Reading, Short And Deep #391
Eric S. Rabkin and Jesse Willis discuss Brknk’s Bounty by Jerry Sohl
Here’s a link to a PDF of the story.
This story was published in Galaxy, January 1955.
The SFFaudio Podcast #733 – Nudist Camp by Orrie Hitt – read by Evan Lampe. This is a complete and unabridged reading of the novel (4 hours 21 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants include Jesse and Evan Lampe.
Talked about on today’s show:
1957, paperback original, Evan’s falsetto, a fun one to read, an interesting guy, 150 or so books, mostly public domain, disposable, available to read, available to be narrated, title wise, Never Cheat Alone, Torrid Wench, each was easy pickins, lovers kissin, crime novel adjacent, “sleazecore”, a science fiction novel but the genre is different, stupid-interesting entertainment, an adult at the time, the drug store, the spinner rack, behind the counter?, well written, fluffy, the plot makes sense, fetish for sex, ideas in my science fiction, talking about the fins on rocketships, fetish books for men, romance novels for men: talking about guns, Executioner and Deathlands novels, some hard man walking through the Mad Max world, extended mag, books for dumb people, really interesting things in this book, Brother And Sister by Donald Westlake, real estate obsession, Levittowns, rising middle class, who owns property, an easy go to plot, a marriage breaking up, men who went overseas, Iceland vs. Germany, a poor girl from Iceland, an Iceland slur, bojack?, bohunk, making up Iceland like an alien planet, the cultural stuff, interesting if true?, am I learning something about Iceland, the hotsprings, the brief summers, it being poor, some Viking culture that somehow survived, a very small population, one of the smallest european countries by population, taken over by the British who handed it to the Americans, you’re free now, apparently they don’t have a Swedish accent, Paul didn’t want to do this one because of all the nudity, all the violence, all the wife hitting, abusive, get back together at the end, they reconcile, we’lll go with Ed being the badguy, scamming people, taking the photos then blackmailing people, the hotel room, the film, get the property from her, the ex-husband comes and saves the day, not a classic, always Jesse’s story, an archaeological stratum, this fossil, what other fossils are under there?, floating around in people’s minds, learning about nudism, granola crunching islands, religious colonies, summer camps for various church organizations, fearful of falling under their religions, weird festival people, real life experience of weird nudists, Allan Alda’s character in MASH, nudism magazines, photographer magazine, he liked women, Corporal Klinger, 50s aesthetic, The Door Into Summer by Robert A. Heinlein, spending time with a nudist, their philosophy, a thing in Germany, the whole theory of nudism, he doesn’t get more serious, trying to separate nudism from sex, supposed to titillate, the opening scenes of the book, looks at herself in a full length mirror, a smut book but very educational, seems kinda of tame, very little penetration, very few pearl necklaces, the good organizer, the speech, the lecture, it’s about health and our natural state, body positivity, one step away from a pure smut book, a scene that should turn you off, ugly flabby lady, gut over her thighs, boobs like pendulums, that was a test, is this about sex?, not identical with being a swinger, related?, Heinlein did both, your average person picking up the book, from the woman’s pov, our Icelandic gorgeous lady and her abusive husband, they’re rich in land, she has a maid and a gardner, an interesting subplot, the pregnancy, an ethical gloss, written quickly, “Sometimes the whole world stinks”– Orrie Hitt, the King of Tri-State Sleaze, Apocalypse-Confidential.com, Orrie Hitt’s mythos, that’s amazing!, Lawrence Block, easter eggs, always the same movie playing in the movie theatre, you’re getting a secret history of the united states, all the sex shops, punanyi train fan , Orrie Hitt is on the rise, good to hear, EAP aka @punanytrainfan [account deleted] on twitter, literally read it aloud, a thousand year old book, Ḥayy Ibn Yaqẓān by Ibn Tufail, a book of philosophy, Daniel DeFoe, raised by a gazelle, Aristotelianism filtered through the Arabic worldview, Avicennan Aristotelianism, building the whole system from scratch, building capitalism from scratch, a short book, a few things he’s working on, Mark Twain, hinted at Heinlein, just teasing Jesse, excusing with the Library Of America, every book, taking Heinlein in doses, doing it with a Hugo in mind, Jesse’s Tom Godwin cold equations told as a star trek episode, the plot of Mudd’s Women, a bajoran slave girl, race jokes on a federation ship, it deserves a hugo and a nebula and a seuin and a master of fantasy award, the atom award, does it come with a rocket ship, a carbon atom, throw them in a garbage, awards, just play the games, put your pronouns in your bio, a lot of laughing, psychopath laughing at yourself, too pale, too male, looking at the lists, not impressed, consistently poorly researched, Jesse wants to learn something, entertainment, back to Orrie Hitt, not called nudist colonies anymore they’re called nudist camps now, a counterculture, a separate state, go for a week, summer camp, a nudist colony in the winter, why they like the location, set in New Jersey, hidden away, not bothered by the locals, not going to happen in the winter, Florida, what do they do?, standing around naked eating hot dogs, swimming, croquet, let’s go to the nudist camp!, like minded body positive people without hangups, written just as a non-sex book, the sex stuff in it, have only couples come together, don’t take singles, the subplot, blackmail, keep coming to the camp, not a very good sex book, subplot, a chaste proper good relationship, 1950s morality, she gets pregnant, a morality tale, Della has this new boyfriend, after she breaks up with her husband, not ethically suspect, we’re titillated, putting her bra on, fit in with the crowd, she gets shot in the leg, defending nudism, on the cover it is a sex book, a crime novel, genuinely surprised, we’re supposed to be suspicious of him, seemed legit, we were surprised, do you blame her for getting back together with him, wraps up the plot nicely, getting back