The SFFaudio Podcast #680 – READALONG: The Man Who Sold The Moon by Robert A. Heinlein

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #680 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, Maissa Bessada, and Will Emmons talk about The Man Who Sold The Moon by Robert A. Heinlein

Talked about on today’s show:
published in a book, Heinlein almost always renewed his copyrights, no great interior art, boardrooms and offices, spacecrafts and diamonds, Pike’s Peak, Harriman pointing and winking, underground bunker wife, dissemble to his wife (again), the covers, Jesse is not a philatelist, numismatics, Paul’s not keeping up with philately, Brewster’s Millions (1985), Charade (1963), forever stamps, “here’s the extras from my collection, son”, Canada Post, Star Trek, Superman, Captain Canuck, Archibald Lampman, Lawrence Block, when not killing people, grandpas working on it, a moment of history that’s captured, the Apollo 11 launch, here at the blast-off, then you become a famous serial killer, acquires value, a first day cover is infinite cachet, mail fraud, legit fraud, shading the truth, 6+ button, Moka Cola, x-fuel, bribing judges left and right, philatelic stores are done through the mail, a license to print money, has government value, its almost you could pay your taxes in stamps, mostly selling intangibles, TV advertising rights, the actual physical object, it plays an important role, they also forget to put him in, meta-framing, there are no intentions its all Heinlein, Harriman is the stamps, an excuse for him to go to the Moon, he’s been defrauded, he knew what he was doing, Requiem by Robert A. Heinlein, The Man Who Sold The Moon is a prequel to Requiem, his heart is bad, a spit and gumball guy, barnstormers, he gets to the moon and dies on the Moon, maudlin and schmaltz, they bury him on the Moon, an oxygen bottle is his headstones, Robert Louis Stevenson’s grave in Samoa, glad did I live and gladly dive, the hunter home from the hill, TIA (pre-heart attack), Job: A Comedy Of Justice, long pig, Farah Mendlesohn, Home Is The Hunter by Henry Kuttner, Weird Al Yankovic, poingiant, The Green Hills Of Earth, sentimental vs. excessively sentimental, hear the voice of Robert A. Heinlein, what does his voice sound like?, Heinlein with Arthur C. Clarke commenting on Apollo 11, so excited, change the date of humanity, today is the year zero, a Moonbase, Mars, off to the solar system, it did not work out how he wanted, how Elon Musk would like Space X to be, a private space program (not subsidized by the government), why we’re doing this show, billionaires going to so called space, Musk doesn’t go up with his rockets, aptain Kirk in space, a fascinating footnote to history, “I don’t wish any harm to William Shatner”, clapping for celebrities, on the backs of poor people, the government’s involvement is nil, the regulation agency for the fuel and the stamps, the real reason we have space exploration (is military expenditure), commerce and bootstrapping and loans, Space X, their one and oly client (uther than Musk’s side-business) is the government, NASA being defunded, capitalism eating itself, me too companies, Blue Origin/Virgin, not even orbital, extended vomit comet stuff, checkboxing, things to do, a conga-line of people up to Mt. Everest, I went to space, save Maissa’s sensibilities, dickswining, putting Musk at the back of the guillotine line, we will coup whoever we want, he wants to do what he wants to do, Jeff Bezos and the Virgin Guy [Richard Branson], what’s different about the D.D. Harriman like figure of Elon Musk, his wild dreams, he put a car in space, the product that is Elon Musk, you get the product that is him, when you buy a Tesla you buy into a piece of musk, Chevrolet Volt, Teslas everywhere, these other kinds of cars are stupid, electric cars are cooler, D.D. Harriman is not an engineer, dirty tricks, fucks over his wife and partners, right up to mail fraud, the most prosecutable crime, you’re crossing the biggest baddest bitch in the room (the government), people standing around, 12 Angry Men-style, do it in black and white, don’t put out this manifesto in the world, Elon Musk reads this story, he is this story, I got my own emerald mine, PayPal, I’m gonna go to the fuckin’ Moon, that single-mindedness, who do I have to fuck to get this to happen, something deeply sick, a sociopath, who did they get to the American Moon program [Wernher von Braun], the Soviet space program, The Chief Designer by Andy Duncan, Sergei Korolev, Comrade we’re doing Moon program, the sociopath that is the American government, certified denazified, SS tattoos, when NASA had his own rocket program, come look, we’re going to name this one Enterprise, Desilu Studios in the 1960s, Galaxy Quest (1999), you thought Idiocracy (2006) wasnt a true story, Red Plenty, Ascent by Jed Mercurio, a secret history of the Soviet Moon Program, Stalingrad, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, he’s got a camera, he dies on the Moon, that struggle, technical problems that need to be solved, Pike’s Peak is not ideal, Panama or Florida, he lives there, you should launch from near the equator, its not all about the engineering, the technical problems will not happen unless I get the sizzle, leveraging the government, people get inspired to do stuff, 1950/1949, seventy years for that vision to start to come true, a failure of Heinlein’s imagination, an ideology, space might become a frontier in the Cold War, he goes into the newspaper with a hammer and sickle on, that’s the media, the ideology is government is not the solution, purposely bypass, the only purpose of the government is the stamps, government is in the way, let me loose, Musk will not get to space without a contract to service the ISS, the Chinese Russian International space station, oh please private business, not a good Chinese accent, not good to do either accent, fail better, release all of your failures, greatness out of badness, Chris Hadfield, Marc Garneau, The Apollo Murders by Chris Hadfield, he sings/writes/takes picture, never a Mountie, F-16 fighter pilot, Heinlein’s future history, wildly wrong, seventy years later, Canada was created out of a railroad scheme, if we build this railroad, it makes more sense to be late, it makes more sense to be overbudget, government expenditure is the best way to make money always, Contact (1997), Carl Sagan was a bit naive, his big problem in that book was the religious figure, communication from aliens would languish for hundreds of years, The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, leaving government out in an ideological way, squid-like vampire sucking, bribes most judges, why it has hate, powerful and therefore important, this manifesto turned into a movie, The Turner Diaries [by William Luther Pierce], Pallas by L. Neil Smith, corporations colonizing an asteroid, the government is evil bad an corrupt, that’s “freedom”, For All Mankind, Skylab was a sideshow, the alternative to GPS [is “GLONASS”], Russia has a very small GDP and yet they somehow seem to keep their rocket and GPS programs going, tax breaks for the 1%, we’re selling seats on this thing, selling seats on Russian launches, sell-outs, now NASA focuses on probes, what’s cape Canaveral, Maissa saw a Falcon Heavy launch, like a fireball going up into the sky, it was like a sword of the archangel Gabriel, Chris Hadfield’s Wikipedia entry, government propaganda, Canada has plastic money, you can wash your money in the sink, when the government is in control, tests, skills, loyal, I’m gonna hand pick my son, comparatively, I’m going and my brother, did the cowboy hat go up with him, I found these in the stratosphere, 10th birthday party, we’re going to make two corporations, put all the debts onto that company and keep all the assets in this company, to bilk the investors, defraud collectors, defrauds the boy scouts, always be honest, when it really counts fuck anybody, not bragging as much as stating facts, its a real sad thing, the naked horror, going to Mars, ginning up a war with the Martians, another song reference, not much of a Rocket Man, the Moon can control the Earth, Musk’s dream of Mars, Musk has made a big dent in the world, the guillotine party, give him some ice cream, somewhat mitigated badness, an earnest desire for extension, the Moses reference was telling and touching, dialing in the prophecy, Moses is denied the promised land, the Post Office was God, a very strange interpretation, it kinda fits, Butler, Missouri, religious fanaticism, a more sympathetic character, Musk is all me me me but he still hasn’t gone to space, a one way mission to Mars, The Marching Morons by C.M. Kornbluth, a lot of dummies, depressive and pessimistic, not good in two ways, a lot of people think it is real, Beggars In Spain by Nancy Kress is a troubling book, like Ayn Rand but more current, super-evil, people who are just better than you, a “Fans are Slans” style story, special people, this mass of black or white people who need to die, Hitler’s manifesto book, the argument that it makes is what makes it evil, what’s cool about the X-Men, Magneto and The League Of Evil Mutants, its a fantasy, if you have brain you need to sleep, they’re more elite than you, they studied harder than you, Justin Trudeau’s 1.2 million dollar trust fund, face-painting costume, gets to be prime minister when his dad dies, novels vs. novellas, Our Opinions Are Correct: “Heinlein is turgid”, this novel, you should just read Scalzi, women would be present, Harriman’s wife, couldn’t give Harriman a