The SFFaudio Podcast #675 – Jetta Of The Lowlands by Ray Cummings – read by Richard Kilmer. This is a complete and unabridged reading of the story (4 hours 5 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Evan Lampe, and Will Emmons
Talked about on today’s show:
a serial in Astounding Stories Of Super Science, Sept – November 1930, The Girl In The Golden Atom, The Diamond Lens by Fitz-James O’Brien, antisemitism precedes other forms of European racism, 600 stories, avoiding Cummings, full of shitty writing, the assistant to Edison, Huxley’s lab assistant, learned science from Darwin’s bulldog, science science science vs. invention, very pulpy, not awesome pulpy, filler, why is it this long?, the reading doesn’t help, the setting is interesting, is the setting that interesting?, it should be, a South American country, ecological disaster, bandit planet, a dull read, why pulp gets a bad name, the characters, a terrible book, acknowledging an error, how do you know?, should Ray Cummings be canceled?, not interesting enough to cancel, the years have canceled him, for those who managed to struggle through the audiobook and are now listening…, reading from E.F. Bleiler, science fiction and weird fiction, Science Fiction The Gernsback Years (page 87), entry 298, economic espionage and intrigue, 2020, north of Puerto Rico (dry sea bottom), Nerita, almost any word you can think of is a village in India, the National Detective Service, a lowlands bandit, mercury smuggling?, Spawn, Debeer, the ending is predictable, pure adventure, super-radio, light rays bent by magnetic fields, the lowland concept, more on this economic relation, a thug of the powerful state, colonial setting, there to take a child bride, Harry Turtledove, Down In The Bottomlands, set in a dry Mediterranean, a geographical lesson, where are the rivers, the seas, the lakes, what does this do to the rainfall, radioactive mercury, just a gimmick, its filler, get out from under Hugo Gernsback and get out under John W. Campbell, uncontroversial, I want you to think harder about this, getting tied up every few pages, a western movie serial, helicopter/airplane, secret gear, he fights science pirate, going to the kernel of the concept, better Ray Cummings, Phantoms Of Reality, different worlds at different vibrational wavelengths, you go to a weird little planet and weird little things happen, dies 1957, not able to adapt himself, about 350 1945-1942, 750 stories in all, a whole bunch of awesome concepts, three or four interesting ideas, like South America, an enforcer of empire, Jetta’s not even sexy, half mermaid?, she’s illiterate, when did the seas go down, a mercury rush, no Indians at the bottom of the sea, no displaced mermen?, what caused it?, one story and one book, Til A’ The Seas by Robert Barlow, a last man, pretty well done, H.P. Lovecraft helped polish it, the imagery is beautiful, Jack Vance’s Dying Earth, Olaf Stapledon-y, set at the bottom of the ocean, one of the biggest writers of the period, Cornell Woolrich, read him because you like tension, H.G. Wells, E.E. Doc Smith, the action sequences of Star Treks, lots of beams, wrist controls, they just invented force fields, Scotty trying to invent force fields and warp drive during the battle, Ted Chiang, Larry Niven, a lot more like Stanley G. Weinbaum and a lot less like John W. Campbell, the deGernsbacking, there was no sense that the reforms were needed, make me a serial out of it, why pulps get a bad name, Buck Rogers style serials, everything’s weird and there’s a lady and he needs to adapt, Flash Gordon, the slicks did it with essentially Superman’s origin story, Edwin Balmer and Philip Wylie’s When Worlds Collide, the exact same plot as 2012 (2009), everything is cliche, a Wonder Woman fetish person, the electrodes on the skin does it for Will, he’s getting a little tingle, that black knife, if it had been 1 hour long, somebody other than Ray Cummings, we learned something, there’s a reason he’s receded, what made pulps disposable, fiction magazines are sort of gone, alternate history, time travelers bring Kalashnikov to South during the U.S. Civil War, Adaptation by Mack Reynolds, how bad John W. Campbell was, a communist getting purchased by a fascist, a red brown alliance, not actually a fascist, Black Man’s Burden, Samuel Delaney is not a John W. Campbell writer, ornate?, do you believe a man at his word, he vibes with Mack Reynolds, colonial Africa, not trying to praise the white man, deep in his dementia, more New Wave than science fiction of the kind Weinbaum was doing, competing theses, a think piece that doesn’t and does resolve, a goofy concept, chill out for a few generations, the Aztec level of civilization at the time of Cortez’s contact, the Italian city states (late medieval early modern period), the Pedagog, state socialism or free market capitalism, the power goes to their heads, the natives run them out of town, a planned economy vs. a free market economy, it argues with the idea that only American style colonialism is good, productivism, forces of production Marxism, the natives appreciate, we’ll consider joining you, the capitalists and the socialists team up, free nations, science fiction writers for an against the Vietnam War, Howard vs. Lovecraft, the origins and the results and what it means for human nature, barbarism vs. civilization, Robert A. Heinlein, is barbarianism our natural state?, competing in the same pages, this story is my argument, we’re after mercury and its being smuggled, why?, don’t care, the only woman at the bottom of the well, that’s why I’m going on this adventure, radiumized!, the Star Trek, Kirk on a motorcycle, Red Matter has nothing to do with science fiction, not idea struggling, what did Evan say about this story?, contextualize it for us?, empire maybe, Wizard In Glass: Dark Tower 4 by Stephen King, an agent of a declining state, fantasy Mexico, a 14 or 15 year old sexy and brave character, the concubine of the mayor, a frontier region secretly in rebellion against the Empire, cool Stephen King stuff, criminal frontier full of bandits, smugglers, science pirates!, lots here about technology and the state, Seeing Like A State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed by James C. Scott, a letter, Ray Cummings should stay in Ray Cummings’ grave, a Lovecraft explainer explainer, explaining Lovecraft to his or her liberal friends, Lovecraft Mythos explainer, this phenomenon, dig up the bones of a guy who was dead before their grandma is born, The Painful Threshold: Why We Can’t Stop Flogging Lovecraft’s Dead Bloated Corpse, why Lovecraft Country is good and Lovecraft is bad, fox spirits, a new Netflix series with a Henry Kuttner and two H.P. Lovecraft stories, Graveyard Rats, Cool Air and The Statement Of Randolph Carter, Guillermo del Toro, missing the class analysis, Bobby Derie, Jesse has never met a racist reader, what was his cat’s name, hahahah, at the end of the serial of Jetta, the Invisible X-Fliers, October 1930, 2021, the Anti-War Department of the United States of Department, the defense department, mechanical invisibility, many men, great scientific discoveries, a new combination of older seemingly impractical knowledge, steal all the right stuff, making the inefficient efficient, almost no role in the book, bending of light rays, the cloaking device from Star Trek, the Martel Effects, two real kinds of currents, pseudoscience technobabble, camouflage style invisibility, Jack London’s rip off of The Invisible Man, Discover is Star Trek and Star Trek is science fiction, warp drive, not totally void of ideas, spore drive, warp drive, transwarp drive, transwarp conduits, the journey to get to the story, The Devil In The Dark, the last of her kind, mining some shit that doesn’t exist, silicon based life form and can we exist with a native population are two radical ideas, mind melds aren’t real, “NO KILL I”, Konglish, bringing in the Klingons again, bringing in the Romulans again, as if Spock is a traitor, who cares about Romulans?, there’s nothing there, we’ve dug you up we’ve had your cadaver trial and found you wanting, she liked to look at pictures in a book, I don’t know about this reading stuff, he’s black (with no skin and a republican too?), Todd McFarlane, blew up the comics industry, too obvious?, no secret keys to the name, a Volkswagen named after the character?, designed to be disposable.
