The SFFaudio Podcast #717 – READALONG: Binary by Michael Crichton

Jesse, Paul Weimer, and Cora Buhlert talk about Binary by Michael Crichton

Talked about on today’s show:
1972, John Lange, hardcovers vs. paperback originals, a slim volume, 4 hours 26 minutes, the kind of paperback novel that made Jesse love novels, modern novel form is very big, as Michael Crichton’s career went on his books got bigger and bigger, market concerns, the price of paper, trilogies, sequels, the 70s, 50s, 60s, between 5 and 3 hours, Drug Of Choice, the Hard Case Crime reprints, this book really cooked, 19th century, 20th century, 21st century, beat beat beat beat and we’re done, a technothriller, a ticking time bomb, Tom Clancy, to pad it out, technical details, operation manuals for submarines, obvious mistakes, technobabble, a teaser for another book, 220 pages, The Hunt For Red October, the most iconic of technothrillers, German teachers in high school, a hardcore communist who loved The Hunt For Red October, leftist radicals, Stephen King-shaming, a terrible person, Amercian far-right conservative, published by Mabel Institute Press, not aimed to be a popular success, not suited to be a popular success, this little book from this naval press, the Harpoon board game, computer game strategy, Harpoon the novel, very much interested in the power of the Soviet Union, high-tech tech, appreciate the Soviet space program, similarly: Dune, famously not published in a mainstream press, Chilton, car repair manuals, a fixup, Gideon Marcus, nobody wanted to do Dune, the format, a 70s crime book, Donald E. Westlake, the Westlake in here, 1957, Russian translators, world communism, Russia and China, Graves worked for two years in the Army, the state department, 1959, on Senator Westlake’s staff, tuckerized, the movie, Crichton didn’t write the script, his first film (a TV movie), the dialogue is straight out of the book, a train in the book a truck in the film, for cost reasons, Ben Gazara isn’t the man of action, Steve Graves, John Wright, John Gray, John Lange, in a novel you can handle that, it could be confusing, doing that on purpose, right in the title, they are mirrors to each other, misunderstanding, diluting the binary aspect, adaptations are interpretations, the entirety of the original plot, being forced reconcile the entire thing, a ticking clock, minus 16 hours, plus 16 hours, a very Michael Crichton move, a great film director as well as a great writer, the ex-travel agency scene, Phelps and the John, one of those guys gets a name: Stark, Crichton knows who his daddy is, Peter Graves, Phelps, Mission: Impossible, a visual reader, 1966, the reboot in the 1980s, the Tom Cruise movies, a team thing, Simon Pegg, Ving Rhames, Star Trek, tech genius, almost no descriptions, how stripped down this is, very simple, seeing the end sequence set piece, a more modern take on this, Speed (1994), 3 (or 4) action sequences, taking the room from outside, the counter-agent, matter-of-factly, all a sham (sort of), not be blown up, not be gassed, the container is combustible, very simple and slick, Crichton’s writing is flawless, the psychological stuff, I’ve got this idea of a binary relationship, the bomb, the characters, the antidote, so many little things, two canisters, 75 and 76, driving around in the cars, 107 and 106, separated by one digit, what the psychiatrist thought of his answers to the Rorschach test, visiting his psychiatrist, Martin Sheen plays the hacker, home computers are not a thing yet, insurance underwriter, very high tech, a period piece, enough phone lines, hack the defense department, the technology of the time, Rorschach testing children, pictures of butterflies, a man who’s just finished killing his friend and now he feels sad, no obvious mistakes, it’s perfect, the video where the condemned was gassed, the French were guillotining people, firing squads, gas chambers, experiments that the Nazis did, a cool new nerve gas, North Korea, Cora’s skepticism, NASA Nazis, not quite that lethal, eliminating all of San Diego, a concentrated urban core, New York, he’s not trying to kill lots of people, he’s trying to eliminate the Republican Party, collateral damage, things are very divided, December 1972, it’s supposed to be Richard Nixon, Watergate, political scandals, foreign work, his focus is changing from foreign to domestic, Operation Mockingbird, domestic threats, tailing communists and soviets vs. tailing a businessman, domestic terrorism in Germany, the Committee To Re-elect the President, the suffix “gate”, G. Gordon Liddy, psychological records for the president’s enemy, Nixon’s cover-up was for something very similar, personal knowledge Crichton had, the stealing of opposition research, where the scandal was made public and there was a resignation, third-rate, portable wireless microphones, well funded, if you retire from the FBI you still have all those old contacts, old passwords, Graves likes the game too much, immoral and illegal, surveillance is questionable, 24 logic, Counter Terrorism Unit, spinning up possible threats, the Gretchen Whitmer kidnapping plot, almost all of them were FBI informants, banning a political party, half the party are informers, a strange situation, the more you encourage this sort of thing, one guy came up with a plan to blow up an airplane with his shoes, a “batshit” plot, binary liquids, liquid explosives in the plane toilet, more than 3 ounces, security theater, to annoy people vs. to control people, mixing shampoo and handcream to make sarin gas, Larry Niven spinning up scenarios, foreign agents get training in the USA to crash airplanes into the USA, done in real life, Japanese kamikaze attacks, Stukas, In The Line Of Fire (1993), a plastic gun, cat and mouse game, how to think outside the box, roadblocks, the dead man behind the grave, clockwork implications, his will