The SFFaudio Podcast #663 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: Murder In The Gunroom by H. Beam Piper

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #663 – Murder In The Gunroom by H. Beam Piper – read by Anthony Wilson. This is a complete and unabridged reading of the novel (6 hours 46 Minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Paul Weimer and Trish E. Matson.

Talked about on today’s show:
1953, a dedication, Colonel Henry W. Shoemaker, WWII, 1947, post-WWII, German stuff, The Prisoner, the mind-switching, consciousness swapping vs. body swapping, heil, the US is going crazy right now, Shicklegruber’s war, ink stained, Corporal Kavalein, an insufflator, m’god sarge, lousy with prints, half the wehrmacht, war crimes commission, if published today, the sting or the bite, historical novels, references, half of average readers, The Hill’s Rising with Ryan Grim explaining how WWII worked, the reason we fought WWII, the Russians did that, ignorance of history is ubiquitous, Civilization games, nobody knows all of Egyptian history, nobody can keep up, recording, She Who Became the Sun by Shelley Parker-Chan, the Mongol dynasty in China, two ways of reading this book, a locked room mystery book, Agatha Christie style, its a cozy, Rex Stout’s Nero Wolfe mysteries, his first novel, more about firearms than it is about mysteries, poisons, all Christie does is poisons, a WWI nurse, medicines are poisons, a slow acting agent, gun collecting, a setup for a series, a business owner vs. a private detective, the exception that will always happen, detectives who work for him, posing as a butler, more Rex Stouty or Nero Wolfey, amateur detectives, Miss Marple, Poirot, as a detective mystery novel, locked room mysteries, know who the murderer a page before, playing a game with the author, a good writer can pull it off for the reader, Murder By Death (1976), a game you play solo, a historical document of 1947, a window into time, reading books like this is understanding 1947 in no other way, three major things going on, smoking, they must all stink so bad, drinking, how much of an alcoholic are you?, a nymphomaniac and a dipsomaniac, guns, the subset of people involved, a stamp collecting society, what person would us a collectible stamp, hence it was the butler, Charade (1963), Randall Garrett’s Napoli Express, a massive conspiracy by everyone, The Orient Express, equal reason to keep silent, having fun, self-parody, Jesse has the science on spoilers, some people don’t believe in science, masterfully handled for a first novel, digressions, sociological societies, less than 7 hours, a science fiction writer, they’re all him, what Piper’s life actually was like, was his first name Horace?, co-authored Piper’s first publication, Army intelligence guy, killed some Nazis, a stand in for Shoemaker, only pistols, the evolution of the pistol, the crooked arms merchant named Price?, Rivers, Lord Rivers, Richard III, creative about their backstories, a foreign dignitary, Pennsylvania history and folklore, marrying to wealth, railroad company, hanging out with a gun collector, bachelor, hanging out in the gunroom, why his name is in the dedication, why this colonel gets a colonelcy, a gentlemanly thing to do, Rand seems to not want to lie, misleading vs. lying, approaching with one of his many hats, general semantics, World Of Null-A by A.E. van Vogt, a lot of Aristotle or Aristotelian thinking, its bullshit, important for Piper, use this method and you will be able to solve this mystery, more was than is, Alfred Korzybski, whatever them is, social and personal problems solvable, a messianic flavour, the one true way, dismissed in the 1960s, Science And Sanity An Introduction To Non-Aristotelian Systems, a plenum of some values, academic speak for I don’t know what I’m talking about, trying to make this a general semantics mystery novel, since that’s what the book is about, example: the word “unicorn”, it has a little beard, it smells nice, it has cloven hooves, vampire, a pejorative, a mythical creature, a bat from South American, in you images are conjured up that we should care about and try to understand, writing some kind of hobbyhorse, you can read it as a straight mystery, a lot of Rand’s detection starts with a