Podcast

Reading, Short And DeepReading, Short And Deep #154

Eric S. Rabkin and Jesse Willis discuss The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost

Here’s a link to a PDF of the poem.

The Road Not Taken was first published in Mountain Interval, 1916.

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

Posted by Scott D. Danielson

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #508 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, and Evan Lampe talk about PIRACY

Talked about on today’s show:
Paul as Simplicio, not just of the swashbuckling sea-kind, the music-kind, audiobook-kind, YOU DON’T HAVE A RIGHT TO THAT, stuff that the FBI Warnings on a VHS tape, forced DVD screens, forced threats, all the crimes I’m going to prison for, a deterrent, easier than ever, easier for some and harder for others, how podcasts work, subscriber only podcasts, Mr Jim Moon’s Hypnogoria podcast, the H.P. Lovecraft Literary Podcast, “please don’t share this with anyone else”, a bonus vs. a big stick, opposite of seeking profits, Econtalk, transaction costs, not monetary costs, the time it takes, easier than ever (but you have to know how it is), a torrent client, ThePirateBay proxy, “CONSUME” media, making PDFs, all about the sharing, a thread Paul was participating in (about pirated ebooks), pirate editions, a drain on the market?, losing, with academic books, the research library model, the Marxist history library, the academic model, publisher XYZ by author A, the end of author A’s career, changing names, data entry job for entry, The Hook by Donald Westlake, once you get in the system, a book about not being able to get a book published, the ratcheting effect, “I’m gonna screw the author so hard”, intent, the effect, that’s the world we live in, How Music Got Free: A Story Of Obsession And Invention by Stephen Witt, the collective nature of the theft, the RIAA targetting random individuals, history of copyright changes, Democracy of Sound: Music Piracy and the Remaking of American Copyright in the Twentieth by Alex Sayf Cummings, player pianos, machine based, sheet music, human readable, MP3s, a CD, a record, a magnetic tape, patent, loophole vs. rule, licensing any piece of music for a nominal fee, the transaction cost there is horrendous, the move to YouTube, full of piracy, YouTube ads, what percentage of creators on YouTube make a living off of YouTube, Jesse’s account was demonetized in 2018, exploiting creators, almost communism, ‘from each according to their abilities to each according to their needs’, library logic, curation, finding a massive archive of cultural history hidden from the mainstream, old television shows, never released on DVD, the actual principals, why is piracy a massively good thing? vs. massively a bad thing, the preservation of a cultural legacy, facts about The Beatles, did you know The Beatles’ had a racist version of Get Back, an anti-immigration song, racist?, how come that’s not on the official albums, the sanitized version, Apple Records, when iTunes got The Beatles, a big deal, they couldn’t make a deal with Columbia or Decca, a bootleg, fascinating, on December 17th 2013, an official bootleg release on iTunes, so they could secure their copyright, it’s about control, The Invisible Hook: The Hidden Economics of Pirates, copyright is (for) kings, a printer’s license, playing cards, a license to print playing cards, copyright is a monopoly, why the White Album is called the White Album, a tribute to the bootlegging with white sleeves, a very famous Bob Dylan album GWW: Great White Wonder, under the cultural consciousness, the medium changes the way people act, most videos are 10 minutes, NETFLIX, HBO, what libraries are supposed to do, oink’s Pink Palace, the complete catalogue of music, preservation and scholarship, chat roulette, millions and millions of things in the public domain, trying to lock down everything forever, an arcane and very complicated copyright system (with ever extending terms), orphaned works, the 1968 and 1968 Marvel comics, this issue of Daredevil matches exactly the Netflix, when Foggy Nelson was running for D.A. (50 years ago), cultural value vs. monetary value, people forget everything, the importance of preservation, the proof is in the song, you can hear how they said it, you really need to have good access to everything if you want to understand the world, wanting to control the message and control the history, VPNs, moving to America, they don’t know what’s there, Youku (aka Chinese YouTube), making a mistake as a human species, a show with Wayne June, a Wayne June Patreon, the voice of Lovecraft, “do you happen to have…”, its all about preservation, the music industry is about screwing artists out of royalties, bootlegging vs. piracy, why people bought bootleg albums, Paul makes a confession, the way Paul rationalizes it to himself, especially with the Poul Anderson(s), now Karen is deceased, at some point it has to fall into the public domain, review copies of books, please do not sell, what are people doing?, smuggling out of CDs, the majority of piracy, “camming”, live concert recording, breaking the encryption, they’re doing it because they love it, a sense of accomplishment, 5,200 PDFs, its not about money, I love movies, Disney’s The Song Of The South, Brer Rabbit, white black folklore, Joel Chandler Harris, Uncle Remus, delightful stories, the perception is that they’re racist, a black main character, “problematic”, Archive.org, they can’t officially release it anymore, Taylor Swift’s Picture To Burn has been sanitized, a very Soviet thing to do, Woody Guthrie’s This Land Is Your Land, the lefty version, sharp social critique, oh my god this is so valuable, Jesse is happy to admit, Halmani a propaganda film about