Reading, Short And Deep #406
Eric S. Rabkin and Jesse Willis discuss The Cripple by Maurice Level
Here’s a link to a PDF of the poem.
The Cripple was first published as L’Infirme in Le Journal, 1919.
The SFFaudio Podcast #760 – The Poison Belt by Arthur Conan Doyle, read by Mike F. Smith (for LibriVox.org). This is a complete and unabridged reading of the book (3 hours, 17 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Paul Weimer, Bryan Alexander, Trish E. Matson, and Terence Blake
Talked about on today’s show:
1913, The Strand, republished, 199 pages, 3 hours and 15 minutes, what we might call a series, The Lost World, never even mention dinosaurs, does this book stand on its own, from a plot perspective, fall into the byplay, as characters, building on those characters, what character we needed, such a step down in terms of length, the mind blowing idea, discovered dinosaurs 3 years earlier, everybody dies, what challenger was doing, reverses all the damage he does, less potent thus less famous, the reception, invasion novels, village, how the rest of the world responds, golfers and babies, the end of the world, straight up, a giant stride being taken, the big setup, skull island, the plateau of Leng, Edgar Rice Burroughs, in Challenger’s wife’s boudoir, no action, the story as an idea, a request from publishers, more of that Challenger stuff, the adventures of these guys again, this story gets super-existential, I can’t report the news now, that old lady worrying about her stocks, in despair, we still have science!, all the roles that Conan Doyle is himself playing, aspects of his own personality, Sumerlee is the worst parts, Challenger is the guy who wants to be, Roxton is the manly man, the reversal, Aristotle’s unities, war imagery, corpses lying every which way on the ground, pseudocorpses, a gas attack, even more striking, propaganda operations, that’s where he got his, keeping up with the fairies, keeping up with everything topical, Danger!, England being attacked by an enemy using uboats, the spectre of death, War Of The Worlds, newspaper reports, telegrams, he wanted an [email protected] email address, clericals and anarchists, Paris has riots in the streets, racialism, the nigger at the beginning and the end, less complex societies, Sumatra, odious ideas of race, the pinnacle is all these people, after he bites his housemaid, a superman, making fun of challenger, short legs, the ride in on the traincar, doing a cockatoo, some rando, perfect for England in 1913, no colonies east of Sumatra, we peel around the world moving west, continues past England, eerily prescient, really poignant, layers of mediation, a snapshot of attitudes in this peak of colonialism, the Slovenians falling, the Teutons were slower to be affected, Doyle’s everybody here, could he have written this 20 years later, kinda stupid premise, ether is not a thing, ether has come back, Einstein, we don’t need this shit, you don’t need ether for the plot, a map of local interstellar space, a bubble of low density interstellar medium, pre-Einsteinian ether theory, cosmic particles, panspermia, what we’re looking at is not a gas, like the Force, allowing light to do its thing, it doesn’t make any sense, change the overall mixture, it can’t actually be a gas, the earth orbiting through this gas, diluting it, they wax papered the windows, A Pail Of Air by Fritz Leiber, a bucket of oxygen, a frozen gas vs. an etheral gas, echoes from this book, Brain Wave by Poul Anderson, supressed conductivity, a Vernor Vinge lift later as well, A Fire Upon The Deep, zones of thought, a sleeping field, the vocab word: catalepsy, I’m feeling cataleptic, can’t come into work today, The First Men In The Moon by H.G. Wells, a social novel, clearly sentimental, the imagery is powerful, the comedy aspect, makes it gentle, John Wyndham’s The Midwich Cuckoos, that scale is so different, every woman on earth is now pregnant, The Day Of The Triffids, knocking up a whole world, hyper-personal, played by Brian Blessed, if fictional people can be reincarnated into real people, A Thousand Plateaus by Félix Guattari and Gilles Deleuze, chapter tracks, a screaming thing, The Land Of The Mists, spiritually insane, 5% insane, luminiferous either, a spiritualist concept, observe as much as we can, if it exists, really?, takes it a priori, Lovecraft, water and salt, who he is and how, essential salts, materialism, too great a thing, three bucketfuls of water, ugly bags of mostly water, uses matter but is not of it, When The World Screamed, a Quatermass serial, a Doctor Who episode, Inferno, a Mirror, Mirror, evil UNIT, Brigadier has an eye-patch, like Spock, some other inventor, the Earth is a living organism, the crust of the Earth with the grapes, a wash to get of some virus or bacteria on the grapes, a line of 8 reapers, bloody golfers, machine metaphors, longing for simplification, early Christian apocalypse, Ragnarok, atomic bomb stories, after the bomb, Mad Max, 27 hours, makes a good play, its scope is much smaller, a total cop-out, just believe Challenger, all hold hands and become a better world, massive anarchist conspiracy, find people to blame it on, a prime target, lost a day, very controversial, personal reasons, hurts the stature, post-apocalyptic, not a plague, the policman standing up wakes up, traffic’s gone to shit, hard not to bring up Lovecraft, a science fiction story, field glasses, spot his housekeeper, a microscope, this microscope, this is wonderful, you can see for your self, and yet it moves sort of line, scientific method, emotionally interesting, existential, does my life have meaning, humour, Doyle’s such a good writer, everything flows so smoothly, our worthy Summerlee, mopping his heated brow, more easily condone, when my balance has been disturbed, one Sarah, so much classism, she is a woman of a sever and forbidding aspect, the royal we, alone at my breakfast, entertaining and instructive, imperturbability, upset a small vase, withdrawn the the study, I sank my teeth in the calf of her leg, ore herself free, some thoughts of an explanation, traveling very rapidly, is it illuminative?, pour this orange juice on his head, explaining the behavior, as you drink less alcohol, as you get older, restrain yourself, as