The SFFaudio Podcast #692 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: Things As They Are; Or, The Adventures Of Caleb Williams by William Godwin

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #692 – Things As They Are; Or, The Adventures Of Caleb Williams by William Godwin – read by Bev J Stevens, for LibriVox. This is a complete and unabridged reading of novel (16 hours 37 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants include Jesse, Paul Weimer, Evan Lampe, and Bryan Alexander

Talked about on today’s show:
1794, consistently mentioned, extensive shownotes, 2013, “The Modern Prometheus” or Frankenstein, Wieland by Charles Brockden Brown, 9 years of hint, The Star King by Jack Vance, favourite novel or favourite book?, sportsball human named Caleb Williams, Oklahoma Sooners, an evil plan to make us stupider, where everybody lives, how tall or how much money does Caleb Williams make, Google sponsoring Worldcon, the connection to Frankenstein, four people, woho would the first family of British letters (but their politics is too upsetting), anarchist political philosophy, Political Justice by William Godwin, Mary Wollstonecraft, The Last Man, Percy Shelly, one of the greatest poets of all time, their politics are so uncomfortable, vegetarian scary feminist, The Anubis Gates by Tim Powers, The Stress Of Her Regard, neutered their reputations, Percy Shelly as a nature poet, a rich and exciting book, the sentences are long, a cat just climbed on Bryan, better on the page, a really fun book, written in reverse, Dickens wrote a note to Poe to that effect, the fun stuff, very John Buchan-y, escape, Geoffrey Household’s Rogue Male, crime novel, a thriller novel, chase and escape, one man against the state, a detective story, Hamlet, curiosity, a classic tragedy, a Jacobean revenge tragedy, all those modalities, a gothic layer, a doppelganger story, weird tweets, Arthur Mervyn by Charles Brockden Brown, tasting Godwin, teaching a course on those four writers would be a dream course, Women’s Studies/History, connecting these writers with the French Revolution, The Rights Of Man by Thomas Paine, trying not to think about the 1790s, The Making Of The British Working Class by E.P. Thompson, 1810-1815, Ireland was invaded by France in 1797, the nine years war, its not popular, going against what the British like to think about themselves, practicing colonialism on their neighbour, the Easter Rising, WWI, rebellion and mutiny in the British Navy, a continental story, Napoleon, republic is a good idea, incendiary, The REVOLUTIONS Podcast, Queen Victoria’s guillotine nightmares, echoes in Political Justice, this is all messed up, our reliance on hierarchy and authority, the alternate ending (the bleak one), insane in prison, dire notes, true happiness lies in being like a stone (a grave stone), all caps and exclamation marks, literally radical stuff, alternate takes, a shirt nobody with recognize, correct or semi-correct, hot take, a woman fleeing a castle, a thinly veiled reboot, landlord lord boss, the mother in the attic or the kid in the trunk, a homoerotic or homosocial relationship, a classic heterosexual triangle, the young bride and the evil spouse, everybody is corrupted by the villain, local criminal gangs are corrupted, Mrs. Radcliffe, an anarchist book, so tame and so subtle, his starting position is internal, I have to chop of my understanding, things as they are maybe aint so great, set in Naziland, uts okay to kill Hitler, but not okay to say the British power system is corrupt, don’t steal from everybody, the preface being to risque for the publisher, zero out of ten, very hard to read, that person’s not getting it, old books are different from the style we have today, modes and trends and styles of fiction, too trusting, transformed, resigned, meta-ness, escaping into books, becoming a publisher of books, hiding as a Jew, copying their manners, that’s really cool, a way of escaping the godlike detective agency, every man’s hand is against him, a series of veils being lifted, Jews live in a ghetto, trigger, there’s a lot of torture in this book, what’s my duty, what’s my responsibility, denied light and heat, ruffians, manacled, hounded, living you misery, he can’t seem to flee, emigrate, get away from this nutty landlord, not the best plan, a relatively honest person, stealing money, the worst blackguard in all of England, a literary reflection, Tony Blair is getting another knighthood and Julian Assange is being extradited for treason to a country he is not a citizen of, an avatar for how people should act, joins the criminal gang, a cop and a criminal, a thief taker and a thief, you can be moral within yourself and not worry about the laws, or you can worry about what the laws are and bend to the will of liege lords and masters, we see this lesson again and again, an old guy with a ruddy face and white of lock, oh you’re the guy who insulted that leige lord, Ferdinando Falkland, held in such high regard, he can do no wrong, celebrities, people who own the means of communications, worldcon photography sessions, putting money into speech and putting thoughts into people’s heads, regrounding ourselves by making individual foundations, to throw you off the scent, an all in good fun game, he’s had a revolution within himself, he can’t steal, writing and selling your ideas for whatever meager living that gives you is the way, The Castle Of Otranto, what do you do next?, the novel is about consciousness raising, the next step, education, women are reading these stupid books [Jane Austen], universal compulsory education, The Future Trends Forum, climate change, unhappy cats, think better/act better, the solution is more education, Taiwan and China, the answer to social problems is always education (and never guillotines), we are severely educating the population, education is the solution to a lot of these things, the product of it [education], the mid-19th century, Marx and Engels, more unions, assassinations (propaganda of the deed), a one man army, How To Blow Up A Pipeline by Andreas Malm, all bets are off, extreme measures, Lenin’s war communism, “how things could be” (the sequel), it can’t be institutional, there’s something wrong with institutions at their heart, the justice system is beyond redemption, education is the answer but not institutional education, an 18th century version of The Wire, everyone is in the game, ennui, hate the game not the player, a rebuke, marriage, married largely for show, for her reputation, “Mary Junior”, stupid medical care, a lethal idea, which title do you use?, into the 18th century, a classic plot, lords, Bryan had his students play a role playing game about the Luddite rebellion, I get to be the bailiff, I got the cudgel, a Stanford experiment gone wrong, built into a hero, noble, smart, cultured, trying to stop a fire, 18th century life, why its so sad that Falkland becomes a villain, Justine gets in legal trouble because of the monster’s actions [in Frankenstein], reading it backwards, theatre of calamity, tyranny, is a tyrant a bad ruler or an illiterate rulers?, Declaration Of Independence language, William Blake’s America: A Prophecy, Edmund Burke, execrated my name, reputation, pulp fiction horror thing, writing is embarrassing, Anne Radcliffe, I didn’t write this I found it in a weird monastery in Italy, every praragraph sets up bit by bit, like a table of contents, post script:

Why should my reflections perpetually centre upon myself?—self, an overweening regard to which has been the source of my errors! Falkland, I will think only of thee, and from that thought will draw ever-fresh nourishment for my sorrows! One generous, one disinterested tear I will consecrate to thy ashes! A nobler spirit lived not among the sons of men. Thy intellectual powers were truly sublime, and thy bosom burned with a god-like ambition. But of what use are talents and sentiments in the corrupt wilderness of human society? It is a rank and rotten soil, from which every finer shrub draws poison as it grows. All that, in a happier field and a purer air, would expand into virtue and germinate into usefulness, is thus concerted into henbane and deadly nightshade.

insight through a dream:

Dreamt I had to attend a faculty meeting because I was unaware of what we were going to do about the people sent to troll us during the final examination. We’d be moving the university off planet – but the dimbulbs and corporate flacks were people too and they didn’t seem to get they were going to die. The low tier adult children were around now, but what would happen when we moved off planet? They were not assigned seats, at least not yet, and nobody seemed to be looking out for their interests. When I finally got to speak [on] this issue the chair did a silent scream in response. Which was utterly understandable. [there] was still hope their respective senders, two corporations, a small island nation, and a religious organization might send a budget for them prior to launch. I was still worried. On my way out of the meeting one of their number was making a mess and two others doing acts of public indecency (which would be more acceptable if they grokked the gravity of their existential plight). With nothing yet resolved I walked by then into the maker building where the maker collective was busily winding down their own far less formal meeting. I toured their facility and saw and recognized the results of several projects I’d seen them create and toured their funky display space – which had recently been updated – and talked with one of my favourite creators – who was not as popular as many others in the collective, but who was well respected for the seriousness with which he advanced the state of the humour arts. Still shook from the prospect of seeing people left behind I went to the on campus pizza place. What were we gonna do?”

the way this book is positioned is the anti-deplorables condemnation, a revolutionary czar, he wants nobody to be hung for anything, moral crimes, legal crimes, the reason they’re bad, that’s the way they were made, we need to fix things, not writing people off, all the good people are on my side, we need to make this a personal choice, a personal revolution, trying to drag all the people who are reading the book, what its like to be punished for doing no wrong, always making it personal, having revelations of how things are given to him, when she gets arrested, it would be better for me not to have done anything, not a guillotine book, lets think on this thing together, come together and be friends, bound up in his reputation, your focusing on the wrong part, it isn’t about with a name its character with a personality, how to be in the world, a precursor to a utopian novel, The Fugitive, Les Misérables [by Victor Hugo], The Count Of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas, I have No Mouth And I Must Scream [by Harlan Ellison], fear of embarrassment, Ghislaine Maxwell trial, Jeffrey Epstein, Prince Andrew, we just can’t allow this, what we are as beings, growing literacy, rumour opinion, face and losing face, the doppleganger idea, dopplegangers are almost always lethal, reading the doppleganger’s story from the other side, I now have no character I wish to vindicate, a half told and mangled tale, he’s done, he’s William Wilson [Edgar Allan Poe], the Jane Austen comedy of manners, Jeremy Bentham, panopticon, Volume 3 Chapter 6, extreme verbal violence:

I now took it for granted that I was once more in the power of Mr. Falkland; and the idea was insupportably mortifying and oppressive to my imagination. Escape from his pursuit, freedom from his tyranny, were objects upon which my whole soul was bent. Could no human ingenuity and exertion effect them? Did his power reach through all space, and his eye penetrate every concealment? Was he like that mysterious being, to protect us from whose fierce revenge mountains and hills, we are told, might fall on us in vain? No idea is more heart-sickening and tremendous than this.

is he God?, lyrical, keep being revealed the conspiracy, literally true of the world, outside Julian Assange’s prison, cars full of cops, CIA literally plotting to assassinate him, they were embarrassed, make an example, the CIA was laughing at the State Department, agents all over the British isles, had you stepped on a ship there, a broken figure, barely alive, very convincing, I don’t want to be a Falkland, only a personal political solution, we have to call things as they are as we see them, we lie, we obfuscate, we do it for profit, playmobil Scooby Doo TIKI, tropical trees, a guy wearing a mask, Scooby Doo is very gothic, voodoo, you can’t use that because someone would be upset, Lego Magical Caravan is not cultural appropriation,

LEGO “Magical Caravan” is not cultural appropriation because the vardo wagon and bender tent complete with crystal ball is all euphemismed away so as to be simply a “magical caravan” with no cultural specificity, you see

“Charming details

The horse-drawn caravan is brimming with traditional features, such as cute latticework shutters and an old-fashioned lantern. The roof is side-hinged to allow kids to explore the living quarters. Inside they’ll find a bed, a kitchen with a stove and…

a table they can eat around. They can then care for the horse or play with the owl. In the tent is a crystal ball. Controlled by a twisting function, it spins to reveal Mia’s future. Kids can choose whether it lands on a sad face or a happy face or simply let fate decide”

a gypsy wagon, I wanna see the names so I have knowledge, whitewashed or anonymized, this attractive concept, they can’t name it for what it is, sail back dinosaur, Queen Of The Black Coast by Robert E. Howard, there are black people on the boat, Belit’s commanding non-blacks makes it non-problematic, not allowing speech to be said, by making nobody unhappy we’re making everybody happy <- is the theory, objecting things to showing things as they are, arrested for a crime he didn't commit, everybody is corrupt all the way up and all the way down, here I am I can be no other (and he disappears), I was told this was an anarchist book, where's the anarchism?, revolution from within, but it didn't work, William Morris and his crew, 100 years later, a similar expression, long, his wallpaper becomes popular, the Stickley furniture, craftsman’s houses, Capitalist Realism by Mark Fisher, there’s no escape, acts of terror get people’s attention, unintended effects, drone attacks, The Ministry Of The Future by Kim Stanley Robinson, kidnap people from Davos and make them watch powerpoints, a panic over beef, killings and property damage, killing the Czar is the big success, Alexander Berkman blasting Henry Clay Frick, Falkland’s power is too big, Caleb is a cool guy, a chameleon, a publisher, a criminal, a personal assistant, too much, its overwhelming, justice might grind out the occasional victory, Ferdinando Falkland, when he flips out, he goes insane, detested, if it were in my power, things are not so bad as you imagine, range, genteel country squire, fits of insanity, Byronic villain hero, 18th century hero to romantic villain, literary merit, dramatist personae, more useful in a paperback, Arcadian, old hag, housekeeper, 2020s, the role of women in books and what it says about the character of the writer of the book, the bad guy in the band, stab him with a clever, demonically strong, bewildered, how to be, how to respond to the world as it is, more wild less educated, cooking and cleaning and making a person like her, experience not unlike this, avoid being physically injured, some violent person, how do we deal, she informs, going to bring down the gang, they should reform, Caleb Williams mirror without formal education, their own rustic knowledge, vernacular intuition, somehow subverted by the system, eaten the propaganda, all the encounters he has are focused on teaching us something, pedagogical or exploratory, it doesn’t have any answers, News From Nowhere, Herland by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, how bad patriarchy is, how much, Britain is the last country to figure out that novels exist, very realistic, about class, Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe, Evan’s escape, Clarissa by Samuel Richardson, probing and sketching, Pamela, views and sketches of British life, clear dystopia, where it could have gone, broke a whole bunch of ground, good book, making apologies, they’re doing stuff very differently than the way we would do it, the conscience of the king, who am I supposed to root for here everyone is terrible, Caleb you idiot, I can explain, good character writing, the double has to be the double, the biggest objection (a Louisiana thing), it was just the one murder, who hasn’t?, Quantum Of Nightmares by Charles Stross, Caleb as victim of broadsheet cancel culture, penny dreadfuls, the meta-stuff, writing about the things that he knows, a book he finds is The Adventures Of Caleb Williams, sent to Cancelvania, resonance today, so disreputable you can’t listen to anything he says, acts of public indecency, does Williams lie?, putting on an accent isn’t lying, taking alternate or no name as a writer, what lying, or does anything really immoral?, an excuse, saving his masters papers, his one sin, he broke into it, his job is to save those papers, his motivation was wrong, close to the line, a confession, he breaks into it, guilty of the opposite of lying (too honest), pressing him, as an ancestor to detective fiction, social awkward detectives (Holmes and Nero Wolfe), if Caleb had an Archie Goodwin, a Law & Order series, Asperger’s detective with his minder, Tyrell and Falkland, why are they obsessing over me, turning a good person to evil, an orphan, broke, almost homeless, feeling guilty, in contrast to the bitter hag, a Buddhist enlightened figure, we could all go that way, the captain is kindly, cruel to animals!, they don’t live under the law, snitch, the appeal to outer authority is a shit move, physical violence in the school yard, the relationship kids have to principals, teachers and parents, prison guards and wardens, the logic works, knuckling to their authority, anarchistic at its heart, why he doesn’t want to inform, Falkland stands in for the state, he’s a justice of the peace, the stand in for institutions, penetrating society, Philip K. Dick, the black iron prison of our institutions, perverted loyalty, to do a false accusation, strongly infers, repress and control, you will never leave my service, What Happens After Nora Leaves Home?, The Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen, dead or a prostitute, gothic romances from the 1960s, women with great hair fleeing a house with a high lit window at night, Caleba Williams, a pregnant prostitute, just find a suitable marriage, test the character of your potential husband, the end of Wall-E (2008), Down And Out In The Year 2000 by Kim Stanley Robinson, suffering cyberpunks in Washington, D.C., the author made the fire,

