The SFFaudio Podcast #781 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: The History Of Hayy Ibn Yaqdhan by Ibn Tufail

The SFFaudio Podcast #781 – The History Of Hayy Ibn Yaqdhan by Ibn Tufail, read by Evan Lampe. This is a complete and unabridged reading of the book (2 hours, 57 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Evan Lampe, and Terence Blake.

Talked about on today’s show:
Terry the loner, a conversion, Terénce is better than Terence, the necessary existent, why are we listening to old dead Europeans?, it’s Tarzan, Stranger In A Strange Land, enriched it with sex, implied sex, conceives the possibility of sex being a distraction, might be converting to Islam, raised Lutheran, if Evan were to convert: Islam or Calvinism, neo-platonic symbolic interpretation of Islam, Avicenna, John Vervaeke, Awakening From The Meaning Crisis, alternative titles, human reason, the History Of Hayy Ibn Yadhan, is this a story of humanity story?, yes, a history of philosophy story, a scientific interpretation of a history of humanity on earth story, there was a pool of very muddy water, it had fermented a lot, it so came to pass, a receptacle, the crappy story of how earth got life, full sized human baby, cute and fun and silly and gets us where we need to be, a bad novel, a fun thing for what it is, forgotten about Roman novels, for dramatic events, more like a Philip K. Dick novel than Edgar Rice Burroughs, raised Christian, the aesthetics, he would definitely have dug it, this book doesn’t wrestle with evil very much, what is good, evil as blindness, on the ethical side, his moral code, through his system, life the universe everything, necessary existent, are your podcast listeners familiar with Avicenna?, ethics are rooted in communities, morals vs. ethics, ethics is for jobs, Deleuze’s definitions based on Spinoza, the application, universal constants, not in a hurry, puppy drowning in the river, get that puppy, dog catcher, commitment or relationship, I can help you cheat at school but I can’t help you cheat at learning, make your prison stay better, good ethics vs. good morals, you shouldn’t lie except…, find a way to be tricky and deceptive, on the same page, new friend, many points in the 115 chapters, this is all impossible, 28 years old, now he’s going to learning language, that burning bush over there, get past that, those things are in Tarzan, a primer (how to read book), he’s also a child, lots of impossible things happen, improbable things, either way the creation myth works, nurses her son, puts him in an ark, God take care of my son, beach, a roe nearby, the baby ain’t changing her own diapers, lick up their shit, how everything works in this, figuring out what the stars are, this is not a fiction story, a fiction way of making your students be introduced to all of these concepts, mostly right, wrong in the details, from the physical to the spiritual, wanting to live in a videogame, deny their body, focus on the mind of god, mortification and starvation, getting closer to that perfect union through understanding god with mirrors, largely concerned with science, the philosophy of religion, let’s form a society, just like the scholastic in Latin Europe, Thomas Aquinas, justify this through Aristotle, Plotinus, a doctor, scholarship, what makes it a golden age, parallels with what is happening, a condensed text, an autodidact, packaged like we think of as a novel, two creation myths, let’s just examine the facts of how the sun works, how heat works, all tricks to get you into the science, natural philosophy is what we would call science, talking about the food, the morality of the food that you put into your body, animals and eggs, vegetables, stand on fruit, fruit is the most interesting kind of food to talk about philosophically, fruitarians, not kill a plant, roots and bark, fresh vegetables, weird cases, fruit or vegetable, pumpkin, strawberries, parafruit, acting like a fruit, doing what the plant wants, how drugs work, obliquely referencing quinine, Jesuit bark, developing our relationship with plants, we had this discussion, eating fake meat, if it tastes like meat, super-interesting, modern Muslim and Jewish orthodox people, philosophically disposed, religious ideas people just accept, if you think it through, a consequentialist, being offended by a dildo, something is fake, dildos do offend people, glossed over, daily ablutions, the philosophy of washing up, plants rubbed into his private areas, he took them where they were abundant, more from the roe’s point of view, god killed her fawn, there’s no predators on this island, this ecosystem is fucked, two and a half hours, do your own Hayy Ibn Yadhan fan fiction, he spent a year thinking about his relationship to scented plants, why it is good to keep your bum clean, the Robinson Crusoe connection, eating of that guy’s food, not a food that he should eat (because it is too good), generally right, vaping scented vapes, a chemical that helps them regulate their mind and mood, drugs to excess, to escape the pain of capitalism or whatever, don’t enjoy things too much, sleep cycle, sleep hygiene, having this character learn about reality, the ecosystem, this other, philosophy of religion, all up their own asses, not on observation of the universe, inner knowledge, rationalist and empiricist, why is she not moving, she will move again, he loves his mom, after a certain point you can’t fix the plumbing, a traumatic theme, more of a medical explanation for why people die, going into the soul, better explained using brain chemicals, all reductionist, fastidious about what he eats, pleasure therefore not really necessary, drunk on the spinning, the Sufi stage, exercise, that’s still the body, you have to go in circles like the heavenly bodies, still material or sensory or corporeal, runs around his house, runs around the island, not far enough, whirling dervishing, little kids do it naturally, special dresses that fly up, his solution is go in the cave, get in the tantric pose, starve yourself, hare shirt, whip yourself, high on your own supply, mushrooms, peyote, Joe Rogan talking to aliens, the gateway to the aliens, just replace God with aliens, looking for meaning, satisfied with the educational steps, high enough state, we won’t have to worry about meaning anymore as we will be in communion with god, look at that lumpy rug, a history of mistakes, bring it together, better understanding, meaning has to be derived from experience on the earth, this is how we’ve been doing it, how early and how right, lot a Greek stuff in here, Peter Adamson on The History Of Philosophy Without Any Gaps, it’s never gonna end, other traditions, China next, third most translated from Arabic, the Koran, The Arabian Nights, it has a bit of a story to it, fish out of water books, utopias, which is why we like science fiction, what are the rules, Stranger In A Strange Land, subject to Heinlein’s philosophy, The Outsider by H.P. Lovecraft, surrounded by books, assumes he is like the characters in the books, candles, he can’t go into the forest, out of Plato’s cave, spiders and bats and silent rats, a familiar path, to heaven, did some horrible thing come into the house behind me, male or female, a memory of a better place, visions of heaven and being close to god, built into humans, a better place available to us, where the power of saying there is a God out there, how we’re different from the other animals because we have this faculty, a spirit that they don’t have, important unto themselves but not like us, why it is a story, scientist and proto-scientists, 1160 AD, thousand year old book, a meta-fiction story, the two origins, both are true, Moses and Adam, the bible has both stories, silly, incompatible but presented, it’s wrong but a good way to get access to an idea that is helpful, a stage of development, the princess puts her baby in an ark, the book is more intelligent than us, a few extracts from the introductions by modern editors, old science, when it seems really impossible it’s supposed to shock you into an allegorical reading, take away the veil, this story with the light, neo-Platonist, the light, divine light, materialist explanation with the clay is not enough, the light comes first to make the human, the end is not full enlightenment, worldly life, the next step, The Ten Ox-Herding Pictures, the enlightened one, the oneness of God, the story of the Buddha, nobody reads the bible as a scientific text, references to the Koran, a book about the history of why we can know things about the real world, engaging with the creator of the world, transcending the world to appreciate the creator of the world, sometimes he’s starving himself to get to enlightenment, don’t eat meat/cows, what the proper things to eat are, non-fable, things that are not fables, a mist in the center, empiricism, I study facts, steam, the soul coming out?, animal spirits, a white mist that explains that why it was alive, part of the heart is clogged, more than one chamber, one is empty one is full, heart attack, blood clotting, the whole point of that, he looks at the body, there are no holes in it, nobody poked a hole in my mom, if there’s something broken inside of her, what surgeons do, go in there and fix it, transcendence to she is a mechanical creature, but still good, not my job to eat all of these things, not completely separate, why does he covers up his genitals?, furrier genitals, they’ve got a tail, he duplicates that, he’s into imitation, he’s smelling good, he’s radiating light, dressed in a sophisticated way, he looks amazing, he’s not fat, only eating what he needs to, part of his movement, bodily objects in the heavens, get out and take a walk, Tai chi is based on circles or spirals, the best movement is spirals within spirals within spirals, doesn’t hurt the joints, low or no impact, he wants to be with God, he’s not allowed to kill himself, he has to be good to his body, he has to be good to the environment for God’s sake, he’s not going to uproot anything, when he sees a plant that’s too dry he gives it water, he’s healing the creation, a flash of Greta Thunberg, gotta save the world, but for what purpose?, minimize the corporeal element, the incorporeal element in him, too… be one with it?, where the author intends to be, the ultimate goal is that unity with God in the city, those two characters introduced at the end, a cave, an island, an introvert and an extrovert, a Sufi mystic approach, a duty to that community, those ethics are established, you’ve finished the book, as a young person, take what you’ve learned into society, in doing so your spreading the religion/knowledge, the way Jesse finds meaning, share it with everybody, most people don’t read, a nice poem in an old magazine, job well done Jesse, the others don’t like it, they’ll never get to it, be good, be nice, and protect your business, the writer is all three, too literal minded, follow your inclination then, be one with God and do what you will, born on an island and stay on an island, going into the cave and meditating until you die, you’ve gotta go into the city, you live in a dumpster, you laugh at the politicians as you eat your onions, that’s Diogenes, hang out with dogs, need to be close to services to dig through dumpster, masturbating in public, modelling himself on Socrates, Diogenes is mystical? tell me more, I’ll go live on Instagram, very backwards, selfish, lame, it might be immoral, he’s the one