The SFFaudio Podcast #248 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: Goliah by Jack London

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #248 – Goliah by Jack London; read by Gregg Margarite. This is a complete and unabridged reading of the short story (57 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Bryan Alexander, Seth, and Maissa Bessada

Talked about on today’s show:
Colossus: The Forbin Project; title’s reference to biblical Goliath; story’s title a reference to the famous Pacific steam ship; colonial capitalism; the story’s Gilded Age context; child labor; Eugene Debs and American socialism; Karl Marx; Thomas Hobbes’s Leviathan; the story’s fictional energon evocative of Transformers energon; Nikola Tesla; Goliah has a palantir; Goliah as Santa Claus; the story’s invented island Palgrave in the South Sea; parallels to London’s other speculative fiction including The Iron Heel; the story’s unreliable narrator; Asgard; origin stories and foundation myths; nineteenth-century racism rears its ugly head again; Übermenschen; contempt for military and militarism; The Unparalleled Invasion; Seth works too hard; the theoretical increase of productivity through automation; 1984Twilight casting a sparkly shadow over modern culture; Edward Bellamy’s Looking Backward as a possible influence; Karl Marx’s German Ideology; the importance of laughter; Herland; the story as a response to nihilism; similarities between Guy de Maupassant and Friedrich Nietzsche; The Scarlet PlagueCanticle for Leibowitz; the medieval investiture controversy; animal metaphors in Goliah; accurate predictions of World War I; structural similarity to the Book of Job; “you don’t get a lot of laughter in the Old Testament”; Arslan by M.J. Engh; The Bookman literary magazine; It’s a Good Life by Jerome Bixby; steampunk by tag cloud; we make a dismal attempt at discussing the Stock Market; the dark underbelly of Goliah’s utopia; the unrealistic perpetuation of a utopia; Autofac and Pay for the Printer by Philip K. Dick; With Folded Hands by Jack Williamson; Star Trek: The Next Generation; Lenin’s dying wish; Jules Verne; Goliah relinquishing power; Hot Fuzz; more on the palantir and the NSA; “grumblers grumble”; attitudes toward the criminally insane; “Goliah has spoken”; nukes not MOOCs; Cuban Missile Crisis; Douglas MacArthur biography American Caesar by William Manchester; Doctor Who episode “The Happiness Patrol”; Japanese Manga Death Note; the “bread and roses” U.S. labor strike contemporary with Jack London; the Pax Romana; The Better Angels of Our Nature by Stephen Pinker, a discourse on lethal violence; the Franco-Prussian War; Earle Labor’s Jack London: An American Life available in audio.

Colossus The Forbin Project

Posted by Jesse Willis

Five Free Favourites #18: The 5 first Philip K. Dick AUDIOBOOK/READALONG episodes of The SFFaudio Podcast

SFFaudio Online Audio

Five of my favourite SFFaudio podcasts are our first five Philip K. Dick AUDIOBOOK + READALONG episodes. We’ve done more than five podcasts about Philip K. Dick stories, but these five all have the audiobook up front!

I think they are among the best podcasts we’ve recorded.

Five Free Favourites

1. The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #109 (May 23, 2011)
AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: The Hanging Stranger by Philip K. Dick
|MP3|
Also available, the |PDF|
Narrator: Mac Kelly
Participants: Jesse, Scott, Tamahome
First published in Science Fiction Adventures, December 1953.

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2. The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #122 (August 22, 2011)
AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: Beyond The Door by Philip K. Dick
|MP3|
Also available, the |PDF|
Narrator: Gregg Margarite
Participants: Scott, Jesse, Tamahome, Gregg Margarite
First published in Fantastic Universe, January 1954.

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3. The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #153 (March 26, 2012)
AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: Small Town by Philip K. Dick
|MP3|
Also available, the |PDF|
Narrator: Gregg Margarite
Participants: Jesse, Tamahome, Gregg Margarite
First published in Amazing Stories, May 1954.

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4. The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #194 (January 7, 2013)
AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: Of Withered Apples by Philip K. Dick
|MP3|
Also available, the |PDF|
Narrator: Julie Davis
Participants: Jesse, Tamahome, Jenny, Julie Davis
First published in Cosmos Science Fiction and Fantasy Magazine, July 1954.

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5. The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #224 (August 5, 2013)
AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: Exhibit Piece by Philip K. Dick
|MP3|
Also available, the |PDF|
Narrator: Mark Turetsky
Participants: Jesse, Jenny, Maissa Bessada, Mark Turetsky
First published in If: Worlds Of Science Fiction, August 1954.

Posted by Jesse Willis

The Risk Profession by Donald E. Westlake

SFFaudio Online Audio

One of my favourite writers, Donald E. Westlake, mostly left the SFF field for the greener pastures of crime fiction after the 1960s. He was very successful there.

