The SFFaudio Podcast #768 – READALONG: Scratch One by Michael Crichton

The SFFaudio PodcastJesse, Paul Weimer, and Terence Blake talk about Scratch One by Michael Crichton

Talked about on today’s show:
from Nice, our agent on the Cote D’aZur, 1967, early, 2nd published novel, maybe Cora mentioned this before, Lange means long, Dick means fat, John means dick, this book is very familiar, a heist book in Spain, the Spanish equivalent, Costa Brava, generic titles, The Venom Business, Grave Descend, Odds On, knock off holiday resort, not just a fact (also part of the plot), crossing over the bridge, casino hotel resort, something under the bridge, descends the steep cliff, scrambling down and back up, a surprise: flowers, planting a bomb, this actually happened, France and or Spain, sometimes with a girl sometimes without, vividly describes the descent, Egypt, drowned, the Nile, a similar scene in that book, mucking about down near Aswan, just like Richard Upton Pickman, release the Terence, the Negresco Hotel, Promenade Anglais, Avenue Victor Hugo, Rue Biscarra, Avenue Du La Victoire, renamed, after a famous mayor, Cannes, Monaco, not while the race is happening, successfully describes both, warm semi-tropical Mediterranean, seen it in movies, To Catch A Thief (1955), North By Northwest (1959), Roger bumbles, Carr, bumbling his way, add-in the international intrigue of Charade (1963) is public domain, Never Say Never Again (1983), Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968), Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (1988), also turns out to be a conwoman, a lot of fun, A Good Year (2006), Grace Kelly, Stirling Moss, the restaurant, name drops, by magic romantic resonance, that’s enough, we don’t need to see her haircut, accidental spy books, Michael Crichton’s inspirations are paperbacks (not movies), a searchable thing, an early Westlake, the nephew novels, a case of mistaken identity, gets the mob after him, mistaken identity, there are jokes, it would be funny, attempted murder, Jennings, the nasty murders, this is not a joke, finds everything funny, Alice In Wonderland, hideous torture, that’s the disconnect, characters who die fast, we meet some baddies, what the plot, an arms shipment, are they supplying the PLO?, a disconnect, the comedic situation, the cops, the consulate, it will be good to let him run around for a while, very North By Northwest, God Save The Mark, Somebody Owes Me Money, a tip on a horse, makes book, run around New York avoiding the cops and the actual murderer, a girl who betrays him, standard girl stuff, the narrator’s voice, Australian accent, hard to identify, strong vs. weak Australian accents, definitely Australian, Crocodile Dundee Australia, Australia is not a monolith, Maine and Texas are the same accent, most people are not going to physically violence Jesse, preferring the read, him doing a female voice, Australian female, quite good, romancing, that scene is on the cover of the Hard Case Crime, she’s working for the bad guys, a dancer’s wages, it has to be a good book, extraneous character, he writes some scenes as if he’s fleshing things out, characters we don’t want to be in the book, false main characters, we don’t know that he’s the hero, the minds of other characters, the book is mal-plotted, obliging me to have lots of willing suspension of disbelief, what’s stopping this from being a science fiction book, Ringworld, Dirk Gently, synchronicity and coincidence, everything is tied together, still working on his stuff, novels are very different scene by scene, the opening killings are a lot like a James Bond opening, Smert Shpionam, Money For Nothing by Donald E. Westlake, you have now been activated, a sleeper agent, a case of mistaken identity, it’s a comedy but not funny, horrible torture scenes, our main character is a lawyer, he’s playing the bad guy in this book, he’s way dumber than us, you should tell them exactly what happened, no I am not, the Hugo Award winning fanzine, he’s a bit of an asshole, a gripe against this book, enjoyed, three quick hours, a light read, very light, the way Paul’s mind thinks, possibly going off a cliff, what does he look like?, especially the women, he’s amazingly handsome, he looks like a spy except to know what spies look like, he’s strong, he’s the reader, a paperback designed to be a paperback, Binary, a good book a pretty good TV movie, more things of his own, not a bad book at all, the two paperback scenes, 20 kilos exactly, getting his stuff weighed, the amount was less, he could have sworn his suitcase wasn’t that heavy, airplane reader, light and amusing of no consequence, reviewing their own book, chapter 10, a key scene, she was wearing almost nothing, her body was breathtaking, a few strands of blonde hair, A.C., that’s on the cover of the book, they go by Cannes, it’s not a book about movies, it’s a book about books, Grave Descend, literary based, a James Bond stand-in, the villain has a library, romancing each other, too literal, the gravedigger the whole scene, Thomas Mann, 10 sentences a day, Balzac, furiously writing, Wolfe, dropping finished pages into a wastebasket, Poe who was underrated, (not third rate), Our Opinions Are Correct, Larry Rivers, a nothing, Charles de Gaulle’s memoirs, was he president at the time of this story?, 1959-1969, an intellectual match, a high luck score, agency, a little fake, they need him for that?, ok, maybe, malformed, how to put together a great book, light and fluffy, a floated bid for Nice, where the French live?, a city to live in, where the elderly French come to finish their days, dry and warm, a big tourist city in Spring and Summer, the events, the Cannes Film Festival, the Monaco Grand Prix, near Italy, the coast just adjacent, cigarettes and wine, still using Francs, everybody was Euroing, Donald Trump’s yacht was there, how they gonna catch this guy? too many ways out, there’s no way to catch this guy, when he’s on this journey, drawn from, all lifted, places he went line up, things that happened, poolside lifestyle, in some rich person’s house, his father was a senator, he’s there for a governor to buy a house, talks about the library, selling the house, another place selling to an American, you can’t sell the library, the library is priceless, individual books, thesis: this is really about books, books of this period were often adapted to film, a Westlake novel that was to be a script for a James Bond movie, movies don’t get made, a spy book set in Hong Kong, Westlake wrote a lot lot lot of books, Killing Time is public domain, Brothers Keepers, a monks book, something wrong with the estate, an unusual choice for a lazy day on the beach, the opposite to the paperbacks at the airport, a literary book you have to underline and meditate, she is smarter than he is but doesn’t hold it over his head, he did one deduction, the short swarthy man that came to the hotel and gave him the ring, could that have been Jennings’ mechanic, a leap that I didn’t see coming, the mechanic disappearing, the associates, Algerian, the Italian guy, a library scene, you need not praise him in my presence, the maintenance of this house which I love, money will by the respect, a Maserati or a Bentley, some of my best friends are gangsters, Carr nodded politely, smokes, drinks, many of them must be crooks, dishonesty is their profession, laughs, nods politely, the library remains with the villa, just another rivera villa, Dickens, the Cruickshank illustrations, an interesting line, a phony sales pitch, that guy’s trying to get out, time to yourself, time to kill, time to read, the governor is very busy, he will eventually settle, you feel tired, still in the lead, still at the top, any man who does not do it is a fool, a propensity for saltiness, backstory, what is his price, what is yours?, why he’s in France to begin with, The Woman In Black by Susan Hill, the setup for Dracula, Jonathan Harker, buys an abbey, accumulates a bunch of other people with him, Victorian era, a lawyer agent for a rich person, haunted ghost house, an agent for a foreign buyer, not to reveal identity to randos, the wrong kind of agent, people are trying to kill him or figure out if he needs to be killed, a James Bond scene, shark tank, affable villain, Dr. No, just send sexy lady, the knife sharpening scene, there’s your To Catch A Thief, here’s your keys, the roof being down is part of the plot, agent for a governor, make it look like an accident, not fucking up constantly, they’ve got this Citroën’s axel, gearheading stuff, she’s a double agent, he’s mute, Find Your Fate, A View To A Kill, you are James Bond Secret Agent, a kid’s role playing game book, if you choose wrongly, what more plot is happening, ways to die, other characters with interesting things to say, the protagonist is so, a male heterosexual reader, taking it to Korea, Choose Your Own Adventure, You Are A Shark, Paul read a lot of these, illustrations, people go crazy there, The Curse Of Batterslea Hall, visit your English cousin, fantasy elements, a related phenomena, an ebook author, people think they’re inventing audiobooks, people think they’re inventing audio dramas, I’ll invent this thing, after a few years, nobody actually wants these things, get an audiobook then they put music underneath it, and then they add in sound effects, he lit the lighter, combine the audio of somebody reading the story with a layer of music and layer of randomly place sound effects, people who’ve never listened to an audiobook before, how BBC did it in the 1960s, a reading of a book, audio dramas are performances, a guy reading a book like he’s angry, when parents are sold on the idea of children reading a story about themselves, your daughter in the main role, leave the name blank, gas station keychains, all the common names of people, it has my name on it, a girl who rides a dolphin, kids are able to relate to other people, everything being about me, correct Carr, Carr got in the car, Parker parked the car, Parker left the car on 15th avenue, designed to be humorous, this book doesn’t really work on a humour level, at the airport, all these sides waiting for the same guy, something special about the way he conducts himself, dry humour, he’s literally dumb, he doesn’t say things, the stuff on the roof all fails, he doesn’t die, the chase scene, goes to the farmhouse and makes that phone call, close in on being resolved, the whole Monaco scene, the promise of the ending, go back to America and be married, the trope, she’s smarter than he is, he’s sexy, a good job he’s really not worthy of, ne’er do well does well, Kevin J. Anderson and L. Ron Hubbard’s Ai! Pedrito! When Intelligence Goes Wrong, body double, based on real life, when he was in the Navy, supposedly mistaken for this guy who looks like him, not a great novel, for eternity, he’s fine, about 20 times the word scalpel turns up, medical stuff even from Carr, he can’t help it, medical facts, Le Scalpel estate, the whole building was constructed by glass and metal, occasional use of bricks, tile roofs, in the fight with the guy with the scalpel, you don’t throw scalpels, stick your guts into your mouth to test your own intestines, tonally confused, the villain is much harsher than our bumbling dumb viewpoint character is capable of handling, in a regular role playing game, in this we have no options, things happening to him, playing arcade games on the ferry, a sidescrolling game like Defender, you’re a spaceship, a demo showing what the game was like, the control would respond to your inputs, I don’t have any quarters, the phenomenon of an amazing book, this matches exactly where it was going to go, the demo takes over, this illusion of control, what we think of as engagement, there is no difference, a fascinating phenomenon, disconnects, blithering idiot, a doofus, unable to communicate, a VR pornography, POV, has a camera on his face, the camera goes in every direction, look at the tv or something, looking at the furniture, what piece of furniture that is, a really great novel engages you in such a way, the experience of reading and the experience of experiencing it, slightly different moves, King’s Quest style story, watching someone play King’s Quest, engaging, getting read for sleep, streaming excitement, let other people have a turn playing, Hardcore Henry (2015), a first person action movie, a camera with two arms, the Doom (2005) movie, with the Rock (Dwayne Johnson), fan service, Strange Days (1995), somewhere near the bottom of John Langes, the one set in Egypt is the best Easy Go, Binary, Grave Descend, , where the title comes from, its called out in the book, from WWII, doodled furiously, scratch one nice confused American, the work of the Scalpel, well written, Battle Of The Coral Sea, American propaganda propaganding the domestics, during the Battle Of The Bulge, my general askes you to surrender, “Nuts!”, famous scene, Heroes In Hell, propaganda phrases, the Japanese navy, scratch one flat top, the phrase gets stuck, we have both fired machineguns, went to Harvard to escape the draft, Harvard law school, scratch it out, double meaning, scratch an American doofus and underneath you’ll find a hero, saves the day, lets the air out of his tires, not a man of action exactly, Cary Grant?, alcohol for breakfast, wine at lunch, sociologically accurate, easy girls fantasy, French girls are easier, less inhibited than north Americans, if you can’t find a girl on the Riviera, found a wife in Paris, the part about his dad, the distinguished senator, a business expense, for as long as it takes, four months, they’re just trying to get him out from underfoot, don’t just do work, getting to the other things, got along famously, struck it off instantly, fast friends, slightly debauched with a cherubic face, satyr-like, The Famous Teddy Z, becoming the agent for a big movie star, know all the ropes, John Cryer, satyric, the governor appreciated that, weirdly bonding, like to drink, chapter 2, a childish pudgy face, chapter 11, you know you look like a satyr, looks like Pan, Buck Rogers, a penis with goatlegs, the devil with a penis, a lot of truth of what writing was happening, he knew rich people, for your quote, a suitable replacement, people on vacation are looking for that, going into the Casino, gambling, wanting to lose money, short term thinking, a pleasure out of that, elderly people loving bingo or slot machine, pass the time between sleeps, choppin wood all day, dotting or pulling an arm or pressing a button, dopamine hit, how could somebody act that way, the alcoholism after WWII, drinking problems away, a large phase that people go through, not offered alcohol everytime, keep yourself avoiding, characters who are older than he is, observing his elders, grows up with the phrase, a generational thing, propaganda phrase, collateral damage, the first gulf war with Schwarzkopf, public domain, Schwarzenegger movie, laterally how things were produced, get a phrase, you know that disney movie that was a cartoon from 10 years ago?, it’s live action now, went to Egypt, Zero Cool, finish the set, the John Lange list:

Binary
Scratch One
Zero Cool
Easy Go
Grave Descend
Drug Of Choice
Odds On
The Venom Business

a bodyguard to a friend, Harvard rich kid, nightmare family, evil people, The Last Tomb, eight?, American radiologist, Angela Locke, a Spanish beach, Alhambra, darkest catacombs, a secret lost for centuries, a dark haired beauty with a huge problem, a desperate fight for survival, the audio drama, if you look closely, the Hard Case Crime, she’s reading Grave Descend, a pleasure to podcast, meta, mise en abyme, Mad magazine, the lady in the boat, very exciting, how Jesse gets his jollies, what’s the heat like?, warmer than usual, going for a walk, public garden, doing tai chi, practicing tai chi everyday, better than bingo, a different idea of chance, kills the hours between sleeps, jiu jitsu, Musk challenged Zuckerberg to a fight, colour commentary, an age difference, more like chess, find a way to backdown, he likes fun, very disciplined about it, the Pompey and Sulla, private armies, it doesn’t fit, a coup in russia?, the Wagner group, private mercenary groups, personal combat, very Weird, fight this out in meatspace, good dad, horrible evil, Bill Gates, a generational thing, Steve Jobs, Indian mysticism, ashram, Beatles generation, peripherally amused, what was tai chi’s high point?, big in Asia, seemed distant, Paul does yoga, you want to do something, wants to have cows, gets into cattle, martial applications, picking up steam, Emily In Paris, kids like it, a revisiting of the culture (a little bit), fun French stereotype characters, ideas and scenes, helps alot, filmed in Los Angeles, House, M.D., Bryan Singer is in trouble for sex things, sexual harassments, not politically correct, he’s a weird annoying character, Sherlock Holmes with medical stuff, we have to break into the people’s houses to look for toxins, if they needed to really badly, a fantasy of medical diagnostics, American murder shows, fantasies of how murders are investigated, everybody gets an MRI, that’s only for riche people, the vigilante fantasy, stupid bureaucratic things get in the way, full body irradiation, lupus, prednisone, ivermectin, Wilson’s disease, when reading Sherlock Holmes, doesn’t play fair, Agatha Christie is more fair, stares off in to space, remove somebody’s pituitary gland, you’re an idiot, formulaic and fun, special set, they don’t go outside much, the geography and climate of New Jersey, filming in the actual place flavours the writing, daughter, son, moved to Melbourne, something silly you can watch, a soap opera style type show, You, a serial killer who runs a bookstore, a romantic comedy where he stalks girls, based on a book, no although yes, you’re not upset when he murders people, Schwarzenegger’s Fubar, Citadel, very immoral TV shows now, justifying torture and violence, cartoons, a strange phenomenon, a sequel to the James Cameron movie True Lies, cheating on him with a used car salesman, generic Arab terrorists with a nuke, super competent, Jamie Lee Curtis, the same character kind, his daughter is in the CIA and he didn’t know, not well written, True Lies is also a television show, on network television, the guy from Game Of Thrones, sorta Philip K. Dick premise, memory wiped, Silo, Wool by Hugh Howey, when everybody was excited about Wool, didn’t care much anymore, a duty to read the book, Graham Yost, Terence is not one who necessarily executes his duty, conversations with elderly people, a retirement place, not something really intellecutal, Tulsa King, retired superhero, oui, yes, Jeff Bezos some money (Canadian servers), ratings on prime, IMDB is not reliable (except for older things), it deserves it, a forumal, it goes on from 8 years, 8.7 for House, M.D., Star Trek TNG went 7 seasons, the follow up to Justified, City Primeval, the 3rd season of Star Trek Picard, Terence didn’t see the good part, those movies were not good, not interesting, because Worf came back, fan service good is never good, that’s the best stuff, 30 years ago, time machine, cryogenic chamber, 1987, a holiday residence, we’d done everything that we could, doing all these other things, France at that time just wasn’t into science fiction, talking to students about science fiction series, car racing is very dangerous, the James Bond stand-in figure, flipping cars, a hard-top, pre-WWI pilots, after her first crash she never flew again, just fuckin dangerous, small planes, if you’re trying to race them, the water police, that guy’s dead, that was common, tinkering in the garage working on your motorcar, dirt bike racing, the special hospital for broken necks, that’s how you become a quad: drive quads, mountain biking, the opposite of bjj, out in nature, extreme canoeing, kayaking, at least as good an experience, the Sunshine Coast, a ferry ride away, fjords, inlets, the skookumchuk narrows, fast good ocean, a tide in or a tide out, a giant peninsula, to ride the currents, surfing for kayakers, you wear a helmet, smashed up real good, surfing but more dangerous, skiing, injuries are slower to heal, the risk of injury goes up and up, fun/fast, dangerous, expensive, things were cheaper, lift ticket, cross country-skiing, a way to kill time between sleeps: a retired person’s thing, the side projects of people’s activities, Sunday morning for Jesse, church time, why you going to church, really into politics, civically engaged, highest percentage of atheist, a powerful lobby, list of countries by irreligion, Afghanistan, Czec Republic, North Korea, New Zealand, France 28%, Canada, Australia, 28.6 percent, 16.4 USA, synagogue goers, heavy activity, 3.1% Israel, the problem with Jews, they don’t have to practice, belief in god, a cultural practice, the theory of god, he’s in the book, how to read the book, forming the question will help determined what answers you get, China, by population data, 91% for China, Australia 69%, China is full of atheists, saying India is full of atheist, total atheists, Chinese new year, scaring away ghosts, Japan, Shinto temples, government sponsorship for maintenance, same is true for France, Ireland, U.K., theoretically catholic, theoretically protests, Stephen Fry, atheist pastors, a masking mandate, Daniel Dennett, smartguy, a priest with his fingers crossed behind his back, unbelief among the clergy, begin starry eyed, Santa Claus, way smarter than Sam Harris, like a cartoon of a smart guy, he thinks he is a smart guy, a beef over something, emotional shit, he’s not good at logic, he uses a lot of words, cultivate ignorance in writing, think about what these words mean, that’s the exact explanation, consciousness is the center of narrative gravity, when you get into the brain, doing Phineas Gage stuff with big rods, a continuous sort of experience with reality we think, where is the center of gravity on a teapot, nothing inside the teapot has changed, shot in the head, part of your personality changes, if you remove too much, parts can be removed, Descartes theory, the reason I don’t cut off my finger, it’ll hurt, all those cells don’t want to die, battlefield triage, a person with a missing language, self is the center of narrative gravity, its fiction, another analogy, a fictional character in literature, did Sherlock Holmes have a mole on his left shoulder blade?, there was a truth to the matter, neither true nor false, you have failed to understand, neutrinos, why other people’s theories are wrong, a theory that works, the part of us that gives us I did this for this reason, what our dilemma is, when a book is rubbing us wrong, right to bring this up, what does this guy look like, he has no appearance, describing the main character is usually bad, what does Odysseus look like, Starship Troopers tricks you, a person of colour, exactly exactly exactly, why do stories work or why stories don’t work, Luke Burrage [The Science Fiction Book Review Podcast], gone down the drain, a lot of modern books, something has changed, they’re not science fiction, a weird subset of science fiction, anti-intellectual, not interested in the intellectual part of science fiction, the structure of books, outguess the author, guesses and inferences, not a key theme, Agatha Christie, letting it flow, Jesse writes a ton, 6 sentence stories, amazing, fascinated by his own dreams, almost all fiction is unsalable (including some that is sold), book series, the things that people are obsessed with reading and writing about, will they or won’t they, the romance that happens in this book, no investment in it, isn’t it interesting he’s made the girl an intellectual, sexy, a dancer, car shocks, can quote Shakespeare, opinions on Thomas Mann, and be a girl, too much, you can get all that with money, if she really was like that, like the Amish, make it more plausible, silly, how sexist Paul would think Jesse just was, Buckaroo Banzai, neurosurgeon, physicist, test-pilot, rock star, some actors like to play music, Doc Savage is Buckaroo Banzai without the comedy, supposed to be profound, no matter where you go, there you are, shallowly profound, what is the sound of one hand clapping?, take it as a deep thing, a comedy of a deep thing, a comedy, dream response, analysis of The Road Warrior (Mad Max II), Tina Turner, it’s the best one in a way, Mad Max I is an art film action film, Jungian psychology, dream response, black and white, characters being mirrors and shadows of each other, dressed like animals, claws and spikes, the fight sequences, an oil monopoly is the good guy, white football pads vs. black football pads, Max has one football pad, the outsider, he has no identity, the camera swoops in, we enter the vehicle with Max, Max is left behind, very solid analysis, everybody has violence within them, a symbol, when we enter civil society, a lot of people like to pretend, making a mistake, James Tiptree’s Houston, Houston, Do You Read?, extract, Her Smoke Rose Up Forever, the way people read it, downloaded, a hundred page book, One Light Hour, pretty good, Rossignol, Nightingale, The Screwfly Solution, everyone has aggression in them, take stuff away, its not the essence of men, the essence of a can of sardines, Jesse is afraid of male and female bears, afraid of tigers, tigers eat meat and I am made of meat, men can prey on women, using violence for moral purposes, just download it again, from the mouse, 20 files, Love Is The Plan And The Plan Is Death, a lady who wrote like a smart person, is she the best?, this is very difficult, she’s a good antidote, Ursula K. Le Guin, politically correct, The Dispossessed, The Word For World Is Forest, humans come out as the badguys, it’s Avatar (2009), Poul Anderson’s The Queen OF Air And Darkness, we’ve got prejudices and they have prejudices too, The Left Hand Of Darkness and The Lathe Of Heaven, its fun, she’s playing what if, the 2 film versions, real science fiction, another duty Terence has: Always Coming Home, the strongest strike against Le Guin, hoighty toights think she’s the shit, Octavia Butler, Margaret Atwood is feted by idiots, really good, Silverberg is very solid, better science fiction writers than Silverberg, interested in the hard or soft things, native ability, always in phase with the 1960s and the 1970s, her beauty is fading, people are mad Tiptree killed her husband, not a strike against her, a strike in her favour, too traumatizing to talk about or consider, you’re babies, grow up, put on your big girl pants, these are traumatized people they need to be sheltered, let the injury heal then work to make the injured injury stronger, they’ve never actually had trauma, verbally mean to them, making fun of rape survivors, heard about a rape survivor, their theory, trauma in society, what the government is saying we should be worried about are fictional creations, the narrative is not written from their experience, social influencers, the Yellow Peril is something that was manufactured, ginned up, reflected in popular media, Skull Face, The Insidious Doctor Fu Manchu, Fu Manchu is the hero, putting down this evil genius, the side I would be on, the War On Terror, sound and fury, a war that had been happening that people had been ignorant of, 24, always some threat, COVID, turns out that wasn’t really a thing, another duty, the Russians identify with the orcs, the Elves are Harvard educated, The Last Ring Bearer by Kirill Eskov, we should do a pirate audiobook of that, a symbolic Euro, maybe Archive.org, an amazing number of bootleg audiobooks on YouTube, the official Alien movie adaptation by Alan Dean Foster, published in paperback and never thought of again, The Terminator (novelization), a perfect film, sction science fiction oriented, it’s like a theorem, the perfection of a beautiful theorem, so well thought through, the Champs Elysee, lucky Terence, the budget, what is this?, seems a little short, the NAFO, NATO trolls, troll dog in fatigues, anybody who questions the Ukraine War, a tendency, pro-Ukraine people calling Russians orcs, the dumber side of science fiction fandom (pretty much all of science fiction fandom), orcs are black people, doing the Eloi properly, dumb and pretty, The Time Machine by H.G. Wells, September is okay, Australia in December, Tip-tree, do you read me?, poly-valent, NASA stuff, do you read?, parody of SF fandom (amongst other things), save it for the podcast, already intrigued, Heads Of Cerberus by Francis Stevens, strict with the definition, amongst Jesse’s favourite SFF writers, sloppy and crunchy, amazing concept, a phial, pretty and stupid, but do they have boobs?, pre-pubescent, they’re supposed to be children, Dante?, set in Philadelphia, two burglars, the opener disappears, I’ve killed them, Ulythia, a spider woman there, a weaver of webs, mystical shit, a sphinx over a temple entrance, we’re out of time, a staging area to another reality, Philadelphia 2118, a 1984 style dystopia, their name is either a number or a job title, Prettiest, Wittiest, Strongest, governance of the city, contests, if you fail the contest or challenge you’re thrown into a spiked pit, this future place, cut-off from the rest of the United States, what to do with them?, the game and the story, challenge for prettiest, a fourth guy, Mr. Justice is the cop, not a comedy but very comedic, like a Philip K. Dick novel but better put together, super-innovative, two Mondays from now, LibriVox, cleaned up sound, a super brain in her head, you can tell if you read enough if a book was written by a man or a woman, I saw she had a boob, her hands are not big and veiny, check the hand sizes, secondary sexual characteristics, fingernails, how much attention has been paid to the fingernails, Black House by Stephen King and Peter Straub, influenced by Zelazny’s Amber series, a sequel, parallel realities, Evan likes Stephen King, we exhausted Bachman, 20 hours, Straub died recently, 26 fucking hours, duty books, Progeny by Philip K. Dick, Pirates Of Venus by Edgar Rice Burroughs, 1st books, A Meeting With Medusa by Arthur C. Clarke, another Tor Double, in Playboy, a hot air balloon in orbit of Saturn?, everybody’s favourite: Farnham’s Freehold, he’s fun to argue with, No Man’s Land by John Buchan, planning three months ahead, duty!, Paul: you could take a break, Jesse, your center of narrative gravity says, pumping iron, too focused on image of the body, works for the brain, if you’re living in Ancient Athens, Socrates: you’re looking fat, people doesn’t like Socrates, Plato was a wrestler, footsoldiers, cowboys in the distance, learning to throw spears and steal rifles, they’re not discus throwers, what makes them famous?, what makes them good?, stories on the grape vine, stories that require attention, God Save The Mark is more fun, time travel, amazing theme, the secret hobby horse of Westlake is insurance, talking about insurance, hedging your bets all the time, is the insurance company fucking with you?, what makes things continue to function, David Foster Wallace, taxation, not interesting, a central thing we’re trained not to think about, if I don’t buy anything I can’t be taxed, tax rebate, in British Columbia and Canada, HST, GST, PST, harmonize it!, compared to the states, Justin is horrible, fucking terrible things, generally incompetent, not completely corrupt, negotiating these sales taxes, same as VAT, an 80s thing, we know its going to hurt everybody, luxury tax, the theoretical amount of tax they paid, fuel and food, a relatively good life, without working many many hours, inherited money, mortgage payments for 25 years, under COVID, Biden promised a $2000 cheque, never given it, student loans and all the other things, a standard flat amount for everybody, a statistical anomaly, $2000 a month for not working, condo crisis as usual, you don’t have that business anymore, a net negative for most, lose their jobs, doing podcasts, the difference between the two, something in France, up to a level being able to pay 80%, unemployment benefits, normally more stringent, that formula is interesting, most people were getting less, that flat number, cop still has to go to work, if you lost any work, the universalness of it, the province did other things, crown corporations, BC Hydro, automotive insurance, an actual attempt to lessen the damage, keeping track of it, amazing, right?, fairly well when somewhat interested, the fact that they can do good things is amazing, 1pm, Terence’s wife has gone to Paris for a week, this is good for me, I won’t eat, can’t stop it, might as well allow it, Jesse got that from Will, a post-Jungian, James Hillman, we’re made of stories, we’re made of images, Carl Jung, Jimmy Dore, the reason Jesse hates Michio Kaku, somebody’s got your shadow, there’s nothing shadowy about them, people who don’t call him on his shit, Evan or Paul get upset at people, there’s nothing upseting there, team based, not liking Jordan Peterson, said to be anti-trans vs. anti-trans pronouns, he’s dumb, he does say interesting things, psychological stuff, biblical stuff, basic, whatever he says the opposite is true, he’s a dad for a lot of men with not deads, not that many smart people in the media, John Vervaeke, the Meaning Crisis, charge money for their courses, religious people who nod in that direction, when Jordan Peterson talks about Marxism, probably just ignorant, Slavoj Žižek / Jordan Peterson debate, Peterson didn’t chicken out, talked around everything, a judo thing, he didn’t know what to say, The Communist Manifesto, intellectual flourishing, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Cirsova, Marx starved his own children, he was fucking poor, Victorian workhouses, he’s seeing it all around him, he was preaching about what was being practiced upon him, What!?, most people let it slide, this guy is my brain, end up like Sam Harris, Sam Harris didn’t care how many dead children are in Hunter Biden’s basement, a unique threat, mass emiseration, truth can be gamed, narrative control, largely true for most people, Letter To A Christian Nation, sparky and spitty, Žižek’s thesis, old hat, superseded by Gilles Deleuze, he became good, the roots of what he later elaborated, lots of stuff is useable, trans and woke ideologies, he can get away with it, current events, Benjamin Studebaker, the last American election, Cambridge Oxford same fucking place, annoying in two ways: smart and young, how’d you get so smart and so young, The Lack podcast, Political Science 101, pirate Jesse the side2s, its good to do, there are good ideas, listen to them a lot, Political Science 101 podcast, Nina Power, the three of them write little essays, French cinema, independent movies, a more intellectual Science Fiction Book Review Podcast (but for movies), the price of the book, thinking about his audience, paperback is probably good for most people, a very good sign, the opposite is Robert J. Sawyer, competing with my new book, he was a science fiction writer, turned his hand to trying to make a living by writing trilogies, on twitter in full length, the fundamental problem of what’s going on in the United States, right about everything, TV adblocker version, Lord Enoch, rando talking heads, that guy is a real intellectual on TV, just teeth and dresses and smiles and vague acquaintance with some of the issues, good public intellectuals online, philosopher repairman: Louis Rossmann, completely untrained in philosophy, repairing laptops, recently got hired by a billionaire, projects that are useful to humans, right to repair, farmers should have access to their tractors code, the least amount of interest in vanity of production, the opposite of that, a very solid philosophy, used to live in New York, Bill de Blasio, Paul was not happy about it, snitch out your customers to the cops, Texas, annoying young people who’s smart and good at thinking, no production value at all, people trying to learn to fix their laptops, people who don’t like bullshits, the price of real estate, dead city neighbourhood walkthough, he’s doing very practical present day philosophy, DRM is not something most people care about (even though they should), book management, take in different plugins, stripping drm protection from ebooks, minimizing time in front of screens, printing things up, the searchability, if you find yourself with 26.5 hours, not possible to tai-chi while audiobooks, doing bjj and listening to audiobooks, very strange.

