The SFFaudio Podcast #656 – READALONG: To Live Forever by Jack Vance

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #656 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, and Evan Lampe talk about To Live Forever by Jack Vance

Talked about on today’s show:
the Evan, the Lampe, just the one name?, get into someone else’s body, 1957, Paul’s suggestion, why did we settle on this one?, 1956, Planet Of Adventure, The Star King, Appendix N by Jeffro Johnson, the magic use that’s not religious magic use, the Dying Earth, set in the USA?, the counties, Malthusian crisis, Soylent Green, Stand On Zanzibar, consumers vs. producers, exploitation, the bosses take it all, Make Room Make Room, “The Conscience Of The King”, Star Trek, the (birth control) pill, Paul Erlich, the Green Revolution, Japan, cohorts, The Mote In God’s Eye, we’re worried we’re rabbits and then we’re worried we’re pandas, a real news story, perverse incentives, perverse understanding of reality, not worrying about their old age, a social safety net, fertility rates, standard of living, baby factories, birth control shots, (in)fertility in Zimbabwe, Harry Harrison, Robert Bloch, repression and expansion, the age of chaos, The Crack In Space by Philip K. Dick, finding the frontier, escaping a limited population, really this is all artificial, a retitling as Clarges, serious problems, spinning up a society, really into masks, The Moon Moth, masked societies, a good metaphor, Borges is all about the labyrinth, a murder mystery, a lot going on in a short book, the core exploration of the psychology, the five strata, gleigs?, brood, wedge, errant, amaranth, a false reality, the last city, the whole planet is available, why are they overpopulated, Glade?, he’s set it up wrong, a false premise, fashion, the conservatism of societies, dystopia, Billennium, The Space Merchants, the idea of slope, a free enterprise system, the Star Enterprise, “Critical Care” (episode of Star Trek: Voyager), the hypospray, The Shadow, a medical patented object, oil injection accidents, needle shots, medical stuff, psychiatry, Alfred Bester’s The Demolished Man, the hospital, the carnival, an analogy for our world, an elite class, extra good education at Yale vs. the poors, nobody is living forever, empathizing with a clone of themselves, empathize with humanity as a whole, something of a classic, win or overturn the system, overtake or knock over, the Demon Princes novels, revenge, Gavin Waylock, The Count Of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas, disrupting society by taking the rules really seriously, the actuarium, the accounting system, an unsustainable system, life extension by medical care, the allocator, slope and wedge, emergency care for people at the bottom, John Hopkins for those at the top, tooth implants, hairplugs, if this was a Brave New World story, John Savage, the outcast society as a threat, the carnival is the safety valve, another Star Trek episode, The Purge, carousel in Logan’s Run, lives of decadence, the assassins, the same world, the Sandman is the assassin, an exploration of a dystopia coded as a utopia, when Jesse goes to a job, what gives slope?, a group of elites who give their kids money and jobs, Hunter Biden, does he actually have slope?, or is the system rigged?, how many papers he’s written, a group of people doing their job perfectly, if you’re looking for corruption that’s where it is, kind of like capitalism, Monopoly, capitalism defenders (rising tide lifts all boats), a gripe with planned economies, slightly conservative, not pro-communism, he’s making his own world, he’s not talking about us, what deserves slope, a talented accordion player won’t give you slope (Weird Al Yankovic), Evan’s not earning slope, Michio Kaku, a string theorist, popular science futurism, a way to make money, string theory is not science (because it is not testable), drilling down its bullshit, he’s just absolutely wrong, does he get slope?, did this guy have slope?, we are told innovation is always happening, great tech, the reactions, the witherers and the weirds, Jesse’s seen them on twitter, herbivore men in Japan, I never saw him I hate that guy, just playing games, I got my waifu pillow, Magnus Panvidya is a witherer, a famous boogaloo boi, a national security threat, ironic proud boys, no ideology, we don’t like the way things are, our goal, are you communists?, what unites us is objecting to the system, imagine future capitalism, ports, what are the ports for?, they don’t have anything, what makes you a witherer and not a weird, I put on an ironic voice, getting paid poorly, just trying to live in a world they never made, recreated our reality, the beatniks, science fiction fans, cosplayers, Jesse is not trying to get external slope, the vision of history looking back, PHDs, degrees of difficulty, ladder climbing, on the rowing machine on the stationary bike, an 1980s movie, Bright Lights, Big City (1988), the insane asylum, symptom, maybe I’ll be an assassin, not reflective of actual progress, not curing patients, treatment coefficient, social credit in China vs. Social Credit in Canada (and what Heinlein was talking about), debts are more brutal in China, business loans, Conrad Black aka Lord Black of Black Harbour, he’s rich so his criminality doesn’t matter, Lavoisier and Hooke and Einstein and Huxley, definitely earned slope, literally cloning themselves, what we all should say, Robert J. Sawyer, in just a few years we’re going to have the bio-medical technology will prevent us from ever dying, live forever as a robot, we are all mortal creatures and will die, a non-infinite supply of life, this system is bullshit, live well during the time you have, go off into the wilderness, back to the land movements, a lot of people stayed, carnival is a vacation, Jesse doesn’t take vacations, the literary interpretations of carnival, Mikhail Bakhtin, carnival theory, the Venetian Masquerade, putting the mask on, performative transgressivism, the Masonic Lodges, costume, the fez, the apron, all cultures have this, the setup and the interest of the book, a tension that leads to the climax, 2,000 amaranth get elevated, Bonfire Of The Vanities, when Captain Picard puts on his speedos, that is his carnival, everyone wants to wear the uniform, Troi and Barkley, when Captain Janeway is on the holodeck with her holographic boyfriend, recreation, on vacation on an actual planet vs. cosplaying on the holodeck, Risan sex workers, Sartor Resartus by Thomas Carlyle, clothes making you a different person, the lab coat makes you a scientist, you become the Star Trek Communist, a shining suit of armor, putting on a personality, why people change their names, a new identity, the Douggie Fresh story, more of the sacraments, jealousy is a sin, a legitimate response by children, choosing your own name, Miami Vice, interacting with our identity, a Superman costume, changing your gender, your haircut, these are all weirds, upturn reality vs. a response to a reality I don’t like, one is not personal, Gavin Waylock (Warlock), Gulliver Of Mars, amaranth is unfading, why did he do it?, she recognized him for what he was, his reading on her, very clever, playfulness, I went to the carnival to blow off some steam, the sex worker recognized me now I have to destroy her, he was hiding as a carnival barker, playing possum, going to party, hey guy do you want to party?, a euphemism, revelry masking escape, maybe all Vance is like this?, we don’t see his thoughts, the way he did it, not a Jesse book, not a book of ideas, a lot of fun, the weird economy, no offense, a fancy dinner book vs. a popcorn book, Sin Hellcat was fun, The Stainless Steel Rat, a slippery space con man, SF stuff, on the edge, set on Earth, Robert Jordan epics, secondary world fantasy, getting what the author is spinning up, no criticism of our reality, Tolkien is not about our world, a criticism of war and industrialization, he’s working on his own shit, an elaborate backstory, a mild mannered Hobbit, a tapestry, the class system, Mister Frodo, a mimicing, let’s get out of our world, such a complex system mirrors our society, bringing democracy to the world, people who can’t afford housing get tattoos, he’s not doing us, really fun and interesting, the world is amazing, too big of a world, he loved to world build, a generation starship, geography, the Lyonesse novels, a decadent society?, a barbarian invasion, what Lovecraft would do, Robert E. Howard would have a lot to say, a thesis, everything is decadent is a Vancianism, not sustainable, a catalyst, scholars in Finland or whatever, a bunch of references to the Dying Earth books, the Baktinian lens, this desire to put on masks, to be equal (if just pretend), a safety valve, the Zelazny title, Richard K. Morgan, Altered Carbon, you don’t own your own body any more, ultra capitalist future, people at the bottom who never apply for brood, only 20 years, the incentive is not that great, our Jacinth, a martin is an animal, she has most of my memories, Glarks!, if not on the tenure track, its publish or perish (literally perish), Bryan Alexander, looking at the future of post-secondary education, the future is very grim, queen sacrifice, we exist in a system where if you’re an adjunct professor you get paid minimum with a title, a bluechek and no pay, automatically suggested for followers, the system is not what it once was, prominent counterexamples, Harvard’s infinite money supply, people at the back of the (academic train): “c’mon run you can make it”, the student loan boost was another scam, these losers?, sitting around after getting their PHD and drinking beer in their house, we need a historian, thirty years down the road, a whole stint in Ghana, hiring the college guys, draft dodgers from the 70s still working the university mines, we lost a lot by whatever we did to fuck up the universities, a Bryan question, not all administration, money has been shifted towards administration, the factory workers not getting paid, well meaning but useless, more instruction and books, a good library and good professors, top 50 or top 100 schools, this doesn’t tell you much, who makes these assessments, they just look at the ranking, go to a warm university, instruction will always suffer, put your lectures on YouTube, tier 1 sports, corporatization of universities, you paid a fucking lot of money to be exposed to Schopenhauer, going into massive debt, university was basically free, jobs were plentiful and paid well, a house and a car, somewhere between 1900 and 1979 they made universities a priority and everybody got an education, a dying clown show, more like carnies, the most innovative technologies, the House of Truth, the Hall Of Revelation, kill frogs, try to steal rings from people, we never got to see inside the one he was shilling for, the House of Life, really good with names and words, the flavour, wordplay, how people rank books, one of those great old paperbacks from the 50s 60s and 80s, wow that was really interesting, dogs vs. gems, his third novel, how many stars out of the the entire galaxy?, 1 star taken off because no kissing.

