The SFFaudio Podcast #687 – People Of The Black Circle by Robert E. Howard; read by Mark Nelson
This unabridged reading of the story (3 hours 34 minutes) is followed by a discussion of it.
Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Evan Lampe, Trish E. Matson, Alex, and Connor Kaye.
Talked about on today’s show:
when “the”, Strange Case Of Dr Jekyll And Mr Hyde, Savage Sword Of Conan adaptation, 116 page adaptation, feeling that text raw, the 1982 Conan movie is a really good movie, lifting a lot from this, it is all of the Howard stories, our counter hero is done with you now, spear through his gut, Thulsa Doom, come to me my child, the magic system, the snake transformation, The Frost Giant’s Daughter, Robert E. Howard’s Greatest Conan Story, what you like about Conan, political wheeling and dealing, how to make your writing better, the three ways of viewing movies, the auteur theory, the star theory, the genre theory, Poe copy, looking for Conan, Kull and Solomon Kane, more paid by the word than usual, rushing through it, broad strokes and hinting, Conan The Buccaneer by Lin Carter and Fritz Leiber, cool intrigue, when the Devi, really good chess movement, Planet Of Iron Shadows?, Iron Shadows In The Moon, pirates, how the story actually works, three adaptations, Ablaze’s French translation, Dark Horse, Marvel’s full SSOC adaptation, gorgeous, atmospheric, action panels, covered in veils and things, trades clothes with the hill woman, smoky mystic, half naked before and half naked again, Alfredo Alcala’s inks are unfinished, John Buscema’s pencil’s, rocks are beautiful, scales and turbans and clouds of dust, the decline in comics, what happened to comics, Ablaze is muddy looking, sorta manga style, when they get angry people go manga, his proportions are wrong, he looks like a mutant, a cartoon aesthetic, not enough nudity, butt and sideboob, her regression scene, one of the best scenes in all of Conan, Skull-Face, “I’ve kissed ladies from Hell”, so good, the shell of the story, the Devi is on a revenge quest, Conan is trying to be a leader, admitting responsibility towards his men, the mark of a leader, Queen Of The Black Coast is run by Belit, Yezdigerd, why all of this plot is happening, agents, Thoth Amon, the King of Turan, gaining the kingship not administering the kingdom, betraying and intriguing, the names, servants of the seers, a little carelessness, action, Conan is very Conan, stupid magic belt, Yasmina, Evan shares a lot of Trish’s views, political factions and relations, who is loyal to who, that really long climax, the transformation into the bird, the forces of sorcery, decadent empire and barbarism, the class element, Gitara, what is Gitara’s motivation to convert Green Turban, does she really love him?, I’ll make you king, outside of her powers, you’re a powerful man, he could have challenged me, both baddies, they’re both slaves, Howard is ambivalent about a lot of things Evan isn’t, smashing elites, the individual within a corrupt society, forge an empire of our own, you’re powerful and I’m tricky, an underdetermined character, a Great Game story, Iraqis, pre-Iraq, Afghulis, Iranistanis, what’s missing is he doesn’t get to fight a tiger, giant snakes, giant eagle, Conan is never really in India, Kull fights tigers, a wizard dressed up as a tiger, a book of essays about Robert E. Howard, real geography, Himalayas, the Zaibar Pass is the Khyber Pass, Afghanistan, an El Borak story with Conan, is Turan Persia or Turkey?, the Vilyaet Sea, the Aral Sea not the Black Sea, Iron Shadows In The Moon, mid northern asia border with Europe-ish, Buddhist evil priests, The Nine Billion Names Of God by Arthur C. Clarke, they’re from the Mysterious East, out of The Shadow, anti-Buddhists, a Fu Manchu style Buddhists, red dust and blue dusts, prayer wheels, a perfectly calm, Buddhist sash thing on his head, he’s a lich, a lecherous lich, catch the Devi, the genre vs. the medium, it feels like a serial but it isn’t a serial, Flash Gordon serials, lets make this longer, feeling the drag, Vale Of Lost Women cooks, the ending is pristine, I’ve still got men, the dog attacking a guy is there to fill pages, a bunch of challenges, a boss fight, that’s how you get paid, a D&D module, the belt of magical resistance, Conan doesn’t have a magic sword or a loyal horse, its wielded by Robert E. Howard, the “Atlantean sword” shit, Conan fights a giant magnet, Conan fighting a polar bear, Conan has to fight magic because its Weird Tales, the power of evil wizards moving the plot, you’re to stupid to know what it is: $250 vs. $50, four parallel characters, Yasmina’s vs. Gitara’s third eye (her Bindi), the loss of vocabulary is palpable, “lambent”, pages of no dialogue and no text, great, good, bad, and terrible all on one page, three shadows and a nightstand, elf-style ears and facial piercings, its a reveal he’s a lich, no I’m just a man but I command demons, the psychological torture of living through reincarnation cycles, she’s humbled, household drudgery, back beyond the dimmest dawn, skin clad, looms, dragged, the bite of the lash, the bloody block, Alfredo Alcala, Big John Buscema, are doing it without reference materials, two words for throw, he hurl throwed, Savage Sword was the Golden Age, Roy