Reading, Short And Deep #352
Eric S. Rabkin and Jesse Willis discuss A Wedding Gift by H. Rider Haggard
Here’s a link to a PDF of the story.
A Wedding Gift was first published in Harry Furniss’s Christmas Annual 1905
The SFFaudio Podcast #694 – The Brethren by H. Rider Haggard – read by Elroi Shelley. This is a complete and unabridged reading of novel (15 hours 25 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants include Jesse, Will Emmons, Connor Kaye, and Cora Buhlert talk about The Brethren by H. Rider Haggard
Talked about on today’s show:
1903/4, set during the third crusade, Saladin and the Assassins, The White Company by Arthur Conan Doyle, Haggard was proud, kind of a Haggard guy, this sounds awesome, the famous ones, King Solomon’s Mines, She, Elroi Shelly, what kind of accent does she have?, Arabic, superstormtrooper, a Spanish documentary called Otto Skorzeny, Alemania (Spanish for Germany), Italian, 11th century accent, November 23, 2021, a shield with a skull on it!, Robert E. Howard’s Hawks Of Outremer, did Howard read this?, it is mentioned in the book, a black shield with a white skull, Rosamund’s dad, they’re not Irish, the mythology around Saladin, he’s so mean, all is forgiven, more of a villain in this book, frees with his own money, only a few people become slaves, Templars beheaded, don’t like the Hospitalers either, a huge list of books in Howard’s library, weird erotica, the tone is different, the battles are awesome, Haggard always has great battles, Lord Of The Rings and The Hobbit, counting shots scenes, movements of armies, a little less kissing, a really good book, the other brother, they both get to marry the girl!, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Abduction From The Seraglio, another Robert E. Howard story, The Shadow Of The Vulture, Red Sonja, taken to a harem, loves singing about executing people, quite famous, our hero Saladin, the best PR in the west ever, an eastern potentate, Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott, an artifact of the period it was written, a contemporary review, a really fun read, interesting, great women characters, the rug pulled out from under me, boys’ school style, chivalry and public school ethos are indistinguishable, fair play old chap, so innocent, the christian religion isn’t the motivating factor, an inter-familiar dispute, sister/cousin, when God gives Saladin three repeated dreams, rose of the world, a very Christian book that loves Islam, 5 million Muslims in Germany, the Howard crusader stories, interested in Islam, the whole Arabian Knights thing, kind of a Theosophist, all the religions were good, different facets of the same jewel, She is an Arab, the beautiful illustrations, Chapter 23, Haggard went on a trip to Syria, the impetus for this book, a band of knights, two knights on a personal mission, more like tourists than crusaders, our side is justice, Saint Rosamund, some of the homework that he did, page 631, this chapter is so metal, to these I say, score face and bosom, made loathsome to the sight of man, the brides of Heaven, the swords of furious and savage men, the Faith, St. Clair at Acre, 1291, A Winter Pilgrimage by H. Rider Haggard, this book is so…, these people are getting way to worked up their religions, that’s what Heinlein would do, too hard core, flagellation, gang raped by roman legionaries, medieval snuff porn, a beautiful painting of woman being brutally tortured, a guy on a stick, of some particular imam, in the end you will get what you deserve, what he did wasn’t very nice, trauma by inference, waking up in cold sweats, you have to bow and scrape, you ate some of my salt, that much fun, Robin Hood, slave characters, Saxon-Norman etymology stuff, King John, the father of the modern historical novel, Outlander, the mooning over the girls, nice to the Jews, antisemitism, The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy, a Russian countess, what people think Lovecraft was like, I hate poor people, French people, a city named after Sir Walter Scott’s house: Abbotsford, the fake chivalry code of the Southern USA comes from Sir Walter Scott, a phenomenon in the early 19th century, a book highly influenced by Ivanhoe, 1819, writing about ancestors, Virginia Woolf and modernists couldn’t stand Sir Walter Scott, anything past 10 years ago obviously has no value, we don’t need Jane Austen because we have Bridget Jones’ Diary, the classic chivalry story, 1920, a throwback to classic novels, Don Quixote, a parody of classic chivalry, The Song Of Roland, language issues, stories of heroic knights, drew on older legends and stories, Robin Hood is an old legend, early Hollywood Robin Hood is straight out of Ivanhoe, returning crusaders, a little bit tight-fisted, he wants you to say these are people and they can live in England with us, literal slave collars, accidental pun, Cobra Kai, shocking, Connor is six, dwelling on backstory, dishonorable knights, not having a dad, kidnapping women, disrespecting my family, a cross-worshiper!, almost biblical, violence at school, teenagers beating up kids, learn karate to defend yourself, the 70s kung-fu phenomena, white kids want to be a Chinese guy, the whole world has passed by the Karate Kid, consistency with real truths about what families are like, many mirrorings, one’s like a Saxon one’s more Norman, a broken family united by respect and love, an outside uncle, a broken family in the religion over there, the backstory of the assassins, Shia and Sunni, Iran is the bad guy even though they had nothing to do with 9/11, Ismaili, a breakaway family, People Of The Black Circle by Robert E. Howard, what’s going on in Tibet?, briefly touched on drugged visions, Masouda is such a great character you want her to have a spin-off show, role of a lifetime, super-mysterious, horrible ending, all for love, he kept pulling the rug out from under us, all set to work out, a happy ending, not much character development, Masouda had a lot, when we find things out, she’s a widow, the inn will run itself, this book was for us to me her, too long to read, she’s our guide, very masterfully written, the two fathers, two muslim brother enemies, Flame and Smoke are the two other best character is the book [and horses], Rosamund and Masouda are mirrors, half-Frank, she’s a fallen princess, the opposite constellation, a French countess mother, Masouda is a tragic Rosamund, her boyfriend has to go live with monks, really effective, making things rich and deep, why William Wilson is such a great story, where there’s smoke there’s fire, the brethren, stylized language, it creates the atmosphere, how you