The SFFaudio Podcast #771 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: Pirates of Venus by Edgar Rice Burroughs

The SFFaudio Podcast

The SFFaudio Podcast #771 – Pirates of Venus by Edgar Rice Burroughs, read by Phil Chenevert for LibriVox. This is a complete and unabridged reading of the book (6 hours, 12 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Alex (Pulpcovers.com), and Evan Lampe

Talked about on today’s show:
Argosy in 6 parts in 1932, the scanning community, go by date, somebody didn’t renew it, sticklerish, The Mad King, The Girl From Hollywood, fantasy oriented, dedicated to the craft of pulpwriting, cranked out words, do 700 episodes, he’s really good writer, Evan was shitting all over this book on Twitter, quibbles, not his best book, let’s start with the poo, my thoughts on Pirates Of Venus, meme with Sorpanos, listen to yourself you sound demented, the attack is…, high on its own supply, its a fantasy, very fantasy, riding the line on self-parody, cutting lose and veering into self-parody, playing with the tropes, Burroughs is demented, what are your problems, strawmans socialism, the same communist revolution from The Moon Maid, wink wink to the KKK, the birdmen, the treemen, they’re simps, unless he’s being ironic, a really bad take, during the depression, escapism?, escapist, his politics, my entire reaction: “really?”, what a freak he is, four books in this series, a fifth book, the ending on this, you’re going to have to read the next book, John Carter books, wrapped up nicely, I’ve got gold here, at least 7 books in that series, signed up to write a bunch of books, see about the politics, gets his money from his great grandfather, soldier in India, continuing the colonial project, Will [Emmons], somehow doesn’t motivate me, why this series doesn’t get the attention that Barsoom does, the takeaway, written as a retro piece, 1912, sword and planet, closer to Leigh Brackett, Weinbaum, a sop to the older readers, Asimov is coming up here, closer to Foundation, we’re moving in that direction, deliberate throwbacks, Burroughs wrote this, no one else, Philip Jose Farmer, no one could do it like he did, these are Burroughs’ sentences, a really fun book, really interesting, there are merits to A Princess Of Mars, same plot, kidnapping dekidnapping, lots of animals and creatures, weird alien not quite monster, anybody there?, crab monster!, kind of annoying, not much happens at the end, she says I love you, there’s no more time in this episode, read the next book, flown away by a birdman, various art, pretty cool, treading water with a sword, pirate ships with no sails, powered by endurium or plutonium or handwavium, a sailing ship with masts removed, in order to recognize it, I’m vaguely familiar with this piece of tech, starts typing, his non-science fiction books, not enough pirates, not enough piracy, the third third of the book, too much trees, earthlike tech, a lot of gun-polishing, that Graeber book, paying close attention, when the revolution happens on the ship, our hero is in charge because he planned the revolution, yeah and if you don’t like it, obey me, that is never how a pirate ship, pirate ships are democracies, communist democracies, a takedown of communism, the Thorist are supposed to be communists, presented so weak, in 1930s America?, the communists were the badasses, he’s wrong not to like them, point to the mountains of skulls, the skull counting, once we start attatching names to particular skulls, 100 million counted Nazi soldiers as victims of communism, the parody of Victims Of Communisms, look at all those guys he killed, Carson Napier, Burroughs is in this story, via telepathy which he learned from a hindu, never uses his telepathy on Venus, only a mechanism to communicate the story, I got it from my uncle, you can go visit his tomb but he’s not really dead, great opening line, he’s not really again, master of illusions never pays off, framework to get it back to earth, astral projection, Spider-Man 2 (2004), Octavius is inventing nuclear fusion, AI controlled arms, a neuroinhibitor chip, build the fusion thing faster, invests 7 different groundbreaking fields of technology, I forgot the moon existed, silly, very instinctual, put the girl in, I need more girl, Sikorsky Amphibian, only left in the world, not a cheap peice of kit, became a stuntman because deathwish because his mom died?, rich and bored, built rocket cars in German, rocket spaceship, Mars is the ceiling, books and a year’s worth of food, Venus is fun, trying to see the Russian revolution, the narrative was so different back then or…, it’s not in the text, am I stupid?, socialism or communism, economic systems, violent revolution, that’s the core of it, everyone becoming equal and level, no more kings, complete leveling, giant dormitories, children will be raised by the state, strains of that, communal kitchens, the history of cooking utensils, the ideal city of the future, westerners writing about it, writing a place they’ve not, everybody eating in cafeterias, H.G. Wells, G.K. Chesterton, what drove people to socialism, socialist agitation, socialism in the 1880s, economic necessity, suffering in the streets, I don’t want to live in a tenement, the thinkers of socialism, William Morris, an idyllic and pastoral future, freed from stupid work, how pirates work, a great scene, I’m not giving up my weapon, if he’s really critiquing socialism/communism, that’s a parallel of that, prisoners aka slaves, clean guns all day, prisoners with jobs, seize the weapons, important officers, a new officer class, I’m not going to give up my gun, another guy laughs and the revolution is over, if I’m just handsome dashing main character, the NPCs fall in line, the pirate campaign, Pathfinder, the PCs: we’re gonna kill all of them, treat people as people, a lot of people operate their lives that way, some bureaucracy, denying someone a kidney, the United States is worse at than most countries, so many levels of bureaucracy, University Of Kansas, Uncle Remus magazine, these are really bad we don’t endorse these things, a 600 word essay, we hate racism, we don’t endorse racism, are you sure you want to click on this?, trigger warnings, a button on google: I feel Lucky, the whole point is they want to curate your experience of reality, a piratical revolution, the jongs and the thorists, the royal guy has a cute daughter, the extent of my thoughts, a serious critque of communism, you don’t know what you’re talking about, you can choose your master, choose me, some other boss you can work for, the surplus army of labour, Carson Napier doesn’t because he has inherited money, it’s been washed, his mom was perfect, extracting value from Indian colonialism, that’s not the way to make money, an absolute spendthrift, hire the Mexican government, rocket sled, sitting on an omnibus in the 1930s, that’s me one day, peak pulp era, when the Shadow was big, Batman, am lift, Doc Savage, independently wealthy, inherited wealth, found gold mine in South America, he owns twitter now, on the Wikipedia entry, it’s just not that, the main thing they do, separate class systems are a bad idea, each is respecting each other, when there’s somebody from the lower classes, bullshit statements, no such thing as marriage, also no infidelity, a fantasy of humans and how they, sword AND pistol, shoot your enemy from across the room, had I known this guy was so good at swordfighting…, once again sheer dumb luck, literally astronomical odds, living in the ewok village, a shared balcony, this is your big security system, the mansion can only be so big, absolutely required, this has a recipe, they’re always princesses, he is never a king, he’s an up and comer, I’m officer class, I don’t even believe in presidency, I believe in royalty, very successful businessman, hyping things, let’s make a movie out of it, Tarzana at this point?, WWII happens, I’m going to be a journalist now, put on military officer uniform, his own fantasy life, soup kitchens, moving from state to state, horrors of being superpoor, like Stephen King he has a knack, on the back of letterhead, compared to Robert E. Howard, always poor, he’s got a car, didn’t try to sell to Weird Tales, he has magic fingers, Max Brand, such a huge hit, $100,000 or something, WWI deserter to wealthy man right into WWII, he bought that whole part of southern California, maybe it was the movies, he was the #1 selling authors of the 20s, and those movie serials, Johnny Weissmuller, Sheena is sexy, everyboduy thought he was the greatest thing ever, later Tarzan, really crazy real fast, arab shiek, hunting lions, too close to the daughter, lost Atlantean colony, sexual dimorphism gone crazy, shipwrecked, where Tarzan’s parents died, lost Roman legions, hollow earth, Pellucidar, weird ghost letter, marriage, line marriage, should’ve been a line marriage book, obsessed with monogamy, whoever Mrs. Burroughs was, life extension, amazing laser tech, amazing medical tech, radios, effective maps of their planet, all fun, the NPC handwaving problems away, he has an explanation that’s bad, low fertility, the Thorists want both, secret recipe, the scientists, such a strawman, not recognizable, and Marx starved two of his own children, they were so fucking poor, we don’t have enough food, an immigrant, that can’t be true, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, he was sad about his kids dying, infant mortality was really high, terrible service, he may have said that, other people may have seen that, the pop culture view of communism, people say lots of bad things about Putin, that’s the character your making in your head, The Efficency Expert, The Mucker, Tarzan Of The Apes, cringey because of the hanging, we’ve done this before, fishmen, Lost On Venus, not enough time with the birdmen, Heinlein’s 4 years away from this, Heinlein’s Time For The Stars, twins shows up every once in a while in Heinlein, indistinguishable twins, Space Cadet, his plan for the UN and nukes, the intro part, joining the army, going through basic training, when you nuke your own city, very aware of his audience, you’ve got to close your eyes and drop marbles into a beer bottle, proprioception,, arbitrary tests, you’re a grown boy, the female princess daughter of Duras, green screen, darker skin, green skin space babe, Star Trek, hot alien, sometimes she’s brunette, vaguely Arabic looking, pretty, the trees are not green, presumed pink, in contrast to Mars being the red planet, green being Venus, in the injury to his buddy, the wounds, Shelob, this is a fantasy book in almost every respect, rocketships to the Moon before this, gun to the Moon, Cavorite trip to the Moon, an anti-gravity, Weinbaum comes in, well