Thomas, Ernie Chan (Chua), a decline and a decline and a decline, we think it is the character that we like, hard to sell an El Borak story?, some bias against going to places and learning things, Thomas Jane, handsome actor, a local sidekick, demons and armies and the , The Fire Of Ashurbanipal, Steve Clarny, Swords Of Schaharazar, Hawks Of The Hills, The Lost Valley Of Iskander, lost valley trope, The Lost Valley, Temple Of Doom doesn’t exist without this story, guy has his heart ripped out, modeled on the movies, some ladies in the jungle, snake footage, magic items in the bible, an excuse to go to India and China, visiting a place but not as tourists, the gross out scenes, presented with food that you can’t eat, Stephen Spielberg’s ex-wife is the kid character, Short Round is our viewpoint Mary Sue, the stupid and the smart the cool and the uncool, pairing Conan up with a bunch of regulars, Crom is a repeating character, why Evan is having trouble finding something to say, Howard’s philosophy is not intellectual as it is honorable, when confronted with the problem of her clothes are on, a man should kill a woman if she’s too dangerous, slaps her on the butt and she accepts it as a complicated, doing the monkey dance, how do I as an individual interact with the world, why Yasmina is such a good character, the Conan Destroyer princess, human beings acting in the world, when Green Turban refuses to die, you get him for me, ate his salt, Solomon Kane is insane and there are no demons (but he’s doing his best), I guess I have to use this magic staff, why these weird plots happen, doomed hirelings, they’re fucked and they know it, coming away with a philosophy of what his ideas are, how to live in the world in the moment, his feminist moment, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, as to Yasmina, a classist person, not thrilled to be slapped on the butt, an appreciation not a denigration, not a fan of royalty, The Hour Of The Dragon, Xaltotun is the best villain, plans, give me your horse and I’ll save you, we can’t get married, chief of the guard, there are customs, we’ll work it out, I have a very nice harem you can be a part of, she literally kills him, horrible childbirths in her retrogression, silly putty, she knew the agonizes of childbirth, Solitude Of Self, individual struggle with nature that women experience but men don’t, Russian roulette, Robert E. Howard is not wedded to Conan the way we are, the last set of stories were Conan tales, had he lived, classifying his stories by character, that poem is really hot (or rough), Delenda Est by Robert E. Howard, the star is the important thing, the new Dune half movie, a bunch of models, Dark Horse, people standing in scenic locations, no text scrawl, no banquet scene, the beats of the action, it doesn’t capture what is the story, the monster beats, Robert e. Howard philosophy infodumps, the descriptions, C.L.A.I.M.: Character Language Allusion Imagery Message, what is the message of the new Dune movie, Sardukar complaining about things, explaining the weirding way in a film, transmuting poison in your body, showing buffed up people, who wants to do a Conan story vs. who wants to do a Robert E. Howard story, thinking of the setting and the setup, marketing purposes, scenes, ideas, and philosophy too, a princess who has been captured by a cult, Thulsa Doom’s cult, Red Nails, Valeria, mostly Belit, The Tower Of The Elephant, Oliver Stone and John Milius, to string the plot together, the weirding modules in the first Dune (1984) movie, Conan isn’t a character in the stories as much as they are stories with Conan in them, a backstory, an unhappy brooding king, By This Axe I Rule, tidbit of philosophy, listen to the philosophers, he kills the judge, trying to connect all the stories together, they don’t really understand, it isn’t just swords and giant snakes, an individual with an unhelpful god, treat it like an auteur rather than a star, Quentin Tarantino movies in different genres, telling yarns, the fun action adventure stuff, an idea somewhere in it, how to relate to women, he likes hot women, rape and threats of rape, how to relate to the weaker sex, be a man about it, the barbarian from outside, the savage vs. the barbarian, his own code, the distinction Lovecraft didn’t get, he’s the Jordan Peterson of Weird Tales, a moral code, a set of attitudes, what is, a magic system, hypnotism, a set of tricks that they work, an illusion?, a lock of hair, autosuggestion, he’s not as afraid of them, magic works on success, D&D rolling a 1, illusionists, the dog outside of the temple eating the offal, he is defeatable, becoming an eagle, we needed a tiger, fingernails, how witches work in the real world, my penis doesn’t work anymore, somebody’s balls swelled up, superstition makes you more superstitious, people are suggestible, your milk goes sour, they can kill the king with a lock of his hair (when the stars are right), his cortisol levels are high, fleeing the village, Khemsha, stampeded by Conan’s horse, his magic doesn’t matter, stepped on by a horse, a knife is a hardy incantation, hey Gitara how do you like that ride on our air horse?, cloud things, whirling dervishes, Paul got his 3rd shot, Gibraltar has 130% vaccination and full of COVID, like