The SFFaudio Podcast #773 – READALONG: Sailing to Byzantium by Robert Silverberg

The SFFaudio PodcastJesse, Paul Weimer, Will Emmons, Terence Blake, and Jonathan Weichsel talk about Sailing to Byzantium by Robert Silverberg

Talked about on today’s show:
a very accurate copy of Terence, go by Jonathan, Asimov’s, February 1985, Silverberg has a problem, his skills, he loves literature, doesn’t know much about science, loves history, children, all of his stories are about marriage basically, not every story is a marriage story, I think my dog knows aliens, that doesn’t involve relationships, an inversion of Passengers, The Roller Coaster by Alfred Bester is more Passengers than Passengers, Jesse’s focus and primary point of interest is ideas, cuz I’m a dude, gender stereotype this, as far as Jesse is concerned, once upon a time, came to understand and appreciate, still immature, pleasure and value, idea first and foremost, when characters are pushed, the high point of the book, that he is an android, Jonathan is smarter than Jesse apparently, the known simulacra won’t obey him, did you command it?, that’s good, the other hint, I remember New York, that’s because he’s Robert Silverberg, Dark City (1998), programmed that way, rented on Laserdisc, Director’s Cut, too crazy to be released in cinemas, narration in the beginning, inferior product, Charlez Philips, Yankees, hot dog, presumed this was another in the tradition of C.M. Kornbluth’s The Marching Morons, William Morris, the revelation, internal thinking, what he’s thinking about what this guy’s saying, the opening description is repeated three times, it’s beautiful, description of the dawn in Alexandria, the writing is beautiful, the concept is solid, The City In The Stars by Arthur C. Clarke, what the plot is, guy has girlfriend, guy loses girlfriend, guy searches for girlfriend, the writing… so good, perfect length, I read a piece of literature and I have something to say about it, Downward To The Earth, Heart Of Darkness, the Yates poem, responding to the poem, his one trick, he’s a guy who loves literature and science fiction, knows a lot about ancient cities, Gilgamesh The King, Silverberg is really good, Up The Line, a tourist book, tourism, The History Of Tom Jones, A Foundling by Henry Fielding, the novel not the singer, a Tom Jones of timetravel, not trying to hide it, hey I’m doing this thing, The Secret Sharer, I read this amazing thing let me respond, very solidly, William Coon, I got an iPhone with GPS, childless, there’s no children in this world, there’s no adults in the world, our main character is the adult, go for characters, Paul try to defend her, she’s an Eloi, there’s mostly all Eloi, a little more conciousness, the robots are the Morlocks, you can’t be here, the unpaid proletariat of the society, money is meaningless, who is actually fixing these robots, other robots, this doesn’t need any addition, a very small idea, deconstruct it as well as a scientificly plausible future, a new person for the city, a guy from the 1960s who wakes up in 2023 and finds out his phone has GPS, how a post scarcity economy becomes a society of spectacle, where we had Mark Twain on, Enter a Soldier. Later: Enter Another, Innocents Abroad is about the invention of tourism, modern tourism, nice and stable, Americans going to Europe, travelogues, vacations vs. tourism, you build things for the tourists, Paris needs the Eiffel Tower, everything becomes insubstantial, you need to see the centaur grazing, tourism is a negative, taking the tour vs. living somewhere, some ad man, the Seven Wonders of the World, sex tourism, let’s go get some slaves, tourism is about the middle class, getting lots of bums in seats, tourist facilities, at the airport to take you to a hotel, the hotels haven’t been invented yet, Evan is in Thailand, a vacation destination vs. tourism, their whole lives are vacations, the only thing that dies in this world is the cities, Rome is the Eternal City, Paris, see the thing that Hitler and Hemingway looked at, a touchpoint on a checklist, the particular theme, the actual plot, we broke up a little bit, we’re back together, a very cynical take on what immortal people are like, they’re very shallow, juxtapose it, Ian Bank’s Culture novels, self-actualized, we’re in China, the emperor sitting on his throne waving his hand being fanned, impossibly drunk, wakes up having sex, conspired, he’s being raped by her, here’s my problem with the scene, emotional consequences, oh well that happened to me, they haven’t programmed him to have, pre-neanderthals, sexy cave woman sidles up to sexy cave man, people are people, people are not even people, a robot with personhood, glands and hormones and emotional reactions, he’s a primitive, coasts along, acculturation, like an Eloi, a strange lack in the programming, violent, goes with the flow, his love is real, he’s a robot that can be programmed to be drunk, cultural expectations, he’s just a very 20th century man, the hidden robots, this place is closed, it’s not a place anymore, his creator, mobile tourist attractions, his future, New Chicago era, don’t you know you’re a robot dude?, I’ve been bewitched, what you’re saying is witchcraft, imagine if Philip Jose Farmer wrote this book, more sex, Tarzan lives 10,000 years ago and lives all of time, historical character to spend time with, Elizabeth and Drake and them, what am I gonna do with my life, just a guy living in a world, his girlfriend’s run away from him, they’re indistinguishable, one is worried about getting old, he’s just riding that, the call to action is the girl leaving him, the catalyst, he doesn’t know he is, he doesn’t know he has that problem, the plot requires him to have a problem, what is his solution?, you become immortal like me and become a robot, just a way of ending the book, the plot is not important to this story, Downward To The Earth, Congo planet, say sorry to the elephants, the elephants sometimes get violent, checking in on people he used to know, meditating on a good book, the poem, 3 minutes, 4 stanzas, Sailing to Byzantium by William Butler Yates, on reading Silverberg’s novella length discussion of this poem…, making it the setting for this poem, a secular heaven, where the movie and the book got it from, the ending of the novella doesn’t go far enough, they should have gone to Byzantium to find the planners and become planners again, you need imagination and curiosity to recreate all these ancient cities, that is what would absolutely happen, a very modest tired science fiction story, Mockingbird by Walter Tevis, sad and meditative world, illiteracy is the center of the book, it should be a satire, university professorships and everybody is illiterate, if this goes on…, doing drugs all the time and experiencing a new media, a couple of people who don’t fit, live near the zoo, the journey to find the truth of their world, you need to go into the tunnels and find the planners, a big computer program, an explanation will be a letdown, the way Arthur C. Clarke gets out of it, everybody’s an artist and an art critic, very chaste, how did these people predict the future so accurately, go to other planets, only one city now, in the same universe, this could be a period of The Forever War, Forever Peace, Forever Free, struck to close to home, connected with people long enough your brain changes, it did not work for Paul, very unrealistic, a priori, connecting to and using drones, the drones thing is very solid, his solution to peace, about the peace thing, any plan to achieve world peace is going to be a nightmare, mind-control, manipulation, Mindbridge by Joe Haldeman, he didn’t write as much as Silverberg, inactive, confusing somebody, Camouflage, Buying Time, Work Done For Hire, makes them horny for each other, this sounds good, won the nebula, they like the fancy writing, reward each other for fancy writing, has a little bit of fancy writing, you’re a guy and you wake up in the future and everybody’s gay, it’s the 70s, he’s the pervert, I’m the only heterosexual man in the universe, why it’s a good book, different from Heinlein, an answer, a riposte, an echo, with a different brain doing the work, we have started on reading half of Tor Doubles, Gene Wolfe, that’s a problem, hit Jesse with the “it’s a problem” stick, that’s a problem for this podcast, there are too many books to do, best decisions Jesse’s life, a great formula, Seven American Nights by Gene Wolfe, is the writer reliable?, a 19th century story, a Norman Spinrad story, visit the fallen New York, the Brooklyn Bridge, a big stack of Tor Doubles, A Meeting With Medusa, mature Arthur C. Clarke, Nightwings, Greg Bear’s Hardfought, went off the rails, no be like H.P. Lovecraft die of cancer from eating beans, Eye For Eye by Orson Scott Card, no, Hawksbill Station, Color Of Neanderthal Eyes by James Tiptree Jr. and Michael Bishop, the ideal podcast, in some cases, he’s not likely to give permission, refuse to do a book by someone who is so anti-queer, his religion is bullshit, he can have it, Salvation Army bucket, a 19th century spinoff of the temperance movement, they really are an army, charity thing only now, rope people in with their homeless shelters, where they indoctrinate you, when Orson Scott Card dies will it be okay?, Ender’s Game and other things, a cigarette pack that says cancer kills, as a part of the canon, weird and distorted people, Nancy Kress, find traces, they way Heidegger was a Nazi, resistance from Heidegger scholars, finding ways to prune that list, Pugnacious Peacemaker by Harry Turtledove, a sequel, The Saliva Tree by Brian Aldiss, The Wheels Of If by L. Sprague De Camp, Saddam Hussein’s fantasy novels, required reading in Iraqi schools, rushing to finish his latest book, very passionate author, Bill Clinton’s espionage thrillers, two branches we can go down, somebody did this, back to Silverberg, see something, tweet it at me, very good but not super controversial book, visiting over the shoulder, Asgard, so impressed with Silverberg, you’re clearly not an ancient astronaut guy, Hindu nationalists, very weird western dudes, Born With The Dead, French language SFFaudio, a collection, soon to be a motion picture, The Silent Invaders, A Time Of Changes, that’s the thing with the pronouns, obscene I, coming to a consensus, a famous one, a first contact one, Thorns, tourism but not ancient, all around the universe, super-depressing, Kurt Vonnegut, life is meaningless, Vonnegut is funny, Thorns is not funny, a depressed version of Vonnegut, it’s Liggoti, I cried with Born With The Dead at the end, saddening or depressing, aliens disfigured him, a recluse, people look at him weird, donating 100 of her eggs, she’s got 100 babies she’ll never see, Mark Zuckerberg, emotional vampire, across known space, inability to form a real relationship, Letters From Atlantis, mind in other people sort of thing, ancient Atlantis, it has Silverberg’s strengths, A Hero Of The Empire, a Roma Eterna story, a Paul book, the consensus I’m hearing, worried about being depressed, this pronoun is forbidden, a powerful mind altering drug, a message of liberation, a cult favourite, 1971, October 22, some troll was in my schedule, Scott is listed there, maybe Scott was trolling, The Weirwoods by Thomas Burnett Swann, a fantasy book, semi-erotic fantasy novels, Tolkien’s level, cool looking ace cover, bear with an eyepatch, time of the Etruscans, Cirsova submission, sexually explicit, pornography on this podcast, imagine Piers Anthony was a serious author, how these prompts work, the female characters show the most growth, male water sprite is kidnapped, an actor who is travelling through, go to my girl in the waterworld, oh are you a virgin?, what no maybe I don’t know, have you been to an orgy, I’m horny now, you’ll be horny later, 5 hours, thank you, very enjoyable book, I like the short, more depth to it, more going on, different ideas, characters, concepts, weird aquatic animals, a safari vs. tourism, spend time with the natives, Thorns is like a space-cruise, Up The Line, from a poem?, pretty obscure, Up The Line by Robert Silverberg, Paul Boehmer, a time courier, a lusty Greek, a sex book, uber eats guy, goofballs goofing off, the Time Patrol, labour stuff, sex with my ancestor, I’m gonna go make myself, I’m gonna become rich, a weird attitude, you can’t break the rules, they’re managers, serialized in Amazing, has good art, a sex comedy, Hot Tub Time Machine (2010), very deep, as a man, a feature or a bug, definitely one or the other, straightfaced is weird, commentary on the 1980s, also our world, people create avatars for themselves, playing with real people and NPCs, Skyrim with AI companions, go kill that big bear over there, says something snarky, people are normally playing against NPC with scripted conversations, NPC companions helping you to kill other NPCs, barely real, scene fillers, one of the amazing things, follow that person, see where they’re going, where reality takes us, business and agenda, I’m going and buying the thing I was told to buy, I’m wearing my mask, make the dog poop, buy a newspaper, early 20s in New York, ticket scalper, rich people buy $1000 Broadway tickets, a concierge at a hotel, people walking by, Grand Theft Auto, The Truman Show (1998), functions there, the same people going back and forth, very educational, a weird form of nature, being inside of