actually, she lives in a bottle, a jellyfish floating in the clouds, that’s your gene pool, you can romance it, laid eggs, women have breasts but they lay eggs, the element of the KKK, not a condemnation, why does he bring it up?, a thing that’s popular, making these alien names, Olthar, Camlot, taking sounds, Amtor, fiddling around, he is so not J.R.R. Tolkien, Tolkien goes to farm, elfish poetry, where elfen poetry was once read, he enjoys himself, nobody asked for this, Tolkien is the anti-Burroughs, noodling around in his own head, my books should not be lowered [to paperback], pirated in the United States, Evan making a defense of The Lord Of The Rings tv show, the orcs, the orc stuff was really based, the Galadriel stuff was really good too, just a woke cuck, Jesse doesn’t know what a simp is, you gotta watch more streamers, why do these guys come up every three years, Vaush, Matt Christman, Evan likes both, he’s like a troll, he’s pretty good at that, most of what Vaush says is on point, there’s something wrong with Evan’s brain, and yet I have not murdered you, these should all just be podcasts, Jesse doesn’t need video, playing Elden Ring and just listening to it, are people still Elden Ringing, we’re all boomers, we all live in the age of US supremacy, I’d have a boat, consumer republic, less and less relevant, 26 Tarzan books, lost colony of Atlantis, a James Bond figure, where Tarzan was seriously assigned, is Tarzan a book about empire?, a really good insight into this period of time, maybe My Little Pony is comprehensible, I’m a dude, I wouldn’t say no to a loincloth and a knife made out of stone but 26 books, L. Frank Baum, 14 Oz books, basic language, generational, coming out every couple of years, Harry Potter, the Glinken country, the Yellow Brick road is about the gold standard, William Jennings Bryan’s cross of gold speech, 100 years later, is it the fact that this is supposed to be a critique of communism, blatant, the state’s controlling you, as opposed to the king, it wasn’t a libertarian revolution, more parallels to the French Revolution, that’s what was happening, something racist about Oz?, all of it was racist, pay not attention to the man behind the curtain, the emperor’s new clothes, useful concepts that come out of literature, people knowing them, a psychological defense, a psychological arm-bar with concepts, a series of images, a girl away from home, all on a quest, place everybody’s talking about, going to Hollywood, that’s exactly right, the Emerald City is a complete lie, to keep the emeralds from blinding you, a good concept, as a young person, in a different way than Encyclopedia Brown, the sword that says awarded after the first battle of Bull Run, the Battle of First Manassas, the only kid with Wikipedia on his phone running around solving crimes, The Only Man On Mars With Wifi, detective solves with chat GPT, list the clues in chat GPT and it will tell you who did the crime, a telephone chat GPT that uses spam callers waste their time, Hello Mrs. Blah Blah Blah, if you’re in India or Pakistan and your name is Simon or Stephen, this person’s a little weird, oh there’s a bee on my arm, an elderly person who can’t hear very well, the chat GPT salesperson, email and phone calls have been destroyed by spam, this was a fine book, direct messages, Burroughs Sucks As Does This Tweet, an ideology that has killed millions of people, it’s not an argument, not even a satire, I need some bad guys, what do bad guys look like, the sequels to The Moon Maid, so he could get to the totalitarian communist future, Red Dawn-style, let’s not do that, they’re Moon communists, when Will read about, protestant emotional repression, her brows knit in thought, what is that?, love, it is wicked, is love wicked on Amtor?, whatever her name is, without sinning, the daughter of a jong, Korean word for king, what are the odds he knew that?, not good, he believes everything he’s writing, not a construction, but an explication, not a lot of ideology, the win condition is marrying the princess, a storytelling technique, little girls want to be princesses, its okay for the dude to marry up into a princess family, the girl wants to marry into a competent family, Edgar Rice Burroughs is a fantasy men, Cinderella is a fantasy for women, Prince Charming is faceblind, spicy foods for everybody to enjoy, laughing about him, laughing along, they’re not set aside, The Mad King, in all of these books, it can’t be just a regular girl, it has to be , even the one about working at Sears (The Efficiency Expert), daughter of a high class person, romance for men in the same way that Conan is, Conan’s class consciousness, American men have always been incels, Jesse doesn’t use that language, dreaming of marrying up, how the incels talk, chads get all the girls, left miserable, but they can read Burroughs, hypergamist, the men always marry up, marrying up, he’s not, Zenobia is not a queen, Conan makes her a queen, she was a harem girl, she was not a virgin princess, a class thing there, Howard would have been wealthy had he lived longer, he wasn’t in bookstores, Lovecraft would have been wealthy, the demand is high, when reading Robert E. Howard, different kinds of games, sometimes he says “what is the nature of reality” and then he stabs the wizard, satisfied for a moment, showing up on LibriVox, we’ve seen it before, Howard is capable of much more on this guy, he’s not substantive, YouTube podcast, frothy and fun and light, compared him to Stephen King, a different cast, Burroughs never talks about kids, King talks about kids, kid protagonists, he has a lot more to say, most writers have more to say, space em out, adventure, avoid execution, marry the princess, The Girl From Hollywood, a female finding a man?, none of his popular stuff, no Tarzan books need to be Jane centered, Lois Lane or Jimmy Olsen comics, Superman’s girl friend, Supergirl, Jungle Girl, everything is about Superman, she’s always sexperving on Superman, is this what girls want?, Cambodia, stories for boys, a female protagonist story, he was a brand, you don’t want to piss off the audience, what the romance writers do, hardboiled detective under another name, The Cave Girl, a lost world novel, 1913, Dolores Claiborne, chain people up on beds, Gerald’s Game, domestic abuse, Misery, Rose Matter, Lisey’s Story, Outlaw Of Torn, relaxing rather than engaging, a society made out of tree people, other criticisms?, Donald E. Westlake, Killing Time, territories respected, a fine place to live, an anti-corruption investigator, 210 pages, still working on a couple, Mating Center by Frank Belknap Long, Hay Ibn Yaqzan by Ibn Tufail, guys raised by a gazelle, time next year, not that great, Paul will be upset by it, too much mating, specialized job, we’re there, reproduction is also a specialized job, horny people out in society, a frightening view of life in 2061, hey, we’re guarding, that Ninteen Eighty-Four cover, Winston Smith and Julia, lesbians in prison, encourage Evan to finish, he’s andalusian, Andalusian Aristotelian, Green Mansions by William Henry Hudson, Rima The Jungle Girl, Green Mansions, a primitive girl, Abel, Tarzan from South America, Sheena, The Jungle Book, another Kipling thing?, Citizen Of The Galaxy by Robert A. Heinlein, reading the writers who read stuff, it isn’t super-literary, reading material, Rocket Ship Galileo, Jack London would have made it the center of the book, the counter to Burroughs, fantasy strawman, fantasy animals, life is mean, let’s have fun, how much did Burroughs read?, hold my beer, he probably read the newspaper and a few pulp magazine, rips off Prisoner Of Zenda, today we have a lot of writers who are writing to make movies or tv shows, what’s so amazing about a good book, using the medium what it’s for, it is what it is, assigning a bunch of Ted Chiang stories, psychology, assign these short stories, grumble at first, they’re simps, they’re boomers, he’s short and he hits, they’re not designed to be adapted, Burroughs’ Tarzan is easy to adapt, some plants and a rope, Black Mirror, Charlie Brooker, how we use language, so psychologically relevant, substantive, that’s what you get for giving a historian the job, not your thing?, he marries a princess who’s an orangutan, like Robinson Crusoe, Rousseau would’ve loved this book, noted father, how to raise children to be free, Plato is wrong but he has amazing ideas, we can use those things, bad maps give us maps to territories that we can get to and give us better bad maps, commentary on education, the point of education, bye kids, I gotta go write about being free, Jesse is tryna be free, make the most of their freedom, what does Alex do about this, a weird high school, very lucky and happy, worry about college, college can be fun, top schools, Asians are the new white people, University of Minnesota Duluth, homeschooled, you’re going to horse school, you’re going to be a farmer, locked in, my cheques are going over there, homeschool, something to do, big college tip, under recognized as a great place to meet a spouse, just marry a princess at your college, this is the person I really like, Midwest cow college, with cows, between Indiana and the Rocky Mountains, north of the Ohio river, Brown, first major boss was a Brown Phd and a major dick, he really wanted to be a manager, he was right about that, fun trouble, save your anger up for the show, provoking Evan, the first 2 hours, the ideology that killed the most, this boring shit, Burroughs took quite a dump, he can go fuck himself, oh come on, not that much more to do, he has a lot of sequels, maybe if youre in a factory job, you’ve got a big commute, your escape on the way to work, 6 hour podcast, 8 hour podcast at work, putting up with a lot of shitty shit Jesse says, the secret to his success, doesn’t explain Stephen King that well, he knows people, brain mashing, Burroughs isn’t a character writer, both are incredibly smooth in transferring thoughts into your brain, there’s no difference, they’re blank slates, Carson is a lot less competent, incredibly stupid mistakes, he’s a sloppy researcher, John Carter was hypercompetent, he’s like The Highlander, hypercompetent, has superpowers, he’s Superman, gentleman adventurer, luck saves him again, coulda used a Woola, alien companion dog, an inversion of The Star Beast, explicitly just people, space tiger, Weinbaum’s a genius, he’s jokey, why the genre moved on, this is kinda retro, The Mysterious Island, the wish fulfillment engineer story, building the ship, inventing the thing, Black Priestess Of Varda, rawer, Erik Fennel, near the end, he’s just a romance guy, really, how do they even have the concept of a year, they don’t even have the sun, Farscape.