a magic charm, if we are to believe the science, sympathetic magic, why things happen as they do, really ugly, an earthquake in Haiti is punishment from God, magical thinking vs. Jack Vance style spells, propaganda techniques, the Lisan al Gaib, fighting the unbelievable, his muscles are bigger, beginner’s luck, confidence in the steel, the riddle of steel, the hand that wields the steel, only this you can trust, surrogate dad (James Earl Jones), so deluded, the real magic, women going through the streets of England putting white feathers on men during WWI, an attitude as well as knowledge, be an empiricist vs. be a rationalist, spinning up bullshit, Plato, the gold blooded and the silver and the bronze, this person is a natural slave, a natural leader, what makes the Devi divine is that her dad was the Rajah, Yasmina Devi, Genghis Khan, a backwards translation, through myth and 10,000 years she’s a goddess now, revenge is her god, the audiobook is a bit hard to follow, what all the factions were and what they wanted, a slow story, the middle section, people reading this in the 1930s knew what lambent is, H. Rider Haggard, we’ve become illiterate, the minimalist and conversational style, for a low class culture, mass market, people loved it, Savage Sword has awesome vocab on every page, we know she’s sad and worried about her son because she’s crying, we need big chunks of text, narration in movies is good, trying to explain a complex, know then it is the year 10,191, plans within plans wheels within wheels, just read the book, the ornithopters are better, they should have been birds not dragonflies, the ornithopter looked like a hawk, so forgettable, the fur diaper, neat and not tattered, he brushed his fur diaper that day, not in league with the devil, Kevin Sorbo’s Kull movie, Red Sonja (1985), supposed to be a comedy, fantastic bad, that scene is in here, Evan’s podcast, the Robert E. Howard Lovecraft letters, Pigeons From Hell was adapted for Thriller, stars two white guys, a black legend (folk tale), sleeping in an old plantation house, interesting revenge (symbolically), more pathos to that story, Hansel And Gretel has a sense, people were acting badly, Almuric, one big chunk, restricted zone, some time next year, Klim’s Journey Under The Ground, in the 18th century twice, Caleb Williams by William Godwin, The Goddess Of Atvatabar, The Midwich Cuckoos, The Pre-Persons by Philip K. Dick, Robert A. Heinlein’s boy scouts gone wrong in space, revelry, The Doom That Came To Sarnath, Connor doesn’t live on twitter, deep and rich, lemmee give you this magic belt made from Stygian lady’s hair, Alex’s ancestor was convicted of witchcraft in New France, cursed her womb by cutting a piece of her hair off, convicted and exiled, killed by Indians, 12 more kids, 11 kids, he might have actually been a witch, Alex’s last name is “Lich”, in the family archives, a convicted witch, Joan Of Arc, what a jerk, villains in Alex’s family, When Time Turned by Ethel Watts Mumford, like Back To The Future without a Delorean, The Clock That Went Backwards by Edward Page Mitchell, Reading, Short And Deep, set in the Netherlands, written disposably, half of Wisconsin, really well written, a historical siege scene, all the tropes (from 1881), Neal Stephenson’s The Baroque Cycle, The Ganymede Takeover, Benjamin Franklin, The Stars My Destination, Alfred Bester, WWII and boxing journalism, Henry James, Mark Twain, Ambrose Bierce, The Devil’s Dictionary, trying to make it hard for you to understand, An Occurrence At Owl Creek Bridge, the Civil War, Stephen Crane, Walt Whitman, make bank, Jack London, Herman Melville, lunchtime upside down, Solomon’s Gold, overwhelmed with work, a month on Egypt, classroom management, the students disrespect Evan, dig into their computer, insane coworkers, Evan can’t out himself as a freak (yet), Ancient Egypt, bad textbook, Kufu was a cruel pharaoh, the poor didn’t need mummification because they were buried in shallow graves, its not a work of love, Works Progress Administration, I’ve been told that Biden is the new FDR, Walker Evans taking photographs of people working in Walmart and living in the vans, New Deal money putting artists and musicians to work, all the bridges were built in the 1930s, interviewing former slaves, giving money to rich people, the vaccine mandate is exactly that, government research money, an NFT game, blockchain, “we got funded”, it sounds like a scam, web 2.0 was a scam, Pets.com, why Elon Musk is so rich, Bezos sells servers to the US government, planting the seeds, omicron variant, Foster, You’re Dead by Philip K. Dick, booster shots in perpetuity, fear moves money better than anything else, you can’t mandate, a healthy response, the weird nanny state in Taiwan, the pet industry, pet nannies, licensing pet nannies, I’m an unlicensed pet nanny, you need the barbarians to sweep in, wipe away (some) of the old, clean up your own room (style of thinking) vs. communism will solve all our problems, these emerging men, you need to get your house in order, stupid when off topic smart when on topic, trad dads, interpreting the bible, funny Bible stories, a book of fairy tales, Howard is highly influenced by the Bible, The Song Of Solomon, three volumes with big print.
