The SFFaudio Podcast #685 – READALONG: The Star Beast by Robert A. Heinlein

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #685 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, Maissa Bessada, Trish E. Matson, and Will Emmons talk about The Star Beast by Robert A. Heinlein

Talked about on today’s show:
1954, serialized in The Magazine Of Fantasy And Science Fiction, Star Lummox, what a lummox, a very 1950s word, clumsy stupid person, Google NGram, 1825 East Anglian slang, lumbering ox, lummoxes, knocks things over, breaks things, Maissa liked it, so simple, a girl with some brains and some power?, uncharacteristic, no female presence at all, Betty is a plot driver, one of six sexes, she as a matter of convenience, a meaningless spectrum, in the context of the Hroshii, what feels like a massive coincidence, she’s on Earth, two plotlines, the UN guys having meetings and firing and quitting, the fun stuff, Lummox on the run, Lummox on trial, the major drama, puts the focus on the coincidence, a microscale and a macroscale, still great Heinlein, simplistic, interesting themes, utopia, they’re trying, Kiku the diplomat is in charge of everything, elected represented is undermined by the deep state, bureaucracy, comedy of errors, contradictions and complexities, Sergei Greenberg, the Watson, tell not show, Farmer In The Sky, boy goes to planet and farms, threats can come out of nowhere, a central government, tiny hints, a WWIV anti-tank gun, the 2nd century, double focus, boy, pet and friend, escaping in the wilderness, galactic maneuverings, immigration, pushing people off Earth, which is dumber?, coincidence and conveniences, there’s a Star Beast with lotsa legs, 4 generations, from any other boy’s point of view, good Heinlein, a boy raised by aliens, the reversal at the end, Lummox has been raising John Thomases, a science fiction idea, the relationships between humans and their pets, sentient aliens (should?) have hands, who can buy who?, if these we are putting the juveniles in reading order (younger to older), Citizen Of The Galaxy, Have Space Suit, Will Travel, diplomatic maneuverings and court stuff, thinking with the brain of an adult, the Godzilla aspect, Clifford The Big Red Star Beast, what kids will like about something, a big purple dinosaur, Barney, conflating for comic effect, I hate all this stuff about the negotiations, they’ll eat it, that reunification scene, all the ashtrays and the smoking, furiously smoking, popping pills on the reg, eat your roughage, a dragon lookin thing with a big smile on its four eyed face, old man sitting around his pool with his lawyers for 18,000 pages, Red Planet, Willis is kinda Lummox, galactic diplomacy and politics, democracy, we’re a republic not a democracy, his elected superior, we are the leading nation, senators from all over the planet, the United States of North And South America, probably set in Colorado or thereabouts, freeways are overgrown, flying cars, a depopulated North America, smoke filled rooms in small towns, not enough worldbuilding, atomic weapons, weird adventures, how the world worked, all the Heinlein haters, hating Heinlein for the wrong reasons, Mr. Kiku is pictured and not a black man, the original serial is slightly abridged (at least), wooly haired, racism?, often times the artist is told what the book is about, that’s capitalism not racism, Lummox is also not pictured, a kids book with no-star beast on the cover?, Johnny and Slugger and flying, two legs and half of a side, a bizarre choice, a commercial production, smiling dinosaur beagle, a train, spindly arms, diplodocus, the voice, the baby girl voice in the Full Cast Audio production, all the other Heinlein girls and boys, John Thomas oblivious to her plans, these gender fashions flip, the girls chasing after boys, Sadie Hawkins dystopia, on leap years girls are allowed to propose to men, Data at Sadie Hawkins dance, Star Trek: 90210, phone rigged up in his attic fort, a box of books boys somehow always get, a box of pornography, Heinlein doesn’t shy away, very strange and weird, the macro/micro, a princess of earth, a reverse of A Princess Of Mars, a Kwisatz Haderach to make the perfect space beast, the breeding of John Thomases, wrestling around, did I ever tell you why I divorced my parents, lean in closer to the book, what the parents did that was so wrong, parental abuse, molestation, those woolen socks, the mother character, how one note she was, very manipulative, not a straw person, selfish, controlling and manipulative, parallels between John’s mom and Betty, make more John Thomases, what did you assume about Betty living in a dorm, Heinlein manipulating us, weirdly controlling, they’re both minors, very skillfully done, she’s studying law, you don’t have to obey police officers unless they have a warrant, the police come to the school and teach a class and then search your locker, the antics in the courtroom, the Rittenhouse trial, bamboozles the court, manipulation and tactics, she’s parallel with Kiku, she was her own lawyer, the police chief, Johnny gets on with the police