The SFFaudio Podcast #655 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: Gulliver Of Mars by Edwin Lester Arnold

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #655 – Gulliver Of Mars by Edwin Lester Arnold; read by James Christoper. This is an unabridged reading of the novel (6 hours 6 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Paul Weimer, and Maissa Bessada

Talked about on today’s show:
Lieut. Gulliver Jones: His Vacation, Richard Lupoff, this is amazing!, I’m going to change the name, the spelling on Gullivar vs. Gulliver, this modern decadent age, Gulliver’s Travels, more subtle, Lieut. Jones Of Mars, the author is not American, Edwin Lester Arnold, subtitled His Vacation, he’s vacated his premises and he’s nowhere to be found, listened twice, Jesse’s not a re-reader, read and listened, looking at the etext, listening is reading (tho not identical), reading with your fingers, reading with your eyes, reading with your ears, reading aloud, what colour is sorrel, a reddish horse colour, did you have a chance to look at the comics?, Gullivar Jones, Warrior of Mars, horror, westerns, kung-fu comics, Shang-Chi, Iron Fist, the barbarians push, Conan The Barbarian, Savage Sword Of Conan, now is the time when we do barbarians, Thongor, Thundaar, Crom the Barbarian, John Carter, DC/Marvel, Roy Thomas, competition for DC’s Edgar Rice Burroughs, American military officers on Mars saving princesses (or semi-saving princesses), the magic carpet becomes a floating disc, Lupov is a magic wizard, an inside joke, chestnut coloured, a green vegetable, the comic book adaptation, Jesse was lied to, not a rival for A Princess Of Mars, a well meaning bumbling doofus, he bumbles his way across the planet, open to a sequel, sequel possibilities, The Prisoner Of Zenda, John Carter (2012), The Pursuit OF The Pankera by Robert A. Heinlein, The Number Of The Beast, a queen dowager, basically around Barsoom, adventures on Mars for fun, low stakes, influenced Edgar Rice Burroughs, set on Mars, Planet Stories, 1905, 1911, having it set on Mars, Dynamite Comics crossover between Edgar Rice Burroughs and Gulliver Of Mars, the two Marses, the White Apes, the Tharks, the Red People, laying eggs, an alien planet, they seem to have pigs and horses, identical to Earth, disappointing, Earth analogue, She by H. Rider Haggard, the book within the book: The Secrets Of The Gods, first they came to Earth as Isis and Amon, populating these planets, Stargate, Paul fell into Jesse’s trap, how did you like this book, Maissa kinda liked it, a mishmash, Arabian Knights, a magic carpet, adventure to adventure, Alice’s Adventures Under Ground, it didn’t feel science fictiony, similar to Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift, it was ok, it entertained Paul for 6 hours, the mundanity of Mars, a missed opportunity, he doesn’t know about the two moons, a comet that gives off heat and causes a drought, the hurtling moons in the sky, a sword over his head and two moons, super-naked, Mars is hot!, deserty tropical weather, Paul is more wrong and Maissa is wrong too, super-duper interesting, a satire, what is it a satire of?, chapter 2, this is not Mars of Barsoom, much more like H.G. Wells, the boy who he lands on, Ahn, takes him like a cigar and plunks him down on Mars, bounced onto a boy giving a lecture on gravity, they tumble down a hill together, that lecture’s over, they explore the society, she’s a priestess, a slave and a girl, the hither and the thither societies, this guy’s a doofus, weird situations, what is Jesse missing, how many flowers show up in the story, convolvulus (bindweed), his very antipode, Princess Heru, pulling a blue convolvulus bud to pieces, the language of flowers, most flowers have other names, the colours of flowers, marriage bonds, a golden pool and a silver fish, a scene as good as any in A Princess Of Mars, which implies delight to these people, he’s just a dumb strong American, fairly honest and very hungry, the drawer, these peace soaked triflers, slowly pulling a convolvulus bud to pieces, what things look like, to see the decadent ruined empire that is the hither people, endless food and no need to work, taking tribute, the story of Athens and Crete and the Minotaur, the Theseus story, a railroad kind of role playing game, find the key to unlock the door, an azure convolvulus flower, some barbarous and barren district (the United States), growing their boats, a repeated theme, the gentle damsel, damsel flies, pallid flowers, blazing like a bonfire, the heiress was swept aside, dragging Heru with them, her milk white arms, her face as lovely as a convolvulus flower, all was piece hear, the sky a lovely lavender, heavy scented convolvulus flowers, a skiff with a half dozen rowers, unconscious loveliness, tiny little detailed threads, he’s making fun of something, its definitely making fun of or engaging with The Time Machines, the Eloks and the Morloi (Eloi and Morlocks), Paul has read The Time Machine, Stephen Baxter’s authorized sequel, the official manga version of Anne Of Green Gables, she’s huge in Japan, normal time travel stories, most are to the past, the very first place he goes to is a future England the workers of the UK have turned into the Morlocks, mechanism vs. poetry, their entire world is a garden