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Pirates Of Venus by Edgar Rice Burroughs

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The SFFaudio Podcast #748 – READALONG: Passport To Peril by Lawrence Block

The SFFaudio Podcast
Jesse, Maissa Bessada, and Will Emmons talk about Passport To Peril by Lawrence Block

Talked about on today’s show:
Anne Campbell Clark, 1967, internal stuff, guess what year this photo was taken, asking about JFK like he was still alive, Teddy Kennedy, the Irish connection, proud of him being president, very few people have read this, a book worthy of reading, noped out, pretty horrific, too sunk into it, a cocoon of singing and countryside, a lovely little book, not going anywhere and not upset about it, almost plotless, not all books need to have plots, spending time with Hobbits in Hobbiton, an old lady who likes to bicycle, red herrings, Will’s first Lawrence Block, the trip to the countryside, all of the lovely singing, I never shall marry as long as I live, really liked this book, who is the audience, Helen MacInnes readers, neither had Lawrence Block, spies with a little romance, romance with a little bit of spies, how smooth did this go down, easy drinking all the way through, it was a formula, the bad guy came around, there he is, why does that priest want her passport, maybe I’ve misjudged him, he’s back, women protagonists, usually a male, page by page, line by line, a little bit much, intoxicated, a 24 year old in 1967, the height of the sexual revolution, chaste for a folk-singer, they get snug and snuggle, she hides her nudity, not so folksy as one might imagine in real life, the scene with the IRA, pastiche-ish, that part never happened when Lawrence Block went to Ireland, a massive amount of violence, let’s go have a party, one of them gets shot and they keep having a party, movie-like, none of the dialogue felt clunky, what kind of folk-singing, Airplane!, lady with a guitar, inspirational songs vs. historical events, WWII essay, WWI, WWI’s influence on Ireland, the Irish Rising, home-rule in 1922, according to Star Trek [The Next Generation] and Mr. Data they’re going to reunite next year, all of us under the British rule, the overlords in Egypt, real bastards, it doesn’t translate across generations as well, gearing up, the ultimate McGuffin, because of the title, back to the passport, easy listening, P.J. Morgan, a lot of singing, male voices too, accents, a really good job, if I was P.J. Morgan and I had finished this book I would be superhappy with myself, a recipe, 191 pages, 5 hours 38 minutes, a short novel, a young lady who goes on a trip, chased across the countryside, a monster, a hero, delivering what women want, nice and smooth, the historical research, enthusiastic about Irish history, great fun, a double checkmark, creepy and scary quite late, when’s it gonna turn, grusome, burned to death, legs blown off, shoots somebody’s brains out, starts with a horrible murder, really violent, a nice guy from Philadelphia to leg cling to, a nice old lady who gets strangled off screen, the German guy with a family, what happened to the kids?, the casting room, spy training school, the woman with the red hair, in the ring?, a nice Londoner, leaving cards together, he’s playing a great great game, I need to tip my hand, when Ellen gets into the car with the priest, you’re just ahead of her, ahead of Jesse, I wish I knew my Irish history better, a really good promoter of stuff on his blog, the afterword, the blog post about Passport To Peril

In 1966 I was living at 16 Stratford Place, in New Brunswick, New Jersey. I’d spent a year in Wisconsin as an editor in the coin supply division of Western Printing, and just when it looked as though I might have a future in the corporate world, I realized it was the last thing I wanted. I’d been writing books all along, and I moved east and resumed writing full-time.

My agent, Henry Morrison, came to me with an assignment. Lancer Books, for whom I’d written a few books during Larry T. Shaw’s editorship, wanted to publish a romantic-espionage thriller in the tradition of Helen MacInnes. I hadn’t read anything by Ms. MacInnes, though I knew the byline; her books were published in hardcover, and frequently wound up on bestseller lists. Mine would be published as a paperback original, and bestseller status would be not even a fleeting dream.