sell your movie, “Extreme Prejudice”, “Collateral Damage”, a euphemism, anticipates, she’s sent off to a nunnery, she’s marrying god!, sent off to become a priest, he didn’t write this by the seat of his pants, good writing, become a priest or a monk, too concerned with dreams, a higher purpose, so well put together, the opposite of the pre-show, squee moments, scenes, harry potter, train scene, quidditch scene, the horses know something, this is my dude, opposite of snarky, not a snark in it, very sincere, Cassell’s Magazine, December 1903, he doesn’t tease us, serialized without cliffhangers, better than the more modern style of serialization, a lot of little stories, anticipating, feeling like it is just about to end, it could end at any point, the final illustration, it was Godwin’s face, “spoiler”, that ending is supposed to be a surprise, when Masouda died, a tragedy, so fucking dark, he touched her head and it rolls away, the Robert E. Howard scene, he commands armies, there’s no supernatural extras to this story, Howard is more hyperbolic, an opening scene for a Robert E. Howard story, selling this as a script, the ultimate reveal, people would be angry at this movie, so fantastic, devastating, foreshadowed, you will meet her in the end, more recently, Game Of Thrones, any character can die at any time, this story set it up fantastically, she’s too good of a character, a heart of gold, she’s saving the brothers, she’s driving the plot, coming up with all the plans and disguises, the perfect anti-payoff, once she died, everyone is going to die, Godwin can’t live, this is how the end of the story is going to go, Rosamund is going to die as well, St. Rosamund, embedding humor into the structure of the story, see it in reflection, abruptly ended, and I’ll let you live, 16 hours, oh my god, so shocking, so satisfying and relieving, it made you want to laugh, catharsis, Saladin got you too, the Italian opera ending, everybody dies, Hamlet, an everybody dies story, happy, it makes me smile (not squee), the best kind, the good kind of squee, it earns its squee, if both brother got to marry the sister (literally), a fantasy setting, very historical, how much of this is real, actually real?, family members of famous people, Nada The Lily, the secret son of Shaka Zulu, another book like this, Haggard on utube, a very early film of Haggard at his home, silent, how wealthy he became from his good writings, she hated She, really long and almost all journey, a lot happening structurally, dock in Cyprus, a hostage situation, and a reverse hostage situation, this book kept derailing Jesse’s expectations, a crusades book but not a crusade, strange inter-relations, Arabic, subtlety, going a little easy on it, it could be shorter, the changes of point of view, abutted scenes, the opening, almost every thread connects, almost perfectly composed, mid-H. Rider Haggard, the eighth H. Rider Haggard for Will, the guy who’s most responsible for squeecore, -doom core, South America?, The Heart Of The World, a secret Mayan civilization, as a prose stylist, what makes the English language work, not writing like a normal person, intentionally antiquated, main literary influces: The King James Bible, the old testament, more action here (than in She), Zulus talking in the thou form, a pack of ghost wolves, The People Of the Mist, classic lost race fantasy, Cora is nocturnal, Treasure Island, “Oh, Connor me lad”, a big project, Jim in the inn, this is a Heinlein juvenile written before Heinlein, its squeecore!, I’ve become what I hate!, it resembles Citizen Of The Galaxy (a retelling of Kim), Robert Louis Stevenson is an interesting person, very unhealthy, adopts an older woman’s son, goes and dies in Samoa, Connor would be keen, a good pirate story, the way the book was written, the Lovecraft – Sonia Green marriage, you’re going to eat right now, you’re going to breathe right now, draw me an island, a writing prompt to bring them closer together, a relationship book, the first manuscript for Strange Case Of Dr Jekyll And Mr Hyde was burned, Travels With A Donkey, some Random series book or a Treasure fucking Island, great material for a biopic, Jim and John Silver, save it for the podcast, Treasure PlanetTreasure Island and The Hobbit, the nicest aunt in East Germany, illustrated Huckleberry Finn, upgrade mic and headset, bone conduction, The Doom That Came To Sarnath by H.P. Lovecraft, The Busy Body by Donald E. Westlake, Almuric by Robert E. Howard, The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin, The Doomed City by The Strugatsky Bros. (Boris and Arkadii), “get the communist!”, you can’t get Eric, good luck bud, trolling vs. invitation, The Door Into Summer by Robert A. Heinlein, The Sea-Wolf by Jack London, a February of novels, shorter than Hour Of The Dragon, reading Donald E. Westlake, nephew novels, addictive, we win all the fun characterization, he’s like a treasure, why science fiction sucks: he can’t get paid, it was science fiction’s loss, really funny, a lot of people want to have written, the craft, he wants it to be awesome, joke poems, Waterhouse’s Circe, why are there flowers all over the floor, attraction and danger, the stories are super-rich, when you write a story based on a picture you’re decoding the picture, encoding a picture in a person’s brain, transfer our brain thought into another person’s brain thought, telepathy, no difference between intention and reception, “Mountain Dew”, something to skip, “you think you’re going to do The Dispossessed without me?”, an anarchist planet, anarchist moon, Poul Anderson, People Of The Black Circle, Sunday BBQ winter or summer, woke scold, a Robert E. Howard kick, Galactic Journey, Will needs to logoff, popping ps, 40 degree heat, thunderstorms, a sworn interpreter, Germany classics, Karl May, a convicted conman, O. Henry, living happily ever after on the prairie, your old Alberta home, a recording booth, a Neumann microphone, Shure dynamic mic, imported musical instruments, luxury goods, RØDE microphones, rood, what is a chapman, the drugged wine, Chapman’s ice cream, the chap part is cheap, the cheap man, Mercedes Benz is a luxury brand in Canada, car industries, Blue microphones, the microphone boom, shockmounts, research the fuck out of it, semaphore eyebrows, German TV adaptation of The Sea-Wolf, Cora comes from a family of sailors, The Red One, hunting moths with a shotgun, the house of a headhunter, Das Millionenspiel, a War Of The Worlds situation, The Running Man and The Prize Of Peril, furious Sheckley, one of the best things German TV ever did, The Running Man by Stephen King, hunting humans, The