Reading, Short And Deep #363
Eric S. Rabkin and Jesse Willis discuss Binding Deluxe by David H. Keller
Here’s a link to a PDF of the story.
Binding Deluxe was first published in Marvel Tales, May 1934.
Jesse, Paul Weimer, Marissa VU, and Evan Lampe talk about The Shining by Stephen King.
Talked about on today’s show:
1977, horror novel, fourth most popular fantasy novel, third novel, the novel that made him a household name, Carrie (1976), the same year, the book was 1975, his breakout, Stanley Kubrick, Jack Nicholson, Salem’s Lot, Stephen King, “shut-up you shitlib, stick to producing movies!”, his primary job was film producer, which has more production credits, hilarious, Michael Crichton effect, director and producer and writer, looming large from beyond the grave, Westworld, cartoons, Stephen King TV shows, new Stephen King shows streaming somewhere, Lisey’s Story, The Stand, George R.R. Martin, video game writer, comfortable with TV, how easy it is to produce TV shows money wise, he likes writing a lot, worldbuilding, things that will get him canceled, the magical negro, The Legend Of Bagger Vance, Aunt Jemima, Uncle Ben, an American cultural phenomenon, if he wrote this today, that 70s jive talk, at the end, Doc is on the dock, he’s getting brown, very brown, the surrogate father figure, the kiss, the big shining talk, who is Stephen King in this book, he’s clearly Jack, kills himself off, why this book is super popular, how he put it all together, lifting ideas from literary sources, a big long very readable book, kinda early, Revival, relationships with ants and wasps, kids are literally closer to the ground than adults so they think about insects more, playing with their trucks, Marissa hiking by herself, major toddlerhood, we’re so proud we’re erect, his kids are always really terrific, so easy to read his books, identifying with the kids, we’re meant to identify with Doc, he’s our surrogate, Jack is more interesting to follow, a better adventure, failing at everything, they seduce him, the ghosts, money laundering, how they get him, repair his family, redeemed, the negative things in ourselves, super-flawed fucked up dude, we can relate to that, the scenes of domestic abuse, not so happy marriage, Jack Torrence has that too, the sin of the father, really uncomfortable for Paul, an imperfect family and childhood, why this book is and how it works, Danny’s power was the problem, a nexus, a big battery, it happened the year before, the previous caretaker and family, unnamed shining characters, every character shines, The Dead Zone has an unacknowledged shining character, you shine, your mom shines too (all mothers do, a little), throughout his writing, some sort of psychic spectrum, a Stephen King super-power roll playing game, The Dark Tower, breakers, telepathy, what good writing is: telepathy, a person far away in time and space, write really good, what just happened?, how is this happening, what is happening, a superpower Stephen King literally has, holy shit!, the way he does this, without a single bump, a human being like me, we think we can understand other people, doing it in fiction, his meta, the nagging wife, my mom is worse, she’s terrific, his grandmother’s house, somehow we’ve vacuumed out the psychic stuff, a weird cook who wants to abduct their son, he wants to rescue the kid, call it The Overlook Hotel, mental illness and alcoholism, where it is at his weirdest, find a stash, conjured out of the ether, capable of creating real physical damage to Danny, Doctor Sleep, his solution to everything, why this book is so Stephen Kingy, the plot, references, Guy De Maupassant’s The Inn, Switzerland, there’s dogs, have somebody there over the winter (as a caretaker), cabin fever, the same basic plot, how Stephen King fill those pages, all the family history, and the history of the Overlook, I’m so far ahead, flowed so easily, he makes long writing feel like easy writing, backwards and forwards in time, the car accident with the bike, jumping out of the main narrative, building the whole world, fleshed out, his pacing, perfect pacing, so engrossing, the set piece scenes, such a big piece of the story is just two pages, very impressive, table setting, a crucial scene, Jack versus the hedge animals, the way it sneaks up on you, slowly going insane, King or Torrence or the hotel, intrusive thoughts, a jingle, a phrase, intrusive negative thoughts, somebody from outside is putting words into his head, horribleness tempered, a big apology to his wife, “I know I shouldn’t have hit Joe that way. I’ve got to stop drinking”, Campbell Scott, a David Mamet actor with dry affect, no ill effect on the writing, straight reading vs. performance, other influences, The Mask Of The Read Death: A Fantasy by Edgar Allan Poe, masques vs. mask, what the hell is it about, the coloured rooms, at the beginning of the pandemic, cloistered in an abbey, out comes the red death, why there’s a whole bunch of rooms that are different colours, the movie filmed at the actual place King is basing it on, the