Reading, Short And Deep #379
Eric S. Rabkin and Jesse Willis discuss The Unseen Blushers by Alfred Bester
Here’s a link to a PDF of the story.
The Unseen Blushers was first published in Astonishing Stories, June 1942.
Jesse, Will Emmons, Trish E. Matson, and Cora Buhlert talk about The Long Tomorrow by Leigh Brackett
Talked about on today’s show:
1955, Edmond Hamilton’s wife, her other family, her parents, when they were courting, brought her back a little to late, a California person, a home outside of California, set in space, The Long Goodbye, The Big Sleep, detective California books, Californian detectives, westerns, super-religious, post-apocalyptic, the craft of it, the heat of the farm, the dust of the road, the mob scenes are scary, well executed, very believable, small town, city, island, religious craziness, nutzoid about religion, very well written, easy to follow, nice characterization, a slick writer of people, The Queer Ones, the Rediscovery anthology, small town atmosphere, gossipy, rural small town, a very American book, dying of cancer and radiation sickness, the fallout would have gotten them, a limited nuclear war, mutations, iodine, cesium, if you omit certain lines, Robert A. Heinlein, the viewpoint characters are not sophisticates in this stuff, a fear, a taboo, grandma remembers the mutations, dead babies, cancers, we could squint that away, the Radium Girls case, Isaac Asimov, skeptical of nuclear energy, life will go on, John Wyndham’s The Chrysalids, Amish or Mennonites, big cities have been destroyed, a line about France, the Soviets are the likeliest suspects, could have been South Africa (probably wasn’t), some years mentioned early, a barn built in 1952, 1854, 100 years in the future?, are people living extra-long?, didn’t understand the length of time, how long a century is, rural people, life organized by seasons, Esau flushed a little, on the gable end, four numbers, 1952, before even Gran was born, the meeting house (a church), down behind the lilac bushes, 1842, a child’s POV, the unreliable narrator, they have these dreams of what this technology was, radio, memories of having things nice, now they’re all Mennonites and they don’t like it, mechanical engineers with electricity, church oppression is physical, the warehouse burning, burning the whole town down, upsetting, a weird rural mindset, comes from the parents, enforced through children, restrictive, 11km from Bremen city center, traveled as a kid, visiting Disney World, don’t talk about Disney World (that’s bragging!), the 1968 anti-Vietnam war America is Evil generation, they all have leprosy in India, does not fit our worldview, this American experience, Doukhobours, Guatemala, Russia, biggest city in North Carolina, Presbyterian church, southern Baptists, fundamentalists, was Will a city boy?, the Creation museum, a monument to ignorance, evolution is a lie, dinosaurs on Noah’s ark, Leviathan and Behemoth were dinosaurs, plants aren’t actually alive, American Protestantism, fear of science, an alternative authority, the insidious part, they’re challenging the authority that I have as a mean bastard to discipline people, for adults its not the same, they lock you in there, indoctrinated, go about your business, forming your understanding of reality, Len and Esau, sinning by getting the radio, the wrong type of religious meeting, stealing books, no education, everything out of the bible except for math (sums), someone might build an atomic bomb again, deliberately kept stupid, an Amish exception, kept down by the schooling, Catholic areas, Lutherans are nice mellow progressive people, occasional throwback, rural Bavaria in the 1950s, weird American churches, religious nutcases, the Catholic thing, the opposite book to this A Canticle For Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller, Jr., monks preserving knowledge, Davy by Edgar Pangborn, mutants too, more about power than science or anti-science, making your own carts, they control the books, who stole the books?, more about power than denial of science, what bartertown?, Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985), two men enter one man leaves, George Miller, some wonderful tropes, methane, escaping from a