The SFFaudio Podcast #680 – READALONG: The Man Who Sold The Moon by Robert A. Heinlein

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #680 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, Maissa Bessada, and Will Emmons talk about The Man Who Sold The Moon by Robert A. Heinlein

Talked about on today’s show:
published in a book, Heinlein almost always renewed his copyrights, no great interior art, boardrooms and offices, spacecrafts and diamonds, Pike’s Peak, Harriman pointing and winking, underground bunker wife, dissemble to his wife (again), the covers, Jesse is not a philatelist, numismatics, Paul’s not keeping up with philately, Brewster’s Millions (1985), Charade (1963), forever stamps, “here’s the extras from my collection, son”, Canada Post, Star Trek, Superman, Captain Canuck, Archibald Lampman, Lawrence Block, when not killing people, grandpas working on it, a moment of history that’s captured, the Apollo 11 launch, here at the blast-off, then you become a famous serial killer, acquires value, a first day cover is infinite cachet, mail fraud, legit fraud, shading the truth, 6+ button, Moka Cola, x-fuel, bribing judges left and right, philatelic stores are done through the mail, a license to print money, has government value, its almost you could pay your taxes in stamps, mostly selling intangibles, TV advertising rights, the actual physical object, it plays an important role, they also forget to put him in, meta-framing, there are no intentions its all Heinlein, Harriman is the stamps, an excuse for him to go to the Moon, he’s been defrauded, he knew what he was doing, Requiem by Robert A. Heinlein, The Man Who Sold The Moon is a prequel to Requiem, his heart is bad, a spit and gumball guy, barnstormers, he gets to the moon and dies on the Moon, maudlin and schmaltz, they bury him on the Moon, an oxygen bottle is his headstones, Robert Louis Stevenson’s grave in Samoa, glad did I live and gladly dive, the hunter home from the hill, TIA (pre-heart attack), Job: A Comedy Of Justice, long pig, Farah Mendlesohn, Home Is The Hunter by Henry Kuttner, Weird Al Yankovic, poingiant, The Green Hills Of Earth, sentimental vs. excessively sentimental, hear the voice of Robert A. Heinlein, what does his voice sound like?, Heinlein with Arthur C. Clarke commenting on Apollo 11, so excited, change the date of humanity, today is the year zero, a Moonbase, Mars, off to the solar system, it did not work out how he wanted, how Elon Musk would like Space X to be, a private space program (not subsidized by the government), why we’re doing this show, billionaires going to so called space, Musk doesn’t go up with his rockets, aptain Kirk in space, a fascinating footnote to history, “I don’t wish any harm to William Shatner”, clapping for celebrities, on the backs of poor people, the government’s involvement is nil, the regulation agency for the fuel and the stamps, the real reason we have space exploration (is military expenditure), commerce and bootstrapping and loans, Space X, their one and oly client (uther than Musk’s side-business) is the government, NASA being defunded, capitalism eating itself, me too companies, Blue Origin/Virgin, not even orbital, extended vomit comet stuff, checkboxing, things to do, a conga-line of people up to Mt. Everest, I went to space, save Maissa’s sensibilities, dickswining, putting Musk at the back of the guillotine line, we will coup whoever we want, he wants to do what he wants to do, Jeff Bezos and the Virgin Guy [Richard Branson], what’s different about the D.D. Harriman like figure of Elon Musk, his wild dreams, he put a car in space, the product that is Elon Musk, you get the product that is him, when you buy a Tesla you buy into a piece of musk, Chevrolet Volt, Teslas everywhere, these other kinds of cars are stupid, electric cars are cooler, D.D. Harriman is not an engineer, dirty tricks, fucks over his wife and partners, right up to mail fraud, the most prosecutable crime, you’re crossing the biggest baddest bitch in the room (the government), people standing around, 12 Angry Men-style, do it in black and white, don’t put out this manifesto in the world, Elon Musk reads this story, he is this story, I got my own emerald mine, PayPal, I’m gonna go to the fuckin’ Moon, that single-mindedness, who do I have to fuck to get this to happen, something deeply sick, a sociopath, who did they get to the American Moon program [Wernher von Braun], the Soviet space program, The Chief Designer by Andy Duncan, Sergei Korolev, Comrade we’re doing Moon program, the sociopath that is the American government, certified denazified, SS tattoos, when NASA had his own rocket program, come look, we’re going to name this one Enterprise, Desilu Studios in the 1960s, Galaxy Quest (1999), you thought Idiocracy (2006) wasnt a true story, Red Plenty, Ascent by Jed Mercurio, a secret history of the Soviet Moon Program, Stalingrad, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, he’s got a camera, he dies on the Moon, that struggle, technical problems that need to be solved, Pike’s Peak is not ideal, Panama or Florida, he lives there, you should launch from near the equator, its not all about the engineering, the technical problems will not happen unless I get the sizzle, leveraging the government, people get inspired to do stuff, 1950/1949, seventy years for that vision to start to come true, a failure of Heinlein’s imagination, an ideology, space might become a frontier in the Cold War, he goes into the newspaper with a hammer and sickle on, that’s the media, the ideology is government is not the solution, purposely bypass, the only purpose of the government is the stamps, government is in the way, let me loose, Musk will not get to space without a contract to service the ISS, the Chinese Russian International space station, oh please private business, not a good Chinese accent, not good to do either accent, fail better, release all of your failures, greatness out of badness, Chris Hadfield, Marc Garneau, The Apollo Murders by Chris Hadfield, he sings/writes/takes picture, never a Mountie, F-16 fighter pilot, Heinlein’s future history, wildly wrong, seventy years later, Canada was created out of a railroad scheme, if we build this railroad, it makes more sense to be late, it makes more sense to be overbudget, government expenditure is the best way to make money always, Contact (1997), Carl Sagan was a bit naive, his big problem in that book was the religious figure, communication from aliens would languish for hundreds of years, The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, leaving government out in an ideological way, squid-like vampire sucking, bribes most judges, why it has hate, powerful and therefore important, this manifesto turned into a movie, The Turner Diaries [by William Luther Pierce], Pallas by L. Neil Smith, corporations colonizing an asteroid, the government is evil bad an corrupt, that’s “freedom”, For All Mankind, Skylab was a sideshow, the alternative to GPS [is “GLONASS”], Russia has a very small GDP and yet they somehow seem to keep their rocket and GPS programs going, tax breaks for the 1%, we’re selling seats on this thing, selling seats on Russian launches, sell-outs, now NASA focuses on probes, what’s cape Canaveral, Maissa saw a Falcon Heavy launch, like a fireball going up into the sky, it was like a sword of the archangel Gabriel, Chris Hadfield’s Wikipedia entry, government propaganda, Canada has plastic money, you can wash your money in the sink, when the government is in control, tests, skills, loyal, I’m gonna hand pick my son, comparatively, I’m going and my brother, did the cowboy hat go up with him, I found these in the stratosphere, 10th birthday party, we’re going to make two corporations, put all the debts onto that company and keep all the assets in this company, to bilk the investors, defraud collectors, defrauds the boy scouts, always be honest, when it really counts fuck anybody, not bragging as much as stating facts, its a real sad thing, the naked horror, going to Mars, ginning up a war with the Martians, another song reference, not much of a Rocket Man, the Moon can control the Earth, Musk’s dream of Mars, Musk has made a big dent in the world, the guillotine party, give him some ice cream, somewhat mitigated badness, an earnest desire for extension, the Moses reference was telling and touching, dialing in the prophecy, Moses is denied the promised land, the Post Office was God, a very strange interpretation, it kinda fits, Butler, Missouri, religious fanaticism, a more sympathetic character, Musk is all me me me but he still hasn’t gone to space, a one way mission to Mars, The Marching Morons by C.M. Kornbluth, a lot of dummies, depressive and pessimistic, not good in two ways, a lot of people think it is real, Beggars In Spain by Nancy Kress is a troubling book, like Ayn Rand but more current, super-evil, people who are just better than you, a “Fans are Slans” style story, special people, this mass of black or white people who need to die, Hitler’s manifesto book, the argument that it makes is what makes it evil, what’s cool about the X-Men, Magneto and The League Of Evil Mutants, its a fantasy, if you have brain you need to sleep, they’re more elite than you, they studied harder than you, Justin Trudeau’s 1.2 million dollar trust fund, face-painting costume, gets to be prime minister when his dad dies, novels vs. novellas, Our Opinions Are Correct: “Heinlein is turgid”, this novel, you should just read Scalzi, women would be present, Harriman’s wife, couldn’t give Harriman a