The SFFaudio Podcast #552 – READALONG: City Of Endless Night by Milo Hastings

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #552 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, Marissa VU, and Evan Lampe talk about City Of Endless Night by Milo Hastings

Talked about on today’s show:
another book with that title, Preston/Child, True Story, June 1919-November 1919, Children Of Kultur, revisions, pictures, pretty amazing book, blown away, more 19th century than early 20th, the chapter titles, more Victorian than Edwardian, so much effort, spoilers for each chapter, Paul fell into it, anticipating, a ruby necklace metaphor, a confrontation, the real Karl, undercooked, bought-off with jewelry, that’s the misogyny speaking, attention to the plot, how is this guy’s german that good, the number of fingers in Inglourious Basterds, just go with it, a treasure trove, it’s amazing, a late Verne?, global hegemony, the ideas!, very forward thinking, he got Nazis exactly right (it’s crazy!), there complete ideology, there breeding programs, their final solution, clearly it was in the culture already, Mein Kampf, Jesse’s hate list includes Bernarr Macfadden, Jesse holds him largely responsible for P.E. class, Physical Culture, an anti-vax column, eight kids with names starting with the letter “b”, Clutch Of The War God by Milo Hasting, “I’m buff, I’m going to live forever”, nutritious breakfast snacks, smoking constantly, anticipating a war between the USA and Japan, aircraft carriers, flat-top ships, under house arrests, obscenity, a beauty contest, all this shit is interconnected, eugenics, Macfadden was a bad guy, scolding the federal government, an extensive amount of research, more science fiction, deep into chicken breeding, THE TALE OF THE ORIENT’S INVASION OF THE OCCIDENT, AS CHRONICLED IN THE HUMANICULTURE SOCIETY’S “HISTORY OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY”, maybe someone on LibriVox, she was really good, obscure vocab, USA’s war with Japan, USA’s war with Germany, a cold war after WWIII, the German monarchy, the communists, Maximum German Expansion in the Second World War (1988), League Of Nations, again, did Hitler read this book?, a reflection of American propaganda about Germany, an extant philosophy, distilling and capturing an actual strain of pre-fascism and pre-Nazism, the House of Hohenzollern, the workers, the weird, Germany’s 1919 failed workers revolution, the Wiemar Republic, William the Great (aka William II), if Heinlein was doing it, zeroing in on the origins of fascism, Evan’s favourite book on this: Fascism by Mark Neocleous, the worker’s revolution is inevitable, the general strike, the centrality of will and struggle, working class resentment, Das Kapital by Karl Marx, Benito Mussolini, these ideas were floating around, something changed, the enlightenment framework, fin de sicile pessimism, Arditi, the CSA vs. the Union, resentment, echoes long after, the strongest fascist movements were losers, Hungary, Austria, Germany, where Hitler came from, people hearing him speak, all my friends died and this is the shit we have to eat?, Italian fascism, there is no action that can have no consequence, you can’t just suppress and hide the shit that you’ve done, Germany will rise again, entirely foreseeable, the logic, the natural masters of the Earth, science and industry, the subtle explanation for the power dynamic, 300 million people in Berlin, that ray, the worker controls the society in the way the king doesn’t, science advisors to the king, an alternate universe version of our Nazis, this is also Saudi Arabia, 15,000 members of the Saudi Royal family, analyzing it from a feminist perspective, control of women bodies, in what sense are the women free?, super-interesting science fiction (and tech-free), breeding and nutrition, perfect himself, eat the right foods, vegetarianism, scientific management of breeding programs, Germany’s obsession with it, Nazi breeding programs, Himmler was a chicken farmer, Gregor Mendel, former chicken farmer, get a few hens together, an egg a day, evolutionarily wasteful, costly to the chicken, getting that much calcium together, one of Milo Hastings patents, a million egg incubator, a [fascinating] fact about eggs, baby chicks are hot, birds are hotter than mammals, waste heat from late eggs to heat early eggs, a machine, a grey goo problem (but with chickens), what the breeding program is, Ford’s scientific management of a factory floor, apply it to the human production industry, social policy, married couples were forgiven loans when they had four children, early on, the map of the levels in the Syracuse newspaper, 147 children, one cock for a whole bunch of viable hens, roosters wanna kill each other, why so few