Reading, Short And Deep #275 – The Other Tiger by Arthur C. Clarke

Podcast

Reading, Short And DeepReading, Short And Deep #275

Eric S. Rabkin and Jesse Willis discuss The Other Tiger by Arthur C. Clarke

Here’s a link to a PDF of the story.

The Other Tiger was first published in Fantastic Universe, June-July 1953.

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

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The SFFaudio Podcast #629 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: Rastignac The Devil by Philip José Farmer

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #629 – Rastignac The Devil by Philip José Farmer – read by Gregg Margarite for LibriVox. This is a complete and unabridged reading of the short story (1 Hour 58 Minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants include Jesse, Will Emmons, and Trish E. Matson.

Talked about on today’s show:
Fantastic Universe, May 1954, no illustrations, a French publication, big long mustache, lion statue, a spirit coming out of the lion, all metaphorical, or a particular satire, an elaborate joke, would make a great cartoon, Fords and Renaults with feet, my Renaut is tired, interesting and imaginative, only for students of the genre, not a good entry point, unlikeable characters, exploring ideas in a jokey way, a satire of a certain thing, a little piece of history, 19th century French adventure literature, The Three Musketeers, making fun of or having fun with, the playful joking, more exploration, particular institutions, Jesse is not an expert on the French Revolution, pre-revolutionary France, the three institutions, political points, non-political points, the last three paragraphs, bad news for Trish and Will, Skin, a substitute for a conscience, Candide by Voltaire, the old evil of alcohol, they plunged into the whirlpool, the discussion philosophical, front loading the infodump, this is a novel but I can’t sell it as a novel, Christopher Paul Carey, this is in the public domain, not happy with it, enough material, more material than The Green Odyssey, a stock for a soup, The Lovers, 1952, the parent of the bug-woman, New Gaul, the Beautiful Land, why there’s so much material here, the Israeli Confederation, what makes the story work, her stuff is in Hebrew, true history that was corrupted devolved knowledge, just another interesting , The Lovers (the 58 page), A Woman A Day, Moth And Rust, World Of Tiers, Barsoom on one level, ancient Greece, Doc Savage, Tarzan, To Your Scattered Bodies Go, always exploring some sort of cool idea, how to knit it together, an interesting book, not fully grasped, The Three Musketeers, he says what he means, the skins were our consciences, the French Revolution is happening at the end of this story, I’ve got quite a gloss on that, specifically a Science Fiction story, changelings, a lot of metaphor happening, fairy tale, eating meat turns you violent, unshakeable belief, the openings, after the editorial introduction, Rastignac had no Skin., reading aloud in your inner mind, having no skin and being happy, deep underground, very very very playful, why are you telling us all this, pulling the rug out from under you every sentence, wordplay, see what the consequences of that are, the King’s Muckateers, three prison escapes is illegal, a chronic stiff neck, his philosophy of violence, an attack on the church, an embrace of the church, what happened to the Church of England, gay priests, atheist priests, we’re all on the same team, Anglican equivalents in Canada, when will the NDP be neo-liberally corrupt, just give it time, everything becomes corrupt and then there’s a revolution, the blood drinking, a metaphor, eternal life through drinking blood, Catholics, not eating meat is common in religions, not made explicit enough, Jesse doubts he’s not smart enough, watching Spaceballs and never having seen Star Wars, Blazing Saddles vs. Men In Tights, Jesse feels like Worf in Sherwood Forest, I am not a merry man, a canon of these kinds of stories, not good at limiting himself to one thing, The Other Log Of Phileas Fogg, just read it as an amusing little jaunt, planetary romance, generations later, different planet, the downed spaceman, a promise unfulfilled, with the six ships in the sky orbiting, why six?, that number is to refer to something, what’s happening in France today, why their culture is so heavily effected, how long a legacy, wash over, a dutch standup, something wrong with the text, ebook editions, Despoilers Of The Golden Empire by Randall Garrett, a spaceborn retelling of the conquest of Mexico, Star Trek, they’re obviously inferior, thus died Francisco Pizarro, there’s no such thing as spoiling it, Frank Kelly Freas, they didn’t believe in spoilers back then, we cant even tell them apart, it writes itself, a good science fiction metaphor gets behind your defenses in a way direct assaults can’t, that’s a metaphor, what is the philosophy of violence, lenient government that allows underground cells, literally laissez-faire, what’s true, free speech vs. actually killing people vs. overthrowing institutions, fish not meat, his buddy, Ssassaror, the changeling thing, residential schools, there’s no exchange, a kind of critique of religion, a Voltaire like character, revialed, exiled and revered, something very basic, daring to be a revolutionary, a free speech system, rejecting the church, rejecting the skin, its a vampire, acting like a parent, a superego, alcohol, in vino veritas, he’s got a skinful, glimpses of light, pre-revolutionary France, powerful church, distant king, nobody’s the good guy, Jesse doesn’t get it, Lusine, husband trying to abandon his native wife, he’s attracted to her because he’s repulsed by her, irredeemable, a conversation that absolved her of her sins, supporting her father, Rastignac’s approval, she’s deranged throughout the entire story, Jesse doesn’t even get the title, cognac, we don’t feel alcoholism, Edgar Allan Poe’s The Black Cat, perfectly, special attention, its actually a satire of temperance, the long legacy of temperance, teetotaling, much better understood, on the head of a keg of alcohol, not an accident, best understood through the light of his excuse, he blames it all on alcohol, a real phenomenon, who’s responsible?, AA, the higher power is attached to your body, created by the government and tended by scientists, is alcohol the devil, Balzac uses Rastignac in a number of stories, a letter that’s me talking about…, perfectly enjoyable on its own, the car chase, infodump vs. action, the jump button, an elite car, Renault because its funny, he’s just playin, people who are in cultures, eternal things, everything is cultural, mutable, a linguistic expert…,

