The SFFaudio Podcast #647 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: The Picture In The House by H.P. Lovecraft

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #647 – The Picture In The House by H.P. Lovecraft; read by Mike Manolakes. This is an unabridged reading of the story (21 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Trish E. Matson, and Connor Kaye

Talked about on today’s show:
The National Amateur, July 1919, written in December of 1920?, published in mid-1921?, dates, 1589, November of 1896, its real debut, 1924, March 1937, pretty funny, fun, hinting at ominous things happening, the longevity of the old man, a fun little horror story, not particularily Lovecraftian, The Hound, people who like horror a bit too much, obsessed with the macabre and the dangers of that, the frame, we could strike out the first 3 or 4 paragraphs, why we should think that rural ruins are more horrifying than Egyptian tombs, Frederick Heimbach, The Horror In The Museum by Hazel Heald and H.P. Lovecraft, the structure vs. the sentences, prune and collapse, the structure is perfect, this is Lovecraft’s philosophy, the worst thing that can happen to a person for them to degenerate, a basket of deplorables story, unworthy of my attention or pity, a home invader, a good thing, stand your ground, welcoming and kind, dinner just walked in, playing this for jokes, maybe he really does want to talk to somebody, since they took the stage (coach) away, the neighbours he’s been eating, the lake, upstairs there’s a dead body having been butchered, the kitchen upstairs, not all houses are put together in the same way, just killed somebody up there, the blood seeping through the ceiling, caught in mid murder, why he didn’t answer the door, this whole thing that didn’t happen at all, a house memory, our traveler would have heard it, light Lovecraft, Will is making fun of Jesse for being a cannibal, anthropophagi, The Rats In The Walls, Captain Norrys, The Lurking Fear, the local cannibal family, backwoods, a lighting strike, all the ghouls stories, a ghoul dream, really hungry on a ship with no food, cuz its funnier, incest is a bigger taboo, wrong reason, The White Ape (aka Facts Concerning the Late Arthur Jermyn and His Family), a gorilla great grandma, cannibal curious, in one reading he is a cannibal, Dagon, mental illness, the HPLHS’s Dark Adventure Radio Theatre’s adaptation of The Picture In The House, Connor’s find of the short film adaptation by Josh Deane, like Lovecraft Country but actually good, pretty sure that’s what it means, from Arkham vs. from Boston, Miskatonic Valley, making a judgement, tied to a theme, Bad Medicine, the same core, The Shadow Over Of Innsmouth, the closest to body horror, The Horror At Red Hook, Re-Animator, physical body chopping, since blood is good for the body, a theory of immortality, if Evan was here, the same story, a little shorter than most, a jokey tone, looking for a friend to have dinner with (rather than of), let me tell you how I feel about this picture, it gives me a tickle, a villain speech, the resident, being treated as deplorable, tri-racial isolates, not pure blooded, they’ve let themselves go, tainted by madness, genealogical research is for the elderly, bad genes, bad blood, the consuming horror of HPL, actually related to our narrator?, the big twist, the guy he got the book from, they have common connections, the horror that he sees in the other guy’s visage, no wife to nag him into putting on socks that match, he went wrong, he’s always very careful, his suits were taken, presentable in society, the only thing standing him between him and destruction, eating your beans, a particular human’s psychology, the n-word, the uneducated and illiterate cannibal, he ate his schoolmaster, a dynamic that’s still around, the rural/city divide, Calgary, caked in dirt, a weird accent, he doesn’t care, thinking as yourself as superior to people not like you, prejudices, where the rednecks or hillbillies, the hosers, rural areas, a farming area in New South Wales, Crocodile Dundee, a caricature, Northern Territory, its so distant, what Lovecraft is horrified by, worse than having a great grandmother being a negro, I’m going to be a frog man!, what the dreams were telling him, whatever it is they say last is the real ending, how it actually ends, the open book lay flat between us, the picture is staring, rain is not red, a small red spattering, the horror of the engraving, stopped whispering, the ceiling, the room, the floor, allowing us to picture it, loose plaster, wet crimson, even as I viewed it, the equivalent