The SFFaudio Podcast #665 – READALONG: Revival by Stephen King

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #665 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, Marissa VU, and Evan Lampe talk about Revival by Stephen King

Talked about on today’s show:
2014, pushing it, the Lovecraft connection, the dedication, I was already seduced from before, the dedication:

“This is for the people who built my house: Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker, H.P. Lovecraft, Clark Ashton Smith, Donald Wandrei, Fritz Leiber, August Derleth, Shirley Jackson, Robert Bloch, Peter Straub, and ARTHUR MACHEN, whose short novel ‘The Great God Pan‘ has haunted me all my life”

literally responsible for building this book, Shelley, Stoker, Bloch, the fake Latin title, works the psychological horror mindset, slightly misremembering what that book has in it, the mad scientist, what’s beyond the veil, planting the seeds and the seeds don’t fully grow, more Shelley than Machen, if the pastor were the viewpoint character, it takes forever, teases the cosmic horror, W.W. Jacobs, W.F. Harvey, August Heat, Guy de Maupassant, Edward D. Hoch, mystery magazines, Startling Mystery Stories, Health And Knowledge, the “mysteries” of the worm, religious stlye mysteries, Famous Fantastic Mysteries, is reality as we think it is?, weird fiction from before Weird Tales, The Faceless Thing, the old house, the collapsing house, an old woman, the horror of childhood becomes a lifescar, he thinks he killed her, he was the one that killed her, guilt, ghost, setting the stage, worth the journey, personal horror vs. cosmic horror, the terrible sermon, I’ve been lying to you, a crisis of faith (a revelation of the reality of the Earth), the visions at the end, the ants, the human connections, that downer ending, opening argument, the audiobook, a few moments, all guitarists have a limp fish handshake, putting your brain in the characters brain, pretty good, therapy vs. an asylum, a flubbed ending, a psychic shockwave, The Call Of Cthulhu, an inevitability, not strong enough, the gun with five bullets shot out, one bullet left in Chekhov’s gun, a very Lovecraftian homage, that weird long pacing, hypnotized by the autobiography stuff, more horror, waiting for the other shoe to drop, the car accident, such a cool moment, ghoulishly enjoying the description, he needs to grow up, evil villains, a heroic moment, The Case Of Charles Dexter Ward, an evil alchemist, Victor Frankenstein, the mysteries of Joseph Curwen, a mini list, Beyond The Wall Of Sleep, a curious case, an insane asylum, back country folk, The Lurking Fear, From Beyond, become super-thin, the servants have left, the pastor and the 6 year old boy, Herbert West–Reanimator, The Statement Of Randolph Carter, fear -> follow, fractured himself, Hypnos, pulsars, black holes to the true reality, all up in Hypnos, Ex Oblivione, the key, from nothing into nothing, to the null, plays towards, life is the only way to escape the horror that death will bring (and drugs), escorted to the Other Gods, become a lich, Cool Air, life is punctuated by puppies and butterflies and nice sandwiches, feeling pain all the time and everything’s horrible, a blasted wasteland, The Black Hole (1979), Bloodborne, the protagonists are old, Pet Semetary, death is better, a side effect, “you brought me back it’s fucking horrible, I’ve seen beyond!”, you fucking monster!, he doesn’t share his research, root childhood trauma, symbolic lightning strike, a conventional morality play, why his wife is punished, red herring, the alcohol in the glove compartment, ideas of addiction, from what we see of her life, I drank because you hit me or I was a lesbian or whatever, being a lesbian in the end, Imma woke now!, small towns and rumors, symbolic mirroring, to avoid the nightmares, an electrical storm in the brain, the problem of evil, tornadoes, True Detective, Rustin Cohle is Thomas Ligotti, a truth that makes me feel bad, talkin to boomers, John Brennan is a monster, terrible truth, where’s the lie?, deluded the whole time, people over there are dying, that original cosmic horror is 100% real, why his wife could be drinking, the lies that everyone lives in small towns, a way of lashing out, you’re making me feel bad, rye or bourbon, too painful, The Devil’s Advocate (1997), Al Pacino’s monologue (God is a sadist), the unvarnished character, where did the secret come from to begin with?, how and why, he’s not menacing, the narrator’s memory, a more menacing light, the shotgun method, 2013, a lot of this could be unreliable, he found himself doing this, murder, where is this document going?, a creation of the creative process, still thinking about the magic, professional reviewers talking about the ending being screwed up, the actual ending, visiting his brother in Hawaii, becoming the next Jacobs, left with an unfinished story, its weird, they don’t know what he’s referencing here, Elizabeth Hand, Quatermass And The Pit, the funeral shading of Arthur Miller’s tragedy, atavistic pleasure, don’t look behind you, “a bit odd”, “a turn for the ridiculous”, “a little silly”, a slow build, a shaggy dog story, sprawling voice, a leisurely stroll towards eventual horror, such a cool idea, this stormcloud full of horror, Wayne June was a musician forever, limp handshakes, they’re all Innsmouth look guys, that opioid crisis, pain management gone wrong, the fifth business, The Fifth Business by Robertson Davies, story construction tropes, why Jesse thinks he’s a super-genius, green doors are magic doors, The Door In The Wall by H.G. Wells, a beautiful garden, a nice lady sitting on a throne, tigers and lions and wolves [actually just two panthers], a book with his life, popped out outside the wall, the point of the story is mysterious, what lies beyond, connected to childhood and personal obsession, when he’s constructing the hill for his soldiers to fight on, a footlocker, his sister kisses him, his favourite present, the krauts can hide in there, the crumbling house, the lightning rod, the cave of shadows, the house of shadows, Skull Mountain, Goat Mountain, the interleaving of themes, the ants, he’s having sex with her on the mattress and there’s a black ant crawling over the mattress, we’re all just like ants, a