ballroom has bat doors, The Colorado Lounge, the deal he made, its about class, the elite cant keep out the trauma of the working class, you can’t wall it away, that Phil Ochs song Ringing Of Revolution, when climate change happens, bunkers in New Zealand, The Sphinx, dominated by the reveal, the unmasking, in Robert W. Chambers, I wear no mask, The Yellow Sign, hints of Lovecraft, Jack as an opener, ultra-terrestrial horror, it’s Danny’s fault, Paul sees himself as Danny, a consequence of him being there, he can’t control it, “please abduct me, Dick”, he’s lying to him, 217, you’ll see really bad things there, thinking at him, Dick buys the vowel, he’s the one who knows the most, fainting spells in Germany, the clock almost striking midnight, forward in time, ghosts, not a contamination story, the hotel is destroyed at the end, teachers think is very important, some online webstudy course, arranged in a row from east to west, Blue (Birth), Purple (Growth), Green (Spring and youth), Orange (Summer and autumn), White (Old age), Violet (Impending death), Scarlet/Black (Death), a sergeant in the army, the summertime caretaker, fallen from his higher class, make sure you look out for The Rats In The Walls, a once high estate that needs to be maintained lest it fall, this is what I am reduced to, constant swearing, Wendy, when her husband swears to much, “prick”, hitting the student, I didn’t play with the timer, yeah I did, unreliable narrator, distrust the entire book, Stephen King being highly manipulative of us (and himself), I drink because you’re a bitch, Stephen King is doing self-analysis, so real, quitting smoking, an excuse to have a cigarette, what the fuck am I doing?, addiction brain, what the effect of physical isolation is, cut-off from other human beings for months on end, who’s to blame?, Jesse wants to imagine how this book would work without woowoo, a pure horror novel, a fantasy novel, Stephen King imitators, Nick Cutter’s The Troop, pure body horror, two things going on, his peanut butter in his zebra sauce, magic spell: Stephen King’s a good writer, college kids on a camping weekend, marriage breakdown and addiction, Philip K. Dick’s Puttering About In A Small Land, Out In The Garden, the wife’s been cheating on him with the Sun, I need to sell fantasy and I want to work out my stress about my wife cheating on me, The Dark Tower, literally met a werewolf, Hunger Games style, successfully spun up, the fear of your anger at your kids, such a cool scary thing to write about, such a change in your life, blaming the kid, obligation, responsibility, anxiety, Wendy’s mom, imagine if instead of Jack dying he lives, the relationship that Wendy has with her mom, psychologically abusive, you can’t lover her you have to love her, REDRUM is MURDER backwards, blood thirstiness, the wash of blood, symbolic, an alcoholic, she has a bad marriage, once she had the kid…, she chose a broken person to have a kid with, forever joined by the kid, how could she go back to him?, if I don’t stop drinking I’m going to have to kill myself, self-analysis, Jack is about him and the path he was on, the other drunk, Al: “stay dry”, class, drawn from life, bonding over drink, John Barleycorn by Jack London, drinking is a social custom, binding and destructive, on the same team, a judge, the board of directors, bonding through alcohol, the favours are running out, Evan’s theory, he’s trying to be fired, self-sabotage, ironically this time…, imagine there is no shining, a whole other thread, the imaginary friend who is real, an old trope, Harvey (1950), Ted (2012), Drop Dead Fred (1991), Mr. Lupescu by Anthony Boucher, Thus I Refute Beelzy by John Collier, the insanity children are allowed to have, a book about mental illness, Lovecraftian, classic mental illness, you didn’t tell me this hotel was used by criminals, Richard Nixon stayed in the hotel, an unreasonable phonecall, he’s quasi-blackmailing, not modern Stephen King shitlibbery, we bury the truth, we destroy the truth, we make it not real, Dick lies to his boss, as honest as he can be without getting fired, suicide, murder, sex-trafficking, we never find out how she paid, being a cursed place, Evan thinks that characters are shiners and breakers, a guy gives Dick a sweater and a can of gasoline, another shiner, they’re all shiners, haunted, “it’s the same criticism that Stephen King always has: there’s a fundamental flaw in American society, it’s class, and we can’t talk about it”, Red Room, it could have gone a whole bunch of different ways, no dangling threads, Hill House, the Marsten house in Salem’s Lot, it’s not the hotel that is making him make that call, trying to free himself and save his family, it’s hard to read it, drunken phonecall, late night phone call, go sleep it off, acting out with a really good reason for it, The Silver Key by H.P. Lovecraft, Tony is the future Danny, consciously bringing that in, winding up a clock vs. opening a door, a father figure, abusive father, reiterating that with his kid, aping the words of his father, spectacles