The SFFaudio Podcast #642 – The Sowers Of The Thunder by Robert E. Howard; read by Connor Kaye
This unabridged reading of the story (1 hours 34 minutes) is followed by a discussion of it.
Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Will Emmons, Trish E. Matson, and Alex and Connor Kaye.
Talked about on today’s show:
Oriental Stories, Winter 1932, 9 issues, a spinoff of Weird Tales, G.G. Pendarves, Hung Long Tom, Otis Adelbert Kline, The Dragoman’s Jest, the kock-off Edgar Rice Burroughs, E. Hoffman Price, Magic Carpet, 5 issues, the Arabian Nights theme, historical fiction, what kind of stories they’re publishing, guys with scimitars, yellow peril, the mystical east, Orientalism, Australian stories, the land of upside down, the exotic, Outback Tales, Bush Tales, shaggy dog stories, time wasters, folklore, folktales, bush poetry, don’t worry Trish, North-West Adventures, Yukon Tales, Jack London made that genre, American movie productions set, I Heard The Owl Call My Name by Margaret Craven, the last frontier, She in the Arctic, that excitement about Antarctica, Hawks Of Outremer, Robin Hood, King John, the crusades and the crusader states, a lot of work, the research for Oriental tales was too much work, battle scenes, historical errors?, Saladin’s a real guy, a shoutout to Cormac Fitzgeoffrey, Swords Of Shahrzar, there’s a lot going on in here, the twist ending, why it didn’t grab you, Jewels Of Gwahlur, a completely different kind of mode, transferring information, giving what you need for what he’s going to do, we need a map, El Borak, The Fire Of Asshurbanipal, the 1982 Conan movie, Subotai is in this, Baibars, Gerry Lopez, Lopez, lifts from other Robert E. Howard stories, deep in your soul, make it part of your life, A Witch Shall Be Born, Hour Of The Dragon, Tower Of The Elephant, a Kull villain, dressed like a mongol, what happened to Baibars in real life, a king by his own hand, Oliver Stone or John Milius, there is no one Conan story, Queen Of The Black Coast, Belit for this scene, giant snake, an amalgam of Howard’s themes and ideas, the wheel of pain, we don’t know who the hero of our story is, that mode, is the hero Baibars, its a ruse, a castle full of Arabs, “this is a ruse”, this is a trick, the trick happened earlier, not a mystery exactly, we’re not supposed to know, our reveal is a supposition of reality, Haroun, Harold Lamb, why it feels like it doesn’t work, our Irish lord fleeing despair in Europe for relief in the east, a historical supposition, he’s making an argument, the protagonist vs. the viewpoint character, rising around for three chapters until the plot hook, it bounces from castle to castle, all this stuff didn’t happen over night, what’s the time frame of this story, we need a map and a timeline, from Egypt to Palestine, the first invasion, the subsequent invasion, historical about Baibars, Kingdom Of Heaven (2005), the reveal was amazing, he was my taskmaster, I was his body servant, I hate that guy, I am not Haroun, a really interesting thing that he’s done, really impersonal, a bigger scoped story, the fall of kingdoms, Howard works best at the personal level, the undercooked personal level, the knight who secretly betrayed him, a prophecy, twice as long, the lady knight thing was so out of nowhere, that plot arc, a bit out of place, why it doesn’t work as well as Hawks Of Outremer, not much of a payoff for any of the characters, the romance plot ends in tragedy, it can’t be told from his POV, we want to want him to win, pulling itself in several different ways, everything that happens in it is historically accurate, a scar on his face, involved in many intrigues in his life, going amongst the people to spy, what made him such a rags to riches story, an indentured slave, the schools, a northern barbarian, blue eyed, pale skin, chopping skills, 1,000 sword swings a day, kinda hard to understate, he thinks of himself as an Irishman, him confronting the east, why the mongols were stopped, how come the hordes didn’t take over the Arab empire, Baibars stopped them, he took a crusader state and teamed up against the mongols, team-up, wow!, the opposite of Saladin, Saladin is noble, Baibars is cunning, quarterstaff, neither of us will ever be able to dominate the other, when our hero dies, that scar on his face like Kull, Howard projecting himself against a historical figure, an different kind of defeat, Cahal, kay-hal?, his kingdom is the dark side of the moon, he kinda gets what he wants: an end to himself, he came here because he couldn’t go home, he’s seeking death, you can’t defeat me, I see you as a fellow person, a terrible defeat for Cromac Fitzgeoffrey, he clawed him, the only way Howard could engage, more than the end he wants, western civilization will crush Islam in 1,000 