The SFFaudio Podcast #639 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: James P. Crow by Philip K. Dick

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #639 – James P. Crow by Philip K. Dick – read by Mike Vendetti. This is a complete and unabridged reading of novelette (43 Minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants include Jesse, Paul Weimer, Marissa VU, and Evan Lampe,

Talked about on today’s show:
Planet Stories, May 1954, little Donnie’s last name, Parks, Jim Crow, civil rights for an oppressed minority, institutional speciesism, taking this allegory too directly, more like China, selfish motivations, say her name [Rosa Parks] didn’t become a public figure until 1955, playing with the name, segregation, structural inequality, intellectual divergences between the robots and the humans, how we define success, W.E.B. Du Bois, cheating on a rigged test, its an SAT, if you make the test its a test that you can pass, a meritocracy test, a robot test, all the robots don’t get perfect answers, A – Z robots, D and beyond, D and above, a robot being mean to a human, it was true he was a human child, a human being in a robot’s world, you smell, The Matrix (1999), Star Trek: Enterprise, human stink, being more intellectually advanced, more logical, they can’t handle smell, the origin of that trope, associated with barbarians, they stink, the opposite test, the Voight Kampf Blade Runner test, the same author, anti-racist, he’s trying to do a story about racism, but class is also tied up so strongly with it, Indian Science Fiction, caste and class, disentangling, what’s he gonna do?, so preposterous things, a true anti-racist story, a problematic story, the cooking test, separate but equal, James P. Crow’s solution is segregation, the time window that we have, the program of integration, Colin Powell, Kamala Harris, Barack Obama, Condoleezza Rice, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, successfully run the empire, become part of the ruling class, upset the apple cart, a shame covering maneuver, the truth’s going to come out at some point, Earth is a reservation, humans can’t leave, Time Out Of Joint, one happy world, a sequel to Second Variety?, robots built during the war, the Leadies, the vidsender, the time viewer, the time scoop, Paycheck, the Future History, just selling stories, using the tools of his imagination over and over again, what the title meant, Jesse’s not American, why his middle initial is P., Jim Crow is a weird etymology, the mid-19th century blackface character, James P. Johnson, a ragtime jazz musician, some hidden meaning, some hilarious joke, at the end of the story, Johnson died in 1955, classical music, a typical Philip K. Dick ending: I wonder what’s going to happen?, the congress, a strange granite cast to his face, Mount Rushmore, a peculiar harness, L87T, who’ll be the government?, The Turning Wheel, liberated humans from overseers, the master race, he’s a cheater, black doctors and famous scholars, a revered place within black communities, famous baseball player, they just can’t be held back, evidence for them, spending time with Donny Parks and his family, spending time with James P. Crow, stories where robots were black, as a metaphor, all the robots are white and all the humans are black, looking at it as an analogy for the United States in the 1950s, an incredibly powerful position, his smile seems menacing, the Humans Are Equal Party, he lecture the robot that they’re not equal, a very subversive thing, very human, the robots are more human than human, seeing history as it was, always working, he is the power, a bit of a dick, a worse robot like character, the husband from Human Is, inhabited by a PahWraith (Deep Space Nine), I’m a sweaty hairy big apey guy and this cute little elfin lady likes me, playing into that fantasy, he’s building, humans are good at entertaining, playing into black stereotypes, good at domestics, body servants [to robots], civil service exams, poll taxing, literacy tests, Protestant tests given to Italians, who grades the test, peasants studying, the Indian civil service exam, Rebecca Rebecca [R] F. Kuang the previously called Campbell Award, the Astounding Award, alternate history, the words boycott and gerrymander, these liberal universities SAT requirements, vocabulary words, when you Marshall your arguments, helping the Chinese elites become the American elites, a landowner who wouldn’t lower the rent, they shunned Boycott, voter suppression, power elites trying to keep in power, a Massachusetts mayor, a vice president with no primary votes, special circumstances, there’s always special circumstances, literally nuked, I could live in the mountains, surviving the initial blast, so good at getting in kid’s heads, Tony And The Beetles, its actually Bajor and he’s a Cardassian, they put us in these situations, the people in power, it feels like Philip K. Dick is smarter than he is, his dad, Edgar, those robots were contributing to society, so much in the fifties, some kind of dystopia breaking up, Vulcan’s Hammer, Solar Lottery, Now Wait For Last Year, Our Friends From Frolix 8, the future is unwritten, a weakness or a wisdom, a dark vision, The Crystal Crypt, send them all back to Africa (Liberia), some people bought into this, controlled by people in power, James P. Crow is the segregationist, his solution is Apartheid, Lesotho, such an American story, a 1955 letter, a Zora Neale Hurston letter to the Orlando Sentinel, the Indian position, a minority opinion, the argument Biden made at the time, a bunch of different reactions, on the side of good [except for being rabidly anti-communist], Booker T. Washington, growth from within, we don’t need white people, how Koreans and Chinese deal with inherent racism in the United States, quotas to keep them out, they just study harder, a cultural acceptance, that’s not our way, why do we want to be part of a system like that, we have our own thing going, Nick And The Glimmung, 1944, The Slave Race by Philip K. Dick, Berkeley Daily Gazette, May 8, 1944, culture and science was among them, worlds undreamed of, war followed in our steps, ambivalence, the robot on top, he can maintain his power, an autocrat, he gave the technology to the oppressor, talking about Lovecraft and the theme of deliberate forgetting, retelling the same story from a different angle, The Alchemist, The Case Of Charles Dexter Ward, trying to suppress knowledge, real historical figures, The Tree, he’s hidden in it a suppressed story, trying to prevent knowledge, always tilling up the earth, At The Mountains Of Madness, forbidden knowledge, civil unrest in the US under Jim Crow, not supportive of integration, not supportive of a rosy future together, fascinating stuff, very subtle, naive going in, we aren’t told, we just see that smile and that power disparity, the servant to him, watching humans construct the first A type, where black people came from, a horrible Lovecraft letter [actually a poem], suppressing the feelings of being an immoral monster, there are differences between people between cultures, passing these tests, should everyone be equal or should everyone be treated equally?, remunerative careers, Grace Park, the only way our family can move up at all, basic survival, being second class, parallel evil lies: “separate but equal” and “work will set you free”, Planet Of The Apes, a Dreamworks option, a technological Planet Of The Apes, what’s so awesome about this, being displaced from this, creating other human beings is something you do in your bedroom or on the beach when on vacation, barnyard animals, Exhalation by Ted Chiang, air pressure differentials, the breeding of human beings could be an invention, what’s natural and what’s unnatural, change your perspective, Roombas cleaning your carpets, dishwashers washing your dishes, everything’s natural (in a certain sense), if you are taken out of your community, are we inferior, dad?, human is a slur, growing up on a planet full of robots, the kids who wants to be Data (on Star Trek: The Next Generation), loose your cultural legacy, why would construct themselves, newly formed, where does the original king come from, patriarchy is from God, every hierarchy constructed themselves, it’s impossible to conceive of a city without police now, your iPhone 6 vs. your iPhone 7+, Reason by Isaac Asimov, apples and eggs, Asimov is more right about robots, Dick is more right about power, apes engaged in archaeology, our people would have discovered this, what is the robot origin myth, the premise of this story and the themes, not a fun read, oh that’s really interesting, had he expanded it, more time with the robots and the family and less time with James P. Crow himself, the core of this story, L87T, your really inspire us, his right gripper, the equality sign, it lingered at the door, he’s turning into Malcolm X, I don’t want to be part of your liberal elite, look at your list scores, a human isn’t the equal of a robot anymore than he’s the equal of a stove, sing act, write plays, make love, scratch sonnets on menus, soft music mixed with wine, both realms are fine, separate spheres, domestic spheres, raise wonderful men, women have an essential role, a non-sinister ending, society, that’s the robot’s question, its not up to you, you don’t need to concern yourself with us here in Liberia, a powerful story, not what you expected, electric jeep, that other twist, a cop-out, kind of wise, everything worked out in the end, an ambiguous ending is preferred, all of the action in the story is superfluous to what happened, he got this power point ready, here’s my ultimatum, no wonder it doesn’t satisfy, a nice glimpse into a very weird and semi-plausible world that’s also a metaphor for our own world, Grace and Ed, too early, untrustworthy, that’s Philip K. Dick sitting at his desk, get that rent paid, an interstellar connection, a city mention?, Ed swallowed nervously, only 300 years, before that the government was reactionary, nowadays we have a liberal government, no human has ever passed a list, brutal, similarities to Frolix 8, a couple versions of post-humans, the psis, the mentat types, the facade of, Tony And The Beetles, The Hanging Stranger, Martians Come In Clouds, amoeba things just passing through, psychic blobs, we just want to relocate because Mars is doomed, black people come to the neighbourhood, a better allegory for civil rights, Philip K. Dick review is Evan, the Philip K. Dick fans page, The White Whale, a favourite book, post-colonial, sickmyduck.narod.ru, Prize Ship, let’s book that, end of January [2021], wow the future, actors aging in place, Terry Farrell, an alien planet that looks suspiciously like southern California, bottle episodes, Paul’s first Star Trek convention, why aren’t you talking about that fight scene you did with your shirt off, a very bad hot take that’s very cold now, why you don’t need the actors to talk, Rene Auberjonois directs some episode, Ferengi talking about Ferenganar problems, a layer of universe, really rich, more drama based, Klingon mother in law doesn’t like it, the naked Betazed marriage ceremony, Marissa needs to get into Deep Space Nine, lots and lots of notes, Evan’s podcast, Sinclair Lewis who dat?, Henry James, technically an American writer, a traitor, the English don’t get him, isn’t Lovecraft a traitor, a British subject, hilarious hair-splitting, Doyle’s , Lord Dunsany’s fine because he’s from island, James Herriot, don’t try to undermine my prejudice, H.G. Wells, the Queen has a place in Scotland, he’s the Prince of Wales not the Prince of England, not just the yoga scenes, its shipping not sexing, sexual politics but no actual sex, alien babies, sex rituals of the planet Risa, rough patches, so many good Science Fiction ideas, counting coup, all the women are huge and all the men are tiny, Federation castaways, it was all about the 80s feminism, stop at the cookie store on the way home, big hair, shoulder pads, 1987, mid-80s, you can hear the set creak, still puppets, Worf is super conservative, most klingons are larping it, Worf intellectualizes it, he’s like Lovecraft trying to be an English lord, General Martok is way chill, I don’t get to have sex with her very often, if you don’t have Quark and Garak and Nog and Rom in your life, the first season of Babylon 5 is rougher, Alfred Bester is a psi-cop, The Demolished Man.

