The SFFaudio Podcast #757 – READALONG: Odds On by Michael Crichton

The SFFaudio Podcast #757 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, and Cora Buhlert talk about Odds On by Michael Crichton

Talked about on today’s show:
John Lange, 1965 or 1966, first under John Lange, not published in order of writing, writing back to back, while studying medicine, an excuse to make money, he doesn’t need money, enjoying the good life, the jet-set life of the 1960s, Spain, Costa Brava, the European tour, Caribbean stuff, grist for his mills, Mexico, ex-military American, a subtle Caribbean connection, a little bit of a mess, Live And Let Die by Ian Fleming, an explicitly Caribbean novel, books people are reading, all actual books published in the early to mid 60s, Miss Shaw is an Agatha Christie character, the evil Miss Marple, Angela Lansbury, the digital rights to her head, the Murder, She Wrote era, On The Beach by Nevil Shute, a little bit of a mess, two dozen named characters in a short novel, the computer has spit out, obliquely with the smuggler, the rich girl, not a real man, famous politician, who’s our main character, Miss Shaw, Jencks is the mastermind, his partners, the author insert?, doesn’t look like him, an Agatha Christie heist novel, very ambitious, interesting, not a great great book, The Venom Business, some pain in this, the halfway point, all these people, supposed to care about them?, women are unknowable people who have sex and otherwise are bitches, some of the female characters are overdeveloped, not enough pages for their personalities, the receptionist, Jenny the rich girl, he’s not man enough, New England rich guy, wants sex, capital R capital M Real Man to take charge, trying to goad him into it, who is Crichton in this book, George is trying to write a novel about a smuggler, he thinks he can sell that, he wants to invert it, that computer, the technothriller sort of thing, this Crichton phenomenon, bad theories, Jstor, Crichton is creating a new genre: the ficta, it’s called science fiction, Tom Clancy, Cold War stuff, executed someone with gas, a Benjamin Disraeli quote, our old friend, Pierce, something about logic, C.S. Pierce, semi-famous American philosopher, William James, his favourite philosopher, Charles Sanders Peirce, Paul Stamets, real life mushroom scientist, a lot of penetration in this book, a surgeon, a doctor, piercing with drugs, with needles, with a knife, Richard Stark, Parker is a terrible name, Parker parked the car, Dirk!, something swordy, polymath, geodesy, 19th century sciences, Johns Hopkins, I like DNA, I like monkeys, computers, statistic, hotels, chemistry, invaded by geese, Paul cmon let’s go!, the ghost who isn’t there, Francisco Franco, Franco’s relative, you’re supposed to know, 1975, people go on holiday, democratic Spain with a king, very democratic, the history of the 20th century and fascism, it happens three time, a vacation spot, British movies set in Spain, Costa Brava, an idea marketed, the success of Cannes and Nice and Monte Carlo, we could build hotels, on an island that doesn’t exist, Balearic Islands, Canary Islands, middle class now, still exclusive, German tourists, campgrounds, Mr Jim Moon, they way Canadians treat Mexico, lay on the beach and have affairs, nobody bats an eye, he who shall not be named, why all these cops are here, Spanish prisons are not nice, still garotting people, an East German drifter, execute this anarchist, not his real name, Salvador Puig Antich, how do you feel about having your husband being garotted, Spanish Bombs by The Clash, the problem of going on holiday in Spain, the Spanish Civil War, hard hitting lyrics, Pet Shop Boys’ Opportunities, bombs and shootings, let’s talk about the bridge, a Michael Crichtony scene, a Philip K. Dicky scene, there’s a robot in the room, there’s a husband, he thinks his wife is cheating on him with the robot, sweaty boobs and there’s a cup of coffee on the table, picture and shape, takes the aqualung, sets the charges, one of the bridge scenes, some couple stops on the bridge, whether she packed the razor or not, why did they stop on the bridge, I’m exposed, pretends to or actually does love flowers, the book derails itself with another scheme, observed by the staff, an armful of poppies, new wildflowers, leaving a note to somebody under a bridge, a very specific thing, an interesting aside, a James Bond dead drop, a tourist playing dead drop, a tourist playing thief, the way this novel was written, went to a hotel, Costa Brava, up the coast, soaks it all in, all the staff, I do like money, jewels, think like a thief, why do people do aqualung, setup to be a vacation, literally 24 characters with names, random people, boring doctor, Italian, a confection book, not a cut of beef book, another set of thieves, this lady who loves bananas, a chauffeur, what is their relationship, they come to an agreement, a complete derailment of all of these things, doing pretty good, head hops between point of view characters, Binary is the simplest one, mirror images of each other, by reading a dossier, why that book is better, faster paced, the same kind of psychology, how can I sell books?, sex sells, what do women want and how do their brains work?, the marijuana haze, a lot of sex in this book, Spanish for marijuana?, she doesn’t matter, aiming at the sleaze publishers, Brother And Sister by Donald E. Westlake, Nudist Camp by Orrie Hitt, well done sex scenes, he’s very good at this, designed to be in the same place as Richard Stark novels, maybe the computer is actually in charge, an early vision of Neuromancer, predicting songs, using a computer to min/max solutions, garbage in/garbage out, programming with the cards, a raging technophobe, worse after Jurassic Park, he’s a good writer, more respect for him now, the To Catch A Thief reference, Worldcon in Nice, terrifying to drive, Count Fenring, Grace Kelly, strange karma, a book quote, Stanisław Lem, a programmable computer, essay sort of bits, statistics, The Investigation, German translated Lems, Solaris, Return From The Stars, a fish out of water, Joe Haldeman in Russia or Poland, the American philosophers phenomena, father of pragmatism, oh its an ideology, let’s be real here, you’re a paralyzed dude, your career, are us sure ballerina is the place you want to go?, I’d like to have a Ferrari, this Toyota looks like a Ferrari, opposite of being a dreamer, how smart Michael Crichton is, he can’t be James Bond, six foot nine spies, it always was a comedy, Doctor No, it’s got a dragon, immortality, mechanical hands, win big for Britain, even Ian Fleming knows he can’t be James Bond, heightened reality, why Peirce resonates so much, not neurotic like Philip K. Dick, he’s self aware, why are their motivations, his dick doesn’t work so he has to start an anti-republican party, yeah goddamn it, he’s got a big axe to grind and it is a Michael Crichton shaped axe, always planning crimes in his head, smuggling, how to poison his cigarettes, murders sports teacher, Agatha Christie works in a hospital, poisons are also medicines, toxic substances, getting rid of unwanted family members, arsenic serial killer in Bremen [Margarethe Gottfried], murdered mostly family members, I need to play this poisoner, where her head rolled, they lost her head in WWII, killing one gym teacher is enough for most people, Zero Cool, Scratch One, they all have girls on the cover, Signet 1969, an American doctor goes to Spain, perform an autopsy, in France, handsome, charming, privileged, sounds like Crichton, the setup for Dracula, mistaken for a CIA agent, Dracula crossed with North By Northwest, krik-ton, travel fellowship, the Cannes film festival, wrote it in 11 days, “no-good”, don’t ask writers, whichever one which just came out is the best one ever, I’m not sure this one works, the ones that sell the best, dashed off really quickly, an idea for a Christmas story, just like a tweet, Arthur Conan Doyle, his fairy stuff, Georgette Heyer, a gothic romance, an antisemitism problem, forthcoming Charles Stross is a regency romance “Laundry Files” novel, the Stross that finally wins me over, a great guy in person, Olav [Rokne] is upset, he [Stross] needs to eat, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Berlin, change trains, cheap euroticket, trains, safer than American trains, a waste of time to fly, suffered through very carefully, some good stuff in here, wrong and too long, Miss Shaw is awesome, every so often she goes and pulls a heist, evil Miss Marple, criminal Miss Marple, stabs people with her sharp umbrella, trying to make this today as a film, Glass Onion and the other one [Knives Out], done as almost a comedy, Death In Paradise, golden age of crime, locked room tropical, good detective, otherwise idiot, male cops, old fashioned traditional mysteries in a different setting, the inkling, are there a bunch of alternative female heisters, kinda yeah, a fun move, by the numbers with a twist at the end, thank you for the birthday wishes, Cora’s mom in Helsinki, of course I know who Paul is, known by grandmothers all over Germany, a late baby of late babies, careless of you to lose them all, they look like foreign invaders, a panel crashed by a Mexican street vendor, Pirate Enlightenment, Logan’s Run.

SIGNET - Odds On By John Lange

Odds On by John Lange - paperback back

SIGNET - Odds On by John Lange

Hard Case Crime - ODDS ON by Michael Crichton

Blackstone - ODDS ON by Michael Crichton

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The SFFaudio Podcast #733 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: Nudist Camp by Orrie Hitt


The SFFaudio Podcast #733 – Nudist Camp by Orrie Hitt – read by Evan Lampe. This is a complete and unabridged reading of the novel (4 hours 21 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants include Jesse and Evan Lampe.

