The SFFaudio Podcast #656 – READALONG: To Live Forever by Jack Vance

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #656 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, and Evan Lampe talk about To Live Forever by Jack Vance

Talked about on today’s show:
the Evan, the Lampe, just the one name?, get into someone else’s body, 1957, Paul’s suggestion, why did we settle on this one?, 1956, Planet Of Adventure, The Star King, Appendix N by Jeffro Johnson, the magic use that’s not religious magic use, the Dying Earth, set in the USA?, the counties, Malthusian crisis, Soylent Green, Stand On Zanzibar, consumers vs. producers, exploitation, the bosses take it all, Make Room Make Room, “The Conscience Of The King”, Star Trek, the (birth control) pill, Paul Erlich, the Green Revolution, Japan, cohorts, The Mote In God’s Eye, we’re worried we’re rabbits and then we’re worried we’re pandas, a real news story, perverse incentives, perverse understanding of reality, not worrying about their old age, a social safety net, fertility rates, standard of living, baby factories, birth control shots, (in)fertility in Zimbabwe, Harry Harrison, Robert Bloch, repression and expansion, the age of chaos, The Crack In Space by Philip K. Dick, finding the frontier, escaping a limited population, really this is all artificial, a retitling as Clarges, serious problems, spinning up a society, really into masks, The Moon Moth, masked societies, a good metaphor, Borges is all about the labyrinth, a murder mystery, a lot going on in a short book, the core exploration of the psychology, the five strata, gleigs?, brood, wedge, errant, amaranth, a false reality, the last city, the whole planet is available, why are they overpopulated, Glade?, he’s set it up wrong, a false premise, fashion, the conservatism of societies, dystopia, Billennium, The Space Merchants, the idea of slope, a free enterprise system, the Star Enterprise, “Critical Care” (episode of Star Trek: Voyager), the hypospray, The Shadow, a medical patented object, oil injection accidents, needle shots, medical stuff, psychiatry, Alfred Bester’s The Demolished Man, the hospital, the carnival, an analogy for our world, an elite class, extra good education at Yale vs. the poors, nobody is living forever, empathizing with a clone of themselves, empathize with humanity as a whole, something of a classic, win or overturn the system, overtake or knock over, the Demon Princes novels, revenge, Gavin Waylock, The Count Of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas, disrupting society by taking the rules really seriously, the actuarium, the accounting system, an unsustainable system, life extension by medical care, the allocator, slope and wedge, emergency care for people at the bottom, John Hopkins for those at the top, tooth implants, hairplugs, if this was a Brave New World story, John Savage, the outcast society as a threat, the carnival is the safety valve, another Star Trek episode, The Purge, carousel in Logan’s Run, lives of decadence, the assassins, the same world, the Sandman is the assassin, an exploration of a dystopia coded as a utopia, when Jesse goes to a job, what gives slope?, a group of elites who give their kids money and jobs, Hunter Biden, does he actually have slope?, or is the system rigged?, how many papers he’s written, a group of people doing their job perfectly, if you’re looking for corruption that’s where it is, kind of like capitalism, Monopoly, capitalism defenders (rising tide lifts all boats), a gripe with planned economies, slightly conservative, not pro-communism, he’s making his own world, he’s not talking about us, what deserves slope, a talented accordion player won’t give you slope (Weird Al Yankovic), Evan’s not earning slope, Michio Kaku, a string theorist, popular science futurism, a way to make money, string theory is not science (because it is not testable), drilling down its bullshit, he’s just absolutely wrong, does he get slope?, did this guy have slope?, we are told innovation is always happening, great tech, the reactions, the witherers and the weirds, Jesse’s seen them on twitter, herbivore men in Japan, I never saw him I hate that guy, just playing games, I got my waifu pillow, Magnus Panvidya is a witherer, a famous boogaloo boi, a national security threat, ironic proud boys, no ideology, we don’t like the way things are, our goal, are you communists?, what unites us is objecting to the system, imagine future capitalism, ports, what are the ports for?, they don’t have anything, what makes you a witherer and not a weird, I put on an ironic voice, getting paid poorly, just trying to live in a world they never made, recreated our reality, the beatniks, science fiction fans, cosplayers, Jesse is not trying to get external slope, the vision of history looking back, PHDs, degrees of difficulty, ladder climbing, on the rowing machine on the stationary bike, an 1980s movie, Bright Lights, Big City (1988), the insane asylum, symptom, maybe I’ll be an assassin, not reflective of actual progress, not curing patients, treatment coefficient, social credit in China vs. Social Credit in Canada (and what Heinlein was talking about), debts are more brutal in China, business loans, Conrad Black aka Lord Black of Black Harbour, he’s rich so his criminality doesn’t matter, Lavoisier and Hooke and Einstein and Huxley, definitely earned slope, literally cloning themselves, what we all should say, Robert J. Sawyer, in just a few years we’re going to have the bio-medical technology will prevent us from ever dying, live forever as a