DAW BOOKS - To Live Forever by Jack Vance

Posted by Jesse WillisBecome a Patron!

The SFFaudio Podcast #638 – READALONG: Dreamsnake by Vonda N. McIntyre

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #638 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, Scott Danielson, Maissa Bessada, Will Emmons and Trish E. Matson talk about Dreamsnake by Vonda N. McIntyre

Talked about on today’s show:
1978, kicking around for years and years, The Entropy Effect, the first Star Trek novel, Of Mist, And Grass, And Sand, a report with science fiction fandom, Will’s choice, The Moon And The Sun, Louis XIV, Jesuit scientist, sea-monsters, consciousness about the world, politics, first contact, a little person, a magnum opus, 1998, a capstone, the Hugo for best novel, Nebula and Locus awards, Heinlein dedicated Friday to Vonda McIntyre, polyamory, The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, Ursula K. Le Guin, Marge Piercy, Roger Zelazny, Joanna Russ, a tender and compassionate adventure story, swashbuckling, saddle buckling, acrobat skill, diplomat skill, real life swashbuckling, the personal rather than the institutional, dedicating a book to other people, my agent and my wife, turning institutional into personal, this is not a Heinlein book, why Heinlein thought something about it, Anne McCaffrey, C.J. Cherryh, the first in a trilogy, there’s a lot in this book, three different stories, little vistas, technologies used on this world, biology as a technology, very Dune, birth control, just slide it in, weaving world-building elements, the door dilated, second wave feminism, bears rereading, destroying so we can rebuild, an Earth empire planet, comparative text looking, the names of the snakes, October 1973, 1978, the ending, tons of changes, a lot dropped, stuff added, the last sentence, healers heal quickly, February and March would have come out in late 77 and the start of 78, a polish, a lot of plot threads that don’t go anywhere, we think she’s going to the city and then go to the stars, an Ursula K. Le Guin novel: City Of Illusions, The City And The Stars, rocket jockey finds love in space, subverted expectations, amazingly clever for a first novel, female protagonists in leadership positions, being in control of your own biology, what is he talking…, literally 100 years out of date, very Dune like, sex-education, The Many Colored Land by Julian May, biofeedback, evolving and changing and growing, outside of the center city, fighting for power, Jesse’s death, not dated at all, more social SF than hard SF, snake medicine good for somethings not so good for other things, making slaves, lies as a form of control, a 1973 person, in a religion that is telling you what to not do and what to do, people who are reading books, if you’re in the science fiction readership, an inoculation against the future, abstinence through yoga, will that change society? 100%, so immune to disease, breeding her horse, its a mule, where the novel doesn’t work as well, unfulfilled notes, what that material is made of, relationship material, a fix-up, a new view into the that world and a new problem to solve, The Lone Ranger, Kung Fu, a western, The Mandalorian, not with a flamethrower, education and information, Paul’s D&D tweet, the setting of a D&D game, she’s a druid, that time she bit someone, the crazy, the crazies, what we’re supposed to think about, Jesse is honour bound not to talk about the book (lest Jesse be a hypocrite), psychedelic, a drug book, heroin users, a medical problem, a dreamsnake breeder, a drug dealer, scenes with this character, the third part with the dome, alien plants, did the otherworlders come and leave the snakes?, left for us to excavate, going to visit her teachers, she’s lost her journal, its going to go well, how the dreamsnakes reproduce, to drop it there, why these things exist in the story, her real name, she’s snake, bestowed upon you, like the title doctor, call me nurse, the Doctor, Doctor Who, The Master, two kinds of degrees, the Bachelor, the Rani, other time lords, a special figure, living up to that title, a badge of honour, the War Doctor, training be damned, on a sentence by sentence level her prose is quite poetic, why isn’t this a classic?, she’s doing a recipe for school, for a Clarion West class, very powerful, setting things up, laying things down, this future, that not paying off is where it has gone wrong, the Kung Fu aspect, with her actions, she does a lot of telling along with the showing, every gun doesn’t have to be a chekov’s gun, a sandbox vs. a railroad, all the more rich, why you shouldn’t turn your D&D campaign into a novel, Jesse’s birthday present to Will:

The Birthday Present by Jesse

Once upon a time there was a gentle black bear who always wore the disguise of a human when going shopping.
He was a sly bear, so instead of just wearing a mask made of a human face, he also had gloves made from the skin of human hands.
Because it was his mother’s birthday he was determined to buy her a nice gift, in this case a bone china teapot.
As he approached the city gate the bear in human guise was asked by the city guard if he was “just a bear wearing a human face and human hands as gloves.”
Instead of denying it, the bear smote his challenger, his powerful claws making short work of the sentry.
In the third gift store he went into the disguised bear found a delightful bone china teapot with pink flowers and intertwining green ivy decorating its sides and lid and the bear knew it would make his mother sow happy.
Asking if the proprietor took human corpses as currency, the bear proffered the guard’s corpse, and after a moment’s calculation of the taxes, the shop owner consented, knowing there was plenty of bone in the corpse for the making of new teapots, and skin for the making of masks and gloves.

The End

