The SFFaudio Podcast #591 – READALONG: The World Of Null-A by A.E. van Vogt

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #591 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, Evan Lampe, Will Emmons, and David Agranoff talk about The World Of Null-A by A.E. van Vogt

Talked about on today’s show:
three terribly scanned issues of Astounding, illustrations, a quick OCR, minor revisions, the introductory material, arguing with his critics and conceding a point, very Aristotelian, Damon Knight, a lot to eviscerate, a terrible book, one of those famous essays, David is forgiving, the good things that it inspired, why Marissa needed to be on this one, Philip K. Dick, Solar Lottery is basically World Of Null-A fanfic, Vulcan’s Hammer, the competent man porn, The Variable Man, The Golden Man, pre-verbal, all instinct, Vogt literally told Dick to write novels, the level of influence, plotting is terrible, Slan, van Vogt’s plotting philosophy: every 900 words plot twist, The Purge, The Hunger Games, Jesse will like this, no law in the opening, who is fit to live on Venus, putting it in communist terms, approaching full communism, full blown Null-A, general semantics, its not as stupid as it sounds, Bertrand Russel version, natural deductive logic, logical positivism, lefty peacenik thinks world’s problem can be solved by understanding sentences, two right wings of the same party, words have power, the word “cat”, pussy, feline, black cat, cursed, witch’s familiar, the power of synonyms, a feature of those things, be gaslit, fall into traps, Alfred Korzybski, mistaken silly ideas, the solution is silly, Olaf Stapledon and group minds, an idea we had to explore, a grift, L. Ron Hubbard’s grift, the aims that the people have behind these systems, not everybody operates on the same level, Robert A. Heinlein is believing this shit, Heinlein is very thoughtful, weird ways of living, to confined in the cultural mean of those around them, Gulf by Robert A. Heinlein, a future fans will be slans argument, Friday, Mr. Twocanes, join those supermen, Heinlein rejecting his own earlier embrace of general semantics, The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, Starship Troopers, notice how it hasn’t taken over everything, Rosicrucians, go to church, he just kills dozens and dozens of people, how language effects your nervous system and decision making process, it knows what its trying to do, that ending, writing to the conclusion, why is this novel so bad, Astounding had a lot of shitty stories, its not that good, it has a status that is large, Dune, The Left Hand Of Darkness, Dune is a really good version of The World Of Null-A, basically yoga of the mind, shitty plot, the first time he’s killed, the equivalent of Star Trek: Picard, more and more churning, a Flash Gordon serial, John W. Campbell, supermen, Anthony Boucher, the corona virus pandemic, WWII, a letter from an SF author in Germany, V-2, rattling, rattle city, the guy is wrong about everything, moving through a liquid at a very high speed, a complete and crazy novel, A.E. van Vogt was Philip K. Dick’s idol, tanks getting piggy-back rides, the best defense, Knight rescinded his criticism, don’t judge it based on novel standards, an experimental novel, an action yarn, why he is, all these dudes really believed in the superman ideology, I don’t know it who I am, it barely has a plot, The Green Odyssey is a good book, an important book that is bad vs. an unimportant book that is good, influencing a slew of things, am I really married to the presidents’ daughter, she keep comings back, its like a dream, Jesse’s dream:

Dreamt I followed loud music, taking a shortcut home from my late night retail job, and found myself at a Carib Zombi takeout shak. Shamblers were everywhere, going in and out. I recognized one employee & ordered the SPECIAL. Another, a real freak, touched me, his corrupted flesh infecting mine. I told him to back off as where he touched me my flesh came away. He laughed and spoke a creole phrase under his fetid breath. I put on my own creole accent and gave him the counter response as he shambled away. More order came, and I took it to go. Spicy takeout.

