The SFFaudio Podcast #700 – READALONG: The Door Into Summer by Robert A. Heinlein

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #700 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, Maissa Bessada, Evan Lampe, and Trish E. Matson talk about The Door Into Summer by Robert A. Heinlein.

Talked about on today’s show:
serialized in F&SF, October and December 1956, hardcover 1957, set in 1970s, set in 2000/2001, the cat and the door, isn’t the door supposed to dilate?, Heinlein In Dimension by Alexei Panshin, The Pleasant Profession Of Robert A. Heinlein by Farah Mendlesohn, lucky for Paul, Paul didn’t like it, just the cat parts?, time paradox, time loop, Trish hated it, a cardinal rule, #SIFTP, analysis, horrible indeed, recounting Trish’s shame, supposed to like the main character, Pete rules, Danny boy, pacing, not a struggle to finish, Evan should read all of Heinlein, Evan dug the stuff about domestic labour, a key feature of the conversation about feminism and technology, Philip K. Dick was a technophobe, Nanny, domestic labour devices, the robot’s trying to have sex with your wife, the washing machine, washing day, any liberation from work is good (especially drudgery), still sexism, 1950s America, Evan loved the cat stuff, a love-story about a man and his cat, Pete’s inner life, this little opener, the famous ones, researching, listeners appreciate, other podcasts on Heinlein, even people who hate Heinlein reference him all the time, Our Opinions Are Correct, By His Bootstraps, “All You Zombies”, similar plot, less romance, less something, all about the time loop, even tighter, a long short story, good, fun, and funny, similar structural stuff, a bullshit paper on time travel, loops ensue, Dictor, he a bad man, he also main character, did Heinlein invent time loops or merely perfect them?, finding Heinlein icky, bootstrap paradox, 19th century, outside of science fiction, economics, politics, such a pervasive misunderstanding, something obviously impossible to do, whadontchu do the impossible?, stupid people collecting phrases, the icky factor, engaged with vs. shit all over, squicky?, “grooming”, the stand in for Heinlein (Dan Davis), unfair, overstating, Heinlein still wrote it, he’s pushing her away, “Yes Ricky, that’s what I want”, over-reading, kids as sex objects, The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, Hazel, The Rolling Stones, no talking about the show before the show starts, the stand-in for Heinlein is someone else, the nudist is Heinlein, the Japanese Netflix movie, not that bad if you can attune yourself to Japanese aesthetics, “a door you should not go through”, fine, it did the story, the femme fatale, reducing the ickyness, just pining, did what it had to do, it didn’t dwell on the fun stuff, haircuts, stock stuff, women’s labour is not in the movie at all, the world that Heinlein builds up, am I supposed to like the character?, he’s a drunk, he wants to make his tech repairable, right to repair, a bigger issue today than 30 years ago, you’re not supposed to open your own hood, Jesse’s ancient car, other personality qualities, being resentful, being oblivious (for the plot), kinda dumb in some areas, an idiot ball, trusting Miles and Belle, the passion to dive into your work, being his own boss, don’t let other people tell you how to do your job, selling stories, the same scene over and over and over again, “dicker”, sticker, ultimatum, instead of haggling, saying the unstated, the other guy always collapses, a weakness in Heinlein, his second plan, that trick sucks and Jesse hates, it doesn’t work in reality, try and do it today bud, Heinlein has to be an Android guy now, one of the many annoying things Heinlein does, his worlds are constructed by him, there’s always another guy across the street, you have to move to another town, Sears is gone now, all to common situations, helping the businesses stay honest, gas stations, gas prices are always in alignment with each other, working together, a supply issue, independent gas stations, corporate owned, concessions at a movie theatre, booktowns, a wedding district, negotiation logic, interpersonal connections, “how dare you, sir, interrupt my nudist making out session with my wife, I’m going to go nuclear”, in that case we’re best friends, autistic, an all or nothing approach, padding, a mode that he gets into, inane identical conversations, after your 50th Heinlein novel, Rikki-Tikki-Tavi, more evidence Heinlein was always telling you what books to read, he loves Rudyard Kipling, Jesse doesn’t read for character, the world is fantastic, so much going on, France has a king now, Canada ate England, the six weeks nuclear war, the capital is now in Denver, the amount of worldbuilding, nullified by the Japanese movie, 3 years from now, robots that look like people everywhere, iPhone didn’t take over in 2 years, these guys don’t care about the thing Jesse cares about, a Japanese audience, he’s the Time Bride in this situation, zero age difference, schoolgirls in sailor uniforms, oh yeah and we have to have a cat, asking questions and angry about stuff, a robot Pete?, a very bad replacement for the nudists, it made it cute, where did that come from, you’re always late, Dan, bad bad writing, I serve you for five days, have conversations to explain plot, reverse engineer that robot, another convention, avoiding a paradox, the reason, all the podcasts in existence, we’ve done the most on anything (by Heinlein), everybody does Starship Troopers, a number have done The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, a couple have done By His Bootstraps, some have done “All You Zombies”, the movie is not the story, that story is pretty simple, essentially the same, a Heinlein booster, a white nationalist?, learning to drive, there was a door, why is this not a book that sticks in the memory?, so lower on the tier scale, less racist that Farnham’s Freehold, awesome plot work, it feels slight, sentimental works, otherwise slight, The Cat Who Walks Through Walls, avoiding that one, a cat is in it, there are cats in it but it isn’t a cat book, flatcats, he loves cats, Pixel, a character Jesse liked, the nudist was funny, nuding it up, do better in 2022?, let the women talk about the women for a little while, little girls have inappropriate crushes, an excuse by pedophiles, go play with somebody your own age, see a psychiatrist, here’s a candy cane, peer appropriate relationship, hypersleep, still wants to marry the same guy, don’t wake me up, she’d rather not exist if she’s not going to be with him, ten years of living without him, he’s not a jerk, oblivious, focused on his work, he can write female characters strong and self sufficent and have brains, a manipulating self-center bitch, a response book, previous time travel books, H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine, When The Sleeper Awakes, the future utopia sometime in the 20th century, the richest man in the world, his light bulb being on, Red Dwarf, engaging with a long tradition, two methods of time travel, shunted out of the plot, a plot device, the cold sleep, a great novel, neglected great writers, Double Indemnity by James M. Cain, a wife who wants to have her husband killed, Walter Neff, while somebody is sleeping, he didn’t jump he was pushed, killing off Dan B. Davis, the Hays Code, slim volumes, so digestible, the motivating plot, the way the book is structured, it starts with a loop, 11 doors in Connecticut, drafting or drinking, back in time, his decision, running around to get the plot happening, Back To The Future 2, he sees himself on stage playing guitar and Chuck Berry phone call, how Heinlein’s a good writer, the car had gone missing, Jesse knew what happened to the car, a mystery, red herrings to distract us from the little clues, chef’s kiss, time travel, not loved when so well done, he invents the Roomba, so many touches, Hired Girl, the hired girl, he can see them in their starkers, as god made them, all confection and lies, assets, competent, the hired girl took over, what’s so interesting