Reading, Short And Deep #396
Eric S. Rabkin and Jesse Willis discuss Narcissus by Clark Ashton Smith
Here’s a link to a PDF of the story.
Narcissus was published in The Acolyte, Winter 1945.
Jesse, Paul Weimer, Maissa Bessada, and Evan Lampe talk about Rocket Ship Galileo by Robert A. Heinlein
Talked about on today’s show:
1947, the first of the Heinlein juveniles and also the least good, pretty bad compared to his later stuff, first read, Paul skipped the juveniles, back catalogue, proven Paul wrong, first read through, Evan Lampe is reading Heinlein for his American Writers podcast, you can tell, the formula is imperfect, study math, stop and study algebra, before we bomb the Nazis, do our physics studies, The Rolling Stones, more integrated into the plot, him doing Tom Swift, boy rocketeers!, almost no girls, there’s the mom (and that’s it), she’s knitting, a boys book, simple question, who is the Heinlein standin in this book?, Hargraves, painfully obviously, Heinleinian Socratic dialogues and opinions, digression about math theory, he’s a propagandist, adult Heinlein, Gulf, Friday, theories of intelligence and knowledge, all the things he says are right, side discussion, whether the back of the Moon exists or not, the stuff about the rainbow, defend Heinlein propagandism, continued his work for the proto-CIA, learn math in school to fight the cold war, yes you can, sir, what math is, the kids give back to him, not anything related to reality, this conversation with your math teacher, what the Moon in, that’s meta-science, epistemology, some of Evan’s favourite stuff, this book is weak, the philosophy of knowledge, what do we know and how can you prove it, the whole tides thing, a correlation, a good inference, the sun also tides, the moon might not but the sun definitely does, learned it in college, king tides, therefore its true, Hypatia of Alexandria, epicycles explained the motions of the planets, on point, its good, that guy just shot that guy, how do you know that?, when you’ve got 15 hours in a rocket, how do you know the house is on fire, the stoics, withholding judgements, the skeptics, our path to internal peace and freedom from disturbance, go through our life and assume that’s true, pragmatism, math’s that way, essential true but not, P. Pilate = Pontius Pilate’s middle name, a subtle expression of Paul’s unconscious, Evan’s middle name, however right wing he becomes in future, address people, for the listener in the year 3,0000, people were jerks, a political billy club on President Obama, lower yourself to your enemy’s level, tweeting about politicians, practical reason, less liable, account is locked, Elon Muskovites, Nikki Haley’s middle name, don’t call me Schicklgruber, deliberately disrespectful, that ship has sailed, puts Paul into the mud, stirring fecal matter, irkked, take em all on policy, I, Mudd, the stern schoolmarm, Harcourt Fenton Mudd, Paul as a parent scolding their full, I named you, a true name thing, Robert Anson Heinlein how dare you, why Destination Moon (1950) is so shitty, they took out the Nazis, the characters are uninteresting and unlikeable, Woody Woodpecker was Heinlein, the shotgun, garbage essentially, so propagandistic, here’s how we’re going to do it boys, they’re all old men, no females in the entire movie, The End… of the Beginning, it has no heart, its soulless, the skeptical guy, it really woiks!, you think the Bears are playin’?, boring, Apollo 13, a little bit of The Cold Equations, we want them all to die, I’d be embarrassed, he wrote at least part of it, why it is so shitty, they took the Nazis out because 1947 is very different than 1950, dealt with, the bad guys are the Soviets, who are our allies?, Werner Von Braun, it fucks the script, being sabotaged, all those people trying to stop them from going, plot pieces, second time reading it, NAZIS ON THE MOON?!!?, sabotage on earth, business meetings, you know what America has, American how-to-it-ness!, The Man Who Sold The Moon, D.D. Harriman, charisma, goals, they’re wasting Jesse’s time, D.D. Harriman is passionate, he’s a Reeve, wokescold Delos David Harriman!, Requiem, Expanded Universe, a prequel, a great couplet of a character arc, his lifelong dream, you guys suck you’re so boring, Jesse sounded like Cora, make the story kinda interesting, cute and very Heinlein, the little implied sex scene, radioactive fuel, Thorium, distribute the letters, that girl who’s hot on you, the bottled blonde, i’m hot on her, I guess you’ll find out soon, does the carpet match the drapes, this carpet is definitely made of wool, inappropriate pictures, porn to the Moon!, gotta keep up with your homework, an association copy on Haithi Trust, Heinlein inscribing it to his nephew, you are this character, proves Jesse’s point, Tuckerization, cool and interesting, reading this book blind, here’s a book, did Heinlein write it, point to certain things, one of the thing’s that’s pointed to, who are the kids who go to the moon, an all-American boy, a German immigrant kid and a Jew, a Heinleinism, Spider Robinson gives a Jewish accent, not make a big deal of it, ohhhh the Holocaust!, this must really traumatized, the UN has made Earth a happy basket except there’s fuckn Nazis everywhere, probably South America, Antarctica, searchers looking, not in Heinlein books, they’re in Washington DC in real-life, in the Heinlein universe, Canada, in Germany too, deNazified, maybe Maissa caught this, where they could do their testing, Little America, that’s Antarctica, not if you have a rocket that is nuclear powered, constant thrust, asked a science teacher, this week, why don’t we have atomic rockets?, he’s a smart guy, assume the best of our high-school teachers, the big technological question, why don’t we have atomic rockets, why haven’t moved beyond the steam engine, make water hot, solar energy, a solar sail, no NASA rockets that are nuclear, Voyager has radioactive decay, a trickle charge, Project Orion, very inefficient, opposite of constant, the lesson here is, at the origins of capitalism, capitalism hasn’t contributed to technological development, we manipulate the electrons a little bit differently, technology developed in the 19th century, David Graeber, stagnant from the, its shocking, the Marvel helicarrier is atomic powered, use electric power generated from a reactor, your fuel doesn’t get wasted but you need water, they ran outta water, thorium is atomic number 90, zinc steam, water, he’s hoping that this will work, the stuff coming out the back of the space shuttle, a radioactive cloud of zinc, what happened in Ohio the other day (but radioactive), he’s got the math wrong but the idea right, uranium would work, it’s a fudge, he’s trynna make a story, kind of scary, chunks of uranium or plutonium falling all over the place, a nuclear thermal rocket in space, take your fuel up there in space, pretty scary, you need to wear your radioactive film, Spider Robinson does a really good job with the audiobook, he doesn’t play the Heinlein stand-in very comedicly, that’s Heinlein hoggin all the best lines for his character, he’s knocked on the hear three times, shot in the head, an explosion on the base, and the third time on the moon, a Jules Verne move, rock head, The First Men In The Moon by H.G. Wells, that’s a Jules Verne one, a gun to the moon, making fun of Americans, the ballistic society, anti-gravity technology, pull yourself to any body in the sky, contragravity, push away from the earth, pull to the moon, very clever, Selenites on the Moon, I’m British!, does colonialism, they’re strong, they’re from Earth, a nice satire, your my cousin but its okay, whatever weird sex things he wants to throw in there, no politics (other than Nazis bad), all about the U.N., Space Cadet, U.N. Space Force, there’s Selenites in this book!, Blowups Happen, craters on the moon couldn’t have