SFBRP #135 – Totall Recall by Gordon Bell

SFFaudio Online Audio

The Science Fiction Book Review Podcast Luke Burrage’s Science Fiction Book Review Podcast has another episode out (#135) titled Total Recall by Gordon Bell. But it’s not a Science Fiction book and he doesn’t really review it as much as discuss it and the topic of futurism with Tamahome and me.

Have a listen |MP3|

Podcast feed: http://www.sfbrp.com/?feed=podcast

Here’s what we talked about:
Science Fantastic with Michio Kaku podcast, Jesse doesn’t like Michio Kaku, “anybody who does futurism is a bullshit artist”, the future will be different from the past, Total Recall by Gordon Bell, “get your ass to Mars”, Triangulation podcast #17, Leo Laporte, “internet famous”, pioneers of the internet, oral history, My Life Bits (a Microsoft research project), life journal, OCR (optical character recognition), body heat, respect level going up for Microsoft, Luke keeps everything, “is he weighing his shit as well?”, your life in 100 terabytes, “don’t bother reading the book”, maybe that’s why I hate futurism, it should have been a biography, “if you want good futurism that isn’t going to be proved wrong in ten years…”, Science Fiction is about the human condition, futurism is technology in isolation, Luke just wants to have a conversation with Gordon Bell, the European Juggling convention, your sister’s wedding, proposing on Skype, a successful marriage of convenience, Skype text chat logs go way back, Skype crash!, saving every email that you receive, presumable AIs, “That was fast”, “you better be careful what you say to Luke”, “in ten years time…”, Luke lives publicly and openly on the internet, how many people have an hour long discussion of every book they’ve read this year?, the benefits of living life on the internet openly, extracting entertainment value, “this is terrible”, Robert J. Sawyer‘s Hominids was a Hugo award winning novel, Startide Rising (Jesse hates it), Connie Willis just won the Hugo, “this is a horrible novel”, Connie Willis is good at getting Hugos, she needs an editor, A Good Story Is Hard To Find podcast, Luke was expecting more than crass futurism, “where the fuck did you pull that number from? was it from your ass”, Fu Manchu, Sunshine is a piece of shit (and not Science Fiction), Moore’s Law, “in ten years time”, William Gibson’s “the future is here it just isn’t evenly distributed yet”, bunk, it’s not falsifiable, SFsignal.com, Tam’s expurgated comment, Real Time with Bill Maher, the guy knows less about nuclear physics than I do (based on what he said on the show), burn that whole nuclear site, Chernobyl, Bikini Atoll (actually it was Enewetak Atoll – specifically Runit Island), Google Maps, the hydrogen bomb, Neil deGrasse Tyson is a lot better, the Hayden Planetarium, “when he talks I get more facts (and he doesn’t do futurism)”, string theory, Jesse doesn’t like Michio Kaku, Luke doesn’t like podcasts that run more than an hour, “that’s a whole separate podcast”, a nerdy internet guy, pocket protectors (are awesome) (see?), a condom for you pocket (they are handy), Revenge Of The Nerds, geek vs. nerd, the Functional Nerds podcast, Patrick Hester, Geek Nights podcast, nerding vs, geeking, “I don’t have nerdgasms”, hot rodding your computer, history geeks, enthusiasts, professionals vs. nerds, Star Trek nerds, they misunderstood Scotty’s origin, red matter is nothing, Star Trek movie made Luke cry, i09, “the top 10 suicide missions in SF”, ramming speed, WWII, “submarmine”, ram the “submarmine”, the Titanic, in 38 years everyone will be ramming other ships, health and safety, 1919, “I can’t believe the way this conference is going…”, futurism works in a story, the internet vs. cyberspace, Snow Crash, the blogsphere (discussion boards) were predicted (?) by Orson Scott Card in Ender’s Game, The Huffington Post, Luke really has to go now.

Runit Island

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #106


The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #106 – Jesse and Tamahome talk about audiobooks, books, comic books, movies and technology.