into the mashed potatoes with blood on them, a coping mechanism, Jack gets what he wants, on the roof, distracted by the wasps, they bug him, the bug bomb, another case of I didn’t adjust the timer (but actually did), he wanted to have his son stung, we’re going to sue, focus on the kid, shifting the blame, it’s not me it’s your stutter!, the play is the book within the book, The King In Yellow, all work and no play, a good reading of what’s happening in here, understanding himself, a play about him and his abuse of a kid, his play sucks, he knows the play sucks, this is all you need to make this excellent book, what does Stephen King do instead of exposing American corruption and American kleptocracy and American sin? he makes it personal, he doesn’t expose the history of the Overlook Hotel, instead he exposes a family, we can all muddle through somehow, everything will be okay, exposes it to the readers, making it fuzzy, better at history, revealing the history, let all the poisons that lurk in the mud hatch out, the attempt to repress, when teenage Marissa first read it: this is a critique of American capitalism, he goes the opposite direction, literally hiding the message in favour of a psychic family, the boiler is his temper, Fondly Fahrenheit by Alfred Bester, which of us I am anymore, that duality within Jack Torrence, keep the temperature from blowing, everything he does could be automated, going down there twice a day, even days and odd days, it’s not a real job, a warm body, very symbolic, he gets stuck down there, the Jesse voices are back, don’t look at these very important papers!, grinding Excedrins all day, they taste bitter, very well put together book, too well put together?, a famous hit, The Stand, his short stories, kaboom, 1408, the room is evil on its own, John Cusack, doesn’t need any priming, a lot of love to be had in the little stories, The Night Flier, a vampire who has an airplane, very personal, they’re all personal, Revival is almost philosophical and mature, dealing/dealt, digging real deep in this one, Danny’s gonna be six, way to bright for a six year old, because he shines, oh, he’s a delayed reader, so urgent to read, his adaptors usually pick the wrong ages, Joe Hill’s [Locke & Key] Welcome To Lovecraft, replaced him with August Derleth [or Richard Matheson?], the essence of shitlibbery, a racist, a liar, a thief, all can see the magic, lifting that from his father, bring a key near somebody’s head, a really cool premise, kids can have magic, starmetal/evil shoggoths, a fundamentally interesting thing, they won’t follow through, you know what the problem is but then choose to go the other way, a good book, maybe why he is a genre, not treated like a gutter guy, not treated like a literary genius, Upton Sinclair style guys, they frown on Stephen King, jealousy, so successful, people like Stephen King, no cachet with King as with other writers, some people are prejudiced, literary snobs, not the American classic, a weird Stephen King thing, blood elevator, guy with an axe, the sitting in the car and talking to the old black man, knows what’s up with Danny, Dr. Sleep, Danny’s 35, Dick Halorhan had died, the Overlook ghosts had followed him, he’s an alcoholic, a job at a hospice, Kevorkian style, a good service, being preyed on by psychic vampires, get back his mojo and save the day, people trying to live off of boomers, resistant to sequels, able to stay alive for centuries, a multiverse, that’s not publisher demand, writer you want to read, Greg Bear, not well constructed, he falls into the trap, I need to write Halo novels, a trilogy, following the market, Stephen King has the market, The Dark Tower along with Dune got Marissa into science fiction, the one with the train, 3 ends on a cliffhanger, it’s all done, 1,350,000 words, after the accident, why would he write them all in one year, George R.R. Martin, I can’t do that to my legacy, 224 pages vs. 845 pages, 4,316 pages for The Dark Tower, have Eric retire or die, take a couple of weeks off to read the book about Allen Dulles, I can’t read an 800 page book, we have split up a book, Dune, The Lord Of The Rings, The Odyssey, Evan’s podcast’s premise, once you start something you’re stuck with it, I have to only wear short socks, 300 years ahead, take a holiday, sleep and go to the gym, everyone who is capable should do what they’re good at, the Zizek book, it has happened, you shouldn’t do that, a vacation implies your ideal life is not being lived, a different temporary life, there are wrong things to do, The Sea Wolf by Jack London, the Star Trek Sex Book, recover, Jesse likes computer games, Project Zomboid, zombie survival isometric, get ready for the zombie apocalypse, sounds great, very dangerous, Fallout 4 til 5am, be moderate in your behavior, taking a vacation from the things that are good, Jesse is not sure series are a good idea at all, a satisfying book in and of itself, Don Mark Lemon, recharge your batteries, Jesse’s just being real, Jesse’s mom, people die and you should plan for it.