I don’t know if I actually read any of the books which were to be my model. I probably skimmed a couple. I knew what was required—a clean sweet likable American girl as the heroine, a reasonably exotic foreign locale, and a couple of people who were not what they appeared to be, including an evident villain who turned out to be the unlikely hero and love interest, and a dashingly attractive good guy who turned out to be an absolute rotter.

I could do that.

And I knew just where to set it. Ireland. Where else?

I’d actually been to Ireland, which gave it a leg up on the rest of the world. In the fall of 1964, a few months after the move to Racine, my wife and I flew to Limerick and spent the better part of two weeks driving around Ireland. We had a day in Edinburgh and a few days in England, but Ireland got the bulk of our business.

Aside from brief forays into Canada and Mexico, this was my first time out of the States, and if it felt like an adventure, it felt even more like a homecoming. It’s clear to me that I spent at least one past life in Ireland. Among my earliest memories are ones of listening to Irish songs on the radio. (There was a girl who sang “Toora-loora-loora” on a local amateur show, and I’m pleased to report that she was the winner three weeks running.) I had a set of the Book of Knowledge, and from it I learned all the lyrics to Wearin’ o’ the Green.

When I had begun selling short fiction and was casting about for a book to write, I decided a novel of the Irish rebellion and civil war might be a good choice. But what did I know about it? I amassed an extensive library of English and Irish history, and read a surprising amount of it. And, around the time that my interest in numismatics was steering me toward the job in Wisconsin, I began collecting Irish coins and tokens and medals.
No question, then. I’d set the book in Ireland.

Ever since the trip, I’d been picking up records of Irish folk music. The Clancy Brothers, of course, but also a slew of Folkways albums on which various singers, some more gifted than others, collected songs of the 1798 Rising and other blighted periods in the land’s sad history. As G.K. Chesterton wrote:

For the great Gaels of Ireland
Are the men that God made mad,
For all their wars are merry,
And all their songs are sad.

Well, why not make my heroine a folksinger? Why not send her to Ireland to collect songs? There, of course, she could meet the wolf in sheep’s clothing, and the sheep in wolf’s clothing, and things would look decidedly dark for a while, but eventually the sun would burst through. I mean, it would have to, sooner or later. As far as we could make out, it was always either raining or about to rain in Ireland, but maybe I could cheat and have a little sunshine toward the end.

I went to New York to write the book. Don Westlake had sublet a studio apartment on West 24th Street in Chelsea; he’d lived there briefly, during a marital rough spot, and kept it as a sometimes office until the lease was up. I moved in, and brought home Passport to Peril ten days later. I don’t know if the title was mine, though I rather think it was. I know the pen name was mine, and I know that forty-five years later nobody else on earth knew it.

Henry knew back then, but I’m sure he’s long since forgotten. My first wife would have known, but I don’t think she ever read the book, and would be surprised if she recalls anything about it. Irwin Stein at Lancer would have known, but would have had no reason to remember. Among the book-collecting fraternity, no one had a clue. This book, and Fidel Castro Assassinated!, are the two works of mine that somehow escaped detection. The latter, written under the name Lee Duncan, was recently reprinted as Killing Castro by Hard Case Crime, and has since become available as an OpenRoad eBook. Passport to Peril now makes its first post-Lancer appearance as an e-book, and I can only hope you’ve enjoyed it.

I read it myself recently to ready it for publication, and I was surprised to find that I liked it. Remember what Yeats wrote?

Romantic Ireland’s dead and gone,
It’s with O’Leary in the grave. . .

True too of the Ireland of the 1960s. It was a curious pleasure to revisit the time and place, if in my own work.