treating newcomers as human beings, excised from reality, Worldcat, pure goodness, that will be gone if I don’t preserve it, emulating what Napster did, RNS, from the invention of MP3 to how torrents work, a history story, Eli Whitney and the cotton gin, profits from the mechanism, the survival of American slavery due to the cotton gin, what a bastard!, the law of unintended consequences, predicting the automobile but not the traffic jam, another story from history, Doctor Who (classic), private collectors recording off of television, recording audio, to reconstruct episodes of a TV show that was absolutely beloved, KVOS in Bellingham, Washington, that activity of being a fan, cheating the BBC out of its massive profits, preservation of the good, Carl Sagan’s cosmos, Babylon 5 is a better radio drama than it is TV drama, The Prisoner, all 17 episodes, you evil pirate! you monster!, where Paul draws the line, Evan Lampe’s Philip K. Dick And The World We Live In, after Evan updates it we’ll find a narrator, the audiobook-man, lister Mike, review it in essence, give it, torrent site, the wrongness, would Paul have done something wrong, you’re hurting Evan by not following your better instinct Paul, libraries are pirates, don’t they hope 100s of people read it?, the YouTube model, you don’t put the genie back in the model, Justin Beiber was a YouTube star, making money from touring, “merch” is like totems, a totemic purchase, to acknowledge this artist has done great work, people wanna hear Philip K. Dick stuff, Mr Jim Moon’s Patreon, Luke Burrage just started a Patreon, his 2009 International Juggler video, a higher rez version, an amazing video to watch, Paul envies Luke a lot, Skyrim, Fallout, Origin and Steam, says the PUBG fan, Fallout ’76, Battlefield 1, a lot of it has to do with money, 2 floppy disc drives and a friend with a box of floppy discs, the low cost of Netflix, more television than you could ever watch, when they start deleting things from the Netflix Originals, is there a DVD version of Netflix’s Marvel shows, all about preservation, keeping the cultural history, not getting yourself photoshopped out of history, the Obama inauguration, Aaron Schwartz, JSTOR, transaction costs again, there’s no research done anywhere by professors that isn’t publicly funded, Algernon Blackwood’s The Willows, The House On The Borderlands by William Hope Hodgson, control and power and knowledge, information is power, its not wrong in general, wouldn’t socialism just solve this, The Soul Of Man Under Socialism by Oscar Wilde, that’s scary to a lot of people, charity, liberatory for an artist, the insurance companies are sucking off profits, there is no access to the stuff that you want, the alcohol bootlegging, a digital copy cannot be consumed, we are in a post-scarcity environment, this is what kings did, the Michelangelos and the Donatellos, or the church, the common good, Civilizations, an R-L thing, the complete works of Mozart, chamber music, religious music, court operas, on the dole of the king of Austria, catering to popular tastes, Japan, art for the masses, Monet, we don’t have Mozart’s stuff otherwise, everybody gets to be a king, I’m poorer than everybody, I’m helping, oh so sad somebody’s grandchild isn’t going to, a fucking waste of time, the Eli Whitney education fund, invention, the steam donkey, the whole patent system, a desire to maximize, a turbo charger on invention, patents are still relatively short, the most free-copyright state in the world, Dickens was mad about his losses, William Hope Hodgson, securing an American copyright, the great grandchildren of Robert E. Howard don’t exist, rent-seeking, who has the copyrights, Robert E. Howard holdings (Conan Properties International), Conan™ trademark, Red Sonja™, Marvel is reviving Conan in 2019, missing Philip K. Dick stories, a story published (maybe) in a Rogue 1963 issue, patents, in a conceptual bubble, a bottom up order, insisting, Lesson is the author of The Invisible Hook, working class people, collectors, invention and art, building off the collective knowledge of humanity, the ethics of this, science is a collective act, that’s the Royal Society’s whole shtick, what made it not alchemy, math is not science, Halley and Newton, science in action: two guys fighting about who is right, Newton and Leibniz, Euclid, remixing and adding, David Hume, basically we can only remix and reorganize, does the same thing apply artist, Everything Is A Remix, the wrinkles of observed phenomenon, new and better tools, people are in dialogue, Robert A. Heinlein leads back to Jerome K. Jerome and Rudyard Kipling, this is all public domain (morally), its all collective, the moral case for it, a value added tax that goes to a creator, pressures thanks to NAFTA renegotiation, you’re great great grandpa wrote something as a kid and now you get to reap the rewards (but you probably don’t), James Burke’s Connections, so fast, Avatar is actually a Poul Anderson story and also a couple other things, The Terminator, a Harlan Ellison, Alien, A.E. van Vogt, there’s nothing new under the sun (just stuff you don’t know about), Dan O’Bannon, its like sex, the critique of Malthus, what the copyright “industry”, trademark, patents, rentseeking, a quote from Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri, beware of he who deny you access to information, why Alex Jones should not be pulled down from anything, what you start locking down what people can say then you’re on the path to tyranny, the killer nail in the coffin for me: the Tolkien Library, the pirate edition of The Lord Of The Rings:

The infamous Ace Books “pirated edition” from 1965. The opening salvo of the “War over Middle- Earth”.
A very nice Near Fine matched set of this notorious edition.

