The SFFaudio Podcast #653 – READALONG: Roadwork by Stephen King

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #653 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, Evan Lampe, Mr Jim Moon, and Connor Kaye talk about Roadwork by Stephen King (writing as Richard Bachman)

Talked about on today’s show:
1981, 1977 was a difficult year for King, quotidian, repertoire, daily or ordinary, where he goes to the gun store, blow up your house like everyone does, contemporary fiction, talking to his dead son, contemporary drama, first Bachman, a decent amount of King, that mode of King, psychological drama, internal psychological state, King novels that are classified as horror than are totally mundane, Night Shift, serial killers, mob bosses, marginal aspects of society, somewhere in the horror genre, Henry James, mimetic fiction, Philip K. Dick’s non-SF work, a confessional, grapples with sanity, Kafka, Polanski’s Repulsion (1965), Graham Greene novels, Taxi Driver (1976) is a social horror movie, running with it, a destination, putting himself on that path, he couldn’t tell us, no good reason, the Why Bachman essay, share the art with people, a weird way of approaching things, The Running Man, Rage, self-banning, Seuss self-banning, utterly banable, more common, death by cop, suicide by cop, SWATing people, the van at the end, things have progresses or degenerated or gone down the road, an existential novel, a rare sub-genre, A Man In Full by Tom Wolfe, like he did mushrooms, reexamining his life, crash the midlife crisis book, Fools Die by Mario Puzo, an overlay of magic, Las Vegas, meeting a girl, having a friend, smoking cigarettes, I am the master of magic, Falling Down (1993), so many things that are the same, he attacks the road, Nazi paraphernalia, just trying to get home, roadwork ahead, walking across Los Angeles, a very American sort of story, gang members, his mother in law, his wife and his kid, Robert Duvall is the police officer with his last day on the job, the major takeaway, fired from his “D-Fens” job, building missiles for the United States, the Korean shop owner, how much money the United States has given to Korea?, a black comedy, the same ending, the reason the road is being made, the government needs to spend the money or it doesn’t have it next year, Soviet Russia, the enemy is capitalism and existential angst, you know why he did what he did, King makes it incredibly plain, he fucked up, he thought if he follows the American dream everything would be good, a tumor the size of a walnut, his life is a miscarriage, his life is an abortion, this anguish, the terror of our own freedom, the burden of freedom, a space for freedom, Camus and The Stranger, he finds freedom, Connor’s interpretation, his inability to adapt to changing circumstances, suburban angst, this mentality, a breakdown, feeling the same way, dissatisfied with their own life, things were better before, spilled the beans, things used to be so much better, he’s a MAGA, he’s not alone, now I understand why school shootings happen, literally what happens, you shot my brother, the cigarettes, cancer sticks, the other cancer in this book, the cancer of him and television, television is under assault, he smashes the TV, the core of the love relationship of their life, working together in a marriage, the glue that holds him together, afternoon soap operas, Merv Griffin, the mediator of this family, Jesse’s mom thought TV is evil, all advertising is evil, the news is all propaganda, all cops shows are propaganda, reality is much more complex, sitting down and watching TV is not the solution to any problem you can possibly imagine, watching TV alone is really sad, a pixie girl, manic dream pixie girl, she’s on her own life course, the junior laundry guy, don’t go down this path its a trap, ask me how I know, she wants to watch Star Trek, it isn’t just Wagon Train to the stars, Lorne Greene advertising his new cop show, read a Ray Bradbury novel (or short story), its addictive and dangerous, the lowest point of the book is masturbating in front of the TV watching Merv Griffin and eating a TV dinner, The Mangler, Lovecraft’s the Cthulhu mythos, an industrial laundry, his first adult protagonist, The Long Walk, The Running Man, when King’s mother died (mid twenties), the folly of youth, a 20 year old getting into the mind of a middle age, weird books, mimetic fiction, Tom Clancy, what is the Soviet version of this book?, at the core and the target, I will advance in this career at this industrial laundry, his former boss, paying back the loan, this is why when the laundry is going to be taken apart, the overboss, I’m disappointed in you Dawes, chances of advancement, a decimal place on the spreadsheet, he’s the only one who can see reality for what it is in this book, the gangster, the dork and the fruitcake, what a doofus, why do I like a guy who I can’t understand, comes around to his point of view, the gas crisis, why am I listening to this again?, Ezra Kline interviewed Ted Chiang, the questions were bad, a good definition of why fantasy and science fiction from each other, science fiction has the potential to not be a metaphor, Kim Stanley Robinson, it isn’t some spiritual revision, terraforming mars, red skinned aliens on Mars, here we have a character in an existential crisis, there was an energy crisis, the car lot, he can sell the Vegas but no the Cadillac, rationing, being a trained dog, the Vietnam War, more roads for more cars, a stimulus, its infrastructure, this is what we’re going to do and this is a good thing, sometimes correct, incorrect for individuals, his house, his business, his marriage are being demolished, the bitch the gangster talks about, very instinctually awesome, what is Paul talking about, the same headspace, the school shooter kid, fuck you I’m not doing what you’re saying, Network (1976), the location of this book, stagflation, the boom of the New Deal flattened into a blah, a malaise, investment properties, cars in the garage, new