The SFFaudio Podcast #787 – READALONG: Lowdown Road by Scott Von Doviak

Jesse, Cora Buhlert, and Terence Blake talk about Lowdown Road by Scott Von Doviak

Talked about on today’s show:
2023 novel, so contemporary, Hard Case Crime, this cover looks cool, who are these guys on the cover, a new one, good to try new things, spilling the tea, Skeletor figure, sold three or for copies, owes Cora some kickback, didn’t pirate this book, pay real money, Audiobooksnow, Black Priestess Of Varda, convoy movies, the truckers, those trucker movies, a 70s car chase movie in book form, The Dukes of Hazzard, Knight Rider, crashing cars, evil and violent and not funny, Baby Driver (2017), private TV came to town, RTL, The A-Team, Alarm For Cobra 11, The Fall Guy, the German ones got steadily better, amazing car crashes, one car crash before the credits, funny banter, Turkish character, honour killing victim, oppressed wife, well made entertainment, French car chase movies, Australia has some of the best, The Road Warrior, Mad Max (1979), one of the best revenge movies of all time, the Saw series, Cannonball Run III (1989), Matt Frewer, Brooke Shields, Jamie Farr, Roger Ebert, read my lips, it is not funny, he’s wrong a lot, best car crashes from Alarm For Cobra 11, an okay movie, John Candy smoking in a car, he’s trying to polite, what are you doing between my legs, went to soon, great and funny, Eugene Levy, really funny people, the point of the Cannonball Run movies, a curmudgeon who’s watched too many movies, or an autistic person, he gets a lot of movies wrong, a kind of snobbery, Smokey And The Bandit (1977), mustache, not funny, its fun, playing with hotwheels cars, a car chase book, it is very hard to write car chases in books, Hicksploitation, a big continent, cars are important, lived in the city, took taxis, Gene Siskel, get in cabs, they’re not car guys, you have to be a car guy if you live in a big place, Australia is massive, Canada, driving across Canada is not a small thing, a road trip is a thing, cars are dangerous, stop for gas, stretches of road, cows, more road, farmhouses, the most boring stretches of road, in Germany city people use bicycles, in the countryside you need a car, public transport is bad, 80 kilometer ride, an interpreting gig in court, highway was closed, How I Won The War (1967), bikers and biker gangs, Terence’s parents never had a car, what!, enthusiastic, small towns out, rural France can be very very lonely, sold the car, car chases are very easy to do on film, the Fast And The Furious series, driving over the furniture, the opening scene, road trip, dialogue driven book, late summer of 1974, On The Road, no mythical resonance, a nice story, except for the structure of having the beginning at the end, particular ideas, wacky and crazy, surprised at the same thing, killing the characters, when Chuck got killed, one of the main characters, Gwen on the cover, the girl on the cover is the girl who hopes to get pregnant, she’s the Daisy Duke, boom she’s dead, a so it goes book, Kurt Vonnegut, Harrison Bergeron, this is implausible, isn’t that funny we’re so stupid, Galapagos, evolving into small brained seals, stupidity again, people are stupid, couldn’t hold a train of thought, interrupted, supposed to be teaching, civil engineering, holding back, it’s a solid story, Jesse hates it, pretentious, irony or arch is not a solution to problems, Nineteen-Eighty Four is an indictment, Brave New World is a warning, avoid the wrong path, a book in dialogue with a very specific period, road movies and car-chase movies, just two old boys never meaning no harm, Uncle Jesse operates a moonshine still, they live in a corrupt community, backwoods Tennessee, stock cars, NASCAR, builds into the 1970s, the inspiration, nobody dies, he’s got a headache, violence has consequences, an alcohol store, former partner in crime, 1969-1974, pulled over, the reversal, she’s set him up, every subsequent scene where somebody gets killed, surely this can’t continue, they all deserve it, I made a big mistake, a kill or be killed or just kill world, Julian didn’t deserve that, Antoine was half a good guy, Dean, all bastards, likeable bastards, a fun book, they don’t match one for one, Dean and his cousin, blow a tire, backwoods family, mentally deficient, overconfident, old man smoking cigarette while on oxygen, wants his seed, all cousins, kissin’ cousins, we’re back country folk, I need you to fuck my niece, rob this place, we’re moving in, I need to get pregnant, playing with the idea, they’re all distinct, much longer in the original draft, Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974), like Deliverance (1972), backwoods people, this high class low class thing, the cop who doesn’t want to be a cop, working class, not by much, about breaking laws, transporting cigarettes across state lines, Cannonball Run is based on a real incident, race of cars from New York to California, road testing your vehicle, Le Mans, 24 hours of continuous driving, a Cannonball Run movie zero: Gumball Rally (1976), friendly races, the prize is bragging rights, a mix of country hicks, and a Saudi Sheik, and Roger Moore, James Bond, a Goldfarb, playing with the idea of cars being for all classes of people in the United States, Blue Ruin, low class muscle cars that were fairly affordable, a Dodge Challenger, Gumball Rally 3000, all the exotic cars, kids of the ultrawealthy, a rally across every continent (including Antarctica), Batmobile, it’s only for wealthy people, quite dangerous, cars are dangerous, only for rich people car and trucker movies were entertainment for the poorest people, almost a little bit of CB radio stuff, a precursor to internet web culture, a lot of autobahns, main routes through Europe, CB radio was a thing, a way to jam the cops, communicating about where the cops are, where to get sex on the side, a good sandwich, wild and unregulated, a huge phenomenon in the UK, three low class guys get in cars, drive them, and make jokes, the number one show, a drivers license, younger people can’t afford cars, idiots who glue themselves to the highways, it was necessary for life to have a car, you could walk, if there’s a bus, a way of getting out of the utter poverty, he’s not getting it, resentment for being forced to watch movies like that, something you don’t like and being forced to deal with it, another fairy tale retelling, this stupid TV show, no award, people who never get out of the big cities, what life is like outside Berlin or Hamburg or Munich, hyper-reality, the amount of people killed over such a short period in this book, hits him with the paper towel dispenser, he’s dead?, this book has incredible stakes, at no point in it do I think it is realistic, jump over a creek every episode, the backstory for the Snake River jump, supernatural flying things, machine guns, the cars are always brand name German cars, wrecked for entertainment, German car companies lining up, attractive to these things that cause death, give us so much, working on a taco truck, mobility, get yourself across the continent, James Cameron, cars will run you over, a police puppet show, a traffic Punch, schoolyard with actual cops, riding a bicycle, physical unpleasant, it hurts, probably dead, not answered in the book, Evel Knievel, September 1974, he and the rocket floated to the canyon floor, live in movie theaters, the cars, four year old car, Vanishing Point (1971), existential car chase movie, Zabriskie Point (1970), the Cadillac Ranch, what’s in the afterword, stunt cycle toy, a lot of this is real, he failed, there were no murders on site, someone somewhere probably found one, Ford Mustang, Dodge Challenger, Corvette Stingray, whole television shows are based around these cars, Calgary, Alberta, Stingray, get to see his car from various angles, a thirty year old car, mystical stuff about these special cars, every character had a special car, turn into robots, Transformers, will be my best friend, we can fight evil, temporarily stealing things, light, car chase movies, smuggling drugs or alcohol, why would you smuggle that, late 60s, new Hollywood movies about anti-heroes, Easy Rider, Billy Jack, I’m Captain America, symbol of freedom, Dolly Parton’s ex, Burt Reynolds, Pontiac Firebird, his success with that and the sequels, like pure money for Pontiac, a new Firebird for the rest of your life, where’s my car?, you can’t drive all those cars, driver movie series, Transporter, concept movies, taking the little kid who liked playing with cars, get that nostalgia into the kid, increasingly small segment, that’s what they’re doing with their money, young people can’t afford cars, cars are turned into safety vehicles, a used car that is still running is pretty impressive, hurts their ability to get jobs and keep things, get a van and live in it, steadily badly for 50 years, they cracked down, 14 in Alberta, a bicycle with a motor, tractor at 15, a relationship between and their ecnomic status of people and their car, the last new cheap car, Yugo, Dacia, still affordable in Russia, the price of a car is 20,000 at a minimum, a Volkswagen Golf, very beautiful and very bad Mustang, Citroen 2CV, the collectors have gotten to them, Volkswagen Beetle, the title again, called out in the book, on the down low, hiding, for black people in the USA it means gay, just another character, the characters on the cover, who are these people, bottom left, Jim Carrey, a good old boy, the central guy, Dean, Roy Scheider, off brand Burt Reynolds, Samuel Jackson, sheriff, Jack Elam was the doctor in Cannonball Run, guy with the weird eye, too old for the role, wearing the Daisy Dukes, Stephen Spielberg’s Sugarland Express (1974), Jaws (1975), similar to the plot, Goldie Hawn, our son has been adopted, escape from