The SFFaudio Podcast #633 – READALONG: The Player Of Games by Iain M. Banks

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #633 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, Scott Danielson, and Will Emmons talk about the The Player Of Games by Iain M. Banks

Talked about on today’s show:
Scott’s idea, TBR [to be read], book 2 in a series, standalone, Culture books, a giant black hole, 10 book series, Inversions, culture tech, Transitions, the book to read, Consider Phlebas, Excession, shared universe, unsympathetic protagonist, Gurgeh, is that what we want from a main character?, being nice, reading about unpleasant people doing evil things, horrible people doing horrible things, our very few rules, flawed, spoiler rules, a spoiler and a save it for the podcast, how could you spoil that doesn’t have that content, a moral failing on Will’s part, we’re all healing, the definition of the culture, post scarcity, dangerous, Evan Lampe is very dry, honest feelings he was trying to share illegally, no laws, social customs, sincere, a serious book, not just entertainment, serious ideas, its both, political philosophy, up against a galactic empire, aimed in his sights, the ending, an inferno of fire, science fictional empires are not the target, what ruling class is like, the Epstein stuff, the private island, the blackmail, deviations we want to do, games, if you want a house, with no money and no possessions, gambling, no money or excess money, throughout the book, about economics, if games have options to make the stakes higher Jesse always wants it, Enemy Territory, friendly fire on, one life to live, no respawns, Roguelikes, Ironman Mode, gluttons for punishment, a legitimate game, a game within my own game, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, the excitement of potential loss or even ruin, a further extreme, good at exploring the topic its talking about, the player is getting played (by everyone), he’s playing himself, a really good book and a really bad book, why people like reading the series, Luke Burrage talking about this series, feeding the wrong part of my brain, the comforting stuff, a utopia, a fake utopia, the Culture is Heaven, everybody has a guardian angel, under the cloak of science fiction, Banks is using rules, lightspeed rules, people without a terminal, they send a rocket to save you, designed to be heaven, ooh its so fun, its like a rot, its a bad apple, its like satire, where we’re headed, so incredibly great, if you one and done it, a little more tongue in cheek, the impossibility he’s playing with, poked fun of, he’s doing it, he’s having his cake and eating it too, everybody who wants to change genders whenever they want to, you can have anything you want, the bullshit is consistent (therefore interesting), book after book set in the same place, Star Trek, The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, outside the ship problems, the coziness of The Next Generation, its a TV show, they’re dealing with it in an hour or 40 minutes, this is soaking in it, dangerous, they’re striving, a satire of a goal, Gulliver’s Travels is a satire of us, Gulliver’s Travels 2: The New Boogaloo, make money, its a good book, the tendencies in it are towards series, Jesse can blame Iain Banks, I was just following the trends, a writer’s gotta eat, in the culture he wouldn’t have written other culture books, is the culture a satire of itself?, yes, projecting his own values, what’s he’s good at, what’s useful about this book, criticism of the results of that kind of society, an anarchist or libertarian communist society, there’s no king, the tyranny of structurelessness, they’re benign, this is God, what about when earthquakes happen and babies die, doing a satire, relishing the experience of satirizing, the tendrils, the seduction, like reading Lord Of The Rings, its fun to go to Bree, benignant, conquering vs. toppling vs. annexing, regime changing, because they’re good, Gaddafi is a bad man, they need to be liberated, the drone, the horror that capitalism has wrought, mercantilism, bamboozles, blackmailed, secret police, they tricked one of their pets into doing a show, he suspects, puppetting, annoying, cast out of heaven, I had to steal the money otherwise I would be embarrassed, they played him, snookered, the fun-house mirror of the empire, the empire is more honest, naked power structures, a benign autocracy, he volunteered, the pushing is so wimpy, he wants to get invited to parties, he would lose his status, labeled as a cheater, he would get fewer papers published, he’s convinced to go, it was still his choice, he might kill himself if he was revealed, they’re going to make it your choice, that’s why we’re pets, our own enslavement to them, we’ve done it to ourselves, no civic virtue, a spy service, the super powerful people manipulate the weak people, he’s got PTSD, he lives in a cushion, ground fine, he gets sacrificed, another series that ran way to long, the journey was worthwhile, Ringworld, Louis Wu was tricked into doing what he wants, the luckiest girl on the planet, a big dumb object vs. our contemporary planet, three sexes, really its Earth, customs, a culture, friendly (not an empire), they kill you with kindness, physically worse things, King Midas, he got overexcited about the one thing he was passionate about, what are you gonna do in a society, go into games and live there, living to play, you gotta go build some LEGO, creative work, art, he knows what he’s doing, really smart, like Charles Stross plus Larry Niven plus Olaf Stapledon, well expressed, he ended up seducing himself, why Jesse avoided it in the first place, worth studying, Will has endless time, the whole Babysitter’s Club, Shelfwear, the Starship series by Mike Resnick, lotta good dead writers, Star Trek with Captain Kirk saying fuck the federation, succulent, more like Horatio Hornblower, he can’t keep writing and make me read more of them, the prequel to The Lord Of The Rings TV series, exploration of post-scarcity, this is not achievable, ship-bound, the black black sky, the kids equivalent of ten forward, you want to have your family with you, almost killed every episode, that move is interesting, privileging audiobooks over TV shows, Jesse might be snobbish, novellas and novelettes were the perfect length for science fiction, idea fiction, Olaf Stapledon wrote books not novels, this is a good book, soak in the playing of the game, the meta-game, a lot of gold, books are incredibly powerful, danger manifesting, misunderstanding of reality, this is not a heroic age, the individual is obsolete, no one person can have any real effect anymore, a terrible heaven, you go up into the sky you sit on a cloud and play a harp, he is empty, succumbs to the temptation, Paul’s totally