TVs, October 1973 – January 1974, when Philip K. Dick reviews his own novel, some terrible author has planned out my life and put me on this path and fuck him, he was in the Poe society, William Wilson by Edgar Allan Poe, The Outsider, Harlan Ellison, I want you to punch that Ticktock man, Logan’s Run (1976), late for lunch, The Roads Must Roll, a fictional city?, on the way to Chicago, Ohio or Indiana, the hitchhiker, so many themes or motifs, the electricity costs, at the end of the line, deliberate fuck yous, a 2021 novel, running around without a mask, coughing on people, his anger is not at human beings, a very Catholic book, he digs Catholic, all those lots, Methodist, fallen priests, the street preacher, Salem’s Lot, Wolves Of The Calla, goes to work with the poor directly, the society lady’s party, girls have to stick their dicks in people’s mouths, horror stories, new years eve parties, trying to heal the world, reins of power, fuck this shit, an excuse not to kill yourself, your body is going to rot, I can’t lie to you, he tries not to lie to people, this type of character is very very common, the original paperback cover, he’s the cop, the competent one there, he’s not competent at all, trying to find meaning, on a bunch of dangerous and bad paths, he inconvenienced some people, Jack Daniels, reinforce the point that he’s making, even the wife seems better off without him, the gangster gives him the green light is a more honest character, outside the system, that turning point, a shift between ordinary run business vs. the corporate system, the perfect artificial life form that’s alien, Charles Stross, Ted Chiang’s not worried about AI, self-interested individuals, people didn’t used to be as self-interested, looking at the bigger picture, looking long-term, a big amoeba, an alien life form, mindless fashion, a shift from direction, family, mindless, not run by anybody, a big audiobook guy, before Audible was a thing, Music For Pleasure -> Listen For Pleasure -> Durkin Hayes -> DH Audio -> out of business, paperback audio, to generate more money so you can expand, build an new warehouse, terrible mistakes, content Jesse couldn’t sell, out of the hands of a person, buying up whole categories and genres of titles, this happens again and again, nobody loves laundry, loving clean sheets, the hotel sheets, the restaurants, on time and clean, the technical reasons, too far away, the efficiencies, the gains in efficiencies, it was his family, that boss took an interest in him, cared about him, the cop is retiring, his daughter died of SIDS, daughter themes, I never liked you, the retiring Robert Duvall never swears, a corporate climber, a formal relationship, they don’t want a hassle, here’s your coffee, he wants them to admit it, they’re gaslighting him and everyone, this capitalist horror system they’ve somehow fallen into is bullshit, I just want to know do you really care, ultimately no I don’t care, when you get cancer and you go to the doctor, are you really sorry or is this what you do everyday, have a good day, wow, painful, invested heavily in the American Dream, now there’s stagflation and the dividends are not paying, the most American writer: Robert A. Heinlein, Stephen King gives him a good run for his money, the nitty gritty of characters and experiences, very subtle, if he wasn’t such a popular author he’d be the darling of scholars, masterfully done, all instinctual, a bit of a slog, how masterful King is with the internal dialogue, it continues to move, day to day, a forward momentum, a doomclock, the Tuesday afternoon that never ends, an acceleration towards the end, Paul started feeling better, just the audio, the text -22 and counting, D-Day, it’s coming, little details that fill in the questions, that party, his friend who has the party, nice language about tripping on his mouth, d r o p, why did he take that drug?, those trips are designed to break you out of whatever rut you’re in, it didn’t work, or maybe it did work, really worried about suicide, he’s lying to himself, this alternative life for him, almost like the cancer is in him, he’s got a compulsion, he’s on this track, a path of self-destruction, don’t take the mescaline, get yourself back on track, compulsively and unconsciously taking decisions, you’d be a really good bowler, he didn’t need to watch more TV, it told him lies, nobody else is obsessed with TV, a Kingism, reading everything, he reads people’s cigarettes, branding, obsession, N, more obsessed with brand names, TV is sucked, The Glass Teat, reading Harlan Ellison when you’re 14, an eyeopener, pardon Paul’s language, the Dickhead’s show on Galactic Pot-Healer, dudes getting a book, appreciating a book the right way is a kind of a tragedy, writers could almost make livings, all writers, Langhorn J. Tweed, Paul knows a lot of them, some of them are rich and live off of investment properties, the rare exception, writing TV shows and making perfectly great livings, the actual novel and short story writing people can’t make a living from writing, a book that wasn’t written, he’s this weirdo writer, somehow able to do the thing people were able to do in the past, a professional writer, doing something of value, a kind of despair that most Americans and most people under capitalist, Mr Jim Moon’s patreon support, something outside, a lot worse off Mr Jim Moon?, Skeleton Crew’s introduction, why’d you bother with short stories, Steve?, you’re a clockwork monkey, he wanted people to read the books, good job I didn’t kill anybody, you’re interested, it gives value meaning satisfaction, for the love of sharing things, once you’re forced to make it your main profession, I need to make enough money to survive for the next month, market research, you don’t need to read Heinlein, making something that’s marketable, a compulsion, the opposite of a recipe, an intersection there, the realpolitik of having to pay the electric bill, what will my agent and publisher accept?, tricky things, the expansion of the number of books