they don’t know how to take care of, the Morlocks tend them like sheep, the underclass now physically eat the upper class, those who went to university and studied poetry and their brains grew smaller, making dynamos and fixing trains, the slaves and the regular people, the slaves have no slave-masters, the priestesses of immaculate conception of humanity, the guardians of the great hopes and longings, triflers, dominoes coming down, evolution going backwards, their society became slothful, popular at the turn of the 20th century, the United States is Gulliver Jones, he’s a sailor, the water, he has to chase him down and wrestling him to the ground, he learned wrestling from the Chinese, he pulls out his sword and plants it in the ground and claims it for the United States, John Carter is not satire, going in the wrong direction thinking its an allegory for something, told from the point of view of a Brit, this up and comer, an ancient society with castles and palaces and tonnes of resources, they don’t have money, the marriage ceremony was fascinating as an idea, the hither people know money exists, the Canadian health care, wait in line for 3-4 5-6 hours, we are aware that things cost money but it doesn’t hurt us in the same way, see this as a non-currency society, plagued for endless ads for drugs, its insane in the United States, they have an economy they have to worry about, a terrible useless king has to give tribute to the thither people, the hairy barbarians, one female, we’re going to beat you about the head, Gulliver spends the majority of the story in barbarian lands, he meets a woodcutter who wants to fight him, they keep thinking he’s a ghost, we’re missing something huge going on in this book, a graduate thesis that would pay off in incredible dividends, a lot of girls, I have to ask you a personal question: be you a dude or be you not a dude?, nice to meet you, he loses everybody, a lady on an island, she’s cooking food in a pot, he drinks the entire stew, he at her fish, where they’re growing boats, imagine you’re a hunter gatherer in South America and plucked you into 1840s UK, wow, I’m a fish out of water, these gourd plants to make some navies, he’s a dumb sailor, what the implications, food grow without weeds, boats decanted from moulds, they’re all my boat, rideshares in the Netherlands, he’s trying to pay for everything with his buttons, it could be gold, the most interesting thing that happened to me, another guy just like me from the blue planet, he can barely get two words out a week and he’s all wispy, super-rich, almost none of it is science ficiton, picaresque bildungsroman, Jack Vance, Planet Of Adventure, suppressed by all others, one of the similarities, the palace library, a book being used as a mousetrap, given the gift of speech, he doesn’t have the gift of reading, all really awesome, straight out of the Bible, so boring, the breakfast gong sounds, let’s read more, key to understanding what reality is vs. breakfast, abusing an ancient tome, a baby or a puppy with a Gutenberg bible, heir to an ancient empire, the yellow dressed slaves, a brass bikini and yellow skin, not a good fit with Barsoom and John Carter, a satire like Gulliver’s Travels, the description of the carpet, the veil that separates the known from the unknown was rent, reviews behind paywalls, Evert Bleiler, Science Fiction The Early Years, 1990, science fantasy, interplanetary romance, a sea-dog, Polly Brown, a stange old man, a carpet with a sense of hummour, a simulacrum of a star map, a Schiaparellian Mars, telepathy, my teacher said the same thing, a romance with the Princess Heru, rigs the drawing, engaged for a year, King Hath, the tributary arrangement with the woodmen, the most beautiful woman with the court, the city of Seth, too drunk, the meat of the book, various perils, entombed in ice, he loots her remains too, he’s a bad guy, pretending to be a spirit, two tasks, his previous grave-robbing, Jones’ lust sated, taken by the slaves, the magic carpet transports him back to New York, promoted, off on a colossal bender, deflecting javelins by the power of will, Egypt, a trivial worked, badly planned, badly written, not proven, The Encyclopedia Of Fantasy, 1997, the common influence of Haggard’s She, not really trying, he tries, playful, philosophical devices as props, restlessness dissatisfaction, rein, The Wonderful Adventures Of Phra The Phoenician, an unsuccessful farmer in Canada, a TV show adaptation, trivial, badly planned, badly written, the land of the dead, he keeps encountering females, he sees a princess on a raft, she falls on him, she’s dead, attacked by corpses, frozen people, a glacier of dead people, the baubles that come off the fingers, his rooming house, his land lady, steak and red tomatoes the colour of sunset, he eats a lot, missing buttons, his pants slid down a mountainside, I’ve been promoted, a good candidate, write the story don’t focus too much on the girl, a number of meta-peices, this book would not be in your hands picked up from a Broadway bookstall, worthy of another read, a map of the planet, conflating trivial vs. fun, its not Moby-Dick, Gulliver’s Travels is fun and not trivial, the marriage stuff, I don’t mind reading about Mary Sue characters, Mary Sutopias, other ideas on how to live, feudalism,

