The SFFaudio Podcast #700 – READALONG: The Door Into Summer by Robert A. Heinlein

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #700 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, Maissa Bessada, Evan Lampe, and Trish E. Matson talk about The Door Into Summer by Robert A. Heinlein.

Talked about on today’s show:
serialized in F&SF, October and December 1956, hardcover 1957, set in 1970s, set in 2000/2001, the cat and the door, isn’t the door supposed to dilate?, Heinlein In Dimension by Alexei Panshin, The Pleasant Profession Of Robert A. Heinlein by Farah Mendlesohn, lucky for Paul, Paul didn’t like it, just the cat parts?, time paradox, time loop, Trish hated it, a cardinal rule, #SIFTP, analysis, horrible indeed, recounting Trish’s shame, supposed to like the main character, Pete rules, Danny boy, pacing, not a struggle to finish, Evan should read all of Heinlein, Evan dug the stuff about domestic labour, a key feature of the conversation about feminism and technology, Philip K. Dick was a technophobe, Nanny, domestic labour devices, the robot’s trying to have sex with your wife, the washing machine, washing day, any liberation from work is good (especially drudgery), still sexism, 1950s America, Evan loved the cat stuff, a love-story about a man and his cat, Pete’s inner life, this little opener, the famous ones, researching, listeners appreciate, other podcasts on Heinlein, even people who hate Heinlein reference him all the time, Our Opinions Are Correct, By His Bootstraps, “All You Zombies”, similar plot, less romance, less something, all about the time loop, even tighter, a long short story, good, fun, and funny, similar structural stuff, a bullshit paper on time travel, loops ensue, Dictor, he a bad man, he also main character, did Heinlein invent time loops or merely perfect them?, finding Heinlein icky, bootstrap paradox, 19th century, outside of science fiction, economics, politics, such a pervasive misunderstanding, something obviously impossible to do, whadontchu do the impossible?, stupid people collecting phrases, the icky factor, engaged with vs. shit all over, squicky?, “grooming”, the stand in for Heinlein (Dan Davis), unfair, overstating, Heinlein still wrote it, he’s pushing her away, “Yes Ricky, that’s what I want”, over-reading, kids as sex objects, The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, Hazel, The Rolling Stones, no talking about the show before the show starts, the stand-in for Heinlein is someone else, the nudist is Heinlein, the Japanese Netflix movie, not that bad if you can attune yourself to Japanese aesthetics, “a door you should not go through”, fine, it did the story, the femme fatale, reducing the ickyness, just pining, did what it had to do, it didn’t dwell on the fun stuff, haircuts, stock stuff, women’s labour is not in the movie at all, the world that Heinlein builds up, am I supposed to like the character?, he’s a drunk, he wants to make his tech repairable, right to repair, a bigger issue today than 30 years ago, you’re not supposed to open your own hood, Jesse’s ancient car, other personality qualities, being resentful, being oblivious (for the plot), kinda dumb in some areas, an idiot ball, trusting Miles and Belle, the passion to dive into your work, being his own boss, don’t let other people tell you how to do your job, selling stories, the same scene over and over and over again, “dicker”, sticker, ultimatum, instead of haggling, saying the unstated, the other guy always collapses, a weakness in Heinlein, his second plan, that trick sucks and Jesse hates, it doesn’t work in reality, try and do it today bud, Heinlein has to be an Android guy now, one of the many annoying things Heinlein does, his worlds are constructed by him, there’s always another guy across the street, you have to move to another town, Sears is gone now, all to common situations, helping the businesses stay honest, gas stations, gas prices are always in alignment with each other, working together, a supply issue, independent gas stations, corporate owned, concessions at a movie theatre, booktowns, a wedding district, negotiation logic, interpersonal connections, “how dare you, sir, interrupt my nudist making out session with my wife, I’m going to go nuclear”, in that case we’re best friends, autistic, an all or nothing approach, padding, a mode that he gets into, inane identical conversations, after your 50th Heinlein novel, Rikki-Tikki-Tavi, more evidence Heinlein was always telling you what books to read, he loves Rudyard Kipling, Jesse doesn’t read for character, the world is fantastic, so much going on, France has a king now, Canada ate England, the six weeks nuclear war, the capital is now in Denver, the amount of worldbuilding, nullified by the Japanese movie, 3 years from now, robots that look like people everywhere, iPhone didn’t take over in 2 years, these guys don’t care about the thing Jesse cares about, a Japanese audience, he’s the Time Bride in this situation, zero age difference, schoolgirls in sailor uniforms, oh yeah and we have to have a cat, asking questions and angry about stuff, a robot Pete?, a very bad replacement for the nudists, it made it cute, where did that come from, you’re always late, Dan, bad bad writing, I serve you for five days, have conversations to explain plot, reverse engineer that robot, another convention, avoiding a paradox, the reason, all the podcasts in existence, we’ve done the most on anything (by Heinlein), everybody does Starship Troopers, a number have done The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, a couple have done By His Bootstraps, some have done “All You Zombies”, the movie is not the story, that story is pretty simple, essentially the same, a Heinlein booster, a white nationalist?, learning to drive, there was a door, why is this not a book that sticks in the memory?, so lower on the tier scale, less racist that Farnham’s Freehold, awesome plot work, it feels slight, sentimental works, otherwise slight, The Cat Who Walks Through Walls, avoiding that one, a cat is in it, there are cats in it but it isn’t a cat book, flatcats, he loves cats, Pixel, a character Jesse liked, the nudist was funny, nuding it up, do better in 2022?, let the women talk about the women for a little while, little girls have inappropriate crushes, an excuse by pedophiles, go play with somebody your own age, see a psychiatrist, here’s a candy cane, peer appropriate relationship, hypersleep, still wants to marry the same guy, don’t wake me up, she’d rather not exist if she’s not going to be with him, ten years of living without him, he’s not a jerk, oblivious, focused on his work, he can write female characters strong and self sufficent and have brains, a manipulating self-center bitch, a response book, previous time travel books, H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine, When The Sleeper Awakes, the future utopia sometime in the 20th century, the richest man in the world, his light bulb being on, Red Dwarf, engaging with a long tradition, two methods of time travel, shunted out of the plot, a plot device, the cold sleep, a great novel, neglected great writers, Double Indemnity by James M. Cain, a wife who wants to have her husband killed, Walter Neff, while somebody is sleeping, he didn’t jump he was pushed, killing off Dan B. Davis, the Hays Code, slim volumes, so digestible, the motivating plot, the way the book is structured, it starts with a loop, 11 doors in Connecticut, drafting or drinking, back in time, his decision, running around to get the plot happening, Back To The Future 2, he sees himself on stage playing guitar and Chuck Berry phone call, how Heinlein’s a good writer, the car had gone missing, Jesse knew what happened to the car, a mystery, red herrings to distract us from the little clues, chef’s kiss, time travel, not loved when so well done, he invents the Roomba, so many touches, Hired Girl, the hired girl, he can see them in their starkers, as god made them, all confection and lies, assets, competent, the hired girl took over, what’s so interesting about this book, technology at its core, plot vs. tech, the Japanese movie in relief, plasma battery subplot, Heinlein’s saying the opposite, everything’s off the rack, philosophy of engineering, on point, in railroad times you build railroads, loop de loop rollercoaster, the character having interaction with himself, nothing more beautiful than that, “you’re stupid”, I said., arrested for barracking, that zombie drug, sentenced to being zombies, zombie workers killed by its owner, working the implications of the tech, Heinlein at his best, really exploring, he loved Colorado, overrun, expropriated for government use, Los Angeles is a port, he’s not half-assing it, he likes, nudity, Colorado, cats, California, self inserting his own bio, the whole bit with the cars, producing to give people jobs, we’re doing it, cheese caves, in the Japanese adaptation, 32 year old car, you need to be rich to own an old car, to support the Japanese car industry, more iron to make more cars, the domestic market, the Japanese market, immigration, its hard to assimilate, racist or whatever, something they’ve thought a lot about since WWII, how to keep the economy good, a stable economy, trashing five year old cars, Australia is full of Japanese cars, Canada too, right hand drive, insure it at a higher rate, where Heinlein goes the extra step, the fit and finish, no gauges, satire, milk subsidies, a license to have a milk farm, where the government cheese comes from, more cows producing, distortion effects, pop vs. soda, pop is a verb not a noun, Wisconsin is pop country, corn syrup, sugar is cheaper in Canada, corn syrup is cheaper in the states, social commentary, a continuation, his futurism is really good, technology has massive impacts on our lives, real science fiction, useful technology, the right side of this question, make women and men’s lives easier, his own life, tricked out with interesting tech ideas, labour saving, the history of the dishwasher, scrub dishes all day, Jesse is a monster, not a smart dishwasher, I have to pay my servants, after WWII, dishwashers had existed since 1850 but they get hot in 1950, Catharine Beecher, Harriet Beecher Stowe’s sister, A Treatise On Domestic Economy For The Use of Young Ladies at Home and at School, our bastion of power, efficiency expert, scientific management, fordism, talking about the domestic sphere seriously, expanding their own freedom, the natural place for women, sounds scary when you say it, if you’re going to continue the species, off on the hunt, Jesse literally cannot suckle babies, hormone shots, we don’t even have the baby being gestated in side the woman, Lois McMaster Bujold, uterine replicators, Podkayne Of Mars did it first, Bujold does Heinlein better than Heinlein, the domestic labour saving devices, Jesse’s not allowed in his mom’s kitchen, her space to dominate, a room in the house for men, cohabitation rooms, smoking rooms, Trish seething in the background, liberate women from this using tech, drive across or rocket across, Jesse has been talking a long time, Drafting Dan was for himself and for men and women, his inventions were for everybody, Hired Girl helping women, saving household labour, the domestic sphere idea, a woman’s domain, restricting choices is a bad thing for human rights, through husband or father, how people or women thought of it in the 19th century, antebellum reform movements, newspapers, social movements, protests, writing governments, pushing for laws, anti-prostitution, temperance, the anti-slavery movement, women’s anti-slavery societies, it degrades the family, making women sinners, informally not legally married, separate spheres idea, women didn’t have property if they were married, the Temperance Society of Philadelphia, write articles, give speeches, push for laws, a historical rabbit hole, something else that is going to annoy Jesse, the plot is a chef’s kiss, the time machine plot was unnecessary, a wonderful feeling, Riki becoming a brilliant engineer herself, wow she grew up and started the Aladdin rival company, Dan went back