James P. Crow by Philip K Dick - illustration by EMSH

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The SFFaudio Podcast #635 – READALONG: Sin Hellcat by Lawrence Block and Donald E. Westlake

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #635 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, Evan Lampe, and Trish E. Matson talk about Sin Hellcat by Lawrence Block and Donald E. Westlake

Talked about on today’s show:
get Jesse, signature sign-off, Evan has no enemies, 1962, sexually frustratedly desperate, women dropping out, not a good book for me, VR sickness, movement sickness, reading with one hand, listening to this book, laughing out loud, the marital rape scene, get through this thing, i don’t like this book, plow through it, Helen, marrying, having affection for this kid, more money, Jesse can explain it all, the biggest hole in this book, a faulty horrible person, how they end up together, by either of those writers, a naughty romp, astonished by how dreary a lot of it is, his Madison Avenue adventures, casual homophobia, don’t judge it too harshly, two men working in an industry, film students who get hired for a job to shoot some movies (pornography), this is how they made a living, a lot of Lawrence Block’s life, more information about the writing of it, his own publishing company, commissions, is this a book by you?, John Dexter, Andrew Shaw, house names, the Allan Smithee, Nightstand Books, traveling salesman, the wrong back cover, gimme a sex book, stepsisters, stepmoms, frigid wife, lustful wanton, her passion locked within her, unnatural wants, Jodie, wild nights, sin and passion, money hungry soul, lustful wanton, no interest in talking about his wife, a bad polarity, each author, digressing, the way they wrote these, taking turns, they’ve got the cover, they’ve got the premise, 4.5 hours long, trying to avoid writing that chapter, the book starts splitting, kidnap a kid and take him to South America, the flashbacks, was this one you wrote?, I don’t believe so, who’s that?, not fair to Jody, one lust-filled orgy, observe the naked woman, a very strange market, silly, stupid, immoral, more like a Lawrence Block fan, the Chip Harrison books, the Matthew Scudder books, the Bernie Rhodenbarr, the Evan Tanner books, the Keller books, Small Town, kinky sex, pegged, live in ignorance, a good book, non-series books, No Score, a quest to lose his virginity, Chip Harrison Scores Again, a sex romp, a Rex Stout Nero Wolfe mystery comedy, Make Out With Murder, The Topless Tulip Caper, Archie Goodwin, just hilarious, a mystery series, its funny, not a book designed to be read more than 50 years later, still readable, a casual fag, slut talk, the rape scene, a requirement of them getting paid, every scenario, a whole lot of modern readers will not enjoy it, dreary in places, the 1950s consumerism, how to sell it, he’s in advertizing, the car he’s driving, the house, ennui, a successful post-war American man, unfulfilled, the boomers, a novel of the sexual revolution, younger people are having more fun than you, a consumer good, not fulfilling enough, the sexual escapades, caperish, their descriptions of things, ridiculous but fun, Brazil, surprise, the kid didn’t sound like a human being, an adult pretending to be a kid, so cartoonish, like The A-Team, those corporate shenanigans don’t matter, Mad Men, one ad firm, escape the banality of his existence, The Space Merchants by Frederik Pohl and C.M. Kornbluth, an extra scene where he has sex with his neighbours wife, funny lines, if this is a good plot, its a checkbox, adultery with a red-headed neighbour, the drama at the ad firm, betrayal, the author changes his mind, we’re going a different way, The Challenge From Beyond, a round-robin, H.P. Lovecraft, Frank Belknap Long, Robert E. Howard, C.L. Moore, A. Merritt, Stanley G. Weinbaum, Murray Leinster, like playing tennis and not frisbee, Naked Came The Manatee, Elmore Leonard, a meta-story, nobody wants to write this shit, we got enough, still generally pleasurable to read, Greenwich Village sex books, 69 Barrow Street, romance, Deathlands, saving the compound, preppers, remember Blockbuster Video, that section used to exist in bookstores, Pulp Fiction (book store), pornographic enjoyment, shoe brushes, not design, like a newspaper, the library doesn’t keep a copy, dime novels, books not read by people who study literature, Mechanic Accents by Michael Denning, a history of the dime novel, this working class, escapism, historical interest, not reading this stuff [is dangerous], Leopold Bloom, Ulysses by James Joyce, Block is very interested in having sex as a theme in his books, the third Burglar book, The Poodle Factory, she’s the John Watson, Burglars Can’t Be Choosers, a sex book, Westlake lasted a little longer in Science Fiction, disposable paperback books, I write for money, Lawrence Block talking about Donald Westlake, Hard Case Crime, writing with him, a novel about Bob Hope, The Comedy Is Finished, Memory, if it had sold he’d have explored that genre, the publisher said write more of this I can sell more of this, experimenting in the background, Ariel, Random Walk, racewalking, stamp collecting, he writes about what he knows, avenues that are explainable, a weird industry, not J.K. Rowling level of popularity, a guy who starts walking, maybe he’s Jesus (but probably not), collecting followers, a weird idea for a book, to see what sells, a comedic writer with a dark half, A Walk Among The Tombstones, the Matthew Scudder series, an ex-hooker, he knows a lot about sex, he did write these books, a new Lawrence Block and Donald Westlake book, its about the shaping of the industry, he’s still alive and still writing, still putting books out, super-anti-Trump, still engaged, his newsletter is his prose, every once in a while there’s a new Westlake coming out, Lawrence Block is in change of his estate, wrassle control, Westlakes’ stuff is less out there, more people in charge of making decisions, understanding story better, understanding writing better, understanding genres, Nancy Drews are formulas, a cozy feeling, space opera, interstellar stuff, pre-loaded, I feel cheated, the cozy chair, read for pleasure, it can be escape, this genre is very biological, the “biological relief” genre, you wrote a book over a weekend in the 1960s, the third novel, the best of the three, Circle Of Sinners, Hal Dresner, an apprenticeship for Midwood Books, Nightstand Books, lesser writers, 1959, the Hotel Rio, until we had a book, A Girl Called Honey, we stopped when we had a book, “To Don Westlake and Larry Block who introduced us”, $600, So Willing, not a lot of money, Hellcats And Honeygirls, Subterranean Press, a disposable story, fascinating, the used bookstore, you have to ask for them at the specialty bookstore, reading old Playboys, the sex in here is very well written, a sex scene, they don’t know, tab a into slot b, when these guys write those scenes, a nipple here or there, a talent for writing, some very clever wordplay, sex in audiobooks is harder to skim, maybe 10 sex scenes, perfectly good scenes, going to the hotel, the squeaky noises on the bed, a honeytrap, why did he ever marry Helen?, the pleasures of the virgin bride, why?, a lot of people do inexplicable things, to explain why he couldn’t annul the marriage, not a sexy scene at all, the Jewish secretary, she’s got claws, designed to sell to everybody, you’re an old sultan and I’m a young boy, I’m pregnant, designed to sell to everybody, this is the wrong kind of sex for me, frigid, getting somebody’s rocks off, the legality then and now, talking about all the abortions and