making the story better, symmetrical, solving all of a story’s problems, a mini-Clarion, two stories set in the same city, adding the depth of richness, whatever you lay down pays off, out of the tunnels in Fallout 3, each individual stories, The Voyage Of The Space Beagle, novels are a marketing campaign to move paper, novelettes are better, the whole market for audible.com, longer books not better books, pushing novels over short stories, 50s and 60s and 70s, trilogies, I need these stories to be individual rather than be collective, healers heal quickly, don’t think of it as a novel, Alan Kaster’s INFINIVOX audiobooks, fiction podcasts, Escape Pod, Podcastle, Uncanny Magazine, Clarkesworld, new fiction, another Heinlein, more about snakes, the dream part, hearing about it over these decades, something Scott said, second wave feminism, The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan, totally changed the fabric of society, what makes this book good, Trekonomics, what makes Star Trek good, its the ideology, a beautiful child with deep sexual shame, what makes this book good, how people could relate to each other, whether science fiction should be didactic, stigma, how you can relate to other people, the post-apocalyptic setting, step-out side the system, what science fiction can do, fear, a powerful story, deep truth, escape from pain, forget myself, fantastic things, this is what made it really good, the ideology, all of the baggage of society we live in, Gödel, Escher, Bach, imagining differently being, life outside of capitalism, the divine right of kings, different ways of living, examine our assumptions, you cannot protect someone completely without enslaving them, puts it into action, giving advice, Hippocratic oaths, ethics, a great negotiator, a great character, as a TV show, Raised By Wolves, character based, what makes Deep Space Nine such a great show, a darker prophetic aspect, outside of time, all the more powerful on screen, the way other people react to her, the new shirt, her feelings about the shirt, a very talented writer, Superluminal, disparate elements, reacting to assumptions being challenged, legalistic, a fun read, started from a short story, right after Star Trek: The Motion Picture, the very serious Mr. Spock, this is just her western, the genre she’s writing in, responding to the stranger, Conan stories, the effect is rather different with the Conan stories, a female inversion of the Conan stories, a wizard who has a pet monkey, Rogues In The House, scalpeling and herbs and a couple of snakes and the sticking around, the handsomest youth in town, thrown a lady over his shoulder and running off into another adventure, Melissa continues on, part of her being a woman, making a family vs. fleeing a family, just not marketable, center city, communication with the outside universe, an oppressive thing, the center as a first world nation, the strange weirdo people, whatever skills they brought, the one thing you don’t really feel, The Wizard Of Oz, poppies and heroin, ultimately it would be a lie, underwhelming, so locked up, not because you’re powerful but because you’re weak, when people are in bounty the instinct is to share it, Jesse hates feel good stories, fruit trees, a four fruit tree, what it is to go down and pick berries, a tree shoving apples in your face, you fucked it up, the food bank, the food bank is a new thing, the element of the church, the corporate thing, that’s a different show, how the health care system is terrible, wandering doctors, why don’t you move into town, healers retire to communities, she’s got the arthritis, word of mouth, she came to help that child, messengers, caravans, ships in the ocean would call out the news to each other, a pro-vaccine book, Arvin, we change viewpoints, arrested for assault, oh this is plot, action rather than dialogue, more dialogue please, a sidelight on the mayor, to figure out the truth, the slavery stuff, things changing over time, half-life calculations, radioactivity, Babylon 5, “The Deconstruction Of Falling Stars”, A Canticle For Leibowitz, what we assume, maybe they can heal her there, maybe the can’t, they’re liars, he says he’s going to heal us, the mirror of center in this dreamsnake cult, pain-relief, sound like real life, enslaved to a product that’s illegal, the externality, excommunicate them, damaged by whatever community they’re in, Melissa is hiding all sorts of things, the stable manager, the lies are consistent, something to the rumours, not face value, the reasons are forgotten, whatever led to the apocalypse doesn’t matter, we’ve got to learn to cooperate, families of three now instead of two, we need to work together, how the chores are going to be distributed, gathering the firewood, cleaning the horses, Scott may have heard of families, a family isn’t a democracy, an anarchy, age and experience, make demands, too harsh, fleeing the society of the family, fleeing on their own happy, Melissa wants to do all the chores, seeing the value in herself, self-respect, a nice journey, good messaging, the war was long over almost forgotten it had destroyed everyone, those domes, Larry Niven Ringworld material (scrith), The Ringworld Engineers, none of them cooperated, dwindled away, the engines off the Ringworld, it would pay off to read that terrible book, progressively worse, worthwhile?, seemed inexplicable, we like that too, adventuring, subversion, the god gambit, Speaker To Animals, if Will was in the adventure party he’d be Kizinti, he feels contempt for the fucking plant eaters, Bechdel Test, two aliens talking to each other, Garak and Quark, you solids, Odo, actors under, Nessus, comedy gold, Ringworld should be done as a comedy, Louis Wu is the straight man, the three person partnership, Jesse and Meredith and Alice, non-binary, they’re all female, Anna Fields, the cassette flipping information, you buy a license from Audible.com, buy from Blackstone and Downpour you do own it, Ringworld on Earth with a lot less rocket stuff, Let That Be Your Last Battlefield.

