, part of the criticism, that feeling, this Stephen King book feels way more relevant today, air pollution, the media, Sam Harris, the attention economy, status, the environmental sub-plot, thinking about and talking about the environment, only for the lip readers, They Live (1988), a spiritual riff, desperately squeezing, the temptation to power motif, we could use you, a three year contract, standard for a network stalker, you do it to your own kind, Fantasy & Science Fiction, Eight O’Clock In The Morning by Ray Nelson, the trickle down economy, the network editing, agreeing on what real is, subtext, looking at SF causally, SF is reflective not predictive, framing, when a hospital gets bombed, Leonard Cohen, “I’m guided by the beauty of our weapons”, Brian Williams, how much in the context, humiliating interrogation by professionals, a Japanese game show, Trans-America Ultra Quiz, the look and the inspiration is from Japanese game show, The Hunger Games, what it’s all built from, ancient Rome, the tension, I have no idea what I’m supposed to feel, here’s this phenomenon, non-judgemental, the conclusion is not in the movie, you’re watching the host, through the host’s eyes, the Italian French Russian movie, Le Prix Du Danger (1983), surveillance cameras all over England, mailing in your tapes, at the homeless shelter, the meta-issue, Raeder is the first thing you see in the story, we become the Ben Richards, Richard Dawson, Harlan Ellison doesn’t give you his varnished opinion, The Pest, The Most Dangerous Game by Richard Connell, battle royale style, Battle Royale, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, even a frying pan, the war of all against all, Thomas Hobbes, Paul is tribute, first person shooters, so funny so dark, Tag: The Assassination Game, Gotcha! (1985), thinking about fake news, a cartoon for stupid people, so great and stop stupid, Dweezil Zappa, Mick Fleetwood, Stephen King movies are mostly horrible, 1408, The Storm Of The Century, The Shining, The Mist, “Whitman, Price, and Haddad”, basking under the Maui sun, the big lie, when a revolution becomes show business, he’s a game show host, ultimate reality show, Scott has checked out, Jesse Ventura and Arnold Schwarzenegger two future governors wrestling each other, wrestling as ballet for big guys, set in 2017, when Killian gets his ending, when the truth is known the people will revolt, no agreement on what the truth is, agreeing on what the facts are, brainwashing, it’s not all bottom down, ignorance at the bottom, the school system is broken, teaching civics, getting a good SAT score, good job vs. good citizens, bubbles, the “freeview”, greater than Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 or The Veldt, subtlety in The Running Man movie, bread and circuses, healthcare too, vacation time, better education, grow our minds, some clean air (or water), automated manufacturing, technicians, robotics, what will society look like in 20 years?, an opportunity, truck driver, work through what it means, truck guard like Mad Max, the reason for pirates in Somalia, dignity, stepping on his own guts, a dignity in defiance, living with your mom in your 40s or 50s or 60s, food riots, nerve gas in the mid-east, protests did not work, a thin scythe, jellyfish slime, and he’s pimping out his wife, is anybody thinking about it, earlier industrial revolutions, a new Roosevelt with a new New Deal, analyzing art, buying literature written by A.I., kiosks and self checkouts, robots cooking the food, nursing the babies, all a prequel to Wall-E, the soft apocalypse, The Machine Stops, to feed their kid, medicine for the kid, people do that, that’s where the sex industry comes from, the power of a pseudonym, Thinner, Donald E. Westlake and Richard Stark, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, embarrassed about, 100% honest, admire them, The Long Walk, Misery, Steve Brown, 1985, real journalism, you can tell, one thing we know about writers is that they used to be readers, Ben Richards is really well read, fuck off and get me some books, a general atomics novel, book reviews, William Shakespeare, off center of Science Fiction, Stephen King is the gateway drug, The Dark Tower, The Gunslinger, Richard from Richard Stark, a Westlake novel about the pseudonym problem, The Hook, writer’s block, the hall of mirrors effect, King has a voice that is different than Koontz and Dick and Lovecraft, other Bachman books, Rage, Thinner, Misery, his biggest fan, writing the novel in the novel, meta, Roadwork, an interstellar bypass without the interstellar, The Bachman Books, Different Seasons, an official photo of Richard Bachman, Philip K. Dick, Four Past Midnight, The Langoliers, Kevin Kenerly was a terrific narrator, George Guidall, American Gods, damn good listen, damn good book, The Millions Game, after death beauty products, the Kling Klang knife company, a knife for killing your wife, Germany in the 70s was a very interesting place.




