The SFFaudio Podcast #685 – READALONG: The Star Beast by Robert A. Heinlein

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #685 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, Maissa Bessada, Trish E. Matson, and Will Emmons talk about The Star Beast by Robert A. Heinlein

Talked about on today’s show:
1954, serialized in The Magazine Of Fantasy And Science Fiction, Star Lummox, what a lummox, a very 1950s word, clumsy stupid person, Google NGram, 1825 East Anglian slang, lumbering ox, lummoxes, knocks things over, breaks things, Maissa liked it, so simple, a girl with some brains and some power?, uncharacteristic, no female presence at all, Betty is a plot driver, one of six sexes, she as a matter of convenience, a meaningless spectrum, in the context of the Hroshii, what feels like a massive coincidence, she’s on Earth, two plotlines, the UN guys having meetings and firing and quitting, the fun stuff, Lummox on the run, Lummox on trial, the major drama, puts the focus on the coincidence, a microscale and a macroscale, still great Heinlein, simplistic, interesting themes, utopia, they’re trying, Kiku the diplomat is in charge of everything, elected represented is undermined by the deep state, bureaucracy, comedy of errors, contradictions and complexities, Sergei Greenberg, the Watson, tell not show, Farmer In The Sky, boy goes to planet and farms, threats can come out of nowhere, a central government, tiny hints, a WWIV anti-tank gun, the 2nd century, double focus, boy, pet and friend, escaping in the wilderness, galactic maneuverings, immigration, pushing people off Earth, which is dumber?, coincidence and conveniences, there’s a Star Beast with lotsa legs, 4 generations, from any other boy’s point of view, good Heinlein, a boy raised by aliens, the reversal at the end, Lummox has been raising John Thomases, a science fiction idea, the relationships between humans and their pets, sentient aliens (should?) have hands, who can buy who?, if these we are putting the juveniles in reading order (younger to older), Citizen Of The Galaxy, Have Space Suit, Will Travel, diplomatic maneuverings and court stuff, thinking with the brain of an adult, the Godzilla aspect, Clifford The Big Red Star Beast, what kids will like about something, a big purple dinosaur, Barney, conflating for comic effect, I hate all this stuff about the negotiations, they’ll eat it, that reunification scene, all the ashtrays and the smoking, furiously smoking, popping pills on the reg, eat your roughage, a dragon lookin thing with a big smile on its four eyed face, old man sitting around his pool with his lawyers for 18,000 pages, Red Planet, Willis is kinda Lummox, galactic diplomacy and politics, democracy, we’re a republic not a democracy, his elected superior, we are the leading nation, senators from all over the planet, the United States of North And South America, probably set in Colorado or thereabouts, freeways are overgrown, flying cars, a depopulated North America, smoke filled rooms in small towns, not enough worldbuilding, atomic weapons, weird adventures, how the world worked, all the Heinlein haters, hating Heinlein for the wrong reasons, Mr. Kiku is pictured and not a black man, the original serial is slightly abridged (at least), wooly haired, racism?, often times the artist is told what the book is about, that’s capitalism not racism, Lummox is also not pictured, a kids book with no-star beast on the cover?, Johnny and Slugger and flying, two legs and half of a side, a bizarre choice, a commercial production, smiling dinosaur beagle, a train, spindly arms, diplodocus, the voice, the baby girl voice in the Full Cast Audio production, all the other Heinlein girls and boys, John Thomas oblivious to her plans, these gender fashions flip, the girls chasing after boys, Sadie Hawkins dystopia, on leap years girls are allowed to propose to men, Data at Sadie Hawkins dance, Star Trek: 90210, phone rigged up in his attic fort, a box of books boys somehow always get, a box of pornography, Heinlein doesn’t shy away, very strange and weird, the macro/micro, a princess of earth, a reverse of A Princess Of Mars, a Kwisatz Haderach to make the perfect space beast, the breeding of John Thomases, wrestling around, did I ever tell you why I divorced my parents, lean in closer to the book, what the parents did that was so wrong, parental abuse, molestation, those woolen socks, the mother character, how one note she was, very manipulative, not a straw person, selfish, controlling and manipulative, parallels between John’s mom and Betty, make more John Thomases, what did you assume about Betty living in a dorm, Heinlein manipulating us, weirdly controlling, they’re both minors, very skillfully done, she’s studying law, you don’t have to obey police officers unless they have a warrant, the police come to the school and teach a class and then search your locker, the antics in the courtroom, the Rittenhouse trial, bamboozles the court, manipulation and tactics, she’s parallel with Kiku, she was her own lawyer, the police chief, Johnny gets on with the police chief, makin toast and eggs and coffee, don’t get in bed with the cops, Johnny’s a little bit dim, he’s gonna go to college, drag racing and hanging out with his pet, the pet of three females, what did she whisper into Johnny’s ear?, “I wanna get the pill”, “never, “we’re religious!”, argue our way to the truth, to such dark places, mentally beyond them, parochial, leaps and bounds ahead, more sinister, poor tactics, I divorced my parents because I was too smart for them, subversive ideas, “I’m transgender”, the flipping of the gender quite late in the book, Kiku and Greenberg are really dumb, its the same creature, kinda fun for kids, kids can figure it out, they’re looking for a girl and Lummox is a boy, Willis is a girl, “I’m a boy”, not going to be able to breed John Thomases very easily, he always calls her Slugger, she hits people, was she on the baseball team?, he insults her looks, she hits the softball real hard, a term of respect, no hidden agenda inside of Johnny, Johnny just gets stubborn for a while, Farah Mendelson’s The Pleasant Profession Of Robert A. Heinlein, Star Wars, he likes his backpack helicopter, when Mr. Ito’s greenhouse, space skateboards, hoverboards, his horse ate his car, Paul is triggered by Lummox voices, a touchy subject, great to hand to a kid whose parents are divorcing, everybody is independent, she came to him, she emancipated herself, some yummy metal and self-heating cans, entanglements, the star federation, why don’t you just leave everybody alone, the inescapable bureaucracy of civilization, Betty’s parents didn’t stand a chance, leaning into the deep and dark and secret and terrible, a little song that starts, it will burn the ears of the editors, pornography and gays and blacks exist, he wants to share it, the tone, whatever the deep dark secret is it wouldn’t hurt johnny, Sorensen, Heinlein’s always been interested in gender, why he shootin blanks, the most plausible thing, maybe John Thomas knew this, Christine Jorgensen, sex-reassignment surgery, deflates the breeding program, Podkayne Of Mars, birthing machines, ovafusion (lesbian babies), circumstantial, all the flipping and the six genders lummox, Gore Vidal, Myra Breckenridge, Raquel Welch and Mae West and John Huston and Farrah Fawcett, what genders means, gender as a spectrum, best to think of her as a male, we don’t have the acronym for it yet, derailing the story, she has arms, she’s getting boobs!, we’re really lucky dogs don’t have hands, dogs would be so handsy, cats, the human breeding program will result in the