Talked about on today’s show:
non-fiction, explain what horror is, what is horror?, King has a lot of good stuff in this book, very casual, easy listening, frothy, an anti-academic style, high school teacher and university lecturer, a chip on his shoulder, It, not enough theme, drawn from life, incidents, a book he wrote later, Misery, the dead cat, Stand By Me (aka The Body), “Lovecraft was a racist”, “Stephen King was an is a shitlib”, conservative, bad takes in general, did you just say Lovecraft was a bad poet?, good ideas, Clark Ashton Smith’s poetry, American Liberals, vote blue no matter who, call for you favourite candidate, makin calls for Joe Biden, talking back to the Black Panthers, King is obsessed with Sputnik, obsessed with JFK, he’s dumb, a fear of political radicals, Randall Flagg, political buttons, a chaos agent, Nyarlathotep, a proud liberal, liberals are fucking idiots, when he got rich, get isolated, an op-ed called Guns by Stephen King, started off well, worn assertions, just got tired of the topic after the first cup of coffee wore off, technical complaints, this Rittenhouse thing, Boogaloo Bois, not a smart or a wise man, the worst case for making guns illegal, Biden got shat all over, other trials going on, inequities in the judicial system, public pressure, the video is exculpatory, “crossed state lines”, gut feeling reaction, where we start to go wrong, a good way of dismissing him, why did he bring that up?, paranoia, boomers, if Johnson had run again in 1968, a quantum leap moment, the Patty Hearst stuff, he lives in the public culture, Carrie, he’s not an idiot, he’s really good at making fun of people, image poems, little horror stories, not just movies, the fiction section, drifted into movies a lot, sitting in the movie theatre, the Sputnik announcement, that’s only horror if you think the United States is the good guy, thinking it through in writing, a broad outline, conspiracy dismissal of facts on the ground, Fred Hampton, extrajudical murder, playing for team America, a nice country(side), Invasion Of The Body Snatchers, Jack Finney, it comes from the same place, social horror, The Amityville Horror, the fear people have about investing in real estate, The Money Pit (1986), how children believe in magic, adult horror, my life is going to leave me, I’m going to lose my job, this is not a disciplined book, Supernatural Horror In Literature, some similarities, the fiction of his lifetime, 1950 to 1980, 1880 to 1930, Dionysian horror, terror, horror, gross-out, how much he researched it, approaching it like a researcher, his love of B-movies, I Was A Teenage Werewolf (1957), Lovecraft Explainers, “he was a horror writer”, the cosmic, through the idea, the house never dreamed, it saw reality as it is, Salem’s Lot,
No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality; even larks and katydids are supposed, by some, to dream. Hill House, not sane, stood by itself against its hills, holding darkness within; it had stood so for eighty years and might stand for eighty more.
ghost don’t exist except where human brains are, a guy with an axe!, a guy with a machete!, chainsaw, reflecting starlight and fears, a literary theory that authors apply, Poltergeist (1982), Bag Of Bones, a buried corpse, noisy ghost vs. spectre, descending levels, 1. terror. 2. , 3. gross-out., see the monsters, At The Mountains Of Madness, he knows Lovecraft, Philip K. Dick, the Dick horror stories, The Father Thing, The Hanging Stranger, The Three Stigmata Of Palmer Eldritch, Eye In The Sky, two levels: child, adult, caring about vampires, the horror of bills, financial stuff, what kids are like, those kids all grew up, Joe, semi-good takes, regress himself, afraid of the wrong things, what is it that makes someone capable of writing this stuff, the child in their eyes, author portraits, something in Peter Straub’s eyes, Harlan Ellison, Ray Bradbury, James Herbert, Ramsey Campbell, King’s take on Robert E. Howard, The Crabs, The Rats, The Blob (1958), danger in enjoying b-movies, his movie analysis is somehow connected to getting his writing done, getting you into the heads of characters, cinematic influence, watching a bad movie with a good scene, a frisson, your teacher wants you to hit these 6 bullshit points, know what your teacher wants, writing for himself, not hitting series very often, the pull from publishers, in syncopation with a large part of the reading audience, Hollywood, MGM is going to go out of business, they’re not very good at making movies, it drives you up the wall, movies and storytelling, The Twilight Zone, Night Gallery, and The Outer Limits, Pigeons From Hell, Thriller, an old plantation house, axed in the head, like a folktale, Hansel And Gretel, a famine, a horrible truth, why its always the stepmom, the evil witch is the stepmom, dad went along with it, the story dominates rather than the character, built this podcast around audio, audio drama, radio drama, CBS Radio Mystery Theater, Suspense, revelations of horror through the medium of audio drama, Alien (1979) is so dark, it is not obvious in the movie, when watching a b-movie, only the things that you’re given give you the picture, a revival of audio drama as podcasts, genuine practitioners, Julie Hoverson’s 19 Nocturne Boulevard, comics, Philips and Brubaker’s Reckless, superheroes are stupid, the comics medium, a skill, training on watching a play, Arch Oboler, The Mist in 3D sound, a white blackness, hysteria, “I’m going to let a little of you out”, connecting to your anxieties, a healthy interest in horror, 1399 episodes, the Vietnamese refugees and the Metric System!, Alfred Bester, Fondly Fahrenheit, perspective is important, what the mutilation looks like, what the bad guy did to the kid, a guy without the internet, getting the materials and doing the research has never been easier, Starlog magazine, as good as it is without the internet, updated in a few places, an hour of introductory material, you can agree with him or not, like a utuber, Frankenstein, Dr Jekyll And Mr Hyde, the tarot, the ghost story, the werewolf, the vampire, thing with no name, the technological horror, the outside evil, the thing from within, The Horror At Party Beach (1964), Ghost Story by Peter Straub, Ramsey Campbell, The Shrinking Man by Richard Matheson, male anxiety, a feminist reading, the woman’s domain (the house), child molester truck driver, its all about him, apolitical, exploring the agenda (with no agenda), horrors and the terrors, the cat, the bird, the spider, I Am Legend, my personal psychiatric reaction, revisiting the child molester moment with The Talisman, I strictly AC (or DC), straight, a boomer phrase, he uses everything, seeing Revival in Danse Macabre, the horrible death, The Bazaar of Bad Dreams, where Thinner came from, fantasy, Matheson is using 20th century