The SFFaudio Podcast #767 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: The Charwoman’s Shadow by Lord Dunsany

The SFFaudio Podcast

The SFFaudio Podcast #767 – The Charwoman’s Shadow by Lord Dunsany, read by Michelle Fry for LibriVox. This is a complete and unabridged reading of the book (7 hours, 40 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Trish E. Matson, and Scott Danielson

Talked about on today’s show:
rhymes with rainy, mainly falls on the plainy in Spainy, the main character’s name, a question, was he Catholic?, set in Spain, a man of all seasons, both sides of the Irish civil war, his heart is Irish, seated in Ireland, historically wealthy and famous, kinsmen of a Catholic saint, a crosier head, a staff with a hook at the top, buck you to hard, quite a bit of Dunsany, Reading, Short And Deep, mind would wander away, caught up in his curly-cues of ideas, a super simple plot, The Book Of Wonder Stories, Wizard demands somebody’s shadow for services rendered, Jorge Luis Borges story, writing at length later, 1926, January 2023, more as the years go by, other public domain already, better at length?, the exact same content, soak in with a short, beautiful writing, Jesse doesn’t care about plot, it’s a good book, Trish and Scott loved it, The King Of Elfland’s Daughter, Penguin Book edited by S.T. Joshi, he is quite good, excellent themes, where the plot went, Jesse had no clue, oblivious, she’s too old him, she’s of the wrong class for him, once he gets a look at her silhouette, Ramone Alonzo Matthew Mark Luke John, trying to help other people, being a knightly hero, spending time with the ladies, a very strong will, moved by pity, he doesn’t understand at first, misery, swears to help her, quixotic, the Spain setting, a Don Quixote character, young and doofusy, romances of other heroes, not a bad thing, choose your heroic quests carefully, Persuasion by Jane Austen, being part of this society, doing his duties, the Jane Austen structure, beyond this wood we set much by gold, beyond this wood lies error, evil magician, stories about genies giving us three wishes, focused on the wrong thing, the evil wizard that’s not so evil, A Good Story Is Hard To Find, Northanger Abbey, a fun writer, her own genre, true with Dunsany as well, so many gems of Dunsany in this, the opening, meta openings, the image of the man crossing the landscape, talking to his dad, not playing ball anymore, son, you gotta earn some money, the priests have told you that money is filthy, for good crops to grow they have to have something filthy in their roots, the guy who takes care of our horses, they get paid once a year, we live on rocky ground, the father is wise, the sister seems to be wise, everybody is wise except for our doofusy young man, he’s just young, it’s great to spend time at the knee of Lord Dunsany, the master before Ramon Alonzo shows up, elixir vitae, resounding stairs, whatever the rats might dare, golden key, a lock he turned only once every thirty years, little curtains the spiders had drawn across it, alone with the Moon, age worn steps of oak, free from its foibles, unyoked by its causes, fresh and keen, the nimble alertness of youth, a well wrought rapier coming to its first war, feeling the new generation, the newer ones, refreshing, rattling to the older generations, cast off the generation he’s in and become part of the new one, interesting concepts, love the language, so many pleasant digressions to follow along with, sending out the shadows, far beyond the outer planets, the Lovecraft element, the torment that that causes, her name was Anemone, the narrator, she’s the main character, her backstory drives a lot of what’s going on, we would have recognized you, the house with the lit window, the money is long gone, regretting letting her go, such a great backstory, he’s lifting a curse, he tricked her into giving up her shadow, her youth and beauty, Duckweed, revealing of the wizard, above, he’s not in it for her body, he’s in it for her shade, certain demons have no shape, Ariel and Caliban, servants or slave, to commune with Yuggoth, what the gossip is on Pluto, the genre of this, clearly a fantasy, magic for science, boring thing: transmutations of metals, Chapter 12, had you anonymized this book, it’s clearly obvious who wrote this,

Ramon Alonzo pondered bitterly: he had sold his shadow for gold, and now gold was not needed.

He had not yet learned the whole art of transmutation. Would the magician give back his shadow?

And Mirandola must have her love-potion, and the charwoman have her shadow out of the box. He had much to do if his plans were to come to fruition.

Back he went to the gloomy room that was sacred to magic. “I have no need of gold,” he said.

“It is a worthless metal,” replied the magician. “The philosophers sought it for the interest they took in re-arranging the element. But the stuff itself was nought to them. They buried it where I have said, and have often warned man of its worthlessness; in testimony whereof their writings remain to this day.”

“I would learn no more of it,” said Ramon Alonzo.

“No?” said the magician.

“I pray you therefore give back my shadow,” he said.

“But it is my fee,” said the magician.

“I would learn other things,” said the young man, “for other fees. But this fee I pray you return.”

“Alas,” said the magician, “you have learned much already.”

“Of this matter nothing,” said Ramon Alonzo.

“Alas, yes,” replied the magician. “For you have learned the oneness of matter, and that there is but one element. And this is a great secret to the vulgar, who believe there are four. And doubtless they will, in their error, discover even more than these four before ever they come to learn that there is but one, which you have learnt already, and this is my fee for it.” And he stooped and rapped the shadow-box somewhat sharply.

“You gave me a shadow to wear in its place,” said the young man.

“I will make you a longer one,” replied the magician.

Ramon Alonzo saw that words would not do it, and that whatever he said would be verbally parried with skill.

“Then give me a love-potion,” he said.

“I do not dispense these things,” said the magician haughtily.

“Then teach me how they are made, and not the making of gold.”

The magician pondered a moment. It was all one to him. He had his fee safe in the shadow-box. He despised equally gold and love, and cared not which he taught. Some etiquette he had learned from some older magician seemed to prompt him to give something for his fee.

“Gladly,” he answered briefly.

Then Ramon Alonzo sat down without a word, thinking of Mirandola.

He had never enquired the reason of anything that she asked for. It was Mirandola, with eyes like a stormy evening. Thoughts passed behind those eyes such as never visited him. Mirandola knew. It is hard to say how the flash of those eyes swayed him. He never sought to know, and never questioned Mirandola’s demands.

“By the admixture of crocodile’s tears with the slime of snails,” came the voice of the Master, “the basis of all love-potions is constructed. Unto this is to be added a powder, obtained by pounding the burned plumage of nightingales. Flavour with attar of roses. Add a pinch of the dust of a man that has been a king, and of a woman that has been fair two pinches, and mix with common dew. Do this by light only of glow-worms and saying suitable spells.”

Ramon Alonzo, following the gestures that the Master made as he spoke, saw on the shelves the ingredients that he mentioned. He saw a jar holding attar of roses beside one named “Dust of Helen.” He saw two jars side by side called “Dust of Pharaoh” and “Dust of Ozymandias,” one of them probably Rameses. He saw a vial labelled “Crocodile’s Tears.” All that he needed seemed there; outside in the wood the glow-worms burned, and there were plenty of snails.

