The SFFaudio Podcast #708 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: The Wendigo by Algernon Blackwood

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #708 – The Wendigo by Algernon Blackwood; read by Amy Gramour

This unabridged reading of the story (1 hour 59 minutes) is followed by a discussion of it.

Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Paul Weimer, Marissa VU, and Bryan Alexander

Talked about on today’s show:
The Lost Valley and Other Stories, isfdb.org, Famous Fantastic Mysteries, June 1944, great Matt Fox illustrations, canoes, portage, chasin the wendigo, northern minnesota, portedge vs. port-ahhj, defago, a french canadian accent, when you get your canoe out of the lake and walk overland carrying it, Lewis In Clark, they’re northwest passage moment, how non-wendigo-like this wendigo is, The Weird And The Eerie by Mark Fisher, Capitalist Realism, the answer is no, is this story weird or is it eerie?, eerier than it is weird?, that fascination, the pull into the horror, a weird feature, easy to conflate the two, an eerie scene, a weird movie, unusual and strange, eerie is on its own orbit, absence vs. presence, seeing it from near Defago’s pov, witnessing with their nose and ears, super-cool, page 61, a failure of absence or a failure of presence, somebody’s talking but your can’t hear them, the absence of the voice, nested story, five guys, off by himself or with a wendigo, the mystery is what is actually happening to him, Easter sunday, the wendigo is Jesus with his feet of fire, tracks becoming like each other, the transformation stuff, so curious, The Willows, a lot more racist, the characters or the author, onto the author, casually thrown in there, the real mythological wendigo, ideas about how the land is empty, places where no one has ever been, natives all up in these areas, untouched by man, pre-Columbus, controlled burns, managed, untrammeled wilderness, this part of Austria that is completely untouched (since the Roman era), building it up vs. ignorance, hyper-maximialized, wendigo psychosis (phenomena), explanations for what happens when one goes wendigos, the Weird Studies podcast, out of Ontario, an incident in 2008, Portage la Prairie, Manitoba, Edmonton, in the right area, a carnival barker, “Vince” Weiguang Li, creepy pastas, decapitated and displayed a severed head, consuming some flesh, he plead non compos mentis, an article writer was worried that he may have caused it by speaking the word wendigo, magical thinking, people react, yellow blue flag in bio vs. going to Ukraine to join the fight, Stephen King banned one of his own books (because it was tied to school shootings), this is what I’ve been thinking about, the guy was crazy, technical difficulties, the people who lived in this area, an explanation for strange behavior, he went bersark, in times of abundance, the skinwalker, Ravenous (1999), plenitude vs. starvation, the climate change community, a sick society, suddenly your head’s being cut-off, triggered by real information, fight for the good guys, if you had just written that story, have your book in their locker (or at home), guilt and fear, mythological vs. rational, what stars did I change to change reality, an interesting take what the difference is, a lot more like a visit to fairyland, taken away by the fairies, transformed into a changeling, Connor MacLoud was my kinsman, La Belle Dame Sans Merci, the hill is made of the corpses of many many, relish sweet and bitter dew, an essentially cool idea, uninterested, the feet of fire is not in the canon (of the mythology), frostbitten and worn away feet, Algernon Blackwood came to Canada, engaging with the landscape, a ghost story, A Haunted Island, a ghost in the bed, that which has happened or will happen, Accessory Before The Fact, native spirituality or native legend, equally evocative descriptions, listening forest, walking around in the forest, spooky fallen trees, a boat on the lake, being in the woods, is it authentic to any native experience?, a colonialist work, the height of Britain’s imperial power, away from the populace near the U.S. border, Blackwood was fascinated with nature, Arthur Machen, the dramatic power, successive isolation, more and more depopulated, more and more alienated, gorgeous terms, a little more unsettling, the Johnny Cash song, Bryan knows it’s connected, great sentences, the party round the blazing fire, recent moose discovering itself, word turns, musin up the fac, a sulky silence, Punk was washing up the dishes, the stars were brilliant in a sky quite wintry, the silence of the vast listening forest stole forward and enveloped them, no-one troubled to stir it, stealthy ice, a wonderful set of sentences, why Lovecraft likes this, about mood, complex moods vs. complex ideas, companionable silences, structural relationship, being offended, little nothing for the outer story, who’s this narrator, the least communicative character, smart character, the wind comes and stirs up that fire, Edward Bulwer-Lytton’s dark and stormy night, the weather is affecting the people, the landscape turns these people into the things they become, caught up in a spell, an inversion of fake realism, Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer, the climax, please come down, stage setting, stage directions, irrational laugh of horror, distinctly audible, circle of light, stumbling motion, motionless and dumb, withered, violent action, hewn of stone, stricken children, The Blair Witch Project, crunching the frozen snow, measured and pitiless approach, cursed, bends reality, appearances and postcards, distortion of Defago’s body, at length the darkness, terribly conceived, a figure, zone of uncertain light, spasmodic motion of a thing moved by wires, it was a man, a skein of horror, three pairs of eyes shone through it, robots and things, do you think it’s the wendigo?, his feet, something horrible with his feet, something dark and oddly massed where moccasined feet, covered it with a blanket, yanked away, not a normal french name, a bundle of sticks, fire, they replace your baby with something that isn’t your baby, corn dollies, True Detective, stick dollies, Downs syndrome, magical requirements of the spell, a mockery of the man who was taken away, visiting via him, back to the real guy, telepresence, its a puppet, stop motion animation, slightly more jaggy, Simpson watching close behind him, the impression of a mask, black and diabloical, revealed in utter nakedness, biologically inhabited, totally erased, possession, becoming wendigo, trying to start a fire, eaten away from the inside, a matchstick lit from the bottom, gravity, as a phenomenon, literal fire or frostbite, what is the wendigo doing across the landscape, people love to draw the wendigo, an outline, a vague figure, Roof Bear, picking up Coffee Cat, the opposite of warmth, dropping frost, what does the wendigo eat, it eats moss, moose, the moose is hunting them, the spirit of winter, the spirit of the land, uninhabited because of how harsh it is, the moose finds them, why it has horns, human scale, antlers, Cernunnos, the deer/elk god of Celtic mythology, the hunt, a hunting expedition

When Did I Go? by Jesse:
My hike through the subarctic foothills that summer suddenly turned sinister when the bridge I had meant to cross was suddenly washed out by a late spring flood.

I’d begun my trek west through northern Alberta and into its border in the North-West Territories in late May, back when my skin was sallow, and my hair short.

Now, in late June, my hair was in my eyes as I thought I should return to that last homely shack I’d seen, the one with the collapsed verandah, just thirteen kilometers back.

My feet felt hot as I turned on the trail where the three lonely larches had turned a lovely and sickly green, that shack held nothing, nothing but a history, a history of this lonely landscape, as it was perfectly placed to shelter me and my needs.

And as I approached the sagging shanty I noticed again that broken sign on the trail’s bed, flipped it over, saw a new growth of lichen had obscured a few of the obscene words scrawled upon its pitted surface.

As I read the words aloud to myself and the wind under those familiar twilight stars I began my hysterical laughter: “Yukon run, butt chew can’t hide from the THING inside” it read.

And as I threw the sign to my feet and crawled under that broken and redolent verandah into what was once my home, I smiled, cracked open my preserves, and began feasting on the salted man-meat I’d made on my last trip through.