lot of assumptions, he’s objectively correct in his universe, talking about the client, he judges her to be worthy, Tri-State Detective Agency, Jefferson Davis Rand, Ayn Rand + Jefferson Davis, some very American things going on, some guns, the NRA all over this, that’s investigation isn’t it, totally unbelievable, Gladys Fleming, the principles of general semantics, an untenable position, she’s a good chess player, when he’s talking to the science fiction author, I write for Astonishing Stories, don’t worry about the title (its just traditional), in 1947 Piper is not a known Science Fiction writer, useful for plotting, reading Astounding, John W. Campbell, this Dianetics is terrific!, this must be true!, too deep in the subject and not enough skepticism, S.I. Hayakawa, so practical and smart, the assessment of the gun estate, the executrix, the lawyer, being setup, its all right, super-competent, almost Heinleinian, not smarmy where a Heinleinian superman, technically bulletproof, carrying two pistols around randomly, this is also how he died, suicide, a strange echo, he would have written a note, Jesse’s general semantics hat, “gun violence”, he violently combed his mustache, he violently pet his dog, target shooting as violence, hunting animals, “putting to sleep”, euphemisms control our minds, conjuring up images of school shootings, homicides of other people, having access to firearms, completely natural, the parallels between H. Beam Piper and Robert E. Howard, the world does not cater to being a professional writer, losing their mothers, not a good industry, Weird Tales was not on a great financial footing, the paperback market, co-authorship, smoke or drink themselves to death, a lubrication to suicide, the oily rag, homicide of the self, brain fodder, a foreshadow, human beings seem to be the only animals prone to suicide, reach out and get help, a touchy and untalked about subject, a bad theory, Jim Jones’s thing, Heaven’s Gate, the connection between self-image and suicide, an absolute gentleman, an unmarried man’s man, the dream of H. Beam Piper, kind to widows, appreciating a woman who knows how to handle a firearm, turning down money and jobs at will, keep some shred of dignity, bachelor life vs. married life, irreconcilable, Nero Wolfe likes to play with his orchids, he’s rude, Archie Goodwin, ice cream, beer, the cozy aspect, hanging out with a Mary Sue character, the author is playing fair, going to Rivers’ shop, blackmail or coerce, trigger to the plot, seeing inside his head after a scene happens, not a plotting mistake, how well put together this plot is, monologues about guns, a huge audience for guns, goodreads reviews, a temporary problem on LibriVox, HOW. DARE. YOU., how to turn dropbox mp3s into a podcast HuffDuffer.com), thinking about this question, eliding gives a false image of the past, Overlord (2018), a black sergeant commanding white US Airborne soldiers, representation, Jews and Indians, a lot of what happens in fiction is idealization, private detectives do exist, an armoured car guy, the pre-mix, the corporate shenanigans, insider trading, a conflict of interest, very realistic, the relationship to the cops, the class stuff, the replacement butler, colleagues and friends with the boss, black people in this book, the whole thing is a fantasy, a reality for some people, hanging out with rich people -> rich people problems, fantasy situations, a very meta-book, one and done, Star Trek: Deep Space NineOur Man Bashir“, a holodeck adventure, Bashir’s cover identity is a rich playboy, more fun to write about a country house mystery, a cozy, the deep underbelly, Mike Hammer, hard-boiled, James Bond in the movies, Roger Moore is always smirking, a comedy in essence, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Renfaires have no mud farmers, pick your fantasy world, a brightly coloured disease free Renaissance, gay space communism, Carrie Vaughn’s Questland, a Dreampark scenario, the great appeal of Westworld, we get to dwell with the workers, the elites who rape and kill and swagger, sickos who wanna live there, treating what are essentially human beings as objects, getting into these metastories, general semantics will not get us out of WWIII, a little bit of perspective, letting shows peter-out…