prison, a chase across Texas, a slow strange car chase, William Atherton, based on a true story, the husband’s dead, the wife is put into prison, Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid (1969), sympathetic criminals, Bonnie And Clyde (1967), they die at the end, based on a true story, an intensive media presence, every town they pass through, a James gang or Robin Hood story, not doing any harm, the circumstances of capitalism, they come from a low class, regular normal people are heroes because they’re bucking against the state, we are the media presence, this book doesn’t have any intellectual heft at all, a throwback period piece, analyzing vs. recreating, making a new story, Hicksploitation, another Hard Case Crime book, heist book, Charlesgate Confidential, doofus, Scott Von Doofus, a night palate cleanser for Cora, we don’t think of them as badguys now, what are they doing that’s so wrong, kill a lot of people, it’s never thought through, bad cops you see in American movies, quit his job cop, the sheriff is bad, drawing and quartering, artificial fuel, biker gangs are bad, first quarterback, in the chess club, going to Vietnam, doesn’t feel like a perfect book, very Elmore Leonardesque, all very eloquent, hyper-real, hyperreality, feels like a play, snappy dialogue, no word other than said, he said archly, crime fiction critic, named after Melville, probably be a pretty good movie, We Can Do It Differently, <strong>No More Mister Nice Guy (1993), communist or nazi, some kind of house somewhere in East Germany, legal files, manor house, killing people, kick up a deserted Soviet Soldier, pick up a woman, shot and killed, Russia at the time, a failed state and there’s nothing there, Thelma & Louise (1991), big surprise, bbq and happy, still an American production, relentless deaths, not trying to make a sequel, not a heavyweight book at all, enjoyable for the ride, most of Hard Case Crime, it’s not a mystery, set your cars rolling, do some jumps, playtime’s over, Jim Thompson, James M. Cain, Double Indemnity, Postman Always Rings Twice, wrong Thompson, 1958 novel, Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger, McQueen and McGraw, Dynasty or Dallas, Sorcerer (1977), give her a role, a movie with only men, bullshit job, Roy Scheider, The Getaway, The Grifters, Angelic Huston, John Houston, Donald Westlake, The Killer Inside Me, blows you off the page, psychopathic small time sheriff, of course I had to destroy him, based on his own life, moonshine and drug runner in the oilfields, noir and hardboiled, Stephen King gave a blurb for this book, short novels, Pop. 1280, The Killoff, This World Then The Fireworks, hell, incestuous relationship, incest play, incest arguing, comes across as horror, hardboiled and noir, everybody die, Chinatown (1974), big twist, 50 year old movie, betrayed by your family, besides showing up in dreams, Confessions Of An English Opium Eater, The Seventh aka The Split by Richard Stark, the movie, he’s funny, the seventh Parker novel, playing a fun game, title games, idea games, Donald E. Westlake, Travels by Michael Crichton, New Years Eve evening, Dinner For One, James I would like to retire, now do it in the style of the Colonel, two versions, the real one, key moments in this video, attention span is so low, can’t enjoy an 18 minute short film, automatic, a benefit, let’s see the car chase, that’s no way to enjoy a film, no, it’s art, Foundation TV series, earn the Mule, a podcast about season 2, Paul Levinson, Alcibiades, The Plot To Save Socrates, a media studies professor, seems to be a nice dude, blogging for a long time, nobody uses tags anymore, in the feed, Light On Light Through, funeral costs, burial and grave, 2053, dying is expensive, extended again, always 30 years, split the cost, expensive tombstone, much cheaper to just disappear like Ambrose Bierce, it’s time for me to go to Mexico, don’t tell the government that, as long as they get paid, solar panels, fight with the power company, steal a taco truck and drive across Germany, food truck guy, sausage stands and trucks, chicken trucks, whole roast chickens on a stick, pizza trucks in Nice, street food, kebab shops, migrant background, doner, donair, sandwich de turk, sad when people can’t enjoy good things, messy but delicious, life is messy, 50-70 years, an immigrant neighbourhood, Turkish, Lebanese, Syrian, what does Terence cook?, simple things, vegetables, whatever protein we come across, fish, cod, cheap and nice, quiche, leeks, whatever we have we stick in, small child, neighbour’s cat, have to be vague, deny the cat, whoever’s around, I’m not a cannibal, cannibal murder case in Bremen in the late 40s, gay guy who killed a lot of young men, preyed on refugees, Silesia, Polish and Russian, stuffed into sausages, east Prussian sausage, roadkill hogs, early school shooting, 1912, take over the world, Catholic girl’s school, kids made no sense at all, wool spinning factory, Catholic immigrants, Poles in Germany, we are German we hate those immigrants, culturally German, idiot walked in, barely ever talk about it, Germans are largely to blame for the school systems around the world, The Terminal Man, a big long life, all these humans are getting old, they all died early, one aunt left, indestructible, terrified, very active, health issues, biological grandmother, do you like her or not?, city Nazi grandma, surplus extra grandmother, I hate this woman, keeled over on holiday, in Hungary on holiday, Kiel, if Hungary on holiday go to Turkey, goulash food truck?, adopted by the Germans, make proper goulash, photo a lot of food, a good winter food, tinned mushrooms, 1982, Iron Curtain still up, cheap holiday destination, died on the toilet, break open the door, getting the body back, smuggling out important information, exporting bodies is really messy, death certificates, medical death certificates, bad James Bond movies, Roger Moore movies, Sean Connery, Diamonds Are Forever (1971), Mach 1 Mustang, GoldenEye (1995), Leicester Square Odeon, had Charles been there, the tank chase is great, distinctive, the opening sequence, chemical weapons lab in a dam, do the bungee jump, Arecibo, the story explanation, communicating with an old Soviet satellite, Famke Janssen having orgasms whenever she interacts with someone, Sean Bean, a double agent, ancestors were Cossacks, returned to the UK under Operation Keelhaul, doing revenge for his grandfather’s being sent to the Soviet Union, spaceborn weapon to paralyze stuff, took the recipe, named after the house in Jamaica, a complete confection, rather than at the core there’s this idea, turn your brain off, 5 year gap, License To Kill (1989), first modern Bond film, she’s not fantastic, subtext running through the whole film, constantly emasculated, kind of sexist, found funny, shitty cars in Eastern Europe, the film works but it is not good, Skyfall, the invisible car, Pierce Brosnan, Michelle Yeoh, heavy product placement, let it die, a legend of martial arts cinema, Singapore, Robert Carlyle, Bernard Cornwell, Richard Sharpe, super-hero movies, Halle Berry, make it a period piece, done as a comedy, much crueler, occasionally stern, suave and makes jokes, what they’re doing with Craig, you’re taking away the fun, all memberberries, the Goldfinger car, not a British car, came out two years before he was born, don’t think about that, terrible, a twitter essay, when the James Bond movie series really crashed, only did two movies, the Russians are not the badguys after, friendly rivals, worked with James Bond, James Bond fucks Russian women, gave him the highest Soviet medal, occasional competitors, mostly it was capitalists, a Nazi capitalist, a Rupert Murdoch type guy, under Craig they made Julian Assange the bad guy, child star in France, tastefully rendered sex, La Boum (1980), release all the private docs the British empire did, turning into propaganda, they were the opposite, talk about the Soviets being crazy, a rogue Soviet general, eagerly watched these movies, cool gadgets, the animosity is very much one way, then high school equivalent of an essay, which Red Scare?, the one today?, why is this important, because we’re having one again, people calling people McCarthyites, the first Red Scare, super-evil top down, you’ve gone too far, the army is not full of communists, they don’t even believe it, a way of tarring your enemies, Sarah Hoyt, not mentally very well, even if you are worried about communism, Vietnam communism is not Cuban communism, Justin Trudeau is not a communist, fighting socialized dental care, for war with other countries, he is the Liberal party in Canada, Russia – Ukraine war, a horror show, they didn’t know, only the Russians are evil, from the Baltics, Lithuanians, Latvians and Estonians, the biggest sin there is, they look like twins, you killed my family, wars, resentment caused by individual people in power, his dad had a beef with Iraq, an excuse to do something, a precedent for this, not a good thing, atrocity, killed the dog, if people want to be kings, you have to show people, we’re not going to do kings, they brought the king back, still a movement to put him back in, the Pantheon of Rome, the reinstatement of the Italian monarch, we should be done with monarchies and oligarchies, Kaiser relatives around?, King of England, Prince Louis Ferdinand, aristocratic, increasingly irrelevant, huge inheritance taxes, a punk girl, popped out a few kids, tabloid celebrity, terribly conservative, used her celebrity appeal, an actor, Young Indiana Jones movies, dukedom, private railway station, finished in 1916, can’t mingle with the common people, museum now, city government buildings these days, something to eat, Monday it is, strong painkillers, doped up, coffee, an extra hour’s sleep.

