The SFFaudio Podcast #707 – READALONG: Villains Of All Nations by Marcus Rediker

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #707 – Jesse and Evan Lampe talk about Villains Of All Nations by Marcus Rediker

Talked about on today’s show:
Atlantic Pirates In The Golden Age, 2004, the narrator, The Many-Headed Hydra: Sailors, Slaves, Commoners, And The Hidden History Of The Revolutionary Atlantic by by Peter Linebaugh and Marcus Rediker, a lot of overlap?, the hydrarchy, dueling powers, bottom up, from above, the authority of the sea, abolitionism, the Putney debates, sailors are the threads, not the best scholarship, a concise argument, struggling with evidence, where the sources are weak, correct conclusions, a longer book, right on almost everything, a claim in the introduction, women went into piracy and discoursed on gender, a means to discuss those things, class, race, gender, the dual terrors, really convincing, to talk about terrorism, the Noam Chomsky arguments, state terrorism, the War on Terror, something not mentioned in the book, the Jolly Roger, to make the icon on twitter, the colour, the black flag, the black standard, 2014, 2022, the ISIS flag, 1716-1726, the last phase of the golden age, the barbary coast, book piracy, Captain Phillips, the excuse for Djjibuouti, corporations from all nations, not just contrast, these are not satanists exactly, not conforming to Christianity’s authority, why Roger is so jolly, the second meaning: fucking, making merry, what the pirates want to do, party, dancing, getting drunk, merry Christmas, a warm glow, happy fucking, death is coming, a momento mori for the whole ship, they know they don’t have long, as an extended slave rebellion, fly away from danger, and fly to party houses, take their stuff and go party with it, an intellectual history, how liberty and the French Revolution (and the American Revolution) coming out of it, Black Sails, 1715, the Bahamas, declaring war on the whole world, Charles Vane, John Rackham, Mary Read, Benjamin Hornigold, Blackbeard is not what you think, a prequel to Treasure Island, pirates don’t bury their treasure, an egalitarian society, an adaptation of this book the themes of democracy, maroons, runaway slaves, one of the best arguments, revenge, they purposely went after the slave trade because they despised it, they hated slavery, they slowed down the slave trade, and what caused their persecution, hurting them where it hurts, modern day connections, the propaganda against pirates, Cotton Mather, we gotta not send our children to sea, sea conditions are so bad, pressure against regular against internet piracy, Kim DotCom got raided in New Zealand, so much piracy has been domesticated, the Napster stuff, albums in the 90s had one hit song, I can just get the one song, how this becomes tamed, you wouldn’t steal a bike, everything its on youtube, spotify, ads, streaming for movies, 50 different streaming services, a wave that won’t go away, the Azov battalion, Ukraine has a Nazi problem, they’re on our team, the propaganda against pirates is needed because they’re attractive figures, Robin Hood is a folk hero, he and his merry men are there to have fun and make hay while the sun shines, figures to be made fun of, gallows humour, the church is something you can’t trust, Ivanhoe, everything bad is King John, free men hunting in the kings woods, outlaws, wolfsheads, making outlaws our outlaws, ‘Al-Qaeda is on our team is Syria’, the U.S. is funding Al-Qaeda in Syria, strange bedfellows, this book is about power, one of the responses to Rediker, pirates were petty capitalists, making a separate social order, a more rational marketplace, when markets matured pirates weren’t needed anymore, same propaganda to tame them, rock and rollers, so rich, Neil Young and Spotify, a monetary move, apply pressure, Joe Rogan’s ruining the world, if we think of rock and roll connected to be being merry and piratical, siton your treasure, he never was a punk, Lipstick Traces, counterculture, punk was never that mainstream, an ability to sell-out, they’re not gathering funds for a mortgage, cruelty from the masters, low pay, bad food, sickness, disease, a revenge principle, Nietzsche master morality vs. slave morality, the romans worshiped power, being cruel to your slaves was moral, a new religion coming from the east, Greek tutors, turn the other cheek, rotting in hell vs. living in heaven, the way of peace, the whole state apparatus, a capitalist realism way, a more sophisticated tool, Christian pirates (nominally), put them in slavery, kept them sick, injured, not enough alcohol, I’m a devil worshiper, inverse slave morality is no respect for authority, our only god is death, our only god is making jolly, not sustainable (they lost), a human lifespan, the particulars don’t kill piracy (just this golden age), without ourselves against those who wish to control us, you need to pay for my profits, not getting what you were (supposed to be) paid, a revelation to see it as a slave rebellion, the main plot point, Captain Flint, a particular treasure ship, dissatisfaction, ahistorical, quartermaster emphasis, Rackham was on Vane’s ship, fuck Treasure Island?, Starz, Spartacus is very class conscious, focus on sexuality and human bodies, the children’s book, where it veers, Flint’s overall goal is to negotiate with the capitalist system, I will be your king, the most ahistorical part of the show, it shocks the boatswain, there was no alternative to kings, there was no country without a king, Holy Roman Empire republics, England was the most democratic place on the planet, Florence, on the Roman model, the rise of empire, consolidation, Italy being turned into a country, when Germany gets its shit together, the way the Prussians thought about it, they way we’re teaching historical narratives, new interpretations, critical thinking, why do we make our narrative a history of states, progress, why is that the case?, France becomes a nation state by repressing local culture, the same propaganda, speak the same language, the Yiddish Press in New York, super-socialist, anarchist, communist, teach them English, that’s happening today, imposing a state on the sea, brutal violence, public hanging, pardons, the power dynamic is not as monolithic as it is here, suppression, lockdowns, kicking people off platforms, George Galloway, a former Labour MP, RT has been banned, Russian State Affiliated Media, Ed Schultz, Abby Martin, Chris Hedges, no Russian content at all, interviews with Cornell West, interviews, commentary and criticism, nobody gets a pardon anymore, applying to faceless corporations for review, African slave trade, the Royal African Company had stockholders, hope for their ship to come in, make new laws, this will solve things, sea-raiding, a pardon for all piratical activities, a free pardon, the buccaneers and the privateers, state mercenaries, Europe was in constant war, now you’re a warship, letters of marque, part of the defense budget, how it works with Al Quaid, stingers, 9/11, Osama Bin Laden, bad dirty feet on our holy soil, declaring war on the most powerful, the invasion of Iraq, disband the army, ISIS, let’s focus on Syria (what’s important right now), we’ve got a pipeline to put through, the pardons are not publicly stated, those guys were Nazis ten minutes ago, deathsheads on their uniforms, the ADL say they’re not Nazis, whipping gypsies in the street, a critique of capitalism, the origin of Capitalism, an expansion of one chapter, the share system, pay vs. shares, pre-money, the Romans, constant war and expansion, paying their troops with slaves, land too, but mostly slaves, fucking around in Gaul for a decade, enriched by the slaves, a co-op, the CEO gets paid more than a line workers, pirate charters, 1.5 shares for a captain, captains murdered by their crew, reading and navigating, reading, the quartermaster, the connections to the tribune, a stupid system in Canada, senators are appointed for life, party loyalists, tenure, untouchable by federal party in party, senatorial removal, 9 supreme court justices, a super-reactionary institution, political appointees, a quartermaster as a balance to the captain’s power, states on a ship, in battle they are at war, the articles are their constitutions and the captain is not their king, writing that first constitution, tradition, Artistole, the Athenian constitution, the Iroquois, “on account”, bandits and pirates, Eric Hobsbawm’s Bandits, an escape valve, providing hope, releasing the pressure a little bit, redistribute the wealth a little bit, stickin it to the man, the signing of the articles, I never signed onto the constitution and I never will, signing up for the Boy Scouts, a non-sea shanty, an implicit submission in that song, the U.S. founding fathers worried about this, Thomas Jefferson, re-write the whole thing every seven years, after the Civil War, repealing prohibition, voting rights, getting rid of slavery, defining citizenship, signing on, churches are even better at this, a class, confirmation, the age of consent, by reading from the Torah, confirmation for Christians, 13/14, at the beginning of your adulthood, adult baptism, children can’t consent, Jesus was baptized as an adult, re-baptized, born again, anabaptists, the Quakers, the puritans, religious nuts, strong opinions, the Putney Debates, debating class, authority, aristocracy, the New Model Army, spread these ideas, these tendrils of knowledge and discourse, across the Atlantic, carried by the sea, in H.P. Lovecraft, The Call Of Cthulhu Castro, a weird cult that no-one in the straight society likes, the interview, Cthulhu promises us freedom in this world and revelry, we’re not going to be slaves in this world, we’re not going to mortgage our lives, Cthulhu is beyond good and evil, same with the Deep Ones, immortality, kings under the sea, freedom in the sea, the same language, Robert E. Howard’s pirate stories, The General History Of Pyrates by Charles Johnson, disrespect for hypocrisy, the Voluminous Podcast, Howard was offended, how crime works in the South West, wanting to have children do better, pioneering, moving to get away, gun culture in the USA, keeping guns to keep the king honest, you better not come into my house, the fear and escalating via swatting people, we need to be able to crack down, Black Panthers are getting uppity, open carrying weapons, Paul has respect for the state in the way that Jesse does not, the police are there to keep order (or as the unfair captains of states), not sharing with the workers on the ship of state, having access to the ship’s store of arms, the Roman dictator, going to a frontier, the tradition, relinquish the power and currency and disband their army, not