about this book, technology at its core, plot vs. tech, the Japanese movie in relief, plasma battery subplot, Heinlein’s saying the opposite, everything’s off the rack, philosophy of engineering, on point, in railroad times you build railroads, loop de loop rollercoaster, the character having interaction with himself, nothing more beautiful than that, “you’re stupid”, I said., arrested for barracking, that zombie drug, sentenced to being zombies, zombie workers killed by its owner, working the implications of the tech, Heinlein at his best, really exploring, he loved Colorado, overrun, expropriated for government use, Los Angeles is a port, he’s not half-assing it, he likes, nudity, Colorado, cats, California, self inserting his own bio, the whole bit with the cars, producing to give people jobs, we’re doing it, cheese caves, in the Japanese adaptation, 32 year old car, you need to be rich to own an old car, to support the Japanese car industry, more iron to make more cars, the domestic market, the Japanese market, immigration, its hard to assimilate, racist or whatever, something they’ve thought a lot about since WWII, how to keep the economy good, a stable economy, trashing five year old cars, Australia is full of Japanese cars, Canada too, right hand drive, insure it at a higher rate, where Heinlein goes the extra step, the fit and finish, no gauges, satire, milk subsidies, a license to have a milk farm, where the government cheese comes from, more cows producing, distortion effects, pop vs. soda, pop is a verb not a noun, Wisconsin is pop country, corn syrup, sugar is cheaper in Canada, corn syrup is cheaper in the states, social commentary, a continuation, his futurism is really good, technology has massive impacts on our lives, real science fiction, useful technology, the right side of this question, make women and men’s lives easier, his own life, tricked out with interesting tech ideas, labour saving, the history of the dishwasher, scrub dishes all day, Jesse is a monster, not a smart dishwasher, I have to pay my servants, after WWII, dishwashers had existed since 1850 but they get hot in 1950, Catharine Beecher, Harriet Beecher Stowe’s sister, A Treatise On Domestic Economy For The Use of Young Ladies at Home and at School, our bastion of power, efficiency expert, scientific management, fordism, talking about the domestic sphere seriously, expanding their own freedom, the natural place for women, sounds scary when you say it, if you’re going to continue the species, off on the hunt, Jesse literally cannot suckle babies, hormone shots, we don’t even have the baby being gestated in side the woman, Lois McMaster Bujold, uterine replicators, Podkayne Of Mars did it first, Bujold does Heinlein better than Heinlein, the domestic labour saving devices, Jesse’s not allowed in his mom’s kitchen, her space to dominate, a room in the house for men, cohabitation rooms, smoking rooms, Trish seething in the background, liberate women from this using tech, drive across or rocket across, Jesse has been talking a long time, Drafting Dan was for himself and for men and women, his inventions were for everybody, Hired Girl helping women, saving household labour, the domestic sphere idea, a woman’s domain, restricting choices is a bad thing for human rights, through husband or father, how people or women thought of it in the 19th century, antebellum reform movements, newspapers, social movements, protests, writing governments, pushing for laws, anti-prostitution, temperance, the anti-slavery movement, women’s anti-slavery societies, it degrades the family, making women sinners, informally not legally married, separate spheres idea, women didn’t have property if they were married, the Temperance Society of Philadelphia, write articles, give speeches, push for laws, a historical rabbit hole, something else that is going to annoy Jesse, the plot is a chef’s kiss, the time machine plot was unnecessary, a wonderful feeling, Riki becoming a brilliant engineer herself, wow she grew up and started the Aladdin rival company, Dan went back in time and did everything else, the challenge, Trish had her female empowerment plot taken away from her, a good thing about that movie, irrelevant to the plot, a better reinterpretation, given how all the female characters were written, intelligent women who do things, too early, without that loop, the loop at the beginning, an alcoholic suddenly, to fix the problem, to get revenge, he’s doing a figure skating thing, that the loop happens, who is Heinlein?, could there have been parallel existences?, Pete died, she grew up, if I did see my name in the paper, it could never have happened that way, the very existence of that line of print, excluded not possibles, a supernatural engineer, the supernatural entity is Heinlein, a beautiful technical execution, why is that scene necessary?, because he was a nudist, an intertime travel love story, Time Bride Isaac Asimov’s November 1983, Gardner Dozois and Jack Dann, Trish is going to love this story, engaging with the minor aspect of the story, many exceptions, spouses in the reverse case, not societialy appropriate, if Edgar Allan Poe had, getting married in Korea, school and study up, more free now, the western standard, the average age, a lot less marriage as well, not some inexplicable quirk, women don’t have to get married to support themselves, older men would have more of it (money), marry off your daughters, women make their own money, marriage is obsolete, as societies developed, incomes are equal, the only reason marriage exists is to control women, traditionally, easy binding contracts, trying to buy a house on your own, marriage contracts for two years, the Islamic world, Shia, Sunni, merchants, a contractual thing, business routes, renewing your drivers license or your car, about insurance, why are insurance companies invovled, The Year Of The Jackpot, related to marriage, 26 working years, make all the right bets, Lifeline, murdered by insurance companies, Time Enough For Love, something Heinlein is thinking about, it fits with the idea, on a track that can’t be changed, a fixed track, that sentimentalness of it, his cat likes him, the reason it is all worth it, now wife and kid, 30 years down the road you can’t have your cat, just have your cats out for the summer, Lockstep by Karl Schroeder, the march of civilization, Cryoburn by Lois McMaster Bujold, investments, can you control and manipulate the world, the bad guys in Neuromancer, Technovelgy [Bill Christensen], technologies in books, Drafting Dan, CAD, Eager Beaver, Flexible Frank, Hired Girl Robot, Radioactive Coding for Checks, Robotic Hand, Waldo, Stasis (Cold Sleep, Hibernation), Thorsen Memory Tube, Computer component that allows a machine to learn through experience. Universal Checkbook, the ATM, Window-Willie, boob tube, a pulp image, glass recycling, transaction fees, the debit card, you can’t believe how expensive it is to clean windows, he invents a lot of the tech in the story, two kinds of science fiction going on at once, the effect of technology on society, a time travel story, Idiocracy (2006), C.M. Kornbluth, the premise for Futurama, a forward going time machine, Flight To Forever by Poul Anderson, the desire to go back, time travel paradoxes, similar to this, Bender’s Big Score, after the first cancellation, Lars is Fry, going back in time, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Data, Star Trek: Voyager, The Orville, billions of years old, Marvin in The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, if this is the worst of Heinlein…, is he in the same facility as himself, a lockbox with 16 different keys and locks, leave a letter with a lawyer, Bill And Ted’s Excellent Adventure, time travel role playing games, fade away, Back To The Future (1985), puzzles for the writer and the reader, an intellectual exercise, have the rest of the book blank, the last short story Heinlein ever wrote, a trilogy, a series, Time Enough For Love, The Long Arm Of Gil Hamilton by Larry Niven, cold sleepers, harvest their organs, corpsicles, The