Most Dangerous Game by Richard Connell, The Hounds Of Zaroff, late night horror, King Kong (1933), The Most Dangerous Meme, Predator (1987), Rogue Male by Geoffrey Household, basically its Hitler, John Buchan, Rogue Justice, 1939 – 1982, your audience may have been born and died in the meantime, Dr. Mabuse by Norbert Jacques, propaganda and lies and misinformation about copyright, Babylon Berlin, Metropolis by Thea von Harbou, Fritz Lang, VPN, Jorge Luis Borges, basically all the Conan stories are public domain, dictionary, Valley Of The Lost aka King Of The Forgotten People by Robert E. Howard, the eyestrain thing, a giant crab!, way more than Solomon Kane, historicals, Dark Agnes, Shadow Of The Vulture, People Of The Black Circle, Almuric, Revival by Stephen King, The Troop by Nick Cutter, The Seascape Tattoo by Larry Niven and Steve Barnes, not a big Heinlein fan?, how dare you, Isaac Asimov, see the weaknesses, good short stories, Arthur C. Clarke, the Foundation stories, The Goddess Of Atvatabar by William R. Bradshaw, a whole continent down there, Klim’s Journey Under The Ground by Ludvig Holberg, patterns, The Cats Of Ulthar by H.P. Lovecraft, H. Rider Haggard, Arthur Conan Doyle, Professor Challenger, cheap classics, import prices, Citizen Of The Galaxy, a month of pocket money, Saladin, disintegrating, Valentina by Fern Michaels, import bookstore, bodice rippers, Angélique by Anne Golon, highlanders, a romanticized version of the Vietnam War, a solid fantasy book, a great story, so filmic, American style, BBC’s The Tourist, TV American style, Doctor Who, really important, something squeecore, just broken.
The SFFaudio Podcast #667 – The Wonderful Adventures Of Phra The Phoenician by Edwin Lester Arnold – read by Phil Benson. This is a complete and unabridged reading of the novel (15 hours 47 Minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Paul Weimer, and Will Emmons.
Talked about on today’s show:
1890, The Illustrated London News, the ERBzine, Famous Fantastic Mysteries, Lawrence Sterne Stevens, September 1945, a pattern, the book was difficult, incidents happen, Phra has a servant strangle a dude, who could forget that scene?, the love of his red-haired life, a lot of strangling going on, Gulliver Of Mars by Edwin Lester Arnold, definitely shorter, a pretty impressive magazine, there’s money in these illustrations, a 1960s BBC audio drama, 114,000 word version vs. the 90,000 word version, Everett Franklin Bleiler, farmer in Canada, journalist, time travel via reincarnation, H. Rider Haggard, he gets his head lopped off, he’s in a certain time and then he comes back, he sleeps, Rip Van Winkle, bodily resurrected, why they think he’s a saint, C.M. Kornbluth’s The Marching Morons, Buck Rogers, to cover it in enough detail to know what its about, Jesse’s game is very off, Blodwin, a witch princess bought from pirates, sacrificed by the druids, his strange change, a magical serpent that will take him through time, present at the Norman conquest, the late Tudor Times, poison, a mid Victorian blusterer, Haggard’s worst, as a collector, is Blodwin a witch?, coming back as a ghost, magical powers, suicide, the Twelfth Night sequence, charmed, really fun, beautiful, hey, this tastes bitter, not great, studying for vocabulary, what’s a “virago”?, “kirtle”, what are “kine”?, kine are cows, corn = grain, long and tedious, longer than it needed to be, a Haggard rip-off?, Haggardish, pseudo mysticism, talking to a Buddhist about this book, Theosophy, woo woo, he likes kissing more than Haggard does, so much focused on the romance, romance being kissing vs. romance being exotic locations and ancient mysteries, like Indiana Jones with way more kissing, to be very sentimental about English, Paul is upset at Jesse, She, love triangle, guilt, Casca The Eternal Mercenary, Jesus curses him, he can’t be killed, a Saxon noble, Highlander: The Series, a mythology of that person, accents are changing and languages are drifting, almost a comedy, we’re way more with it than he is, maybe *this* is happening, the other characters are more interesting than Phra, tracking the legend of this guy, so doofusy, people would make note and they do, a saint, there is no plot outside of the character having these incidents, the grey man, all this time I missed it!, a result of serialization?, the last Phoenician, no swearing by Canaanite gods, Boat Of A Million Years by Poul Anderson, an more sophisticated version of this, Bram Stoker’s Jewel Of Seven Stars, Katharine Kerr, Claire O’Dell, done better by better writers, talk about TV, Forever Knight, a vampire cop in Toronto, New Amsterdam via @pulpcovers, katanas and ninjas and samurai, katanas are out and giant manga anime swords are in, Paul used a gladius in his past life, The Immortal, Washington Irving, going under the hill and coming out in another time, this book is ok, exciting parts, scenes and images and premises, the steam-engine monster, like a videogame, cut-scene, disjointed, lots of tributes, Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott, looking for stuff to roast, Ivanhoe is pro-everything, one of the themes is slavery, you’re buying a slave cuz she’s pretty, why didn’t he just kill the pirate?, kill the bastard, Phra is an asshole, he’s a monarchist, he’s an imperialist, slave life, Girth, H. Rider Haggard is adventure today, Walter Scott is hey these were beautiful times, slavery was fine and cool, an eternal mercenary, swearing themselves to whatever local government is around to keep the status quo, there’s always an elite, adopted the manners of a knight, in this mission you’re going to go be a knight, times with this country lady, he’s becoming the wise old man as he’s grown up, written at the height of Empire, would you read another?, not a blind buy, Lepidus The Centurion: A Roman Of Today, an individuation story, more of that, the same idea, past life shit, why isn’t Paul isn’t obsessed with ancient Aztecs?, writing as thinking, really good writing as telepathy, Arnold wanted to be a Saxon lord, the Lord of the Hunt, enjoying courtesy, dispensing courtesy to strangers, freeing all their serfs, it’s what a man can do, orientalist, a good insult, how people lived and thought in 1890, wine gets better with age forever, old stories always get better as we get distance from them (as a piece of interest), as close to time travel as we can really get, he’s going to go to the future!, as told Arnold him by Phra, 1921 to 2060, write some Phran (Phra fan fiction), Barenaked Ladies; It’s All Been Done, Will is from the 1990s, “Weird Al” Yankovic is very meta, The Big Bang Theory, a space opera.
