The SFFaudio Podcast #520 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: Foster, You’re Dead by Philip K. Dick

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #520 – Foster, You’re Dead by Philip K. Dick; read by Mike Vendetti. This is an unabridged reading of the story (45 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Paul Weimer, Marissa Vu, and Evan Lampe.

Talked about on today’s show:
medium length, Star Science Fiction Stories No. 3, public domain, the Philip K. Dick estate lied, fraudulent, pretty good, Ballantine Books, published in the Soviet Union, communist propaganda, paying his taxes on the rubles, appropriate, magazine supplement to Pravda, America gone mad with capitalist solutions to the problem of nuclear fallout, preppers, the whole society is deluded, preppers in reality, zombie apocalypse bag, what’s in your bug-out bag, survivalists, nuclear war, practicing for the bug-out, its mainstream, sharpening their knives, no STEM, the gym instructor, a psychological breakdown, stop, drop and roll, duck and cover, anachronistic, Electric Dreams, a documentary about life in China, we don’t have to worry about terrorism, x-rays at every subway shop, police are your friends, schools with face-recognition software, wow!, no masks for tricking cameras, a good thing, Safe And Sound, the commons vs. the private, not a satire, gender flipped, a kid has a nervous breakdown story, Tony And The Beetles, looking at the map and wondering how far you have to be to avoid being nuked, become a C.H.U.D., trying to survive in the subways, traumatizing, The Day After (1983), Reagan saw the TV movie?, kind of odd, summit talks with Mikhail Gorbachev, the adaptation doesn’t get into the history of civil defense, bomb shelters, post-apocalyptic literature, The Blitz, FEMA?, that part of being a citizen has atrophied, we don’t find out what a “P” is “anti-P” anti-preparedness, let’s get that same feeling, the United States was going crazy, school was agony as always, watertight baskets, NATS circling above, civil defense drones, private taxes, a preparedness rating, a prequel to the Fallout games, the 1950s-cyber-future, find the berries that won’t poison him, pretty monstrous, Fallout communities, a failed social experiment, Pip-boys, the Dex of the adaptation, a cellphone, all iPhone elements, it didn’t know what to do with what it had done, admission 50cents, the sirens are going off and this poor little kid doesn’t have 50cents to get into the public fallout shelter, with his audiobooks!, cooing and crying, a place of safety and security, the quest for safety, guns and gas-masks forever, how the NRA functions, to be fair, collecting, guys are collectors, Jay Leno’s garage, gun collecting, gun technology, gonna have to go to Linux this year!, guns can do jobs, the only purpose that the government has is to protect citizens collectively, the satire, our own personal navies, look at all these kids, this hippie kid, a Toyota Prius, “sheep”, “Hey, Mom-shirt!”, consumerism, C.C. McApp, fidget spinners, And All The Earth A Grave by C.C. MacApp, they made death so attractive, humans are jack-asses, harrowing, the boy is traumatized, commodification, all human relations are commodified, undercooked, unsaid, the whole end reveal, the clumsiest reveal, executive/government person, manufacture a fake attack, disinformation, manipulated into action, mental illness, trying to control the society more an more, a metaphor for insane security theater, Russia Russia Russia, Galaxy, December 1963, the dad has the right attitude, psychologically damaged by everyone around him, more for the PKD Rhetorizer: running a retail business, real wood furniture, a mistake, another drill?, so embedded (in a bubble), what did they think of it in the Soviet Union, a status symbol, a car has a utility, now you need an apartment that looks good on Instagram, let’s go out for a drink, make safety expensive, the world outside of the suburb, when you’re in a in a bubble, Reeboks are the only kind of shoe that’s cool to wear, Rambo II, you’re walkman isn’t a SONY Walkman, a school assembly about something political that kids can do nothing about, only in a memory, presented with the flag, it can be read as a bitter memory, the time you met Donald Trump, double think, double feeling, 10 years ago, the same president, he looked just like he does on TV, make the people afraid enough, Watchmen, you couldn’t even imagine how scary it is, A Boy And His Dog by Harlan Ellison, Kennedy, Kennedy, Kennedy, the president is the chief of the chamber of commerce, the Soviets are a complete enigma, boring technology, “Pay up more, Bob.”, the climate change apocalypse, New Zealand is a fallout shelter for the rich, Kim Dotcom, it was cheap, which countries will be the safest?, standing on the outside watching the helicopters fly away, radon, how to spot a terrorist, “if you see something, say something”, living in bubbles, domes?, did you see the map?, desertified, how the deserts are moving east, the place where they grow the food/fuel, soybeans, invest now!, the after show, Jesse asked for a show like Electric Dreams to be made, Jesse regrets, Jesse is being punished, hear-gel, somebody in the writer’s room got a medal for that one, the mean girls vs boy bullies, gender flipping, the mom doesn’t have the same kind of concerns, analogous, a representative of her bubble, you’re undermining everything that you came here for, what’s going on?, trapped outside, ooh a library scene!, a decision/explanation, to remove the ambiguity, communist or anti-communist or capitalist, unfragile, programmed, mind control, it doesn’t make any sense, backflash, something is wrong, could they do a straight-up adaptation?, we have evidence, the ideas behind a story, a story about consumerism, a show about Medicare for all, become your own doctor, nobody forces you to buy guns, wouldn’t this be a cool opening scene, basic writing problems, bracelets, the transformation of wants into needs, cellphones are necessities, the coercion is peer pressure, mandatory, corporate capitalism, android vs. Apple, Samsung, the explanation is bunk, they didn’t bother to make it make sense, Runciter High, just trying to be cute, fan-service, make it meaningful, eXistenZ (1999), how to get people onside, feeling burned, never wish for a TV show, the magic genie podcast, Evan’s review of Foster, You’re Dead, the final stages of capitalism, neo-liberalism, Bradley is now Chelsea Manning, “the wall” and the “government shutdown”, a collective threat, how the Great Wall of China got built, The Hanging Stranger, unless they can find a way of profit by building a wall then any government expenditure is bad, ground level, this is all ridiculous, Foster is a little kid, looking back, cold war, lacking perspective, excluded, reasons to be afraid, how cool is this story?, such a tragic image, we wanted to see that story, Jesse takes it all back, Jesse made a Monkey’s Paw wish, they’re not harming Philip K. Dick’s brand (nor are they helping), Ubik, Philip K. Dick would be delighted, the premise of this story,