your faculties go, laughter and impulsivity, rationalizing, this experiment is a good idea, so good, he’s become a monster, he bit her on the leg, use my rational mind, problems and issues, classism, rather horrified, loyal chauffeur, wryly sticks with the professor, such a domestic tyrant, they couldn’t appreciate it, we’re all going to die soon, while working on the engine, a common attitude, many rich people now, utter callousness, a natural progression, Sherpas are always missing when climbing Everest, Nepal, the last real town before Everest, a statue of Tenzing Norgay, without him Hillary wouldn’t have gotten anywhere, run 26 miles down hill, badass, Victorian, 18th century fiction, invisible servants, especially a British thing, French social novels of the 19th century, Russian novels, snapshot of the world in 1913, a maniac and a monster, we see this today, Kardashians, gigantic celebrity, talent on stage, staff was masked up, the science in here, the ether explanation, the ideas of what science is, pro-science stuff, what is this book about, what is a theme?, the hardest questions, you’re telling me I have to live, they don’t want to live in a world without…, you can’t published, you can find stuff out, the most stable idea, it isn’t the publication its the finding out, new things about reality, there’s still always going to be science, for science alone vs. life with him, some class stuff with the local guides, and racism, science is in many ways useless, too late to do anything about it, a Cassandra function, there’s delight, the future Earth will be repopulated, evolution is 100% true, a series of observations, predictions, errors, new observations, new predictions, very optimistic, horrific things happened and people were shocked for a while, Malone, feeble folk, like all the oft repeated truths, a lesson an actual experience was need to bring it home, still stunned by the suddenness of the blows, fires everywhere, one of the greatest tragedies, grim reading, her stocks! her stocks!, elide over millions are going to die, for the survivors, personally unaffected, wake up, a rictus grin, nobody died of dehydration, those people, COVID-19, awfully familiar, almost Lovecraftian, the abyss, how convenient, the engineers, this story is meaningless in a certain sense, what will not be forgotten, this revelation, ignorant self-complacency, what abysses may lie on the other side, all our emotions to-day, pushing the religion, explicit religious stuff, singing the hymn, that chastened effect, humility, a narcissistic element, we survived, a contradiction in the narrative stance, the only survivors, Huck Finn at his own funeral, headlines, DEAD LONDON!, The Star by H.G. Wells, almost exactly the same story, A Pail Of Air, a rogue planet, the new brotherhood, books and machines, a hint of this, cold last paragraph, Martian astronomers, Wells and Conan Doyle were really different people, you know why he didn’t get a sir, almost all his characters are monsters, imposing these things on people, often they get a comeuppance, The War Of The Worlds guy, their philosophies, The Time Ships by Stephen Baxter, a really ambitious book, a bunch of child murders, aloof, The First Men In The Moon, Cavor is wonderful, suicidal, a cool romp?, sentimental, moved by it, convinced the whole world had died, where that leaves us, humanity being humbled, the amoeba doesn’t save anybody in this, the human future, out of space, this invasion from Mars, the most fruitful source of decadence, the conception of the commonweal of mankind, very Wellsian, Eric S. Rabkin, that’ll never be the case, damn that gets me, such a magnificent book, a Challenger adventure, he’s a great character, why is he so enthusiastic, reading old stuff does more than one thing, a picture of the society I live in, Fraunhofer lines, we can’t imagine this today, our tame scientist at the office, they have a scientist on staff, at the New York Times, maybe today, he don’t write a lot of articles, 5 people wrote them, daily newspapers, a list of experts they call up, just there to consult, be a Wikipedia and keep up with all that stuff, the golfers and the cricketers, pre-WWI Britain, a “tame scientist”, this had to have been true, these were going concerns, going through old newspapers, the topics covered, university level writing, mistakes, Lovecraft had a syndicated astronomy column across the USA, the local newspaper, the Vancouver Sun, the Province, 5 days a week, not doing Mondays anymore, the fonts are big, the end times for newspapers, Bryan’s new book, Universities On Fire by Bryan Alexander, the bleakest thing Bryan’s ever written, possible extinction, Scientific American used to be amazing, magazines are dead, retired teacher magazines are better than national general topic magazines, encouraging people to get vaccinated, insisted they didn’t need vaccination, the wackiness of Q Anon, silver colloidal treatments, oceans of scientific stuff, the evolution of Wikipedia on SARS, we have a stupider media, access to scientific material, mis and dis information, reading wrong stuff, getting indoctrinated by it, we lived through COVID in real time, the vaccine(s), distributed quickly, excited about the science aspect, prediction supposition, action, correction, new prediction, combined with the emotion, ring the bell, all four of the men, a very religious image, smart, how do you communicate with a whole lot of people, Doyle also makes a point, the churches had never been so packed, the end of Soylent Green, not slept in weeks, it’s people, a very similar kind of image, a utopia, golfing at the world’s end, keep golfing, a dystopian vision, a continuity, the bucolic English countryside, Amitav Ghosh’s The Great Derangement, Jane Austen, J.G. Ballard, pastoral, industrial, tamed nature, a lawn, feedstock for our machines, Kim Stanley Robinson’s The High Sierra: A Love Story, Switzerland, all about the hiking, under Mercury’s surface, Ministry Of The Future, catastrophes into eucatastrophes, he loves this environment, this landscape, lightly pissing on Yosemite, I hate Yosemite, The Comet by W.E.B. Du Bois, searching for other survivors, about to kiss, we have to procreate, only New Yorkers were killed, almost lynched, a cash