The SFFaudio Podcast #640 – READALONG: Wang’s Carpets by Greg Egan

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #640 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, and Scott Danielson talk about Wang’s Carpets by Greg Egan

Talked about on today’s show:
Greg Bear, its been a while, a story about scientists doing science in a science fiction story, really pleasant, a lot of philosophy and a lot of scientific ideas, establishes themes, distilled, some real questions about the world, many worlds to conquer, sense of wonder, fractals, not conquer, contact is conqueror, very Prime Directivey, a Sterling thing, the Shaper Mechanist stories, biological and technological, parallel lives, they’ve mastered biology, they’re digital, baseline humans, 96 percent of me died, I’m going to mourn that for a while, Borderlands, digistructs, Star Trek, stuck in the buffer, technically this story is really good, not writing problems, digital vs. biological, the CZ folks, there was a reality, not a solipsistic universe, All You Zombies by Robert A. Heinlein, why Scott is worried (what Scott understood), biological copies, they’re not in a simulation, when they arrive at Vega, another level, one of the reviews, a little bit of Borges, how Set Theory interacts with philosophy, an infinity of numbers, this thing could go on for a while, a bigger infinite set, once you set down this path, interesting to think about what’s going on, rather repulsive, a few shows ago, In The Clutch Of The War God went to Aurora by Kim Stanley Robinson, the post-human aspect, going post-human, changing your eye stalks, your dad’s third copy of your cousin, sound and fury signifying nothing, the act of looking at mp3 files is copying them, I don’t download I only stream, any actions within a computer are copying actions, going to visit a website is downloading it, big sheets of sugar, it turns out its not alive, turns out its not alive, in the interstices, what’s so interesting about this, kind of like Exhalation by Ted Chiang, these things are going on without us, hard fantasy, its much more like Flatland by Edwin A. Abbott, learning the rules of a game, why is he telling me about the emotional relationships between these characters, they don’t have belt pouches and breakfasts, they don’t care whether it is raining, following robots, these are not a metaphor, any sense why Jesse would have a reaction, the message is sad, the people at home are living in VR worlds, step one set back and we’re looking at a short story, yeah within the story it all makes sense, within the story, the story is meta-questioning, somewhere deep in the center, why the search for life is necessary, suicide and emigration, people are excited to hear about life, if this goes on…, the carpets seem to have their own thing going on, exactly like your world, its incestuous, Wang tiles can’t be mirrored, very depressing, here’s the problem, here’s the solution, the problem is present again, escape solipsism with reality exploration, they’re playing proceduraly generated Minecraft, like LEGO, clunky cubic architecture, making calculators and computers that run programs inside of Minecraft, the logic chain, Redstone circuits, and or gates, Neal Stephenson’s The Diamond Age, like the data tape of a Turing machine, if someone had recorded all of our button presses…, control systems, a series of button presses, home computer programming, BYTE Magazine, Ti 99/4A, most people are not going to have access to this story, The Hard SF Renaissance, Mainly Books And Reading Blog, they have their own private language, a thinking machine, its a person, very distanced from the characters, some of them look like butterflies, post-human stuff, a mirror to the world that they’re exploring, the character of Orpheus, there’s no head involved, Cyberpunk 2077, one of the things you can do in the game is you can modify your character, super-customize your character, purple skin and eight fingers per hand, robot legs, eventually you’re just a thing that was a robot, these are not the bodies of the people back on Earth, the thoughts or the Turings of the people, they have votes, nobody would every consider cheating here, the guy who used to be his own son, it is all about the head, ultimately this is a math story, distinct realms, using math to measure reality, digital vs. analog, digital people living in a digital world, stored in pattern buffers, Carter Zimmerman, exploring the physical world vs. we’ve got aliens, so meta and so Borges, a very interesting crystal fractal thing, alienating, reading about others, there’s so much character work, consciousness downloading, Robert J. Sawyer, Four Lords Of The Diamond by Jack L. Chalker, Call Me Joe by Poul Anderson, Hyperion by Dan Simmons, death is not an issue and the biggest issue that ever could be, suicide, immortality, no more copies, downloading memories, a linear existence, explored, tossed-around, really dense, a lot happening, read and listened simultaneously, a different skill, words that give you trouble, spelling, the philosophical exploration, ideas for life, back to Borges, The Library Of Babel, indefinite, infinite, standing room for sleeping, I prefer