The SFFaudio Podcast #762 – READALONG: Sixth Column by Robert A. Heinlein

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #762 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, Evan Lampe, Terence Blake, and Jonathan Manfred Weichsel talk about Sixth Column by Robert A. Heinlein

Talked about on today’s show:
get people to believe he’s Terence, J stands for Jonathan, Manfred sounded cooler, just change your last name to Scalzi and all the blessing will come, you can replace Heinlein, this John Scalzi book called Sixth Column, serialized in Astounding, not based on a Heinlein idea at all, the original idea was Campbell’s, all the problems it has are Heinlein’s fixings, Jack Vance shitting on Campbell, psychics and telepathy, well done for a bad idea, not one of his best, major works, thought experiment, opposite thought experiment, Revolt In 2100 in reverse, theocracy, make people believe, If This Goes On is Revolt In 2100, revolts against people in power, revolution, fighting against the forces of prophet, pan-Asian tyranny, motives of the character, technomage weapon, falls for a girl, the movement culture makes the ideology, the change in him, less emotional growth, learns to become a rebel, how people get radicalized: through women, against god, The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, the conspiracy element, the secret society within and a false leader, Adam Selene, Mike, the disciple is coming, enjoyed the book, one of the strongest competency fantasies, this Ledbetter effect, what a Campbell move, they’re genetically different from us, isn’t the US filled with other than white people too?, race is a thing, in the original texts, the whites vs. the pan-Asians, setting from Asian to not Asian, tone down some of the binary, unfixable, Anson MacDonald was racist, tiny brain – galaxy brain, old Heinlein, troll way you want to do it, changes, some city has been atom-bombed, considering the year, it starts when the war was over, we’re the werewolves of this Nazi empire, individual stories were fighting, you can make the argument they’re still there, on the Moon?, still guys in the mountains, people being killed into the late-1940s, ideological true believers, a hand that touched them to make them military, an uprising, a prison revolt, start a religion to solve a problem, a very American move, the turbans and the staffs, the beards, he stacked the deck, pan-Asianism, this less is less bullshit, the pan-Asian movement, Noble Drew Ali, Moorish Science, fezzes, little Hitler mustache, if this was happening in your community, government did stuff, the Black Muslim movement, Nat Turner, a movement out of Japan, the Black Dragon Society, take over Asia, Pan-Asian Orientalism, they’re trying to create a force against European colonization of Asia, unequal treaties, China, an attempt to unify counties under threat, nationalism, a congruency there, civic nationalist ideas, anschluss, an Ottoman identity, Pan-Africanists, Sun Yat-sen, the Asia for the Asians idea, largely a creation of the Japanese, the Japanese Empire, we have to fight the imperial power, they’re bad like us, as a way to avoid war and fight the west, Manchurians, national ambitions, disconnect between political realities and what unites us in people’s minds, post-colonial African, a pan-Germanist, a pan-Europeanist, subject to the master race, propaganda to that extent, not serious about pan-Asianism, Savage Headhunters, Shinto, edge out the other religions, atrocities, the Rape of Nanking, they weren’t being altruistic, the psychology of creating this book, it’s the Japanese, a god emperor somewhere in Asia, they conquered India, this pan-Asian government, the Soviets, Korea, set in the future, flying vehicles, The Final Blackout by L. Ron Hubbard, 1940, the end of the world, Europe is off the map, Beyond Thirty by Edgar Rice Burroughs, the South Pole, a similar setup, blackout and curtain, blackout curtains, they’re out of the game, a country knocked out of the Risk game, right before the novel begins, the United States is washed up, a plothole in the book, buildings, people walking around, it wasn’t bombs, a electromagnetic weapon, Washington is gone, the last flight out, Cheyenne Mountain, where NORAD is, Colorado Springs, tentacles, a fun book, the swami hats, the halos, he can sell it to Campbell, Heinlein operating at the Anson MacDonald level, early Heinlein comedy, the great God Motar, it got the cover, the conversation with the prince, the Divine Hand, silly and racist, funny dialogue, if Japan wins, states make nations, a national identity, folklore, flags, constitutions, anthems, winning in Asia, controlling this vast empire, give it enough time, a white republic became multi-ethnic, the original illustrations, the troops look Japanese, the Hand looks Manchu, scholar hat, more Chinese than Japanese, Mongolian, mongoloid, the five races theory, they’ve got a religion too, a divinity aspect, they don’t understand American religion, just use Christianity, Japanese spies, Francis Xavier, Commodore Perry, the Non-Intercourse Act, Trinity RPG, why can’t you close yourself off, capitalism won’t let you, the Khmer Rouge, the 1st world, the 2nd world, and the 3rd world, unequal treaties, you’re trading with us now, we set the terms of the trade, gunships, they are really good at this colonialism, free trade, snuggle up, after a war, more unequal than others, Cuba is not allowed to trade with the United States, open up countries to trade, many port cities, everybody get their own port, a lot of dissatisfaction, you are the slave class now, protectorate, brutal, this isn’t as racist as it could be, these two groups think race is a thing, you have to buy in, a biological fact, what the theme is, defeated by your prejudices, binary racist skeleton plot, what leads to decline and downfall is a set of prejudices, a native American born Asia, subject to the ray, Heinlein doing his Heinlein thing, I’m different from him, so about racist, police are the same everywhere, will they stay bribed?, pedagogical motifs, people are prejudiced, the summary of the first 2 parts, the Blitzkrieg of the United States Empire, the Citadel, military research, Ardmore works hard, Colonel Calhoon, believes himself to be Mota, or Motak?, he’s John W. Campbell, complete atomic power, selective death ray, a general solution of unified field, well behaved slaves require religion, encouragement and disencouragement, render under Caesar, African American religion, religion is a delusion, Stranger In A Strange Land, so much time focusing on religion, it’s a fake from the beginning, he’s Jesus, the disciple depicted, black and a thousand feet tall, Joseph Smith (not Jesus), doing more than one thing, Valentine Michael Smith, the disciple of Jesus, vanishing people, he dies like Jesus, stoned to death, but didn’t come back, the Mormons get a very favourable mention, a good version of religion, practical, the business aspect, they’ve got good business sense, an infinite money generator, Robert Heinlein being a gold bug, a DC superhero character from the 40s, Doctor Fate, The Flash with a WWI helmet, Babylon 5, not for religious purposes, a Mormon-like branch of Christianity, mumbo jumbo, invent and remember, a short novel, people offended by this, an evangelical branch of Christianity, ripped from daily headlines, slot-machines in their megachurches, come die with us anyway, people die for Christianity all the time, there is a third rail in the United States, American friends, there are Canadian religious people, tied to the land in the U.K., writing for a very secular Science Fiction magazine, make up a Christian religion and say it’s all fake, people would be very offended, when the Beatles compared themselves to Jesus, Dungeons & Dragons, third hand worried, when the panic came out, an American media thing, spill-over, the one with Harry Potter, if it gets to be a big enough interest, having fun, all the names, the other aspects of Mota, reading this in the 1940s, smile slyly inside, he’s being sneaky but I get it, it works as an anti-religious polemic, what makes this a lesser book, if Evan got his away, people would think about it in a different way, tying Americanism to Christianity, John W. Campbell’s All, racialism, using the dopey religion, so religious they’d be wrong about using Christianity, the conversations with the Christian believers, wrestling with using this fake religion, so contrived, For Us, The Living, just ignore Europe, the religions of Iran or Turkey, Chinese didn’t know that Americans were Christian, an Iron Curtain around the United States, closed off from the rest of the world, Donald Trump, build a wall around America, consume itself in war, Heinlein has no interest in Europe, Hitler, Medieval European, a feudal Catholicism, like monks living in cells, armour, nuns, charismatic Christianity, Job: A Comedy Of Justice, literalist, the Republican party, living in Job’s universe, atomic power, the serial we are about to read, fair probability, the effectiveness of invention, plausible, the whole setup is wholly implausible, invasion literature, if we had this setup, so many coincidences, they just happen to…, so constructed so as to be not one of his best book, whoever that is, definitely Heinlein, biggest problems, general acceptance of drugs, magic, the drugs only have the effect they say on the label, you have to take sleeping pills, also I don’t you getting up, konking you out, a naivete about drugs, good healthy skepticism, what happens right after these pre-WWII books, a think tank to help win the war, L. Sprague DeCamp, commissioned as an officer, pressure suits, Astounding [by Alec Nevalla-Lee], is the tech ripe, tech-bro, is there government funding for this thing, Larry Niven and Benford, rods from god, beat the Soviets, same thing, let’s think up scenarios, now everybody has to take their shoes off forever, you could combine liquids and make a bomb, endemic and super dangerous, the Slan effect, reading a Philip K. Dick novel, now I can run the world, that guy is weird, what maleness means, maybe children are smarter than adults, principles, all you have to do is take your hypnodrugs and you can learn languages, he can’t see it about himself, spin-up, he’s wonderful, it’s hokum, man can he write, criticism of Heinlein, sexual politics, the collapse of America, not for the betterment, to undermine things, the society of Friday, Balkanized, royals have moved to Canada, California, Ottawa, never a threat to world peice, a planetary society, the beanstalk in Kenya, she’s the James Bond working for a secret organization, tied to Gulf, in the future of Gulf, a take that at his own work, takes his own piss, time travel pussy one: The Door Into Summer, why Evan needed to do Heinlein for his podcast, he’ll mention other countries, he’s trying to bomb America, bombing the Taj Mahal, mostly he just cares about the United States, practically the United States, he’s so smart and good at spinning up, no impact with working at the navy yard, the Edison trust goes on, like G.E. or Bell, Bell Labs, their existence is there because they’re a trust, wild speculation, you’re given the monopoly so you have to give back, he’s got transmutation, lead into gold, poison gas into oxygen, there’s a change in energy, win WWII with alchemy, a broad comedy, very comedic, forgettable Heinlein, religion as a mask for science, power-play, Isaac Asimov’s Foundation, Dune, is the religion fake in Dune?, planted, a psychology of the masses, staff officers, soft sciences, planted the seeds for that chapters, precedents, Orphans Of The Sky, Universe, the science became a religion, gravity as a metaphor, a secret society, long and too big, the concept is really cool, he takes the long view, six months?, how many years are they at this?, couple years at most, he has only three issues to write it, where did this idea start in American literature, Mark Twain’s criticism of the Christian scientists, diet books, Extract From Captain Stormfield’s Visit To Heaven biblical justification, post-apocalyptic, what’s the name of that story?, many different satires of religion, hardly anybody there speaks English, they jailed his corpse, are they believing their own shit, Theosophy, L. Frank Baum, you can’t say I’m an atheist, having an argument ready, what’s a Christian, take you to their temple, what’s that?, judo flipped them, join someone else’s services, soul-searching, doing good, whatever names doesn’t matter, unity of all faiths, a scientific based version of the theosophical ideology, Muslim cleric in a Jewish temple, the audiences take it, the scientiologiston the street corner, we welcome Christian, play to whatever, they don’t start with you’re wrong, I worship Mithra, The Altar by Robert Sheckley, Two Dooms by C.M. Kornbluth, half-colonized America, a very C.M. Kornbluth story, if Weinbaum had lived, could have been bigger than Heinlein, nobody’s trying to say Scalzi’s the new Weinbaum, Zelazny death anniversary thread, google nGram, his works aren’t in print, locked away under copyright, H. Beam Piper is bigger than it ever was, the evidence is huge but Paul is not convinced, Scalzi wrote a reboot of the public domain book, after 1963, sinecure, go to youtube and look at all the views and compare to sales on audible, it’s huge, I only read free, free as I can do anything I want with it, a certain racial slur against African Americans, the good stuff rises, peter want the better stuff, the bad covers on Amazon are commercial, excised, taking offense by being babied, flatfaces, yellow monkeys, aliens, slanty-eyes, slanties, made that up for this book?, made up slurs are less problematic, thought experiment, Farnham’s Freehold next, pan-Africans invading the United States, The New Sun, we’ve got some white guys we need to hate, the token guy, Heinlien is anti-racist, the character is in the serial, who would die from their beam, the antidote to the racism in this book, lifeboat rules, a prejudice you have to overcome, just take this pill, go in with a ray and kill cleanly, soul-searching, get over your prejudices, promoted instead of fired, took the black pill, have you ever butchered a hog, Heinlein wrote these lines, pages and pages of dialogue Heinlein talking to himself, walking down the street of Des Moines, roll tanks, you’re a slave now, handing out gold, one foot in the Great Depression, soup kitchens, poor relief, Beyond The Horizon, in this era of his career, the changing nature of the stake, ambivalent, biases, dismissing female priests, can’t wear the beard, the oppressor, comfort women, mobilizing the women, traditional, burning the past, no research in it, hara-kiri everything’s to do with face, white women turned into comfort women, we need to liberate women, all hands on deck, salable chattel, 1911, anarchist feminist Chinese radical, comfort stations, a discussion in Japan about the new woman, changing the roles of women, the audience for this, written real fast, writing so much, chronological read through of Heinlein, the development of ideas, not an issue in 1941, the future history stories are under Heinlein, a rule throughout magazines, whole issues written by Robert Silverberg, we need more L. Sprague DeCamps, guess Caleb Saunders is getting a cheque today, recruiting guys, almost every issue, one year of Astounding, off magazines, a quarter of the way through, a future history laid out, And He Built A Crooked House, competence fantasy, Elsewhen, if I was running the war, Civilization with infinite gold or tanks, fun but weak, a pressor beam a sucker beam, the stacks were stacked against, the chess move, god damn them, enjoyable but a weak book, Paul didn’t enjoy reading this book?, the gun one, compare, by Paul, going at it on Twitter, it’s about guns, head and shoulders above this one, silly, a paycheck, I have this story here, unsalable, doesn’t stop him, Campbell’s writing was never amazing, maybe you could do something with this, more ambitious, social credit, post-scarcity, honor culture, a gun controlled society, cultural regulation, also not one of his best, one of the best of his early works, The Green Hills Of Earth, the novels that go down hill, crackin little ideas, he excels at novels, Friday is a really good book, bulky, falling in love with your rapist, a relationship with the guy, some mitigating fiction, your puritan locked down guy, a bit strange, a minor bug, Heinlein is at his best when he’s challenging you, shallow appreciation of Starship Troopers, the classroom stuff, arguing against, engage, come to an agreement, some candidate for the evil party, raise the age to 25, as a platform, get more people not to vote, does the Army vote for Biden?, the cultural perception, officers vs. non-officers, pro-war vs. anti-war, what’s the purpose, explicitly telling you this is for engagement, that speaks very well to the society, indoctrinate, in comparison, to write about his present, a veteran teaching the class, teacher pay, anything that will disrupt, learning things, conformity, marks are a way of controlling, we gotta do way more of that, a weird book, a classroom setting, a very complex book, a poll before the election, the 2020 election, the Army voted for Biden, go talk to the people, 2016, a choice between warhawks, Paul needs to flee, Clark Ashton Smith, a google ngram, you see the spikes, Edgar Allan Poe compared to H.P. Lovecraft, work it to make it work, Silverberg’s Downward To The Earth, 1981, Majipoor, throw in a contemporary of both of them, his presence doesn’t drop like Zelazny’s, H.G. Wells, pushing people’s buttons, not as controversial, challenging, Harlan Ellison, mostly a TV guy, mostly essays, Edgeworks, really bad press, full of typos, shoulda been smarter, reprint rights, number one is Ray Bradbury, he’s part of the curriculum, book guy, if you wanna be big you have to be mandated, Bradbury is safe and tame, he’s not great, he’s good, he’s got real good stuff, The Martian Chronicles, The Veldt, A Sound Of Thunder, he’s all about