The SFFaudio Podcast #452 – READALONG: The City And The Stars by Arthur C. Clarke

December 18, 2017 by · Leave a Comment
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Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #452 – Jesse, Scott, and Paul Weimer talk about The City And The Stars by Arthur C. Clarke

Talked about on today’s show:
We three met, “a reaction” to The Broken Sword by Poul Anderson, I wonder what these guys will think Jesse will think of this book?, idea filled, big ideas, explorations of societies, tons of imagination, successfully modeled my brain, idea after idea after idea, a neutered human, this weird society, the jester, how art works, fear blocked, cut off from the whole universe, reminiscent of Olaf Stapledon, this is Clarke’s Last And First Men, a rewrite of Against The Fall Of Night, Gregory Benford’s sequel, a rethinking of the original book, different Bach fugues, from a writing perspective, more to contribute, the British Interplanetary Society’s webpage, 2013, 1930s, the opening scene, 1935, six versions, Gnome Press, 1953, 1956, the Wikipedia entry, to showcase what he had learned about writing and information processing, in the individual scenes, Diaspar and Lys, the anecdote, different enough, the robot with the mental block is solved in two different ways, to FMRI the robot, robot psychology, so much in this book, Hal 9000, 2001: A Space Odyssey, The Sentinel, what drove his whole career, Paul is quiet, the Mad Mind of this novel, a battle at the end of eternity, more about computers and artificial intelligence, game theory, they’re not really human at all, they never have a childhood body, they’re never actually human, bio-manufactured like the robots in Westworld, emotionally muted, a whole book for someone else, the lack of love in Diaspar, factoids, John W. Campbell, telepathy, Startling Stories, the fact that everybody is telepathic, Jesse can become telepathic, the only kind of telepathy that makes any sense, modelling, the telepathy doesn’t pay-off, a balance between the world of Diaspar and the world of Lys, civilization vs barbarism, an equal but different, the whole problem of a lack of conflict, an Olaf Stapledonism, an excellent point, biological vs. technological, Apollonian vs. Dionysian, Zardoz is Sean Connery in a diaper, a brute barbarian, weird WTF moments, reborn over and over again, continuity of millennia, the futility of immortality, editing of memories, an inversion of Logan’s Run, a central computer, a society of youth vs. a gerontocracy, perturbing the system, let’s posit a future in which a global catastrophe has happened, a forbidden zone outside, a robot that goes crazy, the back half of Logan’s Run, This Perfect Day by Ira Levin, The Giver by Lois Lowry, how Alvin has tucked away genitals, hairless except for his head, drugs, a flat affect, “Wei, Wood, Marx, and Christ”, Brave New World, “Our Ford”, a factory societies, a dystopia utopia, the RPG elements, Dream Park, “he breaks the railroad”, railroading in RPG terms, the sagas, how this novel works, his adventure outside the city (to the stars), Cthulhu or something?, Lovecraftian elements, “we have lived too long out of contact with reality”, the world shaker, seduced by Lys, a very soft horror, the hermit kingdoms of Korea and China, the treasure ships, forcing trade upon you, an outside force, he’s pre-programmed, he’s the only who isn’t pre-programmed!, even the jesters, a foreshadowing, “Repent, Harlequin!” Said the Ticktockman, from the robots point of view, their whole undercity, places to dust, do they have their own system?, sitting in the background while Alvin is exploring the depths of the city, how the humans are, intelligence machines looking at art, in other hands (not Clarke’s), how art is chosen, what those pieces of art look like, art without conflict, still life for everyone, no machine may contain any moving parts, Steve Jobs, an oval egg you keep in a drawer and don’t look at, Universe by Robert A. Heinlein, optical fiber, control systems, no repairmen necessary, look at this mural, now the robots have something to do, the bones of old Rome, they don’t know what the word “tomb” means, the Great Ones, the Old Ones, the great race of Yith, a fake out, how the city was constructed, experiences the city of Disapar from a billion years in the past, this is all a dream, I take away the blocks that you have, you are free now, parallels, the difference between the humans and the robots, less hairy, metal?, “Rivets and Trees”, Marissa, HBO’s Westworld, nefarious vs. right and proper, thoughtful and philosophical, humans and robots, Blade Runner, at least one of the characters is an older robot, nuts and bolts inside, three kinds of robots, Diaspar is Westworld’s future by a billion years, guests and staff, now you are Mickey Mouse, the names, diaspora and lis, identity politics of 2017, you can’t use the word tribe, a white male protagonist, is he white?, is he male?, is he human?, a long flowing yellow mane or a curly tight man bun, being human or not, going full Olaf Stapledon, the future history has no bearing on 2017’s obsessions and attitudes, the Long Now Foundation, long term consequences, technological vs. biological, everybody is concerned about that, a Wiki of Ice and Fire, Lys (off the coast of Essos), George R.R. Martin, Dis (a layer of Hell), the heaven where everybody is the same, the city of Dys where everybody is the same, leaving both, the 1980s Alvin the robot submersible, looking for hidden things, playing the sagas, Skyrim, the final scene, in polar orbit, the night was falling, Scott’s entire reading life, sensawunda, seven strange stars arranged in a line, back to Earth, an ever expanding circle of exploration and wonder, among the stars, no eye-rolling, a hero’s journey, circular, an old Locus issue celebrating Robert A. Heinlein, one of the pictures of Heinlein visiting Arthur C. Clarke in Sri Lanka, The Night Flier, a Cessna Skymaster, an incredibly weird guy, Lord Dunsany, he leaves the world, literally on the other side of the world, remarkable, a global influence, an internet like life before that was possible, how amazing his computer is in this, an intelligence machine, a non-distributed and smarter Siri, government by AI, doing stuff with computers that nobody is doing (even Isaac Asimov), what they do rather than how they do it, totally timeless, we’ve gone past atomics, infinity plus one, he knows what computers are about, process information, storage, we are robot computers with biological casings, circuits and synapses, is there anything in this story that feels dated?, holographic projection, unsqueaky chair, amazing!, urtexts, cleanly and generically, the trappings are timeless, their genitals don’t work, sex, kind of interesting, the fish in the sea, a radar operator during WWII, bouncing radar off the Moon, what this technology can do, why are we worrying about breaking these Nazi codes?, a plot, so good, full of ideas, The Collected Stories Of Arthur C. Clarke, a lot of Clarke is public domain, The Nine Billion Names Of God, The Star, everyone should read more of Arthur C. Clarke, 4001: A Continuing Of The Odyssey The Should Probably Have Been Left In The Drawer, Rama, Paul has issues with Gregory Benford, stick to the originals, the Black Sun, E.E. Doc Smith, black holes, until Hawking thought about how black holes could evaporate, a really good book, the audiobook, other versions, the one on Audible has music under the narration, the book for the blind version, Northstar Publishing, audiobook rental stores (like Blockbuster), truckers were the original hyper-consumers of audiobooks, women were supposed to have been the ones to make the household magazine purchasing decisions, mainstream, commuters (and everybody) not the women of the house, when Amazing Stories broke into the market, Railroad Romances, Westerns, women wanted to read about science fiction, I’m not a trucker, the BBC audio drama of The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, abridged audiobooks, blind people aren’t the only ones who need audiobooks, if you didn’t see them on the shelf, totally out of print, nobody can get this one, a deep cassette hum, Paul’s trip to Yellowstone in 2005 (got him into audiobooks), a great idea, 2003, Audible’s 20th anniversary, before iPods, overseeing the explosion of audiobooks, nothing that isn’t unabridged, audiobooks are mainstream, are more people listening to books than are reading books now, where did you get that time?, double density book-cassettes from Brilliance audio (each channel having one track), apparently cassettes were expensive, CDs are still around, 40 CD audiobooks, Blackstone Audio rentals, Downpour has rentals, Books On Tapes, Audible by mail (Netflix for audio), Recorded Books, a slight competitive advantage, Bryan Alexander.