The lesson went on drearily, the magician intoning various spells that the young man learned by heart or believed he learned, and naming alternative ingredients that had of old been used in more torrid lands. Of the ingredients Ramon Alonzo was so sure that no mistake was possible; if ever he erred at all it was with the spells.

guided by the plot, really good movie or an episode of a show, Sorcerer’s Apprentice, The Rejected Sorcerer (aka El Brujo Postergado Borges) story, a trail of flowered footsteps, finally a reason for CGI (removing a shadow), the uncanny, Michelle Fry from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, hints of irony,

Delightfully imaginative, somewhat similar to Dunsany’s blockbuster fantasy novel, The King Of Elfland’s Daughter (and published just two years after it), this equally entertaining, verbally voluptuous tale brings us in touch with the heraldry, artistry, and superstitions of the bygone Golden Age of Spain; with the magical arts of ancient times– alchemy, wizardry, potions, forest creatures that go bump in the night, quests for esoteric knowledge, use of the Philosopher’s Stone, and the Catholic church’s war against the ‘Black Art”. Above all, Dunsany explores the many mysterious properties of shadows, and warns what havoc might befall you if you lose yours. Published in 1926.

ruminating on the word “shadow”, an exotic location, the rolling out of the panisci and the change of age, he went therein and the golden age was over, the best age ever?, silver age comics, a place he can set his stories, the wizard is doing philosophy, Raistlin from the Dragonlance books, much more playful, a curious music, the scurry of little things, all manner of magical things, all the children of Pan, landscape talk, the sale of pasturelands, the rocky terrain, why people go through forests, a fictional spain, Averoigne of Clark Ashton Smith, they lost their minds as should we, the girls ran screaming from him, in myth and stuff, Dracula, in myth, a spirit or a ghost, that doesn’t cast a shadow, demons didn’t cast shadows, shadow means soul, a shade, fits him with a shadow, a very sharp knife, our shadows grow and contract, the science element, the regular people are smart, a close reading of Lovecraft stories, the regular people are always right, communing with devils, all the rumors are true, what magic is, communicate with things on other planets, like a lich I live forever, because she’s had her shadow removed she’s not aging, Tithonus, The Picture Of Dorian Gray, a happy romantic ending, the shadow cast the body, flips what reality is, the shadow would take the shape of the body, very Catholic, working these idea minds, everybody in this book is clever, working information, Scott would love this book, so used to hearing confessions, set in Spain, we don’t have wizards in Ireland, wizards in Wales, the tone would have been different, exotic Spain, Don Rodriguez: Chronicles of Shadow Valley, 1922, 1926, no excuses not to do it now, LibriVox, Ballantine Adult Fantasy, The Blue Star by Fletcher Pratt, the Lin Carter introductions, not the world’s greatest writer, has good taste, an enthusiast, bringing attention, we can trust everything he suggests, publication order, The Wood Beyond The World by William Morris, 1894, an artist writing a book, the wallpaper guy, Scott is 55, hard science fiction, matured into fantasy, hard science fiction is simple and fun, here’s a big dumb object, what do you think about that?, Spin, they’re hard to make and hard to make good, Childhood’s End, go onto Netflix and type in science fiction, set in the future, heist in a science fiction background, the real what if kinda stuff, Westerns, watched all the submarine movies, these are old books that have stood the test of time, Shakespeare’s Planet, Invitation To The Game, how short it was, it says VR on the tin, there are still good books to be found, looking up a famous author that writes something you’re interested in, Dunsany wrote a ton, lesser works, In A Dim Room, nailed this concept, tricked me, what a gifted writer, knowing how to not overstay your welcome in sentences, the digressions are handled, speaking true things in those asides, there’s no lies in here, this is the way the world is, this is the way people are, descriptions of things, descriptions of rooms, the spiderwebs, she doesn’t clean the spiderwebs on the curtains, going back to his spidery bedroom, dust, dust as a theme, shadow is all over this book, a constant word, implying age, a magical component, dust can obscure, the one element, the essence of beautiful woman, simple dew, both water, master of many other things, the master of language, sit there spellbound,

“Never again,” she said, “never again. It lay over the fields once; it used to make the grass such a tender green. It never dimmed the buttercups. It did no harm to anything. Butterflies may have been scared of it, and once a dragon-fly, but it did them never a harm. I’ve known it protect anemones awhile from the heat of the noonday sun, which had otherwise withered them sooner. In the early morning it would stretch away beyond our garden right out to the wild; poor innocent shadow that loved the grey dew. And in the evening it would grow bold and strong and run right down the slopes of hills, where I walked singing, and would come to the edges of bosky tangled places, till a little more and its head would have been out of sight: I’ve known the fairies then dance out from their sheltered arbours in the deeps of briar and thorn and play with its curls. And, for all its rovings and lurkings and love of mystery, it never left me, of its own accord never. It was I that forsook it, poor shadow, poor shadow that followed me home.

