The SFFaudio Podcast #651 – READALONG: Appendix N: The Literary History Of Dungeons & Dragons by Jeffro Johnson

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #651 – Jesse and Alex talk about Appendix N: The Literary History Of Dungeons & Dragons by Jeffro Johnson

Talked about on today’s:
Brandon Porter, complaints about the audiobook, missing footnotes, appendixes C and D, Dungeon Master’s Guide, 1979, page 224, who the hell are these guys, there’s Tolkien, John , Andrew J. Offutt, Fltcher Pratt, Face In The Frost, The House With A Clock In Its Walls, reading ideas, Paul Weimer, opposed to Castalia House, John C. Wright, chips on both guys shoulders, misplaced chips, not wanting to participate in some books, Jenny Colvin, Reading Envy, Oryx And Crake, too stuck up, complaining the whole time, authors we want nothing to do with, oh you’re a genius Margaret!, Jesse hates her, a book of book reviews, a Christian, Margaret St. Clair, “milieu”, halberd, when you learn things from books, as a professional narrator, names in fantasy books, not having pronunciation in mind, apostrophes, Tolkienesque words, all the role playing games, Gamma World, Traveler, Pathfinder, The Call Of Cthulhu, Car Wars, GURPS, the core rule books, modules, more time reading the books than playing the game, his thesis, Dungeons & Dragons isn’t just Tolkien and it was never meant to be, fundamentally misunderstand the game, how clerics show up, Galadriel with cup of healing water, organized religion was missing from Middle Earth, the Hobbits don’t go to church, Denethor, heathen kings of old, worshiping, he’s a dictator, one of many inspirations, quotes, the Conan section, pastiches, Gary Gygax, the original Howard Conan wasn’t available to Gygax, people kown Conan, most people’s views of Lovecraft are just wrong, The Shadow People by Margaret St. Clair and The Sign Of The Labrys, inspiration, my love my father showed when I was a tad, cloaked old men who could grant wishes, dauntless swordsman, E.C. Comics, the Satanic Panic, juvenile delinquents, ample helpings of fantasy, Andrew Lang, the Brothers Grimm, of particular inspiration, pluck kernels, good reading!, DeCamp, Pratt, Jack Vance, A. Merritt, these will help you make your gaming better, the original AD&D, a collaborative storytelling effort, dice rolling and stats, min-max munchkin play, you have to have read a bunch of stories, things you should be building on, the players limitations make the gaming less good than it could be, most of these books were on the shelf in the 1970s and 1980s, Jack Williamson, publishing, the changing media, talking about movies and TV shows and computer games, pop culture is POPULAR, Stranger Things, True Detective, True Crime, locking a kid in the closet with no books, D&D has become its own incestuous thing, Forgotten Realms, wide open fantasy sandbox, engines to make other games, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, Pool Of Radiance, Pool Of Darkness, Wizardry (on the Apple II), Fallout 3, step out into the wasteland, dependent on a really good Dungeon Master, adventures around every corner, the dialogue tree comes out, I wanna save this farmer, I wanna steal the farmer’s pants, the immaturity of the players, DMing is a skill, like Frisbee, cooperative, THACO, Star Trek Voyager, Naomi Wildman, a kid’s adventure holodeck program, nerfed, magical forest, Neelix, the creatures of the forest recognize Janeway, the ideal form of Dungeons & Dragons, your inventory, torch schedule, Darkest Dungeon, you have enough torches, the rope store, Fallout‘s inventory system, the creativity and the flow, how do we let our players have that same kind of adventure, domain play, tier 1 play, a town or country you kind of run, spouses and retainers, a bigger magic sword, New Vegas, post apocalyptic, stories around every corner, bottlecap currency, what we want is the story, whatever mechanics are there, leveling up, new spells new attacks more attacks, achievement unlocked, a real scholar now, awards, you’re a real boy now, army promotions, Eisenhauer is needed, a false understanding of what we’re here to do, the sense of awe, the first time playing Dungeon & Dragons, lead figures, carrying about what colour dice they have, getting a glimpse of Tsathoggua through a keyhole, console games, computer games, like reading a really good book but completely different, I killed a demon, I am a demon, a more advanced version of cops and robbers, go down to the basement, these dice say I hit you for double damage, FPS, all shooting games, Portal, it breaks what you thought was possible, The Long Dark, making mittens, zen meditative, achieving balance, murder hobos, wilderness adventure, one dungeon, not a lot of dragons, two dragons in twenty years, what we need to do as dungeon masters, what players need to do as players, can I stab this or set it on fire, a character with massive charisma, make friends with the monsters, combat oriented, the epic moments, inter-dimensional travel, you can become a god, Leah Libresco [Back Again From The Broken Land], intelligence, wisdom, strength, in real life, we don’t have the player character sheet at all, keep it under the hood, extra speech options, you are less involved, do you even lift, bro?, a suit of armor because suit of armor, Age Of Conan, I got a dagger, a fur diaper, and maybe some boots, a flagon of wine and a girl, World Of Warcraft, mount armor, change the world, Knights Of The Old Republic, Elder Scrolls: Oblivion, guilds, all these titles, oh you wanted to buy bread?, the game doesn’t care, when games are capable of caring, an anti-perk: gravedigger, the orc said: I know you of old…, The Many Colored Land by Julian May, a one way gate to the Pliocene, exporting criminals to the past, giant toadstool forests, megafauna, visiting aliens with psychic powers, almost all based on Julian May’s interest in geology and history, the Wild Hunt, accommodateable, straight sci-fi, all