chief, makin toast and eggs and coffee, don’t get in bed with the cops, Johnny’s a little bit dim, he’s gonna go to college, drag racing and hanging out with his pet, the pet of three females, what did she whisper into Johnny’s ear?, “I wanna get the pill”, “never, “we’re religious!”, argue our way to the truth, to such dark places, mentally beyond them, parochial, leaps and bounds ahead, more sinister, poor tactics, I divorced my parents because I was too smart for them, subversive ideas, “I’m transgender”, the flipping of the gender quite late in the book, Kiku and Greenberg are really dumb, its the same creature, kinda fun for kids, kids can figure it out, they’re looking for a girl and Lummox is a boy, Willis is a girl, “I’m a boy”, not going to be able to breed John Thomases very easily, he always calls her Slugger, she hits people, was she on the baseball team?, he insults her looks, she hits the softball real hard, a term of respect, no hidden agenda inside of Johnny, Johnny just gets stubborn for a while, Farah Mendelson’s The Pleasant Profession Of Robert A. Heinlein, Star Wars, he likes his backpack helicopter, when Mr. Ito’s greenhouse, space skateboards, hoverboards, his horse ate his car, Paul is triggered by Lummox voices, a touchy subject, great to hand to a kid whose parents are divorcing, everybody is independent, she came to him, she emancipated herself, some yummy metal and self-heating cans, entanglements, the star federation, why don’t you just leave everybody alone, the inescapable bureaucracy of civilization, Betty’s parents didn’t stand a chance, leaning into the deep and dark and secret and terrible, a little song that starts, it will burn the ears of the editors, pornography and gays and blacks exist, he wants to share it, the tone, whatever the deep dark secret is it wouldn’t hurt johnny, Sorensen, Heinlein’s always been interested in gender, why he shootin blanks, the most plausible thing, maybe John Thomas knew this, Christine Jorgensen, sex-reassignment surgery, deflates the breeding program, Podkayne Of Mars, birthing machines, ovafusion (lesbian babies), circumstantial, all the flipping and the six genders lummox, Gore Vidal, Myra Breckenridge, Raquel Welch and Mae West and John Huston and Farrah Fawcett, what genders means, gender as a spectrum, best to think of her as a male, we don’t have the acronym for it yet, derailing the story, she has arms, she’s getting boobs!, we’re really lucky dogs don’t have hands, dogs would be so handsy, cats, the human breeding program will result in the ultimate John Thomas in about 10,000 years, high fashion to have human pets, invites a sequel, The Star Beasts are humans, furry animals, Space Lummox, is a komodo dragon a beast?, scorpions aren’t beasts, developing the arms, what is that thing?, a tumor, its normal because its normal, 150 years to learn English, the test for intelligence, Little Fuzzy by H. Beam Piper, Illegal Alien by Robert J. Sawyer, legally a human, the introduction, the Houyhnhnms section of Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift, William H. Patterson, a fantasy disguised as J. Francis McComas, my first beast, the best one, not wholesome like this, good for adults too, less corny than The Rolling Stones, one little conversation, civilization is in crisis because of all these aliens, keeping these Republican norms, the Sorenson whisper, the bureaucrats have to run the machine, cynical vs. optimistic views of democracy, Heinlein’s views on communism, Heinlein’s views on nuclear testing, deep stuff, adults who would like a charming read about a talking animal, Heinlein doing his diversity thing here, Jesse is Maissa’s Betty, the spunky protagonist?, overcoming the fear of the Medusa, the Medusan is also transgender, the passive protagonist?, the makeup thing, unusual patterns, everything is transgender, another gender swap, the deep fear of the snakehead, testes turned into ovaries, hypnotherapy as a crutch, Starship Troopers, hypnosis, an excuse to help you quit smoking, Heinlein is regressive in his pushing of hypnosis, more like Dianetics than it is like rocketry, how you relate to another so different from you, Lummox’s speech, assuming an Italian is illiterate, how can people say Heinlein is turgid?, he’s anti-racist, a slur, a smear, not an awkward bone in this book, two [amicus] groups, the Friends Of Lummox, Keep Earth For Humans, one is adults, one is kids, we like breakfast cereal, Murgatroyd, the Russian edition on ebay, PiggWiggy, having adventures eating cereal, preaching race tolerance, I will not sit down with that puppet, anti-puppet, brinksmanship shit, luckily your Heinlein and writing both sides of the conversation, Heinlein’s worst instinct, c’mon mom, be partisan and be right, we’re on Lummox’s side, nobody complains about the missing dog, deciding not to eat Mr. Ito, this book is really about power, lummox has hands, wipe your own butt or get your own cup, disability, the relationship of power to power, relations between the species for the rest of time, a book about power, a hereditary monarchy with a breeding