THE END

stealing a little, the unconscious, explaining why people do things is hard, explicit, we have a theory, this is the wendigo, how do we know?, feeling hysterical, went out for a pee, the outer narration is very unsympathetic, he’s cheating, the landscape, somebody’s mouse, a companion sentence, the personification of inanimate things, the landscape is doing something for our experience, scent and smell, what he smells like, the wendigo smells acrid, like lion, musky, lions don’t eat moss, like a living animal, off by 7, food and fire, inwardness, “something he called a wendigo”, mental excitement, that extraordinary odour, pungent, 50 Island Water, a foolish avowal, the preposterous language, an exact miniature likeness, a wholly incredible distance, the fiery tinge in the snow, hesitant on the one and sure on the other, I’m in my right mind now, steam?, char?, burnt off, stumps, do we even see?, lying and concealing, the effect upon the reader, H.P. Lovecraft, its surrogate, you see it by its scent, its effect in the ground, tracks leading through a field, up into the sky, on the treetops, Johnny Cash’s Ring Of Fire, a religious and sexual vision, covers, down down down I went, mythic ring, not quite as awesome as The Willows, Mr Jim Moon, “the ghost man”, the British love their ghost stories, a Christmas tradition, M.R. James, Henry James, a nested narrative, people going away from civilization into the wild, into a Canadian canoe, birch bark canoe, so light, so lovely, make one?, a skin of birch, chopping, marking the trees, so I can find my way back, Hansel and Gretel, blazing the trees, a nice pun, it’s going to hear me, structured, 5 to 2 to 1, 1 to 2 to 5, like the Apollo missions, that style of a story, Operation Black Buck, the Falkland Island War, the fuel planes refueling each other, such a massive distance, this expedition into the wilderness, an telescoping antenna, what was in contact, as it collapses back down, that story structure, how did he manage to do it just this well, an extraordinarily good story, an oblique angle, public domain stories, what responsibility in republishing a public domain story, the PDF Page, Wayne June read a story by Lovecraft, Mr. Niggerman vs. Mr. Blackman, The Rats In The Walls, Jesse’s responsibility, directly offended, present reality as it is as it was, fix history by taking out the icky bits, a terrific story, people’s fixations change, some words are taboo, those words have been replaced, earliest publications whenever possible, taking out illustrations, see the original context, William Wilson by Edgar Allan Poe, there’s a joke in the first line that tells you, The Gift, “In the present volume”, taking out information or lying, the racist character or the racist author, replacing Nigger Jim with Robot Jim, not everybody starts in a position of complete knowledge, this particular story, the n-word popping up, the turd in the punchbowl, thrown in here randomly (seemingly),

He watched the men a moment longer before diving into the stuffy tent where Simpson already slept soundly. Hank, he saw, was swearing like a mad African in a New York nigger saloon; but it was the swearing of “affection.” The ridiculous oaths flew freely now that the cause of their obstruction was asleep. Presently he put his arm almost tenderly upon his comrade’s shoulder, and they moved off together into the shadows where their tent stood faintly glimmering.

the progressive era was the most racist point in American history, meet up in Burlington, struck by the senses, key plot points, the conclusion ends on sense, “He knew what it all meant. Défago had ‘seen the Wendigo.'”, is sound the only trustworthy sense in the story, this is a cube, put in my hand, a scent can be mysterious, pulp mill towns, Thunder Bay, if you live there you don’t notice it, smell is literally invisible, desensitized to it, no need to present this to the brain, hearing a sentence, sight is something we question, smell is less reliable than hearing, sight is more reliable than hearing and scent, putting it in your hand is the most reliable, manuscript found in a bottle, we’re physically holding it, what we’re left with, reversing the human experience, sight and sound, because we don’t have the embedded, me our your lying eyes, we might have a verbal agreement, might hold up in court, send me a fax with your signature on it, makes it real, hearsay, I had a whiff that he was a serial killer, undergrad English majors to lawyers, Nunavut territory hunt, Paul comes back with an armful of fish, the senses are crucial, the unreality of this story, by eating the liver of a polar bear, ecological literary criticism, vegan diet, killing and living on animals, death by starvation, that dependence, “He realized his own utter helplessness. Only Défago, as a symbol of a distant civilization where man was master, stood between him and a pitiless death by exhaustion and starvation.”, the wood, there to eat, an emblem of community’s starvation or too much food, getting the right amount of food to live on, insatiable greed hungry excess, gluttony greed and excess, Blackwood out hunting and canoeing, a leftover from the coureur de bois era, Punk is a crazy name, Tonto, Vivian, a UK name, a boy named Sue, back to Johnny Cash, turnabout is fairplay, poor Marissa, Jesse, Paul, and Bryan, how bad Vermont internet was, what is our duty?, in podcasting terms, in fifty years what are people going to want to have from this podcast?, to understand us better, the latest Dan Carlin podcast interview, Hardcore History Addendum, when a war is happening today, Ukraine, how will people fifty years from now understand us better, Edgar Allan Poe, in the year 18__, be as faithful and understanding as you can, the long tail of the audience, the tail is much longer than that first week, 70 years late would be fine, a perishable age, all your DMs are going to be destroyed, all the ephemeral messages, text chats, podcast resilient, what happened to all the blogs?, the revised manuscript for his new book, possible extinction of the human race, a great conversation, cell phone as a hotspot, a good trick, why does Vermont internet suck so much, for profit telcos, repeated screwups, terrain, lots and lots of woods, small mountains, the wendigo interfering with our podcasts, a bad internet weather day, Elon Musk satellite internet, moving into the forest, pre-Starlink satellite internet, Starlink sent to Ukraine, 2g speed with Russian forces, Crimea, re-annexation, support for Assad in Syria, implausible, Strawberry Spring, Everything’s Eventual, a Spingheeled Jack story, an eerie phenomenon, peak up, the basketball game experiment, if you could only have one author on a desert island, Lawrence Block, re-read and find new things, Gene Wolfe, Cavalier, you can buy Hugo awards on ebay, No-Man’s Land, Uluru, it belongs in a museum!, heist story in which plucky band of wokesters steals all the stuff from the British museum and give them back, cynical Cirsova guy, ladies need eyebrows, the Elgin marbles, Greece is in such, privileging nation states, totem poles in England, trophies, the obelisk, the duly elected government, Aswan Dam, future us’ problem, claims lose power over time, shipping stuff back, without context, “here are the Elgin marbles, ha!”, a thorny problem, when Greece takes Big Ben, the Mexicans who now run England (with Russian accents), Jesse’s mom is moving, Vancouver Island is for retired people, YouTube photographers, videos, Amanda and Gavin, YouTubers tubing together, Nova Scotia is cheaper, seeing icebergs, an Israeli 7.62, Shaun Duke.

