The SFFaudio Podcast #663 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: Murder In The Gunroom by H. Beam Piper

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #663 – Murder In The Gunroom by H. Beam Piper – read by Anthony Wilson. This is a complete and unabridged reading of the novel (6 hours 46 Minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Paul Weimer and Trish E. Matson.

Talked about on today’s show:
1953, a dedication, Colonel Henry W. Shoemaker, WWII, 1947, post-WWII, German stuff, The Prisoner, the mind-switching, consciousness swapping vs. body swapping, heil, the US is going crazy right now, Shicklegruber’s war, ink stained, Corporal Kavalein, an insufflator, m’god sarge, lousy with prints, half the wehrmacht, war crimes commission, if published today, the sting or the bite, historical novels, references, half of average readers, The Hill’s Rising with Ryan Grim explaining how WWII worked, the reason we fought WWII, the Russians did that, ignorance of history is ubiquitous, Civilization games, nobody knows all of Egyptian history, nobody can keep up, recording, She Who Became the Sun by Shelley Parker-Chan, the Mongol dynasty in China, two ways of reading this book, a locked room mystery book, Agatha Christie style, its a cozy, Rex Stout’s Nero Wolfe mysteries, his first novel, more about firearms than it is about mysteries, poisons, all Christie does is poisons, a WWI nurse, medicines are poisons, a slow acting agent, gun collecting, a setup for a series, a business owner vs. a private detective, the exception that will always happen, detectives who work for him, posing as a butler, more Rex Stouty or Nero Wolfey, amateur detectives, Miss Marple, Poirot, as a detective mystery novel, locked room mysteries, know who the murderer a page before, playing a game with the author, a good writer can pull it off for the reader, Murder By Death (1976), a game you play solo, a historical document of 1947, a window into time, reading books like this is understanding 1947 in no other way, three major things going on, smoking, they must all stink so bad, drinking, how much of an alcoholic are you?, a nymphomaniac and a dipsomaniac, guns, the subset of people involved, a stamp collecting society, what person would us a collectible stamp, hence it was the butler, Charade (1963), Randall Garrett’s Napoli Express, a massive conspiracy by everyone, The Orient Express, equal reason to keep silent, having fun, self-parody, Jesse has the science on spoilers, some people don’t believe in science, masterfully handled for a first novel, digressions, sociological societies, less than 7 hours, a science fiction writer, they’re all him, what Piper’s life actually was like, was his first name Horace?, co-authored Piper’s first publication, Army intelligence guy, killed some Nazis, a stand in for Shoemaker, only pistols, the evolution of the pistol, the crooked arms merchant named Price?, Rivers, Lord Rivers, Richard III, creative about their backstories, a foreign dignitary, Pennsylvania history and folklore, marrying to wealth, railroad company, hanging out with a gun collector, bachelor, hanging out in the gunroom, why his name is in the dedication, why this colonel gets a colonelcy, a gentlemanly thing to do, Rand seems to not want to lie, misleading vs. lying, approaching with one of his many hats, general semantics, World Of Null-A by A.E. van Vogt, a lot of Aristotle or Aristotelian thinking, its bullshit, important for Piper, use this method and you will be able to solve this mystery, more was than is, Alfred Korzybski, whatever them is, social and personal problems solvable, a messianic flavour, the one true way, dismissed in the 1960s, Science And Sanity An Introduction To Non-Aristotelian Systems, a plenum of some values, academic speak for I don’t know what I’m talking about, trying to make this a general semantics mystery novel, since that’s what the book is about, example: the word “unicorn”, it has a little beard, it smells nice, it has cloven hooves, vampire, a pejorative, a mythical creature, a bat from South American, in you images are conjured up that we should care about and try to understand, writing some kind of hobbyhorse, you can read it as a straight mystery, a lot of Rand’s detection starts with a lot of assumptions, he’s objectively correct in his universe, talking about the client, he judges her to be worthy, Tri-State Detective Agency, Jefferson Davis Rand, Ayn Rand + Jefferson Davis, some very American things going on, some guns, the NRA all over this, that’s investigation isn’t it, totally unbelievable, Gladys Fleming, the principles of general semantics, an untenable position, she’s a good chess player, when he’s talking to the science fiction author, I write for Astonishing Stories, don’t worry about the title (its just traditional), in 1947 Piper is not a known Science Fiction writer, useful for plotting, reading Astounding, John W. Campbell, this Dianetics is terrific!, this must be true!, too deep in the subject and not enough skepticism, S.I. Hayakawa, so practical and smart, the assessment of the gun estate, the executrix, the lawyer, being setup, its all right, super-competent, almost Heinleinian, not smarmy where a Heinleinian superman, technically bulletproof, carrying two pistols around randomly, this is also how he died, suicide, a strange echo, he would have written a note, Jesse’s general semantics hat, “gun violence”, he violently combed his mustache, he violently pet his dog, target shooting as violence, hunting animals, “putting to sleep”, euphemisms control our minds, conjuring up images of school shootings, homicides of other people, having access to firearms, completely natural, the parallels between H. Beam Piper and Robert E. Howard, the world does not cater to being a professional writer, losing their mothers, not a good industry, Weird Tales was not on a great financial footing, the paperback market, co-authorship, smoke or drink themselves to death, a lubrication to suicide, the oily rag, homicide of the self, brain fodder, a foreshadow, human beings seem to be the only animals prone to suicide, reach out and get help, a touchy and untalked about subject, a bad theory, Jim Jones’s thing, Heaven’s Gate, the connection between self-image and suicide, an absolute gentleman, an unmarried man’s man, the dream of H. Beam Piper, kind to widows, appreciating a woman who knows how to handle a firearm, turning down money and jobs at will, keep some shred of dignity, bachelor life vs. married life, irreconcilable, Nero Wolfe likes to play with his orchids, he’s rude, Archie Goodwin, ice cream, beer, the cozy aspect, hanging out with a Mary Sue character, the author is playing fair, going to Rivers’ shop, blackmail or coerce, trigger to the plot, seeing inside his head after a scene happens, not a plotting mistake, how well put together this plot is, monologues about guns, a huge audience for guns, goodreads reviews, a temporary problem on LibriVox, HOW. DARE. YOU., how to turn dropbox mp3s into a podcast HuffDuffer.com), thinking about this question, eliding gives a false image of the past, Overlord (2018), a black sergeant commanding white US Airborne soldiers, representation, Jews and Indians, a lot of what happens in fiction is idealization, private detectives do exist, an armoured car guy, the pre-mix, the corporate shenanigans, insider trading, a conflict of interest, very realistic, the relationship to the cops, the class stuff, the replacement butler, colleagues and friends with the boss, black people in this book, the whole thing is a fantasy, a reality for some people, hanging out with rich people -> rich people problems, fantasy situations, a very meta-book, one and done, Star Trek: Deep Space NineOur Man Bashir“, a holodeck adventure, Bashir’s cover identity is a rich playboy, more fun to write about a country house mystery, a cozy, the deep underbelly, Mike Hammer, hard-boiled, James Bond in the movies, Roger Moore is always smirking, a comedy in essence, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Renfaires have no mud farmers, pick your fantasy world, a brightly coloured disease free Renaissance, gay space communism, Carrie Vaughn’s Questland, a Dreampark scenario, the great appeal of Westworld, we get to dwell with the workers, the elites who rape and kill and swagger, sickos who wanna live there, treating what are essentially human beings as objects, getting into these metastories, general semantics will not get us out of WWIII, a little bit of perspective, letting shows peter-out…

Murder In The Gunroom by H. Beam Piper

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The SFFaudio Podcast #661 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: Mr. Adam by Pat Frank

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #661 – Mr. Adam by Pat Frank – read by Evan Lampe. This is a complete and unabridged reading of the novel (5 hours 41 Minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants include Jesse, Evan Lampe and Will Emmons.