robot, we are all mortal creatures and will die, a non-infinite supply of life, this system is bullshit, live well during the time you have, go off into the wilderness, back to the land movements, a lot of people stayed, carnival is a vacation, Jesse doesn’t take vacations, the literary interpretations of carnival, Mikhail Bakhtin, carnival theory, the Venetian Masquerade, putting the mask on, performative transgressivism, the Masonic Lodges, costume, the fez, the apron, all cultures have this, the setup and the interest of the book, a tension that leads to the climax, 2,000 amaranth get elevated, Bonfire Of The Vanities, when Captain Picard puts on his speedos, that is his carnival, everyone wants to wear the uniform, Troi and Barkley, when Captain Janeway is on the holodeck with her holographic boyfriend, recreation, on vacation on an actual planet vs. cosplaying on the holodeck, Risan sex workers, Sartor Resartus by Thomas Carlyle, clothes making you a different person, the lab coat makes you a scientist, you become the Star Trek Communist, a shining suit of armor, putting on a personality, why people change their names, a new identity, the Douggie Fresh story, more of the sacraments, jealousy is a sin, a legitimate response by children, choosing your own name, Miami Vice, interacting with our identity, a Superman costume, changing your gender, your haircut, these are all weirds, upturn reality vs. a response to a reality I don’t like, one is not personal, Gavin Waylock (Warlock), Gulliver Of Mars, amaranth is unfading, why did he do it?, she recognized him for what he was, his reading on her, very clever, playfulness, I went to the carnival to blow off some steam, the sex worker recognized me now I have to destroy her, he was hiding as a carnival barker, playing possum, going to party, hey guy do you want to party?, a euphemism, revelry masking escape, maybe all Vance is like this?, we don’t see his thoughts, the way he did it, not a Jesse book, not a book of ideas, a lot of fun, the weird economy, no offense, a fancy dinner book vs. a popcorn book, Sin Hellcat was fun, The Stainless Steel Rat, a slippery space con man, SF stuff, on the edge, set on Earth, Robert Jordan epics, secondary world fantasy, getting what the author is spinning up, no criticism of our reality, Tolkien is not about our world, a criticism of war and industrialization, he’s working on his own shit, an elaborate backstory, a mild mannered Hobbit, a tapestry, the class system, Mister Frodo, a mimicing, let’s get out of our world, such a complex system mirrors our society, bringing democracy to the world, people who can’t afford housing get tattoos, he’s not doing us, really fun and interesting, the world is amazing, too big of a world, he loved to world build, a generation starship, geography, the Lyonesse novels, a decadent society?, a barbarian invasion, what Lovecraft would do, Robert E. Howard would have a lot to say, a thesis, everything is decadent is a Vancianism, not sustainable, a catalyst, scholars in Finland or whatever, a bunch of references to the Dying Earth books, the Baktinian lens, this desire to put on masks, to be equal (if just pretend), a safety valve, the Zelazny title, Richard K. Morgan, Altered Carbon, you don’t own your own body any more, ultra capitalist future, people at the bottom who never apply for brood, only 20 years, the incentive is not that great, our Jacinth, a martin is an animal, she has most of my memories, Glarks!, if not on the tenure track, its publish or perish (literally perish), Bryan Alexander, looking at the future of post-secondary education, the future is very grim, queen sacrifice, we exist in a system where if you’re an adjunct professor you get paid minimum with a title, a bluechek and no pay, automatically suggested for followers, the system is not what it once was, prominent counterexamples, Harvard’s infinite money supply, people at the back of the (academic train): “c’mon run you can make it”, the student loan boost was another scam, these losers?, sitting around after getting their PHD and drinking beer in their house, we need a historian, thirty years down the road, a whole stint in Ghana, hiring the college guys, draft dodgers from the 70s still working the university mines, we lost a lot by whatever we did to fuck up the universities, a Bryan question, not all administration, money has been shifted towards administration, the factory workers not getting paid, well meaning but useless, more instruction and books, a good library and good professors, top 50 or top 100 schools, this doesn’t tell you much, who makes these assessments, they just look at the ranking, go to a warm university, instruction will always suffer, put your lectures on YouTube, tier 1 sports, corporatization of universities, you paid a fucking lot of money to be exposed to Schopenhauer, going into massive debt, university was basically free, jobs were plentiful and paid well, a house and a car, somewhere between 1900 and 1979 they made universities a priority and everybody got an education, a dying clown show, more like carnies, the most innovative technologies, the House of Truth, the Hall Of Revelation, kill frogs, try to steal rings from people, we never got to see inside the one he was shilling for, the House of Life, really good with names and words, the flavour, wordplay, how people rank books, one of those great old paperbacks from the 50s 60s and 80s, wow that was really interesting, dogs vs. gems, his third novel, how many stars out of the the entire galaxy?, 1 star taken off because no kissing.