Everybody knew the Church had been outlawed a long time ago because it opposed the use of the Skins and certain other practices that went along with it. So, no sooner had that been done than the Ssassarors, anxious to establish their check-and-balance system, had made arrangements through the Minister of Ill-Will to give the Church unofficial legal recognizance.

who are they, do they have to be anyone?, the Minister of Ill-Will, accuracy in naming?, the containment strategy, if you want to go to Oxford you have to become an Anglican, dilutes the meaning, religious whackjobiness, a more honest system, the government persecutor, Ministry of War, in our self-deluded society, the Ministry of Defense, the War Department, truth in the naming, we won’t launch any aggressive wars, unk-unks, Secretary of Defense, sec-def, just going to the meeting is the corruption, we end up where we are, a news report about all the wars, it just doesn’t happen anymore, isn’t that interesting, an interesting point he’s making, Jesse feels it but doesn’t fully grok it, Jesse wishes there was a podcast that could totally explain it, Will is still trying to grok it, LibriVox, Heel, it needs to be brought to the surface, Easter eggs, a narrative you can enjoy, a bit of fun, this should be longer vs. this should be shorter, almost none of it goes deeper, an amazing dystopian device, biology, an amazing novel, a trilogy or a series, wrong skin, half skin, linked to all the other skins, its brilliant, its your culture, how that even happened, getting that idea into the SF arena, you have to wear this parasite, that he never calls it out like a parasite, interesting effects, biological adjustment, Octavia Butler’s Bloodchild, “Rastignac was sure… something”, it is definitely something, To Your Scattered Bodies Go, amazing scenes, building up a world, he doesn’t have a good explanation, he’s a seat of his pants guy, a core reveal, a Philip K. Dick short story, an amazing thing (and then there’s nothing), everybody dies and wakes up in Riverworld, a metaphor for being born on Earth, Hermann Goering, Mark Twain, this caveman dude, Richard Burton, no satisfactory reveal, genes wanna make more genes is not narratively interesting (it is narratively sad), free floating as true (even though it was false), how many Riverworld books, offered him too much money so he wrote book 5, what the point, ethical aliens, reach enlightenment and join this oversoul, hints, The Dark Design, a pointless war, a point about war, the blimp woman, the only queer character in any Philip Jose Farmer story, has dated Jack London before, secret truth, this book has no point, the ending of Rastignac is really good, so condensed, it needed to be way longer, curlicues and ornate spins, interesting vs. amazing, what people say about The Lovers, everyone looks like a sphinx and is a hermaphrodite, 1950s, 1960s, Joe Lansdale, Farmer’s electric brain, had Farmer submitted a script to Star Trek, a fanzine article, every week you got to a new planet (unless there’s a space anomaly), the planet of the counting coup black people, the plains Indians and the Moors, how do you deal with a culture that’s different, the presenting of a weird culture, because of his electric brain, the angst driving Farmer’s writing, he’s wearing the skin, I’ve been a god this whole time, The Rebels Unthawed, The Shadow Of Space, if you go really fast you gain mass, bigger than the universe, Sketches Among The Ruins Of My Mind, Farmerphile, issue 9, gems within,