cult, tragedy, lifestory, living in tragic times, a coming of age book, ridiculous task, wise adults, we don’t have an army, helping kids out, wrongthink, muddle through, always tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow, build a city, refuge is destroyed, bottom up government oppression, five warehouses make a city, 200 houses and 1000 people, a local judge, the judge seems reasonable, Hofstadter, the mob itself, Dulinsky, just trying to do capitalism, believable, too believable, nothing good happens to anybody, they abandon their families, finding love, never returning to Piper’s Run, fanaticism, they do it to themselves, the return of the prodigal son, a horrible biblical story, pillar of salt, a sinner, dabbling with forbidden knowledge, quaint and harmless and peaceful, pacifist, new ishmaelists, The Walking Dead, the group who live with the zombies, take the discipline, hypocritical, demanded as tribute, how they freeze to death, race and genocide stuff, people who’ve been made homeless, live on the charity of us hardworking farmers, the dirty thirties, leeches vs. our duty, oppressed by the past, oppression from the law, use the fruits of knowledge, a stick, maybe Len and Esau could end up with those people, awfully close, too faint praise, the hopes that we have are destroyed, nothing good happened, quick fixes and Edens to escape to, their own kind of cult, don’t give yourself false hopes, you’re going to have to work for stuff, disappointing things in politics, reversions and regressions, the long cycle of things, working continually towards progress, a life of working towards better things, the Foundation from [Isaac Asimov’s Foundation] Foundation, working on this one specific problem, a bunker of some kind, conventional fossil power, a force field that stops fusion and fission, magical thinking, nuclear bombs bad vs. nuclear energy good, the Windscale fire, anti-nuclear power, opposed hated disliked, coal power, a fairly overcast country, solar power, co-generation, nuclear power is against god, getting to the library, they have a radio, getting power from the radio waves themselves, finding the mysterious box, an allegory for growing up in the radio age, screenwriter, a radio kid, mysterious transmissions, a form of education, the magic of radio, The Adventures of Fatty Finn, soap box racing, drawn from her own life experience, public domain clearances, noticing a pattern, her copyright renewed works got by a bank, the executors of their estate, the bank got Leigh Brackett’s retro-Hugos?, the first solo-work nominated for a Hugo by a woman, Double Star by Robert A. Heinlein, a very good book, The End Of Eternity by Isaac Asimov, a Kuttner/Moore story, women only exist to be wives, cover city, enlightened change, no women scientists, get married stat, Gran is amazing, deferring to the kid’s dad, hopes and dreams, the tragedy of this book, better ask your pa, that red dress, music and clean toilets, ice cream, chocolate rabbits at Easter, water that ran out of shiny faucets, two faded sparks, “flat-hat”, a red dress and a TV, a good world, it ended because it was evil, the world that was, hold her tongue and bow her head, great writing, post-war American dream, electric power, the great game changer, telephones, it wasn’t that great a time for women either, kicked out and sent back to the home, suburban towns, women scientists in the 1950s, in crisis times, the COVID pandemic, childcaring, why they didn’t have any kids, 2015, Kinsman, Ohio, Star Wars fans, where the force awoke for the series first sequel, her summers, The Big Sleep (1945) Rio Bravo (1959), The Long Goodbye(1973), Batman, more than 20 summers, Hamilton’s sisters, 1946, a century and a quarter, deer and woodchucks, I work in a small white wooden room, old boys book, a mug from “Duke”, John Wayne, the Vindicator, The Long Tomorrow is about the Kinsman house, the Canfield fair, age 13, Howard Hawks, No Good For A Corpse, William Faulkner, lovers of that genre, Ray Bradbury, Lorelei Of The Red Mists, buy a convertible and drive it all summer, Ed and Leigh, 1963 Corvette Stingray, Superman bought that corvette!, they were tied to their typewriters, “it’s good to be home”, writing under deadline, strikingly