Lowdown Road by Scott Von Doviak

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The SFFaudio Podcast #773 – READALONG: Sailing to Byzantium by Robert Silverberg

The SFFaudio PodcastJesse, Paul Weimer, Will Emmons, Terence Blake, and Jonathan Weichsel talk about Sailing to Byzantium by Robert Silverberg

Talked about on today’s show:
a very accurate copy of Terence, go by Jonathan, Asimov’s, February 1985, Silverberg has a problem, his skills, he loves literature, doesn’t know much about science, loves history, children, all of his stories are about marriage basically, not every story is a marriage story, I think my dog knows aliens, that doesn’t involve relationships, an inversion of Passengers, The Roller Coaster by Alfred Bester is more Passengers than Passengers, Jesse’s focus and primary point of interest is ideas, cuz I’m a dude, gender stereotype this, as far as Jesse is concerned, once upon a time, came to understand and appreciate, still immature, pleasure and value, idea first and foremost, when characters are pushed, the high point of the book, that he is an android, Jonathan is smarter than Jesse apparently, the known simulacra won’t obey him, did you command it?, that’s good, the other hint, I remember New York, that’s because he’s Robert Silverberg, Dark City (1998), programmed that way, rented on Laserdisc, Director’s Cut, too crazy to be released in cinemas, narration in the beginning, inferior product, Charlez Philips, Yankees, hot dog, presumed this was another in the tradition of C.M. Kornbluth’s The Marching Morons, William Morris, the revelation, internal thinking, what he’s thinking about what this guy’s saying, the opening description is repeated three times, it’s beautiful, description of the dawn in Alexandria, the writing is beautiful, the concept is solid, The City In The Stars by Arthur C. Clarke, what the plot is, guy has girlfriend, guy loses girlfriend, guy searches for girlfriend, the writing… so good, perfect length, I read a piece of literature and I have something to say about it, Downward To The Earth, Heart Of Darkness, the Yates poem, responding to the poem, his one trick, he’s a guy who loves literature and science fiction, knows a lot about ancient cities, Gilgamesh The King, Silverberg is really good, Up The Line, a tourist book, tourism, The History Of Tom Jones, A Foundling by Henry Fielding, the novel not the singer, a Tom Jones of timetravel, not trying to hide it, hey I’m doing this thing, The Secret Sharer, I read this amazing thing let me respond, very solidly, William Coon, I got an iPhone with GPS, childless, there’s no children in this world, there’s no adults in the world, our main character is the adult, go for characters, Paul try to defend her, she’s an Eloi, there’s mostly all Eloi, a little more conciousness, the robots are the Morlocks, you can’t be here, the unpaid proletariat of the society, money is meaningless, who is actually fixing these robots, other robots, this doesn’t need any addition, a very small idea, deconstruct it as well as a scientificly plausible future, a new person for the city, a guy from the 1960s who wakes up in 2023 and finds out his phone has GPS, how a post scarcity economy becomes a society of spectacle, where we had Mark Twain on, Enter a Soldier. Later: Enter Another, Innocents Abroad is about the invention of tourism, modern tourism, nice and stable, Americans going to Europe, travelogues, vacations vs. tourism, you build things for the tourists, Paris needs the Eiffel Tower, everything becomes insubstantial, you need to see the centaur grazing, tourism is a negative, taking the tour vs. living somewhere, some ad man, the Seven Wonders of the World, sex tourism, let’s go get some slaves, tourism is about the middle class, getting lots of bums in seats, tourist facilities, at the airport to take you to a hotel, the hotels haven’t been invented yet, Evan is in Thailand, a vacation destination vs. tourism, their whole lives are vacations, the only thing that dies in this world is the cities, Rome is the Eternal City, Paris, see the thing that Hitler and Hemingway looked at, a touchpoint on a checklist, the particular theme, the actual plot, we broke up a little bit, we’re back together, a very cynical take on what immortal people are like, they’re very shallow, juxtapose it, Ian Bank’s Culture novels, self-actualized, we’re in China, the emperor sitting on his throne waving his hand being fanned, impossibly drunk, wakes up having sex, conspired, he’s being raped by her, here’s my problem with the scene, emotional consequences, oh well that happened to me, they haven’t programmed him to have, pre-neanderthals, sexy cave woman sidles up to sexy cave man, people are people, people are not even people, a robot with personhood, glands and hormones and emotional reactions, he’s a primitive, coasts along, acculturation, like an Eloi, a strange lack in the programming, violent, goes with the flow, his love is real, he’s a robot that can be programmed to be drunk, cultural expectations, he’s just a very 20th century man, the hidden robots, this place is closed, it’s not a place anymore, his creator, mobile tourist attractions, his future, New Chicago era, don’t you know you’re a robot dude?, I’ve been bewitched, what you’re saying is witchcraft, imagine if Philip Jose Farmer wrote this book, more sex, Tarzan lives 10,000 years ago and lives all of time, historical character to spend time with, Elizabeth and Drake and them, what am I gonna do with my life, just a guy living in a world, his girlfriend’s run away from him, they’re indistinguishable, one is worried about getting old, he’s just riding that, the call to action is the girl leaving him, the catalyst, he doesn’t know he is, he doesn’t know he has that problem, the plot requires him to have a problem, what is his solution?, you become immortal like me and become a robot, just a way of ending the book, the plot is not important to this story, Downward To The Earth, Congo planet, say sorry to the elephants, the elephants sometimes get violent, checking in on people he used to know, meditating on a good book, the poem, 3 minutes, 4 stanzas, Sailing to Byzantium by William Butler Yates, on reading Silverberg’s novella length discussion of this poem…, making it the setting for this poem, a secular heaven, where the movie and the book got it from, the ending of the novella doesn’t go far enough, they should have gone to Byzantium to find the planners and become planners again, you need imagination and curiosity to recreate all these ancient cities, that is what would absolutely happen, a very modest tired science fiction story, Mockingbird by Walter Tevis, sad and meditative world, illiteracy is the center of the book, it should be a satire, university professorships and everybody is illiterate, if this goes on…, doing drugs all the time and experiencing a new media, a couple of people who don’t fit, live near the zoo, the journey to find the truth of their world, you need to go into the tunnels and find the planners, a big computer program, an explanation will be a letdown, the way Arthur C. Clarke gets out of it, everybody’s an artist and an art critic, very chaste, how did these people predict the future so accurately, go to other planets, only one city now, in the same universe, this could be a period of The Forever War, Forever Peace, Forever Free, struck to close to home, connected with people long enough your brain changes, it did not work for Paul, very unrealistic, a priori, connecting to and using drones, the drones thing is very solid, his solution to peace, about the peace thing, any plan to achieve world peace is going to be a nightmare, mind-control, manipulation, Mindbridge by Joe Haldeman, he didn’t write as much as Silverberg, inactive, confusing somebody, Camouflage, Buying Time, Work Done For Hire, makes them horny for each other, this sounds good, won the nebula, they like the fancy writing, reward each other for fancy writing, has a little bit of fancy writing, you’re a guy and you wake up in the future and everybody’s gay, it’s the 70s, he’s the pervert, I’m the only heterosexual man in the universe, why it’s a good book, different from Heinlein, an answer, a riposte, an echo, with a different brain doing the work, we have started on reading half of Tor Doubles, Gene Wolfe, that’s a problem, hit Jesse with the “it’s a problem” stick, that’s a problem for this podcast, there are too many books to do, best decisions Jesse’s life, a great formula, Seven American Nights by Gene Wolfe, is the writer reliable?, a 19th century story, a Norman Spinrad story, visit the fallen New York, the Brooklyn Bridge, a big stack of Tor Doubles, A Meeting With Medusa, mature Arthur C. Clarke, Nightwings, Greg Bear’s Hardfought, went off the rails, no be like H.P. Lovecraft die of cancer from eating beans, Eye For Eye by Orson Scott Card, no, Hawksbill Station, Color Of Neanderthal Eyes by James Tiptree Jr. and Michael Bishop, the ideal podcast, in some cases, he’s not likely to give permission, refuse to do a book by someone who is so anti-queer, his religion is bullshit, he can have it, Salvation Army bucket, a 19th century spinoff of the temperance movement, they really are an army, charity thing only now, rope people in with their homeless shelters, where they indoctrinate you, when Orson Scott Card dies will it be okay?, Ender’s Game and other things, a cigarette pack that says cancer kills, as a part of the canon, weird and distorted people, Nancy Kress, find traces, they way Heidegger was a Nazi, resistance from Heidegger scholars, finding ways to prune that list, Pugnacious Peacemaker by Harry Turtledove, a sequel, The Saliva Tree by Brian Aldiss, The Wheels Of If by L. Sprague De Camp, Saddam Hussein’s fantasy novels, required reading in Iraqi schools, rushing to finish his latest book, very passionate author, Bill Clinton’s espionage thrillers, two branches we can go down, somebody did this, back to Silverberg, see something, tweet it at me, very good but not super controversial book, visiting over the shoulder, Asgard, so impressed with Silverberg, you’re clearly not an ancient astronaut guy, Hindu nationalists, very weird western dudes, Born With The Dead, French language SFFaudio, a collection, soon to be a motion picture, The Silent Invaders, A Time Of Changes, that’s the thing with the pronouns, obscene I, coming to a consensus, a famous one, a first contact one, Thorns, tourism but not ancient, all around the universe, super-depressing, Kurt Vonnegut, life is meaningless, Vonnegut is funny, Thorns is not funny, a depressed version of Vonnegut, it’s Liggoti, I cried with Born With The Dead at the end, saddening or depressing, aliens disfigured him, a recluse, people look at him weird, donating 100 of her eggs, she’s got 100 babies she’ll never see, Mark Zuckerberg, emotional vampire, across known space, inability to form a real relationship, Letters From Atlantis, mind in other people sort of thing, ancient Atlantis, it has Silverberg’s strengths, A Hero Of The Empire, a Roma Eterna story, a Paul book, the consensus I’m hearing, worried about being depressed, this pronoun is forbidden, a powerful mind altering drug, a message of liberation, a cult favourite, 1971, October 22, some troll was in my schedule, Scott is listed there, maybe Scott was trolling, The Weirwoods by Thomas Burnett Swann, a fantasy book, semi-erotic fantasy novels, Tolkien’s level, cool looking ace cover, bear with an eyepatch, time of the Etruscans, Cirsova submission, sexually explicit, pornography on this podcast, imagine Piers Anthony was a serious author, how these prompts work, the female characters show the most growth, male water sprite is kidnapped, an actor who is travelling through, go to my girl in the waterworld, oh are you a virgin?, what no maybe I don’t know, have you been to an orgy, I’m horny now, you’ll be horny later, 5 hours, thank you, very enjoyable book, I like the short, more depth to it, more going on, different ideas, characters, concepts, weird aquatic animals, a safari vs. tourism, spend time with the natives, Thorns is like a space-cruise, Up The Line, from a poem?, pretty obscure, Up The Line by Robert Silverberg, Paul Boehmer, a time courier, a lusty Greek, a sex book, uber eats guy, goofballs goofing off, the Time Patrol, labour stuff, sex with my ancestor, I’m gonna go make myself, I’m gonna become rich, a weird attitude, you can’t break the rules, they’re managers, serialized in Amazing, has good art, a sex comedy, Hot Tub Time Machine (2010), very deep, as a man, a feature or a bug, definitely one or the other, straightfaced is weird, commentary on the 1980s, also our world, people create avatars for themselves, playing with real people and NPCs, Skyrim with AI companions, go kill that big bear over there, says something snarky, people are normally playing against NPC with scripted conversations, NPC companions helping you to kill other NPCs, barely real, scene fillers, one of the amazing things, follow that person, see where they’re going, where reality takes us, business and agenda, I’m going and buying the thing I was told to buy, I’m wearing my mask, make the dog poop, buy a newspaper, early 20s in New York, ticket scalper, rich people buy $1000 Broadway tickets, a concierge at a hotel, people walking by, Grand Theft Auto, The Truman Show (1998), functions there, the same people going back and forth, very educational, a