The SFFaudio Podcast #642 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: The Sowers Of The Thunder by Robert E. Howard

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #642 – The Sowers Of The Thunder by Robert E. Howard; read by Connor Kaye

This unabridged reading of the story (1 hours 34 minutes) is followed by a discussion of it.

Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Will Emmons, Trish E. Matson, and Alex and Connor Kaye.

Talked about on today’s show:
Oriental Stories, Winter 1932, 9 issues, a spinoff of Weird Tales, G.G. Pendarves, Hung Long Tom, Otis Adelbert Kline, The Dragoman’s Jest, the kock-off Edgar Rice Burroughs, E. Hoffman Price, Magic Carpet, 5 issues, the Arabian Nights theme, historical fiction, what kind of stories they’re publishing, guys with scimitars, yellow peril, the mystical east, Orientalism, Australian stories, the land of upside down, the exotic, Outback Tales, Bush Tales, shaggy dog stories, time wasters, folklore, folktales, bush poetry, don’t worry Trish, North-West Adventures, Yukon Tales, Jack London made that genre, American movie productions set, I Heard The Owl Call My Name by Margaret Craven, the last frontier, She in the Arctic, that excitement about Antarctica, Hawks Of Outremer, Robin Hood, King John, the crusades and the crusader states, a lot of work, the research for Oriental tales was too much work, battle scenes, historical errors?, Saladin’s a real guy, a shoutout to Cormac Fitzgeoffrey, Swords Of Shahrzar, there’s a lot going on in here, the twist ending, why it didn’t grab you, Jewels Of Gwahlur, a completely different kind of mode, transferring information, giving what you need for what he’s going to do, we need a map, El Borak, The Fire Of Asshurbanipal, the 1982 Conan movie, Subotai is in this, Baibars, Gerry Lopez, Lopez, lifts from other Robert E. Howard stories, deep in your soul, make it part of your life, A Witch Shall Be Born, Hour Of The Dragon, Tower Of The Elephant, a Kull villain, dressed like a mongol, what happened to Baibars in real life, a king by his own hand, Oliver Stone or John Milius, there is no one Conan story, Queen Of The Black Coast, Belit for this scene, giant snake, an amalgam of Howard’s themes and ideas, the wheel of pain, we don’t know who the hero of our story is, that mode, is the hero Baibars, its a ruse, a castle full of Arabs, “this is a ruse”, this is a trick, the trick happened earlier, not a mystery exactly, we’re not supposed to know, our reveal is a supposition of reality, Haroun, Harold Lamb, why it feels like it doesn’t work, our Irish lord fleeing despair in Europe for relief in the east, a historical supposition, he’s making an argument, the protagonist vs. the viewpoint character, rising around for three chapters until the plot hook, it bounces from castle to castle, all this stuff didn’t happen over night, what’s the time frame of this story, we need a map and a timeline, from Egypt to Palestine, the first invasion, the subsequent invasion, historical about Baibars, Kingdom Of Heaven (2005), the reveal was amazing, he was my taskmaster, I was his body servant, I hate that guy, I am not Haroun, a really interesting thing that he’s done, really impersonal, a bigger scoped story, the fall of kingdoms, Howard works best at the personal level, the undercooked personal level, the knight who secretly betrayed him, a prophecy, twice as long, the lady knight thing was so out of nowhere, that plot arc, a bit out of place, why it doesn’t work as well as Hawks Of Outremer, not much of a payoff for any of the characters, the romance plot ends in tragedy, it can’t be told from his POV, we want to want him to win, pulling itself in several different ways, everything that happens in it is historically accurate, a scar on his face, involved in many intrigues in his life, going amongst the people to spy, what made him such a rags to riches story, an indentured slave, the schools, a northern barbarian, blue eyed, pale skin, chopping skills, 1,000 sword swings a day, kinda hard to understate, he thinks of himself as an Irishman, him confronting the east, why the mongols were stopped, how come the hordes didn’t take over the Arab empire, Baibars stopped them, he took a crusader state and teamed up against the mongols, team-up, wow!, the opposite of Saladin, Saladin is noble, Baibars is cunning, quarterstaff, neither of us will ever be able to dominate the other, when our hero dies, that scar on his face like Kull, Howard projecting himself against a historical figure, an different kind of defeat, Cahal, kay-hal?, his kingdom is the dark side of the moon, he kinda gets what he wants: an end to himself, he came here because he couldn’t go home, he’s seeking death, you can’t defeat me, I see you as a fellow person, a terrible defeat for Cromac Fitzgeoffrey, he clawed him, the only way Howard could engage, more than the end he wants, western civilization will crush Islam in 1,000 years, talking with Evan Lampe about Robert E. Howard’s letters to H.P. Lovecraft, within his stories, Lovecraft was never effected by Howard, Howard was very effected by Lovecraft, barbarians, barbarianism is the norm (not civilization), putting myself up against any historical figure, an intellectual heavyweight from a small town, such an insight into Howard’s psychology, the technical need, it isn’t a classic of Robert E. Howard, the scimitar with the scarlet flying, the babies being spitted, the bar fight, the Roy Thomas written Savage Swords, it doesn’t flow in the way we want it to, another way to do it, unless he abandons the thesis, the Irish viewpoint character, when the Mongols hit eastern Europe, these sons of slaves, disinherited before he was born, dies of a poisoning not meant for him, Haroun, Baibars is not the leader of Egypt, he’s not yet the leader of Egypt, info dump drops are 100% accurate, all these kingdoms, the Syrians and the Egyptians, imagine Canada trying to jump into the fight on January 6th, to get up to speed, who the sides are, relatively painless, if flows perfectly, the common enemy, a bit more messy, the craftsmanship, getting the writing done, the European inset, given the people he’s chosen to write about, he wanted to be as accurate as possible (or so it seems), Conan wouldn’t react the same way, a kingly figure who is worthy, who is Conan’s greatest adversary?, not Thulsa Doom, a monkey with a cape, his own lust, a doomed character, a femme fatale story, he’s so bitter at the beginning so revealed at the end, uncharacteristically Robert E. Howard, does he notice her at the beginning?, he looks into the visor, pulled back almost like a woman, he zones out a little bit, a giant army is coming, we should run, the great oaf, a slender knight, a rough red beard, a Vanir, something slumbering, man, where have I seen you before?, shadowed eyes, a thousand racing chaotic thoughts, an almost womanish gesture of rebuke, distracted by the Odin swearing assistant, Howard’s red herring is literally red haired, the ending works for Jesse, why it is not THE classic of Robert E. Howard stories, with the reveal and the supposition, growing mustachios, Connor read this for us, what’s the time period, the final battle is 1244, a year, six months, time to grow a mustache, Jerusalem, from Cairo to Damietta to Jerusalem, with a bandit far to the east, at least six months, seven chapters, how do you tell this story if you’re trying to be accurate, Die Hard (1988), these guys are gonna hang out and have adventures together, Marvel Team-Up, Green Lantern – Green Arrow, Hard Travelin’ Heroes, these two titans testing each other, team up for one battle, the double reveal of the masked night, strangled by the concept, the thesis, make this story longer, a modern fantasy novel, a novel length story spending more time with each of the characters, impersonating a man, tell it from her point of view, Will really liked this story, Vikings, go back in time, cut people up, lets have a hitting contest, Christopher Lee is a pirate, the Spanish Armada, a punching contest, The Devil-Ship Pirates (1964), PTSD in those days, drink each other under the table with fermented milk, a character that we don’t understand any better having read this story, different personas to live their lives, shocking and amazing and why are they doing it?, a lot of disguises, Eleanor, trying to fix this story, make it shorter or longer, the Eleanor plot arc, make it episodic, chunks, Akbar, start, middle, and end, episodes, add in something in the middle, uncharacteristic, make baibars more empathetic to see something from his perspective, The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner, only technically true, different perspective characters (all Baibars!), a unique idea for a series of stories, could I beat Baibars in a fight, it would be a tie!, I would be his equal!, I would be his match!, overstating the case, the sub-thesis, 100 years later in the history, the crusader states are in decline, Red Cahal rode, Tyre, Jaffa, Acre, Hospitallers and Templars, the Teutonic knights invaded Russia and Poland, spread Christianity and stamp out paganism, to stabilize his rule, pay off his guys, keep the mongols out, the fading kingdom, suicidal, at least a year, full of difficult pronunciations, living by his wits on the edge of his sword, a predatory nose, a haunt of poverty, weeds grew rank, lizards, the echoing emptiness, no gaily clad pages, a reiver’s hold, how does a noble house go down?, it just takes time, arguing so hard with Lovecraft, really interesting vs. rousing adventure, a good miniseries, his femme fatale who betrayed him, too short for what its trying to do, more resonant, he had to do so much infodumping, skillfully done, Hour Of The Dragon, the downer ending of Hawks Of Outremer, the same setup, his brother is dead so he’s sad, a gracious enemy vs. a devious enemy, strategist, leading incredibly heavily on a romance, I’ve heard stories about you tell me if they’re true, different media, in a TV show, techniques, what Shakespeare does on stage is so what you can’t do, an audio drama would need a narrator, a text crawl, its setup a lot like a mystery, Dashiell Hammett style, going around and getting beat up to solve a mystery, a recitation of facts is not a story, Shanghai, Shadow Of The Vulture, the Siege of Vienna, Magic Carpet, Red Sonja, a revenge arc, first concubine of the sultan, that bitch betrayed all of Europe, a red headed wanton, down the road in history, a generic Howard guy, a Howard woman who never needs to be rescued, what the Jews and Syrians were wearing in the street, different Irish guards, this guy’s young!, Dark Valley Destiny by Catherine Crook de Camp, Jane Whittington Griffin, L. Sprague de Camp, a photographic memory, an inability to not remember things like dates of purchases, Marilu Henner’s memory [hyperthymesia], a major facility, he was 30, being towards death, Bill Hollweg, Edgar Rice Burroughs, part of the attraction to Bill was these feelings, racial memory, events in your ancestor’s past, a guy who becomes Conan, Jack London, the Celt’s facility with language, Before Adam, The Call Of The Wild‘s race memory, reverting to one’s ancestor, the definitive word, White Fang, The Sea Wolf, savouring, Jack London’s one of the best writers ever, as I’m flying across the street having been hit by a bus I’ll be screaming “I should have read the memory”, an eidetic memory, worth reading (at least once), expensive bon bons, don’t read every Conan story back to back, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, the beats, 1995 – 2021, The Sowers Of The Thunder volumes from the 1970s, The Sword Of Shahrazar, Skull Face, the most racist, Howard doing Fu Manchu, an Atlantean priest, now Will is sold, a Famous Fantastic Mysteries podcast, Virgil Finlay, Hannes Bok, Lawrence Sterne Stevens, Almuric, something wrong about the ending, May June July August, Connor needs to do the one about the Polish lady, Leigh Brackett, doomed cult ideology, Outpost On Io, Chief O’Brien is not super-doomed, he likes being doomed, virtual reality prison for 40 years, oh I’m a robot, Philip K. Dick’s Impostor, the Gary Sinise movie sucks so bad, a giant chase sequence with Ice Cube in the middle, we like O’Brien, we know O’Brien, more Irish fated ill guys, other gloomy Irishmen characters, The Terror by Dan Simmons, The Coming Race, too long, another true story that’s been modified slightly to make it weird, except for the giant polar bear monster spirit, maybe that’s why the expedition was so doomed, tinned meat contaminated with lead, a supernatural element, the HBO biopics were really kind of depressing, real life is much harsher than stories are generally, spice it up with the fantastic it becomes more spritely and less dour, lets the medicine go down, the slash fiction, an archive of our own, they fall in love, some hot gay sex, grasping that pole (so to speak), take us through your inspiration for your story, where the slash fiction lives, post your own fan fiction, a good tagging system, Of Stray Cats And Lost Kings by galerian_ash, comments and kudos, rather shocking, the red cat is adorable, red head, its a metaphor, gold hair tinged with read, the Dane, Oh, and I love the bit about the stray cat staying,