fakes, I need a gimmick, how do I make this simpler, what are some basic things people can relate to, look at your shadow, kids goes to sleep, literally doing magic, her curls are being played with fairies, congratulated themselves and felt the need to never write again, thoughtful digression, so readable, as simple a story you can get, that twist, why isn’t he worried about his own shadow, doesn’t even have a name, it fits, the question, leaving the scene and coming back, we grow into understanding what this book was about, her shadow was right in the title, rummaging in the shadow box, I know who that is, we’re slightly smarter than Ramon Alonzo, the love potion, her suitor, the brother doesn’t doesn’t need the money, the potion goes awry, tolerance engendered, nurses him back to health, the switcheroo, expecting the reader to be wiser than Ramon Alonzo, not a children’s book, Farmer In The Sky or Charwoman’s Shadow, mature enough, a love potion for his sister and some gold for his dad, too mature in a large sense, the subjects, to sophisticated in its simplicity, what makes The Hobbit or The Lord Of The Rings fun, dragons, gold!, all the sodas, all the comic books, have you noticed how rocky our fields are, your sister isn’t going to dowry herself, stories of childhood, we were all once children, that incredible playfulness, so reminding of childhood, adults enjoy reading books written for the YA market, T. Kingfisher, Ursula Vernon’s A Wizard’s Guide To Defensive Baking, Loadstar Award, reading it to children, a book written for children that adults can appreciate, a Jane Austen knockoff, Jane Austen with Cinderella, hitting all those fun beats, an unconsciousness, the author is unwilling to confront this?, yes, keep your class, modern colloquial attitudes, that’s kinda weird, the answer is no, aiming for the feeling of those things that I like, comedic elements, horrific elements, declaring war against wizards, a class that gets blamed in the siege in this city, using discrimination against others, the presumed ideal audience has the characters slightly older than you, children’s YA, too good a writer, the disposable forgettable, material that we burn through early on, pick any year that you were alive as a person, movies that would be important later on, its iconicness, name it and the associations come up, I’m smarter than I was, noticing the author, John Carpenter’s whatever it is, adults in touch with their youthfulness, boring for kids, too digressive, indulgent, a suitable student, a stage he goes through, technically an evil wizard, rocket fuel is needed, when you take your dog to the vet, how he acts, just doin what wizards do, TV Tropes, affable evil, so focused on tropes, totally fun, every scene is full of tropes, it was all a dream, Shakespeare, 17 book titles, from other character’s POV, the priest’s POV, the dog’s POV, A Night In The Lonesome October by Roger Zelazny, Smoke And Shadows by Tanya Huff, a shadow lord, possess people and do other things, The Silmarillion, how Sauron is a character, the ringwraiths are only shadows, without their clothes and horses they don’t exist, back to be reclothed, written for children, overlays a shadow, the shadow of an actual dragon passing over the water, some dwarfs want their money vs. make things right, the gold that glitters on the ring, the same idea mines, working real pure material, I want heists!, gay pirates on a heist!, Ronin (1998), international criminals chasing a suitcase, a McGuffin, these are great action sequences, these car chases are terrific, an opening sequence, a series of tropes, real attention, power corrupts people, we do need some money, son, fun stuff, why I think we like him, wizards don’t exist!, dealing with real themes, he does so much with a tiny idea, holding on to with stories like this, storytelling, since the beginning, something mythic and deep that really appeals, foundational, David Mamet, French action movies, Sean Bean, spies betraying each other, running around not knowing what you’re running around for, an action movie saying fundamentally we don’t know what we’re doing on this planet, being lied to by ourselves and by our governments, con-men movies, people lying to themselves movies, Homicide (1991), who killed somebody, a mistake early on, pulls the rug out from under, go back to basics, in a way that Shakespeare does, the big prop in Othello is a handkerchief, it all hangs on a handkerchief, swordfights, good storytelling, Wikipedia stuff, Arthur C. Clarke & Lord Dunsany: A Correspondence, Olaf Stapledon, at their best at short stories, $165, 83 pages, Anamnesis press, so many cool books, Persuasion by Jane Austen, Julie Davis, 6 books, Mary Shelley has other books, a legacy that big, 6 books that were all great, modern Stephen King, Westlake wrote 60-70 books, a writer’s writer vs. a regular writer, low output, Ted Chiang, long may he live, he needs a good 75 years or so, whatever pace he wants, how can I help make sure he stays alive, would that help, send some vitamins, here’s a helmet, Extrapolation, inter-library loan, fanzine packaging, two dude contemporaneous for a period, both in issues of F&SF, a really long life, 1878-1957, Lovecraft was very short, a farther distant past, all of WWII, the Boer War, Dunsany was in the 2nd Boer War, Robert E. Howard died at 30, 4 or 5 feet, Robert E. Howard is at least double that, started later and had a way bigger output, commercial purposes, much rather be writing letters, I have a demon inside me and that demon must be served, you gotta kill yourself, an astounding number of Robert E. Howard stories, keep turning up new Robert E. Howard stories, his output was such, places he sold, trunks full of unsold stories, unfinished, finished by other people, Austen died at 41, unfinished novel, Emily Dickinson, Tor.com, Tales From The White Heart, Draco Tavern, The Black Widowers, Jorkens (Lord Dunsany), club stories, and Jorkens said, In A Dim Room, thrilling tales, I cannot be held responsible, a thrilling story of India, running away from a tiger, that would change the game, he can smell the tiger, the floor of the cave is very smooth, many paws for many years, you are talking to a ghost, he had me, he tricked me, he’s a good tricker, fables from the Fountain, homage, an anthology of British writers, The 9 Billion And First Name Of God, everybody loves those guys, Foundations Friends, The Originist by Orson Scott Card, loved and enjoyed, Farnham’s Freehold, Heinlein rhymes with grime, father’s day Brunch, playing D&D lately, the whole family plays, the starter pack, Dragon of Icespire Peak, more adventures in book form, that’s cool, in Hades right now, an Edgar Allan Poe module, pretty swordless, there’s a troll, The Call Of Cthulhu starter set, online group, I died once, how hard it was to shoot somebody, it went horribly wrong for me, how immersive it is, how into it you can get, during college, nothing, conventions, GenCon every year, a zombie apocalypse, a female scientist, military people, Delta Green?, I cooked the food and had long ago run out of meat and was using zombies, so immersive, a notch better than even reading a story, grow up, get old, kids grow up, get old, now you have to enough people to form a party, sit back and relax, good job, thank you sir, have a great day.

The Charwoman's Shadow by Lord Dunsany

The Charwoman's Shadow - HERRING

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Reading, Short And Deep #411 – The Willow Landscape by Clark Ashton Smith

Reading, Short And Deep

Reading, Short And Deep #411

Eric S. Rabkin and Jesse Willis discuss The Willow Landscape by Clark Ashton Smith

Here’s a link to a PDF of the story.

The Willow Landscape was first published in Philippine Magazine, May 1931

Posted by Scott D. Danielson Become a Patron!

The SFFaudio Podcast #763 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: The City Of The Singing Flame by Clark Ashton Smith

The SFFaudio Podcast

The SFFaudio Podcast #763 – The City Of The Singing Flame by Clark Ashton Smith, read by Tommy Patrick Ryan. This is a complete and unabridged reading of the book (1 hours, 30 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Paul Weimer, Trish E. Matson, Connor Kaye, and Tommy Patrick Ryan