Murder In The Gunroom by H. Beam Piper

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The SFFaudio Podcast #661 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: Mr. Adam by Pat Frank

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #661 – Mr. Adam by Pat Frank – read by Evan Lampe. This is a complete and unabridged reading of the novel (5 hours 41 Minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants include Jesse, Evan Lampe and Will Emmons.

Talked about on today’s show:
1946, a serious problem with your narration, obstetrician, editing, who was what voice, Alas, Babylon, dulcet tones, well suited for Evan, like a pervert, the attitude of the newspaperman, an affinity between Mr. Smith and Mr. Lampe, hitting the humour notes right, say something bad, an amateur narration, speed of narration, garbled here and there, was it LibriVox quality?, a very fine job, Evan’s nexty, Prince Alberic And the Snake Lady by Vernon Lee, teaching from home, a short and serious lockdown in China, the extended Spring Festival, you seem to be good at talking, how big Pat Frank was, a supposition, he’s talking about stuff happening in 1946, their field rank being swapped back to original rank, Eisenhower was a Colonel before being a 5 star general, this new civilian period, the U.S. war effort, as soon as the war is over they’re bickering again, an armed forces services edition, a cool collectible book, shirt flap, Lovecraft in armed services edition, donate books to soldiers and sailors, what you really need is a book, most people didn’t come home right away, a mid-20th century author, speaking to the baby boomer producers, how horny they are, I’m gonna plow my wife so hard I’m going to make fifty babies, a funny book, what happens after WWII is a huge boom in paperbacks, by the 1960s publishers have cottoned on the paperbacks, they don’t have USO shows every day, why we don’t have as much interest in paperbacks today, this legacy of shoving a book in your pocket and clip of ammo for your M1 Garand, Jeeps, Wrigley’s Chewing Gum, the ration pack, chocolate bars, American cheese, WWI, Spam for Korea, a delicacy in Korea, creating whole industries, how theaters survive today, “gold rush”, the new bureaucracy, a pressing governmental concern, New Deal programs, NRP, AI Day, D-Day, a satire but realistic, a tragi-comedy, a tragedy of bureaucracy, a happy ending, he sterilizes himself, I didn’t see that coming, the pickles and the eggs, Marge, seaweed, so funny, a big joke, what happens to Homer Adam is pretty dark, he didn’t castrate himself, JC’s ideology, some importance, dose your husband, the events of the story are very compressed, on the slugline, the dateline, the placeline, you have to be on this committee, its all a metaphor, the Soviets have two Mongolians, heady stuff, he’s a subversion, the last virile man is shy and gangly, loyal to his wife, interested in archaeology, neat and tidy ending, not a very science fictiony thing, they did this book wrong, he needed to continue the incompetence and stupidity, the Arthur Jermyn / White Ape way, the H.P. Lovecraft story, She by H. Rider Haggard, Allan’s Wife, strategic gorilla reserve, monkeys mating with their wives, a pipesmoking silverback gorilla with his great grandmother in the room, Planet Of The Apes, an under-explored element, the racial component, Genghis Khan, Yellow Peril, the blacks don’t want to be excluded, the settlement, are the women are willing to have Mongolian babies, female perspectives in the novel, all the women want is babies, untermenschen, a sexist book, Marissa’s or Maissa’s take on the book, everybody is really comical, farce, a child named after Eleanor Roosevelt, P. Schuyler Miller’s review from Astounding, May 1948, just another dirty book, a joyous satire, just plain fun, where’s the breeding?, I kept expecting the breeding to start, it doesn’t dwell in the place Science Fiction dwells, siblings or half siblings, a lot of older women, you better hurry, half brothers and half sisters, Homer Adam’s kid is a girl, a problem for the plot and the planet, its dealt with as premise to show off the idea of bureaucracy being incompetent in peacetime, the execution is not science fiction, speculative fiction, this is not really Science Fiction, a reddit thread, a super-dated commentary on the baby boom, it doesn’t go anywhere, a timely book whose time has passed, Catch-22, bureaucracy nightmare, bombing raids, the disincentive to keep going is to get killed, daylight bombing raids, if the crew has solidarity, changing the rules mid-stream, longer legs, the Vietnam War, a second tour, the legacy of WWII’s draft service, 1973, Nixon’s second term, endless wars now, victory gardens, a volunteer force allows permanent war, pre-modern wars, summer wars with tiny armies, unified front during the war, social groups, labour unions, a strikewave, securities collapsed, the CIO and AFofL, a wholly capitalistic world, Greece’s long record of service to mankind, special pleading, international affairs, a new world order, given to the U.N., Mr. Adam is a metaphor for the atomic bomb (MR. ATOM), the USA has an A-BOMB, the BOMARC missile crisis, medium range ballistic missiles without the nukes, too efficient in killing people, before the novel started there’d already been a nuclear accident before Mississippi, no fallout except for actual fallout, getting rid of nukes, How To Survive The H-Bomb And Why by Pat Frank, a reporter, the Office of War Information (aka propaganda), cynicism and absurdity, his science is terrible, radiation traveled at the speed of light across the planet except for one guy in one mine?, other apocalyptic novels, he doesn’t really care about the science, not a tear is shed, a scarce resource being seized by the government, a funny little thing about reproduction, his characterization of women is hilarious, his charity towards men, not a dirty book, “Mr. Adam was wanted by every woman in the world”, women don’t care who the father is, women need to be more careful about their men, women have to hold a tighter rein over their men, what male or female motivation is, women like babies and men want to be fathers, cuckolding the entire planet, I’m a proud father of 6 red headed boys, a caricature of humans, in this zone of comedy, such a breezy fun book, Smith Field is mentioned 20 times, the narrator’s fantasy bed, built for lazy living, a refrigerator and bar, things happen on Smith field, the radio, boogie-woogie, weird geography in Smith Field, domestic geography, stay in bed all day gambling, when Mr Adam is lying in his new residence, his feet hang off the edge, if I were in his position I would want to do something about it, why don’t we have a refrigerator next to our bed?, Transylvania, a contemporary news thing, England asks for aid, traditional American sportsmanship, a final solution to the question of Transylvania, when Marge is preggers, the Transylvania question, Trump or Covid, the domestic issues, more than just seaweed, of too vital of importance , the secret of Thompson’s Tonic, dynamite is nukes, Gregg Margarite, during the ’80s he built giant surrogate penises for Ronald Reagan, stuff that could be happening today, if a lot of new hospitals had been built, a very skilled writer, fighting in Palestine, China, Burma, Syria, the setup for the whole book, literally in the news this week, the long legs of his wife, a serious problem you shouldn’t take too seriously, pretty funny stuff, a really funny book, Alas, Babylon, a military presence in Lebanon, space supremacy, food from third world countries, Playhouse 90, Burt Reynolds, Stephen King’s The Stand, trusting S.T. Joshi, great book, had it more science fiction ideas…, who doesn’t want to be a James Bond?, The Big Book of Classic Fantasy: The Ultimate Collection edited by Ann VanderMeer and Jeff VanderMeer, pre-Tolkien fantasy was goofier, E.T.A. Hoffman, The Nose by Nikolai Gogol.