My mind was already raised to its utmost pitch. In a window-seat of the room lay a number of chisels and other carpenter’s tools. I know not what infatuation instantaneously seized me. The idea was too powerful to be resisted. I forgot the business upon which I came, the employment of the servants, and the urgency of general danger. I should have done the same if the flames that seemed to extend as they proceeded, and already surmounted the house, had reached this very apartment. I snatched a tool suitable for the purpose, threw myself upon the ground, and applied with eagerness to a magazine which inclosed all for which my heart panted. After two or three efforts, in which the energy of uncontrollable passion was added to my bodily strength, the fastenings gave way, the trunk opened, and all that I sought was at once within my reach.

then a gun is pointed to his head, a Bluebeard story, sins are not in thought, this is the excuse I’ve needed, take the things to safety, he was a scrivener, at every opportunity to lie he does not, lying to the F.B.I. is illegal, the only thing we shouldn’t do to mom and dad, computer game logic, handy tools, fire, a repetition, fire scenes become drama is heightened up, Eric S. Rabkin, Psychoanalysis Of Fire by Gaston Bachelard, fire is literally illumination, symbolically too, Saul becomes Paul because of light, the MacGuffin opened up for us to see, an action movie, Pulp Fiction (1994), the Blade Runner link, tyranny, death to tyrants, autocratic or illicit or illegal rulers, Oedipus Tyrannus by Sophocles, he solves the crime, the detective being the criminal, Shutter Island (2010), the guilty party, setting up an axe throwing station, Vermont roots to D.C., gleefully splitting, bloody handed, more walking the streets with a bloody axe, a plague doctor mask, happy new year!

Caleb Williams by William Godwin

LEGO 41688 - Magical Caravan

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The SFFaudio Podcast #688 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: Niels Klim’s Journey Under The Ground by Ludvig Holberg

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #688 – Niels Klim’s Journey Under The Ground by Ludvig Holberg; read by Alan Winterrowd

This unabridged reading of the story (3 hours 45 minutes) is followed by a discussion of it.

Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Evan Lampe, Will Emmons, and Connor Kaye.

Talked about on today’s show:
1741, Latin, 1845, underground journey, great Latin accent, difficult, funny stuff, interesting physics, satire, the midway point, old books, Edgar Allan Poe didn’t have electricity, nobody had a typewriter, a whole century before that, the farther back in time, upfront heavy lifting, explaining Elvis, a k-pop star from the Southern United States, girls go wild, in the tree society, not discussing the nature of God, he becomes a baron, Catholicism, anti-Catholic remarks, Denmark, the Holy Trinity, intellectual Catholics, upperclass twits and fashion, a criticism of Danish society, sick of religious debates in general, the book with the book, a book review of the book you’re reading in the book, a satire of travel literature, wild places, the unknown, to the center of the earth, The Goddess Of Atvatabar, how old this inner world concept, different physics, City Of Endless Night, in orbit around a sun at the center of the earth, another planet (a ball), he was treated like a comet, blown back through the same hole, the firmament, the opposite crust, a meta-argument, we see them as the heavens, balls all the way up, 2021 North America, and Australia, and Taiwan, causes eclipses on the world of the Firmament, their planet turns away from the sun, two hollow Earths, a donut within a donut, in 1740…, what Galileo and what Newton is doin, we haven’t seen out planet from a larger perspective, he big dumb object that is the planet earth, dumb in the sense of stupid, tigermen, monkeymen, treemen, the trees take his blood, they put branches on him to help him fit in, the Enlightenment, Cesare Beccaria, the prison reformer, capital punishment, criminal justice, people having different humours in their blood, making fun of it, utopian aspect, Mark Twain, A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur’s Court, they star the same way, Mardi by Herman Melville, The Fall Of The House Of Usher by Edgar Allan Poe, a Poe poem, the sentience of all vegetable things, colocation of stones, fungi, reduplication, they got up their own asses in terms of rationalism, travel narratives, duplicated, our books, the mental existence of the invalid,

Our books — the books which, for years, had formed no small portion of the mental existence of the invalid — were, as might be supposed, in strict keeping with this character of phantasm. We pored together over such works as the Ververt et Chartreuse of Gresset; the Belphegor of Machiavelli; the Heaven and Hell of Swedenborg; the Subterranean Voyage of Nicholas Klimm by Holberg; the Chiromancy of Robert Flud, of Jean D’Indaginé, and of De la Chambre; the Journey into the Blue Distance of Tieck; and the City of the Sun of Campanella. One favorite volume was a small octavo edition of the Directorium Inquisitorium [[Inquisitorum]], by the Dominican Eymeric de Gironne; and there were passages in Pomponius Mela, about the old African Satyrs and œgipans, over which Usher would sit dreaming for hours. His chief delight, however, was found in the perusal of an exceedingly rare and curious book in quarto Gothic — the manual of a forgotten church — the Vigiliae Mortuorum secundum Chorum Ecclesiae Maguntinae.

a prequel to an underground world story, The Narrative Of Arthur Gordon Pym Of Nantucket, these are bullshit books, alchemy is bullshit, what we do at the FDA now, peer review, a council of elders, Benjamin Franklin, the Royal Society, secret locked cages vs. done publicly, methinks thou do protest to much, Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels, sniffing out bullshit is hard for most people, why Poe has Usher so fucked up, he doesn’t leave his estate, through books, out the window, only testing books against other books, Sir John Manderville, Marco Polo, outlandish [bullshit], people with their face on their chest, Antonio Pigafetta, talking about Maoris, you’re a peasant, weird consulting, why is there so much in Science Fiction, exogamy, incest is what you do when you’re up your own ass, keeping money in the family, trying to breed traits, Roderick Usher once went to school, the Poe figure, dude, you went to seed quick, he doesn’t have the light of the sun, we need the stars to tell us where we are and what we are, other kinds of underground books, a really big thread in science fiction, the inner psychedelic journey, a nation of sensible tigers, the musical instrument people, the subtitle:

“being a
narrative of his wonderful descent to the subterranean
lands; together with an account of the
sensible animals and trees inhabiting the
PLANET NAZAR AND THE FIRMAMENT.”

you get what you paid for and the people who are like viola, play a viola at them, they play themselves, types of people you hang out with, musicians, the priests, special areas where menfolk were sent and grew fat and smooth, monasteries, cannibals,

“I have a kind of suspicion that the Europeans are cannibals; for they shut large flocks of healthful and strong persons in certain inclosures, called cloisters, for the purpose of making them fat and smooth. This object seldom fails, as these prisoners, free from all labor and care, have nothing to do but to enjoy themselves in these gardens of pleasure.

