The SFFaudio Podcast #693 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: Brother And Sister by Donald E. Westlake

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #693 – Brother And Sister by Donald E. Westlake – read by Evan Lampe. This is a complete and unabridged reading of novel (3 hours 25 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants include Jesse, Paul Weimer, Evan Lampe, and Trent Reynolds

Talked about on today’s show:
The Violent World Of Parker blog, Hard Case Crime, Call Me A Cab, a novella in Redbook, the RARA AVIS forums, Memory, many years later, when blogs died, Google murdered blogs, search blogs, authoritative sources, Redbook magazine, [1979], a new coffee maker and Hard Case Crime, sitting around reading Donald E. Westlake, the low point of his writing career, how many characters, Paul, Angie, Bob, the uncle and the aunt, and the guy he decks, and the base commander, and a cop, and the neighbourwoman, Dancing Aztec has 50-60 characters, 3 and a half ours, there to fill a function, write me an incest book, he writes what he knows, baffled, Gorky Park by Martin Cruz Smith, funnier in concept than it is in execution, a cannibal book, hitting the checkpoints, the early lesbian and gay books, they have to kill themselves at the end, suicide murder, driven mad, smiling into the void, Lovecraftian, The Loved Dead by C.M. Eddy, a serial necophile, more bedmates, this has no laughs, an interesting artifact of the industry, Paul Westlake, did you name your son after this character?, 1961, was Westlake Catholic?, a popular choice for Catholics, Angela, the water in which they swim, the uncle was James, not a lot of creativity, Westlake’s official website, A tender compassionate novel of incestuous love, Edwin West, first publication anywhere, a handsome old man smokin a cigarette, you’re in the drug store getting your paperbacks and condoms, it all began innocently enough, the cruel unfeeling world, marriage to a prostitute, the artifact, did he marry an Austrian, Evan’s Austrian accent for Ingrid, innocent but exciting, like people possessed, the horrible guilt came later, Monarch Books, Inc., who is the audience for this book, a lot more people than are willing to admit, redtube and pornhub, step-family, a porno joke, i need to do some larping, a taboo that’s only in humans?, do dogs have taboos?, look at bonobos and chimpanzees, Incest Among The Apes by Paul Weimer, monogamy, polygenous, Paul’s research, recessive traits vs. mutations, hemophilia, sickle cell anemia, frisson, evolutionary and cultural history, broadening the incest taboo, Cleopatra’s family and the royal family of Hawaii, Chinese incest, tribute princesses, the Manchus, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000), “I’m pure blood”, of all the sleaze books, shoplifted quite a bit, checking on the listenership, he just has to do the job, some interesting things going on, it’s about the house, a property book, virginity issues, obsession with home ownership, an unlikeable character, physically abusive, a good depiction of his soul, a rebound relationship, feeling weird, over-reading, how boring her boyfriend Bob is, so boring, siblings are boring, leave the house and find some strange, find some nice Austrian lady, not very many positives, major life changes, the ring of the familiar, not a good edge, the emotional circumstances, a little too comfortable, how to construct a terrible book, the aunt who is comforting and the uncle is threatening, the funeral, isolated, tell Stella about my new boyfriend my brother, pick up sticks, Dain, three? sex scenes, we’re gonna be married soon, what makes a marriage formal, not consummated, doesn’t count, annulment, Maury Povich styles shows, Phil Donahue was classy, Morton Downey Junior, Jerry Springer, Povich is teaching, lesbian sex among co-eds in Greenwich Village by Dr. Lawrence Block, sandwiched, wife has sex with the family dog, Strange Tales From A Chinese Studio, Carnal Prayer Mat, as long as he ends up dead or ruined, don’t cheat on your loved ones, don’t pay a hooker with a personal cheque, our love cannot be denied!, a baby having two heads, two dudes who are gay for each other and they’re brothers, teratogenic incest baby, homosexual incest taboos, my husband is now my wife, why are the people doing this?, education + attention, this book exists, a market, the neighbours don’t know, The Lurking Fear by H.P. Lovecraft, The X-Files episode Home, the Peacock family, Weird Tales exoticism, peacock kings, real estate porn, your side plot is arguing over a deed, Western, lets talk to a lawyer, Westlake is really into insurance, The Risk Profession, a science fiction story about insurance, Somebody Owes Me Money, such a good book, murder mystery, the dad in that book, comparing different insurance plans, based on Westlake’s own life, The Green Eagle Score, To Catch A Thief (1955), insurance is the opposite of gambling, related to gambling, if you’re