The SFFaudio Podcast #763 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: The City Of The Singing Flame by Clark Ashton Smith

The SFFaudio Podcast

The SFFaudio Podcast #763 – The City Of The Singing Flame by Clark Ashton Smith, read by Tommy Patrick Ryan. This is a complete and unabridged reading of the book (1 hours, 30 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Paul Weimer, Trish E. Matson, Connor Kaye, and Tommy Patrick Ryan

Talked about on today’s today’s show:
two these, Beyond The Singing Flame, it’s an onion, should Jesse have asked Tommy to record that too?, no novels, pretty famous guy for a guy with basically no novels, he’s 14 years old, bursting with ideas, reads like a D&D campaign set in the Arabian Nights, a flame like in She, the copyright status, Hippocampus Press, The Black Diamonds, he’s really hard too, his writing is very simple in this one, his vocabulary, give himself some feedback, supernal, an archaic word for supernatural, Eric S. Rabkin, a 3 sentence prose pastel, splenetic, iridescent, arabesque, nympholepsy, mien, rutilant, ill-tempered, the least difficult CAS story, sentence by sentence story, that might make a novel, becoming from high heaven, ethereal, rife with words, he’s masterful with the language, construction is good too, the shape of the plot is really excellent, a very interesting story, The Emperor Of Dreams documentary, accessible, why lots of writers like it, sidereal, lead astray, considering his vocabulary, lepidoperous, did you think of Logan’s Run?, swirling around, transcend and get reborn (or die), moth to a flame, exactly, multi dimensional higher dimensional transcendence, really into the body, really into material, obsessed with death and beauty, Lovecraft likes stars, immortality, architecture and burying the past, sexuality, reproduction through death, the beauty of those things, the siren call of the city, where’s it all going, he’s obsessed with thinking about it and telling about it, his structure is really good, sentence by sentence, he didn’t really do anything with it, the structure makes more appreciable, missing the last chapter, asking for the sequel, the narrator gets inserted into the story, no wrap up frame, disconcerting, he didn’t have an ending, kill the main characters, kind of Clark Ashton Smith but not really, this document is now found in a cylinder falling from the sky, I found this cylinder when taking a hike, Angarth more Smith, he’s the illustrator and the artist, his friend who’s also a weird fiction, never met in real life, the real life connections, EldritchDark, the best etext versions, Arkham House along with the sequel, published during his lifetime, July 1931, Wonder Stories, We had been friends for a decade or more, the journal, July 1st, 1938, July 31st, 1930, I’ve been gone for two years, set in the future, originally, Philip Hastane, there’s always a war in Europe, the reprint in Startling Stories, The Scientifiction Hall Of Fame, Harry Warner, Jr., of all the living writers of fantasy, A. Merritt, an alien planet, read around, the word that kept coming up, Carcosa, a bunch of layering on Carcosa, True Detective‘s first season, anything Yellow King related, Robert W. Chambers, Gene Wolfe’s vocab, The Wizard Knight, even deeper, circle back, cycle of stories, alien city on another world, not as sinister, more sirens, more sexy than horrific and compelling, this city is relatively safe place, Giles Angarth, he still brings his gun though, inner and outer narrator, sandwiches, coffee, and a gun, The Demoiselle DY’s, The Elf Trap, Ambrose Beirce, a friend of George Sterling, a continental famous kid, often on the front page, wunderkind child poet from California, newspapers were hungry, syndicated, The Vancouver Sun, every city paper had that story, a little bit like, A Wine Of Wizardry, Jack London, never met Ambrose Bierce, titans of American and international literature, An Inhabitant Of Carcosa, An Occurrence At Owl Creek Bridge, a death story, I don’t recognize this landscape, I have the illness, recognizing the landscape, it’s California, the animals, no birds, no insect, a lynx, transforming the landscape into a another world, literally a hike, the Lake Of Hali, Tathagoua, the Book of Eibon, Tsathoggua, are their lynx in Colorado, they go on the hike that inspires this story, central to that, a ski resort, a deep mountain tarn that’s never been sounded, seeing the landscape from the documentary, otherworldly, rock formations, been out on a hike, what if this was an alien world, walking makes your brain start going, Sedona, like an alien formation, episodes of Star Trek, where am I, substances Smith abused, the strongest drug, coffee, dream like drug trips, The Hashish Eater, Lord Dunsany, Confessions Of An English Opium Eater, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, an excuse to let imagination run wild, psychedelic ideas, your brain is manufacturing drugs for itself, H.P. Lovecraft is the opposite, Bobby Derie took cocaine for a prescription, HPL: coke head, it’s not for you, warned Clark Ashton Smith not to take it, wine, Atlantean wine, the wine state, schizophrenia, first and second guy bring the third guy, the structure, a brief summary of the book, British enough, does a really good Irish, third or fourth time, we keep going back, changed somehow, brings the cotton balls, suicide, gonna be great, after that event, the siren song has wooed him completely, he’s an artist not a wordsmith, what’s on the other side, a total utopia, only humans come back, the flame dimension, everything is in ruins, a temperance story, a big popular thin in the city, gin, Marvel movies, whatever drug, we gotta lock this down, depopulate us, kill yourself with a friend, a horrible destructive lure, what’s beyond this flame, death is beyond this flame, a transformation, an ascension, Downward To The Earth by Robert Silverberg, rebirth, everybody dies, choose to rebirth yourself, if your hand isn’t flashing red, on your birthday, you’re young and strong, swiping left, or right, nu you, is this a fantasy or is it a science fiction?, weird fiction, psychedelic fiction, very spiritual, technological or magical, a teleporter, an ancient doorway, more Coruscant, the thermos of coffee and set a little bit in the future, wormholes in place, a science fiction writer as a character, in a science fiction magazine, moer super-science than regular science, transdimensional, Algol, sangfroid, struck with awe, a spiritual transformation, we’re all one now, this feeling of singularity, moth people, purified or made unified, very-Lovecraft, Ex Oblivione, love being non-existent, H. Rider Haggard, these science fiction writers and illustrators are better people, earthly pleasures, Ebbonly, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, matching haircuts, stepping through the pillars and falling, falls a different way, using the scientific methods, pilgrimage, the earplugs, numbing agent, can you numb your ears?, super-meta, words couldn’t possibly describe it, here’s how sweet I am, here’s some really excellent prose about it, all the names, things to work into a story, Angarth, a small town in Scotland, is that his real name?, Clark Smith seems like a pretty boring name, working the vocab mine, Hastur, the tamarack, mid-California, the Sierras, Kim Stanley Robinson, Zenna Henderson’s The People, on the shore of some foreign planet, alienation, vertiginous, determine our personalities, shut-in, his dad traveled the whole world, back to the library, reads The Arabian Nights, this landscape, Crater Ridge, stones of monolithic size and shape, an unknown vegetation, luminescent amber, Anakim, spire on giant spire, stepped through the looking glass into a fantasy world, this alien city with a yellow mist, best be done animated, much more illustrated than live action, Anakim are giant humanoids, basically giants, gargantuan, that’s a normal world, Darth Vader, where they steal all their names from, he just read the Bible, the people of the city, giant stone people, they do not have ears, a Las Vegas, popsicles and silver suits and haircuts, many roads to this city, alien creatures, their corridors, other Earths, other planets, a plane of portals, The Black Company by Glen Cook, Las Vegas for suicide/transcendence, the sinning has got to be stopped, why it’s so interesting and demands a sequel, humans center themselves in their stories, we’re a sideline, spectators and not really important, the gun never gets used, siege weaponry, a tower with legs, like our good friend Sauron, suicide cult, why are they so certain there’s something bad through the flame, obviously you’re going to die, immolated, smoke, instantly consumed, near the end, mesmeric lure, succumbed to the desire, immolate himself, a giant lepidoptery being, so good, smart moths, compassionate moths, fellow travelers, rather sweet, deadly enslavement, he ran forward in a series of leaps both solemn and