The SFFaudio Podcast #714 – READALONG: Orphans Of The Sky by Robert A. Heinlein


Jesse, Maissa Bessada, and Evan Lampe talk about Orphans Of The Sky by Robert A. Heinlein

Talked about on today’s show:
two novellas, Universe and Common Sense, in Astounding, May and October 1941, astounding, the back half of this book barely needs to exist, the ending, a tearjerker, a wifejerker, Jesse’s guess, Heinlein’s like: “sure”, good things, things that are missing, the environmental angle, the ship would be reducing furnishings, they would have a lot less stuff in their ship, keep feeding the converter, back in my day we had more material goods, there used to be paintings on the walls, the ship’s boat, books, feed the books or one of his wives in, the unnamed wife lost a tooth, he might have hit her, misogyny, she doesn’t even have a name, other than threatening to throw her in the converter…, the women are very non-existent, a girl he likes, the first mutant was female, no wonder he hates girls, the four armed knife-making lady, good eating, making swords, a widow who got to keep her name, so generous, real world, if they had a replicator, he’s inventing quite a bit of stuff, the matter converter thing, before nuclear bombs, let those mutants breed (to feed the converter), if you lived in a school for 20 years, the ship is made of metal, is there are room full of iron bars?, stripping off hinges and door panels and lockers, The Science Fiction Hall Of Fame, all the interesting thematic stuff was in Universe, longer than the first part, how are we gonna do this?, confirmed, a few allusions going on, one for all and all for one, Alexander Dumas, organizing the re-mutiny, we should get the women too, the mutiny on the Bounty, Pitcairn’s Planet, reverse, the ship’s boat went with Bligh, explains the misogyny, Fletcher Christian etc., kidnapping a bunch of ladies, Heinlein indicating, they found a box of books that boys always somehow find, that’s really sad then, the Sabine women, start your civilization with patriarchy, a general cruelty everywhere, sympathizing with Bobo, Joe-Jim, Hugh, a wife-beater, lots of good things in here, done so you might not notice it as much, he needs to indicate he is being cruel, slavery, genocide, crazy religion, so good, the Bible, and yet it moves!, Galileo, Universe is an allegory for the scientific revolution, Common Sense is an allegory for the Mutiny On The Bounty, the society is backwards, a fundamentalist religion that they call science, imagine Heinlein wrote a colonial rebellion set during the American Revolution, the British are coming, having an ultimatum-off, he wouldn’t have any illusions they were general bastards (but not focus on it), he would tip his hand, Evan is going through Ben Franklin, a very sympathetic character, a dynamo, different from the other founding fathers, going with the flow, Joe-Jim is never show as three or four times older, reading for several generations, he seems like a guy, figuring out what the pronouns were, Joe-Jim is a him (not a them), a real phenomenon, people sometimes have two heads, little bit of bickering, fun to experience, a two headed friend, chess or checkers, when one of those heads dies, the other dies quick thereafter, other guy same person, control of limbs, highly coordinated, hims share an ability to control his body, it just flows, this two headed person plays chess and checkers with himself, too hard, our infodump old man character, two guy in one body, hims figured out that the ship was not the whole, two heads are better than one, call yourself on your own bullshit, Zaphod Beeblebrox, forgettable, seeing Bobo get killed felt bad, sacrifice himsself, an emotional catharsis, kinda sweet but unneeded, thinking about the title, orphans in space, they don’t know who they are, who are the real orphans of the sky at the end of the book, orphans from Earth, leftbehind and purposeless, was there only one ship’s boat?, stuck there forever, heat death of the physical ship Vanguard, the really cool thing about Universe, an allegory for the human condition, a hard SF story, a retelling of us on Earth, the purposelessness, they have their culture, they have the genocides they need to do, a very destructive element, an intellectual revolution, Heinlein’s on the side of Hugh here, the scientistic world view, sweeps everything under the rug (then don’t look under the rug), to Far Centaurus, your head was too big, learn to read, gravitation is metaphorical, super-fun stuff, crazy people, literally true at all points vs. metaphorical at all points, metaphorical explanations and poetry and lists of people, The Iliad, every town in Greece gets its own hero, the hometown hero, an artifact of that, all the electrical stuff is all true, the gravitational stuff is all metaphor, this guy in the sky is watching you, have a revelation, no big guy in the sky, having literal wars over who’s going to be in charge, not hitting you over the head with it, it makes great SF, good eating is the purpose, when you take away the light, eating and making sex, and killing, the Chief Engineer, no art, they don’t even understand fiction, they didn’t know that this fiction, like Galaxy Quest (historical fiction), Universe is terrific soft science fiction and terrific hard SF, more backstory, why Jordan?, D.D. Harriman, a company?, a corporation?, Time Enough For Love, New Frontiers, the Methuselah’s Children people, flourishing as savages on a planet called Pitcairn Island, a massive decline, we need to right the ship, get high up in the position, die and freeze to death, they were wrong, that is the point, we have other environmental problems, fossil fuels to shove, rewriting this book starting earlier, years with Joe-Jim, kidnapped by the muties, apprentice to this wizard, where does the mutie food come from?, how many people live on the Vanguard?, at least three women, 4 or 5 maybe 6 and a couple of guys, what the farms are like, more on industry and food distribution, is there taxes?, only two hours, who else can do something that much in that short?, an explanation for the swearword Huff, to huff with you, a drib and a drab, the audio drama is a bit different, no Joe-Jim, barely a sketch, Dimension X and X-Minus One, half hour adaptations of classic science fiction stories, a Heinlein thingy, Brave New World, Bernard Marx is an accident they let go, Winston in Nineteen Eighty Four, a standard character, how this idea has evolved, not hard enough, all about the ecology, the first one, the idea had been around since the 1920s, developed so well by other writers, Aurora by Kim Stanley Robinson, how it is sustained, going deeper into the purpose of this, explore the frontier, mid-20th century stuff, Philip K. Dick, very American, fascist imperialists who wanted to conquer another planet, an expansionist culture, re-read Aurora, how many Universes inside of Aurora, Robert J. Sawyer, as more trilogies piled up, so amazing, Golden Fleece by Robert J. Sawyer, centrifugal force, accelerate half way there and decelerate half way, a constant 1g with one day where everybody is floating around, the narrator is the ship’s computer, its a murder mystery, the computer did it!, a little bit clunky handling humans, his humans are robotic, a metaphor for us here, we are on the starship earth, there have been many mutinies, and all we recognize is good eating, those poor plebs on the ground, as the captain gets fat and closes our door, Evan is correct, you need to know that you can create something, is good eating a bad purpose, the best adaptation of this is the Star Trek episode For The World Is Hollow And I Have Touched The Sky, a generation starship inside of an asteroid, then instruction manual for the universe, disobey the high priestess, brain pain and then a stroke, put them on the right course, an evil computer to Kirk, free choice, high technology, McCoy is dying, packing a lot into 50 minutes, The Orville one: If The Stars Should Appear, opening a canopy, cultural revolution, understanding their purpose, the minds of the people, the plot summary, suffering from a fatal disease just for this episode, xenopolycythemia, high priestess, Yanada, 10,000 years ago, all it takes is a commercial break to fall in love, an instrument of obedience, take a Christian cookie and drink the blood of Christ (to obey the pope), activated, deal with the oracle, behind the altar, a cure for McCoy’s condition, there version of Common Sense, Thomas Paine, a revolution, Ptolemy