bringing armed troops into the city, to keep the state afloat in the right way, thinking of nations as something of value, everybody has a blue and yellow sticker in their twitter bio, a good person always trying to help things, people are suffering, teaming up with one state against another, inescapable capitalist realism, a badge or a patch, swearing to obey, submitting to power, if the captains hides information, the incident with the dresses, no guard on the shared hold, how dare you, to be sold at auction, a hint in the opening episode, John Silver, a cook, hiding something of value from the crew he’s joined, open up the books, if you can’t read, we have to rely on our representatives, in collusion with the captain, on a small ship of state with a black flag, connecting with the creation of the USA, the John Locke connection, the provinces, Providence, the state of Massachusetts, the spread of these ideas, writing fiction, show grammar, a thinly veiled description of the Boston Tea Party, dressing up like Indians, we are the natives of this land, we are protesting, we are barbarians, what January 6th was about, British provocateurs in the Boston Tea Party?, the etymology of the word strike, sailors striking the sales!, is Evan super-jealous?, Pacific history, blackbirders in the South Pacific, logbooks, not many mutinies, the Bounty mutiny, near mutinies, someone was beaten, put in irons, protesting to the mate, its really tense for a moment, a non-shitty captain, Captain Bligh, near-mutinies were common, worried about the competition?, how upset would he be that Jesse pirated his book?, he can be upset if he wants to be, Peter Linebaugh is more openly political, May Day, the commons, outwardly political, The London Hanged, dense and hard to read and wonderful, violence against the working class in England, theft over a pound, transportation was the out, pleading the belly, on account I’m pleading the belly, Newgate, Belmarsh, Neal Stephenson’s The Baroque Cycle, a right-winger?, a believer in tech, tech salvation, gaols vs. prisons, commerce, prostitutes could come in, I’m a young woman, I steal a bunch of silverware, a capitol offense, wink at a guard, the name of Evan’s book: pleading the belly, Jack London’s south sea island books with dogs, Jerry Of The Islands, Goliah, such a great story, a huge book, The Call Of The Wild, a terrier’s pov, blackbirding, slavery by another name, The White Pacific: U.S. Imperialism And Black Slavery In The South Seas after the Civil War by Gerald Horne, John Barleycorn, Michael: Brother Of Jerry, this amazing place, Robert Louis Stephenson, Treasure Island, pre-homework, Tahiti, wife and step-kid, not an asshole, pretty cool, Travels With A Donkey in Spain, pirate charters, Daniel Defoe, Captain Charles Johnson, The General History Of Pyrates, fun names, Vane is a fun name, famous pirates, the two lineages of pirates, two families, jolly rogers, the final form, the dinseyfied version, the hourglass, skeleton, black background, paintings from the Middle Ages, Cockaigne, highly literate and oversexed monks, the land of milk and honey, hanging out with the nuns down the street, the dork version of pirates, making memes about what would be fun, waifu pillows, breaking out of the monastery, taking the ship of state and going a-pirating, cheese raining from the sky, a hilarious thing, a bottom up thing, something that comes down to us from such a long time ago, an interesting connection, all brothers of the sea, some sisters in there, not racist when thinking about freeing slaves, recruiting, make more liberty, make more merry, doing piracy today, the US military rules the seas, there literally in the Black Sea, the Red Sea, they’re on every sea, Aral Sea, the US Coast Guard is off the coast of Iran, maroon communities, places to run to, aggressive behavior, new society, new rules, the seas were a wild place, the taming of the wild spaces, where does piracy move to, this ethos, Jesse James, the outlaws of the old west, the Frank/Younger gang, the underclass, every man’s hand is against them, shot in the back while hanging a portrait, bounties, shooting outlaws, that outlaw spirit, crossing oceans, into boats, loading stuff on, an ability to trade and get things, you need to follow the more experienced person, how to navigate, before public GPS, how to tie ropes to the docks, you need to learn how to swim, like school, farming, harvesting, less fraught, the weather, time of day on the land, running your ship afoul, a need for skill, a need for respect, the pay is low, disconnected from most people’s lives, an anchor tattoo, a writer, a gay man, the merchant marine, a thing that profoundly changes a lot of people, the sailoring business, bully and bluff, a fight with Houdini, how terrible it was to be a merchant sailor, Luke Burrage, cruise ship, the talent vs. the crew, Philipinos, Malaysians, the global north, bullshit jobs, engaged in production, resistance is more significant, how we started this conversation, author and editors doing all this work for free, writing fiction for tiny audiences, late capitalism, teaching, our jobs exist (teaching) because of higher institutions, the byproduct of teaching is learning, the veins and the arteries, preying on the slave trade, railroad workers, the great railroad strike, Starbucks workers unionizing, the resistance and dismissal of the Truckers, the lack of acknowledgement of the yellow vests, blocking access and refusing to tow trucks, seeing Justin Trudeau, a war measures act in everything but name, seizing people’s bank accounts, Greta Thunberg, gas prices, ordering from Amazon, buying dog food through the mail, there aren’t that many independent truckers, the land problem, the original Mad Max (1979), two stories, the story of the toe-cutter gang, road pirates, reduced government power, incompetent government?, the life of the merry, disrespectful, the legend of the Night Rider, his scag, he falls apart emotionally, threatening communities, drunken, lascivious and rude, pirate swearing, a call for non-decorum, conversation in the discourse, some words are not allowed to be said, people with callouses on their hands, this is bullshit, the word bullshit is taboo, the constant replacement (euphemism treadmill), increasingly few kids at the grocery store, a kind of discipline on the crew, disciplined for expressing dissatisfaction, oppression from above, collegiality wasn’t written into the pirate codes, if we have a beef we have it out on the shore, formal and ceremonial and more accurate, somebody did some homework, making war on the world, we have this set, bringing all those sailors who are watching it, a lot of money, the right move, not enough sea-action, they don’t like sailing they like partying, sex and drama, Spartacus did it better, four season, Spartacus is so smart, Blood And Sand, the psychology is brilliant, my identity is tied to my , internalized their slavery, their favourite baseball player, a fraternity of players, what a big deal, when Wayne Gretzky left the Oilers to go to the L.A. Kings, emotional trauma, Edmonton is just so great, so naive and dumb, extreme loyalty, Any Given Sunday (1999), all about class, class solidarity, loyalty, I Am Spartacus, embracing his slave identity, we don’t know his real name, Batiatus, Crixus, the drama with the wife, the psychology behind being feted and respected as a slave, a star football player and criminally underpaid, baseball lockout, on the team with the guy with the tool in his hand, The Many Headed Hydra, Will would be get on this, Milton, literature connections, William Blake, Tyger Tyger, a radical anti-capitalist interpretation, horrible scary awesome creatures, the hydra metaphor, the hydra was the good guy, Hercules, the state has to be Herclues, on the side of the monster against the gods, Thungerb challenged her parents to lower their carbon footprint, becoming vegan, upcycling, giving up flying, popular with a certain set, Naomi Klein’s argument, we need to dismantle capitalism, a kid, George Galloway, Ed Schultz, Thom Hartmann is not a threat, running a political party, Jeremy Corbyn, being a bad pirate, a progressive, a left wing democrat, Predator guy, I ain’t got time to bleed, Minnesota, Jesse Ventura, state affiliated media, opposed the Iraq War, I will always speak out against war, there’s a lot of pressure to suppress, youtube, twitter, facebook, The Thing In The Woods, the author of the Velveteen Rabbit, a werewolf book by an American, something freaky about that book, it being a stuffed animal, stuffed animals trying to kill Evan, ideas for making money, a stuffed dragon with tiger print skin, Peter Rabbit, a horror story, Mr McGregor’s garden, a big white beard, god chases him around the garden, the bold one, he almost dies, Margret Williams, can you tell by looking at someone’s behavior that they have Asperger’s?, is Evan aspy?, is Eric Rabkin aspy?, spectrum diagnosis is very suspicious, always missing the context in direct messages, here’s somebody’s tweet and here’s my response: Jesse “I know other people are starving and unable to move out of their parent’s homes but I’d really like to quit my office job and write full time”, Jesse: “speaking of which, have you seen Hunter Biden’s meth mouth?” Evan: “He used to lick milf pussy. Sad.” a reference to Trump, laptop pictures, him with the milfs, lady on a chain by her hair, the president’s son whose existence was a non-entity until we find out he’s getting paid $50,000 [a month] for a no-show job in a country the United States is trying to steal from”, Jesse: “watched first episode of Moon Knight”, Evan: “does Squirrel Girl show up?”, Jesse: “not so far”, Evan: “Pity. She’s hot. I think she’s autistic. Can she be hot? She has a tail. Butt plug with tail. That is a thing.”, Jesse: “Wow.”, Evan: “watch more documentaries on porn hub”, Belmarsh Prison is in the latest James Bond movie, I was glad James Bond was dead, where they’re keeping Julian Assange, a previous Bond movie had a Julian Assange character, an evil program, smartblood for no reason, still talking about documentaries on PornHub, I can’t pay my rent, do they still have stories, why pornos still have stories, theories of story, stories are about conflict, Clifford Simak stories, conflict in the universe, Waystation, seeing things revealed, a slight misunderstanding for a minute, what stories are at core, you order a sausage pizza, that is a story, it doesn’t have any conflict, that’s a display (not much of a story), why do you need that at all, go right into the fucking, a forty minute scene, Emanuelle (1974), a full length feature film, tags, stepsis, same stories again and again, Jesse needs to study more, researching later.