been meteorites, nuclear war, fission power, the slightest mistake, Lester Del Rey’s Nerves, take this energy source off Earth, the moon is like the lesson, novelette, 1940, Coventry, say his name!, that’s funny Paul, Stranger In A Strange Land, Glory Road, Evan’s destination, eager to get to, Maissa didn’t get through it, he can be rough, the lack of women hurt the book, maybe he was learning, Space Family Stone, his sexual politics are very interesting, girls don’t exist, they’re just budding, they don’t reproduce on the moon, his worst juvenile by a lot, so didactic, we have to have a trial, legalism, Farmer In The Sky, Boy Scout stuff, I’ll back you, I gave my word to your son, graduates of the high school, how most of us learn those lessons, Socratic dialogue, we have creepy uncle Heinlein, you made me think, the three families, only a mom, dad died in WWII, your a man, you’re my Jewish son, I disapprove, you need to let him go, how to make everybody man, Jordan B. Peterson, whatever the B stands for, women want to protect, men want to challenge, I don’t want my boy to get hurt, I want my boy to become a man, chooses to follow the second instinct, some of his female characters, Grandma Hazel, it’ll make a man out of you, dual instinct, rip-roaring six-gun, both things going on, gender dynamics, mother vs. father, Bernt?, a fuckwit, he doesn’t read enough!, getting his Latin wrong, a simple mistake, Marxist postmodernism, withhold judgement, his debate with Slavoj Žižek, re-read The Communist Manifesto, a 5 minute, not doing you homework, Whatifalthist, social dynamics, hatewatch, social ideas, everybody is a work in progress, read some real books, way out of date, in the bin with Jordan Peterson, Evan feels sorry for Jordan Peterson, daughter despises Jordan Peterson, we have a derth of public intellectuals, Žižek’s not perfect, he likes jokes, on that we agree, all the good philosophers kill themselves, more grounded, a more radical, serious left, so ignorant, propaganda going on, could have went to town on him, Žižek’s doing his own fucking thing, interesting, your job here is to crush this anti-communist, teach him, I’m not gonna think about that guy, they know he said something, he aint necessary for Jesse, you haven’t been told to clean your room, offering a path for people, he understands the same problem, his diagnosis is wrong, the problem is late capitalism, the Marxist post modernism trans-people, Evan worries about the boys, his sympathies are with the ladies, getting emotional, he’s saying it though, wash your armpits, talk to a girl, many do, Evan doesn’t have the patience for those people, pull up their bootstraps, Evan doesn’t feel bad for them, turn towards the right, become internet fascists, 20 year olds, some sort of psychopath, people who are off and lied to, a very small subset, they’ve been lied to about what communism and how the Soviet Union worked, in British Columbia there has been a law passed that requires every student to study indigenous stuff, part of a plan, slightly weird case with B.C., we’re gonna fix our problems with our natives by educating everybody about it, blockades in B.C., you have to study these issues, completely fucked up, making an inference, we have a plan in the future to not be assholes, elect governments with popular support, the Holodomor, the Ukraine deliberate famine by the soviets, Nazi monuments in Canada, strongly lobbying for anti-soviet campaign, a massive lobby, have this in the curriculum, Chrystia Freeland’s grandfather was a Ukranian Nazi, to demonize the Soviet Union, 99% bullshit, gulag system (gulag means prison), our job is to teach the incels or whatever you want to call them, they want to have girls like them, Evan had a dad, your mother can’t do that, Jesse pull up your pants and clean your room, in a cult for 20 years, another uncle is still in that cult, a much more obscure, Jesse likes Mormons, Eckankar, is it a cult if it is around for 100 year, Chanhassen, Minnesota, cut you off from your family, new religious movements vs. cults, religion, parents divorced because of capitalism, not a replacement for your dad, I’ve fucked up my life, here’s 12 rules, very simple things, you need a dad in your life, Joe Rogan’s real dad is still alive, Quentin Tarantino’s stepdad made him, we are weird creatures, model myself on somebody, where culture comes from, primitive tribe in the bush, it more effects boys, having the uncle there is really important, a lot of people don’t have anybody to model themselves on, a very different world now, just so insulated within themselves, just teaching each other, not really helping, a bad effect, we all need to re-read Bowling Alone, Elks Club, Shriner’s, Boy Scouts, the boomers, he always knows people, softball, without church, so socially isolated, internet is not replacing whatever that was, can’t get those incels into the Shriner’s club, capitalism has rooted out the thing, why we’re in front of screens all the time, 19 hours, relevant, a little old, social science, come to terms with it, he says everything seven times, a number of hobbies, Evan’s not wrong, wants to get us out on the streets, a rally today in Washington D.C., Rage Against The War Machine, 19th of February 2023, stop funding Ukraine, start funding Ohio, populists, a demonized word, farmers talking to each other, people hear the word Nazis, people expressing dissatisfaction, war bad, as Jimmy Dore points out, that’s not how you organize a movement, united on an issue, organize particular events, Occupy Wall Street, no agenda, there were no demands, let’s dissolve NATO, NATO bad, NATO Nazis, Jesse no, run by a former Nazi for a very long time, at the end of WWII, hey Germans we’re in charge now, the genetic flag, once you start looking at what the policy is, team world, back to the Cold War, a hate for the Soviets, prefer fascists over, Canada sending aircraft to Haiti to search for gangs, why is Canada trying to run Haiti, what the Americans can’t do in Haiti, we do what they say, you don’t want to be on the bad-side, Jesse is making Paul angry, the evils of Ukraine, not interfere with Ukraine, fare thee well, Ukraine would loose, not supporting Ukraine is saying Russia can do whatever you want, we’re not the world’s policeman, why don’t you just take all of it, what you are advocating, sorry can’t help you, Russia can do whatever the fuck you want, sucks for you, Paul is angry, have a good day, the issue, a set of beliefs about what’s happened, its hard to communicate an alternative narrative, televisions channels and newspapers, what’s actually happening vs. the narratives, why things have gone wrong so badly, 2014, 2020, the reason we’re in this is because of NATO, Canada picked a team, there’s only one Switzerland, some land almost nobody wants, rocks and salt-mines, if you don’t pick a team, one of the teams collapsed, team China, sympathetic in many ways, looking back, the great tragedy of 20th century was the collapse of the Soviet Union, mistakes, there’s us with the plenty, a chicken in every pot, the hobos are all gone, everything is grey, nobody has jobs, its always winter in Russia, homelessness, toxic everything, government completely corrupted, untested poisons, ethno-nationalism, Russians in Ukraine, Nazis in Ukraine who want to refight the war, where Evan is critical of China, how poverty has been eliminated, not the best example, in ethnic policy, irredentist towards Taiwan, what we inherited, this nationalism, Serbia, Kosovo, breaking up the enemy, a definitive article, the Nordstream pipeline, they don’t want Germany to have Russian gas, that’s bad, hurting Germany, they’re not on the same team, bad team to be on, we have your best interests at heart, there are consequences to that, transnational corporations, send more lobbyists to Washington, how the world was saved