continued beyond the grave, E.G. Marshall, a baddie, he started his own political movement, Absolute Power by David Baldacci, Gene Hackman, Clint Eastwood, a remix of Watergate with a sex scandal in the center, an attempted rape and an accidental murder, a lecherous Nixon, E.G. Marshall tries to kill the president again (and succeeds), what was weird about Watergate is that it came out, done ALL THE TIME, not that bad of a president, ended the Vietnam War, Willy Brandt, a social democrat, an angry letter to the party, the wife was sent to prison, deported to East Germany, their dad was a spy, why people would be so angry, a more modern analogy, foreign policy vs. domestic policy, starting the War on Drugs, paranoia, Shakespearian, in today’s politics, the 45th president, a foreign agency, the end of the Union, a terrible president, incompetent is a compliment, people who are happy Hillary Clinton is making noises like she was going to run again, the gerontocracy, batshit, a completely incompetent government, a cabinet of horrors, the Secretary of Justice, newer COVID measures, the Undersecretary of Culture, an anti-Semitic exhibit, ex-Nazis, what John W[r]ight’s motivation, perhaps you think that a few people have power, everyone is locked into a system that he has inherited, the century of impotence, inability to act, inability to be effective, the invocation of God, psychological not political reasons, Americans For A Better Nation (and extremist group), no significance in national politics, $1.7 million, just barely paying attention, doodling, 49 years old, a very strange child, mathematics, inveterate gambler, the assembled men began to fidget, New York from Pittsburgh, who does this remind you of?, six months nervous breakdown, paranoid ideation and feelings of impotence, he can’t get it up, erectile dysfunction, he’s right wing and thought Nixon betrayed, Wright murdered his wife, a car bomb, a Texas oil bomb, a shift in orientation for state intelligence, the number 55 man in the Black Panthers, the John Birch society, what do these three organizations have in common, political parties trying to change things, racism, they want a better nation, they’re on him like glue, terrorist attack, hey i’m trying to get your attention, weird purchases, he knows he’s being trailed, put the puzzle pieces together, The Riddler, a Batman villain, the Zodiac Killer, the smartest man in the room, Jack the Ripper, real-life serial killers, raping and killing women, elderly prostitutes, the terrible smell, keeping chopped up women in his attic, The Golden Glove (2019), the toughest bar in Hamburg, three movies about Ted Bundy, make a buck, he’s trying to kill himself, John Graves is going to bring him to his grave, suicide by cop, a particular frustration with life, a dignified way to make your life have meaning (by doing something political), John Graves is a mirror to John Wright, he can’t stop the game, escape to some beach country (Jamaica), at the airport, the caretaker was black, Hard Case Crime covers, a 1970s shampoo ad, the most interesting parts, a single woman in a speaking role, on the night before he’s going to do the big deed they “made it three times”, Crichton trained as a doctor, a little bit of psychology, a delightful enjoyable read, because of the era, his later long long books and sequel books, raw paperback novel style storytelling, limited to the length of the paperbacks on the spinner racks at the drugstore, a Weird Tales in the 1930s, a paperback in the 1970s, the time to go to the drugstore, cheap aspirin, mostly romance, racks, the latest political biography, the airport bookstore, lots of bestsellers, a book about magical rituals, Amsterdam, Detroit, vaguely readable, a Battletech novel, dime novels, pulp novels, 64 pages, Country Style Living, Drug Of Choice, Dealing, a shadowy corporation, it sounds good, let’s do it!, 166 pages, Brilliance Audio (owned by Amazon/Audible), Easy Go, a tomb book, Odds On, Zero Cool, The Venom Business, Grave Descend, thirty year highschool reunion, Hugo nominations, a good excuse to move up on Cora’s reading pile, on the sched, the copyright page, John Lange asserts the moral right, copyright renewed by Michael Crichton, he got his moral, copyright extension ending, for Jasper Johns (whose preoccupation provided solutions), little bits that relate, Angry Robot books, a tiny little easter egg, 208 pages, a book about the artist, later Crichton books, a real intellect, he’s not a fake, his clean writing, very tall and very smart, director, medical doctor, a renaissance man, you hear things about books, until you read it for yourself…, 1940s science fiction stories, Galactic Journey, received knowledge, good works have been forgotten, anthologists, people who need to be championed and people who had too many champions, L. Ron Hubbard had far too big a champion, Margaret St. Clair didn’t have kids, champions for garbage and orphans for everything else, Michael Crichton’s kids, most didn’t copyright renew, trademark, Doctor Mabuse, Cora’s modern Mabuse, trademark has to be enforced, the French Conan, Robert E. Howard, The Cimmerian, the American ones are pretty bad, just go with the title of the story, they’ll lie, Conan Properties International, Fred Malmberg, Brandon Sanderson, corporations are worse than estates, suck blood, backup stories for The Shadow, work for hire, James Patterson, Darkman (1990), Tim Curry, The Spider, Marvel will publish a one-shot, DC’s Unknown Soldier, they’re just not into it, that’s how they enforce the trademark, a Captain America movie in the 80s, the Spider-Man movies, the early Fantastic Four movie, an actor or a scriptwriter working on a a movie not for release, shit work, the opposite of getting a camera and going out in the woods vs. contractual obligation (to preserve profits), the horror we’re trying to avoid at all costs.