big protestant comment, not exactly Ents, don’t be hasty, let’s think this through, they have Entwives, we can go one further, a guy with a heart in his leg, a recurring theme, rape comedy, put on trial for rape, a Dutch hotel, Italy, sleep with the innkeeper’s wife, a comment on Italian hospitality, the Spanish sleep all day, he’s attacking everybody in Europe, fragment missing [Denmark], the crown scepter, he’s burning everybody, he criticized the German language, the main verb goes to the end, Mark Twain, good for jokes, Norwegian, The Bridge, why Pete Buttigieg can speak six languages, an empty title, the language of this land, the whole land is called holy, the continental augmenter of his country, invincible notwithstanding he is sometimes slain, worth reading the whole book just for this section, the famous Voltaire quote, a running joke, Charlemagne, one Mark Twain quote, people will quote stuff change all the worlds and attribute it to Ambrose Bierce, why wouldn’t it be Twain?, don’t let the truth get in the way of a good story, the monkeys with the wigs, the Australian and Canadian judicial system still does wigs, they gave him a fake tail in their descriptions of him, the book follows a pattern, he gets run out of town, a series of episodes, Candide by Voltaire, a monkey sequence, picaresques are for lower class heroes, Huckleberry Finn, rough and dishonest and appealing hero, a deacon who used to be an emperor, Jack Vance, low class, low brow characters, incidents, comedic, not a novel though novel lengthy, active vs. passive protagonists, it is active but doesn’t seem to be, just surviving, he changes the world, when a little kid writes copyright on a story for their mom, why would a little kid care about that, there is no international copyright, the printers are the ones who make money, a pension for life, he takes wives later, he draws the line at lioness wives, the men own the women but by social custom the women are run by the men, the woman runs the house so the man has to go the club, co-equal slaves to capitalism and there is no domestic sphere, the house sits empty all day long, so far before electricity, they’ve got gun, telescopes, printing, if you want to see something printed you have to go to a printer who writes it backwards on a piece of metal, why printed up in volumes, where the word “subscribe” comes from, comparing Donald E. Westlake to Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey, you go to Bath, by the author of…, you put your name under, “preorders are love”, “likes are love”, write me a hate thing, tell me how I suck, the true measure of success, angry comments, you’re boring, bitcoin and supermodel asses, flashy mics and spinning gifs, the upload takes a long time, 500 episodes, if its easy do it, what Baron Ludvig Whatsiname, he would have been happy to have been abolished, meritocracy, distinct from Europe, earned the pension, Ben Shapiro talking to Joe Rogan, The Rise Of Meritocracy by Michael Dunlop Young, what Hillary Clinton thinks they’re in, we earned what we got, 1958, Obama looked down his nose at Biden, you’re not one of us, an aristocracy, parents wanting to get their kids into an ivy league school, it effects our reality, a student bragging about being a billionaire, Hannah Arendt, not technically a meritocracy, a youtuber, the different societies and cultures we’re seeing, plays, essays, poems, history, exploring how societies could work, the tree society, the women have too much equality, maybe we could improve the life of women, is he named after a real person?, in the fiction of the story he’s a real person, just graduated from seminary (college), the ending, the Wandering Jew , his crazy king getup, Jerusalem, Prester John, like a time traveler, the Flying Dutchman, wanting position, I’m a king here, John Smith with Pocahontas, how you got rich, people are interested in you, you are a weird celebrity, a nobody, given honors, revolutionize cultures, rise to power, feeds the fantasy, when you go to a foreign land and you eat a food, worried about Canadian culture (in opposition to the United States), food is a technology, a bowl of fruit, cheese is a technology, all technologies are copying, Newcomen’s steam engine, incest vs. exogamy, take you lumber to Scotland and they give you kilts, Pasta is not that interesting but getting silk out!, why India happens, movin that product, how people work with knowledge, you heard the news?, its built into us, its bullshit, not everything that you hear is real, reinforcing the bullshit detector, Star Trek, mad at the guy with the opposite tan, The Wheel Of Time, the travel genre, episodes, no overall massive goal, The Canterbury Tales, Jason And The Argonauts, Medea, an old genre, The Epic Of Gilgamesh, waiting for the complete volume, very interesting, some really funny bits, he acts the same way, Twain would have read a lot, what version did Poe read?, Poe in Scotland and England, why isn’t there a really good Edgar Allan Poe biography?, an alcoholic or not, he was a drinker, the Army of Northern Virginia, 3.5 hours, immensely more enjoyed, too airy fairy, above The Goddess of Atvatabar, The Coming Race by Edward Bulwer Lytton, flying armies, the illustrations in both, The Mound by Zealia Bishop and H.P. Lovecraft, Richard Shaver, 1943, as true as Scientology, I Remember Lemuria, Amazing Stories, Ray Palmer, in the guise of fiction, “rock books”, like Joseph Smith, a branch of SF, like prions, mystical, good SF should challenge you, bad SF converts you into some whackjob who’s breathing though his nose to get more Vril power, fans are Slans, I have access to secret reality, these were popular because they had a quasi-true story thing about it, the letters column, the UFOs are Real, now that Space Force is a thing, ball lightning has been around long before space force, UFO means spaceship for most people, what an alien would say, I’m a lizard man from beneath the earth in Los Angeles, why are these guys arguing so much, rationalists are nice people but I wouldn’t let one marry my daughter, like a part of a cult, you’re either in a cult or you’ve just broken through the cult you’re in, what Michio Kaku purports to do, more elegant but still untestable, prayer, which would you rather have as a worshiper: a guy who follows all the edicts of your divinity and almost never asks you for favours or a guy who is always breaking your edicts but is constantly asking for favours?, understanding prayer, praying in my presence, god is apparently telepathic, praying in a language you don’t understand, prayer wheels, we know what we’re doing, why Robert E. Howard’s response to the Tibetan monks is The Black Seers Of Yimsha, unless its there to remind you of something, community, why is prayer intoned if God is telepathic?, your community can go insane, the First World War, go in the meatgrinder, don’t hang out with those ladies, go live into a cave, the sex strike in ancient Greece, the chicken feathers, we wont bang you if you don’t go into the meatgrinder, Lysistrata, war is a community activity, go to the trenches, you can make community with dead people Voltaire is my guy, he’s saying things that are in your head, “A friend is a second self” -Mark Twain, you want to hang out with Socrates, he’ll get you into trouble, have a symposium with, Alcibiades is hot, have a cat, The Midwich Cuckoos, Paul is going to Worldcon, triple vaccination, a super-spreader event, what screed has been nominated?, two dumb tweets in a row will get you unfollowed, down on the tweetcount, getting canceled, the secret is to only tweet about things that are universally appealing (cats), tweets about a slave to the COVID gods, masks are redundant in Taiwan, foreigners tend to be bootlickers, a nice hot take, Cold War on both sides, pro-China, a decent job and a hot date, they’re Neils Klim, there’s no Kentucky Colonels around here at all, Nebraska has a navy, so many chicken jokes, knighting people, giving them away like candy, the Congressional Medal Of Honor, as soon as you have a president putting a decoration around someone who isn’t one of the elite he now has power, having a beer with Obama, you’ve just given a sergeant power, real honorifics, Sergeant York, Audie Murphy, if they’re not on board….