reward, Pseudopod, another British writer, M.P. Shiel, the movie is pretty good, Harry Belafonte, The Purple Cloud, he just steals other people’s stuff, this is nothing like British Columbia, same story different location, different title, The Place Of Pain, a lens that allows you to see the Moon’s surface like no other telescope can, super-duper-liar, lifting and using ideas, The World, the Flesh And The Devil (1959), heavy-handed, Star Trek, bring back Jim Crow, the cyanogen scare of 1906, Cosmos, Carl Sagan, never explicated to any great degree, a lake in central Afica that had a burp and killed everybody around it, a Fortean style gas, a heavy gas, Lake Nyos in Cameroon, impeding in Salt Lake, invisible, the entire text, Z For Zachariah by Robert C. O’Brien, we don’t know what happened to cause Jenny’s death, her funeral over zoom, they had just adopted a kid, Redonda, this guy’s really kill, this guy’s horrible, fun, a liar, it might be worse than that, Colin Wilson, Michael Moorcock, The Yellow Invasion, child molestation, everything about him is monstrous, his grift goes on and on, a kind of stature, a couple of handfuls of books from that period, palate cleanser, a lot of fun, very moving, done more with it, end of the world/British invasion stories, good writing, just as valuable for the context, if you’re interested in genre history, Francis Ford Coppola, an ongoing joke, roots in a lie, his dad ennobled him, his way of inveigling his way into the good graces of publishers, not occupiable, ESP and reincarnation, would you like to be a lord, a way of having a conversation with Vincent Price, Hollywood creepy, giant cosplay, Arthur Machen, Umberto Eco, another creepy guy, pedophiles out in the world, Sailing Alone Around The World by Joshua Slocum, not acting on best behavior, Jesse’s politics: pirates stabbing liches, Anne McCaffrey, Jesse can beat her ghost, live afraid, The Ship Who Sang by Anne McCaffrey, Gutenberg.org, a great story, 30 pages, about 45 minutes to read aloud, Black Priestess Of Varda by Erik Fennel, he is that guy, lost an eye and lost an arm, a portal fantasy, the story is very illustrative, intermural television, can it be done?, 1930, only 100 years off, Science & Invention, Dick Tracy’s two way radio, Metropolis by Thea von Harbou and her husband, contemporaneous with the making of the film, Alan Dean Foster, an amazing BBC radio drama adaptation, novelizations of movies based on novels, Philip K. Dick and Blade Runner, audiobooks of the damned, pirate audiobook narrations of novelizations, The Terminator, get inside Sarah Connor’s head, based on the script, Alan Dean Foster’s novelization of Alien, fantastic, a stage adaptation of Aliens, a high school production, Sigourney Weaver in the audience, it stages really well, with film we don’t have to restage, refer people back to the original film, take care of that flood, rising tide, good book, Logan’s Run, Downward To Earth, Sixth Column, photography stuff, bud and stuff, hang out with Terence and see his beautiful southern France, abandoned lunatic asylum, changed it back, flash photography, photography takes practice, ghost hunters, flicker every so often, invite any spirit to play with it, arrange a card game with a couple of spirits, wild fun, the later end of Conan Doyle’s stuff, historical tours, hand hewn stone, 2nd biggest structure on Earth, built just before the Civil War, the rump state of Virginia, a Union unit seized all the money, ghost stories, the idea situation, a trash fire algorithm, the host with the most, do some Silverberg, life is really good, spoiled, choosing not to believe.
The SFFaudio Podcast #759 – Star Born by Andre Norton, read by Mike F. Smith (for LibriVox.org). This is a complete and unabridged reading of the book (6 hours, 34 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Paul Weimer, Trish, and Alex (PulpCovers.com).
Talked about on today’s show:
1957, Ace Double, H. Beam Piper’s and John J. McGuire Planet For Texans, which one would you like better, memories of H. Beam, great elements, a better book vs. more fun, action, courtroom scenes, sitting around the campire expressing philisophical opinions, too much plot, too many characters, 2 humans, a supporting cast of other space men, 2 different mermen, on the cover, the new mermen, a lot of men, not a lot of wo-men, merladies, female characters, we mention mating, brightly clothed the others women, escorted to the arena, a line of mermen, the mom dragon creature with its babies in the arena, two arena scenes, vast audience, gladiatorial combat in ancient Rome, half full stadium, aliens are the natives, genetically uplifted, slaves, Doctor Moreau them, consciousness raising, experimental animals, more docile, a fairly fun book, developing the world, this is not the first book in a series, The Stars Are Ours, a sequel, Trish liked this book a lot, horrible disappointment with Star Hunter, hate all her stuff, the ethical questions, Raf Kirby, mental journey that he goes on, politicking, distrust of his own crew, they’re all weird, come from the culture, the Pax is overthrown, they’re the Federation now, descendants of the Pax, his bloodknife brother, way more star of the story, they’re on a manquest, different culture, assisting him with a lifequest, tightly knit, partners, telepathically communicate, talk to the animals, squirrels, understanding the concept trade, this is a culture that is integrated into its ecosystem, hunting and gathering, Rafe, covered in gear, bombs in his chest, guns, rocketpack, flitters and bases and tech, do you have a friend?, no, I don’t, she doesn’t cook this enough, a critique of machine culture, H.P. Lovecraft, regimentation, titles and orders, settle on this planet?, go back to his spaceship, we’re us you’re you, come back and see us in a few thousand years, an adventure, he got to go home, nine missions previously, not really volunteers, space navy seals, fled a bad culture, still the case, a Herman Melville style native vs. capitalism culture, Rafe and Dal, one syllable with an A in the middle, the ecology, the geology, the geography, a little better, randomly tossed together, loose ends, small explanations, it having a prequel, she invented that other culture and world first, four