Dreamsnake by Vonda N. McIntyre AUDIOBOOK

Of Mist And Grass And Sand by Vonda N. McIntyre

Of Mist And Grass And Sand by Vonda N. McIntyre

Of Mist And Grass And Sand by Vonda N. McIntyre

The Serpent's Death by Vonda N. McIntyre

The Serpent's Death by Vonda N. McIntyre

The Serpent's Death by Vonda N. McIntyre

The Broken Dome by Vonda N. McIntyre

The Broken Dome by Vonda N. McIntyre

The Broken Dome by Vonda N. McIntyre

The Broken Dome by Vonda N. McIntyre

Droom Slang (Dreamsnake)

Posted by Jesse WillisBecome a Patron!

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.

Posted by Jesse WillisBecome a Patron!

The SFFaudio Podcast #527 – READALONG: Herbert West: Reanimator by H.P. Lovecraft

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #527 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, Marissa Vu, Mr Jim Moon, and Evan Lampe talk about Herbert West: Reanimator by H.P. Lovecraft

Talked about on today’s show:
Gruesome Tales, Home Brew Magazine, The Lurking Fear, Clark Ashton Smith, the Weird Tales serial, Damon Knight illustrated, Reanimator, assembly, twenty years later, serialized, reading it as a serial, internal summaries, “previously on Re-Animator”, Jeffrey Coombs, Mr Jim Moon’s tin-foil hat theory, the unwilling hero, he hates everybody, Hypnos, no trace of Herbert West, was there ever really a Herbert West?, unlike the movie, sociopathic in his regard for other people, no descent into corruption, the charnel horror, The Hound, aren’t we terrible?, it’s awful, awful really, he never ages, interaction between West and the rest of the world, in an asylum, it makes things fit, he liked the idea so much he wanted to save it for a good story, not junk, only options, changes in Astounding and Amazing, cheap storytelling, pretty amazing, S.T. Joshi, secretly enjoyed writing it, it is fun, progress gone off the rails, its all his fault, the animals, worse and worse, larger transgressions, killing someone, a lizard from New Zealand, indescribable reptile, scientific progression, Frankenstein’s mom died, Star Wars prequels, Darth Vader wants to conquer death, the soul is a myth, no other motivation, a better story about science,

Age has more charity for these incomplete yet high-souled characters, whose worst real vice is timidity, and who are ultimately punished by general ridicule for their intellectual sins—sins like Ptolemaism, Calvinism, anti-Darwinism, anti-Nietzscheism, and every sort of Sabbatarianism and sumptuary legislation.

rub his face in it, thinking of Lovecraft as all the characters, childhood illustrations by Lovecraft, “anglo puritanism”, a war within his own mind, writing as getting out your demons, the solution (vs. the reagent),

It had at first been his hope to find a reagent which would restore vitality before the actual advent of death, and only repeated failures on animals had shewn him…

the Harlem Smoke has forelegs instead of arms, the reagent isnt racist, the character is racist, reality isn’t racist, objects and things, the more you look into it, things to play with, Lovecraft’s racism, pathologizing his writing, secret autobiography, trying to explain away creativity, what if it was this, really interesting, the war in his own mind, going to a play with black actors, C.M. Eddy Jr. Dead Dumb And Blind,

A little after noon on the twenty-eighth day of June, 1924, Dr. Morehouse stopped his machine before the Tanner place and four men alighted.