together with, Stephen King wouldn’t be able to write this book, the woman has to escape, he’s got too many hangups for this book, could Bachman try?, the wrong kinda traumas, a nice person, very sympathetic, as an immigrant story, tricked into marrying a German whore, a cloud over her, a poor Icelandic waif, a golddigger, reputation in the community, one scene in the hotel, the pornographic film, the bank, the lawyer, learned a lot about the 1950s, experiencing it on the periphery, why Hawkeye likes nudist magazines, the nudist philosophy vs. wanting to see naked people, very clear about that, a legit claim, born nude, practically naked, shorts and short sleeves, not being over-clad, getting vitamin D, having a tan making you feel mentally better?, not enough sun, given our species previous history, we probably get too little sun, a funny phenomenon, not allowed to show boobs unless they’re natives, nude foreign women, a british or Irish, the page 3 girl, how do we explain this phenomena, a racy thing, what makes it racy is the prudery, creepy to see a creeper, scary old bodies, herniated bodies, a book all about bodies, their experience through their heads, the injury to her leg, getting pregnant and thinking about that, why is she saying these things about this baby, you don’t need to get an abortion, in most of the sleaze books, sex doesn’t necessarily lead to worries about pregnancy, begging for a baby from her husband, more smut books, more sleazecore books, more to them just sex, here too, the time?, self-censorship, doctor labels, The Naked Lunch supreme court case, what happened to comics neutered comics, defending it to your wife, the study of strange women who do strange things, she’s super hot in the shower, fat bodies, another bait and switch, pick that up for the incest, a horrible suicide and insanity ending, real estate calculations, the shame is different, a shame book, she’s a poor girl, essentially raped in Iceland, a traumatized person she’s pretty strong, pretty fucking terrible, Paul would not like how this book ends, what are her options?, not highly educated, what marriage is so popular for, real estate, big in China, she’s rock poor, she marries a middle class guy who thinks he’s going to inherit wealth, squanders the money, ends on a happy note, gives her a baby and becomes a doting father, be good Christians and believe in redemption, what are her skills?, he knew how to build a big house (with full length mirrors), look at her assets, run a little business, something she can do with her life, reveals himself as the bad guy, what can she get from Ricky?, adopt that baby, partners, all the men betrayed her, Ricky saved the day, in “Sleaze Camp Part 2”, a good moral camp, what the future’s going to be like, set in the 1850s, the photography stuff, if it was the 1750s, a guy behind a curtain sketching quickly, civil war portraits, still images, sunbathers, it is a tech book, pre-birth control (the pill), a tech thing, what makes this non-mimetic fiction is that it is somehow is like a piece of science we can explore, look what people are worried about, an after WWII Iceland plot, we don’t know much about Orrie Hitt, seems to be thoughtful, as book every two weeks at the prime of his career, six sex scenes, explaining to Scott [Danielson], agreeing with a J.K. Rowling, you’re going to have to put TERF in your twitter bio now, why people like her books, set pieces, very movie like this big battle, this cute scene, that cute scene, a plot in the background, the ride, titillation throughout the book, attentive to the plot, the first Harry Potter book, it read like a movie, not that much internal getting to know the character, this is an intellectual experience, didn’t get hard at all, Lawrence Block and Donald Westlake, not heavy on the sex, Netflix everyday, the covers/posters/cards, The Reader, a nazi woman?, an illeterate woman?, Kate Winslet in her pajamas, the strategy is still there, two naked guys on the card, a lot of prudery in the states, no explicit sex on Netflix?, on the newsstands besides the explicit, science fiction, westerns, romance, nice to look at, more titillation on the covers and in the descriptions, Hustler, sex letters, Penthouse forum?, letters about free speech!, reading a magazine with a nakedish woman on the cover, like the HBO of magazines, less censored things that people are interested in, Jimmy Carter had lust in his heart, rather than the lie they do all day, Obama’s exit interview, Joe Rogan’s interview with the founder of Rolling Stone, way less censored than everything else, shitlib former hippie, upset and worried, now that Trump had won, I’m not really interested in lying anymore, softcore interview, a formality, the shitty answer and the truthful answer, being more honest, a weird sleazecore book, insight into, a good prose stylist, clean and easy to follow and interesting, unaffected, he reminds us of her body every few pages, experiencing interest, a big enough sample, read a romance novel, anything of value, tiny little bit of sex, as tame or tamer, slim romance volumes, Blaze by Stephen King, A Night In Lonesome October by Roger Zelazny, less mad as time goes by, thinking of Jesse as the star, Harry Turtledove, Innocents Abroad by Mark Twain, why Evan is not a fan of tourism or travel in general, why travel sucks, Michael Crichton books, Grave Descend, Easy Go, super consumable, very solid writer, maybe that was never true, “science fiction books”, not natural writers, Stephen King is a natural writer, Neil Gaiman, Ted Chiang, Stephen King, Andy Weir, The Troop, near the bottom, just body horror, the lowest level, the gross out, fewer of those, idea based stuff is really cool, Cosmic Computer/Junkyard Planet by H. Beam Piper, The Heads Of Cerberus by Francis Stevens, The Black Stranger by Robert E. Howard, seven John Lange books, fairly thrilling at times, Hard Case Crime republished them, a reuse of a failed hard case crime spinoff [Gabriel Hunt], Hunt For Adventure, The Spider, The Shadow, Indiana Jones, an adventure book series, churn out a series character, Binary, Eaters Of The Dead, he’s really playful, amazingly good at transforming thought into words in the form of a novel, after Blaze, its long, spending 20 hours with Mark Twain.
Jesse, Paul Weimer, Marissa VU, and Evan Lampe talk about The Shining by Stephen King.