ordinary, Hatari (1962), round the world cruise, dig up the turnips, Yoda gift bags, what a charmed childhood, the cancer hit her, that first script is on the internet, so very Planet Stories, the small towns in this book, through a child’s eyes, delightful for them, a luxury sports car, the edge of fertility, they’re having fun, writing action adventure superheroes, Will has read some of Edmond Hamilton’s Superman comics, Under The Red Sun, zany post apocalyptic journey, robots of the people that he knew, he’s got a beard, Metropolis is destroyed, in a box somewhere, Krypton, my hair and nails have grown, under Earth’s yellow sun…, shaving with eyelasers and a mirror, inconsistent continuity, Edmond Hamilton, The Star Kings, Jack Vance, Captain Future stories, an anime series, Star Trek reruns, Space: 1999, Moonbase Alpha, The Daughter Of Thor, a polar expedition with a semi-frozen queen with a pet tiger, half vikings, Fantastic Adventures, Weird Tales, E.E. Doc Smith, unreadable, Crashing Suns, Interstellar Patrol, Brackett was a better writer, one of the best writers of the Golden Age, Clifford D. Simak, C.L. Moore, July 18th is Edmond Hamilton Leigh Brackett Day, Robert E. Howard Days, Cross Plains, Texas, Youngstown, if this her most depressing one, mostly shorter length, her mysteries, The Long Goodbye (1973) is so good, a noir ending, Elliot Gould, a jazz movie, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Robert Altman, the role of his life, so 70s, so weird, Humphrey Bogart, cat action, be up for it, a delight, a long and lazy movie, what kind of movie is this?, rotating crime shows, working class cop, no dialogue for five minutes, shocking German swear words, set the deal with United Artists, not exactly my idea of Philip Marlowe, a technical problem of this enormous, involution and convoluted, side tangents, its all getting to the thing, both California of the period, MASH, Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice (1969), Robert Altman, still working, very elderly now, Bosch, renting movies based on actors, The Silent Partner (1978), Margot Kidder, so many great movies, fall into a wonderful world, A Bridge Too Far (1977), WWII movies, Operation Market Garden, take too many bridges, Die Brücke (1959), very depressing, war is evil, war: don’t do it, we still need them, a high point in the late 50s to the mid 60s, The Lincoln Lawyer, Michael Connelly wrote both series, Leigh Brackett’s great, read everything by her, get your hands a copy of The Long Tomorrow, Hatari (1962), Rio Bravo (1959) and Rio Lobo (1970), Faulkner, write a screenplay, Bogart made everything better, Elliot Gould playing Eric John Stark.
The SFFaudio Podcast #710 – Black Amazon Of Mars by Leigh Brackett; read by Fred Heimbach (for PROTECTING PROJECT PULP)
This unabridged reading of the story (3 hours 4 minutes) is followed by a discussion of it.
Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Paul Weimer, Trish E. Matson, Alex (Pulpcovers.com), and Cora Buhlert
Talked about on today’s show:
Planet Stories, March 1951, Protecting Project Pulp, Fred Heimbach, inchoate, martian names, very enthusiastic, is Jesse going to like this narration?, this excellent work, enthusiastic during high tension, calm and collected, the way its told, the cover on Planet Stories, Allen Anderson, a signature under the Van Vogt, spoils the story, black and white again, Eric John Stark, her costume, there’s no helmet, she’d lost her helmet, boob armour, shakes the hair out in slow motion, use the trope, Jirel Of Joiry’s gender, gorgeous red-head woman, the interior artist, spoil it twice, it doesn’t actual mean, this is advertising, anticipation, enjoyment, you will get a cool woman with an axe, give us the quarter please, Future Science Fiction, before and after WWII, a meta-analysis, chained or unchained, brass brassiere, covers sometimes illustrate stories within, Amazing, Frank R. Paul covers, best story for this cover gets $500 bucks, The Zap Gun by Philip K. Dick, background, the gates, gate of death?,a floodlight, a spaceship, the magic sword, widening the aperture, a guy in red, a guy in blue, chained to her wrist, it sells, the interior art makes more sense, dead guy’s hands, the frozen