I am less bothered by Mary Sue characters than I am by stories set in Marysutopia. A lot of classic SF suffers from that. Authors created societies in which their own personal preferences became the social norms.

Heinlein’s like maybe we could have weird kinds of marriage, how weird it would be to have marriage shuffled like that every year, post-apocalyptic, memory wiped every four years, an idea book, the gourd boat seeds, he got a tour, I picked up the seeds that the lady showed me, he keeps looking in his pockets, his belt pouch, finds the tailors’ bills, the pips of an orange that Polly had thrown at him, a hopeless romantic, how’s the economy work?, how do family and raising kids work, look young until they grow old and suddenly die, mentally a child, super-powers, it has got to be satire, deeper than most seem to want to credit as middling adventure romp, another whole book, trying to turn it into, with a six-shooter, he has a sword but he doesn’t hit people with it much, Jack Burton in Big Trouble In Little China (1986), one of the best movies ever made, orientalist, Kurt Russell, he thinks he’s the hero, the movie acts like he’s the hero but he’s the comic sidekick, David Lo Pan, misunderstanding what the movie is doing, he arrives on a magic carpet, who was the guy?, the carpet and the locket, it went nowhere, it went into his pocket, he could have another adventure, Gulliver on Venus, Gulliver on Ganymede, bumble through more things, why you have to read Gulliver’s Travels, shownoting something from 6 months ago, the horse people, Planet Of The Apes, all he wants to do is spend time taking care of his horse, watching the horrible things happening on the news, you can really rely on your garden, utter contempt for humans, admiring the horses so much, the GULLIVER’S TRAVELS miniseries (1996), Silverlock by John Myers Myers, a ken doll for rich lady giants, placed between their breasts, savage takedown, how did this get on the schedule?, too much of a lead time?, even if Paul listened 6 months later, they’re already on they’re next writing, let me tell you about the book I’m reading now, what we were thinking 6 months ago, laughing or crying at jokes, what things were like 6 months ago, what things were like in 1905, oh professors of later day, so much per unit, an audiobook for this bike journey, back to electric cars, he tries to pay her for the inflation, a babelfish equivalent, huge mistake, everybody had clothing on (fucking stupid), number 1 mistkae: Dejah Thoris had clothes on, Disney Princesses, clothes for the ken doll of John Carter and Dejah Thoris, when he goes swimming he takes off his uniform, he’s drowning!, even ghosts want to kill themselves, a huge meal of elk, deer, and something very much like salmon, I had to go save a princess on another planet with a magic carpet, telepathy and simplicity, Sola is a slave like Ahn is a slave, minor mind powers, the warring groups, the books are so different, apples and potatoes, Creatures On The Loose, he’s a Vietnam vet!, a former marine instead of a sailor, a snarky attitude, he actually says he was a soldier prior to being a sailor, up for promotion, his folly, a terrible mission, maybe more important than we know, audio of Phra The Phoenician?, yay! suspended animation!

Creatures On The Loose, Gulliver Of Mars

Creatures On The Loose, ISSUE 18

Creatures On The Loose, ISSUE 18

Monsters Unleashed

Monsters Unleashed

Gullivar Jones, First Man On Mars

Gulliver Of Mars - illustration by Newton Burcham

Monsters Unleashed, issue 8, Unused Gullivar Jones Splash

Gulliver Of Mars frontispiece by Frank Frazetta

Gulliver Of Mars - 1965 Frank Frazetta cover art

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The SFFaudio Podcast #654 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: Star Ship by Poul Anderson

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #654 – Star Ship by Poul Anderson; read by Paul Harvey (for LibriVox). This is an unabridged reading of the story (1 hour 32 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Paul Weimer, and Scott Danielson.