frenzied, sacerdotal, headlong into the flame, more dazzling greenness, benumbed brain centers, annul the perilous mesmerism, fled from the shrine, envying my companion’s fate, fiery dissolution, more people going in from coming out, this is very attractive, enjoying wine, not for me, ice cream, fomo, a hilarious short story [And All The Earth A Grave] by C.C. MaCapp, a computer slips a cog, two coffin garage, this face tattoo is very fashionable, emigration, people living the country, a moral upset, even maybe mention, telepathy, the incoming army, the foundation of the flame, Reno trying to steal Las Vegas’ business, the last pilgrims, the rulers of the outer lands, obeyed the lure of the singing fountain and vanished into the higher sphere, the story leans that way, you don’t know, one moth to the other moth, I used to be a caterpillar, many legends in the outer lands, guessed by only a few, the inner dimension is hated, a lethal and pernicious chimera, an opium paradise, a mecca for this?, suicide boothing, the build up the city, built up around it?, larger or more impressive than other buildings, like a beautiful waterfall for Paul, it’s too dangerous, we can’t have too many people being happy here, into a higher state of consciousness, a VR fountain, live in your basement a VR all day, hippies, spiritual higher stare of consciousness, the great resignation, there’s more to life, the religion vs. a cog in the machine, our viewpoint characters, lashed to the mast of the ship like Odysseus was, timeless concept, war on a peaceful nation, can they destroy it?, like a laser beam, a geyser, a geological force, the scoriac stuff, gotta read the sequel, when you read Conan, those were the days, jump onto a new ideal, Conan never revisits the same place, Poseidonis stories, 2 or other stories like that, that Averoigne series, why is this happening, the letters pages, is this really possible, we should ask, more by the same author, the nature of this world and the purpose of the flame, if Tommy wants to record it, professional grade, keep using that, The Black Abbot Of Puthuum, on my phone in a farm in Ecuador, a checklist, an excuse to read a story, read it at a level, getting to share that, accents, Irish to Scottish to British, theatre, Saturday Night Live, Alec Guinness and Obi Wan Kenobi with Yorkshire, all the British characters from Star Wars, a City Of The Singing Flame tattoo, explaining Clark Ashton Smith, Lovecraft is in the Marvel Universe, Clark Ashton Smith movies, a TV adaptation, he’s difficult, he’s high level, incredible vocab, the imagery the colours, chalcedony, they love their art, they’re art men, rectilinear architecture, the nod to Lovecraft, cyclopedia, a Lovecraft vocab database, why Jesse does the podcast, an appointment, J. Manfred Weichsel, William Jeffrey Rankin, it is up to individuals, denying the attraction of the flame, just another drug problem like heroin, gin, or marvel movies, your AI friends, my AI girlfriend likes the same AI movies I like, you learn stuff, what people think they want, just read Clark Ashton Smith, customized stuff, opt out, everybody’s an AI, too new of a book, the best science fiction books, AI generated, 23 books on the list, 1 book from 2016, some listicle website, integrated and got rid of duplicates, Arthur C. Clarke, Blake Crouch’s 2016 book, The Martian, best?, you’d do pretty well, full circle, The Sunken Land Rises Again by M. John Harrison, Viriconium, weird fiction, pretty damn weird, an assistant to a mad scientist, super dense and very prosey, light on plot, he’s on the long list, Light novels, an unsettling atmosphere, feels very very modern, Nova Swing, 19 hour collection of stories, Neil Gaiman, Jack Vance’s Green Magic, get magic, bitter and tragic, recursive worlds, not quite getting what you want, poignant and good, dying earth wizards, the Zothique series stories, William Hope Hodgson’s The Night Land, sad story, Subterranean Press, premium paper, Logan’s Run, Shakespeare’s Planet, Invitation To The Game, The Charwoman’s Shadow, Scratch One, Progeny by Philip K. Dick, getting back to Philip K. Dick, 53-57 stories, always exciting, these incredible authors, Le Guin once, Arthur C. Clarke, Elmore Leonard, nobody knows they’re public domain yet, all the weight of the world is on your shoulders, it’s exciting, or gals, its nice to be appreciated, there for somebody, its not just for the moment, its for the ages, share it with somebody 30 years from now, put it on a bookshelf, big box computer games, selling it for $86, an arc of nostalgia, 286sx, Future Shop, couldn’t afford a 28.8, $0.99, nostalgic for their youth, an old broken 286, feel the floppy going in, become valueless and then come back, the Harlan Ellison version, an L.A. based radio show, not for the ages, an enthusiastic and emotive, very very elderly, the narrator of the film, Harlan Ellison claimed to have read it 200 times, that’s how he learned to read aloud, narrated some Ben Bova, Run For The Stars, passionate, going to Hollywood and getting cynical, born into a world weary wisdom about reality, he went his own way, a passion project, a Hippocampus Press DVD, shill for publishers, passionate people, sharing the materials, solid contents, effort into their covers, the complete poems of Lovecraft, a really handy reference, S.T. Joshi finds some scrap of poem, The Hashish Eater poem, delectable, makes reading delicious, so rich, the lightest and most accessible, 101 Clark Ashton Smith, high level, for bibliophiles, all this prose, a lot of sugar, a slice of cake, small desserts, you have to like that, niche, if you don’t like honey you’re not going to like it, the richest Tommy has ever read, Ambrose Bierce, challenging the reader, why are you trying to make your prose…, making jokes, carving magnificent sculptures out of mountainsides, he really does have something, why Lovecraft was his biggest fan, Robert E. Howard was a great poet, translations of Charles Baudelaire, Poe and Dunsany, Baudelaire and Poe, taproot, undeniable, the first Sherlock Holmes short story, A Scandal In Bohemia, The Purloined Letter, Conan Doyle is the accessible and dumb version of Poe, this hidden photograph, I will have her show me, we love Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson and London and Irene Adler, we don’t love Dupin, the contents of the letter are sick evil and twisted, the photograph is of the king of Bohemia, I’m doing a tribute to Poe and nobody knows, Harry Potter vs. Tolkien, J.K. Rowling, super entertaining, no Harry Potter tattoos, Harry Potter is breezy, Tolkien is fun but not breezy, an afternoon’s entertainment, Clark Ashton Smith: guaranteed enjoyment, intellectually interesting, attentive, tickles a different part of the brain, high art, good art, most art is good, one of his best plots, well that happened, Lovecraft’s plots are much better, not much of a plotter, 700 pages to explore this concept is cool but nothing happened, Pacific Edge, guy tries to get girlfriend at baseball game, not playing the same game, just a weird guy, how popular he was, talked this one to death, Pirates Of Venus, A Meeting With Medusa, Sailing To Byzantium, Farnham’s Freehold, northern Minnesota, almost Canada, just about out May, The Thing On The Roof, No Man’s Land, pick in August, 2 years is fine but 5 years is too long, lost tribe of cave people, troggies, chuddies, surprise chuds, Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dwellers, lick and nip, Paul Sings The Classics, a singing voice for silent musicals, Nerds Of A Feather get together, Gather Yourselves Together by Philip K. Dick, from 1994, posting photos, Jesse misses Connor on twitter, usually eastern, an awful awful dream, discombobulated, very fun, that sentence sounds like he put a space in it, disjointed, a snip in the file, mouth noises, get closer to your mic, get a better mic, not all for the audience, caring a lot about art, Cat Killer by Donald E. Westlake, brutal an interesting sounding, Clive Barker, Jonathan is not a murder as far as I know, collecting human heads, Tales To Make You Vomit, not all horrific, that weird, you guys should be DMing each other, some sort of money arrangement, throwing around numbers, probably not even 4 hours, an hour and a half recording, relatively cold, ACX pays per finished hour, the going rate, $200 or $300 per finished hour, wordcounter.net, sell them not on audible.com, revenue sharing, Planet Of The Wage Slaves, diverse ideas and lots of nudity, amazing covers, their text over my art, Warrior Soul looks great, the lady’s hair in front of the title of the book, art direction vs. being an artist, coming up with interesting ideas, Five Maidens On A Pentagram, gothic horror sex-farce, Hasatan, sex-crazed demon, just sounds fun and pulpy, our reality, cycling through Smith/Howard/Dick, millions of great things, how to get this stuff out there, enough bundled together, anthologies based on themes, teaching the occasional yoga class.