Talked about on today’s show:
1946, a serious problem with your narration, obstetrician, editing, who was what voice, Alas, Babylon, dulcet tones, well suited for Evan, like a pervert, the attitude of the newspaperman, an affinity between Mr. Smith and Mr. Lampe, hitting the humour notes right, say something bad, an amateur narration, speed of narration, garbled here and there, was it LibriVox quality?, a very fine job, Evan’s nexty, Prince Alberic And the Snake Lady by Vernon Lee, teaching from home, a short and serious lockdown in China, the extended Spring Festival, you seem to be good at talking, how big Pat Frank was, a supposition, he’s talking about stuff happening in 1946, their field rank being swapped back to original rank, Eisenhower was a Colonel before being a 5 star general, this new civilian period, the U.S. war effort, as soon as the war is over they’re bickering again, an armed forces services edition, a cool collectible book, shirt flap, Lovecraft in armed services edition, donate books to soldiers and sailors, what you really need is a book, most people didn’t come home right away, a mid-20th century author, speaking to the baby boomer producers, how horny they are, I’m gonna plow my wife so hard I’m going to make fifty babies, a funny book, what happens after WWII is a huge boom in paperbacks, by the 1960s publishers have cottoned on the paperbacks, they don’t have USO shows every day, why we don’t have as much interest in paperbacks today, this legacy of shoving a book in your pocket and clip of ammo for your M1 Garand, Jeeps, Wrigley’s Chewing Gum, the ration pack, chocolate bars, American cheese, WWI, Spam for Korea, a delicacy in Korea, creating whole industries, how theaters survive today, “gold rush”, the new bureaucracy, a pressing governmental concern, New Deal programs, NRP, AI Day, D-Day, a satire but realistic, a tragi-comedy, a tragedy of bureaucracy, a happy ending, he sterilizes himself, I didn’t see that coming, the pickles and the eggs, Marge, seaweed, so funny, a big joke, what happens to Homer Adam is pretty dark, he didn’t castrate himself, JC’s ideology, some importance, dose your husband, the events of the story are very compressed, on the slugline, the dateline, the placeline, you have to be on this committee, its all a metaphor, the Soviets have two Mongolians, heady stuff, he’s a subversion, the last virile man is shy and gangly, loyal to his wife, interested in archaeology, neat and tidy ending, not a very science fictiony thing, they did this book wrong, he needed to continue the incompetence and stupidity, the Arthur Jermyn / White Ape way, the H.P. Lovecraft story, She by H. Rider Haggard, Allan’s Wife, strategic gorilla reserve, monkeys mating with their wives, a pipesmoking silverback gorilla with his great grandmother in the room, Planet Of The Apes, an under-explored element, the racial component, Genghis Khan, Yellow Peril, the blacks don’t want to be excluded, the settlement, are the women are willing to have Mongolian babies, female perspectives in the novel, all the women want is babies, untermenschen, a sexist book, Marissa’s or Maissa’s take on the book, everybody is really comical, farce, a child named after Eleanor Roosevelt, P. Schuyler Miller’s review from Astounding, May 1948, just another dirty book, a joyous satire, just plain fun, where’s the breeding?, I kept expecting the breeding to start, it doesn’t dwell in the place Science Fiction dwells, siblings or half siblings, a lot of older women, you better hurry, half brothers and half sisters, Homer Adam’s kid is a girl, a problem for the plot and the planet, its dealt with as premise to show off the idea of bureaucracy being incompetent in peacetime, the execution is not science fiction, speculative fiction, this is not really Science Fiction, a reddit thread, a super-dated commentary on the baby boom, it doesn’t go anywhere, a timely book whose time has passed, Catch-22, bureaucracy nightmare, bombing raids, the disincentive to keep going is to get killed, daylight bombing raids, if the crew has solidarity, changing the rules mid-stream, longer legs, the Vietnam War, a second tour, the legacy of WWII’s draft service, 1973, Nixon’s second term, endless wars now, victory gardens, a volunteer force allows permanent war, pre-modern wars, summer wars with tiny armies, unified front during the war, social groups, labour unions, a strikewave, securities collapsed, the CIO and AFofL, a wholly capitalistic world, Greece’s long record of service to mankind, special pleading, international affairs, a new world order, given to the U.N., Mr. Adam is a metaphor for the atomic bomb (MR. ATOM), the USA has an A-BOMB, the BOMARC missile crisis, medium range ballistic missiles without the nukes, too efficient in killing people, before the novel started there’d already been a nuclear accident before Mississippi, no fallout except for actual fallout, getting rid of nukes, How To Survive The H-Bomb And Why by Pat Frank, a reporter, the Office of War Information (aka propaganda), cynicism and absurdity, his science is terrible, radiation traveled at the speed of light across the planet except for one guy in one mine?, other apocalyptic novels, he doesn’t really care about the science, not a tear is shed, a scarce resource being seized by the government, a funny little thing about reproduction, his characterization of women is hilarious, his charity towards men, not a dirty book, “Mr. Adam was wanted by every woman in the world”, women don’t care who the father is, women need to be more careful about their men, women have to hold a tighter rein over their men, what male or female motivation is, women like babies and men want to be fathers, cuckolding the entire planet, I’m a proud father of 6 red headed boys, a caricature of humans, in this zone of comedy, such a breezy fun book, Smith Field is mentioned 20 times, the narrator’s fantasy bed, built for lazy living, a refrigerator and bar, things happen on Smith field, the radio, boogie-woogie, weird geography in Smith Field, domestic geography, stay in bed all day gambling, when Mr Adam is lying in his new residence, his feet hang off the edge, if I were in his position I would want to do something about it, why don’t we have a refrigerator next to our bed?, Transylvania, a contemporary news thing, England asks for aid, traditional American sportsmanship, a final solution to the question of Transylvania, when Marge is preggers, the Transylvania question, Trump or Covid, the domestic issues, more than just seaweed, of too vital of importance , the secret of Thompson’s Tonic, dynamite is nukes, Gregg Margarite, during the ’80s he built giant surrogate penises for Ronald Reagan, stuff that could be happening today, if a lot of new hospitals had been built, a very skilled writer, fighting in Palestine, China, Burma, Syria, the setup for the whole book, literally in the news this week, the long legs of his wife, a serious problem you shouldn’t take too seriously, pretty funny stuff, a really funny book, Alas, Babylon, a military presence in Lebanon, space supremacy, food from third world countries, Playhouse 90, Burt Reynolds, Stephen King’s The Stand, trusting S.T. Joshi, great book, had it more science fiction ideas…, who doesn’t want to be a James Bond?, The Big Book of Classic Fantasy: The Ultimate Collection edited by Ann VanderMeer and Jeff VanderMeer, pre-Tolkien fantasy was goofier, E.T.A. Hoffman, The Nose by Nikolai Gogol.

POCKET BOOKS - Mr. Adam by Pat Frank

Mr. Adam by Pat Frank

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The SFFaudio Podcast #660 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: Bartleby, The Scrivener by Herman Melville

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #660 – Bartleby, The Scrivener by Herman Melville; read by Bob Neufeld

This unabridged reading of the story (1 hour 53 minutes) is followed by a discussion of it.

Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Paul Weimer, Evan Lampe, Marissa VU, and Will Emmmons