somebody’s spleen, catch on fire, speaking of firetrucks, is Will still covered in cats?, dog is having seizures, an intercranial disease, it was joyous, cheeseburger for my dog please, not permanent, new cats coming in all the time, covered in its own feces, it was like that, what does this have to do with making money for capitalism?, acquiring capital, conceivably, put em up on some website, record it, God Save the Mark by Donald E. Westlake, should be fun, very relationship oriented, more than year, he’s gotta educate people, nun’s business, she’s good, she’s got some meanness in her, all about the kindness, Jason Thompson was tweeting about cruelty, honesty is something you need in your life, cruel and not honest, cruel and honest, at least with words, ideas are potentially cruel, The Screwfly Solution isn’t an indictment of men, subject fleshy creatures, let’s all play nice, when Paul says “no, Jesse”, is the pope raping children by not shutting down his empire?, pedophile priests are a thing, we should be suspicious, do I look fat in this dress?, no, you look fat in every dress, cruel truths coming out of fiction, does that help answer your question, it’s important, is The Colorado Kid a western?, set in Maine, a Hard Case Crime book, illustrations, real bad man, such a shitlib, occasionally make a mistake, when the drugs went the talent went, the Trump derangement drug, much better as a cruel mean drunk, The Running Man is so good, reading for meanness, Lord Tyger, Philip Jose Farmer, Tarzan Alive, A Feast Unknown, 150 pages-ish, short Stephen King with a great cover and interior illustrations, a concept, Mr. Mercedes, Cell, he does characters really really well, really good book, on a lot of things, not substanial in the way science fiction can be, his fantasy is his own construction, peripherally crime book, crime books are good, Lawrence Block, Raymond Chandler, formula, Jim Thompson, cruel guy, The Killer Inside Me, The Grifters, Westlake wrote the script, a great movie and great book, harrowing, the paperback on the spinner wrack, gut punch on page one, waiting for your bus, getting off the bus, you finish it that night, character driven literature, crime is an interesting situation, how can I get the police involved, the police are a new invention, they’re a bad thing, why Breaking Bad is very interesting, empire building, the wife is there to say what you’re doing is wrong, that was always inherent with that show, what were the bad things he’s doing, killing people is bad, he has cancer, disrespected, no health care, accepted his buyout, wealthy billionaire, a man’s dignity, it’s not about Walter White or Heisenberg, that ain’t what Star Trek is, what Star Trek really is, fuckin terrible, crime is the philosophy of how to be, The Postman Always Rings Twice, Mildred Pierce by James M. Cain, a little bit of outside of society, chess pieces, the criminal mind, moral dilemma, I’m going to lower myself, he knows that he’s doing wrong, he’s the weakest character, Jesse Pinkman is a much stronger character, he’s just a dumb guy, yo, he thinks of himself as very high, he’s brought low, he destroys the things that he loves he says, the show is trying to moralize at the end, he has to be brought low and feel bad about what he’s done, Better Call Saul, all the characters are strong, a better show because it doesn’t have the wife and kids aspect, to setup the fall, Jimmy McGill, at sea on his own, stupid and lucky vs. smart and unlucky, really interesting American stories, Double Indemnity, so greasy, he never did anything nice to me, I guess I’ve got to kill him, they betray each other, super-short, makes you love reading, a good movie, Fred McMurray and a lady with a wig, Edward G. Robinson, Mildred Pierce, so good, very successful, Jim Thompson, a Greek tragedy, they also cut each other up with knifes, his writing is bloody, turn the page and cut your arm, movies that went underground, This World The The Fireworks, Billy Zane and Gina Gershon are lovers and brother and sister, Flowers In The Attic, a funny stream of pro-incest propaganda, ‘Tis Pity She’s A Whore aka ‘Tis Pitty Shee’s A Whoore, forbidden love, go with your heart, okay enough, daughter, suitor, dorks, if I can’t have you sister, nobody can, not as flowery as Shakespeare, has sex with his sister, pulls her heart out with a dagger, a huge monologue with a beating heart, and on that note Terence leaves, Farnham’s Freehold, Pirates Of Venus, subsequently shownoting in, Ill Met In Lankhmar, add Scott to the conversation, it’s X now, Elon pictures, Twitter building with an X on top, very Christian, a sideways cross, Brave New World, he wants twitter to be like We Chat, Space X etc., the hub of their social credit system, editing up a whole other podcast, might be too fresh, John Buchan wrote The Thirty-Nine Step, spy fiction, weird fiction, Algernon Blackwood, a very competent upperclass guy, later Governor General of Canada, his weird fiction is pretty cool, how’s Connor doing these days, since he went to Germany, pretty active for an inactive guy, lost his twitter account for a while, Moon Of Skulls, already confused, The Warriors, plus movie, the original version of the movie, re-edited, 7 hours, 19 minutes, a lot of books we want to read, how do I winnow the books I can read, read more books, consider leaving twitter, there are many options, Facebook groups to join, being controlled by evil giant corporations, how they get you trapped, same story, going to Burger King, never read Donald E. Westlake, he’s also known as Richard Stark, puttin’ you down, fancy spellings, he won an Oscar for that, he wrote a script for a James Bond movie, a fifth of Hard Case Crime in the early days were Westlakes, a real life coup, comedy and crime books, Brothers Keepers, Somebody Owes Me Money, Anarchaos, also about insurance, Lee Marvin, Mel Gibson, love his series, so good, Might Sons Of Hercules anthology, communists vs. conservatives, can we agree on that, throw each other out of helicopters, the bad takes, full of bad takes, get into tea about, the showing up for the podcast, Mirko (the German guy), @MrLovecraft, I was browsing through our messages down to 2016, mostly take pictures of random stuff, a bowlful of tools, I know what he smells like, I need to sniff it everyday, his whole cowboy hat collection, archives, complete access, archive.org, the secret, mostly all the time, look for pulps, only processed stuff on the PDF page, so much good writing in one magazine from April of 1899, Guy De Maupassant, Maurice Level, a successor to Maupassant, weird mean stories, the first translations into English, horrible syphilis, The String aka A Piece Of String, string collection, the cops come by, did you steal a wallet, somebody saw you, and yet you refuse to explain, dropped it into my other pants, too embarrassing, The Necklace aka The Diamond Necklace, Bel Ami, dissatisfied with her life, she could’ve married much higher, the governor’s ball, kinda like Cinderella, saving up money to buy a gun, trying to save money, you have that friend, you’re brilliant, the event goes swimmingly, she’s lost the necklace, they retrace their steps, what are we gonna do, mortgage and borrow and replace it, 20 years go by, just finally paid off the debt, scrub maid, looking elderly now, so proud, cost me all these years of work, walk away bleeding from the page, he’s just so mean, a social climber, corruption in the third French republic, why don’t you just become a reporter?, that’s okay it doesn’t matter, get a good wife to do the writing, love triangles, meanspirited, a really good portrait, impressionism or naturalism, what’s right in front of us right now, rejected, jotting down descriptions of people, it can be very powerful, a Fyodor Dostoevsky novel, one of the vampire guys, Uma Thurman, so good, in school, Scaramouche by Raphael Sabatini, no Westlake, no Sabatini, pirate books, Captain Blood, a contemporary of Johnston McCulley, huge in their day, lasting influence, a lot of Stephen King is loving Westlake, TV writers, to survive after you die, to champion in, Lovecraft, Kafka, C.L. Moore, her second husband, Philip K. Dick is trying to suppress, Charles Burnett Swan, why is he unknown now?, a little dirty, a little embarrassed, their are no heirs, his publishers, Space Viking, Little Fuzzy, Omnilingual, very off, posting more, pulp collection, Alan Muller, The Skull, Black Priestess Of Varda, The Adventures Of Tom Sawyer, the secret is Will’s been in hiding in South America, not knowing what to say, come up with a brilliant thesis that everybody hates, she’s secretly transgender, everybody accepts this, double novel sucker, remaindered, Tor business, I might read half of it, Ace Doubles, just in case, Ace Doubles, there’s no time, The Sioux Spaceman, And Then Town Took Off, Conquest Of The Space Sea, insane cover, reading glasses, go back far enough in Luke Burrage’s podcast, audiobooks, what are those?, only does audiobooks, almost exclusively audiobooks, washing dishes, scrubs toilet, how can you not want to do it all the time, slow reading, a DAW Yellow Spine, to be sitting and staring at a piece of paper, I’m done, Riders Of The Purple Sage, Zane Grey, gonna be sparky, a weird writer, antiquated, everybody’s having all these emotions, the phenomenally successful author, the Ohio Valley, violent opposition, turbulent, Lewis Wetzel, Girdy Bros., seems a little long, more cattle rustlers, Tales Of The Lonely Trails, Elmore Leonard, good but not deep, dialogue is so good, Out Of Sight, the other Batman who lives on Lake Como, Clooney/Lopez, a TV show, Karen Sisco, a test story, Justified, expand the idea and keep the character, colour splashing, the same recipe, Quentin Tarantino championed Elmore Leonard, nothing else is an adaptation, Robert Forster and Pam Grier, revisiting with Sam Jackson, Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci is not in Heat, Rum Punch, set in Florida, Florida books, shallower and deeper, more style, Get Shorty, it’s fine, more of his own thing, Florida writers, Carl Hiaasen, cat lady books for men, character descriptions, superficial writing for rich people, their character description is their bank statements, Mario Puzo, Fool’s Die, big sprawling book about a guy and his story, I am the master of magic, a tour de force of writing, Grover Gardner, Grover’s voice is much like this, Paul hates it, don’t let self-doubt hold you back, thesis optional, see you in cyberspace, a ghost writing gig, a really big one, famous celebrity?, chat GPT, people don’t understand what a writer does, done their research for them, in 7 months, do it!, nobody listens, she died a long time ago, research for her historical screenplay, large famous Hollywood family, it’s Sunset Blvd. (1950), she was a hasbeen, Griffith Park pit bull, two writing assistants, lying bed and dictating to her, writers are very disposable, it’s a set of skills, mercenaries, there’s art, technical skill, ask questions, answer questions, fill places, plumbers, it needs to be plumb, a lot of writing is going to change, you can’t replace Westlake with chat GPT, entry level positions, assistants and help backing them up, people coming in, hide their assistants, George R.R. Martin has six assistants at at time, Elmore Leonard had one, sometimes writer dry up, Silverberg, a burning problem, Lawrence Block’s newsletter, he’d retire and come back from a vacation with another novel, they flow out of him, those people are pretty rare, a mental illness, a compulsion to write, a letter to CBS about Burt Lancaster as Moses, grad students he wants to fuck, Roger Zelazny, Ursula Le Guin, paranoid navel gazing, hypergraphia, a brain thing that’s happening, I need to understand, I need to question, Rosicrucian organization, you can’t read that all day long, people’s brains are different, Tishomingo Blues, Piers Anthony, so dirty, very entertaining, not great, A Spell For Chameleon, there will never be a movie, sad, leering, misogyny is fundamentally integrated, Paul won’t like it, she changes according to the phases of the Moon, full/beautiful/dumb, new/hideous/smart, all theses are fun, some theses are better than others, the lady who invented wifi they always say, smart beautiful woman, Hedy Lamarr, weird sex jokes, Satyr, female centaur, centauress, reaches over grabs her boobs, she gets angry and embarrassed, boob armour?, kids enjoy sex stories, girls are gross, girls are boring, you wanna play with dolls, jumps on motorbikes, weird period, why they were popular, Robert Lynn Asprin, paranoid, Christian parents, he wasn’t allowed to be the DM anymore, not allowed to watch The Simpsons anymore, people were a little looser, the end of free range kids, H.R. Pufnstuf, Jim Henson, 17 seasons, sidewalk sale, a guy singing, Uncle Floyd, an old soul, old stuff, L.A. for ten years, Marilyn Monroe, an empty movie theater?, a library?, 1 screen movie theater, new-fangled building, arcology?, they all have movie theaters, all the new buildings have movie theaters, Jesse is very out of touch, news to Jesse, a big screen TV size, home theaters, laserdisc, bigscreen TV, people make fun of Jonathan, a tiny tiny gym, gyms are standard, everybody is elderly, an amenity for elderly people, your dog’s already been pooped, Scarlett Johansson is a Russian spy, ballet and sex, Red Sparrow (2018), Joker (2019), the old people loved that.