Why The City Of The Singing Flame Is My Favorite by Harry Warner, Jr.

The City Of The Singing Flame by Clark Ashton Smith

The City Of The Singing Flame - editorial introduction

The City Of The Singing Flame art by Frank R. Paul

The City Of The Singing Flame by Clark Ashton Smith

Rowena Morrill - The City Of The Singing Flame

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The SFFaudio Podcast #743 – READALONG: The Dark Is Rising by Susan Cooper

The SFFaudio Podcast

Jesse, Paul Weimer, Trish E. Matson, and Alex talk about The Dark Is Rising by Susan Cooper

Talked about on today’s show:
1973, what’s the deal with this book, middle of a series, 2nd book, 1st book written in 1965, standalone, oh there was a movie?, the screenwriter and the director never bothered to read the book, I don’t like fantasy, go see my movie, The Seeker The Dark Is Rising, they adapted the 2nd book, Nancy Drew/Hardy Boys, kids looking for lost treasure, magic stuff at the end, parents not paying enough attention, different feel, the Grail has been found, fantasy, powering through the whole 5 book sequence, Jenny Colvin level reading, Greenwich, Over Sea Under Stone, Connor Kaye, Ghostland: In Search Of A Haunted Country by Edward Parnell, M.R. James, Lovecraft, BBC and ITV and Yorkshire TV adaptations, Children Of The Stones, every Christmas there were ghost story adaptations, travels to places in the UK, the landscapes, birds, birdwatches, hedgehogs, they don’t have big dangerous animals, the occassional fox, ooh a badger!, a Mrs. Tiggywinkle-style relationship with the landscape, cancer, a powerful and strange book, literature, TV adaptations and the British landscape, snowing, set at Christmas and today, incredibly appropriate, snowy season, a comfort book, a cozy kind of book, tentacles in a lot of writing, the big threat is not world ending, an amorphous unspecific threat of eevvviil, not WWII bad, coal strike bad, your porridge would be cold, always winter and never Christmas, the snow sequence, the manor, that’s brilliant, why this book is cherished, as a kid, weird evil, Neil Gaiman, Harry Potter, Jim Dale telling me I need to read Harry Potter books, on the nose, the evil in Harry Potter, hyperbolic vs. sedate, staid, I found a need for it today, down the street, adventures around the neighborhood and through time, very British, especially English and Welsh, Buckinghamshire, Cornwall, Wales, the brother in Jamaica, a worldwide thing?, a local thing, all southern Britain, she’s writing what she knows, no strong criticisms of it, just a good book, a fun book, the relationship that she’s promulgating is we are here, things are as they are, there’s a vague sense of danger somewhere, going to the lord’s manor, an inheritor of an estate, very British, if written today, respectful of authority, tricked by seeming authority figures, the butler/valet, Ian McShane, Lovejoy, Kings, an antiques guy, old beautiful art auctions, a mystery series, rich people, lords and ladies, marry into that, Jonathan Gash, when not out for himself, con-man, small businessman, just out of prison, a convicted felon, like Magnum, PI in the UK and not driving an expensive car, that is not the relationship we have in this book, they respect us and we respect them, bizzaro world, Gray, a respect for tradition, she gives us something nice to eat, not a rant against modernism, Mr. Jim Moon is one of the best podcasters ever, if he wasn’t so busy, surgery lately, 30 shows for Christmas, The Lion The Witch And The Wardrobe, second wave fantasy, The Graveyard Book, cairn or barrow, what he is tapping into, Rudyard Kipling, Mr. Kipling, rarely ever kipple, Philip K. Dick, American Gods, away from the UK, changes the book in a large degree, a legit old school YA book, a special kid has a special destiny, how special is this kid?, he’s an old one, a seventh son of a seventh son, female old ones, the destiny stuff, the chosen one, how is he the chosen one?, chosen by destiny, Susan Cooper chose him, I’m a special kid reading this fun book, power to feed the rabbits, some Hagrid shows up, much subtler and nicer and less chosen-oney, randomly chosen, powerful, receptive to learning, not just any person can wield these signs, almost but not quite reincarnation, more remote from the rest of humanity, fine with this ending, almost nothing happens, belt buckles, opposes evil, saves his sister, low stakes, fewer books and movies should be about saving the world, loyalty and betrayal, Walker, a liege man (not a servant), not just a hired hand, a feudal relationship, the Book of Gramarye, feels betrayed, given the dark his loyalty, goes to the dark side, the slow path to the present, wander the earth, like Cain, rather poignant, a nice shmaltz, a liegeman of Merlin, walker, black rider, the lady, this is Tolkien, the huntsman, scary guy hiding in the bush, Gollum, a lady who dispenses wisdom from her manor, out of the same drawer as Tolkien, a very respectable age for a Hobbit, small and naïve, as smoker outside of his mansion he is naïve, he’s rich, he has his own family home, he’s comfortably middle class, he is not employed, living on his ancestor’s investments, the economics of the Shire, pipeweed exports, the golden time, a sidewalk a cold beverage and a comic book, Philippines, Alfredo Alcala, Ernie Chua, the disconnection from the global economy, rabbits that need to be fed, the eldest brother in the Navy, connecting him to that global empire, he doesn’t know what that means, very pleasurable, but not very critical, that set of drawers, technically good, forced to watch, extraordinary experience, student is reading something, the movie adaptation of Twilight New Moon (2009), a bad movie and a great movie, the writing is pretty terrible, her themes are bad too, but it so pure, multiple guys liking her and her needing to choose, all of the criticism doesn’t matter, good at what it is doing, technically interesting but also very setpiecey, lego put together mixing and matching, he reads it and we never see what’s inside of it, not a Brandon Sandersonian magic system, Tolkien’s magic system basically doesn’t exist, Gandalf’s relationship with fire and light, staved off for today, Jack Vancian, as an analogy for a childhood, potions class, algebra, why am I learning this?, a spitting spell, Harry Potter style fantasy, that other branch or softer side covered in leaves, more dreamlike, getting mental illness, the sensuality of temperature, you feel the cold, the crunching of the snow, cozy crunching, somebody trying to synthesize and doing it very well, pre-doing Harry Potter, what the studio was trying to do, aping the Harry Potter movies, deliberately derivative, with her own experience, an echo of an echo, King Arthur, we will not name, three ships buried on the Thames, trust the audience, Juliet McKenna’s Green Man series, half-dryad, in the same tradition, another good criticism, very trusting of the audience, the secret to the success, a Newbery Award, what will the legacy of this series/book, still out of fashion and still works, not as timely, Neil Gaiman is dead 50 down the road, Neverwhere, American Gods, Coraline, like Philip K. Dick, people don’t read Philip K. Dick, random non-special kids, a treasure hunt, their property, this interloper, Will Stanton, non-chosen ones, Greenwich, Jane doesn’t know much about this battle, make a wish, you look sad, I wish you could be happy, cold and mission focused, winning this battle, light vs. the dark, prejudice, The Gray King, most people don’t like albinos, the Stanton kids, bullies pester a Pakistani kid, being on the national health, topical and pertinent, debates still going on today, how the dark uses prejudice and hate and insecurities that lead to racial prejudice, a rural adventure vs. a city adventure, how the dark gets into people, 15 at the end, don’t worry about time, like Doctor Who, kids books moving on, [Elidor by Alan Garner], the magical object, grimoire, you’re speaking old languages right now, sedateness or staidness, a knife going after a baby, softened experience, a story I’ve seen before, good book, later and earlier, has she written anything else?, The Selkie Girl, Tam Lin, The Shortest Day, Seaward, 1983, everybody is dead, their final destination, The Screwtape Letters, Out Of The Silent Planet, an iceberg of C.S. Lewis, wow, what a book, The Sandman, a writing career, Silver On The Tree, saying goodbye, the evil that is inside men, the hope is always here, the second coming of anybody, man has the strength to destroy this world, could have been set before WWII, before cellphones, the childhood time, 1977, unless it is a reprint, BBC Radio adaptation, a chapter a day, BBC Radio drama, in massive decline before COVID, pretty good, the sound mix is not perfect, it should work on its own, pretty good, being a writer, a personal journey, Among Others by Jo Walton, dying parents, a good book and an interesting book, new things on the schedule, The Skull by Philip K. Dick, optional to watch the movie adaptation by James Cameron (The Terminator), Jesse’s essay on The Terminator (1984), The Moon Maid, centaurs and maids on the moon, The Cave Girl, prehistorical, there are no boring Edgar Rice Burroughs Books, Shadows In Zamboula, trying to find art for Tweets Of High Adventure, Space Viking by H. Beam Piper, blonde dude in chains, The Golden Slave by Poul Anderson, 6th century?, late Roman Empire, the degenerate Roman Empire, The Venom Business by Michael Crichton, Rocket Ship Galileo, say it with a smile, back to Heinlein!, filling up the corners, Podkayne Of Mars, Starship Troopers, juvenileish, Farnham’s Freehold, a pre-show all about rage, late 1990s, Mike Vendetti took the hit, Unseen-Unfeared by Francis Stevens, The Heads Of Cerberus by Francis Stevens, Conan The Emerald Lotus by John C. Hocking, Conan The Living Plague by John C. Hocking, Metropolis is public domain, we need an audiobook, Thea Von Harbou and her husband, an amazing BBC audio drama, radical and really cool, is our main character mentally ill, adds a layer to the film that is not present, super-good, one of the best things Jesse’s ever heard on BBC, new content being added all the time, everybody gets excited but they’re not counting the [lack of] renewals, they only count by not looking, it had to be renewed, when you only count by how many years ago, why we only got Dracula and Frankenstein, claiming to have copyright, people don’t know how copyright works, most lawyers don’t know, a script or script outline by Philip K. Dick for The Invaders, very Philip K. Dick, paranoid, The Fugitive, pod people, The War Of The Worlds: The Series, post apocalyptic, a secret invasion, the movie of The War Of The Worlds is a suppressed documentary, getting corpses out of barrels, a terrible idea, Men In Black, cute, a fun idea, grizzled guy: peak Tommy Lee Jones, his career took off quite late, a working actor, good talking with you, first show first fun, a 34 hour Christmas, the neverending Christmas, when Halloween is over it is NEVER OVER, an increasingly popular lifestyle, the 1995 miniseries of The Invaders, Roy Thinnes, dodging the aliens for 20 years, Continuum Drag podcast, Firstwave, Nostradamus, Gor movie, Yor?, Sebastian Spence, Canadian science fiction shows, the 2nd highest paid actor, Millennium, Lance Henriksen, a kludge, a game for accountants, The X-Files, its cheaper, guest stars, cast locally, The Lone Gunmen, the Cigarette Smoking man, The Killjoys, Dark Matter, Wil Wheaton as an villain, casting against type.