Lynd Ward art for The Wendigo

Lynd Ward art for The Wendigo

The Wendigo art by Matt Fox from FAMOUS FANTASTIC MYSTERIES

The Wendigo art by Matt Fox from FAMOUS FANTASTIC MYSTERIES

Wendigo - frequency: Unique - from Dragon Magazine, issue 38

Roof Bear, Coffee Cat, Wendigo

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The SFFaudio Podcast #668 – READALONG: The Anubis Gates by Tim Powers

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #668 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, Scott Danielson, Marissa VU, and Will Emmons talk about The Anubis Gates by Tim Powers

Talked about on today’s show:
1983, time travel fantasy novel, awards, Bronson Pinchot, the best narrator there is, he’s actor good, the accents and the emotions, Grover Gardner, a chameleon, his timing, his best self, Jonathan Davis, mostly fiction, Perfect Strangers, Beverly Hills Cop, The Bronson Pinchot Project, renovating a whole town, Marissa’s pick (along with Scott), a good idea, the stack of to-be-reads, Will’s first Tim, an addictive quality, stuck in time, body parts disappearing, I’m gonna get kidnapped, get murdered, the evil clown, a “generous” book, Last Call, Declare, Gene Wolfeish, gaps in history, a supernatural explanation for an oddity, On Stranger Tides, Homer’s The Odyssey, the Fisher King, Egypt, voodoo magic, World Fantasy, a friend of Philip K. Dick’s, an entertaining person, have this book not be fiction, everything that’s coming, great for readers because it allows us to participate in the book, ripped off many times, so Call Of Cthulhu, body switching, more setups than payoffs, a big long book, connections, obviously obsessed, the Cold War, 1800s, Las Vegas in the 60s 70s, always some magic, the Tim Powers genre, all the research first, weird facts, building the plot to that string of history, William Ashbless, entwined with Coleridge, Dean Koontz’ The Book Of Counted Sorrows, The Stress Of Her Regard, the William Ashbless wikipedia entry, not a romantic poem, walks in the countryside, kind of predictable, James Blaylock, had you said the Blaylock, hideously deformed, the poetical efforts of our deformed friend, The Digging Leviathan by James Blaylock, enjoying himself immensely, good fake romantic poetry, Lord Byron, Marcus Aurelius, the whole frame of the river being frozen with a shotgun pattern in it, Kubla Khan, drowning, the juice of paradise, the milk of the poppy, the visitor from Porlock, opening in Egypt, The Twelve Hours Of The Night, also inspired by the plot, interesting historical facts, this meta stuff, invented and written by no-one, All You Zombies by Robert A. Heinlein, that meta-play, why this book works, that playfulness, if you like role-playing games and magic, entertaining, skating through it, the 17th century trip, the Duke of Monmouth’s rebellion, a little ice age, its dangerous to do these things, other stories set in this universe, is that what we want more of?, Dog-faced Joe, Anubis, expecting a lot more Egyptian stuff, set in the London Hoboverse, a hobo simulator: Hobo: Tough Life, steampunk, there’s practically no steam in this at all, that meeting hall, the thieves guild, very Dungeons & Dragons, the grifter’s guild, playing up to Charles Dickens’ pre-Victorian England, ahistorical or super-historical, the Punch & Judy show, how people engage with puppets, when a puppet calls you out and you get mad at the puppet, ventriloquist dummy, there’s nothing funnier than that, these puppets are more than puppets, steal all this for your D&D campaign, Call Of Cthulhu, Vampire The Masquerade, is Dog-faced Joe Anubis?, making Egypt for Egyptians, time gates, weird powers, cursed with lycanthropy, a magical disease, make Egypt great again, P. Djèlí Clark, Anubis’s heiroglpyh: a pen or a feather a wavy line a box or a cup a bird or a jackal (or a wolf), where’s my Anubis content?, other expeditions, secret history stuff, images produced for this book, a wall, Anubis, somebody passing through a gate within Anubis, he’s the god of Death, Dog-faced Joe is immortal, live your life backwards, become the richest person ever, rule the earth, wills (and testaments) are a way of extending your life beyond your life, their will lives on, their estate has a founding document, a very Egyptian thing, totally looted, all the big graves are looted, a little bit to be said about why the magic works in the timegaps, the manna is higher, very Larry Niven-esque, very Tim Powers-y, playing by a different set of rules, maybe a little more cringey, Jesse doesn’t think about Declare ever, Fred Heimbach, dark evil forces, allows participation in the reading, On Stranger Tides, Elizabeth Bear, Will’s extra homework: a Laser Book: Blake’s Progress by Ray Nelson, a giant battle scene, a thousand wives fighting a thousand lizard gods, if you ate some of William Blake’s brain, his poetry proves he is a time traveler, Hyperion by Dan Simmons, John Keats, the pre-Joycean fellowship, Mary Shelly, John Polidori, romanticism and science fiction go together, the break between realism and science fiction, they know about science but they don’t choose to be clinical, the romantics fit, Ozymandius by Percy Shelley, One-Eyed Jack by Elizabeth Bear, urban fantasy, historical fantasy, Lies Of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch, medieval urban fantasy, We Are Seven by William Wordsworth, buried twelve steps from your door, struggles with depression, 2006, Gentlemen Bastards, secondary world novels, The Sin In The Steel by Ryan Van Loan, The Councillor by E.J. Beaton, books in other worlds, all the dwarves and elves, building up a secondary world, Rocky XVIII, Star Trek, all the movies in the Enterprise database, The Strange Case Of Mr. Cigars, Bride Of Chaotica, reverse lore, where were all the books Bilbo was reading in Rivendell, do the Rohirim don’t know how to write?, memorized poems, the aliens from Galaxy Quest (1999), Andy Serkis recording The Hobbit and The Lord Of The Rings, Alternate Routes by Tim Powers, Earthquake Weather, Expiration Date, Forced Perspective, its the communists [at Baen] demanding series, latter day sequels, an Anubis Gates story, Subterranean Press, Philip K. Dick, weird inklings, Lego versions, The Laughing Dead (1989), priests and nuns oh my, fun book, the dwelling, under 15 hours, novellas are the best, let the cat in.

The Anubis Gates by Tim Powers - illustration by Zeljko Pahek

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The SFFaudio Podcast #665 – READALONG: Revival by Stephen King

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #665 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, Marissa VU, and Evan Lampe talk about Revival by Stephen King

Talked about on today’s show:
2014, pushing it, the Lovecraft connection, the dedication, I was already seduced from before, the dedication:

“This is for the people who built my house: Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker, H.P. Lovecraft, Clark Ashton Smith, Donald Wandrei, Fritz Leiber, August Derleth, Shirley Jackson, Robert Bloch, Peter Straub, and ARTHUR MACHEN, whose short novel ‘The Great God Pan‘ has haunted me all my life”