in time and did everything else, the challenge, Trish had her female empowerment plot taken away from her, a good thing about that movie, irrelevant to the plot, a better reinterpretation, given how all the female characters were written, intelligent women who do things, too early, without that loop, the loop at the beginning, an alcoholic suddenly, to fix the problem, to get revenge, he’s doing a figure skating thing, that the loop happens, who is Heinlein?, could there have been parallel existences?, Pete died, she grew up, if I did see my name in the paper, it could never have happened that way, the very existence of that line of print, excluded not possibles, a supernatural engineer, the supernatural entity is Heinlein, a beautiful technical execution, why is that scene necessary?, because he was a nudist, an intertime travel love story, Time Bride Isaac Asimov’s November 1983, Gardner Dozois and Jack Dann, Trish is going to love this story, engaging with the minor aspect of the story, many exceptions, spouses in the reverse case, not societialy appropriate, if Edgar Allan Poe had, getting married in Korea, school and study up, more free now, the western standard, the average age, a lot less marriage as well, not some inexplicable quirk, women don’t have to get married to support themselves, older men would have more of it (money), marry off your daughters, women make their own money, marriage is obsolete, as societies developed, incomes are equal, the only reason marriage exists is to control women, traditionally, easy binding contracts, trying to buy a house on your own, marriage contracts for two years, the Islamic world, Shia, Sunni, merchants, a contractual thing, business routes, renewing your drivers license or your car, about insurance, why are insurance companies invovled, The Year Of The Jackpot, related to marriage, 26 working years, make all the right bets, Lifeline, murdered by insurance companies, Time Enough For Love, something Heinlein is thinking about, it fits with the idea, on a track that can’t be changed, a fixed track, that sentimentalness of it, his cat likes him, the reason it is all worth it, now wife and kid, 30 years down the road you can’t have your cat, just have your cats out for the summer, Lockstep by Karl Schroeder, the march of civilization, Cryoburn by Lois McMaster Bujold, investments, can you control and manipulate the world, the bad guys in Neuromancer, Technovelgy [Bill Christensen], technologies in books, Drafting Dan, CAD, Eager Beaver, Flexible Frank, Hired Girl Robot, Radioactive Coding for Checks, Robotic Hand, Waldo, Stasis (Cold Sleep, Hibernation), Thorsen Memory Tube, Computer component that allows a machine to learn through experience. Universal Checkbook, the ATM, Window-Willie, boob tube, a pulp image, glass recycling, transaction fees, the debit card, you can’t believe how expensive it is to clean windows, he invents a lot of the tech in the story, two kinds of science fiction going on at once, the effect of technology on society, a time travel story, Idiocracy (2006), C.M. Kornbluth, the premise for Futurama, a forward going time machine, Flight To Forever by Poul Anderson, the desire to go back, time travel paradoxes, similar to this, Bender’s Big Score, after the first cancellation, Lars is Fry, going back in time, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Data, Star Trek: Voyager, The Orville, billions of years old, Marvin in The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, if this is the worst of Heinlein…, is he in the same facility as himself, a lockbox with 16 different keys and locks, leave a letter with a lawyer, Bill And Ted’s Excellent Adventure, time travel role playing games, fade away, Back To The Future (1985), puzzles for the writer and the reader, an intellectual exercise, have the rest of the book blank, the last short story Heinlein ever wrote, a trilogy, a series, Time Enough For Love, The Long Arm Of Gil Hamilton by Larry Niven, cold sleepers, harvest their organs, corpsicles, The Crack In Space by Philip K. Dick, A World Out Of Time, Rammer, hard SF, and noir, a very turgid book, Evan is struggling with, a grade 12 honors seminar, “Science Fiction And Social Issues”, Vulcan’s Hammer, Doctor Futurity, bye Trish!, Solar Lottery, a whole year, five times a week, Alfred Bester, The Roller Coaster, Passengers by Robert Silverberg, it’s certainly something, to palate cleans you, a lot of paranoid men worried their robots are fucking their wives, they’re all so good, the older version of The Time Machine movie, Somewhere In Time (1980), Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour, reverse time bride, not fairly icky to Jesse, Paul found it icky, Maissa thought it had icky aspects, alternate future, he’s wrong everywhere but also dead on in many ways, not because Heinlein loves pervin on the girls, I’m robin the cradle, people age, you get old, Pete dying, Riki aging and seeing the cat again is a super-positive thing, seeing your childhood pet again, preserving their pets just for summers, the whole metaphor is very poetic, necessary, somebody can age faster than someone else, have a bigger baldspot, make him oblivious, if he had to serve a jail sentence or something, prison romance, a reality for a lot of kids, a good ideas movie, The Tomorrow War (2021) with Chris Pratt, Edge Of Tomorrow (2014), you stand with Ukraine, they’re recruiting right now, oh, I’m too old, put up or shut up, family drama, if you really want to explore the idea of time travel, Joe Haldeman’s The Forever War, the wording of it threw it into Creepyville, stop doing that, written in 13 days, the cat initiated it, not another word, bye Paul, the step of actually recording is important, cannot remember it at all, John Buchan’s The Watcher At The Threshold, a dog cart ride, there’s no hunting, they talk about going hunting, the structure of the story, super-deep and super-good, running around town, Evan needs to do the whole run of Heinlein, Civil War, John Adams, John Quincy Adams, Evan is becoming a boomer, he stopped a war, sacrificed his presidency , it makes Evan squee, his great great grandson founded Raytheon, when we are not living under martial law, another novel?, The Hill Of Dreams, Weird Friction, Will wants to do The Sea-Wolf, a lot of hate on twitter, Civ 6, video game logic, he knows Civilization, the headline, Putin Gains Rights To Bases In Donetsk According To Something, the headline buried the lede, implying that Reuters in cahoots with Pfizer, cahoots going on, amongst those cahooters, triggered by stuff, Heinlein wants to be a woman, literal hate, contextualize this stuff, Heinlein is progressive on gender issues, when you look at the 19th century, the progressive position, I think this is a scam, this is a scam, look at and improve student papers, stretching to find things to fix, finding more fake problems, operating in bad faith, control the narrative lest people get the wrong ideas, thinking Fauci is a saint, a holiday in Taiwan, a brutal massacre is now a holiday, Peace Day, remember the horrible past, the dumbest meme I’ve ever made, Putin Rasputin, twitter takes on Ukraine, thanks for your quote tweet asshole, grapple with ideas, it could be seen as mean, people think Evan is mean, emojis, reacting people’s dismissals of old writers, borne of and reflecting worthy new ideas, we don’t have read old books any more, reading Moby-Dick, joking with Connor [Kaye], scoffing at the idea of sensitivity readers, stirring shit just for fun, someone reading over your work, ask a scientist to read your thing, the writer who did the article on sensitivity reader, find and replace, disfigure, somebody is going to be hurt by it, continent sometimes means China in Taiwan, if you’re pro-independence, Columbus discovered China, the China of North America, sensitivity is reading, you can be hurt by words in a book, Chinese lesbians want to fuck their mothers, annoyed, having their feelings hurt, seeing their pain mocked, inner city gangsters, what kind of thoughts do they think, Harlan Ellison wrote juvenile delinquent novels, helping a student write a werewolf story, being in the wilderness, bringing your own experience to the table, if you need to have a gang in your story, writers do hire researchers, Elmore Leonard had a professional researcher, Tishimingo Blues, farb, civil war underwear, a dialogue point, a setting for a crime story, professional divers, the reason Jack London works as a writer, fish police, Yukon, homeless, Korea, boxing, Hemingway, the laptop class, the people who COVID was an inconvenience for, being a professional writer pays nothing, the sensitivity reading pays really well, it sounds mean but is it a lie?, only if you are totally ignorant, insensitive people, is gypsy salami racist?, Thinner is super-racist, Stephen King, is it racist or just a trope, King didn’t even write this, cancel Bachman don’t cancel King, is Bachman a shitlib?, dark but sensible takes, some colleagues are idiots, Putin’s two hour speech, trying to remake the Soviet Union, a pro-Russia guy?, Russia and the Soviet Union are different, why do people have opinions about things they know nothing about, there’s no dissent, Russiagate was bullshit, how did we get here?, being badass, arming civilians, Molotov cocktails, good 20th century vibes, not one step back, there’d be irony in that, if you’re looking for irony Stalin is steel, yellow and blue flags, smoke a cigarette to them, Ghost Of Kyiv, Colonel Tomb, Vietnam, a legend, war propaganda, legendary, like a fake name, Colonel Tomb laughs from his ghostly lair, sniper women, Battle Of Sevastapol, Miss Pavlichenko, Woody Guthrie, Russian soldiers on Tinder, a fifteen minute break, all that catfishing, people get triggered, they don’t deserve their country, Taiwan wont roll over, an sensitivity reader changed Conan Role Playing Game 1st and 2nd editions, mysterious is like inscrutable, ancient is less descriptive, the mail man came vs. the mail carrier came, a doctoress, an aviatrix, mailman vs. mail-carrier, unintended consequences, writing out the caste system, it’s ancient India, role players want to play whatever you want, a black skinned paladin in medieval Europe, Pathfinder, martial arts changed to unarmed, Bruce Lee and kung fu, unarmed combat, making the game more of a board game, a Crom eating barbarian, swordfighting and boxing, copy and replace less badly but for what purpose, that’s just a stereotype, paying attention the writing, mud huts becomes stone buildings, mud is bad, civilized folks don’t live in mud huts, they have to upgrade their buildings, mud is othering, some people live in mud huts, modern homes are “rammed earth” not mud, euphemism treadmill stuff, a generational change, when talking to outsiders, first nations, Squamish, the word is always changing but changing from top down, policers of society, black vs. African American, white south africans who fled South Africa, race vs. ethnicity, both are real in a cultural sense, a black hispanic, coloured, Arab African, Barack Obama, when Joe Rogan got called out again for a nigger video compilation, words that are taboo, do you want to be a whipped dog or use your independence of thought and information coming in currently, bowing to authority vs. being independent of mind, Mark Twain doesn’t need a sensitivity reader for The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn, a profoundly anti-racist book, replacing nigger with robot, Robot Jim, a science fiction story, the gender flipping project, when Conina slays Thoth Amona, your premise is wrong, being offended isn’t being physical hurt, you don’t have the authority to speak about this, you don’t gave the right identity for it, adding questioning, adding bi to their bio as a proof against attack of being white, Evan has seen this documentary, who’s the oppressor here?, maybe she has a skill I’m not great at, The Fable Of The Bees, the worst thing you can do with your money is save it, there’s nothing to buy, travel, going to America every year, The Hill Of Dreams by Arthur Machen.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