through the lens of Tolkien, Greyhawk and Dragonlance, Krynn, kinder instead of hobbits, dragon people, Vancian magic, you don’t understand the building blocks, to have the internet back then, so much is public domain, a blogpost in 2014, so much of it has never been republished, what is actually great, what’s being pushed by a publisher, the cult of the new, nothing from before 1987, The Professionals (1966) with Lee Marvin, Dave Arneson, self-enforcing mythology, Charisma Zero (2013), a player is getting divorced, the hipster is way to cool, what made him a loser, some genuine reality going on there, its a lifestyle, live and breathe Dungeons & Dragons is kinda sad and kinda amazing, the first modules, GenCon, where’s Wisconsin, Tomb Of Annihilation, a meat grinder simulator, Jason Thompson’s D&D module poster maps, 37 species of zoogs, the dreamlands, there used to be kinds of stories, it can’t be done without irony anymore, no-one can write it that way anymore, subverting expectations, a lack of planetary romance, August Derleth, The Trail Of Cthulhu, more of what you had, a magic wand, take what you can get, sad puppies, the Hugo Awards contest, John C. Wright, the popular clique, your ability to get into people’s hands, a list of old books, old fiction, some of them sounded pretty weak, Nine Princes In Amber by Roger Zelazny, cigaretty voice, World Of Teirs by Philip Jose Farmer, Gardner F. Fox, a really innovative way, a very small organization, I want more people to read Gardner F. Fox, connected to comics, Crom his Conan ripoff, old-school pulp author, only five?, Walter Gibson and Lester Dent, The Moon Moth, The Dragonmasters, Planet Of Adventure, a kind of depth to his worlds, a plaster castle held up by two by fours vs. a velvet tapestry with a stone wall with grout made from goblin bones, sketching out a world with a few lines, footnotes, Jorge Luis Borges, granular detail, Philip K. Dick wrote a lot about spies, Mr Jim Moon’s show on Piper In The Woods, set in the pacific during WWII, Seabees, I’m a plant, how dryads reproduce, Typee by Herman Melville, a garden of Eden, it takes 20 minutes to build a house vs. pull ropes and get hit with the lash all day, Poul Anderson, The High Crusade is so fun, The Broken Sword, Three Hearts And Three Lions, The Moon Pool by A. Merritt, Dwellers In The Mirage by A. Merritt, vikings at the North Pole, ragging on Michael Moorcock, why people liked Elric, navel gazing, so sad, I murdered a bunch of people now I’m sad about it, Stanley Weinbaum, Jack Williamson, Manly Wade Wellman, A Martian Odyssey, fabulously science fictional, spaceships, a virtual reality story in the 1930s, totally inspirational reading, Andre Norton, read this list as inspiration for your own campaign, the concept of this book, the foundations most people don’t realize are there, this is where I got some ideas, ruleset, where do all the other rules plug in, the monks were added because kung-fu was so popular, illuminating a manuscript vs. a Shaw Brothers character, more books like this, as we discussed in October, a book of Star Trek literary references posts, Arena by Fredric Brown, microphones for eyes, Darmok, Gilgamesh + Arena, Picard would, post-scarcity communist future allows us to read Gilgamesh and archaeology, lifts from literature, lifts from themselves, that idea worked, lets do our version of it, Stuart J. Byrne, he Kirked the computer, V’Ger, The Changeling, Nomad, his influence shows up in the first star trek, The Doomsday Machine, Fred Saberhagen, the Berserkers, hey I read Tolkien and I have a elves and goblins in a forest, break out of that mold, Portal 2, the Logic Bomb, this sentence is false, the cake is a lie, it becomes more of what it is, Doom and Wolfenstein and Spear Of Destiny, its short, literally out of the box thinking, it’s amazing, things can be different, a tavern with an old man giving you a mission, Lord Dunsany’s The King Of Elfland’s Daughter, The Book Of Wonder, gnoles vs. gnolls, Jesse’s favourite kind of Dungeons & Dragons, Thief, old game books, like choose your own adventure with dice, play honest with the book, the gap between the two, a regular novel is completely linear, game books, told in second person, we are so luckly right now, scanning books, finding them and buying them, way more of this and a lot less Tolkien ripoffs, a late 80s, really grimdark, Between Planets by Robert A. Heinlein, you can just read Scalzi, you don’t need to read Heinlein, 2,000 pages of his inspired by Starship Troopers book, Farmer In The Sky, every book was different, why do we have to have another series?, that publishing drive, a sequel hook, advertising a one-off book, “listen Larry Niven if you write just one more Ringworld book we can bring Ringworld back into print”, from 1979 onward, The Martian by Andy Weir, only four or five years old, these things did happen, thinking along parallel lines, the requisite map, you just told me you know noting and I don’t need to read you, that’s just geography, picking up these cues, treating it like a science, arbitrary rules, Lost, what’s in the hatch?, that Sullivan guy, just good set dressing, J.J. Abrams has not content, M. Night Shyamalan, Heroes went nowhere, Star Wars and Star Trek, we as readers need to be chintzy with our attention, where are your bonafides, that’s not how you pronounce Suleiman the magnificent, Shadow Of The Vulture by Robert E. Howard, egret vs. eaglet, we’re conjuring up things with our mouths, a Savage Sword Of Conan plot, Finnish Eskimos? The Summi?, favourite campaigns, a buried dead god they’re trying to resurrect, a turn based dungeon crawl, a quasi-medieval setting, the sanity system, confronted by trauma, gain a mania or a depressive problem, prayer or tavern or wenching, all narrated by Wayne June, The Ancestor is evil, from The Rats In The Walls, Darkest Dungeon 2, computer games tend to get better, becoming more what they are, a hybrid experience.