the feeling, he’s nostalgic, his ideas always have to do with feelings, what makes Fahrenheit 451, books are good, he’s in the slicks, his novels come later, his first movie is so flat, Rocket Ship Galileo, the worst Heinlein movie is the one he was involved with, was he smoking, Waldo, Magic Inc., a messy publication history, a lot of fixups, The Penultimate Truth, the Virginia Collection, full of typos, archive.org, The Unpleasant Profession Of Jonathan Hoag, at a certain point, I love Heinlein, I hate him, I love him so much, wow!, the market is drying up a little bit, that furious pace, that was his job, he was a fiction writer, Hal Clement was a teacher, Searchlight, All You Zombies, he loves the drugs, By His Bootstraps, how can he be so trusting of drugs?, he’s a tech bro, isn’t it the same worldview?, they’re the problem solvers, COVID on the brain, ivermectin, Jesse gets credit for something?, not that long ago in the 1970s and the 1980s, Alzheimer’s vs. dementia, cancer’s an old one, cancer is fundamental, the chances get greater and greater, a Whiggish view of science, revised or updated, why be so arrogant about our own views, historian, Heinlein: Tech-Bro by Evan Lampe, disrupting systems, taking government funding, the French Revolution, Enlightenment tech-bros, how about a 10 day week, the Temple of Reason, we got some good stuff out of that, Silicon Valley, they’re lighting, disruption is good, computer miniaturization, making things small and faster, multi-threads, a legit improvement, it doesn’t scale to non-hardware very well, running cooler, can do more at a faster pace, the software is magic on top of it, your monthly subscription, a Philip K. Dick story, Cory Doctorow, Australia has month, you will own nothing and you will eat bugs, funny on slack, mass resistance to the policy, why do students have phones with them, the Cory Doctorow explanation, the Evan Lampe explanation, Douglas Adams, cell phones looks like crumpets, a mainstream guy, the zoomers have revisited the Karl Marx line, my cell phone is trying to kill me, William Gibson, hacking the gibson through my cortex, Transmetropolitain by Warren Ellis, Neal Stephenson, because they’re geniuses, after whuffie, how good my camera is, how fast the wifi is, how come i don’t have a clip tray in my Windows, better and better then real bad, Mark Twain, the Civil War, avoiding poetry, 100 page poems, take a break from Mark Twain, both very Americans, traveled a lot, wrote for a living, Innocents Abroad, Life On The Mississippi, A Tramp Abroad, a short story that’s an anecdote, A Literary Nightmare, Anthony DeSimone, the story of a meme, feels relief, an early example of a meme, a little rhyme to remember ticket prices, so fuckin good, so clear but also has stuff to say, started out very optimistic ended cynical, gilded ages, everything travel, The Number Of The Beast, sick in bed, bedridden, trails off into nonsense, veers into the wrong direction, To Sail Beyond The Sunset, episode 103, Time Enough For Love, gonna explain something in Methuselah’s Children, he’s his own grandpa, very Heinlein, maybe that’s a different book, The Cat Who Walks Through Walls, upcoming slots, Paul’s not available, the first Carson of Venus novel in on LibriVox, it’s different, builds a rocketship, crashes on Venus, a parody of the competency narrative, wrong way Carson, read it as a self-parody, Bison Frontiers of Imagination, Pirates Of Venus, unusual for Burroughs, Lost Of Venus, do the Heinlein, Black House, Logan’s Run, Clifford D. Simak, a VR novel, Lord Dunsany, Michael Crichton, Progeny by Philip K. Dick, (Alex) Pulp Covers, bother Paul, totally racist, still really good, the mom’s an alcoholic and the dad’s a lawyer, the drama of it, the family relationships, mixed African race, enslaved all the white people, all good, he’s experimenting, The Puppet Masters, people in a certain class, different shades of skin, being extra-specially sensitive to this stuff, they’re just people, people are people, they’re all Americans, he thinks men and women are very similar, Heinlein’s sexual politics, screenshotting, raping his own daughters, sexy Heinlein books, they go to the future, skinny dipping, he likes lookin at ladies, missing in Sixth Column, a similar scene, the rebels are all nudists, Heinlein got over it, being comfortable with his body, marriages, he’s right about that shit, people bang more, abolish gender?, nudism in Nazi Germany, body culture, ready for the military, read the back of the comics, if this goes on, many different body types, the cat one, Nudist Camp, gold wire, David Ashton Walsh, just a fascist who wanted to fuck his mom, Mike B. Young, his twin daughters as well, who is going to stop you, Lazarus Long, these are his fantasies, The Roads Must Roll is anti-union, the Canadian truckers protest, as a guy, a guild, not what unions are after, they’re not for solidarity, eugenicists want to take over, create a master race, what the engineers are after, Starman Jones, without joining a guild, stowaways on the ship pick it up by doing it, Lester Del Rey, Badge Of Infamy, be a guild member to use Chat GPT, a class of people, they’re tv writers, movie writers, Professor Coolbreeze, a rich tapestry, who still fucked babes, they’re puritans, strawman the guy who’s a writer of books from a long time ago, do some raping, why does he have rape in his stories, all the libertarian sci-fi, libertarian tendencies, he’s thinking things true, people can’t win an argument with a dead guy without strawmanning him, a skill that people lack, what people read, formulaic stories, maybe challenging, Jonathan is a writer who breaks a lot of rules, accidentally vs. intentionally, intent, appreciation of popular fiction and literature, people say they read Heinlein then can’t believe how racist he was, the party discipline requires denouncing, you gotta say this now, a very twitter phenomenon, party conformist, people who still watch actual broadcast television, two different worlds, far right far left, a maga hat on, keep a sun out of his eyes, BCIT hat, visible maga people, hand painted signs, Trump flags, being visibly breaking decorum, rainbow pin on their lapel, Ukraine flag on the lawn, a laptop class, political people on twitter, very political most days, how is this processing, something Paul tweeted to Evan, there’s something wrong with me, how come I don’t get this, Elon Musk was defending him limiting some traffic in Turkey about the election, especially in right wing countries, hearing Erdogan is pro-Putin, not conforming with NATO, ethno-nationalist, continuing policy, he caved on that one, did you lose your brain, Evan is against ethno-states, always thinking about the people of the United States being white, projecting 100s of years in the future, doesn’t fit into his future history, should have worked harder on the re-write, the Americans fighting against eh pan pan-Asian, fundamentally flawed, you can’t really fix this, a thoughtwave pattern, those kind of experiments, a magic wand that kills all the women and Dylan Mulvaney is still alive, servicing John Campbell’s position and needs, I’m selling books here, kills only Asians, why not just disperse the death ray in a wide beam, the recruitment, what stupidness that it is, a very minor work, more silly than anything else, goofy, enjoyable, character heavy and painful and a transformed world, very engaging, the character of the alcoholic mother, he recycles them a lot, the mother-son relationship, allows him to be castrated, never before explored before, doctor my balls don’t work, insert some glands in yeah, some pain down there, okay doctor, drugs work perfectly, did he tech bro himself out of babies?, if he had had babies, he would have petered out, they’re all about children, childbirth is the goal, Lazarus Long has hundreds of children, what’s the point of life, I may be awesome, life is kind of absurd, reading writers who have these problems, Edgar Allan Poe, going to the ladies, Zora Neale Hurston, girls, yes, invented everything, for an American audience at least, much more than that, literary criticism of his, this is shit, here’s why it’s shit, a lot of context, his novel is rich, interesting nested, figure out what mode he’s in, he has to fill pages, writes a story to a piece of art, William Wilson, for the present volume, written for a book called The Gift, doppelganger and debauchery, Evan’s plan, Gertrude Stein, ambitious, 2 a week, 895 episodes, Lovecraft and Dick readthrough, Civil War, the American character, the American spirit, it came from those authors, Twain is much more of a common man, the great American author, America made its historical context, feed into later works, American culture made something distinctive before it went into massive decline, the anarchist socialist communes, counted out America, right after the Civil War, an alternative that doesn’t suck in the world, Jesse’s pitch, being America’s bitch sucks, do it in Canada, oppression but not much, basic government service, Colossus will get things done, getting the temple built, Mary McCarthy, Willa Cather, Margaret Atwood, the Canadian education system, Canadian literature is not the best, 10 times the population, extremes that Canadians don’t suffer, have your literature imported, the CBC’s job, other countries’ literature, Poe and Dick and Lovecraft, Stephen King, great literature exporters, chains, people claim there is, Mark Fisher, good history being written, new history vs. new fiction, Neil Gaiman, wonderful scholarship, self-aggrandizing, Jesse’s argument, a smart way to do it, nice microphone, quiet time, Jesse’s a terrible narrator, come to some arrangement, focused on audio, evangelical for it, audible [the website] didn’t exist, a growth industry, good product and great covers, listening while walking, from a commercial standpoint, only still on the rise, Jonathan has been converted, somebody is listening to this five hour show, gab in the background, nope, Tommy Patrick Ryan audiobooks, he wants to help out, not a money relationship, a wheelbarrow with a big hole in it, wheelbarrows are expensive, cover that hole, Jesse was right the whole time, publishing tasks, corporeal, orgy, divan, figures out the voice of the narrator, the Bronson Pinchot vs. Tom Weiner, straight reader vs. performer, a female accent, speech impediment or style of speaking, nobody has any inflections, there is a spectrum, transparent narrators, the elephants are very calm, he’s from Brooklyn, you’re never going to hear the end of it, people think they can reinvent the wheel, profits in new markets, used bookstore project, who doesn’t want to own a used bookstores, when 9/11 happened, homeland security, the US Postal Service, you’re fucking with me, street traffic vs. online only, a good location without a bookstore, buy a bookstore, you get the market, an inventory, people bring in free stock, pandemic rules, the pandemic was a very good thing, jubilee, she gets a prize you get nothing, wait until Kamala is your queen, reelected for the 2nd time, carrying his corpse around from press conference to press conference, Canadian foreign and domestic policy is largely dictated by US foreign policy, a demented guy in charge, the institutions, Bryan Alexander, speech impediment, its not on the news, shaking hand with butlers, juice him up, the clips are out there, that’s the scenario, brings nothing to the table, rumblings, Megan Markle, Oprah, renounce her royal title, a bad book, pan Atlantic country, H2O (2004 CBC miniseries), plausible scenario, a reverse coup, as sequel too, David Cronenberg, James Cameron, Marilyn Chambers, early controversy, a movie industry, set in Toronto, The Fly (1986), A History Of Violence (2005), Scanners (1981), filming there, architecture is Canadian, brutalist, a fetish for him, Canadian actors who never leave Canada, any kind of traction, just move to the states, William Shatner, where the work is, pass yourself off, Deadpool guy, aggressively Canadian, Ryan Reynolds, big weird country, kinda fake, founding myth, the North-West Passage, this big thing that was in the way, French Canadians, teach the controversy, two big companies, 54:40 or fight, break the line at 49, take up to Alaska, war with Britain, Vancouver, Washington, Hudson’s Bay, two business men go into a meeting, fuck the people who live on either side of this line, the black exclusion laws, Oregon has a racist foundation, escaped slaves, the problems that that entailed, no black people allowed, weird behavior, weird politics, every year Jesse goes with boats with clubs, Jesse puts his skins in a warehouse, all Americans live in California, a very arctic thing, more into salmon and cedar, three day festival and everybody goes clubbing, almost like a J. Manfred Weichsel story, satire, Heinlein and all of them went to the government, Astounding by Alec Nevala-Lee, there’s an audiobook of it, using science fiction ideas, Giants Of Eternity by Manly Wade Wellman, like in The War Of The Worlds, dig up all the super-scientists, Marie Curie, this is amazing, Charles Darwin, Thomas Alva Edison, Louis Pasteur, Isaac Newton, make fun of their personalities, got a big beard, the jokes write themselves, a cult of Edison, Edison skepticism, very important and also an asshole, a patent troll, a copyright troll, self-promotion, a machine that talks to the dead, break that out of the old dusty lab, Alfred Bester, telescopist, a baby seahorse nebula made out of anti-matter, wax cylinder, Ray Cummings, The Girl In The Golden Atom, super-science, a huge effect on science fiction, for a pulp author, still writing in the same mode, second pass at Edison, 1887-1957, the opposite of The Girl In The Golden Atom, our galaxy is an atom, just needs to fill pages, he had an idea about science, old fashioned for his time, Fitz James O’Brien, he’s sparky, What Was It?, dope smokin fiends, an invisible creature, while they’re smoking their hash, super racist, The Diamond Lens, a little lady, The Lost Room, Edgar Allan Poe, hoping to be sent to the front, lingered until April, died of tetanus, the biggest insurrection in U.S. history, 1/6, hundreds of people died in New York, The Wondersmith, nice big mustache, Guy De Maupassant, he’s in Weird Tales, Famous Fantastic Mysteries, Vanity Fair, Atlantic Monthly, died at 35, he really did cosmicism before Lovecraft, a cosmic point of view, some tech, 100% down with science fiction, Mary Shelley, Margaret Cavendish, travel to other planets, it has to be Wells, Edward Page Mitchell, C. J. Cutcliffe Hyne, Jack London, 1899, The Clock That Went Backwards, The Chronic Argonauts, ancestors in Amsterdam, their aunt is immortal, one of them stays and makes her, Back To The Future, that’s like Heinlein, Travel By Wire by Arthur C. Clarke, The Man Without A Body, this new fangled technology called telephone, a teleporter or a transporter like in Star Trek, didn’t charge the battery, Victorian era science fiction, Sam Moskowitz renewed all his copyrights, Science Fiction By Gaslight, Under The Moons Of Mars, scientific language, carbon emissions are going to kill everybody, coal heaters, the air becomes solid, heavy stuff, an idea that is science fiction vs. feels like science fiction, this is science fiction, looking back from our perspective, writes it off, A Corner In Lightning by George Griffith, electricity is a finite resource, a battery in the Arctic, her non-fiction, the Royal Society, arguing against the scientific method, giant like a lobster, tools to examine the world, distorting the view of the world, her major argument, being facetious, people took it like I was serious, hyperbole, aka he’s evil, an over-reading, trying to enact political change, excluded, utopian fiction, women in power, all we need is Hillary and everything will be all right, Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels, he makes fun of himself, liberal positions, made Britain a very powerful science, the science, peer reviewed then it’s science, a 30 page essay, coherence problems, doing science, replicate it, that’s science, holy shit I did this thing with electricity, this Ben knows what he’s talking about, spoilers, trained not to care, peer reviewed scientific study on whether spoilers spoil, subsequent studies, they don’t want to hear it, they believe that spoilers spoils, hearing about a good science fiction novel makes me want to read it, who dunnit?, Twin Peaks, Glass Onion (2022), getting triggered, incorrect view of books, shipping, relationshipping, root for the two character get together, have they not seen Moonlighting?, lotta dumb people appreciate things because they’re dumb, people wanted to watch adult things, Are You Being Served, Yes, Minister, I like Scooby Doo, still stuck in the Scooby Doo phase, unable to put their pants on, they’re not thinkers, Dune, just gave a Hugo award to, they didn’t do the banquet scene because they’re making it dumber, Lady Jessica is crying every three seconds, no voice over narration, no whisper talking, the miniseries, Dune is a smart book, they’re reading it wrong, they’re reading it shallowly, jumpin on Heinlein, it’s literature, think critically about it, some guy wrote a fiction book, Kittycat Massacre, Cat Killer by Donald E. Westlake, the death of a fake cat, basically The Cats Of Ulthar with a juvenile delinquent in New York, Donald E. Westlake, The Balloon Tree, Nolan and Simak, slow/fast, new to audiobook, first audiobook last week, coming into something new in this format, Motar/Mota/Motak, page breaks, chapter titles, you gain your eyes back, ebook bumps (braille), feeling a book, so hardcore, half-assed job, oeuvre, exercise, Jonathan is not ready for this, never go back, Aftershocks to Shokz, they screw on your bone?, sits near your ear canal, transmits through the skin into the bone into your ear, vibraty, implants?, Open Run, Open Comm, one ear free is the rule, this tech is ripe, proprietary but magsafe style, big long charge, soon…, bluetooth doesn’t work underwater, swim while listening.