right, they seem a lot like children, university people in our society, neuroses, a new type of brain, change your brain chemistry, a total lack of meaning in your life, an indictment, in the context of Looking Backward by Edward Bellamy, useful aspects of socialism, it shares a flaw, both novels fail to consider the emotional political and moral hazards, the polity in the Culture is less naive, a hundred years of thinking about utopias, a response to Looking Backward, our rosy heavenly future, the fringes of the Culture, seems kind of slow, he gets his own ship, drones are like regular people, put to sleep for seven hundred years, I’ll wait a couple years and get Use Of Weapons, the frontiers of utopia, if this was a one and done book, it feels good, some importance, he got seduced, read about series books, Jesse has read a fuckton of science fiction, meta-textual evidence, why didn’t Jesse pick up Iain M. Banks before this, State Of The Art audio drama, Jesse had a feeling it would be what it is, what people are saying about a book, looking for excuses not to read something (to read something in its place), something of value, you’ve heard how that director works, you can suss out what movies are worthy of your attention, 1988, still of value, much in favour of series, coming at it from a writerly perspective, super-smooth writing, more of a grift, Jesse doesn’t want to be comfortable, Looking Backward is lame in many ways, it leaves out race, black people not mentioned at all, huge massive flaw, its not comforting, Jesse doesn’t want to be comforted, I’m shaken to my core, the story, thought provoking, goals, your phone, are they really making your life better, you have a really good time in Los Vegas, whaddaya say wifey?, spoken highly of, highly regarded, go to Rome have a great time, you don’t live in the Culture, a money aspect, more though provoking stuff, audiobooks out quite early, Peter Kenny, a long book, 16.5 hours, a meditation on all games, something to think about, a phenomenon happening under the sun, all reality is a game, by being unknowable, the possibility of change, victory, time is one of the rules, The World Of Null-A by A.E. van Vogt, Solar Lottery by Philip K. Dick, what games are and what they mean, Fair Game, sending board games to the Earth, Monopoly, The Game Players Of Titan, real estate developers, stock market, they can do whatever they want, rules for the plebs and rules for us, punished by the emperor, the rules are overthrown, you become the emperor, education and taking tests, help students game the tests, the SAT, how the Chinese government has run itself for the last 5,000 years, something to be worried about, a masterful job, a solid take on what gaming is and the motivation behind it, Elizabeth Bear, Ancestral Night, modern 2020 politics, giving healthcare to everybody, way cheaper, Machine, James White’s Sector General novels, plenty of AIs, taking on Iain Banks, the genre conversation, if this Iain M. Banks goes on…, Architects Of Memory by Karen Osborne, meta thinking, evocative and fecund, psychological realism, when the apex who had made the body bet realized he was going to lose, really fruitful, the kinds of things you do to make the world a better place, a regular dude, somebody’s in charge, that spaceship, surplus from the war, what is Iain M. Banks trying to say here, if you wanted to make an informed decision, spy novelists, supporting a cultural boycott of Israel, South Africa, an international solidarity activist, a political Douglas Adams, his intellect is in the same area, Monty Python-esque fatalism, trying to intellectualize his way out of it, making really solid points, that dangerous word again, Paul doesn’t agree with the word “danger”, Communist Manifesto is only a book, Mein Kampf only a book, interesting but not important, a guidebook kind of, a fountainhead, a prose poem, avoiding writing, it feels like there could have been something more, life in the Culture, amuse yourself for three hundred years and then get shot into the sun by your own choice, no difference in the brains, they’re all people, othering robots, bringing them down to their level, can you have a benign heaven with a god who isn’t smarter than you?, they don’t run heaven, impinging on Scott territory, a secularization of heaven, reading for pleasure is a seduction, what will result if you gave into that temptation, making a reading choice is not political, reading a series is not good, the decline, market forces, realpolitik and economics, not the ideal, Paul is making Jesse’s argument for him, Beggars In Spain is an evil book, Nancy Kress, she’s chosen the darkside, made horrible consequences palatable, a novel like Starmaker, Hyperion by Dan Simmons, Jesse’s criticism of series is well grounded, more enriching, widely and deeply, perilous, words are powerful Paul, Paul wants an off-ramp for a first book in a series, lure, feeling this stress, its okay to make it addictive, when did Dan Simmons jump the shark?, Olympos, the analogy, from series lasting too long, compelling you to read more, a nefarious thing, how Lost sucked so many TV show people in, enamoured with his idea, detective books, literary fiction, very impressive, a high complement, why series happen, we elect a really good king, four more year for you King, a few dynasties go by and we’re chopping people’s heads off, at the risk of provoking Jesse to keep going, adverse consequences, Nine Princes In Amber by Roger Zelazny, its the meta-game, a playground in which he can do satire forever, why Tom Clancy is still producing from beyond the grave, ownership, Neil Gaiman doesn’t milk, don’t read the first volume, the horror host, more like The Twilight Zone, Anansi Boys, whatabout this?, you already did that bud, A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine, break em in half, a reversal, please don’t annex us, we recommend, the dangers involved, he’s ultimately won over to the Culture, choose to become a robot, that’s what people want, how dear he, he’s very wise in his book writing decisions, the paths we set our feet down, make a rule for yourself make a rule for everybody, the categorical imperative, Immanuel Kant, is it okay for me to kill?, is it okay for me to lie to my kids?, its for everybody, a case by case basis, he didn’t want to keep writing the Hitchhiker’s Guide books, you keep using that word, he has no respawn, he got two series, he was a big brain, we’re way over on the tipping scale, all I want is healthcare, what’s the right word? [silence] The Last Dangerous Visions, J. Michael Straczynski, regular visions, vague visions, one last significant work by Harlan Ellison, the executor for the estate, those middle seasons of Babylon 5 were so good, a half-assed 2 actors and a greenscreen.