Talked about on today’s show:
Planet Stories, Fall 1950, the description therein, The strangest space castaways of all!, weirdly medieval, the life-boat cracked up, an AI that rebelled against them, this episode of Star Trek Voyager, all simulation, Paul unleashed, “The Paradise Syndrome”, not good depictions of Native Americans, C.J. Cherryh’s the Foreigner series, 12 novels vs. 90 minutes, padded vs. lean and mean, the backstory is all in here, a two part Voyager episode, Star Trek The Next Generation, an episode of The Orville, time works differently down there, Interstellar (2014), “Blink Of An Eye”, Dragon’s Egg by Robert L. Forward, “Mad Idolatry”, Sandkings by George R.R. Martin, Ted Sturgeon’s Microcosmic God, accelerated rate vs. accelerated time, all they needed was a remote control, Aliens (1986), the orbiting Sulaco, their away mission included the entire crew, Apollo 11, you gotta leave Michael Collins up there, subspace vortex, your people with your equipment, one in a billion chance, one ion storm, wrong timeline?, what Heinlein did, Poul Anderson’s complete psychotechnic league, the third story, Flandry, egalitarian, looser, Sandra Miesel, Startling Stories, Winter 1955, back in the early 1940s Robert A. Heinlein let it be known, The Snows Of Ganymede, a bare outline, fantasy and prophecy, the first 250 years, 2875, The Star Ways, some of them are as yet unwritten, Cold Victory wasn’t published until the 1980s, Oswald Spengler, The Decline of the West, Arnold J. Toynbee, anthropoid robot invented, anti-robot riots, a historical view, a me discovering this, psychodynamics was created, the early death of Dwight D. Eisenhower. U.S. Socialism in the 1950s, like Asimov’s psychohistory, influence government policy and popular attitudes, his own Foundation, uncomfortable questions, realism vs. idealism, Anderson’s political beliefs, he reversed his strong support for the United Nations, more cynical, cycles of history, libertarian?, internationalist, individualist, any other stories, a reversal of The High Crusade, capes, cannons, siege engines, medieval futuristic, Jack Vance, only three generations, a mix of elements, The Dragon Masters, worldbuilding happened outside of the plot, like reading Heinlein, he has a plan, Friday is set in the same universe as Farmer In The Sky, part of a greater universe, reading his openings more than once, nobody with amnesia,

With sunset, there was rain. When Dougald Anson brought his boat in to Krakenau harbor, there was only a vast wet darkness around him.

the aliens when we get to them, fur with clothes, he swished his tail, my gosh look at that alien!,

The Khazaki was humanoid, to be sure—shorter than the Terrestrial average, but slim and lithe. Soft golden fur covered his sinewy body, and a slender tail switched restlessly against his legs. His head was the least human part of him, with its sloping forehead, narrow chin, and blunt-muzzled face. The long whiskers around his mouth and above the amber cat-eyes twitched continuously, sensitive to minute shifts in air currents and temperature. Along the top of his skull, the fur grew up in a cockatoo plume that swept back down his neck, a secondary sexual characteristic that females lacked.

the original art, it just looks like a mohawk, this picture is from right near the end of the story, funny things going on in the background, a little post-medieval, the Khazaki – Kozakis – Cossacks, in the analogue that is Poul Anderson’s brain, Japanese, Scandanavian guy, lucky, plot magic, a lot of females, Ching Chun Chen aka Ensign Kim, taught astrogation from her grandfather, our Conan figure, prematurely old looking, a forehead scar, had many women attracted to him (including the native women), L. Sprague de Camp, rishathra, cultural vs. wenching,

He looked away, his face hot in the gloom, realizing suddenly why Masefield Carson hated him. Briefly, he wished he hadn’t had such consistent luck with women. But the accident that there was a preponderance of females in the second and third generations of Khazaki humans had made it more or less inevitable, and he—well, he was only human. There’d been Earthling girls; and not a few Khazaki women had been intrigued by the big Terrestrial. Yes, I was lucky, he thought bitterly. Lucky in all except the one that mattered. Right after, Anse felt a small hand laid on his arm. He looked down into the dark eyes of DuFrere Marie. She was a pretty girl, a little younger than he, and until he’d really noticed Ellen he’d been paying her some attention.