condoms, right before the birth control pill, “a thingy”, got a baby in her, you feel dirty when you write it that’s why you don’t put your name on it, a lot of excuses, these are fantasy books, it doesn’t go in that direction at all, an original thinker, dark eyed boys, staying at the YMCA, lesbian pulp, gay pulp was not as big, straight pulp, cover up the fact that its a man, most women are probably not masturbating to romance novels, the Deathlands and Wasteland novels, masturbating while holding a gun, sexuality is a lot freer now, pornography is available, free online, there’s no guilt in this book, the culture behind this genre, it is a confessional, Helen Gurley Brown’s Sex And The Single Girl, the Kinsey Report, based on interviews, who do you have sex with?, Dr. Alan E. Nourse, being honest about it, coming out, Helen being frigid is that she’s not interested in men, bodily functions are a disgusting, angel whore territory, loveable whores, a gothic romance, this book of checkmarks, it seems to follow genres, cartoon porn, fake superhero porn movie, The Boys, A Train does a B train, a license to write about all the weird sexual behaviors, a Doctor Pseudonym, a scientific thing, sexual perversion among the hippies, a whole genre in the 1960s, we don’t have these sex books, in the 1930s, these special books, French Follies, manuals on how to do stuff, the intersection between industry and popular culture, books serve a function, how liberated everybody is from guilt feelings, that’s liberating, religious hangups, fairly sophisticated, understanding reality, you should read a romance novel, as a genre they’re not good, gun polishing books, no intellectual heft, that’s what reading should be about, rocketships and rayguns, saying the opposite, science fiction, here’s a way of understanding reality, this particular instance of this fact about reality is important to this story, that’s science fiction, doing another kind of science fiction, Aurora, busting balloons, what’s the reason people don’t like Kim Stanley Robinson’s Aurora, interstellar travel, expanding possibilities, this gigantic part of science fiction: forget about it, the novel’s message is you’re a bad person, anything like Star Trek isn’t science fiction (of a certain type), it hurts in the same was as The Cold Equations does, shrill evil, bad characterization, felt attacked, mundane SF, a manifesto of that movement, is it likely we are going to be travelling to other stars?, generation ships?, walling off, sense of wander, fixing earth and making Earth better, Time Out Of Joint‘s message, one happy world, standing in opposition, protesting a little too much, it strikes too close to the heart, fascists going to space, we shouldn’t be Nazis and go out to space, Philip K. Dick, all a boondoggle, they were conquerors when they left, the grand project of colonizing another planet, we can’t live there, Elon Musk wants to move to Mars, is he deluded, what would Paul say?, from an objective point of view, fix our own planet, Earth will be fine, that’s the reality, there’s no Earth 2, the “Goldilocks zone”, ooh its a possibility, lottery tickets, its not made for us, we have a life support system in our bodies, space mining, maybe they’ll mine the Moon, The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, but why?, 2312, The Green Earth, human colonies across the inner solar system, Icehenge, it has to be something new, a new social system, the problem with Elon Musk, laying keels for starships, Matchess , dilithium crystals are bullshit, keep our feet on the ground, leave the rest of the universe to itself, an impoverishing view, a bad person for liking space opera, the emergent message of the novel, rebuild the earth, science fiction is always about us at the end of the day, when SF isn’t about us, Ted Chiang, the reason he does those aliens, isn’t it weird we can’t communicate with animals, what is communication?, a subset of us, language and time are connected, dogs don’t understand pointing, an invisible line, Arrival, Story Of Your Life, The Great Silence, I wrote this big book to disabuse you of a false belief you have about reality, space opera is bullshit, The Mandalorian, different ways of living, you’re not allowed to watch Star Trek because its unrealistic, following the rules of physics, its painful, they don’t want math to be true, F=MA, you got a certain kind of cancer you’re gonna die, from the book:why the great silence exists, life is a planetary expression, is he wrong?, too – far – away, its something you need to hear, a way of coping, this is the pain that H.P. Lovecraft felt and is true, Douglas Adams, the comedy isn’t finished, some UFO pictures, it’d be cool but just ain’t true, can I still enjoy this thing?, you’re deluding yourself, magic is bullshit, reading fantasy, should we not read J.R.R. Tolkien?, space opera is fantasy, medicine, Kim Stanley Robinson, very fruitful, this book pressed Paul’s button, almost like a religious belief, they don’t grow their own food, O’Neil Cylinder, water’s being recycled from your poo, if we get post-scarcity, the keel’s not the problem, a car in space, cars drive on roads yo, putting a teapot in orbit around Jupiter, no deckplates with artificial gravity, a metaphor, why Star Trek: Discovery doesn’t make any sense, it aint science fiction, its just drama, why its no good, prestige TV might be reaching its limit, they’re not interested in anything except people’s feelings and emotions are drama, old Dexter, noticing it everywhere, its really grating in Star Trek: Picard and Discovery, we weren’t on the starship for his tea Earl Grey Hot, imagine conducting foreign policy without couping other countries, why its horrible, working through his trauma, General Hospital, life is mostly mistakes, the counter keeps going up, I’m being wrong on the internet, you are your worst critic, don’t take Kim Stanley Robinson personally, reviews from strangers, external affirmation is dangerous, not being a real fan, the Hugo nomination, is this good, I’m improving, Jesse knows he’s not the greatest cartoonist, draw a little Groo, Sergio Aragones, those star reviews, Paul takes pictures at the wrong time, a false conclusion, Evan’s teaching art history, Byzantine is worse than Medieval art, what was considered good art, art is chaos now, in the Dutch republic in the 18th century, there is no real, Jason Thompson, The Strange High House In The Mist, the US Department Of The Interior, there’s lot of different ways of doing stuff, if you don’t do well with a beard shave your head, “real photographers”, one perfect shot, how dare you sir, all sorts of different place, talking across continents, Treknomics, applying this stuff to our own planet, the economics of Star Trek, Dreamsnake by Vonda McIntyre, Smoke by Donald E. Westlake, you have any eyeballs, you have no nerves, psychological torment, today’s novels are way too long, they want three books 800 pages long, The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang, an 1800 word story by Edgar Allan Poe, The Stand, non-cringey sex scenes, he’s a committed monogamist, Block is the Jew, incidental to his sexual adventures, wrong about politics, you can like somebody who has bad opinions about stuff, some New Yorker article, “Imma letchoo finish, but Edward Page Mitchell has one of the best cases for this title.” The Man Without A Body by Edward Page Mitchell, A Quest to Discover America’s First Science-Fiction Writer, 1877, hard SF, a talking head, how’s Birch?, really bitey, very vocal, brotherns and sisterns, an interesting conversation, no humans were injured in the making of this book.