WEIRD TALES The Shadow Of The Vulture

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

DEL REY - The Shadow Of The Vulture

DEL REY - The Shadow Of The Vulture

RED SONYA by Fluid Geometry

Rogatino, Russia aka Hyboria's Hyrkania

Conan The Barbarian - Shadow Of The Vulture

CONAN THE BARBARIAN - Shadow Of The Vulture

The first Marvel appearance of Red Sonja

Red Sonya by Chris Schweizer

Red Sonya by Chris Schweizer

Roy Krenkel sketch of RED SONIA

RED SONYA illustration by Timo Wuerz

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

Choose Your Sonja

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The SFFaudio Podcast #635 – READALONG: Sin Hellcat by Lawrence Block and Donald E. Westlake

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #635 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, Evan Lampe, and Trish E. Matson talk about Sin Hellcat by Lawrence Block and Donald E. Westlake

Talked about on today’s show:
get Jesse, signature sign-off, Evan has no enemies, 1962, sexually frustratedly desperate, women dropping out, not a good book for me, VR sickness, movement sickness, reading with one hand, listening to this book, laughing out loud, the marital rape scene, get through this thing, i don’t like this book, plow through it, Helen, marrying, having affection for this kid, more money, Jesse can explain it all, the biggest hole in this book, a faulty horrible person, how they end up together, by either of those writers, a naughty romp, astonished by how dreary a lot of it is, his Madison Avenue adventures, casual homophobia, don’t judge it too harshly, two men working in an industry, film students who get hired for a job to shoot some movies (pornography), this is how they made a living, a lot of Lawrence Block’s life, more information about the writing of it, his own publishing company, commissions, is this a book by you?, John Dexter, Andrew Shaw, house names, the Allan Smithee, Nightstand Books, traveling salesman, the wrong back cover, gimme a sex book, stepsisters, stepmoms, frigid wife, lustful wanton, her passion locked within her, unnatural wants, Jodie, wild nights, sin and passion, money hungry soul, lustful wanton, no interest in talking about his wife, a bad polarity, each author, digressing, the way they wrote these, taking turns, they’ve got the cover, they’ve got the premise, 4.5 hours long, trying to avoid writing that chapter, the book starts splitting, kidnap a kid and take him to South America, the flashbacks, was this one you wrote?, I don’t believe so, who’s that?, not fair to Jody, one lust-filled orgy, observe the naked woman, a very strange market, silly, stupid, immoral, more like a Lawrence Block fan, the Chip Harrison books, the Matthew Scudder books, the Bernie Rhodenbarr, the Evan Tanner books, the Keller books, Small Town, kinky sex, pegged, live in ignorance, a good book, non-series books, No Score, a quest to lose his virginity, Chip Harrison Scores Again, a sex romp, a Rex Stout Nero Wolfe mystery comedy, Make Out With Murder, The Topless Tulip Caper, Archie Goodwin, just hilarious, a mystery series, its funny, not a book designed to be read more than 50 years later, still readable, a casual fag, slut talk, the rape scene, a requirement of them getting paid, every scenario, a whole lot of modern readers will not enjoy it, dreary in places, the 1950s consumerism, how to sell it, he’s in advertizing, the car he’s driving, the house, ennui, a successful post-war American man, unfulfilled, the boomers, a novel of the sexual revolution, younger people are having more fun than you, a consumer good, not fulfilling enough, the sexual escapades, caperish, their descriptions of things, ridiculous but fun, Brazil, surprise, the kid didn’t sound like a human being, an adult pretending to be a kid, so cartoonish, like The A-Team, those corporate shenanigans don’t matter, Mad Men, one ad firm, escape the banality of his existence, The Space Merchants by Frederik Pohl and C.M. Kornbluth, an extra scene where he has sex with his neighbours wife, funny lines, if this is a good plot, its a checkbox, adultery with a red-headed neighbour, the drama at the ad firm, betrayal, the author changes his mind, we’re going a different way, The Challenge From Beyond, a round-robin, H.P. Lovecraft, Frank Belknap Long, Robert E. Howard, C.L. Moore, A. Merritt, Stanley G. Weinbaum, Murray Leinster, like playing tennis and not frisbee, Naked Came The Manatee, Elmore Leonard, a meta-story, nobody wants to write this shit, we got enough, still generally pleasurable to read, Greenwich Village sex books, 69 Barrow Street, romance, Deathlands, saving the compound, preppers, remember Blockbuster Video, that section used to exist in bookstores, Pulp Fiction (book store), pornographic enjoyment, shoe brushes, not design, like a newspaper, the library doesn’t keep a copy, dime novels, books not read by people who study literature, Mechanic Accents by Michael Denning, a history of the dime novel, this working class, escapism, historical interest, not reading this stuff [is dangerous], Leopold Bloom, Ulysses by James Joyce, Block is very interested in having sex as a theme in his books, the third Burglar book, The Poodle Factory, she’s the John Watson, Burglars Can’t Be Choosers, a sex book, Westlake lasted a little longer in Science Fiction, disposable paperback books, I write for money, Lawrence Block talking about Donald Westlake, Hard Case Crime, writing with him, a novel about Bob Hope, The Comedy Is Finished, Memory, if it had sold he’d have explored that genre, the publisher said write more of this I can sell more of this, experimenting in the background, Ariel, Random Walk, racewalking, stamp collecting, he writes about what he knows, avenues that are explainable, a weird industry, not J.K. Rowling level of popularity, a guy who starts walking, maybe he’s Jesus (but probably not), collecting followers, a weird idea for a book, to see what sells, a comedic writer with a dark half, A Walk Among The Tombstones, the Matthew Scudder series, an ex-hooker, he knows a lot about sex, he did write these books, a new Lawrence Block and Donald Westlake book, its about the shaping of the industry, he’s still alive and still writing, still putting books out, super-anti-Trump, still engaged, his newsletter is his prose, every once in a while there’s a new Westlake coming out, Lawrence Block is in change of his estate, wrassle control, Westlakes’ stuff is less out there, more people in charge of making decisions, understanding story better, understanding writing better, understanding genres, Nancy Drews are formulas, a cozy feeling, space opera, interstellar stuff, pre-loaded, I feel cheated, the cozy chair, read for pleasure, it can be escape, this genre is very biological, the “biological relief” genre, you wrote a book over a weekend in the 1960s, the third novel, the best of the three, Circle Of Sinners, Hal Dresner, an apprenticeship for Midwood Books, Nightstand Books, lesser writers, 1959, the Hotel Rio, until we had a book, A Girl Called Honey, we stopped when we had a book, “To Don Westlake and Larry Block who introduced us”, $600, So Willing, not a lot of money, Hellcats And Honeygirls, Subterranean Press, a disposable story, fascinating, the used bookstore, you have to ask for them at the specialty bookstore, reading old Playboys, the sex in here is very well written, a sex scene, they don’t know, tab a into slot b, when these guys write those scenes, a nipple here or there, a talent for writing, some very clever wordplay, sex in audiobooks is harder to skim, maybe 10 sex scenes, perfectly good scenes, going to the hotel, the squeaky noises on the bed, a honeytrap, why did he ever marry Helen?, the pleasures of the virgin bride, why?, a lot of people do inexplicable things, to explain why he couldn’t annul the marriage, not a sexy scene at all, the Jewish secretary, she’s got