Villains Of All Nations by Marcus Rediker

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The SFFaudio Podcast #705 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: The Temple Of Death by A.C. Benson

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #705 – The Temple Of Death by A.C. Benson; read by Connor Kaye

This unabridged reading of the story (43 minutes) is followed by a discussion of it.

Participants in the discussion include Jesse and Connor Kaye

Talked about on today’s show:
1911, 1903, previously published?, Jack London’s The People Of The Abyss, Ibister & Co., this folk horror thing, researching folk horror, when did these tropes actually start?, secret pagan cults, Connor was naive at that time, some folk horror tropes, a proto-form, the fingerprints of the sources and inspirations, Connor’s youtube version, American and British, The Wicker Man, what is American folk horror?, evidence of religion that came before Christianity, native American nations, The Wendigo, skinwalkers, a Christian worldview, demons and devils or witchcraft, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Young Goodman Brown, The Minister’s Black Veil, Faith, his beloved signing her name in the book of the devil, a devil worshiping cult, Anerican folk horror is within the christian worldview, secretly in league with the devil, persists to the modern day, the Satanic Panic, Pavlanvs, evangelizing, your new religion is not gonna catch on, this is a wild place, we need wild gods to survive, Lovecraft spans the divide, The Unnamable, the context of Cotton Mather, the witchcraft trials, these things are older than humanity, being an Anglophile, The Moon Bog, the horror from before, Robert E. Howard’s The Lost Race, set in bronze age Cornwall, bandit chief, a secret mission, to which he was used, crude hospitality, a pure Briton but not a pure Celt, a giant cat, a lion and a wolf, he picks a team, they approach it completely different ways, a Christian fairy tale about how Britain become Christian, ancient massive axes to grind, Beowulf, to be Christ-like, Robert E. Howard rejects religion, a Catholic priest, all storytellers and all writers, an intellectual issue to be solved, the movements of people and race mixing, 1927, willing to be a martyr, how good the Christians come across in this story, extremely likeable, tainted opinion, Cornell West wants people to be better, the most charitable position possible, my brother or my sister, bombing people to death, calling out the horror without condemning them as humans, a pre-Christian ideology, if you are a murderer, popish armies, I read about this guy named Jesus, the “good news”, now you don’t have to rot forever in the gray lands, Valhalla for the brave and the good, the promise of Christianity, converted after death, a present evidence of that ancient religion, who doesn’t want peace and love, reverse folk horror, a christian man goes to an island full of pagans, to make him a martyr, its awful vs. there is this awful horrible thing that can be cleansed, more relaxing approach to living your life, hopeful, anti-folk horror, a fear of regression, The Wicker Man (1973), a throwback to what we would have seen before everywhere, proto-folk horror, showing us, The Ritual (2017), worshiped as a duty, a tax, Woodlands Dark And Days Bewitched (2021), a documentary, We Don’t Go Back: A Watcher’s Guide To Folk Horror by Howard David Ingham, fear of regression into more superstitious time, where there is not covenant with god, recent Christian converts, Abraham and Isaac, I ain’t like the other Gods, we’re going for a walk, God’s like jk, no more literal holocaust, what we need instead is for you to understand, Christ is the fulfillment of the promise of the Old Testament, I’m the Prince of Peace not the Prince of Vengeance And Judgement, Cornell West, the vigorous, Spider-Man is a real guy, the stories of Christ, a good story, there’s a guy who came here to teach us the error of our ways, let he who is without sin cast the first stone, second layer of thinking, talking in parables, heaven towards our sisters and brothers on the planet, why we like Paulanus so much, offering a hand of friendship and comfort, converted and forgiven, transmuted, the answer to folk horror’s cynicism or worries about human nature, man against man, beast against beast, the cycle of violence, to become the priest you must kill the priest, the breaking of that cycle, the turning of the cheek, the monster is dead and buried, they turn it into a Christian school, the foundation of the new church is on the bones of the dead religion (that nobody really liked anyway), violence, this bloody big monster that’s going to kill people, our priest of death tells his own story, I killed my own brother, the story of Cain and Abel, Cain is marked by God, he is under My protection, that’s the guy who killed his brother, isolated and shunned from society, no option for forgiveness, down the path of horror, live in death, here comes Christianity to save the day, you’re never beyond redemption, a being that deserves respect, seen as irredeemable, a pariah, do not go into the forest, why is he doing this?, I know who this is?, would you like to know more?, would you like to go through the door?, he always says yes, that’s his mission, which race succeeds which race, a reaching out to those who are mistaken, brother let me show you the way, I would like you to live with me for a time, that sounds dangerous, I will, we don’t see the emotional change inside his head, this is gratitude, relief, relaxation, almost grace, you haven’t seen the real me yet, the plank, foggy, shrouded, dark, there is this literal monster caged up, as big as a horse, when it dies we can find another way now, a bizarre god, it sounded like Pan, an idol in the temple, half-goat half-man, The Guide To Supernatural Fiction by E.F. Bleiler, 729 pages, densely typed story summaries, Nemi, he merely held the spear and it killed itself, in the face of Christianity the old religion killed itself, how Christianity came to Britain, no residential schools, how it was done in North America, becoming Catholics by default, how Ragnar Lodbrok became a Christian, that show (Vikings), we don’t know what the priest knows, his fears, his worries, legitimated, I got something in the back room that scares the shit out of me, when the beast breaks out of its cage, a square island, a moat, pens, a temple, a hovel, weapons, ancient weapons?, far away in time or space, he puts down a club, this god who have a half-man half-god to be sacrificed, a sophisticated weapon/religion, story attraction, how strong can your god be if he died on a wooden stick, that’s interesting, just give obedience to that guy over there with the fish hat (the pope), fairy tale structure, William Hope Hodgson, no scroll being uncovered, fairy tale timeline, him as an old man, a one to one, he lived happily ever after, omniscient, the description of the beast, as huge as a horse, his small head was laid back on his hairy shoulders, his red mouth, it could be a lion, a giant wolf, a giant man, its up to your imagination, a series of rough hewn gates, the forest, drawbridge, sheep, a great statue on a pedestal, half-man half-goat crouched to spring, the beginning is interpretable through the end, Cernunnos, the horned god, Herne The Hunter, the Green Man with horns, the merging with man with his primary prey (deer/goats), pre-Christian religion in England is murky, per-Christian Roman culture and religion, The Golden Bough by James Frazer, comparative mythology, the priesthood of Diana, the goddess of nature and hunting, sacred grove, a certain tree, a drawn sword, set upon by an enemy, a priest and a murderer, such was the rule of the sanctuary, how you become a priest of Diana, The King Of The Wood, if A.C. Benson was interested in folklore or mythology, he could have read the first page and got this idea, a Christian Roman, an ironic cyclical thing, what Caesar says, they like sickles and harvesting oak moss, druids, that song from Spinal Tap, nobody knows, they’re strange, Diana of Nemi, conflated with Artemis, Lake Nemi, according to the legend, the Tauric Diana, the myth has it, the temple of Saturn, sacrificed on her altar, a milder form (of human sacrifice), a scared grove, a carved cult image, archaic and Etruscan in form, go to their danger, her priest will hunt you, page 13 (of 36), Paul <- Paulanus, a transformation on the road, the way of Christ, so it is this that is taking hold of the world, women and children in fair houses, the god who made these woods, he loves death and darkness, a brutish sort (of love), the sharp woes and agonies, death sweats and cries of despair, your simple easy-going god might dwell within them, beyond the memory of man, I should be content if it had victory, go to sleep, a nice story, I wish it were true, I'd like you to live here with me, don't you want to see the scary god in the back shed?, all externalized, a good religion for middle class people with good incomes, the grinding horror of this forest, my God is patient, things will work out in the end, a strange way, hey, you're not the priest, your god killed him, he goes through the whole story, it's all about the story, maybe you should be the teacher and replace that temple, how Christianity got its grip on this island, a way of solving the question: how did it come to be?, how did Christianity come to the British isles, this isn't a colonizer, a fiction, a wandering disciple, it feels Biblical, the language of it, particular style, a good choice, the story of Paul, the messenger of Jesus, that transformational character, apostles vs. disciples, Judas is forgiven too, Tarsus, the apostle of the gentiles, where the most success there is with Jesus, non-Jews become Christians, through personal revelations, post-ascension Jesus, a post-prophet, neither Connor nor Jesse are not a bible expert, contemporaneous but not present, he is the guy who converts non-witnesses, how the the Latter Day Saints do it too, so your religion spreads, to model the behavior, the Good News, Jews don't prosthelytize, an appeal to it, like Christianity and Islam, god not having to be seen is more fitting, what colour Thor's armour is, we don't give his real name, let it be to your imagination, some churches, Jesus embodied on the cross vs. the cross without a Jesus, intellectual strategies, we're all brothers vs. crusades style, more Jesus centered Christianity, the oldness the art, the discipline, monks, nunneries, self-denial, self-abnegation, literal news, you don't have to do it the old way anymore, modelling the behavior, acting the Christian, why it works as a really good story, a very strange story, we wouldn't see the appeal of the change, preachy and judgemental, the way of love and peace among brothers, a whole new world (not being worried about being killed), an insane method of succession, propaganda, Julius Caesar's accounts, pre-Christian religions written about through and by a Christian lens, human history, the blood eagle, to wield power, to intimidate, the way Genghis operated, the Romans were brutal, openly and ultimately corrupt, cool takeaways from Nietzsche, take it like a Christian, seeing that, they seem to have a conviction that we don't have, there story is an inversion of ours, submission and peace and willingness to suffer, a judo flip on the mind, a weird flex, Constantine, hey we're all Christians now, a politic move, literally leading an army, all of that considered, a more mentally healthy worldview, murder or sacrifice, human sacrifice doesn't seem that cool, there is a textbook, apocrypha, the King James Bible, Jesus wants you to support the war in Iraq, when somebody was accused of adultery, having literacy, a subset of Christians, these are our brothers and sisters we need to cherish them, it doesn't negate bravery, act as if you believe because you hope it is true, why people believe things, a kind of discipline and rigor, codes of behaviors that need to be served, he doesn't have a book with him, spreading the word based on what he has read or what he was told, this is how you read, you can read it for yourself, the power struggle, controlling who can read, be rich and hire a tutor, send your kid to be a copyist, minor nobility, acquiring wealth, roles for people even if they can't read, when the printing press comes in, Koreans who became Christians in the 19th and 20th centuries, analyzing through angles, nothing is in a steady state, a story science, like science, an ice-core sample, as early as 1903, through the other data that we know, folk horror is still with us, our first urban legend for Reading, Short And Deep, urban legends don't have a first publication, Rapunzel, Lucy Crane and her brother, High Beams, The Killer In The Back Seat, my cousin heard this from her brother, this is a story that can only exist in the 20th century, coming out of a context, working with a specific text, who told it to who in what context?, a document frozen in time, we can infer some things, what A.C. Benson may be doing that we didn’t notice, the Greeks and the Romans were from peoples that had these things, they might have their version of Pan, we can trace a lot of it, Google Books scanning, the two things, a connection there, drawing those connections, use an index, The Tempest by William Shakespeare, Caliban’s mom (Sycorax), Setebos, Solomon Kane, The One Black Stain by Robert E. Howard, Patagonia, a reference to Magellan, Antonio Pigafetta, that’s the same god!, a contemporary book, deep archaeological extractions, we can be wrong but we can always go back to the original sample, people like to fiddle, like chain of custody, reading old stories richer, who cares if a book references Trump now, the golden haired dunce, they just assumed people would know what they were talking about, 1921/7, Randall’s Round by Eleanor Scott, it’s obvious when you know, new volumes of The Golden Bough, here in the future where we are, all we see is the racism, they’re so sexist back then, how randy 1950s Americans were, going steady, the 1950s slick magazines, sex habits of teenagers, we think they’re so repressed, you’re only getting part of it, there can be nudity, why women should get married younger, a vague memory of your parents or grandparents, the actual archaeological stratum, the fossils of the culture, they have skin and put on makeup, recording history, leaving out bits of information, holding yourself accountable, humans are self-centered, when recording history, print media sources, what were the gossip rags talking about, Victorian England as prudish, venereal diseases, orphans in Dickens, public prudity and private indulgence, The New Accelerator [by H.G. Wells], all the drugs, heroin at the grocery store, hashish, poppy smoking clubs (opium dens), heroin was a product made by Bayer, give it to your kids, moral panics over coffee and tea, kill lots of people to get tea or rum cheaper, deploy your soldiers with rum, the Rum Rebellion in Australia, an act of rebellion against Governor Bligh, hiding under his bed, a government overthrown, the trucker rebellion in Canada, a Boxer Rebellion is china, not just religious mania, twice, famously he had mutinies under him, reading about 5 or 6 times, as many stories, historical significance, it has a literal monster in it, folk horror that contains monsters and monster-free folk horror, werewolfy creature, the symbolic part, at the center, the reason it is locked up, how native people dealt with criminals, paddle you out to an island, we don’t want to kill each other, governments make us kill, a committee, why the hangman wears a mask, a faceless thing, indigenous Australian criminal justice, a free shot, go back to livin, it’s hard when it’s murder, a chaotic person who can’t be controlled and is dangerous, anthropology in uni, much like Julius Caesar, like JFK, royalty from the society, they disaffect from the royal line, punishments come from the community of power, rogues, the philosophy of love, “take care of it”, whack em, so many metaphors, synonyms for words that has massive taboos, euphemisms, obscured behind layers of meaning, execute means do, to carry through to the end, executive power is the power to do, he gotta get done, gotta get got, a murder who wants to be forgiven, all people are good or can be,
the breaking of the cycle, the priest’s brother is like that, what are the options, a much harder story to tell, asking for forgiveness (rather than permission), talking to little kids about Spider-Man, he’s a do-gooder, in a punishment society, make a virtue of thinking through , what would Jesus do, N-Law launchers to blow up tanks in Ukraine, don’t send weapons to death squads, chickenhawks run the society.