DAW BOOKS - To Live Forever by Jack Vance

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The SFFaudio Podcast #651 – READALONG: Appendix N: The Literary History Of Dungeons & Dragons by Jeffro Johnson

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #651 – Jesse and Alex talk about Appendix N: The Literary History Of Dungeons & Dragons by Jeffro Johnson

Talked about on today’s:
Brandon Porter, complaints about the audiobook, missing footnotes, appendixes C and D, Dungeon Master’s Guide, 1979, page 224, who the hell are these guys, there’s Tolkien, John , Andrew J. Offutt, Fltcher Pratt, Face In The Frost, The House With A Clock In Its Walls, reading ideas, Paul Weimer, opposed to Castalia House, John C. Wright, chips on both guys shoulders, misplaced chips, not wanting to participate in some books, Jenny Colvin, Reading Envy, Oryx And Crake, too stuck up, complaining the whole time, authors we want nothing to do with, oh you’re a genius Margaret!, Jesse hates her, a book of book reviews, a Christian, Margaret St. Clair, “milieu”, halberd, when you learn things from books, as a professional narrator, names in fantasy books, not having pronunciation in mind, apostrophes, Tolkienesque words, all the role playing games, Gamma World, Traveler, Pathfinder, The Call Of Cthulhu, Car Wars, GURPS, the core rule books, modules, more time reading the books than playing the game, his thesis, Dungeons & Dragons isn’t just Tolkien and it was never meant to be, fundamentally misunderstand the game, how clerics show up, Galadriel with cup of healing water, organized religion was missing from Middle Earth, the Hobbits don’t go to church, Denethor, heathen kings of old, worshiping, he’s a dictator, one of many inspirations, quotes, the Conan section, pastiches, Gary Gygax, the original Howard Conan wasn’t available to Gygax, people kown Conan, most people’s views of Lovecraft are just wrong, The Shadow People by Margaret St. Clair and The Sign Of The Labrys, inspiration, my love my father showed when I was a tad, cloaked old men who could grant wishes, dauntless swordsman, E.C. Comics, the Satanic Panic, juvenile delinquents, ample helpings of fantasy, Andrew Lang, the Brothers Grimm, of particular inspiration, pluck kernels, good reading!, DeCamp, Pratt, Jack Vance, A. Merritt, these will help you make your gaming better, the original AD&D, a collaborative storytelling effort, dice rolling and stats, min-max munchkin play, you have to have read a bunch of stories, things you should be building on, the players limitations make the gaming less good than it could be, most of these books were on the shelf in the 1970s and 1980s, Jack Williamson, publishing, the changing media, talking about movies and TV shows and computer games, pop culture is POPULAR, Stranger Things, True Detective, True Crime, locking a kid in the closet with no books, D&D has become its own incestuous thing, Forgotten Realms, wide open fantasy sandbox, engines to make other games, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, Pool Of Radiance, Pool Of Darkness, Wizardry (on the Apple II), Fallout 3, step out into the wasteland, dependent on a really good Dungeon Master, adventures around every corner, the dialogue tree comes out, I wanna save this farmer, I wanna steal the farmer’s pants, the immaturity of the players, DMing is a skill, like Frisbee, cooperative, THACO, Star Trek Voyager, Naomi Wildman, a kid’s adventure holodeck program, nerfed, magical forest, Neelix, the creatures of the forest recognize Janeway, the ideal form of Dungeons & Dragons, your inventory, torch schedule, Darkest Dungeon, you have enough torches, the rope store, Fallout‘s inventory system, the creativity and the flow, how do we let our players have that same kind of adventure, domain play, tier 1 play, a town or country you kind of run, spouses and retainers, a bigger magic sword, New Vegas, post apocalyptic, stories around every corner, bottlecap currency, what we want is the story, whatever mechanics are there, leveling up, new spells new attacks more