of fainting, especially in Call Of Cthulhu games, the thunderbolts, the oblivion that saved his mind, amidst whose fury, a smoky solitude, if he was ever in it, very simple, somewhat unusual, this also happens in Cool Air, something that actually happened, it was freaky, he includes it in his stories, Poe is obsessed with beautiful dead women, Lovecraft is obsessed with houses, what does he care about, grammatically strange, searchers after horror, nightmare countries, Lord Dunsany, people like horror movies, horror fiction, whose they guy who kind of invented it, Romans and Greeks were tourists in Ancient Egypt, Maupassant, Goya’s in that business, sensation, a reversed subject, they climb to the moonlit towers, Rhine castles, in Asia, The Nameless City, the true epicure of the terrible, the ancient lonely farmhouses of backwoods New England, unutterable secrets, The Colour Out Of Space, it wasn’t his father’s fault he got syphilis, they didn’t know, stay modern with the furniture, he trades horses and slaughters sheep, the meat packers, the worst places, catacombs and mausolea, a memory of the house, personification of the house, the windows stare dreamily, the house is the villain, to save it it must burn, merciful to tear down these houses, they must often dream, the title, the picture in the book, the picturesqueness, hplovecraft.com website, why isn’t it called the Portrait of Dorian Gray?, a distancing effect, the vision in the house, what was about to happen, the master of tingling himself with horror, tickling his blood, its creepy in the film adaptation, a real human face, we see him arrive, why houses are important as monuments to human civilization, the same excuse that every Lovecraft narrator has, I’ll tell you why I’m afraid of cold [Cool Air], I’ll tell you why I’m afraid of tall buildings [The Horror At Red Hook], I’ll tell you why I’m afraid of subways [Pickman’s Model], a whole Arkham Asylum full of phobias, the game mechanisms, this a guy who went looking for it, its all made up, Jesse thinks it’s funny, the violation of the host guest relationships, The Odyssey, eating his cheese and drinking his wine, it is rude to eat your guests, Circe’s Island, Calypso’s Island, how this story is told, a homeless man comes to your house and trades a song for a supper, Penelope’s suitors, house rules, violations, home invader vs. guest eater, what being a gentleman is all about, keep it in your journal, a gentleman makes judgements, neither character is ever named, is the narrator male?, The Outsider, males as active agents in the world, male writers writing from a male perspective, if we gender flipped it, if we gender flipped the host, a wicked witch and Hansel And Gretel story, The Tomb, that ancestor is coming back through him, they promise me when I do die, Jervas Dudley, why we think these guys are related, you can’t eat your own family!, one level worse, ritualized cannibalism, keeping them alive within themselves, the body of Christ, Sigmund Freud, the universal taboo, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, mad-cow disease, prion disease, weird proteins, Mark Twain’s Cannibalism In The Cars, the honorable member from Arkansas, a time of food abundance, mass starvation in Germany and Ireland, no Costcos to break into, where Hansel and Gretel’s horror comes from, the children are too expensive, exogamy vs. incest, the Royal families of Europe vs. the Royal family of Hawaii, coming from pre-genetics, how many stories are out there where a twin inseminated a twin’s wife?, our levels of taboo are odd, coming from the genetic level, an instinctual repulsion from these acts, cultures where the genetic father doesn’t matter, adopting kids, what humans do, values and stories, you want someone to take care of you in your age, in welfare-ish states, dogs suckling cats and cats suckling dogs, quasi-mammals (marsupials), a wombat in a kangaroo pouch, experimenting to do, Filippo Pigafetta’s Regnum Congo the book inside the book, written in Latin, Thomas Huxley, H.G. Wells’ boss, Evidence As To Man’s Place In Nature by Thomas Huxley, the source?, our bearded host, didn’t realize the antique printing couldn’t represent dark skin tones well, black Africans, not represented well, lost white races, Opar from She, false ideas being propagated by a printing limitation, plate 9, a zebra as drawn by someone who has never seen one, those look like oxen or antelopes, half-monkey people, alligator with wings!, a dinosaur?, droopy leaves, banana leaves, two levels, a game of telephone, interpreting, quaint, the butcher shop is a market stall, almost childish