Talked about on today’s show:
1957, paperback original, Evan’s falsetto, a fun one to read, an interesting guy, 150 or so books, mostly public domain, disposable, available to read, available to be narrated, title wise, Never Cheat Alone, Torrid Wench, each was easy pickins, lovers kissin, crime novel adjacent, “sleazecore”, a science fiction novel but the genre is different, stupid-interesting entertainment, an adult at the time, the drug store, the spinner rack, behind the counter?, well written, fluffy, the plot makes sense, fetish for sex, ideas in my science fiction, talking about the fins on rocketships, fetish books for men, romance novels for men: talking about guns, Executioner and Deathlands novels, some hard man walking through the Mad Max world, extended mag, books for dumb people, really interesting things in this book, Brother And Sister by Donald Westlake, real estate obsession, Levittowns, rising middle class, who owns property, an easy go to plot, a marriage breaking up, men who went overseas, Iceland vs. Germany, a poor girl from Iceland, an Iceland slur, bojack?, bohunk, making up Iceland like an alien planet, the cultural stuff, interesting if true?, am I learning something about Iceland, the hotsprings, the brief summers, it being poor, some Viking culture that somehow survived, a very small population, one of the smallest european countries by population, taken over by the British who handed it to the Americans, you’re free now, apparently they don’t have a Swedish accent, Paul didn’t want to do this one because of all the nudity, all the violence, all the wife hitting, abusive, get back together at the end, they reconcile, we’lll go with Ed being the badguy, scamming people, taking the photos then blackmailing people, the hotel room, the film, get the property from her, the ex-husband comes and saves the day, not a classic, always Jesse’s story, an archaeological stratum, this fossil, what other fossils are under there?, floating around in people’s minds, learning about nudism, granola crunching islands, religious colonies, summer camps for various church organizations, fearful of falling under their religions, weird festival people, real life experience of weird nudists, Allan Alda’s character in MASH, nudism magazines, photographer magazine, he liked women, Corporal Klinger, 50s aesthetic, The Door Into Summer by Robert A. Heinlein, spending time with a nudist, their philosophy, a thing in Germany, the whole theory of nudism, he doesn’t get more serious, trying to separate nudism from sex, supposed to titillate, the opening scenes of the book, looks at herself in a full length mirror, a smut book but very educational, seems kinda of tame, very little penetration, very few pearl necklaces, the good organizer, the speech, the lecture, it’s about health and our natural state, body positivity, one step away from a pure smut book, a scene that should turn you off, ugly flabby lady, gut over her thighs, boobs like pendulums, that was a test, is this about sex?, not identical with being a swinger, related?, Heinlein did both, your average person picking up the book, from the woman’s pov, our Icelandic gorgeous lady and her abusive husband, they’re rich in land, she has a maid and a gardner, an interesting subplot, the pregnancy, an ethical gloss, written quickly, “Sometimes the whole world stinks”– Orrie Hitt, the King of Tri-State Sleaze, Apocalypse-Confidential.com, Orrie Hitt’s mythos, that’s amazing!, Lawrence Block, easter eggs, always the same movie playing in the movie theatre, you’re getting a secret history of the united states, all the sex shops, punanyi train fan , Orrie Hitt is on the rise, good to hear, EAP aka @punanytrainfan [account deleted] on twitter, literally read it aloud, a thousand year old book, Ḥayy Ibn Yaqẓān by Ibn Tufail, a book of philosophy, Daniel DeFoe, raised by a gazelle, Aristotelianism filtered through the Arabic worldview, Avicennan Aristotelianism, building the whole system from scratch, building capitalism from scratch, a short book, a few things he’s working on, Mark Twain, hinted at Heinlein, just teasing Jesse, excusing with the Library Of America, every book, taking Heinlein in doses, doing it with a Hugo in mind, Jesse’s Tom Godwin cold equations told as a star trek episode, the plot of Mudd’s Women, a bajoran slave girl, race jokes on a federation ship, it deserves a hugo and a nebula and a seuin and a master of fantasy award, the atom award, does it come with a rocket ship, a carbon atom, throw them in a garbage, awards, just play the games, put your pronouns in your bio, a lot of laughing, psychopath laughing at yourself, too pale, too male, looking at the lists, not impressed, consistently poorly researched, Jesse wants to learn something, entertainment, back to Orrie Hitt, not called nudist colonies anymore they’re called nudist camps now, a counterculture, a separate state, go for a week, summer camp, a nudist colony in the winter, why they like the location, set in New Jersey, hidden away, not bothered by the locals, not going to happen in the winter, Florida, what do they do?, standing around naked eating hot dogs, swimming, croquet, let’s go to the nudist camp!, like minded body positive people without hangups, written just as a non-sex book, the sex stuff in it, have only couples come together, don’t take singles, the subplot, blackmail, keep coming to the camp, not a very good sex book, subplot, a chaste proper good relationship, 1950s morality, she gets pregnant, a morality tale, Della has this new boyfriend, after she breaks up with her husband, not ethically suspect, we’re titillated, putting her bra on, fit in with the crowd, she gets shot in the leg, defending nudism, on the cover it is a sex book, a crime novel, genuinely surprised, we’re supposed to be suspicious of him, seemed legit, we were surprised, do you blame her for getting back together with him, wraps up the plot nicely, getting back together with, Stephen King wouldn’t be able to write this book, the woman has to escape, he’s got too many hangups for this book, could Bachman try?, the wrong kinda traumas, a nice person, very sympathetic, as an immigrant story, tricked into marrying a German whore, a cloud over her, a poor Icelandic waif, a golddigger, reputation in the community, one scene in the hotel, the pornographic film, the bank, the lawyer, learned a lot about the 1950s, experiencing it on the periphery, why Hawkeye likes nudist magazines, the nudist philosophy vs. wanting to see naked people, very clear about that, a legit claim, born nude, practically naked, shorts and short sleeves, not being over-clad, getting vitamin D, having a tan making you feel mentally better?, not enough sun, given our species previous history, we probably get too little sun, a funny phenomenon, not allowed to show boobs unless they’re natives, nude foreign women, a british or Irish, the page 3 girl, how do we explain this phenomena, a racy thing, what makes it racy is the prudery, creepy to see a creeper, scary old bodies, herniated bodies, a book all about bodies, their experience through their heads, the injury to her leg, getting pregnant and thinking about that, why is she saying these things about this baby, you don’t need to get an abortion, in most of the sleaze books, sex doesn’t necessarily lead to worries about pregnancy, begging for a baby from her husband, more smut books, more sleazecore books, more to them just sex, here too, the time?, self-censorship, doctor labels, The Naked Lunch supreme court case, what happened to comics neutered comics, defending it to your wife, the study of strange women who do strange things, she’s super hot in the shower, fat bodies, another bait and switch, pick that up for the incest, a horrible suicide and insanity ending, real estate calculations, the shame is different, a shame book, she’s a poor girl, essentially raped in Iceland, a traumatized person she’s pretty strong, pretty fucking terrible, Paul would not like how this book ends, what are her options?, not highly educated, what marriage is so popular for, real estate, big in China, she’s rock poor, she marries a middle class guy who thinks he’s going to inherit wealth, squanders the money, ends on a happy note, gives her a baby and becomes a doting father, be good Christians and believe in redemption, what are her skills?, he knew how to build a big house (with full length mirrors), look at her assets, run a little business, something she can do with her life, reveals himself as the bad guy, what can she get from Ricky?, adopt that baby, partners, all the men betrayed her, Ricky saved the day, in “Sleaze Camp Part 2”, a good moral camp, what the future’s going to be like, set in the 1850s, the photography stuff, if it was the 1750s, a guy behind a curtain sketching quickly, civil war portraits, still images, sunbathers, it is a tech book, pre-birth control (the pill), a tech thing, what makes this non-mimetic fiction is that it is somehow is like a piece of science we can explore, look what people are worried about, an after WWII Iceland plot, we don’t know much about Orrie Hitt, seems to be thoughtful, as book every two weeks at the prime of his career, six sex scenes, explaining to Scott [Danielson], agreeing with a J.K. Rowling, you’re going to have to put TERF in your twitter bio now, why people like her books, set pieces, very movie like this big battle, this cute scene, that cute scene, a plot in the background, the ride, titillation throughout the book, attentive to the plot, the first Harry Potter book, it read like a movie, not that much internal getting to know the character, this is an intellectual experience, didn’t get hard at all, Lawrence Block and Donald Westlake, not heavy on the sex, Netflix everyday, the covers/posters/cards, The Reader, a nazi woman?, an illeterate woman?, Kate Winslet in her pajamas, the strategy is still there, two naked guys on the card, a lot of prudery in the states, no explicit sex on Netflix?, on the newsstands besides the explicit, science fiction, westerns, romance, nice to look at, more titillation on the covers and in the descriptions, Hustler, sex letters, Penthouse forum?, letters about free speech!, reading a magazine with a nakedish woman on the cover, like the HBO of magazines, less censored things that people are interested in, Jimmy Carter had lust in his heart, rather than the lie they do all day, Obama’s exit interview, Joe Rogan’s interview with the founder of Rolling Stone, way less censored than everything else, shitlib former hippie, upset and worried, now that Trump had won, I’m not really interested in lying anymore, softcore interview, a formality, the shitty answer and the truthful answer, being more honest, a weird sleazecore book, insight into, a good prose stylist, clean and easy to follow and interesting, unaffected, he reminds us of her body every few pages, experiencing interest, a big enough sample, read a romance novel, anything of value, tiny little bit of sex, as tame or tamer, slim romance volumes, Blaze by Stephen King, A Night In Lonesome October by Roger Zelazny, less mad as time goes by, thinking of Jesse as the star, Harry Turtledove, Innocents Abroad by Mark Twain, why Evan is not a fan of tourism or travel in general, why travel sucks, Michael Crichton books, Grave Descend, Easy Go, super consumable, very solid writer, maybe that was never true, “science fiction books”, not natural writers, Stephen King is a natural writer, Neil Gaiman, Ted Chiang, Stephen King, Andy Weir, The Troop, near the bottom, just body horror, the lowest level, the gross out, fewer of those, idea based stuff is really cool, Cosmic Computer/Junkyard Planet by H. Beam Piper, The Heads Of Cerberus by Francis Stevens, The Black Stranger by Robert E. Howard, seven John Lange books, fairly thrilling at times, Hard Case Crime republished them, a reuse of a failed hard case crime spinoff [Gabriel Hunt], Hunt For Adventure, The Spider, The Shadow, Indiana Jones, an adventure book series, churn out a series character, Binary, Eaters Of The Dead, he’s really playful, amazingly good at transforming thought into words in the form of a novel, after Blaze, its long, spending 20 hours with Mark Twain.