Appendix N by Jeffro Johnson

Dungeon Master's Guide

@Algncs' Appendix N Bookshelf

Appendix N by Gary Gygax

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The SFFaudio Podcast #635 – READALONG: Sin Hellcat by Lawrence Block and Donald E. Westlake

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #635 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, Evan Lampe, and Trish E. Matson talk about Sin Hellcat by Lawrence Block and Donald E. Westlake

Talked about on today’s show:
get Jesse, signature sign-off, Evan has no enemies, 1962, sexually frustratedly desperate, women dropping out, not a good book for me, VR sickness, movement sickness, reading with one hand, listening to this book, laughing out loud, the marital rape scene, get through this thing, i don’t like this book, plow through it, Helen, marrying, having affection for this kid, more money, Jesse can explain it all, the biggest hole in this book, a faulty horrible person, how they end up together, by either of those writers, a naughty romp, astonished by how dreary a lot of it is, his Madison Avenue adventures, casual homophobia, don’t judge it too harshly, two men working in an industry, film students who get hired for a job to shoot some movies (pornography), this is how they made a living, a lot of Lawrence Block’s life, more information about the writing of it, his own publishing company, commissions, is this a book by you?, John Dexter, Andrew Shaw, house names, the Allan Smithee, Nightstand Books, traveling salesman, the wrong back cover, gimme a sex book, stepsisters, stepmoms, frigid wife, lustful wanton, her passion locked within her, unnatural wants, Jodie, wild nights, sin and passion, money hungry soul, lustful wanton, no interest in talking about his wife, a bad polarity, each author, digressing, the way they wrote these, taking turns, they’ve got the cover, they’ve got the premise, 4.5 hours long, trying to avoid writing that chapter, the book starts splitting, kidnap a kid and take him to South America, the flashbacks, was this one you wrote?, I don’t believe so, who’s that?, not fair to Jody, one lust-filled orgy, observe the naked woman, a very strange market, silly, stupid, immoral, more like a Lawrence Block fan, the Chip Harrison books, the Matthew Scudder books, the Bernie Rhodenbarr, the Evan Tanner books, the Keller books, Small Town, kinky sex, pegged, live in ignorance, a good book, non-series books, No Score, a quest to lose his virginity, Chip Harrison Scores Again, a sex romp, a Rex Stout Nero Wolfe mystery comedy, Make Out With Murder, The Topless Tulip Caper, Archie Goodwin, just hilarious, a mystery series, its funny, not a book designed to be read more than 50 years later, still readable, a casual fag, slut talk, the rape scene, a requirement of them getting paid, every scenario, a whole lot of modern readers will not enjoy it, dreary in places, the 1950s consumerism, how to sell it, he’s in advertizing, the car he’s driving, the house, ennui, a successful post-war American man, unfulfilled, the boomers, a novel of the sexual revolution, younger people are having more fun than you, a consumer good, not fulfilling enough, the sexual escapades, caperish, their descriptions of things, ridiculous but fun, Brazil, surprise, the kid didn’t sound like a human being, an adult pretending to be a kid, so cartoonish, like The A-Team, those corporate shenanigans don’t matter, Mad Men, one ad firm, escape the banality of his existence, The Space Merchants by Frederik Pohl and C.M. Kornbluth, an extra scene where he has sex with his neighbours wife, funny lines, if this is a good plot, its a checkbox, adultery with a red-headed neighbour, the drama at the ad firm, betrayal, the author changes his mind, we’re going a different way, The Challenge From Beyond, a round-robin, H.P. Lovecraft, Frank Belknap Long, Robert E. Howard, C.L. Moore, A. Merritt, Stanley G. Weinbaum, Murray Leinster, like playing tennis and not frisbee, Naked Came The Manatee, Elmore Leonard, a meta-story, nobody wants to write this shit, we got enough, still generally pleasurable to read, Greenwich Village sex books, 69 Barrow Street, romance, Deathlands, saving the compound, preppers, remember Blockbuster Video, that section used to exist in bookstores, Pulp Fiction (book store), pornographic enjoyment, shoe brushes, not design, like a newspaper, the library doesn’t keep a copy, dime novels, books not read by people who study literature, Mechanic Accents by Michael Denning, a history of the dime novel, this working class, escapism, historical interest, not reading this stuff [is dangerous], Leopold Bloom, Ulysses by James Joyce, Block is very interested in having sex as a theme in his books, the third Burglar book, The Poodle Factory, she’s the John Watson, Burglars Can’t Be Choosers, a sex book, Westlake lasted a little longer in Science Fiction, disposable paperback books, I write for money, Lawrence Block talking about Donald Westlake, Hard Case Crime, writing with him, a novel about Bob Hope, The Comedy Is Finished, Memory, if it had sold he’d have explored that genre, the publisher said write more of this I can sell more of this, experimenting in the background, Ariel, Random Walk, racewalking, stamp collecting, he writes about what he knows, avenues that are explainable, a weird industry, not J.K. Rowling level of popularity, a guy who starts walking, maybe he’s Jesus (but probably not), collecting followers, a weird idea for a book, to see what sells, a comedic writer with a dark half, A Walk Among The Tombstones, the Matthew Scudder series, an ex-hooker, he knows a lot about sex, he did write these books, a new Lawrence Block and Donald Westlake book, its about the shaping of the industry, he’s still alive and still writing, still putting books out, super-anti-Trump, still engaged, his newsletter is his prose, every once in a while there’s a new Westlake coming out, Lawrence Block is in change of his estate, wrassle control, Westlakes’ stuff is less out there, more people in charge of making decisions, understanding story better, understanding writing better, understanding genres, Nancy Drews are formulas, a cozy feeling, space opera, interstellar stuff, pre-loaded, I feel cheated, the cozy chair, read for pleasure, it can be escape, this genre is very biological, the “biological relief” genre, you wrote a book over a weekend in the 1960s, the third novel, the best of the three, Circle Of Sinners, Hal Dresner, an apprenticeship for Midwood Books, Nightstand Books, lesser writers, 1959, the Hotel Rio, until we had a book, A Girl Called Honey, we stopped when we had a book, “To Don Westlake and Larry Block who introduced us”, $600, So Willing, not a lot of money, Hellcats And Honeygirls, Subterranean Press, a disposable story, fascinating, the used bookstore, you have to ask for them at the specialty bookstore, reading old Playboys, the sex in here is very well written, a sex scene, they don’t know, tab a into slot b, when these guys write those scenes, a nipple here or there, a talent for writing, some very clever wordplay, sex in audiobooks is harder to skim, maybe 10 sex scenes, perfectly good scenes, going to the hotel, the squeaky noises on the bed, a honeytrap, why did he ever marry Helen?, the pleasures of the virgin bride, why?, a lot of people do inexplicable things, to explain why he couldn’t annul the marriage, not a sexy scene at all, the Jewish secretary, she’s got claws, designed to sell to everybody, you’re an old sultan and I’m a young boy, I’m pregnant, designed to sell to everybody, this is the wrong kind of sex for me, frigid, getting somebody’s rocks off, the legality then and now, talking