Talked about on today’s show:
how to pronounce his name (mack-in is fine), a short story, The Whirlwind, 1890, The Great God Pan and The Inmost Light, a confusing horror story, the Jeffrey Epstein of the 1890s, not what Juett thought it was about, fantasy, a science fiction horror, a capital S on Science, a mad scientist, a metaphor, a symbol, more Alan Moore than Hellboy, pretty timely, the abuse of underage girls, people getting suicided, not getting prosecuted, a conspiracy, a direct response to Strange Case Of Dr Jekyll And Mr Hyde, Robert Louis Stevenson pulls his punches, he tramples a boy, a mystery, the secret of the story (Jekyll and Hyde were the same person), it’s a science fiction story!, the way this book is structured, the structure Dracula uses, Bram Stoker, down and up through time, a fixup, its disconnected, a more ethical and pleasant book, evil island, revenge, Prince Andrew, surprising it was written when it was written, a shocking book to read, Mr Jim episode 7, 2015, Aleister Crowley, our perceptions of what the Victorians were really like is broken, sex and drugs, Oscar Wilde, getting on the private plane with Clinton and going to that sex island, suicided in prison, The Ballad of Reading Gaol, research ability, type “Pan” into google, the drawings were not allowed to see in the book, the horror that totally effects Lovecraft, From Beyond, The Dunwich Horror, fucking with stuff inside your skull, Dr Raymond, cutting the corpus callosum, very minor brain surgery, the pineal gland, The Tomb, the panisci and the nymphs, Wasteland by W. Scott Poole, The Bowmen, kind of like Alex Jones except as an author, pizzagate, Hillary Clinton, New York, a game of telephone, focused on the wrong things, he wrote a fiction piece, republishing, changing the details, Q Anon and 4 Chan, WWI, having snow on your boots = he’s a Russian, in responses to the bowmen, Russian troops being landed in Scotland and on their way to London now, cultural legacies of weird wacky conspiracy theories, rumours, ill repute, a reputable public face, an association we think is a problem, what is now the first chapter, what is the third chapter, written in a single evening, it opens and it closes, an unsatisfactory resolution, no longer a being like we want her to be, the girl belongs to the witness, the witness is there to witness, the consent problem, problematic, “even if the worst happened”, “her life is mine”, he’s evil, Going Aquatic Apeshit, Capital is the narrator of the book, The Many-Headed Hydra: Sailors, Slaves, Commoners, and the Hidden History of the Revolutionary Atlantic by Peter Linebaugh, Francis Bacon, The Horror At Red Hook, of this length and of this quality, The Undying Thing by Barry Pain, The Hound Of The Baskervilles, a werewolf story, a cursed lineage story, this veil beyond, these yellow books, a critical biography of Arthur Machen: Arthur Machen, Weaver Of Fantasy by William Francis Gekle, so elliptically, a Welsh childhood, London, a story that took bottom up support, the people want this to be true, an anecdote from WWI, the ghosts of the Agincourt bowmen, god is on our side, witnesses, within six months its out of his hands, transferred into WWII, one of his shittiest stories, a fantasia, childhood and reminiscence, The Lost Club, club society, gentleman’s clubs, the Hellfire Club, The Cosy Room, the fear of being hung, Out Of The Earth, Arthur’s castle, the war has turned the country evil, a reality behind the veil, folk beliefs, The Witch-Cult In Western Europe by Margaret Murray, witches were real, peasant people cast magic, heterodox beliefs, occult traditions, networked, The Call Of Cthulhu, The Festival, The Case Of Charles Dexter Ward, The Dunwich Horror, networks of vernacular knowledge is the real tentacle running through H.P. Lovecraft’s fiction, the horseshoe on the door, embracing whatever folklore’s out there, the Bros. Grimm, Aarne-Thompson index, so many of the characters suffer from faceblindness, three is a magic number, these are lessons, knowledge being imparted, stories full of dwarves, Ali Baba And The Forty Thieves, Aladdin is only in the European version of 1,001 Nights, The Tinder-box by Hans Christian Anderson, behavior test, how to act and how to be, Hansel And Gretel, the step-mother is the witch, illiterates educating their children, sex clubs, capitalism unrestrained, a powerful woman at his side, a very intellectual guy, a kind of play and a kind of reality (he knows is fake), The White Company by