Talked about on today’s show:
A Story Of Wall Street, Putnam’s Monthly, November and December 1853, college and high school, fucking great, so funny, very humorous, no joke, Seinfeld style, sad and existential, struggles with depression, is Bartleby depressed?, what was Melville trying to say, different ways of reading, a moment of silence for all the poor kids in school, 4 minute explainers on youtube, hard to classify, a weird tale like you would get in Weird Tales, cadaverous, Fitz-James O’Brien, Franz Kafka, kafkaesque, William Wilson by Edgar Allan Poe, its a piece of science fiction, Bartleby is an android, Star Trek’s Data, radioactive suitcase, the ghost story angle, the most important way of reading it, its all about the lawyer, the other clerks, Ginger Nut, John Jacob Astor, I prefer not to pay, other people are inscrutable, master of chancery, work ethic, real estate law, Turkey is drunk by noon, Nippers, low wages, allowed to listen to music, ginger cakes, useless in the afternoons, Nippers is a criminal, capitalism, before the clock took over, working on Saturday, time and motion studies, a copyist pretending to be an attorney, the Roman patron system, seedy coats, great language, McTeague by Frank Norris, practicing dentistry without a license, The Confidence-Man by Herman Melville, a lot to glean, I am a rather elderly man, writing for an audience, other biographies, the law copyists, physical xerox machines, monk work, reading aloud, take student texts with punctuation, perfection in sentences, a creative work vs. copying from one document to another, divers histories, other law copyists, an irreparable loss to literature, the original sources aka him, the second part of the serialization of the story, this kind of artifact, serialized over two months, Bartleby’s previous career, most lawyers want to be writers, imprimus, the easiest way of life is the best, unambitious lawyers, a snug retreat, a snug business among rich men’s bonds, keeping track of rich people’s money, an eminently safe man, a nice pun, the late John Jacob Astor, all the negatives, prudence, method, not unemployed in my profession, a rounded and orbicular sound to into it, rings like unto bullion, complimenting himself, John Jacob Astor the first, how old this story is, the story is set way earlier, an interesting pacific connection, trans-continental, 1848, Astoria, the incensed landlord, a metaphor for the United States, fugitive visits, Bartleby like an Indian who refuses to leave to go to the reservation, named after an act of enclosure, walls, the dead letter office metaphor, Touched By An Angel, a Christian show, the science fiction equivalent is Quantum Leap, The A-Team, solving problems with guns, the Hallmark Channel, Christian niceness, Signed, Sealed, Delivered, Dear John I miss you, items, your job is to open up the letter, any objects in the mail, a ring or money or tires is then auctioned off, unrequited letters, instead of reading and deleting letters you copy letters, reading the contents, contracts between billionaires, what debt is owned to whom, reading Bartleby as a dead letter, he has no place to go, there is no dead letter office for humans, taken to the prison, the grub man, he’s a person not a letter, the focus on Bartleby as the main character is not as interesting, he’s the one with the problem: Bartleby, he’s a weird employer because he cares about his employees a lot, fighting the system, stalkers, roses and letter, not leaving someone alone and being outside their place, playing with social norms, interest becomes stalker, no women in this story, Ginger Nut as a woman, Bartleby (2001), a zombie apocalypse done through sound, Pontypool (2008), Pontypool Changes Everything by Tony Burgess, when you hear certain words on the television, earworms, things are going to change, a bit of visual or auditory information can change the world, what makes it existential, he’ll just stand there, won’t do anything, embarrassment, amazingly passive, as a strategy of work resistance, Office Space (1999), most employers, The Last Article by Harry Turtledove, he tolerates him vs. he escapes, rather move himself than move Bartleby, prefer, the way his hands are, behind the screen, so handy to me, I had in hand, my right hand sideways, nervously extended, in this very attitude did I sit, imagine my surprise, rallying my stunned faculties, prefer not to?, are you moonstruck?, Žižek, backwards grammar, ending with a preposition, plaster of paris Cicero, this is very strange, had his face been any different he would have fired him, what do you think about what this guy’s doing?, our narrator is allowing this to happen, ah Bartleby, ah humanity!, Bartleby is in such a horrible position, this is our situation, the main character wants to be fired, this guy’s got spunk!, I’m going to need you to go ahead and…, upper management hears you’re an up and comer, the other authority figures in the story, King Of The Hill, Dale Gribble likes firing people, maybe Evan understands American history, the institutions aren’t there, SWAT the employees, dump the vagrants, when the cops hung up on Jesse, wrote a stern email to the chief constable, the busybody was just making trouble, a local crime gang, not SWATing people as much, the normal response is to give up, if you invent the post office, some items are undeliverables, setting up policies, an Indian with no band, mentally ill but not causing a disturbance, just not going home, he has no home, you can’t do that with people, what makes our unnamed lawyer protagonist so strange is that he cares about Bartleby, we put ourselves into capitalism, feeling spicy at work, ginger is a hot spice, he whom it would relieve, charity, pallid hopelessness, continually handling these dead letters, the finger it was meant for moulders in the grave, hope for those who died un-hoping, these letters speed to death, hopelessness and misfortune, one of Melville’s kids killed himself with a gun at home, Melville worked at the customs house, what we know of Melville’s going to sea, he needs to get to sea because the land is not for him, Typee, malingering or mutiny or deserting, Evan’s YouTube video: Herman Melville Wants You To Quit Your Job, Mardi, failing to find paradise, screw all this, Whitejacket, Redburn, Moby-Dick, bored from his normal life, disappearing from the novel, just there to tell the story, what are you doing here, sitting on the banister, the cause of great tribulation, a clerkship in a drygoods store, too much confinement, a bartender’s business, Nippers is always adjusting his work table, Joe Piscopo, no standing desk like Rumsfeld, trying time trying to entertain, I like to be stationary (stationery), I am bound to quit the premises myself, not wholly indulged before, go home with his boss, like a force of nature, he’s like a letter that’s a human, he can’t say where he needs to go, Melville’s first attempt to write a short story, I prefer not to, the driving thesis of Paul’s professor, here we are, when Paul was young and callow, confronted by reality, I know I’m talented I know I have the goods, some time goes by people catch up to what he’s doing, why his story is being taught in school, appreciating it at as piece of art, The Willows by Algernon Blackwood, I Have Placed My Sickness Upon You by Karin Tidbeck, Frritt-Flacc aka The Ordeal Of Doctor Trifulgas aka Dr Trifulgas by Jules Verne, volcanic France, what the fuck is this?, there’s a document involved, it means something, The Lost Room by Fitz-James O’Brien, about our mental condition, metaness, what does Wall Street have to do with it?, balancing out his other employees, its wrong to read it from its wrong, it must happen daily, he’s his own doctor and he’s having a heart-attack, have we exhausted Bartleby?, religious stuff, the lawyer is a messed up guy, this uncanny guy, he stopped working because his eyesight was bad, this earworm of I prefer not to, they’re making fun of him, they’re making fun of the lawyer, they’re bullying him, the drunk is funny, their solidarity is with their boss, false solidarity, the boss’ neuroses, in the Tombs, I know who you are, I know what this place is, Bartleby gets it, the antagonist, not a good place, the military angle, he’s been drafted into the army, we’d like you to go shoot that man, he’s seen the Lovecraftian document, the horror behind the veil, being like a cadaver, weird trick, Ginger Nut, Bartleby only eats ginger nut and cheese, he’s called to go get them, Coffee Boy, why is Turkey called Turkey?, dies of starvation, Nippers is the eating of food, the religious aspect, moral suasion, act like a Christian, charity, governed by paternalism, as resistance strategy, the reform era, 1830s-1840s, the Second Great Awakening, reforming American sins, perfecting American society, the anti-flogging campaign, vagrancy, part of the that culture, are your eyes recovered?, in word will you do anything at all?, behind a blind, the tragedy of the unfortunate Adams the unfortunate Colt, his fatal act, had that altercation taken place in the public street, doubtless of dusty haggard of appearance, a murder, A kills C, Bartleby (B), I grappled him and threw him, recalling the divine inter-junction, ye love one another, a great safeguard to its possessor, a murder for charity’s sake, drowning my exasperated feelings, benevolently construing his conduct, he has seen hard times and ought to be indulged, charity is the answer, if I focus on charity I won’t kill him, a servant to John Jacob Astor, Upstairs, Downstairs , Highclere Castle, servants and rich people in a period setting, Downton Abbey, know her place, they need to know their place, but there’s dignity in working for good people above us, in doing our jobs well we become elevated, you know its fucking evil, she’s lying to herself, ground up by the music hall industry, wenching, seeing the household from both POVs, the head butler, a lot like Uncle Tom’s Cabin, we are meant to be outraged by it, I feel unplaced in the world, I feel unmoored, Bartleby is moored, the judgement of history, Edgar Allan Poe’s life, “no, no, no, guys, I’m great”, we don’t have infinite time, made to punish children, a deflection, another form of property ownership, northern firms involved in slavery, what this person’s business is, he’s not an abolitionist, when the suing comes, they’re not copying out literature or love poetry, their literal job is photocopier, why he likes copying at first, gaining information, read back what you’ve already written, as a re-reader, checking someone else’s work, One Hour Photo (2002), a kind of stalker, so late in the lifecycle of the film camera, taking your work to seriously, too solitary in your work, what were you thinking when the lawyer finds the door locked, I’m not ready yet, what was he doing in there?, in public records, pretending he’s a music producer, this is an impropriety on his part, is our lawyer married?, I’m bringing a strange Bartleby home, the first moment of aggression, he’s not aggressive at all, he’s very ethereal, maybe he’s playing VR or something, Bliss (2021), Paul got baited and switched, Owen Wilson as Bartleby, Crispin Glover, David Paymer, Glen Headley, Maury Chaykin, there’s no audience for this really good movie, made for schools, some menace there, Dickensian, Dickens isn’t philosophical enough for this, the names, the sense of humour, very much like a weird tale, the uncanny, The Paradise Of Bachelors And the Tartarus Of Maids, pale women in a paper factory, put together a new issue of Weird Tales just out of Herman Melville stories.