baby, lives in Colorado, just the Heinlein story, Heinlein’s infertility, Friday, To Sail Beyond The Sunset, ret-con, I’m not really sexist, standard Heinlein, very incestuous, rehabilitates Harriman’s story, she’s not important to this story, how important the Post Office, don’t go against the government interest, you can use the Soviets as a whipping tool to et the media, a military industrial complex vs. a space industrial complex, Ospreys and F-22s, “defense”, you can sell people on fear, the commies in Russia today, China wants to take Taiwan, the Alpha Centurians are stealing our precious bodily fluids, space fear, the Coca Cola corporation, Dr. Strangelove (1964), another novel, Firestar by Michael Flynn, female entrepreneur capitalist, Elon Musk but not as evil, Flynn’s views on education, a shooting star, the comet would be good at this point, a dinosaur apocalypse is needed, digitize it and get it up to the moon, NFTs, bitcoin is currency, pre-orders equal love, the character’s supposed to be sympathetic, space space space, fighting in the Balkans, quasi-libertarian is (mostly) evil, in the 90s Paul’s politics were not as enlightened as now, public schools vs. private schools, save a few, no offense, some offense, slap in the face no offense, we need to face facts, this has been a blueprint for people, echoes with what’s going on, what other books are lurking effecting people’s reality, some phenomenon happening on the earth, Asimovs and Heinleins, Bezos vs. Musk, I gotta focus on my plan, set up a Foundation somewhere, Paul Krugman thinks he’s Hari Seldon, I’m a psycho (historian), too good for Jesse, Sir there’s somebody waiting to see you, a historical setting, Overlord (2018), tell me a lie story, who has women in their space program?, the Soviets, part of their ideology is women ARE equal, team human, Mary Robinette Kowal’s Lady Astronaut series, the Mercury 13, what if we weren’t super sexist?, a country that has to turn less sexist, Luke Burrage’s SCIENCE FICTION BOOK REVIEW PODCAST review of The Calculating Stars, the Nazis didn’t want women fighting, making strudel and soldiers, not caring about certain facts about ballistics, how many stages the rockets needs to be, recycling the capsule from a previous rocket, designing the capsule for the lifting device, Musk’s plan, a fuel tank with a little spaceship on the end, get this, this story was written before the actual Moon program, whether the fuel will ignite from gamma rays, how can we not care about those details, Heinlein cared so much he kinda made it happen, John F. Kennedy was trying to direct the military industrial complex into an Olympics style competition, for all mankind, now there’s a Space Force, the instincts to restrain insanity have gone away, more and more in the Harriman situation, the 1967 Outer Space Treaty, the Law Of The Seas, the Americans never ratify, a Dutchman named Hugo Grotius, why don’t we just be tolerant?, no torturing people, that’s all gone now, public schools are terrible, Jesse a nihilist, human civilization, asteroid/meteor/comet, When Worlds Collide, Rogue Planet, not focusing on the ballistics?, Jesse prefers to read books that are out of print?, public domain, [is Jesse an obscurantist?], gotta winnow, Will’s initial Heinlein journey, a deathmarch?, stop doing that, he’s got the goods, The Star Beast, would D.D. Harriman sell N.F.T.s, what wouldn’t he do to get to the Moon?, he wouldn’t break his word to a person, personal loan, personal honor, down the slippery slope lying road, skirting that line, NFTs are a scam, Tulipmania, Odo and Quark, Jesse doesn’t Grok what its about, you should sell some SFFaudio listener NFT, Philip K. Dick drawings NFTs?, the motivation is the mistake, an artificial scarcity, not for hateful means, the Kingdom of Redonda, M.P. Shiel was crowned King of Rednoda as a boy, this rapist plagiarist, its a scam that has legs, pretty sure these are NFTs, Vincent Price as a lord of Redonda, basically NFTs could be anything, software license keys, why do we want that?, infinitely replicable, why do we want to make it scarce, Substack will integrate NFTs, a technology that we don’t have a use for, your password for your account, the jpegs are largely useless proof of concepts, etherium wallet, software should be free, digital clothing for their avatars, PUBG, a book takes paper, sewing, glue, and trucks, stupid and wrong and evil, Elon Musk needs lithium for his car batteries not because he likes couping people, the purity of the goal, Bezos’s pure goal is *ME*, the people climbing Everest, me shaking Obama’s hand, flying back to Kathmandu, helicopter rides for everybody, why Shatner going to space is a marker as a society, government control of how we spend and communicate, the jpg thing is ridiculous.