One day I saw a newspaper headline reporting that the President suggested that if Americans had to buy their bomb shelters, rather than being provided with them by the government, they’d take better care of them, an idea which made me furious. Logically, each of us should own a submarine, a jet fighter, and so forth. Here I just wanted to show how cruel the authorities can be when it comes to human life, how they can think in terms of dollars, not people.

that’s cool,

By the way — the above mentioned story was picked up by Ogonek, the largest circulation Soviet weekly (1,500,00). They even drew a number of archaic, foul illustrations for it … so I have more readers in the USSR than in this country. An odd situation. I never got a cent for the reprint; I wrote to Ogonek, asking for a copy of the magazine, but they didn’t answer the letter.

he’s very happy about this, its not foul at all, a weird relationship with reality, communists are the greatest threat ever, reporting people to the FBI, a liar and delusional, what would you be thinking reading this in the Soviet Union?, people say all sorts of stupid stuff, isn’t it a really good satire, The Trigger Effect (1996), paranoia, a mini version of Cold War paranoia, mass hysteria, mass consumerism hysteria, why are we doubling down on Beanie Babies, competitors going going all Beanie Babies, Cabbage Patch Kid, how bizarre it was, not just about nuclear war, I want my dishwasher, my clothes washer, a new car every year as a status symbol, a new iPhone every year, Nanny by Philip K. Dick, the twist is that the nannies fight each-other, planned obsolescence, dual use, the ultimate in consumerism satire, Sales Pitch, not funny, just scary.

Interior illustration for the Soviet publication of Foster, You're Dead by Philip K. Dick

COVER illustration of the Soviet publication of Foster, You're Dead by Philip K. Dick

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #513 – READALONG: Wieland by Charles Brockden Brown

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #513 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, Bryan Alexander, and Evan Lampe talk about Wieland by Charles Brockden Brown.

Talked about on today’s show:
1798, Wieland: or, The Transformation: An American Tale, first novel, the first author who got paid for a living in the United States, a weird first big novel, a weird country, a founding document is a strange book, Bryan’s thesis, connectivity issues, Bryan’s dissertation, Edgar Huntly, the doppleganger as a motif, the romantic era, British poems, not allowed to include Americans, teaching, the gimmick is sleepwalking, murder, Indian war, Skywalk: The Man Unknown To Himself, talking to Americans, in and out of fashion or focus, prefering the manly nature stuff, freakishly bizarre, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Edgar Allan Poe, Herman Melville, and H.P. Lovecraft, Supernatural Horror In Literature, James Fennimore Cooper, The Last Of The Mohicans, American muscular exceptionalism, written for women, a female protagonist, a horror story, violence against women, murder, Natty Bumppo, waking up in a cave, like Rambo, violent novels, religious violence, nature, nature worship, nature is terrifying, incinerator by divine pyrotechnics, American Writers: 100 Pages At A Time, dense, super-high level vocab, distancing from the events, the whole back half, a very strange recommendation,

Of Mrs. Radcliffe’s countless imitators, the American novelist Charles Brockden Brown stands the closest in spirit and method. Like her, he injured his creations by natural explanations; but also like her, he had an uncanny atmospheric power which gives his horrors a frightful vitality as long as they remain unexplained. He differed from her in contemptuously discarding the external Gothic paraphernalia and properties and choosing modern American scenes for his mysteries; but this repudiation did not extend to the Gothic spirit and type of incident. Brown’s novels involve some memorably frightful scenes, and excel even Mrs. Radcliffe’s in describing the operations of the perturbed mind. Edgar Huntly starts with a sleep-walker digging a grave, but is later impaired by touches of Godwinian didacticism. Ormond involves a member of a sinister secret brotherhood. That and Arthur Mervyn both describe the plague of yellow fever, which the author had witnessed in Philadelphia and New York. But Brown’s most famous book is Wieland; or, The Transformation (1798), in which a Pennsylvania German, engulfed by a wave of religious fanaticism, hears voices and slays his wife and children as a sacrifice. His sister Clara, who tells the story, narrowly escapes. The scene, laid at the woodland estate of Mittingen on the Schuylkill’s remote reaches, is drawn with extreme vividness; and the terrors of Clara, beset by spectral tones, gathering fears, and the sound of strange footsteps in the lonely house, are all shaped with truly artistic force. In the end a lame ventriloquial explanation is offered, but the atmosphere is genuine while it lasts. Carwin, the malign ventriloquist, is a typical villain of the Manfred or Montoni type.