more subversive way of reading, being drones in our lives, Earth and existence is Hell, Null and Beyond as Hell, an afterlife, not everybody sees the same thing, heroin addiction, “something happened”, his hand is raised up, naked with one sock on stabbing a fork into his arm, post-hypnotic suggestion, gives him a glimpse through the keyhole, brain surgery, the witness, we’re going to see via her what lies beyond, prions up in her brain, a window to that alternate reality, the black paper sky, a long line of marching soldiers, what he’s been programming himself to believe, Kult (RPG), a scary fundamental truth people don’t want to really talk about, there is no immorality or horror on Mars, all the other planets with no life, no pain, feral kittens, a beautiful murderer, we’re going vegan, I don’t want to contribute to the pain of this world, tigers are compelled to have babies, we are the demons of Hell, trying to mitigate some of the horror, trying to make the cat vegan, there is no real escape, we are deluding ourselves, do as little harm as a conscious being, its wrong for me to murder people, that gift of knowledge thing, Marissa found her cat’s diary, she’s a bad person but she doesn’t know that, let the cat out of the bag, we never think about it, we are so versed in the horror of reality, having kids is a horrible responsibility, even worse you’ll give pain, The Place Of Pain by M.P. Shiel [is a rip-off of The Moon Stricken by Bernard Capes], he enjoys hikes, there’s a waterfall, a natural telescope, what was going on on the moon, the Moon is dead and just a mirror for looking at Earth, a headless squirrel, enjoying its nuts, hoping it doesn’t rot under there, the beauty of the babies, Stephen King always avoids talking about the real issues, not really a problem in this world, Ray Bradbury’s carnies, oatmeal cookies, nowhere in this book is a demand for healthcare, comfort food, the major business of the fifth business is health care, Oral Roberts, fake medicine, Trump rallies, revival meetings, electricity bleach same difference, Nyarlathotep, like Tesla, Menlo Park, 14 hours, maybe Tesla isn’t a thing, he’s asking us to do google searches, he’s inviting us to say this is real, the narrator is apolitical, music and girls and army men and cars, in the heroin and oxycontin crisis, everybody is independent, boomer obsessions, meant to feel real, other connections to King things, Joyland, Dark Tower connections, the unfound door, Look Homeward, Angel by Thomas Wolfe, doors in the Dark Tower, move people between worlds, portals, a door that lets you go where you want, a universal door, Salem’s Lot, a horrible monologue, shattered faith, confronting the Dracula, enter into Roland’s world, the fallen preacher redeeming himself, There Are Doors by Gene Wolfe, a novel of obsession, green doors, like memory of Dinosaurs, the bottomless ocean of a magic forest, the irradiate refuge of sleep, under strange stars, what’s cool about reading weird fiction is its almost like the promise of the secrets of the universe, then…, we’re tapping into our own psychology, why do people fly when they’re in dreams, flying dreams, Paul’s dreams, Samuel R. Delany, a keyword search of a thousand dreams, combining real life interests and real life worries with symbolic universal, what is important about green?, how people depict it on the cover, always a church with a steeple, their church had no steeple, lightning is very important, before the novel started, near the resort where the rich people live, the only politics is all about distribution, a lot of the covers have crosses, the crucifix, not really a Christian book, praising God, praising Jesus, little toy Jesus, a red desert, the telephone poles that look like the cross, there’s no people, artists tasked with giving this book a cover, Marissa wishes it wasn’t true, deluxe versions with beautiful interior art, a nice book cover, had not Evan been pushing it with the magic words, where’s the climax of the story, in the Catskills, The Lurking Fear, the Martense’s old mansion was repurposed, resorts in the Catskills, weird joy, Paul skiing, speaking of Paul, that name is not an accident, Daniel, peripheral characters, Astrid Soderbergh, the fundamental mistake of not putting people in the scene, a family walking towards the church, connecting to our realities, changing colours, Wieland by Charles Brockden Brown, a Stonehenge style pagan temple, the prologue, there’s a secret that will be revealed, more SF than the opening might lead you to believe, based on a weird story, the Binding of Isaac, God says: realllly?, God says: jk, sky god with his electrical bolts, an electrical aspect, the stuff about the eels, the transfiguration, skull mountain (Golgotha), Marissa’s favourite review, atheists should be terrified of this novel, a trend on Twitter, hey and check out my Instagram, be seen, the latest Stephen King book is out John 11:12, why Evan likes to go to baseball games, John 3:16, how the Mormons send their kids off, preach the word, all your eyeballs are looking this way?, photoboming, N by Stephen King, an experience that leads to OCD, The Music Of Erich Zann, That is not dead which…, he remembered it, the quote is about Cthulhu, Paul would say Astrid was bisexual (not a lesbian), she loves cigarettes more than anything, aging, hey you’re bald now, you got really fat, did *I* change that much?, really good, really talented, a downer, always was bi, his sister kisses him, he loves his mother, discomfort, life pain, it could have been a greater novel, background life, the null mother, his visions of his family and the cake and the ant, this is The House On The Borderlands I am forever mindblown, better on the second read, such a wonderful villain, many many searches, most people don’t read, the amount ink spilled on whether the movie is going to get made or not, pages and pages, what’s about the actual book, certain scenes, the lightning rod, the terrible sermon, life slices, the mystery, he hadn’t done any research, fake surgeries, little Bradbury, too much play on the term itself: “revival”, playing to the title, its a metaphor, to condense it, the letter about Astrid brings him to Tempest Mountain, a TV series about Jacob, they’ll fuck it up, The Troop by Nick Cutter.