being published, publisher merging, consolidating, self-published stuff, a lot of content, underneath it all you’re a sharecropper for Bezos, the mediums, The Exorcist, barfs all over the place, and the priest can’t help, the meta on this book is really amazing, no forums, newspaper, radio, TV, record players, book store, today we have, what are Jesse’s students doing?, League Of Legends, free games, streaming, an increasingly smaller medium, people still like horses, people needed to know about horse shit, short stories are incredibly fringes, poetry journals, YouTube and Twitch content, this angst has been transferred to other places, podcasts are still on an upward arc, novels are on the decline now, short stories peaked in the 1950s and are on the steady decline, novels are on the decline, has broadcast TV gotten better or worse?, we’re in a something else, the media people consumed, magazines are almost gone, podcasts producing classic literature, we’re never going to give up on stories, he’s producing enough, original fiction, audio dramas in podcasting, carpetbaggers moving into podcasts, how do I make money off of this, inventing podcast dramas, there’s nobody to check their claims, the media now work for the giant corporations/the government, all a conspiracy to extract value, they sell it to you in lies, everything will be fine, he likes his suburban home, wonderful, horrible, struggling with reality, he got bought out, this terrible loss of his child, continuing in stasis, he can’t move on, what he’s stuck with, while he’s been grieving, who is this guy he’s talking about, is he schizophrenic?, middle names, such easy flow, well that was a clunky sentence, Kingisms, literary style, a slightly different Bachman style, repeat phrases, song lyrics, Fred and George, TV characters, repartee, dialogue with each other, internal development or decline, these same touchstones, the same song, or brand, or characters, tons of reviews of Stephen King stuff in the booktube environment, 6 minutes on this book, books that should have been Bachman books, Revival by Stephen King, Blaze by Stephen King, namedropping Lovecraft and Machen, fifth business, carnies, the trope of the mad scientist, made it totally realistic and totally believable, a mad scientist novel, Cujo, makes you feel dirty, split authors, Seanan McGuire, Mira Grant, A. Deborah Baker, branding, in the introduction, never lying, why Rage was out of print, not worried about being canceled, not having it on his conscience, suicide by cop people, the power of TV and media to influence people, a New York Times podcast, true crime podcasts, true crime/journalism podcasts, Derek Chauvin trial, make money off the gruesome interest, The Caliphate Podcast, all lies, the OJ Simpson trial, seven dancing its, Lorne Greene’s new cop show, random thoughts, he’s being shaped by what he sees, flipping scene, a suicide scene, in 100 years, an academia we won’t understand, blockchain version of academia, blockchain degrees, Jesse is a heretic, how good King was at doing this thing, the psychological underpinnings, tapping into something that’s real, accurate, Paul feels called out, always on about going down to Mexico and shooting zebra, a good time, that place in Mexico, stocked, a planned experience, a simulation, how much time we spend in games, drugstores in the 1970s, a spinner rack full of thin novels, you can’t review this with stars, I give it 6.7 out of ten, how could it have been a better book about killing yourself?, needed more cops killed?, he’s not really that immoral, barely a crime book, needs to be done, he detonated it himself at the end, he wanted to blow it all up, if he had nukes, this explains a lot of people, that guy in New Orleans, 2020 Nashville bombing, Oklahoma City Bombing, Anthony Quinn, a copy of Bachman’s novel?, 9/11 conspiracy, a conspiracy by the government?, the moon landing conspiracy theory, reptilian conspiracy theory, ufo conspiracy theories, reptoids, Atlantis, L.A. tunnels, The Shadow Kingdom by Robert E. Howard, weird and weird fiction, its a metaphor, why it has power, the dragons of ancient european mythology, he’s stealing our girls, he won’t share, redistribute the wealth, Jack Of Shadows by Roger Zelazny, mentioned in Appendix N by Jeffro Johnson, Beowulf scripted by Neil Gaiman, hyperbole, management makes things seem fake, a McDonalds equivalent, his whopper, this is supposed to look like that, food commercials, they have to use real food, mashed potatoes in place of ice cream, its all fake, everything is an illusion, there is no such thing is death, if Stephen King wasn’t so good at writing he might have blown something up, he didn’t kill anyone, its wrong to kill people, we gotta be real here, people reacting against being lied to and gaslit, another case, the Killdozer case, Theodore Sturgeon, he built a bulletproof killdozer, Marvin Heemeyer, Kentucky is for school shootings and Colorado is for rampages, I think God will bless me, notes found by investigators, zoning grudges, sometimes reasonable men must do unreasonable things, found in an altar, he’s tapped into something real, smoke from a campfire at all hours, they don’t want to escalate it, he’s got a brain injury, live and let live, people can be scary, muddle through somehow, he wouldn’t sell, why does everyone think he doesn’t move?, his castle, the castle doctrine, this is your life, to move an older person is traumatic, stairs or access or neglect, a mental trauma, we’re not just physical stuff, the rational thing to do, its gotta be done, there is no person there, “mistakes were made”, who made those mistakes?, The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy by Douglas Adams, the problems in the seventies was the government was interested in infrastructure, something we don’t hear as much about, eminent domain, the most obvious example of not letting people be, they want to bulldoze his life, his network of friends family neighbours, definitely Network, 6 killdozers out of 10.

