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.

The People's Republic of Walmart: How the World's Biggest Corporations are Laying the Foundation for Socialism by Leigh Phillips and Michal Rozworski

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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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The SFFaudio Podcast #593 – READALONG: Omnilingual by H. Beam Piper

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #593 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, Will Emmons, and Trish E. Matson talk about Omnilingual by H. Beam Piper

Talked about on today’s show:
a fairly big H. Beam Piper fan, Alec Nevela-Lee’s Astounding, James Blish, M.C. Pease, what stature does and did it have, “a classic”, pretty interesting, almost completely public domain, he shot himself in the head 1964, project gutenberg, LibriVox, an artificial understanding of Piper’s popularity, outsized, Little Fuzzy, Asimov, a minor piece?, what is a classic?, deserving of respect, the progressive elements, a female scientist without a romance subplot, a mixed nationality crew, Turko-German, exploring history, a really cool aspect, a character arc, Salim Von Ohmhorst, an old Hittite expert, a lot to get interested in, huge for a no-name, best understood as a cult author, a place in the cannon, Murder In The Gunroom, his obsession, smoking, such little hands, oiling the gun, smoking while handling artifacts, Mack Reynolds, John Scalzi’s rewriting of Little Fuzzy, a re-imagining, a reboot, short stories don’t sell, a nice tight focus, the perfect length, an example of why Astounding isn’t total shit, c’mon man, telepathy can’t travel in time?, he was a speculator, what he purchased was what he was arguing for, a story about science, archaeology, linguistics, how we got Linear-B, how we got Egyptian hieroglyphics, we all share the same atomics, reading Martian, on the level of Tolkien, a hard SF masterpiece about social science, hard soft SF, The Riddle Of The Labyrinth by Margalit Fox, Arthur Evans, Philip K. Dick, poor Will, web 1.0, there was good stuff on the internet before YouTube, the young whippersnappers of this world, the amazing thing it was to be able to talk to a person who knew a ton of shit pre-internet, people who read a lot of books, Wilhelm II, Albert Speer, this is what H. Beam Piper is, infodumps about history and technology, James Burke (the guy from Connections) super-useful, they read a book a long time ago, what if the Martians came to the planet Earth, the caption: Man chopping wood, only had one good arm, a long line of Kaisers, in exiles because of Nazis, mustache, queen, they just discovered the Martian internet and they can’t figure out how to type in queries, what this story is really about, this story is about Jesse, why things are happening the way they are, the Martians don’t have to deal with copyright problems, the audio drama, a metallurgy magazine or a sexy stories magazine, Spicy Adventure Stories, Spicy Mystery, what the dash between Spicy and Adventure, separate units, what does it linguistically mean, Famous Fantastic Mysteries, another meaning of mysteries, mysteries as marvels, Fantastic Novels, what does the word novels, they were a new thing 500 years ago, essay writing, an essay is an attempt, a try, trying to communicate a series of thoughts, do or do not there is no try, a patron, maybe incestuous, thank you to Connor, studying German, Der Orchideengarten, translating German poetry into English poetry, a dream project, I’m in it for the politics, I wanna be famous, this is what I am now, I’m a Weinbaum guy, I’m a martian metallurgy guy, finding meaning in discovery, the Indus civilization people, what bridge?, Lord Kalvan Of Otherwhen, his hobbies, he was a nightwatchman, the metathings, a self-taught guy, his grasp on academia, bickering rivalries, unlike his editor (John W. Campbell), the court case in Little Fuzzy, a fun book, some grammatically questionable choices, a very action oriented writer, a dynamic approach to his prose writing, assembling the micro jigsaw puzzle, very scanny, why you need to scan, the paper just falls apart, chipping, replacing letters, we don’t know what the actual word was, I did what I always wanted to do as a kid, they’re scanners, someday someone will figure