The SFFaudio Podcast #637 – In The Clutch Of The War-God by Milo Hastings – read by Kate Follis, for LibriVox. This is a complete and unabridged reading of novelette (1 Hour 46 Minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants include Jesse, Paul Weimer, Evan Lampe, Bryan Alexander, Trish E. Matson and Kate Follis.
Talked about on today’s show:
Physical Culture, July – September 1911, the US vs. Japan in the war in the Pacific, a lot about exercise, why this story is so weird, overall impressions of a terrible book, maybe its kayfabe, in a heavy metal voice, who is the war god?, its a metaphor, Jesse thought there’d be a guy, the Emperor of Japan, the Emperor of the United States, who’s in the clutch of the war god?, yellow peril, City Of Endless Night, so interesting, written so quickly, serialized as he’s writing it, not paid off, Ethel has to write a letter, interracial marriage, one issue to discuss, Mrs. Oshima, a happy fruitful marriage, the Shōwa period, the big firm industrialization, the Russo-Japanese War, hence conflict, what the heck happened to Hawaii, not a state yet, set in 1958, astonishingly optimistic, no major wars for 50 years, Latin American revolutions, the Soviets, the Russians, the Nazis, H.G. Wells, an English dilettante vegetarian, The Strand, unclimable mountains, Little Mother Up The Mörderberg by H.G. Wells, Swiss hotels, they all hated me because I was a vegetarian, one of those annoying preaching vegetarians, outdoor exercise, plasmon, in the back, yeasts and pastes and kelloggs, supplement culture, more fit, not just male gym rats, female oriented, other 1911 issues, all the women are fit, 1911 yoga, a baby with a dumbell, reproduction, super-eugenics based, the purity of their race, race purity, eventually the soviets will not be so interested in, surprisingly modern, coming out the same movement, under Bernarr Macfadden, Milo Hastings’ editor, being outside, genetically pure, super cereals, Bovril, east Asia, a worldwide movement, Ling Long magazine, Sixteen, girl’s health, swimsuits, always women, we need to uplift these people for the health of the nation, how these ideas took off in Japanese history, the intro, Liberty, a competitor to Time, Cosmopolitan, one of many he edited, strange story of another day, the ultimate effect, self-satisfied complacency, sustained til the very, rough outline, he lived the stuff he was writing, all buffed up, a strong-man, he believed all this stuff, so annoying and so important, a fraudster, lies about his circulation, Ghost Stories, one Robert E. Howard story, a boxing ghost story, photo illustrations, some lady, a bedstead, supposedly true, geared toward women with a male audience, Il Duce (Benito Mussolini), up in the business, 16 kids starting with the letter B, urinary tract infection, a very important figure, he kept Milo Hastings working, why it is so wonky, chickens, the brood of the wargod, wasteful farmer class, 23 million, that’s bonkers, the Hudson River, they moved the Battery for no reason, Lower Manhattan, the neighbourhood, where’s that water going, a surprise, our quasi-hero, the Regenerationist Magazine, hero editor, a political movement, how weird the combination of ideas, socialism, admiration, positive gazing at the Japanese system, the mirror to Ethel, kimono, unresolved sexual tension, appreciation of the Japanese culture, no makeup, the editorial voice of Hastings, American sinews, vigour of the product of their loins, artifical food, they’re talking about us, tight fitting clothing, diseased and destitute, unsanitary, another movement, prostituted science, Dr. Pepper, doped and perfumed, advertising, very heavily advertising, perfumes and cosmetics, interracial marriages were uneugenic and hence immoral, Japan doesn’t accept immigrants, the problem here is not Japan needs oil, the Texas oil-fields, they need breathing room, new lands for their healthy Japanese babies, Japan’s birthrate, almost nobody fears, over production, population bomb, too many babies, the opposite, Isaac Asimov’s and Frederik Pohl’s Our Angry Earth, Plum Rains by Andromeda Romano-Lax, old Japanese woman, body servant, an example of progressive fiction, the run up to prohibition, every bad guy’s a drunk, old liquors, wet vs. dry, drunken Americans and teetotaler Japanese, Kate Follis joining us, make it a good story, awful as a book, full of terrible ideas, a plot, it moved along, Proof Listener at LibriVox, City Of Endless Night, its really about the world, how did this come about?, recommended by Kate’s dad, what else has this writer done, Dollar Hen, a how to manual for backyard chickens, the connecting tissue between these two books, an ex-inspector of poultry for the government, the Milo Hastings Show, eggs change temperature as they develop, using late cycle eggs to incubate early cycle eggs, using waste heat, another egg joke, constantly pumping out eggs, fascinating stuff, Bernarr MacFadden, weird fetishes, your interest in this is going to turn out really bad, anti-vaxxer, anti-FDR, trying to be incredibly influential in US politics, the original Jack Lalanne, Liberty, November 1940, reasons to be concerned about vaccines, falsifying circulation figures, I Lost 40 Pounds In My Garden (that was careless of you), how I’m Training My Children, the Massie Affair, Benito Mussolini, a bad guy, Michio Kaku, lying about stuff to sell his latest book, in 1900 , platforming, you don’t call him on it, he needs to be countered, eugenics is evil, really dangerous, really dark roads, forced sterilizations, it happens in prison now, it could have been much more, Japanese samurai cannibals, The Mucker by Edgar Rice Burroughs, the same stuff, Hastings is full of ideas, seems to lack the space (and perhaps the planning), astonishing stuff, cultural distinctions between Japan and the US, the Japanese way of life, racial