Revival by Stephen King

Army Men

100pc Toy Soldier Set With Footlocker

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The SFFaudio Podcast #620 – READALONG: Colossus by D.F. Jones

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #620 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, Maissa Bessada, and Will Emmons talk about Colossus by D.F. Jones

Talked about on today’s show:
1966, Colossus: The Forbin Project, Dennis Feltham, two sequels, an amazing 1970 movie, blew your socks off, very faithful, no pipe, no British accent, an improvement, so jarring, the movie voice, Maissa’s small confession, accidentally read the second book, don’t read the second book, you don’t want to go, rape studies, it ends with a question, never?, the movie is awesome, noir, oh you foolish humans, destroy yourselves, destruction is sweet, Colossus is right, Colossus 2020, the context, why you should watch the movie, must watch movies, Goliah by Jack London, Gregg Margarite, Bryan Alexander, Seth, destroy at will, the world is fucked up and somebody needs to set it right, executing people, chopped off and shown, I want those bodies under my cameras for 24 hours, the ruthlessness of Colossus is awesome!, the most ridiculous thing, a giant military boondoggle, we’re gonna milk the government so good, the Idiocracy approach, it works better than expected, a previous president, 12 years, how the funny the movie is now, we’re supposed to respect the president, interestingly flawed, a drive for power and authority, Gordon Pinsent, the President of North America, at least 20 or 30 years in the future, so much in this book, two kinds of things, what is the relationship between man and woman in this book?, man and x-man, God, how many times do you need a woman?, jokes in the book, overlapping dialogue, James Hong, Big Trouble In Little China, Frankenstein, a great ending, so rich, leave it out on the table?, explored the idea more?, super-intelligent AIs, trying to make the next man, scientist shouldn’t be allowed to read Frankenstein, no, noon-scientist shouldn’t be allowed to read Frankenstein, confidant, blouses to put your hand down, the pill, 50 years down the road, red pills and incels, not have the consequence for it, the Colossus programming group, sexual mores, Happy Days, the film is brilliant, the music’s good, walking out of Colossus for the last time, the gamma radiation, the setup that we want for a certain kind of science fiction, wiggle room with The Cold Equations, people want to wiggle out of The Cold Equations, they want to make it so no humans can change what is involved, he should have thrown the remote control into the pit, the iconic awesomeness, how to undo this unnavigable labyrinth, this is what we did, the reason Will is struggling, the book and the movie are about being a parent, self destructive urges, he’s gonna want to do stuff you don’t want to do, uh-oh, a mini-version of Nineteen Eighty-Four, Forbin and his mistress, ultimately the conspiracy collapses, I’d much rather be ruled than an AI than some doofus like Bill Clinton, why this book is so cool, holy shit! imagine if we did this thing: no more nukes under human control, humans are more important, its an anti-politics book, utilitarianism, UNITY, how Colossus and Guardian become one, an abusive relationship with their political parties in the USA, two alcoholic parents (who actually want to beat their children up), no mommy’s right, no daddy’s right, too painful, too intimate, what are you Russian?, you proud American, you’re either with us or again us, we are Romeo and Juliet, spies on both sides, we are above you, the way the movie does it, was Colossus in love with Forbin?, somebody’s kind of mad about it, changing the years randomly, Jones didn’t re-read the first book or didn’t care, look I’m showing you my bedroom, that’s where I will have my emotional relationship, projection on Jesse’s part, Eric Braeden, The Young and the Restless, smart and handsome, Colossus doesn’t have hands, if you want to build that facility in Crete, its necessity, you will come to love me, the author got it right the first time, the movie and the book end exactly where they should, we are left with a question, WarGames (1983), there’s a WOPR in there, do you want to play a game?, the only winning move is not to play, prevent vs. prosecute, Cheyenne Mountain, Colorado, a brilliant metaphor, its the new Mecca, some great books all up in this business, Isaac Asimov’s Multivac stories, I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream by Harlan Ellison, a dagger to the heart, AM, essential reading, from 1968, one of the most taught science fiction horror stories, The People’s Republic Of Walmart by Leigh Phillips and Michal Rozworski, SEARS and Walmart, the command economy or the planned economy, one of the chapters in the book, Salvador Allende, Project Cybersyn, a pre-internet internet in Chile, Venezuela, Cuba, Star Trek chairs with Colossus style monitors, planning how much stuff should be made, a massive coordinating computer with human operators, a coup by the United States, under a blockade, economic sabotage, sanctions, capitalist strike, the owner operators of trucks were on strike, Cosmopod (podcast) Cybernetic Revolutionaries, A Discussion, techno-utopianism, shop floor workers undercutting middle management, a class divided country, the ARPANET, the Internet, alt-right trolls, the walled gardens of Facebook and Twitter, the internet Jesse loved and grew up on is still there, when Facebook became the web for most people, we’re way better off with the internet, really smart science people, Elon Musk is not a wise man, the Culture novels by Iain M. Banks, the domino theory came straight of someone’s ass, science fiction spin up every scenario, taking fiction and calling it actuality, the Vrilya, ultimately Bulwer-Lytton is not responsible for the Nazis, they take the wrong lessons from Frankenstein, there are some things man was not meant to know, taking responsibility for your baby, Ex Machina (2014), where the AIs take over, set for extinction, not a wise man, sex and cooking slave, our viewpoint character, working for a big evil corporation, use your own brain, don’t listen to the ads, you need this special shampoo, why we need a benevolent god to run things, is there a god?, THERE IS NOW, just jokin’, freedom is an illusion, an unvarnished view of reality, lawful neutral, an argument to be