magic, bug spray and radiation, The Amityville Horror (1979), Ira Levin, a dabbler in science fiction, an outsider, hanging out with the gutter people, 70s technothriller or urban gothic, This Perfect Day, Rosemary’s Baby, satirist, standing toe to toe with 1984 and Brave New World, doubling down on the utopia, The Giver, a dystopia by way of utopia, “Wood, Wei, Christ, and Marx”, do the genre, more like H.G. Wells, the pulps, mainstream fiction, and literature, the paperbacks on the shelves, snubbed by the best people, anything Asimov wrote, Harold Robbins, Taipan, James Michener, airport fiction, Tom Clancy’s spot, Evan’s podcast, Henry James, The Turn Of The Screw, high-end highbrow fiction doing lowbrow fiction, where the gutter starts or ends, he lives in the (movie) gutter, the shudder pulps, Weird Tales, horror fetishing, the cover, the scantily clad woman, torture fiction, cults, satanic panic, weird menace, Pulpcovers.com, man pulp magazines, I escape the Nazi dagger girls, “true stories”, some guy saw an SS wife one time, tapping into a mental space men are into, horror seems to be more popular with women than with men (compared with other genres), watching b-movies on first date, the amusement park roller coaster, terror as you feel you are going to die, you don’t go to a horror movie by yourself, reading a book with somebody is weird, a cheap place to go get cash, Stephen King readers are women (too), Larry Niven, Harlan Ellison, going for horror, Touched By An Angel, bad attitude, Michael Landon, mad scientist, when humans were werewolves, killing spree, the puberty experience, I Was A Teenage Frankenstein, the horror of embarrassment, the mirror, the plot is he’s really ugly, very simple, you’re going to be my assistant, a new race of superhumans to save the earth, young dead people!, collecting body parts, a descendant of Dr. Frankenstein, teenagers are not juvenile delinquents, King signed up for the society he was in, his grandfather with no teeth, sane but incomprehensible, they had a dental program, satellites are useful in space, never class resentment, the rats in the cellar, Graveyard Shift, clean the basement, taken from his own life, progressively bigger rats, this boss sucks, always very personal, Road Work fails, existential crisis unconnected to the bill of goods that is the American dream, the conservatism of horror and Alice In Wonderland, this modernist direction, if things go wrong, if a plague destroys 99% of the people, Lovecraft definitely has that, we don’t want to pick at that (science) scab, his fanzine was The Conservative, Bobby Derie’s tweets, 133 slaves in his will to gift to family members, people still have that same idea, more brownouts, drive a body, things as they are or things better, gas prices, electric cars, groups of people who are pouring co2 into the environment, The Ministry Of The Future by Kim Stanley Robinson, the capitalist system forces you to go where the work is, psychopathy of recycling, this responsibility was shifted to me, tend your own garden, those plastic measures being pushed and pushed and pushed, guillotines are carbon neutral, the great straw debate, carry around metal straws, like straws are the big problem on the planet, something you can push on to the consumer, The Troop by Nick Cutter, to fulfill a kind of niche of that horror experience you get at a movie, a gross out, terror, body horror, contamination, how Jack Finney’s The Third Level, Ray Bradbury, Reading, Short And Deep, a book begging to be filmed, in service, accept your crappy role in your life, fantasy, The Wheel Of Time fantasy TV series, 909 pages, long fantasy series are to escape from the mundanity of your job, the shared survival experience, horror being different, Lord Of The Rings, supernatural elements, magic, a secondary world, low fantasy, fantasy set in our world, the supernatural intruding on our life, On Writing, James Herbert’s The Fog, as close to a supernatural experience as you can imagine, a rational explanation in the idea of the story, terrifying, when you see the world as it truly is, not mediated by your fantasies, Lovecraft’s opening the window, the geometry doesn’t work, the rules of the world don’t work anymore, in dreams we find our way through, it wasn’t a question, he knows that he’s bullshitting, to strawman it, he knows on some level he’s wrong, the wrong messaging, we need to lie to the kids, he’s writing lies most of the time, children create their own kind of magic, the sneezing powder works against the monster (because they believe it), how society and parents deliberately lie to the kids, based on his own experiences, the reader knows its a lie, the Sputnik story, was it constructed?, that really happened to him, stories he’d have told himself over and over again, the hiking story, King on twitter, strawmanning in order to denounce, you need to have a fantasy to not go insane, a theory of reality, constructing the argument, Star Trek episode, Counselor Troi, his wife’s reaction to Rosemary’s Baby, The Stepford Wives, Sliver, a satire not considered a satire, Prometheus Award, libertarian science fiction, Heinlein’s Friday, Samuel Delany, Time Square Red Time Square Blue, F. Paul Wilson, Margaret Atwood, can you be a shitlib and a libertarian?, fear of radical institutional change, West Wing episodes, Pirate Cinema by Cory Doctorow, an American export, State Of Fear by Michael Crichton, ecoterrorists using untraceable drones, buying trucks, underground people, freedom fighter, there’s probably a term he would prefer?, liberal, People Of The Black Circle by Robert E. Howard, Klim’s Journey, Midwich Cuckoos, The Pre-Persons, Croatoan by Harlan Ellison, aborted fetuses, Captain Jellico tweets, the new Stephen King covers are all horrible except for Hard Case Crime, Four Past Midnight, whoever Chomper is he’s wrong, Space Prison by Tom Godwin, science fiction prison, The Doom That Came To Sarnath, 14,000 years ago, politicians willing to go to war over it, 54/40 or fight, PUBG with Americans who don’t read, “Trump’s my guy”, they’ll think he’s Mexican, ex-military, control systems, 3D printing, Dungeons & Dragons, really into games, Norther Saskatchewan, the difference in lifestyles between the Canadians and the Americans, I hate to do this but I need money (for his cat), Patreon for my life, 21st century capitalism doesn’t hit everybody in the mail, mandates, Fauci and Pelosi, smashed in the midterms, banning cars would save lives, gas prices in France, Fight Club and Breaking Bad being expressions of fascism, this is a reality, Game Of Thrones is cultural feudalism, the Queen tweets, the Queen is “entering a new phase”, Charles III, some kind of consort, William and the brats, killing your sister, Princess Eugenie, Prince Andrew went to Fuck Island, that’s the lady that owns this country.
