Reading, Short And Deep #398
Eric S. Rabkin and Jesse Willis discuss Cat Killers by Donald E. Westlake
Here’s a link to a PDF of the story.
Cat Killer was published in Shock—The Magazine of Terrifying Tales, September 1960
The SFFaudio Podcast #746 – Shadows In Zamboula by Robert E. Howard – read by Mark Nelson for LibriVox. This is a complete and unabridged reading of the story (1 hour, 26 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants include Jesse, Paul Weimer, Connor Kaye, Alex, and Cora Buhlert
Talked about on today’s show:
Weird Tales, November 1935, The Man-Eaters Of Zamboula, a better title?, conforms to the Weird Tales title aesthetic, the problem, a second meaning, shadows is nebulous, cannibals, all in one night, just before dusk, the evening, a little sleep, a naked lady, a little adventure, buys a horse, leaves town, the magic ring, a roomful of gold, it makes a person irresistible to the opposite sex, lesbians are acknowledged, a gay subtext in one scene, the strangulation, Baal-Ptor, any temple wench, devil dick, the Hannuman temple, a penis, a strangle-off, his boss calls him that, that’s pretty gay, a great scene, I started with babies, and he dies, pro-cannibal, who is put in what position and why, Mark Nelson, Aram Baksh, Ralph Bakshi?, a lot of mistakes in various people’s analysis, he’s not bearded in Savage Sword, the Ablaze, he’s a bum, they’re companions, Bedouin, a middle eastern , they’re on a team, stole a horse from the satrap, don’t stay there, hookah bar, gambling den, the sword maker’s bazaar, yelp reviews, unchronicled adventures, random desert tribes, the kind of thing he tends to do, Doctor Who, for plot purposes, what city it was supposed to be, Constantinople, the western edge of Turan, Mosul, Palmyra, the comic version, Conan recognized her from the start, assumptions, 2nd to last Conan stories, he knows what’s up, full of things that should trigger people and alleviate those things, supple warriors, hawk-faces, the lords of Zamboula, ancient glories, over reading much, glowering about ancient glories, flaunting their myriad colours, loving, towers and minarets, an infodump we need to be surprised lady, judging, smote is a negative, they’ll think he’s a wizard and eat Paul, delighted as all heck, but it might stink, open sewers, third world places, Kathmandu and Nepal, loud, the Ottoman Empire, multiculturalism, hybrids and mongrels, Cross Plains, Texas, modern day Lebanon, influenced the crusader stories, cities are described negatively, civilization is corrupt, what’s cool about this story, everybody’s got their angle, subsidize sales by selling the stuff of his guests, Robert Bloch, an H.H. Holmes story, Solomon Kane, A Rattle Of Bones, The Inn In The Spessart aka The Spessart Inn by Wilhelm Hauff, join our gang or we’ll kill you, film adaptation, how they got put into that position, meat as part of their religion, let out at night like cats, steal from their masters, as they should, our heroine, they’re too valuable, they’re our property, Zamboula is dependent on their slaves, let them eat travelers and street people, Nefertari, secure her position, what happened and her story, she makes it up on the spot, the Ablaze adaptation, literally naked, her hair is covering stuff, a standard trope, the R-rated, a loin cloth, we never see a nipple, important to understand, of course we want titillation, her clothes would giver her away, silken robe, a slave who’s mute, she’s just lied to that guy, you can trust him he’s not a man-eater, Aram Baksh gets his tongue cut off, don’t eat me!, the moral, the better put together this story is, a murder mystery, set piece scenes, a conan pastiche person, The Curse Of The Monolith just rips off that hole idea, magnetic table, the Virgin Conan The Barbarian computer game, a worldwide phone company, a DOS game, a bridal sword, live out the fantasy, Virgin Bride, a bug, what we see in the Conan movie, what’s in the comics, somebody did some research, you’d lose your sword, slip that ring off the finger, he doesn’t tell us until the end, very well put together, looking for something, Conan has already stolen it, worldbuilding and setting, oh yeah that’s right, back to Paul in a flash, an article, Charles R. Saunders, quibbles, all of Sword And Sorcery, as a black person, fascinated by Africa, boxing fans, a bad website, Howard vs. Lovecraft and Clark Asthon Smith, Black Gate, Bob Byrne, Steven H. Silver, why Man Eaters Of Zamboula is the best of all time, the most quintessential, is that defensible?, the most Conan of the Conan stories, best ever written, best story of all time, compelling points here and there, part of a contest they’re having, when you’re arguing for something like that, worse stories by Robert E. Howard, worried about getting this one, a terrific story, Vale Of Lost Women, with some issues, a higher high within it, this isn’t even close, Red Nails, Queen Of The Black Coast, what happens, become more refined, word choices, a mighty theme, the theme in here is strong, what you need to do in life is be the smartest man in the room and have strong