baby, lives in Colorado, just the Heinlein story, Heinlein’s infertility, Friday, To Sail Beyond The Sunset, ret-con, I’m not really sexist, standard Heinlein, very incestuous, rehabilitates Harriman’s story, she’s not important to this story, how important the Post Office, don’t go against the government interest, you can use the Soviets as a whipping tool to et the media, a military industrial complex vs. a space industrial complex, Ospreys and F-22s, “defense”, you can sell people on fear, the commies in Russia today, China wants to take Taiwan, the Alpha Centurians are stealing our precious bodily fluids, space fear, the Coca Cola corporation, Dr. Strangelove (1964), another novel, Firestar by Michael Flynn, female entrepreneur capitalist, Elon Musk but not as evil, Flynn’s views on education, a shooting star, the comet would be good at this point, a dinosaur apocalypse is needed, digitize it and get it up to the moon, NFTs, bitcoin is currency, pre-orders equal love, the character’s supposed to be sympathetic, space space space, fighting in the Balkans, quasi-libertarian is (mostly) evil, in the 90s Paul’s politics were not as enlightened as now, public schools vs. private schools, save a few, no offense, some offense, slap in the face no offense, we need to face facts, this has been a blueprint for people, echoes with what’s going on, what other books are lurking effecting people’s reality, some phenomenon happening on the earth, Asimovs and Heinleins, Bezos vs. Musk, I gotta focus on my plan, set up a Foundation somewhere, Paul Krugman thinks he’s Hari Seldon, I’m a psycho (historian), too good for Jesse, Sir there’s somebody waiting to see you, a historical setting, Overlord (2018), tell me a lie story, who has women in their space program?, the Soviets, part of their ideology is women ARE equal, team human, Mary Robinette Kowal’s Lady Astronaut series, the Mercury 13, what if we weren’t super sexist?, a country that has to turn less sexist, Luke Burrage’s SCIENCE FICTION BOOK REVIEW PODCAST review of The Calculating Stars, the Nazis didn’t want women fighting, making strudel and soldiers, not caring about certain facts about ballistics, how many stages the rockets needs to be, recycling the capsule from a previous rocket, designing the capsule for the lifting device, Musk’s plan, a fuel tank with a little spaceship on the end, get this, this story was written before the actual Moon program, whether the fuel will ignite from gamma rays, how can we not care about those details, Heinlein cared so much he kinda made it happen, John F. Kennedy was trying to direct the military industrial complex into an Olympics style competition, for all mankind, now there’s a Space Force, the instincts to restrain insanity have gone away, more and more in the Harriman situation, the 1967 Outer Space Treaty, the Law Of The Seas, the Americans never ratify, a Dutchman named Hugo Grotius, why don’t we just be tolerant?, no torturing people, that’s all gone now, public schools are terrible, Jesse a nihilist, human civilization, asteroid/meteor/comet, When Worlds Collide, Rogue Planet, not focusing on the ballistics?, Jesse prefers to read books that are out of print?, public domain, [is Jesse an obscurantist?], gotta winnow, Will’s initial Heinlein journey, a deathmarch?, stop doing that, he’s got the goods, The Star Beast, would D.D. Harriman sell N.F.T.s, what wouldn’t he do to get to the Moon?, he wouldn’t break his word to a person, personal loan, personal honor, down the slippery slope lying road, skirting that line, NFTs are a scam, Tulipmania, Odo and Quark, Jesse doesn’t Grok what its about, you should sell some SFFaudio listener NFT, Philip K. Dick drawings NFTs?, the motivation is the mistake, an artificial scarcity, not for hateful means, the Kingdom of Redonda, M.P. Shiel was crowned King of Rednoda as a boy, this rapist plagiarist, its a scam that has legs, pretty sure these are NFTs, Vincent Price as a lord of Redonda, basically NFTs could be anything, software license keys, why do we want that?, infinitely replicable, why do we want to make it scarce, Substack will integrate NFTs, a technology that we don’t have a use for, your password for your account, the jpegs are largely useless proof of concepts, etherium wallet, software should be free, digital clothing for their avatars, PUBG, a book takes paper, sewing, glue, and trucks, stupid and wrong and evil, Elon Musk needs lithium for his car batteries not because he likes couping people, the purity of the goal, Bezos’s pure goal is *ME*, the people climbing Everest, me shaking Obama’s hand, flying back to Kathmandu, helicopter rides for everybody, why Shatner going to space is a marker as a society, government control of how we spend and communicate, the jpg thing is ridiculous.

