The SFFaudio Podcast #265 – READALONG: Deus Irae by Philip K. Dick and Roger Zelazny

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #265 – Jesse, Tam, and Paul Weimer discuss Deus Irae by Philip K. Dick and Roger Zelazny

Talked about in this episode:
1976, “hey it’s Zelazny”, Tibor and whatnot, “The Great C.“, waking from a gnostic dream of oblivion, “the book is opaque to say the least”, “on the pilg”, recommended for super Dick-fans who like religion, New Wave (basically shitty), Christianity, Ted White, the Sector General novels, mythology and religion, 80-85% Dick, post-apocalyptic story, the local A.I., the sacrifice of the Athenians to the Minotaur, like a Jeopardy game, heliocentricity vs. geocentricity, “Benford, Bear, and Brin’s new Foundation trilogy”, Hari Seldon in a chimpanzee body, The Best Of Gregory Benford, it’s a paycheck, “If you wanna read this piece of shit that’s fine … I’m getting paid.”, cynicism, looking for the truth behind things, Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?, Tibor’s conversations, there’s no fixed ground, Dr. Bloodmoney, Or How We Got Along After The Bomb, the fallout from nuclear fallout, Utah, Denver, “where are they getting this coffee?”, the socio-economic underpinnings of this book are fantasy, The Man In The High Castle, is he really worried about his bottle?, Autofac, the consequences of automated production, an economic weapon a weapon of war, Gresham’s law, The Crawlers, incs = incompletes, the thalidomide baby phenomenon, Arthur C. Clarke, Of Withered Apples (and our podcast about it), the apple tree scene doesn’t pay-off, the dog, episodic feel, the parallel pilgrimage of Peter Sands, the guy with the face problem, devil from the sky, Lufteufel (from the German words “Luft,” meaning “air,” and “Teufel,” meaning “Devil”), the class of people who engage with believers but don’t believe themselves, if you go into churches…, if there is a point to this story, representation, no photos of Jesus, does it matter if we worship a false image?, drawing a symbol, “the novel is extremely gnostic”, Zelazny’s Amber series, Islam goes the opposite way, depictions of Muhammad, believers tend not to worry about such details, the Klingons, the gnostic gloss, “it works as what it is”, the miracle of the arms and legs, a vision of the Deus Irae, what’s going on with the cow?, she’s a holy cow, the authors say?, “the cow slept and dreamed – Tibor ruminated.”, mechanical arms only (no legs), the crucifixion in reverse, the endings, Lufteufel and his daughter, dissolution, he does partake in divinity, Dr. Abernathy, Luke Daniels, the ozone in the air, an Arthurian motif, the healing of the wound, The Last Defender Of Camelot, dedicated Stanley G. Weinbaum and The Martian Odyssey, connecting the books, The Martian Odyssey is important and interesting but not great, “a classic of the field”, the first Science Fiction to come out of the 1920s, mostly junk, aliens that are just alien, where it fits in the history of Science Fiction, PKD’s favourite author was A.E. van Vogt, changing things up every thousand words, a formative influence on both Dick and Zelazny?, Eric S. Rabkin, maybe they had coffee together, A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller, Jr., dung beetles, the lizards (Lizzies), the talking bird, “the little black boys”, I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream by Harlan Ellison, transformed by Am, another name for God or Popeye, evil turns into good, it’s all for the best, the philosophy behind Voltaire’s Candide, “it was good that we had a nuclear war”, the story of Noah, the ultimate Spring cleaning, religious people don’t tend to get stuck at that point, “maybe I’m wrong”, somebody is going to enjoy that sermon by Dr. Abernathy, the passing of good out of evil, internal arguments, “good” is not as strong as “evil”, a very clever sophistic argument that kind of works, a lot of German, allusions to other literature, and “the stars threw down their spears”, William Blake’s Tyger Tyger, a gnostic poem, the currency of half-forgotten poems, funerals and weddings call for the imagery and vocabulary of poetry, cultural tools for sealing social relationships, The Stars My Destination, what is gnosticism?, going out into a cave…, a vision quest, revelations, Jesus’ marriage, canonized gnosticism, religion as Jesus fan fiction, fan service, Galactic Pot Healer, a crisis of faith, a god needs help, a lack of editing, the meditation/drug thing, pastors can be grumpy without coffee and cigarettes, Abernathy is an asshole.

Deus Irae by Philip K. Dick DELL SF

Daw Books - DEUS IRAE by Philip K. Dick and Roger Zelazny

DEUS IRAE by Philip K. Dick and Roger Zelazny - Illustration by Corben

The Great C. by Philip K. Dick

Tyger Tyger by William Blake

Posted by Jesse Willis

Badge Of Infamy by Lester Del Rey

SFFaudio Online Audio

Here’s a terrific audiobook. It’s one I hadn’t thought of for a long while, but now, looking at its plot and themes, it seems fresher than ever before. It’s about healthcare, political lobbies by powerful interest groups, ethics in a time of corruption, and the red planet, Mars.

The complete audiobook is available from LibriVox, but what’s new here is a |PDF| made from a scan of it’s original publication in Satellite Science Fiction, June 1957! And it’s beautiful!