Talked about on today’s today’s show:
two these, Beyond The Singing Flame, it’s an onion, should Jesse have asked Tommy to record that too?, no novels, pretty famous guy for a guy with basically no novels, he’s 14 years old, bursting with ideas, reads like a D&D campaign set in the Arabian Nights, a flame like in She, the copyright status, Hippocampus Press, The Black Diamonds, he’s really hard too, his writing is very simple in this one, his vocabulary, give himself some feedback, supernal, an archaic word for supernatural, Eric S. Rabkin, a 3 sentence prose pastel, splenetic, iridescent, arabesque, nympholepsy, mien, rutilant, ill-tempered, the least difficult CAS story, sentence by sentence story, that might make a novel, becoming from high heaven, ethereal, rife with words, he’s masterful with the language, construction is good too, the shape of the plot is really excellent, a very interesting story, The Emperor Of Dreams documentary, accessible, why lots of writers like it, sidereal, lead astray, considering his vocabulary, lepidoperous, did you think of Logan’s Run?, swirling around, transcend and get reborn (or die), moth to a flame, exactly, multi dimensional higher dimensional transcendence, really into the body, really into material, obsessed with death and beauty, Lovecraft likes stars, immortality, architecture and burying the past, sexuality, reproduction through death, the beauty of those things, the siren call of the city, where’s it all going, he’s obsessed with thinking about it and telling about it, his structure is really good, sentence by sentence, he didn’t really do anything with it, the structure makes more appreciable, missing the last chapter, asking for the sequel, the narrator gets inserted into the story, no wrap up frame, disconcerting, he didn’t have an ending, kill the main characters, kind of Clark Ashton Smith but not really, this document is now found in a cylinder falling from the sky, I found this cylinder when taking a hike, Angarth more Smith, he’s the illustrator and the artist, his friend who’s also a weird fiction, never met in real life, the real life connections, EldritchDark, the best etext versions, Arkham House along with the sequel, published during his lifetime, July 1931, Wonder Stories, We had been friends for a decade or more, the journal, July 1st, 1938, July 31st, 1930, I’ve been gone for two years, set in the future, originally, Philip Hastane, there’s always a war in Europe, the reprint in Startling Stories, The Scientifiction Hall Of Fame, Harry Warner, Jr., of all the living writers of fantasy, A. Merritt, an alien planet, read around, the word that kept coming up, Carcosa, a bunch of layering on Carcosa, True Detective‘s first season, anything Yellow King related, Robert W. Chambers, Gene Wolfe’s vocab, The Wizard Knight, even deeper, circle back, cycle of stories, alien city on another world, not as sinister, more sirens, more sexy than horrific and compelling, this city is relatively safe place, Giles Angarth, he still brings his gun though, inner and outer narrator, sandwiches, coffee, and a gun, The Demoiselle DY’s, The Elf Trap, Ambrose Beirce, a friend of George Sterling, a continental famous kid, often on the front page, wunderkind child poet from California, newspapers were hungry, syndicated, The Vancouver Sun, every city paper had that story, a little bit like, A Wine Of Wizardry, Jack London, never met Ambrose Bierce, titans of American and international literature, An Inhabitant Of Carcosa, An Occurrence At Owl Creek Bridge, a death story, I don’t recognize this landscape, I have the illness, recognizing the landscape, it’s California, the animals, no birds, no insect, a lynx, transforming the landscape into a another world, literally a hike, the Lake Of Hali, Tathagoua, the Book of Eibon, Tsathoggua, are their lynx in Colorado, they go on the hike that inspires this story, central to that, a ski resort, a deep mountain tarn that’s never been sounded, seeing the landscape from the documentary, otherworldly, rock formations, been out on a hike, what if this was an alien world, walking makes your brain start going, Sedona, like an alien formation, episodes of Star Trek, where am I, substances Smith abused, the strongest drug, coffee, dream like drug trips, The Hashish Eater, Lord Dunsany, Confessions Of An English Opium Eater, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, an excuse to let imagination run wild, psychedelic ideas, your brain is manufacturing drugs for itself, H.P. Lovecraft is the opposite, Bobby Derie took cocaine for a prescription, HPL: coke head, it’s not for you, warned Clark Ashton Smith not to take it, wine, Atlantean wine, the wine state, schizophrenia, first and second guy bring the third guy, the structure, a brief summary of the book, British enough, does a really good Irish, third or fourth time, we keep going back, changed somehow, brings the cotton balls, suicide, gonna be great, after that event, the siren song has wooed him completely, he’s an artist not a wordsmith, what’s on the other side, a total utopia, only humans come back, the flame dimension, everything is in ruins, a temperance story, a big popular thin in the city, gin, Marvel movies, whatever drug, we gotta lock this down, depopulate us, kill yourself with a friend, a horrible destructive lure, what’s beyond this flame, death is beyond this flame, a transformation, an ascension, Downward To The Earth by Robert Silverberg, rebirth, everybody dies, choose to rebirth yourself, if your hand isn’t flashing red, on your birthday, you’re young and strong, swiping left, or right, nu you, is this a fantasy or is it a science fiction?, weird fiction, psychedelic fiction, very spiritual, technological or magical, a teleporter, an ancient doorway, more Coruscant, the thermos of coffee and set a little bit in the future, wormholes in place, a science fiction writer as a character, in a science fiction magazine, moer super-science than regular science, transdimensional, Algol, sangfroid, struck with awe, a spiritual transformation, we’re all one now, this feeling of singularity, moth people, purified or made unified, very-Lovecraft, Ex Oblivione, love being non-existent, H. Rider Haggard, these science fiction writers and illustrators are better people, earthly pleasures, Ebbonly, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, matching haircuts, stepping through the pillars and falling, falls a different way, using the scientific methods, pilgrimage, the earplugs, numbing agent, can you numb your ears?, super-meta, words couldn’t possibly describe it, here’s how sweet I am, here’s some really excellent prose about it, all the names, things to work into a story, Angarth, a small town in Scotland, is that his real name?, Clark Smith seems like a pretty boring name, working the vocab mine, Hastur, the tamarack, mid-California, the Sierras, Kim Stanley Robinson, Zenna Henderson’s The People, on the shore of some foreign planet, alienation, vertiginous, determine our personalities, shut-in, his dad traveled the whole world, back to the library, reads The Arabian Nights, this landscape, Crater Ridge, stones of monolithic size and shape, an unknown vegetation, luminescent amber, Anakim, spire on giant spire, stepped through the looking glass into a fantasy world, this alien city with a yellow mist, best be done animated, much more illustrated than live action, Anakim are giant humanoids, basically giants, gargantuan, that’s a normal world, Darth Vader, where they steal all their names from, he just read the Bible, the people of the city, giant stone people, they do not have ears, a Las Vegas, popsicles and silver suits and haircuts, many roads to this city, alien creatures, their corridors, other Earths, other planets, a plane of portals, The Black Company by Glen Cook, Las Vegas for suicide/transcendence, the sinning has got to be stopped, why it’s so interesting and demands a sequel, humans center themselves in their stories, we’re a sideline, spectators and not really important, the gun never gets used, siege weaponry, a tower with legs, like our good friend Sauron, suicide cult, why are they so certain there’s something bad through the flame, obviously you’re going to die, immolated, smoke, instantly consumed, near the end, mesmeric lure, succumbed to the desire, immolate himself, a giant lepidoptery being, so good, smart moths, compassionate moths, fellow travelers, rather sweet, deadly enslavement, he ran forward in a series of leaps both solemn and frenzied, sacerdotal, headlong into the flame, more dazzling greenness, benumbed brain centers, annul the perilous mesmerism, fled from the shrine, envying my companion’s fate, fiery dissolution, more people going in from coming out, this