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The SFFaudio Podcast #659 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: The Shadow Of The Vulture by Robert E. Howard

MAGIC CARPET - The Shadow Of The Vulture by Robert E. Howard
Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #659 – The Shadow Of The Vulture by Robert E. Howard; read by Connor Kaye

This unabridged reading of the story (1 hours 38 minutes) is followed by a discussion of it.

Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Trish E. Matson, Connor Kaye, Alex, and Chris Schweizer

Talked about on today’s show:
The Magic Carpet, January 1934, some public domain, the output of Lovecraft was a quarter of Robert E. Howard, not counting the letters, trying to make a living, a day job, write letter every 5 minutes, not into the marketing, rich stories, shocking, detective stories, fight stories, sailor stories, comedy, his weakest genre, historical adventure, salivating over every remaining sentence, everybody comes to Howard through Conan or his Lovecraftian output, at least 6 stories that are Lovecraftian stories, The Black Stone, The Thing On The Roof, he really doesn’t want to get to the action does he?, finally!, why is it that this other stuff doesn’t grab us in the same way?, we’re all stupid and lazy, the Siege Of Vienna, which one, the final chapter is a mirror of the first chapter, the amount of historical work he has to do, tons of research, doing his best to get the clothes right and the names, a Serbian knight, a real incident, he thinks its awesome, take slaves, Suleiman the magnificent, a slaving expedition, our Conan equivalent is crying, go to the bar and have some ale, we’re setup for WWI, the Astro-Hungarian empire, filling in history for us, making history really interesting through fiction, a Catholic school, WWI and Saskatchewan, opinions or ideas, favourite stories, Blue Flame Of Vengeance, she comes out of nowhere, until Sonya shows up, the love interest gets heart stabbed, motivated for some vengeance, she’s not into you, she’s the hero of this story, he never saves her, Godfried, some good characters, a big drunk dummy, unstoppable Hercules, kill a hundred men on the wall, tricked at the easiest thing, hyper competent in one arena, he needs somebody to take care of him, a big dumb oaf, mutually beneficial?, all those Janissaries is a few too many, dog-brother, that word “dog”, John Sladek, parodying their writing, Solar Shoe Salesman, hawk nose, pantherish, condor wings, he actually has them!, that 1500s era, those Polish knights, Victoria’s Secret wings, literally described, Connor’s conspiracy theory, try to wrangle the history into a story format, the coolest kind of things, she’s a historical figure, give Roxelana a sister, we can kind of have that aspect, Hardcore History, 16th century, the Battle vs. the Siege of Vienna, Turkish forces trying to get into Europe, the Polish hussars, a cavalry charge, very Riders Of Rohan, too cool not to include, maybe that’s where it came from, a twitter bot that does Doctor Who episode titles, shadow, blood, ISFDB.org, seven stories with “shadow” in the title, crimson, scarlet, red, what visuals he wants to throw in, a guy who is literally a vulture, picking over the bones of a battle, backstory, personally scarred the emperor, leaving with a bag of gold, a chestful of head, if I don’t come back with his head…, that promise is fulfilled, we as the readers know it, beautiful symmetry, any old WWII movie that fits the facts, historical fiction vs. Quentin Tarantino WWII, he got the word right, what an amazing talent, probably wrote it in a weekend, Chris is in a really rural area, how difficult it was to find the material for historical fiction, so much of a struggle, faking historical fiction through, the Crogan Adventures, stories of personal family history told through history, this is the book where he got this, he probably had three books, reverse engineering Howard’s research, talk about the animals, vultures, dogs, the Conan adaptation, Sword and Sorcery, all the best parts are extrapolations or adaptations of actual text, Conan is trussed up, look at all you dogs, the cur has pups, how Conan feels when this woman is as good as him (or better), a dog barks at him, show not tell, our Germanic dumb guy, we become him, this lady shows us up, Conan The Barbarian #23, the Red Sonja – Conan relationship is huge and long, that relationship is entirely from the relationship in this story, the dynamic between them, all the ladies who don’t pick up swords in Conan stories, Jim Zub, it doesn’t zing at all, these are philosophical stories about how to be, freely adapted, they fly, in the comic adaptation, one panel in the comic, it ends the same way, a cutaway before the fight, very literary, the low that comics lend themselves to, kinda like Elmore Leonard, Justified and Jackie Brown, leaning in to what makes it unique vs. leaning into the surface details, Conan as a franchise, this is the Brotherhood without Banners in Khitai, a flaming sword, gunpowder, the Chinese witch, the letters are nordic runes, you’ve made a huge mistake, the source is the character, old west stories, Miami stories, take a Breckenridge Elkins pilot and work it into Conan, Sailor Steve Costigan, L. Sprague De Camp, the Afghanistan stories, the Middle Eastern stories, Oriental Stories, Magic Carpet, anywhere east of Austria is the orient, Swordwoman, Dark Agnes, highly prized assassin, shoehorned into Red Sonja, Conan The King, this Kull character, its not character its the author, Dan Panosian’s Drink And Draw, a character is an image, the backstory of philosophy, why Thongor doesn’t work, Ka-Zar is a knock-off Tarzan, the creation of a dynamic, the Sonja Conan dynamic came out of this story, the German dumb-guy viewpoint character is us, he’s played for comic relief, drunk and waving away the host, the place is on fire, and then she dies, the second time he gets drunk, able bodied men are drafted for grunt work, build a wall or whatever, setting the characters aside, what the city looks like, fabulous, when the final chapter comes, the city of Istanbul again, identical sentences?, the city so brightly lit that it doesn’t know night, the first city that’s on fire, an amazing writer, he mustabin born with it, super-young, only 30 years old, Connor has a lot of writing to do, good set-pieces, mirroring, a pleasing way, the descriptions of Istanbul at the end, we pretty much know what happened, all of Chapter 7 is 10 straight minutes, you really settle into it, all the crazy stuff this insanely rich sultan can put on, making himself feel better, propaganda, Beyond The Black River, an analogy for the Texas frontier, Comanches and Mexicans, working a historical fiction based, Aquilonia, this history is visceral, stretches forward to the present, it stretches back in history, after Charlemagne, before WWI, the Janissaries, 1000,000 child slaves brainwashed into becoming the elite fighters for a reverse crusade, all these placenames, Shem is probably supposed to be Judea, is Ophir Greece?, we need to be trained to read Robert E. Howard’s other stuff, the familiarity of the placenames, reading historical fiction through the context of films, the rusty nail, the helmet, really rare in historical fiction, and he did it in 90 minutes, James Michener’s Hawaii, Shogun, Pearl Harbor, big whopping book, complete in this issue, it doesn’t feel rushes, its leisurely at the end, struck by the resolution, send a message, the whisper, you’re going to go on a mission for me, you don’t really need the intrigue, more time with the other neat things, his pacing is amazing, spoilers make me want to read the story, why is it you should read this, the main character shows up half-way through the book, you’re selling me, looking through and finding things, the 70 year old captain mentioned in passing, real good at swinging his big sword, you