The SFFaudio Podcast #704 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: The Cold Equations by Tom Godwin

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #704 – The Cold Equations by Tom Godwin; read by John Stratton

This unabridged reading of the story (1 hours 2 minutes) is followed by a discussion of it.

Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Paul Weimer, and Evan Lampe.

Talked about on today’s show:
The Cold Equations by Tom Godwin, The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas by Ursula K. Le Guin, Jesse’s been wrong about it for years and years, an important story (but not very well written), correct the record, well written but long, very effective, everybody who dislikes The Cold Equations can fight Jesse, Weird Science, May-June, no. 13, 1952, A Weighty Decision by Wally Wood, different enough, the whip hand of John W. Campbell, ghoulish and silly and fun, existential quite smooth, The Cold Calculations by Aimee Ogden, dealing with a different idea, a criticism of the premises, John W. Campbell, once upon a time, had to die, fudging the numbers, the Trolley Problem, why couldn’t there be a third track, not really the point, face the moral calculus, designed to illicit a very specific thing, an idea about reality, long, not that clunky, quite beautiful in places, simple, interesting psychology, a cold story, fiddling with the opening, some dude, it’s a girl, an artifact, silly, if you get pancreatic cancer you’re dead, wish fulfillment, kissed and made better, the pain of life, a lot of people don’t want to be disabused, Santa Claus is real, god will save us, Campbell’s trainee, the numbers are fudged, Capitalist Realism, there is no alternative, Barton is an employee, a quasi-merchant marine, the worldbuilding, not making enough money, the brother’s remittances, shielded from the truth, replacing the kitten, a metaphor for the whole story, trying to shield her from pain, we shield each other from the pain of reality, we’re all going to die, science fiction can do something interesting, more silly, comicy, the medicine, it is a trolley problem, even if it was plagiarized, follow through on you’re fucking idea, don’t tap out, the stupid E.E. Doc Smith, you can’t invent your way out of the laws of fucking physics, daylight bombing raids, the engineering is bad, the reality is correct, thin margins, on the commute, a non-insignificant number, all the EDS shuttles without stowaways are not stories, Stowaway (2021), accidental stowaway, out the airlock, there is no on purpose, nobody is to blame, maybe the sign should have said “you will fucking die”, don’t walk away from that, a beancounter on earth, blame capitalism, the ship can land after all, flip some tables, Mark Fisher, revolution is the alternative, is that really true?, Tom Godwin is wholly responsible, Jack London’s To Build A Fire, Yukon stories, Star Trek V, Star Trek II is a Cold Equations, because katras, euthanasia, a remedy for modern Star Trek, The Wisdom Of The Trail, soft lazy fucks, the white man’s logic, an estimation vs. a calculation, a different moral overlay, a guy who didn’t obey a sign, do not go there, the dog has more wisdom than the man, instinct vs. plan, what it means to disobey a sign, a sign as a piece of wisdom, the fine is the cost of her life, the X Minus One adaptation, a dumb adult, young and therefore innocent, it isn’t “fair”, having the medicine enhances, the reason its a white girl in the story, we as 1950s astounding readers, the kitten is innocent, changing it to a dude, flipping the genders, an adult man vs. a girl Barton, to hit us in the feels to make us understand, if it’s Hitler in the basement, not as many will walk away, the Azov battalion will walk away, both Bushes, eternal?, a sin eater, a more meta-story, a thought experiment, The Good Place, Stalin or any other evil person, a challenge to us to do better, threw in orgies for Evan, drugs, that’s fine, imagine the place that you want, Hitler’s in the closet on the EDS ship, it’s cold in here,

[THE QUICK EQUATION by Jesse

I was not alone.

There was nothing to indicate the fact but the white hand of the tiny gauge on the board before me. The control room was empty cept for me; there was no sound other than the murmur of the drives—but the white hand had moved.

It had been on zero when the EDS launched; now, an hour later, it had crept up. There was something in the supply closet across the room, some kind of a body that radiated heat.

It could be but one kind of a body—a living, human body.

I let my eyes rest on the narrow white door of the closet. There, just inside, another man lived and breathed.

I unholstered my blaster and stood up, facing the door. Maybe it was just a girl, I thought, just some dumb girl who couldn’t read warning signs. That would be bad.

“Come out!” My command was harsh and abrupt above the murmur of the drives.

I thought I could hear a whisper of a furtive movement inside the closet, then nothing.

I visualized the stowaway cowering closer into one corner, suddenly worried by the possible consequences of his stowing away.

“I said out!”

I heard the stowaway move to obey, and I waited with my eyes alert on the door, my hand on the trigger of the blaster.

The door opened and the stowaway stepped through it, smiling. “In Ordnung—ich gebe auf. Was jetzt?”

It was Hitler.

I put him out the airlock.

There was a slight waver of the ship as the air gushed from the lock, a vibration to the wall as though something had bumped the outer door in passing; then there was nothing and the ship was dropping true and steady again.

I shoved the red lever back to close the door on the empty air lock and turned away, to walk to the pilot’s chair with the light steps of a man just doing his duty.

Putting my feet up on the console I thought about those guys on Woden – they sure will be happy to have that vaccine, I thought. I could hear their voices now. And won’t they be surprised to hear about what I did with the stowaway.

THE END]