Sin Hellcat by Andrew Shaw

Hellcats And Honeygirls by Lawrence Block nd Donald E. Westlake

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

Podcast

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

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

The Player Of Games by Iain M. Banks

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The SFFaudio Podcast #632 – READALONG: Blade Runner (1997) by Westwood Studios

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #632 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, Marissa VU, talk about the 1997 Westwood Game computer game of Blade Runner

Talked about on today’s show:
1997, Good Old Games GoG, PCs, old games on new computers, what style of game is it?, another excuse to talk about Blade Runner, very happily, years later…, Marissa’s introduction to Blade Runner and Philip K. Dick, a point and click adventure, first person shooter, make your guy walk across the room, a meditative game, Myst, King’s Quest, Police Quest, graphics, these are sets, its all Blade Runner, the sounds of Blade Runner, the mood of Blade Runner, its always raining, go through the sewer again, its still a story, still storytelling, replayable, 10 hours, a wordless walkthrough, somewhere deep in the operating system, a designer’s cut, different things that can happen, the sets are the same, randomized at the start, what you’re uncovering, replicant or not a replicant, Jesse likes being one of the horrible creatures he’s killing, Ray, the things we thought were cool in the game, the esper, so fun, so cool, the gun part of the game is the least good part of the game, the interactions, the surprises, moving towards a particular answer, NieR:Automata, different endings, work your way down, an ending you want, 13 or 26 endings, moonbus, shoot them all right before the end, good job slick, killing replicants, the ending from the theatrical cut of Blade Runner, The Shining, a happy ending, the weird fake happy ending of Brazil, drive off with the 14 year old sex slave gynoid, drive off with the adult replicant, drive off alone, the moonbus ending, a hard game to find out what you’re missing, unrelenting in a way games were back then, you had to know DOS, VGA graphics, the moonbus track, that can’t be me, wait a second I might not be what I think I am, is it a real dog?, we’ll see, Deckard and Gaff, little people, landed off the coast, that moonbus, a parallel story to the movie, a lot more world building than we see in just the world , for example the cheese, did you find the cheese?, real cheese in her fake jerked chicken, food and meat, Mercerism, everybody in this society must be vegan, animal murder, this game is a bridge between the movie and the original novel, the people who made this game paid fucking attention, Philip K. Dick’s other novels, robot Lincoln, We Can Build You, Clovis is the Ray Batty of this story, the actors, James Hong as the eye guy, Jeff Garland, Brion James at the Yukon Hotel, Tortoise? What’s that?, he’s only 4 years old, J.F. Sebastian, the movie brings back memories of the game, the wok restaurant, landing on the police headquarters, Tyrrel’s sunlit room, a lot of sewers, the music, the enhancement, the background voices are all separated out, very grainy, graininess, a whole “enhance” meme, a wonderful wonderful game, nostalgia, its too smooth, claymation smooth, 8-bit love, impressionism, they have the ability to do it another way and are choosing not to, more like a novel, more like a story, walkthrough vs. play, that’s what I look like, Blade Runner 2049, unresolved plot threads, full of cutscenes, form of dialogue, change your demeanor, Fallout 3 and 4 and New Vegas, conversation wheels, good cop bad cop random cop, the more options you’re given the more immersed you are, you can put yourself in there, look Marissa you’re in the book!, Ray McCoy, we just get into this when reading novels or playing games, away from Paul’s life, obsessively strange, a rat you have to shoot, frustrated or playing around, what makes it more immersive, we theoreticalize our own behavior in the real world with no saves, if I just rewound five minutes, somethings that humans do, an important and human thing, why stories are so important to us, immersive in a different way, mid-1990s cut-scenes, Mass Effect, Call Of Duty, get over with the briefing, saving, give kids computer games for school, sometimes bad things happen, I didn’t want to be a murderer of all these replicants, what good relationships are, can I take that back, a meta-consciousness, abusive to an animal one time, endangered by the narratives we tell ourselves, meta-cognize, a pretty terrible story, the immersion level is so incredible, I’ve unlocked something, I’ve got a lot of suspects, oh, I’m smart, notebooks and maps for video games, manuals, helplines, Zork, Invisclues, copy protection wheels, Space Quest, incorporate horrible copy protection schemes into the gameplay, Starflight, a black map with red ink, a level of writing very focused on making gameplay aspects cool, a little subgame, the arcade, Red Alert: Command And Conquer, games of the period, Street Fighter, a spinner flying simulator, a very old fashioned VR game, a Moonbus game!, The Electric Ant, other Blade Runner games, Blade Runner Revelations, fiddly, he’s got a bomb in there, Google Daydream, a revelation, oh I see how it went, great storytelling, point and click adventures, this format, solving a murder, you’re a murderer, corruption and double dealing, very noir, hunting down and executing escaped slaves, how vegan this society must be, we have to infer that there’s no shrimp, fake insects for fake snakes, artificial goat, artificial cow, simulated feelings, we’ve thought our way out of feeling bad, R2D2 and C3PO are slaves, restraining bolts, wiping memories, breaking up families, they’re droids, skinjobs, SJs, time in a movie is immersive, that extra length of time, you’re world is changed, you’ve had an experience, the re-playable thing, shifty or grumpy?, shoot them, a found family, the evil human who has collaborated in the destruction of a people, go with the replicants, they’re underground railroad, only one years old, empathy towards to these semi-living creatures who didn’t ask to be born [like us], Logan’s Run by William F. Nolan and George Clayton Johnson, how are we going to treat other people, other beings, Jesse’s dishwasher is his slave, the more feedback we get from it, puppies struggle, The Player Of Games by Iain M. Banks, uncovering, side-quest, Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams, spend a little time thinking about the construction of the world, its the world, the basic premises of what’s going on, robots to replace ecosystems, make everybody slaves, the euphemisms, retirement, always missing the pet-shop scene, fewer sewers, $10 on Good Old Games, the walkthroughs, its more like you get to stand on a balcony in Blade Runner Los Angeles, looking up All Dogs Go To Heaven (1989) on DoesTheDogDie, J.S. Sebastian is vet tech for a fake animal place, very solid, Maggie!, ridiculous, clunky early videogame logic, incredibly passive in a certain sense but it doesn’t feel that way, the writers and executors of the game thought really hard about how to make it an experience and not a product, the faithfulness, wandering around the Bradbury Building, the soundscape is amazing, real-life locations, another medium, such a good idea as a show, different kinds of games, less story, The Last Of Us, good story is more important than almost anything else, PC Gamer magazine, Gary Whitta, Star Wars: Rogue One, Denzel Washington, The Book Of Eli, meditating on what good storytelling is in games, how to make the story really interesting for your participating audience, why is this story good?, narrative design in video games, hearing game designers talk about story, the audience’s mind, pushing essay writing, more essays Jesse, understand whether the game is worth buying or not, writing designed to create interest in something, school uniforms are a good idea, Battle Royale Games are here to stay (or a passing fad), why essay writing is interesting, a form of expression, a medium, a whole cultural legacy designed to fill a function, being wry and sly and ironic, what the difference between an 85 and 86 would be, reading the article and seeing the pictures, show me that gameplay is the thing that it has, Sid Meier’s CIVILIZATION has the gameplay, playing with people you know, Scriptlock podcast, 2049 took inspiration from this game?, a few of the vibes?

