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

Posted by Jesse WillisBecome a Patron!

The SFFaudio Podcast #632 – READALONG: Blade Runner (1997) by Westwood Studios

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #632 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, Marissa VU, talk about the 1997 Westwood Game computer game of Blade Runner

Talked about on today’s show:
1997, Good Old Games GoG, PCs, old games on new computers, what style of game is it?, another excuse to talk about Blade Runner, very happily, years later…, Marissa’s introduction to Blade Runner and Philip K. Dick, a point and click adventure, first person shooter, make your guy walk across the room, a meditative game, Myst, King’s Quest, Police Quest, graphics, these are sets, its all Blade Runner, the sounds of Blade Runner, the mood of Blade Runner, its always raining, go through the sewer again, its still a story, still storytelling, replayable, 10 hours, a wordless walkthrough, somewhere deep in the operating system, a designer’s cut, different things that can happen, the sets are the same, randomized at the start, what you’re uncovering, replicant or not a replicant, Jesse likes being one of the horrible creatures he’s killing, Ray, the things we thought were cool in the game, the esper, so fun, so cool, the gun part of the game is the least good part of the game, the interactions, the surprises, moving towards a particular answer, NieR:Automata, different endings, work your way down, an ending you want, 13 or 26 endings, moonbus, shoot them all right before the end, good job slick, killing replicants, the ending from the theatrical cut of Blade Runner, The Shining, a happy ending, the weird fake happy ending of Brazil, drive off with the 14 year old sex slave gynoid, drive off with the adult replicant, drive off alone, the moonbus ending, a hard game to find out what you’re missing, unrelenting in a way games were back then, you had to know DOS, VGA graphics, the moonbus track, that can’t be me, wait a second I might not be what I think I am, is it a real dog?, we’ll see, Deckard and Gaff, little people, landed off the coast, that moonbus, a parallel story to the movie, a lot more world building than we see in just the world , for example the cheese, did you find the cheese?, real cheese in her fake jerked chicken, food and meat, Mercerism, everybody in this society must be vegan, animal murder, this game is a bridge between the movie and the original novel, the people who made this game paid fucking attention, Philip K. Dick’s other novels, robot Lincoln, We Can Build You, Clovis is the Ray Batty of this story, the actors, James Hong as the eye guy, Jeff Garland, Brion James at the Yukon Hotel, Tortoise? What’s that?, he’s only 4 years old, J.F. Sebastian, the movie brings back memories of the game, the wok restaurant, landing on the police headquarters, Tyrrel’s sunlit room, a lot of sewers, the music, the enhancement, the background voices are all separated out, very grainy, graininess, a whole “enhance” meme, a wonderful wonderful game, nostalgia, its too smooth, claymation smooth, 8-bit love, impressionism, they have the ability to do it another way and are choosing not to, more like a novel, more like a story, walkthrough vs. play, that’s what I look like, Blade Runner 2049, unresolved plot threads, full of cutscenes, form of dialogue, change your demeanor, Fallout 3 and 4 and New Vegas, conversation wheels, good cop bad cop random cop, the more options you’re given the more immersed you are, you can put yourself in there, look Marissa you’re in the book!, Ray McCoy, we just get into this when reading novels or playing games, away from Paul’s life, obsessively strange, a rat you have to shoot, frustrated or playing around, what makes it more immersive, we theoreticalize our own behavior in the real world with no saves, if I just rewound five minutes, somethings that humans do, an important and human thing, why stories are so important to us, immersive in a different way, mid-1990s cut-scenes, Mass Effect, Call Of Duty, get over with the briefing, saving, give kids computer games for school, sometimes bad