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The SFFaudio Podcast #658 – READALONG: Dancing Aztecs by Donald E. Westlake

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #658 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, Scott Danielson, and Trish E. Matson talk about Dancing Aztecs by Donald E. Westlake

Talked about on today’s show:
mid-1970s, questions, longest novel, why it is so weird?, It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1965), Westchester, Pennsylvania, a bold claim, a huge collection, Rat Race (2001), this quasi-genre is called “epic comedy”, The Cannonball Run (1981), Aston Martin DB5, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis, Jr., a diocese in California, a really stupid movie and really good, atypical for Westlake, a huge cast, funny as heck, ever scene is very Westlake, overall the picture is unWestlakian, 40 people and a hawk, omniscient point of view, chapter titles, the structure, he’s a master at this terrible genre, entertaining, light, Somebody Owes Me Money by Donald E. Westlake, a problem somewhere in New York, Westlake showing us New York, a member of this neighbourhood, everybody in New York is looking for something, the second day of the search, fifteen hours from South America to New York, the inferred bar fight, so good, you could put this right on film, Westlake movies, very filmic stuff, in novels characters would never do this, the master of the novel form, at the height of his writing powers, he’s using his powers for simplistic movie comedy, Cannonball Run is trash, super-cute, he’s enjoying himself, self-indulgent, Farrah Fawcett, they’re inherently bad for you, The Good Place, The Cannonball Run II (1984), Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines (1965), Those Daring Young Men in their Jaunty Jalopies (1965), Wacky Races, Dick Dastardly, a plague we’ve gotten through and over, the Harlem Globetrotters on Scooby-Doo, mid-60s into the 80s, the Scary Movie series, parody movies, a cast of famous actors in Airport, the airport sequels, Airplane!, big cast novels, The Gods Must Be Daring (1997), a wonderful assemblage, leaning on ethnic stereotypes, bigoted stereotypes, n-words and other ethnic slurs, how it was back then, we should do better now, Harlem, in the parade of truckbeds going by, a chapterlets from the point of view of the two kids watching the parade, in dialect, the Brer Rabbit stories by Joel Chandler Harris, Uncle Remus, Brer Fox he lay low, Brian Holsopple, dynamism, no restrictions, all out zany, so wide so broad, hanging out with Pedro is a book by itself, ravished, so many people end up happy, there’s only one winner, they all had fun in the race, all in the journey, the best episode of Deep Space Nine is about a crew of Vulcans and the Deep Space Nine raggamuffins, they don’t win they declare victory, go back to Quark’s and have a raktajino and enjoy they’re muscles being sore, the familiar plot, the setup, The Fugitive Pigeon, The Maltese Falcon, the Westlake Review blog, The Mourner by Richard Stark, how Westlake often does something, how he created Dortmunder, a comedic scene, derailing your hardboiled protagonists, cozy versions of Stark plots, back to Paul’s poll, side series, sidekick heisters, a criminal job at the airport, he’s a wonderful guy, only the hawk isn’t criminal, so much meta writing, as a professional writer, always looking for ideas, when he hits on an idea, how the aztecs are genuine, how many scenes where suddenly the action stops, a Sherlock Holmes story, The Adventure Of The Six Napoleons, the strange circumstances that brought about these events, a squash court for a certain park, congratulating themselves, “I believe my subject is bewilderment”, bewildered by reality, how it could possibly be, sixteen Dancing Aztecs, why are they moving like that, they have a reason, heisted from an ATV by Americans, a British coup in Antigua: Under An English Heaven, Kahawa, a coffee train heist book?, hustling, gritty, only New York, decades ago, Robert Moses, a sense of place, Westlake’s job is to go out in the city and observe and say “wow”, two travelers, places to go in New York, amazing experiences you can have, the real treasure of Westlake, a sanitation worker with a big route, the park on the weekend, the beach in the winter, a billion corners of New York, how many nooks?, various spots that need pooping on, an archaeologist looking at the mid-1970s, the father in Somebody Owes Me Money was always working on the insurance papers, gimme twenty books and only one was written by Westlake I could find it because of characterization, the bewilderment scenes, he must be a private eye, the private eye said, weird glomming on, the mom smells like a tomato, at the park with his kite (on fire), he’s got a B.B. gun, almost like magic realism, you can’t say no to it, the wry affection he holds for most the characters, gentle fun, Jane Austen, “the hero”, he likes them all, gold, how all the different statues got broken, a twist at the ending, 150 pages earlier, the wrong statue, a sleight comic novel of skill and craft, Westlake at the height of his powers, an unreliable narrator, the Westlake review writer is very expert, an FBI agent who had been fired years ago (but thought he was under very deep cover), throw a monkey wrench in, create scenes, Robert Redford is a thief, The Hot Rock (1972), Sidney Potier as an agent trying to stop him, absolutely zany, a filmic only genre translated into a book, something that is difficult to do in a book, the power of his amazing characterization, Westlake showing off, the answer is yes, pretty impressive, Bank Shot, Smoke, The Spy In The Ointment, in dialogue with other authors, Lawrence Block, past comic novels, Art Dodge’s greeting card company, Two Much (1996), Melanie Griffith and Antonio Banderas, the V.S. Goth Cab company, like Edgar Allan Poe the French love Donald E. Westlake, an unauthorized Stark adaptation, big in France, Drowned Hopes is Westlake’s retelling of The Colour Out Of Space by H.P. Lovecraft (kinda, not really), Smoke by Donald Westlake, The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells, audio doesn’t get archived on the Waybackmachine, ground out of the internet, forever is not as long as we though it was, Travelers Far And Wee by Donald E. Westlake, this explains all the traffic in New York, something that’s easy to miss in Westlake is that he’s very philosophical, he’s surprised he’s an author, the fake publishing agency, its a fuck book, Westlake wrote those, the market’s not there (the Science Fiction market), they all have day jobs, less and less reliant on getting that publisher, where there’s a demand to be an author there’s going to be a scam, these comic crime capers are all about himself, they’re all getting scammed, the wonder, the absolute bewilderment, its unbelievable what people ill trick themselves into doing, calmer and calmer the more they fight, he likes being a cuckold, the other Oscar, best adapted Screenplay, Jim Thompson, The Killer Inside Me, one of the joys of this podcast, re-reads, the secret of what podcasts are for: its , The Curse Of Chalion by Lois McMaster Bujold, everybody needs a good excuse, Larry Niven, allowable as long as it is homework, a mental block, assignments for podcasts, how many podcast has Scott got going?, two readalongs per month, all in good fun, a Luke Burrage show, Amazon and Google searches have greatly degraded, use an adblocker, adblocker browsers (Brave), the central Andes, the maximum extent of the Aztec Empire, a fictional South American country, what research did he do? his whole life, a Richard Stark novel set of the coast of Cuba, Lawrence Block’s novel Killing Castro, a very political time, he’s really good at hiding the politics, his weird personality, very different from most SF writers, Robert J. Sawyer makes his full time living as an SF writer, wife with a job, lives in a condo, no kids, hundreds seeming thousands of TV writers writing terrible shows and making very good livings, seemingly no interest in books, the history of the 20th century, the Teapot Dome Scandal, all the other people in the family that amounted to zero, billionaire, Elon Musk did something interesting with his money, putting a car in orbit of the earth is stupid but cool, Joachim Boaz writing about Larry Niven’s inheritance “at least he’s honest about it”, stuff on the moon, expanding the Dortmunder world, the recent film adaptation of The Colour Out Of Space, the HPLHS, The Voluminous Podcast: The Letters Of H.P. Lovecraft, little Auggie Derleth, C.L. Moore, the redemption we all wanted him to have, mea culpas, his political transformation, if this is what a conservative sounds like sign me up, economic philosophy, more people of the elite class need to have that feeling in order to change, he thinks he’s better than everyone else, and he’s failing at school, writing a newspaper column as a teenager but can’t finish high school, straight from the source biography, the destruction of Uncle Hugo’s bookstore, the website, H.P. Podcraft has a patreon, Houdini, more professional than premier prestige podcasts, what a triumph their podcast is.

