The SFFaudio Podcast #785 – READALONG: A Time Of Changes by Robert Silverberg

Jesse, Paul Weimer, Terence Blake, and Jonathan Weichsel talk about A Time Of Changes by Robert Silverberg

Talked about on today’s show:
Self-bearer, to outsiders, we are going to talk about, a novel, serialized in Galaxy, March April May 1971, won an award, a nebula, the competition, The Lathe Of Heaven by Ursula K. Le Guin, The Byworlder, Half-Past Human, The Devil Is Dead, Margaret And I, interesting Poul Anderson, arguably her best book, strong stuff, meandered all over the place, T.J. Bass’ reputation, To Your Scattered Bodies Go, Philip Jose Farmer, a scattered mess, The World Inside, a good book, liked, great, Paul has questions, liked the world and the worldbuilding, quasi-sister obsession, an incest book, lusting after his sister, takes his drug with his sister, the incest trope, incest is a big erotic thing, step mom, step sis, step bro, step-sister, it’s fun, the forbidden fruit, a forbidden love story, by the customs, bond brother, bond sister, it would be seen as incest, step-siblings, the only people they’re allowed to open up to and talk to, it makes sense within the world, you need to talk to people to fall in love with them, marriage and procreation is not about love, love is a dirty word, a very restrictive society, natural human impulses, puritanical catholic society, drainers, leave town, going for a sexual massage, literally it didn’t happen, a public drainer, a heterosexual dud jerked off by a professional whore, homosexuality, betrayed the confessional, all from our guy’s POV, such an important social outlet, we don’t see that part of the world, such an important social outlet, Catholic church, unfortunately, confessional booth, lawyer – client privileged, go to Silverberg, sociological ideas, a new wave book, drug books, drug smuggling, LSD or mushrooms, he’s Christ bringing love into the world, a good book, coded Catholic, protestant, puritan, corrupt, coded Jewish, a subversive element, a negative Jewish stereotype, wholesome and perfect, subversive Jew came in, a suffocating society, good ideas, the drug was coded as sodomy, butt sex, homosexuality, homoerotic, we’re doing it, a lot of pornography, to make money, because he liked it, explicit, a way of getting out of a book, not his best work, 9 minutes in, Jonathan’s gonna love this book, very homoerotic of you, I is a swear word, the worldbuilding was terrific, not many kids, the life of per-pubescent kids is minimal, other socioeconomic levels, he’s the son of a king, we’re focused on that, allows him mobility, he’s not against the king, his brother, a personal story, if this is the story of the Christians, the early church, not mass orgies, people out in the woods, the primitives, they have a wonderful time, the lower class betrays him, as a person who has experienced children in adulthood, people who’ve forgotten what children were like, completely distanced from it, me me me me me stage, not everything is about you, this is something that should come up in the book, his favourite word was Trump because it triggers adults, not illegal in the normal sense, the adults around him are triggered, sometimes it would work, cortisol spike, you have to share your toys, in a sense the idea here is very good, not focused on one’s self all the time, Mr Jim Moon, with ambient noodling by the Eldritch Light Orchestra, it’s not the way to be, one ought to be a good person, we actually believe this, made it very rigid, bond sisters and bond brothers, he did the easy version of this book, a really good idea, he did a pretty good job, it won the nebula, a book about a writer, the most taboo thing you can do, the solitary vice (masturbation), I gotta big dick, I have premature ejaculation problem, plowing that girl for three seconds, a very Silverberg book, overboard with his philosophy, too honest, too forthcoming, becoming self-absorbed like us, he’s all about love and barely mentions his children, he didn’t have any interest in talking about them, very thoughtprovoking, Jordan Peterson hell, assigned pronouns, that’s very interesting, you’re not supposed to say this, in Ontario, the thing that made Peterson famous, personal choice pronouns mandated, your honour to the judge, command respect, one ought not to do those things, distance it, constructed language, barely science fiction, mostly a fantasy setting, the drug is the technology (telepathy), a preview of Majipoor, a juggler, not fair to this book, a weird job as a writer, never a professor, always a writer, juggles words, he’s not a science guy, Dying Inside, The Book Of Skulls, very limited science interest skills, sociological skills, very far from Larry Niven, Ursula K. Le Guin in a male, Jack Vance, a veil around the sex, humans colonize a planet, the spaceships leave, The Blue World by Jack Vance, caste is pronounced kayste, giant lilypad, giant lobster, Big Planet lacks heavy metals, land on a planet, living in their world, very Le Guiny, earthman shows up and is the representative of us, why kings?, telephones, medieval, heat rods, laser guns, Gene Wolfe, Dying Earth/New Sun, groundcars, flying vehicles, sailing ships with auxiliary engines, but why kings?, makes it simpler?, personal, more relatable, how the mighty has fallen, spontaneous lumberjacks, he’s ready for it, didn’t go outside her bubble, why she did what she did, she couldn’t handle it, relativizing experiences, she’s a saint, very hierarchical, no mobility up, she’s incredibly repressed, all hidden, share souls, gotta dose, the reverse experience from the drug, loathsome, couldn’t handle it, travel psychosis, psychotic breakdown after being married, suppressed latent psychosis, go psychotic, winning the lottery, France, might get it again, strong feelings towards them, idolized and loved, very negative self-image, he doesn’t say this drug is good, he’s stupid, he is a self-barer, psychoanalysis, understood everything about themselves, two big errors in the book, the soul sharing experience, you have to say I, without changing the pronouns, Gilles Deleuze, clandestine, why do people say that the sun rises?, it doesn’t matter whether you say I or not, proselytizing, she wasn’t ready?, he was ready, one way of reading this, Timothy Leary, there are some people who need the walls, it’s because you’re fucked up inside, little funny looking fish, deep soul with krakens inside, angels or krakens, the wrong way of opening a hole in the wall, not the best way to read it, shows up personally in the desert, a little bit of pity, Jesse’s not a drug guy, what it don’t do is make Jesse he’s communicated with god, when you take some drugs, mushrooms as a group, the connectedness of everyone and everything, he didn’t learn anything from anybody, the way he acts, makes you less repressed, alcohol makes you stupider, chatting up very pregnant women, the Faustian bargain gone wrong, midichlorians, a normal high, bullshitting this guy, a reading you can make, suddenly realizes, the homosexual banker, you can hide things under the influence of the drug, self-interested, he’s also looking for someone to help him, a sharing contest with the natives, they did have a connection, two druggies, Downward To The Earth, we don’t have the legacy, the druggie experience, costs some people, melt into puddles, pharmakon, a world that’s very interesting, thinks he’s self aware because he’s saying a taboo word, not making the best decisions, his tactics were wrong, imagine we retell this story from the brother’s POV, taken on responsibility, fuckup of a brother, let me show you this thing, he thinks that’s everything, the problem of being the spare, he’s Mr. Pfizer, no side-effects, the society has a problem, too repressed, a famine in the land, the king’s responsibility, he’s interested in it, I don’t want to lie to you, very meta, the Nebula awards, a limited set of people: writers, after a certain point they stop reading, they give blurbs, a bad discussion, the drug is writing as well, somebody likes drugs, ambivalence, build the case, a guy who fucked up, a failed messiah, Le Guin’s Philip K. Dick book, more ambitious, a writer service, the opening, the whole premise of this book, first person is taboo, very sparky, writers trying to solve writing problems, why this character?, why not head-hop?, if we were in the head of the brother, the unhealthy obsession, I grew up, if you’re a middle class kid, some other family, why?, safety valved, a secret plot, makes them richer, why did this custom start, we hear the myth, bad stuff happens, myth comes from reality, the powder, this entire religion happened, the drug was the cause of their reactionary faith, hidden through myth, the world’s Satan, he’s a tempter, why does God want to keep knowledge from you, we’re reading the book, published backwards in time on earth, social anxieties, when gin is introduced to England, abstinence from alcohol, every culture that touched another, a druggie doofus, he has impulse control problems, passport works everywhere, sending him gifts, this could be a much better book if we read it properly, he fucked up royally, if from the brother’s POV, second guessing Silverberg, feels richer, working that literary mine, guilt, the secret, druggie ideas, the communion, the slaughter, the sharing of flesh, The Book Of Skulls, there’s a cult in the desert that has achieved immortality, you have to kill your friend, focus your prana all day, a road trip book, Twilight Zone style horror, riding around the planet visiting places, sex, drugs, not kids, sometimes they work amazing, a very Ursula K. Le Guiny idea, The Left Hand Of Darkness, this is better writing, how easy this flows, his vocabulary was incredible, so precisely, top notch above, if we follow the meta thing on the power of writing, Jean Jacque Rousseau’s Confessions, inventing auto-biography, take it back to Rousseau, he never considers how this is going to effect my kids, don’t you have to live what he’s all about?, he’s not a full rich Silverberg, he’s a druggie Silverberg, limited perspective, the salt of the earth, respect for the working people, age 30 in their years is 40ish in our years, there’s something wrong with him, fill in all the corners, very repressed, the implication, too conventional, job as a customs guy, corruption all the way up and all the way down, cushy job, a definite commentary, immense power and dominance, he gets gifts, he gets influence, he’s a customs guy, they make this drug illegal, a drug smuggler as an evangelist, addicted to the experience, he likes the sharing, you should do mushrooms man, selling religion door to door, maybe it benefits the church, official missionary position, a religion of sharing your inner soul, what information did he gain?, not combination to any locks, you were tripping balls too, explicitly called out in the elephant book, did he learn anything?, no, your just thinking you’re having, stuff that happens with our regular drugs, some people just don’t like dancing, that’s too much, degenerating, no man I got these really good insights, it helped me clean my house, reality is controlled by an entity, the CIA, see beyond the veil the CIA puts in front of you, so does it only help dumb people, kinda fucked up his life, seeing reality as it is, with the help of language, dialogue, discussion, William James, a blooming budding confusion, the alterity, the otherness of the other, a very useful world, gave up on LSD, the internet, he invented the app, ability to collect data on people, is what I’m hearing, mind mirror approach, personality tests, the PC is the new LSD, a similar experience, takes over your brain, videos of current events, lady in an SUV with a Starbucks on her way to her sushi job, Joe Biden bumbling across the stage, tricked into believing, anybody can be made to look a stumbling dumb idiot, same effect, too soon, the next six months will tell, criticize this podcast as soon as it comes out, creates telepathy, the fable myth story, tries to become a god, two real gods drunk, not actually a god, not actually there, he has to be a god to become a god, the only time he doesn’t share the drug with someone else, they drink together, having his drug alone, feeling the whole planet, smoking marijuana alone, drinking alone, a feel-good hallucination, feedback with somebody else, folie à deux, prophecy is fulfilled, having the book makes him the prophet, we have to imagine we are these people in the future, how do you know, like Battlestar Galactica, Silverberg is subtle, time travel drug, regressive hypnosis, while you’re back there would you mind killing Hitler?, it is from the past, 1971, spread illegally on the internet, the LSD of 2023, and legally, I believe in some sort of life force that can metaphorically exist, the reading of his own drug experiences, a good feeling of sharing, Fight Club with a Love Club, ecstasy, get hot, wanna dance, I’m taking it you’ve taken it, MDMA, without asking your age, 45 years old, a lifetime ago, things have changed, too late now we can’t talk about, six minutes in the middle of the night between too soon and too late, finding Friedman units in people’s arguments, genocide happening, the end of the world people, a moving time horizon, a drug book, a very challenging book, very suffocating, hard to read in the first half, a deliberate effect, an effective technique, doesn’t make for light reading, the ideas are right there, an unreliable narrator, you have to read him that way, what his ideas are, a veil between you and Silverberg’s ideas, that was first person too, people are merging into other peoples, broken in a way that made his smarter, not that self-aware, so many unnamed themes, religion, incredibly Freudian, liberated sexual