Crack In Space by Philip K. Dick, A World Out Of Time, Rammer, hard SF, and noir, a very turgid book, Evan is struggling with, a grade 12 honors seminar, “Science Fiction And Social Issues”, Vulcan’s Hammer, Doctor Futurity, bye Trish!, Solar Lottery, a whole year, five times a week, Alfred Bester, The Roller Coaster, Passengers by Robert Silverberg, it’s certainly something, to palate cleans you, a lot of paranoid men worried their robots are fucking their wives, they’re all so good, the older version of The Time Machine movie, Somewhere In Time (1980), Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour, reverse time bride, not fairly icky to Jesse, Paul found it icky, Maissa thought it had icky aspects, alternate future, he’s wrong everywhere but also dead on in many ways, not because Heinlein loves pervin on the girls, I’m robin the cradle, people age, you get old, Pete dying, Riki aging and seeing the cat again is a super-positive thing, seeing your childhood pet again, preserving their pets just for summers, the whole metaphor is very poetic, necessary, somebody can age faster than someone else, have a bigger baldspot, make him oblivious, if he had to serve a jail sentence or something, prison romance, a reality for a lot of kids, a good ideas movie, The Tomorrow War (2021) with Chris Pratt, Edge Of Tomorrow (2014), you stand with Ukraine, they’re recruiting right now, oh, I’m too old, put up or shut up, family drama, if you really want to explore the idea of time travel, Joe Haldeman’s The Forever War, the wording of it threw it into Creepyville, stop doing that, written in 13 days, the cat initiated it, not another word, bye Paul, the step of actually recording is important, cannot remember it at all, John Buchan’s The Watcher At The Threshold, a dog cart ride, there’s no hunting, they talk about going hunting, the structure of the story, super-deep and super-good, running around town, Evan needs to do the whole run of Heinlein, Civil War, John Adams, John Quincy Adams, Evan is becoming a boomer, he stopped a war, sacrificed his presidency , it makes Evan squee, his great great grandson founded Raytheon, when we are not living under martial law, another novel?, The Hill Of Dreams, Weird Friction, Will wants to do The Sea-Wolf, a lot of hate on twitter, Civ 6, video game logic, he knows Civilization, the headline, Putin Gains Rights To Bases In Donetsk According To Something, the headline buried the lede, implying that Reuters in cahoots with Pfizer, cahoots going on, amongst those cahooters, triggered by stuff, Heinlein wants to be a woman, literal hate, contextualize this stuff, Heinlein is progressive on gender issues, when you look at the 19th century, the progressive position, I think this is a scam, this is a scam, look at and improve student papers, stretching to find things to fix, finding more fake problems, operating in bad faith, control the narrative lest people get the wrong ideas, thinking Fauci is a saint, a holiday in Taiwan, a brutal massacre is now a holiday, Peace Day, remember the horrible past, the dumbest meme I’ve ever made, Putin Rasputin, twitter takes on Ukraine, thanks for your quote tweet asshole, grapple with ideas, it could be seen as mean, people think Evan is mean, emojis, reacting people’s dismissals of old writers, borne of and reflecting worthy new ideas, we don’t have read old books any more, reading Moby-Dick, joking with Connor [Kaye], scoffing at the idea of sensitivity readers, stirring shit just for fun, someone reading over your work, ask a scientist to read your thing, the writer who did the article on sensitivity reader, find and replace, disfigure, somebody is going to be hurt by it, continent sometimes means China in Taiwan, if you’re pro-independence, Columbus discovered China, the China of North America, sensitivity is reading, you can be hurt by words in a book, Chinese lesbians want to fuck their mothers, annoyed, having their feelings hurt, seeing their pain mocked, inner city gangsters, what kind of thoughts do they think, Harlan Ellison wrote juvenile delinquent novels, helping a student write a werewolf story, being in the wilderness, bringing your own experience to the table, if you need to have a gang in your story, writers do hire researchers, Elmore Leonard had a professional researcher, Tishimingo Blues, farb, civil war underwear, a dialogue point, a setting for a crime story, professional divers, the reason Jack London works as a writer, fish police, Yukon, homeless, Korea, boxing, Hemingway, the laptop class, the people who COVID was an inconvenience for, being a professional writer pays nothing, the sensitivity reading pays really well, it sounds mean but is it a lie?, only if you are totally ignorant, insensitive people, is gypsy salami racist?, Thinner is super-racist, Stephen King, is it racist or just a trope, King didn’t even write this, cancel Bachman don’t cancel King, is Bachman a shitlib?, dark but sensible takes, some colleagues are idiots, Putin’s two hour speech, trying to remake the Soviet Union, a pro-Russia guy?, Russia and the Soviet Union are different, why do people have opinions about things they know nothing about, there’s no dissent, Russiagate was bullshit, how did we get here?, being badass, arming civilians, Molotov cocktails, good 20th century vibes, not one step back, there’d be irony in that, if you’re looking for irony Stalin is steel, yellow and blue flags, smoke a cigarette to them, Ghost Of Kyiv, Colonel Tomb, Vietnam, a legend, war propaganda, legendary, like a fake name, Colonel Tomb laughs from his ghostly lair, sniper women, Battle Of Sevastapol, Miss Pavlichenko, Woody Guthrie, Russian soldiers on Tinder, a fifteen minute break, all that catfishing, people get triggered, they don’t deserve their country, Taiwan wont roll over, an sensitivity reader changed Conan Role Playing Game 1st and 2nd editions, mysterious is like inscrutable, ancient is less descriptive, the mail man came vs. the mail carrier came, a doctoress, an aviatrix, mailman vs. mail-carrier, unintended consequences, writing out the caste system, it’s ancient India, role players want to play whatever you want, a black skinned paladin in medieval Europe, Pathfinder, martial arts changed to unarmed, Bruce Lee and kung fu, unarmed combat, making the game more of a board game, a Crom eating barbarian, swordfighting and boxing, copy and replace less badly but for what purpose, that’s just a stereotype, paying attention the writing, mud huts becomes stone buildings, mud is bad, civilized folks don’t live in mud huts, they have to upgrade their buildings, mud is othering, some people live in mud huts, modern homes are “rammed earth” not mud, euphemism treadmill stuff, a generational change, when talking to outsiders, first nations, Squamish, the word is always changing but changing from top down, policers of society, black vs. African American, white south africans who fled South Africa, race vs. ethnicity, both are real in a cultural sense, a black hispanic, coloured, Arab African, Barack Obama, when Joe Rogan got called out again for a nigger video compilation, words that are taboo, do you want to be a whipped dog or use your independence of thought and information coming in currently, bowing to authority vs. being independent of mind, Mark Twain doesn’t need a sensitivity reader for The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn, a profoundly anti-racist book, replacing nigger with robot, Robot Jim, a science fiction story, the gender flipping project, when Conina slays Thoth Amona, your premise is wrong, being offended isn’t being physical hurt, you don’t have the authority to speak about this, you don’t gave the right identity for it, adding questioning, adding bi to their bio as a proof against attack of being white, Evan has seen this documentary, who’s the oppressor here?, maybe she has a skill I’m not great at, The Fable Of The Bees, the worst thing you can do with your money is save it, there’s nothing to buy, travel, going to America every year, The Hill Of Dreams by Arthur Machen.