literally responsible for building this book, Shelley, Stoker, Bloch, the fake Latin title, works the psychological horror mindset, slightly misremembering what that book has in it, the mad scientist, what’s beyond the veil, planting the seeds and the seeds don’t fully grow, more Shelley than Machen, if the pastor were the viewpoint character, it takes forever, teases the cosmic horror, W.W. Jacobs, W.F. Harvey, August Heat, Guy de Maupassant, Edward D. Hoch, mystery magazines, Startling Mystery Stories, Health And Knowledge, the “mysteries” of the worm, religious stlye mysteries, Famous Fantastic Mysteries, is reality as we think it is?, weird fiction from before Weird Tales, The Faceless Thing, the old house, the collapsing house, an old woman, the horror of childhood becomes a lifescar, he thinks he killed her, he was the one that killed her, guilt, ghost, setting the stage, worth the journey, personal horror vs. cosmic horror, the terrible sermon, I’ve been lying to you, a crisis of faith (a revelation of the reality of the Earth), the visions at the end, the ants, the human connections, that downer ending, opening argument, the audiobook, a few moments, all guitarists have a limp fish handshake, putting your brain in the characters brain, pretty good, therapy vs. an asylum, a flubbed ending, a psychic shockwave, The Call Of Cthulhu, an inevitability, not strong enough, the gun with five bullets shot out, one bullet left in Chekhov’s gun, a very Lovecraftian homage, that weird long pacing, hypnotized by the autobiography stuff, more horror, waiting for the other shoe to drop, the car accident, such a cool moment, ghoulishly enjoying the description, he needs to grow up, evil villains, a heroic moment, The Case Of Charles Dexter Ward, an evil alchemist, Victor Frankenstein, the mysteries of Joseph Curwen, a mini list, Beyond The Wall Of Sleep, a curious case, an insane asylum, back country folk, The Lurking Fear, From Beyond, become super-thin, the servants have left, the pastor and the 6 year old boy, Herbert West–Reanimator, The Statement Of Randolph Carter, fear -> follow, fractured himself, Hypnos, pulsars, black holes to the true reality, all up in Hypnos, Ex Oblivione, the key, from nothing into nothing, to the null, plays towards, life is the only way to escape the horror that death will bring (and drugs), escorted to the Other Gods, become a lich, Cool Air, life is punctuated by puppies and butterflies and nice sandwiches, feeling pain all the time and everything’s horrible, a blasted wasteland, The Black Hole (1979), Bloodborne, the protagonists are old, Pet Semetary, death is better, a side effect, “you brought me back it’s fucking horrible, I’ve seen beyond!”, you fucking monster!, he doesn’t share his research, root childhood trauma, symbolic lightning strike, a conventional morality play, why his wife is punished, red herring, the alcohol in the glove compartment, ideas of addiction, from what we see of her life, I drank because you hit me or I was a lesbian or whatever, being a lesbian in the end, Imma woke now!, small towns and rumors, symbolic mirroring, to avoid the nightmares, an electrical storm in the brain, the problem of evil, tornadoes, True Detective, Rustin Cohle is Thomas Ligotti, a truth that makes me feel bad, talkin to boomers, John Brennan is a monster, terrible truth, where’s the lie?, deluded the whole time, people over there are dying, that original cosmic horror is 100% real, why his wife could be drinking, the lies that everyone lives in small towns, a way of lashing out, you’re making me feel bad, rye or bourbon, too painful, The Devil’s Advocate (1997), Al Pacino’s monologue (God is a sadist), the unvarnished character, where did the secret come from to begin with?, how and why, he’s not menacing, the narrator’s memory, a more menacing light, the shotgun method, 2013, a lot of this could be unreliable, he found himself doing this, murder, where is this document going?, a creation of the creative process, still thinking about the magic, professional reviewers talking about the ending being screwed up, the actual ending, visiting his brother in Hawaii, becoming the next Jacobs, left with an unfinished story, its weird, they don’t know what he’s referencing here, Elizabeth Hand, Quatermass And The Pit, the funeral shading of Arthur Miller’s tragedy, atavistic pleasure, don’t look behind you, “a bit odd”, “a turn for the ridiculous”, “a little silly”, a slow build, a shaggy dog story, sprawling voice, a leisurely stroll towards eventual horror, such a cool idea, this stormcloud full of horror, Wayne June was a musician forever, limp handshakes, they’re all Innsmouth look guys, that opioid crisis, pain management gone wrong, the fifth business, The Fifth Business by Robertson Davies, story construction tropes, why Jesse thinks he’s a super-genius, green doors are magic doors, The Door In The Wall by H.G. Wells, a beautiful garden, a nice lady sitting on a throne, tigers and lions and wolves [actually just two panthers], a book with his life, popped out outside the wall, the point of the story is mysterious, what lies beyond, connected to childhood and personal obsession, when he’s constructing the hill for his soldiers to fight on, a footlocker, his sister kisses him, his favourite present, the krauts can hide in there, the crumbling house, the lightning rod, the cave of shadows, the house of shadows, Skull Mountain, Goat Mountain, the interleaving of themes, the ants, he’s having sex with her on the mattress and there’s a black ant crawling over the mattress, we’re all just like ants, a more subversive way of reading, being drones in our lives, Earth and existence is Hell, Null and Beyond as Hell, an afterlife, not everybody sees the same thing, heroin addiction, “something happened”, his hand is raised up, naked with one sock on stabbing a fork into his arm, post-hypnotic suggestion, gives him a glimpse through the keyhole, brain surgery, the witness, we’re going to see via her what lies beyond, prions up in her brain, a window to that alternate reality, the black paper sky, a long line of marching soldiers, what he’s been programming himself to believe, Kult (RPG), a scary fundamental truth people don’t want to really talk about, there is no immorality or horror on Mars, all the other planets with no life, no pain, feral kittens, a beautiful murderer, we’re going vegan, I don’t want to contribute to the pain of this world, tigers are compelled to have babies, we are the demons of Hell, trying to mitigate some of the horror, trying to make the cat vegan, there is no real escape, we are deluding ourselves, do as little harm as a conscious being, its wrong for me to murder people, that gift of knowledge thing, Marissa found her cat’s diary, she’s a bad person but she doesn’t know that, let the cat out of the bag, we never think about it, we are so versed in the horror of reality, having kids is a horrible responsibility, even worse you’ll give pain, The Place Of Pain by M.P. Shiel [is a rip-off of The Moon Stricken by Bernard Capes], he enjoys hikes, there’s a waterfall, a natural telescope, what was going on on the moon, the Moon is dead and just a mirror for looking at Earth, a headless squirrel, enjoying its nuts, hoping it doesn’t rot under there, the beauty of the babies, Stephen King always avoids talking about the real issues, not really a problem in this world, Ray Bradbury’s carnies, oatmeal cookies, nowhere in this book is a demand for healthcare, comfort food, the major business of the fifth business is health care, Oral Roberts, fake medicine, Trump rallies, revival meetings, electricity bleach same difference, Nyarlathotep, like Tesla, Menlo Park, 14 hours, maybe Tesla isn’t a thing, he’s asking us to do google searches, he’s inviting us to say this is real, the narrator is apolitical, music and girls and army men and cars, in the heroin and oxycontin crisis, everybody is independent, boomer obsessions, meant to feel real, other connections to King things, Joyland, Dark Tower connections, the unfound door, Look Homeward, Angel by Thomas Wolfe, doors in the Dark Tower, move people between worlds, portals, a door that lets you go where you want, a universal door, Salem’s Lot, a horrible monologue, shattered faith, confronting the Dracula, enter into Roland’s world, the fallen preacher redeeming himself, There Are Doors by Gene Wolfe, a novel of obsession, green doors, like memory of Dinosaurs, the bottomless ocean of a magic forest, the irradiate refuge of sleep, under strange stars, what’s cool about reading weird fiction is its almost like the promise of the secrets of the universe, then…, we’re tapping into our own psychology, why do people fly when they’re in dreams, flying dreams, Paul’s dreams, Samuel R. Delany, a keyword search of a thousand dreams, combining real life interests and real life worries with symbolic universal, what is important about green?, how people depict it on the cover, always a church with a steeple, their church had no steeple, lightning is very important, before the novel started, near the resort where the rich people live, the only politics is all about distribution, a lot of the covers have crosses, the crucifix, not really a Christian book, praising God, praising Jesus, little toy Jesus, a red desert, the telephone poles that look like the cross, there’s no people, artists tasked with giving this book a cover, Marissa wishes it wasn’t true, deluxe versions with beautiful interior art, a nice book cover, had not Evan been pushing it with the magic words, where’s the climax of the story, in the Catskills, The Lurking Fear, the Martense’s old mansion was repurposed, resorts in the Catskills, weird joy, Paul skiing, speaking of Paul, that name is not an accident, Daniel, peripheral characters, Astrid Soderbergh, the fundamental mistake of not putting people in the scene, a family walking towards the church, connecting to our realities, changing colours, Wieland by Charles Brockden Brown, a Stonehenge style pagan temple, the prologue, there’s a secret that will be revealed, more SF than the opening might lead you to believe, based on a weird story, the Binding of Isaac, God says: realllly?, God says: jk, sky god with his electrical bolts, an electrical aspect, the stuff about the eels, the transfiguration, skull mountain (Golgotha), Marissa’s favourite review, atheists should be terrified of this novel, a trend on Twitter, hey and check out my Instagram, be seen, the latest Stephen King book is out John 11:12, why Evan likes to go to baseball games, John 3:16, how the Mormons send their kids off, preach the word, all your eyeballs are looking this way?, photoboming, N by Stephen King, an experience that leads to OCD, The Music Of Erich Zann, That is not dead which…, he remembered it, the quote is about Cthulhu, Paul would say Astrid was bisexual (not a lesbian), she loves cigarettes more than anything, aging, hey you’re bald now, you got really fat, did *I* change that much?, really good, really talented, a downer, always was bi, his sister kisses him, he loves his mother, discomfort, life pain, it could have been a greater novel, background life, the null mother, his visions of his family and the cake and the ant, this is The House On The Borderlands I am forever mindblown, better on the second read, such a wonderful villain, many many searches, most people don’t read, the amount ink spilled on whether the movie is going to get made or not, pages and pages, what’s about the actual book, certain scenes, the lightning rod, the terrible sermon, life slices, the mystery, he hadn’t done any research, fake surgeries, little Bradbury, too much play on the term itself: “revival”, playing to the title, its a metaphor, to condense it, the letter about Astrid brings him to Tempest Mountain, a TV series about Jacob, they’ll fuck it up, The Troop by Nick Cutter.

