Reading, Short And Deep #391
Eric S. Rabkin and Jesse Willis discuss Brknk’s Bounty by Jerry Sohl
Here’s a link to a PDF of the story.
This story was published in Galaxy, January 1955.
The SFFaudio Podcast #733 – Nudist Camp by Orrie Hitt – read by Evan Lampe. This is a complete and unabridged reading of the novel (4 hours 21 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants include Jesse and Evan Lampe.
Talked about on today’s show:
1957, paperback original, Evan’s falsetto, a fun one to read, an interesting guy, 150 or so books, mostly public domain, disposable, available to read, available to be narrated, title wise, Never Cheat Alone, Torrid Wench, each was easy pickins, lovers kissin, crime novel adjacent, “sleazecore”, a science fiction novel but the genre is different, stupid-interesting entertainment, an adult at the time, the drug store, the spinner rack, behind the counter?, well written, fluffy, the plot makes sense, fetish for sex, ideas in my science fiction, talking about the fins on rocketships, fetish books for men, romance novels for men: talking about guns, Executioner and Deathlands novels, some hard man walking through the Mad Max world, extended mag, books for dumb people, really interesting things in this book, Brother And Sister by Donald Westlake, real estate obsession, Levittowns, rising middle class, who owns property, an easy go to plot, a marriage breaking up, men who went overseas, Iceland vs. Germany, a poor girl from Iceland, an Iceland slur, bojack?, bohunk, making up Iceland like an alien planet, the cultural stuff, interesting if true?, am I learning something about Iceland, the hotsprings, the brief summers, it being poor, some Viking culture that somehow survived, a very small population, one of the smallest european countries by population, taken over by the British who handed it to the Americans, you’re free now, apparently they don’t have a Swedish accent, Paul didn’t want to do this one because of all the nudity, all the violence, all the wife hitting, abusive, get back together at the end, they reconcile, we’lll go with Ed being the badguy, scamming people, taking the photos then blackmailing people, the hotel room, the film, get the property from her, the ex-husband comes and saves the day, not a classic, always Jesse’s story, an archaeological stratum, this fossil, what other fossils are under there?, floating around in people’s minds, learning about nudism, granola crunching islands, religious colonies, summer camps for various church organizations, fearful of falling under their religions, weird festival people, real life experience of weird nudists, Allan Alda’s character in MASH, nudism magazines, photographer magazine, he liked women, Corporal Klinger, 50s aesthetic, The Door Into Summer by Robert A. Heinlein, spending time with a nudist, their philosophy, a thing in Germany, the whole theory of nudism, he doesn’t get more serious, trying to separate nudism from sex, supposed to titillate, the opening scenes of the book, looks at herself in a full length mirror, a smut book but very educational, seems kinda of tame, very little penetration, very few pearl necklaces, the good organizer, the speech, the lecture, it’s about health and our natural state, body positivity, one step away from a pure smut book, a scene that should turn you off, ugly flabby lady, gut over her thighs, boobs like pendulums, that was a test, is this about sex?, not identical with being a swinger, related?, Heinlein did both, your average person picking up the book, from the woman’s pov, our Icelandic gorgeous lady and her abusive husband, they’re rich in land, she has a maid and a gardner, an interesting subplot, the pregnancy, an ethical gloss, written quickly, “Sometimes the whole world stinks”– Orrie Hitt, the King of Tri-State Sleaze, Apocalypse-Confidential.com, Orrie Hitt’s mythos, that’s amazing!, Lawrence Block, easter eggs, always the same movie playing in the movie theatre, you’re getting a secret history of the united states, all the sex shops, punanyi train fan , Orrie Hitt is on the rise, good to hear, EAP aka @punanytrainfan [account deleted] on twitter, literally read it aloud, a thousand year old book, Ḥayy Ibn Yaqẓān by Ibn Tufail, a book of philosophy, Daniel DeFoe, raised by a gazelle, Aristotelianism filtered