The Player Of Games by Iain M. Banks

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The SFFaudio Podcast #627 – READALONG: Don’t Panic by Neil Gaiman

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #626 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, Scott Danielson, Marissa VU, and Maissa Bessada talk about Don’t Panic by Neil Gaiman

Talked about on today’s show:
Douglas Adams, about Neil Gaiman, ten years younger?, only 8 years younger, how young Douglas Adams died or how old Neil Gaiman is, 80s vs 90s, only 49, heart attack, don’t work out, jogging is not something you should do, don’t climb rocks, just sit, have a lie down, Starcraft for 72 hours, InfoCom’s The Hitch-Hiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, InvisiClues, h2g2 site, some visual elements, a buffered analgesic, a radio show first, a novelization of the radio drama, the TV show, the novel, the radio drama, the movie, the record album, just awesome, why he was such a big hit, the graphics, Richard Dawkins and Lala Ward, Dirk Maggs, on YouTube, Hulu, the history of this book, David Dixon, M.J. Simpson, the stuff that happens in between, the plot, how storytelling works, the 1988 publication, the narrator Simon Jones, Arthur Dent, Peter Jones, the chapter titles were quieter, a cute addition, not ever being a possible romantic lead, typecast forever, he’s wearing a bathrobe right now wherever he is, he has his towel, how interesting it is as a reaction to Doctor Who, his characters are not cooperating, they’re kind of jerks, make plot happen, the opposite of Doctor Who, John Pertwee, Tom Baker, The Green Death, the environment, the plot, the reveal, colonialism, frakking, peripheral to the plot, the writing of the plots, the ideas they are exploring, he does these stunts, blows up the earth and then continues the story, my friend Maissa, Douglas Adams style of humour, the jokes are at the forefront, the funny situations, so unusual, he breaks all the rules of what writing is supposed to be in the novel form, building the train track in front of you as the train’s going, save it for the podcast, seeing where the road takes you, writing was a process of panic, living right at the very edge, Paperback Swapping, this is not for everybody, its not really for kids, its for 14 year olds, what Douglas Adams was, somehow monetize that, fulfill the contract, what job qualifications he had, sexual requests, the kind of answers characters would give, did you do any research, 100% hell no, extincting animal, everything in his life gave him his first book and his first radio series, his personality written down, crystalizing it, an exam, he would never give answers until he fully understood, he was late to deadlines, formal and real, enough wisdom to write it down, how weird the series is, so meta, a book about a book, all the firm ground we think we live on, the parallel with the destruction of his home, HOME, So Long And Thanks For All The Fish, 42 and towel, a whale is falling, the flower pot, it’s about existence, it’s about our place in the universe, our own ridiculous, Oolon Colluphid, its about philosophy, popping into existence from nothing, just brilliant, it connects in some way to life, big ideas, big questions, it makes you feel smart when you read it, Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels, the Ted Danson, the last adventure, a kind of a sadness, throughout the books, really sad things, lots of lonely people, Marvin, not just Fawlty Towers absurdist character humour, Last Chance To See, The Meaning Of Liff, Stephen Fry, a similar personality, an obsession with words, English Delights, Ancient Greek myths and heroes, academic, depressive, the impact of this guy, a Dirk Gently TV show, zany rather than deep, it missed the mark, an idea Asimov would work on, if it all turns out to be stupid answer at least we’ll have an elegant question, informed by Science, H.P. Lovecraft, deep time, the mice and the dolphins, it’s important, the B-Ark, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: Live in Concert, just fantastic, the Dove Audio audiobooks, the definite reader for his own stuff, sell em again, what estate he had, gadgets, so many Macs, it makes total sense, digital watches, what a ridiculous monkey descendant I am, very much of his time, no shame in it, how shameful it is, an encyclopedia, pre-dating Wikipedia, when the internet’s a thing, much more like him, Rickmansworth, Mostly Harmless, adding to that insignificance, all of human history is summed up in a galactic encyclopedia is just two words, the guide was updating itself, when Arthur Dent is trapped in the distant past of Islington, there wont be a train for 10 million years, absurdist, insulting everyone in the universe, Paul in high school, a Hitch-hiker stan, I’m partying with Vogons tonight, an instant connection, Brandon Sanderson, you’re in the group, Lois McMaster Bujold, that whole marketing and stuff thing, an ad in Rolling Stone, free books, creating the word of mouth by bootstrapping the thing that actually works, putting bums in seats on the first day, when you have something you really know works, this book is hilarious, the Wednesday night thing, The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975), a 25 foot inflatable whale, marketing for book 3, we have a new book to promote, hopefully writing very rapidly, dodged another one, it lets you know, that guy whose stuff you like, Paul is a pretty connected, the most connected person in the science fiction world, a whaleogram, that same sort of weirdness, how inspired was Maissa?, a similar personality, Zaphod’s head, Last Chance To See, audio is the way to do this, what the advantages of audio are, there’s just something about it, magical world creating in audio, the listener is a participant, let the imagination fill that, activated imagination, you can’t shut your eyes to the audio, Nightfall: The Room, Fred Greenhalgh, Good Omens, on YouTube as well, who else is like this?, obsessed with the Norse gods, Gaiman is much more disciplined, structural, controlled, The Lego Movie, imagination, the multiverse of LEGO products, the reality outside, the metaness is there, movie friendly, a LEGO audio drama, Robert Sheckley, sweet and depressing stories, his main thing is philosophically exploding the possibilities of free floating in the universe, Reading, Short And Deep, Keep Your Shape by Robert Sheckley, feeling the constraints of their society, its an analogy for repressing homosexuality, freed from restriction, reality is not what it was before, Mindswap, Total Recall (1990), so zany, grounded in a philosophy of what difficulties we have as human beings, Kurt Vonnegut, who am I, what am I all here for?, oh yes this is very Adamsy, that kind of specialness is very rare, Neil Gaiman is not really about the funnies, who else is there?, Harry Harrison, The Stainless Steel Rat, endless possibilities, Jasper Fforde, Tom Holt, K.J. Parker, Terry Pratchett, A Canticle For Leibowitz, wry, arch, satirical, Philip K. Dick in Galactic Pot-Healer, what am I doing here, a bowl of Martian fatworm soup, reaching and stretching for outside, Red Dwarf is not the same thing, the characters in Red Dwarf are idiots, its amazing that it works at all, somehow he manages to bumble his way through to almost truths, standup comedy, the beast in The Restaurant At The End Of The Universe, solving a lot of the vegans problems, “my hindquarters are incredibly tender”, the problems were all faced with, we’ve been thrown down on this planet, Pilgrimage To Earth (aka Love, Incorporated) [it was copyright renewed: (In Playboy, Sept. 1956) Love, Inc. Pub. 1956-08-15; B00000608703.], mordant sense of humour, Zaphod Plays It Safe, Genghis Khan, a serious output problem, Bureaucracy, standard difficulty, very gamey, you could entries in the guide, beer, Canada, thousands of entries, this is amazing, 5 and a quarter, yo, bag of invisible space fleet, no tea, very philosophical, the same as flying, the first computer game an author wrote his own work, who wrote that Philip K. Dick game? [Blade Runner (1997)], by Robert Holmes, prominent credits, executive producer, the front and center, Sid Meier, Police Quest, King’s Quest, Betrayal At Krondor by Raymond E. Feist, Starship Titanic, PUBG, appendices, they’re still making it while you’re playing it, go to school to write videogames, aspiration, dialogue to write, Fallout, Red Dead Redemption, L.A. Noire, history to bone-up on, nobody knows the people’s names, better pay, Pillars Of Eternity, constantly pouring out new games, novels were the premiere medium in the 17th century, short stories were in the late 19th century, new BBC Radio dramas have the stupidest format, telling a story as if it were a podcast, why is that a better medium?, H.P. Lovecraft, pretending to be a podcast, they’re making the Blair Witch and putting it on TV, Douglas Adams did a metabook on radio, pan-galactic gargle blasters, he’s never done, Dirk Gently is just as good and more timeless, so of its period, more earthbound themes, so influential, so many people read it, the writers of The Next Generation are aware of the possibilities of The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, it worked out pretty good, the sauna, I don’t have to be consistent because its not really about the plot, asking questions not giving answers, parallel universes, did anyone cry?, the eulogy, blessing, it just came out of nowhere, the way he died, how cool he was, we’ve made the world worse, Jesse did not cry.