Talked about on today’s show:
1977, horror novel, fourth most popular fantasy novel, third novel, the novel that made him a household name, Carrie (1976), the same year, the book was 1975, his breakout, Stanley Kubrick, Jack Nicholson, Salem’s Lot, Stephen King, “shut-up you shitlib, stick to producing movies!”, his primary job was film producer, which has more production credits, hilarious, Michael Crichton effect, director and producer and writer, looming large from beyond the grave, Westworld, cartoons, Stephen King TV shows, new Stephen King shows streaming somewhere, Lisey’s Story, The Stand, George R.R. Martin, video game writer, comfortable with TV, how easy it is to produce TV shows money wise, he likes writing a lot, worldbuilding, things that will get him canceled, the magical negro, The Legend Of Bagger Vance, Aunt Jemima, Uncle Ben, an American cultural phenomenon, if he wrote this today, that 70s jive talk, at the end, Doc is on the dock, he’s getting brown, very brown, the surrogate father figure, the kiss, the big shining talk, who is Stephen King in this book, he’s clearly Jack, kills himself off, why this book is super popular, how he put it all together, lifting ideas from literary sources, a big long very readable book, kinda early, Revival, relationships with ants and wasps, kids are literally closer to the ground than adults so they think about insects more, playing with their trucks, Marissa hiking by herself, major toddlerhood, we’re so proud we’re erect, his kids are always really terrific, so easy to read his books, identifying with the kids, we’re meant to identify with Doc, he’s our surrogate, Jack is more interesting to follow, a better adventure, failing at everything, they seduce him, the ghosts, money laundering, how they get him, repair his family, redeemed, the negative things in ourselves, super-flawed fucked up dude, we can relate to that, the scenes of domestic abuse, not so happy marriage, Jack Torrence has that too, the sin of the father, really uncomfortable for Paul, an imperfect family and childhood, why this book is and how it works, Danny’s power was the problem, a nexus, a big battery, it happened the year before, the previous caretaker and family, unnamed shining characters, every character shines, The Dead Zone has an unacknowledged shining character, you shine, your mom shines too (all mothers do, a little), throughout his writing, some sort of psychic spectrum, a Stephen King super-power roll playing game, The Dark Tower, breakers, telepathy, what good writing is: telepathy, a person far away in time and space, write really good, what just happened?, how is this happening, what is happening, a superpower Stephen King literally has, holy shit!, the way he does this, without a single bump, a human being like me, we think we can understand other people, doing it in fiction, his meta, the nagging wife, my mom is worse, she’s terrific, his grandmother’s house, somehow we’ve vacuumed out the psychic stuff, a weird cook who wants to abduct their son, he wants to rescue the kid, call it The Overlook Hotel, mental illness and alcoholism, where it is at his weirdest, find a stash, conjured out of the ether, capable of creating real physical damage to Danny, Doctor Sleep, his solution to everything, why this book is so Stephen Kingy, the plot, references, Guy De Maupassant’s The Inn, Switzerland, there’s dogs, have somebody there over the winter (as a caretaker), cabin fever, the same basic plot, how Stephen King fill those pages, all the family history, and the history of the Overlook, I’m so far ahead, flowed so easily, he makes long writing feel like easy writing, backwards and forwards in time, the car accident with the bike, jumping out of the main narrative, building the whole world, fleshed out, his pacing, perfect pacing, so engrossing, the set piece scenes, such a big piece of the story is just two pages, very impressive, table setting, a crucial scene, Jack versus the hedge animals, the way it sneaks up on you, slowly going insane, King or Torrence or the hotel, intrusive thoughts, a jingle, a phrase, intrusive negative thoughts, somebody from outside is putting words into his head, horribleness tempered, a big apology to his wife, “I know I shouldn’t have hit Joe that way. I’ve got to stop drinking”, Campbell Scott, a David Mamet actor with dry affect, no ill effect on the writing, straight reading vs. performance, other influences, The Mask Of The Read Death: A Fantasy by Edgar Allan Poe, masques vs. mask, what the hell is it about, the coloured rooms, at the beginning of the pandemic, cloistered in an abbey, out comes the red death, why there’s a whole bunch of rooms that are different colours, the movie filmed at the actual place King is basing it on, the ballroom has bat doors, The Colorado Lounge, the deal he made, its about class, the elite cant keep out the trauma of the working class, you can’t wall it away, that Phil Ochs song Ringing Of Revolution, when climate change happens, bunkers in New Zealand, The Sphinx, dominated by the reveal, the unmasking, in Robert W. Chambers, I wear no mask, The Yellow Sign, hints of Lovecraft, Jack as an opener, ultra-terrestrial horror, it’s Danny’s fault, Paul sees himself as Danny, a consequence of him being there, he can’t control it, “please abduct me, Dick”, he’s lying to him, 217, you’ll see really bad things there, thinking at him, Dick buys the vowel, he’s the one who knows the most, fainting spells in Germany, the clock almost striking midnight, forward in time, ghosts, not a contamination story, the hotel is destroyed at the end, teachers think is very important, some online webstudy course, arranged in a row from east to west, Blue (Birth), Purple (Growth), Green (Spring and youth), Orange (Summer and autumn), White (Old age), Violet (Impending death), Scarlet/Black (Death), a sergeant in the army, the summertime caretaker, fallen from his higher class, make sure you look out for The Rats In The Walls, a once high estate that needs to be maintained lest it fall, this is what I am reduced to, constant swearing, Wendy, when her husband swears to much, “prick”, hitting the student, I didn’t play with the timer, yeah I did, unreliable narrator, distrust the entire book, Stephen King being highly manipulative of us (and himself), I drink because you’re a bitch, Stephen King is doing self-analysis, so real, quitting smoking, an excuse to have a cigarette, what the fuck am I doing?, addiction brain, what the effect of physical isolation is, cut-off from other human beings for months on end, who’s to blame?, Jesse wants to imagine how this book would work without woowoo, a pure horror novel, a fantasy novel, Stephen King imitators, Nick Cutter’s The Troop, pure body horror, two things going on, his peanut butter in his zebra sauce, magic spell: Stephen King’s a good writer, college kids on a camping weekend, marriage breakdown and addiction, Philip K. Dick’s Puttering About In A Small Land, Out In The Garden, the wife’s been cheating on him with the Sun, I need to sell fantasy and I want to work out my stress about my wife cheating on me, The Dark Tower, literally met a werewolf, Hunger Games style, successfully spun up, the fear of your anger at your kids, such a cool scary thing to write about, such a change in your life, blaming the kid, obligation, responsibility, anxiety, Wendy’s mom, imagine if instead of Jack dying he lives, the relationship