program, we can’t judge their culture, The [Men] In The Walls by William Tenn, the psychology of the mice, like parents, manipulator, the translator is manipulating both sides, interpreter for hire, Stranger In A Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein, the fair witness, somebody said somebody was a bad person, we can fix our shoddy eyewitness testimony by fixing the sentences we put in our own heads, the truth meter, played for laughs, testifying about her feelings, technology our way out of stuff, the human mind’s way of storing data and making judgements, telepathy transmitters, a visual translation, eyes are wildly fluctuating, John Thomas will say: “Me too”, Star Trek’s computer is judging Captain Kirk, a huge mental mistake, Planet Of The Apes, Heinlein’s not fulfilling Campbell’s request, a Weinbaum story, hang out and get pet for a century, our relationship to puppies, a very compressed youth, an immortal being, petting my John Thomases, Lummox gets bored, what kind of patience, a very human thing to do, tigers just eat smaller animals, arsenic makes them grow, all symbolic, why does she go on a diet at the end?, she’s gotta get hot for her wedding, stop eating candy, stop eating cars, a short lived pet, precious babies or property or chattel, they’re out friends, a lady in Quesnel, BC got her leg licked by a bear, we wanna nuke your planet, give us our queen’s corgi, War Of The Worlds but just combing the Earth, implicit mirroring, whether Lummox can testify or not, wandering princess, hostage negotiation, we don’t engage philosophically with dogs, sufficiently alien aliens, an adult reading a kid’s book, Lummox indulged Johnny, you want have me sit a yard for a year?, after 150 years, there are no Buicks today?, Motortrend, brands are things you sell to other companies, a Toyota that’s a Ford, the Packard’s coming back, a branding exercise, the Lincoln Navigator, imprints survive as IP, all the young men love the classic Buicks, a flight harness, when he takes Johnny to the vet, corgis for everybody, an exclusive brand, a great opening for the surprise sequel, spaceships are disappearing, humans are being disappeared, very cute puppies, a deeply pet book, you’re going to wear this outdoor socky thing on your feets, a single dad, a single mom, the controlling mother, Suddenly (1954), parallels, media with controlling mothers, Philip K. Dick’s mom, people having relationships in the 20th century, shameful but possible, a trope character, off-screen, trip to Hawaii, 17 pickle dishes, Heinlein’s joke, Heinlein is very stupid in hypnotism, Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, slim volume hardcovers, Harry Potter, Rick Riordan, no Heinlein boxed set with decent covers, what the fuck is wrong with their brains?, 8 Heinlein juveniles in a boxed set, youthful reading, why is that?, Heinlein is not a giant name, Roald Dahl, James And The Giant Peach, Predestination, there should be boxed sets of Heinlein every generation, broken minded, a legacy organization, it will do material good to minds, the entire Heinlein fiction is the Virginia edition $1,400, riddled with typos, a luxury good, mass market paperback for $9.99, sell like the wheatcakes, I love TITS (Tunnel In The Sky), Jesse was dissing Heinlein and looking at TITS online, pitch for TITS, something goes wrong, Hunger Games style, really good, Paul loves TITS, Lummox triggered, Hi I’m Trish, Boxing Day, put TITS on the schedule, excommunicated from the island, Lord Of The Flies by William Golding, Rite Of Passage by Alexei Panshin, othering Jesse, privileging academics, don’t slur me, 10 degrees is warm (and cold), alien words, actual turban vs. snakes for hair who needs a turban, get him outta bed, not a very good movie, the self-lighting cigarette, trying to quit smoking, maybe a pipe, a serious smoker without a light, H. Beam Piper was a smoking machine, British is weird, a really interesting podcast about those puppies, Rite Gud, solid heads on shoulders despite being modern authors, squeecore, new wave, cyberpunk, The Painful Threshold, “hells yeah”, maudlin mawkish or glib, Whedonesque quips, the character that represents feminism pegs the character that represents the patriarchy, this is what we’re exploring right now, remixing the public domain with vampires or zombies, 10 Years A Slave To The Robot Queen, Ace Galaksi, very Betty of you, so Betty, Betty is a great character, Stranger In A Strange Land, so horrible, pizza, of course it was, raw frozen chicken wings, dog minds, dog diets, a beagle pomeranian, parvo virus, little bag, little mask, little vaccination sticker, too many puppy blogs, why Fauci might get canceled, beagle faces, funding dog torture, when we find out what the aliens sound like in their native language, rethink your whole life, a never ending parent, be your pet’s advocate, catering to dog needs, siri needs to speak dog, a smart telepathic collar, What Is Horror?, Klim’s Journey Under The Ground by Baron Ludvig Holberg, The Midwich Cuckoos by John Wyndham, Children Of The Damned (1964), John Carpenter (1995).