through the Arabic worldview, Avicennan Aristotelianism, building the whole system from scratch, building capitalism from scratch, a short book, a few things he’s working on, Mark Twain, hinted at Heinlein, just teasing Jesse, excusing with the Library Of America, every book, taking Heinlein in doses, doing it with a Hugo in mind, Jesse’s Tom Godwin cold equations told as a star trek episode, the plot of Mudd’s Women, a bajoran slave girl, race jokes on a federation ship, it deserves a hugo and a nebula and a seuin and a master of fantasy award, the atom award, does it come with a rocket ship, a carbon atom, throw them in a garbage, awards, just play the games, put your pronouns in your bio, a lot of laughing, psychopath laughing at yourself, too pale, too male, looking at the lists, not impressed, consistently poorly researched, Jesse wants to learn something, entertainment, back to Orrie Hitt, not called nudist colonies anymore they’re called nudist camps now, a counterculture, a separate state, go for a week, summer camp, a nudist colony in the winter, why they like the location, set in New Jersey, hidden away, not bothered by the locals, not going to happen in the winter, Florida, what do they do?, standing around naked eating hot dogs, swimming, croquet, let’s go to the nudist camp!, like minded body positive people without hangups, written just as a non-sex book, the sex stuff in it, have only couples come together, don’t take singles, the subplot, blackmail, keep coming to the camp, not a very good sex book, subplot, a chaste proper good relationship, 1950s morality, she gets pregnant, a morality tale, Della has this new boyfriend, after she breaks up with her husband, not ethically suspect, we’re titillated, putting her bra on, fit in with the crowd, she gets shot in the leg, defending nudism, on the cover it is a sex book, a crime novel, genuinely surprised, we’re supposed to be suspicious of him, seemed legit, we were surprised, do you blame her for getting back together with him, wraps up the plot nicely, getting back together with, Stephen King wouldn’t be able to write this book, the woman has to escape, he’s got too many hangups for this book, could Bachman try?, the wrong kinda traumas, a nice person, very sympathetic, as an immigrant story, tricked into marrying a German whore, a cloud over her, a poor Icelandic waif, a golddigger, reputation in the community, one scene in the hotel, the pornographic film, the bank, the lawyer, learned a lot about the 1950s, experiencing it on the periphery, why Hawkeye likes nudist magazines, the nudist philosophy vs. wanting to see naked people, very clear about that, a legit claim, born nude, practically naked, shorts and short sleeves, not being over-clad, getting vitamin D, having a tan making you feel mentally better?, not enough sun, given our species previous history, we probably get too little sun, a funny phenomenon, not allowed to show boobs unless they’re natives, nude foreign women, a british or Irish, the page 3 girl, how do we explain this phenomena, a racy thing, what makes it racy is the prudery, creepy to see a creeper, scary old bodies, herniated bodies, a book all about bodies, their experience through their heads, the injury to her leg, getting pregnant and thinking about that, why is she saying these things about this baby, you don’t need to get an abortion, in most of the sleaze books, sex doesn’t necessarily lead to worries about pregnancy, begging for a baby from her husband, more smut books, more sleazecore books, more to them just sex, here too, the time?, self-censorship, doctor labels, The Naked Lunch supreme court case, what happened to comics neutered comics, defending it to your wife, the study of strange women who do strange things, she’s super hot in the shower, fat bodies, another bait and switch, pick that up for the incest, a horrible suicide and insanity ending, real estate calculations, the shame is different, a shame book, she’s a poor girl, essentially raped in Iceland, a traumatized person she’s pretty strong, pretty fucking terrible, Paul would not like how this book ends, what are her options?, not highly educated, what marriage is so popular for, real estate, big in China, she’s rock poor, she marries a middle class guy who thinks he’s going to inherit