Dancing Aztecs (ITALIAN) by Donald E. Westlake

A New York Dance by Donald E. Westlake

A New York Dance [interior dustjacket] by Donald E. Westlake

Dancing Aztecs by Donald E. Westlake

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The SFFaudio Podcast #612 – READALONG: Black God’s Kiss by C.L. Moore

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #612 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, Scott Danielson, Evan Lampe, and J. Manfred Weichsel talk about Black God’s Kiss [and the complete Jirel Of Joiry stories] by C.L. Moore

Talked about on today’s show:
all the Jirel Of Joiry stories, incredibly French for some reason, why did Scott want to do, Brian Murphy the great, Flame And Crimson: A History Of Sword And Sorcery, The Silver Key blog, 25 of his favourite stories, Swords & Deviltry, The Best Of C.L. Moore, like we do, Skyboat Road, Gabrielle de Cuir, all 6 stories, the complete stories, 1934. peak CONAN, corresponded with H.P. Lovecraft about Robert E. Howard, The Challenge From Beyond, they’re playing, A. Merritt, Frank Belknap Long, round robins, Asimov and Heinlein as characters, tonally shifting, not trying to be a novel, Poul Anderson, Medea, Murasaki, one of those people who people think, Far Beyond The Stars, stereotypes, Weird Tales, tonnes of female writers, H.P. is not hide his identity, without knowing, Northwest Smith, punished by vampire women, Kuttner, I would just assume it was a female, the female gaze upon herself, she really has these things, Jesse’s poem, the way the plots work, one is particularly,

JIREL MEETS by Jesse

My yellow eyes
THIS flaming red hair
I sit, impregnable, in my mail atop my charging stallion at the sorcerer’s castle’s gate
The air about me trembles, a magic rises here in post roman france!
Soon I’ll journey underground into another pocket universe
I am at the the borderlands, YOU FOOLS!
Remember Guillame? How dare he!
Look you, reader, upon my iron clad form, look at it!
Inside this lobstered armour lays My indomitable heart!
Neath my roman greaves lay my shapely shapely legs.
I must hide the kindness of my mouth.
Do not forget, dear reader, that slimy black thing beneath this castle’s keep
It is a promise, that beyond the purple stars and azure tendrils that I shall resist
Men at arms, you are no use, fall back, these enemies shall fall before my violent will.
The indescribable thing!
It shall fall beneath my gaze, withered by the blinding burning vehemence of my iridescent yellow eyes, beneath my keen visor.
There I shall give my kisses!
And silence shall fall upon you, until the next issue.

quiet, sued or put in prison, droits moraux, French copyright law, Solar Pons stories, Lovecraft never collaborated with August Derleth, operating on poetic description, a mood, as opposed to what Robert E. Howard does, a 15,000 word story, she’s kissed she goes to the underworld she comes back, today’s market, languid, immerses the reader in that mood, Strange Horizons or Uncanny, today’s modern sensibility, they’re all novelettes, a substantial meditation, mindset, pocket universes, SHRIVE ME! SHRIVE ME!, the second story is brooding on the first story, she’s a girl, Evan’s direct messages, some kind of weird love, regret, she wants to rage fuck him for the entire first story, willing to damn her soul, none of her men at arms have names, he dared to defy her, his kiss, a domination, a metaphor for sexual conquest, the female mind, compared to Conan, Conan is very male, the gaze, he’s pantherish, his thews, his black mane, a male gaze on a male, an admiration for his ability to get in there and get shit done, he survives, he figures his way, very basic, a realpolitik, Jewels Of Gwhalur, like a heist, the set piece of her sitting at the gate of a castle, this guy dares to kiss, the opening is a 5th of the story, a journey into the underworld, incredibly female, the letters make it clear, letters from Weird Tales, October 1937, C.L. Moore visits Robert Bloch, Henry Kuttner took her on a rollercoaster ride, James Triptree, Jr., Campbellian times, marginalized, a wave, the number of letters from females is huge, women hiding their gender in order to writer, George Eliot and George Sand, a performance art aspect, Jane Austen, can I trust him, they all blended together as well, Kuttner is really good at blending in with his wife, funnier, playful, Mimsy Were The Borogoves by Lewis Padgett, Quest of the Starstone, the first example of a crossover story?, Savage Sword Of Conan, look Elric’s here!, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Solomon Kane, Moon Knight, Dark Agnes, Roy Thomas’ Red Sonja, the red hair, not the yellow eyes, do we see her fighting?, purple skies and orange plants, The Tree Of Life, she daggered a dude through a door, a Red Sonja figure on a dias, a shying away, Guillaume, she’s an untamed gentlewoman, she was at war, Shakespeare doesn’t put the battles on the stage, you can’t adapt this really, it’s a psychedelic, putting The Night Land on film, trippy colours, Jirel goes into Hell, A Voyage To Arcturus, The Black God is not the devil, transdimensional stuff, H.P. Lovecraft Clark Ashton Smith, the cross, so sexual, Hellsgarde, a trap door, she experiences all sort of things, impregnable twice, it never really was France, even the time is weird, guns, 1,500, when and where are these stories set?, early-Middle Ages, pagan beliefs, sword and sorcery, combined into a world, its not meant to be historical, The Hyborian Age, 10,000 years ago, lower ocean, Doggerland, The Dying Earth, Jack Vance, Fritz Leiber, too limiting, the spicy pulps, pornography, Weird Tales would try to draw in the audience, women with whips, a woman kissing a statue, this is going to be a sexy story, 1980s movies, a sex scene in Lethal Weapon, all sorts of different things, ways of selling it to the audience, here’s a powerful woman who wants to be dominated (even though she says she doesn’t), its a complicated thing to be a woman, tell me about if fellow man, battles, leader, she denies the guy, regrets, C.L. Moore’s second husband, very prolific, the benefit of hindsight, K.J. Parker, he came out as a male, Robert Silverberg, James Triptree, Jr., J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter, thinking like a woman mode, H.P. Lovecraft never does it, Philip K. Dick does it a lot, an empathy thing, look at me in my amazing armour, in my shocking red hair, in my yellowy eyes, what have I done?, that black beard split by his white teeth, your hands are like daggers but your mouth perhaps is sweet, getting that bonus for the cover, trying to make livings, aiming for the cover, why stuff that’s in there is like that, providing a need for the market, Ann Douglas’ The Feminization Of American Culture, as religion lost its hold on the public mind, she’s talking about men and women, timidity, piety, Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe, sentimental literature, fighting against these values, almost like a flapper, embracing sexuality, this literary creation, rage, sexy, hot rage, passion, in the context of other C.L. Moore stories, some kind of female force, the vamp, roleplaying as archetypes, a sex streamer, a sexuality performance, a stand in for C.L. Moore, I want to be Joan of Arc (but less holy), how. dare. he., the Martian France, other sword and sorcery, Conan crucified, biting the heads off the vultures, playing out in reverse, Black God’s Shadow, A Witch Shall Be Born, twins whipping each other, whipping up the sensations, attract the eye and make you buy it, your chaste great grandma, twice impregnable, she wants to be chased (not chaste), I’m going to make you my bride, I’ll destroy myself, a domination, its a play, a back and forth, this moldy trunk, that was not the point of this adventure, what’s in there?, the same thing that’s in the trunk in Pulp Fiction (1994), comrades in arms, running up against vampire women on Mars, more chaste, it’d be like Solomon Kane and Conan making out, Jerisme the sorceress, a magician vs. emotion, what women were about at the time, marrying or killing for power, a classic villain, a whole bunch of stories that are so similar, the same tonal notes, similar movements, when you hear the Imperial March, the 1960s Spider-Man cartoon, animated or anime, the music and the colour and the logic, what the Japanese want to think France looked like, all within a five year span, she and the public taste had changed, Conan’s Compeers, L. Sprague de Camp, Judgement Night by C.L. Moore, what a coincidence, this underworld, this relationship, runaway chase me, I’m angry but its all love!, very distinctive, this is their niche, we don’t really know why we do stuff, a shift from fantasy to science fiction, a war, a novella, it took the cover, riveting descriptions, the ghost, intense, very well written, again into another universe, trapped in another world, Lovecraft’s models Poe and Dunsany, a particular thread, the dream world, the thief, The Tale Of Satampra Zeiros, both Lovecraft and Moore are picking up Dunsany ideas, The King Of Elfland’s Daughter, turning it dark, a drippy scary cold stone, that Theives’ World phenomenon, aka guarding, going in a getting, going in and taking, being playful, Dunsany is being cutesy, Lingerie Serious, Leisure Suit Larry’s cousin, ambivalent about magic, an affective kiss, that’s what she says, her magic is her rage, this temporal geography, barbarian kingdoms, a much more modern figure, an uncomfortable relationship with the past, Black Gods Kiss by Lavie Tidhar, magpie, poke poke poke, its that thing that Jon hates?, The Adventures Of The Solar Pons, Sherlock Holmes, are there any of them that were any good?, thinking August Derleth is a good writer, Without A Clue (1988), The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes’ Smarter Brother (1975), is there any case to be made, Conan fights a magnet, Philip Jose Farmer, Fred Saberhagen, his own attitude, continuing the series after the author dies, good stories from work for hire, why Jesse likes adaptations by Roy Thomas’ stuff, abridging and visualizing, in colour or with colour prose, Fantastic Four, The Ring Cycle, Richard Wagner, are they mythological characters, adaptation, Neil Gaiman, Odin, I’m going to write a story, The Ring of the Nibelung, Lin Carter, diluted, she gotta care about the scene and the feeling, if you compress the actions of the plot it could be 20 minutes long (or less), beings and creatures and elves that need to be waded through, emotionally charged description, emotion to inanimate objects, tumultuous, better in audiobooks, into Jirel’s world, all the illustrations for Weird Tales, the way the weird tales market developed, railroad stories, ranch romances, a market for weird stories, Argosy, Off-Trail, A. Merritt, Geusy, The Blind Spot by Homer Eon Flint, Francis Stevens’ stuff, the first issue of Weird Tales had Sunfire, she invented the superhero genre, bit by bugs, exposed to radiation, The Hulk, Captain America, The Curious Experience Of Thomas Dunbar.