June 28th 1924, the Democrats not denouncing the KKK, Richard Wagner, race is central to Lovecraft, if you read his letters, to understand lovecraft we have to understand his racism and his racial, black characters in Edgar Allan Poe, The Gold Bug, he’s not interested in race, race is central to everything except for his dream stories, Re-Animator and Bride Of Re-Animator, adding the love element, all the bodies are male, the Dark Adventure Radio Theatre adaption, Dr Gordon Stuart, showing how racist both of the characters are, they lean into it, the factory town part, we’re not supposed to sympathize with these guys, Dan (the narrator character), student loans, Bryan Alexander, they revoke his student loans, the wild monster, straight up murdering a dude, so as I could be witness, ‘you towheaded freak don’t inject me with that needle’, for perverse reasons, a Peruvian civil war, looking at the two films together, quite faithful to the original serial, the women, the love interest, the plagiarist professor, in the Canadian army, what’s in the box?, isn’t he directing the army of the dead?, why would he deliver his own head, the man on the inside

As I have told the police, there was no wagon in the street; but only a group of strange-looking figures bearing a large square box which they deposited in the hallway after one of them had grunted in a highly unnatural voice, “Express—prepaid.” They filed out of the house with a jerky tread, and as I watched them go I had an odd idea that they were turning toward the ancient cemetery on which the back of the house abutted.

Arthur Jermyn, they are always living together, a touch of homo-eroticism, the same streak in Hypnos, the dissociated self, I don’t like the way he’s looking at me, part six is so preposterous,

When I slammed the door after them West came downstairs and looked at the box. It was about two feet square, and bore West’s correct name and present address. It also bore the inscription, “From Eric Moreland Clapham-Lee, St. Eloi, Flanders”.

a Thing On The Doorstep moment, a ghoulish wind of ice, the charnel bowels of a putrescent earth, a horde of silent toiling things, The Black Cat, a set of fingers and an eye, the shout-out to The Rats In The Walls, like an army, a beautiful head made of wax, a mad eyed monstrosity, fabulous abominations, they have servants?, unidentifiable ashes, the Sefton Tragedy, those accursed tomb-legions had not been so silent, the framing story, testimony in exchange for immunity, The Tell-Tale Heart, talking to his own defense attorney, a psychotic break, Guy de Maupassant, Philip K. Dick, Herbert West will hold him, controlled by West, The Statement Of Randolph Carter, a reluctant fascination, if these were case notes, it would be so clear, suicide, at the end of the PDF, BUY WAR BONDS, an unconscious joke by the publisher, who watched the 2017 Italian film?, Jesse’s review: “It has a lot of Italian cafes, some yellow liquid, Italian ladies and men, violins, chain, lots of darkness, a shoutout to Frankenstein, dripping liquids, blood. Waiting for improv class to end and the script to begin.”, 100% accurate, they never read the original story and only ever saw the trailer for Stuart Gordon’s movie, what the fuck is going on, you have never seen three more confused people, what is beyond death, was it a chamber?, was it a non-continuous experience, screaming in rebirth, birth is always painful, Lovecraft is a materialist, they just keep shooting and stabbing each other, death is horrific, limbo, stop motion and black and white, the makeup was good, the film was terrible, death is just the beginning, blame Jesse, Beyond Reanimator, having a female in the story, the Tyler Durden Fight Club story, a love story to the original Re-Animator and Frankenstein and Bride Of Frankenstein, the parts, lobotomies to make the dead controllable, the original film is very interested in Lovecraft’s story, a horror comedy and so is the original, The Loved Dead, he wants to make it with them, Lovecraft had a sense of humour, a very pathologized view of the man, if you read his letters, surprisingly funny, self-deprecating, naughty risque humour, hysterically funny, Barry Norman, this is hilarious, once you start seeing the humour, M.R. James’ jokes, very uptight and very straight-laced, reading Lovecraft, so engaged, engaged with other fiction, One Summer Night by Ambrose Bierce, McCall’s, The Body Snatchers by Robert Louis Stevenson, very very ill, no philosopher was he, pathological indifference, a gigantic negro named Jess, not so populace as its register had shown it to be, pallid and haggard, all eyes and teeth, a missing adventure, working class bodies, Monsters Of The Market: Zombies, Vampires And Global Capitalism by David McNally, capital punishment, Burke and Hare, a Burke-skin book, experimentation on working class people The Case Of Charles Dexter Ward, Curwen’s dungeon, they haven’t eaten in hundreds of years, once you’re a reanimated zombie, another Frankenstein reference, James Whale’s Frankenstein, the first of a new race, man becomes god, man should not meddle, remaking James Whale’s Frankenstein, working class victims, a sound animal, more asleep than dead, class anxieties, the silent working class, the first illustration, we laid the specimen on the improvised dissecting table, alien autopsy, the cloaked figure may be the narrator, up is down and black is white, an unreliable narrator in his own testimony, the last sentence, their silent because its an hallucination, for the years that followed, literally the narrator, the patient whose banging his head against the wall, age 12 H.P. Lovecraft illustration [I may have been conflating the source, not even sure it is by Lovecraft or even age 12, here’s the source], sword of puritan ethics, the narrator is not as sure about the afterlife as Herbert West, its in his head, being a gentleman, Randolph Carter, The Hound, not as equally as bad as the other, a bust, Who Knows? by Guy de Maupassant, The Horla, all his furniture is leaving his house, it all mysteriously reappeared, the furniture of his mind, if there’s any pattern to H.P. Lovecraft its ending up in an insane asylum, poor H.P. Lovecraft, mom and dad, a common trope, the last confession, “there are demons, honest”, losing your reason, losing who you are, the quality of mental health care, gone to the asylum, not a big fan of doctors, their ethics are somewhat questionable,trust and paranoia, second opinions, the hierarchies in asylums and hospitals, The Facts In The Case Of M. Valdemar, bad science, parallels, gruesomeness, is the M. in M. Valdemar a missing word?, a hoax, a japer, The Man Who Japed, a comedy magazine, Grewsome is a pun on Home Brew, getting intoxicated, a magazine of entertainment, a low brow version of The Smart Set, anarchist cookbook territory, charging 25 cents, the slickest fanzine Jesse’s ever seen (if it is a fanzine), a prozine, their version of the internet, homepages vs. letters, a parallel to a slow version of the internet, fan forums, a lot of it is preserved, Stuart Gordon, Robert E. Howard, in the late 60s and early 70s, when Lovecraft hit paperback, beatnik and hippies, fandom/cult, the trailer for the musical theater version of Re-Animator, just as horrific, the sets, the security guard, Boudoir magazine, so distracted with his pornography, in keeping with the serialization, its good comedy.