most stuff shouldn’t be novels, cosmic jerrybuilder, this is what happens in the story, why all these plot twists don’t make any sense, unpuzzling is harder, what a convoluted mess it is, predicting the sequel, hilariously bad plotting, adding to the insanity, the ideas at the heart of it are really interesting, there are some things that have some value, the Promethean attitude about humanity, historicizing and contextualizing mental illness, go-sane, all who don’t practice are insane, structural problems, political problems, Michel Foucault, mental discipline, ulcers, Illness As Metaphor by Susan Sontag, repression causes cancer, HIV = excess and immorality, August 1945, SCIENCE TO COME, ulcers, if I pray for you you’ll get better, psycho-medical therapy, insulin shock therapy, what he does consistently, so common among science fiction writers, Robert J. Sawyer, all bullshit, the race is fairly indestructible but our present culture is finished, not a very Null-A thing to say, opened the realm of wonder, John C. Wright, Null-A Continuum, a fork, a Superman Returns, The Voyage of the Space Beagle, Black Destroyer, Alien (1979), an amnesia, interesting as opposed to shitty, the shitiness supports its thesis, animals don’t time bind, why Picard is shitty, remember how he got over those things, he found his brother in his vineyard and had a good cry, what was the whole thing about the Star Trek universe, being petty about jobs, the subersion we have in Deep Space Nine, labour problems, the only thing that supports Picard being a good show, I think Picard has dementia, why its a Don Quixote style show, all of this shit only makes sense only if its a dementia show, all the stuff that would support, we have a history and a memory, why antisemitism was so strong in Germany, there’s no morality involved in a tiger eating a deer, the least Null-A thing about Null-A, how humans are different from animals, put your hand in the box, testing Paul’s humanity, animal cultural legacies, skills that they can pass along, social ecology, Murray Bookchin, we create communities, we are able to carry on ideas, monogamy, Commando (1985) should be thought of as garbage, being entertained, David highlighted the shit out of Null-A, the most intense evisceration, an attack on literary grounds, at war with dictatorships, The Weapon Shop, his plots do not bear examination, sentences, Philip K. Dick at his worst, Joseph Conrad, two thoughts: like Flash Gordon and therefore it is trash, investigate that, the zig-zaggyness, extreme dissociative events, Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?, what a book is is what you take it to be, Joe Cinnadella is so fucking interesting because he was an Italian and a Nazi and a truck driver, any reading when citing sources within the text is legit, the way we are like Rick Deckard, oh my fucking god, he’s seeing inside my head, regular junky astounding stuff, Will has terrible taste, this book is stupid and interesting, reviews with star ratings, Sophie Wenzel Ellis’ story, junky pulpy thrown together bits, Lovecraft doesn’t care about markets at all, so market oriented it was not meant to be read after it was published, distracted from his market goal, those dignified realism books that nobody likes, Clark Ashton Smith poetry, what Will likes about it is its a super-science story, read Solar Lottery next, defend Will’s taste, 4 Gosseyns out of 5, a weapon called the vibrator, ridiculous space opera, you have to consider when it was written, Martian Time-Slip, laying in bed reading Null-A, a valid thing to think about, back to mental illness, WWII veterans, a social context to sanity, shell shock, PTSD, war created mental illness, maybe it’s all in the context, The Myth Of Mental Illness by Thomas Szasz, a funnier book, a jarring book, The Space Merchants by Frederik Pohl and C.M. Kornbluth, corporations corrupting governments, the senator from Coca-Cola, giant chickens, an amazingly interesting book, really funny, Gravy Planet, the military industrial complex is going to make so much money, very Robert Sheckley in comedy terms, societal problems, history is a series of fucking errors, here’s how you’re wrong, why Isaac Newton is interesting, Newton’s Cannon by J. Gregory Keyes, when we get telepathy, his 75-year old man self, they’re thinking the same thoughts, the exact same thought at the exact same time, solving the same problem, when you go into Heinlein, Grok fills a function that isn’t a word we already have, we all grok this book pretty well, water brother let me tell you this is not the best drink available, when he’s trying to convince himself to kill himself, Paul’s issues, the original Gosseyn was Jesus, Behold The Man by Michael Moorcock, Alas, All Thinking! by Harry Bates, a historical document, what do you make of the quotes at the beginning of every chapter, chapter 18, “feast upon shadows”, pearls of wisdom, general semantics, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz vs. Isaac Newton, Dianetics is a fork, we randomize it, The Game-Players Of Titan as the stock market and predicting Wall Street as games and tricks, political anarchism, Ursula K. Le Guin, Norman Spinrad, gated community socialism, the Galt’s Gulch planet, The Wanderer by Fritz Leiber, mutual aid, 600 years of games, Vulcan’s Hammer, just looking at the cover, hardcover (legit) vs. paperback (trash), Jesse only likes garbage, the good art and the bad art, commercially available, the smart people say that it’s good, direct to VHS movies from the 1990s, Noah’s Ark with Sodom and Gomorrah scene, Ed Wood, they don’t care they don’t know they don’t give a fuck, Above Suspicion (1995), A Slight Case Of Murder (1999) TV movie, aiming high with no skills, big swings, the economics of Star Trek: Picard, Quentin Tarantino, The Unteleported Man vs. Lies, Inc., this is a good attempt, it did what it wanted to do, be careful what you put into the world, future reprints, a catalyst and an exemplar, pulp science fiction, Robert E. Howard really holds up, surprisingly terrible, Clifford D. Simak, Isaac Asimov, he’s pre-Dick but without the natural gift, John the Baptist, Dick Christ, Mysterious Galaxies in San Diego, there’s a reason he doesn’t need to know about it, if you like out of date sci-fi, showing how general semantics and science fiction are tied together, H.L. Drake, why Heinlein is so interesting, he’s fundamentally right, there’s something to it and its really stupid, nothing’s new under the sun, practicing the art of reading science fiction for decades and decades, all the sound and fury all around us, as part of their identity vs. a fact about their history, being out of the loop by not practicing the art of reading science fiction, anti-bodies against surprised, forseen vs. predicted, plague, thousands of plague stories, Carriers (2009), how the United States is going to be in 9 months, the USG shit the bed, The Sheep Look Up by John Brunner, were just gonna have to let a couple million people go, top 10s, The Naked Sun, The Sphinx by Edgar Allan Poe, The Scarlet Plague by Jack London, Earth Abides by George R. Stewart, And All The Earth A Grave by C.C. MacApp, history is your proof against cycles, terrible dead ends, 277 years ago in where Vancouver is now, Philip K. Dick becomes more and more relevant and A.E. van Vogt becomes less and less relevant, thrash metal, PKD is covering Null-A, the opposite of academia, it is education for podcasters and podcast listeners, Donald A. Wollheim, Evan’s cat’s name is Rusty Cohle, also the Will book, Stanley G. Weinbaum’s Dawn Of Flame, fired no job jobless, we wont need lawyers in our new Null-A society, be more like Saul Goodman.