that Wendy has with her mom, psychologically abusive, you can’t lover her you have to love her, REDRUM is MURDER backwards, blood thirstiness, the wash of blood, symbolic, an alcoholic, she has a bad marriage, once she had the kid…, she chose a broken person to have a kid with, forever joined by the kid, how could she go back to him?, if I don’t stop drinking I’m going to have to kill myself, self-analysis, Jack is about him and the path he was on, the other drunk, Al: “stay dry”, class, drawn from life, bonding over drink, John Barleycorn by Jack London, drinking is a social custom, binding and destructive, on the same team, a judge, the board of directors, bonding through alcohol, the favours are running out, Evan’s theory, he’s trying to be fired, self-sabotage, ironically this time…, imagine there is no shining, a whole other thread, the imaginary friend who is real, an old trope, Harvey (1950), Ted (2012), Drop Dead Fred (1991), Mr. Lupescu by Anthony Boucher, Thus I Refute Beelzy by John Collier, the insanity children are allowed to have, a book about mental illness, Lovecraftian, classic mental illness, you didn’t tell me this hotel was used by criminals, Richard Nixon stayed in the hotel, an unreasonable phonecall, he’s quasi-blackmailing, not modern Stephen King shitlibbery, we bury the truth, we destroy the truth, we make it not real, Dick lies to his boss, as honest as he can be without getting fired, suicide, murder, sex-trafficking, we never find out how she paid, being a cursed place, Evan thinks that characters are shiners and breakers, a guy gives Dick a sweater and a can of gasoline, another shiner, they’re all shiners, haunted, “it’s the same criticism that Stephen King always has: there’s a fundamental flaw in American society, it’s class, and we can’t talk about it”, Red Room, it could have gone a whole bunch of different ways, no dangling threads, Hill House, the Marsten house in Salem’s Lot, it’s not the hotel that is making him make that call, trying to free himself and save his family, it’s hard to read it, drunken phonecall, late night phone call, go sleep it off, acting out with a really good reason for it, The Silver Key by H.P. Lovecraft, Tony is the future Danny, consciously bringing that in, winding up a clock vs. opening a door, a father figure, abusive father, reiterating that with his kid, aping the words of his father, spectacles into the mashed potatoes with blood on them, a coping mechanism, Jack gets what he wants, on the roof, distracted by the wasps, they bug him, the bug bomb, another case of I didn’t adjust the timer (but actually did), he wanted to have his son stung, we’re going to sue, focus on the kid, shifting the blame, it’s not me it’s your stutter!, the play is the book within the book, The King In Yellow, all work and no play, a good reading of what’s happening in here, understanding himself, a play about him and his abuse of a kid, his play sucks, he knows the play sucks, this is all you need to make this excellent book, what does Stephen King do instead of exposing American corruption and American kleptocracy and American sin? he makes it personal, he doesn’t expose the history of the Overlook Hotel, instead he exposes a family, we can all muddle through somehow, everything will be okay, exposes it to the readers, making it fuzzy, better at history, revealing the history, let all the poisons that lurk in the mud hatch out, the attempt to repress, when teenage Marissa first read it: this is a critique of American capitalism, he goes the opposite direction, literally hiding the message in favour of a psychic family, the boiler is his temper, Fondly Fahrenheit by Alfred Bester, which of us I am anymore, that duality within Jack Torrence, keep the temperature from blowing, everything he does could be automated, going down there twice a day, even days and odd days, it’s not a real job, a warm body, very symbolic, he gets stuck down there, the Jesse voices are back, don’t look at these very important papers!, grinding Excedrins all day, they taste bitter, very well put together book, too well put together?, a famous hit, The Stand, his short stories, kaboom, 1408, the room is evil on its own, John Cusack, doesn’t need any priming, a lot of love to be had in the little stories, The Night Flier, a vampire who has an airplane, very personal, they’re all personal, Revival is almost philosophical and mature, dealing/dealt, digging real deep in this one, Danny’s gonna be six, way to bright for a six year old, because he shines, oh, he’s a delayed reader, so urgent to read, his adaptors usually pick the wrong ages, Joe Hill’s [Locke & Key] Welcome To Lovecraft, replaced him with August Derleth [or Richard Matheson?], the essence of shitlibbery, a racist, a liar, a thief, all can see the magic, lifting that from his father, bring a key near somebody’s head, a really cool premise, kids can have magic, starmetal/evil shoggoths, a fundamentally interesting thing, they won’t follow through, you know what the problem is but then choose to go the other way, a good book, maybe why he is a genre, not treated like a gutter guy, not treated like a literary genius, Upton Sinclair style guys, they frown on Stephen King, jealousy, so successful, people like Stephen King, no cachet with King as with other writers, some people are prejudiced, literary snobs, not the American classic, a weird Stephen King thing, blood elevator, guy with an axe, the sitting in the car and talking to the old black man, knows what’s up with Danny, Dr. Sleep, Danny’s 35, Dick Halorhan had died, the Overlook ghosts had followed him, he’s an alcoholic, a job at a hospice, Kevorkian style, a good service, being preyed on by psychic vampires, get back his mojo and save the day, people trying to live off of boomers, resistant to sequels, able to stay alive for centuries, a multiverse, that’s not publisher demand, writer you want to read, Greg Bear, not well constructed, he falls into the trap, I need to write Halo novels, a trilogy, following the market, Stephen King has the market, The Dark Tower along with Dune got Marissa into science fiction, the one with the train, 3 ends on a cliffhanger, it’s all done, 1,350,000 words, after the accident, why would he write them all in one year, George R.R. Martin, I can’t do that to my legacy, 224 pages vs. 845 pages, 4,316 pages for The Dark Tower, have Eric retire or die, take a couple of weeks off to read the book about Allen Dulles, I can’t read an 800 page book, we have split up a book, Dune, The Lord Of The Rings, The Odyssey, Evan’s podcast’s premise, once you start something you’re stuck with it, I have to only wear short socks, 300 years ahead, take a holiday, sleep and go to the gym, everyone who is capable should do what they’re good at, the Zizek book, it has happened, you shouldn’t do that, a vacation implies your ideal life is not being lived, a different temporary life, there are wrong things to do, The Sea Wolf by Jack London, the Star Trek Sex Book, recover, Jesse likes computer games, Project Zomboid, zombie survival isometric, get ready for the zombie apocalypse, sounds great, very dangerous, Fallout 4 til 5am, be moderate in your behavior, taking a vacation from the things that are good, Jesse is not sure series are a good idea at all, a satisfying book in and of itself, Don Mark Lemon, recharge your batteries, Jesse’s just being real, Jesse’s mom, people die and you should plan for it.