living in the states right now, Westlake’s upbringing, sitting around thinking about what things are like, the Red Cross stuff, a non-incest sex scene, easy ladies, engaging with the Red Cross, why is there this fight over the deed?, debts extinguishing with the death of the father, there’s no talk about a will, the office and lawyer stuff, an episode of The Saint written by Terry Nation, an allegory for Vietnam, the opposite of an allegory (a formula), returning the drugstore with a used incest book, he did a professional job, self-publishing on Amazon, the pornhub thing, the incest stepsister fantasy, available for anonymous download, Westlake is the sale, nobody at the time knew, technically crimes, incest and deed fraud, Subterranean Press, Honey Girls, Sin Hellcat by Donald E. Westlake and Lawrence Block, Folio Society, heresy, drink your champagne, lovingly see the typeface, you’re in the drugstore, you’ve got your sister at home, French ticklers, French packets [letters], WHAT MANNER OF LOVE?, “we could go away to some other city, Paul”, ravaged, empty terror, playing bit-parts in Summerstock, Campus Doll, Young And Innocent, the Grofield books, a half-handful of stories actually about insurance, the entire American welfare state is employer paid insurance schemes, writing at the peak of the welfare state, the insurance companies are a scam now, where Jesse lives, auto-insurance, the “socialist” government, less fighting in courts, mandatory insurance for drivers, nofault insurance, there’s no competition, the shitty health care we have (in British Columbia), everybody gets the same health insurance, when you’re pooling like that, getting your vaccine, “safe and effective”, there are effects, mnra vaccines, the hospital didn’t bankrupt Jesse, scam insurance, Westlake is thinking deeply (kind of his job), don’t sleep with your sister, we need an asshole character, pretty good book for a terrible book, the premise is what sells it, genres or tropes?, Angie doesn’t worried about getting pregnant very much, birth control is not mentioned, Paul opened the drawer of the nightstand and opened a Trojan, a weird reading experience, what a twit you are, other methods, there’s no vagina even mentioned, very tame, we’re never going to get as explicit as “she put in her diaphragm”, hang on bro, spermicidal jelly, The Naked Director, accidentally invents the facial, technically a birth control measure, boobs and nipples and curves, very tame, pornography inflation, women at the used bookstore with 30 romance novels, what is the appeal of these things, romance brain is super strong, Harlequin Romances, trying to sell romance novels, characters have sex but mostly incidents leading up to it, immature, exhausted what little there was, Evan’s narration, the cops were coming all the time, the garbage trucks came to get this book, process, Prince Snake Lady, Mr. Adam by Pat Frank, three chapters a day for a week, more of the German girlfriend, a much better book: if she had showed up again…, Angie has nothing, Bob is the best character, waste a bullet, make it a Lovecraftian story, just add a little mindswap, The Thing On The Doorstep by H.P. Lovecraft, confluence of the ley lines, horror, The Green Eagle Score by Richard Stark, military policeman, Dortmunder beer, he’s not a dumb guy, this guy is thinking about things, drafted into the army, being in a socialist system (the army and the airforce), the universal army, Fredric Jameson, bureaucratization of problems, Tucker Coe, Samuel Holt, 105 absolutely known, smut books, short stories, Mitch Tobin, I Know A Trick Or Two, the worst book, protecting ourselves from the accusations of liking , no heavy petting no penetration, a kissing book, Make Out Point, early Stephen King, Carrie, paradise by the dashboard lights, car culture, Italy, Taiwan, hourly rate hotels, a nap, you live with your parents even if you’re married, marginal phenomena, always step, the Japanese pron is straight sister stuff, the taboo is stronger in Japan, lesbian books, why you have hotel rates, your sister’s in the next room, a flourishing ebook market on Amazon for brother sister books, reading audiobook erotica, what people do for money, we don’t live in a communal society, the commercial aspect, the erotica business, drawing the line at incest, next week its cannibalism, other taboos, necrophilia, Pity Me! by Bertha Russell (age 15), The Loved Dead by C.M. Eddy, antagonist vs. loving, Julia Morgan (Morgan Scorpion), is it Evan with his smoking is it Paul with his guilt, Paul Bishop, somewhere in San Fransisco…, Take The Money & Run, westerns, mysteries, Jack London seems to have invented frontier fiction, see life in the raw, claim jumping, western adjacent, Les Savage, Max Brand, Zane Grey, Louis L’Amour, A Princess Of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs, Outland (1981) is High Noon (1952) in space, Moon Zero Two (1969), hard SF, a spectacular failure, acoustic panels.