out what it means, hundreds of thousands of pages, a treasure that we all need to have access to, denying someone access to the internet is a crime, for scholars of every kind, we need to preserve that information, all these space-marines on Mars, the post war buildup, one of those guys left in Europe in 1946, the recovery, if you look at the art, on page 24, a second pass through, a Martian life-form, a mammal, a bird-like creature, a bigger project than just the people we’re seeing, mobilizing the armies of Earth, Asimov or Heinlein or Anderson, Paratime, Man came from Mars, sitting at the keystone, Philip Jose Farmer, the obsession with linguistics, the everyman who read a bunch of books, Two Hawks From Earth, a Europe dominated by American Indian cultures, simpatico qualities, a better craftsman, Farmer had a longer career, repackaging pulp heroes, if its cutesy and fun and interesting (and anthropological), Star Trek’s Measure Of A Man, Jerry Was A Man, the hyperchicken lawyer from Futurama, a simple hyperchicken lawyer, a backwoods asteroid, Clarence Darrow but a chicken, Picard is not a science fiction TV show, Futurama, CHUDS, exploring all the tropes of science fiction, Buck Rogers, the whole premise is a ripoff, Buck Rogers, Looking Backward by Edward Bellamy, Disenchanted, one of the few Netflix shows that’s good, how language shifts in the story, a very lyrical passage, the purple tinged copper sky, what had been burying the city for the last fifty-thousand years, a couple of repeated descriptions, made immediate and very present, Farmer was more fanboy than craftsman, supporting a family, more stable, there’s a lot of stuff in this story, did they add a scene?, why does it stand out more in the audio drama, hear the shock and amazement, more distant in the text, the Atlanta Radio Theatre Company, some Heinlein, a 2009 recording, a reporter’s dispatches, Babylon 5, xenoarchaeology, recounting how these discoveries happened, they didn’t loose their meaning, meaning doesn’t evaporate, how could this exist?, a whole world opens up, that unlocking, all the Roman novels, The Golden Ass, a Roman villa near Pompeii, a charcoal-like, smouldered rather than combusted, pieced together from charcoal, a bundle of carbonized scroll, recycled as firelighters, a nice clean flame, burning Roman literature, Harry Turtledove, overawe the locals, Agora (2009), Hypatia of Alexandria, it looks like a blockbuster style, the strongly religious, a touchy figure, witchburnings before witchburnings, a surveyor in the background, a symbol, scientific symbols, the guy in the turban, symbolic of what is coming, her heads, her pencil, when the archaeologist are called in real life, bulldozing shit, some law, why they’re there, that’s all coming, the interior illustrations by Frank Kelly Freas, the scan on Project Gutenberg, in its pulpy glory, our heroine needs oxygen, worries about it being about Martians, a Martian version of Astounding, not fiction because it had science in the title, Analog, digital sounds more futuristic, that metaphor, a big joke, the nature of the paragraphs, making fun of John W. Campbell’s editorials on twitter, a thread, just thinking it through, fill those pages up, Lester del Rey was bad at it, being a weekly columnist, essay writing, what word count is, why is this paragraph suddenly changing, it turned out to be about metallurgy, predecessor and antecedent, Arthur C. Clarke’s The Star, the kids these don’t read Clarke, a Jesuit on a spaceship, a radioactive beacon, something terrible, it’s shaken my faith to its core, the supernova that was the star of Bethlehem, Jesse feels like a super-genius, Mark VI, the best episode of The Next Generation: The Inner Light, the meaning is there to be discovered, be enriched, it’s about treasure, don’t you want to share my treasure?, don’t lock it down Gollum, Rendezvous With Rama, Jack McDevitt, L.E. Modesitt, 250 degrees below zero, The Sentinel, not the greatest way, modern archaeological adjacent, Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s Diving Into The Wreck, Babylon 5 comic book that’s in canon, web 1.0, The Lurker’s Guide To Babylon 5, DC comics, Garabaldi, new Star Trek, Star Wars, no Mara Jade, the Timothy Zahn Thrawn books, working for Thrawn in Tie Fighter, all going over Will’s head, Dan Simmons’ Hyperion, again