This is the only paperback ‘Lord of the Rings’ to be printed based on later printings of the 1st Edition.
All others were based on the revised editions.

Houghton Mifflin, seemed to have been in technical violation of the law by having imported too many copies printed by Allen & Unwin.
Ace Books took notice of the sales and overseas production of the books, (which are marked, ‘Printed in Great Britain’), determined that LotR’s had fallen into the public domain in the United States, and launched their own edition in spring 1965. {Hammond and Anderson, pg 104} So to secure their American copyright, Tolkien was asked to submit new material to create a new Edition, and so secure their copyright beyond question.

Tolkien wouldn’t allow paperback editions, the reason Tolkien became popular in the 1960s, “I want you to read this story to me daddy.”, you could go to the library and lug around the hardcover around on the bus, a U.S. service edition (WWII pocket paperbacks), Arkham House put out a Lovecraft, sitting in the Ardennes waiting for the Battle Of The Bulge to begin, why Lovecraft is the name he is today, what makes something culturally relevant, why piracy is always a good thing, there are many schemes to help artists, you can’t sell this book in a used bookstore, Dan Carlin tells me all the time “you own this forever” you don’t own any of your Audible audiobooks, until we accept that fact we’re never going to agree, traditional pirates, navy’s were really mean, impress you, hazing, abuse, rape, bad pay, Herman Melville, William Hope Hodgson, should your son join the Merchant Marine, HELL NO!, the navy was pretty hellish, how democratic and egalitarian pirates were, he comes at it from a cultural bubble, rational actors who are self-interested, having the best sex, the individuals were not rational but the things that happened were, the quartermaster and captain were elected positions, Marcus Rediker, The Devil In The Deep Blue Sea, The Many Headed Hydra, the Chicago school influence, a pun on The Invisible Hand, music bootleggers, fans, obsessive collecting, gotta catch ’em all, where the rational part comes in, motivated by revenge, FUCK YOU ESTATE!, they had done copyfraud, literally whole sheets of fraud, photocopies of the hand written submissions, bring that truth out, if you became a pirate you were dead in two years, 2 years free as a pirate or 10 years a slave, anarchism is bottom up order, a revolution against your master, decades before the U.S. constitutions, Fred Heimbach’s pirate nation in The Devil’s Dictum, Edgar Allan Poe needed a Patreon, Charles Dickens had his own magazine called Once A Week, Madonna started her own label, you become the industry, Robert J. Sawyer, The Quintaglio Ascension, tidally locked, a retelling of Galileo and Copernicus, Wake, Watch, Wonder, neanderthal ones, one of these copyright maximalist guys, old material and new material to his patrons, like Greg Bear, extracting value from the old system, pulled down off of Gutenberg, the first half was not copyright renewed, writing books that aren’t for me Quantico, chasing after a different market, the bigger money, Tom Clancy name is a rubber stamp, that old system is going away, the original pirates were still in a scarcity economy, monopolies all over these stories, in Canada almost all the lands were controlled by the Hudson’s Bay Company, sugar and other commodities, mercantilism, exclusivity, they misunderstood what profits were, if anyone else benefits then it hurts me, the same kind of thinking, Spain’s wine and Scotland’s sheep, those sunny hills of Spain and Italy, reducing scarcity so everybody benefits, attention is the new scarcity, the wherewithal, Patreon seems easy compare to that, trying to make money from my awesome website, supermodel asses and cryptocurrency, 19th century poetry is not super-interesting for most people, being employed outside your job as an artist, what academia, a basic income show, a Mack Reynolds novel about guaranteed universal income and the problem is not enough satisfying work, we need stuff to do, the 8 hour work day, what we will, two weeks of holiday, no vacation since childhood, They Live (1988), marry and reproduce, two groups of people, the straight up bums and hobos, the Italians who go to work at 10 and go home at 2, what am I gonna do if I’m not working?, the end of work is not so worrisome, tracking hours spent with daughter-time, the DINS, no sex, where we’re all headed, rolling coal, The Quiet Earth (1985), Paul has read the book, we can lose our focus if we have nothing to do, salaries or points, in this capitalist world if we get a paycheck for it’s valuable, Two Cheers for Anarchism: Six Easy Pieces on Autonomy, Dignity, and Meaningful Work and Play by James C. Scott, the Hmong people, the Doukhobors, protesting by becoming nude, everybody flees to the west, a non-violent way of showing abasement, a way for Christians to preserve a simple stateless existence, nudism as a tool, The Year Of The Jackpot by Robert A. Heinlein, the world is so big wide and varied, they’re all around us these people, you can’t flee from Japans culture by staying in it, they’re cultural strength is hurting them as a population, Korea recently committed to massive English learning, advice for Taiwan, learn English legalize gay marriage and let in immigrants, making English an official language, the Great Wall covers hundreds of thousands of bodies, regular industrial imperialists, the Great Firewall, deep down they’re really Chinese, a fun theory about why so many Anglican ministers are atheists, this is how you do it, labor protests in the south, worker power, what communists have been saying for a century,

Moral Pirates

Pirates' Planet from CAPTAIN FUTURE, Winter 1942

Posted by Jesse Willis

Podcast

Reading, Short And DeepReading, Short And Deep #152

Eric S. Rabkin and Jesse Willis discuss Sing A Song Of Sixpence by John Buchan

Here’s a link to a PDF of the story.

