The SFFaudio Podcast #678 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, Evan Lampe, and Will Emmons talk about Starship Mutiny by Mike Resnick
Talked about on today’s show:
space opera, Aurora by Kim Stanley Robinson, space opera is garbage, Star Trek with the serial numbers filed off, galactic civilization, Mirror Mirror, a perpetual war, a security officer, Yar abd Odo and Tuvok, sleeping with Big Brother, Big Sister, Nineteen Eighty-Four, she likes to watch, enjoying the voyeurism, nothing non-carnal, worshiping Wilson Cole like a god, a group of malcontents, Honor Harrington, the Honorverse, drugged out, an attack on the Honor Harringtonverse, Horatio Hornblower in space, broadsides, the pointlessness in being space opera, steelmanned space opera, Unconquerable Sun by Kate Elliott, Melinda Snodgrass, more nuanced and interesting, Alastair Reynolds, Greco-Persian wars in space, a female Alexander The Great, all gender flipped, the Pournelle Niven theory about space travel, better warps, there’s no worldbuilding in this novel, you are correct sir, one spaceship can blow up a planet, how much energy to blow up a planet, its a fuel dump, Space: 1999, slightly implausible, not a fig leaf of plausibility, did you enjoy the book, the lack of worldbuilding, he’s a great commander, he’s always right, do we have to do this again?, the way Socrates is always right, see what happened to him, explicitly designed to be a series, Will’s problem with it, telegraphing, it works, being the smartest man in the room, the canniest man, his instincts are always right, the author is cheating, sarcastic and sardonic, how much research put into this book, he did zero research, it probably took a week to write, hackwork, absolutely entertaining, Neal Stephenson, super easy reading, every book came out the year after the last one, I need some meat on some bones, some actual science fiction, extruded science product, a perfectly fine TV show, what colour are the uniforms?, the ship is grey, he doesn’t care about the ranks, all the services were amalgamated, flows easily and well, not to Paul’s taste, what makes it better?, more interesting and nuanced characters, worldbuilding, they have the same ethnicities we have the day, Mount Fuji, an oriental that’s 7 feet tall, a perfectly legitimate word, an inscrutable Chinaman, the news media, in jail awaiting his trial, commander Podok, this is a girl boss story, not the racism its the sexism, his theme, bureaucracy and military inefficiency, the message, its 2005, why can’t we win this Iraq War?, a Lincoln, WWII, this is a really political book, guess who went into the navy three years past the cutoff and given a rank of ensign and had no training as an officer, Hunter Biden, a lot of shitty officers, the whole premise of this book, we don’t know who they’re fighting, there will be a mutiny, the flagship, taking back the federation/republic, manly men doing manly things, a symbiont, the gorib, no deep worldbuilding at all, more anthropology, I’m the smartest guy in the room episode, dumb smart guys, The High Ground, criticizing patriarchal values, imperial space navy, exploring patriarchy and empire, an aristocratic empire in space, deeply into the world and the characters, crap, Measure Of The Man, Pen Pals, C.J. Cherryh, Downbelow Station, what its really like with people settling space, a bunch of old people, Falling Free by Lois McMaster Bujold, military SF, overlapping, Gareth L. Powell’s Embers Of War series, The Expanse, alien molecule, Alastair Reynolds land, pure storytelling, a little serialized, the horse people who can’t see too good during the day, painted on the cover, foreign editions, disposable science fiction, writing to be turned into a Netflix or Amazon series, the James S.A. Corey thing, right there in the business, The Wheel Of Time, Bryan Alexander’s review of Foundation TV series, add a lot of sex scenes to Foundation by Isaac Asimov, a novel series, subtle anthropological science fiction, Kirinyaga, Seven Views Of Olduvai Gorge, purely commercial (hackwork), smooth writing, why markets exist, manual labour, painting 3,000 square feet, interesting and hold your attention and fun, when sick, yard work, it serves a purpose, a space opera soap opera Star Treky universe, all the criticisms that we throw at it, this is not an intellectual stimulation delivery system, perfectly serviceable, there are stars in the universe, grav plats, wormholes and lightspeed, weapons systems, lightspeeds in an atmosphere, we’ll burn up due to fiction, pure space opera, military SF, star trek doesn’t feel like military SF, where Resnick feels comfortable, series stretch the idea of it being about science, making pain go away, very much like Soma, Paul did that on purpose, a different totalitarianism, the regular federation couldn’t have a mutiny, the