Blade Runner 1997

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The SFFaudio Podcast #629 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: Rastignac The Devil by Philip José Farmer

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #629 – Rastignac The Devil by Philip José Farmer – read by Gregg Margarite for LibriVox. This is a complete and unabridged reading of the short story (1 Hour 58 Minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants include Jesse, Will Emmons, and Trish E. Matson.

Talked about on today’s show:
Fantastic Universe, May 1954, no illustrations, a French publication, big long mustache, lion statue, a spirit coming out of the lion, all metaphorical, or a particular satire, an elaborate joke, would make a great cartoon, Fords and Renaults with feet, my Renaut is tired, interesting and imaginative, only for students of the genre, not a good entry point, unlikeable characters, exploring ideas in a jokey way, a satire of a certain thing, a little piece of history, 19th century French adventure literature, The Three Musketeers, making fun of or having fun with, the playful joking, more exploration, particular institutions, Jesse is not an expert on the French Revolution, pre-revolutionary France, the three institutions, political points, non-political points, the last three paragraphs, bad news for Trish and Will, Skin, a substitute for a conscience, Candide by Voltaire, the old evil of alcohol, they plunged into the whirlpool, the discussion philosophical, front loading the infodump, this is a novel but I can’t sell it as a novel, Christopher Paul Carey, this is in the public domain, not happy with it, enough material, more material than The Green Odyssey, a stock for a soup, The Lovers, 1952, the parent of the bug-woman, New Gaul, the Beautiful Land, why there’s so much material here, the Israeli Confederation, what makes the story work, her stuff is in Hebrew, true history that was corrupted devolved knowledge, just another interesting , The Lovers (the 58 page), A Woman A Day, Moth And Rust, World Of Tiers, Barsoom on one level, ancient Greece, Doc Savage, Tarzan, To Your Scattered Bodies Go, always exploring some sort of cool idea, how to knit it together, an interesting book, not fully grasped, The Three Musketeers, he says what he means, the skins were our consciences, the French Revolution is happening at the end of this story, I’ve got quite a gloss on that, specifically a Science Fiction story, changelings, a lot of metaphor happening, fairy tale, eating meat turns you violent, unshakeable belief, the openings, after the editorial introduction, Rastignac had no Skin., reading aloud in your inner mind, having no skin and being happy, deep underground, very very very playful, why are you telling us all this, pulling the rug out from under you every sentence, wordplay, see what the consequences of that are, the King’s Muckateers, three prison escapes is illegal, a chronic stiff neck, his philosophy of violence, an attack on the church, an embrace of the church, what happened to the Church of England, gay priests, atheist priests, we’re all on the same team, Anglican equivalents in Canada, when will the NDP be neo-liberally corrupt, just give it time, everything becomes corrupt and then there’s a revolution, the blood drinking, a metaphor, eternal life through drinking blood, Catholics, not eating meat is common in religions, not made explicit enough, Jesse doubts he’s not smart enough, watching Spaceballs and never having seen Star Wars, Blazing Saddles vs. Men In Tights, Jesse feels like Worf in Sherwood Forest, I am not a merry man, a canon of these kinds of stories, not good at limiting himself to one thing, The Other Log Of Phileas Fogg, just read it as an amusing little jaunt, planetary romance, generations later, different planet, the downed spaceman, a promise unfulfilled, with the six ships in the sky orbiting, why six?, that number is to refer to something, what’s happening in France today, why their culture is so heavily effected, how long a legacy, wash over, a dutch standup, something wrong with the text, ebook editions, Despoilers Of The Golden Empire by Randall Garrett, a spaceborn retelling of the conquest of Mexico, Star Trek, they’re obviously inferior, thus died Francisco Pizarro, there’s no such thing as spoiling it, Frank Kelly Freas, they didn’t believe in spoilers back then, we cant even tell them apart, it writes itself, a good science fiction metaphor gets behind your defenses in a way direct assaults can’t, that’s a metaphor, what is the philosophy of violence, lenient government that allows underground cells, literally laissez-faire, what’s true, free speech vs. actually killing people vs. overthrowing institutions, fish not meat, his buddy, Ssassaror, the changeling thing, residential schools, there’s no exchange, a kind of critique of religion, a Voltaire like character, revialed, exiled and revered, something very basic, daring to be a revolutionary, a free speech system, rejecting the church, rejecting the skin, its a vampire, acting like a parent, a superego, alcohol, in vino veritas, he’s got a skinful, glimpses of light, pre-revolutionary France, powerful church, distant king, nobody’s the good guy, Jesse doesn’t get it, Lusine, husband trying to abandon his native wife, he’s attracted to her because he’s repulsed by her, irredeemable, a conversation that absolved her of her sins, supporting her father, Rastignac’s approval, she’s deranged throughout the entire story, Jesse doesn’t even get the title, cognac, we don’t feel alcoholism, Edgar Allan Poe’s The Black Cat, perfectly, special attention, its actually a satire of temperance, the long legacy of temperance, teetotaling, much better understood, on the head of a keg of alcohol, not an accident, best understood through the light of his excuse, he blames it all on alcohol, a real phenomenon, who’s responsible?, AA, the higher power is attached to your body, created by the government and tended by scientists, is alcohol the devil, Balzac uses Rastignac in a number of stories, a letter that’s me talking about…, perfectly enjoyable on its own, the car chase, infodump vs. action, the jump button, an elite car, Renault because its funny, he’s just playin, people who are in cultures, eternal things, everything is cultural, mutable, a linguistic expert…,