wealth, squanders the money, ends on a happy note, gives her a baby and becomes a doting father, be good Christians and believe in redemption, what are her skills?, he knew how to build a big house (with full length mirrors), look at her assets, run a little business, something she can do with her life, reveals himself as the bad guy, what can she get from Ricky?, adopt that baby, partners, all the men betrayed her, Ricky saved the day, in “Sleaze Camp Part 2”, a good moral camp, what the future’s going to be like, set in the 1850s, the photography stuff, if it was the 1750s, a guy behind a curtain sketching quickly, civil war portraits, still images, sunbathers, it is a tech book, pre-birth control (the pill), a tech thing, what makes this non-mimetic fiction is that it is somehow is like a piece of science we can explore, look what people are worried about, an after WWII Iceland plot, we don’t know much about Orrie Hitt, seems to be thoughtful, as book every two weeks at the prime of his career, six sex scenes, explaining to Scott [Danielson], agreeing with a J.K. Rowling, you’re going to have to put TERF in your twitter bio now, why people like her books, set pieces, very movie like this big battle, this cute scene, that cute scene, a plot in the background, the ride, titillation throughout the book, attentive to the plot, the first Harry Potter book, it read like a movie, not that much internal getting to know the character, this is an intellectual experience, didn’t get hard at all, Lawrence Block and Donald Westlake, not heavy on the sex, Netflix everyday, the covers/posters/cards, The Reader, a nazi woman?, an illeterate woman?, Kate Winslet in her pajamas, the strategy is still there, two naked guys on the card, a lot of prudery in the states, no explicit sex on Netflix?, on the newsstands besides the explicit, science fiction, westerns, romance, nice to look at, more titillation on the covers and in the descriptions, Hustler, sex letters, Penthouse forum?, letters about free speech!, reading a magazine with a nakedish woman on the cover, like the HBO of magazines, less censored things that people are interested in, Jimmy Carter had lust in his heart, rather than the lie they do all day, Obama’s exit interview, Joe Rogan’s interview with the founder of Rolling Stone, way less censored than everything else, shitlib former hippie, upset and worried, now that Trump had won, I’m not really interested in lying anymore, softcore interview, a formality, the shitty answer and the truthful answer, being more honest, a weird sleazecore book, insight into, a good prose stylist, clean and easy to follow and interesting, unaffected, he reminds us of her body every few pages, experiencing interest, a big enough sample, read a romance novel, anything of value, tiny little bit of sex, as tame or tamer, slim romance volumes, Blaze by Stephen King, A Night In Lonesome October by Roger Zelazny, less mad as time goes by, thinking of Jesse as the star, Harry Turtledove, Innocents Abroad by Mark Twain, why Evan is not a fan of tourism or travel in general, why travel sucks, Michael Crichton books, Grave Descend, Easy Go, super consumable, very solid writer, maybe that was never true, “science fiction books”, not natural writers, Stephen King is a natural writer, Neil Gaiman, Ted Chiang, Stephen King, Andy Weir, The Troop, near the bottom, just body horror, the lowest level, the gross out, fewer of those, idea based stuff is really cool, Cosmic Computer/Junkyard Planet by H. Beam Piper, The Heads Of Cerberus by Francis Stevens, The Black Stranger by Robert E. Howard, seven John Lange books, fairly thrilling at times, Hard Case Crime republished them, a reuse of a failed hard case crime spinoff [Gabriel Hunt], Hunt For Adventure, The Spider, The Shadow, Indiana Jones, an adventure book series, churn out a series character, Binary, Eaters Of The Dead, he’s really playful, amazingly good at transforming thought into words in the form of a novel, after Blaze, its long, spending 20 hours with Mark Twain.
The SFFaudio Podcast #725 – Prince Alberic And The Snake Lady by Vernon Lee – read by Evan Lampe. This is a complete and unabridged reading of the novella (1 hour 35 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants include Jesse, Paul Weimer, Maissa Bessada, and Evan Lampe.