The SFFaudio Podcast #629 – Rastignac The Devil by Philip José Farmer – read by Gregg Margarite for LibriVox. This is a complete and unabridged reading of the short story (1 Hour 58 Minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants include Jesse, Will Emmons, and Trish E. Matson.
Talked about on today’s show:
Fantastic Universe, May 1954, no illustrations, a French publication, big long mustache, lion statue, a spirit coming out of the lion, all metaphorical, or a particular satire, an elaborate joke, would make a great cartoon, Fords and Renaults with feet, my Renaut is tired, interesting and imaginative, only for students of the genre, not a good entry point, unlikeable characters, exploring ideas in a jokey way, a satire of a certain thing, a little piece of history, 19th century French adventure literature, The Three Musketeers, making fun of or having fun with, the playful joking, more exploration, particular institutions, Jesse is not an expert on the French Revolution, pre-revolutionary France, the three institutions, political points, non-political points, the last three paragraphs, bad news for Trish and Will, Skin, a substitute for a conscience, Candide by Voltaire, the old evil of alcohol, they plunged into the whirlpool, the discussion philosophical, front loading the infodump, this is a novel but I can’t sell it as a novel, Christopher Paul Carey, this is in the public domain, not happy with it, enough material, more material than The Green Odyssey, a stock for a soup, The Lovers, 1952, the parent of the bug-woman, New Gaul, the Beautiful Land, why there’s so much material here, the Israeli Confederation, what makes the story work, her stuff is in Hebrew, true history that was corrupted devolved knowledge, just another interesting , The Lovers (the 58 page), A Woman A Day, Moth And Rust, World Of Tiers, Barsoom on one level, ancient Greece, Doc Savage, Tarzan, To Your Scattered Bodies Go, always exploring some sort of cool idea, how to knit it together, an interesting book, not fully grasped, The Three Musketeers, he says what he means, the skins were our consciences, the French Revolution is happening at the end of this story, I’ve got quite a gloss on that, specifically a Science Fiction story, changelings, a lot of metaphor happening, fairy tale, eating meat turns you violent, unshakeable belief, the openings, after the editorial introduction, Rastignac had no Skin., reading aloud in your inner mind, having no skin and being happy, deep underground, very very very playful, why are you telling us all this, pulling the rug out from under you every sentence, wordplay, see what the consequences of that are, the King’s Muckateers, three prison escapes is illegal, a chronic stiff neck, his philosophy of violence, an attack on the church, an embrace of the church, what happened to the Church of England, gay priests, atheist priests, we’re all on the same team, Anglican equivalents in Canada, when will the NDP be neo-liberally corrupt, just give it time, everything becomes corrupt and then there’s a revolution, the blood drinking, a metaphor, eternal life through drinking blood, Catholics, not eating meat is common in religions, not made explicit enough, Jesse doubts he’s not smart enough, watching Spaceballs and never having seen Star Wars, Blazing Saddles vs. Men In Tights, Jesse feels like Worf in Sherwood Forest, I am not a merry man, a canon of these kinds of stories, not good at limiting himself to one thing, The Other Log Of Phileas Fogg, just read it as an amusing little jaunt, planetary romance, generations later, different planet, the downed spaceman, a promise unfulfilled, with the six ships in the sky orbiting, why six?, that number is to refer to something, what’s happening in France today, why their culture is so heavily effected, how long a legacy, wash over, a dutch standup, something wrong with the text, ebook editions, Despoilers Of The Golden Empire by Randall Garrett, a spaceborn retelling of the conquest of Mexico, Star Trek, they’re obviously inferior, thus died Francisco Pizarro, there’s no such thing as spoiling it, Frank Kelly Freas, they didn’t believe in spoilers back then, we cant even tell them apart, it writes itself, a good science fiction metaphor gets behind your defenses in a way direct assaults can’t, that’s a metaphor, what is the philosophy of violence, lenient government that allows underground cells, literally laissez-faire, what’s true, free speech vs. actually killing people vs. overthrowing institutions, fish not meat, his buddy, Ssassaror, the changeling thing, residential schools, there’s no exchange, a kind of critique of religion, a Voltaire like character, revialed, exiled and revered, something very basic, daring to be a revolutionary, a free speech system, rejecting the church, rejecting the skin, its a vampire, acting like a parent, a superego, alcohol, in vino veritas, he’s got a skinful, glimpses of light, pre-revolutionary France, powerful church, distant king, nobody’s the good guy, Jesse doesn’t get it, Lusine, husband trying to abandon his native wife, he’s attracted to her because he’s repulsed by her, irredeemable, a conversation that absolved her of her sins, supporting her father, Rastignac’s approval, she’s deranged throughout the entire story, Jesse doesn’t even get the title, cognac, we don’t feel alcoholism, Edgar Allan Poe’s The Black Cat, perfectly, special attention, its actually a satire of temperance, the long legacy of temperance, teetotaling, much better understood, on the head of a keg of alcohol, not an accident, best understood through the light of his excuse, he blames it all on alcohol, a real phenomenon, who’s responsible?, AA, the higher power is attached to your body, created by the government and tended by scientists, is alcohol the devil, Balzac uses Rastignac in a number of stories, a letter that’s me talking about…, perfectly enjoyable on its own, the car chase, infodump vs. action, the jump button, an elite car, Renault because its funny, he’s just playin, people who are in cultures, eternal things, everything is cultural, mutable, a linguistic expert…,
Everybody knew the Church had been outlawed a long time ago because it opposed the use of the Skins and certain other practices that went along with it. So, no sooner had that been done than the Ssassarors, anxious to establish their check-and-balance system, had made arrangements through the Minister of Ill-Will to give the Church unofficial legal recognizance.
