The SFFaudio Podcast #700 – READALONG: The Door Into Summer by Robert A. Heinlein

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #700 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, Maissa Bessada, Evan Lampe, and Trish E. Matson talk about The Door Into Summer by Robert A. Heinlein.

Talked about on today’s show:
serialized in F&SF, October and December 1956, hardcover 1957, set in 1970s, set in 2000/2001, the cat and the door, isn’t the door supposed to dilate?, Heinlein In Dimension by Alexei Panshin, The Pleasant Profession Of Robert A. Heinlein by Farah Mendlesohn, lucky for Paul, Paul didn’t like it, just the cat parts?, time paradox, time loop, Trish hated it, a cardinal rule, #SIFTP, analysis, horrible indeed, recounting Trish’s shame, supposed to like the main character, Pete rules, Danny boy, pacing, not a struggle to finish, Evan should read all of Heinlein, Evan dug the stuff about domestic labour, a key feature of the conversation about feminism and technology, Philip K. Dick was a technophobe, Nanny, domestic labour devices, the robot’s trying to have sex with your wife, the washing machine, washing day, any liberation from work is good (especially drudgery), still sexism, 1950s America, Evan loved the cat stuff, a love-story about a man and his cat, Pete’s inner life, this little opener, the famous ones, researching, listeners appreciate, other podcasts on Heinlein, even people who hate Heinlein reference him all the time, Our Opinions Are Correct, By His Bootstraps, “All You Zombies”, similar plot, less romance, less something, all about the time loop, even tighter, a long short story, good, fun, and funny, similar structural stuff, a bullshit paper on time travel, loops ensue, Dictor, he a bad man, he also main character, did Heinlein invent time loops or merely perfect them?, finding Heinlein icky, bootstrap paradox, 19th century, outside of science fiction, economics, politics, such a pervasive misunderstanding, something obviously impossible to do, whadontchu do the impossible?, stupid people collecting phrases, the icky factor, engaged with vs. shit all over, squicky?, “grooming”, the stand in for Heinlein (Dan Davis), unfair, overstating, Heinlein still wrote it, he’s pushing her away, “Yes Ricky, that’s what I want”, over-reading, kids as sex objects, The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, Hazel, The Rolling Stones, no talking about the show before the show starts, the stand-in for Heinlein is someone else, the nudist is Heinlein, the Japanese Netflix movie, not that bad if you can attune yourself to Japanese aesthetics, “a door you should not go through”, fine, it did the story, the femme fatale, reducing the ickyness, just pining, did what it had to do, it didn’t dwell on the fun stuff, haircuts, stock stuff, women’s labour is not in the movie at all, the world that Heinlein builds up, am I supposed to like the character?, he’s a drunk, he wants to make his tech repairable, right to repair, a bigger issue today than 30 years ago, you’re not supposed to open your own hood, Jesse’s ancient car, other personality qualities, being resentful, being oblivious (for the plot), kinda dumb in some areas, an idiot ball, trusting Miles and Belle, the passion to dive into your work, being his own boss, don’t let other people tell you how to do your job, selling stories, the same scene over and over and over again, “dicker”, sticker, ultimatum, instead of haggling, saying the unstated, the other guy always collapses, a weakness in Heinlein, his second plan, that trick sucks and Jesse hates, it doesn’t work in reality, try and do it today bud, Heinlein has to be an Android guy now, one of the many annoying things Heinlein does, his worlds are constructed by him, there’s always another guy across the street, you have to move to another town, Sears is gone now, all to common situations, helping the businesses stay honest, gas stations, gas prices are always in alignment with each other, working together, a supply issue, independent gas stations, corporate owned, concessions at a movie theatre, booktowns, a wedding district, negotiation logic, interpersonal connections, “how dare you, sir, interrupt my nudist making out session with my wife, I’m going to go nuclear”, in that case we’re best friends, autistic, an all or nothing approach, padding, a mode that he gets into, inane identical conversations, after your 50th Heinlein novel, Rikki-Tikki-Tavi, more evidence Heinlein was always telling you what books to read, he loves Rudyard Kipling, Jesse doesn’t read for character, the world is fantastic, so much going on, France has a king now, Canada ate England, the six weeks nuclear war, the capital is now in Denver, the amount of worldbuilding, nullified by the Japanese movie, 3 years from now, robots that look like people everywhere, iPhone didn’t take over in 2 years, these guys don’t care about the thing Jesse cares about, a Japanese audience, he’s the Time Bride in this situation, zero age difference, schoolgirls in sailor uniforms, oh yeah and we have to have a cat, asking questions and angry about stuff, a robot Pete?, a very bad replacement for the nudists, it made it cute, where did that come from, you’re always late, Dan, bad bad writing, I serve you for five days, have conversations to explain plot, reverse engineer that robot, another convention, avoiding a paradox, the reason, all the podcasts in existence, we’ve done the most on anything (by Heinlein), everybody does Starship Troopers, a number have done The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, a couple have done By His Bootstraps, some have done “All You Zombies”, the movie is not the story, that story is pretty simple, essentially the same, a Heinlein booster, a white nationalist?, learning to drive, there was a door, why is this not a book that sticks in the memory?, so lower on the tier scale, less racist that Farnham’s Freehold, awesome plot work, it feels slight, sentimental works, otherwise slight, The Cat Who Walks Through Walls, avoiding that one, a cat is in it, there are cats in it but it isn’t a cat book, flatcats, he loves cats, Pixel, a character Jesse liked, the nudist was funny, nuding it up, do better in 2022?, let the women talk about the women for a little while, little girls have inappropriate crushes, an excuse by pedophiles, go play with somebody your own age, see a psychiatrist, here’s a candy cane, peer appropriate relationship, hypersleep, still wants to marry the same guy, don’t wake me up, she’d rather not exist if she’s not going to be with him, ten years of living without him, he’s not a jerk, oblivious, focused on his work, he can write female characters strong and self sufficent and have brains, a manipulating self-center bitch, a response book, previous time travel books, H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine, When The Sleeper Awakes, the future utopia sometime in the 20th century, the richest man in the world, his light bulb being on, Red Dwarf, engaging with a long tradition, two methods of time travel, shunted out of the plot, a plot device, the cold sleep, a great novel, neglected great writers, Double Indemnity by James M. Cain, a wife who wants to have her husband killed, Walter Neff, while somebody is sleeping, he didn’t jump he was pushed, killing off Dan B. Davis, the Hays Code, slim volumes, so digestible, the motivating plot, the way the book is structured, it starts with a loop, 11 doors in Connecticut, drafting or drinking, back in time, his decision, running around to get the plot happening, Back To The Future 2, he sees himself on stage playing guitar and Chuck Berry phone call, how Heinlein’s a good writer, the car had gone missing, Jesse knew what happened to the car, a mystery, red herrings to distract us from the little clues, chef’s kiss, time travel, not loved when so well done, he invents the Roomba, so many touches, Hired Girl, the hired girl, he can see them in their starkers, as god made them, all confection and lies, assets, competent, the hired girl took over, what’s so interesting