practices, not naming to go to the general case, ambiguous all the time, maybe those Nebula guys were smarter than we thought, soft SF, dystopia, evolution, the jungle, the strange beasts, the tendrils, far future, language, coming of age, Time For The Stars, across parsecs, she likes me, is it a telepathy book?, communicate emotionally, selfishly, Deanna Troi in Star Trek, she can read emotions, autists, the drug is the thing, other people on this planet love their children, a Scandinavia thing, that must be hard for them, handsy and cuddle, supernatural or a drug, they feel dirty, they’re so repressed, alcohol does that, the backlash to the backlash, and watch football, people get together and drink, ought they?, a religion and the laws, smuggling, what’s good and what isn’t, isn’t it interesting, visits the house, it’s a palace, insight into his character, kind of a failson, a Canon movie from the 80s, hires homeless Judd Nelson, this is a failson, he’s a slob, he’s the premise, The Prince And The Pauper, we’re following the prince, journey to an ashram, an embarrassment to his society and his brother, he’s a tourist, tourist/entrepreneur, he couldn’t give a fig, he’s sleazy, he has an agenda, he plays a long game on this guy, he’s interested in taking it and selling it, synthesize it back home, take him at his word, still sleazy, corrupting this other guy, not so hard on the judgement, Socrates corrupts the youth, after several centuries, ultimately positive, their covenant is everyone should be an introvert, not express things, people who can’t really be introverts, living in repressive Finland, fuck this country, live in Mexico and Brazil, they’re all skinny (show a lot of skin), no cachet with the natives, an equalizing thing, the I I I I I, too self-centered, what makes it a dystopia is that he didn’t like it, slobber them with kisses, in the middle, the correct way, someway between Norway and Brazil, America is not fucked up, perfectly combobulated, happy medium, goes to the other extreme, enantiodromia, even when not appropriate, I want to sit between the sexy enantiodromias she has, goodbye Paul, Radium Pool, funeral, Lowdown Road, The Terminal Man, part of Jurassic Park, Time-Line, limited number of ideas, The Andromeda Strain, very cold and very solid, Prey, a cut-off point, his first 6, John Lange, Drug Of Choice, fucked up rich people, one in Nice, and one in Spain, very literary, who he’s reading, radical hemispherectomy, ancestor of cyberpunk, Gilgamesh The King, 7 people for The Weirwoods, drug withdrawal/depression, friends with Will, he’s a communist, his politics seem to be very snarky/cynical, aren’t Kentucky and Arkansas the same place?, like to talk to people who have different ideas, strangely, a little exchange about Friend Island, funny, insightful, sparking full of ideas, invented the Futurians before the Futurians, Paul Michel, either a piece of shit or making fun of something, it has to be a comedy, as supposed to be funny as opposed to pathetic, one of the words, called out, Hell In The Village by John B. Michel, Farnsworth Wright, Von Juntz, Sixth Columnist, Heinlein, supposed to be terrible, clew, a Lovecraft sort of move, shew, shewed, he just patted the female elevator on the behind, German professor scientist with a beautiful daughter, Lovecraft is called out, having fun, 1942, war stories, Lovecraftian pulp parody with a war theme, so bad its good, Lovecraft is funny, where he’s doing Jesus, The Dunwich Horror is a comedy, you have to zoom out, Stuart Gordon adaptations, a dream written down, a lame awesome ending, think through an idea, Call Of Cthulhu, it’s Dracula with a dream monster, Lord Dunsany, Chu-Bu And Sheemish, vacation, ruins of a temple, the destruction of the temple, the timing works out perfectly, a very famous Lord Dunsany story, he read this story and wrote his own version of it, an artists studio crashing down, The Tree by Lovecraft is a murder mystery, a historical setting, mother of Tiberias, Augusts’ wife, a poison story, that guy read that story, an axe to grind about art, Lord Dunsany doesn’t have an axe to grind, has fun and makes pretty stuff, I’m going to prove that New York is a hellhole, half French, half translation into English, epub, the life of Lovecraft, an ongoing feud with Heinlein, politically correct, always this feud with Heinlein, Lovecraft dies in 1991, a euchrony and dischrony, centenarian, too soon, he took an incoherent position, the next six month will tell, when Stephen Colbert used to be funny, he no longer gives FU, keeps on moving the goalposts, you should be both emotionally hot and cold, authors complaining about bad reviews is so lame, pretty weird, you want to hear about negative reviews, let’s play nice, share your toys, hang up and shut up, used to be proud, reviewers are part of the same bubble, professional reviewers, people are doing it for free, SUV with two sunroofs, go to university to get a marketing degree, cosplaying her parent’s view of what reality should be, go study business, the consensus is don’t say that, the consensus is too soon, a censorship move, not the same when you say it in the moment, people went to see the movie, Aliens was so good, Alien 3, Sigourney Weaver go a paycheck, resonant with ideas, a sequel can in someways surpass, a footnote, read everything about it, the dealer has an agenda, the situation now, writers who never get any meaningful feedback, David Fincher, studio notes, writes the next thing, goes on for 16-20 books, Charles Stross, random indie writer, not writing in a vacuum, writing in this vacuum, interpret it, a second pair of eyes, a message in the bottle, if you like this sort, intimated before, Pauline Kael, everybody does it for free, you’re friends with the people you critique, scrappy new independent, friends of the authors giving good reviews to their friends and bad reviews to their enemies, Chris Sempter, Poe’s relationship with a rich couple, tutor the wife in her sonnets, a vanity book, tried to make a living as a writer, I’m Nathaniel Hawthorne, every book’s a flop, Mark Twain died poor, desperate for cash, puffery, aka saying good things about an author, a savage critic, Tomahawk Poe, An Enigma, an acrostic, On Sonnets, sonnets suck unless…, without that context, doing it as a kind of work for hire, acrimonious break up, Philip K. Dick kinda worse, writing again to ask you for money, can I borrow money, grateful but come on, as evidenced by Charles Stross’ latest book, Laundry Files, Singularity Sky, a guy wants to make a living, not have to fix fences or whatever, the lie about all these authors are making a living, Stephen King and J.L. Rowling, TV and movie rights, most people don’t read, not making production like they were, streaming now, ambient pictures, getting a real bad feeling, Mike Flanagan’s Fall Of The House Of Usher, what relation is it to the story?, self-sacrificing for Foundation, a fashion house?, fan service for Poe but it’s own thing, rich people living in expensive houses, Glass Onion and Knives Out, rich people talking to each other, Veep, the best of Veep, every joke there were not laughs, people insulting each other, what satire is, insults are satire?, Airplane! (1980) is a parody, West Wing is a fantasy, Yes, Minister and Yes, Prime Minister are supposed to be satire but look like reality, a competence fantasy with insults, insults = funny, laugh track, Married With Children, shoe salesman is humiliating, things have changed, satire for dumb people, parody makes fun of fiction, satire makes fun of reality, maybe it is dead-on, the writing on TV is really dumb, HBO was supposed to be better than that, are there some people who don’t have a sense of humour?, a ladder, fart jokes make little kids laugh, very very liberal, reading the New York Times has Trump insult, too soon, attitude of superiority, a rich person who has never known any kind of tragedy, Fawlty Towers is about a guy who is very class conscious, the insults there backfire, how dumb are you humiliation humour, you’ve have to had had no tragedy, coming from a place of privileged, a level of disconnect, an actor playing a poor character, the other level of humour, you are a dumb redneck hick, being impolite = humour, it’s true he’s dumb that’s why it is so funny, social faux pas, elicits laughter, gives her license to insult other people, has the president called, she wants to be important, maybe I need to get some of this drug from this book, so unfunny, professional wrestling, do suplexes, kayfabe, opera for stupid people, it’s not a comedy, the heels and the babyfaces, ancient Asgard, the criticism that it’s fake, you know the planet where this takes place isn’t real, right Jesse, dumb humour, medium humour, smart humour, smart humour is dumb, Adam Sandler movies are very funny, not high level humour, became a money laundering scam, cardboard sets, they make movies to go on vacation, stopped caring, the next Jerry Lewis, the first man-child, the guy in Elf, Steve Carell, Some Like It Hot (1959), Marilyn Monroe, the theory of humour, a very dry sense of humour, the podcast proper, causes problems for people who don’t know its humour, puns, what a crustacean is to make a Red Lobster joke, a vocab joke, fart jokes don’t require language, you can laugh without having language, Marx Brothers, switched studios, slapstick, Groucho was the intellectual jokes, Harpo is silent, jokes, tricks, Duck Soup (1933), aiming for the bottom, the middle will watch anyway, highbrow and the lowbrow, with superheroes, this is going to dumb down cinema, people got bored, Dark Knight, dumbed up, For Your Eyes Only (1981), it’s the superhero formula, class based action sequencing, skiing, scuba-diving, car racing, drops the sophistication and keeps the supervillains, the key to any particular episode, Captain Nemo is the badguy, The Spy Who Loved Me, abandoned the book, the old formula, the scubacar, all fine, train scene, lacking the sense of humour, polite lewd jokes, something’s come up, somebody being trash, rubbish, the most recent James Bond movies are not funny, I’m interested in women style joke, humiliating James Bond, doesn’t work as an action formula, a feminist joke, James Bond represents the anti-feminist, on the right side of history, people don’t get humour anymore, the concept of humour, fear trumps humour, Ebu Gogo‘s goodreads reviews, anti-furry humor, making fun of furries, at the furries’ expense, endorsing the furry lifestyle, furry porn one star, rightfully feeling tricked, woefully misguided, a theory about vocab words and phrases, stole from Lovecraft, brain puppet, anti-furry propaganda, an axe to grind, something to say, misunderstood, misinterpreted, Aristotle’s Poetics, a comedy section, elaborate blackmail scheme, kicked him in the ribs, a flurry of kicks, a lot of puritanical people, nudity, sex, especially common in the united states, scared away from the cover, scare the wrong readers off, strategic placement, a version on LibriVox, some classic stuff, Lucian’s A True Story aka A True History, he’s a fucking furry, triggered by a word or an image, everything else falls away, going in your own head, an instinct, this smells like bullshit to me, are you just being an asshole, if you’re drawing from the text, throwing dirt on people’s heads, bad, too soon, rude, sounds like feelings, principles, strong ideas ground in something, getting facts wrong in your argument, designed to hurt somebody, Connor recorded an audiobook, Thule, coulda let it pass, you learn from pain, one little mistake, the critic who believed this was furry porn was correct, taking the wrong lesson is a fun way to go, instead of entering her, rummaging around the closet, dressed in a furry fox costume, furry gloves designed to looks like paws, kink shaming, exposing his hard cock, triggered, a white rabbit, put this one, wittle bunny wabbit, completely repulse, too x-rated for the show, they know how to pronounce them they don’t say them, a repression thing, you could elide it, six months later, that’s not my particular fetish, the 1 star reviews are more valuable, the wrong takes people have, the problem of everybody being a critic, open it wide, shilling puffery, paid in attention, working on projects that nobody cares about, a bigger version, slapped together for a student’s essay, get over your own ego it’s not that exciting, the Friend Island tweet, obvious context, an opportunity to jump in, too involved for twitter, explain copyright to me on twitter, finding out how to do it, literally trained, attracting somebody who would be interested, I like your content buy why are you so political, a firehose of what’s happening, some guy falling down, a generic example, people live in bubbles, Ray Nayler, columns, short stories, shat on for being out of touch, 87/88, after a certain point your best work is behind you, John Cowper Powys, I’m senile and I’m dying, out of the fiction business, quit before, Lawrence Block is still writing, typos, afterward, introduction, speaking of mental problems, Edward Wellen, Mind Slash Matter, a guy with dementia who is a script writer in Hollywood, apps and home computer, make him functional, a murder mystery, the detective doesn’t know what’s going, a brilliant idea for a book, a lot of the stories had to do with sound, the chemical warfare service during WWII, Mouthpiece, who shot you?, to mind map the character, an AI that comes alive Neuromancer-style, get revenge based on the murder, sparky as fuck, the early 1990s, trans-issues in the 1960s, Day Million by Frederik Pohl, Mindswap by Robert Sheckley, Douglas Adams, jaunting all over to different worlds, talking to an egg, the darkness, a little lighter to cleanse the palate, 8 minutes to read with your eyes,