nice imagery, symbology, a puppet show adapation, a theatrical stage production, the movie and TV adaptations, The Twilight Zone adaptation, hits the points, about an hour vs. 20 minutes, this story is important and also its good, it’s not the physics, the engineering, made lean, disposable, an emergency, an escape pod, objections, a Socratic style dialogue, you’ve fucked it up, you’re gonna think about this, you’re gonna think about that, The Nothing Equation, James Patrick Kelly, responses, an uncomfortable place, a lot of people are unwilling to accept the answer, reject the framing, three dudes, essentially a fridging story, she’s definitely cold, Astounding readers, probably 1950s white men, arranged, sacrificing a young female character for man pain, yup, screwed up (by our current standards), no story can stand that test (being all things to all people at all times), fitting into that sort of tradition, Barton hurts, the brother hurts, Green Lantern’s girlfriend, series (add drama) vs. one and done, laughed out of the room or vilified, what if the one person is your mother, Gwendy’s Button Box by Richard Chizmar and Stephen King, a little girl, workers, an adult man, a 17 year old male, a six year old boy kid, it’s not supposed to be palatable, gender studies and science fiction, Paul is unqualified, we don’t want this story to exist, the reason for trying to undo the story, rejecting the premise to reject the conclusion, who is this for, people who claim to be astounding readers, engineers, it’d be good to have redundant systems, Apollo 13, a cold equation scenario, fuel vs. air, saving three dudes in space, kludging together, failures of imagination (not failures of empathy), empathy informs engineering, the challenger disaster, the o rings, the magic words, poor engineering, a gender response, an engineering response, Gary Westfahl, is he an authority, Cory Doctorow, why do we have these terrible trolleys, why are people tied to the trolley track, its too late to complain about the engineering, this engineering is terrible, margins are thin on the frontier, [had it been lampshaded by the narrator], an excuse, Cory Doctorow, capitalism sucks and then he pulls the lever, it doesn’t deliver the solution, frames, the fucked up nature of the premise, Elon Musk could save us, the technocrats will save us, the profound moral consequences of the world we’ve build up, we all live in Omelas, somehow you benefit from that, the rules of the game, a lot of people are cool with this, their goodness to their own children, quite beautiful, a beautifully written (and simple) story, A Few Good Men (1992), we’re the thin blue line, minimize the whipping at kids in basements, to make you look at the horrible thing you’re willing to live with, puppies, we got yoga, a completely different kind of attack on reality, N.K. Jemisin’s response, diversity and equality utopia, a liberal response, instead of walking away you stay and reform it, you denounce Raytheon, the twitter one by Olav Rokne, nominated, cougars are in, the solution’s in voting, the one about Worldcon, everybody’s choice, taking the piss on people, Facebook says its fine to call for the death of Russians, pointed at Chengdu, File 770 and other forums, their baby in their basement, centers of discussion, silly, that’s going to be nominated for a Hugo, best related work, Natalie Luhrs’ George R.R. Martin Can Fuck Off Into the Sun, Evan’s tweets should be the priority, for worse, I love science fiction: I’m going to read all the Hugo award winners, Luke Burrage reading the Hugos and the Nebulas, not the cream of the crop, its my turn, we love her, David Brin’s bad Hugo winning book, taking turns, conservatives, liberals, Hugo nominators can be very…, Seanan McGuire’s fan base rewards her work, ecosystems, regardless of the merits, an electorate nominating and voting, the Oscar winners, Zero Dark Thirty (2012), snowballing and logrolling, the ones who walk away from the Hugos (walked into the dealer’s room), The Moon Moth by Jack Vance, less and less strahk these days, leftover momentum, momentum, the big game in town, clashing ecosystems, the whole puppy drama, just trying to right the ship?, the nutty nuggets, Brad Torgeson, The Ones Who Don’t Walk Away by Sean Vivier, analog daily science fiction, plotting violence, if only to end the torture of innocence, it has to be a joke, see that mop over in the corner? it’s watching you, I am good person, vote for Democrats, we have top men working on this, violating some of the premises, when AOC was down in Texas and mourning over the fence, a choice satire (or reality), the mixed results, everything on Goodreads is 3.8, we can’t have a rating system, mechanisms other than just writing, ratings break your brain, the incentives screw up the rating systems, we end up arguing over tiny percentage points, PC Gamer, Gary Whitta, Rogue One, The Book Of Eli (2010), debates about points, whether you’re wearing the badge or not, anti-thinking, why writing great reviews is so important, an attack on liberal values, there is a civic element to it, fleeing the country is always an option in a story like that, Paul would like to live in New Zealand, a settler colonial state, more paradise, their kid has two buckets, Maori writers, Born Of Man And Woman by Richard Matheson, That Only A Mother by Judith Merrill, The Science Fiction Hall Of Fame, told from the creature’s point of view, a nudie pic, what a pretty person looks like, a super powerful story, July 1950, horror, monsters, cats, basement, first person POV, diary format, child protagonist, 1996 one had a sexual element, added a bargaining scene, an uncredited adaptation, wrist bracelet thing, she gives the bracelet to Barton, burns, more depth and pathos, the fire is connected to the bracelet, fire rubies, what some writer did, Ursula K. Le Guin talks about the cost, the point of writing is to cause the effect you want it to have, a question rather than a delivery, an idea story, The Cold Equations is a door shut, why does it work so well, she starts in a closet, the white hand, she goes back into a closet, shot off into outer space, the writing is poetic, the sentimentality is through the roof, I will come to you on the wind, an object going ahead, that’s her, very close to the emotions, officious, this horrible bureaucracy, horrible capitalism realism, becoming sex workers outside of Omelas, under capitalism we have to be separated, jobs demand you do this, your economy demands you do this, if you don’t really scrutinize your government, your security depends on us being murderers and torturers, no more complaints about The Cold Equations being a story with bad engineering, Jesse killed everybody, a conceit that you need in a visual story, infodump, it would make a great stage play, that simple set, K.J. Parker’s How To Rule And Empire And Get Away With It, The Prisoner Of Zenda, Double Star, the power of stories, a professional liar, Herman Melville, Sixteen Ways To Defend A Walled City, no magic, Academic Exercises, finding hope in modern stuff, somebody has to winnow, the judgement of time and history, the market demands things Jesse is not willing to accept from the market, George R.R. Martin, the judgement of history, Robert Silverberg on a Writers Of The Future podcast, a juried award, reading the stories blind, an honesty, John W. Campbell (and a lot of people don’t like him), positing with authors, helping write engaging stories, hinted at, the universe is the ultimate judge of everything, the judgement of history so far, when Campbell gets it wrong (Scientology, overpopulation, telepathy), why still talking about The Cold Equations, a great idea story, barely an orgy on the EDS, why wasnt there room for three hookers on this ship?, Mars has got women, a Ferengi Harry Mudd delivering to miners on Stowaway

THE PROFITABLE EQUATION by Jesse

“I was not alone. Aboard the EPS were me, Magda, Ruth, and Eve, three hu-man fee-males I was transporting to a wealthy human mining colony on a planet named Ophiuchus III.

While I was calculating my profits, minus what I would render up to Damon Brool and the Grand Nagus, I had noticed a little white hand on the tiny gauge on the board before me.

The control room was, like I said, empty – except for myself, Magda, Ruth, and Eve.

There was no sound other than the murmur of the drives, and the batting of their long eyelashes—but still that little white hand had moved.

It had been on zero when the EPS had launched from the D’Kora-class ship Krookta – where I’d purchased the shuttle and filled it with just enough fuel to reach Ophiuchus III; but, an hour later, with the Krookta warped away that white hand had crept up, like an Andorian pickpocket.

There had been something in the supply closet across the room, some kind of a body that had radiated heat.

It could be but one kind of a body, I knew – a living body.

I let my eyes rest on the narrow white door of the closet.

There, just inside, another humanoid lived and breathed.

I unspooled my whip, stood up and faced that white door.

‘Come out!’ My command was harsh and abrupt above the murmur of the drives and the sudden pearl clutching of Magda, Ruth, and Eve.

I thought I could hear a whisper of a furtive movement from inside the closet, then nothing.

Nothing. Exactly what my profits would come to if I didn’t get whoever was in there out that closet and off of my EPS!

‘Out, I say!’ I said again.

I heard the stowaway move to obey, and I waited with my eyes alert on the door, one hand on my belt purse, the other clutching the whip.

The door opened and the stowaway stepped through it, she was cowering.

‘I give up,’ she said.

It was a Bajoran female, immodestly dressed from head to foot in thoroughly concealing yet ragged clothing.

She was obviously an escaped slave, probably from Terrok Nor.

I listened to her cry and plead and tell her unprofitable narrative.

Cracking the whip I told her to tell faster. I’d heard much the like before, she wanted to see her brother, capitalism sucks, and so I cracked the whip again, waved it all away, and considered.

Then I asked her a serious question: She had a choice, I told her: life on a remote mining planet with four wealthy hu-man husbands or a quick and utterly unprofitable death in the cold void of space.

She chose wisely, cousin.

Indeed. Oh yes, indeed.

Magda and Ruth are giving me oo-mox as I speak.

I’ve set the EPS autopilot to land on Ophiuchus III.

There’s not enough fuel for this Emergency Profits Ship to land land five hu-man-oids safely so that’s why I am sending you this message, cousin.

I’m sending you the contract details – now.

There.

In mere moments I will be stepping into airlock.

Eve will pull this red lever here and flush me out into space.

The hu-man males on Ophiuchus III were willing to pay an extraordinary price in gold pressed latinum – and for one more female, ooooh cousin.

This means even after your fee, what we kick up stairs to Sector Damon Brool, and even after the Grand Nagus gets his cut, this will be, or rather will have been, my most profitable enterprise ever.”