things happen, I didn’t want to be a murderer of all these replicants, what good relationships are, can I take that back, a meta-consciousness, abusive to an animal one time, endangered by the narratives we tell ourselves, meta-cognize, a pretty terrible story, the immersion level is so incredible, I’ve unlocked something, I’ve got a lot of suspects, oh, I’m smart, notebooks and maps for video games, manuals, helplines, Zork, Invisclues, copy protection wheels, Space Quest, incorporate horrible copy protection schemes into the gameplay, Starflight, a black map with red ink, a level of writing very focused on making gameplay aspects cool, a little subgame, the arcade, Red Alert: Command And Conquer, games of the period, Street Fighter, a spinner flying simulator, a very old fashioned VR game, a Moonbus game!, The Electric Ant, other Blade Runner games, Blade Runner Revelations, fiddly, he’s got a bomb in there, Google Daydream, a revelation, oh I see how it went, great storytelling, point and click adventures, this format, solving a murder, you’re a murderer, corruption and double dealing, very noir, hunting down and executing escaped slaves, how vegan this society must be, we have to infer that there’s no shrimp, fake insects for fake snakes, artificial goat, artificial cow, simulated feelings, we’ve thought our way out of feeling bad, R2D2 and C3PO are slaves, restraining bolts, wiping memories, breaking up families, they’re droids, skinjobs, SJs, time in a movie is immersive, that extra length of time, you’re world is changed, you’ve had an experience, the re-playable thing, shifty or grumpy?, shoot them, a found family, the evil human who has collaborated in the destruction of a people, go with the replicants, they’re underground railroad, only one years old, empathy towards to these semi-living creatures who didn’t ask to be born [like us], Logan’s Run by William F. Nolan and George Clayton Johnson, how are we going to treat other people, other beings, Jesse’s dishwasher is his slave, the more feedback we get from it, puppies struggle, The Player Of Games by Iain M. Banks, uncovering, side-quest, Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams, spend a little time thinking about the construction of the world, its the world, the basic premises of what’s going on, robots to replace ecosystems, make everybody slaves, the euphemisms, retirement, always missing the pet-shop scene, fewer sewers, $10 on Good Old Games, the walkthroughs, its more like you get to stand on a balcony in Blade Runner Los Angeles, looking up All Dogs Go To Heaven (1989) on DoesTheDogDie, J.S. Sebastian is vet tech for a fake animal place, very solid, Maggie!, ridiculous, clunky early videogame logic, incredibly passive in a certain sense but it doesn’t feel that way, the writers and executors of the game thought really hard about how to make it an experience and not a product, the faithfulness, wandering around the Bradbury Building, the soundscape is amazing, real-life locations, another medium, such a good idea as a show, different kinds of games, less story, The Last Of Us, good story is more important than almost anything else, PC Gamer magazine, Gary Whitta, Star Wars: Rogue One, Denzel Washington, The Book Of Eli, meditating on what good storytelling is in games, how to make the story really interesting for your participating audience, why is this story good?, narrative design in video games, hearing game designers talk about story, the audience’s mind, pushing essay writing, more essays Jesse, understand whether the game is worth buying or not, writing designed to create interest in something, school uniforms are a good idea, Battle Royale Games are here to stay (or a passing fad), why essay writing is interesting, a form of expression, a medium, a whole cultural legacy designed to fill a function, being wry and sly and ironic, what the difference between an 85 and 86 would be, reading the article and seeing the pictures, show me that gameplay is the thing that it has, Sid Meier’s CIVILIZATION has the gameplay, playing with people you know, Scriptlock podcast, 2049 took inspiration from this game?, a few of the vibes?