women, no time spent with kids, the Lebensborn 1935-1945, these aren’t families, the visit to the school, the teaching methods, that classroom is insane, genocide, a mandatory pork eating law, an emigration policy, its hard to get people to leave, Jews in Shanghai, John Rabe, a WWII show, German jews, Polish jews, gassing people in trucks, taking German interests and beliefs, Germans were really into chemistry, lens-grinding, alchemy, synthetic drugs, synthetic gasoline, coal into gasoline, raw material under Arctic ice?, the main character is a chemist, chemically produced food, modern processed foods, petroleum products turned into food, lab-grown meat, he isn’t making this shit up, a replicator, what does Evan make of the factory strike, Germans went on strike a lot, true to life, depoliticized the working class through voting, the whole philosophy of the state was really well thought out and fascinating, socialist, elections every year, just like us, lands of the inferior races, movement cultures, struggle is important, solidarity, divide and conquer, the power and importance of solidarity in achieving goals, fascinating and true to life, workers don’t strike in China, workplace democracy, the propaganda is complete, the education is by movies, they do their education through video, books are for the officers, the propaganda department, a science fiction movie of what it will be like when we conquer the rest of the world, one of the members of ABBA, bringing the Aryan north into Germany, a mixer, you better have a good reason, the endless war of conquering the earth, very widespread, pseudo-scientific breeding, germ-plasm, Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, the Master of Hatcheries, making workers genetically suitable for their jobs, Bernard Marx (Bernarr?), man most responsible for gyms, William Hope Hodgson, BOOM, an amazingly fascinating cultural artifact, was this mentioned in The Ministry Of Truth?, listener suggested?, a reference to Bellamism, another Bellamy echo, rationing vs. cornucopia, once there’s post-scarcity…, robber barons, the money is for attracting women, there’s no point in money, a million marks you can’t spend, buy her a necklace, strange economics, The Prisoner Of Zenda by Anthony Hope, Ruritanian romance, a blending of Bellamy with a Ruritanian fantasy, it’s all a dream, The Prince And The Pauper by Mark Twain, more competent than the person he replaced, a whole thing about creativity, that’s science fiction thinking, Dragon’s Egg by Robert L. Forward, by Hal Clement, reading hard SF, social science fiction, he’s basically fucking nailing Nazi Germany because he’s really thinking through…, the people who are pushing eugenics, I have an evil plan…, sterilizing native people, its fucking evil, I’m going to do zis, he’s just a chicken farmer tapping into what’s in the air, H.G. Wells’ stuff, The Land Ironclads, tanks, WWII is all about tanks, you can’t take land with airplanes, you can’t win without tanks, all those people who died from tanks, Fortnite, kids don’t know what a fortnite is, World Of Tanks, he’s pretty much describing tanks, what it would mean to the tactics, what science fiction is, Jules Verne, there’s all sorts of consequences to that, the ending, Evan’s proper ending for this book, this guy really loves his new job, he meets the emperor, he gets promoted, he wins these awards, the Royal level, he’s going to marry someone in the royal family, a memoir of someone who has lived his whole life in the upper echelons, the safety valve, a ticket for the first show, the glory of the dynasty, turning away from his United Statesians, found amongst the papers of a traitor, the library, the rise of the anti-Nazis, working in the system, we’re living in insanity world, the number of people internally, so rudely signed out, all of Jesse’s diatribes, anti-Nazis, the army and the navy, the submarine stuff is very German, Valkyrie (2008), when FDR is on the rise, the Business Plot, Smedley Butler, happening again, educated folks who are trying to be reasonable, how can that go on Saudi Arabia, a royal problem, carbon problem, Hong Kong, Janette Eng’s Hugo acceptance speech, 40% of China’s income was generated in Hong Kong now it’s 2%, a lot of upset folks, how do you negotiate your way out of that, Woodrow Wilson’s official state racism, the 14 points and the League Of Nations, take note of the tiny detail trends, Hastings’ alternate history, a lot of blame towards the USA and the League Of Nations, a dangerous situation, LibriVox narrator Kate Follis, Algernon Blackwood, E.F. Benson, A Little Book Of Profitable Tales, follow the amateur narrators, “George Guidall can do no wrong!”, Frank Muller, American Gods by Neil Gaiman, when Mr Wednesday came