“I don’t care about equality,” she whispered. “A woman shouldn’t try to be a man. I’d want only to cook and keep house for my man, and bear his children.”

It was, Anse realized, a typical Khazaki attitude. But—he remembered with a sudden pity that Carson had been courting Marie. “This is pretty tough on you,” he muttered. “I’ll try to see that Carse is saved…. If we win,” he added wryly.

“Him? I don’t care about that Masefield. Let them hang him. But Anse—be careful—”

a very Conan guy, escape to the moon, I was promised a STAR SHIP, not a science fiction story in its main action, that’s what Planet Stories is about, the whole purpose is to get to another place, fun, planetary romance, a novelty, Planet Stories is way ahead, picking up on Science Fiction in the 1950s, maybe there’s something to this stuff, as opposed to romance or railroad or baseball fiction magazines, extrapolative science fiction, some real thing behind it, some scientific idea, the reason we like Dragon’s Egg, if we had a neutron-star, put in a ton of brain work, the speed of their metabolism, how do I tell it as a story, all that brainwork lends some sort of truth to the story, a mediocre story, still good, he has some stuff going on in his mind, the struggle we’ll see between the Soviets and the United States, the Moon is a tangible object in the sky, plot the mountains of the Moon, Mission Of Gravity by Hal Clement, the Mesklinites, we’re gonna be friends, a very masculine story, give me your sword,

He added, after a moment: “A man has to stand by his comrades.”

Janazik nodded, very slowly. “Give me your sword,” he said.

“Eh?” Anse looked at him. The blue eyes were unseeing, blind with pain, but he handed over the red weapon. Janazik slipped his own glaive into the human’s fingers.

Then he laid a hand on Anse’s shoulder and smiled at him, and then looked away.

We Khazaki don’t know love. There is comradeship, deeper than any Earthling knows. When it happens between male and female, they are mates. When it is between male and male, they are blood-brothers. And a man must stand by his comrades.