Everybody knew the Church had been outlawed a long time ago because it opposed the use of the Skins and certain other practices that went along with it. So, no sooner had that been done than the Ssassarors, anxious to establish their check-and-balance system, had made arrangements through the Minister of Ill-Will to give the Church unofficial legal recognizance.

who are they, do they have to be anyone?, the Minister of Ill-Will, accuracy in naming?, the containment strategy, if you want to go to Oxford you have to become an Anglican, dilutes the meaning, religious whackjobiness, a more honest system, the government persecutor, Ministry of War, in our self-deluded society, the Ministry of Defense, the War Department, truth in the naming, we won’t launch any aggressive wars, unk-unks, Secretary of Defense, sec-def, just going to the meeting is the corruption, we end up where we are, a news report about all the wars, it just doesn’t happen anymore, isn’t that interesting, an interesting point he’s making, Jesse feels it but doesn’t fully grok it, Jesse wishes there was a podcast that could totally explain it, Will is still trying to grok it, LibriVox, Heel, it needs to be brought to the surface, Easter eggs, a narrative you can enjoy, a bit of fun, this should be longer vs. this should be shorter, almost none of it goes deeper, an amazing dystopian device, biology, an amazing novel, a trilogy or a series, wrong skin, half skin, linked to all the other skins, its brilliant, its your culture, how that even happened, getting that idea into the SF arena, you have to wear this parasite, that he never calls it out like a parasite, interesting effects, biological adjustment, Octavia Butler’s Bloodchild, “Rastignac was sure… something”, it is definitely something, To Your Scattered Bodies Go, amazing scenes, building up a world, he doesn’t have a good explanation, he’s a seat of his pants guy, a core reveal, a Philip K. Dick short story, an amazing thing (and then there’s nothing), everybody dies and wakes up in Riverworld, a metaphor for being born on Earth, Hermann Goering, Mark Twain, this caveman dude, Richard Burton, no satisfactory reveal, genes wanna make more genes is not narratively interesting (it is narratively sad), free floating as true (even though it was false), how many Riverworld books, offered him too much money so he wrote book 5, what the point, ethical aliens, reach enlightenment and join this oversoul, hints, The Dark Design, a pointless war, a point about war, the blimp woman, the only queer character in any Philip Jose Farmer story, has dated Jack London before, secret truth, this book has no point, the ending of Rastignac is really good, so condensed, it needed to be way longer, curlicues and ornate spins, interesting vs. amazing, what people say about The Lovers, everyone looks like a sphinx and is a hermaphrodite, 1950s, 1960s, Joe Lansdale, Farmer’s electric brain, had Farmer submitted a script to Star Trek, a fanzine article, every week you got to a new planet (unless there’s a space anomaly), the planet of the counting coup black people, the plains Indians and the Moors, how do you deal with a culture that’s different, the presenting of a weird culture, because of his electric brain, the angst driving Farmer’s writing, he’s wearing the skin, I’ve been a god this whole time, The Rebels Unthawed, The Shadow Of Space, if you go really fast you gain mass, bigger than the universe, Sketches Among The Ruins Of My Mind, Farmerphile, issue 9, gems within,

Rastignac became brisk. He said, “We go to your castle, Giant. We use your smithy to put sharp points on our swords, points to slide through a man’s body from front to back. Don’t pale! That is what we must do. And then we pick up your goose that lays the golden eggs, for we must have money if we are to act efficiently. After that, we buy—or steal—a boat and we go to wherever the Earthman is held captive. And we rescue him. “And then?” said Lusine, her eyes shining with emotion.

“What you do then will be up to you. But I am going to leave this planet and voyage with the Earthman to other worlds.”

Silence. Then Mapfarity said, “Why leave here?”

“Because there is no hope for this land. Nobody will give up his Skin. Le Beau Pays is doomed to a lotus-life. And that is not for me.”

Archambaud jerked a thumb at the Amphib girl. “What about her people?”

“They may win, the water-people. What’s the difference? It will be just the exchange of one Skin for another. Before I heard of the landing of the Earthman I was going to fight no matter what the cost to me or inevitable defeat. But not now.”

Mapfarity’s rumble was angry. “Ah, Jean-Jacques, this is not my comrade talking. Are you sure you haven’t swallowed your Skin? You talk as if you were inside-out. What is the matter with your brain? Can’t you see that it will indeed make a difference if the Amphibs get the upper hand? Can’t you see who is making the Amphibs behave the way they have been?”

Rastignac urged the Renault towards the rose-colored lacy castle high upon a hill. The vehicle trotted tiredly along the rough and narrow forest path.