Arthur Conan Doyle, the meaning of the word “turgid”, swollen, congested, distended, it’s a slur, Lovecraft is complicated, striving for a common reality, a literary technique, a feature not a bug, a misunderstanding, byzantine, this cosmic dimension, class, sexuality, gender, look how divided the city is, why you need to be spoiled on it, the Victorians can’t go there, Escher, the veil runs through the entire story, there’s one story, Jesse is a supergenius and everybody needs to know, The Tree, its a murder mystery, The Unnameable, Cotton Mather, just got raped by Pan, two artists, the narrator learns of the two artists from a beekeeper, why does this story suck so much, a secret story inside, the bees know, the interpretation (his friend’s art is better than his), he hid it so well you don’t even know its there, nature knows, you have to know how to interpret it, every time we’re going to get a revelation the words are whispered, never another good night in your life, From Beyond, a metaphor and a symbol, the symbolists, The Hound, The Picture Of Dorian Gray, Robert W. Chambers, The Yellow Sign, The King In Yellow, the Yellow 90s, I love this suggestion, it matches our perception, a symbol behind the veil, Pan is not like the other gods, Stephen Fry’s Mythos, the word panic, The Origins Of Patriarchy by Gerda Lerner, a war between them in the mythology, sky gods vs. earth gods, The Parasite by Arthur Conan Doyle, when the surgery is about to be done, Clark, green velvet chair, whatever gas, another way of reading it is the brain surgery is on Clark, see reality for what it is, reality distortion, another Austin, Miss Penclosa, sulfuric acid, this powerful woman in London society, dispelling the idea of this being an attack on new womens’ power, a product of male predation, there’s a lot to think about, in a more subtle way, a social critique like that of The Time Machine, born victimized, Morlocks aren’t the bad guys, becoming monstrous, Weena and the Eloi, there’s no judgement, satirizing vs. critiquing, the old Doctor Who, playing up to Juett, Man-Thing, The Devil In The Dark, The Horta vs. The Horla, can’t they all get along?, if this goes on…, why we should all read science fiction, the consequences of unchecked untruth is, not really fantasy at all, its science fiction, misunderstanding who this god is, the truth of the reality is horrible, Thomas Ligotti, sympathy, lifting the veil on the society, vote for Biden everything will be okay, put on the They Live sunglasses, the reverse of the removing of the veil, Faith Of Our Fathers by Philip K. Dick, imagine how much people would read it if it was public domain…, visit sickmyduck.narod.ru, stop listening to this podcast, one last connection, disgusting (a book published in the last 30 years), heedlessly, Rappaccini’s Daughter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Strange Case Of The Alchemist’s Daughter by Theodora Goss, The Island Of Doctor Moreau, those materials were destroyed, the monstrous woman has to be destroyed, paternal figure takes advantage of someone under their care, three stories, it has to percolate up on its own, bottom up pressure, you need to spoil it for me, all these guys are jerks, young women get revenge on bad fathers, Captain Nemo is the secret hero, a bad dad, like Goliah or Colossus, Raʼs al Ghul type character, Poison Ivy, anti-imperialism, an internationalist, Canadian lumberjacks, a brown dude wearin a turbin yelling at people torpedoin ships, 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea by Jules Verne, Robur The Conqueror, that book’s a series, In Search For The Castaways, The Mysterious Island, the end of Nemo’s career, a sikh, N by Stephen King, one of the greatest horror stories ever written in the English language, Revival by Stephen King, devotes his whole life to studying electricity, do the Frankenstein thing, Sleepwalkers, Flatliners (1990), Stand By Me, a report on the afterlife, similar in feel, Angel Heart (1987), fear of miscegenation, Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, a modern setting, race relations, Crossroads (1986), Southern Gods by John Hornor Jacobs, Jesse wants to be edified, not merely enjoy things, Pan’s Labyrinth (2006), no Pan in it at all, is this a kissing book?, you just don’t want to know where the kiss is being kissed, not a good touch, Robert A. Heinlein’s I Will Fear No Evil, afraid of what he might say, no one else needs to read Heinlein because I read him, before we become beasts.