On this day I want to tell you about, which will be about a thousand years from now, there were a boy, a girl and a love story.

Now although I haven’t said much so far, none of it is true. The boy was not what you and I would normally think of as a boy, because he was a hundred and eighty-seven years old. Nor was the girl a girl, for other reasons; and the love story did not entail that sublimation of the urge to rape and concurrent postponement of the instinct to submit which we at present understand in such matters. You won’t care much for this story if you don’t grasp these facts at once. If, however, you will make the effort, you’ll likely enough find it jam-packed, chockfull and tiptop-crammed with laughter, tears and poignant sentiment which may, or may not, be worth while. The reason the girl was not a girl was that she was a boy.

How angrily you recoil from the page! You say, who the hell wants to read about a pair of queers? Calm yourself. Here are no hot-breathing secrets of perversion for the coterie trade. In fact, if you were to see this girl, you would not guess that she was in any sense a boy. Breasts, two; vagina, one. Hips, Callipygean; face, hairless; supra-orbital lobes, non-existent. You would term her female at once, although it is true that you might wonder just what species she was a female of, being confused by the tail, the silky pelt or the gill slits behind each ear.

Blish has never been that good, The Abominable Earth Man, C.M. Kornbluth, with Playboy’s market in mind, that’s a sparky story, inoculation against the future, treating trans-people as people, dead no kids?, fair use clause, earlier in the year, Misha Burnett, editing an anthology is really hard, a learning curve, editor is a real job, the same mistake, saying no to my own book, servers on the Moon, servers in North Korea, the legal ability to say fuck you, a closed internet, commercial servers, get in good with Kim Jong Un, a movie industry, Saddam Hussein wrote fantasy novels, favourite deceased dictator, Muammar Gaddafi, maybe not so much with the plastic surgery, paid money to get married, highest standard of living to the lowest, an active propaganda campaign, occupation force from outside, not many North Korean refugees, what’s the difference bud?, refugee status, until your area is unflooded, fleeing the oppressive education system, causes kids to kill themselves, how bad it is there, this particular school district, next to Fort Lee, New Jersey, the George Washington Bridge, if it’s such a great country how come so many people are fleeing it, a lot of corruption, a state founded on corruption, also dynamic, the Irish, successful emigrant groups, forced out, what if that’s the goal, the English were interested in making the Irish successful, this is a class thing, an economics thing, Cuban refugees, that’s geography, there are airplanes, a push pull, Iraq refugees, Afghan refugees, mostly externalizes, we’re in the bomb making business, send them to Ukraine, cluster bombs, Central America, those places not being actively bombed, happy stories, we’re making a lot of refugees, here you’re told so much, the next generation of Americans, measuring engagement, creating engagement, tell me what you think about X Y and Z, when somebody is mad, Jesse is blackpilled, being realistic about what’s going on, things are escalating to war in the middle east, proxy war, heading towards a World War, six months from now please tell you your opinion, the Friedman thing, we’ll always know in six months, unfalsifiable, if Donald Trump became president that would be the end of democracy, democracy ended many years before that, corporations and the ultra-wealthy, what the founding fathers wanted, unfinished thought, good idea or great idea, this is falsifiable, 15 months from now, American troops on the ground in Israel, already troops on the ground in Ukraine and Israel, Americans have been killed, what number of casualties, there’s an election coming up, after the presidential election, lame duck, no matter who wins, American troops are going to war after the election, president Kamala has a plan, vice president Buttigieg has her back, when this podcast comes out in 7 months, laughing so hard, Richard Nixon, Spiro Agnew, why Nixon picked Ford, tried to cheat and got caught, he won 49 states, put a bug in there, he wanted telepathy, two term successful president, a revered president, EPA, bullshit things people like, congressional veto, Ronald Reagan, totally drunk all the time, if Nixon calls you drunk, bugged his own office, slurring his words, mumbling incoherently, losing his stuff, some earlier piece of literature, claiming Silverberg rewriting Ayn Rand, Anthem, The Fountainhead, robotic and inhuman, Edward Bellamy’s Looking Backward, proto-SF, characterization is not good, to convert people to his ideology, Ecotopia by Ernest Callenbach, she is the kulaks, she experienced some negativity, DRMd, written for the British, the terrible Russian civil war, mutinies in British Columbia, pro-labour, what was going on is Russia was a good thing, one of the atrocities, homes were built, people have housing?, build too much, hows the homelessness situation, doesn’t exist, homelessness situation in Vancouver, Los Angeles, so unaffordable, a Kuwaiti doctor, the housing exists, the power of a communist command economy, mitigation measures, a vacant housing [tax], that’s their solution, expropriate the land and build housing for poor people, all over Saudi Arabia, build a big building, commercial rather than residential, that was plausible at the time, how implausible it is now, a parody of Leave It To Beaver, a little cynical in the 1950s, those cynical guys would write Twilight Zones, project an image of America, homemakers, putting women back in the home, housing and schooling, the cream has successfully been drawn away from the cream-makers, they marry at 27, her life hasn’t really started yet either, secure enough to have kids, what can you afford, transgender surgery is free, what you can’t get done for free is housing, a mental contagion going on, remember bulimia and anorexia, strategies for getting thing, condemned by society, get skinny, doing bad things to your teeth, frowned upon, a fashion, now transgenderism is a fashion but officially sanctioned by every right thinking institution supports it, probably bad, people who want limbs or body parts removed, something fucked up, not exactly correct, pro-anasites, no such thing as water weight, all getting the same contagion, Matt Walsh documentary, don’t be mean to gays transferred that to anybody about anything, pro-furry, it’s comedy, just a fetish, ridiculous, a weird fetish, wanting to have sex with animals, fetishizing furryism, be nice to people, if you don’t support transgender people you’re causing their deaths, people often regret tattoos, the tattoo situation, tattoos don’t prevent you from having children, false consciousness, relatively non-invasive, a biker or a sailor, beards go in and out of fashion, those ear gauge things, an extra hole in your head, semi-reversible, taking someone’s penis away or cutting off boobs is radical change, shouldn’t be promoted even if allowable, solve an specific economic problem, state taking control of it, the whole gay marriage thing, I like living in sin with this dude, part of the attraction, they think it’s taboo, successful breeding babies, happy funeral.

