The SFFaudio Podcast #745 – The Moon Maid by Edgar Rice Burroughs – read by Thomas A. Copeland for LibriVox. This is a complete and unabridged reading of the novel (6 hour 17 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants include Jesse, Paul Weimer, Maissa Bessada, and Alex
Talked about on today’s show:
Argosy, May 5, 1923, 1926 hardback, two sequels, Paul feels seen, The Moon Men was drafted first, this prequel instead, a setup for a part 2, a communist takeover of the world, Moon Men taking over the world, communist moon men, the Martians aren’t communists, a tie in, hard to get the original magazines, the ad for The Moon Maid, from late April, remarkable imaginative powers, his latest and most fascinating, desolate barren, forbidding, stellar waste, a vivid gripping story, Thursday May 3, 1923, writing to an audience who already knows about John Carter, the John Carter movie, name drop, already in his universe, a different mindset, a different appreciation, not the best place to start with ERB, expecting something they’d already read, standard Burroughs planetary romance, a twist, this isn’t what I signed up for, this cool premise, finally at peace, no such thing as time, 200 years from now, and all my other lives, maybe I’ll tell you later, when we’re both cats, the prologue, not the best Edgar Rice Burroughs books, Tarzan Of The Apes, At The Earth’s Core, Carson of Venus [Pirates Of Venus], Barney Custer, The Mad King, the poorest one in terms of excitement and action, still okay, don’t be sorry, a bit of a disappointment, the dynamic of a hero character who’s always forgiving his enemy who’s always betraying him, this Burroughs character is very dim, we all know she loves him, strange looks, covers, six limbed centaurs, they’re quadrupeds, Gutenberg Australia, four limbs, Frazetta, J. Allen St. John did it, a girl with wings, they have no tails, Frazetta never read any of the books he did covers for, tails, my god sir, something about it that looked human, long limbed bears with human faces, Edgar Rice Burroughs Fan Twitter, vagas, very wide, very different with centaurs, they are much more like bears or dogs, they are definitely not centaurs, half man half horse, more alien, how do they put their clothes on?, if centaurs wear clothes…, little kids riding, the diminutive, goat like, riding on the backs of their moms, so many interesting threads and ideas, science fiction, but he doesn’t care about science, made of radium, science marches on, radium cream, radium enema, glows on the inside, the whole interior thing, recycling, an old tweet, Burroguhs is teaching us not to think, a religious state, H.G. Wells, the two poles of modern fantasy defined, what’s out there, man?, dry and desiccated, just beneath the surface!, The First Men In The Moon by H.G. Wells is a terrific book, rays, a mad professor and a journalist, very Flash Gordon, inimitable Wells style, light and silly, Cavorite, a rock or a metal when unshielded turns up gravity, anti-gravity, suck your way to the moon, push or pull your way to that object, hollow Moon, insects, tremendous strength, a reverse invasion of the Earth, the British Empire, taking their guns out onto the moon, finally at peace, murder as many as he could, Pax Anglo Saxonia, I need more weapons, they point their weapon at an animal, going hunting big game, I’m a master fencer because of course I am, hunt things, conquer and subdue, The Invisible Man is interesting and powerful and well done (but not very fun), a horror movie, Kevin Bacon in The Hollow Man, not a friendly story, pathetic in the end, I have ghost powers, I’m cold and my feet hurt, The Ring Of Gyges from Plato, a pseduoscientific explanation, [The Island Of] Doctor Moreau is morose, The Time Machine is super-interesting, Wells is hard, he always writes assholes, about as light and fluffy as it gets, enslaved by the insect men, gold chains, head explodes in a puff of powder, I can do that too, it’s a romance, he finds an ant lady on the Moon and falls in love, a moth lady, the wings are fake, they don’t have a model of feathers, bats or butterflies or winged toads, the most beautiful toad princess on the satellite, Friend Island by Francis Stevens, same setup, exact same period, All-Story Weekly, able-sailoresses of the poorer type, the lady aviator’s union, a survivor of the age of turbines, a true seawoman, women’s superiority to man, enginewomen and stokers, blue knickers and boleros, women are in charge, that’s why there’s world peace!, an island that was aleive and hated men, a peace ship, the exact same premise, the promise of the League Of Nations, jaw jaw instead of war war, only women can do it, it will only take 50 years of continuous war, he foresaw a lot more war, is he right?, we think of WWII (only 4 years), or China, the Spanish Civil War, Hearts Of Iron, a Paradox game, launched into another conflict, does the Cold War count?, 1967 we’re done, technically that’s what it is, a textbook written 300 years from now, the 