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The SFFaudio Podcast #511 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: The Canal by Everil Worrell

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #511 – The Canal by Everil Worrell; read by Wayne June. This is an unabridged reading of the short story (53 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Paul Weimer, Mr Jim Moon, and Wayne June

Talked about on today’s show:
Weird Tales, December 1927, a vampire story, H.P. Lovecraft, an alternative version of the story’s ending, dynamite vs. a wooden sword, Wikisource, The James Dickey, white caps on the canal, low key, that bitch is getting it, where’s the dynamite?, no secret cavern only opened by a , have I got dementia?, the April 1935 reprint, the Night Gallery half hour TV adaptation, fix Skype, Leonard Nimoy’s directorial debut, shooting day for night, very dream like, 1960s westerns, as bright as daylight, Lesley Ann Warren smokin’ hot, so sexually provocative, her middle name is cleavage, drunk this other dude, red bedspread, evoking the attraction, essentially a skeleton, a heart shaped face, she’s bony, a very well written student, the amount of poetic techniques she uses, super-high level, I didn’t intend that to be poetry, writing a very long suicide note, all these ppp sounds, repetition, the last ravings of a madman, the thing I shall have done, where did the changes come from?, her father has a giant stake, stab me with your giant wooden stake, that’s a lot of symbolism there, do we think that Everil Worrel made those changes?, the whole heroic aspect, in one fell swoop, drama, toned down, beef up the ending?, paid by the word, a Hollwood Blockbuster ending, the camp invasion, bitten by rats, he’s killing everybody, do all the people in the camp die?, infected, he’s a little hard to follow, everybody’s going to die, whoever did this was a monster, a cargo of death, when she first became the thing she is, expiation, redemption, atonement, a very Catholic Christian religious word, it isn’t so much about the girl, the narrator is very Lovecraftian, he loves to be alone, not afraid to being hanging out alone in the dark, meditating in graveyards, night walks, driving out to the countryside, in Paris?, along its left bank?, every canal has a left bank (and a right bank too), fallen into disuse, the River Walk in San Antonio, “Morton”, Hyacinth is slightly better than Lily, she’s telepathic, his name is “Ron”, fishmongers, easier to fit into a half hour, some of the leaps, the 1927 illustration by Hugh Rankin, grease-pencil, a flapper haircut, a dance move, giant bats, “Loathsome shapes flapped through the night along the way that led to the pleasure camps.”, a roadster, a motorboat, early fall?, he’s already got a whole lifestyle going, that smell, what’s going on with the dilapidated buildings, these aren’t gypsies exactly, a recreational thing?, a portable brothel?, pleasure is a weird word, “She’s a vampire. A vampire!, VAMPIRES!”, the storm had a rock hit him in the head, feasting, the more minimal ending, we have to infer how she got there, she commands him to carry her, my father is deaf and he sleeps soundly, metaphors, he sleeps by night, not lying, you sleep soundly, a pique in my voice, always at different times, on guard, she ate a child, the father has to kill her, the father’s story, maybe the father died after?, imagining the backstory, lonely places, she’s an attraction he’d never felt before, a mossy gravestone, did the father invent all that?, global pandemic, I’ve read Dracula, Anno Dracula by Kim Newman, making explicit, one of the few vampire stories in which the narrator is familiar with vampire fiction, running water, the rules, meta-context, genre saavy, two different subgengres, a Robert E. Howard ending, the shorter version is rather Edgar Allan Poe like, which did Lovecraft read, a strong echo of Hypnos and The Hound, one is enthralled to another, ending in the night side of the city, where the nice people don’t go, so many echoes, a city at night, Fungi From Yuggoth was written in December 1929 to early 1930, The Call Of Cthulhu, maybe August Derleth “improved” it, The Grove of Ashtaroth by John Buchan, Dagon, the plunger, the plunger!, not better, more poignant, pointy sword, why is he carrying around a wooden sword?, the wooden sword, decapitated with a Bowie knife, a fudge between the two, The Canal by H.P. Lovecraft, January 1938, Somewhere in dream there is an evil place