The Dark Is Rising by Susan Cooper

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The SFFaudio Podcast #723 – READALONG: Drug Of Choice by Michael Crichton

Jesse, Paul Weimer, and Cora Buhlert talk about Drug Of Choice by Michael Crichton

Talked about on today’s show:
John Lange, 8th published, 6th under the pseudonym, 1970, finished San Cristobal, 1969, he’s on the island, pretty cool, year wrtitten, Back In The U.S.S.R., song title chapters, 18th Nervous Breakdown, we’re getting the idea here, very late 60s, Hard Case Crime, art in the audiobook, proposed adaptation, Robert Forster, “High Synch”, happy ending, a warning, Elliot Gould will ride the tiger, an announcement of the movie, Burt Reynolds and Ned Beatty, an uneven filmmaker, Coma by Robin Cook, a 1978 movie based on a 1977 novel, very similar, a lot of similar scenes, anesthesia tanks, cops are out to get you, a 70s movie theme, The Parallax View (1974), if it was not definitely not written by Michael Crichton…, too well put together, Philip K. Dick is exactly correct, surrealism, unreliable to himself (and to us), the narrator is mad, he gets on the plane, blacked out windows, I think I know where this is going, oh it was!, waking up in the hotel room, bad food on a bad serving tray, so Philip K. Dick, Norman Spinrad, everybody is on drugs all the time, the world is awful and horrible, The Congress (2013), Stanisław Lem, a pill, crapsack world, blissful reality that’s not there, people turning on aluminum foil, the Philip K. Dick novel…, Time Out Of Joint, lemonade stand, We Can Remember It For You Wholesale, Severance, Paycheck, drug and hypnosis, losing weight, all the work that they do, sandpaper for a skinned knee, expensive, massage a couple of things, the setup, this blue pee thing, House, M.D., vacation, the chase, the economics of this island, the company is going bankrupt, Philip K. Dick would have gone whole hog, you’re our solution to this, The Matrix scene, ends in an insane asylum, a nurse who flips him over, the bang big boom, blow everything up at the end, Stephen King, Reminiscence (2021), living in his own memories, retreated into his dreams, Abres Los Ojos (1997), Vanilla Sky (2001), the story of the song, Paul McCartney, Chuck Berry, the Beach Boys, those Ukraine girls really knock me out, attacking the idea of nationalism, a reflection, the premise for the song, returning to the Soviet Union, the west isn’t that great, there’s no place like home, you would never want to go back, stay in Canada or wherever, East Germany, people of pension age, full bags of goodies, in a previous podcast, translations of books available in the East, Tom Sawyer, Stanisław Lem, Boris and Arkady Strugatsky, Masters Of The Universe are not East German, Coma has that scene, Michael Douglas, a very modern film, a therapeutic abortion, cut up for parts, a really political interesting film, they show the abortion on screen, they cut up her brain, the German dub, up in stirrups, all references to the Vietnam War cut from Magnum, P.I., evil Nazis, sick of Nazis, Alan Rickman’s Hans Gruber becomes Jack Gruber, he’s a fake German, fake terrorists, character actors, that guy fought Bruce Willis, listening to the radio, blend in like a member of the staff, a critique, why are they doing this, save a little money, a mind palace, its for control of people, propaganda and drugs, in both, part of the scheme, Sharon Tate, we’ll never know, Scientology, set in Los Angeles, Chicago, a vacation to the beach, they’re contemporaries, both doctors, the modern medical thriller, Cook was bigger, Disclosure (1994), Dick and Crichton were both married five times, the hotel is their laboratory, a money making scheme, travel agent, coprophagia, you can do anything there!, Westworld (1973), Futureworld (1976), James Brolin, replace people with androids, controlling with drugs, very plausible, a science fiction novel, a drug dealer book, a thriller, techno-thrillers from the 1970s, it doesn’t look like one but it is one, the floating people, the major difference, Cook is about the medicine, Crichton is about the ideas, Binary, gases!, tanks full of gases, mixed in carbon monoxide, to steak organs, no one notices?, well explained, notable changes to the skin, part of the plot, a good poison, not a bad way to poison people, rewatch it, a pretty good movie, pretty crunchy, Michael Douglas and Geneviève Bujold, she would have been a good Kate Mulgrew, Peter Benchley, the casting couch section of this book, our hero is in Hollywood, an agent, its all there (not the focus of the book), he worked in Hollywood, he put it in the book, not an expose, women are being exploited, this drug effect, done to our hero in the white room, white gas, sensory deprivation, become compliant, faking?, gets out through dreams, the backstory for the company, to control people, to make people see what their owners want them to see, They Live (1988), we know there’s something wrong, we see all the homeless, joblessness is up, until you put on these glasses, or you start eating that trashcan, we’re being controlled by lizard people or aliens, Robert E. Howard’s The Shadow Kingdom, serpent men are replacing us, Doctor Who, The Silurians, The Sea Devils, Zygons, practically a Philip K. Dick idea, A Scanner Darkly, his drug book, bent by drugs, a drug picker, zonked on his drug, a metaphor and a reality, drugs are super-pushed, all your ads are for drugs now, forbidden to advertise prescription drugs, cream for vaginal dryness, Vagisan!, a trigger, Trump!, eventually those boys grow up, patients, doctors, he gives in and does, a drug rep, of course it’s addictive, heavily pushed, Vicodin, nasty stuff, nasty stuff in the basement, party at Cora’s house after the podcast, neoliberalism is coming to all the other countries, way too much, ouch!, fuck those pills, the word ouch, an instinctive, utsch, forearms in icewater, swearing and saying ow ow ow, they can last longer, reaction to being touched, words of pain as a prophylactic against pain, are you ok?, everybody needs attention, band-aids can be psychosomatic, hoping that it would hurt, words, a dopamine reaction, what they think is a bad word, they threw a grenade in the room, what the effects of drugs are, change your brain, change your reaction to reality, a dry run of what they can do, what you can do to your employees, they hijack him, compliant with the drug, a