weird form of nature, being inside of somebody’s spleen, catch on fire, speaking of firetrucks, is Will still covered in cats?, dog is having seizures, an intercranial disease, it was joyous, cheeseburger for my dog please, not permanent, new cats coming in all the time, covered in its own feces, it was like that, what does this have to do with making money for capitalism?, acquiring capital, conceivably, put em up on some website, record it, God Save the Mark by Donald E. Westlake, should be fun, very relationship oriented, more than year, he’s gotta educate people, nun’s business, she’s good, she’s got some meanness in her, all about the kindness, Jason Thompson was tweeting about cruelty, honesty is something you need in your life, cruel and not honest, cruel and honest, at least with words, ideas are potentially cruel, The Screwfly Solution isn’t an indictment of men, subject fleshy creatures, let’s all play nice, when Paul says “no, Jesse”, is the pope raping children by not shutting down his empire?, pedophile priests are a thing, we should be suspicious, do I look fat in this dress?, no, you look fat in every dress, cruel truths coming out of fiction, does that help answer your question, it’s important, is The Colorado Kid a western?, set in Maine, a Hard Case Crime book, illustrations, real bad man, such a shitlib, occasionally make a mistake, when the drugs went the talent went, the Trump derangement drug, much better as a cruel mean drunk, The Running Man is so good, reading for meanness, Lord Tyger, Philip Jose Farmer, Tarzan Alive, A Feast Unknown, 150 pages-ish, short Stephen King with a great cover and interior illustrations, a concept, Mr. Mercedes, Cell, he does characters really really well, really good book, on a lot of things, not substanial in the way science fiction can be, his fantasy is his own construction, peripherally crime book, crime books are good, Lawrence Block, Raymond Chandler, formula, Jim Thompson, cruel guy, The Killer Inside Me, The Grifters, Westlake wrote the script, a great movie and great book, harrowing, the paperback on the spinner wrack, gut punch on page one, waiting for your bus, getting off the bus, you finish it that night, character driven literature, crime is an interesting situation, how can I get the police involved, the police are a new invention, they’re a bad thing, why Breaking Bad is very interesting, empire building, the wife is there to say what you’re doing is wrong, that was always inherent with that show, what were the bad things he’s doing, killing people is bad, he has cancer, disrespected, no health care, accepted his buyout, wealthy billionaire, a man’s dignity, it’s not about Walter White or Heisenberg, that ain’t what Star Trek is, what Star Trek really is, fuckin terrible, crime is the philosophy of how to be, The Postman Always Rings Twice, Mildred Pierce by James M. Cain, a little bit of outside of society, chess pieces, the criminal mind, moral dilemma, I’m going to lower myself, he knows that he’s doing wrong, he’s the weakest character, Jesse Pinkman is a much stronger character, he’s just a dumb guy, yo, he thinks of himself as very high, he’s brought low, he destroys the things that he loves he says, the show is trying to moralize at the end, he has to be brought low and feel bad about what he’s done, Better Call Saul, all the characters are strong, a better show because it doesn’t have the wife and kids aspect, to setup the fall, Jimmy McGill, at sea on his own, stupid and lucky vs. smart and unlucky, really interesting American stories, Double Indemnity, so greasy, he never did anything nice to me, I guess I’ve got to kill him, they betray each other, super-short, makes you love reading, a good movie, Fred McMurray and a lady with a wig, Edward G. Robinson, Mildred Pierce, so good, very successful, Jim Thompson, a Greek tragedy, they also cut each other up with knifes, his writing is bloody, turn the page and cut your arm, movies that went underground, This World The The Fireworks, Billy Zane and Gina Gershon are lovers and brother and sister, Flowers In The Attic, a funny stream of pro-incest propaganda, ‘Tis Pity She’s A Whore aka ‘Tis Pitty Shee’s A Whoore, forbidden love, go with your heart, okay enough, daughter, suitor, dorks, if I can’t have you sister, nobody can, not as flowery as Shakespeare, has sex with his sister, pulls her heart out with a dagger, a huge monologue with a beating heart, and on that note Terence leaves, Farnham’s Freehold, Pirates Of Venus, subsequently shownoting in, Ill Met In Lankhmar, add Scott to the conversation, it’s X now, Elon pictures, Twitter building with an X on top, very Christian, a sideways cross, Brave New World, he wants twitter to be like We Chat, Space X etc., the hub of their social credit system, editing up a whole other podcast, might be too fresh, John Buchan wrote The Thirty-Nine Step, spy fiction, weird fiction, Algernon Blackwood, a very competent upperclass guy, later Governor General of Canada, his weird fiction is pretty cool, how’s Connor doing these days, since he went to Germany, pretty active for an inactive guy, lost his twitter account for a while, Moon Of Skulls, already confused, The Warriors, plus movie, the original version of the movie, re-edited, 7 hours, 19 minutes, a lot of books we want to read, how do I winnow the books I can read, read more books, consider leaving twitter, there are many options, Facebook groups to join, being controlled by evil giant corporations, how they get you trapped, same story, going to Burger King, never read Donald E. Westlake, he’s also known as Richard Stark, puttin’ you down, fancy spellings, he won an Oscar for that, he wrote a script for a James Bond movie, a fifth of Hard Case Crime in the early days were Westlakes, a real life coup, comedy and crime books, Brothers Keepers, Somebody Owes Me Money, Anarchaos, also about insurance, Lee Marvin, Mel Gibson, love his series, so good, Might Sons Of Hercules anthology, communists vs. conservatives, can we agree on that, throw each other out of helicopters, the bad takes, full of bad takes, get into tea about, the showing up for the podcast, Mirko (the German guy), @MrLovecraft, I was browsing through our messages down to 2016, mostly take pictures of random stuff, a bowlful of tools, I know what he smells like, I need to sniff it everyday, his whole cowboy hat collection, archives, complete access, archive.org, the secret, mostly all the time, look for pulps, only processed stuff on the PDF page, so much good writing in one magazine from April of 1899, Guy De Maupassant, Maurice Level, a successor to Maupassant, weird mean stories, the first translations into English, horrible syphilis, The String aka A Piece Of String, string collection, the cops come by, did you steal a wallet, somebody saw you, and yet you refuse to explain, dropped it into my other pants, too embarrassing, The Necklace aka The Diamond Necklace, Bel Ami, dissatisfied with her life, she could’ve married much higher, the governor’s ball, kinda like Cinderella, saving up money to buy a gun, trying to save money, you have that friend, you’re brilliant, the event goes swimmingly, she’s lost the necklace, they retrace their steps, what are we gonna do, mortgage and borrow and replace it, 20 years go by, just finally paid off the debt, scrub maid, looking elderly now, so proud, cost me all these years of work, walk away bleeding from the page, he’s just so mean, a social climber, corruption in the third French republic, why don’t you just become a reporter?, that’s okay it doesn’t matter, get a good wife to do the writing, love triangles, meanspirited, a really good portrait, impressionism or naturalism, what’s right in front of us right now, rejected, jotting down descriptions of people, it can be very powerful, a Fyodor Dostoevsky novel, one of the vampire guys, Uma Thurman, so good, in school, Scaramouche by Raphael Sabatini, no Westlake, no Sabatini, pirate books, Captain Blood, a contemporary of Johnston McCulley, huge in their day, lasting influence, a lot of Stephen King is loving Westlake, TV writers, to survive after you die, to champion in, Lovecraft, Kafka, C.L. Moore, her second husband, Philip K. Dick is trying to suppress, Charles Burnett Swan, why is he unknown now?, a little dirty, a little embarrassed, their are no heirs, his publishers, Space Viking, Little Fuzzy, Omnilingual, very off, posting more, pulp collection, Alan Muller, The Skull, Black Priestess Of Varda, The Adventures Of Tom Sawyer, the secret is Will’s been in hiding in South America, not knowing what to say, come up with a brilliant thesis that everybody hates, she’s secretly transgender, everybody accepts this, double novel sucker, remaindered, Tor business, I might read half of it, Ace Doubles, just in case, Ace Doubles, there’s no time, The Sioux Spaceman, And Then Town Took Off, Conquest Of The Space Sea, insane cover, reading glasses, go back far enough in Luke Burrage’s podcast, audiobooks, what are those?, only does audiobooks, almost exclusively audiobooks, washing dishes, scrubs toilet, how can you not want to do it all the time, slow reading, a DAW Yellow Spine, to be sitting and staring at a piece of paper, I’m done, Riders Of The Purple Sage, Zane Grey, gonna be sparky, a weird writer, antiquated, everybody’s having all these emotions, the phenomenally successful author, the Ohio Valley, violent opposition, turbulent, Lewis Wetzel, Girdy Bros., seems a little long, more cattle rustlers, Tales Of The Lonely Trails, Elmore Leonard, good but not deep, dialogue is so good, Out Of Sight, the other Batman who lives on Lake Como, Clooney/Lopez, a TV show, Karen Sisco, a test story, Justified, expand the idea and keep the character, colour splashing, the same recipe, Quentin Tarantino championed Elmore Leonard, nothing else is an adaptation, Robert Forster and Pam Grier, revisiting with Sam Jackson, Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci is not in Heat, Rum Punch, set in Florida, Florida books, shallower and deeper, more style, Get Shorty, it’s fine, more of his own thing, Florida writers, Carl Hiaasen, cat lady books for men, character descriptions, superficial writing for rich people, their character description is their bank statements, Mario Puzo, Fool’s Die, big sprawling book about a guy and his story, I am the master of magic, a tour de force of writing, Grover Gardner, Grover’s voice is much like this, Paul hates it, don’t let self-doubt hold you back, thesis optional, see you in cyberspace, a ghost writing gig, a really big one, famous celebrity?, chat GPT, people don’t understand what a writer does, done their research for them, in 7 months, do it!, nobody listens, she died a long time ago, research for her historical screenplay, large famous Hollywood family, it’s Sunset Blvd. (1950), she was a hasbeen, Griffith Park pit bull, two writing assistants, lying bed and dictating to her, writers are very disposable, it’s a set of skills, mercenaries, there’s art, technical skill, ask questions, answer questions, fill places, plumbers, it needs to be plumb, a lot of writing is going to change, you can’t replace Westlake with chat GPT, entry level positions, assistants and help backing them up, people coming in, hide their assistants, George R.R. Martin has six assistants at at time, Elmore Leonard had one, sometimes writer dry up, Silverberg, a burning problem, Lawrence Block’s newsletter, he’d retire and come back from a vacation with another novel, they flow out of him, those people are pretty rare, a mental illness, a compulsion to write, a letter to CBS about Burt Lancaster as Moses, grad students he wants to fuck, Roger Zelazny, Ursula Le Guin, paranoid navel gazing, hypergraphia, a brain thing that’s happening, I need to understand, I need to question, Rosicrucian organization, you can’t read that all day long, people’s brains are different, Tishomingo Blues, Piers Anthony, so dirty, very entertaining, not great, A Spell For Chameleon, there will never be a movie, sad, leering, misogyny is fundamentally integrated, Paul won’t like it, she changes according to the phases of the Moon, full/beautiful/dumb, new/hideous/smart, all theses are fun, some theses are better than others, the lady who invented wifi they always say, smart beautiful woman, Hedy Lamarr, weird sex jokes, Satyr, female centaur, centauress, reaches over grabs her boobs, she gets angry and embarrassed, boob armour?, kids enjoy sex stories, girls are gross, girls are boring, you wanna play with dolls, jumps on motorbikes, weird period, why they were popular, Robert Lynn Asprin, paranoid, Christian parents, he wasn’t allowed to be the DM anymore, not allowed to watch The Simpsons anymore, people were a little looser, the end of free range kids, H.R. Pufnstuf, Jim Henson, 17 seasons, sidewalk sale, a guy singing, Uncle Floyd, an old soul, old stuff, L.A. for ten years, Marilyn Monroe, an empty movie theater?, a library?, 1 screen movie theater, new-fangled building, arcology?, they all have movie theaters, all the new buildings have movie theaters, Jesse is very out of touch, news to Jesse, a big screen TV size, home theaters, laserdisc, bigscreen TV, people make fun of Jonathan, a tiny tiny gym, gyms are standard, everybody is elderly, an amenity for elderly people, your dog’s already been pooped, Scarlett Johansson is a Russian spy, ballet and sex, Red Sparrow (2018), Joker (2019), the old people loved that.

