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.
The 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.
The SFFaudio Podcast #650 – The Crystal Crypt by Philip K. Dick; read by Ian Bradford Ngongotaha Pugh. This is an unabridged reading of the story (49 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Paul Weimer, Marissa VU, and Evan Lampe.
Talked about on today’s show:
Planet Stories, January 1954, his first big year, The Variable Man, junky stories, really simple, too simple, if somebody did something, Philip K. Dick was not a wise man, the reader is stupid, negging, read all of Philip K. Dick except for his kid’s stories and his posthumous stuff, a world encapsulated in a globe, Stability, 1987, written in 1947 or earlier, a lot of weirdness, miniaturization, what goes on (or in) the Rhetorizer, looking at somebody’s desk, a paperweight, stapler, paperclips, a fan blowing air over your desk, worlds in a bottle, Paul explains worlds in a bottle, escaping the mundanity of a desk job, St. Elsewhere, Homicide: Life On The Street, [Tommy Westphall], when the liberation from horrible work comes, shake it up, a little world, god power, Kandor, repressed, Supergirl, aliens from Mars, Martians Come In Clouds, Fortress Of Solitude, if Kandor was decanted, a city full of immigrants, worried about status, the Japanese immigration policy is xenophobic, what’s in the briefcase, gimmicky futuristic desk stuff, office supplies, a theme hidden in other Philip K. Dick stuff, Paycheck, ridiculous and awesome, what the hell is this?, writing off part of you life, a secret meaning, from a timescoop, hidden memory, missing memory, a fiddly little concept, I wonder if it has secret meaning!, momentary escape, the nuclear bomb, destruction, a flash of light, connected to the nuclear, connected to the cold war, it’s still WWII, fragile dystopia,The Man Who Japed, War Game, Monopoly as an alien invasion, taking the mundane and making it fantastic, this stick is a sword, watch out for the pinecone grenade, the framing device, twist stories, too neat, it doubles back on itself, why is he doing this?, a bunch of people on a plane, the plane is forced back down, cops on the bus for a shoplifter, a standard writing technique, supposed to be spies, not professional spies, they execute the job perfectly, no operational control, super incompetent recruitment, doofuses, they tell it for no reason, we’re all on the same team (Earthers), twigged into, Evan should have picked up on, stark terror ruled the inner-flight ship, Mars-Terra, inter-national, inner solar system?, the black clad leiter, what the hell is a leiter, Gauleiter, district leader, these are the Nazis, they’re looking like the SS, redskinning themselves, dressing up as locals, they’re wearing shorts, leiderhosen, did you see the woman, she was very attractive, the breasts get mentioned, figures of fear, a half dozen in the glass tomb, half their leaders, Nazi imagery, we’re supposed to be on the side of the Earthers, no death’s head on their uniform cap, leiter = leader and ladder, Martians in disguise, Inglourious Basterds (2009), Standartenführer = standard leader, written for a market that includes Planet Stories, the context for the magazine vs. the political context, recruitment, victory gardens, embedded in the war, on the granular level of regular people, block leiters, block warden, disseminate propaganda for 60-80 households, Nazi officials, we are holding a rally, keeping notes on all the families, really horrible, a (school) class snitch, little Johnny: look at that squirrel, little Sally informs the teacher, snitch culture, the violence of the state, that central vision, the local costumes, the flavour of the city and the people, the village is a shithole, a pig’s sty, the leadership is very technically savvy, bronze age, this man has never shaved his face with a Martian stone, how did Mars get that way, Babylonians, Sumerians, an ancient sun-baked city, a city seldom seen, an iron hand, black priests with rods of fire, the Terran senate, Erick and the two behind him, Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade, deep in enemy territory, what’s so ridiculous about the story, “Thacher”, it makes sense, Philip K. Dick is a real smart guy, a thatcher makes a cover, he’s a martian, white-face, a really fake beard, the red skin, the movie adaptation, these are supposed to humans who emigrated to Mars long ago, predating humans?, Ray Bradbury, colonists later turning against Earth, a standard theme in Science Fiction, Elon Musk’s Mars colony, a vast wall, it felt the wind and sun for centuries, the technology level, an hour from Mars to Earth, all they have to do to look like Martians, Omnilingual by H. Beam Piper, several hours of audio drama, a history of the Suez crisis and how it was connected to the European Union, the British seized Suez, not a normal colony, to control trade, this story is ultimately about financial position, Mars will have to do what Terra asks, commercial demands felt, quite a story, an interesting technology to preserve cities from war, reducing a whole library, microfilm, make something that was tiny big, the important contents, the data, the information, the images, using it for ransom, ransoming all the people in that city, there is no war yet!, this is what the Japanese did, the sneak attack, the stab in the back, Pearl Harbour, how dare they!, annexing the Sudetenland, for interplanetary trade, the British the Americans, the Japanese forcing trade on China by seizing ports, the leadership on Earth vs the