The SFFaudio Podcast #683 – The Mystery Of Sylmare by Hugh Irish – read by Connor Kaye. This is a complete and unabridged reading of the story (1 hour 4 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants in the discussion include Jesse and Connor Kaye
Talked about on today’s show:
Weird Tales, July 1927, Connor’s YouTube channel, commentary, essay writing, trying to convince us to go into a war, a Halloween writing contest, writing short stories and novels is a grifter’s game, supply exceeds demand, start writing poetry, long fantasy series possible value, talking about two unrelated horror stories, Run by Noemi Arduini, Inevitable Outcome by Adam Podoxin, a komdo dragon, hair on her arms and legs, braids, a cycle of werewolfery, well written sentence by sentence, more like a scene from a film, this is the end scene or the last paragraph of a story, whoever is tutoring this kid, how books are structured, some kid is being chased, two characters?, totally a story, sets up a problem, closed off, there’s only one character, a circle, a judgement by the author, clunky, not a wholly original idea, Behold The Man by Michael Moorcock, what your goal in writing is very important, well done language, pleasant to read, scary, which one is scarier, catharsis, what the story is doing, start watching a horror movie, teenagers at the lake, why bring this up?, polished but longer than it needs to be, why doesn’t it have more attention?, competent, some of the writing is clunky, a good premise, it resolves, a huge impression?, you are also somehow threatened, operating on an intellectual level, why isn’t it a classic of weird fiction?, the HPLHS’ Voluminous podcast, always be listening, Lovecraft is a great ideas man, Farnsworth Wright, Chicago, “closest to my notion of a weird tale”, a good story, mood, intertextuality, punching up the characters, college friends, selling farm equipment in Saskatchewan, that’s the story, moves on with his life, the most interesting events are distanced by at least three levels, the internal narrator’s now wife, US > THIS NARRATOR > S.T. CHAPMAN > PROFESSOR MORSE, taking turns reading, why the wife is so Lovecraftian traumatized, Cool Air, Pickman’s Model, the best way of having this story told, you can’t allude to it with her in the room, she has PTSD from reading, the knowledge that this place exists, what it says about our place on earth, super-awesome, vegetation having a secret consciousness is really fascinating and creep and scary, there’s some truth in it, a cosmicism poem, all over this story, geology, the size of the universe, and evolution, how we got here, upper-class elite twits, Cuba, Florida, cars and boats, no kids, the biological component is really important, vegetable life, The Shadow Out Of Time, the Migo are fungi, very immediate, the caterpillar, half-way between a plant and an animal, a Lovecraftian character, the Indians thought about this place, not a real place, Syl and Mare, forest and water, huddle near a bunch of lamps, the husband gets water, they start smoking, the word “drug” means “plant”, venom, synthetic production, caffeine from coal tar, urea from pee, the petrochemical process, all jittery, caffeine is related to urea, what is caffeine for?, caffeine is an insecticide, tropical areas, Guatemala, where the spicy stuff comes from, animals and plants in a war all the time, we are the masters of the Earth, tell it as a garden of Eden story from the tree’s point of view, align yourself with the snake, get some good sunlight, they’re there to feed you, mysterious things happening, the rise of Veganism, we don’t like our relationship to factory farming, the horror of slaughter as a moral good (a natural process), we think of it as a moral evil, you can’t make your cat become a vegan, trees communicate with each other, chemicals, cut grass, something is eating us, flatten yourself, a survival mechanism, apples today, the cultivar, tree glue, an innovation we have done as humans, the whole idea behind fruit, whose doing the manipulation, symbiosis, exploiting the apple tree, we have done something, at the core of this story we don’t actually see what happens, fully pined up, becomes entranced, his lighter, lights the island on fire, the monster vs. “the thing”, what its doing to the people, shot themselves, ensorcelled, a chemical attack, the tree doesn’t say anything, trying to fertilize the ground with the corpses of these people, the origin of this effect, a happenstance that produced a particular effect, not a part of a survival strategy, real world parallels, an instance in history, the Dyatlov Pass incident, the mystery of the Dyatlov Pass, geography creating ultra low frequency sounds, unlucky hikers, a natural process seeming to exert a supernatural force, infrasound, like an evil presence, Dreams In The Witch House, advanced mathematics, what percentage of the story is fully nested, page 96, The Grove Of Ashtaroth by John Buchan, do listeners feel it the same way?, get to the action faster, put skulls everywhere, a protection spell, what makes it a sacred grove, if