Nudist Camp by Orrie Hitt

Nudist Camp by Orrie Hitt

Nudist Camp by Orrie Hitt

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The SFFaudio Podcast #732 – READALONG: Black Priestess Of Varda by Erik Fennel

Jesse, Paul Weimer, Alex (pulpcovers) and Cora Buhlert talk about Black Priestess Of Varda by Erik Fennel

Talked about on today’s show:
Audiobooksnow.com, 500 other websites after Audible and Downpour that sell audiobooks, this books exists only out in the world outside of Audible and Downpour, Brian K. Fitzgibbon, the story itself is , foliage, otherwise a good narration, the ultimate book, a hard intro, all of the negative stereotypes of pulp science fiction, Planet Stories, not the literary science fiction, the luridist, fairly strong, this is fun, this is good, it fell apart, the middle doesn’t make a lot of sense, the ending is good, extending psychedelic floating, pregnant at the end, twins, this woman raped him while he was in the bacta tank, when Luke is in the bacta tank, Mark Hamill had had a car accident, injuries explained away, hand chopped off twice, disabled protagonist, crippled is offensive, a pain in your phantom arm, Gil Hamilton, a crippled protagonist, disabled war veterans, missing a hand, a scarred face, a blind eye, a missing eye, a plus for the story, three strong female characters (two of them are the same), he’d been betrayed by his fiance, clearly a villain from the beginning, a good setup for a story, mid-20th century telepathy, not a good exploration of the topic, monkey squirrel lemur thing, also telepathic, something out of 1980s kid’s cartoon, would make a great cartoon, should be adapted as a cartoon, a pretty cracking story, gets his abilities, it would be better if he didn’t have abilities, I’m the best telepathy, immune to telepathy, who’s on the cover, a scene from the story, Allen Anderson reusing the same image, lady with a sword over her head, also a Leigh Brackett cover, Black Amazon Of Mars, an axe, grey lumpy things, he’s not disabled, he has two arms (one is hidden), it is Crasna, but she’s a redhead, the interior art, the vat scene, the lavender liquid, his girlfriend Margaret getting all stabby, cutting off all of his thumb, lost in the mist, missing an arm, very accurate, page 25 art, totally missing an arm there, a scratch across his face, with a savage bellow, the pasty gray features, sluggishly back, prostrate form, soundlessly, a blue black fluid gushed from the wound, Erik Fennel is not a famous person, as Planet Stories pulpy as Jesse has read, a Gardner F. Fox, returning to Mars, returning to Barsoom, a portal fantasy, very Edgar Rice Burroughs, he’s an inventor, The Door Into Summer by Robert A. Heinlein, time travel, freezes himself, she’s much older, she’s fat, she’s been drained of sasso, very Lovecraft, Dwellers In The Mirage by A. Merritt, vikings at the north pole, squid god eating virgins, pregnant ladies are delicious, his source for the material, monolimbed, monohanded, blood gushin out of him, repainted by Anderson, Sargasso Of Lost Starships, Bettie Page haircut, yellow foil-age, a little blue city, under the text, what do you think, people talking about sensitivity readers (both pro and con), a panel of sensitivity readers, some subject they’re not an expert in, Chinese and something else (maybe Vietnamese), an expert on Japan, makes sense, a double amputee, bloody offensive, bipolar is not the same thing as an amputee, probably pretty different, gay and a minority skin colour, the writer, an expert witness, a thinking chain that’s not encumbent with the title “sensitivity reader”, immensively important to the book, not collaboration, later Elmore Leonard novels, his 90s stuff, getting up there, he had a professional researcher, professional diving, interesting facts, wow that’s amazing, it really sucked, the dialogue was the same, you could see the hands of the researcher’s work, the particular setting, civil war reenactors, “farbs”, modern underwear underneath, bringing a zippo lighter to the battlefield, hanging out with those guys as a first person person vs. having your researcher do it for you a year before you, that’s the difference, a real sense of place, a real sense of dialogue, he knows the places and he knows the cultures, this is actually why sensitivity readers are working, writing about stuff they don’t know anything about, a researcher magic wand, like Wikipedia, an inkling about something about something, Erik Fennel was disabled, an engineer, an inventor, Fall 1947, Beneath The Red World’s Crust, a dude with a blaster and a dagger on his hip, holding a blonde, blue aliens, a rocketship, a vampire bat, P.S. Feature Flash, Atavism, during a childhood spent barefoot in Hawaii, prehensile toes, Eve and Lilith, the dog insists, a propeller, 2:47 am, a model-T sparkplug, molten lead and cold water, just short of atomic, studying co-eds, Heath Parasol, a kitbuilt aircraft, a truck driver, bootlegger’s assistant, riding the rods, amateur boxer/goat wrangler, structural steel work, born without a fear of heights, one day there was a very nasty mess, a retread job in my skull, 4F, arrested development, Science And Invention, Hugo Gernsback, a housetrailer, a portable basement, used oil wells, deep auto-hypnotic research, the editor of Galaxy [Planet Stories], Nichevo, Russian for what can you do?, that’s how it is!, makes you like the story more, makes you like the art more, the art informs the story, the art of the writing, texts should stand on their own (but also they don’t), everything is connected to other things, give a kid Shakespeare, another essay from 1950, utopianism, Nobody Wants Utopia, Science Fantasy Review, Winter 1949-1950, the slave system they have, zombies, they treat them, they give them the pill, a culture that has declined, the superiors had roads, there were always two races, more primitive people, benevolent, H.P. Lovecraft with Zealia Bishop, The Mound, an underworld utopia, the closed world, creating a setting, the author insert returns to it at the end, I’m going home, she’s having my babies, genocide these poor people, kill orcs because they are elves turned by Sauron thinking, utopia, dry and hot summers, cold winters, he’s given himself a fantasy world, he chooses to go back into the fantasy, helpful to understanding the story, it’s a real lump, The Goddess Of Atvatabar, mental powers, they create an island, that happens in this too, a Leigh Brackett, The Moon That Vanished, mental powers, lost in their fantasy world, suicidal drug addict, picturing his girlfriend, he grabs the other woman, quite a common theme, also Inception (2010), WWII, trailer, not super-negative, creation of a world inside of a story, roads and a car, he’s an engineers, mid-20th century engineers knew everything, that fantastic power is the power to be a writer for Planet Stories, a product of it being a longer piece for a magazine that cranks out a lot of pulp, not a classic, snap up the IP, the She-Ra: Princess Of Power cartoon, a planet besieged by aliens, drains of energy, rebels lead by a brave woman, twins, Hordak, not impossible, why you can’t read anything out of context, all the Shakespeare plays are historical pieces, the pulp, Star Wars, Buck Rogers, Flash Gordon, inform, time spent looking for the literary roots of Indiana Jones, drawn from the vibes, a smell, an aesthetic, the suspension bridge, cliffhanger, quite literally, movie serials, magazine serials, wait 30 years, not inspired by the original sources, the new Andor series, notably good, a guy on a planet trying to find his sister, mall cops, corporate security, too much content, there’s way too much stuff, its very hard to know if anything is good, everything is lying