THE END

the Ferengi can make profits, a chapter for the sex book, Wallace Shawn, I sacrificed myself, the profits are unimaginable, Evan’s Grand Nagus Rom series, reforming Ferengi society, Ferengi liberals, Ferengi , because Leeta is in it, they would just ruin it, file off the serial numbers, The Orville, the side by side Discovery and The Orville, vegan Pizza vs. regular human pizza, vegan shoes, he knew they were poor because they had vegan leather, that Moon Knight show, he’s Egyptian, The Cats Of Ulthar, a long show for a short story, The Tempest, The Weird And The Eerie, Capitalist Realism, Starship Mutiny, The Last Of The Masters, dudes in robes, these people have been cut-off, Colony, cedar tree forests, utopia planet, what Le Guin was doing, Dick is more oblique or unconscious, Souvenir, Williamson’s World, larping different civilization, Dick well, Larry Niven love, they’re both females wearing clothes, Paul is self-loathing, not trolling, in German it’s silent, first names only, a Thai or Vietnamese name, referring to people occasionally, raw war footage, Black Amazon Of Mars, she’s got an axe, a tomb sweeping vacation, Allen Anderson, black tentacles, big axe, Eric John Stark, The Long Tomorrow, C.L. Moore, she smiled and let the wine cup fall, The Doings Of Vigorous Daunt, a billionaire that goes around the world punching people, like Russell Crowe, N.K. Jemison must be smart, a Warren supporter, anti-Bernie, she’s a shitlib, the afrofuturist aesthetic and ideas, unreadable, Out Of The Aeons by Hazel Heald and H.P. Lovecraft, The Man Of Stone, The Loved Dead by C.M. Eddy, I snuggled up the corpse and it turned a little rotty, Dan Carlin didn’t know what a quadroon or an octoroon was, clearly he doesn’t watch Archer.

he Cold Equations by Tom Godwin - illustrated by Freas

The Cold Equations by Tom Godwin - illustrated by Freas

he Cold Equations by Tom Godwin - illustrated by Freas

A WEIGHTY DECISION by Wally Wood page 8

The Cold Equations by Tom Godwin - illustrated by Jesse

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The SFFaudio Podcast #633 – READALONG: The Player Of Games by Iain M. Banks

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #633 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, Scott Danielson, and Will Emmons talk about the The Player Of Games by Iain M. Banks