Talked about on today’s show:
2016, a French economist, economic theory, Capitalism In The 24th Century, the other famous French economist (Thomas Piketty), Nobel adjacent, the dismal science, kinda light in every, Debt The First 5000 Thousand Years by David Graber, the bluecheks and their moms and dads, a class of people, the ones who benefit from all the productivity gains, the present, the narrator, Oliver Wyman, Discord, running a D&D campaign for his kid, he was fabulous, mispronouncing Risa and Garak, a problem from four years ago, a fan of pretty much everything, comics, computer games, A Fall Of Moondust by Arthur C. Clarke, a Star Trek sex book, a CBC interview, Evan is a historian, lay the evidence on thick, you need a fair amount, the H.P. Lovecraft thing, writing long, the chapter on the tragedy of the commons, if it was the only episode, the wormhole, other commons issues, a popular book, funded almost like a kickstarter, the New York Times review, Paul Krugman, Isaac Asimov’s Psychohistory, a smart stupid person, he used to have some sort of argument, the class that he’s in, he wanted to be Hari Seldon, a tame soft, foundationally shaking, laying out all the evidence, 20 episodes talked about in any sort of detail, Arena, very light on everything he touches on, the footnotes, go with it, why the PDF is kind of useful, not strictly true, other episodes, an entertaining book, breaking into how different part of the Trek universe economy could work, isn’t this interesting, sorta-kinda-maybe for the future, The Science of Sci-Fi, the Science of Trek, weak economics, a decent freshman class, The People’s Republic Of Walmart, a couple of mentions, use this book as a template, given its boring cover, a very successful book, what did he do right, the prelude, making it personal, why is this important to him?, taken through that, compared to the material in the book, the way you should do it, write it from Riker’s point of view, angry about his twin brother (Thomas Riker), Imzadis And Isotopes, sex between species and with robots, how we never see Ferengnar, Rom and Quark, practicing business, the great scenes, taking bribes every three seconds, this woman is dressed, mother get undressed immediately, we regulate women’s dress, in Saudi Arabia or British Columbia, women barebreasted, the French banning burkinas on beaches, get that burkina off, Rom is very close to his moogie, head on his naked lap, this is very interesting, Evan’s sex book is going to be way better than this book, its going to be great, if this all it takes, a very easy recipe, cut it off at a certain date, there’s no sex in Discovery (there’s sexual politics), Burnham and that Klingon human thing, some kind of relationship, working on puzzles, accept that its not Star Trek, the J.J. Abrams movies, they’re entertaining, what looks like entertainment, its not Star Trek because the characters have the motivations of petty teenagers from the 20th century, so chill with everything, they take the counselor’s advice seriously, Data’s in command of the Enterprise, finally, a weird episode, not consistent, exceptions, the Enterprise D, like Vulcans, Saadia’s argument, the Star Trek films up to VI, Kirk is racist, out of Roddenberry’s control, some fun stuff but a bad film, acting out of character, a fish out of water, why that first Star Trek film feels so cold, very Isaac Asimov, a souffle, very fluffy material, there’s some flavour, way to much time on GPS and not enough on the Internet, the distribution of digital goods, he’s right, government funded military projects, a fluffy outline, who the audience is supposed to be, conservative Star Trek plans, a social democrat, a red diaper baby, who would otherwise support more conservative policies, we’re not the audience for this book, a lot depends on the equation, a modest growth in productivity, the average worker would be making 60 times what they’re making now, the expansion of productive capacity, 500 million people elevated to the middle class in China, inequality, the transition, maybe one day, Paul blew through it, very easy listening, well written, I didn’t expect this to go full Kim Stanley Robinson’s Aurora, this book has disappointed you, he made the point so lightly, in the light of that long conservation, what’s wrong with this book, THIS MEANS THIS, this clip from Sisko and Jake have constructed a Kontiki style solar sail ship, Jake and his dad have a conversation about, I beamed in at 630 every night, you must have used up a month’s worth of transporter credits, making notes, he didn’t get on Netflix and go through everything, not the definitive word on Star Trek’s economy at all, the Star Trek Communist, very Star Trek positive, Trotskyist are natural opportunists, this book is for or by Paul Krugman, on the level of Paul Krugman, Leigh Phillips, Michal Rozworski, the animated series didn’t exist, Ferengi is the plural, cringey, messing up the interpretation of Arena, the War in the Pacific, the original story by Fredric Brown, Eric Rabkin, the imperial Japanese war flag, the United States fighting Japan, Knock, with aliens, a dog knocking on the door, it could be a woman, the only original Star Trek episode credited to an original story?, a metaphor for something that’s really going on, the Klingons and the Romulans, Romulans are the unknown enemy, not so great stereotypes, how the Romulans are introduced, we get to see them as the audience, a lot like something we already know, they change over time, now allies, Wesley Crusher, a first season goof, Jesse thinks he’s a supergenius, boy this guy’s great, Jesse has a point here man, interesting design mirroring, we’re looking at ourselves, that mirror to us, the Paul Krugman part, as the years go by, we can change ourselves, our being in the neighbourhood, we can lead by example, original series attacks on the Vietnam War are subtle, a jujitsu metaphor, what makes good science fiction, distorted mirrors, no preaching, just showing, given heft for the book, Paul wasn’t crazy, the Neutral Zone, conflict free, Trekonomics II would be 3 pages long, dismissed as entertaining, Enterprise or Voyager, Red Matter, the Science of Star Trek, is there a single Voyager mention?, the hologram doctor, a post scarcity culture in position of scarcity, they never use the Maquis shuttlecraft, fabricating shuttlecraft, what can we give you?, libraries, copying data, how does the Federation trade with other cultures, studying for a long time, focused on Deep Space Nine, there’s something economics related every episode, shooting darts at Quarks, money to be made in Fetish holodeck programs, not mentioned in this book: copyright, patents, the reputation economy, Bashir is up for a science prize, reputation is good, those holosuite programs, audiobooks and pdfs are post-scarcity, I get whuffie, the cost is clicking on it, the kind of pay Quark is talking about, crowdfunded?, credits that aren’t real, infinitely abundant, to deal with other economies, Jake Sisko isn’t joking, UBI, Mack Reynolds, Utopia In The Year 2000?, Looking Backward again?, the real problem now is not enough important work for people, guaranteed universal income, Commune 2000 AD, great idea, a good speculation, why there arent guys flying around in their own ships, Harry Mudd, the replicator gap, not full Trekonomics, Sisko’s girlfriend, dilithium crystals, rare materials, Kai Wynn, argricultural products, look good for the federation, post-scarcity food, not post-scarcity on housing, housing justice, there are solutions, podcasts, audiobooks, knowledge, clothing, access to knowledge vs. knowledge, Jerry Pournelle, by the year 2000, the thing that make it, getting this PDF, web-fu, the way to ask the right questions, google has an agenda, its not google, duckduckgo, bing, the scandals, delisting torrents, every day they delist, depromote, artificially promote, preventing access to post-scarcity knowledge, very light, too disposable, there there, as wishy washy, Oliver Wyman to the narration, Garak and Risa, his Picard was pretty good, not publishable, doing too much, some mean and some mean, yeah!, Will out of the woodwork, not the average kind of mean, meanness is important, not something you throw away, Rom is too much like his dad, their relationship, made too soft by his mom, how Riker had only a dad, his dad was an asshole, he’s got the swagger, the sex book is going to be a really good book, how many siblings they have, Lwaxana Troi, dilettante lifestyle, chase after husbands, ambassadorships, anybody can apply to be an ambassador, broken in a positive way, Worf’s kid, a weird sexy aunt, half-human and half-worfian, Imzadi by Peter David, how Riker and Troi first met, when you’re a mother, the gender book, there’s so much there, a great economics book to be taken out of it, a third of the density it should be, when is the meat going to come?, one big mistake, the Ferengi chapter, do they really become social democrats, the Grand Nagus, progressive on gender issues, Rom as the new Grand Nagus, Evan’s fantasy alternative universe, CBS, Star Trek: Grand Nagus Rom, reforms, right to unionize, a reactionary sexist society, with a foreigner wife in a sexist society, Cardassian refugees, how do you effect change in a society that doesn’t really want it?, how most Ferengi are, as long as she’s naked its okay, Leeta walking around naked?, simple, facile, need more Will on this, a