by lobbyists, the U.N. police, the third world movement, an alternative to the first and second world, Indonesia, India, what the U.N. calls for, in this book, give a voice to every country, that empire cannot do, the U.N. needs some reforms, votes based on population, there’s one big bully who refuses, the winners of WWI[I], we can’t have peace because profits, shouldn’t be thrown out, maybe it’s hopeless, better than the alternative, just empire, making fun of Jesse, the essential problem is propaganda, dwell too much in media, material conditions, what’s actually happening, hard to talk to Paul about Ukraine, what Aaron Rupar says, to cheer a team, against random war, how did that happen, designed to be done on purpose, in order to support it, it’s a proxy war, using other people to get your enemy, Zelenskyy ran on a platform of peace, know more, very little sympathy for post-Soviet Russia, a more democratic system in Russia, throwing rocks at your window, rock throwing was on purpose, the United States backed a coup in Ukraine, random wars, because NATO, why didn’t we dissolve NATO, let the Russians join NATO, global capitalism, neither is an alternative, competing nations amongst them, transnational elites, lots of forces, as an ethnic group, security being threatened, trying to crush the Russian economy, regime change, the drunk guy with the white hair (Yeltsin), was the American pick, Putin is the replacement, nation states are still more powerful than transnational oligarchs, Elon Musk doesn’t have an army or a navy, complexity here, Heinlein wouldn’t be happy, the Friday show, Heinlein is not as committed to the United States as people think he is, just the United States, important to the book, he thinks its a solution, Space Cadet, he’s right about that, we have 70 years of U.N. history to look at, The League Of Nations, solve the problem of war, that’s out the window, turned the cold war back on, democratic global civil society, the Westphalia system of sovereignty, violating the integrity of Ukraine, Jesse is not in favour of Canada or the United States annexing Canada, long silence, how do we convince people other than having a conversation, blow up buildings, whatever that was, 9-11 etc., pointing people to particular books, violence should be off the table most of the time, what Paul was saying, Crimea, Crimea was gifted, part of the Soviet Union, trying to make friends, we’re integrating, recolonization, this is not in a vacuum, Putin decided he’s a madman, they’ve seen the ill effects, tried to make nice, Russians or Soviets, a one sided animosity, the Russian Revolution and WWI, the British are responsible, a tiny Russian colony in Africa, near Djibouti, New Moscow, an attempt in the rush for Africa, too busy colonizing Siberia and Alaska, history is fascinating, this Ukraine stuff, not as evident, people who have the signs in real life, the Six Flag game, which three flags do you pick?, Palestine or Israel, Russia or Ukraine, Taiwan or China, different options, who are you, a certain media bubble, Israel Ukraine Taiwan, what’s the anti-imperial flag?, pirate flag, a mug’s game, a Rorschach test, putting those flags in your bio is the bad decision, a hammer and sickle on Evan’s twitter thing, force Evan to pick, Taiwan, Ukraine, Palestine, don’t accept the forcing, Americans aren’t Europeans, a cash generator for the arms industry, who speaks what, what language you learn in school, Africans don’t have this problem, multi-ethnic countries, China is 56 nations in one, Alsace Lorraine, eruozone, continental Europeans, Scots independent vote, ethno-nationalism, on the wane, nationalism, on the rise, has been for a while, funded by the United States, diverse by their borders, Nazis in Russia are not funded by the world’s biggest superpower, the yellow and blue flags everywhere, local businessman, rainbowflag, Ukraine flag, older people, former professor, nice piece of land, enough money on her pension, where do they get these signs?, she supports the things that are good, these aren’t necessarily good, reductionist, expressing solidarity like he/him is not wrong (it’s just silly), I support a proxy war in Ukraine, a series of provocations, a war since 2014, a team picked a side, strawmanning, we had the Minsk agreement, some measure of independence within Ukraine, Boris Johnson kiboshed that, subject to a lot of propaganda, maybe that makes Jesse a simpleton, Evan’s not sure what to do, keep tellin truth, all the Kubrick movies, Eyes Wide Shut (1999), a documentary, twitter bios, black white and green with a red triangle, a weird mix, mental illness, autism, the Scots flag is “based”, the Scots took over the British Empire, a bot or autistic, fake bio, CBSRadio Mystery Theater is based, needs a dad, The Crawlers by Philip K. Dick, The Golden Slave by Poul Anderson, another non-fiction, Pirate Enlightenment by David Graeber, Global Enlightenment, riled up, I didn’t know we were going to Ukraine, it went there, Rally to stop the War Machine, Yemen, against War with China, while America falls to shit, spill in Ohio, instigate a war, what happened at the U.N. right at the beginning, one china policy, which one was which, there’s only one China, Republic of China, self-determination, democracy, there’s another country involved, fucking around with some other part of Chinese policy, we should always say no to WWIII, don’t do that, flying planes over Taiwan, they need to grow up about it, the Chinese people, using Taiwan as propaganda, bring up Taiwan as a distraction, let the people of Taiwan decide, better than WWIII, persuade, the U.S. is really good at propaganda, dominate, incompetent as well, everything we learn is propaganda, math is propaganda, the belief I have that the moon has another side, some innate stuff, I don’t even know the word sexy, primitive stuff, that car looks cool, persuaded that it looks cool, don’t conflate what the US has been doing in Ukraine with Taiwan, its an island, a way to sell more weapons, everybody has to have vaccines, mandated, in response things, the United States is surrounding China, China is hiding submarines in the South China Sea, like it’s not their sea, it’s coming, a NATO of the pacific that they’re building, weapons, software, the NATO of Asia, the milk tea alliance, Australia, Japan, democratic forces in Hong Kong, Burma, Thailand, opposed to Chinese domination of Asia, SEATO, dissolved 1977, get Vietnam on board, finding allies in the region, making progress, developmental outcomes, pick fights with the Philippines, Philippines is occupied, 3 new bases, North Korea and Vietnam, in the pocket, best friends, Germany is still occupied, recognize Cuba?, not occupied, even Britain has American military bases, Trump’s right, better alternatives, Jimmy Dore for president, no good alternatives to American empire, one member doesn’t want to play nice, China signs up for stuff, at the heart, an evil cabal in that Stanley Kubrick movies, Cecil Rhodes’ guys, listen to Alex Jones, he knows what’s going down, evil trans-nationalists, what caused WWI, entangling alliances, the blank cheque, multipolar, start acting like Switzerland, 1600 – 1940s, no allies, on the side of democracy, people should have power, global civil society, Shriners International, Idahoan scouts jamboreeing in Tiananmen Square, go to see the moon with your space friends, he needs to be looked at in a careful way, too RAH! RAH!, American exceptionalism, a radical part, stay healthy, make up with Paul, propaganda that’s good for you, Heinlein is good propaganda, not an echo chamber, say where he’s wrong, cutting yourself off from other people, banning this blocking that, missing something important, not trying to make an enemy, imagine in 50 years, a cheerleader, Lovecraft, fascism is a good idea, before the ovens, Mussolini is silly, causes deaths.