Sailing To Byzantium by Robert Silverberg - art by Hisaki Yasuda

Sailing To Byzantium by Robert Silverberg

TOR DOUBLE - Sailing To Byzantium by Robert Silverberg

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The SFFaudio Podcast #690 – READALONG: The Pre-Persons by Philip K. Dick

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #690 – Jesse, Evan, Will Emmons talk about The Pre-Persons by Philip K. Dick

Talked about on today’s show:
Fantasy & Science Fiction, October 1974, Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said, The Electric Ant, Evan doesn’t seem to hate this story, a hateable story?, an abortion story, politically incorrect, Paul might not have been able to get passed it, Will will try to get passed it, cypress trees, the abortion truck, a “post partum”, through the looking glass, down Alice’s rabbit hole, U.S. Supreme Court blah blah blah, personal life stuff, the way men and women are presented, comment on abortion, a reductio ad absurdum, lines with children (alcohol, voting), ageism of adults oppressing children, a moment of privileged, Will’s presidential year, as youthful as Pete Bootyjudge, communism and Democrats are the same thing, a different book, Dreamsnake by Vonda M. Mcintyre, taking issue with Dick’s arguments against abortion, what a good thing abortion is, abortions are fashionable, a message to Marissa, Marissa was half way through and hated it, shot his wad, emasculating women want to kill everything, submit to Joanna Russ, a feminist bent, all the women are the same, chew up all the fish in the waters of Canada, keep the embryo in a jar to pass around at a wine and cheese event, next level misogynist(ish), a direct response to Roe V. Wade, we have Dick’s notes, Collected Stories, Volume 5, she usually offered to beat up people, special pleading, offending people, drugs, communism, such a Philip K. Dick move, you have to bother, he’s got some ideas, a powerful story, Jesse is in favour of infanticide, infanticide to age 37, gets on the bus with his kid, an reservedly good thing, somebody shoots an arrow into your arm, its necessary, injuries are a bad thing, a remedy, a repair is always a good thing, where the slippage happens, participating in the impregnation, he wants to take responsibility, where at least one of the problems lie, that thing is alive and wants to live, Philip K. Dick wants it to live, the kids are standing around, those aspects of the story, its all talk, a wanna firebomb the abortion clinic and truck, actions are much different than desires, crazy (and normal) people take things outside of the mind, computer games with digital guns, the reason to read this story is to explore Philip K. Dick, Ben Shapiro wrote a short story collection, Harrison Bergeron by Kurt Vonnegut, a rip-off of The Pre-Persons, poor Fleishhacker, one of them steps on a bad bug, that’s the thesis, its kind of about animals, this is how we round up cats (and dogs), declawing cats, murdering male chicks five minutes after they’re hatched, Philip K. Dick is making Evan’s argument, we need more people, a classist argument, Ed, is there a cat in there?, the horrible ice-cream man, reverse-gassed, an honest position, an ice-cream truck, the Good Humour music, you runaway and hide from the ice cream man’s gaze, skinny makes him a stray, glasses means somebody cares for him, Romanian orphanages, a peek behind the iron curtain, pretty vague, international abortions, white saviours to adopt them, adopting some strays, a burden, a convenience, if having children wasn’t a burden, utopian fiction, it’s really expensive to raise a kid, an analogy for gun rights, crossbows, our thinking about abortion is broken, if Paul were here, he may be so pro he may not be able to listen to why some are against, racism, classism, possible ways of engaging, state encouragement, India or China, state policy, a description of Walter’s mom, a soulless robot, maybe Walter was a robot, I’ve reduced your stress threshold, what we do as (parents) adults, how to cope with problems in their lives, unrelated to the topic of particular horror, a reality of human and animal biology, 1874, orphanages were common, what happened?, the foster care system, unwanted births, the parents died, the children are given up (anonymous), Oscar Wilde play, left in a gladstone bag, women being shamed to have had babies out of wedlock, women will possibly think it fashionable to get an abortion, people do all sorts of shit (largely because of what people around you are doing), veganism, university educations, norms (outside the law), prideful abortions, how much advertising we’ve gotten, the hot new show right now, wrong in context, contending with the hatemail, a second abortion, 100% of the women think having an abortion is fashionable, the safe country for babies, he believes what the state says, states say: these people aren’t people, a prison guard, almost nobody in prison in the U.S. had a trial, suddenly faced with these thoughts, your brain and the people around you, our truck driver is a psychopath, perfectly happy returning milk bottles, looking at the shotgun, only had to use it five times, anti-men at that moment, the nature of men, the nature of the state, emasculating women, a perspective character for Dick, a reliable character, he’s also the little boy and the wife, women are not easy to understand by men, special pleading, not an article, delivering exactly what he wants, it has this nuance in it, its not just about abortion, algebra being the test of whether has a soul or not, Jesse you’re in trouble, we’re gonna test you, your parents aren’t there saying “grades don’t matter”, how Jesse good a good mark on his castle, he knows this is a kind of a farce, the woman in this story is kind of a farce, insightful enough, resentful feelings, that’s not the end of the story, our situation on Earth, something that happens to us, am I gonna eat meat?, hard hard things, healthcare is really important, malnourished on the sidewalk, thus we make reforms, the $90 license for the kid, not only about shitting on women, the emotional response to a particular incident, the minority opinion, less abortion, arrows in the street is a bad thing, they have to do it safely, to take back the government, so interesting, the use of the soul, religious anti-abortion people, not an atheist society, a Reagan society, the question of the soul, Thomas Aquinas, after the quickening, birth control become a no-no, subverting the religious argument, a desire to live, abortion laws in Canada, there are no laws about abortion in Canada, a touchy subject, how to do it?, available on demand, harder in Nunavut than Vancouver, the regulatory agency doesn’t exist, abortionists, a legal right, 2 minutes before the baby’s head popped out, he goes on and on and on about Vancouver Island and English Bay, an incident in his life, a mid-life crisis, pretended to be addicted to heroin to get some counseling, a forthright liar, paranoid, the drug writer, a couple LSD experiences, taken from his own life, all the empathizing we do with the little kids, seeing the kids in the back of the truck, more than one kid in there, every kind of argument to justify his feelings of having his kid aborted, or hypothetically, something you would regret, a striving of both males and females to have children, this hot-button topic, the horror from every side, the Church of The Watchers, a coal powered Oldsmobile (or a Ford), weird laws and legislation, during the one child policy in China, fining the parents, forced to go to school, Kamala Harris wanted to have parents arrested for their children’s truancy, the juvenile birthrate, embarrassing, off to the doctor with you, social pressure, people do thing to their bodies for fashion, The Chromium Fence, underground bunkers as a fashion, Foster, You’re Dead, Nanny, raytheon making nannies, dishwashers, planned obsolescence, your refrigerator has a wifi connection, advertising creates fashions, vegans, bottom up fashions, veganism isn’t fashion, alcohol, veganism might be a fashion, a happening, anyone born after 2008 can’t by cigarettes in Australia?, they’re all going to vape anyway, British Columbia Liquor Store, British Columbia Cannabis Stores, minimize harms and maximize gains, a state by state model, restrictions designed to shape behaviors, collective model, the arrow clinic is free at the point of use, smoking is bad, Evan should smoke as much as they want, people need cigarettes to control their bodies, Bob Dole, the kind of horror that gets under your skin, a little boy hiding in the blackberry bushes because he can’t do algebra, kids in cages, Terry Carr was a dude, a guest editorial in Amazing, November 1975, women in science fiction, that Joanna Russ letter, some odd ideas about women, a very clever witty story, as long as we are acknowledging the horrible, but, the not too distant future, executed up to the age of 12, girls too, a protest against the liberalization of abortion laws, a castrating bitch, doesn’t that turn you on, where did the motherly virtues go?, our competitive society, women took exception (men too), since the early days, a feminist topic, that don’t mean men aren’t involved, he’s really upset, the ice cream man, having to hide from people, that fear is real, you don’t know how the world works, what your options are, “put to sleep”, one of the euphemisms we use, Lucy is 15 years old, a little dog, diapers for dogs, a lovely birthday present for Will, pee on the couch to show your dog who’s boss, a decision, the euphemism helps tell you the decision, he’s playing the same game that Philip K. Dick is playing but not as well, how feminist science fiction is or isn’t, Joanna Russ gets an apology, just as fun as returning milk cartons, you wanna take my son to the pound, a hippy slur, is it?, when you don’t use the official words, a bad relationship to begin with, the way Terry Carr is reading the horror, a shrewish horror, the same kind of spring, a post-partum, same kind of trigger, couples wind each other up, Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?, mood organ, waking up combative, brain chemistry combination, we regulate our brains, the Penfield mood organ, caffeine and marijuana and cigarettes and krotum, reading it uncharitably, Philip K. Dick loved women as well as hating them, we don’t have to come to a consensus, Scott’s view of abortion, Paul’s view, all good with the nuns now, not just the clever things, an intriguing story about ageism, the whole point, societies punch down on children, children are bullied, children are molested, go to school, imprisonment, programming, not far under the surface, a story designed to argue against abortion, abortion should not happen, government enforcing abortions, page 133 of the original, not enough children, its a drag taking care of him, in his most misogynistic mode, gestapo, armed with BARs (Browning Automatic Rifles), what the guy is doing, a ventilated air conditioned truck, not a wagon, its not a prison, a reform area, allowing AOC to cry under Trump and say nothing under Biden, a clever though ridiculous , they show up for Anne Frank, an I’m Spartacus moment, getting the Zyklon-b, politicians love this stuff, divide their base and rally the troops, figuring out what to get upset about, you’re a normal looking kid, the retarded and the deformed ones, we’ll give you a haircut, a shortage of children, Malthusian nonsense, Japanned, a class thing again, a past Malthusian crisis, WWI, whatever rationale was long gone, Vancouver Island being the frontier, trapped in the system, the wife wont let them go, not strong willed enough, very Jordan Peterson-esque, female energy, Ian Best, the ocean going ferries, not ever, too adult men acting like little boys, they wanna get revenge, escaping powerlessness, his driving got funny, crying in a truck, there was nothing left to say, is egalitarian marriage even possible?, somehow marriage controls men, anti-adultery laws in Taiwan, put the veil on, female dominated, maternal, men were the warriors, like Sparta, the planning, men in a submissive role, petitioning the mothers parents, a domination, paternalism, the patriarchy is the problem, everybody wants to be in charge, Margaret Thatcher, keep us in power, a way to get power, political power, “leadership classes” are so fucked up, the reins of power, good luck with that relationship, spheres of domination, Code of Hammurabi, who can get a license, a marriage license, we have to know how to solve these problems, a marriage is a formal contract, obligations you choose to put onto yourself, misogynism is only part of his story, a product of his frustration, when you’re reading Lovecraft, Facts Concerning The Late Arthur Jermyn And His Family, the movie Se7en (1995), to make the audience feel suspense, coming out of a real place, Kevin Spacey, bitter divorces, a life mistake, wasted time, coming out as gay after 20 years of marriage, Philip K. Dick loved too much, what spurs the very interesting thoughts, he ultimately concludes there’s nothing left to say, an hour long, maybe we just have to muddle through, dystopia, coming out of a false reality can be a positive thing, the broader argument, the misogyny is integral to the story, The Crawlers, mutants that were fetus like, bonus points for running them over, brain wipes, ageism, Doctor Futurity, age politics, gerontocracy, societies are oppressive to young people, Philip K. Dick’s mom and dad, raising kids is expensive, she’s taunting him, wouldn’t that make you hot and bothered, deliberately cruel, when your marriage is breaking up, acting out, the fathers, a very very good story, a lot of kid perspective, almost unheard of in science fiction, the power of adults and laws, how to feel and what to do, children are the lowest on the totem pole, things you couldn’t do to adults, trying not to inflict this on kids, trying to teach younger kids, if you want to learn you want to learn, you can’t officially tell the kids, treat school like a salad bar, where Jesse’s anti-mom stuff, being a kid what would I have done, we are in a real bind, to learn this lesson, allies in the system, maybe they work for Raytheon, trying to reduce the number of strikes on children, we have to pay our bills, Jesse is very lucky, Evan is less lucky, kids are learning machines, do parents understand that?, no, tutoring centers, test prep, why Harvard is doing what its doing, racism, a lot of power at the top, Ikea stuff, three weeks at the new place, 7th graders, if the boss walks by, a serious serious serious problem, alternative schools, the way all schools should be, about human flourishing and not make office workers in cubicles, playing computer games or twitter all day while they hate their jobs, Minecraft, Lego, sitting there and drink.

The Pre-Persons by Philip K. Dick

1974 Philip K. Dick Letter To Joanna Russ

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The SFFaudio Podcast #623 – READALONG: The Drowned World by J.G. Ballard

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #623 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, Scott Danielson, and Marissa VU talk about The Drowned World by J.G. Ballard

Talked about on today’s show:
The Drowned World audio drama, kinda familiar, original novella version, Science Fiction Adventures, #24, January 1962, the song the guy sings, the note that he writes at the end, Crash, High-Rise, Empire Of The Sun, The Concrete Island, WWII, The Wind From Nowhere, The Burning World, The Crystal World, people turning into crystals, Star Trek, a lack of water vs. too much water, Imperial occupation of China, Shanghai, everybody who wants a little piece of China, a mini Hong Kong, extract value out of China, a psychology guy, psychoanalysis, mining his own psyche, such a Marissa book, the draining of the sea, the subconscious, horror, dreams, the New Wave stuff, the character’s mind is disintegrating, if it had been written today, not-really an environmental novel, climate fiction, not dwelling on the sins of mankind making it happen, going south, a metaphor of going into the future or going into the past, re-create what we had, unknown and scary, go south, a kid growing up during the Japanese occupation, the adults are not useful, a kid on his own, the imagery of the title, the Swastika and the Sun, an image of a blind guy with burnt leg stumps, he can still see the light of the sun, it isnt just about an environmental disaster, poor hard SF, Kim Stanley Robinson, exactly what this book isn’t, stepping away from the didactic, exploring different themes, he’s a product of a different era, Frederik Pohl in the new wave, much more like Philip K. Dick, he doesn’t start with a constitution, this is that, taking the leash off, Dangerous Visions, Harlan Ellison, write what you want to write, how Weird Tales started, railroad, saucy and spicy fiction, science fiction, stories that didn’t fit, British SF, Arthur C. Clarke, its basically Annihilation [by Jeff VanderMeer] done way differently, ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny, you come out of the cave with a four iron, that all happens inside you’re mom, cup full of pond scum, the tadpole, pre-frogs, humanity is retrogressing, the Earth has gone through these new stages, not super-sciencey, this isn’t a climate disaster book, its not a disaster, civilization vs. nature, a rejection of the militarization of mankind to fight against this, look at full highways, this is progression, Kurt Vonnegut’s Galapagos, self-satisfied and smug, Heinlein’s ideas, I got your point and I don’t like it, rutting and barking seals on the beach, hitting to close to a truth, I prefer not to dwell there, devolution, that’s our next stage of our evolution, anything like that in SF can’t really be science, Protector by Larry Niven, we’re a baby version of another species, completely bullshit, pointing to a number of things that we have, if this happened here are the massively horrible consequences, Ballard is mining his own psychology vs. making a wry point, all the guns, Thompsons, 45 automatic, WWII era weapons, something that probably actually happened to our author, hauntingly real, there were two bullets left, a very dark story with a bright sun, the way the British dealt with their colonies, we’re coming to save you, you have to fight to the last man, they abandoned Singapore, they abandoned Shanghai, a horrible revelation, lied to be Churchill, people running away from the military, the plot here is very dreamlike, the description of everything, we are left to infer, biological records, unread reports, meaningless, worthless, fake science, what they’re actually willing to pay for is the industrial equipment, the pirates, we have to hunt them down, keeping control of what the beliefs are, a helluvalot of censorship, passed censorship, reality is being censored, the media that we have, Russian State Affiliate Media, doesn’t say that for CNN, official candidates for American offices, a perennial problem, most people don’t THINK about it, a lot of WWII imagery, maybe there’s one in the South?, it’s London, right?, one of the characters grew up in London, a dream book, fever dreams, those images really haunt him, why the dreams of the characters are affected, very odd, super-stylized, very poetic, The Recognition, The Assassination Of John Fitzgerald Kennedy Considered As A Downhill Motor Race, Billennium, The Concentration City, a The Library Of Babel approach to the universe, overpopulation, looking for space, being free, Los Angeles, where the homeless people live, the whole of the story takes place,