who could stay in the cave ethically, the problem with the libertarian point of view, Trish’s voice, not that way Trish, not more female voices in this sausage fest, a natural instinct, a goat that suckles a kitten with no mom, lonely, not of its own species, morality and instincts are related, go away or soothe, built in, for females they suckle children, they lick them clean, one day my child will take over my business, as a male we don’t have that instinct as much, categorization, taking things apart, the instinct to be a mechanic is more male, nurture and take care, cut and dried, people disagree are fuckin nuts, if this princess had had a daughter it wouldn’t go into a cave, lady sitting in a cave, meditating all day, early Christian church mothers, once they’re indoctrinated, female brains, blind people brains, different skills, definite dispositions, this book doesn’t go there because it’s just one dude, trying to go there, there are female religious fanatics, flagellate yourself, deny the body, a more male phenomenon, I gotta go, the baby needs to have milk, once your kids are grown, grandkids, supervision, the occasional story, wipe dirt off wipe dirt in, because we live in a gendered society, societies are gendered, we could abolish gender, males and females then, the progeny has to be raised up, done by groups of people, the suckling is only done by the female, more weaving, men weave too, hunting in the forest, once they get out of a certain stage they’re into a city, lenses, glasses, burning glasses, related to the tech you can get from the city, mirrors, do your science stuff, in order to have cities, bringing supplies to the lens-grinders, a guy who doesn’t have a lot of needs, when that guy comes to the island they’re having sex, funny, very high spirtiual status, have sex without even noticing, a baby appears on a puddle on the beach, a sealion comes by and nurses this pup, god is busy strangling it’s pup, married Apollo, Pythia, these are animals pretending they’re not animals, if there was a woman on the island, whatever the Koran said about marriage and family, he gets ultimately to Islam, multiple wives, a controversial position, the Jews not so much, one at a time with the Romans, making connections between tribes, Mohammad’s wives, the favourite wife, alliance style marriages, having lots of children, to build up, nation states and empires, go to Tahiti, if the food is easy and the weather’s nice, recruits for moving rocks, war with a neighboring island over rock resources, when he goes to the city, cities could be sacked, these are things that are not touched upon, nobody can critique my stuff, you need some guy to tell you to take the slide cover off, researching something that doesn’t exist, the car is out a gasoline, basic baby things that we need to learn, that’s not how real science really works, what are you doing?, ohhh!, solves huge problems, an argument for rationalism that I could flick away, trying to learn from experience, the community of science, it tends to go to the cave, learn this stuff on your own, an experience that’s very rare, a high on drugs style experience, non-transferable but felt real, fiction helps you learn things that are real, use a fiction example, you’re dad’s dead, I would feel terrible, j/k, if they can give their own fictional explanation, how you acquire that meaning, not just the engine, read this book then go talk about it with a bunch of other people, it can’t live without us talking about it, it’s missing something, one of Evan’s specialties is the history of the worker movement, a whole history, The Ignorant Schoolmaster by Jacques Rancière, master-pupil model, social power relations, science is collective, any kind of work outside of the most primitive is , underdog educated by the topdog, if I teach something we are now equal, educational establishments, I’ve been teaching him like he’s inferior, in mathematics, G.H. Hardy, strange letters from an Indian [Srinivasa Ramanujan], at this level in mathematics, workers education is social, you don’t have to go through official channels, I get that point, learning from other people, a defect of the book, he thinks in terms of heaviness, what do you think will happen?, heaviness is not the same as gravitation, it must be shorter, a proof on a page, the proof blew Terence’s mind at 11, a part of an infinite set is the same size as the original, math is a real problem, live in a cave with a slide-rule, Cantor’s diagonal proof, other kinds of knowledge, geology is not solvable in a cave in a human lifetime, figuring out the rock cycle, water’s states, impressively frozen on the equator, water gets bigger when it freezes, less dense in its frozen state, the Greeks, doing all inferences, takes that step into being the caretaker of the island and the animals on it, what the , he says to the deer he can make sounds of but can’t answer them back, this is not how it works, Rene Descartes, I have an idea of god in my mind, gymnastics, people can be wrong, people can be confronted, internal experiences, going in the wrong direction, reform a city, Plato to step in, that’s probably wrong Mr. Plato, retreat to the cave, get closer to God, Aristotle’s physics, look at how happy he is, why would the laughter cease?, would never have been able to write the book, language came letter, writing in parables then in metafiction, why Ibn Tufail has gone a step further, a book that encourages more books, heirachy in educations, becomes a guru, he’s the master, he has his followers, that’s bad, that’s the wrong attitude, inherently hierarchical, being older makes you more wise (not always), [Mikhail] Bakunin’s dentist, two people on a beach, the older one, giving my game away, knows how the oars work, pulls up a chain, a little cage, a crab or a lobster, Jesse’s not a lobsterman, eventually that shorter one will know how to do this job, where to put these traps, one of them is a young person, transfers the knowledge on, outside of school systems, flint tip arrows, one can’t do the lobster trapping anymore, more like a chain of responsibilities, explaining stuff, learn a lot, students aren’t always great teachers, if circumstances are such, so wonderful, learning so much, given the system we’re in, servers to pay for, a really nice book, they’ll learn even more in discussion, hear somebody talk about a book, talk with somebody else, how the genuine learning is genuinely happening, documentary, a room with a bunch of nurses wearing masks, swaddling babies, a table with forty or fifty babies, those babies have no names, piles of baby, raising children, this is my baby I love it, when your breast milk is working again, widgets, you’re in this class and I will mark you, they tell you about a book they read, I’m too old for that genre of book, that’s fun, the social aspect as well, recommend not just one book, not just ten, explanation, discussions, Evan’s blog on Philip K. Dick, built on a foundation got from society, a tabula rasa from birth, he’s not sharing, throw in other people, society makes something out of that, already enmeshed in social relations, factually wrong, allegorically interesting, podcast or write a blog, intellectual evolution, born on an island, possibly a puddle on a beach, get away from the ego, learn on their own, Evan’s blog is:, what book is his best, juvenalia, buddy, posthumous, Olaf Stapledon, also science fiction that is not a novel, Sirius, a novel, the banner is a big slum, Mars, kipple, everywhere humans go, trashy and garbage, super-socially active in his community, trashing the school board, make political change, writing congratulations to Richard Nixon, what an autodidact there, that’s when he gets nutty, stops engaging in society, big mistake you’re not meant to make, at the height of illumination you think you are God, something about avoiding the mistake, fell into the mistake however you define it, even along the way, the occasional place he would revert back, do something fun with it, we don’t need to be bipolar, the crazy ones, he believes everything, just great ideas, born on drugs, sparking all over the place all the time, his reputation, the drugs are to stay up late and write a novel, LSD, his fleshy hariry sweaty world around him, he wrote a lot about drugs, Heinlein’s sex-life, a guru for some aspect of the sexual revolution, weird cult, The Church Of All Worlds, Oberon Zell-Ravenheart, annoyed, Ayn Rand, The Harrad Experiment by Robert Rimmer, nothing can possibly go wrong, sexual anxiety is learned, educate he current generation, a wonderful book about this, Make Love, Not War: The Sexual Revolution: An Unfettered History by David Allyn, Thermidor, vs. humidor, a month, effecting the social movements, drugs are cool, weird shit happens, chew that Chew-Z, druggie reputation, Heinlein is more deserving of his reputation, a pretty sex-free book, we need that sequel, Jesse and Connor, an immoral book, the guy’s a fuckin asshole, you’re my slave now, a Pierce Brosnan adaptation, they have to do things to make the characters not monstrous, Friday judo flips him, you look like me, I don’t understand words, food, cultivate this relationship, friendship is sealed, a non-hierarchical relationship, I’m doing a mini-colonialism and you can to, thank god for all your providence from god, then you get slaves to increase your yields, a go out and do this kid book, there’s a cave in the book, a general mistake, a way of retreating from horror in the world, born into a world of pain, so I can get closer to God, the stories are often quite attractive, if you’re really hardcore about this you’ll go live in a monastery, thank you for recording it, good discussion, Mating Center please, Frank Belknap Long, some other sex books, more Orrie Hitt, Orrie Hitt country, audiobooks, the beautiful and the frustrated fought to go to the…, eugenics society, social role, a frightening view of life and forbidden love, breeders, set aside to breed, horn people that can’t breed wanna fuck, a new rubric, Water Is For Washing, the original scan, one of his shortest stories ever, slavery for a while, Harriet Beecher Stowe, three of her books, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, two volumes, serialized in a newspaper, her whole reputation today lies on this one book, until next week, Terence is a pirate too, LibGen, studying up for the next podcast, writing, three episodes, the essays, say something nice about it, youtubing on the philosophy of mathematics, the poetical philosophical history of mathematics, Logicomix: An Epic Search for Truth, symbolic logic, Bertrand Russell, some Greek guys, a comic about Oppenheimer, 3 hours is a lot, Terence sat through Oppenheimer (2023), the history of blowing people up?, something really baby about it, just look at the trailer and read the script, Dunkirk (2017) or Tenent (2020), no sound problems, people used to being coddled, Bane character, some special sounds, clear and distinct, a clear and distinct voice of god, a Goddard movie, attached to the dialogue, a secret advantage, follow better, subtitles allow you to read movies, just the words that are being said by a person, turning somebody’s podcast into text, simultaneously, double participation, you can see the artistry or inartistry, preparation, it’s a spoiler is what you’re saying, spoilers is the search light in the bucket theory, Popper’s famous essay, Karl Popper, I love deep buckets, Christopher Nolan, movie makers