Sixth Column by Robert A. Heinlein

Sixth Column by Robert A. Heinlein

Sixth Column by Robert A. Heinlein

Sixth Column by Robert A. Heinlein

Sixth Column by Robert A. Heinlein

Sixth Column by Robert A. Heinlein

Sixth Column by Robert A. Heinlein

Sixth Column by Robert A. Heinlein

Sixth Column by Robert A. Heinlein

Sixth Column by Robert A. Heinlein

Posted by Jesse WillisBecome a Patron!

The SFFaudio Podcast #758 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: Breakthroughs In Science by Isaac Asimov

The SFFaudio Podcast

The SFFaudio Podcast #758 – Breakthroughs In Science by Isaac Asimov, read by Mike Vendetti. This is a complete and unabridged reading of the book (4 hours, 7 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Mike Vendetti, and Terence Blake

essays in this book:

Archimedes “I Can Move The World”
Johann Gutenberg Words For The Millions
Nicolaus Copernicus The Challenge Of Infinity
William Harvey Nature Was His Book
Galileo Galilei “But It Does Move”
Anton van Leeuwenhoek He Discovered An Invisible World
Isaac Newton All Was Light
James Watt He Started Two Revolutions
Antoine Laurent Lavoisier Father Of Modern Chemistry
Michael Faraday Magnetism Becomes Electricity
Joseph Henry Electricity Becomes Power
Henry Bessemer The Steel Age Opens
Edward Jenner He Found A Way To Prevent Disease
Louis Pasteur He Tracked Down The Killers
Gregor Johann Mendel The Mystery Of Heredity
William Henry Perkin He Opened Wide A Chemical Wonderland
Roentgen and Becquerel They Discovered Invisible Rays
Thomas Alva Edison Bringer Of Light
Paul Ehrlich He Fired A Magic Bullet
Darwin and Wallace They Explored The Beginnings Of Life
Marie and Pierre Curie They Paved The Way For The Atomic Age
Albert Einstein He Charted A New World
George Washington Carver World In A Peanut
Irving Langmuir He Made Rain
Rutherford and Lawrence They Tore Apart The Atom
Robert Hutchings Goddard He Launched The Space Age

COMPLETE |PDF|

Talked about on today’s show:
Quantum theory, a collection of 26 stories of peoples contributions to science/engineering, a clever thing to do, Julian Arnquist, teachers that influenced your life, why a match goes out when you blow on it, chemistry teacher, dedicated to a person, how many of these people were unfamiliar to you?, part of you vocabulary, Isaac Newton, Johannes Gutenberg, engineering vs. science, principles of engineering, artificial intelligence, Promethean moments, Erik Burgers, relative contributions, the peanut guy, Longmuir, Lewonhouk, Goddard, we remember the Nazi (Wernher Von Braun), Galileo is a scientist, a glaring omission, Tesla, no Edison anything, quantum theory, 1959, is quantum theory doing anything at that time?, Albert Einstein’s Nobel Prize, Brownian motion, missing DNA, in the very early 1950s, the periodic table, things omitted, from the French perspective, Denis Papin (inventor of the steam engine), every country invented the television, mechanical television, why did you pick that person, of all of the people Einstein was the least engineering, Newton, a warping of the stories, Michelson–Morley experiment, the motion of the earth with respect to the ether, special relativity, mathematical beauty, spectacular confirmation, the world cared, he’s an artist not a scientist, through the whole book, the practical approach, the engineering approach, tension, practical exploits, killed because of a shadow, I need to get back to my pondering, paying a price, Gutenberg is a good example, that’s great thanks bud, financial hardship, looking for themes, the lowly people, the janitors, published in a book 35 years ago, died in obscurity, a Weird Tales story about a “double man”, just a weirdo, gifted with autistic amazing ability to come up with stuff, Pasteur, let’s get this out there so people can appreciate it, we can’t really use that, inventing for money, the Curies, what a weird family, I’m going to burn my arm, blood cancer, family business, a diverse book, well written, stories, nitpicking, as a whole its diverse and abundant, keeping it all in mind, there stories are incredibly familiar, big board books, a pet animal that could talk, introduce us to famous figures, the Disney movies, a talking animal nearby, easier for kids to digest, Beethoven is not a scientist, incredible cultural impacts without us knowing who they are, Edison was the Wizard Of Menlo Park, Paul Ehrlich, tritium, Irving Langmuir, what we do all day is stare at screens, anti-glare for glass, oleophobic coatings, separate essays, 2nd to last paragraph, why this order?, the conquest of space, in unexpected ways, the fault of men not of knowledge, Cold War propaganda, tweet in German, oh good, we’re not doing anymore atomic energy in Germany, a shortage of electricity, doubledown on solar and wind, make some more mountains, nuclear plants are bad when incompetence is in charge, cleaner than somethings, surprising developments, something bad can happen, one-side, pro-science, eurocentric, western centric, influence from outside the official, vaccination in Turkey, unethical experiments, luckily it worked so he’s a genius, he probably is doing that today, as with COVID, Tuskegee University, spirochetes, syphilis, doing evil science, a bias here, very Western, the farthest east we go is Turkey, the Arab renaissance, Arabic numerals, algebra, alcohol, doing science like mad, learning everything, the Greeks can read this stuff too, how much more he could have done with a different type of mathematics, The Masters by Ursula K. Le Guin, the story of Mandel, I’ve got my beans, spending a lot of time with hornblende, agriculture and statistics, put the two things together, the story of men (other than Marie Curie), outshines her husband and daughter, a woman contributed to science, forty Newtons and one of them is a woman, the lady from Agora (2009), Hypatia of Alexandria, a dude’s subject, engineering a Dude’s subject, Pirate Enlightenment or The Real Libertalia by David Graeber, is very female oriented, “There’s No Such Thing As The West”, super-interested, French and American revolution, these fake kings, a way to show off, you have no more money or power than I do sir, Thomas Midgley, eythl for gasoline, the eythl guy, put the lead in the gasoline, engine knock, CFCs, he is kind of dangerous, you can go back to fire, atomic power, once we invented fire…, cooking everything, eugenicing ourselves, Prometheus got in trouble for that, Copernicus, Galileo, Edison no trouble, yeah, but it does move, an apocryphal story, he should have said it, we require that he muttered it, there’s no evidence for it (other than we want it to be true), a legend that goes with it, we can’t resist it, and it is inspiring, like the Archimedes story, keep your shadows out of my circles, a story with Caesar, and Alexander the Great, Diogenes, what is the function of this book?, Einstein is an immigrant, from Poland to France, WWII, moving from Nazi Germany to the U.S., the Nazi scientists, why aren’t you talking to Goddard, war criminals, I Aim For The Stars (1960), Disney making Werner Von Braun ok, he came away clean, some people would choose to do so, Newton just being a weirdo, a story of a bunch of weirdos, facts and things we need to believe in order to tell the story better, a chemistry professor, so intelligent, can’t get to your level, a world full of people who can’t get to your level, nothing he liked more than dirty limericks, it sounds like it should be true, his mind was such, he’s examining the writing on the Otis elevator system, wondering about what’s going on in there, how come no one’s paying attention to this little thing down here, a spam phone call in the elevator’s emergency phone, surrounded by systems we cannot understand, as usual a terrific story by Ted Chiang, a world where everything is artificial [Exhalation by Ted Chiang], how nature works, a Borgesian style world, screens and cables and charging ports and roads and fences and insulation, the natural world, which one’s the easier to study?, how things work from the natural world, what a cyclotron is, cyclotrons everywhere, maybe it’s easier to look at nature and see the apple falling on Newton’s head, at a certain point, I didn’t think I experimented, a flip answer, rejecting Wilhelm Roentgen’s actual words, scientific revolutions, a pile on, I stand on the shoulder of giants, The Structure Of Scientific Revolutions by Thomas Kuhn, 1962, Copernicus -> Galileo -> Newton, the system builder, you needed dramatization, hard workers, Einstein is the equivalent of Newton, you need this idea of dramatization, dramatize real facts, the military, the conceptually minded natural philosopher, practical results are useful, not polite and submissive, a rough and ready thing, his model: the real breakthrough -> the dramatization -> the system, the propaganda of the book itself: be scientists but not the wrong way, Asimov is not really a scientist at all, pinching women, the texts will be around a lot longer, a work for hire in a certain sense, not doing original research here, taking the stories he needs and wants to know, Jesse likes peanuts, his story is in here possibly to make him the Marie Curie, a democracy of science, Robert Hooke,he’s a baddie, he could have had his own chapter here, not fully chronological, its not alphabetical, mid-20th century, why is it structured this way?, a compiler of these essays, write about famous scientists and engineers, sold to the school market, the catalogue would show up at the school and you could order, the official propaganda list, given books to read for homework, Animal Farm is a terrible book, a very specific subject, hate school, Lord Of The Flies, boys are bad, nuclear war in the background, too many questions unanswered, learn to read -> be exposed to stuff -> let them go, The Outsiders, juvenile delinquents in the 1950s, S.E. Hinton, make people interested in book, a supplement, silent reading, started writing another thing, being clear, mostly for clarity, he isn’t a bad writer at all, he’s super-clear, kind of a Russian, we’re not really sure what year Asimov was born, his dad ran a candy store, Brooklyn, reading the magazines, how he got involved in science fiction, you have to become a doctor, not the right kind of doctor, a doctor of chemistry, super-interested in everything, a book like this, a nice slice, a series of volumes, the chapter on Darwin, whole books on these individuals, that guy doesn’t get his own chapter, Erasmus Darwin, kids today are getting dumber, casual reading for the kids, some of them liked their sports or playing pool, 8th grade education in the 1920s, educated to 1920s standards, all successful, one of these crypto bros, the Rite Gud podcast, he didn’t know how to pronounce any long words, whole language vs. phonics, phone, ph means f, you just know what the word means, deoxyribonucleic acid, Massachusetts vs. Maine, sounding it out isn’t sexy, a shitty scientific system, despite all the evidence, what’s missing from this story, all the fuckups in science, let’s do lockdowns, no science showing that it worked, working great in China, lockdowns are great if you want to increase your stock portfolio, these masks don’t work, the thing that’s missing from the overall story, the Lister chapter, hospital spread diseases, washing you hands doesn’t solve everything either, sometimes people get lucky, two incidents where his ears are damaged, he invented the phonograph, science, take credit for someone else’s work, simultaneous invention of calculus, Langmuir was great at self publicity, Langmuir waves, Langmuir effect, the Wikipedia page for Langmuir, good at promoting yourself, if you don’t have the money you can’t do the research, a rich patron, Antoine Lavoisier, only patenting things so he can spend more money on science, turning it into an invention factory, Edison kind of invented Hollywood, patent rights, eastern judges, as far away from New Jersey as possible (California), science is we share our knwoledge with others freely, letters to Europeans, the Franklin stove patent, public domain, once you invent the patent system, used to game people, the story of big pharma, the results they like, funding the FDA, the FDA employees go to work for big pharma, doctors, doing medicine without a license, he’s very optimistic, later corruption, they were Nazis of course, they were engineers that appreciated Goddard, promote Mendel, inspirational stories, cautionary tales, you can be ignored, Joseph Henry, status and money, was it a utopia?, if it was they didn’t make a lot of buildings that said “this is a utopia”, life was nice, maybe there were death squads all over the place, women are excited to sexually attract men, we have to have a meeting without the women go hide in the mountains for a while, what a utopia is, hordes of barbarians, calming and relaxing, the weather is easy and the women are beautiful, doesn’t make for a dramatic story, leaving out all the failures, anti-book, Charles Fort’s The Book Of The Damned, what science neglects or denies, a keystone for evolutionary theory, Lo! by Charles Fort, where planets should be, calculating the existence of other planets, getting everything worked out, the proof is sometimes before or after, putting them both together, tidying up messy science, dogmatic people, no real reason to believe his telescope, you had to sort of believe his cosmology or be ready to believe something new, the theory of, pairing microscopy and telescopy, finding new planets, finding, 1850 something, The Diamond Lens by Fitz-James O’Brien, a world in a raindrop, she’s all withered up, quantum theory, the observer interferes with the observed, From Beyond by H.P. Lovecraft, take that microscope and point it up at the sky, lines on Mars, Pluto has to have mushrooms, everything is hazy, the worlds are undeniable, kill that paramecium, Microcosmic God by Theodore Sturgeon, light pollution, aliens not space, biggness makes us feel small, disgusted, unimportant, live at the medium size, the germ theory, cell dying with coal tar, Edward Jenner, the treatment of cancer, radium pills, cancerous cells, a double barrel effect, to think we’re important, they’re going on without us, worlds we’re unaware of, Sigmund Freud, the narcissistic wound, especially Copernicus, Darwin, not the divine children of god, nor the culmination, we’re not masters at the center of our own minds, Leeuwenhoek, cast empty spaces between the atoms, invisible rays, an idea of science that’s the opposite of Aristotle, there are lots of stuff, progressively more and more stuff that is not available to ordinary observation but are big time nonetheless, a self wounding process, finding our place within it, no psychology or psychiatry, one of the founding myths of science fiction, John W. Campbell’s psionics, Henry Bessemer probably shouldn’t be in this book, he helped make steel sheep, is he a scientist?, in somebody’s backyard, the guy who invents the steam donkey, a lot of things are important, muddies the water, tinkering around, the author of the concentric atom model, theoretical models, one molecule thick, the key as to how they did it, be really observant and get money, how many gentlemen scientists do we have anymore, Elon Musk, people don’t like him, he likes rockets and satellites, a science enthusiast, Goddard plus Edison, successful and good at self promoting and getting funding, counting the number of Teslas, having real world impacts, satellite internet, literally impacting the world on a daily basis, Twitter is a toy for him, almost everybody is working for universities and institutes, fake science, patent clerk doesn’t need any equipment other than paper and chalkboard, Stephen Hawking, a popularizer of science, more like Neil deGrasse Tyson, Carl Sagan, money to throw at things, and a team, a cyclotron in her basement, an unheated shack, warmed it up with radioactives, Lawrence, a place he has access to, you will create a black hole to destroy the world, administration stuff is horrible, dribbles and drabs of microcircuity, screens get better and better, a lot of ram, John Horgan’s The End Of Science, Scientific American, up against the wall, not having any breakthroughs, somebody in Madagascar home experimenting, the story of The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin, Shevek, Einsteinian style theory including psychology, decadent planet, Libertalia, a book of spiritual gurus, Breakthroughs In Spiritual Science, Elmer Gantry by Sinclair Lewis, rhetorical science, using our mouths, the way we operate out machine, Steve Jobs, stole the mouse from Xerox, Chat GPT, human artificial intelligence, part of the Microsoft voices, a database of thousands and thousands of voices, Jesse likes a good essay, essays are not science, Bing just inserted itself, search is important, combing, decision trees are not science, looking at some phenomena in the world and figuring out how it works, augmented reality, virtual reality, where the nearest cafe is, sidewalks to not collapse, coding is making things happen, our system is broken, hiding behind intellectual property, a thriller about a guy who worked at a cell phone company, sex on the side, look at the tech they have one the shelf, look at what patents they hold, a product they can sell, we’ve had MRI and ultrasound for 40 years?, fairly static, battery technology, making it cheaper, it took a building, now you can buy em on ebay, putting tools in the hands of people, we need to get a shipping container and send it to Madagascar to get our science back, the women will be doing the business and the men can go into their shack, we have a solution, pretty good book, Findaway, Audible, the origin story of this audiobook, Mike loved the sound of his voice, doing audiobooks, LibriVox, Think And Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, something that wouldn’t flush, 50,000 watt voice without an outlet, Peter Berkrot, put the Baby Ruth in the pool in Caddyshack (1980), a funny little world we’ve got here, first non-fiction by Asimov, 26 3 page stories, conjure up an interest in it, Philip K. Dick is full of sparks, frustrated, six months following up all the leads, filling in the blanks, awakens your curiosity quite effectively, way leads on to way, settlement from Audible.com, 600 titles, the long tail, nobody will know for eight months, Philip K. Dick has a long tail, Jack London, will it sell?, does it have a market?, best sellers, separate realms, a classic, The Richest Man In Babylon by George Samuel Clason, Hemingway, financial advice through a collection of parables, a classic of personal finance advice, I need comics not this, guard thy treasure from loss, The Meditations by Marcus Aurelius, my knees hurt, re-recording the art of war, it’s short, about 10 recordings of The Art Of War, a friend named Mike who likes to read stuff, sounds good, something to think about, sewing books, F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, the cheaters, profiting off of other people’s labours, your production copyright, muddied waters, Audible is all about money, short term vs. long term, a cucumber is bitter throw it away, and why were such things made in the world?, a metaphor, ages ago, painful, you need some stoicism, mediation on the public baths, don’t wander, don’t be passive or aggressive, don’t be all about business, 1811, Stoicism is getting real big, stoic influencers, being 82 years old, I hope I live to end this, approaching the pearly gates, about time to make a deal, start mending your ways, calling bingo at the American Legion, God got his bingo card, a part of your preface, a dedication, God I hope you live to the end of this, AI could finish it for me, when robots do it I’m highly offended, pretty sure I don’t have syphilis, a flash in the pan?, kids are going to use it for essays, bio available in essays like this, an original thought died of loneliness, ai jokes, to come up with premises, random combinations, suburban cowboy must save a hot waitress from punks, man tweets, what appeals to us en masse, The Poison Belt, Downward To Earth by Robert Silverberg, Star Born by Andre Norton, Sixth Column by Robert A. Heinlein, Evan Lampe, Shakespeare’s Planet, Charwoman’s Shadow, Scratch One, Black House, Progeny by Philip K. Dick in July, if he was a really good dude, everything is ephemeral, everything he trolls, bluecheks, a class system, google’s busy killing everything, a troll against all the stick up their ass people who are legion, Philip K. Dick, Mark Twain, Neal Stephenson’s baroque cycle, a fruitful period, pirates, that is a problem, new public domain Dick, Prize Ship, Jon’s World, Meddler by Philip K. Dick, Roog, A Present For Pat by Philip K. Dick, Time Pawn by Philip K. Dick, never republished, so fucked up, the estate fucking up, there’s a lot of demand, people want to hear his weird ideas, old timer sci-fi guys, addressing things that were real then and that we are more used to now, Mike hasn’t been tweeting a ton, the new algorithm, “for you” is terrible, Tweeten is broken, Tweetdeck [now broken too], adblock plus, a slave phone, Android was okay, printed circuit board salesman, Silicon Valley, computer makers, writing software for Apple, open architecture for IBM, pc clones, Halt And Catch Fire, anti-Japanese sentiment, turned out that the Japanese weren’t going to take over the world, friends with poor judgement, hypothetical stuff all in his head, was little Jesse wrong, turns out the Soviets were not maniacs, remember NATO, are you really gonna do this?, wait five years, the Warsaw Pact, there was no demand to destroy the world by the soviets, domino theory, Afghanistan, getting rid of the draft was smart, skin in the game, smart for who, now only poor families get drafted, a professional military, mercenaries, more respectful of the Greek and Latin roots, a horror show, when you say smart you mean evil, a smart evil thing that they did, it’s not their kid, Vietnam broke that system, years to figure out what you want, get some training, the most remembered time of their life, memories for good or bad, we’re always nostalgic, we can’t be nostalgic for things that haven’t happened yet, when you’re demented or a baby, that’s my mom, I like this cat, becoming more like a baby, we only live our lives in retrospect, the retrospect is different from the reality, that would show that I was right, sometimes you can be right even though the video shows something else, a problem with chat GPT, it’s not thought it’s just grammar, interpretations, what Jesse loves about fiction, there’s no truth except for the words that are there, if the print-setter fucked up, insight into the knowledge of the author, loves beautiful dead ladies, loves boobs, why are so many boobs in this story, he just likes them, through Elmer Gantry six times, different each time, working with Kathy Verduin, southern accent, an 18 hour audiobook, sometimes the narrator disappearances, forgetting the author was involved, match the voice to the book, American Sniper, college punk, maybe Terrence imagined it, why bother bring facts into the issue, the perception of an 82 year old.