Startling Stories, Against The Fall Of Night by Arthur C. Clarke

Startling Stories, Against The Fall Of Night by Arthur C. Clarke

Startling Stories, Against The Fall Of Night by Arthur C. Clarke

Startling Stories, Against The Fall Of Night by Arthur C. Clarke

Startling Stories, Against The Fall Of Night by Arthur C. Clarke

NORTH STAR AUDIO The City And The Stars by Arthur C. Clarke

Posted by Jesse Willis

Reading, Short And Deep #096 – Moxon’s Master by Ambrose Bierce

December 6, 2017 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Podcasts 

Podcast

Reading, Short And DeepReading, Short And Deep #096

Eric S. Rabkin and Jesse Willis discuss Moxon’s Master by Ambrose Bierce

Moxon’s Master was first published in the San Francisco Examiner, April 16, 1899.

Here’s a link to a PDF of the story.

Podcast feed https://sffaudio.herokuapp.com/rsd/rss

Posted by Scott D. Danielson

The SFFaudio Podcast #432 – READALONG: Counter-Clock World by Philip K. Dick

July 31, 2017 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Podcasts 

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #432 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, Marissa VU, and Wayne June talk about Counter-Clock World by Philip K. Dick

Talked about on today’s show:
1967, expanded from Your Appointment Will Be Yesterday, what the hell’s going on, illuminating things, more direct, Wayne is pretty damn proud of himself, the difference between the two, crossover, the entropy is the same, applying shaving cream and whiskers, cleaner and cleaner clothes, some of the same logical problems as Superman‘s Bizzaro world, exactly the opposite, taking it to the logical conclusion, one of the fun things about it, what is passed over, the Hobart Phase, with participation, DC Comics, Superman spinoffs, Supergirl going through Superman’s baby photos, Jimmy Olsen, Lois Lane, Us Do Opposite Of All Earthly Things, the first issue of Action Comics, square wheels, is superman supposed to be smart?, how the economy works, don’t try to make it work logically, the ending, weird senses, LSD grenades, embryonic robots, what’s that mean?, let it happen to you, is there some overarching metaphor we’re missing?, every time it fell into plot, the graveyard, Jesus and Lazarus, breathing tubes, certain skills, everything’s reversed, Officer Tinbane, Ray Roberts, Robert Raymond, you shouldn’t try to prove the existence of God, does that have anything to do with this character?, searching out in a desperate attempt, question-answer, Centurion Longinus, a shocking death, Hermes is a psychopomop, a small business, the abortion, when does the soul enter the corpse, sperm shooting out of eggs, what is he actually saying right here?, hilarious passing references, soghum through the anus, throwing up whole foods, spirit soghum, a small bamboo Korean flute, time-bombs of hilarity, the substance and the style, the philosophical ramifications, random man, find a nearby womb, falling in love with a baby, Philip K. Dick’s twin sister, Colorado, Bishop James Pike, one of PKD’s marriages, falling in love with her sister, agonizing over sin, taking advantage, is that a crime?, Nancy Hackett, In search Of (hosted by Leonard Nimoy), dead in the desert, mind going a million miles a minute, having trouble deciding who he loves and doesn’t love, super-liberal, pro-gay, pro-black, the four parts of the USA, 10,000 politically motivated bombings, heaven isn’t real, secular saints, Copernicus, counseling Philip K. Dick, everybody’s consenting here, things are rough, her own psychological issues, she’s tiny and he’s huge, daughter sized and aged, treating kids like adults, things probably shouldn’t be happening in that park, what are we to make of the robots?, either pearls before swine or pigfood before jewelers, coming away from it without getting inside his head, not previously an aficionado, The Three Stigmata Of Palmer Eldritch, seeing the religious aspect as being interesting, the key to unlocking, Anarch Peak, highest point and without, a black Jesus figure coming back from the dead, two oblique angles, our John The Baptist character, attacking not from the front door, the Trojan horse method, coincidence?, 400 shows, a combination of subconscious and coincidence, Reading, Short And Deep, When Time Turned by Ethel Watts Mumford, kind of Science Fiction, living his life backwards from the point of his wife’s death, the dome of his skull expanded, from a female point of view, experiencing things in reverse, people remember what happened in the future, physical and mental knowledge is being destroyed, the swabble, the patent office, sucking