William Frederick Timmins art for The World Of Null-A on the cover of Astounding, August 1945

Astounding, August 1945

Astounding, August 1945

Astounding, August 1945

Astounding, August 1945

Astounding, August 1945

Astounding, September 1945

Astounding, September 1945

Astounding, September 1945

Astounding, September 1945

Astounding, September 1945

Astounding, September 1945

Astounding, October 1945

Astounding, October 1945

Astounding, October 1945

Astounding, October 1945

Astounding, October 1945

ACE - D-31 - The World Of Null-A by A.E. van Vogt

Posted by Jesse WillisBecome a Patron!

The SFFaudio Podcast #579 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: The Spy In The Elevator by Donald E. Westlake

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #579 – The Spy In The Elevator by Donald E. Westlake; read by Winston Tharp (for LibriVox.org). This is an unabridged reading of the short story (38 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Paul Weimer, and Maissa Bessada

Talked about on today’s show:
Galaxy, October 1961, a very good issue, Cordwainer Smith, Frederik Pohl, Fritz Leiber, Frank Herbert, Robert Bloch, Jack Sharkey, Willy Ley, a lot of engineering and planning, I love Westlake’s writing so much, reach out and kiss you, the first paragraph, that put the roof on the city, Eric S. Rabkin, “transformed language”, transforming an idiom for a science fiction setting, the opposite of Poe or Lovecraft, ornate, dense, oblique, frothy, characterization, perfect voice for it, he was dangerously insane, including my date with my girl, a post-apocalyptic dystopia that ends on a very sour note (for the reader), a nice trick he pulled, he gets over it very easily, cleavage girls, contract marriages, no-p (no progeny), p and not p, natural deductive and axiomatic logic, math for sentences and paragraphs, useless and yet…, an underlying current that’s rather deep, Philip K. Dick, The Penultimate Truth, The Defenders, leadies vs. ore-sleds, a retelling of the myth of the cave from Plato’s Republic, a metaphor for having conversations with people, Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, the mentality of the people, The Ax by Donald Westlake, a very funny sad scary book, very political, it wouldn’t have felt political at the time, artifacts, the massive trope or overpopulation, arcology, a condo, the projects, the justification for why would be reading a crime novel, he quit science fiction, Xero (magazine), very true of most science fiction writers, Joe Haldeman cant make a living at it, a sad reality of the industry, solid ideas, from a very different angle, Wool by Hugh Howey, mainstream science fiction with this wonderful aspect, Robert Sheckley, he’s poking fun at everything all along the way, delights in enjoying how ridiculous life is, makes kids enjoy science fiction, a great infodump on page 183, it flows just beautiful, a nation 200 hundred stories high, occasional spies, external dangerous lurking at the back of our minds, the ungentlemanly gentleman’s war, irony and humour, treated to such flowy goodness, the whole story’s greatness, you could make this as a student film, three or four actors, so good, an efficeny of science fiction, a real shame he quit science fiction, Doctor Killybilly, William = strength and protector, why did they do this?, our judo flipping instructor, where the outside is unknown and secretly not bad, Logan’s Run, the Fallout games, High-Rise by J.G. Ballard, The Luckiest Man In Denv by C.M. Kornbluth, why are the Russian oligarchs so much work than the Bloomberg oligarchs, can it be explained, circular, imaginary enemies, WWI (the ignoble nobleman’s war), The Westlake Review blog, WWII (the racial non-racial war), WWIII (the ungentlemanly gentleman’s war), tactical nuclear weapons, MacArthur, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, good strategy, your focus narrows, situational awareness, tunnel vision, engaged with a twitter thread, this happens to countries (not just people), they found his car, the army men, kind of incompetent, aiming the elevator at the army, starve-em-out, Edmund Rice, the right focus, his apartment is falling apart, the window doesn’t work, his single egg, rationing, chicory coffee, he cant imagine a different life, at the bottom of the apartment building, slag, it dumping of their ore car slag, piling up, if this goes on they will be buried, Idiocracy (2006), Javelin missiles sent to Ukraine, attacking Trump from the right (instead of the left), making more nukes?, if we have WWIII it will be stupid, howitzer line of sight nukes, they did it on purpose, somebody is lying, West End Games’ RPG Paranoia, it’s