about this book, technology at its core, plot vs. tech, the Japanese movie in relief, plasma battery subplot, Heinlein’s saying the opposite, everything’s off the rack, philosophy of engineering, on point, in railroad times you build railroads, loop de loop rollercoaster, the character having interaction with himself, nothing more beautiful than that, “you’re stupid”, I said., arrested for barracking, that zombie drug, sentenced to being zombies, zombie workers killed by its owner, working the implications of the tech, Heinlein at his best, really exploring, he loved Colorado, overrun, expropriated for government use, Los Angeles is a port, he’s not half-assing it, he likes, nudity, Colorado, cats, California, self inserting his own bio, the whole bit with the cars, producing to give people jobs, we’re doing it, cheese caves, in the Japanese adaptation, 32 year old car, you need to be rich to own an old car, to support the Japanese car industry, more iron to make more cars, the domestic market, the Japanese market, immigration, its hard to assimilate, racist or whatever, something they’ve thought a lot about since WWII, how to keep the economy good, a stable economy, trashing five year old cars, Australia is full of Japanese cars, Canada too, right hand drive, insure it at a higher rate, where Heinlein goes the extra step, the fit and finish, no gauges, satire, milk subsidies, a license to have a milk farm, where the government cheese comes from, more cows producing, distortion effects, pop vs. soda, pop is a verb not a noun, Wisconsin is pop country, corn syrup, sugar is cheaper in Canada, corn syrup is cheaper in the states, social commentary, a continuation, his futurism is really good, technology has massive impacts on our lives, real science fiction, useful technology, the right side of this question, make women and men’s lives easier, his own life, tricked out with interesting tech ideas, labour saving, the history of the dishwasher, scrub dishes all day, Jesse is a monster, not a smart dishwasher, I have to pay my servants, after WWII, dishwashers had existed since 1850 but they get hot in 1950, Catharine Beecher, Harriet Beecher Stowe’s sister, A Treatise On Domestic Economy For The Use of Young Ladies at Home and at School, our bastion of power, efficiency expert, scientific management, fordism, talking about the domestic sphere seriously, expanding their own freedom, the natural place for women, sounds scary when you say it, if you’re going to continue the species, off on the hunt, Jesse literally cannot suckle babies, hormone shots, we don’t even have the baby being gestated in side the woman, Lois McMaster Bujold, uterine replicators, Podkayne Of Mars did it first, Bujold does Heinlein better than Heinlein, the domestic labour saving devices, Jesse’s not allowed in his mom’s kitchen, her space to dominate, a room in the house for men, cohabitation rooms, smoking rooms, Trish seething in the background, liberate women from this using tech, drive across or rocket across, Jesse has been talking a long time, Drafting Dan was for himself and for men and women, his inventions were for everybody, Hired Girl helping women, saving household labour, the domestic sphere idea, a woman’s domain, restricting choices is a bad thing for human rights, through husband or father, how people or women thought of it in the 19th century, antebellum reform movements, newspapers, social movements, protests, writing governments, pushing for laws, anti-prostitution, temperance, the anti-slavery movement, women’s anti-slavery societies, it degrades the family, making women sinners, informally not legally married, separate spheres idea, women didn’t have property if they were married, the Temperance Society of Philadelphia, write articles, give speeches, push for laws, a historical rabbit hole, something else that is going to annoy Jesse, the plot is a chef’s kiss, the time machine plot was unnecessary, a wonderful feeling, Riki becoming a brilliant engineer herself, wow she grew up and started the Aladdin rival company, Dan went back in time and did everything else, the challenge, Trish had her female empowerment plot taken away from her, a good thing about that movie, irrelevant to the plot, a better reinterpretation, given how all the female characters were written, intelligent women who do things, too early, without that loop, the loop at the beginning, an alcoholic suddenly, to fix the problem, to get revenge, he’s doing a figure skating thing, that the loop happens, who is Heinlein?, could there have been parallel existences?, Pete died, she grew up, if I did see my name in the paper, it could never have happened that way, the very existence of that line of print, excluded not possibles, a supernatural engineer, the supernatural entity is Heinlein, a beautiful technical execution, why is that scene necessary?, because he was a nudist, an intertime travel love story, Time Bride Isaac Asimov’s November 1983, Gardner Dozois and Jack Dann, Trish is going to love this story, engaging with the minor aspect of the story, many exceptions, spouses in the reverse case, not societialy appropriate, if Edgar Allan Poe had, getting married in Korea, school and study up, more free now, the western standard, the average age, a lot less marriage as well, not some inexplicable quirk, women don’t have to get married to support themselves, older men would have more of it (money), marry off your daughters, women make their own money, marriage is obsolete, as societies developed, incomes are equal, the only reason marriage exists is to control women, traditionally, easy binding contracts, trying to buy a house on your own, marriage contracts for two years, the Islamic world, Shia, Sunni, merchants, a contractual thing, business routes, renewing your drivers license or your car, about insurance, why are insurance companies invovled, The Year Of The Jackpot, related to marriage, 26 working years, make all the right bets, Lifeline, murdered by insurance companies, Time Enough For Love, something Heinlein is thinking about, it fits with the idea, on a track that can’t be changed, a fixed track, that sentimentalness of it, his cat likes him, the reason it is all worth it, now wife and kid, 30 years down the road you can’t have your cat, just have your cats out for the summer, Lockstep by Karl Schroeder, the march of civilization, Cryoburn by Lois McMaster Bujold, investments, can you control and manipulate the world, the bad guys in Neuromancer, Technovelgy [Bill Christensen], technologies in books, Drafting Dan, CAD, Eager Beaver, Flexible Frank, Hired Girl Robot, Radioactive Coding for Checks, Robotic Hand, Waldo, Stasis (Cold Sleep, Hibernation), Thorsen Memory Tube, Computer component that allows a machine to learn through experience. Universal Checkbook, the ATM, Window-Willie, boob tube, a pulp image, glass recycling, transaction fees, the debit card, you can’t believe how expensive it is to clean windows, he invents a lot of the tech in the story, two kinds of science fiction going on at once, the effect of technology on society, a time travel story, Idiocracy (2006), C.M. Kornbluth, the premise for Futurama, a forward going time machine, Flight To Forever by Poul Anderson, the desire to go back, time travel paradoxes, similar to this, Bender’s Big Score, after the first cancellation, Lars is Fry, going back in time, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Data, Star Trek: Voyager, The Orville, billions of years old, Marvin in The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, if this is the worst of Heinlein…, is he in the same facility as himself, a lockbox with 16 different keys and locks, leave a letter with a lawyer, Bill And Ted’s Excellent Adventure, time travel role playing games, fade away, Back To The Future (1985), puzzles for the writer and the reader, an intellectual exercise, have the rest of the book blank, the last short story Heinlein ever wrote, a trilogy, a series, Time Enough For Love, The Long Arm Of Gil Hamilton by Larry Niven, cold sleepers, harvest their organs, corpsicles, The