PAN - Binary by Michael Crichton

PURSUIT (1972) TV movie

HARD CASE CRIME - Binary by Michael Crichton

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The SFFaudio Podcast #711 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: The Shunned House by H.P. Lovecraft

The SFFaudio Podcast
The SFFaudio Podcast #711 – The Shunned House by H.P. Lovecraft – read by Gregg Margarite. This is a complete and unabridged reading of story (1 hour 7 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants include Jesse, Evan Lampe, Connor Kaye, and Jason Thompson.

Talked about on today’s show:
a book in 1928, Weird Tales, October 1937, the S.T. Joshi, a posthumous story of immense power, The Black Stranger by Robert E. Howard, it’s been only 15 years since Robert E. Howard’s death, so fucked up, Evan’s podcast about it, Wayne June’s version for Audio Realms, he’s the best narrator for this, why is Poe in this?, he’s really into Poe, wooing, definitely probably didn’t notice this house, irony is seldom absent, what’s happening structurally, somebody buries somebody beneath the floorboards, a lady in a house down the street, two main characters who are bachelors obsessed with a house, what happens to the uncle, he’s killed, he’s homicided by his uncle, six carboys of acid, structurally its very much like The Tell-Tale Heart, ha ha ha I’m doing Poe, stronger or equal to anything Poe ever wrote, tops, weirdness and horror, one of his underrated stories, this isn’t in any of them, a little longer, the buildup, the backend, the release of the tension, very genealogical (hence kind of dull), now that Jason’s a parent, child deaths, everyone dies, everyone goes insane, tragic and emotional events in dry synopses, melodrama, some of his best deep dives into the history of a place and a character, He, using architecture to dig into the history of places, time travel, walking tours, Etienne Roulet, some of the best stuff in the story, the history and ownership of the house, windows, working class experience of horror, the way knowledge is communicated, the grapevine telegraph, so many echoes of other stories, which ones are not included, The Statement Of Randolph Of Carter, The Lurking Fear, the shadow on the mantelpiece, two guys sleeping in a house with disturbing nightmare dreams, The Case Of Charles Dexter Ward, The Colour Out Of Space, body horror, inverted, a material that goes into living things and pumps it up vs. removing something from living things and making it worse, a disgusting factor in the plants, vampirized vs. injected with tainted materials, vaguely traditional ghost stories, The Unnamable, crazy ghosts, extremely , vital force and attenuated matter, shapeless blobs, shapeless ghost monsters, we see an elbow, two feet in diameter, biceps, he seems to have been growing, they buried a titan, looking into the pit before pouring, Lovecraft knows what’s under there but we only get to see the elbow, a research story, the Indian graveyard, the town graveyard, Elihu Whipple, tricorn hats mad at him, cutting hearts out to kill vampires, a werewolf story from France, his uncle’s really into it, one of these goings back in time, he’s already tipped his hand, archaeological digging is really fun, atmosphere building, a very WWI exhumation of bodies buried, chronologically, nesting, Russian nesting dolls, Carrington brought something back, buried in the basement like a treasure, Jack Roulet, put on trial in France, half-werewolf half-vampire, 16th century people, more vampiric than it is werewolf, drawn to the land, a deeper history here, the entity, live in their own soil, a Dracula story as well, excavated their ancestor, their personal cemetery, we must destroy the memory, fainted suggestive sympathy for the monster, evil wizards, killed by a mob, hostile or seeking self-preservation, being buried alive, preserved himself in his last moments, the creature is alive, whatever it is, The Dweller by H.P. Lovecraft (Fungi From Yuggoth, #31), there’s something under the ground, a yellow day, the factory, pipes are croaking, alive down there but asleep, half-life, undead, growing in size, he’s not just pale he’s translucent, something softer than dirt, a folded stovepipe but rubbery-er, a hard turn materialistic science fiction, a gratuitous body count, we need a flamethrower, a crooke’s tube, like a cathode Ray tube, powerful batteries, positron emitters from Ghostbusters, backpack cyclotron, gas mask, a shovel and some acid, proton packs, so cool, ghost hunting shows, I’m getting em radiation, a great short film, two ghost hunters, 12 minutes long, pretty terrific, the possession, the way the possession works, the vampure thingy is stealing people, vital life essences, they are the haunters of the house, Slither (2006), an alien comes to Earth, a consciousness, monstrous body horror creature, James Gunn, a zombie aspect, sickly and dying get glassy eyed and try to bite, a completely different take, early vampire mythology, get really bloated in their coffins, a corpse being bloated from decomposing, absorbing some life force and getting bigger and bigger, feeding on life-force, a giant, if they hadn’t of stopped it, deleting it, it could have woken up and been a Clark Ashton Smith story,

Antarktos by H.P. Lovecraft
Deep in my dream the great bird whispered queerly
Of the black cone amid the polar waste;
Pushing above the ice-sheet lone and drearly,
By storm-crazed aeons battered and defaced.
Hither no living earth-shapes take their courses,
And only pale auroras and faint suns
Glow on that pitted rock, whose primal sources
Are guessed at dimly by the Elder Ones.