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The SFFaudio Podcast #612 – READALONG: Black God’s Kiss by C.L. Moore

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #612 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, Scott Danielson, Evan Lampe, and J. Manfred Weichsel talk about Black God’s Kiss [and the complete Jirel Of Joiry stories] by C.L. Moore

Talked about on today’s show:
all the Jirel Of Joiry stories, incredibly French for some reason, why did Scott want to do, Brian Murphy the great, Flame And Crimson: A History Of Sword And Sorcery, The Silver Key blog, 25 of his favourite stories, Swords & Deviltry, The Best Of C.L. Moore, like we do, Skyboat Road, Gabrielle de Cuir, all 6 stories, the complete stories, 1934. peak CONAN, corresponded with H.P. Lovecraft about Robert E. Howard, The Challenge From Beyond, they’re playing, A. Merritt, Frank Belknap Long, round robins, Asimov and Heinlein as characters, tonally shifting, not trying to be a novel, Poul Anderson, Medea, Murasaki, one of those people who people think, Far Beyond The Stars, stereotypes, Weird Tales, tonnes of female writers, H.P. is not hide his identity, without knowing, Northwest Smith, punished by vampire women, Kuttner, I would just assume it was a female, the female gaze upon herself, she really has these things, Jesse’s poem, the way the plots work, one is particularly,

JIREL MEETS by Jesse

My yellow eyes
THIS flaming red hair
I sit, impregnable, in my mail atop my charging stallion at the sorcerer’s castle’s gate
The air about me trembles, a magic rises here in post roman france!
Soon I’ll journey underground into another pocket universe
I am at the the borderlands, YOU FOOLS!
Remember Guillame? How dare he!
Look you, reader, upon my iron clad form, look at it!
Inside this lobstered armour lays My indomitable heart!
Neath my roman greaves lay my shapely shapely legs.
I must hide the kindness of my mouth.
Do not forget, dear reader, that slimy black thing beneath this castle’s keep
It is a promise, that beyond the purple stars and azure tendrils that I shall resist
Men at arms, you are no use, fall back, these enemies shall fall before my violent will.
The indescribable thing!
It shall fall beneath my gaze, withered by the blinding burning vehemence of my iridescent yellow eyes, beneath my keen visor.
There I shall give my kisses!
And silence shall fall upon you, until the next issue.