are in this place, historical action fiction, the Bernard Cornwall move, Richard Sharpe, Forrest Gump his way to victory, we know this but we never notice it, always lower class going up, never top down, making their way in the world today and getting everything they got, kings by their own hand, manifest destiny, major ambition is get some booze, sister revenge, dragged away, guestemation, when people get enslaved…, your parents are murdered by the guy you’re sleeping with, works in both directions, Christians and Muslims are not allowed to enslave their own, her parents, her family, her village, why she would be incredibly angry, her son is the next sultan, took advantage, something to admire in Roxelana, a kind of a revenge, its a philosophy of how to be, the Janissaries vs. the women, the whole village won’t fit on my horse, a psychological mirror for what happened to Sonya and her family, becoming a whipped dog, the whipped dog that obeys its master, a personal philosophy vs. a nationalist philosophy, the gold rush, by you’re own hard work, it is our destiny as a nation, American Exceptionalism, go west young man, the “freest country in the world”, its all merit, these are all lies, they have good jobs and no balls (the eunuchs), they steal all the scholars and make them tutors for their kids, the tutors are slaves, they lose their name, their name becomes that of their master, a brutal relationship, wanting to cancel Robert E. Howard, everybody knows about Lovecraft being public domain, Robert E. Howard is perceived to be under copyright, Ablaze’s The Cimmerian series, hey this is popular… can we cancel it?, things to disrespect, his messages aren’t women should be dis-empowered and shut up, physically strong and mentally strong, the Dark Agnes stories are in the first person, unusual for Robert E. Howard, Brekenridge Elknins is in the first person, a doofus farm boy, why are Agnes’ stories from the first person POV?, forced into a marriage, three more years and you can record them, the copyright rules (for the USA and Canada), characters vs. stories, Sailor Steve Costigan, Ian Fleming’s James Bond (novels) is all public domain, 1934, what market was he trying to sell it to?, it wasn’t going to go for Weird Tales, Argosy might have published it, Adventure, timeline stuff, the archetype of the red headed warrior woman, C.L. Moore’s Jirel Of Joiry, similar to Agnes, an archytype that pops up again and again, red haired warrior women, Novalyne Price Ellis, The Whole Wide World (1996), you have to know what you’re getting, the introduction by Leigh Brackett to Sword Woman by Robert E. Howard, it is interesting to speculate, he had read Black God’s Shadow, which character was first conceived, their martial ladies, Joan of Arc, saintliness is not a quality of either heroine, very different, Jirel is passive in terms of being restrained, Jirel is all in her head, the red flame of vengeance, one is highborn and the girl from a town of 14 families, under a steel cap, rebellious tresses, the lingering looks on these body parts, the only time we see Red Sonja dressed like that, chain-mail bikini or blue blouse, a brace of pistols, a long Hungarian saber, a carelessly thrown cape, Chris’s picture, the Frank Thorne style Red Sonja, very different characters, everybody is close to nude, the visual medium, showing heroes fighting, showing how heroic these guys are, its comics, loving both, Chris has an amazing way with watercolours, Howard doing Falstaff, take advantage of his rich friends crusader, honor retribution, a franchise built around this character, immediately gravitate and love his characters, there’s a reason we know the names of his characters, Cormac Fitzgeoffrey should have a big Punisher skull on his jerkin, El Borak is smaller than everybody else, these are not mary suey characters, fairytale versions of the fool stumbling their way through life, The Brave Little Tailor, Jack And The Beanstalk, archetypes of the prince, the fools, the peasants telling the fairy tales [folk tales], different ways people can win, villains aka the poors, who’s the target audience for these pulp magazines, a whole lot of fun, what are we doing next, Skull-Face is pretty long, Graveyard Rats by Robert E. Howard, The Sword Of Shahrazar by Robert E. Howard, Almuric, the unfinished dregs vs. the stuff that is complete, the Amra story, all Conan stories are public domain now, the Klinger case, trademark vs. copyright, English versions of French comics, Diamond Distribution, some “negotiations”, you can’t use “CONAN” on the front of your comics, some features about Sherlock Holmes … fucking bullshit, the estate vs. the heirs, know what you’re talking about and having backbone, the HPLHS, almost nothing by Lovecraft isn’t public domain, there’s a company out there that will license it, “official”, some edge cases, The Shadow, writing under a house name as a work for hire, the Red Sonja (1985) movie, it has fake Conan, Arnold Schwarzenegger playing “not-Conan”, he’s totally Conan, its not good, Conan The Barbarian vs. Conan The Destroyer, Richard Fleischer, George MacDonald Fraser, The Three Musketeer movies from the 1970s, VLC player, Red Sonja in black and white is a much better movie, cheap practical effects, mute the dialogue, keep the Ennio Morricone soundtrack, add subtitles to fix the dialogue, Prince Tarn, Zula is a dude in the Conan comics, another female, Grace Jones is great in every movie, Christopher Walken, the old tropes you forgot about, so big into yellow peril, Fu Manchu, Shang Chi, yet another Conan show, a Red Sonja TV show, chain-mail bikini will not translate to film, peplum armor, a rockin’ mullet, wooden acting, nonsensical story, the sets and costumes were fantastic, Sandahl Bergman, there are good scenes in Conan the Destroyer, this whining princess, Wilt Chamberlain, pulling the guy’s horn, Superman II, the evil queen, Olivia d’Abo, 16 and sleeping with the producer, the costumes, charismatic on screen, little 15 minute stories, a toll-road, it doesn’t fit into the larger story, the Harry Potter movies are scene based, the first Conan movie is none of the Conan stories, The Witch Shall Be Born, The Tower Of The Elephant, he goes to Khitai, the most famous line is from Genghis Khan, it gives you the taste, that is another story, The Buckaroo Banzai ending, Connor’s narration was excellent, structural, Marvel Movies, a giant train chase at the end, the set piece action in the second third, the climax is much smaller, Kill Bill, a more immediate and small struggle, the climax is when Sonya rescues him from two dudes, keep establishing larger and larger stakes, the suddenness of the ending, Ogloo, his death is off-screen, a metaphor just for war and destruction, the thunder of guns, the real enemy was the vizier, the proxy for Suleiman, having confidence in your readership vs. thinking you’re smarter than your readers, a really satisfying shock of the head, endings are really important, the screenplay for All Quiet On The Western Front, the Marvel method for Marvel Movies, the giant fight club thing at the end, how the whole Marvel universe works, I’m glad its overwith, ending with the front being quiet and a butterfly, a traditional symbol of people’s spirits flying to heaven, going back to the title, aka he’s a ghost, he knows what he’s doing, the title is important, how noisy are those butterfly wings, The Lack with Benjamin Studebaker, really smart and not my friend, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962), Lee Marvin and Jimmy Stewart and John Wayne, two ways or three ways of being a man, the John Wayne way and the Jimmy Stewart way or the Liberty Valance way, a movie that has confidence in its audience, Lee Marvin is a force of nature himself, a John Buchan weird tale from 1901, Fill It With Regular by Michael Shea, The Mystery Of Sylmare by Hugh Irish, “my idea of a weird tale” – H.P. Lovecraft.