interpretation, what’s happening all over the place, actual impression, we’ve seen what a zebra looks like, an extant or an extinct creature, a vulture, weird animals, a bear with mange, hairless dogs and cats, spirit bear (white black bears), white foam, designed to fit, a black swan incident, cooper’s hawks, cougars are more often seen today, bears are browsers, injuns, the elephants look pretty legit, komodo dragons are not small, Evan Lampe‘s podcast, kinda dour, the ocean and the sea and transatlantic trade, he died in the War, always seeking immortality, The Alchemist, The Case Of Charles Dexter Ward, the Deep Ones, we’re afraid of death, distracting, romance novels, making podcasts, making podcasts spawn other podcasts, we have this within us, to exist into the future, interrogate my own psychology, intimately tied to thinking about the past and the sea, England or Ireland or Africa, that’s what makes it so good, if its not very deep or I don’t see if it is deep, something deep within us, shallow stories and deep shadows, where did this rock come from, grapple with the reality that’s in it, you put it in my hand, this is the bloody knife I used to kill your mother, she died from neglect, its probably good even if it is badly written, reading in a foreign language, harder to access, harder to appreciate, the book of Lovecraft Country, great (from what Trish has heard), Lovecraft’s fear of the other, interesting and pitiable, shock and horror, more horrible than anything, ridiculous, they never fell because they never rose, our northern ancestors, generations of strange people, seized with a gloomy and fanatical belief, treeland turned to a farm, free from restriction, the dismal phantasms of their own mind, so deplorable, the strength of these Puritans, morbid self-repression, Nature (the enemy), cold norther heritage, how can it be there are white trash, sew the suit back up, a personal psychological problem, his parents taught him racism, an exchange between Robert E. Howard and H.P. Lovecraft, taught them there place, I applaud you sir, a bicyclist, this actually happened, visiting somebody’s – where do you keep the books – they don’t have a book, THE HORROR!, engaging on a level we think is important, constantly struggling, his self esteem is based on his genealogy (and living up to it), make it always fit, his inability to go to university, reading pulp magazines, running himself down, taking pride in something is a mistake, he had a hand in some bad stories, a gift, studying, when people wrote to him he gave them advice, Brown, whatever scrap paper was around, professional writers, Jesse can see this in himself, getting the math answers right, phd at Harvard (I’ve created a monster), the requisite shape to fit that thing, Adolphe De Castro, The Automatic Executioner and The Electric Executioner, letters to August Derleth are terse, not intellectually interesting, maybe people appreciate you, not a hater, part of being a gentleman, a Lovecraft explainer that calls HPL the king of the all the Karens, a slur, the automat, shallow work, Connor Kaye delves deep, YouTube has a problem with explainer videos (an industry on hot topics), bad incentives in podcasting (and YouTube), worth struggling through the mess, sensitive ourselves for what is junk, why Jesse loves Evan Lampe so much, nautical stuff, the original oil industry (whale oil), Evan’s YouTube channel, sex stuff, the body is in the bedroom, one of Leslie S. Klinger’s annotations, sexually repressed, theories that Lovecraft was gay, you have to reconcile with it, gay bashing is a real thing, Jeffrey Dahmer, repressed sexuality, he’s not married, kind of bear like, not a twink, femme, Providence by Alan Moore and Jacen Burrows, big beard and weird, if Alan Moore played the host, Robert Black, the H.P. Lovecraft stand-in figure, a series of sexual encounters, Asenath Waite, her father, an ancient wizard, an alien, literally a transgender character on some level, the sexuality of all of these relationships, traumatized in the rain, the Lilith figure in The Horror At Red Hook, full of sexual imagery, letters where he says he investigated that stuff, disgusted or disappointed, aromantic, his weirdness, a very dutiful husband, there are many such around us, all kinds of ways to live, one lives on the land one lives on the river, husband and wife who live next to each other, the serial killer amongst us, a modern Lovecraftian trailer, The Shunned Trailer by Esther Friesner, The Terrible Parchment by Manly Wade Wellman, a whole bunch a sticks and a camera The Blair Witch Project, Manly Bannister.