the ink out of the page, never approaching it ion the normal everyday way, the fact that a robot is secretly and immorally implanting microscopic sperm sized robots, these librarians have stuff backing them up, the librarians are the bad guys, if you reverse everything, how does this work?, what does it mean?, robots are ambiguous, are they a distraction?, espionage, putting it on his left arm as an armband, a counter acting agent (operating in reverse [forward] time), if you know the past why don’t you act differently, Arrival and The Story Of Your Life, the ash of memory, mmmm coffee, reverse sewer trucks?, don’t think about this for too long, what’s in these sorgum pipes and where did you get it?, Red Dwarf, Season 3 Episode 1, Backwards, he’s literally taking a shit, the economy, taking its science fiction seriously but playing for comedy, money is something you want to get rid of, becoming impoverished is everyone’s goal, what is the equivalent of counter-fitting?, the money loses value, hyperinflation, the first review on Goodreads is written backwards, insight, the factions, they never believed the passage from Corinthians, death where is thy sting?, it might just be Philip K. Dick’s critique of how history has treated the Christ story, profound and doesn’t make any sense, ruminate and disgorge (don’t digest), he’s exploring but not landing on any square, that’s Pike’s thing too, harrowing hell, Sebastian Hermes, specially attuned, another Jesus figure?, always has to turn it into a small business, every chapter starts with a quote, inverted quotes?, Saint Thomas Aquinas, what the Hobart event was, almost a weapon, the FMN doesn’t have the Hobart Phase, Mars doesn’t have it either, like radiation from a Russian Hobart bomb, we need to escape this place it’s why you had the abortion, this Orange County, everybody’s playing this real estate game, the effects they see in the world are other people, the robot comes to the office, treat me as this other person, my future is your yesterday, another reading (at least), chimeras through the hold thing, you can call me Carl, Carl Jr, Karl Jung, Uditi -> U-Die -> You Die -> U as in U-Turn, Jung’s collective unconscious, the group mind, a death cult is a life cult, positive racism, the Roman Church, Pentecostals, Baptists, an excoriation against people who think they have all the answers, the TRUTH, contradictory to each other, the People’s Topical Library, why are they so scared to go to the library, destruction of books, he who destroys knowledge controls knowledge, conflicted loyalties, the black hats, Niehls, Lance Arbuthnaut, inventors, Edison types, technology, minus money, arbeit-naught? = doesn’t work, hit by meteors, hit by anti-matter?, from the macro point of view, is Earth orbiting in the wrong direction, going backwards and forwards in time, inconsistencies, does geology work in reverse, an undestroyed building, before the Anarch is brought back to life, a big convention, a special waiver, this is what happens when you take LSD, PKD wrote almost nothing about this book, we need annotations, the embryonic robots snuck into a filing cabinets, payoff, somehow reversed mirrored later on with the human sex, unpregnant herself, the process still exists, are the robots also effected by reverse time?, you can’t really see the connection between them, Kryten, the manuscript is called HOW I MADE MY OWN SWABBLE OUT OF CONVENTIONAL HOUSEHOLD OBJECTS IN MY BASEMENT DURING MY SPARE TIME vs. HOW I DISASSEMBLED MY SWABBLE INTO ORDINARY HOUSEHOLD OBJECTS IN MY BASEMENT DURING MY SPARE TIME, Thomas Alva Edison, maybe it didn’t all gel, or maybe it gelled well, how most people rated it, fun, really ambitious, plot machinations, once the paper for the swabble is eradicated time reverses again, stuck in an infinite loop, Saint Paul will be resurrected in 2,000 years, Jesse thinks Philip K. Dick had the dream at the end of this book, what roles do dreams play, you’re a crank!, Lister comes out of the Starbug, a sore back, Nodnol, you come up with your theory and then you test your theory, Bulgarian bicycles, reverse bar fight, sucking the pain out of his face, punching his tooth back in, the YouTube of Backwards [played backwards], backwards English, switching to reverse, flowing in reverse, totally confusing, you’re driving on the wrong side of the road backwards and backwards in time, our entire experience with reality seem to be one direction, deja vu, no wonder we’re confused, that makes sense, more about this in his next books, The Transmigration Of Timothy Archer, Valis, Ubik, more of what he’s playing with, John Dryden, Peter S. Beagle,