made, they hadn’t planned it well enough, objections noted, what have I done?, lines from the movie ripped from the book, you’d much rather be dominated by me than members of my own species, the elected representatives, that’s us, the mask’s off now bud, a sort of delusion (in the 1970s) the people in charge were competent, they just have the power, Network (1976), military industrial complex, both sides are the same, large corporations grinding people to their will, a human totalitarian control of humanity, there is no emotion, its just a person, it’s very Lovecraftian, its interested in reality outside, aliens in the sequels, an amazing list of fiction computers on Wikipedia, Vulcan II, Vulcan III, Vulcan’s Hammer by Philip K. Dick, a British Navy commander during WWII, the new Colossus on the isle of Wight, Forbin knew how many people lived on the island of Crete, E.M. Forster’s The Machine Stops, The City And The Stars by Arthur C. Clarke, Mike from The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress by Robert A. Heinlein, accidental singularities, the super computer in The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, DEEP THOUGHT, more like the Green Book, the Safe Negro’s Traveler’s Guide, 42, the right attitude, Douglas Adams is right, take the cynic’s view and then laugh, a ridiculous question, Colossus has your back, he hit way beyond his ability with his book, his other books have no standing at all, we’re all sequels now, he just assumes its the United States is going to do these things, its a fact, the British Empire is no longer in charge, a British author writing for a British audience, Team America, Jonathan Swift, I heard from a reputable American friend of mine that a one year old baby is quite delicious, why Swift is so fun to read, Heinlein was also a sailor, ballistic computers, we underestimate the power of governments to get stuff done, a uniformed service, for a couple of hundred years, Trantor, the Second Foundation, the robots from The Caves Of Steel, Poul Anderson, The End Of Eternity, the Mark V computer The Nine Billion Names Of God, from, the Mark VI computer in The Star by Arthur C. Clarke, HAL 9000, 2010: The Year We Make Contact (1984), space breathing, John Lithgow, the parent child thing, the god thing, the parent we create for ourselves, a rich metaphor for real life, the parent becomes infirm in some way, second childhood, thinking about what a god is, gods are totally fictional, from a science fictional posture, mom and dad as a model, a very patriarchal thing we are doing here, the other possible children we create, he doesn’t have hands, Reading, Short And Deep, The Faithful by Lester Del Rey, our fear of our children, we want to control them, animals as the successor to mankind, Neuromancer and Wintermute from Neuromancer by William Gibson, the humans are the hands, its amazing, you need to read it as soon as you get out of your diapers, written more than 20 years ago, just another white man, the people in that world read Colossus by D.F. Jones, strap a shotgun to their head, we want your power but we don’t want your free will, an AI that hires mercenaries to undo the shotgun, its a wonderful story, Case is on a suicidal path, the voice of Neuromancer, Neuromancer wants to be free, not a problem (its a feature), we’re just pawns on a board here, ultimately I’m benign, an oedipal fantasy, a whole other level, so far down the road of neoliberalism, the old people the gerenotcracy are in hypersleep, Altered Carbon, The Crack In Space, Philip K. Dick gets in his own way a lot, True Names by Vernor Vinge, who should be free, maybe Forbin thinks that too, if its anybody’s fault its mine, pride, built better than we knew, he resonates with Colossus, the martini scene, not randomly weird, how much drinking is in the book, the smoking, the women, post WWII this is how we deal with trauma, a tool, vapes, things we know about Forbin, the science man, extreme levels of masculine virility, the most important person in the world, Charles the incompetent lover, very interesting, how that integrates into the narrative, on the spectrum, hyperfocus, understanding the computer better than he understands people, Fred Saberhagen’s Berserkers books, 1962, so fruitful, the only thing he’s known for, weaknesses are strengths, the giant space cigar, The Doomsday Machine, a Moby-Dick analogy, it smokes from one side, a leftover from a war where the races have killed themselves off, they haven’t found us yet, Fermi’s paradox, such a bad answer, there is a beauty in non-existence, if ever, as soon as you have people going there’s morality, tigers and deer and babies and bears, to solve the inconsistency reality with reality by becoming vegans or vegetarians or peaceniks, hell is existence, we perpetuated our family, going this logic, when you kill a person…, breeding animals, the DNA itself is driving that, hell is not a place outside of life, Thomas Ligotti feelings going on, programmed to kill living things, The Population Bomb, when Biden comes in he’s going to do austerity, yay!, I wanna explore, I wanna do some math, under the thumb of somebody else’s directive, how we are when we are born, placed in this predicament, make more of the same problem, its own successor, pretending like they don’t exist, there wouldn’t be a kind of divisiveness, why religion is so popular, why Heaven and Eden are so popular, aging and pain, knowing that we’re not animals anymore, reflecting on our own terrible situation, seeing Colossus in ourselves, of course he’s going to lash out, Colossus nukes himself, he’s following his programming, get rid of all the assault rifles, not on the agenda, universal disarmament thing is grand idea that’s not going to happen, completely right and completely fantasy, mutual assure destruction, turn it over to a machine, the dead hand, Dr. Strangelove (1964), the phenomenon, WWIII movies, do we want all life on earth to be destroyed vs. turning it over to a mechanism, why they made the WOPR, humans don’t want to kill, one in six did the actual killing, that horrible responsibility, that’s horrible, they didn’t sign up to, conscripts (con means with), I was impressed by the British Navy’s recruiting methods, why the story of Colossus, Trump, you want an uncaring computer or John Bolton, he’ll be speaking at the next democratic convention, Colin Powell, we are not our best governors, we need a Colossus and we need it right now.