is common sense, Copernicus is common sense, Agora (2009), Hypatia of Alexandria, her slave knew, the experiment on the boat, an allegory, Aristotle’s explanation, it seems round, the words turn up in the text, new purpose, Paine’s pamphlet, the common sentiment, a trick we do on ourselves, where on the globe do you live?, they all know the Earth is round, the Earth orbits the sun, flat-earthers, contrary, Heinlein’s having it both ways, a revolutionary guy, The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, why the universe is the universe, an attack on the phrase, “It’s just common sense” <- you haven't actually thought about it, looked at the evidence, what the common perception is, whoever is spending the most money to do the most speech, propaganda and advertising, bougie colleagues ordering from uber eats on a rainy day, blocking out ads, cellphone ads, it is common sense that an island shouldn't rule a continent, Evan loves Tom Paine, if you don't agree with me you're an idiot, follow through with evidence, the reason Paine left England, I must bring down the British Empire at all costs, a historical figure, marshaling whatever arguments are available, Ben Franklin brought Paine to America, Evan's headcanon: Ben Franklin Is A Time Traveler, shows up in Philadelphia, if you take him out the American Revolution doesn't happen, he knows where to be at the right time, a historical fiction to be written, Neal Stephenson's Baroque Cycle, a real dynamo, The Sea Wolf by Jack London, people are demanding Evan’s Star Trek book, cut it off after Voyager, so sexless, gender politics, Rite Gud, Raquel S. Benedict, Everyone Is Beautiful No One Is Horny, sexless films, frustrated at the lack of sex in Star Wars, Obi Wan should be sleeping with sandpeople, he abandoned his Jedi ways he should get a girlfriend, 1990s direct to video, hey that’s random, Lethal Weapon is a buddy cop movie with a sex scene, seeing Mel Gibson’s ass, heightened experience of all things, this no sex thing is spinning in Maissa’s head, bathing suits, they recycled their clothes, sacred texts, acid free paper, a lot of bindings to break, computers, scribes, no moving parts in the computer, so hidden, operating the ship, the way you control the ship is you put a hand over a sensor, fiber optic, the light is blocked, bowl-shaped ruts in the hallways, visualizing the things that are there that they are not talking about, light and heat, florescent tubes, more meetings more soviets in Aurora, talking with computers, Kim Stanley Robinson likes his meetings, giant chunky novels, too many meetings, Evan is like an Ent, liking ideas, 50 pages of people talking about their values, Slavoj Žižek, anarchists, workers councils, debt or medical bills, there’s pleasure to be had in working out your ideas, people sitting around and talking about things, too big of a class, co-workers complained about Evan, feed me with your insight, Evan wants you to correct him, in comparison, you didn’t take the minutes properly, a 600 page book, there’s a dozen major characters vs. having two characters with one torso, Star Trek or Doctor Who, one guy represents the whole planet, character interaction stuff, characters are there to deliver the ideas, we don’t need more wife-abuse, we need to know that these guys are jerks, The Orville episodes that are just their version of Star Trek episodes, the social media planet episode was novel, time loop thing, the Kaylon invasion arc, standalone is good, Strange New Worlds, a robot suicide, Isaac kills himself, a depressed robot, Sisko’s girlfriend tries, The Orville has sex, Rob Lowe as blue alien, some alien takes over people, flashfoward three time to Pike’s a mummy who can beep, he’s going to be a beeper later, bad writing, it took them a long time to get to the planet, Prodigy as Teletubbies Star Trek, sex in Lower Decks, back on the bridge Kirk smiles at McCoy and Spock looks insulted, a little button, an old Heinlein story rehashed, back to episodic, they’re trying, Picard is a total disregard for everything that was supposed to be Star Trek, old Star Trek canon, inner eyelids and pon fars, saddled with endless lore, why is Spock’s girlfriend in this?, that’s not science fiction, Captain Pike meets young Picard and introduced him to Earl Grey tea, Earl Grey decaf! Star Trek’s back!, just words, more stuff thrown into the converter and rebel against the masterminds of the ship who are driving us off course, The Integral Trees by Larry Niven, 240 page slim volume, a ring around a neutron star, Golden Fleece by Robert J. Sawyer, Sawyer was influenced by Heinlein, the Quintaglio Ascension, miniature dinosaurs on a moon of a Jupiter-like planet that is tidally locked and the main character is a tiny Tyrannosaurs Rex Galileo perhaps from Earth from a generation starship from Earth, a Voyager that’s a rip-off of a Robert J. Sawyer [“Distant Origin“], a bizarre accident or suicide or murder?, pretty amazing, later works, definitely early Sawyer, malevolent AI, the AI did it, but why?, a second mystery, The Long Tomorrow by Leigh Brackett, The Shining by Stephen King, bringing my microphone to America, Binary by Michael Crichton, eventually Michael Crichton will be much appreciated, trying to kill the Republicans, two cylinders of gas, doing some writer stuff, together they are the book, a writerly trick, a dynamo of thinking in writing, responsible for a lot of cool books, on IMDB, directed the TV movie, Sphere, Congo, a white ape movie, everything Crichton was huge in the late 80s, Westworld, Sean Connery and Donald Sutherland in The Great Train Robbery, a beautiful movie, natural scientist, Oscar Isaac, a real person, becoming Christian, this woman’s a witch, desexed Hypatia, a fictionalized biopic, pretty good script, spending time in that weird old place that nobody filmed stories in, 4th or 5th century, darkish ages, the Library of Alexandria, also destroyed, what we have left, kind of a downer, really nice to see, a love triangle and no sex, a terrible title, 2009, a Spanish movie, figuring out heliocentricism is basically a sex scene, sensawunda as orgasm, The Physician (2013), Avicenna, medicine stuff, join The Sea Wolf party, when was Will’s last tweet?, on vacation, Disney stuff, Scrooge McDuck, thinking about thinking about what Will would have thought of this book, The Star King by Jack Vance, Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe, re-re-read The Shining again, Black House is amazing, a blind DJ, Peter Straub, beer brewing philosophy grads, Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven, 625 pages and a sequel, connected to The Dark Tower too, a murder mystery kind of thing, The Talisman, a third book, 40 and a retired cop, this 4 hour book was twice as long as it needed to be, 10 hours longer than The Shining, Evan’s Price Is Right guess was off, Martin Eden is 14 hours, a bird’s eye tour of the setting, zoom in on different characters, John Barleycorn is only 6 hours, space these things out, Vernon Lee’s Prince Alberic And The Snake Lady, sell it more, Violet Paget, “only a few marble animals about the porphery rhinocerous”, a weird tale of some kind, William Morris’ weird fantasy, the language and the experience of it, to H.H. the Ranee Brooke of Sarawak, queen or princess, controlling pirates, Mens’ adventures pulp magazine covers, a Malysian state in Borneo, the Sultan of Brunei, richest person on the planet, the first white Rajah of Sarawak, a fun very weird history, really nice and weird, the Bruneian empire, 1841-1946, a little piece of Malaysia that got turned into a little piece of Europe, I wanna do colonialism too, a mini-viking story, it was in The Yellow Book magazine, a selling point, The Picture Of Dorian Gray, Weird Tales, committing to late August, why Heinlein is good (and bad), bad instincts, John W. Campbell’s bad influence seems likely, we can imagine a happier ending, the women were suddenly liberated, suddenly some sentience, why they get smacked in the face and loose a tooth, lots of stabbings, into the matter converter with you, being a bad slave or having a wrong thought, who is the strawman character in this book?, the engineer, the captain, setup only to be easily confuted, Jesse is easily confuted, lazy, indecisive and not thoughtful, a criticism of religion and politicians, we think Biden and Justin have the reins and are well informed, the captain didn’t do anything, prepared to listen to arguments, ignorant and easily manipulated.