Hard Case Crime - Scratch One by John Lange

Scratch One by John Lange

Scratch One by John Lange

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Reading, Short And Deep #409 – The Man Who Knew Everything by Edward D. Hoch

Reading, Short And Deep

Reading, Short And Deep #409

Eric S. Rabkin and Jesse Willis discuss The Man Who Knew Everything by Edward D. Hoch

Here’s a link to a PDF of the story.

The Man Who Knew Everything was first published in Shock—The Magazine of Terrifying Tales, September 1960.

Posted by Scott D. Danielson Become a Patron!

The SFFaudio Podcast #730 – READALONG: Easy Go by Michael Crichton

Jesse, Paul Weimer, Cora Buhlert, and David J. West talk about Easy Go by Michael Crichton

Talked about on today’s show:
1968, The Last Tomb, a pretty terrific book, what’s the title mean?, dreams of fame and fortune, is that what the book’s really about though?, pre-Indiana Jones, a heist story, Topkapi (1962), stealing archaeological treasures for private hands, they’re not good people, the girl’s with you, Nicos killing children is find, Lisa, how expensive are you, ten million dollars, you know you’re doing the wrong thing here, the ending, a better title, a funner title, a soft ending, a sudden ending, is something wrong with my copy?, he finishes the book, an okay ending, put em all in prison, getting oput of prison is going to be the sequel, mushy, semi-justified by the text, the clever Egyptian archaeology department, a step ahead, hadn’t left the scarab there, they had their mark from the beginning, stupid foreigners, the Romans, the Greeks, the Assyrians, treasure hunters, remarkably diverse, Mission: Impossible, a hard novel, a noir, surprises, switching main characters, Barnaby, suddenly Pierce, Lord Grover, Lisa’s dad for real?, bio-father, purposely leaving it vague, he couldn’t legally do it, the narrator is really good, Christopher Lane, the cover art, the original paperback, pulpy cover, kissing dancing holding pistols, a reuse cover, Hard Case Crime had a second imprint called Gabriel Hunt, Charles Ardai character, a Mack Bolan, Remo Williams style pulp hero, Hunt For Adventure, Indiana Jones style, reused the same art, Glen Orbik, a revolver, a mummy, use the gun on the snakes, Luxor, a generic that works, down to the last 10 minutes of the book, it fits, it matches the mood, evokes Egypt, Binary, only on the cover to sell the book, his accents are good, his characters are distinct, later Crichton, his formula, Timeline, Pirate Latitudes, a real-life ending, he didn’t want to kill people, shoulda ended in a noir, the best solution, an Oceans Eleven vibe, published 3rd, his first written novel, $1500, a stressed out medical student, L.A. Times, 1974, The Terminal Man, took him a week, he went to egypt, loved it, and was reading paperbacks on the plane, I can do this, a very old youtube video, hired by Munsey’s, starts typing, where’d you learn to right, a real pulp writer, some people just really got it, they read pulp, they can write pulp, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Robert E. Howard, Spear And Fang is ok, Terry Pratchett, an amazing writing career, characterization is very solid, dropping information about Egypt, each location, the price of things, the other locations, Amsterdam, diamond dealer, dull and tomblike, he absolutely captures the atmosphere, he has been there, you have to learn how to watch black and white movies, silent movies are a lot harder than black and white movies, pictures of black and white monkeys, making Casablanca in colour, some things need black and white, Edgar Wallace, we have to learn these things, the goodreads reviews, pulpy fun, new favourite book, its like they don’t know how to read this kind of book, a paperback, for the late 60s and the mid 1970s, racy fun, nice and thin, what an airport novel is today, opposite of horribly long and badly written, not meant to be remembered, give me another John Lange, you’ve been reading all these John Lange books, a professional sale, this is solid, a little bit unpredictable, the treasure, shines in the reflectivity of the characters, thinking about Egypt, doing more than is required, this is the real tomb [holds up skull], the one you can never leave, *yawn implausible romance two stars*, a first, better than some of his later books, later bloated, Binary is taut, not as filmic as it could have been, breezier and easier, how can people read so badly, unfamiliar with the form, he’s seen it before, of course you’ve seen it before!, didn’t you really enjoy reading it?, really enjoyable, Paul plays role playing games, Fate Of Cthulhu, stop Nyarlathotep, Infocom games, Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, Infidel, find the pyramid, survive it’s traps and treasures, command prompt words, get flashlight batteries, put flashlight batteries in flashlight, turn flashlight on, you see a room, boxes full of goodies, pocket fluff and no tea, the microscopic space fleet, playing a real a-hole, terrible to his crew, a real western imperialistic jerk, the last trap gets you, a Kobayashi Maru, for narrative, pray for forgiveness, terrible takes, disaster pron, Kelly, banaly racist and sexist, enjoyable enough but nothing special, a stock character, a great role, every actor wants to be him, he wears that mask so well, Roger Moore as Lord Grover, a playboyish guy, the handsome Hollywood lead, Barnaby, a great character actor, Steve Buscemi, a slight role, Niccos, even he doesn’t end up dead, Italian western, did you not notice his backstory, an Egyptian whore a Greek story, how he opens a door, sleeping on the dock, he still has a hubcap, reading Richard Stark, I can do this, interest, each character has just enough characterization, Sylvia, why she’s acting that way, masterful characterization, a natural success, a great way to solve a story, back to square one, experience points is stupid, Conan should start every adventure the way he ends it, deus ex machina, aliens ex machina, the celebrated archaeologist, a very steep diminishing returns, most people who have eyes and ears, The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, released with extra materials on DVD, the treasure is the experience, he goes to Europe and hangs out with famous artists doing cubism, intrigue in 1917 Russia, North Africa, the Belgian Congo, 1906 – 1922, a tourist visit, but an amazing one, not good people in a lot of cases, T.E. Lawrence, Baghdad to Berlin trainline, Lawrence of Arabia killed my great grandfather, all the stuff in the background, the Aswan dam, the Russian wives in the marketplace, all that detail, not even Cold War, moving the temples, building giant dams, a post-war thing, Drowned Hopes by Donald E. Westlake, cutting edge at the time, not quite in the zeitgeist, this guy knows Egypt, the United Arab Republic, a book of the late 60s, Sadat, hedging his bets, Nasser, seeing all these negative reviews, didn’y you seen this part?, looking a the hieroglyphics, that exposition, bought it all, he dreamed this up, read it diagonally, apocryphal, when Arnold Schwarzenegger was governor of California, an acrostic, babble in the middle, the bragging vizier, my king I’ve served you well, when Egypt was at its eye, Egyptologists disagree, what triggered Jesse, the breasts of every female, cigarettes, facts are in quotes, slowmo novel, dude you’re not the target audience, a thing you do, decadent Englishman, smokes pot and has girls around him, the facts are placed not littered, it’s really well done, Amsterdam, terrorist attacks, done many times, I too became lost, torture porn, the beating of the young boy, some had breasts, you’re not actually supposed to remember the hero, Peirce is the least interesting character, he’s the plot, they recognize each other from Korea, they’re equals, they’re both captains, an officer’s club, we never actually get to see the split, in the middle of a Richard Stark novel, Paul disagrees completely, Grover’s in it for the fun, pay the ransom myself, which characters are untrustworthy, Pierce is the most trustworthy character, he doesn’t even know why he’s doing it, Pierce doesn’t know why he exists, he’s the blank canvas, Barnaby is conflicted, don’t touch this, it belongs in a museum, tenure, a better job, they’re all adjuncts, Conway, we trust him implicitly, jokey and fun, great introduction, he saves the girl with the gun, smuggled diamonds out of South Africa, Jim Brown, Steve James, blacksploitation movies, Niccos in the most untrustworthy character, willing to kill, he sells out the group, even Iskander, a meaty role, subtle and sneaky and pretend to be dumb, malapropisms, you are beautiful today, which guy is going to be the problem, take the easy route, get into a fight he doesn’t need to take, a problem with Lord Grover’s girls, blabbing to the wrong person, an outside problem, something we couldn’t have foreseen, a nice hard ending, Infocom’s hints, InvisiClues, not fair for pirates, no forums online, in a magazine, Gore Vidal’s Thieves Fall Out, maybe that’s the issue for me, not mention slaves and cotton plantations, Agatha Christie, Norman Mailer, Conway holding the skull, a lecture or a joke, Egyptologists go look at this scarab, they’re weirdos, not obsessed with death, certain rich people, The Land Of The Pharaohs (1955) with Joan Collins, a memorable scene, The Persuaders, City On The Edge Of Forever, Star Trek, an impregnable tomb, speaking English, if they had done Prey (2022) in the original Comanche, have us read subtitles, inaccessibility, learning to read, learning to watch movies, learning to play computer games, Dead Man Down (2013), get revenge, he’s a barbarian, he’s a robot, my parents are German immigrants that’s why my name is Matrix, the dregs of what we used to have, Steven Seagal, they’re great, the cheap Michael Dudikoff, making the grave goods, the piled up grave goods, gold daisies, creating that culture for this period, updating it, mention the Muslim Brotherhood, we’re not good at coming up with stuff like that, on a European tour, Paris, Greece, Capri, a brief scene set in Greece, the city is coming ever closer, the Colossi of Memnon, a big Robert E. Howard fan, if this was Stygia, a place Robert E. Howard never went to, a girl swimming naked in a pond, I hope this novel is about…, communist propaganda, I’ve never been to Iowa, he reads stuff from history, sets in real experiences, everything is based on Texas, Mexico and New Mexico, setting a story in a real place I’ve never been to, Howard stories set in the crusader states, the pre-middle ages, a crusader castle, 1950s in a place you’ve never been is harder than ancient Egypt, new world parrots in Europe, you don’t have anacondas in Egypt, 1870s Cairo, one guy who called me out, a ton of research, a tonne of research, what would Christmas decorations look like?, what would it smell like?, a picture from the 1930s, google street view, real estate signs, we’ve got the directions wrong, it’s in this cleft, wasted a couple of chapters digging, the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest wasn’t in the the Teutoburg Forest, Roman fortresses, modern cities, forgiving young people, they haven’t had life experience, airplanes had cigarette ashtrays on their handles, you could still smell it, make the seats smaller, KLM city hoppers, L.A. Noire, you’re an L.A. homicide detective, reconstructed huge swaths of 1950 [1947] Los Angeles, it sounds like that car does, rare cars, you can stop anywhere in the city and look at a street-corner, a research team of 5,000 programmers, makes Wiltshire Boulevard accurate, we don’t have that for most things, we’re disabled, Des Moines, Alan Moore’s Providence, New York, as a coherent whole it doesn’t make a lot of sense, a weak thesis, Robert Black is Lovecraft’s psychology, the drawings, 1919 New York, owls with glowing eyes, that nearby park, a picture of what reality was like, the architecture is correct, Cool Air, Jacen Burrows, a photograph as a drawing, accurate to the image being described, come to the thing with the right expectations, how to appreciate what your seeing, an apology for modern art, appreciating 