is the next book about x-ray specs, the Binding of Isaac, based on a true story in upstate New York, your local history, Washington Irving, Anthony Boucher’s They Bite, the cannibalism aspect, religious fanaticism, Carwin is a bit villainous, a thing going on with the maid, a genealogy of religious madness, an unreliable narrator, quite unhinged, a very Lovecraftian theme, inheriting the sins of the father, forbidden knowledge, ancient French protestants, this sounds like Lovecraft, half buried in dust and rubbish, his eyes were not confined, seek and you shall find, connection to madness, looking for her father’s old writings, Carwin in her closet, don’t read the book we’ll interpret it for you, teach the Indians how to be good Christians, his own personal religion, twice a day without fail, craziness and religion, really strange, early American history, the American Revolution, The Peopling Of British North America by Bernard Bailyn, America as a Marchland, a marquis, slavery, new religious movements, cults, no established church, a weak echo, Netflix’s Wild Wild Country, the Albigensians, not having a positive view of religion, religious frenzy: the end, a more traditional religious education, an unhinged freethinking frontier religion, the argument of religious authorities, Augustine, the best thing for humans is a good theocracy, Sunday School, mandatory belief, a Comics Code Authority Stamp, if you don’t like it I won’t write any more, William Godwin’s Things as They Are; or, The Adventures of Caleb Williams, anarchism, what’s the lesson here besides beware of ventriloquists, she isn’t as naive as she sometimes seems to be, a transformation from the brother into Carwin, a rustic friendly atmosphere, science and astronomy, traumatized by nightmares, a nightmare story, her savior is a rapist, I said I was going to rape you because it seemed best at the time, it feels so gothic, throw your voice to get out of dangerous situations, throw your voice to the garbage can behind your muggers, that’s bullshit, The Secret Of Ventriloquism by John Padgett, written for a Thomas Ligotti fansite, 1943, “Benders”, the Kansas serial killer benders, that father was insane, god was talking to him, so full of coincidence, Clara is not reliable, a sign of mental illness, the case that inspired Wieland, we could almost diagnose, showing up at a neighbor’s house naked, not just genetics but also disease, Guy de Maupassant, Who Knows?, The Horla, burn the house down, the brother is definitely insane, the father has been insane for a long time, voices attributed to a stranger with Spanish characteristics, Carmilla by J. Sheridan Le Fanu, charms for protection against vampires, a castle in an American forest, a temple, mysterious stranger, the father’s death and spontaneous combustion, a state of insensibility, his imperfect account, bearing a lamp, a blow from a heavy club, an imperfect tale, half the truth has been suppressed, how it ends, the divine ruler, the religious vs. the rational explanation, the boyfriend, the uncle, a professional, the voices, the original kills in New York, struck by lightning, both natural and supernatural, a sound up on the temple, a pistol discharged, a blazing light, a very striking image, a cloud impregnated with light, a burning bush, ball lightning, naked and scorched and bruised, clothes removed and reduced to ashes, never explained, so devout god visited him and he saw god’s sideboob, Poe is dealing with Radcliffe 50 years later, what’s going on up front, Mulder and Scully, crucial to the Gothic, Gothic explicae, The Monk by Matthew Gregory Lewis, Scooby-Doo, the final chapter, making sense of real phenomenon, lets find out what it is, H.G. Wells’ The Invisible Man, the temptation of the Ring of Gyges story, a temptation to intervene, always rationalizing, past tense, for those people who want to know what happened to my family, this is her Stormy Daniels book, an essay in Vanity Fair three years later, no one would really write this that way, written for our benefit this way, putting it in the best light, I was paying her, what else is going on, the children, the maids, an upper class family, playing musics and discussing philosophy, suffering from syphilis, paranoia, hearing voices, a psychotic break, Lovecraft’s dad, a gang of men are raping my wife, went to the hospital, a hushing up, can this be rationalized without modern disease theory and modern psychology, In Cold Blood, so familiar, Gary Cole, Fatal Vision, a gang of hippies, Charles Manson, threat of the week, a narcissistic sociopath, Pleyel’s experience, “drifter”, he’s the Rasputin of this mess, lets have a secret meeting, no you idiot, don’t do it!, maybe I should, he’s hiding in your closet, let’s split up, a horror movie trope, drawn to the flame, the implications towards incest, transformed into a Spaniard, Carwin, this non-Spanish crypto-Spanish dude, some guy who doesn’t like me in Ireland, the British Gothic tradition, the Catholic South is very sexual, Othello, every Radcliffe novel, a ritual thing to do, a classic geographical imagination, part-time Spanish part-time English, Germans and Scotch-Irish and Jews, an inherited move, what Jeffrey MacDonald told the investigators, high heeled boots, “Acid is groovy, kill the pigs.”, the American Revolution angle, hostile to hierarchies and institutions, the corruption of old Europe, Saxony, Chapter 5, the good king, the Prussians, the horrors of war, which eventually happens, Thomas Paine, views on marriage, gender politics, the final scene, no general critique of institutions, a normal life, happiness in France, a Lord in Saxony, The Rats In The Walls, why they moved to the U.S., the Delapore family was murdered by one member and then praised by the neighborhood, the secret of the family was passed down, his family seat, the whole cycle of horror, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Hound Of The Baskervilles, the Canadian who comes into take the Baskerville estate, returning to Europe where the sins were ingrained in the family name, start a religion afresh, principled and thoughtful, rigid thinking, too rational, what could have caused this?, a pair of aunts who married a pair of brothers, hints of incest, she’s expecting her brother there, “that’s weird, man”, emotion and passion vs. rationality, a movement driven in part by the Enlightenment, violent, slavery, siding with reason, mental illness, the scene of this contest, a duel, a malignant figure, I leave you to moralize on this tale, Robinson Crusoe goes hunting in Spain, a problem with pagination, a double-tongued deceiver, if only they had gone to church, you gotta think this problem through, a Kantian answer, an 18th century chestnut, the human brain is a pretty good machine until the passions wreck the place, frailty, Robespierre and the Goddess of Reason, The Dunwich Horror, Providence by Alan Moore and Jacen Burrows, who is he talking to, these are your idols, Hyperion by Dan Simmons, a horror book, you don’t wanna go that way, one take on America, American Culture 101, the spontaneous combustion, horror movie scenes, don’t do it!, don’t go down in the basement, hewing trees, where you keep the monsters (the basement), most of the horror takes place upstairs, closets, when did basements become popular?, cellar, I lurked through the day, a trap door, a storm cellar, so strange, so weird, so foundational, the opposite of James Fenimore Cooper, William Faulkner, Pierre by Herman Melville, all the heads we’re driving over, Melville’s gone nuts, overblown writing for 200 pages, frustration, speaking to something that everybody knew about then, why was Poe obsessing about premature burial?, fake news, preserved like the bones of a dinosaur, historical criticism, a Gothic dream of factionalism, the Civil War, Nathaniel Hawthorne, The House Of The Seven Gables, Young Goodman Brown, The Minister’s Black Veil, disconnected from religion but surrounded by people who are connected, swimming with the church team, freezing rain, Quaker meetings, another set of friends, the Philosophical Society, equal in extent, very much of the enlightenment, a biloquist, all the voices were Mel Blanc, digging graves in your sleep, astral projection, The Facts In The Case Of M. Valdemar, the biggest hoaxer of them all, Channel Zero, creepy pasta, Candle Cove, the tooth monster, about grief, a mobile haunted house, almost perfect, uncanny, a rundown Rustbelt city, modern folklore, a local legend, ventriloquism, that’s so weird, sleepwalking, Rutger Hauer and very meaty, infecting my dreams.