The SFFaudio Podcast #686 – Jesse and Evan Lampe talk about Danse Macabre by Stephen King
Talked about on today’s show:
non-fiction, explain what horror is, what is horror?, King has a lot of good stuff in this book, very casual, easy listening, frothy, an anti-academic style, high school teacher and university lecturer, a chip on his shoulder, It, not enough theme, drawn from life, incidents, a book he wrote later, Misery, the dead cat, Stand By Me (aka The Body), “Lovecraft was a racist”, “Stephen King was an is a shitlib”, conservative, bad takes in general, did you just say Lovecraft was a bad poet?, good ideas, Clark Ashton Smith’s poetry, American Liberals, vote blue no matter who, call for you favourite candidate, makin calls for Joe Biden, talking back to the Black Panthers, King is obsessed with Sputnik, obsessed with JFK, he’s dumb, a fear of political radicals, Randall Flagg, political buttons, a chaos agent, Nyarlathotep, a proud liberal, liberals are fucking idiots, when he got rich, get isolated, an op-ed called Guns by Stephen King, started off well, worn assertions, just got tired of the topic after the first cup of coffee wore off, technical complaints, this Rittenhouse thing, Boogaloo Bois, not a smart or a wise man, the worst case for making guns illegal, Biden got shat all over, other trials going on, inequities in the judicial system, public pressure, the video is exculpatory, “crossed state lines”, gut feeling reaction, where we start to go wrong, a good way of dismissing him, why did he bring that up?, paranoia, boomers, if Johnson had run again in 1968, a quantum leap moment, the Patty Hearst stuff, he lives in the public culture, Carrie, he’s not an idiot, he’s really good at making fun of people, image poems, little horror stories, not just movies, the fiction section, drifted into movies a lot, sitting in the movie theatre, the Sputnik announcement, that’s only horror if you think the United States is the good guy, thinking it through in writing, a broad outline, conspiracy dismissal of facts on the ground, Fred Hampton, extrajudical murder, playing for team America, a nice country(side), Invasion Of The Body Snatchers, Jack Finney, it comes from the same place, social horror, The Amityville Horror, the fear people have about investing in real estate, The Money Pit (1986), how children believe in magic, adult horror, my life is going to leave me, I’m going to lose my job, this is not a disciplined book, Supernatural Horror In Literature, some similarities, the fiction of his lifetime, 1950 to 1980, 1880 to 1930, Dionysian horror, terror, horror, gross-out, how much he researched it, approaching it like a researcher, his love of B-movies, I Was A Teenage Werewolf (1957), Lovecraft Explainers, “he was a horror writer”, the cosmic, through the idea, the house never dreamed, it saw reality as it is, Salem’s Lot,
No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality; even larks and katydids are supposed, by some, to dream. Hill House, not sane, stood by itself against its hills, holding darkness within; it had stood so for eighty years and might stand for eighty more.
ghost don’t exist except where human brains are, a guy with an axe!, a guy with a machete!, chainsaw, reflecting starlight and fears, a literary theory that authors apply, Poltergeist (1982), Bag Of Bones, a buried corpse, noisy ghost vs. spectre, descending levels, 1. terror. 2. , 3. gross-out., see the monsters, At The Mountains Of Madness, he knows Lovecraft, Philip K. Dick, the Dick horror stories, The Father Thing, The Hanging Stranger, The Three Stigmata Of Palmer Eldritch, Eye In The Sky, two levels: child, adult, caring about vampires, the horror of bills, financial stuff, what kids are like, those kids all grew up, Joe, semi-good takes, regress himself, afraid of the wrong things, what is it that makes someone capable of writing this stuff, the child in their eyes, author portraits, something in Peter Straub’s eyes, Harlan Ellison, Ray Bradbury, James Herbert, Ramsey Campbell, King’s take on Robert E. Howard, The Crabs, The Rats, The Blob (1958), danger in enjoying b-movies, his movie analysis is somehow connected to getting his writing done, getting you into the heads of characters, cinematic influence, watching a bad movie with a good scene, a frisson, your teacher wants you to hit these 6 bullshit points, know what your teacher wants, writing for himself, not hitting series very often, the pull from publishers, in syncopation with a large part of the reading audience, Hollywood, MGM is going to go out of business, they’re not very good at making movies, it drives you up the wall, movies and storytelling, The Twilight Zone, Night Gallery, and The Outer Limits, Pigeons From Hell, Thriller, an old plantation house, axed in the head, like a folktale, Hansel And Gretel, a famine, a horrible truth, why its always the stepmom, the evil witch is the stepmom, dad went along with it, the story dominates rather than the character, built this podcast around audio, audio drama, radio drama, CBS Radio Mystery Theater, Suspense, revelations of horror through the medium of audio drama, Alien (1979) is so dark, it is not obvious in the movie, when watching a b-movie, only the things that you’re given give you the picture, a revival of audio drama as podcasts, genuine practitioners, Julie Hoverson’s 19 Nocturne Boulevard, comics, Philips and Brubaker’s Reckless, superheroes are stupid, the comics medium, a skill, training on watching a play, Arch Oboler, The Mist in 3D sound, a white blackness, hysteria, “I’m going to let a little of you out”, connecting to your anxieties, a healthy interest in horror, 1399 episodes, the Vietnamese refugees and the Metric System!, Alfred Bester, Fondly Fahrenheit, perspective is important, what the