Where tall, deserted buildings crowd along
A deep, black, narrow channel, reeking strong
Of frightful things whence oily currents race.
Lanes with old walls half meeting overhead
Wind off to streets one may or may not know,
And feeble moonlight sheds a spectral glow
Over long rows of windows, dark and dead.

There are no footfalls, and the one soft sound
Is of the oily water as it glides
Under stone bridges, and along the sides
Of its deep flume, to some vague ocean bound.
None lives to tell when that stream washed away
Its dream-lost region from the world of clay.

oil, inspired by Worrell, there’s no vampire lady, more architecture based than lady based, less Poey than Frank Lloyd Wrighty, no trace of oil, an image you would think of, like scum, mental oil, Richard Corben’s adaptation of Lovecraft’s The Canal, a mystery city, The Music Of Eric Zann, these mystery cities, a great name for a guy who loves death, poems with this imagery, a river, a canal, or a stream, What The Moon Brings, I hate the moon, The Nightmare Lake, the corpse of a god, a tarn, so brutal, the slime beneath the unmoving waters of the canal, a slimy muddy expanse, The Crawling Chaos, his horror nightmares, The Night Ocean by R.H. Barlow and H.P. Lovecraft, to rest a weary mind, the same psychology, The Lake, the most wondrous delight, which version, from Tamarlane And Other Poems,

In youth’s spring, it was my lot
To haunt of the wide earth a spot
The which I could not love the less;
So lovely was the loneliness
Of a wild lake, with black rock bound.
And the tall pines that tower’d around.
But when the night had thrown her pall
Upon that spot — as upon all,
And the wind would pass me by
In its stilly melody,
My infant spirit would awake
To the terror of the lone lake.
Yet that terror was not fright —
But a tremulous delight,
And a feeling undefin’d,
Springing from a darken’d mind.
Death was in that poison’d wave
And in its gulf a fitting grave
For him who thence could solace bring
To his dark imagining;
Whose wild’ring thought could even make
An Eden of that dim lake.