is very attractive, enjoying wine, not for me, ice cream, fomo, a hilarious short story [And All The Earth A Grave] by C.C. MaCapp, a computer slips a cog, two coffin garage, this face tattoo is very fashionable, emigration, people living the country, a moral upset, even maybe mention, telepathy, the incoming army, the foundation of the flame, Reno trying to steal Las Vegas’ business, the last pilgrims, the rulers of the outer lands, obeyed the lure of the singing fountain and vanished into the higher sphere, the story leans that way, you don’t know, one moth to the other moth, I used to be a caterpillar, many legends in the outer lands, guessed by only a few, the inner dimension is hated, a lethal and pernicious chimera, an opium paradise, a mecca for this?, suicide boothing, the build up the city, built up around it?, larger or more impressive than other buildings, like a beautiful waterfall for Paul, it’s too dangerous, we can’t have too many people being happy here, into a higher state of consciousness, a VR fountain, live in your basement a VR all day, hippies, spiritual higher stare of consciousness, the great resignation, there’s more to life, the religion vs. a cog in the machine, our viewpoint characters, lashed to the mast of the ship like Odysseus was, timeless concept, war on a peaceful nation, can they destroy it?, like a laser beam, a geyser, a geological force, the scoriac stuff, gotta read the sequel, when you read Conan, those were the days, jump onto a new ideal, Conan never revisits the same place, Poseidonis stories, 2 or other stories like that, that Averoigne series, why is this happening, the letters pages, is this really possible, we should ask, more by the same author, the nature of this world and the purpose of the flame, if Tommy wants to record it, professional grade, keep using that, The Black Abbot Of Puthuum, on my phone in a farm in Ecuador, a checklist, an excuse to read a story, read it at a level, getting to share that, accents, Irish to Scottish to British, theatre, Saturday Night Live, Alec Guinness and Obi Wan Kenobi with Yorkshire, all the British characters from Star Wars, a City Of The Singing Flame tattoo, explaining Clark Ashton Smith, Lovecraft is in the Marvel Universe, Clark Ashton Smith movies, a TV adaptation, he’s difficult, he’s high level, incredible vocab, the imagery the colours, chalcedony, they love their art, they’re art men, rectilinear architecture, the nod to Lovecraft, cyclopedia, a Lovecraft vocab database, why Jesse does the podcast, an appointment, J. Manfred Weichsel, William Jeffrey Rankin, it is up to individuals, denying the attraction of the flame, just another drug problem like heroin, gin, or marvel movies, your AI friends, my AI girlfriend likes the same AI movies I like, you learn stuff, what people think they want, just read Clark Ashton Smith, customized stuff, opt out, everybody’s an AI, too new of a book, the best science fiction books, AI generated, 23 books on the list, 1 book from 2016, some listicle website, integrated and got rid of duplicates, Arthur C. Clarke, Blake Crouch’s 2016 book, The Martian, best?, you’d do pretty well, full circle, The Sunken Land Rises Again by M. John Harrison, Viriconium, weird fiction, pretty damn weird, an assistant to a mad scientist, super dense and very prosey, light on plot, he’s on the long list, Light novels, an unsettling atmosphere, feels very very modern, Nova Swing, 19 hour collection of stories, Neil Gaiman, Jack Vance’s Green Magic, get magic, bitter and tragic, recursive worlds, not quite getting what you want, poignant and good, dying earth wizards, the Zothique series stories, William Hope Hodgson’s The Night Land, sad story, Subterranean Press, premium paper, Logan’s Run, Shakespeare’s Planet, Invitation To The Game, The Charwoman’s Shadow, Scratch One, Progeny by Philip K. Dick, getting back to Philip K. Dick, 53-57 stories, always exciting, these incredible authors, Le Guin once, Arthur C. Clarke, Elmore Leonard, nobody knows they’re public domain yet, all the weight of the world is on your shoulders, it’s exciting, or gals, its nice to be appreciated, there for somebody, its not just for the moment, its for the ages, share it with somebody 30 years from now, put it on a bookshelf, big box computer games, selling it for $86, an arc of nostalgia, 286sx, Future Shop, couldn’t afford a 28.8, $0.99, nostalgic for their youth, an old broken 286, feel the floppy going in, become valueless and then come back, the Harlan Ellison version, an L.A. based radio show, not for the ages, an enthusiastic and emotive, very very elderly, the narrator of the film, Harlan Ellison claimed to have read it 200 times, that’s how he learned to read aloud, narrated some Ben Bova, Run For The Stars, passionate, going to Hollywood and getting cynical, born into a world weary wisdom about reality, he went his own way, a passion project, a Hippocampus Press DVD, shill for publishers, passionate people, sharing the materials, solid contents, effort into their covers, the complete poems of Lovecraft, a really handy reference, S.T. Joshi finds some scrap of poem, The Hashish Eater poem, delectable, makes reading delicious, so rich, the lightest and most accessible, 101 Clark Ashton Smith, high level, for bibliophiles, all this prose, a lot of sugar, a slice of cake, small desserts, you have to like that, niche, if you don’t like honey you’re not going to like it, the richest Tommy has ever read, Ambrose Bierce, challenging the reader, why are you trying to make your prose…, making jokes, carving magnificent sculptures out of mountainsides, he really does have something, why Lovecraft was his biggest fan, Robert E. Howard was a great poet, translations of Charles Baudelaire, Poe and Dunsany, Baudelaire and Poe, taproot, undeniable, the first Sherlock Holmes short story, A Scandal In Bohemia, The Purloined Letter, Conan Doyle is the accessible and dumb version of Poe, this hidden photograph, I will have her show me, we love Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson and London and Irene Adler, we don’t love Dupin, the contents of the letter are sick evil and twisted, the photograph is of the king of Bohemia, I’m doing a tribute to Poe and nobody knows, Harry Potter vs. Tolkien, J.K. Rowling, super entertaining, no Harry Potter tattoos, Harry Potter is breezy, Tolkien is fun but not breezy, an afternoon’s entertainment, Clark Ashton Smith: guaranteed enjoyment, intellectually interesting, attentive, tickles a different part of the brain, high art, good art, most art is good, one of his best plots, well that happened, Lovecraft’s plots are much better, not much of a plotter, 700 pages to explore this concept is cool but nothing happened, Pacific Edge, guy tries to get girlfriend at baseball game, not playing the same game, just a weird guy, how popular he was, talked this one to death, Pirates Of Venus, A Meeting With Medusa, Sailing To Byzantium, Farnham’s Freehold, northern Minnesota, almost Canada, just about out May, The Thing On The Roof, No Man’s Land, pick in August, 2 years is fine but 5 years is too long, lost tribe of cave people, troggies, chuddies, surprise chuds, Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dwellers, lick and nip, Paul Sings The Classics, a singing voice for silent musicals, Nerds Of A Feather get together, Gather Yourselves Together by Philip K. Dick, from 1994, posting photos, Jesse misses Connor on twitter, usually eastern, an awful awful dream, discombobulated, very fun, that sentence sounds like he put a space in it, disjointed, a snip in the file, mouth noises, get closer to your mic, get a better mic, not all for the audience, caring a lot about art, Cat Killer by Donald E. Westlake, brutal an interesting sounding, Clive Barker, Jonathan is not a murder as far as I know, collecting human heads, Tales To Make You Vomit, not all horrific, that weird, you guys should be DMing each other, some sort of money arrangement, throwing around numbers, probably not even 4 hours, an hour and a half recording, relatively cold, ACX pays per finished hour, the going rate, $200 or $300 per finished hour, wordcounter.net, sell them not on audible.com, revenue sharing, Planet Of The Wage Slaves, diverse ideas and lots of nudity, amazing covers, their text over my art, Warrior Soul looks great, the lady’s hair in front of the title of the book, art direction vs. being an artist, coming up with interesting ideas, Five Maidens On A Pentagram, gothic horror sex-farce, Hasatan, sex-crazed demon, just sounds fun and pulpy, our reality, cycling through Smith/Howard/Dick, millions of great things, how to get this stuff out there, enough bundled together, anthologies based on themes, teaching the occasional yoga class.