mutilation looks like, what the bad guy did to the kid, a guy without the internet, getting the materials and doing the research has never been easier, Starlog magazine, as good as it is without the internet, updated in a few places, an hour of introductory material, you can agree with him or not, like a utuber, Frankenstein, Dr Jekyll And Mr Hyde, the tarot, the ghost story, the werewolf, the vampire, thing with no name, the technological horror, the outside evil, the thing from within, The Horror At Party Beach (1964), Ghost Story by Peter Straub, Ramsey Campbell, The Shrinking Man by Richard Matheson, male anxiety, a feminist reading, the woman’s domain (the house), child molester truck driver, its all about him, apolitical, exploring the agenda (with no agenda), horrors and the terrors, the cat, the bird, the spider, I Am Legend, my personal psychiatric reaction, revisiting the child molester moment with The Talisman, I strictly AC (or DC), straight, a boomer phrase, he uses everything, seeing Revival in Danse Macabre, the horrible death, The Bazaar of Bad Dreams, where Thinner came from, fantasy, Matheson is using 20th century magic, bug spray and radiation, The Amityville Horror (1979), Ira Levin, a dabbler in science fiction, an outsider, hanging out with the gutter people, 70s technothriller or urban gothic, This Perfect Day, Rosemary’s Baby, satirist, standing toe to toe with 1984 and Brave New World, doubling down on the utopia, The Giver, a dystopia by way of utopia, “Wood, Wei, Christ, and Marx”, do the genre, more like H.G. Wells, the pulps, mainstream fiction, and literature, the paperbacks on the shelves, snubbed by the best people, anything Asimov wrote, Harold Robbins, Taipan, James Michener, airport fiction, Tom Clancy’s spot, Evan’s podcast, Henry James, The Turn Of The Screw, high-end highbrow fiction doing lowbrow fiction, where the gutter starts or ends, he lives in the (movie) gutter, the shudder pulps, Weird Tales, horror fetishing, the cover, the scantily clad woman, torture fiction, cults, satanic panic, weird menace, Pulpcovers.com, man pulp magazines, I escape the Nazi dagger girls, “true stories”, some guy saw an SS wife one time, tapping into a mental space men are into, horror seems to be more popular with women than with men (compared with other genres), watching b-movies on first date, the amusement park roller coaster, terror as you feel you are going to die, you don’t go to a horror movie by yourself, reading a book with somebody is weird, a cheap place to go get cash, Stephen King readers are women (too), Larry Niven, Harlan Ellison, going for horror, Touched By An Angel, bad attitude, Michael Landon, mad scientist, when humans were werewolves, killing spree, the puberty experience, I Was A Teenage Frankenstein, the horror of embarrassment, the mirror, the plot is he’s really ugly, very simple, you’re going to be my assistant, a new race of superhumans to save the earth, young dead people!, collecting body parts, a descendant of Dr. Frankenstein, teenagers are not juvenile delinquents, King signed up for the society he was in, his grandfather with no teeth, sane but incomprehensible, they had a dental program, satellites are useful in space, never class resentment, the rats in the cellar, Graveyard Shift, clean the basement, taken from his own life, progressively bigger rats, this boss sucks, always very personal, Road Work fails, existential crisis unconnected to the bill of goods that is the American dream, the conservatism of horror and Alice In Wonderland, this modernist direction, if things go wrong, if a plague destroys 99% of the people, Lovecraft definitely has that, we don’t want to pick at that (science) scab, his fanzine was The Conservative, Bobby Derie’s tweets, 133 slaves in his will to gift to family members, people still have that same idea, more brownouts, drive a body, things as they are or things better, gas prices, electric cars, groups of people who are pouring co2 into the environment, The Ministry Of The Future by Kim Stanley Robinson, the capitalist system forces you to go where the work is, psychopathy of recycling, this responsibility was shifted to me, tend your own garden, those plastic measures being pushed and pushed and pushed, guillotines are carbon neutral, the great straw debate, carry around metal straws, like straws are the big problem on the planet, something you can push on to the consumer, The Troop by Nick Cutter, to fulfill a kind of niche of that horror experience you get at a movie, a gross out, terror, body horror, contamination, how Jack Finney’s The Third Level, Ray Bradbury, Reading, Short And Deep, a book begging to be filmed, in service, accept your crappy role in your life, fantasy, The Wheel Of Time fantasy TV series, 909 pages, long fantasy series are to escape from the mundanity of your job, the shared survival experience, horror being different, Lord Of The Rings, supernatural elements, magic, a secondary world, low fantasy, fantasy set in our world, the supernatural intruding on our life, On Writing, James Herbert’s The Fog, as close to a supernatural experience as you can imagine, a rational explanation in the idea of the story, terrifying, when you see the world as it truly is, not mediated by your fantasies, Lovecraft’s opening the window, the geometry doesn’t work, the rules of the world don’t work anymore, in dreams we find our way through, it wasn’t a question, he knows that he’s bullshitting, to strawman it, he knows on some level he’s wrong, the wrong messaging, we need to lie to the kids, he’s writing lies most of the time, children create their own kind of magic, the sneezing powder works against the monster (because they believe it), how society and parents deliberately lie to the kids, based on his own experiences, the