Talked about on today’s show:
Scott’s idea, TBR [to be read], book 2 in a series, standalone, Culture books, a giant black hole, 10 book series, Inversions, culture tech, Transitions, the book to read, Consider Phlebas, Excession, shared universe, unsympathetic protagonist, Gurgeh, is that what we want from a main character?, being nice, reading about unpleasant people doing evil things, horrible people doing horrible things, our very few rules, flawed, spoiler rules, a spoiler and a save it for the podcast, how could you spoil that doesn’t have that content, a moral failing on Will’s part, we’re all healing, the definition of the culture, post scarcity, dangerous, Evan Lampe is very dry, honest feelings he was trying to share illegally, no laws, social customs, sincere, a serious book, not just entertainment, serious ideas, its both, political philosophy, up against a galactic empire, aimed in his sights, the ending, an inferno of fire, science fictional empires are not the target, what ruling class is like, the Epstein stuff, the private island, the blackmail, deviations we want to do, games, if you want a house, with no money and no possessions, gambling, no money or excess money, throughout the book, about economics, if games have options to make the stakes higher Jesse always wants it, Enemy Territory, friendly fire on, one life to live, no respawns, Roguelikes, Ironman Mode, gluttons for punishment, a legitimate game, a game within my own game, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, the excitement of potential loss or even ruin, a further extreme, good at exploring the topic its talking about, the player is getting played (by everyone), he’s playing himself, a really good book and a really bad book, why people like reading the series, Luke Burrage talking about this series, feeding the wrong part of my brain, the comforting stuff, a utopia, a fake utopia, the Culture is Heaven, everybody has a guardian angel, under the cloak of science fiction, Banks is using rules, lightspeed rules, people without a terminal, they send a rocket to save you, designed to be heaven, ooh its so fun, its like a rot, its a bad apple, its like satire, where we’re headed, so incredibly great, if you one and done it, a little more tongue in cheek, the impossibility he’s playing with, poked fun of, he’s doing it, he’s having his cake and eating it too, everybody who wants to change genders whenever they want to, you can have anything you want, the bullshit is consistent (therefore interesting), book after book set in the same place, Star Trek, The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, outside the ship problems, the coziness of The Next Generation, its a TV show, they’re dealing with it in an hour or 40 minutes, this is soaking in it, dangerous, they’re striving, a satire of a goal, Gulliver’s Travels is a satire of us, Gulliver’s Travels 2: The New Boogaloo, make money, its a good book, the tendencies in it are towards series, Jesse can blame Iain Banks, I was just following the trends, a writer’s gotta eat, in the culture he wouldn’t have written other culture books, is the culture a satire of itself?, yes, projecting his own values, what’s he’s good at, what’s useful about this book, criticism of the results of that kind of society, an anarchist or libertarian communist society, there’s no king, the tyranny of structurelessness, they’re benign, this is God, what about when earthquakes happen and babies die, doing a satire, relishing the experience of satirizing, the tendrils, the seduction, like reading Lord Of The Rings, its fun to go to Bree, benignant, conquering vs. toppling vs. annexing, regime changing, because they’re good, Gaddafi is a bad man, they need to be liberated, the drone, the horror that capitalism has wrought, mercantilism, bamboozles, blackmailed, secret police, they tricked one of their pets into doing a show, he suspects, puppetting, annoying, cast out of heaven, I had to steal the money otherwise I would be embarrassed, they played him, snookered, the fun-house mirror of the empire, the empire is more honest, naked power structures, a benign autocracy, he volunteered, the pushing is so wimpy, he wants to get invited to parties, he would lose his status, labeled as a cheater, he would get fewer papers published, he’s convinced to go, it was still his choice, he might kill himself if he was revealed, they’re going to make it your choice, that’s why we’re pets, our own enslavement to them, we’ve done it to ourselves, no civic virtue, a spy service, the super powerful people manipulate the weak people, he’s got PTSD, he lives in a cushion, ground fine, he gets sacrificed, another series that ran way to long, the journey was worthwhile, Ringworld, Louis Wu was tricked into doing what he wants, the luckiest girl on the planet, a big dumb object vs. our contemporary planet, three sexes, really its Earth, customs, a culture, friendly (not an empire), they kill you with kindness, physically worse things, King Midas, he got overexcited about the one thing he was passionate about, what are you gonna do in a society, go into games and live there, living to play, you gotta go build some LEGO, creative work, art, he knows what he’s doing, really smart, like Charles Stross plus Larry Niven plus Olaf Stapledon, well expressed, he ended up seducing himself, why Jesse avoided it in the first place, worth studying, Will has endless time, the whole Babysitter’s Club, Shelfwear, the Starship series by Mike Resnick, lotta good dead writers, Star Trek with Captain Kirk saying fuck the federation, succulent, more like Horatio Hornblower, he can’t keep writing and make me read more of them, the prequel to The Lord Of The Rings TV series, exploration of post-scarcity, this is not achievable, ship-bound, the black black sky, the kids equivalent of ten forward, you want to have your family with you, almost killed every episode, that move is interesting, privileging audiobooks over TV shows, Jesse might be snobbish, novellas and novelettes were the perfect length for science fiction, idea fiction, Olaf Stapledon wrote books not novels, this is a good book, soak in the playing of the game, the meta-game, a lot of gold, books are incredibly powerful, danger manifesting, misunderstanding of reality, this is not a heroic age, the individual is obsolete, no one person can have any real effect anymore, a terrible heaven, you go up into the sky you sit on a cloud and play a harp, he is empty, succumbs to the temptation, Paul’s totally right, they seem a lot like children, university people in our society, neuroses, a new type of brain, change your brain chemistry, a total lack of meaning in your life, an indictment, in the context of Looking Backward by Edward Bellamy, useful aspects of socialism, it shares a flaw, both novels fail to consider the emotional political and moral hazards, the polity in the Culture is less naive, a hundred years of thinking about utopias, a response to Looking Backward, our rosy heavenly future, the fringes of the Culture, seems kind of slow, he gets his own ship, drones are like regular people, put to sleep for seven hundred years, I’ll wait a couple years and get Use Of Weapons, the frontiers of utopia, if this was a one and done book, it feels good, some importance, he got seduced, read about series books, Jesse has read a fuckton of science fiction, meta-textual evidence, why didn’t Jesse pick up Iain M. Banks before this, State Of The Art audio drama, Jesse had a feeling it would be what it is, what people are saying about a book, looking for excuses not to read something (to read something in its place), something of value, you’ve heard how that director works, you can suss out what movies are worthy of your attention, 1988, still of value, much in favour of series, coming at it from a writerly perspective, super-smooth writing, more of a grift, Jesse doesn’t want to be comfortable, Looking Backward is lame in many ways, it leaves out race, black people not mentioned at all, huge massive flaw, its not comforting, Jesse doesn’t want to be comforted, I’m shaken to my core, the story, thought provoking, goals, your phone, are they really making your life better, you have a really good time in Los Vegas, whaddaya say wifey?, spoken highly of, highly regarded, go to Rome have a great time, you don’t live in the Culture, a money aspect, more though provoking stuff, audiobooks out quite early, Peter Kenny, a long book, 16.5 hours, a meditation on all games, something to think about, a phenomenon happening under the sun, all reality is a game, by being unknowable, the possibility of change, victory, time is one of the rules, The World Of Null-A by A.E. van Vogt, Solar Lottery by Philip K. Dick, what games are and what they mean, Fair Game, sending board games to the Earth, Monopoly, The Game Players Of Titan, real estate developers, stock market, they can do whatever they want, rules for the plebs and rules for us, punished by the emperor, the rules are overthrown, you become the emperor, education and taking tests, help students game the tests, the SAT, how the Chinese government has run itself for the last 5,000 years, something to be worried about, a masterful job, a solid take on what gaming is and the motivation behind it, Elizabeth Bear, Ancestral Night, modern 2020 politics, giving healthcare to everybody, way cheaper, Machine, James White’s Sector General novels, plenty of AIs, taking on Iain Banks, the genre conversation, if this Iain M. Banks goes on…, Architects Of Memory by Karen Osborne, meta thinking, evocative and fecund, psychological realism, when the apex who had made the body bet realized he was going to lose, really fruitful, the kinds of things you do to make the world a better place, a regular dude, somebody’s in charge, that spaceship, surplus from the war, what is Iain M. Banks trying to say here, if you wanted to make an informed decision, spy novelists, supporting a cultural boycott of Israel, South Africa, an international solidarity activist, a political Douglas Adams, his intellect is in the same area, Monty Python-esque fatalism, trying to intellectualize his way out of it, making really solid points, that dangerous word again, Paul doesn’t agree with the word “danger”, Communist Manifesto is only a book, Mein Kampf only a book, interesting but not important, a guidebook kind of, a fountainhead, a prose poem, avoiding writing, it feels like there could have been something more, life in the Culture, amuse yourself for three hundred years and then get shot into the sun by your own choice, no difference in the brains, they’re all people, othering robots, bringing them down to their level, can you have a benign heaven with a god who isn’t smarter than you?, they don’t run heaven, impinging on Scott territory, a secularization of heaven, reading for pleasure is a seduction, what will result if you gave into that temptation, making a reading choice is not political, reading a series is not good, the decline, market forces, realpolitik and economics, not the ideal, Paul is making Jesse’s argument for him, Beggars In Spain is an evil book, Nancy Kress, she’s chosen the darkside, made horrible consequences palatable, a novel like Starmaker, Hyperion by Dan Simmons, Jesse’s criticism of series is well grounded, more enriching, widely and deeply, perilous, words are powerful Paul, Paul wants an off-ramp for a first book in a series, lure, feeling this stress, its okay to make it addictive, when did Dan Simmons jump the shark?, Olympos, the analogy, from series lasting too long, compelling you to read more, a nefarious thing, how Lost sucked so many TV show people in, enamoured with his idea, detective books, literary fiction, very impressive, a high complement, why series happen, we elect a really good king, four more year for you King, a few dynasties go by and we’re chopping people’s heads off, at the risk of provoking Jesse to keep going, adverse consequences, Nine Princes In Amber by Roger Zelazny, its the meta-game, a playground in which he can do satire forever, why Tom Clancy is still producing from beyond the grave, ownership, Neil Gaiman doesn’t milk, don’t read the first volume, the horror host, more like The Twilight Zone, Anansi Boys, whatabout this?, you already did that bud, A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine, break em in half, a reversal, please don’t annex us, we recommend, the dangers involved, he’s ultimately won over to the Culture, choose to become a robot, that’s what people want, how dear he, he’s very wise in his book writing decisions, the paths we set our feet down, make a rule for yourself make a rule for everybody, the categorical imperative, Immanuel Kant, is it okay for me to kill?, is it okay for me to lie to my kids?, its for everybody, a case by case basis, he didn’t want to keep writing the Hitchhiker’s Guide books, you keep using that word, he has no respawn, he got two series, he was a big brain, we’re way over on the tipping scale, all I want is healthcare, what’s the right word? [silence] The Last Dangerous Visions, J. Michael Straczynski, regular visions, vague visions, one last significant work by Harlan Ellison, the executor for the estate, those middle seasons of Babylon 5 were so good, a half-assed 2 actors and a greenscreen.

The Player Of Games by Iain M. Banks

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The SFFaudio Podcast #552 – READALONG: City Of Endless Night by Milo Hastings

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #552 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, Marissa VU, and Evan Lampe talk about City Of Endless Night by Milo Hastings

