1979 Philip K. Dick interview with Charles Platt (Santa Ana, California)

SFFaudio Online Audio

This essential interview with Philip K. Dick, conducted by Charles Platt and recorded in 1979 in Santa Ana, California, is sure to be immensely important for Dick scholars. It was recorded for Platt’s book Dream Makers: The Uncommon People Who Write Science Fiction.

Here’s the video converted back to audio, |MP3| and although it isn’t huffduffable, it is downloadable.

Notes:
-Dick was “plenty peculiar” because he read books
-he wasn’t gay despite his hanging around with gay friends
-Quakers were about the only group in the world Dick didn’t have some sort of grievance against
-Dick claims to have been kicked out of university for failing mandatory ROTC training
-Dick read The World Of Null-A by A.E. van Vogt and found in it great inspiration for his ideas about the perception of reality and reality itself
-Dick perceived his high school geometry teacher as a mechanism
Roog and other “interior projection stories”
-Dick’s fiction can be incomprehensible if you do not accept his premise (namely that “each of us lives in a unique world.”)
Martian Time Slip.
-When Dick went to a psychotherapist he was told he was an alcoholic (despite his being a teetotaler)
-“attack therapy”
-totalitarian communities
-why Dick writes about anti-heroes
-paranoia
-“I am inevitably persuaded by every argument that is brought to bare”
-private worlds
The Three Stigmata Of Palmer Eldritch
Time Out Of Joint
-artificial memories / false memories
-the influence of drugs on Dick’s writing was only in the output (using amphetamines he was completing 60 finished pages per day)
-Dick’s one real acid trip
A Scanner Darkly
-cats and cat curiosity
-Carl Jung and “the collective unconscious”
-John Belushi (on Saturday Night Live)
-WWI and the battle of The Marne
-Sergei Eisenstein’s Alexander Nevsky
-WWI and the battle of The Marne
-Dick’s father fought in WWI (in the 5th Marines) and told Philip the stories about it
All Quiet On The Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
-“the god of this world is evil”
Maze Of Death
Ubik
Eye In The Sky
-WWII
-something is terrible is wrong (when everyone cheers a burning man)
-empathy for animals (human and rodent)
-the killing of a rat (haunted Dick)
-Buddha
Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said
-lambs and sheep
Valis (his then latest novel)
-standing on the shoulders of giants
-disorder (evil) -> order (benign)
-Dick claims to have been eccentric but not insane
-“it fired my agent, it fired my publisher” (it being the spirit that was possessing him)
-Dick’s letter to the Roman Catholic Church (about the miracle that occurred)
-conspiracies
-the Cumaean Sibyl informed Dick that the American Republic is in danger of turning into the American Empire (in 1974)
-PKD on censorship (he’s against it, unless you aren’t)
-the War Of The Spanish Lowlands
-Congressman Charles E. Wiggins got letters from Dick (written while he was possessed by the spirit of the Cumaean Sibyl)
-the Nixon tape transcripts were forgeries (according to Dick’s Cumaean Sibyl)
-the Paul Williams article in Rolling Stone on Dick
-Dick’s tutelary spirit promised to return Dick to a garden upon his deathbed
Diana
-Norman Spinrad
-“I’m in the Portuguese States Of America”
-a Chinese finger trap
We Can Build You
-Platt: “Do you recognize the possibility that you were talking to yourself?” Dick: “Yes.”
-multiple personalities
-Archimedes principle
Faith Of Our Fathers
-Ursula K. Le Guin thought Dick was crazy
-pre-socratic philosophy

Dream Makers: The Uncommon People Who Write Science Fiction

[via SFSignal.com and youtubemp3.tv]

Posted by Jesse Willis

Lightspeed Magazine: Bubbles by David Brin (narrated by Harlan Ellison)

SFFaudio Online Audio

Lightspeed MagazineThe September 2011 issue of Lightspeed Magazine (issue #16) features a reading by one of the finest narrators around, Harlan Ellison! There’s also a text interview with the author, David Brin |HERE|. Asked what inspired the story Brin sez:

“Most of the universe is the regions between galaxies, yet no stories are ever set in that vast emptiness. I like a challenge.”

And based on this you might suspect, rightly, that the plot tries to answer a problem in physics.

Lightspeed Magazine - Issue 16 - September 2011Bubbles
By David Brin; Read by Harlan Ellison
1 |MP3| – Approx. 37 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Podcaster: Lightspeed Magazine
Podcast: September 2011
“Most of the universe is the regions between galaxies, yet no stories are ever set in that vast emptiness. In “Bubbles” by David Brin, we get to know Serena, a lonely entity traveling the space between galaxies.” First published in a 1987 anthology, The Universe edited by Byron Preiss.