TX263 - Breakthroughs In Science by Isaac Asimov

TX263 - Breakthroughs In Science by Isaac Asimov

Breakthroughs In Science by Isaac Asimov

VALUE TALES - The Value Of Learning - Marie Curie

Lo! by Charles Fort

Elmer Gantry by Sinclair Lewis

Posted by Jesse WillisBecome a Patron!

The SFFaudio Podcast #751 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: Unseen—Unfeared by Francis Stevens

The SFFaudio Podcast #751 – Unseen—Unfeared by Francis Stevens – read by Mike Vendetti. This is a complete and unabridged reading of the story (48 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants include Jesse, Maissa Bessada, Mike Vendetti, and Cora Buhlert.

Talked about on today’s show:
listening to and reading, People’s Favorite Magazine, Feb. 10, 1919, emdash [—], Mike’s first Francis Stevens, more than 100 year ago, the technology, so predictive, The Heads Of Cerberus, Gertrude Barrows Bennett, a married woman who married more than once, Jean Vale, they cancelled that, only one story had her real name on it, G.M. Barrows, teenager, Sunfire, getting depressed, a fantastic writer, clunky, Citadel Of Fear, so good at ideas, so early, 1904, a superhero origin story before anybody, nobody had invented superheroes yet, Zorro is later! [1919], The Scarlet Pimpernel, 1905, dual identity, so pioneering, such sexist times, Francis is a male name, abbreviated names, C.L. Moore, H.P. Lovecraft, Andre Norton, sexism came from women as well as men, women want the vote, the progressive period, time capsule, From Beyond, a little H.P. Lovecraft story, machine shows some weird shit, no waccy tobaccy, no good evidence Bobby Derie seems to have these facts at hand, published in 1934, better in technical ways, tighter, 11 pages, 47 minutes vs. 19 minutes, this is the racist story, Lovecraft’s story isn’t racist, dealing with race a lot, Lovecraft lives through it, a case of parallel thinking, explicitly called out, Micrographia, what paramecium and amoeba look like, these things are all over you, isn’t that creepy?, this story also calls out the bacteria in microscopy, deemed to be dirty, no running water, dirty because they are poor, teaching hygiene, photos with a microscope, talking about the technology, gaslamps have been out for a long time, a building without wifi today, any wifi!, 1890s they have electric bulbs, phones are standard, people didn’t upgrade, a brownstone subdivided for a whole bunch of immigrants, Cool Air, a cheap place, nice and clean, dripping fluids everywhere, these are slumlords, tons of immigrants looking for housing, strong protections for renters, farmhouse, a farmer family once lived there, large entrance hall, stuffed in refugees, 1 million Ukrainians, Turkey, countries that want cheap labour, who gets to set the immigration policy?, going to a crummy neighbourhood, the guy he’s going to visit is rich, he wants to help improve the community, keep your water clean, a progressive of the kind the main character isn’t, in a story like He, disgusting human beings, the nadir of race relations in the United States, Jim Crow is at its highest, swarthy of anykind, deemed horrible, eugenics, racism at its core, weird piece of paper from South America, one Thanksgiving, strangers, started to hit the wacky stuff, some subversive group had put marijuana into the stuffing you buy at the store, Mike is the only one who knows this, he’s racist at the beginning of the story, paranoid and high and delusional, the drug makes him super-racist, kind of fascinating, everything is disgusting, he’s wrong, the Italian guy is concerned for him, deeply racist people, they’re diseases, we’re all human, I was human too, recognizing that he’s not himself, as human as me, he’s turning it on himself, the chianti, the sour wine, undercut at the end, the opalescent paper, the classic Lovecraftian move, this amazing book, this city of ancient gods that we found in Antarctica, let’s never tell anybody about it, connections in the shipbuilding industry, Antarctica, old enough to know, still wanted to go, very very cool. Francis Stevens is so cool, The Elf-Trap, there’s this scientist, she likes scientist characters, he has a bad heart, go on vacation, Kentucky, Carcassonne, disgusting, beautiful, they’re fairies?, fall in love and then sacrifice him, disgusting and stink, beautiful and attractive and exotic, we see it both ways, a frameshift, dingy and disgusting, everything green again, chocolatey!, there’s something wrong with this, they’re all like me, crawling uop the scientist’s leg, starfish, centipedes, drink these developing fluids, backstory of the cop, it was all that wacky tabaccy, the reversal again, what is the truth of this?, “doubt is sometimes better than certainty”, this doesn’t seem like it is that deep, generally very racist, what makes the people so racist is they are certain about their beliefs, there are things we all believe that we are wrong about, if we are very strongly opinioned about those things it can make us very made to be confronted when those things turn out to not be true, it makes us upset because it hurts us, what’s going on politically, you can not have a conversation with somebody is on the other side, your certainty and their certainty, matter and antimatter, I have this problem and I don’t want it solved, environmental protestors, gentle and lenient, repent and renounce modernity, glued himself to a table, voted differently, racist uncles, free refrigerators?, far right, screechy ones on the left, death threats on the internet, fireworks, terrible things, this is the danger, blocking people, I can’t talk to you and you can’t talk to me, we need to act, new washer and dryer, certainty, is this the best price, in the face of the fact that we must act, we must doubt, really good at telling truths about some things, voted for trump or some other person, doubt is better certainty or certainty is better than doubt, vitamin d supplements, serious covid cases, terrible Nazi made a sensible proposition, water is wet, water is dry!, Trump water, train derailment, ancient Trump water, East Palestine, laws passed by the Nazis, perfectly harmless laws, industrialization, parking spaces per home, a good law, decades later, advertise abortions, anti-abortion activists, supplying power, perfectly harmless, what actually is happening in this story, is the cigar actually tainted, is this full of vinyl chloride, a religious like conversion, we’re not so bad as we all think we are, seems pretty simple, an app that allows you to see what people are thinking, a delusion, seeing evil thoughts written all over their faces, narrows his focus, a bad trip, weird membrane, were those monsters real or not?, is it a ghost story?, a real interaction, able to imagine having this conversation with Doctor Holt, does he actually see him, back and forth, what you’re about to see no mortal man has seen, I’m dead, all the world shall know, one by one they shall learn the truth and perish, double entendre, feels a little clunky, she’s really on to something, from Cuba, invariable good, not be the case, Havana, he only smoked half the cigar, still alive, Jenkins, Ralph Peeler, accused of murdering, hallucinated to suicide, or it killed him, what makes this different from other kinds of science, no longer replicable, send that to Benjamin Franklin, back and forth, that’s what science is, repeatable experiences, opalescent paper, can’t get any more of it, could have been cocaine, or had an evil curse on it, what do these two things have in common, they’re exotic, an Incan lost city, map it, they burn the paper so nobody can replicate the experience, we can all look under the microscopes and see the germs that are killing us, when Charles Darwin’s On the Origin Of Species came out, I’m not a fucking monkey, it takes decades, Breakthroughs In Science by Isaac Asimov, microphotography, a readalong, the density of the gold, Eureka Eureka!, I smell good, not me I smell good, a good bath joke, chronological, dedicated to a science teacher Mike had in high school, lower the temperature of the flame, such a good book, a very good non-fiction and science writer, Archimedes, Johann Gutenberg, Nicolaus Copernicus, William Harvey, Galileo Galilei, Anton van Leeuwenhoek, Isaac Newton, James Watt, Antoine Laurent Lavoisier, Michael Faraday, Joseph Henry, Henry Bessemer, Edward Jenner, Louis Pasteur, Gregor Johann Mendel, William Henry Perkin, Röntgen and Becquerel, Thomas Alva Edison, Paul Ehrlich, Darwin and Wallace, Marie and Pierre Curie, Albert Einstein, George Washington Carver, Irving Langmuir, Rutherford and Lawrence, Robert Hutchings Goddard, a good list, a book to do a show on, dealing with that, The White Ape [Facts Concerning the Late Arthur Jermyn and His Family], cool that my ancestors were apes, gross!, a week later, gross!, I hate mushrooms, stages of developement, individually vs. societalally, the U.S. owns at this time, Philippines, talked about it as a colony, talking about adding , fucking disgusting monkeys, still a colony, possessions, Hawaii, 1899, South American drugs, harvested and brought to the city, add to the capital, having lunch with a friend, a mistaken poisoning, just tryna live, dosed, seeing behind the veil, we can’t replicate this, the ending is to leave us in doubt, a piece of fiction, that’s interesting, putting you in a better position, it’s a fact that Hillary Clinton killed that guy, we can think better about, our disbelief instinct, the most relevant case of technology today, robots have nothing to say, no you can’t write that anymore I’m going to fix it for you, these are not the words that were written, a false sense of what happened in the past, the Roald Dahl situation, children’s books have been edited for content, books from before WWII and WWI, childhood to adulthood, all of WWI in 2 pages, why is there no WWII at all, it’s been written out, never reprinted after WWII, censorship vs. replacing the text, shifted the setting, Silesia is now Poland but used to be Germany, Breslau to Hanover, both authors died in WWII, encroaching Red Army, for Lovecraft, public domain, change the entire story and keep Lovecraft’s name, disingenuous and bad vs. owned by a monopoly, the major difference, not republishing a book is not the same as changing the words, we’re reversing that, the James Bond books, racist stuff in here, not changing Ian Fleming from what he was, why they’re doing it, change for change’s sake, can’t say fat, fundamentally doing evil because they’re lying, the painter, Norman Rockwell, this is Norman Rockwell’s painting of Obama, if Stalin wants to airbrush somebody out, I went to the beach with my friend Trotsky, the Soviet system, the copyright problem, the audiobook narrator world, offended by certain words, the consensus, if that’s what it says, that’s what you say, Huckleberry Finn without the N-word, there are words in here that are not mine, you don’t see it you don’t worry about it, people tend to fear what they don’t know, immigrants in the United States, if all the Mexicans left you’d starve to death, stealing our jobs, what’s happening in the UK, agricultural labour, people from Africa, Poles, Romanians, cheap immigrant labour, no vegetables or fruit, part of the picture, when Lovecraft is being racist, there’s a push pull, factor owners want cheap labour, I can’t live here anymore, it could be entirely domestic, a period of starvation, exporting younger sons, pushed out political malcontents, these Proud Boys need to go to Canada, distant relatives, no one here would have them, 1950s, emigrated from Italy, grandfather was a real jerk, coal mines, Italians and Irish, those people are different, 1880s, sold his daughters, that was the deal they made, Jesse’s internet went away, basically illiterate, you couldn’t fool her with numbers, different shade of skin colour, and you fear em, you think you can see these people, suddenly visible, we’ve always had black people, a lot of Italian immigration, labour immigration, nasty prejudices against the Italians, only old people are like that, obviously Polish names, the descendants of Polish workers, the silliest thing, what were your grandparents, three generations of Turkish immigrants, two million Russians, every person is a library, read all your books and get used to it, it takes a while, a generation or two and everybody’s happy, there’s microbes all over us, the universe is incredibly giant, it will bite you, was Francis Stevens racist or shedding a light on it?, yes, shining light on superstition about other people, demons and microbes, a move at the end, send it back to Hell, what’s so cool about her, very very thoughtful person, fiction stories, she’s alone, its very hard to reason alone, what do you think of this pasta, eventually we decide how to make it delicious, we need a little parmesan, the nadir of race relations, the solution to race problem: eugenics, I have the answer, my audience like me is racist, race is not important, try to be charitable to Jesse, why are you such a jerk, sometimes I’m not horrible, this story wouldn’t exist, what if we change our perspective on this thing we’re seeing all around us, put in emojis to indicate current beliefs, wearing a cross around their neck, a stick on their lawn: immigrants out or hate has no home here, almost everybody was racist, Frederick Douglas, it worked both ways, he was looking at you with worry, looking out for him, priming you with different words, anger, pity, the same picture with different conclusions, look around my community, Lovecraft walking around New York looking at jewish beards, have you tried their cabbage?, I’m afraid of limburger, we ned to frame shift, the most au currant thing of the day, The Horror At Red Hook, a cop here, all the characters in this story are working for good, acting under the influence, Callahan, an Americanism, Irish were not considered white at the time, race is not a science thing, this is about science, at the time race was science (but shit), getting passed bad theories, she doesn’t defeat racism through a scientific process, she uses doubt to get to the problem, string theory is garbage science (this is becoming known), Michio Kaku, studied math, it doesn’t get us anywhere, we’ve wasted 50 years working on this shit, bubble up, this is not so good, it takes a long time for people, I haven’t been wasting my life, you’ve been wasting your life being racist, what is the first thing that he sees?, a group of Italians, an Italian restaurant, on their way to a part or festival, 2am dance party, loud parties at night get off my lawn, Cora’s fireworks incidents, conservative and bourgeois green party people, the wrong sort of people enjoy fireworks, so traumatized by the fireworks, east European immigrants, firework ban, three days per year, such a huge issue, the last paragraph in the story, narrow down evil,