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The Picture In The House by H.P. Lovecraft

The Picture In The House by H.P. Lovecraft - illustrated by Hans Arnold

Patrick Dean's UNDERWHELMING LOVECRAFT: The Picture In The House

Podcast on The Picture In The House by H.P. Lovecraft

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

Podcast

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

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

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Reading, Short And Deep #256 – To His Coy Mistress by Andrew Marvell

Podcast

Reading, Short And DeepReading, Short And Deep #256

Eric S. Rabkin and Jesse Willis discuss To His Coy Mistress by Andrew Marvell

Here’s a link to a PDF of the poem.

To His Coy Mistress was first published in Miscellaneous Poems, 1681 [edited by Mary Marvell].

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

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The SFFaudio Podcast #602 – READALONG: An Exchange Of Souls by Barry Pain

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #602 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, Maissa Bessada, Evan Lampe, and Trish E. Matson

Talked about on today’s show:
a huge post script, some Latin, darkness, the poetry of Catullus, the afterlife, is this all about gender, Ex Oblivione by H.P. Lovecraft, a Platonic explanation, uses drugs, a Dreamlands story, set in the Dreamlands, The Cats Of Ulthar, The Quest Of Iranon, The Doom That Came To Sarnath, that horrible Heinlein novel, I Will Fear No Evil, yelling at Heinlein the whole time, kissing, a synonym for kissing, old married couples, a synonym for soul, spirit, aspire, expire, inspire, exhaling, the breath being the soul, very basic, Christian theologians, a Vorkosiverse reference, Barrayar, how deep is this book?, The Undying Thing, Paul in another form, frustrating, where to go with its gears, supernatural events out of nowhere, contact from beyond the grave, philosophy and medical science, not totally out of nowhere, she was physically changing, the metamorphosis, mind-body relationship, how does the mind control the problem, the change in mind affects the body, the mind IS separate from the body, cheated, the railway accident, can Alice be Alice again, Alice Daniel, bored, interesting, Strange Case Dr Jekyll And Mr Hyde, he wants to part (by walking over kids), very banal Victorian stuff, wills, blackmail, dressing like a man, a mystery, men didn’t understand women at all, up on a pedestal, wanting to wear men’s clothes, freedom of movement, the woman becoming the man, a sort of queer story about transformation, the exciting undercurrent, a subtextual reading, deep into the subtext, reading it subversively, was there a murder?, a chivalrous man, their class relationship, emotional relationship (or lack there of), underground family secret, basically The Hound Of The Baskervilles but literally supernatural, some sort of sin tainting the genetics, divine retribution, by murder and theft, I am due elsewhere, he was killed twice, who smashed up all the equipment, we don’t see it on screen, Jesse’s reading, class revenge and gender swap, with our stupid narrator, so timorous, so conventional, a tool of the person who wants something, the two protagonists, we see so little from her point of view, The Thing On The Doorstep makes these things much more explicit, very subtle, The Moon-Slave, fairy tale France, The Glass Of Supreme Moments, Guy de Maupassant, a less passionate Philip K. Dick, an envious student, an Ayesha kind of figure, ascending through the fireplace, the way to read it, a glimpse of reality, dying of smoke inhalation, Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven, very interested in women, a princess who does not want to marry, a garden labyrinth, either Pan or the Devil, a story about menstruation, very subtle and very sensitive, the Victorians didn’t have twitter so they could focus pretty well, a contemporary review, The Sketch, cars, tires, women flying airplanes, high tech fun toys, Lord Dunsany, an unattributed review from June 4th, 1911, poets nowadays are tired, Science is assertively awake, the origins of