back, he’s back!, a terrible motorcycle accident, don’t ride motorcycles, addicted to audiobooks, audiobooks are very addictive, Luke Burrage, Jesse’s mom is reading Clark Ashton Smith’s novel TWO BLACK DIAMONDS, Arabian Nights, Clark Ashton Smith: Emperor Of Dreams, “magnificent!”, a lot more to say, a strength of worldbuilding, take this man to the hospital, sneaking on board the submarine, how he got him in there, a coincidence, his own face on the dead body, a tradition behind it, an excuse to do that, News From Nowhere by William Morris, get in there and tell that story, really good, a lot of tension, oh my god, investigate himself, a whole adventure, the title change, kultur, this Brute Beast, WWI pickle helmets, treating them like Nazis, more technically correct, one more thing, a confession, we were all fooled by the girl who borrowed the book, that same feeling, our last big surprise book, Mockingbird by Walter Tevis, betrayal, soooo on point, being assertive, making a persons way in a terrible situation, sitting around this virtual table, I didn’t like your little book (we don’t like her because she doesn’t like reading), it makes sense, give herself some dignity, that’s what I do, yo, a singer but her voice wasn’t good, an actress but she had no empathy, a tradition femme fatale, parallel, there’s this woman out there who knows him really well, why are you going to the women’s level, he needs socialization, barracks situations, assimilating so well, Maissa was supposed to join us, “Yes alas – although I didn’t really like endless night – although that would probably have made interesting conversation.”, did she finish it?, up to a third of the way through, it might be an evil book, not ultimately an evil book, it just has features, its not propaganda that’s trying to promote autocracy, the anti-Nazi characters, characters who are into the system, what makes it a dystopia exactly?, if you really had this situation, synthesizing and rationing, withholding information, a good follow up to this, on the list of approved books for LibriVox, Thea Von Harbou’s Metropolis, Fritz Lang and Thea Von Harbou, speaking to the audience, a bias against silent films, a trial, watching I, Claudius (shot on videotape), the audio drama adaptation of Metropolis, so many parallels to what’s going on, Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell, a girl who sparks an interest, was Metropolis, the audio drama is so good, it’s cyberpunk, a BBC production, super-great, astoundingly great, totally idea based, the depth of power an hour long program is able to achieve, this guy’s really tantalizing me, two assignments for Kate Follis: please spend 6 months of your life recording for us, a YouTube version of it, a great read!, ever since we read the Ministry of Truth, gender politics, Dollar Hen by Milo Hastings, the bible of chicken rearing, if the weather is too cold for raising hens just move away, good advice, public domain, chickens are super-easy food, urban (and suburban) chicken farming, hipster farming, BoingBoing’s Mark Frauenfelder, coyote raids, free eggs, sharem and givem away and sellem, the permaculture people, sustainable vs. industrial means, red peppers and hot peppers, a styrofoam tray, students were hostile, you’re not helping us Evan, give us the keys to Harvard, we (the Chinese) don’t have time to fuck around with hippie shit, industrialize and build up your industry, the Chinese communist party (20 million?), inequality in China is on par in the United States, pro and anti-Chinese demonstrations, funded by the Chinese government, the Falun Gong, there’s good evidence, Taiwan, liberty vs. authoritarianism, Jimmy Lai and John Bloton, neo-liberals, all the allies are pretty gross, a better hope, the future of the left in Hong Kong, Democracy Advocate: bread and roses, the Communist Party of Canada, a moral and economic failure, defining poverty, the number of students, recruiting foreign teachers, form a fucking union, things are so unequal in China, state socialism doesn’t work, an anti-authoritarian complex, the oranges, the greens, the blues, the reds, the blues, some tie between not ruining the rivers, you can be pretty stupid and be an environmentalist, libertarianism is an immature philosophy, anarchist people to follow, fucking stupid memes, the Solarpunk Anarchist on Facebook, Murray Bookchin, social ecologist, leftists groups, Stalinist, weak socialists, not pushy enough, the NDP, the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation, universal pharmacare, voted to bomb Libya, the Christopher Hitchens left, liberty is a better foundation for socialism, Max Blumenthal, more bars open, pretty fuckin secular, don’t make me go to your church, the story on Syria, a