Talked about on today’s show:
without fixing mistakes, two sessions, a damn hard book to read, mispronouncing many words, so many times, tap-es-tree not tape-ess-tree, its fantasy Jesse, you have to understand I didn’t speak to anyone until I was 22 years old, Evan is very dry, you pronounce words like someone who only gets them out of books, isolated, orgy, or-ghee, reading Hustler, is this where the orgy happens, draught is draft, still listenable, Brother And Sister by Donald E. Westlakes, Mr. Adam, Nudist Camp, the dedication, The Yellow Book, July 1896, to H.H. the Ranee Brooke of Sarawak, True Adventure, True Man, mens sweats magazines, a guy with his shirt off getting attacked by wild animals, “Weasels Tore My Flesh”, The White Raja Of Sarawak, Brunei, Indonesia, mercenary work, for about 100 years the was a royal family that was quasi-British, married to the king of Sarawak, their marriage wasn’t so great, pawned her diamond ring, married into money, Oscar Wilde, people they’re clubbing with, fin de siècle, 1890s, Violet Paget, Purple Paget, when clubbing with Oscar Wilde, what that plays into the story, related, is Vernon Lee saying don’t raise your kids badly?, the setup not the payoff, its all setting, the castle, the furniture, porphyry, nick-nacks, all setting detail, things that happed, stories within stories, the tapestry itself, the unicorn tapestries, the hunting of the unicorn, 1495-1505, Public Domain Review, monkey looking tigers, rabbits, a lot in setup like The Alchemist, Maissa is not a Lovecrafter, The Silver Key, no male will live past the age of 30, a family curse, a person alive for centuries, the setup is similar, the payoff is different, Paul, Maissa, Marissa, Terrance and Julie, very like a fairy tale, folk tales are really short, a paragraph or 6 pages, this is a novella, fairy tales vs. folk tales, folk tales written by an individual are fairy tales, Hans Christian Anderson, stones coming down the river forever, The Bros. Grimm, Puss In Boots is a fairy tale, psychology, Christian folktales, grandmas pass it on to grandmas, Cinderella, some folk tales are in every culture, almost based on a real tapestry, Prince Alberic And The Snake Lady, a snake lady kissing a knight, lamia, a mother of monsters sort of creature, the outside edges, John William Waterhouse, the outside edges, what’s going on in the middle, the story where the tapestry came from, a neglected locked away child, his clothes, his nurse, this is a job for me, full of image, intertwining figures, position of body parts and distances between things, rich in detail, a lonely kid locked in the basement, falls in love with the Romper Room lady, very very Biblical, the opposite Bible story, had a snake made it through to the end, the debauchery of this duke, a parallel Eden, neglect is very important, exposure to plants and animals, castle of sparkling waters, which is eden, seeing the borders, romantic couple, a functional marriage, conceptions of romance from media, romantic comedies, why the story is long, ancestry, growing up, the kid had to evolve, The Outsider as a little kid, a serpent in the Garden, the serpent has been cursed, backstory for Ladyhawke, Matthew Broderick, the Mouse, the evil church, self-narrating, adjacent to it and appreciative of it, his ancestor, recreates the attempt to free her, it fails, infidelity, outside forces, the family interference, make something of it, undergraduate essays, wholly focused on the gender identity stuff, readable into it, dressing like a man or a boy, male pseudonym, interpret the story, Victorian repression, interesting unto itself, engaging with the snake, turning Eve into the snake, Lilith, more Lilith than Eve, Princess Albercca, an Eve/Lilith story, a lot of speculation about how many lovers she had, weird dynamic, the grandfather, playing a game with his courtiers, who’s going to be the boss, to frustrate the main story, to contrast, mundanity, base and flat vs. art and literature and teaching and play, reading it subversively, does he just have a pet snake?, a fantasy figure, is he just an autodidact that imagined all that?, a weird story in the family, a problem at the end, I gotta wait ten years, fidelity for ten years to liberate the snake lady, a young man who’s gone nuts, a castle tale, he went crazy, his line is over, after that terrible