1960s paperback novels, a really good book, greatness to come in this guy, eight total, thank Cora, Michael Crichton movies, the Binary TV movie, Hard Case Crime, almost always entertaining, the Stephen King ones, reprints, modern stuff is hit or miss, extra fun reading an old book, almost 5 decades, still reading it and giving it low ratings, skew young and female, check the copyright date, why are they not mentioning bombs?, reading older books, good YA books, problem books, Karl May, read it in a day, a short novel, Odds On, Scratch One, A Case Of Need, The Venom Business, Zero Cool, Dealing, Drug Of Choice, Grave Descend, Binary, to prevent an arms shipment, targeted assassination, sounds like a Donald Westlake novel, rob the Reina, a technothriller, it will have lots of breasts, read about breasts, artifact smuggling, an expert handler in venomous snakes, is he the killer’s real target, meh 4 stars, a Bondesque romp with off-puttingly sexist undertones, diver, the strange thing is the breasts, cigarette stains, pick a regular goodreads reviewer from the modern era, sending them back to 1971s, review of 1971: it’s gross they’re were cigarettes everywhere, when IMDB was a new thing, writing reviews is fun, semi-professionally can be hurtful, a review challenge, another thing to check off, let’s read more John Lange, star ratings are hurtful, Nerds Of A Feather, weird blinking gifs, November 27, Innocents Abroad by Mark Twain, Richard Bachman is not a shitlib but Steven King is, what would John Lange’s nickname be?, John Norman’s real name is John Lange, two of my favourite writers, a different feel, excited about a 1975 book, dinosaur hunters in the old west, Dragon Teeth, bone hunters, helping a student write an essay about Weird Tales, Hugh Rankin, some of the covers, Doak is Hugh Rankin’s middle name, the art style is quite different, interior Conans are Hugh Rankin, Frank Belknap Long, the style is different, pastiche, comic strips, spent time gazing, The Dunwich Horror, Virgil Finlay did a ton of covers for Weird Tales, painted covers, vignettes?, snake woman, The Were-snake, a thing for hangings, Margaret Brundage, naked woman, only 3 of her 67 covers don’t have women, Farnsworth Wright, The Zap Gun by Philip K. Dick, does Iowa have ditches?, a nice slim volume, the beauty of a rural setting, a Korean War vet?, maybe it is 1947, the sheriff doesn’t want to get involved (secretly a communist), lean into it, The Cannonball Run, Dean Martin is a commie, his middle name is Kill A Commie, a little bit of a throwback, A Matter Of Life And Death (1946), David Niven, how to watch it, make it an amazing experience, the cultural nuance, an expectation, movie watching ability, The Mark Of Zorro (1920), when its not an action sequence, Nosferatu (1922), Buster Keatons and Charlie Chaplins, unleash Metropolis (1927), in the theater with live music, dragging a friend along, taught to watch Shakespeare and opera, we teach it wrong, a guided experience, get used to the style, think about it like food, you don’t give the baby kimchi, french fries, children’s menus, some kids wont eat certain colours, film aficionado, missing a whole experience of art, a current film, no steadycams, a forgettable Fassbender movie, The Fabulous Baker Boys, The Grey Man (2022), a Russo bros movie, a spy version of a Marvel movie, feel better, forgettably watchable, a new up and comer, Knives Out (2019), was Marilyn Monroe tiny?, how tall is Ryan Gosling?, the propaganda, platform shoes, height shame, Linda Hunt, Silverado (1985) is a really good movie, Kevin Kline, Scott Glenn, Jeff Goldblum is the badguy, she’s amazing, NCIS Los Angeles, Gargoyles (1972) TV movie, Silence Of The Lambs, Man On Fire (1987), go in with no expectations, form CIA agent hired to bodyguard a girl in Italy, a movie that has heart, charismatic in his own weird way, why is this happening?, local Comicon, Keith Coogan, Adventures In Babysitting (1987), holding on to the rights, explaining Marvel and DC comics, The Unknown Soldier, its the trademarks, Obama giving Spiderman or Punisher a congressional medal of honor, Roger Corman’s Fantastic Four, we never got to see it, not that bad, that was a really good movie, it holds up, Chris Columbus, a sitcom?, Weird Science is so well put together, Robert Downey, Jr., they nailed the ending, a gym full of girls, the final scene, cut back to the gym, Lisa standing, pan up, you little monsters, Frankenstein and Bride Of Frankenstein, Einstein’s brain, they do it again, a totally stupid and really good, mid or low budgets, a renaissance period, they hold up, 1975-1987 is the period, Predator but not The Last Action Hero (1993), Collateral Damage is a massive decline, The Sixth Day (2000), True Lies is up, quality of films, Raw Deal (1986), Terminator 2 (1991) is technically better but The Terminator (1984) is a better movie, James Cameron, Alien (1979), Aliens (1986), Titanic is a good movie for other people, too long, Raise The Titanic (1980), Avatar is a good movie, The Abyss (1989), oddly forgotten, Ridley Scott, Black Rain (1989), Rising Sun (1993), Wesley Snipes’ best movie, Blade (1998), Major League (1989), Drop Zone (1994), Point Break (1991), Muder At 1600 (1997) Elizabeth Hurley as a terrorist, Clint Eastwood, Absolute Power (1997), lacking depth of back catalogue, we’re going to watch Predator (1987), children, key moments in Jesse’s life, the novelization of Predator, the novelization of Gremlins (1984), Carl Weathers, bro greeting, Dakota Beavers, Shane Black, The Predator (2018) is a really terrible film, the Golan-Globus Theater podcast, Dino De Laurentiis, Rollerball (1975), evil coprorations have taken over the planet, James Cann killing people and throwing balls in holes, no individual achievement, Norman Jewison, Fiddler On The Roof (1971), based on Billy Budd?, The Thomas Crown Affair (1968), In The Heat Of The Night (1967), 2015, ipods, audiobooks, The Iliad, a late adopter, 2013, podcasts are the thing now, youtubes podcasts, audio with science fiction and fantasy, the books we had gone through, the back catalogue, 9 hours long, an Arthur Machen semi-autobiographical novel, trying to make money, when it comes time you want to read The Dispossessed, guaranteed, make me take it down, not mentioned in the show, get to get some really narrow topics, run as long as people are willing to go without peeing, three hours is a good length, some good books, insights, Our Opinions Are Correct, makes Jesse read books, The Bus-Conductor by E.F. Benson, two Souvenir by Philip K. Dick episodes, there’s a door there’s a cat, felt honoured, Tippy Taps, a Murder She Wrote episode, Simon & Simon, and Magnum, PI, Nudist Camp by Orrie Hitt, The Black Stranger by Robert E. Howard, a non-fiction about traveling around Europe, A Night In Lonesome October by Roger Zelazny, cassettes, a hefty book, Twain is so good, Scott Danielson is hard to get, excited about The Heads Of Cerberus by Francis Stevens, 1904, super-science, half Japanese and half German, she invented the superhero, Man-God, Gladiator by Philip Wylie, newspaper woman in the future, an old sailoress tells a tall tale at the teashop, Friend Island, one of those inferior creatures, she and the island got along really well, just elect a woman, The Elf-Trap, a gyspy village in the forest, La Belle Dame Sans Merci, Famous Fantastic Mysteries, so pioneering, The Thrill Book, a precursor to Weird Tales, Sunfire, precedes the Weird Tales crew, a vivid imagination, standard racist tropes, some people can’t handle breasts, occasional racism, a funny meme on Tolkien and smoking, promoting smoking, eating mushrooms, a little kid thing, unable to adapt to the horrible mushrooms, we’re willing to live with it, the texture, they’re made of fungus, William Hope Hodgson, that creepy factor, really well told, good at creeping, punched Houdini, volunteered for WWI and got killed, so eager to get killed in the war, trench warfare, superiors don’t care, why go into Iraq or Afghanistan, Germany’s got to be repressed, ran away at 14 to be a doughboy, child soldiers, restrained themselves, unable to be restrained now, WWIII with Russia, American volunteers being paid by NATO, wagging the dog, 60 Minutes, talking over him, the emperor has no clothes, defending having mental faculties, Reagan goes away, so beyond the pale, horrifying to think about, the buck stops here thing, it stops in some vague place that you don’t have access to, Obama is busy making his money, Biden with a blindman on his elbow, it’s shocking, setting aside all past sins, humiliating, juice him up, his notes, George Bush, not a defensible guy, semi-competent, this guy used to know stuff, can’t finish a sentence, can’t remember the name of an actor, not the best and the brightest, when Rand Paul sounds like the sanest man, coming across like a genius, the lamest dystopia, the UK, Boris Johnson, okay he memorized a poem in Greek, Governor of California, the quality of the politicians has gone down so much, people don’t like Putin, he has his shit together, Justin Trudeau, Chrystia Freeland, Jacinda Ardern, you odnt need the They Live glasses anymore, The Shadow Kingdom, clearly evidence of serpent people, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, compared to what?, there is no recession, all the homeless people everywhere, a lot of people on twitter, the arts community, the more liberal minded people, overly conservative, lean liberal, what’s true?, what’s for real?, you have to pick your team and stick with it no matter what, a way to line your own pockets, money laundering, the model in books is broken, indy stuff, a Baen anthology, trad pub, a book with Tantor Audio, 9 hours, a 30 hour Brandon Sanderson book, bundle, a western series, Tantor used to have their own store, Downpour.com, Blackstone publisher, audiobook empire, 40 different markets, Audible has been squeezing, any extra is gravy, the step down, traditional publishing, quick reads, Louis Lamour length, market distortion based on the subscription model, inflation on an infinitely replicable post scarcity object, Audible accounts without Audible subscriptions, the stumbling block, Lois McMaster Bujold, The Reader’s Chair, The Curse Of Chalion, eyes get worse, audiobooks were a fringe, the dominant form of book consumption, FanX, is it on audio, a tangible shift, its better, a nice fire, a dog at my feet, coffee in hand, beautiful woods outside, coding or photoshopping, on the ferry, most of Jesse’s students don’t know where they are, most kids have no sense of geography, where are we?, if they lose google maps, when we have autodrive cars, people wont know where they live, we’re offloading a lot of our processing to objects in our hands or our backpacks, its a himars, we’re doing that to ourselves, can’t identify Europe on a map, total fuckin weirdo, Dungeons & Dragons, Stranger Things, are the parents cursing them out?, are they allowed to play Dungeons & Dragons?, Commodore 64, Vic 20, we exhausted ourselves on this books, keep most of everything, Nudist Camp, mid-century erotica, a book every two weeks, fueled by ice coffee and cigarettes, paperback originals, somebody scanned, three strange women, Hot Cargo, The Peeper, Abnormal Norma, Man’s Nurse, The Sex Pros, Campus Tramp, depraved practices, normal love?, Evan Lampe’s narration of Mr. Adam by Pat Frank, 1947, 9 months later, all the men on planet earth have been sterilized, lead mine, a hot commodity, a comedy a premise, a light comedy, he loves his wife, a war footing, can black women get pregnant from this white man?, two Mongolians, a mine shaft gap, a delightful book, a great premise, sell you individual, The Brethren by H. Rider Haggard, a personal crusade, a bunch of nights, The White Company by Arthur Conan Doyle, her uncle is Saladin, they both marry her, they’re not polyandrists, very Robert E. Howard, the thews and the colours, inspired by a visit, a terrific book, Eric Brighteyes, the character is so dumb, a lurid cover, the greater bulk is from the 1970s, jazzed enough, standing on concrete for three days, Rider, British Columbia, Sir Walter Scott’s house, a railway point.