Rastignac became brisk. He said, “We go to your castle, Giant. We use your smithy to put sharp points on our swords, points to slide through a man’s body from front to back. Don’t pale! That is what we must do. And then we pick up your goose that lays the golden eggs, for we must have money if we are to act efficiently. After that, we buy—or steal—a boat and we go to wherever the Earthman is held captive. And we rescue him. “And then?” said Lusine, her eyes shining with emotion.

“What you do then will be up to you. But I am going to leave this planet and voyage with the Earthman to other worlds.”

Silence. Then Mapfarity said, “Why leave here?”

“Because there is no hope for this land. Nobody will give up his Skin. Le Beau Pays is doomed to a lotus-life. And that is not for me.”

Archambaud jerked a thumb at the Amphib girl. “What about her people?”

“They may win, the water-people. What’s the difference? It will be just the exchange of one Skin for another. Before I heard of the landing of the Earthman I was going to fight no matter what the cost to me or inevitable defeat. But not now.”

Mapfarity’s rumble was angry. “Ah, Jean-Jacques, this is not my comrade talking. Are you sure you haven’t swallowed your Skin? You talk as if you were inside-out. What is the matter with your brain? Can’t you see that it will indeed make a difference if the Amphibs get the upper hand? Can’t you see who is making the Amphibs behave the way they have been?”

Rastignac urged the Renault towards the rose-colored lacy castle high upon a hill. The vehicle trotted tiredly along the rough and narrow forest path.

Philip K. Dick fun stuff, this is a scene from something that’s been re-imagined, this is an adventure story, a noisy car, dense and foggy, a very peaceful planet, stealing of babies is fine, because they don’t have alcohol?, a whole lot of levels, wanna mess up your life go to the bar and get in a barfight, liberté, égalité, fraternité, why is the Earth woman in this story?, a common plot element, it doesn’t need to be here, it doesn’t add anything to the story, that leads to a way off, spark a revolution, a chinwag about stuff, he started a riot, a promise of more alcohol?, where’s the evidence for that?, that would just be amazing, how to accept the skins, a classic of science fiction (in terms of ideas), adopt our ways, a YA Farmer book, super-rich and yet not satisfactory, a psychedelic art comic or cartoon art style, re-imagine it, very visual, without any piece of art to guide us, a LEGO line, very appealing to children of all ages, epees, rapiers, a coach Renault with a working jump button, a rosy coloured lacy castle, the underground cell set, the greatest LEGO movie ever, LEGO New Gaul, with so many good ideas, alas, but still, Trish would like to recommend a complete inversion of this story, Emergency Skin by N.K. Jemisin, becoming uninhabitable, centuries later…, live cooperatively and save the planet, these people are crazy they’re bad they’re obviously inferior and you need to leave”, on Audible, standalone, generally a recommendation, people are paying attention to this story, The Blasphemers, Phil is really neurotic about religion, semi-autobiographical reflections about things, have the children going to church, Phil’s lifelong battle with predestination and Hell (being traumatizing), trying to find a way to relate, Farmer almost became a Scientologist, you have to leave your wife, Sufi stuff, an extended metaphor for some aspect of Sufism, semi-podcasting life, be interesting, be interested, he’s writing stuff for sale but that’s only half of the reason he’s writing it, he was always working on something, working on your philosophical ideas, ambivalent about religion, fascinated and always searching, uniquely American, specifically intensified in American life, religious freedom, fractalization of churches, some weird religion is starting up, Falun Gong, New York, propaganda newspaper, the counter arm of the anti-Chinese government.