reputations as directors anymore, one of the last operating, Momento (2000), small scale, you could talk about the ending, the premise is awesome, the conclusion or beginning naturally follows, Insomnia, The Prestige, based on Christopher Priest’s novel, The Dark Knight (2008), Inception, it doesn’t have a fatal flaw like The Matrix (1999), sequels, one special cut of the sequels, cut out all the zion scenes, Interstellar (2014), idea wise it is slow, Contact (1997), pretty normal except for the last part with the voyager, the both have Matthew McConaughey, the religious nut, is it meaty?, movies aren’t as generally deep as good books, very well done for the gimmick that it is, look and see if there’s something I should download, more utube, Red Letter Media, Best Of The Worst, one of the characters from the Star Trek cartoon, he plays Hughie on The Boys, he’s in Oppenheimer (2023) as well, whatever those guys are, slipping him a script to give to Nolan, teach me to read, Jesse’s level of jokes, a nice little joke here and there, that format has never existed before, a kind of media that has never existed in any other format, One Minute Critic, a review of it in 60 seconds, over the course of 40 minutes or an hour and half, wonderful, right, when they invented plays, own TV channel, talk about whatever I wanted to, but now it’s real, the format and the server space, plop into the hands for virtually zero cost, when podcast started, you don’t need video, a slow motion big wrong stamp, to enhance the joke, Russell Brand, a little more flexible in the definition now, it’s something else, a very weird podcast, plan for a career in watching old VHS tapes, a career in reading old books, that they do this as a job is incredible, are you serious right now?, a big enough casual enough less time intensive, turned off books, longer blogposts into several chapters of a book, if you’re not in the system, if you don’t play the game, he’s terrible at marketing, a university professor contacted Terence about a blogpost about François Laruelle, in fact you will be paid nothing, things that need to be changed, can you do some more work for my book?, as if Terence was an idiot, normal procedure, academics write books and publish for free their articles so they can put it on their CV, you don’t need to sell these books, don’t bug me, I won’t re-write, I’m busy, online magazines, even if they’re not getting paid, makework projects, pre-existing contact or relation, to make them happy, keep money out of the system, lousy translation, improve it for them for free, they just forget Terence afterwards, busy trying to find their own meaning, when the web is inaccessible, you might stumble over an old book in a bin, whatever the version of scanning is in the future, a list of stories, a reprint of a 1959 short lived magazine, two Silverbergs under pseudonyms, two, Laurence Janifer, Demons Of Cthulhu, $23 shipping, I don’t need money just don’t get new things, occasionally replace a tire, be born rich, putting stuff online, find people who have a copy of that, what Terence just did for Evan there, that’s the great thing about working in a community, a little piece of advice, drag and drop and it’s done, get out of your fucking cave, three books just received, The Weird Tales Boys by Stephen Jones, relations between Lovecraft, Howard, and Smith, Robert Silverberg’s Monster And Things, The Thing Behind Hell’s Door, these are public domain, don’t ask is my policy, published in May 2023, the shipping, peripheral material, Asimov’s introductions, Worlds Of Wonder by Robert Silverberg, Science Fiction 101, Sheckley and Bester, you got it exactly, thank you so much, explaining a book, reading a book is more work, pay close attention to grok it properly, it’s the bucket and the searchlight again, an interesting light, college instructor, flying off to Germany, The New York Review of Books, a Stanislaw Lem collection, prefaces to unwritten books, Sartor Resartus, “Imagine dedicating much time and effort to a parody! (And a quick perusal indicates it’s quite well done, not a slipshod (albeit very droll) Devil’s Dictionary.)” a book about books, LibriVox, it will come, one on yotube as well, AI is fuckin horrible, it’s an AI, getting really good, they don’t know how to read sentences, even a flawed human, garbage truck makes a noise, a real guy reading a real book makes a huge difference, a readalong, sometimes they coincided for fragments of sentences, an extra dimension, quite good, 1.3 speed, it became a short story, incredibly dense, 900 years ago, when it’s that far back, whole decades and systems and fashions have gone by, Avicenna was contemporaneous?, when the king was sick, a trap, 1037, 1105, they were overlapping, court physician, the king died, his creed avicennaism, creed instead of religion, a formalized set of belief, you say these words Terry, ok, then you do it, your ethical responsibility, you took on this creed, the Nicene Creed, this guy who was mad at Jesse in Australia, Sci-Phi, evangelical christian, worldview, a cynic?, sounds bad, fairly skeptical, the Iraq War, dropping bombs on people, just war theory, this is not just, what about WWII, on forums, critiquing his podcasts, Battlestar Galactica, trying to be evangelical online, the movie version, it just doesn’t have the depth, Next (2007), The Golden Man, three levels in a story, Blade Runner (1982) is quite deep, they’re children, the movie goes pretty deep because it doesn’t have a definitive, a very watchable 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), fall asleep, we see the unicorn being placed, the world falling apart around them, they reinforce each other, the Denis Villeneuve one, the horrible setup for a sequel, three or four sequels, garbage, boiling his food, heavy kipple, the hitman showing up, the kids working in the garbage factor, the opening scene is quite solid, the robot and his robot girlfriend with no body, when he though maybe he was the one, stupid in itself, filled my barf bag, imperfect and flawed, the bad parts about The Matrix (1999), there is no spoon, fuck off with your spoon, we need to recruit you because it’s the right thing to do, space Jesus, a purpose for action, Come And See (1985), Belorusan boys, a mascot, witnesses horror, a line from the bible, Revelation 6:1-17, all shall be revealed to you, The Poor Miller’s Boy And The Cat, Bros. Grimm, Old Woman In The Wood, a good one, a good episode too, The Cat’s Advice by Jesse, for those still listening, seething, the cat is touching the knee, Puss In Boots, the curious feline, there are many options for a young strong thing, the moral at the end, problematic, what used to be called twitter, too involved, the entity that was formerly called Prince, it was temporary, you need to be active, don’t just react, be ready, worthy of a repost, what a stupid change, dangerous like slot machines, Hippocampus Press, a Clark Ashton Smith novel, a symbolic thing, put some money into a podcast you like, being a patron, a very small server, only for the Canadian stuff, these known billionaires, they hide it, he’s the dumbest of the rich people, he’s the trolliest, Peter Thiel, the lawsuit that broke Gawker, Hulk Hogan against Gawker, a sex tape or something, they’re gonna find out through this proxy, the rest of the billionaires, Bill Gates, MSNBC, positive press, very responsible for the COVID thing, Windows is getting so bad, on Ubuntu all the time, a very robust ecosystem for freeware on Windows, games were bad for Mac, same with phones, Apple is very locked down and pure evil, you can’t stop it, Android is locked down, Linux phones, a Linux basement in it, if you wanna fuck the system, Neuromancer, a very good book, Case, in order to do his hacking, know who the big enemy is and be very similar with their systems, you have to flow down the river, the river is taking everything, maybe capitalism is inevitable, it’s what I’m drowning in, a terrible extended metaphor, needs work, Anti-Oedipus by Félix Guattari and Gilles Deleuze, make their obsessions sound interesting, a river composed of rivers, taking us horrible places, some countries are on the same train or river, not in the same position on the river, the federal government of Canada is completely corrupted, deputy Prime Minister of Canada is the grandchild of a Ukranian Nazi, this country has been invaded, a standing ovation to a WWII veteran, fought bravely against the Russians, he was in the SS, fight the communists for the Nazis, magic wand waved, they surrendered, Ukranian Nazi moved to Canada, seen holding a Bandera flag, SS monuments in Canada, guys we might be making mistakes here, I can’t believe what a monster I was, a willful blindness, the corruption is such that…, the provincial government is much better (but not perfect everywhere), homeless everywhere, neoliberalism hasn’t fully taken over, except for North Korea, China, Burma, Venezuela, Cuba, let’s privatize everything and give everything to the billionaires, the Macron government, gonna survive?, nothing bad is happening to them, the arguments are wrong, sorry we’re just doing it, King Charles has come over, nobody much has protested, mass with the Pope in Marseilles, that was not his role, the new education minister, the Abaya is not to be worn, we’re a secular state, a personal trip, me and my buddy the pope, touching the king, against protocol, they’re in the same class, president is not the king of France, banging on the walls of Vatican city, this boat is very leaky, what’s the alternatives, this particular party is a Nazi party because it is threatening the establishment, Macron centrists, the major left wing party, Nazi again, whitewashed, they hardly say it, Réunion island, not a part of France you get to see much, Lahania, Maui, Réunion is more than twice as far, not quite a million people who live there?, how do the people of France think about Réunion?, what the general ideas are, isolated part of the world, Mauritius, islands in the Indian Ocean, Madagascar, never colonized, the remotest parts of the Earth, a comedy action movie, put your feelers out, a sports trainer, girlfriend is a dentist, they couldn’t earn enough, housing is cheap, imports expensive and not a lot of work, did pretty good, worried, prepared for a month, covers a lot but not very deep, university, several paragraphs from each chapter, this feels like that, don’t forget we’re very religious, working things out for himself, everything that is said is taking sides, stoicism, the different currents and schools, each and every thing, siding with Avicenna, combining Aristotle and Plato’s Timaeus, most of it is inarguable, today it’s all finished, it’s important, it gets us to the next thing, interesting discoveries along the way, Breakthroughs In Science by Isaac Asimov, more influence on the sequels, The Farther Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, and the angels, a book of essays, as if the writer was Robinson Crusoe, typical Hebrew scholars, what you care about books we never knew, doing their own stuff, nice to spend some time in that period of time, the golden age, get old books, read em, write your own, what makes a golden age, doing basic science, philosophy, and art, why don’t we do that again, not everybody is participating, the gentleman scholar vs. the university scholar, our income, mostly cover basic needs, freedom to a podcast every weekend or so, where did it all go, four hours.