hands, offering sex, this story undercuts our expectations and goes away with a bag of cash, getting tired of writing Conan, an amazing finish, really interesting thesis in the center, laser beams, magnets, electrical magnets, the magic in here, science, superscience, radium gems, the priest is all gadgets, toned down, science or magic, cannibal slaves, the colours are more muted than other Conan stories, the setting, he gambled it away, he knew what he was doing, brawn, smarts and skill, a complete Conan, a stupid brute, play dumb, subvert your expectations, fresh to civilization, a Conan who’s seen some things, wily Conan, miles under his belt, confident enough in himself, professional strangler, an intense scene, Conan the conartist, The Jewels Of Gwahlur, Pelishtim, the mercenaries that guard the city, Nefertari, Nefartinti, Stygian, worships Set, the monkey god, on the cover of Savage Sword, clothes on and blonde, the scary monkey god, his representative, his boss,lusting after our girl, Yog, the Darfari slave god, Crom, Erlik, competing ideologies, some to swear with, strong demands, promote human happiness, sacrifices, go to the casino and lose all your cash, every man the strengths of his hands, a god for atheists, cosmicism without reference to the cosmic, prayer doesn’t make any sense, what would Evan say?, what the slaves are thinking, it fuckin sucks to be a slave but we get to have a religion, foreign bastards who are enslaving us, I’m the guy who sells you bodies to eat, they want to revolt, leave the citizens away, their shields on their back, the most powerful woman in the city, Hanuman’s temple, the heart of the story, marble walls, there’s no gate, each building has its own wall, horns, an Agatha Christie sort of scene, barbarian senses, a high perception tense, the reason he has such good hand sensing is because he’s a meat-eater, not a human meat eater, to get revenge, a man-eater too, a secret door, a giant hand, little maze, our guy sitting on a divan, back and forth allusions, The Odyssey, the guest host relationship, a really big theme, a bad relationship with the guest or the host, when they get broken bad things happen, the host comes home, Circe’s island, turn my men not into pigs, a reinforcement of this value system, how to be in a person’s space, that’s what we have here, taken by many different owners, a rival, this door is barred from the inside, climb over the wall, that pit, the slaves can leave the city, they can’t leave, they’ll die, imagine this: and we do, sexual stuff, dragon fight, stuck in somebody else’s feud, more adventures, a central core, he’s really saying something here, who else can do that with this material?, role playing things, Stygian origins, Turan, nightstalking Darfari cannibals, covetously eyes, intrigue and adventure, compared to Shadizar the Wicked, a spider god at the center of it, John Milius stole from every story, he stole from the best, Set’s temple, springing up in all the cities nearby, a power struggle, I salute you, I got a job for you, go get my daughter, snake vs. elephant, sneak into the temple, the satrap is going to be happy, rage induced coma, captain of the guard, its a job, she dosed him, she’s bad, everybody here is bad, a woman naked in the city, slightly deceiving, I’m sorry I lied to you, Conan doesn’t react, Conan doesn’t ever lie, not being chivalrous, nobody has any honour, he saves her from the cannibals, they were stealing her, if they ate the mistress, supplant the satrap, ruled by his mistress, went wild and tore her clothes off, street bum prophesying doom, his hand on Conan’s arm, speaking to him as a brother, a mini-version of the whole piece, his instinct for story is better than almost anybody, writing for a particular market, the chapters and the headings and the nude scene, the scenes that he has to have, the girl threatened by a magician, a similar scene, this ancient mummy, People Of The Black Circle, pretending to be a statue, clothes swap, a whipping scene or something, if he doesn’t get the cover he doesn’t get the bonus, magic, not in The Hour Of The Dragon, all the cities have wizards, John Dee scrying on his mirror, they fucked up, resurrection is a bad plan, that’s how Christianity started, self-ressurection, Jewel Of Seven Stars by Bram Stoker, a pretty damn good story, the Ablaze adaptation, naked the whole story, the art, black god, wonderfully portrayed, undialogued pages, Æon Flux, she looked off the whole book, to actually depict it, naked as the day she was born, a person naked in an unwalled city, at the end, she drops her lover off, is it because every piece of clothing would give away who she is?, giving Margaret Brundage a chance, the cover with the cobras, not unusual for her, how she normally dresses, that very pale skin, on a pirate ship topless, pale is beauty, the guy grew up in Texas, not a wise idea, shock the other guys by flashing them, she’s acting as a goddess, the colour distinction, the palest of pale skins with black hair, Cora is trying to make it make sense, a magic toe ring, breast bobbing, at night, hide from the