about all the abortions and condoms, right before the birth control pill, “a thingy”, got a baby in her, you feel dirty when you write it that’s why you don’t put your name on it, a lot of excuses, these are fantasy books, it doesn’t go in that direction at all, an original thinker, dark eyed boys, staying at the YMCA, lesbian pulp, gay pulp was not as big, straight pulp, cover up the fact that its a man, most women are probably not masturbating to romance novels, the Deathlands and Wasteland novels, masturbating while holding a gun, sexuality is a lot freer now, pornography is available, free online, there’s no guilt in this book, the culture behind this genre, it is a confessional, Helen Gurley Brown’s Sex And The Single Girl, the Kinsey Report, based on interviews, who do you have sex with?, Dr. Alan E. Nourse, being honest about it, coming out, Helen being frigid is that she’s not interested in men, bodily functions are a disgusting, angel whore territory, loveable whores, a gothic romance, this book of checkmarks, it seems to follow genres, cartoon porn, fake superhero porn movie, The Boys, A Train does a B train, a license to write about all the weird sexual behaviors, a Doctor Pseudonym, a scientific thing, sexual perversion among the hippies, a whole genre in the 1960s, we don’t have these sex books, in the 1930s, these special books, French Follies, manuals on how to do stuff, the intersection between industry and popular culture, books serve a function, how liberated everybody is from guilt feelings, that’s liberating, religious hangups, fairly sophisticated, understanding reality, you should read a romance novel, as a genre they’re not good, gun polishing books, no intellectual heft, that’s what reading should be about, rocketships and rayguns, saying the opposite, science fiction, here’s a way of understanding reality, this particular instance of this fact about reality is important to this story, that’s science fiction, doing another kind of science fiction, Aurora, busting balloons, what’s the reason people don’t like Kim Stanley Robinson’s Aurora, interstellar travel, expanding possibilities, this gigantic part of science fiction: forget about it, the novel’s message is you’re a bad person, anything like Star Trek isn’t science fiction (of a certain type), it hurts in the same was as The Cold Equations does, shrill evil, bad characterization, felt attacked, mundane SF, a manifesto of that movement, is it likely we are going to be travelling to other stars?, generation ships?, walling off, sense of wander, fixing earth and making Earth better, Time Out Of Joint‘s message, one happy world, standing in opposition, protesting a little too much, it strikes too close to the heart, fascists going to space, we shouldn’t be Nazis and go out to space, Philip K. Dick, all a boondoggle, they were conquerors when they left, the grand project of colonizing another planet, we can’t live there, Elon Musk wants to move to Mars, is he deluded, what would Paul say?, from an objective point of view, fix our own planet, Earth will be fine, that’s the reality, there’s no Earth 2, the “Goldilocks zone”, ooh its a possibility, lottery tickets, its not made for us, we have a life support system in our bodies, space mining, maybe they’ll mine the Moon, The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, but why?, 2312, The Green Earth, human colonies across the inner solar system, Icehenge, it has to be something new, a new social system, the problem with Elon Musk, laying keels for starships, Matchess , dilithium crystals are bullshit, keep our feet on the ground, leave the rest of the universe to itself, an impoverishing view, a bad person for liking space opera, the emergent message of the novel, rebuild the earth, science fiction is always about us at the end of the day, when SF isn’t about us, Ted Chiang, the reason he does those aliens, isn’t it weird we can’t communicate with animals, what is communication?, a subset of us, language and time are connected, dogs don’t understand pointing, an invisible line, Arrival, Story Of Your Life, The Great Silence, I wrote this big book to disabuse you of a false belief you have about reality, space opera is bullshit, The Mandalorian, different ways of living, you’re not allowed to watch Star Trek because its unrealistic, following the rules of physics, its painful, they don’t want math to be true, F=MA, you got a certain kind of cancer you’re gonna die, from the book:why the great silence exists, life is a planetary expression, is he wrong?, too – far – away, its something you need to hear, a way of coping, this is the pain that H.P. Lovecraft felt and is true, Douglas Adams, the comedy isn’t finished, some UFO pictures, it’d be cool but just ain’t true, can I still enjoy this thing?, you’re deluding yourself, magic is bullshit, reading fantasy, should we not read J.R.R. Tolkien?, space opera is fantasy, medicine, Kim Stanley Robinson, very fruitful, this book pressed Paul’s button, almost like a religious belief, they don’t grow their own food, O’Neil Cylinder, water’s being recycled from your poo, if we get post-scarcity, the keel’s not the problem, a car in space, cars drive on roads yo, putting a teapot in orbit around Jupiter, no deckplates with artificial gravity, a metaphor, why Star Trek: Discovery doesn’t make any sense, it aint science fiction, its just drama, why its no good, prestige TV might be reaching its limit, they’re not interested in anything except people’s feelings and emotions are drama, old Dexter, noticing it everywhere, its really grating in Star Trek: Picard and Discovery, we weren’t on the starship for his tea Earl Grey Hot, imagine conducting foreign policy without couping other countries, why its horrible, working through his trauma, General Hospital, life is mostly mistakes, the counter keeps going up, I’m being wrong on the internet, you are your worst critic, don’t take Kim Stanley Robinson personally, reviews from strangers, external affirmation is dangerous, not being a real fan, the Hugo nomination, is this good, I’m improving, Jesse knows he’s not the greatest cartoonist, draw a little Groo, Sergio Aragones, those star reviews, Paul takes pictures at the wrong time, a false conclusion, Evan’s teaching art history, Byzantine is worse than Medieval art, what was considered good art, art is chaos now, in the Dutch republic in the 18th century, there is no real, Jason Thompson, The Strange High House In The Mist, the US Department Of The Interior, there’s lot of different ways of doing stuff, if you don’t do well with a beard shave your head, “real photographers”, one perfect shot, how dare you sir, all sorts of different place, talking across continents, Treknomics, applying this stuff to our own planet, the economics of Star Trek, Dreamsnake by Vonda McIntyre, Smoke by Donald E. Westlake, you have any eyeballs, you have no nerves, psychological torment, today’s novels are way too long, they want three books 800 pages long, The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang, an 1800 word story by Edgar Allan Poe, The Stand, non-cringey sex scenes, he’s a committed monogamist, Block is the Jew, incidental to his sexual adventures, wrong about politics, you can like somebody who has bad opinions about stuff, some New Yorker article, “Imma letchoo finish, but Edward Page Mitchell has one of the best cases for this title.” The Man Without A Body by Edward Page Mitchell, A Quest to Discover America’s First Science-Fiction Writer, 1877, hard SF, a talking head, how’s Birch?, really bitey, very vocal, brotherns and sisterns, an interesting conversation, no humans were injured in the making of this book.