The Temple Of Death by A.C. Benson

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The SFFaudio Podcast #699 – READALONG: The Doomed City by Arkady Strugatsky and Boris Strugatsky

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #699 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, Marissa VU, and Bryan Alexander talk about The Doomed City by Arkady Strugatsky and Boris Strugatsky.

Talked about on today’s show:
Strugatsky, 1989 kind of, 1972, late 1960s, how to classify this book’s publication story, who had read this before, Roadside Picnic, weird late publication, Stalker (1979), 2017 audiobook, the afterword, the introduction, Soviet science fiction, literature in the Soviet Union, Red Plenty, if a book doesn’t have a manuscript, if it doesn’t get read by readers it doesn’t exist, the carbon copy, a book that can frustrate people, not really a science fiction novel as much as it is an existential novel, a role playing game made out of this setting, a worker in a big office building, possessed vending machines, Control, freak your shit out, single player video game, garbage worker, baboons show up, wander off into the North, jump off the precipice, Disco Elysium, strange philosophical conversations, skill tree, intrusive thoughts, weird psychology, hilarious, playing it straight, completely deranged, develop different relationships with people, a meta, did this book remind you of any books?, Dark City (1998), an undefined place and time, 1950s Leningrad, Driftwood by Marie Brennan, fantasy kingdom, squeezed towards the center, City At the End Of Time by Greg Bear, dream-like reality, the Red Building, Cinnabar [by Edward Bryant], M. John Harrison’s Viriconium series, resonance, Plato’s The Republic, The Just City by Jo Walton, The Investigation by Stanisław Lem, the Riverworld series by Philip Jose Farmer, To Our Scattered Bodies Go, chess board, internal stuff, John Brunner’s The Squares Of The City, moving people around, Charles Stross’ Missile Gap, an Alderson disc, ICBMs no longer work, the Siege Of Leniningrad, Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell, The Drowned World by J.G. Ballard, The Half-Made World by Felix Gilman, Last Exit by Max Gladstone, the pyramid, A Maze Of Death, Solar Lottery by Philip K. Dick, Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer, The City And The Stars by Arthur C. Clarke, amalgamated and reconstituted, a book about art, The Wall Of Darkness by Arthur C. Clarke, Super Science Stories, July 1949, Hannes Bok, Virgil Finlay, distinctive styles, contemplating a stairway and holding a Möbius strip, an Elon Musk style character funds a stairway to see over a wall, awesome story, an Omni story, The Infinite Plane by Paul J. Nahin, Travel By Wire by Arthur C. Clarke, the food becomes poison, the clock of the Long Now [Foundation], left handed food, no comparative thoughts, The Truman Show (1998), artificial worlds, the Soviet context, the heroic stage, friendly with a Nazi, the end, art and culture being the greatest good, the Temple, powerful writing, the Siege of Leningrad, I was in Cambodia, I was in Waco with Koresh, the most lethal, a rival source of power, the Soviet center, the great strategist, playing chess with human bodies, another Omni story, imaginary numbers, math fiction, a Soviet peasant makes a set of chessmen, capitalists vs. workers, enchantment, how chess can be played, it doesn’t matter if your king is taken, Nineteen Eighty-Four, the truth is whatever I tell you it is, angel/alien, a deeply flawed main character, he wants to leave the library, an emblem, not answering that stuff, this is us on Earth here, randomocracy, it’s just happening, the ethnography, Swedes, Germans, Koreans, an American with a cowboy hat, that open time, so global, the existential element, everybody is here, we’re told it is voluntary, you died there, bud, a camouflaged criticism, everybody will become communist, continue the program, lacking geographic specificity, NATO, good branding, if you have faith, there are no kids in this city, a garbage collector to a policeman to the mayor to the president to the leader of an expedition, doctors too?, a lawyer, bricklayer, somewhat failing experiment, it can only be failed, out of control, German efficiency, a classic utopian thing, The Lottery In Babylon by Jorge Luis Borges, a gardener, a response to a reality, you can not fall any further, a stoic philosophy, choosing not to be upset, willing to suffer the swamps, pleasant swamps, 1950s gulag, city/country divide, the farmers, the Truckers this week, coming into the city in a convoy, one of these farmers has a machine gun, we need that machinegun to get rid of the baboons, policies made in extremis, German POWs lodged with farmers, trapped on the continent, we called that slavery, 3rd amendment to the U.S. constitution, the baboon invasion, a metaphor for something, Dan Simmons’ The Terror, leaded meat, going insane, the crystal palace, endless plain, monsters, a premonition, the giant statue, an obvious super-metaphor, Stalin and Lenin statues, William Hope Hodgson, the heat death of the Solar System, The Night Land, geothermal energy, an anti-city, wireless transmission, a horseless knight with a circular saw, a geological force, a 17th century gentleman, existential and talky, a classical romance in an insane setting, there is meaning in images and events, we are not privy, the stuff that is not there, the guy who issues the toilet paper, important notes, committee meeting minutes, a curious puppy, playing the game in his way, giggling at everything, anti-semitism, he gets the last word, he’s the brains of the operation, physically jewish, an engagement with judaism, what the temple is about, producing culture, respecting the intellect, the people of the book, Jerusalem and Moscow, crazy reviews, misogyny, skank (not slattern), a Soviet style phrase, whiny sluts, wankrags for the guys, udders, in the police station, I don’t have that file, we don’t know everybody’s backstory, how could you?, no woman’s perspective, the basic pass on this is they are in Hell, Earth is Hell, capable of receiving pain, if you want to stay alive you have to kill, what are we to do, the experiment is the experiment, the devil god, hunger isn’t the problem we just don’t have enough food, our swedish friend, the military skank, they pickup somehow, everything that’s elided, previous iterations of the city, left incomplete, going downstairs to sleep with her, corrupted, WWII into the 1970s, a story of disillusionment, very Colonel Kurtz, Aguirre, The Wrath Of God (1972), the book begins with shit, the book ends with shit, reflected things, her beautiful white pristine legs, scabs bruises and abscesses, physically degenerating, their will is breaking, a blank landscape allows for deep reflection, Lena on Goodreads:

Depressing surreal social criticism that pretends to be a sci-fi. The parody on communism and soviet propaganda is quite obvious, but the story also takes deeper study of human society and nature. One star for misogyny, disgusting realism and unnecessary cruelty. Moreover authors didn’t give any explanation to the world-building nor uncover any plot’s mysteries.

where the reader has gone wrong, a funhouse mirror, through a mirror darkly, satire makes it sound like its fun, showing us truths, a misogynistic, its already in the world, when the revolution happens, sees the results, the emphasis on diarrhea and dysentery, things start in the gutter, a shit job, simple, available for you to see, the opening was terrific, The tanks were rusty, dented, and their lids were lose, potato husks, the mouth of an unkempt indiscriminate food pelican, a competent cop, it’s going to be gone when they get there, Andre is pretty incompetent, he doesn’t want to understand, haunted by the end, the temple speech, humanities, an astronomer, a sky that has one star and doesn’t move, Theodore Sturgeon’s Microcosmic God, the neoterrics, Sandkings by George R.R. Martin, just neglect, the humanities vs. the sciences, the mute mentor, circles, the emphasis on fecal matter, the afterlife, blast away at somebody, there’s no art in this city, all these shitty pulp magazines, no great writers, no great poets, a complaint, they’re not here, in the outer world, always in development, a very meta-book, its hard to write good art, are we writing good art?, a book review inside of a book, showing television in Robocop (1987), a condemnation of society, abundance riots, Nazi art, I don’t understand anything, reveal the truth about their world, the truth of the Red building, all will be revealed, nope, the authors know what they’re doing, Roadside Picnic [Stalker (1979)], Swiftian misanthropy, American conservative literature, apes and monkeys as a critique of Darwin, that realistic, that bestial, casually fucking in the streets, monkeys, an incredibly dark view, aren’t we?, a fishtank, to quote Marlowe, a decisive ending, raising our science fiction and fantasy hope, a meta-science fiction book, not a fantasy, following the rules, fantastic, Exhalation by Ted Chiang, Plato’s The Republic, H.G. Wells’ The War Of The Worlds, crappy adventure stories, later you became obsessed with it, the strivings of a story like The War Of The Worlds are to put us in our place, this is what you really are, have yourself humbled, we are humbled, a mimetic sense, what would we do if we were placed in this very strange RPG, more shit is around the next corner, worship at the temple in the crystal palace, William G. Shepherd, Omni, Discovery, Popular Science, Popular Mechanics, is that the best we can hope for?, a minority adds to and maintains the temple, the temple persists, participate in keeping the temple going is a great way of life, six months of a magazine, nobody’s going to look at them, a friend in Australia, the little builder, somebody else’s job, its not Jesse’s job to put Jesse’s statue up in the temple, his job is to polish the temple steps, and point people in the right direction to find the right book inside the temple if they come by, maybe call them in from the street, no donation needed, they walk by and spit on Jesse, coral reef, all of our art, if you’re not creating, hiding hoping the squid doesn’t eat him, Jesse the clownfish, Hemingway, drunk, pedophile, Dostoevsky was an extreme right-winger, the temple creators are flawed, the canon contains shit but it has beauty within the shit, horrible creators, whatever politics is now, cancel culture, the pederast Tchaikovsky, thief and gallows-bird, O. Henry was an embezzler, Ezra Pound, open fascist, defender of the Soviet Union, defending human rights abuses, the temple that endures, whatever flag people are waving, holding up the flag, wearing a flag is an act that is very different, planting a flag on your house, when the flags come out, in division, this doomed city, it’s important, nationalities are incidental, all united as doomed, yesterday’s enemy, when you strip them of the flag, this kind of work is important, a suggestive sketch, points it’s making, high poetry, as an aesthetic way to be, endings are disappointing (usually), where it takes you to emotionally, did he shoot himself?, he met himself and he shot himself, it’s left open, capable of killing the best person we know, capable of self destruction, capable of destroying other human beings, he pulled a pistol out of the holster, tall tattered exhausted with a dirty beard, a return shot, he doesn’t check his cap, not being able to recognize this other, a mirror, he’s shooting himself, sitting in his tent, all the possible things he can do to avoid what needs doing, how you maintain discipline, these are animals, the traditional way of doing it, The One Black Stain by Robert E. Howard, Solomon Kane, Sir Francis Drake, Magellan, returns to England, you can now murder people because you are a chief of an expedition, the maritime tradition, they are the law, they can marry people, the dominant navy on the planet, unless you’re a pirate and have signed the articles, a precedent, you’re a bad person, you’re a coward, the Golden Hind, head in hands, wracked with doubt, the misery of having killed a friend for a wrong reason, we put ourselves in these Hells, regretting or doubling down, I didn’t choose to be here, nobody explains how the , no authorial infodump for us, the anti-Neal Stephenson, the thermodynamics of the big wall, deal with it, what does it mean that the sun is off, is it a coincidence?, is it a sign?, about to become a dictator, the Russian kitchen drinking scene, here it is, they’re all completely disagreeing with each other but not actually coming to blows over anything, it’s just talk, pretty deep, not something we see in American literature that often, written about drinking, F. Scott Fitzgerald, a manly thing to do, a classy thing to do, very realistic, all the russian drinking, before the blackout, the snacks, all the stages of inebriation, a positive, a bright spot, the party, Raymond Chandler, a rich guy drinking himself to death, set in Los Angeles, blendy, Dashiell Hammett, hiding the truth of reality by drinking, Mike Hammer, American detective stories are about uncovering reality, that guy was beating his wife, somebody died, his daughter killed herself, hiding the truth through alcohol vs. a communal defiance against the reality they already acknowledge, the vomiting, more thoughts, Herodotus on the persian court, Peter the Great, the drunken synod of fools, Stalin plying with vodka, in vino veritas is legit, WWII, Churchill couldn’t go 2 weeks without his prescription alcohol, Nixon drunk, Yeltsin, russians thought he drank too much, Voltaire’s conclusion Candide, a dark russian take on Candide, zoom out a bit, one last russian thing, awkward conversations, the extreme opposite of Frank Herbert’s conversations, it’s painful to read, I don’t understand what you’re saying, the dialogue is very fun, pulling out 10,000 quotes, a commonplace book, self-journal, write down your dreams, a diary is very narcissistic, what twitter is for Jesse (a commonplace book), Paul’s Miscellany, whoever exercises power, man has to have a goal, hence the expedition, hence the experiment, we’ve got to do something, general outrage, goals and enemies, very easy to be uncharitable, words on a page, you don’t need to be outraged about everything, a set of beliefs is dangerous, a blob of ideas I’m currently carrying around, squish some of them, taking a model of what someone else is saying, how other people’s mannerisms work, ongoing public conversation, these vast swaths of people who comment, a massive list of comments, they’re talking to themselves, this is what you do because , when you see Jesse on twitter it’s because he has to wait 15 seconds, in the before times (pre-covid), monitoring mentions, believing in the conversation, great for connecting with people, a really interesting bookshelf, detecting outrage, plugins, moderate your anger, road rage is like twitter isolation, indistinct, a look of concentration and fear (or don’t), this person is the worst human being in the entire world, essentially bad drivers, perfectly nice people, an excuse for it, it’s hard not to be a hypocrite, how good is that narration?, he had a voice for everybody, good show, good take, by special request of Chowbacca, a random twitter guy, exactly, a fan of the show, looking forward to everyone’s thoughts, thank you so much @chowbacca415. make the temple as pretty and nice as possible, the temple is a library, trucks being impounded, ready when you are, Mentor, Mentor is actually Athena (in The Odyssey), how to deal with Circe, some of the characters are on hands experimenters, Touched By An Angel, like Quantum Leap but for christians, make things right, a science fiction explanation, mentoring, pedagogy, the last words of the book in russian, stacks of firewood, there’s a lot of burning to come, a demon or a devil, Athena’s hobby horse for Odysseus, he’s the wise and wily one, Heracles gets a special interest from Zeus, as a psychological story, Nietzsche, no psychological depth, Get Smart, cone of silence room, a black room, an anti-room somewhere in the house, there’s a metaphor there for you.