Pelishtim, when we see the guy’s eyes, contrast with Conan, gets a feel, resisting eating her, playing off each other, lascivious men, the priest wants her to be his, a friend who says look bud, a man who drinks to much is crazy, tearing her clothes off, minutes ago, dragged away from his own bed, not the first time it happens to him, Black Colossus too, a nice theme, as is the reader, puts off his vengeance, a side story, get your priorities straight, save the boyfriend, kill this priest, her motivation is no one can no, I need an outsider, Vera Cruz (1954), Burt Lancaster at his hottest, don’t do that movie with Burt Lancaster, Gary Cooper, he’ll blow you off the screen, old cracked faced men in westerns, way more charismatic, the main attraction, the plot is kinda similar, mercenaries from the American Civil War, working for Emperor of Mexico, an Austrian guy, see each other at this dance, a beef with a high mucky-muck, the glove, you’re not even important, give each other the chin nod, the Kirk and Bones gif, Denise Darcel, Sara Montiel, cowboys not European royalty, why westerns are really cool, stole a horse, shooting each other in the streets, the Winnetou stories, River Of No Return (1954), Duel In The Sun (1946), The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962), meta-westerns, a baby across the desert, when is Connor gonna do Howard’s western stories?, how many westerns there were, Steve Costigans, Breckenridge Elkins, his bread and butter, better and more promptly, Action Stories, Fight Stories, a bigger market, niche, how many western TV shows, a legacy, leftovers, westerns now, spaghetti westerns, silent westerns, Western Von Gestern, what Alex Baldwin tried to do, the way TV was supposed to look, westerns or war movies, all the men were old, pulp westerns, Zane Grey novels, short stories from the pulps, something you have to come to appreciate, a set of tropes, its a genre, values that are different, follow the law, follow orders, soccer match on Christmas, what happened to the guys who did it?, war movies serve a purpose, westerns are bottom up, American mythology, do they study SF at university now?, do they study westerns?, Astounding is the training for our engineers, leave town, go to the west, a national mythology, looking backwards, Clint Eastwood, looking at the future, a generation after the west was closed out, the kids or the grandkids of the generation being portrayed, they don’t study romances at university, specialized academics, finding a science fiction class was pretty hard, the Women’s Studies, looking down because it is bottom up, and some women, Range Romances, one of the longest running pulps, Railroad Stories, railroad fiction, you want a union? fuck you, good pay, high tech, like being a truck driver, dangerous, long hours, no time off, bad healthcare, Germany vs. Australia, considered a good job, a secure job, capitalism hasn’t taken over Germany completely, Space Viking by H. Beam Piper, four weeks in a row, people have weird desires, women, man, The Venom Business by Michael Crichton, Rocket Ship Galileo by Robert A. Heinlein, Unseen-Unfeared by Francis Stevens, The Hopkins Manuscript, Alec Nevala-Lee, The Crawlers by Philip K. Dick, The Golden Slave by Poul Anderson, off to farmville, Skull Face, a Steve Harrison story Names In The Black Book, Coming Attraction by Fritz Leiber, never been done before, don’t waste Connor, on Conan duty or Robert E. Howard duty, The Thing On The Roof, a cool description, hear the nipples on the roof, Robert E. Howard doing H.P. Lovecraft, “Hooves In The Night”, Unaussprechlichen Kulten, German speakers, a Justin Joffrey poem, August Derleth, wonky, Canadian public domain, M.S. Corley art, comic book adaptation, a Marvel Chillers version, weird tales sort of material, you get hooked, Howard via Conan, gonna make you a Nazi, Lancer paperbacks, really good, pastiche, boxers who go sailing, Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, based on publication date and renewal, nothing to do with death, Robert Silverberg, Harlan Ellison, Condé Nast, work for hire, hero pulps, written under house names, Howard horror, Pigeons From Hell, Old Garfield’s Heart, Steve Costigan, Francis X. Gordon, a useful resource, Mark Finn, the far future, The Devil’s Elixir by E.T.A. Hoffmann, an early robot story, The Sandman, ignore the interesting good for the dull, unsuitable for teenagers, 12 hours 24 minutes, four months, E.T.A. Hoffmann and Edgar Allan Poe, doppelgangers, this story is that story minus all the long parts, The Oval Portrait, a lot of overlap, Poe inspired The Student Of Prague (1913), retreat on the shore of Lake Geneva, Bohemian ghost stories, German romanticism and gothic literature, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, The Influence Of E.T.A Hoffmann On Edgar Allan Poe, Connor is sick, regular sick, Hard Case Crime, epub or mobi or PDF, Google Books, look at screens all day long, screens less, had you not known a pirate…, 3kb, a remainder bookstore, ebook device technology, eink colour is not rich, snow?, vasculitis, autobahn, bahn means train.