the exact same thing, good at remembering how things happened in the 60s, very Lawrence Blocky, passionate about foreign revolutions, a CIA plot to kill Castro, a cheque to the farmer with the dead sheep, what ever revolution is happning in that country, the Evan Tanner series, comedic and silly, almost perfect for what its doing, broader, like James Bond, cartoonish, fun but silly, a Korean war veteran, shrapnel in his head gives him a superpower, The Thief Who Couldn’t Sleep, why readers would like a book like this, I become a supergenius, whatever republic that wants freedom from colonialism, participating in their revolutions, joke book, The Canceled Czech, light and fluffy, Tanner On Ice, literally frozen, a participant in the ideas the book he is producing, numismatics, a book on racewalking, walk faster than other people, the Hit Man/Hit List series, cozy, there’s a guy in Mexico who needs to be shot, I like Mexico, observations in a restaurant, really into stamp collecting, an action scene, whatever subject he turns his attention to becomes a very very readable book, can you write a book about assassinating Castro?, technically required to do this, Will material?, not-enough enthusiasm, emphasis and underlining and exclamation marks, Classic Crime Library number 15, how quiet it has been resting, Lawrence Block took control of his publishing, he’s the one, making you buy his stuff, around an participating in his estate, incredible, he’s so good, Westlake through Block, turns out its a real book, Westlake’s highs are higher but Block’s more consistent, a lady on vacation, why that guy slipped, an excuse to have her in peril, an excuse to have a lady chased by spies, maybe she will marry, he was trying to be caught, no one knew, there’s a tip off, out of genre for most of the people who read Lawrence Block, she goes to a movie, something drums, “A Sound Of Distant Drums”, a calling card, or a signature, somebody coming out of a movie theater, that’s cool, his Burglar series, The Burglar Who Thought He Was Bogart, The Burglar Who Painted Like Mondrian, topic books, exploring some little niche, standup comedians bits they connect together, researching and polishing ideas, Burglars Can’t Be Choosers, the girlfriend is the murderer, settles into a formula, really really fun, passes the time, go have a sandwich, oh yeah one of these, that paperback book industry is where he really lives, take a paperback and enjoy the weekend, a song saved her life, why I like folksinging now, Kumbaya, historical information, how to be, in America 2, here 12, makes you want to drink stout, listen to folk music, the festival circuit, the premise of this book, the state department in real life is evil, spread American culture, money spent on evil not on good, cultural activities, Eastern block, throw money at a problem, Lawrence Block needed to have an excuse, her family’s all killed off, one and done, they’re happy and their Irish now, both green, 2 cigarettes, more cigarettes, they stopped to buy more cigarettes, the new taste, so much smoking, they don’t need food they’re thin and young, dates the book, you could write this book, their sten guns would be something else, Berlin, Ukraine or something, delightful little book, make you say “I’d like some stout.”, Guinness, a wish fulfillment fantasy romance, read the back cover, little tipsy here and there, poignant moments, the songs, the stories, a Brothers Grimm thing, went out to all the pubs, music and stories are the same, all personal histories, probably wrong, music that’s close to the people, in the process of collecting these folk songs there’s some exploitation, selling a record, who’s going to see the proceeds of that record, what is the purpose of this?, to commoditization it?, spread it?, share it?, Stan Rogers, Barrett’s Privateers, east coast Nova Scotia Irish kitchen, a fun song, it has swearing a letter of marque, Sherbrooke, god damn them all, Halifax, the staggers and jags, such a good singer, sea shanty folk song, Montego Bay, sailing terms, incapable of catching a slow moving ship, smashed like a bowl of eggs, both me legs, in my 23rd year, six whole years, War of 1812, while you’re paying attention, similar to The Rime Of The Ancient Mariner, a homeless beggar on a pier, the big Coleridge poem, the same story as Annabelle Lee, grateful and thankful, what has Will been doing?, back into politics, a tenant union, a communist caucus in the DSA, COVID last months, 2 and a half weeks, testing positive, not very sick, flu-like symptoms, paxlovid, our medicines don’t protect us or help us, that’s crazy, a lot of cat action happening, a core group of nine cats, stranger cats, a high number of a cats, all feral, the boys that aren’t fixed are both named Brandon, one darker than the other, let’s go Brandon, telling the Brandons apart, laser eyes, that’s the dark Brandon, smaller feet, chipmunk feet, Brooklyn Dad Defiant, a very 90s name that’s a 2020s name, Owen with Gs, beg to come inside, Tobias, to bite toes, a bias towards toes, a negotiation, mother and grandmother of them all, a mean old cat, a sour disposition, the dog will let her, irritable, you can just come and rub up on my dog, mean old girls, on the roof some, Maissa’s fascinating life, editing Ace Galaksi, social media stuff, blogs and newsletters, let’s do an internal podcast, a link on the dl, what is Maissa’s job?, lots of divisions, pr, edit videos, write and produce pr things, listen to the podcast, if I need to know, 15 minutes at most, once a month, reediting a novel for 20 years, middle school, rewrite a billion time, I got out my library card…, regarding that game [chronophoto], everybody’s wearing fucking masks, anytime after 1950, AOC, 2018, an I voted sticker, eerily obvious what year it is, figure out what year that was, talking about Kennedy being president but not talking about Kennedy being assassinated, in county Cork, is the book dated?, no, it’s a period piece, au courant, everybody’s playing with their iPhone 6, bullying each other, only play with a group, a couple repeats, playing PUBG, a faster version of the game, early January, online vs. in person, got rid of some old computers, that to lean on, Scott does the editing for Reading, Short And Deep, 4-6 hours per day, 8 hour days are horrible, and the show’s over, 10 hours per day, send me a secret signal, Burn Notice, a comiccon, Battlestar Galactica, Archer, a throwback, Pulpcovers/Alex, the last of an earlier era of television, problem of the week, and a weak overriding plot every season, he used to be spy, just a premise for the show, exotic locale, it has a car, 80s, A-Team van, Kitt from Knight Rider, Dukes Of Hazzard, the car is the star of the show, an actor based show, Gabrielle Anwar, an IRA terrorist, Jeffrey Donovan, Bruce Campbell is the sidekick, the Evil Dead series, Sharon Gless, Cagney & Lacey, flip phones, 2005-2011 show, a fine show, a comic book, a sidekick on Xena, western shows, The Adventures Of Brisco County Jr., short lived Fox shows, Zorro style, Jack Of All Trades, what you can do while you’re at work, a half hour syndicated action comedy, 1801, East Indies, a swordfighting, masks, Napoleon Bonaparte is character, Mr. Charismatic on screen, bicker in fun ways, a good fun show, Spider-Man villains, Bubba Ho-Tep (2002), Elvis and JFK, it should be an amazing movie, a little long in the tooth, the cylon lady, Lucy Lawless, you see those people together, the Spartacus tv series, Blood And Sand, 300 (2006), the acting and the dynamics, a slave morality show, diaries?, slave folk heroes, Kirk Douglas, what would it mean to be a slave, having sex with the slaves, a great villainess, New Zealanders, Evan agrees, a slave rebellion, the servile war, amazing history, super-compelling on-screen performances, green screen, practical sets, thinking of it as a play, a tool to get stuff done, laidoff, Vikings was a better show, blood eagle, why you don’t want piss the vikings off, doesn’t overstay its welcome, a maori gladiator, sticking to the facts is fascinating, what is it like to be a celebrity slave, I am Spartacus, a consciousness raising movie, also very sexy, they’re sexy too, regretful but should be done, killing the masters, killed in the