Easy Go by John Lange

Signet - Easy Go by John Lange

The Last Tomb by Michael Crichton

The Last Tomb by Michael Crichton

HARD CASE CRIME- Easy Go by Michael Crichton

Posted by Jesse WillisBecome a Patron!

The SFFaudio Podcast #674 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: The Cats Of Ulthar by H.P. Lovecraft

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #674 – The Cats Of Ulthar by H.P. Lovecraft – read by Steve Mann. This is a complete and unabridged reading of the story (8 Minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Paul Weimer, Evan Lampe, Trish E. Matson, and Jason Thompson

Talked about on today’s show:
The Tryout, November 1920, Weird Tales, Fantastic Novels, Hannes Bok, a girl or a young woman, cats looking very satisfied with themselves, 3 pages or 8 minutes, 88 shows mentioning The Cats Of Ulthar, most of them are not in English, the best introduction to Lovecraft, a lot of little things that work as an introduction, witches, wandering weirdos, foreigners, geographies, are the couple witches?, they’re witch-ish, ogres, frightening, can this be read subversively, sorry Trish, why is this such a popular story, the narrator is present, a murder mystery, The Tree by H.P. Lovecraft, popular to least popular, At The Mountains Of Madness, this fictional list, Old Bugs, The Wicked Clergy Man, a scultping contest, this story sucks, the sound of the bees, the beekeeper tells the narrator, who tells the story, we know, what do you remember?, the reason people don’t like that story is they don’t get it, telegraphed from the beginning, the wrath of Bast, super-simple, people love cats, has cats in the title, not that much racism in it, the mysterious dark foreigners are the good guys sort of, catskins nailed all over the wall, eating them?, a meanspirited old couple, what people in the town are saying, hiding the truth, we gotta burn these manuscripts, a push pull, the beetles, scarabs, Dreamlands, what of their spirits?, did the cats steal their souls?, sucking the baby’s breath, activating the cats, the circularity, who is the narrator?, purring before the fire, the last image of the story (in Jason’s adaptation), sexily vs. hungrily, the dog lies patiently until it starves to death, the cat will eat you, a village full of cats ate a couple, the heroes are the cats, the moral simplicity of an EC comic, questioning the validity of the human eating cats, all he did was jaywalk, The Terrible Old Man, home invade a pirate from 3 centuries ago, gypsies vs. travelers, the Roma people of Europe, India and Alexander the great, the India connection, where the word Egypt comes from Menes, pre-Egyptian, another possible source, the dark wanderers in Idle Days On The Yann by Lord Dunsany, turban wearing, such frightened and passive people, live in a hovel, they’re treated like witches, The Witch-Cult In Western Europe by Margaret Murray, Christians who believe in , a fairy tale, Diodorus Siculus heard it from some crocodile god priests, all the things that are being described, not only Bast, their quiet mien, the referent is missing, the mother of all these cats?, before and beyond human Earth history, definitely (kind of) in the Dreamlands, Polaris on its own, Meroe, Nubia, a lost port mentioned in the Bible, the connections come later, ex post facto in the Dreamlands, resurrect them?, every cat was back, dead or busy feasting, telling fortunes, investigate the cotter’s cottage, still extant cats, cats on a mission, dream like, dream logic, reason to be skeptical, the villagers are always getting it wrong, sacrificed, coyotes are a serious issue, real life experience, gossip, baseless, the villagers sicced this little boy and his magic on that couple and got even though they are innocent, gullible gods, tricking the gods, they show up in the sky, Scooby Doo, no Nancy Drew activities, the follow up to the Cats Of Ulthar, the gods fucked up, the fallibility of the divine, the Greek gods every day of the week, I want vengeance, a devotee, his parents are already dead, almost like a storm, the gods are obedient to those who are believe in them, vernacular tradition, non-institutionalized beliefs, passed on by spoken words, the common people know about it, the Esoteric Order Of Dagon has some metal plates they pass around, folktales before they get written down, the opening sentence, Skai, the Yann river, no man may kill a cat, the species is male?, who are we?, retconned around Kadath time, the past vs. a dream, if only the dream had been set not in ancient Greece, the fairytalishness, the realm of myth, long ago and far away as many fairy tales say, who the narrator is usually matters, the wagon leaving the town, a tour of Innsmouth, the burgers, why are you telling me all their names, look at the list of characters who show up, sustaining a mood, he’s trying to tell us about the purpose of this law is, why?, the burgers pass a law, it becomes a folk belief, mouths to feed, bag in the river, the story of Moses, this Egyptian quality, Egypt is the breadbasket for Rome, food is wealth, the mousers vs. the pets, eatin the rodents that will eat your grain, myth vs. propaganda, what a stan is, Lovecraft is a cat stan, not the dogs of Ulthar, what do dogs do, dogs bark, bears three days a week, there to protect to the property, hungry bears, many many odes to cats, cat love, propaganda for cats, a wish fulfillment story, that tiny black kitten, cat lives are worth more than human lives to Lovecraft, the roving folk, Egyptians in all but name, their magic, their magic show, Evan’s story about losing his cat, knowing how devious Lovecraft can be, The Rats In The Walls has a cat, Delapore eats another man, still defending them, a swarm of rats, the cat is the hero, you’re crazy man, “I, as a cat, will not support this cannibalism”, Jesse derailing, The Black Cat by Edgar Allan Poe, your house burned down because of a cat, The Raven, working on a psychological level, why does it take so long to get to the point, so obviously put together that way, an untrustworthy story, Evan is neutral, the townspeople are dumb, no police arresting people for killing cats, what scarabs were, we don’t know what scarabs are, amulets placed in the wrappings, tradable items, we don’t know why they’re there, Egyptology, Egytpomania, another Egypt-ism, eating of the dead, a cleansing of the evil of what they did, the cleansing mechanism, not a memorable story,