Sing A Song Of Sixpence was first published in London Pall Mall Magazine, February 1928.

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

Posted by Scott D. Danielson

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #507 – Seaton’s Aunt by Walter de la Mare; read by Mr Jim Moon. This is an unabridged reading of the short story (1 hour 36 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Mr Jim Moon, Maissa Bessada, and Wayne June

Talked about on today’s show:
aunt?, ownt?, The London Mercury, April 1922, H.P. Lovecraft, pretty damn interesting, is it a ghost story?, Robert Aickman, Fontana Book Of Ghost Stories (Volume 1), M.R. James,, E.F. Benson, Thomas Liggoti, is it a vampire story?, a very successful ghost story, is it a witchcraft story?, necromancy, psychic vampirism, all about mood and sustaining a mood, atmospheric, very, creepiness sneaks in, chills up and down the spine,

“Deserving of distinguished notice as a forceful craftsman to whom an unseen mystic world is ever a close and vital reality is the poet Walter de la Mare, whose haunting verse and exquisite prose alike bear consistent traces of a strange vision reaching deeply into veiled spheres of beauty and terrible and forbidden dimensions of being.”

in a letter to Clark Ashton Smith, rumors about an ancient castle under which is a conclave of demons, not truckle with psychological fudging, real life stories, never tipped over the abyss, a feeling of being haunted, the weight of disbelief, monster,

“Of the shorter tales, of which several volumes exist, many are unforgettable for their command of fear’s and sorcery’s darkest ramifications; notably Seaton’s Aunt, in which there lowers a noxious background of malignant vampirism”

Shades Of Darkness adaptation, 9/10ths close to the book, a big switcheroo, switching the roles, dialogue from the story, adaptations are people interpreting, interpretive decisions, the girl Alice, more life to her at the beginning, the casting, what a role, a role of a lifetime, no eating, a mountain of a woman vs. doll-like, that thin and hungry look, her hair, a wig, dark hair, all this history, how intense people are, things going on, the number of parallel things that are happening, the first meeting the second meeting, the school, the strand, creepier, it feels like an actual memoir, weary of for no good reason, Withers, why is he telling this story, a chapter in a memoir, not very good person, Seaton’s not perfect, maybe this aunt is very moral, she does pretty much everything wrong, a huge colossal biotch, from a shit’s point of view, “a creature”, why does she act that way, she’s a prick or in league with the devil, she is a monster (in a any sense of the word), a horrible person, spite, little mind games, this is not Seaton’s story, may ownt, an extraordinary figure, a non-supernatural story, what made a person like this?, maybe she just way to much Lovecraft when she was young, we English, pongo, ape, monkey, bribed every time, some jam, lunch, expensive wine, the everyman, self-involved, does she kill him?, the roles were switched, bells and sparks, that chess scene,

Seaton’s aunt was wearing an extraordinary kind of lace jacket when we sidled sheepishly into the drawing-room together. She greeted me with a heavy and protracted smile, and bade me bring a chair close to the little table.

“I hope Arthur has made you feel at home,” she said, as she handed me my cup in her crooked hand. “He don’t talk much to me; but then I’m an old woman. You must come again, Wither, and draw him out of his shell. You old snail!” She wagged her head at Seaton, who sat munching cake and watching her intently.

his room is full of cages, down at the pond, a dysfunctional family,

“And we must correspond, perhaps.” She nearly shut her eyes at me. “You must write and tell me everything behind the creature’s back.” I confess I found her rather disquieting company. The evening drew on. Lamps were brought in by a man with a nondescript face and very quiet footsteps. Seaton was told to bring out the chess-men. And we played a game, she and I, with her big chin thrust over the board at every move as she gloated over the pieces and occasionally croaked “Check!”—after which she would sit back inscrutably staring at me. But the game was never finished. She simply hemmed me defencelessly in with a cloud of men that held me impotent, and yet one and all refused to administer to my poor flustered old king a merciful coup de grâce.

teaching chess, the aunt and Withers are parallel, Arthur chose him, something of his aunt there, toying and sparing,

“There,” she said as the clock struck ten—”a drawn game, Withers. We are very evenly matched. A very creditable defence, Withers. You know your room. There’s supper on a tray in the dining-room. Don’t let the creature over-eat himself. The gong will sound three-quarters of an hour before a punctual breakfast.” She held out her cheek to Seaton, and he kissed it with obvious perfunctoriness. With me she shook hands.

“An excellent game,” she said cordially, “but my memory is poor, and”—she swept the pieces helterskelter into the box—”the result will never be known.” She raised her great head far back. “Eh?”