Jesse, Paul Weimer, and Cora Buhlert talk about The Venom Business by Michael Crichton.
Talked about on today’s show:
John Lange, the worst Michael Crichton novel, the worst of the Lange books, the number one problem, it is too long, badly padded, random sex scenes, compared to Easy Go, no sex in Binary, it’s annoying, the characters are horrible assholes you don’t want to be around, thinking of the money, who are we supposed to sympathize with?, our hero, nobody is likeable, very ambitious, a big book, fast and simple and cool and delightful, a murder mystery where you’re waiting for the murder to happen, when are they going to kill this fucker?, shortly before the end, starts awesome, terrific, Mexico stuff, Edgar Wallace, Indiana Jones, Walter Matthau, German actors, weird sharp turn, as soon as he’s off the plane and releasing the snakes, goes to the party, Richard Pierce shows up, one of the worst characters, full of resentment, hoping he was going to die, they waited to the end, an Agatha Christie before the detective comes in, the plot is gonna get cookin’, where’d this black guy come from?, the cats shit, a snakehandler, a smuggler, Richard not Rupert, The Prisoner Of Zenda, a layabout, Channel Tunnel, 1964, typical UK move, Paul’s high-school teacher, never, England shouldn’t be part of Europe, a weird way, this whole Brexit thing, laughing, the terrible teachers live forever, a math teacher in her 80s, a lady in her 70s, teaching in the 1930s, fast track program in the 1930s, died of shock, bullied her poor daughter, the lead character in Easy Go was named Pierce, Binary is such a clean book, Barnaby is our equivalent of Black here, rich elderly guy introduced later, he likes the name, his first name is Dick Pierce, hence all the sex, this is horrible, a lusting machine that’s abusive, why did he make him so horrible, rooting for his death, Gunter Sachs, Brigitte Bardot, sex dispensing machines, Michael Crichton knew somebody like this, doctors in this book, a little bit of psychology, a psychiatrist, a surgeon, more human venom than snake venom, later chapters, backstory, adopted father, a lot of contradictions, the terrible wife, he’s relating real experiences, hanging out with rich people with trust funds, Charles Renault, our main character, multiple names, failed out of Yale, the army, awesome hero character, also flawed, psychology all over the page, Easy Go, the journalist and the archaeologist, the incidents that happen, it fucks you up, the relationship between power and money, make people do what they want, adopts a friend’s son, adopted father, lampshade, his father, adoptd when he was 6, parents died in WWII, two or three years between, wouldn’t give him a child, resentment there, genetic competition, weird psychology, everybody is trying to fuck each other over, a horrible book because all the characters are horrible, away from the main character for much of the book, trying to write a big book explaining to himself, we keep shifting to other people’s points of view, visited by the step-mother, a dream-sequence, way too ambitious, his version of Moby-Dick, it fails, almost 12 hours, three times longer, the plotting was bad, his ambition was too much, somewhat more redeemable, Charles pistol whips a lady, double cross, he could have tied her up, violence, trying to kill people in cars, hung out with people like this, school friend, something that really happened to him, who is he other than Charles, a sequence where Charles goes to a party, one of them is a medical student, sticking himself into his own book, I can make this a novel plot too, studied in Harvard, Cambridge in the mid-60s, expensive cars, whores, drugs, so good to start, it settles into a horrible vest of vipers, spitting venom all over each other, that’s why I don’t hang out with those people anymore, Valley Of The Dolls by Jacqueline Susann, glitzy, those books, at hour 11 and a half, that was last week, last week?, it feels like five years in this hellhole, every couple of days he renegotiates his contract, no-fun, the book he started writing, how great this book started, the first hardcover John Lange, Drug Of Choice leans into the cats stuff, removing part of the brain, drugs to control people’s behavior, a Philip K. Dicky book, I’m interested in interesting things, fucking, alcohol and lording it over other people with their fancy new Maserati, sex is nice, interest in science, history, archaeology, cat surgery, rich people being terrible is sadly popular, Succession, Dynasty and Dallas, cars and clothes and fancy cars, fancy furniture, swinging sixties, over-descriptions, critical reviews from the period, overlong, encumbered, grubby collection of opportunists, too many subplots, too many dames, too many men and women, annoyed by interchangeable women, Dominique, Vivien, unimportant disgusting behavior, chasing after sex, we didn’t need that, he gets it every time, cruelty towards his Italian fiance, chaste until marriage, being there with those people, snake pit, stock deal, not completely terrible people, covered in venom, sacrificial virgins thrown into a snake pit, a horror, the author at the part is John Lange, bombastic literary figure, Truman Capote, conned into running these parties, a literary figure, this is the worst Crichton book Jesse has read, later period ones, Airframe, Disclosure, Prey, State Of Fear, Congo, intelligent apes in Africa, Rising Sun, Japan’s going to take over the world, Jurassic Park, which book is which, The Great Train Robbery, The Andromeda Strain, ossified, the script for Westworld (1973), Reading, Short And Deep, Alfred Bester, tuckerized, The Unseen Blushers, a poem by Thomas Gray, unknown Shakespeares, writers group, no editors allowed, an idea for a story, the new Shakespeare is a pulp, who would this Shakespeare be from this period of time, documents go missing, pulp science fiction writers, better or worse or equivalent of his period, he was not for rich people only, writing old tropes, Isaac Asimov, fart jokes for rich people and high brown literature for poor people, sea stories, he mumbled, a tropical disease in the Navy, throat cancer, he uses his friends to tell a meta-science fictional science fiction story, Bester is a superstar, Astonishing Stories, his power is amazing, stories that sparkle all over the page, make bad old ideas good new ideas, snip out that beginning of the book, it turns into a nest of horrible, after the party everything turns to shit, rich guy dilettante, he’s horrible in this book, from life!, Pickman’s Model by H.P. Lovecraft, horrible yucky, please tell me more about the gas chambers, soaking in the venom, Holocaust kid’s novels, endless terrible scenes, commit suicide, terrible, survivors accounts, historical value, as a catharsis, these things happened, sounds horrible, bestsellers, is this titillation?, go at it for the sex, Harold Robbins, rich people being terrible, we should wash our hands of this, Zero Cool, back on the horse with a good one, Odds On, critical path analysis, a lady kissing a man holding jewelry, Scratch One, A Case Of Need, the ebook, paper is preferable, even shorter, an American doctor goes to Spain, a conspiracy to obtain a jewel, not horrible sounding, arms shipment, a quote from Benjamin Disraeli, the horrible taste of this book, April, the writing vs. the plotting, a biography of Bester’s writing, seeing Alfred Bester interviewed [FANAC], you mean counterplot?, what went wrong here, three counterplots, as soon as he gets to Paris, the girl with the gun, the setup, a minor minor part of the many counterplots, Jane Goodall, Jane Mitchell, the Congo book, only gold up to this point, too venomy, pissed off, snake business, snakes as a subject, poison vs. venom, arsenic, hours of terrible pain and stomach cramps, building up a tolerance, a myth, Crichton knows, Black knows, he’s lying, idiotic