Blade Runner 1997

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Reading, Short And Deep #168 – Strange Eden by Philip K. Dick

Podcast

Reading, Short And DeepReading, Short And Deep #168

Eric S. Rabkin and Jesse Willis discuss Strange Eden by Philip K. Dick

Here’s a link to a PDF of the story.

Strange Eden was first published in Imagination, December 1954.

Podcast feed https://sffaudio.herokuapp.com/rsd/rss

Posted by Scott D. Danielson

The SFFaudio Podcast #505 – READALONG: The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #505 – Jesse, Maissa Bessada, and Julie Davis talk about The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling

Talked about on today’s show:
1894, not a novel, not a collection in the normal sense, Kipling wrote the whole thing for his daughter, a book of children’s stories, died at six years old, when Kipling left India, the Just So Stories, an inscribed edition, the opposite of a sad book, sad or not sad, wonderful or interesting, the law of the jungle, it’s not all Mowgli stories, a natural progression, the first story about the white seal, interacting with men Rikki-Tikki-Tavi, Her Majesty’s Servants, distressing, suffering, war, circling back, that’s just life, finding Shangri La, he lead his people to the promised land, his friend’s skin is missing, hard-hearted, beast of burden, the perspective Kipling sympathized with, the lower ranks, the simple working guys, stead in battle, Jesse’s not very quick with the “themes” in the book, obedience, finding your place in society, a template for the Baden Powell scouts, interaction with nature as a system, all these animals are for us to eat, an exemplar, how many tendrils have grown through to our modern day society, Kim, how influential the book is, the Great Game, Tim Powers’ Declare, religious power in the desert, in the background, Hathi Trust, its from this book, (if there is a) God’s work, preserving the ephemera of 19th and 20th century magazines, a scraper, such a good resource, big systems don’t operate for human beings, wow of course, elephants never forget, and they’re wise, you cannot not remember it, Tantor.com, the elephant from Tarzan Of The Apes, the Indian word for elephant, from 0 to 6, relearn all the things that he learned, low-lifes, lesser-down, class stuff, when Mowgli goes to town, Edgar Rice Burroughs, wow, that’d make a good story, Tarzan is Mowgli’s story in Africa, a series of lessons, Tarzan is pure fantasy, a tiger in Africa, colonialism, a fable, a fantasy, not writing from experience, no sympathy and fellow feeling, no existential crisis, lynching, a justified revenge, the scene with the white seal, Mowgli is no king, lessons to learn, that amazing idea, I don’t know where everything came from, a huge splash, the ripples are reaching us today, why is this thing continuing?, that’s why its a book, half the stories aren’t even in the jungle, the law of the jungle, bringing human values into the jungle and taking jungle values out of the jungle, when Dick is on my back, the bullocks: “here’s all we know”, how would they interact with each other, the Emir of Afghanistan, are the beasts as wise as the men?, thus is it done, sucked into the Bollywood musical experience, Lagaan (2001), the desire of the little guy to get out from under, here’s how the British were able to conquer, they obey as men do, Animal Farm, a Mr. Spock haircut, one more author, Jack London, H.G. Wells, stealing from a great, The Call Of The Wild and White Fang, Buck did not read the newspapers, the error of his arrogance, shanghaied!, the most amazing story, Black Beauty and Beautiful Joe, you don’t know what pain is, the pain of the animals, Mowgli’s parenthood, a picture of Kim, all the writers who write really well, the story of Kipling as a boy, taking aspects of his own life and magnifying them, Christopher Nolan’s movie, you monster!, what is true and what is love?, an innate sense, the irony, such a deep love of humanity, the mother wolf, melancholy, the potential of man, super-modern, there’s no distance between me, William Morris, Thomas Mallory, the dosts, distancing grammar, if Riki-Tiki-Tavi was written today, intimate and close, a light and fun one, snake deaths, so evil, they’re good (to eat), just following their natures, this is my job, the perfect look at man and creature together, each following their own natures, his business in life was to fight and eat snakes, being nuzzled in a bag, why people like to hang out with puppies and kittens, he has a place, verandah, tiny little dogs, handbag dogs, a different kind of love, dogs domesticated people, wheat also domesticated people, fruit trees domesticated human, cows and chickens, being on a dog’s level, co-existing, Toomai Of The Elephants, complete domestication, we are witness to the majesty of animals, Elephant Boy (1937), the radio drama, distancing vs. intimate, he writes good, another strain, Cat People (1942), Val Lewton’s The Bagheeta, that’s crazy, The Body Snatcher (1945), I Walked With A Zombie (1943), The Black Bagheela by Bassett Morgan, The Island Of Doctor Moreau, Frankenstein, important and interesting, Extra Credits, Cordwainer Smith, Jerome K. Jerome, The Idler, Vermont, influencing Heinlein, Citizen Of The Galaxy, Stranger In A Strange Land, Virginia Heinlein suggested Heinlein write the Jungle Book except with a boy raised by Martians, H.G. Wells, Charles Stross, Saturn’s Children, a hidden history behind the books were really like, working on something true, working through the ideas, The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, Coraline, fully illustrated, modern kid’s books (also for adults) that are fully illustrated, a tribute, people who dislike Kipling, “it would be a poor sort of world if one were only able to read authors who expressed points of view that one agreed with entirely. It would be a bland sort of world if we could not spend time with people who thought differently, and who saw the world from a different place.”, too problematic, let’s just read this book, do the life story’s of the authors matter?, O. Henry, The Gift Of The Magi, a criminal fraudster, rewarded and moral to be a fiction writer, Roman Polanski, Chinatown (1974), Arthur Conan Doyle, being modest about your claims about being a super-genius, foolishly doubling down on the ridiculous, Theodore Roosevelt, sometimes we’re just stupid about things, Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, fascinated and hopeful, it humanizes them, a troubling trend, don’t watch the news, seeing a whole life, people being thin-skinned, Facebook or Twitter, performative, Logan Paul, famous for nothing, in the 1920s the way these kind of people got attention is they climbed up to the top of a flagpole, reality TV stars, in anticipation of reading The Graveyard Book, A Fine And Private Place by Peter S. Beagle, The Last Unicorn, Lawrence Block, Donald Westlake, written at age 19, in fantasy circles, Julianne Kutzendorf, working from Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven, a hidden history of Science Fiction and Fantasy, Juliane Kunzendorf, a Rudyard Kipling poem entitled M.I., the influences known or unknown, poetry, exploding with connections, giant spiderwebs, Saki aka H.H. Munro, Sredni Vashtar, twisted, is Jesse crazy?, reincarnation, an otter, a little brown servant boy, a very Indian concept, an alternative Kipling, charged by a cow, a hedgehog, Rumer Godden, going native, fraternizing with everybody, common experience and childhood, Anne Of Green Gables, Craftlit, H.H. Munro story entitled The Storyteller,