Talked about on today’s show:
an unsolicited Patreon plug, now you know, now Jesse is beholden to Paul, special members only episodes, The Many Colored Land, the Patreon, Jesse doesn’t want to reward anybody for anythings, take suggestions from Patrons, Office Hours, Evan’s office hours, Evan’s decline is an ascension, Jesse’s university career, ideas throwin’ down, door open, Discord, Paul derailed us, why did Jesse agree to it?, by spoiling he interested, Luke Burrage’s review, Jesse wrote about Julian May in 2012, leaving science fiction, a young published author and then a thirty year gap, The Dune Roller, Tales Of Tomorrow, The Cremators (1972), pretty sure this book is written by a girl, really weird, not a good book for a lot of the book, what this book is, SUPER-AMBITIOUS and kinda-almost pulls it off, a great mind, did it come out of gaming?, a role-playing game style writing, this book has everything in it, a potpourri, an encyclopedia, if she was a really good writer this could be on the scale of Tolkien, tell me one thing this book doesn’t do, time travel, space aliens, telepathy, elves, portals, megafauna, magic, clerics, fighters, Sarban, the wild hunt, way too much, bursting with ideas, I can explain everything, nine more books, Jack the Bodiliess, will-o’-the-wisp, Mr Jim Moon’s Hypnogoria podcast, Jim Moon is a treasure for our time, this great research, fulfilling bits of history, the Mediterranean basin is empty, filling the basin, Down In The Bottomlands by Harry Turtledove, she’s doing everything, she made a dress for a convention and then tried to figure out who would have worn it, people making costumes of future people, a book about Robert E. Howard’s geography of Gazetteer of the Hyborian Age, Europe from 10,000 years, a dragon in Red Nails, wizardry, NO BUT WITH SCIENCE, she tries to rationalize it, a map of genre, issues, what genre is this book supossed to be?, pseudo-science fiction, psionics as magic, origin of the Celtic mythology, the Pliocene Companion, as soon as the torc was introduced, it has ODIN in it, Aiken Drum, the science fiction mindset, WOW, AMAZING!, if this book was written today…, she coulda tightened this up, La Belle Dame Sans Merci, the psychic interrogations, that’s insane, an introduction, 1981, that’s impossible, all the character classes, it feels ten years later, her pseudonym list is all male, as J.C. May, Weird Tales, C.L. Moore, he was a dude using a female pseudonym, genre expectations, a lot like Ringworld and Dream Park, really interested in gender, women’s sexuality and reproduction, Lois McMaster Bujold, Connie Willis, Pamela Sargent, its in the air, the birth control pill changes everything, she goes there, the setup, that wasn’t the book I signed up for, that’s what they thought too, pre-caveman, prehistoric adventures, fighting off smilodons, the galactic milieu, Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson, more motley, a blank slate, the baggage of human history, the prologue, the utopian aspect, a conservative element, something (not quite) reactionary, ethnic enclave planets, Transmetropolitan, what kind of society will these misfits create, the DM says “Haha! Switched ya!”, this has random encounters, very much like Riverworld, famous characters, the big dumb object here is Earth, rejuvenation, psychic vampires, the psychic shit, this shit from Astounding, it was totally bullshit, they thought it might be real, parapsychology, Ghostbusters is the last gasp of it being a phenomena, they’re discontinuing his research is because its bunk, a guy who used to work in remote viewing, no need for satellites, a guy in a room in Langley and we bring him a sandwich, they didn’t know it was discredited in the 50s, a news story, coffee is bad for you, this back and forth, clearly phlogiston, you idiots it was oxygen the whole time, the plate tectonics theory, what he didn’t have was the data to back it up, nobody mentions plate tectonics, how much geology, this gate can only be here, The Last God, the map in the back, have you ever seen a river?, they don’t know what they’re doing, she’s doing everything, too ambitious, it explains everything, wouldn’t it be cool if…, hello fairy, people living in caves full of uranium, change your lifestyle in order to not be mutants, these are goblins, not just Tolkien goblins but also Goblin Market by Christian Rossetti, goblins, tempting with a plate full of fruit, be a brood mare for her reproduction, Julian May is a vast reader and she wants to include it and explain it all and it mostly works, this book is not for me, a GURPS version, lift large, designed for role-playing, character creation, their stats are amplified by their torq, LARPing, L. Sprague De Camp, the Society For Creative Anachronism, Planescape and Dark Sun, Space: 1889, Spelljammer, so grounded in geology, of its time, she’s reading science fiction, its