Fantastic Universe, May 1954

UTOPIA - Rastignac The Devil by Philip Jose Farmer

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Reading, Short And Deep #274 – Awakening Of The Bacchae by Naomi Mitchison

Podcast

Reading, Short And DeepReading, Short And Deep #274

Eric S. Rabkin and Jesse Willis discuss Awakening Of The Bacchae by Naomi Mitchison

Here’s a link to a PDF of the poem.

Awakening Of The Bacchae was first published in Oxford Poetry, 1915.

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

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The SFFaudio Podcast #628 – READALONG: Rage by Stephen King

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #628 – Jesse and Evan Lampe talk about Rage by Stephen King (writing as Richard Bachman)

Talked about on today’s show:
Richard Bachman, Getting It On, not what I thought it would be, a school shooter book, only two people, a lot less group therapy, The Breakfast Club where the teacher gets shot, Lovecraft and Philip K. Dick, working his real life problems, psychologically traumatized by growing up, On Writing, Danse Macabre, single mom, he was witness, assuming schools are different today, out of the institution, it is not like it was, way less, psychological bullying, the teachers are the prison guards, you don’t squeal, it really is a prison, obsessed with bullying, It, the whole town is kind of sick, Carrie, seems kind of unrealistic, pervasive evil, neutral or brutal, The Long Walk, Roadwork, The Running Man, Thinner, The Regulators, parallel to Desperation, Blaze, one of his more Philip K. Dickian novels, an official photo of Richard Bachman, Richard Stark and Donald Westlake, everything comes out like Bach, The Dark Half, Thad Beaumont, told the father, comic crime, a Navy or Marine recruiter, a helluva lot of psychology, a very strange book, why this stuff happens, school shootings make a lot of sense, you can’t leave, if you can’t escape you lash out, the centerpiece of young people’s lives, if you do have rage inside you, projected at your guards and fellow prisoners, the math teacher, the narrator viewpoint character has something wrong with him (and also grievances), how what people say and do haunt people, too grown up?, particularly sophisticated, Stephen King re-reads, this isn’t there anymore, his kids are a little too grown up?, they aged the kids up, magic, things that 11 year olds believe that 14 year olds don’t, The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, infantilizing young people, its too late, a lot of truth in this book, so pervasive in the culture, The Shining, the father figure, the genealogy of evil, he’s an alcoholic, mother issues, family issues, cycles of horror, every 28 years, brainwashing her daughter, something King grappled with for decades, written in high school, contemporary references, the math teacher is a monster, he’s being haunted, he doesn’t attack the students, fellow prisoners, prisoners of their nation, prisoners of their community, prisoners of their religion, social stigma of being a slut, backstory, telling ghost stories, takes on the role of teacher, they get it on, getting passed all the bullshit and the horror and secrets that are making their lives miserable, pedagogy, industry standard, what do you think, let’s engage on this, he’s a better teacher, facilitate learning among students, I’m at BU now, The Postman Always Rings Twice by James M. Cain, raw and short, 211 pages, just over 5 hours in the audiobook, one long walk, The Long Walk, only 100 people do it each year, virtually everyone fills out that form, a physical checkup, to do with the draft, the war, the guy who sells books to the school, his dad’s a creepy fuck, walking from Maine to Boston, there’s no end point, that’s life, a metaphor for life, very dark, it transforms itself rather oddly, why he withdrew the book, shooting up your school, kind of like a play, we learned something here today, another trope of his, seductive leader, Randall Flagg in The Stand, shining is King’s psychic ability, Charlie Decker shines, a very good book, an interesting book, this peculiar institution is ongoing, its global, when Jesse’s tutoring, realizing to them individually, the ability to get inside the kid’s head, building up skills and information, teaching them to ride bikes (with sentences, or analysis), use the magic words, a skill set you’re trying to impart, roll call, escaped for the day, Jesse has had good teachers, forced to be there, why or what was happening, you’re not allowed to skip, game the system, school was punishment, university was completely different, they take an exam at the beginning of the book, all the other kids are dressed down, you idiots, there’s no test, in a more horrible environment, modelling what they’re doing, you can’t do that with a whole classroom