quiet, sued or put in prison, droits moraux, French copyright law, Solar Pons stories, Lovecraft never collaborated with August Derleth, operating on poetic description, a mood, as opposed to what Robert E. Howard does, a 15,000 word story, she’s kissed she goes to the underworld she comes back, today’s market, languid, immerses the reader in that mood, Strange Horizons or Uncanny, today’s modern sensibility, they’re all novelettes, a substantial meditation, mindset, pocket universes, SHRIVE ME! SHRIVE ME!, the second story is brooding on the first story, she’s a girl, Evan’s direct messages, some kind of weird love, regret, she wants to rage fuck him for the entire first story, willing to damn her soul, none of her men at arms have names, he dared to defy her, his kiss, a domination, a metaphor for sexual conquest, the female mind, compared to Conan, Conan is very male, the gaze, he’s pantherish, his thews, his black mane, a male gaze on a male, an admiration for his ability to get in there and get shit done, he survives, he figures his way, very basic, a realpolitik, Jewels Of Gwhalur, like a heist, the set piece of her sitting at the gate of a castle, this guy dares to kiss, the opening is a 5th of the story, a journey into the underworld, incredibly female, the letters make it clear, letters from Weird Tales, October 1937, C.L. Moore visits Robert Bloch, Henry Kuttner took her on a rollercoaster ride, James Triptree, Jr., Campbellian times, marginalized, a wave, the number of letters from females is huge, women hiding their gender in order to writer, George Eliot and George Sand, a performance art aspect, Jane Austen, can I trust him, they all blended together as well, Kuttner is really good at blending in with his wife, funnier, playful, Mimsy Were The Borogoves by Lewis Padgett, Quest of the Starstone, the first example of a crossover story?, Savage Sword Of Conan, look Elric’s here!, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Solomon Kane, Moon Knight, Dark Agnes, Roy Thomas’ Red Sonja, the red hair, not the yellow eyes, do we see her fighting?, purple skies and orange plants, The Tree Of Life, she daggered a dude through a door, a Red Sonja figure on a dias, a shying away, Guillaume, she’s an untamed gentlewoman, she was at war, Shakespeare doesn’t put the battles on the stage, you can’t adapt this really, it’s a psychedelic, putting The Night Land on film, trippy colours, Jirel goes into Hell, A Voyage To Arcturus, The Black God is not the devil, transdimensional stuff, H.P. Lovecraft Clark Ashton Smith, the cross, so sexual, Hellsgarde, a trap door, she experiences all sort of things, impregnable twice, it never really was France, even the time is weird, guns, 1,500, when and where are these stories set?, early-Middle Ages, pagan beliefs, sword and sorcery, combined into a world, its not meant to be historical, The Hyborian Age, 10,000 years ago, lower ocean, Doggerland, The Dying Earth, Jack Vance, Fritz Leiber, too limiting, the spicy pulps, pornography, Weird Tales would try to draw in the audience, women with whips, a woman kissing a statue, this is going to be a sexy story, 1980s movies, a sex scene in Lethal Weapon, all sorts of different things, ways of selling it to the audience, here’s a powerful woman who wants to be dominated (even though she says she doesn’t), its a complicated thing to be a woman, tell me about if fellow man, battles, leader, she denies the guy, regrets, C.L. Moore’s second husband, very prolific, the benefit of hindsight, K.J. Parker, he came out as a male, Robert Silverberg, James Triptree, Jr., J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter, thinking like a woman mode, H.P. Lovecraft never does it, Philip K. Dick does it a lot, an empathy thing, look at me in my amazing armour, in my shocking red hair, in my yellowy eyes, what have I done?, that black beard split by his white teeth, your hands are like daggers but your mouth perhaps is sweet, getting that bonus for the cover, trying to make livings, aiming for the cover, why stuff that’s in there is like that, providing a need for the market, Ann Douglas’ The Feminization Of American Culture, as religion lost its hold on the public mind, she’s talking about men and women, timidity, piety, Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe, sentimental literature, fighting against these values, almost like a flapper, embracing sexuality, this literary creation, rage, sexy, hot rage, passion, in the context of other C.L. Moore stories, some kind of female force, the vamp, roleplaying as archetypes, a sex streamer, a sexuality performance, a stand in for C.L. Moore, I want to be Joan of Arc (but less holy), how. dare. he., the Martian France, other sword and sorcery, Conan crucified, biting the heads off the vultures, playing out in reverse, Black God’s Shadow, A Witch Shall Be Born, twins whipping each other, whipping up the sensations, attract the eye and make you buy it, your chaste great grandma, twice impregnable, she wants to be chased (not chaste), I’m going to make you my bride, I’ll destroy myself, a domination, its a play, a back and forth, this moldy trunk, that was not the point of this adventure, what’s in there?, the same thing that’s in the trunk in Pulp Fiction (1994), comrades in arms, running up against vampire women on Mars, more chaste, it’d be like Solomon Kane and Conan making out, Jerisme the sorceress, a magician vs. emotion, what women were about at the time, marrying or killing for power, a classic villain, a whole bunch of stories that are so similar, the same tonal notes, similar movements, when you hear the Imperial March, the 1960s Spider-Man cartoon, animated or anime, the music and the colour and the logic, what the Japanese want to think France looked like, all within a five year span, she and the public taste had changed, Conan’s Compeers, L. Sprague de Camp, Judgement Night by C.L. Moore, what a coincidence, this underworld, this relationship, runaway chase me, I’m angry but its all love!, very distinctive, this is their niche, we don’t really know why we do stuff, a shift from fantasy to science fiction, a war, a novella, it took the cover, riveting descriptions, the ghost, intense, very well written, again into another universe, trapped in another world, Lovecraft’s models Poe and Dunsany, a particular thread, the dream world, the thief, The Tale Of Satampra Zeiros, both Lovecraft and Moore are picking up Dunsany ideas, The King Of Elfland’s Daughter, turning it dark, a drippy scary cold stone, that Theives’ World phenomenon, aka guarding, going in a getting, going in and taking, being playful, Dunsany is being cutesy, Lingerie Serious, Leisure Suit Larry’s cousin, ambivalent about magic, an affective kiss, that’s what she says, her magic is her rage, this temporal geography, barbarian kingdoms, a much more modern figure, an uncomfortable relationship with the past, Black Gods Kiss by Lavie Tidhar, magpie, poke poke poke, its that thing that Jon hates?, The Adventures Of The Solar Pons, Sherlock Holmes, are there any of them that were any good?, thinking August Derleth is a good writer, Without A Clue (1988), The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes’ Smarter Brother (1975), is there any case to be made, Conan fights a magnet, Philip Jose Farmer, Fred Saberhagen, his own attitude, continuing the series after the author dies, good stories from work for hire, why Jesse likes adaptations by Roy Thomas’ stuff, abridging and visualizing, in colour or with colour prose, Fantastic Four, The Ring Cycle, Richard Wagner, are they mythological characters, adaptation, Neil Gaiman, Odin, I’m going to write a story, The Ring of the Nibelung, Lin Carter, diluted, she gotta care about the scene and the feeling, if you compress the actions of the plot it could be 20 minutes long (or less), beings and creatures and elves that need to be waded through, emotionally charged description, emotion to inanimate objects, tumultuous, better in audiobooks, into Jirel’s world, all the illustrations for Weird Tales, the way the weird tales market developed, railroad stories, ranch romances, a market for weird stories, Argosy, Off-Trail, A. Merritt, Geusy, The Blind Spot by Homer Eon Flint, Francis Stevens’ stuff, the first issue of Weird Tales had Sunfire, she invented the superhero genre, bit by bugs, exposed to radiation, The Hulk, Captain America, The Curious Experience Of Thomas Dunbar.

Black God's Kiss by C.L. Moore

Black God's Kiss by C.L. Moore

Black God's Shadow by C.L. Moore

Hellsgarde by C.L. Moore

Quest Of The Starstone by C.L. Moore and Henry Kuttner

The Dark Land by C.L. Moore

Black God's Kiss by C.L. Moore

Alicia Austin illustration of a scene from "Jirel Meets Magic" from Chacal, issue 2

Posted by Jesse WillisBecome a Patron!

Reading, Short And Deep #240 – Extracts From Adam’s Diary by Mark Twain

Podcast

Reading, Short And DeepReading, Short And Deep #240

Eric S. Rabkin and Jesse Willis discuss Extracts From Adam’s Diary by Mark Twain

Here’s a link to a PDF of the story.