not outsider science fiction, woolly mammoths and then we’re done, she revels in it, the giant sloth gets left all by its lonesome, Evan was into the cenozoic, Jesse was a silurian man, when people think about ancient life on earth, trilobite, I love me some ferns, yo, giant sloth tunnels, untooled scratches, living in them for centuries, that’s the excitement of science fiction, the size of the universe, if this isn’t something you think about everyday poor you, this is FUNDAMENTAL to…, no, dude you can’t believe how big the universe…, poor donkey, in sympathy with the animal, the great unconformity, a plot with an empire that needs to be overthrown, H.P. Lovecraft’s The Mound, a whole civilization under the earth, Lovecraft’s utopia, I signed up for a ghost that haunts a tomb, ten thousand times bigger, she doesn’t leave any room for anything else, there are no traditions that didn’t start with this (in Europe), what is luck?, what if you have a culture based on fear?, five or six major themes, at least twenty things she’s dealing with and trying to think about, the juggling’s pretty good, Tolkien loves the forest but he doesn’t invent whole new trees, “operant”, oh god this is just technobabble, initiative has a whole set of connotations if your not a RPGs, a republican talking point, para-psychological powers, a ticking clock, big fights at the ends of books and movies, still pretty good, a wonderful stew, its 16 hours, Neal Stephenson, Dune Roller, a gothic setup, a tonne of pent up ideas, it came out in a huge geological sized flood, going through the Black Forest, all the different mushrooms, Hansel and Gretel time, very Bros. Grimm, go to Doggerland, Albion, and what would be France, the power, misfits with different weapons and armor, their murder hobos, player characters, he can’t be socialized, euthanasia or life imprisonment or exile, a slave-society, the core element, why does she go with grey?, Plato’s Republic, bronze, Plato is the original racist, the cops, the golden dude are philosophers, the TV series Spartacus, guidebooks on how to manage your slaves, reading so much Stephen King, adaptations of Carrie, in the aftermath, we gotta control women, after Roe vs. Wade, psychic powers, Firestarter, King never dropped that theme: the desire of states to control the exceptional, The Running Man, comprehensive lengths, the antecedents of everything, the book cover, she thought they were cool, what if…, six million year gap, aboriginal Australia, a hugely rich history, many more different kinds of mythological systems, in comparison, New Guinea, geographical vs. geological, it worked itself out, silly explanations, a one way time machine, questions back and answers back, lockboxes, what colour are woolly mammoth tusks?, a whole amber explanation, the plot doesn’t allow it, Halloween and May Day, reverses, like a role playing game, a cleric who can heal people, a paladin, a hunter, a pirate, a thief, this is what I do, yo, Will Emmons’ question, Neuromancer as a first science fiction book,
since you asked…
I say that DO ANDROIDS DREAM OF ELECTRIC SHEEP is not anything like “hard SF”
and neither, really, is FOUNDATION
FOUNDATION is interesting (and foundational) but not great
ANDROIDS *is* great and one shld probably be a connoisseur of SF before reading it
really hard question, I usually like to think of SF as something you read from earlier to later – give a sample size of TWO books liked – and TWO disliked – that said, and even with @PrinceJvstin worries in mind
…I would still recommend HEINLEIN – he’s not HARD SF, and he really is SF – HAVE SPACESUIT, WILL TRAVEL is a good starter book
if you don’t like HEINLEIN I think you don’t really like SF – he was made of SF
dont start with any random Heinlein tho – BIG MISTAKE
MOON IS A HARSH MISTRESS
are good choices – will make you argue with HEINLEIN which is what a lot of later writers are doing in their books, arguing with HEINLEIN :)
YES, and i would say in that order, but put another book as palate cleanser in between
there’s a whole series of books that are connected to STARSHIP TROOPERS – ENDER’S GAME, ARMOR and going backwards to KIPLING’S poem M.I.
my point is…, going down a hole, a callback to science fiction, hollow earth, people having sex in Stromboli, a very famous science fiction novel by Jules Verne: Journey To The Center Of The Earth, Iceland, a little sex scene, this is all her, there is almost no visual SF at this point, working on a masters degree, very rich, let’s do a 16 hour book, dense even though it doesn’t feel that dense, not just more Tolkien, science fiction-ish, science fiction tropes, pseudo-scientific explanations, the crown, a magic system, H.G. Wells’ Floor Games, wargaming, Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson, in role playing time you build role playing games, Jesse’s repeating because Julian was repeating herself.