they don’t have any gays on this planet, a dozen words for betrayal but not a single word for love, teach me this earth thing you call kissing, humans have to teach sex to the aliens, in the Doctor Who universe, unusual on Earth, you have sex all the time?, what’s wrong with you?, build a rocket, there is this past, the first space-boat, a vivid past, Jerry Pournelle’s King David’s Spaceship, bootstrap a spaceship, you can’t colonize us, quasi-medieval, ran in the same circles, so many ideas, starships won’t even be necessary, Peter F. Hamilton, wormhole on Mars, Pandora’s Star, rockets that grow like trees, Beowulf Schaeffer, engineered by the Pak?, interesting tidbit, fishbowl helmet, any way to get to space, living and working in space, to go to another place, international space station, The Integral Trees and The Smoke Ring, space is the absence of a place, what if…, raiding across the galaxy, I could make this go another way, fun stuff, similar situation, somehow the humans are the dominant ones, take out our macbooks and upload a virus, Independence Day 2 (2016), hey that H.G. Wells and the War Of The Worlds thing?, I’m doing that, a computer virus, a fun movie, waiting for the Americans doing something, Independence Day: UK, when talking to Julie Davis, the Russians won WWII in Europe, Operation Market Garden, Western front vs. Eastern front, we gotta get the Chinese market, throw in a Chinese character, Dwayne Johnson, a scene set in Seoul, Skyscraper (2018), it lands badly, if you’re building the rocket ship, spoilers and scoops and pinstripes on a rocket, it doesn’t overstay its welcome, only 90 minutes, a very small story, a little planetary romance, detailed backstory that the author knows and we can surmise, a good outline, a couple of Heinlein stories, the rise of the prophet, the crazy years, with a science fiction setting, a standard Green Odyssey sort of story, Conan/action, blood brothers, pirates, a barbarian by comparison, ringmail, a blonde mane, a sword, a higher gravity planet, how it got to be as fine as it is for a very pulpy story, really obsessed with Iceland?, he makes it work, obsessed with the norther lands, an Icelandic saga, The Man Who Came Early, Poul Anderson’s answer to Lest Darkness Fall by L. Sprague de Camp, detail and place, I’m only going to tell stories set in the Black Forest, scandinavian history, Star Ways, he’s not top tier, consistently never terrible, Andre Norton, how did he manage to make a good story?, leaning on Conan, leaning on the same things, one of the reasons we know Howard writes so well, leaning heavily on history, almost never has magic as a major function, an evil wizard whose casting a spell, this tower is made of magic, fighting a literal god, leaning on the science, that is beauty, that’s poetic, NESFA, serviceable, very watered down mead, Njáls Saga, Netflix watch party, the Skiffy and Fanty people, Ragnarok, the final verdict, oh shit we gotta write a whole series, Netflix is planetary, Norsemen, funny silly stuff, leaning heavily on the facts of Norwegian life, its legit, the gutter of pulp, weak ass stories, a Conan pastiche, Tarzan, Hour 25, Sherlock Holmes, novels and collections, Delenda Est, the time patrol stories, more coming our all the time, the good news, finally hitting gutenberg, Three Hearts And Three Lions, Jeffro Johnson, The Broken Sword, Appendix N, a book of reviews, what they contributed to Dungeons & Dragons, Dave Arneson and Gary Gygax, Jack Vance’s magic system, if you’re a dungeon master, lift from these guys, Jerome Bixby, The Man From Earth (2007), Star Trek actors sitting in a room for 90 minutes, an ideas guy, Planet Stories, all Star Trek things, four episodes of the original Star Trek, ideas are incredibly important for science fiction, nice prose vs. characters, a crappily written story that’s interesting, a first contact protocol, teleportation aka transporters, Star Trek basics, Star Trek ideas in non-Star Trek stories, “By Any Other Name”, “Mirror, Mirror”, goateed Spock, “Day Of The Dove”, “Requiem For Methuselah”, “Galileo Seven”, a shuttle, “Metamorphosis”, mate with the giant guys who throw rocks, The Twilight Zone, “It’s A Good Life”, a good ideas story, his two tricks, somehow you can get a career, Lord Dunsany, Clark Ashton Smith, a staple of Jesse’s diet, a Poul Anderson, a Ray Bradbury Podcast: Bradbury 100, Science Fiction 101, more general, the Silverberg anthology (Worlds Of Wonder), an introduction to Science Fiction, old stuff, current stuff, future stuff, looking back over your life, you tripped and fell into an open grave, at night, on a Thursday, this is a good podcast, distilled it down, a novelette, Paul’s having a brain freeze because of Covid-19 and the vaccine for same, will Scott ban himself from the Baen forums, it doesn’t seem to be that big a deal, Trump should make a militia, Harold Lamb, historical fiction guy, Marching Sands, Omar Khayyam: A Life, Genghis Khan: King Of All Men, need more Rubáiyát in my life, the LibriVox version is preferable, Cirsova, Julian Hawthorne’s The Cosmic Courtship, astral projection, a professional narrator, leverage more stuff, our narrator today, like Jesse reading, the majority are pretty good, share the wealth, if pizza was still under trademark, Pizza authorized restaurant, no cheerios pizza!, let our pizzas free, champagne, parmesan, Cheddar, let people make their own pizzas, we’ve had a pizza flourishing, the ketchup on hot-dogs, its allowed, the right condiments for hotdogs, don’t lock down my hot dog, The Ship Of Ishtar by A. Merritt, Planet Stories series, Sword Of Rhiannon by Leigh Brackets, Robots Have No Tails by Leigh Brackett, Stefan Rudnicki, Johnny Heller, Nightfall And Other Stories, 40 or 50 titles, more officially public domain, 1923 was a cutoff until 2 years ago, the late 1920s pretty soon, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Leonardo Dicaprio (the short guy from Titanic), push books to sell to the high schools, oh shit the copyright’s expiring, the Philip K. Dick estate, the Folio Society collection of The Complete Short Stories of Philip K. Dick, Bryan Alexander, a monstrosity, $750 for four books, Jesse’s complaints are legion, Americans tend to do that, the artistic objects, collecting old things, a half million dollar revenue project, does not include Dick’s juvenile, a handful or two handfuls not in there, lazy as fuck, the colours are fluorescent, commissioning new art, too highbrow and too generic, The Infinites, Colony, a pointless argument, people like art, these are objections for collection, like buying a sculpture, a phenomenon in art, this is a way of storing value, artificial scarcity, art as one object, not for the billionaires, above the funko pop level, The Book Of The New Sun, a new Tor version, zener card symbols are public domain, this is bad cover art, is art objective or subjective, a minimalist room, Scott doesn’t complain about art, The Doomsday Book by Connie Willis, Kivrin, $750!, Subterranean Editions, The Best Of David Brin, The Best Of Elizabeth Bear, Nancy Kress.