to dream, a world (not our world), what are in the books, how the world looks, the world consist of rooms, hexagonal, there is not outside world, it could be a giant circle, it could be a carpet, on that water world, some beaches somewhere, the toxic UV, out of contact with the reality of the sun, Plato’s cave creatures, no sense data, social information, a model of the internet, we could hook up webcams, so full, the naming of the planet (Orpheus), he’s despairing, that’s depressing, not a character story, a bit of nostalgia for Paul, all Paul wanted out of science fiction, characters could go hang, their world is presented clinically, they’re there, we’re distanced – like we’re scientists examining them, legitimate emotions, as much as Jesse’s emotions are legitimate, there’s no difference between actual people and fictional people?, an anthropocentric universe, the young earth creationists, The Star by Arthur C. Clarke, these are the worries, the Fermi paradox, subspace chatter, why aren’t the Cardassians yelling at the Klingons, are we the first?, the only?, that’s what they’re saying, mocking, a cause for happiness, hey they discovered life on Mars again!, because there’s some methane, every fifty light years there’s a plankton sheet, fifty light years on there are ones with eyes, fifty light years beyond that there are ones with brains who worry about being alone, their hope, a twofer, a good old fashioned excuse to point to an article of November 1965 issue of Scientific American, Border Guards, David G. Hartwell, the lit crit pov, science as a symbolic construct of language, that’s part of it, are you gonna live you life playing computer games or live a real life, digital clothes for your avatar, the post-human people, the trans-human people, dump these bodies, we’re going to be digital, buy the books, the hard reality is they’re stuck in a meatbody, Kiln People by David Brin, its a metaphor for books, just shoot annoyed clones, typical Brin, I wanna play Minecraft, I left a me in the fridge, Transmetropolitan, robot slaves, you’ve got to have a plot, Raymond Kurzweil, cryonics, I can become younger, self-improvement, augmentation, nano-robot stuff, we do this, cataracts, what you’re claiming to think is consciousness, Evan Lampe, current Klingons aren’t interested in developing science, Klingons are post-human larpers, new fashion, what’s the difference between that and culture, the people who wanna be foxes, furries, unrealistic hope, you’re an ape that can swim and put on clothes and light fireplaces and collect rings, you’re not a bird, you’re not a fish, you’re definitely not going into a chrysalis and coming out a butterfly, 20 spots left in my harem, the more x chromosomes the better, if you have the fallopian tubes, we’re biological, we can’t fully transform from that, Jesse Simulator 1.2, a mistake like warp drive, that’s just gravity assist, Pandora’s Star by Peter F. Hamilton, I liked Sliders too, the farcasters in Hyperion, every room on a different planet, which planet does he choose to poop on, how many classes do we have in this story, everybody is equal except how many generation you are, suicide of emigration, what those carpets are doing, that we know of, they don’t have eyes, we come with assumptions, everything that looks at stuff have eyes, trees can detect light, designed to be depressing, these are not supposed to be humans, would you be cool with being a clone?, your clone uncle is now a butterfly, they have Wikipedia, post-scarcity, trans-humanist space journey, you can drink digital root beer and take digital photographs, another rant, AI software used in photos, HDR, slices of the reality that was there, the mark 1 eyeball, cheating, that lady who restored the painting of Jesus to look like a capuchin monkey, this is what Jesus looked like maybe, Paul’s philosophy of photography, that’s not really what you saw, the bad driving out the good, a weird overlay of reality, a watermark, a fascinating discussion, similar arguments in sports, a valid sports participant, a list of things you can’t do, using technology to enhance a performance, SPVIZ runtime, you never could, the Iwo Jima flag raising, manual photograph, choosing where to put and place the camera, it has always been the case you can’t trust the narrative, media literacy, common sense, The Invention Of Lying (2009), its a stage of human development, if I make a scary noise mom thinks I’m in pain, not everything is real, they can edit their personalities, change their dispositions in radical ways, a totalitarian state, I seem to remember that not being the case, so spotty, so useful, have the focused changed, the narrative, so meta, all those sets, if not deliberately, the story itself as part of the story, levels of a story, wholly artificial, a construction that’s interesting to look at, the appeal of sodoku, a logic exercise, a program that will do it in real time, kind of like dominoes, one sided tiles, good story, depressing story, in the Aurora sort of way, maybe that’s why there’s no photo of him, he might be a butterfly, the fundamental constants changed, the Clockwork Rocket series, what if light bends differently, the Greg Egan way.