full of kids, they don’t know what they don’t know, its impossible, a disaster, 35 kids in a class, 20 is conceivable, some teacher who are capable of great work in the classroom, your attention is so divided, how normal animals work, mom bears eat blackberries, there’s no school for animals, a flock of birds, a herd of sheep, what we’re doing kind of is institutionalizing a thing, artificial parent, sometimes they’re horrible, their litters are to big, more malevolent, your pay determines how valuable you are, Elon Musk must be a genius because he’s so rich, the teacher has the right answer, showing your work, trains us for capital industrial society, obedience, the humanities (are to blame), S.E. Hinton, these are your great writers, these are your national heroes, expanding the hero set as we become more woke, an immigrant culture, 1870s, this twitter thing that happened S.E. Hinton author of The Outsiders, really good reads, reassign what you were assigned, about young kids, a JD novel, apparently alive, my students love your novel, thank you for your beautiful work, they can read a book, graphic novel, she’s a snob, a hierarchy of art, novels aren’t at the top, short stories, novellas, plays, TV movies, podcasts can be pretty amazing, her objection is interesting, make kids not hate school by showing school is totally hateable, empathizing with people of general good character (in poor circumstances), a teacher handing out copies of Rage, self-banned, shooters with this book in their locker, lifting the scales, this institution is super pervasive, half online, Michel Foucault, prison, asylum, institution, to serve modernity, the history of the prison, China, 80 years old, jail, confinement is the punishment, copying the west, public schools are very very new, what are we going to do with them, a fake labour market, what’s an alternative to prisons, tutoring is an alternative, monasteries, apprentices, student loans and free college, the industry needed skilled workers, cobblers or bakers, funded by taxpayers, the bosses don’t pay for it, it has never been the standard, why the university feels so different, exams and attendance, the lecture hall vs. the classroom, you can feel it, truancy officers, hall passes, the school to prison flow, black people in the States, being uppity in school, uppity into school, a feeding system for prison, residential schools were super-evil, away from their parents, their language, physical and sexual abuse, the legacy is not good, you can generationaly heal, Joe Hill, other problems, your society isn’t just your parents, recruitment for the war machine, another institution, professional soldiers and standing armies, clans and border incursions, the legacy of institutions gets deep inside, roots that are hard to see, penetrating layers of psychology, we’re in that forest, cultural interrogation, the asylum, Nurse Ratched, watch it if you want, asylums are the go to place for horror, reform out, group homes and group therapy, the abuses were so horrible, generational desensitization, co-op homeschooled, the default is the parent is a religious nut, overly protective, wonky, hippie, regular parents are desensitized, how crappy school is, just a thing you have to do, all sorts of things to hate about the institution, the only exception is politicians, a badge of honor, I went to a public school, I suffered with all you plebs, Pete Buttigieg, the psychological impact of not going to school, South Park pandemic special, psychological damage for *not* going to school?, watching YouTube videos, there’s a Philip K. Dick novel, The Long Walk was a depressing grind, there is no liberation, this is a liberation book, electroshock therapy, psilocybin, megadoses, parental expectation, what they think education is, what education actually is, memorization, maybe there’s a better way, use is the better way, start using those vocab, silly at the beginning, problems in the world you would like to communicate, we won’t like the ranking, it gets in students heads too, inured to education, but I don’t want to spoil it for you, becoming institutionalized, that mental illness thing, if he can’t break the system then what he did was horrible, did the prison guards have it coming?, getting up at 5am, the kids are overworked, they don’t have a life outside of school, that’s bad, we should all be in jail for child abuse, in a few hundred years, those overseers were as much to blame, strong union in British Columbia, criticize the curriculum, English 10, Shakespeare’s amazing, fill in the blanks, essays, online schooling, more common, self-paced, a list of books you need to read and reflect on in your writing, which character said this?, guess what the writer of the exam said was the right answer, get a stack of book, you’re gonna dig this book, not interested in