you go in there bad things happen, six incidents, we could see the bodies of the youth and the girl lying in the bottom of the boat, naval reserve uniform, they went to the island to have sex, heavily wooded, lying down on the needles, a pine tree monster with flailing arms, all funked out, the Indians knew about it, the families were for it, consummating the act, why nobody talks about it, an over-reading on the motivation?, menacing, the classic backstory, the finding of the old book, an odd volume of the colonial period, a haunted island, the red men, the heart of the story, the mood part of the story, lessening the impact, long for a story of this material, a crummy setup, men of leisure who go to country clubs, Estelle telling the story, too far from the action, after dinner we went into the library, framing devices, The Oval Portrait by Edgar Allan Poe, the core of what we’re seeing, Lovecraft would have done it even better, a strangely sharp pinnacle of rock, this singular formation, a distinctly weird and eerie aspect, a great loneliness depressed me, a sense of guidance, the transition, maybe the tree is doing this to him, a toilsome passage, emitting a chemical sense, the mystery, a small circular rift, a precipice, the weird gloom, a thick mist in colour and opaqueness, the renting, similar abrasions, the evil genius of this baleful deft spot, two slight indentations, somebody brought back the tips of the fir boughs, a little bag full of some pine needles, life superimposed on death, ever growing ever dying, layering and layering of rock, fossils built on top of fossils, the earth is a living thing, a fungus growing on layer upon layer of death, a non-biological phenomenon?, really fun stuff, the self-made murmur in the silence of a cavern, the sound of the sea from some freak of acoustics, a resonance chamber, the soft mill-like murmur, the gloom of the wood, man’s earliest lullaby, the druid’s oak, fetish wold, sylvan shrine of the South Sea savages, duseute avenues of the soul, obsolete, a much older kinship, life’s dim beginnings, this vengeful death trap, ruing, an ancient covenant, parallel consciousness, it is a sure thing, plants retain the sex character, direct fixation of carbon (man), fix nutrients, catalepsy and kindred states, insectivorous plants, the whole island is a Venus fly trap, creating sugars, primitive on and off sentience, sterile soil, idle aeons, mobility’s parallel, mentality, their grey and terrible web, this is awesome, an otherwise slow story, island of the coast of Romania (Snake Island), Jason And The Argonauts, WWII, yeast, alcohol, where wine and beer came from, [almost] no animal based alcohols, “magical wine”, too pure a form, chop each other down (instead of trees), a taboo, the third one of the west coast of norther Florida, he’s really got something here, fantastic, gold, the foreshadowing is good (but too long), you got some Rus, Dionysus’ island, make an exact timeline, pick the exact time to start the story, Jesse’s never been to the Black Sea, whoever Hugh Irish may be, a visitor to this place, caught up in the wrong part of the story?, a little bit off, not enough personal family trauma?, the farther you go back in time the harder it is to get the details right, and space, with jets and nuclear powered submarines, get lost in the storytelling, WWII has Nazis, but that’s distracting from the point, a biological phenomena, dangerous and valuable, if it is the trees…, why haven’t these trees taken over North America, resonance of sound, struggling towards consciousness, evolution as a series of flukes (that stick), he burns it down, South Africa/Rhodesia, little bit racist, a parallel story without the supernatural goddess element, conquer the Earth Day Of The Triffids style, a moral horror story, crazy interesting, an ashy island, rather than one particular tree, killing the last (or first) dinosaur, human beings are too smart and they have fire, how Evan Lampe would read this, this chemical funk, psychic rays?, a typewriter or a pen, his writing gets kind of lazy, a very Lovecraftian ending, Dagon, overcome by these feelings, succumb to this knowledge, Lovecraft explainers, the opening of Supernatural Horror And Literature vs. The Call Of Cthulhu, crushing realization, we must remain unconscious of the whole, a placid island of ignorance, our level of grasp of the size and age of the universe, a bad case of the glooms, a bargain with the plants, the faith is broken, don’t eat of the tree of knowledge, you’re doing our stuff, upper class elites, they’re like fail sons, Hunter Biden, growing up in an elite household, directionless, just facts, the Naval reserve, get credibility, doing drugs instead, his parents are in the position to inveigle that, a level of failing upwards, psychological problems of elites children, fail sons and daughters, not engaging with the meaning, not sentient enough, people not being excised about the right things, God’s dead? I guess I’m transgender now, sudden realization, Nitchze, God’s dead and we killed him!, a comet is coming to hit the