Philip K. Dick fun stuff, this is a scene from something that’s been re-imagined, this is an adventure story, a noisy car, dense and foggy, a very peaceful planet, stealing of babies is fine, because they don’t have alcohol?, a whole lot of levels, wanna mess up your life go to the bar and get in a barfight, liberté, égalité, fraternité, why is the Earth woman in this story?, a common plot element, it doesn’t need to be here, it doesn’t add anything to the story, that leads to a way off, spark a revolution, a chinwag about stuff, he started a riot, a promise of more alcohol?, where’s the evidence for that?, that would just be amazing, how to accept the skins, a classic of science fiction (in terms of ideas), adopt our ways, a YA Farmer book, super-rich and yet not satisfactory, a psychedelic art comic or cartoon art style, re-imagine it, very visual, without any piece of art to guide us, a LEGO line, very appealing to children of all ages, epees, rapiers, a coach Renault with a working jump button, a rosy coloured lacy castle, the underground cell set, the greatest LEGO movie ever, LEGO New Gaul, with so many good ideas, alas, but still, Trish would like to recommend a complete inversion of this story, Emergency Skin by N.K. Jemisin, becoming uninhabitable, centuries later…, live cooperatively and save the planet, these people are crazy they’re bad they’re obviously inferior and you need to leave”, on Audible, standalone, generally a recommendation, people are paying attention to this story, The Blasphemers, Phil is really neurotic about religion, semi-autobiographical reflections about things, have the children going to church, Phil’s lifelong battle with predestination and Hell (being traumatizing), trying to find a way to relate, Farmer almost became a Scientologist, you have to leave your wife, Sufi stuff, an extended metaphor for some aspect of Sufism, semi-podcasting life, be interesting, be interested, he’s writing stuff for sale but that’s only half of the reason he’s writing it, he was always working on something, working on your philosophical ideas, ambivalent about religion, fascinated and always searching, uniquely American, specifically intensified in American life, religious freedom, fractalization of churches, some weird religion is starting up, Falun Gong, New York, propaganda newspaper, the counter arm of the anti-Chinese government.

Fantastic Universe, May 1954

UTOPIA - Rastignac The Devil by Philip Jose Farmer

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The SFFaudio Podcast #628 – READALONG: Rage by Stephen King

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #628 – Jesse and Evan Lampe talk about Rage by Stephen King (writing as Richard Bachman)