to you all the time, they’re all being gamed, people mention things in twitter threads, increasingly required to ask, I can’t watch all of that, not all of them have the same taste, big long reviews, consumer reviews, you have to dig, drowned out, ignored, the latest thing, a culture war fight, American Gigolo, The Punisher, how can I know if it is good?, it’s exactly what you’re interested in, lot’s of airships, bread and butter cop dramas, cartoon dinosaur show, periphery, The Rogues In The House podcast, this is great, our serious problem, an experiment today, too deep into the story, not the ideal story to start their pulp fiction experience, Robert E. Howard, some Leigh Bracketts, C.L. Moores, higher quality pulp, this isn’t that bad, Werewile Of The Crystal Crypt by Gardner F. Fox, they all look down at Planet Stories, bad stories in Astounding Science Fiction, mid to low level Planet Stories, mediocre Weird Tales is entertaining, The Ghost Table, fun adventure, fast paced, what we got, a slower pace in the middle, lots of action, what if the speed of light changed by 3 percent?, what bad Astounding often looked like, bound charges, almost skipable, if your assignment was to fix this story, spend a lot less time recovering, three months later, drama, go with the interesting opening, lay around a little less, more time with the badguys, she’s a bad girl but a lot of fun, more from Victor’s point of view, Margaret’s catspaw, boy toy, Sin and Wor, very subtle, on the nose, Axis and Allies, written in reverse, Matson, Sasso, a fad dance from the 1950s, The Wizard Of Wor, Wor’s military tunic, Faith, Elvedon, a pocket universe, The Elf-Trap by Francis Stevens, a tradition he’s slipping into, Stanley G. Weinbaum, there’s no rocket ship, it is a portal fantasy, transports him to a world, closed worlds, thin world, like Cthulhu worshipers, A Night In Lonesome October by Roger Zelazny, the lavender liquid, that sloshing, some kind of acid, absorbs their energy, a convoluted system, as a priestess, all the best cults are sex cults, Superiors, the gross gray bodies, they utterly refused to remain dead, lacking sufficient converts, Faith, Superiors, the hunted folk, thought was a tangible force, a stand in for the author, more things cut off, will the wall to light, a wish-fulfillment fantasy world, maybe we have to genocide these monsters, the little lemur guy, weak, but not that bad, the connection, Stephen R. Donaldson’s Thomas Covenant books, what’s the scene that Paul and Cora don’t like, leprosy, white gold wedding ring, his rape daughter shows up, not real, absolutely annoying, he’s also a whiner, extremely unlikable, he doesn’t think any of it is real, half excuses the whole thing, The Gap Into Conflict, space opera, blink drives, The Real Story, an asteroid miner, roll a d100, turn people into remote control zombies, policewoman, he’s not supposed to be the hero, very gritty, well told, incorporating other people’s researches, what they’re thinking about, writing is thinking, he’s not a raw power, perfectly serviceable, problems selling, Chinese Filipino, Hawaii, that experience is his experience, a story that hasn’t sold yet, he blames that on gatekeepers of editors, half-naked, Valeria, Dark Agnes, Jirel of Joiry, Farnsworth Wright, he never got really old, oh, it’s a Howard story!, non-white protagonist, The Ship Who Sang by Anne McCaffrey, thalidomide, magically healed, he lies around a lot, to hide his superpower, his mind is broken, the cover does not participate in LegCling, whips, a chain whip, BrassBra hashtag, just assumed, clinging gowns, a lot of nudity, a lot of sex, disabled sex, sex orgy cult, remarkably horny, more explicit, is it less horny when it is explicit?, a shudder pulp story, the ultimate shudder pulp, the covers and the titles, the story premises, Lovecraft plus sex and humiliation and racism, Dime Mystery, not easy to find, they didn’t sell well, pricey, The Spider, the lurid stuff, Terror Tales, E. Hoffman Price, there must be something in there, the pinnacle of the shudder pulp, still fun, unique, a little lemur thing and whips, lavender acid, revealing something, Genndy Tartakovsky, a Planet Stories animated series, you’re doing Heavy Metal, technothriller science fictiony compared to this, The Rocketeer (1981), why aren’t we having more like The Rocketeer, Batman (1989), The Shadow (1994), The Phantom, Dick Tracy, Nudist Camp by Orrie Hitt, 4 hours, read by Evan Lampe, the back cover, they worshiped nature in the raw, scathing novel, where she came from, swim or subathe unclad, so lovely, so innocent, began to love nature a little too passionately, a she-devil had entered paradise, her own glorious body, having sex with a tree, a tree fucking contest, Germans love their nudity, naturalists, nature worship, airbathing, skyclad, a nudist beach, of course I looked, Wreck Beach, the communist had no clothes they were so poor!, they saved them for the winter, they weren’t wearing a wire, Evan Lampe: “it’s a good book”, Evan’s female voice, not a Paul book, Brother And Sister by Donald E. Westlake, The Black Stranger by Robert E. Howard, Roger Zelazny, Blaze, Cosmic Computer/Junkyard Planet, Innocents Abroad, Grave Descend, sell Easy Go to Alex, in Egypt, the last tomb, scam archaeologists, a heist story, a really great sense of place, written by someone who’s been there, Greece, Amsterdam, nice and short, Topkapi (1964), Korean War vet captains, journalist/writer, especially him, a very solid very readable book, very impressed by early Michael Crichton, he’s no Erik Fennel, write to the market, slim volumes, 160 page books vs. 700 page books, mainstream thrillers, measured by inches or by weight, Heads Of Cerberus by Francis Stevens, Vietnam, communing with the communists, a communist wedding, a half communist wedding, salvage, communist babies, The Thrill Book, after inhaling a grey dust, totalitarian Philadelphia, perhaps the first science fantasy to use parallel time track, dated and old fashioned, parallel worlds, one of the classics of early pulp, cynical anti-authoritarian, a fine anticipation of Philip K. Dick, stand in for the expertise, Fran Wilde and Chuck Wendig, definitely not a communist book reading, cool name, the cheese, a big city, skyscrapers exploding, school atlas, natural resource cards, coal and steel, pre-internet, Benjamin Franklin was president (of Pennsylvania), not a fake job, the supreme executive council, Rocky Balboa, a good writer, violent American trash, Rocky (1976), Rambo and Conan, a very good movie, he’s got heart, Carl Weathers, Dolph Lundgren, the cartoon aspect of it, this super-genius, Red Scorpion (1988), Masters Of The Universe (1987), not The Punisher (1989), Rocky IV (1985) was his best movie, Universal Soldier (1992), The Expendables movies, airplanes, Jet Li, riffs on their Hollywood personalities, speaking six languages, they’re making fun of the fact, tall and apparently smart and handsome he did very badly, Bloodsport (1988), not really a great actor, Schwarzenegger is charismatic on screen, they didn’t have the budget, Soviet Rambo, an American production, the first half of Red Dawn (1984), The Death Of Stalin (2017), American Ninja (1985), The Delta Force (1986), Iron Eagle (1986), she doesn’t understand what a podcast is, needs to grok, you don’t have to do the show nude.

Black Priestess Of Varda by Erik Fennel - cover art by ALLEN ANDERSON

Black Priestess Of Varda by Erik Fennel - ILLUSTRATION

Black Priestess Of Varda by Erik Fennel

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The SFFaudio Podcast #730 – READALONG: Easy Go by Michael Crichton

Jesse, Paul Weimer, Cora Buhlert, and David J. West talk about Easy Go by Michael Crichton