Universe by Robert A. Heinlein

Universe by Robert A. Heinlein

Universe by Robert A. Heinlein

Universe by Robert A. Heinlein

Universe by Robert A. Heinlein

Common Sense by Robert A. Heinlein

Common Sense by Robert A. Heinlein

Common Sense by Robert A. Heinlein

Common Sense by Robert A. Heinlein

Common Sense by Robert A. Heinlein

BAEN - Orphans Of The Sky by Robert A. Heinlein

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The SFFaudio Podcast #706 – READALONG: Everything’s Eventual by Stephen King

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #706 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, and Evan Lampe talk about Everything’s Eventual by Stephen King

Talked about on today’s show:
Stephen “Shitlib” King, on twitter, Marissa, what’s a shitlib?, explaining without being derisive, at the heart of his character, urban dictionary, portmanteau, leftist, spinelessness, hypocrisy, vote blue no matter who, hit the phones, an American treasure, fear of political radicals, Randall Flagg, Under The Dome, anxiety about radicalism among boomers, he’s not stupid, blinkered on some political issues, Fantasy & Science Fiction, October November 1997, novella, his psychology is on display, JFK, he can’t get JFK out of his mind, he’s not willing to accept, of more than one mind on things, why his characters can be so good, a terrific story in terms of readability, a small idea sustained for 2 hours, not that much material going on, the little drips, the chronology of this story is so well done, he hints that he murdered this guy, murder, what he can do and what he did do, a trailer, 2008 adaptation, “dollar baby”, SK will let you adapt anything for $1 (for no commercial students), what makes him a shitlib, I’m wealthy, I want to make everything post scarcity, he can’t be that, he does this half-measure, John Scalzi, no where in the league of Stephen King, filmmakers have a lot of interest in this, you want to do it that’s great, that’s why we don’t get to see this movie, an advocate of public domain, decry, an exemplar of his shitlibbery, he’s also a brand, offensive adaptations, diminishing his stature, it has hurt Shakespeare’s reputation greatly, a right wing screed, how could Stephen King let Trump do that?, he’s not going to get shit on by random people, Caitlin Johnstone, Australian, an online twitter commentator, you work for RT, you can do anything you want with my stuff as long as you’re not racist, you can’t really control what other people do unless you’re Stephen King, what piracy is, worrying, Stephen King knows JFK’s assassination isn’t on the up and up, who is this transcorporation, a dinky tranny, why he hasn’t been canceled yet, he wants to keep his reputation as a shitlib, trying to reconcile and can’t, a generous person who loves are but can’t, Richard Bachman, books, an extreme critique of American capitalism, massive dissatisfaction, this nefarious corporation, the government, a secret organization, people who shine, The Dark Tower, Firestarter, kill off people who are threats to the system, written around 1997, these are the people the system allows to exist to give them legitimacy, critique the system slightly from the left, The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas, they’re who Stephen King wants to be, the true threats to the system, the general who turns his back on war, and who is going to run for office, a lib columnist, the pope and the dog (Muffins), they’re not targeting prison abolitionists or anti-capitalists, that’s true, he could have highlighted any three people, he sees them as threats to the system, if this story was set in the 1960s, would Martin Luther King be targeted if this was set in the 1960s, Dolores Claiborne, he can’t resist to demonize a character, an obsession he has, Camelot and what might have been RFK, JFK was not a shitlib, a tool of American empire, he was trying to dismantle, why did they kill him?, he was fighting the military industrial complex, he was a cold warrior, he talks like a cold warrior, invading Cuba, aircover for the Bay of Pigs, a great betrayal of the deep state, the CIA, the Cuban expatriate right (wing), Florida, too soft on Kennedy, Jesse denies killing killing Kennedy, The Devil’s Chessboard, the Dulles brothers did it, the FBI was run by a guy who had massive power over presidents, J. Edgar Hoover, Allen Dulles was fired by JFK, why Oswald killed JFK, in the area, the Zupruder film, suppressed since the 1960s, he wrote a book 11/22/63, there’s something rotten in the state of Denmark, he’s not willing to accuse his Uncle [Sam], what this story is about, why Evan picked this story, Call Him Nemesis (is a) superhero origin story by Donald E. Westlake, three help Roland, Dinky Earnshaw, his one true multiverse, like Isaac Asimov, Foundation and Empire, Robert A. Heinlein, The Number Of The Beast, Gulf, Friday, why is Pug in this story, the guy at the super-saver, The Mist, autobiographical stuff, the themes of the story, most of us, the vast majority of our talents are wasted, like Stephen King, this grocery store, the recruiter, the mom, Sharpton, what’s so powerful about this story, your talent is useful, so seductive, fall into the trap, trained to do horrible things, give them a home, easy to justify, wipes out a wedding in Yemen, Afghanistan, more egregious, a seductive reality, people want to be useful, do nothing all day, take photos all day, free of economic constraints, wasting real talent, how many Mozarts are working in some coal mine, Ansel Adams working as warranty administrators, recruited into the military, your country needs you, if you work hard you can advance up the ranks, the army made me the man I am today, Starship Troopers, the satire, my doggy thing, an image of a guy throwing change down the drain on the side of the road, fire hydrants, rain gutters, as a kid that’s what you’re close to, as a shorter person, those summers last forever, your grade 8 summer, not sending to Nyarlathotep, why would anybody throw clothes down there?, get rid of the money, great writing, what isn’t answered, pug is also a funny name, fuck Mrs. Buckowski’s dog, he hates the dog, his hatred for dogs, Muffins is a dog, transforms in his dream from Pug into Skipper, he knows he’s killing innocent people, he’s killing pugs, what we know about psychopaths, killing animals, Dink is a very nice guy, pizza face, chocolate, we like him, at the end of the story, it’s going to go there, the tie, “company”, a cutout for the CIA, The Men Who Stare At Goats, Courtney Brown, remote viewing, DARPA, a great job, but its a cult and you’re doing evil, rescinded, a shell company, the bombsight metaphor, surrounded by homeless people, a super-analytical mind, Philip K. Dick, boobs, coffee, religious philosophy, the names in here are not nothing, Excalibur, Neff’s suicide, white haired New York Times columnist, good humoured fuck, Double Indemnity, Walter Neff, suckered in by a hot lady, murder, he can’t quite put it all together, faces out of the earth coming to haunt him in his dreams, I’m the tool, Stephen King knows what the problem is, he can’t make that extra step, King with a Ukraine shirt, he’s on board, he won’t rock the boat, he’s a good boy, he can write another story, I got another story to write, bringing out the psychology of himself, a very frustrating situation, he can’t escape, somebody comes and saves him?, that’s the ending?, the opening of a novel, not an ending, a gap in the writing, Mr. Sharpton is not the boss of this company, he’s killing some guy who’s like him, I’ve been hypnotized and maybe drugged, he’s the handler, how spies make assets, Chuck, The Americans, the things that shitlibs say: “Russian assets”, ex-CIA guys on Twitter, Mike Baker, Joe Rogan, a time clock, the relationship will fall apart, starting with a negative vs. a positive, human assets are time limited, revenge, blackmail, recruited as a positive, apple pie, swank mag, his internet was censored, when things shifted, browsers in 1994, other people are watching him, he’s being spied on in the past, post-cogs, JFK was killed by a woman, even Stephen King doesn’t think that Oswald did it, mostly a love story, he can’t come to terms with it, he can’t grapple with it, JFK, RFK, more right wing, Catholics should have loved JFK, conservative Catholic, as an alternative to Nixon, LBJ, what might have been, he was murdered, even the president can be assassinated, banned from twitter, Trump should have nationalized twitter, nationalizing gas companies, if you can ban the most powerful person in the world from communicating, who’s really in charge?, a very 1960s film, Dr. Strangelove (1964), James Coburn, The President’s Analyst (1967), Gravy Planet aka The Space Merchants, Martha Wells’ Murderbot series, the Aliens universe, working hand in glove, al the way back to Smedley Butler, the business plot, War Is A Racket, an agent of corporations, a mercenary for United Fruit, enforcing the Monroe doctrine, Oswald was Dink, if you buy the official story, recruited by the CIA to live in Russia, pro and anti-Cuba in Florida, who was his paymaster, Robert Dwoney Jr., Air America is a CIA plot, drug running and gun running, a fun movie, those are Dinks, illegal, off the books, if the president is playing the game, is all of King like this?, how this story is told, how things are revealed, a Dark Tower connection, Ted Chiang’s Understand, intellectual powers, The Dreams In The Witch-House, making a guy off himself, paranoid shit like that, Steven Seagal and Jean Claude Van Damme, stream of consciousness, Gerald’s Game, he’s still really relevant, non-euclidean, he