reading at all, everybody has to be a novel reader, the problem with grading, art history in-class analysis, cultural, thematic, evaluation, judging a slug on how well it climbs trees, who can climb trees best, he chooses the math teacher, you have to have a certain level of math, math is really important and really interesting, if you’re a sailor, if you’re an engineer, a contractor, a cashier, quadratic equations, whose ever used Euclid, prove angles on a triangle, its interesting, let’s keep this idea and system alive, I’m for this thing, you don’t have to be an expert on Ancient Egypt, what school should be is a buffet, they can pursue it at a higher institution, in high school science we dissect animals, prepared slides, not literally science, pushing the boundaries of what we know, experimentalized, that’s not what you’re doing that’s not your job, Jesse teaches essay writing, the essay format was very popular in the 16 to 18th centuries, essay writing in first grade, did King do a disservice to humanity by self-banning this book, as a school shooter book, group therapy, he’s a horrible person, he uses foul language, Red Letter Media’s review of The Friday The Thirteenth sequels, should we ban slasher films?, slasher films are awesome, the close observer, other King books are so much worse, Apt Pupil is way worse, the new right, neo-nazis, a Nazi who got away, worse characters, he’s a popular writer, quoting Wikipedia, the Virginia Tech shooter, Cain Rose Up, Guns, the preface to Blaze, does it save lives?, the Columbine high-school massacre, Columbine by Dave Cullen, Bowling For Columbine (2002), what they always do in the media, Doom causes school shootings, blaming Dungeons & Dragons, Tom Hanks becoming mentally ill by playing D&D, Evan’s pastor, C.S. Lewis is okay, you shouldn’t do this: Jesus, another institution, sexual repression, the concerns of people’s reputations, what the truth is, all sorts of stuff, I’m not a devil worshiper surprisingly, what actually happened, folie à deux, Klebold and Harris, warning signs, the police fucked it up real good, school lockdowns, lockdown is not a good idea, a kind of mania for control, punishment, unquestionable policies, playing with guns, buying guns, making explosives, hate for people, extreme hate for people, the reason she was killed, are you a christian, she said yes, how the United States works, what Colorado was, Mork And Mindy was set in Boulder, a big Air Force state, military education, Robert A. Heinlein near Cheyenne, this mountain central state, a new western frontier, a batman movie shooting, a different kind of state, religion, school, military, set beliefs, you don’t fit into those, resentment can build up, boys are good at killing people because they have hands, machetes, it’s one way to go, its kind of like cancer, if you have enough cells you’re going to get it, Richard Bachman’s book are not the key to the school shootings, understandable, that person who he was, he was very angry, he was full of horror at reality, he reserves his anger for Trump now, this viewpoint character is most like the author, not the book Jesse was expecting, Pinter-like, its never gonna be a TV movie, getting out graduating and telling the truth, everybody masturbates, I’m a virgin, a good read, an interesting read, you shouldn’t skip rage, teenage sexuality, the one hold out, he’s a mirror to the narrator, male vs. female sexuality, there’s so much moralism about sexuality in King’s early work, alcoholism, drugs, Doctor Sleep, Revival, recovery narrative, monogamy, The Stand, 99.9% of Americans die, good wins out, THIS IS MY WOMAN, moralistic about monogamy, he’s taking what he likes from the institution, this is literally the problem, raging against the institutions all around him, The Running Man is such an awesome critique of American capitalism, Christian moralizing is not for me, some religious leader didn’t like the way the institution was running things, a lack of long term vision, seems like a nice guy, the killings, should I do a show on this?, Jesse was worried, Jesse shouldn’t worry, other problems that he’s ignoring, he has a legitimate grievance, make it about veganism, crazy people, TV shows, leaders on television, not so subtle hints, legacy of horror, changing the reality violently, an incident in a fictional character’s life, the loyal friend who is going to come visit him, getting some truth out and making people feel better, we all pee, she doesn’t pee or poo, you can’t admit to something like that, could have happened in a church, going postal, workplace shooting, interesting book, fits so smoothly into Stephen King’s other works, literally defying King, a 2012 Guardian review, asked Stephen King, what cowed media we have, fucking terrible journalism, its very impressive, 1966, good job Stephen King.