Talked about on today’s show:
1968, The Last Tomb, a pretty terrific book, what’s the title mean?, dreams of fame and fortune, is that what the book’s really about though?, pre-Indiana Jones, a heist story, Topkapi (1962), stealing archaeological treasures for private hands, they’re not good people, the girl’s with you, Nicos killing children is find, Lisa, how expensive are you, ten million dollars, you know you’re doing the wrong thing here, the ending, a better title, a funner title, a soft ending, a sudden ending, is something wrong with my copy?, he finishes the book, an okay ending, put em all in prison, getting oput of prison is going to be the sequel, mushy, semi-justified by the text, the clever Egyptian archaeology department, a step ahead, hadn’t left the scarab there, they had their mark from the beginning, stupid foreigners, the Romans, the Greeks, the Assyrians, treasure hunters, remarkably diverse, Mission: Impossible, a hard novel, a noir, surprises, switching main characters, Barnaby, suddenly Pierce, Lord Grover, Lisa’s dad for real?, bio-father, purposely leaving it vague, he couldn’t legally do it, the narrator is really good, Christopher Lane, the cover art, the original paperback, pulpy cover, kissing dancing holding pistols, a reuse cover, Hard Case Crime had a second imprint called Gabriel Hunt, Charles Ardai character, a Mack Bolan, Remo Williams style pulp hero, Hunt For Adventure, Indiana Jones style, reused the same art, Glen Orbik, a revolver, a mummy, use the gun on the snakes, Luxor, a generic that works, down to the last 10 minutes of the book, it fits, it matches the mood, evokes Egypt, Binary, only on the cover to sell the book, his accents are good, his characters are distinct, later Crichton, his formula, Timeline, Pirate Latitudes, a real-life ending, he didn’t want to kill people, shoulda ended in a noir, the best solution, an Oceans Eleven vibe, published 3rd, his first written novel, $1500, a stressed out medical student, L.A. Times, 1974, The Terminal Man, took him a week, he went to egypt, loved it, and was reading paperbacks on the plane, I can do this, a very old youtube video, hired by Munsey’s, starts typing, where’d you learn to right, a real pulp writer, some people just really got it, they read pulp, they can write pulp, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Robert E. Howard, Spear And Fang is ok, Terry Pratchett, an amazing writing career, characterization is very solid, dropping information about Egypt, each location, the price of things, the other locations, Amsterdam, diamond dealer, dull and tomblike, he absolutely captures the atmosphere, he has been there, you have to learn how to watch black and white movies, silent movies are a lot harder than black and white movies, pictures of black and white monkeys, making Casablanca in colour, some things need black and white, Edgar Wallace, we have to learn these things, the goodreads reviews, pulpy fun, new favourite book, its like they don’t know how to read this kind of book, a paperback, for the late 60s and the mid 1970s, racy fun, nice and thin, what an airport novel is today, opposite of horribly long and badly written, not meant to be remembered, give me another John Lange, you’ve been reading all these John Lange books, a professional sale, this is solid, a little bit unpredictable, the treasure, shines in the reflectivity of the characters, thinking about Egypt, doing more than is required, this is the real tomb [holds up skull], the one you can never leave, *yawn implausible romance two stars*, a first, better than some of his later books, later bloated, Binary is taut, not as filmic as it could have been, breezier and easier, how can people read so badly, unfamiliar with the form, he’s seen it before, of course you’ve seen it before!, didn’t you really enjoy reading it?, really enjoyable, Paul plays role playing games, Fate Of Cthulhu, stop Nyarlathotep, Infocom games, Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, Infidel, find the pyramid, survive it’s traps and treasures, command prompt words, get flashlight batteries, put flashlight batteries in flashlight, turn flashlight on, you see a room, boxes full of goodies, pocket fluff and no tea, the microscopic space fleet, playing a real a-hole, terrible to his crew, a real western imperialistic jerk, the last trap gets you, a Kobayashi Maru, for narrative, pray for forgiveness, terrible takes, disaster pron, Kelly, banaly racist and sexist, enjoyable enough but nothing special, a stock character, a great role, every actor wants to be him, he wears that mask so well, Roger Moore as Lord Grover, a playboyish guy, the handsome Hollywood lead, Barnaby, a great character actor, Steve Buscemi, a slight role, Niccos, even he doesn’t end up dead, Italian western, did you not notice his backstory, an Egyptian whore a Greek story, how he opens a door, sleeping on the dock, he still has a hubcap, reading Richard Stark, I can do this, interest, each character has just enough characterization, Sylvia, why she’s acting that way, masterful characterization, a natural success, a great way to solve a story, back to square one, experience points is stupid, Conan should start every adventure the way he ends it, deus ex machina, aliens ex machina, the celebrated archaeologist, a very steep diminishing returns, most people who have eyes and ears, The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, released with extra materials on DVD, the treasure is the experience, he goes to Europe and hangs out with famous artists doing cubism, intrigue in 1917 Russia, North Africa, the Belgian Congo, 1906 – 1922, a tourist visit, but an amazing one, not good people in a lot of cases, T.E. Lawrence, Baghdad to Berlin trainline, Lawrence of Arabia killed my great grandfather, all the stuff in the background, the Aswan dam, the Russian wives in the marketplace, all that detail, not even Cold War, moving the temples, building giant dams, a post-war thing, Drowned Hopes by Donald E. Westlake, cutting edge at the time, not quite in the zeitgeist, this guy knows Egypt, the United Arab Republic, a book of the late 60s, Sadat, hedging his bets, Nasser, seeing all these negative reviews, didn’y you seen this part?, looking a the hieroglyphics, that exposition, bought it all, he dreamed this up, read it diagonally, apocryphal, when Arnold Schwarzenegger was governor of California, an acrostic, babble in the middle, the bragging vizier, my king I’ve served you well, when Egypt was at its eye, Egyptologists disagree, what triggered Jesse, the breasts of every female, cigarettes, facts are in quotes, slowmo novel, dude you’re not the target audience, a thing you do, decadent Englishman, smokes pot and has girls around him, the facts are placed not littered, it’s really well done, Amsterdam, terrorist attacks, done many times, I too became lost, torture porn, the beating of the young boy, some had breasts, you’re not actually supposed to remember the hero, Peirce is the least interesting character, he’s the plot, they recognize each other from Korea, they’re equals, they’re both captains, an officer’s club, we never actually get to see the split, in the middle of a Richard Stark novel, Paul disagrees completely, Grover’s in it for the fun, pay the ransom myself, which characters are untrustworthy, Pierce is the most trustworthy character, he doesn’t even know why he’s doing it, Pierce doesn’t know why he exists, he’s the blank canvas, Barnaby is conflicted, don’t touch this, it belongs in a museum, tenure, a better job, they’re all adjuncts, Conway, we trust him implicitly, jokey and fun, great introduction, he saves the girl with the gun, smuggled diamonds out of South Africa, Jim Brown, Steve James, blacksploitation movies, Niccos in the most untrustworthy character, willing to kill, he sells out the group, even Iskander, a meaty role, subtle and sneaky and pretend to be dumb, malapropisms, you are beautiful today, which guy is going to be the problem, take the easy route, get into a fight he doesn’t need to take, a problem with Lord Grover’s girls, blabbing to the wrong person, an outside problem, something we couldn’t have foreseen, a nice hard ending, Infocom’s hints, InvisiClues, not fair for pirates, no forums online, in a magazine, Gore Vidal’s Thieves Fall Out, maybe that’s the issue for me, not mention slaves and cotton plantations, Agatha Christie, Norman Mailer, Conway holding the skull, a lecture or a joke, Egyptologists go look at this scarab, they’re weirdos, not obsessed with death, certain rich people, The Land Of The Pharaohs (1955) with Joan Collins, a memorable scene, The Persuaders, City On The Edge Of Forever, Star Trek, an impregnable tomb, speaking English, if they had done Prey (2022) in the original Comanche, have us read subtitles, inaccessibility, learning to read, learning to watch movies, learning to play computer games, Dead Man Down (2013), get revenge, he’s a barbarian, he’s a robot, my parents are German immigrants that’s why my name is Matrix, the dregs of what we used to have, Steven Seagal, they’re great, the cheap Michael Dudikoff, making the grave goods, the piled up grave goods, gold daisies, creating that culture for this period, updating it, mention the Muslim Brotherhood, we’re not good at coming up with stuff like that, on a European tour, Paris, Greece, Capri, a brief scene set in Greece, the city is coming ever closer, the Colossi of Memnon, a big Robert E. Howard fan, if this was Stygia, a place Robert E. Howard never went to, a girl swimming naked in a pond, I hope this novel is about…, communist propaganda, I’ve never been to Iowa, he reads stuff from history, sets in real experiences, everything is based on Texas, Mexico and New Mexico, setting a story in a real place I’ve never been to, Howard stories set in the crusader states, the pre-middle ages, a crusader castle, 1950s in a place you’ve never been is harder than ancient Egypt, new world parrots in Europe, you don’t have anacondas in Egypt, 1870s Cairo, one guy who called me out, a ton of research, a tonne of research, what would Christmas decorations look like?, what would it smell like?, a picture from the 1930s, google street view, real estate signs, we’ve got the directions wrong, it’s in this cleft, wasted a couple of chapters digging, the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest wasn’t in the the Teutoburg Forest, Roman fortresses, modern cities, forgiving young people, they haven’t had life experience, airplanes had cigarette ashtrays on their handles, you could still smell it, make the seats smaller, KLM city hoppers, L.A. Noire, you’re an L.A. homicide detective, reconstructed huge swaths of 1950 [1947] Los Angeles, it sounds like that car does, rare cars, you can stop anywhere in the city and look at a street-corner, a research team of 5,000 programmers, makes Wiltshire Boulevard accurate, we don’t have that for most things, we’re disabled, Des Moines, Alan Moore’s Providence, New York, as a coherent whole it doesn’t make a lot of sense, a weak thesis, Robert Black is Lovecraft’s psychology, the drawings, 1919 New York, owls with glowing eyes, that nearby park, a picture of what reality was like, the architecture is correct, Cool Air, Jacen Burrows, a photograph as a drawing, accurate to the image being described, come to the thing with the right expectations, how to appreciate what your seeing, an apology for modern art, appreciating 1960s paperback novels, a really good book, greatness to come in this guy, eight total, thank Cora, Michael Crichton movies, the Binary TV movie, Hard Case Crime, almost always entertaining, the Stephen King ones, reprints, modern stuff is hit or miss, extra fun reading an old book, almost 5 decades, still reading it and giving it low ratings, skew young and