Revival by Stephen King

Army Men

100pc Toy Soldier Set With Footlocker

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The SFFaudio Podcast #566 – TOPIC: USED BOOKSTORES

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #566 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, Scott Danielson, and Fred Himebaugh talk about USED BOOKSTORES

Talked about on today’s show:
spend a lifetime researching, as opposed to regular bookstores, what’s the difference, not the price, Dawn Treader Book Shop, Bryan Alexander, Jack Vance’s The Dying Earth, specializes in stock already been sold, hybrids, a Wikipedia entry, a booktown, in the UK, a book district, PaperbackSwap.com, young and poor, delight, selection, Staten Island, Barrett Book Trader, a good trade, romance books are of incredibly low value, voracious romance novel readers, a lending library with fees, Audible’s new romance title subscription service, a very different kind of category, milk run, Vancouver suburbs, bottle depots, a trunkload, Jolly Olde Bookstore, real estate prices, switching to audiobooks, David’s Books (Ann Arbor, Michigan), The Bookstore Mural, Walmart, Costco, Borders, Barnes & Noble, Uncle Hugo’s (and Uncle Edgar’s), Magers And Quinn, a phenomenon that flourished after books became available, in a hundred years, what was that phenomenon, the way we have understood it, Terry (Stillman), somebody died, get rid of this pile of stuff, a good used bookstore is always FULL, stuffed to the gills, they don’t tend to be chains, guys buying themselves a job, kind of a dream, imagine all the books, all the profit comes from the rare book side of the business, you job is to guess what your customers want, getting rid of romance novels, variety, the Philip K. Dick section, J.G. Ballard section, anything that was mass produced, the science fiction vs. the literary novel section, not representative, books from before you were born, 2 Heinlein novels, the only way to get a decent book collection, The Rolling Stone and Space Family Stone are the same book, this phenomenon is in decline, ebooks and Amazon have peaked?, 2020 eink with colour, comic books, book covers, podcasts are in more danger of disappearing than newspapers are (podcasts autodelete), Tony C. Smith’s earliest StarShipSofa episodes, preserving in old barns, the inability to sell used (digital) audiobooks and ebooks, rent control for a certain amount of space for used bookstores, Powells, a media warehouse, new and used, instrumental in Scott’s youth, Scott came to SF pretty much alone, a dad or an uncle, through Star Trek, The Bookworm in Idaho Falls, Idaho, looking at every single book, what science fiction was, the selection at a library, librarians are a self-selected (to the literary side), the paperback issue, Dragonflight by Anne McCaffrey, “Anne McCaffrey has never written a bad novel”, at that point it was true, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, Tanith Lee, The Stand by Stephen King, scanning like a madman for years, books in bins waiting for the copyrights to expire, Jesse’s razor, you buy more books than you read, hours put in finding, downsizing, the way people find books now, Childhood’s End, a completely different experience, shit this has a map in it!, a massive appendix, book II in a series, Dune, that’s a different cover (two copies of Dune), not knowing that a book exists, Brin, Benford, Bester, Horseclan novels, William Gibson, here, trade paperbacks (the wrong size of books), the paperback IS the experience, you have to know what you’re looking for, The House On The Borderland by William Hope Hodgson, what the hell is this?, the books just didn’t exist for you, that popping in, Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, The Restaurant At The End Of The Universe, a small town used bookstore, the college town experience, picking over the books, a crappy little storefront, all these wonderful books, a small town bookstore, a long and prideful thing, Gene Wolfe, Tucson, a Bookmans on the other side of town, Pulpfiction Books (Vancouver), the estate trying to sell everything, raiding parties (in the states), picking over the bones of other stories, Half Price Books, remainder books, a related phenomenon, a thrift shop (a bookstore with other stuff in it too), Value Village, charity shops, can you believe I got these two books for fifty cents each?, Dead Until Dark, a subsidiary of used bookstores, blew up Jesse’s mind, Ace Doubles are unable to be filed, John Brunner and Philip K. Dick, Tor Doubles, why libraries don’t like paperbacks, you have to pick a side, this is the dominant side, The Dragon Masters by Jack Vance, The Last Castle by Jack Vance, a thematic resonance, a nightmare, just two books, Sea Siege / Eye Of The Monster f-147, which terrible monster to start with?, Leigh Brackett (the greatest pulpmaster of them all), how to make your library show, why you have to have two copies, obtain mode, nemesis, Rendezvous With Rama, don’t read the sequels, the smell (of a used bookstore), sniffing these Ace Doubles, it smells like old paper, the rot of paper of glue hardening, a hint of mildew odor, Honor Books (Allen, Michigan), no door (so open), a microscopic science fiction section, put your money here, a vending machine you go inside of, a triple witching hour on a full moon on a thirteenth day you can feel some cold fingers in the slot, a state tax, this is not a going concern, no staffing issues, a lesbian couple, its a job, its a dream, you buy, I have a used bookstore!, everybody need employment, Trump isn’t responsible for the decline of the used bookstore, finding book 7 of the Barsoom series, lists, New Zealand waterfalls, Moby-Dick, a guilt purchase, I feel good when I give them my money, I’m paying more because THIS is what I get, NEW THIS WEEK, the entire rack of new comic books, Sergio Aragones’ GROO: THE WANDERER, a comicbook store is a USED and new bookstore, the books have a different smell and the patrons are different, comic book stores are in every city, you can’t tell a reader, rando strangers, the connection Jesse has with these guys, Projecting Project Pulp (podcast), what we all have in common is we like books, however fleeting, the stack of stuff they’re collecting, that little piece of advice, dying like tears in the rain, most of the books that Jesse was collecting were written before he was born or unable to read them, seeing the legacy of a whole commercial system turned on its head, drugstores and spinner racks, Gold Medal paperbacks, Richard Stark, the thinness of those volumes, 110 pages, a whirlwind kind of experience, books are too thick, James M. Cain in paperback, so spartan and so spare, Goodreads and Amazon and podcasts, experience that smell before its gone, Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday, an increasingly unaffordable hobby.