lands beyond the gates of death, the language, a writing technique, focus on particular words, background fundamentals, “burden”, the relationship between Stark and his dying buddy, fulfilling a death quest, The Road Warrior, the ending’s different, the magic quest, inspired by Black God’s Kiss, C.L. Moore and Leigh Brackett knew each other, Edmond Hamilton, Henry Kuttner, sidequest, The Sowers Of The Thunder by Robert E. Howard, Red Sonya, out of nowhere, suddenly the lord is a lady, a stand-in for sexual assault, a convenient portal to the underworld, a cursed kiss, a bit extreme, decking Eric John Stark, “oh, a woman”, a spin-on it, a happy ending, structurally, strong warrior woman, get together, regrets in the very next story, a different genre, more Conan inspired, the Burroughs for the setting, a Tarzan, semi-sentient Mercurian apes, El Borak, planetary romance, some magic item, a lost city in the mountains, a Cossack raid, the gender politics are C.L. Moore, very Planet Stories, Eric John Stark and a beautiful lady, always two women, a young innocent child like woman, a femme fatale, a dangerous woman, noir films, axe-weilding martian warlord, Leigh as a female name, why they are so different, some of the details, the viewpoint character, the female characters have a very interesting relationship, claiming citizenship, the Thanis, Tanis, thanatos, the names are pretty good, Conan-ish, proto-gaelic, defiant, late into the story, our focus is on Stark, more female, black Humphrey Bogart, The Big Sleep (1946), crackles with good dialogue, hardboiled crime, the social justice warrior of Mars, oppressed indigenous people, evil imperial colonialist, the Terran Exploitation Company, anti-capitalist, anti-colonialist, solar rays made him black, George R.R. Martin, Queen Of The Martian Catacombs, a holy-war on Mars, a failed uprising, dying-buddy, frees some slaves, Enchantress Of Venus, never enslave the hero of a pulp adventure story, darkens his skin in a photoshop?, is she just trying to distinguish from John Carter, is she trying to make a point she’s not allowed to make?, insulting words on Mars, the terrible offending word, couldn’t be printed today, character of colour, trying to make a point, Citadel Of Lost Ships, evil colonizers, illegal immigrant (aliens), Rediscovery: Science Fiction By Women Volume 2, the whipping, skins, a palate of skins, our skins too, bed of skins, wearing skins, trappers, I’ll save your skin, she flung aside the cover and rose, white skinned, narrow loins, small virginal breasts, a wildman, play, Brackett has an agenda, almost all action, escape and rest and conversation by noble and different groups, pacy action, Howardian style, Edgar Rice Burroughsy, third in the series, little connecting tissue, Simon Ashton, one of the good Earth police officers, the Skaith trilogy, The Ginger Star, Reavers Of Skaith, The Hounds Of Skaith, interstellar space, planetary romance adventures, Planet Stories, Thrilling Wonder Stories, John W. Campbell, Galaxy, Venture Science Fiction, a paperback industry, Ace Doubles, The Dickhead’s Podcast, The Big Jump, Rich Horton on Twitter, 1964 Ace Double, blonde hair, a double Brackett bracket, Queen Of The Martian Catacombs, the name, nude, strong in German, not a muscleman, Eric is leader or ruler, conquer the rest of Mars, the end of Red Nails, re written from Kiara’s point of view, seeing Eric through her eyes, he’s not a prince, he’s not a royal blood, I have my father’s blood, the authority of her ancestry, a bastard, she’s pretty grumpy, retelling it from her point of view, top down rather than bottom up, Eric John Stark is a friend, steals a mount, thieves, steal the sword, he’s a thief, he’s not a royal guy getting back his crown, the same story told the other way, that story retold from an outsider’s point of view, a rival knight, he’s not a lowborn, S.M. Stirling’s The Sky People and In The Courts Of The Crimson Kings, A Princess Of Mars story flipped, the setting, playing in an existing sandbox, playing to the tropes, why we’re focusing on Eric, a pulp science fiction shared solar system, unjustly persecuted, strong female characters, #LegCling, a lot of good stuff in Planet Stories, Ray Bradbury, Frederik