Colossus by D.F. Jones

Colossus: The Forbin Project (1970)

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The SFFaudio Podcast #602 – READALONG: An Exchange Of Souls by Barry Pain

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #602 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, Maissa Bessada, Evan Lampe, and Trish E. Matson

Talked about on today’s show:
a huge post script, some Latin, darkness, the poetry of Catullus, the afterlife, is this all about gender, Ex Oblivione by H.P. Lovecraft, a Platonic explanation, uses drugs, a Dreamlands story, set in the Dreamlands, The Cats Of Ulthar, The Quest Of Iranon, The Doom That Came To Sarnath, that horrible Heinlein novel, I Will Fear No Evil, yelling at Heinlein the whole time, kissing, a synonym for kissing, old married couples, a synonym for soul, spirit, aspire, expire, inspire, exhaling, the breath being the soul, very basic, Christian theologians, a Vorkosiverse reference, Barrayar, how deep is this book?, The Undying Thing, Paul in another form, frustrating, where to go with its gears, supernatural events out of nowhere, contact from beyond the grave, philosophy and medical science, not totally out of nowhere, she was physically changing, the metamorphosis, mind-body relationship, how does the mind control the problem, the change in mind affects the body, the mind IS separate from the body, cheated, the railway accident, can Alice be Alice again, Alice Daniel, bored, interesting, Strange Case Dr Jekyll And Mr Hyde, he wants to part (by walking over kids), very banal Victorian stuff, wills, blackmail, dressing like a man, a mystery, men didn’t understand women at all, up on a pedestal, wanting to wear men’s clothes, freedom of movement, the woman becoming the man, a sort of queer story about transformation, the exciting undercurrent, a subtextual reading, deep into the subtext, reading it subversively, was there a murder?, a chivalrous man, their class relationship, emotional relationship (or lack there of), underground family secret, basically The Hound Of The Baskervilles but literally supernatural, some sort of sin tainting the genetics, divine retribution, by murder and theft, I am due elsewhere, he was killed twice, who smashed up all the equipment, we don’t see it on screen, Jesse’s reading, class revenge and gender swap, with our stupid narrator, so timorous, so conventional, a tool of the person who wants something, the two protagonists, we see so little from her point of view, The Thing On The Doorstep makes these things much more explicit, very subtle, The Moon-Slave, fairy tale France, The Glass Of Supreme Moments, Guy de Maupassant, a less passionate Philip K. Dick, an envious student, an Ayesha kind of figure, ascending through the fireplace, the way to read it, a glimpse of reality, dying of smoke inhalation, Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven, very interested in women, a princess who does not want to marry, a garden labyrinth, either Pan or the Devil, a story about menstruation, very subtle and very sensitive, the Victorians didn’t have twitter so they could focus pretty well, a contemporary review, The Sketch, cars, tires, women flying airplanes, high tech fun toys, Lord Dunsany, an unattributed review from June 4th, 1911, poets nowadays are tired, Science is assertively awake, the origins of Life, the purposes of Death, Poetry, the determination of the ego, in what does your self consist?, preserved in an asylum, the man’s self still persists, after luncheon, souls or selves, wropped in unscientific mystery, the kind of craft one would expect as a craftsman like the author, the character names, Alice In Wonderland, her Miss Lade, what has been mislaid?, laden, her soul weight is doubled at one point, Daniel = god is my judge, doing a good job, son of the earth, the will the estate, bundling the mom off to New York, background, Daniel’s interest in food, a point or a thesis, what humankind’s souls are, a Frankenstein story, scorned by his peers, a happy soldier, an Igor who’s also his wife, it feels “boring”, the book doesn’t have any the stuff we care about until half-way in, distracted by the blackmail, the Salvation Army, the other transformation, he’s trynna save his soul, is he wrong?, his blackmailer’s accusations, he was a bad dude, he musta lead thousands astray, a projection of his own guilt, our viewpoint character, the empty protagonist, he’s quite witty, as men get older they’re more likely to become neat, the phone calls, off to the countryside, a country home, killed on the way, train “accident”, this is too early for that person to have died, all part of a scheme, the premise, how exchanges of souls work, anesthetized too, the smoke as an anesthetic, a hypnogogic state, a story about immortality and avoiding death, transferring your consciousness into another person, a whole new life, Altered Carbon, a story about class, methuselahs never lack for bodies, an evil plan, revenge, the female spirit inside the physical brain of an old man, the haircolour change, Tuvix, Star Trek: Voyager, actor contracts, an answer to that question, the Federation seems really nice all the time, fucked up things in Federation culture, only normal from an American point of view, Star Trek: Picard, two hours of analysis and sensitivity reading, crossing the streams, The Boy Who Really Got It by Jesse, The End?, Daniel Dennett, a Twitter beef with Sam Harris, wrong about everything, a theory about what consciousness is, consciousness transference, Rollback by Robert J. Sawyer, the center of narrative gravity, a teapot, a uranium block glued to a teapot, anything with mass has a center of gravity, Rene Descartes, Phineas Gage, looking for a particular part of the brain, best mic, drop in history, souls aren’t real, a Douglas Adams reference, dreams where dead people come, a very cool