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #097 – READALONG: The Garden Of Forking Paths by Jorge Luis Borges and Fair Game by Philip K. Dick

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #097 – Scott and Jesse talk with Luke Burrage about about two short stories: The Garden Of Forking Paths by Jorge Luis Borges |ETEXT| and Fair Game by Philip K. Dick |ETEXT|. The audiobook edition of The Garden Of Forking Paths can be found in the Penguin Audio audiobook Jorge Luis Borges: Collected Fictions.

Talked about on today’s show:
The virtues of short stories, metafiction, Fair Game by Philip K. Dick, If magazine, Anthony Boucher, The Garden Of Forking Paths, Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, espionage, fantasy, alternate history, WWI, “start the scene as close to the action as possible”, labyrinth, recursion, the Wikipedia entry on The Garden Of Forking Paths, choose your own adventure, parallel worlds, The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, the Necronomicon, H.P. Lovecraft, “The Garden of Forking Paths is an incomplete, but not false, image of the universe as Ts’ui Pên conceived it.”, why doesn’t Luke review short stories on SFBRP?, Eifelheim by Michael Flynn |READ OUR REVIEW|, The Merchant And The Alchemist’s Gate by Ted Chiang, Gene Wolfe, The Book Of The New Sun, Labyrinths: Selected Stories And Other Writings by Jorge Louis Borges, A Solar Labyrinth by Gene Wolfe, “dense as in wonderfully deep”, Penguin Audio, Collected Fictions by Jorge Louis Borges, how are Fair Game and The Garden Of Forking Paths connected?, “how you read a story matters to your understanding of a story”, Professor Anthony Douglas, “An immense eye gazed into the room, studying him.”, The Twilight Zone, “The damn thing was looking at me. It was me it was studying.” Douglas’s voice rose hysterically. “How do you think I feel — scrutinized by an eye as big as a piano! My God, if I weren’t so well integrated, I’d be out of my mind!”, Colorado, “we are the face in the sky staring down at this paper”, physics, the observer effect, the wave function collapses, Schrödinger’s cat,

“What is Doug? About the best nuclear physicist in the world. Working on top-secret projects in nuclear fission. Advanced research. The Government is underwriting everything Bryant College is doing because Douglas is here.”

“So?”

“They want him because of his ability. Because he knows things. Because of their size-relationship to this universe, they can subject our lives to as careful a scrutiny as we maintain in the biology labs of — well, of a culture of Sarcina Pulmonum. But that doesn’t mean they’re culturally advanced over us.”

“Of course!” Pete Berg exclaimed. “They want Doug for his knowledge. They want to pirate him off and make use of his mind for their own cultures.”

“Parasites!” Jean gasped. “They must have always depended on us. Don’t you see? Men in the past who have disappeared, spirited off by these creatures.” She shivered. “They probably regard us as some sort of testing ground, where techniques and knowledge are painfully developed — for their benefit.”

big brother, 1984, “money and sex and food”, To Serve Man by Damon Knight, Fredric Brown, Space by James A. Michener, Apollo 18, payoff first – ironic twist next, Dick vs. Borges, is Dick cynical?, mountains and religion, the atmosphere is an ocean of air around the Earth, “Colorado is the shallows in the Earth.”, what does ample mean?, science fiction, “Ts’ui Pên was a brilliant novelist, but he was also a man of letters who doubtless did not consider himself a mere novelist.”, is Dick taking the piss?, high-minded Science Fiction, what is the significance of the title Fair Game?, this is not a podcast for people aren’t going to read the books, “I think Philip K. Dick bases all of his stories on his own life.”, Upon The Dull Earth by Philip K. Dick, Luke’s novels, is Luke as clever as PKD and Borges?

Looks like it was inspired by Fair Game by Philip K. Dick

Burrage:

Posted by Jesse Willis

LibriVox: Pioneers Of Science by Sir Oliver Lodge

SFFaudio Online Audio

LibriVoxMe? I like my Science Fiction hard and I like my SCIENCE easy. If you do too, take it easy, have a listen to some of these handy lectures about the hardest of the sciences (circa 1890), we’re talking old school pre-Einsteinian astronomy and physics!

And, to make it even easier be sure to check out the Project Gutenberg etext |HTML| edition too. It has plenty of associated charts, photographs and illustrations!

LIBRIVOX - Pioneers Of Science by Sir Oliver LodgePioneers Of Science
By Sir Oliver Lodge; Read by various
19 Zipped MP3 Files or Podcast – Approx. 11 Hours 14 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Publisher: August 31, 2010
This book takes its origin in a course of lectures on the history and progress of Astronomy arranged for Sir Oliver Lodge in the year 1887. The first part of this book is devoted to the biographies and discoveries of well known astronomers like Copernicus, Brahe, Kepler, Galileo and Newton. In the second part, the biographies take a back seat, while scientific discoveries are discussed more extensively, like the discovery of Asteroids and Neptune, a treatise on the tides and others.