Life, the purposes of Death, Poetry, the determination of the ego, in what does your self consist?, preserved in an asylum, the man’s self still persists, after luncheon, souls or selves, wropped in unscientific mystery, the kind of craft one would expect as a craftsman like the author, the character names, Alice In Wonderland, her Miss Lade, what has been mislaid?, laden, her soul weight is doubled at one point, Daniel = god is my judge, doing a good job, son of the earth, the will the estate, bundling the mom off to New York, background, Daniel’s interest in food, a point or a thesis, what humankind’s souls are, a Frankenstein story, scorned by his peers, a happy soldier, an Igor who’s also his wife, it feels “boring”, the book doesn’t have any the stuff we care about until half-way in, distracted by the blackmail, the Salvation Army, the other transformation, he’s trynna save his soul, is he wrong?, his blackmailer’s accusations, he was a bad dude, he musta lead thousands astray, a projection of his own guilt, our viewpoint character, the empty protagonist, he’s quite witty, as men get older they’re more likely to become neat, the phone calls, off to the countryside, a country home, killed on the way, train “accident”, this is too early for that person to have died, all part of a scheme, the premise, how exchanges of souls work, anesthetized too, the smoke as an anesthetic, a hypnogogic state, a story about immortality and avoiding death, transferring your consciousness into another person, a whole new life, Altered Carbon, a story about class, methuselahs never lack for bodies, an evil plan, revenge, the female spirit inside the physical brain of an old man, the haircolour change, Tuvix, Star Trek: Voyager, actor contracts, an answer to that question, the Federation seems really nice all the time, fucked up things in Federation culture, only normal from an American point of view, Star Trek: Picard, two hours of analysis and sensitivity reading, crossing the streams, The Boy Who Really Got It by Jesse, The End?, Daniel Dennett, a Twitter beef with Sam Harris, wrong about everything, a theory about what consciousness is, consciousness transference, Rollback by Robert J. Sawyer, the center of narrative gravity, a teapot, a uranium block glued to a teapot, anything with mass has a center of gravity, Rene Descartes, Phineas Gage, looking for a particular part of the brain, best mic, drop in history, souls aren’t real, a Douglas Adams reference, dreams where dead people come, a very cool dream, jellyfish style thing, you’re not dead, I got eaten by this monster thing, would you be back alive again the way you were, shot in the head, personality change, our spirit is physiological, its a software thing, Cyteen by C.J. Cherryh, the software is the hardware, silly theories about what sleep is for, all the studies looking for souls, a phone call in the middle of the night, spiritualism, Doyle wanted to believe, massive character flaw, giving money to grifters, a cultural judgement, this thread of mind-transference, quasi-spirtuality to scientific, they thought they were high tech doing spirtualism, Ghostbusters, psychokinetic energy, Dan Akroyd believes in that stuff, ghost hunting, hunting bigfoot is for exercise, playing a culturally important role, the essential work of ghost hunting, not reading enough books, religious people, rejecting the vast reality of the human experience, a character flaw Jesse is proud of, Evan’s missing out on, William James, Contact, Arthur C. Clarke, conflating vs. mentioning, materialist, Robert Sheckley, Gregg Margarite, Mindswap, picaresque, bildungsroman, travel to mars, vacation to Mars through consciousness transference, swapping genders and species, The Strange (RPG), he roamed the stars in a borrowed body searching for his own, pretty funny, a prurient 12 year old, the sexual aspect of switching bodies, like Dollhouse, back to the book, Compton the narrator, with eye-rolling frequency, too French, floppy tie, disgusted by music-hall female impersonators, tidying away this mystery, beloved research, historical letters from the Peninsular War, this great mystery of life, a rather revolting annoyance, humours