attacks, achievement unlocked, a real scholar now, awards, you’re a real boy now, army promotions, Eisenhauer is needed, a false understanding of what we’re here to do, the sense of awe, the first time playing Dungeon & Dragons, lead figures, carrying about what colour dice they have, getting a glimpse of Tsathoggua through a keyhole, console games, computer games, like reading a really good book but completely different, I killed a demon, I am a demon, a more advanced version of cops and robbers, go down to the basement, these dice say I hit you for double damage, FPS, all shooting games, Portal, it breaks what you thought was possible, The Long Dark, making mittens, zen meditative, achieving balance, murder hobos, wilderness adventure, one dungeon, not a lot of dragons, two dragons in twenty years, what we need to do as dungeon masters, what players need to do as players, can I stab this or set it on fire, a character with massive charisma, make friends with the monsters, combat oriented, the epic moments, inter-dimensional travel, you can become a god, Leah Libresco [Back Again From The Broken Land], intelligence, wisdom, strength, in real life, we don’t have the player character sheet at all, keep it under the hood, extra speech options, you are less involved, do you even lift, bro?, a suit of armor because suit of armor, Age Of Conan, I got a dagger, a fur diaper, and maybe some boots, a flagon of wine and a girl, World Of Warcraft, mount armor, change the world, Knights Of The Old Republic, Elder Scrolls: Oblivion, guilds, all these titles, oh you wanted to buy bread?, the game doesn’t care, when games are capable of caring, an anti-perk: gravedigger, the orc said: I know you of old…, The Many Colored Land by Julian May, a one way gate to the Pliocene, exporting criminals to the past, giant toadstool forests, megafauna, visiting aliens with psychic powers, almost all based on Julian May’s interest in geology and history, the Wild Hunt, accommodateable, straight sci-fi, all through the lens of Tolkien, Greyhawk and Dragonlance, Krynn, kinder instead of hobbits, dragon people, Vancian magic, you don’t understand the building blocks, to have the internet back then, so much is public domain, a blogpost in 2014, so much of it has never been republished, what is actually great, what’s being pushed by a publisher, the cult of the new, nothing from before 1987, The Professionals (1966) with Lee Marvin, Dave Arneson, self-enforcing mythology, Charisma Zero (2013), a player is getting divorced, the hipster is way to cool, what made him a loser, some genuine reality going on there, its a lifestyle, live and breathe Dungeons & Dragons is kinda sad and kinda amazing, the first modules, GenCon, where’s Wisconsin, Tomb Of Annihilation, a meat grinder simulator, Jason Thompson’s D&D module poster maps, 37 species of zoogs, the dreamlands, there used to be kinds of stories, it can’t be done without irony anymore, no-one can write it that way anymore, subverting expectations, a lack of planetary romance, August Derleth, The Trail Of Cthulhu, more of what you had, a magic wand, take what you can get, sad puppies, the Hugo Awards contest, John C. Wright, the popular clique, your ability to get into people’s hands, a list of old books, old fiction, some of them sounded pretty weak, Nine Princes In Amber by Roger Zelazny, cigaretty voice, World Of Teirs by Philip Jose Farmer, Gardner F. Fox, a really innovative way, a very small organization, I want more people to read Gardner F. Fox, connected to comics, Crom his Conan ripoff, old-school pulp author, only five?, Walter Gibson and Lester Dent, The Moon Moth, The Dragonmasters, Planet Of Adventure, a kind of depth to his worlds, a plaster castle held up by two by fours vs. a velvet tapestry with a stone wall with grout made from goblin bones, sketching out a world with a few lines, footnotes, Jorge Luis Borges, granular detail, Philip K. Dick wrote a lot about spies, Mr Jim Moon’s show on Piper In The Woods, set in the pacific during WWII, Seabees, I’m a plant, how dryads