Jolly Old Bookstore

Jolly Old Books

Honor Books

The Bookstore Mural

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The SFFaudio Podcast #564 – READALONG: VALIS by Philip K. Dick

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #525 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, Marissa Vu, Evan Lampe and Terence Blake talk about VALIS by Philip K. Dick

Talked about on today’s show:
1981, science fiction novel?, the long awaited masterwork, you didn’t like it, low expectations, the first half is the best part, it takes place in the head, after the film, the discussion of the film, the Wikipedia, Radio Free Albemuth‘s plot, parallel universe Nixon, state vs. society, Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said, movement cultures, fighting the Black Iron Prison, this is a political dead end novel, is it science fiction?, the opening, SickMyDuck.narod.ru, quasi-consciousness, gobbledygook,

VALIS (acronym of Vast Active Living Intelligence System, from an American film): A perturbation in the reality field in which a spontaneous self-monitoring negentropic vortex is formed, tending progressively to subsume and incorporate its environment into arrangements of information. Characterized by quasiconsciousness, purpose, intelligence, growth and an armillary coherence.

–Great Soviet Dictionary

Sixth Edition, 1992, used in many others, the copyright details about his other books, A Scanner Darkly, the schizophrenic break, good bits, the autobiographical details, fictionalizing his life, not anything like science, most people don’t have a grasp of what science is, a perturbation in the reality field, progressively subsumed?, a collection of words, he’s eating his own prole feed, he takes as fact, a refutation soon accommodated, this skepticism thing, the same plot as 2001: A Space Odyssey, Book Of The New Sun by Wolfe, the hero can reverse time, that’s there, so much better, weird quest, this 2 year old kid who may or may not be Jesus, more like meta-fiction, reintegrate his brain, Psi-Man heal me, he put’s his hand on Fat’s shoulder, self-hugging, he baptized him with chocolate and a hot dog bun, stuff he’s actually done, not fiction, bullshit people all the time, every now and then this should be science fiction, bullshit with his friends, a rough plot, exegesis, we should be upset, puttering about in a small land, so internal, his other half, Small Holywater, Black WanderingEarth, that’s why its a better novel, it has the satellite, in the beginning was the word,

#36. We should be able to hear this information, or rather narrative, as a neutral voice inside us. But something has gone wrong. All creation is a language and nothing but a language, which for some inexplicable reason we can’t read outside and can’t hear inside.

its important to see why people are attracted to this book, words are data as much as visual data, bear scratching against a tree, i present these words to you and they become reality, dope dope dope 500 times, the word loses its sound and its meaning, words on a page are reality, we have to contend with this, how do you know when this is, it’s tremendous, is that true, dreams, your critical faculties are not in full operation, religious people are presented with evidence, adopted accommodated or ignored, causing a crisis, telegraphed far before, we all have this capacity to generate data, distinguishing it from, “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.”, untethered to critical no no no no, Fat gained strength, self-criticism, Horselover Fat is the early 60s sociological type, Michel Serres, there’s something broken in his head, he’s a car engine and there’s a serious problem with the mechanics, “The Black Iron Prison”, “The Empire Never Ended”, proved, made up in medieval times, the Roman Empire fell in…, time is not what we think it is, K.W. Jeter, Tim Powers,

“You found your way into the upper realm,” Kevin declared. “Isn’t that how you put it in your journal?”

#48. Two realms there are, upper and lower. The upper, derived from hyperuniverse I or Yang, Form I of Parmeni-des, is sentient and volitional. The lower realm, or Yin, Form II of Parmenides, is mechanical, driven by blind, efficient cause, deterministic and without intelligence, since it emanates from a dead source. In ancient times it was termed “astral determinism.” We are trapped, by and large, in the lower realm, but are, through the sacraments, by means of the plasmate, extricated. Until astral determinism is broken, we are not even aware of it, so occluded are we. “The Empire never ended.”

A small, pretty, dark-haired girl walked silently past Fat and the huge old woman, carrying her shoes. At breakfast time she had tried to smash a window using her shoes and then, having failed, knocked down a six-foot-high black technician. Now the girl had about her the presence of absolute calm.

“The Empire never ended,” Fat quoted to himself. That one sentence appeared over and over again in his exegesis; it had become his tag line. Originally the sentence had been revealed to him in a great dream. In the dream he again was a child, searching dusty used-book stores for rare old science fiction magazines, in particular Astoundings. In the dream he had looked through countless tattered issues, stacks upon stacks, for the priceless serial entitled “The Empire Never Ended.” If he could find it and read it he would know everything; that had been the burden of the dream.

so many comic books, he’s obsessed in a way,

Prior to that, during the interval in which he had experienced the two-world superimposition, had seen not only California, U.S.A., of the year 1974 but also ancient Rome, he had discerned within the superimposition a Gestalt shared by both space-time continua, their common element: a Black Iron Prison. This is what the dream referred to as “the Empire.” He knew it because, upon seeing the Black Iron Prison, he had recognized it. Everyone dwelt in it without realizing it. The Black Iron Prison was their world.

Who had built the prison–and why–he could not say. But he could discern one good thing: the prison lay under attack. An organization of Christians, not regular Christians such as those who attended church every Sunday and prayed, but secret early Christians wearing light gray-colored robes, had started an assault on the prison, and with success. The secret, early Christians were filled with joy.

this is ho you make science fiction this is not science fiction, superimposing the present on the past, James Joyce, 1981 or 1982, Paris, one of the greatest philosopher’s of the 20th century Gilles Deleuze, cinema, a vertical time axis, Marie Louise Von Franz, Jungian theory, a second axis of time, Wolfgang Pauli, tied to a particular experience, a working out of it, dipping into it, this is basically what it is, not that revealing, nonsense, the big words that he’s using, essay writing as a game, write them first, the way Star Trek: The Next Generation technobabble, reverse the polarity of the neutron flow, a black iron prison, does the blackness refer to the iron, its just a phrase that popped into his head and he thinks, this is how religions are birthed, coming straight out of it, so sad, hilarious Philip K. Dick bits, a mental breakdown on the page, a slow decline into depression and isolation, A Scanner Darkly except real, new religious movements, subjective experiences, William James, is there anything not referenced in here, a trained philosopher, Dick doesn’t do any of that stuff, multidimensional, masterful from the beginning, the only sad thing Terence can see, male male male all along, one sided, The Exegesis a fake book, this is a novel, a metafiction novel, its not a fantasy, he perceived those perceptions, its most interesting to him, where it intersects with the stuff in his previous writings, from the beginning, The Cosmic Puppets, much more grounded, breaking himself off from himself, he gets stuck in this loop, I have become a mechanical function of my own idea, a rat trying to get on a rat-proof ship, something mechanically wrong in his brain, the rest of the engine was good, a terrible metaphor, he goes to the therapist and the therapist becomes part of the problem, going back to the themes of the institution vs. the individual, the police steal his stuff, this is not a political book, the society against the state, encouraging movements to do little things, the resistance is always there, in Valis we gotta find Jesus, his interpretation, The Divine Invasion, Shadow And Claw by Gene Wolfe, symbols invent us, the symbol took over his mind, The Transmigration Of Timothy Archer, a cathartic effect, juxtaposing is the problem, that’s the science fiction aspect, its a theory, its unfalsifiable,

9

Wordsworth’s “Ode” carries the sub-title: “Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood.” In Fat’s case, the “intimations of immortality” were based on recollections of a future life.