On a verdant slope of Mount Maenalus, in Arcadia, there stands an olive grove about the ruins of a villa. Close by is a tomb, once beautiful with the sublimest sculptures, but now fallen into as great decay as the house. At one end of that tomb, its curious roots displacing the time-stained blocks of Pentelic marble, grows an unnaturally large olive tree of oddly repellent shape; so like to some grotesque man, or death-distorted body of a man, that the country folk fear to pass it at night when the moon shines faintly through the crooked boughs. Mount Maenalus is a chosen haunt of dreaded Pan, whose queer companions are many, and simple swains believe that the tree must have some hideous kinship to these weird Panisci; but an old bee-keeper who lives in the neighboring cottage told me a different story.

a shared studio, the townspeople report, such good friends, the story of the fall,

However, the Syracusans obtained after a while a very splendid statue in Athens, and the Tegeans consoled themselves by erecting in the agora a marble temple commemorating the gifts, virtues, and brotherly piety of Musides.

city vs. country, one is better than the other,

But the olive grove still stands, as does the tree growing out of the tomb of Kalos, and the old bee-keeper told me that sometimes the boughs whisper to one another in the night wind, saying over and over again. “Oida! Oida!—I know! I know!”

hiding the truth The White Ape The Facts Concerning the Late Arthur Jermyn and His Family, to hide the truth, his grandma was a monkey, there’s sometimes a key, sometimes they are straightforward?, half more again as complex as this one?, The Street, The Statement Of Randolph Carter, The Whisperer In Darkness, At The Mountains Of Madness, The Lurking Fear, pay attention, beefy guys, he needs a lot of meat, The Strange High House In The Mist, a lot of weird stuff happens, not straightforward but simple, this outside frame, we’re not supposed to trust, picky about his own work, Philip K. Dick, a personal favourite, S.T. Joshi, walks in the forest, letters about cats, the College Street address, a gang of feral cats living on his roof, if Lord Dunsany the dog guy meets the cat guy, Dean Spanley, a great sense of humour, The Book of Wonder, a randy centaur, Bride Of The Man-Horse, its the getting there that’s fun part, how men should court women, how centaurs get their brides, a Dunsany imitation in terms of style, 7-10 minutes to read, ebullient detail, once per week, The Idler, filling pages for the idle rich, not the ideal Weird Tales story, a Clark Ashton Smith adaptation, The Dreamquest Of Unknown Kadath, a retconned cosmology, The White Ship and Celephais, a cats themed comic anthology, a comic twist at the end, these smiling cats, ambiguous intent, lest they kill us, who is this law for?, how the Ultharians feel about it, The Doom That Came To Sarnath, the most dreamlandsy one, chronologically, its before people, almost like he’s talking to Robert E. Howard in that one, the psychology is implicit, sometimes a story is just a story, readers in the 1920s, that level of morbidity is day to day for us, extra gross for 1920s readers?, Ambrose Bierce and Edgar Allan Poe, too gross, Wastelands by W. Scott Poole, horror has its birth after WWI, the symbolists, The Troop by Nick Cutter, PG-13, this is not supposed to be a horror story, folktales and household tales, more than humans, add more magic to the story, drag out linger, so much detail, Sergio Aragonés, some guy with nemes on, a German beer stein, there’s beer, what they’re making with those crops, a pseudo Germanic look for Ulthar, the curls of an Egyptian, ankh everywhere, two gods, Ibis, the staff is an open mouth with teeth, Lovecraft foreshadows with a magic spell, repetition a symmetrical thing, all the animals are playing cutesy roles, a wellness check, a kind of horror, a mode, terrible youth trauma, return to the Dreamlands role playing game, their giant noses and their blank eyes and their implements, for the people are simple, four cats suckling, a sphinx, all ayres book of dallaire book of Greek and Norse myths, Echidna the mother of monsters, weird slug woman, the baby hydra and the baby sphinx, exiled to a cave, Cerberus is a they, tentacles, gimme milk gimme milk, added blood, you have to love them anyways, licking their genitals, motherhood is difficult for humans!, firm but gentle, the cats of Saturn, a gamification thing, Jason’s drawing game, Mangacon Cartooner, like Pictionary but producing comics, get the most fame points possible, you have to sell out to whatever trend, so meta, Evan made a huge mistake, fan service, obsession cards, giant sword, three point landing, gamifying his own letters, worldbuilding, the Lovecraft industry is a huge industry, uncountable unnameable, you play dreamers, drawn from Dunsany, The Neverending Story by Michael Ende, the sanity mechanism, go mad or die, memory resources, spend memories, performing marvels, Randolph Carter lost his memories of Providence, creating monsters out of the air, dream logic, Carter remembers he can speak nightgaunt, he always spoke nightgaunt, coincidental magic, conjuring cats, what’s the core activity?, go on dream quests, fairy tale style quests, breaking the pillars of Dreamland, as a responsible dreamer, a plague of fairies, word currency, 300 word cards, make little speeches, blasphemous, wonder, and road, an excuse to be eloquent, the Jack Vance role playing game, The Dying Earth, interesting and fun, dialogue with each other, why don’t you try to make friends with these ghouls?, Horror On The Hill, charisma rolls, neanderthals on the team, DREAMRPG.com, look at this art, its stunning!, that lady with a mask, the watchseller selling digital clocks!, The Call Of Cthulhu: Dreamlands, modern tech doesn’t work, its infinite, continually expanding, the distance between spaces grows greater and greater, like the distances between the stars, low tech vs. modern tech, in Jason’s headcanon…, stuck in the Dark Ages, an existential ramble, a zoog hiding in curtain by the hookah, some lich guy hanging out, the attention to tiny details, “yeah, she’s a medusa what of it?”, where I go to get my equipment for my dreamquest, this is awesome awesome dreamstuff, semi-announced, an Edgar Allan Poe module, an Oz module, Dreamland, Ulalume, a list of dreamers and stats for them, outside of time, they’re dreamselves, established in Celephais, a message in a bottle from two centuries later, Fungi From Yuggoth: Continuity, dream psychiatrist stories, Dreamscape, Inception, trying to tap into deep time (eternity), the Jungian dreamlands, Lovecraft’s conception of the cosmos as an eternal machine, mechanistic, grinding towards the heat death, paradoxes, all night and all day, Jamieson by Margaret St. Clair, just happy to be there, a kind of a Jorkens style story, through the hole in the wall, tiny little grape press, forever cursed to walk the earth, basuto wood and moon grapes for the moonwine, straight out of dreamquest, Dunsany style, epic mythological vs. Terry Pratchett/Neil Gaiman goofy, Paul’s play by email diceless RPG: Strange Bedfellows, set in the world of Roger Zelazny, expanding into a dreamspace, stealing shamelessly, contact the dreamer, Kij Johnson’s Dream-Quest Of Vellitt Boe, a complete stylistic pastiche, The Riverbank by Kij Johnson (a stylistic doppleganger of The Wind In The Willows), when those letters come out, his family is very rich, what dirt he has, is there anybody that’s better documented than Lovecraft?, thank you, kid oriented D&D stuff.

The Cats Of Ulthar by H.P. Lovecraft

Hannes Bok - The Cats Of Ulthar

Hannes Bok - The Cats Of Ulthar

Jason Thompson - The Cats Of Ulthar

Echidna

Jason Thompson - The Cats Of Ulthar

Jason Thompson - The Cats Of Ulthar

Frej Agelii- The Cats Of Ulthar

Jesse Willis - The Cats Of Ulthar

-Seo Yung - The Cats Of Ulthar

Jacen Burrows - The Cats Of Ulthar

Jason Thompson - Gathering Of Beasts

Jason Thompson - Dreamland City

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The SFFaudio Podcast #642 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: The Sowers Of The Thunder by Robert E. Howard

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #642 – The Sowers Of The Thunder by Robert E. Howard; read by Connor Kaye

This unabridged reading of the story (1 hours 34 minutes) is followed by a discussion of it.

Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Will Emmons, Trish E. Matson, and Alex and Connor Kaye.