MAGIC CARPET - The Shadow Of The Vulture by Robert E. Howard

MAGIC CARPET - SHADOW OF THE VULTURE by Robert E. Howard

WEIRD TALES The Shadow Of The Vulture

DEL REY - SHADOW OF THE VULTURE by Robert E. Howard

DEL REY - The Shadow Of The Vulture

DEL REY - The Shadow Of The Vulture

RED SONYA by Fluid Geometry

Rogatino, Russia aka Hyboria's Hyrkania

Conan The Barbarian - Shadow Of The Vulture

CONAN THE BARBARIAN - Shadow Of The Vulture

The first Marvel appearance of Red Sonja

Red Sonya by Chris Schweizer

Red Sonya by Chris Schweizer

Roy Krenkel sketch of RED SONIA

RED SONYA illustration by Timo Wuerz

Roy G. Krenkel - The Shadow Of The Vulture - from The Sowers Of The Thunder Pg 273 Illustration - Zebra Books 1975

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The SFFaudio Podcast #655 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: Gulliver Of Mars by Edwin Lester Arnold

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #655 – Gulliver Of Mars by Edwin Lester Arnold; read by James Christoper. This is an unabridged reading of the novel (6 hours 6 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Paul Weimer, and Maissa Bessada

Talked about on today’s show:
Lieut. Gulliver Jones: His Vacation, Richard Lupoff, this is amazing!, I’m going to change the name, the spelling on Gullivar vs. Gulliver, this modern decadent age, Gulliver’s Travels, more subtle, Lieut. Jones Of Mars, the author is not American, Edwin Lester Arnold, subtitled His Vacation, he’s vacated his premises and he’s nowhere to be found, listened twice, Jesse’s not a re-reader, read and listened, looking at the etext, listening is reading (tho not identical), reading with your fingers, reading with your eyes, reading with your ears, reading aloud, what colour is sorrel, a reddish horse colour, did you have a chance to look at the comics?, Gullivar Jones, Warrior of Mars, horror, westerns, kung-fu comics, Shang-Chi, Iron Fist, the barbarians push, Conan The Barbarian, Savage Sword Of Conan, now is the time when we do barbarians, Thongor, Thundaar, Crom the Barbarian, John Carter, DC/Marvel, Roy Thomas, competition for DC’s Edgar Rice Burroughs, American military officers on Mars saving princesses (or semi-saving princesses), the magic carpet becomes a floating disc, Lupov is a magic wizard, an inside joke, chestnut coloured, a green vegetable, the comic book adaptation, Jesse was lied to, not a rival for A Princess Of Mars, a well meaning bumbling doofus, he bumbles his way across the planet, open to a sequel, sequel possibilities, The Prisoner Of Zenda, John Carter (2012), The Pursuit OF The Pankera by Robert A. Heinlein, The Number Of The Beast, a queen dowager, basically around Barsoom, adventures on Mars for fun, low stakes, influenced Edgar Rice Burroughs, set on Mars, Planet Stories, 1905, 1911, having it set on Mars, Dynamite Comics crossover between Edgar Rice Burroughs and Gulliver Of Mars, the two Marses, the White Apes, the Tharks, the Red People, laying eggs, an alien planet, they seem to have pigs and horses, identical to Earth, disappointing, Earth analogue, She by H. Rider Haggard, the book within the book: The Secrets Of The Gods, first they came to Earth as Isis and Amon, populating these planets, Stargate, Paul fell into Jesse’s trap, how did you like this book, Maissa kinda liked it, a mishmash, Arabian Knights, a magic carpet, adventure to adventure, Alice’s Adventures Under Ground, it didn’t feel science fictiony, similar to Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift, it was ok, it entertained Paul for 6 hours, the mundanity of Mars, a missed opportunity, he doesn’t know about the two moons, a comet that gives off heat and causes a drought, the hurtling moons in the sky, a sword over his head and two moons, super-naked, Mars is hot!, deserty tropical weather, Paul is more wrong and Maissa is wrong too, super-duper interesting, a satire, what is it a satire of?, chapter 2, this is not Mars of Barsoom, much more like H.G. Wells, the boy who he lands on, Ahn, takes him like a cigar and plunks him down on Mars, bounced onto a boy giving a lecture on gravity, they tumble down a hill together, that lecture’s over, they explore the society, she’s a priestess, a slave and a girl, the hither and the thither societies, this guy’s a doofus, weird situations, what is Jesse missing, how many flowers show up in the story, convolvulus (bindweed), his very antipode, Princess Heru, pulling a blue convolvulus bud to pieces, the language of flowers, most flowers have other names, the colours of flowers, marriage bonds, a golden pool and a silver fish, a scene as good as any in A Princess Of Mars, which implies delight to these people, he’s just a dumb strong American, fairly honest and very hungry, the drawer, these peace soaked triflers, slowly pulling a convolvulus bud to pieces, what things look like, to see the decadent ruined empire that is the hither people, endless food and no need to work, taking tribute, the story of Athens and Crete and the Minotaur, the Theseus story, a railroad kind of role playing game, find the key to unlock the door, an azure convolvulus flower, some barbarous and barren district (the United States), growing their boats, a repeated theme, the gentle damsel, damsel flies, pallid flowers, blazing like a bonfire, the heiress was swept aside, dragging Heru with them, her milk white arms, her face as lovely as a convolvulus flower, all was piece hear, the sky a lovely lavender, heavy scented convolvulus flowers, a skiff with a half dozen rowers, unconscious loveliness, tiny little detailed threads, he’s making fun of something, its definitely making fun of or engaging with The Time Machines, the Eloks and the Morloi (Eloi and Morlocks), Paul has read The Time Machine, Stephen Baxter’s authorized sequel, the official manga version of Anne Of Green Gables, she’s huge in Japan, normal time travel stories, most are to the past, the very first place he goes to is a future England the workers of the UK have turned into the Morlocks, mechanism vs. poetry, their entire world is a garden they don’t know how to take care of, the Morlocks tend them like sheep, the underclass now physically eat the upper class, those who went to university and studied poetry and their brains grew smaller, making dynamos and fixing trains, the slaves and the regular people, the slaves have no slave-masters, the priestesses of immaculate conception of humanity, the guardians of the great hopes and longings, triflers, dominoes coming down, evolution going backwards, their society became slothful, popular at the turn of the 20th century, the United States is Gulliver Jones, he’s a sailor, the water, he has to chase him down and wrestling him to the ground, he learned wrestling from the Chinese, he pulls out his sword and plants it in the ground and claims it for the United States, John Carter is not satire, going in the wrong direction thinking its an allegory for something, told from the point of view of a Brit, this up and comer, an ancient society with castles and palaces and tonnes of resources, they don’t have money, the marriage ceremony was fascinating as an idea, the hither people know money exists, the Canadian health care, wait in line for 3-4 5-6 hours, we are aware that things cost money but it doesn’t hurt us in the same way, see this as a non-currency society, plagued for endless ads for drugs, its insane in the United States, they have an economy they have to worry about, a terrible useless king has to give tribute to the thither people, the hairy barbarians, one female, we’re going to beat you about the head, Gulliver spends the majority of the story in barbarian lands, he meets a woodcutter who wants to fight him, they keep thinking he’s a ghost, we’re missing something huge going on in this book, a graduate thesis that would pay off in incredible dividends, a lot of girls, I have to ask you a personal question: be you a dude or be you not a dude?, nice to meet you, he loses everybody, a lady on an island, she’s cooking food in a pot, he drinks the entire stew, he at her fish, where they’re growing boats, imagine you’re a hunter gatherer in South America and plucked you into 1840s UK, wow, I’m a fish out of water, these gourd plants to make some navies, he’s a dumb sailor, what the implications, food grow without weeds, boats decanted from moulds, they’re all my boat, rideshares in the Netherlands, he’s trying to pay for everything with his buttons, it could be gold, the most interesting thing that happened to me, another guy just like me from the blue planet, he can barely get two words out a week and he’s all wispy, super-rich, almost none of it is science ficiton, picaresque bildungsroman, Jack Vance, Planet Of Adventure, suppressed by all others, one of the similarities, the palace library, a book being used as a mousetrap, given the gift of speech, he doesn’t have the gift of reading, all really awesome, straight out of the Bible, so boring, the breakfast gong sounds, let’s read more, key to understanding what reality is vs. breakfast, abusing an ancient tome, a baby or a puppy with a Gutenberg bible, heir to an ancient empire, the yellow dressed slaves, a brass bikini and yellow skin, not a good fit with Barsoom and John Carter, a satire like Gulliver’s Travels, the description of the carpet, the veil that separates the known from the unknown was rent, reviews behind paywalls, Evert Bleiler, Science Fiction The Early Years, 1990, science fantasy, interplanetary romance, a sea-dog, Polly Brown, a stange old man, a carpet with a sense of hummour, a simulacrum of a star map, a Schiaparellian Mars, telepathy, my teacher said the same thing, a romance with the Princess Heru, rigs the drawing, engaged for a year, King Hath, the tributary arrangement with the woodmen, the most beautiful woman with the court, the city of Seth, too drunk, the meat of the book, various perils, entombed in ice, he loots her remains too, he’s a bad guy, pretending to be a spirit, two tasks, his previous grave-robbing, Jones’ lust sated, taken by the slaves, the magic carpet transports him back to New York, promoted, off on a colossal bender, deflecting javelins by the power of will, Egypt, a trivial worked, badly planned, badly written, not proven, The Encyclopedia Of Fantasy, 1997, the common influence of Haggard’s She, not really trying, he tries, playful, philosophical devices as props, restlessness dissatisfaction, rein, The Wonderful Adventures Of Phra The Phoenician, an unsuccessful farmer in Canada, a TV show adaptation, trivial, badly planned, badly written, the land of the dead, he keeps encountering females, he sees a princess on a raft, she falls on him, she’s dead, attacked by corpses, frozen people, a glacier of dead people, the baubles that come off the fingers, his rooming house, his land lady, steak and red tomatoes the colour of sunset, he eats a lot, missing buttons, his pants slid down a mountainside, I’ve been promoted, a good candidate, write the story don’t focus too much on the girl, a number of meta-peices, this book would not be in your hands picked up from a Broadway bookstall, worthy of another read, a map of the planet, conflating trivial vs. fun, its not Moby-Dick, Gulliver’s Travels is fun and not trivial, the marriage stuff, I don’t mind reading about Mary Sue characters, Mary Sutopias, other ideas on how to live, feudalism,

I am less bothered by Mary Sue characters than I am by stories set in Marysutopia. A lot of classic SF suffers from that. Authors created societies in which their own personal preferences became the social norms.