Roadwork by Stephen King

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Reading, Short And Deep #298 – From The Tomb by Guy de Maupassant

Podcast

Reading, Short And DeepReading, Short And Deep #298

Eric S. Rabkin and Jesse Willis discuss From The Tomb by Guy de Maupassant

Here’s a link to a PDF of the story.

From The Tomb was first published in Le Gaulois, July 14, 1884

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

Posted by Scott D. Danielson Become a Patron!

The SFFaudio Podcast #652 – READALONG: Farmer In The Sky by Robert A. Heinlein

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #622 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, Maissa Bessada, Evan Lampe, and Trish E. Matson talk about Farmer In The Sky by Robert A. Heinlein

Talked about on today’s show:
1950!, serialized in Boys’ Life, August – November 1950, its about farming, Ganymede, there’s no bad guys, there’s no conflict, no villians, boy against nature, father son conflict, annoyed at the annoying people, takers and bureaucrats, less bureaucracy hate than usual, a little lecture, the senator got him in, ultimately they will fail in life, the evolution in action argument, who is financing all of this, self-financing, the meta-economic stuff, Tunnel In The Sky, a Star Trek episode, boy and girl scouts, girls do something, Patty was a hard ass bitch vs. Patty was competent, Mrs. Schultz, in the domestic sphere, a big surprise, he chooses not to go to school, subversive, very unHeinlein, so scouty, we’re improving, were becoming disciplined, were footsoldiers for empire, a number of surprises, the twins are going to go to Earth to go to school, the Turner thesis, the frontier, why school is not necessary, so much about scouting, when the frontier was already closed, middle class, progressive, urban America, the Baden Powell scouts, the Boer War, you get to shoot at people, what little boys want to do, go out in the woods and hit things, a special two finger salute, listen to the older boys, Brownies leveled up to Girl Scouts, that Euro American tension, the Malthusian logic, pressures back on Earth, building colonies, like America up to the end of the 19th century, the progressive era, Jeffersonians, the Louisiana Purchase, Lions Clubs, Kiwanis, Elks, civic organizations, Paul was born and raised in New York City, I get to wear a belt with a pouch on it!, you have to buy your own uniform, you buy those badges?, you have to earn them and then you have to buy them, I need comics, swear allegiance to the queen, the motto or slogan, god and country, scout rallies, jamborees, an organization what was quasi-paramilitary, get involved in the community, the cadets, air cadets, sea cadets, ROTC, being a grunt digging ditches and burning latrine shit, a career resume, how to become elites, gliding in gliders, pushing people into a system of rank and authority, this is a scam, how did Evan get out of this cult?, I’m going to get my merit badges, coincidence, making our hero a hero, when the meteorite hits the spaceship, alien artifacts on Ganymede, a pro-Scout perspective, he’s lost so much, Peggy has been lost, he’s gonna get Gretchen, bothered by poor Peggy, poor Poddy, killing off the girls, somebody needs to be refrigerated, Paul, replaced with twin boys, they literally do Scouting, field patrols, some doofus on a tractor, they help old ladies across the road, can-do, he wore his uniform against his skin, his bones are in the scouts, appendicitis, be interactive in the world, pull out your whistle, what those merit badges are for, start fires when your plane crashes in the middle of the woods, exemplifying the Boy Scout mentality, go back to the meetings, very American foreigners, the Japanese Scout, Douglas MacArthur Okajima, a Russian kid, the German family next door, the triumph of the American future, a super-dystopia on Earth, this apartment didn’t have any windows, burning the dinner plates, a bad PKD future, Evan was triggered by Malthusian Earth, the Population Bomb, that horrible Star Trek episode, worked for China, too many people, 55 million Californians vs. 39.5 million, the stores have food, wrong about all sorts of stuff, the only version of birth control humanity will ever have is wars, Heinleinian old men characters, one of them is growing a beard, you did your calculations all off screen bud, what drives Jesse up the wall about Heinlein, how often an alignment of Jupiter’s moons, just because it was cool?, a Ganymede quake, Mars and Venus in alignment, earthquakes and tidal waves, astrological implications, what’s missing from this colony is religion, no churches, for a frontier society it is a giant lack, the good salt of the earth colonists, deliberate, they bring it into the war, if the colonists did it on purpose…, nobody else is talking about it, a deliberate oversight (choice), respecting silly traditions, that’s just how people are, they’re all scouts together, that’s their religion, Golgotha, he gets the tractor and smashes Golgotha, Armageddon, the only tree on the planet is an apple tree, and they chop it down and burn it, The Most Beautiful Tree On Ganymede, we did not bring weeds, a lot of things to like, ecology, we know what we’re doing, rabbits, dumb it down, weeds are anything don’t want, marijuana on Ganymede, impressively self confident, got rid of lockjaw, how agriculture is these days, GMO seeds, a broader issue, if you don’t know why you need clover, the scene on Ganymede vs. the scene on Earth, an immigrant lens, the space border, the boys dorm, endless food, food porn, a couple of hints, another very boy scouts sort of scene, captain’s mast, Star Trek Voyager, Tuvok gets promoted, Paris gets demoted, 30 days in solitary confinement, the federation is a nightmare, all of the food was not treebourne, ground food, strawberries, hand pollinate, their bees cant fly,

Listen to this: For breakfast we had corn cakes with syrup and real butter, little sausages, real ham, strawberries with cream so thick I didn’t know what it was, tea, all the milk you could drink, tomato juice, honey-dew melon, eggs—as many eggs as you wanted.

There was an open sugar bowl, too, but the salt shaker had a little sign on it; DON’T WASTE THE SALT.

There wasn’t any coffee, which I wouldn’t have noticed if George had not asked for it. There were other things missing, too, although I certainly didn’t notice it at the time. No tree fruits, for example—no apples, no pears, no oranges. But who cares when you can get strawberries and watermelon and pineapples and such? There were no tree nuts, too, but there were peanuts to burn.

Anything made out of wheat flour was a luxury, but you don’t miss it at first.