Satellite Science Fiction, June 1957 - cover illustration by Alex Schomburg

LIBRIVOX - Badge Of Infamy by Lester del ReyBadge Of Infamy
By Lester del Rey; Read by Steven H. Wilson
1 |M4B|, 15 Zipped MP3 Files, or Podcast – Approx. 3 Hours 19 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: January 17, 2007
Daniel Feldman was a doctor once. He made the mistake of saving a friend’s life in violation of Medical Lobby rules. Now, he’s a pariah, shunned by all, forbidden to touch another patient. But things are more loose on Mars. There, Doc Feldman is welcomed by the colonists, even as he’s hunted by the authorities. But, when he discovers a Martian plague may soon wipe out humanity on two planets, Feldman finds himself a pivotal figure. War erupts. Earth is poised to wipe out the Mars colony utterly. A cure to the plague is the price of peace, and only Feldman can find it.

Podcast feed: http://librivox.org/bookfeeds/badge-of-infamy-by-lester-del-rey.xml

iTunes 1-Click |SUBSCRIBE|

Illustrations from Satellite Science Fiction, June 1957 (artwork uncredited):
Illustration from Badge Of Infamy (artwork uncredited)
Illustration from Badge Of Infamy (artwork uncredited)
Illustration from Badge Of Infamy (artwork uncredited)
Posted by Jesse Willis

CBS Radio Mystery Theater: The Rise And Fall Of The Fourth Reich by Henry Slesar

SFFaudio Online Audio

Karel Thole illustration for The Rise And Fall Of The Fourth Reich - from Urania #729

I have a sudden desire to eat Uncle Ben’s rice and buy a 1976 Buick. Yes folks I’ve been listening to more CBS Radio Mystery Theater.

The episode this time was called The Rise And Fall Of The Fourth Reich and was written by Henry Slesar.

Slesar was an interesting writer. He wrote in nearly every capacity that a writer can. Being a copywriter (he apparently coined the phrase “coffee break”). But he wrote plenty of fiction too. He was the head writer on an intriguing sounding daytime soap opera (a thriller series modeled after Perry Mason books), he wrote movie screenplays, TV movie scripts, mystery novels, and dozens of radio dramas. But he also wrote a lot of SF short stories – and that’s where things get a bit murky because I’m actually not sure if this story was an adaptation of the text, or if the text was an adaptation of the play. The play of The Rise And Fall Of The Fourth Reich aired first, being broadcast in the spring of 1975. But the short story of the same name came out shortly thereafter in F&SF.

For our purposes I guess it doesn’t really matter too much either way because the only version of the story available in the audio format is the CBS Radio Mystery Theater play.

Set in Mexico, in the 1970s, the storyline isn’t radically dissimilar from the 1976 Ira Levin novel The Boys From Brazil (later to be made into a film of the same name). I enjoyed the plotting, which features both the quest for immortality, the fruit of horrific Nazi experiments, and most of all the desire for revenge.

Here it is, as it aired exactly 37 years ago today…

CBS Radio Mystery TheaterCBSRMT #0275 – The Rise And Fall Of The Fourth Reich
By Henry Slesar; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 46 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: CBS Radio
Broadcast: May 16, 1975
A Nazi fantasy? In this weird tale, two scientists discover an aged and sickly Adolf Hitler in 1970’s Mexico City. They begin to try and restore his health and youth through their experiments. First published in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, August 1975.

Cast:
Robert Dryden
Ken Harvey
Paul Hecht
Joe Silver

The Rise And Fall Of The Fourth Reich by Henry Slesar - from Fantasy & Science Fiction, August 1975

[via the wonderful CBSRMT.com]

Posted by Jesse Willis

LibriVox: The Hate Disease by Murray Leinster

SFFaudio Online Audio

LibriVoxHere’s a promising sounding novella from my buddy Gregg Margarite and LibriVox.org. It’s set in the same universe and features the same characters as one I just posted about. Murray Leinster’s interstellar medical hero Dr. Calhoun and his semi-sentient furry companion Murgatroyd are a fun pair and so while listening to the start of this one I was reminded of one of my favourite public domain audiobooks, Dr. Alan E. Nourse’s Star Sugeon |READ OUR REVIEW|. Thinking about that got me to thinking about the amount of medical Science Fiction out there. There’s probably a lot more than I know about. One other public domain audiobook I can think of off the top of my head is Lester del Rey’s Badge Of Infamy.

It’s a solid one!

And then, expanding beyond the public domain, I thought about Michael Crichton’s The Andromeda Strain |READ OUR REVIEW|. Given how much I enjoy it I’m thinking medical Science Fiction should be a lot more prominent in my reading than it actually is. But I don’t see a lot of NEW medical SF out there. What gives? Is medical SF just too hard to write now? Or must one be, like Nourse and Crichton, both a physician and a writer to write consistently write convincing medical Science Fiction?