doesn’t even know the world eldritch, talents, a metaphor for him, why he is Dink, why he banned his school shooting book, he thinks this power is real, crazy but also true, he doesn’t want to have this on his conscience, much bigger than he is, what if he is wrong?, not the Stephen King that we have, they’d have to deal with him, maybe?, George Orwell, Animal Farm is a CIA tool, Nineteen Eighty-Four, Animal Farm is the one they push, this is not bullshit, he can’t be responsible, he hates Trump, and he’s a good boy, the tower can’t fall, you just can’t go there, why he’s so sucessful, The Dark Tower is reactionary, the last cop trying to hold together the universe, a traditional liberal, it doesn’t outline the issue, he’s not willing to accept what he knows is true, he’s writing it all over the page, Understand is much more simple, Limitless, the power to predict, super-analyze, taking knowledge, the’s correlating all the contents, a one man psychohistory, he’s pretending like he’s dumb, Paul has a day job, wordle, a nice relaxing game of Civ, sunrise and sunset photos, putting things together, what writers and comedians do all day long, putting it all together, truing to understand reality, the mainstream media, the transcribers of CIA talking points, Abby Martin and Chris Hedge’s back catalogue on YouTube were deleted, the Russians interfered in our elections, stop the steal, the same narrative and the same set of beliefs, the same unfounded set of beliefs, they’re swimming in it, NPR, PBS, Democracy Now used to be anti-war, Yemen (war) is vaguely bad, the AirWars website, the numbers don’t go down, the narrative wont allow it, he wont allow us to see the final conclusion, killing off the Excalibur guy, he can’t solve the story, it really is a disappointing ending, he isn’t exposing anything, if you want to escape, he hasn’t followed it up, taken back in by another recruiter to be a breaker, a secret book, here’s what I really thought, Galileo can’t say what he really thinks, and yet it moves, a tell-all, why he has to keep writing, he’s gotta avoid making that conclusion, too afraid of disorder, Secret Window, Secret Garden, Rest Stop, beats up an abusive man in a rest stop toilet, fearful of disorder, his greatest fear is the fear at the ending of The Mist, I just have to kill my family, what if I’m wrong?, the dark ending that Hollywood couldn’t handle, the movie ending makes it more explicit, makes the subtext text, highlights the mistake, good and stability wins out, is stability always good?, Dungeons & Dragons, good vs. evil, order vs. chaos, a lawful evilness to the American Empire, we define what lawful , James Clapper: “not wittingly” is lying to congress, weapons of mass destruction, mistakes were made, when people get divorced, I want to not be married to this person, I’m going to go to the garage more, circumstances that will lead, the life wish vs. the death wish, we should always be thinking about our own psychology, I’m married to the United States, happy wife, happy life, because if it rhymes it must be true, if the glove doesn’t fit you must acquit, write more stuff, if you do look into the dark pit you , what is the end goal, I want to be the last man standing, a lot of people do the hot drop, feeling the stress building over a half an hour, a miniature version of life, to understand truth, killing people doesn’t make you survive better, being aggressive doesn’t make you less likely to be killed, the life instinct and the death instinct, to be stressed out, a very immature thing, its lunch time, alone in a classroom, building a house of cards, blow on his house a cards, what would child Paul, most boys would exercise their vital power, they want to see stuff blow up, that felt bad, stop the bully, we have both instincts, to be the bully and to stop the bully, what play is, puppies and kittens, 100% natural, as an adult you don’t do this anymore, not a dis just a fact, there’s consequences to his actions, Dink is immature, ignorant, socially isolated, why King is playing him as a less savvy version of himself, interesting Catholic stuff, King’s a Methodist, the pope being assassinated, Stephen King is dink and the plot master, Mercedes, Mr. Mercedes, symbols of power, jeans are for fucking around, suits are for business, King doesn’t wear a suit (because he’s not a businessman), what keeps him writing, suits are almost always bad news, technical dress code shirt, a shirt with a collar and buttons, a 70s shirt, Leonard McCoy’s chest hair, a pretty big collar, Kirk with the arm hair, giant belt buckles, a tracking device, a little off topic, a little Star Trek talk for Chowbacca, it’s fun to hear your name called out, how’s Picard season 2 going?, the Red Letter Media, enjoying their discomfort, another national treasure, how their collective works, their editing is good, their insights are good, commercially interesting, the Critical Drinker guy, Red Letter Media aren’t interested in the Batman movie, their Darkman (1990) review, its a good time to consider Sam Raimi, how this podcast works, what’s the hot new book out?, no interest, N.K. Jemisin, I consider her a friend, Nora, Paul considers them all friends, a moderator on her twitch channel, free labour here too, how many PUBG games has she played with you?, more of a guy game, DaRose, nobody wants to here his civil war stories, their ideal audience, people don’t read civil war anthologies, Sinclair Lewis, nobody knows him, Arrowsmith, Elmer Gantry, Charles Brockden Brown, Edgar Allan Poe, 1st hundred pages are poetry, the ultimate thesis on The Raven, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Ben Franklin, John Adams, inventor, intellectual, Evan was triggered, hard on John Adams, sacrificed his presidency to stop a war, he was unpopular, greater moral considerations, Andrew Jackson, oof size large, trigger Evan about Poe, strictly monogamous, Poe is so rich, he’s super-intimidating, he’s like William Shakespeare, having issues, away from the , In And Out Burgers, having Paul adventures, more shitlib King, the Dark Tower is too big, anything long will trigger Jesse, the 70 hours The Devil’s Chessboard [is 26 hours], Ariel and Will Durant, a history of pop, a history of car tires, take decades off your life, H.G. Wells’ [history] stuff, The Outline Of History is 44 hours, double speed, Everything’s Eventual narrator was great, it’ll be on sale at some point, Justin Long is a good narrator, movie actor, Dodgeball (2004), Accepted (2006), Idiocracy (2006), the Bruce Willis thing, Tusk (2014), aphasia, low budget bad movies, he shouldn’t be doing this, he might need the money, offensive to the craft, like Jean Luc Picard is offensive, ORson Welles hawking wine, debase themselves, Nicole Kidman out on the street hooking, that’s a shame, with the proper camera placement, aphasia is an inability to speak, almost nobody knows what this word means, Alzheimer’s is tarred, some brain effect, we’re being lied to, definitely an issue, dementias, we’re eating it up and reporting, if he can’t memorize scripts, Saturday Night Live, Andrew Dice Clay, performer vs. actor, on live television, Hail, Caesar! (2016), Ethan Cohen’s short stories, something wrong with their writing, they enjoy their writing more than, Fargo (1996), O Brother Where Art Thou (2000), smug, the lady with the big lips, Billy Bob Thornton, The Man Who Wasn’t There (2001), big fish in a small pond, Inglorius Basterds (2009), The Hateful Eight (2015), Elmore Leonard, Jackie Brown (1997), El Mariachi (1992), Robert Rodriguez, Spy Kids, his best self, not to the level as Quentin Tarantino, as much like Hitchcock as Hitchcock, human flourishing, seeing the great master at work, another Rock movie, direct to Netflix, Inside Llewyn Davis (2013), odd obsessions, an irony there, The Hudsucker Proxy (1994), Frances McDormand, Evil Dead, Evil Dead 2, Army Of Darkness, its Phantom Of The Opera, they didn’t make that connection, a monster not a superhero, the Amber Chronicles, unlike all the other Universal Monsters, the werewolf, the spiderwoman, the creature from the black lagoon, Frankenstein creature, a solid science fiction backstory, how the plot is the same as Robocop (1987), ladies falling off buildings, sold out to do all those spider-man movies, film is a strange medium, Doctor Strange, multiverse fiction, Morbius the living vampire, literary characters were allowed, nobody is willing to shill for it, it must be dogshit, audience score, people in the genre community, Dracula shows up in Marvel Comics, nudity!, reasonable, rational copyright, Stephen King has the ability, and chooses not to do that, two things you can do, creative commons, LibriVox makes a frowny face, the regime of this stuff doesn’t compel authors to keep their copyright term, filmmakers on YouTube, back when we were trying to make the web good, as soon as it leaves your pencil, while we keep it in print, particular contracts, work for hire, he can’t reconcile, Brandon Sanderson, contracts are not copyright, Jesse waved a wand, movie rights are not included, why it has a baby in it, his babies maybe?, the festival circuit and educational purposes only, Mute, good stories, he feels guilty, I wanna be generous about this, exploit his writings, he’s stuck, full blown Alan Moore, fawk them awl, the Dark Tower audio drama people, cock blocked, trying to get a series done, the law is two, phones with no headphone jacks, android phones, even Samsung, another way, you wanted to put your little Dinky in there, a little MP3 player, phones are becoming worse and worse, LG went out of the cellphone business.