Lunch was choice of corn chowder or jellied consomme, cheese souffle, fried chicken, corned beef and cabbage, hominy grits with syrup, egg plant au gratin, little pearl onions scalloped with cucumbers, baked stuffed tomatoes, sweet potato surprise, German-fried Irish potatoes, tossed endive, coleslaw with sour cream, pineapple and cottage cheese with lettuce. Then there was peppermint ice cream, angel berry pie, frozen egg nog, raspberry ice, and three kinds of pudding—but I didn’t do too well on the desserts. I had tried to try everything, taking a little of this and a dab of that, and by the time desserts came along I was short on space. I guess I ate too much.

so good at it,

The first supper was mushroom soup, baked ham, roast turkey, hot corn bread with butter, jellied cold meats, creamed asparagus, mashed potatoes and giblet gravy, spinach with hard boiled egg and grated cheese, corn pudding, creamed peas and carrots, smothered lettuce and three kinds of salad. Then there was frozen custard and raisin pudding with hard sauce and Malaga and Thompson grapes and more strawberries with powdered sugar.

Besides that you could drop around to the kitchen and get a snack any time you felt like it.

lumberjack food, tilling the fields, planetary disaster, on a scale that’s hard to replicate, rain and snow, sublimation, Fritz Leiber’s A Pail Of Air, the bowels of a skyscraper, endless layers of blankets, an amazing story, if you’re Pluto, Titan’s atmosphere, liquid methane or nitrogen lakes, from its semi-terraformed state to its original state, -70 fahrenheit to -20 fahrenheit, this is an awesome book, the tacked on ending (was good!), the whole sister killing thing, the father – son conflict, Anne and George, call me Bill, a modern civilization thing?, he calls him Dad to us, he addresses him as George, a formal relationship, never?, you knew her name but you never used it, if you want to make a point, just mom and dad, almost never, running a business, focuses the relationship with the customer, its about power, you get a name before your parents get name, if certain circumstances apply, maturity and growing up, being a caregiver to your parents, asserting power, he’s right a lot, his dad is an incompetent cook, wasting rations, he lapses, growing up with depression era parents or grandparents, the household books, little Billy’s bike got a puncture, everything gets recycled, you scrape that bowl to the bottom, money doesn’t grow on trees, I just want to have an allowance like all my friends, that Golgotha rock, the same thing happens to his uniform, the rubber pillow, it was all rags, he cut off all the badges but he threw away the uniform, a home-made patch, imagining a sash, symbolically interesting, his merit badge exams, a maturing metaphor, the Soviet WWII veterans for VE day, so many badges they have to put it on both sides of their chests, grade inflation, give em another badge, I’m subverting the boy scouts, man, you can just be a farmer, Evan Lampe needs to do a Heinlein readthrough as a podcast, themes and hobby horses, like Philip K. Dick and H.P. Lovecraft, Between Planets, who your audience is, older and later?, Blue Book Magazine, not the onlt thing he wrote for Boys’ Life, Tramp Space Ship, the literal inspiration for Tribbles, Flat Cats, Space Family Stone, The Rolling Stones, a space opera radio drama, a used space ship, industrious children, Europa is next, Pigs Is Pigs by Ellis Parker Butler [not O. Henry], an unlimited amount of guinea pigs, hence the tribbles, Tenderfoot In Space is set on Venus, Tenderfoot -> Eagle Scout, you can wield a hatchet without killing anyone, the new scout handbook, all girls troops in the BSA, not a merger, trans scouts of America, atheist scouts, a list of things scouts need to be, you cant be reverent if you’re irreverent, a vocal atheist, tiger cubs (kindergarten), early indoctrination, Red Dawn (1984) is a very Heinleiny movie, strong women still subservient to the men, no line marriages, the Mongols, Cubans parachuting in to Colorado, the Nicaraguans and the Cubans take over the United States, they can camp all weekend, you’re never gonna catch my sons, out there in the woods and they are Eagle Scouts, a weird analogy for Afghanistan, the North Koreans invaded the United States, for movieland reasons, an Australian remake of Red Dawn [Tomorrow, When The War Began (2010)], we people of the hardscrabble lands know how to take are of ourselves, obedience to authority, love of country and love of the countryside, faking the homeless experience, the war experience, a lot of marching, a line of guys walking into the forest, WWII was a lot like being homeless, but with hot food, without the political an historical context, looking through the catalogue, there was something wrong about it from the beginning, there’s no boy scout tax, pre-pandemic, cadets standing in uniform outside of grocery stores, food banking, bottle drives, trying to sell oil change certificates, child labour sucks, rich families buy all the girl scout, cookies, a troop of boy scouts in the girl scouts, its not fair, when she’s selling cookies, book points, government bureaucracy, pioneers need good neighbours vs. absolute self-reliance, specialization is for insects, no good waiting for the government to provide soil, his straw man, Noisy, he never gets his revenge, kids today don’t understand violence [says old man Jesse], getting over it vs. turning the other cheek, Hank was the bad guy, go over the speed limit and lie about it, he eventually is the ally, go and hang out with the captain, Heinlein is so good, the same kid, they do the same things, tons of pets, i can’t give you my fish, the horse in Between Planets, the girls are irrational, our hero Billy or William is oblivious to girls, more oblivious, put them in a bag, is he wrong?, girls and boys should be put in a bag, the German household next door, the family stuff, George drops it, Bill pouts until he gets his way, George drops it again, Bill pouts again, leave his son behind, people are not one thing no matter what you are, bad at communication, Ann and George, Have Space Suit—Will Travel, no cupboards, our kind of food, processed food, the bounty planet, living formally, good characterization, so neat with some of his straw men, the dad was so intent on Bill going to school, get everything he could out of Earth, be a professor like his dad, the step-relationship, so many separations, until she is refrigerated, how much happens, how good the writing is, skillfully done, entertaining and interesting, for novels Jesse likes Heinlein best, somebody online said it was a bad book [correction: Joachim Boaz said it was a “blah” book], really good philosophy stuff, the crystals, he can’t see what’s in the cave, it seems to have legs, 38 legs, tractor?, spaceship hangar, the world is open, really really good, top notch, atmosphere plant, our slow space program, the Voyager probes, the ruined planet is the asteroid belt, a petty hobby horse, regular intervals of planets and then this missing one, its a mystery, one more point of science, back to back to back, 40 novels tons of short stories, in Requiem, Tenderfoot In Space, is there a more American author than Heinlein?, Hemingway is international, Mark Twain, Hemingway is cosmopolitanism, the soil of Missouri, a fetish for Joan of Arc, James Fennimore Cooper, the modern stuff, a fetish for the new, H.P. Podcraft’s episodes on Voltaire’s Candide, hilarious all the way through, not a commercial product in the same way as a lot of stuff, Evan’s restrictions, a leading candidate, mainstream writers, Steinbeck, Heinlein’s speaking to a lot of issues those guys don’t do, the power plants, atomic power, an atmosphere shield, fusion? the radiation level on Ganymede is too high for humans, a little handwavy, Rocket Ship Galileo, there’s Nazis on the Moon!, sub-Antarctic French islands, Space Nazis!, fight the Nazis on the fucking moon!, the frontier and the sea, following where the text take him, libertarianism, in some respects it is gross, Reason TV, a mock libertarian PBS, approx 70%, Fraggles: “you have right to put anything in your body”, SOCIALISM!, free speech, associating with neighbours, hospitalizations, there’s no mention of pay, the community pays, the barn raising, a cooperative nature, cooperative clans, I was promised X, Y, and Z, I refuse to do work, we will feed your family, you can go eat rocks, he’s an adult he can fend for himself, personal responsibility to stop the drug war in Central and South America, straw men characters, given we have to deal with people, reason with them, the alternative is violence or shunning or deporting or locking them up, excessive, he broke the prime directive, this water planet was being ruined by their own environmental policies, solitary for 30 days!, Pen Pals, the Prime Directive loophole, lots of people on Voyager who have no rank, she takes orders from Harry Kim, the Doctor doesn’t have a rank, Neelix doesn’t have a rank, Kes didn’t have a rank, not passengers, Maquis badges, helpful for us as viewers, who are you new actor of the week?, Chakotay’s side, we’ve transitioned out of this episode, some good episodes of Enterprise, stupid decisions, a country and western theme instead of some horns?, a whole bunch of mistakes, savoring Voyager, Red Letter Media on Star Trek The Next Generation, The Naked Now, Darmok, The Inner Light, ideas, they’d have to make it way stupider, the value of boy scouts, commanding voice, be prepared, punch that little kid in the face several times, the environmental disaster, a novel structure, how the gravity works, gravity plates, the gravity plates never turn off, TV is not smart enough to handle what Heinlein’s putting down, Red Planet, a case for a kissing book, Take Back Your Government, The Cat Who Walks Through Walls, Tunnel In The Sky, Star Beast, Job: A Comedy Of Justice, Sixth Column, Anarchaos by Donald E. Westlake, The Puppet Masters, Beyond This Horizon, The King Of The Mazy May by Jack London, Nothing Ever Happens On The Moon, The Rolling Stones, Roadwork by Richard Bachman, Gullivar Of Mars.