NEL - The Running Man by Richard Bachman
Signet - The Running Man by Richard Bachman
The Running Man (1987)
The Prize Of Peril by Robert Sheckley

Posted by Jesse Willis

SFFaudio’s Most Downloaded Podcasts (and the stats to back ’em up)

November 7, 2011 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Online Audio 

SFFaudio Online Audio

The SFFaudio PodcastI was curious about which of our podcasts was popular. Since it’s relatively easy, and I’m always interested in other podcaster’s podcasts statistics, I thought I’d reveal ours. Maybe this post will prompt some others to post theirs too.

Here is a list of SFFaudio’s single most popular podcast per month (by download) from January 2011 to October 2011.

Jan. (1216 Downloads) – #089 – Jesse talks to Professor James Campanella |MP3|

Feb. (3088 Downloads) – #094 READALONG: Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift |MP3|

Mar. (2700 Downloads) – #097 READALONG: The Garden Of Forking Paths by Jorge Luis Borges and Fair Game by Philip K. Dick |MP3|

Apr. (1267 Downloads) – #102 Scott Jesse and Tamahome talk about new releases |MP3|

May (1258 Downloads) – #109 AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: The Hanging Stranger by Philip K. Dick |MP3|

Jun. (1390 Downloads) – #112 AUDIOBOOK: The Marching Morons by C.M. Kornbluth |MP3|

Jul. (2190 Downloads) – #116 READALONG: The Space Merchants by Frederik Pohl and C.M. Kornbluth |MP3|

Aug. (3740 Downloads) – #105 – AUDIOBOOK: The Most Dangerous Game by Richard Connell |MP3|

Sep. (7417 Downloads) – #105 – AUDIOBOOK: The Most Dangerous Game by Richard Connell |MP3|

Oct. (7480 Downloads) – #105 – AUDIOBOOK: The Most Dangerous Game by Richard Connell |MP3|

As you can see, for the last three months our single most popular download has been the exact same show. It is a complete and unabridged reading of Richard Connell’s The Most Dangerous Game. This show, which came out on April 25, 2011, has been downloaded about 22,000 times so far. That makes it one of our most popular (if not the most popular shows’s we’ve ever done). It is however a bit of an anomaly. This is due to the fact that The Most Dangerous Game is commonly assigned in schools. Almost all of the rest of the credit should go to the most excellent narrator, William Coon, who recorded it – go check out his site he has many other excellent audiobooks too.

If we exclude that episode from the last three months we get the following results:

Aug. (1939 Downloads) – #120 Scott, Jesse and Tamahome talk to Infinivox editor Allan Kaster |MP3|

Sep. (2006 Downloads) – #126 AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: The Statement Of Randolph Carter by H.P. Lovecraft |MP3|

Oct. (1892 Downloads) – #128 Scott, Jesse, Tamahome and Luke Burrage talk about new releases and recent arrivals |MP3|

Looking at just the most popular downloads I’m pleased to see that nearly all of our kinds of shows are represented. READALONG, AUDIOBOOK, and even regular discussion podcasts are all popular. Our listeners all have great and eclectic tastes it would seem.

For a complete listing of all our past shows go HERE.

And for other podcasters (and anyone else who cares) here is the raw data on our top ten downloads for each month (January 2011 to October 2011):

SFFaudio Top 10 Downloads for January 2011

SFFaudio Top 10 Downloads for February 2011

SFFaudio Top 10 Downloads for March 2011

SFFaudio Top 10 Downloads for April 2011

SFFaudio Top 10 Downloads for May 2011

SFFaudio Top 10 Downloads for June 2011

SFFaudio Top 10 Downloads for July 2011

SFFaudio Top 10 Downloads for August 2011

SFFaudio Top 10 Downloads for September 2011

SFFaudio Top 10 Downloads for October 2011

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #105 – AUDIOBOOK: The Most Dangerous Game by Richard Connell

April 25, 2011 by · 7 Comments
Filed under: Podcasts 

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #105 – a complete and unabridged reading of The Most Dangerous Game by Richard Connell. Narrated by William Coon of Eloquent Voice.

A tempest tossed hunter crawls ashore on a mysterious island only to find his way to a creepy castle inhabited by a Russian Count named Zaroff.

After listening to this wonderful recording I heartily recommend you check out the 1932 RKO film version of The Most Dangerous Game. It has an excellent provenance having been produced by David O. Selznick and Merian C. Cooper. That’s the same team, with the same actors, with the same sets that was later used to make the original King Kong (1933)! The film version of Game adds a couple of characters (most notably a love interest), changes a few scenes, but really keeps the spirit of the piece and adds a haunting and beautiful visual motif. When the hero crawls ashore he meets the lovely Eve (played by Fay Wray) and her drunken brother Martin (Robert Armstrong), who were also shipwrecked. The film opens with a shot of a door with an ornate door knocker in the shape of a wounded centaur that’s carrying a subdued human woman. We see the door knocker once again and then later, inside the castle, the same iconic image is seen upon a mighty tapestry.