almost not dark enough to be Poe until the last quarter, a children’s book of Poe’s poems for children, Annabelle Lee, The Loved Dead, a ghostly couple hovering over that lake, two ghosts rather than one, place and fate, I could care less, which vs. witch, under a spell, wild bewildering, bound, Archibald Lampman, multi-valence, bound = tied up = springing = the boundary, this is a suicide note, his youngest young, solace homophone with soul-less, a very Poe poem, the horror of existence, the tremulous delight, that’s night fright or cold, that’s excitement, an amazing suicide note to give to kids to read, all the virtues of suicide, parent teacher meetings, no suicides yet, keeping things in the open, sometimes people go nuts, you need to talk to a doctor, the May 1953 issue of Weird Tales has a letter from Everil Worrell saying how much she enjoyed Lovecraft’s writing, The Supreme Witch, Slime is terrific, cosmic and spatial about the dark ocean, Mary Elizabeth Counselman, The Raft, The Egyptian, The Dream Merchant, agree with Lovecraft’s detractors, Lovecraft vocabulary, “foul mephitic vapours”, horrific ululations, it wasn’t so much Lovecraft did but how he did it, a really good mom, you can be a horrible monster loving graveyard sniffing weirdo and also be a good mom, it gives Wayne hope, you’re going to love The Loved Dead, such a delight to read, so extreme, its not going to show you, on the corpse board, and he’s a serial killer too, Kissed (1996), We So Seldom Look On Love, a tasteful necrophiliac film, actors to play the corpses, a letter story from a 13 year old girl, in love with the corpses, freaky deaky, everybody needs some body to love, the puns about necrophilia.

The Canal by Everil Worrell - Illustrated by Hugh Rankin

NIGHT GALLERY Death On A Barge

Posted by Jesse Willis

Reading, Short And Deep #156 – Voices of Earth by Archibald Lampman

Podcast

Reading, Short And DeepReading, Short And Deep #156

Eric S. Rabkin and Jesse Willis discuss Voices of Earth by Archibald Lampman

Here’s a link to a PDF of the poem.

Voices of Earth was probably first published in 1900.

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

Posted by Scott D. Danielson

The SFFaudio Podcast #486 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: The City Of The End Of Things by Archibald Lampman

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #486 –The City Of The End Of Things by Archibald Lampman; read by Mr Jim Moon. This is an unabridged reading of the poem (5 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Mr Jim Moon, and Prof. Eric S. Rabkin.

Talked about on today’s show:
Jesse goes crazy, this guy’s amazing!, unheard of, earlier and later weird poetry, Ezra Pound and T.S. Elliot, the poems of Clark Ashton Smith, child prodigy out of California writes amazing poetry!, Hamilton, poetry without music isn’t mainstream anymore, rhyme and verbal invention, evolutionarily pro-adaptive, mate-getting and gene replication, fashion, Dr. Bowdler’s Legacy, Sir Walter Scott, immoral novels, flat-chested sexy women, enormously mammary sexy women, almost perfect rhyme and rhythm, doggerel, Alexander Pope, the Canadian Keats, romantic poetry, William Wordsworth, Archibald Lampman on twitter: @alampman, H.P. Lovecraft, almost Lovecraftian, cosmicism, a dream poem, A Thunderstorm, multi-valent meaning, depths, circles, 1894, multiple ways to understand,

BESIDE the pounding cataracts
Of midnight streams unknown to us,
’T is builded in the dismal tracts
And valleys huge of Tartarus.
Lurid and lofty and vast it seems;
It hath no rounded name that rings,
But I have heard it called in dreams
The City of the End of Things.

Its roofs and iron towers have grown
None knoweth how high within the night,
But in its murky streets far down
A flaming terrible and bright
Shakes all the stalking shadows there,
Across the walls, across the floors,
And shifts upon the upper air
From out a thousand furnace doors;
And all the while an awful sound
Keeps roaring on continually,
And crashes in the ceaseless round
Of a gigantic harmony.
Through its grim depths reëchoing,
And all its weary height of walls,
With measured roar and iron ring,
The inhuman music lifts and falls.
Where no thing rests and no man is,
And only fire and night hold sway,
The beat, the thunder, and the hiss
Cease not, and change not, night nor day.