Sin Hellcat by Andrew Shaw

Hellcats And Honeygirls by Lawrence Block nd Donald E. Westlake

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The SFFaudio Podcast #590 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: Creatures Of The Light by Sophie Wenzel Ellis

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #590 – Creatures Of The Light by Sophie Wenzel Ellis; read by Kathy Wright. This is an unabridged reading of the story (1 hour 10 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Paul Weimer, Maissa Bessada, Evan Lampe, Will Emmons

Talked about on today’s show:
Astounding Stories, February 1930, the second issue, the subtitle, slimemold and flivver, super-science, there’s a reason we don’t SUPER-SCIENCE stories, this whole issue is on LibriVox.org, Into Space by Capt. S.P. Meek, here’s some volume for you, a retelling of The First Men In the Moon by H.G. Wells, a one bullshit gimme, not a scientific bone in the actual, bullshit science is everywhere in this story, launch into a defense of this story, an interesting story, a very silly story, intended, she’s kinda silly, between Frankenstein and 2001: A Space Odyssey, an evolutionary destiny to be god-like, can we create a better kind of person through science, the ideology of science, a Fantastic Voyage quality, hey have you read this Science article, a scary looking beautiful man, Antarctica, the fourth dimension, everything this exists, how deranged these experiments are, a crazy romp, it lives on in comics, Superman, Superboy, Superdog, villain mustaches, a good silent movie, a good bad movie, Captain America is a product of super science, one of the first super hero story, so amazing, Francis Stevens invented the superhero in 1904, The Curious Experience Of Thomas Dunbar, Sampson, bitten by a radioactive spider, unique, the fun, very sensuous bodies, lips, splattered with startling features, people are so beautiful they are magnificent scenery, getting into arguments on twitter, attacking Lovecraft for being racist, she fundamentally misunderstands, genetics and evolution, Philip K. Dick’s The Infinities, teleological evolution, racism is tied up with an evolutionary ladder, Evan’s podcasts on H.P. Lovecraft (the sea and forgetting), racism is bullshit, there is no end state, no perfection, humpbacked German scientist, the first creature that crawled out of the sea was a Man, man is going to evolve into God, all life is a part of an experiment, her bursting ideas, the solar powered helicopter, everything turns gray, new scientific ideas that are not really science, if you get a life ray you get a death ray, she’s like Ed Wood, hilarious, earnest, not hard SF, a science fable, the overreach of the German scientist, they’re all chill about it, Adam and Eve at the end, she’s the anti-eve, Lilith, She‘s Ayesha, so funny, somebody’s head has been on this pillow, hey let’s build igloos and live on penguins, yo-yo-y, the Savage Land, a continuation of the Burroughs, The Land That Time Forgot by Edgar Rice Burroughs, Andre Norton’s The People Of The Crater, its all there, madcap bursting at the seams with concepts, she’s juggling, a low mileage, life-ray, super-race, solar sphere, telepathic, death-ray, superman, LibriVox, invisible man, time travel, an unconventional form of invisibility, telepathy, the story needs an interlocutor, Ed Wood needs to do the narration, this perfect black age woman, she had the good genes, keeping his disability, hilarious and amusing, like a kitten being angry at you, Beggars In Spain by Nancy Kress is an evil book, a new race of people who are superior to you, they’re eugenically more pure, none of the defects that we have, only for the richies, the liberal elites vs the basket of deplorables, Plan 9 From Outer Space is not a good plan for the space program, this is 1930s, what sexual selection is for, modern science is permitting the unfit to live, she doesn’t even get Paradise Lost, its 9 hours, comedic on purpose, a story with a happy ending in marriage, The Tempest has the greatest fart jokes on the planet, a slef concisncous commediane , Heard In A Grocery, The White Wizard, her letter to Weird Tales, the happiest days of the month for me, The Woman Of The Wood by A. Merritt, The Moon Bog, The Outsider, The Dreamer of Atlânaat by E. Hoffmann Price, Dwellers In The House, White Lady, a hunch nose, he smells bad, an Arabic scholar judge, it goes without saying, courting the judge’s daughter, personality change, its a Lovecraft ripoff, split people into multiple bodies, a happy ending, burn down the house that all the book were in, chaste and tortured romance, they don’t have houses, our whole lifestyle, we’re locked up in our houses, you need a gym membership, more logical, that’s crazy, a role playing game plot, Spirit Of The Century, E.E. “Doc” Smith, “they’ve adapted”, “only human ingenuity”, technobabble heavy Star Trek: The Next Generation, Will’s definition for super-science: science is part of modern mythology, the mythological power of science, fantastic and godlike things, The Flash, magic with science as the explanation, an ideological component, GURPS,