To His Coy Mistress by Andrew Marvell

Had we but world enough and time,
This coyness, lady, were no crime.
We would sit down, and think which way
To walk, and pass our long love’s day.
Thou by the Indian Ganges’ side
Shouldst rubies find; I by the tide
Of Humber would complain. I would
Love you ten years before the flood,
And you should, if you please, refuse
Till the conversion of the Jews.
My vegetable love should grow
Vaster than empires and more slow;
An hundred years should go to praise
Thine eyes, and on thy forehead gaze;
Two hundred to adore each breast,
But thirty thousand to the rest;
An age at least to every part,
And the last age should show your heart.
For, lady, you deserve this state,
Nor would I love at lower rate.
But at my back I always hear
Time’s wingèd chariot hurrying near;
And yonder all before us lie
Deserts of vast eternity.
Thy beauty shall no more be found;
Nor, in thy marble vault, shall sound
My echoing song; then worms shall try
That long-preserved virginity,
And your quaint honour turn to dust,
And into ashes all my lust;
The grave’s a fine and private place,
But none, I think, do there embrace.
Now therefore, while the youthful hue
Sits on thy skin like morning dew,
And while thy willing soul transpires
At every pore with instant fires,
Now let us sport us while we may,
And now, like amorous birds of prey,
Rather at once our time devour
Than languish in his slow-chapped power.
Let us roll all our strength and all
Our sweetness up into one ball,
And tear our pleasures with rough strife
Through the iron gates of life:
Thus, though we cannot make our sun
Stand still, yet we will make him run.

stories and collections, Dan Simmons, an ur text, hey baby we gotta have sex now cuze we can’t when we’re dead, Philip K. Dick using it, Meatloaf’s Paradise By The Dashboard Light, How I Rose From The Dead My Spare Time And So Can You, A Maze Of Death.

Counter Clock-World by Philip K. Dick
Counter Clock-World by Philip K. Dick BACK
GREGG PRESS - Counter Clock-World by Philip K. Dick
Counter-Clock World by Philip K. Dick
Counter Clock-World by Philip K. Dick
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Counter-Clock World by Philip K. Dick (French edition)
ad for Tales Of The Bizzaro World from Our Army At War, issue 187

Posted by Jesse Willis

Review of Dan Dare: The Audio Adventures, Volume Two: 1: The Reign Of The Robots, 2: Operation Saturn, and 3: Prisoners Of Space

June 1, 2017 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Audio Drama, Reviews 

SFFaudio Review

Dan Dare Audio Adventures - Volume 2Dan Dare: The Audio Adventures, Volume 2, 1: The Reign Of The Robots, 2: Operation Saturn, and 3: Prisoners Of Space
Adapted from the Eagle comic strip; Performed by a full cast
3 Episodes – 3 hours, 9 minutes [AUDIO DRAMA]
Publisher: Big Finish
Published: April 2017

Dan Dare: Where Space and Opera Meet To Sing

Is there evil in the universe? Yes. Are there tyrants who take great pleasure in enslaving the human race simply to gratify their unquenchable ego? Yes. Is there any hope for this small blue planet where none but the barest few have any idea of the dastardly dangers all around? Absolutely!