Extracts From Adam’s Diary was first published in the Niagara Book, 1893.

Podcast feed https://sffaudio.herokuapp.com/rsd/rss

Posted by Scott D. Danielson Become a Patron!

The SFFaudio Podcast #586 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: The Tree Of Life by C.L. Moore

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #586 – The Tree Of Life by C.L. Moore; read by Gregg Margarite. This is an unabridged reading of the story (1 hour 10 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Paul Weimer, Will Emmons and Trish E. Matson

Talked about on today’s show:
Weird Tales, October 1936, what a good issue this is, how many podcasts based on stories in this issue?, Lloyd Arthur Ashback, The Lost Temple Of Xantoos by Howell Calhoun, Robert Block, Witch-Burning, The Lost Door by Dorothy Quick, Mark Twain, Earle Pierce Jr., Red Nails by Robert E. Howard, the final Conan story while he’s alive, R.E.H. by Robert H. Barlow, The Secret Of Kralitz by Henry Kuttner, Arthur Conan Doyle, a lot for your money, The Shadow, Motor Stories, True Detective, Northwest Smith stories, worldbuilding, Rainbow Mars by Larry Niven, corrupt the planet, elves, diminished, our swashbuckling hero, connections, Philip Jose Farmer’s authorized Tarzan novel: The Dark Heart Of Time, a crystal tree, a civilization built around it, trees, a pocket universe ruled by a being that created the universe, ultimately easy to deal with, Jirel Of Joiry, Shambleau, succumbing to the wiles of a woman (who is not a woman), an anti-climactic ending, as an introduction, it has the virtue of being public domain, LibriVox, what she does with the language, not very much happens, mostly description, very Robert E. Howard like, the colour and the emotion, what actually happens, crashed, he’s basically Han Solo, a Mandalorian episode, no Chewie here, more pathetic than Chewie, a million year old ruined city, the Patrol, the well, a fake crying lady, reaching back into his brain vocab book, a missing bit, sacrificing a few of the forest people, through a monumental effort of will, he shoots it in the trunk/roots, very metaphorical, a dream sequence, the mushroom expression of the thing that is Thag, give him a sword, half of Conan stories, fights a god, a girl to be saved and a girl that’s evil (and jealous of Conan’s gf), Jesse’s least favourite part of Game Of Thrones, a really long story for the amount of activity that happens, a laser beam battle, a tribal war, it feels very long, the repetition, the same strange word again, incongruity, incredulous, making it more ornate and then colouring in, how it feels rather than what you see, a queer sort of music, intolerable beauty, that piercing strength, purple prose, its all about the dwelling in that feeling, the description of bodies, moonstone eyes, The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins, The Tyger by William Blake, my dead friend Gregg Margarite, “went lurking” a verb now used,

“went lurking” is a verb now used by people who only know each other via newsgroups – can mean, stopped responding to email or threads, also usable to describe people have have possibly died – so that’s how I will now describe my friends who I know have died

-they “went lurking”

Where do they lurk? Under what circumstances do they stop lurking? This sounds like a story waiting to be written.”[email protected]

Now they ride with the mocking and friendly ghouls on the night-winds, and play by day amongst the catacombs of Nephren-Ka in the sealed and unknown valley of Hadoth by the Nile, at least… for now.

referencing The Outsider by H.P. Lovecraft whenever possible, The Number Of The Beast by Robert A. Heinlein, it’s a (Philip Jose) Farmer book, its not a great book, “I’m going to do nostalgia”, 666 dimensions, WOW, To Sail Beyond The Sunset, 1979/80, revisiting some feelings, self-indulgent and incestuous, Lazarus Long, Mike the computer, The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, Glory Road, tour de Heinlein, enjoyed reading it, living my life and reading this book, it shouldn’t exist, the Exegesis of Robert A. Heinlein, science fictional concepts, watch out for femme fatales, “I’ll try”, a character development, a bottle episode, a standalone, the way Red Nails ends, Queen Of The Black Coast, go have one of his gigantic melancholies, “harry the coast of Kush”, a sense of optimism, this is not really science fiction, more like Star Wars, sword and planet, science fantasy, a romance, more weird, a setting beyond the Earth, its totally weird, there’s this god and this wizard, Conan, The Lost Valley of Iskander by Robert E. Howard, broody and thinky, Windwagon Smith, Philip Jose Farmer’s Windwagon Smith, Frank Leslie Illustrated, The Steam Man Of The Prairies, Tom Swift And His Electric Runabout, Around The World In 80 Days, Planes, Trains And Automobiles (1987), an Ice Sledge, Dragonlance DL6: Dragons Of Ice, could this really work?, Lawrence Watt-Evans’ Windwagon Smith And The Martians, a mashup, Northwest Smith and Windwagon Smith, Tim Powers’ On Stranger Tides, pirates and voodoo, Ray Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles, Lord Dunsany’s A Story Of Land And Sea, Thomas Windwagon Smith, 1854 newspaper accounts, the prevailing winds blow in the wrong direction, a legal document with silver ink on blue paper, adapted into a comic (Eclipse’s Orbit), recorded into an audiobook, reasons to contact Ray Bradbury, Twelve Kings In Sharakhai by Bradley P. Beaulieu, Paul Bunyan, American myths, where’s Philip Jose Farmer when we need him?, American Mythos, American Gods by Neil Gaiman, Smith is that name, Joe Anybody, C.L. Moore’s afterword for Shambleau And Other Stories, a red figure running, N.W. Smith, a third character was needed, Yarol is an anagram for the typewriter, North-West recurs, North West Territory, North-West Passage, the Northwest Rebellion, Northwest Of Space, do you remember when I was a kid?, Grizzly Adams, recreating the Garden of Eden with a bear,

The Lost
Temples of Xantoos

By HOWELL CALHOUN
Celestial fantasies of deathless night, Enraptured colonnades adorned with pearls, Resplendent guardians of crimson light, Expanse of darkness silently unfurls Among colossal ruins on this shore, That once was purled by Xantoos’ rolling seas; Nothing remains upon this barren core Of Mars, but your palatial memories.