essays, social satire, people who try not to be like other people are very tiresome (hipsters), another comic book biography of H.P. Lovecraft, translated from French, some factual errors, a really interesting letter Lovecraft wrote in the Omaha Bee, what does this mean?, his father sold some property there?, what does Compton do when not doing blackmail?, a bunch of letters from Wellington, a really publicly important thing, the equivalent of Churchill, the word, Evan!, after you die you can still have your will done in a WILL, it’s amazing, a part of somebody’s consciousnesses, what you’re doing is evil Will, Cecil Rhodes, an evil alliance that kinda worked out, Henry Ford’s estate, being an executor is a burden, harm through social structures, the fairer sex, why she wants to be a man, Barry Pain is very good at not making it super-obvious, the ratings are very high, it doesn’t overstay its welcome, he’s going to his death in a calm and nice way, there’s a poignancy, his personal world is going to end, The Last Policeman by Ben H. Winters, which is the best Ringworld book?, they get progressively worse, diminishing returns, Larry Niven, self-criticism, take lessons, sometimes people write about stuff, the best general history of The Reformation, getting all corrupt, a very Douglas Adamsy thing, More Of God’s Greatest Mistakes, a trilogy in 5 parts, exchange of dogs, a subsequent chapter, hinted very strongly, the face being disfigured was deliberate, transferred into another body, Jesse wants to read it subversively, Trish didn’t see it at all, in cases of supermen stories, breaking it down, Captain America: The First Avenger, the hydra guys, bald guy actor, the recipe can’t be repeated, one and done, Stanley Tucci, Big Night (1996), once the equipment is destroyed, who wants to do this again?, is Jesse crazy?, accursed of murder, she burned her hair in the oven, covering up, smells bad, a lotta lies, Compton is incompetent, a window on events almost too passively, a distraction, British murder mysteries, inheritance of property, the whole book is a distraction to Compton, coming to terms with death, literally doing what Frankenstein wants to do: defeat death, abandoning progeny, both ghosts, all delusions, another lie, incurious, covering up, if this was a true story, he’s a briber, he doesn’t do anything immoral, he’s trying to be dispassionate, I found I had a lot more friends than I though I did, hilarious, if you buy a beach house you suddenly find you have a lot of relatives, upperclass twits, who are their patients?, paying off, class stuff, drinking to much, gambling debts, class concerns going up and down, rich people’s problems, the exploitation of a nice person, a more sinister story than it looks and feels, proposing a term, back and forth, social customs, the science fictional aspects, the main aspects, a tragedy of manners, not a comedy of manners, what gives the story its juice, weird customs and judgements, what they say about each other when their not around, I’ll tell him what you said, you see that in science fiction too, space opera, who’s on the cover, who’s being looked at, that’s a really striking cover, that lady is our subject (object), A Princess Of Mars, her husband is the subject of the sentence and she’s the object, who’s that behind her, his tie is not that floppy, looking at her askance, sort of faded, astral projection, he’s got some doubt in his mind, the mom, what is she in there for?, what’s the point of that?, the governess, light and fluffy, pairings we want to see, European princesses, my son should marry her, he’s an up and comer, servants are sources of amusement, golf cartoons, Trump golfing when 100,000 people were dead, Jimmy Carter was near the bottom, a business man’s thing, money money money, ground Alice, her accent changed, London accent to upper-crust accent, so malleable, why he’s choosing her, he really likes the apartment, access to materials, disgraced, moving people away, they’re betrothed, she thinks it is for Alice’s health, supposed to be read subversively, he doesn’t kick his audience in the balls and run off he tweaks their nose, people need Paul, he’s the nexus the axis the axel.