end, sexy jumping naked slaves, emotional resonance, very underrated show, 39 episodes, 2013, All In The Family, Happy Days, about as substantial, a monologue about Riverdale, too soap opera, just soap opera enough, Twin Peaks, the original, Deep Space Nine, a very resonant show, better is substantial ways, Miles got trapped in the mine for 20 years, extreme amounts of trauma, poor Miles O’Brien, his wife doesn’t love him, his kid doesn’t care about him, the writers were picking on him, Canadian?, Irish movies, the Canadian film industry, Black Summer, a Netflix show, Calgary, that explains it, the old zombie trope, you are the camera, you don’t know why, you follow that person for a while, this is our main character, nope, they’re killed, weird compared to regular television, Z Nation, an art film, the Asylum, notorious for making cheapo rip off movies, a company designed to make money, the coattails of Hollwood, Sharknado, very surprising, going back all the way, April 2019, not a show like Star Trek Discovery, storytelling techniques that have lain follow, basically praise, the endless sprawling suburbs of Calgary, Alberta, The Crazies (1973), worthy of attention, only one trick: surprise!, the trick works a lot, Stephen King’s The Shining, The Picture In The House by H.P. Lovecraft and Pigeons From Hell by Robert E. Howard, White House-style, axed by ghosts of slavery, based on a black person’s story told to him, a traditional slave folktale, pretty scary, a TV adaptation, anti-mystery box show, sparse in dialogue, what the fuck is going on and why am I so scared, The Extraordinary Attorney Woo, sweet and innocent, childlike, well packaged, young and more than middle aged, a broad range of interests, I think you want it to be great, sweet and fun, Korean film and television industry, clips of this autistic lady, The Admiral: Roaring Currents (2013), Yi Sun-Shin, Korean George Washington, defeated Japan, 12 Korean ships vs. 333 Japanese ships, a slog, historical epics, great horror movies, The Host (2006), the Americans pollute the Han river, evil tank juice, a Godzilla movie, lighter than Train To Busan (2016), kaiju, the worst Korean accent ever, A Man Called Ove (2015), enforcing block association rules, boisterous new neighbors, spends half the movie trying to kill himself, when a movie is not so good, theatering?, Avatar 2, beautiful and too long and mostly a setup for the next one, every crew has a crazyass white boy, very satisfying to see giant arrows go through people, a very clunky writer, repeated himself, Titanic (1997) has gravitas, a big weighty movie, Avatar 3 The Way Of The Rocks, the four elements, exhausted its idea, the na’vi won, Dances With Wolves in space, free of his bad body, a trans story, the transgender kid episode of The Orville, too Star Warsy, special effects heavy, the other way around, show the gender surgery working, trying to sell it on an alien, Ezri vs. Jadzia Dax, a funny situation, Macklin?, they’re both boys, hilarious, like Star Trek but funny, less funny, less good, very wrong of them, Obi-Won was horrible, Andor is not shit, Stalin robbing a bank, a heist show, Diego Luna, Star Wars: Rogue One, many boffins died for this thumbdrive, slow paced, beautifully framed, casting is pretty good, Star Wars writing has been shit, hang out with some labourers, smart but evil, political aspect, Blesson Yates, Imani Pullum [playing Topa], IMDB is getting shitty, a fill-in show, The Venom Business by Michael Crichton, Nazis on the Moon, Evan Lampe started a podcast series reading through everything Heinlein wrote, talked him into it, and maybe Mark Twain, Pirate Enlightenment, Or The Real Libertalia by David Graber, he’s been posthumous for a while, I’m posthumousing right now, autistic style take, all the same, his third posthumous book, “enlightenment, liberty, socialism all the same thing”, hey that’s us!, a radical social experiment, The Hopkins Manuscript by R.C. Sherriff, The Crawlers by Philip K. Dick, crawling abortions being run over by trucks, pretty great story, The Pre-Persons, a weird guy, an interview with Ray Faraday Nelson’s kid, David Agranoff, Philip K. Dick: babysitter, Philip K. Dick shows a 7-year old his derringer, why you have a derringer?, what are you thinking?, this is America, man, too American, we just got problem, do something different in this country, Four-Day Planet by H. Beam Piper, Poul Anderson sword and sandal, Francis Stevens is always interesting, dystopia in Philadelphia, The Heads Of Cerberus, a weird lady, what the fancy people do, Unseen-Unfeared, a few things missing, first published in 1904, Jean Veil, People’s Favorite Magazine, a low rent Italian restaurant, he sells love charms, not tempting, a review by E.F. Bleiler, guy breaks into a house, fights with best friend, a knock at the door, the safe was open, very convoluted, a phial with a stopper with the heads of Cerberus, Dante’s gate, no diamonds in here, what did you do with my cousin, alternate 2018, weird dystopia, no names, just numbers, Mr. Handsome gets a municipal job, a fascist state?, goes in the pit, head of the music department, it’s like the Hugo awards, also stirred up the ashes, seat of her pants, spinning up ideas, opposite of well put together, ideas like rockets going off, Science Fiction The Early Years, Guide To Supernatural Fiction, emdash, 729 pages, a special photographic filter, the soul of a recent suicide, only like an hour, how hard is it to do 47 minutes, we had a good chat, Evan’s been sick, isn’t Paul always at a convention?, socialize, Paul is lonely Libra, Jesse’s just a cancer on society, someplace, pulpcon, money, hassle at the borders, no excuses, lining up for celebrities, Pavel Chekov’s signature, the conversations at the panels are surficial, Pulpfest, 2016, intervening years, a long drive, pulps were more expensive, pandemic prices, Planet Stories for $20, hold it in your hand, oooh look at that ooh!, stay up all night talking to people, if Cirsova were in local stores, Jesse doesn’t want to support Amazon, good used bookstores, lesbian couples are in it for the long haul, a trope almost, they’re bookish, Little Sisters, super-prudes, super-evil, a place of prominence, rent is low somewhere, small town Alberta, a town full of Mormons, an amazing town, Cardston, Alberta, Justice League building, Fortress of Solitude, something out of Ayn Rand, it looks like a bank, cost of living, inflation, $850 for a 3 bedroom and big yard, what does that get you?, giant assessments, working online, the fever has not yet broken on covid, an excuse to fuck everybody and line pockets, definitively its a wash, almost none of the positives are with spreading the disease around, wrecked the industry for in-person tutoring, in person classrooms, kids don’t learn very well online, Paul’s masked up at his convention, the vaccines don’t work for almost any of the people getting them, let’s go back to business as usual, tele-judge, on trial with the judge not in the room, fixed camera, ai shit, a program that you run, that changes where your eyes are focused to make it look at the camera, creepy and interesting, simulated real-life but also fake, no modesty at all, Hawaiian Mormon templeing, nice people, just in this life, Brandon Sanderson, Orson Scott Card is a black name, church homophobia, he’s following his church beliefs, this is the doctrine of my church, and I contribute money to prevent people from getting married, religious objections vs. non-religious objections to abortion, Scott is quite nuanced, say things in a polite way, the same claim about the papists, pushing babies into wombs, bio-ethicists say it is okay to use brain dead women’s bodies, clickbait shit, frustrating fun game, coffee, I can still have coffee, too shaky, three cups max, a catfood shortage, egg pricing, incompetence of a cat named Brandon, personally responsible for inflation, not solving problems, price controls, stick it to the egg industry, milk control board, 59% increase in egg prices, realer food, no-corn in Canadian pop, some breads without soy, Italy has basically real food, pink slime, slight advantages to higher food prices, wrangle some cats, try to find cat food, inexpensive kibble, possums, raccoons.