POCKET BOOKS - Mr. Adam by Pat Frank

Mr. Adam by Pat Frank

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The SFFaudio Podcast #547 – READALONG: The Angel Of Terror by Edgar Wallace

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #547 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, Maissa Bessada, Julie Davis, and Terence Blake talk about The Angel Of Terror by Edgar Wallace

Talked about on today’s show:
1922, mean and bad people who all look very pretty, act so sweet, physically beautiful, even the ugly people are distinctive, surprised, Julie has read it three or four times, Terence read it in two sittings, the LibriVox was too slow, he wrote a tonne of books, super-popular, very exciting, you read it as fast as he wrote it, he dictated his writings, he roared through them, Kevin J. Anderson does the same thing, very extensive Wikipedia biography, aha!, he used every part of the buffalo, stuff that happens in his life, he’s the bad guys, they all go to the South of France, he wrote King Kong, the best way to approach him, using themselves, churning out a great adventure, more complete, the angel and the other woman, you can’t like her but you can admire her, she’s so complete, Lydia liked her, Maissa enjoyed it like candy, the author loved her (the angel), so nefarious, Jack O’ Judgement, Batman/Joker character, what genre is this?, suspense, is she going to get away with it?, will she do it, it wasn’t suspenseful, armchair interesting, interesting jumping, that style of writing/thinking, working the plot out on the fly, putting out a novel in three days (with no editing), he’s got magic, breaking it down, funny lines, Terence’s neighborhood, Cannes, Monte Carlo, Nice, San Remo, the true reason they go down there, he has to get rid of his money as quickly as possible, you can’t drink and drug that much, the best way to get rid of money, very exotic, a few sound problems at the beginning of the audiobook, we open with the conclusion of a murder case, how can we get our client off even though he’s been convicted, the lawyers flout the law, family loyalty, they knew she was guilty, she’s his white whale, will you please just take these steps?, falling under the sway of a charismatic personality, unrelenting naivete, Edgar Wallace is the main character, he was working for a newspaper, how many times he got married, there was dictation, To Catch A Thief (1955), a very strange taffy-pull, a reverse Les Misérables, off to North Africa, Edgar Wallace plot wheel, what kind of Edgar Wallace plot you’re in, wheel of blind trails by which the hero is mislead or confused, planted clues, false confession, document forged, go around the room, having those prompts, watching Jean have to improvise, somebody is going to get Lydia, double plans, “oh great, the chauffeur’s in love with me”, when Lydia’s being shot at on the raft, there’s something funny about it, things become more and more far-fetched, A Series Of Unfortunate Events, Jesse’s mom read him a book for Christmas (A Peculiar Curiosity by Melanie Cossey), the reason that book exists as it does, trying to make everything right, he’s much more like Elmore Leonard, I don’t know anything about diving, go find out about that stuff for me, dialogue driven crime sort of stuff, that external research, Civil War reenactors, “farbs” they’re in it for the weekend, it’s just what we do, Alexander Dumas, set in London, John Buchan’s The 39 Steps, less he-man, Wallace was in love with his villain, this malignant disease, forgotten to say her prayers, a broken moral compass, damn!, it’s natural to her, I fear life without money, the cold mutton of yesterday, the people reading these books, she’s a sociopath, deep into his biography, when he joined the army, Edgar Wallace is named after Lew Wallace author of Ben Hur, religious as an undercurrent, the premise is uniquely interesting, her debts are because she’s so moral, some rando stranger somewhere on the internet dies, we’ll marry him off, that hook is so important, ooh hey!, this wide eyed innocent but quite competent lady, can she compromise her moral values and the plot is rolling along, did Jesse doctor the audiobook’s speed?, some sort of weird forced marriage?, by any means necessary, genre expectations, Brewster’s Millions (1985), a false tension, George Barr McCutcheon’s novel Brewster’s Millions, new clothes, new place, she IS a fashion plate,

The novel revolves around Montgomery Brewster, a young man who inherits 1 million dollars from his rich grandfather. Shortly after, a rich uncle who hated Brewster’s grandfather (a long-held grudge stemming from the grandfather’s disapproval of the marriage of Brewster’s parents) also dies. The uncle will leave Brewster 7 million dollars, but only under the condition that he keeps none of the grandfather’s money. Brewster is required to spend every penny of his grandfather’s million within one year, resulting in no assets or property held from the wealth at the end of that time. If Brewster meets these terms, he will gain the full 7 million; if he fails, he remains penniless.

Edgar Wallace’s dream, the house always wins, whatchu gonna do with that money?, the kind of plot premise that starts off this money, she marries a murderer, he’s suicided, she’s an heiress loose on the goose, study with the Italian masters, It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963), our anti-hero is a “femme fatale”, she cuts the guy’s hand, your handkerchief please, she’s a monster, a very attractive monster, brought to justice?, she hoodwinks one more guy, it’s for the wildlife, you don’t want to hurt a dolphin, she’s met her match, Jesse got the sense the cycle was going to repeat, she meant it, he’s an interesting man, the last line, five million francs, money did not interest her, a sphere of might and power, an intellectual is somebody who has discovered something more interesting than sex, he was likeable, he loves her anyway, simpering, saving Lydia, love was more important, chose something good at the end, fooled by Mr Jags, the train station, he’s gonna follow her, because I have a criminal mind, a wholesome respect for the law, Jack Glover = Jag, who was the angel of terror?, at no moment does she inspire terror, Jag is the Hyde aspect of Jack Glover, the two angels, she conducts terror, she feels terror, Jean might corrupt Lydia, a first class criminal, born 600 years to late, Lucrezia Borgia, Dexter, a do good framework, did Edgar Wallace know Jags was gonna be Jack, the character shift is pretty massive, a very good fellow (illiterate and speaks amazing French), I wouldn’t mind a pipe, a disguise, Julie agrees with Terence, too much weight on the dictation?, a flow of consciousness, increasingly outlandish, he knew and he didn’t know, fiction writing, seeing connections, plots in opposition, a twist that inverts, deliberate, trying to hide identity, Carmilla, Mircalla, an acronym of your own name, a tribute to Edgar Wallace, its hard to tell, this is a job for Superman!, from a writer’s perspective, he was there the whole time, one alternate title: The Destroying Angel, a quote from Duino Elegies by Rainer Maria Rilke, maybe both are the angel of terror, disguised, her beauty is her disguise, lookism, I’ll get you my pretties!, the opening of Chapter 2, the writing is “choice”, mmmm yes,