Liberal book, where Liberalism starts to bleed into Democratic Socialism, the Fabian Society, the educated classes, revolutionary rupture, they think they’re smart, the purpose of this book, abolishing poverty, the educated reader is kinda dumb, an American audience, written for American intellectuals, I beleive in science, embracing the government giving away free stuff, its purposes, if rich people today owned a replicator would they give it away?, no., what Star Trek is, everyone is an angel (is built into it), how this hurts the drama, this book’s fundamental purpose if flawed, a rigorous piece of writing, a jumping off point, a Trekonomics podcast, episodes cited, 22 episodes of TNG, Unification, Chain Of Command, Jesse wasn’t qualified a minute ago, a very interesting topic, a rich universe, they randomly showed up next in the sequence, I, Mudd, exiled to a planet of androids, they can’t love, swap the enterprise crew with androids, you can download my brain into an android, this is the best, what will humanity be in a post-scarcity society?, a humourus episode, he didn’t watch this episode, he didn’t do a watch threw, except Discovery, do your homework, the chapters, Money Went The Way Of The Dinosaurs, Why Is Everyone So Worried About Holograms Taking Over The Galaxy?, The Meaning OF Work in Star Trek, Tea Earl Grey Hot (The Replicator), Only A Fool Would Stand In The Way Of Progress, Garrett Hardin and the Tragedy Of The Commons, a terrible episode, bold and interesting, how why?, the wormholes a better model, why didn’t the Federation, if they’re a serious empire, this is the Panama Canal or Suez, all of WWII’s North Africa Campaign, Gibraltar and Suez, Canadian peacekeepers, why the US government is interfering in Egyptian elections, Israel’s flex, the Federation really is goody-two-shoes, an unimportant starbase, if this were realpolitik, Section 31, existential threats to the Federation, the Tal Shiar and the Obsidian Order, a realpolitik going on, once you get promoted to admiral, don’t do it, don’t do that again!, I was under orders, O’Brien has to work for 8 hours, Wolf 359, I will have to court martial you or promote you, orders are not mandatory in Starfleet, think for yourself, you should disobey bad orders, in this world they’ve constructed, when Kirk disobeys in Star Trek III, demoted to Captain, Red Letter Media, disobeyed direct orders, he saved the Earth so forget about those crimes he did, primitive societies, Jared Diamond, mocking leaders, all power comes from the barrel of the gun, Mao, fundamental political principles, the Golan Globus Theater, a kickboxing movie, a force of police, you are in charge if they obey your orders, a starship doing busywork, self-sealing stembolts, why Trump was a good president (he was so incompetent he couldn’t get much done), taking away the mask, kick your clown class upstairs and take away their actual powers, you can be an artist, Picard thinks he’s meeting his son, we were tricked!, rock climbing in some cave system, between jobs, a petty criminal, a Federation colony world, bumming around Europe, the majority of the Federation citizen lives, sells is a metaphor, Wellington, New Zealand, a lifestyle career, I’m a professional writer, a publisher paid him no money, learning the ropes, nautical phrases, that weekly poker game, when the chips have no consequence in poker, if they were playing for holodeck time, can’t we play something else this week?, scarcity in holodeck time, all the teenagers on the Enterprise are first in line, there’s no lineups for holodecks, Ice Pirates (1984), sex on a beach, characters who were single children, the Vulcan’s aren’t having that many kids, sexually declining population, Deanna has no siblings, Deanna Troi’s alien baby, lots of sex, both red shirts, human women are too weak for me, Worf’s college years, Dax injures Worf during sex, Ezri, a hate listen, Our Opinions Are Correct, Birth Control In The Future, egg people and sperm people, the way Star Trek deals with birth control, if Troi is on the pill, an IUD?, is Riker got an on off sterilization pill?, triracial isolates, they ended up Irish, a good episode, bangs Riker, a good episode for the sex book, high tech Amish, dealing with pills, your turned off, a hypo-thing, I’ll turn you back on when you’re ready to reproduce, how is this possible, an abortion conversation, Worf is pro-abortion, what the episode is largely about, The Paradise Syndrome, the Indian lady, a son he didn’t know about he wants to spread those space seeds, The Mark Of Gideon, the Doomsday Clock book, The Population Bomb, what’s wrong with the intellectual media, this this this, seize on a thing, telling all their friends about it, keep beating those dead horses, Malthus, the 80s popular book: Our Angry Earth by Isaac Asimov and Frederik Pohl, they’re not wrong, a couple of centuries, demographic transition, 100 years 6 kids to 3 kids, it took China 10 years, too few people, Japan’s suffering, we’ll figure it out, Quark falls in love with a trans-sexual?, like Twelfth Night, passing, fake ears, definitely female, sexually aggressive towards Quark, we should be doing business, she was attracted to his lobes, locked up women, locked out of shopping for clothes, the Ferengi birth rate, controlling female Ferengi bodies, done for laughs, a menacing villain with whips, slavery, sold into indentured servitude, a kind of cultural oppression, Bajorans worshiping all day long, a Thanksgiving episode of Deep Space Nine, episodic, season by season, plant the seeds early, we can extrapolate, matched for the enterprise, equal in power to theirs, what a Daimon is, all of that stuff should have been in this book, all the Trek books, A Rules Of Acquisition Audiobook, kind a long for a book so short on Ferengi stuff, Interstellar Capitalists, half the book should have been Ferengis, and a third replicators, what latinum is worth, no holodeck on the Defiant, a holobunk?, like Riker watching people playing, read books, chamber music, Beverly Crusher putting on a play, Captain Jellico, because he’s an asshole, from 3 shifts to 4 shifts, how cops do it, more leisure time, he can have a bigger crew, have meaningful work, where Picard falls in love with his stellar cartographer, what Riker and Picard is worried about, Jake’s buddy Nog, I wanna be your apprentice, he doesn’t give the money back, the only way to be bribed is by your earnestness, Quark pays the station rent, c’mon man, replicate tons of gold pressed latinum, an act of war, they werent invented but they were around, ends the Ferengi threat, what kind of a threat are they, even Enterprise, when Starfleet was just formed, hidden, Discovery is not really worth talking about, every society has secret police, harsh lessons for Paul, all the new secret polices, Homeland Security, I wanna be droned by women, if she’s a lesbian or a transsexual, I don’t want a white cis-gendered man to drone me, Jesse killed the show, Gina Haspel was a woman (torturer), don’t you want to see women empowered (to torture people), why it was successful book, is that what it was attempting to accomplish?, who doesn’t like talking about Star Trek, he could have made some goddamn notes, brag about not doing the reading, a posturing thing, more tragic, Oliver Wyman can’t sleep because of mispronouncing Garak, Evan doesn’t like being called out for his podcast mistakes, a decent number of Deep Space Nine episodes, 6 Voyager episodes, Enterprise has slavery, all of Star Trek being about Heinlein, Space Cadet by Robert A. Heinlein, slamming Space Cadet, Solution Unsatisfactory, Heinlein is really dealing with issues in the world, Roddenberry is engaging with Heinlein, the Asimov quotes, a positron brain = Asimov, Foundation is pretty fucking weak, comparing this book to Wastelands by W. Scott Poole, if Star Trek Communist did the introduction or foreward to this book, everything is communism, there needs to be see some real criticism, how we get from where we are to where we need to be, 1848, The Communist Manifesto, a layabout german, Das Kapital, most of his history, original scans, people change stuff, and nobody fucking cares, Wayne June has changed the text of The Rats In The Walls, Mr. Blackman vs. Mr. Niggerman, its what was written, you don’t change Mark Twain’s words, he’s busy being a dad, sleepless nights, the queer subtext between Bashir and Garak, sexual perversion, interest in torture, a Garak chapter, S&M and the Cardassian Union, impact play, consensual Klingon rage, Cardassian female head spoons are blue, they paint it? like lipstick, a visual sign of estrus, fighting with O’Brien, fighting = flirting, the sperm people and the egg people, anybody can breed with anybody else, we don’t see any half Cardassians half humans around, it might be lipstick, natural skin tone, watching the spoon colours, Garak being gay, Dukat’s daughter, he’s bisexual, he presents as gay, she’s the only Cardassian, any Cardassian in a storm, he has one with Odo too, overt romance, impacting the plot, the Kira Odo relationship, all of them, Marx book order, the first in the series, notebooks, Das Kapital, Four Futures: Life After Capitalism by Peter Frase, what if Jesse shits all over the book?, I don’t want to make people mad, get at the truth, a good narrator and a friend of mine, as long as the book doesn’t suck, The Sowers Of The Thunder by Robert E. Howard, The Hound by H.P. Lovecraft.