cheat, spectacular success, very very different writers, a better ending, the dark ending, an apocalyptic ending, the beginning of The Matrix (1999), Crichton’s ending, we’re all deluding ourselves, three games of tennis with Sharon, he broke his tennis racket, that is what happened until it didn’t, the confabulatory experience of reality, live in the mountains for three weeks, come home to a nice hot shower and a brunch at Denny’s, life is wonderful, derived from sexually transmitted shark disease, a random Crichtonian bit, a fashion for sharks, random, a rare orchid, the biography of John Lange, a marine institute in Florida, a fake bio, Lawrence Block wrote two Paul Kavanaugh books, The Triumph Of Evil, Lawrence Block wrote a spy book, Eaters Of The Dead by Michael Crichton, Ibn Fadlan’s expedition to the northern lands, a retelling of Beowulf, J.K. Rowling is a terrible TERF, a fake biography of Robert Galbraith, pretending to be in the military, always fake, magical dream, ordinary housewife, writing classes at Brigham Young University, she knew what writing was, I was inspired by Jane Austen or whatever, Fifty Shades Of Grey woman, her husband is a screenwriter, they probably have a golden retriever, The Cuckoo’s Calling, a good mystery, what a lot of great writers do, Richard Stark’s story, Donald E. Westlake, The Hook, the book promotion industry, the number 1 writer in the world, is it me?, my name?, the Harry Potter thing?, by the author of, solid midlist, BBC TV adaptation, Killing Eve, self-published, theatre critic on the side, the story of Crichton, this John Lange is doing pretty good, John Norman was John Lange, the Gor books, 1966, Stephen King, the Bachman books, Seanan McGuire, John Brunner, why Westlake left [science fiction], Brandon Sanderson, too much of a living, outliers, George R.R. Martin is mostly the TV guy, Sanderson is only books, he could live just on his books, always on the stands, barely started his career, crazy numbers, people will pay you to write books, wasn’t made on the fact he wrote the last Robert Jordan books, Tor pushes Sanderson heavily, they push him because he sells, The Wheel Of Time books, one of those Salt Lake City guys, creative writing class, Elantris, Mistborn, Warbreaker, a know quantity, the one he’s mined the most, people who wrote sequels by other hands, Douglas Adams sequels, Tom Clancy sequels, Garth Nix, what a lot of people want, James Patterson, doesn’t write his own books anymore, not everybook is for everybody, doesn’t fulfill the promise, this is a thriller novel I gotta blow things up, if this goes on…, we’re not living in a simulation we’re living in a stimulation, early Michael Crichton, nice and tight, period pieces, well written, delivering me the story, ideas injected, no impurities, a resident doctor, a bit of an everyguy, dating actresses, an author insert, not mentioned to be six foot nine, nobody says “how tall you are, sir”, semi-autobiographical, to finance medical school, a writer that couldn’t help but do it, he studied a lot of stuff, almost nobody is like Michael Crichton, screenwriter, writer, doctor, film director, almost nobody is all of those things, not a normal guy, super-interested, thinking about drugs, speculative, psychoactive drugs, general interest, trying to understand reality, how many Stephen King movies has Stephen King directed?, I will fix The Shining, I will improve on his work on my book, Physical Evidence is not a good movie but it is entertaining, well put together, and funny, The Great Train Robbery, one of the best movies of the 1970s, virus from space, The Andromeda Strain, The Terminal Man was serialized in Playboy, about electronics, if he wrote nothing else The Andromeda Strain would stand on its own as a great book, let’s blow it all up at the end, basically a science fiction novel, Hard Case Crime ventures into science fiction, attractive woman on fire, she’s hot, she’s a starlet, Sharon Wilder, glow girl, plastic dresses, Binary, multiple women in it, there’s nothing to cancel in here, it doesn’t say the casting couch is good, everybody’s now going to be subject to the casting couch, Hollywood is a drug, virtual vacations, we’re all working for the drug, that’s the ending of A Scanner Darkly, propagating the plant that makes the drug, it is supposed the plant is propagating itself through people, a Philip K. Dick move, this early Michael Crichton kick, very 1960s and also so modern, manufactured pop and film stars, The Beatles, the Hollywood hills, as fake as The Monkees, all of your music is all fake, just as fake as our music, what makes it an old book: he goes to a travel agency, third world and immigrant communities, Easy Go in a few weeks, George Segal, Mike Hodges directed it, his violent seizures, violence now triggers a pleasurable response, they put some wires on his head and give him zaps, on the The Lack podcast, an Anthony Burgess novel called The Wanting Seed, they misunderstand me, the movie of A Clockwork Orange, Malthusianism, world is overpopulated as usual, encouraging homosexuality, start wars, canned food from the bodies, an angry scary sounding book, 1961, A Long Trip To Teatime, Puma, anarchist conservative?, weird British conservatives, Quest For Fire (1981)’s language, J.H. Rosny, Year One (2009), prehistorical romance, DMR Books, niche, Robert J. Sawyer neanderthal books, Genndy Tartakovsky’s Primal, giant horned creature, went extinct 10,000, always the passive voice, we ate them, who killed all the large creatures?, we probably, Earthshock, Adric killed the dinosaurs, traveler, cheering for Wesley Crusher, Wil Wheaton is a really cool guy now, bad writing, genius kid on a ship, the giant essay on SeaQuest DSV, nobody is trying to reboot it, Shaun Duke doesn’t like Jesse, it itself was reboot, Irwin Allen’s Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea, submarines are cool period, submarine adventures and warfare, a pulp series, Das Boot, Black Sea (2014), The Hunt For Red October, Roy Scheider, Blue thunder, Michael Ironside takes the lead, he wasn’t a villain in V?, Robert Englund, Jonathan Banks, the heavy from Better Call Saul and Breaking Bad, glorifying drug dealing, its about capitalism and people trying to find their place in it, make some coffee, black tea, Ceylon, Frisian Blend, Earl Grey, Prince Alberic And The Snake Lady is next, Connor is doing fine in Cassel, cheap train tickets.