ultimate John Thomas in about 10,000 years, high fashion to have human pets, invites a sequel, The Star Beasts are humans, furry animals, Space Lummox, is a komodo dragon a beast?, scorpions aren’t beasts, developing the arms, what is that thing?, a tumor, its normal because its normal, 150 years to learn English, the test for intelligence, Little Fuzzy by H. Beam Piper, Illegal Alien by Robert J. Sawyer, legally a human, the introduction, the Houyhnhnms section of Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift, William H. Patterson, a fantasy disguised as J. Francis McComas, my first beast, the best one, not wholesome like this, good for adults too, less corny than The Rolling Stones, one little conversation, civilization is in crisis because of all these aliens, keeping these Republican norms, the Sorenson whisper, the bureaucrats have to run the machine, cynical vs. optimistic views of democracy, Heinlein’s views on communism, Heinlein’s views on nuclear testing, deep stuff, adults who would like a charming read about a talking animal, Heinlein doing his diversity thing here, Jesse is Maissa’s Betty, the spunky protagonist?, overcoming the fear of the Medusa, the Medusan is also transgender, the passive protagonist?, the makeup thing, unusual patterns, everything is transgender, another gender swap, the deep fear of the snakehead, testes turned into ovaries, hypnotherapy as a crutch, Starship Troopers, hypnosis, an excuse to help you quit smoking, Heinlein is regressive in his pushing of hypnosis, more like Dianetics than it is like rocketry, how you relate to another so different from you, Lummox’s speech, assuming an Italian is illiterate, how can people say Heinlein is turgid?, he’s anti-racist, a slur, a smear, not an awkward bone in this book, two [amicus] groups, the Friends Of Lummox, Keep Earth For Humans, one is adults, one is kids, we like breakfast cereal, Murgatroyd, the Russian edition on ebay, PiggWiggy, having adventures eating cereal, preaching race tolerance, I will not sit down with that puppet, anti-puppet, brinksmanship shit, luckily your Heinlein and writing both sides of the conversation, Heinlein’s worst instinct, c’mon mom, be partisan and be right, we’re on Lummox’s side, nobody complains about the missing dog, deciding not to eat Mr. Ito, this book is really about power, lummox has hands, wipe your own butt or get your own cup, disability, the relationship of power to power, relations between the species for the rest of time, a book about power, a hereditary monarchy with a breeding program, we can’t judge their culture, The [Men] In The Walls by William Tenn, the psychology of the mice, like parents, manipulator, the translator is manipulating both sides, interpreter for hire, Stranger In A Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein, the fair witness, somebody said somebody was a bad person, we can fix our shoddy eyewitness testimony by fixing the sentences we put in our own heads, the truth meter, played for laughs, testifying about her feelings, technology our way out of stuff, the human mind’s way of storing data and making judgements, telepathy transmitters, a visual translation, eyes are wildly fluctuating, John Thomas will say: “Me too”, Star Trek’s computer is judging Captain Kirk, a huge mental mistake, Planet Of The Apes, Heinlein’s not fulfilling Campbell’s request, a Weinbaum story, hang out and get pet for a century, our relationship to puppies, a very compressed youth, an immortal being, petting my John Thomases, Lummox gets bored, what kind of patience, a very human thing to do, tigers just eat smaller animals, arsenic makes them grow, all symbolic, why does she go on a diet at the end?, she’s gotta get hot for her wedding, stop eating candy, stop eating cars, a short lived pet, precious babies or property or chattel, they’re out friends, a lady in Quesnel, BC got her leg licked by a bear, we wanna nuke your planet, give us our queen’s corgi, War Of The Worlds but just combing the Earth, implicit mirroring, whether Lummox can testify or not, wandering princess, hostage negotiation, we don’t engage philosophically with dogs, sufficiently alien aliens, an adult reading a kid’s book, Lummox indulged Johnny, you want have me sit a yard for a year?, after 150 years, there are no Buicks today?, Motortrend, brands are things you sell to other companies, a Toyota that’s a Ford, the Packard’s coming back, a branding exercise, the Lincoln Navigator, imprints survive as IP, all the young men love the classic Buicks, a flight harness, when he takes Johnny to the vet, corgis for everybody, an exclusive brand, a great opening for the surprise sequel, spaceships are disappearing, humans are being disappeared, very cute puppies, a deeply pet book, you’re going to wear this outdoor socky thing on your feets, a single dad, a single mom, the controlling mother, Suddenly (1954), parallels, media with controlling mothers, Philip K. Dick’s mom, people having relationships in the 20th century, shameful but possible, a trope character, off-screen, trip to Hawaii, 17 pickle dishes, Heinlein’s joke, Heinlein is very stupid in hypnotism, Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, slim volume hardcovers, Harry Potter, Rick Riordan, no Heinlein boxed set with decent covers, what the fuck is wrong with their brains?, 8 Heinlein juveniles in a boxed set, youthful reading, why is that?, Heinlein is not a giant name, Roald Dahl, James And The Giant Peach, Predestination, there should be boxed sets of Heinlein every generation, broken minded, a legacy organization, it will do material good to minds, the entire Heinlein fiction is the Virginia edition $1,400, riddled with typos, a luxury good, mass market paperback for $9.99, sell like the wheatcakes, I love TITS (Tunnel In The Sky), Jesse was dissing Heinlein and looking at TITS online, pitch for TITS, something goes wrong, Hunger Games style, really good, Paul loves TITS, Lummox triggered, Hi I’m Trish, Boxing Day, put TITS on the schedule, excommunicated from the island, Lord Of The Flies by William Golding, Rite Of Passage by Alexei Panshin, othering Jesse, privileging academics, don’t slur me, 10 degrees is warm (and cold), alien words, actual turban vs. snakes for hair who needs a turban, get him outta bed, not a very good movie, the self-lighting cigarette, trying to quit smoking, maybe a pipe, a serious smoker without a light, H. Beam Piper was a smoking machine, British is weird, a really interesting podcast about those puppies, Rite Gud, solid heads on shoulders despite being modern authors, squeecore, new wave, cyberpunk, The Painful Threshold, “hells yeah”, maudlin mawkish or glib, Whedonesque quips, the character that represents feminism pegs the character that represents the patriarchy, this is what we’re exploring right now, remixing the public domain with vampires or zombies, 10 Years A Slave To The Robot Queen, Ace Galaksi, very Betty of you, so Betty, Betty is a great character, Stranger In A Strange Land, so horrible, pizza, of course it was, raw frozen chicken wings, dog minds, dog diets, a beagle pomeranian, parvo virus, little bag, little mask, little vaccination sticker, too many puppy blogs, why Fauci might get canceled, beagle faces, funding dog torture, when we find out what the aliens sound like in their native language, rethink your whole life, a never ending parent, be your pet’s advocate, catering to dog needs, siri needs to speak dog, a smart telepathic collar, What Is Horror?, Klim’s Journey Under The Ground by Baron Ludvig Holberg, The Midwich Cuckoos by John Wyndham, Children Of The Damned (1964), John Carpenter (1995).