In addition, Fat could not write poetry worth shit, despite his best efforts. He loved Wordsworth’s “Ode,” and wished he could come up with its equal. He never did.

Boldness is not virtue, Spiders sail on strands, there was no path back, crouched in basement darkness, on and on, infinitude of time, Mind, now torn away, We humans have been told, We larger ones, What of us we lack the stamina, a summary of the book, cats, the key to decoding it, Phil’s Cat by K.W. Jeter, two of PKD’s cats: Mrs. Tubbs and Harvey (an “elegant but paranoid” black cat), lots of stuff from book, a fatalistic attitude, the thing one most loves can be fatal, “Listen, do you hear something.”, with an open can of catfood, two big yellow eyes, his small mind not comprehending the vertical dimension, his spatial coordinates had been right on target, March 1982, his self destructive urges had been transcended, methodically combing the isles, a little scrap of warmth, ludicrous hope, a faith that believed in faithlessness, in the light of the story, this is what the empathy thing he’s so known for is all about, very beautiful, a lot of empathy for cats, his weird relationship with women, weird resentments, retroactive blaming the women, his empathy for women is his bad side, Sherry with cancer, suffering something so horrible, is that his perception or is that the reality, did she know that she was doing that, how do you know that?, citing citations, does she know she’s doing that, that’s the main problem, confronted with both sense data and actual sentences and both are not subject to critical questioning, Jesse saw a ghost once, Jesse loves the idea of ghosts, part of a letter, Last Wave, Summer 1984, The Shadow Out Of Time, hypnagogic images, conversations with, John W. Campbell, ultimately always better, Gene Wolfe’s similar cosmogony, between Dick and Wolfe, a better thinker, he saw Dianetics was bullshit, it seized on him, religion as a kind of a mania, latching on to their stories, Bishop Pike, if Philip K. Dick had access to the internet, anamnesis, three meanings, obsessing over etymology, etymology is everything, he’s in improv, I’m a toaster, have you eaten your toast?, you always go with it, your sense data or your sentence in front of you Jabberwocky, brillig, his vorpal sword, runcible spoon (a grapefruit spoon), runcible to runciter, something animals don’t really do, its almost like we can fall down a well of only believing this one book from 4000 years ago, writing down experiences they never had with a guy they never met, and he’s wrong, a druid ceremony, not the only story even he’s caught up in it, a half hour of notes, Tractates Cryptica Scriptura, usually it takes whole cultures to make a cosmogony, the appendix is kind of useful, in Evan’s podcast episode on Valis, The Gospel According To Philip K. Dick,

50. The primordial source of all our religions lies with the ancestors of the Dogon tribe, who got their cosmogony and cosmology directly from the three-eyed invaders who visited long ago. The three-eyed invaders are mute and deaf and telepathic, could not breathe our atmosphere, had the elongated misshapen skull of Ikhnaton, and emanated from a planet in the star-system Sirius. Although they had no hands, but had, instead, pincer claws such as a crab has, they were great builders. They covertly influence our history toward a fruitful end.

Kilgore Trout, Cosmos: A Personal Voyage, an endless hole, the discovery of planets doesn’t occur for quite a long time, an external place vs. another realm, his citation is it seems to me it must be true, horoscopes, there are no dis-confirming facts (until their is), a giant radical shift, its in the paper, if its published its true, the New York Times and The Washington Post, how we get offended by people’s words, you know I don’t REALLY believe this right, I know I’m nutty, the amount of time you spend on it, something is pulling their brain, a cool fact, bloodtype tells about your personality, you don’t know your blood type?, that’s very o positive, imagine saying that about someone’s race, we can’t conceive of that being a thing, this is destiny, this is how all the religious functions work, auspicious, looking good, Roman birds, suspicious, I don’t think we can trust this, trapped in a world of etymology, etymology as destiny, the fake etymology of embarrassed, Jesse doesn’t want to give it up, magic words, pickaninny, niggardly, the airplane was retarded by the braking process, the sound of it is not offensive, words are presentations of reality, the whole whale language thing, cobol, c++, I saw a ghost, I saw a red hat, red hats are not nice hats, words on a page, in your ear, on a sign, causing a dysfunction within us, that’s this book, that’s why this book has power, the revelation is surprising because almost nobody else ever talks about it, not a universal truth, how he described it to Anne, I’m writing an autobiography about BOTH of my personalities and I’m calling it VALIS, structure it as a self-conscious whatever, so much based on actual events, there is no VALIS film, he did call up somebody in Hollywood, he barely knew Gloria, a friend of his, Sic transit gloria mundi, pathology, sending up, funny bits pointing, making fun, he’s deflating the thing in real time, if he lived in our age, the pot showing up in the film, a fish symbol, the DNA molecule, how it connects to Galactic Pot-Healer, this pot did exist, oh yeah, of course, the jewelry in The Man In The High Castle, a photograph of him leaving the funeral early climbing into a Volkswagen, whose reaction is more authentic, if he were a girl, subject to criticism, ditzy, quite pathetic, pathos, Greek for feeling, how great he is at saying that experience of watching a film, applying the rules of filmwatching, Blade Runner, did they intend this to be the meaning, what about the eyes being lit up, different actors disagreeing, as a piece of fiction I’m allowed to spin up as many theories as I want, things outside of the film, where is the meaning?, the meaning goes out the window, macro-focused in the wrong direction, I didn’t see this the first time, adding Phil to the Skype call right now, at the time vs. now, almost guaranteed, everything in there is searchable, Reading, Short And Deep, looking at the text, breaking past the fourth wall into two different axis, no time is god, the boy can replace his wife who has died, its amazing, how seriously should we take this?, Parsifal,

Parsifal is one of those corkscrew artifacts of culture in which you get the subjective sense that you’ve learned something from it, something valuable or even priceless; but on closer inspection you suddenly begin to scratch your head and say, “Wait a minute. This makes no sense.” I can see Richard Wagner standing at the gates of heaven. “You have to let me in,” he says. “I wrote Parsifal. It has to do with the Grail, Christ, suffering, pity and healing. Right?” And they answered, “Well, we read it and it makes no sense.” SLAM.

which heaven do you go to?, the savior saved?, you’re the gods, the typical Nietzsche thing, glorified stupidity, a similar joke in episode 3 of Watchmen, the world being enduring suffering, Amfortas, three superheroes go to heaven, Nite Owl, did the comedian go to heaven?, how many people did you kill?, super moral, Ozymandias, Dr Manhattan, I’m already there, these things that seem to have great meaning, action set pieces, Harry Potter, ultimately its empty, Lord Of The Rings, the experience is not just a walk with Gandalf, finding meaning in existence, hiding in a secondary world, something deep there, its about the setups, kids go up and stuff happens, Tolkien would go to heaven, Wagner would go to hell, Rowling would go to hell, go to Valhalla for the Ring, you’re in the wrong heaven, sir, Valhalla ends at Ragnarok, a temporary heaven, done with VALIS, I wash my hands of it, where does it get us?, political or psychological, such an honest portrayal of having a psychosis and also be very aware of what’s happening, whatever philosophy he’s trying to get at, this is not a philosophy, pre-philosophy, gnostic beliefs, the Kult RPG, in the center of the city, a role playing game about trying to find reality, this module, the keeper or the dungeon master, exploring the reality, the players are in a Black Iron Prison.