Reading, Short And Deep #349
Eric S. Rabkin and Jesse Willis discuss The Freedom Of Space by Arthur C. Clarke
Here’s a link to a PDF of the story.
The Freedom Of Space was first published in Infinity Science Fiction, October 1957
Podcast feed https://sffaudio.herokuapp.com/rsd/rss
Talked about on today’s show:
Racoona Sheldon, Analog, June 1977, special women’s issue, Eyes Of Amber by Joan D. Vinge, Analog, not just for men, Ben Bova, a 1970s thing, Women Destroy anthologies, all Harlan Issue, throw all the women in one basket, J. Michael Straczynski, a sausage fest, representation by gender, a piss per job, one woman per this episode, making room for women, what her logic was, Angel Fix, to suit different markets?, James Tiptree, Jr had to intervene on behalf of Racoona Sheldon, Robert Silverberg had to make a huge apology, it was very clear James Tiptree, Jr. was a man, the Andre Norton story, she was not hiding, a quasi-medieval romance, rationalization, this story is about rationalization, the whole religious cult element, super hard SF, as a historian, certain biological experiences (like love), fairly universal across humanity, across time however…, culture, movies, love songs, something physically is changing in these men, all the cultural baggage would be dispensed, morality wouldn’t win out?, the first time a zombie wakes up, turning some aspect up to 11, to set the society’s norms, urges, the story of Adam and Eve, uncomfortable, people use it for whatever they want, good science fiction, why Jesse likes adaptations, The Twilight Zone adaptation, the new Dune movie, The Masters Of Horror adaptation, the 90210 guy and Elliot Gould, commas missing in the PDF, the narrator of the story has comma problems but the characters writing the letters don’t, her diary entry, a fun format, enough material for a hefty novel (or a quintology), if Steven Baxter wrote this story, a hard topic to fully satisfy everybody with, like H.G. Wells’ The War Of The Worlds, horrific, creeping dread, clamping down on the news [censorship], the horror of the nice rational scientist, feels himself changing and can’t stop it, bestial/primal instincts, awakened by the aliens, existential dread, we are the monsters, we’re all going to die, humanity is going to kill itself, people do it to themselves, completely chilling, On And Off A Mountain Road, metaphors, cursed film episode Cigarette Burns, a slasher, the focus is on the micro, the outer image, Alan in Colombia, his job is what the aliens do to us,
the 2019 reboot of THE TWILIGHT ZONE has an episode called “NOT ALL MEN” which is credited to Heather Anne Campbell
it seems to be an uncredited remake of the MASTERS OF HORROR episode “THE SCREWFLY SOLUTION” scripted by Sam Hamm
except the latter is an adaptation of a 1977 story by James Triptree, Jr.