Lydia Beale gathered up the scraps of paper that littered her table, rolled them into a ball and tossed them into the fire.

There was a knock at the door, and she half turned in her chair to meet with a smile her stout landlady who came in carrying a tray on which stood a large cup of tea and two thick and wholesome slices of bread and jam.

“Finished, Miss Beale?” asked the landlady anxiously.

“For the day, yes,” said the girl with a nod, and stood up stretching herself stiffly.

She was slender, a head taller than the dumpy Mrs. Morgan. The dark violet eyes and the delicate spiritual face she owed to her Celtic ancestors, the grace of her movements, no less than the perfect hands that rested on the drawing board, spoke eloquently of breed.

“I’d like to see it, miss, if I may,” said Mrs. Morgan, wiping her hands on her apron in anticipation.

Lydia pulled open a drawer of the table and took out a large sheet of Windsor board. She had completed her pencil sketch and Mrs. Morgan gasped appreciatively. It was a picture of a masked man holding a villainous crowd at bay at the point of a pistol.

“That’s wonderful, miss,” she said in awe. “I suppose those sort of things happen too?”

The girl laughed as she put the drawing away.

“They happen in stories which I illustrate, Mrs. Morgan,” she said dryly. “The real brigands of life come in the shape of lawyers’ clerks with writs and summonses. It’s a relief from those mad fashion plates I draw, anyway. Do you know, Mrs. Morgan, that the sight of a dressmaker’s shop window makes me positively ill!”

at the end of this chapter is a review of this book, Philip K. Dick, the promise of the book:

“Since when has the Daily Megaphone been published in the ghastly suburbs?” asked the other politely.

He saw the girl, and raised his hat.

“Come along, Miss Beale,” he said. “I promise you a more comfortable ride—even if I cannot guarantee that the end will be less startling.”

a nice turn of phrase, Mrs Cole Mortimer was a chirpy pale little woman of forty-something, descriptions of the south of France, my soul has been in a hundred collisions, she had no sense of metaphor, page 52, waiting for the detective to arrive, picturesque dressing gown and no-less picturesque pajamas, to impress, the staging and artifice, hoodwinked all the way through, the ability to surprise while we’re in the know, cotton candy, it’s very old, on LibriVox, Lee Elliott was a good narrator, getting professional about our amateurism, Terence is sounding good, our show, Terence’s sound is terrible, content is king, sometimes narrators have really good taste, Phil Chenevert does tonnes of science fiction, narrating a novel is a huge commitment, “yup I’m doing another one for money, Jesse”, the narrator of Weiland (Karen Joan Kohoutek), Greener Than You Think by Ward Moore, almost like reading a super-old style comic book, this mysterious cloaked and masked character, no one knows who he is, Moon Knight, a minor Marvel character, The Joker, The Riddler, youre almost on the evil guy’s, The Shadow, Orson Welles, a giant prosthetic nose, Wallace didn’t live that long, proto-superhero magazines, the foreshadowing of that, The Spider, Doc Savage (the guy with the big shiny muscles), Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins, Buckaroo Banzai, failed MCUs (Marvel Cinematic Universes), an aspect like the Watchmen, Sherlock Holmes, Zorro, the evolution, James Bond, superhero-like stories, going in blind, understanding the phenomenon, we couldn’t quit reading, on his writing process, Brian Aldiss, you begin with a striking image, a crazy robot on the moon firing into the void, he probably began with the beautiful evil woman, there is a huge unity to the story, imagistic unity, Jack and Jean’s story, there’s this 1971 movie, nope it’s not that, conventions stuck in the period in which it is set, House, M.D. works much better, differential diagnostics, he’s a consulting doctor, what Arthur Conan Doyle really did, very Agatha Christie territory, to see the actors chewing up the scenery, set it after WWII, Casino Royale by Ian Fleming, get some colour, Jean would laugh at Dexter, you’re wasting your talents!, as any flapper would pick up any nut, proto-feminism, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Scarlett Johansson as Jean,

Edgar Wallace plot wheels

Edgar Wallace plot wheel blind trails

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #318 – READALONG: The Thirty-Nine Steps by John Buchan

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #318 – Jesse, Mr Jim Moon, Bryan Alexander, and Fred Himebaugh talk about The Thirty-Nine Steps by John Buchan