The Doomed City

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The SFFaudio Podcast #671 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: The Watcher At The Threshold by John Buchan

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #671 – The Watcher At The Threshold by John Buchan – read by Connor Kaye. This is a complete and unabridged reading of the story (55 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Evan Lampe, and Connor Kaye

Talked about on today’s show:
Harper’s, December 1900, distraight is a word, distraight is distracted, hearth, fucking deep!, the reference level, operating on a different continent, an earlier period, Supernatural Horror In Literature, August Derleth, The Lurker at the Threshold, the first half, Evan’s bike, prepared for the subtext, folk horror as a genre, the earliest examples of folk horror, a weird tales with hints of folk horror, so good, its hard, nothing happens in this story, coffee and dinner, a restaurant in a small town nearby, an email or something, better than a lot of Lovecraft stories, kinda banal on the service, a friend going around the bend, that moment on that ride together, the evening in the library, Roman history, Roman law, just a few paragraphs, all this happens in the very very end of the story, scenes we can read out, way deeper, hallucinating a little bit, clearer simpler movie, The Grove Of Ashtaroth, no girl, set in Africa (probably Rhodesia), Roman/Scottish folk horror, Semitic folk horror, dynamite and shotgun everything, a descent into a cave, Ash Tree Press, another of Buchan’s weird tales No Man’s Land, take the best scenes in making a comic, a dog cart and a lady at the door, don’t look at that sculpture over there, the narrator is a bit odd, the narrator is a lawyer on vacation, he’s come from Norway, a storycap, in love with his cousin, our narrator is not interested in the story (as much as his cousin), he’s kinda dumb but good at dropping all the hints, the opening, 189_, why is he hiding the year from us, a “true story”, the footnote also makes it a “true story”, lustful after a cousin, I can take her away from here and we can be together (and dump this guy), a familial duty, a former love, she was better off to marry him, he was in love with her, there to service her needs (not his), there’s some sort of underlying thing going on, where he got this from, underdeveloped for a modern audience, not a rip-roaring, The Fall Of The House Of Usher by Edgar Allan Poe, this mid-Atlantic region, Buchan has read Poe, a great setup, what kind of disease does this guy have?, a venereal disease, no successful treatment for the Maupassant disease, The Horla etc., syphilis, a disease of the heart, his left side, always talking about woodcocks, a hillclimb?, billiards, our narrator is dumb, a “sun-worshipper”, the moor is indistinct, he’s not a weird fiction fan, Ladlaw, his disastrous trip to Norway for the hunting, never explained, grumpy the whole time, the case is not going well, eager to get back, too weird for me, I can’t solve it, way to uncomfortable, compared with the fresh highland glen all was chilly and dull and dead, a very bad temper, other John Buchan works, the Clan Roydens, you know the house., who is he talking to?, on the moors, walks and hunts and fishes, pleasant people in the house, a fortnight in Norway, overly dramatic, he just likes shooting, when we finally get to the letter, a PS and another PS, my affectionate cousin, laidlow, Bob is terribly ill and I’m crazy, it is not doctor’s business, he’s dying, she has the same infection, a whole other level to his researches playing a role, shotgunning a goddess, 100% supernatural vs. a supernatural story (a possession story) and venereal disease, Barry Pain, laurels, death figure and life figure, Madam Blavatsky and the Theosophists, a symbolist painting, talking about his left side, kinda dumb, its the devil, in the universe of the story, Justinian making a deal with the devil, Laidlaw, Sybil, Theodora, hip deep in Theosophy, Falun Gong, congregationalist church with theosophy on the side, why this story is so weird, technical things, why is Lovecraft so racist, not everybody was into Theosophy, not ancient Biblical stuff, very specifically about Justinian, law school for a minute, he doesn’t read that much, I’m not going to tell you the story as he said it, set it down exactly as it is said, our narrator than the audience, John Buchan is laying it down so heavy, page 802, three fools alone in the dank upland, gobbling his food and getting scared at his napkin, a mad tea party with a vengeance, the doormouse and the hatter, Alice In Wonderland, Theodora -> a doormouse -> a watcher by the threshold, watching her husband at the threshold of death, very atmospheric and moody, gruesome and spooky, they don’t have any ducks for me to shoot, The Tomb, The Case Of Charles Dexter Ward, details about ancient defensive structures, a Yithian taking him over?, a reincarnation?, a past life exposed by this illness?, what he’s been doing, it used to be full of books about badminton, neat and scholarly (I hated it), horses and shooting, how much time doing Lovecraftian research, the secret history of Justinian, all real books, roll against Library Science, made a deal with the devil, The Thing On The Doorstep, The Shadow Out Of Time, the relationship between Scotland and Justinian, the Roman Inheritance: Christianity and Law, Edward Bulwer Lytton’s Zanoni, confronted by every aspirant, really lame spirituality, it covers everything, Justinian and Theodora are both saints, how they’re really rotten, an evil whore actress, an egoist, how much labour is involved in keeping the estate up, the town is full of poor people, a groom, the employee, they want to go on vacation, a class criticism, the narrator is unaware of class, Robert -> Robin, his sinister side, more bookish, Justinian’s bust, the spirit of Justinian was inside the bust?, the footnote, sleeping trouble, Delacroix Byzantium, the intertextual, The Horla theory, the disease that shall not be named, infected with Justinian’s disease, right up to but not including Scotland, The Rats In The Walls, 18th century England and Rome, John Buchan was an imperialist, WWI, The Thirty Nine Steps, on the path of being responsible for the extinction of a goddess, friends at school, some sort of fascinating connection, “going to seed”, they come into their flower and then go to seed, seedy = disreputable, why Poe and Lovecraft are so different, there are bigger issues than girls, the role of Justinian, he’s a Lovecraftian character, the most basic interpretation, the same spirit or demon, he recognized his own symptoms, Secret History by Procopius, this is an echo of that, textual verification, an amorphous shadow, the divide between the spiritual world and the modern reality, something’s attached to him through that divide, sundown syndrome, you lawyers, sounds like Lovecraft talking, this Mannan, the real landscape, the red earth and the red rock and the red streams of the hills, a new gospel, it would kill materialism, the poets who have deified nature, the profundity, the shaggy somber eyed forefather, wise wise, a queer land nowadays, inscrutable, an important part of this story, reading it literally, the Howard Lovecraft debate about civilization, law tames it, the Mad Hatter, the basic laws of the Enlightenment, 1900, fin de siecle, the yellow nineties, at a precipice, a gilded age, hints of Nietzsche, law can save us, getting that empire back, why is the land red red red, what’s missing is all the people, the Picts, what we think they were like, druids vs. the national spirit of Germany, Tacitus, Buchan’s a Scot who’s part of Empire, servants of Empire, this Empire shit is really bad, keeps the books on rich people’s investments, Montrose by John Buchan, the Jacobites are mentioned, a billiards game sort of story, I would show you the back of simple nature, the groom, I must have speed or go mad, til the ghoulish elder world, a solitary lit window, the red desert?, we’re having trouble picking it all up, putting all the work in, not filmable, a comedic narrator character, I’m a simple guy, I just like shooting things, how’s he gonna help?, the house literally cracks apart and collapses into the surrounding tarn, a metaphor for venereal disease, where are the kids in this family?, the house of MORE, the end of the cycle of empire, we’ve reached our peak, its all downhill from there, Buchan is very much like Ladlaw, photos of Buchan as Governor General in Canada, all the native tribes, Indians, Innu, and Inuit, when the royals come to Canada, you’re a part of the tribe now, a plains Indian headdress, the royal estate, the natives have a closer relationship to Britain than Canada does, Lord Beaverbrook, neo-Jacobites, the Stuart heirs, the divine right of kings, the Scottish kings, political conservatism, send him to Australia, in a way that the Welsh aren’t, engineers of Empire are Scottish, Airstrip One etc., either Scottish independence or a Jacobite restoration, more Buchan, The Green Wildebeest, No Man’s Land by John Buchan, way out into the moors of Scotland, Picts, Worms Of The Earth by Robert E. Howard, brutal but also wise, action packed!, less deep?, he got a writing career in addition, The Thirty-Nine Steps is a potboiler, parallel to this house of More, page 805, the actress harlot devotee, shapeless thing at his side, he dumb, the man in the chair before me, grim earnest, nonsense or no, devilish fancy, two inappropriate laughs, you doofus, he’s a real jerk, horribly anxious, giggling to himself, so insensitive, camped out outside the library, its the devil, oh, you’re serious, always dismissing, wry senses no jokes, clever wordplay, we see it as funny because of our distance, mooching, his ecosystem, Clan Roydens, his Lovecraftian universe, being a Scottish Lord, filing off the serial numbers, a very realistic story, for money, endless vacation time, non-productive lords, a slight realization, all built on labour and the deaths of people who lived here, the official histories are followed by the secret histories, a small incident among upper class twits, a hypocrite but he admits it, subversive in the sense that these upper class people are fucked, Will Emmons says science fiction comes in lots of different flavours but fantasy is for elitists, an Irish Lord and an Oxford don, diplomat, soldier, and writer, he’s solid, Ambrose Bierce is so subversive of his own text, all irony all the time, he’s having fun, William Gibson is always talking about what things are made of, an ironic overlay, adventurey overlay, stymied at all opportunities, a weird thing to do to your story, what the hell is this, so different and boring (comparatively), Supernatural Horror In Literature, his weirdest story, the atmosphere is great, The Weird And The Eerie by Mark Fisher, what is weird?, what is eerie?, the moor is eerie, this vast empty thing, the situation with Ladlaw was weird, leave it and never resolve, you should know what these things are, no resolution, publishers probably hate that, available as an audiobook, tackling many different films and TV shows and books, Prester John by John Buchan.