What wonderful tension you hold here between Cahal and Baibars. It’s such a classic situation, but you’ve made it fresh and new here, and I particularly like your emphasis on a lack of personal hatred. I find myself sympathising with Baibar’s honourable patience and Cahal’s tussle with himself, and thus your resolution is both hard-won and satisfying. I did like the little details that worked to reveal each character, too – paticularly Barbar’s “let’s ride!”. What else would a warrior from the steppes say?

– on a completely different note, it was delightful to learn about Baibars’ cat garden in Cairo, and to discover that the cats of Torre Argentina and the Mosque Aziz Mahmud Hudayi have such noble heritage. Thank you for that!

what his name means, what was missing from the story!, the most Howard thing, Cahal was like a bear, the male gaze, male gay vs. lesbian stuff, some of it was poetry, the explicit lesbian poetry, explicitly lesbianism in Weird Tales, whipping and lesbians goes together, ruffled a few feathers, Gay Orientaled Stories, Spicy Tales he told, The Dragon Of Kao Tsu by Robert E. Howard, September 1936 Spicy and Juvenalia, Mexico, all over the world, its possible he didn’t even know how to swim, a powerhouse.

extras at 6 minutes so far

Oriental Stories - The Sowers Of The Thunder by Robert E. Howard

The Sowers Of The Thunder by Robert E. Howard

The Sowers Of The Thunder by Robert E. Howard

The Sowers Of The Thunder by Robert E. Howard

Roy G. Krenkel, 1975 Donald M. Grant Edition -The Sowers Of The Thunder by Robert E. Howard

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The SFFaudio Podcast #631 – READALONG: Looking Backward by Edward Bellamy

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #631 – Jesse, Maissa Bessada, Evan Lampe, and Will Emmons talk about Looking Backward by Edward Bellamy