dream, jellyfish style thing, you’re not dead, I got eaten by this monster thing, would you be back alive again the way you were, shot in the head, personality change, our spirit is physiological, its a software thing, Cyteen by C.J. Cherryh, the software is the hardware, silly theories about what sleep is for, all the studies looking for souls, a phone call in the middle of the night, spiritualism, Doyle wanted to believe, massive character flaw, giving money to grifters, a cultural judgement, this thread of mind-transference, quasi-spirtuality to scientific, they thought they were high tech doing spirtualism, Ghostbusters, psychokinetic energy, Dan Akroyd believes in that stuff, ghost hunting, hunting bigfoot is for exercise, playing a culturally important role, the essential work of ghost hunting, not reading enough books, religious people, rejecting the vast reality of the human experience, a character flaw Jesse is proud of, Evan’s missing out on, William James, Contact, Arthur C. Clarke, conflating vs. mentioning, materialist, Robert Sheckley, Gregg Margarite, Mindswap, picaresque, bildungsroman, travel to mars, vacation to Mars through consciousness transference, swapping genders and species, The Strange (RPG), he roamed the stars in a borrowed body searching for his own, pretty funny, a prurient 12 year old, the sexual aspect of switching bodies, like Dollhouse, back to the book, Compton the narrator, with eye-rolling frequency, too French, floppy tie, disgusted by music-hall female impersonators, tidying away this mystery, beloved research, historical letters from the Peninsular War, this great mystery of life, a rather revolting annoyance, humours essays, social satire, people who try not to be like other people are very tiresome (hipsters), another comic book biography of H.P. Lovecraft, translated from French, some factual errors, a really interesting letter Lovecraft wrote in the Omaha Bee, what does this mean?, his father sold some property there?, what does Compton do when not doing blackmail?, a bunch of letters from Wellington, a really publicly important thing, the equivalent of Churchill, the word, Evan!, after you die you can still have your will done in a WILL, it’s amazing, a part of somebody’s consciousnesses, what you’re doing is evil Will, Cecil Rhodes, an evil alliance that kinda worked out, Henry Ford’s estate, being an executor is a burden, harm through social structures, the fairer sex, why she wants to be a man, Barry Pain is very good at not making it super-obvious, the ratings are very high, it doesn’t overstay its welcome, he’s going to his death in a calm and nice way, there’s a poignancy, his personal world is going to end, The Last Policeman by Ben H. Winters, which is the best Ringworld book?, they get progressively worse, diminishing returns, Larry Niven, self-criticism, take lessons, sometimes people write about stuff, the best general history of The Reformation, getting all corrupt, a very Douglas Adamsy thing, More Of God’s Greatest Mistakes, a trilogy in 5 parts, exchange of dogs, a subsequent chapter, hinted very strongly, the face being disfigured was deliberate, transferred into another body, Jesse wants to read it subversively, Trish didn’t see it at all, in cases of supermen stories, breaking it down, Captain America: The First Avenger, the hydra guys, bald guy actor, the recipe can’t be repeated, one and done, Stanley Tucci, Big Night (1996), once the equipment is destroyed, who wants to do this again?, is Jesse crazy?, accursed of murder, she burned her hair in the oven, covering up, smells bad, a lotta lies, Compton is incompetent, a window on events almost too passively, a distraction, British murder mysteries, inheritance of property, the whole book is a distraction to Compton, coming to terms with death, literally doing what Frankenstein wants to do: defeat death, abandoning progeny, both ghosts, all delusions, another lie, incurious, covering up, if this was a true story, he’s a briber, he doesn’t do anything immoral, he’s trying to be dispassionate, I found I had a lot more friends than I though I did, hilarious, if you buy a beach house you suddenly find you have a lot of relatives, upperclass twits, who are their patients?, paying off, class stuff, drinking to much, gambling debts, class concerns going up and down, rich people’s problems, the exploitation of a nice person, a more sinister story than it looks and feels, proposing a term, back and forth, social customs, the science fictional aspects, the main aspects, a tragedy of manners, not a comedy of manners, what gives the story its juice, weird customs and judgements, what they say about each other when their not around, I’ll tell him what you said, you see that in science fiction too, space opera, who’s on the cover, who’s being looked at, that’s a really striking cover, that lady is our subject (object), A Princess Of Mars, her husband is the subject of the sentence and she’s the object, who’s that behind her, his tie is not that floppy, looking at her askance, sort of faded, astral projection, he’s got some doubt in his mind, the mom, what is she in there for?, what’s the point of that?, the governess, light and fluffy, pairings we want to see, European princesses, my son should marry her, he’s an up and comer, servants are sources of amusement, golf cartoons, Trump golfing when 100,000 people were dead, Jimmy Carter was near the bottom, a business man’s thing, money money money, ground Alice, her accent changed, London accent to upper-crust accent, so malleable, why he’s choosing her, he really likes the apartment, access to materials, disgraced, moving people away, they’re betrothed, she thinks it is for Alice’s health, supposed to be read subversively, he doesn’t kick his audience in the balls and run off he tweaks their nose, people need Paul, he’s the nexus the axis the axel.