Crack In Space by Philip K. Dick, A World Out Of Time, Rammer, hard SF, and noir, a very turgid book, Evan is struggling with, a grade 12 honors seminar, “Science Fiction And Social Issues”, Vulcan’s Hammer, Doctor Futurity, bye Trish!, Solar Lottery, a whole year, five times a week, Alfred Bester, The Roller Coaster, Passengers by Robert Silverberg, it’s certainly something, to palate cleans you, a lot of paranoid men worried their robots are fucking their wives, they’re all so good, the older version of The Time Machine movie, Somewhere In Time (1980), Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour, reverse time bride, not fairly icky to Jesse, Paul found it icky, Maissa thought it had icky aspects, alternate future, he’s wrong everywhere but also dead on in many ways, not because Heinlein loves pervin on the girls, I’m robin the cradle, people age, you get old, Pete dying, Riki aging and seeing the cat again is a super-positive thing, seeing your childhood pet again, preserving their pets just for summers, the whole metaphor is very poetic, necessary, somebody can age faster than someone else, have a bigger baldspot, make him oblivious, if he had to serve a jail sentence or something, prison romance, a reality for a lot of kids, a good ideas movie, The Tomorrow War (2021) with Chris Pratt, Edge Of Tomorrow (2014), you stand with Ukraine, they’re recruiting right now, oh, I’m too old, put up or shut up, family drama, if you really want to explore the idea of time travel, Joe Haldeman’s The Forever War, the wording of it threw it into Creepyville, stop doing that, written in 13 days, the cat initiated it, not another word, bye Paul, the step of actually recording is important, cannot remember it at all, John Buchan’s The Watcher At The Threshold, a dog cart ride, there’s no hunting, they talk about going hunting, the structure of the story, super-deep and super-good, running around town, Evan needs to do the whole run of Heinlein, Civil War, John Adams, John Quincy Adams, Evan is becoming a boomer, he stopped a war, sacrificed his presidency , it makes Evan squee, his great great grandson founded Raytheon, when we are not living under martial law, another novel?, The Hill Of Dreams, Weird Friction, Will wants to do The Sea-Wolf, a lot of hate on twitter, Civ 6, video game logic, he knows Civilization, the headline, Putin Gains Rights To Bases In Donetsk According To Something, the headline buried the lede, implying that Reuters in cahoots with Pfizer, cahoots going on, amongst those cahooters, triggered by stuff, Heinlein wants to be a woman, literal hate, contextualize this stuff, Heinlein is progressive on gender issues, when you look at the 19th century, the progressive position, I think this is a scam, this is a scam, look at and improve student papers, stretching to find things to fix, finding more fake problems, operating in bad faith, control the narrative lest people get the wrong ideas, thinking Fauci is a saint, a holiday in Taiwan, a brutal massacre is now a holiday, Peace Day, remember the horrible past, the dumbest meme I’ve ever made, Putin Rasputin, twitter takes on Ukraine, thanks for your quote tweet asshole, grapple with ideas, it could be seen as mean, people think Evan is mean, emojis, reacting people’s dismissals of old writers, borne of and reflecting worthy new ideas, we don’t have read old books any more, reading Moby-Dick, joking with Connor [Kaye], scoffing at the idea of sensitivity readers, stirring shit just for fun, someone reading over your work, ask a scientist to read your thing, the writer who did the article on sensitivity reader, find and replace, disfigure, somebody is going to be hurt by it, continent sometimes means China in Taiwan, if you’re pro-independence, Columbus discovered China, the China of North America, sensitivity is reading, you can be hurt by words in a book, Chinese lesbians want to fuck their mothers, annoyed, having their feelings hurt, seeing their pain mocked, inner city gangsters, what kind of thoughts do they think, Harlan Ellison wrote juvenile delinquent novels, helping a student write a werewolf story, being in the wilderness, bringing your own experience to the table, if you need to have a gang in your story, writers do hire researchers, Elmore Leonard had a professional researcher, Tishimingo Blues, farb, civil war underwear, a dialogue point, a setting for a crime story, professional divers, the reason Jack London works as a writer, fish police, Yukon, homeless, Korea, boxing, Hemingway, the laptop class, the people who COVID was an inconvenience for, being a professional writer pays nothing, the sensitivity reading pays really well, it sounds mean but is it a lie?, only if you are totally ignorant, insensitive people, is gypsy salami racist?, Thinner is super-racist, Stephen King, is it racist or just a trope, King didn’t even write this, cancel Bachman don’t cancel King, is Bachman a shitlib?, dark but sensible takes, some colleagues are idiots, Putin’s two hour speech, trying to remake the Soviet Union, a pro-Russia guy?, Russia and the Soviet Union are different, why do people have opinions about things they know nothing about, there’s no dissent, Russiagate was bullshit, how did we get here?, being badass, arming civilians, Molotov cocktails, good 20th century vibes, not one step back, there’d be irony in that, if you’re looking for irony Stalin is steel, yellow and blue flags, smoke a cigarette to them, Ghost Of Kyiv, Colonel Tomb, Vietnam, a legend, war propaganda, legendary, like a fake name, Colonel Tomb laughs from his ghostly lair, sniper women, Battle Of Sevastapol, Miss Pavlichenko, Woody Guthrie, Russian soldiers on Tinder, a fifteen minute break, all that catfishing, people get triggered, they don’t deserve their country, Taiwan wont roll over, an sensitivity reader changed Conan Role Playing Game 1st and 2nd editions, mysterious is like inscrutable, ancient is less descriptive, the mail man came vs. the mail carrier came, a doctoress, an aviatrix, mailman vs. mail-carrier, unintended consequences, writing out the caste system, it’s ancient India, role players want to play whatever you want, a black skinned paladin in medieval Europe, Pathfinder, martial arts changed to unarmed, Bruce Lee and kung fu, unarmed combat, making the game more of a board game, a Crom eating barbarian, swordfighting and boxing, copy and replace less badly but for what purpose, that’s just a stereotype, paying attention the writing, mud huts becomes stone buildings, mud is bad, civilized folks don’t live in mud huts, they have to upgrade their buildings, mud is othering, some people live in mud huts, modern homes are “rammed earth” not mud, euphemism treadmill stuff, a generational change, when talking to outsiders, first nations, Squamish, the word is always changing but changing from top down, policers of society, black vs. African American, white south africans who fled South Africa, race vs. ethnicity, both are real in a cultural sense, a black hispanic, coloured, Arab African, Barack Obama, when Joe Rogan got called out again for a nigger video compilation, words that are taboo, do you want to be a whipped dog or use your independence of thought and information coming in currently, bowing to authority vs. being independent of mind, Mark Twain doesn’t need a sensitivity reader for The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn, a profoundly anti-racist book, replacing nigger with robot, Robot Jim, a science fiction story, the gender flipping project, when Conina slays Thoth Amona, your premise is wrong, being offended isn’t being physical hurt, you don’t have the authority to speak about this, you don’t gave the right identity for it, adding questioning, adding bi to their bio as a proof against attack of being white, Evan has seen this documentary, who’s the oppressor here?, maybe she has a skill I’m not great at, The Fable Of The Bees, the worst thing you can do with your money is save it, there’s nothing to buy, travel, going to America every year, The Hill Of Dreams by Arthur Machen.