Drug Of Choice by Michael Crichton

Overkill by Michael Crichton

Coma (1978)

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The SFFaudio Podcast #672 – READALONG: Red Planet by Robert A. Heinlein

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #670 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, and Will Emmons talk about Red Planet by Robert A. Heinlein

Talked about on today’s show:
dog trot through or skate through?, Red Planet by Robert A. Heinlein, 1949, A Colonial Boy On Mars, Steele Savage, the original uncut, the original restored text, the extended Stranger In A Strange Land, the two endings of Podkayne Of Mars, call him Willis too, hey you’re a girl!, I’m a good boy!, The Pleasant Profession Of Robert A. Heinlein by Farah Mendelson, changing gender over time, a ship of Theseus, Jim’s grandkids in the miniseries has problems, no straw men, almost a perfect book, the environmental award, its about pollution, ecological anti-capitalist themes, yet another revolution story, Beta Earth, its not set on Mars, its set on New Ares vs. New Aries, the Mars company, The Hudson’s Bay Company, The East India Company, the Red River Rebellion, Paul just told me how I have to identify, Albert Einstein, a stateless person, a country comes into your territory, sometimes countries just change, the Massachusetts colony, Canada and the Crown, rights taken, given or never ceded, colonists, administering the colonization and doing whatever resource extraction,the water seeker, the cabbage plant, cabbage patch kid, junked Jim’s best friend, an improvement, Have Space Suit, Will Travel, she kills a Cerberus dog thing, an armed society, a frontier society, a residential school, Howe is the best candidate for a straw man, the boy with the pet who might have to give it up, the pet is more than it seems, the old man, Doc Mccrae, Stranger In Strange Land, Jubal Harshaw, Between Planets is set on Venus (but they talk about Mars), supercharging the air, applying for self governing status, we’ve worked out a new treaty with the natives, how the Red River Rebellion happens, Rupert’s Land, in reaction to what the Americans were doing, investment properties, fashion for hats declining, decimating the fur bearing animals, surveyors show up, the North-West company, Métis, inland settlement, the government being incompetent and full of , the Chateau Clique and the Family Compact, the plot of the book, two settlements to double the number of colonists, pemmican, fur trading, the technology is Willis, a Wikileaks style leak, a truth bomb, how well put together this book is, Stranger In A Strange Land, not enough about the Martians, A Princess Of Mars, a Weinbaum version of A Princess OF Mars, A Martian Odyssey, Willis laying the eggs in the bed with Jim, young or old, are roundheads young or old?, races?, a butterfly chrysalis, Willis won’t remember Jim, the Nymph stage, in the cartoon, Willis’ bio-technology, the defense mechanism against waterseekers, the ability to project a hologram, when the book starts, shipping Jim and Willis, the egg laying scene, crawl into bed with you and give you children, Alien Nation: The Series, the three stages of Martians, everything about Mars is startling, no sex, the adults are male, every day relations with Heaven, Stranger In A Strange Land is in a nymph stage here, Willis is a nymph, Gekko is the father, Jim is the step-father, and Frank is the bleeblack, curling into the Jim zone, “warm”, the Gekko theory, the Steele Savage cover, scenes from the book, pre-school or post-school, Howe’s demand, Gekko standing in a bush, Willis bounces towards Gekko, and dances around their, they’re ents, he carries the two boys, they drink entwater and become ent brothers, called upon later to fight Saruman, the sister’s job is to cook and clean, the mom is Beverly Crusher, Frank is the only person missing, change for change’s sake, meld Frank into the sister, changing for no reason is bad, it didn’t make the series better, less successful, the added environmental angle, Paul and Jesse are both wrong, wilderness survival themes of the novel, no skating, checkboxing, until we know what the plot is…, learning how things are, soaking things up on a Greek beach, when the plot gets going, returning home with the news, boys being truants, a residential school is bad, we learn how their suits work, everybody is literally nude, not just because Heinlein’s a nudist, the suits are not pressure suits, not doing things that are in the book, running out of air, that’s in another Heinlein thing, in your Mohawk, compression space suits, the mask is the only part of your body with air on it, nothing between you and your compression suit, the style on Mars, a bug or a feature, also Princess of Marsy, a feature rather than a bug, a comics adaptation of John Carter’s dick swinging, nudity, the whip hand, civil liberties cases in British Columbia, bare breasts in BC, some old biddie couple, the Potter family, Heinlein literally kills them, punishment for stupidity, those people exist, doing what the government tells you, that punishment is Heinlein’s point, starved to death by government policy on purpose, a compelling gun case, cutesy sister stuff, the rules of the road, this books is so rich, not a false note anywhere, light and frothy and fun, you can skate right over it, quite substantial ideas-wise, Paul wishes Evan was here, communitarian, we’re all in it together, a nation vs. a tribe, a lot longer, all the stuff that happens at the school, how many other colonies are there?, caretaker Eskimos, Inuit and Tibetans, what’s the population of Mars?, kids at that company school, living at the equator year round, is it a university?, is it a high school?, Harry Potter upper-age boarding school?, J.K. Rowling is a terrible TERF, not a military prep school, sent away to military school because of discipline problems, a trade school situation, Frank wants to be a rocket pilot, Jim’s plan?, the mom cooks, any girl that can cook and tend babies is an adult, an improvement, it makes Doc Macrae a non-character, New Aries, in 1949 there had been no probes but the telescopes were getting better, what the atmosphere is made out of, Heinlein better write his Mars stuff, once you start you start changing things for poorer reasons, Heinlein thought about the ecosystem, everybody hates the waterseekers, waterseekers need to be to be destroyed, an extermination program, for every werewolf in your ecology you need a vampire and for every vampire you need a mummy, dragons of the komodo kind, what happened to Mars?, the lack of a robust ecosystem, the Martians apparently don’t eat anything, what does Willis eat?, small animals, what are the colonist actually doing there?, Heinlein’s lack of numeracy, colonization doesn’t solve the population problem, Greek colonization, troublemakers, self-select, unpeaceful Scandinavians, the Rus of Russia, they’re terraforming the planet, the traditional explanation for colonizing Mars (is mining), the terbidium must flow, Total Recall (1990) is all vacation plans, a science fiction story within a science fiction story, LV-426, rape this planet, Captain Planet, bogus environmental awards, an invading species, Turbanium, can of beans, longer cabbage scene, and be better, so much plot, so much in storms, bottles on their suits is wrong, short term profits for long term costs, how Howe got his job, literally how it all works, corporate nepotism, the libertarian elements, The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, tightly bound, the communitarian feel, prisoners vs. free citizens, the chairman of the meeting, Roberts Rules Of Government, committees and nominations, the polar opposite of libertarianism, Louis Rossmann right to repair(man), helping farmers get the right to fit their own tractors, replacement batteries for phones, every business owner to refuse service to the unvaccinated, the political compass, Howe is authoritarian, uncivilized, liberty vs. authority, rights and privileges, the larger scale scope, dictating people’s movements, a contractual right at best, the Métis traditional hunt, Orangemen vs. Catholics, every protestant in Ontario is angry, a war between one nation and another nation, taking a person’s gun away, the libertarian argument is pretty pure, bringing the martians in as a shield, a personal bond with Jim and Willis and Gekko and Frank, united in their identity as Métis, Festival du Bois, not only limited government, the freedom to publish and read what books you want, vaccines passports and vaccine mandates, cribbed from the Declaration Of Independence, another American Revolution, in a softer smaller way, a fantasy of the American revolution without the genocide, merciless Indian savages, strange mystical alien people that live underground, adds legitimacy to the American Revolution that it doesn’t deserve, S.M. Stirling’s The Sky People and In The Courts Of The Crimson Kings, Leigh Brackett, sensible nudity, Jim Marlowe, Heart Of Darkness, James Madison Marlowe, three legged and three eyed, H.G. Wells, the relationship with Jim and Frank and Doc, interbreeding, spiritually its possibly, physically interbreeding with your fellow humans, in solidarity with other people, not only hard SF, weird definition of hard SF, history is hard SF, mysteries are hard SF, “a political philosophy that upholds liberty as a core value.[1] Libertarians seek to maximize autonomy and political freedom, minimize the state; emphasizing free association, freedom of choice, individualism and voluntary association”, the talking point of the day vs. first principles, why is it good for people to be free?, the approved reading list can hurt you, kill you or stunt you, not allowed to run away, not allowed to have guns, kids plowed into the earth, drivers licenses, talking points, what is the principle?, do we subscribe to it or not, the political compass, we think we know how he would answer, who gets to form the questions, wholly agenda questions, not allowed to read certain books, only some people were allowed to read, freedom to read, stick to the principle and then abstract away, no to vaccine passports, a drivers license is a driving passport, a license to do a thing, a perfect situation to make the argument, a really good book, a good book for kids to read today?, an exiting book, intellectual molest children vs. enhance children, parents have to coordinate or the kid divides them, women are not in particularly progressive roles in this book, Maissa’s point, intellectual heft, an idea book underneath the adventure fun, Will is really glad that he read it, settler freedom, the resistors to the revolution are stupid, the strawman is the setup, weighting the revolution, the Torys were tarred and feathered, we have no way of deleting people from the universe, the heat beams, Mr Sulu freezing to death, the handwavium of Doc Macrae’s speculations we assume are true, underground subway systems, so advanced, finding the monolith on the Moon in 2001, say it it is “great”, kids ice skating on the canals, Glory Road, The Number Of The Beast, a better Heinlein book?, future Heinlein reading, higher highs vs. footfaults, a modest book, so Planet Stories, Hard Planet Stories, what Heinlein next?, you gotta read it, you’re smart enough to understand this book, so many great Heinlein juveniles, unrealism in the setup, god damn you Heinlein, the first Heinlein juvenile, Rocketship Galileo was adapted to Destination Moon (1950), space nazis? the Moon is too far out, The Man Who Sold The Moon, all the Musks and Bezoes and Bransons, Harriman, they’re doing it for us, Paul is hard to get, Maissa’s famous for Fringe Festivaling, Will feels tricked, Mack Reynolds, the Heinlein Poul Anderson podcast, The Goddess Of Atvatabar by William R. Bradshaw, the inherent silliness (or sadness) of Poul Anderson, Three Wishes by Poul Anderson, a tiny naked fairy, I have no desires at all.