leadership on Mars, the short film, double down on the Nazis, no nuance there at all, most Philip K. Dick doesn’t adapt well, some telepathy wandering around with the cops, The Hood Maker, the block warden, the test, the box is a character, THE TRUTH, HE WAS TELLING THE TRUTH, YES, THAT IS THE TRUTH, so easily fooled, pinwheeling your arms, how cops justify stuff, his head connected with my baton, I didn’t *destroy* the city, are they okay?, the walk up to the city, joining the caravan, not horses not camels (hoofers), the problem with this as an adaptation, they just tell when they should have operational security, when you do some crime and you tell all your friends, why this is in there, based on a book, based on a year spent with the homicide unit in Baltimore, David Simon, a sales pitch that works every time, a person confronted by the cops, sitting in the squad car, a human being asking your questions, some mental problems, ROTC for ten minutes, H.P. Lovecraft couldn’t finish high-school due to a nervous breakdown, tests are stressful, its very easy to crack, LAWYER, I want a lawyer, a cop’s job is not to help you, entrap you, catch you speeding, they’re whole thing is putting people in prison, you’re on a bus, like a passenger on a plane, three spies, more likes Hans Landa, testament to how Philip K. Dick feels, coups attempted all the time, a bunch of mercenaries sent into Venezuela, what’s in your briefcase, let’s just drink, very Philip K. Dick pressure, fundamentally broken at that point, spoilers in general, the first time Marissa read it, the reveal, there’s not really anything else, stressed out by seeing SS uniforms on film, Movie Tone News, the stress level is incredible, where’s the mall?, legal requirements, what’s in your bag?, some drug, open alcohol, what have you been drinking tonight?, not the story itself, its the logic of the building of the story, a real phenomenon, one of his weakest stories, do you know how fast you were going?, please confess, why would you do that?, questions bring stress, lying is something you learn, lying is a stage of development, who knocked over the milk?, the dog knocked over the milk, Werwile of The Crystal Crypt by Gardner F. Fox, hashtag boobtube, women in test tubes, in comics, I underestimated him, if you have a family who loves you, most people don’t read, Paul can read for himself, enjoying a story together, watching a TV show together, playing computer games, you can ask your mom to read it, adorable, Jesse’s mom was not a fan of that story, Harry Turtledove, reading The Iliad for fun, what we did for entertainment before radio and TV, designed to be read aloud, reading Oscar Wilde, reading an audiobook, most people’s interactions are through the audio medium, its not that weird, unlocks the lady in the jar, a retelling of SHE by H. Rider Haggard, she knows everything, some good ideas, three planets, throne planet, laboratory planet, arsenal planet, a Marvel movie final fight scene, the big boss fight, great writing for the first 4 pages, transformed language, half-Borg and half-Vulcan, Seven Of Nine, she gets damseled, suitable for marriage now, pretty funny stuff, a lot of bad writing in the middle, there’s no reason or explanation for it being a “Werwile”, a god named Grock, lots of great vocab words, there’s a scene that is almost identical, the dressing up in native costume and joining a caravan heading to a city, Dick’s first sale that was published was to Planet Stories [Beyond Lies The Wub], studying the market, reading the story in context, that cyclopean look to the city, a market that he understood, if you can get into Fantasy & Science Fiction, one story into Astounding (Imposter), another weak connection, The Twilight Zone, Will The Real Martian Please Stand Up?, more like a Fredric Brown, palate cleansers between bigger stories, dressing up as a native, joining a caravan, fun, what a lot of Planet Stories is about, playing dress-up and hide and seek, hey dad what’s that little snow-globe you keep on your desk, hey look at all the dead bodies floating around in the water, HBO MAX, the Watchmen sequel series, Don Johnson, cool in the 1980s, our heroine superhero cop, team blue, her snooper x-ray device, a secret panel with a KKK uniform behind it, he’s got the black clad leiter uniform in the closet, he’s the Thacher character, he used it to improve himself within the party, a Voight-kampff test, an IQ test, doing the latrines or calculating ballistics, the social hierarchy within the Martian society, William Gibson’s technology not being evenly distributed, they half to come to the city to have their marriage performed, an official has to do it, grey robes he never takes off and will be buried in, awesome costumes, the fear of totalitarian style government, accede to our demands, that’s empire, Evan, you need to trade with us on our terms, you take this opium, you need to give us gold, that’s extraction, the villagers aren’t cowed, good breeding stock, very Nazi, what’s the point of governments counting marriages, you belong to us, official breeding programs, shcakc up with every girl he wants to get into the pants of, marry all of them, Dick took serial monogamy very seriously, worried about being cuckolded, Beyond The Door, worth reading despite being weak, unpolished Dick, there was no polish on The Unteleported Man aka Lies, Inc., just stapled together, Werwile Of The Crystal Crypt was a much worse story, the tonal shift, a suitable bride having her superior mind wiped, Planet Stories are fun even when the stories are very weak.