A Time Of Changes by Robert Silverberg

A Time Of Changes by Robert Silverberg

A Time Of Changes by Robert Silverberg

A Time Of Changes by Robert Silverberg

A Time Of Changes by Robert Silverberg

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The SFFaudio Podcast #768 – READALONG: Scratch One by Michael Crichton

The SFFaudio PodcastJesse, Paul Weimer, and Terence Blake talk about Scratch One by Michael Crichton

Talked about on today’s show:
from Nice, our agent on the Cote D’aZur, 1967, early, 2nd published novel, maybe Cora mentioned this before, Lange means long, Dick means fat, John means dick, this book is very familiar, a heist book in Spain, the Spanish equivalent, Costa Brava, generic titles, The Venom Business, Grave Descend, Odds On, knock off holiday resort, not just a fact (also part of the plot), crossing over the bridge, casino hotel resort, something under the bridge, descends the steep cliff, scrambling down and back up, a surprise: flowers, planting a bomb, this actually happened, France and or Spain, sometimes with a girl sometimes without, vividly describes the descent, Egypt, drowned, the Nile, a similar scene in that book, mucking about down near Aswan, just like Richard Upton Pickman, release the Terence, the Negresco Hotel, Promenade Anglais, Avenue Victor Hugo, Rue Biscarra, Avenue Du La Victoire, renamed, after a famous mayor, Cannes, Monaco, not while the race is happening, successfully describes both, warm semi-tropical Mediterranean, seen it in movies, To Catch A Thief (1955), North By Northwest (1959), Roger bumbles, Carr, bumbling his way, add-in the international intrigue of Charade (1963) is public domain, Never Say Never Again (1983), Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968), Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (1988), also turns out to be a conwoman, a lot of fun, A Good Year (2006), Grace Kelly, Stirling Moss, the restaurant, name drops, by magic romantic resonance, that’s enough, we don’t need to see her haircut, accidental spy books, Michael Crichton’s inspirations are paperbacks (not movies), a searchable thing, an early Westlake, the nephew novels, a case of mistaken identity, gets the mob after him, mistaken identity, there are jokes, it would be funny, attempted murder, Jennings, the nasty murders, this is not a joke, finds everything funny, Alice In Wonderland, hideous torture, that’s the disconnect, characters who die fast, we meet some baddies, what the plot, an arms shipment, are they supplying the PLO?, a disconnect, the comedic situation, the cops, the consulate, it will be good to let him run around for a while, very North By Northwest, God Save The Mark, Somebody Owes Me Money, a tip on a horse, makes book, run around New York avoiding the cops and the actual murderer, a girl who betrays him, standard girl stuff, the narrator’s voice, Australian accent, hard to identify, strong vs. weak Australian accents, definitely Australian, Crocodile Dundee Australia, Australia is not a monolith, Maine and Texas are the same accent, most people are not going to physically violence Jesse, preferring the read, him doing a female voice, Australian female, quite good, romancing, that scene is on the cover of the Hard Case Crime, she’s working for the bad guys, a dancer’s wages, it has to be a good book, extraneous character, he writes some scenes as if he’s fleshing things out, characters we don’t want to be in the book, false main characters, we don’t know that he’s the hero, the minds of other characters, the book is mal-plotted, obliging me to have lots of willing suspension of disbelief, what’s stopping this from being a science fiction book, Ringworld, Dirk Gently, synchronicity and coincidence, everything is tied together, still working on his stuff, novels are very different scene by scene, the opening killings are a lot like a James Bond opening, Smert Shpionam, Money For Nothing by Donald E. Westlake, you have now been activated, a sleeper agent, a case of mistaken identity, it’s a comedy but not funny, horrible torture scenes, our main character is a lawyer, he’s playing the bad guy in this book, he’s way dumber than us, you should tell them exactly what happened, no I am not, the Hugo Award winning fanzine, he’s a bit of an asshole, a gripe against this book, enjoyed, three quick hours, a light read, very light, the way Paul’s mind thinks, possibly going off a cliff, what does he look like?, especially the women, he’s amazingly handsome, he looks like a spy except to know what spies look like, he’s strong, he’s the reader, a paperback designed to be a paperback, Binary, a good book a pretty good TV movie, more things of his own, not a bad book at all, the two paperback scenes, 20 kilos exactly, getting his stuff weighed, the amount was less, he could have sworn his suitcase wasn’t that heavy, airplane reader, light and amusing of no consequence, reviewing their own book, chapter 10, a key scene, she was wearing almost nothing, her body was breathtaking, a few strands of blonde hair, A.C., that’s on the cover of the book, they go by Cannes, it’s not a book about movies, it’s a book about books, Grave Descend, literary based, a James Bond stand-in, the villain has a library, romancing each other, too literal, the gravedigger the whole scene, Thomas Mann, 10 sentences a day, Balzac, furiously writing, Wolfe, dropping finished pages into a wastebasket, Poe who was underrated, (not third rate), Our Opinions Are Correct, Larry Rivers, a nothing, Charles de Gaulle’s memoirs, was he president at the time of this story?, 1959-1969, an intellectual match, a high luck score, agency, a little fake, they need him for that?, ok, maybe, malformed, how to put together a great book, light and fluffy, a floated bid for Nice, where the French live?, a city to live in, where the elderly French come to finish their days, dry and warm, a big tourist city in Spring and Summer, the events, the Cannes Film Festival, the Monaco Grand Prix, near Italy, the coast just adjacent, cigarettes and wine, still using Francs, everybody was Euroing, Donald Trump’s yacht was there, how they gonna catch this guy? too many ways out, there’s no way to catch this guy, when he’s on this journey, drawn from, all lifted, places he went line up, things that happened, poolside lifestyle, in some rich person’s house, his father was a senator, he’s there for a governor to buy a house, talks about the library, selling the house, another place selling to an American, you can’t sell the library, the library is priceless, individual books, thesis: this is really about books, books of this period were often adapted to film, a Westlake novel that was to be a script for a James Bond movie, movies don’t get made, a spy book set in Hong Kong, Westlake wrote a lot lot lot of books, Killing Time is public domain, Brothers Keepers, a monks book, something wrong with the estate, an unusual choice for a lazy day on the beach, the opposite to the paperbacks at the airport, a literary book you have to underline and meditate, she is smarter than he is but doesn’t hold it over his head, he did one deduction, the short swarthy man that came to the hotel and gave him the ring, could that have been Jennings’ mechanic, a leap that I didn’t see coming, the mechanic disappearing, the associates, Algerian, the Italian guy, a library scene, you need not praise him in my presence, the maintenance of this house which I love, money will by the respect, a Maserati or a Bentley, some of my best friends are gangsters, Carr nodded politely, smokes, drinks, many of them must be crooks, dishonesty is their profession, laughs, nods politely, the library remains with the villa, just another rivera villa, Dickens, the Cruickshank illustrations, an interesting line, a phony sales pitch, that guy’s trying to get out, time to yourself, time to kill, time to read, the governor is very busy, he will eventually settle, you feel tired, still in the lead, still at the top, any man who does not do it is a fool, a propensity for saltiness, backstory, what is his price, what is yours?, why he’s in France to begin with, The Woman In Black by Susan Hill, the setup for Dracula, Jonathan Harker, buys an abbey, accumulates a bunch of other people with him, Victorian era, a lawyer agent for a rich person, haunted ghost house, an agent for a foreign buyer, not to reveal identity to randos, the wrong kind of agent, people are trying to kill him or figure out if he needs to be killed, a James Bond scene, shark tank, affable villain, Dr. No, just send sexy lady, the knife sharpening scene, there’s your To Catch A Thief, here’s your keys, the roof being down is part of the plot, agent for a governor, make it look like an accident, not fucking up constantly, they’ve got this Citroën’s axel, gearheading stuff, she’s a double agent, he’s mute, Find Your Fate, A View To A Kill, you are James Bond Secret Agent, a kid’s role playing game book, if you choose wrongly, what more plot is happening, ways to die, other characters with interesting things to say, the protagonist is so, a male heterosexual reader, taking it to Korea, Choose Your Own Adventure, You Are A Shark, Paul read a lot of these, illustrations, people go crazy there, The Curse Of Batterslea Hall, visit your English cousin, fantasy elements, a related phenomena, an ebook author, people think they’re inventing audiobooks, people think they’re inventing audio dramas, I’ll invent this thing, after a few years, nobody actually wants these things, get an audiobook then they put music underneath it, and then they add in sound effects, he lit the lighter, combine the audio of somebody reading the story with a layer of music and layer of randomly place sound effects, people who’ve never listened to an audiobook before, how BBC did it in the 1960s, a reading of a book, audio dramas are performances, a guy reading a book like he’s angry, when parents are sold on the idea of children reading a story about themselves, your daughter in the main role, leave the name blank, gas station keychains, all the common names of people, it has my name on it, a girl who rides a dolphin, kids are able to relate to other people, everything being about me, correct Carr, Carr got in the car, Parker parked the car, Parker left the car on 15th avenue, designed to be humorous, this book doesn’t really work on a humour level, at the airport, all these sides waiting for the same guy, something special about the way he conducts himself, dry humour, he’s literally dumb, he doesn’t say things, the stuff on the roof all fails, he doesn’t die, the chase scene, goes to the farmhouse and makes that phone call, close in on being resolved, the whole Monaco scene, the promise of the ending, go back to America and be married, the trope, she’s smarter than he is, he’s sexy, a good job he’s really not worthy of, ne’er do well does well, Kevin J. Anderson and L. Ron Hubbard’s Ai! Pedrito! When Intelligence Goes Wrong, body double, based on real life, when he was in the Navy, supposedly mistaken for this guy who looks like him, not a great novel, for eternity, he’s fine, about 20 times the word scalpel turns up, medical stuff even from Carr, he can’t help it, medical facts, Le Scalpel estate, the whole building was constructed by glass and metal, occasional use of bricks, tile roofs, in the fight with the guy with the scalpel, you don’t throw scalpels, stick your guts into your mouth to test your own intestines, tonally confused, the villain is much harsher than our bumbling dumb viewpoint character is capable of handling, in a regular role playing game, in this we have no options, things happening to him, playing arcade games on the ferry, a sidescrolling game like Defender, you’re a spaceship, a demo showing what the game was like, the control would respond to your inputs, I don’t have any quarters, the phenomenon of an amazing book, this matches exactly where it was going to go, the demo takes over, this illusion of control, what we think of as engagement, there is no difference, a fascinating phenomenon, disconnects, blithering idiot, a doofus, unable to communicate, a VR pornography, POV, has a camera on his face, the camera goes in every direction, look at the tv or something, looking at the furniture, what piece of furniture that is, a really great novel engages you in such a way, the experience of reading and the experience of experiencing it, slightly different moves, King’s Quest style story, watching someone play King’s Quest, engaging, getting read for sleep, streaming excitement, let other people have a turn playing, Hardcore Henry (2015), a first person action movie, a camera with two arms, the Doom (2005) movie, with the Rock (Dwayne Johnson), fan service, Strange Days (1995), somewhere near the bottom of John Langes, the one set in Egypt is the best Easy Go, Binary, Grave Descend, , where the title comes from, its called out in the book, from WWII, doodled furiously, scratch one nice confused American, the work of the Scalpel, well written, Battle Of The Coral Sea, American propaganda propaganding the domestics, during the Battle Of The Bulge, my general askes you to surrender, “Nuts!”, famous scene, Heroes In Hell, propaganda phrases, the Japanese navy, scratch one flat top, the phrase gets stuck, we have both fired machineguns, went to Harvard to escape the draft, Harvard law school, scratch it out, double meaning, scratch an American doofus and underneath you’ll find a hero, saves the day, lets the air out of his tires, not a man of action exactly, Cary Grant?, alcohol for breakfast, wine at lunch, sociologically accurate, easy girls fantasy, French girls are easier, less inhibited than north Americans, if you can’t find a girl on the Riviera, found a wife in Paris, the part about his dad, the distinguished senator, a business expense, for as long as it takes, four months, they’re just trying to get him out from underfoot, don’t just do work, getting to the other things, got along famously, struck it off instantly, fast friends, slightly debauched with a cherubic face, satyr-like, The Famous Teddy Z, becoming the agent for a big movie star, know all the ropes, John Cryer, satyric, the governor appreciated that, weirdly bonding, like to drink, chapter 2, a childish pudgy face, chapter 11, you know you look like a satyr, looks like Pan, Buck Rogers, a penis with goatlegs, the devil with a penis, a lot of truth of what writing was happening, he knew rich people, for your quote, a suitable replacement, people on vacation are looking for that, going into the Casino, gambling, wanting to lose money, short term thinking, a pleasure out of that, elderly people loving bingo or slot machine, pass the time between sleeps, choppin wood all day, dotting or pulling an arm or pressing a button, dopamine hit, how could somebody act that way, the alcoholism after WWII, drinking problems away, a large phase that people go through, not offered alcohol everytime, keep yourself avoiding, characters who are older than he is, observing his elders, grows up with the phrase, a generational thing, propaganda phrase, collateral damage, the first gulf war with Schwarzkopf, public domain, Schwarzenegger movie, laterally how things were produced, get a phrase, you know that disney movie that was a cartoon from 10 years ago?, it’s live action now, went to Egypt, Zero Cool, finish the set, the John Lange list:

Binary
Scratch One
Zero Cool
Easy Go
Grave Descend
Drug Of Choice
Odds On
The Venom Business

a bodyguard to a friend, Harvard rich kid, nightmare family, evil people, The Last Tomb, eight?, American radiologist, Angela Locke, a Spanish beach, Alhambra, darkest catacombs, a secret lost for centuries, a dark haired beauty with a huge problem, a desperate fight for survival, the audio drama, if you look closely, the Hard Case Crime, she’s reading Grave Descend, a pleasure to podcast, meta, mise en abyme, Mad magazine, the lady in the boat, very exciting, how Jesse gets his jollies, what’s the heat like?, warmer than usual, going for a walk, public garden, doing tai chi, practicing tai chi everyday, better than bingo, a different idea of chance, kills the hours between sleeps, jiu jitsu, Musk challenged Zuckerberg to a fight, colour commentary, an age difference, more like chess, find a way to backdown, he likes fun, very disciplined about it, the Pompey and Sulla, private armies, it doesn’t fit, a coup in russia?, the Wagner group, private mercenary groups, personal combat, very Weird, fight this out in meatspace, good dad, horrible evil, Bill Gates, a generational thing, Steve Jobs, Indian mysticism, ashram, Beatles generation, peripherally amused, what was tai chi’s high point?, big in Asia, seemed distant, Paul does yoga, you want to do something, wants to have cows, gets into cattle, martial applications, picking up steam, Emily In Paris, kids like it, a revisiting of the culture (a little bit), fun French stereotype characters, ideas and scenes, helps alot, filmed in Los Angeles, House, M.D., Bryan Singer is in trouble for sex things, sexual harassments, not politically correct, he’s a weird annoying character, Sherlock Holmes with medical stuff, we have to break into the people’s houses to look for toxins, if they needed to really badly, a fantasy of medical diagnostics, American murder shows, fantasies of how murders are investigated, everybody gets an MRI, that’s only for riche people, the vigilante fantasy, stupid bureaucratic things get in the way, full body irradiation, lupus, prednisone, ivermectin, Wilson’s disease, when reading Sherlock Holmes, doesn’t play fair, Agatha Christie is more fair, stares off in to space, remove somebody’s pituitary gland, you’re an idiot, formulaic and fun, special set, they don’t go outside much, the geography and climate of New Jersey, filming in the actual place flavours the writing, daughter, son, moved to Melbourne, something silly you can watch, a soap opera style type show, You, a serial killer who runs a bookstore, a romantic comedy where he stalks girls, based on a book, no although yes, you’re not upset when he murders people, Schwarzenegger’s Fubar, Citadel, very immoral TV shows now, justifying torture and violence, cartoons, a strange phenomenon, a sequel to the James Cameron movie True Lies, cheating on him with a used car salesman, generic Arab terrorists with a nuke, super competent, Jamie Lee Curtis, the same character kind, his daughter is in the CIA and he didn’t know, not well written, True Lies is also a television show, on network television, the guy from Game Of Thrones, sorta Philip K. Dick premise, memory wiped, Silo, Wool by Hugh Howey, when everybody was excited about Wool, didn’t care much anymore, a duty to read the book, Graham Yost, Terence is not one who necessarily executes his duty, conversations with elderly people, a retirement place, not something really intellecutal, Tulsa King, retired superhero, oui, yes, Jeff Bezos some money (Canadian servers), ratings on prime, IMDB is not reliable (except for older things), it deserves it, a forumal, it goes on from 8 years, 8.7 for House, M.D., Star Trek TNG went 7 seasons, the follow up to Justified, City Primeval, the 3rd season of Star Trek Picard, Terence didn’t see the good part, those movies were not good, not interesting, because Worf came back, fan service good is never good, that’s the best stuff, 30 years ago, time machine, cryogenic chamber, 1987, a holiday residence, we’d done everything that we could, doing all these other things, France at that time just wasn’t into science fiction, talking to students about science fiction series, car racing is very dangerous, the James Bond stand-in figure, flipping cars, a hard-top, pre-WWI pilots, after her first crash she never flew again, just fuckin dangerous, small planes, if you’re trying to race them, the water police, that guy’s dead, that was common, tinkering in the garage working on your motorcar, dirt bike racing, the special hospital for broken necks, that’s how you become a quad: drive quads, mountain biking, the opposite of bjj, out in nature, extreme canoeing, kayaking, at least as good an experience, the Sunshine Coast, a ferry ride away, fjords, inlets, the skookumchuk narrows, fast good ocean, a tide in or a tide out, a giant peninsula, to ride the currents, surfing for kayakers, you wear a helmet, smashed up real good, surfing but more dangerous, skiing, injuries are slower to heal, the risk of injury goes up and up, fun/fast, dangerous, expensive, things were cheaper, lift ticket, cross country-skiing, a way to kill time between sleeps: a retired person’s thing, the side projects of people’s activities, Sunday morning for Jesse, church time, why you going to church, really into politics, civically engaged, highest percentage of atheist, a powerful lobby, list of countries by irreligion, Afghanistan, Czec Republic, North Korea, New Zealand, France 28%, Canada, Australia, 28.6 percent, 16.4 USA, synagogue goers, heavy activity, 3.1% Israel, the problem with Jews, they don’t have to practice, belief in god, a cultural practice, the theory of god, he’s in the book, how to read the book, forming the question will help determined what answers you get, China, by population data, 91% for China, Australia 69%, China is full of atheists, saying India is full of atheist, total atheists, Chinese new year, scaring away ghosts, Japan, Shinto temples, government sponsorship for maintenance, same is true for France, Ireland, U.K., theoretically catholic, theoretically protests, Stephen Fry, atheist pastors, a masking mandate, Daniel Dennett, smartguy, a priest with his fingers crossed behind his back, unbelief among the clergy, begin starry eyed, Santa Claus, way smarter than Sam Harris, like a cartoon of a smart guy, he thinks he is a smart guy, a beef over something, emotional shit, he’s not good at logic, he uses a lot of words, cultivate ignorance in writing, think about what these words mean, that’s the exact explanation, consciousness is the center of narrative gravity, when you get into the brain, doing Phineas Gage stuff with big rods, a continuous sort of experience with reality we think, where is the center of gravity on a teapot, nothing inside the teapot has changed, shot in the head, part of your personality changes, if you remove too much, parts can be removed, Descartes theory, the reason I don’t cut off my finger, it’ll hurt, all those cells don’t want to die, battlefield triage, a person with a missing language, self is the center of narrative gravity, its fiction, another analogy, a fictional character in literature, did Sherlock Holmes have a mole on his left shoulder blade?, there was a truth to the matter, neither true nor false, you have failed to understand, neutrinos, why other people’s theories are wrong, a theory that works, the part of us that gives us I did this for this reason, what our dilemma is, when a book is rubbing us wrong, right to bring this up, what does this guy look like, he has no appearance, describing the main character is usually bad, what does Odysseus look like, Starship Troopers tricks you, a person of colour, exactly exactly exactly, why do stories work or why stories don’t work, Luke Burrage [The Science Fiction Book Review Podcast], gone down the drain, a lot of modern books, something has changed, they’re not science fiction, a weird subset of science fiction, anti-intellectual, not interested in the intellectual part of science fiction, the structure of books, outguess the author, guesses and inferences, not a key theme, Agatha Christie, letting it flow, Jesse writes a ton, 6 sentence stories, amazing, fascinated by his own dreams, almost all fiction is unsalable (including some that is sold), book series, the things that people are obsessed with reading and writing about, will they or won’t they, the romance that happens in this book, no investment in it, isn’t it interesting he’s made the girl an intellectual, sexy, a dancer, car shocks, can quote Shakespeare, opinions on Thomas Mann, and be a girl, too much, you can get all that with money, if she really was like that, like the Amish, make it more plausible, silly, how sexist Paul would think Jesse just was, Buckaroo Banzai, neurosurgeon, physicist, test-pilot, rock star, some actors like to play music, Doc Savage is Buckaroo Banzai without the comedy, supposed to be profound, no matter where you go, there you are, shallowly profound, what is the sound of one hand clapping?, take it as a deep thing, a comedy of a deep thing, a comedy, dream response, analysis of The Road Warrior (Mad Max II), Tina Turner, it’s the best one in a way, Mad Max I is an art film action film, Jungian psychology, dream response, black and white, characters being mirrors and shadows of each other, dressed like animals, claws and spikes, the fight sequences, an oil monopoly is the good guy, white football pads vs. black football pads, Max has one football pad, the outsider, he has no identity, the camera swoops in, we enter the vehicle with Max, Max is left behind, very solid analysis, everybody has violence within them, a symbol, when we enter civil society, a lot of people like to pretend, making a mistake, James Tiptree’s Houston, Houston, Do You Read?, extract, Her Smoke Rose Up Forever, the way people read it, downloaded, a hundred page book, One Light Hour, pretty good, Rossignol, Nightingale, The Screwfly Solution, everyone has aggression in them, take stuff away, its not the essence of men, the essence of a can of sardines, Jesse is afraid of male and female bears, afraid of tigers, tigers eat meat and I am made of meat, men can prey on women, using violence for moral purposes, just download it again, from the mouse, 20 files, Love Is The Plan And The Plan Is Death, a lady who wrote like a smart person, is she the best?, this is very difficult, she’s a good antidote, Ursula K. Le Guin, politically correct, The Dispossessed, The Word For World Is Forest, humans come out as the badguys, it’s Avatar (2009), Poul Anderson’s The Queen OF Air And Darkness, we’ve got