claws, designed to sell to everybody, you’re an old sultan and I’m a young boy, I’m pregnant, designed to sell to everybody, this is the wrong kind of sex for me, frigid, getting somebody’s rocks off, the legality then and now, talking about all the abortions and condoms, right before the birth control pill, “a thingy”, got a baby in her, you feel dirty when you write it that’s why you don’t put your name on it, a lot of excuses, these are fantasy books, it doesn’t go in that direction at all, an original thinker, dark eyed boys, staying at the YMCA, lesbian pulp, gay pulp was not as big, straight pulp, cover up the fact that its a man, most women are probably not masturbating to romance novels, the Deathlands and Wasteland novels, masturbating while holding a gun, sexuality is a lot freer now, pornography is available, free online, there’s no guilt in this book, the culture behind this genre, it is a confessional, Helen Gurley Brown’s Sex And The Single Girl, the Kinsey Report, based on interviews, who do you have sex with?, Dr. Alan E. Nourse, being honest about it, coming out, Helen being frigid is that she’s not interested in men, bodily functions are a disgusting, angel whore territory, loveable whores, a gothic romance, this book of checkmarks, it seems to follow genres, cartoon porn, fake superhero porn movie, The Boys, A Train does a B train, a license to write about all the weird sexual behaviors, a Doctor Pseudonym, a scientific thing, sexual perversion among the hippies, a whole genre in the 1960s, we don’t have these sex books, in the 1930s, these special books, French Follies, manuals on how to do stuff, the intersection between industry and popular culture, books serve a function, how liberated everybody is from guilt feelings, that’s liberating, religious hangups, fairly sophisticated, understanding reality, you should read a romance novel, as a genre they’re not good, gun polishing books, no intellectual heft, that’s what reading should be about, rocketships and rayguns, saying the opposite, science fiction, here’s a way of understanding reality, this particular instance of this fact about reality is important to this story, that’s science fiction, doing another kind of science fiction, Aurora, busting balloons, what’s the reason people don’t like Kim Stanley Robinson’s Aurora, interstellar travel, expanding possibilities, this gigantic part of science fiction: forget about it, the novel’s message is you’re a bad person, anything like Star Trek isn’t science fiction (of a certain type), it hurts in the same was as The Cold Equations does, shrill evil, bad characterization, felt attacked, mundane SF, a manifesto of that movement, is it likely we are going to be travelling to other stars?, generation ships?, walling off, sense of wander, fixing earth and making Earth better, Time Out Of Joint‘s message, one happy world, standing in opposition, protesting a little too much, it strikes too close to the heart, fascists going to space, we shouldn’t be Nazis and go out to space, Philip K. Dick, all a boondoggle, they were conquerors when they left, the grand project of colonizing another planet, we can’t live there, Elon Musk wants to move to Mars, is he deluded, what would Paul say?, from an objective point of view, fix our own planet, Earth will be fine, that’s the reality, there’s no Earth 2, the “Goldilocks zone”, ooh its a possibility, lottery tickets, its not made for us, we have a life support system in our bodies, space mining, maybe they’ll mine the Moon, The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, but why?, 2312, The Green Earth, human colonies across the inner solar system, Icehenge, it has to be something new, a new social system, the problem with Elon Musk, laying keels for starships, Matchess , dilithium crystals are bullshit, keep our feet on the ground, leave the rest of the universe to itself, an impoverishing view, a bad person for liking space opera, the emergent message of the novel, rebuild the earth, science fiction is always about us at the end of the day, when SF isn’t about us, Ted Chiang, the reason he does those aliens, isn’t it weird we can’t communicate with animals, what is communication?, a subset of us, language and time are connected, dogs don’t understand pointing, an invisible line, Arrival, Story Of Your Life, The Great Silence, I wrote this big book to disabuse you of a false belief you have about reality, space opera is bullshit, The Mandalorian, different ways of living, you’re not allowed to watch Star Trek because its unrealistic, following the rules of physics, its painful, they don’t want math to be true, F=MA, you got a certain kind of cancer you’re gonna die, from the book:why the great silence exists, life is a planetary expression, is he wrong?, too – far – away, its something you need to hear, a way of coping, this is the pain that H.P. Lovecraft felt and is true, Douglas Adams, the comedy isn’t finished, some UFO pictures, it’d be cool but just ain’t true, can I still enjoy this thing?, you’re deluding yourself, magic is bullshit, reading fantasy, should we not read J.R.R. Tolkien?, space opera is fantasy, medicine, Kim Stanley Robinson, very fruitful, this book pressed Paul’s button, almost like a religious belief, they don’t grow their own food, O’Neil Cylinder, water’s being recycled from your poo, if we get post-scarcity, the keel’s not the problem, a car in space, cars drive on roads yo, putting a teapot in orbit around Jupiter, no deckplates with artificial gravity, a metaphor, why Star Trek: Discovery doesn’t make any sense, it aint science fiction, its just drama, why its no good, prestige TV might be reaching its limit, they’re not interested in anything except people’s feelings and emotions are drama, old Dexter, noticing it everywhere, its really grating in Star Trek: Picard and Discovery, we weren’t on the starship for his tea Earl Grey Hot, imagine conducting foreign policy without couping other countries, why its horrible, working through his trauma, General Hospital, life is mostly mistakes, the counter keeps going up, I’m being wrong on the internet, you are your worst critic, don’t take Kim Stanley Robinson personally, reviews from strangers, external affirmation is dangerous, not being a real fan, the Hugo nomination, is this good, I’m improving, Jesse knows he’s not the greatest cartoonist, draw a little Groo, Sergio Aragones, those star reviews, Paul takes pictures at the wrong time, a false conclusion, Evan’s teaching art history, Byzantine is worse than Medieval art, what was considered good art, art is chaos now, in the Dutch republic in the 18th century, there is no real, Jason Thompson, The Strange High House In The Mist, the US Department Of The Interior, there’s lot of different ways of doing stuff, if you don’t do well with a beard shave your head, “real photographers”, one perfect shot, how dare you sir, all sorts of different place, talking across continents, Treknomics, applying this stuff to our own planet, the economics of Star Trek, Dreamsnake by Vonda McIntyre, Smoke by Donald E. Westlake, you have any eyeballs, you have no nerves, psychological torment, today’s novels are way too long, they want three books 800 pages long, The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang, an 1800 word story by Edgar Allan Poe, The Stand, non-cringey sex scenes, he’s a committed monogamist, Block is the Jew, incidental to his sexual adventures, wrong about politics, you can like somebody who has bad opinions about stuff, some New Yorker article, “Imma letchoo finish, but Edward Page Mitchell has one of the best cases for this title.” The Man Without A Body by Edward Page Mitchell, A Quest to Discover America’s First Science-Fiction Writer, 1877, hard SF, a talking head, how’s Birch?, really bitey, very vocal, brotherns and sisterns, an interesting conversation, no humans were injured in the making of this book.