From The Dark (typescript)

Home Brew, February 1922

Home Brew, June 1922

ReAnimator art by Francesco Francavilla565

tweeten-1558235845582

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #437 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: The Turning Wheel by Philip K. Dick

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #437 – The Turning Wheel by Philip K. Dick, read by Mike Vendetti (this audiobook comes to us courtesy of Mike Vendetti). This is a complete and unabridged reading of the story (52 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Paul Weimer, Mr Jim Moon, Marissa, and Mirko Stauch.

Talked about on today’s show:
clearness be with me, novelette, Science Fiction Stories, issue 2, 1954, the far future of The Faith Of Our Fathers, an ambush ending, Brian Aldiss, I wish he wasn’t on speed, adrenaline or heroin hit, really funny, the most hilarious thing ever, walking around Hollywood, cruel glee, Sigma 2 Foxtrot, full of ideas, building a world step by step, small hints, not Dick’s best story, The Philip K. Dick Fans page, baffled by, pointing to something, the plot, what are we supposed to make of the ending, another turn of the wheel, penicillin, a return to reality, false beliefs, the next world, the tinkerists, a parade, a secular meeting, taken on too much, a racist and anti-racist story, awkwardness in his own body, PKD was a cauc, an interest in the numinous, a repairman, ambivalence, crapsack future, post apocalyptic dystopia, a Yellow Peril story, Indians ascendant, the lowly caucs, rotations of karma, circles within circles, humour, the PKD stand-in character, “my mind is still impure”, denial of education, entertainment, food, bardley class, some sort of satire, Scientology, Dianetics, A.E. van Vogt, John W. Campbell, there’s not much science in it, self-helpy, therapy replacement, psychotherapy for the afflicted, did Dick ever go to a Scientology meeting, Lawrence Sutin, phhh, Elron Hu (Bard), pretty crazy, in the center, e-meters, Aleister Crowley, apocryphal stories, Lester del Rey, founding a religion, Michael Shermer, the Robert A. Heinlein anecdote, the Harlan Ellison anecdote, what is religion for?, The Man In The High Castle, even the caucs of Detroit, the colonial governor, what is the purpose of religion?, how strange a man, a born liar, a similar mentality to Trump, a serious mental illness, a system, persuasion, the appeal of any religion, offering answers, tradition, social structure, what do they say?, they look with their blank stares, creepy, free test, no eye contact, Sung Wu, this is what the real world’s like, so much fear, it will jangle you, deprogrammed, the medicine, bad days, mental crisis, free floating anxiety, existential angst, this electronic device is not going to hurt you, free (at first), haters, every cult, the Westboro Baptists, Cults!, rusty and unoiled, a jammed disposal slot, any stable society is menaced by cults, are we stable society, teetering on the brink, blind to the rot, rationalize, this is fine, do not repair, do not fix, shooting bullets with a rusty gun, deterministic nature of their faith, predetermined, divine will, a cheap argument, the lowest class, off to Spain, a silent messenger, the basic catechisms, busy mixing, a hairy cauc sweating and galumphing around like a neanderthal, one of PKD’s wives must have called him an neanderthal, Mary And The Giant, technos, pale and unhealthy like nocturnal insects, othering the Caucasians, I’m pretty hairy myself, lascivious looks, human dimensions, incessant whining, laughing and wincing, full of hypocrisy, the robots, “clearness be with you”, welded to its waist, some tinkerist, a plow, legacy leftovers, the TV repairman part of PKD, science is good and engineering is great aspect, hoping for recycling, monorails everywhere, nuclear war, open sores, farming the ruins of Detroit, a cool image, Time Pawn, revisions, world-building, wanted more meat, nicotine or copper, insecticide, our brothers, reacting to Eastern Mythology, gnostic, I Ching, of course not, reading the Dick’s Exegesis, jangled with spirits of murders, Thetans, I wanna murder you right now, not my best self, externalize, a lascivious bastard, getting clear, on a spectrum, mental issues, so productive, maybe this will work, a marketable madness, negative thoughts, that’s the bad part, panic attacks, agoraphobia, depressions, the link between graphomania and mental depression, you wouldn’t see anything, sitting on Philip K. Dick’s shoulder, across the street with binoculars, it must be frightening, nobody has the answer, a powerful ending, a lot of reflection of our society, making animals suffer is bad, sorry spider, take it to the limit, hairy and sweaty, ultimately we’re smart and we have science and engineering, he ultimately believes that American industrialism is a good thing, penicillin is awesome, his only real giant point, its about empathy, kipple or gubble, back into organized states, old religions, a new world order, out of the ruins of the old society, deeply symbolic, they could make the same mistake, primitively wise, they suborn ’em, expiration dates on drugs, unpacking the brushed over, how do we know that it works?, a poor little fly on an alien planet, a self-deluded cult that’s taken over the world, we have no guarantees, to reboot Scientology, it would be VR, you’re jangled!, VR as a treatment for PTSD, I remember all of Blade Runner, I don’t need to watch it again, the Vangelis soundtrack, the cause of my jangles, that room, put yourself in a basket, the Mercer cult machine, no decent self-respecting woman, incredibly hairy, like apes!, ape-like, dealing with racism, a yellow man criticizing white men, a white ascendancy, a horizontal ascendancy, we’ll have to share the same outhouse, oh my Hubbard!, the black empathy box, Wilbur Mercer, an Empathy box, an E-Box, the virtual reality of Perky Pat, a regular person, you have to have so much knowledge going in, Roog, deciding to become a vegetable, what is he saying here?, did his wife say something to him?, why would anyone publish this?, no movie will be made of this (as it is), wishing it were a lot longer, Piper In The Woods, the Green Man, what’s he getting at here?, New Wave, why is that guy doing that?, is he New Wave before his time, Gonna Roll Them Bones by Fritz Leiber, things are like huh, Day Million by Frederik Pohl, pre-inoculated for the changes to come, a boy goes to prison for treason and comes out a girl (Chelsea Manning), turmoil and rage, I was thinking about this two decades ago, fifty years ago, a story aimed squarely at the heterosexual male, stick with me, still a love story, there’s something going on there, not meant for the ages, for lining your bird cage with, we’re clear, and marked as suppressive persons, vegans, what you gonna stop eating fruit, totally put off, kind of cute, The Misfits, is abstaining from alcohol a religion, not having to lie, the religious fervor has passed, 27 year old Toyota,