RED PLANET – Clifford Geary

RED PLANET by Robert A. Heinlein

RED PLANET by Robert A. Heinlein JAPAN

RED PLANET by Robert A. Heinlein - art by Barclay Shaw

RED PLANET by Robert A. Heinlein

Red Planet - 1956 Japan - art by Shigeru Komatsuzak

Japanese Red Planet

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The SFFaudio Podcast #474 – READALONG: Glory Road by Robert A. Heinlein

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #474 – Jesse and Paul Weimer talk about Glory Road by Robert A. Heinlein

Talked about on today’s show:
1963, 1964, better in memory?, horrible, so good, annoying, if you were to find these books in the public domain, editing out the annoying parts, Heinlein can’t help himself, re-reads, trying to focus on the good things, what huh?, what are you doing here, not quite proper, cross-universe stories, eternal jams, a sequel to Glory Road, Fate’s Trick by Mathew J. Castella, “A Crossroads Adventure”, a 14 book series, Robert Silverberg, Xanth, Majipoor, Jody Lynn Nye, Steven Brust, choose your own adventure books, L. Sprague de Camp, Fletcher Pratt, as close to a choose your adventure as Heinlein came, Have Space Suit-Will Travel, Ellen Kushner, weird conclusions, TV Tropes is Wikipedia for tropes, a tribute novel, those books I read as a kid, Dagwood sandwich, good art, brain uploading, the egg, an African American protagonist?, the F&SF covers, Robin Hood-looking dude, surprise Filipino, Tunnel In The Sky, set in the then contemporary world, cultural assumptions, Oscar Gordon, no evidence for that in the book, have you got to the part with the realization yet?, the big surprise, the key scene in this novel, the opening quotation, George Bernard Shaw, his experience with the Dural customs and morality, author tract, the broader setting seems only to exist to praise the authors views, crappy dialogues, “I’m going to spank you”, somebody’s personal morality is tripped and triggered, obsession, its in every book, “I’m going to marry you…no we can’t get married” for 14 pages, losing control, Iowa to Colorado, the banality of Iowa, the first publication introduction, figure skater, cat-midwife, Isaac Asimov, Starship Soldier, an adventure story, a romance, other worlds – other manners, full of references, incredibly brilliant, wrong in so many ways, it’s not that I haven’t had sex with a married man’s wife under his own roof…, he wanted to be a wife-swapper, baked in so deeply, the whole universe of Nivea, Heinleinian fantasy land, the island in France, le minimum, nudism, he can’t help but talk about it all the time, nudity and nudity taboos, A Princess Of Mars, the conventions of American morality are wrong, freely given, “I’m a dirty tramp” every three pages, objectified and off-put at the thought of a spanking, a male fantasy novel written by a man who wanted to be a woman and be spanked, characters vs. speeches, a libertarian fantasy world, no need for police and taxes, Irish Sweepstakes, unsubtle digs, sad and ridiculous, silly empress stuff, royalty can work really well, Heinlein signed a document that was in favor of continuing the Vietnam War, until what time?, G.I. benefits, Singapore, Europe, hanging-out with hairy hippies, being spat upon, infantry, the U.S. Navy, The Return Of William Proxmire by Larry Niven, a homeless Vet, questions his own sanity, visiting his parents, taking away the last two paragraphs, weird morality, misunderstanding what women want, sword spanking with specific swords, why am I being exposed to this, not so good with the flashing, Friday, more tightly controlled, a lot of time sitting around the castle, the actual adventure we get, dragons, the whole tower thing, a really good sword-fighting scene, all the references, who the swordsman (the never born) was Cyrano de Bergerac, it just so happens, good writing, Chapter 11 ends with a fateful scene, read the motto star, while we live let us live, again with the swords, jump high, another gate or doorway, The Door In The Wall by H.G. Wells, intermittent mental illness, a green door, a wonderful fantasy world, a beautiful elven lady much older than himself, a doorway to another universe, the inspiration for all of these styles of story, he wishes that he was there, opens himself to the possibilities, just a deluded man, playing, so many stories of this ilk, hard going, Stranger In A Strange Land is lawyers talking about morality with ladies serving them coffee, the Eater of Souls, Carcassonne, fly to the Moon, the play, replete with references, the thuddingness of the third act, Silverlock by John Myers Myers, To Your Scattered Bodies Go by Philip Jose Farmer, very swashbuckly, The Prisoner Of Zenda by Anthony Hope, the three women who want to bed him (the three bears), the horned ghosts, the horned goats, tilting at windmills, Don Quixote style, Neverwhere is how we got here, homeless and crazy, a roc’s egg, a likely wench, slow wings of the albatross, Prester John, eating the lotus in the land of always afternoon, the world sucks, a fantasy world for Heinlein, Neil Gaiman’s kinds of characters, the pixie girl, the blank Neil Gamian character, the funny character with a haircut, masturbatory, the kind of conflicts that Heinlein’s character have is a kind of horror, abused by his government, killing little brown brother, a sadder ending, connecting everything, the Heinlein Cinematic Universe should not exist, The Number Of The Beast, he thinks its cool, Jesse doesn’t care how many Manuel Garcia shows up in other books, not a fantasy novel, all the magic is math, “you don’t have the math yet, son”, the giant troll, a great scene, a pair of greasy hands, peak Heinlein efficiency, are you a coward?, brilliant, being manipulated for the better part of a decade, the scope, how many near Oscar Gordons are wandering the Earth, Rufo, as voiced by Bronson Pinchot, a funny sidekick, I invented it!, giving Eisenhauer advice on D-Day, the structure feels identical (to Neverwhere), tested at Blackfriars station, a psycho-ward, lederhosen and an aloha shirt and nothing else, ugly Americans, screw the draft, so wise, democracy is foolish, apply that to foreign policy, we made our commitments, national glory, honour and glory, we screwed up, you break it you bought it, more wasted lives, the longest war in American history, taking over the French fuck-up, not a book of wisdom, a book of adventure, so good when he’s good and so terrible when he’s terrible, working it out in his own head?, he loves his country so much, very progressive in strange ways, not racist, looking at a mirror too much, looking at it as a libertarian book, frustrating, oh god!, once the adventure is over, sentence by sentence writing, a mistake, visiting a barony, guests and heroes, Edgar Allan Poe, Casey At The Bat, A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur’s Court, why?, because!, fixing that mistake, sleeping with women, what is necessary in one world, wherever Heinlein’s character’s wander, same sex relations, a little lesbianism, no offers of young men, more universes under her belt, a running unfunny joke, earlier Heinlein, I Will Fear No Evil, Philip K. Dick, questionable morality, cheating, bows and swords, lady’s got her eggs frozen (for later decanting), wacky stuff, fertility clinics, every book, Podkanyne Of Mars, interested in fertility, fertility treatments in the mid 20th century, something that ate at him?, “I’m sterile”, “I’m going to have your baby”, “does that make me a minx? does that make me a bitch?” why are we doing this to the listener, Mythgard Academy shouldn’t do Heinlein, hurts peoples brains, birth control, women must be putting out all the time, yours is the weird universe, for such a brilliant guy, the ridiculous false-conflict conversations are almost unbearable, forgetting about the stuff, rationalizing, read him when you’re young, the problematic stupid and clunky, Heinlein is in decline, the Coode Street Podcast, bookstores don’t carry older stuff anymore, for the best?, Maureen Speller, studying Heinlein, University Of Illinois Press, what about the juveniles?, the YA, better YA being written, “less problematic”, a lot of great protagonist storytelling with capital S capital F SCIENCE FICTION, Isaac Asimov, Rocketship Galileo, the science fiction mindset, playing a game of Science Fiction, Mr. Science Fiction, Heinlein’s not doing allegory ever, hard SF, “here’s how rocketships work, boys”, if people don’t read Moon Is A Harsh Mistress the world is a much worse place, Heinlein is great!, what makes somebody worth talking to is they’ve read a lot of books, The Hunger Games is okay but Tunnel In The Sky is better, The Cat Who Walks Through Walls, recycling characters, Heinlein has something really special, maybe there’s other books out there for me, Heinlein really knows how to convey a certain 1950s mindset that “SCIENCE IS REALLY IMPORTANT”, engineering students, breaking out the slide-rule, the Popular Mechanics style of can-do-ism, a not user repairable world, helping you as a person, the danger of Dungeons & Dragons, critical in all sorts of areas, tributes to Heinlein, there’s something about him and his mindset, a I Love Heinlein show, somehow irrelevant, deep dive into genre history, thirty years and forty years after publication, reading a book, that’s not how people read books anymore, cultural transmission, peer generation vs. top down generation, popular, a good old fashioned marketing campaign, Harry Potter, the epitome and ur example, what kid’s going to pick up Starman Jones?, that’s not marketing, we made a lot of money selling those books, a bottom up, will you in thirty years, Harry Potter ultimately nothing like Heinlein, within the set-up, however it works, spending time on Mars, he’s interested in that, The Expanse novels, Jesse’s not going to read them, anti-gravity, Ian Macdonald’s Luna: New Moon, Artemis by Andy Weir, Luke Burrage’s review, if you want to understand what life on the Moon’s like, digging those tunnels, Gentlemen, Be Seated, let’s explore and see what is consequent, that’s wrong and Heinlein is the one who taught Jesse that, historical perspective, not the best move, not reflective of the field, Anne Of Green Gables, fantasy novels are generally timeless, science fiction (when it ages), what the heck is this?, a theoretical?, James Davis Nicoll, no good way to feel your way into it, The Lord Of The Rings, why are there no girls in this book?, most people who are real readers are real weirdos, the only reason Paul and Jesse met, omnivorous and fast vs. slow and ponderous, most of Jesse’s student’s don’t read anything, a worse person without Heinlein, if they were public domain, the power of Lovecraft, everybody who read his stuff at the time H.P. Lovecraft was alive loved his stuff, this is stuff you should bounce off harder than anything, the vocabulary and the racism, a massive decline in Heinlein’s stuff, some corporation, there’s no champion for Heinlein, wonderful and terrible, getting a copy, Jesse has never seen a Kindle in real life, a great and terrible novel, in ten years, so many good scenes!