The Star Beast by Robert A. Heinlein

Fantasy And Science Fiction - Star Lummox 05

Fantasy And Science Fiction - Star Lummox 49

Fantasy And Science Fiction - Star Lummox COVER

Fantasy And Science Fiction - Star Lummox 101

Fantasy And Science Fiction - Star Lummox 113

Star Lummox

Darrell K. Sweet - The Star Beast

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Reading, Short And Deep #306 – Just A Dog by Charles L. Funnell

Podcast

Reading, Short And DeepReading, Short And Deep #306

Eric S. Rabkin and Jesse Willis discuss Just A Dog by Charles L. Funnell

Here’s a link to a PDF of the poem.

Just A Dog was first published in The Railroad Man’s Magazine, June 1916

Podcast feed https://sffaudio.herokuapp.com/rsd/rss

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The SFFaudio Podcast #659 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: The Shadow Of The Vulture by Robert E. Howard

MAGIC CARPET - The Shadow Of The Vulture by Robert E. Howard
Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #659 – The Shadow Of The Vulture by Robert E. Howard; read by Connor Kaye

This unabridged reading of the story (1 hours 38 minutes) is followed by a discussion of it.

Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Trish E. Matson, Connor Kaye, Alex, and Chris Schweizer

Talked about on today’s show:
The Magic Carpet, January 1934, some public domain, the output of Lovecraft was a quarter of Robert E. Howard, not counting the letters, trying to make a living, a day job, write letter every 5 minutes, not into the marketing, rich stories, shocking, detective stories, fight stories, sailor stories, comedy, his weakest genre, historical adventure, salivating over every remaining sentence, everybody comes to Howard through Conan or his Lovecraftian output, at least 6 stories that are Lovecraftian stories, The Black Stone, The Thing On The Roof, he really doesn’t want to get to the action does he?, finally!, why is it that this other stuff doesn’t grab us in the same way?, we’re all stupid and lazy, the Siege Of Vienna, which one, the final chapter is a mirror of the first chapter, the amount of historical work he has to do, tons of research, doing his best to get the clothes right and the names, a Serbian knight, a real incident, he thinks its awesome, take slaves, Suleiman the magnificent, a slaving expedition, our Conan equivalent is crying, go to the bar and have some ale, we’re setup for WWI, the Astro-Hungarian empire, filling in history for us, making history really interesting through fiction, a Catholic school, WWI and Saskatchewan, opinions or ideas, favourite stories, Blue Flame Of Vengeance, she comes out of nowhere, until Sonya shows up, the love interest gets heart stabbed, motivated for some vengeance, she’s not into you, she’s the hero of this story, he never saves her, Godfried, some good characters, a big drunk dummy, unstoppable Hercules, kill a hundred men on the wall, tricked at the easiest thing, hyper competent in one arena, he needs somebody to take care of him, a big dumb oaf, mutually beneficial?, all those Janissaries is a few too many, dog-brother, that word “dog”, John Sladek, parodying their writing, Solar Shoe Salesman, hawk nose, pantherish, condor wings, he actually has them!, that 1500s era, those Polish knights, Victoria’s Secret wings, literally described, Connor’s conspiracy theory, try to wrangle the history into a story format, the coolest kind of things, she’s a historical figure, give Roxelana a sister, we can kind of have that aspect, Hardcore History, 16th century, the Battle vs. the Siege of Vienna, Turkish forces trying to get into Europe, the Polish hussars, a cavalry charge, very Riders Of Rohan, too cool not to include, maybe that’s where it came from, a twitter bot that does Doctor Who episode titles, shadow, blood, ISFDB.org, seven stories with “shadow” in the title, crimson, scarlet, red, what visuals he wants to throw in, a guy who is literally a vulture, picking over the bones of a battle, backstory, personally scarred the emperor, leaving with a bag of gold, a chestful of head, if I don’t come back with his head…, that promise is fulfilled, we as the readers know it, beautiful symmetry, any old WWII movie that fits the facts, historical fiction vs. Quentin Tarantino WWII, he got the word right, what an amazing talent, probably wrote it in a weekend, Chris is in a really rural area, how difficult it was to find the material for historical fiction, so much of a struggle, faking historical fiction through, the Crogan Adventures, stories of personal family history told through history, this is the book where he got this, he probably had three books, reverse engineering Howard’s research, talk about the animals, vultures, dogs, the Conan adaptation, Sword and Sorcery, all the best parts are extrapolations or adaptations of actual text, Conan is trussed up, look at all you dogs, the cur has pups, how Conan feels when this woman is as good as him (or better), a dog barks at him, show not tell, our Germanic dumb guy, we become him, this lady shows us up, Conan The Barbarian #23, the Red Sonja – Conan relationship is huge and long, that relationship is entirely from the relationship in this story, the dynamic between them, all the ladies who don’t pick up swords in Conan stories, Jim Zub, it doesn’t zing at all, these are philosophical stories about how to be, freely adapted, they fly, in the comic adaptation, one panel in the comic, it ends the same way, a cutaway before the fight, very literary, the