100 years war, every summer, sniping at each other, the campaign, a whole different thing, its all one thing, what will the 20th century to a historian in 2192?, starting to fix the terms, time doesn’t have any meaning, the war against Napoleon is a world war, World War Zero, why is WWI called WWI?, the Great War, another Franco Prussian War, entangling alliances, WWIII now, the world wasn’t in the kind of communication that it was, there’s no radio, theater of operations, S.M. Stirling’s Island In The Sea Of Time novels, leftover old technology, we’ve invented a world war, sufficient fighting in the Napoleonic Wars, trans-Atlantic, nothing in the Pacific, Japan and Russia, WWI in the Pacific, tired of continuous war, this other aspect, this one guy is able somehow to see his other lives, he always reincarnates as his own grandson, the planetary species barrier, hinted at, exact verbiage, he’s going to know her, a lunatic, that girl lived them with me, Time capital T, another adventure?, how he is remembering all of this, after we eat you and take your flesh away, their child can remember all his lives backwards and forwards, a funny way to get into this adventure, A Princess Of Mars, he just walks out of a magic cave and says take me, he astrally projects himself there, handwaved, naked, plot happens, he meets some six limbed creatures, taught by a female, a Mars maid, exact same plot, making friends with the six-limbed monsters, a terrific book, Tarzan is fine, tempted to read the Barsoom books, way more romantic, much more exciting, its the future, another future, I lived again in the future, in a shipped called Barsoom, tie-in branding, a shared universe, just change my name, 12 years long service, the wounded badge, he’s an admiral, set in 1967, how does this even make any sense, a received document, a reporter in the future, writing them back in time, the outer narrator is Edgar Rice Burroughs’ grandson, very nested and internal and silly, and the best part, reincarnated on the Moon and the Earth, marrying a Moon man, there is no originated, we’re all existing at the same, can’t transgender, all these evidences, Paul’s headcanon, the evidence in the book, a sample size of two (aka 100 percent), Babylon 5, a space opera universe, J. Michael Straczynski, Valen goes back in time and does something with Minbari souls, read a lot of stuff, I can do this better, John Sheridan, Gandalf the White, the King Arthur, the pit of Zahadum, he’s reborn as Gandalf the White, very Tolkien, wars of good against evil, Alfred Bester, an alien race named after Neil Gaiman (the Gaim), Harlan Ellison, Penn and Teller, there’s some bad stuff in Babylon 5, actively nosediving, back to the Moon, pants means crap, 100 miles an hour trip, he does not understand what it means to travel through space, 15 years of food, even with a Hohmann Transfer Orbit, a very narrow view of how many people are on a planet, Event Horizon (1997), everyone else is dead, his poor wife, a 17 year old boy and two lieutenants, not talking to human resources about personality problems, bringing Moon People to earth, the captain knew, 40 percent of the crew hate each other, I’m gonna kill us all, bad Burroughs, throwing stuff out, he wants to get somewhere else, standard Burroughs ideas, the sequel, that’s the problem with it, trying to set the stage, it shows, Burroughs is always exciting, mutiny on the Moon, get the story moving, meeting new peoples, it goes smooth, his best book?, all the people at the CIA who hate communists, anti-communist book, finding communism on the moon, I am not a slave, I am a prisoner, I have never seen your like before, a little criticism of his critics, I am from Laith, why all this Enmity, who are the Kalkars anyway, the word meaning the thinkers, a long time ago we were all non-communists, the Vagas we bred for flesh, electricly driven trains, ships of the land, The Land Ironclads, visualized, each ruled by it jem’hadar, Deep Space Nine, the children of the poor, there it was our troubles first started, no learning is better than a little, a small coterie, a secret society called the thinkers, those who thought that they thought, more talking than thinking, those goddamn commies, the poor people come from a lower class, so weak, with all of his underlining, we’re gonna do land reform, educate ourselves, end WWI, then the cows rose up and ate them, they’re carnivorous cows, Jesse likes cannibalism, he became fine with it, when he kisses her he’s like mmm tastes like my friend, Robert A. Heinlein, popular in the period, Typee by Herman Melville, Stranger In A Strange Land, the Jesus story, The Number Of The Beast, in the Martians in general, you don’t get Heinlein without Burroughs, cannibalism on Barsoom, The Cat Who Walks Through Walls, tiresome, Farnham’s Freehold, assume there’s cannibalism, disquieting, enlightened, idyllic, H.P. Lovecraft’s The Mound, a utopia with a lot of slavery, a Spanish conquistador discovers an underground civilization, fuckin