Talked about on today’s show:
a fairly big H. Beam Piper fan, Alec Nevela-Lee’s Astounding, James Blish, M.C. Pease, what stature does and did it have, “a classic”, pretty interesting, almost completely public domain, he shot himself in the head 1964, project gutenberg, LibriVox, an artificial understanding of Piper’s popularity, outsized, Little Fuzzy, Asimov, a minor piece?, what is a classic?, deserving of respect, the progressive elements, a female scientist without a romance subplot, a mixed nationality crew, Turko-German, exploring history, a really cool aspect, a character arc, Salim Von Ohmhorst, an old Hittite expert, a lot to get interested in, huge for a no-name, best understood as a cult author, a place in the cannon, Murder In The Gunroom, his obsession, smoking, such little hands, oiling the gun, smoking while handling artifacts, Mack Reynolds, John Scalzi’s rewriting of Little Fuzzy, a re-imagining, a reboot, short stories don’t sell, a nice tight focus, the perfect length, an example of why Astounding isn’t total shit, c’mon man, telepathy can’t travel in time?, he was a speculator, what he purchased was what he was arguing for, a story about science, archaeology, linguistics, how we got Linear-B, how we got Egyptian hieroglyphics, we all share the same atomics, reading Martian, on the level of Tolkien, a hard SF masterpiece about social science, hard soft SF, The Riddle Of The Labyrinth by Margalit Fox, Arthur Evans, Philip K. Dick, poor Will, web 1.0, there was good stuff on the internet before YouTube, the young whippersnappers of this world, the amazing thing it was to be able to talk to a person who knew a ton of shit pre-internet, people who read a lot of books, Wilhelm II, Albert Speer, this is what H. Beam Piper is, infodumps about history and technology, James Burke (the guy from Connections) super-useful, they read a book a long time ago, what if the Martians came to the planet Earth, the caption: Man chopping wood, only had one good arm, a long line of Kaisers, in exiles because of Nazis, mustache, queen, they just discovered the Martian internet and they can’t figure out how to type in queries, what this story is really about, this story is about Jesse, why things are happening the way they are, the Martians don’t have to deal with copyright problems, the audio drama, a metallurgy magazine or a sexy stories magazine, Spicy Adventure Stories, Spicy Mystery, what the dash between Spicy and Adventure, separate units, what does it linguistically mean, Famous Fantastic Mysteries, another meaning of mysteries, mysteries as marvels, Fantastic Novels, what does the word novels, they were a new thing 500 years ago, essay writing, an essay is an attempt, a try, trying to communicate a series of thoughts, do or do not there is no try, a patron, maybe incestuous, thank you to Connor, studying German, Der Orchideengarten, translating German poetry into English poetry, a dream project, I’m in it for the politics, I wanna be famous, this is what I am now, I’m a Weinbaum guy, I’m a martian metallurgy guy, finding meaning in discovery, the Indus civilization people, what bridge?, Lord Kalvan Of Otherwhen, his hobbies, he was a nightwatchman, the metathings, a self-taught guy, his grasp on academia, bickering rivalries, unlike his editor (John W. Campbell), the court case in Little Fuzzy, a fun book, some grammatically questionable choices, a very action oriented writer, a dynamic approach to his prose writing, assembling the micro jigsaw puzzle, very scanny, why you need to scan, the paper just falls apart, chipping, replacing letters, we don’t know what the actual word was, I did what I always wanted to do as a kid, they’re scanners, someday someone will figure out what it means, hundreds of thousands of pages, a treasure that we all need to have access to, denying someone access to the internet is a crime, for scholars of every kind, we need to preserve that information, all these space-marines on Mars, the post war buildup, one of those guys left in Europe in 1946, the recovery, if you look at the art, on page 24, a second pass through, a Martian life-form, a mammal, a bird-like creature, a bigger project than just the people we’re seeing, mobilizing the armies of Earth, Asimov or Heinlein or Anderson, Paratime, Man came from Mars, sitting at the keystone, Philip Jose Farmer, the obsession with linguistics, the everyman who read a bunch of books, Two Hawks From Earth, a Europe dominated by American Indian cultures, simpatico qualities, a better craftsman, Farmer had a longer career, repackaging pulp heroes, if its cutesy and fun and interesting (and anthropological), Star Trek’s Measure Of A Man, Jerry Was A Man, the hyperchicken lawyer from Futurama, a simple hyperchicken lawyer, a backwoods asteroid, Clarence Darrow but a chicken, Picard is not a science fiction TV show, Futurama, CHUDS, exploring all the tropes of science fiction, Buck Rogers, the whole premise is a ripoff, Buck Rogers, Looking Backward by Edward Bellamy, Disenchanted, one of the few Netflix shows that’s good, how language shifts in the story, a very lyrical passage, the purple tinged copper sky, what had been burying the city for the last fifty-thousand years, a couple of repeated descriptions, made immediate and very present, Farmer was more fanboy than craftsman, supporting a family, more stable, there’s a lot of stuff in this story, did they add a scene?, why does it stand out more in the audio drama, hear the shock and amazement, more distant in the text, the Atlanta Radio Theatre Company, some Heinlein, a 2009 recording, a reporter’s dispatches, Babylon 5, xenoarchaeology, recounting how these discoveries happened, they didn’t loose their meaning, meaning doesn’t evaporate, how could this exist?, a whole world opens up, that unlocking, all the Roman novels, The Golden Ass, a Roman villa near Pompeii, a charcoal-like, smouldered rather than combusted, pieced together from charcoal, a bundle of carbonized scroll, recycled as firelighters, a nice clean flame, burning Roman literature, Harry Turtledove, overawe the locals, Agora (2009), Hypatia of Alexandria, it looks like a blockbuster style, the strongly religious, a touchy figure, witchburnings before witchburnings, a surveyor in the background, a symbol, scientific symbols, the guy in the turban, symbolic of what is coming, her heads, her pencil, when the archaeologist are called in real life, bulldozing shit, some law, why they’re there, that’s all coming, the interior illustrations by Frank Kelly Freas, the scan on Project Gutenberg, in its pulpy glory, our heroine needs oxygen, worries about it being about Martians, a Martian version of Astounding, not fiction because it had science in the title, Analog, digital sounds more futuristic, that metaphor, a big joke, the nature of the paragraphs, making fun of John W. Campbell’s editorials on twitter, a thread, just thinking it through, fill those pages up, Lester del Rey was bad at it, being a weekly columnist, essay writing, what word count is, why is this paragraph suddenly changing, it turned out to be about metallurgy, predecessor and antecedent, Arthur C. Clarke’s The Star, the kids these don’t read Clarke, a Jesuit on a spaceship, a radioactive beacon, something terrible, it’s shaken my faith to its core, the supernova that was the star of Bethlehem, Jesse feels like a super-genius, Mark VI, the best episode of The