The Star Beast by Robert A. Heinlein

Fantasy And Science Fiction - Star Lummox 05

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Fantasy And Science Fiction - Star Lummox COVER

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Fantasy And Science Fiction - Star Lummox 113

Star Lummox

Darrell K. Sweet - The Star Beast

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The SFFaudio Podcast #672 – READALONG: Red Planet by Robert A. Heinlein

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #670 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, and Will Emmons talk about Red Planet by Robert A. Heinlein

Talked about on today’s show:
dog trot through or skate through?, Red Planet by Robert A. Heinlein, 1949, A Colonial Boy On Mars, Steele Savage, the original uncut, the original restored text, the extended Stranger In A Strange Land, the two endings of Podkayne Of Mars, call him Willis too, hey you’re a girl!, I’m a good boy!, The Pleasant Profession Of Robert A. Heinlein by Farah Mendelson, changing gender over time, a ship of Theseus, Jim’s grandkids in the miniseries has problems, no straw men, almost a perfect book, the environmental award, its about pollution, ecological anti-capitalist themes, yet another revolution story, Beta Earth, its not set on Mars, its set on New Ares vs. New Aries, the Mars company, The Hudson’s Bay Company, The East India Company, the Red River Rebellion, Paul just told me how I have to identify, Albert Einstein, a stateless person, a country comes into your territory, sometimes countries just change, the Massachusetts colony, Canada and the Crown, rights taken, given or never ceded, colonists, administering the colonization and doing whatever resource extraction,the water seeker, the cabbage plant, cabbage patch kid, junked Jim’s best friend, an improvement, Have Space Suit, Will Travel, she kills a Cerberus dog thing, an armed society, a frontier society, a residential school, Howe is the best candidate for a straw man, the boy with the pet who might have to give it up, the pet is more than it seems, the old man, Doc Mccrae, Stranger In Strange Land, Jubal Harshaw, Between Planets is set on Venus (but they talk about Mars), supercharging the air, applying for self governing status, we’ve worked out a new treaty with the natives, how the Red River Rebellion happens, Rupert’s Land, in reaction to what the Americans were doing, investment properties, fashion for hats declining, decimating the fur bearing animals, surveyors show up, the North-West company, Métis, inland settlement, the government being incompetent and full of , the Chateau Clique and the Family Compact, the plot of the book, two settlements to double the number of colonists, pemmican, fur trading, the technology is Willis, a Wikileaks style leak, a truth bomb, how well put together this book is, Stranger In A Strange Land, not enough about the Martians, A Princess Of Mars, a Weinbaum version of A Princess OF Mars, A Martian Odyssey, Willis laying the eggs in the bed with Jim, young or old, are roundheads young or old?, races?, a butterfly chrysalis, Willis won’t remember Jim, the Nymph stage, in the cartoon, Willis’ bio-technology, the defense mechanism against waterseekers, the ability to project a hologram, when the book starts, shipping Jim and Willis, the egg laying scene, crawl into bed with you and give you children, Alien Nation: The Series, the three stages of Martians, everything about Mars is startling, no sex, the adults are male, every day relations with Heaven, Stranger In A Strange Land is in a nymph stage here, Willis is a nymph, Gekko is the father, Jim is the step-father, and Frank is the bleeblack, curling into the Jim zone, “warm”, the Gekko theory, the Steele Savage cover, scenes from the book, pre-school or post-school, Howe’s demand, Gekko standing in a bush, Willis bounces towards Gekko, and dances around their, they’re ents, he carries the two boys, they drink entwater and become ent brothers, called upon later to fight Saruman, the sister’s job is to cook and clean, the mom is Beverly Crusher, Frank is the only person missing, change for change’s sake, meld