reader knows its a lie, the Sputnik story, was it constructed?, that really happened to him, stories he’d have told himself over and over again, the hiking story, King on twitter, strawmanning in order to denounce, you need to have a fantasy to not go insane, a theory of reality, constructing the argument, Star Trek episode, Counselor Troi, his wife’s reaction to Rosemary’s Baby, The Stepford Wives, Sliver, a satire not considered a satire, Prometheus Award, libertarian science fiction, Heinlein’s Friday, Samuel Delany, Time Square Red Time Square Blue, F. Paul Wilson, Margaret Atwood, can you be a shitlib and a libertarian?, fear of radical institutional change, West Wing episodes, Pirate Cinema by Cory Doctorow, an American export, State Of Fear by Michael Crichton, ecoterrorists using untraceable drones, buying trucks, underground people, freedom fighter, there’s probably a term he would prefer?, liberal, People Of The Black Circle by Robert E. Howard, Klim’s Journey, Midwich Cuckoos, The Pre-Persons, Croatoan by Harlan Ellison, aborted fetuses, Captain Jellico tweets, the new Stephen King covers are all horrible except for Hard Case Crime, Four Past Midnight, whoever Chomper is he’s wrong, Space Prison by Tom Godwin, science fiction prison, The Doom That Came To Sarnath, 14,000 years ago, politicians willing to go to war over it, 54/40 or fight, PUBG with Americans who don’t read, “Trump’s my guy”, they’ll think he’s Mexican, ex-military, control systems, 3D printing, Dungeons & Dragons, really into games, Norther Saskatchewan, the difference in lifestyles between the Canadians and the Americans, I hate to do this but I need money (for his cat), Patreon for my life, 21st century capitalism doesn’t hit everybody in the mail, mandates, Fauci and Pelosi, smashed in the midterms, banning cars would save lives, gas prices in France, Fight Club and Breaking Bad being expressions of fascism, this is a reality, Game Of Thrones is cultural feudalism, the Queen tweets, the Queen is “entering a new phase”, Charles III, some kind of consort, William and the brats, killing your sister, Princess Eugenie, Prince Andrew went to Fuck Island, that’s the lady that owns this country.
The SFFaudio Podcast #685 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, Maissa Bessada, Trish E. Matson, and Will Emmons talk about The Star Beast by Robert A. Heinlein
Talked about on today’s show:
1954, serialized in The Magazine Of Fantasy And Science Fiction, Star Lummox, what a lummox, a very 1950s word, clumsy stupid person, Google NGram, 1825 East Anglian slang, lumbering ox, lummoxes, knocks things over, breaks things, Maissa liked it, so simple, a girl with some brains and some power?, uncharacteristic, no female presence at all, Betty is a plot driver, one of six sexes, she as a matter of convenience, a meaningless spectrum, in the context of the Hroshii, what feels like a massive coincidence, she’s on Earth, two plotlines, the UN guys having meetings and firing and quitting, the fun stuff, Lummox on the run, Lummox on trial, the major drama, puts the focus on the coincidence, a microscale and a macroscale, still great Heinlein, simplistic, interesting themes, utopia, they’re trying, Kiku the diplomat is in charge of everything, elected represented is undermined by the deep state, bureaucracy, comedy of errors, contradictions and complexities, Sergei Greenberg, the Watson, tell not show, Farmer In The Sky, boy goes to planet and farms, threats can come out of nowhere, a central government, tiny hints, a WWIV anti-tank gun, the 2nd century, double focus, boy, pet and friend, escaping in the wilderness, galactic maneuverings, immigration, pushing people off Earth, which is dumber?, coincidence and conveniences, there’s a Star Beast with lotsa legs, 4 generations, from any other boy’s point of view, good Heinlein, a boy raised by aliens, the reversal at the end, Lummox has been raising John Thomases, a science fiction idea, the relationships between humans and their pets, sentient aliens (should?) have hands, who can buy who?, if these we are putting the juveniles in reading order (younger to older), Citizen Of The Galaxy, Have Space Suit, Will Travel, diplomatic maneuverings and court stuff, thinking with the brain of an adult, the Godzilla aspect, Clifford The Big Red Star Beast, what kids will like about something, a big purple dinosaur, Barney, conflating for comic effect, I hate all this stuff about the negotiations, they’ll eat it, that reunification scene, all the ashtrays and the smoking, furiously smoking, popping pills on the reg, eat your roughage, a dragon lookin thing with a big smile on its four eyed face, old man sitting around his pool with his lawyers for 18,000 pages, Red Planet, Willis is kinda Lummox, galactic diplomacy and politics, democracy, we’re a republic not a democracy, his elected superior, we are the leading nation, senators from all over the planet, the United States of North And South America, probably set in Colorado or thereabouts, freeways are overgrown, flying cars, a depopulated North America, smoke filled rooms in small towns, not enough worldbuilding, atomic weapons, weird adventures, how the world worked, all the Heinlein haters, hating Heinlein for the wrong reasons, Mr. Kiku is pictured and not a black man, the original serial is slightly abridged (at least), wooly haired, racism?, often times the artist is told what the book is about, that’s capitalism not racism, Lummox is also not pictured, a kids book with no-star beast on the cover?, Johnny and Slugger and flying, two legs and half of a side, a bizarre choice, a commercial production, smiling dinosaur beagle, a train, spindly arms, diplodocus, the voice, the baby girl voice in the Full Cast Audio production, all the other Heinlein girls