Talked about on today’s show:
Lawful Good, a novella, 1953, 1961, Appendix N, The Dungeon Master’s Guide, garish sky, the alignment stuff in D&D, the axes on the alignment, true neutral, lawful, neutral, chaotic, cosmic battle, all the problems Jesse had with Dungeons & Dragons, its ideology, a war between the baddies and the goodies, the lawful forces and the forces of discord, implying our reality, mapped as evil, our swanmaid, lots of grey, the framing story, playing the lawful good role in both worlds, hence he’s a paladin, everybody has to pick an alignment, neutral evil thief and a lawful good paladin, deliciously great roleplay, sticks in their mud, a good role player takes that to heart, character drama, flexible morals, against the enemy of his god, an impediment to the adventure and the swashbuckling vs. character dramas, so codified, the rules are there to be discarded, the rules are there to help you, the one true way, a meta-game, applying it to human beings, Captain America is Lawful Good, Spiderman is just plain good, everything is way more complicated than that, the nine different possibilities, Odo in the top left hand corner, Gul Dukat in the bottom right hand corner, Quark is neutral good, what constitutes these things, a grievance against Gary Gygax, this whole matter of France mythology, Charlemagne, Anthony Boucher’s introduction, “the possible and the impossible”, science fantasy, Groff Conklin, Great Folk Epic, The Vault Of Time, H. Rider Haggard, The Incomplete Enchanter, Fletcher Pratt, L. Sprague De Camp, Roland, travel between worlds, taking from Matters, martial paladin focused, a different kind of heroism, riddles, the outer narrator, not that great a book, a grab bag of different adventures, the order of the episodes, the creatures in the woods, a bear, a lion, an owl, material to furnish, very cozy, bookending the story, Edgar Rice Burroughs, later serialized in F&SF: Glory Road by Robert A. Heinlein, a dwarf and a lady princess, transported to a fairy realm, more playfully comic, not a humour piece, the portal aspect, a museum in England, more of a satire, a fantasy romp, does Jesse just not like fantasy?, unstructured, romping around, referencing, Graustark, another Zenda ripoff, playing around, a quest, The Wizard Of Oz, he stole that too, a crossover episode, more time with the Dane bicycling around Europe, WWII adventures, chaos vs. law, a force for law in all the worlds, he had saved Niels Bohr, the audiobook, Bronson Pinchot, a slog via text, Huckleberry Finn, accents in the text, Danish accent?, the drift, an Arnold Schwarzenegger impression, the dumb Scandinavian, pumps you up like McBain, read more H. Rider Haggard, Eric Brighteyes, the point of the story, a straightforward muscleman, the ladies think he’s very sexy, be a sophisticate, ElvenQuest, one of the these fantasy authors, eight book in the series, contempt for his audience, the “chosen one”, his dog is transformed into a human, all about the stereotypes, the fantasy enchanted forest with a silly name, the trolls work the same in both ways, about the tropes, the evil point of view, he’s got your eyes, the ur version of that, if you make it a comedy…, humorous but not a comedy, Stephen Mangan, the Dirk Gently TV show, problematic stuff?, the Swanmaiden, cat-fighting, every D&D player, troll regeneration, Tolkien’s trolls in The Hobbit, entertaining, the Wild Hunt, fatalistic pessimism, elegiac, The Broken Sword, contemplative vs. upbeat, things to notice, Bertrand Russell, Logical Positivism, this is a real guys, this is real guys, most things in philosophy are massive failures, history is the study of failures, reaching in a way that Dunsany doesn’t, going Catholic in the end, he’s picking a team, Christianity is a true religion, assuming medieval role, team order, he believes in beer, kind of all over, crafting vs. spinning, Tolkien vs. Anderson, crafted vs. a product of craft, a Poul Anderson Planet Stories story, going in to fight chaos, the length?, the werewolf and the witch and the nixie, collecting a crew, the dwarf just shows up, the Muslim knight, Papillon, no payoff, Mark Twain’s A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur’s Court, a satire, the analog for Papillon, mental energy, maybe mind was transferred into the body of another guy, what is the explanation?, magic, interesting, not just a secondary world fantasy, not enough to justify anything, why do I need this entrance into this world?, a payoff in a meta-way, konking, Guardians Of The Flame by Joel Rosenberg, the opening sequence and the first episode of the Dungeons And Dragons cartoon, I know spells I guess, hey look there’s Tiamat, a lost Scandinavian epic, writing in that vein, the meta-setup, quasi-science, a grab bag of different ideas, Vancian magic, Jeffro Johnson’s Appendix N, finally the explanation, the ideology of alignment, if we impose this on the system, Darth Vader is Lawful Evil, Jabba is Chaotic Evil, Anakin as a kid is Neutral?, can kids have alignment?, age of maturity age of reason, suddenly I’m neutral evil, something wrong with this system, Hoger?, name conveniently placed on the saddle, saddlebag stuff, not the most law-abiding type, the outer-narrator’s explanation, God has provided, the “balance” of the Force, like magic, implying the universe comes up with that, a meta-flaw, as soon as Obi Wan Kenobi spins up a bunch of lies, Ming the Merciless, a roguish guy, neutral good, when Obi Wan was lying to you he was doing it for a good reason, Yoda on Dagobah, Zen koans, don’t go into that cave, don’t save your friends, that stuff was stupid, tear it all down, abandoning the alignment system is so meta, we need it to to have a film, a