Fantasy & Science Fiction, October November 1997

Eveything's Eventual art by Jill Bauman

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The SFFaudio Podcast #687 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: The People Of The Black Circle by Robert E. Howard

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #687 – People Of The Black Circle by Robert E. Howard; read by Mark Nelson

This unabridged reading of the story (3 hours 34 minutes) is followed by a discussion of it.

Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Evan Lampe, Trish E. Matson, Alex, and Connor Kaye.

Talked about on today’s show:
when “the”, Strange Case Of Dr Jekyll And Mr Hyde, Savage Sword Of Conan adaptation, 116 page adaptation, feeling that text raw, the 1982 Conan movie is a really good movie, lifting a lot from this, it is all of the Howard stories, our counter hero is done with you now, spear through his gut, Thulsa Doom, come to me my child, the magic system, the snake transformation, The Frost Giant’s Daughter, Robert E. Howard’s Greatest Conan Story, what you like about Conan, political wheeling and dealing, how to make your writing better, the three ways of viewing movies, the auteur theory, the star theory, the genre theory, Poe copy, looking for Conan, Kull and Solomon Kane, more paid by the word than usual, rushing through it, broad strokes and hinting, Conan The Buccaneer by Lin Carter and Fritz Leiber, cool intrigue, when the Devi, really good chess movement, Planet Of Iron Shadows?, Iron Shadows In The Moon, pirates, how the story actually works, three adaptations, Ablaze’s French translation, Dark Horse, Marvel’s full SSOC adaptation, gorgeous, atmospheric, action panels, covered in veils and things, trades clothes with the hill woman, smoky mystic, half naked before and half naked again, Alfredo Alcala’s inks are unfinished, John Buscema’s pencil’s, rocks are beautiful, scales and turbans and clouds of dust, the decline in comics, what happened to comics, Ablaze is muddy looking, sorta manga style, when they get angry people go manga, his proportions are wrong, he looks like a mutant, a cartoon aesthetic, not enough nudity, butt and sideboob, her regression scene, one of the best scenes in all of Conan, Skull-Face, “I’ve kissed ladies from Hell”, so good, the shell of the story, the Devi is on a revenge quest, Conan is trying to be a leader, admitting responsibility towards his men, the mark of a leader, Queen Of The Black Coast is run by Belit, Yezdigerd, why all of this plot is happening, agents, Thoth Amon, the King of Turan, gaining the kingship not administering the kingdom, betraying and intriguing, the names, servants of the seers, a little carelessness, action, Conan is very Conan, stupid magic belt, Yasmina, Evan shares a lot of Trish’s views, political factions and relations, who is loyal to who, that really long climax, the transformation into the bird, the forces of sorcery, decadent empire and barbarism, the class element, Gitara, what is Gitara’s motivation to convert Green Turban, does she really love him?, I’ll make you king, outside of her powers, you’re a powerful man, he could have challenged me, both baddies, they’re both slaves, Howard is ambivalent about a lot of things Evan isn’t, smashing elites, the individual within a corrupt society, forge an empire of our own, you’re powerful and I’m tricky, an underdetermined character, a Great Game story, Iraqis, pre-Iraq, Afghulis, Iranistanis, what’s missing is he doesn’t get to fight a tiger, giant snakes, giant eagle, Conan is never really in India, Kull fights tigers, a wizard dressed up as a tiger, a book of essays about Robert E. Howard, real geography, Himalayas, the Zaibar Pass is the Khyber Pass, Afghanistan, an El Borak story with Conan, is Turan Persia or Turkey?, the Vilyaet Sea, the Aral Sea not the Black Sea, Iron Shadows In The Moon, mid northern asia border with Europe-ish, Buddhist evil priests, The Nine Billion Names Of God by Arthur C. Clarke, they’re from the Mysterious East, out of The Shadow, anti-Buddhists, a Fu Manchu style Buddhists, red dust and blue dusts, prayer wheels, a perfectly calm, Buddhist sash thing on his head, he’s a lich, a lecherous lich, catch the Devi, the genre vs. the medium, it feels like a serial but it isn’t a serial, Flash Gordon serials, lets make this longer, feeling the drag, Vale Of Lost Women cooks, the ending is pristine, I’ve still got men, the dog attacking a guy is there to fill pages, a bunch of challenges, a boss fight, that’s how you get paid, a D&D module, the belt of magical resistance, Conan doesn’t have a magic sword or a loyal horse, its wielded by Robert E. Howard, the “Atlantean sword” shit, Conan fights a giant magnet, Conan fighting a polar bear, Conan has to fight magic because its Weird Tales, the power of evil wizards moving the plot, you’re to stupid to know what it is: $250 vs. $50, four parallel characters, Yasmina’s vs. Gitara’s third eye (her Bindi), the loss of vocabulary is palpable, “lambent”, pages of no dialogue and no text, great, good, bad, and terrible all on one page, three shadows and a nightstand, elf-style ears and facial piercings, its a reveal he’s a lich, no I’m just a man but I command demons, the psychological torture of living through reincarnation cycles, she’s humbled, household drudgery, back beyond the dimmest dawn, skin clad, looms, dragged, the bite of the lash, the bloody block, Alfredo Alcala, Big John Buscema, are doing it without reference materials, two words for throw, he hurl throwed, Savage Sword was the Golden Age, Roy Thomas, Ernie Chan (Chua), a decline and a decline and a decline, we think it is the character that we like, hard to sell an El Borak story?, some bias against going to places and learning things, Thomas Jane, handsome actor, a local sidekick, demons and armies and the , The Fire Of Ashurbanipal, Steve Clarny, Swords Of Schaharazar, Hawks Of The Hills, The Lost Valley Of Iskander, lost valley trope, The Lost Valley, Temple Of Doom doesn’t exist without this story, guy has his heart ripped out, modeled on the movies, some ladies in the jungle, snake footage, magic items in the bible, an excuse to go to India and China, visiting a place but not as tourists, the gross out scenes, presented with food that you can’t eat, Stephen Spielberg’s ex-wife is the kid character, Short Round is our viewpoint Mary Sue, the stupid and the smart the cool and the uncool, pairing Conan up with a bunch of regulars, Crom is a repeating character, why Evan is having trouble finding something to say, Howard’s philosophy is not intellectual as it is honorable, when confronted with the problem of her clothes are on, a man should kill a woman if she’s too dangerous, slaps her on the butt and she accepts it as a complicated, doing the monkey dance, how do I as an individual interact with the world, why Yasmina is such a good character, the Conan Destroyer princess, human beings acting in the world, when Green Turban refuses to die, you get him for me, ate his salt, Solomon Kane is insane and there are no demons (but he’s doing his best), I guess I have to use this magic staff, why these weird plots happen, doomed hirelings, they’re fucked and they know it, coming away with a philosophy of what his ideas are, how to live in the world in the moment, his feminist moment, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, as to Yasmina, a classist person, not thrilled to be slapped on the butt, an appreciation not a denigration, not a fan of royalty, The Hour Of The Dragon, Xaltotun is the best villain, plans, give me your horse and I’ll save you, we can’t get married, chief of the guard, there are customs, we’ll work it out, I have a very nice harem you can be a part of, she literally kills him, horrible childbirths in her retrogression, silly putty, she knew the agonizes of childbirth, Solitude Of Self, individual struggle with nature that women experience but men don’t, Russian roulette, Robert E. Howard is not wedded to Conan the way we are, the last set of stories were Conan