If men should glimpse it, they would merely wonder
What tricky mound of Nature’s build they spied;
But the bird told of vaster parts, that under
The mile-deep ice-shroud crouch and brood and bide.
God help the dreamer whose mad visions shew
Those dead eyes set in crystal gulfs below!

something frozen under the ice that’s going to come out,

The House
By H.P. Lovecraft

’Tis a grove-circled dwelling
Set close to a hill,
Where the branches are telling
Strange legends of ill;
Over timbers so old
That they breathe of the dead,
Crawl the vines, green and cold,
By strange nourishment fed;
And no man knows the juices they suck from the depths of their dank slimy bed.

In the gardens are growing
Tall blossoms and fair,
Each pallid bloom throwing
Perfume on the air;
But the afternoon sun
With its shining red rays
Makes the picture loom dun
On the curious gaze,
And above the sween scent of the the blossoms rise odours of numberless days.

The rank grasses are waving
On terrace and lawn,
Dim memories sav’ring
Of things that have gone;
The stones of the walks
Are encrusted and wet,
And a strange spirit stalks
When the red sun has set,
And the soul of the watcher is fill’d with faint pictures he fain would forget.

It was in the hot Junetime
I stood by that scene,
When the gold rays of noontime
Beat bright on the green.
But I shiver’d with cold,
Groping feebly for light,
As a picture unroll’d—
And my age-spanning sight
Saw the time I had been there before flash like fulgury out of the night.

the accompanying illustration, what is feeding the plants is a coffin, thinking layers, spirals up and down the house, beneath the ground floor, five chapters?, the occupation, the kitchen is in the basement, where the servants are going crazy, neighbouring houses are never effected, the fungus are the reaching out, black mold fucking up people’s lungs, a fungus vampire, spores are bad for your lungs, bad dreams, a toxic house, toxic mold, a ghost story, titan in the basement, tightness of The Terrible Old Man, some really awesome action, fun research in the middle, a happy ending (other than the uncle being dead), gets away with murdering his uncle, his hat is lying there, slime stained underwear, Cool Air, The Thing On The Doorstep also has a hat involved, melting, The Facts In The Case Of M. Valdemar, Body Melt (1993), just as tasteful, The Velveteen Rabbit lady, keep shunning that house, something physical, Hill House is just an evil house, the Marsten House, the Overlook Hotel, into science, Stephen King is not a scientist at all, a psych figure, Poltergeist (1982), buried indians, a suburban house built upon them, the Narragansett Indians, reduced to one man’s research, creepy houses, designate them, made up, based on rumor, the rumors are always true in Lovecraft, the rumors are revelatory, always in the right, true in the game vs. true in the stories, red herrings are only there to improve the story, not to fuck up the story (in good writing), Lovecraft knows what he’s doing, why these guys are unmarried, it’s not their house, what are you doing?, a funny line, my nerves were so shattered I had to write some poems, made me feel better, not the standard dude, the uncle is the stand in for Lovecraft’s grandfather, Elihu Whipple, maternal grandfather, a mixture of a few different family members, one of his uncles, a memorial for his uncle, a dedication to Lovecraft’s own grandfather, a bachelor, shed some tears, he’d still be alive with me here today, another statement (to the police or his own lawyer), to explain the missing uncle, he and Carrington Harris, he can partially backup my story, give an alibi, here’s the keys, all the equipment, fought in the Civil War, lickety split, a doctor in the Civil War, a lot of nautical stuff, a history of the United States, a break with the past, the ship being burned in 1772, set in 1919, 1920, the Klinger anthology, marginal notes, decoded it, made the timeline then wrote the story, some even and now we’re going into the deep history of this, the history of the house (vs. the history of the man), the timeline is very similar, colonial America, maritime history, Georgian America, a Mercy Dexter in this story, the names, Pelleg Harris, Moby-Dick, this is Lovecraft’s take on The House Of The Seven Gables, drink blood, a nice old lady who likes baking cookies, set in a basement, a dusty old house, no monster in the sub-basement, what this has that that doesn’t is a payoff to the awesome setup, The Undying Thing by Barry Pain, born as a werewolf, underground stuff is awesome, crashing down like, the tell-tale elbow, the weirdest part, the vampire loins, it could be anything, planting the seeds early, the apple trees are giving out small sweet apples, enjoys thinking about the house, a vampire in the basement at one point, becoming degraded, Evan needs to do a series on Nathaniel Hawthorne, Hepzibah’s gingerbread cookies, more like this, The Fall Of The House Of Usher, get out of New England, escape this past and move on, go to the frontier, I’m going to fix up this nice old house, look at my ancient furniture matches the sideboard, the fanlights are amazing, he should’ve stopped at this house, unremarkable, sinister in his description, exuding a sinister aura, a nice house he appreciated, night black deeds, unnaturally steep roof, corpse fed, the septic tank, rank, a big shit, a physical force, lush, rheumy eyed grass, really gross, the roots of the tree still form the shape of elbows, fingers, still here, but the evil’s gone, a body horror story, a generation of horror, six-seven generations, still-births, on the face of the uncle, hosing down with the proton pack, going Tell-Tale Heart, melted his uncle, yellow gas, he passes out, his gas-mask fails him, the crookes tube has no effect, an old wooden house, a wet house, using flamethrowers inside a house, military flamethrowers, no cameras to document, 12 minutes, an adaptation, good music, this shunned story, the Taiwan lockdown continues, 50 people are moderately sick, people are less crazy [in British Columbia] here now, antibodies test, PCR tests, working from home, people are over it, the first big outbreak, 23-24 million people in Taiwan, there are more people in Taiwan than Australia, crammed in there, size of Australia vs. size of Taiwan, 215 times bigger, so sparse, easier to quarantine, China’s density, hardcore lockdowns in China, Australia: “once we’re vaccinated we’ll just open up”, political, the end of a career, stories from Shanghai, Tasmania is almost twice as big as Taiwan, shipping the vaccinated to Tasmania, Australia shipping refugees to Christmas Island, on the opposite side of the planet, Paul is getting shutout, Like A Thief In Broad Daylight by Slavoj Žižek, spit-all over, so excited, amped up, touching his nose, his brain is redlining, so prolific and fun, Living In The End Times, film criticism, a public intellectual, The Goddess Of Atvatabar, The Screwfly Solution, tripping over her name, The Mystery Of Sylmare, Strawberry Spring, Marissa VU is editing a magazine, lots of time for Jesse’s nonsense, Babbitt up next, The Thing In The Woods, both good and bad news, bad news is bad, good news is German, podcast Cora time, time zone, double good news, disarray, a working holiday, au pair, a tutor for babies, GCHQ doing more evil analysis, the secret cover, Alex from Pulpcovers, NLAWs, 33 billions for Ukraine is 33 billion for the industry, extend a proxy war, 1963-75?, leftover NAZIs with NLAWs, all that money goes to the militias, the alternative, two shitty options, who do you want to be your master?, literally occupied, the Donbas and Crimea, there’s been a war there since 2014, active troops, special operations (not rolling tanks), this is how we make our money, turning off the spigot of Afghanistan, tic tok, $1 for Ukraine added toy your bill, would you like to donate this money to Children’s Hospital, a parasite business, universal healthcare, don’t you have any charity?, automated tips, for the wait staff, a shifting, public goods, care for children who are ill, from government responsibilities, floods, another bloody wave of floods, the charity drops off, Peter Dutton set up go fund me, trained that way, the World Economic Forum, Justin Trudeau, his deputy prime minster, Klaus Schwab, instant disqualification, Bill Gates’ bad press, Elon Musk, fan or stan?, in the guillotine line, Joe Rogan, a mansion, the largest landholder of croplands in the U.S.A., an attack vector, fancy cars, he’s the billionaire who hasn’t gone to space, Bezos Beelzebub, asmodeus, he’s like Tiamat, ok?, Tiamat is female and not a they them, pre-biblical, prioritize, No-Man’s Land by John Buchan, finger bandaid, a baby on each knee screaming in German, a walled city, uberroads, autobahns, ultraroads, Mr Jim Moon, Darlington, a small town in central England, a saga on YouTube and Twitter, political, PayPal cancelling people’s access to their accounts, Russian affiliated media, NFTs, the NFT weirdos, purchasing using crypto, Elon Musk was an early investor in PayPal, Charles Ardai, Hard Case Crime, awesome covers of pulp-style paperbacks, a mix of new and old, Fifty To One by Charles Ardai, the correct vision, why Elon is good too, he has passion for things, he wants to go to Mars, he likes fast cars, interested in everything, who else is making satellite internet?, a lot of change in the world, wanting power, I don’t want nice, I want rockets, anti-union, unions limit power, Toyota, responsibility, not just extracting value, we want workers to be self-actualized, the money compensation is there because the job isn’t fun, given Jesse’s awesomeness, we start with the worst not the richest, Bill Gates, locked-down, this guy with no medical degree has vast control, he stole a computer program, ruthlessness, tiger-eye, hiring a lot of engineers, who has changed cars more?, my Bill foundation, you still shorting Tesla stock?, how to lose a boner fast, he’s trolling the right people, Trump has the right enemies, Julius Caesar had the right enemies, I can see the vast appeal, lying to our faces without a sense of humour, his worst tweet: we will coup whoever we want, reins of power vs. power players, what has Microsoft done for you lately?, they got Skype, did they improve it, still free, an inertia, Discord has been cancelling people, the healthiest ecosystem is still Microsoft, sail across the pacific ocean with a granola bar, Mac’s walled garden, organize, dos a dos Ace Double style, Strange Embrace, Robert McGinnis, leg lengths, long necks, Michael Whalen, fucking fantastic covers, the name of the author, an amazing cover, where in the culture it sits, 2012, 361 by Donald E. Westlake, The Girl Who Electrified Tesla, Gun Honey, modern day pulp adventure, the Gabriel Hunt series, Robert E. Howard style, dangerous book for boys, Glen Orbik, very El Borak, he has the right taste and is enthusiastic about getting things done, The Colorado Kid by Stephen King, Joyland, Later, all the Donald E. Westlake, nice length, The Gods Of Bal-Sagoth by Robert E. Howard, The Black Stranger, he’s like Skeletor except cool, Max Allan Collins, the Quarry series,