MONARCH BOOKS - Brother And Sister by Donald E. Westlake (1961) - illustration by Harry Schaare

MONARCH BOOKS - Brother And Sister by Donald E. Westlake (1961) BACK COVER5

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The SFFaudio Podcast #618 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: The Risk Profession by Donald E. Westlake

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #618 – The Risk Profession by Donald E. Westlake; read by Gregg Margarite (for LibriVox.org). This is an unabridged reading of the short story (1 hour 4 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Paul Weimer, and Maissa Bessada, and Will Emmons

Talked about on today’s show:
authors like Westlake, seeing the ending coming, Amazing, March 1961, which ending?, a cynical person, when you’re a lawyer…, lawyer brain, ruining your enjoyment?, you feel smart, reading mysteries, ahead of the curve, forgetting the ending every time, a double twist ending, Westlake is amazing, his most Amazing story, he doesn’t like his boss but he puts up with him, fire and theft in New York, space missions, a meta-story, Westlake’s career, a crime story, a locked room mystery, a series, he could easily lose all the money, a triple twist ending, there could have been!, planned all along, contingency plans for everything, he was planning this forever, cleverer than they knew, the worldbuilding, this could have been published in Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, they don’t seem to have the internet, real last name, Ab and Jafe and Ged, an Expanse story, space stations around Earth, a colony on Luna, a gold rush story, The Expanse, what’s driving this?, brilliant people going out to make their money, Jesse can explain it all, they shrivel up, not mostly Australians, mostly Americans, obsessed with the country in which he lives, The Spy In The Elevator, the theme about government, a hands-off government, the Double RP deal, uninsurables, very rapacious capitalism, definitely his signature, handwriting analysis is not as robust as people want it to be, a part of our toolkit, he actually did sign it, this retirement plan, cash return form, well…there’s a law, they wouldn’t give money if they didn’t have to, the corruption somehow didn’t work that day, the insurance lobby, an insurance investigator, a hidden theme, Evan Lampe’s podcast on Philip K. Dick, Philip K. Dick is obsessed with the frontier, Lovecraft: forgetting and the sea, Westlake is obsessed with insurance, Somebody Owes Me Money, a nephew novel, this weird phenomenon, characterization, the best insurance policy, it seems like if I go with this plan…, why is this in here?, calling Paul Westlake up, his first published story as a professional, government is insurance, helping me not worry about stuff, what taxes are insurance payments, health care, car insurance, the army, in tight alliance with our neighbours, what the RCMP is for, thinking of government as insurance, we have to defend this, Corona virus, starving to death, that payment is insurance, keeping the system stable, an evil universe, anybody who cheats on their CERB is going to be investigated, UBI, telling the company being afraid of its boss, an insight into a terrible, who is the government an insurance policy for?, insurance for the employers, the primary beneficiaries are the stock owners, the WE fake charity, speaking fees, a $14,000 vacation for a minister, if the stockholders are not the general public then they are working for a subset of them, the cynicism is not the focus, an Agatha Christie style locked-room mystery, if it was the government…, the last book, Anarchaos, the absence of insurance companies, a possibility of taking your crime with you, government ideas, ethics, if he wasn’t so greedy, he wouldn’t have gotten away with it, that Scooby Doo ending, alive and in France, they all look exactly the same, Atronics, Chemisant, Ludlum, they sound like things we would get, company towns, how it worked in Anarchaos, Vicco, Kentucky, a ghost town called IOCO (Imperial Oil Company), all the way from Trinidad?, Alcan, through the panama canal, that’s where the power is, if the company goes out of business, those fly-over states, bringing mining back, northern Minnesota, Westlake is incredibly subtle, if you look for the signs, standout lines, there he is, he’s kind of a ghost, the description of the boss and his hands, always smooth, skepticism, the spaceship west of Cairo, the good ship Demeter, g-sickness pills, I was as sick as a dog, as depressing as Turkish bath with all the lights on, a welder’s practice range, a transparent dome would have been more fun, cheap iron, polishing his own spacesuit’s inside, debris, shit orbiting earth, paint chips, some physics problems, jollier, scooters and tuggers, industry troopers, capitalism, the winners of capitalism, square corners painted olive drab, International Atronics Incorporated, high wages, how do you make a vacuum tube?, the tech of the now, he’s putting it in your hand, dribbled down the elevator, the opening of Anarchaos, a milk run, other adventures, Martians, alien insurrections, you don’t even notice, Westlake has opted out, high school, air-force, a Snow top, a white helmeted MP, a