tales, had he lived, classifying his stories by character, that poem is really hot (or rough), Delenda Est by Robert E. Howard, the star is the important thing, the new Dune half movie, a bunch of models, Dark Horse, people standing in scenic locations, no text scrawl, no banquet scene, the beats of the action, it doesn’t capture what is the story, the monster beats, Robert e. Howard philosophy infodumps, the descriptions, C.L.A.I.M.: Character Language Allusion Imagery Message, what is the message of the new Dune movie, Sardukar complaining about things, explaining the weirding way in a film, transmuting poison in your body, showing buffed up people, who wants to do a Conan story vs. who wants to do a Robert E. Howard story, thinking of the setting and the setup, marketing purposes, scenes, ideas, and philosophy too, a princess who has been captured by a cult, Thulsa Doom’s cult, Red Nails, Valeria, mostly Belit, The Tower Of The Elephant, Oliver Stone and John Milius, to string the plot together, the weirding modules in the first Dune (1984) movie, Conan isn’t a character in the stories as much as they are stories with Conan in them, a backstory, an unhappy brooding king, By This Axe I Rule, tidbit of philosophy, listen to the philosophers, he kills the judge, trying to connect all the stories together, they don’t really understand, it isn’t just swords and giant snakes, an individual with an unhelpful god, treat it like an auteur rather than a star, Quentin Tarantino movies in different genres, telling yarns, the fun action adventure stuff, an idea somewhere in it, how to relate to women, he likes hot women, rape and threats of rape, how to relate to the weaker sex, be a man about it, the barbarian from outside, the savage vs. the barbarian, his own code, the distinction Lovecraft didn’t get, he’s the Jordan Peterson of Weird Tales, a moral code, a set of attitudes, what is, a magic system, hypnotism, a set of tricks that they work, an illusion?, a lock of hair, autosuggestion, he’s not as afraid of them, magic works on success, D&D rolling a 1, illusionists, the dog outside of the temple eating the offal, he is defeatable, becoming an eagle, we needed a tiger, fingernails, how witches work in the real world, my penis doesn’t work anymore, somebody’s balls swelled up, superstition makes you more superstitious, people are suggestible, your milk goes sour, they can kill the king with a lock of his hair (when the stars are right), his cortisol levels are high, fleeing the village, Khemsha, stampeded by Conan’s horse, his magic doesn’t matter, stepped on by a horse, a knife is a hardy incantation, hey Gitara how do you like that ride on our air horse?, cloud things, whirling dervishes, Paul got his 3rd shot, Gibraltar has 130% vaccination and full of COVID, like a magic charm, if we are to believe the science, sympathetic magic, why things happen as they do, really ugly, an earthquake in Haiti is punishment from God, magical thinking vs. Jack Vance style spells, propaganda techniques, the Lisan al Gaib, fighting the unbelievable, his muscles are bigger, beginner’s luck, confidence in the steel, the riddle of steel, the hand that wields the steel, only this you can trust, surrogate dad (James Earl Jones), so deluded, the real magic, women going through the streets of England putting white feathers on men during WWI, an attitude as well as knowledge, be an empiricist vs. be a rationalist, spinning up bullshit, Plato, the gold blooded and the silver and the bronze, this person is a natural slave, a natural leader, what makes the Devi divine is that her dad was the Rajah, Yasmina Devi, Genghis Khan, a backwards translation, through myth and 10,000 years she’s a goddess now, revenge is her god, the audiobook is a bit hard to follow, what all the factions were and what they wanted, a slow story, the middle section, people reading this in the 1930s knew what lambent is, H. Rider Haggard, we’ve become illiterate, the minimalist and conversational style, for a low class culture, mass market, people loved it, Savage Sword has awesome vocab on every page, we know she’s sad and worried about her son because she’s crying, we need big chunks of text, narration in movies is good, trying to explain a complex, know then it is the year 10,191, plans within plans wheels within wheels, just read the book, the ornithopters are better, they should have been birds not dragonflies, the ornithopter looked like a hawk, so forgettable, the fur diaper, neat and not tattered, he brushed his fur diaper that day, not in league with the devil, Kevin Sorbo’s Kull movie, Red Sonja (1985), supposed to be a comedy, fantastic bad, that scene is in here, Evan’s podcast, the Robert E. Howard Lovecraft letters, Pigeons From Hell was adapted for Thriller, stars two white guys, a black legend (folk tale), sleeping in an old plantation house, interesting revenge (symbolically), more pathos to that story, Hansel And Gretel has a sense, people were acting badly, Almuric, one big chunk, restricted zone, some time next year, Klim’s Journey Under The Ground, in the 18th century twice, Caleb Williams by William Godwin, The Goddess Of Atvatabar, The Midwich Cuckoos, The Pre-Persons by Philip K. Dick, Robert A. Heinlein’s boy scouts gone wrong in space, revelry, The Doom That Came To Sarnath, Connor doesn’t live on twitter, deep and rich, lemmee give you this magic belt made from Stygian lady’s hair, Alex’s ancestor was convicted of witchcraft in New France, cursed her womb by cutting a piece of her hair off, convicted and exiled, killed by Indians, 12 more kids, 11 kids, he might have actually been a witch, Alex’s last name is “Lich”, in the family archives, a convicted witch, Joan Of Arc, what a jerk, villains in Alex’s family, When Time Turned by Ethel Watts Mumford, like Back To The Future without a Delorean, The Clock That Went Backwards by Edward Page Mitchell, Reading, Short And Deep, set in the Netherlands, written disposably, half of Wisconsin, really well written, a historical siege scene, all the tropes (from 1881), Neal Stephenson’s The Baroque Cycle, The Ganymede Takeover, Benjamin Franklin, The Stars My Destination, Alfred Bester, WWII and boxing journalism, Henry James, Mark Twain, Ambrose Bierce, The Devil’s Dictionary, trying to make it hard for you to understand, An Occurrence At Owl Creek Bridge, the Civil War, Stephen Crane, Walt Whitman, make bank, Jack London, Herman Melville, lunchtime upside down, Solomon’s Gold, overwhelmed with work, a month on Egypt, classroom management, the students disrespect Evan, dig into their computer, insane coworkers, Evan can’t out himself as a freak (yet), Ancient Egypt, bad textbook, Kufu was a cruel pharaoh, the poor didn’t need mummification because they were buried in shallow graves, its not a work of love, Works Progress Administration, I’ve been told that Biden is the new FDR, Walker Evans taking photographs of people working in Walmart and living in the vans, New Deal money putting artists and musicians to work, all the bridges were built in the 1930s, interviewing former slaves, giving money to rich people, the vaccine mandate is exactly that, government research money, an NFT game, blockchain, “we got funded”, it sounds like a scam, web 2.0 was a scam, Pets.com, why Elon Musk is so rich, Bezos sells servers to the US government, planting the seeds, omicron variant, Foster, You’re Dead by Philip K. Dick, booster shots in perpetuity, fear moves money better than anything else, you can’t mandate, a healthy response, the weird nanny state in Taiwan, the pet industry, pet nannies, licensing pet nannies, I’m an unlicensed pet nanny, you need the barbarians to sweep in, wipe away (some) of the old, clean up your own room (style of thinking) vs. communism will solve all our problems, these emerging men, you need to get your house in order, stupid when off topic smart when on topic, trad dads, interpreting the bible, funny Bible stories, a book of fairy tales, Howard is highly influenced by the Bible, The Song Of Solomon, three volumes with big print.