cool to think about, page 193, terror, horror, dizziness, do you see that green?, the power of suggestion, agoraphobia, The Caves Of Steel, his girlfriend, so obsessively worried about punctuality, PTSD, ore-sleds are just like people?, they have so little, they focus on the tiniest things, get Jesse hiking more, kidnap victims, Stockholm Syndrome for a whole nation, he’s like Canada, the sky isn’t falling, he’s a humanitarian, a dangerous criminal, an illegal immigrant, he puts us in the situation right with the guy, page 179, that horrible egg, gaspingly transparent window, its better to look inward, a whimsical approach, a romantic approach, I can’t live without you at the moment, will you be provisionally mine?, I’m going to be needing a wife for at least a year or two, I moved like a whirlwind, that was wrestling, that was judo, that was karate, he just killed the guy who was trying to help him, Paul plugs a book: Mazes Of Power by Juliette Wade, And All The Earth A Grave by C.C. MacApp, three extra zeros, advertising for coffins, a prospector wanders out of the New Mexican desert, humans are complete asses, under the roof, she refused at length and descriptively, any number of girls, I was a hero, they even gave me a medal, not licensed for progeny, this is our reality, living in bubbles, elaborate defenses, that’s what this is really good at, what’s going in the sixties, what its for, its about the psychology of our own human silliness, delightfully frothy, that first giant step, man got a hotfoot, he ran back with the tale between his legs, Neil Armstrong, images of flame, page 189, you’ve crawled into your caves, a well appointed cave, Outside, the same thing, always the same stupidity, the long slow painful creep of progress, a lot longer than it took to go right back into the cave again, how long people had without useful technologies, the cave is a metaphor for your set of beliefs, cut out the information coming from the outside, he wants to eat the fake news, he’s blocking people on twitter, you’re cancelled, cancer culture, once you start blocking…, he thinks what he hears in the building, what the army tells them, radiation proof cars, why should we?, don’t you ever wanna look at that guy’s voting record?, cutting off, dis-empowering yourself, you’re walking into the slaughterhouse, don’t listen to him, feels like there’s very little here, just another science fiction story, substantial power, if it were novel length, that experience, The Defenders is the same story from another point of view, City Of Endless Night by Milo Hastings, eggs, don’t shill for Instant Pot until they sponsor the podcast, the free range ones, orange yolks, you can taste the difference, a sad thought, that’s your allotment, the staircase, using the staircase is a transgressive act, do you need a stairway in a mausoleum, by 2000 everybody lived in projects, his grandparents?, three generations?, distorted stories, the history lesson, the old folks home, genetically unsuitable, what makes him unsuitable?, do you want to breed smarter people, suggested by the story but not in the story, we see two of them, the number of actors you need: two guys and a lady who comes in on skype, a tight dystopia, E.M. Forster’s The Machine Stops, co-opted, Westlake was a Manhattanite, New York as a horizontal arcology, the El or the subway, you can walk three blocks, rush hour, you have ruined my life, the spy is a little more reliable, bad for you, a monster behind that dumpster, the big Donald Westlake hits, The Risk Profession, LibriVox, space insurance, the two sides of Westlake, oh man, situational jokeyness, the Dortmunder books, The Hook, Memory, Charles Ardai, Christa Faust’s Money Shot, like Kill Bill, Hard Case Crime, at least sixty novels, Anarchaos, a very slim volume, so many good books, Somebody Owes Me Money, a crime syndicate, wherever he takes you on a journey, still fun, he still makes it work somehow, so funny with his characterization, Greg Bear is the opposite of Donald Westlake, we build the whole thing, you don’t leave him for a second, the way Shakespeare was gifted, a massive loss for Science Fiction, Smoke, endlessly silly ideas beautifully demonstrated, how many movies are made out of Westlake’s stuff, foreign homages, 41 credits as a writer, The Hot Rock, The Grifters, Payback, Jimmy The Kid, Diff’rent Strokes, A Slight Case Of Murder, James Cromwell as the detective, Cops And Robbers, Point Blank, Lee Marvin and Angie Dickinson, he’s king of like Stephen King, Stephen King loves Westlake, Richard Bachman is named after Richard Stark, Tucker Coe, Magnum, P.I., a crisp clear writer, Lawrence Block, fifteen years of great reading.