Your altars and magnificent black gods Still flash beneath the sapphire torches’ flames, The fragrant ring of sacred flowers nods Beneath the monstrous idols’ gilded frames. Your jeweled gates swing open on their bands Of gold; within, a lurid shadow stands.

John Carter, Northwest Smith, this Sea that once was (now dry), abandoned city, vocabulary practice, retelling without having read, mixing and remixing, when you put Burroughs out into the world…, more sharp, more poisonous, it sticks with you, Blake inspired, the syntax, part of the fun, reading deeply, what haunts authors, the sea is an image in Lovecraft, Philip K. Dick, C.L. Moore is more commercially minded, Robert E. Howard was willing to write for anybody, Henry Kuttner, he’s kinda like Robert E. Howard, first fanmail, ‘she’s hiding her identity behind her initials’, a more common thing to do, a trend that happened, the sexism was not real in Weird Tales, some womens names were hidden by initials, the readership was almost equally female, boys and girls and women and men of all ages, more female poets, 30% female story authors, H.P. Lovecraft, Clark Ashton Smith, Robert E. Howard, Seabury Quinn, Lovecraft’s semi-beef with Farnsworth Wright, No Woman Born by C.L. Moore, gynoid body please, rings of metal, conveying the woman that she used to be, Science Fiction 101 aka Worlds Of Wonder edited by Robert Silverberg, Fondly Fahrenheit, Day Million, No Woman Born, The Monsters, Jack Vance, no time to read for anything except for the podcast, the difference between podcasts and reviews, the firehose is the fifty firehoses, I would love to help, 17th century novels and poetry nobody reads, a lot of dross, gender stereotyping, kind of a doofus as opposed fascist, compilation of trailers, Siren, Odysseus and the Sirens story, a classical trap,
a fundamental misunderstanding people have been having since the mid-19th century, what evolution, a show about mermaids set in 2020, I despair for our species, that’s why we have problems, FreeForm, filmed 10 feet from my mom’s house, Apple TV+ a fourth grade student investigating a murder as an accredited journalist, its not aimed at humans, its like a kitten detective, a serious show, Encyclopedia Brown, Love Is Blind, marriage, they’re all fake, artificial drama, the consequences, why did you bring this white guy home, a TV whore, an intellectually morally bankrupt decision, abuse, Will to to blame, subordinating themselves for infamy, The Running Man by Stephen King, The Prize Of Peril by Robert Sheckley, Das Millionenspiel, traumatized by the indignities, doing your spirit wrong Will, Warren Ellis’ Transmetropolitan, facial tattoos, scarification, SoundCloud rapper is a culture, earlobe stretching, lip stretching, group identity by shared pain, everything’s crazy in the shade of The Tree Of Life, were in the Thag bubble, their story is a lot richer, snuggled up or running screaming, the lie of this story, he never really got out that’s why this is the last story, he’s a white man, he’s fine, a semi-desperate criminal, why people fundamentally reject the death of Han Solo, when Arthur Conan Doyle tried to kill off Sherlock Holmes, remember Spock?, Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan, give Mirror Universe Spock a shave, killing Kirk, a generational changing of the guard, gone down with the Enterprise, a twitter argument,

@SFFaudio Feb 8 [2020]
time to face the truth:

STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE (1979) looks better and better and better as the years go by

at some point it will be better than VOYAGE HOME (1986) and yes, inevitably, even WRATH OF KHAN (1982)

Star Trek 1 is an art film, 2001: A Space Odyssey (1969), how you know you’re in a Russian art film, a big idea, everybody agrees, VGER, Milton and Moby Dick and Shakespeare, themes, everything, meanwhile in the darkness Star Trek I is getting better and better, gaining more gravity with time, why they changed the uniforms, its Frankenstein, try the computer down, we can be friends, The Changeling, Voyage Home is so much fun, some lady who’s a cat, Assignment: Earth, “exact change”, too much LDS, while ST1 is a better film, Star Trek IV is more fun, retcon things, Jesse’s ratings of the Superman movies.

The Tree Of Life by C.L. Moore

The Lost Temples Of Xantoos

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The SFFaudio Podcast #584 – JASON THOMPSON

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #584 – Jesse talks with the great Jason Thompson, he of mockman.com