Posted by Jesse WillisBecome a Patron!

Reading, Short And Deep #285 – Patch by William Shedenhelm

Podcast

Reading, Short And DeepReading, Short And Deep #285

Eric S. Rabkin and Jesse Willis discuss Patch by William Shedenhelm

Here’s a link to a PDF of the story.

Patch was first published in Planet Stories, Fall 1950.

Podcast feed https://sffaudio.herokuapp.com/rsd/rss

Posted by Scott D. Danielson Become a Patron!

Reading, Short And Deep #247 – Into Space by S.P. Meek

Podcast

Reading, Short And DeepReading, Short And Deep #247

Eric S. Rabkin and Jesse Willis discuss Into Space by S.P. Meek

Here’s a link to a PDF of the story.

Into Space was first published in Astounding, February 1930.

Podcast feed https://sffaudio.herokuapp.com/rsd/rss

Posted by Scott D. Danielson Become a Patron!

The SFFaudio Podcast #592 – AUDIOBOOK: Omnilingual by H. Beam Piper

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #592 – Omnilingual by H. Beam Piper, read by Trish E. Matson

This UNABRIDGED AUDIOBOOK (1 hours 47 minutes) comes to us courtesy of LibriVox.org! Omnilingual was first published in Astounding, February 1957.

The next SFFaudio Podcast will feature our discussion of it!

Astounding, February 1957

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The SFFaudio Podcast #562 – READALONG: The Green Odyssey by Philip José Farmer

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #562 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, Maissa Bessada, Terence Blake, and Will Emmons talk about The Green Odyssey by Philip José Farmer