The SFFaudio Podcast #542 – What’s Expected Of Us from Exhalation: Stories by Ted Chiang; This is an unabridged reading of What’s Expected Of Us (6 minutes) followed by a discussion of the Penguin Random House Audio audiobook of Exhalation: Stories by Ted Chiang.
Talked about on today’s show:
his second collection, 17 years to come out, The Merchant And The Alchemist’s Gate, squint hard, a lot of them have a focus on children, he had some kids?, a theme, teaching and growing, parenting, Anxiety Is The Dizziness Of Freedom, a science fiction story with mimetic fiction problems, Dacy’s Patent Automatic Nanny, childrearing, not the major theme, background thought processes, fate and destiny, an abiding theme, care and caring, finding truths closer to home, The Great Silence, dissecting one’s own brain, straight up science fiction, Kim Stanley Robinson, you fools, you’re wasting your life, Paul could rant, set on spaceships, making sense of reality, a test subject for another star, they’re all standouts, its not our universe, a creationist universe, a dread discovery, the center of the universe is elsewhere, Earth as a prototype for someone else, an epistolary manner, a crisis of faith, Poul Anderson, a mixed relationship, life after death, finding a way to be comfortable with that fact, approaching the subject of entropy, the universe is winding down, nobody is going to live forever, comforting ideas, all just whistling past the graveyard, a positive conclusion about it, how do you look into the abyss and come away with a happy attitude, be happy on the way down, Oomphalos, I’m in charge now, now she has free will, he explores free will from every direction, the audiobook from Tantor, it took a long time for audiobooks to become the dominant medium for people who actually read, I don’t get many ideas, most reviewers on YouTube: booktubers?, a whole universe of people, people who read books are really weird, every week you wanna be reading a new book? what a weirdo, the New York Times bestseller, books not designed to be read, overwritten, as any right thinking person would, these should be longer, very presumptuous, I want more of this, throwing down idea much bigger than the package he places them in, Wayne liked the shortest stories best, educated super-intelligent, deep thought, rigorous self-examination, tedious, on and on and on, 48 minutes, The Lifecycle Of Software Of Objects, concentrated science fiction, two drops in a cup of water, what it means, navel, center, a role playing anecdote, the enemy is the they (the center of the universe), we’re the center of the universe, The Middle Kingdom, Middle Sea, everywhere is the center, everybody’s stupid because their vision is so limited, a young earth, a parallel in our own history, reason for belief, mummies with no navels, obviously not created, his guiding philosophy, if there was a miracle, its on rails, preodomites, other people, The Truth Of Fact The Truth Of Feeling, deeply profound, a Black Mirror episode, some colonial guy getting colonized, writing and reading, auto text generator, no periods, Roman monuments used dots not spaces, pre-modern Chinese, getting it from context, cuneiform, Egyptian hieroglyphs, right in Jesse’s zone, Bros. Grimm concertizing, once in book form, Jesse doesn’t really take notes, one of the things going on, going back to an oral culture, Socrates, cost effective, the Romans were into copying and photo-copying each other’s works, questioning the nature of truth and reality, really cool, what truth is, Scott and Jesse conversations on truth, people complaining about truth, he’s more truthful about his lying, politician lying, not a wise man, wiser than some of the fools that have been so smart in the past, he was not the same, name recognition, you know exactly what his motivation is, truth is not one thing, your own memory of what reality was, science as being replicable, that whole diatribe, truth is that what is, there is an objective truth, we hope, touch the Eiffel Tower, a subjective conclusion, the objective truth, defining truth, relativistic, its subtle, tirade harangue fulmination, discursive, who designed it?, maybe he stole that plan, the more you don’t examine and are unable to reexamine stuff…, religious truth, truths which motivation action, William James, pragmatism, because it was false, smoke sacrifice to the gods was meaningless, intersecting with other science fiction stories, Living Space by Isaac Asimov, king of your own planet, a real estate story, jack hammering off the