and the former isn’t
Both have family dinner parties
Both have cakes with words written on them (“welcome home” and “happy birthday”)
Both have women being murdered by men
Both have the military showing up
Both have atypical meteors showers
Both have their respective blonde female protagonists driving around by day, and being chased by night, in identical yellow Volkswagen Beetles
on the left TWILIGHT ZONE on the right MASTERS OF HORROR
THE SCREWFLY SOLUTION is biological Science Fiction and visceral Horror – an alien invasion story like THE WAR OF THE WORLDS by H.G. Wells, as intellectually rigorous, but brutal, scary, and gripping
NOT ALL MEN is decidedly not – it is almost a comedy, but there are no laughs
THE SCREWFLY SOLUTION suggest we are victims of biology
NOT ALL MEN suggest everyone has a choice and most men choose to be bad
the MASTERS OF HORROR episode makes a character from the short story gay, and makes him resistant to the biology that effect most men
the TWILIGHT ZONE episode has a gay character who chooses to be resistant
and both have females disagreeing, in their yellow Volkswagen beetles, about how to understand what is happening to the men around them
THE SCREWFLY SOLUTION is full of conscientious men and women, scientists, trying to figure out what is happening and how to help their families and the world
NOT ALL MEN has basically no scientists (@ the end, maybe?) but has a marketing company doing some sciencey or something?
THE SCREWFLY SOLUTION has the most brutally noir ending imaginable, an ironic one given the characters we follow around for the story, perhaps the last woman alive on earth watching the new tenants of Earth arriving and knowing humanity is finished
NOT ALL MEN ends with a deus ex machina, with cops or the army saving our viewpoint characters, fade to black
blood tests turn up nothing
a twist ending that throws out the main idea they’ve been pushing (the red meteors were a red herring)
there a line at the end of the episode that supposedly explains it all:
“The meteors…they were a placebo.”
then we get the cut-rate Rod Serling closing narration:
“Tonight, Annie Miller found herself in the center of a mysterious and violent epidemic. What she encountered was no material disease but rather a plague of conscience. One that gave men permission to ignore decency, consent, and fear. And tonight, all it took was a few an
innocuous little rocks to turn men into monsters here in the Twilight Zone.”
at one point during the craziness in the streets one guy says
“Fuck your feelings”
And this is the level of analysis and writing we are dealing with.
more than 2000 imdb ratings for each
4.8/10 for THE TWILIGHT ZONE “Not All Men”
6.4/10 for MASTERS OF HORROR “The Screwfly Solution”
Finally, both were filmed in British Columbia
THE SCREWFLY SOLUTION is set in several places, including Texas, Michigan, and British Columbia
i don’t think we know where NOT ALL MEN is set (other than a really lame corner of The Twilight Zone)
The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street, Volkswagen Beetle, understanding the point of the original, we might be unable to control ourselves vs. choosing to be bad, just attacking, just aggro, one of these is science fiction and the other is something else, nightmares, mass hysteria and people’s choices or an alien disease, the hope of the species, woken from crazy aggressive killings, In The Mouth Of Madness (1994), The King In Yellow by Robert W. Chambers, a meme vs. an enzyme or a hormone, social pressures vs. biological pressures, do you read Sutter Cane?, if so you’re infected, the reason I’m killing you is because you’re a communist or a homosexual, explaining inexplicable impulses, a phenomenon we see in reality, Trump as a symptom, the Cult of Adam, “angels”, interesting things in a compressed space, Dracula, the epistolary format, the personal and the broader picture, different perspectives, perfectly expressed, something terrible is happening in England, layers and layers of intertextuality, this is all a suicide note, yesterday I saw an angel, a real estate agent, a devastating last line, all the adults over six years old, feral kids, like a lot of Star Trek episodes, we did it to ourselves!, higher doing what we do to lower or higher species, Huston, Huston, Do You Read?, gender dynamics, women disposing of men, this thing called kissing, Y: The Last Man, a response to When It Changed by Joanna Russ, ovafusion, all female civilization, Sheri S. Tepper, a whole genre conversation, The Children Of Men by P.D. James, The Last Hawk by Catherine Asaro, gender reversed romance plots, men are the hysterical, the second most dangerous primate, another primate note, the rhesus monkeys, spider monkeys, chimpanzees, biological similarity, not well