low that comics lend themselves to, kinda like Elmore Leonard, Justified and Jackie Brown, leaning in to what makes it unique vs. leaning into the surface details, Conan as a franchise, this is the Brotherhood without Banners in Khitai, a flaming sword, gunpowder, the Chinese witch, the letters are nordic runes, you’ve made a huge mistake, the source is the character, old west stories, Miami stories, take a Breckenridge Elkins pilot and work it into Conan, Sailor Steve Costigan, L. Sprague De Camp, the Afghanistan stories, the Middle Eastern stories, Oriental Stories, Magic Carpet, anywhere east of Austria is the orient, Swordwoman, Dark Agnes, highly prized assassin, shoehorned into Red Sonja, Conan The King, this Kull character, its not character its the author, Dan Panosian’s Drink And Draw, a character is an image, the backstory of philosophy, why Thongor doesn’t work, Ka-Zar is a knock-off Tarzan, the creation of a dynamic, the Sonja Conan dynamic came out of this story, the German dumb-guy viewpoint character is us, he’s played for comic relief, drunk and waving away the host, the place is on fire, and then she dies, the second time he gets drunk, able bodied men are drafted for grunt work, build a wall or whatever, setting the characters aside, what the city looks like, fabulous, when the final chapter comes, the city of Istanbul again, identical sentences?, the city so brightly lit that it doesn’t know night, the first city that’s on fire, an amazing writer, he mustabin born with it, super-young, only 30 years old, Connor has a lot of writing to do, good set-pieces, mirroring, a pleasing way, the descriptions of Istanbul at the end, we pretty much know what happened, all of Chapter 7 is 10 straight minutes, you really settle into it, all the crazy stuff this insanely rich sultan can put on, making himself feel better, propaganda, Beyond The Black River, an analogy for the Texas frontier, Comanches and Mexicans, working a historical fiction based, Aquilonia, this history is visceral, stretches forward to the present, it stretches back in history, after Charlemagne, before WWI, the Janissaries, 1000,000 child slaves brainwashed into becoming the elite fighters for a reverse crusade, all these placenames, Shem is probably supposed to be Judea, is Ophir Greece?, we need to be trained to read Robert E. Howard’s other stuff, the familiarity of the placenames, reading historical fiction through the context of films, the rusty nail, the helmet, really rare in historical fiction, and he did it in 90 minutes, James Michener’s Hawaii, Shogun, Pearl Harbor, big whopping book, complete in this issue, it doesn’t feel rushes, its leisurely at the end, struck by the resolution, send a message, the whisper, you’re going to go on a mission for me, you don’t really need the intrigue, more time with the other neat things, his pacing is amazing, spoilers make me want to read the story, why is it you should read this, the main character shows up half-way through the book, you’re selling me, looking through and finding things, the 70 year old captain mentioned in passing, real good at swinging his big sword, you are in this place, historical action fiction, the Bernard Cornwall move, Richard Sharpe, Forrest Gump his way to victory, we know this but we never notice it, always lower class going up, never top down, making their way in the world today and getting everything they got, kings by their own hand, manifest destiny, major ambition is get some booze, sister revenge, dragged away, guestemation, when people get enslaved…, your parents are murdered by the guy you’re sleeping with, works in both directions, Christians and Muslims are not allowed to enslave their own, her parents, her family, her village, why she would be incredibly angry, her son is the next sultan, took advantage, something to admire in Roxelana, a kind of a revenge, its a philosophy of how to be, the Janissaries vs. the women, the whole village won’t fit on my horse, a psychological mirror for what happened to Sonya and her family, becoming a whipped dog, the whipped dog that obeys its master, a personal philosophy vs. a nationalist philosophy, the gold rush, by you’re own hard work, it is our destiny as a nation, American Exceptionalism, go west young man, the “freest country in the world”, its all merit, these are all lies, they have good jobs and no balls (the eunuchs), they steal all the scholars and make them tutors for their kids, the tutors are slaves, they lose their name, their name becomes that of their master, a brutal relationship, wanting to cancel Robert E. Howard, everybody knows about Lovecraft being public domain, Robert E. Howard is perceived to be under copyright, Ablaze’s The Cimmerian series, hey this is popular… can we cancel it?, things to disrespect, his messages aren’t women should be dis-empowered and shut up, physically strong and mentally strong, the Dark Agnes stories are in the first person, unusual for Robert E. Howard, Brekenridge Elknins is in the first person, a doofus farm boy, why are Agnes’ stories from the first person POV?, forced into a marriage, three more years and you can record them, the copyright rules (for the USA and Canada), characters vs. stories, Sailor Steve Costigan, Ian Fleming’s James Bond (novels) is all public domain, 1934, what market was he trying to sell it to?, it wasn’t going to go for Weird Tales, Argosy might have published it, Adventure, timeline stuff, the archetype of the red headed warrior woman, C.L. Moore’s Jirel Of Joiry, similar to