Podcast feed: http://librivox.org/rss/3766

iTunes 1-Click |SUBSCRIBE|

Preface
By Sir Oliver Lodge; Read by Availle
1 |MP3| – Approx. 2 Minutes [LECTURE]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Publisher: August 31, 2010

Lecture I: Copernicus And The Motion Of The Earth
By Sir Oliver Lodge; Read by Kathleen Nelson
1 |MP3| – Approx. 42 Minutes [LECTURE]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Publisher: August 31, 2010

Lecture II: Tycho Brahe And The Earliest Observatory
By Sir Oliver Lodge; Read by James Christopher
1 |MP3| – Approx. 32 Minutes [LECTURE]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Publisher: August 31, 2010

Lecture III: Kepler And The Laws Of Planetary Motion
By Sir Oliver Lodge; Read by Utek
1 |MP3| – Approx. 51 Minutes [LECTURE]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Publisher: August 31, 2010

Lecture IV: Galileo And The Invention Of The Telescope
By Sir Oliver Lodge; Read by Megan Argo
1 |MP3| – Approx. 40 Minutes [LECTURE]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Publisher: August 31, 2010

Lecture V: Galileo And The Inquisition
By Sir Oliver Lodge; Read by Megan Argo
1 |MP3| – Approx. 42 Minutes [LECTURE]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Publisher: August 31, 2010

Lecture VI: Descartes and his Theory of Vortices
By Sir Oliver Lodge; Read by Availle
1 |MP3| – Approx. 47 Minutes [LECTURE]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Publisher: August 31, 2010

Lecture VII: Sir Isaac Newton
By Sir Oliver Lodge; Read by Amy Gramour
1 |MP3| – Approx. 38 Minutes [LECTURE]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Publisher: August 31, 2010

Lecture VIII: Newton And The Law Of Gravitation
By Sir Oliver Lodge; Read by Edward W. LaBonte
1 |MP3| – Approx. 37 Minutes [LECTURE]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Publisher: August 31, 2010

Lecture IX: Newton’s “Principia”
By Sir Oliver Lodge; Read by John Kooz
1 |MP3| – Approx. 55 Minutes [LECTURE]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Publisher: August 31, 2010

Lecture X: Roemer & Bradley And The Velocity Of Light
By Sir Oliver Lodge; Read by Mark F. Smith
1 |MP3| – Approx. 39 Minutes [LECTURE]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Publisher: August 31, 2010

Lecture XI: Lagrange And Laplace – The Stability Of The Solar System, And The Nebular Hypothesis
By Sir Oliver Lodge; Read by Michael Lipschultz
1 |MP3| – Approx. 33 Minutes [LECTURE]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Publisher: August 31, 2010

Lecture XII: Herschel And The Motion Of The Fixed Stars
By Sir Oliver Lodge; Read by Kathleen Nelson
1 |MP3| – Approx. 32 Minutes [LECTURE]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Publisher: August 31, 2010

Lecture XIII: The Discovery Of The Asteroids
By Sir Oliver Lodge; Read by Ali Kazerani
1 |MP3| – Approx. 16 Minutes [LECTURE]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Publisher: August 31, 2010

Lecture XIV: Bessel – The Distance Of The Stars, And The Discovery Of Stellar Planets
By Sir Oliver Lodge; Read by Availle
1 |MP3| – Approx. 29 Minutes [LECTURE]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Publisher: August 31, 2010

Lecture XV: The Discovery Of Neptune
By Sir Oliver Lodge; Read by Ali Kazerani
1 |MP3| – Approx. 23 Minutes [LECTURE]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Publisher: August 31, 2010

Lecture XVI: Comets And Meteors
By Sir Oliver Lodge; Read by John Kooz
1 |MP3| – Approx. 34 Minutes [LECTURE]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Publisher: August 31, 2010

Lecture XVII: The Tides
By Sir Oliver Lodge; Read by J. M. Smallheer
1 |MP3| – Approx. 38 Minutes [LECTURE]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Publisher: August 31, 2010

Lecture XVIII: The Tides, And Planetary Evolution
By Sir Oliver Lodge; Read by Simon Dexter
1 |MP3| – Approx. 42 Minutes [LECTURE]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Publisher: August 31, 2010

[Thanks also to Availle, [email protected], J. M. Smallheer]

Posted by Jesse Willis

Review of Silence Please by Arthur C. Clarke

SFFaudio Review

Finis! Happy Birthday to us!