Talked about on today’s show:
1915, Blackwood’s Magazine, a propaganda novel, the propaganda ministry, pro-empire, Buchan’s later job, Hitchcock’s The 39 Steps, the Orson Welles adaptation, Mercury Theater, Welles’ propaganda pieces, Nazis invading Canada (Nazi Eyes On Canada), ultima thule, if Operation Sea Lion had worked…, Nazis in Antarctica, Kerguelen Islands, Isle de Crozet, the coolest island ever, Jules Verne, why does our hero go to Scotland?, veldcraft, Greenmantle, Richard Hannay, the comic, Brian thought it was a riot, a brisk read, elegant prose, the BBC Radio documentary on John Buchan, judging everything, “subjective”, coincidences, sooo convienient, the human civilization, The Riddle Of The Sands by Erskine Childers, another sneaky German plot, the Patrick O’Brian books, the invasion novel genre, mining British harbours, u-boats, a shocking incident, Scapa Flow, Winston Churchill, Rogue Male by Geoffrey Household is the WWII version of The Thirty-Nine Steps, Constantine Karolides, war was inevitable, popular in the trenches?, Hannay eats well on the run, cliffhangers, Adrian Praetzelis, a semi-bald archaeologist, Jesse’s dream theory, tired of London …. not enough exercise … lo and behold a murder plot… sleep and dream and wake, a Freudian sense of everything being really nearby, the climax became surreal, Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?‘s fake police station, how to deal with those in between, The Prisoner Of Zenda, “honestly this is impossible”, boys own adventure, James Bond, Dracula, how do these things work in detail, I’m pretty good with disguise, a sign of good writing, villain to do lists, don’t lock the hero in a room filled with explosives, act like you belong there, the roadman scenes, the milkman was a precedent, disguise as psychology, ridiculous of imposture, the speaker at the liberal candidates meetings scene, Australia or free-trade, Asquith, Liberals, free-trade within the empire, as satisfying as a mortician, the eloquence of an emigration agent, a ripping speech Twizden, Hammond, something that always changes is the meaning of the title, the Black Stone (Schwartz Stein), when you’re Lord Tweedsmuir…, Jonathan Harker, ordinance survey maps, the corridors of power, having the power of the British Empire at your back, the reward, doubt about British command, yesterday 100 years ago, the Gallipoli campaign, unilateral disarmament, the secret pact, the French are hyper-competent, playing along, just go over the top, your reward is to go to the Western Front, Greenmantle is the direct sequel, the supremely confident at veldcraft, the Germans had found a Muslim prophet, Islam as a powder-keg, the Mesopotamian campaign, a very personal battle while armies clash, a secret history, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke, The Duelists by Joseph Conrad, His Majesty’s Dragon by Naomi Novik, The Red Panda Adventures by Gregg Taylor, Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, Captain Canuck, Declare by Tim Powers, Kim Philby, Brian’s WWI kick, the Eastern front (Turkey vs. Russia), Duel For Kilimanjaro: Africa 1914-1918, Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck, the opening antisemitism (an international banking conspiracy) is just a smokescreen, crazy conspiracy theories, you only believe the unbelievable tale, a wink to the audience, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, The United States Of Paranoia by Jesse Walker, the “stab in the back theory”, conspiracies, the Black Hand, seeing the novel in its context, period magazines, stepping into a time machine, having perspective, don’t have secret treaties with France, a landward in Asia, The DaVinci Code, The Grove of Ashtaroth, the Canaanite goddess, Rhodesia, clearing of the land, a weird fiction version of colonialism, Buchan wrote 101 books, Witch Wood (BBC Radio drama), big in to Buchan, Huntingtower, Mr Standfast, The Wasteland by T.S. Elliot, Lovecraft’s parody “Wastepaper”, a pre-modern guy, unthinking ideas, a moral victory over the enemy, panache or élan, Memory Hold-the-Door by John Buchan, Canada’s current Governor General (David Johnston), Hillary Clinton’s autobiography, “chloroform in print”, Mark Twain, Fred’s novel is in beta (The Devil’s Dictum), wait fifty years and read the Wikipedia entry, our assessment of things, Shakespeare was too sad or too gory, why teach Julius Caesar? because it has no sex, the Hugos blew up, Ancillary Justice, changing the markets, Bowdlerizing the past, The Tempest, classic science fiction info dump, Miranda is falling asleep, Mr Jim Moon’s take on The Thirty-Nine Steps, the mystery run-around, the Jason Bourne films, stalking on-the-run travelogue format, Ian Fleming, Dennis Wheatley, a British form of pulp, adaptations, North By Northwest, the 2008 TV adaptation the u-boat in a loch, Alfred Hitchock, The Man Who Knew Too Much, The Ring, the lack of women, adding women, shoveling women into adaptations, it’s all for Fred’s mom, there’s a gun in the pram, Hannay has an afro in the 1978 adaptation, the ministry of espionage, Mr Memory, the comics adaptation, a bridge to far, The Private Life Of Sherlock Holmes, with access to itching powder…, expansive imagination, in the Twilight books the heroine is a complete cipher, WWI books, WWII books, Armed Forces Editions, the post war interest in H.P. Lovecraft, Jack Vance in the South Pacific.