Agnes, an archytype that pops up again and again, red haired warrior women, Novalyne Price Ellis, The Whole Wide World (1996), you have to know what you’re getting, the introduction by Leigh Brackett to Sword Woman by Robert E. Howard, it is interesting to speculate, he had read Black God’s Shadow, which character was first conceived, their martial ladies, Joan of Arc, saintliness is not a quality of either heroine, very different, Jirel is passive in terms of being restrained, Jirel is all in her head, the red flame of vengeance, one is highborn and the girl from a town of 14 families, under a steel cap, rebellious tresses, the lingering looks on these body parts, the only time we see Red Sonja dressed like that, chain-mail bikini or blue blouse, a brace of pistols, a long Hungarian saber, a carelessly thrown cape, Chris’s picture, the Frank Thorne style Red Sonja, very different characters, everybody is close to nude, the visual medium, showing heroes fighting, showing how heroic these guys are, its comics, loving both, Chris has an amazing way with watercolours, Howard doing Falstaff, take advantage of his rich friends crusader, honor retribution, a franchise built around this character, immediately gravitate and love his characters, there’s a reason we know the names of his characters, Cormac Fitzgeoffrey should have a big Punisher skull on his jerkin, El Borak is smaller than everybody else, these are not mary suey characters, fairytale versions of the fool stumbling their way through life, The Brave Little Tailor, Jack And The Beanstalk, archetypes of the prince, the fools, the peasants telling the fairy tales [folk tales], different ways people can win, villains aka the poors, who’s the target audience for these pulp magazines, a whole lot of fun, what are we doing next, Skull-Face is pretty long, Graveyard Rats by Robert E. Howard, The Sword Of Shahrazar by Robert E. Howard, Almuric, the unfinished dregs vs. the stuff that is complete, the Amra story, all Conan stories are public domain now, the Klinger case, trademark vs. copyright, English versions of French comics, Diamond Distribution, some “negotiations”, you can’t use “CONAN” on the front of your comics, some features about Sherlock Holmes … fucking bullshit, the estate vs. the heirs, know what you’re talking about and having backbone, the HPLHS, almost nothing by Lovecraft isn’t public domain, there’s a company out there that will license it, “official”, some edge cases, The Shadow, writing under a house name as a work for hire, the Red Sonja (1985) movie, it has fake Conan, Arnold Schwarzenegger playing “not-Conan”, he’s totally Conan, its not good, Conan The Barbarian vs. Conan The Destroyer, Richard Fleischer, George MacDonald Fraser, The Three Musketeer movies from the 1970s, VLC player, Red Sonja in black and white is a much better movie, cheap practical effects, mute the dialogue, keep the Ennio Morricone soundtrack, add subtitles to fix the dialogue, Prince Tarn, Zula is a dude in the Conan comics, another female, Grace Jones is great in every movie, Christopher Walken, the old tropes you forgot about, so big into yellow peril, Fu Manchu, Shang Chi, yet another Conan show, a Red Sonja TV show, chain-mail bikini will not translate to film, peplum armor, a rockin’ mullet, wooden acting, nonsensical story, the sets and costumes were fantastic, Sandahl Bergman, there are good scenes in Conan the Destroyer, this whining princess, Wilt Chamberlain, pulling the guy’s horn, Superman II, the evil queen, Olivia d’Abo, 16 and sleeping with the producer, the costumes, charismatic on screen, little 15 minute stories, a toll-road, it doesn’t fit into the larger story, the Harry Potter movies are scene based, the first Conan movie is none of the Conan stories, The Witch Shall Be Born, The Tower Of The Elephant, he goes to Khitai, the most famous line is from Genghis Khan, it gives you the taste, that is another story, The Buckaroo Banzai ending, Connor’s narration was excellent, structural, Marvel Movies, a giant train chase at the end, the set piece action in the second third, the climax is much smaller, Kill Bill, a more immediate and small struggle, the climax is when Sonya rescues him from two dudes, keep establishing larger and larger stakes, the suddenness of the ending, Ogloo, his death is off-screen, a metaphor just for war and destruction, the thunder of guns, the real enemy was the vizier, the proxy for Suleiman, having confidence in your readership vs. thinking you’re smarter than your readers, a really satisfying shock of the head, endings are really important, the screenplay for All Quiet On The Western Front, the Marvel method for Marvel Movies, the giant fight club thing at the end, how the whole Marvel universe works, I’m glad its overwith, ending with the front being quiet and a butterfly, a traditional symbol of people’s spirits flying to heaven, going back to the title, aka he’s a ghost, he knows what he’s doing, the title is important, how noisy are those butterfly wings, The Lack with Benjamin Studebaker, really smart and not my friend, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962), Lee Marvin and Jimmy Stewart and John Wayne, two ways or three ways of being a man, the John Wayne way and the Jimmy Stewart way or the Liberty Valance way, a movie that has confidence in its audience, Lee Marvin is a force of nature himself, a John Buchan weird tale from 1901, Fill It With Regular by Michael Shea, The Mystery Of Sylmare by Hugh Irish, “my idea of a weird tale” – H.P. Lovecraft.