conflict of good vs. evil is replaced by a conflict with the alignment system itself, broken from the beginning, Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser are thieves, neutral at best, Paul’s range of alignment only includes good and neutral, are there people who you want to spend time with who play lawful evil?, tear it all down, for NPCs, if we go to Ivanhoe, the restoration of law, fighting an evil law makes you chaotic, confine the alignment system to lawyers offices, the Duke boys on The Dukes Of Hazzard, Boss Hogg is evil but lawful, want to steal Daisy Duke’s cutoffs, the top of their car is evil, what knights really are, they’re samurais, very egoistic, the heraldic crest, all very fun, villain means serf, taking the sides of the elites, ultimately there’s something wrong, fantasy is dangerous, God brought him his horse, hence his conversion to Catholicism, when God gives Jesse a horse he’ll have to convert to Catholicism, the super-fantasy element, the escapist element, what he was doing in his own life was interesting enough, finding a way back, looking through Grimoires, shouted out in The Number Of The Beast by Robert A. Heinlein, a podcast we recorded seven months ago, The Pursuit Of the Pankera, giant problems, way longer, all science fiction and fantasy is in it, they 666 worlds, parallel universes, more time on Barsoom, more time in Oz, E.E. Doc Smith’s Galactic Patrol, not your best intro to Heinlein, go with Glory Road or Have Spacesuit, Will Travel, the book that broke Paul, Star Ship, Tau Zero, Sargasso Of Lost Starships, Flight To Forever, Brain Wave, The High Crusade, a fun idea story that’s not too long, Virgin Planet, terrorbirds, The Golden Slave, Lord Of A Thousand Suns, Out Of The Iron Womb, Swordsman Of Lost Terra, Tiger By The Tail, stuck into Thieves’ World, Inside Earth by Poul Anderson.
Talked about on today’s show:
Philip K. Dick and Ray Nelson, Philip K. Dick’s font is HUGE and Ray Nelson’s is tiny, very Philip K. Dick, tidied up a lot by Ray Nelson, a device full of microcircuitry, miniaturization, Philip K. Dick’s various flying cars, an ionocraft, even more seedy and disrepair than the first, a shabby little used interior, not apart of the fleet, I’ll convey you to the neegparts, are you safe to ride in?, I do what I like, it’s legal for a class 1 homeostatic mechanism to own a tom, many alarming creaks and clankings, a very Philip K. Dick paragraph, I mean I sort of smell bag, I smell like cat wee, insecure machinery, a robot owns a human being, stupid and hilarious, one of his more competent novels, where the Tennessee thing came from, Blacks and Indians, pretty interesting, not a great book, a prelude, we’re in the takeover, time jump, pre-invasion, Dr. Bloodmoney, supposed to be a sequel to The Man In The High Castle, the Japanese were replaced by the Ganymedians, made Paul uncomfortable, it is what Paul signed up for, Philip K. Dick is not racist, Ray Nelson is not racist, the USA in 1965 was pretty racist, superior and resentful of them, physically beautiful, Counter-Clock World, Our Friends from Frolix 8, why didn’t Evan do this for his podcast?, psychology and psychiatry, YUP is the opposite of NOPE, gender transitions, pronoun stuff, gender transition, oppressor class, what are the NeegParts? Negro Partisans, why Tennessee?, the great mixup, all Black people and Indians in East Tennessee now, Colorado, the neutral zone, the Appalachian Mountains are a wild place, secret agents, the narrators, the audiobook, 2012, Gregg Margarite, Eight O’Clock In The Morning, aftershow talk, Jen Murtha and Steven Davis, dual narrator audiobooks, Jen Murtha does all of the non-dialogue and Steven Davis does everything else, Jesse has no friend in South Africa, Jesse ended up liking it quite a bit, Jen Murtha is laughing a lot, a charming amateur production, having fun doing this, this book hasn’t been published in a long time, no copyright information, 5 and a half hours, chaypter won, a school project?, a pretty good book, the top half of Philip K. Dick novels, Marissa’s favourite version of Philip K. Dick, minimal breasts, obsessed with the one woman in the novel, Percy X, one of them kills her without her dying, kills her with a bust of Sigmund Freud, touch fingertips, the strength of non-sexual touch, vocal jazz thing, a beautiful scene, where Paul Rivers reflects on his sexuality and identity as a man, really sensitive, the men are all horny Philip K. Dick, their descriptions of what a woman is like, the huddling together moment, the individual vs. the gestalt, Galactic Pot-Healer, individuals and identity, A Maze Of Death, a collective experience, obvious in retrospect Percy X is Malcolm X, Perseus?, the occupation is so weird, comedy, petty villainy, the vidphone rang, psychedelic research, always thinking about the United Nations, I’m a sick man, a character who doesn’t want to get out of bed, a device that may be able to stop the invasion of the earth, functionary psychiatry character, they’re all in a crazyhouse together, almost like The Zap Gun, a parody of itself, I’m fulfilling a contract, they took some acid and started messing around, a fairly polished piece, Philip K. Dick is very sloppy, the passages and the ideas, the plot is stupid, some Philip K. Dick short stories are beautiful others are mechanistic, Now Wait For Last Year, Time Out Of Joint, Philip K. Dick isn’t very good at novels, beautiful gems of polished awesomeness, the models of planes, authenticity, replicas and fakes, Nelson forcing Philip K. Dick to explain something (how telepathy works), a theory of human consciousness, a quasi-scientific explanation, bottom half books, here’s the situation: I’ve got all these