liars, an iterative improvement, raises the game so much, Paul’s not gonna neg people, CIA trolls, a weak way to go, Richard A. Lupoff, the best non-series, P. Schuyler Miller, from Analog 1970, near Mad King level, Tarzan novels, The Monster Men, Beyond Thirty, The Land That Time Forgot, At The Earth’s Core, maybe The Cave Girl is no good, defrosted neanderthal, we’re gonna frost him later, The Mucker, a deliberate throwback, nutty nuggets, alive into WWII, his legacy is gonna be not so Tarzany, an uncountable number of Tarzan books, that company, producing official books, a little symbol on the cover indicated “this is canon”, if Burroughs wrote it is it really canon?, didn’t care about that, he wasn’t a Star Wars fan, the Wookipedia, we’re the farm corporation we make food, certified food, this label you can trust, there’s no new canon, unless you dig up an old book, like we get with For Us The Living, Dune, the old dead Dune guy, Frank, high end fanfiction, the John Gregory Betancourt, a small world after all, there’s not that many people reading these old books, a John Carter tv show?, they can’t own the IP in the same way, Disney is a legal machine, they just buy IP, a Brandon Sanderson series, we had Xena, John Woo’s The Iliad, Troy (2004) with Brad Pitt, Alexander (2004) was pretty weak, Kingdom Of Heaven (2005), we’re fighting at dawn, balloons and blunderbusses, random blacksmith, the least interesting character, Ridley Scott’s The Moon Maid, Tony Scott died, all 72 Avatar movies, James Cameron, not wasting his time, Burroughs wasted his time with his Tarzan, he succeeded, make art, lot of reasons people to hate H.P. Lovecraft but crass commercialism isn’t one of them, Robert E. Howard, despite being actively commercial… he manages to be amazing, given his circumstances, you have my blessing, a trap of getting too excited about the cash, James Cameron is eating well, a billion dollars a pop, its his baby, he said I’m done, he should be, just a setup for the next one, more churn, not everything is equal, opeople can be wrong, Napoleon for Apple TV, Joaquin Phoenix playing Napoleon, three 35mm cameras side by side, a cast of millions, silent films get no respect, House Of Gucci (2021), All The Money In The World (2017), Alien: Covenant (2017), The Martian (2015), Exodus: Gods And Kings, The Councillor, Prometheus, the auto-doc, Robin Hood with Russel Crowe, A Good Year, Matchstick Men, Hannibal (2001), Gladiator (2000), G.I. Jane (1997), White Squall (1996), out of Blockbuster, 1492: Conquest Of Paradise (1992), Black Rain (1989), a some guy goes to Japan finds it an alien planet movie, Wesley Snipes and Sean Connery in Rising Sun (1993), Michael Crichton, Someone To Watch Over Me (1987), Tom Berenger and Mimi Rogers, Legend (1985), Blade Runner (1982), Alien, The Duelists (1977), I like those actors, across the border with very long swords, communism wins!, some Moon Maid cartoon, weird anime shit, escaflowne?, asagai?, portal fantasy is big in anime, whole subgenres of anime, professionally into weird shit, manga, Starblazers, Robotech, read it backwards, generational?, we’re too old, we’d have to learn a lot to get it, give me your best anime movies, Akira (1988) has style but the story is shit, give me your best classic, Royal Space Force: Wings Of Honneamise (1987), Wings of Mayonnaise is more like it, what’s your favourite American movie?, two kids fall in love playing Street Fighter, high score girl, the board games anime subgenre, the voice of Sailor Moon, Princess Mononoke (1997), celebrating peace day, what are we gonna do with ourselves?, net twenty years, correspondence with Mars, down with Mars medicine, we loves the Mars manga even if we have to read it upside down, everyone is naked, can you have a cultural experience via wireless telegraphy with another planet?, wait 500 years before Shogun comes out, they wear weird clothes and have no furniture but are otherwise just like us, whippersnappers get off my lawn, I got a deadline here, rushing through his old tropes, it doesn’t hang as a whole, “yeah, so I’m basically a Highlander, and I wind up on Mars, let’s go”, what’s with the problems with astral projection? that’s part of being a Highlander, a good excuse, a framing device, the most fun parts, Edgar Allan Poe’s The Oval Portrait is mostly framing device, this newspaper report is in the future, Maissa was all in, always a bit weak with ecosystem, a playground, all the rocks glow, the water, he half-asses worlds into existence, peril from the falls, the strength of the Earth men, not stunningly stronger, jump out of a crater, bottomless pit, circumstantial evidence, The Menace From Earth is about a moon maid, a striking image, a lot more flapping or soaring in dreams, bird ancestors, flying toad ancestors, Paul has tetropod ancestors, ped pod, actual centaurs, following the book, committed at least to that, centaurs are cool, that’s why we want to see the ancient mythology visualized, Rocket Robin Hood and The Mighty