Hayy ibn Yaqdhan

Hayy ibn Yaqdhan

Hayy ibn Yaqdhan

Hayy ibn Yaqdhan

Hayy ibn Yaqdhan

Hayy ibn Yaqdhan

art for The Cat's Advice by Jesse

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The SFFaudio Podcast #772 – READALONG: A Meeting With Medusa by Arthur C. Clarke

The SFFaudio PodcastJesse, Scott Danielson, and Terence Blake talk about A Meeting With Medusa by Arthur C. Clarke

Talked about on today’s show:
under heavy pressure, Playboy, December 1971, the audiobook, superfamous, The Star and Nine Billion Names Of God, A Fall Of Moondust, Dolphin Island, a middle school library, an introduction to hard science fiction, all about characters in relationships, a mystery involved, a disaster movie, what he’s really good at, the twist at the end, sprinkled the hints, the paintings in Playboy, a hot air balloon, multiple gases, a giant medusa, aka a jellyfish, Jupiter, on Earth, the story this is most similar to by Arthur Conan Doyle, the Sherlock Holmes Professor Challenger guy, The Horror Of The Heights, pilots go up and disappear, crushed, giant jellyfish in the upper atmosphere story, Queen Elizabeth IV, an abrupt end, the sequel inside of it, awesome opening scene, imagery and everything, the shocking end of that section, really good, among the best Scott has ever read of Clarke’s, the structure hurts it, the beautiful writing, a bit of symbolism, an idea punch that hits you out of science fiction and into philosophy, he’s doing propaganda, he don’t cheat at all, is there an Arthur C. Clarke story where the knowledge of the solar system at the time of writing is ignored to tell an idea, he won’t write a story unless it’s plausible, petty concerns of being a human, deep time and cosmic depths, what does that make you, the Olaf Stapledon thing, characters, the guy in here, important to tell the story, solid, now he’s very solid, concentric circles of sense of wonder, a little bit in the future, almost cinematic action, some of the phrases are ambiguous, going on another mission, lightning reflexes, reconstructed him, after they reconstructed me, we’re just not fast enough, tai chi teacher, not explicit, his pilot’s reflexes, he doesn’t say this is the murderer, when they put me together again, the surgeons made some improvements, this is one of them, set more than 100 years in the future, treaty on first contact, the line that blew me away, the Mao Tse Tung in the American museum, what?, Americans got over their hatred of red China and think Mao is a hero as the rightly should?, the San Diego naval museum, war trophy, do you want to make friends with the Russians?, name an aircraft carrier after Stalin, or Ho Chi Mihn, named after people now, destroyers are named after cities, how do you embrace other countries?, incorporate their heroes, adopting Greek stuff, they’re ours now, we’re the inheritors of the Romans and the Greeks, it shook me to my core, what a good writer he is, it’s a good one, another ship that he named the Kon-Tiki, one man across the biggest sea, the prime directive in this, amongst six or more other phrases, Asimov, encounters with the American Indians and Africa, three laws, how to be in the world, don’t lie, what’s going to make you happy, start with that, it causes problems, fuck you is not a lie, be polite?, what would the basis of the prime directive, the categorical imperative, don’t use others as a means to an end, a negative, let them get used to you, not the Star Trek one, they break it all the time for purposes of plot, there’s something behind it, those are how you should act as a person, just replace the word robot with human, a human must consider other except where injure, my feelings are hurt, fuck your feelings, a person must protect his or her own existence, interesting application, we’re not robots, methods and plans of dealing with other people, taking stuff coming out of philosophy, parallel evolution, Asimov’s fourth law, the zeroth law, technically fourth, The Evitable Conflict, 1950, Chairman Mao, Nixon goes to China, detente, because Sri Lanka (or India) had to play a role, a tornado touched down, doesn’t cheat at all, an airship book, more of a hot air balloon than anything else, hot hydrogen of course, thinking through the scenario, the twist at the end that brings it up, this guy’s immortal?, a ship of Theseus scenario, rolls away at a calm 30 km per hour, 7 feet tall, to give him self-confidence, feeling separate from humanity, the ambassador between the ones made of carbon and the ones made of silicon, the aliens, radio dish heads, are they intelligent, I’m convinced that Medusa knew your blindspot, hunting, the intelligent species must be the predator species, a feint, a lightning bolt, why not, up for grabs, the aimed at manta fell like stone, Jupiter is a lightning bolt god, when we see him at the end, he’s turned to silicon, identified with his metallic aspect, Medusified, plummeting manta, I’ve studied a lot of jellyfish, Juliana and Luke on the Science Fiction Book Review Podcast, octopus books, a Ray Nayler book, spiders, eight-legged non-human creatures, the length of the story that’s required to do the job, an hour and half, somewhere in between, two parts, a view of humanity, superchimps/simps, clothes, slaves, brought out of mothballs, a POV of Earth from someone not interested in it, be a pioneer, no one could go, a super-pioneer, why this book exists, the opposite of the moonbus book, trying to conform, people want shitty romance cheating on your wife disaster relatable, I’m more like this guy, Arthur C. Clarke’s Mysterious World, almost none of it is that interesting, his brain level, he’s just not interested in the normal things people are interested in, exploring the ocean, so interesting down there, Jacques Cousteau, collecting notes on hailing frogs, not the normal science fiction writer, maybe Olaf Stapledon, his personal life, not interested in slow pitch, Arthur C. Clarke goes to hell, develop a deep philosophy to deal with it, Howard Falcon, like HAL, Jesse I’m afraid that’s not possible, HAL has conflicting orders, The Sentinel, wow!, full of philosophical things, sense of wonder things, it’s all earned, if this then that, Criminolly, garbaugust, worldbuilding, there’s no distinction between science fiction and fantasy right now, cool ideas about how the world works, tried a few more, testing the theory, wanting to be engaged, turning into Jesse, why we have to be so enjoying about terms, The Kaiju Preservation Society, infodumps about made up facts, could you explore it?, honest, solid, he doesn’t cheat, he’s standing on what he knows, realities that might be interesting explored, he’s not a cheater, when Larry Niven cheats it’s so he can get to another thing, twists something, a third of the episodes, are there any Star Trek episodes that are hard SF, the closest they come is The Galileo Seven, a rip off of The Cold Equations, Spock gambles, there’s a percentage chance there’s a passing alien spaceship, why did I read this story, have their cake and eat it too, angry fights, be hard about these things, you inhuman monster, Spock’s being very logical, fan service episodes, not memorable episodes, social soft science, what should our relationships be, the good stuff, people watched a lot of television and movies with spaceships in it, wouldn’t it be cool if, aliens, almost none, Childhood’s End, even The Star, doing soft science fiction, why I don’t like science fiction and fantasy books, fantasy is a whole other thing, show me where Ted Chiang cheats, an interesting thought, The Merchant And The Alchemist’s Gate, Howard Falcon was unloveable, a novel called The Medusa Chronicles by Alastair Reynolds and Stephen Baxter, a sequel to The Time Machine, Terry Pratchett, the childhood of Howard Falcon, when Star Trek goes back and explains the early life of Kirk and Spock, a fallacy involved, for what purpose, what does it matter?, unless there’s an idea there, why it’s shit, this episode we find out Kirk has a brother, why?, a massacre on some planet, just to raise the stakes, to make the Holocaust personal, to do a technical job, a Chekov’s gun on the wall, Spock having eyelids, to press the reset button, a technical requirement of a show where it’s not serialized, Vulcan nerve pinch, the ears are not what make Mr. Spock Mr. Spock, an emotional being controlling his emotions, him being a spawning salmon Theodore Sturgeon episode (Amok Time), every time they bring up a Vulcan, there’s exceptions, response video, Michael K. Vaughn, he has good taste, a good youtuber, people say why don’t you, here’s a recommendation, seem to be following Luke Burrage’s podcast, a big thing in France, amongst