set of background for his writing career, hints as to what was striking him, The Man With The Getaway Face by Richard Stark, plastic surgery, Will needs to read that book, falling in love with the author, the driver was an ex-communist party enforcer, Parker was in WWII, be a thief, Westlake started in law enforcement, healthcare, hunger, being in the army is being in a socialist state, he’s a cop in a socialist state, your health insurance, your housing, most people never think about it, Westlake is some kind of weird intellectual, his only way to make a living is to tell people lies, the more interesting your lies are the better your living, my god this is good!, psycho-analyzing his own thing, there’s some substance to it, Tomorrow’s Crimes, the closest to a crime story, a philosopher of crime, he got a lot of letters from prison, prisoners loved his crime books, rats, pulling the perfect job is amazing, once you can’t turn to the cops for help you’re always on his own, he can’t trust his partners, he murders the taxi-man, he’s here to enact his power fantasy in a libertarian state, yay!, a funny way of thinking of what he’s doing, how do you survive in the 20th century?, why would he leave SF?, not financially viable, series is where the money is, science fiction is kind of the opposite of series, its finished, Melinda Snodgrass, fulfilling a role were; not supposed to have, science fiction can be applied to any literary genre, Isaac Asimov, Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, we know him from his SF, movies, a tonne of crime, a mystery set in a science fiction universe, I can make the rules, The Caves Of Steel, people don’t go outside, The Hole Man by Larry Niven, Paul’s theory of mysteries, a fair mystery, there’s two suits sitting there, he red-herring’d it, polished his silvered faceplate visor, where the whole thing started, built the whole story around the image, gold in the NASA suits, gold vs. silver, 30 pieces of silver, a different Adams, a lot of domes, the scooters are domes, the asteroid city dome, Finder by Suzanne Palmer, an Apollo Program, understatement, its egg shaped body, green, very army, “the windshield” translucency, floating forever, foreshadowing, we’re him, our hero Jed, he took so long to come home, Will’s a little acquisitive, really empathizing with this story, giant pile of metal, an intellectual exercise, you’re feeling like the guy, Will’s a little bit different than Jesse, an office job, petty bourgeois technician, a life of quiet desperation, Fight Club, breaking his own identity, identity switching, A Bullet For Cinderella, the cultural universe it comes out of, John D. MacDonald, we should eventually do all of the Westlake novels, The Green Eagle Score, the titles run in streaks, Parker robs an air force base, army guys, that rock concert sure is loud, think of all the money from the concessions, scores, a couple of decades between books, see the pattern?, he’s just being playful, he’s a hunter, then he becomes a shark, eventually he gets married, just keep me in flowers and champagne, they start getting silly, he’s got a real sense of humour, cuz sharks don’t laugh at jokes, funny doings, isnights into a person’s character by reading essentially throwaway stories, different from making a movie or a TV show, one person generally, a sense of through-line, wouldn’t you rather know what H. Rider Haggard was thinking than some adaptation of his novel?, too ponderous, Edgar Rice Burroughs, limited success, the way Frankenstein movies gets Frankenstein so wrong, the smartest man who ever lived, I Tarzan you Jane, “Fire bad” vs. soliloquy, learned to speak and read through a crack in a wall, you can’t see those hand gestures, those wry lines, all these flavours of cocktails, bitter but also delicious, rye, very fluffy, it feels so fluffy, so good!, reading Lester Del Rey, so hamfistedly bad, he’ll get you drunk you don’t even know you’re drinking, terribly clunky, For I Am A Jealous People by Lester Del Rey, he’s good at lifting, The Faithful, Reading, Short And Deep, uplifted dogs, dog pilots with surgically altered hands, the last man has died, a very Will story, uplifted gorillas, so badly written, that’s kinda super-racist right there, so hamfisted, a green and lovely world, Man’s creation, worship the memory, Who Can Replace A Man by Brian Aldiss, The Island Of Doctor Moreau by H.G. Wells, WWI, Lester Del Rey is making moves, here’s four more 10 hour novels, Planet Of The Apes by Pierre Boulle, City by Clifford Simak, Desertion by Clifford Simak, Cemetery World, animal stuff, we go sideways, this is a dog man, James Powell, 130 stories, A Dirge For Clowntown, Inspector Bozo, a world worry down on his luck aging clown detective, a clown police procedural in a clown universe, his clown wife, the clowns are the white people, the other race is the mimes, mime on mine violence, Discworld novels, not a fantasist in a normal sense, its just so weird, its its own literary thing, The Code Of The Poodles, episode 81, humorous fantasy crime, The Friends Of Hector Jouvet, A Pocketful Of Noses, a unique voice, Ed Wood, pre-everybody.

The Risk Profession by Donald E. Westlake

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