years, talking with Evan Lampe about Robert E. Howard’s letters to H.P. Lovecraft, within his stories, Lovecraft was never effected by Howard, Howard was very effected by Lovecraft, barbarians, barbarianism is the norm (not civilization), putting myself up against any historical figure, an intellectual heavyweight from a small town, such an insight into Howard’s psychology, the technical need, it isn’t a classic of Robert E. Howard, the scimitar with the scarlet flying, the babies being spitted, the bar fight, the Roy Thomas written Savage Swords, it doesn’t flow in the way we want it to, another way to do it, unless he abandons the thesis, the Irish viewpoint character, when the Mongols hit eastern Europe, these sons of slaves, disinherited before he was born, dies of a poisoning not meant for him, Haroun, Baibars is not the leader of Egypt, he’s not yet the leader of Egypt, info dump drops are 100% accurate, all these kingdoms, the Syrians and the Egyptians, imagine Canada trying to jump into the fight on January 6th, to get up to speed, who the sides are, relatively painless, if flows perfectly, the common enemy, a bit more messy, the craftsmanship, getting the writing done, the European inset, given the people he’s chosen to write about, he wanted to be as accurate as possible (or so it seems), Conan wouldn’t react the same way, a kingly figure who is worthy, who is Conan’s greatest adversary?, not Thulsa Doom, a monkey with a cape, his own lust, a doomed character, a femme fatale story, he’s so bitter at the beginning so revealed at the end, uncharacteristically Robert E. Howard, does he notice her at the beginning?, he looks into the visor, pulled back almost like a woman, he zones out a little bit, a giant army is coming, we should run, the great oaf, a slender knight, a rough red beard, a Vanir, something slumbering, man, where have I seen you before?, shadowed eyes, a thousand racing chaotic thoughts, an almost womanish gesture of rebuke, distracted by the Odin swearing assistant, Howard’s red herring is literally red haired, the ending works for Jesse, why it is not THE classic of Robert E. Howard stories, with the reveal and the supposition, growing mustachios, Connor read this for us, what’s the time period, the final battle is 1244, a year, six months, time to grow a mustache, Jerusalem, from Cairo to Damietta to Jerusalem, with a bandit far to the east, at least six months, seven chapters, how do you tell this story if you’re trying to be accurate, Die Hard (1988), these guys are gonna hang out and have adventures together, Marvel Team-Up, Green Lantern – Green Arrow, Hard Travelin’ Heroes, these two titans testing each other, team up for one battle, the double reveal of the masked night, strangled by the concept, the thesis, make this story longer, a modern fantasy novel, a novel length story spending more time with each of the characters, impersonating a man, tell it from her point of view, Will really liked this story, Vikings, go back in time, cut people up, lets have a hitting contest, Christopher Lee is a pirate, the Spanish Armada, a punching contest, The Devil-Ship Pirates (1964), PTSD in those days, drink each other under the table with fermented milk, a character that we don’t understand any better having read this story, different personas to live their lives, shocking and amazing and why are they doing it?, a lot of disguises, Eleanor, trying to fix this story, make it shorter or longer, the Eleanor plot arc, make it episodic, chunks, Akbar, start, middle, and end, episodes, add in something in the middle, uncharacteristic, make baibars more empathetic to see something from his perspective, The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner, only technically true, different perspective characters (all Baibars!), a unique idea for a series of stories, could I beat Baibars in a fight, it would be a tie!, I would be his equal!, I would be his match!, overstating the case, the sub-thesis, 100 years later in the history, the crusader states are in decline, Red Cahal rode, Tyre, Jaffa, Acre, Hospitallers and Templars, the Teutonic knights invaded Russia and Poland, spread Christianity and stamp out paganism, to stabilize his rule, pay off his guys, keep the mongols out, the fading kingdom, suicidal, at least a year, full of difficult pronunciations, living by his wits on the edge of his sword, a predatory nose, a haunt of poverty, weeds grew rank, lizards, the echoing emptiness, no gaily clad pages, a reiver’s hold, how does a noble house go down?, it just takes time, arguing so hard with Lovecraft, really interesting vs. rousing adventure, a good miniseries, his femme fatale who betrayed him, too short for what its trying to do, more resonant, he had to do so much infodumping, skillfully done, Hour