Talked about on today’s show:
1957, his first novel, LibriVox.org, Mark Douglas Nelson, Will has reviewed it on Goodreads, the universe is incredibly small (only for people who read books), there are 700 of us on the planet, the intense bookish community, shells, fewer mediums of entertainment, doing other things, more people are doing more sorts of things, as an avid lifelong reader, age vs. distracted, thank you for this podcast, on a scale, producing creative work, #notallkids, going through a consuming phase, use it later on, Stephen King, voraciously, writers in general, responsible for less, a low executive function period, at the grocery store or the news agent, the equivalent of television, designed to be read in a day, 1.7 times speed, deliberate choices, there are so many more ways of spending your free hours, video games, computer games, binging streaming, artificially inflated, newspapers, The Black Cat, some people on the internet disagree, the first Jack London story, the Edgar Allan Poe story, money for story tellers, $1,000 for a love story, writing up a storm, quit being a fish-policeman, one of the richest writers of all time, $31,000 today, a demand for writers, $7,000 a year, Cirsova Magazine, cents per words, my student’s story [sold for $6], Jesse help, Farmer read a lot of stuff, other people’s reviews, the people who don’t like it, how big and rich the world building is, a short and fluffy story, intense world-building, swashbuckling thing, obsessed with a number of topics, cultural differences, linguistics, etymology, how they relate, backstory and pre-history, Jesse’s review from 2006, created on a dare, Galactic Pot-Healer by Philip K. Dick, Grover Gardner, a sea of grass on an endless plain, Douglas Niles, a genius man, enslaved and humbled, a lusty but fickle duchess, two demons, his adopted family wants to go with, vintage Poul Anderson, The High Crusade, reverse anticipation, the perfect length for SF, Robert E. Howard and Edgar Rice Burroughs, addictively listenable, how good a narrator Mark is, he was going places, nothing good happened to him, the elephant in the room, misogyny, Alan Green’s wife, Amra = Conan, Queen Of The Black Coast, a reversal, if Alan became Alanah, obsessed with sex, different from Heinlein, cool vs. leery, you don’t want to be his cousin is really attractive, a royal gigolo, nothing titillating, unwashed and covered in perfume, the problems of same (in Nepal), Kathmandu showers are bliss, paired with a rando wife, sexy nagging, a strong personality, as the token woman, the whole henpecking thing, with such fun, holding a grudge, the whole henpecked husband act, he’s not a good person, he’s going to abandon his family, he’s not a good person (to start with), he has to be henpecked into it?, a trope in Farmer’s novels, more suspicious, a recurring figure of a nagging wife, a powerful female figure who is basically selfish and evil, Farmer fandom, fans who knew Phil and knew his wife Betty, Phil’s resentment of having to work, something uncomfortable about it, the morally upstanding figure, trying to reform him, she’s going to rule the Grass Sea when he’s gone, almost a reversal, how many children does Conan has?, Conan is a playa, very nubile, its his name or both, Homer (obviously), funny scenes, Odysseus is trapped on an island with a goddess who wont let him go, Calypso, trap the man, the Our Opinions Are Correct podcast, the myth of rugged individualist in science fiction, Clint Eastwood in a Spaghetti Western, Sanjuro and Yojimbo, the Heinleinian competent, examples, Strange Eden by Philip K. Dick, no goddess of wisdom to give him advice, your Phil my Phil, 5 wives and extra girlfriends, authors projecting their own reality into their writing, Brent is a braggart, turns him into an animal, engaging with the idea of individualism, it takes a village to get off a planet, every male fantasy, not only does he get to have sex with a duchess…, the dog hates him, we never see Conan in his own home, wandering the world and conquering it, that whole aesthetic, Edgar Rice Burroughs’ John Carter, it’s a planetary romance (not a science fiction novel), a hard SF explanation, Paul’s geology brain, that’s brilliant!, it’s like Atlanta (it’s a hub), loved revelations, To Your Scattered Bodies Go, Farmer’s “World of Tiers” books, Jack Vance’s Planet Of Adventure, getting ready for book 2, he put so much into the world, there’s a book here that didn’t get written, so many questions left unanswered is a feature, Star Wars is meatgrinding, milking the cow dry, prequels are a bad thing, sequels are a bad thing, Young Indiana Jones, She And Allan is a prequel, the 1980 Flash Gordon Cartoon, the plot of She on Mongo, Rocket Robin Hood, Indiana, a grass sea from Ohio to Nebraska, rolling ships, a fantasy world, a regular sea, the tower of the grass cats, the housecat is named Lady Luck, autobiographical, Philip K. Dick’s cats, this sort of writer, a strange reality, the thing that makes you enjoy it so much, Burroughs fanzines, 1912, the most interesting pulp you’ll ever see, John Carter is a really good movie, you’d be foolish NOT to do it as a show, endless stuff to work with, Carter Of Venus, he’s built up a whole world, the TV and the games, take our time, playing music, games and games and games, massive decline (of movies in theaters), the percentage of the population, there’s too many books to read, that shame is hard to get over, the culture that some readers have, we’re the elite because we read books, the elite class buy books but not to read, the nouveau riche, like a super-genius like those of old, they think gibbon is a monkey, coming to France was good because there’s less production, reading philosophy in French, science fiction in English, little domains, a supplementary force is needed to make you read today (podcasts and blogs), I didn’t want to ever reuse a metaphor, a food metaphor, a tasty novel, what a hack (and he’s not even being paid), how much would you need to be paid to write a review on Audible?, people want to be read, a terrible financial situation, how you ruin a good blog, not caring about its legacy, let’s dump all pretense because we can ride on