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

Podcast

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

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

Sin Hellcat by Andrew Shaw

Hellcats And Honeygirls by Lawrence Block nd Donald E. Westlake

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The SFFaudio Podcast #522 – READALONG: Astounding by Alec Nevala-Lee

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #522 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, Marissa VU, Evan Lampe and Amy H. Sturgis talk about Astounding: John W. Campbell, Isaac Asimov, Robert A. Heinlein, L. Ron Hubbard, and the Golden Age of Science Fiction by Alec Nevala-Lee

Talked about on today’s show:
Alex Nevala-Lee, a book and an audiobook, thinking about legacies, thinking about audiobooks before, the original cool guy, adorable, its nice to be read to, 100 pages of footnotes, Evan, your book doesn’t exist as an audiobook, nobody wants to read anymore, Evan’s gotten to the stage, reading history books, non-fiction is so good on audio, rekindling pleasure, everything is cited, really he said that?, “Fuck, Eando Binder!”, “lambasted dianetics”, its all cited, 13 hours, not padded, way too long, more about their sexual problems, wife-swappin’ again, a problem for a lot of books, so easy to read, just have a little listen, so engrossing, so well written, The Amazing, The Astounding, And The Unknown by Paul Malmont, the Navy yard, commentary on the stories, I Will Fear No Evil, John W. Campbell is important, Ben Bova, two confusing awards, Hugo Gernsback needs his own version of this, the one person who is completely missing from this book is H.G. Wells, Olaf Stapledon, Arthur C. Clarke, what about this?, Jesse’s complaints are not very legit, The Return Of William Proxmire by Larry Niven, modern science fiction, the intellectual historian, markets for genres, the 20s-30s-40s, the Cold War, turn towards nativism, a profound effect, the Science Fiction League, a self-aware community, WWII, a fledgling dialogue, this revolution, connecting SF with science, Microcosmic God, this is on Campbell, distinctly American?, issues sent as ballast to the UK, all the foreign editions of Astounding, the British fanzines, Hugo was nuts for electronics, we’re going to invent our own televisions, home amateurs, ham radio operators, the science fiction reader, Tom Swift, the edisonade, fertile soil, the radio boys, Electronic Experimenter, a pulp fiction collection, reading Amazing vs. reading Astounding, technical drawings and weird editorials, not only space opera, The Electrical Experimenter, Larry Niven, they’re weird dudes, a pathetic figure, a tragedy, a mire of pseudoscience, Asimov’s biography, Heinlein’s letters, no no, a horror suspense movie, uplifting, it worked on Heinlein, Asimov was his own little being, the tragedy is coming, blind spots and prejudices, good fiction and good science, the new wave, Harlan Ellison, Ursula K. Le Guin, a machine for generating analogies, he’s given them the tools to push back against him, still influential, descent into pseudoscience and self delusion, Asimov’s preface to Dangerous Visions, we’re the squares, the passing of the torch, the sexual revolution, a cultural revolution vibe, Asimov was a square, “I fuck a lot, man.”, almost sexless, The Gods Themselves, weird alien sex, Heinlein’s weirdness, a lot of revealing things, the role of the wives, a biography of Kay (Catherine) Tarrant, spelling the names, Campbell wasn’t needed, behind the scenes, Astounding is so important, still under copyright, Heinlein getting mad at Campbell, Philip K. Dick has one story in Astounding, what’s going on?, Impostor, Campbell wanted superhumans, The Golden Man, a superhuman idiot, writing in reaction to it, Galaxy Magazine, H.L. Gold’s aesthetic, Campbell didn’t take Alfred Bester!, a gatekeeper, Frederik Pohl, how important The Cold Equations is, you have to keep re-writing this until you get it right, what it does, this is what we are talking about, this is how far we can go, a Star Trek story, here is an episode of something that we can imagine happening, Nightfall by Isaac Asimov, what Campbell was aiming at, a study in what editors can do, seeding the same idea multiple times, turning Asimov down, how would that intelligence work?, a black POV character, a leap of imagination, racism and homophobia as compartmentalization, Dune World by Frank Herbert, Mack Reynolds, Black Man’s Burden, Commune: 2000, the problem is scarcity (there is none, except in jobs), universal basic income, it didn’t matter to you that the kid was Filipino, what the difference between a rationalists and empiricists, here’s how drunk driving should work, you’re not clear yet, a technical journal, that’s not how science works, how science works, grinding lenses, Verne -> submarines, Wells -> warplanes, Campbell -> atom bombs, science fiction leading the science, a legacy, Rocket Ship Galileo, Tom Swift in the Rocket Age, Nancy Drew is not the same, Nazis on the moon, action fun excitement, Elon Musk, pushing in all directions, badly inspired, Paul Krugman, Asimov’s