Frank into the sister, changing for no reason is bad, it didn’t make the series better, less successful, the added environmental angle, Paul and Jesse are both wrong, wilderness survival themes of the novel, no skating, checkboxing, until we know what the plot is…, learning how things are, soaking things up on a Greek beach, when the plot gets going, returning home with the news, boys being truants, a residential school is bad, we learn how their suits work, everybody is literally nude, not just because Heinlein’s a nudist, the suits are not pressure suits, not doing things that are in the book, running out of air, that’s in another Heinlein thing, in your Mohawk, compression space suits, the mask is the only part of your body with air on it, nothing between you and your compression suit, the style on Mars, a bug or a feature, also Princess of Marsy, a feature rather than a bug, a comics adaptation of John Carter’s dick swinging, nudity, the whip hand, civil liberties cases in British Columbia, bare breasts in BC, some old biddie couple, the Potter family, Heinlein literally kills them, punishment for stupidity, those people exist, doing what the government tells you, that punishment is Heinlein’s point, starved to death by government policy on purpose, a compelling gun case, cutesy sister stuff, the rules of the road, this books is so rich, not a false note anywhere, light and frothy and fun, you can skate right over it, quite substantial ideas-wise, Paul wishes Evan was here, communitarian, we’re all in it together, a nation vs. a tribe, a lot longer, all the stuff that happens at the school, how many other colonies are there?, caretaker Eskimos, Inuit and Tibetans, what’s the population of Mars?, kids at that company school, living at the equator year round, is it a university?, is it a high school?, Harry Potter upper-age boarding school?, J.K. Rowling is a terrible TERF, not a military prep school, sent away to military school because of discipline problems, a trade school situation, Frank wants to be a rocket pilot, Jim’s plan?, the mom cooks, any girl that can cook and tend babies is an adult, an improvement, it makes Doc Macrae a non-character, New Aries, in 1949 there had been no probes but the telescopes were getting better, what the atmosphere is made out of, Heinlein better write his Mars stuff, once you start you start changing things for poorer reasons, Heinlein thought about the ecosystem, everybody hates the waterseekers, waterseekers need to be to be destroyed, an extermination program, for every werewolf in your ecology you need a vampire and for every vampire you need a mummy, dragons of the komodo kind, what happened to Mars?, the lack of a robust ecosystem, the Martians apparently don’t eat anything, what does Willis eat?, small animals, what are the colonist actually doing there?, Heinlein’s lack of numeracy, colonization doesn’t solve the population problem, Greek colonization, troublemakers, self-select, unpeaceful Scandinavians, the Rus of Russia, they’re terraforming the planet, the traditional explanation for colonizing Mars (is mining), the terbidium must flow, Total Recall (1990) is all vacation plans, a science fiction story within a science fiction story, LV-426, rape this planet, Captain Planet, bogus environmental awards, an invading species, Turbanium, can of beans, longer cabbage scene, and be better, so much plot, so much in storms, bottles on their suits is wrong, short term profits for long term costs, how Howe got his job, literally how it all works, corporate nepotism, the libertarian elements, The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, tightly bound, the communitarian feel, prisoners vs. free citizens, the chairman of the meeting, Roberts Rules Of Government, committees and nominations, the polar opposite of libertarianism, Louis Rossmann right to repair(man), helping farmers get the right to fit their own tractors, replacement batteries for phones, every business owner to refuse service to the unvaccinated, the political compass, Howe is authoritarian, uncivilized, liberty vs. authority, rights and privileges, the larger scale