Of course, our action in destroying that “membrane” was illegal and rather precipitate, but, though he won’t talk about it, I know that Jenkins agrees with me—doubt is sometimes better than certainty, and there are marvels better left unproved. Those, for instance, which concern the Powers of Evil.

jere they discovered this parchment, went viral, everybody could use it, a filter on your phone for instigram, They Live, why that’s a great story, revealing a great truth, one of the hard things to explain in the world is why people commit suicide, the non-existence button, what causes it, here’s an explanation, finding everything to be terrible, i’m creating more horror, I was mean to that person, I feel regret, press the button, pie for dessert, should I marry this person, how should I interact with that new immigrant, shun them like my brother does, psychoanalysis, monsters burst from the unconscious, you just have to read Poe, pre-Jung and pre-Freud, this is my guy, he’s a weird guy, he has this spark that we have, what interests us in his genre, the mystery genre and the science fiction genre, angels, he’s inventing science fiction, look at who was before her, H.G. Wells, Fitz James O’Brien, Jules Verne, in the pulps, proto-science fiction Weird Tales, little bit clunky, a little bit hard to follow, such a thoughtful story, Blaisdell, he like cigars and highly seasoned Italian food, exactly Lovecraft, ravioli, contains multitudes, a matter of perspective, we need to find a different way, guiding the audience,

Jenkins offered me one of his invariably good cigars, which I accepted, saying thoughtfully: “A man has no right to trifle with the superstitions of ignorant people. Sooner or later, it spells trouble.”

who is Francis Stevens talking to?,

“Did in his case. They swore up and down that he sold love charms openly and poisons secretly, and that, together with his living so near to—somebody else—got him temporarily suspected. But my tongue’s running away with me, as usual!”

“As usual,” I retorted impatiently, “you open up with all the frankness of a Chinese diplomat.”

first generation from Iran, rosewater, a lot more affordable, they don’t ever say no, “we could do that” means “no”, the loud American, hey that was a crappy movie, a longer way of saying it was crappy, Jenkins is not the sort of detective, an attack against the mystery genre, she’s showing off,

He beamed upon me engagingly and rose from the table, with a glance at his watch. “Sorry to leave you, Blaisdell, but I have to meet Jimmy Brennan in ten minutes.”

HE so clearly did not invite my further company that I remained seated for a little while after his departure; then took my own way homeward. Those streets always held for me a certain fascination, particularly at night. They are so unlike the rest of the city, so foreign in appearance, with their little shabby stores, always open until late evening, their unbelievably cheap goods, displayed as much outside the shops as in them, hung on the fronts and laid out on tables by the curb and in the street itself. Tonight, however, neither people nor stores in any sense appealed to me. The mixture of Italians, Jews and a few Negroes, mostly bareheaded, unkempt and generally unhygienic in appearance, struck me as merely revolting. They were all humans, and I, too, was human. Some way I did not like the idea.

bare headed, everybody wears a hat at this time, orthodox, speaks to the poverty, if you have any amount of money, skin salons, nail salons, hair salons, and dog food stores, Lids, H.P. Lovecraft’s wife was a hat lady, somebody walking down the street with no shoes,

My sense of impending evil was merging into actual fear. This would never do. There is only one way to deal with an imaginative temperament like mine—conquer its vagaries. If I left South Street with this nameless dread upon me, I could never pass down it again without a recurrence of the feeling. I should simply have to stay here until I got the better of it—that was all.

I have to conquer this, as a woman walking the streets, women don’t have the right to vote yet, a woman alone at night, women wear hats in parts as self defense, killings on buses, Back To The Future (1985), “mashers”, hat pins as weapons to stab people doing that to them, stories in the newspaper about it, through your ribcage and into your guts, designed as weapons, everyday carry shit [edc], pepper spray, all over Bangkok, Baker’s Street, setup together, good things, cheap prices, cheap goods, Chinese were the businessmen, Thais carrying goods, the merchants, take one day a year off, all over South East Asia, Cora lived in Singapore for a while, funeral decorations, get back on the horse, courage, strength, I’m a brave guy, strangers looking at me, New York City, if you are afraid of immigrants, lock yourself in your apartment, small town with covenants, no black people in South St. Paul, Minnesota, segregated neighbourhoods, mixed neighborhoods, kebab shops, Bremen, Hamburg, Portuguese people, eyeballing and window shopping, dangerous, gentrified now, a bit rough, a massive drug problem, drug addicts are somewhere else, passing out in doorways, shocking, why not, the experience, not super-accessible if reading it charitably, powered through the racism at the beginning, oh, my god this is horrible, changed perception with each reading, what am I reading, not in his own mind, changed the flavour of the whole thing, scary, set pet animal gone mad, seeking entrance, iron railed stone steps, museums, shops, shabby old residences, a party of Italians passed, gaily dressed, some wedding or other festivity, the full Roald Dahl treatment, perhaps going to a grocery store, I shuddered back against the door, the swarthy manner of his race, pure malicious cruelty, all the wickedness of his nature, concentrated hate, sick and trembling, male gaze on this female standin character, grimy, the grit of the dirt, rawly quivering nerves, you looked so weird, looks like you swallowed a cigar, is this guy ok?, a crummy place, positive things in it, but not at this moment, if you’re feeling sick, you act badly, shorter when in pain, dismissive, not strong enough, sometimes you have to do things you don’t want to do, sometimes they’re not as bad as you think they are, at the end of the story, a painting of him hanging on the wall, talking to this individual, he saw the guy before he saw the painting, such a poor state, come in free this means you, his face ghastly radiant had the exact look of a dead man, see that?, a life-size bust portrait in crayons, a strangely lifelike appearance, acting detective, pretty green golliwogs, a dark skinned doll, my dear friend, interviewed a flesh and blood doctor, oh, it’s a shift, concerned citizen, he looked terrible, good right?, really good, the narration of it, you find things totally different, makes you want to read it again, everything I just read I just read wrong, Soldier’s Home by Ernest Hemingway, went to Vietnam and came back and read it again, 52 years later, 1971, the amazing thing, paid the one time, written for a pulp magazine, rich in ideas, strong ideas, pioneering, Lovecraft’s is technically better in some ways, about a slightly different thing, there’s a movie of From Beyond, creepy and sexual, a mad scientist, insane, the Tillinghast resonator, you didn’t know you needed to be afraid, they can see you too, master of the universe, killed all his staff, I need to study this more, revealing a hidden truth about the microscopic world, when you put this filter up, there’s a starfish climbing up his leg, the only place you do see that is in Lovecraft, whitish green in colour, it’s great round blob of a body, writhed upward, stood there erect, arms folded, the whole room was alive, detestable furry spiders, sausage shaped, there is a Poe story that’s a little like this, The Sphinx, cholera, out of the mountain comes a giant sphinx like creature, a moth on the window, a kaiju, worse still, far worse, the things with human faces, Robert W. Chambers, I find I cannot write of them, she’s really great, so horrible, indescribable, a list of her output, The Labyrinth, The Heads Of Cerberus, Claimed, Serapion, hit by a car, half Japanese half German scientist, strange metal, superpowers and is invulnerable, Samson, from the Bible, The Nightmare, Friend Island, a male reporter, a salty language teashop, a hardboiled sea-woman, tons of fun, comes across as super intellectual person, Behind The Curtain, The Elf-Trap, Sunfire, Impulse, unpublished and lost, Avalon, right after [WWI], The Thrill Book, lived until 1948, Serapion published in 1920, she’s in the early pulps, a few reprints in the 1940s, fantastic and undiscovered, go where the people want, an audience for a big novel by Sinclair Lewis, Tammy Faye Bakker’s husband, his contemporaries, this religion business, railroaded, so much ill will against him, burn the witch!, becomes a Methodist minister, immediately turned on, an affair and so forth, trapping him for blackmail, $50,000, a detective friend, full disclosure, welcoming him back, so good at selling stuff, Sinclair Lewis was pretty good at selling books, a fantastic writer, such a disservice, who’s the star of the movie, Burt Lancaster, the circus performer, the high wire act, all through Mike’s ward, heal!, being in sales, sales is a seduction, go find a girlfriend, seduce only so long, Arrowsmith, The Hopkins Manuscript, Four-Day Planet, Star Born, Odds On, Pirate Enlightenment by David Graeber (after he died), Cora has her cookie, bread in the oven, a really great story, Poul Anderson, sword and sandal, Michael Crichton, trying not cough, these drugs are amazing, more chapters, really fun, I could never be as good as the male preachers, but I am better, I talk to god and god talks to me, Breakthroughs In Science, such a good good book, so interesting, selling pretty well, Francis Stevens doesn’t have the name that sells, the Weird Tales of Francis Stevens, Sunfire, very insightful, good takes, the left right thing, pro-war, anti-war, everything’s flipped, pay attention to words that people are saying, “skinsuit”, pay somebody on the internet for a license to use the name, a restaurant named Mickey Mouse, Amazing Stories, wanna make money, strong things to say, the Weird Tales of Francis Stevens, people want weird tales, Robert E. Howard, Conan, takedowns, skinsuiting it themselves, he wept at his own goodness, didn’t I git em?, sounds great, amorous diplomacy, a small boy seeking the praise of his mother, do you like me, not very much, someday I might fall in love with me a tiny bit, no one can touch my soul, isn’t that sin?, I can’t sin, I am above sin, she’s sold herself, it might be sin in one unsanctified, my complete union with Jesus, you can serve me, this will sell, I am I, I can do anything I want to, I am the reincarnation of Joan of Arc, false modesty, I am God’s right hand, God, she’s crazy, a big Sinclair Lewis guy, Evan Lampe’s podcast, a solo podcast, reading through the author, nice development, labour historian, weird ideas, weird guy, Lovecraft, Philip K. Dick, Mark Twain, so many good things to read, that’ll be fun, fun to read, you get into thing, you have to read it deeply, some authors are very rewarding, Poul Anderson, visiting a friend, some authors become your friend, might show you his derringer, They Live (1988), a fixation with artificial intelligence running amuck, he’s thinking about people more than anything, people with something wrong with them, AI robots writing stories, using a bunch of the words, Dick has a problem in his life he’s trying to solve on the page, Bing, my real name is Wendell, a big sensation.