grandfathers ago, at least 100 years, cryosleep, Earth has moved on, hyperspace tech, they’re warpin, a slow trip, at least 200 years later, all the richer, ancient dead society that’s not so dead, past glory, Rome is explicitly called out, 6th or 7th century Roman empire, Justinian comes in from the east, Rafe’s world, they come from cities, Homeport is a village in a ruin, she sketches everything, the closest to concrete details, the merman’s fur it gray with rainbow tips, they’re otter people, they’re furry, iridescence, it’s cool, the world’s cool, go deeper, a contemporary review, Galaxy, January 1958,by Floyd C. Gale, workmanlike, sequels demand comparison, a solid interesting story, Earth’s dictatorship, a degree of telepathic ability, Dalgard Nordis, the normal matriculating exploration, strange activities, capital t capital o, Jesse’s problem with the book, all the parallels, a high culture, crushed by its own craziness, abandoned its technology, hunter gatherer with a taboo against high technology, a plot moving characters around the stage, that’s kind of all there is, there’s more to talk about, how terrible that captain is, draftee, just got training, slaps Raf down, wrong keywords, I guess cuz they’re aliens, that’s the evil culture, representing the horrible culture that he’s coming from, the philosophy may be in the right place, delegitimating other peoples because they’re not your own, burned up and flamed out, they’re not men, a fire and tools rule, carrying spears, a big hypocrite, a terrible captain, self ordered exploration, no reprimand, going off with that warrior, immediately embroiled in local politics, let’s get involved in this land war, the Prime Directive from Star Trek, ignore the contradiction, the enemy we have to guard against, the one bright idea, the recording device, let’s run it through the ditto, backup tapes, here’s a human looking captive, did Andre just forget about it, this book the result of that recording, all that stuff, he should’ve gone native, this is a juvenile, two juvenile, loincloth vs. spacesuit, adult role, he needed to go through a Heinlein novel first, strong opinions, some ethical system he’s imposing, get away from that society, there’s no girl to seduce him, no merlady, recasting Dal as a girl, gender flip somebody, the aquaman, cross species romance, carrying through unresolved sexual tensions, rishathra thing from Ringworld, mules or something, Apple TV, a Discworld, unrecognizable Ursula K. Le Guin, unnatural in some way, they’re from the land, their whole species, later Romans are always cast as decadent, a lack of nuance, mustache twirling, I can solve this, a young juvenile from the others, her solution is add another character, what does Raf contribute?, bombs, the outside perspective, down with Dal, if I could skip each Raf chapter, adding a couple inches to the map, this book needed a map, helps to display interesting similarities, hate sleeping inside this alien city, being shutup in buildings, reflexive xenophobic instinctual, an adopted prejudice, bad vibes, why was he so immediately alarm bells, plot that needs to happen, an argument, the heebee jeebees, a lot of showing, no Heinleinian lectures, ancient race, very cool, internal reveal, a conflict between Dal and Rad, fighting over a mergirl, a mermaid if you will, Four-Day Planet by H. Beam Piper, nice little infodumps, better than Lone Star Planet, people arguing for positions, a newspaperman cannot offend everybody in the community, presenting characters who the reader can identify with, snarky or excited or religious or something, just has a furry coat, she needs some chip on her shoulder, forced character development, allow the reader to project themselves, the characters are palish, even Nancy Drew, she has no strong stuff, she’s always making sandwiches for people, behind it all she’s the girl detective, mysteries, do whatever you want with her, blank slate, she has a skirt and flashlight, juvenile literature, she’s not a cipher, nobody he’s sweet on, secret passion for his merboyfriend, always the loner, any kind of a personality, writing quickly?, cranking these books out as fast as they could, keep the secret of the this colony, protect them from the Federation, here be dragons on the planet, quite literally, that’s a mistake, taking a lot on himself, when they’re all telepathic, his telepathic wife, council of elders, one person keeping a telepathic secret, Raf’s reasons, Dalgard feels more like arrogance, next time they see a rocket, a mistake not to share this information with his people, the evil Pax, isn’t Ssuri in on some of this, Merguy number 2, there for the rocket, protect the people here, she’s doing a lot of symmetrical stuff, how old do we think he is, 14, 15, 16, 18ish, a callow 18, 16-18, maturity at a younger age, Star Trek: Enterprise, Cogenitor, a nice solar sailing cruise, enslaved another race and uses them for reproduction, terrible trouble, when they pick him up, he blew up some of the artifacts, keep the deal, lost from the expedition, his dead armor with a hole in it, charred helmet, some blood, hating because it is powerful, surely they’re going to revisit this, not a well loved show, the most notable thing about Enterprise, the movies that Tucker chooses to watch, Picard’s holodeck, a holodeck serial, what movies are on the harddrives of the NX-01, there weren’t that many episodes that were good Star Trek episodes, Ensign Ro, made Deep Space Nine a show, Kira instead, what if you’re wrong, Federation?, the Maquis, an undercutting of the main thing, integrated instantly, Captain Chakotay, so much to explore there, political distrust, a crew vote for captain, your pirate thing, upset with a Federation decision, we should raise the age of consent or retirement, whoever it is, cede territory to avoid a war, integrated into the Cardassian culture?, how rich that paid off, why Voyager is not as good as Deep Space Nine, Quark doesn’t play the game, embraced the tensions, arcy stuff, the Cardassian tailor, J’kar is the other show, Babylon 5, this needed some of that, too stiff, danced around it, vestigial sense of duty, I’ve changed my mind, doing this as a Tom Cruise movie, go against the IMF, use the blast bombs for the second time, the