Sin Hellcat by Andrew Shaw

Hellcats And Honeygirls by Lawrence Block nd Donald E. Westlake

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The SFFaudio Podcast #617 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: The Untamed by Max Brand

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #617 – The Untamed by Max Brand; read by Richard Kilmer. This is an unabridged reading of the novel (7 hour 21 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Paul Weimer, Evan Lampe, Maissa Bessada, Will Emmons, Trish E. Matson, and Jonathan Juett

Talked about on today’s show:
a serial in All-Story, 1919, WWI, Canadian Army 1915-16, 1917 $150,000, the US Army in 1918, Edgar Rice Burroughs, the state of the magazine industry, four sequels, when Juett was a little kid, a perfect vacation novel, a poncho and a dog, maybe a werewolf, western werewolf novel was a romance, a member of the fey, the Wild Hunt, Connor Kaye, all in reference to The Geat God Pan by Arthur Machen, whistling superpower, animal control, where all the panisci come from, super-rapey, Whistling Dan is zero rapey, a horse named Satan, Black Bart as a pet goat, preternaturally good with his hands and a gun, SFFadjacent, maybe when Dan’s in a coma his spirit is in the dog, under the current, trickles it along, underpainting, following the geese, very mythic, orthogonal migration, snatched from migration, a Clint Eastwood movie with a romance, Italian Spanish American production, Spaghetti Western, the uncanny stuff, his muscles were bigger like those of a caveman, like a mule, bones are bigger, quasi-supernatural, how old is he?, around 10 or 8, a young boy, tame him, lock him in with his daughter, risky, this thing that can’t be tamed, the daughter has a calming effect on all the characters in the novel, Max Brand has a whole bunch of ideas about how women and men interact, ‘women in general are hell, women in particular are heaven’, Buck’s mother, she’s the MacGuffin, he tasted his own blood, where is this supposed to be located, the Black Hills?, Dakota Territory?, high desert, Westworld, putting our something people really wanted to have, Steam-Man Of The Prairies, neo-Westerns, the premium entertainment, overseas fans, THE American literature, Henry James, Quigley Down Under (1990), Paul didn’t understand Westerns, The New Yorker, Paul’s better now, a question about the Western, who read the western?, the working class, Mechanic Accents: Dime Novels And Working Class Culture by Michael Denning, think about the reader, unreachable life, living in Kentucky, Kentucky heritage, Jesse and Frank James, Kit Carson’s farm, Boonesborough, pioneer people, The Crossing, Carradines, two reasons, Germans in the mountains, Karl May, a German immigrant to the West makes friends with a native Indian and travel the land like Kung-Fu, The Lone Ranger, persistently popular, Stephen King, Edgar Rice Burrough’s tomb, Karl May’s tomb, influence on the Nazis, noble savage, German interest in Indians, hiking in the nature of the West, Leavenworth, Washington (state), the Mountie, Argosy and All-Story, pulp hero, western outlaws in Canada, a northern west, the Klondike, Death Hunt (1981), Lee Marvin and Charles Bronson, Louis Riel, the Northwest Rebellion, super-religious, less exciting a hero, people should be treated nicely, mental illness, a massive shitshow, the Black Hills and the Dakotas, Deadwood, like the Kurds, Jesse psyched himself out, disenfranchised like the Metis, including Canada in America, our attitude as settler colonists, Allan Quatermain, colonial literature, this strange other place for the guys on the bus going to their factory job, Andrew Jackson, Farmer In The Sky, transplanting sci-fi stories to western motifs, Han Solo’s low slung holster, Wagon Train to the stars (Star Trek), Firefly/Serenity, race never comes up, good guys are white guys, The Efficiency Expert, the lynching that their planning, he’s a criminal and they’re fed up, transplanting this story to Mars, Martian Time-Slip by Philip K. Dick, steer rustlers and bank robbers, the strangest creature under the sun, an unoccupied mars, no dying race there, these Bleekmen, Australian aborigines, a Dreamtime sort of culture, long riders in the Pampas, on the other side of the planet, the Mongols, South Africa, sheep in Australia, a samurai story, Red Country by Joe Abercrombie, a settler colony, colonial literature, wholly artificial, a confection that could appeal to regular romantics, all the set dressing of a western we think of, a lot of talkin’, colonialism without genocide, no Civil War, the first ever gunfight (duels), innocence of our protagonist, he becomes a fighter, is this how naive you really are?, a natural creature, pulled out of nature, the werewolf chapter, was he a wolf who was turned into a man?, he doesn’t understand human emotion, the story of Dexter, traumatized, gave him a code to build his psychopathy around, he’s got a sister, blood daughter, the two actors hooked up, you were raised together, he’s like your brother he’s not your brother, Darkly Dreaming Dexter, super-ego advice on screen, James Remar, he’s OP, you really rolled up this character, he’s definitely a fake, he’s not human, a DEX of 20, WIS level 4, Once Upon A Time In The West, A Fistful Of Dynamite, The Good The Bad And The Ugly, Luke Short, Louis L’Amour, Celtic origins, Zane Grey, the Asimov and the Heinlein and the Clarke, overlapping, he fought in WWI twice and died in Italy in WWII, William Hope Hodgson, artillery officer killed in WWI, a massive output in 15 years, their background stories, eerie similar deaths, The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976), Chief Dan George, he plays the Indian, a southern outlaw bandit who used to be a confederate, a little something extra, High Plains Drifter (1973), a ghost, ‘he was a ghost the whole time’, this weird false reality created by books just like this, where Whistling Dan lives, its a mythic plane, a hyper reality, the Harry Potter world of the West, a supervillain matched by a superhero, arcs of hyperbole, largely the appeal, the same disposibility and the same addiction, James Fenimore Cooper, Nathaniel “Natty” Bumppo, pre-western, proto-western, there’s no state, there’s no capitalism, the Wild West was a colonial enterprise, kind of ridiculous, what do the readers get out of this?, Michael Mann movie The Last of the Mohicans (1992), those cattle are going to market somewhere, what year is it set?, before the Civil War?, the perpetual old-west, what Westworld is all about, a re-creation of a steady state fantasy West, the saloon gets knocked down/burned down, he feared its influence, the whole revenge thing, at the end when he takes the disc out of his pocket, one of the coins, what is he whispering, waiting for that other coin to drop, an ideological deus ex-machina, Marshals can do no wrong in Portland, what congress is, every time there is some sort of problem they add a new bureaucracy, a massive list of acronyms, Marshals Service, the reason Canada has its shape, all in reaction to what the United States is going to do, 54-40 or Fight, North-West Territory, squad of troops, the state police for the country, government bounty hunters, trail outlaws, he’s on a case, he’s supposed to bring in Jim Silent, in the middle, a little corrupt, Wyatt Earp, outlaw/good guy, the colour of the badge, Justified, based on the Elmore Leonard story Fire In The Hole, the Lexington Court House, filmed in L.A., The Dukes Of Hazzard, a modern western, The A-Team, mini-14, G.I. Joe shooting down Cobra airplanes, ultra-fake violence, Bo and Luke Duke were moonshiners?, bows and arrows because they were on probation?, what replaced the pulp magazines, a continuous stream, Ward Shelly’s The History Of Science Fiction poster, the imagination of what the printers are selling to the easterners, go west young man, Karl May never came here, the trick-shot, the four coins, the