The SFFaudio Podcast #576 – READALONG: The Many-Colored Land by Julian May

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #576 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, and Evan Lampe about The Many-Colored Land by Julian May

Talked about on today’s show:
an unsolicited Patreon plug, now you know, now Jesse is beholden to Paul, special members only episodes, The Many Colored Land, the Patreon, Jesse doesn’t want to reward anybody for anythings, take suggestions from Patrons, Office Hours, Evan’s office hours, Evan’s decline is an ascension, Jesse’s university career, ideas throwin’ down, door open, Discord, Paul derailed us, why did Jesse agree to it?, by spoiling he interested, Luke Burrage’s review, Jesse wrote about Julian May in 2012, leaving science fiction, a young published author and then a thirty year gap, The Dune Roller, Tales Of Tomorrow, The Cremators (1972), pretty sure this book is written by a girl, really weird, not a good book for a lot of the book, what this book is, SUPER-AMBITIOUS and kinda-almost pulls it off, a great mind, did it come out of gaming?, a role-playing game style writing, this book has everything in it, a potpourri, an encyclopedia, if she was a really good writer this could be on the scale of Tolkien, tell me one thing this book doesn’t do, time travel, space aliens, telepathy, elves, portals, megafauna, magic, clerics, fighters, Sarban, the wild hunt, way too much, bursting with ideas, I can explain everything, nine more books, Jack the Bodiliess, will-o’-the-wisp, Mr Jim Moon’s Hypnogoria podcast, Jim Moon is a treasure for our time, this great research, fulfilling bits of history, the Mediterranean basin is empty, filling the basin, Down In The Bottomlands by Harry Turtledove, she’s doing everything, she made a dress for a convention and then tried to figure out who would have worn it, people making costumes of future people, a book about Robert E. Howard’s geography of Gazetteer of the Hyborian Age, Europe from 10,000 years, a dragon in Red Nails, wizardry, NO BUT WITH SCIENCE, she tries to rationalize it, a map of genre, issues, what genre is this book supossed to be?, pseudo-science fiction, psionics as magic, origin of the Celtic mythology, the Pliocene Companion, as soon as the torc was introduced, it has ODIN in it, Aiken Drum, the science fiction mindset, WOW, AMAZING!, if this book was written today…, she coulda tightened this up, La Belle Dame Sans Merci, the psychic interrogations, that’s insane, an introduction, 1981, that’s impossible, all the character classes, it feels ten years later, her pseudonym list is all male, as J.C. May, Weird Tales, C.L. Moore, he was a dude using a female pseudonym, genre expectations, a lot like Ringworld and Dream Park, really interested in gender, women’s sexuality and reproduction, Lois McMaster Bujold, Connie Willis, Pamela Sargent, its in the air, the birth control pill changes everything, she goes there, the setup, that wasn’t the book I signed up for, that’s what they thought too, pre-caveman, prehistoric adventures, fighting off smilodons, the galactic milieu, Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson, more motley, a blank slate, the baggage of human history, the prologue, the utopian aspect, a conservative element, something (not quite) reactionary, ethnic enclave planets, Transmetropolitan, what kind of society will these misfits create, the DM says “Haha! Switched ya!”, this has random encounters, very much like Riverworld, famous characters, the big dumb object here is Earth, rejuvenation, psychic vampires, the psychic shit, this shit from Astounding, it was totally bullshit, they thought it might be real, parapsychology, Ghostbusters is the last gasp of it being a phenomena, they’re discontinuing his research is because its bunk, a guy who used to work in remote viewing, no need for satellites, a guy in a room in Langley and we bring him a sandwich, they didn’t know it was discredited in the 50s, a news story, coffee is bad for you, this back and forth, clearly phlogiston, you idiots it was oxygen the whole time, the plate tectonics theory, what he didn’t have was the data to back it up, nobody mentions plate tectonics, how much geology, this gate can only be here, The Last God, the map in the back, have you ever seen a river?, they don’t know what they’re doing, she’s doing everything, too ambitious, it explains everything, wouldn’t it be cool if…, hello fairy, people living in caves full of uranium, change your lifestyle in order to not be mutants, these are goblins, not just Tolkien goblins but also Goblin Market by Christian Rossetti, goblins, tempting with a plate full of fruit, be a brood mare for her reproduction, Julian May is a vast reader and she wants to include it and explain it all and it mostly works, this book is not for me, a GURPS version, lift large, designed for role-playing, character creation, their stats are amplified by their torq, LARPing, L. Sprague De Camp, the Society For Creative Anachronism, Planescape and Dark Sun, Space: 1889, Spelljammer, so grounded in geology, of its time, she’s reading science fiction, its not outsider science fiction, woolly mammoths and then we’re done, she revels in it, the giant sloth gets left all by its lonesome, Evan was into the cenozoic, Jesse was a silurian man, when people think about ancient life on earth, trilobite, I love me some ferns, yo, giant sloth tunnels, untooled scratches, living in them for centuries, that’s the excitement of science fiction, the size of the universe, if this isn’t something you think about everyday poor you, this is FUNDAMENTAL to…, no, dude you can’t believe how big the universe…, poor donkey, in sympathy with the animal, the great unconformity, a plot with an empire that needs to be overthrown, H.P. Lovecraft’s The Mound, a whole civilization under the earth, Lovecraft’s utopia, I signed up for a ghost that haunts a tomb, ten thousand times bigger, she doesn’t leave any room for anything else, there are no traditions that didn’t start with this (in Europe), what is luck?, what if you have a culture based on fear?, five or six major themes, at least twenty things she’s dealing with and trying to think about, the juggling’s pretty good, Tolkien loves the forest but he doesn’t invent whole new trees, “operant”, oh god this is just technobabble, initiative has a whole set of connotations if your not a RPGs, a republican talking point, para-psychological powers, a ticking clock, big fights at the ends of books and movies, still pretty good, a wonderful stew, its 16 hours, Neal Stephenson, Dune Roller, a gothic setup, a tonne of pent up ideas, it came out in a huge geological sized flood, going through the Black Forest, all the different mushrooms, Hansel and Gretel time, very Bros. Grimm, go to Doggerland, Albion, and what would be France, the power, misfits with different weapons and armor, their murder hobos, player characters, he can’t be socialized, euthanasia or life imprisonment or exile, a slave-society, the core element, why does she go with grey?, Plato’s Republic, bronze, Plato is the original racist, the cops, the golden dude are philosophers, the TV series Spartacus, guidebooks on how to manage your slaves, reading so much Stephen King, adaptations of Carrie, in the aftermath, we gotta control women, after Roe vs. Wade, psychic powers, Firestarter, King never dropped that theme: the desire of states to control the exceptional, The Running Man, comprehensive lengths, the antecedents of everything, the book cover, she thought they were cool, what if…, six million year gap, aboriginal Australia, a hugely rich history, many more different kinds of mythological systems, in comparison, New Guinea, geographical vs. geological, it worked itself out, silly explanations, a one way time machine, questions back and answers back, lockboxes, what colour are woolly mammoth tusks?, a whole amber explanation, the plot doesn’t allow it, Halloween and May Day, reverses, like a role playing game, a cleric who can heal people, a paladin, a hunter, a pirate, a thief, this is what I do, yo, Will Emmons’ question, Neuromancer as a first science fiction book,