Pohl, Manly Wade Wellman, good stuff, Philip K. Dick was in there too, iconic for Planet Stories, well written vs. learned anything, lost civilization, ancient planet, ice monsters, Fantastic Adventures, the coolest covers, terrible badly written, the premise is minor, at the heart of it, the duty to his dead friend, his debt, incompetent or semi-competent high-born nobles, 100% pulp, I can tell stories, it doesn’t feel like science fiction at all, it practically is a straight fantasy, girdle, the belt buckle with the hidden talisman, the polar cap girdles the norlands, dressing and undressing, a writing exercise, extract meanings and ideas from individual words, very basic, there aren’t that many players, the brother and sister in the city and some frozen guy, an episode of He-Man from the 1980s, Skeletor Beyond The Gates Of Death, Conan with a recolour, laser guns, pulp science fiction put through the blender, Clark Kent or Shazam, People Of The Talisman, looks a little bit like he-man, that belt boss, possessed, psychic psionic powers, a true magic item, science you don’t understand, a thing that was lost, a thing to rally the troops around, a way of unlocking things, someone from the past possesses him, an Excalibur vibe, this object can rally people, how it is important to the city or to England, the legend of frozen ice-guy, Harlan Ellison, Charlemagne, El Cid, Barbarossa, come back in Germany’s hour of need, a Welsh character, he did not prevent brexit, Little, Big by John Crowley, Olaf Scholz, The Last Defender Of Camelot by Roger Zelazny, both episodes of The Twilight Zone, George R.R. Martin’s adaptation, you got your money’s worth, one of the most consistent, Astounding has a lot of terrible stories, the most consistently good were Weird Tales and Planet Stories, pass a few minutes very pleasantly, some silly heist movie, what makes you go back to the movie theater, complaints about the quality of their stories in the letters, old-fashioned even then, 30 years after the 1920s, a throwback, 1912, Akira Kurosawa movie, WWII bomber run movies, Dam Busters, 633 Squadron (1964), Mosquito Squadron (1969) movies, blow up some movie with a big ball bearing, Star Wars, propaganda movies made in other countries, just watch Star Wars, look there’s a y-wing going down, people writing this sort of stuff today, the second one’s the best, fun, lost cities at the pole, divinity being a scam, conforming to the scientific knowledge of the time, vaguely based on the astronomical knowledge of the time, Weird Tales mostly pays on time now, hard science fiction, outright technobabble, telepathy, writing something that is accurate vs. being fun, a fantasy story set in a world happened to be called Mars, Eternia, 1944 stories, accurate prediction, Clifford D. Simak, robotic lawnmower, Legoization of planet stories, bubble helmets, most of them were science nerds, retro-illustration, the bug-eyed monster, an 80s night, spandex and Miami Vice, Stranger Things doesn’t look like the actual 80s, frumpy clothes, very brown, fake wood paneling, legwarmers and big hair, big bubble helmets and metal bras, EMSH will do the cover, all of these things are symbols, #LegCling is a symbol, a spreadsheet, very Frazetta, covers are meant to sell magazines, scantily clad women, monsters, Margaret Brundage, maybe there’s sex inside, guides to what you’re going to get inside, swinging axes and male-female dynamics, when Frazetta gets his oils, a very Frazetta move, buttcheeks, Cosmos Science Fiction, classifying spaceships, Futurama, The World Of The Future, The World’s Fair, a talking robot, men are tied up and whipped, bathing suits, evening gown gloves, high boots, locking things up, clones of each other, this is bad, but is it that bad?, maybe they want sex-slaves, death by snu-snu, Doctor David H. Keller, modesty because of head covering, grandma’s bathing suit, women in peril vs. women in charge, amazon planet, tied up, maybe that’s why we’re here?, this is the 1950s, everything makes sense, Algis Budrys, Philip K. Dick, telling you about the people of the period and what is attractive to them, covers today, Frank R. Paul covers for Amazing, technology and grand engineering, those planets give us possibilities on