Hercules, Prince Caspian has cool battle scenes, epic battle scenes, tonally dissonant, the centaurs looked good, a Christian television network, The Golden Compass, anti-theist, and this is why there’s no god, very Ayn Rand, a Tolkien fest, a director who hated fantasy and a screenwriter who never read the book, a British Christmas special, a solid miniseries, this 1/6th gravity book, prejudiced against manly barbarians, might be a girl thing, Space Viking by H. Beam Piper, Jim Kitchen, Chronicles Of Amber, the ghost of Roger Zelanzy, The Venom Business, Rocket Ship Galileo, moon-Nazis, with the help of an old man, New Mexico or Arizona, 1948, Iron Sky (2012), The Adventures Of Brad Pitt’s Ex-Wife, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (2004), diesel-punk, totenkopf, take care, Unseen-Unfeared by Francis Stevens, The Heads Of Cerberus, my turn will come, The Hopkins Manuscript by R.C. Sherriff, trying to make this book a thing, the Moon collides with the Earth, a historical document, poultry breeding, eaten by an owl, not a suspect, slept through the murder, the British Lunar Society, the truth can no longer be denied, villagers dig trenches and play cricket before the end of days, The Last Policemen by Ben H. Winters, a tv series out of the UK, a movie, a recent science fiction movie, Moonfall (2022), Puss In Boots: The Last Wish (2022), genuine humans, box office is down 50%, turn the machine off, we couldna foreseen that, the verdict was I’m tired, a setup for the next one, looking good never looked so good, in 3D, make good movies, make the theatrical experience cheap, if there were movies that were good, put some old movies in the theater for a change, the suburbs, a very old theater with really bad seats, a pain in the ass, El Mariachi (1992) and Bad Lieutenant (1992), Treasure Island, Shakespeare’s Planet, something Paul will hate, a Jordan Peterson movie, Camille Paglia, I agreed with your about everything, she’s nodding her head the whole time, Evan’s really mad, they need to read more Marx, I need to read any Marx, his economics is worse than Burroughs’ science, this is what capitalism is doing to people, the way money works, The Communist Manifesto, where to start with Karl Marx, you’re racist you should read more Marx!, you’re no help at all, ask Will, Will shoulda been on this one, he’s not on twitter much, a serious cat wrangling problem, overtaken by felines, most people want to play computer games and escape reality, life sucks I have to work, cats that need to be neutered, the latest one, $600,000 year rent to his dad’s house, that’s the 10% for the big guy, nothing will come of it, its only corrupt when Trump does it, we’re living in the corrupt times, it will go on for centuries, corruption was called business, just have to get used to it or go herd cats, Jesse’s mom has a bull now, one cow two heifer’s and a bull, a cow in heat every three weeks (or months), a long brooding cycle, to make more delicious cows, is there a cow in the field outside?, I bought a cow, there’s not stopping these women, magic beans, an adventure that never happened to Alex, steals from the giant, the golden goose, they were the disinherited, getting his goose back, you have to accept being a peasant, no, I’m going to reach for the sky, folktale vs. fairytale, what Hans Christian Anderson does, Cinderella vs. Puss In Boots, Charles Perrault, how many pages deep?, this part was fun, knocked it out in a day, it had good bits, some of them are not great, some of the knockoffs by other authors, The First Men In The Moon, The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Fu-Manchu, Alan Moore steals everything, he’s better than a lot, a weird Alan Moore take, before he quit comics finally, Garth Ennis’ Crossed, zombie sperm or saliva, anti-Christian sort of thing, like any zombie plague, eating people and walking funny, takes away all your goodness, any pain you inflict makes you orgasm, that’s really bad, the premise is strong, a shitload of money, 100 years in the future, human society has been injured by this terrible plague, stronger than most zombie films, oh that’s terrible, when the mother wants to have sex with her own son, all the mean things, that’s Garth Ennis being a monster, mutated, killed off in their excstasies, the main character is a scholar, reading her journal, he’s invented a new language, word substitution all over the place, A Clockwork Orange, milkbars and rape scenes, a high level comic, a science fiction survey, very Alan Moorey, V For Vendetta, the novelization is better than the movie or the comic, some audacious stuff, Providence by Alan Moore and Jacen Burrows, you can be a flawed person like Jordan Peterson and still have something valuable to say, sorry about that mini-lecture there, Crossed Plus 100, don’t go on the internet and type in Crossed and Garth Ennis, sorry, horror comic, if you can survive that there’s nothing else that can hurt you, stronger shuddering in a corner, enjoy your Roof Bear calendar.