Next Generation: The Inner Light, the meaning is there to be discovered, be enriched, it’s about treasure, don’t you want to share my treasure?, don’t lock it down Gollum, Rendezvous With Rama, Jack McDevitt, L.E. Modesitt, 250 degrees below zero, The Sentinel, not the greatest way, modern archaeological adjacent, Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s Diving Into The Wreck, Babylon 5 comic book that’s in canon, web 1.0, The Lurker’s Guide To Babylon 5, DC comics, Garabaldi, new Star Trek, Star Wars, no Mara Jade, the Timothy Zahn Thrawn books, working for Thrawn in Tie Fighter, all going over Will’s head, Dan Simmons’ Hyperion, again backwards, Nightfall by Isaac Asimov, suffering cycles, every 1400 years, Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle’s The Mote In God’s Eye, why archaeology is important, what’s the history of what we did, what did mom do?, mom put all my comic books in the basement!, the science fiction tropes, imperialist literature, imperialist fantasy literature, King Solomon’s Mines, She is kind of about archaeology, the same burning, finding what was and coming back with it, baked in from the beginning, weird archaeology, conspiracy Qanon stuff for archaeological stuff, clearly this was cut with a circular saw, were pretty sure this is batteries in ancient Babylon, electroplating?, did they do that? Antikythera mechanism, Archimedes’ death ray, Hephaestus, a mechanical owl, only the records, Archimedes’ screw, Greek fire, one way to interest boys: teach them nuclear bombs, your biggest is getting a whole lot of Uranium, that knowledge is available to everybody, nobody writes it down, In Our Time: The Tale Of Sinuhe, Lovecraft wrote more than we have, Evan Lampe, Some Notes On Fairyland, if we had more we would have more, newspapers are designed to be ephemeral, were lucky to have anything, enslave and poison, native labourers, the soldiers are the cheap labour, very mixy, worried about ghosts, a couple of lines, it feels kind of eerie, The Scarlet Plague by Jack London, his grandkids, we sheltered in the university for a while, ravishing the grounds, trying to hold back the horror, don’t let the infected come in, The Mask Of The Red Death, the mystery of what killed the Martians, like Barsoom, the story isn’t really about the death of the Martians, the potential of all those books, is it a reflection of what’s going to happen to us, a robust and powerful society because we have magazine, have you seen Time magazine lately?, oh good, what’s cool about Star Trek…, its about the process of understanding another language, that’s all that it’s really about, it isn’t a metaphor, it isn’t a simile, its about the process, its about the progress, if you have the records, finding the meaning, the value of coming at things from different perspectives, Gloria Standish, they’re kind of like us, a linguist by inclination, the periodic table in the classroom, even moreso than the mural, SETI, the Ted Chiang story, the Voyager prob, Arrival (2016), Story Of Your Life, we should practice on sea mammals, symbolical thoughts, listening to the whales, they riff off of each other, Olaf Stapledon’s A World Of Sound, Peter And The Wolf, each character has a theme, he falls asleep, like in Francis Stevens’ The Elf Trap, Fitz James O’Brien’s The Diamond Lens, Pygmalion’s Spectacles by Stanley G. Weinbaum, spend more time in the water, with the dolphins, hula-hoop oriented, Alex the african grey parrot, “What matter?”, there’s no culture there, communicating with your dog, walkies?, why are you always doing that with your foot?, we don’t have it, we need to find a way to be dolphins, Wild Seed by Octavia Butler, metaphorical grammar, we could talk to animals, we’ll see, talking to vs. talking with, the purest joy, he’s got stuff to say, emotions he wants to communicate, this dumb creature, much more isolated, an orangutan at the zoo washing her hands, there’s gotta be something between them, thrushes singing so much, whales are singing love songs to each other, something to do cuz you got no hands, dogs only have the one hand, it’s the mouths, we have three mouths, only one of them is for eating, we’re fucking aliens to dogs, we’re the long lived elves to the dogs short lived humans, theyre controling us, we’re definitely the bad guys in their scenarios, Lawrence M. Schoen’s Barsk, uplift, Zecharia Sitchin, they taught us so much, the ancient astronauts stuff, it makes cultural sense, Christianity by other means, look at the records, we have these artificats, The Faithful by Lester del Rey, a breaky in halfy story, David Brin, he did it all in nine pages, give the nuclear codes to the dogs and cats, if you tame something you’re responsible for it, The Little Prince, LibriVox, the ancient aliens need to give us UBI, a very fruitful book, a female protagonist, lotsa girls, they’re not women, give it a break, we don’t call eachother men, whatever dude, smoking cigarettes, things that should be scolded.
The SFFaudio Podcast #522 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, Marissa VU, Evan Lampe and Amy H. Sturgis talk about Astounding: John W. Campbell, Isaac Asimov, Robert A. Heinlein, L. Ron Hubbard, and the Golden Age of Science Fiction by Alec Nevala-Lee
Talked about on today’s show:
Alex Nevala-Lee, a book and an audiobook, thinking about legacies, thinking about audiobooks before, the original cool guy, adorable, its nice to be read to, 100 pages of footnotes, Evan, your book doesn’t exist as an audiobook, nobody wants to read anymore, Evan’s gotten to the stage, reading history books, non-fiction is so good on audio, rekindling pleasure, everything is cited, really he said that?, “Fuck, Eando Binder!”, “lambasted dianetics”, its all cited, 13 hours, not padded, way too long, more about their sexual problems, wife-swappin’ again, a problem for a lot of books, so easy to read, just have a little listen, so engrossing, so well written, The Amazing, The Astounding, And The Unknown by Paul Malmont, the Navy yard, commentary on the stories, I Will Fear No Evil, John W. Campbell is important, Ben Bova, two confusing awards, Hugo Gernsback needs his own version of this, the one person who is completely missing from this book is H.G. Wells, Olaf Stapledon, Arthur C. Clarke, what about this?, Jesse’s complaints are not very legit, The Return Of William Proxmire by Larry Niven, modern science fiction, the intellectual historian, markets for genres, the 20s-30s-40s, the Cold War, turn towards nativism, a profound effect, the Science Fiction League, a self-aware community, WWII, a fledgling dialogue, this revolution, connecting SF with science, Microcosmic God, this is on Campbell, distinctly American?, issues sent as ballast to the UK, all the foreign editions of Astounding, the British fanzines, Hugo was nuts for electronics, we’re going to invent our own televisions, home amateurs, ham radio operators, the science fiction reader, Tom Swift, the edisonade, fertile soil, the radio boys, Electronic Experimenter, a pulp fiction collection, reading Amazing vs. reading Astounding, technical drawings and weird editorials, not only space opera, The Electrical Experimenter, Larry Niven, they’re weird dudes, a pathetic figure, a tragedy, a mire of pseudoscience, Asimov’s biography, Heinlein’s letters, no no, a horror suspense movie, uplifting, it worked on Heinlein, Asimov was his own little