Of The Dragon, the downer ending of Hawks Of Outremer, the same setup, his brother is dead so he’s sad, a gracious enemy vs. a devious enemy, strategist, leading incredibly heavily on a romance, I’ve heard stories about you tell me if they’re true, different media, in a TV show, techniques, what Shakespeare does on stage is so what you can’t do, an audio drama would need a narrator, a text crawl, its setup a lot like a mystery, Dashiell Hammett style, going around and getting beat up to solve a mystery, a recitation of facts is not a story, Shanghai, Shadow Of The Vulture, the Siege of Vienna, Magic Carpet, Red Sonja, a revenge arc, first concubine of the sultan, that bitch betrayed all of Europe, a red headed wanton, down the road in history, a generic Howard guy, a Howard woman who never needs to be rescued, what the Jews and Syrians were wearing in the street, different Irish guards, this guy’s young!, Dark Valley Destiny by Catherine Crook de Camp, Jane Whittington Griffin, L. Sprague de Camp, a photographic memory, an inability to not remember things like dates of purchases, Marilu Henner’s memory [hyperthymesia], a major facility, he was 30, being towards death, Bill Hollweg, Edgar Rice Burroughs, part of the attraction to Bill was these feelings, racial memory, events in your ancestor’s past, a guy who becomes Conan, Jack London, the Celt’s facility with language, Before Adam, The Call Of The Wild‘s race memory, reverting to one’s ancestor, the definitive word, White Fang, The Sea Wolf, savouring, Jack London’s one of the best writers ever, as I’m flying across the street having been hit by a bus I’ll be screaming “I should have read the memory”, an eidetic memory, worth reading (at least once), expensive bon bons, don’t read every Conan story back to back, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, the beats, 1995 – 2021, The Sowers Of The Thunder volumes from the 1970s, The Sword Of Shahrazar, Skull Face, the most racist, Howard doing Fu Manchu, an Atlantean priest, now Will is sold, a Famous Fantastic Mysteries podcast, Virgil Finlay, Hannes Bok, Lawrence Sterne Stevens, Almuric, something wrong about the ending, May June July August, Connor needs to do the one about the Polish lady, Leigh Brackett, doomed cult ideology, Outpost On Io, Chief O’Brien is not super-doomed, he likes being doomed, virtual reality prison for 40 years, oh I’m a robot, Philip K. Dick’s Impostor, the Gary Sinise movie sucks so bad, a giant chase sequence with Ice Cube in the middle, we like O’Brien, we know O’Brien, more Irish fated ill guys, other gloomy Irishmen characters, The Terror by Dan Simmons, The Coming Race, too long, another true story that’s been modified slightly to make it weird, except for the giant polar bear monster spirit, maybe that’s why the expedition was so doomed, tinned meat contaminated with lead, a supernatural element, the HBO biopics were really kind of depressing, real life is much harsher than stories are generally, spice it up with the fantastic it becomes more spritely and less dour, lets the medicine go down, the slash fiction, an archive of our own, they fall in love, some hot gay sex, grasping that pole (so to speak), take us through your inspiration for your story, where the slash fiction lives, post your own fan fiction, a good tagging system, Of Stray Cats And Lost Kings by galerian_ash, comments and kudos, rather shocking, the red cat is adorable, red head, its a metaphor, gold hair tinged with read, the Dane, Oh, and I love the bit about the stray cat staying,
What wonderful tension you hold here between Cahal and Baibars. It’s such a classic situation, but you’ve made it fresh and new here, and I particularly like your emphasis on a lack of personal hatred. I find myself sympathising with Baibar’s honourable patience and Cahal’s tussle with himself, and thus your resolution is both hard-won and satisfying. I did like the little details that worked to reveal each character, too – paticularly Barbar’s “let’s ride!”. What else would a warrior from the steppes say?
– on a completely different note, it was delightful to learn about Baibars’ cat garden in Cairo, and to discover that the cats of Torre Argentina and the Mosque Aziz Mahmud Hudayi have such noble heritage. Thank you for that!
what his name means, what was missing from the story!, the most Howard thing, Cahal was like a bear, the male gaze, male gay vs. lesbian stuff, some of it was poetry, the explicit lesbian poetry, explicitly lesbianism in Weird Tales, whipping and lesbians goes together, ruffled a few feathers, Gay Orientaled Stories, Spicy Tales he told, The Dragon Of Kao Tsu by Robert E. Howard, September 1936 Spicy and Juvenalia, Mexico, all over the world, its possible he didn’t even know how to swim, a powerhouse.