nephew, sedatives or something, the poison of choice for murderers in the 1960s, sleeping pills, e605 [parathion], how did Jane get her gun from Mexico to Paris, he’s a smuggler with his own plane, they don’t search you bags, metal detectors in the 1970s, hijackings, airplane bomb, upping security, 1955 airplane bombing [United Air Lines Flight 629], this guy really hated his mother, macabre grindcore, Sinister Slaughter, 1949, Canadian Pacific Airlines 108 bombing, Albert Guay, tree stumps, timing pencils, acid eating through, glowsticks, advanced chemistry class, and then they had a rave, 1944 plot, Claus von Stauffenberg, Harry Turtledove, the world is terrible, WWII could have turned out, two evil powers, venerated in Germany, glowsticks go bad in 1-4 years, Re-Animator (1985), drug experiments done by the government, fucking around with brains, especially when the government does it, did not meet expectations, if he’d written the book he started to write, editor: give me a bunch of unlikeable monsters and make it long please, also dream sequence, baby born in an abbey, fast forward 30 years, people being horrible mode, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, Basil Fawlty, trans-Atlantic tripe, everything we would hate to be in ourselves, a snob, hilarious, we didn’t need any of them, wipe them all out start again, Peyton Place by Grace Metalious, 10 Robbins books after he died, Tom Clancy, V.C. Andrews, Tycoon, Sidney Sheldon, mysteries, thrillery, furious at it, hugely popular, miniseries on TV, why do you have that thing?, you never even question it, wallpaper, why did you read John Lange?, looking at people’s bookshelves, judging Paul for his bookshelf, jettisoned ARCs, can’t hold everything, showing off or showing shelves, Jesse is judging them, this person is wise, this person is trash, organized by colour, youtubers, 2 books in the whole house: sad story, booktubers, not showing off enough, greenscreen fake bookshelf, how to make everything look really great behind them, fake blurred background wallpaper, organize your wall, judge your bookshelf, faux leather embossed hardcovers, videotape cases, leatherbound hardcovers, Subterranean Press, luxury books, a signal, drill down on this, a symbol of a rich person, the x the y or the z, a decanter, a tub of ice nearby, no decanters at the liquor store, rich people would go to the vineyard, buy a giant cask of amontillado, pour the liquor into the decanter from the bottle, its the legacy of the leftover of hundreds of years, which makes more sense?, why do we do the second one?, trying to cosplay being rich, the accoutrements of being rich, Mercedes is a car for taxis in Europe, the unconscious mimicking of rich people’s behavior is super-pathetic, measuring the books by the foot, Folio Society books, Centipede edition, not knowingly, more money than brains, secretly refilling from a whiskey bottle, cheap brandy in a pricey bottle, a basement full, a box with bottle openers, old liquor in the basement, Dundee cake, underground tunnels, Cora’s bakery, flower shops and gas stations, everything’s open everyday of the week, open shopping Sundays, an excuse, better in what sense?, LEGO art, action figure photos with Christmas lights, fake votive candles, lasers and glowsticks, can I have one, ubiquitous, dry ice is supercool, dry ice fog, makes for nice pictures, panicky about carbon dioxide, magnesium ribbon, potassium nitrate, blow up a model of the school, match heads, wax mixed with blackpowder, Chaos Day, Cora blew up her school once (and a volleyball net), two teenage girls, bad books happen occasionally, no indication, started off great, which book are you talking about, tall people die young, he would be 80 now, died at 66, this one was terrible, five or so, the first bad one, Grave Descend, Pirate Latitudes, Jurassic Park, Disclosure, State Of Fear, a lot to discuss it, climate change, carbon dioxide bad, terrible people, big evil oil companies, financed by the oil companies, the other end, a very complex system, we only have the one example, much warmer and much colder, climate observations from the 19th century, he’s interested in history and he likes the Caribbean, plenty more to read.
Jesse, Maissa Bessada, and Will Emmons talk about Passport To Peril by Lawrence Block
Talked about on today’s show:
Anne Campbell Clark, 1967, internal stuff, guess what year this photo was taken, asking about JFK like he was still alive, Teddy Kennedy, the Irish connection, proud of him being president, very few people have read this, a book worthy of reading, noped out, pretty horrific, too sunk into it, a cocoon of singing and countryside, a lovely little book, not going anywhere and not upset about it, almost plotless, not all books need to have plots, spending time with Hobbits in Hobbiton, an old lady who likes to bicycle, red herrings, Will’s first Lawrence Block, the trip to the countryside, all of the lovely singing, I never shall marry as long as I live, really liked this book, who is the audience, Helen MacInnes readers, neither had Lawrence Block, spies with a little romance, romance with a little bit of spies, how smooth did this go down, easy drinking all the way through, it was a formula, the bad guy came around, there he is, why does that priest want her passport, maybe I’ve misjudged him, he’s back, women protagonists, usually a male, page by page, line by line, a little bit much, intoxicated, a 24 year old in 1967, the height of the sexual revolution, chaste for a folk-singer, they get snug and snuggle, she hides her nudity, not so folksy as one might imagine in real life, the scene with the IRA, pastiche-ish, that part never happened when Lawrence Block went to Ireland, a massive amount of violence, let’s go have a party, one of them gets shot and they keep having a party, movie-like, none of the dialogue felt clunky, what kind of folk-singing, Airplane!, lady with a guitar, inspirational songs vs. historical events, WWII essay, WWI, WWI’s influence on Ireland, the Irish Rising, home-rule in 1922, according to Star Trek [The Next Generation] and Mr. Data they’re going to reunite next year, all of us under the British rule, the overlords in Egypt, real bastards, it doesn’t translate across generations as well, gearing up, the ultimate McGuffin, because of the title, back to the passport, easy listening, P.J. Morgan, a lot of singing, male voices too, accents, a really good job, if I was P.J. Morgan and I had finished this book I would be superhappy with myself, a recipe, 191 pages, 5 hours 38 minutes, a short novel, a young lady who goes on a trip, chased across the countryside, a monster, a hero, delivering what women want, nice and smooth, the historical research, enthusiastic about Irish history, great fun, a double checkmark, creepy and scary quite late, when’s it gonna turn, grusome, burned to death, legs blown off, shoots somebody’s brains out, starts with a horrible murder, really violent, a nice guy from Philadelphia to leg cling to, a nice old lady who gets strangled off screen, the German guy with a family, what happened to the kids?, the casting room, spy training school, the woman with the red hair, in the ring?, a nice Londoner, leaving cards together, he’s playing a great great game, I need to tip my hand, when Ellen gets into the car with the priest, you’re just ahead of her, ahead of Jesse, I wish I knew my Irish history better, a really good promoter of stuff on his blog, the afterword, the blog post about Passport To Peril
In 1966 I was living at 16 Stratford Place, in New Brunswick, New Jersey. I’d spent a year in Wisconsin as an editor in the coin supply division of Western Printing, and just when it looked as though I might have a future in the corporate world, I realized it was the last thing I wanted. I’d been writing books all along, and I moved east and resumed writing full-time.