Sheriff’s department at Midway, three bottles, the crazy figures, Joe Arpaio, you’re going to go out back and shoot bottles, Jesse’s time-stop dream power, Fallout 3 and Fallout 4, you can’t stop time in a multi-player game, story based vs. massively multiplayer, western themes in Fallout, a fantasy sub-genre not recognized as such, Buck Daniels, tamed him, where was he?, his other wild things, Pan induces panic, his presence, what did that?, Buck is the villain in the second novel, why you dont read the second book in the series, The Call Of The Wild by Jack London, its almost like racism, house dogs and yard dogs, he’s not a lapdog, he’s not a hunting dog, he’s a favourite of the judge, a journey of self-discovery, I don’t need masters, I need to be wolf, a dog-wolf story, White Fang as a reversal of The Call Of The Wild, influenced, typically Star Wars writing, ohhh the turn, the wild geese, symbolically joining them again, assembling a menagerie, the horse, the birds, the wolf-dog, that whole idea of Kung-Fu, mixing a dying genre with a very hip genre, well see the Chinese knew kung-fu, right back to the comics, Shag-shi, Fu Manchu, Iron Fist, exoticizing, where everybody makes you have face tattoos, putting a lei around your neck isn’t stolen valour, oooh a real Indian to play an Indian, like Tonto, they thought that was awesome, they loved wrestling, that *IS* awesome, who is being exploited, that’s a great character, that’s a great role, Sandra Locke and Clint Eastwood and Chief Dan George, where’s the harm, dressing up in costumes is cool, its the bad fucking that’s bad, bulldozing land, when politicians are seen wearing headdresses, trying to curry sympathy, we’ll treat you like family, politician are bad actors, eradicated from the landscape, what makes it so fantastic, there are no Apache, no Blackfoot, cultural motifs, cultural ammunition for empire, not as innocuous as Jesse thinks, more fantastic that Philip K. Dick’s Martian Time Slip, more fantastic that A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream, movies based on this book, Tom Mix, Paint Your Wagon (1969), a native character would disrupt what is going on, Dan and his animals, Dan’s animals are happy slaves, a psychic beat-down, a sought after horse, I want the dog, the pieces of Dan, they want to colonize Dan, who is The Untamed?, all of Eastwood’s characters, Yojimbo or The Seven Samurai, Akira Kurosawa movies, 1950, five years after WWII, they go back in time, there is not Japanese Empire, western tech in a medieval kingdom, Toshiro Mifune, perfectly adapts to a western, A Fistful Of Dollars (1964), Yojimbo (1961), a border war, where’s the trauma coming from to make this western fantasy?, friendless nameless, changes things up and leaves town, the period staying in town, this neighbourhood needs cleaning up, killing all those Indians in the west, fairy tales, not based on a real person, the fantasy to cover up genocide or covering up what the West actually was, megacorporations, cow punchers replaced by ranchers, a couple of decades, your grandfather or great-grandfather, our perspective of WWII, Inglourious Basterds (2009), a fairy tale about WWII, the Sundance Kid, bank robberies happened, train robbery, Jonah Hex is real and still wandering the west, not a future Hex, bad ideas, Conan the Barbarian with a laser sword, Jesse’s not having it, 70s and 60s western comics, a lotta superhero comics, straight up westerns coming out of Marvel and DC, the Rawhide Kid, a Wolverine berserker rage, in trouble in his own head, a Stan Lee character, western characters, cops are there, cops are a hindrance to the action, the comic code authority, turning super-heroes into the big thing they were, superheros as propaganda for law and order, Billy The Kid, Spider Man is an outlaw, Captain America, cops took over TV, lawyer shows, so many cop shows, all of these cops are good, the 87th Precinct novels, murders, con men, New York turned upside down, NCIS shows, Law & Order shows, NYPD Blue, Cop Rock, the solution to all problems is more cops, private detective stories and shows, breaking the rules, the cops themselves become the ruler breakers, Dirty Harry, NYPD Blue normalized torture, a standard thing, the bosses knew, 24, bad cops, 24 was theoretically about foreign policy, small scale, we built him until he confesses, The Shield, Homicide: Life On The Streets, based on a book, based on a reality, Will should be stepping up here, the powers of the state are such they’ll get you, you don’t need to beat anybody, people don’t want to be pressured, false confessions, where’s Will in all this?, circle it back to the book we just read, the stateless west, free men doing their thing, a few women, wifes or prostitutes, crooked sheriff, bring the state to be with them, Tex, when he throws down the tin star, an agent of civilization, a stateless place, what we know about civilization, so trusting, the marshals are different, the dignified congressional types, the passing of the marshals’ badge, deputization and posses, you take the lynch mob and they become a posse, power conferred, all the beatings, all the murders were in the name of the law, indemnified, deep down, the core idea, fantasies of what future we can make, what past we can recreate, fantasizing about a time that didn’t exist, what was actually going on, the people will not be restrained, why sequels never help, The Night Horsemen, Dan Berry’s Daughter, cowgirls are fun too, a tragedy, about loss, in the shadow of a famous western hero, regional hero, tall tale people, Wild Bill Hickok, Daniel Boone, a famous figure, Jonah Hex didn’t actually exist, Jesse James, his mother’s hotel, the blood of this dude is still on that floor, any class going on in this story?, no race, no class, basically wholly about the romance of this dude, the way people fawn on him being interesting, one’s a whistler and one’s silent, neither of them are talking, descriptive passages, slightly back to our SFF theme, astronaut Dan Berry discovered it was impossible to whistle while on a moonwalk, the language in this book, poetic scene setting, clear and plain, poetic without being florid, Richard Kilmer (the narrator), unadorned, his Dr. Kildare books, mythologies about the west, Robert E. Howard’s letters to H.P. Lovecraft, violence in its cultural context, when a mob broke into the jail, what was the difference between a hanging and a shooting, this person must die under the law, poisoning vs. shooting, the difference was treachery, they push so hard for Assad and gas, dropping bombs on people vs. gassing people, your boy was killed right and proper, poison gas vs. electric chair, its not the proper forms!, completely unthinking, Raytheon has been deputized by the government, Little House On The Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder, a western vs. a story that takes place in the West, a lone man doing something, cooperative action, The Big Valley, The Ponderosa, Lorne Greene, everything’s going to be fine, momless three boys, The Wild Wild West, the Desilu production, secret service, Deadwood with George Hearst, the Hearst magazines, a fantasy genre, a really strange subgenre, the romance of the setting vs. the romance of the setup, they were loosed in the void of the mountain desert, the power which struck, Three In One?, Baby Is Three by Theordore Sturgeon, fantastique, Riders On The Purple Sage by Zane Grey, a hooded man, modern weird westerns, Saladin Ahmed, Rebecca Roanhorse, Riders Of The Purple Wage by Philip Jose Farmer, pastiche of Ulysses, UBI, a dense novella, Silver On The Road by Laura Anne Gilman, Algis Budrys, the Dark Tower novels, Maine, Dead Man’s Hand edited by John Joseph, more and more less and less, an exercise in self-indulgence, Bone Tomahawk, Hell Or High Water (2016), The Sixth Gun, their truck is their horse, neo-western, a life under horrible capitalism western, no more talk about the book.