Talked about on today’s show:
Scott is away, Warrior Race by Robert Sheckley, the guilt tactic, Robert Sheckley’s The Victim From Space, M. Night Shamylan, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Star Trek: The Next Generation, the limits of sympathy and empathy, Lethal Weapon, civil disobedience, Ghandi, Ahisma, Gregg Margarite, Lauren Bacall, the future of self-published ebooks and curation, SFsignal’s anthology reviews, novels vs short stories, LibriVox, rating systems, Gil T. Wilson, SFSite, Avatar, Coraline, The Graveyard Book, Neil Gaiman’s narration, William Gibson, Where is the Neuromancer audiobook?, The Matrix, What is noir in film or books?, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Memento, a podcast about noir films (Noircast.net), Limitless aka (The Dark Fields) movie vs book, director Neil Berger, The Illusionist, The Prestige, Christopher Priest, Existenz, WWW: Wake, WWW: Wonder, Robert J. Sawyer, many spoilers in this podcast, Sawyer’s next novel is Triggers, research then write, the Webmind, Jesse doesn’t like series (usually), the ‘talking Dinosaur’ series (the Quintaglio Ascension series), is the WWW series YA?, Cory Doctorow, characters, Golden Fleece is a murder mystery in space, more dino, would anyone make the dinosaur series into a 3D animated film?, Robert J. Sawyer’s Rollback was on CBC Radio One’s Between The Covers podcast, Galileo’s Dream, Red Mars, Michio Kaku, futurism, climate change, Pacific Edge by Kim Stanley Robinson, can a domestic story be thrilling?, Austin Powers, “one million dollars!”, the trap of inflating the stakes, Tim Pratt on Dragon Page podcast (7½ minutes in), the ‘speech thriller’, what’s in the suitcase?, Kiss Me Deadly, “make each sentence do two things”, Midnight Riot (aka Rivers Of London), British lingo, “snog”, series and trends at bookstores, Peter Watts‘s openness, Flashforward TV show, The Gong Show, bring back the hook, Crysis 2: Legion the novel and the game, the economics of hard covers vs ebooks, Kindle openness, the VLC app was removed from the iTunes App store, the Android OS, Embedded, ROM person, the Comics Code Authority repealed!, Mark Millar, Nemesis, The Ultimates, Ex Machina, Chronicles Of Wormwood, Garth Ennis, Howard The Duck, death of superheroes, Superman left America (Action Comics #900), “truth, justice, and the American way”, Superman: Red Son, Battlefields, The Boys, The Punisher with the guy from Hung (Thomas Jane), Warren Ellis wrote a novel (Crooked Little Vein), can we make Peter Watts audiobooks?, synthesized voices on archive.org, Linux for all e-readers, Philip K. Dick, The Electric Ant comic, Tom Merritt, Sword and Laser, TWIT, Munchcast.

far seer

Archie Comics with and without the Comics Code Authority

Posted by Tamahome

Review of The World Set Free by H.G. Wells

H.G. Wells Month

Science Fiction Audiobook - The World Set Free by H.G. WellsThe World Set Free
By H.G. Wells; Read by Shelly Frasier
1 MP3-CD or 6 CDs – Approx. 6.5 Hrs [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Tantor Media
Published: 2002
ISBN: 1400150108 (MP3-CD); 1400100100(CDs)
/ Science Fiction / Atomic Power / Atomic Bombs / War / Utopia / Politics / Futurism / Prophecy / World State /

“Never before in the history of warfare had there been a continuing explosive; indeed, up to the middle of the twentieth century the only explosives known were combustibles whose explosiveness was due entirely to their instantaneousness; and these atomic bombs which science burst upon the world that night were strange even to the men who used them.”

The Father of Science Fiction first works are still among our classics. With excellent treatments of alien invasion (The War of the Worlds), space travel (First Men in the Moon), proto-genetic manipulation (The Island of Dr. Moreau), and of course time travel (The Time Machine). In his first decade of a writer he had written these classics as well as The Invisible Man, and The Food of the Gods, as many classic short stories.

Wells continued his writing career for another 40 years. Always remaining a popular author. So what happened to all these books he wrote? What happened to this iconoclast of SF? Why were his later works seldom reprinted and so hard to find? In his day, books like Tono-Bungay and Ann Veronica were huge critical and commercial successes. Thanks to Project Gutenberg and other public domain sites, his more obscure works are now obtainable. Much of his later work does not qualify as SF. But there are a number of his novels that deal with prophecies and future utopias and do qualify as SF.

The World Set Free was one of those future visions. Written and published upon the cusp of World War I, the novel proves that Wells had a gift for prophecy, although many of the details played out in a different way. In the novel the World War would not occur till 1956.

The main impetus of the novel is the advent of atomic power, both as a bomb and as a power source. The atomic bomb has many similarities to the actual bombs, including decaying radiation. Wells’ portrait of a World War would lead to numerous atomic bombs destroying civilization.

Wells had hoped from the ashes of a World War that nationalism would dissolve and a new world state would evolve. He portrays the World War in a horrific way. For one who saw the war as a way to a new world order, he does not handle the horrors of war with kid gloves.

Wells uses a narrative device that this book is written from a far utopian future. And from this far future perspective, it tells of the dark days of the war and then of the end of countries and the beginning of the world state. The tone is scholarly and leaves the listener/reader distanced from the characters.

I believe Wells started to see himself as an educator to the masses. That through his writing, both fiction and non-fiction, he could change the world. Sounds like a maniacal delusion, but he was an extremely popular writer. He was the equivalent to a rock star in terms of cultural popularity, but with the intellectual clout of an author. Unfortunately this didactic charge, he placed on himself, put storytelling subordinate to the message. Despite these flaws, the novel is filled with many thought provoking ideas.

Shelly Frasier narrates the novel. After an introduction, in which she speaks with an American accent, she switches to an English accent for the text of the novel. After getting use to this change, I found her accent and characterization quite good and she turns in a solid performance.