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The SFFaudio Podcast #682 – READALONG: The Screwfly Solution by James Tiptree, Jr.

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #682 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, Scott Danielson, Evan Lampe, and Trish E. Matson talk about The Screwfly Solution by James Tiptree, Jr.

Talked about on today’s show:
Racoona Sheldon, Analog, June 1977, special women’s issue, Eyes Of Amber by Joan D. Vinge, Analog, not just for men, Ben Bova, a 1970s thing, Women Destroy anthologies, all Harlan Issue, throw all the women in one basket, J. Michael Straczynski, a sausage fest, representation by gender, a piss per job, one woman per this episode, making room for women, what her logic was, Angel Fix, to suit different markets?, James Tiptree, Jr had to intervene on behalf of Racoona Sheldon, Robert Silverberg had to make a huge apology, it was very clear James Tiptree, Jr. was a man, the Andre Norton story, she was not hiding, a quasi-medieval romance, rationalization, this story is about rationalization, the whole religious cult element, super hard SF, as a historian, certain biological experiences (like love), fairly universal across humanity, across time however…, culture, movies, love songs, something physically is changing in these men, all the cultural baggage would be dispensed, morality wouldn’t win out?, the first time a zombie wakes up, turning some aspect up to 11, to set the society’s norms, urges, the story of Adam and Eve, uncomfortable, people use it for whatever they want, good science fiction, why Jesse likes adaptations, The Twilight Zone adaptation, the new Dune movie, The Masters Of Horror adaptation, the 90210 guy and Elliot Gould, commas missing in the PDF, the narrator of the story has comma problems but the characters writing the letters don’t, her diary entry, a fun format, enough material for a hefty novel (or a quintology), if Steven Baxter wrote this story, a hard topic to fully satisfy everybody with, like H.G. Wells’ The War Of The Worlds, horrific, creeping dread, clamping down on the news [censorship], the horror of the nice rational scientist, feels himself changing and can’t stop it, bestial/primal instincts, awakened by the aliens, existential dread, we are the monsters, we’re all going to die, humanity is going to kill itself, people do it to themselves, completely chilling, On And Off A Mountain Road, metaphors, cursed film episode Cigarette Burns, a slasher, the focus is on the micro, the outer image, Alan in Colombia, his job is what the aliens do to us,

the 2019 reboot of THE TWILIGHT ZONE has an episode called “NOT ALL MEN” which is credited to Heather Anne Campbell

it seems to be an uncredited remake of the MASTERS OF HORROR episode “THE SCREWFLY SOLUTION” scripted by Sam Hamm

Not All Men / The Screwfly Solution

except the latter is an adaptation of a 1977 story by James Triptree, Jr.

and the former isn’t

evidence:

Both have family dinner parties

The Screwfly Solution DINNER

Both have cakes with words written on them (“welcome home” and “happy birthday”)

Not All Men DINNER

Both have women being murdered by men

Both have the military showing up

Both have atypical meteors showers

and

Both have their respective blonde female protagonists driving around by day, and being chased by night, in identical yellow Volkswagen Beetles

on the left TWILIGHT ZONE on the right MASTERS OF HORROR

Not All Men / The Screwfly Solution BEETLES

THE SCREWFLY SOLUTION is biological Science Fiction and visceral Horror – an alien invasion story like THE WAR OF THE WORLDS by H.G. Wells, as intellectually rigorous, but brutal, scary, and gripping

NOT ALL MEN is decidedly not – it is almost a comedy, but there are no laughs

THE SCREWFLY SOLUTION suggest we are victims of biology

NOT ALL MEN suggest everyone has a choice and most men choose to be bad

the MASTERS OF HORROR episode makes a character from the short story gay, and makes him resistant to the biology that effect most men

the TWILIGHT ZONE episode has a gay character who chooses to be resistant

and both have females disagreeing, in their yellow Volkswagen beetles, about how to understand what is happening to the men around them

THE SCREWFLY SOLUTION is full of conscientious men and women, scientists, trying to figure out what is happening and how to help their families and the world

NOT ALL MEN has basically no scientists (@ the end, maybe?) but has a marketing company doing some sciencey or something?

THE SCREWFLY SOLUTION has the most brutally noir ending imaginable, an ironic one given the characters we follow around for the story, perhaps the last woman alive on earth watching the new tenants of Earth arriving and knowing humanity is finished

NOT ALL MEN ends with a deus ex machina, with cops or the army saving our viewpoint characters, fade to black

blood tests turn up nothing

a twist ending that throws out the main idea they’ve been pushing (the red meteors were a red herring)

there a line at the end of the episode that supposedly explains it all:

“The meteors…they were a placebo.”

then we get the cut-rate Rod Serling closing narration:

Jordan Peele (cut rate Rod Serling)

“Tonight, Annie Miller found herself in the center of a mysterious and violent epidemic. What she encountered was no material disease but rather a plague of conscience. One that gave men permission to ignore decency, consent, and fear. And tonight, all it took was a few an
innocuous little rocks to turn men into monsters here in the Twilight Zone.”

at one point during the craziness in the streets one guy says

“Fuck your feelings”

And this is the level of analysis and writing we are dealing with.

more than 2000 imdb ratings for each

IMDB RATINGS

4.8/10 for THE TWILIGHT ZONE “Not All Men”

6.4/10 for MASTERS OF HORROR “The Screwfly Solution”

Finally, both were filmed in British Columbia

THE SCREWFLY SOLUTION is set in several places, including Texas, Michigan, and British Columbia

i don’t think we know where NOT ALL MEN is set (other than a really lame corner of The Twilight Zone)