Talked about on today’s show:
2000-1887, utopian, 1888, its kind of disappointing, Evan doesn’t agree with Jesse, sequels and rebuttals, 3rd bestseller of its time, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Ben Hur, responses, Mack Reynolds, Equality In The Year 2000, utopias and communism, we have a problem, not enough good work, academics complaining, UBI, you can’t spend the money fast enough, a real cool problem to have, going from Dickensian horror capitalism to a theoretical utopia, horrible and ok, underwhelmed, hey Jesse, William Morris’ review of Looking Backward, News From Nowhere, everything interesting about this book is the political content, FAQs, Fredric Jameson, Evan, idiosyncratic, about the person making it, Anglo-protestant utopia, Calvinist utopia, very American, smaller firms, Jack London, an artist, upper middle class dude, the Bellamy clubs come to nothing, economic fatalism, no political actions necessary, the extra homework, they’re sermons, Christmas In The Year 2000 by Edward Bellamy, Ladies’ Home Journal, Women In The Year 2000, February 1891, the way they read, less plot than sermon, so interesting, the true spirit of Christmas, they don’t understand what Jesus’ message is, weekly reminder you’re supposed to be like Jesus, give to the food bank like Justin [Trudeau] wants us to do, a few loopholes, some people to escape, no reservation like in Brave New World, totalitarian, council of elders, everybody old runs everything, Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell, this is it upside down, the subscription services, Glenn Greenwald leaving The Intercept, actual journalists, Jeremy Scahill, Laura Poitras, you can’t talk about Biden and what was revealed in the Hunter Biden emails, New York Times has never apologized, the institutions of magazines all in the hands of people’s disposable income, Patreon or whatever, Substack, like Twitch for writing and journalism (the opposite of 1984), stenographers for the government, two anonymous sources tell us, a real functioning journalism, Dentists Weekly (journal), like regular free market within a UBI, how all the artists would work, go to art school vs. just do art, dental school, hair school, officiallize, before the eight hour workday, educational flexibility, child labour reduced, we’re done, education, the single most important thing, how cheap it is, we should be spending half of our gross national income on tutoring, the testing, there’s no bookstores, skin whitening salons and doggie spas, Costco grocery with pneumatic tube delivery, where Bellamy is totally right, The People’s Republic Of Walmart, The Coming Race by Edward Bulwer Lytton [that Vril book], the setup is the same, less eugenics based, a classical liberal, women will be looking at the genetics rather than the inheritance, unattractive men, an incel problem, credits for prostitutes?, cultural hangups, more cafes, more relaxed, everybody would be like Picard, organic mozzarella, Morris was essentially an artisanal anarchist, what Bellamy is writing about, nationalizing Amazon, internationalizing, other countries, two continents, three countries, empires in Africa and Asia, teaching them socialism very slowly, how China is impenetrable, seen what he’s done, okay but, better refinements, The Unincorporated Man by Dani Kollin and Eytan Kollin, The Coming Race is a little longer, somebody falls asleep and wakes up in the future, Edith, the secret we didn’t want to tell you, $6 and compound interest, the only person who is not a corporation, socialism and a universal army, just neoliberalize everything, sell your shares at age 18, the most horrible intrusive, Nineteen Eighty-Four not to crush but to extract value from you, keep going until there is nothing left to privatize, apprentice yourself or go to university, no employment and no skills, no public anything, the horror inversion of this, Idiocracy (2006), The Marching Morons by C.M. Kornbluth, a terrible terrible terrible story, a satire taken as an actual reality possibility, when George W. Bush was president, only stupid people are breeding, The Little Black Bag, a time traveling doctor’s bag, we’re going to dumb ourselves down, what people said about audiobooks back in the day, ‘audiobooks are not reading’, you’re saying blind people don’t read, push-button elevators vs. elevator operators, you need to be skilled, how to use a slide-rule, new weird diseases in Star Trek, there’s no tension, its a static society, all these other stories are stories, its a treatise, The Iron Heel by Jack London has more story, the gap between, the narrator might be a villain, Bellamy was a villain, a historical document from the future, people who live in this society, a government propaganda text, polemicizing against the labour unions, liberal elites, Trotsky said about American socialists, middle class snake-oil salesmen that are good at describing socialism to dentists, why is that?, American socialism, what happens in 1886, the Haymarket Affair, we’re really looking out for you here, suppressing continents, The Moon Maid by Edgar Rice Burroughs, socialism from the moon, also named Julian, time doesn’t exist, the socialist moon people, savage tribes in Africa and Asia, permanent dominance, Reconstruction, the scramble for Africa, reducing everything to economic questions, every class fragment is going to have an idea about socialism, the politics is a distraction, employment relationship, the woman question, Jim Crow, Rip Van Winkle, the 2nd American Revolution, a little bit dangerous, a bad bible for socialism, no strife, similar in the setup to The Dream Of Debs by Jack London, he comes from wealth, he’s at the club, his motorcar needs maintenance, general strike, our narrator is humbled, his foreman doesn’t have the labour to finish his new house, the labour of other people, a private tax, my passive income from investments is a private tax on other people’s labour, he’s upset his new wife is unable to move in with him in his new home he’s having built, the fact he’s having trouble sleeping, a hypnotist who is not a real doctor, a sleeping draught, a sealed basement room, when all of his anxiety at living off of other people’s labour, he doesn’t produce art or help to anybody, a consultant to historians, we’re all benefiting from the overall progress of humanity over the centuries, that labour has already been performed, the conversation on copyright, we’re standing on the top of this mountain, we are post-scarcity , he’s really good about post-scarcity, salesmen, styles and fashions of behaviors, no-pressure sales, Best Buy vs. Future Shop, HUGE in 1887, the employees aren’t trying to pressure you into sales?!, Counter Cultures: Saleswomen, Managers, And Customers In American Department Stores, 1890-1940 by Susan Benson, shop girl, shopping for a husband, pre-show chat, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Picard, Deep Space Nine, The Neutral Zone, a homemaker (whatever that is), a musician, a capitalist (a CEO), you don’t need money you need to improve yourself, learn to paint, when not visiting Brave New Worlds, the kids lab, stealing a bunch of children, Wesley’s hunger strike, their schools are like the Bellamy schools, really good a sculpture, the ideas from this book are incredibly powerful, the responses never seem to have stopped, the early 21st century, it was really novel, think about how big this book was, like Harry Potter, Hedwigs and Hagrids, children vs. “adults”, everybody had something to say about this book, countries have actually tried to do this, this book had fans who went on to try to do this, more to reflect on, being in the Bellamy club, equality for everybody, basic needs met, Will cried multiple times reading it, a number of really good metaphors, that umbrella metaphor, about the carriage, you can see those people on twitter, go fund me, kids raising money for their cancer ridden teacher, when Jesse talks to Americans who are not Evan and Will, outside of the mainstream propaganda, what Jesse and Maissa has, you have to pay a parking fee, I hate going to the hospital, they don’t understand, you have to go to a country and just feel it, what its like over there, how can you be bankrupted?, from this perspective, because of segregation, the Southern Democrats killed universal healthcare, an apartheid system, so obsessed with suppressing a part of the population, two main barriers to progress, a large class of small property owners, the color line, reason with them, this helps everybody, you’re set for life, private health insurance, its guaranteed money, the cancer, the stroke, the TV is a CRT from the 1980s, there are problems, the thing that nobody wants to use but has to use, such a guaranteed return and they write policy, one thing that’s never going to happen, Bellamy’s method, why nothing happens, labour problems, some incentives, the Yugoslav postal workers vacation spot, now we don’t have that system anymore, special profit being made, super easily regulable, not a lot of surprises in the postal system, enough strife at the bottom, guillotines for everybody, the French Revolution, the Russian Revolution, the counter revolutions, how to explain that, planning errors, where the pathos of the novel is, dreams, the Ghost of Christmas Present, you don’t have to worry about that stuff anymore, The Soul Of Man Under Socialism by Oscar Wilde, criticism of industrial capitalism in the USA, why the book is so popular, pushy salesclerks and urchins on the street, legit trying to solve things, when he’s looking backwards on the writing of this, how and why he wrote it, not fully understanding his own motivations, his attack on A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, All Good Things is a retelling of A Christmas Carol, Q is the ghost of Christmas whatever, a sermon from Christmas In The Year 2000, July 4th and Christmas, Christmas has been co-opted, just such a family feast, two beggar children, a picture that typifies the age, a hard-hearted businessman who doesn’t want to give his employee the day off, what’s the solution?, a Christmas goose, all problems of society solved, Jesus was hardcore, food banks are a new thing, soup kitchens, getting out of it through Christian charity, Will’s subversive reading, soviet propaganda, production is amazing, T-34s, get to the Moon and humble us, owning, soviet public housing, no style at all, they all have their own home, that’s why they built those things, a functioning feedback system, the internet is described with the music rooms, music piped to your bed, telephones, wired radio, a streaming service, they are really lacking CyberSyn, we need more Volkswagens, the gerontocracy thing, racism was solved somehow, needs some tweaking, classes and castes, a third rail, his basic premise is not to divide anybody, an interesting system for the elite feedback, the prestige is your pay, people admire, their legal system, fewer lawyers, what you want the law to be, tutored up to that level, judges should be drafted just like juries, the supreme court shouldn’t exist, 53 people, we can hear jury cases…, judges tell how to do their job, most cases don’t go to trial, discovery, for years on end, constitutional right, lesser charges, Louisville, Kentucky, electing judges vs. appointing, sortition, say “cast” instead of “vote”, bluechks telling other, a Shirley Jackson sort of way, An American Utopia: Dual Power And The Universal Army by Fredric Jameson, Stanley Aronowitz, responses, Kim Stanley Robinson, Slavoj Žižek, the video that summarizes the ideas, dual power, create new institutions of government, colonial legislatures, Lenin, the army, universal conscription, the army does everything the economy does, a really weird youtube and internet hole, Djibouti, where the pirates are, the Gulf of Aden, naval power, failed states, China, India, United States, Italy, the reason it exists, tourists to Djibouti, its a hell hole, really horrible, the police want to issue permits to photograph things, a horrible dystopia created by a bunch of foreign military bases and geography, Camp Lemonnier, a gym, tours of the countryside, the base store, we provide air conditioning, a tour of life under the universal army (actually the navy), what life is like in the army, specialists, life under socialism, trying to give you little incentives besides pay, hot showers, to stay in, attrition, the healthcare is free (of course), dentists, on base banking, a mixed system (100% socialism), back to Star Trek, Starfleet is socialist, Sisko’s dad has a restaurant, there’s no mess, nobody knows how to cook except for Riker, Sisko, Neelix, only sex magnets, learn the trombone, that and the beard, if you’re gonna sell the united states on socialism just draft everybody, a peaceful universal army, wars of aggression, the Japanese, the hoplites, if women and slaves were in the universal army, most of the military today is not the pointy end, pull the ropes (or cables), Carrier (PBS), the Iraq War, education, get out of that shitty small town full of drugs, some people are again it, ruin your career (by getting pregnant), everybody is housed, turn the tables, a lot of terrible things, who the audience, 14 minutes of congratulations to all the professors, a useless proposal, a political program called: REVOLUTION, wizened professors, the grad students’ questions, Jameson is playing, the NDP, Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbin, thought experiments, on comic utopianism, what utopia isn’t a game, the Star Trek Communist, the people he’s trying to convert, I like anime will you join the socialist party?, triumphalism, he needs to go the the Waffle House and replicate some phasers for them, heavy stun, The Lord Of The Rings communist, branded identities, Lovecraft Country, Raised By Wolves, Lovecraft Country communist, you gotta watch this, Banshee, the Communist party is in power in China, the Banshee communist, all we talk about, corrupt that with communism, Jim Howard, take downer, fire departments are socialism, the repair of the car vs. the repairing of my body, having bridges paid for collectively, that makes sense, what do they teach in school?, a sixteen part series about social systems, zone out and not question, having the test, made China the way it is, students the way they are, whoever makes the test is in control, control what answers (and questions) are acceptable, a YouTube REVOLUTION, remember the Justice Democrats?, completely co-opted, AOC might say a few nice things, push him in office?, actual leverage, AOC is running for President, YouTube controls what you see, Google controls what you see, become a duckduckgo guy, not gonna be an Apple guy, it isn’t going to happen through academia, a popular book, instill a lack of hatred, Marco Rubio, are all Democrats are socialists?, move to a small town in Italy and live there for six months, then I’ll understand it, until someone puts it in your hand you don’t really understand it, incredible popularity, a recognition that something was wrong, selling the message to dentists, how did the Russian Revolution happen?, it was the War, the infrastructure had been built for decades, Woodrow Wilson, the Bonus Army, a joke about how it was going to help them get jobs, 15 minutes of introduction, go listen to Evan’s podcast, Evan should give Jesse an award, we’ll bootstrap, quality edification certificate, trump university sort of thing, the Willis Institute, run it through Scott, spend 7 hours in this utopia, I’ll know that town, this is what the peace corp was supposed to do, working for the Clinton Foundation, stealing resources from your own government, books can be powerful, Marx had better ideas, look fellow comrade, this thumb drive, instead of watching Star Trek watch Das Capital, scientific socialism, the merger formula, an international American choice, fellow people who read books, you replace the body of Donald Trump and replace it with the Star Trek Communist, he was sticking it to the system, if you backed it up, his personal support, stick it to the people who need to be stuck, the elites, the Rachel Maddow audience, the deep state, the elites of those bureaucracies, their fiefdoms, Homeland Security is not going away, a path forward, very despairy, how to communicate its ideas to people generally, harness the bourgeois media, the left has to find the right spokesperson, some other mechanism of reaching the people, alternative media, the means of communication, 6 corporations (soon to be 5), the need for organization, Julian West was able to ask was that one of the workers’ parties?, Lexington, tenants unions, serious barriers to progress, the importance of America in the world system, the NDP are not powerful, until the USA gets its shit sorted out, what Washington, Oregon, and California will do, we’re never gonna legalize marijuana, Jesse, the Americans wont allow it, a bunch of hoops, Justin was permited to allow us this privilege, waffling in the USA, abandon the game, the current path, keep swapping Republican for Republican lite administrations, civil disturbance for 180, fascists, white supremacists, Oregon is kinda weird, Vancouver police, the lower border for this province as a colony, 54:40 or fight, Oregon Trail, a weird countries, a whole bunch of different countries, France is relatively homogeneous, who can handle it, Canada has it, lave each other the fuck alone, only Ottawa listens, Britain’s political system is fucked up too, is that because they got Vril instead of Looking Backward, Canada doesn’t have a national utopian book, pancakes and maple syrup and loons and bears.