The Shunned House - illustration by Virgil Finlay

The Shunned House - illustration by Otto Bumberger

The Shunned House - illustration by Muzski

135 Benefit Street - The Shunned House

135 Benefit Street - The Shunned House

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The SFFaudio Podcast #706 – READALONG: Everything’s Eventual by Stephen King

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #706 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, and Evan Lampe talk about Everything’s Eventual by Stephen King

Talked about on today’s show:
Stephen “Shitlib” King, on twitter, Marissa, what’s a shitlib?, explaining without being derisive, at the heart of his character, urban dictionary, portmanteau, leftist, spinelessness, hypocrisy, vote blue no matter who, hit the phones, an American treasure, fear of political radicals, Randall Flagg, Under The Dome, anxiety about radicalism among boomers, he’s not stupid, blinkered on some political issues, Fantasy & Science Fiction, October November 1997, novella, his psychology is on display, JFK, he can’t get JFK out of his mind, he’s not willing to accept, of more than one mind on things, why his characters can be so good, a terrific story in terms of readability, a small idea sustained for 2 hours, not that much material going on, the little drips, the chronology of this story is so well done, he hints that he murdered this guy, murder, what he can do and what he did do, a trailer, 2008 adaptation, “dollar baby”, SK will let you adapt anything for $1 (for no commercial students), what makes him a shitlib, I’m wealthy, I want to make everything post scarcity, he can’t be that, he does this half-measure, John Scalzi, no where in the league of Stephen King, filmmakers have a lot of interest in this, you want to do it that’s great, that’s why we don’t get to see this movie, an advocate of public domain, decry, an exemplar of his shitlibbery, he’s also a brand, offensive adaptations, diminishing his stature, it has hurt Shakespeare’s reputation greatly, a right wing screed, how could Stephen King let Trump do that?, he’s not going to get shit on by random people, Caitlin Johnstone, Australian, an online twitter commentator, you work for RT, you can do anything you want with my stuff as long as you’re not racist, you can’t really control what other people do unless you’re Stephen King, what piracy is, worrying, Stephen King knows JFK’s assassination isn’t on the up and up, who is this transcorporation, a dinky tranny, why he hasn’t been canceled yet, he wants to keep his reputation as a shitlib, trying to reconcile and can’t, a generous person who loves are but can’t, Richard Bachman, books, an extreme critique of American capitalism, massive dissatisfaction, this nefarious corporation, the government, a secret organization, people who shine, The Dark Tower, Firestarter, kill off people who are threats to the system, written around 1997, these are the people the system allows to exist to give them legitimacy, critique the system slightly from the left, The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas, they’re who Stephen King wants to be, the true threats to the system, the general who turns his back on war, and who is going to run for office, a lib columnist, the pope and the dog (Muffins), they’re not targeting prison abolitionists or anti-capitalists, that’s true, he could have highlighted any three people, he sees them as threats to the system, if this story was set in the 1960s, would Martin Luther King be targeted if this was set in the 1960s, Dolores Claiborne, he can’t resist to demonize a character, an obsession he has, Camelot and what might have been RFK, JFK was not a shitlib, a tool of American empire, he was trying to dismantle, why did they kill him?, he was fighting the military industrial complex, he was a cold warrior, he talks like a cold warrior, invading Cuba, aircover for the Bay of Pigs, a great betrayal of the deep state, the CIA, the Cuban expatriate right (wing), Florida, too soft on Kennedy, Jesse denies killing killing Kennedy, The Devil’s Chessboard, the Dulles brothers did it, the FBI was run by a guy who had massive power over presidents, J. Edgar Hoover, Allen Dulles was fired by JFK, why Oswald killed JFK, in the area, the Zupruder film, suppressed since the 1960s, he wrote a book 11/22/63, there’s something rotten in the state of Denmark, he’s not willing to accuse his Uncle [Sam], what this story is about, why Evan picked this story, Call Him Nemesis (is a) superhero origin story by Donald E. Westlake, three help Roland, Dinky Earnshaw, his one true multiverse, like Isaac Asimov, Foundation and Empire, Robert A. Heinlein, The Number Of The Beast, Gulf, Friday, why is Pug in this story, the guy at the super-saver, The Mist, autobiographical stuff, the themes of the story, most of us, the vast majority of our talents are wasted, like Stephen King, this grocery store, the recruiter, the mom, Sharpton, what’s so powerful about this story, your talent is useful, so seductive, fall into the trap, trained to do horrible things, give them a home, easy to justify, wipes out a wedding in Yemen, Afghanistan, more egregious, a seductive reality, people want to be useful, do nothing all day, take photos all day, free of economic constraints, wasting real talent, how many Mozarts are working in some coal mine, Ansel Adams working as warranty administrators, recruited into the military, your country needs you, if you work hard you can advance up the ranks, the army made me the man I am today, Starship Troopers, the satire, my doggy thing, an image of a guy throwing change down the drain on the side of the road, fire hydrants, rain gutters, as a kid that’s what you’re close to, as a shorter person, those summers last forever, your grade 8 summer, not sending to Nyarlathotep, why would anybody throw clothes down there?, get rid of the money, great writing, what isn’t answered, pug is also a funny name, fuck Mrs. Buckowski’s dog, he hates the dog, his hatred for dogs, Muffins is a dog, transforms in his dream from Pug into Skipper, he knows he’s killing innocent people, he’s killing pugs, what we know about psychopaths, killing animals, Dink is a very nice guy, pizza face, chocolate, we like him, at the end of the story, it’s going to go there, the tie, “company”, a cutout for the CIA, The Men Who Stare At Goats, Courtney Brown, remote viewing, DARPA, a great job, but its a cult and you’re doing evil, rescinded, a shell company, the bombsight metaphor, surrounded by homeless people, a super-analytical mind, Philip K. Dick, boobs, coffee, religious philosophy, the names in here are not nothing, Excalibur, Neff’s suicide, white haired New York Times columnist, good humoured fuck, Double Indemnity, Walter Neff, suckered in by a hot lady, murder, he can’t quite put it all together, faces out of the earth coming to haunt him in his dreams, I’m the tool, Stephen King knows what the problem is, he can’t make that extra step, King with a Ukraine shirt, he’s on board, he won’t rock the boat, he’s a good boy, he can write another story, I got another story to write, bringing out the psychology of himself, a very frustrating situation, he can’t escape, somebody comes and saves him?, that’s the ending?, the opening of a novel, not an ending, a gap in the writing, Mr. Sharpton is not the boss of this company, he’s killing some guy who’s like him, I’ve been hypnotized and maybe drugged, he’s the handler, how spies make assets, Chuck, The Americans, the things that shitlibs say: “Russian assets”, ex-CIA guys on Twitter, Mike Baker, Joe Rogan, a time clock, the relationship will fall apart, starting with a negative vs. a positive, human assets are time limited, revenge, blackmail, recruited as a positive, apple pie, swank mag, his internet was censored, when things shifted, browsers in 1994, other people are watching him, he’s being spied on in the past, post-cogs, JFK was killed by a woman, even Stephen King doesn’t think that Oswald did it, mostly a love story, he can’t come to terms with it, he can’t grapple with it, JFK, RFK, more right wing, Catholics should have loved JFK, conservative Catholic, as an alternative to Nixon, LBJ, what might have been, he was murdered, even the president can be assassinated, banned from twitter, Trump should have nationalized twitter, nationalizing gas companies, if you can ban the most powerful person in the world from communicating, who’s really in charge?, a very 1960s film, Dr. Strangelove (1964), James Coburn, The President’s Analyst (1967), Gravy Planet aka The Space Merchants, Martha Wells’ Murderbot series, the Aliens universe, working hand in glove, al the way back to Smedley Butler, the business plot, War Is A Racket, an agent of corporations, a mercenary for United Fruit, enforcing the Monroe doctrine, Oswald was Dink, if you buy the official story, recruited by the CIA to live in Russia, pro and anti-Cuba in Florida, who was his paymaster, Robert Dwoney Jr., Air America is a CIA plot, drug running and gun running, a fun movie, those are Dinks, illegal, off the books, if the president is playing the game, is all of King like this?, how this story is told, how things are revealed, a Dark Tower connection, Ted Chiang’s Understand, intellectual powers, The Dreams In The Witch-House, making a guy off himself, paranoid shit like that, Steven Seagal and Jean Claude Van Damme, stream of consciousness, Gerald’s Game, he’s still really relevant, non-euclidean, he doesn’t even know the world eldritch, talents, a metaphor for him, why