prejudices and they have prejudices too, The Left Hand Of Darkness and The Lathe Of Heaven, its fun, she’s playing what if, the 2 film versions, real science fiction, another duty Terence has: Always Coming Home, the strongest strike against Le Guin, hoighty toights think she’s the shit, Octavia Butler, Margaret Atwood is feted by idiots, really good, Silverberg is very solid, better science fiction writers than Silverberg, interested in the hard or soft things, native ability, always in phase with the 1960s and the 1970s, her beauty is fading, people are mad Tiptree killed her husband, not a strike against her, a strike in her favour, too traumatizing to talk about or consider, you’re babies, grow up, put on your big girl pants, these are traumatized people they need to be sheltered, let the injury heal then work to make the injured injury stronger, they’ve never actually had trauma, verbally mean to them, making fun of rape survivors, heard about a rape survivor, their theory, trauma in society, what the government is saying we should be worried about are fictional creations, the narrative is not written from their experience, social influencers, the Yellow Peril is something that was manufactured, ginned up, reflected in popular media, Skull Face, The Insidious Doctor Fu Manchu, Fu Manchu is the hero, putting down this evil genius, the side I would be on, the War On Terror, sound and fury, a war that had been happening that people had been ignorant of, 24, always some threat, COVID, turns out that wasn’t really a thing, another duty, the Russians identify with the orcs, the Elves are Harvard educated, The Last Ring Bearer by Kirill Eskov, we should do a pirate audiobook of that, a symbolic Euro, maybe Archive.org, an amazing number of bootleg audiobooks on YouTube, the official Alien movie adaptation by Alan Dean Foster, published in paperback and never thought of again, The Terminator (novelization), a perfect film, sction science fiction oriented, it’s like a theorem, the perfection of a beautiful theorem, so well thought through, the Champs Elysee, lucky Terence, the budget, what is this?, seems a little short, the NAFO, NATO trolls, troll dog in fatigues, anybody who questions the Ukraine War, a tendency, pro-Ukraine people calling Russians orcs, the dumber side of science fiction fandom (pretty much all of science fiction fandom), orcs are black people, doing the Eloi properly, dumb and pretty, The Time Machine by H.G. Wells, September is okay, Australia in December, Tip-tree, do you read me?, poly-valent, NASA stuff, do you read?, parody of SF fandom (amongst other things), save it for the podcast, already intrigued, Heads Of Cerberus by Francis Stevens, strict with the definition, amongst Jesse’s favourite SFF writers, sloppy and crunchy, amazing concept, a phial, pretty and stupid, but do they have boobs?, pre-pubescent, they’re supposed to be children, Dante?, set in Philadelphia, two burglars, the opener disappears, I’ve killed them, Ulythia, a spider woman there, a weaver of webs, mystical shit, a sphinx over a temple entrance, we’re out of time, a staging area to another reality, Philadelphia 2118, a 1984 style dystopia, their name is either a number or a job title, Prettiest, Wittiest, Strongest, governance of the city, contests, if you fail the contest or challenge you’re thrown into a spiked pit, this future place, cut-off from the rest of the United States, what to do with them?, the game and the story, challenge for prettiest, a fourth guy, Mr. Justice is the cop, not a comedy but very comedic, like a Philip K. Dick novel but better put together, super-innovative, two Mondays from now, LibriVox, cleaned up sound, a super brain in her head, you can tell if you read enough if a book was written by a man or a woman, I saw she had a boob, her hands are not big and veiny, check the hand sizes, secondary sexual characteristics, fingernails, how much attention has been paid to the fingernails, Black House by Stephen King and Peter Straub, influenced by Zelazny’s Amber series, a sequel, parallel realities, Evan likes Stephen King, we exhausted Bachman, 20 hours, Straub died recently, 26 fucking hours, duty books, Progeny by Philip K. Dick, Pirates Of Venus by Edgar Rice Burroughs, 1st books, A Meeting With Medusa by Arthur C. Clarke, another Tor Double, in Playboy, a hot air balloon in orbit of Saturn?, everybody’s favourite: Farnham’s Freehold, he’s fun to argue with, No Man’s Land by John Buchan, planning three months ahead, duty!, Paul: you could take a break, Jesse, your center of narrative gravity says, pumping iron, too focused on image of the body, works for the brain, if you’re living in Ancient Athens, Socrates: you’re looking fat, people doesn’t like Socrates, Plato was a wrestler, footsoldiers, cowboys in the distance, learning to throw spears and steal rifles, they’re not discus throwers, what makes them famous?, what makes them good?, stories on the grape vine, stories that require attention, God Save The Mark is more fun, time travel, amazing theme, the secret hobby horse of Westlake is insurance, talking about insurance, hedging your bets all the time, is the insurance company fucking with you?, what makes things continue to function, David Foster Wallace, taxation, not interesting, a central thing we’re trained not to think about, if I don’t buy anything I can’t be taxed, tax rebate, in British Columbia and Canada, HST, GST, PST, harmonize it!, compared to the states, Justin is horrible, fucking terrible things, generally incompetent, not completely corrupt, negotiating these sales taxes, same as VAT, an 80s thing, we know its going to hurt everybody, luxury tax, the theoretical amount of tax they paid, fuel and food, a relatively good life, without working many many hours, inherited money, mortgage payments for 25 years, under COVID, Biden promised a $2000 cheque, never given it, student loans and all the other things, a standard flat amount for everybody, a statistical anomaly, $2000 a month for not working, condo crisis as usual, you don’t have that business anymore, a net negative for most, lose their jobs, doing podcasts, the difference between the two, something in France, up to a level being able to pay 80%, unemployment benefits, normally more stringent, that formula is interesting, most people were getting less, that flat number, cop still has to go to work, if you lost any work, the universalness of it, the province did other things, crown corporations, BC Hydro, automotive insurance, an actual attempt to lessen the damage, keeping track of it, amazing, right?, fairly well when somewhat interested, the fact that they can do good things is amazing, 1pm, Terence’s wife has gone to Paris for a week, this is good for me, I won’t eat, can’t stop it, might as well allow it, Jesse got that from Will, a post-Jungian, James Hillman, we’re made of stories, we’re made of images, Carl Jung, Jimmy Dore, the reason Jesse hates Michio Kaku, somebody’s got your shadow, there’s nothing shadowy about them, people who don’t call him on his shit, Evan or Paul get upset at people, there’s nothing upseting there, team based, not liking Jordan Peterson, said to be anti-trans vs. anti-trans pronouns, he’s dumb, he does say interesting things, psychological stuff, biblical stuff, basic, whatever he says the opposite is true, he’s a dad for a lot of men with not deads, not that many smart people in the media, John Vervaeke, the Meaning Crisis, charge money for their courses, religious people who nod in that direction, when Jordan Peterson talks about Marxism, probably just ignorant, Slavoj Žižek / Jordan Peterson debate, Peterson didn’t chicken out, talked around everything, a judo thing, he didn’t know what to say, The Communist Manifesto, intellectual flourishing, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Cirsova, Marx starved his own children, he was fucking poor, Victorian workhouses, he’s seeing it all around him, he was preaching about what was being practiced upon him, What!?, most people let it slide, this guy is my brain, end up like Sam Harris, Sam Harris didn’t care how many dead children are in Hunter Biden’s basement, a unique threat, mass emiseration, truth can be gamed, narrative control, largely true for most people, Letter To A Christian Nation, sparky and spitty, Žižek’s thesis, old hat, superseded by Gilles Deleuze, he became good, the roots of what he later elaborated, lots of stuff is useable, trans and woke ideologies, he can get away with it, current events, Benjamin Studebaker, the last American election, Cambridge Oxford same fucking place, annoying in two ways: smart and young, how’d you get so smart and so young, The Lack podcast, Political Science 101, pirate Jesse the side2s, its good to do, there are good ideas, listen to them a lot, Political Science 101 podcast, Nina Power, the three of them write little essays, French cinema, independent movies, a more intellectual Science Fiction Book Review Podcast (but for movies), the price of the book, thinking about his audience, paperback is probably good for most people, a very good sign, the opposite is Robert J. Sawyer, competing with my new book, he was a science fiction writer, turned his hand to trying to make a living by writing trilogies, on twitter in full length, the fundamental problem of what’s going on in the United States, right about everything, TV adblocker version, Lord Enoch, rando talking heads, that guy is a real intellectual on TV, just teeth and dresses and smiles and vague acquaintance with some of the issues, good public intellectuals online, philosopher repairman: Louis Rossmann, completely untrained in philosophy, repairing laptops, recently got hired by a billionaire, projects that are useful to humans, right to repair, farmers should have access to their tractors code, the least amount of interest in vanity of production, the opposite of that, a very solid philosophy, used to live in New York, Bill de Blasio, Paul was not happy about it, snitch out your customers to the cops, Texas, annoying young people who’s smart and good at thinking, no production value at all, people trying to learn to fix their laptops, people who don’t like bullshits, the price of real estate, dead city neighbourhood walkthough, he’s doing very practical present day philosophy, DRM is not something most people care about (even though they should), book management, take in different plugins, stripping drm protection from ebooks, minimizing time in front of screens, printing things up, the searchability, if you find yourself with 26.5 hours, not possible to tai-chi while audiobooks, doing bjj and listening to audiobooks, very strange.