Science Fiction Audiobooks - Earthlight and Other Stories by Arthur C. ClarkeSilence Please
Contained in Earthlight and Other Stories: The Collected Stories of Arthur C. Clarke 1950-1951
By Arthur C. Clarke; Read by Various
Publisher: Phoenix Books
Published: 2010
Themes: / Science Fiction / Pubs / Sound / Opera / Physics /

What is it about a good pub that makes it such a good place to tell a story? Spider Robinson’s Callahan says “Shared pain is lessened; shared joy, increased.” That’s a good enough reason for me. Someone line me up with a pint, and one for my friend Spider. Let’s see who comes along.

“Silence Please” is Arthur C. Clarke’s first White Hart story of the fifteen that were later collected as The Tales of the White Hart. After the unnamed main character tells us of his surroundings (and how difficult this pub called The White Hart is to find), Harry Purvis sidles up to tell the tale of The Felton Silencer, a device that uses noise-canceling technology to deaden sound over a large area. The best use for such an engineering marvel? Revenge, of course!

The physics behind The Felton Silencer are explained fully. Never has an info dump been more entertaining! And the results make me eye those noise-canceling headphones suspiciously. Best use them only for emergencies.

The presentation is superior – Christopher Cazenove gives this one a dramatic read that comes off like a great British comedy.

A long while ago, Fantastic Audio published a series of audiobooks that contained all of the stories in The Collected Stories of Arthur C. Clarke, a huge collection of Clarke’s short fiction that was published (appropriately enough) in 2001. Phoenix Books is now re-issuing these audiobooks on Audible, at excellent prices. The Earthlight and Other Stories (1950-1951) collection is a great one to start with because in addition to this White Hart story, “The Sentinel” (which later inspired 2001: A Space Odyssey), “Time’s Arrow”, and “Earthlight” are there, too.

Posted by Scott D. Danielson

Review of FlashForward by Robert J. Sawyer

SFFaudio Review

Science Fiction Audiobook - Flashforward by Robert J. SawyerFlashForward
By Robert J. Sawyer; Read by Mark Deakins
9 CDs – Approx. 10.5 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Published: 2009
ISBN: 1433252945
Themes: / Science Fiction / Hard SF / Time Travel / Disaster / Physics / Toronto / CERN / Murder / Mystery / Switzerland /
A scientific experiment begins, and as the button is pressed, the unexpected occurs: everyone in the world goes to sleep for a few moments while everyone’s consciousness is catapulted more than twenty years into the future. At the end of those moments, when the world reawakens, all human life is transformed by foreknowledge. Was that shocking revelation a peek at the real, unalterable future, or was it only one of many possible futures? What happens when a man tries to change it, like the doctor who has twenty years to try to prevent his own murder? How will the foreknowledge of a part of “then” affect the experience of the “now”?

This is the sixth Robert J. Sawyer novel that I have enjoyed. But, I didn’t get into it via the usual route. I started watching the TV series without explicitly knowing that it was an audiobook, that it was by Robert J. Sawyer, or that the novel even existed. But after seeing the TV series go into a mid-season hiatus I discovered the novel, and decided this was the perfect chance to read the story upon which it was based. Having seen the first half of the first season, and having read the novel, I recommend that you don’t watch any of the FlashForward TV series until you have read the audiobook. Both are really good and worthy, but different. The TV show is not spoiled by the audiobook, but seeing how it was adapted should add some value. The novel veers towards Hard SF, whilst the TV show is more of a Hollywood drama with SF leanings.

I personally found a couple of blemishes in the novel’s story that may only bother a few others. George Bernard Shaw and I agree that your particular country is not that interesting just because you were born there. I can understand mentioning TRIUMF and the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory, they are useful to the plot and interesting. But the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC)? I ride it every day, and I don’t care. This and a few other Canada Canada Canada details are like being beaten with a Canadian hockey stick. Does the truly “True Great North” need to be bragged about? How un-Canadian. Another quibble, for me, was Sawyer use of John A. Wheeler’s Participatory Anthropic Principle, where things exist only when observed by a consciousness. I cannot fathom anybody believing this anthropocentric twaddle, the idea should be banished like the dark matter, astrology, and celestial spheres. Humans are neither that powerful nor that important.

Despite these quibbles FlashForward has an obliging rationalistic science slant. Consistency reigns. If you like to hear scientists with reasonable amounts of emotions talking, this book is for you. The conversations were what I expect from physicists. The visions of the future, caused by the flashforwards of the title, were very down to earth and believable. The audiobook also mixes in a modicum of mystery, via a future “who done it.” I predicted some of the events and was pleasantly surprised by others in this not-too-long a story. The ending, though plausible, did not unfurl as I had expected.

Narrator Mark Deakins gave a realistic delivery. His only error being when he twice mis-pronunced “Dyson” with the accent incorrectly on the last syllable, as in “Die-sown.” FlashForward is definitely worth a listen.