since you asked…

I say that DO ANDROIDS DREAM OF ELECTRIC SHEEP is not anything like “hard SF”

and neither, really, is FOUNDATION

FOUNDATION is interesting (and foundational) but not great

ANDROIDS *is* great and one shld probably be a connoisseur of SF before reading it

really hard question, I usually like to think of SF as something you read from earlier to later – give a sample size of TWO books liked – and TWO disliked – that said, and even with @PrinceJvstin worries in mind

…I would still recommend HEINLEIN – he’s not HARD SF, and he really is SF – HAVE SPACESUIT, WILL TRAVEL is a good starter book

if you don’t like HEINLEIN I think you don’t really like SF – he was made of SF

dont start with any random Heinlein tho – BIG MISTAKE

MOON IS A HARSH MISTRESS

and

STARSHIP TROOPERS

are good choices – will make you argue with HEINLEIN which is what a lot of later writers are doing in their books, arguing with HEINLEIN :)

YES, and i would say in that order, but put another book as palate cleanser in between

there’s a whole series of books that are connected to STARSHIP TROOPERS – ENDER’S GAME, ARMOR and going backwards to KIPLING’S poem M.I.

my point is…, going down a hole, a callback to science fiction, hollow earth, people having sex in Stromboli, a very famous science fiction novel by Jules Verne: Journey To The Center Of The Earth, Iceland, a little sex scene, this is all her, there is almost no visual SF at this point, working on a masters degree, very rich, let’s do a 16 hour book, dense even though it doesn’t feel that dense, not just more Tolkien, science fiction-ish, science fiction tropes, pseudo-scientific explanations, the crown, a magic system, H.G. Wells’ Floor Games, wargaming, Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson, in role playing time you build role playing games, Jesse’s repeating because Julian was repeating herself.