fear, attraction and fear, anti-foreign riots, the Boxer Rebellion, The Decline Of the West by Oswald Spengler, 1922, always this fear, anxiety about being replaced, subtitled: The Tale of the Orient’s Invasion of the Occident, as Chronicled in the Humaniculture Society’s “History of the Twentieth Century”, Japan is ready and doing things we aren’t doing, we need to wear looser robes, a healthy outdoors, M*A*S*H, nudism, nudist colonies, keeping ourselves healthy and beautiful, land for their babies, breathing room, that’s what healthy societies want to do, take a piece of Texas, the way things looked, consolidation of the West, before the dust-bowl, especially verdant, empires, Camp Of The Saints by Jean Raspail, Europe invaded by African and Asian immigrants, feinting towards Panama, planting seeds, wasn’t allowing immigration, boat full of immigrants turned back, the Gentleman’s Agreement of 1907, the Chinese Exclusion Act, The King In Yellow, H.P. Lovecraft, 1960s, the shocking nature, the Okies make it to California, so easy to grow, he can’t resist, homesteading, aircraft carriers, the Wright Brothers, how aircraft can dominate forces on the land, flat-tops, Two Dooms by C.M. Kornbluth, breeding out the continent, yellow peril-ish, the start of a novel, a great premise of the story, early 20th century culture, just go to Wikipedia and pick a year, and pick a day, March 30, 1908, Durham Stevens assassination, wars still raging 20 years after they’d started, changed the nature of public focus, making friends with the Japanese, Midway (2019), planetary society, an inevitable clash, can’t just hand over the empire, publicly assassinated, what you’re doing overseas, suddenly a reveal, Americans aren’t focuses on foreign policy, really what matters is what they do with the military, domestic policy, my vote doesn’t count, what a story like this is really interesting for, a grain merchant killed in a dynamiting, Dan Carlin’s Supernova In The East, the Japanese Army and Japanese Navy in conflict with each other, teasing that out, somewhat relatable character, maybe I could learn to fly, a feminist angle, flying for the newspaper, stealing gasoline and food at gun point, a really good story here, the choice of the protagonist, if it had a male protagonist would he be a resistor from the beginning, they like athletic women, you need to do kickboxing, beautiful like me, Bernarr flexes, I Grouched Myself Into A Divorce, we;re getting there, Yawning Your Way To Health, the Acme of Physical Perfection, flexes his pecs, Do You Glow With Health?, Virex, violet rays, a crossover audience, metaphysical fitness, bodies not landscapes, what you put in your body, the truth about marijuana, Finding America’s Most Beautiful Women, When Is Marriage Sin?, this is what you do instead of going to church, walking dogs is a kind of church (very ritualistic), we need things to believe in, not spiritual, raising a healthy baby, pseudoscience, related to science, maybe violet rays do something, flower garden, healthily brown, reading a French novel (is bad), she tosses it aside, til up their gardens, cultivating the beautiful, the Hitler Youth, the Boy Scouts, scary stuff, the backlash against digital technology, Sherry Turkle, social and mobile, another anti-trust suit against Facebook, you don’t want to be downstairs playing Dungeons & Dragons, play football, you don’t want to be 4F, Captain America, bone spurs, F is like fail, you’re not fit enough to be killed, the Universal Army, the free healthcare you need, not eugenically pure enough, make them even more fit, Corporal Klinger, 1A, Black Hawk Down (2001), a modern American draft, the Progressive Era, WWI, the Wilsonian dream, the perverse progressivism, No Magic Bullet: A Social History Of Venereal Disease In The United States Since 1880 by Allan M. Brandt, the quadriplegic do not qualify for service, how the Empire can continue as it is, in case, you can’t hold territory with drones, starve the population, this book certainly brought out a few things, attempted rape, unrealistically gentle, we could poison cities, the scientist we’re supposedly following, what was the plan, the roller control GPS system, gyro stabilized GPS, Japanese scientists are a trope, The Curious Experience Of Thomas Dunbar by Francis Stevens, first superhero origin story, has the power of Samson, not finished, The Wind Rises (2013), Anthony Fokker, they had the best planes but their fuel was so bad, a massive interest in science and technology, the scientist here had a role to play, a basket, the number of hours in the air, grandson of the author, he should be known, a country under Berlin, the Third Reich but with royalty, producing under stress, cognitive dissonance, The City In The Middle Of The Night, he happens to look exactly like…, a phenomenon of books back then, Ruritanian Romance, a wonderful trope, relinquish the power, these whining dogs, commercial work, YA novels, love the old stories, The Mystery of the Fifteen Sounds by Van Powell, Planet Stories, the ninteen-teens, very focused on socialism, Mystery Boys and Sky Scout books, Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys, public domain reading is much more fun, less back and forth with the author, too whiny, much appreciated, everybody who works at LibriVox is wonderful, Planet Stories podcast, THIS issue of Planet Stories, book coordinators, The Dancers by Margaret St. Clair, how much content has hit in the last month and half, the OCR is the hard part, you just have to trust Jesse, Internet Archive, this ancient science fiction, definitely speculative fiction, Vegan Death Metal Chef, chop the carrots, Cookie Monster is Death Metal, plant rice, Kate Follis is really good, so many people are talented with their voice, this is the free culture, the post-scarcity world is coming through Gutenberg and LibriVox.