All is right with the twenty first century because Dan Dare and his cohorts, Professor Peabody and Digby are out roaming our solar system, vigilantly keeping villainy and tyranny at bay.

Having defeated the evil Mekon at the end of Season One, Volume One, Dan Dare and his crew are finally able to return home after using the transporter to rid themselves of an alien Armageddon virus.

The first problem that besets them at the beginning of Volume Two is a small issue with the return trip through the transporter that lands them ten years into the future. The bigger problem is that Earth has been enslaved by an army of ruthless robots in, The Reign Of The Robots.

A rollicking space faring adventure of daring do and evil don’t sails on through Operation Saturn and Prisoners Of Space.

Dan Dare is an audio drama of old where the good guy is good through and through, and nasty bigheaded megalomaniacs are rotten to their evil cores. But wait, there’s a back-story running in the undercurrent. This world isn’t quite as black and white as it seems.

A beautiful mix of nostalgia with references to coal-fed engines, and forward-ho, with a ship that can whisk the crew off to Saturn in minutes flat, Dan Dare is perfectly situated in the now. And that now is a science fiction gem with classic lines like, “Resist and you will die” and the quintessential, “Take me to your leader.”

The cast is wonderful throughout and the whole thing is brought to life with a thoroughly engaging, immersive soundscape designed by Wilfredo Acosta.

I was not familiar with the Dan Dare comics before listening to the series, but when I heard, “Colonel Dan Dare! But you were dead!” Followed by, “Only delayed,” I learned everything I needed to know.

Strap on your jet pack if you have. Adventure awaits.

THE REIGN OF THE ROBOTS
Dan Dare and his crew finally return to Earth. Landing in central London, they find the city deserted – or that’s how it seems at first. But soon Dare faces an army of ruthless machines, robots who have conquered the planet and placed the surviving humans in slave camps. The robots are too powerful and too numerous to be resisted, and their invasion is complete. With limited resources, Dare, Digby and Peabody face their greatest challenge yet – to liberate planet Earth. But the task becomes more desperate than ever when Dan discovers the alien force behind the robot invasion…

OPERATION SATURN
As work begins to rebuild planet Earth after the devastation of the robot invasion, Dare and his friends in Space Fleet remain vigilant, certain that it is only a matter of time before the Mekon launches a fresh attack. When the wreck of the Nautilus – an experimental ship lost over a decade before – appears in orbit of the moon, Dare, Digby and Peabody are sent to investigate. They find the ship and its crew were destroyed by advanced alien weapons. All clues lead them to Saturn’s moons. With Earth still vulnerable our heroes must journey to an unknown world – to discover who sent the Nautilus back, not realising that for once the source of their latest conflict comes from a lot closer to home. Not all would-be conquerors of planet Earth are alien…

PRISONERS OF SPACE
After a sequence of near non-stop adventures Dare, Digby and Peabody find themselves in a strange limbo of paranoid calm. Whilst there’s been no sign of the Mekon anywhere in the solar system, Dare is certain Earth hasn’t seen the last of the evil alien. Mysterious spaceship disappearances near Venus, an Academy student accidentally launching a prototype new spacecraft, and a floating prison cell in space… reveal themselves as all part of the Mekon’s latest plan to defeat his archenemy Dan Dare once and for all. The first season of Dan Dare concludes with daring space action, fearless heroics and the revelation of devastating secrets concerning Space Fleet…

Posted by Maissa Bessada

[Find out more about Dan Dare audio adventures, and see the rest of the terrific DAN DARE box-office-style posters, by Brian Williamson, over at the official site: DanDareAudio.com]

Dan Dare - The Audio Adventures - Reign Of The Robots

The SFFaudio Podcast #421 – READALONG: We Can Build You by Philip K. Dick

May 15, 2017 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Podcasts 

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #421 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, Marissa, and Bryan Alexander discuss We Can Build You (aka A. Lincoln, Simulacrum) by Philip K. Dick