MAGIC CARPET - The Shadow Of The Vulture by Robert E. Howard

MAGIC CARPET - SHADOW OF THE VULTURE by Robert E. Howard

WEIRD TALES The Shadow Of The Vulture

DEL REY - SHADOW OF THE VULTURE by Robert E. Howard

DEL REY - The Shadow Of The Vulture

DEL REY - The Shadow Of The Vulture

RED SONYA by Fluid Geometry

Rogatino, Russia aka Hyboria's Hyrkania

Conan The Barbarian - Shadow Of The Vulture

CONAN THE BARBARIAN - Shadow Of The Vulture

The first Marvel appearance of Red Sonja

Red Sonya by Chris Schweizer

Red Sonya by Chris Schweizer

Roy Krenkel sketch of RED SONIA

RED SONYA illustration by Timo Wuerz

Roy G. Krenkel - The Shadow Of The Vulture - from The Sowers Of The Thunder Pg 273 Illustration - Zebra Books 1975

Choose Your Sonja

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The SFFaudio Podcast #653 – READALONG: Roadwork by Stephen King

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #653 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, Evan Lampe, Mr Jim Moon, and Connor Kaye talk about Roadwork by Stephen King (writing as Richard Bachman)

Talked about on today’s show:
1981, 1977 was a difficult year for King, quotidian, repertoire, daily or ordinary, where he goes to the gun store, blow up your house like everyone does, contemporary fiction, talking to his dead son, contemporary drama, first Bachman, a decent amount of King, that mode of King, psychological drama, internal psychological state, King novels that are classified as horror than are totally mundane, Night Shift, serial killers, mob bosses, marginal aspects of society, somewhere in the horror genre, Henry James, mimetic fiction, Philip K. Dick’s non-SF work, a confessional, grapples with sanity, Kafka, Polanski’s Repulsion (1965), Graham Greene novels, Taxi Driver (1976) is a social horror movie, running with it, a destination, putting himself on that path, he couldn’t tell us, no good reason, the Why Bachman essay, share the art with people, a weird way of approaching things, The Running Man, Rage, self-banning, Seuss self-banning, utterly banable, more common, death by cop, suicide by cop, SWATing people, the van at the end, things have progresses or degenerated or gone down the road, an existential novel, a rare sub-genre, A Man In Full by Tom Wolfe, like he did mushrooms, reexamining his life, crash the midlife crisis book, Fools Die by Mario Puzo, an overlay of magic, Las Vegas, meeting a girl, having a friend, smoking cigarettes, I am the master of magic, Falling Down (1993), so many things that are the same, he attacks the road, Nazi paraphernalia, just trying to get home, roadwork ahead, walking across Los Angeles, a very American sort of story, gang members, his mother in law, his wife and his kid, Robert Duvall is the police officer with his last day on the job, the major takeaway, fired from his “D-Fens” job, building missiles for the United States, the Korean shop owner, how much money the United States has given to Korea?, a black comedy, the same ending, the reason the road is being made, the government needs to spend the money or it doesn’t have it next year, Soviet Russia, the enemy is capitalism and existential angst, you know why he did what he did, King makes it incredibly plain, he fucked up, he thought if he follows the American dream everything would be good, a tumor the size of a walnut, his life is a miscarriage, his life is an abortion, this anguish, the terror of our own freedom, the burden of freedom, a space for freedom, Camus and The Stranger, he finds freedom, Connor’s interpretation, his inability to adapt to changing circumstances, suburban angst, this mentality, a breakdown, feeling the same way, dissatisfied with their own life, things were better before, spilled the beans, things used to be so much better, he’s a MAGA, he’s not alone, now I understand why school shootings happen, literally what happens, you shot my brother, the cigarettes, cancer sticks, the other cancer in this book, the cancer of him and television, television is under assault, he smashes the TV, the core of the love relationship of their life, working together in a marriage, the glue that holds him together, afternoon soap operas, Merv Griffin, the mediator of this family, Jesse’s mom thought TV is evil, all advertising is evil, the news is all propaganda, all cops shows are propaganda, reality is much more complex, sitting down and watching TV is not the solution to any problem you can possibly imagine, watching TV alone is really sad, a pixie girl, manic dream pixie girl, she’s on her own life course, the junior laundry guy, don’t go down this path its a trap, ask me how I know, she wants to watch Star Trek, it isn’t just Wagon Train to the stars, Lorne Greene advertising his new cop show, read a Ray Bradbury novel (or short story), its addictive and dangerous, the lowest point of the book is masturbating in front of the TV watching Merv Griffin and eating a TV dinner, The Mangler, Lovecraft’s the Cthulhu mythos, an industrial laundry, his first adult protagonist, The Long Walk, The Running Man, when King’s mother died (mid twenties), the folly of youth, a 20 year old getting into the mind of a middle age, weird books, mimetic fiction, Tom Clancy, what is the Soviet version of this book?, at the core and the target, I will advance in this career at this industrial laundry, his former boss, paying back the loan, this is why when the laundry is going to be taken apart, the overboss, I’m disappointed in you Dawes, chances of advancement, a decimal place on the spreadsheet, he’s the only one who can see reality for what it is in this book, the gangster, the dork and the fruitcake, what a doofus, why do I like a guy who I can’t understand, comes around to his point of view, the gas crisis, why am I listening to this again?, Ezra Kline interviewed Ted Chiang, the questions were bad, a good definition of why fantasy and science fiction from each other, science fiction has the potential to not be a metaphor, Kim Stanley Robinson, it isn’t some spiritual revision, terraforming mars, red skinned aliens on Mars, here we have a character in an existential crisis, there was an energy crisis, the car lot, he can sell the Vegas but no the Cadillac, rationing, being a trained dog, the Vietnam War, more roads for more cars, a stimulus, its infrastructure, this is what we’re going to do and this is a good thing, sometimes correct, incorrect for individuals, his house, his business, his marriage are being demolished, the bitch the gangster talks about, very instinctually awesome, what is Paul talking about, the