Talked about on today’s show:
Mr. Asset and Mr. Android from the Androids and Assets podcast, how you say his name, Red Plenty, Trekonomics, a huge Trekkie, Star Trek, a socialist, the same premise, Manuu Saddia, very socialist, socialism for capitalists (aka not socialism), the cover, the lock is about DRM and copyright and rentism, a political compass, equity and heirarchy, east west of abundance and scarcity, the 3D printer, laying down the filament, a lock going into a box, a skull, a plant, a martini, the paperback cover, a wine glass and a watering can, exterminism, class struggle and ecology, we’re all going to get plowed under, food for the security guards, martini glass is communism, luxury communism, a Banksian (as in Ian M. Banks), rebuilding our relationship with the earth, green new deal, each individual essay, the most vs. the least compelling part of the book, the replacement of everything bad with new bad things, UBI as a road to communism, the section on rentism, tangible, plausible, the axis with the four futures, future communism, I dunno, Star Trek?, Cuba in the 1990s, Children Of Men, Mad Max, and Elysium, too mannered, liberal preaching, voting for Nancy Pelosi again, Black Mirror’s 15 Million Merits is most people’s lives, the guy on the bike, they blend together, there’s a girl, he became part of the system, that episode rules, the communist dystopia, by way of Cory Doctorow, it brings you to the truth and you have to cry for a while, Mr Android and Mr Assett, a complete watch through, two bi-weekly shows, Odo and Chief O’Brien are coming back from a conference, a regular pretty crystal, a box of Denibian chocolates, can I buy one of those things from you?, paying Quark rent, let the asset speak, Steven, setting a lane, DS9 vs. TNG, Frase is harsh on bitcoin, doge coin, how is bitcoin related to any of this, a lot of possibilities, towards exterminism, post-currency, money is a tool by which we disperse material goods, beyond money, Bajorans and Ferengi, the parking segment, dilithium currency?, gold pressed latinum, the Bajoran currency, a permanent resident, some sort of exchange rate, that happens in Morns’ stomach, being a gold bug for nerds, having your shit locked down by the empire, you can’t do that with bitcoin, its not being gatekept, US sanction law, Venezuela, digital transit, their own cryptocurrency, an alternative to using a system with a key, the effect is to make every point of mining a verification bank, use it to store value, speaking as a miner, doge coin, a reddit credit, a one time patreon sort of thing, “shady” websites, it has value that’s convertible, what its ultimate fate is, it is the thing that they say it is, I like what you do, why anyone wants latinum, little bits of green paper, there’s demand for it, you have to pay your taxes in your national currency, undermining national sovereignty, a point David Graeber made, the bronze age days, why have taxes at all, the government needs to buy things, mercenaries, fiat currency, UBI doesn’t work with bitcoin, wealth and value are social relationships, anarcho-communists, money is important, money is a tool of coercion, it is not antithetical for a socialist state to do coercion, the political compass posits, pull levers on people, pull levers on the economy, the dangerous idea, a large E economy, social darwinism, importing the logic, saved by a technological replicator messiah, the moral test, for us to have a good future, replicator heaven, seize the communist future, class struggle, the 2am undergrad problem, dude socialism is the answer, we need complete fascism, humans are fundamentally evil, in every political philosophy you have to structure the human subject, educational psychology, a strong self, marriage, your past self blocks your future self, what coercion is going to look like, #ForceTheVote, unpopular with the elites who want jobs, a technique to expose, what happened on January 6th, 2021, a tweet about Mao, if Trump was such a danger he would nationalize Twitter, he’s weak seed, the only reason his shitty weeds are growing, some furniture got broken, on the political compass, everybody ends up in the same grid, everybody is in the bottom left hand corner, except for the serial killers and the oligarchs, when they place historical figures on the political compass, ideology, the weapon that socialist have, dialectical materialism, they key to an awakening, Q Shaman, he dressed for success, he dressed for the job he wanted, a new domestic terrorism law, Sergey Brin and the other dude need to know, exterminate the exterminators, not doing the work of futurism, the William Gibson quote, the rentism section, pushing the public domain, copyright maximalists, hoarding and restricting, post-scarcity, the treasure is wonderful, the ultimate fiat currency, if Jesse’s holding a candle, in