The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street, Volkswagen Beetle, understanding the point of the original, we might be unable to control ourselves vs. choosing to be bad, just attacking, just aggro, one of these is science fiction and the other is something else, nightmares, mass hysteria and people’s choices or an alien disease, the hope of the species, woken from crazy aggressive killings, In The Mouth Of Madness (1994), The King In Yellow by Robert W. Chambers, a meme vs. an enzyme or a hormone, social pressures vs. biological pressures, do you read Sutter Cane?, if so you’re infected, the reason I’m killing you is because you’re a communist or a homosexual, explaining inexplicable impulses, a phenomenon we see in reality, Trump as a symptom, the Cult of Adam, “angels”, interesting things in a compressed space, Dracula, the epistolary format, the personal and the broader picture, different perspectives, perfectly expressed, something terrible is happening in England, layers and layers of intertextuality, this is all a suicide note, yesterday I saw an angel, a real estate agent, a devastating last line, all the adults over six years old, feral kids, like a lot of Star Trek episodes, we did it to ourselves!, higher doing what we do to lower or higher species, Huston, Huston, Do You Read?, gender dynamics, women disposing of men, this thing called kissing, Y: The Last Man, a response to When It Changed by Joanna Russ, ovafusion, all female civilization, Sheri S. Tepper, a whole genre conversation, The Children Of Men by P.D. James, The Last Hawk by Catherine Asaro, gender reversed romance plots, men are the hysterical, the second most dangerous primate, another primate note, the rhesus monkeys, spider monkeys, chimpanzees, biological similarity, not well discussed at the dinner table, mating behaviors, Fritz Leiber, opinions from twitter, wishing people would read it, even the uninfected nodded and saw the killing as natural, the result is extermination, God’s will, committees, kill camps, bad things are happening, no one in authority, the mundane aspect, being called to Florida, a car flotilla [aka a convoy], the NIH, Triptree lived in Washington, D.C., her husband and her were both CIA, part of the interest here, Deep Impact (1998), a bunch of people in a control room, the media, something weird is happening in India, 150 adulteresses in Saudi Arabia, very similar headlines, “so-called Sharia Law”, Michael McKean (of Spinal Tap), #YesAllWomen, scarier and scarier every day, an over-reading, anonymous submission, George Sand, other reasons, “trans-phobic”, whatever else, transphobic by structure, a binary opposition of genders, gender binarism is real and meaningful, structurally queasy, men as naturally pedophilic, socially compelled into a straight marriage, there’s a lot there, you gotta consider the context of the story, Heinlein was, reading transphobia into texts [from 1977], Trish is cancelled, a failure of imagination, phobia is without meaning, outside the scope of what she’s exploring, how they turn on the boys, a non-binary view of sexuality, reading too much into this?, aggression hacked sexuality, a less binary reading of sexuality, she’s thinking super-hard, what is sexuality?, this strange focus on a part of science that doesn’t get a lot of attention in Science Fiction, our hero Alan, his relationship with his wife, it gets hot, he starts fantasizing on the airplane, crushed the Coke can, you need to kill me if I show up, I should throw this knife away, really good hard SF, he knows there’s something wrong with him, he should kill himself, killing (and possibly raping) his own daughter, slightly misreading what’s going on, the chase mentality is real, ovulation in some animals needs this, kinda Kinsey, the weaker have been killed, artificial wombs, Podkayne Of Mars, freeze your zygotes, Lois McMaster Bujold, people’s wrong takes, the most devastating counterargument to #NotAllMen, they are connected, an expression, traction after #MeToo, the defensive reaction, downgrading the impact of #MeToo, #BlackLivesMatter vs. #BlueLivesMatter, sarcastic uses, #AllMen, aggressive seeds, bombing Dallas, men are evil, seeds of violence, misogynistic in structure, a jihad against women, in order to do evil is to choose evil, we are biologically determined, human beings are more than their biology, condemned by our biology, its not a disease, on the ground, isn’t it horrifying that we are biologically determined?, the hashtag vs. the Twilight Zone episode of the same name, explicitly rejecting Tiptree Jr.’s idea, we should summon the will, what if we are biologically determined to do everything, an MRNA injection, a hard bitter pill to swallow, what the story is suggesting, it helps Scott make choices, seeing this in all its horror, if we don’t have choices in reality, the illusion of choices?, what about the screwflies?, they’re just flies, we write stories, we’re not as complicated as we think, slaves to our hormones, he doesn’t kill himself, noir, not pulling its punches, biological determinism or mostly biologically determined?, influenced by stories, closer to chimps or rhesus monkeys, bonobos?, sex as a way of saying hello, a dispute over a sandwich settled by sex, institutions and ideology shape how we interpret and overcome biological, the birth control pill, change society, what science fiction is, geology, how old the Earth is, life-changing, a very good science fiction story, harder than H.G. Wells’ The War Of The Worlds [not The Time Machine], take the war to Mars, maybe somebody’s working on something somewhere, so good, 1 hour to read, that fake stuff that’s 16 books long, fake science, 2 north 75 degree west, anthropology, WHO inoculations, just watched an episode of Masters Of Horror, Cordwainer Smith, off in Africa with her parents, the horse latitudes, bringing experience to the table, its not because she’s a girl, long short story format, The Women Men Don’t See, The Woman Who Was Plugged In, semi-interesting, externalize evil, religions antagonists fighting god, the devil is trying to put bad thoughts in your head, avoiding responsibility, easier, Alcohol Anonymous’ plan, accept the higher power because you’re weak, these religious pamphlets make so much sense, Genesis 3:16, women: feel the pain of childbirth and obey your husbands, short stories are a technology for delivering ideas, don’t be anti-good story, some people are willing to put anything into their bodies, good short SF is a vaccination against long terrible series that do you wrong.

The Screwfly Solution by James Tiptree, Jr.

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The SFFaudio Podcast #678 – READALONG: Starship: Mutiny by Mike Resnick

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #678 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, Evan Lampe, and Will Emmons talk about Starship Mutiny by Mike Resnick