Looking Backward by Edward Bellamy

Looking Backward by Edward Bellamy

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The SFFaudio Podcast #629 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: Rastignac The Devil by Philip José Farmer

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #629 – Rastignac The Devil by Philip José Farmer – read by Gregg Margarite for LibriVox. This is a complete and unabridged reading of the short story (1 Hour 58 Minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants include Jesse, Will Emmons, and Trish E. Matson.

Talked about on today’s show:
Fantastic Universe, May 1954, no illustrations, a French publication, big long mustache, lion statue, a spirit coming out of the lion, all metaphorical, or a particular satire, an elaborate joke, would make a great cartoon, Fords and Renaults with feet, my Renaut is tired, interesting and imaginative, only for students of the genre, not a good entry point, unlikeable characters, exploring ideas in a jokey way, a satire of a certain thing, a little piece of history, 19th century French adventure literature, The Three Musketeers, making fun of or having fun with, the playful joking, more exploration, particular institutions, Jesse is not an expert on the French Revolution, pre-revolutionary France, the three institutions, political points, non-political points, the last three paragraphs, bad news for Trish and Will, Skin, a substitute for a conscience, Candide by Voltaire, the old evil of alcohol, they plunged into the whirlpool, the discussion philosophical, front loading the infodump, this is a novel but I can’t sell it as a novel, Christopher Paul Carey, this is in the public domain, not happy with it, enough material, more material than The Green Odyssey, a stock for a soup, The Lovers, 1952, the parent of the bug-woman, New Gaul, the Beautiful Land, why there’s so much material here, the Israeli Confederation, what makes the story work, her stuff is in Hebrew, true history that was corrupted devolved knowledge, just another interesting , The Lovers (the 58 page), A Woman A Day, Moth And Rust, World Of Tiers, Barsoom on one level, ancient Greece, Doc Savage, Tarzan, To Your Scattered Bodies Go, always exploring some sort of cool idea, how to knit it together, an interesting book, not fully grasped, The Three Musketeers, he says what he means, the skins were our consciences, the French Revolution is happening at the end of this story, I’ve got quite a gloss on that, specifically a Science Fiction story, changelings, a lot of metaphor happening, fairy tale, eating meat turns you violent, unshakeable belief, the openings, after the editorial introduction, Rastignac had no Skin., reading aloud in your inner mind, having no skin and being happy, deep underground, very very very playful, why are you telling us all this, pulling the rug out from under you every sentence, wordplay, see what the consequences of that are, the King’s Muckateers, three prison escapes is illegal, a chronic stiff neck, his philosophy of violence, an attack on the church, an embrace of the church, what happened to the Church of England, gay priests, atheist priests, we’re all on the same team, Anglican equivalents in Canada, when will the NDP be neo-liberally corrupt, just give it time, everything becomes corrupt and then there’s a revolution, the blood drinking, a metaphor, eternal life through drinking blood, Catholics, not eating meat is common in religions, not made explicit enough, Jesse doubts he’s not smart enough, watching Spaceballs and never having seen Star Wars, Blazing Saddles vs. Men In Tights, Jesse feels like Worf in Sherwood Forest, I am not a merry man, a canon of these kinds of stories, not good at limiting himself to one thing, The Other Log Of Phileas Fogg, just read it as an amusing little jaunt, planetary romance, generations later, different planet, the downed spaceman, a promise unfulfilled, with the six ships in the sky orbiting, why six?, that number is to refer to something, what’s happening in France today, why their culture is so heavily effected, how long a legacy, wash over, a dutch standup, something wrong with the text, ebook editions, Despoilers Of The Golden Empire by Randall Garrett, a spaceborn retelling of the conquest of Mexico, Star Trek, they’re obviously inferior, thus died Francisco Pizarro, there’s no such thing as spoiling it, Frank Kelly Freas, they didn’t believe in spoilers back then, we cant even tell them apart, it writes itself, a good science fiction metaphor gets behind your defenses in a way direct assaults can’t, that’s a metaphor, what is the philosophy of violence, lenient government that allows underground cells, literally laissez-faire, what’s true, free speech vs. actually killing people vs. overthrowing institutions, fish not meat, his buddy, Ssassaror, the changeling thing, residential schools, there’s no exchange, a kind of critique of religion, a Voltaire like character, revialed, exiled and revered, something very basic, daring to be a revolutionary, a free speech system, rejecting the church, rejecting the skin, its a vampire, acting like a parent, a superego, alcohol, in vino veritas, he’s got a skinful, glimpses of light, pre-revolutionary France, powerful church, distant king, nobody’s the good guy, Jesse doesn’t get it, Lusine, husband trying to abandon his native wife, he’s attracted to her because he’s repulsed by her, irredeemable, a conversation that absolved her of her sins, supporting her father, Rastignac’s approval, she’s deranged throughout the entire story, Jesse doesn’t even get the title, cognac, we don’t feel alcoholism, Edgar Allan Poe’s The Black Cat, perfectly, special attention, its actually a satire of temperance, the long legacy of temperance, teetotaling, much better understood, on the head of a keg of alcohol, not an accident, best understood through the light of his excuse, he blames it all on alcohol, a real phenomenon, who’s responsible?, AA, the higher power is attached to your body, created by the government and tended by scientists, is alcohol the devil, Balzac uses Rastignac in a number of stories, a letter that’s me talking about…, perfectly enjoyable on its own, the car chase, infodump vs. action, the jump button, an elite car, Renault because its funny, he’s just playin, people who are in cultures, eternal things, everything is cultural, mutable, a linguistic expert…,

Everybody knew the Church had been outlawed a long time ago because it opposed the use of the Skins and certain other practices that went along with it. So, no sooner had that been done than the Ssassarors, anxious to establish their check-and-balance system, had made arrangements through the Minister of Ill-Will to give the Church unofficial legal recognizance.