My agent, Henry Morrison, came to me with an assignment. Lancer Books, for whom I’d written a few books during Larry T. Shaw’s editorship, wanted to publish a romantic-espionage thriller in the tradition of Helen MacInnes. I hadn’t read anything by Ms. MacInnes, though I knew the byline; her books were published in hardcover, and frequently wound up on bestseller lists. Mine would be published as a paperback original, and bestseller status would be not even a fleeting dream.
I don’t know if I actually read any of the books which were to be my model. I probably skimmed a couple. I knew what was required—a clean sweet likable American girl as the heroine, a reasonably exotic foreign locale, and a couple of people who were not what they appeared to be, including an evident villain who turned out to be the unlikely hero and love interest, and a dashingly attractive good guy who turned out to be an absolute rotter.
I could do that.
And I knew just where to set it. Ireland. Where else?
I’d actually been to Ireland, which gave it a leg up on the rest of the world. In the fall of 1964, a few months after the move to Racine, my wife and I flew to Limerick and spent the better part of two weeks driving around Ireland. We had a day in Edinburgh and a few days in England, but Ireland got the bulk of our business.
Aside from brief forays into Canada and Mexico, this was my first time out of the States, and if it felt like an adventure, it felt even more like a homecoming. It’s clear to me that I spent at least one past life in Ireland. Among my earliest memories are ones of listening to Irish songs on the radio. (There was a girl who sang “Toora-loora-loora” on a local amateur show, and I’m pleased to report that she was the winner three weeks running.) I had a set of the Book of Knowledge, and from it I learned all the lyrics to Wearin’ o’ the Green.
When I had begun selling short fiction and was casting about for a book to write, I decided a novel of the Irish rebellion and civil war might be a good choice. But what did I know about it? I amassed an extensive library of English and Irish history, and read a surprising amount of it. And, around the time that my interest in numismatics was steering me toward the job in Wisconsin, I began collecting Irish coins and tokens and medals.
No question, then. I’d set the book in Ireland.
Ever since the trip, I’d been picking up records of Irish folk music. The Clancy Brothers, of course, but also a slew of Folkways albums on which various singers, some more gifted than others, collected songs of the 1798 Rising and other blighted periods in the land’s sad history. As G.K. Chesterton wrote:
For the great Gaels of Ireland
Are the men that God made mad,
For all their wars are merry,
And all their songs are sad.
Well, why not make my heroine a folksinger? Why not send her to Ireland to collect songs? There, of course, she could meet the wolf in sheep’s clothing, and the sheep in wolf’s clothing, and things would look decidedly dark for a while, but eventually the sun would burst through. I mean, it would have to, sooner or later. As far as we could make out, it was always either raining or about to rain in Ireland, but maybe I could cheat and have a little sunshine toward the end.
I went to New York to write the book. Don Westlake had sublet a studio apartment on West 24th Street in Chelsea; he’d lived there briefly, during a marital rough spot, and kept it as a sometimes office until the lease was up. I moved in, and brought home Passport to Peril ten days later. I don’t know if the title was mine, though I rather think it was. I know the pen name was mine, and I know that forty-five years later nobody else on earth knew it.
Henry knew back then, but I’m sure he’s long since forgotten. My first wife would have known, but I don’t think she ever read the book, and would be surprised if she recalls anything about it. Irwin Stein at Lancer would have known, but would have had no reason to remember. Among the book-collecting fraternity, no one had a clue. This book, and Fidel Castro Assassinated!, are the two works of mine that somehow escaped detection. The latter, written under the name Lee Duncan, was recently reprinted as Killing Castro by Hard Case Crime, and has since become available as an OpenRoad eBook. Passport to Peril now makes its first post-Lancer appearance as an e-book, and I can only hope you’ve enjoyed it.
I read it myself recently to ready it for publication, and I was surprised to find that I liked it. Remember what Yeats wrote?
Romantic Ireland’s dead and gone,
It’s with O’Leary in the grave. . .
True too of the Ireland of the 1960s. It was a curious pleasure to revisit the time and place, if in my own work.