Sailing To Byzantium by Robert Silverberg - art by Hisaki Yasuda

Sailing To Byzantium by Robert Silverberg

TOR DOUBLE - Sailing To Byzantium by Robert Silverberg

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The SFFaudio Podcast #772 – READALONG: A Meeting With Medusa by Arthur C. Clarke

The SFFaudio PodcastJesse, Scott Danielson, and Terence Blake talk about A Meeting With Medusa by Arthur C. Clarke

Talked about on today’s show:
under heavy pressure, Playboy, December 1971, the audiobook, superfamous, The Star and Nine Billion Names Of God, A Fall Of Moondust, Dolphin Island, a middle school library, an introduction to hard science fiction, all about characters in relationships, a mystery involved, a disaster movie, what he’s really good at, the twist at the end, sprinkled the hints, the paintings in Playboy, a hot air balloon, multiple gases, a giant medusa, aka a jellyfish, Jupiter, on Earth, the story this is most similar to by Arthur Conan Doyle, the Sherlock Holmes Professor Challenger guy, The Horror Of The Heights, pilots go up and disappear, crushed, giant jellyfish in the upper atmosphere story, Queen Elizabeth IV, an abrupt end, the sequel inside of it, awesome opening scene, imagery and everything, the shocking end of that section, really good, among the best Scott has ever read of Clarke’s, the structure hurts it, the beautiful writing, a bit of symbolism, an idea punch that hits you out of science fiction and into philosophy, he’s doing propaganda, he don’t cheat at all, is there an Arthur C. Clarke story where the knowledge of the solar system at the time of writing is ignored to tell an idea, he won’t write a story unless it’s plausible, petty concerns of being a human, deep time and cosmic depths, what does that make you, the Olaf Stapledon thing, characters, the guy in here, important to tell the story, solid, now he’s very solid, concentric circles of sense of wonder, a little bit in the future, almost cinematic action, some of the phrases are ambiguous, going on another mission, lightning reflexes, reconstructed him, after they reconstructed me, we’re just not fast enough, tai chi teacher, not explicit, his pilot’s reflexes, he doesn’t say this is the murderer, when they put me together again, the surgeons made some improvements, this is one of them, set more than 100 years in the future, treaty on first contact, the line that blew me away, the Mao Tse Tung in the American museum, what?, Americans got over their hatred of red China and think Mao is a hero as the rightly should?, the San Diego naval museum, war trophy, do you want to make friends with the Russians?, name an aircraft carrier after Stalin, or Ho Chi Mihn, named after people now, destroyers are named after cities, how do you embrace other countries?, incorporate their heroes, adopting Greek stuff, they’re ours now, we’re the inheritors of the Romans and the Greeks, it shook me to my core, what a good writer he is, it’s a good one, another ship that he named the Kon-Tiki, one man across the biggest sea, the prime directive in this, amongst six or more other phrases, Asimov, encounters with the American Indians and Africa, three laws, how to be in the world, don’t lie, what’s going to make you happy, start with that, it causes problems, fuck you is not a lie, be polite?, what would the basis of the prime directive, the categorical imperative, don’t use others as a means to an end, a negative, let them get used to you, not the Star Trek one, they break it all the time for purposes of plot, there’s something behind it, those are how you should act as a person, just replace the word robot with human, a human must consider other except where injure, my feelings are hurt, fuck your feelings, a person must protect his or her own existence, interesting application, we’re not robots, methods and plans of dealing with other people, taking stuff coming out of philosophy, parallel evolution, Asimov’s fourth law, the zeroth law, technically fourth, The Evitable Conflict, 1950, Chairman Mao, Nixon goes to China, detente, because Sri Lanka (or India) had to play a role, a tornado touched down, doesn’t cheat at all, an airship book, more of a hot air balloon than anything else, hot hydrogen of course, thinking through the scenario, the twist at the end that brings it up, this guy’s immortal?, a ship of Theseus scenario, rolls away at a calm 30 km per hour, 7 feet tall, to give him self-confidence, feeling separate from humanity, the ambassador between the ones made of carbon and the ones made of silicon, the aliens, radio dish heads, are they intelligent, I’m convinced that Medusa knew your blindspot, hunting, the intelligent species must be the predator species, a feint, a lightning bolt, why not, up for grabs, the aimed at manta fell like stone, Jupiter is a lightning bolt god, when we see him at the end, he’s turned to silicon, identified with his metallic aspect, Medusified, plummeting manta, I’ve studied a lot of jellyfish, Juliana and Luke on the Science Fiction Book Review Podcast, octopus books, a Ray Nayler book, spiders, eight-legged non-human creatures, the length of the story that’s required to do the job, an hour and half, somewhere in between, two parts, a view of humanity, superchimps/simps, clothes, slaves, brought out of mothballs, a POV of Earth from someone not interested in it, be a pioneer, no one could go, a super-pioneer, why this book exists, the opposite of the moonbus book, trying to conform, people want shitty romance cheating on your wife disaster relatable, I’m more like this guy, Arthur C. Clarke’s Mysterious World, almost none of it is that interesting, his brain level, he’s just not interested in the normal things people are interested in, exploring the ocean, so interesting down there, Jacques Cousteau, collecting notes on hailing frogs, not the normal science fiction writer, maybe Olaf Stapledon, his personal life, not interested in slow pitch, Arthur C. Clarke goes to hell, develop a deep philosophy to deal with it, Howard Falcon, like HAL, Jesse I’m afraid that’s not possible, HAL has conflicting orders, The Sentinel, wow!, full of philosophical things, sense of wonder things, it’s all earned, if this then that, Criminolly, garbaugust, worldbuilding, there’s no distinction between science fiction and fantasy right now, cool ideas about how the world works, tried a few more, testing the theory, wanting to be engaged, turning into Jesse, why we have to be so enjoying about terms, The Kaiju Preservation Society, infodumps about made up facts, could you explore it?, honest, solid, he doesn’t cheat, he’s standing on what he knows, realities that might be interesting explored, he’s not a cheater, when Larry Niven cheats it’s so he can get to another thing, twists something, a third of the episodes, are there any Star Trek episodes that are hard SF, the closest they come is The Galileo Seven, a rip off of The Cold Equations, Spock gambles, there’s a percentage chance there’s a passing alien spaceship, why did I read this story, have their cake and eat it too, angry fights, be hard about these things, you inhuman monster, Spock’s being very logical, fan service episodes, not memorable episodes, social soft science, what should our relationships be, the good stuff, people watched a lot of television and movies with spaceships in it, wouldn’t it be cool if, aliens, almost none, Childhood’s End, even The Star, doing soft science fiction, why I don’t like science fiction and fantasy books, fantasy is a whole other thing, show me where Ted Chiang cheats, an interesting thought, The Merchant And The Alchemist’s Gate, Howard Falcon was unloveable, a novel called The Medusa Chronicles by Alastair Reynolds and Stephen Baxter, a sequel to The Time Machine, Terry Pratchett, the childhood of Howard Falcon, when Star Trek goes back and explains the early life of Kirk and Spock, a fallacy involved, for what purpose, what does it matter?, unless there’s an idea there, why it’s shit, this episode we find out Kirk has a brother, why?, a massacre on some planet, just to raise the stakes, to make the Holocaust personal, to do a technical job, a Chekov’s gun on the wall, Spock having eyelids, to press the reset button, a technical requirement of a show where it’s not serialized, Vulcan nerve pinch, the ears are not what make Mr. Spock Mr. Spock, an emotional being controlling his emotions, him being a spawning salmon Theodore Sturgeon episode (Amok Time), every time they bring up a Vulcan, there’s exceptions, response video, Michael K. Vaughn, he has good taste, a good youtuber, people say why don’t you, here’s a recommendation, seem to be following Luke Burrage’s podcast, a big thing in France, amongst the aficionados, how intelligent it is, boring, The Mountain And The Sea, quite into philosophy, coming at it from a philosophical side, setting the scene before anything noticeably strange happened, how long it is, judging books by their cover and how long they are, bad cover, does it need to be this long, poingant and mind expanding, the UK