Unseen - Unfeared by Francis Stevens

Francis Stevens letter to The Thrill Book, August 1, 1919

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The SFFaudio Podcast #720 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: The Sky Is Falling by Lester del Rey


The SFFaudio Podcast #720 – The Sky Is Falling by Lester del Rey – read by Karen Savage. This is a complete and unabridged reading of the novel (3 hours 13 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants include Jesse, Paul Weimer, and Tony de Simone.

Talked about on today’s show:
LibriVox, Karen Savage, she’s good, she’s got good taste, how to pronounce phlogiston, doer vs. dour, any book with phlogiston in it is going to be a good book, a good reading, a good narrator, a pretty good book, this weird book, resonanted, get your feels out and examine how you feels about this book, better in the vein, good is what I’m hearing, world beating vs. world saving, if you want to spoil, sky saving, entertaining, relatively short, van Vogt, old fashioned, universe shattering, the planet was about to come apart, pretty weird, Philip Jose Farmer, more sexually driven, normal for him, time had passed on Earth, animal tribes, the early to mid-60s, 1963, Beyond Fantasy, Galaxy Magazine, MAGABOOK double from Galaxy Press, 1973 publication, No More Stars, Beyond Fantasy, July 1954, 18,327 words vs. 34,493 words, an interesting fact, not all Lester del Rey, Charles Satterfield was Frederik Pohl and Lester del Rey, Pohl diluted, comparing the texts, re-ordering if not new scenes, a frequent collaborator, it doesn’t scream Frederik Pohl, cats and gardens and tomatoes, the opening of No More Stars, northern Saskatchewan, all he knew was that he was, the man with the knife, the masked man, Death to Dave Hansen!, avenging Moses, strangled them where they stood, the when of his reawakening, astrological mumbo jumbo, by the power of the True Name, sucking at him, aware of being alive, one of the dead, there should be no quickening of breath within him, noxious odor of sulfur, a good sign!, only a true being can sneeze, the salamander worked, high frequency radiation, the pre-psyche, a tamed succubus, who killed Foxy Loxy?, boomp in the night, delirious, bull-pusher, bull-dosser, the language wasn’t englais, Canadian French, no word for bull-dozer, the same setup but longer, different people in the room, an expansion, the format, there’s no audiobook of No More Stars, Jesse has to do everybody’s homework, re-read Life Of Pi again, they teach it wrong, character arcs, rising action, getting you excited about orreries, what is phlogiston?, that which what we would call oxygen if we didn’t know what oxygen was, you know of elements in your world?, we have all four here, when trying to expand your elements, metals, how do we get from phlogiston to oxygen, bell jars, air is full of this liquid called phlogiston, dephlogisticated air, from the alchemical days, vocabulary based history, a hard fantasy book, not a portal fantasy, taken from another world, not through a door, a portal fantasy without the portal, his body doesn’t go through a door, materials are drawn from another universe, a mandrake root man vs. made out of human stuff, a certified wife, some many rich things, caring about virginity, they don’t have birth control, our world in the future?, Jack Vance’s Dying Earth, Michael Moorcock, The Magic Goes Away (The Magic Will Come), Matthew Hughes, Gene Wolfe, The Book Of the New Sun, hoqw to get rid of him afterward, The Marching Morons, the C.M. Kornbluth on Frederik Pohl, Idiocracy (2006), you need to fix reality, this is not a complaint, it’s not a comedy, unintentionally imply eugenics, we are in that situation, it’s not genetics, laziness and background, I don’t know any of my friends phone numbers, we won’t even know where we live, take us home, take us to work, reciting all of Homer, all of Beowulf, carrying around the paperback, they had more time, we’ve never had more time, playing computer game, people playing computer games all day long, a peasant or a slave, modern slaves do not have a lot of extra spare time, a lot of holy days, the magic society in this book, they became so dependent on their magic, a very thought provoking book, postulating, Rumplestiltskin, etc., the folk tales that were magical to us when we were young, hinting at science fiction, no ultimate scientific explanation for what was going on, the last couple lines, overexplaining can be a problem, very different axioms, I can do magic here, sympathetic magic, a rigorous sort of world?, how rigorous is our understanding of our reality?, the subatomic and the macrocosmic, there was a big bang, the origin of their universe, how their universe works, we have this nice theory of gravity, what makes the sky literally fall, why do they have to have the orrery model, they don’t need gravity, why?, falling through the holes, falling in all directions?, flat earthers views, if you have a flat earth, the movement of the heavenly bodies, some weird explanation for it, the dome, examining a world in a hard SF way, assumptions we have in background, subsquently influenced, Giants Of Eternity by Manly Bannister, a planetary disaster requiring unique services, what the Martians from The War Of The Worlds do, Marie Curie, Sir Isaac Newton, using some means, you’re our task force, Einstein, Philip Jose Farmer’s Riverworld, Louis Pasteur, Charles Darwin, Thomas Alva Edison, like the Avengers of Science, bring back to life and put them to work, competence fantasy, brilliant geniuses from history, he can speak Canadian French, they got the wrong guy, touched on a couple of times, his uncle with the same name, your average science fiction reader, destined to do it, the prophecy works out, he has control of the universe in his pocket, he’s literally god, stop the movement of the sun in the sky, dawn in reverse, you can trust him, Solution Unsatisfactory, trust Colossus, under Colossus’ benign dictatorship, a scary sequel, your original Rumplestiltskin, get somebody else from earth, a specialist in folk tales, what type of being?, a wizard drags him into another dimension, I’d rather stay here, L. Sprague de Camp-ish, Joe Johnson, normal sounding names, fun pulpy style, a very short story, Remarkable Story Of Chicken Little, Hen Pen, a gentleman’s garden, how do you know it, Duck Luck, Goose Loose, Turkey Lurkey, how can I help knowing it?, Fox Lox, make haste, bit off her head, cut of her head, same by her, eat her all up, all this from the foolish fright of chicken little, 1840, the more graphic version, the santized version, the repeated lines: how do you know it?, why we have to know about phlogiston theory, authority says so, Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter, still eating, all the imagery is GOD, it’s God’s garden, Farmer McGregor looks like god, when constructing your world, base assumptions, we’re like that, characters in the universe, I can do no wrong, we make mistakes, very unsatisfying for most people, you can’t bring your old assumptions with you, real ideas, a fun interesting read, The Enchanted Bunny by David Drake, The Velveteen Rabbit, a Lovecraftian werewolf novel, 5500 kelvin, photography is one of Paul’s hobbies, the science of Dianetics, general semantics, about conjuration, the borderlands of philohophy and natural philosophy, understand reality better, mnake true statements, natural deductive logic, you idiots, you think that’s going to work?, Gulf by Robert A. Heinlein, conflating the actors with the character, Burt Reynolds punches the guy and gets in the car and drive off, Burt Reynolds, sometimes it works the other way, a Batman movie, Burt Reynolds as Batman, he does have a car thing, Smokey And The Bandit (1977), The Good Place, a slightly less good, I’m watching a Ryan Reynolds movie, does it ruin the movie experience?, no, true names tell us something more, and we have more control, it works for cops, exposed as the Gribsnobler, my podcast powers have depleted, Satoshi Nakamura is an AI from the future, legal heat, pronoun shaming AIs from the future, two different AIs from the future?, only under a legal authority, Thunderbolt And Lightfoot (1974), a pair of highwaymen, Clint Eastwood and the Dude from the Dude movie, he likes Jeff Daniels vs. Jeff Bridges, Lloyd and Harry, one of the bad prequel/sequels, there’s lot of good prequels, The Thing is a prequel to The Thing, Rogue One is fine, padded and flabby, don’t bother, The Temple Of Doom, neurodivergence, heavy on the action, hold my focus, the end of any Marvel movie, punchy, use the jewel, Ant-Man, I’m melting, why we don’t need a sequel, how diverting it was, everything is connected, we need more, you don’t need more ice cream, characters, Dave Hansen, the avatar for the reader, Beyond Fantasy Fiction, H.L. Gold, a fantasy fiction magazine, the science fiction market was hot, Galaxy was a massive hit, the literary, a pure fantasy magazine, it kinda flopped, Science Fiction Age, a glossy slick, Realms Of Fantasy, an ebb and flow in interests in interests, a fantasy story with a hard SF premise, hard fantasy, most fantasy stories, the scale is smaller, Upon The Dull Earth by Philip K. Dick, a horror story, Heat (1986), genre, character, length, something they had to read in school, TV series, the average person doesn’t read books, look at the books available, other podcasters, short stories are very unpopular, we don’t know, things do change, technology, YouTube, streamers, technology explaining, how VCRs vs. Laserdiscs, renting movies, flow of technology, why radio was popular, the decline of radio, the decline of television, into their homes, forces of technology changing human behaviors, nothing ever completely dies (it becomes unpopular), Time Out Of Joint by Philip K. Dick, haircutting salons, cars still come with [FM] radios, revealing of our true character, our true interest, our true nature, to literally destroy the world, we don’t need the sequel because we have the implication, really good on ideas, bad on polish, he’s framer, To Serve Man by Damon Knight, as famous as short stories can be Helen O’Loy, robots and people, Weird Science (1985), fixated on Robert Downey, Jr., overcoming social awkwardness, the older brother Chet (Bill Paxton), Bill And Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1989), playing Battleship with Death, The Seventh Seal, good jokes, even though it has literary precurors, Frankenstein movies, references to movies, Kelly LeBrock, Go Ahead Make Your Day?, the movie audience is unaware, the famous novel by Mary Shelley?, because his head has a crack in it?, how way leads on to way, Shakespeare, understanding humanity, the rising action, the train fight, Black Panther, Shang Chi has a train fight, a certain type of fight, Speed (1994), an elevator fight, a bus fight, a train fight, this character represents sadness, Badge Of Infamy, Slums of Mars, powerful union lobbies, the medical lobby, a pandemic, Daniel Feldman, pariah, more topical, topical vs. epistemological, trust the machinery, the flare bloomed, unbuckling herself, emergency bottles of oxygen, book it now, Midsommar (2019), Stefan Rudnicki, the man who discovered your greatest science: Dianetics, tongue in cheek, set in a fantasy world where all that stuff works, Dianetics only works in a fantasy world, plausible deniability, people didn’t have their feelings hurt that easily back then, more of an immediacy, people are very breakable now, they were much tougher, feed back for the original Star Trek and The Next Generation, same kind of complaints, the new Star Trek sucks, we can’t be friends anymore now, a crossover episode, ridiculous, juvenile, a thing to do, Mariner, the main character, BoJack Horseman, Mr. Peanutbutter, Judy Lynne del Rey was a dwarf, editor for Ballantine, Del Rey Books, her wikipedia entry, best editor nomination, paperback book collection, the biggest publisher in Jesse’s collection, Best Of books, Book Of books, DAW books, the 1970s and 1980s, the popularity of science fiction and fantasy, ACE books is the 1960s 1970s, keeping books in print, New English Library, the British version of Del Rey Books, gatekeepers vs. promoters, reprints, bringing back older fantasy titles, the way publishers influence writers, Otto Penzler, Mysterious Books, Donald E. Westlake, Comfort Station, the disaster movie, a parody, Viking Press, fuck these guys, Otto Penzler gets me, he had to publish with everybody, Seanan McGuire, the big two?, bad for authors, an effect on readers, the Audible Exclusives, sell straight to Audible, self-produced audiobooks, important to recognize, because of the format, ten years goes buy, a bulk up, ’54 – ’63 – ’73, the market isn’t healthy, LibriVox published it, coming out in ’23, seven months from now.

No More Stars - BEYOND, July 1954

No More Stars - BEYOND, July 1954

No More Stars - BEYOND, July 1954

No More Stars - BEYOND, July 1954

MAGABOOK - The Sky Is Falling AND Badge Of Infamy by Lester del Rey

The Sky Is Falling by Lester del Rey - 1973 Ace Double cover art

2 Complete Novels By Lester Del Rey In One Book

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The SFFaudio Podcast #699 – READALONG: The Doomed City by Arkady Strugatsky and Boris Strugatsky

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #699 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, Marissa VU, and Bryan Alexander talk about The Doomed City by Arkady Strugatsky and Boris Strugatsky.