The Spy In The Elevator by Donald E. Westlake

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #520 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: Foster, You’re Dead by Philip K. Dick

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #520 – Foster, You’re Dead by Philip K. Dick; read by Mike Vendetti. This is an unabridged reading of the story (45 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Paul Weimer, Marissa Vu, and Evan Lampe.

Talked about on today’s show:
medium length, Star Science Fiction Stories No. 3, public domain, the Philip K. Dick estate lied, fraudulent, pretty good, Ballantine Books, published in the Soviet Union, communist propaganda, paying his taxes on the rubles, appropriate, magazine supplement to Pravda, America gone mad with capitalist solutions to the problem of nuclear fallout, preppers, the whole society is deluded, preppers in reality, zombie apocalypse bag, what’s in your bug-out bag, survivalists, nuclear war, practicing for the bug-out, its mainstream, sharpening their knives, no STEM, the gym instructor, a psychological breakdown, stop, drop and roll, duck and cover, anachronistic, Electric Dreams, a documentary about life in China, we don’t have to worry about terrorism, x-rays at every subway shop, police are your friends, schools with face-recognition software, wow!, no masks for tricking cameras, a good thing, Safe And Sound, the commons vs. the private, not a satire, gender flipped, a kid has a nervous breakdown story, Tony And The Beetles, looking at the map and wondering how far you have to be to avoid being nuked, become a C.H.U.D., trying to survive in the subways, traumatizing, The Day After (1983), Reagan saw the TV movie?, kind of odd, summit talks with Mikhail Gorbachev, the adaptation doesn’t get into the history of civil defense, bomb shelters, post-apocalyptic literature, The Blitz, FEMA?, that part of being a citizen has atrophied, we don’t find out what a “P” is “anti-P” anti-preparedness, let’s get that same feeling, the United States was going crazy, school was agony as always, watertight baskets, NATS circling above, civil defense drones, private taxes, a preparedness rating, a prequel to the Fallout games, the 1950s-cyber-future, find the berries that won’t poison him, pretty monstrous, Fallout communities, a failed social experiment, Pip-boys, the Dex of the adaptation, a cellphone, all iPhone elements, it didn’t know what to do with what it had done, admission 50cents, the sirens are going off and this poor little kid doesn’t have 50cents to get into the public fallout shelter, with his audiobooks!, cooing and crying, a place of safety and security, the quest for safety, guns and gas-masks forever, how the NRA functions, to be fair, collecting, guys are collectors, Jay Leno’s garage, gun collecting, gun technology, gonna have to go to Linux this year!, guns can do jobs, the only purpose that the government has is to protect citizens collectively, the satire, our own personal navies, look at all these kids, this hippie kid, a Toyota Prius, “sheep”, “Hey, Mom-shirt!”, consumerism, C.C. McApp, fidget spinners, And All The Earth A Grave by C.C. MacApp, they made death so attractive, humans are jack-asses, harrowing, the boy is traumatized, commodification, all human relations are commodified, undercooked, unsaid, the whole end reveal, the clumsiest reveal, executive/government person, manufacture a fake attack, disinformation, manipulated into action, mental illness, trying to control the society more an more, a metaphor for insane security theater, Russia Russia Russia, Galaxy, December 1963, the dad has the right attitude, psychologically damaged by everyone around him, more for the PKD Rhetorizer: running a retail business, real wood furniture, a mistake, another drill?, so embedded (in a bubble), what did they think of it in the Soviet Union, a status symbol, a car has a utility, now you need an apartment that looks good on Instagram, let’s go out for a drink, make safety expensive, the world outside of the suburb, when you’re in a in a bubble, Reeboks are the only kind of shoe that’s cool to wear, Rambo II, you’re walkman isn’t a SONY Walkman, a school assembly about something political that kids can do nothing about, only in a memory, presented with the flag, it can be read as a bitter memory, the time you met Donald Trump, double think, double feeling, 10 years ago, the same president, he looked just like he does on TV, make the people afraid enough, Watchmen, you couldn’t even imagine how scary it is, A Boy And His Dog by Harlan Ellison, Kennedy, Kennedy, Kennedy, the president is the chief of the chamber of commerce, the Soviets are a complete enigma, boring technology, “Pay up more, Bob.”, the climate change apocalypse, New Zealand is a fallout shelter for the rich, Kim Dotcom, it was cheap, which countries will be the safest?, standing on the outside watching the helicopters fly away, radon, how to spot a terrorist, “if you see something, say something”, living in bubbles, domes?, did you see the map?, desertified, how the deserts are moving east, the place where they grow the food/fuel, soybeans, invest now!, the after show, Jesse asked for a show like Electric Dreams to be made, Jesse regrets, Jesse is being punished, hear-gel, somebody in the writer’s room got a medal for that one, the mean girls vs boy bullies, gender flipping, the mom doesn’t have the same kind of concerns, analogous, a representative of her bubble, you’re undermining everything that you came here for, what’s going on?, trapped outside, ooh a library scene!, a decision/explanation, to remove the ambiguity, communist or anti-communist or capitalist, unfragile, programmed, mind control, it doesn’t make any sense, backflash, something is wrong, could they do a straight-up adaptation?, we have evidence, the ideas behind a story, a story about consumerism, a show about Medicare for all, become your own doctor, nobody forces you to buy guns, wouldn’t this be a cool opening scene, basic writing problems, bracelets, the transformation of wants into needs, cellphones are necessities, the coercion is peer pressure, mandatory, corporate capitalism, android vs. Apple, Samsung, the explanation is bunk, they didn’t bother to make it make sense, Runciter High, just trying to be cute, fan-service, make it meaningful, eXistenZ (1999), how to get people onside, feeling burned, never wish for a TV show, the magic genie podcast, Evan’s review of Foster, You’re Dead, the final stages of capitalism, neo-liberalism, Bradley is now Chelsea Manning, “the wall” and the “government shutdown”, a collective threat, how the Great Wall of China got built, The Hanging Stranger, unless they can find a way of profit by building a wall then any government expenditure is bad, ground level, this is all ridiculous, Foster is a little kid, looking back, cold war, lacking perspective, excluded, reasons to be afraid, how cool is this story?, such a tragic image, we wanted to see that story, Jesse takes it all back, Jesse made a Monkey’s Paw wish, they’re not harming Philip K. Dick’s brand (nor are they helping), Ubik, Philip K. Dick would be delighted, the premise of this story,