Map of Northwestern Europe during the Pliocine epoch

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #557 – READALONG: Anne Of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #557 – Jesse, Maissa Bessada, Evan Lampe, and Julie Davis talk about Anne Of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery

Talked about on today’s show:
1908, sequels, 500 short stories, The House Party At Smoky Island, Weird Tales, Canada, the show is always being made, a running joke, the only thing we know how to produce, Little House On The Prairie, so much drama!, every time she learns to do something…, relatively violence free, emotional scarred, deep consequences, carrot, all this baggage, just that carpet bag, her imagination, her red hair, horrible manners, how’d you like…, Anne’s temper, a similar setup, Marilla tells her own stories, she’s nothing otherwise, the new Netflix adaptation, Anne With An E, CBC, within 5 minutes…, PTSD, Anne being beaten by the previous family, you could read it that way, the take in 2019, each reiteration brings something different (something present within the society too it), in the next generation she’ll be a mentally ill child, her character vs her upbringing, Julie was being too modern, cruel self-revelation, 1935, along with Clark Ashton Smith and Seabury Quinn, a quaint little ghost story, riding on her coattails, famous in her lifetime, Charles Dickens level famous, documentaries, tourists to Prince Edward Island, made beautiful, the romance of Anne, her describing and renaming, the reason the Japanese want to go there, the Germans want to come to British Columbia and Alberta for the mountains, still a legacy of tourists from 100 years ago, the level of impact, how can Jesse ignore it?, there’s no SF in this but there’s plenty of F, The Blue Castle, my chest is hurting, heart problems, you can tell it was written by the same person, take that everybody, banned for featuring an unwed mother, undressing religious hypocrisy, sold out in Poland, countries grabbing on, unusual circumstances, flouting all the conventions, being taught to live within the conventions, worth a read, Muskoka, why is this such a popular book, it’s charming, why has it lived so long?, a first girl power book, Katniss’ predecessor, the ridgepole, outside of her time for what a girl might or could do, a girl book, Jesse’s cousin, seeing oneself in the book, what is it that happens in the story, we are introduced to the place, she’s from Nova Scotia, suff to look at -> all dialogue, Anne talking continuously, vs. Olaf Stapledon, is she a pioneer, or the opposite of a pioneer, what we’re seeing in Anne is L.M. Montgomery, the main character is a writer and an imagine-er, you don’t have to have red hair to like Anne, celebrating imagination and the plucky spirit, A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett, she’s counter revolutionary, she’s entering an institutionalized world, not the frontier epoch, a sadder story, educate the imagination out, oh my god, is this for real, “imagin” continuous until the last few chapters, 177 times, she is creating the entire description of reality, the cherry tree, wouldn’t it be romantic to sleep in the cherry tree, Matthew has even less imagination than Marilla, we are the viewpoint characters, unrestricted and uncontrolled, all within the context of NOT rebelling, she’s the opposite of a rebel or a revolutionary or a pioneer, the book is pioneering, she grows up to be the school teacher, she grows up to be a church goer, she could have, she aint for women’s liberation, a girl ought to take the religion of her mother and the politics of her father, she hasn’t gotten in to trouble for so long, she might become the school teacher who inspired them, clearly she’s going to marry Gilbert someday, in family, community, and friends, in getting older, imagination of a child vs. institutionalization, the moment Evan felt saddest is when Anne stopped doing the story club, the testing is more important, Evan teaches in China, whatever imagination they’ve ever had the institution has beat out of them, collectively we’ve lost a lot, Evan gets all the conformists, Jesse gets all the rejects, the Canadian school system vs. the Chinese school system, Chinese kids taking Mandarin in Canadian schools, that’s what happens to everybody, robotics with LEGO, LEGO Logo for Apple IIe, there’s something changed within me, insanely imaginative, the more rigorous you are in having to meet expectation, recite and regurgitate and pass the test, giving up and muddling through, the opposite of the frontier, the Philip K. Dick stories, new grounds to start a new life in, he goes into the space and he goes into the future, how many natives are mentioned in this story?, zero, rural farming, a setting for this girl and the imagination, she really was that girl in every sense, whoever wrote the Wikipedia entry, later writings and love life, Montogmery wrote extensively about her infatuations, per-obsessing, this is a girl thing, now that you’ve stepped on my trap i’m going to spring it, Conan the Barbarian is the male equivalent of Anne Of Green Gables, the poetry of Robert E. Howard is incredibly beautiful, The Faithful by Lester del Rey, dogs don’t have thumbs, the new children of men, story idea vs. terrible writing, Hungor Beowulf The Forty-First, a monkey named Ptolemy, this ambiguous and strange character, trying to write stories for Conan, a new Anne Of Green Gables cover with Anne with blonde hair, in the 1970s they gave Conan had a mustache and people were not having it, in July of 2019 they used the word “ass” twice, a word Howard would never have used, mighty thews, Conan is “The Cimmerian”, we never meet another Cimmerian, a stranger from outside dropped into plots, he’s the variable man, he’s thing that makes the thing happen as it does, Anne is conforming to the society, Conan comes into a society and fucks it up, how many times did people say this girl is special, Jesse is comparing the wrong things, she’s Tom Sawyer but she’s not Huck Finn, Tom’s going to end up a lawyer, for boys the going out and adventuring things and breaking things and being badass, Anne’s always doing it within that community, Anne doesn’t sail off into the western sunset, The Storytelling Animal, story is what defines us as human beings, we think in stories, the teacher was determined that there were no gender differences, and its not universal, not every girl is an Anne, she wanted to divorce and be a good life, interestingly documented, I can’t believe I’m married to this doofus who wont read books, depressed for different reasons, the Rape of Belgium, the images put into her head, go to fight the evil that is the Germans, the meat-grinder that is WWI, he’s not reading the newspaper, she raises the Russian flag over the house, she’s blind to the fact that this is propaganda, her imagination, tempering down her imagination, a restriction, Marilla’s so soft, when she loses the broach, showing Marilla’s internal conversation, here are the conventions, how do I deal with this, we thought Rachel Lynd was a monster (at first), a woman who’s a bit mouthy (but a good person), helping change the people around her, this is how we live, this is not a fantasy novel its about a girl with a fantastic imagination, Pippi Longstocking, help Diana cultivate her imagination, Marilla and Matthew have their imagination expanded, maybe we could keep her, rein it in or let it go, the haunted wood quote:

“Nobody,” confessed Anne. “Diana and I just imagined the wood was haunted. All the places around here are so–so–commonplace. We just got this up for our own amusement. We began it in April. A haunted wood is so very romantic, Marilla. We chose the spruce grove because it’s so gloomy. Oh, we have imagined the most harrowing things. There’s a white lady walks along the brook just about this time of the night and wrings her hands and utters wailing cries. She appears when there is to be a death in the family. And the ghost of a little murdered child haunts the corner up by Idlewild; it creeps up behind you and lays its cold fingers on your hand–so. Oh, Marilla, it gives me a shudder to think of it. And there’s a headless man stalks up and down the path and skeletons glower at you between the boughs. Oh, Marilla, I wouldn’t go through the Haunted Wood after dark now for anything. I’d be sure that white things would reach out from behind the trees and grab me.”

“Did ever anyone hear the like!” ejaculated Marilla, who had listened in dumb amazement. “Anne Shirley, do you mean to tell me you believe all that wicked nonsense of your own imagination?”

“Not believe exactly,” faltered Anne. “At least, I don’t believe it in daylight. But after dark, Marilla, it’s different. That is when ghosts walk.”

Stephen King, It, the reason kids are attracted to this monster is because they have imagination, if Stephen King was your dad, adults are afraid of the mortgage and kids are afraid of the vampire and the werewolf, Locke & Key by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez, in this house there are many keys, the Head Key, a key of imagination a key of memory, the explanation, a gothic house with many gables, expanding battery issues, only the kids can see that the keys are there, as soon as you age out you forget that all these events happened, Welcome To Lovecraft, Joe Hill gets what his father was trying to say, getting to the imagination, we don’t know why Conan left Cimmeria, huge mistake, just wrong, you’ve misunderstood, she cuts off all her hair and she buys a blond wig, she romanticizes her hair, deeply in touch with the desires and interests with girls, dresses and sleeves didn’t and don’t interest Maissa, it has more than just typical person, she’s an absolute character, what happened to Marilla, they’re brother and sister?, why didn’t they have any children, they’re barren, siblings?!, it wouldn’t change very much, why are this brother and sister living together alone, set in the 1870s, settled in the 1840?, Montgomery was raised in P.E.I. by her grandparents, she came from away, there isn’t a lot of sexy time with Matthew and Marilla, courting never came to Matthew, Marilla did what Anne did: spurn a boy and never forgive him, great characters, Diana’s there and we get some sense of her, the boy living in Anne’s house gets almost no attention, why is the boy not important, they must have an outhouse (because its not romantic), there are just some things we don’t talk about, choosing what to focus on, the pies that tasted bad, the pigtails incident, the dresses with the poofy shoulders, all sorts of stuff happening that she doesn’t focus on, finding the way for how Anne ended up there, the blame is so diffused, the right age, the book takes place over about five years, it feels right, a perfect novel, there’s not a note off, read all the Dragonlance novels, all the Green Knowe novels, all the Nancy Drews, all the Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew is like Anne Shirley, she goes to somebody’s house and makes sandwiches, investigate, her dad gave her a car, very conformy, her friend George, more like ambrosia, Jesse’s grandmother, Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, Pilgrim’s Progress, Heather at CraftLit podcast, what do you do for your family or her community, the storytelling element, the prayer, yours truly, Anne Shirley, we feel the rightness of that, experience nature as “the flash” while walking in nature, her own innate religion, the fairies, the dryad bubble, she doesn’t know what a dryad is, a natural spirit searcher, Psalm 19, the heavens are telling the glory of God, without saying a word they cry out who made them, the various ways you can experience this, she’s a churchgoing woman but she gets a lot of headaches, she has the opposite of PTSD, if trends continue, Cordelia Montmorency, Anne of Shirley is her deadname, she HAS beautiful auburn locks, so many freckles, don’t remind me of what I actually have, “hey! you’re bald!”, please call me Cordelia, you don’t get any guff if you’re a Steve or a Gary, I’m making myself over, there is a restraint on the kind of fantasy that’s available to you, she makes a huge mistake without having any kind of check on it, she has children because that’s what girls do, her imagination gives her ideas about what is or what could be, the original Lucy was a crazy girl with this vivid imagination, being who she was, maybe Marilla is a much wiser person, she should be so thankful, when I have a child I’m naming her Genevieve, I’m naming my son Solomon Kane, Julianne, that’s low class, Maissa changed her name, do something about this, Maissa went through school as Lisa, Jagmeet Singh’s book, his parents were immigrants from the Punjab (India), Jimmy, the sense you should conform, making interest out of whatever it is that’s different, Anne is proactive, Anne doesn’t take guff, she’s defensive, she has trauma in her past, there’s no formal adoption, go to the orphanage and get a slave, the literal orphan was L.M. Montgomery, she’s an outsider and also not, red headed not even stepchild, a very strange kind of family, she’s a commodity at first, girls raised to taking care of children, there’s still no consent involved, under that same system, we’re going to keep you, fear of abandonment, is Little Orphan Annie a satire, Daddy Warbucks, an Evan comic strip, inspired by the formula Ann orphan stories, Ann is a plain name, raven haired locks, confident and capable when outside of the school room, I misjudged you, the different psychologies of men and women and dolls and spaceships, dolls and spaceships, lets play houses, lets play, boys like to chase girls and girls like to be chased, gothic romance covers, a house or a castle with a high window with, women with great hair running away from castles, this legacy, women leaving the home and becoming another family, baked into culture and genes, tapping into something, one of the things they take at school is physical culture, tied with eugenics, the revival of the Olympics, a movement afoot, there’s this legacy, culture response to what came before, corsets, if there’s no other reason to read it it is a cultural artifact, preserves and apple blossoms and influenza, not a realistic orphan, unwanted babies, her orphaning is dignified, the romance of this story, a Dickensian story, the two previous families, being raised by hand, why Anne would have been so grateful, there’s something about this [that’s] The Wizard Of Oz, best of all was coming home, there’s no place like home, the teacher laughs at all the wrong times,

“I wrote it last Monday evening. It’s called ‘The Jealous Rival; or In Death Not Divided.’ I read it to Marilla and she said it was stuff and nonsense. Then I read it to Matthew and he said it was fine. That is the kind of critic I like. It’s a sad, sweet story. I just cried like a child while I was writing it. It’s about two beautiful maidens called Cordelia Montmorency and Geraldine Seymour who lived in the same village and were devotedly attached to each other. Cordelia was a regal brunette with a coronet of midnight hair and duskly flashing eyes. Geraldine was a queenly blonde with hair like spun gold and velvety purple eyes.”
“I never saw anybody with purple eyes,” said Diana dubiously.
“Neither did I. I just imagined them. I wanted something out of the common. Geraldine had an alabaster brow too. I’ve found out what an alabaster brow is. That is one of the advantages of being thirteen. You know so much more than you did when you were only twelve.”