Until I figure it out I’ve got this one…

LIBRIVOX - The Hate Disease by Murray LeinsterThe Hate Disease
By Murray Leinster; Read by Gregg Margarite
1 M4B, 2 Zipped MP3 Files or Podcast – Approx. 2 Hours 2 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: October 28, 2010
Dr. Calhoun and his pet tormal Murgatroyd work for the Interstellar Medical Service making routine public health inspections on far-flung colonial planets. When they reach Tallien Three they are greeted with a rocket attack by the Paras, a mutated form of human rapidly replacing the “normals”. The normals think it’s a pandemic of demonic possession but Calhoun has his doubts. If he can keep from turning into a Para, or being assassinated by them he just might figure this thing out. First published in Analog Science Fact & Fiction August 1963.

Podcast feed: http://librivox.org/rss/4839

iTunes 1-Click |SUBSCRIBE|

[Thanks also to Betty for prooflistening!]

Posted by Jesse Willis

LibriVox: This World Is Taboo by Murray Leinster

SFFaudio Online Audio

LibriVoxMy favourite thing (that I know of) to come out of Simpsonville, South Carloina is narrator Mark F. Smith. To me he’s just a voice, a dude who reads a lot of the audiobooks that I often listen to, but rarely comment on. This novel, particularly, is a rather special to me as it is the only audiobook I’ve ever attempted to record for myself. That attempt, thankfully lost on some old hard-drive somewhere, was a complete and utter failure. But when Mark F. Smith reads it I can see just how dismal was my reading was and how easy Smith makes it seem. Mark F. Smith’s voice isn’t particularly resonant, nor is it particularly distinctive. I don’t even think his voice a whole lot better than mine. But, what Mark’s voice has, which mine lacks, is a whole lot of consistency, a kind of vocal solidity which is absolutely required to make an audiobook truly listenable. Smith’s pronunciation isn’t perfect. But I know how hard that is too. Take this word: “Asclepius

It’s the name of one of the ships in the story.

I spent maybe five or six minutes researching it, and then figuring out how to pronounce it. I can do it now, like a champ actually – uh-sklee-pee-uhs – but, when I actually ran into it in the text I kept pausing to pronounce it, and ruining the audiobook’s flow. Smith’s pronunciation, though close, isn’t right, at least not exactly, but it does flow – and that’s far more than I could ever achieve.

Thanks Mark F. Smith. Your readings are appreciated on multiple levels!

LIBRIVOX - This World Is Taboo by Murray LeinsterThis World Is Taboo
By Murray Leinster; Read by Mark F. Smith
8 Zipped MP3 Files or Podcast – Approx. 4 Hours 1 Minute [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: June 17, 2010
Calhoun is an Interstellar Medical Serviceman, and he’s needed on Dara. Trouble is: Dara is forbidden. Taboo. And breaking quarantine will make Calhoun a presumed plague-carrier and subject to being shot on sight by anyone from Weald. But hey! If he did the smart thing, we wouldn’t have a story! But why are men from Dara shooting at him? First published in Amazing, July 1961 under the title Pariah Planet.

Podcast feed: http://librivox.org/rss/4390

iTunes 1-Click |SUBSCRIBE|

[Thanks also to Ans Wink and Laurie Anne Walden]

Posted by Jesse Willis

LibriVox: The Planet Savers by Marion Zimmer Bradley

SFFaudio Online Audio

LibriVoxMarion Zimmer Bradley is best known as the author of The Mists Of Avalon, but her most long running series is set not in a fantasy middle ages of Earth, but rather on a far future Earth colony called Darkover. There are more than 40 books in the Darkover series. We have the very first one now available, thanks to LibriVox.org and the laudable narrator Mark Douglas Nelson!

The story’s pretty cool too, it’s told in first person by Dr. Jay Allison, an amnesiac. Allison shortly discovers that he is the only doctor on the planet qualified to solve the coming medical crisis, a “48-year fever” that’s a planetary pandemic that recurs at 48 year intervals. Making things even more difficult, we soon discover that his amnesia, is actually being caused by his multiple personality disorder (aka dissociative identity disorder).

The Planet Savers was first published as a “short novel” in a 1958 issue of Amazing Science Fiction magazine. In 1962 it became immortalized as one half of one of the famed Ace Doubles series (# F-153):

ACE DOUBLE (F-153) The Planet Savers by Marrion Zimmer Bradley

LIBRIVOX - The Planet Savers by Marion Zimmer BradleyThe Planet Savers
By Marion Zimmer Bradley; Read by Mark Douglas Nelson
4 Zipped MP3 Files or Podcast – Approx. 3 Hours 11 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: May 28, 2010
The Terran colony on the planet Darkover faces imminent destruction by a plague of the deadly Trailmen’s Fever. The only hope is to develop a serum in time, but this requires the cooperation of the elusive native Trailmen, the brilliant parasitologist Dr. Jay Allison, and his split personality. First published in Amazing Science Fiction Stories, November 1958.

Podcast feed: http://librivox.org/rss/4246

iTunes 1-Click |SUBSCRIBE|

Part 1 |MP3| Part 2 |MP3| Part 3 |MP3| Part 4 |MP3|

Here is a map of the planet Darkover (created for Wikipedia by David Speakman):

Map Of Darkover

[Thanks also to Betty M. and Diana Majlinger]

Posted by Jesse Willis