It was a kind of challenge, and I could only murmur: “Oh, I was absolutely in a hole, you know!” when she burst out laughing and waved us both out of the room.

immoral behavior, a cloud of men, how she treats her nephew, Withers or Johnson or Wither or Smithers, another dig, tapping into something very British, mirrored, a dishonest narrator, passing judgement on all and sundry, a hideous old beast, she’s not such a bad old stick, a dull stolid chap, what’s expected, a public school attitude, everyone’s a jolly good sort, a mask for bad behavior, a cavalier with the truth, very calculated, foibles of behavior, you are nothing to me, it’s a test, dare you correct an old lady, is she’s too self aware?, if this were a true memoir, they sneak into her room and hide in her closet, too intellectual for her own good, why she’s a miss, about half way through the book,

We turned and walked slowly towards the house, across whose windows I confess my own eyes, too, went restlessly wandering in search of its rather disconcerting inmate. There was a pathetic look of draggledness, of want of means and care, rust and overgrowth and faded paint. Seaton’s aunt, a little to my relief, did not share our meal. Seaton carved the cold meat, and dispatched a heaped-up plate by an elderly servant for his aunt’s private consumption. We talked little and in half-suppressed tones, and sipped a bottle of Madeira which Seaton had rather heedfully fetched out of the great mahogany sideboard.

I played him a dull and effortless game of chess, yawning between the moves he himself made almost at haphazard, and with attention elsewhere engaged. About five o’clock came the sound of a distant ring, and Seaton jumped up, overturning the board, and so ending a game that else might have fatuously continued to this day.

no malice, interpretation, he’s turning into her, becoming more sympathetic to her, my aunt, we lost all our money, fairly obvious, the aunt has spent the inheritance, stopping at the chemists to get rat poison, WHY?, is Seaton trying to kill his aunt?, a half-term holiday, for his own use, another parallel, what’s with the bangle?, only when pirating, a craze for wearing a ring, a craze for wearing bangles, wearing a rubber band as a bangle, a little affectation, a bit of jewelry, more adult, a bit glamorous, to be interesting and opulent, bullying, perfectly horrid, a touch of the tar brush, not white enough, a bit debonair, a bit gypsy,

I can scarcely describe with what curious ruminations I led the way into the faded, heavy-aired dining-room, with this indefinable old creature leaning weightily on my arm—the large flat bracelet on the yellow-laced wrist.

they are isolated, a maiden aunt, a malevolent creature, sometimes people are weird, weird household cultures, lobster mayonnaise, game sausages, the salad is the monster, a gargantuan appetite, you can’t scare me with your ghost stories, I’ll take it, she’s sure to be quite decent to you, code for child sexual abuse, she’s just a woman, does she lie ever?, the eye in the room, is this an Innsmouth story?, a lot of fishy eyes in this story, Irving S. Cobb’s Fishhead, frog boy?, did he go to the pond, or the sea?, her younger brother, she might be being misread, people turning into dust, Seaton is turning into his aunt, something you like to eat, so interesting,

We walked up the village street, past the little dingy apothecary’s and the empty forge, and, as on my first visit, skirted the house together, and, instead of entering by the front door, made our way down the green path into the garden at the back. A pale haze of cloud muffled the sun; the garden lay in a grey shimmer—its old trees, its snap-dragoned faintly glittering walls. But now there was an air of slovenliness where before all had been neat and methodical. In a patch of shallowly-dug soil stood a worn-down spade leaning against a tree. There was an old broken wheelbarrow. The roses had run to leaf and briar; the fruit-trees were unpruned. The goddess of neglect brooded in secret.

the Goddess of neglect, what the hell does that mean?, the whole opposite view of this whole thing, he’s dying, is he digging his own grave?, his way to try to get away, a keen naturalist, he’s making the best of a bad situation, I like wildness, forklift trucks to do her goddamned hair, the keys to his trust fund, salving a scrap of conscience, a bit of a tightfist, the money is running out, nuts and fruit, he doesn’t want to get too fat, tadpoles, between becoming what he’s going to be, the aunt croaks, he will never,

on one memorable occasion went to the length of bestowing on me a whole pot of some outlandish mulberry-coloured jelly that had been duplicated in his term’s supplies. In the exuberance of my gratitude I promised to spend the next half-term holiday with him at his aunt’s house.

expensive madeira, she sounds like a Lovecraft,

She confided in us her views on a theme vaguely occupying at the moment, I suppose, all our minds. “We have barbarous institutions, and so must put up, I suppose, with a never-ending procession of fools—of fools ad infinitum. Marriage, Mr. Withers, was instituted in the privacy of a garden; sub Rosa, as it were. Civilization flaunts it in the glare of day. The dull marry the poor; the rich the effete; and so our New Jerusalem is peopled with naturals, plain and coloured, at either end. I detest folly; I detest still more (if I must be frank, dear Arthur), mere cleverness. Mankind has simply become a tailless host of indistinctive animals. We should never have taken to Evolution, Mr. Withers. ‘Natural Selection!’—little gods and fishes!—the deaf for the dumb. We should have used our brains—intellectual pride, the ecclesiastics call it. And by brains I mean—what do I mean, Alice?—I mean, my dear child”—and she laid two gross fingers on Alice’s narrow sleeve—”I mean courage. Consider it, Arthur. I read that the scientific world is once more beginning to be afraid of spiritual agencies. Spiritual agencies that tap, and actually float, bless their hearts! I think just one more of those mulberries—thank you.