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #499 – READALONG: The Father-Thing by Philip K. Dick

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #499 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, Marissa Vu, and Evan Lampe talk about The Father-Thing by Philip K. Dick

Talked about on today’s show:
the Paul-thing, Fantasy And Science Fiction, December 1954, Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams, the 9-minute student film adaption, nothing redeeming, filmed in America, suburbia, backyards, kids playing, an invasion of the neighborhood, kids kill bugs, the bucket full of old magazines, the spider, casual violence towards bugs, a BB-gun, boys being boys when there’s no videogames, the internet, a real threat, playing outside, a curious age, he’s eight, eight or nine, Peretti is 11, the most artificial thing, the obsession with baseball, trivia about 1970s baseball teams, memorizing baseball stats, a deep dive, dinosaurs, the vibe, keeping his son, why is that added?, just to make it longer?, the garage, relationship problems, fixing things up, the threat of the shears “they’ll cut your hands right off”, magnified in your memory, haunted for months and years, kitchen space vs. garage space, brilliant opening, more screen time for Greg Kinnear (looking like Stephen King), a Stephen King story, Stranger Things, Goonies, Invasion Of The Body Snatchers, David of the Dickheads podcast, contemporaneous, Cold War paranoia, Invaders From Mars (1986), Strange Case Of Dr Jekyll And Mr Hyde, WWI memorabilia, a gas-mask from WWI, divorce, freaky, something very real, dreams, Indiana Jones, half a squid and half a jellyfish, a tentacle, something deep in the war, I ate your father, a patricidal story, the horror of seeing his father dead in that barrel, the music was too manipulative, the emotional powerhouse of the story, its best on the page, a very powerful story, the child’s point of view, the fears and anxieties of an eight year old, going on off the page, let’s kill the alien monsters that have taken over our parents, more from the monster’s point of view, coming to Earth, sympathy for The Father-Thing, technical issues, the perception of children, doubt from the narrative, knowledge bomb about the lifecycle of the alien replicants, shellac, warming it up, mom’s going to get replaced, that’s a horror, what’s this?, it’s the Charles-thing, you’re worried your wife is a robot, oh my god… I’m a robot!, you’re not who you think you are, a horror-motive,

It was almost ready. Another few days and it would reach maturity. It was still a larva, white and soft and pulpy. But the sun would dry and warm it. Harden its shell. Turn it dark and strong. It would emerge from its cocoon, and one day when his mother came by the garage… Behind the mother-thing were other pulpy white larvae, recently laid by the bug. Small. Just coming into existence. He could see where the father-thing had broken off; the place where it had grown. It had matured here. And in the garage, his father had met it.

Charles began to move numbly away, past the rotting boards, the filth and debris, the pulpy mushroom larvae. Weakly, he reached out to take hold of the fence — and scrambled back.

the opening, I don’t know which one to tell,

“He’s in the garage,” Charles said. “But he’s — talking to himself.”