Talked about on today’s show:
1972, Amazing Stories 1969-1970, a quasi-mainstream novel, Puttering About In A Small Land, get out of this horrible relationship with the woman who might be part of your imagination, tangled bad dysfunctional romance, Anne Dick, the lunar moon stuff, funny bits, a strange book, Nick And The Glimmung, the foundation for a great novel, an almost prequel to Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?, written in 1962, I’d love to put some Dick in it, we’re beyond those jokes, The First In Our Family, A. Lincoln, Simulacrum, Ted White’s last chapter, Chapter 19 in the magazine version was written by Ted White, a pale shadow of normal Philip K. Dick, Dick’s end redeemed the book, A Scanner Darkly, make it explicit, hallucinatory experiences, Wilder Penfield, the tragic drivers, business failure, a Hollywood ending, White’s ending makes explicit things that shouldn’t be, paper-mache and matchsticks, seeding doubt, a big old info-dump, the dad character, “my dad”, his brother is a cartoon character (an upside-down face), your entire family is a construct, the Lincoln, the Stanton, the Booth, virgin black sheep wool, Pris Frauenzimmer, beautiful sentences, without a thought for me or any other thing, damaged, why Galactic Pot-Healer kicks ass so hard, Valis, The Divine Invasion, The Transmigration Of Timothy Archer, Martian Time-Slip, the emphasis on small business, Eye In The Sky, Team Of Rivals, a little paper unicorn, why Dick dissed it, Ted White’s response, the theory that Pris is not real, all his own life, the tiling scene in the bathroom, a Freudian reading, Bryan channels Eric S. Rabkin, how dear you, Magna Mater, H.P. Lovecraft’s The Rats In The Walls, Lovecraft is racist but Dick is fucking dangerous, when Philip K. Dick stayed with us, one in nine people is in an institution in this book, Three Stigmata Of Palmer Eldritch, Solar Lottery, Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Robert A. Heinlein gets a shout-out in the dedication,edition issues, my delicious one, two different DAW dedications, Marissa’s Instagramming, the falsetto’s effect, told in first person, telepathic first person, being a point of view, until the dam breaks, unsalable, Ted White’s ending tells us too much, The Electric Ant, Pris’ story about killing ants, ooh that’s horrible, we can feel the sand pouring in, the only time we see her having empathy, the precursor to the Voight-Kampff test, real psychological tests, what does the proverb “a rolling stone gathers no moss”?, we’re all failing this test, Dick examining his own personality, if you watch enough Jimmy Dore…, like oxygen in a non-oxygen environment, if you live in crazy town…, gaslighting, maybe this person with a strong personality who runs the government today, Black Mirror, the more you think about a memory the more you re-write it, Facebook is automating a story about Bryan, Google Photos, having perfect or total recall, the universe gets more Phildickian every day, neural lace, as artificial as a memory, capturing a memory, preserving the framed erases the self, photographs overwrite memory, presenting evidence, those beautiful tomahawk missiles flying off into the sky, almost never any images in Dick, feeling and jokes and dialogue, planetary ships landing in the desert, finches in the grill, beer bottles and junk in the ditch, kipple, waving like a child, he’s stuck, a profoundly sad book, lead by the kids into the clinic, you did it through the door?, classic Philip K. Dick twisted/blended reality, a passionless sex scene, all of this is very educational but not illuminating, two short stories in the Dr. Rupert Labyrinth series: The Preserving Machine and The Short Happy Life Of The Brown Oxford, Mozart and Bach, shoes that come alive, Borges, reactive, the mentally ill are more real or more human, she’s driving the plot, she’s driving the car, Pris as the “dark haired girl”, Sylvia Dvorak, Upon The Dull Earth, the Qwerty girlfriend vs. the Dvorak girlfriend, The Odyssey, Beyond Fantasy, cross country car trips, roadside diner, the girls in the clinic, such good writing, everybody is PKD in this novel, the drug blinders of being in love, she’s a monster, she’s under a rock, Pristine Womankind, totally Freudian, Lincoln as a father figure, Pris as a mother figure, why the Civil War, the centennial of the Civil War, an explosion that didn’t happen, we don’t think of Lincoln the way he actually was, let me tell you about Lincoln…, Dr. Futurity, Edwin Stanton, poor J.S. or J.F. Sebastian, robotic and monstrous and inhuman, Frankenstein, everybody is kept in the incestuous nest, from Anne Dick’s book, abortion, The Pre-Persons, sluggy babies, killing a nest of yellow-jackets, nothing like any science fiction novel published by anybody, so quotidian, slipstream fiction, mundane science fiction, a metaphor for the U.S. War in Iraq, an experimental book, Nanny by Philip K. Dick, planned obsolesce, Philip K. Dick you never change.

A. Lincoln, Simulacrum by Philip K. Dick - illustration by Michael Hinge
A. Lincoln, Simulacrum by Philip K. Dick - illustration by Michael Hinge
A. Lincoln, Simulacrum by Philip K. Dick - illustration by Michael Hinge
A. Lincoln, Simulacrum by Philip K. Dick - illustration by Michael Hinge
Philip K. Dick's bathroom
Philip K. Dick's bathroom

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #411 – READALONG: The Chromium Fence by Philip K. Dick

March 6, 2017 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Podcasts 

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #411 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, Marissa, Maissa and Bryan Alexander discuss The Chromium Fence by Philip K. Dick