backwards, Nightfall by Isaac Asimov, suffering cycles, every 1400 years, Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle’s The Mote In God’s Eye, why archaeology is important, what’s the history of what we did, what did mom do?, mom put all my comic books in the basement!, the science fiction tropes, imperialist literature, imperialist fantasy literature, King Solomon’s Mines, She is kind of about archaeology, the same burning, finding what was and coming back with it, baked in from the beginning, weird archaeology, conspiracy Qanon stuff for archaeological stuff, clearly this was cut with a circular saw, were pretty sure this is batteries in ancient Babylon, electroplating?, did they do that? Antikythera mechanism, Archimedes’ death ray, Hephaestus, a mechanical owl, only the records, Archimedes’ screw, Greek fire, one way to interest boys: teach them nuclear bombs, your biggest is getting a whole lot of Uranium, that knowledge is available to everybody, nobody writes it down, In Our Time: The Tale Of Sinuhe, Lovecraft wrote more than we have, Evan Lampe, Some Notes On Fairyland, if we had more we would have more, newspapers are designed to be ephemeral, were lucky to have anything, enslave and poison, native labourers, the soldiers are the cheap labour, very mixy, worried about ghosts, a couple of lines, it feels kind of eerie, The Scarlet Plague by Jack London, his grandkids, we sheltered in the university for a while, ravishing the grounds, trying to hold back the horror, don’t let the infected come in, The Mask Of The Red Death, the mystery of what killed the Martians, like Barsoom, the story isn’t really about the death of the Martians, the potential of all those books, is it a reflection of what’s going to happen to us, a robust and powerful society because we have magazine, have you seen Time magazine lately?, oh good, what’s cool about Star Trek…, its about the process of understanding another language, that’s all that it’s really about, it isn’t a metaphor, it isn’t a simile, its about the process, its about the progress, if you have the records, finding the meaning, the value of coming at things from different perspectives, Gloria Standish, they’re kind of like us, a linguist by inclination, the periodic table in the classroom, even moreso than the mural, SETI, the Ted Chiang story, the Voyager prob, Arrival (2016), Story Of Your Life, we should practice on sea mammals, symbolical thoughts, listening to the whales, they riff off of each other, Olaf Stapledon’s A World Of Sound, Peter And The Wolf, each character has a theme, he falls asleep, like in Francis Stevens’ The Elf Trap, Fitz James O’Brien’s The Diamond Lens, Pygmalion’s Spectacles by Stanley G. Weinbaum, spend more time in the water, with the dolphins, hula-hoop oriented, Alex the african grey parrot, “What matter?”, there’s no culture there, communicating with your dog, walkies?, why are you always doing that with your foot?, we don’t have it, we need to find a way to be dolphins, Wild Seed by Octavia Butler, metaphorical grammar, we could talk to animals, we’ll see, talking to vs. talking with, the purest joy, he’s got stuff to say, emotions he wants to communicate, this dumb creature, much more isolated, an orangutan at the zoo washing her hands, there’s gotta be something between them, thrushes singing so much, whales are singing love songs to each other, something to do cuz you got no hands, dogs only have the one hand, it’s the mouths, we have three mouths, only one of them is for eating, we’re fucking aliens to dogs, we’re the long lived elves to the dogs short lived humans, theyre controling us, we’re definitely the bad guys in their scenarios, Lawrence M. Schoen’s Barsk, uplift, Zecharia Sitchin, they taught us so much, the ancient astronauts stuff, it makes cultural sense, Christianity by other means, look at the records, we have these artificats, The Faithful by Lester del Rey, a breaky in halfy story, David Brin, he did it all in nine pages, give the nuclear codes to the dogs and cats, if you tame something you’re responsible for it, The Little Prince, LibriVox, the ancient aliens need to give us UBI, a very fruitful book, a female protagonist, lotsa girls, they’re not women, give it a break, we don’t call eachother men, whatever dude, smoking cigarettes, things that should be scolded.