does better covers than the USA, the UK edition, RayNaler.net, translated into French, thought it was brilliant, June 2023, Cthulhu, Japanese style, maybe this book is necessary, another cover with more tentacles, almost doesn’t ever talk about tentacles, cosmic horror = tentacles, Antarctica, the melting and stuff, a giant frozen 17 tall penguin, Tekeli-li!, philosophies of writing, Robert E. Howard is writing for money, very successful as a pulp writers, 4 times as big, Lovecraft doesn’t write stories that don’t need to be written, this is what is selling right now, even when he’s doing very pulpy stuff, things that are not needed for the story (to make the cover), a born storyteller, writing story, they like stories too, they don’t have the chops, people who won’t write for the commercial market, antagonistic to commercialism, Clarke is a bit of both, very elderly collaborations, sullying his legacy, The Light Of Other Days, very disenchanted with Arthur C. Clarke, and Isaac Asimov, Silverberg, cash-ins, a reader need not be subject to the whims of the author, because your friend wrote the book, fuck you, go back to basic principles, Clarke has a purity in him at times, Bob Shaw, an expansion, Light of Other Days, the New York Times lie list, Talisman by Peter Straub and Stephen King, Black House, shouldn’t be trying or able, necessary compared to Asimov/Silverberg, Clarke/Baxter, Olaf Stapledon wrote this, he didn’t write for cash, the unique fluke, King’s psychology, King has a limiter or a governor, he doesn’t use it for evil (or for good), hurts his own work, a fantasist of childhood and American life, a fantasy writer, we just don’t think of him that way, “fantasy realm”, The Goblin Emperor book, secondary world fiction, worldbuilding is mostly bad, silly worldbuilding, 2001: A Space Odyssey, psychedelic experience, intelligent worldbuilding, to fill pages, fall apart in a mush, a speculative component, the sensory impact of the trip, highly informed, standing on what is know and speculating, if there was life it would be in this zone, that kaiju book of Scalzi’s, wonder about your purpose, none of this is helping me in my life, what happens during the game, processing a magazine, sitting too long, certain number of hours, that’s fun, but it ain’t a novel, it ain’t good science fiction, what would our guy from youtube think about Philip K. Dick, make a magic system work, things are happening because they have to, if time started going backwards, still in the Roman Empire, spins up a world in order to explore it (not to fill pages), his novels are all worse than his short stories, just better, his short stories are better than that book (The Man In The High Castle), a children’s book, Galactic Pot-Healer, work and being out of work, a frontier where people are challenged to find meaningful work, that gunfight was really cool, some people act like robots, unemotional or mean, is sex with co-workers cool?, very fun and very rich, he didn’t need a setting for some characters, if your story doesn’t have idea at its core it’s not science fiction, imagine with ideas, live with ideas, a Philip K. Dick essay, Olaf Stapledon writes big long thick books that are science fiction but not novels, that’s interesting, how do you do that, a history of the last and first men, like reading a whole bunch of Clarke stories, unique in fiction, poor guy, there’s a lot not to enjoy, How To Build A Universe That Doesn’t Fall Apart Two Days Later, until you toss it across the room, a good theory of fantasy, fantasy is pretty big, the hardest of the hard, uploading and downloading your brain, it’s not, Ringworld, a whole bunch of gimmes, smart aliens, an aggressive species, they generate a D&D party, the Larry Niven character, just an excuse, a gravitational feeling thing, complete bullshit book, everything is fiction, it would just fall apart, 100% cheater and it works because he has an idea at the core and everything else is to get to that idea, he cheats in every possible way, Clarke has a very different philosophy, even in A Fall Of Moondust, not his best book, a bunch of boring characters, people get lead astray, super-good, a lot of Silverberg lately, Tor Doubles, read about a third of half of each of those books, a Silverberg novella, especially with his novels, he’s a contemplative dude, he’s sorta artsy and literary, he likes old books, Heart Of Darkness on another planet, elephants for the economy, sex on the brain, human relationships, the worldbuilding is to get to the transcendent point, The Book Of Skulls, being a good writer helps, Passengers, what is he famous for?, made Majipoor maybe?, Lord Valentine’s Castle, Nightwings, doesn’t have a killer book, big stature for a guy who doesn’t have a killer book, Neuromancer by William Gibson, rather than the fixup, his standalone short stories are really good, Phases Of The Moon by Isaac Asimov, a writing machine, wrote for money, still alive and not licensing his name out, 2010, now that he’s not poor, not getting his pension padded, good story, good writer, Arthur C. Clarke, he knows what to do, Farnham’s Freehold, he’s gonna rant about it, it’s not as bad as you think, Paul, oh my god, at the time, Westlake, revving back up, The Colorado Kid illustrated edition, Justified: City Primeval, there are character in it, Elmore Leonard short story, Tommy Patrick Ryan, some random guy on the internet, through Eric, 11th ever published story, readability through the fucking roof, so much characterization, got worse at the end, No Man’s Land by John Buchan, early evening, a reasonable hour of the evening, save the hunger to be angrier, approaching it satisfied, Houston, Houston, Do You Read?, Ace Double, a subpodcast of only Tor Doubles, we started with the first one, The Screwfly Solution, The Girl Who Was Plugged In, Run For The Stars by Harlan Ellison, savage, a juvenile delinquent in space, clairvoyant ability, very Harlan Ellison, A Boy And His Dog, Eye For Eye by Orson Scott Card, The Last Castle by Jack Vance, The Dragon Masters, I love the lengthy, Ill Met In Lankhmar, Vintage Season, The Sword Of Rhiannon, Ursula K. Le Guin, Kate Wilhelm, Kim Stanley Robinson short stuff, they don’t list the table of contents, The Ugly Little Boy, Edmond Hamilton, Screwtop, Enemy Mine, Hardfought by Greg Bear, an idea man, he shoulve had a badge that said “idea man”, The Blind Geometer, Fritz Leiber, Universe by Robert A. Heinlein, fantasy, Damon Knight, Icehenge, Press Enter by John Varley, Death Of Doctor Island also The Island Of Doctor Death, Karen Haber, Home Is The Hangman by Roger Zelazny, Wheels Of If, Gene Wolfe, The Book Of The Short Sun, Conjure Wife is on LibriVox, Ben Tucker is good, a five hour book, unleash hell, we got this in our back podcast, shownoting, back in the day, Sartor Resartus by Thomas Carlyle, Naxos, the torch of science, a metabook, 1831 novels, so many good ones, Scottish essayist, Fraser’s Magazine, purports to be a commentary, Godborn Devilsdung, a book review of that book, transcendentalist, German idealism, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, Immanuel Kant, there are things in themselves, things as we perceive them, the laws of our mind, ways round, suppressing different premises, this book sounds really good, in a funny way, Johnathan Swift, Tristam Shandy, Laurence Sterne, founding text and serious organizing study of clothing, fashion theory, sartorial ambitions, clearly a book we both need to read, my all time favourite book, this is one of the books that makes life worth living, only seeing through clothes can we understand life, not composted, a half-mad saint, 320 pages, in the PDF, the torch of science, not the smallest cranny or doghole can remain unilluminated, what is he famous for?, some sort of hero worship, a precursor to the superman, the great providential men who make history, Hayy Ibn Yaqdhan by Ibn Tufail, like Tarzan, most translated, 1,000 Nights, the dream one, very solid, very Borgesian, Borges never wrote a collab book to make money, Frank Herbert son, Tom Clancy ghost author to write Borges books, a funny tweet thread, Hobbits and wizards, good morning as in fuck off, Justin fucked every Canadian for 20 more fucking years, he’s bought and paid for and corrupt as fuck, persist, not a big damn hero, very bad man, make some coffee.

Playboy, December 1971 - A Meeting With Medusa by Arthur C. Clarke

Playboy, December 1971 - A Meeting With Medusa by Arthur C. Clarke

Playboy, December 1971 - A Meeting With Medusa by Arthur C. Clarke

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The SFFaudio Podcast #763 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: The City Of The Singing Flame by Clark Ashton Smith

The SFFaudio Podcast

The SFFaudio Podcast #763 – The City Of The Singing Flame by Clark Ashton Smith, read by Tommy Patrick Ryan. This is a complete and unabridged reading of the book (1 hours, 30 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Paul Weimer, Trish E. Matson, Connor Kaye, and Tommy Patrick Ryan