Why The City Of The Singing Flame Is My Favorite by Harry Warner, Jr.

The City Of The Singing Flame by Clark Ashton Smith

The City Of The Singing Flame - editorial introduction

The City Of The Singing Flame art by Frank R. Paul

The City Of The Singing Flame by Clark Ashton Smith

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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 #761 – READALONG: Downward To The Earth by Robert Silverberg

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #761 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, Terence Blake, and Jonathan Manfred Weichsel talk about Downward To The Earth by Robert Silverberg

Talked about on today’s show:
downward dog, the sad story, a biblical quote, Nightwings, lots of short stories, 200 short stories?, sensing a pattern, The Book Of Skulls, Up The Line, Thorns, Dying Inside, similar tones, 1970, 1972, serialy in Galaxy, awesomely similar, Sundance, maybe having a mental breakdown, Tom Tworibbons, first nations native, setup the colonization, exterminating a possibly sentient pest, Colonel Kurtz, favourite writers, Lovecraft has Poe and Dunsany, Silverberg’s is Joseph Conrad, The Secret Sharer, Conrad is not really sciencefictional, rather elderly, a whole basement full, the comic book, its very French, one of the guys looks like Silverberg, aware of the adaptation, why did they make me that guy, Philippe Thirault and Laura Zuccheri, same bear same hair same face, messed around with the plot, so internal, such a novel novel, as opposed to Harry Potter, in his head, try to make a Dying Inside movie, cloud forests, getting into his racist head, voice over narration, look at the original Dune movie, that’s the book, the Villeneuve, why Jessica has to cry all the time, a superwoman who must cry in every scene, being upset all the time, more evil or less ready for their rebirth?, a different part of Gunderman, dialogs struggling with his internal self, the tour guy dude, Kurtz, externalize all of the that, cut them down and synthesize them into the basic idea, decide what each character represented, Avatar 2, a 3 hour movie, my unconscious is smarter than I am, a one hour on a similar theme, The Crunch, a tv movie by Nigel Kneale, most of the good stuff out of the UK is just Nigel Kneale, former island nation colony, takes place in realtime, natural resources, we’re all friends now aren’t we?, now pay us back what you stole from us, kinda like science fiction, resentment, African or North American or South American or island colonies, The Mouse That Roared (1959), drops you into it, similar to what we have in this book, the colonization of a planet, back for more, they thing that they wanted to get: unobtainium, a piss take, Cameron was a science fiction reader, moving off Earth, financing the whole trip, capitalists from Earth, makes you immortal, killing all these sentient whales, the relationships between the na’vi and the whales, the two alien species we have in this book, to see that pattern, interconnected, they literally link together, commune with each other, let’s do colonialism, let’s pull back from colonialism, Stephen Lang, he’s a Colonel Kurtz, twisted and evil, seeing the ending coming, foreshadowed from the beginning, quiet about things they shouldn’t be quiet about, meat-eater vs. omnivore, peaceful aliens, peaceful vs. pacifist, our main elephant we’re riding, him, permission from the human to kill the human, taking it as an order, whales are not allowed to fight, one of the whale characters, bad whale, excluded from the group, being violent to another sentient being, we warhawks here on earth, yeah getem!, power armour, a meditation on African colonialism, the Humanoids comic book company, I went to Kenya in 1968, I’d always liked Conrad, his mode at this time, he’s really into this stuff, Philip K. Dick drug-trippy, transcendence, interior life, immortality, relationships gone bad, Majipoor, a big series, strange dream and psychedelic stuff, wandering, getting into adventures, less interior, more Vancian, a new wave book?, painfully new wave, I like this book, what new wave proves, complaining about navel gazing, navel gazing is good, meditative, Sundance blew Jesse out of the water, alien baby factor, disturbing, they left that out, why?, amped up the sexuality and the nakedness, a French move, what scenes parallel what scenes, that snake pumping station, the three witches?, maybe, what they’re doing is horrible but we don’t know why, giving hallucinogens to horses, that’s the horror, cultural appropriation, species appropriation, terrible behavior, a native secret ceremony, how do these taboos develop, no photography, connected to the people, the taboo is there in part because we don’t have the physical transformation, a healing ceremony, an activity done by people who know what they’re doing it, solve some community problems, not scientifically proven, backlashes with the insects, everybody’s friends, some of the alien lifeforms are not you friends, eaten by some moss, you can commune with everything with your pony-tail, your horse, your sky-horse, your whale friend, cougar behind that tree, the bear will not meditate with you, the coyote will take your kid, the quasi-cultural appropriation, the tounge thing from Maori, the tree people bear their teeth and hiss, we’re all going on a spiritual journey, we can’t talk about it, respect our cultural practices, more Silverberg than Conrad, an initiation into the shadow side of things, Marlowe, sitting on a boat waiting for the tide to change, experiences in the Congo, a framed device, I went up the river, heard about this Kurtz guy, doing genocide, the slaughter of the elephants vs. the cutting off of hands, this book can’t exist without Conrad’s book, after colonialism, Kurtz is going back for forgiveness, it’s its own story, tourism as some element of every Silverberg, he’s writing what he knows, immortality but not in a way anyone would want, regrows limbs and heals damage, the rebirth ceremony, makes your sins go away or turns you into a puddle, on a symbolic level, the original X-Men movie, Magneto can turn people into mutants, forcibly mutantized, interior nature and interior sin, reflecting the inner life, none of the robots get to have a rebirth ceremony, patient AI, wall decoration, not a threat, the physical animals, fucking around the meaning in the comic, more Avatar earth mother, the planet is alive, the mother of souls tree, waking up the life of the planet, do the revolution, the plateau where transformation happens, a poor substitute for rebirth, go downward like beasts, gaining psychic powers, starchild in 2001, he becomes space Jesus, Paradise Lost by John Milton, the better the angel the more he can fall, Ecclesiastes, maybe animals and humans are or aren’t the same, if we’re special and they’re not, creatures without souls, munching the weeds, they are beasts, their leaden spirits go downward, sapient spirits go upward to the mists, the boom boom boom, he thought it was drums, they don’t have hands, a very pretty comic, huge hardcover, Paul should’ve loved that, not recognizing what a map, communicate with my dog, the frisbee section, the knowledge game, what a map means, not recognizing a picture, visual representation of an object, so many questions, what he’s doing in this books, spent some time, starts off the main character as a racist, that was me in the past, the other elephant guys are telling him, a new wave thing, engagement with the ideas, the sweat lodge, they need to, a cultural practice, we got to get your head on straight, a dance ceremony as medicine, dance therapy, bandages and drugs, a real solid engagement with non-western medicine, Badge Of Infamy is a medicine book, the baccy weed is gonna solve all our problems, the drug has actual effects, as used as a medicine, get