he is Dink, why he banned his school shooting book, he thinks this power is real, crazy but also true, he doesn’t want to have this on his conscience, much bigger than he is, what if he is wrong?, not the Stephen King that we have, they’d have to deal with him, maybe?, George Orwell, Animal Farm is a CIA tool, Nineteen Eighty-Four, Animal Farm is the one they push, this is not bullshit, he can’t be responsible, he hates Trump, and he’s a good boy, the tower can’t fall, you just can’t go there, why he’s so sucessful, The Dark Tower is reactionary, the last cop trying to hold together the universe, a traditional liberal, it doesn’t outline the issue, he’s not willing to accept what he knows is true, he’s writing it all over the page, Understand is much more simple, Limitless, the power to predict, super-analyze, taking knowledge, the’s correlating all the contents, a one man psychohistory, he’s pretending like he’s dumb, Paul has a day job, wordle, a nice relaxing game of Civ, sunrise and sunset photos, putting things together, what writers and comedians do all day long, putting it all together, truing to understand reality, the mainstream media, the transcribers of CIA talking points, Abby Martin and Chris Hedge’s back catalogue on YouTube were deleted, the Russians interfered in our elections, stop the steal, the same narrative and the same set of beliefs, the same unfounded set of beliefs, they’re swimming in it, NPR, PBS, Democracy Now used to be anti-war, Yemen (war) is vaguely bad, the AirWars website, the numbers don’t go down, the narrative wont allow it, he wont allow us to see the final conclusion, killing off the Excalibur guy, he can’t solve the story, it really is a disappointing ending, he isn’t exposing anything, if you want to escape, he hasn’t followed it up, taken back in by another recruiter to be a breaker, a secret book, here’s what I really thought, Galileo can’t say what he really thinks, and yet it moves, a tell-all, why he has to keep writing, he’s gotta avoid making that conclusion, too afraid of disorder, Secret Window, Secret Garden, Rest Stop, beats up an abusive man in a rest stop toilet, fearful of disorder, his greatest fear is the fear at the ending of The Mist, I just have to kill my family, what if I’m wrong?, the dark ending that Hollywood couldn’t handle, the movie ending makes it more explicit, makes the subtext text, highlights the mistake, good and stability wins out, is stability always good?, Dungeons & Dragons, good vs. evil, order vs. chaos, a lawful evilness to the American Empire, we define what lawful , James Clapper: “not wittingly” is lying to congress, weapons of mass destruction, mistakes were made, when people get divorced, I want to not be married to this person, I’m going to go to the garage more, circumstances that will lead, the life wish vs. the death wish, we should always be thinking about our own psychology, I’m married to the United States, happy wife, happy life, because if it rhymes it must be true, if the glove doesn’t fit you must acquit, write more stuff, if you do look into the dark pit you , what is the end goal, I want to be the last man standing, a lot of people do the hot drop, feeling the stress building over a half an hour, a miniature version of life, to understand truth, killing people doesn’t make you survive better, being aggressive doesn’t make you less likely to be killed, the life instinct and the death instinct, to be stressed out, a very immature thing, its lunch time, alone in a classroom, building a house of cards, blow on his house a cards, what would child Paul, most boys would exercise their vital power, they want to see stuff blow up, that felt bad, stop the bully, we have both instincts, to be the bully and to stop the bully, what play is, puppies and kittens, 100% natural, as an adult you don’t do this anymore, not a dis just a fact, there’s consequences to his actions, Dink is immature, ignorant, socially isolated, why King is playing him as a less savvy version of himself, interesting Catholic stuff, King’s a Methodist, the pope being assassinated, Stephen King is dink and the plot master, Mercedes, Mr. Mercedes, symbols of power, jeans are for fucking around, suits are for business, King doesn’t wear a suit (because he’s not a businessman), what keeps him writing, suits are almost always bad news, technical dress code shirt, a shirt with a collar and buttons, a 70s shirt, Leonard McCoy’s chest hair, a pretty big collar, Kirk with the arm hair, giant belt buckles, a tracking device, a little off topic, a little Star Trek talk for Chowbacca, it’s fun to hear your name called out, how’s Picard season 2 going?, the Red Letter Media, enjoying their discomfort, another national treasure, how their collective works, their editing is good, their insights are good, commercially interesting, the Critical Drinker guy, Red Letter Media aren’t interested in the Batman movie, their Darkman (1990) review, its a good time to consider Sam Raimi, how this podcast works, what’s the hot new book out?, no interest, N.K. Jemisin, I consider her a friend, Nora, Paul considers them all friends, a moderator on her twitch channel, free labour here too, how many PUBG games has she played with you?, more of a guy game, DaRose, nobody wants to here his civil war stories, their ideal audience, people don’t read civil war anthologies, Sinclair Lewis, nobody knows him, Arrowsmith, Elmer Gantry, Charles Brockden Brown, Edgar Allan Poe, 1st hundred pages are poetry, the ultimate thesis on The Raven, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Ben Franklin, John Adams, inventor, intellectual, Evan was triggered, hard on John Adams, sacrificed his presidency to stop a war, he was unpopular, greater moral considerations, Andrew Jackson, oof size large, trigger Evan about Poe, strictly monogamous, Poe is so rich, he’s super-intimidating, he’s like William Shakespeare, having issues, away from the , In And Out Burgers, having Paul adventures, more shitlib King, the Dark Tower is too big, anything long will trigger Jesse, the 70 hours The Devil’s Chessboard [is 26 hours], Ariel and Will Durant, a history of pop, a history of car tires, take decades off your life, H.G. Wells’ [history] stuff, The Outline Of History is 44 hours, double speed, Everything’s Eventual narrator was great, it’ll be on sale at some point, Justin Long is a good narrator, movie actor, Dodgeball (2004), Accepted (2006), Idiocracy (2006), the Bruce Willis thing, Tusk (2014), aphasia, low budget bad movies, he shouldn’t be doing this, he might need the money, offensive to the craft, like Jean Luc Picard is offensive, ORson Welles hawking wine, debase themselves, Nicole Kidman out on the street hooking, that’s a shame, with the proper camera placement, aphasia is an inability to speak, almost nobody knows what this word means, Alzheimer’s is tarred, some brain effect, we’re being lied to, definitely an issue, dementias, we’re eating it up and reporting, if he can’t memorize scripts, Saturday Night Live, Andrew Dice Clay, performer vs. actor, on live television, Hail, Caesar! (2016), Ethan Cohen’s short stories, something wrong with their writing, they enjoy their writing more than, Fargo (1996), O Brother Where Art Thou (2000), smug, the lady with the big lips, Billy Bob Thornton, The Man Who Wasn’t There (2001), big fish in a small pond, Inglorius Basterds (2009), The Hateful Eight (2015), Elmore Leonard, Jackie Brown (1997), El Mariachi (1992), Robert Rodriguez, Spy Kids, his best self, not to the level as Quentin Tarantino, as much like Hitchcock as Hitchcock, human flourishing, seeing the great master at work, another Rock movie, direct to Netflix, Inside Llewyn Davis (2013), odd obsessions, an irony there, The Hudsucker Proxy (1994), Frances McDormand, Evil Dead, Evil Dead 2, Army Of Darkness, its Phantom Of The Opera, they didn’t make that connection, a monster not a superhero, the Amber Chronicles, unlike all the other Universal Monsters, the werewolf, the spiderwoman, the creature from the black lagoon, Frankenstein creature, a solid science fiction backstory, how the plot is the same as Robocop (1987), ladies falling off buildings, sold out to do all those spider-man movies, film is a strange medium, Doctor Strange, multiverse fiction, Morbius the living vampire, literary characters were allowed, nobody is willing to shill for it, it must be dogshit, audience score, people in the genre community, Dracula shows up in Marvel Comics, nudity!, reasonable, rational copyright, Stephen King has the ability, and chooses not to do that, two things you can do, creative commons, LibriVox makes a frowny face, the regime of this stuff doesn’t compel authors to keep their copyright term, filmmakers on YouTube, back when we were trying to make the web good, as soon as it leaves your pencil, while we keep it in print, particular contracts, work for hire, he can’t reconcile, Brandon Sanderson, contracts are not copyright, Jesse waved a wand, movie rights are not included, why it has a baby in it, his babies maybe?, the festival circuit and educational purposes only, Mute, good stories, he feels guilty, I wanna be generous about this, exploit his writings, he’s stuck, full blown Alan Moore, fawk them awl, the Dark Tower audio drama people, cock blocked, trying to get a series done, the law is two, phones with no headphone jacks, android phones, even Samsung, another way, you wanted to put your little Dinky in there, a little MP3 player, phones are becoming worse and worse, LG went out of the cellphone business.