Black God's Kiss by C.L. Moore

Black God's Kiss by C.L. Moore

Black God's Shadow by C.L. Moore

Hellsgarde by C.L. Moore

Quest Of The Starstone by C.L. Moore and Henry Kuttner

The Dark Land by C.L. Moore

Black God's Kiss by C.L. Moore

Alicia Austin illustration of a scene from "Jirel Meets Magic" from Chacal, issue 2

Posted by Jesse WillisBecome a Patron!

The SFFaudio Podcast #516 – READALONG: The Mysterious Affair At Styles by Agatha Christie

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #516 – Jesse, Mr Jim Moon, Maissa Bessada, and Evan Lampe talk about The Mysterious Affair At Styles by Agatha Christie

Talked about on today’s show:
1920, serialized with wonderful illustrations, WWI, volunteer hospital dispensary, Cynthia, Dashiell Hammett, Dick worked in a repair shop, H.P. Lovecraft never left his house, the best selling novelist of all time, Shakespeare, pretty impressive, go back to the start, so polished, Sherlock Holmes, her first dog was named George Washington, Agatha Christie: surfer, her house was named Styles, her husband had an affair, she mysteriously disappeared, Curtain, the template for her later books, a court case, gathering everyone together in the library, Captain Hastings, his brother she kept in a basket, Oscar Wilde, interactive, written on a wager, the ideal detective story, what really made her reputation, what she’s created here is something people really liked, Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, an intellectual game you play with yourself, Poe’s C. Auguste Dupin, the novelized form of a game that can only be played between a reader and an author, a sudoku puzzle, “cosy” murders, Mr Jim Moon’s shows on Choose Your Own Adventure books, props, the map of the house, the fragment of the will, play along at home, tremendously cool, an ahead of its time idea, Dell mapbacks, Avon mapback, a very American cover, Marilyn Monroe, the layout of styles, who’s lying, American hardboiled, so detached, emigres, the corrupt police department, everyone’s dirty, Raymond Chandler, a body, a motive, more escapist than fantasy literature, who killed this nice lady, who started this goddamned war that’s killing everybody, Bryan Alexander, it can’t but help talk about WWI, pro-war rallies, patriotic Belgian refugees, the rape of Belgium, an offer to write propaganda, unemployed uppercrust guys, Inspector Japp is not the right class, I much prefer the Belgies, aint your ordinary run of foreigners, noir books, James M. Cain, the murderers are the main characters, suspense, game-playing fantasy, if you could do anything after the war, I’d like to be a detective (like Sherlock Holmes), Jesse ruins the show, 15 Agatha Christies, read like popcorn, so relaxing, so untaxing, turn on my brain more, Chandler, the breakdowns of people’s lives and marriages, Hastings is sort of a flake, offers to marry the first lady who starts crying in front of him, an odd scene, someone might take you up on it, failed romance, the promise that made Agatha Christie very wealthy, there could be more of these adventures, like Arthur Conan Doyle, Miss Marple, problems from success, an outsider’s view of something very inside, Murder In Mesopotamia, Murder On The Orient Express, this is where Agatha Christie wrote, basing it on her own experience, losing money, murder for revenge, murder for love, murder for money, mostly money, Evelyn Howard, playing housemaid, a con-artist, American hardboiled evil characters, The Postman Always Rings Twice, the estate is a diner in California, the Howard and Inglethorp relationship, the intricacy of the plotting, double jeopardy, civics class, this cleverness, like a puzzle, The Simple Art Of Murder by Raymond Chandler, the authentic flavour of life, begging the question, a really long game, deeply embedded, impressively patient, on vacation in Dartmoor, The Hound Of the Baskervilles, the isolated house, a convoluted plot to disinherit somebody, red herrings, almost efficient, legitimated, the spy, the escaped lunatic, thrown off the scent, not the way murders actually take place, the Khashoggi assassination, reading too many Agatha Christies, lured into an embassy, a hit team, a lot more grubby, Jesse wrecks the podcast again, real life murders, John Haigh, the next rung on the ladder, when bodies are dissolving, poison is her trademark, Rex Stout’s Nero Wolfe books, the American response to Christie and Holmes, “I suppose you’re wondering why I gathered you all here”, the real murderer is revealed, the consulting detective, kinda strange, kinda weird, no matter where he goes people die, Miss Marple, Angela Lansbury’s Murder She Wrote, the most prolific serial killer, the title, all the mysterious affairs, Dorcas, Jonathan Fast, a strange SFy name, don’t write notes to your gf, they would have got away with it if it wasn’t for Poirot, an antecedent in Sherlock Holmes, leaning on an intellectual heavyweight, Hastings has his heart too much on his face, a vague suspicion of everything, the game is under foot, how self-aware this is, I’m a kind of literary detective, Tommy and Tuppence, this is a thing in this world, her second husband was an archaeologist, ahead of her time on the meta-stuff, more than 60 novels, Philip K. Dick had 40 novels, this drive to write, Stephen King’s legacy, Mr Jim Moon’s Stephen King shelves, back to King, The Running Man, The Long Walk, a straight-up metaphor for life, from the alien perspective, newsreel footage from the 1930s, wearing a hat, Our Dumb Century, “Man Ventures Outside Hatless”, sunglasses replaced hats, the fossil of a whole fleshed out society that existed, John Buchan, the politics, Belgian refugees, the Poirot TV show, a French detective, a detective has to have a quirk, McCloud, Cannon, Ironsides, quirks, a cup of hot chocolate to get the little grey cells working, an outsider who brings insight into the cases, tapping into the same thing Jane Austen does, closely observing society, classes, a close up focus, shared DNA, upper classes, seeing the dirty laundry, quaint and cozy, later books, the interwar years, a very static world, the way class works in England, hardboiled novels, a more liquid environment, you get to ignore class conflict and unions, inheritance, always on vacation, the investigation is into people’s character, whether Mr Darcy is a jerk, whether this man is suitable for marriage, an orphan who gets adopted, seven Belgians, the audio drama, her patriotic poem, go fight in the war and get killed, the Napoleonic wars, detachment makes them popular, an escape, her perspective, poisoning thousands (with her words), toured the world, staying at the Ritz, Jack London, send me to the worst part of town, The People Of The Abyss, those who don’t live off of the investments of their grandfather, the best selling novelist of all time is a woman, she’s the J.R.R. Tolkien of the mystery, Alfred Hitchcock, The Feminization Of American Culture by Ann Douglas, Mary Wollstonecraft, women should marry their friends, poetry is peacock feathers, “dude this will get you chicks”, a valuable skill, not our world, the amazing thing about humans is we’re not as visual as we think we are, we live in the world of words, Lovecraft’s spells, false realities, oral cultures, languages and literary traditions, a bookshelf is case of spellbooks, a certain kind of magic, the primary medium, music, idea based SF vs. cozy based mystery solving, politicize Dick’s works, the worst sin she commits, pure escapism, detached relationships, there’s a wall all the way through it, a big circle, skating along the perimeter, look for the things that aren’t there, children, all adult children, Hallowe’en Party, Mr Jim Moon’s Halloween researches, a wonderful childhood, the money went away, WWI pilot, a little too attractive, he’s too pretty, that famous disappearance, the darkest incident in a person’s life, public crisis, so guarded in her interview, the worst incident in Philip K. Dick’s life, the lowest point of people’s lives, a very very very famous writer, a fulfilling life, a life well led, the adaptations, Japanese mysteries, the audio drama vs. the TV adaptation, really well put together, seeing the mustache, whole mediums come in, Maissa’s audio drama video, a poolside infodump, Big Finish, the modern novel is showing some signs of wear, new technologies, a VR story industry, streamer media, Twitch, what the kids are doing, kind of like podcasting in realtime, celebrities, content creators, Deadmau5, Dr DisRespect, performing and talking, whatever medium in 50 or 60 years they’ll be doing documentaries about these people, not only for children, livestreaming, drawing, a new medium, magazines, what we imagined 2019 would be like, it was not this, the war is barely there in the book, adaptions play up the war, she plays down the war, The Mousetrap is excellent, a great sense of humour, everybody did it.