same headspace, the school shooter kid, fuck you I’m not doing what you’re saying, Network (1976), the location of this book, stagflation, the boom of the New Deal flattened into a blah, a malaise, investment properties, cars in the garage, new TVs, October 1973 – January 1974, when Philip K. Dick reviews his own novel, some terrible author has planned out my life and put me on this path and fuck him, he was in the Poe society, William Wilson by Edgar Allan Poe, The Outsider, Harlan Ellison, I want you to punch that Ticktock man, Logan’s Run (1976), late for lunch, The Roads Must Roll, a fictional city?, on the way to Chicago, Ohio or Indiana, the hitchhiker, so many themes or motifs, the electricity costs, at the end of the line, deliberate fuck yous, a 2021 novel, running around without a mask, coughing on people, his anger is not at human beings, a very Catholic book, he digs Catholic, all those lots, Methodist, fallen priests, the street preacher, Salem’s Lot, Wolves Of The Calla, goes to work with the poor directly, the society lady’s party, girls have to stick their dicks in people’s mouths, horror stories, new years eve parties, trying to heal the world, reins of power, fuck this shit, an excuse not to kill yourself, your body is going to rot, I can’t lie to you, he tries not to lie to people, this type of character is very very common, the original paperback cover, he’s the cop, the competent one there, he’s not competent at all, trying to find meaning, on a bunch of dangerous and bad paths, he inconvenienced some people, Jack Daniels, reinforce the point that he’s making, even the wife seems better off without him, the gangster gives him the green light is a more honest character, outside the system, that turning point, a shift between ordinary run business vs. the corporate system, the perfect artificial life form that’s alien, Charles Stross, Ted Chiang’s not worried about AI, self-interested individuals, people didn’t used to be as self-interested, looking at the bigger picture, looking long-term, a big amoeba, an alien life form, mindless fashion, a shift from direction, family, mindless, not run by anybody, a big audiobook guy, before Audible was a thing, Music For Pleasure -> Listen For Pleasure -> Durkin Hayes -> DH Audio -> out of business, paperback audio, to generate more money so you can expand, build an new warehouse, terrible mistakes, content Jesse couldn’t sell, out of the hands of a person, buying up whole categories and genres of titles, this happens again and again, nobody loves laundry, loving clean sheets, the hotel sheets, the restaurants, on time and clean, the technical reasons, too far away, the efficiencies, the gains in efficiencies, it was his family, that boss took an interest in him, cared about him, the cop is retiring, his daughter died of SIDS, daughter themes, I never liked you, the retiring Robert Duvall never swears, a corporate climber, a formal relationship, they don’t want a hassle, here’s your coffee, he wants them to admit it, they’re gaslighting him and everyone, this capitalist horror system they’ve somehow fallen into is bullshit, I just want to know do you really care, ultimately no I don’t care, when you get cancer and you go to the doctor, are you really sorry or is this what you do everyday, have a good day, wow, painful, invested heavily in the American Dream, now there’s stagflation and the dividends are not paying, the most American writer: Robert A. Heinlein, Stephen King gives him a good run for his money, the nitty gritty of characters and experiences, very subtle, if he wasn’t such a popular author he’d be the darling of scholars, masterfully done, all instinctual, a bit of a slog, how masterful King is with the internal dialogue, it continues to move, day to day, a forward momentum, a doomclock, the Tuesday afternoon that never ends, an acceleration towards the end, Paul started feeling better, just the audio, the text -22 and counting, D-Day, it’s coming, little details that fill in the questions, that party, his friend who has the party, nice language about tripping on his mouth, d r o p, why did he take that drug?, those trips are designed to break you out of whatever rut you’re in, it didn’t work, or maybe it did work, really worried about suicide, he’s lying to himself, this alternative life for him, almost like the cancer is in him, he’s got a compulsion, he’s on this track, a path of self-destruction, don’t take the mescaline, get yourself back on track, compulsively and unconsciously taking decisions, you’d be a really good bowler, he didn’t need to watch more TV, it told him lies, nobody else is obsessed with TV, a Kingism, reading everything, he reads people’s cigarettes, branding, obsession, N, more obsessed with brand names, TV is sucked, The Glass Teat, reading Harlan Ellison when you’re 14, an eyeopener, pardon Paul’s language, the Dickhead’s show on Galactic Pot-Healer, dudes getting a book, appreciating a book the right way is a kind of a tragedy, writers could almost make livings, all writers, Langhorn J. Tweed, Paul knows a lot of them, some of them are rich and live off of investment properties, the rare exception, writing TV shows and making perfectly great livings, the actual novel and short story writing people can’t make a living from writing, a book that wasn’t written, he’s this weirdo writer, somehow able to do the thing people were able to do in the past, a professional writer, doing something of value, a kind of despair that most Americans and most people under capitalist, Mr Jim Moon’s patreon support, something outside, a lot worse off Mr Jim Moon?, Skeleton Crew’s introduction, why’d you bother with short stories, Steve?, you’re a clockwork monkey, he wanted people to read the books, good job I didn’t kill anybody, you’re interested, it gives value meaning satisfaction, for the love of sharing things, once you’re forced to make it your main profession, I need to make enough money to survive for the next month, market research, you don’t need to read Heinlein, making something that’s marketable, a compulsion, the opposite of a recipe, an intersection there, the realpolitik of having to pay the electric bill, what will my agent and publisher accept?, tricky things, the expansion of the number of books being published, publisher merging, consolidating, self-published stuff, a lot of content, underneath it all you’re a sharecropper for Bezos, the mediums, The Exorcist, barfs all over the place, and the priest can’t help, the meta on this book is really amazing, no forums, newspaper, radio, TV, record