and boys, John Thomas oblivious to her plans, these gender fashions flip, the girls chasing after boys, Sadie Hawkins dystopia, on leap years girls are allowed to propose to men, Data at Sadie Hawkins dance, Star Trek: 90210, phone rigged up in his attic fort, a box of books boys somehow always get, a box of pornography, Heinlein doesn’t shy away, very strange and weird, the macro/micro, a princess of earth, a reverse of A Princess Of Mars, a Kwisatz Haderach to make the perfect space beast, the breeding of John Thomases, wrestling around, did I ever tell you why I divorced my parents, lean in closer to the book, what the parents did that was so wrong, parental abuse, molestation, those woolen socks, the mother character, how one note she was, very manipulative, not a straw person, selfish, controlling and manipulative, parallels between John’s mom and Betty, make more John Thomases, what did you assume about Betty living in a dorm, Heinlein manipulating us, weirdly controlling, they’re both minors, very skillfully done, she’s studying law, you don’t have to obey police officers unless they have a warrant, the police come to the school and teach a class and then search your locker, the antics in the courtroom, the Rittenhouse trial, bamboozles the court, manipulation and tactics, she’s parallel with Kiku, she was her own lawyer, the police chief, Johnny gets on with the police chief, makin toast and eggs and coffee, don’t get in bed with the cops, Johnny’s a little bit dim, he’s gonna go to college, drag racing and hanging out with his pet, the pet of three females, what did she whisper into Johnny’s ear?, “I wanna get the pill”, “never, “we’re religious!”, argue our way to the truth, to such dark places, mentally beyond them, parochial, leaps and bounds ahead, more sinister, poor tactics, I divorced my parents because I was too smart for them, subversive ideas, “I’m transgender”, the flipping of the gender quite late in the book, Kiku and Greenberg are really dumb, its the same creature, kinda fun for kids, kids can figure it out, they’re looking for a girl and Lummox is a boy, Willis is a girl, “I’m a boy”, not going to be able to breed John Thomases very easily, he always calls her Slugger, she hits people, was she on the baseball team?, he insults her looks, she hits the softball real hard, a term of respect, no hidden agenda inside of Johnny, Johnny just gets stubborn for a while, Farah Mendelson’s The Pleasant Profession Of Robert A. Heinlein, Star Wars, he likes his backpack helicopter, when Mr. Ito’s greenhouse, space skateboards, hoverboards, his horse ate his car, Paul is triggered by Lummox voices, a touchy subject, great to hand to a kid whose parents are divorcing, everybody is independent, she came to him, she emancipated herself, some yummy metal and self-heating cans, entanglements, the star federation, why don’t you just leave everybody alone, the inescapable bureaucracy of civilization, Betty’s parents didn’t stand a chance, leaning into the deep and dark and secret and terrible, a little song that starts, it will burn the ears of the editors, pornography and gays and blacks exist, he wants to share it, the tone, whatever the deep dark secret is it wouldn’t hurt johnny, Sorensen, Heinlein’s always been interested in gender, why he shootin blanks, the most plausible thing, maybe John Thomas knew this, Christine Jorgensen, sex-reassignment surgery, deflates the breeding program, Podkayne Of Mars, birthing machines, ovafusion (lesbian babies), circumstantial, all the flipping and the six genders lummox, Gore Vidal, Myra Breckenridge, Raquel Welch and Mae West and John Huston and Farrah Fawcett, what genders means, gender as a spectrum, best to think of her as a male, we don’t have the acronym for it yet, derailing the story, she has arms, she’s getting boobs!, we’re really lucky dogs don’t have hands, dogs would be so handsy, cats, the human breeding program will result in the ultimate John Thomas in about 10,000 years, high fashion to have human pets, invites a sequel, The Star Beasts are humans, furry animals, Space Lummox, is a komodo dragon a beast?, scorpions aren’t beasts, developing the arms, what is that thing?, a tumor, its normal because its normal, 150 years to learn English, the test for intelligence, Little Fuzzy by H. Beam Piper, Illegal Alien by Robert J. Sawyer, legally a human, the introduction, the Houyhnhnms section of Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift, William H. Patterson, a fantasy disguised as J. Francis McComas, my first beast, the best one, not wholesome like this, good for adults too, less corny than The Rolling Stones, one little conversation, civilization is in crisis because of all these aliens, keeping these Republican norms, the Sorenson whisper, the bureaucrats have to run the machine, cynical vs. optimistic views of democracy, Heinlein’s views on communism, Heinlein’s views on nuclear testing, deep stuff, adults who would like a charming read about a talking animal, Heinlein doing his diversity thing here, Jesse is Maissa’s Betty, the spunky protagonist?, overcoming the fear of the Medusa, the Medusan is also transgender, the passive protagonist?, the makeup thing, unusual patterns, everything is transgender, another gender swap, the deep fear of the snakehead, testes turned into ovaries, hypnotherapy as a crutch, Starship Troopers, hypnosis, an excuse to help you quit smoking, Heinlein is regressive in his pushing of hypnosis, more like Dianetics than it is like rocketry, how you relate to another so different from you, Lummox’s speech, assuming an Italian is illiterate, how can people say Heinlein is turgid?, he’s anti-racist, a slur, a smear, not an awkward bone in this book, two [amicus] groups, the Friends Of Lummox, Keep Earth For Humans, one