this section of anti-rentism, the Arkenstone of this treasure horde, its the discussion, an amazingly cool poem from 1865, material restrictions, the new struggle, a lot of time looking at treasures, the future we should be fighting for, beheading people all the time, luxury communism, Elysium (2013), obvious, didactic, dumb, John Maynard Keynes, plenty and abundance and post-scarcity, space communism, fully automated luxury gay communism, Star Trek/Iain M. Banks, anti-science in the left, fear of being slackers, moral hazard, mincome, 30 hours a week, love baking, socializing with co-workers, teachers, happy to be back from the Christmas break, a social activity, school was prison, no yard time, humans need socialization, love learning, sports fans (aliens), school is a machine for sports, fiction set in schools, slacking off means getting at playing guitar, computer games, heroin, the idea of left vs. right, people who wanna be rich and keep what they have, Trump banned from Twitter and Facebook, exercising power, looking at takes on twitter, what the argument is, principle, hypocritical behavior is contemptible, flipping the axis, for abundance in equality, scarcity is a partial reality, hierarchy is a massive reality, even podcasts can be de-listed, the only thing that are independent, we have a bottom top thing, the danger of third positionism, inviting destructive people into the movement, q-anon, books about literal sea-pirates, how Jesse runs this podcast, the quartermaster of the ship, so called left or so called right, not adhering to principle, third-way-ism?, Tulsi Gabbard, Jesse’s been tricked before, is this a right left thing?, top down, cool tweets about Mao, politics and command, Will’s know Peter his whole life, Democratic Socialists of America, more time being a political organizer, Scandinavia, bourgeois property relations, universal basic income, some options, less of a socialist media sphere, it was lonely to be a socialist in 2013, no barrier to entry, Marxism-Leninism, lots of things to scream about, how you know we are succeeding, UBI’s role, if the climate tanks, Will’s in the watering-can school, from the Maoist tradition, be a highly ethical person, building socialism under extreme conditions, a sacrifice mindset, that topical twitter thing, Mao Zedong, January 5th, 2021, invading the Capital, a 10,000 mile view, classics, the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire, an escalation of events, the [kidnapping] plot against Gretchen Whitmer, looking for the Vice President, how you wind up with a Caesar, they just want some of Nancy Pelosi’s ice-creams, what’s scary, responding in a “disciplined” way, you hate to see people die, back in the bag, Q-Shaman is funny, anti-fascist, the corporations are not funding them, not a private army, taking marching orders, they faced death, what if they had a competent leader?, clown car, January 10th, crossing the Rubicon, the French Revolution, the technique seems to be deny, eating that ice cream rocking back and forth in front of twin $12,000 refrigerators, the $700 subscription to ice-cream through the mail, standing up fro the Roman senators, Paul is Cicero, lawful anarchy, incrementally change over time, slowly ease ourselves into the exterminism future, Mad Max or the U.S. Constitution, why are you calling them fascists?, a billionaire leader, a terrible system, lawless anarchy, chaotic evil, Joe Biden, the entire premise of the Biden campaign, capital’s chosen candidate, what’s scary to Maissa, how did we get here, that great Paul Robeson movie THE EMPEROR JONES, we need to live in the public domain, be reasonable or get the guillotines out, we need to limit the head-chopping, a Von Neumann machine guillotine, the October Road is terrible, incredibly destructive war, WWI, the Chinese revolution, political power comes out of the barrel of a gun, moralism, 24 characters, 12 points of socialism, patience, frugality, Mao the first 10 years, the Cultural Revolution, those Mao years, banning prostitution, the cadre class, that global 60s generation, that 60s revolt, the sending down of the youth, raw particular calculus, sex and race, where’s that quantum leap moment for China, the pandemic, a catalyst?, a blip?, the mask law in Quebec, the Edmontonians, no religious equipment in government employment, we go from nobody’s allowed to face-cover to everyone must face cover, unmasked people on January 6th event, a minor demonstration, without masks or shirts, people don’t like being told what to do, he’s shopping at Walmart, this attack, you have to do this, you can’t do that, is revealing, an interesting reveal, Q*bert, Singapore, Sweden, Anthony Fauci telling people not to wear masks, freebooting vigilante justice, Hubei province, doxxed by social media in China, stoking nationalism, no anti-China frenzy, a massive