Talked about on today’s today’s show:
two these, Beyond The Singing Flame, it’s an onion, should Jesse have asked Tommy to record that too?, no novels, pretty famous guy for a guy with basically no novels, he’s 14 years old, bursting with ideas, reads like a D&D campaign set in the Arabian Nights, a flame like in She, the copyright status, Hippocampus Press, The Black Diamonds, he’s really hard too, his writing is very simple in this one, his vocabulary, give himself some feedback, supernal, an archaic word for supernatural, Eric S. Rabkin, a 3 sentence prose pastel, splenetic, iridescent, arabesque, nympholepsy, mien, rutilant, ill-tempered, the least difficult CAS story, sentence by sentence story, that might make a novel, becoming from high heaven, ethereal, rife with words, he’s masterful with the language, construction is good too, the shape of the plot is really excellent, a very interesting story, The Emperor Of Dreams documentary, accessible, why lots of writers like it, sidereal, lead astray, considering his vocabulary, lepidoperous, did you think of Logan’s Run?, swirling around, transcend and get reborn (or die), moth to a flame, exactly, multi dimensional higher dimensional transcendence, really into the body, really into material, obsessed with death and beauty, Lovecraft likes stars, immortality, architecture and burying the past, sexuality, reproduction through death, the beauty of those things, the siren call of the city, where’s it all going, he’s obsessed with thinking about it and telling about it, his structure is really good, sentence by sentence, he didn’t really do anything with it, the structure makes more appreciable, missing the last chapter, asking for the sequel, the narrator gets inserted into the story, no wrap up frame, disconcerting, he didn’t have an ending, kill the main characters, kind of Clark Ashton Smith but not really, this document is now found in a cylinder falling from the sky, I found this cylinder when taking a hike, Angarth more Smith, he’s the illustrator and the artist, his friend who’s also a weird fiction, never met in real life, the real life connections, EldritchDark, the best etext versions, Arkham House along with the sequel, published during his lifetime, July 1931, Wonder Stories, We had been friends for a decade or more, the journal, July 1st, 1938, July 31st, 1930, I’ve been gone for two years, set in the future, originally, Philip Hastane, there’s always a war in Europe, the reprint in Startling Stories, The Scientifiction Hall Of Fame, Harry Warner, Jr., of all the living writers of fantasy, A. Merritt, an alien planet, read around, the word that kept coming up, Carcosa, a bunch of layering on Carcosa, True Detective‘s first season, anything Yellow King related, Robert W. Chambers, Gene Wolfe’s vocab, The Wizard Knight, even deeper, circle back, cycle of stories, alien city on another world, not as sinister, more sirens, more sexy than horrific and compelling, this city is relatively safe place, Giles Angarth, he still brings his gun though, inner and outer narrator, sandwiches, coffee, and a gun, The Demoiselle DY’s, The Elf Trap, Ambrose Beirce, a friend of George Sterling, a continental famous kid, often on the front page, wunderkind child poet from California, newspapers were hungry, syndicated, The Vancouver Sun, every city paper had that story, a little bit like, A Wine Of Wizardry, Jack London, never met Ambrose Bierce, titans of American and international literature, An Inhabitant Of Carcosa, An Occurrence At Owl Creek Bridge, a death story, I don’t recognize this landscape, I have the illness, recognizing the landscape, it’s California, the animals, no birds, no insect, a lynx, transforming the landscape into a another world, literally a hike, the Lake Of Hali, Tathagoua, the Book of Eibon, Tsathoggua, are their lynx in Colorado, they go on the hike that inspires this story, central to that, a ski resort, a deep mountain tarn that’s never been sounded, seeing the landscape from the documentary, otherworldly, rock formations, been out on a hike, what if this was an alien world, walking makes your brain start going, Sedona, like an alien formation, episodes of Star Trek, where am I, substances Smith abused, the strongest drug, coffee, dream like drug trips, The Hashish Eater, Lord Dunsany, Confessions Of An English Opium Eater, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, an excuse to let imagination run wild, psychedelic ideas, your brain is manufacturing drugs for itself, H.P. Lovecraft is the opposite, Bobby Derie took cocaine for a prescription, HPL: coke head, it’s not for you, warned Clark Ashton Smith not to take it, wine, Atlantean wine, the wine state, schizophrenia, first and second guy bring the third guy, the structure, a brief summary of the book, British enough, does a really good Irish, third or fourth time, we keep going back, changed somehow, brings the cotton balls, suicide, gonna be great, after that event, the siren song has wooed him completely, he’s an artist not a wordsmith, what’s on the other side, a total utopia, only humans come back, the flame dimension, everything is in ruins, a temperance story, a big popular thin in the city, gin, Marvel movies, whatever drug, we gotta lock this down, depopulate us, kill yourself with a friend, a horrible destructive lure, what’s beyond this flame, death is beyond this flame, a transformation, an ascension, Downward To The Earth by Robert Silverberg, rebirth, everybody dies, choose to rebirth yourself, if your hand isn’t flashing red, on your birthday, you’re young and strong, swiping left, or right, nu you, is this a fantasy or is it a science fiction?, weird fiction, psychedelic fiction, very spiritual, technological or magical, a teleporter, an ancient doorway, more Coruscant, the thermos of coffee and set a little bit in the future, wormholes in place, a science fiction writer as a character, in a science fiction magazine, moer super-science than regular science, transdimensional, Algol, sangfroid, struck with awe, a spiritual transformation, we’re all one now, this feeling of singularity, moth people, purified or made unified, very-Lovecraft, Ex Oblivione, love being non-existent, H. Rider Haggard, these science fiction writers and illustrators are better people, earthly pleasures, Ebbonly, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, matching haircuts, stepping through the pillars and falling, falls a different way, using the scientific methods, pilgrimage, the earplugs, numbing agent, can you numb your ears?, super-meta, words couldn’t possibly describe it, here’s how sweet I am, here’s some really excellent prose about it, all the names, things to work into a story, Angarth, a small town in Scotland, is that his real name?, Clark Smith seems like a pretty boring name, working the vocab mine, Hastur, the tamarack, mid-California, the Sierras, Kim Stanley Robinson, Zenna Henderson’s The People, on the shore of some foreign planet, alienation, vertiginous, determine our personalities, shut-in, his dad traveled the whole world, back to the library, reads The Arabian Nights, this landscape, Crater Ridge, stones of monolithic size and shape, an unknown vegetation, luminescent amber, Anakim, spire on giant spire, stepped through the looking glass into a fantasy world, this alien city with a yellow mist, best be done animated, much more illustrated than live action, Anakim are giant humanoids, basically giants, gargantuan, that’s a normal world, Darth Vader, where they steal all their names from, he just read the Bible, the people of the city, giant stone people, they do not have ears, a Las Vegas, popsicles and silver suits and haircuts, many roads to this city, alien creatures, their corridors, other Earths, other planets, a plane of portals, The Black Company by Glen Cook, Las Vegas for suicide/transcendence, the sinning has got to be stopped, why it’s so interesting and demands a sequel, humans center themselves in their stories, we’re a sideline, spectators and not really important, the gun never gets used, siege weaponry, a tower with legs, like our good friend Sauron, suicide cult, why are they so certain there’s something bad through the flame, obviously you’re going to die, immolated, smoke, instantly consumed, near the end, mesmeric lure, succumbed to the desire, immolate himself, a giant lepidoptery being, so good, smart moths, compassionate moths, fellow travelers, rather sweet, deadly enslavement, he ran forward in a series of leaps both solemn and frenzied, sacerdotal, headlong into the flame, more dazzling greenness, benumbed brain centers, annul the perilous mesmerism, fled from the shrine, envying my companion’s fate, fiery dissolution, more people going in from coming out, this is very attractive, enjoying wine, not for me, ice cream, fomo, a hilarious short story [And All The Earth A Grave] by C.C. MaCapp, a computer slips a cog, two coffin garage, this face tattoo is very fashionable, emigration, people living the country, a moral upset, even maybe mention, telepathy, the incoming army, the foundation of the flame, Reno trying to steal Las Vegas’ business, the last pilgrims, the rulers of the outer lands, obeyed the lure of the singing fountain and vanished into the higher sphere, the story leans that way, you don’t know, one moth to the other moth, I used to be a caterpillar, many legends in the outer lands, guessed by only a few, the inner dimension is hated, a lethal and pernicious chimera, an opium paradise, a mecca for this?, suicide boothing, the build up the city, built up around it?, larger or more impressive than other buildings, like a beautiful waterfall for Paul, it’s too dangerous, we can’t have too many people being happy here, into a higher state of consciousness, a VR fountain, live in your basement a VR all day, hippies, spiritual higher stare of consciousness, the great resignation, there’s more to life, the religion vs. a cog in the machine, our viewpoint characters, lashed to the mast of the ship like Odysseus was, timeless concept, war on a peaceful nation, can they destroy it?, like a laser beam, a geyser, a geological force, the scoriac stuff, gotta read the sequel, when you read Conan, those were the days, jump onto a new ideal, Conan never revisits the same place, Poseidonis stories, 2 or other stories like that, that Averoigne series, why is this happening, the letters pages, is this really possible, we should ask, more by the same author, the nature of this world and the purpose of the flame, if Tommy wants to record it, professional grade, keep using that, The Black Abbot Of Puthuum, on my phone in a farm in Ecuador, a checklist, an excuse to read a story, read it at a level, getting to share that, accents, Irish to Scottish to British, theatre, Saturday Night Live, Alec Guinness and Obi Wan Kenobi with Yorkshire, all the British characters from Star Wars, a City Of The Singing Flame tattoo, explaining Clark Ashton Smith, Lovecraft is in the Marvel Universe, Clark Ashton Smith movies, a TV adaptation, he’s difficult, he’s high level, incredible vocab, the imagery the colours, chalcedony, they love their art, they’re art men, rectilinear architecture, the nod to Lovecraft, cyclopedia, a Lovecraft vocab database, why Jesse does the podcast, an appointment, J. Manfred Weichsel, William Jeffrey Rankin, it is up to individuals, denying the attraction of the flame, just another drug problem like heroin, gin, or marvel movies, your AI friends, my AI girlfriend likes the same AI movies I like, you learn stuff, what people think they want, just read Clark Ashton Smith, customized stuff, opt out, everybody’s an AI, too new of a book, the best science fiction books, AI generated, 23 books on the list, 1 book from 2016, some listicle website, integrated and got rid of duplicates, Arthur C. Clarke, Blake Crouch’s 2016 book, The Martian, best?, you’d do pretty well, full circle, The Sunken Land Rises Again by M. John Harrison, Viriconium, weird fiction, pretty damn weird, an assistant to a mad scientist, super dense and very prosey, light on plot, he’s on the long list, Light novels, an unsettling atmosphere, feels very very modern, Nova Swing, 19 hour collection of stories, Neil Gaiman, Jack Vance’s Green Magic, get magic, bitter and tragic, recursive worlds, not quite getting what you want, poignant and good, dying earth wizards, the Zothique series stories, William Hope Hodgson’s The Night Land, sad story, Subterranean Press, premium paper, Logan’s Run, Shakespeare’s Planet, Invitation To The Game, The Charwoman’s Shadow, Scratch One, Progeny by Philip K. Dick, getting back to Philip K. Dick, 53-57 stories, always exciting, these incredible authors, Le Guin once, Arthur C. Clarke, Elmore Leonard, nobody knows they’re public domain yet, all the weight of the world is on your shoulders, it’s exciting, or gals, its nice to be appreciated, there for somebody, its not just for the moment, its for the ages, share it with somebody 30 years from now, put it on a bookshelf, big box computer games, selling it for $86, an arc of nostalgia, 286sx, Future Shop, couldn’t afford a 28.8, $0.99, nostalgic for their youth, an old broken 286, feel the floppy going in, become valueless and then come back, the Harlan Ellison version, an L.A. based radio show, not for the ages, an enthusiastic and emotive, very very elderly, the narrator of the film, Harlan Ellison claimed to have read it 200 times, that’s how he learned to read aloud, narrated some Ben Bova, Run For The Stars, passionate, going to Hollywood and getting cynical, born into a world weary wisdom about reality, he went his own way, a passion project, a Hippocampus Press DVD, shill for publishers, passionate people, sharing the materials, solid contents, effort into their covers, the complete poems of Lovecraft, a really handy reference, S.T. Joshi finds some scrap of poem, The Hashish Eater poem, delectable, makes reading delicious, so rich, the lightest and most accessible, 101 Clark Ashton Smith, high level, for bibliophiles, all this prose, a lot of sugar, a slice of cake, small desserts, you have to like that, niche, if you don’t like honey you’re not going to like it, the richest Tommy has ever read, Ambrose Bierce, challenging the reader, why are you trying to make your prose…, making jokes, carving magnificent sculptures out of mountainsides, he really does have something, why Lovecraft was his biggest fan, Robert E. Howard was a great poet, translations of Charles Baudelaire, Poe and Dunsany, Baudelaire and Poe, taproot, undeniable, the first Sherlock Holmes short story, A Scandal In Bohemia, The Purloined Letter, Conan Doyle is the accessible and dumb version of Poe, this hidden photograph, I will have her show me, we love Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson and London and Irene Adler, we don’t love Dupin, the contents of the letter are sick evil and twisted, the photograph is of the king of Bohemia, I’m doing a tribute to Poe and nobody knows, Harry Potter vs. Tolkien, J.K. Rowling, super entertaining, no Harry Potter tattoos, Harry Potter is breezy, Tolkien is fun but not breezy, an afternoon’s entertainment, Clark Ashton Smith: guaranteed enjoyment, intellectually interesting, attentive, tickles a different part of the brain, high art, good art, most art is good, one of his best plots, well that happened, Lovecraft’s plots are much better, not much of a plotter, 700 pages to explore this concept is cool but nothing happened, Pacific Edge, guy tries to get girlfriend at baseball game, not playing the same game, just a weird guy, how popular he was, talked this one to death, Pirates Of Venus, A Meeting With Medusa, Sailing To Byzantium, Farnham’s Freehold, northern Minnesota, almost Canada, just about out May, The Thing On The Roof, No Man’s Land, pick in August, 2 years is fine but 5 years is too long, lost tribe of cave people, troggies, chuddies, surprise chuds, Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dwellers, lick and nip, Paul Sings The Classics, a singing voice for silent musicals, Nerds Of A Feather get together, Gather Yourselves Together by Philip K. Dick, from 1994, posting photos, Jesse misses Connor on twitter, usually eastern, an awful awful dream, discombobulated, very fun, that sentence sounds like he put a space in it, disjointed, a snip in the file, mouth noises, get closer to your mic, get a better mic, not all for the audience, caring a lot about art, Cat Killer by Donald E. Westlake, brutal an interesting sounding, Clive Barker, Jonathan is not a murder as far as I know, collecting human heads, Tales To Make You Vomit, not all horrific, that weird, you guys should be DMing each other, some sort of money arrangement, throwing around numbers, probably not even 4 hours, an hour and a half recording, relatively cold, ACX pays per finished hour, the going rate, $200 or $300 per finished hour, wordcounter.net, sell them not on audible.com, revenue sharing, Planet Of The Wage Slaves, diverse ideas and lots of nudity, amazing covers, their text over my art, Warrior Soul looks great, the lady’s hair in front of the title of the book, art direction vs. being an artist, coming up with interesting ideas, Five Maidens On A Pentagram, gothic horror sex-farce, Hasatan, sex-crazed demon, just sounds fun and pulpy, our reality, cycling through Smith/Howard/Dick, millions of great things, how to get this stuff out there, enough bundled together, anthologies based on themes, teaching the occasional yoga class.