“Talking to himself!” Mrs. Walton removed her bright plastic apron and hung it over the doorknob. “Ted? Why, he never talks to himself. Go tell him to come in here.” She poured boiling black coffee in the little blue-and-white china cups and began ladling out creamed corn. “What’s wrong with you? Go tell him!”

“I don’t know which of them to tell.” Charles blurted out desperately. “They both look alike.”

June Walton’s fingers lost their hold on the aluminum pan; for a moment the creamed corn slushed dangerously. “Young man –” she began angrily, but at that moment Ted Walton came striding into the kitchen, inhaling and sniffing and rubbing his hands together.

her matronly bosom fluttered with sudden alarm, she’s not a sex object, the boobs are very important to be mentioned, we never see the confronation between the father-thing and the father, the whole point of the story is perception,

“I got the shears sharpened like a razor. Oiled and sharpened. Better not touch them — they’ll cut your hand off.” He was a good-looking man in his early thirties; thick blond hair,

he was going to go cut that bamboo down, who are you?, I’m you, or at least I will be, a whole untold sequence that’s a horror, such good writing, acting weird, weird tumors, no ambiguity, the guy standing in the rain pumping gas, a dead body of a deer, darkening his eyes, is that just my perception?, the shit crawling under Greg Kinnear’s face, the whole idea of perception is gone when you just show it, Westworld, an interview with Evan Rachel Wood, more faithful with Philip K. Dick’s ideas, the man in black, a show on Westworld, faithful to PKD, what makes you human, the “internet out”, hashtag resist, one of the dumbest scenes ever, step off the ledge, too obvious, the teacher’s name was Mr. “Philip” Dick, my wife’s not my wife anymore, when you’re living with someone, Evan is suspicious of a “true self”, Men In Black (1997), wearing an Edgar-suit, Philip K. Dick fans, impostor syndrome, you’re all the imposters!, everyone else is a kind of impostor and your have to play along, a psychological issue where people literally think someone has been replaced, like deja-vu, capgras syndrome, the Truman syndrome, The Broken Sword by Poul Anderson, Mr. Jim Moon’s show on changelings, infanticide, a cuckoo egg situation, Jesse’s awesome theory on Philip K. Dick’s Beyond The Door, in tune with little details that most people completely pass over, “Charles hesitated. He was only eight years old, and the problem bothering him would have confounded Hillel.” Hillel is all about the Talmud, interpretation, wisdom, arguing on internet forums for thousands of years, Confucian commentary is kind of the same, Batman is a character, we know all these things about Batman, the story of Jesus is fanfiction from 2,000 years ago, we have to live with those stories, popularly known for two sayings, “If I am not for myself who is for me? And being for my own self, what am ‘I’? And if not now, when?”, lamb stew, beef stew, there’s something off about him, you have to really pay attention, so missing, Star Trek: The Next Generation episode entitled “Conspiracy”, a very dark ending (never mentioned again), reading Herman Melville, the crew mentality, the higher ups, bifurcation in an institution, a BBC audio drama adaption of Moby-Dick, Starbuck says this is folly, Ahab says your boat will not be one of the ones we drop with us, Ishmael disappears out of the text, Stubbs, Ahab is Ahab, a merry romp and then they all go to their doom, the ethic of reciprocity, the Golden Rule, it is not cool to kill your dad, here’s a horrific story, what do you make of that?, maybe it’s a story like this…, not human, you would want your son to save himself, it informs us (if we see it), it doesn’t explicitly state anything, his dad acting strangely, It by Stephen King, the recent movie, aging up the kids, when kids lose their imagination, the role of imagination, sneezing powder, the younger kids look at the world differently, a mistake in that adaption, the Norman Conquest, we don’t need anything outside the neighborhood, the use of the bully, he’s a jerk but he’s on the team, a black friend (but only at school), Charles, Peretti, and Daniels (somebody who’s good at finding), that finding is a thing, they’re playing, we can drown it or burn it, a jar of formaldehyde, did this play go to far, the ending, we left some matches on the driveway, we better run the hose, lighting the house on father, trimming the hedges, the whole thing was covered with web, tent moth, the only solution, acting mean, talking to himself, which dad do I talk to, this is total imagination stuff, the fear of imagination, the horror of Dungeons & Dragons, the whole Mazes And Monsters insanity, The Dungeon Master by William Dear, there was no dispelling it, there was no alternative saying it was bullshit, a mass hysteria, the idiocracy of television and radio, it’s going to turn you into, Evan’s pastor dragged him aside, you can’t be a good Christian and play this stuff, stop using your imagination, the wild stuff in the Old Testament, a book of more and more appeal, using it as a referent, these are stories are meant to be questioned, Hansel And Gretel’s parents, genocide and child murder, unexplainable unless you do the Talmud, literalism, competition, fear of Harry Potter, “Jesus greater than Fortnite“, Minnesota, George W. Bush, these people are the Human-Things, about control, fear of losing control, from the kid’s point of view, a straight up horror story, everybody turns into Stephen King as they get older, the mom is minimized, the first one of the adaptations that doesn’t try some gender bending, if it was a daughter and not a son, girls being more sensitive, the Freudian aspect of this story, he wants to kill his father and marry his mom, he’s saving his mom, how you could retell the adaptation, a straight alien invasion, had they gone dark, multiple personalities, the kid’s just a psycho, thinking about It, Beverly’s father becoming vulgar and violent, true to life, crazy towards children, look the other way, a horrible thing, horrible monsters for parents, Evan’s podcast episode on The Father-Thing, a nice connection to Human Is, The Hanging Stranger, digging a new cellar, the whole world has changed, a human hanging from a lamppost, an allegory for lynching, community lynching, mob mentality, when the event happened, everybody has been replaced by an insect like creature, back from the TV repair store, insectoid, paranoia, fear of communism, my wife is not my wife, my kid is not my kid, the classic story of divorce, a distant figure, PKD’s own trauma being thought through in his stories, his father’s divorce from his mom, it could fuck a kid up, people react to things in their childhood later in their life, trying to avoid or repeating the mistakes from their childhood, dysfunctional, a veneer of everything’s normal, Chuck Cunningham has disappeared and nobody remembers it, off to another planet to get some psychotherapy, Martian Time-Slip, Manfred Steiner’s father, kids, fathers, one of the few SF writers who talk about children, Robert A. Heinlein, Tony And The Beetles, least loved, Themes In Science Fiction, a forty-six year old textbook, Jesse derailed himself, a story of post-colonialism, another Italian kid, Tancredi, alienated from his bug friend, the parents in Tony And The Beetles, the Betelgeusian, a robot dog, having an animal as a main character, working out something, moving to a new neighborhood, moving, can’t we just stay where we are?, your world uprooted, the arbitrary power of adults, we’re at war, having an Italian name, Project: Earth, aliens playing with human evolution, kids spying, the Earth is a construction, a science experiment, that house has got the weirdos in it, The Cookie Lady, weird urban fantasy, not a typical Dick story, multiple personality disorder, schizophrenia, self-diagnosis, schizoid, an abusive grandfather, trauma in that family, a story of two fathers, attention deficit disorder diagnosis, Joe Rogan’s interview with Elon Musk, an engine of manic creativity, why Maya Angelous’ inauguration speech for Barack Obama, Barry Seal and the CIA, there are things that are more interesting, sometimes I’m mad at my mom or my dad, you’re so mean, a totally different personality, he never talked about his parents, how screwed up Lovecraft’s family, where that came from, genetics aside, a weird YouTube loop, recording different personalities, is this connected, “I’m a detective now”, I’m the kid with the goth haircut, I’m an emo now, how much of this is not biological but play?, I want a new me, a consistent Jesse, the old Jesse lied about everything, recreating yourself, you’re that person who did that, going home, this old character, The Lonely Island, Andy Samberg, Brooklyn 99, as you do, naw that aint me, satirizing the grandiosity of the rapper aesthetic, I’m too cool, reacting soft, its very hard to know what’s going on in people’s heads.