moral panic, the 5G panic, the Huawei panic, the Wuhan or China virus, it didn’t land on fertile ground, there are Chinese under your bed, Russians under your bed, top down, the Prole feed, the functionaries are psychotic for this stuff, the people at the bottom, their change guy, in that conversation, a lot of people putting faith in a bad faith actor, that resentment and desperation is not going away, clobbering the economy for the people at the bottom, economic inequality, gutted business, fumbled support, causing hatred, the five people who died on the 6th, the Black Lives Matters protests, Ferguson, Standing Rock, fantastic entertainment, the new impeachment, 1.9 million deaths worldwide, 400,000 dead, a special case for the way its funded in the states, a talking point on the right, not true at all, the CDC, 10-20% higher than it should have been, congestive heart failure, stroke, under-attributed, overwhelmed and under-trained staff, this amount of death, towards greater hierarchy?, more widespread scarcity?, is it the lighter fluid?, a 15 minute deal at a Spanish university, another layer for exterminism, vectors of disease, the elderly, the lumpenprole, Doctorow’s explainer character, surplus people, need to liquidate or reassign, surplus population, put them on an energy board in Ukraine, #failSon, #failChild, McCain, the rentism future, an amazing article, the Washington Post $2021 bonus for pushing the non-$2000 story, being paid in bluecheks, double bluecheks, platinum checks, accelerating, the Tantor narrator, Accelerando, what Tantor is doing with these books, non-fiction, that H.P. Lovecraft biography by W. Scott Poole, Bryan you can do anything you want, Academia Next by Bryan Alexander, for Jesse’s personal UBI, the Jesse vig, if it needs to be ripped, an AI version of Bryan, the notorious page 23, how would an a pandemic change academia?, Bill Gates and covid, in an absence of a media that does it fuckin job, do propaganda all day, all these things that are happening, every crisis is an opportunity, Patriot Act 2, we’re gonna back it, you’re gonna make so much money!, we’re never going to break you up, all part of a plan, its happening daily, who’s responsible for this, getting the details, Q-Anon Shaman is wrong about Venezuela, increasing authority, turning to Mohdi in India?, Justin needs to be kicked out of his #failson job, the head chopping future that’s being pushed upon us, Ed Broadbent, Jack Layton, Brian Mulroney, being all friendly and nice aint going to get you there, he likes Star Trek, disabled in British Columbia, a good manager, what we’re being pushed to is idiots like Trump, outsider behavior as a hope for change, founding the CCF, an insurance company, a boring job, how the people on Risa are getting paid for their sex-work, getting buff at the gym for their horga’hn work, social credit, whuffie not Whoopi, Captain’s Holiday, how conservative Worf is, conservative and locked down, you all are immoral whores, sex indoors is boring, its unbelievable, a really good book, its only flaw is it isn’t programmatic, apply that energy to build something positive, Jesse is too hard on Enterprise, so post Roddenberry, a lot of decent sci-fi stories, just fun, meets a hot guy and bangs, bachelors, now’s our time, duped by high tech cross depressing, the horga’hn has a removable top (and is full of condoms), Discovery is such shit, pre-luxury communism mode, “Who Mourns For Adonais?”, the one with Apollo, a giant green hand grabs the ship, a new CGI hand, the only appearance of Gene Roddenberry, generic CGI green hand, we’re having our things stolen from us, why you have to have your own copy of that show, Chris Pine is replacing our Kirk, that terrible Heroes show, his plan to make things better for humans, one more thing about UBI, all four futures had UBI, can Will answer this?, Bismarkian politics, UBI as a tool for good or evil, predictions before it happens, not impeached, is Trump going to pardon Julian Assange?, Paul says no, if he recognizes Taipei, reputation among whack jobs, you can’t come on me, own the libs, the Russian global conspiracy, too busy, nobody is going to be paying for it, cash rewards, bribes or down the road, Bryan was a no, minimal futurism, that Taiwan thing, a Taiwanese nationalist in every direction, non-white people can be horrible imperialist?, iridentism, Maissa: no, too busy, he’s not thinking about Julian Assange, a particular reason to do it, I can’t even communicate with the planet I am controlling, Suez, Panama, literally runs the planet, such an own, in front of Nancy Pelosi’s stolen lectern, Republicans have no way to communicate now, it should be internationalized, one day you’re going to get deleted, a categorical imperative, Google killed blogging, a great story, a principle, we should be hearing from the serial killers.