Talked about on today’s show:
another book with that title, Preston/Child, True Story, June 1919-November 1919, Children Of Kultur, revisions, pictures, pretty amazing book, blown away, more 19th century than early 20th, the chapter titles, more Victorian than Edwardian, so much effort, spoilers for each chapter, Paul fell into it, anticipating, a ruby necklace metaphor, a confrontation, the real Karl, undercooked, bought-off with jewelry, that’s the misogyny speaking, attention to the plot, how is this guy’s german that good, the number of fingers in Inglourious Basterds, just go with it, a treasure trove, it’s amazing, a late Verne?, global hegemony, the ideas!, very forward thinking, he got Nazis exactly right (it’s crazy!), there complete ideology, there breeding programs, their final solution, clearly it was in the culture already, Mein Kampf, Jesse’s hate list includes Bernarr Macfadden, Jesse holds him largely responsible for P.E. class, Physical Culture, an anti-vax column, eight kids with names starting with the letter “b”, Clutch Of The War God by Milo Hasting, “I’m buff, I’m going to live forever”, nutritious breakfast snacks, smoking constantly, anticipating a war between the USA and Japan, aircraft carriers, flat-top ships, under house arrests, obscenity, a beauty contest, all this shit is interconnected, eugenics, Macfadden was a bad guy, scolding the federal government, an extensive amount of research, more science fiction, deep into chicken breeding, THE TALE OF THE ORIENT’S INVASION OF THE OCCIDENT, AS CHRONICLED IN THE HUMANICULTURE SOCIETY’S “HISTORY OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY”, maybe someone on LibriVox, she was really good, obscure vocab, USA’s war with Japan, USA’s war with Germany, a cold war after WWIII, the German monarchy, the communists, Maximum German Expansion in the Second World War (1988), League Of Nations, again, did Hitler read this book?, a reflection of American propaganda about Germany, an extant philosophy, distilling and capturing an actual strain of pre-fascism and pre-Nazism, the House of Hohenzollern, the workers, the weird, Germany’s 1919 failed workers revolution, the Wiemar Republic, William the Great (aka William II), if Heinlein was doing it, zeroing in on the origins of fascism, Evan’s favourite book on this: Fascism by Mark Neocleous, the worker’s revolution is inevitable, the general strike, the centrality of will and struggle, working class resentment, Das Kapital by Karl Marx, Benito Mussolini, these ideas were floating around, something changed, the enlightenment framework, fin de sicile pessimism, Arditi, the CSA vs. the Union, resentment, echoes long after, the strongest fascist movements were losers, Hungary, Austria, Germany, where Hitler came from, people hearing him speak, all my friends died and this is the shit we have to eat?, Italian fascism, there is no action that can have no consequence, you can’t just suppress and hide the shit that you’ve done, Germany will rise again, entirely foreseeable, the logic, the natural masters of the Earth, science and industry, the subtle explanation for the power dynamic, 300 million people in Berlin, that ray, the worker controls the society in the way the king doesn’t, science advisors to the king, an alternate universe version of our Nazis, this is also Saudi Arabia, 15,000 members of the Saudi Royal family, analyzing it from a feminist perspective, control of women bodies, in what sense are the women free?, super-interesting science fiction (and tech-free), breeding and nutrition, perfect himself, eat the right foods, vegetarianism, scientific management of breeding programs, Germany’s obsession with it, Nazi breeding programs, Himmler was a chicken farmer, Gregor Mendel, former chicken farmer, get a few hens together, an egg a day, evolutionarily wasteful, costly to the chicken, getting that much calcium together, one of Milo Hastings patents, a million egg incubator, a [fascinating] fact about eggs, baby chicks are hot, birds are hotter than mammals, waste heat from late eggs to heat early eggs, a machine, a grey goo problem (but with chickens), what the breeding program is, Ford’s scientific management of a factory floor, apply it to the human production industry, social policy, married couples were forgiven loans when they had four children, early on, the map of the levels in the Syracuse newspaper, 147 children, one cock for a whole bunch of viable hens, roosters wanna kill each other, why so few women, no time spent with kids, the Lebensborn 1935-1945, these aren’t families, the visit to the school, the teaching methods, that classroom is insane, genocide, a mandatory pork eating law, an emigration policy, its hard to get people to leave, Jews in Shanghai, John Rabe, a WWII show, German jews, Polish jews, gassing people in trucks, taking German interests and beliefs, Germans were really into chemistry, lens-grinding, alchemy, synthetic drugs, synthetic gasoline, coal into gasoline, raw material under Arctic ice?, the main character is a chemist, chemically produced food, modern processed foods, petroleum products turned into food, lab-grown meat, he isn’t making this shit up, a replicator, what does Evan make of the factory strike, Germans went on strike a lot, true to life, depoliticized the working class through voting, the whole philosophy of the state was really well thought out and fascinating, socialist, elections every year, just like us, lands of the inferior races, movement cultures, struggle is important, solidarity, divide and conquer, the power and importance of solidarity in achieving goals, fascinating and true to life, workers don’t strike in China, workplace democracy, the propaganda is complete, the education is by movies, they do their education through video, books are for the officers, the propaganda department, a science fiction movie of what it will be like when we conquer the rest of the world, one of the members of ABBA, bringing the Aryan north into Germany, a mixer, you better have a good reason, the endless war of conquering the earth, very widespread, pseudo-scientific breeding, germ-plasm, Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, the Master of Hatcheries, making workers genetically suitable for their jobs, Bernard Marx (Bernarr?), man most responsible for gyms, William Hope Hodgson, BOOM, an amazingly fascinating cultural artifact, was this mentioned in The Ministry Of Truth?, listener suggested?, a reference to Bellamism, another Bellamy echo, rationing vs. cornucopia, once there’s post-scarcity…, robber barons, the money is for attracting women, there’s no point in money, a million marks you can’t spend, buy her a necklace, strange economics, The Prisoner Of Zenda by Anthony Hope, Ruritanian romance, a blending of Bellamy with a Ruritanian fantasy, it’s all a dream, The Prince And The Pauper by Mark Twain, more competent than the person he replaced, a whole thing about creativity, that’s science fiction thinking, Dragon’s Egg by Robert L. Forward, by Hal Clement, reading hard SF, social science fiction, he’s basically fucking nailing Nazi Germany because he’s really thinking through…, the people who are pushing eugenics, I have an evil plan…, sterilizing native people, its fucking evil, I’m going to do zis, he’s just a chicken farmer tapping into what’s in the air, H.G. Wells’ stuff, The Land Ironclads, tanks, WWII is all about tanks, you can’t take land with airplanes, you can’t win without tanks, all those people who died from tanks, Fortnite, kids don’t know what a fortnite is, World Of Tanks, he’s pretty much describing tanks, what it would mean to the tactics, what science fiction is, Jules Verne, there’s all sorts of consequences to that, the ending, Evan’s proper ending for this book, this guy really loves his new job, he meets the emperor, he gets promoted, he wins these awards, the Royal level, he’s going to marry someone in the royal family, a memoir of someone who has lived his whole life in the upper echelons, the safety valve, a ticket for the first show, the glory of the dynasty, turning away from his United Statesians, found amongst the papers of a traitor, the library, the rise of the anti-Nazis, working in the system, we’re living in insanity world, the number of people internally, so rudely signed out, all of Jesse’s diatribes, anti-Nazis, the army and the navy, the submarine stuff is very German, Valkyrie (2008), when FDR is on the rise, the Business Plot, Smedley Butler, happening again, educated folks who are trying to be reasonable, how can that go on Saudi Arabia, a royal problem, carbon problem, Hong Kong, Janette Eng’s Hugo acceptance speech, 40% of China’s income was generated in Hong Kong now it’s 2%, a lot of upset folks, how do you negotiate your way out of that, Woodrow Wilson’s official state racism, the 14 points and the League Of Nations, take note of the tiny detail trends, Hastings’ alternate history, a lot of blame towards the USA and the League Of Nations, a dangerous situation, LibriVox narrator Kate Follis, Algernon Blackwood, E.F. Benson, A Little Book Of Profitable Tales, follow the amateur narrators, “George Guidall can do no wrong!”, Frank Muller, American Gods by Neil Gaiman, when Mr Wednesday came back, he’s back!, a terrible motorcycle accident, don’t ride motorcycles, addicted to audiobooks, audiobooks are very addictive, Luke