The Thirty-Nine Steps by John Buchan - First Edition
John Buchan's The Thirty-Nine Steps
The 39 Steps by John Buchan
The Thirty-Nine Steps by John Buchan
Stories By Famous Authors No. 4 - The 39 Steps by John Buchan
Popular Books - The Thirty-Nine Steps by John Buchan - illustration by William Teason

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #276 – READALONG: Angelmaker by Nick Harkaway

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastDowncastThe SFFaudio Podcast #276 – Jesse, Tamahome, and Fred discuss Angelmaker by Nick Harkaway.

Today’s podcast is sponsored by Downcast, a terrific podcast app for iPhone and iPad.

Talked about on today’s show:
Fredösphere’s (Fred Heimbaugh’s) choice, the Ann Arbour Science Fiction And Fantasy Literary Discussion Group (founded by Eric S. Rabkin), the audiobook, the confusing and scatter first half of the book, the audio version, Daniel Wayman is one of the best narrator’s Fred’s ever heard, A Scanner Darkly by Philip K. Dick (read by Paul Giamati), some books are better as audiobooks and some are better as textual books, Anathem by Neal Stephenson, Tony C. Smith, StarShipSofa, the glossary takes 30 minutes, Angelmaker is 18 hours, you have to pay close attention, do you listen to podcasts?, our SPONSOR: Downcast, the new iOS, Apple’s Podcasts App sucks, Downcast allows you to ultra-customize your podcast feeds, Levelator, volume booster for podcasts are too quiet, Protecting Project Pulp, Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History and Common Sense, noisy environments, the Downcast app is $3, updating feeds on the go, a podcast queue, if it isn’t in the iTunes store …, your custom HuffDuffer feed works great with Downcast, the SFSignal Three Hoarsemen Podcast, Tamahome uses Downcast, back to our regular programing, Jesse has no opinion about Angelmaker, this is Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere by somebody else, the Neverwhere BBC TV adaptation, Nick Harkaway’s writing voice and actual voice are similar to Neil Gaiman’s, a completely undisciplined novel, a meandering through-line, the prose was “too plummy”, an editor with a strong whip-hand, Harkaway is enamored with great ideas, Goodreads has angry and bitter four and five star reviews for Angelmaker, unfinished novels don’t often get reviewed, books take a lot of time, why is it present third person every day tense?, breezy and informal sixteen-hour shaggy dog story, really really good writing, Ted Chiang, just because it’s old doesn’t mean it’s good, Tam is surprised, history and science, Neil Gaiman’s wild son?, talking about interesting things in interesting ways with interested characters, sexually aggressive women, a pulp fiction novel, Fred lays out the plot, Joe Spork, Matthew “Tommy-Gun” Spork, the grandfather, clockwork bees, a doomsday device, a female James Bond, the evil Asian mastermind, absurdly competent, Remo Williams, the Opium Khan aka Shem Shem Tsien, a brilliant French scientist (a Hakote), the “Apprehension Engine”, fundamentally transform human consciousness, waves, “step one: steal underpants”, instantly intuit the truth of reality, Nick Harkaway is interested in interesting things, the throwaway ideas, Project Habakkuk, a WWII project in a WWII setting, an aircraft carrier built out of ice, the u-boat service, cool and interesting, the frozen submarine and the frozen air-craft carrier, if Jesse wrote fiction…, a submarine and an elephant in the same sentence, this book has dream-logic, Harkaway wanted the submarine encased in ice and didn’t care if it was implausible (a rumour), torture, sex, a Saint-Crispin’s speech, an adventure book, humour?, funny?, a romp?, silly?, allusions, The Gone-Away World, Tigerman, steam-punk, clock-punk, the etymology of the word “punk”, coming from the street, about the visual, about the body, Neuromancer, looking and acting like a punk, steampunk is about dressing up, form and colour over function, Hayao Miyazaki, an obsession with body parts, an obsession with torture, “fingers getting cut-off”, one of the Goodreads reviews, the toe obsession, Polly’s sexy and knowledgeable toe, this book is a thousand Chekhov’s guns, the toothless dog, the Snowy of this novel, Tin Tin, Tam should read Tin Tin, Angelmaker would be a really good HBO show, the names, Spork, Friend, Cradle, realism is not being strived for, a word cloud for Angelmaker, what words are being used, over description, the main character looks at himself in a mirror, not a mirror but polished brass, very clever Nick Harkaway, René Descartes, a steam-punk pulp adventure spy thriller, Robert E. Howard’s muscular description of colour, Howard wrote short, a serious issue, very interesting and difficult reading, the tense, Nick Harkaway is Neal Stephenson by way of P.G. Wodehouse, people drowning in a world of epic fantasy, Grimm’s Fairy Tales characters are puppets, over-description, Joshua Joseph Spork embraces his gansterhood, Luke Burrage’s complaint about American Gods, the character arc, false or indulgent, decapitating the evil mastermind, the Thompson sub-machine gun, aggressively turning off a large portion of one’s brain, Ada Lovelace, trains are cool, cheap complaints, an unplugged wild adventure book, Blood Music by Greg Bear (short story and novels), what is he trying to say here?, science fiction writers, Eon, The Wind From A Burning Woman is an amazing author collection, despite the caveats, the “grey goo problem” and the nature of consciousness, is it the case we are not seeing the world directly?, medium sized objects, trucks and trees, Jesse found it very frustrating, the movie people, a comic booky plot, animation?, John le Carré, paging Dr. Freud, no editors, do editors even exist any more, Marissa Vu works for the author, enjoy a ride and live in a world and drown in an environment, the reader makes an investment in the world building, Darkon (2006), LARPing (live action role playing), Cory Doctorow, Jim Butcher, regular people, Elidor and Aquilonia, more fun to play than to watch, Dungeons & Dragons, more word-play and less shield-taping, escaping from a horrible day job, Thomas Jefferson’s idea for state-names, Fred’s novel, “you’re not like most people you read books”, to each there own, make it shorter and better, a unit of Jesse (7 hours), Ivanhoe, Sir Walter Scott, the modern medieval romance, Game Of Thrones, why Fred fully forgives Angelmaker‘s failings, scenes that don’t just advance the plot, when Jesse wrote fiction it was terrible, being blind to your own faults, self-blindness, the four boxes, incompetent but self-aware, the inevitable decline, Elmore Leonard, Rum Punch, Stephen King, William Gibson, Altered Carbon by Richard K. Morgan, early success, an overflowing fountains of ideas, Tam and Jesse were obsessed, enormous fun, Jesse doesn’t read books for fun but rather for edification, Mike Resnick, instinctual writers, Dean Koontz, Lawrence Block, Donald E. Westlake, writing the same novel over and over again, Neil Gaiman is a discovery writer, sprinkling plot points, Jesse shouldn’t try writing, Jesse’s curation #PUBLICDOMAIN fiction, The Wonderful Window by Lord Dunsany is basically a guy watching Game Of Thrones, like everybody else on Goodreads “this is the worst five star book I’ve ever read”, needs taming, layering done well, The Graveyard Book is a retelling of The Jungle Book, this novel should have spent a few days in the dungeon, rallying the underworld, Angelmaker would make a great Broadway musical.