‘“Superscience” technologies violate physical laws – relativity, conservation of energy, etc. – as we currently understand them. (…) By definition, it is impossible to set a firm TL for superscience – we might discover faster-than-light travel tomorrow, a thousand years from now, or never. Equipment TLs are always debatable, but superscience TLs are arbitrary.

The Super-Friends wiki,

Super-Science is a term that refers to any type of science that is considered beyond that of the normal mainstream science. The Raven was a super-scientist, but his experiments were considered unethical.

a great episode, erasing the Super-Friends from the timeline, The Boys From Brazil, Teen Titans, Nazis are a combination of throwbacks to medievalism and super-science, In Our Time with Melvyn Bragg, The Battle of the Teutoburg Forest, Eagles or Legions, 2,000 year old consequences, they’re their own people, a moral screed against Romans by Romans, German psychology of the 20th century before and after WWII, the chances of finding a couple Germans hiking in the mountains of British Columbia, blue eyed and yellow haired, he’s got the WILL!, the classification system, novel and cute hunchback, she would get destroyed if she was used in a touchstone, a womanthology, forgotten, wrong about everything, not a single correct move in any scene, the right guy, he’s a dilettante who doesn’t have a job because he has good genes, what about Mary?, she’s not beautiful so we don’t care, Friedrich Engels’s common-law wife, what’s going on psychological here?, dude, it’s so obvious, interested in girl stuff, this handsome handsome man, a middle-class housewife, totally fun to hang out with, disabuse her of her eugenics beliefs, almost everybody was ideologically deranged, H.G. Wells’ The Country Of The Blind, a lost world story, different kinds of assholes, H.G. Wells assholes vs. H.P. Lovecraft assholes, Æpyornis Island, that’s my ride, this æpyornis comes out, taking on Will’s mannerisms, …the one eyed man is king, sight (which is not a thing), these two growths in the front of your face, a scientific story, sickle cell anemia and malaria, its a mistake, Huntington’s disease seems to be bad, way to sophisticated for Sophie Wenzel Ellis, one thing everyone sort of got wrong, “survival of the fittest”, social Darwinism, there is no path that we’re on that is going towards a destiny, you don’t need breeding if you have a life-ray, confronted in the raw, Jesse went to university for 16 years, cloning, Kate Wilhelm’s Where Late The Sweet Birds Sang, The Doomsday Book by Connie Willis, cloning doesn’t make any sense on a large scale because of , Hitler’s clone army, monocultures are terrible, what genetic diversity is for, this problem with bananas, sexual selection is about diversity, stupid but fun, emerald ash borers, tree farming, economically too, no ventilators, British Columbia’s Agricultural Land Reserve, you’re setting yourself off for a massive die-off, trying to diversify, riding the wave, stuff is complex, complex is hard to explain, its a bush not a ladder, seed pods, Paul is right again, an alternative to this story, eugenics and race stuff, Milo Hastings’ City Of Endless Night, all coincidence and fortuitousness, a pandemic and a plague and we’re all gonna die, how come he can fly, its not the right (or fruitful) critique of this story, it might reinforce your distorted ideas, now that its so silly its mostly harmless, the ubermensch, Superman: Red Sun, a great super-science ending, the story ideologically undermines itself to work as a story, inching himself towards godhood, we’re meant to be gods, horrible people who needed to be destroyed, watching the gods destroy themselves, a viewpoint character, René Girard, distracted boyfriend meme, Where No Man Has Gone Before, very super-sciency-stupid, but what does it mean?, this is inevitable, you can not rush it otherwise you will get monsters, Babylon 5, supercharged psi-guy, I’ll see you again in a million years, down the tubes, supercharged by Vorlons, another Star Trek: Voyager episode, when Paris goes to super-warp and becomes a lizard, retconing conversations with your mother, when Larry David was a writer on Saturday Night Live, pretended it never happened, George Costanza quits his job, that’s gaslighting so don’t do that, this really terrible Star Trek episode, another really annoying novel by Kurt Vonnegut (Galapagos), Margaret Atwood, humans as sea-lions flopping around on the beach, when Olaf Stapledon does it it’s cool, Will thinks seal people are a good idea, push straight through, a silly silly book, Maissa defends Kurt Vonnegut 100%, feted in a way that Jesse doesn’t think is reasonable, when Jesse watches an Ed Wood movie, he is dead, we must honour him by never talking about him again, day six I got displaced from time, I ran myself to my destruction, my humpbacked’s father: Jesse, Harrison Bergeron, The Marching Morons.