One day I saw a newspaper headline reporting that the President suggested that if Americans had to buy their bomb shelters, rather than being provided with them by the government, they’d take better care of them, an idea which made me furious. Logically, each of us should own a submarine, a jet fighter, and so forth. Here I just wanted to show how cruel the authorities can be when it comes to human life, how they can think in terms of dollars, not people.

that’s cool,

By the way — the above mentioned story was picked up by Ogonek, the largest circulation Soviet weekly (1,500,00). They even drew a number of archaic, foul illustrations for it … so I have more readers in the USSR than in this country. An odd situation. I never got a cent for the reprint; I wrote to Ogonek, asking for a copy of the magazine, but they didn’t answer the letter.

he’s very happy about this, its not foul at all, a weird relationship with reality, communists are the greatest threat ever, reporting people to the FBI, a liar and delusional, what would you be thinking reading this in the Soviet Union?, people say all sorts of stupid stuff, isn’t it a really good satire, The Trigger Effect (1996), paranoia, a mini version of Cold War paranoia, mass hysteria, mass consumerism hysteria, why are we doubling down on Beanie Babies, competitors going going all Beanie Babies, Cabbage Patch Kid, how bizarre it was, not just about nuclear war, I want my dishwasher, my clothes washer, a new car every year as a status symbol, a new iPhone every year, Nanny by Philip K. Dick, the twist is that the nannies fight each-other, planned obsolescence, dual use, the ultimate in consumerism satire, Sales Pitch, not funny, just scary.