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #331 – READALONG: The Lord Of The Rings (Book 4 of 6) by J.R.R. Tolkien

Podcast

TheSFFaudioPodcast600The SFFaudio Podcast #331 – Jesse, Julie Davis, Seth, and Maissa talk about The Lord of the Rings Book IV (“The Journey To Mordor”) by J.R.R. Tolkien (aka the second half of The Two Towers).

Talked about on today’s show:
Book 4, from The Taming Of Smeagol to the end of The Two Towers, or “Don’t get tangled-up with a spider”, or “Frodo slogging through the marshes forever”, or “nothing but a bunch of people walking”, Jesse’s least favorite, so gloomy, poems, flora, fauna, stew, Julie thinks it’s necessary, encounters, the overall gloom, the purification of Frodo, also Sam, carry-on and finish-off, Sam as the hero, Sam telling the story, Sam is the lowest of the low, the evolution of Sam, Sam is jealous of Gollum, Jesse loves the meta-stuff, “Mr Frodo, sir”, Smeagol must save them both, once upon a time, “Tell me more about Sam, dad.”, the huge elf warrior, Gollum’s story, we’re never the villain, what inspired Richard K. Morgan’s The Steel Remains, seeing it from the orcs’ point of view, how well structured, looking forward and looking back, nuanced and multi-layered, Tolkien’s reputation, a very black and white moral sensibility…, the other point of view, the creation of orcs, Melkor, one of the seven gods of Middle Earth, the blight of Mordor, the flowers on the crown, dark and light, Frodo and Gollum, old and beautiful vs. old and pitiable, they could have been each other, the argument between Gollum and himself, the editing, why is Gollum bad, stinker and slinker, Sam’s apology to Smeagol, Smeagol is passive aggressive, the timing as the greatest tragedy of the whole book, Cory Olsen, the lost opportunity, twisting the promise, what the ring has promised him, Gollum the great could eat fish three times a day!, his modest dreams, like a dog off a leash, he’s like a dog in every way, guilty dogs, dogs turning on their masters, fish are sweet to Gollum, everything that we like he hates, calling Gandalf’s words to mind, the big picture, the eye is looking for you, Smeagol’s contribution, even the worst evil, chance if chance you call it, diverting evil to good, the deal with Faramir, another structural thing, three travelers in a land, Riders Of Rohan, who be you, it is totally a mirror, Aragorn and crew, revealing vs. being discovered, the righteous, blindfolded again, a foreshadowing of Éowyn, well the Rohirrim are great but…, bear that in mind, Faramir’s mind reading power, who are the Númenóreans?, Jesse thinks it is wisdom, not so much about race, it’s because he’s full of lore, the mind reading thing, Galadriel’s telepathy, “No”, “come hither”, ESP?, character vs. race, country first (Borimir) vs. wisdom first (Faramir),

I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend.

this is the guy, the BBC radio drama, you ran all the way to me!?, Tolkien is teasing us, an echo of Galadriel, grey eyes glinting, not if I found it on the highway, “It’s not a romance novel, Julie.”, “Wow, what a guy!”, David Wenham, Aragorn is a ranger of the North and Faramir is a ranger of the South, Sam’s oliphant, what false promises did Sauron make to these guys?, dressed like Robin Hood and the merry men of Sherwood, one of the most religious things in The Lord Of The Rings, a meeting in the secret lair, Sam’s overspeaking reflecting Frodo’s overspeaking back in the Prancing Pony, heart over head, another geographical reflection, behind a waterfall, Helm’s Deep, seeing Rohan, seeing the storm, the dark skies, Minas Tirith and Minas Morgul, the chapter titles, The Passage Of The Marshes, The Black Gate Is Closed, Of Herbs And Stewed Rabbit, ruin the conies, the homely things, pots and pans, the phial of Galadriel, the Checkov’s shotguns, the belt that Borimir was given, the magic items, used once, Hobbits learn to cook before they speak, the rope!, Shelob stings Frodo like when Frodo is stung by the morgul blade back at Weathertop, running blindly on the bridge, Cirith Ungol, Shelob is Ungoliant’s daughter, the children of Shelob inhabit Mirkwood, South African spiders, how many time has the ring been worn?, Bilbo at the party, Frodo at the Prancing Pony, Frodo at Weathertop, Frodo at Amon Hen, Frodo at Borimir’s confrontation, Sam at Shelob’s lair, the ring’s effect on Sam, different people are effected differently by the ring, Frodo’s power with the ring would be to command, the ring is like a computer, if you think google is the internet…, the ring gives invisibility as a basic power, it gives Sam the power of sharp hearing and translation, Frodo can see more, Sam’s superpower is listening (he was an eavesdropper), as they approach Mordor the ring gets heavier and more powerful, leap from a precipice into a fire, it also blinds Frodo, the ring’s perception, “the master’s back”, because it is linked to Sauron, like a dog?, back to the magic items, if you play Dungeons and Dragons, a bow of plus to killing orcs, even Borimir’s gift, Sam’s dirt, Frodo’s phial, Sting from Frodo to Sam, leaving the Mithril armor, and then there’s the rope, the tying of the rope, is it a magic rope?, Galadriel’s rope?, that’s not her gift, words have power, another manifestation, “We got rope” [says some random elf], cloaks, rope, and bread, who is following?, is Gollum really allergic to the rope, if somebody tied me up, he can’t eat the lembas, he hates light, the ropes, and the nice things, climbing down Dracula-style, he knows his knots, the mystery from the previous, what happened to the entwives?, back in the Green Dragon Inn, “oh those tales”, the Ents tell where the Entwives went, the Brown Lands are brown, Jesse found a thread somewhere on the internet, Teleporno, a lot of digital ink was spilled, the last paragraph of page 258, just after watching the storm, “the skirt of the storm”, primed for finding the entwives, looking at Fanghorn,