Boys' Life August to November 1950 - Satellite Scout by Robert A. Heinlein

Boys' Life August to November 1950 - Satellite Scout by Robert A. Heinlein

Boys' Life August to November 1950 - Satellite Scout by Robert A. Heinlein

Boys' Life August to November 1950 - Satellite Scout by Robert A. Heinlein

Boys' Life August to November 1950 - Satellite Scout by Robert A. Heinlein

Boys' Life August to November 1950 - Satellite Scout by Robert A. Heinlein

Boys' Life August to November 1950 - Satellite Scout by Robert A. Heinlein

Boys' Life August to November 1950 - Satellite Scout by Robert A. Heinlein

Boys' Life August to November 1950 - Satellite Scout by Robert A. Heinlein

Boys' Life August to November 1950 - Satellite Scout by Robert A. Heinlein

Farmer In The Sky by Robert A. Heinlein

FARMER IN THE SKY by Robert A. Heinlein

Danny Flynn cover art for FARMER IN THE SKY by Robert A. Heinlein

Posted by Jesse WillisBecome a Patron!

Reading, Short And Deep #297 – Time Enough At Last by Lyn Venable

Podcast

Reading, Short And DeepReading, Short And Deep #297

Eric S. Rabkin and Jesse Willis discuss Time Enough At Last by Lyn Venable

Here’s a link to a PDF of the story.

Time Enough At Last was first published in IF Worlds Of Science Fiction, January 1953

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

Posted by Scott D. Danielson Become a Patron!