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The SFFaudio Podcast #697 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: Almuric by Robert E. Howard

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #697 – Almuric by Robert E. Howard; read by Connor Kaye

This unabridged reading of the story (5 hours 28 minutes) is followed by a discussion of it.

Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Evan Lampe, Will Emmons, Trish E. Matson, Connor Kaye, and Cora Buhlert

Talked about on today’s show:
probably not by H.P. Lovecraft, by Robert E. Howard and possibly others, poo-pooing, some serious ending issues, the real probic question, sort of made up, Golden Fleece, 1939, Oriental Stories/Magic Carpet, less magic, a historical fiction magazine, Gates Of Empire by Robert E. Howard, 1975, another story set in the Saladin Egyptian Caliphate eras, a crusader King, really enthusiastic, Almaric, a historical figure, characters of similar names, two different Almarics or Almurics, he liked the name, Thok/Thak/Grak, the best Robert E. Howard pastiche ever or he’s making fun of him, muscular scenes, more Howardian, Howard does Howard really well, how much was Howard responsible, the letters, too on point, except the ending, dissertation on howard’s thought presented as a story, these themes, tell a lot more, it tells the thesis pretty exclusively, the issue, a sketch that someone else put together, a first draft?, Patrice Louinet, the manuscript is lost, 1934, Drums of Tombalku, Hour Of The Dragon, Otis Adelbert Kline, suspect infodumps, Daniel Look, Howard Days, stylometry, wordcounter.net, using math, Conan pastiches, specific words, scarlet or citadel, the and of or from and to, classifies Fritz Leiber stories as Fritz Leiber stories, a sword and Planet Guy, Francis Hard, Farnsworth Wright, not wholly complete, multiple drafts, the April 1939 issue of Weird Tales, the ending was taken from the inference about the beginning, the way the story ends is not compatible with the way the story starts, relating the story we are about to receive, The Lighthouse (2019), an unfinished short story by Edgar Allan Poe, Robert Bloch, a whole novel inspired by the short story, too horrible to relate, if you look deep into what they’ve written, why did they write that, brushing their teeth and looking in the mirror, everything is there for a purpose, the finishers of Almuric, looking deep into the story, anathema to a Howard ending, bring civilization to these barbarians, parts of this are definitely suspect and the ending is wholly suspect, seeking to join the society, artificial, not Howardian, the goorahs, Acher, Koth, Cimmeria is from The Odyssey, Afghulis in Afghulistan, Stygia, certain passages, Robert E. Howard had a hand in this, The Garden Of Fear, a tower, winged people, something about elephants, Solomon Kane story Wings In The Night, The Moon Of Skulls, a vampire queen wants to have sex with Solomon Kane, sacrificed at the full moon, Garden Of Evil by Margaret St. Clair, Vale Of Lost Women, a winged guy and a bunch of flower ladies, images that haunt him, so much more like Edgar Rice Burroughs than anything else by Robert E. Howard, The Gods Of Mars, Warlord Of Mars, a self-destruct mechanism, a nuke, a 1939 nuke, elder god type monster, Otis notes, literary manager, ripoffs of Edgar Rice Burroughs, Buccaneers Of Venus, Kline got the cover, Almuric didn’t get the cover, Everill Worrell, A Witch Shall Be Born, The Slithering Shadow, the fingerprints of A Princess Of Mars, the mechanism to get to mars is minimized, how Esau Cairn gets to Almuric is never explained, cliffhangery, every time he gets knocked on the head, two sequences being carried aloft, he even comments on this, my third time in captivity, very very very Howardian, the opening is pretty strong, on the run from corrupt civilization, corruption and civilization are the same thing for Robert E. Howard, Connor’s credulity, that doesn’t seem like something Robert E. Howard would write, a first draft, the repetition of verbs, I caught up a shield, I rushed to finish this story, Howard was not a find and replace guy, scarlet, showing not telling, the writing style, I have only a dim memory, several things happened at once, we gotta find a way to fix this, fist fighting, mundane terrestrial stories, it could have been written by anybody, Steve Costigan it’s not, those infodumps, notes, essays, The Hyborian Essay, that’s his research, Howard doesn’t do infodumps, research notes, now I shall give you a lengthy infodump, the thematic infodumps, this is why civilization os not the proper place for human beings, mastery of the human form and human strength, doing Burroughs, put Otis to work, Farnsworth Wright, good editor bad writer, Paul Ernst, Seabury Quinn, commenting on the stories, this Francis Hard (Farnsworth Wright) guy is terrible, nobody copyright renewed this story, authors tend to make a claim, Wright and Kline both died young, as much or more of Robert E. Howard has come out since his death as during his life, decade after decade, the first major thing after his death, not in the Del Rey editions?, Bobby Derie, Howard Andrew Jones, James Allison stories, Phoenix On The Sword, he’s always dying, an outer narrator, some adventures in a faraway place or a far distant time, dispensing with the idea, in Earth history, Kull is Atlantean, pre-cataclysmic civilization, how to get into it, this is a fantasy book, terms to explain it to ourselves, secondary world, Tolkien, The Hobbit, most attributed to Burroughs, gods and names are pretty much the same, the river Yag, the land of Yog, didn’t finish mapping it all, a lot of Howard’s setup, how did you enjoy it as a book? vs. how it was constructed?, a bit over a hundred pages, the scale, assaulting the city, Robinson Crusoe feel to it, battling with baboons in the wilderness, how much we enjoy it related