Burrage, Jesse’s mom is reading Clark Ashton Smith’s novel TWO BLACK DIAMONDS, Arabian Nights, Clark Ashton Smith: Emperor Of Dreams, “magnificent!”, a lot more to say, a strength of worldbuilding, take this man to the hospital, sneaking on board the submarine, how he got him in there, a coincidence, his own face on the dead body, a tradition behind it, an excuse to do that, News From Nowhere by William Morris, get in there and tell that story, really good, a lot of tension, oh my god, investigate himself, a whole adventure, the title change, kultur, this Brute Beast, WWI pickle helmets, treating them like Nazis, more technically correct, one more thing, a confession, we were all fooled by the girl who borrowed the book, that same feeling, our last big surprise book, Mockingbird by Walter Tevis, betrayal, soooo on point, being assertive, making a persons way in a terrible situation, sitting around this virtual table, I didn’t like your little book (we don’t like her because she doesn’t like reading), it makes sense, give herself some dignity, that’s what I do, yo, a singer but her voice wasn’t good, an actress but she had no empathy, a tradition femme fatale, parallel, there’s this woman out there who knows him really well, why are you going to the women’s level, he needs socialization, barracks situations, assimilating so well, Maissa was supposed to join us, “Yes alas – although I didn’t really like endless night – although that would probably have made interesting conversation.”, did she finish it?, up to a third of the way through, it might be an evil book, not ultimately an evil book, it just has features, its not propaganda that’s trying to promote autocracy, the anti-Nazi characters, characters who are into the system, what makes it a dystopia exactly?, if you really had this situation, synthesizing and rationing, withholding information, a good follow up to this, on the list of approved books for LibriVox, Thea Von Harbou’s Metropolis, Fritz Lang and Thea Von Harbou, speaking to the audience, a bias against silent films, a trial, watching I, Claudius (shot on videotape), the audio drama adaptation of Metropolis, so many parallels to what’s going on, Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell, a girl who sparks an interest, was Metropolis, the audio drama is so good, it’s cyberpunk, a BBC production, super-great, astoundingly great, totally idea based, the depth of power an hour long program is able to achieve, this guy’s really tantalizing me, two assignments for Kate Follis: please spend 6 months of your life recording for us, a YouTube version of it, a great read!, ever since we read the Ministry of Truth, gender politics, Dollar Hen by Milo Hastings, the bible of chicken rearing, if the weather is too cold for raising hens just move away, good advice, public domain, chickens are super-easy food, urban (and suburban) chicken farming, hipster farming, BoingBoing’s Mark Frauenfelder, coyote raids, free eggs, sharem and givem away and sellem, the permaculture people, sustainable vs. industrial means, red peppers and hot peppers, a styrofoam tray, students were hostile, you’re not helping us Evan, give us the keys to Harvard, we (the Chinese) don’t have time to fuck around with hippie shit, industrialize and build up your industry, the Chinese communist party (20 million?), inequality in China is on par in the United States, pro and anti-Chinese demonstrations, funded by the Chinese government, the Falun Gong, there’s good evidence, Taiwan, liberty vs. authoritarianism, Jimmy Lai and John Bloton, neo-liberals, all the allies are pretty gross, a better hope, the future of the left in Hong Kong, Democracy Advocate: bread and roses, the Communist Party of Canada, a moral and economic failure, defining poverty, the number of students, recruiting foreign teachers, form a fucking union, things are so unequal in China, state socialism doesn’t work, an anti-authoritarian complex, the oranges, the greens, the blues, the reds, the blues, some tie between not ruining the rivers, you can be pretty stupid and be an environmentalist, libertarianism is an immature philosophy, anarchist people to follow, fucking stupid memes, the Solarpunk Anarchist on Facebook, Murray Bookchin, social ecologist, leftists groups, Stalinist, weak socialists, not pushy enough, the NDP, the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation, universal pharmacare, voted to bomb Libya, the Christopher Hitchens left, liberty is a better foundation for socialism, Max Blumenthal, more bars open, pretty fuckin secular, don’t make me go to your church, the story on Syria, a comic book reading communist lawyer (Will Emmonsky) from Kentucky, Elizabeth Warren vs. Bernie Sanders, having principles, the pitchforks are coming, she’s a capitalist to her bones, Sanders’ movement, smart people in the elite realize you’ve got to do something to stop the pitchforks in the next few years, the last choice if Biden fails, Southern redneck communists, anarchists, your dudes, disarming the working class is a bad idea, is the working class becoming more fascist?, crazy people with guns, naked guy with a gun, the Black Panthers position, the John Brown Gun Club, super-principled, against the bad stuff, Jacobin Magazine, somebody is going to be president next year, in change of the U.S. empire, Elizabeth Warren blows like reed in the wind, Bernie Sanders IS principles, Mitt Romney’s whole thing was “I have good hair”, Hillary had writing off people, just listen, be honest, reading about it from the outside, I got mine jack, how you end up like this, racist white coal miners who worked with black coal miners, why Fred Hampton was assassinated by the FBI and the Chicago police, what’s really going on about racism, racism is a way to divide people who have things in common, history, PBS’ Carrier, almost no one is racist, south asian kids, what kids do, looking for differences, exercise of power, racism is best flourishing when there’s top down stuff, remembering being racist as a kid, I did not want to be considered a dark person, “the darkies”, he’s fucking it up, New Zealand, Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, anti-racist books, what the fuck, the most anti-racist, Steen becomes incensed, subject to racism and racist, being in a culture by a majority, being more humble, being ensconced in it, xenophile, Jesse’s mom is kind of a weird lady, barfi, here I am in my anti-racist bubble, cultural issues, a cultural problem, leaning towards communism, principled ideas, libertarian, Ron Paul, reading conservative stuff, flags, Burkean conservatives, inherited rights, the logo of the Communist Party of Canada, black conservatives, public schools and land reform, cultural conservatism, respect but reject, the populous right, drugs, science, production, knowledge, this book’s got us thinkin, social cooperation, their examples are so stupid, so divorced from reality, what do you think about Japan?, Scotty Kilmer, very practical advice, a British motorcycle, a Suzuki copy of a British motorcycle, knock-off cars in China, a Chinese Jeep Wrangler, Philip K. Dick novel, Japanese copy of a British destroyer, iterating after copying, Huawei, Japan has seen that, isn’t that China’s future?, Japan’s funny history, a mature industry, so weird, almost no foreign cars (or products) in Japan, isn’t there something there?, super-racist too, Japanese homesteaders, going back to the land in Japan, who needs Infinity Stones just wait, a fast forward version of something, China and Korea, the Korean birthrate, a demographic transition, capitalism could find a way, Marissa has one projector, a monitor, Jesse has 11 monitors, the Impossible burger, Beyond Meat, half the pigs in the world are consumed in China, a vegetarian going back to meat, a bar meatzvah, the suffering that animals face, unprincipled on many other things, Eric Rabkin is a vegetarian, jerked tofu, an ethics class, that was horrific, no problem with death, the cruelty is not in us its in our nature, tigers are not unethical, they care a lot about food, giving up french fries, how to make a dinner without meat, the opposite of a foodie, Hitler was a vegetarian, he loved his dog, its kind of a religion, playing PUBG with Peruvians, xenophile, the Indian-English accent, reviews of science fiction, vegan, vegans who go to the gym, I’m 58 look at me, so gross, vegan tattoos, those pants, we are the one crucifying Christ through the rape of the Earth, ?, weird Catholic ecology, look at that guy, he’s a fruitarian, what you eat is magic, I’m gonna live forever because I’m pure, Bill Maher, scorn, I live in this society, if I were a cave-man…, go off to Nassau and be a pirate, you really can’t opt-out, are your clothes made by slaves?, violating intellectual property laws, what does it matter where its made?, what does it matter where its manufactured, books are printed in China, nobody trusts the food industry in China, wont that all be fixed in 20 years, production matters, Karl Marx, the magic of currency, commodity fetishism, a show on bitcoin, hidden by the market, such a time investment, pick your battles, arbitrary, I was a fool to be in the apple system for as long as I was, don’t fall into the trap even farther, this sneaking idea, systems and institutions can’t love you, I don’t wanna give Jeff Bezos my money, Jimmy Pattison.