The SFFaudio Podcast #651 – READALONG: Appendix N: The Literary History Of Dungeons & Dragons by Jeffro Johnson

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #651 – Jesse and Alex talk about Appendix N: The Literary History Of Dungeons & Dragons by Jeffro Johnson

Talked about on today’s:
Brandon Porter, complaints about the audiobook, missing footnotes, appendixes C and D, Dungeon Master’s Guide, 1979, page 224, who the hell are these guys, there’s Tolkien, John , Andrew J. Offutt, Fltcher Pratt, Face In The Frost, The House With A Clock In Its Walls, reading ideas, Paul Weimer, opposed to Castalia House, John C. Wright, chips on both guys shoulders, misplaced chips, not wanting to participate in some books, Jenny Colvin, Reading Envy, Oryx And Crake, too stuck up, complaining the whole time, authors we want nothing to do with, oh you’re a genius Margaret!, Jesse hates her, a book of book reviews, a Christian, Margaret St. Clair, “milieu”, halberd, when you learn things from books, as a professional narrator, names in fantasy books, not having pronunciation in mind, apostrophes, Tolkienesque words, all the role playing games, Gamma World, Traveler, Pathfinder, The Call Of Cthulhu, Car Wars, GURPS, the core rule books, modules, more time reading the books than playing the game, his thesis, Dungeons & Dragons isn’t just Tolkien and it was never meant to be, fundamentally misunderstand the game, how clerics show up, Galadriel with cup of healing water, organized religion was missing from Middle Earth, the Hobbits don’t go to church, Denethor, heathen kings of old, worshiping, he’s a dictator, one of many inspirations, quotes, the Conan section, pastiches, Gary Gygax, the original Howard Conan wasn’t available to Gygax, people kown Conan, most people’s views of Lovecraft are just wrong, The Shadow People by Margaret St. Clair and The Sign Of The Labrys, inspiration, my love my father showed when I was a tad, cloaked old men who could grant wishes, dauntless swordsman, E.C. Comics, the Satanic Panic, juvenile delinquents, ample helpings of fantasy, Andrew Lang, the Brothers Grimm, of particular inspiration, pluck kernels, good reading!, DeCamp, Pratt, Jack Vance, A. Merritt, these will help you make your gaming better, the original AD&D, a collaborative storytelling effort, dice rolling and stats, min-max munchkin play, you have to have read a bunch of stories, things you should be building on, the players limitations make the gaming less good than it could be, most of these books were on the shelf in the 1970s and 1980s, Jack Williamson, publishing, the changing media, talking about movies and TV shows and computer games, pop culture is POPULAR, Stranger Things, True Detective, True Crime, locking a kid in the closet with no books, D&D has become its own incestuous thing, Forgotten Realms, wide open fantasy sandbox, engines to make other games, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, Pool Of Radiance, Pool Of Darkness, Wizardry (on the Apple II), Fallout 3, step out into the wasteland, dependent on a really good Dungeon Master, adventures around every corner, the dialogue tree comes out, I wanna save this farmer, I wanna steal the farmer’s pants, the immaturity of the players, DMing is a skill, like Frisbee, cooperative, THACO, Star Trek Voyager, Naomi Wildman, a kid’s adventure holodeck program, nerfed, magical forest, Neelix, the creatures of the forest recognize Janeway, the ideal form of Dungeons & Dragons, your inventory, torch schedule, Darkest Dungeon, you have enough torches, the rope store, Fallout‘s inventory system, the creativity and the flow, how do we let our players have that same kind of adventure, domain play, tier 1 play, a town or country you kind of run, spouses and retainers, a bigger magic sword, New Vegas, post apocalyptic, stories around every corner, bottlecap currency, what we want is the story, whatever mechanics are there, leveling up, new spells new attacks more attacks, achievement unlocked, a real scholar now, awards, you’re a real boy now, army promotions, Eisenhauer is needed, a false understanding of what we’re here to do, the sense of awe, the first time playing Dungeon & Dragons, lead figures, carrying about what colour dice they have, getting a glimpse of Tsathoggua through a keyhole, console games, computer games, like reading a really good book but completely different, I killed a demon, I am a demon, a more advanced version of cops and robbers, go down to the basement, these dice say I hit you for double damage, FPS, all shooting games, Portal, it breaks what you thought was possible, The Long Dark, making mittens, zen meditative, achieving balance, murder hobos, wilderness adventure, one dungeon, not a lot of dragons, two dragons in twenty years, what we need to do as dungeon masters, what players need to do as players, can I stab this or set it on fire, a character with massive charisma, make friends with the monsters, combat oriented, the epic moments, inter-dimensional travel, you can become a god, Leah Libresco [Back Again From The Broken Land], intelligence, wisdom, strength, in real life, we don’t have the player character sheet at all, keep it under the hood, extra speech options, you are less involved, do you even lift, bro?, a suit of armor because suit of armor, Age Of Conan, I got a dagger, a fur diaper, and maybe some boots, a flagon of wine and a girl, World Of Warcraft, mount armor, change the world, Knights Of The Old Republic, Elder Scrolls: Oblivion, guilds, all these titles, oh you wanted to buy bread?, the game doesn’t care, when games are capable of caring, an anti-perk: gravedigger, the orc said: I know you of old…, The Many Colored Land by Julian May, a one way gate to the Pliocene, exporting criminals to the past, giant toadstool forests, megafauna, visiting aliens with psychic powers, almost all based on Julian May’s interest in geology and history, the Wild Hunt, accommodateable, straight sci-fi, all through the lens of Tolkien, Greyhawk and Dragonlance, Krynn, kinder instead of hobbits, dragon people, Vancian magic, you don’t understand the building blocks, to have the internet back then, so much is public domain, a blogpost in 2014, so much of it has never been republished, what