A car accident leaves Robert Maitland, a wealthy architect in the midst of concealing his affair with a colleague, stranded in a large area of derelict land created by several intersecting motorways. Though surrounded by motorists and within sight of large buildings, Maitland is unable to escape the median strip and must struggle for survival. Along the way he encounters other inhabitants of the median strip, which he comes to call “The Island,” including a teenaged prostitute who hides out in an abandoned air-raid bunker and an acrobat who became mentally handicapped in an accident and now salvages car parts for bizarre shamanic rituals. He learns to survive by scavenging discarded food from littering motorists, and eventually comes to think of the island as his true home. Conflicts ensue with the other inhabitants and before long Maitland is struggling to determine whether he was truly meant to leave the island at all.

not a normal SF book, no aliens, just homeless people, and that’s the book, a very Philip K. Dick style of move, take the domestic and externalize it, you make your boss a robot, so interesting and totally weird, that’s how its happening inside of him, why did this crash happen?, why did this war happen?, there’s no meaning there, fighting against forces so much bigger than us, the sun, it gives you life, it does it relentlessly, its godlike, staring at the sun, this smoke filled world of California, this little red patch behind the smoke cloud, following that sun, that weird red spot in your vision, sometimes stuff like this is happening and there’s nothing an individual can do about it, the gender of the sergeant, the fear of the scientific description of what is happening to the world, the iguanas are taking over, the concern about the blacks, the quadroons, voodoo-stuff, reverse colonialism, there’s some random racism, this is what it was, this is how it is, or this is how it could be, artificially constructed vs. organically constructed, we’re having a positive effects, make things more attracting, Paul is mutating, Jesse is not obsessed with guns, guns are pieces of technology that have power, one of the things you can note in the film that you can’t in the book, Vietnam era M-16s, that choice is a message, its about Vietnam, the people who made the movie made deliberate choices, a cast to all of this, colt 1911, American WWII hardware, personal defense weapons, it gets very specific where it wants to, you can’t just have a blocky shape that is weapon-ish, Jesse doesn’t think VanderMeer is trying to process trauma in Annihilation, same hauntings, dislikes the world as it is, the Ritz on the beach, wades off into the swamps, why leave the message?, a key passage, am moving south, at last he tied the crutch to his leg again, a second Adam searching for the forgotten paradises of the newborn sun, only the word rain is missing, something added in the middle, editorial introduction in Science Fiction Adventures, it looks great, this is pretty sweet, everything is falling apart, it smells too, Only the tops of the world’s great cities remained above sea level…, Civilization ended when the earth’s atmosphere changed slightly, return to the ocean depths, dinosaurs, I’m deserting, abandoning the salvage operation, we’re gonna rebuild civilization!, bones, this growing isolation and self-containment, a major metamorphosis, a careful preparation for a new environment, let’s get rid of all this stuff, the character names are meaningful, Cairns, it fits with the ending, Colonel Riggs, Doctor Bodkin, Beatrice Doll, Dante, that’s all she does, being still and expressionless, the sublimated world, Light Years And Dark edited by Michael Bishop, dedicated to Philip K. Dick, famous for being very good at writing, John Sladek, The Nine Billion Names Of God by Carter Scholz, The Cabinet Of Edgar Allan Poe by Angela Carter, the full Swiftian extent, Ralf 4F, Hugo Gernsback, Electrical Experimenter, Solar Shoe Salesman by Chipdip K. Kill, Stan houseman, like Karen and me, the racing movement of an autistic child, The Sublimation World by J.G. B, frond of zygote, the one he always dreamed about, pterodactyls honked overhead, a hot purple sunset, a peculiar loyalty to the human species, the Mirror of Xanadu, the sun had been getting dirty, a bead belt he made in Scouts, a bottle of hair oil, the Jurassic past, why should he drink dew?, pterodactyl guano, red silk mandarin pajamas, don’t be a bloody fool man!, the terminal terminal, he captured the writing style and the psychology, this is that story, he captured it in three pages, those are the things he is obsessed with, why are two shoe companies the only things left on Earth, Bored Of The Rings, parody recapitulates phylogeny, The Best Of J.G. Ballard, the whole dreamlike quality, the experience, Lost, influenced a lot of writers, re-reading it is like remembering a dream, Annihilation is definitely derivative of The Crystal World, Alex Garland, what role did J.G. Ballard’s work play?, an office bureaucracy story, was Ballard cultivating the effect or a result or a combination of both?, passionately in love with nature and the environment, Florida parks, under the fear is love, people who bought this book, Frameshift by Robert J. Sawyer, Ballard as the weird, the New Weird, the diving into the building, the Greenwich observatory, 20th century famous Irish authors, poets, the Province of Avalon, Ferryland, the BBC adaptation,

Personal Helicon
by Seamus Heaney

As a child, they could not keep me from wells
And old pumps with buckets and windlasses.
I loved the dark drop, the trapped sky, the smells
Of waterweed, fungus and dank moss.
One, in a brickyard, with a rotted board top.
I savoured the rich crash when a bucket
Plummeted down at the end of a rope.
So deep you saw no reflection of it.
A shallow one under a dry stone ditch
Fructified like any aquarium.
When you dragged out long roots from the soft mulch
A white face hovered over the bottom.
Others had echoes, gave back your own call
With a clean new music in it. And one
Was scaresome, for there, out of ferns and tall
Foxgloves, a rat slapped across my reflection.
Now to pry into roots, to finger slime,
To stare, big-eyed Narcissus, into some spring
Is beneath all adult dignity. I rhyme
To see myself, to set the darkness echoing.

Gustavo Sanabria Illustration of the lagoon from The Drowned World by J.G. Ballard

Posted by Jesse WillisBecome a Patron!

The SFFaudio Podcast #548 – READALONG: The Ministry Of Truth by Dorian Lynskey

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #548 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, Marissa VU, Maissa Bessada, Evan Lampe, and Terence Blake talk about The Ministry Of Truth by Dorian Lynskey