An aunt is travelling by train with her two nieces and a nephew. The children are inquisitive and mischievous. A bachelor is also travelling in the same compartment. The aunt starts telling a moralistic story, but is unable to satisfy the children’s curiosity. The bachelor butts in and tells a story in which a “good” person ends up being devoured by a wolf, to the children’s delight. The bachelor is amused by the thought that in the future the children will embarrass their guardian by begging to be told “an improper story.”

the aunt is an exemplar of a certain kind of person, the short term, bad governorship, being sensitive to the needs of the people you are in charge of, inverting the aunt’s story, horribly good, what a great story!, this story could have happened, managing children, a teaching story, thinking about yourself as an audience.

The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling

Posted by Jesse Willis

Review of Fantastic Mr. Fox and Other Stories by Roald Dahl

SFFaudio Review

Fantastic Mr FoxFantastic Mr. Fox and Other Stories
By Roald Dahl; Read by Quentin Blake, Hugh Laurie, Stephen Fry, and Chris O’DowdPublisher: Penguin Audio
Publication Date: September 2013
[UNABRIDGED] – 2 hours, 59 minutes

Themes: / children’s fantasy / short stories / animals /

Publisher Summary:

Fantastic Mr. Fox: Nobody outfoxes Fantastic Mr. Fox! Someone’s been stealing from the three meanest farmers around, and they know the identity of the thief – it’s Fantastic Mr. Fox! Working alone they could never catch him; but now fat Boggis, squat Bunce, and skinny Bean have joined forces, and they have Mr. Fox and his family surrounded. What they don’t know is that they’re not dealing with just any fox – Mr. Fox would rather die than surrender. Only the most fantastic plan can save him now.

Esio Trot: An ancient spell, 140 tortoises, and a little bit of magic…Mr. Hoppy is in love with his neighbor, Mrs. Silver; but she is in love with someone else – Alfie, her pet tortoise. With all her attention focused on Alfie, Mrs. Silver doesn’t even know Mr. Hoppy is alive. And Mr. Hoppy is too shy to even ask Mrs. Silver over for tea. Then one day Mr. Hoppy comes up with a brilliant idea to get Mrs. Silver’s attention. If Mr. Hoppy’s plan works, Mrs. Silver will certainly fall in love with him. After all, everyone knows the way to a woman’s heart is through her tortoise.

The Enormous Crocodile: The Enormous Crocodile is a horrid greedy grumptious brute who loves to guzzle up little boys and girls. But the other animals have had enough of his cunning tricks, so they scheme to get the better of this foul fiend, once and for all!

The Giraffe and The Pelly and Me: Who needs a ladder when you’ve got a giraffe with an extended neck? The Ladderless Window-Cleaning Company certainly doesn’t. They don’t need a pail, either, because they have a pelican with a bucket-sized beak. With a monkey to do the washing and Billy as their manager, this business is destined for success. Now they have their big break – a chance to clean all 677 windows of the Hampshire House, owned by the richest man in all of England! That’s exciting enough, but along the way there are surprises and adventures beyond their wildest window-washing dreams.