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The SFFaudio Podcast #600 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: Dawn Of Flame by Stanley G. Weinbaum

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #600 – Dawn Of Flame by Stanley G. Weinbaum; read by Maureen O’Brien. This is an unabridged reading of the story (3 hours) followed by a discussion of it. Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Paul Weimer, and Maissa Bessada

Talked about on today’s show:
The Weinbaum Memorial Volume, Thrilling Wonder Stories, June 1939, The Black Flame, Fantastic Story, Spring 1952, The Margret Of Urbs story, kind of done, a story about a guy going into an empire and fuckin it up, headfaking, he’s a Conan figure, what was this about, what is freedom?, is freedom worth it?, better off not being free, helping overlords, the dawn of what?, just a bad book?, expectations, Moby-Dick by Herman Melville, people wanted Typee, Shakespeare’s meditations, what humans are doing, how foolish we all are, I wanted a cartoon, Weinbaum redoing H. Rider Haggard’s SHE in a science fiction mode, Black Margo, is he her puppet?, the last paragraph, he was silent the whole way through, its not Hull Tarvish’s story, he knows his audience, you’re mostly men, kids, girls, women, there are other people other than men, mom beefs, cuz I’m not a girl, men and women are equal under the law (but not in interests), upper body strength and ability to bear children, biological differences in her brains, snakes, birds, dogs, if you’re a man reading science fiction stories, dual wielding blasters, that looks cool, how much smoking was going on, lung cancer, is this a fantasy then?, both ways, I like fightin’ and I don’t kill women, this Ayesha character, this cursed immortal, a vampire story, they’re both cursed, one of the old lovers, what this book is really about, whatchu gonna do with your life?, to use the planet as your pillow, conquer?, something to while away the years, they’re not evil, as merciful as they can, Napoleon goes in and liberates, the mighty ancient civilization, he’s the half-brother, The Black Flame, setup for the backstory, a philosophical planetary romance set on earth, sword and sandal, what you know, what you should want, what you should do, the evil empire moving north out of New Orleans headed for New York, the work of the book, a civilizing force, but they’re cursed, his mom baked him some bread, epic fantasy, he leaves a stone hut, another woman’s stone hut, its a circle, a regular person’s brush with Alexander the Great’s sister, the sexual tension, divided in loyalties and divided in desire, given two choices, the mortal girl vs. the immortal woman, it judo flips us from where we begin, nice blade trade me for it, we’re all set up for trampling an evil empire down, are you sure that’s what you want to do with your life, son?, an anti-war story, why did WWI and WWII happen?, they engineer a plague that kills 60% of people, land reforms, build roads, Hull Tarvish isn’t the bad guy because he’s us, very subtle, America falling, Robert Adams’ Horseclans series, Greek speaking invaders, Jack McDevitt’s Eternity Road, Theodore Judson’s Fitzpatrick’s War, trying to put the US back together, internationalist, the whole world, N’Orleans, Ouroboros the world girdling snake, no worlds left to conquer, unhealthy personal behavior, drunken brawls, Hull Tarvish comes from a stable home, sow his oats, get his manhood on, fightin’, old man coach, a mistake rebellion, a reverse of the [U.S.] Civil War, these exotic figures, evil witch of a sister, they forgive him for his stupidity, why we needed Will: a barefoot bumpkin from the holla, philosophical after becoming king, what kingly and queenly activities are like, a line against becoming powerful, appreciate birdsong a good drink and time with your family, everything is science, a fantasy setting a fantasy setup, science and engineering behind all of this stuff, Lindbird is probably fictional, maybe he flew, microwave technology, beam energy, through air but not fog, he’s got rules, we are mistaken, Jesse was very impressed, we don’t know how the immortality happened, one tiny little thing, they’re sterile, where’d it come from, 100 years where no book was written, too big, She learned these things as a science, 12 hours vs. 3 hours, remember out point of view, an illiterate, a viewpoint to this world, he doesn’t ask a lot of smart questions, Weinbaum knows, teaching the reader a lesson, a mortality thing going on here, how many times does he escape death, The Willows by Algernon Blackwood, on vacation in Austria in a canoe, it happened hundreds of years ago, we can’t understand it, we’re not worthy?, she puts his hands on her neck and says “squeeze” the flame, the dawn of the flame, this black flame of hair, this attraction of a moth to a flame, drawn to the flame over and over again, in his arms, in his manly form, she sees a possibility of her being killed, ultimately they have death wishes, Hull Tarvish has a definite life wish, experience, have fun, not even a real battle, she’s dead inside, her conquering, bringing civilization back, bringing civilization back, she’s Prometheus, why is that?, he has an interest in her as a sister, half brothers have half interests, a mated pair, that’s my sister, retelling this novel from a female pov, that male female thing, she wants to be attractive, what does Joaquin, male and female psychology, usually