discussed at the dinner table, mating behaviors, Fritz Leiber, opinions from twitter, wishing people would read it, even the uninfected nodded and saw the killing as natural, the result is extermination, God’s will, committees, kill camps, bad things are happening, no one in authority, the mundane aspect, being called to Florida, a car flotilla [aka a convoy], the NIH, Triptree lived in Washington, D.C., her husband and her were both CIA, part of the interest here, Deep Impact (1998), a bunch of people in a control room, the media, something weird is happening in India, 150 adulteresses in Saudi Arabia, very similar headlines, “so-called Sharia Law”, Michael McKean (of Spinal Tap), #YesAllWomen, scarier and scarier every day, an over-reading, anonymous submission, George Sand, other reasons, “trans-phobic”, whatever else, transphobic by structure, a binary opposition of genders, gender binarism is real and meaningful, structurally queasy, men as naturally pedophilic, socially compelled into a straight marriage, there’s a lot there, you gotta consider the context of the story, Heinlein was, reading transphobia into texts [from 1977], Trish is cancelled, a failure of imagination, phobia is without meaning, outside the scope of what she’s exploring, how they turn on the boys, a non-binary view of sexuality, reading too much into this?, aggression hacked sexuality, a less binary reading of sexuality, she’s thinking super-hard, what is sexuality?, this strange focus on a part of science that doesn’t get a lot of attention in Science Fiction, our hero Alan, his relationship with his wife, it gets hot, he starts fantasizing on the airplane, crushed the Coke can, you need to kill me if I show up, I should throw this knife away, really good hard SF, he knows there’s something wrong with him, he should kill himself, killing (and possibly raping) his own daughter, slightly misreading what’s going on, the chase mentality is real, ovulation in some animals needs this, kinda Kinsey, the weaker have been killed, artificial wombs, Podkayne Of Mars, freeze your zygotes, Lois McMaster Bujold, people’s wrong takes, the most devastating counterargument to #NotAllMen, they are connected, an expression, traction after #MeToo, the defensive reaction, downgrading the impact of #MeToo, #BlackLivesMatter vs. #BlueLivesMatter, sarcastic uses, #AllMen, aggressive seeds, bombing Dallas, men are evil, seeds of violence, misogynistic in structure, a jihad against women, in order to do evil is to choose evil, we are biologically determined, human beings are more than their biology, condemned by our biology, its not a disease, on the ground, isn’t it horrifying that we are biologically determined?, the hashtag vs. the Twilight Zone episode of the same name, explicitly rejecting Tiptree Jr.’s idea, we should summon the will, what if we are biologically determined to do everything, an MRNA injection, a hard bitter pill to swallow, what the story is suggesting, it helps Scott make choices, seeing this in all its horror, if we don’t have choices in reality, the illusion of choices?, what about the screwflies?, they’re just flies, we write stories, we’re not as complicated as we think, slaves to our hormones, he doesn’t kill himself, noir, not pulling its punches, biological determinism or mostly biologically determined?, influenced by stories, closer to chimps or rhesus monkeys, bonobos?, sex as a way of saying hello, a dispute over a sandwich settled by sex, institutions and ideology shape how we interpret and overcome biological, the birth control pill, change society, what science fiction is, geology, how old the Earth is, life-changing, a very good science fiction story, harder than H.G. Wells’ The War Of The Worlds [not The Time Machine], take the war to Mars, maybe somebody’s working on something somewhere, so good, 1 hour to read, that fake stuff that’s 16 books long, fake science, 2 north 75 degree west, anthropology, WHO inoculations, just watched an episode of Masters Of Horror, Cordwainer Smith, off in Africa with her parents, the horse latitudes, bringing experience to the table, its not because she’s a girl, long short story format, The Women Men Don’t See, The Woman Who Was Plugged In, semi-interesting, externalize evil, religions antagonists fighting god, the devil is trying to put bad thoughts in your head, avoiding responsibility, easier, Alcohol Anonymous’ plan, accept the higher power because you’re weak, these religious pamphlets make so much sense, Genesis 3:16, women: feel the pain of childbirth and obey your husbands, short stories are a technology for delivering ideas, don’t be anti-good story, some people are willing to put anything into their bodies, good short SF is a vaccination against long terrible series that do you wrong.