to how much Howard was in it, Pirates Of Venus, an editorial for Weird Tales, a mission statement for Weird Tales, fantasy, science fiction, and horror, The Weird Tales Story edited by Robert Weinberg, The Dark Man Journal, ape men, sexual dimophism, bub, Howard loved apes!, no ape-women, pulp science fiction, suspect, all of the Conan comics, a way to make you turn pages, you can’t kill the guy, sheer force of numbers, The Scarlet Citadel, Hour Of The Dragon, detective fiction, gassed, hit on the head, most of that’s bad, it makes it suspect, the Howardian content is so high, the pastiche worker, pretty good, The Garden Of Fear is a really good story, a fanzine, recycle scenes, not unwilling to recycle, Almuric Role Playing Game setting, kickstarted style art, races of Almurica, Dogheads, Akki, it’s gotta be, jaegers, hunters, Germans in Texas, a Lebanese shopkeeper in Cross-Plains, pre-chat, how surprised would you be if in 1961 he converts to Islam?, slave-trading is evil, muslim sidekicks, El Borak, he loves swearing by gods, and there’s no god greater than Allah, if only for the aesthetics, Muhammad Ali, some kind of Islamic rally, individualism, protestant, too community based, Allah knows, this big guy in the sky, He exists, swearing to various gods, why Solomon Kane is so attractive, his belief makes him attractive, challenged all the time, my sacred staff, an evil voodoo thing, it’s beyond me, the god of my people, the religious fanatic, the nicest puritan you’ll ever meet, he likes animals, he thinks you’re an evil demon, the Gent From Bear Creek stuff, semi-embedded in a community, out from society, why the novel was abandoned, ends with peace and harmony and a new golden age?, there’s no permanence in dog-brotherhood, ape-brothers, the relationship with the women, Kull has Brule, standing next to Conan is not good, women can survive but we never see them again, a reset button, a comic book sequel Almuric, the Iron Hand Of Almuric, what’s left to say, the golden skinned ladies, copper skin, see the sexual dimorphism there, particular word choices, name choices, Altha, Alpha, a slave girl, Theta, a #LegCling, pulsing, thews, I could feel her heart, her quick pants of fright, what Howard would do, an interesting dynamic, the crudity of the men in her culture, a bit weird, he crushed her to his body, his writing of women improves, his Mexican prostitute sex, she wants to die rather to live out of place in her world, born ahead of her time vs. his being born in the past, a woman with agency, she knows what she doesn’t want, has to get rescued all the time, transitional Howard, Valeria from Red Nails vs. Belit, topless, died of sunburn, some nudity in this book, the Jirel Of Joiry stories, his Dark Agnes stories, Red Sonja, Zenobia, bears comparison, Cairn, The Cairn On The Headland, how dumb are you?, I’m looking for you, that lack of agency, out of character, Howard in a certain sense, Cairn has Howard’s fists but his brains are inadequate to the task, played for comedy, Steve Costigan, very fluffy, what Evan suspects, you’re both a liar and a coward, as all men know, knotty fist, a dozen feet away, moderate corporal correction, it wasn’t the punching, that is NOT Howard, he would never say that, Conan wont defend himself, L. Sprague De Camp had Conan spank his kid, the evil queen is going to spank her maid, women attack other women, Lesbia, Howard had no idea how lesbians worked, was Margaret Brundage bisexual?, not much attention given to men, less than half written by Howard?, the H.P. Lovecraft revisions, stylometry, editorial notes, a copyedit job, what other scholars said, too direct, someone wanted to present Howard’s thesis, too much telling not enough showing, way down on the list of Howard you should spend any time on, a Howard completionist, a pallid substitute, this is not crackin, not actively annoying, inoffensive, a little offensive, the character is endorsing it, beyond the pale, a twitter argument with a shitlib or someone here, Conan being a socialist or a communist, Conan The Socialist by Cora Buhlert, primitive societies, primitive communism, no thing is owned by one person, no one here is allowed to starve, you can’t own stuff in those types of cultures, hunter gatherer, counting coup, a social game that has rules, reputation, The Black Stranger, The Treasure Of Tranicos, famines, storehouses full of grain, I used my sword and my fists, he gives away his prize, the end of every Conan story, losing all the money at the end, Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, botom up heroes, even Kull is a usurper, from the working class, a queen who has lived for 600 years, a lady who’s up, bottom up rather than top down, she’s a slaver, certain phrases and scenes, the structure is way less so, more of the framing device, the political boss, it wasn’t relevant, it was though, more like a Jack London story, urban fantasy, samurai cannibal book, The Mucker, The Monster Men, The Efficiency Expert, The Garden Of Fear feels way more substantial, the flowers are symbolic, where’s the symbolism in here?, some furry guys, red peoples and white apes, pure escapism, Howard has an agenda, and axe to grind, he’s passionate about it, I’m going to demonstrate my beliefs to you through story, Hour Of The Dragon is brimming with anger, a metaphor for the rise of fascism in Europe, Benito Mussolini, I will make you hurt, this one is fun, it doesn’t have anything deeper to say, do better, Connor, top tier Howard, Galactic Journey, lost along away, sword and planet, Will has read a lot worse than this, this isn’t dreck, statements of philosophy, the space babe, they create the new society, a planetary romance ending, the violence was a little over the top, a score of wounds, so parodied, Wolverine, recuperative powers, super-tough, “my immense recuperative powers”, crucified, he sleeps it off, he puts