Talked about on today’s show:
Richard Bachman, Getting It On, not what I thought it would be, a school shooter book, only two people, a lot less group therapy, The Breakfast Club where the teacher gets shot, Lovecraft and Philip K. Dick, working his real life problems, psychologically traumatized by growing up, On Writing, Danse Macabre, single mom, he was witness, assuming schools are different today, out of the institution, it is not like it was, way less, psychological bullying, the teachers are the prison guards, you don’t squeal, it really is a prison, obsessed with bullying, It, the whole town is kind of sick, Carrie, seems kind of unrealistic, pervasive evil, neutral or brutal, The Long Walk, Roadwork, The Running Man, Thinner, The Regulators, parallel to Desperation, Blaze, one of his more Philip K. Dickian novels, an official photo of Richard Bachman, Richard Stark and Donald Westlake, everything comes out like Bach, The Dark Half, Thad Beaumont, told the father, comic crime, a Navy or Marine recruiter, a helluva lot of psychology, a very strange book, why this stuff happens, school shootings make a lot of sense, you can’t leave, if you can’t escape you lash out, the centerpiece of young people’s lives, if you do have rage inside you, projected at your guards and fellow prisoners, the math teacher, the narrator viewpoint character has something wrong with him (and also grievances), how what people say and do haunt people, too grown up?, particularly sophisticated, Stephen King re-reads, this isn’t there anymore, his kids are a little too grown up?, they aged the kids up, magic, things that 11 year olds believe that 14 year olds don’t, The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, infantilizing young people, its too late, a lot of truth in this book, so pervasive in the culture, The Shining, the father figure, the genealogy of evil, he’s an alcoholic, mother issues, family issues, cycles of horror, every 28 years, brainwashing her daughter, something King grappled with for decades, written in high school, contemporary references, the math teacher is a monster, he’s being haunted, he doesn’t attack the students, fellow prisoners, prisoners of their nation, prisoners of their community, prisoners of their religion, social stigma of being a slut, backstory, telling ghost stories, takes on the role of teacher, they get it on, getting passed all the bullshit and the horror and secrets that are making their lives miserable, pedagogy, industry standard, what do you think, let’s engage on this, he’s a better teacher, facilitate learning among students, I’m at BU now, The Postman Always Rings Twice by James M. Cain, raw and short, 211 pages, just over 5 hours in the audiobook, one long walk, The Long Walk, only 100 people do it each year, virtually everyone fills out that form, a physical checkup, to do with the draft, the war, the guy who sells books to the school, his dad’s a creepy fuck, walking from Maine to Boston, there’s no end point, that’s life, a metaphor for life, very dark, it transforms itself rather oddly, why he withdrew the book, shooting up your school, kind of like a play, we learned something here today, another trope of his, seductive leader, Randall Flagg in The Stand, shining is King’s psychic ability, Charlie Decker shines, a very good book, an interesting book, this peculiar institution is ongoing, its global, when Jesse’s tutoring, realizing to them individually, the ability to get inside the kid’s head, building up skills and information, teaching them to ride bikes (with sentences, or analysis), use the magic words, a skill set you’re trying to impart, roll call, escaped for the day, Jesse has had good teachers, forced to be there, why or what was happening, you’re not allowed to skip, game the system, school was punishment, university was completely different, they take an exam at the beginning of the book, all the other kids are dressed down, you idiots, there’s no test, in a more horrible environment, modelling what they’re doing, you can’t do that with a whole classroom full of kids, they don’t know what they don’t know, its impossible, a disaster, 35 kids in a class, 20 is conceivable, some teacher who are capable of great work in the classroom, your attention is so divided, how normal animals work, mom bears eat blackberries, there’s no school for animals, a flock of birds, a herd of sheep, what we’re doing kind of is institutionalizing a thing, artificial parent, sometimes they’re horrible, their litters are to big, more malevolent, your pay determines how valuable you are, Elon Musk must be a genius because he’s so rich, the teacher has the right answer, showing your work, trains us for capital industrial society, obedience, the humanities (are to blame), S.E. Hinton, these are your great writers, these are your national heroes, expanding the hero set as we become more woke, an immigrant culture, 1870s, this twitter thing that happened S.E. Hinton author of The Outsiders, really good reads, reassign what you were assigned, about young kids, a JD novel, apparently alive, my students love your novel, thank you for your beautiful work, they can read a book, graphic novel, she’s a snob, a hierarchy of art, novels aren’t at the top, short stories, novellas, plays, TV movies, podcasts can be pretty amazing, her objection is interesting, make kids not hate school by showing school is totally hateable, empathizing with people of general good character (in poor circumstances), a teacher handing out copies of Rage, self-banned, shooters with this book in their locker, lifting the scales, this institution is super pervasive, half online, Michel Foucault, prison, asylum, institution, to serve modernity, the history of the prison, China, 80 years old, jail, confinement is the punishment, copying the west, public schools are very very new, what are we going to do with them, a fake labour market, what’s an alternative to prisons, tutoring is an alternative, monasteries, apprentices, student loans and free college, the industry needed skilled workers, cobblers or bakers, funded by taxpayers, the bosses don’t pay for it, it has never been the standard, why the university feels so different, exams and attendance, the lecture hall vs. the classroom, you can feel it, truancy officers, hall passes, the school to prison flow, black people in the States, being uppity in school, uppity into school, a feeding system for prison, residential schools were super-evil, away from their parents, their language, physical and sexual abuse, the legacy is not good, you can generationaly heal, Joe Hill, other problems, your society isn’t just your parents, recruitment for the war machine, another institution, professional soldiers and standing armies, clans and border incursions, the legacy of institutions gets deep inside, roots that are hard to see, penetrating layers of psychology, we’re in that forest, cultural interrogation, the asylum, Nurse Ratched, watch it if you want, asylums are the go to place for horror, reform out, group homes and group therapy, the abuses were so horrible, generational desensitization, co-op homeschooled, the default is the parent is a religious nut, overly protective, wonky, hippie, regular parents are desensitized, how crappy school is, just a thing you have to do, all sorts of things to hate about the institution, the only exception is politicians, a badge of honor, I went to a public school, I suffered with all you plebs, Pete Buttigieg, the psychological impact of not going to school, South Park pandemic special, psychological damage for *not* going to school?, watching YouTube videos, there’s a Philip K. Dick novel, The Long Walk was a depressing grind, there is no liberation, this is a liberation book, electroshock therapy, psilocybin, megadoses, parental expectation, what they think education is, what education actually is, memorization, maybe there’s a better way, use is the better way, start using those vocab, silly at the beginning, problems in the world you would like to communicate, we won’t like the ranking, it gets in students heads too, inured to education, but I don’t want to spoil it for you, becoming institutionalized, that mental illness thing, if he can’t break the system then what he did was horrible, did the prison guards have it coming?, getting up at 5am, the kids are overworked, they don’t have a life outside of school, that’s bad, we should all be in jail for child abuse, in a few hundred years, those overseers were as much to blame, strong union in British Columbia, criticize the curriculum, English 10, Shakespeare’s amazing, fill in the blanks, essays, online schooling, more common, self-paced, a list of books you need to read and reflect on in your writing, which character said this?, guess what the writer of the exam said was the right answer, get a stack of book, you’re gonna dig this book, not interested in reading at all, everybody has to be a novel reader, the problem with grading, art history in-class analysis, cultural, thematic, evaluation, judging a slug on how well it climbs trees, who can climb trees best, he chooses the math teacher, you have to have a certain level of math, math is really important and really interesting, if you’re a sailor, if you’re an engineer, a contractor, a cashier, quadratic equations, whose ever used Euclid, prove angles on a triangle, its interesting, let’s keep this idea and system alive, I’m for this thing, you don’t have to be an expert on Ancient Egypt, what school should be is a buffet, they can pursue it at a higher institution, in high school science we dissect animals, prepared slides, not literally science, pushing the boundaries of what we know, experimentalized, that’s not what you’re doing that’s not your job, Jesse teaches essay writing, the essay format was very popular in the 16 to 18th centuries, essay writing in first grade, did King do a disservice to humanity by self-banning this book, as a school shooter book, group therapy, he’s a horrible person, he uses foul language, Red Letter Media’s review of The Friday The Thirteenth sequels, should we ban slasher films?, slasher films are awesome, the close observer, other King books are so much worse, Apt Pupil is way worse, the new right, neo-nazis, a Nazi who got away, worse characters, he’s a popular writer, quoting Wikipedia, the Virginia Tech shooter, Cain Rose Up, Guns, the preface to Blaze, does it save lives?, the Columbine high-school massacre, Columbine by Dave Cullen, Bowling For Columbine (2002), what they always do in the media, Doom causes school shootings, blaming Dungeons & Dragons, Tom Hanks becoming mentally ill by playing D&D, Evan’s pastor, C.S. Lewis is okay, you shouldn’t do this: Jesus, another institution, sexual repression, the concerns of people’s reputations, what the truth is, all sorts of stuff, I’m not a devil worshiper surprisingly, what actually happened, folie à deux, Klebold and Harris, warning signs, the police fucked it up real good, school lockdowns, lockdown is not a good idea, a kind of mania for control, punishment, unquestionable policies, playing with guns, buying guns, making explosives, hate for people, extreme hate for people, the reason she was killed, are you a christian, she said yes, how the United States works, what Colorado was, Mork And Mindy was set in Boulder, a big Air Force state, military education, Robert A. Heinlein near Cheyenne, this mountain central state, a new western frontier, a batman movie shooting, a different kind of state, religion, school, military, set beliefs, you don’t fit into those, resentment can build up, boys are good at killing people because they have hands, machetes, it’s one way to go, its kind of like cancer, if you have enough cells you’re going to get it, Richard Bachman’s book are not the key to the school shootings, understandable, that person who he was, he was very angry, he was full of horror at reality, he reserves his anger for Trump now, this viewpoint character is most like the author, not the book Jesse was expecting, Pinter-like, its never gonna be a TV movie, getting out graduating and telling the truth, everybody masturbates, I’m a virgin, a good read, an interesting read, you shouldn’t skip rage, teenage sexuality, the one hold out, he’s a mirror to the narrator, male vs. female sexuality, there’s so much moralism about sexuality in King’s early work, alcoholism, drugs, Doctor Sleep, Revival, recovery narrative, monogamy, The Stand, 99.9% of Americans die, good wins out, THIS IS MY WOMAN, moralistic about monogamy, he’s taking what he likes from the institution, this is literally the problem, raging against the institutions all around him, The Running Man is such an awesome critique of American capitalism, Christian moralizing is not for me, some religious leader didn’t like the way the institution was running things, a lack of long term vision, seems like a nice guy, the killings, should I do a show on this?, Jesse was worried, Jesse shouldn’t worry, other problems that he’s ignoring, he has a legitimate grievance, make it about veganism, crazy people, TV shows, leaders on television, not so subtle hints, legacy of horror, changing the reality violently, an incident in a fictional character’s life, the loyal friend who is going to come visit him, getting some truth out and making people feel better, we all pee, she doesn’t pee or poo, you can’t admit to something like that, could have happened in a church, going postal, workplace shooting, interesting book, fits so smoothly into Stephen King’s other works, literally defying King, a 2012 Guardian review, asked Stephen King, what cowed media we have, fucking terrible journalism, its very impressive, 1966, good job Stephen King.

Signet - Rage by Richard Bachman

Signet - Rage by Richard Bachman

New English Library - Rage by Richard Bachman

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