the exact same thing, good at remembering how things happened in the 60s, very Lawrence Blocky, passionate about foreign revolutions, a CIA plot to kill Castro, a cheque to the farmer with the dead sheep, what ever revolution is happning in that country, the Evan Tanner series, comedic and silly, almost perfect for what its doing, broader, like James Bond, cartoonish, fun but silly, a Korean war veteran, shrapnel in his head gives him a superpower, The Thief Who Couldn’t Sleep, why readers would like a book like this, I become a supergenius, whatever republic that wants freedom from colonialism, participating in their revolutions, joke book, The Canceled Czech, light and fluffy, Tanner On Ice, literally frozen, a participant in the ideas the book he is producing, numismatics, a book on racewalking, walk faster than other people, the Hit Man/Hit List series, cozy, there’s a guy in Mexico who needs to be shot, I like Mexico, observations in a restaurant, really into stamp collecting, an action scene, whatever subject he turns his attention to becomes a very very readable book, can you write a book about assassinating Castro?, technically required to do this, Will material?, not-enough enthusiasm, emphasis and underlining and exclamation marks, Classic Crime Library number 15, how quiet it has been resting, Lawrence Block took control of his publishing, he’s the one, making you buy his stuff, around an participating in his estate, incredible, he’s so good, Westlake through Block, turns out its a real book, Westlake’s highs are higher but Block’s more consistent, a lady on vacation, why that guy slipped, an excuse to have her in peril, an excuse to have a lady chased by spies, maybe she will marry, he was trying to be caught, no one knew, there’s a tip off, out of genre for most of the people who read Lawrence Block, she goes to a movie, something drums, “A Sound Of Distant Drums”, a calling card, or a signature, somebody coming out of a movie theater, that’s cool, his Burglar series, The Burglar Who Thought He Was Bogart, The Burglar Who Painted Like Mondrian, topic books, exploring some little niche, standup comedians bits they connect together, researching and polishing ideas, Burglars Can’t Be Choosers, the girlfriend is the murderer, settles into a formula, really really fun, passes the time, go have a sandwich, oh yeah one of these, that paperback book industry is where he really lives, take a paperback and enjoy the weekend, a song saved her life, why I like folksinging now, Kumbaya, historical information, how to be, in America 2, here 12, makes you want to drink stout, listen to folk music, the festival circuit, the premise of this book, the state department in real life is evil, spread American culture, money spent on evil not on good, cultural activities, Eastern block, throw money at a problem, Lawrence Block needed to have an excuse, her family’s all killed off, one and done, they’re happy and their Irish now, both green, 2 cigarettes, more cigarettes, they stopped to buy more cigarettes, the new taste, so much smoking, they don’t need food they’re thin and young, dates the book, you could write this book, their sten guns would be something else, Berlin, Ukraine or something, delightful little book, make you say “I’d like some stout.”, Guinness, a wish fulfillment fantasy romance, read the back cover, little tipsy here and there, poignant moments, the songs, the stories, a Brothers Grimm thing, went out to all the pubs, music and stories are the same, all personal histories, probably wrong, music that’s close to the people, in the process of collecting these folk songs there’s some exploitation, selling a record, who’s going to see the proceeds of that record, what is the purpose of this?, to commoditization it?, spread it?, share it?, Stan Rogers, Barrett’s Privateers, east coast Nova Scotia Irish kitchen, a fun song, it has swearing a letter of marque, Sherbrooke, god damn them all, Halifax, the staggers and jags, such a good singer, sea shanty folk song, Montego Bay, sailing terms, incapable of catching a slow moving ship, smashed like a bowl of eggs, both me legs, in my 23rd year, six whole years, War of 1812, while you’re paying attention, similar to The Rime Of The Ancient Mariner, a homeless beggar on a pier, the big Coleridge poem, the same story as Annabelle Lee, grateful and thankful, what has Will been doing?, back into politics, a tenant union, a communist caucus in the DSA, COVID last months, 2 and a half weeks, testing positive, not very sick, flu-like symptoms, paxlovid, our medicines don’t protect us or help us, that’s crazy, a lot of cat action happening, a core group of nine cats, stranger cats, a high number of a cats, all feral, the boys that aren’t fixed are both named Brandon, one darker than the other, let’s go Brandon, telling the Brandons apart, laser eyes, that’s the dark Brandon, smaller feet, chipmunk feet, Brooklyn Dad Defiant, a very 90s name that’s a 2020s name, Owen with Gs, beg to come inside, Tobias, to bite toes, a bias towards toes, a negotiation, mother and grandmother of them all, a mean old cat, a sour disposition, the dog will let her, irritable, you can just come and rub up on my dog, mean old girls, on the roof some, Maissa’s fascinating life, editing Ace Galaksi, social media stuff, blogs and newsletters, let’s do an internal podcast, a link on the dl, what is Maissa’s job?, lots of divisions, pr, edit videos, write and produce pr things, listen to the podcast, if I need to know, 15 minutes at most, once a month, reediting a novel for 20 years, middle school, rewrite a billion time, I got out my library card…, regarding that game [chronophoto], everybody’s wearing fucking masks, anytime after 1950, AOC, 2018, an I voted sticker, eerily obvious what year it is, figure out what year that was, talking about Kennedy being president but not talking about Kennedy being assassinated, in county Cork, is the book dated?, no, it’s a period piece, au courant, everybody’s playing with their iPhone 6, bullying each other, only play with a group, a couple repeats, playing PUBG, a faster version of the game, early January, online vs. in person, got rid of some old computers, that to lean on, Scott does the editing for Reading, Short And Deep, 4-6 hours per day, 8 hour days are horrible, and the show’s over, 10 hours per day, send me a secret signal, Burn Notice, a comiccon, Battlestar Galactica, Archer, a throwback, Pulpcovers/Alex, the last of an earlier era of television, problem of the week, and a weak overriding plot every season, he used to be spy, just a premise for the show, exotic locale, it has a car, 80s, A-Team van, Kitt from Knight Rider, Dukes Of Hazzard, the car is the star of the show, an actor based show, Gabrielle Anwar, an IRA terrorist, Jeffrey Donovan, Bruce Campbell is the sidekick, the Evil Dead series, Sharon Gless, Cagney & Lacey, flip phones, 2005-2011 show, a fine show, a comic book, a sidekick on Xena, western shows, The Adventures Of Brisco County Jr., short lived Fox shows, Zorro style, Jack Of All Trades, what you can do while you’re at work, a half hour syndicated action comedy, 1801, East Indies, a swordfighting, masks, Napoleon Bonaparte is character, Mr. Charismatic on screen, bicker in fun ways, a good fun show, Spider-Man villains, Bubba Ho-Tep (2002), Elvis and JFK, it should be an amazing movie, a little long in the tooth, the cylon lady, Lucy Lawless, you see those people together, the Spartacus tv series, Blood And Sand, 300 (2006), the acting and the dynamics, a slave morality show, diaries?, slave folk heroes, Kirk Douglas, what would it mean to be a slave, having sex with the slaves, a great villainess, New Zealanders, Evan agrees, a slave rebellion, the servile war, amazing history, super-compelling on-screen performances, green screen, practical sets, thinking of it as a play, a tool to get stuff done, laidoff, Vikings was a better show, blood eagle, why you don’t want piss the vikings off, doesn’t overstay its welcome, a maori gladiator, sticking to the facts is fascinating, what is it like to be a celebrity slave, I am Spartacus, a consciousness raising movie, also very sexy, they’re sexy too, regretful but should be done, killing the masters, killed in