his leg in the water to stop the bleeding, a fun story, way better material, the density level, word choices, Howard writes like a poet, Spear And Fang aint beautiful, in his mid-twenties and approaching his 30, a natural writer in his prime wrote some notes, The Wicked Clergyman by H.P. Lovecraft, the worst Lovecraft story there is that he wrote, the comic book adaptations, Epic Illustrated 2-5 issues, Dark Horse sequel, Roy Thomas and Mark Winchell, wont somebody stop Roy Thomas, Ironhand Of Almuric, Gardner F. Fox style, dense prose, Tim Conrad, too much prose, mostly retired, of all the Conan co-authors, those big text boxes, he doesn’t fuck around with the prose, adapted to a Conan story, Arabian adventures, an effect of Conan fever, 1961, Ace, a Frazetta cover, Jack Gaughan, tonnes of very small slim paperbacks from the 1970s, looking in second hand bookstores, pretty obscure for a famous book (of Howard’s), how impactful the stories were, riding the name, why the role playing game exists, fuckin cool, Strange Detective, where he’s getting published, Adventure, volume, Fight Magazine, Jack Dempsey’s Fight Magazines, Sam Walser is Robert E. Howard, Spicy magazines, reading the Spicy magazines, embarrassing, hit after hit after hit author, who wouldn’t want this issue?, great reprints, great Virgil Finlay art, Spicy Adventure, Francis X. Gordon, not everything came out in the 70s, El Borak stories, the James Allison stories, The Howard Foundation, no print editions?, save it for the Garden Of Fear, the intro with the dying protagonist, H.P. Lovecraft and Virginia Jackson’s The Crawling Chaos, The Star Rover by Jack London, Howard bookshelf, erotica, working with an existing trope, how we get to the world, modern sword and planet stories?, using a rocketship to get there, astral projection had made irrelevant by V-2s, Confessions Of An English Opium-Eater by Thomas De Quincy, unheard of roads, overdose, our outer narrator, let me tell you of the secret of the world, the “Great Secret”, observatory!, telescopist!, no better alternative, telescopy hut, a flight through space, The Crystal Egg by H.G. Wells, the same martians, the inference, how we get from there to here, shot through the telescope, a teleporter, Professor Hildebrand, how he gets the story, what we’re reading, teleportation across time?, driven out of Europe into Africa, the last of the monkey-apes, people with wings, Conan The Barbarian, #9, winged ears, The Tower Of The Elephant, a dumbo captured by a wizard, another yag-yog, a giant spider, missing the giant snake, obsessed with evolution, she read Darwin, the bat-people, cutting off their wings, controlling rivals?, female Kizinti are dumb and pregnant, a podunk town, eugenics was a hot topic, the Howard-Lovecraft letters, decades of eugenics programs, sterilization, Esau Cairn is not a thinker, a naked savage, on the ladder of evolution, parody of Robert E. Howard, silks and steel and stone towers, tell not show, it had his name on it, playing it fast and loose, stuck it together, SCOOP!, Clifford Ball, a would be Conan, The Thief Of Forthe, what you expected Conan to look like, no substitute, this Clifford Ball guy, Henry Kuttner, attitude, Robert E. Howard has a big chip on his shoulder, Kuttner had a different chip on a different shoulder, Z.B. Bishop writes as good as Lovecraft!, disposable popcorn, it has the signs but lacks the heft, AI audiobooks, Seabury Quinn audiobooks, the H.P. Lovecraft Literary Podcast, Agatha Christie with supernatural elements, Murder On The Links, a ripoff of Jewel Of Seven Stars, the alpha and the notetaker, August Derleth, Jules De Grandin and Doctor Trowbridge, occult detectives, the John Thunstone stories, the Netflix section for reality TV, people who liked science fiction, good at marketing, Clark Ashton Smith had no hand in fixing this story, The Maze Of Maâl Dweb, The Flower-Women, C.L. Moore would have been better, the Charlton Comics adaptation, all rip-offs of Tarzan, after the puLps died comics took over, Sheena, Ka-Zar, too much, Conan goes to the Center of the Earth, Tarzan on the Moon, Bran Mak Morn and Kull, Kings Of The Night, Worms Of The Earth, Conan or THE Conan, a guy goes into a cave, Conan was his ancestor, Leigh Brackett, criminal on Venus, Lorelei Of The Red Mists, Ray Bradbury, homage, how much we got out of this, meta-talk, some sort of emotional attitude towards reality, it sparks, sometimes stories are abandoned for a reason, fascinating fragments, how hilarious it would be reading Ray Bradbury doing planetary romance, he does weird things she wouldn’t do, killed in WWII, where the Bradbury begins and the Brackett stops, nostalgic, The Small Assassin, a guy’s afraid of the wind, phonecalls make a guy’s life a living hell, dead undersea soldiers, two episodes in the can, quite a buffer, The Planet Stories Podcast, Connor needs a podcast, The Wind In The Portico by John Buchan, No-Man’s Land by John Buchan, hence listening to David Brin, almost like a podcast on YouTube [CONNOR’S YOUTUBE VIDEO ESSAY PODCAST FEED IS: HERE], keeping to a specific theme, old school podcasts, Mr Jim Moon is doing witches this year, a lot of not Science Fiction, the Horrorbabble guys, Evan’s podcast uses podbean, Evan has 787 podcast episodes out, the American Civil War, 4 continents represented, a Taikonaut, Starlink satellites, clutter up the sky, beloved by cats, mutant cats for our future, psychic cats know when we’re feeling vulnerable, The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin, novel after novel, until Jesse dies or Eric dies, to do two podcasts a week, when I’m feeling weak, hoping that something is going to be good, a six month backlog, take a vacation from recording, don’t silence, don’t de-platform, i’m not Whoopi!, Cora was on the Dickheads podcast talking into The Big Jump by Leigh Brackett, the Appendix N Book Club podcast.