who are they, do they have to be anyone?, the Minister of Ill-Will, accuracy in naming?, the containment strategy, if you want to go to Oxford you have to become an Anglican, dilutes the meaning, religious whackjobiness, a more honest system, the government persecutor, Ministry of War, in our self-deluded society, the Ministry of Defense, the War Department, truth in the naming, we won’t launch any aggressive wars, unk-unks, Secretary of Defense, sec-def, just going to the meeting is the corruption, we end up where we are, a news report about all the wars, it just doesn’t happen anymore, isn’t that interesting, an interesting point he’s making, Jesse feels it but doesn’t fully grok it, Jesse wishes there was a podcast that could totally explain it, Will is still trying to grok it, LibriVox, Heel, it needs to be brought to the surface, Easter eggs, a narrative you can enjoy, a bit of fun, this should be longer vs. this should be shorter, almost none of it goes deeper, an amazing dystopian device, biology, an amazing novel, a trilogy or a series, wrong skin, half skin, linked to all the other skins, its brilliant, its your culture, how that even happened, getting that idea into the SF arena, you have to wear this parasite, that he never calls it out like a parasite, interesting effects, biological adjustment, Octavia Butler’s Bloodchild, “Rastignac was sure… something”, it is definitely something, To Your Scattered Bodies Go, amazing scenes, building up a world, he doesn’t have a good explanation, he’s a seat of his pants guy, a core reveal, a Philip K. Dick short story, an amazing thing (and then there’s nothing), everybody dies and wakes up in Riverworld, a metaphor for being born on Earth, Hermann Goering, Mark Twain, this caveman dude, Richard Burton, no satisfactory reveal, genes wanna make more genes is not narratively interesting (it is narratively sad), free floating as true (even though it was false), how many Riverworld books, offered him too much money so he wrote book 5, what the point, ethical aliens, reach enlightenment and join this oversoul, hints, The Dark Design, a pointless war, a point about war, the blimp woman, the only queer character in any Philip Jose Farmer story, has dated Jack London before, secret truth, this book has no point, the ending of Rastignac is really good, so condensed, it needed to be way longer, curlicues and ornate spins, interesting vs. amazing, what people say about The Lovers, everyone looks like a sphinx and is a hermaphrodite, 1950s, 1960s, Joe Lansdale, Farmer’s electric brain, had Farmer submitted a script to Star Trek, a fanzine article, every week you got to a new planet (unless there’s a space anomaly), the planet of the counting coup black people, the plains Indians and the Moors, how do you deal with a culture that’s different, the presenting of a weird culture, because of his electric brain, the angst driving Farmer’s writing, he’s wearing the skin, I’ve been a god this whole time, The Rebels Unthawed, The Shadow Of Space, if you go really fast you gain mass, bigger than the universe, Sketches Among The Ruins Of My Mind, Farmerphile, issue 9, gems within,

Rastignac became brisk. He said, “We go to your castle, Giant. We use your smithy to put sharp points on our swords, points to slide through a man’s body from front to back. Don’t pale! That is what we must do. And then we pick up your goose that lays the golden eggs, for we must have money if we are to act efficiently. After that, we buy—or steal—a boat and we go to wherever the Earthman is held captive. And we rescue him. “And then?” said Lusine, her eyes shining with emotion.

“What you do then will be up to you. But I am going to leave this planet and voyage with the Earthman to other worlds.”

Silence. Then Mapfarity said, “Why leave here?”

“Because there is no hope for this land. Nobody will give up his Skin. Le Beau Pays is doomed to a lotus-life. And that is not for me.”

Archambaud jerked a thumb at the Amphib girl. “What about her people?”

“They may win, the water-people. What’s the difference? It will be just the exchange of one Skin for another. Before I heard of the landing of the Earthman I was going to fight no matter what the cost to me or inevitable defeat. But not now.”

Mapfarity’s rumble was angry. “Ah, Jean-Jacques, this is not my comrade talking. Are you sure you haven’t swallowed your Skin? You talk as if you were inside-out. What is the matter with your brain? Can’t you see that it will indeed make a difference if the Amphibs get the upper hand? Can’t you see who is making the Amphibs behave the way they have been?”

Rastignac urged the Renault towards the rose-colored lacy castle high upon a hill. The vehicle trotted tiredly along the rough and narrow forest path.

Philip K. Dick fun stuff, this is a scene from something that’s been re-imagined, this is an adventure story, a noisy car, dense and foggy, a very peaceful planet, stealing of babies is fine, because they don’t have alcohol?, a whole lot of levels, wanna mess up your life go to the bar and get in a barfight, liberté, égalité, fraternité, why is the Earth woman in this story?, a common plot element, it doesn’t need to be here, it doesn’t add anything to the story, that leads to a way off, spark a revolution, a chinwag about stuff, he started a riot, a promise of more alcohol?, where’s the evidence for that?, that would just be amazing, how to accept the skins, a classic of science fiction (in terms of ideas), adopt our ways, a YA Farmer book, super-rich and yet not satisfactory, a psychedelic art comic or cartoon art style, re-imagine it, very visual, without any piece of art to guide us, a LEGO line, very appealing to children of all ages, epees, rapiers, a coach Renault with a working jump button, a rosy coloured lacy castle, the underground cell set, the greatest LEGO movie ever, LEGO New Gaul, with so many good ideas, alas, but still, Trish would like to recommend a complete inversion of this story, Emergency Skin by N.K. Jemisin, becoming uninhabitable, centuries later…, live cooperatively and save the planet, these people are crazy they’re bad they’re obviously inferior and you need to leave”, on Audible, standalone, generally a recommendation, people are paying attention to this story, The Blasphemers, Phil is really neurotic about religion, semi-autobiographical reflections about things, have the children going to church, Phil’s lifelong battle with predestination and Hell (being traumatizing), trying to find a way to relate, Farmer almost became a Scientologist, you have to leave your wife, Sufi stuff, an extended metaphor for some aspect of Sufism, semi-podcasting life, be interesting, be interested, he’s writing stuff for sale but that’s only half of the reason he’s writing it, he was always working on something, working on your philosophical ideas, ambivalent about religion, fascinated and always searching, uniquely American, specifically intensified in American life, religious freedom, fractalization of churches, some weird religion is starting up, Falun Gong, New York, propaganda newspaper, the counter arm of the anti-Chinese government.

Fantastic Universe, May 1954

UTOPIA - Rastignac The Devil by Philip Jose Farmer

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The SFFaudio Podcast #609 – READALONG: Anarchaos by Donald E. Westlake

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #609 – Jesse, Scott Danielson, Evan Lampe, Maissa Bessada, and Will Emmons talk about Anarchaos by Donald E. Westlake