female, check the copyright date, why are they not mentioning bombs?, reading older books, good YA books, problem books, Karl May, read it in a day, a short novel, Odds On, Scratch One, A Case Of Need, The Venom Business, Zero Cool, Dealing, Drug Of Choice, Grave Descend, Binary, to prevent an arms shipment, targeted assassination, sounds like a Donald Westlake novel, rob the Reina, a technothriller, it will have lots of breasts, read about breasts, artifact smuggling, an expert handler in venomous snakes, is he the killer’s real target, meh 4 stars, a Bondesque romp with off-puttingly sexist undertones, diver, the strange thing is the breasts, cigarette stains, pick a regular goodreads reviewer from the modern era, sending them back to 1971s, review of 1971: it’s gross they’re were cigarettes everywhere, when IMDB was a new thing, writing reviews is fun, semi-professionally can be hurtful, a review challenge, another thing to check off, let’s read more John Lange, star ratings are hurtful, Nerds Of A Feather, weird blinking gifs, November 27, Innocents Abroad by Mark Twain, Richard Bachman is not a shitlib but Steven King is, what would John Lange’s nickname be?, John Norman’s real name is John Lange, two of my favourite writers, a different feel, excited about a 1975 book, dinosaur hunters in the old west, Dragon Teeth, bone hunters, helping a student write an essay about Weird Tales, Hugh Rankin, some of the covers, Doak is Hugh Rankin’s middle name, the art style is quite different, interior Conans are Hugh Rankin, Frank Belknap Long, the style is different, pastiche, comic strips, spent time gazing, The Dunwich Horror, Virgil Finlay did a ton of covers for Weird Tales, painted covers, vignettes?, snake woman, The Were-snake, a thing for hangings, Margaret Brundage, naked woman, only 3 of her 67 covers don’t have women, Farnsworth Wright, The Zap Gun by Philip K. Dick, does Iowa have ditches?, a nice slim volume, the beauty of a rural setting, a Korean War vet?, maybe it is 1947, the sheriff doesn’t want to get involved (secretly a communist), lean into it, The Cannonball Run, Dean Martin is a commie, his middle name is Kill A Commie, a little bit of a throwback, A Matter Of Life And Death (1946), David Niven, how to watch it, make it an amazing experience, the cultural nuance, an expectation, movie watching ability, The Mark Of Zorro (1920), when its not an action sequence, Nosferatu (1922), Buster Keatons and Charlie Chaplins, unleash Metropolis (1927), in the theater with live music, dragging a friend along, taught to watch Shakespeare and opera, we teach it wrong, a guided experience, get used to the style, think about it like food, you don’t give the baby kimchi, french fries, children’s menus, some kids wont eat certain colours, film aficionado, missing a whole experience of art, a current film, no steadycams, a forgettable Fassbender movie, The Fabulous Baker Boys, The Grey Man (2022), a Russo bros movie, a spy version of a Marvel movie, feel better, forgettably watchable, a new up and comer, Knives Out (2019), was Marilyn Monroe tiny?, how tall is Ryan Gosling?, the propaganda, platform shoes, height shame, Linda Hunt, Silverado (1985) is a really good movie, Kevin Kline, Scott Glenn, Jeff Goldblum is the badguy, she’s amazing, NCIS Los Angeles, Gargoyles (1972) TV movie, Silence Of The Lambs, Man On Fire (1987), go in with no expectations, form CIA agent hired to bodyguard a girl in Italy, a movie that has heart, charismatic in his own weird way, why is this happening?, local Comicon, Keith Coogan, Adventures In Babysitting (1987), holding on to the rights, explaining Marvel and DC comics, The Unknown Soldier, its the trademarks, Obama giving Spiderman or Punisher a congressional medal of honor, Roger Corman’s Fantastic Four, we never got to see it, not that bad, that was a really good movie, it holds up, Chris Columbus, a sitcom?, Weird Science is so well put together, Robert Downey, Jr., they nailed the ending, a gym full of girls, the final scene, cut back to the gym, Lisa standing, pan up, you little monsters, Frankenstein and Bride Of Frankenstein, Einstein’s brain, they do it again, a totally stupid and really good, mid or low budgets, a renaissance period, they hold up, 1975-1987 is the period, Predator but not The Last Action Hero (1993), Collateral Damage is a massive decline, The Sixth Day (2000), True Lies is up, quality of films, Raw Deal (1986), Terminator 2 (1991) is technically better but The Terminator (1984) is a better movie, James Cameron, Alien (1979), Aliens (1986), Titanic is a good movie for other people, too long, Raise The Titanic (1980), Avatar is a good movie, The Abyss (1989), oddly forgotten, Ridley Scott, Black Rain (1989), Rising Sun (1993), Wesley Snipes’ best movie, Blade (1998), Major League (1989), Drop Zone (1994), Point Break (1991), Muder At 1600 (1997) Elizabeth Hurley as a terrorist, Clint Eastwood, Absolute Power (1997), lacking depth of back catalogue, we’re going to watch Predator (1987), children, key moments in Jesse’s life, the novelization of Predator, the novelization of Gremlins (1984), Carl Weathers, bro greeting, Dakota Beavers, Shane Black, The Predator (2018) is a really terrible film, the Golan-Globus Theater podcast, Dino De Laurentiis, Rollerball (1975), evil coprorations have taken over the planet, James Cann killing people and throwing balls in holes, no individual achievement, Norman Jewison, Fiddler On The Roof (1971), based on Billy Budd?, The Thomas Crown Affair (1968), In The Heat Of The Night (1967), 2015, ipods, audiobooks, The Iliad, a late adopter, 2013, podcasts are the thing now, youtubes podcasts, audio with science fiction and fantasy, the books we had gone through, the back catalogue, 9 hours long, an Arthur Machen semi-autobiographical novel, trying to make money, when it comes time you want to read The Dispossessed, guaranteed, make me take it down, not mentioned in the show, get to get some really narrow topics, run as long as people are willing to go without peeing, three hours is a good length, some good books, insights, Our Opinions Are Correct, makes Jesse read books, The Bus-Conductor by E.F. Benson, two Souvenir by Philip K. Dick episodes, there’s a door there’s a cat, felt honoured, Tippy Taps, a Murder She Wrote episode, Simon & Simon, and Magnum, PI, Nudist Camp by Orrie Hitt, The Black Stranger by Robert E. Howard, a non-fiction about traveling around Europe, A Night In Lonesome October by Roger Zelazny, cassettes, a hefty book, Twain is so good, Scott Danielson is hard to get, excited about The Heads Of Cerberus by Francis Stevens, 1904, super-science, half Japanese and half German, she invented the superhero, Man-God, Gladiator by Philip Wylie, newspaper woman in the future, an old sailoress tells a tall tale at the teashop, Friend Island, one of those inferior creatures, she and the island got along really well, just elect a woman, The Elf-Trap, a gyspy village in the forest, La Belle Dame Sans Merci, Famous Fantastic Mysteries, so pioneering, The Thrill Book, a precursor to Weird Tales, Sunfire, precedes the Weird Tales crew, a vivid imagination, standard racist tropes, some people can’t handle breasts, occasional racism, a funny meme on Tolkien and smoking, promoting smoking, eating mushrooms, a little kid thing, unable to adapt to the horrible mushrooms, we’re willing to live with it, the texture, they’re made of fungus, William Hope Hodgson, that creepy factor, really well told, good at creeping, punched Houdini, volunteered for WWI and got killed, so eager to get killed in the war, trench warfare, superiors don’t care, why go into Iraq or Afghanistan, Germany’s got to be repressed, ran away at 14 to be a doughboy, child soldiers, restrained themselves, unable to be restrained now, WWIII with Russia, American volunteers being paid by NATO, wagging the dog, 60 Minutes, talking over him, the emperor has no clothes, defending having mental faculties, Reagan goes away, so beyond the pale, horrifying to think about, the buck stops here thing, it stops in some vague place that you don’t have access to, Obama is busy making his money, Biden with a blindman on his elbow, it’s shocking, setting aside all past sins, humiliating, juice him up, his notes, George Bush, not a defensible guy, semi-competent, this guy used to know stuff, can’t finish a sentence, can’t remember the name of an actor, not the best and the brightest, when Rand Paul sounds like the sanest man, coming across like a genius, the lamest dystopia, the UK, Boris Johnson, okay he memorized a poem in Greek, Governor of California, the quality of the politicians has gone down so much, people don’t like Putin, he has his shit together, Justin Trudeau, Chrystia Freeland, Jacinda Ardern, you odnt need the They Live glasses anymore, The Shadow Kingdom, clearly evidence of serpent people, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, compared to what?, there is no recession, all the homeless people everywhere, a lot of people on twitter, the arts community, the more liberal minded people, overly conservative, lean liberal, what’s true?, what’s for real?, you have to pick your team and stick with it no matter what, a way to line your own pockets, money laundering, the model in books is broken, indy stuff, a Baen anthology, trad pub, a book with Tantor Audio, 9 hours, a 30 hour Brandon Sanderson book, bundle, a western series, Tantor used to have their own store, Downpour.com, Blackstone publisher, audiobook empire, 40 different markets, Audible has been squeezing, any extra is gravy, the step down, traditional publishing, quick reads, Louis Lamour length, market distortion based on the subscription model, inflation on an infinitely replicable post scarcity object, Audible accounts without Audible subscriptions, the stumbling block, Lois McMaster Bujold, The Reader’s Chair, The Curse Of Chalion, eyes get worse, audiobooks were a fringe, the dominant form of book consumption, FanX, is it on audio, a tangible shift, its better, a nice fire, a dog at my feet, coffee in hand, beautiful woods outside, coding or photoshopping, on the ferry, most of Jesse’s students don’t know where they are, most kids have no sense of geography, where are we?, if they lose google maps, when we have autodrive cars, people wont know where they live, we’re offloading a lot of our processing to objects in our hands or our backpacks, its a himars, we’re doing that to ourselves, can’t identify Europe on a map, total fuckin weirdo, Dungeons & Dragons, Stranger Things, are the parents cursing them out?, are they allowed to play Dungeons & Dragons?, Commodore 64, Vic 20, we exhausted ourselves on this books, keep most of everything, Nudist Camp, mid-century erotica, a book every two weeks, fueled by ice coffee and cigarettes, paperback originals, somebody scanned, three strange women, Hot Cargo, The Peeper, Abnormal Norma, Man’s Nurse, The Sex Pros, Campus Tramp, depraved practices, normal love?, Evan Lampe’s narration of Mr. Adam by Pat Frank, 1947, 9 months later, all the men on planet earth have been sterilized, lead mine, a hot commodity, a comedy a premise, a light comedy, he loves his wife, a war footing, can black women get pregnant from this white man?, two Mongolians, a mine shaft gap, a delightful book, a great premise, sell you individual, The Brethren by H. Rider Haggard, a personal crusade, a bunch of nights, The White Company by Arthur Conan Doyle, her uncle is Saladin, they both marry her, they’re not polyandrists, very Robert E. Howard, the thews and the colours, inspired by a visit, a terrific book, Eric Brighteyes, the character is so dumb, a lurid cover, the greater bulk is from the 1970s, jazzed enough, standing on concrete for three days, Rider, British Columbia, Sir Walter Scott’s house, a railway point.