Almuric by Robert E. Howard - WEIRD TALES - illustration by Virgil Finlay

Almuric by Robert E. Howard - WEIRD TALES

Almuric by Robert E. Howard - WEIRD TALES

Almuric by Robert E. Howard - WEIRD TALES

Why Weird Tales? by Otis Adelbert Kline - from WEIRD TALES, May June July 1924

Almuric - illustration by Ken Kelly

Almuric - illustration by Gaughan

Epic Illustrated - ALMURIC

DARK HORSE - Almuric - Tim Conrad

ACE F-305 - ALMURIC by Robert E. Howard

Posted by Jesse WillisBecome a Patron!

The SFFaudio Podcast #694 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: The Brethren by H. Rider Haggard

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #694 – The Brethren by H. Rider Haggard – read by Elroi Shelley. This is a complete and unabridged reading of novel (15 hours 25 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants include Jesse, Will Emmons, Connor Kaye, and Cora Buhlert talk about The Brethren by H. Rider Haggard

Talked about on today’s show:
1903/4, set during the third crusade, Saladin and the Assassins, The White Company by Arthur Conan Doyle, Haggard was proud, kind of a Haggard guy, this sounds awesome, the famous ones, King Solomon’s Mines, She, Elroi Shelly, what kind of accent does she have?, Arabic, superstormtrooper, a Spanish documentary called Otto Skorzeny, Alemania (Spanish for Germany), Italian, 11th century accent, November 23, 2021, a shield with a skull on it!, Robert E. Howard’s Hawks Of Outremer, did Howard read this?, it is mentioned in the book, a black shield with a white skull, Rosamund’s dad, they’re not Irish, the mythology around Saladin, he’s so mean, all is forgiven, more of a villain in this book, frees with his own money, only a few people become slaves, Templars beheaded, don’t like the Hospitalers either, a huge list of books in Howard’s library, weird erotica, the tone is different, the battles are awesome, Haggard always has great battles, Lord Of The Rings and The Hobbit, counting shots scenes, movements of armies, a little less kissing, a really good book, the other brother, they both get to marry the girl!, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Abduction From The Seraglio, another Robert E. Howard story, The Shadow Of The Vulture, Red Sonja, taken to a harem, loves singing about executing people, quite famous, our hero Saladin, the best PR in the west ever, an eastern potentate, Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott, an artifact of the period it was written, a contemporary review, a really fun read, interesting, great women characters, the rug pulled out from under me, boys’ school style, chivalry and public school ethos are indistinguishable, fair play old chap, so innocent, the christian religion isn’t the motivating factor, an inter-familiar dispute, sister/cousin, when God gives Saladin three repeated dreams, rose of the world, a very Christian book that loves Islam, 5 million Muslims in Germany, the Howard crusader stories, interested in Islam, the whole Arabian Knights thing, kind of a Theosophist, all the religions were good, different facets of the same jewel, She is an Arab, the beautiful illustrations, Chapter 23, Haggard went on a trip to Syria, the impetus for this book, a band of knights, two knights on a personal mission, more like tourists than crusaders, our side is justice, Saint Rosamund, some of the homework that he did, page 631, this chapter is so metal, to these I say, score face and bosom, made loathsome to the sight of man, the brides of Heaven, the swords of furious and savage men, the Faith, St. Clair at Acre, 1291, A Winter Pilgrimage by H. Rider Haggard, this book is so…, these people are getting way to worked up their religions, that’s what Heinlein would do, too hard core, flagellation, gang raped by roman legionaries, medieval snuff porn, a beautiful painting of woman being brutally tortured, a guy on a stick, of some particular imam, in the end you will get what you deserve, what he did wasn’t very nice, trauma by inference, waking up in cold sweats, you have to bow and scrape, you ate some of my salt, that much fun, Robin Hood, slave characters, Saxon-Norman etymology stuff, King John, the father of the modern historical novel, Outlander, the mooning over the girls, nice to the Jews, antisemitism, The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy, a Russian countess, what people think Lovecraft was like, I hate poor people, French people, a city named after Sir Walter Scott’s house: Abbotsford, the fake chivalry code of the Southern USA comes from Sir Walter Scott, a phenomenon in the early 19th century, a book highly influenced by Ivanhoe, 1819, writing about ancestors, Virginia Woolf and modernists couldn’t stand Sir Walter Scott, anything past 10 years ago obviously has no value, we don’t need Jane Austen because we have Bridget Jones’ Diary, the classic chivalry story, 1920, a throwback to classic novels, Don Quixote, a parody of classic chivalry, The Song Of Roland, language issues, stories of heroic knights, drew on older legends and stories, Robin Hood is an old legend, early Hollywood Robin Hood is straight out of Ivanhoe, returning crusaders, a little bit tight-fisted, he wants you to say these are people and they can live in England with us, literal slave collars, accidental pun, Cobra Kai, shocking, Connor is six, dwelling on backstory, dishonorable knights, not having a dad, kidnapping women, disrespecting my family, a cross-worshiper!, almost biblical, violence at school, teenagers beating up kids, learn karate to defend yourself, the 70s kung-fu phenomena, white kids want to be a Chinese guy, the whole world has passed by the Karate Kid, consistency with real truths about what families are like, many mirrorings, one’s like a Saxon one’s more Norman, a broken family united by respect and love, an outside uncle, a broken family in the religion over there, the backstory of the assassins, Shia and Sunni, Iran is the bad guy even though they had nothing to do with 9/11, Ismaili, a breakaway family, People Of The Black Circle by Robert E. Howard, what’s going on in Tibet?, briefly touched on drugged visions, Masouda is such a great character you want her to have a spin-off show, role of a lifetime, super-mysterious, horrible ending, all for love, he kept pulling the rug out from under us, all set to work out, a happy ending, not much character development, Masouda had a lot, when we find things out, she’s a widow, the inn will run itself, this book was for us to me her, too long to read, she’s our guide, very masterfully written, the two fathers, two muslim brother enemies, Flame and Smoke are the two other best character is the book [and horses], Rosamund and Masouda are mirrors, half-Frank, she’s a fallen princess, the opposite constellation, a French countess mother, Masouda is a tragic Rosamund, her boyfriend has to go live with monks, really effective, making things rich and deep, why William Wilson is such a great story, where there’s smoke there’s fire, the brethren, stylized language, it creates the atmosphere, how you sell your movie, “Extreme Prejudice”, “Collateral Damage”, a euphemism, anticipates, she’s sent off to a nunnery, she’s marrying god!, sent off to become a priest, he didn’t write this by the seat of his pants, good writing, become a priest or a monk, too concerned with dreams, a higher purpose, so well put together, the opposite of the pre-show, squee moments, scenes, harry potter, train scene, quidditch scene, the horses know something, this is my dude, opposite of snarky, not a snark in it, very sincere, Cassell’s Magazine, December 1903, he doesn’t tease us, serialized without cliffhangers, better than the more modern style of serialization, a lot of little stories, anticipating, feeling like it is just about to end, it could end at any point, the final illustration, it was Godwin’s face, “spoiler”, that ending is supposed to be a surprise, when Masouda died, a tragedy, so fucking dark, he touched her head