Talked about on today’s show:
Curt Clark, Jesse’s favourite writer?, talkin bout Westlake, Lawrence Block, 1967 ACE paperback, less than a finger thick, Paul’s reaction, the audiobook is much abridged, that’s what they did back then, Reader’s Digest Condensed Books, the Columbia House, the Science Fiction Book Club, Scott’s origins (YouTube), night and day, all the anarchist stuff is not in the audiobook, the CBR, how vast a difference, about 70% of the book is cut out, the history, an experiment in anarchism, this is really bad anarchism, into two cassettes, Tomorrow’s Crimes by Donald E. Westlake, when Westlake quit science fiction, it could have been half of an Ace double, a super-interesting guy, Chuck Wendig, Under An English Heaven, a weird writer, peripheral writings, characterization and crime, Xero, I’m not sitting around bragging, no place for it?, I cannot sell good science fiction, John W. Campbell, gatekeepers, science fiction’s lost is crime’s gain, Analog, a side bit character, $450, the economics of writing science ficton, a go fund me, one of the most popular science fiction writers, a kickstarter to make ends meet, how good this book is, subjective reactions, rafts of stuff, the anarchy and the philosophical, the butchery is surgical, a very good abridgement, Stefan Rudnicki, decisions being made, only a few characters, this guy just gave up, rewriting the book, Westlake doesn’t waste words, parsimoniously, Westlake’s trademark: the movement of hands, the whole tell, Richard Stark, a fast writer, Man Of Action, December 1960, supplementary homework, Or Give Me Death, Patrick Henry, 270 years old, an editor getting pitched, in 1823 he almost died, November of 1954, a highly political story, it makes a point, Who are the heirs of Patrick Henry?, Robert A. Heinlein, a libertarian, the founding fathers, it is a good book, he’s fudging a little bit, another version of The Call Of The Wild, he think he’s the toughest dog around, over the horizon, the uninhabitable zone, John Thornton, men are dangerous and dogs are subservient to men, the king of the slaves, Buck doesn’t talk or think in words, Buck did not read the newspapers, the house slave, the top dog, his true nature, the man is a man, Rolf Malone, he basically murders a dude, so shocking, our main character is an evil murderer, his real reason for coming to the planet, the society, he kills dozens and dozens of people, he wants to kill the planet, Lybia, would people be like this?, Newton’s first law, Malone was the external force, that one strangling hand, Cloak Of Anarchy by Larry Niven, the origins, Mikhail Bakunin, an insurrectionary anarchist, Peter Kropotkin, how cooperative systems can exist, post-scarcity, the conquest of bread, an anarchist utopia, corporations came, anarcho-capitalism, slavery without a state, marriage without states, a meta-element, a whole series of novels, Cockaigne, a prison planet where the natives cant leave, Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World‘s reservation, the U.C. is interfering with the running, the immigration official, a very unwise priest, Dracula, Jonathan Harker, The Woman In Black, repossess a computer, being sent to be killed, these are my people, the corporations run this planet, an economic shit zone, the offworlders moved in, in the hands of profit-seekers, anarchism sounds really great its gonna get co-opted by corporations, no government that can hold the corporations accountable, pirates eating into their slavery business, the polities, guns, who is a slave in a west African society, state making taking place, more laws that lead to more people being criminals to make them slaves, definitely the political, extracting the resources from Anarchaos, Martha Wells’ Murderbot Diaries, get the pronouns right, a big multi-national corporation and a nation, a body, it has arms, if this was a completely cut-off planet, its supposed to be a failed utopia, how Westlake cheats, the star is Hell, the names of the cities, Ulich and Nigh, Cockaigne is middle ages fantasy of young monks, Valhalla, afterlife places, tidally locked, the temperature, 29 Celsius, how the ecosystem can work, The City In The Middle Of The Night by Charlie Jane Anders, a drug that can take away his responsibility, we can trust what he’s saying or what he’s doing, the femme fatale, time itself, usual rituals, Will should have some thoughts about this book, the hard science is not what this novel is about, an anthropological big think, soft science, Vietnam after they win the war, the Chinese path, the worker state welcomed investment back in, how can this little socialist utopia exist?, purposely isolated, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea), self-reliance, The Green Odyssey by Philip Jose Farmer, how respectful of physical space, Texas with no rangers, a comedy, the products of the authors, a long time ago this planet had some sort of galactic relationship with the other planets, Atlanta, an airport hub, a straight-up planetary romance, not a fun adventure planet with cool creatures, the hovels, this tradition, Kirinyaga by Mike Resnick, a fix-up novel, an asteroid terraformed into ancient Kenya, the mundumugu witch-doctor, the Transmetropolitan reservations, the Coventry reservation, the Westlake Review, Westlake was interested in SF, Nackles, anti-Santa Claus, Xmas, it’s not me it’s you, what this book is an indicator of, we withdraw our society from you, society and individual and crime, how Jesse wants to frame this story, John Savage, the Director of Hatcheries and Conditioning, a kind of similar relationship, that savage lifestyle, she’s non-functional, nice food, a soft bed, new clothes, a shower, to be drugged up and not be, might makes right, colours in this book, the red light of Hell, a single name, Ice or Sledge, a Disneyland Chenzen special economic zone, an Alaska, a free extraction zone, cesspools and tailings, where the animals went, no mention of race, the state of nature argument, a raw canvas, an anarcho-syndicalist utopia for about 15 minutes, big offshore corporations, what anarchism is, in what circumstances could it work, that premise, the post-apocalyptic works, The Road by Cormac McCarthy, The Walking Dead, big walls, in a context, a rich network with other groups, a different kind of slavery, the kind of slavery that parents have to children or to family, the relationship between marriage and slavery, the Roman Empire, Debt: The First 5,000 Years by David Graeber, go to the neighbouring community and get some girls, the caveman cartoon, the carrying over the threshold, the collar around the neck kind of slavery, women can be slaves but not men, he’s a bad dude, go wherever you want, exporting troublemakers, exporting their worst corporations, Jerry Pournelle’s CoDominium books, hello Australia, the west, Evan kinda likes this model, where all the wild ones are, The Many-Colored Land by Julian May, exporting of excess population, the Greeks were doing it with their colonies, an alternative to prisons, Siberia!, an open-air prison, Escape From New York, how shocked were you all when Malone gets his hand cut-off early in the book?, The Dark Tower, unless it gets infected…, he gets his brother’s college ring back, the ring finger of his left hand, some guy chewing on his hand, the limited contact we have with the natives, youre my slave now (cuz I found you in a ditch), you’re my brother or you’re my son, their aren’t teams and syndicates other than corporations, who is keeping the stuff like that?, the slum-dwellers from being unionized, doubly abridged, so heavy and dark, slightly higher gravity, the gravity thing, a subversion of a traditional planetary romance, subversion, confederate veteran, John Carter, weighted down morose lethargic, mentally and physically, the Colonel’s secretary, A Princess Of Anarchaos, the planet killed Gar, and two women, his mind flex, give me a planetary romance exploring an idea, a sixties slim paperback, full of SF ideas, Humans by Donald E. Westlake, angels are real, a very experimental writer, Smoke by Donald E. Westlake, The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells, crime books, very philosophical, those crime books can be very philosophical, what makes crime bad?, killing’s just something you do, fearful for my own life, an imposition on their liberty, a pure goal oriented…, Parker is deluding himself, he wants to kill vs. he wants the action, why we’re reading it, find his brother’s killer, he didn’t have the stomach for it, feeling sorry for himself, now I have to kill the whole planet, essentially a villain, there is no hero, Jesse loves the ending, eighteen hours and twenty three minutes, oh shit, kill a whole lot of people, Morogeth, revenge on the actual people who killed his brother, the heart of the monetary system, rot in its own juices, absurd anarchy with some protective colony, how the story started, the boredom of travel by shuttle, Rolf I’m going to have a second chance, the only real relationship he has, the only person he respected, the only person he admired, a reverse inversion of this, from the other side, Fight Club, another political book, man’s relationship to himself, how’m I spossed to live now in this modern world with Ikeas, Fight Club 2, the comic book sequel, tear it all down, Phail and Gar, met across a loaded gun, Phail -> veil?, the names are weird, the veil of rule of law, pull the veil away, the naked relationship, the look in Colonel Whistler’s eyes, Anarchaos was a cancer, thus the suitcases, that promise, voyages to seven planets, the other planets in the UC system, Jack Vance, The Moon Moth, a planet full of people wearing masks all the time, The Lego Movie (2014), Cloud Cuckoo Land, framings and levels, interpreting what’s going on, a popular genre in the middle ages, young monks, writing poems, satirizing their lives,Land of Cokaygne

There is another abbey nearby,
a great nunnery in fact,
up a river of sweet milk,
where there is great plenty of silk.
When the summer’s day is hot,
the young nuns take a boat,
and go forth on that river
rowing with oars and steering.
When they are far from the abbey,
they undress to play,
and jump into the water
and swim secretly.
The young monks who see them
get ready and start out
and come to the nuns immediately,
and each monk takes one for himself
and carries his prey away quickly
to the great grey abbey,
and teaches the nuns a prayer
with their legs up and down in the air
The monk that can be a good stallion
and knows where to put his hood
he can easily have
twelve wives each year.

the power of translation, the power of writing, the power of reading, goddamn it I’m a monk, the nuns in that nearby abbey are quite sexy, it rains cheese from the sky, a comedy reaction to the difficulty, the place where they took his weapons away, richness that went into this, he loved the process of creation, Planet Of Adventure by Jack Vance.

Ace F-421 - Anarchaos by Donald E. Westlake
Ace F-421 Anarchaos by Donald E. Westlake

Donald Westlake's Anarchaos - illustration by Patrick Dean

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The SFFaudio Podcast #603 – READALONG: The People’s Republic Of Walmart by Leigh Phillips and Michal Rozworski

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #603 -Jesse and Evan Lampe talk about The People’s Republic of Walmart by Leigh Phillips and Michal Rozworski