the aficionados, how intelligent it is, boring, The Mountain And The Sea, quite into philosophy, coming at it from a philosophical side, setting the scene before anything noticeably strange happened, how long it is, judging books by their cover and how long they are, bad cover, does it need to be this long, poingant and mind expanding, the UK does better covers than the USA, the UK edition,, translated into French, thought it was brilliant, June 2023, Cthulhu, Japanese style, maybe this book is necessary, another cover with more tentacles, almost doesn’t ever talk about tentacles, cosmic horror = tentacles, Antarctica, the melting and stuff, a giant frozen 17 tall penguin, Tekeli-li!, philosophies of writing, Robert E. Howard is writing for money, very successful as a pulp writers, 4 times as big, Lovecraft doesn’t write stories that don’t need to be written, this is what is selling right now, even when he’s doing very pulpy stuff, things that are not needed for the story (to make the cover), a born storyteller, writing story, they like stories too, they don’t have the chops, people who won’t write for the commercial market, antagonistic to commercialism, Clarke is a bit of both, very elderly collaborations, sullying his legacy, The Light Of Other Days, very disenchanted with Arthur C. Clarke, and Isaac Asimov, Silverberg, cash-ins, a reader need not be subject to the whims of the author, because your friend wrote the book, fuck you, go back to basic principles, Clarke has a purity in him at times, Bob Shaw, an expansion, Light of Other Days, the New York Times lie list, Talisman by Peter Straub and Stephen King, Black House, shouldn’t be trying or able, necessary compared to Asimov/Silverberg, Clarke/Baxter, Olaf Stapledon wrote this, he didn’t write for cash, the unique fluke, King’s psychology, King has a limiter or a governor, he doesn’t use it for evil (or for good), hurts his own work, a fantasist of childhood and American life, a fantasy writer, we just don’t think of him that way, “fantasy realm”, The Goblin Emperor book, secondary world fiction, worldbuilding is mostly bad, silly worldbuilding, 2001: A Space Odyssey, psychedelic experience, intelligent worldbuilding, to fill pages, fall apart in a mush, a speculative component, the sensory impact of the trip, highly informed, standing on what is know and speculating, if there was life it would be in this zone, that kaiju book of Scalzi’s, wonder about your purpose, none of this is helping me in my life, what happens during the game, processing a magazine, sitting too long, certain number of hours, that’s fun, but it ain’t a novel, it ain’t good science fiction, what would our guy from youtube think about Philip K. Dick, make a magic system work, things are happening because they have to, if time started going backwards, still in the Roman Empire, spins up a world in order to explore it (not to fill pages), his novels are all worse than his short stories, just better, his short stories are better than that book (The Man In The High Castle), a children’s book, Galactic Pot-Healer, work and being out of work, a frontier where people are challenged to find meaningful work, that gunfight was really cool, some people act like robots, unemotional or mean, is sex with co-workers cool?, very fun and very rich, he didn’t need a setting for some characters, if your story doesn’t have idea at its core it’s not science fiction, imagine with ideas, live with ideas, a Philip K. Dick essay, Olaf Stapledon writes big long thick books that are science fiction but not novels, that’s interesting, how do you do that, a history of the last and first men, like reading a whole bunch of Clarke stories, unique in fiction, poor guy, there’s a lot not to enjoy, How To Build A Universe That Doesn’t Fall Apart Two Days Later, until you toss it across the room, a good theory of fantasy, fantasy is pretty big, the hardest of the hard, uploading and downloading your brain, it’s not, Ringworld, a whole bunch of gimmes, smart aliens, an aggressive species, they generate a D&D party, the Larry Niven character, just an excuse, a gravitational feeling thing, complete bullshit book, everything is fiction, it would just fall apart, 100% cheater and it works because he has an idea at the core and everything else is to get to that idea, he cheats in every possible way, Clarke has a very different philosophy, even in A Fall Of Moondust, not his best book, a bunch of boring characters, people get lead astray, super-good, a lot of Silverberg lately, Tor Doubles, read about a third of half of each of those books, a Silverberg novella, especially with his novels, he’s a contemplative dude, he’s sorta artsy and literary, he likes old books, Heart Of Darkness on another planet, elephants for the economy, sex on the brain, human relationships, the worldbuilding is to get to the transcendent point, The Book Of Skulls, being a good writer helps, Passengers, what is he famous for?, made Majipoor maybe?, Lord Valentine’s Castle, Nightwings, doesn’t have a killer book, big stature for a guy who doesn’t have a killer book, Neuromancer by William Gibson, rather than the fixup, his standalone short stories are really good, Phases Of The Moon by Isaac Asimov, a writing machine, wrote for money, still alive and not licensing his name out, 2010, now that he’s not poor, not getting his pension padded, good story, good writer, Arthur C. Clarke, he knows what to do, Farnham’s Freehold, he’s gonna rant about it, it’s not as bad as you think, Paul, oh my god, at the time, Westlake, revving back up, The Colorado Kid illustrated edition, Justified: City Primeval, there are character in it, Elmore Leonard short story, Tommy Patrick Ryan, some random guy on the internet, through Eric, 11th ever published story, readability through the fucking roof, so much characterization, got worse at the end, No Man’s Land by John Buchan, early evening, a reasonable hour of the evening, save the hunger to be angrier, approaching it satisfied, Houston, Houston, Do You Read?, Ace Double, a subpodcast of only Tor Doubles, we started with the first one, The Screwfly Solution, The Girl Who Was Plugged In, Run For The Stars by Harlan Ellison, savage, a juvenile delinquent in space, clairvoyant ability, very Harlan Ellison, A Boy And His Dog, Eye For Eye by Orson Scott Card, The Last Castle by Jack Vance, The Dragon Masters, I love the lengthy, Ill Met In Lankhmar, Vintage Season, The Sword Of Rhiannon, Ursula K. Le Guin, Kate Wilhelm, Kim Stanley Robinson short stuff, they don’t list the table of contents, The Ugly Little Boy, Edmond Hamilton, Screwtop, Enemy Mine, Hardfought by Greg Bear, an idea man, he shoulve had a badge that said “idea man”, The Blind Geometer, Fritz Leiber, Universe by Robert A. Heinlein, fantasy, Damon Knight, Icehenge, Press Enter by John Varley, Death Of Doctor Island also The Island Of Doctor Death, Karen Haber, Home Is The Hangman by Roger Zelazny, Wheels Of If, Gene Wolfe, The Book Of The Short Sun, Conjure Wife is on LibriVox, Ben Tucker is good, a five hour book, unleash hell, we got this in our back podcast, shownoting, back in the day, Sartor Resartus by Thomas Carlyle, Naxos, the torch of science, a metabook, 1831 novels, so many good ones, Scottish essayist, Fraser’s Magazine, purports to be a commentary, Godborn Devilsdung, a book review of that book, transcendentalist, German idealism, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, Immanuel Kant, there are things in themselves, things as we perceive them, the laws of our mind, ways round, suppressing different premises, this book sounds really good, in a funny way, Johnathan Swift, Tristam Shandy, Laurence Sterne, founding text and serious organizing study of clothing, fashion theory, sartorial ambitions, clearly a book we both need to read, my all time favourite book, this is one of the books that makes life worth living, only seeing through clothes can we understand life, not composted, a half-mad saint, 320 pages, in the PDF, the torch of science, not the smallest cranny or doghole can remain unilluminated, what is he famous for?, some sort of hero worship, a precursor to the superman, the great providential men who make history, Hayy Ibn Yaqdhan by Ibn Tufail, like Tarzan, most translated, 1,000 Nights, the dream one, very solid, very Borgesian, Borges never wrote a collab book to make money, Frank Herbert son, Tom Clancy ghost author to write Borges books, a funny tweet thread, Hobbits and wizards, good morning as in fuck off, Justin fucked every Canadian for 20 more fucking years, he’s bought and paid for and corrupt as fuck, persist, not a big damn hero, very bad man, make some coffee.