Glory Road - illustrated by Bruce Pennington

AVON - Glory Road by Robert A. Heinlein

BLACKSTONE AUDIO - Glory Road by Robert A. Heinlein

Robert A. Heinlein's GLORY ROAD - Fantasy & Science Fiction, July1963

Robert A. Heinlein's GLORY ROAD - Fantasy & Science Fiction, September 1963

You Wont Be The Same - GLORY ROAD by Robert A. Heinlein

Glory Road by Robert A. Heinlein AD

Virgil Finlay art for SFBC Things To Come, September 1963 - Glory Road by Robert A. Heinlein

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #334 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: The Birth-Mark by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #334 – The Birth-Mark by Nathaniel Hawthorne; read by Fred Heimbaugh. This is an unabridged reading of the story (50 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants in the discussion include Jesse and Fred.

Talked about on today’s show:
The Pioneer, March 1843, a Hawthorne Poe fest, contemporaries, The Scarlet Letter, a quote by Poe about Hawthorne, the CBS Radio Mystery Theater, well known?, why this story Fred?, he’s obsessed with sin, sociopaths, trigger warnings, neurosis, shame, luck, shaped by sin, a mark upon the family, subconscious Freudian messages, Commentary Magazine, Why College Kids Are Avoiding the Study of Literature by Gary Saul Morson, textual density, vocab, Lovecraft poems, Fungi From Yuggoth poems, harbours, kids are now shuttled between school the home and the mall, ranting against Hawthorne, The House Of The Seven Gables, revolutions in 20th century literature, Ernest Hemingway, the show don’t tell revolution, Hawthorne is the telling-est teller who ever telled, the right attitude toward sin, the two facedness of people, Hawthorne is attacking late stage decadent Puritanism, a homosexual vibe, what is the lesson?, science reaches too far?, Gothic horror, the evil wizard or the mad scientist, science as the channel to unlimited power, elixirs, potions, not even futuristic, Georgiana, Aminadab?, where is this story set?, Aylmer’s castle, Aylmer’s wealth, a compartmentalized life, from the third person POV, the host narration, obsession, the left side, the sinister side, she’s been marked, in the dream, chemical means, pre-Darwin, “I’ve got these old books”, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, a natural philosopher, science vs. alchemy vs. magic, Isaac Newton, almost as if he was Ben Franklin, electricity, many suitors, Aylmer’s wooing, is Aylmer gaslighting Georgiana?, she’s reading, a Medieval heroine, a character of of Greek mythology, is a sex-change story?, is this a boob-job story?, envy, the tips of two small fingers, she’s compared to a marble statue, small pox scars, Marilyn Monroe‘s beauty mark, does positioning matter?, Supernatural Horror And Literature by H.P. Lovecraft, a meditation on obsession, many uninteresting analysis, so little action, beyond the sexual interpretation, Hawthorne doesn’t seem all that prudish, how far can you go in purist of perfection in a fallen world, a mark of original sin, wanting knowledge (of good and evil?), the sin of disobedience, Frankenstein and Aylmer are reading the same books, the process of creating a man in Frankenstein, the lightning bolt, Luigi Galvani, grave-robbing, Paracelsus, the gold thing is your way of getting funding, when writing a grant…, this might lead to a cure for cancer(!), alchemy as a religion, The Cask Of Amontillado, Eric S. Rabkin, “the niter, it grows”, Montresor or Fortunato, niter, growing human shaped things inside of bottles, poisons, psychology and the occult, the difference between alchemy and science is openness, the Royal Society, Harry Potter’s school, there have to be muggles, magically oblivious, J.K. Rowling, natural greed, the ethic of sharing knowledge, France’s version of the Royal Society, like the obsession with “open source” or the “public domain”, The Oval Portrait by Edgar Allan Poe, sooo lifelike, sooo beautifully painted, Gothic horror, the evil mad scientist is destroyed by the power he unleashes, The Portrait Of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde, the ending, what is Hawthorne saying?, was Aylmer’s attempt doomed from the beginning?, Jesse’s mom, one of the most important powers of a teacher, she has “THE VOICE”, Muad’dib (Paul Atredies), Steve Jobs’ reality distortion field, a profound revelation, philosophy and critical thinking, vitamins are bullshit, fish oil woke Fred’s brain, North America has the world’s most expensive urine, religion wants you to take it on authority, bronze age holy texts, religion as book club where you only ever read one book (or just listen to a guy who did), cynicism or wisdom, loyalty to the organized religion of your family, inherited religions, fundamentalist belief systems, the narcissism of small differences, splintering, revolting revolutionaries, purity of doctrine, young earth creationists, Catholicism as an almost ethnicity (an identity), Hawthorne as a stopgap between H.G. Wells and Mary Shelley, the murky origins of Science Fiction, Dante, Lucifer frozen in the ice, a Gothic ghost story, Frankenstein’s obsession is with defeating death, too in love with science, Hawthorne’s message is like: “don’t drink too much”, Greek symposia, what really happened at a Greek symposium, “write drunk and edit sober”, The Odyssey, mixing water with wine, getting plastered is a sign on unmanning, the Greek obsession was with finding the moderation between too little and too much, what was Hephzibah’s sin?, her sin is being too worried about sin, “you will eat blood”, public shaming is a little much, be moderate with your casting of sin, John Wesley, a healthy functioning society, wealth corruption, falling into decadence, the protestant work ethic is kicking-in, Guggenheim, ransoming the grandchild, leaving it all to art, Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller, Fred’s all time favourite Science Fiction novel: The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson, how do we raise the next generation?, a supercharged Kindle, matter compilers, Star Trek‘s replicator, eating green sludge, window panes made out of pure diamond, handmade hipsters, how you raise the next generation in a wealthy society, we are unimaginably wealthy, are Japan’s young people uninterested in sex?, Richard Dawkins on Twitter, The Last Question by Isaac Asimov, Gothic-y, Science-y, Microcosmic God by Theodore Sturgeon, a great inventor, Neoterics, he’s stealing their ideas, the ultimate mad scientist story, following in the tradition, somatoypes, ectomorph (Aylmer), mesomorph (Aminidab), endomorph (Jesse), it’s a scam!, Hillary Clinton, the Ronald Reagans of the world, this is astrology, people think that once you’ve got a word for something you understand it, wearing the mask long enough…, IQ tests, quantification, any time we think we understand the most complex thing in the universe…, there really is a subconscious, tweeting dreams, psychology, the book club with only one book in it, The Great Courses (The Teaching Company), Eric S. Rabkin, survey courses, kooky specializations, the best way to learn, the perennial student, taught not to learn, philosophy of art, credentialism, Jesse can guess the exact words in a student’s vocabulary, guess your weight or age, how Jesse gets work, gaming credentialism, no high school diploma, a contempt for institutionalized learning, a play-by-the-rules personality, grade inflation, what did Mussolini do?, intimidation vs. cultivation, give the students the experience of reading, reading as a meeting of minds, defending a dissertation, essays, we’re obsessed with essays (for the wrong reason), ohhh spoilers!, the big problem with almost any media, “I don’t want to spoil it for you.”, testing is easier, a kind of objectivity, don’t blame the actors for shitty Hollywood movies, status is society, education as the cultivation of minds, there aren’t enough people who are willing to rebel!

The Birth-Mark by Nathaniel Hawthorne - modified John Collier's "Laboratory", 1895

The Birthmark by Nathaniel Hawthorne - illustration by Lisa K. Weber

Posted by Jesse Willis