Omnilingual from Astounding, February 1957

Omnilingual from Astounding, February 1957

Omnilingual from Astounding, February 1957

Omnilingual from Astounding, February 1957

Omnilingual from Astounding, February 1957

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The SFFaudio Podcast #591 – READALONG: The World Of Null-A by A.E. van Vogt

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #591 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, Evan Lampe, Will Emmons, and David Agranoff talk about The World Of Null-A by A.E. van Vogt

Talked about on today’s show:
three terribly scanned issues of Astounding, illustrations, a quick OCR, minor revisions, the introductory material, arguing with his critics and conceding a point, very Aristotelian, Damon Knight, a lot to eviscerate, a terrible book, one of those famous essays, David is forgiving, the good things that it inspired, why Marissa needed to be on this one, Philip K. Dick, Solar Lottery is basically World Of Null-A fanfic, Vulcan’s Hammer, the competent man porn, The Variable Man, The Golden Man, pre-verbal, all instinct, Vogt literally told Dick to write novels, the level of influence, plotting is terrible, Slan, van Vogt’s plotting philosophy: every 900 words plot twist, The Purge, The Hunger Games, Jesse will like this, no law in the opening, who is fit to live on Venus, putting it in communist terms, approaching full communism, full blown Null-A, general semantics, its not as stupid as it sounds, Bertrand Russel version, natural deductive logic, logical positivism, lefty peacenik thinks world’s problem can be solved by understanding sentences, two right wings of the same party, words have power, the word “cat”, pussy, feline, black cat, cursed, witch’s familiar, the power of synonyms, a feature of those things, be gaslit, fall into traps, Alfred Korzybski, mistaken silly ideas, the solution is silly, Olaf Stapledon and group minds, an idea we had to explore, a grift, L. Ron Hubbard’s grift, the aims that the people have behind these systems, not everybody operates on the same level, Robert A. Heinlein is believing this shit, Heinlein is very thoughtful, weird ways of living, to confined in the cultural mean of those around them, Gulf by Robert A. Heinlein, a future fans will be slans argument, Friday, Mr. Twocanes, join those supermen, Heinlein rejecting his own earlier embrace of general semantics, The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, Starship Troopers, notice how it hasn’t taken over everything, Rosicrucians, go to church, he just kills dozens and dozens of people, how language effects your nervous system and decision making process, it knows what its trying to do, that ending, writing to the conclusion, why is this novel so bad, Astounding had a lot of shitty stories, its not that good, it has a status that is large, Dune, The Left Hand Of Darkness, Dune is a really good version of The World Of Null-A, basically yoga of the mind, shitty plot, the first time he’s killed, the equivalent of Star Trek: Picard, more and more churning, a Flash Gordon serial, John W. Campbell, supermen, Anthony Boucher, the corona virus pandemic, WWII, a letter from an SF author in Germany, V-2, rattling, rattle city, the guy is wrong about everything, moving through a liquid at a very high speed, a complete and crazy novel, A.E. van Vogt was Philip K. Dick’s idol, tanks getting piggy-back rides, the best defense, Knight rescinded his criticism, don’t judge it based on novel standards, an experimental novel, an action yarn, why he is, all these dudes really believed in the superman ideology, I don’t know it who I am, it barely has a plot, The Green Odyssey is a good book, an important book that is bad vs. an unimportant book that is good, influencing a slew of things, am I really married to the presidents’ daughter, she keep comings back, its like a dream, Jesse’s dream:

Dreamt I followed loud music, taking a shortcut home from my late night retail job, and found myself at a Carib Zombi takeout shak. Shamblers were everywhere, going in and out. I recognized one employee & ordered the SPECIAL. Another, a real freak, touched me, his corrupted flesh infecting mine. I told him to back off as where he touched me my flesh came away. He laughed and spoke a creole phrase under his fetid breath. I put on my own creole accent and gave him the counter response as he shambled away. More order came, and I took it to go. Spicy takeout.