sounding like Thomas Ligotti, everything sucks, the trap of pessimism, a certain truth to it, justification for all manner of barbarity and horror, survival of the fittest, neoliberal morality, atmosphere building, the deaf for the dumb, intellectual pride, what do I mean Alice?, I mean courage, spiritual agencies, an attack on spiritualism, worst wedding toast ever, worst host ever, my child brother died in it, sleep well, how big a deal, another theory, one more of those mulberries, bastard squirrels, almost all vegetation, pop goes the weasel, Babylonian mythology, silkworms, death and rebirth, they spin their own shroud, Seaton should run away, the horse, she never will or she never would, she knows everything we’re doing, is she telepathic?, does she know the boy is buying rat poison?, cages and boxes, a box with a worm in it, role reversal, a switch, something strange happens near the end, off to tea, she calls him Arthur, is that you Arthur?, the ghost of Arthur?, get out, she doesn’t know, she killed him but she doesn’t even know, a voracious appetite, getting psychically fatter, she’s lost her source of food, she’s dying, conversing with the dead, still floating around the house, nothing to feed off anymore, not wholly embodied, that all seeing eye, seeing into other people’s minds, is he first in his class?, maybe if you apply the rules of science it’s almost like she’s in a superposition, the pile of clothes on the floor, the shoes two meters apart pointing at each other, a bundle of clothes, she’s in her room and she’s not in her room, Schrödinger’s Aunt, she’s just a human being, this story does both, a horror story, she’s a vampiric-witch who can talk to ghosts, The Terrible Old Man by H.P. Lovecraft, Spanish gold, easy pickings, bottled souls, old shipmates, three new bottles, his yard, moss covered totemic gods from the South Seas, Smithers Withers Johnson, not wholly of this dimension, why she’s so weird, an alien trapped on Earth, she knows she’s a shit, he does the exact same stuff as she does, not of this earth, a tragedy, the whole takeaway, feeling a little guilt, a life tragedy, nothing but a trap, you’re either a feeder or you’re the food, not an Oscar Wilde, outside of society, so masterfully put together, another way of going, she’s mean because she gives him the small room, who made the room full of cages and boxes, playing goth music all night, all about interpretation, a reflection of me (being in a cage), interesting parallels, a black widow spider, Wayne doesn’t buy that she’s innocent, in league with the devil, what happened to her brother?, a theory for Mr Jim Moon, The Terror Of The Blue John Gap by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, mother of pearl, a monster in the mine, a letter Seaton, Samuel Seaton, the painting on the wall, the one with the eye is S. Seaton, retelling it as a modern story, he has a VIC 20!, security cameras in every room, we have the same kinds of issues and problems today, most manifest in her awareness of what she’s doing, self-conscious, Alice is almost consciousless, did she move away?, who did she escape?, a weird race of two, the deep one crown in a chest of jewlery, The Shadow Over Innsmouth, trying to find a place to put my sympathy, they’re screwed individually and in combination, All Hallows by Walter de la Mare, a sour church, Blackwood and Machenesque, a BBC Radio abridgement, the story becomes insane without pauses,

you know your space, a powerfully interesting way of writing, layering in themes that are almost ineffable, just words, so much is the way its told, a liberated thoughtful lady, Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata, occult skill, charged with mockery and bitterness, ruined, processing through a filter of hate, began to play the opening bars of Beethoven’s “Moonlight” Sonata. The piano was old and woolly. She played without music. The lamplight was rather dim. The moonbeams from the window lay across the keys. Her head was in shadow. And whether it was simply due to her personality or to some really occult skill in her playing I cannot say: I only know that she gravely and deliberately set herself to satirize the beautiful music. It brooded on the air, disillusioned, charged with mockery and bitterness. I stood at the window; far down the path I could see the white figure glimmering in that pool of colourless light. A few faint stars shone, and still that amazing woman behind me dragged out of the unwilling keys her wonderful grotesquerie of youth, and love, and beauty. It came to an end. I knew the player was watching me. “Please, please, go on!” I murmured, without turning. “Please go on playing, Miss Seaton.”

No answer was returned to my rather fluttering sarcasm, but I knew in some indefinite way that I was being acutely scrutinized, when suddenly there followed a procession of quiet, plaintive chords which broke at last softly into the hymn, A Few More Years Shall Roll.

what significance did the hymn have for her?

I confess it held me spellbound. There is a wistful, strained, plangent pathos in the tune; but beneath those masterly old hands it cried softly and bitterly the solitude and desperate estrangement of the world. Arthur and his lady-love vanished from my thoughts. No one could put into a rather hackneyed old hymn-tune such an appeal who had never known the meaning of the words. Their meaning, anyhow, isn’t commonplace.