scope, dictating people’s movements, a contractual right at best, the Métis traditional hunt, Orangemen vs. Catholics, every protestant in Ontario is angry, a war between one nation and another nation, taking a person’s gun away, the libertarian argument is pretty pure, bringing the martians in as a shield, a personal bond with Jim and Willis and Gekko and Frank, united in their identity as Métis, Festival du Bois, not only limited government, the freedom to publish and read what books you want, vaccines passports and vaccine mandates, cribbed from the Declaration Of Independence, another American Revolution, in a softer smaller way, a fantasy of the American revolution without the genocide, merciless Indian savages, strange mystical alien people that live underground, adds legitimacy to the American Revolution that it doesn’t deserve, S.M. Stirling’s The Sky People and In The Courts Of The Crimson Kings, Leigh Brackett, sensible nudity, Jim Marlowe, Heart Of Darkness, James Madison Marlowe, three legged and three eyed, H.G. Wells, the relationship with Jim and Frank and Doc, interbreeding, spiritually its possibly, physically interbreeding with your fellow humans, in solidarity with other people, not only hard SF, weird definition of hard SF, history is hard SF, mysteries are hard SF, “a political philosophy that upholds liberty as a core value.[1] Libertarians seek to maximize autonomy and political freedom, minimize the state; emphasizing free association, freedom of choice, individualism and voluntary association”, the talking point of the day vs. first principles, why is it good for people to be free?, the approved reading list can hurt you, kill you or stunt you, not allowed to run away, not allowed to have guns, kids plowed into the earth, drivers licenses, talking points, what is the principle?, do we subscribe to it or not, the political compass, we think we know how he would answer, who gets to form the questions, wholly agenda questions, not allowed to read certain books, only some people were allowed to read, freedom to read, stick to the principle and then abstract away, no to vaccine passports, a drivers license is a driving passport, a license to do a thing, a perfect situation to make the argument, a really good book, a good book for kids to read today?, an exiting book, intellectual molest children vs. enhance children, parents have to coordinate or the kid divides them, women are not in particularly progressive roles in this book, Maissa’s point, intellectual heft, an idea book underneath the adventure fun, Will is really glad that he read it, settler freedom, the resistors to the revolution are stupid, the strawman is the setup, weighting the revolution, the Torys were tarred and feathered, we have no way of deleting people from the universe, the heat beams, Mr Sulu freezing to death, the handwavium of Doc Macrae’s speculations we assume are true, underground subway systems, so advanced, finding the monolith on the Moon in 2001, say it it is “great”, kids ice skating on the canals, Glory Road, The Number Of The Beast, a better Heinlein book?, future Heinlein reading, higher highs vs. footfaults, a modest book, so Planet Stories, Hard Planet Stories, what Heinlein next?, you gotta read it, you’re smart enough to understand this book, so many great Heinlein juveniles, unrealism in the setup, god damn you Heinlein, the first Heinlein juvenile, Rocketship Galileo was adapted to Destination Moon (1950), space nazis? the Moon is too far out, The Man Who Sold The Moon, all the Musks and Bezoes and Bransons, Harriman, they’re doing it for us, Paul is hard to get, Maissa’s famous for Fringe Festivaling, Will feels tricked, Mack Reynolds, the Heinlein Poul Anderson podcast, The Goddess Of Atvatabar by William R. Bradshaw, the inherent silliness (or sadness) of Poul Anderson, Three Wishes by Poul Anderson, a tiny naked fairy, I have no desires at all.

RED PLANET – Clifford Geary

RED PLANET by Robert A. Heinlein

RED PLANET by Robert A. Heinlein JAPAN

RED PLANET by Robert A. Heinlein - art by Barclay Shaw

RED PLANET by Robert A. Heinlein

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