Foundation series, a weird tension, the scientific approach to all things, psychology, a desire to make everything scientific, A.E. Van Vogt, enough to be dangerous, enthusiasm for the ideas didn’t follow through to the methodology, we can make this science too, Hubbard had no interest in science (or science fiction, really), Heinlein’s failing, Asimov was a sexual asshole, a tragic figure, Heinlein falls for Hubbard because he had a uniform, a lying used car salesman, cults, its not about your intelligence, lacking critical thinking, charisma doesn’t translate from the page, judging eyes, I no longer trust you, the worst insult Heinlein could ever give anybody, broken legs and gonorrhea, the asshole sections of Jesse’s email, Heinlein was really blinded by patriotism, the Vietnam War, we need a renaissance for the Heinlein juveniles, Farnham’s Freehold makes a lot more sense now, trying to make a point about Campbell being wrong, hopeful commentary, not including Hubbard, the serpent in the garden, transformative, “the competent man”, competitors and community members, we’re doing something that’s important, the conversations we’re having are important, they hung together for decades, personal loyalty, trolls, the story of the first Worldcon, women nurturing men who were nurturing other men, Donald A. Wollheim was a better troll than anyone living today, contributing something positive, Mimic, he bought a lot of Philip K. Dick, Asimov as a youth, your idea of heaven, the power of picking up one of these magazines, the one thing missing from this book is the history of the covers, the art, fill the space, a little bit of technology, pitch me three new magazine, Weird Tales, tiny little things, when H.P. Lovecraft turns down the editorship of Weird Tales, what would we have or what would we be missing?, a magazine with a legacy, Elon Musk is a Heinleinian character, old letters pages are fossils, D.D. Harriman, The Man Who Sold The Moon, a trap, not hard enough on the Soviets!, a whole lifetime of a really complicated human being, the whole point, the functionalist stuff sounds like Campbell, creativity doesn’t work that way, how writing works, The Trouble With Tribbles, everything is in reaction, H.G. Wells doesn’t seem to have a massive precursor, The Time Machine, Last And First Men, Olaf Stapledon, Starmaker, those men are heroes, page 370 and 371, Barry M. Malzberg, sympathize with his critics, the question of victimization, a problem solving medium, not everyone is a hero, the way science fiction is today, science fiction should explore everything, schlubs, we all live in a world that’s increasingly become science fictional, Wells’ heroes are assholes, the New Wave pushes back against the Campbellian revolution, J.G. Ballard, mistrust of the meta-narrative, setting up things that come later, wanting 15 other books to be written, a companion volume on the Futurians, creating editors, Judith Merrill, here’s another community, C.M. Kornbluth, glimpses, Arena by Fredric Brown, The Orville is new Star Trek: The Next Generation, the a plot and the b plot, season 8 Next Generation, Enemy Mine, Hell In The Pacific, Lee Marvin, no alien movie, Star Trek, Deep Space Nine, Enterprise, Space: 1999, The Most Dangerous Game, Predator, somebody sitting around, Gilgamesh and Enkidu, the b-plot, The Corbamite Maneuver, The Kobayashi Maru, Amy’s Looking Back At Genre History, Microcosmic God by Theodore Sturgeon, always asking questions, how do you know, a meta-story, it’s about what happens when you read Astounding, Sandkings by George R.R. Martin is a retelling of Microcosmic God, Dragon’s Egg by Robert L. Forward, Hal Clement, science fiction luminaries, missing an ode to Hal Clement, the chapter titles, Who Goes There?, it doesn’t give you what you want, Don A. Stuart, Twilight, two types of storytellers, historical narratives, a remarkable achievement, history is a pruning job, a really important book, more books just like this, every time we say “Astounding” take a drink, endnotes, bibliography, a gift that’s going to keep on giving, what happens after this, some editor discovered or promoted Dashiell Hammett, Black Mask, railroading magazines, westerns, isn’t Analog still going today?, finally why this magazine called Analog?, it’s a metaphor, Analog Science Fiction and Fact, factless, Willy Ley, trying to make the reality behind science fiction more real, giving writers a grounding, Asimov: what a man!, writers who are complaining about low pay rates, E.E. Doc Smith, the Dean drive, a reactionless space drive, more biographies of these pulp era mags, The World Of Nitrogen, The Realm Of Measures, Asimov On Numbers, super-clear writing, Campbell’s book of collected editorials, Lecherous Limericks, bra-snapping and carrying on, Annoted Gulliver’s Travels, a writing and learning machine, Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, mysteries, the joy of reading and the joy of writing, his mind was always elevator, that kind of curiosity is so rare, he wanted to know the answers to everything, a powerful force in reality, The End Of Eternity, a fun book.