The Father-Thing by Philip K. Dick (a word cloud)

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #421 – READALONG: We Can Build You by Philip K. Dick

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #421 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, Marissa, and Bryan Alexander discuss We Can Build You (aka A. Lincoln, Simulacrum) by Philip K. Dick

Talked about on today’s show:
1972, Amazing Stories 1969-1970, a quasi-mainstream novel, Puttering About In A Small Land, get out of this horrible relationship with the woman who might be part of your imagination, tangled bad dysfunctional romance, Anne Dick, the lunar moon stuff, funny bits, a strange book, Nick And The Glimmung, the foundation for a great novel, an almost prequel to Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?, written in 1962, I’d love to put some Dick in it, we’re beyond those jokes, The First In Our Family, A. Lincoln, Simulacrum, Ted White’s last chapter, Chapter 19 in the magazine version was written by Ted White, a pale shadow of normal Philip K. Dick, Dick’s end redeemed the book, A Scanner Darkly, make it explicit, hallucinatory experiences, Wilder Penfield, the tragic drivers, business failure, a Hollywood ending, White’s ending makes explicit things that shouldn’t be, paper-mache and matchsticks, seeding doubt, a big old info-dump, the dad character, “my dad”, his brother is a cartoon character (an upside-down face), your entire family is a construct, the Lincoln, the Stanton, the Booth, virgin black sheep wool, Pris Frauenzimmer, beautiful sentences, without a thought for me or any other thing, damaged, why Galactic Pot-Healer kicks ass so hard, Valis, The Divine Invasion, The Transmigration Of Timothy Archer, Martian Time-Slip, the emphasis on small business, Eye In The Sky, Team Of Rivals, a little paper unicorn, why Dick dissed it, Ted White’s response, the theory that Pris is not real, all his own life, the tiling scene in the bathroom, a Freudian reading, Bryan channels Eric S. Rabkin, how dear you, Magna Mater, H.P. Lovecraft’s The Rats In The Walls, Lovecraft is racist but Dick is fucking dangerous, when Philip K. Dick stayed with us, one in nine people is in an institution in this book, Three Stigmata Of Palmer Eldritch, Solar Lottery, Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Robert A. Heinlein gets a shout-out in the dedication,edition issues, my delicious one, two different DAW dedications, Marissa’s Instagramming, the falsetto’s effect, told in first person, telepathic first person, being a point of view, until the dam breaks, unsalable, Ted White’s ending tells us too much, The Electric Ant, Pris’ story about killing ants, ooh that’s horrible, we can feel the sand pouring in, the only time we see her having empathy, the precursor to the Voight-Kampff test, real psychological tests, what does the proverb “a rolling stone gathers no moss”?, we’re all failing this test, Dick examining his own personality, if you watch enough Jimmy Dore…, like oxygen in a non-oxygen environment, if you live in crazy town…, gaslighting, maybe this person with a strong personality who runs the government today, Black Mirror, the more you think about a memory the more you re-write it, Facebook is automating a story about Bryan, Google Photos, having perfect or total recall, the universe gets more Phildickian every day, neural lace, as artificial as a memory, capturing a memory, preserving the framed erases the self, photographs overwrite memory, presenting evidence, those beautiful tomahawk missiles flying off into the sky, almost never any images in Dick, feeling and jokes and dialogue, planetary ships landing in the desert, finches in the grill, beer bottles and junk in the ditch, kipple, waving like a child, he’s stuck, a profoundly sad book, lead by the kids into the clinic, you did it through the door?, classic Philip K. Dick twisted/blended reality, a passionless sex scene, all of this is very educational but not illuminating, two short stories in the Dr. Rupert Labyrinth series: The Preserving Machine and The Short Happy Life Of The Brown Oxford, Mozart and Bach, shoes that come alive, Borges, reactive, the mentally ill are more real or more human, she’s driving the plot, she’s driving the car, Pris as the “dark haired girl”, Sylvia Dvorak, Upon The Dull Earth, the Qwerty girlfriend vs. the Dvorak girlfriend, The Odyssey, Beyond Fantasy, cross country car trips, roadside diner, the girls in the clinic, such good writing, everybody is PKD in this novel, the drug blinders of being in love, she’s a monster, she’s under a rock, Pristine Womankind, totally Freudian, Lincoln as a father figure, Pris as a mother figure, why the Civil War, the centennial of the Civil War, an explosion that didn’t happen, we don’t think of Lincoln the way he actually was, let me tell you about Lincoln…, Dr. Futurity, Edwin Stanton, poor J.S. or J.F. Sebastian, robotic and monstrous and inhuman, Frankenstein, everybody is kept in the incestuous nest, from Anne Dick’s book, abortion, The Pre-Persons, sluggy babies, killing a nest of yellow-jackets, nothing like any science fiction novel published by anybody, so quotidian, slipstream fiction, mundane science fiction, a metaphor for the U.S. War in Iraq, an experimental book, Nanny by Philip K. Dick, planned obsolesce, Philip K. Dick you never change.