Talked about on today’s show:
Greg Bear, its been a while, a story about scientists doing science in a science fiction story, really pleasant, a lot of philosophy and a lot of scientific ideas, establishes themes, distilled, some real questions about the world, many worlds to conquer, sense of wonder, fractals, not conquer, contact is conqueror, very Prime Directivey, a Sterling thing, the Shaper Mechanist stories, biological and technological, parallel lives, they’ve mastered biology, they’re digital, baseline humans, 96 percent of me died, I’m going to mourn that for a while, Borderlands, digistructs, Star Trek, stuck in the buffer, technically this story is really good, not writing problems, digital vs. biological, the CZ folks, there was a reality, not a solipsistic universe, All You Zombies by Robert A. Heinlein, why Scott is worried (what Scott understood), biological copies, they’re not in a simulation, when they arrive at Vega, another level, one of the reviews, a little bit of Borges, how Set Theory interacts with philosophy, an infinity of numbers, this thing could go on for a while, a bigger infinite set, once you set down this path, interesting to think about what’s going on, rather repulsive, a few shows ago, In The Clutch Of The War God went to Aurora by Kim Stanley Robinson, the post-human aspect, going post-human, changing your eye stalks, your dad’s third copy of your cousin, sound and fury signifying nothing, the act of looking at mp3 files is copying them, I don’t download I only stream, any actions within a computer are copying actions, going to visit a website is downloading it, big sheets of sugar, it turns out its not alive, turns out its not alive, in the interstices, what’s so interesting about this, kind of like Exhalation by Ted Chiang, these things are going on without us, hard fantasy, its much more like Flatland by Edwin A. Abbott, learning the rules of a game, why is he telling me about the emotional relationships between these characters, they don’t have belt pouches and breakfasts, they don’t care whether it is raining, following robots, these are not a metaphor, any sense why Jesse would have a reaction, the message is sad, the people at home are living in VR worlds, step one set back and we’re looking at a short story, yeah within the story it all makes sense, within the story, the story is meta-questioning, somewhere deep in the center, why the search for life is necessary, suicide and emigration, people are excited to hear about life, if this goes on…, the carpets seem to have their own thing going on, exactly like your world, its incestuous, Wang tiles can’t be mirrored, very depressing, here’s the problem, here’s the solution, the problem is present again, escape solipsism with reality exploration, they’re playing proceduraly generated Minecraft, like LEGO, clunky cubic architecture, making calculators and computers that run programs inside of Minecraft, the logic chain, Redstone circuits, and or gates, Neal Stephenson’s The Diamond Age, like the data tape of a Turing machine, if someone had recorded all of our button presses…, control systems, a series of button presses, home computer programming, BYTE Magazine, Ti 99/4A, most people are not going to have access to this story, The Hard SF Renaissance, Mainly Books And Reading Blog, they have their own private language, a thinking machine, its a person, very distanced from the characters, some of them look like butterflies, post-human stuff, a mirror to the world that they’re exploring, the character of Orpheus, there’s no head involved, Cyberpunk 2077, one of the things you can do in the game is you can modify your character, super-customize your character, purple skin and eight fingers per hand, robot legs, eventually you’re just a thing that was a robot, these are not the bodies of the people back on Earth, the thoughts or the Turings of the people, they have votes, nobody would every consider cheating here, the guy who used to be his own son, it is all about the head, ultimately this is a math story, distinct realms, using math to measure reality, digital vs. analog, digital people living in a digital world, stored in pattern buffers, Carter Zimmerman, exploring the physical world vs. we’ve got aliens, so meta and so Borges, a very interesting crystal fractal thing, alienating, reading about others, there’s so much character work, consciousness downloading, Robert J. Sawyer, Four Lords Of The Diamond by Jack L. Chalker, Call Me Joe by Poul Anderson, Hyperion by Dan Simmons, death is not an issue and the biggest issue that ever could be, suicide, immortality, no more copies, downloading memories, a linear existence, explored, tossed-around, really dense, a lot happening, read and listened simultaneously, a different skill, words that give you trouble, spelling, the philosophical exploration, ideas for life, back to Borges, The Library Of Babel, indefinite, infinite, standing room for sleeping, I prefer to dream, a world (not our world), what are in the books, how the world looks, the world consist of rooms, hexagonal, there