Astounding by Alec Nevala-Lee

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #339 – READALONG: Vulcan’s Hammer by Philip K. Dick

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #339 – Jesse, Paul, and Marissa talk about Vulcan’s Hammer by Philip K. Dick

Talked about on today’s show:
1960 novel, 1956 novella, the Goddreads reviews, Reddit, re-listening, very visual, John Mcclane at the end of Die Hard, conference room scenes, vague characters, awesome ideas, three Philip K. Dick stories that could have inspired The Terminator movies, no time travel, Doctor Futurity, Skynet, the drones (the hammers), UAV style drones vs. terminators, drone technology, there were drones in WWII, remote controlled bombers [ex. Operation Aphrodite], almost nothing “invented in SF” was actually invented in SF, infiltrators, Jesse has become a Terminator geek, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Screamers (adapted from Second Variety by Philip K. Dick), two battling computers, humans as pawns, both computers are in the same building!, proxies, the Internet is missing, Vulcan 3 is building the Internet, Skynet’s drones, Skynet doesn’t have central control, when Vulcan 3 is controlled, Vulcan 3 as a baby, creepy, at the periphery of the plot, the education sub-theme, a little red headed girl, being raised by a terminator, such a fanny show, the movies are recycling scene and catchphrases, at the school, a non-conformist school, Philip K. Dick’s kid is in school, regular school crushes creativity, meritocracy, nepotism, an unfinished thought, cronyism, technocratic government, getting through by hard work, was he an A.I. controlled by Vulcan 3, “hey the system works!”, sociological ideas, how un-Dickian this novel is, a relatively straightforward mystery, no weird obsessions (like with infidelity), the obligatory black haired girl, the president of the world comes into the world takes a little girl out of school and takes her home?, WTF?, the teacher’s okay with this?, the classroom, the concentration camp in Atlanta is a psychology camp, the conformist world in A Wrinkle In Time, Marissa learns Science Fiction, a planet of complete conformism, “you let them play an unstructured game?”, stifling of independent thought and creativity, why was the teacher killed?, reading Lolita, secretly reading forbidden books, is Philip K. Dick improving the books when he re-writes them (consensus is NO), two cults, a cult of reason and rationality, why is that rebellion group called the “Healers”, like alternative medicine, the worship of the computer, Greys, blue collars against the white collars, “we shouldn’t undervalue people just because their skills are in their hands and in their fingers”, vaxxers vs. the anti-vaxxers, back to Dr. Futurity, Vulcan 2 in the novella, piecing Vulcan 2 back together like a damaged hard-drive, the data is recovered aurally, listening to the broken thoughts of Vulcan 2, not just white noise in between the broken sentences, a groaning of ghosts, psychology, weird and interesting, absolutely NOT what anyone else does in Science Fiction, the Butlerian Jihad, because… Skynet, nobody says actually technology is really quite useful, 43% of the Earth’s resources?, the paragraph, maintaining the computer, the “lesser order of human needs”, some sort of metaphor 43 percent of calories go to the brain?, a biological parallel, making the decisions, making the policy, a subtle allusion to Plato, the greys the technician class are “guardians”, denying a brain data (big mistake), The Just City by Jo Walton, Athena sets up Plato’s Republic, automatons for physical labour, seeing the connections, The Republic, Socrates, like the old Atlanteans, the Gold the Silver and the Bronze (ditch diggers and truck drivers), the Silver (the police, functionaries, tax-collectors), the Gold (the enlightened, the philosophers), Vulcan 3 is the Gold, the T-class (experts and specialists), these books are all being suppressed (due to copyright), a pretty good title, Hammer shaped robots?, Vulcan (aka