Talked about on today’s show:
The Body Snatchers, Invasion Of The Body Snatchers, 1976/8, 1956, very faithful, the changes to the text, a slightly bigger frame, in and about and to the ending, I drive a 1973 Cadillac, 5 adaptations, the 1978 adaptation, 1955, serial finished on Christmas Eve, beautiful illustrations, 2007, The Day Of The Triffids by John Wyndham, 1951, The Puppet Masters by Robert A. Heinlein, The Father Thing by Philip K. Dick, The Hanging Stranger by Philip K. Dick, an alien invasion of space plants, the scale, the major point of the body snatchers is the snatching, 28 Days Later, The Walking Dead, The Night Of The Living Dead, Earth Abides by George R. Stewart, the plants are consuming people, a spore in the air, so close in other details, its eerie, an outsider to mainstream science fiction, Ray Bradbury, when Heinlein gets in a slick, bridging the gap between the mainstream mom and dads of the 1950s, the original dad ends up in a trash can, pod people in the sense their emotions are done, must be some sort of display, very Stephen King-like, a contagion that’s spread, communist Red Scare, you need to conform or those people are communists, 4 official adaptations, delightfully 1970s, Donald Sutherland, Jeff Goldblum, Leonard Nimoy, a really cool connection, maybe there are only 3 adaptations, it might be the case that they’re all the same storyline, Kevin McCarthy, a cameo, reprising his scene, they’re coming! they’re not who you think they are! they’re here!, Mill Valley, California, San Francisco,
Louise Fletcher Veronica Cartwright is the last human alive in the 1978 movies, Wendy Lenk, the 1993 adaptation, Body Snatchers (1993), Scott has an idea for a movie called Snatchers, the Recorded Books audiobook, the Blackstone Audio, Kristoffer Tabori, a pretty terrific novel, reverse engineering, very close, a low budget, the bubbles and the foam, the major difference is the ending, the novel has the worst ending, we did it – we fixed it – it’s over, the ending of The War Of The Worlds, by accident we survived, The War Of The Worlds: The Series (1988-90), the Spanish Flu, WWI, individual tragedies vs. collective tragedy, the humour, the first person perspective, he sure seems handsome, divorcees, a wonderful relationship, they dated in high-school, compassionate writing, the meta-ness of the novel, brilliant!, Heinlein’s not good at people, Somewhere In Time, a different skill at writing, the clarity of Westlake, in relief against the other adaptations and the changing times, what’s missing from every adaptation, Billy the shoe-shine man, it’s not about communism, its about us, in a terrible relationship, Billy the shoe shine man is our hero, everybody is a white-man, none of the other adaptations go near that, self-loathing, other black characters in the adaptations, its not about race relations at that point, Finney is saying it, the cave, the ending, divorcees as human beings, the relationship he has to his patients and his own body, his girlfriend’s skeleton, her flesh fits her bones, two skeletons in his closet, the world is going to be saved, Soylent Green, you gotta tell em!, so Body Snatchers-ish, the pods are not giving up, they’re kinda resisty, anti-science fictional, he couldn’t know what he needed to be done, forget everything I said, maybe an editor made him do it, he didn’t fix it in the revision, its about San Fransisco and the people who live there, the banjo man, they have to share a pumpkin, the same relationship, the potential future girlfriend is already in a relationship, go to the psychiatrist with me, maybe he’s turning gay, the 2007, the kid is the primary relationship, The Invasion (2007) is very slickly done, a cool science fiction movie, a spore, an infection like a zombie infection, colonized chrysalis-ed, a collective consciousness, a way cool element, doubling down on why being snatched is maybe not such a bad thing, you will be just like you, there’s nothing new for you, the whole world is involved, a unilateral disarmament treaty, worse and worse or better and better, the countries listed, North Korea, Iran, Venezuela, Iraq, we’re all the same people inside, much more seductive, both positive and negative, played as totally positive, Daniel Craig is still alive, now recovered, all dream like, memory loss, Nicole Kidman has too children, in the background the American Empire is resuming, back to where we are, they close on her face, that amazing dance, the personal vs. the collective, the waiters are spitting into the coffee, fungal load, Equilibrium (2002), the dancing with guns movie, drugging their population, a society worth having an protecting, Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, its all connected, the flying pancakes episode of Star Trek, Landru, you are not of the body, pointing and screaming, “New York Times has good reporters”, the most toxic relationship on the history of the Earth, so exactly right, a received opinion, why this book was so powerful, the NPC meme, youre a character in the story but you have no will or volition of your own, a red shirt, there to serve the plot and to show the gravity