City Of Endless Night - review

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #383 – READALONG: The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #383 – Jesse, Bryan Alexander, and Steen Hansen talk about The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton.

Talked about on today’s show:
1969, before the Apollo 11 Moon Landing, contemporary critics, SF critics vs. mainstream critics, the defense of the ghetto against interlopers, Ray Bradbury, Doris Lessing, a deep feeling, spoiling the book, showing what was wrong with it, getting the facts wrong, interpretation, Luke Burrage reviewing, Robert J. Sawyer, bad writing, had they done nothing … nothing would have happened, the mutation, the Wildfire facility, Star Trek, scientists out for the good of humanity, self-destruct sequences, MAD: Mutually Assured Destruction, every nuclear sub movie, film-like, The Ipcress File by Len Deighton, airport fiction tropes, hyper competent high level government high tech mcguffins, brain-washing, novel -> film, written for film?, ER, picky fiddly science and bureaucratic operation, killed or useless, trusted scientists to save the world, ruthlessly hard science, Hollywood couldn’t make this movie now, restrained, chilly, the gender swap, Robert Wise, Shirley Jackson, The Haunting Of Hill House, Alfred Bester, a document dump, classified material, overloading the reader with verisimilitude, Eaters Of The Dead by Michael Crichton, The Thirteenth Warrior, Vikings, Russians and Byzantium, completely bullshit, Mr. Bullshit, regular SF vs. techno-thriller, a yummy INFODUMP, nobody had a definition for life, black cloth, a watch, a piece of granite, pure Science Fiction, Bryan’s mind destroyed at age 8, binary numbers, lasers vs. darts, Larry Niven, 24, Colossus: The Forbin Project, Steen welcomes our robot overlord, high-scale AI, Iain M. Banks, humans as pets, humans as cogs, I Have No Mouth And I must Scream, Prof. Eric S. Rabkin, Dante Alighieri, lost race, the descent into Hell, from red to blue, the harrowing of Hell, a cold war story where the Russians aren’t the bad guys, The Bedford Incident, James Follett’s The Light Of A Thousand Suns, set in the recent past, the shotgun approach, Margaret Atwood, picking and choosing at the buffet table, dedicated to A.C.D., M.D. -> Dr. Arthur Conan Doyle -> Dr. Michael Crichton, “not a new story”, the glowing review in Life magazine, a retelling of The Blob, the Technovelgy, auto-doc, the suppressed cancer drug, Jensen Pharmaceuticals, gut flora, nudity and ass-grabbing, rectal suppository, astro-Tang, coffee, all that cleaning, they’re too holy, the five levels is a gimmick, the leveling, it’s bullshit!, we all know we have to wash our hands, the Wikipedia entry for the Airport Genre

Airport novel(s) represent a literary genre that is not so much defined by its plot or cast of stock characters, as much as it is by the social function it serves. An airport novel is typically a fairly long but fast-paced novel of intrigue or adventure that is stereotypically found in the reading fare offered by airport newsstands for travelers to read in the rounds of sitting and waiting that constitute air travel.

Rudyard Kipling’s fiction was published as a railway magazine, the origin of pulp fiction, The Lion’s Game by Nelson DeMille, the opening to The Strain, having the reins of political power at your fingertips, in the 2008 miniseries remake, back stories/love stories, a muddy anti-science mess, pre-Apollo -> Watergate -> conspiracy theories, the technical glitch (paper between the bell and the striker), germ warfare?!, the remake of The Manchurian Cantidate, the films and adaptations reflect the times, the 2008 version is super-militarized, X-18, F-4 phantoms, Dracula, the long gothic tradition of found documents, Plan 9 From Outer Space, a cold war document, The Parallax View, Captain America: Winter Soldier, Crichton like Spielberg loves power, Close Encounters Of The Third Kind, the end of Raiders Of The Lost Ark, medical people as superheroes, uber-expert scientists, power fantasy fiction, scepticism of power, image Michael Crichton at a Science Fiction convention, the immune reaction, You are not of the body!, techno-thrillers, why Ian Fleming’s James Bond books became so popular, JFK, Ronald Reagan was a big fan of Tom Clancy, The Hunt For Red October, Reagan based foreign policy of Red Storm Rising, Jack Ryan was a wonk Navy -> CIA agent -> CIA Director -> President, Firefox, political fiction written for a jet-set audience, conservative Heinleinian, Andromeda Strain cosplay?, Footfall by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle, SF writers save the world from alien invasion, science matters vs. science fiction, the first biology crisis, outflanking the ghetto, the 2006 Worldcon, Greg Benford, Greg Bear, David Brin, thinking up scenarios, if I was a terrorist how would I destroy the the United States, Wildfire, Cold War contingency planning, the Rand Corporation, the odd-man out element, his name was Hall but should have been Corridor, does this make sense?, the odd man is gay?, The Odd Couple, gay coding?, gay men are most likely to turn off nukes?, The Great Train Robbery, timing pacing planning tricking, that roller-coaster spark, opening observation, we are always observing, fun fiction for Henry Kissinger and the jet set, bureaucrats of a class, this function material is reflective, Science Fiction writers are poor, Robert Silverberg, Lawrence Block and Donald Westlake, Isaac Asimov, a biology book, Paul Di Filippo, bio-punk, Ribo-funk, The Bay (2012), The Hot Zone, the wet science, cloning, the neglected science, Coma, Protector by Larry Niven, how electron-microscopes work, crystallography, “it mutated”?!?!?, that was odd, it’s communicating with itself, block-chain virus, deep hurting, The Door Into Ocean by Joan Slonczewski, medicine without silicon, the Patriarchy, The Highest Frontier, Blood Music by Greg Bear, a Halo novel, The Wind From A Burning Woman, a “wild” writing style, bio is hard to do, Pontypool, prions, the worst part of The Walking Dead, we’re all infected, a symbol for regular death, Titan by John Varley, a 100ft tall Marilyn Monroe monster, The Satan Bug by Alistair Maclean (1962), where does the techno-thriller begin, a precursor to techno-thriller, The Stolen Bacillus by H.G. Wells, a really obvious anarchist, Wells defused the whole genre for sixty years, The Food Of The Gods, a convincing linguistic maneuver, fawning of technology bureaucracy power and the function of government, a stack of Jane’s Fighting Ships, the Sputnik shock, British invasion novels, Tom Clancy as a zombie brand, special helicopter trip, massive government expenditure for the competent man, an empty jetliner, vicarious thrill, power fantasy, “he’s the most important person right now”, this is our bailiwick!, nice and short, Dean Koontz, Phantoms, A Game Of Thrones by George R.R. Martin, Ghost Fleet by August Cole and P.W. Singer, Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child books, no CRISPR, China is no Soviet Union, futurism, education moves so slowly, Little Brother by Cory Doctorow, an X-Box with Paranoid Linux, Reamde by Neal Stephenson, a Kurt Vonnegut vibe, a Welsh Muslim terrorist, like pornography you know a techno-thriller when you see it.