Star Ship by Poul Anderson

Star Ship by Poul Anderson

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The SFFaudio Podcast #649 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: The Ideal by Stanley G. Weinbaum

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #649 – The Ideal by Stanley G. Weinbaum; read by Gregg Margarite. This is an unabridged reading of the story (37 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Paul Weimer, and Tony De Simone

Talked about on today’s show:
Star Trek Wars podcast, Tony’s pick, Pygmallion’s Spectacles, Weinbaum, Gregg Margarite, thematic resonances, interestingly similar, three Professor Van Manderpootz, big lib goggles, a little dated, male female relations, of its time, a strong male gaze, in the context of this story, he uses his gaze to create the ideal woman, an absolute cad, out for girls, not empathetic, defeated by reading the story, the girl puts her face in the oven, her male ideal, the uncle in Pygmallion’s Spectacles, Albert Ludwig, another European scientist type, inflated ego and opinion, Gregg had great taste in Science Fiction, like Wayne June, reads like a robot, straight narration vs. performance narration, Mark Twain, treating it like a serious hobby, Acoustic Pulp (Gregg Margarite’s blog listing his recordings), a really great idea man, a tradition, Philip K. Dick has a Van Manderpootz style character, scolded and cajoled, Doc Brown from Back To The Future, Doc Labyrinth, The Short Happy Life Of The Brown Oxford, from this tradition, a fine and upstanding tradition, philosophical stuff, the middle one, Worlds Of If, Dixon Wells, how things might have happened differently, the Mirror Universe, the subjunctivisor, stand alone but in sequence, the perfect woman, she married the pilot, how the male gaze is done by the female, the secretary through the eyes of the janitor, you notice it is fun, its incredibly deep, a magazine named after, What IF…, If This Goes On…, projecting into the future, from 2014-2015, the great stock market crash of 2009, a lot of smoking, incredible output, the perfect, John Rawls veil of ignorance, a good happy and non painful life, its ridiculous, three new particles, really early technobabble (in service), Plato and The Republic, we all want justice, what is justice?, doing right to your friends and doing harm to your enemies, to be virtuous in all actions, where learning comes from, our reality is a shittier version of the perfect, the trauma of childbirth gave you amnesia, learning is actually remembering, what makes a chair a chair is we know it from the ideal of the chair, why we recognize things, instinctual fears, the perfect house, Poe wrote a whole essay about the perfect room, psychons, that hairstyle is more attractive, big hair and shoulder pads, Miami Vice, generated by the things exposed to in youth, active in advertizing from 25 years ago, Somewhere In Time (1980), Jack Finney is sooo nostalgic, Midnight In Paris (2011), nostalgia as a receding window, Ray Bradbury is sooo nostalgic, an idealization of a perfect time in the past, Halloween, he lives there, he dwells there, a place where he was, how he was, only if you believe in this idea of the perfect, an exploration and a ridiculing of the perfect, anything after 1899 was uninteresting, movies from the 1970s vs. stories from the 1970s, the perfect girl, her costume, cuirasses are back in fashion, body armor and shorts, standard from 1930s magazines, Return Of The Jedi, Leia’s costume is 1930s brass braziers, a male Jabba gaze, long sensuous hair tentacles, what makes Star Wars work so well is its coming out and a harkening back, the serials and the pulps, Buck Rogers, Flash Gordon, wearing swords and cuirasses, flying vehicles and Ming the Merciless, an inconsequential comedy piece, there is this perfect woman out there for me, a new reality, very subtle, an examination of the phenomenon and a dismissal of it, an element of Van Manderpootz, he tells us he’s smart, his wiseness is not as high as his smartness, taking the robot apart, his plan went afoul, the cover of Wonder Stories, its in the story (just not the focus), they idealized it, a guy sticking his head into a cannon, people with TV heads, robosaurus, if he had built it it would have been a disaster, the ideal predator for an urban jungle, the tradition going back to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, the message of Frankenstein is if you’re going to have kids don’t abandon them, embracing the and, the most discussed one, 1. there are some things man was not meant to know!, 2. playing God is wrong, connected to making babies, God is making babies, creating Hell on Earth, instead of living peacefully in heaven forever, adaptations (the movies), hubris, show off his intelligence, of that ilk, driven to defeat death, a creature that is immortal, the creature punishes him, if you get a dog don’t abuse it, rejected by society, our hero is a little bit too ditzy, he’s not committed (even to showing up on time), so distraught he starts showing up to work on time, oh I know that girl, her second husband (she’s had seven), an object of massive desire, brilliant as he is, he makes a good uncle, the relationship between Doc Brown and Marty McFly, the circular loop, it doesn’t make sense to look at as a Heinleinian loop, Predestination (2014) and All You Zombies, the avuncular uncle, Doc I need more power, the same comedic relationship, getting in bed with the Libyans, the same story a different phenomenon, public domain heroes, John R. Peirce’s The Higher Things, Harry Harrison, romances, I I Dixon Wells, Heloise And Alebard, from the medieval time period, a missed opportunity, a very Star Trek thing to do: Newton, Hawking, Tpau of Vulcan, the iceberg approach, A Pale Light In The Black by K.B. Wagers, the only music is Star Trek is jazz, classical, and Klingon opera, Dixon Hill, the ideal romance, Marty McFly isn’t that interested in science, Sophie Wenzel Ellis, tragic romances, the real answer, Creatures Of The Light by Sophie Wenzel Ellis, a eugenicist, pile on pile on pile on pile on, extra stuff at the beginning, Aucassin and Nicolette, auggh gasoline!, fixed eyes or fixed cameras, phone camera AI, categorizing and tagging, blinders and a mirror, what does this heterosexual young man see?, dating dancers, what other people thought was the perfect woman, nothing about her brain, Weinbaum is very wise, it feels so easy but it is super deep, Dawn Of Flame, a plague in the 2020s, The Black Flame, Kentucky, Black Margo, conquering the world for good, as very poignant piece vs. clinical and cute, wise, wistful, our naive hero, he’s literally teaching us, he taught so many people what science fiction could be, read more Weinbaum, he wrote a lot for a guy who didn’t live very long, Ray Bradbury is genuine and enthusiastic, love and reverence for poetry and prose, the least political writer, cars and trains, The Pedestrian, Fahrenheit 451 seems very political, book burning vs. the danger of television, a magic way to get to Mars, never learned to live (living in Los Angeles) is pretty weird, The Small Assassin, the image of a homicidal baby, Pet Semetary by Stephen King, revealing truths, making the wisdom go down very easy, a jerk vs. a ditz, he could literally destroy the planet, killing machines, the robot is probably named after Isaac Newton, a Jew, Ray Bradbury’s obsessions are kind of what people wanted, that small town vibe, a nice way of thinking of reality, Disney’s Up is too nostalgic for Jesse, noir fiction, hard SF, hard boiled, well written and easy to take in, A Martian Odyssey, a Star Trek bridge crew, each alien is different, silicon based lifeforms, how a bird would think, H.G. Wells’ The War Of The Worlds, they’re comprehensible, based in threes, vampires, what would happen to people as we evolved, taking in your food through your skin, grey aliens.