Fantasy & Science Fiction, October November 1997

Eveything's Eventual art by Jill Bauman

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The SFFaudio Podcast #703 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: Call Him Nemesis by Donald E. Westlake

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #703 – Call Him Nemesis by Donald E. Westlake; read by Chris Pyle

This unabridged reading of the story (54 minutes) is followed by a discussion of it.

Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Paul Weimer, Maissa Bessada, and Evan Lampe.

Talked about on today’s show:
Worlds Of If, September 1961, programmatical problem, H.L. Gold, art, a juvenile delinquent rumble scene, early 50s, a strange story, a juvenile like Heinlein, so much Westlake in it, advanced stuff, the man with the handkerchief mask, the perfect stranger, Miss English, the girls in the gilded teller cages, dozing, savings account (again), the bank robbers are exactly the same, triplets, little Eddy, that kid from the bank, a transitive property in the writing, what makes the story longer than it probably should be, one of the cops doesn’t get it, why (maybe) it was better for Donald Westlake to leave science fiction, essentially science fiction, except for the fantasy element, The Scorpion!, a comic book superhero origin story, J. Jonah Jameson’s pov, a super-hero’s early exploits, Batman (1989), a scientific investigation, curlicues, letters to the newspapers, kid language, warn the citizens, bad doer’s begone, your printer informs on you, sending messages to IBM, sneakily (and sincerely), your printer, the editorial introduction, we never get the word nemesis in the story, a vigilante story, Westlake plays fair, Stephen King ten times, Stephen King was heavily influenced by this man, George Stark in The Dark Half, Richard Bachman, he probably read this story, Carrie, Firestarter, nobody noticed that in all these years, imposing control, Charlie McGee, psychic potty training, serve us, education, a maturation, a better story than this, he’ll grow out of it, he will beleive he has lost his power, too much into this idea, jumping to the supernatural, super-science, very 50s, more fantastic than Galaxy, Fantastic, genre conventions, what genre something is, where’s Francis Stevens, William Hope Hodgson, more fruitless, SFFaudio.com, what to call it, far out of genre, if you fix your criteria, interesting cases, Spider-Man is not a science fiction story it’s a super-science story, the origin vs. focus, Francis Steven’s 1904 super-hero story, he even gets a super-hero story, no swords, no magic, worrying about the category is important, a science fiction story, a star or a planet named Nemesis, New York, juvenile delinquent gangs, Westlakeisms, whatever Stephen King genre is, a very broad thing called fantasy, dragons and wizards and swords, the characters are having a genre struggle, genre savvy, Inferno by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle, wrong genre savvy, hard SF does not work down here, it had been fantasy from the beginning, migrating through genres, the frosted window, Scorp old boy, Tonto, Kemosabe, radioactive scorpion?, the issue with super-hero stories, the opening promise, superhero origin stories, Batman learns kung-fu, now I’m Spider-Man, a promise and no delivery on that promise, the 50 best fantasy books of all time, an Esquire article, nice list, thanks, is that all we have for this story?, surprised by what the story was, pyrokinesis, fun reading, fluffy and frothy, all surface and no tension, teams up with police, a Halloween costume, his powers don’t match that of a scorpion, change your name, Invincible, an amusing problem, what do I call myself, a weird strange deep dive, Marvel Puzzle Quest, has the bends, Namor, Mr. Fantastic, crystal bends light, Aquaman is DC, the gang names, Scarlet somethings, generic gang names, Jesse has still not seen The Warriors (1979), Xenophon, Scarlet Raiders and The Challengers, a bunch of teenager, the Golden Avengers, the Warriors, such a strange phenomenon, kids don’t join gangs anymore, Rumble Fish, The Outsiders, switchblades, fuck mom and dead let’s go out and fight, the parents were away so much, kids sleeping in the factories, dad was off in Italy, mom was in the airplane factory, helicopter parenting, slinging drugs, a Westside Story vibe, Graham Greene’s The Destructors, ride the buses for free, not paying, I screwed the man, let’s destroy his house, kids who desperately need something to do, city hall people logic, skateboard parks, midnight basketball, slingin weed, idle hands are the devil’s playthings, no zip-guns, from the parents, dad’s WWII service automatic, the word is even funny, the fuzz, fantasy, strange reality, Harlan Ellison’s juvenile delinquent books, on brand for him, scrappy, Rowdy Roddy Piper, short and small, an aggression, cuttingness, a fantasy of our own reality, comic books, Batman and Superman, superhero comics in his closet, a much darker path, Batman’s let’s make em gritty vs. Batman campy (Adam West), a lady who calls herself Catwoman, Joker (2019) is like Taxi Driver (1976), a more realistic depiction, mild-mannered taxi driver by day, The Wild Wild West, a companion Desilu show to Star Trek, trick gun, assassinating politicians, living in his own fantasy world, “I’m Justice”, it could have gone really dark, placating the kid, fuck all of you, the tone is humorous, Westlakeian mode, coins, a god’s eye POV, a jokey tone, some phrase, a psychic expert kept on hand, just in case, The X-Files, Fox Mulder, immediately ridiculous, Fluorocarbons Are Here To Stay!, the logic of the story and the point Westlake is making, an indestructible material, a giant football stadium, weird properties, immiscible liquids, it’s sinister, government being, Courtney Brown at Emory University, a weird guy, remote viewing, satellites are expensive, do their domes contain nukes, psi-shit, at what point do you learn that, more like Watchmen than The Comedian, used for assassinating people, Philip K. Dick is useful for us, mutants, The Golden Man, post-human in every way, Tony Stark changes, Peter Parker is always the same guy, a moment of growth, when Stacy dies, a fundamental break, Dr. Manhattan, we can’t even think the same way, a relatable story, Watchmen has all of them, the owl man, half Batman and half Ironman, Rorschach, Silk Specter, all the horrible things going on in Olympic training [and Hollywood’s casting couch], it cannot but go sour, Green Goblins, as a kid, useful as a kid, ultimately this goes nowhere, a reflection on reality, whoever made that movie, a modern Taxi Driver, Suicide Squad, Wonderwoman, for children, giving them to adults, Black Widow (2021), The Americans [TV series], Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings (2021), forgettable light entertainment, not brain food, is that all there is?, evolving characters over time, Thor’s arc, getting fat, played for laughs, Demon in a Bottle, Iron Man in the 1980s, alcoholism, Secret Wars, note on the same page, spectacle, kick the butt, very Lovecraftian, Dr. Strange, Fu-Manchu, a gigantic red flag, a licensing issue, a drama fest, accusation, a Fu Manchu podcast, growing my long fingernails, daughter of Fu Manchu, a dragon instead of a train, furry faceless creature, Ben Kingsley, retcon, Brandon Sanderson, french fry fiction, french fry movies, poutine fiction, Vladimir Poutine, cancelling poutine, Tolstoy and Tchaikovsky, people rounded up and murdered dachshunds during WWI, slapping a sticker on their body, salisbury steak, hey listeners you’re real fucking dumb, how stupid do you gotta be, NPC face, blowing Jesse’s mind, hamburger prepared like a steak, put some pickles on it, superhero origin stories in Stephen King fiction, one of King’s tropes, freeing themselves from confinement, the Dark Tower, Everything’s Eventual, finally liberated, our best man: Ted Chiang, Understand, Braniac or Lex Luthor, Limitless (2011), the transformation process, he becomes post-human, a science fiction canon includes two Ted Chiang collections, crazy, he’s so good, I hope he’s writing, Ian Tregillis, magicians vs. superheroes, a creepy antagonist, WWII, when Captain America starts, the super-heroes counteract each other, Red Skull or whatever, nullify themselves out, compatible with history, punching out Hitler, Red Guardian, the communist answer to Captain America, he’s a communist in the 1960s, found family, fake family, real family, when Red Guardian thought of communism, under the Comics Code [Authority], if Will was here, played for comedy, boisterous brawler, done with superheroes, T.C. from Magnum dusting his hands gif, pornographic materials, searching lockers, they found some, surprising to see it be mentioned, Westlake is such a strange guy, he doesn’t gloat or show off, stop showing off, just make the story better, let’s have fun, not his best story, the idea is sort of poo, mom told me, a super-hero origin story thought through, The Avengers didn’t start until 1963, teaming people up, dark hair and good looks of a TV or movie girl, 30 minute TV show, The X-Men starts in 1963, another pen name we don’t know about, Edwin West, Strange Affair, Sin Street, a fallen minister, Bob Bristow, all a man needs is money, a giant pearl necklace, beds 25 cents, a really awesome cover, a beautiful painted cover, a drop of ink in a sea of toner, every paperback had a crackerjack cover, now people go to Amazon, flipping it over, what lists are for, it will be successful if people buy the books from the list, the worst part about it is shilling for Amazon, sleep well, Evan.

Call Him Nemesis by Donald E. Westllake

Call Him Nemesis by Donald E. Westllake

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The SFFaudio Podcast #696 – READALONG: The Busy Body by Donald E. Westlake

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #695 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, Maissa Bessada, Evan Lampe, Will Emmons, and Trent Reynolds talk about The Busy Body by Donald E. Westlake