I’m keeping my thoughts for myself now, the biography of H.P. Lovecraft show, he had a detective agency and a fort, letting you imagination lie fallow for a while, she won the award, you can’t only do one thing, not just the writing, my fallow time, Upheaval: Turning Points for Nations In Crisis by Jared Diamond, parallels between nations and individuals, let your brain figure it out, worrying, should you worry over it, you just fixed your own doorhandle, you’ve got through this crisis before, are there any better parents than Marilla and Matthew?, her job is to raise her and his job is to appreciate her, chocolate sweeties, parsimonious, when Anne’s learning to bake, that penny pinchingness, there was three dresses, there are legitimate economic concerns that are baked into this story, taking on a girl is an extravagance, if this was a pure fantasy, girl power!, why has she got that sword?, crossbows are simple, its all a certain kind of unreal fantasy, they did live there and there was this, going to New Zealand to see Middle Earth, they needed to rebuild it, the uncle pulled down the house because too many visitors were coming to see it, the C.L. Moore Jirel of Jory stories, The Black God’s Kiss, she uses a kiss to kill him, a lady’s weapon, Henry Kuttner, Uprooted by Naomi Novik, Napoleonic war with Dragons, Charles Ardai, the dragon demands a virgin, Mark Twain’s friendship with Dorothy Quick, Agatha Christie, there’s a whole other world of writing that has nothing to do with J.R.R. Tolkien and Douglas Adams, a daddy-daughter relationship, he’s a sympathetic character, the dad is the doting father and the mom is the strict one, a huge commitment, aloof mom, that’s a different book, do you think Anne is the idealized Lucy?, she really had no where to go, isn’t Huckleberry Finn a fantasy novel?, the novel is great, it’s just not revolutionary, is it a fantasy novel?, there’s a limit to its “girl power” aspect, the opposite of a radical novel, she was the standout character in the town, he’s got to have his own story in real life, where are his parents?, go to the Yukon and find gold, he IS Jack London for all we know, a good book.

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #525 – READALONG: The Variable Man by Philip K. Dick

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #525 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, Marissa Vu, and Evan Lampe talk about The Variable Man by Philip K. Dick.