Talked about on today’s show:
June 2019, direct from the publisher Penguin Random House, the last chapter, the afterword, there are four lights, the first part, learned the most, an intellectual history, the life after Orwell’s death, a grab-bag of memes, the cold war, the conservative revival, too loosey-goosey, H.G. Wells, We by Yevgeny Zamyatin, flat, comprehensive, how it touched other people, David Bowie, Star Trek, Babylon 5, it didn’t have that rigor (in the second half), a funnel, a shotgun, The Prisoner, the momentum is gone by 2019, how many places he’s infiltrated culture, computer games, blind spots, America was a blind spot, Orwell’s anti-Americanism, Trump, when you’re writing about history thirty years ago, perspective, Margaret Atwood’s appendix theory, a lot of bad theories, China and 1984, through the great firewall, censorship, The Guardian, June 4th anniversary, The Atlantic, why 1984 isn’t banned in China, the inner party is going to read it anyway, it’s at bookstores, Animal Farm, discussed in colleges in Canada, Hearts Of Iron IV, so deep, play Honduras during WWII, what officers in the army were active in Honduras during WWII, Paradox Games, insane on the details or mechanics, cannot be done in any other medium, fascinating, that they ban that, the meme of the day issue, PUBG, blood and gore restrictions (green blood), switches from being about Orwell and the U.K. to the United States after the war, the Apple ad, social media, fake news influencing the Taiwanese elections, who gets taught this book and who discusses it, how Orwell is used by the CIA as anti-communist propaganda, why so many people are forced to read it in school, school is indoctrination, training workers, who what huh?, what was your first encounter with Nineteen Eighty-Four, trying to learn about dystopian fiction, self-educate, a roman-a-clef (a book with a key), most teachers suck, who the fuck are those guys?, its not a kids book, Animal Farm is a kids book, propaganda, everybody wants to take control of Orwell, anti-totalitarian, notice how its not considered science fiction, she’s a stumbling block, she is double thinking when she says her book is not science fiction, in her mind, the pulpy fifties sort of stuff, a wilful blindness, voluntary ignorance, an article on Margaret Brundage (for Playboy), I’m going to write a science fiction novel, I’m going to write a utopian, a massive list, We is public domain, E.M. Forster’s The Machine Stops, I’m inside the machine, I worship the internet, just like the lady in the story, Looking Backward by Edward Bellamy, the premise, H.G. Wells (the guy most responsible for modern science fiction), in response to Looking Backward, the Bradbury Building in downtown Los Angeles, she uses the appendix theory in The Handmaid’s Tale, she needs that hope, had Orwell lived, Wells gets dragged, nobody likes Wells’ later stuff, H. L. Mencken’s review of Wells’ later stuff (The Late Mr. Wells), When The Sleeper Awakes, Mack Reynolds, the problem is everybody has a good income and no jobs, no waiters or waitresses, no service jobs, everybody wants meaning (and there’s no jobs), The Unincorporated Man by Dani Kollin and Eytan Kollin, that book nobody reads anymore, the turn from utopia to dystopia, a theory that’s just an idea, people trying to fuck with George Orwell’s statement for their purposes, how everybody can take ownership, this is how you guys are, high school sci-fi class, libertarian teacher, Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, Harrison Bergeron by Kurt Vonnegut, kids are malleable, the books you read when you were young, Brave New World, look at this!, these are books that exist, who’s the publisher?, questions that never go into the mind of a student, Adbusters, slick production used against slick production, the best books tell you something you already know, I’m being gaslit, I’m not crazy!, that Goldstein book, literally true, did they create it themselves?, The Plague by Albert Camus, realist vs. allegory, a movie version of The Plague starring William Hurt, the Hurts hurt, the RCMP, anti-American imperialism, the Chinese threat, afraid of conscription, looking back do you see the hands?, staying with the Queen and following America’s lead, why we read the books that we did, the “free market” trying to sell books, not just the free market, Shakespeare for social purposes (rather than a CIA plot), The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton, the legacy, the same books still being pushed, a certain number of novels in the curriculum, The Hunger Games used in school, massive cultural impacts (from inertia), The Prisoner is Nineteen Eighty-Four, the village is perfect, everyone has a place, a child of 1984, spook-life, political expediency vs. moral obligation, the new Big Finish The Prisoner, what makes the dialogue authentic, all questions are turned on their heads, number one is number six, why Atwood’s theory is bad, when the telescreen echoes words, doubling dream-like, nothing is on fixed ground, is it even 1984, write new reality, the one book, a healthy body is a negative, physically weaker, turning them into infants, that instinct is within us, I want a pillow, the Big Brother reality shows, make me a star, I like being babied, people would volunteer for prison, no problem for most people, does it matter (most people aren’t going to read it anyway)?, the Internet Research Agency story, if this book was written in the 1970s, the Muller stuff, okay Rachel Maddow went too far, a political hack who doesn’t even know what’s in his own report, political interference, Honduras, why are 80% of the refugees Honduran, a passing reference to Milton Friedman and the Shock Doctrine, Chile, the U.S. Empire, not a major part of the story, Airstrip One, is Britain in charge or is Britain a colony in 1984, post national, the difference between patriotism and nationalism, a good and natural thing vs. an artificial and evil thing, a connection and fondness for them, when George Orwell went to fight against fascism, ok I have to fight now, when you submit to an authority, Blake’s 7, that opening episode is absolutely drawn from 1984, they call him a pedophile and insert memories in order to convict him, the solution (never stated) is anarchistic group of people who do not love Big Brother, even on Star Trek they have to follow orders, Terry Nation’s Survivors, the “good fight”, working with warlords to take down the Taliban, dishonorably discharged for telling the media about warlord sex-slaves, why the good side lost, nobody conscripted them, about nationalism, the state more than the nation, the Michael Radford movie of 1984, national symbols, nations are constructed, French culture, the French state, the books that are important to you, a nation is a project, what Oceania meant, they control the world through the sea, not nation names anymore, Orwell is seeing what’s happened to the U.K., The Marshall Plan, no victory here, V-J Day, this book published in June, no mention of BoJo (Boris Johnson), neoliberalism, ideology is what’s missing, Boris Johnson and Donald Trump don’t have ideology, the alternative facts are just to make them look good, damage control and self-promotion, not having an ideology is the ideology, double-think, he’s lying but he’s revealing what other don’t want to say, you don’t need an intellectualized theory, a gas that’s everywhere based on double-think, who gets to do the gas-lighting, story after story about alternative facts, Cube (1997), Cube 2 (2002), owners, making fun of a conspiracy theory is a conspiracy theory, Noam Chomsky, The Wall Street Journal, it’s not the focus, preferred candidates, the staff of RT is former MSNBC employees, Jesse Ventura, Minnesota exist in theory, the dominant voice, the subtitle is what sold me, The Biography Of George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, a birth, genes, afterlife, more books like this, a negative review, Bellamy is the soup that’s in the culture that you’re building on, an overall trend from utopia to dystopia, so valuable, all the stuff that was listed, a lot not mentioned, the number of respondents to Bellamy, William Morris’ utopia, we’re the sleepers, that opening line (much improved from the original draft), he was a very good writer, the previous drafts, what he took out, really interesting, Orwell’s personality, cruel to everybody’s babies, a fundamental place of honesty, I paid money for this they’re doing a bad job, no animosity for the writer and artist, not trying to be mean, Jesse fears he’s being mean when he ats Marissa, a smile with a thing, “Lies are the religion of slaves and masters. Truth is the god of the free man.” from The Lower Depths by Maxim Gorky, the quote in the book is not that quote, the spirit of the play(?), a drama in four acts, as hard as it is to identify the truth (very very very hard), if you don’t have truth as your god you’re fucked, if you were forced to fight in a war in the 20th century, of all the fascist dictators was Franco the least worst?, Hitler, Mussolini, WWII was a battle against fascism, WWI, the Spanish Civil War, the Vietnam War, Maissa’s question (turned on its head), the International Brigades, Norman Bethune, the Great Patriotic War (in China), battlefield surgery, fighting for a principle, what war would you fight for?, what principles would you fight for?, Orwell’s Homage To Catalonia, pirate mentality, you don’t get 1984 without that, thinking on paper, everything that I wrote was directly or indirectly against totalitarianism and for democratic socialism, so Pollyanna, lay down and die, if conscripted during WWII Jesse would like to serve Alan Turning’s coffee, his country didn’t love him, you love Big Brother (he doesn’t care), the mustache is not a Hitler mustache, more Stalin, no one escapes the tar-brush, Little Brother by Cory Doctorow, an important and good book, how to fight against your government your institutions your Alexa devices, the Google button that’s built in, on principle it’s a bad idea to be submitting so, the reason it has a switch to turn the camera off, removing the battery, electromagnetic field sensitivity, keeping his cellphone in a lead-lined box, its off in a certain sense, devices with no off switches, “Nvidia Shield Off”, if the book is going to be relevant after 1949, B.F. Skinner’s Walden Two, positive reinforcement vs. negative reinforcement, use pleasure, use fear, News From Nowhere: 1984, the discovery of Eric Blair, lack of any institutionalized government, the dream of 19th century anarchism, 10 hours is a reasonable size, so much is suggested, the appendix is important, revising history, you don’t read the Dune appendix, the Tolkien appendices, A Clockwork Orange, a missing chapter, as Eric Blair intended, Eric Blair hates vegetarianism, teetotalers, nudists, Quakers, sandals, fruit juice, Marxist slogans, pistachio coloured shirts, birth control, yoga, and beads, anti-hipster socialist.

And, here are Marissa’s notes about UTOPIAS & DYSTOPIAS mentioned in The Ministry Of Truth:

1516 – Utopia by Thomas More
1726 – Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift
1771 – The Year 2440: A Dream If Ever There Was One by Louis-Sebastién Mercier (time-travel to future utopia)
1880 – Dr Heindenhoff’ Process by Edward Bellamy (scientist learns how to erase memories and guilt – Orwell’s Oceania-like)
1872 – Erewhon by Samuel Butler (satire)
1887 – A Crystal Age by W. H. Hudson
1888 – Looking Backward: 2000–1887 by Edward Bellamy
1889 – To Whom This May Come by Edward Bellamy (telepathy has eliminated crime and deceit)
1889 – New Amazonia: A Foretaste of the Future by Elizabeth Corbett (feminist utopia)
1890 – News from Nowhere by William Morris (agrarian, anarchist utopia – counter to Bellamy’s “cockney paradise”)
1890 – Looking Further Backward by Arthur Dudley Vinton (bigoted sequel to Bellamy’s book, nationalism + feminism have emasculated America)
1890 – Caesar’s Column: A Story of the Twentieth Century by Ignatius Donnelly (Minnesota congressman & original conspiracy utopia in which “paradise is carved out in a Swiss-owned Uganda while American capitalism perishes in blood and fire”)
1890 – A.D. 2050: Electrical Development At Atlantis by John Bachelder (Right-wing utopia, refugees from Bellamy’s failing Nationalist society flee to Atlantis, which is turned into a proto-Orwellian police state)
1891 – Mr. East’s Experiences In Mr. Bellamy’s World by C. Wilbrant
1891 – Freeland: A Social Anticipation by Theodor Herzoka (Austrian economist “the Austrian Bellamy”)
1891 – The New Utopia by by Jerome K. Jerome (Bellamy spoof, introduces “numbers as names” SF trope)
1892 – A Traveler from Altruria by William Dean Howell
1892 – Gold In The Year 2000, Or, What Are We Coming To? by J. McCullough (time travel to future utopia where men play golf)
1897 – Equality by Edward Bellamy (fills gaps in Looking Backward)
1893 – Sub-Coelum: A Sky-Built Human World by Addison P. Russel (conservative utopia, anti-“materialistic socialism”)
1894 – The Land of the Changing Sun by Will N. Harben (underwater society with gov of eugenicists uses scanning devices and psychological torture)
1894 – A Journey of Other Worlds by John Jacob Astor (A conservative utopia, [by] one of richest men in the world at time USA, dominates planet & seeks to colonize others)
1897 –”A Story of the Days To Come by H.G. Wells” (forerunner to The Sleeper Awakes)
1898 – The Sleeper Awakes by H.G. Wells
1899 – Imperium in Imperio by Sutton E. Griggs (first black utopia, Baptist Minister, son of former slave)
1900 – The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum (“a Bellamyite, to judge by L. Frank Baum’s description of his egalitarian society in The Emerald City of Oz”)
1905 – A Modern Utopia by H.G. Wells
1906 – Looking Forward: The Phenomenal Progress Of Electricity in 1912 by Harry W. Hillman
1909 – The Machine Stops by E.M Foster (scientific dystopia)
1915 – Herland by Charlotte Perkins Gilman (feminist utopia)
1920 – We by Yevgeny Zamyatin (totalitarian state dystopia)
1923 – Men Like Gods by H.G. Wells (parallel universe utopia), HG Wells,
1932 – Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (response to Wells’ Men Like Gods)
1938 – Anthem by Ayn Rand
1940 – Darkness At Noon by Arthur Koestler (author’s disillusionment with the Soviet Union’s version of Communism at the outset of World War II)
1942 – Unknown Land by Herbert Samuel
1945 – Animal Farm by George Orwell
1948 – Walden Two by B.F. Skinner (utopian)
1949 – 1984 by George Orwell
1952 – Player Piano by Kurt Vonnegut
1953 – Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury
1953 – Love Among the Ruins: A Romance of the Near Future by Evelyn Waugh
1953 – One by David Karp
1958 – The Rise Of The Meritocracy 1870–2033 by Michael Young
1960 – Facial Justice by L.P. Hartley
1962 – Island by Aldous Huxley

The Ministry Of Truth: The Biography Of George Orwell's 1984

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #484 – The Lathe Of Heaven by Ursula K. Le Guin

Podcast
The Lathe Of Heaven by Ursula K. Le Guin
The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #484 – Jesse, Paul, Marissa, Luke Burrage, and Evan Lampe talk about The Lathe Of Heaven by Ursula K. Le Guin
Jesse, Paul Weimer, Marissa VU, Luke Burrage, Evan Lampe