On A Cat Which Fell Three Stories And Survived by Philip K. Dick from Last Wave, Summer 1984

Phil's Cat by K.W. Jeter from Last Wave, Summer 1984

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The SFFaudio Podcast #470 – READALONG: The Dying Earth by Jack Vance

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #470 – Jesse, Paul, and Marissa talk about The Dying Earth by Jack Vance

Talked about on today’s show:
1950, novel/collection, The Moon Moth, a story suite, self-contained, a great book of language, the excellent prismatic spray, travertine, lapis lazuli, Hollywood, a black dragonfly, I hate the world and everything in it, Dungeons & Dragons, the Demon Princes novels, the Planet Of Adventure novels, a second order of facts, the richness of the language, the amoral characters, would you have dinner with any of these characters?, role-playing, the final descent, weird and wondrous, defined by this book, future echoes, The Matrix is a dying earth story, accessing certain special moves, fighting machines, the magic system, a 9th level spell, Bigby’s Grasping Hand, Tenser’s floating disc, the same recipe, magic missile, jamming in five spells (instead of four), so fun, a little bit of FOMO, re-memorizing spells, making magic controllable, it’s OP (overpowered), super hero movies, Heroes, origins stories, Mazarian, the Excellent Prismatic Spray, the Omnipotent Sphere, unceasing, a list of the spells, tomes, there’s no actual incantation, spell words and tongue twisters, Latin spell names, a great idea, how Harry Potter’s spells work, the orcs are coming, colour and action, Paul plays mages a lot, a callow youth, being indoctrinated into Dungeons & Dragons, being like Jesus means no stabbing, just swinging my arm, twisted logic, Gandalf has a big long sword, to balance out the classes, to balance, niche protection, cramming for your spell exams, Paul’s showing his geekiness, Dragon Magazine, you could swing that stupid sword around, why you gonna carry that giant sword?, a profound effect upon hundreds of thousands of people’s lives for decades and decades, pretty amazing, pure luck, strange creatures, demons, this is just like home, the plot lines do not closely follow, there’s no taverns, a conman thief, go find this museum, not standard D&D quests, Liane gets what he deserves, Chun the Unavoidable, torturing an innocent couple, so fun to read, such a prat, when Bryan bowed out, an in-joke within the campaign, the perversity of the Dungeon Master, suggested stats, other planes of existence, appearing from behind a tapestry, The Princess Bride, a passion for eyes, the dragonfly riders, a vial of oil, shrinking Paul, don’t trust anything, a Vancian point of view, judging the worst beauty contest of all time, Poul Anderson, the deep blue sky of Earth, a pocket dimension, T’sain, is he trying to make a girl?, vats, T’sais, Turjan, Pandelume, The Handmaid’s Tale, making women in bottles, alchemy, homunculi, chemical products, we’re nearly there with lab grown meats, everything is ugly is ugly even beautiful things are uglier, she finds the world a bitter place, dire malevolence, use of language, eructate, a poem about burps, a burping tree, women server me some wine and make the eighteen motions of allurement, interesting as a concept, the opposite of innocence, everyone is corrupt, there’s only loss, what re they going to do, living inside their tanks and know that’s where they’re at now, the middle of the Dying Earth ideas, Darkness by Lord Byron, E.R. Eddison,

I had a dream, which was not all a dream.
The bright sun was extinguish’d, and the stars
Did wander darkling in the eternal space,
Rayless, and pathless, and the icy earth
Swung blind and blackening in the moonless air;
Morn came and went—and came, and brought no day,
And men forgot their passions in the dread
Of this their desolation; and all hearts
Were chill’d into a selfish prayer for light:
And they did live by watchfires—and the thrones,
The palaces of crowned kings—the huts,
The habitations of all things which dwell,
Were burnt for beacons; cities were consum’d,
And men were gather’d round their blazing homes
To look once more into each other’s face;
Happy were those who dwelt within the eye
Of the volcanos, and their mountain-torch:
A fearful hope was all the world contain’d;
Forests were set on fire—but hour by hour
They fell and faded—and the crackling trunks
Extinguish’d with a crash—and all was black.

pretty gruesome, the year without a summer, Mary Shelley, Krakatoa, a dream and not a dream, it’s just everyday, this is not a young earth, not a new idea, Shakespeare’s fairies and Tolkien’s Middle Earth, from the fairy or elven point of view, a growing tide of darkness and ignorance, our deepest oldest fear, the end times, the end days, this is how we live now, the twilight days, the environmental stories in the news, we’re kind of fucking this up, “I just use as much plastic as possible”, an uplifting book, so dark but funny and uplifting, running the Museum of Man, that’s not how people actually are, the ideas of a book, these are the waves coming in, the beach, not the normal Jesse book, a very Clark Ashton Smith prose poem style, Zothique, a conduit, The City And The Stars by Arthur C. Clarke, even the robots are tired, Mr Jim Moon, The Night Land by William Hope Hodgson, 17th century language, pseudo-biblical language, Edgar Rice Burroughs’ A Princess Of Mars, something distinctly moving, the unromantic and unpoetic among readers, an insanely strange book, H.G. Wells, The Cave Of Time, resurrected at the end of time, Riverworld by Philip Jose Farmer, a lot of celebrities, Richard Burton, everybody who ever was, Mark Twain, To Your Scattered Bodies Go, Hermann Göring, TV adaptations of the Riverworld series, at the end of history, so sad, still striving, The Book Of The New Sun, The Book Of The Long Sun, Gene Wolfe, he’s an apprentice torture but his true passion is rape, ornate strange language, brilliant, interesting, frustrating, and wonderful, a massive undertaking, the book of gold, Paul’s book of gold: The Amber Chronicles, The Hobbit, this is amazing!, the one book that made Marissa get super-excited about reading: Cujo by Stephen King, it’s almost never laser guns, I’ve done questionable things, Rutger Hauer, creators, but also great things, Blade Runner is a dying earth story, infectious imagery, neo-noir, film dystopia, there are no heroes (really), everything is falling apart, the creatures are no longer biological, Blade Runner: 2049, a down and depressing future dystopia, what we think of doing well now, the Marvel movies, short term thinking, how well the money’s doing, long lived lives, John W. Campbell’s Night, hard Science Fiction, Michael Moorcock, the Hawkmoon books, C.J. Cherryh, George R.R. Martin, The City At The End Of Time by Greg Bear, an amazingly powerful book, The House On The Borderland, an interesting sub-genre, the language of cant, I babble in an unknown tongue, even the prophets are corrupt and fake.

Posted by Jesse Willis