comic book reading communist lawyer (Will Emmonsky) from Kentucky, Elizabeth Warren vs. Bernie Sanders, having principles, the pitchforks are coming, she’s a capitalist to her bones, Sanders’ movement, smart people in the elite realize you’ve got to do something to stop the pitchforks in the next few years, the last choice if Biden fails, Southern redneck communists, anarchists, your dudes, disarming the working class is a bad idea, is the working class becoming more fascist?, crazy people with guns, naked guy with a gun, the Black Panthers position, the John Brown Gun Club, super-principled, against the bad stuff, Jacobin Magazine, somebody is going to be president next year, in change of the U.S. empire, Elizabeth Warren blows like reed in the wind, Bernie Sanders IS principles, Mitt Romney’s whole thing was “I have good hair”, Hillary had writing off people, just listen, be honest, reading about it from the outside, I got mine jack, how you end up like this, racist white coal miners who worked with black coal miners, why Fred Hampton was assassinated by the FBI and the Chicago police, what’s really going on about racism, racism is a way to divide people who have things in common, history, PBS’ Carrier, almost no one is racist, south asian kids, what kids do, looking for differences, exercise of power, racism is best flourishing when there’s top down stuff, remembering being racist as a kid, I did not want to be considered a dark person, “the darkies”, he’s fucking it up, New Zealand, Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, anti-racist books, what the fuck, the most anti-racist, Steen becomes incensed, subject to racism and racist, being in a culture by a majority, being more humble, being ensconced in it, xenophile, Jesse’s mom is kind of a weird lady, barfi, here I am in my anti-racist bubble, cultural issues, a cultural problem, leaning towards communism, principled ideas, libertarian, Ron Paul, reading conservative stuff, flags, Burkean conservatives, inherited rights, the logo of the Communist Party of Canada, black conservatives, public schools and land reform, cultural conservatism, respect but reject, the populous right, drugs, science, production, knowledge, this book’s got us thinkin, social cooperation, their examples are so stupid, so divorced from reality, what do you think about Japan?, Scotty Kilmer, very practical advice, a British motorcycle, a Suzuki copy of a British motorcycle, knock-off cars in China, a Chinese Jeep Wrangler, Philip K. Dick novel, Japanese copy of a British destroyer, iterating after copying, Huawei, Japan has seen that, isn’t that China’s future?, Japan’s funny history, a mature industry, so weird, almost no foreign cars (or products) in Japan, isn’t there something there?, super-racist too, Japanese homesteaders, going back to the land in Japan, who needs Infinity Stones just wait, a fast forward version of something, China and Korea, the Korean birthrate, a demographic transition, capitalism could find a way, Marissa has one projector, a monitor, Jesse has 11 monitors, the Impossible burger, Beyond Meat, half the pigs in the world are consumed in China, a vegetarian going back to meat, a bar meatzvah, the suffering that animals face, unprincipled on many other things, Eric Rabkin is a vegetarian, jerked tofu, an ethics class, that was horrific, no problem with death, the cruelty is not in us its in our nature, tigers are not unethical, they care a lot about food, giving up french fries, how to make a dinner without meat, the opposite of a foodie, Hitler was a vegetarian, he loved his dog, its kind of a religion, playing PUBG with Peruvians, xenophile, the Indian-English accent, reviews of science fiction, vegan, vegans who go to the gym, I’m 58 look at me, so gross, vegan tattoos, those pants, we are the one crucifying Christ through the rape of the Earth, ?, weird Catholic ecology, look at that guy, he’s a fruitarian, what you eat is magic, I’m gonna live forever because I’m pure, Bill Maher, scorn, I live in this society, if I were a cave-man…, go off to Nassau and be a pirate, you really can’t opt-out, are your clothes made by slaves?, violating intellectual property laws, what does it matter where its made?, what does it matter where its manufactured, books are printed in China, nobody trusts the food industry in China, wont that all be fixed in 20 years, production matters, Karl Marx, the magic of currency, commodity fetishism, a show on bitcoin, hidden by the market, such a time investment, pick your battles, arbitrary, I was a fool to be in the apple system for as long as I was, don’t fall into the trap even farther, this sneaking idea, systems and institutions can’t love you, I don’t wanna give Jeff Bezos my money, Jimmy Pattison.