Heinlein’s like maybe we could have weird kinds of marriage, how weird it would be to have marriage shuffled like that every year, post-apocalyptic, memory wiped every four years, an idea book, the gourd boat seeds, he got a tour, I picked up the seeds that the lady showed me, he keeps looking in his pockets, his belt pouch, finds the tailors’ bills, the pips of an orange that Polly had thrown at him, a hopeless romantic, how’s the economy work?, how do family and raising kids work, look young until they grow old and suddenly die, mentally a child, super-powers, it has got to be satire, deeper than most seem to want to credit as middling adventure romp, another whole book, trying to turn it into, with a six-shooter, he has a sword but he doesn’t hit people with it much, Jack Burton in Big Trouble In Little China (1986), one of the best movies ever made, orientalist, Kurt Russell, he thinks he’s the hero, the movie acts like he’s the hero but he’s the comic sidekick, David Lo Pan, misunderstanding what the movie is doing, he arrives on a magic carpet, who was the guy?, the carpet and the locket, it went nowhere, it went into his pocket, he could have another adventure, Gulliver on Venus, Gulliver on Ganymede, bumble through more things, why you have to read Gulliver’s Travels, shownoting something from 6 months ago, the horse people, Planet Of The Apes, all he wants to do is spend time taking care of his horse, watching the horrible things happening on the news, you can really rely on your garden, utter contempt for humans, admiring the horses so much, the GULLIVER’S TRAVELS miniseries (1996), Silverlock by John Myers Myers, a ken doll for rich lady giants, placed between their breasts, savage takedown, how did this get on the schedule?, too much of a lead time?, even if Paul listened 6 months later, they’re already on they’re next writing, let me tell you about the book I’m reading now, what we were thinking 6 months ago, laughing or crying at jokes, what things were like 6 months ago, what things were like in 1905, oh professors of later day, so much per unit, an audiobook for this bike journey, back to electric cars, he tries to pay her for the inflation, a babelfish equivalent, huge mistake, everybody had clothing on (fucking stupid), number 1 mistkae: Dejah Thoris had clothes on, Disney Princesses, clothes for the ken doll of John Carter and Dejah Thoris, when he goes swimming he takes off his uniform, he’s drowning!, even ghosts want to kill themselves, a huge meal of elk, deer, and something very much like salmon, I had to go save a princess on another planet with a magic carpet, telepathy and simplicity, Sola is a slave like Ahn is a slave, minor mind powers, the warring groups, the books are so different, apples and potatoes, Creatures On The Loose, he’s a Vietnam vet!, a former marine instead of a sailor, a snarky attitude, he actually says he was a soldier prior to being a sailor, up for promotion, his folly, a terrible mission, maybe more important than we know, audio of Phra The Phoenician?, yay! suspended animation!

Creatures On The Loose, Gulliver Of Mars

Creatures On The Loose, ISSUE 18

Creatures On The Loose, ISSUE 18

Monsters Unleashed

Monsters Unleashed

Gullivar Jones, First Man On Mars

Gulliver Of Mars - illustration by Newton Burcham

Monsters Unleashed, issue 8, Unused Gullivar Jones Splash

Gulliver Of Mars frontispiece by Frank Frazetta

Gulliver Of Mars - 1965 Frank Frazetta cover art

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The SFFaudio Podcast #654 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: Star Ship by Poul Anderson

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #654 – Star Ship by Poul Anderson; read by Paul Harvey (for LibriVox). This is an unabridged reading of the story (1 hour 32 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Paul Weimer, and Scott Danielson.

Talked about on today’s show:
Planet Stories, Fall 1950, the description therein, The strangest space castaways of all!, weirdly medieval, the life-boat cracked up, an AI that rebelled against them, this episode of Star Trek Voyager, all simulation, Paul unleashed, “The Paradise Syndrome”, not good depictions of Native Americans, C.J. Cherryh’s the Foreigner series, 12 novels vs. 90 minutes, padded vs. lean and mean, the backstory is all in here, a two part Voyager episode, Star Trek The Next Generation, an episode of The Orville, time works differently down there, Interstellar (2014), “Blink Of An Eye”, Dragon’s Egg by Robert L. Forward, “Mad Idolatry”, Sandkings by George R.R. Martin, Ted Sturgeon’s Microcosmic God, accelerated rate vs. accelerated time, all they needed was a remote control, Aliens (1986), the orbiting Sulaco, their away mission included the entire crew, Apollo 11, you gotta leave Michael Collins up there, subspace vortex, your people with your equipment, one in a billion chance, one ion storm, wrong timeline?, what Heinlein did, Poul Anderson’s complete psychotechnic league, the third story, Flandry, egalitarian, looser, Sandra Miesel, Startling Stories, Winter 1955, back in the early 1940s Robert A. Heinlein let it be known, The Snows Of Ganymede, a bare outline, fantasy and prophecy, the first 250 years, 2875, The Star Ways, some of them are as yet unwritten, Cold Victory wasn’t published until the 1980s, Oswald Spengler, The Decline of the West, Arnold J. Toynbee, anthropoid robot invented, anti-robot riots, a historical view, a me discovering this, psychodynamics was created, the early death of Dwight D. Eisenhower. U.S. Socialism in the 1950s, like Asimov’s psychohistory, influence government policy and popular attitudes, his own Foundation, uncomfortable questions, realism vs. idealism, Anderson’s political beliefs, he reversed his strong support for the United Nations, more cynical, cycles of history, libertarian?, internationalist, individualist, any other stories, a reversal of The High Crusade, capes, cannons, siege engines, medieval futuristic, Jack Vance, only three generations, a mix of elements, The Dragon Masters, worldbuilding happened outside of the plot, like reading Heinlein, he has a plan, Friday is set in the same universe as Farmer In The Sky, part of a greater universe, reading his openings more than once, nobody with amnesia,

With sunset, there was rain. When Dougald Anson brought his boat in to Krakenau harbor, there was only a vast wet darkness around him.

the aliens when we get to them, fur with clothes, he swished his tail, my gosh look at that alien!,

The Khazaki was humanoid, to be sure—shorter than the Terrestrial average, but slim and lithe. Soft golden fur covered his sinewy body, and a slender tail switched restlessly against his legs. His head was the least human part of him, with its sloping forehead, narrow chin, and blunt-muzzled face. The long whiskers around his mouth and above the amber cat-eyes twitched continuously, sensitive to minute shifts in air currents and temperature. Along the top of his skull, the fur grew up in a cockatoo plume that swept back down his neck, a secondary sexual characteristic that females lacked.

the original art, it just looks like a mohawk, this picture is from right near the end of the story, funny things going on in the background, a little post-medieval, the Khazaki – Kozakis – Cossacks, in the analogue that is Poul Anderson’s brain, Japanese, Scandanavian guy, lucky, plot magic, a lot of females, Ching Chun Chen aka Ensign Kim, taught astrogation from her grandfather, our Conan figure, prematurely old looking, a forehead scar, had many women attracted to him (including the native women), L. Sprague de Camp, rishathra, cultural vs. wenching,

He looked away, his face hot in the gloom, realizing suddenly why Masefield Carson hated him. Briefly, he wished he hadn’t had such consistent luck with women. But the accident that there was a preponderance of females in the second and third generations of Khazaki humans had made it more or less inevitable, and he—well, he was only human. There’d been Earthling girls; and not a few Khazaki women had been intrigued by the big Terrestrial. Yes, I was lucky, he thought bitterly. Lucky in all except the one that mattered. Right after, Anse felt a small hand laid on his arm. He looked down into the dark eyes of DuFrere Marie. She was a pretty girl, a little younger than he, and until he’d really noticed Ellen he’d been paying her some attention.

“I don’t care about equality,” she whispered. “A woman shouldn’t try to be a man. I’d want only to cook and keep house for my man, and bear his children.”

It was, Anse realized, a typical Khazaki attitude. But—he remembered with a sudden pity that Carson had been courting Marie. “This is pretty tough on you,” he muttered. “I’ll try to see that Carse is saved…. If we win,” he added wryly.