Hard Case Crime - Scratch One by John Lange

Scratch One by John Lange

Scratch One by John Lange

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The SFFaudio Podcast #761 – READALONG: Downward To The Earth by Robert Silverberg

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #761 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, Terence Blake, and Jonathan Manfred Weichsel talk about Downward To The Earth by Robert Silverberg

Talked about on today’s show:
downward dog, the sad story, a biblical quote, Nightwings, lots of short stories, 200 short stories?, sensing a pattern, The Book Of Skulls, Up The Line, Thorns, Dying Inside, similar tones, 1970, 1972, serialy in Galaxy, awesomely similar, Sundance, maybe having a mental breakdown, Tom Tworibbons, first nations native, setup the colonization, exterminating a possibly sentient pest, Colonel Kurtz, favourite writers, Lovecraft has Poe and Dunsany, Silverberg’s is Joseph Conrad, The Secret Sharer, Conrad is not really sciencefictional, rather elderly, a whole basement full, the comic book, its very French, one of the guys looks like Silverberg, aware of the adaptation, why did they make me that guy, Philippe Thirault and Laura Zuccheri, same bear same hair same face, messed around with the plot, so internal, such a novel novel, as opposed to Harry Potter, in his head, try to make a Dying Inside movie, cloud forests, getting into his racist head, voice over narration, look at the original Dune movie, that’s the book, the Villeneuve, why Jessica has to cry all the time, a superwoman who must cry in every scene, being upset all the time, more evil or less ready for their rebirth?, a different part of Gunderman, dialogs struggling with his internal self, the tour guy dude, Kurtz, externalize all of the that, cut them down and synthesize them into the basic idea, decide what each character represented, Avatar 2, a 3 hour movie, my unconscious is smarter than I am, a one hour on a similar theme, The Crunch, a tv movie by Nigel Kneale, most of the good stuff out of the UK is just Nigel Kneale, former island nation colony, takes place in realtime, natural resources, we’re all friends now aren’t we?, now pay us back what you stole from us, kinda like science fiction, resentment, African or North American or South American or island colonies, The Mouse That Roared (1959), drops you into it, similar to what we have in this book, the colonization of a planet, back for more, they thing that they wanted to get: unobtainium, a piss take, Cameron was a science fiction reader, moving off Earth, financing the whole trip, capitalists from Earth, makes you immortal, killing all these sentient whales, the relationships between the na’vi and the whales, the two alien species we have in this book, to see that pattern, interconnected, they literally link together, commune with each other, let’s do colonialism, let’s pull back from colonialism, Stephen Lang, he’s a Colonel Kurtz, twisted and evil, seeing the ending coming, foreshadowed from the beginning, quiet about things they shouldn’t be quiet about, meat-eater vs. omnivore, peaceful aliens, peaceful vs. pacifist, our main elephant we’re riding, him, permission from the human to kill the human, taking it as an order, whales are not allowed to fight, one of the whale characters, bad whale, excluded from the group, being violent to another sentient being, we warhawks here on earth, yeah getem!, power armour, a meditation on African colonialism, the Humanoids comic book company, I went to Kenya in 1968, I’d always liked Conrad, his mode at this time, he’s really into this stuff, Philip K. Dick drug-trippy, transcendence, interior life, immortality, relationships gone bad, Majipoor, a big series, strange dream and psychedelic stuff, wandering, getting into adventures, less interior, more Vancian, a new wave book?, painfully new wave, I like this book, what new wave proves, complaining about navel gazing, navel gazing is good, meditative, Sundance blew Jesse out of the water, alien baby factor, disturbing, they left that out, why?, amped up the sexuality and the nakedness, a French move, what scenes parallel what scenes, that snake pumping station, the three witches?, maybe, what they’re doing is horrible but we don’t know why, giving hallucinogens to horses, that’s the horror, cultural appropriation, species appropriation, terrible behavior, a native secret ceremony, how do these taboos develop, no photography, connected to the people, the taboo is there in part because we don’t have the physical transformation, a healing ceremony, an activity done by people who know what they’re doing it, solve some community problems, not scientifically proven, backlashes with the insects, everybody’s friends, some of the alien lifeforms are not you friends, eaten by some moss, you can commune with everything with your pony-tail, your horse, your sky-horse, your whale friend, cougar behind that tree, the bear will not meditate with you, the coyote will take your kid, the quasi-cultural appropriation, the tounge thing from Maori, the tree people bear their teeth and hiss, we’re all going on a spiritual journey, we can’t talk about it, respect our cultural practices, more Silverberg than Conrad, an initiation into the shadow side of things, Marlowe, sitting on a boat waiting for the tide to change, experiences in the Congo, a framed device, I went up the river, heard about this Kurtz guy, doing genocide, the slaughter of the elephants vs. the cutting off of hands, this book can’t exist without Conrad’s book, after colonialism, Kurtz is going back for forgiveness, it’s its own story, tourism as some element of every Silverberg, he’s writing what he knows, immortality but not in a way anyone would want, regrows limbs and heals damage, the rebirth ceremony, makes your sins go away or turns you into a puddle, on a symbolic level, the original X-Men movie, Magneto can turn people into mutants, forcibly mutantized, interior nature and interior sin, reflecting the inner life, none of the robots get to have a rebirth ceremony, patient AI, wall decoration, not a threat, the physical animals, fucking around the meaning in the comic, more Avatar earth mother, the planet is alive, the mother of souls tree, waking up the life of the planet, do the revolution, the plateau where transformation happens, a poor substitute for rebirth, go downward like beasts, gaining psychic powers, starchild in 2001, he becomes space Jesus, Paradise Lost by John Milton, the better the angel the more he can fall, Ecclesiastes, maybe animals and humans are or aren’t the same, if we’re special and they’re not, creatures without souls, munching the weeds, they are beasts, their leaden spirits go downward, sapient spirits go upward to the mists, the boom boom boom, he thought it was drums, they don’t have hands, a very pretty comic, huge hardcover, Paul should’ve loved that, not recognizing what a map, communicate with my dog, the frisbee section, the knowledge game, what a map means, not recognizing a picture, visual representation of an object, so many questions, what he’s doing in this books, spent some time, starts off the main character as a racist, that was me in the past, the other elephant guys are telling him, a new wave thing, engagement with the ideas, the sweat lodge, they need to, a cultural practice, we got to get your head on straight, a dance ceremony as medicine, dance therapy, bandages and drugs, a real solid engagement with non-western medicine, Badge Of Infamy is a medicine book, the baccy weed is gonna solve all our problems, the drug has actual effects, as used as a medicine, get Tolkien smoking pipes, changes your brain state, we’re not using it properly, the wafer on my tongue, transubstantiation, a dream state, I’m going to break into the rectory and get me some crackers and wine, special penance ceremony, kill things, pretty brutal, go down to earth temporarily, a healing ceremony to prep for transcendence, I am the emissary, I am the light of the world, love one another, he’s space Jesus, milking snakes, a funny phallic scenes, what stays in Vegas, masturbation contests, help all the other humans go through rebirth, galactic faith, an ecstatic state, this is that thing, impose the elephant people’s stuff on the humans, already in a state of grace, The Word For World Is Forest by UKL, Vietnam War, a pugnacious book, in the afterword of the colonization, a quiver full of kids, his blue children, an adopted white (human) kid, the sky people are back, Apocalypse Now (1979), the other way to go, after, goddamn those horrible fat cow people, maybe I’m not right, the same debates, relinquishment, 20 years in Afghanistan, they’ll just not let girls get educated, Eye Of The Monster by Andre Norton, playing a conservative author, a more nuanced view, a more liberal view, in science fiction in general, healing vs. drug abuse, fried up on drugs, A Scanner Darkly by Philip K. Dick, psilocybin, body horror, a liberation for our disabled main protagonist, a joy, a different attitude towards the concept, very palatable, wanna live in Avatar, a fantasy, living in a VR meta, his brain transfer, thinking you can be immortal, downloading your memories, that’s not how it works, Think Like A Dinosaur by James Patrick Kelly, way more engaged with a reality, puddle Kurtz, a thing on the wall feeding you black liquid, much more Alien (1979), only if they have to pee, people are alienated from their own bodies right now, they’re not comfortable in their own skin, the mind-body connection, ceremony connecting, body and mind and spirit, separate vs. connected, Silverberg vs. Cameron, where the horror is, the inside manifesting itself physically, a very solid book, grandmaster award, what is his standout work?, Heinlein, Philip K. Dick, short stories, little things that he’s done, a huge long career, is there any such thing for Silverberg, Born With The Dead, pretends his dead, why they don’t care anymore, sounds great, due to Audible and their evilness, brilliant, he can be amazing, Up The Line, Thorns, a picaresque comic novel, time tourism, a slacker flunky, a time courier, a tour guide for time travelers, have sex with their ancestors and drink a lot, causing a serious paradox, motifs, helix parlours, future drugs, weird connections, light/fun read, also light, Project Pendulum, a lot of fun, futuristic humans, bamboozle them, the quintessential Silverberg: Nightwings, graphic novel, the mouth, Roman Holiday (1953), some audiobook narrator, The Asteroid Stealers, Vampires From Outer Space, Thorns, really good, really dark, really depressing, a psychic vampire, reality tv shows, what authors do too, the short story guy, pretentious, new wave = pretentious, Avatar is just dumb, went on the journey, compared to Andre Norton…, the lack of a map is a feature not a bug, the dreamlike nature of this book, he gets lost, the elephant guys, a theory about the alien’s name, Borgazor, the most beautiful words in the English language: cellar door, that Anglo Saxon, Celtic, less Germanic, a logic to the language to the nameing of the things, an Elf tribe in Tolkien, old guy traveling a landscape of his youthful adventures, This Immortal, Call Me Conrad, [Damnation Alley], now they’re all old, rekindle alliances or hostilities, you see this in so many authors, back to the scene of old battles, the plot of a lot of new wave fiction, just because Jonathan’s old and has had battles, a new new wave writer, attracted to things and not do them themselves, I love Star Wars…, that’s sad, probably never gonna write a westerns, I can like westerns and not make westerns, we can enjoy a whole lot, late 1960s early 1970s, playing on the old pulp stories, less naive and more cynical, relitigate, redefine, Humanoids questions, how did you get into comics, Planet Comics during WWII, how did you get into paperbacks, then I found science fiction fandom, that was a long time ago, since 1969 to now, he thought he was getting old then, I’m an old man now I’m fifty, its taking this time, he exists and he loves the internet, gives the occasional speech he gets yelled at about, Heavy Metal, come out of retirement, famous fantasy novel, Lord Valentine’s Castle, I have more to say, keeping up with all the new books, 90s collabs, regular editorial, had to apologize for offending somebody, the big three magazines, out of retirement so many times, 2015/2016, Lawrence Block has retired several times, here’s an old book I wrote, a habit that’s built in, people like it still, I got this need to write it, it makes me feel something, wasn’t Marion Zimmer Bradley a grandmaster?, so many movies, Isaac Asimov, fixture on late night television, what do you think about speculative fiction, a rational and sand and excellent writer, I never heard of that, hundreds of works, his reputation, series are generally popular, what’s crazy about Silverberg, manic depressive thing, a ton of novels, fallow seasons, he turned down a nomination, compete with one another, Tower Of Glass, he was writing that many books, pretty darned good, Hawksbill Station, very prolific, A Time Of Changes, a J.G. Ballard vibe?, the guy who died of crystal infection, in reflection, the stuck couple, the brooding pit, a Drowned World sort of horror, feels less new wave?, Terence loved all of it, not a very visual person, descriptive passages are less interesting, the audiobook voice, Bronson Pinchot, bad experiences, a pleasure to read, Sailing To Byzantium, Grover Gardner, like and dislike, forced to tone down the performance, they only have gestures, by looking at their eyebrows, sardonic or whatever, a performance that can overwhelm a book, reading Tim Powers, the other kind of narrator, a straight narrator, getting the pauses perfectly, better audiobook taste, from the sitcom, The Bronson Pinchot Project, a weird hobby, 1985, Sixth Column by Robert A. Heinlein, prepare your racists selves, language changed for the book publication (vs. the serialization), City Of Singing Flame by Clark Ashton Smith, Logan’s Run by William F. Nolan and George Clayton Johnson, two dudes, Shakespeare’s Planet by Clifford D. Simak, Invitation To The Game, The Charwoman’s Shadow by Lord Dunsany, A Midsummer’s Tempest by Poul Anderson, the Canadian less shitty Andre Norton, Michael Crichton, Stephen King, Peter Straub, Progeny by Philip K. Dick, A Meeting With Medusa, just a blah book, his pre-post war stuff, 6 hours, do you have a Heinlein problem, sir?, as one should, you’re angry with the man, Farnham’s Freehold, most people are afraid, a special ranting booth, oh my god, this is getting creaky, The Number Of The Beast, the original illustrated version, next Heinlein, everybody wants to be on Starship Troopers, let’s do all the racist ones, winnow the podcast, a completely different interpretation, A Voyage To Sfanomoë, how he got his vocab, he read the dictionary, completely self-taught, one week in the United States, Boy Genius!, George Sterling, no you cannot do that!, his mentor guy, okay father figure, Lovecraft became his Sterling, revering, the opposite of August Derleth, Robert E. Howard, a tie, his terrificness, his ideas are weaker, beauty, Charles Baudelaire is a freak, Les Fleurs Du Mal, Terence put his hand in the mouth and is still two handed, put something in there, we need to talk about your audio quality, plug in some headphones, earbuds are not comfortable for two hours, more active noise cancellation, iPhone is pretty darned good.