This collection of stories written by Roald Dahl contains Fantastic Mr. Fox, Esio Trot, The Enormous Crocodile, and The Giraffe And The Pelly And Me with each story narrated by a different reader. The stories are all highly imaginative and definitely targeted to young children. The stories and their readings are very British, so if that turns you away this may not be the collection for you. Don’t expect deep life lessons in these stories but just some silly fun.

Fantastic Mr. Fox read by Chris O’Dowd – The headline story and my favorite of the bunch. Mr. Fox gets into trouble with 3 mean farmers and has to find some way to save his family! The reading by Chris O’Dowd has great voices and sound effects. I found one or two of the voices mildly irritating but I’m sure kids would love it. Lesson: It’s ok to steal if you’re stealing from mean people to help your family?

Esio Trot read by Geoffrey Palmer – Also an interesting story about a guy who teaches his female neighbor how to speak tortoise and make her tortoise grow. Geoffrey Palmer’s reading was great and he did a great job with the “tortoise language”. If doing audio don’t worry – I’m sure reading this story makes it easier to see what’s going on with the tortoise language but they explain what’s going on shortly after it’s introduced. Lesson: It’s OK to lie to people and mess with their stuff as long as you are trying to pick up a gullible lady.

The Enormous Crocodile read by Stephen Fry – Stephen Fry does a great job with the voices in this story about an enormous crocodile who wants nothing more than to eat children. I thought the story was fun albeit a little disturbing. Lesson: Don’t go around boasting about bad things you plan to do and be surprised when they do something about it. Oh and elephants are strong.

The Giraffe And The Pelly And Me read by Hugh Laurie – This was an odd story about a very unique group of window washers. I only say odd because I didn’t really know where this story was going aside from trying to be quirky; but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Hugh Laurie did some nice voices and even some singing on this one! Lesson: Be awesome at the things you like to do and helping people can lead to good things.

Posted by Tom Schreck

Review of The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar by Roald Dahl

SFFaudio Review

Henry Sugar by Roald DahlThe Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six More
By Roald Dahl; Read by Andrew Scott
Publisher: Penguin Audio
Publication Date: 25 July 2013
[UNABRIDGED] – 7 hours
Listen to an excerpt: | Link |

Themes: / children’s fantasy / short stories / animals / buried treasure / turtles / trains /

Publisher summary:

Meet the boy who can talk to animals and the man who can see with his eyes closed. And find out about the treasure buried deep underground. A cleaver mix of fact and fiction, this collection also includes how master storyteller Roald Dahl became a writer. With Roald Dahl, you can never be sure where reality ends and fantasy begins.

Roald Dahl’s The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar: and six more, is a collection of seven brilliant short stories. Andrew Scott narrates this audio, and I speak true when I say his voice along with Dahl’s words produce a galvanic amalgam of magic intimacy for the ear and mind.

The seven stories are:
* The Boy Who Talked with Animals
* The Hitchhiker
* The Mildenhall Treasure
* The Swan
* The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar
* Lucky Break
* A Piece of Cake.

These are all fine specimen. In “The Boy Who Talked with Animals,” I became spellbound with the plight of the large old turtle on its back as crowds of people gathered close. Maybe it was the idea of a helpless animal being pulled up to the kitchens where the sharp knives waited, but I could sense the immediacy of the old sea turtle’s predicament. As a gauge, this story is good and solid.

The three stories that stole my breath?
* The Mildenhall Treasure
* The Swan
* A Piece of Cake.

Out of these, “The Swan” is reason enough to read this collection. This story is haunting. It lingers in the mind and tied me into knots. Dahl made me taste the hot close breath of the train. It frightened me, and I’m a grown man. When you reach the duck and swan on the water, Dahl’s description is heart-wrenchingly beautiful.

To all the folks at Penguin Audio, “Thank you.” Thank you for getting this right.” Thank you for not cluttering up the tracks with God Damn sentimental music that’s supposed to tell me how and when to feel. Thank you for not mucking about with narrators trying to needlessly inject drama into stories that only require reading, not a performance. Thank you Penguin Audio for doing one of the best production jobs I’ve come across in a while. Sometimes the best ingredients are truly simple, a healthy appetite and a pinch of salt.

Here is an interesting video on the process of recording Dahl’s books:

Posted by Casey Hampton.