phrases, technobabble, the psychiatric element, the concept of the Nowhere girl, super-detached, the best girl ever because she doesn’t care about anything, that’s how he sees his wives, the more drugged out and detached they are the more fun they were to hang out with, he wanted the gestalt, female partners, relationships, the aloof woman, Clans Of The Alphane Moon, Eye In The Sky (the Bevatron book), a 1989 copy, lacking the gravity and conviction, this Mekkus character is basically a head, wormlike aliens, Dune by Frank Herbert, mostly a head, Dan Dare Pilot Of The Future, the Mekon, turning pages with their tongues, Deus Irae, Tibor McMasters, one of the people you’d see in the asylum, a flotation tank, become a nothing, political stuff, a WIK, a wormkisser, a musicologist, overt resistance to the worms, characterization is unusually weak for Dick, the Hellmachine that distorts reality, all the themes floating around, the experience on the battlefield, Robert E. Lee, the Black Freedom movement, the Vietnam War, the Peace movement, the Civil War, maybe everything kind of exists but we aren’t paying attention to it, a theme from modern fantasy, a little ironic?, a lot of sex in there too, tiny lesbians pulling out people’s facial hair, delusions of grandeur, the old confederate money factory, a fantasy of the old south, another money scene, what’s on the money, historical figures of science and literature, Euros are like that, the Queen and the Prime Ministers and randos to represent science, Franklin and Hamilton, nobody has confidence in these people, appropriate for 2021, maybe 2022 will prove something different, free floating Philip K. Dick parts, he did LSD twice, Ray Nelson was always trying to get Dick going, therapy, psilocybin, mechanically driven drug scenes, large or medium doses, there is no Ganymedian occupation of Tennessee, as a metaphor it doesn’t make any sense, looking at SF as a criticism of society, science fiction is about analyzing today, Ganymedians are Philip K. Dick unable to finish this book and Ray Nelson is Percy X, an idea in mind, what is authenticity mean, finding authenticity, meaning and work, identity and empathy, what’s this book about?, psychiatry is a big theme, psychiatrists trying to control everything, the only free people in the world are up in the hills, sinister, a heavy scene, he beats a robot to death, another Philip K. Dickism: Abraham Lincoln, Robots are not robots, they’re people, an inability to empathize with others, this is boring, Paul Rivers kills Percy X, the free person is killed by the psychiatrist, not many benevolent psychiatrists, We Can Build You, Vulcan’s Hammer, mental asylum planets, distrustful of psychiatrists, Radio Free Albemuth, A. Lincoln Simulacrum, Philip K. Dick’s bathroom tiles, the Dickheads Podcast talks about Divorcepedia, we’re getting two people’s psychology, in that headspace anymore, not so resentful and angry anymore, it isn’t one person’s idea, amazing scenes, California, Tennessee as a myth symbol, very Confederate, Orange County, the San Francisco Bay Area, a backward part of the country?, mostly set in space, in their plush pleasure palaces, people camping in the woods, a bit of Norway, everybody is speaking Norwegian, seeing the password through their eyes, Dick had his wife institutionalized, in a housefire, an important impact on your life, the commitment scene is just like an interlude, mostly dialogue, I wanna be able to commune with another person for reals, fuck it let’s blow up the planet!, what would be the point, becoming interested in the novelties of American culture, getting rooked, a fake tchotchke, Nelson’s first novel, 1963, the inspiration for They Live (1988), We Can Remember It For You Wholesale, We Can Build You (wholesale), responsible, “Mistakes were made.”, somebody made the decision, a guy who wants to be the king, a funny self-sabotage scene, I should be in charge because I’m a clown, Emperor Norton, President Breslin, The Crack In Space, the TV news clown, Tucker Carlson, game show hosts, anyone can be president if he can be president, make him king anyways, I’m a useless clown, I’m a racist slob vote for me, I’m a simple guy, I’m this intellectual who’s better than you, A Face In The Crowd (1957), a very American story, Arkansas, “I’m so exhausted”, “I’m a sick man”, we’re going to set you up, man, they’re in every part of the novel doing something sinister, yeah I smashed her head in but it doesn’t matter, make you feel horrified, the skinning people was pretty nasty, Blacks are called Bucks, Toms are Uncle Toms (sellouts), its all tuck, how good it would feel to roll around on the pelt, these are weird thoughts, he’s the bad guy (kind of), cartoon horror, we don’t need to take this too seriously, the hotel room is great?, you trying to escape from this place?, Ubik, Richard K. Morgan’s Jimmi Hendrix hotel (Edgar Allan Poe in the TV version), idea filled, a literature of ideas, that may be changing, the ideas in here are not potent, more like a regular genre, when people think science fiction fiction today (what Netflix produces), here’s a premise, Three Body Problem, Allan Quatermain, Eric Brighteyes, Vikings are dumb, Paul says we’re done, Evan’s Philip K. Dick podcasts needs addenda, losing track of everything, The Simulacrum, his 1960s books are really well packed, his 70s and 80s books, not as busy, quickfire character changes, very not modern, modern books are technically better, are they as idea packed?, adventure and revenge, trying to be a Norse story, an author’s voice, he’s the dumb blond doing what the witch tells him to, Allan’s Wife, not a good novel to learn real facts about Zulu people, kinda short, main themes.