The Watcher By The Threshold by John Buchan

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The SFFaudio Podcast #531 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: Piper In The Woods by Philip K. Dick

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #531 – Piper In The Woods by Philip K. Dick; read by Gregg Margarite. This is an unabridged reading of the story (45 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Paul Weimer, Marissa Vu, and Evan Lampe.

Talked about on today’s show:
a plant named Paul, first published in Imagination, February 1953, the PDF, Introducing the author: Philip K. Dick, comic books, Stirring Science Stories, “There was no limit.”, StF (scientifiction), Faustian!, a medium in which the full play of imagination can operate, social awareness, communications between myself and others, my wife and my cat (Magnificat), a huge desk!, “read and write quite a lot”, public libraries, school libraries, a very young Philip K. Dick, the YouTube audio, nakedly bathing her foot while in a bush a scientist stares at her, baffled by this story, what the hell is going on?, really weird, a take that Jesse could Grok, totally baffled by, what Philip K. Dick was getting at, dreams, a scene not in the story, two trailers for film adaptations, the tone, the French one looked really angry, yelling, episode 9 of Evan’s Philip K. Dick Book Club podcast, about labour, refusal of work tradition, post scarcity philosophy, Paul Lafargue, anarchists, Bertrand Russell, reinvest productivity into leisure, Roanoake, “CROATOAN”, the anti-work tradition, the robot, two robots, a dorm room, a science fiction future, Earth doesn’t have trees anymore, the evolutionary argument, find green beautiful, Savannah grasses, the most beautiful trees are the ones that can be climbed, the Philip K. Dick Rhetorizer, obsession with cedar trees, a beautiful driveway leading up to a house, Upon The Dull Earth, an obsession with trees, orbiting Jupiter, Jesse’s massive theory, the pipers, the girl is a piper(?), Doctor Harris, do you know about the pipers, a native, Martians who came to the asteroids, folklore, we don’t know what’s really going on, what happens in the story, fantasy stories masquerading as science fiction stories, Beyond Lies The Wub, a talking pig, the pig talks about Odysseus and philosophy, weird strange guy, the Ancient Greeks, Strange Eden, tame, this brutish dude, transformed into a tamed animal, Aeëtes is the brother of Circe, Bubber the blubber boy, Return To Lilliput, maybe they’re dryads, the hamadryad, tied to a particular tree, building the base, Pan and the panisci, the pipes of Pan, not paying attention to science, a fantasy set in a science fiction universe, why are they called pipers?, Marissa’s theory, The Pied Piper Of Hamelin, like they’re dying, Of Withered Apples, lives in the ground, maybe the forest are all just dead people, the victims don’t eat, the scene at the end with the dirt, sunlight, water, a strange invasion story, the contamination they’re trying to prevent, unrelated plant schemes, to spread the gospel, the line about Tiberius, when Christianity showed up in high places, household slaves of the Imperial family, tutoring the kids, “that’s Jesus!”, Friedrich Nietzsche, “slave morality”, this is GOOD, that was BAD, this is GOOD, “the meek shall inherit the earth works for me”, only in the blood soaked soil of the Roman Empire can a slave morality be so flourishing, a whole cool thing, the Holy Roman Empire, that turn, Doctor Harris’ POV, presumably he knows what’s in his luggage, is he lying there?, a psychological story, dreams, switching genders, every time you see the word “plant” replace it with the “woman”, just why do you think you’re a woman?, a strange phenomenon, how is the psychological happening happening?, a mysterious transformation, more about identity, in our world, the experience as presented, if it was by Heinlein, a few bosom shots, a beauty and grace of movement, secretary just out of school, an invasion story, Paul’s theory, a different set of mythological references, the myth of Endymion, the myth of Actaeon, Atremis and Diana, turned into a stag, his dogs, Martians, a defense of the asteroid by the pipers, quelling them, neutralized, Evan’s take, these workers are infected with the work ethic, the valourization of work, a whole ideology here, full employment, if you’re not in the labour market you’re less, the blessings of work, the fear of everything individual, work giving meaning, so many things going on, it doesn’t tell you what its doing, random stuff, our first victim, blonde, the most bizzaro conversation, it is a comedy, “why do you think you’re a plant”, “I’ve been a plant for several days now”, “I see”, beefy Commander Cox, work was unnatural, contemplate, jet repair, two nurses passed, a jet blast injury, a bovine youth with horned-rimmed glasses, the bovine youth, Philip K. Dick coding-in, I’m doing fantasy right now, cataleptic?, is this on purpose?, it was a warm sunny day, a graceful flowing motion, he is the girl, copper coloured natives, they’re sunbathers, the Coppertone, you’re on your way to your writing shack, there’s a story right there, how do you become one of those people, sunbathing is a vacation thing, the opposite of work, in the military for no reason, M*A*S*H, Corporal Klinger, I need a section 8, maybe he protest to much, an argument against pacifism, they’re deserters, if everybody did what I do, another take on Bartelby, The Scrivner, inscrutable, a law copyist, Bob Cratchet, Scrooge will have to fill out his own eviction notices, a Memorial to the Unknown Deserter, Life Of Philip K. Dick, Anthony Peake suggest that chapter 6 of The Wind Of The Willows by Kenneth Grahame, benign forgetting, “The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn”, the gift of forgetfulness, this hidden memory is The Wind In The Willows, Morpheus in The Matrix (1999), the reviews, there’s a lot of stories like this?, Weltanschauung (worldview), a Promethean aspect to Philip K. Dick, Time Out Of Joint, they’re sunbathing, other people don’t see it as work, idle but doing interesting things, in the beginning was the deed, a pretty good pickup line, obsessed with Faust in the 50s, poppy, goldbricking, “poppycock”, where poppies and grass grew everywhere, Hypnos the god of sleep, Philip K. Dick knows what he’s doing (at least on some level), encoding for us, a story for the reader to try to engage with, rebuffed by the sea, people always point to the twist ending, is it a twist?, somehow confident he’s on the right path, the Pan idea, The Great God Pan, Helen Vaughn out in the woods taking in hard working men, The Tomb by H.P. Lovecraft, The Tree by H.P. Lovecraft, its a murder mystery, the two best sculptors, two different ways of getting inspiration for their art, one goes to the city, the other to the grove, a fascinating story, the nature of art, taking inspiration from nature, can’t explain it but knows its necessary, it doesn’t touch on art, dead at night, almost childhood, before you can become creative, absorbing like a sponge, same with Lovecraft, unconsciously thinks of his own early life, a baby lying in the sun, the god of the Sun, Apollo, the goddess Artemis had a relationship with Pan, he’s setting us up, working a psychological idea out, all these different interpretations, they act as nature spirits, the way he comes upon her, a golden snake, Apollo, the Pythias, a connection there, a grey creature, hunt and fish, no written language, a story of Herman Melville’s Typee, where food is plentiful, when you’re having fun at work its play, an AP prep course, what Bob Black calls the Ludic lifestyle, transforming work into play, playful in an aimful way?, we don’t need to do that much, do we need 4% GDP growth?, untied to human labour, you can do it all through finance, labour and income, the whole system is designed to prevent that, vulture capitalism, cutting down a tree is GDP, Paramount and Fox and Disney, the quality of film isn’t going to go up radically but the shuttering of a competitor, seeing the reflections of all this stuff in a story that’s so impenetrable, Beyond The Door, were people knowing exactly what he was doing, a story of cuckolding, Oh my god, encoding a secret story inside the story, just out of reach, that’s how it is anyway, is Diogenes in the Philip K. Dick rhetorizer?, he lived in a pot, he called himself a cynic (a dog), a lower lifeform, being a human is not that great, you want to be on the team that doesn’t get enslaved, if you aren’t building ships and nukes then you are subjects to the whims of those who are, because you weren’t building tanks…, that war lasted 14 years (12 Christmas episodes and Alan Alda’s aging rapidly), the war chews people up, they’re cogs in the machinery, the bovine youth, the psychology, to opt out, to go back to the land, to be off the grid, pacifism does make sense until the tanks start rolling, authoritarianism, a post-colonial criticism of the refusal of work, Souvenir, the same infection, Emma Goldman, history is the tension between the individual and the institution, the WE, its powerful, it can be turned off, plantism is incredibly powerful, the work ethic is way more powerful, the anarchist anti-work argument, Thank You For Calling (2018), worry free live-work centers, its a prison, three squares a day, great food, friends, free healthcare, that evil corporation, a science fiction story, it doesn’t present as such, horsemen, Hiro Protagonist of Snow Crash, interesting and fun, worth watching, the thesis of Office Space (1999), it feels like it takes a lot longer, you feel like you’ve been there before, a pretty impressive feat, something very real, underneath there are a lot of people in those bullshit jobs, things are changing, herbivore men in Japan, Peppa Pig, society folk, the loser dad, Gumball, Rick And Morty, somebody should totally analyze that, they choose not to date, dating training, grass eaters, I can relate to this, the pull back to programming, the psychologist is completely wrong, destroy the pipers, fades into the forest, I’m going to go back to my shed now, “normal work”, his cat’s not sure, big output, the gendered aspect, everything Dick says about women, the idle wife as a trope, Cleo, did they all leave him?, swapped, why we need the biography, Tessa left him, easily lured off into the woods by women, serial monogamy, very serial.