Weird Tales The People Of The Black Circle

Weird Tales The People Of The Black Circle

Weird Tales The People Of The Black Circle

Weird Tales The People Of The Black Circle

Weird Tales The People Of The Black Circle

Ken Kelly - People Of The Black Circle

SSOC #16 - People Of The Black Circle

SSOC #16 - John Buscema and Alfredo Alcala - People Of The Black Circle

SSOC #17 - People Of The Black Circle

ABLAZE (Ejikure cover) People Of The Black Circle

DARK HORSE - People Of The Black Circle

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Reading, Short And Deep #260 – The Spring Jack by Peter Piper

Podcast

Reading, Short And DeepReading, Short And Deep #260

Eric S. Rabkin and Jesse Willis discuss The Spring Jack by Peter Piper

Here’s a link to a PDF of the story.

The Spring Jack was first published in Franklin’s Miscellany, January 27, 1838.

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The SFFaudio Podcast #334 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: The Birth-Mark by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #334 – The Birth-Mark by Nathaniel Hawthorne; read by Fred Heimbaugh. This is an unabridged reading of the story (50 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants in the discussion include Jesse and Fred.

Talked about on today’s show:
The Pioneer, March 1843, a Hawthorne Poe fest, contemporaries, The Scarlet Letter, a quote by Poe about Hawthorne, the CBS Radio Mystery Theater, well known?, why this story Fred?, he’s obsessed with sin, sociopaths, trigger warnings, neurosis, shame, luck, shaped by sin, a mark upon the family, subconscious Freudian messages, Commentary Magazine, Why College Kids Are Avoiding the Study of Literature by Gary Saul Morson, textual density, vocab, Lovecraft poems, Fungi From Yuggoth poems, harbours, kids are now shuttled between school the home and the mall, ranting against Hawthorne, The House Of The Seven Gables, revolutions in 20th century literature, Ernest Hemingway, the show don’t tell revolution, Hawthorne is the telling-est teller who ever telled, the right attitude toward sin, the two facedness of people, Hawthorne is attacking late stage decadent Puritanism, a homosexual vibe, what is the lesson?, science reaches too far?, Gothic horror, the evil wizard or the mad scientist, science as the channel to unlimited power, elixirs, potions, not even futuristic, Georgiana, Aminadab?, where is this story set?, Aylmer’s castle, Aylmer’s wealth, a compartmentalized life, from the third person POV, the host narration, obsession, the left side, the sinister side, she’s been marked, in the dream, chemical means, pre-Darwin, “I’ve got these old books”, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, a natural philosopher, science vs. alchemy vs. magic, Isaac Newton, almost as if he was Ben Franklin, electricity, many suitors, Aylmer’s wooing, is Aylmer gaslighting Georgiana?, she’s reading, a Medieval heroine, a character of of Greek mythology, is a sex-change story?, is this a boob-job story?, envy, the tips of two small fingers, she’s compared to a marble statue, small pox scars, Marilyn Monroe‘s beauty mark, does positioning matter?, Supernatural Horror And Literature by H.P. Lovecraft, a meditation on obsession, many uninteresting analysis, so little action, beyond the sexual interpretation, Hawthorne doesn’t seem all that prudish, how far can you go in purist of perfection in a fallen world, a mark of original sin, wanting knowledge (of good and evil?), the sin of disobedience, Frankenstein and Aylmer are reading the same books, the process of creating a man in Frankenstein, the lightning bolt, Luigi Galvani, grave-robbing, Paracelsus, the gold thing is your way of getting funding, when writing a grant…, this might lead to a cure for cancer(!), alchemy as a religion, The Cask Of Amontillado, Eric S. Rabkin, “the niter, it grows”, Montresor or Fortunato, niter, growing human shaped things inside of bottles, poisons, psychology and the occult, the difference between alchemy and science is openness, the Royal Society, Harry Potter’s school, there have to be muggles, magically oblivious, J.K. Rowling, natural greed, the ethic of sharing knowledge, France’s version of the Royal Society, like the obsession with “open source” or the “public domain”, The Oval Portrait by Edgar Allan Poe, sooo lifelike, sooo beautifully painted, Gothic horror, the evil mad scientist is destroyed by the power he unleashes, The Portrait Of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde, the ending, what is Hawthorne saying?, was Aylmer’s attempt doomed from the beginning?, Jesse’s mom, one of the most important powers of a teacher, she has “THE VOICE”, Muad’dib (Paul Atredies), Steve Jobs’ reality distortion field, a profound revelation, philosophy and critical thinking, vitamins are bullshit, fish oil woke Fred’s brain, North America has the world’s most expensive urine, religion wants you to take it on authority, bronze age holy texts, religion as book club where you only ever read one book (or just listen to a guy who did), cynicism or wisdom, loyalty to the organized religion of your family, inherited religions, fundamentalist belief systems, the narcissism of small differences, splintering, revolting revolutionaries, purity of doctrine, young earth creationists, Catholicism as an almost ethnicity (an identity), Hawthorne as a stopgap between H.G. Wells and Mary Shelley, the murky origins of Science Fiction, Dante, Lucifer frozen in the ice, a Gothic ghost story, Frankenstein’s obsession is with defeating death, too in love with science, Hawthorne’s message is like: “don’t drink too much”, Greek symposia, what really happened at a Greek symposium, “write drunk and edit sober”, The Odyssey, mixing water with wine, getting plastered is a sign on unmanning, the Greek obsession was with finding the moderation between too little and too much, what was Hephzibah’s sin?, her sin is being too worried about sin, “you will eat blood”, public shaming is a little much, be moderate with your casting of sin, John Wesley, a healthy functioning society, wealth corruption, falling into decadence, the protestant work ethic is kicking-in, Guggenheim, ransoming the grandchild, leaving it all to art, Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller, Fred’s all time favourite Science Fiction novel: The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson, how do we raise the next generation?, a supercharged Kindle, matter compilers, Star Trek‘s replicator, eating green sludge, window panes made out of pure diamond, handmade hipsters, how you raise the next generation in a wealthy society, we are unimaginably wealthy, are Japan’s young people uninterested in sex?, Richard Dawkins on Twitter, The Last Question by Isaac Asimov, Gothic-y, Science-y, Microcosmic God by Theodore Sturgeon, a great inventor, Neoterics, he’s stealing their ideas, the ultimate mad scientist story, following in the tradition, somatoypes, ectomorph (Aylmer), mesomorph (Aminidab), endomorph (Jesse), it’s a scam!, Hillary Clinton, the Ronald Reagans of the world, this is astrology, people think that once you’ve got a word for something you understand it, wearing the mask long enough…, IQ tests, quantification, any time we think we understand the most complex thing in the universe…, there really is a subconscious, tweeting dreams, psychology, the book club with only one book in it, The Great Courses (The Teaching Company), Eric S. Rabkin, survey courses, kooky specializations, the best way to learn, the perennial student, taught not to learn, philosophy of art, credentialism, Jesse can guess the exact words in a student’s vocabulary, guess your weight or age, how Jesse gets work, gaming credentialism, no high school diploma, a contempt for institutionalized learning, a play-by-the-rules personality, grade inflation, what did Mussolini do?, intimidation vs. cultivation, give the students the experience of reading, reading as a meeting of minds, defending a dissertation, essays, we’re obsessed with essays (for the wrong reason), ohhh spoilers!, the big problem with almost any media, “I don’t want to spoil it for you.”, testing is easier, a kind of objectivity, don’t blame the actors for shitty Hollywood movies, status is society, education as the cultivation of minds, there aren’t enough people who are willing to rebel!