The SFFaudio Podcast #655 – Gulliver Of Mars by Edwin Lester Arnold; read by James Christoper. This is an unabridged reading of the novel (6 hours 6 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Paul Weimer, and Maissa Bessada
Talked about on today’s show:
Lieut. Gulliver Jones: His Vacation, Richard Lupoff, this is amazing!, I’m going to change the name, the spelling on Gullivar vs. Gulliver, this modern decadent age, Gulliver’s Travels, more subtle, Lieut. Jones Of Mars, the author is not American, Edwin Lester Arnold, subtitled His Vacation, he’s vacated his premises and he’s nowhere to be found, listened twice, Jesse’s not a re-reader, read and listened, looking at the etext, listening is reading (tho not identical), reading with your fingers, reading with your eyes, reading with your ears, reading aloud, what colour is sorrel, a reddish horse colour, did you have a chance to look at the comics?, Gullivar Jones, Warrior of Mars, horror, westerns, kung-fu comics, Shang-Chi, Iron Fist, the barbarians push, Conan The Barbarian, Savage Sword Of Conan, now is the time when we do barbarians, Thongor, Thundaar, Crom the Barbarian, John Carter, DC/Marvel, Roy Thomas, competition for DC’s Edgar Rice Burroughs, American military officers on Mars saving princesses (or semi-saving princesses), the magic carpet becomes a floating disc, Lupov is a magic wizard, an inside joke, chestnut coloured, a green vegetable, the comic book adaptation, Jesse was lied to, not a rival for A Princess Of Mars, a well meaning bumbling doofus, he bumbles his way across the planet, open to a sequel, sequel possibilities, The Prisoner Of Zenda, John Carter (2012), The Pursuit OF The Pankera by Robert A. Heinlein, The Number Of The Beast, a queen dowager, basically around Barsoom, adventures on Mars for fun, low stakes, influenced Edgar Rice Burroughs, set on Mars, Planet Stories, 1905, 1911, having it set on Mars, Dynamite Comics crossover between Edgar Rice Burroughs and Gulliver Of Mars, the two Marses, the White Apes, the Tharks, the Red People, laying eggs, an alien planet, they seem to have pigs and horses, identical to Earth, disappointing, Earth analogue, She by H. Rider Haggard, the book within the book: The Secrets Of The Gods, first they came to Earth as Isis and Amon, populating these planets, Stargate, Paul fell into Jesse’s trap, how did you like this book, Maissa kinda liked it, a mishmash, Arabian Knights, a magic carpet, adventure to adventure, Alice’s Adventures Under Ground, it didn’t feel science fictiony, similar to Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift, it was ok, it entertained Paul for 6 hours, the mundanity of Mars, a missed opportunity, he doesn’t know about the two moons, a comet that gives off heat and causes a drought, the hurtling moons in the sky, a sword over his head and two moons, super-naked, Mars is hot!, deserty tropical weather, Paul is more wrong and Maissa is wrong too, super-duper interesting, a satire, what is it a satire of?, chapter 2, this is not Mars of Barsoom, much more like H.G. Wells, the boy who he lands on, Ahn, takes him like a cigar and plunks him down on Mars, bounced onto a boy giving a lecture on gravity, they tumble down a hill together, that lecture’s over, they explore the society, she’s a priestess, a slave and a girl, the hither and the thither societies, this guy’s a doofus, weird situations, what is Jesse missing, how many flowers show up in the story, convolvulus (bindweed), his very antipode, Princess Heru, pulling a blue convolvulus bud to pieces, the language of flowers, most flowers have other names, the colours of flowers, marriage bonds, a golden pool and a silver fish, a scene as good as any in A Princess Of Mars, which implies delight to these people, he’s just a dumb strong American, fairly honest and very hungry, the drawer, these peace soaked triflers, slowly pulling a convolvulus bud to pieces, what things look like, to see the decadent ruined empire that is the hither people, endless food and no need to work, taking tribute, the story of Athens and Crete and the Minotaur, the Theseus story, a railroad kind of role playing game, find the key to unlock the door, an azure convolvulus flower, some barbarous and barren district (the United States), growing their boats, a repeated theme, the gentle damsel, damsel flies, pallid flowers, blazing like a bonfire, the heiress was swept aside, dragging Heru with them, her milk white arms, her face as lovely as a convolvulus flower, all was piece hear, the sky a lovely lavender, heavy scented convolvulus flowers, a skiff with a half dozen rowers, unconscious loveliness, tiny little detailed threads, he’s making fun of something, its definitely making fun of or engaging with The Time Machines, the Eloks and the Morloi (Eloi and Morlocks), Paul has read The Time Machine, Stephen Baxter’s authorized sequel, the official manga version of Anne Of Green Gables, she’s huge in Japan, normal time travel stories, most are to the past, the very first place he goes to is a future England the workers of the UK have turned into the Morlocks, mechanism vs. poetry, their entire world is a garden they don’t know how to take care of, the Morlocks tend them like sheep, the underclass now physically eat the upper class, those who went to university and studied poetry and their brains grew smaller, making dynamos and fixing trains, the slaves and the regular people, the slaves have no slave-masters, the priestesses of immaculate conception of humanity, the guardians of the great hopes and longings, triflers, dominoes coming down, evolution going backwards, their society became slothful, popular at the turn of the 20th century, the United States is Gulliver Jones, he’s a sailor, the water, he has to chase him down and wrestling him to the ground, he learned wrestling from the Chinese, he pulls out his sword and plants it in the ground and claims it for the United States, John Carter is not satire, going in the wrong direction thinking its an allegory for something, told from the point of view of a Brit, this up and comer, an ancient society with castles and palaces and tonnes of resources, they don’t have money, the marriage ceremony was fascinating as an idea, the hither people know money exists, the Canadian health care, wait in line for 3-4 5-6 hours, we are aware that things cost money but it doesn’t hurt us in the same way, see this as a non-currency society, plagued for endless ads for drugs, its insane in the United States, they have an economy they have to worry about, a terrible useless king has to give tribute to the thither people, the hairy barbarians, one female, we’re going to beat you about the head, Gulliver spends the majority of the story in barbarian lands, he meets a woodcutter who wants to fight him, they keep thinking he’s a ghost, we’re missing something huge going on in