Easy Go by John Lange

Signet - Easy Go by John Lange

The Last Tomb by Michael Crichton

The Last Tomb by Michael Crichton

HARD CASE CRIME- Easy Go by Michael Crichton

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The SFFaudio Podcast #726 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: The Isle of Pirate’s Doom by Robert E. Howard


The SFFaudio Podcast #725 – The Isle of Pirate’s Doom by Robert E. Howard – read by Connor Kaye. This is a complete and unabridged reading of the novella (1 hour 24 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants include Jesse, Connor Kaye, Alex, and Cora Buhlert.

Talked about on today’s show:
1975?, this story did not sell, 50 years after death, 2025, who has the copyright?, nobody the fuck knows, how can you claim to have copyright if you are not the artist, the author, I have copyright over something someone else wrote, Fred Malmberg would happily take your money, you would be surprised, unauthorized games, Queen Of The Black Coast audio drama, Red Nail, they changed their mind, this is the grift of the copyright system that we have, some corporation is sitting on the rights to insulin, all out of patent, a fairly little known story, willing to take the heat, Sailor Steve Costigan, Mark Finn, because it was rejected, the U.S. system is weird, when did Ambrose Bierce die?, stories that exist, Treasure Of The Sierra Madre, B. Traven, half the stuff of Midwood, she shared a name, a werewolf story, reminiscent in plot, recycles plot, The Fire of Asshurbanipal, 1927/8, Patrice Louinet, get into some new markets, Blue Book, Adventure, Argosy, in terms of its content, an adventure story, romance angle, it’s simple, reading it in context with the Valeria adaptation (in Savage Sword Of Conan), he didn’t put a bunch of research into it, a fight scene, the background lovecraftian horror temple is pre-Mayan/pre-Aztec, Mogar, Gower, not finished for sale?, Almuric, size wise, but more polished in some places, there’s something weird about how simple the temple scene is, trap-laden temples, the lesser Conan stories, Shadows In The Moonlight, Queen Of The Black Coast, with the gender flip, the POV character is following the badass around, a formidable female character, Novalyne Price Ellis, Dark Agnes, C.L. Moore was selling that sort of thing, she’s masked here, she’s a fop, pulls the motorcycle helmet off, the curls!, drama, very modern, adversarial, win each other’s respect, emerging as a trope in stories, a competent woman in a field that men are dominant in, something we can largely attribute to Robert E. Howard, Anne Bonny and Mary Read, not proud of their virtue, Valeria is not Valeria from Red Nails, Valeria would not cry, not about that, I have lived a man’s life, Black Amazon Of Mars by Leigh Brackett, Shakespeare’s Lady Macbeth, question my virtue, a very narrow thing, not having sex with all the men on the ship, Conan adjacent, beautifully illustrated by John Buscema, surprisingly close, rocks and knives with flintlocks, making valeria cry, I have no birth control, Conan, why her virtue matters, how immature Howard was, Mettalus, Island Of Pirate’s Doom, a “merchant” sailor, an owner of the ship, a mate, Robinson Cruseo, contempt for pirates vs. fear of pirates, a little naive here, the story we’re getting from Connor, guy in a tavern tells a story, two and a half days, careful not to sleep in the same place, gotta keep her virtue, write to market, not a spicy, Spicy Adventure Tales, how Belit is marketed, nude, a hat, a big coat, breeks, the sun be strong, the rapier she’s got, not doing that research on the temple, pirates don’t bury treasure on islands, pirates take their treasure and spend it, Blackbeard’s Ghost, Elsa Lancaster, bail out these old ladies, we spent every bit of that in one week in Jamaica, Klaus Störtebeker donated money for salted herrings, Robin Hood, a lot of heads, a great story, every north German kid thinks he’s really really awesome, Indian tribes did hide treasure, the temple here is awesome, more backstory, Fire Of Ashurbanipal, the rumors, the legends, cool backstory, a mechanism, metal, Iron Shadows In The Moon aka Shadows In The Moonlight, in the Vilayet, iron gods, the pre-carib elder race, waiting for the Lovecraftian, polished up that idea, why is there revenge working out that way, the blood, cracked through the altar stained with blood, the gem, when the blood comes down and gushes out of them, one last blood sacrifice, not enough setup, walking up to the gallows, Queen Of The Black Coast, booby-trapped altar, two endings, the weird version and the desert adventure version, snake bite vs. actual demon, a Weird Tales version, pump up the Cthulhu element, the vengeance, the anger, the hatred, they through their gems into the sea, they’re shiny, pirates want them, you’re a lich, that’s your reliquary, feather from an alien space god, Yag Kosha [Tower Of The Elephant], the work being done, a different kind of story at the end, pretend to be my sister, I need more adventures, she’s 20 years old, old enough for marriage, he’s not doing enough work to explain this island, the writing is solid, the motivation, why didn’t you make it an Aztec temple?, a new market, hot markets, long established, Spicy Stories, Fight Stories, Action Stories, he leaves himself open for more stories, the Helen Tavrel series, Steve Harmer, some other character, trained as a doctor, wounds being treated, written over a couple of days at most, the name “Steve” main character names, eight individual Steves, two Steve Costigans, Post Oaks & Sand Roughs, the most explicit example, when you see Steve he’s putting himself into that character, re-written and patched up into a much better story, a few off things in the ending, The Gods Of Bal-Sagoth, poetic irony, crushed by a statue of a god, setup and paid off, he played with it, it has to be a more important, the setup has to be better, to better effect, the payoff, Raiders Of The Lost Ark (1981), uncovering the Ark of the Covenant, close your eyes, don’t look, we watch, should I close my eyes?, Nazis killed in various ways, one burns up, the reveal that there’s this jewel, the two heroes look away, their bonds are mysteriously cut (by God?), God was really nice, Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom (1984), Metallus/Steve, a much better payoff, a legend about a curse, Steve Harmer has been on this island a few days, a Robinson Crusoe setup, a nice ship, easy coincidences, a meet-cute, skating on his good writing skills, what would have made it something special, conked on the head a couple of times, disabled in one arm, a way of doing things, kicking ass, those Conan stories, the dynamic of Red Nails, a little back and forth, a mass murdering pirate, sleeping with the whole crew, feels kind of juvenile, he would have been 22, sexual experiences, a story problem, a good story, when people poop on Vale Of Lost Women, it cooks as a story, the implied raping, horrible slavery, an outline of an ending, gross racism, super-strong images, very very visceral, I’m not going to force women into sex, Conan doesn’t rape women, what he put into it, if we think of this as the research, this is the necessary work, The Pool Of The Black One, giants, a green pool, a stream of death, a strange Conan story, on the island of weirdness, “Conan, I was swimming”, the adaptation, a big ream of paper, they don’t have the firearms, they’re not from Spain, Zamora, Argos, where she’s Valeria and she’s talking about Conan, her adopted father, a sexual jealousy, who is this Metallus guy, Roy Thomas fucked up, if you put Conan in that role…, makes