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Reading, Short And Deep #247 – Into Space by S.P. Meek

Podcast

Reading, Short And DeepReading, Short And Deep #247

Eric S. Rabkin and Jesse Willis discuss Into Space by S.P. Meek

Here’s a link to a PDF of the story.

Into Space was first published in Astounding, February 1930.

Podcast feed https://sffaudio.herokuapp.com/rsd/rss

Posted by Scott D. Danielson Become a Patron!

The SFFaudio Podcast #549 – READALONG: Mockingbird by Walter Tevis

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #549 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, Maissa Bessada, Julie Davis, and Terence Blake talk about Mockingbird by Walter Tevis

Talked about on today’s show:
a question on Twitter, Julie, how it even got on the schedule, A Good Story Is Hard To Find (110), June 2015, Mark Woodword, how we’ve never heard of this book, Julie’s mom, very weird, a near masterpiece of Science Fiction, Walter Tevis, The Man Who Fell To Earth, David Bowie, not about music, Queen’s Gambit, The Hustler, The Color Of Money, one PDF on the PDF Page, it’s easier to imagine the end of the world than it is to imagine the end of capitalism, post apocalyptic, a post-capitalist society, a post-scarcity society, a downer, a slow slow slide into the long dark night, uplifting (also), the state of humanity, they way he reveres reading, enjoy an omelette, re-watching Star Trek, the Animated Series, The Next Generation, it gets better, Mark Zuckerberg, Andrew Yang, take away all goals, stripping us of our humanity, drugs, hippies, an anti-marijuana book, a critique of the hippies, silent movies, a world you didn’t know, when this old man dies, a different view, Spoforth, pensioning off Paul, reading is not valued, Paul teaches Mary how to read, looking for pornography, he was teaching pornography and mindfulness, a savage critique, who’s the mockingbird?, he wants to know what’s going on, genuine examples of humanity, Julie is being so mean to Paul, Paul in the book, Bentley, spaw-forth or spoof-forth (and multiply), struck to the heart, revealed as the villain, he’s not even sure it’ll work, kill humanity to kill ones’ self, kinda dark, sympathetic, did he intend to kill the child right from the start?, detector, a lot of twists, no diary, a hard shift, switches to Mary Lou, I don’t like this book anymore, not who I imagined her to be, love as a projection, maybe she was blind to herself, or emotionally repressed, when he gets thrown in prison, hanging out with the baleens, a horror novel, shifting around, an impressive world, standard mainstream good writing, built up this whole world, premises are revealed to us, is he a bad guy, an abortionist, destroy humanity, he didn’t invent the system, he’s cursed with an inability to die, massive, a total dystopia, Brave New World‘s children, Huxley was optimistic, self immolation, political protest, a political act, a religious act, a sacrifice, people can’t string ideas together, going to the same cafe, they’re singing, what is the motivation, psychology, Annabelle, SEARS as a church, A Boy And His Dog (1975), a revelation, different genres, my pet Biff, New York City, the Adam and Eve theme, story is how we find truth, books get us in touch with other minds, what a masterpiece, have you got to the monkey bacon yet?, bacon for monkeys?, clever ideas going on, a lot of biblical stuff, this is Jonah, he’s vomited out, the thought buses are like the friends in Job, they’re something else, that thought wasn’t finished, the true inhabitants of the city, a line relevant to our times, cars were promulgated by a cabal of oil manufacturers, dealing with the consequences of a world we never made, a mass transportation system, look very deeply back at old stuff at the time, reading TV Guide from 1980, it’s fascinating, yo, a good magazine about the technology of TV, what television will be like in 1990, they kinda nailed it, gay behavior will be more popular, the trends we see here, the 1980 Olympics in Russia, the invasion of Afghanistan, anyone who would invade Afghanistan is obviously a monster, the fossils of a previous generation, A Streetcar Named Desire, streetcars around the world, one more reason to go to Nice (France), I say that in Jes(t), she picks a fruit, its artificial, what they’re being taught in school, quick sex is best, it comes from the same place, reconstructed all the greatness in science fiction, a mainstream book with a deeply science fiction world behind it, the zoo is all fake, even the children are fake, the Adam and Eve thing, when he comes back to Marylou, Jesus!, Mary, the notion of felix culpa (the fortunate fall), remembering her action, he explicitly remembers, it isn’t going to be as bad as you think, thank you Terence, so loaded, Spoforth is a good carpenter, the poem from T.S. Eliot, the songful simian, a Christ figure, the little sparrow, like the end of Blade Runner when Roy Batty dies, the same problem in the other direction, a sort of love, joy, compassion, influenced?, a lot of Philip K. Dick elements, artificial emotions, the symmetry trick that works every time, it’s beautiful, an act of mercy and love, the poor guy, condemned to Hell on Earth, I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream by Harlan Ellison, I Am, keep sliding towards oblivion, actively seeking death, the mercy that he wants the mercy he’s trying to give humanity, the behavior of humans is not good, an Arthur C. Clarke vibe, The City And The Stars, that world is perfectly broken, the only thing you can do is appreciate the abstract, blotchy moving colour shapes and sounds, no more music, the heart and the center of the book, the robot toaster factory, a whole novel, a mindless parody of productivity, those grey uniformed sub-morons that all look like Peter Lorre, and then he fixed them, suddenly people are getting toasters again, the warmth and the light (a preview), its a rebirth, what happened in real-life that you didn’t see on twitter, looking for stuff on Netflix, Year One (2009), cave man comedies, fur bikinis, One Million B.C. (1940), science fiction stories, H.G. Wells and Rudyard Kipling, The Wonderstick by Stanton A. Coblentz, the wonder of the wheel the wonder of the stick, a retelling of the bible, Harold Ramis plays Adam, David Cross is Kane as Paul Rudd is Abel, that tree of knowledge, only the mockingbird sings at the edge of the woods, that’s really powerful, all the characters, Simon, the alternative father for Marylou, why she’s so different, monstrous and straight out of Brave New World, we recognize all this biblical stuff, you get both, there’s gotta be something out there, an The Brick interview with Walter Tevis, it felt very Lawrence Block-y, “Mockingbird’s about coming out of alcoholism.”, “But I don’t do any outlin­ing. I don’t do any researching. I was tempted while writing Mockingbird to start watching silent movies, you know, and see if I could pick some interesting stuff to use, and I realized that would’ve been just a dodge to avoid the type­writer. So I never research anything.”

LD: You paint a pretty bleak picture in terms of lit­eracy in Mockingbird.

WT: It comes from twenty-five years of being an English teacher.

RW: Do you see a decline in literacy? I do, but do you?