A. Lincoln, Simulacrum by Philip K. Dick - illustration by Michael Hinge
A. Lincoln, Simulacrum by Philip K. Dick - illustration by Michael Hinge
A. Lincoln, Simulacrum by Philip K. Dick - illustration by Michael Hinge
A. Lincoln, Simulacrum by Philip K. Dick - illustration by Michael Hinge
Philip K. Dick's bathroom
Philip K. Dick's bathroom

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #371 – READALONG: Clans Of The Alphane Moon by Philip K. Dick

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #371 – Jesse, Paul, and Marissa talk about Clans Of The Alphane Moon by Philip K. Dick.

Talked about on today’s show:
1964, entertaining, gotta write this book, gotta take some drugs, more about his life than any other PKD books we’ve, when the slime mold gives him amphetamines, a mental breakdown, what the plot of the novel is, a bad scene out of It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, World, such a Philip K. Dick moment, A Scanner Darkly, Alphane vs. Earth, off the shelf stuff, breasts every ten pages, a breast heavy book, nipple dilation, a scathing look, her nipples reduced, a breasty book, the Irish actress, the ending, an insane moon full of norms, it’s going to work out, she almost bites his ear off, the love potion, a joke, release some of the air out of your tires, of course crazy people aren’t stupid, the clans are not the pushovers Earth thinks they are, worst CIA ever, going from crisis to crisis, the original short story, Shell Game, pare = paranoid, parallels, the script mostly about his own life, this is his life, murder, a simulacra, a comedy, women as decoration, Philip K. Dick self-aware characters, mancis = psychopaths?, pares live in Adolphville, Hebophreniacs = Ghanditown?, ObComs (obsessive compulsives), Schizs = Joan DA’rc, DaVinci Heights, Hamlet Hamlet, William Shakespeare, Hamlet as a Philip K. Dick novel, a commentary-guy, To be or not to be is a Philip K. Dick line, some of the best writing, briefly described aliens, Lord Runningclam, things are going to work out, geniusly brilliant hilarious funny and touching, no second or third agenda, socially inept slime mold, Shut Up Slime Mold, Lord RC sent me over, a venusian moss, pretty damn hilarious, time travel, cops, taking too much speed, what happened to the cop girlfriend who can go back in time?, Omega-13 (Galaxy Quest reference), a 12 by 12 foot area, like a real cop, a tiny little gun, a Philip K. Dick buddy cop movie with Lord Running Clam, rotoscope style, a TV clown (not a news clown), Bunny Hentman’s spaceship, wub fur slippers, homeopapes, a sanitarium 3 light years away, just because you have a mental disorder does that mean you can’t have a life?, three pares together, what was happening in PKD’s life during the time of this book’s writing, Dick had his wife committed, wracked by guilt, I’m the crazy one, who’s the crazy one, taking speed, the wife not supporting him, earn more money, if I can write faster…, a good book with serious problems, so many good ideas that are underdeveloped, Red Canada is full of simulacra, our reality, as soon as they can get drones that can walk around with faces on them, they look and act like people, getting into the ideas it is offering, Daniel Magaboom, the cylon problem, different kinds of people, reflecting how the characters act, love potions, exploring the ideas of autonomy, Galatic Pot-Healer, messages via your toilet bowl, raising a sunken cathedral, Glimmung, trying to be optimistic, furthering the agenda of beings all across the galaxy, Lord Runningclam does a Groot from Guardians Of The Galaxy, RBX303 is the blind best friend of Bunny, charming lechery, Lions Bloodregal, Bunny is behind it all, it’s all a shell game, Chuck Rittersdorf, crappy plans, that’s what happens, I don’t know what the plot of this book is, Chuck, Paul can be in the dep camp (Cotton Mather Estates), poor guy, Bains another name in The Man In The High Castle, the Philip K. Dick fan page, one funny scene, designed to be a comedy, a formal occasion to which you must attend you act like a simulacra of yourself, new Doctor Who, Gangers (dopplegangers), Sixth Column by Robert A. Heinlein, who’s on the list?, the saint psychotics, powers, when you talk to schizs you get the sense that things are different in their world, regular logic doesn’t apply, exploring mental issues (and doing a comedy piece), the big Steve Jobs thing, the reality distortion field is a real thing, the laws of social dynamics, physical impossibilities vs. social impossibilities, with think things are stable but they are fundamentally unstable, hugging the homeless, social reality, inverting social relations is possible, sort of a fantasy book for a minute, a metaphor almost, a mess that you can think and enjoy, works for us.