the end, sexy jumping naked slaves, emotional resonance, very underrated show, 39 episodes, 2013, All In The Family, Happy Days, about as substantial, a monologue about Riverdale, too soap opera, just soap opera enough, Twin Peaks, the original, Deep Space Nine, a very resonant show, better is substantial ways, Miles got trapped in the mine for 20 years, extreme amounts of trauma, poor Miles O’Brien, his wife doesn’t love him, his kid doesn’t care about him, the writers were picking on him, Canadian?, Irish movies, the Canadian film industry, Black Summer, a Netflix show, Calgary, that explains it, the old zombie trope, you are the camera, you don’t know why, you follow that person for a while, this is our main character, nope, they’re killed, weird compared to regular television, Z Nation, an art film, the Asylum, notorious for making cheapo rip off movies, a company designed to make money, the coattails of Hollwood, Sharknado, very surprising, going back all the way, April 2019, not a show like Star Trek Discovery, storytelling techniques that have lain follow, basically praise, the endless sprawling suburbs of Calgary, Alberta, The Crazies (1973), worthy of attention, only one trick: surprise!, the trick works a lot, Stephen King’s The Shining, The Picture In The House by H.P. Lovecraft and Pigeons From Hell by Robert E. Howard, White House-style, axed by ghosts of slavery, based on a black person’s story told to him, a traditional slave folktale, pretty scary, a TV adaptation, anti-mystery box show, sparse in dialogue, what the fuck is going on and why am I so scared, The Extraordinary Attorney Woo, sweet and innocent, childlike, well packaged, young and more than middle aged, a broad range of interests, I think you want it to be great, sweet and fun, Korean film and television industry, clips of this autistic lady, The Admiral: Roaring Currents (2013), Yi Sun-Shin, Korean George Washington, defeated Japan, 12 Korean ships vs. 333 Japanese ships, a slog, historical epics, great horror movies, The Host (2006), the Americans pollute the Han river, evil tank juice, a Godzilla movie, lighter than Train To Busan (2016), kaiju, the worst Korean accent ever, A Man Called Ove (2015), enforcing block association rules, boisterous new neighbors, spends half the movie trying to kill himself, when a movie is not so good, theatering?, Avatar 2, beautiful and too long and mostly a setup for the next one, every crew has a crazyass white boy, very satisfying to see giant arrows go through people, a very clunky writer, repeated himself, Titanic (1997) has gravitas, a big weighty movie, Avatar 3 The Way Of The Rocks, the four elements, exhausted its idea, the na’vi won, Dances With Wolves in space, free of his bad body, a trans story, the transgender kid episode of The Orville, too Star Warsy, special effects heavy, the other way around, show the gender surgery working, trying to sell it on an alien, Ezri vs. Jadzia Dax, a funny situation, Macklin?, they’re both boys, hilarious, like Star Trek but funny, less funny, less good, very wrong of them, Obi-Won was horrible, Andor is not shit, Stalin robbing a bank, a heist show, Diego Luna, Star Wars: Rogue One, many boffins died for this thumbdrive, slow paced, beautifully framed, casting is pretty good, Star Wars writing has been shit, hang out with some labourers, smart but evil, political aspect, Blesson Yates, Imani Pullum [playing Topa], IMDB is getting shitty, a fill-in show, The Venom Business by Michael Crichton, Nazis on the Moon, Evan Lampe started a podcast series reading through everything Heinlein wrote, talked him into it, and maybe Mark Twain, Pirate Enlightenment, Or The Real Libertalia by David Graber, he’s been posthumous for a while, I’m posthumousing right now, autistic style take, all the same, his third posthumous book, “enlightenment, liberty, socialism all the same thing”, hey that’s us!, a radical social experiment, The Hopkins Manuscript by R.C. Sherriff, The Crawlers by Philip K. Dick, crawling abortions being run over by trucks, pretty great story, The Pre-Persons, a weird guy, an interview with Ray Faraday Nelson’s kid, David Agranoff, Philip K. Dick: babysitter, Philip K. Dick shows a 7-year old his derringer, why you have a derringer?, what are you thinking?, this is America, man, too American, we just got problem, do something different in this country, Four-Day Planet by H. Beam Piper, Poul Anderson sword and sandal, Francis Stevens is always interesting, dystopia in Philadelphia, The Heads Of Cerberus, a weird lady, what the fancy people do, Unseen-Unfeared, a few things missing, first published in 1904, Jean Veil, People’s Favorite Magazine, a low rent Italian restaurant, he sells love charms, not tempting, a review by E.F. Bleiler, guy breaks into a house, fights with best friend, a knock at the door, the safe was open, very convoluted, a phial with a stopper with the heads of Cerberus, Dante’s gate, no diamonds in here, what did you do with my cousin, alternate 2018, weird dystopia, no names, just numbers, Mr. Handsome gets a municipal job, a fascist state?, goes in the pit, head of the music department, it’s like the Hugo awards, also stirred up the ashes, seat of her pants, spinning up ideas, opposite of well put together, ideas like rockets going off, Science Fiction The Early Years, Guide To Supernatural Fiction, emdash, 729 pages, a special photographic filter, the soul of a recent suicide, only like an hour, how hard is it to do 47 minutes, we had a good chat, Evan’s been sick, isn’t Paul always at a convention?, socialize, Paul is lonely Libra, Jesse’s just a cancer on society, someplace, pulpcon, money, hassle at the borders, no excuses, lining up for celebrities, Pavel Chekov’s signature, the conversations at the panels are surficial, Pulpfest, 2016, intervening years, a long drive, pulps were more expensive, pandemic prices, Planet Stories for $20, hold it in your hand, oooh look at that ooh!, stay up all night talking to people, if Cirsova were in local stores, Jesse doesn’t want to support Amazon, good used bookstores, lesbian couples are in it for the long haul, a trope almost, they’re bookish, Little Sisters, super-prudes, super-evil, a place of prominence, rent is low somewhere, small town Alberta, a town full of Mormons, an amazing town, Cardston, Alberta, Justice League building, Fortress of Solitude, something out of Ayn Rand, it looks like a bank, cost of living, inflation, $850 for a 3 bedroom and big yard, what does that get you?, giant assessments, working online, the fever has not yet broken on covid, an excuse to fuck everybody and line pockets, definitively its a wash, almost none of the positives are with spreading the disease around, wrecked the industry for in-person tutoring, in person classrooms, kids don’t learn very well online, Paul’s masked up at his convention, the vaccines don’t work for almost any of the people getting them, let’s go back to business as usual, tele-judge, on trial with the judge not in the room, fixed camera, ai shit, a program that you run, that changes where your eyes are focused to make it look at the camera, creepy and interesting, simulated real-life but also fake, no modesty at all, Hawaiian Mormon templeing, nice people, just in this life, Brandon Sanderson, Orson Scott Card is a black name, church homophobia, he’s following his church beliefs, this is the doctrine of my church, and I contribute money to prevent people from getting married, religious objections vs. non-religious objections to abortion, Scott is quite nuanced, say things in a polite way, the same claim about the papists, pushing babies into wombs, bio-ethicists say it is okay to use brain dead women’s bodies, clickbait shit, frustrating fun game, coffee, I can still have coffee, too shaky, three cups max, a catfood shortage, egg pricing, incompetence of a cat named Brandon, personally responsible for inflation, not solving problems, price controls, stick it to the egg industry, milk control board, 59% increase in egg prices, realer food, no-corn in Canadian pop, some breads without soy, Italy has basically real food, pink slime, slight advantages to higher food prices, wrangle some cats, try to find cat food, inexpensive kibble, possums, raccoons.