Why The City Of The Singing Flame Is My Favorite by Harry Warner, Jr.

The City Of The Singing Flame by Clark Ashton Smith

The City Of The Singing Flame - editorial introduction

The City Of The Singing Flame art by Frank R. Paul

The City Of The Singing Flame by Clark Ashton Smith

Rowena Morrill - The City Of The Singing Flame

Posted by Jesse WillisBecome a Patron!

The Rustlers by Elmore Leonard – read by Tommy Patrick Ryan

SFFaudio Online Audio

The Rustlers by Elmore Leonard -from Zane Grey's Western, February 1953

Here’s the PUBLIC DOMAIN |PDF|

The Rustlers was first published in Zane Grey’s Western, February 1953. Now according to the official Elmore Leonard website The Rustlers is set in Arizona but Leonard’s title for it, when it was submitted for sale was “Along The Pecos” – the Pecos is a river that doesn’t originate or pass through Arizona (instead it flows south from New Mexico and into Texas before it joins the Rio Grande, the border between Texas and Mexico proper. In fact, the story begins near Anton Chico, New Mexico, what is now a “census designated place” just south of the head of the Pecos. In any case, The Rustlers was Elmore Leonard’s 11th story, we are told, and similar legend suggests that Leonard’s first dozen tales sold for 2 cents a word; meaning this story, at approx 5,762 words, probably earned him about $115.

The Rustlers by Elmore Leonard

The Rustlers by Elmore Leonard
read by Tommy Patrick Ryan
|MP3| – 30 minutes 4 seconds [UNABRIDGED]

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #735 – READALONG: A Night In Lonesome October by Roger Zelazny

Jesse, Paul Weimer, Trish E. Matson, and Tony DeSimone talk about A Night In Lonesome October by Roger Zelazny