coast of Labrador, a Nazi universe, Genghis Khan, mythological pseudo-historical figure, the universe does and doesn’t care about you, making a connection with science, those most interested in religion were scientists, Isaac Newton, the original Bible Code person, the impact might have been diluted, these people don’t die, there is no biology, this culture built up around air-stations, eating as a cultural event, if you get this you can tell the story, The Nine Billion Names Of God and The Star by Arthur C. Clarke, sacrificed, hits Paul in the feels, the three narcissistic wounds, Sigmund Freud, the Earth is not the center, Darwin and evolution, that the ego thinks it is free is an illusion, strong with archaeological proofs, freedom, no final answer, interesting concepts, Olaf Stapledon, a whole book from one paragraph of Starmaker, Jorge Luis Borges, The Library Of Babel, standing room for sleeping, why this illusory duplication, this is not our world, there’s no food, they’re more like robots in a certain sense, all the argon is coming to them from something beneath them, who invented the robots?, a blank slate, the robot equivalent, an analogy of the heat death of the universe, “we existed we were real”, a self contained universe, a navel gazing story, working the same theme, Jesus in South America (the God of Dreams) [The Circular Ruins], teaching the A.I.s consciousness, self-dissecting, a good example that doesn’t exist in the same way as ours does, the transference between universes, the prism, Anxiety Is The Dizziness Of Freedom, Until The End Of The World (1999), replaying your dreams, so much about them, the perfect obsessive movie for you, gazing into who you are, the machine allows you to navel gaze, fomo = fear of missing out, the grass is greener, a simple idea, fragmenting kaleidoscopic versions of reality, only a few months old and it was going up in value, diminishing returns, amazing sparky thoughts, pirated songs, I’d make so much money, information is the only thing passed between universes, copyrighted specifically for you, the same wound, possible yous, not being paralyzed, why not?, one of me is going to do it, destroys your ordinary criteria for action, a high dose of neg-entropy, the school shooters, what effect would it have, Jesse derives solace from being (sort of) a determinist, science fiction about the difficulty of weather prediction, are there more murders now?, outliers, fads, more of the same, All The Myriad Ways by Larry Niven, you might lose your will to do things, What’s Expected Of Us, whichever universe you’re in, Vanessa, an unstable person, Counterpart, A Scanner Darkly by Philip K. Dick, as Evan pointed out on his podcast, the universe is very small, seeing what’s going on outside, they’re all blending together, he thought he had done so much work, that’s much to harsh, words can sometimes resonate very deeply, the non-simple truth, a reality we are distantly connected to, poor connections, emergent things, to know what truth is (is tough), a longer meditation, the longest thing he’s ever written, either these people are wasting their lives or we’re all wasting our lives, where’s the truth there WAYNE?, to leap into agnosticism, relate to our interpretation of reality, we can only do what we can do, the motif of harmful sensation, The Imp Of The Perverse, physical or mental damage you can suffer, explicitly shoutsout to H.P. Lovecraft, akinetic mutism, won’t or can’t speak or won’t or can’t move, the motif of harmful sensation, a truly convincing argument that life is pointless might qualify, it doesn’t matter, a thread running through (or more than one), Ted Chiang has got a brain, the Lovecraftian horror, like a cognitive plague, a thought that explores the thinker, a Godel sentence, I try to act as if or rather action happens, pretend you have free will, believing the lie is the only way to avoid this waking coma, civilization relies on self-deception (perhaps it always has), The Merchant And The Alchemist’s Gate, living it, this universe might have slipped into equilibrium with nothing more than a quiet hiss, that in itself is beauty, in the next bottle over, the Complete Works of Shakespeare except it’s “Shmamlet”, the meaning is fake, Paul’s fear, robot descendants,
The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far. The sciences, each straining in its own direction, have hitherto harmed us little; but some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the deadly light into the peace and safety of a new dark age.