Talked about on today’s show:
space opera, Aurora by Kim Stanley Robinson, space opera is garbage, Star Trek with the serial numbers filed off, galactic civilization, Mirror Mirror, a perpetual war, a security officer, Yar abd Odo and Tuvok, sleeping with Big Brother, Big Sister, Nineteen Eighty-Four, she likes to watch, enjoying the voyeurism, nothing non-carnal, worshiping Wilson Cole like a god, a group of malcontents, Honor Harrington, the Honorverse, drugged out, an attack on the Honor Harringtonverse, Horatio Hornblower in space, broadsides, the pointlessness in being space opera, steelmanned space opera, Unconquerable Sun by Kate Elliott, Melinda Snodgrass, more nuanced and interesting, Alastair Reynolds, Greco-Persian wars in space, a female Alexander The Great, all gender flipped, the Pournelle Niven theory about space travel, better warps, there’s no worldbuilding in this novel, you are correct sir, one spaceship can blow up a planet, how much energy to blow up a planet, its a fuel dump, Space: 1999, slightly implausible, not a fig leaf of plausibility, did you enjoy the book, the lack of worldbuilding, he’s a great commander, he’s always right, do we have to do this again?, the way Socrates is always right, see what happened to him, explicitly designed to be a series, Will’s problem with it, telegraphing, it works, being the smartest man in the room, the canniest man, his instincts are always right, the author is cheating, sarcastic and sardonic, how much research put into this book, he did zero research, it probably took a week to write, hackwork, absolutely entertaining, Neal Stephenson, super easy reading, every book came out the year after the last one, I need some meat on some bones, some actual science fiction, extruded science product, a perfectly fine TV show, what colour are the uniforms?, the ship is grey, he doesn’t care about the ranks, all the services were amalgamated, flows easily and well, not to Paul’s taste, what makes it better?, more interesting and nuanced characters, worldbuilding, they have the same ethnicities we have the day, Mount Fuji, an oriental that’s 7 feet tall, a perfectly legitimate word, an inscrutable Chinaman, the news media, in jail awaiting his trial, commander Podok, this is a girl boss story, not the racism its the sexism, his theme, bureaucracy and military inefficiency, the message, its 2005, why can’t we win this Iraq War?, a Lincoln, WWII, this is a really political book, guess who went into the navy three years past the cutoff and given a rank of ensign and had no training as an officer, Hunter Biden, a lot of shitty officers, the whole premise of this book, we don’t know who they’re fighting, there will be a mutiny, the flagship, taking back the federation/republic, manly men doing manly things, a symbiont, the gorib, no deep worldbuilding at all, more anthropology, I’m the smartest guy in the room episode, dumb smart guys, The High Ground, criticizing patriarchal values, imperial space navy, exploring patriarchy and empire, an aristocratic empire in space, deeply into the world and the characters, crap, Measure Of The Man, Pen Pals, C.J. Cherryh, Downbelow Station, what its really like with people settling space, a bunch of old people, Falling Free by Lois McMaster Bujold, military SF, overlapping, Gareth L. Powell’s Embers Of War series, The Expanse, alien molecule, Alastair Reynolds land, pure storytelling, a little serialized, the horse people who can’t see too good during the day, painted on the cover, foreign editions, disposable science fiction, writing to be turned into a Netflix or Amazon series, the James S.A. Corey thing, right there in the business, The Wheel Of Time, Bryan Alexander’s review of Foundation TV series, add a lot of sex scenes to Foundation by Isaac Asimov, a novel series, subtle anthropological science fiction, Kirinyaga, Seven Views Of Olduvai Gorge, purely commercial (hackwork), smooth writing, why markets exist, manual labour, painting 3,000 square feet, interesting and hold your attention and fun, when sick, yard work, it serves a purpose, a space opera soap opera Star Treky universe, all the criticisms that we throw at it, this is not an intellectual stimulation delivery system, perfectly serviceable, there are stars in the universe, grav plats, wormholes and lightspeed, weapons systems, lightspeeds in an atmosphere, we’ll burn up due to fiction, pure space opera, military SF, star trek doesn’t feel like military SF, where Resnick feels comfortable, series stretch the idea of it being about science, making pain go away, very much like Soma, Paul did that on purpose, a different totalitarianism, the regular federation couldn’t have a mutiny, the most rotten thing of all is incompetent government, Biden’s withdrawal from Afghanistan, nobody was going to be held to account for this 20 year adventure in Afghanistan, didn’t do anything, couldn’t find anything, incompetence, the decline of the Empire (in Foundation), science fiction is always taking about the present, the buildings crashing down are suicide bombings, the anniversary of September 11, 2001, the author didn’t even know it was political, what they’re worried about in 1890 and 1920, they’re soaking in it, so obvious they don’t even state, retelling the story of the flight of the mercenaries our of Persia, retellings, if you want to sell a book, March Upcountry by David Weber and John Ringo, The Warriors (1979), is it really relevant or is it just a story?, how you end up with Rudy Guiliani, The Baroque Cycle by Neal Stephenson, ideas in what you read, leadership and the media, 2,500 pages with 400 ideas, anachronistic, magic gold, heavy gold, the guy who walked with god, Leibniz’s logic mill, careening, hefty intellectually, its not like your brain is a muscle exactly, Will and reality TV shows, brain decay because of this book, the Rastignac the Devil section, the gorib, handled completely differently, Wilson Cole’s inability to use they them pronouns, pilot/slick, a strawman situation, we need to give Chinese people American name, where did you get English names?, Winston is the most ridiculous name, don’t be another Anna, what gets Mike Resnick in trouble, science fiction drama, hotter back in the day, canceled after his death, unrepentant, I’m too old for this shit, Alex Acks, Dear Barry Malzberg, fuck you, SFWA bulletin, sexism allegation, bulletin magazine, the losses this industry has suffered, our old masters are dying, glad the old ways are dying, Jaym Gates, Jerry Pournelle, dead people gettin’ roasted, Resnick created the situation, our hero Wilson Cole doesn’t do that, a casual captain, lazy salutes, respect for the character, transgender, pronouns, its cool to assign people pronouns, sexism and assumptions, not kosher, these rules, offensive language, a religious practice, a cultural practice, keeping halal, eating pork everyday, Paul doesn’t need to apologize, redskin dream, this is wrong bud, Khartoum (1966), Chinese Gordon, Lawrence Oliver in blackface, Cecil Rhodes put Rachel Maddow through university, Cecil Rhodes is responsible for Russiagate, Will is a comics guy, people who are running the X-Men movie studio, X-Men is exclusionary, X-Folk, staying up nights, many internally think the title X-Men isn’t inclusionary, X-Ladies And Gents, XXs and XYs but no asking, we know there is a problem with the X-Men, stunningly incompetent, don’t make waves, I’m busy trying to get myself promoted here, rotated in, always making improvements, the Afghan army is now ready to take over, the warlords are sex trafficking children, it makes your bosses look bad, why it resonates a little bit, do I really need space opera in my life?, the gorib’s planet is called Rastignac The Devil by Philip Jose Farmer, a Clash Of The Titans remake, Will Durant’s The Life Of Greece, Stephen Fry, Avengers Ancient Greece, the Argo initiative, Eternals, Jack Kirby property, The Cosmic Puppets by Philip K. Dick, reality, what is it?, reality is whatever I say it is, Golan Globus, almost all dialogue, characters in conversation, pure storytelling, supposed Science Fiction on TV, fun dialogue, the characters are fun, passable entertainment, not a lot of dramatic tensions, The Voice, a break from this boomer, dealing with something real, planetoids, some asteroid with the same amount of air pressure as the Earth, The Little Prince, I need some real space opera, Catalyst Gate by Megan E. O’Keefe, science fiction ideas, more popcorny space opera, K.B. Wagers, not rebelling against the empire, always about rebelling against the empire, why people like Star Wars, I’m a Sith you’re a Jedi can’t we all get along?, we need to constantly rebel against the empire, retcon things, essentially the problem with series, what do you think it means that they’re always fighting for the empire and never against it, comforting and reifying the old order, Miles Vorkosigan is fighting for the empire, back to the 1920s and 1930s, reconciliation, they fight for the empire, classic fantasy tropey, space opera is much closer to fantasy than science fiction, Gene Roddenberry’s Andromeda, the ragtag fugitive fleet, the freed slaves, the girl boss in this book is wrong, killing civilians on your own side, deny the enemy materials, we have a duty to the empire, rooting for a prince to help other princes, so conservative, keep the empire going, bubbly easy reading, its very important they’re pirates, made some progress, The Last Of The Masters by Philip K. Dick.

Starship: Mutiny by Mike Resnick

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

Podcast

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

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

Dancing Aztecs (ITALIAN) by Donald E. Westlake

A New York Dance by Donald E. Westlake

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

Dancing Aztecs by Donald E. Westlake

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The SFFaudio Podcast #645 – READALONG: Red Plenty by Francis Spufford

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #645 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, Evan Lampe, Bryan Alexander, and Will Emmons talk about Red Plenty by Francis Spufford