our reputation, pump and dump, the ‘audiobooks aren’t reading’ snobs, I wonder if anybody’s ever thought this before?, did you ever consider that blind people are not able to read with their eyes, they read with their fucking fingers you idiot, you read with your brain, the demand for people to read your stuff, people who write books want to be writers, wow!, he didn’t bother, it has some sort of timeless value, only read from the golden era, Jason Sanford, a list, Ted Chiang, a category error for all of story telling, you can’t understand the present storytelling without understand the earlier storytelling, A Princess Of Mars, a genre conversation, a straw man, a certain couple of science fiction authors, the whole puppies and the neo-pulp, attention vs. cogent argument, fifty years out of date, wider and more diverse than just the pulp of the 40s and 50s, obsessed with the idea of the public domain, dream about Neil Gaiman, I’ve read several books from this century, so many books from 1920 Jesse hasn’t read, we wont know what’s good from 2020, Paul’s job is to help future Jesses, we thank you for your service, Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick, “your life sucks, man”, Mike Nowak, Hi Mike!, is Mike reading modern stuff?, he likes the golden age stuff, the New Wave, bridges, an anti-John Carter, playing against the tropes, kinda jagged, Edgar Allan Poe’s only novel, I think he just ate the dog, the ending, Virgil’s The Aeneid, all the surviving Trojans, Dido is in Carthage, the final stanzas, a broken truce, Aeneas’ savage nature, the brutal master mentality of the Romans is from this, the meter’s not right, because its so horrible, the core epic of the Romans, essential to understanding the Romans, René Girard, we turn their vice into our virtue, Jesus as a prince of peace, I’m all about the peace hippie stuff, because of the previous story, you’d be well advised to have read A Princess Of Mars, superpowers (healing ability), John Carter doesn’t know how old he is, the Wold-Newton theory, The Wonderful Adventures Of Phra The Phœnician by Edwin Lester Arnold, Gulliver Of Mars, but he did it better, my dreck is better, “Good afternoon.”, a room full of tharks, Mockingbird by Walter Tevis, Maissa has blocked City Of Endless Night by Milo Hasting, people can listen to that podcast…, a bunch of other stuff, marooned on a gravitational island, Disney+, a traditional hero, an analogy with the plains Indians, Schiaparelli, the freighter had unaccountably blown up, mens rea vs. in media res, he’s been there two years, there’s lots of stuff, he took Penelope with him, you really need to read the Odyssey, and the Iliad, and the Aeneid, readers have a responsibility to read wisely, its so good, its Shakespeare with a sense of humour way out in the open, Star Trek II re-imagined trailer, Genesis by God, they needed more lens flare, diminishing the original by existing, rich with a great ending, Hamlet in the original Klingon, The Wind Whales of Ishmael, The Other Log Of Phileas Fogg, a retelling, an interstitial novel, we need more Farmer audiobooks, Dark Is The Sun, the houseboat on the River Styx to nowhere, box office, sloosh, many times over post-apocalyptic landscape, quirky and fun but forgettable, Marissa, powerful and interesting, that’s weird, researching what I should read, connecting with what you want at that time, Y: The Last Man by Brian K. Vaughn, who is this Hitchcock guy?, choose your own adventure books, You Are a Shark (Choose Your Own Adventure, #45), maybe this has something to do with it, Watchmen, Alan Moore, the HBO show, recreating that exact scene, the symmetry thing, circles, Nite Owl’s Owlmobile, read the fuck out of everything, why V For Vendetta works so well, 1984 + Guy Fawkes + Superheroes + individual responsibilities, a lesser Philip Jose Farmer imitator, hard work, does he deserve all that hard work, the origin of Tar Baby in The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Evan listened to Jerusalem twice, you can choose to get married or you can read Alan Moore’s Jerusalem, they’re miners, he didn’t go far enough, Mark Twain, critique of religion, I love you anyway, I’ll go to hell but I better do it anyway, obsession with Conan Doyle, Jesse’s brief understanding of Conan Doyle mania, a really fun and entertaining book, he doesn’t go far enough, Alan Moore + Philip K. Dick mashed together, A.E. van Vogt, The Odyssey + his own life + WWII, what is really important here?, Northumbria? [Northampton], thinks and thinks, the roots of these characters, look at the realpolitik, this superpower available, what would the government actually do?, we all know its bullshit, a fantasyworld, Batman is the government, fundamentally not connected, the X-Men, the relationship between the government’s relationship and the people’s relationship, Brotherhood Of Evil Mutants, Garth Ennis, these days?, researching the fiction vs. researching the reality, Allan Quatermain, H. Rider Haggard, fart jokes for the rich people and high poetry for the poor, too deep for Terence, too many philosophical implications, appendix replaced with a parasite, inspirational for Larry Niven’s Ringworld?, and Protector too, this whole unexplored mythology, civilization and seeding, pre-history, spiritual sequels, The Ringworld Engineers, H. Beam Piper’s Ominlingual, Little Fuzzy, Kelvin Of Otherwhen, Space Viking, a complement, foist, a cult classic, what happened to Seth?, a furry fandom book, Project Gutenberg, a lens through which, what we mean by the word sapience, right minded human benevolence, a philosophical examination on the subject of sapience, transparent plainspoken prose, John Scalzi’s Fuzzy Nation, reboot old obscure books.

The Green Odyssey by Philip Jose Farmer

Posted by Jesse Willis

Reading, Short And Deep #187 – Eternity Orbit by Francis Leslie Ashton

Podcast

Reading, Short And DeepReading, Short And Deep #187

Eric S. Rabkin and Jesse Willis discuss Eternity Orbit by Francis Leslie Ashton

Here’s a link to a PDF of the story.

Eternity Orbit was first published in Super Science Stories, January 1951.

Podcast feed https://sffaudio.herokuapp.com/rsd/rss

Posted by Scott D. Danielson