So, the wounded centaur is obviously a symbol. But for who or for what?

Now if you think about it, I’m sure you’ll see it, just as I did. Let’s break it down:

1. A centaur is, of course, half-man and half-beast.

2. The wound is from an arrow.

3. The woman in the centaur’s arms is either being rescued or abducted.

That’s almost enough. But it may help to know that, as I figure, the image was inspired by the myth of the centaur Chiron. In one part of the legend of Chiron, he is wounded by Hercules, with the wound’s cause being an arrow. An arrow dipped in the blood of a hydra. And hydra blood (of course) causes a wound that can never heal.

Now here’s the clincher, there’s a character in the film that has a wound that constantly bothers him. Get it?

As one of the reviewers on Archive.org’s page for The Most Dangerous Game put it: “[It’s a] film you can watch again and again.” Another reviewer put it this way:

“I think watching this movie has awakened my latent homicidal tendencies and right now I wanna fart around on an island with a cod Russian accent, wear a black polo neck sweater guzzle the best cognac smoke filterless cigarettes … and im gonna start right now.”

The Most Dangerous Game by Richard Connell

The Most Dangerous Game

The Most Dangerous Game FILM

The Most Dangerous Game

The Most Dangerous Game

Download the |AVI| of the public domain movie!

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #104

April 18, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Podcasts 

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #104 – Scott, Jesse, and Gregg Margarite talk about two Robert Sheckley short stories, Untouched By Human Hands (aka One Man’s Poison) and Seventh Victim.

Talked about on today’s show:
extravaganza vs. jamboree vs. hootenanny, the absent article, The Tenth Victim, Is That What People Do? The Selected Stories Of Robert Sheckley, “one man’s poison is another man’s meat”, writing with your mind, On The Road by Jack Kerouac, Gregg has been on many bloody campaigns with his typewriter, Scott loves the pen and notebook, Jesse uses a camera, whiteboard technologies, our podcast about FOOD, Douglas Adams, “Sheckley is not as vaudevillian as Adams”, Tom Baker’s Doctor Who, The Pirate Planet, a building shaped like a doughnut, “food-worthy”, c-rations vs. sea rations, “fill all your stomachs and fill them right”, Hellman and Casker, how do you determine food from non-food, chemists have horribly burnt tongues, Geology exams require the use of tongues, giggling food, drinking vs. being drunk, short stories should throw off sparks, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Untouched By Human Hands was sixty years ahead of its time, Laurel And Hardy vs. Gilligan’s Island, the SyFy channel is sixty years behind the times, Melancholy Elephants by Spider Robinson |READ OUR REVIEW|, Robert A. Heinlein, copyright, Mickey Mouse vs. Mighty Mouse, keeping murder alive, Sheckley’s late career, Stanton Frelaine = Stand In the Free Lane?, The Most Dangerous Game, Richard Connell, The Lottery by Shirley Jackson, The Lifeboat Mutiny by Robert Sheckley, The Leech, Warrior Race, Watchbird, La Decima Vittima, Marcello Mastroianni, New York, World War IV, World War VI, feminism, Mindswap, the economy in Seventh Victim, wordlbuilding in a short story, Spotters, Morger, the Tens Club, a game where people kill people, “there is no such thing as human rights”, are these rights not self-evident?, thou shalt not kill/murder, “the age of the half-believer”, Catholicism vs. protestantism, cherry-picking the beliefs from the old and new testament, the three legs of the scientific method (rational, empirical, scholastic), fads, should we require a degree in science to wear a lab-coat?, cargo cults, philosophy, the Emotional Catharsis Bureau, “damn women”, “gladiatorial events complete with blood and thunder”, does a desire to murder start wars?, Gregg thinks we are vehicles for genes, Professor Eric. S. Rabkin, Genesis, 2001: A Space Odyssey, is aggressiveness (or competition) a requirement to move on, the Space Race, the architects of tech during WWII, Michael Faraday isn’t getting any royalties, copyright vs. copyfight, seek technology got a patent!, For Us The Living: A Comedy Of Customs by Robert A. Heinlein, guaranteed minimum income, William Shakespeare, West Side Story, “there are only seven stories [basic plots]”, “we stray”, Frelaine’s reaction to the suicidal Victim, the purpose of catharsis, the deep unsatisfaction of an unfinished play, an unrequited kill, how many [TV] series are canceled before their plots unfold? (too many), Dexter vs. Babylon 5 vs. Lost, Game Of Thrones, Drive, The Wire is deeply unsatisfying every episode, ambivalent storytelling, “you can’t fix this neighborhood, move.”, The Corner, Firefly and Serenity, “he had a plan”, how to watch Babylon 5, what is the message of Seventh Victim, X-Minus One, Battlefield 2, do violent video games (and computer games) reduce violence?, Penn & Teller’s Bullshit, Killer: The Game Of Assassination, Gregg wants it with collateral damage.