The Risk Profession, first published in 1961, is a fun SF novelette and one well worthy of our continued attention.

Another guy who appreciated Westlake was my friend, Gregg Margarite, who narrated it for LibriVox back in 2010.

The plot, a murder mystery, concerns an insurance investigator who makes a trip to the asteroid belt to investigate the death of an asteroid miner.

The Risk Profession by Donald E. Westlake - illustrated by Ivie

LibriVoxThe Risk Profession
By Donald E. Westlake; Read by Gregg Margarite
1 |MP3| – Approx. 1 Hour 4 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: January 17, 2010
“The men who did dangerous work had a special kind of insurance policy. But when somebody wanted to collect on that policy the claims investigator suddenly became a member of… The Risk Profession.” First published in Amazing Stories, March 1961.

Here’s a |PDF| made from the publication in Amazing.

[Thanks also to Wendel Topper and Lucy Burgoyne]

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #204 – AUDIOBOOK: The Status Civilization by Robert Sheckley

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #204 – The Status Civilization by Robert Sheckley, read by Gregg Margarite.

This UNABRIDGED AUDIOBOOK (4 Hours 53 Minutes) comes to us courtesy of LibriVox.org. The Status Civilization was first published under the title Omega and was serialized in the August and September 1960 issues of Amazing Science Fiction Stories Magazine.

Go back to episode (SFFaudio Podcast #056) to hear our discussion of it.

Will Barrent awakes without memories just before being deposited on Omega, a planet for criminals where the average life expectancy is three years. He’s listed as a murderer and released into the illicit society as a “peon” the lowest class imaginable. A mysterious girl gives him a weapon that starts him on his path to status, a path that requires constant brutality. But it must be borne if our hero is to discover the reason for his imprisonment; A reason that pits him against himself, and involves the sardonically similar but devoutly different creeds of Omega and Earth.

Amazing Science Fiction Stories - OMEGA by Robert Sheckley

Omega by Robert Sheckley - illustration by Grayam

Omega by Robert Sheckley - illustration by Grayam

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #158 – READALONG: The Syndic by C.M. Kornbluth

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #158 – Last week’s podcast was an unabridged reading of The Syndic by C.M. Kornbluth. This week Jesse discusses it with the narrator, Mark Douglas Nelson!

Talked about on today’s show:
SciPodBooks.com, the SciPodCast, The Syndic by C.M. Kornbluth, The City At World’s End by Edmond Hamilton, the virtues of democracy, Oath Of Fealty by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle, H. Beam Piper, Space Viking, a wealth of ideas, Frederik Pohl, the story as a straw man, Robert A. Heinlein, telepathy, witches, dystopia, utopia, polo played with jeeps (mounted with 50 caliber machine guns), the syndicate vs. the mob, Ireland, Iceland, libertarianism, the Prometheus Unbound review of The Syndic, polyandry, an economy run on alcohol, sex, and gambling, laissez faire capitalism, monopolies, robber barons, taxes vs. shakedowns, “a real mess of a book”, should a society compromise its ideals to save itself?, is the joke on us?, a velvet gloved invisible hand, The High Crusade by Poul Anderson, the children’s crusade, WWII, rule by mob vs. rule by mobsters, Ron Paul, the sustainability of a war based economy need not much concern the arms manufacturer, Isaac Asimov, The City At World’s End has a real plot, disaster stories, new ideas trump big flaws, “writing by the seat of your pants”, space opera, E.E. “Doc” Smith, respect for science and scientists, Farnham’s Freehold by Robert A. Heinlein, The Green Odyssey by Philip Jose Farmer, LibriVox.org, Riverworld series, rolling ships, Hyperion by Dan Simmons, the problem of endless series, StarShipSofa, The Truth Is A Cave In The Black Mountains by Neil Gaiman, A Princess Of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs, A Voyage To Arcturus by David Lindsay, “philosophy, philosophy, philosophy”, it starts with a séance, C.S. Lewis, Right Ho, Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse, Jeeves And Wooster, Leave It To Jeeves, LibriVox’s new funding (from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation), Orson Scott Card, Harlan Ellison, Airborn by Kenneth Oppel, Gregg Margarite, Lone Star Planet by H. Beam Piper, Kevin J. Anderson, Principles Of Economics, iambik audio, Wonder Audio, All Or Nothing by Preston L. Allen, The Tattoo Murder Case by Akimitsu Takagi, Toshiro Mifune, Akira Kurosawa, High And Low, Netflix, Sweet And Lowdown, One O’Clock Jump by Lise McClendon, A Is For Alibi by Sue Grafton, Talents Incorporated by Murray Leinster, goofy, the William Woodsworth Microphone Showdown, do expensive mics make great narrators?

Posted by Jesse Willis