I turned very cautiously and glanced at the musician. She was leaning forward a little over the keys, so that at the approach of my cautious glance she had but to turn her face into the thin flood of moonlight for every feature to become distinctly visible. And so, with the tune abruptly terminated, we steadfastly regarded one another, and she broke into a chuckle of laughter.

engaging with him like an adult, the clothes of a man, his coat is too big for him, so grateful for the invitation, I really appreciate it because I’m dying, the paranoid literal ghost haunted victim of an in-league-with-the-devil-aunt, nothing more than a coffin, my brother William died, there’s hundreds of eyes like that in the house, I shan’t stand it much longer, did Seaton commit suicide?, all my plans are falling into place, the old mulberry jelly trick, we are told he has lavish pocket money, that would be in character, so lonely, the bangle as an amulet against her, Alice Outram, some good stuff, a now lost medieval village in Derbyshire, early 1900s travel, piggy back rides and hiding in closets, candles, a fascinating story, Seaton is definitely a liar, you were supposed to best man, more on the ball, creeped by the aunt, you hypocrite, a mismatch between emotions and what people say, being clever and arch, snarky, is it about control or just being playful, so much free-rangeness, allowed bullying to flourish, snapchat bullying, the mistakes of perception that you have in childhood, a confession story, somewhere in there Withers is having an argument with Seaton, some guilt, mistreating the old bird, what she says, calculated cruelty, emotionally abusive, emotionally neglectful, no sexual or physical abuse, she never lies to him, she never gaslights him, that never happened, you’re wrong, she demeans him, she knows everything that I think and what I do, he’s a squashed human, squashed at school, victimness, uninterested in his emotional being, baby monkeys, the monkey Withers, a monkey in with a tadpole, very subversive, what is the question, what is this story?, not fantasy, not science fiction, definitely weird fiction, vampire is stronger than ghosts (in here), prehistoricism, eternal evil, Silurians (Doctor Who reference), Doggerland, it feels so Lovecrafty because of all the fish, he is doomed, The Rats In The Walls, The Moon Bog, The Grove Of Ashtaroth by John Buchan,

And again I paused irresolutely a few paces further on. It was not fancy, merely a foolish apprehension of what the raw-boned butcher might “think” that prevented my going back to see if I could find Seaton’s grave in the benighted churchyard. There was precious little use in pottering about in the muddy dark, merely to discover where he was buried. And yet I felt a little uneasy. My rather horrible thought was that, so far as I was concerned—one of his extremely few friends—he had never been much better than “buried” in my mind.

dark!, a dark philosophy,

I was not a man of the world, nor was I much flattered in my stiff and dullish way of looking at things by being called one; and I could answer her without the least hesitation.

“I don’t think, Miss Seaton, I’m much of a judge of character. She’s very charming.”

“A brunette?”

“I think I prefer dark women.”

“And why? Consider, Mr. Withers; dark hair, dark eyes, dark cloud, dark night, dark vision, dark death, dark grave, dark!”

she’s goth, yo,

Perhaps the climax would have rather thrilled Seaton, but I was too thick-skinned. “I don’t know much about all that,” I answered rather pompously. “Broad daylight’s difficult enough for most of us.”

Seaton's Aunt by Walter de la Mare

Posted by Jesse Willis

Podcast

Reading, Short And DeepReading, Short And Deep #152

Eric S. Rabkin and Jesse Willis discuss I Will Never Celebrate New Year’s Again by Alfred Bester

Here’s a link to a PDF of the story.

I Will Never Celebrate New Year’s Again was first published in Rogue, February 1963.

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

Posted by Scott D. Danielson

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #506 – Jesse, Scott, and Paul Weimer talk about Brain Wave by Poul Anderson