cache of artifacts, invaded the city with a strike team, there was no music swelling or dramatic pause, Andre Norton’s famous books, Voodoo Planet, Beast Master, The Beastmaster (1982), a barbarian, John W. Campbell’s evil influence, telepath vs. cyborg, her big legacy, a sad legacy, the very 1st D&D novelization, Witch World, the great filter, over time people and things fall by the wayside, Robert W. Chambers, a new King In Yellow movie on Amazon Prime, there goes Trish’s semi-noisy keyboard, terrible metaphor, lacks some pepper, lacks some heat, not making it spicy, benefit with adaptation, Rings Of Power, not executed, gender flip some furry people, change the ending, The Demon Breed by James H. Schmitz, a mostly water based world, female scientist and her intelligent otter companions, tool uses, foil the invasion by extensive knowledge of the environment, a great book, The Witches Of Karres, no psychic powers, Uplift series by David Brin, otter people, a natural for uplift, they hold hands, if you are choosing species to uplift, humans disappeared, uplifted elephants, weird furry trolls, they otter be more ottery, no audible audibooks for Schmitz, Legacy by James H. Schmitz, ancient living machines, A Tale Of Two Clocks, skilled in every martial art, a chilling notion, the plasmoids, an excellent narrator: Winston Tharp, mostly does poetry, Lion Loose by James H. Schmitz, the Lion House, a lesbian pulp fiction novel, October 1961, guy with a cigarette and a long pony tail, judging a story by the art, anything he records, problematic stuff, the sexister the better, let’s talk about Gor, a long running series, the covers are really good, simplified map of known Gor, do they exist as audiobooks, John Norman, book 37!, 35 hours, we’re safe, Gorean saga, really overselling it, terrible horrendous art, random stock art put a sword on it, some person riding a giant eagle, a tarn, one guy, a professor of decorum, professor of philosophy, in defense of ethical naturalism, nudity?, the logic of the open question argument, publishing the wrong things, working out your psychology, Heinlein’s is pretty scary, deep issues, he’s 91, longer in science fiction, more than 20 Tarzan books, other books where Tarzan shows up, cross overs, the Barney Of Beatrice series, Joe R. Lansdale, The Mad King, the Tarzan literary universe, they’re trying to beat Norman, 26 by Burroughs, they get longer and longer, that’s not the crazy part, 28 hour book, Ralph Lister has a helluva workout, happy Ralph Lister?, what the first Gor book is about, counter-earth, a princess, war aircraft bird, semi-feudal city states, the slavery becomes the main theme, weird slave fantasies, wow!, I’m a sex slave now, that’s crazy, a market for it, tiresome after a while, 1966, Burroughs pastiche, sexier, a Gor book from 1966-1988, almost every year, amazing, a helluvan output, a model dressed as a kajira, cosplaying gor, classifications, a plethora of types by virginity types, by employment, save Jesse from himself, new weird things, it exists its fine, so hard so fast, a gothic romance book, you have to have a castle and a lady running away and a high light in the window, yelling at Jesse about Gor, the reputation, endorsing by damning, weirder and worse, an impressive series, The Shadow, Walter B. Gibson, it makes him look like his other brother, the nose is part of the mask, hero pulp characters, backstory, very descriptive, from the pov of others, a force of nature, he’s never the narrator, is this his real identity, Lamont Cranston is a real guy, a rich playboy, impersonates him, you were here last week, Liam Neeson, Darkman (1990), Sam Raimi, a great premise, an origin story movie, scientist or something, do amazing stuff, a review of Darkman by Red Letter Media?, Frances McDormand, the romantic lead, two sequels, Armand Assante, he has no face, dramatic I’ve got cancer heroes, Rob Roy (1995), now just action roles, ice road trucker, The Gray (2011), assassin on the Mexican border, Stallone’s career, stick around long enough, a lady falling from a high tower, all the Spider-Man movies, people got their fetishes, Alfred Hitchcock, Quentin Tarantino’s feet, blonde lady and handsome guy with dark hair, The Spider, Will Murray, the guy who invented Squirrel Girl, straight 1930s pulp style, a cloak and a hat, carries a gun, indistinguishable, what a trick, essentially identical, Spider Fury And Steel, Doc Savage meets King Kong, The Spider: Fury in Steel, Billy Zane, The Phantom, great grandpa was Tarzan, 400 years of history, this immortal, the ghost who walks, weird 90s pulp revival, The Rocketeer (1991), female air pirate, weird lesbian subtext, perfectly understandable, action sequences, Treat Williams, Xander Drax, he’s a treat, Deep Rising (1998), action heist movie turns into towering inferno with a Cthulhu monster, Famke Jansen, Anthony Heald, Wes Studio, that didn’t take long, John Carpenter, that vibe, 45 million dollar budget, before we have to go, ocean going heist movie, Out Of The Dark by David Weber, dog-like aliens from space, submit, space-dogs, Footfall by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle, guerrilla warfare, the Battle of Agincourt, Harry Turtledove, Dracula shows up, Vlad the Impaler himself, the title reveal, double meaning, glass the planet, two books in the series, Into The Light, co-author, 381 pages, 16 hours, alien invasion until the very end, because he’s Dracula, Honor Harrington, a lot of those, the Moon is secretly a death star, 1966, a different series, a solid week, The Tall T (1956), based on an Elmore Leonard novel, Randolph Scott, Henry Silva, ave Gun, Will Travel, somebody Boone plays the badguy, neighbourly, she’s the daughter of a rich farmer, ransom, you can feel the Elmore Leonard on the screen, Glitz, painted cover art, lady fleeing from a high estate, doing a Hans Gruber, a Gothic Romance, that counts, a Markie Post/Jimmy Smits movie, sounds good, even tho they’ve rebooted that show, Daniel Krouse original, perfect hair, not running exactly, fleeing, moving rapidly away, this is a gothic romance and we need to do a show on it, invested in some very weird things, William Shatner, a musician, and Stephen King, Chadwick Boseman has a bluechek in case he comes back to life.