is not outside world, it could be a giant circle, it could be a carpet, on that water world, some beaches somewhere, the toxic UV, out of contact with the reality of the sun, Plato’s cave creatures, no sense data, social information, a model of the internet, we could hook up webcams, so full, the naming of the planet (Orpheus), he’s despairing, that’s depressing, not a character story, a bit of nostalgia for Paul, all Paul wanted out of science fiction, characters could go hang, their world is presented clinically, they’re there, we’re distanced – like we’re scientists examining them, legitimate emotions, as much as Jesse’s emotions are legitimate, there’s no difference between actual people and fictional people?, an anthropocentric universe, the young earth creationists, The Star by Arthur C. Clarke, these are the worries, the Fermi paradox, subspace chatter, why aren’t the Cardassians yelling at the Klingons, are we the first?, the only?, that’s what they’re saying, mocking, a cause for happiness, hey they discovered life on Mars again!, because there’s some methane, every fifty light years there’s a plankton sheet, fifty light years on there are ones with eyes, fifty light years beyond that there are ones with brains who worry about being alone, their hope, a twofer, a good old fashioned excuse to point to an article of November 1965 issue of Scientific American, Border Guards, David G. Hartwell, the lit crit pov, science as a symbolic construct of language, that’s part of it, are you gonna live you life playing computer games or live a real life, digital clothes for your avatar, the post-human people, the trans-human people, dump these bodies, we’re going to be digital, buy the books, the hard reality is they’re stuck in a meatbody, Kiln People by David Brin, its a metaphor for books, just shoot annoyed clones, typical Brin, I wanna play Minecraft, I left a me in the fridge, Transmetropolitan, robot slaves, you’ve got to have a plot, Raymond Kurzweil, cryonics, I can become younger, self-improvement, augmentation, nano-robot stuff, we do this, cataracts, what you’re claiming to think is consciousness, Evan Lampe, current Klingons aren’t interested in developing science, Klingons are post-human larpers, new fashion, what’s the difference between that and culture, the people who wanna be foxes, furries, unrealistic hope, you’re an ape that can swim and put on clothes and light fireplaces and collect rings, you’re not a bird, you’re not a fish, you’re definitely not going into a chrysalis and coming out a butterfly, 20 spots left in my harem, the more x chromosomes the better, if you have the fallopian tubes, we’re biological, we can’t fully transform from that, Jesse Simulator 1.2, a mistake like warp drive, that’s just gravity assist, Pandora’s Star by Peter F. Hamilton, I liked Sliders too, the farcasters in Hyperion, every room on a different planet, which planet does he choose to poop on, how many classes do we have in this story, everybody is equal except how many generation you are, suicide of emigration, what those carpets are doing, that we know of, they don’t have eyes, we come with assumptions, everything that looks at stuff have eyes, trees can detect light, designed to be depressing, these are not supposed to be humans, would you be cool with being a clone?, your clone uncle is now a butterfly, they have Wikipedia, post-scarcity, trans-humanist space journey, you can drink digital root beer and take digital photographs, another rant, AI software used in photos, HDR, slices of the reality that was there, the mark 1 eyeball, cheating, that lady who restored the painting of Jesus to look like a capuchin monkey, this is what Jesus looked like maybe, Paul’s philosophy of photography, that’s not really what you saw, the bad driving out the good, a weird overlay of reality, a watermark, a fascinating discussion, similar arguments in sports, a valid sports participant, a list of things you can’t do, using technology to enhance a performance, SPVIZ runtime, you never could, the Iwo Jima flag raising, manual photograph, choosing where to put and place the camera, it has always been the case you can’t trust the narrative, media literacy, common sense, The Invention Of Lying (2009), its a stage of human development, if I make a scary noise mom thinks I’m in pain, not everything is real, they can edit their personalities, change their dispositions in radical ways, a totalitarian state, I seem to remember that not being the case, so spotty, so useful, have the focused changed, the narrative, so meta, all those sets, if not deliberately, the story itself as part of the story, levels of a story, wholly artificial, a construction that’s interesting to look at, the appeal of sodoku, a logic exercise, a program that will do it in real time, kind of like dominoes, one sided tiles, good story, depressing story, in the Aurora sort of way, maybe that’s why there’s no photo of him, he might be a butterfly, the fundamental constants changed, the Clockwork Rocket series, what if light bends differently, the Greg Egan way.