Interior illustration for the Soviet publication of Foster, You're Dead by Philip K. Dick

COVER illustration of the Soviet publication of Foster, You're Dead by Philip K. Dick

Posted by Jesse Willis

LibriVox: Short Science Fiction Collection Vol. 020

SFFaudio Online Audio

LibriVoxSome terrific new listening, and some re-recorded tales, are found in this collection of LibriVox’s short Science Fiction:

Harry Harrison’s Arm Of The Law is fun, and well written with a sympathetic portrayal of a factory fresh robot turned Martian lawman. Police coruption gets a right royal cleaning when a seemingly Asimovian-lawed robot shows up on Mars. Greg Margarite reads the robot’s few lines extremely well. This is yet more proof he’s a narrator with terrific instincts for characterization.

Philip K. Dick’s The Gun is predictable but still very readable/listenable. Fredric Brown’s Keep Out is, like so many Brown tales, short, sweet and funny!

George O. Smith’s History Repeats features mercenary aliens and talking dogs. Cool! Other than a few almost unnoticeable pauses this is an excellent reading by Bellona Times.

And that’s just a few of these stories! Why not have a listen yourself? Then, please pop your thoughts on each in as a comment. All the cool kids are doing it!

LibriVox - Short Science Fiction Collection Vol. 020Short Science Fiction Collection Vol. 020
By various; Read by various
10 Zipped MP3 Files or Podcast – Approx. 3 Hours 16 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: July 1, 2009
Science Fiction is speculative literature that generally explores the consequences of ideas which are roughly consistent with nature and scientific method, but are not facts of the author’s contemporary world. The stories often represent philosophical thought experiments presented in entertaining ways. Protagonists typically “think” rather than “shoot” their way out of problems, but the definition is flexible because there are no limits on an author’s imagination. The reader-selected stories presented here were written prior to 1962 and became US public domain texts when their copyrights expired.

Podcast feed:

http://librivox.org/bookfeeds/short-science-fiction-collection-20.xml

iTunes 1-Click |SUBSCRIBE|

LibriVox - 2BR02B by Kurt Vonnegut Jr. 2BR02B
By Kurt Vonnegut, Jr; Read by Bellona Times
1 |MP3| – Approx. 19 minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: July 1, 2009
In the not so distant future an over-populated planet requires that every birth be balanced by a death. When Edward K. Whelig, Jr.’s wife births triplets he needs to find three people willing to enter a local suicide booth and give him the receipt… From Worlds of If, January 1962.

LibriVox - And All The Earth A Grave by C.C. MacAppAnd All The Earth A Grave
By C.C. MacApp; Read by Bellona Times
1 |MP3| -Approx. 19 minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: July 1, 2009
There’s nothing wrong with dying—it just hasn’t ever had the proper sales pitch! From Galaxy Science Fiction, December 1963.


Fantastic Universe August 1958Arm Of The Law
By Harry Harrison; Read by Greg Margarite
1 |MP3| – Approx. 34 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: July 1, 2009
How could a robot—a machine, after all—be involved in something like law application and violence? Harry Harrison, who will be remembered for his THE VELVET GLOVE (Nov. 1956) and his more recent TRAINEE FOR MARS (June 1958) tells what happens when a police robot hits an outpost on Mars. From the August 1958 issue of Fantastic Universe.

The Bell Tone by Edmund H. LeftwichThe Bell Tone
By Edmund H. Leftwich; Read by Bellona Times
1 |MP3| – Approx. 13 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: July 1, 2009
It is no use. It’s too late. The earth—I must dig—alone. From the July 1941 issue of Comet.


LibriVox - The Gun by Philip K. DickThe Gun
By Philip K. Dick; Read by Greg Margarite
1 |MP3| – Approx. 28 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: July 1, 2009
Nothing moved or stirred. Everything was silent, dead. Only the gun showed signs of life … and the trespassers had wrecked that for all time. The return journey to pick up the treasure would be a cinch … they smiled.

LibriVox - History Repeats by George O. SmithHistory Repeats
By George O. Smith; Read by Bellona Times
1 |MP3| – [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: July 1, 2009
There are—and very probably will always be—some Terrestrials who can’t, and for that matter don’t want, to call their souls their own… From Astounding Science Fiction May 1959.

LibriVox - Keep Out by Fredric BrownKeep Out
By Fredric Brown; Read by Greg Margarite
1 |MP3| – Approx. 8 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: July 1, 2009
With no more room left on Earth, and with Mars hanging up there empty of life, somebody hit on the plan of starting a colony on the Red Planet. It meant changing the habits and physical structure of the immigrants, but that worked out fine. In fact, every possible factor was covered—except one of the flaws of human nature… From Amazing Stories March 1954.