Talked about on today’s show:
you and me and how things go, Joe Rogan, based on guests, Tulsi Gabbard, Bernie Sanders, Alex Jones, what is up with this guy?, everybody’s got there issues, interviews suck, hard hitting, Jesse’s not here to take Jason down, an excuse to make friends with people on the internet, too prolific a tweeter, wonderful and strange things, man eating plant images, such an old trope, avoid crusty tropes, a story set in Cuba, what keeps Jesse going, what inspires Jesse, what drives Jesse, such a good media, covering all the senses, late to the party for The King Of Elfland’s Daughter by Lord Dunsany, the Dunsany biography by Mark Amory, huge gaps, doesn’t care about Dunsany’s dream stories, family anecdotes, NecronomiCon, a biographer who liked fiction, Pathways To Elfland, together they make one good book, a great cover, Frank Kelly Freas, Tim Kirk, I don’t like your stuff, Jesse didn’t grow up with manga, Jesse’s niece, first of all its backwards, anime, Royal Space Force: The Wings of Honnêamise, Lovecraft being a racist, anything that exists and is really ongoing, Hong Kong action movies, Akira Kourasawa movies, Gou Tanabe’s Lovecraft, publishers, save money by redrawing the Japanese sound effects, Shonen Jump, this cool thing, cool hipster (save money), seeing your work mirror imaged, seeing the flaws, your face from an unexpected angle, we’re here for digression, a cultural shift within a tiny subculture, The Silver Key by H.P. Lovecraft, the moral, strikingly different people, the title and the library and the castle, a different personality, Celephaïs and The Coronation Of Mr. Thomas Shap, Neil Gaiman’s Lord Shaper, the word crap and crappy, the husk, the shell, gone into the dreamrealm, the cliffs at Trevor Towers, Dunsany did have more than the shallow entertainment value he was successful at, the preface is to help ease people into it, a normal English village just a few miles from the border with Elfland, 1911 issues of The Sketch, facing illustrations, the halfpenny papers, one of the cool dynamics, escape into dreamworld, wealthy people problems, ennui, meaninglessness, so good with names, all the names, so good, name arcs, goofy names, a little bit of a mythos, semi-serious, Episode 12: Miss Cubbidge And The Dragon Of Romance, How Nuth Would Have Practiced His Art Upon The Knolls, Tommy Tonker, the whole gnolls thing, gnomes + trolls, The Man Who Sold Rope To The Gnoles by Margaret St. Clair (Idris Seabright), a Jerusalem artichoke made out of Indian rubber, California, the 2nd half of the 20th century, Philip K. Dick, Clark Ashton Smith, Clark Ashton Smith: The Emperor Of Dreams, Lovecraft: Fear Of The Unknown, working to be edified, arts/literature/education, lifelong learning, be reading all the time, what was going on, Arkham House, Ballantine paperbacks, historical non-fiction, read the shortest stories, stick-figure astronauts, pushing the PDF Page, read it from the original source, we read the stories as they appeared, all of the bonus things, editorial introductions, illustrations, old things are cool, J.R.R. Tolkien -> Conan comics -> Robert E. Howard -> H.P. Lovecraft -> Clark Ashton Smith, Fungi From Yuggoth, gone beyond, 1 year old baby, prose poems, prose pastels, The Nightmare Lake, the most complex rhymes scheme, difficult to understand, a series of images, you’re seeing his dreams, as dense as anything you’ve read in prose, the HPLHS’ Lovecraft’ commonplace book, Jesse’s big into dreams, understanding your own psychology, lucid dreaming, fairy tale dream sense, a faraway magical land, bits and pieces of everyday life, dream reading/watching/RPGing, the best way to determine if you’re in a dream, such a prodigious dreams, my dreams exceed ALL other dreams, there’s books in your dreams, blurry, a foreign language, the first sentence, so obvious, generating that amount of detail and perceiving it, your GPU, fog in an old 3D game [isometric], how to record dreams, patterns, Tetris dreams, picture plants with white grubs on them, get the grubs off, The King In Yellow, Edgar Allan Poe, a trans-woman, Dreamland-like dreams, the name of two streets or the name of the town, Jesse waited five years to talk to Jason, Francis Stevens’ The Citadel Of Fear, The Curious Experience Of Thomas Dunbar, super-science, giant laser guns from the Moon, a Japanese-American scientist, a style and a genre, the very first super-hero story, an irreplicable experience, that mad-scientist, you should be called “Sampson”, 30 years before Batman, Argosy, 1904, Robin Hood, Zorro, Thor, the actual generation of a Daredevil style meta-human, the origin issue, The Elf-Trap, Friend Island, a visionary, correspondence with other writers, somebody appreciates what I’m doing, there’s good things here, female SF authors are not as common, arguing with people on twitter, depending on the genre, the Love pulps are all women, Frank Belknap Long, gothic romance, female authors in Weird Tales, C.L. Moore, A.C. Doyle, H.P. Lovecraft, initials are not necessarily hiding gender, Leigh Brackett, Ursula K. Le Guin, more than 50% women writers in SFF, Jeff Vandermeer, Ted Chiang, medieval travel narratives, Sartor Resartus by Thomas Carlyle, a fake book review as a novel, Don Quixote, Dreamquest, Roy Thomas, it eventually becomes wordless, the narrator was too startled to speak, The Night Land by William Hope Hodgson, the language is the barrier, the spanking scene, Charles Baudelaire, he has sex with a shark, Marquis de Sade style sexuality, how do I deal with the rape scene?, Azathoth as vision of god, Jason is not independently wealthy, Hodgson doesn’t have the name, Les Chants De Maldoror by Comte de Lautréamont, Kickstarter, Lovecraft adjacent, a children’s book comic, YA comics, comics about mid-1800 super-villains, expectations, a bland porridge, reined in, cool stuff that makes kids interested, drawing in the margins, WWII, the best way to educate soldiers, the most economic and best way to teach soldiers to clean their rifles was to draw comics, carefully draw the bold back, why comics are so beloved by children, comics teach words through context, reading manga, what are they saying?, the sound of a scream, favourite writers, what are you not tweeting about, D&D module maps, torture chambers, a 20 year commitment, for those who are listening, ancient travel narratives, Marco Polo, Journey To The West, maps are kind of comic-like, a spatial narrative, there’s a lot you can leave out, the Dreamlands Map, revisions, the geography is not defined, all the capitalized words, Dunsanian easter eggs on the edges, Chaosium, The Field Guide To The Dreamlands, Sidney Sime’s map of Dunsany’s Dreamlands, its set in England (sort of), actual geography, expectations, changed placenames, snatch away the fruit of the fruits of others labour, copying is what we should all be doing, how it got made, no longer the product of a god, the product of a flawed god called Man, you develop your own or stop doing it, Gary Myers’ Dreamlands stories, The House Of The Wyrm, a YA novel, Kij Johnson’s The Dreamquest Of Vellitt Boe, a story of description and travel, the spirit of the story, for time to winnow away that which is unimportant, lots is interesting after 1900s, focusing on the public domain, making a short film out of this story, Henry Treece, The Green Man, a children’s adventure, a prehistorical romance, cave kids, The Viking Trilogy, Viking Dawn, The Road To Miklagaard, Viking Sunset, Asterix, Getafix, how did this translate, Tintin, Lucky Luke, Captain Haddock is an alcoholic, the movie adaptation, true to the original works, Tales Of The Gold Monkey, every 1930s serial trope, Magnum, P.I., a hot aircraft, three jam-packed stories, Canadian public domain, why aren’t people doing more, Vouldir, Sidney Sime museum, Virgil Finlay, scratchboard, why the lines look the way they do, using the same models, why I can’t draw hands, going to art school would probably have helped, practice, practice, practice, the smell of Used Bookstores.

Clark Ashton Smith's Hyperborea by Jason Thompson

Jason Thompson's Map Of The Dreamlands

The Dream-Quest Of Unknown Kadath And Other Stories by H.P. Lovecraft and Jason Thompson

Mockman's map of Tomb Of Horrors

Posted by Jesse Willis