most stuff shouldn’t be novels, cosmic jerrybuilder, this is what happens in the story, why all these plot twists don’t make any sense, unpuzzling is harder, what a convoluted mess it is, predicting the sequel, hilariously bad plotting, adding to the insanity, the ideas at the heart of it are really interesting, there are some things that have some value, the Promethean attitude about humanity, historicizing and contextualizing mental illness, go-sane, all who don’t practice are insane, structural problems, political problems, Michel Foucault, mental discipline, ulcers, Illness As Metaphor by Susan Sontag, repression causes cancer, HIV = excess and immorality, August 1945, SCIENCE TO COME, ulcers, if I pray for you you’ll get better, psycho-medical therapy, insulin shock therapy, what he does consistently, so common among science fiction writers, Robert J. Sawyer, all bullshit, the race is fairly indestructible but our present culture is finished, not a very Null-A thing to say, opened the realm of wonder, John C. Wright, Null-A Continuum, a fork, a Superman Returns, The Voyage of the Space Beagle, Black Destroyer, Alien (1979), an amnesia, interesting as opposed to shitty, the shitiness supports its thesis, animals don’t time bind, why Picard is shitty, remember how he got over those things, he found his brother in his vineyard and had a good cry, what was the whole thing about the Star Trek universe, being petty about jobs, the subersion we have in Deep Space Nine, labour problems, the only thing that supports Picard being a good show, I think Picard has dementia, why its a Don Quixote style show, all of this shit only makes sense only if its a dementia show, all the stuff that would support, we have a history and a memory, why antisemitism was so strong in Germany, there’s no morality involved in a tiger eating a deer, the least Null-A thing about Null-A, how humans are different from animals, put your hand in the box, testing Paul’s humanity, animal cultural legacies, skills that they can pass along, social ecology, Murray Bookchin, we create communities, we are able to carry on ideas, monogamy, Commando (1985) should be thought of as garbage, being entertained, David highlighted the shit out of Null-A, the most intense evisceration, an attack on literary grounds, at war with dictatorships, The Weapon Shop, his plots do not bear examination, sentences, Philip K. Dick at his worst, Joseph Conrad, two thoughts: like Flash Gordon and therefore it is trash, investigate that, the zig-zaggyness, extreme dissociative events, Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?, what a book is is what you take it to be, Joe Cinnadella is so fucking interesting because he was an Italian and a Nazi and a truck driver, any reading when citing sources within the text is legit, the way we are like Rick Deckard, oh my fucking god, he’s seeing inside my head, regular junky astounding stuff, Will has terrible taste, this book is stupid and interesting, reviews with star ratings, Sophie Wenzel Ellis’ story, junky pulpy thrown together bits, Lovecraft doesn’t care about markets at all, so market oriented it was not meant to be read after it was published, distracted from his market goal, those dignified realism books that nobody likes, Clark Ashton Smith poetry, what Will likes about it is its a super-science story, read Solar Lottery next, defend Will’s taste, 4 Gosseyns out of 5, a weapon called the vibrator, ridiculous space opera, you have to consider when it was written, Martian Time-Slip, laying in bed reading Null-A, a valid thing to think about, back to mental illness, WWII veterans, a social context to sanity, shell shock, PTSD, war created mental illness, maybe it’s all in the context, The Myth Of Mental Illness by Thomas Szasz, a funnier book, a jarring book, The Space Merchants by Frederik Pohl and C.M. Kornbluth, corporations corrupting governments, the senator from Coca-Cola, giant chickens, an amazingly interesting book, really funny, Gravy Planet, the military industrial complex is going to make so much money, very Robert Sheckley in comedy terms, societal problems, history is a series of fucking