Ace Books - Clans Of The Alphane Moon by Philip K. Dick

Clans Of The Alphane Moon illustrated by Chris Moore

ACE F-309 Clans Of The Alphane Moon by Philip K. Dick

Posted by Jesse Willis

BBCR4+RA.cc: Metropolis (2006) RADIO DRAMA

SFFaudio Online Audio

Ace Books F-246 - Metropolis by Thea Von Harbou

The Tower of Babylon in MetropolisI wrote about it airing six year ago, but I’ve just now heard it.

Metropolis, an astoundingly great radio dramatization of a famous novel that was turned into a famous movie, is nuanced, deep, surprising, and totally, idea based.

I’m astounded, really and truly astounded and amazed too at the depth and power an hour long program is able to achieve.

The script has humor, skepticism, cynicism, hope, sex, romance, informative infodumps, and a city full of pathos.

The production, acting, pacing, and composite audio experience is completely awe inspiring.

What gets me most is that even though it is based on a 1926 novel by Thea von Harbou, this version of Metropolis is, arguably, even more relevant than either Brave New World (1931) or 1984 (1949).

Those two classics don’t feel wholly and completely modern – this production of Metropolis does. It’s modernity is ripe, it’s like an episode of Black Mirror, and it should be on your radar.

Still not sold? Then imagine a Science Fiction version of Fight Club but set in the world of The Space Merchants or Judge Dredd and imagine it written by either Philip K. Dick or Frederik Pohl.

Here’s a review by Elisabeth Mahoney of The Guardian:

An audacious portrayal of a futuristic city as much as a state of mind, and an iconic film to boot, Metropolis (Radio 4, Friday) doesn’t exactly scream radio adaptation. But writer Peter Straughan and director Toby Swift, who won the Prix Italia in 2004 for their adaptation of Fritz Lang’s M, clearly aren’t put off by such hurdles. Their Metropolis was all deliciously claustrophobic intensity and dark interiority; their mega-city full of bubbling, menacing sounds you soon wanted to shut out. Without the famous visuals, you never really got a sense of the scale of Lang’s vision – you didn’t believe in the 62 million workers in Metropolis – but you did get the chilling psychological dimension of the dystopia. Edward Hogg, as Freddy, though sounding like a young Woody Allen at times, convinced as the alienated, lonely outsider who manages to subvert the mega-state from within. There were laughs, too, at least early on. “When was the last time you slept?” a therapist asks a suicidal Freddy. “About eight years ago,” says Freddy. “No,” the therapist concludes, “I don’t think that’s significant.”

Peter Straughan, the adaptor, and Toby Swift, the director, have achieved a classic for our time and for the ages – this is highly, highly recommended!

BBC Radio 4RadioArchives.ccThea von Harbou’s MetropolisSFFaudio Essential
Adapted by Peter Straughan; Performed by a full cast
MP3 via TORRENT – 57 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: BBC Radio 4 (Friday Drama)
Broadcast: March 24, 2006
Available via RadioArchive.cc
Freder, the protagonist of Metropolis is an underworked “captain” in a high level position in the futuristic consumer society of the mega city named Metropolis. Feeling suicidal, but unable to understand why, Fredor switches identities with a low level “product insertion” – a kind of telemarketing – but failing at that Fredor soon finds himself working for Maria, an imperfect beauty with all the answers. Maria plunges Fredor into the depths of her underground conspiracy to disrupt the workings of society.

Directed by Toby Swift

Cast:
Freder – Edward Hogg
Maria – Tracy Wiles
Josaphat – Damian Lynch
Schmale – Peter Marinker

Michael W. Kaluta illustration of Maria and Freder

Posted by Jesse Willis

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