who are they, do they have to be anyone?, the Minister of Ill-Will, accuracy in naming?, the containment strategy, if you want to go to Oxford you have to become an Anglican, dilutes the meaning, religious whackjobiness, a more honest system, the government persecutor, Ministry of War, in our self-deluded society, the Ministry of Defense, the War Department, truth in the naming, we won’t launch any aggressive wars, unk-unks, Secretary of Defense, sec-def, just going to the meeting is the corruption, we end up where we are, a news report about all the wars, it just doesn’t happen anymore, isn’t that interesting, an interesting point he’s making, Jesse feels it but doesn’t fully grok it, Jesse wishes there was a podcast that could totally explain it, Will is still trying to grok it, LibriVox, Heel, it needs to be brought to the surface, Easter eggs, a narrative you can enjoy, a bit of fun, this should be longer vs. this should be shorter, almost none of it goes deeper, an amazing dystopian device, biology, an amazing novel, a trilogy or a series, wrong skin, half skin, linked to all the other skins, its brilliant, its your culture, how that even happened, getting that idea into the SF arena, you have to wear this parasite, that he never calls it out like a parasite, interesting effects, biological adjustment, Octavia Butler’s Bloodchild, “Rastignac was sure… something”, it is definitely something, To Your Scattered Bodies Go, amazing scenes, building up a world, he doesn’t have a good explanation, he’s a seat of his pants guy, a core reveal, a Philip K. Dick short story, an amazing thing (and then there’s nothing), everybody dies and wakes up in Riverworld, a metaphor for being born on Earth, Hermann Goering, Mark Twain, this caveman dude, Richard Burton, no satisfactory reveal, genes wanna make more genes is not narratively interesting (it is narratively sad), free floating as true (even though it was false), how many Riverworld books, offered him too much money so he wrote book 5, what the point, ethical aliens, reach enlightenment and join this oversoul, hints, The Dark Design, a pointless war, a point about war, the blimp woman, the only queer character in any Philip Jose Farmer story, has dated Jack London before, secret truth, this book has no point, the ending of Rastignac is really good, so condensed, it needed to be way longer, curlicues and ornate spins, interesting vs. amazing, what people say about The Lovers, everyone looks like a sphinx and is a hermaphrodite, 1950s, 1960s, Joe Lansdale, Farmer’s electric brain, had Farmer submitted a script to Star Trek, a fanzine article, every week you got to a new planet (unless there’s a space anomaly), the planet of the counting coup black people, the plains Indians and the Moors, how do you deal with a culture that’s different, the presenting of a weird culture, because of his electric brain, the angst driving Farmer’s writing, he’s wearing the skin, I’ve been a god this whole time, The Rebels Unthawed, The Shadow Of Space, if you go really fast you gain mass, bigger than the universe, Sketches Among The Ruins Of My Mind, Farmerphile, issue 9, gems within,
Rastignac became brisk. He said, “We go to your castle, Giant. We use your smithy to put sharp points on our swords, points to slide through a man’s body from front to back. Don’t pale! That is what we must do. And then we pick up your goose that lays the golden eggs, for we must have money if we are to act efficiently. After that, we buy—or steal—a boat and we go to wherever the Earthman is held captive. And we rescue him. “And then?” said Lusine, her eyes shining with emotion.
“What you do then will be up to you. But I am going to leave this planet and voyage with the Earthman to other worlds.”
Silence. Then Mapfarity said, “Why leave here?”
“Because there is no hope for this land. Nobody will give up his Skin. Le Beau Pays is doomed to a lotus-life. And that is not for me.”
Archambaud jerked a thumb at the Amphib girl. “What about her people?”
“They may win, the water-people. What’s the difference? It will be just the exchange of one Skin for another. Before I heard of the landing of the Earthman I was going to fight no matter what the cost to me or inevitable defeat. But not now.”
Mapfarity’s rumble was angry. “Ah, Jean-Jacques, this is not my comrade talking. Are you sure you haven’t swallowed your Skin? You talk as if you were inside-out. What is the matter with your brain? Can’t you see that it will indeed make a difference if the Amphibs get the upper hand? Can’t you see who is making the Amphibs behave the way they have been?”
Rastignac urged the Renault towards the rose-colored lacy castle high upon a hill. The vehicle trotted tiredly along the rough and narrow forest path.
Philip K. Dick fun stuff, this is a scene from something that’s been re-imagined, this is an adventure story, a noisy car, dense and foggy, a very peaceful planet, stealing of babies is fine, because they don’t have alcohol?, a whole lot of levels, wanna mess up your life go to the bar and get in a barfight, liberté, égalité, fraternité, why is the Earth woman in this story?, a common plot element, it doesn’t need to be here, it doesn’t add anything to the story, that leads to a way off, spark a revolution, a chinwag about stuff, he started a riot, a promise of more alcohol?, where’s the evidence for that?, that would just be amazing, how to accept the skins, a classic of science fiction (in terms of ideas), adopt our ways, a YA Farmer book, super-rich and yet not satisfactory, a psychedelic art comic or cartoon art style, re-imagine it, very visual, without any piece of art to guide us, a LEGO line, very appealing to children of all ages, epees, rapiers, a coach Renault with a working jump button, a rosy coloured lacy castle, the underground cell set, the greatest LEGO movie ever, LEGO New Gaul, with so many good ideas, alas, but still, Trish would like to recommend a complete inversion of this story, Emergency Skin by N.K. Jemisin, becoming uninhabitable, centuries later…, live cooperatively and save the planet, these people are crazy they’re bad they’re obviously inferior and you need to leave”, on Audible, standalone, generally a recommendation, people are paying attention to this story, The Blasphemers, Phil is really neurotic about religion, semi-autobiographical reflections about things, have the children going to church, Phil’s lifelong battle with predestination and Hell (being traumatizing), trying to find a way to relate, Farmer almost became a Scientologist, you have to leave your wife, Sufi stuff, an extended metaphor for some aspect of Sufism, semi-podcasting life, be interesting, be interested, he’s writing stuff for sale but that’s only half of the reason he’s writing it, he was always working on something, working on your philosophical ideas, ambivalent about religion, fascinated and always searching, uniquely American, specifically intensified in American life, religious freedom, fractalization of churches, some weird religion is starting up, Falun Gong, New York, propaganda newspaper, the counter arm of the anti-Chinese government.