Talked about on today’s show:
a novella from Space Science Fiction, September 1963, illustrations, going deep into Philip K. Dick, wanting to like it, recapping Evan’s thematics, big data, blinkered, as art, so many important elements, starting where he ended up, shifting realities, what is human?, the frontier, labour and the meaning of labour, interesting authoritarian dystopias, anti-Orwellian, Solar Lottery, The Man Who Japed, direct democracy, optimism, they have the whole universe open to them, the narrowmindedness of Cold War thinking, the first tinkerer hero, an average putterer, preternatural in fixing or degraded skills?, preposterousness, the generalist vs. the technocrat, academia limits you, narrow corridors of specialization, I know more than you and there’s no way you can reach, getting ahead of Paul, write a sonnet, build a wall, solve equations, pitch manure, specialization is for insects, esoteric order, intellectuals vs. academics, feted, he’s great!, how Philip K. Dick doesn’t fit into his own environment, what is this all about?, what’s happened, his car breaks down, “I’ll have a look”, how can we possibly move to a new place, “My god! This is amazing!”, The Golden Man, completely like a chickenhead, functionaries, coffee and boobs and that’s it, the proto-tinkerer, Time Pawn or Doctor Futurity, time travel, saying something about the interaction with specialization, the “genius bar”, “geniuses” being slightly more than minimum wage, Jesse ruined the show, Robert McNamara, The Fog Of War (2003), a numbers game, true to life, not guiding the policy, Colossus: The Forbin Project (1970), letting the spreadsheets dictate, the tyranny of the computer, hydraulic empires, China, the nature of the infrastructure, Arnold J. Toynbee, Dune, one small intrusion, no variables allowed, A World Out Of Time by Larry Niven, Stability, Meddler, Paycheck, competence porn, House Of Cards, Sherlock Holmes, almost any John Scalzi protagonist, Breaking Bad, he’s doing science!, so awesome to see it, oh my god we’re going to do some science, helium has these properties!, black boxy, the kid’s vidsender, a genetic freak, he is the hydraulic empire, The Marching Morons by C.M. Kornbluth, Little Black Bag, such a competent bag, competence satire, The Machine Stops by E.M. Forster, is a vizsender facetime?, this is public domain, the visuals, lemmee fix that, a real robot now, fantasy real objects, stories with games, War Game, trying to invade the Earth using board games, sitting down to play, Monopoly is a capitalism simulator, the purpose of Monopoly, toys and game and hyper-competence, fixing things for coffee and donuts, no vivid mental life, the Pole, Soviet scientist, Sergei Korolev, expansion, why do we never see the Centaurans?, Traveler, a decaying empire, The World Jones Made, imperial ambition, Oregon trail, the noser or the jitney, a used car lot, Mimsy Were The Borogoves by Henry Kuttner and C.L. Moore, a mirroring, a conversation, Waterspider, Astounding, 3-D movies every night, The Variable Man, the old time pre-cog who wrote it, The December 1962 IF, a meta-story, commenting on his own work, Orpheus With Clay Feet, We Can Build You, a reference to Nanny, pre-cogs are science fiction writers, how to build the future, welding skills?, soldering skills?, the ultra-competent handyman, shoe a horse and run a government, fantasy as the main element, Reading, Short And Deep, Strange Eden, slem ray vs. r-pistol, asshole braggart character, tame animals, there’s a lady, a retelling of the Circe episode, Jesse just lights up, getting those rocket ships off the ground, Beyond Lies The Wub, a pig with a ghost inside it (that wants to talk about philosophy), so weird and obsessive, The Gun, The Defenders, an elaborate bureaucracy, meetings, no love interest, it reads like a script, dropping bombs on a guy with a horse and cart, Mr. Spaceship, weapons of war, a dying scientist, a vehicle of exploration, The Defenders, a