Talked about on today’s show:
1953/1954, people and animals getting smarter on the Earth, Space Science Fiction, the 2nd half was never published, the first half is public domain, Greg Bear and Poul Anderson’s daughter, bad logic, a strange curiosity, 1953, oh crap my subscription’s lapsed!, The Escape, putting Poul Anderson on notice!, Scott’s prediction, idea science fiction, fantastic, very good, the reviews, what people love about it, too short?, 164 pages, Archie Brock, Jesse is not here to poop on the book, the imagery, the opening, Ray Bradbury, an elephant, a chimpanzee with a shotgun, these covers are weird, not a novel about an animal uprising, that’s not what you see mostly, didn’t come to fruition, throwaway stuff, a revolution in Africa, a one off, gorillas organizing, Protector by Larry Niven, A Fire Upon The Deep by Vernor Vinge, the laws of thought in different in different parts of the galaxy, Earth is in the slow zone, stories that nest within this premise, a dampening field was turned off, echoes in other stories about intelligence or stupidity, Anderson didn’t say enough, it wasn’t philosophical enough, the dog, reflection on motivation, reading news reports, the Chinese army has defected, characters coming up with explanations for other characters to shoot down, a shotgun approach, the Goodreads reviews, a good idea for a bunch of different writers to tackle, Mike Resnick can take a bone and chew on it real good, Rachel In Love by Pat Murphy, Flowers For Algernon, a lack of focus, a whole novel about that farm, what does it mean to be smart, people going crazy, its better to be stupid (so as to not be unhappy), a philosophical meditation or exploration, among the scientists, cut the book up, the space stuff is supposed to make us think, is there something that we don’t see?, that’s amazing, no backup systems, no safeguards, an arrogance there, hubris!, racing brains, manic, what about the insects?, the pigs, it almost turned into Animal Farm for a minute, how George Orwell’s novel can be explained, bees, ants, social insects, the higher animals, working at real speed, shrew to humans, reptiles, fish, what about all the aquatic mammals, dolphins and whales, So Long And Thanks For All The Fish, he isn’t really interested in the animals except on the farm, 5 times boost, critical mass, let’s explore what intelligence is, is this about school?, more facts, more history, math, train you up, a useful and functional member of society, quitting your job and moving to the country, Clifford D. Simak’s City stories, it’s not a metaphor, what Anderson thinks education is about, they never make the whole planet dumb, a sidebar, save humanity by making it dumb, so 2018, The Food Of The Gods by H.G. Wells, an apple the size of a basketball (or bigger), a scientific adventure romance, a fabulation, a fertilizer that boosts production, the ultimate result, a homeostasis, profits are always temporary, no eternal profits (or prophets either), very sparky for ideas, no answers, a real thorny issue, The Marching Morons by C.M. Kornbluth, Scott is surprised, if you multiply everyone’s intelligence by 5 the system we live in will fall apart, rote jobs, the elevator job, the farm job, Sheila wasn’t very bookish (was looking into the abyss), Jesse doesn’t know what intelligence is, very pleasant house frau, deep conversations, dissatisfied, I don’t want to know, red pill blue pill, is that intelligence, so small, people don’t enjoy things except for food, bad coffee, super geniuses on top of super geniuses, IQ, what IQ tests are, we’ve got morons and we’ve got imbeciles, problematic language, disability to the mean, mental disabilities, mental classes, does existential angst only kick-in at a certain intelligence class?, sphere of influence, put things back the way it was, there wasn’t a universal thesis, intelligence is a bag, this explains voting, you guys aren’t doing it right, “if everybody got a 5x boost Hillary would be president”, why not the American army, ho one gets classified as an officer (vs. a grunt), why is Sgt. Rock a sergeant, the iconic Nick Fury (and his Howling Commandos), the top of the competence chain, he isn’t saying specific, no single thesis, what is intelligence, bad at math good at smelling bullshit, sometimes stupid sometimes smart, gradients or thresholds, here’s a massive effect, why do so many move to the country?, circumstances and limitations, intellectual limitations vs. vs. power limitations, the rabbit has not hand, power and manipulation, no matter how smart dolphins are they don’t impact us?, what’s a dolphin going to do with a ship?, what’s in the black box (underneath)?, Jesse will shut up for a while, no evolutionary pressure to increase intelligence after a certain level, no supersingularity civilizations, humans can now explore the galaxy, what is that going to do?, human-alien relations, story possibilities, now what?, leaving it hopeful at the end, categories of human, the level we used to be, good luck and godspeed, neanderthals and homo sapiens, recolonize the earth, what the pigs have to say about being slaughtered, veganism, pigs are ok to eat because they’re yummy, negotiations, mutually yummy, we’re mutually yummy, chicken eggs, how much is language importance to intelligence?, dogs and pigs and the elephant, a new logical language, natural shorthand, efficiency of communication, pretty hungry, now the sheep knows what’s happening, cows don’t want to go in the slaughterhouse, in the queue, I’ve heard Bessie, what does this mean?, an animal with human level intelligence and no thumbs and no fire, new sets of questions, selection pressure, no hands and no speech, Lawrence M. Schoen’s Barsk, uplift, Startide Rising by David Brin, a driving thesis, it doesn’t really work that way, reading the gossip column, poetry is making her depressed, we need to develop a new philosophy, usually the problems, what is the new relationship on the farm going to be?, what should happen?, should we stop eating meat?, if pigs were intelligent(er), lots of experience with cows, feral pigs in Texas, vegetarianism, dairy, slaughtering animals for meat, another thing Anderson doesn’t think about, what about Africa?, Mountain Lions are lions, they can’t eat vegetables, carnivores, what are the predator prey dynamics, birds of prey, intelligence is associated with hunting, instincts to huddle up and get in the center, runaway or get to the center, hide and kill, wolves, stalk, kill, a major disruptor of ecology, what will the wolves do, Traveller (RPG), the entire Earth’s ecology will be disrupted, what we don’t see, the amount of time spent under tutelage, both kids in college, an empty nest, 18 years in the nest, most animals, insects and snakes never meet their parents, hunting skills, a full fledged member of the group, the cultural tools, linguistic tools, not just for poetry, much more to be said on this topic, a place to spark ideas from, not the end word on it, from Locus magazine, what five books would I like to be remembered for? Tau Zero, Mid Summer Tempest, The Boat Of A Million Year, Three Hearts And Three Lions, The Enemy Stars, Brain Wave, what science fiction does best, maybe one more chance, thank you Paul, he didn’t put the High Crusade on the list, Call Me Joe, funny and fun.

Space Science Fiction, September 1953
Space Science Fiction, September 1953
Space Science Fiction, September 1953
Space Science Fiction, September 1953
BLACKSTONE AUDIO - Brain Wave by Poul Anderson

Posted by Jesse Willis

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