Posted by Jesse Willis

Robert Sheckley’s Seventh Victim

April 14, 2011 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Audio Drama, Online Audio 

SFFaudio Online Audio

Seventh Victim by Robert SheckleyGoing in, and liking Robert Sheckley, I was surprised how much I didn’t respond to his most famous short story Seventh Victim. Upon first reading it I didn’t think of it as terrific story. Nor did I think of it as having much in the way of intellectual heft. But, upon reflection, particularly after watching the film adaptation I am coming around a bit. Indeed, plenty of folks, it seems, think of Seventh Victim as an academic story. It’s been used in both introductory psychology and philosophy textbooks. It has been reprinted more than a dozen times in different anthologies or collections. The 1965 film adaptation, called The Tenth Victim (La Decima Vittima), prompted Sheckley to expand the short story into a novel under the same name (which spawned more novel sequels Victim Prime and Hunter / Victim.

Robert Sheckley’s short story Seventh Victim is the tale of a future earth in which men and women engage in a voluntary game of assassination. Upon its first publication Galaxy magazine’s editor, H.L. Gold, abstrusely compared it to Richard Connell’s The Most Dangerous Game. I see that. But I was more struck by its closer resemblance to the game played in the opening scenes of the 1985 film Gotcha!. That film was likely inspired by a 1982 movie, Tag: The Assassination Game – which itself certainly nodded towards The Most Dangerous Game (the name of the first victim in the film is Connally). And that movie, in turn, was likely inspired by a real game of fake murder played on university campuses at the time (it looks like it is still played today too). While the story itself isn’t available as an audiobook there are a couple of audio dramatizations (both use the same script):

Future TenseFuture Tense – The Seventh Victim
Adapted from a short story by Robert Sheckley; Adapted by Ernest Kinoy; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 27 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: WMUK Special Projects
Broadcast: May 20th, 1974
Provider: Rimworlds.com
“The most dangerous game, said one writer, is Man. But there is another still more deadly!” First published in the April 1953 issue of Galaxy Science Fiction.

X-Minus OneX-Minus One – The Seventh Victim
Adapted from a short story by Robert Sheckley; Adapted by Ernest Kinoy; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 22 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: NBC
Broadcast: March 6, 1957
Provider: Archive.org
“Tonight we go forward in time to the days when war has been outlawed – and in its place there is a system of carefully controlled legalized murder.” First published in the April 1953 issue of Galaxy Science Fiction.

Cast:
Lawson Zerbe …. Freeline
Terri Keane …. Janet
Frank Maxwell … Emanuel Gale
Ian Martin ….
Arthur Hughes …. Jerry
Fred Collins …. Announcer

[via Archive.org and Rimworlds]

Posted by Jesse Willis

Commentary: Fredric Brown’s Eternal Arena

February 20, 2011 by · 6 Comments
Filed under: Commentary 

SFFaudio Commentary

For nearly a year I’ve been studying the extensive influence of Fredric Brown’s 1944 short story, Arena. It took a recent article, on roughly the same topic, over on the excellent bare•bones e-zine blog, to prompt me to actually finish writing up this post – which is essentially a collection of inspired by and/or similar stories. That other post, by Jack Seabrook, mostly covers the Outer Limits‘ response to Arena – which is something that I’ve only briefly mentioned. Seabrook’s article and the thoughtful comments it’s spawned are well worth looking at |HERE|. One of the comments there also points out the connection to Richard Connell’s The Most Dangerous Game (but that’s another post altogether). My post on Arena begins here:

Arena (noun) – [Latin harēna, arēna, sand, a sand-strewn place of combat in an amphitheater, perhaps of Etruscan origin.] -1. An enclosed area, often outdoor, for the presentation of spectacular events -2. The part of a Roman amphitheater that was covered with sand to absorb the blood spilled by the combatants.