players, book store, today we have, what are Jesse’s students doing?, League Of Legends, free games, streaming, an increasingly smaller medium, people still like horses, people needed to know about horse shit, short stories are incredibly fringes, poetry journals, YouTube and Twitch content, this angst has been transferred to other places, podcasts are still on an upward arc, novels are on the decline now, short stories peaked in the 1950s and are on the steady decline, novels are on the decline, has broadcast TV gotten better or worse?, we’re in a something else, the media people consumed, magazines are almost gone, podcasts producing classic literature, we’re never going to give up on stories, he’s producing enough, original fiction, audio dramas in podcasting, carpetbaggers moving into podcasts, how do I make money off of this, inventing podcast dramas, there’s nobody to check their claims, the media now work for the giant corporations/the government, all a conspiracy to extract value, they sell it to you in lies, everything will be fine, he likes his suburban home, wonderful, horrible, struggling with reality, he got bought out, this terrible loss of his child, continuing in stasis, he can’t move on, what he’s stuck with, while he’s been grieving, who is this guy he’s talking about, is he schizophrenic?, middle names, such easy flow, well that was a clunky sentence, Kingisms, literary style, a slightly different Bachman style, repeat phrases, song lyrics, Fred and George, TV characters, repartee, dialogue with each other, internal development or decline, these same touchstones, the same song, or brand, or characters, tons of reviews of Stephen King stuff in the booktube environment, 6 minutes on this book, books that should have been Bachman books, Revival by Stephen King, Blaze by Stephen King, namedropping Lovecraft and Machen, fifth business, carnies, the trope of the mad scientist, made it totally realistic and totally believable, a mad scientist novel, Cujo, makes you feel dirty, split authors, Seanan McGuire, Mira Grant, A. Deborah Baker, branding, in the introduction, never lying, why Rage was out of print, not worried about being canceled, not having it on his conscience, suicide by cop people, the power of TV and media to influence people, a New York Times podcast, true crime podcasts, true crime/journalism podcasts, Derek Chauvin trial, make money off the gruesome interest, The Caliphate Podcast, all lies, the OJ Simpson trial, seven dancing its, Lorne Greene’s new cop show, random thoughts, he’s being shaped by what he sees, flipping scene, a suicide scene, in 100 years, an academia we won’t understand, blockchain version of academia, blockchain degrees, Jesse is a heretic, how good King was at doing this thing, the psychological underpinnings, tapping into something that’s real, accurate, Paul feels called out, always on about going down to Mexico and shooting zebra, a good time, that place in Mexico, stocked, a planned experience, a simulation, how much time we spend in games, drugstores in the 1970s, a spinner rack full of thin novels, you can’t review this with stars, I give it 6.7 out of ten, how could it have been a better book about killing yourself?, needed more cops killed?, he’s not really that immoral, barely a crime book, needs to be done, he detonated it himself at the end, he wanted to blow it all up, if he had nukes, this explains a lot of people, that guy in New Orleans, 2020 Nashville bombing, Oklahoma City Bombing, Anthony Quinn, a copy of Bachman’s novel?, 9/11 conspiracy, a conspiracy by the government?, the moon landing conspiracy theory, reptilian conspiracy theory, ufo conspiracy theories, reptoids, Atlantis, L.A. tunnels, The Shadow Kingdom by Robert E. Howard, weird and weird fiction, its a metaphor, why it has power, the dragons of ancient european mythology, he’s stealing our girls, he won’t share, redistribute the wealth, Jack Of Shadows by Roger Zelazny, mentioned in Appendix N by Jeffro Johnson, Beowulf scripted by Neil Gaiman, hyperbole, management makes things seem fake, a McDonalds equivalent, his whopper, this is supposed to look like that, food commercials, they have to use real food, mashed potatoes in place of ice cream, its all fake, everything is an illusion, there is no such thing is death, if Stephen King wasn’t so good at writing he might have blown something up, he didn’t kill anyone, its wrong to kill people, we gotta be real here, people reacting against being lied to and gaslit, another case, the Killdozer case, Theodore Sturgeon, he built a bulletproof killdozer, Marvin Heemeyer, Kentucky is for school shootings and Colorado is for rampages, I think God will bless me, notes found by investigators, zoning grudges, sometimes reasonable men must do unreasonable things, found in an altar, he’s tapped into something real, smoke from a campfire at all hours, they don’t want to escalate it, he’s got a brain injury, live and let live, people can be scary, muddle through somehow, he wouldn’t sell, why does everyone think he doesn’t move?, his castle, the castle doctrine, this is your life, to move an older person is traumatic, stairs or access or neglect, a mental trauma, we’re not just physical stuff, the rational thing to do, its gotta be done, there is no person there, “mistakes were made”, who made those mistakes?, The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy by Douglas Adams, the problems in the seventies was the government was interested in infrastructure, something we don’t hear as much about, eminent domain, the most obvious example of not letting people be, they want to bulldoze his life, his network of friends family neighbours, definitely Network, 6 killdozers out of 10.

Roadwork by Stephen King

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Reading, Short And Deep #266 – Roog by Philip K. Dick

Podcast

Reading, Short And DeepReading, Short And Deep #266

Eric S. Rabkin and Jesse Willis discuss Roog by Philip K. Dick

Here’s a link to a PDF of the story.

Roog was first published in Fantasy And Science Fiction, February 1953.

Podcast feed https://sffaudio.herokuapp.com/rsd/rss

Posted by Scott D. Danielson Become a Patron!

Reading, Short And Deep #201 – The Faithful by Lester del Rey

Podcast

Reading, Short And DeepReading, Short And Deep #201

Eric S. Rabkin and Jesse Willis discuss The Faithful by Lester Del Rey

The Faithful was first published in Astounding Science-Fiction, April 1938.

Here’s a link to the PDF of the story.

Podcast feed https://sffaudio.herokuapp.com/rsd/rss

Posted by Scott D. Danielson