Heard In A Grocery by Sophie Wenzel Ellis

Creatures Of The Light by Sophie Wenzel Ellis - Astounding, February 1930

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The SFFaudio Podcast #306 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: The Fall Of The House Of Usher by Edgar Allan Poe

Podcast

Edgar Allan Poe's The Fall Of The House Of Usher
The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #306 – The Fall Of The House Of Usher by Edgar Allan Poe; read by Mike Vendetti. This is an unabridged reading of the story (49 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Julie Davis, Bryan Alexander, and Mike Vendetti

Talked about on today’s show:
LibriVox.org, Audible.com, a Reader’s Digest version, a ponderous vocabulary, prolixity, Poe the hoaxer, the part of him that invented the mystery short story, a corpse flower, this is what Lovecraft does, “he’s done his research!”, words made by mad men, mapping the elephant’s outline, the movies, the comics, the Wikipedia entry, The Haunted Palace by H.P. Lovecraft, the Roger Corman movie, the poem is the outline for the story, the history of the house of usher, dead trees with white trunks, New Jersey, the lutes well tuned law, porphyrogene – “born to the purple”, synecdoche, a photo negative, upside down and inverted, golden banners, the fungi, The Tell Tale Heart, The Bells, a republic society in love with aristocracy and royalty, The Masque Of The Red Death is a dystopia, Hop Frog, “its beautiful … but horrible things happen”, John Buchan, broken off pieces of themselves, Thomas A. Shippey, the Vatican astronomer, no titles allowed anymore, Queen Elizabeth II, Br. Guy Consolmagno, absentee royalty, a super-mix, “evil things in robes of sorrow”, entombed, equating architecture and person, you can’t separate Roderick from his sister, “I heard it man”, why did he dare not speak?, buried alive, twins and twinning, the 1989 adaptation of The Fall Of The House Of Usher, why they can’t just tell the story in adaptations, this is hospice care, was Roderick tormented by his twin sister?, I see a skull, the house is a skull, the trees are ribs or arm bones, a ghost, dying of old age, reason, rationality, Guy de Maupassant’s Who Knows, the furniture represents the faculties, the end of The Life Of Pi, the miasma, an unhealthy atmosphere, in awe of Poe, Everything That Rises Must Converge by Flannery O’Connor, the Usher stump, the stump of the tree of Jesse, a tottering mind, everything’s lined with copper, a Frankenstein motif, a long family line of incest, “it had put forth no enduring branch”, “so lain”, viewing it as a story about incest, set in the location of Hammer Horror, Middle Lovecraft, seeing Lovecraft through Poe, a cyclopean vocabulary, H.P. Lovecraft’s Favorite Weird Tales edited by Douglas A. Anderson, crazy complicated sentences, Walden by Henry David Thoreau, CraftLit, the prologue to The Scarlet Letter, reading Poe aloud, Supernatural Horror In Literature, oral cadence, the very summits of artistry, fictional miniaturists, Ligeia, another dead woman story, so Lovecraft, he loves his architecture, “sharing a single soul”, the crack, “the eye of a scrutinizing observer”, laughing out loud, the unnamed narrator is of the same class as Roderick, context for the story, science stories, buried alive stories, The Pit And The Pendulum, sense experience, again New Jersey, Italy, The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, weird fiction out to wazoo, why do they do that?, demented messed up stories, Young Goodman Brown, Rappaccini’s Daughter, supernatural elements, sense experience, an utter depression of soul, the after dream of the reveler upon opium, the dropping of the veil, the veil of dreams, the after-dream is after the dream?, the veil is beautiful, a shout-out to Thomas de Quincey, crawling fungi, red-litten windows, “laugh but smile no more”, coffin worms, creeping into the crypt to often, The Conqueror Worm, a foreshadowing, reasons for laughter vs. reasons for smiling, the hideous throng, Usher II by Ray Bradbury, premature burial, Buried (2010), The Death of Olivier Bécaille by Emile Zola, Weird Tales, Poe is a hilarious writer, punning and japing, Mad Trist by Sir Launcelot Canning, Dead Families 101, How To Repair Your Doomed House, The Man Who Collected Poe by Robert Bloch, wacky moments, The Cask Of Amontillado, deGrave wine, The Tomb by H.P. Lovecraft, Jervas Dudley as one of the Usher descendants, a lot more Poey, there are not a lot of sisters in Lovecraft, The Moon Pool by A. Merritt, The Moon Bog by H.P. Lovecraft, Edgar Rice Burroughs, comparing Poe to Lovecraft, The Narrative Of Arthur Gordon Pym Of Nantucket, The Dreams In The Witch House, the novella (short story) vs. the novel, it starts off as a horror tale, What The Moon Brings, Ireland, a little bit ushery,

The Fall Of The House Of Usher by Edgar Allan Poe
The Fall Of The House Of Usher - illustration by Russell Hoban (1963)
Pocket Classics - The Fall Of The House Of Usher
House Of Usher (1960)
The Fall Of The House Of Usher illustrated by S. de Ivanowski
Mark Summers illustration for The Fall Of The House Of Usher by Edgar Allan Poe
The Fall Of The House Of Usher illustration by Thurburn

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #278 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: The Wonderful Window by Lord Dunsany

Podcast

The Wonderful Window by Lord Dunsany

The SFFaudio PodcastDowncastThe SFFaudio Podcast #277 – The Wonderful Window by Lord Dunsany; read by John Feaster. This is an unabridged reading of the story (11 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants in the discussion include Jesse and John Feaster.