how we can live in another way, a Baen cover for Virgin Planet, very Baen, the same effect of the pulps, Joust, Teucan, Jerome Bixby, Star Trek, copyright length, life plus 70s is way too long, patents are very short, Cora doesn’t have a congresspersons, even Paul and Alex don’t have congresspersons, copyright law is super-national right now, use a VPN, Thomas Mann, reason to punish an entire country, Of Withered Apples by Philip K. Dick, boots and gloves, set on Earth, a fantasy, these are really good fashions, asymmetrical brass bras with belts, don’t gender shame me, uncomfortable to wear, Flash Gordon, Margaret Bras, Return Of The Jedi, brass cups, what it’s supposed to be, this is interesting, sandskiffs, Mars, it has this history, cosplays, modern cartoons, recreating in LEGO an entire Planet Stories cover, you can put some silk under there, Queen Of The Black Coast, only wearing a belt, terrible sunburn, pale pale skin, incredibly strong sunblock, yet another, Leia is pretty passé, an episode of Chuck, Our Flag Means Death, am I crazy or is he wearing The Road Warrior (1981) costume, he’s not wearing a crescent wrench, crazy throwback callback, a wanderer, cowboy, its cosplay, how many things am I missing?, A Princess Of Mars, inspired Star Wars, The Hidden Fortress (1958), Enchantress Of Venus, E.E. Doc Smith cos-playing C.L. Moore’s North West Smith, Han Solo, Mal Reynolds, badly whipped, a loving description of every single scars, scars make you manly, a loving sexy description, obviously sex in the air, all the right ingredients, stories recreating the adventures, the actual story, as cool as it is today, sometime this year I hope, Planet Stories Podcast, bubble helmets and brass bras, a sled with some lady getting kidnapped, dying, Guardians Of The Galaxy, Yondu, scantily clad woman, rocketpack, Nelson S. Bond, Ray Cummings, women having eyes closed, woemn can see to you know, Marilyn Moroe’s lost science fiction movie, saran wrap, an ongoing thing, tanks for holding the oxygen, space accident spacesuit, form over function, in a red bathing suit, the design, these artists are amazing, a metal belt with snaps and such, brass armour, this is beautiful, the colours of these pulp covers, put this on my wall, falling from behind her, her helmet is broken, Elisabeth of Austria, Allen Anderson, so much detail, pink eyes, hatching out of, the pistol, a six-shooter, a western in space, Wagon Train in space, somewhere in Vienna, Archive.org, a scene in the magazine, not quite as pretty inside, evening gowns vs. practical pants, shocking pants, Genevieve Cogman, marvelous museums, hair decoration, Captives Of The Thieve-Star by James H. Schmitz, A Tale Of Two Clocks, target audience, Demon Breed, a real shame, sad story, the entire Protecting Project Pulp archive, Riders Of The Spaceways by Henry Kuttner, The Game Of Rat And Dragon by Cordwainer Smith, The Tree Of Life by C.L. Moore, The Waters Of Bowlegs Creek by J. E. Grinstead, Sex Slaves Of The Dragon Tong by F. Paul Wilson, The Hand of the Mandarin Quong by Sax Rohmer, Prominent Author by Philip K. Dick, a joke story, Child Of Atlantis by Edmond Hamilton, Captain Future, along with Star Trek reruns, Space: 1999, and Time Tunnel, Virgil Finlay throughout, shipwrecked on their honeymoon, The Shunned House, Power In The Era Of Post Human Capitalism, economics, Capitalist Realism by Mark Fisher, Red Plenty, Strawberry Spring by Stephen King, Ghostland: In Search Of A Savage Country, The Thing In The Woods by Harper Williams, Bobby Derie wont don’t podcasts, he needs to be forced to do it, a prototype for The Dunwich Horror, Goodreads, the few racist remarks, the werewolf is never clearly seen, the W word, in our story saturated world, The Great God Pan, smiley face, good for a rainy day, a good endorsement for a book, a quoka, a wallaby, marsupial, The Dark Man by Robert E. Howard, a statue of Bran Mak Morn, the weird Robert E. Howard stuff, I want Skull-Face, in The Garden Of Fear, Almuric, The Curse Of The Golden Skull, Kull of Atlantis, very short, read a book, mow a lawn, Nanny by Philip K. Dick, planned destruction, literally trying to murder your children, a robot uprising, evil robot nannies, programmed by evil corporations.