At last they were brought to a halt. The ridge took a sharper bend northward and was gashed by a deeper ravine. On the further side it reared up again, many fathoms at a single leap: a great grey cliff loomed before them, cut sheer down as if by a knife stroke. They could go no further forwards, and must turn now either west or east. But west would lead them only into more labour and delay, back towards the heart of the hills; east would take them to the outer precipice.

“There’s nothing for it but to scramble down this gully, Sam,” said Frodo. “Let’s see what it leads to!”

“A nasty drop, I’ll bet,” said Sam.

The cleft was longer and deeper than it seemed. Some way down they found a few gnarled and stunted trees, the first they had seen for days: twisted birch for the most part, with here and there a fir-tree. Many were dead and gaunt, bitten to the core by the eastern winds. Once in milder days there must have been a fair thicket in the ravine, but now, after some fifty yards, the trees came to an end, though old broken stumps straggled on almost to the cliff’s brink. The bottom of the gully, which lay along the edge of a rock-fault, was rough with broken stone and slanted steeply down. When they came at last to the end of it, Frodo stooped and leaned out.

ties it too a stump, got this rope from the elves, oh I don’t want it elf rope behind, the rope is not magic, not really high fantasy, the birch stump untied the rope!, the last of the entwives, Frodo and Sam aren’t looking out for the entwives, “10 points for creativity”, a structural argument, they untie their bonds and sit down on a stump, answering any and every question, Julie goes with Tolkien’s answer, Jesse argues for the book over the author, here’s proof that the entwives are there, every time Galadriel’s name gets mentioned, the last thing he says is Galadriel and he strokes the rope, there is no truth of the matter, we cannot go to Middle Earth except by reading this book, Jesse keeps marshaling the argument, “you will find friends”, “Elrond is right”, two hobbits sit down on a stump and are taken by a tree, on the edge of a forest, symmetrically it works, an undefeatable argument unless, if were trying to solve mysteries…, the fragrant area, it used to be, this place had its history too before it was the Brown Lands, there are things we don’t know and things Tolkien didn’t know about it, world-build the hell out of it, structurally: the time, a three day foot journey to the west and a three day foot journey to the east, near simultaneous action, the end of page 70, even the wind is mapped out, Emun Myul, “almost felt you liked the place?”, a magic talking tree, the final nail in the coffin, the birch, the word book comes from the word birch, bravo bravo, the mystery is left there, when we were talking about the word stuff, Tom Bombadil,

‘It’s a trap!’ said Sam, and he laid his hand upon the hilt of his sword; and as he did so, he thought of the darkness of the barrow whence it came. ‘I wish old Tom was near us now!’ he thought. Then as he stood, darkness about him and a blackness of despair and anger in his heart, it seemed to him that he saw… a light in his mind, almost unbearably bright at first…. Far off… he saw the Lady Galadriel… in Lórien, and gifts were in her hands. And you, Ring-bearer, he heard her say, remote but clear, for you I have prepared this.

and that happens again, Sam brings light by thought, the big theme, with this phial, brandishing this light, intolerable light, unbearable light, the infection of light, Frodo asleep becoming a phial of light, Sam seeing it in Frodo, Frodo fading?, Frodo purified?, light going through him, the pincushion effect!, Frodo the white, the trend of weariness, the fate of all the elves, Mythgard Academy, that’s a choice, The Choices Of Master Samwise, you noodle!, everything that happens in the last book, foolish choices (wise choices), signing a contract you haven’t read, who would have the ring now?, somebody cut this open, the orcs had orders, in the floaty ghosty of the eye, the black hand only has four fingers, does Sauron have a body?, rolling Frodo into a ditch, all my choices have proved ill, what good lay in choice?, the very last map in The Two Towers, the wetwang and the entwash, Rohan, the new book The Fellowship: The Literary Lives of the Inklings: J.R.R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, Owen Barfield, Charles Williams by Philip and Carol Zaleski, telling the story of The Inklings, Lewis’ atheism and conversion, intertextuality, reading each other’s minds, Eagle And Child pub, Hugo Dyson, an alternate theory on the entwives, the vocal mannerisms of treebeard are those of C.S. Lewis, the question is not: “where are the entwives” but rather “where are our husbands?”, Dorothy L. Sayers, a male exclusive club, christian apologetics, a shoo–in.

UNICORN - The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien
MAGNUM - The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien
UNICORN - The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien

Posted by Jesse Willis