being, the tragedy is coming, blind spots and prejudices, good fiction and good science, the new wave, Harlan Ellison, Ursula K. Le Guin, a machine for generating analogies, he’s given them the tools to push back against him, still influential, descent into pseudoscience and self delusion, Asimov’s preface to Dangerous Visions, we’re the squares, the passing of the torch, the sexual revolution, a cultural revolution vibe, Asimov was a square, “I fuck a lot, man.”, almost sexless, The Gods Themselves, weird alien sex, Heinlein’s weirdness, a lot of revealing things, the role of the wives, a biography of Kay (Catherine) Tarrant, spelling the names, Campbell wasn’t needed, behind the scenes, Astounding is so important, still under copyright, Heinlein getting mad at Campbell, Philip K. Dick has one story in Astounding, what’s going on?, Impostor, Campbell wanted superhumans, The Golden Man, a superhuman idiot, writing in reaction to it, Galaxy Magazine, H.L. Gold’s aesthetic, Campbell didn’t take Alfred Bester!, a gatekeeper, Frederik Pohl, how important The Cold Equations is, you have to keep re-writing this until you get it right, what it does, this is what we are talking about, this is how far we can go, a Star Trek story, here is an episode of something that we can imagine happening, Nightfall by Isaac Asimov, what Campbell was aiming at, a study in what editors can do, seeding the same idea multiple times, turning Asimov down, how would that intelligence work?, a black POV character, a leap of imagination, racism and homophobia as compartmentalization, Dune World by Frank Herbert, Mack Reynolds, Black Man’s Burden, Commune: 2000, the problem is scarcity (there is none, except in jobs), universal basic income, it didn’t matter to you that the kid was Filipino, what the difference between a rationalists and empiricists, here’s how drunk driving should work, you’re not clear yet, a technical journal, that’s not how science works, how science works, grinding lenses, Verne -> submarines, Wells -> warplanes, Campbell -> atom bombs, science fiction leading the science, a legacy, Rocket Ship Galileo, Tom Swift in the Rocket Age, Nancy Drew is not the same, Nazis on the moon, action fun excitement, Elon Musk, pushing in all directions, badly inspired, Paul Krugman, Asimov’s Foundation series, a weird tension, the scientific approach to all things, psychology, a desire to make everything scientific, A.E. Van Vogt, enough to be dangerous, enthusiasm for the ideas didn’t follow through to the methodology, we can make this science too, Hubbard had no interest in science (or science fiction, really), Heinlein’s failing, Asimov was a sexual asshole, a tragic figure, Heinlein falls for Hubbard because he had a uniform, a lying used car salesman, cults, its not about your intelligence, lacking critical thinking, charisma doesn’t translate from the page, judging eyes, I no longer trust you, the worst insult Heinlein could ever give anybody, broken legs and gonorrhea, the asshole sections of Jesse’s email, Heinlein was really blinded by patriotism, the Vietnam War, we need a renaissance for the Heinlein juveniles, Farnham’s Freehold makes a lot more sense now, trying to make a point about Campbell being wrong, hopeful commentary, not including Hubbard, the serpent in the garden, transformative, “the competent man”, competitors and community members, we’re doing something that’s important, the conversations we’re having are important, they hung together for decades, personal loyalty, trolls, the story of the first Worldcon, women nurturing men who were nurturing other men, Donald A. Wollheim was a better troll than anyone living today, contributing something positive, Mimic, he bought a lot of Philip K. Dick, Asimov as a youth, your idea of heaven, the power of picking up one of these magazines, the one thing missing from this book is the history of the covers, the art, fill the space, a little bit of technology, pitch me three new magazine, Weird Tales, tiny little things, when H.P. Lovecraft turns down the editorship of Weird Tales, what would we have or what would we be missing?, a magazine with a legacy, Elon Musk is a Heinleinian character, old letters pages are fossils, D.D. Harriman, The Man Who Sold The Moon, a trap, not hard enough on the Soviets!, a whole lifetime of a really complicated human being, the whole point, the functionalist stuff sounds like Campbell, creativity doesn’t work that way, how writing works, The Trouble With Tribbles, everything is in reaction, H.G. Wells doesn’t seem to have a massive precursor, The Time Machine, Last And First Men, Olaf Stapledon, Starmaker, those men are heroes, page 370 and 371, Barry M. Malzberg, sympathize with his critics, the question of victimization, a problem solving medium, not everyone is a hero, the way science fiction is today, science fiction should explore everything, schlubs, we all live in a world that’s increasingly become science fictional, Wells’ heroes are assholes, the New Wave pushes back against the Campbellian revolution, J.G. Ballard, mistrust of the meta-narrative, setting up things that come later, wanting 15 other books to be written, a companion volume on the Futurians, creating editors, Judith Merrill, here’s another community, C.M. Kornbluth, glimpses, Arena by Fredric Brown, The Orville is new Star Trek: The Next Generation, the a plot and the b plot, season 8 Next Generation, Enemy Mine, Hell In The Pacific, Lee Marvin, no alien movie, Star Trek, Deep Space Nine, Enterprise, Space: 1999, The Most Dangerous Game, Predator, somebody sitting around, Gilgamesh and Enkidu, the b-plot, The Corbamite Maneuver, The Kobayashi Maru, Amy’s Looking Back At Genre History, Microcosmic God by Theodore Sturgeon, always asking questions, how do you know, a meta-story, it’s about what happens when you read Astounding, Sandkings by George R.R. Martin is a retelling of Microcosmic God, Dragon’s Egg by Robert L. Forward, Hal Clement, science fiction luminaries, missing an ode to Hal Clement, the chapter titles, Who Goes There?, it doesn’t give you what you want, Don A. Stuart, Twilight, two types of storytellers, historical narratives, a remarkable achievement, history is a pruning job, a really important book, more books just like this, every time we say “Astounding” take a drink, endnotes, bibliography, a gift that’s going to keep on giving, what happens after this, some editor discovered or promoted Dashiell Hammett, Black Mask, railroading magazines, westerns, isn’t Analog still going today?, finally why this magazine called Analog?, it’s a metaphor, Analog Science Fiction and Fact, factless, Willy Ley, trying to make the reality behind science fiction more real, giving writers a grounding, Asimov: what a man!, writers who are complaining about low pay rates, E.E. Doc Smith, the Dean drive, a reactionless space drive, more biographies of these pulp era mags, The World Of Nitrogen, The Realm Of Measures, Asimov On Numbers, super-clear writing, Campbell’s book of collected editorials, Lecherous Limericks, bra-snapping and carrying on, Annoted Gulliver’s Travels, a writing and learning machine, Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, mysteries, the joy of reading and the joy of writing, his mind was always elevator, that kind of curiosity is so rare, he wanted to know the answers to everything, a powerful force in reality, The End Of Eternity, a fun book.