of the situation, if you are acting like an NPC you are making a mistake, philosophical zombies, observing somebody through a telescope, like a robot, following a script, a bot in computer games, critiquing the idea of individual thought, the processes have happened within us, watching a great actor in the great movie can give you a simulation of that, highly sympathetic actions, the psychology building up around that pool table, his new GF is in danger from her dad, a very cool Americanism, he runs in wearing his pajamas, magnified in the 1978: the amount of gaslighting that happens, Leonard Nimoy is a pod person from the beginning, the way he treats Jeff Goldblum, Robert H. Solo, Neil Simonesque, Alan Alda and Michael Caine and Richard Pryor, a style of film, it became a staple, the 1993 is the shittiest version, Invasion Of The Pod People (2007), if you’re not looking closely, most of the actresses are porn actresses, ginger root is the pods, Tubi, the acting is so wooden, the air condition systems are humming in every scene indoors, an excuse to have sexy being pod people, like the 1993 version but way worse, another direction, They Live (1988) adaptation of Eight O’Clock In The Morning, the sunglasses meme is evergreen, the recent election shit, you can’t call them oligarchs, the guy in The Matrix, I know what I’m doing is wrong but I really need the money, THEY LIVE (1988) is the most important science fiction movie that’s ever been, underneath the tunnels, some people are real some people were not, you’d sell out your own kind, the social message of THEY LIVE (1988) is super valuable, which is a better novel? very different exactly the same, Heinlein is Heinlein, The Puppet Masters is a piece of excellence, Donald Sutherland is playing another pod person and he loves it, they juice us up, Passengers by Robert Silverberg, can I borrow you for a minute?, a powerful story, aliens psychically take over your body, walk of shame back to your life, everybody is subject to it, we just have to live with this new reality, super cool, The Roller Coaster by Alfred Bester, we project our minds back in time yithian-style, The Shadow Out Of Time by H.P. Lovecraft, more technically a snatch, a super-positive tool for studying history in the hands of sons and daughters of billionaires, when you’re killing people you don’t want to do it openly, terrorize people to get a rise out of them, Reading, Short And Deep episode 11, from 1953, The Thirteenth Floor (1999), a better movie as a story than The Matrix (1999), eXistenz (1999), that mass scale, seeing it from a different end, semi-government competent agency, a pre-X-Files sort of story, taken over by a pancake, a trauma on the scale of rape or worse, a horror, you’re there but you’re not in control, witness to an alien mind, a parasitism, a broken axe handle and a soup can were duplicated, spilling the seed on the earth, Jeff Goldblum and Veronica Cartwright’s mudbath spa, I recommend the lava-ash, reading a paperback novel, Worlds In Collision by Immanuel Velikovsky, not science at all, the saucer stuff, you must read this book, I’ve read it several times, Star Maker by Olaf Stapledon, the seed of every science fiction story, let’s look in this basement, this chain of looking within to find facts from without, not my real mom, as science fiction as science fiction can get vs. space vegetables, the Space Shuttle, you’ve triggered it, we now have to talk about Lifeforce (1985), panspermia, Lifeforce (1985) said “hey 1970s movies, we saw what you did and we’re going to do the opposite”, science fiction isn’t about a whole bunch of separate ideas, its about the way you spin or focus on a particular detail, doing shownotes three months down the road, looking up the spelling of authors, spinning and thinking about different aspects of humanity’s role and what we’re doing here, what is your purpose here on earth, we don’t have a purpose, just reproduction, just like you, the virus is the body snatcher, the last 2 weeks has turned into bizarro world, it translates, whatever is happening, March 21st, 2020, we’re thinking about a scene where the town is dying, the coffee doesn’t taste good in the diner, people are numb, we don’t know who the enemy is, asymptomatic, very well shown, he loves his town, he flees and then returns, how broken we are, going back to bad relationships, why moving is such a trauma, we shelter in place, spring break beach, YOLO, how you feeling?, are you worried?, toilet paper levels, thermostat, the bidets were all sold out, hoarding bidets, Green Patches by Isaac Asmiov, a unified consciousness, a stowaway, back to anarchy, a greater unthinking being, The Green Splotches by T.S. Stribling, alien spores, grey goo aliens, Colony by Philip K. Dick, X-Minus One, “I trusted the rug completely”, the dissolve you and make copies of you, a fake laser gun, sending down a drop ship to rescue the crew, the cook taking orders from himself, oddly science fictional items, that was 1953 too, don’t drink the water, we will all find out, which one of us will be next?, going for that 1970s downer ending, which one of us isn’t even us anymore?