Talked about on today’s show:
The People’s Republic of Walmart: How The World’s Biggest Corporations Are Laying The Foundation For Socialism by a couple of dudes, Tantor Audio, that sounds great!, the chinese flag with the Walmart symbol, John Kenneth Galbraith’s New Industrial State, the US economy is planned, American Capitalism, countervailing power, Carnige and J.P. Morgan, only big corporations can manage it and run it, the Adam Smithian idea of the free market, farmer’s co-ops, labour unions, the state, Kaiju battling, a really funny book, this style of humour, they read some books, a lot of facts, this idea of cooperation, as many points for everybody, every player for himself, alliances only temporary, points scored in a cooperative game, Frisbee is a cooperative game, the game is ruined, not ruin your economy, ruin your life, we’re much better at fighting bears when we cooperate, anarchist tid-bits, P.J. Proudhon’s What Is Property, all labour is collective, cobblers, fish-poles, thought experiments, five people on an island, in nature animals do this institutionally, the lone wolf is the starving wolf, beaters, a man hunt, a human hunt, the whole things about humans is the ability to coordinate and plan, I can imagine two years from now, planning for the next day, a book about planning, Cybersyn the Chilean Internet 1971-1973, ARPA, what your goals are, a highly stratified society, you can have that, all a matter of planning, those are all options, massive stratification, YouTube Bad Empanada, explainers on South American countries, Argentina, how Cuba works, Cuba is a planned economy, their next door neighbour is really really mean, steaming from South Africa, if you stop in Havana…, consumer goods from outside of Cuba are highly expensive, if you look at the outcomes, behind the veil of ignorance, good healthcare, education, a house to live in, a job, Cuba has a big big problems, Venezuela’s planning problems are planning problems, Mike Tyson?, everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face, no plan survives contact with the enemy, the Soviet Union was not really that well planned, authoritarian political system, authoritarianism makes bad planning, I don’t need to argue anything else, “command economy”, we’re producing tanks, more tanks!, more pig-iron, melting down their cutlery to make more pig-iron, get an A.I. in charge, a weekly poll of top concerns, no politics just moving things along, Jesse’s roommate is a planner for cargo ships, this is happening all over the world, coordinating ship loading, Walmart’s a terrible evil company but they’re a planned economy, you’re going to stock the shelves, oh yeah, of course, both companies benefit (and consumers too), how Costco works, Price Club, wholesale, retailers looking for supplies for their business, a big tub of mustard, a caterer, if there isn’t a company producing a product for the price they want they make that product, the Kirkland brand, one flavour of Mustard, only Heinz Ketchup, why are their prices so low?, they’re determined to make their profit from Membership Renewal, like gym memberships, fifty different choices, Aldi, the way Amazon does it, back to the mom and pop stores, pearl clutching, protests across america, we are recording on May 31, 2020, how much are they paying their workers?, ask me how I know, climate changer, ecology, shipping from big warehouses directly to consumers, books, let’s make Amazon a public utility, the ecological cost for Amazon, a Minneapolis based bookstores, Uncle Hugo’s and Uncle Edgar’s, two bookshops, natural allies, the Amazon model killed used bookstores, PaperbackSwap, Abebooks.com, Chapters (Indigo), fashion retail with a few books, mall bookstores, Waldenbooks, small towns, high speed internet in rural areas, its evil, California, private power generation, rolling brownouts, crown corporations, ICBC, the profits arent driven into the hands of a small select set of stockholders, BC Hydro, New Westminster, Nelson, when things go wrong, COVID, economies of scale, that’s the point, mom and pop generating their own electricity, NASA products, the cellphone technologies, we attribute to Samsung, LG, and Apple, public funding of basic research, the free market for innovation doesn’t pan out, David Graeber, SCRAM jets, satellites, health care, Cuba’s health outcomes, Cuba exports doctors, what we could have had, Bell Labs, corporate tax rates, incentives, pricing companies into the ground, going public, the way Netflix’s shows go, small companies that are growing, hair and nail salons probably don’t need to be crown corporations, responsive to needs vs. to desires, every grocery store deliver, right to the door, it isn’t a question of ideology at all, what John Kenneth Galbraith talked about, oligopolies set prices, input costs, what is the natural (free) labour costs, what does a worker need to have a good life, how do we achieve that?, absence of ideology, if we want to defeat the Nazis, what should we do?, my whole goal is to survive, how will I some how get through this, default modes, a William Jamesian approach, what is true is what works, keep your back to the sea, a whole bunch of plans, the only goal is get that Chicken Dinner, SEARS story was basically like porn, Evan’s grandpa, what happened to SEARS?, applying an ideology, on Mother’s Day they had a motorbike on the cover, internal economy, libertarian ideas in economics are idiotic, why not have every single worker in a factor a free agent?, a factory has to be planned, they point to the Soviet Union, AP Economics, that’s not how it works, movies and podcasts, centrally planning podcasts, planned podcasts are pretty bad, transaction costs, if FREE TRADE is so good…, the dismal science, explainers, you’ve got this human being, getting glucose and oxygen to the right places, multicellular organism, it took billions of years for the unspoken agreements between different species to make the cooperation we see in the forest, howling puppies, coordinating and copying is basically what humans do, social ecology, liberated from many of the constraints of nature, if you’re not in favour of multicellular organisms libertarianism might be for you, not having the technology, big data, Walmart as the vanguard of the new planned economy, SEARS’ business model was broken by its directors, SEARS Catalogue, rural communities, that was their success, the model is not different, the scale and the speed, the recommendation system, early on for the web, writing reviews for IMDB.org, how was your call, giving feedback, Facebook and YouTube are exploiting their content creators, if its a public utility, making PDFs, credit in creation for the public good, MP3s and PDFs, wealth that grows, a disincentive, UBI proposal, reviewing butt plugs for Amazon to make Jeff Bezos rich, things to worry about, we should be acquiring patents as a public, Denis Diderot the encyclopedia, maybe farmers in England can learn from this, all the schematics, this is really needed, YouTube is kind of communist, millions of people uploading to help other people, to each according to their needs, helping Sergey Brin get richer, all profits are temporary, MySpace, deleting channels, archive.org, nobody thinks about this right now, the poor social historians, a new dark age for our descendants, there’s no search engine for 1998, why the Soviet System collapsed, Ronald Reagan’s spending on nuclear weapons isn’t the explanation, 15 ethnostates, The Affirmative Action Empire by Terry Martin, Stalin’s ethnic policy, beating the Nazis, the premiere space power for 30 years, disincentives caused by ideology, the consequences of failure, Twitter and YouTube videos are feedback for discontent, wearing masks in the street, remember Covid-19?, ppe products, the looting is happening on the high end, that one looter who looted a carseat and baby stuff, many people are at the end of their rope, one $1,200 cheque, $2,000 enough isn’t enough, voting for Biden is not going to solve all of these problems, funny, a shoutout for Fredric Jameson’s The Archaeology Of The Future, literary theory, a chapter on Philip K. Dick, An American Utopia: Dual Power And The Universal Army, if they don’t like it they can go back to their shit job at Walmart, conscription prevents people wanting war, Red Plenty by Francis Spufford, a Soviet book, the Soviets were ahead, based on the technology, the history of airplanes, the Wright Bros. design was ok, bicycle guys got the right size engine, James Burke’s Connections, centralized data entry, The Iron Heel by Jack London, lot of long speeches, use progress to usher in socialism, comic book stores are different, comixology, if I was in the bookstore, the same reason libraries don’t stock floppies, modern magazines, teeth whitening spas, you can’t get your car fixed through the mail, ideology is always the enemy, let’s do the reasonable thing, use best practices, government keep you hands off my medicare, we’re mad and worried about the wrong things, look at those looters, the biggest wealth transfer in the history of the universe, Reality Winner, Russian interference in the USA election, people need to know about this, the FBI transcripts, a comic tragedy, a bullshit line of argument, you have to read the actual stuff, don’t just read the news, Jonathan Chait is getting paid to tell to you lies, the violence of the everyday is not acknowledged, 40 years of Neo-liberalism is really bad for you, where you gonna fly when they come for you?, cmon man, by the time people hear this maybe Biden will have fixed everything, beautiful sight, protests, sarcasm, The Onion-style wisdom, politicians pretending to be innocent about demonstrations, the Global Times, socialism with Chinese characteristics are superior for what?, ex-pat attitudes, sucking in their own unique ways, a landmass with a legal system, let’s all federate and get on bitcoin, networks of decentralized communities, Venezuela, Iran is sending them gasoline, leaned to heavily on exports, the recent American mercenary capture, the takewaway, build more tanks, retreat to the Urals, clarifying your own thinking, my world isn’t shaken to my core if my shoes aren’t where i put them, wilful blindness, any blue will do, my country right or wrong, I will never apologize for the United States, if you don’t vote for Biden you’re not black, 20 years after The Wire, police incompetence.

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The SFFaudio Podcast #594 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: The Horror At Red Hook by H.P. Lovecraft

The Horror At Red Hook by H.P. Lovecraft

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #594 – The Horror At Red Hook by H.P. Lovecraft; read by Gordon Gould. This is an unabridged reading of the story (57 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Paul Weimer, Evan Lampe, Julie Hoverson, and Trish E. Matson