Talked about on today’s show:
Dark Forces, 1980, Skeleton Crew, 1984 audio drama, Meatball Fulton, the 2007 movie adaptation, the terrible TV adaptation, a German audio drama?, who doesn’t like Stephen King?, America’s greatest popular novelist, people don’t like Stephen King’s endings, his narration tool, awesome endings, eucatastrophe, everything published until he turned 14, same, similar, Insomnia, changing style, the best time to read Stephen King is when it’s too young to be appropriate, Marissa’s eyes were opened, the scales were lifted from your eyes, mimetic fiction, a bridge novelist, a weird continuity, Mr Jim Moon’s bookshelves, the book cover of Carrie, New English Library, what the hell is the shining?, the psychic power, Salem’s Lot, Christmas and birthdays, a binge, a glut, a fear of big books, reading on Kindle, Terry Pratchett, highlighting observations, a heat map, your Dean Koontzs and James Herberts, very well put, tied up in audio, superior audiobooks, the most popular adaptation among fans, The Stand, Frank Muller, the different seasons, The Dark Tower, the Frank Muller narrated version of The Mist, the artist is mentioned, Hieronymus Bosch, Paul’s Stephen King’s experience, Firestarter in Omni Magazine, the Stephen King lake (there’s always something in that lake), Jesse is averse to popular, Cujo, The Running Man, Jesse is worried that his thesis is right, wise or wry observations of human behavior, King is telling us, a Hitchcock ending, a found document, The House On The Borderlands, the framing device, Lovecraft gets a shout-out, meta-mentioned, aliens, why Stranger Things was so popular, all those things that people are highlighting in Stephen King books, instinctually, amp up the drama, three sips of his beer, drinking beer all the whole day, out of alcoholism, cheating on his wife, he shoots his whole family, its transferred, making the main character less of an asshole, its okay that he cheats on his wife, hardscrabble, movie posters, The Dark Tower and The Thing, a more appealing protagonist, the sexual politics of this, moralistic about monogamy, the centerpiece of the drama, in his thoughts a little bit, the mom is missed more than the wife, replacement moms, replacement wife, the four bullets, we’re left to decide, seeing the book in relief, Darabont’s a hack, The Green Mile, Weird Tales, 1937, an error in the film, so faithful to the book in dialogue, the extra soldier, the neighbour is black, The Shawshank Redemption, a definitive ending, a noir ending makes it all the better, concretely solid as a story, A Quiet Place, the hear you instead of sniffing you, all these zombie stories, at least three actors from The Walking Dead, a distillation of so much, The Mist is a ground level version of The Night Wire by H.F. Arnold, the most popular story in Weird Tales ever, an internal monologue, reporting what it’s like to die, the foibles of all the people in the grocery store, “Food House”, a very choice decision, this is all happening out there, the emotional drama, why Stephen King translates so well to film, a skull-face, it amps up your eeuughs, the people dont trust each other, Mrs. Carmady, we see ourselves in her, a difference between the text and the movie, Christianity and folk stuff, psychic, frustrating, crazy fundamentalism, insidious in the book, recent events, people are that stupid here and now, unacknowledged psychics, The Dead Zone, nobodies who rise to political power, Under The Dome, fear of political zealots and cults, a great Covid story, we’re leaving, King read this stuff, *I AM INSPIRED BY THIS*, H.P. Lovecraft and Sonia Greene’s The Horror At Martin’s Beach, what’s identical is us viewing, it’s not about upper class and lower class, out-of-towners vs. locals, the boundary dispute starts off the story, what’s so cool, his psychology is all over the page, Philip K. Dick, very instinctually, my magic spell words, I drink too much, one for the road, drink more beer, some people know they have drinking problems, at the end of Skeleton Crew there’s a note on how it was written, taking this event from your own life, a very methodical way, great details, observant touches, the class tensions, John Updike, built on this interesting fusion, he isn’t an occult researcher, he’s just a dude, a painter, he paints his picture for us, wherever their faithful, the name of the car is the same kind of car, International Harvester Scout vs. Toyota Landcruiser, a very specific region and mental state, a pseudo-explanation for why all this stuff is happening, the secret military base, we need this scenario, lined up for toilet paper, who’s not wearing a mask, follow the rules, how all of this works, what was the right thing for me to do, going to the drugstore, what was the best thing anyone could have done in this scenario, drink beer, play pinochle, a metaphor for the Vietnam War, these experiences, the atmosphere of 1980s, ultimately they’re fighting the Soviets, he’s actually speaking to a particular set of events for people who are not responsible directly, a nostalgia hit, there’s much more to it than the politics, he writes about where he knows, a temperature map, bad political takes on twitter, he’s a boomer, the Vietnam War and John F. Kennedy, 11-22-63, they’ve held up so well, Danse Macabre, the Patty Hearst case, a global pandemic, a very specific moment, 1990, a late 70s story, he didn’t revise it enough, the Symbionese Liberation Army, copy and replace, written right after The Stand, Bird Box, an invasion from outside, usually after the events, the explanation for why the monsters are the way they are, Project Arrowhead, overheard at the library, what you hear is going on, no one is responsible, we’re all responsible, “nobody knew”, “no one could have foreseen this”, why the TV show is terrible, scattering the people, the monsters in the mist, an alternative ecosystem in which we are made irrelevant, The Men In The Walls by William Tenn, a cool idea, are the evils in the grocery store are manifested by the monsters in the mist (in the TV show adaptation), King has them completely separated, they’re not here to eat us, that’s how they are, Mrs. Carmody isn’t right, cosmic indifference causes beer drinking, its all for nothing, why King is better at this, he understands this on the cellular level, a reflection on his own psychological experience with it, the family dog didn’t want to be that way, down the same path, Dark Tower 6 or 7, move between these worlds, a retcon, a mistake, Dark Tower 3, these institutions, North Central Positronics, how institutions appear in King’s early fiction, the storm is what caused it, The Men Who Stare At Goats, if you look at their CV, [Prof. Courtney Brown] working on remote viewing, failing upward, now I teach kids, The Window by H.P. Lovecraft, in Fungi From Yuggoth,
The house was old, with tangled wings outthrown,
Of which no one could ever half keep track,
And in a small room somewhat near the back
Was an odd window sealed with ancient stone.