Passport To Peril by Lawrence Block

Passport To Peril by Lawrence Block (back)

Passport To Peril by Lawrence Block - AUDIOBOOK

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The SFFaudio Podcast #483 – READALONG: Kim by Rudyard Kipling

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #483 – Jesse, Maissa Bessada, and Julie Davis talk about Kim by Rudyard Kipling

Talked about on today’s show:
the Forgotten Classics podcast, 1901, 1900, a long book, a picaresque: “relating to an episodic style of fiction dealing with the adventures of a rough and dishonest but appealing hero”, a rogue, Mahbub Ali, how do we come to this book, Citizen Of The Galaxy is Julie’s favourite Heinlein, stuck in Julie’s brain, enchanted, so thick, so much going on, the clouds parted, the sights and sounds of India are overwhelming, reading Edgar Allan Poe on the page, a style, the big thick novels of today vs. the big thick novels of yesterday, more work to be done in a classic novel, thank you so much, we should talk about it, Jesse is a trickster, reading a book is a lot of work, dropping seeds and seeing if they flower, how could one not like this book?, The Turning Wheel by Philip K. Dick, was Philip K. Dick a Rudyard Kipling fan?, Galactic Pot-Healer by Philip K. Dick, do you like Yates?, I don’t know I’ve never tried any, do you like Kipling?, I don’t know I’ve never Kippled, Dick’s nod to Lovecraft, an existential crisis, The Man In The High Castle, comedic, jaded teenage students, the plot of Counter-Clock World, Red Dwarf: Backwards, Nodnol, Bulgaria, Chesterton on Dickens, seeing the world backwards, Dick handles it very tastefully, the United States as a Buddhist utopia, begging as a normal and honorable trade, a necessary trade, a very different kind of philosophy, does it depend on who is doing the begging, acquiring merit, catching meals, the author’s perception of Kim, India’s respect for the holy, big blinders, a lot of dialogue and clever wordplay, the 1950 movie adaptation of Kim, the movie was almost unwatchable, Kim is a malefactor, making babies cry, the opposite of ‘the friend of all the world’, stealing, smoking, Dean Stockwell as a small child, Errol Flynn as Ali, Gunga Din, The Jungle Book, racist!, Kipling’s love of India’s diversity, all races do the same thing in their own way, enlightenment and non-enlightenment, respect, Neil Gaiman, vindication!, understanding people from 100 years ago, he has a lot of race in his stories, how caste is everything, special clothing, entitled to certain kinds of respect, Kipling is interested in people, the real racists keep themselves away from the other, spending time with different groups, many merits, racist language, Kim chose the Indian/Tibetan way, the llama, layers, the contrasts between, the Anglican and the Catholic priests, different benevolent approaches, small touches, the River of the Arrow, Man’s desire for freedom from sin, an unrelenting desire, the protestant chaplin, in matters of human affairs the protestant church turns to the catholic church for guidance, loosely translating, a priest who cares about people, cute, trying to become pure, one thing that’s frustrating, so much going on, why the film version can’t work, Kipling’s playing a game with the reader, the whole Great Game aspect, did Kipling coin the phrase “the Great Game”?, everything’s in translation, Urdu, the flaw in what Jesse’s saying, thee not you, the relationship was formalized, Captain Arthur Conolly, exposing the actual workings of the spy system, if the empire of the world was controlled by Buddhism, Tim Powers’ Declare, the Russians and the British trying to control Asia, Declare is brilliant at times, counting magic, escaping the time in which a book is published, modern novel conventions, too long, spy novels, duplicates and doubles, the end of Kim, running out of strength, the third time through, a difficult book, when Kim appeared to be dying, how hard the book is, a kid’s book?, we’re just a lot weaker at reading than our ancestors, sustaining vigorous interest in sentences, why it’s hard to read Poe, its not that we’re incapable of it, looking at Reddit, what books today will be taught in school in twenty years, in Jack London’s lifetime, The King Of The Mazy May by Jack London, 1984, Fahrenheit 451, The Importance Of Being Earnest, The Hunger Games and Harry Potter, teaching candy, The Kite Runner, demanding kids dig deeper, catering to: reading can be fun!, Ready Player One will be taught in school?!, the worst kind of book for Jesse, Julie remembers Donna Summer, almost some nobility to the colonial system, good propaganda, Plain Tales From The Hills, writing for the English, many more of the flaws, the Raj exposed, I loved India, weaving an entertaining spy story throughout it, the spy runner, also an oddity, LibriVox, Adrian Praetzellis, the Naxos audiobook of Kim, good stuff on LibriVox, doing it for love, interpretations, how interesting Kipling’s life is, Kipling thought of himself as a Hindu for the first five years of his life, Kipling’s father was really talented, a documentary about Kipling’s father on YouTube, Kipling’s father was more of a traditional racist, Kipling was an outsider amongst the white people, sent away to boarding school for 11 years, Lahore is now in Pakistan, thick glasses, balance issues, he’s short, the seventy white people who run Lahore, night walks, H.P. Lovecraft, when the night comes to life, smoking opium, the bridge between the white people and the vibrant and fascinating natives, he felt as if he was a prince returning to their own land, like the maharajas who were sent to Eton and returned to India, abused in boarding school, that happens in this book too, mother and sister and aunty, fixing this lull, The Secret Of The Machines, told from the point of view of machines, the things that run modern civilization, we don’t care if you get caught in the gears, the story of robots, a science fiction writer, an inventor of many kinds of writing, Reading, Short And Deep, The Mark Of The Beast, a werewolf story, British drunkards who defile a Hindu god, the Silver Man, going barking mad, the European werewolf story in Colonial India, My Own True Ghost Story, someone is playing billiards next door, like Dickens, telling the story of the people, The Phantom ‘Rickshaw, The H.P. Lovecraft Literary Podcast, learning to write for the newspapers, the Mark Twain of India, among the cast of thousands, Mahbub Ali, he’s got real influence, its his job to beg, another Catholic connection, its about intention, like the llama, not earning merit, giving alms, St Thomas Aquinas, the poor are always with us, omnipresent, beggars on the road, only giving to the people you know, do you see Christ in them?, giving them great merit, when the llama allows the boy to be trained in the ways of the sahib, becoming a healer, a boy given a gun, the military caliber, a box of healing things, quinine, make a charm for this disease, equivocating, continually struggling, when we get to our Heinlein novel, the modern problem, the old wise men who guide the younger main characters tend to be pontifical rather than self-doubting, Jesse’s grandmother had just finished reading the book, a TV movie withe Peter O’Toole as the llama, is this really a children’s book?, Kimball O’Hara, the choices that Kim made once he understood his place in society, the ways of his childhood, the English couldn’t take it out of him (unlike Kipling), a university dean, lecture tours, marriage, using English in thinking, hypnotism scene, double brained, how hypnotism works, letting yourself play the game, the roller coaster, the only people who dance like a chicken on stage are those who want to dance like a chicken on stage, like Girls Gone Wild videos, a biased picture, we didn’t know that smoking was a bad for you as we do now, everybody back then must have stunk really bad, a very scented era, big mustaches, mutton chops and layers and layers of clothing, clean and odor-free, the Asians don’t go much in for kissing, romantic drama set in China, times and conventions change, a whole weird world that’s always changing, what to call this effect, the fossil of a particular period, so many indications and different directions, Dragon’s Egg by Robert L. Forward is a relic from the 1980s, a snapshot, trapped in amber, a pretty good idea of what things are like, what it smelled like and the colours of the saris, invaluable experience, you are edified by reading such a book, a meditation of life and existence, a very unexpected journey, a tour of India, extremes held together by love, the story of younger and elder elephant is told twice, continually meditating upon it, reflecting upon it to Kim again, held together by bonds of love, set free to travel together, transcendence, if you look at the original publication of any Kipling book it always starts with a swastika, co-opting, pilots used the swastika as a symbol of good luck on both sides of WWI, on the begging bowl is a swastika on a lotus leaf, begging for Nazis!, this kind of symbolism, the cover of McClure’s magazine, a circle, a Star of David, an Iron Cross, looking at them in their proper context, the simple honest folk at the bottom of every society, an attack on the attitudes of people who take other people for granted, India as a place of delight and wonders, the Great Road, the road can’t go ever on, finding the river in your own backyard, Kim is Dorothy in The Wizard Of Oz set in India.

Classics Illustrated - No. 143 Kim by Rudyard Kipling

Kim by Rudyard Kipling - Classics Illustrated No. 143

Kim by Rudyard Kipling - illustrated by Oliver Hurst

Posted by Jesse Willis

Reading, Short And Deep #108 – The Angry Street: A Bad Dream by G.K. Chesterton

Podcast

Reading, Short And DeepReading, Short And Deep #108

Eric S. Rabkin and Jesse Willis discuss The Angry Street: A Bad Dream by G.K. Chesterton

Here’s a link to a PDF of the poem.

The Angry Street: A Bad Dream was first published in Daily News, January 25, 1908.

Posted by Scott D. Danielson

The SFFaudio Podcast #459 – READALONG: The Man Who Was Thursday by G.K. Chesterton

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #459 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, Bryan Alexander, and Julie Davis talk about The Man Who Was Thursday by G.K. Chesterton