Talked about on today’s show:
a book, not a novel, a fairy tale, is it a novel?, the novel format is old and no longer novel, a thread back to The Efficiency Expert, The People’s The People’s Republic Off Walmart, Four Futures, Trekonomics, Looking Backward, The Coming Race, The Iron Heel, a utopian international experiment, Karl Marx, things out of books, that terrible Vril book, THIS IS REAL!, Marxism vs. Vrilism, the worst takes on communism and the Soviet Union, a nice feel, a meditation, a very personal book, the different socialist personality types, taking personal responsibility for what happened in the Soviet Union, the blood clogging the drain, Pete Seeger, apologizing for Stalin, baiting people to defend death camps, Carl Davidson, Students For A Democratic Society, something her regrets, Democratic Kampuchea, Cambodia, the Vietnamese invasion of Cambodia, very touching, one man’s personal meditation about his feelings about socialism, does the dog die at the end?, writing into the newspaper, more atheism, unschooled in things can hit on stuff, whether there will be mental illness under socialism, what’s truly painful about what happened in the soviet union, millenarianism, I’m for the end of the world, our religious history, colonial South Africa, they killed all their cows, trying to end the, 2012 (2009) is a comedy, Greenland (2020) is even funnier, the sad part, magical thinking, religious thinking, QAnon, the Millerites, the great disappointment, group magical thinking, a harbinger figure, 12th imamism, how this will be understood in 1,000 years, Saint George, an issue in the collective mind, Trump will be a kind of figure like a Saint George, Babylon 5, The Deconstruction Of Falling Stars, the magical tablecloth, the seven league boots, the invisible cap, a protest letter, shut up and say nothing you’ll be fine, how long can this magic work, straight to the Soviets, Uighurs, Venezuela, do you think you’ll do it better this time, 100 years of building socialism, the worst version, industrializing quickly, the high cost, the book is focused on the 50s and 60s, the break from Stalin, Khrushchev, the utopian drive, the dream, GDP data, defeating the Nazis, industrialization, a weird idea for a novel, a weird beast, exactly on the same topic, a command economy, a planned economy, putting politics in command of the economy, Dracula, Kim Stanley Robinson, science fiction and historical novels are similar, 19th century social novel, very satisfying, the dream behind it, Ernst Bloch, better sausage, the framing of a fairy tale, something Disney never touches (hunger), Hansel and Gretel is about hunger, a house made of food, you become the food, the primal level, a genius move, Ivan is the Russian version of Jack, Lois McMaster Bujold, John Brunner, Stand On Zanzibar, a meta-level, John Dos Pasoss, Soviet film and literature, Arkady and Boris Strugatsky, Russian humour, Jacobin, Leigh Phillips, Michal Rozworski, linear programming, Verso sales, the Soviet Union as a corporation, the math wasn’t there, what’s always left out is the other player, Cuba, embargoed from the world and yet somehow they are still communist, Microcosmic God by Theodore Sturgeon, evident in all sorts of places, a thesis, where were the Russians were not really successful, Russian cars, everybody is competing, hard top argue that Russian military aircraft are worse, SU-27, the Steel Eaters (the military industrial complex), the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Soviet Union was terrible at consumer goods, the kitchen debate, The Death Of Stalin (2017), Steve Buscemi, Network (1976), linear programming charts, lets address that idea, the problems of world communism, pro-american?, what small countries do, Vietnamese glasnost, Spains’ Mondragon, Mondragon vs. neo-liberals, a gleam of hope, not Stalinist, if Lenin or Stalin hated you…, Robin Williams, Russians jokes don’t have a punchline, the blackmarketeer, the buyer agent, standing in for a helluv a lot of people, very real, one of Jesse’s students, an unofficial offer from Harvard, this is the goal of every Chinese mom, hey I’m very happy to say my son is at Oxford, access to the reins of power, you’re one of us now, do amazingly well on the exams, you pay for it, legacy, something like an economy and rigged in the same way, Operation Varsity Blues scandal, just the tip of the iceberg, novelistic, demanding behavior, the scam artists, elaborate, my daughter is a professional rower, very real, when he gets picked up by the cops, a shakedown, a lashing out, a beat-down, spontaneous?, special arrangement shit, what greases the wheels, Pete Buttegieg, that’s very very real, a weird economy with perverse incentives, exploited effectively and efficiency, it is objectively interesting to see polite people interact with impolite people, why it is a compelling story, attempting a little Marxism, a system is going to be dynamic, look at the contradictions, the criminals became the main economy, China is the 70s and the 50s, automatically give birth to robust black market sectors, the education industry, Felicity Huffman, a bunch of rich people need to get their kid into a university, users and offerers of services, hire a Jesse, what Evan’s school does, more counselors than teachers, grade inflation, begging for grades, pressure from the bosses, top 50 or top 100 schools, they don’t really deserve it, the Svoiet Union’s education system, you can’t do humanities, more engineering, philology, a flood of highly competent flood, cancel cultures, the problem with cancel culture is it doesn’t cancel enough, during the purges, during the War, killing people and expanding operations, massively expanding education, massively educating in the sciences, so many programmers coming out of the former Soviet Union, Catch 22 by Joseph Heller, Kolyma Tales, the NRA (under FDR), an episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Nog, “Treachery, Faith And The Great River”, Sisko’s desk, Picard’s desk, Jesse spends a lot of time reading, in the military, Parker’s backstory, he was selling jeeps to the Nazis, common throughout any system, external pressure keeps the people more united, the Cold War was not as pressured as we might thing, making the system work despite the problem, a lot of merit to what Marx was saying, part 4, this problem comes up, spread out the pain, prisoner’s dilemma, side quest with the police, The Wire, mandates from the top, middle managers, its kid of universal, this book doesn’t explain why all this failed, not buying the plan completely, some PUBG rando starts talking about communism, its becoming a genuine option at this point, the forever war in Afghanistan, their war in Afghanistan was too much, when the top people don’t care, the description of Kruschev, Stalin I really cares a lot, Kurschev: I care too, I’m more of an ideas man, I’m a psychology guy, Ronald Regan, George H. Bush, back to being competent, Obama’s latest 25 hour book, the clown president, no one is arguing isn’t demented, why communism talk is spreading now, the book is talking about private desires and private pleasures, overall despair at the broader systems, climate change, economic inequality, the cold war training (indoctrination), Firefox (1982) with Clint Eastwood, Gorky Park (1983), all a fantasy, in the movies its always winter in Russia, Galena’s giving birth, suffering in childbirth, give us morphine, pain in childbirth is capitalist propaganda, my husband is powerful you better give me morphine, corruption, one of the most important scenes in the book, a symbolic summing up, this really painful thing, she just breaks, this is what happens to the communists, relying on lies to ration goods, a very human thing, if that’s the attitude it’s not going to work, can they successfully manage information, free-market theorists, Ludwig von Mises, progress in women’s rights, childbirth plummeting, hero-mother, pleasure, physical goods, practical healthcare, housing, the replicators, industrial replicators, a machine that can solve your wants, 100% free when you show up, what is a little bit hard to understand, oversell on medical services, you have to be your own advocate, it helps to be vocal, I’m going to call my MP, hospital managers don’t want to deal with that shit, home-care, more and more disabled people have the ability to hire and fire their own employees, I need my butt wiped every day (not every second Tuesday), a mixed system, not top down bureaucracy, do what you want you know what you need, people are desperate, the current system of capitalism fuckin sucks, the industrialized countries are least interested in market reforms, a decline, its going to be guillotines and a revolution, time to revisit why socialism never happened in America works, the frontier, the Red Scares, running out of explanations, Russia Russia Russia!, the Democratic party, quashing its left flank, Occupy protestors, Woodrow Wilson, the populists, trans-partisan and anti-elite, upset with the status quo, Joe Biden, suspicious and skeptical, Pavlovian when it comes to socialism, Putin is communist, an old habit, reflexive, moronic, people under 50, what Scandinavia has, Canada, we’re going to flee to if X becomes president, closing comments from Francis Spufford, gender, teaching at an AP center in China, Human Geography, 6 kids vs. 3, Israel and Idaho, going through modernity, land reform, marriage law, revolutionary in terms of gender, no fully liberated, the education themes, Lenin’s parents, Philly Socialists, a public service program called Red Plenty, In hopes of 21st century socialism, the economist and the apparatchik, conscious arranger, Olaf Stapledon.