Tolkien smoking pipes, changes your brain state, we’re not using it properly, the wafer on my tongue, transubstantiation, a dream state, I’m going to break into the rectory and get me some crackers and wine, special penance ceremony, kill things, pretty brutal, go down to earth temporarily, a healing ceremony to prep for transcendence, I am the emissary, I am the light of the world, love one another, he’s space Jesus, milking snakes, a funny phallic scenes, what stays in Vegas, masturbation contests, help all the other humans go through rebirth, galactic faith, an ecstatic state, this is that thing, impose the elephant people’s stuff on the humans, already in a state of grace, The Word For World Is Forest by UKL, Vietnam War, a pugnacious book, in the afterword of the colonization, a quiver full of kids, his blue children, an adopted white (human) kid, the sky people are back, Apocalypse Now (1979), the other way to go, after, goddamn those horrible fat cow people, maybe I’m not right, the same debates, relinquishment, 20 years in Afghanistan, they’ll just not let girls get educated, Eye Of The Monster by Andre Norton, playing a conservative author, a more nuanced view, a more liberal view, in science fiction in general, healing vs. drug abuse, fried up on drugs, A Scanner Darkly by Philip K. Dick, psilocybin, body horror, a liberation for our disabled main protagonist, a joy, a different attitude towards the concept, very palatable, wanna live in Avatar, a fantasy, living in a VR meta, his brain transfer, thinking you can be immortal, downloading your memories, that’s not how it works, Think Like A Dinosaur by James Patrick Kelly, way more engaged with a reality, puddle Kurtz, a thing on the wall feeding you black liquid, much more Alien (1979), only if they have to pee, people are alienated from their own bodies right now, they’re not comfortable in their own skin, the mind-body connection, ceremony connecting, body and mind and spirit, separate vs. connected, Silverberg vs. Cameron, where the horror is, the inside manifesting itself physically, a very solid book, grandmaster award, what is his standout work?, Heinlein, Philip K. Dick, short stories, little things that he’s done, a huge long career, is there any such thing for Silverberg, Born With The Dead, pretends his dead, why they don’t care anymore, sounds great, due to Audible and their evilness, brilliant, he can be amazing, Up The Line, Thorns, a picaresque comic novel, time tourism, a slacker flunky, a time courier, a tour guide for time travelers, have sex with their ancestors and drink a lot, causing a serious paradox, motifs, helix parlours, future drugs, weird connections, light/fun read, also light, Project Pendulum, a lot of fun, futuristic humans, bamboozle them, the quintessential Silverberg: Nightwings, graphic novel, the mouth, Roman Holiday (1953), some audiobook narrator, The Asteroid Stealers, Vampires From Outer Space, Thorns, really good, really dark, really depressing, a psychic vampire, reality tv shows, what authors do too, the short story guy, pretentious, new wave = pretentious, Avatar is just dumb, went on the journey, compared to Andre Norton…, the lack of a map is a feature not a bug, the dreamlike nature of this book, he gets lost, the elephant guys, a theory about the alien’s name, Borgazor, the most beautiful words in the English language: cellar door, that Anglo Saxon, Celtic, less Germanic, a logic to the language to the nameing of the things, an Elf tribe in Tolkien, old guy traveling a landscape of his youthful adventures, This Immortal, Call Me Conrad, [Damnation Alley], now they’re all old, rekindle alliances or hostilities, you see this in so many authors, back to the scene of old battles, the plot of a lot of new wave fiction, just because Jonathan’s old and has had battles, a new new wave writer, attracted to things and not do them themselves, I love Star Wars…, that’s sad, probably never gonna write a westerns, I can like westerns and not make westerns, we can enjoy a whole lot, late 1960s early 1970s, playing on the old pulp stories, less naive and more cynical, relitigate, redefine, Humanoids questions, how did you get into comics, Planet Comics during WWII, how did you get into paperbacks, then I found science fiction fandom, that was a long time ago, since 1969 to now, he thought he was getting old then, I’m an old man now I’m fifty, its taking this time, he exists and he loves the internet, gives the occasional speech he gets yelled at about, Heavy Metal, come out of retirement, famous fantasy novel, Lord Valentine’s Castle, I have more to say, keeping up with all the new books, 90s collabs, regular editorial, had to apologize for offending somebody, the big three magazines, out of retirement so many times, 2015/2016, Lawrence Block has retired several times, here’s an old book I wrote, a habit that’s built in, people like it still, I got this need to write it, it makes me feel something, wasn’t Marion Zimmer Bradley a grandmaster?, so many movies, Isaac Asimov, fixture on late night television, what do you think about speculative fiction, a rational and sand and excellent writer, I never heard of that, hundreds of works, his reputation, series are generally popular, what’s crazy about Silverberg, manic depressive thing, a ton of novels, fallow seasons, he turned down a nomination, compete with one another, Tower Of Glass, he was writing that many books, pretty darned good, Hawksbill Station, very prolific, A Time Of Changes, a J.G. Ballard vibe?, the guy who died of crystal infection, in reflection, the stuck couple, the brooding pit, a Drowned World sort of horror, feels less new wave?, Terence loved all of it, not a very visual person, descriptive passages are less interesting, the audiobook voice, Bronson Pinchot, bad experiences, a pleasure to read, Sailing To Byzantium, Grover Gardner, like and dislike, forced to tone down the performance, they only have gestures, by looking at their eyebrows, sardonic or whatever, a performance that can overwhelm a book, reading Tim Powers, the other kind of narrator, a straight narrator, getting the pauses perfectly, better audiobook taste, from the sitcom, The Bronson Pinchot Project, a weird hobby, 1985, Sixth Column by Robert A. Heinlein, prepare your racists selves, language changed for the book publication (vs. the serialization), City Of Singing Flame by Clark Ashton Smith, Logan’s Run by William F. Nolan and George Clayton Johnson, two dudes, Shakespeare’s Planet by Clifford D. Simak, Invitation To The Game, The Charwoman’s Shadow by Lord Dunsany, A Midsummer’s Tempest by Poul Anderson, the Canadian less shitty Andre Norton, Michael Crichton, Stephen King, Peter Straub, Progeny by Philip K. Dick, A Meeting With Medusa, just a blah book, his pre-post war stuff, 6 hours, do you have a Heinlein problem, sir?, as one should, you’re angry with the man, Farnham’s Freehold, most people are afraid, a special ranting booth, oh my god, this is getting creaky, The Number Of The Beast, the original illustrated version, next Heinlein, everybody wants to be on Starship Troopers, let’s do all the racist ones, winnow the podcast, a completely different interpretation, A Voyage To Sfanomoë, how he got his vocab, he read the dictionary, completely self-taught, one week in the United States, Boy Genius!, George Sterling, no you cannot do that!, his mentor guy, okay father figure, Lovecraft became his Sterling, revering, the opposite of August Derleth, Robert E. Howard, a tie, his terrificness, his ideas are weaker, beauty, Charles Baudelaire is a freak, Les Fleurs Du Mal, Terence put his hand in the mouth and is still two handed, put something in there, we need to talk about your audio quality, plug in some headphones, earbuds are not comfortable for two hours, more active noise cancellation, iPhone is pretty darned good.