lurid night, end of days, a Dying Earth story, an automated factory, a city at the end of time, post humanity, the end of things we have made, at the end of the concept of things (manufacture and industry), bursting with different ways of looking, a Canadian Shelley, “hail to thee blithe spirit”, Ozymandias, the works of man, creation, what does the first “of” mean, the telos of things, removing humanity, leafless vs. dismal, sonorous description, murky, flaming, what does this presage?, “wandering lonely as a cloud”, the creations of man persisting, leafless tracts, lands with no leaves, books without pages, making decisions, this is a fantasy or this is a science fiction, dreams as vision, genre distinctions, Edgar Allan Poe, Dreamland, “bottomless vales”, pastoral Gothic bound in human emotion, looking forward, shadows echoes, rings and rounded, the end of a cycle, a nadir, the end of a phase, the poem is the city, the poem becomes the city, “unknown to us”, fore and aft in time, adjective vs. adverb, multiple meanings, once we “see”, a derivative meaning of cataracts, waterfall, extraordinary! extraordinary!, referring to himself, putting in vs. allowing in, this city has no name, it hath no rounded name, “Megacity 422”, a sense of gears turning, verticality and depth, this could be a clock (except for all the fire), foundry factory, uninhabitable, seeing this as astronomy, the music of the spheres, an awful sound (full of awe for us), what is a rounded name? Bubbles, Radar, the fixed stars, wandering planets, the Earth, a sublunary place, in addition, none know it now, set in Hell, Tartarus, the “Titan Woods” in Dreamland, a place and a being, Chaos and Gaia, Hesiod, an area in Hades, defeated titans, imprisoned cyclopes, the Gold, Silver, Brass, and Iron ages, the heat death of the universe, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, an absent sun, the end of the industrial world, philosophical depths, how is a height weary?, The Machine Stops by E.M. Forster, Kubla Khan; or, A Vision in a Dream: A Fragment, The Time Machine by H.G. Wells, the hell of the mechanized underworld, and the garden above (until the night comes),

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-dome decree:
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man
Down to a sunless sea.
So twice five miles of fertile ground
With walls and towers were girdled round;
And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills,
Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree;
And here were forests ancient as the hills,
Enfolding sunny spots of greenery.

sunlights and blossoms, a dream interrupted, a river ringing the city of the end of things is Omega,

And moving at unheard commands,
The abysses and vast fires between,
Flit figures that, with clanking hands,
Obey a hideous routine.
They are not flesh, they are not bone,
They see not with the human eye,
And from their iron lips is blown
A dreadful and monotonous cry.
And whoso of our mortal race
Should find that city unaware,
Lean Death would smite him face to face,
And blanch him with its venomed air;
Or, caught by the terrific spell,
Each thread of memory snapped and cut,
His soul would shrivel, and its shell
Go rattling like an empty nut.

It was not always so, but once,
In days that no man thinks upon,
Fair voices echoed from its stones,
The light above it leaped and shone.
Once there were multitudes of men
That built that city in their pride,
Until its might was made, and then
They withered, age by age, and died;
And now of that prodigious race
Three only in an iron tower,
Set like carved idols face to face,
Remain the masters of its power;
And at the city gate a fourth,
Gigantic and with dreadful eyes,
Sits looking toward the lightless north,
Beyond the reach of memories:
Fast-rooted to the lurid floor,
A bulk that never moves a jot,
In his pale body dwells no more
Or mind or soul,—an idiot!

ITS ROBOTS!, Hephaestus, automaton owls, iron lips, warehouses, dump truck, the garbage truck, automated sounds, metaphorizing the pieces of the machine, exquisite control of language, imabic tetrameter, that empty nut, a prelapsarian time, the mechanized is ultimately the problem, mysterious, people built this city, now they’re dead except for three, Jesse’s illustration, a nightmare vision, the controllers of the city?, a fourth, Dreams Of Yith by Duane W. Rimel and H.P. Lovecraft, The Night Land by William Hope Hodgson, the huge sentinel, an insane person (a nut case), vapid empty mindlessness, trapped in the iron tower, prisoners, The Technological Society by Jacques Ellul, the citizen who does not participate, the three and the one, we’ve done this to ourselves, human perfection as an oxymoron, mortal races, who did the setting?, an exclusion, the idiot remains,