and it rolls away, the Robert E. Howard scene, he commands armies, there’s no supernatural extras to this story, Howard is more hyperbolic, an opening scene for a Robert E. Howard story, selling this as a script, the ultimate reveal, people would be angry at this movie, so fantastic, devastating, foreshadowed, you will meet her in the end, more recently, Game Of Thrones, any character can die at any time, this story set it up fantastically, she’s too good of a character, a heart of gold, she’s saving the brothers, she’s driving the plot, coming up with all the plans and disguises, the perfect anti-payoff, once she died, everyone is going to die, Godwin can’t live, this is how the end of the story is going to go, Rosamund is going to die as well, St. Rosamund, embedding humor into the structure of the story, see it in reflection, abruptly ended, and I’ll let you live, 16 hours, oh my god, so shocking, so satisfying and relieving, it made you want to laugh, catharsis, Saladin got you too, the Italian opera ending, everybody dies, Hamlet, an everybody dies story, happy, it makes me smile (not squee), the best kind, the good kind of squee, it earns its squee, if both brother got to marry the sister (literally), a fantasy setting, very historical, how much of this is real, actually real?, family members of famous people, Nada The Lily, the secret son of Shaka Zulu, another book like this, Haggard on utube, a very early film of Haggard at his home, silent, how wealthy he became from his good writings, she hated She, really long and almost all journey, a lot happening structurally, dock in Cyprus, a hostage situation, and a reverse hostage situation, this book kept derailing Jesse’s expectations, a crusades book but not a crusade, strange inter-relations, Arabic, subtlety, going a little easy on it, it could be shorter, the changes of point of view, abutted scenes, the opening, almost every thread connects, almost perfectly composed, mid-H. Rider Haggard, the eighth H. Rider Haggard for Will, the guy who’s most responsible for squeecore, -doom core, South America?, The Heart Of The World, a secret Mayan civilization, as a prose stylist, what makes the English language work, not writing like a normal person, intentionally antiquated, main literary influces: The King James Bible, the old testament, more action here (than in She), Zulus talking in the thou form, a pack of ghost wolves, The People Of the Mist, classic lost race fantasy, Cora is nocturnal, Treasure Island, “Oh, Connor me lad”, a big project, Jim in the inn, this is a Heinlein juvenile written before Heinlein, its squeecore!, I’ve become what I hate!, it resembles Citizen Of The Galaxy (a retelling of Kim), Robert Louis Stevenson is an interesting person, very unhealthy, adopts an older woman’s son, goes and dies in Samoa, Connor would be keen, a good pirate story, the way the book was written, the Lovecraft – Sonia Green marriage, you’re going to eat right now, you’re going to breathe right now, draw me an island, a writing prompt to bring them closer together, a relationship book, the first manuscript for Strange Case Of Dr Jekyll And Mr Hyde was burned, Travels With A Donkey, some Random series book or a Treasure fucking Island, great material for a biopic, Jim and John Silver, save it for the podcast, Treasure PlanetTreasure Island and The Hobbit, the nicest aunt in East Germany, illustrated Huckleberry Finn, upgrade mic and headset, bone conduction, The Doom That Came To Sarnath by H.P. Lovecraft, The Busy Body by Donald E. Westlake, Almuric by Robert E. Howard, The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin, The Doomed City by The Strugatsky Bros. (Boris and Arkadii), “get the communist!”, you can’t get Eric, good luck bud, trolling vs. invitation, The Door Into Summer by Robert A. Heinlein, The Sea-Wolf by Jack London, a February of novels, shorter than Hour Of The Dragon, reading Donald E. Westlake, nephew novels, addictive, we win all the fun characterization, he’s like a treasure, why science fiction sucks: he can’t get paid, it was science fiction’s loss, really funny, a lot of people want to have written, the craft, he wants it to be awesome, joke poems, Waterhouse’s Circe, why are there flowers all over the floor, attraction and danger, the stories are super-rich, when you write a story based on a picture you’re decoding the picture, encoding a picture in a person’s brain, transfer our brain thought into another person’s brain thought, telepathy, no difference between intention and reception, “Mountain Dew”, something to skip, “you think you’re going to do The Dispossessed without me?”, an anarchist planet, anarchist moon, Poul Anderson, People Of The Black Circle, Sunday BBQ winter or summer, woke scold, a Robert E. Howard kick, Galactic Journey, Will needs to logoff, popping ps, 40 degree heat, thunderstorms, a sworn interpreter, Germany classics, Karl May, a convicted conman, O. Henry, living happily ever after on the prairie, your old Alberta home, a recording booth, a Neumann microphone, Shure dynamic mic, imported musical instruments, luxury goods, RØDE microphones, rood, what is a chapman, the drugged wine, Chapman’s ice cream, the chap part is cheap, the cheap man, Mercedes Benz is a luxury brand in Canada, car industries, Blue microphones, the microphone boom, shockmounts, research the fuck out of it, semaphore eyebrows, German TV adaptation of The Sea-Wolf, Cora comes from a family of sailors, The Red One, hunting moths with a shotgun, the house of a headhunter, Das Millionenspiel, a War Of The Worlds situation, The Running Man and The Prize Of Peril, furious Sheckley, one of the best things German TV ever did, The Running Man by Stephen King, hunting humans, The Most Dangerous Game by Richard Connell, The Hounds Of Zaroff, late night horror, King Kong (1933), The Most Dangerous Meme, Predator (1987), Rogue Male by Geoffrey Household, basically its Hitler, John Buchan, Rogue Justice, 1939 – 1982, your audience may have been born and died in the meantime, Dr. Mabuse by Norbert Jacques, propaganda and lies and misinformation about copyright, Babylon Berlin, Metropolis by Thea von Harbou, Fritz Lang, VPN, Jorge Luis Borges, basically all the Conan stories are public domain, dictionary, Valley Of The Lost aka King Of The Forgotten People by Robert E. Howard, the eyestrain thing, a giant crab!, way more than Solomon Kane, historicals, Dark Agnes, Shadow Of The Vulture, People Of The Black Circle, Almuric, Revival by Stephen King, The Troop by Nick Cutter, The Seascape Tattoo by Larry Niven and Steve Barnes, not a big Heinlein fan?, how dare you, Isaac Asimov, see the weaknesses, good short stories, Arthur C. Clarke, the Foundation stories, The Goddess Of Atvatabar by William R. Bradshaw, a whole continent down there, Klim’s Journey Under The Ground by Ludvig Holberg, patterns, The Cats Of Ulthar by H.P. Lovecraft, H. Rider Haggard, Arthur Conan Doyle, Professor Challenger, cheap classics, import prices, Citizen Of The Galaxy, a month of pocket money, Saladin, disintegrating, Valentina by Fern Michaels, import bookstore, bodice rippers, Angélique by Anne Golon, highlanders, a romanticized version of the Vietnam War, a solid fantasy book, a great story, so filmic, American style, BBC’s The Tourist, TV American style, Doctor Who, really important, something squeecore, just broken.

Cassell And Company - The Brethren

The Brethren by H. Rider Haggard

The Brethren by H. Rider Haggard

The Brethren by H. Rider Haggard

The Brethren by H. Rider Haggard

The Brethren by H. Rider Haggard

The Brethren by H. Rider Haggard

The Brethren by H. Rider Haggard

The Brethren by H. Rider Haggard

The Brethren by H. Rider Haggard

The Brethren by H. Rider Haggard

CASSELL dust jacket The Brethren by H. Rider Haggard

Posted by Jesse WillisBecome a Patron!

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.

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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