Talked about on today’s show:
Amazing Stories, March and May 1971, the 1970s, the 1980s, the 1990s, the best way to be right more often is to change your mind a lot, different futures, eerily close in some ways, the opposite of this book is Nancy Kress’ Beggars In Spain, questions vs. answers, immoral vs. nice, a very evil book, some facts about sleep, lack of sleep, eliminating sleep, a horror show, Randian superhumans, robots, being robots who grind other humans into powder, A.E. Van Vogt, when fans are slans, not as a science fiction but as a fantasy book, Philip K. Dick, scientific explanations, the aliens, a fantasy book about a guy dreaming science fiction, calling out science fiction in science fiction, Star Wars, Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut, the tropes of pulp science fiction, the 1980 TV adaptation, changes for changes sake, a good adaptation, the 2002 remake, they drop the “the” and the philosophical stuff, dying dream, WWIII, as he’s dying in a nuked Portland, Rumble In The Bronx, Mount Hood, volcanoes, Mount St. Helens, Mount Baker, how Mount Hood looms over the book, what makes it the classic that Jesse thinks it is, the first half vs. the back half, battling for control, the narrative goes off the rails because it’s needed, two bad utopianists, central planning, life goes on, Orr being passive, “George Orr” vs. “John If”, Haber is a verb, to express the existence of something, the perfect tense, future tense, Orr is wishy washy, using to perfect, cute, Lalashe, coward, an insect, a black widow spider, she click-clacked and snapped, changing reality, everyone’s skin colour goes grey, to have…or, the genie problem, The Monkey’s Paw by W.W. Jacobs, in imperfect dreamer, world peace (through war), no racism, overpopulation, internal vs. external, aliens ex machina, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, from ideas to reality, dreams -> reality, nightmare -> reality, Avengers: Infinity War (2018), the historical context, Stand On Zanzibar, Make Room! Make Room!, The Population Bomb, Star Trek, The Mark Of Gideon, The Conscience Of The King, Malthusian worries, people as consumers vs. people as producers, did Le Guin by into it?, Orr bought into it, it’s all about power and checking privileges, a diploma on his wall, a button on his desk, turned into an asshole and a user, somebody to use, a tool, Immanuel Kant, means to an end, what if there is no end, all we have is the means, the categorical imperative, subscribing to a particular morality, Haber is gaslighting Orr, civil rights, the dynamic between Orr and his psychotherapist, if this was expanded out it would be a dystopia, mild punishment for drug crimes, mandatory therapy, a little bit Brave New World, protein rations, climate change, the end of chapter one, the GPRT drivers, people on basic support, pretending that starvation is scurvy, at least they have unions, pre-Ronald Reagan, the logo of the white hand and the black hand are shaking, the anti-war movement, the end of the ’60s, wish for peace on earth (get war in space), simplistic anti-war ideas, asshole vs. misguided, wasting time on means, the consent form, the abuses of hypnosis, hypnosis as a device, Robert A. Heinlein, experimenting on patients, he hides his assholishness, getting violent, rejecting the second reality, it ISN’T morally ambiguous, Haber is so real, evil in our reality, what actual evil people do, belligerence, Haber’s arrogance, who was responsible for killing 5/6th of the population, how the establishment is: satisfied with the way things are, everything is getting better and better for Haber, why people are confused about Haber being a bad guy is because Orr is confused, he’s not curing me he’s encouraging me, being evil is using someone as a means to an end, rationalizing for evil, lying, the most insidious evil shit, why people stay in abusive relationships, compulsory voluntary therapy, blaming himself, hypnosis vs. persuasiveness, he wants another doctor, he wants help, what a medical ethicist would say, anti-psychiatry thinking, modern Scientologists, Dick thought this true, he’s not a mad scientist, his science as a means, his ends are good, aren’t they?, he’s right to go to a lawyer, so subtle, not everyone sees, the subtlety of Le Guin vs. the hammer of Kress, the most Philip K. Dick novel by Le Guin, out Philip K. Dicking Philip K. Dick, Ubik, Maze Of Death, PKD vibes, PKD and Le Guin went to the same school, a staunch advocate of Dick, one of the best novels, we are in danger of breaking the book by taking it apart too much, how different it is from Dick, feeling like a Dick plot, there’s no humour in this book, insectoid clicky boobs with a chitinous sheen, of course its a horse, funny vs. jokes, the focus on the power dynamic as a horror, sympathy for a horrible dictator, talking about that horse, Philip means “horse lover”, how George Orr lives his life, the homosexuality, dope, very advanced, no fear of bisexuality, NOT problematic, a very 70s way of talking, a 21st century book, the radiation, set a little in the future, undoing problems, mutating, the psychology of the horse and the mountain, erupting, everything’s beneath the future, evidence looms large, right out the window, only when Orr becomes upset, running away to his cabin, triple crown, Tammany Hall, Boss Tweed, corruption, a horse of corruption, is Orr naming it in his dream?, if you don’t treat it as a simple fantasy, is Orr’s brain creating the backstory, choosing between different quantum futures, switching dimensions, how Haber explains it, what does he know?, he’s confabulating it, this is a book about dream, dreaming about this podcast, less LEGO than in the dream, absolutely necessary, completely mysterious, we’ve all had that feeling, angry at someone all day, waking up stressed out, what is the reality, Jesse is sometimes surprised to hear his own name, explaining away the painting, that is not normal, it used to be a view of Mount Hood, the influence of Dick, the power dynamic, The Man In The High Castle, when you read a Philip K. Dick book you can imagine him writing it with a smirk on his face, this feels more dignified, the Laozi, Zhuangzi, Taoism, H.G. Wells, the quotes, too many, so on the nose, the book is prescriptive, in what universe are these quotes relevant?, why isn’t Shakespeare talking about bug-people and aliens?, my pigtail points to the sky, buttocks into a cartwheel, freeing of the bond, accepting the life that comes to you, guiding the reader, breaking the fourth wall, spoiling the effect of the book, The Beatles, she was making it a “greater book” but “diminished it”, more subtle, the I Ching, the characters are learning from the quotes, had the quotes been changing…, “Shotgun Funeral”, the character list that’s messed up, Brandon Sanderson, a missed opportunity, Ubik, advertisements, influencing the characters vs. influencing the readers, look at all these cool quotes I found, “dream quotes”, doing a service, narrative thrust vs. narrative wander, Bertrand Watson, Margaret Killjoy, this is almost an H.P. Lovecraft stories about dreams, Hypnos, drug taking and dreams, a strain of Lovecraftian stories with the horrible machines, From Beyond, Tillinghast’s device, Eight O’Clock In The Morning by Ray Nelson, transparent skin, birds, gross!, Herbert West: Re-Animator, the lesser figure, the passive witness, the dreamer himself, reluctant fascination than actual inclination, the power of dreams, dreams written down, had H.P. Lovecraft written this novel, what’s missing from this book, what’s missing from this book: lucid dreaming, continuing the dream, watching two episodes of a TV series over the space of days, Luke’s lucid knife fight dream, narrative control, did I dream dreaming, George Orr was so wishy-washy, falling under Haber’s sway, spineless characters, weak men, too average, Idiocracy, the most average person, did he make himself the most average man in the world?, which was is the causation, personality inventories, gaslighting, the augmentor, he’d never actually given it any thought, the lay-word sane, your median, by the end of the novel he’s called an artist, he’s a draughtsman at the beginning, grabbing the world by our hands, a celebration of human agency, creativity, character growth, Sidewise In Time by Murray Leinster, living with the pieces, the opening paragraph from Hypnos, Baudelaire:

“Apropos of sleep, that sinister adventure of all our nights, we may say that men go to bed daily with an audacity that would be incomprehensible if we did not know that it is the result of ignorance of the danger.”
—Baudelaire.

May the merciful gods, if indeed there be such, guard those hours when no power of the will, or drug that the cunning of man devises, can keep me from the chasm of sleep. Death is merciful, for there is no return therefrom, but with him who has come back out of the nethermost chambers of night, haggard and knowing, peace rests nevermore. Fool that I was to plunge with such unsanctioned phrensy into mysteries no man was meant to penetrate; fool or god that he was—my only friend, who led me and went before me, and who in the end passed into terrors which may yet be mine.

the audacity of this guy, we are gods, we are the creators of our own reality, dreams reveal truth, teaching things we shouldn’t know about ourselves, terror about knowledge, The Case Of Charles Dexter Ward, Thomas Ligotti, an early pioneer in a horror people don’t want to know about: science is true, the comfort of ignorance, melancholy characters, The Dispossessed, the novel is not about that, power relations, conversations where someone is playing a game, handcuffed together, it’s almost like they’re married, why change the lease 33 year lease to a 10 year lease, the age at which Christ died, no resonance, credited as a consultant (not a scriptwriter), Luke would give it 3.5 stars, the lips within the curly beard, then this world will be like heaven and the men will be like gods, the other paid no heed, volcanoes emit fire, fascinating, he has the beard, we are already (like gods), we can already do this, Le Guin is very good at not telling but indicating the direction, signposts on the road, course correcting, why Jesse loves Philip K. Dick, he always doesn’t give you what you want, the setup, Lester Del Rey, designed while it was being written, Jesse has four copies of The Left Hand Of Darkness, when you think of Le Guin this isn’t the book you think of, a step below greatness, the author is visible, here are the ideas I’m playing with, psychiatry as the mains science of the book, Gateway by Frederik Pohl, psychiatry is less science than economics (the dismal science), how primitive psychotherapy worked in the 1970s, A.I. super-intelligence, turned into paperclips, the greatest good for the greatest number, humans into widgets, anti-utilitarianism, how Orr is upset when his girlfriend is gone, not black and not white, it’s worth it, grey not pink not purple, pink dogs, Loving vs. Virginia, she’s not scoring points, a lot of books seem to think they’re the ones who invented being cool, I wanted to show a lot of diversity, rainbow unicorns, representation is overstated, go for ideas, a response to race as a problem, racism is historically contingent, 17th century, let’s talk about this a bit more, slavery, Doctor Futurity, breaking up into new clans, clans are a real thing, speciation, mountain lions and valley lions, family behavior, SNCC, integrationist model for overcoming racism, to solve racism by making everyone the same colour, if he was a PKD protagonist, why the genders are the way they are, Orr was a woman (never mind), the secretary/assistant, the aunt that gets deleted in the first dream, a retcon?, sexually predating on her own family, if Orr was a woman and that was an uncle…, exploring sexuality in other books, Orr had to be a male, male manipulation of women, Lalashe, the most PKD character, starts as a negative, a persona she can take it off, turtle shaped aliens, do they even have a planet?, allowing pink dogs to exist, reality will cover its tracks, when Evan is talking to his students, the origin of the prison, imagining alternative to prisons, the Romans didn’t have prisons, exiles, fines, crucifixion, it has always been this way, a historical invention, The Word For World Is Forest, weird side-bar, The Word For World Is Rainforest, back to PKD, a one sentence defense of utilitarianism, critical of bad and stupid utilitarianism, defer to John Stuart Mill, the problem of the pleasure wizard, Jesse thinks of himself of as a pleasure wizard, think about kids, they haven’t read any books, or seen any movies, you’re going to watch Snow White, god-like power, children are not best able to marshal resources, The Good Place, Kristen Bell, Ted Danson, way cleverer than Jesse thinks, Jesse hates the word spoiler, Jesse doesn’t trust people, “type it Paul!”, that’s cute, someone fools you it doesn’t mean they’re cleverer than you, intellectual journey, repetition, American Made (2017), Barry Seal, Hitler loses WWII is not a spoiler, is this Good Place better than Willa Cather?, time commitment, The Americans, look at it from the Soviet point of view, the ending was terrible because the bad guys were let go?, how we won World War II, the more you learn about the soviet end of the war, Canada boasts it had the second biggest navy in the world, gravitas, we can’t know, modern things, at the end of history, stagnating in place, the idea of the novel, historicity, podcast as a genre was completely unimaginable thirty years ago, still mysterious, how many music podcast are there?, it’s not a rights issue, Mr Jim Moon, The Lathe Of Heaven, With A Little Help Of My Friends, @SFFaudio “full film”, complete versions of non-public domain films, nobody cares, commercial concerns, podcast medium is fundamentally different, radio is almost all music, BBC is different, CBC is different, you have to keep it short, Joe Rogan’s three hour shows.

The Lathe Of Heaven - Illustrations by Michael Kaluta

The Lathe Of Heaven - Illustrations by Michael Kaluta

The Lathe Of Heaven - SF Masterworks

BACKGROUND: THE LATHE OF HEAVEN by Ursula K. Le Guin from TV Guide, January 5 to January 11, 1980
BACKGROUND: THE LATHE OF HEAVEN by Ursula K. Le Guin from TV Guide, January 5 to January 11, 1980

Posted by Jesse Willis