Talked about on today’s show:
SciPodBooks.com, the SciPodCast, The Syndic by C.M. Kornbluth, The City At World’s End by Edmond Hamilton, the virtues of democracy, Oath Of Fealty by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle, H. Beam Piper, Space Viking, a wealth of ideas, Frederik Pohl, the story as a straw man, Robert A. Heinlein, telepathy, witches, dystopia, utopia, polo played with jeeps (mounted with 50 caliber machine guns), the syndicate vs. the mob, Ireland, Iceland, libertarianism, the Prometheus Unbound review of The Syndic, polyandry, an economy run on alcohol, sex, and gambling, laissez faire capitalism, monopolies, robber barons, taxes vs. shakedowns, “a real mess of a book”, should a society compromise its ideals to save itself?, is the joke on us?, a velvet gloved invisible hand, The High Crusade by Poul Anderson, the children’s crusade, WWII, rule by mob vs. rule by mobsters, Ron Paul, the sustainability of a war based economy need not much concern the arms manufacturer, Isaac Asimov, The City At World’s End has a real plot, disaster stories, new ideas trump big flaws, “writing by the seat of your pants”, space opera, E.E. “Doc” Smith, respect for science and scientists, Farnham’s Freehold by Robert A. Heinlein, The Green Odyssey by Philip Jose Farmer, LibriVox.org, Riverworld series, rolling ships, Hyperion by Dan Simmons, the problem of endless series, StarShipSofa, The Truth Is A Cave In The Black Mountains by Neil Gaiman, A Princess Of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs, A Voyage To Arcturus by David Lindsay, “philosophy, philosophy, philosophy”, it starts with a séance, C.S. Lewis, Right Ho, Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse, Jeeves And Wooster, Leave It To Jeeves, LibriVox’s new funding (from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation), Orson Scott Card, Harlan Ellison, Airborn by Kenneth Oppel, Gregg Margarite, Lone Star Planet by H. Beam Piper, Kevin J. Anderson, Principles Of Economics, iambik audio, Wonder Audio, All Or Nothing by Preston L. Allen, The Tattoo Murder Case by Akimitsu Takagi, Toshiro Mifune, Akira Kurosawa, High And Low, Netflix, Sweet And Lowdown, One O’Clock Jump by Lise McClendon, A Is For Alibi by Sue Grafton, Talents Incorporated by Murray Leinster, goofy, the William Woodsworth Microphone Showdown, do expensive mics make great narrators?
Posted by Jesse Willis
Produced for SFFaudio Challenge #6, The City At World’s End is terrific audiobook. Part of that’s because Mark Nelson’s narration is super-listenable and the other part is because the novel itself is very keen Science Fiction.
If you’re a Superman fan the plot may remind you of a particular issue of Action Comics (#300) – that’s the one in which Superman travels to the distant future of Earth only discover it emptied of life and with a giant red Sun in its sky. Indeed, the similarities between the two tales would be very eerie were it not for the fact that both were written by Edmond Hamilton!
I’m halfway through The City At World’s End and am really enjoying it. The prejudices, assumptions, and attitudes of the townsfolk are all vintage 1950, but the idea quotient is very high. Hamilton has thought through a lot of the problems he makes his characters face. If you’re familiar with Robert A. Heinlein’s Farnham’s Freehold, in which a family is transported into Earth’s future, you’ll find The City At World’s End to be a kind of macroscopic version of that – and both novels start with a really big, and highly unnatural, bang.
Or, if you’re looking more contemporaneously, you could think of The City At World’s End as a kind of highly inverse version of Terra Nova (because they go forward in time not back, and what was bad on TV is actually good in the audiobook). I highly recommend you give The City At World’s End a listen!