Talked about on today’s show:
Oriental Stories, Winter 1932, 9 issues, a spinoff of Weird Tales, G.G. Pendarves, Hung Long Tom, Otis Adelbert Kline, The Dragoman’s Jest, the kock-off Edgar Rice Burroughs, E. Hoffman Price, Magic Carpet, 5 issues, the Arabian Nights theme, historical fiction, what kind of stories they’re publishing, guys with scimitars, yellow peril, the mystical east, Orientalism, Australian stories, the land of upside down, the exotic, Outback Tales, Bush Tales, shaggy dog stories, time wasters, folklore, folktales, bush poetry, don’t worry Trish, North-West Adventures, Yukon Tales, Jack London made that genre, American movie productions set, I Heard The Owl Call My Name by Margaret Craven, the last frontier, She in the Arctic, that excitement about Antarctica, Hawks Of Outremer, Robin Hood, King John, the crusades and the crusader states, a lot of work, the research for Oriental tales was too much work, battle scenes, historical errors?, Saladin’s a real guy, a shoutout to Cormac Fitzgeoffrey, Swords Of Shahrzar, there’s a lot going on in here, the twist ending, why it didn’t grab you, Jewels Of Gwahlur, a completely different kind of mode, transferring information, giving what you need for what he’s going to do, we need a map, El Borak, The Fire Of Asshurbanipal, the 1982 Conan movie, Subotai is in this, Baibars, Gerry Lopez, Lopez, lifts from other Robert E. Howard stories, deep in your soul, make it part of your life, A Witch Shall Be Born, Hour Of The Dragon, Tower Of The Elephant, a Kull villain, dressed like a mongol, what happened to Baibars in real life, a king by his own hand, Oliver Stone or John Milius, there is no one Conan story, Queen Of The Black Coast, Belit for this scene, giant snake, an amalgam of Howard’s themes and ideas, the wheel of pain, we don’t know who the hero of our story is, that mode, is the hero Baibars, its a ruse, a castle full of Arabs, “this is a ruse”, this is a trick, the trick happened earlier, not a mystery exactly, we’re not supposed to know, our reveal is a supposition of reality, Haroun, Harold Lamb, why it feels like it doesn’t work, our Irish lord fleeing despair in Europe for relief in the east, a historical supposition, he’s making an argument, the protagonist vs. the viewpoint character, rising around for three chapters until the plot hook, it bounces from castle to castle, all this stuff didn’t happen over night, what’s the time frame of this story, we need a map and a timeline, from Egypt to Palestine, the first invasion, the subsequent invasion, historical about Baibars, Kingdom Of Heaven (2005), the reveal was amazing, he was my taskmaster, I was his body servant, I hate that guy, I am not Haroun, a really interesting thing that he’s done, really impersonal, a bigger scoped story, the fall of kingdoms, Howard works best at the personal level, the undercooked personal level, the knight who secretly betrayed him, a prophecy, twice as long, the lady knight thing was so out of nowhere, that plot arc, a bit out of place, why it doesn’t work as well as Hawks Of Outremer, not much of a payoff for any of the characters, the romance plot ends in tragedy, it can’t be told from his POV, we want to want him to win, pulling itself in several different ways, everything that happens in it is historically accurate, a scar on his face, involved in many intrigues in his life, going amongst the people to spy, what made him such a rags to riches story, an indentured slave, the schools, a northern barbarian, blue eyed, pale skin, chopping skills, 1,000 sword swings a day, kinda hard to understate, he thinks of himself as an Irishman, him confronting the east, why the mongols were stopped, how come the hordes didn’t take over the Arab empire, Baibars stopped them, he took a crusader state and teamed up against the mongols, team-up, wow!, the opposite of Saladin, Saladin is noble, Baibars is cunning, quarterstaff, neither of us will ever be able to dominate the other, when our hero dies, that scar on his face like Kull, Howard projecting himself against a historical figure, an different kind of defeat, Cahal, kay-hal?, his kingdom is the dark side of the moon, he kinda gets what he wants: an end to himself, he came here because he couldn’t go home, he’s seeking death, you can’t defeat me, I see you as a fellow person, a terrible defeat for Cromac Fitzgeoffrey, he clawed him, the only way Howard could engage, more than the end he wants, western civilization will crush Islam in 1,000 years, talking with Evan Lampe about Robert E. Howard’s letters to H.P. Lovecraft, within his stories, Lovecraft was never effected by Howard, Howard was very effected by Lovecraft, barbarians, barbarianism is the norm (not civilization), putting myself up against any historical figure, an intellectual heavyweight from a small town, such an insight into Howard’s psychology, the technical need, it isn’t a classic of Robert E. Howard, the scimitar with the scarlet flying, the babies being spitted, the bar fight, the Roy Thomas written Savage Swords, it doesn’t flow in the way we want it to, another way to do it, unless he abandons the thesis, the Irish viewpoint character, when the Mongols hit eastern Europe, these sons of slaves, disinherited before he was born, dies of a poisoning not meant for him, Haroun, Baibars is not the leader of Egypt, he’s not yet the leader of Egypt, info dump drops are 100% accurate, all these kingdoms, the Syrians and the Egyptians, imagine Canada trying to jump into the fight on January 6th, to get up to speed, who the sides are, relatively painless, if flows perfectly, the common enemy, a bit more messy, the craftsmanship, getting the writing done, the European inset, given the people he’s chosen to write about, he wanted to be as accurate as possible (or so it seems), Conan wouldn’t react the same way, a kingly figure who is worthy, who is Conan’s greatest adversary?, not Thulsa Doom, a monkey with a cape, his own lust, a doomed character, a femme fatale story, he’s so bitter at the beginning so revealed at the end, uncharacteristically Robert E. Howard, does he notice her at the beginning?, he looks into the visor, pulled back almost like a woman, he zones out a little bit, a giant army is coming, we should run, the great oaf, a slender knight, a rough red beard, a Vanir, something slumbering, man, where have I seen you before?, shadowed eyes, a thousand racing chaotic thoughts, an almost womanish gesture of rebuke, distracted by the Odin swearing assistant, Howard’s red herring is literally red haired, the ending works for Jesse, why it is not THE classic of Robert E. Howard stories, with the reveal and the supposition, growing mustachios, Connor read this for us, what’s the time period, the final battle is 1244, a year, six months, time to grow a mustache, Jerusalem, from Cairo to Damietta to Jerusalem, with a bandit far to the east, at least six months, seven chapters, how do you tell this story if you’re trying to be accurate, Die Hard (1988), these guys are gonna hang out and have adventures together, Marvel Team-Up, Green Lantern – Green Arrow, Hard Travelin’ Heroes, these two titans testing each other, team up for one battle, the double reveal of the masked night, strangled by the concept, the thesis, make this story longer, a modern fantasy novel, a novel length story spending more time with each of the characters, impersonating a man, tell it from her point of view, Will really liked this story, Vikings, go back in time, cut people up, lets have a hitting contest, Christopher Lee is a pirate, the Spanish Armada, a punching contest, The Devil-Ship Pirates (1964), PTSD in those days, drink each other under the table with fermented milk, a character that we don’t understand any better having read this story, different personas to live their lives, shocking and amazing and why are they doing it?, a lot of disguises, Eleanor, trying to fix this story, make it shorter or longer, the Eleanor plot arc, make it episodic, chunks, Akbar, start, middle, and end, episodes, add in something in the middle, uncharacteristic, make baibars more empathetic to see something from his perspective, The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner, only technically true, different perspective characters (all Baibars!), a unique idea for a series of stories, could I beat Baibars in a fight, it would be a tie!, I would be his equal!, I would be his match!, overstating the case, the sub-thesis, 100 years later in the history, the crusader states are in decline, Red Cahal rode, Tyre, Jaffa, Acre, Hospitallers and Templars, the Teutonic knights invaded Russia and Poland, spread Christianity and stamp out paganism, to stabilize his rule, pay off his guys, keep the mongols out, the fading kingdom, suicidal, at least a year, full of difficult pronunciations, living by his wits on the edge of his sword, a predatory nose, a haunt of poverty, weeds grew rank, lizards, the echoing emptiness, no gaily clad pages, a reiver’s hold, how does a noble house go down?, it just takes time, arguing so hard with Lovecraft, really interesting vs. rousing adventure, a good miniseries, his femme fatale who betrayed him, too short for what its trying to do, more resonant, he had to do so much infodumping, skillfully done, Hour Of The Dragon, the downer ending of Hawks Of Outremer, the same setup, his brother is dead so he’s sad, a gracious enemy vs. a devious enemy, strategist, leading incredibly heavily on a romance, I’ve heard stories about you tell me if they’re true, different media, in a TV show, techniques, what Shakespeare does on stage is so what you can’t do, an audio drama would need a narrator, a text crawl, its setup a lot like a mystery, Dashiell Hammett style, going around and getting beat up to solve a mystery, a recitation of facts is not a story, Shanghai, Shadow Of The Vulture, the Siege of Vienna, Magic Carpet, Red Sonja, a revenge arc, first concubine of the sultan, that bitch betrayed all of Europe, a red headed wanton, down the road in history, a generic Howard guy, a Howard woman who never needs to be rescued, what the Jews and Syrians were wearing in the street, different Irish guards, this guy’s young!, Dark Valley Destiny by Catherine Crook de Camp, Jane Whittington Griffin, L. Sprague de Camp, a photographic memory, an inability to not remember things like dates of purchases, Marilu Henner’s memory [hyperthymesia], a major facility, he was 30, being towards death, Bill Hollweg, Edgar Rice Burroughs, part of the attraction to Bill was these feelings, racial memory, events in your ancestor’s past, a guy who becomes Conan, Jack London, the Celt’s facility with language, Before Adam, The Call Of The Wild‘s race memory, reverting to one’s ancestor, the definitive word, White Fang, The Sea Wolf, savouring, Jack London’s one of the best writers ever, as I’m flying across the street having been hit by a bus I’ll be screaming “I should have read the memory”, an eidetic memory, worth reading (at least once), expensive bon bons, don’t read every Conan story back to back, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, the beats, 1995 – 2021, The Sowers Of The Thunder volumes from the 1970s, The Sword Of Shahrazar, Skull Face, the most racist, Howard doing Fu Manchu, an Atlantean priest, now Will is sold, a Famous Fantastic Mysteries podcast, Virgil Finlay, Hannes Bok, Lawrence Sterne Stevens, Almuric, something wrong about the ending, May June July August, Connor needs to do the one about the Polish lady, Leigh Brackett, doomed cult ideology, Outpost On Io, Chief O’Brien is not super-doomed, he likes being doomed, virtual reality prison for 40 years, oh I’m a robot, Philip K. Dick’s Impostor, the Gary Sinise movie sucks so bad, a giant chase sequence with Ice Cube in the middle, we like O’Brien, we know O’Brien, more Irish fated ill guys, other gloomy Irishmen characters, The Terror by Dan Simmons, The Coming Race, too long, another true story that’s been modified slightly to make it weird, except for the giant polar bear monster spirit, maybe that’s why the expedition was so doomed, tinned meat contaminated with lead, a supernatural element, the HBO biopics were really kind of depressing, real life is much harsher than stories are generally, spice it up with the fantastic it becomes more spritely and less dour, lets the medicine go down, the slash fiction, an archive of our own, they fall in love, some hot gay sex, grasping that pole (so to speak), take us through your inspiration for your story, where the slash fiction lives, post your own fan fiction, a good tagging system, Of Stray Cats And Lost Kings by galerian_ash, comments and kudos, rather shocking, the red cat is adorable, red head, its a metaphor, gold hair tinged with read, the Dane, Oh, and I love the bit about the stray cat staying,

What wonderful tension you hold here between Cahal and Baibars. It’s such a classic situation, but you’ve made it fresh and new here, and I particularly like your emphasis on a lack of personal hatred. I find myself sympathising with Baibar’s honourable patience and Cahal’s tussle with himself, and thus your resolution is both hard-won and satisfying. I did like the little details that worked to reveal each character, too – paticularly Barbar’s “let’s ride!”. What else would a warrior from the steppes say? – on a completely different note, it was delightful to learn about Baibars’ cat garden in Cairo, and to discover that the cats of Torre Argentina and the Mosque Aziz Mahmud Hudayi have such noble heritage. Thank you for that!

what his name means, what was missing from the story!, the most Howard thing, Cahal was like a bear, the male gaze, male gay vs. lesbian stuff, some of it was poetry, the explicit lesbian poetry, explicitly lesbianism in Weird Tales, whipping and lesbians goes together, ruffled a few feathers, Gay Orientaled Stories, Spicy Tales he told, The Dragon Of Kao Tsu by Robert E. Howard, September 1936 Spicy and Juvenalia, Mexico, all over the world, its possible he didn’t even know how to swim, a powerhouse.

Oriental Stories - The Sowers Of The Thunder by Robert E. Howard

The Sowers Of The Thunder by Robert E. Howard

The Sowers Of The Thunder by Robert E. Howard

The Sowers Of The Thunder by Robert E. Howard

Roy G. Krenkel, 1975 Donald M. Grant Edition -The Sowers Of The Thunder by Robert E. Howard

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The SFFaudio Podcast #626 – READALONG: The Jewel Of Seven Stars by Bram Stoker

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #626 – Jesse, Maissa Bessada, Will Emmons, and Trish E. Matson talk about The Jewel Of Seven Stars by Bram Stoker.