There, in a dream-plagued childhood, quite alone
I used to go, where night reigned vague and black;
Parting the cobwebs with a curious lack
Of fear, and with a wonder each time grown.
One later day I brought the masons there
To find what view my dim forbears had shunned,
But as they pierced the stone, a rush of air
Burst from the alien voids that yawned beyond.
They fled – but I peered through and found unrolled
All the wild worlds of which my dreams had told.
that piercing, this curious monkey thing, roll our tanks into Moscow behind their lines, if he could have waited a few minutes he this whole story made no sense, his school shooting book [Rage by Stephen King], he’s thinking about killing his family, the army comes in and fixes things, undermining the cynicism, that he didn’t kill himself, he shot his son after abandoning his wife, he went there, that Chinatown (1974) ending, compare this to The Shawshank Redemption‘s ending, the mist just goes away, I think those tentacles came out of that beer can, the trucks, the woman who left right away, locals who had made better decisions, the politics of it are quite interesting, the military guys are wearing masks, its a gas causing hallucinations, an extra, faceless government guys, the Iraq quagmire, the surge will work, the military was cleaning up, burning cocoons off the trees, they’re saving the people, pretty powerful, Scott was not pleased by the ending in the theater, “we went straight to the bookstore from the theatre”, Stephen King’s hopeful ending, something drastic, the psychic part, a dire situation, it might not be real, he thought he heard the word “Hartford”, there’s no narrator in the audio drama, we’re just being show the sound, like a microphone in the pocket of one of the characters, eliminating his own hope, saving them from the horror, pro-hope, I would rather sit here for a minute, I guess we gotta do it, they were safe for a minute, the whole point of this exercise is doomed, not consistent with King’s character as a writer, Pet Semetary, evil is defeated provisionally, they’re so faithful up to the tone of the book up to that point, the ending of Salem’s Lot is the beginning, he doesn’t want to go to that very bleak ending, collecting graffiti from the bathroom stalls of truck-stops, the maid will find it, his notebook saves this guy’s life, an optimistic happy ending, a real phenomenon, all these gun deaths, assault style rifles, avoid breaking down the gun deaths, most US gun deaths are suicides, if you have drugs in your house, we have these states where we change, things will look better in the morning, son, “I was as honest as I could be”, not wiser (they just have more experience), here have a hug, a confection, Castle Rock, exploiting or adapting, wasn’t that part cool, it has the shining music, a kid like in Stand By Me, E.T., straight from his unconscious, he’s not constructing it using a plot generator, a car really obsessed, a superhuman level of attention to detail, a kid crying in the sandlot, the boathouse, wonderfully modeled, a Parliament cigarette, Pepsi, Purina, what it was like to be a middle class American in 1980s, this is not how the world is now, Castle Rock does a better job of getting King (like Darabont does), characters, memorable characters, It, the most accurate depiction of 12 year olds, still accurate at 38, people do that and there isn’t always consequences, every transgression is punished, punished for an act of mercy, Mrs. Carmody would have been right, movies for adults, The Big Chill, suburban adultery, closely observed modernist fiction, lets go on vacation, these dark thoughts on the road, the best depictions of being a writer, why you need that axe, if I can just change stuff up I can finish the book, I’m outlining a new writing project and four months of peace and quiet are what I need, from the very first scene, this Jack Torrence is absolutely crazy, vs. a descent into madness, moral corruption, Kubrick’s film is great, ghosts are allowed to be in novels, the New York Times review of Dark Forces, cinematic writing, is there a story he’s produced that hasn’t been adapted at least once, Revival is going to be adapted, is it because his writing is so cinematic?, the King name, pacing and people, so much happens in the last hour, the audio drama skips the first two chapters, the 1984 text adventure computer game, missing the foundation, an excellent artifact, many many audio dramas available, the 1980s was dry as hell, Fred Greenhalgh and Radio Drama Revival, so innovative, don’t short shrift the audio drama, that 3-D effect, this is really scary, you’re in that grocery store with those people, ‘there’s something in the mist and it looks like this’, Maissa Bessada, its definitely scary, in a film, all those eggs inside that guy, some great effects, a little bit of Aliens (1986) in there, the spiders are on our side, an alien ecology, what is their vegetation, the vegetation doesn’t spill in, The War Of The Worlds, triffids, he’s about the psychology, psychic plants, From A Buick 8, the architecture of the car is all wrong, Thomas Jane, one of the monsters is a D&D one, if Stephen King had been born Stephina King, that’s a guy thing, facts about the cars, being that he’s a dude, old cars from the 50s, an AMC AMX, it looks so cool, it would be different if he was a woman, if he had a female brain, what would those obsessions be, obsession with duck breeds, “what’s with the doilies, ladies?”, video games have really changed people’s brains, game clothes, their obsessions are going to be different, he tends to be very contemporary, Cell, a cellphone used as a flashlight, now nobody has flashlights, the mist knocked out the signal, the radio, “the internet’s out, what can we do!?”, Jesse’s favourite scene, I’m going to get you a Spider-Man, a Spider-Man and an Incredible Hulk too!, sitting on the dock for a few hour with a comic book, totally absorbed, something for the dentist to work on later.