All-Story Weekly - The Untamed by Max Brand

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The SFFaudio Podcast #547 – READALONG: The Angel Of Terror by Edgar Wallace

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #547 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, Maissa Bessada, Julie Davis, and Terence Blake talk about The Angel Of Terror by Edgar Wallace

Talked about on today’s show:
1922, mean and bad people who all look very pretty, act so sweet, physically beautiful, even the ugly people are distinctive, surprised, Julie has read it three or four times, Terence read it in two sittings, the LibriVox was too slow, he wrote a tonne of books, super-popular, very exciting, you read it as fast as he wrote it, he dictated his writings, he roared through them, Kevin J. Anderson does the same thing, very extensive Wikipedia biography, aha!, he used every part of the buffalo, stuff that happens in his life, he’s the bad guys, they all go to the South of France, he wrote King Kong, the best way to approach him, using themselves, churning out a great adventure, more complete, the angel and the other woman, you can’t like her but you can admire her, she’s so complete, Lydia liked her, Maissa enjoyed it like candy, the author loved her (the angel), so nefarious, Jack O’ Judgement, Batman/Joker character, what genre is this?, suspense, is she going to get away with it?, will she do it, it wasn’t suspenseful, armchair interesting, interesting jumping, that style of writing/thinking, working the plot out on the fly, putting out a novel in three days (with no editing), he’s got magic, breaking it down, funny lines, Terence’s neighborhood, Cannes, Monte Carlo, Nice, San Remo, the true reason they go down there, he has to get rid of his money as quickly as possible, you can’t drink and drug that much, the best way to get rid of money, very exotic, a few sound problems at the beginning of the audiobook, we open with the conclusion of a murder case, how can we get our client off even though he’s been convicted, the lawyers flout the law, family loyalty, they knew she was guilty, she’s his white whale, will you please just take these steps?, falling under the sway of a charismatic personality, unrelenting naivete, Edgar Wallace is the main character, he was working for a newspaper, how many times he got married, there was dictation, To Catch A Thief (1955), a very strange taffy-pull, a reverse Les Misérables, off to North Africa, Edgar Wallace plot wheel, what kind of Edgar Wallace plot you’re in, wheel of blind trails by which the hero is mislead or confused, planted clues, false confession, document forged, go around the room, having those prompts, watching Jean have to improvise, somebody is going to get Lydia, double plans, “oh great, the chauffeur’s in love with me”, when Lydia’s being shot at on the raft, there’s something funny about it, things become more and more far-fetched, A Series Of Unfortunate Events, Jesse’s mom read him a book for Christmas (A Peculiar Curiosity by Melanie Cossey), the reason that book exists as it does, trying to make everything right, he’s much more like Elmore Leonard, I don’t know anything about diving, go find out about that stuff for me, dialogue driven crime sort of stuff, that external research, Civil War reenactors, “farbs” they’re in it for the weekend, it’s just what we do, Alexander Dumas, set in London, John Buchan’s The 39 Steps, less he-man, Wallace was in love with his villain, this malignant disease, forgotten to say her prayers, a broken moral compass, damn!, it’s natural to her, I fear life without money, the cold mutton of yesterday, the people reading these books, she’s a sociopath, deep into his biography, when he joined the army, Edgar Wallace is named after Lew Wallace author of Ben Hur, religious as an undercurrent, the premise is uniquely interesting, her debts are because she’s so moral, some rando stranger somewhere on the internet dies, we’ll marry him off, that hook is so important, ooh hey!, this wide eyed innocent but quite competent lady, can she compromise her moral values and the plot is rolling along, did Jesse doctor the audiobook’s speed?, some sort of weird forced marriage?, by any means necessary, genre expectations, Brewster’s Millions (1985), a false tension, George Barr McCutcheon’s novel Brewster’s Millions, new clothes, new place, she IS a fashion plate,