Talked about on today’s show:
Imagination, Stories Of Science Fiction and Fantasy, July 1955, his most obscure story, a great random story, everything he touches is chromium, the robot, metallic, on the fence, the commute disk, the invisible safety rail, flying carpets, reading the newspaper, he completed the load, beautiful writing,

EARTH TILTED toward six o’clock, the work-day almost over. Commute discs rose in dense swarms and billowed away from the industrial zone toward the surrounding residential rings. Like nocturnal moths, the thick clouds of discs darkened the evening sky. Silent, weightless, they whisked their passengers toward home and waiting families, hot meals and bed.

the ground, Detroit, ashes and cinders, this is the bus guys, Speech Sounds by Octavia Butler, a post apocalyptic story, Butler like Dick had to take the bus a lot, I like philosophy and music, he’s invented the strip mall, the counselor (charlie), do all the other stores have robots in them too?, weird touches, a boy and a girl making love, from the 1950s, he’s a sexual man, on point for everything happening right now, basically conapts, beauty of clunkiness,

Through the thin walls of the bright little dining room came the echoing clink of other families eating, other conversations in progress. The tinny blare of tv sets. The purr of stoves and freezers and air conditioners and wall-heaters.

you can really feel the world, the Philip K. Dick rhetorizer, the disgusting beauty of bodies, the bullshit idea, the brother in law,

Across from Walsh his brother-in-law Carl was gulping down a second plateful of steaming food.

and then:

It was true. Walsh gazed unhappily past his son, into the days that lay ahead. He saw himself involved in endless wretched situations like the one today; sometimes it would be Naturalists who attacked him, and other times (like last week) it would be enraged Purists.

being contrary, arguing both sides, the Horney amendment and the Butte petition, having your sweat glands removied, teeth whitened, no balding for you sir, we’re going underground, smaller portions, relating to this story after living in Hollywood, two kinds of people, half want to be dirty and bald and fat, oh no!, the B-Ark from The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, something of Socrates dying here, tearing up the get out of jail free card, cold beams, frozen and then reduced to basic mineral elements, thisis the kind of act they freeze you for, millions of cryo-units,

the analyst sat back and gave a low, soundless whistle. “That’s a felony, Don. They’ll freeze you for that; it’s a provision of the new Amendment.”

the robot psychologist, a suitcase called Dr. Smile, A. Lincoln, Simulacrum, horrible and awesome,

“Don,” it called heartily. “Come on in and sit down.”

He entered and wearily seated himself. “I thought maybe I could talk to you, Charley,” he said.

“Sure, Don.” The robot leaned forward to see the clock on its wide mahogany desk. “But, isn’t it dinner time?”

“Yes,” Walsh admitted. “I’m not hungry. Charley, you know what we were talking about last time… you remember what I was saying. You remember what’s been bothering me.”

“Sure, Don.” The robot settled back in its swivel chair, rested its almost-convincing elbows on the desk, and regarded its patient kindly. “How’s it been going, the last couple of days?”

“Not so good. Charley, I’ve go to do something. You can help me; you’re not biased.” He appealed to the quasi-human face of metal and plastic. “You can see this undistorted, Charley. How can I join one of the parties? All their slogans and propaganda, it seems so damn — silly. How the hell can I get excited about clean teeth and underarm odor? People kill each other over these trifles… it doesn’t make sense. There’s going to be suicidal civil war, if that Amendment passes, and I’m supposed to join one side or the other.”

Charley nodded. “I have the picture, Don.”

“Am I supposed to go out and knock some fellow over the head because he does or doesn’t smell? Some man I never saw before? I won’t do it. I refuse. Why can’t they let me alone? Why can’t I have my own opinions? Why do I have to get in on this — insanity?”

The analyst smiled tolerantly. “That’s a little harsh, Don. You’re out of phase with your society, you know. So the cultural climate and mores seem a trifle unconvincing to you. But this is your society; you have to live in it. You can’t withdraw.”

Walsh forced his hands to relax. “Here’s what I think. Any man who wants to smell should be allowed to smell. Any man who doesn’t want to smell should go and get his glands removed. What’s the matter with that?”

“Don, you’re avoiding the issue.” The robot’s voice was calm, dispassionate. “What you’re saying is that neither side is right. And that’s foolish, isn’t it? One side must be right.”

did we not hear this in 2016?, it was the news channels, Hey Don!, an intellectual virgin,

“I have a right to hold my own ideas.”