is actually great, what’s being pushed by a publisher, the cult of the new, nothing from before 1987, The Professionals (1966) with Lee Marvin, Dave Arneson, self-enforcing mythology, Charisma Zero (2013), a player is getting divorced, the hipster is way to cool, what made him a loser, some genuine reality going on there, its a lifestyle, live and breathe Dungeons & Dragons is kinda sad and kinda amazing, the first modules, GenCon, where’s Wisconsin, Tomb Of Annihilation, a meat grinder simulator, Jason Thompson’s D&D module poster maps, 37 species of zoogs, the dreamlands, there used to be kinds of stories, it can’t be done without irony anymore, no-one can write it that way anymore, subverting expectations, a lack of planetary romance, August Derleth, The Trail Of Cthulhu, more of what you had, a magic wand, take what you can get, sad puppies, the Hugo Awards contest, John C. Wright, the popular clique, your ability to get into people’s hands, a list of old books, old fiction, some of them sounded pretty weak, Nine Princes In Amber by Roger Zelazny, cigaretty voice, World Of Teirs by Philip Jose Farmer, Gardner F. Fox, a really innovative way, a very small organization, I want more people to read Gardner F. Fox, connected to comics, Crom his Conan ripoff, old-school pulp author, only five?, Walter Gibson and Lester Dent, The Moon Moth, The Dragonmasters, Planet Of Adventure, a kind of depth to his worlds, a plaster castle held up by two by fours vs. a velvet tapestry with a stone wall with grout made from goblin bones, sketching out a world with a few lines, footnotes, Jorge Luis Borges, granular detail, Philip K. Dick wrote a lot about spies, Mr Jim Moon’s show on Piper In The Woods, set in the pacific during WWII, Seabees, I’m a plant, how dryads reproduce, Typee by Herman Melville, a garden of Eden, it takes 20 minutes to build a house vs. pull ropes and get hit with the lash all day, Poul Anderson, The High Crusade is so fun, The Broken Sword, Three Hearts And Three Lions, The Moon Pool by A. Merritt, Dwellers In The Mirage by A. Merritt, vikings at the North Pole, ragging on Michael Moorcock, why people liked Elric, navel gazing, so sad, I murdered a bunch of people now I’m sad about it, Stanley Weinbaum, Jack Williamson, Manly Wade Wellman, A Martian Odyssey, fabulously science fictional, spaceships, a virtual reality story in the 1930s, totally inspirational reading, Andre Norton, read this list as inspiration for your own campaign, the concept of this book, the foundations most people don’t realize are there, this is where I got some ideas, ruleset, where do all the other rules plug in, the monks were added because kung-fu was so popular, illuminating a manuscript vs. a Shaw Brothers character, more books like this, as we discussed in October, a book of Star Trek literary references posts, Arena by Fredric Brown, microphones for eyes, Darmok, Gilgamesh + Arena, Picard would, post-scarcity communist future allows us to read Gilgamesh and archaeology, lifts from literature, lifts from themselves, that idea worked, lets do our version of it, Stuart J. Byrne, he Kirked the computer, V’Ger, The Changeling, Nomad, his influence shows up in the first star trek, The Doomsday Machine, Fred Saberhagen, the Berserkers, hey I read Tolkien and I have a elves and goblins in a forest, break out of that mold, Portal 2, the Logic Bomb, this sentence is false, the cake is a lie, it becomes more of what it is, Doom and Wolfenstein and Spear Of Destiny, its short, literally out of the box thinking, it’s amazing, things can be different, a tavern with an old man giving you a mission, Lord Dunsany’s The King Of Elfland’s Daughter, The Book Of Wonder, gnoles vs. gnolls, Jesse’s favourite kind of Dungeons & Dragons, Thief, old game books, like choose your own adventure with dice, play honest with the book, the gap between the two, a regular novel is completely linear, game books, told in second person, we are so luckly right now, scanning books, finding them and buying them, way more of this and a lot less Tolkien ripoffs, a late 80s, really grimdark, Between Planets by Robert A. Heinlein, you can just read Scalzi, you don’t need to read Heinlein, 2,000 pages of his inspired by Starship Troopers book, Farmer In The Sky, every book was different, why do we have to have another series?, that publishing drive, a sequel hook, advertising a one-off book, “listen Larry Niven if you write just one more Ringworld book we can bring Ringworld back into print”, from 1979 onward, The Martian by Andy Weir, only four or five years old, these things did happen, thinking along parallel lines, the requisite map, you just told me you know noting and I don’t need to read you, that’s just geography, picking up these cues, treating it like a science, arbitrary rules, Lost, what’s in the hatch?, that Sullivan guy, just good set dressing, J.J. Abrams has not content, M. Night Shyamalan, Heroes went nowhere, Star Wars and Star Trek, we as readers need to be chintzy with our attention, where are your bonafides, that’s not how you pronounce Suleiman the magnificent, Shadow Of The Vulture by Robert E. Howard, egret vs. eaglet, we’re conjuring up things with our mouths, a Savage Sword Of Conan plot, Finnish Eskimos? The Summi?, favourite campaigns, a buried dead god they’re trying to resurrect, a turn based dungeon crawl, a quasi-medieval setting, the sanity system, confronted by trauma, gain a mania or a depressive problem, prayer or tavern or wenching, all narrated by Wayne June, The Ancestor is evil, from The Rats In The Walls, Darkest Dungeon 2, computer games tend to get better, becoming more what they are, a hybrid experience.

Appendix N by Jeffro Johnson

Dungeon Master's Guide

@Algncs' Appendix N Bookshelf

Appendix N by Gary Gygax

Posted by Jesse WillisBecome a Patron!

Reading, Short And Deep #296 – The Room In The Tower by E.F. Benson

Podcast

Reading, Short And DeepReading, Short And Deep #296

Eric S. Rabkin and Jesse Willis discuss The Room In The Tower by E.F. Benson

Here’s a link to a PDF of the story.

The Room In The Tower was first published in The Pall Mall Magazine, January 1912

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

Posted by Scott D. Danielson Become a Patron!