“Him? I don’t care about that Masefield. Let them hang him. But Anse—be careful—”

a very Conan guy, escape to the moon, I was promised a STAR SHIP, not a science fiction story in its main action, that’s what Planet Stories is about, the whole purpose is to get to another place, fun, planetary romance, a novelty, Planet Stories is way ahead, picking up on Science Fiction in the 1950s, maybe there’s something to this stuff, as opposed to romance or railroad or baseball fiction magazines, extrapolative science fiction, some real thing behind it, some scientific idea, the reason we like Dragon’s Egg, if we had a neutron-star, put in a ton of brain work, the speed of their metabolism, how do I tell it as a story, all that brainwork lends some sort of truth to the story, a mediocre story, still good, he has some stuff going on in his mind, the struggle we’ll see between the Soviets and the United States, the Moon is a tangible object in the sky, plot the mountains of the Moon, Mission Of Gravity by Hal Clement, the Mesklinites, we’re gonna be friends, a very masculine story, give me your sword,

He added, after a moment: “A man has to stand by his comrades.”

Janazik nodded, very slowly. “Give me your sword,” he said.

“Eh?” Anse looked at him. The blue eyes were unseeing, blind with pain, but he handed over the red weapon. Janazik slipped his own glaive into the human’s fingers.

Then he laid a hand on Anse’s shoulder and smiled at him, and then looked away.

We Khazaki don’t know love. There is comradeship, deeper than any Earthling knows. When it happens between male and female, they are mates. When it is between male and male, they are blood-brothers. And a man must stand by his comrades.

they don’t have any gays on this planet, a dozen words for betrayal but not a single word for love, teach me this earth thing you call kissing, humans have to teach sex to the aliens, in the Doctor Who universe, unusual on Earth, you have sex all the time?, what’s wrong with you?, build a rocket, there is this past, the first space-boat, a vivid past, Jerry Pournelle’s King David’s Spaceship, bootstrap a spaceship, you can’t colonize us, quasi-medieval, ran in the same circles, so many ideas, starships won’t even be necessary, Peter F. Hamilton, wormhole on Mars, Pandora’s Star, rockets that grow like trees, Beowulf Schaeffer, engineered by the Pak?, interesting tidbit, fishbowl helmet, any way to get to space, living and working in space, to go to another place, international space station, The Integral Trees and The Smoke Ring, space is the absence of a place, what if…, raiding across the galaxy, I could make this go another way, fun stuff, similar situation, somehow the humans are the dominant ones, take out our macbooks and upload a virus, Independence Day 2 (2016), hey that H.G. Wells and the War Of The Worlds thing?, I’m doing that, a computer virus, a fun movie, waiting for the Americans doing something, Independence Day: UK, when talking to Julie Davis, the Russians won WWII in Europe, Operation Market Garden, Western front vs. Eastern front, we gotta get the Chinese market, throw in a Chinese character, Dwayne Johnson, a scene set in Seoul, Skyscraper (2018), it lands badly, if you’re building the rocket ship, spoilers and scoops and pinstripes on a rocket, it doesn’t overstay its welcome, only 90 minutes, a very small story, a little planetary romance, detailed backstory that the author knows and we can surmise, a good outline, a couple of Heinlein stories, the rise of the prophet, the crazy years, with a science fiction setting, a standard Green Odyssey sort of story, Conan/action, blood brothers, pirates, a barbarian by comparison, ringmail, a blonde mane, a sword, a higher gravity planet, how it got to be as fine as it is for a very pulpy story, really obsessed with Iceland?, he makes it work, obsessed with the norther lands, an Icelandic saga, The Man Who Came Early, Poul Anderson’s answer to Lest Darkness Fall by L. Sprague de Camp, detail and place, I’m only going to tell stories set in the Black Forest, scandinavian history, Star Ways, he’s not top tier, consistently never terrible, Andre Norton, how did he manage to make a good story?, leaning on Conan, leaning on the same things, one of the reasons we know Howard writes so well, leaning heavily on history, almost never has magic as a major function, an evil wizard whose casting a spell, this tower is made of magic, fighting a literal god, leaning on the science, that is beauty, that’s poetic, NESFA, serviceable, very watered down mead, Njáls Saga, Netflix watch party, the Skiffy and Fanty people, Ragnarok, the final verdict, oh shit we gotta write a whole series, Netflix is planetary, Norsemen, funny silly stuff, leaning heavily on the facts of Norwegian life, its legit, the gutter of pulp, weak ass stories, a Conan pastiche, Tarzan, Hour 25, Sherlock Holmes, novels and collections, Delenda Est, the time patrol stories, more coming our all the time, the good news, finally hitting gutenberg, Three Hearts And Three Lions, Jeffro Johnson, The Broken Sword, Appendix N, a book of reviews, what they contributed to Dungeons & Dragons, Dave Arneson and Gary Gygax, Jack Vance’s magic system, if you’re a dungeon master, lift from these guys, Jerome Bixby, The Man From Earth (2007), Star Trek actors sitting in a room for 90 minutes, an ideas guy, Planet Stories, all Star Trek things, four episodes of the original Star Trek, ideas are incredibly important for science fiction, nice prose vs. characters, a crappily written story that’s interesting, a first contact protocol, teleportation aka transporters, Star Trek basics, Star Trek ideas in non-Star Trek stories, “By Any Other Name”, “Mirror, Mirror”, goateed Spock, “Day Of The Dove”, “Requiem For Methuselah”, “Galileo Seven”, a shuttle, “Metamorphosis”, mate with the giant guys who throw rocks, The Twilight Zone, “It’s A Good Life”, a good ideas story, his two tricks, somehow you can get a career, Lord Dunsany, Clark Ashton Smith, a staple of Jesse’s diet, a Poul Anderson, a Ray Bradbury Podcast: Bradbury 100, Science Fiction 101, more general, the Silverberg anthology (Worlds Of Wonder), an introduction to Science Fiction, old stuff, current stuff, future stuff, looking back over your life, you tripped and fell into an open grave, at night, on a Thursday, this is a good podcast, distilled it down, a novelette, Paul’s having a brain freeze because of Covid-19 and the vaccine for same, will Scott ban himself from the Baen forums, it doesn’t seem to be that big a deal, Trump should make a militia, Harold Lamb, historical fiction guy, Marching Sands, Omar Khayyam: A Life, Genghis Khan: King Of All Men, need more Rubáiyát in my life, the LibriVox version is preferable, Cirsova, Julian Hawthorne’s The Cosmic Courtship, astral projection, a professional narrator, leverage more stuff, our narrator today, like Jesse reading, the majority are pretty good, share the wealth, if pizza was still under trademark, Pizza authorized restaurant, no cheerios pizza!, let our pizzas free, champagne, parmesan, Cheddar, let people make their own pizzas, we’ve had a pizza flourishing, the ketchup on hot-dogs, its allowed, the right condiments for hotdogs, don’t lock down my hot dog, The Ship Of Ishtar by A. Merritt, Planet Stories series, Sword Of Rhiannon by Leigh Brackets, Robots Have No Tails by Leigh Brackett, Stefan Rudnicki, Johnny Heller, Nightfall And Other Stories, 40 or 50 titles, more officially public domain, 1923 was a cutoff until 2 years ago, the late 1920s pretty soon, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Leonardo Dicaprio (the short guy from Titanic), push books to sell to the high schools, oh shit the copyright’s expiring, the Philip K. Dick estate, the Folio Society collection of The Complete Short Stories of Philip K. Dick, Bryan Alexander, a monstrosity, $750 for four books, Jesse’s complaints are legion, Americans tend to do that, the artistic objects, collecting old things, a half million dollar revenue project, does not include Dick’s juvenile, a handful or two handfuls not in there, lazy as fuck, the colours are fluorescent, commissioning new art, too highbrow and too generic, The Infinites, Colony, a pointless argument, people like art, these are objections for collection, like buying a sculpture, a phenomenon in art, this is a way of storing value, artificial scarcity, art as one object, not for the billionaires, above the funko pop level, The Book Of The New Sun, a new Tor version, zener card symbols are public domain, this is bad cover art, is art objective or subjective, a minimalist room, Scott doesn’t complain about art, The Doomsday Book by Connie Willis, Kivrin, $750!, Subterranean Editions, The Best Of David Brin, The Best Of Elizabeth Bear, Nancy Kress.

Star Ship by Poul Anderson

Star Ship by Poul Anderson

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