Talked about on today’s show:
1908, subverting expectations, thriller philosophical novel adventure fantasy, a book about anarchists (not really), hot topic, pre-WWI, bring down the system, everybody is a dynamiter, Michael Collins, if you don’t seem to be hiding nobody hunted you out, anarchy against anarchy, the Orson Welles adaption, easier to understand, one female character in the book and she shows up on the last page, Mercury Theater, Welles as Sunday, evil or good?, wine commercials, this old fat guy talking about wine, large people refracted through later media, Gilbert in The Sandman is G.K. Chesterton, confession, Famous Fantastic Mysteries, because it has detectives in it?, sudden reveals, that person is not an anarchist either, the same trick over and over, the Professor, the Marquis, the Father Brown mysteries, Miss Marpole, Reading Short and Deep, The Angry Street: A Bad Dream by G.K. Chesterton, like Scrooge, a very interesting guy, a very rare bird, a conservative intellectual, explaining a lot of what’s going on, The Tremendous Adventures Of Major Brown, The Game (1997), sympathetic to anarchism, the ISIS of its day, submitting to ISIS, its not a critique of anarchism at all, a caricature of anarchists as terrorists, non-violent anarchism, a classic problem, non-terroristic anarchism, fantastic turns of phrase, lampshaded, lighting a lamp against the darkness, a fun romp, the reality of police going after subversive groups, it’s about God, and your relationship to Him and yourself on Earth, Chesterton’s fence, an axiom, a principle, completely reasonable, why conservationism should be the default, he’s so persuasive and witty, these are the kinds of conservatives Jesse is afraid of, the Catholic in Julie, the wisdom of the ages, a noble ideal, Terry Pratchett, Mark Twain, Neil Gaiman, “a man who really knew what was going on”, he dresses kind of goth-y, carrying a sword-cane, the people he admired carried sword-canes, Alexander Pope, The Dunciad, a dog named Bounce, Dante’s Inferno, a great age of satire, turning things upside down, laughing, I love lists, a poet who loves lists, arch-humour, that young man, wild white hat, a cause of philosophy in others, a preview of the ending, Scott couldn’t stand this book, Julie was enchanted by it, its unfixed, there’s no grounding, the duel scene, removing parts of his body, he’s a robot, he’s disassembling himself, a little too far?, Scott is a writer, writers reviewing fiction books, how it was constructed, the subtitle: “A Nightmare”, this is a fantasy, this is a fantastic village, this isn’t real, Dante’s Paradisio, this is just allegorical, that’s hilarious, Scott was raised Catholic, Julie (like Chesterton) was a convert, going all the way, a different kind of reader, the cosmos had turned upside down, looking at everything from the back, where the book’s theme is made manifest, this is what I mean, The Everlasting Man, H.G. Wells, proof, a little dig on evolution, shaking the reader, you have no firm fixed ground, wherever you land you’ll find God, “They said my very walk was respectable, and that seen from behind I looked like the British Constitution”, ridiculous, the conservative view, not a poet who is a poet, the common working man, no peasant wants anarchy, every millionaire is at heart an anarchist, plutocrats as anarchists, WTO protests, agent provocateurs, during the Black Panther era, policeman in disguise: let’s blow stuff up, energetic FBI contributions, kind of Philip K. Dickian, a completely different reveal, A Scanner Darkly, Bob Arctor, Robert Downey, Jr., did Philip K. Dick read this book?, Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?‘s fake police station, is Sunday Jesus Christ?, Sunday is God, dressed in the disguise that reveal them as who they really are, pantheists, when men wake up, beautiful nature, a garden, the unmasking, the garden may be Gethsemane, 33 pieces of paper of no value, the question of betrayal, of all days of the week, Rosamund, at the end of time, Heaven is somewhere in Normandy, the marchers, what’s going on?, they all admit they have one hope, the man in the Black Chamber, such a conservative fantasy, secret policeman, the trailer for the 2016 movie adaptation, Nazis and fascists, how could you do a straight up adaptation of this?, Kim Newman’s Anno Dracula: 1895: Seven Days In Mayhem, Dracula marries Queen Victoria, anarchists against Dracula and the vampire elite, a concentration camp holding Sherlock Holmes, Gilbert and Sullivan, a weird detective story about soap operas, the way Sunday is depicted, some of the ways that Sunday is described, he swooned, Sunday is both the Devil and God, looking at him from his hind-parts, kinda weird, the pure good thing, many out loud laughs, “He came of a family of cranks, in which all the oldest people had all the newest notions. One of his uncles always walked about without a hat, and another had made an unsuccessful attempt to walk about with a hat and nothing else.”, his turns of phrase, why Chesterton is loved by Gaiman and Pratchett, the same kind of wry comedians, easy to get along with, shall we go out and have dinner together now?, isolation, twice two is 2,000 times one, George Bernard Shaw, ‘too see you’d think Britian was in a famine – to see you you’d think we’d know why’, fun and dangerous, WWI, a white feather, The Four Feathers, wearing their white feathers proudly, making another joke about being fat, “anarchists!”, what does that have to do with… Bryan?, Gavrilo Princip was not an anarchists (he was a Nationalist) but he was called one, anticipation of WWI, a glimpse of the desire for violence, Teddy Roosevelt, the older detective, detecting pessimists, discovering a crime in a book of sonnets, really funny, Charles Stross’ laundry series, surveillance and data analysis for pre-crime, chilling, why he’s a dangerous guy, defending the indefensible, he spells it out so clearly, do we all know what’s going on here, the book starts with a poem, looking at it in sentences,

“A cloud was on the mind of men
And wailing went the weather,
Yea, a sick cloud upon the soul
When we were boys together.
Science announced nonentity
And art admired decay;
The world was old and ended:
But you and I were gay;

he’s conflating nihilism and decadence and decay with anarchism, The Decline Of The West, The War Of The Worlds, a grim vitality, “what do you want? martyrs!”, written as a cure for melancholy, An Anatomy Of Melancholy, reading melancholic writers, lassitude, making you thoughtful, flashy, so light in its stated topic, if this was written today…, Britain’s who travel to the Middle East to join ISIS, a pacifist book, pro-life, imagining the bomb going off, the value of each human life, Isaac Asimov, violence as the last refuge of the incompetent, chances, who is the man in the black room?, he’s the Alpha and the Omega, in Syria the war is winding down, a 90% decrease in violence, why did the Vietnam War happen, big agents doing things, why does this anarchist council exist?, I can’t believe that any common man would support, a certain class of people thought it would be honourable or profitable, a different subject for the book, a secret agent style version of this book, Moriarty, Fu Manchu, the daughter of the Dragon, a boogeyman, Fu Manchu is trying to overthrow the British occupation of China, a sympathy argument for Fu Manchu, Pan-Asia, Genghis Khan, turnabout is fairplay, pot kettle black, Alan Moore’s The League Of Extraordinary Gentleman, Captain Nemo, his mother was a hardcore Stalinist, she was convinced Stalin the great hero of the 20th century, Dorothy Day, attacking organized religion, Marx, neither god nor master, a coherent argument to make, James Dean or Marlon Brando, Kryten in Red Dwarf, mere willingness is the final test, a lengthy lecture on the history of anarchism, Mary Woolstencraft’s husband, Things As They Are; Or, The Adventures of Caleb Williams, Parents And Children aka Fathers And Sons, what’s more useful a painting or a pair of shoes, a near contemporary, an active Russian thing, Dan Schwent, really different, almost not a novel, it is a dream, nightmare, The Thirty-Nine Steps by John Buchan, that moment, that vertiginous moment, deciding to go another way, setting up these moments, as participators or adaptors, a bunch of people who are wrong about everything, a council, there’s no predominant day of the week, I have to do a podcast on Sunday, it needs to be scheduled, the Club Of Queer Trades stories, how does the schedule happen?, Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman was inspired by G.K. Chesterton’s The Napoleon Of Notting Hill,

“a novel written by G. K. Chesterton in 1904, set in a nearly unchanged London in 1984.

Although the novel is set in the future, it is, in effect, set in an alternative reality of Chesterton’s own period, with no advances in technology or changes in the class system or attitudes. It postulates an impersonal government, not described in any detail, but apparently content to operate through a figurehead king, randomly chosen.”

not really science fiction, radical!, not a fan of revolutions, loving Americans, one conservative to think about, The French Revolution, The Russian Revolution, The American Revolution, Queen Elizabeth II is on my money, Tories fled to Canada, Oliver Wiswell by Kenneth Roberts, the Tories (political party), Canada’s history as a defense against American radicalism, a distorted perspective, Jesse ruined it, not the first nor the last time, Pierre Elliott Trudeau, prime ministers are not that important, the Premier of British Columbia is John Horgan.

The Man Who Was Thursday by G.K. Chesterton from FAMOUS FANTASTIC MYSTERIES

The Man Who Was Thursday by G.K. Chesterton from FAMOUS FANTASTIC MYSTERIES

The Man Who Was Thursday by G.K. Chesterton from FAMOUS FANTASTIC MYSTERIES

The Man Who Was Thursday by G.K. Chesterton from FAMOUS FANTASTIC MYSTERIES

The Man Who Was Thursday by G.K. Chesterton from FAMOUS FANTASTIC MYSTERIES

The Man Who Was Thursday by G.K. Chesterton from FAMOUS FANTASTIC MYSTERIES

Lawrence Sterne Stevens - The Man Who Was Thursday by G.K. Chesterton - from Famous Fantastic Mysteries, March 1944

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #458 – AUDIOBOOK: The Man Who Was Thursday by G.K. Chesterton

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #458 – The Man Who Was Thursday by G.K. Chesterton, read by Zachary Brewster-Geisz.

This UNABRIDGED AUDIOBOOK (5 Hours 51 Minutes) comes to us courtesy of LibriVox. A PDF of it is available on our PDF Page.

We will discuss The Man Who Was Thursday next week.

The Man Who Was Thursday by G.K. Chesterton

Posted by Jesse Willis