City Of Endless Night - review

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #537 – READALONG: The Scarlet Plague by Jack London

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #537 – Jesse, Maissa Bessada, and Evan Lampe talk about The Scarlet Plague by Jack London

Talked about on today’s show:
London Magazine, 1912, Sunday Magazine, Famous Fantastic Mysteries, 1912 book publication, why hasn’t this been a movie?, totally epic, very filmic, no comic book?, it would be a great comic, the big splash, the reveal, he hasn’t seen a human being in three years, the comic book format reveal, one of Jack London’s best, the first time, not the newest theme, The Last Man by Mary Shelley, The Strength Of The Strong, about the same thing, civilization and how civilizations evolve, The Iron Heel, this managed ordered world, an optimistic narrative, the story is fairly brutal, how the socialist thinking was obsessed with planning and order, social darwinism, rude barbarism?, his greatest?, drama, Martin Eden, John Barleycorn, The Call Of The Wild, he can’t get away from dogs, the dog goes into full atavistic mode, recapitulated, an unwashed barbarian, barbarian grandchildren, taking this story as it is, Earth Abides by George R. Stewart, more optimistic, the essential character of this story, end of the world and post apocalyptic stories, endless zombies, a zombie apocalypse with no zombies, fighting off the harsh reality of what its like to go from running water toilet paper hot and cold running ice cream to living off the scraps of the old world, hasn’t seen soap in 60 years, Costco, 500 survivors in the whole world, a lot got burned, the last survivors genre, SCIENCE FICTION doubly, set 100 years from when it is written (2013) and then another 60 years beyond that, so rich in ideas, the future of American from 1912 and in a future far past it, a double critique, inspired by, The Walking Dead is not about class (and little about race), each a race unto themselves, the Aryan sweep is coming again, it did feel white, all about class, on the side of the downtrodden race, humans as basically very terrible, way scarier than a zombie story, zombies as a metaphor, the hordes of people you don’t know, a divisive horror, us and them, killing zombies as a fun thing to do, shambly and slow, not a science fiction story, Jesse’s niece did a course, its about class, so relevant again, the Chauffeur and Vesta van Warden, the luxury airships that the ultra-rich have, we took all the food and left a little bit for our slaves, you don’t understand Hoo-hoo, “slaves”, oh my god, Professor James/John Howard Smith, what’s happening in the states of 1912, a hardening and separating of the classes, medieval or 19th century England, he’s from the upper class, he has three servants, a housekeeper a cook and a chambermaid, at the bottom of the ultra-rich, every inspired by story never talks about class, Buck was a king brought low and turned into a slave, the same thesis, Chauffeur beats his wife, she’s a goddess, that she should be brought so low, an unreliable narrator who is super-reliable, he makes himself so pathetic, nested narrative, he makes himself look bad, everything that happened is what was happening, a super-hard thesis, lets spend time in this universe and see what meaning we, the good the bad and the worst and the best have gone to their eternal rest, the collie dogs are now wolves, that overcoming, back to brute beast, really interesting and fascinating to think about, obsessing with education, trying teach how to count to a billion, so Science Fiction, the courage and heroism of the bacteriologists, WWI imagery, in awe of the education, chapter 6, a day-labourer, the greatest prize next to Vesta, the crude illiterate getting the upper-class woman, huge gaps, not a culture of mass education, Jack London imagined the early 21st century with the working class uneducated, technocratic culture, millions of engineers, not as pessimistic, this is going to happen again, no good thoughts about humanity’s potential, red history, the red plague is people on Earth, population pressure, oozing slowly across to colonize the East, the gunpowder will come, I’m gonna git Granser this gunpowder stuff, the death stick, someday I’ll be boss over the whole bunch of you, the juju magic of the witch-doctor, poor Edwin is gonna be just like his grandpa, he didn’t survive by his book-learning, nothing he did could fix anything, those two automatics (pistols), the only reason he survives is because he’s a human (who can open doors and cans), nothing in his education as literature professor, Terry Nation’s Survivors, The Daleks as an examination of the human future after a future nuclear war, the exact plot of the Scarlet Plague (without the zooming forward), UK “public schools”, we’re all doomed, I don’t know how to smelt, plastic is made out of oil, ‘I have three batteries left. If I don’t find anymore I’ll be deaf.’, part of the education process, take in a profound piece of information and passing it on, the oral tradition, the big thing this story is all about, trying to teach the grandchildren something of value, there are ways of counting what’s beyond your fingers, they’re goat-hearders, is Edwin the smartest?, he’s the most like his grandfather, a medicine man, brute force, a very bleak vision, an English professor, The Sea Wolf, The Iron Heel, social progress is possible, Herbert Spencer, not a good society, obsession with food, post scarcity, civilization has to suppress, a Freudian aspect, training animals, a universe good, something every eater understands, dogs are food motivated, the bear and the wolves, goats, no longer a man of books, carrying coins, carrying teeth, sex and food, Vesta should’ve been mine by rights, he doesn’t stop him, you could never do this in a Hollywood film, save her and himself, he too their child to wife?, Bertha was a hash-slinger (but a good woman-though!), a Lady is a Chauffeur squaw, the opening and the closing, the surf grew suddenly louder, huge sea-lions, he can smell the food cooking, mussels!, he’s all gums now, crying, an empty-crab shell, so happy, his emotional range, really dottering, a beautiful sad story, the old geezer gets more long-winded every day, a small herd of wild horses, a beautiful stallion, horses, the mountain lions, close at hand, the sea-lions bellowing, fought and loved, there’s no victory here, just survival, just other animals, there’s a beauty, there’s a harshness, Earth is coming back, we can have it all year, all the toothsome delicacies are back, the Cliff-House restaurant, what is money?, those little marks don’t mean nothing, in 10,000 years, warning against the medicine men, that’s religion, agriculture, who controls that surplus?, primitive religion, thugs, not the civilization he wants, he predicted Trump!, he predicted Bush, the Board of Magnates, Vesta’s husband, lords of life (and death), stuck-up, some other place to live, sleep in a tree, no person is strong enough, stuck in these systems, kind to the old man, Granser’s going to get to it, his only value is as a storyteller, it won’t be his dayjob, if only a physicist or a chemist had survived, he’s a reliable narrator who is wrong about stuff, conflating food with money, shopping at the organic expensive farmer’s markets, Whole Foods, the poors can’t afford Whole Foods, not amongst the poors, chapter 4, the dean of faculty, full of airships, flying machines, one brave fellow, 300 miles per hour in an aircraft, radio, social systems, the brute reality of nature, the Yukon, what’s so powerful, those prehistorical romances are not just the past, black deaths, we are going to need the skills we don’t have, living off the corpse of the old world, you can’t just trust that Mother Nature is kind, a city is like a giant pampered baby, cuddled and coddled by all the servants going into and out of it, the beauty of nature taking over California again, the monorail, railroad tracks being taken over by tree roots, Life After People, we lost contact with each other, a very slim portion of this future society, teenagers and younger, tending the goats is a job for young boys, the mens’ job is yelling at women and young boys, a reverence for muscles (and punching people), as brown as a berry, a pair of gimlets, an endless series of messages from the outside world, a whole sequence like that in The Call Of The Wild, the coddling of man, the king of the slaves as a dog, as a wolf he’s utterly free but is dependent on his body being strong, doing something that few others do, the boys are the babysitters, thirty years ago people wanted to hear what he had to say, why do you call it Scarlet rather than Red, The Masque Of The Red Death by Edgar Allan Poe, Bliss Carman:

A Vagabond Song

THERE is something in the autumn that is native to my blood—
Touch of manner, hint of mood;
And my heart is like a rhyme,
With the yellow and the purple and the crimson keeping time.

The scarlet of the maples can shake me like a cry
Of bugles going by.
And my lonely spirit thrills
To see the frosty asters like a smoke upon the hills.

There is something in October sets the gypsy blood astir;
We must rise and follow her,
When from every hill of flame
She calls and calls each vagabond by name.

George Sterling, A Wine Of Wizardry, mentioned in London’s biography, poet rich guy, I couldn’t save him, rebelling slaves, the grave tree, toothsome delicacy, fire, how it eats up everybody and turns it to dust, 1914 airplanes, the airships of the rich, Paul talks about the ultra rich bunkers in New Zealand, Peter Thiel, Elon Musk, when the economy collapses he’ll have a bolt-hole, the rich all flee to Hawaii in their dirigibles, it went with them and it preceded them, that’s the one that married the baby, the wilds of British Columbia, Mount Shasta, so much to be explored, incredibly visual, really good at writing nature, full of ideas, a crackerjack book, Vesta is a metaphor for the whole thing, as good as you can get for a girl, drowned by her drunken husband for no reason at all, boiling fish chowder in a covered pot, parasol, the destinies of millions such as he she carried in her pink white hand, her private dirigible, to her!, a leper, ascertain the creature’s name, what the plague did to the world, the most brutal of low class uneducated horrors can be masters over a goddess, goddess of the hearth now has to tend the hearth, too small for a class system, just about strength, you’re my wife because I’m stronger, Evan can’t agree with London’s pessimism, Murray Bookchin, imposing on nature the reflections on our own society, domesticating the goats, division of labour, our ability to make cultures, why we can’t have good things, that’s our culture, human nature vs. culture, from first nature (sexual desire) vs. secondary (marriage), Eskimos, transformed nature, what people were saying about paleolithic, right back to where we are, printing presses and newspapers, the end goal, besides printing presses, not a teleology, goat-herders and hunters and trappers, mussels and crabs, started life as an oyster pirate, specialization is what he’s aiming at, the radio drama adaptation, a 2 hour book into a 29 minute show, dropping the framing sequence, hearing the plague is very familiar, The Walking Dead, The Day Of The Triffids, 28 Days Later, the aftermath 60 years later, they’ve run out of bullets and gasoline, the comics, allowing that progression to happen, how does the zombie system work, how do you have a society, join there society (a movie night!), a world that doesn’t exist, born into a world without movies, when all the movie bulbs have burnt out, ya, whatever grandpa, people are mean (and horrible), repression in 2013, a tweet with a guillotine was too radical, all the slaves he’s been repressing are going to come for him, optimistic stories of this ilk, Stephen King’s The Stand is essentially optimistic, the bad guy is the state, good vs. evil, both states suck, the triumph of solidarity, acculturated to states and authority, cultures are cooperative, in a dog eat dog world, calling our friends, exploitation within the system, battered husbands and battered wives, its not me its the corporation you work for, bad guys and good guys, The Day Of The Triffids ending, base instinct is love not hate, we need to recenter, a extremely pessimistic work, David Graeber’s book on debt, barter isn’t the first economy, social debt, everybody knows I gave you this are you going to be that guy that didn’t give it back?, my son loves your daughter, barter is from people used to exchange, the police as the barrier between you and the criminal, going back to hierarchy, Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman has fantastic accounting, I made dinner yesterday, bankruptcy, so interesting to think about The Unincorporated Man by Dani Kollin and Eytan Kollin, utopian/dystopian future, forced mental audit, the ultimate invasive, good writing at the end, 24 hours, Evan read it for me!, Ayn Rand took over the U.S. government, “personal responsibility”, capitalism is eating individual human beings from birth!