Valeria make no sense, you can’t change the relationship and not have it no difference, pre-Red Nails, it’s post Red Nail, it should have been Valeria backstory, the Red Brotherhood, Valeria likes adventuring too much, talk to my pirate dad, making Metallus a merchant, Roy Thomas misunderstanding, what makes Roy Thomas a good writer is he’s a copier (and we like that about him), bad decisions, he’s not a Robert E. Howard clone, from a mate to an owner of a ship, one is a hired worker and the other is a guy and a try to make business, why he got beheaded, Hamburg and Bremen, a hired hand, join the pirates, he should become a pirate, Valeria should have contempt for merchants, not enough research on pirates yet, he likes it, Belit’s a pirate, you have to learn about pirates, how Howard loves pirates, an essay about pirates, a biography of Howard, what happened to pirates when they were caught, a photo, a great spike driven through his head, this gruesome picture, sailing under the skull and crossbones, tried to runaway to sea, Robert E. Howard was an only child, he had a duty, everything is explained, Howard didn’t really like authority, gone Steve Costigan, he likes the romance and the adventure, the reality is something he doesn’t like, a good romance, the research for other stories, its better than this, there’s a girl, kidnapped by these pirates, the weirdest of the Conan stories, what’s the deal with this island, stuff happens, pirate Conan stories, The Black Stranger, L. Sprague De Camp, The Treasure Of Trancios, bizarre Conan, Black Vulmea’s Vengeance, a strange Conan story, discussing the character, the main quote, gigantic mirth and gigantic melancholics, his personality is weird, almost sadistic fun, very intelligent, Conan The Socialist, he’s very very intelligent, he’s a schemer in this one, Nudist Camp by Orrie Hitt, the climax, temple collapses, taken up to 11, Riptide by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, the treasure is the sword of St. Michael, this huge underground cave dome, that’s the end of the book, they get one coin, Oak Island, so crazy, its all based on the premise that pirates bury their treasure, zoom out a little bit, no x marks the spot ever, Captain Kidd, innumerable theories, where it could have come from, Vikings!, viking theories, they’re gardening, there’s something down there, 16 seasons into a reality TV show, you can’t admit there’s nothing there, why do you go to the moon?, do you want to make that your particular purpose, could you find something else to do, digging at oak island, that work, that obsession, proof you don’t need any payoffs, here’s a hairpin!, a literally sunk costs fallacy, bankrupted dozens, pretty good, a very Alex movie, Uncharted (2022), checks a lot of checkboxes, rootkits on movie CDs, action adventurey around the worldy Indiana Jonesy, Swordfish, a helicopter with a bus, they do that with Magellan’s ships, Magellan personally circumnavigated, still intact somehow, boarding actions, all special effects, passable entertainment, the kid who plays Spider-man, game lore, the guy on the beach is the voice of the main character, cargo nets and cargo boxes, run over in the sky, well put together?, Nicholas Cage has to find the constitution, a little lighter than National Treasure (2004), a 500 year old ship in the tropics, worth watching, just pirate it, Alex has read every Dirk Pitt novel before Clive Cussler died, goofy, Winston Churchill sold Canada to the United States, definitely not James Bond, amazingly goofy, lend-lease realism, Sahara (2005), evil billionaire, underwater archaeologist, vintage cars, 1929 Dusenberg, John D. MacDonald’s Travis McGee books, a TV show, a private detective sort of setup, people love the series, a colour in the title of each one, The Girl In The Plain Brown Wrapper, Lawrence Block was a fan, people obsessed with the writings of John D. MacDonald, technothrillers, Tom Clancy, Matthew McConaughey and Penelope Cruz, Abe Lincoln was kidnapped, the murder at the theatre was a coverup, ship full of gold, The Da Vinci Code but fun, clones Nazis in Antarctica, streak of ridiculousness, Ghenghis Khan’s tomb, a lost Viking colony, a lost Hawaiian island, weird cult living underwater, Pacific Vortex, The Mediterranean Caper, written with his son, born in 1931, Night Probe, a secret base on the Moon, the Nazi base in Antarctica, Sam Tripoli, Newschwabenland, Klaus Schwab, making everybody eat bugs, a grain of truth, Admiral Perry, did they find a Nazi base there?, no matter what it is, serpent men, George Bush’s back, no matter what it is, its always been written about in fictional literature, The Shadow Kingdom, why George Bush and his friends are all lizard men, its so true, its a metaphor, what resonates with people as being truthful, it resonates because it is true, passed along as a fact about the world, the description of aliens, glowing beings, the greys, H.G. Wells, a little piece, drawings of what man will look like, absorb our nutrients in a bath, he’s making fun of it, the newspaper makes fun of his making fun, 20 years go by, here’s my theory on aliens, The Red One by Jack London, an ancient alien spaceship in the South Pacific, how did that mega-structure get built, space helmets, focused on heads, shrinking heads, a giant ball impacted on this South Pacific island, a literary antecedent that comes out as a conspiracy theory, when we hear something we like we pass it on, watching Stark Trek, a retelling of Plato’s Cave, a retelling of The Tempest, steal from the best!, make some real cash, Connor has the adjectives for us, we find a lost Conan story written by Robert E. Howard, a retelling of Red Harvest, A Fistful Of Dollars and The Maltese Falcon Conan, Conan The Rogue by John Maddox Roberts, steal from the best, classic noir with Conan in the middle, a remake of Yojimbo, a redoing of Red Harvest, the Bruce Willis one Last Man Standing, prohibition era, the only thing that’s missing is the girl, brass bra no less, the new S.M. Stirling Conan cover, The Peshawar Lancers, the British Raj in India in the year 2000, a Russian cannibal cult you say?, cannibal culting is the way to go, not a series!, a standalone!, the audiobook exists, 17 hours, is it 17 hours good?, Space Cadet, Ministry Of Disturbance, Adventures Of Tom Sawyer, Easy Go by Michael Crichton, Drug Of Choice, almost a Philip K. Dick novel, a Hard Case Crime reprint, patients in comas with blue pee, Hollywood Scientology cult, soma, sex island you say?, Jeffrey Epstein island, it’s all in your fuckin head!, super suggestible, do you have tennis, sandpaper your elbow, shitty food you think is delicious, Klaus Schwab: you will own nothing and you will like it, down for At The Mountains Of Madness and The Mysterious Island, a quite long fairy tale, dedicated to the Rani of Sarawak, the super gay guy: Oscar Wilde, Black Priestess Of Varda by Erik Fennel, you’re going to love Nudist Camp by Orrie Hitt, a seething novel, to worship nature, sunbathe unclad, strange sect, voluptous Ada Holden, began to love nature a little to passionately, she-devil, her own glorious body, this is a smut book, Brother And Sister by Donald E. Westlake, Almuric is out tonight!, the second Cora show, time flies, see you on twitter.

Stephen Harmer art by Stephen Fabian for Isle Of Pirate's Doom

Helen Tavrel art by Stephen Fabian for Isle Of Pirate's Doom

SAVAGE SWORD OF CONAN - Island Of Pirate's Doom

SAVAGE SWORD OF CONAN - Island Of Pirate's Doom

SAVAGE SWORD OF CONAN - Island Of Pirate's Doom

SAVAGE SWORD OF CONAN - Island Of Pirate's Doom

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