Talked about on today’s show:
a socialist magazine, hardcover later that year, a response to something real, Looking Backward: 2000–1887 by Edward Bellamy, historical interest, as a historian would, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, lefties read it, Frederick Jameson, Marxism, post-modernism, An American Utopia, universal conscription, the actual plan, the military budget goes up every year, segmented by geography and class, how the army works, a planned economy, Americans fetishize the flag and the army, only the poor serve, leftist history writing, the importance of fiction, Bellamy clubs, Nationalism, confusing to 21st century folks, a fierce reaction against, an anti-centralized anti-industrial, anti-factory, scythes, beautifully crafted scythes, odious labour is automated, a different attitude towards labour, Rossetti, the lesbian fruit poem, Goblin Market, Eleanor Marx, why am I arguing with the book, all the problems he’s not addressing, the audio drama adaptation, force power, not coal powered, salmon spawning in the Thames, it is a beautiful thing, about beauty, “An Epoch Of Rest”, arguing against motivation to work, he hasn’t defined work very successfully, Mack Reynolds, hardcore socialist, here’s a novel, Equality In The Year 2000, everybody has degrees, guaranteed universal income, no crappy work, a problem of robotics, a lack of work is the problem, how striking, the serious problem is a lack of work, lazy bums, not enough quality work, the drudgery jobs are eliminated somehow, primitive communism, no invasion, no starvation, real issues, revolutions in every country of Europe, way to naive, he’s writing a utopia, least religious, Dante Alighieri, Nowhere = Utopia, articles about police brutality, the eight hour workweek, dynamiters imprisoned, The Anarchist, this is news, economics and foreign relations, Karl Marx, utopians as bourgeois, the world we live in is not the only possible world, the Greek polis, the nation state, the prison, capitalism, this doesn’t make any sense, talking past each other, there are alternatives, the world we live in is not written in stone, 500 years, Ernst Bloch, Kim Stanley Robinson, making sense of Henry Tudor’s world, Pacific Edge is an almost feasible science fiction utopia, the political situation, small problems, eliminating currency, making manifest, can you really get rid of currency, “everyone is an artist”, David Graeber, debt, three chickens for your cow, debt societies, my son really loves your daughter, debt relations, swapping around debts, made up, fancy ledgers, the lecture in the museum, getting a cutter, load up on surplus goods, great looking wine, very happy dudes, the big projects, rebuilding this cathedral, rebuilding this road, Che Guevara with a scythe, a fantasy, having utopia in our own life, Lasqueti Island, the back-to-the-land movement, the real economy there, Bryan’s homestead in Vermont, snow from October to May, shedding every 20th century technology, rural internet, 1800s technology, the Amish and the Mennonites, scale, Karl Schroeder, Britain is depopulated, mass produced arts and crafts wallpaper, J.R.R. Tolkien, hand carved wood, working with stone, hand mowing the hay, boats haven’t changed, the emotional appeal of it, thinking about health, chemotherapy, we live well, how long we live, crib-death, surgery without anesthetics, kidney stones, the childbirth thing, primitivist?, easier for men than for women, liberatory technology (for women), epidurals, fantasy novels gendered female, fantasy as pleasant imaginations of medieval world, 14th and 15th century style, contemporary back-to-the-land literature, The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver, Iain M. Bank’s culture novels, post-scarcity, assuming robotics, dishwashers and Roombas and autodocs, two ways to get to post-scarcity, post-Ice Age post-scarcity, Bellamy’s assumptions, the Chinese, until we’re all wealthy, Steen Hansen, I bet that guy was born wealthy, you can’t even conceive of this stuff, the trust-fund hippie, ramping up wealth inequality, Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. , upper middle class enlightenment through international travel, a historical vibe, the Clinton Democratic shift to the right, growing the economic, neo-primitivist, satisfied with what they have, the turn of the seasons, the anticipations graded finely, the turn to handicrafts, making and smoking pipes, finding meaning, little cheaty things, the exercise of vital powers, enjoyment in production, making that bread, that bread smell, that bread taste, something real, that utopian problem, the resisters, the refusers, the classic problem of utopia, your real skills, a race car driver, he’s completely forgotten the tragedy of the commons, where’s the violence, where’s the threat of violence, so fantastic it’s less believable than princess fantasy, a deep, deep claim, reforming the material conditions of life, the new Soviet man, their art, anti-communists, you can’t defy human nature, socio-biology, social arrangements, creationists, Jordan Peterson, women are more free to be nurses, women wanna be more nurturing, dudes like hitting each other with sticks, men like writing these utopian science fiction novels, Herland by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, progressive and fascinating and a utopia, 25 years later, sparking a love and aesthetic, The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, The Blazing World by Margaret Cavendish, women serving food, William Guest, his age is 56, the romance angle, Dick and Clara, risque for 1890, to “be together”, still problems in utopia, relationship stuff, the whole marriage thing, Mardi by Herman Melville, Typee and Omoo, copies of European states, a Christian utopia, following the girl, a critique of utopia, Melville’s early novels, a failed job interview, Evan’s podcast, American frontierism, going off to Oklahoma, going off to Nevada, getting back to history, Suspicious Persons, content setting up a kingdom for themselves, an anti-work thesis, be with the cannibals, paradise, the fruits on the tree, work and traveling up the Thames, Three Men In A Boat by Jerome K. Jerome, maid’s knee, a model for all diseases, foolish doofuses, a series of ridiculous pastoral incidents without consequence, a madeira cake, told from an idle gentleman’s point of view, a huge smash, skulling, skulling all day, completely inappropriate, The Riddle Of The Sands by Erskine Childers, a German invasion of Britain, The Willows by Algernon Blackwood, going to the water to make a utopia, Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, living on breadfruit, making pineapples for foreign markets, it makes socialism seem like its fluffy-headed, one day the government will wither away, the ecological problem, an ecological lens, the green movement, cultural, all sorts of weird things are within human nature’s possibilities, ancient megaliths, some rich guy, what’s missing, notice how content everybody is, nobody wants to reach to the Moon, this is fascinating, I need six guys to help me build a super-collider in Kent, most people don’t need books, somebody has to clean the toilets, Hakim Bey, immanentism, the Bros. Grimm, the cultural creativity seems to have stopped, no new stories or songs, distressing Bryan, harder to imagine than a new tech, what we have now but streamlined, imagining the internet, human operators, Orson Scott Card got forums, the rich depth of Troll Culture, Locke is a troll, Poul Anderson, Olaf Stapledon, Samuel Delany, Philip K. Dick, fashions, the genre, the Gernsback model, utopianism isn’t exactly science fiction, an epoch of rest vs. work houses, the reason Sherlock Holmes can do his job, the uniform of a coachman, a ridiculousness, winking the whole time, the coming out is anticipated, asymmetrical, great scenes, the Victorian version of the new Soviet man, no longer seen by people, dull and bleared, dirt and rags, much servility, what the Victorian era is doing to humans, a positive idea prompt, this poor bastard was made by his time, the black cloud overhead, servility, the class situation, Upstairs, Downstairs, a speech the butler gives, Downton Abbey has a changed ethos, a fantasy of a fantasy, “they are our betters”, there is great honor and beauty in doing your job well, taking pleasure in doing a job well, scrub it well, finding dignity in your own work, for two reasons, why the British didn’t have another revolution, Jesse is really on to something, understanding as a historian, a revolution is social relations, ranks, profession or blood, The Radicalization Of The American Revolution by Gordon S. Wood, American slavery, “master” is replaced with “boss”, The Making Of The English Working Class by E.P. Thompson, “upper middle class”, Bryan is nodding and pumping his fist, republican virtues, a bipartisan love for the aristocracies, “we don’t do aristocratic politics in our family”, the least unequal period in British, Canadian, American and Australian history, more unequal, Downton Abbey is a celebration of aristocracy, Sex In The City, sukc down that fantasy and enjoy it, the Downton Abbey scenario, you’re the help, an expression of our acculturation, F. Scott Fitzgerald, WWI was fought as a love affair, the Trafalgar Square incident, Bill Hicks, how pathetic British crime is, fraying that love, the sociology of every nation (except for the USA), mutinies, broke France, broke Russia, broke Germany, that broke, the love affair is still there, “Boss”, A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur’s Court by Mark Twain, a classic for the ages, the houses of parliament are used for storing manure, so savage in its takedown of all things American and medieval romanticism, Hank Morgan, why isn’t somebody wandering in, just get a stick and start hitting, no outlaws, no bandits, everybody is an artist, everybody be cool, universal basic income, the Manitoba Income Project, a decent response as to why would people work, cultural revolution, how the Romans saw the world, essential human characteristics, this book appreciates the idea that people find pleasure in being productive and helping one another, there’s a purpose to life outside a wage, a hard subject, the ultimate outcome is going to be close to E.M. Forsters’ The Machine Stops, starting a podcast after your oldest child moves out, changing how we raise children, Taiwan, Korea, Japan, Russia, Eastern Europe, every single hotel has two hour rates, long workdays, imaging having kids, women are freer, Ecan is a stay at home father, the fake complaint tweet, the TV was a CRT, Walmart, giving the kids to nannies, what money does, access to birth control, universal basic income will help, the government is really good at mailing cheques, orphan’s benefit, cheap college, money totally helps, that Mack Reynolds novel, you have to spend the money, Townsend, the economy is predictability, bitcoin, deformational effects, government is really good at regulating, doctors still make a living, even with wait times, no dental care system, Sam Harris, Jerry Yang, some idiot (Dave Rubin), you don’t need plumbing or building regulations, people cut corners, all the products are designed to be sold, “makeshifts”, pop (soda), the history of soda, who is responsible when you put the phosphoric acid into the pop, The Soul of Man under Socialism by Oscar Wilde, satire, remedying the evils they see in poverty, destroying the need for charity, super-rich having a charity ball for the poor, The Clinton Foundation, charity salves the soul, carrying for the unknown, I would be a freer person, people on the right, a state burden, a way to liberate people, the rise of pet stores, pet service stores, children are too expensive, “fur babies”, not a single pet in this book, there might be more birds of prey, The Revolt Of Islam by Percy Shelley, the most dangerous animal in England is a badger, bears in the mall, missing kitten, when you push down on one part of the society, such criticism, the economic cost, I really like the idea of craftsmanship, I love art, some lectures about how bad it was in the 19th century, a famine in France, France is just like this, the Iron Curtain, why NATO is still around today, dystopias are the inverse of that, everywhere’s the same, a global catastrophe, is The Road by Cormac McCarthy a dystopia?, addressing the truth of reality, violence isn’t going away, wouldn’t it be nice, how they get there, several chapters, one good thing about this book, immigration, easy to have a guest, what are you Greeks gonna do about it, sometimes that’s the point, a naive novel, “that’s what Hitler’s trying to do, yo”, rationalistic vs. empiricistic, eight hour work week, one idea, motivation to work outside of forced labour, keep scythin’, sowing.