Talked about on today’s show:
Weird Tales, January 1927, a reprint, a very fat dude, Robert Suydam, sit suits em, Providence by Jacen Burrows and Alan Moore, the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society, re-framed in a more logical way?, Rhode Island, flashback, closing that story, there’s reasons for that, two parallel tales, from an outside viewpoint, creepy foreigners, a random observer’s pov, experiments on children, very very subtle, The Case Of Charles Dexter Ward, who’s telling the story?, the guy is totally bent, Lovecraft’s descriptions and judgements, he knows more, why is he telling this story to us?, Cool Air, the frame of the psychiatrist, there’s this Irish dilettante detective, a working police officer, his grandmother told him, you read odd books, Bosch, Michael Connelly, True Detective, Robert W. Chambers, the undercurrents are more interesting than the murder, what is motivating stuff, the terrible block collapse, the architecture is very important, “some magazines”, go hang out in Red Hook, why this investigation would actually happen, some inferences about why maybe the actions that take place, tramp steamers, this is actually the events that created Innsmouth in a contemporary setting, the promises are the same, the results are very similar, they’re not fishmen exactly, Kurds, Yezidis, Devil Worship: The Sacred Books And Traditions Of The Yezidiz by Isaya Joseph, Catholic Christian tropes, morphing these things together, The Transition Of Juan Romero, underground, Huitzilopochtli, old and new world deities, they’re ancient, Eskimos, Mulatto sailors, heterodox cults, hybrid squalor, Lovecraft’s narrative about the working class, a smaller version of New York City, Ra’s Al Ghul, symbolic collapse, the Yellow Peril stories, Sax Rohmer, the authors are attracted to the things they’re writing about, Harley Warren and Randolph Carter, reluctant fascination vs. actual inclination, a gentleman wouldn’t act this way, immortality, The Alchemist, The Tomb, the promise of Innsmouth, the interview, worldly freedom, a high position in another realm, keep the people materially starved, a rich man passing through the eye of a needle, younger, trimmer, he learned the right folk-dances, Lilith shows up, how dare you cheat on me, broke with tradition, became a Mormon, got his planet, he sorta gets what he wants, the city is like where the penguins go to lay their eggs, the real kingdom is under the sea, undercooked, Lovecraft’s sexuality, the creepy unmarried rich old fat guy with lots of foreign guys working at Greek restaurants, a lifestyle choice, read Providence, Robert Black is a gay man experiencing Lovecraft’s story, crossdressers, its in there to be read, wanting romantic love with a male, we were immediately best friends, a lack of a father figure, everybody needs a friend Julie, stuck at home with cats (and your two aunts), he graduated, the reason I was borrowing all these books, being obsessed with cursing a family, life is for the living, enjoy the Earth, the murder of his bride as a sacrifice to Lilith, they drain her of blood, why is he dead, is he actually dead?, death is not permanent for him, progeny as another form of immortality, why its so silly, Lovecraft is a punch downer, it’s okay for Jesse to make fun of anybody up the social or money or power ladder, his grandfather’s coachmen are helping him build his forts, that coming down, weird languages, the, there wearing sharp American clothes, an attraction, he’s a bright guy, this looming horror in his family history, his sister was abducted by aliens, The X-Files, in any particular story Lovecraft is not inconsistent, the focus is down (generally), the trauma comes from the police being shut down, a judgement, investigating stupid stuff, illegals, anti-Irish prejudice, Lovecraft distancing himself, we have real life stuff in our society, a Jeffrey Epstein story, people running things cozied-up to sex-criminals, there’s something going on, The Dreams In The Witch House, European and Asiatic magic, a west Asia peril, Asian dregs wisely turned back by Ellis Island, once sea-farers were pure and nice, Norwegian or Dutch children, “real people”, why did those buildings collapse, Lilith didn’t get her wedding night, Suydam’s sabotage, he finally saw what he was marrying, don’t stick your dick in crazy, the tumbling over of the plinth, the underground docks, rum-running, piracy, the church, The Courtyard by Alan Moore and Jacen Burrows, a disused church that’s also a nightclub, an atheist, Evan’s scolding Lovecraft, people are fucking complex, his brain is broken, these are horrible and disgusting and why am I so attracted?, homophobia, race hatred, fear of corruption and degradation in his own family history, his armor is being a gentleman, this active brain, he sounds so wonky, having conversations to think about these things, he really buys there are primordial cults out there, back to the geography, Dagon, working class resistance movements, The Many-Headed Hydra: The Hidden History of the Revolutionary Atlantic by Peter Linebaugh and Marcus Rediker, who sustained the beliefs?, who holds that key?, the working class people, the most exploited people in the system, the victims are the villains and have a lot of power and they get away with it, Suydam’s an anthropologist, gathering books together, listening to their songs, watching their dances, boarding them, what Malone’s doing, cheap guitars, stinky food, when you’re a little kid, try this, I don’t like that its green, xenophobia and xenophilia are dispositionally closer than you think, a knife’s edge, his apartment was robbed, he couldn’t get a job, their marketable skills are better, his clothes were stolen, his clothes were his armour, maybe you haven’t tried the right kind!, let’s go to a Thai restaurant, dinosaur porn is a thing?, Chuck Tingle, now its in my browsing history!, a meme that pops up, the Karen meme, the Wine Aunt meme, a massively old cultural tradition, KnowYourMeme.com, fear and fascination, Mesoamerica and India, monkey teeth, land bridge, earlier migrations, far east religions and Mesoamerica, sanskrit god, Magna Mater, Philip K. Dick, the psychological archaeological dig on his own brain, Malone dreams, late into the night, your dreams are tinged (remembered or not), Fate Of Cthulhu, it doesn’t resolve, too resolved, the hints, more plausible, really poetic, turning racism and hate into poetry, The South Of Red Hook, the collage of adjectives, Wayne June is the high priest of reading Lovecraft, oh the horror, as he unpacked his adjectives, Clark Ashton Smith, listen to Lovecraft, the David McCallum readings, the sounds paint a picture, more beautiful when read aloud, a composer of dread dirges, Julie Hoverson’s German versions of her audio dramas, 19 Nocturne Boulevard, Ghost Story by Peter Straub, like The Beatles and David Hasselhoff Julie’s big in Germany, a random section, very sexy buildings, homes of taste and substance, once green space, a many windowed cupola, the buildings are the sexual attraction, the class, what Providence and New York were made out of, Moby-Dick, an alternative way to go, its almost like Lovecraft without the racism, squeezing each other’s hands under the sperm, a beautiful male love story, the ship captains are out of control, refreshing and delightful, super-experimental, if you like, Nathaniel Hawthorne, stodgy vs. dynamic, The Confidence Man, Typee, anti-racist, what he really is, they’re all into that shit, eugenics, not degenerating, prevent degeneration, mail away for the French books of knowledge, scolding Lovecraft, juvenile and silly, so ridiculous, Samuel Johnson, Lovecraft’s vision of the 18th century, the Maroon communities, the stuff that we have from back then, Jane Austen, how many pounds a year, investments, milkin the cows and shoein the horses and making the shoes in the factories, writing about the hoighty toights, it’s not his maleness or his whiteness its his class that is fucking up his brain, he has an iron grey, not one of those lowly university of Hawaii doctors, not the hybrid squalor doctors, the Massie Affair, the Volumnious Podcast, a PBS documentary, a prize fighter, a hung jury, the conviction, the territorial governor, a sentence of hour for murder, the headline sensation for weeks, rabid for the justification, how dare those coloured folks, a honeymoon in Hawaii with some Tiki gods, very sympathetic to the native’s point of view, exemplifying the common thought at the time, an exotic location, pre-war Japanese hatred, if the Japanese get their shit together, concentration camps, the underlying lie, To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee, you don’t want to have any bastard children, Saudi Arabia, the time investment, the is the squalor and squalidness, how chemistry and planetary systems work, biological jealousy is so fucking low, tigers and bears, Shakespeare vs. bears, flinching every minute, from a modern perspective, Victor Lavalle’s The Ballad Of Black Tom, a great deal of understanding, dirty cops, turning to elder gods and chaos to topple, Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff, the HBO TV series, eldritch horror in graphic form, Abbott by Saladin Ahmed (and Sami Kivelä), Kolchak, Bitter Roots by C.J. Carmichael, subject yourself to it, feeling more deeply, yellow peril, he just read that book, E. Hoffmann Price, the peacock’s feather, claw marks, the chick dunnt even get a name, Lilith, only needs one name, Trish’s point, there is racism in here expressed by the narrator, really beautiful, Sax Rohmer, upholders of the British American Empire, colourful and rich and full of life, throwing off western imperialism, they never defeat him and dance on his grave, when you read Robert E. Howard, almost who reads these stories comes away racist, trauma, micro-aggressions vs. macro-aggression, a paeon, doing so much, so short, very deep, as racist as The Call Of Cthulhu but not more racist, The Shadow Over Innsmouth, Evan’s article, the sailor as villain and victim, him at his racist worst, one of his most horrible stories, The Street, a sacrifice, the sacrificial goat, as racist, a broader brush, foreigners and miscegenation, are they actually transforming people, more subtle vs. less defined, that beauty of language, an incantation, some of the fun, Will Emmons, ancient astronauts, the current plague theories, people who don’t read fiction, fun ideas are from fiction stories, if you watch the opening credits of Survivors, passport stamps, how the game of telephone works, the 5G tie in (Huawei) [and Stephen King’s CELL], Jack London’s The Red One, Chariots Of The Gods?, whatever witch-cults they had were not summoning up Lilith, Cultures Of Darkness by Bryan D. Palmer, capitalism, Venetian masquerade, Haitian voodoo cults, the Masons, Jazz clubs, an epic history of working class cultures of resistance, not really having sex with the devil, one bad harvest away from starvation, that’s the life you live, the horseshoes, Christianity fills-in that uncertainty, the transubstantiation, Christians who believe in crystals, the zodiac, a pseudoancient horoscope newspaper business, memes hack into your brain, incompatible, or separate traditions, Pokemon, Star Wars and Star Trek, The Peacock’s Shadow by E. Hoffmann Price, November 1926, the innermost sanctuary, a Luger and a mirror, Through The Gates Of The Silver Key, New Orleans, everybody’s reading the contemporary stuff, no trigger warnings needed, some Kurd could be offended, Kurdistan, its happened many many many times, the partition of Poland, Winter Tide by Ruthanna Emrys, a much more victorious story, the sequel, Suydam’s inheritance, Martense Street, The Lurking Fear, scrapin people’s faces, poems written about her, The Dunwich Horror, it drives Julie nuts, him retelling his failed marriage, obliged to call out, Poe couldn’t stop talking women, Poe’s the funniest, How To Write A Blackwood Article, The Predicament, Lovecraft is funny, a certain passage, they know they’re not because they ate em, issue 7 covers, Night Gallery.

The Horror At Red Hook by H.P. Lovecraft - Weird Tales, January 1927

Weird Tales, March 1952 - Jon Arfstrom illustration for The Horror At Red Hook

Weird Tales, March 1952 - Jon Arfstrom illustration for The Horror At Red Hook

Dark Adventure Radio Theatre - The Horror At Red Hook

Providence issue  2 - Weird Pulp

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