trans-humanist force, The Ship Who Sang by Anne McCaffrey, shell people, “you can be beautiful”, they have longings, Call Me Joe by Poul Anderson, the cripples, colonization, Dick’s first long fiction, how to put things together, novel structure, the coffee, the boobs, the trail of Philip K. Dick, the characters are lacking, irritable anxious weird dudes, I want my comedy, Evan thinks Galactic Pot-Healer is Dick’s novel (for a deep philosophy on work), the jokes, the silly stuff, you went there didn’t you, the compatibility test, spending the time, reading it is a pleasure, intellectual stuff, themes, no pleasure, elegance, beauty, Earth against the others, who is the aging empire here?, the British, the Nazis, vundervepons, invasion board, the big board, The Penultimate Truth, fake work, fake war, are they the Japanese?, Philip K. Dick’s childhood poems, Aunt Flo judging his work, weeks and weeks and weeks of newspapers, war war war war domestic domestic domestic, American tank giving Japanese tank a piggy-back ride, The Man In The High Castle, the role of war, the war of munitions, the war of industry, we can win WWII no problem, here’s a Japanese intern(ee) that was murdered, The Simulacrum, Reinhardt, Reinhard Heydrich, the Wannsee Conference, the calculation, spreadsheets were involved, Supernova In The East, anti-war in Japan, elan, The Crystal Crypt, a snowglobe story, the Black Clad Leiters, Nazis on Mars, childhood trauma, reflecting, what if me and my fellow writers are pre-cogs, nobody else uses pre-cogs, Null-A, a parody of the plots of The Pawns Of Null-A, Null-P, Think Like A Dinosaur by James Patrick Kelly, what if…, The Great C, work as therapy, art therapy, what’s your therapy?, occupational therapy, Dick being a bit of a pre-cog, find work you love, find pleasure in your work, fantasy, Taiwan, work should be enjoyable, work being meaningful, a euphemism, a way of tricking yourselves, kindergarten, lunch is coming and take your pills, universal basic income, getting paid in coffee and a sandwich, the lack of ability to fix things, openable phones, a plastic cover over the engine of modern cars, alienated from the ability to fix your own stuff, walking towards this Philip K. Dick future, the whole Amish thing, human scale technology, Murray Bookchin, anarchism, the light switch as consent, thinking through the technologies we choose, obsessed with tiny houses, being “off grid”, growing the fuel for the horses, compressed air technology, social ecology, the kind of guy they don’t talk about in school, Towards A Liberatory Technologies, post hole diggers, this would make a good movie, very visual, Molly Jojez has blue skin, they always adapt the wrong stories, a failed experiment, Idiocracy is The Marching Morons, Mark Twain, a reverse Connecticut Yankee, Flight Into Forever by Poul Anderson, the heroic past, Little, Big: Or, The Fairies’ Parliament by John Crowley, return of the king, The Skull, Paycheck, Captive Market, All You Zombies, For Us The Living: A Comedy Of Customs by Robert A. Heinlein, social credit, socreds, Alberta, ancient political ideas, neo-liberalism, an interesting thinker, mostly wrong about everything, The Number Of The Beast, time and space and universes, Barsoom and Oz, Sliders with sex, we need utopias, solar punk, green shoots away from this grim dark, post apocalyptic story, Netflix, lots and lots of science fiction and almost all post-apocalyptic, zombies, an anarchist take on a post apocalyptic story, Doctor Bloodmoney, dog eat dog vs. human eat horse, a thing for horsemeat, another thing for the rhetorizer, Horselover, why is he murdering the horses?, Confessions Of A Crap Artist, weird conspiracy theories, another meta observation, pseudo-science magazines, a Dianetics scene, a misfit, the competent man stuff, his answers are all wrong, interesting in their absence, there’s no explosion, not acceptable for a film, that’s not the problem he’s interested in, true wub!