Hephaestus), the ancient Greeks and Romans, Hephaestus built a robot for Athena, the Greeks were really into automata, metal beings, the Talos of Crete, Vulcan as the wizard of metal, a Philip K. Dick conference lecture, when the Greeks thought of gods they thought of A.I. (sort of), these atoms over here have desires, intelligence in non-living things, a little bit under cooked, what about Vulcan 1?, or does it?, maybe Vulcan 1 is hiding, in a degenerate state, Deus Irae and The Last C., tactical nukes, a lot of weakness but it makes up for it, a bit of paranoia, that’s usually what causes the problem, self-preservation, when Saddam Hussein is threatened, the emotional computer, pleading only as a human could do, “We can come to an arrangement!”, shades of 2001: A Space Odyssey, 2001: A Space Odyssey is a microcosmic version of Vulcan’s Hammer, several Star Trek episodes, The Ultimate Computer, Star Trek as a metaphor for American foreign policy, The Apple, they kill the computer that regulates their society, they killed the snake but…, vegetarians are now hunting, put some controls on this, as a metaphor for society, a rebellion against pain in the body, the mind as the government, living in a post-WWIII world, WarGames, the Russians had a battle computer called “The Dead Hand“, a dead-man’s trigger, WWIII was looming in 1956 and 1960, so good even though its not that good, Dick loves blue collar workers, Father Fields, making something out of the air-conditioner, a dropped thread, a completely weird metaphor, The Borderlands series, Scooter, a technopath, The Variable Man by Philip K. Dick, “he fixed things”, a great tagline, “I don’t got Philip K. Dick for action”, living in a disposable society, everything is disposable, is there a TV-repair shop left in North America?, modern cars, only 5.5 hours, zoning out, cool predictions, the paranoid artificial intelligence, Sam Harris and Joe Rogan, caging an A.I., setting up honey-traps, Jesse thinks that’s not going to be the issue, Neuromancer all A.I.’s have digital shotguns strapped to their heads, “the smartest man in the world”, Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking, worries, better as a metaphor than as a prediction, we shouldn’t be unconcerned, Colossus: The Forbin Project, it isn’t 1s and 0s on a screen, seeing inside a burned diary, The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress by Robert A. Heinlein, Mike the computer (aka Mycroft Homles), what’s missing from Vulcan’s 3‘s life is a friend, kids want to know, I think you guys are liars if…, kids are going to get into everything and that’s not a bad thing, more information is better, Vulcan 2’s decision, Occupy, Black Lives Matter, you are totally welcome to prosper if you are willing and able to play a certain kind of game, the push-back is caused by the masses rejecting stability, the adventurer class, “more concerned with gain than with stability”, the phrases: “life is cheap”, big gambles, the Netflix series Narcos, communist guerrillas living in the jungle, if you are living in a corrupt society you get a lot of gamblers, the striking opening scene, “can’t you get a better picture?”, they all wear the uniform of their class, another theme, destroying stability, going back to entropy, it is kind of Philip K. Dickian after-all, undercooked or maybe overcooked, the same with Time Pawn, this is my worst book, Dean Koontz’s 1973 novel of Demon Seed has a rapey robot computer, with the rewrite of Demon Seed Koontz has mellowed out, writing for the market, even after his death, Puttering About In A Small World by Philip K. Dick, everything’s always better with a robot wife.

Future Science Fiction No. 29 (1956). Cover Art by Frank Kelly Freas
Vulcan's Hammer by Philip K. Dick interior art
Vulcan's Hammer by Philip K. Dick interior art
Vulcan's Hammer by Philip K. Dick interior art

Vulcan's Hammer by Philip K. Dick - FRENCH

ACE - Vulcan's Hammer by Philip K. Dick

Vulcan's Hammer by Philip K. Dick - German

Vulcan's Hammer - preliminary art D-457

Posted by Jesse Willis