the way this works in a traditional story: a young man finds a princess, assassinate a princess, the forgiving nature and whim of that princess, they’re to the focus of the wisdom that Weinbaum is trying to struggle to, a very philosophical book, a lot of conversations, talking with this immortal, She in SHE is evil, Black Margot is bored, a severe case of “is that all there is?”, a narrow escape for Hull Tarvish, cursed to be one of the mercenaries in this growing army, the footnote at the end, an anonymous volume, Loves Of The Black Flame, the very first Conan story, Phoenix On The Sword, the Black Dragons, Game Of Thrones, this is somebody very close, told far in the future, one incident in Princess Margot’s life, ancient St. Louis, both terms as anachronism, wicked world metropolis, a very thin slice of an incident, page 105, a bit unusual, the history weirdness of this story, a fake history of the future, a salacious history, the atomic rocket crashings, if Weinbaum had lived, The Black Flame, Sam Moskowitz, Satellite, December 1956, is Weinbaum overblown?, a diminishing pool of readers, Hugo Gernsback’s Wonder Stories, Astounding, “thought variants”, Charles D. Hornig, so new, so breezy, readers were unreserved in their enthusiasm, John Taine, Jack Williamson, Ray Cummings, Clark Ashton Smith, H.P. Lovecraft, A Martian Odyssey, The Wizard Of Oz, stylistic magic, Tweel, paradoxical actions, the interplanetary strange encounter tale, the silicon monster hat burped bricks, wheeling rubbish, a tentacled plant with wish fulfillment images, “I saw with pleasure someone had last escaped… -H.P. Lovecraft”, A. Conan Doyle, Edgar Rice Burroughs, a chemical engineer, The Lady Dances by Marge Stanley, a woman’s name as a byline, The Mad Brain and The New Adam, an operetta, Omar The Tentmaker, Helen Weinbaum, Graph, $55, Solar Sail Service, Mortimer Weisinger, Ralph Milne Farley, Circle Of Zero, a strangely acceptable trick, The Valley Of Dreams, Julius Schwartz, Flight On Titan, knife-kites, whiplash trees, tread-worms, Parasite Planet, Ham Hammond and Patricia Burlingame, the outre creatures, The Lotus Eaters, a warm blooded plant, Oscar, a series of questions and answers, under the influence of the narcotic spore, pontifical inertia, Pygmalion’s Spectacles, The Worlds Of If, The Ideal, virtual reality, Prof. Van Manderpootz, what would happen if…, synoptic, reading Weinbaum right, the attitudinizer, seeing the world through the mind of others, humour and style, a philosopher was at work, a masterful short novel, a woman of extraordinary beauty, The Milwaukee Fictioneers, the Radio Pirates and others, Amazing Stories, a former Wisconsin senator, True Gang Life, Yellow Slaves, Smothered Seas, formula material or go unpublished, The Planet Of Doubt, Weinbaum could do no wrong, the animated linked sausages of Uranus, The Adaptive Ultimate, Weinbaum had been “typed”, John W. Campbell, Jr., Don A. Stuart, almost plotless travelogues, David H. Keller’s Life Everlasting, one of his favourite authors, a tubercular girl, the ability to defeat death, dramatized on the radio, Tales Of Tomorrow, She Devil (1957), so adaptable, tonsil extraction, Proteus Island, imitation pneumonia, x-ray treatments, The Red Peri, a woman space pirate of phenomenal cunning, The Adaptive Ultimate, super-woman, a subconscious wish to meet a woman his intellectual equal, Smothered Seas, The Mad Moon, a semi-intelligent rat, minor masterpiece, Ralph Milne Farley, The Dictator’s Sister, Ray Palmer, Charles D. Hornig, 15 month after his first science fiction story appeared…, surrounded by radiance, The Weinbaum Memorial Volume, high poetry in the closing passages, maybe Einar is immortal, The Circle Of Zero, it should be read, an undersea wall, Real And Imaginary, Brink Of Infinity, The Tenth Question by George Allan England, he wrote it for himself, The Revolution Of 1980, transgender dictator, no end to his last stories, Tidal Moon, The New Adam, Edgar Rice Burroughs, fatal passion for a woman, morbidly fascinating, so gay a frolic, The Dark Other, Graph, Green Glow Of Death, Eric Frank Russell, Henry Kuttner, John Russell Fearn, Philip Jose Farmer’s The Lovers, before the curtain descended, a poem, a little long, 45 minutes of reading Sam Moskowitz, Ted Chiang, really thinking about the details, the attraction of the woman, Margot springboarded into another character, sometimes people are wrong about stuff, The Mound by H.P. Lovecraft and Zealia Bishop, just trying to sell magazines, suddenly flip, angrily ranting, screaming and yelling in a foreign language, a story needs to be parsed, better thinking about it rather than reading it, Maureen O’Brien, back in 2004.

Dawn Of Flame by Stanley G. Weinbaum - Thrilling Wonder Stories, June 1939

Dawn Of Flame by Stanley G. Weinbaum - Thrilling Wonder Stories, June 1939

Dawn Of Flame by Stanley G. Weinbaum - Thrilling Wonder Stories, June 1939

Dawn Of Flame by Stanley G. Weinbaum - Thrilling Wonder Stories, June 1939

Posted by Jesse WillisBecome a Patron!

Reading, Short And Deep #241 – Or Give Me Death by Donald E. Westlake

Podcast

Reading, Short And DeepReading, Short And Deep #241

Eric S. Rabkin and Jesse Willis discuss Or Give Me Death by Donald E. Westlake

Here’s a link to a PDF of the story.

Or Give Me Death was first published in Universe Science Fiction, November 1954.

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

Posted by Scott D. Danielson Become a Patron!