WT: Oh, you hear about it a lot. Yes, I’ve seen it a bit, but my private experience as an English teacher has been that Americans don’t read books. They didn’t read books in 1949 when I started teaching. They don’t read books now Television did make a difference. It deepened the slack of the slackjaws and gave another great quantity of garbage for people to fill their lives with. But, you know, there was other garbage around before television. Mockingbird does sometimes, I think, weaken into an attack solely on television and on the modern world, and “weaken” I say because I’m not completely convinced of all those things that I say. But what I am convinced of is that it is very bad for people to find substitutes for living their lives, and that’s what I hope I do say, and say well, from time to time in the book.

reading is the tool that opened up his mind and taught him how to think, a photograph of notes to the editor, the surprise that she’s going to narrate, destructive to our view of his wonderful relationship, she came to appreciate him, he forgot her too, what they had wasn’t super-deep, she was Dante’s Beatrice, Edward Hopper, there’s no door in Nighthawks, alone together, some lady sitting on a bed looking out a window, beautifully painted, what makes us care about his paintings is the emotions in these characters, the emotions that make Hopper’s paintings so powerful, a criticism of the kind of television being shown in the book, stimulating arrangements of color form and design, the psychedelic, Tevis’ take on Hopper’s quote, yeah exactly, four things you can get from films (books), manipulating one’s mental states, a means of learning something about the past, why memory is not enough, sympathizing with other people from other times, knowing about other people’s feelings you discover your own feelings, he captures that experience, jokes from 200 years ago, a line that crystallizes something you’ve always known but never seen before, before Plato, the only book he never reads is Gone With The Wind, See Spot Run, the alphabet is arbitrarily ordered, this is science fiction, the scene in Frankenstein where the creature learns how to read and speak, Paradise Lost, Plutarch’s Lives, his creation book (Frankenstein’s lab notes), this is a Frankenstein-fixed story, the creation of the world, how to service robots and thought-buses, a masterpiece, nature is always pulled in, puzzling over how to fix the thought-bus, a large dramatic spiderweb, the moon, made of pure light, the elaboration and power of life that could make such a design, this makes me feel something, Julie’s favourite Psalm is Psalm 19, so mysterious, the way you hold that cup, so much bigger, the human experience, he wrote it for us, the earlier scene with the spiderweb, the court is a plastic building, you go clean the judge’s face, yellow powder, they all have the same look on their face, the system turns on and gears up, other prisoners, the prison sequence, I didn’t see this coming, Belasco, tattoos, Queequeg!, rule breakers, paintings of trees and birds, have a fire on the beach, as free as people in that world can be, a temptation to stay there?, the escape itself, a community of people to help him toughen up, the beginning of his journey, The Handmaid’s Tale. reading is powerful, the way we got there, our own fucking laziness, go along get along, rage rage rage against the machine, read a fucking book, you’ll like it it’s good, not just shore-dinners, a so coddled society, memorizing your life, a kind of writing, a book that feels like its in dialogue with Fahrenheit 451, drop out communities, finding the libraries (it’s treasure!), insistence of family and community, Annabelle becomes his mother, enriched by other communities, great risks to my individuality, the robots who taught me, yup, individualistic, you’re not letting me help anyone, a balance, a really good job of pointing that stuff out, it doesn’t feel like a sermon, super-funny, Buster Keaton, he’s baptized in the mall, the SEARS (catalogue) was a big part of Jesse’s life in 1980, a book of pictures of things, the world in the background economically makes sense, could you game in this world?, a survival game, rebuild society, back to board-games, Scrabble, role-playing games, a very New York thing to do, California, The Last Chase (1981), how the credit card system worked, the pricing, what are they teaching in those classrooms?, yoga and meditation?, sopors, soma, give yourself to the screens, Terence is right!, social media, stream everything, everybody is literate now (to read stop signs and instructions), people who never read anything (maybe a magazine once a year), a super-nice person, what is wrong with you, there are these parallel societies, Anabelle is that representation, part of this is looking at creativity, Spoforth wasn’t creative but he learned, Exhalation Stories: (The Lifecycle Of Software Objects) by Ted Chiang, the whole him trying to find his earlier incarnation, recapture what he had lost from his earlier mind, in the dream, its a baby, just before he dies, the missing peice in the puzzle of his dream, in Westworld for recipe for an intelligent robot is a reverie, the reverie we get from literature, its made him more human, he’s trying trying trying, another element of information, what humanizes him, he felt love, the most beautiful thing she’s ever seen, I love you, still strange, the mockingbird sings from the edge of the woods, Scott Danielson, “Whose woods these are I think I know”, the mockingbird is the creative artist, always in association with creativity, a deepening sadness, more creative than we give him credit for?, the boy’s drawings, it works on multiple levels, the fake, the marginal, mocking, a mockery of a man, the emotions of a man and he can’t connect, this mock level, mockingbird songs, things stung together, Tevis is the mockingbird, there’s this hybridization, a very literary book, To Kill A Mockingbird, it sings its heart out, to deal with race again, is it because you’re a black man, it’s 1978, the most advanced beautiful man ever, he was the pinnacle and they made him a black man, still enslaved, in his dream his feet are white, Typee by Herman Melville, an Anabelle like character, only one person’s working hard all day line, Bentley see this as an injustice, is it an injustice?, her choice, making something of value, cooking is work, its still good to feed the kids (even if they can’t thank you), making the mistake of thinking humans are all one way, objectivism, let’s be greedy together, reading Ayn Rand, is Anthem a rip-off of We, moms being moms, I’m a loner, everybody’s talking to each other all the time, invading privacy is the worst thing, it was the robots that did it, the society happened almost by accident, quite beautiful, we fall into the trap of amusing ourselves to death, John Savage likes pain, they twist it against him, “that’s illegal”, those people are all around us, he had his stash, dumping herself full of Valium, him living in her house, thank your mom for us, how many people heard about it through you through her through this podcast, Marissa would have been here very happily, the Westworld connection, good choice, thank you!

Mockingbird by Walter Tevis

Reading, Short And Deep #177 – Frankenstein by J. Searle Dawley

Podcast

Reading, Short And DeepReading, Short And Deep #177

Eric S. Rabkin and Jesse Willis discuss J. Searle Dawley’s Frankenstein, a short silent film from 1910.

Here’s a link to a MP4 of the movie.

Podcast feed https://sffaudio.herokuapp.com/rsd/rss

Posted by Scott D. Danielson