storm, blows and saber cuts, rumor, I dreamt all of this, can you confirm my dream?, weird fiction done as a fairy tale, A.A. Milne’s The Green Door, a fantasy door, you look a little bit like him, the prince is dead, go off into Eden together, free from the trappings of their royal requirements, the jester, the cleric, the dwarf, the three wise men, Hop-Frog by Edgar Allan Poe, different loyalties, the Pope, the emperor, Spain, court favourites, 1780, who is that guy in Spain who gets blamed for the decline of Spain, the target for why things go bad, cabinet shakeup, things are going to change now, is it about giving advice to the royal highness of Sarawak?, pawn your kids off to other royal people, competition, Gaspar de Guzmán (Count-Duke of Olivares), globally common in courts, some backdrop here, historical context, Alberic is distances from these figures, when they spy on him, the jester hides in a high spot, where the fall happens, like a family curse story, our viewpoint on the more interesting story, she’s half snake half fairy, folk tales, The Doll Princess aka Doll I’ The Grass, to pass the test, spin and weave and sew a shirt in one day, the skills involved are all very practical skills, fairy tales are from a class perspective, the skills of a peasant, to ride, use a weapon, farming skills, plowing skills, donkey selling skills, ventriloquism skills, he kisses her and the curse is broken, the eclipse, the right magic items, where the Mouse comes in, an evil priest, a wolf by night a falcon by day, attempt number 3?, the monks got him, lots of threes here, all rumours are always true in Lovecraft, is she ultimately dead?, sever her head from her trunk, the dead grass snake, the body of a woman naked and miserably disfigured with blows and saber cuts, slithering around with nobody, did Balthazar meet the snake lady?, what’s up with him, he’s a little suss, he hates the snake lady and he hates the devil, his duchy ends and becomes extinct, another historical process, the consolidation of states, moreover, the mosaic chapel, the rockery, the porphyry rhinoceros, certain chairs and curtains, various pieces of an extremely damaged arras, the story lives on in the furniture, the true protagonist, she grooms this boy, reading it naturalistically, friends with a grass snake, getting this stuff from the villagers, the old man, how Lovecraft did it, a tweet from the Lovecraft Bot, it’s heaven!, imprinting on whatever is there, raised by ladies with afros, white suits, watched a lot of Miami Vice, imprinting on this snake, a naked rabbit, neglect, locking away a kid, the heir, we should probably do something about that, come in and turn his TV off, Romper Room is his whole world, I don’t want to watch Newhart, I get Scooby-Doo, the Duke with his permanent youth, prince-worthy, you’re stuck with who you got, the family line going, you don’t need a family line if you’re immortal, a shocking state of neglect, rustic is the 1890s version of on the spectrum, this kid is definitely weird, he doesn’t behave normally, a wild child, a princess worthy to be his wife, to fashion his manners, the subtle things, so he knows how to have sex, break his heart, an attack, we’re going to groom him, he hates the snake and he hates the devil, change the tapestry, Alberic the Blonde, the chronicles of the crusaders, enlightened mind and delicate taste, improbably events, D&D will send you to Hell, he’s under his own curse, he cut Susanna and the elders into strips, writing distraction, a red herring, three Biblical days, the Book of Daniel, paintings of this, an approved naked lady in the pool, she’s just trying to clean herself, one of the spies from a tree, the jester!, why he cuts it up, take out the bad things, he saw the rabbit denuded, rabbits are all about fertility, you don’t need to be fertile if you’re immortal, heirs are threats, Christians and Jews, what’s in and what’s out, placed in the apocrypha, useful for edification but non-canonical, a gender reversal, to get power, explaining why the French Revolution happened, the Emperor needs to bring his rivals close to him, dukes and counts need to be brought close so they don’t rebel, then they neglect the lands that they’re from, control his kingdom better, focused on court intrigue, the traditional job of kings is to be judges, the ‘let them eat