Signet - Rage by Richard Bachman

Signet - Rage by Richard Bachman

New English Library - Rage by Richard Bachman

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Reading, Short And Deep #273 – The Power Of Wine by H.P. Lovecraft

Podcast

Reading, Short And DeepReading, Short And Deep #273

Eric S. Rabkin and Jesse Willis discuss The Power Of Wine by H.P. Lovecraft

Here’s a link to a PDF of the poem.

The Power Of Wine was first published in The Tryout, April 1916.

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

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The SFFaudio Podcast #627 – READALONG: Don’t Panic by Neil Gaiman

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #626 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, Scott Danielson, Marissa VU, and Maissa Bessada talk about Don’t Panic by Neil Gaiman

Talked about on today’s show:
Douglas Adams, about Neil Gaiman, ten years younger?, only 8 years younger, how young Douglas Adams died or how old Neil Gaiman is, 80s vs 90s, only 49, heart attack, don’t work out, jogging is not something you should do, don’t climb rocks, just sit, have a lie down, Starcraft for 72 hours, InfoCom’s The Hitch-Hiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, InvisiClues, h2g2 site, some visual elements, a buffered analgesic, a radio show first, a novelization of the radio drama, the TV show, the novel, the radio drama, the movie, the record album, just awesome, why he was such a big hit, the graphics, Richard Dawkins and Lala Ward, Dirk Maggs, on YouTube, Hulu, the history of this book, David Dixon, M.J. Simpson, the stuff that happens in between, the plot, how storytelling works, the 1988 publication, the narrator Simon Jones, Arthur Dent, Peter Jones, the chapter titles were quieter, a cute addition, not ever being a possible romantic lead, typecast forever, he’s wearing a bathrobe right now wherever he is, he has his towel, how interesting it is as a reaction to Doctor Who, his characters are not cooperating, they’re kind of jerks, make plot happen, the opposite of Doctor Who, John Pertwee, Tom Baker, The Green Death, the environment, the plot, the reveal, colonialism, frakking, peripheral to the plot, the writing of the plots, the ideas they are exploring, he does these stunts, blows up the earth and then continues the story, my friend Maissa, Douglas Adams style of humour, the jokes are at the forefront, the funny situations, so unusual, he breaks all the rules of what writing is supposed to be in the novel form, building the train track in front of you as the train’s going, save it for the podcast, seeing where the road takes you, writing was a process of panic, living right at the very edge, Paperback Swapping, this is not for everybody, its not really for kids, its for 14 year olds, what Douglas Adams was, somehow monetize that, fulfill the contract, what job qualifications he had, sexual requests, the kind of answers characters would give, did you do any research, 100% hell no, extincting animal, everything in his life gave him his first book and his first radio series, his personality written down, crystalizing it, an exam, he would never give answers until he fully understood, he was late to deadlines, formal and real, enough wisdom to write it down, how weird the series is, so meta, a book about a book, all the firm ground we think we live on, the parallel with the destruction of his home, HOME, So Long And Thanks For All The Fish, 42 and towel, a whale is falling, the flower pot, it’s about existence, it’s about our place in the universe, our own ridiculous, Oolon Colluphid, its about philosophy, popping into existence from nothing, just brilliant, it connects in some way to life, big ideas, big questions, it makes you feel smart when you read it, Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels, the Ted Danson, the last adventure, a kind of a sadness, throughout the books, really sad things, lots of lonely people, Marvin, not just Fawlty Towers absurdist character humour, Last Chance To See, The Meaning Of Liff, Stephen Fry, a similar personality, an obsession with words, English Delights, Ancient Greek myths and heroes, academic, depressive, the impact of this guy, a Dirk Gently TV show, zany rather than deep, it missed the mark, an idea Asimov would work on, if it all turns out to be stupid answer at least we’ll have an elegant question, informed by Science, H.P. Lovecraft, deep time, the mice and the dolphins, it’s important, the B-Ark, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: Live in Concert, just fantastic, the Dove Audio audiobooks, the definite reader for his own stuff, sell em again, what estate he had, gadgets, so many Macs, it makes total sense, digital watches, what a ridiculous monkey descendant I am, very much of his time, no shame in it, how shameful it is, an encyclopedia, pre-dating Wikipedia, when the internet’s a thing, much more like him, Rickmansworth, Mostly Harmless, adding to that insignificance, all of human history is summed up in a galactic encyclopedia