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #416 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: Far Below by Robert Barbour Johnson

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #416 -Jesse, Paul Weimer, Mr Jim Moon, and Bryan Alexander discuss Far Below by Robert Barbour Johnson.

Talked about on today’s show:
Weird Tales, June-July 1939, The Midnight Meat Train, the audio drama from Suspense (Blue Hours), Los Angeles, a truly underground story, how far the infection has spread, like Russian nesting dolls, Pickman’s Model, Pickman’s painting entitled “Subway Accident”, Death Line (1972) (aka Raw Meat), The Terror Of Blue John Gap by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, a rabbit warren, movie adaptations, C.H.U.D. (1984), Escape From New York (1981), they’re everywhere, very 80s, atrocious dialogue and logic, an old dodge, John Carpenter, the 59th street bridge, the society of CHUDs, female inmate, a mini-romance, how most people interact with this story, I could barely get through it and I really liked it, weird pacing, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974), the camera as observer, Christopher Lee and Donald, “There are monsters in the tunnel inspector!”, a film out of its time, the old boy’s network (is also from Far Below), a mean bully thief sexist, looting the place, two different movies, it somehow works, so garish, quite murky, incredible tunnels in the London Underground, ghost stations, Creep (2004), ghost stories/urban legends, the monsters are descendants of the survivors of a tunnel construction collapse, The Descent (2005), the man aka the cannibal, “mind the doors”, an exploitative horrible monster mess movie, she’s pregnant, keep the community going, a family crypt, a tragedy horror, is Creep (2004) a remake of Raw Meat (aka Death Line)?, where does folklore come from?, a secret medical experiment facility, he’s always preceded by rats, The Graveyard Rats by Henry Kuttner, The Gruesome Book, a race of subterranean beings, a dead body animated by rats, The Gripping Hand and The Mote In God’s Eye, the watchmaker moties, Gremlins (1984), the tendrils out of Lovecraft grow deep, Mimic (1997), Mimic by Donald A. Wollheim, a mad scientist with other responsibilities, giving your right arm, I’m not quite there yet, a reasonable depravity, the Duke Of New York is A#1, a little smoke break, calling forth the CHUDs, we follow Kurt Russell following that guy, Franka Potente looking for George Clooney, empathy for a rapist, it’s all connected, a theme of degeneration in the dark, she’s a bitch, a horrible manipulative person, a nice symmetry, social satire, black humour, this is horrible and great as well, Syria and Russia, this is why the Indians sold Manhattan so cheap, where is The Descent supposed to take place?, they’re albino cave dwellers, Monsters (1990) TV show adaptation of Far Below, The Midnight Meat Train, Clive Barker’s obsession with raw meat, Bradley Cooper, Limitless,
the wrong carriage, butchered bodies, the butcher, the true city fathers, who is the narrator talking to?, you’re going to eat my wife, a choice ending, a deep cut, a new recruit, they weren’t allowed to report on this, a student, a photographer, a vegan, ultra-horror, he’s grain fed!, starting with an image, holding on vs. hanging from, Mahogany, the mythological ferryman, their damnation until they can pass it on, The Books Of Blood by Clive Barker, Dagon (the fanzine), he hadn’t read any Lovecraft at that point, Bryan may have lived Far Below, The Warriors (1979), Death Wish (1974), the Washington, D.C. subway system, Fallout 3, Death Line (Raw Meat) 1972, Escape From New York (1981), C.H.U.D. (1984), sewers, Monsters (1990) TV show, Creep 2004, The Descent (2005), attested by every country in the world and every people, ghouls in the bible?, J.R.R. Tolkien has it, the barrow wights, Edgar Rice Burroughs, white furry monster, the Morlocks, H.G. Wells invented CHUDs (in The Time Machine), The Midnight Meat Train (2008), the vein, going deep, Journey To The Center Of The Earth by Jules Verne, monks are more heavenly, the Wizard Knight worlds, Gene Wolfe, angels, burrowing into mother earth, the long tradition of the earth as maternal, All Quiet On The Western Front, WWI, Château-Thierry, Verdun, bleed France white, “they shall not pass”, the Balrog, delving too deep, a battlefield map, battlefield commander, Vimy Ridge, 12 kilometers of tunnel, Passchendaele (2008), Thompson, the Maxim gun, domestic life, Carl Akeley, taxidermy, big game hunting, apes, killing a leopard with his bare hands, Indiana Jones, The American Museum Of Natural History’s Akeley Hall, Heart Of Darkness, Apocalypse Now, Friedrich Nietzsche on the abyss, ghouls like in Pickman’s Model, hinting, Pickman’s Model is the fictionalized version of Far Below, part simian part canine part mole, Nyarlathotep darkness, The Rats In The Walls, howling blindly, idiot flute players, the dark pharaoh, August Derleth, Cthulhu Water, The Facts In The Case Of Arthur Jermyn And His Family aka The White Ape, it’s not the family, Greek vs. Biblical, the acme of human progress tears itself to bits, national or familial genealogy, the family business, plump Captain Norris, the Morlock connection, staring into the abyss, the hidden race sub-genre, Richard Sharpe Shaver, Edward Bulwer-Lytton, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, they colonize us, The Mound by Zealia Bishop and H.P. Lovecraft, an inverted high-tech monstrous civilization, let’s see where it goes, less genetic and more philosophical, the description of the funding, NYC Mayor Jimmy Walker, Tammany Hall, childhood power fantasy, for our own safety, you’d understand, carte blanche, you can’t handle the truth, he’s the bad guy, in the warm light of day, taking precautions, the deepness rotting at the core of the Earth, involving the feds, the classic American cop story, NYC police corruption, Prince Of The City with Treat Williams, the War on Terror, At The Mountains Of Madness, Boston subway stations, Bram Stoker, high-tech, nascent technology, The Statement Of Randolph Carter, the telephone, it’s a tasty story, the thing was upon us, out of the darkness, Supernatural Horror In Literature, I learned a lot from Lovecraft, Quiet Please: The Thing On The Fourble Board, they dug too deep!, listen at night in the basement, things that are digging up, Jon Petwee era, Doctor Who: Inferno, Star Trek’s Mirror, Mirror, the Brigadier’s eyepatch and Spock’s beard, evil Captain Archer, green gas causing degeneration, environmentalism, The Green Death another minging story, The Silurians, Call Ghostbusters (1984)!, Edge Of Darkness (1985), Homer, Polyphemus he only sleeps in a cave, neanderthals, and the niter, it grows!

Far Below by Robert Barbour Johnson

Mister Mystery - The Subway Terror

Escape From New York's CRAZIES

Dead Of Night 3 April 1974

Tomb Of Darkness 9 July 1974

Posted by Jesse Willis