The novel revolves around Montgomery Brewster, a young man who inherits 1 million dollars from his rich grandfather. Shortly after, a rich uncle who hated Brewster’s grandfather (a long-held grudge stemming from the grandfather’s disapproval of the marriage of Brewster’s parents) also dies. The uncle will leave Brewster 7 million dollars, but only under the condition that he keeps none of the grandfather’s money. Brewster is required to spend every penny of his grandfather’s million within one year, resulting in no assets or property held from the wealth at the end of that time. If Brewster meets these terms, he will gain the full 7 million; if he fails, he remains penniless.

Edgar Wallace’s dream, the house always wins, whatchu gonna do with that money?, the kind of plot premise that starts off this money, she marries a murderer, he’s suicided, she’s an heiress loose on the goose, study with the Italian masters, It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963), our anti-hero is a “femme fatale”, she cuts the guy’s hand, your handkerchief please, she’s a monster, a very attractive monster, brought to justice?, she hoodwinks one more guy, it’s for the wildlife, you don’t want to hurt a dolphin, she’s met her match, Jesse got the sense the cycle was going to repeat, she meant it, he’s an interesting man, the last line, five million francs, money did not interest her, a sphere of might and power, an intellectual is somebody who has discovered something more interesting than sex, he was likeable, he loves her anyway, simpering, saving Lydia, love was more important, chose something good at the end, fooled by Mr Jags, the train station, he’s gonna follow her, because I have a criminal mind, a wholesome respect for the law, Jack Glover = Jag, who was the angel of terror?, at no moment does she inspire terror, Jag is the Hyde aspect of Jack Glover, the two angels, she conducts terror, she feels terror, Jean might corrupt Lydia, a first class criminal, born 600 years to late, Lucrezia Borgia, Dexter, a do good framework, did Edgar Wallace know Jags was gonna be Jack, the character shift is pretty massive, a very good fellow (illiterate and speaks amazing French), I wouldn’t mind a pipe, a disguise, Julie agrees with Terence, too much weight on the dictation?, a flow of consciousness, increasingly outlandish, he knew and he didn’t know, fiction writing, seeing connections, plots in opposition, a twist that inverts, deliberate, trying to hide identity, Carmilla, Mircalla, an acronym of your own name, a tribute to Edgar Wallace, its hard to tell, this is a job for Superman!, from a writer’s perspective, he was there the whole time, one alternate title: The Destroying Angel, a quote from Duino Elegies by Rainer Maria Rilke, maybe both are the angel of terror, disguised, her beauty is her disguise, lookism, I’ll get you my pretties!, the opening of Chapter 2, the writing is “choice”, mmmm yes,

Lydia Beale gathered up the scraps of paper that littered her table, rolled them into a ball and tossed them into the fire.

There was a knock at the door, and she half turned in her chair to meet with a smile her stout landlady who came in carrying a tray on which stood a large cup of tea and two thick and wholesome slices of bread and jam.

“Finished, Miss Beale?” asked the landlady anxiously.

“For the day, yes,” said the girl with a nod, and stood up stretching herself stiffly.

She was slender, a head taller than the dumpy Mrs. Morgan. The dark violet eyes and the delicate spiritual face she owed to her Celtic ancestors, the grace of her movements, no less than the perfect hands that rested on the drawing board, spoke eloquently of breed.

“I’d like to see it, miss, if I may,” said Mrs. Morgan, wiping her hands on her apron in anticipation.

Lydia pulled open a drawer of the table and took out a large sheet of Windsor board. She had completed her pencil sketch and Mrs. Morgan gasped appreciatively. It was a picture of a masked man holding a villainous crowd at bay at the point of a pistol.

“That’s wonderful, miss,” she said in awe. “I suppose those sort of things happen too?”

The girl laughed as she put the drawing away.

“They happen in stories which I illustrate, Mrs. Morgan,” she said dryly. “The real brigands of life come in the shape of lawyers’ clerks with writs and summonses. It’s a relief from those mad fashion plates I draw, anyway. Do you know, Mrs. Morgan, that the sight of a dressmaker’s shop window makes me positively ill!”

at the end of this chapter is a review of this book, Philip K. Dick, the promise of the book:

“Since when has the Daily Megaphone been published in the ghastly suburbs?” asked the other politely.

He saw the girl, and raised his hat.

“Come along, Miss Beale,” he said. “I promise you a more comfortable ride—even if I cannot guarantee that the end will be less startling.”

a nice turn of phrase, Mrs Cole Mortimer was a chirpy pale little woman of forty-something, descriptions of the south of France, my soul has been in a hundred collisions, she had no sense of metaphor, page 52, waiting for the detective to arrive, picturesque dressing gown and no-less picturesque pajamas, to impress, the staging and artifice, hoodwinked all the way through, the ability to surprise while we’re in the know, cotton candy, it’s very old, on LibriVox, Lee Elliott was a good narrator, getting professional about our amateurism, Terence is sounding good, our show, Terence’s sound is terrible, content is king, sometimes narrators have really good taste, Phil Chenevert does tonnes of science fiction, narrating a novel is a huge commitment, “yup I’m doing another one for money, Jesse”, the narrator of Weiland (Karen Joan Kohoutek), Greener Than You Think by Ward Moore, almost like reading a super-old style comic book, this mysterious cloaked and masked character, no one knows who he is, Moon Knight, a minor Marvel character, The Joker, The Riddler, youre almost on the evil guy’s, The Shadow, Orson Welles, a giant prosthetic nose, Wallace didn’t live that long, proto-superhero magazines, the foreshadowing of that, The Spider, Doc Savage (the guy with the big shiny muscles), Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins, Buckaroo Banzai, failed MCUs (Marvel Cinematic Universes), an aspect like the Watchmen, Sherlock Holmes, Zorro, the evolution, James Bond, superhero-like stories, going in blind, understanding the phenomenon, we couldn’t quit reading, on his writing process, Brian Aldiss, you begin with a striking image, a crazy robot on the moon firing into the void, he probably began with the beautiful evil woman, there is a huge unity to the story, imagistic unity, Jack and Jean’s story, there’s this 1971 movie, nope it’s not that, conventions stuck in the period in which it is set, House, M.D. works much better, differential diagnostics, he’s a consulting doctor, what Arthur Conan Doyle really did, very Agatha Christie territory, to see the actors chewing up the scenery, set it after WWII, Casino Royale by Ian Fleming, get some colour, Jean would laugh at Dexter, you’re wasting your talents!, as any flapper would pick up any nut, proto-feminism, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Scarlett Johansson as Jean,

Edgar Wallace plot wheels

Edgar Wallace plot wheel blind trails

Posted by Jesse Willis

Reading, Short And Deep #170 – Forever After by Jim Thompson

Podcast

Reading, Short And DeepReading, Short And Deep #170

Eric S. Rabkin and Jesse Willis discuss Forever After by Jim Thompson

Here’s a link to a PDF of the story.

Forever After was first published in Shock, May 1960.

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

Posted by Scott D. Danielson