The Scarlet Plague by Jack London - Famous Fantastic Mysteries

The Scarlet Plague by Jack London - Famous Fantastic Mysteries

The Scarlet Plague by Jack London - Famous Fantastic Mysteries

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #525 – READALONG: The Variable Man by Philip K. Dick

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #525 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, Marissa Vu, and Evan Lampe talk about The Variable Man by Philip K. Dick.

Talked about on today’s show:
a novella from Space Science Fiction, September 1963, illustrations, going deep into Philip K. Dick, wanting to like it, recapping Evan’s thematics, big data, blinkered, as art, so many important elements, starting where he ended up, shifting realities, what is human?, the frontier, labour and the meaning of labour, interesting authoritarian dystopias, anti-Orwellian, Solar Lottery, The Man Who Japed, direct democracy, optimism, they have the whole universe open to them, the narrowmindedness of Cold War thinking, the first tinkerer hero, an average putterer, preternatural in fixing or degraded skills?, preposterousness, the generalist vs. the technocrat, academia limits you, narrow corridors of specialization, I know more than you and there’s no way you can reach, getting ahead of Paul, write a sonnet, build a wall, solve equations, pitch manure, specialization is for insects, esoteric order, intellectuals vs. academics, feted, he’s great!, how Philip K. Dick doesn’t fit into his own environment, what is this all about?, what’s happened, his car breaks down, “I’ll have a look”, how can we possibly move to a new place, “My god! This is amazing!”, The Golden Man, completely like a chickenhead, functionaries, coffee and boobs and that’s it, the proto-tinkerer, Time Pawn or Doctor Futurity, time travel, saying something about the interaction with specialization, the “genius bar”, “geniuses” being slightly more than minimum wage, Jesse ruined the show, Robert McNamara, The Fog Of War (2003), a numbers game, true to life, not guiding the policy, Colossus: The Forbin Project (1970), letting the spreadsheets dictate, the tyranny of the computer, hydraulic empires, China, the nature of the infrastructure, Arnold J. Toynbee, Dune, one small intrusion, no variables allowed, A World Out Of Time by Larry Niven, Stability, Meddler, Paycheck, competence porn, House Of Cards, Sherlock Holmes, almost any John Scalzi protagonist, Breaking Bad, he’s doing science!, so awesome to see it, oh my god we’re going to do some science, helium has these properties!, black boxy, the kid’s vidsender, a genetic freak, he is the hydraulic empire, The Marching Morons by C.M. Kornbluth, Little Black Bag, such a competent bag, competence satire, The Machine Stops by E.M. Forster, is a vizsender facetime?, this is public domain, the visuals, lemmee fix that, a real robot now, fantasy real objects, stories with games, War Game, trying to invade the Earth using board games, sitting down to play, Monopoly is a capitalism simulator, the purpose of Monopoly, toys and game and hyper-competence, fixing things for coffee and donuts, no vivid mental life, the Pole, Soviet scientist, Sergei Korolev, expansion, why do we never see the Centaurans?, Traveler, a decaying empire, The World Jones Made, imperial ambition, Oregon trail, the noser or the jitney, a used car lot, Mimsy Were The Borogoves by Henry Kuttner and C.L. Moore, a mirroring, a conversation, Waterspider, Astounding, 3-D movies every night, The Variable Man, the old time pre-cog who wrote it, The December 1962 IF, a meta-story, commenting on his own work, Orpheus With Clay Feet, We Can Build You, a reference to Nanny, pre-cogs are science fiction writers, how to build the future, welding skills?, soldering skills?, the ultra-competent handyman, shoe a horse and run a government, fantasy as the main element, Reading, Short And Deep, Strange Eden, slem ray vs. r-pistol, asshole braggart character, tame animals, there’s a lady, a retelling of the Circe episode, Jesse just lights up, getting those rocket ships off the ground, Beyond Lies The Wub, a pig with a ghost inside it (that wants to talk about philosophy), so weird and obsessive, The