Today’s podcast is sponsored by Downcast, a terrific podcast app for iPhone and iPad.

Talked about on today’s show:
Saturday Review, February 4th, 1911, the secret story behind of all of modern fantasy, do you listen to podcasts?, our SPONSOR: Downcast, an app for iPhone and iPad, small size, big impact, location based downloading, a super-customized experience, audio drama, The Red Panda Adventures, Decoder Ring Theater, Downcast allows you to lock episodes, the key to understanding, the beginning of binge-watching, Sidney Sime, The Book Of Wonder by Lord Dunsany, its criminal that Lord Dunsany, H.P. Lovecraft, J.R.R. Tolkien, a new podcast idea, Appendix N: Inspirational And Educational Reading, The Dungeon Master’s Guide, take up this mantle, Gary Gygax, Dunsany’s last champion, Poul Anderson, John Bellairs, Leigh Brackett, Frederic Brown, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Lin Carter, L. Sprague de Camp, Fletcher Pratt, August Derleth, Lord Dunsany, Philip Jose Farmer, Gardner Fox, Robert E. Howard, Sterling Lanier, Fritz Leiber, H.P. Lovecraft, A. Merritt, Michael Moorcock, Andre Norton, Andrew J. Offutt, Fletcher Pratt, Fred Saberhagen, Margaret St. Clair, J.R.R. Tolkien, Jack Vance, Stanley Weinbaum, Manly Wade Wellman, Jack Williamson, Roger Zelazny, let’s understand it, S.T. Joshi, “the death of wonder”, bullshit, the inaccessibility of our fantasies, did the Arabic man see Golden Dragon City?, wouldn’t we see something different?, “the magi”, the Scheherazade salesman, its about writing fantasy, its about reading fantasy, reading life and real life, getting addicted to Game Of Thrones, it seems like it is about television, serial fiction, the August days are growing shorter, winter is coming, George R.R. Martin, prose poems, deft brushstrokes, a more devastating fairy tale, is the window a metaphor within that world, The Monkey’s Paw by W.W. Jacobs, the yellow robes, mood and temperament, what would Oprah see?, a soap opera, silent pictures, the constellations, The Crystal Egg by H.G. Wells, science fiction, Jesse’s pet theory on the opening credit sequence of Game Of Thrones, the four houses, dragons and bears, orrery, Ptolemy vs. Copernicus, epicycles, orbital clockworks, Ringworld by Larry Niven, the inside of a Dyson sphere, Westeros, a fish-eye lens, a D&D style hex system, the mechanistic unplaying of the plot, it’s not a half-assed Tolkien, HBO, a metaphor for The Wonderful Window, maybe it’s a bowl?, a fantastically wealthy Lannister home?, that guy’s based on The Kingpin, credit sequence, Dexter‘s morning routine, murdering coffee, “oh my god it’s over”, envisioning greater lives, some guy in Golden Dragon city is looking through a window at 1911 London, Lion City (London), make it WWI, the zeppelin terror, had it been written a few years later would we not assume the red bear as Communist Russia, escape to the secondary world, beaten down into the proper shape for Business, capital “B” business, “a touch of romance”, daydreaming, a frock coat, a bookstore, “emporium”, Walmart as a soul crushing emporium, howling newsboys, the birds in the belfries, “the seven”, analogues for priests and nuns, dragons the most evocative fantasy animal, a silver field, what prompts the destruction of Golden Dragon city, Darkon (2006), LARPers, interesting, good, and sad, fantasy lives on the weekend, a cardboard factory, typical American upper-lower class jobs, religion, plunking away god-dollars, the popular conception of D&D, video games, Elvis’ hips, KISS, better jobs, Detroit in ruins, work, podcasts to stave off the rats gnawing, John’s gaming group, soul crushing and beautiful, Edward Plunkett, H.G. Wells, toy soldiers, the start of modern war-gaming, empire, “this dang story”, 14th century Hungary, Angelmaker by Nick Harkaway, names, Friend, Spork, Carmilla (is a savory name), carnstein (flesh-stone), Mergin and Chater -> margin and cheater?, a used bookstore business is not one designed to make money (precisely), Chapters, the artificial love of books, the way Scrooge would run his business, the one room apartment, “tea-things”, we ended on a happy note, fantasy and escapism, there’s not much else past The Silmarillion, Elmore Leonard, Jack L. Chalker‘s last unpublished book, old-fashioned TV watching (no recording), “this window goes nowhere”, Mr. Sladden’s destruction of the window is better than had it been broken by someone else, the scent of mysterious spices, a breath of Golden Dragon City.

Word Cloud for The Wonderful Window by Lord Dunsany

Game Of Thrones as Golden Dragon City

Masters Of Fantasy - Lord Dunsany by Neil Austin

Posted by Jesse Willis

Neil Austin’s Masters Of Fantasy (from Famous Fantastic Mysteries 1947 – 1950) DESKTOP WALLPAPER

SFFaudio News

I made this desktop wallpaper for my new computer’s desktop – that’s what I did yesterday instead of actually unpacking and setting up the computer itself. Click through to get the full size version. The images were drawn by Neil Austin for issues of Famous Fantastic Mysteries from 1947 to 1950.

Masters Of Fantasy Wallpaper

Pictured are H.P. Lovecraft, A. Merritt, Robert W. Chambers, Sydney Fowler Wright, Algernon Blackwood, H.G. Wells, Stephen Vincent Benét, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Arthur Machen, M.P. Shiel, John Taine, Lord Dunsany, Clark Ashton Smith, Ray Bradbury, Edgar Allan Poe, Olaf Stapledon, and M.R. James.

Posted by Jesse Willis