Talked about on today’s show:
Strugatsky, 1989 kind of, 1972, late 1960s, how to classify this book’s publication story, who had read this before, Roadside Picnic, weird late publication, Stalker (1979), 2017 audiobook, the afterword, the introduction, Soviet science fiction, literature in the Soviet Union, Red Plenty, if a book doesn’t have a manuscript, if it doesn’t get read by readers it doesn’t exist, the carbon copy, a book that can frustrate people, not really a science fiction novel as much as it is an existential novel, a role playing game made out of this setting, a worker in a big office building, possessed vending machines, Control, freak your shit out, single player video game, garbage worker, baboons show up, wander off into the North, jump off the precipice, Disco Elysium, strange philosophical conversations, skill tree, intrusive thoughts, weird psychology, hilarious, playing it straight, completely deranged, develop different relationships with people, a meta, did this book remind you of any books?, Dark City (1998), an undefined place and time, 1950s Leningrad, Driftwood by Marie Brennan, fantasy kingdom, squeezed towards the center, City At the End Of Time by Greg Bear, dream-like reality, the Red Building, Cinnabar [by Edward Bryant], M. John Harrison’s Viriconium series, resonance, Plato’s The Republic, The Just City by Jo Walton, The Investigation by Stanisław Lem, the Riverworld series by Philip Jose Farmer, To Our Scattered Bodies Go, chess board, internal stuff, John Brunner’s The Squares Of The City, moving people around, Charles Stross’ Missile Gap, an Alderson disc, ICBMs no longer work, the Siege Of Leniningrad, Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell, The Drowned World by J.G. Ballard, The Half-Made World by Felix Gilman, Last Exit by Max Gladstone, the pyramid, A Maze Of Death, Solar Lottery by Philip K. Dick, Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer, The City And The Stars by Arthur C. Clarke, amalgamated and reconstituted, a book about art, The Wall Of Darkness by Arthur C. Clarke, Super Science Stories, July 1949, Hannes Bok, Virgil Finlay, distinctive styles, contemplating a stairway and holding a Möbius strip, an Elon Musk style character funds a stairway to see over a wall, awesome story, an Omni story, The Infinite Plane by Paul J. Nahin, Travel By Wire by Arthur C. Clarke, the food becomes poison, the clock of the Long Now [Foundation], left handed food, no comparative thoughts, The Truman Show (1998), artificial worlds, the Soviet context, the heroic stage, friendly with a Nazi, the end, art and culture being the greatest good, the Temple, powerful writing, the Siege of Leningrad, I was in Cambodia, I was in Waco with Koresh, the most lethal, a rival source of power, the Soviet center, the great strategist, playing chess with human bodies, another Omni story, imaginary numbers, math fiction, a Soviet peasant makes a set of chessmen, capitalists vs. workers, enchantment, how chess can be played, it doesn’t matter if your king is taken, Nineteen Eighty-Four, the truth is whatever I tell you it is, angel/alien, a deeply flawed main character, he wants to leave the library, an emblem, not answering that stuff, this is us on Earth here, randomocracy, it’s just happening, the ethnography, Swedes, Germans, Koreans, an American with a cowboy hat, that open time, so global, the existential element, everybody is here, we’re told it is voluntary, you died there, bud, a camouflaged criticism, everybody will become communist, continue the program, lacking geographic specificity, NATO, good branding, if you have faith, there are no kids in this city, a garbage collector to a policeman to the mayor to the president to the leader of an expedition, doctors too?, a lawyer, bricklayer, somewhat failing experiment, it can only be failed, out of control, German efficiency, a classic utopian thing, The Lottery In Babylon by Jorge Luis Borges, a gardener, a response to a reality, you can not fall any further, a stoic philosophy, choosing not to be upset, willing to suffer the swamps, pleasant swamps, 1950s gulag, city/country divide, the farmers, the Truckers this week, coming into the city in a convoy, one of these farmers has a machine gun, we need that machinegun to get rid of the baboons, policies made in extremis, German POWs lodged with farmers, trapped on the continent, we called that slavery, 3rd amendment to the U.S. constitution, the baboon invasion, a metaphor for something, Dan Simmons’ The Terror, leaded meat, going insane, the crystal palace, endless plain, monsters, a premonition, the giant statue, an obvious super-metaphor, Stalin and Lenin statues, William Hope Hodgson, the heat death of the Solar System, The Night Land, geothermal energy, an anti-city, wireless transmission, a horseless knight with a circular saw, a geological force, a 17th century gentleman, existential and talky, a classical romance in an insane setting, there is meaning in images and events, we are not privy, the stuff that is not there, the guy who issues the toilet paper, important notes, committee meeting minutes, a curious puppy, playing the game in his way, giggling at everything, anti-semitism, he gets the last word, he’s the brains of the operation, physically jewish, an engagement with judaism, what the temple is about, producing culture, respecting the intellect, the people of the book, Jerusalem and Moscow, crazy reviews, misogyny, skank (not slattern), a Soviet style phrase, whiny sluts, wankrags for the guys, udders, in the police station, I don’t have that file, we don’t know everybody’s backstory, how could you?, no woman’s perspective, the basic pass on this is they are in Hell, Earth is Hell, capable of receiving pain, if you want to stay alive you have to kill, what are we to do, the experiment is the experiment, the devil god, hunger isn’t the problem we just don’t have enough food, our swedish friend, the military skank, they pickup somehow, everything that’s elided, previous iterations of the city, left incomplete, going downstairs to sleep with her, corrupted, WWII into the 1970s, a story of disillusionment, very Colonel Kurtz, Aguirre, The Wrath Of God (1972), the book begins with shit, the book ends with shit, reflected things, her beautiful white pristine legs, scabs bruises and abscesses, physically degenerating, their will is breaking, a blank landscape allows for deep reflection, Lena on Goodreads:

Depressing surreal social criticism that pretends to be a sci-fi. The parody on communism and soviet propaganda is quite obvious, but the story also takes deeper study of human society and nature. One star for misogyny, disgusting realism and unnecessary cruelty. Moreover authors didn’t give any explanation to the world-building nor uncover any plot’s mysteries.

where the reader has gone wrong, a funhouse mirror, through a mirror darkly, satire makes it sound like its fun, showing us truths, a misogynistic, its already in the world, when the revolution happens, sees the results, the emphasis on diarrhea and dysentery, things start in the gutter, a shit job, simple, available for you to see, the opening was terrific, The tanks were rusty, dented, and their lids were lose, potato husks, the mouth of an unkempt indiscriminate food pelican, a competent cop, it’s going to be gone when they get there, Andre is pretty incompetent, he doesn’t want to understand, haunted by the end, the temple speech, humanities, an astronomer, a sky that has one star and doesn’t move, Theodore Sturgeon’s Microcosmic God, the neoterrics, Sandkings by George R.R. Martin, just neglect, the humanities vs. the sciences, the mute mentor, circles, the emphasis on fecal matter, the afterlife, blast away at somebody, there’s no art in this city, all these shitty pulp magazines, no great writers, no great poets, a complaint, they’re not here, in the outer world, always in development, a very meta-book, its hard to write good art, are we writing good art?, a book review inside of a book, showing television in Robocop (1987), a condemnation of society, abundance riots, Nazi art, I don’t understand anything, reveal the truth about their world, the truth of the Red building, all will be revealed, nope, the authors know what they’re doing, Roadside Picnic [Stalker (1979)], Swiftian misanthropy, American conservative literature, apes and monkeys as a critique of Darwin, that realistic, that bestial, casually fucking in the streets, monkeys, an incredibly dark view, aren’t we?, a fishtank, to quote Marlowe, a decisive ending, raising our science fiction and fantasy hope, a meta-science fiction book, not a fantasy, following the rules, fantastic, Exhalation by Ted Chiang, Plato’s The Republic, H.G. Wells’ The War Of The Worlds, crappy adventure stories, later you became obsessed with it, the strivings of a story like The War Of The Worlds are to put us in our place, this is what you really are, have yourself humbled, we are humbled, a mimetic sense, what would we do if we were placed in this very strange RPG, more shit is around the next corner, worship at the temple in the crystal palace, William G. Shepherd, Omni, Discovery, Popular Science, Popular Mechanics, is that the best we can hope for?, a minority adds to and maintains the temple, the temple persists, participate in keeping the temple going is a great way of life, six months of a magazine, nobody’s going to look at them, a friend in Australia, the little builder, somebody else’s job, its not Jesse’s job to put Jesse’s statue up in the temple, his job is to polish the temple steps, and point people in the right direction to find the right book inside the temple if they come by, maybe call them in from the street, no donation needed, they walk by and spit on Jesse, coral reef, all of our art, if you’re not creating, hiding hoping the squid doesn’t eat him, Jesse the clownfish, Hemingway, drunk, pedophile, Dostoevsky was an extreme right-winger, the temple creators are flawed, the canon contains shit but it has beauty within the shit, horrible creators, whatever politics is now, cancel culture, the pederast Tchaikovsky, thief and gallows-bird, O. Henry was an embezzler, Ezra Pound, open fascist, defender of the Soviet Union, defending human rights abuses, the temple that endures, whatever flag people are waving, holding up the flag, wearing a flag is an act that is very different, planting a flag on your house, when the flags come out, in division, this doomed city, it’s important, nationalities are incidental, all united as doomed, yesterday’s enemy, when you strip them of the flag, this kind of work is important, a suggestive sketch, points it’s making, high poetry, as an aesthetic way to be, endings are disappointing (usually), where it takes you to emotionally, did he shoot himself?, he met himself and he shot himself, it’s left open, capable of killing the best person we know, capable of self destruction, capable of destroying other human beings, he pulled a pistol out of the holster, tall tattered exhausted with a dirty beard, a return shot, he doesn’t check his cap, not being able to recognize this other, a mirror, he’s shooting himself, sitting in his tent, all the possible things he can do to avoid what needs doing, how you maintain discipline, these are animals, the traditional way of doing it, The One Black Stain by Robert E. Howard, Solomon Kane, Sir Francis Drake, Magellan, returns to England, you can now murder people because you are a chief of an expedition, the maritime tradition, they are the law, they can marry people, the dominant navy on the planet, unless you’re a pirate and have signed the articles, a precedent, you’re a bad person, you’re a coward, the Golden Hind, head in hands, wracked with doubt, the misery of having killed a friend for a wrong reason, we put ourselves in these Hells, regretting or doubling down, I didn’t choose to be here, nobody explains how the , no authorial infodump for us, the anti-Neal Stephenson, the thermodynamics of the big wall, deal with it, what does it mean that the sun is off, is it a coincidence?, is it a sign?, about to become a dictator, the Russian kitchen drinking scene, here it is, they’re all completely disagreeing with each other but not actually coming to blows over anything, it’s just talk, pretty deep, not something we see in American literature that often, written about drinking, F. Scott Fitzgerald, a manly thing to do, a classy thing to do, very realistic, all the russian drinking, before the blackout, the snacks, all the stages of inebriation, a positive, a bright spot, the party, Raymond Chandler, a rich guy drinking himself to death, set in Los Angeles, blendy, Dashiell Hammett, hiding the truth of reality by drinking, Mike Hammer, American detective stories are about uncovering reality, that guy was beating his wife, somebody died, his daughter killed herself, hiding the truth through alcohol vs. a communal defiance against the reality they already acknowledge, the vomiting, more thoughts, Herodotus on the persian court, Peter the Great, the drunken synod of fools, Stalin plying with vodka, in vino veritas is legit, WWII, Churchill couldn’t go 2 weeks without his prescription alcohol, Nixon drunk, Yeltsin, russians thought he drank too much, Voltaire’s conclusion Candide, a dark russian take on Candide, zoom out a bit, one last russian thing, awkward conversations, the extreme opposite of Frank Herbert’s conversations, it’s painful to read, I don’t understand what you’re saying, the dialogue is very fun, pulling out 10,000 quotes, a commonplace book, self-journal, write down your dreams, a diary is very narcissistic, what twitter is for Jesse (a commonplace book), Paul’s Miscellany, whoever exercises power, man has to have a goal, hence the expedition, hence the experiment, we’ve got to do something, general outrage, goals and enemies, very easy to be uncharitable, words on a page, you don’t need to be outraged about everything, a set of beliefs is dangerous, a blob of ideas I’m currently carrying around, squish some of them, taking a model of what someone else is saying, how other people’s mannerisms work, ongoing public conversation, these vast swaths of people who comment, a massive list of comments, they’re talking to themselves, this is what you do because , when you see Jesse on twitter it’s because he has to wait 15 seconds, in the before times (pre-covid), monitoring mentions, believing in the conversation, great for connecting with people, a really interesting bookshelf, detecting outrage, plugins, moderate your anger, road rage is like twitter isolation, indistinct, a look of concentration and fear (or don’t), this person is the worst human being in the entire world, essentially bad drivers, perfectly nice people, an excuse for it, it’s hard not to be a hypocrite, how good is that narration?, he had a voice for everybody, good show, good take, by special request of Chowbacca, a random twitter guy, exactly, a fan of the show, looking forward to everyone’s thoughts, thank you so much @chowbacca415. make the temple as pretty and nice as possible, the temple is a library, trucks being impounded, ready when you are, Mentor, Mentor is actually Athena (in The Odyssey), how to deal with Circe, some of the characters are on hands experimenters, Touched By An Angel, like Quantum Leap but for christians, make things right, a science fiction explanation, mentoring, pedagogy, the last words of the book in russian, stacks of firewood, there’s a lot of burning to come, a demon or a devil, Athena’s hobby horse for Odysseus, he’s the wise and wily one, Heracles gets a special interest from Zeus, as a psychological story, Nietzsche, no psychological depth, Get Smart, cone of silence room, a black room, an anti-room somewhere in the house, there’s a metaphor there for you.

The Doomed City

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The SFFaudio Podcast #697 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: Almuric by Robert E. Howard

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #697 – Almuric by Robert E. Howard; read by Connor Kaye

This unabridged reading of the story (5 hours 28 minutes) is followed by a discussion of it.

Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Evan Lampe, Will Emmons, Trish E. Matson, Connor Kaye, and Cora Buhlert

Talked about on today’s show:
probably not by H.P. Lovecraft, by Robert E. Howard and possibly others, poo-pooing, some serious ending issues, the real probic question, sort of made up, Golden Fleece, 1939, Oriental Stories/Magic Carpet, less magic, a historical fiction magazine, Gates Of Empire by Robert E. Howard, 1975, another story set in the Saladin Egyptian Caliphate eras, a crusader King, really enthusiastic, Almaric, a historical figure, characters of similar names, two different Almarics or Almurics, he liked the name, Thok/Thak/Grak, the best Robert E. Howard pastiche ever or he’s making fun of him, muscular scenes, more Howardian, Howard does Howard really well, how much was Howard responsible, the letters, too on point, except the ending, dissertation on howard’s thought presented as a story, these themes, tell a lot more, it tells the thesis pretty exclusively, the issue, a sketch that someone else put together, a first draft?, Patrice Louinet, the manuscript is lost, 1934, Drums of Tombalku, Hour Of The Dragon, Otis Adelbert Kline, suspect infodumps, Daniel Look, Howard Days, stylometry, wordcounter.net, using math, Conan pastiches, specific words, scarlet or citadel, the and of or from and to, classifies Fritz Leiber stories as Fritz Leiber stories, a sword and Planet Guy, Francis Hard, Farnsworth Wright, not wholly complete, multiple drafts, the April 1939 issue of Weird Tales, the ending was taken from the inference about the beginning, the way the story ends is not compatible with the way the story starts, relating the story we are about to receive, The Lighthouse (2019), an unfinished short story by Edgar Allan Poe, Robert Bloch, a whole novel inspired by the short story, too horrible to relate, if you look deep into what they’ve written, why did they write that, brushing their teeth and looking in the mirror, everything is there for a purpose, the finishers of Almuric, looking deep into the story, anathema to a Howard ending, bring civilization to these barbarians, parts of this are definitely suspect and the ending is wholly suspect, seeking to join the society, artificial, not Howardian, the goorahs, Acher, Koth, Cimmeria is from The Odyssey, Afghulis in Afghulistan, Stygia, certain passages, Robert E. Howard had a hand in this, The Garden Of Fear, a tower, winged people, something about elephants, Solomon Kane story Wings In The Night, The Moon Of Skulls, a vampire queen wants to have sex with Solomon Kane, sacrificed at the full moon, Garden Of Evil by Margaret St. Clair, Vale Of Lost Women, a winged guy and a bunch of flower ladies, images that haunt him, so much more like Edgar Rice Burroughs than anything else by Robert E. Howard, The Gods Of Mars, Warlord Of Mars, a self-destruct mechanism, a nuke, a 1939 nuke, elder god type monster, Otis notes, literary manager, ripoffs of Edgar Rice Burroughs, Buccaneers Of Venus, Kline got the cover, Almuric didn’t get the cover, Everill Worrell, A Witch Shall Be Born, The Slithering Shadow, the fingerprints of A Princess Of Mars, the mechanism to get to mars is minimized, how Esau Cairn gets to Almuric is never explained, cliffhangery, every time he gets knocked on the head, two sequences being carried aloft, he even comments on this, my third time in captivity, very very very Howardian, the opening is pretty strong, on the run from corrupt civilization, corruption and civilization are the same thing for Robert E. Howard, Connor’s credulity, that doesn’t seem like something Robert E. Howard would write, a first draft, the repetition of verbs, I caught up a shield, I rushed to finish this story, Howard was not a find and replace guy, scarlet, showing not telling, the writing style, I have only a dim memory, several things happened at once, we gotta find a way to fix this, fist fighting, mundane terrestrial stories, it could have been written by anybody, Steve Costigan it’s not, those infodumps, notes, essays, The Hyborian Essay, that’s his research, Howard doesn’t do infodumps, research notes, now I shall give you a lengthy infodump, the thematic infodumps, this is why civilization os not the proper place for human beings, mastery of the human form and human strength, doing Burroughs, put Otis to work, Farnsworth Wright, good editor bad writer, Paul Ernst, Seabury Quinn, commenting on the stories, this Francis Hard (Farnsworth Wright) guy is terrible, nobody copyright renewed this story, authors tend to make a claim, Wright and Kline both died young, as much or more of Robert E. Howard has come out since his death as during his life, decade after decade, the first major thing after his death, not in the Del Rey editions?, Bobby Derie, Howard Andrew Jones, James Allison stories, Phoenix On The Sword, he’s always dying, an outer narrator, some adventures in a faraway place or a far distant time, dispensing with the idea, in Earth history, Kull is Atlantean, pre-cataclysmic civilization, how to get into it, this is a fantasy book, terms to explain it to ourselves, secondary world, Tolkien, The Hobbit, most attributed to Burroughs, gods and names are pretty much the same, the river Yag, the land of Yog, didn’t finish mapping it all, a lot of Howard’s setup, how did you enjoy it as a book? vs. how it was constructed?, a bit over a hundred pages, the scale, assaulting the city, Robinson Crusoe feel to it, battling with baboons in the wilderness, how much we enjoy it related to how much Howard was in it, Pirates Of Venus, an editorial for Weird Tales, a mission statement for Weird Tales, fantasy, science fiction, and horror, The Weird Tales Story edited by Robert Weinberg, The Dark Man Journal, ape men, sexual dimophism, bub, Howard loved apes!, no ape-women, pulp science fiction, suspect, all of the Conan comics, a way to make you turn pages, you can’t kill the guy, sheer force of numbers, The Scarlet Citadel, Hour Of The Dragon, detective fiction, gassed, hit on the head, most of that’s bad, it makes it suspect, the Howardian content is so high, the pastiche worker, pretty good, The Garden Of Fear is a really good story, a fanzine, recycle scenes, not unwilling to recycle, Almuric Role Playing Game setting, kickstarted style art, races of Almurica, Dogheads, Akki, it’s gotta be, jaegers, hunters, Germans in Texas, a Lebanese shopkeeper in Cross-Plains, pre-chat, how surprised would you be if in 1961 he converts to Islam?, slave-trading is evil, muslim sidekicks, El Borak, he loves swearing by gods, and there’s no god greater than Allah, if only for the aesthetics, Muhammad Ali, some kind of Islamic rally, individualism, protestant, too community based, Allah knows, this big guy in the sky, He exists, swearing to various gods, why Solomon Kane is so attractive, his belief makes him attractive, challenged all the time, my sacred staff, an evil voodoo thing, it’s beyond me, the god of my people, the religious fanatic, the nicest puritan you’ll ever meet, he likes animals, he thinks you’re an evil demon, the Gent From Bear Creek stuff, semi-embedded in a community, out from society, why the novel was abandoned, ends with peace and harmony and a new golden age?, there’s no permanence in dog-brotherhood, ape-brothers, the relationship with the women, Kull has Brule, standing next to Conan is not good, women can survive but we never see them again, a reset button, a comic book sequel Almuric, the Iron Hand Of Almuric, what’s left to say, the golden skinned ladies, copper skin, see the sexual dimorphism there, particular word choices, name choices, Altha, Alpha, a slave girl, Theta, a #LegCling, pulsing, thews, I could feel her heart, her quick pants of fright, what Howard would do, an interesting dynamic, the crudity of the men in her culture, a bit weird, he crushed her to his body, his writing of women improves, his Mexican prostitute sex, she wants to die rather to live out of place in her world, born ahead of her time vs. his being born in the past, a woman with agency, she knows what she doesn’t want, has to get rescued all the time, transitional Howard, Valeria from Red Nails vs. Belit, topless, died of sunburn, some nudity in this book, the Jirel Of Joiry stories, his Dark Agnes stories, Red Sonja, Zenobia, bears comparison, Cairn, The Cairn On The Headland, how dumb are you?, I’m looking for you, that lack of agency, out of character, Howard in a certain sense, Cairn has Howard’s fists but his brains are inadequate to the task, played for comedy, Steve Costigan, very fluffy, what Evan suspects, you’re both a liar and a coward, as all men know, knotty fist, a dozen feet away, moderate corporal correction, it wasn’t the punching, that is NOT Howard, he would never say that, Conan wont defend himself, L. Sprague De Camp had Conan spank his kid, the evil queen is going to spank her maid, women attack other women, Lesbia, Howard had no idea how lesbians worked, was Margaret Brundage bisexual?, not much attention given to men, less than half written by Howard?, the H.P. Lovecraft revisions, stylometry, editorial notes, a copyedit job, what other scholars said, too direct, someone wanted to present Howard’s thesis, too much telling not enough showing, way down on the list of Howard you should spend any time on, a Howard completionist, a pallid substitute, this is not crackin, not actively annoying, inoffensive, a little offensive, the character is endorsing it, beyond the pale, a twitter argument with a shitlib or someone here, Conan being a socialist or a communist, Conan The Socialist by Cora Buhlert, primitive societies, primitive communism, no thing is owned by one person, no one here is allowed to starve, you can’t own stuff in those types of cultures, hunter gatherer, counting coup, a social game that has rules, reputation, The Black Stranger, The Treasure Of Tranicos, famines, storehouses full of grain, I used my sword and my fists, he gives away his prize, the end of every Conan story, losing all the money at the end, Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, botom up heroes, even Kull is a usurper, from the working class, a queen who has lived for 600 years, a lady who’s up, bottom up rather than top down, she’s a slaver, certain phrases and scenes, the structure is way less so, more of the framing device, the political boss, it wasn’t relevant, it was though, more like a Jack London story, urban fantasy, samurai cannibal book, The Mucker, The Monster Men, The Efficiency Expert, The Garden Of Fear feels way more substantial, the flowers are symbolic, where’s the symbolism in here?, some furry guys, red peoples and white apes, pure escapism, Howard has an agenda, and axe to grind, he’s passionate about it, I’m going to demonstrate my beliefs to you through story, Hour Of The Dragon is brimming with anger, a metaphor for the rise of fascism in Europe, Benito Mussolini, I will make you hurt, this one is fun, it doesn’t have anything deeper to say, do better, Connor, top tier Howard, Galactic Journey, lost along away, sword and planet, Will has read a lot worse than this, this isn’t dreck, statements of philosophy, the space babe, they create the new society, a planetary romance ending, the violence was a little over the top, a score of wounds, so parodied, Wolverine, recuperative powers, super-tough, “my immense recuperative powers”, crucified, he sleeps it off, he puts his leg in the water to stop the bleeding, a fun story, way better material, the density level, word choices, Howard writes like a poet, Spear And Fang aint beautiful, in his mid-twenties and approaching his 30, a natural writer in his prime wrote some notes, The Wicked Clergyman by H.P. Lovecraft, the worst Lovecraft story there is that he wrote, the comic book adaptations, Epic Illustrated 2-5 issues, Dark Horse sequel, Roy Thomas and Mark Winchell, wont somebody stop Roy Thomas, Ironhand Of Almuric, Gardner F. Fox style, dense prose, Tim Conrad, too much prose, mostly retired, of all the Conan co-authors, those big text boxes, he doesn’t fuck around with the prose, adapted to a Conan story, Arabian adventures, an effect of Conan fever, 1961, Ace, a Frazetta cover, Jack Gaughan, tonnes of very small slim paperbacks from the 1970s, looking in second hand bookstores, pretty obscure for a famous book (of Howard’s), how impactful the stories were, riding the name, why the role playing game exists, fuckin cool, Strange Detective, where he’s getting published, Adventure, volume, Fight Magazine, Jack Dempsey’s Fight Magazines, Sam Walser is Robert E. Howard, Spicy magazines, reading the Spicy magazines, embarrassing, hit after hit after hit author, who wouldn’t want this issue?, great reprints, great Virgil Finlay art, Spicy Adventure, Francis X. Gordon, not everything came out in the 70s, El Borak stories, the James Allison stories, The Howard Foundation, no print editions?, save it for the Garden Of Fear, the intro with the dying protagonist, H.P. Lovecraft and Virginia Jackson’s The Crawling Chaos, The Star Rover by Jack London, Howard bookshelf, erotica, working with an existing trope, how we get to the world, modern sword and planet stories?, using a rocketship to get there, astral projection had made irrelevant by V-2s, Confessions Of An English Opium-Eater by Thomas De Quincy, unheard of roads, overdose, our outer narrator, let me tell you of the secret of the world, the “Great Secret”, observatory!, telescopist!, no better alternative, telescopy hut, a flight through space, The Crystal Egg by H.G. Wells, the same martians, the inference, how we get from there to here, shot through the telescope, a teleporter, Professor Hildebrand, how he gets the story, what we’re reading, teleportation across time?, driven out of Europe into Africa, the last of the monkey-apes, people with wings, Conan The Barbarian, #9, winged ears, The Tower Of The Elephant, a dumbo captured by a wizard, another yag-yog, a giant spider, missing the giant snake, obsessed with evolution, she read Darwin, the bat-people, cutting off their wings, controlling rivals?, female Kizinti are dumb and pregnant, a podunk town, eugenics was a hot topic, the Howard-Lovecraft letters, decades of eugenics programs, sterilization, Esau Cairn is not a thinker, a naked savage, on the ladder of evolution, parody of Robert E. Howard, silks and steel and stone towers, tell not show, it had his name on it, playing it fast and loose, stuck it together, SCOOP!, Clifford Ball, a would be Conan, The Thief Of Forthe, what you expected Conan to look like, no substitute, this Clifford Ball guy, Henry Kuttner, attitude, Robert E. Howard has a big chip on his shoulder, Kuttner had a different chip on a different shoulder, Z.B. Bishop writes as good as Lovecraft!, disposable popcorn, it has the signs but lacks the heft, AI audiobooks, Seabury Quinn audiobooks, the H.P. Lovecraft Literary Podcast, Agatha Christie with supernatural elements, Murder On The Links, a ripoff of Jewel Of Seven Stars, the alpha and the notetaker, August Derleth, Jules De Grandin and Doctor Trowbridge, occult detectives, the John Thunstone stories, the Netflix section for reality TV, people who liked science fiction, good at marketing, Clark Ashton Smith had no hand in fixing this story, The Maze Of Maâl Dweb, The Flower-Women, C.L. Moore would have been better, the Charlton Comics adaptation, all rip-offs of Tarzan, after the puLps died comics took over, Sheena, Ka-Zar, too much, Conan goes to the Center of the Earth, Tarzan on the Moon, Bran Mak Morn and Kull, Kings Of The Night, Worms Of The Earth, Conan or THE Conan, a guy goes into a cave, Conan was his ancestor, Leigh Brackett, criminal on Venus, Lorelei Of The Red Mists, Ray Bradbury, homage, how much we got out of this, meta-talk, some sort of emotional attitude towards reality, it sparks, sometimes stories are abandoned for a reason, fascinating fragments, how hilarious it would be reading Ray Bradbury doing planetary romance, he does weird things she wouldn’t do, killed in WWII, where the Bradbury begins and the Brackett stops, nostalgic, The Small Assassin, a guy’s afraid of the wind, phonecalls make a guy’s life a living hell, dead undersea soldiers, two episodes in the can, quite a buffer, The Planet Stories Podcast, Connor needs a podcast, The Wind In The Portico by John Buchan, No-Man’s Land by John Buchan, hence listening to David Brin, almost like a podcast on YouTube [CONNOR’S YOUTUBE VIDEO ESSAY PODCAST FEED IS: HERE], keeping to a specific theme, old school podcasts, Mr Jim Moon is doing witches this year, a lot of not Science Fiction, the Horrorbabble guys, Evan’s podcast uses podbean, Evan has 787 podcast episodes out, the American Civil War, 4 continents represented, a Taikonaut, Starlink satellites, clutter up the sky, beloved by cats, mutant cats for our future, psychic cats know when we’re feeling vulnerable, The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin, novel after novel, until Jesse dies or Eric dies, to do two podcasts a week, when I’m feeling weak, hoping that something is going to be good, a six month backlog, take a vacation from recording, don’t silence, don’t de-platform, i’m not Whoopi!, Cora was on the Dickheads podcast talking into The Big Jump by Leigh Brackett, the Appendix N Book Club podcast.

Almuric by Robert E. Howard - WEIRD TALES - illustration by Virgil Finlay

Almuric by Robert E. Howard - WEIRD TALES

Almuric by Robert E. Howard - WEIRD TALES

Almuric by Robert E. Howard - WEIRD TALES

Why Weird Tales? by Otis Adelbert Kline - from WEIRD TALES, May June July 1924

Almuric - illustration by Ken Kelly

Almuric - illustration by Gaughan

Epic Illustrated - ALMURIC

DARK HORSE - Almuric - Tim Conrad

ACE F-305 - ALMURIC by Robert E. Howard

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