Talked about on today’s show:
1966, paperback or hardcover?, it’s better if it is a paperback, not by Westlake, Burglars Can’t Be Choosers by Lawrence Block, while burgling, on the run, five pages before the end, what the mystery was and how all things came to be, a subgenre between Westlake and Block, little excerpts, a real book, Block introduced Jesse to Westlake, from reading a series, self-flagellation, a movie the very next year, a Frazetta cover, a pretty bad movie, an episode of The Monkees, sets in relief author choices, the jacket that goes missing, heroin, literal cash, a million dollars, a typical Hollywood move, a cargo ship filled with cash, massive stakes inflation, our hero is a murderer, grave-digging was one thing, a functionary of the institution, an apparatchik of the organization, he’s redeemed, he gets out, he goes to California, he abandons his month, tell us more about your mafia connections, heat of the moment self-defense vs. deliberate planned murder, Gravito, all fun mafia stuff, over his shoulder for the entire book, comedic, tightrope walk, a Westlakeian attitude, how he can get himself out of this lifestyle he’s in, Westlake’s view of the world is very funny, human absurdity, a caper, the big send off, definitely fun, as a person living in the world, reconcile, a lot of books like this, most of the [Richard] Stark books, Paul felt bad for him, framed for something he didn’t do, go get the world, we should have trouble, 20 years after The Sopranos, a very old book, kids have turned to glue, white slavery, prostitution, running girls, subverting the religion, the roads are bad, a Protestant a Catholic funeral, if it was a less naturally gifted writer, less absurd it would be more disturbing, heightened reality, the laws of physics still work in this place, he rolls out of a moving car, a missed opportunity, Westlake adaptations to film, The Stepfather (1987), The Grifters (1990), Jim Thompson, the novel medium, one little sequence, when he wakes up in the bed with the widow, dream sequence, a frame-shift, kneeling, this guy is really old, a young vigorous guy, the fish-eye, so talented, looking in a mirror, those details mark out Westlake, great language, this guy’s a killer, future comic novels, mildly funny, more sympathetic, robbing an orphanage, a conscious move, dead serious, the desperate circumstances, keystone cops, intrusive music in bad movies in the 1960s, CW shows, music over conversation, ruinous, a detective story, phone calls, inherent in the absurdity of the situation, in real life, a phone tag conversation, it’s one of those days, like candy, Westlake’s thoughts on society are all over the page, a few years ago, all the potholes are marked, New York City, all of these things feed into reflections, how city management could be done, corruption at the airport, hashmarks up and down his uniform, the yellow brick novel, Dancing Aztecs, what it all means, the title is kind of misleading, Weekend At Bernie’s, Weekend At Bernie’s II, every decision is bad, they make the jack brown in the movie, low rez, brown for shitty, a red herring, the title, we never see the body, somebody moved it at some point, Al Engel, Aloysius, Mr. Kan, a lot of widows (fake and real), The Busie Body, a 1709 play, Susanna Centlivre, the venice carnival, gigolo, all these people wanting to get with each other, everybody is in everybody’s bedroom, kinda similar, a French farce, I’m busy, nosing into other people’s business, an older meaning, nosy Parker, 17th century meaning, sexually active, she’s a busy body, a kissing book, Gentleman Prefer Blondes [subtitled: The Intimate Diary of a Professional Lady by Anita Loos], a new release on LibriVox, Marilyn Monroe, a musical, a flapper prostitute’s POV, super funny, a blank book, a funny cutesy attitude, super-naive, inference work, she’s a busybody, a lot of gentleman callers, one sex scene, this woman who keeps showing up, the list of suspects, who framed him?, he didn’t play fair, you don’t feel cheated though, It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963), I recognize you, dinner, very small payoffs, low stakes, the threat of California, Dolly, Brody who’s a body we never see, a light confection, a nephew novel, Somebody Owes Me Money, The Organization, yeaah, pushing towards, a replacement for government, it used to be there was always big hits all the time, now that things are organized, a warlord, turned into a bureaucracy, things settle down, the origins of government, before the progressive era in the United States, the mafia providing social welfare, why Sicily is important, when the cops won’t give satisfaction, the competition, the government has a monopoly on violence, coercion, threats, asking, and paying, a second government, Engle, he’s not a murderer he’s just a soldier, Secret Service, doing his duty, they are crime books, twisted, Callahan, bribed, lots of cops are on the take, Serpico and all these other stories, paying attention to tiny details, reading the paper and seeing how things actually work, we don’t need to know his service history, a very subtle take, the insurance angle didn’t come up until the end, the fake widow, this was just honest insurance fraud, Double Indemnity, Black Widow (1987), Debra Winger and Theresa Russell, the eraser, marrying her way to riches, the great personality, neo noir, she disappears from the bathroom, he’s a great card player, the book’s greatest weakness, the funeral parlor employee, suspicious as hell, in a more mature Westlake book, the reader expects a cutesy flirty relationship, the resume sticker, the romantic love interest was behind it all, too obvious, they’re going to hook up later, the restaurant that used to be a barn, wagonwheels on the wall, workmanlike, great scenes, the explanations, Dortmunder books, long for the content, like a ping pong ball bouncing around New York, he wasn’t really steering his ship, a lair, a manipulator, thin, The Producers, a blueprint for Dortumnder, driven by circumstances, Westlake calls the tune and the characters dance the jig, recurring motifs, government is incompetent and/or corrupt, Cops And Robbers, two cops decide to supplement their income, playing both sides, moral judgement, he’s a criminal!, profiting off of death and misery, making a mockery of religion and subverting good order, good gags out of the prostitution angle, the heroine character, she gets away with it, leaving the life of prostitution when she got married, run away, one of the best tricks in the novel, a lifestyle that’s somewhat voluntary, sexual rewarding, she writes a nice note, he’s a thinker, he isn’t just punching a clock here, Humans, a fireman at Chernobyl, what does it all mean, the early days of the web, please enter, “I believe my subject is bewilderment, but I could be wrong?”, isn’t it weird we live this way that we do?, this mob world is normal, aren’t you surprised?, a bizarre situation, there’s something wrong with the world, get back in the good books, be chairman himself!, get back to normal, a pretty happy ending, an exhausted guy gets out of the thing that exhausts him, the organization put him through the ringer, pursing the widow instead of Dolly, she’s got the money, get away to Hawaii, escape the system, parallel motivations, his face was disfigured, his head was burned off, does Engel have an angle, just a name, the Brody/body, what’s his angle?, sometimes Rose is a man, this Rose person, comedic, laughing out loud, almost productive in death as he was in life, 5 books since 2008, a manuscript for a Henry Winkler production, Call Me A Cab, Redbook, eBay, $1550, $79, Redbook is the woman’s magazine, Bluebook was a men’s magazine, Yellowbook, Australian Woman’s Weekly, in Westlake’s writing career, a break from Parker, Campus Lovers, Campus Lovers, The Man With The Getaway Face, you can imagine this book ending today (as a series), change the ending and give me one a year, like a shark, emotionless vs. driven by revenge, standalones, Castle In The Air, John Scalzi comes to mind, feature not bug, what does that do for the author?, flex some other muscles, designed not to be a series, the characters are exhausted, gone off with the widow, they’ve got the money, it’s the principal, smart, 6’1, his hair colour, he’s heterosexual, he has a mom, Grofield, full time actor, part time heister, this was a character that could work, a person to see the world through, he’s not like Parker, he’s not a turncoat, a lens through which they see the world, answering the phone: California, Westlakeian humour, subtle fun, maybe’s he’s going to be a milkman, Richard Pryor, charisma, Soylent Green (1973), it’s whats for dinner, standard in American crime fiction, all the institutions are corrupt from top to bottom, chess, locked room mysteries, the social aspects, Dashiell Hammett, everyone is dirty, notable, talking to booksellers, filed under mystery, Agatha Christie style, Mysterious press, these are crime books, classifying, where to put Two Much, to get it in the bookstore section, put a dragon on the cover it’s fantasy, put a gun on the cover: mystery, a spaceship = science fiction, a heaving bosom -> romance, always slotted in as a mystery writer, much more about crime, slices of life of people in the crime industry, quotidian, a bank job, always in the background, the reality, this is business, why are you so weird, thinking weird thoughts that come across as not weird, what his philosophy is or are, the robustness of the descriptions of things, what we call in fantasy “worldbuiklding”, the geography of New York, fabulous, mixing drinks, how much scotch does this guy drink?, it was the sixties and he was on the run, God Save The Mark, Oliver Wyman rage quit twitter, an excuse, The Spy In The Elevator, it would be crime not to do it, on the heels of it, 3 or 4 a year in early years, They Also Serve, Tomorrow’s Crimes, the Starship Hopeful series, Call Him Nemesis, a pulp hero kind of deal, this is a holdup, it was in IF.

Highbridge Audio - The Busy Body by Donald E. Westlake

The Busy Body by Donald E. Westlake

The Busy Body (1967)

The Busy Body - Australian Woman's Weekly - Part 1 of 3

The Busy Body - Australian Woman's Weekly - Part 2 of 3

The Busy Body - Australian Woman's Weekly - Part 3 of 3

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Reading, Short And Deep #341 – Fluorocarbons Are Here To Stay! by Donald E. Westlake

Podcast

Reading, Short And DeepReading, Short And Deep #341

Eric S. Rabkin and Jesse Willis discuss Fluorocarbons Are Here To Stay! by Donald E. Westlake

Here’s a link to a PDF of the story.

Fluorocarbons Are Here To Stay! was first published in Original Science Fiction Stories, March 1958.

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