Playboy, December 1971 - A Meeting With Medusa by Arthur C. Clarke

Playboy, December 1971 - A Meeting With Medusa by Arthur C. Clarke

Playboy, December 1971 - A Meeting With Medusa by Arthur C. Clarke

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The SFFaudio Podcast #767 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: The Charwoman’s Shadow by Lord Dunsany

The SFFaudio Podcast

The SFFaudio Podcast #767 – The Charwoman’s Shadow by Lord Dunsany, read by Michelle Fry for LibriVox. This is a complete and unabridged reading of the book (7 hours, 40 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Trish E. Matson, and Scott Danielson

Talked about on today’s show:
rhymes with rainy, mainly falls on the plainy in Spainy, the main character’s name, a question, was he Catholic?, set in Spain, a man of all seasons, both sides of the Irish civil war, his heart is Irish, seated in Ireland, historically wealthy and famous, kinsmen of a Catholic saint, a crosier head, a staff with a hook at the top, buck you to hard, quite a bit of Dunsany, Reading, Short And Deep, mind would wander away, caught up in his curly-cues of ideas, a super simple plot, The Book Of Wonder Stories, Wizard demands somebody’s shadow for services rendered, Jorge Luis Borges story, writing at length later, 1926, January 2023, more as the years go by, other public domain already, better at length?, the exact same content, soak in with a short, beautiful writing, Jesse doesn’t care about plot, it’s a good book, Trish and Scott loved it, The King Of Elfland’s Daughter, Penguin Book edited by S.T. Joshi, he is quite good, excellent themes, where the plot went, Jesse had no clue, oblivious, she’s too old him, she’s of the wrong class for him, once he gets a look at her silhouette, Ramone Alonzo Matthew Mark Luke John, trying to help other people, being a knightly hero, spending time with the ladies, a very strong will, moved by pity, he doesn’t understand at first, misery, swears to help her, quixotic, the Spain setting, a Don Quixote character, young and doofusy, romances of other heroes, not a bad thing, choose your heroic quests carefully, Persuasion by Jane Austen, being part of this society, doing his duties, the Jane Austen structure, beyond this wood we set much by gold, beyond this wood lies error, evil magician, stories about genies giving us three wishes, focused on the wrong thing, the evil wizard that’s not so evil, A Good Story Is Hard To Find, Northanger Abbey, a fun writer, her own genre, true with Dunsany as well, so many gems of Dunsany in this, the opening, meta openings, the image of the man crossing the landscape, talking to his dad, not playing ball anymore, son, you gotta earn some money, the priests have told you that money is filthy, for good crops to grow they have to have something filthy in their roots, the guy who takes care of our horses, they get paid once a year, we live on rocky ground, the father is wise, the sister seems to be wise, everybody is wise except for our doofusy young man, he’s just young, it’s great to spend time at the knee of Lord Dunsany, the master before Ramon Alonzo shows up, elixir vitae, resounding stairs, whatever the rats might dare, golden key, a lock he turned only once every thirty years, little curtains the spiders had drawn across it, alone with the Moon, age worn steps of oak, free from its foibles, unyoked by its causes, fresh and keen, the nimble alertness of youth, a well wrought rapier coming to its first war, feeling the new generation, the newer ones, refreshing, rattling to the older generations, cast off the generation he’s in and become part of the new one, interesting concepts, love the language, so many pleasant digressions to follow along with, sending out the shadows, far beyond the outer planets, the Lovecraft element, the torment that that causes, her name was Anemone, the narrator, she’s the main character, her backstory drives a lot of what’s going on, we would have recognized you, the house with the lit window, the money is long gone, regretting letting her go, such a great backstory, he’s lifting a curse, he tricked her into giving up her shadow, her youth and beauty, Duckweed, revealing of the wizard, above, he’s not in it for her body, he’s in it for her shade, certain demons have no shape, Ariel and Caliban, servants or slave, to commune with Yuggoth, what the gossip is on Pluto, the genre of this, clearly a fantasy, magic for science, boring thing: transmutations of metals, Chapter 12, had you anonymized this book, it’s clearly obvious who wrote this,

Ramon Alonzo pondered bitterly: he had sold his shadow for gold, and now gold was not needed.

He had not yet learned the whole art of transmutation. Would the magician give back his shadow?