most rotten thing of all is incompetent government, Biden’s withdrawal from Afghanistan, nobody was going to be held to account for this 20 year adventure in Afghanistan, didn’t do anything, couldn’t find anything, incompetence, the decline of the Empire (in Foundation), science fiction is always taking about the present, the buildings crashing down are suicide bombings, the anniversary of September 11, 2001, the author didn’t even know it was political, what they’re worried about in 1890 and 1920, they’re soaking in it, so obvious they don’t even state, retelling the story of the flight of the mercenaries our of Persia, retellings, if you want to sell a book, March Upcountry by David Weber and John Ringo, The Warriors (1979), is it really relevant or is it just a story?, how you end up with Rudy Guiliani, The Baroque Cycle by Neal Stephenson, ideas in what you read, leadership and the media, 2,500 pages with 400 ideas, anachronistic, magic gold, heavy gold, the guy who walked with god, Leibniz’s logic mill, careening, hefty intellectually, its not like your brain is a muscle exactly, Will and reality TV shows, brain decay because of this book, the Rastignac the Devil section, the gorib, handled completely differently, Wilson Cole’s inability to use they them pronouns, pilot/slick, a strawman situation, we need to give Chinese people American name, where did you get English names?, Winston is the most ridiculous name, don’t be another Anna, what gets Mike Resnick in trouble, science fiction drama, hotter back in the day, canceled after his death, unrepentant, I’m too old for this shit, Alex Acks, Dear Barry Malzberg, fuck you, SFWA bulletin, sexism allegation, bulletin magazine, the losses this industry has suffered, our old masters are dying, glad the old ways are dying, Jaym Gates, Jerry Pournelle, dead people gettin’ roasted, Resnick created the situation, our hero Wilson Cole doesn’t do that, a casual captain, lazy salutes, respect for the character, transgender, pronouns, its cool to assign people pronouns, sexism and assumptions, not kosher, these rules, offensive language, a religious practice, a cultural practice, keeping halal, eating pork everyday, Paul doesn’t need to apologize, redskin dream, this is wrong bud, Khartoum (1966), Chinese Gordon, Lawrence Oliver in blackface, Cecil Rhodes put Rachel Maddow through university, Cecil Rhodes is responsible for Russiagate, Will is a comics guy, people who are running the X-Men movie studio, X-Men is exclusionary, X-Folk, staying up nights, many internally think the title X-Men isn’t inclusionary, X-Ladies And Gents, XXs and XYs but no asking, we know there is a problem with the X-Men, stunningly incompetent, don’t make waves, I’m busy trying to get myself promoted here, rotated in, always making improvements, the Afghan army is now ready to take over, the warlords are sex trafficking children, it makes your bosses look bad, why it resonates a little bit, do I really need space opera in my life?, the gorib’s planet is called Rastignac The Devil by Philip Jose Farmer, a Clash Of The Titans remake, Will Durant’s The Life Of Greece, Stephen Fry, Avengers Ancient Greece, the Argo initiative, Eternals, Jack Kirby property, The Cosmic Puppets by Philip K. Dick, reality, what is it?, reality is whatever I say it is, Golan Globus, almost all dialogue, characters in conversation, pure storytelling, supposed Science Fiction on TV, fun dialogue, the characters are fun, passable entertainment, not a lot of dramatic tensions, The Voice, a break from this boomer, dealing with something real, planetoids, some asteroid with the same amount of air pressure as the Earth, The Little Prince, I need some real space opera, Catalyst Gate by Megan E. O’Keefe, science fiction ideas, more popcorny space opera, K.B. Wagers, not rebelling against the empire, always about rebelling against the empire, why people like Star Wars, I’m a Sith you’re a Jedi can’t we all get along?, we need to constantly rebel against the empire, retcon things, essentially the problem with series, what do you think it means that they’re always fighting for the empire and never against it, comforting and reifying the old order, Miles Vorkosigan is fighting for the empire, back to the 1920s and 1930s, reconciliation, they fight for the empire, classic fantasy tropey, space opera is much closer to fantasy than science fiction, Gene Roddenberry’s Andromeda, the ragtag fugitive fleet, the freed slaves, the girl boss in this book is wrong, killing civilians on your own side, deny the enemy materials, we have a duty to the empire, rooting for a prince to help other princes, so conservative, keep the empire going, bubbly easy reading, its very important they’re pirates, made some progress, The Last Of The Masters by Philip K. Dick.
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