The City At World’s End
By Edmond Hamilton; Read by Mark Nelson
21 Zipped MP3 Files or Podcast – Approx. 7 Hours 6 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Published: March 20, 2012
The pleasant little American city of Middletown is the first target in an atomic war – but instead of blowing Middletown to smithereens, the super-hydrogen bomb blows it right off the map – to somewhere else! First there is the new thin coldness of the air, the blazing corona and dullness of the sun, the visibility of the stars in high daylight. Then comes the inhabitant’s terrifying discovery that Middletown is a twentieth-century oasis of paved streets and houses in a desolate brown world without trees, without water, apparently without life, in the unimaginably far-distant future.
Podcast feed: http://librivox.org/rss/6121
iTunes 1-Click |SUBSCRIBE|
Here’s the |PDF|.
And for people like me I’ve also made a single giant 7 hour |MP3| version – which you can download from our server. It’ll be especially useful for iPod users as it has art, is tagged “Audiobook”, and is also checked with “remember playback position.” Even better it has been volume adjusted. Let me know if you like it!
Cover and illustrations from the appearance of The City At World’s End in Startling Stories, July 1950:
And one more image, from the cover of Urania:
[Thanks also to DaveC, Barry Eads, and Gerard Arthus]
Posted by Jesse Willis
This is our 6th Annual SFFaudio Challenge. Every November 11th, for the last six years, we’ve offered the following challenge to SFFaudio readers:
“We’ll give you an audiobook if you make one for everyone else.”
That deal still holds. We’ll get you an audiobook if you make make an audiobook out of one of the public domain etexts we suggest. All you’ll need to do is claim a title (by email), record the audiobook, using your own human voice (sorry no robots), and follow the rules (see the first comment of this post for the rules). Some titles will not be public domain in all countries, but this is a global challenge. We’ve also added, for the very first time, a French language title!
Still feeling a little unclear on how it all works? Then have a look at our past SFFaudio CHALLENGES:
This year we’re doing something a bit different with prizes, something better. Instead of offering those unwieldy physical copies we’ve got DRM-FREE MP3 downloads for you! This not only saves us on postage it also allows for a much greater selection of audiobooks! For each audiobook you complete, you can choose one of more than 1,300 titles available! All prizes this year come courtesy of Tantor Media.
Seventh Victim by Robert Sheckley |PDF| (short story)*CLAIMED BY CAINE DORR NOVEMBER 12, 2011
Untouched By Human Hands (aka One Man’s Poison) by Robert Sheckley |PDF| (short story)*
Writing Class by Robert Sheckley |RTF| (short story)*CLAIMED AND COMPLETED BY WILLIAM COON (of Elquoent Voice) ON NOVEMBER 13, 2011
The Purple Cloud by M.P. Shiel |GUTENBERG| (novel)
City At World’s End by Edmond Hamilton |ARCHIVE.ORG| (novel)
The Common Man by Mack Reynolds |GUTENBERG| (short story)
The Ship Of Ishtar by A. Merritt |GUTENBERG AUSTRALIA| (novel)
Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell |GUTENBERG AUSTRALIA| (novel)
Animal Farm by George Orwell |GUTENBERG AUSTRALIA| (novel)
Empire by Clifford D. Simak |GUTENBERG| (novel)**CLAIMED BY BILL KIRBY ON JANUARY 3, 2012
The Great Potlatch Riots by Allen Kim Lang |GUTENEBERG| (short story)
The Dominion In 1983 by Ralph Centennius |GUTENBERG| (30 pages)
Ten From Infinity by Paul W. Fairman |GUTENBERG| (novel)CLAIMED BY KAREN SAVAGE ON NOVEMBER 11, 2011
No Great Magic by Fritz Leiber |GUTENBERG| (short story)CLAIMED BY DANIEL GURZYNSKI ON NOVEMBER 21, 2011
The Syndic by C.M. Kornbluth |RTF| (novel)*CLAIMED BY MARK NELSON ON NOVEMBER 13, 2011
Our first French audiobook:
La Vie Électrique by Albert Robida |GUTENBERG| (novel)
So, who wants to sign up?
[*With special thanks to Rick Jackson of Wonder Publishing for selection advice **This etext was part of SFFaudio Challenge #2, but wasn’t completed]
Posted by Jesse Willis