The SFFaudio Podcast #758 – Breakthroughs In Science by Isaac Asimov, read by Mike Vendetti. This is a complete and unabridged reading of the book (4 hours, 7 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Mike Vendetti, and Terence Blake
essays in this book:
Archimedes “I Can Move The World”
Johann Gutenberg Words For The Millions
Nicolaus Copernicus The Challenge Of Infinity
William Harvey Nature Was His Book
Galileo Galilei “But It Does Move”
Anton van Leeuwenhoek He Discovered An Invisible World
Isaac Newton All Was Light
James Watt He Started Two Revolutions
Antoine Laurent Lavoisier Father Of Modern Chemistry
Michael Faraday Magnetism Becomes Electricity
Joseph Henry Electricity Becomes Power
Henry Bessemer The Steel Age Opens
Edward Jenner He Found A Way To Prevent Disease
Louis Pasteur He Tracked Down The Killers
Gregor Johann Mendel The Mystery Of Heredity
William Henry Perkin He Opened Wide A Chemical Wonderland
Roentgen and Becquerel They Discovered Invisible Rays
Thomas Alva Edison Bringer Of Light
Paul Ehrlich He Fired A Magic Bullet
Darwin and Wallace They Explored The Beginnings Of Life
Marie and Pierre Curie They Paved The Way For The Atomic Age
Albert Einstein He Charted A New World
George Washington Carver World In A Peanut
Irving Langmuir He Made Rain
Rutherford and Lawrence They Tore Apart The Atom
Robert Hutchings Goddard He Launched The Space Age
Talked about on today’s show:
Quantum theory, a collection of 26 stories of peoples contributions to science/engineering, a clever thing to do, Julian Arnquist, teachers that influenced your life, why a match goes out when you blow on it, chemistry teacher, dedicated to a person, how many of these people were unfamiliar to you?, part of you vocabulary, Isaac Newton, Johannes Gutenberg, engineering vs. science, principles of engineering, artificial intelligence, Promethean moments, Erik Burgers, relative contributions, the peanut guy, Longmuir, Lewonhouk, Goddard, we remember the Nazi (Wernher Von Braun), Galileo is a scientist, a glaring omission, Tesla, no Edison anything, quantum theory, 1959, is quantum theory doing anything at that time?, Albert Einstein’s Nobel Prize, Brownian motion, missing DNA, in the very early 1950s, the periodic table, things omitted, from the French perspective, Denis Papin (inventor of the steam engine), every country invented the television, mechanical television, why did you pick that person, of all of the people Einstein was the least engineering, Newton, a warping of the stories, Michelson–Morley experiment, the motion of the earth with respect to the ether, special relativity, mathematical beauty, spectacular confirmation, the world cared, he’s an artist not a scientist, through the whole book, the practical approach, the engineering approach, tension, practical exploits, killed because of a shadow, I need to get back to my pondering, paying a price, Gutenberg is a good example, that’s great thanks bud, financial hardship, looking for themes, the lowly people, the janitors, published in a book 35 years ago, died in obscurity, a Weird Tales story about a “double man”, just a weirdo, gifted with autistic amazing ability to come up with stuff, Pasteur, let’s get this out there so people can appreciate it, we can’t really use that, inventing for money, the Curies, what a weird family, I’m going to burn my arm, blood cancer, family business, a diverse book, well written, stories, nitpicking, as a whole its diverse and abundant, keeping it all in mind, there stories are incredibly familiar, big board books, a pet animal that could talk, introduce us to famous figures, the Disney movies, a talking animal nearby, easier for kids to digest, Beethoven is not a scientist, incredible cultural impacts without us knowing who they are, Edison was the Wizard Of Menlo Park, Paul Ehrlich, tritium, Irving Langmuir, what we do all day is stare at screens, anti-glare for glass, oleophobic coatings, separate essays, 2nd to last paragraph, why this order?, the conquest of space, in unexpected ways, the fault of men not of knowledge, Cold War propaganda, tweet in German, oh good, we’re not doing anymore atomic energy in Germany, a shortage of electricity, doubledown on solar and wind, make some more mountains, nuclear plants are bad when incompetence is in charge, cleaner than somethings, surprising developments, something bad can happen, one-side, pro-science, eurocentric, western centric, influence from outside the official, vaccination in Turkey, unethical experiments, luckily it worked so he’s a genius, he probably is doing that today, as with COVID, Tuskegee University, spirochetes, syphilis, doing evil science, a bias here, very Western, the farthest east we go is Turkey, the Arab renaissance, Arabic numerals, algebra, alcohol, doing science like mad, learning everything, the Greeks can read this stuff too, how much more he could have done with a different type of mathematics, The Masters by Ursula K. Le Guin, the story of Mandel, I’ve got my beans, spending a lot of time with hornblende, agriculture and statistics, put the two things together, the story of men (other than Marie Curie), outshines her husband and daughter, a woman contributed to science, forty Newtons and one of them is a woman, the lady from Agora (2009), Hypatia of Alexandria, a dude’s subject, engineering a Dude’s subject, Pirate Enlightenment or The Real Libertalia by David Graeber, is very female oriented, “There’s No Such Thing As The West”, super-interested, French and American revolution, these fake kings, a way to show off, you have no more money or power than I do sir, Thomas Midgley, eythl for gasoline, the eythl guy, put the lead in the gasoline, engine knock, CFCs, he is kind of dangerous, you can go back to fire, atomic power, once we invented fire…, cooking everything, eugenicing ourselves, Prometheus got in trouble for that, Copernicus, Galileo, Edison no trouble, yeah, but it does move, an apocryphal story, he should have said it, we require that he muttered it, there’s no evidence for it (other than we want it to be true), a legend that goes with it, we can’t resist it, and it is inspiring, like the Archimedes story, keep your shadows out of my circles, a story with Caesar, and Alexander the Great, Diogenes, what is the function of this book?, Einstein is an immigrant, from Poland to France, WWII, moving from Nazi Germany to the U.S., the Nazi scientists, why aren’t you talking to Goddard, war criminals, I Aim For The Stars (1960), Disney making Werner Von Braun ok, he came away clean, some people would choose to do so, Newton just being a weirdo, a story of a bunch of weirdos, facts and things we need to believe in order to tell the story better, a chemistry professor, so intelligent, can’t get to your level, a world full of people who can’t get to your level, nothing he liked more than dirty limericks, it sounds like it should be true, his mind was such, he’s examining the writing on the Otis elevator system, wondering about what’s going on in there, how come no one’s paying attention to this little thing down here, a spam phone call in the elevator’s emergency phone, surrounded by systems we cannot understand, as usual a terrific story by Ted Chiang, a world where everything is artificial [Exhalation by Ted Chiang], how nature works, a Borgesian style world, screens and cables and charging ports and roads and fences and insulation, the natural world, which one’s the easier to study?, how things work from the natural world, what a cyclotron is, cyclotrons everywhere, maybe