Fantastic Universe December 1957My Father, the Cat
By Henry Slesar; Read by Patricia Oakley
1 |MP3| – Approx. 24 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: July 1, 2009
“Henry Slesar, as we have said before, is a young advertising executive who has rapidly become one of the better known writers in the field. Here is an off-trail story that is guaranteed to make some of you take a very searching second look at some of the young men you know.” From Fantastic Universe December 1957.

Fantastic Universe November 1956Of Time And Texas
By William F. Nolan; Read by Joe Pilsbury
1 |MP3| – Approx. 5 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: July 1, 2009
“Twenty-eight-year-old William Nolan, another newcomer to the field, introduces us to the capricious Time Door of Professor C. Cydwick Ohms, guaranteed to solve the accumulated problems of the world of the year 2057.” From Fantastic Universe November 1956.

LibriVox - Operation Lorelie by William P. SaltonOperation Lorelie
By William P. Salton; Read by Bellona Times
1 |MP3| – Approx. 12 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: July 1, 2009
It was a new time and a vast new war of complete and awful annihilation. Yet, some things never change, and, as in ancient times, Ulysses walked again—brave and unconquerable—and again, the sirens wove their deadly spell with a smile and a song. From Amazing Stories March 1954.

[additional thanks to “julicarter” and Lucy Burgoyne]

Posted by Jesse Willis

LibriVox: Short Science Fiction Collection Vol. 011

SFFaudio Online Audio

LibriViox - Short Science Fiction Collection Volume #11Short Science Fiction Collection Vol. 011
By various; Read by various
10 Zipped MP3 Files or Podcast – Approx. 4 Hours 45 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: February 21, 2009
Science fiction (abbreviated SF or sci-fi with varying punctuation and case) is a broad genre of fiction that often involves sociological and technical speculations based on current or future science or technology. This is a reader-selected collection of short stories that entered the US public domain when their copyright was not renewed.

Accidental Death
By Peter Baily; Read by Giles Baker
1 |MP3| – Approx. 22 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]

Advanced Chemistry
By Jack G. Huekels; Read by Great Plains
1 |MP3| – Approx. 15 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]

And All the Earth a Grave
By C.C. MacApp; Read by Jerome Lawsen
1 |MP3| – Approx. 15 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]

A Choice Of Miracles
By James A. Cox; Read by Janet Moursund
1 |MP3| – Approx. 26 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]

Control Group
By Roger Dee; Read by Janet Moursund
1 |MP3| – Approx. 35 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]

The Day of the Boomer Dukes
By Frederik Pohl; Read by Gregg Margarite
1 |MP3| – Approx. 45 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]

The Good Neighbors
By Edgar Pangborn; Read by Gregg Margarite
1 |MP3| – Approx. 12 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]

The Hills Of Home
By Alfred Coppel; Read by Giles Baker
1 |MP3| – Approx. 22 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]

The Last Evolution
By John W. Campbell Jr.; Read by Gregg Margarite
1 |MP3| – Approx. 44 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]

Operation Haystack
By Frank Herbert; Read by Gregg Margarite
1 |MP3| – Approx. 48 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]

Podcast feed:

http://librivox.org/bookfeeds/short-science-fiction-collection-011.xml

Posted by Jesse Willis

Story Speiler: Accidental Death and All The World A Grave

SFFaudio Online Audio

Here are another two excellent unabridged audiobook short story offerings from Roy Turnbull…

The first, Accidental Death by Peter Baily, is definitely Science Fiction. It’s about an ill-fated expedition to an alien planet with some friendly, though dangerous, tennis-playing aliens. It speculates on the nature of luck in a first person present tense narrative – which is fun.

The second story, All The World A Grave by C.C. MacApp, is either Fantasy or Science Fiction, depending on your view of human nature. I take it as very apt satirical SF, in the same vein as The Space Merchants – as such, and despite its vintage, it has some very promising economic stimulus ideas for the new Barack Obama administration. Go economy, go!

Accidental Death by Peter BailyAccidental Death
By Peter Baily; Read by Roy Turnbull
1 |MP3| – Approx. 20 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Story Spieler Podcast
Published: 2009?
Provider: Internet Archive
From Astounding Science Fiction February 1959. The most dangerous of weapons is the one you don’t know is loaded.

And All The Earth A Grave by C.C. MacAppAnd All The Earth A Grave
By C.C. MacApp; Read by Roy Turnbull
1 |MP3| – Approx. 16 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Story Spieler Podcast
Published: 2009?
Provider: Internet Archive
From Galaxy Science Fiction, December 1963. There’s nothing wrong with dying—it just hasn’t ever had the proper sales pitch!

Posted by Jesse Willis