errors, here’s how you’re wrong, why Isaac Newton is interesting, Newton’s Cannon by J. Gregory Keyes, when we get telepathy, his 75-year old man self, they’re thinking the same thoughts, the exact same thought at the exact same time, solving the same problem, when you go into Heinlein, Grok fills a function that isn’t a word we already have, we all grok this book pretty well, water brother let me tell you this is not the best drink available, when he’s trying to convince himself to kill himself, Paul’s issues, the original Gosseyn was Jesus, Behold The Man by Michael Moorcock, Alas, All Thinking! by Harry Bates, a historical document, what do you make of the quotes at the beginning of every chapter, chapter 18, “feast upon shadows”, pearls of wisdom, general semantics, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz vs. Isaac Newton, Dianetics is a fork, we randomize it, The Game-Players Of Titan as the stock market and predicting Wall Street as games and tricks, political anarchism, Ursula K. Le Guin, Norman Spinrad, gated community socialism, the Galt’s Gulch planet, The Wanderer by Fritz Leiber, mutual aid, 600 years of games, Vulcan’s Hammer, just looking at the cover, hardcover (legit) vs. paperback (trash), Jesse only likes garbage, the good art and the bad art, commercially available, the smart people say that it’s good, direct to VHS movies from the 1990s, Noah’s Ark with Sodom and Gomorrah scene, Ed Wood, they don’t care they don’t know they don’t give a fuck, Above Suspicion (1995), A Slight Case Of Murder (1999) TV movie, aiming high with no skills, big swings, the economics of Star Trek: Picard, Quentin Tarantino, The Unteleported Man vs. Lies, Inc., this is a good attempt, it did what it wanted to do, be careful what you put into the world, future reprints, a catalyst and an exemplar, pulp science fiction, Robert E. Howard really holds up, surprisingly terrible, Clifford D. Simak, Isaac Asimov, he’s pre-Dick but without the natural gift, John the Baptist, Dick Christ, Mysterious Galaxies in San Diego, there’s a reason he doesn’t need to know about it, if you like out of date sci-fi, showing how general semantics and science fiction are tied together, H.L. Drake, why Heinlein is so interesting, he’s fundamentally right, there’s something to it and its really stupid, nothing’s new under the sun, practicing the art of reading science fiction for decades and decades, all the sound and fury all around us, as part of their identity vs. a fact about their history, being out of the loop by not practicing the art of reading science fiction, anti-bodies against surprised, forseen vs. predicted, plague, thousands of plague stories, Carriers (2009), how the United States is going to be in 9 months, the USG shit the bed, The Sheep Look Up by John Brunner, were just gonna have to let a couple million people go, top 10s, The Naked Sun, The Sphinx by Edgar Allan Poe, The Scarlet Plague by Jack London, Earth Abides by George R. Stewart, And All The Earth A Grave by C.C. MacApp, history is your proof against cycles, terrible dead ends, 277 years ago in where Vancouver is now, Philip K. Dick becomes more and more relevant and A.E. van Vogt becomes less and less relevant, thrash metal, PKD is covering Null-A, the opposite of academia, it is education for podcasters and podcast listeners, Donald A. Wollheim, Evan’s cat’s name is Rusty Cohle, also the Will book, Stanley G. Weinbaum’s Dawn Of Flame, fired no job jobless, we wont need lawyers in our new Null-A society, be more like Saul Goodman.

William Frederick Timmins art for The World Of Null-A on the cover of Astounding, August 1945

Astounding, August 1945

Astounding, August 1945

Astounding, August 1945

Astounding, August 1945

Astounding, August 1945

Astounding, September 1945

Astounding, September 1945

Astounding, September 1945

Astounding, September 1945

Astounding, September 1945

Astounding, September 1945

Astounding, October 1945

Astounding, October 1945

Astounding, October 1945

Astounding, October 1945

Astounding, October 1945

ACE - D-31 - The World Of Null-A by A.E. van Vogt

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