cake’ moment, let them inject insulin, the parliamentarian, that one bad senator in Arizona, meanwhile, corruption, the rustic people don’t exist in this story, 17th and 18th century states, all going bankrupt, constant war, building things, showing off their power, London after the fire of 1667, investing all this money in the grandeur of court life, state lotteries, alliances, passing troops, War of the Spanish Succession, doochy vs. duchy, most Christian king, who does he think to marry?, let some bad blood into the royal family, chemicals, bourgeois families, nobility of the rose vs. nobility of the sword, good historical context, the description of the tapestry, the only thing on his wall, the border of fruit and flowers, red, yellow, orange, even green, ghosts, indeed it was only as he grew bigger, little by little he could see them always, he closes his eyes and he can see them, imagination, memory, a remnant of redness, a knight, doing an Evan, no wig, a helmet with big plumes, bare legs a kilt and a wig, she’s having it both ways, rich reading, a thick circular garland, very lovely, a chest of drawers, so rubbed, tapestry shouldn’t get worn out like that, embraced the lady with the other arm, all about gaze, we’re looking at him looking at it and other people are looking at him, the deep depths of this story, I’m you godmother, one hour everyday, she’s immortal too, only ages while in human form?, this is what this guy looks like, little Alberic models himself on this guy, what the Duke looks like, whose thoughts are those?, an omniscient narrator, the ignorance of the characters, outsider looking at it, the very simple thing, they can’t live their own lives to be their own sexual beings, very few female characters, maybe some peasants, ten years to become a woman, as a person of value, some of that in there?, she wrote this with a pseudonym, Vernon as her name name, she lived in Italy, what else it could be, the description of her dress, so very pale and faded, the colour of moonbeams, the ladies who got out of the coaches to the court of honour, no clothes at all on their upper part, little by little, all over her bodice, we are given some colours and some words and we read in, to see her skirt, it was probably very beautiful too, the inlaid chest of drawers, a large ebony and ivory crucifix, a great deal too heavy, why is the church so heavy?, when Alberic was 11, loud talking in his dreams, this is mine now, that nice pious crucifix, he’s being stolen from, a wonderful thing, now the TV’s not blocked anymore, a walk on the terrace, she’s naked!, riveted to the grown, oh nurse dear nurse, Evan’s German girl voices, she ended off in a big snake’s tail, green and gold, the snake part, against herself against him, he’s friends with her even though she’s not friendly, holy virgin! why she’s a serpent!, he loved the beautiful lady all the more, why the knight was so very good for her, Jervas Dudley, The Tomb, The Silver Key, this biblical element, set in Europe, Luna’s not a real place, fictional France, sexualized Victorian menstruation blood, she dances with the devil [The Moon-Slave by Barry Pain], The Big Book of Classic Fantasy edited by Jeff Vandermeer, J.R.R. Tolkien is the barrier between the two, “the ultimate collection”, chronologically, the gaps can be huge, how are you picking these?, all the handwringing that goes into choosing the stories, a systematic method, there are too many stories, everything has to be published somewhere, interesting and well written and put together carefully, she has a number of other stories, from the same period, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Yellow Wallpaper gets way too much attention, Herland, where to start with more Vernon Lee, so many books, novels and non-fiction, In Praise Of Old Gardens, a long list of works, 1881, novella, A Ballet Of The Nations, a goldmine, The Hidden Door, 1887, More Deadly Than The Male, W. Scott Poole, Wastelands, so very classicist, how Vernon Lee had the ability to do this, she’s not a Conan Doyle, they’re crass, rustic, a prince right in the title, hey lady, whatchu doing later?, what’s the nice lady doing?, she is also of the upper class even though she’s a snake lady, from the lower classes, these stories are read by the middle classes who are aspirant to the upper class lifestyle.