Gun, The Defenders, an elaborate bureaucracy, meetings, no love interest, it reads like a script, dropping bombs on a guy with a horse and cart, Mr. Spaceship, weapons of war, a dying scientist, a vehicle of exploration, The Defenders, a trans-humanist force, The Ship Who Sang by Anne McCaffrey, shell people, “you can be beautiful”, they have longings, Call Me Joe by Poul Anderson, the cripples, colonization, Dick’s first long fiction, how to put things together, novel structure, the coffee, the boobs, the trail of Philip K. Dick, the characters are lacking, irritable anxious weird dudes, I want my comedy, Evan thinks Galactic Pot-Healer is Dick’s novel (for a deep philosophy on work), the jokes, the silly stuff, you went there didn’t you, the compatibility test, spending the time, reading it is a pleasure, intellectual stuff, themes, no pleasure, elegance, beauty, Earth against the others, who is the aging empire here?, the British, the Nazis, vundervepons, invasion board, the big board, The Penultimate Truth, fake work, fake war, are they the Japanese?, Philip K. Dick’s childhood poems, Aunt Flo judging his work, weeks and weeks and weeks of newspapers, war war war war domestic domestic domestic, American tank giving Japanese tank a piggy-back ride, The Man In The High Castle, the role of war, the war of munitions, the war of industry, we can win WWII no problem, here’s a Japanese intern(ee) that was murdered, The Simulacrum, Reinhardt, Reinhard Heydrich, the Wannsee Conference, the calculation, spreadsheets were involved, Supernova In The East, anti-war in Japan, elan, The Crystal Crypt, a snowglobe story, the Black Clad Leiters, Nazis on Mars, childhood trauma, reflecting, what if me and my fellow writers are pre-cogs, nobody else uses pre-cogs, Null-A, a parody of the plots of The Pawns Of Null-A, Null-P, Think Like A Dinosaur by James Patrick Kelly, what if…, The Great C, work as therapy, art therapy, what’s your therapy?, occupational therapy, Dick being a bit of a pre-cog, find work you love, find pleasure in your work, fantasy, Taiwan, work should be enjoyable, work being meaningful, a euphemism, a way of tricking yourselves, kindergarten, lunch is coming and take your pills, universal basic income, getting paid in coffee and a sandwich, the lack of ability to fix things, openable phones, a plastic cover over the engine of modern cars, alienated from the ability to fix your own stuff, walking towards this Philip K. Dick future, the whole Amish thing, human scale technology, Murray Bookchin, anarchism, the light switch as consent, thinking through the technologies we choose, obsessed with tiny houses, being “off grid”, growing the fuel for the horses, compressed air technology, social ecology, the kind of guy they don’t talk about in school, Towards A Liberatory Technologies, post hole diggers, this would make a good movie, very visual, Molly Jojez has blue skin, they always adapt the wrong stories, a failed experiment, Idiocracy is The Marching Morons, Mark Twain, a reverse Connecticut Yankee, Flight Into Forever by Poul Anderson, the heroic past, Little, Big: Or, The Fairies’ Parliament by John Crowley, return of the king, The Skull, Paycheck, Captive Market, All You Zombies, For Us The Living: A Comedy Of Customs by Robert A. Heinlein, social credit, socreds, Alberta, ancient political ideas, neo-liberalism, an interesting thinker, mostly wrong about everything, The Number Of The Beast, time and space and universes, Barsoom and Oz, Sliders with sex, we need utopias, solar punk, green shoots away from this grim dark, post apocalyptic story, Netflix, lots and lots of science fiction and almost all post-apocalyptic, zombies, an anarchist take on a post apocalyptic story, Doctor Bloodmoney, dog eat dog vs. human eat horse, a thing for horsemeat, another thing for the rhetorizer, Horselover, why is he murdering the horses?, Confessions Of A Crap Artist, weird conspiracy theories, another meta observation, pseudo-science magazines, a Dianetics scene, a misfit, the competent man stuff, his answers are all wrong, interesting in their absence, there’s no explosion, not acceptable for a film, that’s not the problem he’s interested in, true wub!

Posted by Jesse Willis