And Mirandola must have her love-potion, and the charwoman have her shadow out of the box. He had much to do if his plans were to come to fruition.

Back he went to the gloomy room that was sacred to magic. “I have no need of gold,” he said.

“It is a worthless metal,” replied the magician. “The philosophers sought it for the interest they took in re-arranging the element. But the stuff itself was nought to them. They buried it where I have said, and have often warned man of its worthlessness; in testimony whereof their writings remain to this day.”

“I would learn no more of it,” said Ramon Alonzo.

“No?” said the magician.

“I pray you therefore give back my shadow,” he said.

“But it is my fee,” said the magician.

“I would learn other things,” said the young man, “for other fees. But this fee I pray you return.”

“Alas,” said the magician, “you have learned much already.”

“Of this matter nothing,” said Ramon Alonzo.

“Alas, yes,” replied the magician. “For you have learned the oneness of matter, and that there is but one element. And this is a great secret to the vulgar, who believe there are four. And doubtless they will, in their error, discover even more than these four before ever they come to learn that there is but one, which you have learnt already, and this is my fee for it.” And he stooped and rapped the shadow-box somewhat sharply.

“You gave me a shadow to wear in its place,” said the young man.

“I will make you a longer one,” replied the magician.

Ramon Alonzo saw that words would not do it, and that whatever he said would be verbally parried with skill.

“Then give me a love-potion,” he said.

“I do not dispense these things,” said the magician haughtily.

“Then teach me how they are made, and not the making of gold.”

The magician pondered a moment. It was all one to him. He had his fee safe in the shadow-box. He despised equally gold and love, and cared not which he taught. Some etiquette he had learned from some older magician seemed to prompt him to give something for his fee.

“Gladly,” he answered briefly.

Then Ramon Alonzo sat down without a word, thinking of Mirandola.

He had never enquired the reason of anything that she asked for. It was Mirandola, with eyes like a stormy evening. Thoughts passed behind those eyes such as never visited him. Mirandola knew. It is hard to say how the flash of those eyes swayed him. He never sought to know, and never questioned Mirandola’s demands.

“By the admixture of crocodile’s tears with the slime of snails,” came the voice of the Master, “the basis of all love-potions is constructed. Unto this is to be added a powder, obtained by pounding the burned plumage of nightingales. Flavour with attar of roses. Add a pinch of the dust of a man that has been a king, and of a woman that has been fair two pinches, and mix with common dew. Do this by light only of glow-worms and saying suitable spells.”

Ramon Alonzo, following the gestures that the Master made as he spoke, saw on the shelves the ingredients that he mentioned. He saw a jar holding attar of roses beside one named “Dust of Helen.” He saw two jars side by side called “Dust of Pharaoh” and “Dust of Ozymandias,” one of them probably Rameses. He saw a vial labelled “Crocodile’s Tears.” All that he needed seemed there; outside in the wood the glow-worms burned, and there were plenty of snails.

The lesson went on drearily, the magician intoning various spells that the young man learned by heart or believed he learned, and naming alternative ingredients that had of old been used in more torrid lands. Of the ingredients Ramon Alonzo was so sure that no mistake was possible; if ever he erred at all it was with the spells.

guided by the plot, really good movie or an episode of a show, Sorcerer’s Apprentice, The Rejected Sorcerer (aka El Brujo Postergado Borges) story, a trail of flowered footsteps, finally a reason for CGI (removing a shadow), the uncanny, Michelle Fry from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, hints of irony,

Delightfully imaginative, somewhat similar to Dunsany’s blockbuster fantasy novel, The King Of Elfland’s Daughter (and published just two years after it), this equally entertaining, verbally voluptuous tale brings us in touch with the heraldry, artistry, and superstitions of the bygone Golden Age of Spain; with the magical arts of ancient times– alchemy, wizardry, potions, forest creatures that go bump in the night, quests for esoteric knowledge, use of the Philosopher’s Stone, and the Catholic church’s war against the ‘Black Art”. Above all, Dunsany explores the many mysterious properties of shadows, and warns what havoc might befall you if you lose yours. Published in 1926.

ruminating on the word “shadow”, an exotic location, the rolling out of the panisci and the change of age, he went therein and the golden age was over, the best age ever?, silver age comics, a place he can set his stories, the wizard is doing philosophy, Raistlin from the Dragonlance books, much more playful, a curious music, the scurry of little things, all manner of magical things, all the children of Pan, landscape talk, the sale of pasturelands, the rocky terrain, why people go through forests, a fictional spain, Averoigne of Clark Ashton Smith, they lost their minds as should we, the girls ran screaming from him, in myth and stuff, Dracula, in myth, a spirit or a ghost, that doesn’t cast a shadow, demons didn’t cast shadows, shadow means soul, a shade, fits him with a shadow, a very sharp knife, our shadows grow and contract, the science element, the regular people are smart, a close reading of Lovecraft stories, the regular people are always right, communing with devils, all the rumors are true, what magic is, communicate with things on other planets, like a lich I live forever, because she’s had her shadow removed she’s not aging, Tithonus, The Picture Of Dorian Gray, a happy romantic ending, the shadow cast the body, flips what reality is, the shadow would take the shape of the body, very Catholic, working these idea minds, everybody in this book is clever, working information, Scott would love this book, so used to hearing confessions, set in Spain, we don’t have wizards in Ireland, wizards in Wales, the tone would have been different, exotic Spain, Don Rodriguez: Chronicles of Shadow Valley, 1922, 1926, no excuses not to do it now, LibriVox, Ballantine Adult Fantasy, The Blue Star by Fletcher Pratt, the Lin Carter introductions, not the world’s greatest writer, has good taste, an enthusiast, bringing attention, we can trust everything he suggests, publication order, The Wood Beyond The World by William Morris, 1894, an artist writing a book, the wallpaper guy, Scott is 55, hard science fiction, matured into fantasy, hard science fiction is simple and fun, here’s a big dumb object, what do you think about that?, Spin, they’re hard to make and hard to make good, Childhood’s End, go onto Netflix and type in science fiction, set in the future, heist in a science fiction background, the real what if kinda stuff, Westerns, watched all the submarine movies, these are old books that have stood the test of time, Shakespeare’s Planet, Invitation To The Game, how short it was, it says VR on the tin, there are still good books to be found, looking up a famous author that writes something you’re interested in, Dunsany wrote a ton, lesser works, In A Dim Room, nailed this concept, tricked me, what a gifted writer, knowing how to not overstay your welcome in sentences, the digressions are handled, speaking true things in those asides, there’s no lies in here, this is the way the world is, this is the way people are, descriptions of things, descriptions of rooms, the spiderwebs, she doesn’t clean the spiderwebs on the curtains, going back to his spidery bedroom, dust, dust as a theme, shadow is all over this book, a constant word, implying age, a magical component, dust can obscure, the one element, the essence of beautiful woman, simple dew, both water, master of many other things, the master of language, sit there spellbound,

“Never again,” she said, “never again. It lay over the fields once; it used to make the grass such a tender green. It never dimmed the buttercups. It did no harm to anything. Butterflies may have been scared of it, and once a dragon-fly, but it did them never a harm. I’ve known it protect anemones awhile from the heat of the noonday sun, which had otherwise withered them sooner. In the early morning it would stretch away beyond our garden right out to the wild; poor innocent shadow that loved the grey dew. And in the evening it would grow bold and strong and run right down the slopes of hills, where I walked singing, and would come to the edges of bosky tangled places, till a little more and its head would have been out of sight: I’ve known the fairies then dance out from their sheltered arbours in the deeps of briar and thorn and play with its curls. And, for all its rovings and lurkings and love of mystery, it never left me, of its own accord never. It was I that forsook it, poor shadow, poor shadow that followed me home.