this book, a graduate thesis that would pay off in incredible dividends, a lot of girls, I have to ask you a personal question: be you a dude or be you not a dude?, nice to meet you, he loses everybody, a lady on an island, she’s cooking food in a pot, he drinks the entire stew, he at her fish, where they’re growing boats, imagine you’re a hunter gatherer in South America and plucked you into 1840s UK, wow, I’m a fish out of water, these gourd plants to make some navies, he’s a dumb sailor, what the implications, food grow without weeds, boats decanted from moulds, they’re all my boat, rideshares in the Netherlands, he’s trying to pay for everything with his buttons, it could be gold, the most interesting thing that happened to me, another guy just like me from the blue planet, he can barely get two words out a week and he’s all wispy, super-rich, almost none of it is science ficiton, picaresque bildungsroman, Jack Vance, Planet Of Adventure, suppressed by all others, one of the similarities, the palace library, a book being used as a mousetrap, given the gift of speech, he doesn’t have the gift of reading, all really awesome, straight out of the Bible, so boring, the breakfast gong sounds, let’s read more, key to understanding what reality is vs. breakfast, abusing an ancient tome, a baby or a puppy with a Gutenberg bible, heir to an ancient empire, the yellow dressed slaves, a brass bikini and yellow skin, not a good fit with Barsoom and John Carter, a satire like Gulliver’s Travels, the description of the carpet, the veil that separates the known from the unknown was rent, reviews behind paywalls, Evert Bleiler, Science Fiction The Early Years, 1990, science fantasy, interplanetary romance, a sea-dog, Polly Brown, a stange old man, a carpet with a sense of hummour, a simulacrum of a star map, a Schiaparellian Mars, telepathy, my teacher said the same thing, a romance with the Princess Heru, rigs the drawing, engaged for a year, King Hath, the tributary arrangement with the woodmen, the most beautiful woman with the court, the city of Seth, too drunk, the meat of the book, various perils, entombed in ice, he loots her remains too, he’s a bad guy, pretending to be a spirit, two tasks, his previous grave-robbing, Jones’ lust sated, taken by the slaves, the magic carpet transports him back to New York, promoted, off on a colossal bender, deflecting javelins by the power of will, Egypt, a trivial worked, badly planned, badly written, not proven, The Encyclopedia Of Fantasy, 1997, the common influence of Haggard’s She, not really trying, he tries, playful, philosophical devices as props, restlessness dissatisfaction, rein, The Wonderful Adventures Of Phra The Phoenician, an unsuccessful farmer in Canada, a TV show adaptation, trivial, badly planned, badly written, the land of the dead, he keeps encountering females, he sees a princess on a raft, she falls on him, she’s dead, attacked by corpses, frozen people, a glacier of dead people, the baubles that come off the fingers, his rooming house, his land lady, steak and red tomatoes the colour of sunset, he eats a lot, missing buttons, his pants slid down a mountainside, I’ve been promoted, a good candidate, write the story don’t focus too much on the girl, a number of meta-peices, this book would not be in your hands picked up from a Broadway bookstall, worthy of another read, a map of the planet, conflating trivial vs. fun, its not Moby-Dick, Gulliver’s Travels is fun and not trivial, the marriage stuff, I don’t mind reading about Mary Sue characters, Mary Sutopias, other ideas on how to live, feudalism,
I am less bothered by Mary Sue characters than I am by stories set in Marysutopia. A lot of classic SF suffers from that. Authors created societies in which their own personal preferences became the social norms.
Heinlein’s like maybe we could have weird kinds of marriage, how weird it would be to have marriage shuffled like that every year, post-apocalyptic, memory wiped every four years, an idea book, the gourd boat seeds, he got a tour, I picked up the seeds that the lady showed me, he keeps looking in his pockets, his belt pouch, finds the tailors’ bills, the pips of an orange that Polly had thrown at him, a hopeless romantic, how’s the economy work?, how do family and raising kids work, look young until they grow old and suddenly die, mentally a child, super-powers, it has got to be satire, deeper than most seem to want to credit as middling adventure romp, another whole book, trying to turn it into, with a six-shooter, he has a sword but he doesn’t hit people with it much, Jack Burton in Big Trouble In Little China (1986), one of the best movies ever made, orientalist, Kurt Russell, he thinks he’s the hero, the movie acts like he’s the hero but he’s the comic sidekick, David Lo Pan, misunderstanding what the movie is doing, he arrives on a magic carpet, who was the guy?, the carpet and the locket, it went nowhere, it went into his pocket, he could have another adventure, Gulliver on Venus, Gulliver on Ganymede, bumble through more things, why you have to read Gulliver’s Travels, shownoting something from 6 months ago, the horse people, Planet Of The Apes, all he wants to do is spend time taking care of his horse, watching the horrible things happening on the news, you can really rely on your garden, utter contempt for humans, admiring the horses so much, the GULLIVER’S TRAVELS miniseries (1996), Silverlock by John Myers Myers, a ken doll for rich lady giants, placed between their breasts, savage takedown, how did this get on the schedule?, too much of a lead time?, even if Paul listened 6 months later, they’re already on they’re next writing, let me tell you about the book I’m reading now, what we were thinking 6 months ago, laughing or crying at jokes, what things were like 6 months ago, what things were like in 1905, oh professors of later day, so much per unit, an audiobook for this bike journey, back to electric cars, he tries to pay her for the inflation, a babelfish equivalent, huge mistake, everybody had clothing on (fucking stupid), number 1 mistkae: Dejah Thoris had clothes on, Disney Princesses, clothes for the ken doll of John Carter and Dejah Thoris, when he goes swimming he takes off his uniform, he’s drowning!, even ghosts want to kill themselves, a huge meal of elk, deer, and something very much like salmon, I had to go save a princess on another planet with a magic carpet, telepathy and simplicity, Sola is a slave like Ahn is a slave, minor mind powers, the warring groups, the books are so different, apples and potatoes, Creatures On The Loose, he’s a Vietnam vet!, a former marine instead of a sailor, a snarky attitude, he actually says he was a soldier prior to being a sailor, up for promotion, his folly, a terrible mission, maybe more important than we know, audio of Phra The Phoenician?, yay! suspended animation!