Talked about on today’s show:
yay, the title is from Ulalume by Edgar Allan Poe, yes is the answer, all the repetitions that build the emotions, Auber, written to somebody, that’s for you, the three names of the lady, not super-related to the plot of this novel, a point of inspiration, you take a great line of poetry and make it your book name, what he’s paying homage to, he didn’t steal the plot, this author from India, reset in India, the religion is no longer, 38 years later, this is very familiar, we’re all the same all over the planet, the entire book was stolen, chapter 8, the author ended up killing herself, because she knew it would be found out, wrote a [probably] suicide note to her mentor, this is the opposite of that, the great detective, into the public domain, using Sherlock Holmes, filing the serial numbers off of everything, making them archetypes, the vicar, an amorphous evil vicar, the wolfman, not from a literary source, Larry Talbot, Lon Chaney, Jr., Benicio Del Toro, The Wolf Man (1941), a cultist, a neutral party, set in England, 1887, a lost opportunity, October 31, 1887, Dr. Christopher S. Kovacs, The Lovecraft Ezine, a novelty book not a novel, The Wisdom Of George Bush, narration by the author, novel length, a bit different from normal novels, loose with definitions, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, experimental for the time period, epistolary books are popular, a collage book, I see what you did here, noticing the ending, the complete ending vs. the particular ending, a choldren’s book from 2011, Go The Fuck To Sleep, narrated by Samuel L. Jackson, a novel told from the dog’s point of view, Elmore Leonard’s Coyote In The House, I’m a coyote, I’m cool, Be Cool, when he’s doing something else, confirm in the bottom right hand corner, Snuff, a cur and a hound, what breed he is, a mutt, conjured, one of Paul’s characters, a demon in disguise, modeling Hugo on Snuff, more than just a regular dog, an uplifted dog, what I was before he summoned me, Delvish stories, the horse Black, when you’re visualizing this character, a short haired dog or a long haired dog, medium haired dog, a big large greyish dog, Trish is wary, Gahan Wilson illustrations, a bloodhound, the sense of sniffing and to kill, conflicted rooting for Snuff, his master is Jack The Ripper, just blocking out his competition?, under a curse, being a closer, counteract his own curse, magical knife, the vivisectionist scene, Cain the original killer, Hugh Jackman, Van Helsing (2004), the monster that fights other monsters, read the last little bit of the novelty book, of course the distinction was subjective, the last paragraph, Jack and Jill went down the hill…, a button ending, just off the character’s right leg, wearing a Jeffrey Dahmer t-shirt, we are distanced in time from the Jack The Ripper murders, the Strange Studies podcast, HPPodcraft.com, will Paul be upset?, they addressed it, this is a long time ago, Genghis Khan was a bad man, the other Jack from england: Springheeled Jack, assaulting women, way less tight as a narrative, a folklore figure like Robin Hood, a pre-pulp figure, penny dreadfuls, villain to hero, Professor Moriarty, Star Trek, Wolf In The Fold, Time After Time, the fictionalized Jack The Ripper, the lengthy of the dog’s hair matters a lot, a shaggy dog story, a long joke, Paul disagrees with, unfair towards humour, why is Jill named Jill, the Frankenstein character, degrade, novelty books aren’t as good as novels is what Jesse is hearing, worthy?, the best way to understand what’s going on, Dracula gets killed, it’s not Dracula, faked his own death, constructed to be a novelty book in every respect, every day of the month is a chapter, the last line is a joke setup from the beginning of the book, the reason all the characters are in it, this is a monster mash, to have that cover, not design to be a novel of the normal kind, not a real book, a not well written book (if it is a blank book), weighty, the ride, not a substantial book, he’s playing (like a game), an early form of graphic novel, graphic novel is another word for comics, trade collections, a format, Reckless by Sean Phillips and Ed Brubaker, Gahan Wilson was never a comic book style artist, having him drawing these characters is fun, flying body parts, that cover is amazing, this is a mystery, setup to be a mystery, animals are trading information, James Warhola, one of the reasons Tony was drawn to the book, the animal characters, the spirit of the book, the graveyard scene, trading body parts, disappointed, fun and funny, a mirror, a statue, Pallas Athena, a regular female bust, the owl, naming characters, which one is Jack, the rat, the Mad Monk, a squirrel, Cheater, Larry Talbot in the chair, two assistants, unnamed cultists, the Good Doctor and his creation, openers, another bat, that’s the idea, bring all these character together, [The Monster Squad (1987)], the Creature From The Black Lagoon, a Spider-Woman, are we missing a mummy?, the thing steamer trunk, the thing in the wardrobe, the thing in the circle, stories with “thing” in the title, The Thing In The Cellar [by David H. Keller], The Thing Under The Stairs, what is the thing?, evil entities trapped in various places, growl and snarl, a checklist, a novel because it is a long Zelazny book, novelty films, Clue (1985), Battleship (2012), [The Beast Must Die (1974)], as a part of its marketing, 3-D, a marketing gimmick, constructed to be a shaggy dog story, because of that button ending, novels are the highest form of art, movie and myth characters, pays tribute to monster movies in general, mashups Abbot And Costello Meet…, Hammer Horror, Drak Pack, Rick Moranis as a teacher for a highschool for monsters, Gill-Man, Van Helsing, vampire brides, the witch, Hester, he’s making that joke, shaggy, its coming, shaggy fur, Zelazny is a great narrator, how good it was, the first Amber book, Nine Princes In Amber, Dark Tower audiobooks narrated by Stephen King, The Horses Of Lir, folklore resonates within, a universal truth of humanity, some older person is mean to you, there’s always a you, what water is and what it means, its transparent and also dark, where the mythology comes in, [New Wave], A Rose For Ecclesiastes, Damnation Alley, a cult following, other than Amber…, The Unicorn Variation, Jack Of Shadows, Deus Irae, Philip K. Dick, Lord Of Light, This Immortal [serialized as …And Call Me Conrad], slipped out of one dimension, there’s an audiobook for it, definitions of a shaggy dog story, irrelevant incidents, the very obvious joke, I love monsters, my friend Gahan Wilson loves monsters, he started with the reverse, wouldn’t it be cool if…, Case from Neuromancer, Molly Millions is a cool character, important in Neuromancer, the book is more important than Molly Millions, apologize for any confusion, make it a Lovecraft book, the Dreamlands, straight out of The Dream-Quest Of Unknown Kadath, the dog and cat are flying, the river Shai, the river Skai, strange turbans, thag weed, did he do all this from memory, a typo?, a clue?, a verbal typo, a little error, did he do all that from memory?, compressing a bunch of things together, fake Dreamlands passages, Oriab, the technical plot of the book, openers and closers, they didn’t use the phrase, Robert Bloch’s The Opener Of The Way, August Derleth style, The Dunwich Horror, the Whateleys, the Universal Monster characters, the reaching across the lines, Snuff and Graymalkin, Jack and Jill, deliberately obscure, teamwork and respect, indignation, the rules of etiquette, Bubo is the cheater, Cheater, The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, a retelling of The Jungle Book, oh that person is a werewolf, Mrs. Lupescu, Mr. Lupescu [by Anthony Boucher], a teen book, or weird older kids in their fifties, kids can be bloodthirsty, Coraline, we want to be scared, Jack is essentially a good guy, Snuff is very loyal, polite as he rips you apart, ambiguous morality, they like the world the way it is, for whatever reason, having too much fun, the blind beggar with the pencils, Linda Enderby, having a lot of fun, I know who that is, a page where you put the checkmark beside, under Jesse’s rubric, a Jesse book is where ideas come front an center, clever, not as great a book as The Graveyard Book, the idea is not as good as the idea of The Graveyard Book, this is fun, WordSearch style games, it is a strange book, Roman A Clef, a novel with a key, each character is an analogue for someone else, The Great Gatsby?, you bring yourself to your book, the one set in hell, The Inferno, Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle, and Kurt Vonnegut in hell, it expects a certain knowledge, the hardest one to understand is the cultist or the mad monk, the Experiment Man, clunk around and pet dogs, Lenny from Of Mice And Men, Blaze by Stephen King, a Gollum-like way, neither an opener or a closer, the animal characters, charm and personality, make a fool of himself, he’s doing typical Sherlock Holmes things, his greatest disguise yet, one of Trish’s favourite books, it gives her a good and happy feeling, playing with ideas and references and characters in a very agreeable way, a very charming book, you’re allowed to love books, Zelazny’s opinion of the book, Zelazny’s son, living with his dad, fun writing this book, one of his personal favourites, long long long long joke, a short shaggy dog story, he’s not that shaggy, you pulled the rug out from under me, and Gray and I ran after, this whole book is front framed, I met a dog in a graveyard recently, that tiny front is subsequent to all the action, a prologue, recounting events of the past, chapter length is quite variable, the last chapter is the longest, not eating all your candy at once, why it is so unnormal novel like, Graymalkin means grey cat, moggy, that poor snake, Quicklime, getting drunk on fermented plums, sympathy of view for openers who were in it for good causes, letting Elder Gods ruin everything, a slavering vicar, a power monger, a lighthearted book, thoughtful, a good writer has different hobby horses that they want to ride, good writing or riding, scary parts of the book, trapped in the mad doctor’s laboratory, the vivisection, based on real stuff, demonstrated and wrote articles, the Anti-Vivisection League, The Island Of Doctor Moreau by H.G. Wells, his characters are all villains, a big loveable guy, all the animals get along weirdly well, a fable, its funnier if you cut it off, weird stuff, specialized craziness, its self-aware, writing a werewolf book, a recognition, half the fun of the reveal is that you have to infer, Rasputin, a quiz book, a recognition guide, before the web, Grigori Yefimovich Rasputin was lucky to have three names, not being based on a specific character, a good place to start, an amazing idea or a fun idea, a classic for the ages or just a good book, it presumes the audience is people of his era, which political figure is being represented, it comes down through language, we know what a gladstone bag is but not who Gladstone is, Night Of The Hunter (1955), Tequila-Li, it should have been a penguin, a strange familiar, a big long giant useless pun, completely useless, a library sale, a provenance, all the illustrations, you need to experience the book version with the Gahan Wilson illustrations, a signed copy goes for $265, inscribed vs. signed, please don’t dedicate it to me, association copies are more valuable, a five time Hugo finalist, some rando, this was for Paul, massive collection $150,000, Nine Princes In Amber signed, advance reading copy, even truer than first edition, uncorrected proof, this work is a novel, why are you telling me it is a novel?, Based On A True Story: A Memoir by Norm Macdonald is not a true memoir, the ghost writer that Norm Macdonald hired was an alcoholic, one big long shaggy dog rape joke, foreword by Louis C.K., autobiography but I don’t have to tell the truth, describing it as a novel, novel means new, [A Million Little Pieces by James Frey], memory, what I remember about it, untrustworthiness, Better Call Saul, a copy of The Time Machine by H.G. Wells, how time travel works, a real book, really good writers, the children’s book, a 19th century book, the ability to talk to animals, a gnome or something, The Moon Is A Balloon by David Niven memoir, so raw and real, BBC audio drama of Susan Cooper’s The Dark Is Rising, Over Sea, Under Stone, The Lion The Witch And The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis, Jesse has some problems with series, New Year’s Day, Star Trek, I, Q by John de Lancie and Peter David, abridgement as an art form, abridgements or short stories, abridged books have fallen out of popularity, The Rules Of Acquisition, audiobooks come first and the paper book comes after, audiobooks are cheaper than paperbooks, Jesse’s prediction: audiobook and ebook only, colour eink devices, the full experience, some radical shifts in publishing, a backlit screen vs. a piece of paper, a digital device that doesn’t fuck up your eyes, Paperwhite Kindle devices, ebooks, library background, a sale on at The Library Of America, books are light and heavy, at night, reading before sleep, the blue light thing is bullshit, circadian rhythm, screens, Doctor Who, relaxing sleep related videos, rain and fireplace and somebody reading a book, real rain not fake rain, Wayne June needs to become a YouTube personality, a little set, a dog or a cat, there’s no problem Doctor Boblum, don’t mind these strange lumps, nerdy asmr videos, influenced my taste in music greatly, all the extras, the actress who play Jo Grant, you poor boy, more extras than Jesse’s ever seen, the problem is the writing, William Hartnell vs. Jon Pertwee, Inferno, a geothermal drilling plant, a mad scientist, a 1984 style dystopia, everybody is borrowing from everybody else, The Monster Hunters, they go through all the monsters, superfunny, the ElfQuest audio drama, work emergency -> emerged properly, Apple bricked Tony’s phone, The Haunting Of Roy Steel, a werewolf movie with a “paws”, what is the best way of expressing that idea?, Barry Letts, KVOS 12, one of the worst ones, the special effects, Invasion Of The Dinosaurs, on PBS in North America, serials of variable length, ten 25 minute episodes, coffee addiction, really cool ads, local comic book store, 3 o’clock in the morning ads, recorded over, NSYNC footage, I recognize your name, you were a scriptwriter for Doctor Who, Ben Aaronovitch, Rivers Of London, people can have it whenever they want, can’t stop it might as well allow it, Tony’s reading of The Time Machine, The Sign Of The Four, Hard Case Crime, The Valley Of Fear, The Five Orange Pips, it works in The Hound Of The Baskervilles, the KKK, weird topical stuff, a lot of it is tech based, bicycles, Annotated Sherlock Holmes, the Annotated Brothers Grimm, being a bookstore employee, you need to arrange your life to do the things you like, how the government is fucking you, the rent is too high, a very big rabbit hole, happily retweet, pick your targets.

A Night In The Lonesome October by James Warhola

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The SFFaudio Podcast #732 – READALONG: Black Priestess Of Varda by Erik Fennel

Jesse, Paul Weimer, Alex (pulpcovers) and Cora Buhlert talk about Black Priestess Of Varda by Erik Fennel