The dedication for The Andromeda Strain

title page for The Andromeda Strain

Algis Budrys review of The Andromeda Strain

Life Magazine review of The Andromeda Strain

The Andromeda Strain - illustration by Dusty Abell

The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton - Random House Audio read by Chris Noth

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #350 – NEW RELEASES/RECENT ARRIVALS

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #350 – Jesse, Scott, Jenny, and Tamahome talk about new audiobook releases and recent audiobook arrivals.

Talked about on today’s show:

Childhood’s End, The Expanse, The Magicians book adaptions on Syfy tv, Caprica, Star Wars: The Force Awakens by Alan Dean Foster, Alien by Foster is Scott’s favorite adaptation, Scott liked the Revenge of the Sith audiobook, The Tunnel Under the World by Frederik Pohl, (circled back to the Childhood’s End adaption), Arthur C. Clarke’s Guardian Angel, the original short story, on the pdf pageKing of Shards by Matthew Kressel, Dhalgren by Samuel R. Delany, narrated by Stefan Rudnicki, is it a literary marvel?, Golden Fleece by Robert. J. Sawyer is a murder mystery on a generation starship, Sawyer’s dinosaur book End of an Era, cover of Far-SeerThe Long List Anthology [of Hugo nominations], The Year’s Top Short SF Novels 5, audiobooks are the new ebooks, audio that comes before print, Welcome to Night Vale:A Novel by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor, zombies are mentioned, A Borrowed Man by Gene Wolfe, sounds like Dixie Flatline from NeuromancerThe Bands of Mourning (Mistborn #6) by Brandon Sanderson, The Seventh Bride by T. Kingfisher, scary fables, The Anubis Gates by Tim Powers, the lost episode about On Stranger Tides, I reviewed itPenric’s Demon by Lois McMaster Bujold, old audiobooks on cassette, a whole lotta Philip K. Dick short stories, what is the order?, how to consume short story collections, alien sex books!, approaching 100% PKD audio saturation, Podkayne of Mars by Robert A. Heinlein, has a feisty girl, humble-bragging, 19 Great Northern Audio titles, The Coming by Joe Haldeman, why Haldeman is good for Jesse’s brain, skim reading, SFBRP #294 – Elizabeth Moon – Trading in Danger

far-seer
Science Fiction Alien Sex Anthologies

Posted by Tamahome

The SFFaudio Podcast #314 – READALONG: Pacific Edge by Kim Stanley Robinson

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #314 – Jesse, Jenny, and Paul talk about Pacific Edge by Kim Stanley Robinson.

Talked about on today’s show:
1990, what was it about this book…, nothing much happens, utopia, utopian novels generally don’t exist, Brave New World, conflict, the only death in the book, if it was a literary novel, Ramona’s thighs, almost a perfect novel, “constructed”, softball, batting a thousand, light symbolism, Tom in Switzerland, so much to think about during the lazy days, a magical transformation, fascinatingly insightful, what human beings are trying to do all the time, “that’s the novel I wanted to read”, a tryptic, The Wild Shore, The Gold Coast, three Californias growing out of the 1980s, cyberpunk, Orange County, TSA, the water situation, Chinatown, machinations, evil corporations, KSR is a really smart guy, a genuine world, comparing to Heinlein’s bad guys, conflict (or lack thereof), why theater is fun, wrestling!, softball, his Mars books, baseball as a metaphor, small ball, a small ball utopia, the October of his own utopia, what are utopia, an almost meta-SF novel, Utopia by Sir Thomas More, “must redefine utopia … the process of making a better world … struggle forever”, 2065, a bigger theater, fewer baseball diamonds, starting from scratch won’t work, there’s a lot of work to be done, an underpopulated world, how we got there, emigration to Space, the understated Mars landing, the drought in California, climate change (global warming), Antarctica, Worldcon 2006, Anaheim, Luke Burrage’s review of The Gold Coast, he’s sophisticated, Shaman, the four shamanic elements: air/earth/fire/water, sooo well constructed, the mask party, great magic bullshit, not The Clan Of The Cave Bear, Prisoners Of Gravity, Harlan Ellison and Neil Gaiman, tackling a really substantial subject, an almost bullet-proof approach, the economy doesn’t work and the geology doesn’t work (in The Lord Of The Rings), the housing situation, Viking style or Haida style, its all fashion, the defining look of how any utopia can work, the economic model, socialism, Stephen Harper, [Kim Stanley Robinson] has thought of everything, the black banks, some sort of federal system?, the New Oregon Trail?, a local government utopia, it’s a certain kind of communism, Alfredo, labour taxation, another junction box, there’s still money but nobody is talking about it, the scene at the fire, the community is the fire department, no police, what do you do with criminals?, exile, Amish communities exist at the sufferance of the surrounding state, they’ve got Skype/Facetime, we have to not hate our brothers around the world, sister cities, delegations, Paul takes exception, Minneapolis, magnifying certain aspects (and shrinking others), the Greens have had there day, what’s going to happen, where’s the public library?, an ebb and flow, drag racing, Oscar’s interests, neighbors invading is the only possible hole, an ecological society, an ecology of local systems, by not competing in the way that some can compete you’re going to get crushed, if the utopia is unstable…, Kevin as the catalyst, small solutions, a feel good message, the Athenian polis approach to community, who started that fire?, the evil mustachio thing, if we asked KSR, he’s earned that, A Short Sharp Shock, the kerosene … who did it?, a happy death, let’s spend some time here, When Tam asked: “Does it get less boring?”, going back to work, how to deal with reality, moderation in all things including moderation, smoking, Kim Stanley Robinson is incredibly wise, a very wise book, relationship stigmas have been done away with, casual but not disposable, no ideology, take out the thing that you like, whatever system they seem to have…, the inevitable swinging of a pendulum, Arthur C. Clarke’s The City And The Stars (aka Against The Fall Of Night), frozen in time with a focus on art, Nineteen-Eighty Four and Brave New World are forever dystopias, “interpenetration”, a metal ceramic material, Oscar’s hike, going for walks, reality entering a body, we are a part of our environment, a religious moment, the mask party, as a motif word, every part of the community interacts, they live inside each others’ homes, a great scene of Alfredo and Kevin working shoulder to shoulder, Rattlesnake Hill is a symbol for Kevin, that’s no human nature, Jenny’s visits to former utopian society, the Shaker village in Kentucky, New Harmony, Indiana, we’re living in a utopia, how many times have you guys run for city council, campaigning is not fun, trying to convince people door to door is a horrible job, maybe its time, it IS what he’s saying, a bitter pill, KSR’s bio, Jesse’s mom, tons of meetings, we tried to go to a movie theater, the inertia of a city council is less, “turning the ship”, Jenny’s really good example, Greencastle, Indiana, no discrimination if you do business with the city, Our Angry Earth by Frederik Pohl and Isaac Asimov, get organized, maybe that sense of mobility is the problem, love the place you’re at, utopia is not a destination it’s an activity, The World Until Yesterday by Jared Diamond, staying where you were born, it goes both ways, Ted Cruz, subversive groups, Anonymous, different strategies, Last Week Tonight, Jon Oliver’s interview with Edward Snowden, Wikileaks, dick pics, high-minded people are all sold, does this program have your dick pick?, you need a comedian, LIBERTY!, go with the dick pic.

Pacific Edge by Kim Stanley Robinson

Posted by Jesse Willis