is adults, one is kids, we like breakfast cereal, Murgatroyd, the Russian edition on ebay, PiggWiggy, having adventures eating cereal, preaching race tolerance, I will not sit down with that puppet, anti-puppet, brinksmanship shit, luckily your Heinlein and writing both sides of the conversation, Heinlein’s worst instinct, c’mon mom, be partisan and be right, we’re on Lummox’s side, nobody complains about the missing dog, deciding not to eat Mr. Ito, this book is really about power, lummox has hands, wipe your own butt or get your own cup, disability, the relationship of power to power, relations between the species for the rest of time, a book about power, a hereditary monarchy with a breeding program, we can’t judge their culture, The [Men] In The Walls by William Tenn, the psychology of the mice, like parents, manipulator, the translator is manipulating both sides, interpreter for hire, Stranger In A Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein, the fair witness, somebody said somebody was a bad person, we can fix our shoddy eyewitness testimony by fixing the sentences we put in our own heads, the truth meter, played for laughs, testifying about her feelings, technology our way out of stuff, the human mind’s way of storing data and making judgements, telepathy transmitters, a visual translation, eyes are wildly fluctuating, John Thomas will say: “Me too”, Star Trek’s computer is judging Captain Kirk, a huge mental mistake, Planet Of The Apes, Heinlein’s not fulfilling Campbell’s request, a Weinbaum story, hang out and get pet for a century, our relationship to puppies, a very compressed youth, an immortal being, petting my John Thomases, Lummox gets bored, what kind of patience, a very human thing to do, tigers just eat smaller animals, arsenic makes them grow, all symbolic, why does she go on a diet at the end?, she’s gotta get hot for her wedding, stop eating candy, stop eating cars, a short lived pet, precious babies or property or chattel, they’re out friends, a lady in Quesnel, BC got her leg licked by a bear, we wanna nuke your planet, give us our queen’s corgi, War Of The Worlds but just combing the Earth, implicit mirroring, whether Lummox can testify or not, wandering princess, hostage negotiation, we don’t engage philosophically with dogs, sufficiently alien aliens, an adult reading a kid’s book, Lummox indulged Johnny, you want have me sit a yard for a year?, after 150 years, there are no Buicks today?, Motortrend, brands are things you sell to other companies, a Toyota that’s a Ford, the Packard’s coming back, a branding exercise, the Lincoln Navigator, imprints survive as IP, all the young men love the classic Buicks, a flight harness, when he takes Johnny to the vet, corgis for everybody, an exclusive brand, a great opening for the surprise sequel, spaceships are disappearing, humans are being disappeared, very cute puppies, a deeply pet book, you’re going to wear this outdoor socky thing on your feets, a single dad, a single mom, the controlling mother, Suddenly (1954), parallels, media with controlling mothers, Philip K. Dick’s mom, people having relationships in the 20th century, shameful but possible, a trope character, off-screen, trip to Hawaii, 17 pickle dishes, Heinlein’s joke, Heinlein is very stupid in hypnotism, Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, slim volume hardcovers, Harry Potter, Rick Riordan, no Heinlein boxed set with decent covers, what the fuck is wrong with their brains?, 8 Heinlein juveniles in a boxed set, youthful reading, why is that?, Heinlein is not a giant name, Roald Dahl, James And The Giant Peach, Predestination, there should be boxed sets of Heinlein every generation, broken minded, a legacy organization, it will do material good to minds, the entire Heinlein fiction is the Virginia edition $1,400, riddled with typos, a luxury good, mass market paperback for $9.99, sell like the wheatcakes, I love TITS (Tunnel In The Sky), Jesse was dissing Heinlein and looking at TITS online, pitch for TITS, something goes wrong, Hunger Games style, really good, Paul loves TITS, Lummox triggered, Hi I’m Trish, Boxing Day, put TITS on the schedule, excommunicated from the island, Lord Of The Flies by William Golding, Rite Of Passage by Alexei Panshin, othering Jesse, privileging academics, don’t slur me, 10 degrees is warm (and cold), alien words, actual turban vs. snakes for hair who needs a turban, get him outta bed, not a very good movie, the self-lighting cigarette, trying to quit smoking, maybe a pipe, a serious smoker without a light, H. Beam Piper was a smoking machine, British is weird, a really interesting podcast about those puppies, Rite Gud, solid heads on shoulders despite being modern authors, squeecore, new wave, cyberpunk, The Painful Threshold, “hells yeah”, maudlin mawkish or glib, Whedonesque quips, the character that represents feminism pegs the character that represents the patriarchy, this is what we’re exploring right now, remixing the public domain with vampires or zombies, 10 Years A Slave To The Robot Queen, Ace Galaksi, very Betty of you, so Betty, Betty is a great character, Stranger In A Strange Land, so horrible, pizza, of course it was, raw frozen chicken wings, dog minds, dog diets, a beagle pomeranian, parvo virus, little bag, little mask, little vaccination sticker, too many puppy blogs, why Fauci might get canceled, beagle faces, funding dog torture, when we find out what the aliens sound like in their native language, rethink your whole life, a never ending parent, be your pet’s advocate, catering to dog needs, siri needs to speak dog, a smart telepathic collar, What Is Horror?, Klim’s Journey Under The Ground by Baron Ludvig Holberg, The Midwich Cuckoos by John Wyndham, Children Of The Damned (1964), John Carpenter (1995).