Talked about on today’s show:
Audiobooksnow.com, 500 other websites after Audible and Downpour that sell audiobooks, this books exists only out in the world outside of Audible and Downpour, Brian K. Fitzgibbon, the story itself is , foliage, otherwise a good narration, the ultimate book, a hard intro, all of the negative stereotypes of pulp science fiction, Planet Stories, not the literary science fiction, the luridist, fairly strong, this is fun, this is good, it fell apart, the middle doesn’t make a lot of sense, the ending is good, extending psychedelic floating, pregnant at the end, twins, this woman raped him while he was in the bacta tank, when Luke is in the bacta tank, Mark Hamill had had a car accident, injuries explained away, hand chopped off twice, disabled protagonist, crippled is offensive, a pain in your phantom arm, Gil Hamilton, a crippled protagonist, disabled war veterans, missing a hand, a scarred face, a blind eye, a missing eye, a plus for the story, three strong female characters (two of them are the same), he’d been betrayed by his fiance, clearly a villain from the beginning, a good setup for a story, mid-20th century telepathy, not a good exploration of the topic, monkey squirrel lemur thing, also telepathic, something out of 1980s kid’s cartoon, would make a great cartoon, should be adapted as a cartoon, a pretty cracking story, gets his abilities, it would be better if he didn’t have abilities, I’m the best telepathy, immune to telepathy, who’s on the cover, a scene from the story, Allen Anderson reusing the same image, lady with a sword over her head, also a Leigh Brackett cover, Black Amazon Of Mars, an axe, grey lumpy things, he’s not disabled, he has two arms (one is hidden), it is Crasna, but she’s a redhead, the interior art, the vat scene, the lavender liquid, his girlfriend Margaret getting all stabby, cutting off all of his thumb, lost in the mist, missing an arm, very accurate, page 25 art, totally missing an arm there, a scratch across his face, with a savage bellow, the pasty gray features, sluggishly back, prostrate form, soundlessly, a blue black fluid gushed from the wound, Erik Fennel is not a famous person, as Planet Stories pulpy as Jesse has read, a Gardner F. Fox, returning to Mars, returning to Barsoom, a portal fantasy, very Edgar Rice Burroughs, he’s an inventor, The Door Into Summer by Robert A. Heinlein, time travel, freezes himself, she’s much older, she’s fat, she’s been drained of sasso, very Lovecraft, Dwellers In The Mirage by A. Merritt, vikings at the north pole, squid god eating virgins, pregnant ladies are delicious, his source for the material, monolimbed, monohanded, blood gushin out of him, repainted by Anderson, Sargasso Of Lost Starships, Bettie Page haircut, yellow foil-age, a little blue city, under the text, what do you think, people talking about sensitivity readers (both pro and con), a panel of sensitivity readers, some subject they’re not an expert in, Chinese and something else (maybe Vietnamese), an expert on Japan, makes sense, a double amputee, bloody offensive, bipolar is not the same thing as an amputee, probably pretty different, gay and a minority skin colour, the writer, an expert witness, a thinking chain that’s not encumbent with the title “sensitivity reader”, immensively important to the book, not collaboration, later Elmore Leonard novels, his 90s stuff, getting up there, he had a professional researcher, professional diving, interesting facts, wow that’s amazing, it really sucked, the dialogue was the same, you could see the hands of the researcher’s work, the particular setting, civil war reenactors, “farbs”, modern underwear underneath, bringing a zippo lighter to the battlefield, hanging out with those guys as a first person person vs. having your researcher do it for you a year before you, that’s the difference, a real sense of place, a real sense of dialogue, he knows the places and he knows the cultures, this is actually why sensitivity readers are working, writing about stuff they don’t know anything about, a researcher magic wand, like Wikipedia, an inkling about something about something, Erik Fennel was disabled, an engineer, an inventor, Fall 1947, Beneath The Red World’s Crust, a dude with a blaster and a dagger on his hip, holding a blonde, blue aliens, a rocketship, a vampire bat, P.S. Feature Flash, Atavism, during a childhood spent barefoot in Hawaii, prehensile toes, Eve and Lilith, the dog insists, a propeller, 2:47 am, a model-T sparkplug, molten lead and cold water, just short of atomic, studying co-eds, Heath Parasol, a kitbuilt aircraft, a truck driver, bootlegger’s assistant, riding the rods, amateur boxer/goat wrangler, structural steel work, born without a fear of heights, one day there was a very nasty mess, a retread job in my skull, 4F, arrested development, Science And Invention, Hugo Gernsback, a housetrailer, a portable basement, used oil wells, deep auto-hypnotic research, the editor of Galaxy [Planet Stories], Nichevo, Russian for what can you do?, that’s how it is!, makes you like the story more, makes you like the art more, the art informs the story, the art of the writing, texts should stand on their own (but also they don’t), everything is connected to other things, give a kid Shakespeare, another essay from 1950, utopianism, Nobody Wants Utopia, Science Fantasy Review, Winter 1949-1950, the slave system they have, zombies, they treat them, they give them the pill, a culture that has declined, the superiors had roads, there were always two races, more primitive people, benevolent, H.P. Lovecraft with Zealia Bishop, The Mound, an underworld utopia, the closed world, creating a setting, the author insert returns to it at the end, I’m going home, she’s having my babies, genocide these poor people, kill orcs because they are elves turned by Sauron thinking, utopia, dry and hot summers, cold winters, he’s given himself a fantasy world, he chooses to go back into the fantasy, helpful to understanding the story, it’s a real lump, The Goddess Of Atvatabar, mental powers, they create an island, that happens in this too, a Leigh Brackett, The Moon That Vanished, mental powers, lost in their fantasy world, suicidal drug addict, picturing his girlfriend, he grabs the other woman, quite a common theme, also Inception (2010), WWII, trailer, not super-negative, creation of a world inside of a story, roads and a car, he’s an engineers, mid-20th century engineers knew everything, that fantastic power is the power to be a writer for Planet Stories, a product of it being a longer piece for a magazine that cranks out a lot of pulp, not a classic, snap up the IP, the She-Ra: Princess Of Power cartoon, a planet besieged by aliens, drains of energy, rebels lead by a brave woman, twins, Hordak, not impossible, why you can’t read anything out of context, all the Shakespeare plays are historical pieces, the pulp, Star Wars, Buck Rogers, Flash Gordon, inform, time spent looking for the literary roots of Indiana Jones, drawn from the vibes, a smell, an aesthetic, the suspension bridge, cliffhanger, quite literally, movie serials, magazine serials, wait 30 years, not inspired by the original sources, the new Andor series, notably good, a guy on a planet trying to find his sister, mall cops, corporate security, too much content, there’s way too much stuff, its very hard to know if anything is good, everything is lying to you all the time, they’re all being gamed, people mention things in twitter threads, increasingly required to ask, I can’t watch all of that, not all of them have the same taste, big long reviews, consumer reviews, you have to dig, drowned out, ignored, the latest thing, a culture war fight, American Gigolo, The Punisher, how can I know if it is good?, it’s exactly what you’re interested in, lot’s of airships, bread and butter cop dramas, cartoon dinosaur show, periphery, The Rogues In The House podcast, this is great, our serious problem, an experiment today, too deep into the story, not the ideal story to start their pulp fiction experience, Robert E. Howard, some Leigh Bracketts, C.L. Moores, higher quality pulp, this isn’t that bad, Werewile Of The Crystal Crypt by Gardner F. Fox, they all look down at Planet Stories, bad stories in Astounding Science Fiction, mid to low level Planet Stories, mediocre Weird Tales is entertaining, The Ghost Table, fun adventure, fast paced, what we got, a slower pace in the middle, lots of action, what if the speed of light changed by 3 percent?, what bad Astounding often looked like, bound charges, almost skipable, if your assignment was to fix this story, spend a lot less time recovering, three months later, drama, go with the interesting opening, lay around a little less, more time with the badguys, she’s a bad girl but a lot of fun, more from Victor’s point of view, Margaret’s catspaw, boy toy, Sin and Wor, very subtle, on the nose, Axis and Allies, written in reverse, Matson, Sasso, a fad dance from the 1950s, The Wizard Of Wor, Wor’s military tunic, Faith, Elvedon, a pocket universe, The Elf-Trap by Francis Stevens, a tradition he’s slipping into, Stanley G. Weinbaum, there’s no rocket ship, it is a portal fantasy, transports him to a world, closed worlds, thin world, like Cthulhu worshipers, A Night In Lonesome October by Roger Zelazny, the lavender liquid, that sloshing, some kind of acid, absorbs their energy, a convoluted system, as a priestess, all the best cults are sex cults, Superiors, the gross gray bodies, they utterly refused to remain dead, lacking sufficient converts, Faith, Superiors, the hunted folk, thought was a tangible force, a stand in for the author, more things cut off, will the wall to light, a wish-fulfillment fantasy world, maybe we have to genocide these monsters, the little lemur guy, weak, but not that bad, the connection, Stephen R. Donaldson’s Thomas Covenant books, what’s the scene that Paul and Cora don’t like, leprosy, white gold wedding ring, his rape daughter shows up, not real, absolutely annoying, he’s also a whiner, extremely unlikable, he doesn’t think any of it is real, half excuses the whole thing, The Gap Into Conflict, space opera, blink drives, The Real Story, an asteroid miner, roll a d100, turn people into remote control zombies, policewoman, he’s not supposed to be the hero, very gritty, well told, incorporating other people’s researches, what they’re thinking about, writing is thinking, he’s not a raw power, perfectly serviceable, problems selling, Chinese Filipino, Hawaii, that experience is his experience, a story that hasn’t sold yet, he blames that on gatekeepers of editors, half-naked, Valeria, Dark Agnes, Jirel of Joiry, Farnsworth Wright, he never got really old, oh, it’s a Howard story!, non-white protagonist, The Ship Who Sang by Anne McCaffrey, thalidomide, magically healed, he lies around a lot, to hide his superpower, his mind is broken, the cover does not participate in LegCling, whips, a chain whip, BrassBra hashtag, just assumed, clinging gowns, a lot of nudity, a lot of sex, disabled sex, sex orgy cult, remarkably horny, more explicit, is it less horny when it is explicit?, a shudder pulp story, the ultimate shudder pulp, the covers and the titles, the story premises, Lovecraft plus sex and humiliation and racism, Dime Mystery, not easy to find, they didn’t sell well, pricey, The Spider, the lurid stuff, Terror Tales, E. Hoffman Price, there must be something in there, the pinnacle of the shudder pulp, still fun, unique, a little lemur thing and whips, lavender acid, revealing something, Genndy Tartakovsky, a Planet Stories animated series, you’re doing Heavy Metal, technothriller science fictiony compared to this, The Rocketeer (1981), why aren’t we having more like The Rocketeer, Batman (1989), The Shadow (1994), The Phantom, Dick Tracy, Nudist Camp by Orrie Hitt, 4 hours, read by Evan Lampe, the back cover, they worshiped nature in the raw, scathing novel, where she came from, swim or subathe unclad, so lovely, so innocent, began to love nature a little too passionately, a she-devil had entered paradise, her own glorious body, having sex with a tree, a tree fucking contest, Germans love their nudity, naturalists, nature worship, airbathing, skyclad, a nudist beach, of course I looked, Wreck Beach, the communist had no clothes they were so poor!, they saved them for the winter, they weren’t wearing a wire, Evan Lampe: “it’s a good book”, Evan’s female voice, not a Paul book, Brother And Sister by Donald E. Westlake, The Black Stranger by Robert E. Howard, Roger Zelazny, Blaze, Cosmic Computer/Junkyard Planet, Innocents Abroad, Grave Descend, sell Easy Go to Alex, in Egypt, the last tomb, scam archaeologists, a heist story, a really great sense of place, written by someone who’s been there, Greece, Amsterdam, nice and short, Topkapi (1964), Korean War vet captains, journalist/writer, especially him, a very solid very readable book, very impressed by early Michael Crichton, he’s no Erik Fennel, write to the market, slim volumes, 160 page books vs. 700 page books, mainstream thrillers, measured by inches or by weight, Heads Of Cerberus by Francis Stevens, Vietnam, communing with the communists, a communist wedding, a half communist wedding, salvage, communist babies, The Thrill Book, after inhaling a grey dust, totalitarian Philadelphia, perhaps the first science fantasy to use parallel time track, dated and old fashioned, parallel worlds, one of the classics of early pulp, cynical anti-authoritarian, a fine anticipation of Philip K. Dick, stand in for the expertise, Fran Wilde and Chuck Wendig, definitely not a communist book reading, cool name, the cheese, a big city, skyscrapers exploding, school atlas, natural resource cards, coal and steel, pre-internet, Benjamin Franklin was president (of Pennsylvania), not a fake job, the supreme executive council, Rocky Balboa, a good writer, violent American trash, Rocky (1976), Rambo and Conan, a very good movie, he’s got heart, Carl Weathers, Dolph Lundgren, the cartoon aspect of it, this super-genius, Red Scorpion (1988), Masters Of The Universe (1987), not The Punisher (1989), Rocky IV (1985) was his best movie, Universal Soldier (1992), The Expendables movies, airplanes, Jet Li, riffs on their Hollywood personalities, speaking six languages, they’re making fun of the fact, tall and apparently smart and handsome he did very badly, Bloodsport (1988), not really a great actor, Schwarzenegger is charismatic on screen, they didn’t have the budget, Soviet Rambo, an American production, the first half of Red Dawn (1984), The Death Of Stalin (2017), American Ninja (1985), The Delta Force (1986), Iron Eagle (1986), she doesn’t understand what a podcast is, needs to grok, you don’t have to do the show nude.

Black Priestess Of Varda by Erik Fennel - cover art by ALLEN ANDERSON

Black Priestess Of Varda by Erik Fennel - ILLUSTRATION

Black Priestess Of Varda by Erik Fennel

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