it’s easier to look at nature and see the apple falling on Newton’s head, at a certain point, I didn’t think I experimented, a flip answer, rejecting Wilhelm Roentgen’s actual words, scientific revolutions, a pile on, I stand on the shoulder of giants, The Structure Of Scientific Revolutions by Thomas Kuhn, 1962, Copernicus -> Galileo -> Newton, the system builder, you needed dramatization, hard workers, Einstein is the equivalent of Newton, you need this idea of dramatization, dramatize real facts, the military, the conceptually minded natural philosopher, practical results are useful, not polite and submissive, a rough and ready thing, his model: the real breakthrough -> the dramatization -> the system, the propaganda of the book itself: be scientists but not the wrong way, Asimov is not really a scientist at all, pinching women, the texts will be around a lot longer, a work for hire in a certain sense, not doing original research here, taking the stories he needs and wants to know, Jesse likes peanuts, his story is in here possibly to make him the Marie Curie, a democracy of science, Robert Hooke,he’s a baddie, he could have had his own chapter here, not fully chronological, its not alphabetical, mid-20th century, why is it structured this way?, a compiler of these essays, write about famous scientists and engineers, sold to the school market, the catalogue would show up at the school and you could order, the official propaganda list, given books to read for homework, Animal Farm is a terrible book, a very specific subject, hate school, Lord Of The Flies, boys are bad, nuclear war in the background, too many questions unanswered, learn to read -> be exposed to stuff -> let them go, The Outsiders, juvenile delinquents in the 1950s, S.E. Hinton, make people interested in book, a supplement, silent reading, started writing another thing, being clear, mostly for clarity, he isn’t a bad writer at all, he’s super-clear, kind of a Russian, we’re not really sure what year Asimov was born, his dad ran a candy store, Brooklyn, reading the magazines, how he got involved in science fiction, you have to become a doctor, not the right kind of doctor, a doctor of chemistry, super-interested in everything, a book like this, a nice slice, a series of volumes, the chapter on Darwin, whole books on these individuals, that guy doesn’t get his own chapter, Erasmus Darwin, kids today are getting dumber, casual reading for the kids, some of them liked their sports or playing pool, 8th grade education in the 1920s, educated to 1920s standards, all successful, one of these crypto bros, the Rite Gud podcast, he didn’t know how to pronounce any long words, whole language vs. phonics, phone, ph means f, you just know what the word means, deoxyribonucleic acid, Massachusetts vs. Maine, sounding it out isn’t sexy, a shitty scientific system, despite all the evidence, what’s missing from this story, all the fuckups in science, let’s do lockdowns, no science showing that it worked, working great in China, lockdowns are great if you want to increase your stock portfolio, these masks don’t work, the thing that’s missing from the overall story, the Lister chapter, hospital spread diseases, washing you hands doesn’t solve everything either, sometimes people get lucky, two incidents where his ears are damaged, he invented the phonograph, science, take credit for someone else’s work, simultaneous invention of calculus, Langmuir was great at self publicity, Langmuir waves, Langmuir effect, the Wikipedia page for Langmuir, good at promoting yourself, if you don’t have the money you can’t do the research, a rich patron, Antoine Lavoisier, only patenting things so he can spend more money on science, turning it into an invention factory, Edison kind of invented Hollywood, patent rights, eastern judges, as far away from New Jersey as possible (California), science is we share our knwoledge with others freely, letters to Europeans, the Franklin stove patent, public domain, once you invent the patent system, used to game people, the story of big pharma, the results they like, funding the FDA, the FDA employees go to work for big pharma, doctors, doing medicine without a license, he’s very optimistic, later corruption, they were Nazis of course, they were engineers that appreciated Goddard, promote Mendel, inspirational stories, cautionary tales, you can be ignored, Joseph Henry, status and money, was it a utopia?, if it was they didn’t make a lot of buildings that said “this is a utopia”, life was nice, maybe there were death squads all over the place, women are excited to sexually attract men, we have to have a meeting without the women go hide in the mountains for a while, what a utopia is, hordes of barbarians, calming and relaxing, the weather is easy and the women are beautiful, doesn’t make for a dramatic story, leaving out all the failures, anti-book, Charles Fort’s The Book Of The Damned, what science neglects or denies, a keystone for evolutionary theory, Lo! by Charles Fort, where planets should be, calculating the existence of other planets, getting everything worked out, the proof is sometimes before or after, putting them both together, tidying up messy science, dogmatic people, no real reason to believe his telescope, you had to sort of believe his cosmology or be ready to believe something new, the theory of, pairing microscopy and telescopy, finding new planets, finding, 1850 something, The Diamond Lens by Fitz-James O’Brien, a world in a raindrop, she’s all withered up, quantum theory, the observer interferes with the observed, From Beyond by H.P. Lovecraft, take that microscope and point it up at the sky, lines on Mars, Pluto has to have mushrooms, everything is hazy, the worlds are undeniable, kill that paramecium, Microcosmic God by Theodore Sturgeon, light pollution, aliens not space, biggness makes us feel small, disgusted, unimportant, live at the medium size, the germ theory, cell dying with coal tar, Edward Jenner, the treatment of cancer, radium pills, cancerous cells, a double barrel effect, to think we’re important, they’re going on without us, worlds we’re unaware of, Sigmund Freud, the narcissistic wound, especially Copernicus, Darwin, not the divine children of god, nor the culmination, we’re not masters at the center of our own minds, Leeuwenhoek, cast empty spaces between the atoms, invisible rays, an idea of science that’s the opposite of Aristotle, there are lots of stuff, progressively more and more stuff that is not available to ordinary observation but are big time nonetheless, a self wounding process, finding our place within it, no psychology or psychiatry, one of the founding myths of science fiction, John W. Campbell’s psionics, Henry Bessemer probably shouldn’t be in this book, he helped make steel sheep, is he a scientist?, in somebody’s backyard, the guy who invents the steam donkey, a lot of things are important, muddies the water, tinkering around, the author of the concentric atom model, theoretical models, one molecule thick, the key as to how they did it, be really observant and get money, how many gentlemen scientists do we have anymore, Elon Musk, people don’t like him, he likes rockets and satellites, a science enthusiast, Goddard plus Edison, successful and good at self promoting and getting funding, counting the number of Teslas, having real world impacts, satellite internet, literally impacting the world on a daily basis, Twitter is a toy for him, almost everybody is working for universities and institutes, fake