earth and did you see that new Netflix special?, a plant-human covenant, what the horror should be, rewriting The Mystery Of Sylmare, before I’m lost, human skulls, dying for centuries, the same effect as cosmic horror, shifting a human being’s consciousness, I am me being myself, more of a plant consciousness, phermones, vegetize, a story called Philip K. Dick called Piper In The Woods, Jason Thompson is a plant monster guy, a collective of evil trees, Algernon Blackwood style, mad scientists, alien plants, making them like plants in that they don’t move anymore, becoming plants vs. going mad, understanding of the cosmos or infinity is too much for the human mind, it consumes their normal human consciousness, sanity blasted, you as the reader beware, pockets of this may still exist in danger, end with the outer narrator with a fireaxe, email or a tweet, Of Withered Apples by Philip K. Dick, taxes at the dinner table, inferable reasons, appendicitis, she at the seeds, a fable or something, Out In The Garden by Philip K. Dick, Zeus impregnated a story in the suburbs in the 1950s, weird paranoia, nailing a real truth, where life came from, In The Case Of Bradner, The Smart Set, Lord Dunsany, the opening paragraphs, written by the same guy, a mortal coward in storms, under the potato bin, it taught our progenitors, cunning and mind, fear: greatest friend that man ever had, same kind of personality, same kind of wavelength, Este Chapman is a writer, a fiction writer?, deadlines, a couple of columns in Collier’s from 1913, E.F. Bleiler, Hugh Rankin, short story, Florida, a segment of the vegetable world, burning oil, overwritten and two many frames, the layering and layering, the layering down of stories, the professor is the most interesting character in it, the red men on the far end, a style that’s not popular today, Arthur Conan Doyle, Tony Walker and the CLASSIC GHOST STORIES PODCAST, immediate, immediate and simple, Lovecraft doesn’t care, The Lurking Fear and Herbert West: Re-Animator, the focus on the market, fucking up readership, trying to influence reality, high ideals for writing, making a true work of art, Obama, the Unabomber, or Frank Herbert, who is the moral superior?,
Which would you prefer
Having written short story, or _haha_ a novel, and have had it read by 1000 people
or have had 1000 people listen to your words for the time it would have taken to read your story or _haha_ novel?
preferring readers, trying to make the scales even, teasing out the number, a mug’s game, a lie wannabe writers tell themselves, it’s about identity, a bit cynical, to have a book on the shelf, I wrote this one, an element of vanity, willing to make compromises to get it, readers vs. listeners, old episodes get listened to, millions of downloads, we don’t respect the medium we respect the medium of books or TV shows, angry at Joe Rogan, jealousy, get their dignity back, most people don’t read, who are you deluding?, how many J.K. Rowlings are there?, a winnowing over time, H.G. Wells, The World Set Free, The Food Of The Gods, what makes something wonderful, what makes something important, b films, The Spirits Of The Dead (1968), William Wilson, Don’t Bet The Devil Your Head, it deserves more status than it has, the best time ever to be a person digging into the past, never been easier, search engines are fucking wizardry, like the flakes in this story, you have to write H.P. Lovecraft, libraries sprining up all over, Carnegie libraries, read the book Dune, Dune‘s not a film its a book, The Canal by Everil Worrell, for a film, In The Earth (2021), folk horror, The Stone Tape (1972) BBC TV movie, The Blair Witch Project (1999), be in the mind of the narrator or the character, voice over, the idea driving vs. just writing, forgiving non-action, this is why these woods have that effect, Laird Barron, keep punching up, the core defined concept, Lovecraft is all about mood (caused by the idea), what if my ancestors were fishmen?, if I was Arthur Jermyn, my grandmother was a gorilla?, best news ever!, humour as a reaction to an idea, how to make your sentences look and smell nice, reduce the stories characters by one, make the title a key, making people want to read, reading for different reasons, reading for fiction, reading for intellectual engagement, confusing the actor for the character, Nicholas Cage is compelling on screen, Steve Buscemi chooses better movies, The Color Out Of Space (2019), Pig (2021), who wrote it?, David Mamet movies vs. James Bond movies, movies with x actor, whether the author did the work or not, those are Poe stories, story is important, does budget matter that much?, Hey! Stop Stabbing Me (2003), movies with subtitles, training up, enjoying Soviet movies, Akira Kurosawa movies, what school should be about, The Woman Of The Dunes (1964), how much money do you need?, the bare minimum and a little bit more, Hex (2019), The Interlopers by Saki, Connor gave some wisdom, easy to be too negative, when analyzing, if you’re lying to yourself, be more demanding.
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.