Posted by Jesse Willis

Shambleau by C.L. Moore

SFFaudio Online Audio

Here is Jayem Wilcox’s illustration for C.L. Moore’s Shambleau as it appeared in Weird Tales, November 1933, its first publication:

Shambleau by C.L. Moore - illustration by Jayem Wilcox from Weird Tales, November 1933

Her first professional sale, selling for $100, it is also her most famous story.

The LibriVox version, read by Roberta J, runs just under 78 minutes |MP3|.

C.L. Moore recorded her own reading of Shambleau, available below in two parts, for a Caedmon record (TC 1667) published in 1980:

Frank Kelly Freas’ did the cover art for the Caedmon recording:

CAEDMON Shambleau by C.L. Moore - illustration by Frank Kelly Freas

And on the back of the LP was an abridged “Footnote To Shambleau” taken from a 1975 essay of the same name:

Footnote To Shambleau by C.L. Moore (abridged)

Posted by Jesse Willis

Maria Lectrix: Song In A Minor Key by C.L. Moore

SFFaudio Online Audio

From Maureen O’Brien of the Maria Lectrix podcast/blog comes…

“Northwest Smith is one of the great adventurers of Science Fiction, one of that group of cool, gray-eyed men who roam the spaceways and provide much of the inspiration for the legends that are a part of the folklore of space. Here is Northwest Smith, in a rare moment of peace…”

Song In A Minor Key by C.L. MooreSong In A Minor Key
By C.L. Moore; Read by Maureen O’Brien
1 |MP3| – Approx. 7 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Podcaster: Maria Lectrix
Podcast: July 26, 2009
The last of the Northwest Smith stories, and probably the shortest. First published in the February 1940 issue of the mimeographed fanzine Scienti-Snaps. Later reprinted in Fantastic Universe, January 1957.

[Thanks Maureen!]

Posted by Jesse Willis

BBC7 celebrates Robert A. Heinlein Centenary with audio fiction

Online Audio

BBC 7's The 7th DimensionIn honour of the 100th anniversary of Robert A. Heinlein’s birth, BBC7’s The Seventh Dimension is airing a special series of Heinlein stories. The first of which aired this last Saturday. First up was The Green Hills Of Earth, a Heinlein story he partially credited to a line from C. L. Moore and her story Shambleau (which also aired this year on BBC7). The Green Hills Of Earth is also one story with a distinction few others could possibly equal, it was quoted to listeners on the Moon – namely the crew of Apollo 15! Next Saturday the Heinlein Centenary celebration continues with Ordeal In Space. And, all this week, BBC7 is airing Methuselah’s Children. You can have a listen to The Green Hills Of Earth now, and for the next few days, via the Listen Again service. Same goes for the first episode of Methuselah’s Children. More details below..

The Cool Green Hills Of Earth by Robert A. HeinleinThe Green Hills Of Earth
By Robert A. Heinlein; Read by Adam Sims
1 Broadcast – Approx. 30 Minutes [UNABRIDGED?]
BROADCASTER: BBC7’s The 7th Dimension
BROADCAST: Saturday July 7th 2007
This is the poignant story of Rhysling, the blind space-going songwriter whose poetic skills rival Rudyard Kipling’s. This yarn is about a radiation-blinded spaceship engineer crisscrossing the solar system writing and singing some of the best lyrics in science fiction. In a fine display of writing skill, the spaceship and crew feel as real to the reader as a contemporary tramp steamer.

Science Fiction Methuselah's Children by Robert A. HeinleinMethuselah’s Children
By Robert A. Heinlein; Read by Paul Birchard
6 Parts, Six 30-Minute Broadcasts – Approx. 3 Hours [ABRIDGED]
BROADCASTER: BBC7’s The 7th Dimension
BROADCAST: Weekdays July 2007 to July 16th 2007
Robert A Heinlein’s sci-fi novel about a group of families who can live for several hundred years.

Jesse Willis