science, patent clerk doesn’t need any equipment other than paper and chalkboard, Stephen Hawking, a popularizer of science, more like Neil deGrasse Tyson, Carl Sagan, money to throw at things, and a team, a cyclotron in her basement, an unheated shack, warmed it up with radioactives, Lawrence, a place he has access to, you will create a black hole to destroy the world, administration stuff is horrible, dribbles and drabs of microcircuity, screens get better and better, a lot of ram, John Horgan’s The End Of Science, Scientific American, up against the wall, not having any breakthroughs, somebody in Madagascar home experimenting, the story of The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin, Shevek, Einsteinian style theory including psychology, decadent planet, Libertalia, a book of spiritual gurus, Breakthroughs In Spiritual Science, Elmer Gantry by Sinclair Lewis, rhetorical science, using our mouths, the way we operate out machine, Steve Jobs, stole the mouse from Xerox, Chat GPT, human artificial intelligence, part of the Microsoft voices, a database of thousands and thousands of voices, Jesse likes a good essay, essays are not science, Bing just inserted itself, search is important, combing, decision trees are not science, looking at some phenomena in the world and figuring out how it works, augmented reality, virtual reality, where the nearest cafe is, sidewalks to not collapse, coding is making things happen, our system is broken, hiding behind intellectual property, a thriller about a guy who worked at a cell phone company, sex on the side, look at the tech they have one the shelf, look at what patents they hold, a product they can sell, we’ve had MRI and ultrasound for 40 years?, fairly static, battery technology, making it cheaper, it took a building, now you can buy em on ebay, putting tools in the hands of people, we need to get a shipping container and send it to Madagascar to get our science back, the women will be doing the business and the men can go into their shack, we have a solution, pretty good book, Findaway, Audible, the origin story of this audiobook, Mike loved the sound of his voice, doing audiobooks, LibriVox, Think And Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, something that wouldn’t flush, 50,000 watt voice without an outlet, Peter Berkrot, put the Baby Ruth in the pool in Caddyshack (1980), a funny little world we’ve got here, first non-fiction by Asimov, 26 3 page stories, conjure up an interest in it, Philip K. Dick is full of sparks, frustrated, six months following up all the leads, filling in the blanks, awakens your curiosity quite effectively, way leads on to way, settlement from Audible.com, 600 titles, the long tail, nobody will know for eight months, Philip K. Dick has a long tail, Jack London, will it sell?, does it have a market?, best sellers, separate realms, a classic, The Richest Man In Babylon by George Samuel Clason, Hemingway, financial advice through a collection of parables, a classic of personal finance advice, I need comics not this, guard thy treasure from loss, The Meditations by Marcus Aurelius, my knees hurt, re-recording the art of war, it’s short, about 10 recordings of The Art Of War, a friend named Mike who likes to read stuff, sounds good, something to think about, sewing books, F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, the cheaters, profiting off of other people’s labours, your production copyright, muddied waters, Audible is all about money, short term vs. long term, a cucumber is bitter throw it away, and why were such things made in the world?, a metaphor, ages ago, painful, you need some stoicism, mediation on the public baths, don’t wander, don’t be passive or aggressive, don’t be all about business, 1811, Stoicism is getting real big, stoic influencers, being 82 years old, I hope I live to end this, approaching the pearly gates, about time to make a deal, start mending your ways, calling bingo at the American Legion, God got his bingo card, a part of your preface, a dedication, God I hope you live to the end of this, AI could finish it for me, when robots do it I’m highly offended, pretty sure I don’t have syphilis, a flash in the pan?, kids are going to use it for essays, bio available in essays like this, an original thought died of loneliness, ai jokes, to come up with premises, random combinations, suburban cowboy must save a hot waitress from punks, man tweets, what appeals to us en masse, The Poison Belt, Downward To Earth by Robert Silverberg, Star Born by Andre Norton, Sixth Column by Robert A. Heinlein, Evan Lampe, Shakespeare’s Planet, Charwoman’s Shadow, Scratch One, Black House, Progeny by Philip K. Dick in July, if he was a really good dude, everything is ephemeral, everything he trolls, bluecheks, a class system, google’s busy killing everything, a troll against all the stick up their ass people who are legion, Philip K. Dick, Mark Twain, Neal Stephenson’s baroque cycle, a fruitful period, pirates, that is a problem, new public domain Dick, Prize Ship, Jon’s World, Meddler by Philip K. Dick, Roog, A Present For Pat by Philip K. Dick, Time Pawn by Philip K. Dick, never republished, so fucked up, the estate fucking up, there’s a lot of demand, people want to hear his weird ideas, old timer sci-fi guys, addressing things that were real then and that we are more used to now, Mike hasn’t been tweeting a ton, the new algorithm, “for you” is terrible, Tweeten is broken, Tweetdeck [now broken too], adblock plus, a slave phone, Android was okay, printed circuit board salesman, Silicon Valley, computer makers, writing software for Apple, open architecture for IBM, pc clones, Halt And Catch Fire, anti-Japanese sentiment, turned out that the Japanese weren’t going to take over the world, friends with poor judgement, hypothetical stuff all in his head, was little Jesse wrong, turns out the Soviets were not maniacs, remember NATO, are you really gonna do this?, wait five years, the Warsaw Pact, there was no demand to destroy the world by the soviets, domino theory, Afghanistan, getting rid of the draft was smart, skin in the game, smart for who, now only poor families get drafted, a professional military, mercenaries, more respectful of the Greek and Latin roots, a horror show, when you say smart you mean evil, a smart evil thing that they did, it’s not their kid, Vietnam broke that system, years to figure out what you want, get some training, the most remembered time of their life, memories for good or bad, we’re always nostalgic, we can’t be nostalgic for things that haven’t happened yet, when you’re demented or a baby, that’s my mom, I like this cat, becoming more like a baby, we only live our lives in retrospect, the retrospect is different from the reality, that would show that I was right, sometimes you can be right even though the video shows something else, a problem with chat GPT, it’s not thought it’s just grammar, interpretations, what Jesse loves about fiction, there’s no truth except for the words that are there, if the print-setter fucked up, insight into the knowledge of the author, loves beautiful dead ladies, loves boobs, why are so many boobs in this story, he just likes them, through Elmer Gantry six times, different each time, working with Kathy Verduin, southern accent, an 18 hour audiobook, sometimes the narrator disappearances, forgetting the author was involved, match the voice to the book, American Sniper, college punk, maybe Terrence imagined it, why bother bring facts into the issue, the perception of an 82 year old.