Pan - The Mysterious Affair At Styles by Agatha Christie

Pan - The Mysterious Affair At Styles by Agatha Christie

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #299 – READALONG: Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #299 – Jesse and Julie Davis talk about Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen.

Talked about on today’s show:
North ANGER! Abbey, this is a comedy, parody and meta-gothic novel, The Mysteries Of Udolpho, an inversion, Jane Austen is hilarious, The Jane Austen Book Club (the movie), documentaries, “its very meta”, her first (and almost) last novel, the advertizement from the authoress, fashions of literature and clothing, Tilney and Thorpe, the price of everything, a braggart, going afoul, a terrible sketch,
A Jane Austen Education: How Six Novels Taught Me About Love, Friendship, And the Things That Really Matter by William Deresiewicz, don’t just believe what everybody teaches you, desperate characters, Pride And Prejudice, letting you think, going along, women are supposed to be passive, a woman’s only right is to refuse, railroaded by stronger personalities, “…born to be an heroine”, a mundane life, Catherine is living her life in the third person as a Gothic romance heroine, 1,000 alarming presentiments, romance subverted, The Mysteries Of Udolpho as a less realistic and hyped up version of Northanger Abbey, the labyrinth is society not Mrs. Radcliffe’s Apennines, Emma, Mrs. Allen, it’s just not done, Isabelle’s master list of Gothic Novels, “there’s nothing I wouldn’t do for someone who isn’t my friend”, an open conversation, “I wish we knew someone here”, she’s 15, true to human nature, the arch narrator, hands and heads in the proper number to go around for all the children, Frederick, I’ve broken with my father, just like in a Gothic novel, the (BBC) audio drama of The Mysteries Of Udolpho, “you should really try Ursula K. Le Guin”, absolutely horrid!, the black wardrobe!, a character sketch (illustrated below), “She seized, with an unsteady hand, the precious manuscript, for half a glance sufficed to ascertain written characters; and while she acknowledged with awful sensations…”, a washing bill!, Eleanor, everything is explained, the volumes, a rushed ending?, the mysterious messenger, Henry’s true character, reining in your own imagination, Washington Irving’s The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow, he’s spooking himself, the description of the birds, the slaves, New York, giving facts and making comments, we are doing a lot of the colouring, the one thing we know about readers is that they read, the reading process, the black veil <-is from The Mysteries Of Udolpho, The Minister’s Black Veil by Nathaniel Hawthorne, a very funny (as in curious) story, Castle Of Otranto by Horace Walpole, supernatural elements, the refinements, the timelessness, Phyllis Whitney, Mrs. Radcliffe, The Oval Portrait by Edgar Allan Poe, what went wrong?, The Turn Of The Screw by Henry James, Herman Melville’s Billy Budd, The Devil To Pay, Sir Walter Scott, H.P. Lovecraft, Georgette Heyer, Northanger Abbey as a modern novel by Val McDermid, a YA novel, Fahrenheit 451, serving as a feeder, everybody is reading these trashy novels, an impassioned defense of the novel, you can’t live your life as if it was a novel, two movie adaptions, the 2007 ITV production, plot shorthand, Lord Byron, something terrible coming out of London, two tombstones and a lantern on the frontispiece, all of Jane Austen’s books have soldiers in them, a timeless focus on the people, when Julie met Jenny, these are characters not plots, sitting at the piano, The Many Lovers of Jane Austen, a Texas convention, with Klingons and Kirks, WWI, cigarettes and something to read, Mansfield Park, Mrs. Allen but with an edge, Juliet Stevenson as a narrator, 170 books read (in 2014), reading speed, a stumbling savourer, The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens, solitary reading vs. group reading, trains boost reading, “drawing room reading like singing, piano playing, and card”, scandalous reading, reading out loud, David Timson’s Dickens narrations, dramatic readings, Dickens invented the audiobook, Charles Dickens And The Great Theatre Of The World by Simon Callow, Elizabeth Klett’s reading of Carmilla, oh my!,

I leave it to be settled, by whomsoever it may concern, whether the tendency of this work be altogether to recommend parental tyranny, or reward filial disobedience.

“Who? What? Your love? Well, that’s super”, he was not in the least addicted to locking up his daughters,

“…and he was not in the least addicted to locking up his daughters. Her mother was a woman of useful plain sense, with a good temper, and, what is more remarkable, with a good constitution.”

surrounded by children, they all have to tucked in, they’re genteel, it was wet that day, a good introduction to Jane Austen.

Northanger Abbey - Marvel Comics Adaptation

Catherine Morland - Character Sketches (1892)

Posted by Jesse Willis