The Magic Tablecloth

Red Plenty by Francis Spufford

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The SFFaudio Podcast #627 – READALONG: Don’t Panic by Neil Gaiman

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #626 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, Scott Danielson, Marissa VU, and Maissa Bessada talk about Don’t Panic by Neil Gaiman

Talked about on today’s show:
Douglas Adams, about Neil Gaiman, ten years younger?, only 8 years younger, how young Douglas Adams died or how old Neil Gaiman is, 80s vs 90s, only 49, heart attack, don’t work out, jogging is not something you should do, don’t climb rocks, just sit, have a lie down, Starcraft for 72 hours, InfoCom’s The Hitch-Hiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, InvisiClues, h2g2 site, some visual elements, a buffered analgesic, a radio show first, a novelization of the radio drama, the TV show, the novel, the radio drama, the movie, the record album, just awesome, why he was such a big hit, the graphics, Richard Dawkins and Lala Ward, Dirk Maggs, on YouTube, Hulu, the history of this book, David Dixon, M.J. Simpson, the stuff that happens in between, the plot, how storytelling works, the 1988 publication, the narrator Simon Jones, Arthur Dent, Peter Jones, the chapter titles were quieter, a cute addition, not ever being a possible romantic lead, typecast forever, he’s wearing a bathrobe right now wherever he is, he has his towel, how interesting it is as a reaction to Doctor Who, his characters are not cooperating, they’re kind of jerks, make plot happen, the opposite of Doctor Who, John Pertwee, Tom Baker, The Green Death, the environment, the plot, the reveal, colonialism, frakking, peripheral to the plot, the writing of the plots, the ideas they are exploring, he does these stunts, blows up the earth and then continues the story, my friend Maissa, Douglas Adams style of humour, the jokes are at the forefront, the funny situations, so unusual, he breaks all the rules of what writing is supposed to be in the novel form, building the train track in front of you as the train’s going, save it for the podcast, seeing where the road takes you, writing was a process of panic, living right at the very edge, Paperback Swapping, this is not for everybody, its not really for kids, its for 14 year olds, what Douglas Adams was, somehow monetize that, fulfill the contract, what job qualifications he had, sexual requests, the kind of answers characters would give, did you do any research, 100% hell no, extincting animal, everything in his life gave him his first book and his first radio series, his personality written down, crystalizing it, an exam, he would never give answers until he fully understood, he was late to deadlines, formal and real, enough wisdom to write it down, how weird the series is, so meta, a book about a book, all the firm ground we think we live on, the parallel with the destruction of his home, HOME, So Long And Thanks For All The Fish, 42 and towel, a whale is falling, the flower pot, it’s about existence, it’s about our place in the universe, our own ridiculous, Oolon Colluphid, its about philosophy, popping into existence from nothing, just brilliant, it connects in some way to life, big ideas, big questions, it makes you feel smart when you read it, Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels, the Ted Danson, the last adventure, a kind of a sadness, throughout the books, really sad things, lots of lonely people, Marvin, not just Fawlty Towers absurdist character humour, Last Chance To See, The Meaning Of Liff, Stephen Fry, a similar personality, an obsession with words, English Delights, Ancient Greek myths and heroes, academic, depressive, the impact of this guy, a Dirk Gently TV show, zany rather than deep, it missed the mark, an idea Asimov would work on, if it all turns out to be stupid answer at least we’ll have an elegant question, informed by Science, H.P. Lovecraft, deep time, the mice and the dolphins, it’s important, the B-Ark, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: Live in Concert, just fantastic, the Dove Audio audiobooks, the definite reader for his own stuff, sell em again, what estate he had, gadgets, so many Macs, it makes total sense, digital watches, what a ridiculous monkey descendant I am, very much of his time, no shame in it, how shameful it is, an encyclopedia, pre-dating Wikipedia, when the internet’s a thing, much more like him, Rickmansworth, Mostly Harmless, adding to that insignificance, all of human history is summed up in a galactic encyclopedia is just two words, the guide was updating itself, when Arthur Dent is trapped in the distant past of Islington, there wont be a train for 10 million years, absurdist, insulting everyone in the universe, Paul in high school, a Hitch-hiker stan, I’m partying with Vogons tonight, an instant connection, Brandon Sanderson, you’re in the group, Lois McMaster Bujold, that whole marketing and stuff thing, an ad in Rolling Stone, free books, creating the word of mouth by bootstrapping the thing that actually works, putting bums in seats on the first day, when you have something you really know works, this book is hilarious, the Wednesday night thing, The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975), a 25 foot inflatable whale, marketing for book 3, we have a new book to promote, hopefully writing very rapidly, dodged another one, it lets you know, that guy whose stuff you like, Paul is a pretty connected, the most connected person in the science fiction world, a whaleogram, that same sort of weirdness, how inspired was Maissa?, a similar personality, Zaphod’s head, Last Chance To See, audio is the way to do this, what the advantages of audio are, there’s just something about it, magical world creating in audio, the listener is a participant, let the imagination fill that, activated imagination, you can’t shut your eyes to the audio, Nightfall: The Room, Fred Greenhalgh, Good Omens, on YouTube as well, who else is like this?, obsessed with the Norse gods, Gaiman is much more disciplined, structural, controlled, The Lego Movie, imagination, the multiverse of LEGO products, the reality outside, the metaness is there, movie friendly, a LEGO audio drama, Robert Sheckley, sweet and depressing stories, his main thing is philosophically exploding the possibilities of free floating in the universe, Reading, Short And Deep, Keep Your Shape by Robert Sheckley, feeling the constraints of their society, its an analogy for repressing homosexuality, freed from restriction, reality is not what it was before, Mindswap, Total Recall (1990), so zany, grounded in a philosophy of what difficulties we have as human beings, Kurt Vonnegut, who am I, what am I all here for?, oh yes this is very Adamsy, that kind of specialness is very rare, Neil Gaiman is not really about the funnies, who else is there?, Harry Harrison, The Stainless Steel Rat, endless possibilities, Jasper Fforde, Tom Holt, K.J. Parker, Terry Pratchett, A Canticle For Leibowitz, wry, arch, satirical, Philip K. Dick in Galactic Pot-Healer, what am I doing here, a bowl of Martian fatworm soup, reaching and stretching for outside, Red Dwarf is not the same thing, the characters in Red Dwarf are idiots, its amazing that it works at all, somehow he manages to bumble his way through to almost truths, standup comedy, the beast in The Restaurant At The End Of The Universe, solving a lot of the vegans problems, “my hindquarters are incredibly tender”, the problems were all faced with, we’ve been thrown down on this planet, Pilgrimage To Earth (aka Love, Incorporated) [it was copyright renewed: (In Playboy, Sept. 1956) Love, Inc. Pub. 1956-08-15; B00000608703.], mordant sense of humour, Zaphod Plays It Safe, Genghis Khan, a serious output problem, Bureaucracy, standard difficulty, very gamey, you could entries in the guide, beer, Canada, thousands of entries, this is amazing, 5 and a quarter, yo, bag of invisible space fleet, no tea, very philosophical, the same as flying, the first computer game an author wrote his own work, who wrote that Philip K. Dick game? [Blade Runner (1997)], by Robert Holmes, prominent credits, executive producer, the front and center, Sid Meier, Police Quest, King’s Quest, Betrayal At Krondor by Raymond E. Feist, Starship Titanic, PUBG, appendices, they’re still making it while you’re playing it, go to school to write videogames, aspiration, dialogue to write, Fallout, Red Dead Redemption, L.A. Noire, history to bone-up on, nobody knows the people’s names, better pay, Pillars Of Eternity, constantly pouring out new games, novels were the premiere medium in the 17th century, short stories were in the late 19th century, new BBC Radio dramas have the stupidest format, telling a story as if it were a podcast, why is that a better medium?, H.P. Lovecraft, pretending to be a podcast, they’re making the Blair Witch and putting it on TV, Douglas Adams did a metabook on radio, pan-galactic gargle blasters, he’s never done, Dirk Gently is just as good and more timeless, so of its period, more earthbound themes, so influential, so many people read it, the writers of The Next Generation are aware of the possibilities of The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, it worked out pretty good, the sauna, I don’t have to be consistent because its not really about the plot, asking questions not giving answers, parallel universes, did anyone cry?, the eulogy, blessing, it just came out of nowhere, the way he died, how cool he was, we’ve made the world worse, Jesse did not cry.

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