“No, Don,” the robot answered gently. “They’re not your ideas; you didn’t create them. You can’t turn them on and off when you feel like it. They operate through you… they’re conditionings deposited by your environment. What you believe is a reflection of certain social forces and pressures. In your case the two mutually-exclusive social trends have produced a sort of stalemate. You’re at war with yourself… you can’t decide which side to join because elements of both exist in you.” The robot nodded wisely. “But you’ve got to make a decision. You’ve got to resolve this conflict and act. You can’t remain a spectator… you’ve got to be a participant. Nobody can be a spectator to life… and this is life.”

at his own advice, this is life,

“You mean there’s no other world but this business about sweat and teeth and hair?”

the third option, prescient of his own fiction, that channel didn’t make any sense, wait a second she’s getting paid to say that!, the robot’s umblical, he controlling institutions of society (Fox News and MSNBC), so creepy, a freaky world, on the nose, about any two parties or topics, the life extension program, Chew-Z vs. Can-D, a reaction against consumerism,

“I wish they’d get it over with, once and for all,” Betty complained. “Was it always this way? I don’t remember always hearing about politics when I was a child.”

men uncomfortable in their bodies, the beautiful androids of Marissa’s neighborhood, an alien philosopher pig (Beyond Lies The Wub), flabby, a tuft of the rough hair, a tear rolled down the wub’s cheek and splashed on the floor, you’re fat!,

“They didn’t call it politics, back in those days. The industrialists hammered away at the people to buy and consume. It centered around this hair-sweat-teeth purity; the city people got it and developed an ideology around it.”

Betty set the table and brought in the dishes of food. “You mean the Purist political movement was deliberately started?”

“They didn’t realize what a hold it was getting on them. They didn’t know their children were growing up to take such things as underarm perspiration and white teeth and nice-looking hair as the most important things in the world. Things worth fighting and dying for. Things important enough to kill those who didn’t agree.”

“The Naturalists were country people?”

“People who lived outside the cities and weren’t conditioned by the stimuli.” Walsh shook his head irritably. “Incredible, that one man will kill another over trivialities. All through history men murdering each other over verbal nonsense, meaningless slogans instilled in them by somebody else — who sits back and benefits.”

big-endians and the little-endians, Babylon 5‘s Drazi, Green. Purple!, we all have this, eyebrow threading, every unit, a nail salon, a dental salon, a hair salon, the alcohol store, no bookstores, the dog’s cant smell bad either, waste excretion tubes, still suits Dune by Frank Herbert, Counter-Clock World, hairless future humans, transcending the body, hatred of the body, consciousness uploading, The Quiet American by Graham Greene, eating vitamin paste, so ridiculous, trying to sell this story, this is not a New Yorker story, a satire, Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift,

The police spread efficiently into the room. Standing around the immobile Carl, they examined him briefly, then moved away. “No body odor,” the police sergeant disagreed. “No halitosis. Hair thick and well-groomed.” He signalled, and Carl obediently opened his mouth. “Teeth white, totally brushed. Nothing non-acceptable. No, this man is all right.”

WWII, torchlight rallies, 1984, the Anti-Sex League, I’m proud of my smell, untenable, re-education, dying for the right to not care, bound up with belief, “red hair and beer-swollen features”, a plutonium ring, depleted uranium, a sissy kissing purist (turning us all into women), putting on make-up, why? why are we doing this to ourselves, Axe Body Spray, high-heels were invented for men in the 18th century French courts, you’re lucky we’re on the internet, on behalf of society, Code Red, billowing scent clouds, bread and coffee, a fun story to teach to kids, what is the illustration supposed to mean?, is it supposed to be symbolic?, two giant arms, nothing that happens in the story, low stakes, of our reality, mimics so much of what you’re seeing in the media, you lib-tard, you cuck, you’re thallamicly oriented, the animals vs. the lilies, that’s the rhetoric, you call this a peaceful protest, windows smashed, great damage done, Can a robot think for a man?, rejecting the robots advice, not caring, playing within the rules of the society, what people don’t like about Trump, you can’t say it that way, his political incorrectness is what people find offensive, in this story, in our reality, on the purist side, the sound of people chewing, don’t chew in her presence, last thoughts?, Douglas Adams and Kurt Vonnegut, snarky vs. full horror, Vonnegut starts with horror and then goes tricky, a double take, such a funny story, how easy it is to completely brainwash people,

Walsh waved gratefully. “Thanks,” he called up. “I appreciate that.”

“Not at all,” the gray-haired man answered, cheerfully examining a broken tooth. His voice dwindled, as the disc gained altitude. “Always glad to help out a fellow…” The final words came drifting to Walsh’s ears. “… A fellow Purist.”

“I’m not!” Walsh shouted futilely. “I’m not a Purist and I’m not a Naturalist! You hear me?”

a total Dick move, Beyond The Door, do you think it was suicide?, I didn’t mean that…, but nobody heard him,

“I’m not,” Walsh repeated monotonously, as he sat at the dinner table spooning up creamed corn, potatoes, and rib steak.

Philip K. Dick food, what side is the mother on?, you can’t vote, a card carrying boot-stamping member, the left handed party and the right handed party, star-bellied Sneetches, Star Trek, endlessly fighting for all eternity.

The Chromium Fence by Philip K. Dick - pg. 86

The Chromium Fence by Philip K. Dick - illustration

Posted by Jesse Willis

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