reproduce, Typee by Herman Melville, a garden of Eden, it takes 20 minutes to build a house vs. pull ropes and get hit with the lash all day, Poul Anderson, The High Crusade is so fun, The Broken Sword, Three Hearts And Three Lions, The Moon Pool by A. Merritt, Dwellers In The Mirage by A. Merritt, vikings at the North Pole, ragging on Michael Moorcock, why people liked Elric, navel gazing, so sad, I murdered a bunch of people now I’m sad about it, Stanley Weinbaum, Jack Williamson, Manly Wade Wellman, A Martian Odyssey, fabulously science fictional, spaceships, a virtual reality story in the 1930s, totally inspirational reading, Andre Norton, read this list as inspiration for your own campaign, the concept of this book, the foundations most people don’t realize are there, this is where I got some ideas, ruleset, where do all the other rules plug in, the monks were added because kung-fu was so popular, illuminating a manuscript vs. a Shaw Brothers character, more books like this, as we discussed in October, a book of Star Trek literary references posts, Arena by Fredric Brown, microphones for eyes, Darmok, Gilgamesh + Arena, Picard would, post-scarcity communist future allows us to read Gilgamesh and archaeology, lifts from literature, lifts from themselves, that idea worked, lets do our version of it, Stuart J. Byrne, he Kirked the computer, V’Ger, The Changeling, Nomad, his influence shows up in the first star trek, The Doomsday Machine, Fred Saberhagen, the Berserkers, hey I read Tolkien and I have a elves and goblins in a forest, break out of that mold, Portal 2, the Logic Bomb, this sentence is false, the cake is a lie, it becomes more of what it is, Doom and Wolfenstein and Spear Of Destiny, its short, literally out of the box thinking, it’s amazing, things can be different, a tavern with an old man giving you a mission, Lord Dunsany’s The King Of Elfland’s Daughter, The Book Of Wonder, gnoles vs. gnolls, Jesse’s favourite kind of Dungeons & Dragons, Thief, old game books, like choose your own adventure with dice, play honest with the book, the gap between the two, a regular novel is completely linear, game books, told in second person, we are so luckly right now, scanning books, finding them and buying them, way more of this and a lot less Tolkien ripoffs, a late 80s, really grimdark, Between Planets by Robert A. Heinlein, you can just read Scalzi, you don’t need to read Heinlein, 2,000 pages of his inspired by Starship Troopers book, Farmer In The Sky, every book was different, why do we have to have another series?, that publishing drive, a sequel hook, advertising a one-off book, “listen Larry Niven if you write just one more Ringworld book we can bring Ringworld back into print”, from 1979 onward, The Martian by Andy Weir, only four or five years old, these things did happen, thinking along parallel lines, the requisite map, you just told me you know noting and I don’t need to read you, that’s just geography, picking up these cues, treating it like a science, arbitrary rules, Lost, what’s in the hatch?, that Sullivan guy, just good set dressing, J.J. Abrams has not content, M. Night Shyamalan, Heroes went nowhere, Star Wars and Star Trek, we as readers need to be chintzy with our attention, where are your bonafides, that’s not how you pronounce Suleiman the magnificent, Shadow Of The Vulture by Robert E. Howard, egret vs. eaglet, we’re conjuring up things with our mouths, a Savage Sword Of Conan plot, Finnish Eskimos? The Summi?, favourite campaigns, a buried dead god they’re trying to resurrect, a turn based dungeon crawl, a quasi-medieval setting, the sanity system, confronted by trauma, gain a mania or a depressive problem, prayer or tavern or wenching, all narrated by Wayne June, The Ancestor is evil, from The Rats In The Walls, Darkest Dungeon 2, computer games tend to get better, becoming more what they are, a hybrid experience.

Appendix N by Jeffro Johnson

Dungeon Master's Guide

@Algncs' Appendix N Bookshelf

Appendix N by Gary Gygax

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