The Ideal by Stanley G. Weinbaum

 WONDER STORIES, September 1935 - The Ideal by Stanley G. Weinbaum

The Ideal by Stanley G. Weinbaum - illustration by Frank R. Paul

The Ideal by Stanley G. Weinbaum - interior illustration by Frank R. Paul

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The SFFaudio Podcast #625 – AUDIOBOOK: The Jewel Of Seven Stars by Bram Stoker

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #625 – The Jewel Of Seven Stars by Bram Stoker, read by Roger Melin and was first published in paper in 1903.

This UNABRIDGED AUDIOBOOK (10 hours 12 minutes) comes to us courtesy of LibriVox.

The next SFFaudio Podcast will feature our discussion of it!

The Jewel Of Seven Stars by Bram Stoker (1904)

The Jewel Of Seven Stars by Bram Stoker

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The SFFaudio Podcast #616 – AUDIOBOOK: We by Yevgeny Zamyatin

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #616 – We by Yevgeny Zamyatin, read by mleigh

This UNABRIDGED AUDIOBOOK (6 hours 27 minutes) comes to us courtesy of LibriVox, the paperbook was first published in 1924.

And SFFaudio Podcast #161 was our discussion of it.

We by Yevgeny Zamyatin

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The SFFaudio Podcast #613 – AUDIOBOOK: The Coming Race by Edward Bulwer-Lytton

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #613 – The Coming Race by Edward Bulwer-Lytton, read by Maire Rhode

This UNABRIDGED AUDIOBOOK (6 hours 47 minutes) comes to us courtesy of LibriVox and was first published in 1871.

The next SFFaudio Podcast will feature our discussion of it!

The Coming Race by Edward Bulwer-Lytton

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