Word Cloud for Angelmaker by Nick Harkaway

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #231

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #231 – Jesse and Luke Burrage (from the Science Fiction Book Review Podcast) talk to audiobook narrator Simon Vance.

Talked about on today’s show:
Jonathan Davis, Pat Fraley, Scott Brick is the Brad Pitt of audiobooks and Simon Vance is the George Clooney of audiobooks, how Simon Vance got started, reel to reel tape recorder, Winnie The Pooh, BBC Radio 4, 1980s, Brighton, RNIB, Grover Gardner, George Guidall, The Book At Bedtime, Margaret Thatcher, California, San Francisco, Christian and devotional audiobooks, “we sound more intelligent (but we’re not)”, Stieg Larsson, Dracula by Bram Stoker, Audiofile Magazine, Earphone Awards, England, Sweden, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, the apprenticeship, Market Forces by Richard K. Morgan, a classic dystopia, Thirteen (aka Black Man), The Steel Remains, The Cold Commands, artfulness and in-artfulness of narration, Doctor Who, overwhelming music -> overwhelming emotion, The Lord Of The Rings, the good narrators do the unexpected, “boo”, Dune by Frank Herbert (the full-cast audiobook), Goodreads.com, Simon Prebble, V For Vendetta by Steve Moore, the comic + the movie + Simon Vance = great audiboook, Natalie Portman was awesome, Stephen Rea, most novelizations are terrible, Hugo Weaving, James Bond, Ian Fleming, AudioGo, Blackstone Audio, the Green Knowe books, Listen And Live, Kate Fleming, The Prestige by Christopher Priest, a complicated book, a second chance, The Science Fiction Book Review Podcast review of The Prestige (episode #177), the movie of The Prestige, a final trick, one of the best Science Fiction movies of the last ten years, a thinking man’s book (and movie), The Illusionist, stage magic vs. CGI magic, The Magic Circle, Left for Dead: The Untold Story Of The Tragic 1979 Fastnet Race by Nick Ward and Sinead O’Brien, survival, Antarctica, fiction vs. non-fiction, a cabinet of heads, WWII, the Patrick O’Brian books (the Aubrey–Maturin series), Master And Commander, the incomplete book 21, Robert Hardy and Tim Piggot-Smith, what SFF Simon Vance book should we check out?, The Darwin Elevator by Jason M. Hough, The Exodus Towers, The Plague Forge, zombie apocalypse, aliens, “good honest adventure”, Pan Books Of Horror, c, Rama, Rama II, The Man In The High Castle, Philip K. Dick, Mark Twain, Anthony Trollope, Charles Dickens, a PDF listing Simon Vance’s audiobooks, out of print audiobooks, Audible.com, Christopher Priest’s other audiobooks are done by other audiobook narrators, Peter Ganim, Robert J. Sawyer, The Player Of Games by Iain M. Banks, rights issues, keep your audiobooks.

V For Vendetta read by Simon Vance

Thirteen by Richard K. Morgan - read by Simon Vance

Market Forces by Richard K. Morgan - read by Simon Vance

Posted by Jesse Willis