The Birth-Mark by Nathaniel Hawthorne - modified John Collier's "Laboratory", 1895

The Birthmark by Nathaniel Hawthorne - illustration by Lisa K. Weber

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #226 – READALONG: The Iron Heel by Jack London

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #226 – Jesse, Jenny, and Bryan Alexander discuss The Iron Heel by Jack London.

Talked about on today’s show:
Jenny is not an economist, a Heinlein vibe, God Emperor Of Dune, The first half of this book is talk, a terrible novel but an interesting book, The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, the distancing narrators, 700 years into the future, the audience is for seven hundred years in the future (or is that six hundred), prizefighting, grub = food, the purpose of the footnotes, The Sleeper Awakes by H.G. Wells, Avis Everhard, alternate history, Michael Bishop, an underground book, an underground society, that Buck Rogers stuff, Armageddon—2419 AD by Philip Francis Nowlan, exchanging socialism for the Yellow Peril, Asgard, Seoul, set in the year 419 B.O.M. (Brotherhood of Men), A Thousand Deaths by Jack London, The Island Of Doctor Moreau, predictions, war with Germany, a surprise attack on December 4th, William Randolph Hearst, war economy as a solution to national surplus, Trotsky’s letter to Jack London, London had good reason to be a socialist, work conditions and natural disasters, a chaotic time, Jackson’s arm, race vs. class, Jack London’s racism, The Heathen by Jack London, the dog stories, class consciousness, grinding out the middle class between the 1% and the people of the abyss, The Shadow And The Flash by Jack London, manly overachievers, oligarchy doesn’t use race to divide people, do you want you fruit to be picked or not?, Japanese segregation in California classrooms, Canadian politics, Cooperative Commonwealth Federation, Franklin D. Roosevelt, John Steinbeck, ‘temporarily embarrassed millionaires’, the quote attributed to Abraham Lincoln:

“I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country… corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed.”

Dwight D. Eisenhower, “the military-industrial complex”, Eugene Debs, why was The Iron Heel not more popular?, The Black Hundreds, Das Kapital, Marxian fan-fiction, ‘social evolution is exasperatingly slow’, sooo sad, Marx’s essay on Napoleon III, a Darwinian model, do we live under an oligarchy?, government regulation (anti-trust and child labour laws), why socialism didn’t take hold in the early 20th century USA, Larry Summers, the Chilean cover of The Iron Heel, Salvador Allende, a novel read by revolutionaries, Science Fiction within the novel, the aesthetic end, the role of religion, the God of the Oligarchs, mostly air with a little bit of vertebra, Chicago, religious revivals and the apocalypse, Azusa Street Revival, the 1906 San Fransisco earthquake, William Randolph Hearst, Patty Hearst, John Waters, Cecil B. Demented, personal charisma and bulletproof arguments, Everhard is a porn star name, Benjamin Franklin, London’s didactic reading, Marx’s surplus theory of value, economy is not a science, power wins, the French Revolution, the Commonwealth of England, George Orwell’s review of The Iron Heel, 1984 is in The Iron Heel, coincidental dates, London’s insight into fascism, too much love from the strong and not enough love for the weak, Eric S. Rabkin, unmanning, ‘designed to be crucified’, father figures are destroyed, the chapter titles, The Call Of The Wild, a powerful beast is unmanned, builds up and builds through interaction with others, a sated king, a dominant primordial beast, The Sea Wolf, reading London is like a shot of adrenalin to the heart, surplus value, colonialism, the machine breakers, the trusts did not advertize, consumerism, Paul Krugman, petty bourgeoisie, the genocide of Chicago, the Paris Commune, gothic wooing, We by Yevgeny Zamyatin, Looking Backward: 2000-1887 by Edward Bellamy, the education of the oligarchy,

“They, as a class, believed that they alone maintained civilization. It was their belief that if ever they weakened, the great beast would ingulf them and everything of beauty and wonder and joy and good in its cavernous and slime-dripping maw. Without them, anarchy would reign and humanity would drop backward into the primitive night out of which it had so painfully emerged.”

excusing colonialism, the white man’s burden, ignoring the starving masses, the Roman Empire, steampunk, Lloyd Blankfein “doing God’s work”, Margin Call, oppositional films, “The Social Network deeply hates Zuckerberg and the online world”, Nine Inch Nails, Michael Douglas, Wall Street, the cleaning lady, why isn’t The Iron Heel more generally appealing to SF readers?, British Space Opera vs. American Space Opera, Commune 2000 A.D. by Mack Reynolds, a broken utopia, job cash vs. job love, the social end of SF, the storytelling technique doesn’t attract, the unsuccessful revolution, Winston Smith’s diary, looking back when writing doesn’t have the same power, the Goldstein Book, brainwashing, the bomb in congress, spy and counterspy, Starship Troopers is a series of lectures punctuated by gunfire, Frank Herbert, “a raving genius”, doing Dune (and Dune Messiah), Chilton Books, the boot crushing the human face forever, the leaky suspense, a Norton critical edition, how to record The Iron Heel, the footnotes are problematic, a crazy wild marvelous book, WWI, WWII, Metropolis, armoured cars or tanks, The Last Man by Mary Shelley, a terrifying future found in a cave written on leaves, A Journal Of The Plague Year by Daniel Defoe, The Scarlet Plague by Jack London, Idiocracy, The Marching Morons by C.M. Kornbluth, on Lenin’s deathbed he was read Jack London, The Cold Equations, To Build A Fire, The Empire Strikes Back,

“The cold of space smote the unprotected tip of the planet, and he, being on that unprotected tip, received the full force of the blow.”

cosmic and Lovecraftian, as snug as a Jedi in a hot tauntaun, Robert Sheckley, Metro 2033 by Dmitry Glukhovsky.

The Iron Heel by Jack London (Viva Allende)

The Iron Heel by Jack London - Capital V. Labour

Posted by Jesse Willis