Talked about on today’s show:
1903, 1912, there are 7 movie adaptations (at least), audio drama, no comic book adaptations except for one in Graphic Classics, how influential it is, Dracula, Dracula’s Guest, why excised, is it very similar to Dracula or very different from Dracula?, experimental, aka a lawyer, a school teacher, Lucy’s suitor, cowboy, the doctor, the Dutchman, brides don’t get names, not so much in the format, The Call Of Cthulhu by H.P. Lovecraft, the coziness, they way American television deals with stuff (its a cop show), Odile Thomas from Hypnogoria, Role Playing Game characters, the antiquarian, the daughter from away, the solicitor, the detective named Daw, a module, cause and effect are reversed, lifting from books, H. Rider Haggard, She, common elements, less problematic, less interesting, to chew over, perfectly okay, what filmmakers have done with it, story breaking, most of the people are breaking it from other versions of the movie, most movie makers watch movies and most novelists read novels, re-make, John Carpenter’s The Thing, The Thing From Outer Space (1951), Who Goes There? by John W. Campbell, novels are great at a lot of things, tricking you, the toolset is different, Blood From The Mummy’s Tomb (1971), the Hammer adaptation, the gothic style and mid-sixties fashion sense, period pieces, as Mr Jim Moon pointed out, the new woman, participants, Mina vs. Tera, the Dutchman’s journal, the cartouches, wearing men’s clothes, reincarnation is bullshit, the latest Tom Cruise mummy film, The Mummy (1999), Frankenstein, there is no definitive mummy story, what a general audience knows about mummies, they’re back, they’re cursed, and they’re out to get people, she’s wrapped but not embalmed, making prep for a return, I’m blossoming, this mummy was undead, regular mummydom, I have something here, it would have been a series… Dracula II: He’s Back, what’s going on in Tera’s plan, same plan as Dracula’s, a lost chapter, the earlier gods, back to the source gods, its really cool what she wants to do, go back to the beginning, where the magic is, raarrrh!, Silvio the cat, he has his own version of Tera, the vat is wiser than Margaret, what happens at the end of this novel?, fresh in Will’s brain, she’s back!, a less cynical read than Jesse does, a 5,000 year journey, the new woman, is it a threat?, yes, everybody’s a threat, how cops deal with people, resisting being killed, we’re all like that, you have hands, cup a tea or a slash with the knife, where she’s coming from, she’s a magician, a great sorcerer, she exceeded her teachers, look at her history, she murdered a lot of people, a menace, she goes through with the marriage, why?, not so much a takeover as a fulfillment of a plan, kind of like a detective story, he gets out a magnifying glass, it becomes a different kind of book, that skillset is not leaded, physically taken over by the spirit of Tera, Tera was manipulating the dad all along, a character named Winchester, the Egyptologist, Abel’s bedroom is actually a tomb, do not remove any of the items from it, let me lie in state, all the Egyptian tombs were active places of attendance, grave goods, by right of possession, he is the curse of this mummy, he’s got the agent off to get the lamps, all the deaths that happen in the excavations and expeditions are his responsibility, ways of understanding how people are understanding, The Awakening (1980), The Mystery Of Imagination’s Curse Of The Mummy Tomb (1970), they saved money, visually its more interesting, a teleplay, 100% behind, the country house, the train, the electricity, the difference in tone, happy in her domesticity, a happy life at home with her adoring husband, the sinister ending, decked out in the queen’s garments with a predatory expression on her face, the best adaptation, fashion issues, problematic fashion, stylish, the seven fingers, all the covers, sometimes caressing a jewel, Jesse can’t stop noticing, a sixth and seventh digit, the hand does a lot of extracurricular activities, Guy De Maupassant’s The Hand and The Withered Hand, Swinburne, mummy stuff around the house is like having a Tesla, Raiders Of The Lost Ark has no mummy but it does have a jewel, a pretty bad movie, its a horror movie, a suspense story, a supernatural story, The Omen, a certain tone, set before the novel starts, high concept, the whole story (but backwards), The Mummy Resurrected (2014) aka Resurrection Of The Mummy, super-terrible, on Tubi, The Eternal (1998), Christopher Walken, set in Ireland, a female iron age druidical bog mummy, almost like an art film, narrated from two childrens’ points of view, the curse is alcohol, thanks Jorge Luis Borges and Bram Stroker, a typo or not, a license and a rewrite, Lou Gosset Jr. Bram Stoker’s Mummy, very faithful and a complete mess, The Tomb (1986) deliberately and accidentally entertaining, musical sequences for no reason, not a good movie but also quite interesting, The Jewel Of *The* Seven Stars, this is wrongly titled, the happy ending, why is she evil, the Wikipedia summary of the plot, manipulated by evil Queen Tera, wreak her will on the end, she’s a Corbek, confusing, Heston’s amazing, he’s wearing the neckerchief, 18 years previous, a curse movie, when you look at a movie it tells you about its period, 1970s = divorce and marriage breakup, the wife is still alive, they are rhyming with the original story, servicing their own subconsciousnesses and serving the audiences, Bram Stoker loves this setup, one stranger from the United States, in good faith working together to solve the issue, “the great experiment”, this whirlpool, this orbit of this obsessive egyptologist, Silvio, we get to do with it whatever we want, she’s also a time traveler, one of the most famous novels of the 19th century, Looking Backward by Edward Bellamy, all the other films that are basically the same story, Lifeforce (1985), The Space Vampires by Colin Wilson, Hailey’s comet, a retelling of Dracula (in space), the disappearance of her body, she’s astrally all over the place, she’s a star rover, she’s cosmically aware, where’d he get his money, smuggler drug dealers, Cornish smugglers, re-setup your tomb, all the stars aligned, why it was a craze, a very meta-situation, its not because the Egyptians were obsessed with death, China has mummies from 2,000 years ago, a Chinese mummy, “Lady Dai”, decanted from a mysterious liquid, melons, you can see her tongue, changing lives, windows into a period of time from so long ago, Tera has weaponized our interest, knowledge of forethought, alive again in a physical body, the treasurer with the spear, she wanted to be excavated, English servant, a lower class (?) man who knows evil when he sees it, an elite functionary in a think tank, a weapon for hire, genuinely fascinated, Mad Mike Hoare, Egyptology instead of killing, he’s our klaxon, Silvio is our klaxon, robbing tombs, assuaging European guilt, revenge from a great Empire from 5,000 years ago, a decadent civilization, her evil is less Catholic, she’s willful, I’ve got this whole other system going, why would it be deleted?, it underscores the more bleak vision, the ambiguous ending (1912), why Silvio has seven claws on one foot, its really Silvio’s story, her familiar, cat vs. snake, a grey cat, a tabby, the only female pharaoh of upper and lower Egypt, was Hatshepsut gender fluid?, the trappings of masculinity, her name was obliterated, when we think about kings and queens in ancient days, do whatever they want, financial freedom, you can be a gladiator!, strucken, the blasphemy of their life, resistance to the priestly class, the priestly class today, flourish, be your true self, two extra digits, upper and lower, a full and healthy life and an extra life, Ayesha was evil, manipulative vs. evil, presidents and speakers of the houses, is it seven?, a description:

He was certainly a magnificent animal. A chinchilla grey Persian with long silky hair; a really lordly animal with a haughty bearing despite his gentleness; and with great paws which spread out as he placed them on the ground.

a Lovecraftian description of a cat, a good command of language, quite engaging, slow paced, only 10 hours, quite respectably good prose, beautifully written, smooth and easy to read, Will disagrees, cut out about a third, how efficient that 1970 TV movie adaptation is, no train ride, the gas mask, compressed scenes, it could have been shortened, he cut it the wrong place, commercial instinct, he was a stage manager at an acting theater (a playhouse), tweaking to improve stories, playing to it, right from the beginning, the opening chapter is a dream, this is how Tera manipulates people

It all seemed so real that I could hardly imagine that it had ever occurred before; and yet each episode came, not as a fresh step in the logic of things, but as something expected. It is in such a wise that memory plays its pranks for good or ill; for pleasure or pain; for weal or woe. It is thus that life is bittersweet, and that which has been done becomes eternal.

ways of reading this,

Again, the light skiff, ceasing to shoot through the lazy water as when the oars flashed and dripped, glided out of the fierce July sunlight into the cool shade of the great drooping willow branches—I standing up in the swaying boat, she sitting still and with deft fingers guarding herself from stray twigs or the freedom of the resilience of moving boughs. Again, the water looked golden-brown under the canopy of translucent green; and the grassy bank was of emerald hue. Again, we sat in the cool shade, with the myriad noises of nature both without and within our bower merging into that drowsy hum in whose sufficing environment the great world with its disturbing trouble, and its more disturbing joys, can be effectually forgotten. Again, in that blissful solitude the young girl lost the convention of her prim, narrow upbringing, and told me in a natural, dreamy way of the loneliness of her new life. With an undertone of sadness she made me feel how in that spacious home each one of the household was isolated by the personal magnificence of her father and herself; that there confidence had no altar, and sympathy no shrine; and that there even her father’s face was as distant as the old country life seemed now. Once more, the wisdom of my manhood and the experience of my years laid themselves at the girl’s feet. It was seemingly their own doing; for the individual “I” had no say in the matter, but only just obeyed imperative orders. And once again the flying seconds multiplied themselves endlessly. For it is in the arcana of dreams that existences merge and renew themselves, change and yet keep the same—like the soul of a musician in a fugue. And so memory swooned, again and again, in sleep.

who is having the dream, an Egyptian river aka the Nile, a brief boating expedition with Miss Trelawny, Tera inserting herself,

It seems that there is never to be any perfect rest. Even in Eden the snake rears its head among the laden boughs of the Tree of Knowledge. The silence of the dreamless night is broken by the roar of the avalanche; the hissing of sudden floods; the clanging of the engine bell marking its sweep through a sleeping American town; the clanking of distant paddles over the sea…. Whatever it is, it is breaking the charm of my Eden. The canopy of greenery above us, starred with diamond-points of light, seems to quiver in the ceaseless beat of paddles; and the restless bell seems as though it would never cease….

coming out of the dream, the doorbell, the knocking, you know about the plow, big dipper, Polaris, north of Egypt, he’s definitely a good writer,

The record of a soul is but a multiple of the story of a moment.

deep time, the Egyptians didn’t have a dualist perspective, Jews tend not to go with dualism, there’s your Ka, your astral thing, your body, your id, your ego, your superego, programs inside, my brain is a computer, my mind is the software running on the computer, glitches and reboots (sleep), how does it technically work for Tera, a takeover?, a new vessel, pour your spirit, the dualist take on it, all part of Tera’s plan, moments of clarity, William Wilson by Edgar Allan Poe, don’t fall asleep because you die and some guy wakes up in the morning with your memories, The Body Snatchers, a worse version of you, let’s share this space, she’s like an immigrant, old and new, the upstairs and the batcave, the upper and lower, bring the foreign into England, central to the Empire, the author wrote the book, he’s the guiding hand, he doesn’t have full access to why he’s doing stuff, inhabited by Tera, giving permission, the old woman who’s the new woman, I’ve killed 9 people in the last 5,000 years, ancient alien metal, aerolite, meteorites, star spawned, a magic sword, star connected, she is in some way divine, a symbol of something, the devil is real in a certain sense, numerology, explained as science, the radium that is so prominent, an astral body, hey pick up that fork, corporeal transference, there need be no bounds, its fun to taste stuff, you don’t want to have a sequel, the wrong scale, the possibilities opened up, Will doing his Farmer impression, what the ka does, the Riverworld series, When The World Shook by H. Rider Haggard, a millionaire socialist, a striking resemblance, reincarnation, a science fiction plan to destroy the world, theosophical adventures start to become science fiction stories, so many valances, gothic or weird stories, that X-Files feel, The Jewel Of Seven Stones by Seabury Quinn, Weird Tales, April 1928, a bad priest and a good princess, less ambiguous, Jules de Grandin, no deep philosophy and stuff, read more Bram Stoker, The Crystal Cup by Bram Stoker, super-obscure, very abstract, souls, what does it mean?, a cup filled with nothing in it, taking the reality of materialism and transmuting it into poetic beauty, a stage play, it could be a short film, there’s no characters except for the cup and the light, A Voyage To Arcturus by David Lindsay, super-cool and very weird, a feature length no budget film adaptation, A Princess Of Mars with LSD, how John Carter gets to Mars, various relationship, the party, the tower, suicidal action, metaphysical, audiobook and readalong available in the feed, Will’s cup of tea, down for more stoker, subtle, she’s got a plan.

The Awakening (1980)

Bram Stoker's The Mummy (1998)

Blood From The Mummy's Tomb (1971)

The Tomb (1986) VHS

BORIS VALLEJO cover of The Jewel Of Seven Stars by Bram Stoker

The Jewel Of Seven Stars by Bram Stoker

FRENCH edition of The Jewel Of Seven Stars by Bram Stoker

Oxford Paperback - The Jewel Of Seven Stars by Bram Stoker

ZEBRA - The Jewel Of Seven Stars, 1979

The Jewel Of Seven Stars by Bram Stoker, Arrow 1975

ARROW - The Jewel Of Seven Stars (1962)

Arrow - The Jewel Of Seven Stars by Bram Stoker

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