not a horror story but a science fiction truth, truths always in refinement, David Hume, past behavior, Robert Wright’s interview with Ted Chiang, The Story Of Your Life, a silly seeming story, Arrival, are you going to roll up into a little ball or are you going to affirm it?, the pharmacon, poison and medicine, make you a paralyzed mute or a creative, it takes all that time or that care to make that stuff literary, Wayne’s in a little ball, Wayne’s gonna complain, some stuff’s going to happen, get some jokes in there, WTF, we’re all gonna be specks in a layer of basalt, Tony C. Smith’s StarShipSofa, a Ted Chiang fan forever now, four stories, nested stories, Arabian Nights, Scheherazade, Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius, The Garden Of Forking Paths, you can read it forever, a story that’s circular, in the exact middle you have a point around which everything swirls, the knowledge for where the treasure under the tree came from, super symmetrical, so wonderful, a time travel story in which there’s no technological difference, no traditional time travel tropes, there’s no predicting eclipse, he steals from himself, he predicts the albino baby and gets out of prison, The Diamond Necklace or The Necklace by Guy de Maupassant, there’s the pit of despair, the story is the treasure, we as the prince get the benefit, why the title is Exhalation: Stories, The Great Silence, John Paul Sartre with possible worlds, Dacey’s Patent Automatic Nanny, whatever works is true, the suppression of this technology because of the ruling class, nowhere for that to go, a remaking of humanity, thinking about childrearing while childrearing, mimetic fiction is all about divorces, my experience with my marriage, different parents have different levels of interest in their own child’s rearing, would have benefited the working class, the washing machine is liberatory, television as the babysitter, smartphones, is that wrong, a typical Ted Chiang thing, an actual syndrome: psychosocial dwarfism, growth hormones stop operating, emotional malnutrition, not an ideal human state, really bougie, homeschooling, unschooling, the class dimension, a survival strategy, a metaphor for public schooling, The Electric Ant by Philip K. Dick, Nanny by Philip K. Dick, the planned obsolescence angle, aloof parents, more attached to the nanny than to the parents, gladiatorial nannies, what if they trigger while raising the kids, if you follow police state logic, hands are dangerous weapons, tape their mouths up, and kill everybody (to be safe), the rational childcare device, a more cutesy vignette
reading, or being read, Ted Chiang stories, is like quaffing pure liters of undiluted SCIENCE FICTION from the fount in which it was first forged. And I tell you, without hyperbole, that Science Fiction absolutely cannot die as long as TED CHIANG lives and writes it.
asking and posing the big questions, natural science, parallel universes, asking questions, collecting and systematizing, that guy we didn’t like, The Structure Of Scientific Revolutions by Thomas Kuhn, “proving things”, weapons of mass destruction, 17 intelligence agencies, how can we falsify this?, holy shit he was right!, thought experiments, thinking them through completely, exploring a philosophical point, you can’t do it with mimetic fiction, what happens if…, that’s what they all are, the author afterwords offer insight, that I’m taking my head apart scene, a reverse infodump, we can’t understand ourselves, arguments like proverbs (suck), limiting understanding, refusing that limit, there’s no Godellian self-impossibility, what Dick does, almost like a drug metaphor, the thought’s he’s having and the thoughts he’s expressing, if you want to get into a big fight, tell me my hand is not my hand, memory, Hal, the difference, Ted Chiang doesn’t have this paranoia, adjacent to technology, the guy measuring the ether, how do we know what we know, the art installation for The Great Silence, Alex the talking parrot, very emotional, their beak is kind of their hand, emotional realities, those Alex videos, a whole other mind we have access to through regular English, these humans are looking for intelligence in the universe, the search for terrestrial intelligence, pretty cool, kinda heartbreaking, the whole Alex thing, So Long And Thanks For All The Fish by Douglas Adams, Arecibo, it hears the voice of creation, the lasting breath, spirit as the breath of God, the breath is not me, he’s having it both ways, these copper plates, audio versus text, in another five years, Wayne would personally recommend the book and the audiobook, here’s where I got the idea, at the end of every story, as a collection, this book we can hand off to people, I feel stupid when I’m reading stupid, reading this makes me feel like I’m the genius that I am, I’m sophisticated, I’m so stupid, not having brilliant ideas all day long, a guy practicing his words for his sermon, thinking on aloud, thinking on paper, writing therapy, cast them out of you, people are made of stories.