is just two words, the guide was updating itself, when Arthur Dent is trapped in the distant past of Islington, there wont be a train for 10 million years, absurdist, insulting everyone in the universe, Paul in high school, a Hitch-hiker stan, I’m partying with Vogons tonight, an instant connection, Brandon Sanderson, you’re in the group, Lois McMaster Bujold, that whole marketing and stuff thing, an ad in Rolling Stone, free books, creating the word of mouth by bootstrapping the thing that actually works, putting bums in seats on the first day, when you have something you really know works, this book is hilarious, the Wednesday night thing, The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975), a 25 foot inflatable whale, marketing for book 3, we have a new book to promote, hopefully writing very rapidly, dodged another one, it lets you know, that guy whose stuff you like, Paul is a pretty connected, the most connected person in the science fiction world, a whaleogram, that same sort of weirdness, how inspired was Maissa?, a similar personality, Zaphod’s head, Last Chance To See, audio is the way to do this, what the advantages of audio are, there’s just something about it, magical world creating in audio, the listener is a participant, let the imagination fill that, activated imagination, you can’t shut your eyes to the audio, Nightfall: The Room, Fred Greenhalgh, Good Omens, on YouTube as well, who else is like this?, obsessed with the Norse gods, Gaiman is much more disciplined, structural, controlled, The Lego Movie, imagination, the multiverse of LEGO products, the reality outside, the metaness is there, movie friendly, a LEGO audio drama, Robert Sheckley, sweet and depressing stories, his main thing is philosophically exploding the possibilities of free floating in the universe, Reading, Short And Deep, Keep Your Shape by Robert Sheckley, feeling the constraints of their society, its an analogy for repressing homosexuality, freed from restriction, reality is not what it was before, Mindswap, Total Recall (1990), so zany, grounded in a philosophy of what difficulties we have as human beings, Kurt Vonnegut, who am I, what am I all here for?, oh yes this is very Adamsy, that kind of specialness is very rare, Neil Gaiman is not really about the funnies, who else is there?, Harry Harrison, The Stainless Steel Rat, endless possibilities, Jasper Fforde, Tom Holt, K.J. Parker, Terry Pratchett, A Canticle For Leibowitz, wry, arch, satirical, Philip K. Dick in Galactic Pot-Healer, what am I doing here, a bowl of Martian fatworm soup, reaching and stretching for outside, Red Dwarf is not the same thing, the characters in Red Dwarf are idiots, its amazing that it works at all, somehow he manages to bumble his way through to almost truths, standup comedy, the beast in The Restaurant At The End Of The Universe, solving a lot of the vegans problems, “my hindquarters are incredibly tender”, the problems were all faced with, we’ve been thrown down on this planet, Pilgrimage To Earth (aka Love, Incorporated) [it was copyright renewed: (In Playboy, Sept. 1956) Love, Inc. Pub. 1956-08-15; B00000608703.], mordant sense of humour, Zaphod Plays It Safe, Genghis Khan, a serious output problem, Bureaucracy, standard difficulty, very gamey, you could entries in the guide, beer, Canada, thousands of entries, this is amazing, 5 and a quarter, yo, bag of invisible space fleet, no tea, very philosophical, the same as flying, the first computer game an author wrote his own work, who wrote that Philip K. Dick game? [Blade Runner (1997)], by Robert Holmes, prominent credits, executive producer, the front and center, Sid Meier, Police Quest, King’s Quest, Betrayal At Krondor by Raymond E. Feist, Starship Titanic, PUBG, appendices, they’re still making it while you’re playing it, go to school to write videogames, aspiration, dialogue to write, Fallout, Red Dead Redemption, L.A. Noire, history to bone-up on, nobody knows the people’s names, better pay, Pillars Of Eternity, constantly pouring out new games, novels were the premiere medium in the 17th century, short stories were in the late 19th century, new BBC Radio dramas have the stupidest format, telling a story as if it were a podcast, why is that a better medium?, H.P. Lovecraft, pretending to be a podcast, they’re making the Blair Witch and putting it on TV, Douglas Adams did a metabook on radio, pan-galactic gargle blasters, he’s never done, Dirk Gently is just as good and more timeless, so of its period, more earthbound themes, so influential, so many people read it, the writers of The Next Generation are aware of the possibilities of The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, it worked out pretty good, the sauna, I don’t have to be consistent because its not really about the plot, asking questions not giving answers, parallel universes, did anyone cry?, the eulogy, blessing, it just came out of nowhere, the way he died, how cool he was, we’ve made the world worse, Jesse did not cry.

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