fakes, I need a gimmick, how do I make this simpler, what are some basic things people can relate to, look at your shadow, kids goes to sleep, literally doing magic, her curls are being played with fairies, congratulated themselves and felt the need to never write again, thoughtful digression, so readable, as simple a story you can get, that twist, why isn’t he worried about his own shadow, doesn’t even have a name, it fits, the question, leaving the scene and coming back, we grow into understanding what this book was about, her shadow was right in the title, rummaging in the shadow box, I know who that is, we’re slightly smarter than Ramon Alonzo, the love potion, her suitor, the brother doesn’t doesn’t need the money, the potion goes awry, tolerance engendered, nurses him back to health, the switcheroo, expecting the reader to be wiser than Ramon Alonzo, not a children’s book, Farmer In The Sky or Charwoman’s Shadow, mature enough, a love potion for his sister and some gold for his dad, too mature in a large sense, the subjects, to sophisticated in its simplicity, what makes The Hobbit or The Lord Of The Rings fun, dragons, gold!, all the sodas, all the comic books, have you noticed how rocky our fields are, your sister isn’t going to dowry herself, stories of childhood, we were all once children, that incredible playfulness, so reminding of childhood, adults enjoy reading books written for the YA market, T. Kingfisher, Ursula Vernon’s A Wizard’s Guide To Defensive Baking, Loadstar Award, reading it to children, a book written for children that adults can appreciate, a Jane Austen knockoff, Jane Austen with Cinderella, hitting all those fun beats, an unconsciousness, the author is unwilling to confront this?, yes, keep your class, modern colloquial attitudes, that’s kinda weird, the answer is no, aiming for the feeling of those things that I like, comedic elements, horrific elements, declaring war against wizards, a class that gets blamed in the siege in this city, using discrimination against others, the presumed ideal audience has the characters slightly older than you, children’s YA, too good a writer, the disposable forgettable, material that we burn through early on, pick any year that you were alive as a person, movies that would be important later on, its iconicness, name it and the associations come up, I’m smarter than I was, noticing the author, John Carpenter’s whatever it is, adults in touch with their youthfulness, boring for kids, too digressive, indulgent, a suitable student, a stage he goes through, technically an evil wizard, rocket fuel is needed, when you take your dog to the vet, how he acts, just doin what wizards do, TV Tropes, affable evil, so focused on tropes, totally fun, every scene is full of tropes, it was all a dream, Shakespeare, 17 book titles, from other character’s POV, the priest’s POV, the dog’s POV, A Night In The Lonesome October by Roger Zelazny, Smoke And Shadows by Tanya Huff, a shadow lord, possess people and do other things, The Silmarillion, how Sauron is a character, the ringwraiths are only shadows, without their clothes and horses they don’t exist, back to be reclothed, written for children, overlays a shadow, the shadow of an actual dragon passing over the water, some dwarfs want their money vs. make things right, the gold that glitters on the ring, the same idea mines, working real pure material, I want heists!, gay pirates on a heist!, Ronin (1998), international criminals chasing a suitcase, a McGuffin, these are great action sequences, these car chases are terrific, an opening sequence, a series of tropes, real attention, power corrupts people, we do need some money, son, fun stuff, why I think we like him, wizards don’t exist!, dealing with real themes, he does so much with a tiny idea, holding on to with stories like this, storytelling, since the beginning, something mythic and deep that really appeals, foundational, David Mamet, French action movies, Sean Bean, spies betraying each other, running around not knowing what you’re running around for, an action movie saying fundamentally we don’t know what we’re doing on this planet, being lied to by ourselves and by our governments, con-men movies, people lying to themselves movies, Homicide (1991), who killed somebody, a mistake early on, pulls the rug out from under, go back to basics, in a way that Shakespeare does, the big prop in Othello is a handkerchief, it all hangs on a handkerchief, swordfights, good storytelling, Wikipedia stuff, Arthur C. Clarke & Lord Dunsany: A Correspondence, Olaf Stapledon, at their best at short stories, $165, 83 pages, Anamnesis press, so many cool books, Persuasion by Jane Austen, Julie Davis, 6 books, Mary Shelley has other books, a legacy that big, 6 books that were all great, modern Stephen King, Westlake wrote 60-70 books, a writer’s writer vs. a regular writer, low output, Ted Chiang, long may he live, he needs a good 75 years or so, whatever pace he wants, how can I help make sure he stays alive, would that help, send some vitamins, here’s a helmet, Extrapolation, inter-library loan, fanzine packaging, two dude contemporaneous for a period, both in issues of F&SF, a really long life, 1878-1957, Lovecraft was very short, a farther distant past, all of WWII, the Boer War, Dunsany was in the 2nd Boer War, Robert E. Howard died at 30, 4 or 5 feet, Robert E. Howard is at least double that, started later and had a way bigger output, commercial purposes, much rather be writing letters, I have a demon inside me and that demon must be served, you gotta kill yourself, an astounding number of Robert E. Howard stories, keep turning up new Robert E. Howard stories, his output was such, places he sold, trunks full of unsold stories, unfinished, finished by other people, Austen died at 41, unfinished novel, Emily Dickinson,, Tales From The White Heart, Draco Tavern, The Black Widowers, Jorkens (Lord Dunsany), club stories, and Jorkens said, In A Dim Room, thrilling tales, I cannot be held responsible, a thrilling story of India, running away from a tiger, that would change the game, he can smell the tiger, the floor of the cave is very smooth, many paws for many years, you are talking to a ghost, he had me, he tricked me, he’s a good tricker, fables from the Fountain, homage, an anthology of British writers, The 9 Billion And First Name Of God, everybody loves those guys, Foundations Friends, The Originist by Orson Scott Card, loved and enjoyed, Farnham’s Freehold, Heinlein rhymes with grime, father’s day Brunch, playing D&D lately, the whole family plays, the starter pack, Dragon of Icespire Peak, more adventures in book form, that’s cool, in Hades right now, an Edgar Allan Poe module, pretty swordless, there’s a troll, The Call Of Cthulhu starter set, online group, I died once, how hard it was to shoot somebody, it went horribly wrong for me, how immersive it is, how into it you can get, during college, nothing, conventions, GenCon every year, a zombie apocalypse, a female scientist, military people, Delta Green?, I cooked the food and had long ago run out of meat and was using zombies, so immersive, a notch better than even reading a story, grow up, get old, kids grow up, get old, now you have to enough people to form a party, sit back and relax, good job, thank you sir, have a great day.

The Charwoman's Shadow by Lord Dunsany

The Charwoman's Shadow - HERRING

Posted by Jesse WillisBecome a Patron!

Exile Of The Eons by Arthur C. Clarke – read by Tommy Patrick Ryan

SFFaudio Online Audio

Exile Of The Eons by Arthur C. Clarke


Exile Of The Eons was first published in Super Science Stories, March 1950, and later published under an alternate title, Nemesis.

Exile Of The Eons is a story of deep time, of ego in the face of same, of utopias and their evil twin, dystopia, or maybe the utopia is the evil one? All this Clarke seems to say by not saying. A dying earth story, set in an almost unimaginably a distant future, it is also the story of today, and of the past, of those great men who in the fighting against mortality are doomed to fade away, their crimes vague, their lives unimportant.

Arthur C. Clarke was struck by the writings of Olaf Stapledon, who, more often than almost anyone else, wrote not stories with narratives, but histories of whole civilizations. This appealed to Clarke, and in stories like this you can hear not only the echoes of the *great men* who sought to change the face of the world, but also the attitude of Stapledon, who is mostly forgotten, but who’s works still echo here and there in such writings as Exile Of The Eons.

Exile Of The Eons by Arthur C. Clarke

Exile Of The Eons by Arthur C. Clarke
read by Tommy Patrick Ryan
|MP3| – 37 minutes 29 seconds [UNABRIDGED]

Posted by Jesse Willis

Reading, Short And Deep #365 – Alethia Phrikodes by H.P. Lovecraft

Reading, Short And Deep

Reading, Short And Deep #365

Eric S. Rabkin and Jesse Willis discuss Alethia Phrikodes by H.P. Lovecraft

Here’s a link to a PDF of the poem.

Alethia Phrikodes was first published under this title in Weird Tales, July 1952.

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Reading, Short And Deep #337 – Awakening by Willis Conover


Reading, Short And DeepReading, Short And Deep #337

Eric S. Rabkin and Jesse Willis discuss Awakening by Willis Conover

Here’s a link to a PDF of the poem.

Awakening was first published in Weird Tales, May 1940.

Posted by Scott D. Danielson Become a Patron!