But some time in the end those three
Shall perish and their hands be still,
And with the masters’ touch shall flee
Their incommunicable skill.
A stillness, absolute as death,
Along the slacking wheels shall lie,
And, flagging at a single breath,
The fires shall smoulder out and die.
The roar shall vanish at its height,
And over that tremendous town
The silence of eternal night
Shall gather close and settle down.
All its grim grandeur, tower and hall,
Shall be abandoned utterly,
And into rust and dust shall fall
From century to century.
Nor ever living thing shall grow,
Or trunk of tree or blade of grass;
No drop shall fall, no wind shall blow,
Nor sound of any foot shall pass.
Alone of its accurséd state
One thing the hand of Time shall spare,
For the grim Idiot at the gate
Is deathless and eternal there!

who is this grim idiot?, idiom, Time, Lean Death, playing VR games, are they the masters?, master’s, Voices Of Earth, the mechanism underneath everything, the physics underneath reality, if this is all metaphor…, emojis that look like you, emoticons, technology, part of the reason to have poetry: to communicate the incommunicable, “grim”, a haunting spirit, “the graveyard grims” giant spectral hounds that guarded cemeteries, the wheel, the Hell turns off, a science fiction poem, The Valley Of Unrest by Edgar Allan Poe,

Once it smiled a silent dell
Where the people did not dwell;
They had gone unto the wars,
Trusting to the mild-eyed stars,
Nightly, from their azure towers,
To keep watch above the flowers,
In the midst of which all day
The red sun-light lazily lay.
Now each visitor shall confess
The sad valley’s restlessness.
Nothing there is motionless —
Nothing save the airs that brood
Over the magic solitude.
Ah, by no wind are stirred those trees
That palpitate like the chill seas
Around the misty Hebrides!
Ah, by no wind those clouds are driven
That rustle through the unquiet Heaven
Uneasily, from morn till even,
Over the violets there that lie
In myriad types of the human eye —
Over three lilies there that wave
And weep above a nameless grave!
They wave: — from out their fragrant tops
Eternal dews come down in drops.
They weep: — from off their delicate stems
Perennial tears descend in gems.

Reading, Short And Deep, But who Can Replace A Man? by Brian Aldiss, a missing piece of the puzzle from the dialogue of science fiction and fantasy, City Of The Titans, City At The Edge Of Forever by Harlan Ellison, an anthology of Victorian verse, The Atlantic Monthly, March 1894, the praise of Lampman as a nature poet, The City by Ray Bradbury, inimical to man, There Will Come Soft Rains by Ray Bradbury, Sara Teasdale’s There Will Come Soft Rains, WWI,

There will come soft rains and the smell of the ground,
And swallows circling with their shimmering sound;

And frogs in the pools singing at night,
And wild plum-trees in tremulous white;

Robins will wear their feathery fire
Whistling their whims on a low fence-wire;

And not one will know of the war, not one
Will care at last when it is done.

Not one would mind, neither bird nor tree
If mankind perished utterly;

And Spring herself, when she woke at dawn,
Would scarcely know that we were gone.

we are very dangerous for ourselves, a poet who should not be forgotten, the scholarship, so many layers, its marvelous, repeating words strategically, the theme being revealed, such a deep feeling for what it is that he’s about.

The City OF The End Of Things

Posted by Jesse Willis

Reading, Short And Deep #131 – A Thunderstorm by Archibald Lampman

Podcast

Reading, Short And DeepReading, Short And Deep #131

Eric S. Rabkin and Jesse Willis discuss A Thunderstorm by Archibald Lampman.

Here’s a link to a PDF of the poem.

A Thunderstorm was probably first published in The Poems of Archibald Lampman, 1900.

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

Posted by Scott D. Danielson