The SFFaudio Podcast #051 had a brief primer, by Professor Eric S. Rabkin, on Fredric Brown‘s spectacular short story Arena. Rabkin pointed out the curious description of the alien, and the year in which the story was first published (1944). The story being a fascinating metaphor for the Pacific War. The description of the alien, a “red sphere with several dozen fully retractable thin tentacles” is nicely comparable it with the Imperial Japanese battle ensign…

War flag of the Imperial Japanese Army:

War flag of the Imperial Japanese Army

Now if we keep looking for symbols, we can certainly find them. Take the blue sand of the arena itself. If Carson represents the USA, and the alien represents Japan, would the pervasive blue sand not therefore be representative of the Pacific Ocean? Of course it would!

Next, check out the original story, available in an unabridged audiobook version created by Rick Jackson (aka The Time Traveler) for The Time Traveler Show podcast…

The Time Traveler - Arena by Fredric BrownArena
By Fredric Brown; Read by William Spurling
1 |MP3| – Approx. 1 Hour [UNABRIDGED]
Podcaster: The Time Traveler Show
Podcast: July 23rd, 2006
The mysterious Outsiders have skirmished with Earth’s space colonies and starships. Their vessels are found to be faster and more maneuverable, but less well armed. Survivors of these encounters are able to provide little other information about the enemy. Fearing the worst, Earth builds a war fleet. Sure enough, scouts report a large armada approaching the solar system. Earth’s defenders go to meet them. All indications are that the two fleets are evenly matched. First published in the June 1944 issue of Astounding Science Fiction magazine.

Fredric Brown's Arena - illustrated by Williams
Fredric Brown's Arena - illustrated by Williams
Fredric Brown's Arena - illustrated by Williams
Fredric Brown's Arena - illustrated by Williams
Fredric Brown's Arena - illustrated by Williams
Fredric Brown's Arena - illustrated by Williams

In the comics department, there was a 1976 Marvel Comics magazine adaptation in Unknown Worlds of Science Fiction. Of it, Pete Doree (Of The Bronze Age Of Blogs) sez:

Arena is one of my all-time favourite one-off comic stories, from Roy Thomas’ short-lived Worlds Unknown. Rascally Roy obviously liked it as much as me, as he reprinted it in the last issue of his b/w follow up Unknown Worlds Of Science Fiction. What I like about it is that it’s storytelling pared right down to the bone: One man. One monster. Winner takes all. It’s that simple, and that elegant. The set up is so primal that you’re practically dealing in archetypes. Plus you get the amazing pairing of John Buscema & Dick Giordano on art. It was adapted from a story by Frederic Brown, a great old school sci-fi writer.”

Marvel Comics - Worlds Unknown - Issue 4 - Arena by Fredric Brown

And, check out this editorial from Marvel Comics issue 4 of Unknown Worlds:

Worlds Unknown (#4) Editorial - Science Fiction And Me by Gerry Conway

Keeping with the art theme, there’s Boris Vallejo’s depiction from the March 1977 Starlog Magazine printing of Arena (more on that |HERE|):

Starlog Magazine - March 1977- Arena - Illustration by Boris Vallejo

TV, movies and other SF authors also seem to have taken inspiration or paralleled Fredric Brown’s Arena too:

Star Trek: Arena:

Outer Limits: Fun And Games:

The one man against one man theme, as developed in Arena, departed the SF genre entirely with the 1968 film Hell In The Pacific. The movie stars Lee Marvin and Tishiro Mifune as shot down American and Japanese fighter pilots who make WWII more personal.

The meme sunk to its lowest low with the frighteningly awful (and least faithful) variation in “The Rules Of Luton” episode of Space 1999.

Space: 1999 - The Rules Of Luton

The meme transmogrified back into a man vs. alien confrontation for Barry B. Longyear’s 1979 novella Enemy Mine. Willis Davidge, a human fighter pilot, is stranded along with Jeriba Shigan, a Drac, on a hostile alien planet foreign to them both.

Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine - September 1979

TOR DOUBLE #6 - Enemy Mine by Barry B. Longyear

The movie version of Enemy Mine, 1985, magnified the allegory with a theme of racial brotherhood.

In 1989, Star Trek: The Next Generation first adopted the idea for an episode entitled “The Enemy“.

Another variation, in 1991, in an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation called “Darmok” nearly eliminates the physical conflict, replacing it with an intellectual puzzle on the difficulties of communication.

Star Trek: Enterprise, in an attempt to recycle every previous Star Trek series plot, did their own take with the 2003 episode entitled Dawn:

Update:

David Schleinkofer illustrated the Reader’s Digest Edition of Arena in the early 1980s:

Arena as illustrated by David Schleinkofer for Reader's Digest

Posted by Jesse Willis

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