Humanoids - Downward To The Earth

Humanoids - Downward To The Earth

Posted by Jesse WillisBecome a Patron!

The SFFaudio Podcast #754 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: Four-Day Planet by H. Beam Piper

The SFFaudio Podcast

The SFFaudio Podcast #754 – Four-Day Planet by H. Beam Piper – read by Mark Nelson. This is a complete and unabridged reading of the novel (6 hours, 14 minutes minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants include Jesse, Paul Weimer, and Cora Buhlert.

Talked about on today’s show:
Henry Beam Piper, 1961, paired with another Piper, probably serialized?, no, doesn’t need a serial feel, Putnam and Sons, standard Piper spaceship: ball, the hunting of the seamonster, Lone Star Planet, chased by giant steer, more action hunting in this, makes you want to read it, influences, a Jack London novel, Moby Dick, kind of a juvenile, a YA protagonist, not 18 yet, felt younger, felt older, “Tin Tin And The Space Whalers”, Tin Tin at the typewriter, drill down into this book, Tin Tin on Instagram, streamer tech, video and audio recording everything, flashing it to his dad, their planet doesn’t have satellites, only 20,000 people on the planet, stubborn SOBs, occasional miscreant, divide satellites by the number of people on earth, Jesse’s not a math guy, GPS, navigating from the stars and inertial systems, cute surprising moves, on the docks, pulls out a gun, sea-snail, gets poisoned, showcases Piper’s hobby horses, excuses for guns, excuses to smoke, loves his guns, low opinion of police, respect, government forces lumped in with the racketeers, as a group they get no respect, libertarianism is in the mix, propaganda for libertarianism, undercutting that, multiple volunteer fire departments in the same city?, one alarm system, seven small villages, look at the geography of this planet, near antarctica, very rural, ports, no farming, vat meat, vegan meat, under-egged that, limited to the ocean journey, the lifeboat, a Battlestar Galactica episode, Dogget will survive until the air turned to liquid, taught us interesting things, Fritz Leiber’s A Pail Of Air, To Build A Fire by Jack London, The Sea Wolf, Eden among the sealions, not a romantic vacation, thick bark trees, using machine guns to cut down trees, more guns in this scene?, everybody brought their own personal weapons, the meta, a former slaver hiding his identity, a dead woman’s fingers, driving down the price of a natural resource in order to enrich himself, the hazards of monopolism, they wanna lynch, government’s on the case, that’s be nice, not very likely, Israel hunting Nazis, a Federation government, agents, at the general level or admiral level, James Bond, ordinary murderer, bank robber or conartists, enslave a planet, he’s a war criminal, more along the Hitler lines, characters from the Jack Vance Demon Prince novels, a personal mission not a government mission, the Manuel Noriega story, maybe I should run this country, they went after him, they knew he was corrupt, ask Saddam Hussein, why am I the one defending libertarianism to H. Beam Piper?, lynch law is bad, correct moral message, you must go to court, reading books, schools in Florida, supporting public education, the value of a good education, old fashioned, out in 7 months, useless information from chat GPT, good curation of knowledge, critical race theory in math books, banning hijabs, a women only safe space room, wasn’t even allowed to do her internship, a math class, a technique to divide the poors, telling H. Beam Piper his business, going against his own instincts, Kim by Rudyard Kipling, grows up wild, ends up working for the British empire, his Irish father and his good instincts, turn him into a spy, British empire good, Heinlein takes that and says I can do one better, Citizen Of The Galaxy, he has legs at home, gathering information for the Empire, goes a little cynical with them, a revolution is about to start, we’re storming the Bastille today, whoof the rug is pulled out from under him, cooler heads have already been on the case, he’s not as good as Heinlein for this, YA elements, where’s the romance?, the girl who’s going to work for him, doing romance in the 40s and the 50s, not in the cards for our hero Mr. H. Beam Piper, the sister, she’s a girl!, that’s a rough place, these rough people, the dad is busy smoking, doing the job of three people, way below, he’s not doing it as good, we need way more about the ecology of a planet with four days in the year, they can’t eat any of the food, and the food can’t eat them, Larry Niven, catsnake?, for this planet Niven [would be] better, Space Viking, breezier and easier, very simple, space battles, why is this science fiction?, the strongest science fiction idea in here, its the instagram recorder, youtuber streamer, and the hunting of the wax, shielding, a commodity, intense sunlight, analogizes with Moby Dick, whaling was huge, tallow wax and whale oil, how they breed, not to hunt them to extinction, traditional societies, north German Bremen dish made with whale meat, the meat was not the moneymaker, it was the sperm, petroleum, he doesn’t do enough with that, a reporter, friend doesn’t quite do enough, disappears like Ishmael, not a classic for the ages, Little Fuzzy, interesting, not a terrible books, but not special, Lord Kalvan of Otherwhen, the definitive Piper book, Omnilingual, a richer piece, passes the Jesse test, the 20 chapter titles, a cute little nod, obscure author from Scotland: Arthur Conan Doyle, the Javelin, the Pequod, gunpron, monster killing, treason, masks off, a simple story, 180 hour away from sunset, H. Beam Piper with Larry Niven, had he not killed himself, they could’ve been friendly, Robert E. Howard, tapering off, Clark Ashton Smith, ailing parents, kept changing, c’mon you can do this, doesn’t have the fire in the belly anymore, coming into his oats, Jerry Pournelle, sometimes it don’t work, sometimes it do, Oath Of Fealty, Dream Park ain’t a good book, a little silly, pretty good book, the whole Bish thing, a kind of western, quickdraw, Firefly and Serenity (2005), special agent, an H. Beam Piper tv show, our heroes and their dialogue, the empire they were fighting against were flat, the Alliance, insurance company, the Dortmunder, a Donald Westlake character, the reavers, better in prediction than in execution, it had potential, fashionable to criticize, Cora always had her issues, the best episode of Firefly: Objects In Space, a bottle episode, the casting was good, The Witcher tv series, Elric, they both have swords and white hair, hiatus, forgetting to cancel shows, the pilot for the Logan’s Run TV show, the movie in fast forward, the new Logan, an elder council is running things!, they have to make it a series, there’s old people?, old and weird looking, there’s no renewal, Logan and this other chick, they find a car in D.C., an android robot that will help them every episode, a Paul thing, the Planet Of The Apes TV series, about 6 Star Trek episodes, you can’t tell anybody what you saw there, an old circus poster of an ape behind bars, Sky has never been so good again, music videos and cartoons, Dutch people, best TV channel ever, D.C. Fontana was story editor, Harlan Ellison wrote an episode, David Gerrold, George Clayton Johnson, William F. Nolan, Logan’s Run, all on for Odds On, not abridged, a Jesse book, Breakthroughs In Science by Isaac Asimov, in a rabbit, Sixth Column, Tommy Patrick Ryan, Shakespeare’s Planet by Clifford D. Simak, Charwoman’s Shadow a novel by Lord Dunsany, in Spain, dowry, substitute shadow doesn’t grow and shrink, praises by Theodore Sturgeon, I love the book, humour and beauty, E.F. Bleiler found it excellent, tradition of George MacDonald, first science fiction novel, Keeper Of The Isis Light by Monica Hughes, Crisis on Conshelf Ten, political crisis or something, set on the Moon, her stuff is really short, thin volumes, mostly girly and boarding school stuff, kiddie gossip for teens, a series, Invitation To The Game, a horrible situation, it’s odd, fewer women science fiction writers, she put out a lot of YA, solid science fiction book, not having the greatest prose ever, on the pirate website, a real shame, Invitation The Game by Monica Hughes, Lisse and her friends are unemployable after graduation, embrace The Game, narrated by June Carter, abebooks, Scholastic Books, way before Harry Potter, the YA cover look, an affordable edition, the shipping, import them, twice the value of the book for shipping, Ballantine Adult Fantasy, the Internet Archive, a hard science fiction dystopian novel, children go to government schools, social welfare systems, agitating for political reform, many are involved in organized crime, just write science fiction like you mean it, and not too long, 192 pages, from 1990, died in 2003, she was British, Canadian by emigration, 11 novels?, Earthdark, the Arthur C. Clarke moonbus book, Devil On My Back, used headset, hairgel, the price was right, bargain hunter, Jesse’s gonna hug Cora, Angélique books by Anne Golo, proto-bodice rippery, smoky shag rug, nicotine stained wooden rosary, one bloody Mary two bloody Marys, might as well convert, half-equipped, stinky old books, best wishes to the father-in-law, taking parents to hospitals, four hospitals in six weeks, nursing home, and blah, Paul met Cora’s mom, already in pain, not very communicative, karaoke evenings, what went wrong, heart surgery, hip surgery, not a lot going on with her anymore, Worldcon, collapsed at the airport, farm animals, recognizing farm animal, have you ever touched a bird, have you ever touched a cow, where was Paul born?, have your touched a cow, have you touched a bird, a lot of people haven’t, three days old, Jesse’s mom’s photography is awful, very significant hand disability, well done Jesse, you get 9 points, the one who blocked Jesse, cows or goats, not a farm kid, obviously a cow, cow, bull, and calf, a little bull, the relevant pieces, an active farm across the road, the cows next door, one of the cows would run away, Uncle Heine and Aunt Marianna, three sets of grandparents, kids need to do that, in New York city, a farm visit, city kids, look at all the animals, sit on a horse, had to have his balls banded, that makes him a steer so he can be eaten, ox and oxen, most of the meat, you need one bull just like you need one rooster, prairie oysters, rocky mountain oysters, I’d like a weird meat cut please, boy penises are dog chewies, rawhide chewies are penises, product descriptions, pure meat, oxen are commonly castrated, don’t steer us wrong, working animals, riding an ox, horses or camels or bicycles, a monkey riding a dog, riding an elephant, bull-riding doesn’t last very long, pull carts, ploughs, Paul has to game, Over The Edge, work for an embassy, misadventures, get into troubles and have adventures, bye, breakfast is what Jesse is hearing, Odd’s On by Michael Crichton, reuse of Easy Go notes.

HARDCOVER - Four Day Planet by H. Beam Piper

Four Day Planet by H. Beam Piper

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