Talked about on today’s game:
1961, dude!, The Science Fiction Hall Of Fame, the Seeing Ear Theatre adaptation, a setting and a culture and an experience, not very science fictiony, no weird transhumanism, deep interesting cultures and settings, more in the fantasy, a science fiction setting but it feels like fantasy, anthropological science fiction, Rite Of Passage by Alexi Panshin, Dune by Frank Herbert, goblins, the fantasy element of the masks, are you bold enough to wear a sea-dragon conquerer mask?, the adaptation follows the plot fairly faithfully, other POVs, a little more linearly, the ambassador’s folly, a masterful adaptation, like nothing we’ve ever seen before, it feels relaxing, gorgeous description, the plot is very stressful, how does this work?, the Larry Niven of economics and culture, high praise, Haxo Angmark, a Vance specialty (names), stealing his “money belt”, Cory Doctorow’s wuffie, so fascinating, I want to walk these streets, my father is a magistrate, a very libertarian society, Texas, L. Neil Smith, no expansionism, the night men, like a role-playing game, cannibalize whatever’s on the shore, indigenous people, captured by the night men!, social status, far weirder than any kind of Marxian communism, when he’s embarrassed about the fish with a face in the water, he’s acculturating to the culture, “religious convictions”, sticky and annoying like a thistle, the philology of our language and hacked it, Edwer Thissle, David D. Levine’s Tk’Tk’Tk’, what Jesse senses what walking the streets of Japan would be like, a dystopia, no government, it all comes down to violence, a very humble mask, how Saudi society works, a married couple would never show their faces to each other, a mock mask?, the afterword, clothes and nudity, the slaves are for having sex with, Jesse has questions, “I’ve been working on it for seventeen years”, a public ledger (like blockchain), a robot, electronic devices, an electric instrument, practically speaking, a bat-belt full of tiny musical instruments?, ornate and complex, the aliens are humans right?, orcs?, a weird human culture, the four outsiders, essentially humans (with pale faces), the consular representative, an anthropologist, Thomas Piketty, how do you have trade with these folks?, a trade port, fun to imagine, maybe you have people who hold value (for trade), expatriates, I will return you to the islands if you don’t obey me, food is incredibly plentiful, kind of like Venice, imaging Venice the whole time, the Dunsanian stories by H.P. Lovecraft, or Idle Days On The Yann by Lord Dunsany, the fantastic orient?, what Korea would be like from an Italian point of view, some happy fools have opened up a bookstore, people don’t want books, nail salon, skin salon, hair salon, tooth whitening, did you see a man come in here and did he take something?, why Steen was mad at somebody, he’s not acting like a Canadian, everyone in the states is so rude, so apologetic, if you don’t acknowledge how terrible you’ve been, an immoral slouch, Iranians have a way of talking around a subject (and will become annoyed when Jesse doesn’t understand), what would it have taken?, a kind of meritocracy, how reputation works in the States, infamous, Chelsea Manning, going from being a reviled traitor to having cachet, a celebrity in need of a couch, their visit to me makes me higher in the society, I gave Al Pacino a place to sleep for the night because his car broke down, how selfies work, some percentage of people want their picture taken with celebrities, our strakh in our culture is attention, Instagram people without their Instagram filters, Sirene is 1000 years in our future, free stuff, stereotypes about New Zealanders, people love Kiwis, an alien as a woman (than as a foreigner), cultural baggage, James Clavell’s Shōgun miniseries adaptation, feudal Japan, swaggering samurais, you’re disgusting and hairy, easing us into it, learning Japanese, the cultural barrier, Jesse’s strahk level plummets, the murder mystery aspect, brilliant!, the weak part, subtle or detailed, an excel sheet, a locked planet or locked houseboat mystery, Robert van Gulik, the whole murder mystery detective genre, you participate in the solving of the mystery, almost there, Judge Dee, like Sherlock Holmes but set in Ming China, a rich and decadent society, Bernard Cornwell’s Sharpe series, there is a structural class system, you guys are building one, number one in plutocrats!, Upstairs Downstairs, Downton Abbey, their highest hope, falling from class position, how one gets raised out of the strakh level you’re born in to, how people change classes, sociology and anthropology, the business department, Jesse is insulting someone, everybody can be a manager, this story raises so many questions about our own societies, it is not a mirror to us, StarShipSofa, Tony C. Smith, obsessed with the baroque, in the way that Tolkien is obsessed, the ornate social structures, The Potters Of Frisk, Planet Of Adventure, a tapestry of different cultures, unlock the puzzle of the culture, powned!, one delicious five volume package, what are Vance’s literary roots, science fiction friends, Poul Anderson, Frank Herbert, diverse life experience, California, sui generis, the Demon Princes novels, phone booth, his roots are not in the Clarkeian-Sturgeonian tradition, The Dying Earth, one book leads to another book, Paul got lucky, getting the urge, the BBC In Our Time on Moby Dick, the whiteness of the whale, the pasteboard masks, Philip K. Dick, Halloween, thing are quite different, we wear a mask that blinds us to the world, we wear a mask that blinds us to us, Herman Melville, hijab, it plays to the base, what would it be like to be in a world, this is a very weird world, what form of popular entertainment is being satirized, opera, music, scary talented, an operatic world, musical accompaniment, 24/7 opera, the first audio drama Marissa enjoyed, in the audiobook, an animal!, Marissa got into it, Bryan is nodding, a metaphor for getting used to a new society, a metaphor for learning a foreign language, that sense of fear, a classic mystery novel, almost a western, John D. MacDonald, plotting was the hard thing, gathering the tools up to bluff your way through, what is the author thinking, what are they trying to do, isn’t wonderful to think about beautiful dead women, I think the mystery is the plot, what would it be like where nobody has any identity except what they say is their identity, nicely shoehorned, wow! look at this world, its the one with the masks, Marissa used to be so shy, if you’re in anyway alien or introverted this is playing with the fear of that, fear of bureaucracy, at the mercy of the killer, a judo flip, Vance always has a sardonic sense of humour, The Dying Earth, civilizations rising and falling, magic, Chun the unavoidable, one of the greatest villains, a sub-genre, Hothouse by Brian Aldiss, Clark Ashton Smith, Last Castle, The Dragon Masters, I want more, so much is in it and it has a plot too?, more Vance on the schedule, the orbits that writers move in, the focus on language, Prof. Eric S. Rabkin, transformed language, Isaac Asimov, a total twin of science fiction, we do this job, we engage in the reality, fantasy as escape, working it out, this is the anthropology section of the lirbary, the soft sciences, Larry Niven did too much of it, there’s nothing more to say at the moment, if its not bio – what else you got?, genetics and epigenetics, philosophical science fiction, Mack Reynolds, a post-scarcity society, a great problem to have, nobody is starving to death, cheap food, a rich society, wearing the right suit, look at Bill Maher in his french cuffs, its a $5,000 suit, they look like clowns out of their context, the hair and makeup departments, that’s what all the slaves are doing on Sirene, hair and nails, tuning the instruments,