Humanoids - Downward To The Earth

Humanoids - Downward To The Earth

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The SFFaudio Podcast #760 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: The Poison Belt by Arthur Conan Doyle

The SFFaudio Podcast

The SFFaudio Podcast #760 – The Poison Belt by Arthur Conan Doyle, read by Mike F. Smith (for LibriVox.org). This is a complete and unabridged reading of the book (3 hours, 17 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Paul Weimer, Bryan Alexander, Trish E. Matson, and Terence Blake

Talked about on today’s show:
1913, The Strand, republished, 199 pages, 3 hours and 15 minutes, what we might call a series, The Lost World, never even mention dinosaurs, does this book stand on its own, from a plot perspective, fall into the byplay, as characters, building on those characters, what character we needed, such a step down in terms of length, the mind blowing idea, discovered dinosaurs 3 years earlier, everybody dies, what challenger was doing, reverses all the damage he does, less potent thus less famous, the reception, invasion novels, village, how the rest of the world responds, golfers and babies, the end of the world, straight up, a giant stride being taken, the big setup, skull island, the plateau of Leng, Edgar Rice Burroughs, in Challenger’s wife’s boudoir, no action, the story as an idea, a request from publishers, more of that Challenger stuff, the adventures of these guys again, this story gets super-existential, I can’t report the news now, that old lady worrying about her stocks, in despair, we still have science!, all the roles that Conan Doyle is himself playing, aspects of his own personality, Sumerlee is the worst parts, Challenger is the guy who wants to be, Roxton is the manly man, the reversal, Aristotle’s unities, war imagery, corpses lying every which way on the ground, pseudocorpses, a gas attack, even more striking, propaganda operations, that’s where he got his, keeping up with the fairies, keeping up with everything topical, Danger!, England being attacked by an enemy using uboats, the spectre of death, War Of The Worlds, newspaper reports, telegrams, he wanted an [email protected] email address, clericals and anarchists, Paris has riots in the streets, racialism, the nigger at the beginning and the end, less complex societies, Sumatra, odious ideas of race, the pinnacle is all these people, after he bites his housemaid, a superman, making fun of challenger, short legs, the ride in on the traincar, doing a cockatoo, some rando, perfect for England in 1913, no colonies east of Sumatra, we peel around the world moving west, continues past England, eerily prescient, really poignant, layers of mediation, a snapshot of attitudes in this peak of colonialism, the Slovenians falling, the Teutons were slower to be affected, Doyle’s everybody here, could he have written this 20 years later, kinda stupid premise, ether is not a thing, ether has come back, Einstein, we don’t need this shit, you don’t need ether for the plot, a map of local interstellar space, a bubble of low density interstellar medium, pre-Einsteinian ether theory, cosmic particles, panspermia, what we’re looking at is not a gas, like the Force, allowing light to do its thing, it doesn’t make any sense, change the overall mixture, it can’t actually be a gas, the earth orbiting through this gas, diluting it, they wax papered the windows, A Pail Of Air by Fritz Leiber, a bucket of oxygen, a frozen gas vs. an etheral gas, echoes from this book, Brain Wave by Poul Anderson, supressed conductivity, a Vernor Vinge lift later as well, A Fire Upon The Deep, zones of thought, a sleeping field, the vocab word: catalepsy, I’m feeling cataleptic, can’t come into work today, The First Men In The Moon by H.G. Wells, a social novel, clearly sentimental, the imagery is powerful, the comedy aspect, makes it gentle, John Wyndham’s The Midwich Cuckoos, that scale is so different, every woman on earth is now pregnant, The Day Of The Triffids, knocking up a whole world, hyper-personal, played by Brian Blessed, if fictional people can be reincarnated into real people, A Thousand Plateaus by Félix Guattari and Gilles Deleuze, chapter tracks, a screaming thing, The Land Of The Mists, spiritually insane, 5% insane, luminiferous either, a spiritualist concept, observe as much as we can, if it exists, really?, takes it a priori, Lovecraft, water and salt, who he is and how, essential salts, materialism, too great a thing, three bucketfuls of water, ugly bags of mostly water, uses matter but is not of it, When The World Screamed, a Quatermass serial, a Doctor Who episode, Inferno, a Mirror, Mirror, evil UNIT, Brigadier has an eye-patch, like Spock, some other inventor, the Earth is a living organism, the crust of the Earth with the grapes, a wash to get of some virus or bacteria on the grapes, a line of 8 reapers, bloody golfers, machine metaphors, longing for simplification, early Christian apocalypse, Ragnarok, atomic bomb stories, after the bomb, Mad Max, 27 hours, makes a good play, its scope is much smaller, a total cop-out, just believe Challenger, all hold hands and become a better world, massive anarchist conspiracy, find people to blame it on, a prime target, lost a day, very controversial, personal reasons, hurts the stature, post-apocalyptic, not a plague, the policman standing up wakes up, traffic’s gone to shit, hard not to bring up Lovecraft, a science fiction story, field glasses, spot his housekeeper, a microscope, this microscope, this is wonderful, you can see for your self, and yet it moves sort of line, scientific method, emotionally interesting, existential, does my life have meaning, humour, Doyle’s such a good writer, everything flows so smoothly, our worthy Summerlee, mopping his heated brow, more easily condone, when my balance has been disturbed, one Sarah, so much classism, she is a woman of a sever and forbidding aspect, the royal we, alone at my breakfast, entertaining and instructive, imperturbability, upset a small vase, withdrawn the the study, I sank my teeth in the calf of her leg, ore herself free, some thoughts of an explanation, traveling very rapidly, is it illuminative?, pour this orange juice on his head, explaining the behavior, as you drink less alcohol, as you get older, restrain yourself, as your faculties go, laughter and impulsivity, rationalizing, this experiment is a good idea, so good, he’s become a monster, he bit her on the leg, use my rational mind, problems and issues, classism, rather horrified, loyal chauffeur, wryly sticks with the professor, such a domestic tyrant, they couldn’t appreciate it, we’re all going to die soon, while working on the engine, a common attitude, many rich people now, utter callousness, a natural progression, Sherpas are always missing when climbing Everest, Nepal, the last real town before Everest, a statue of Tenzing Norgay, without him Hillary wouldn’t have gotten anywhere, run 26 miles down hill, badass, Victorian, 18th century fiction, invisible servants, especially a British thing, French social novels of the 19th century, Russian novels, snapshot of the world in 1913, a maniac and a monster, we see this today, Kardashians, gigantic celebrity, talent on stage, staff was masked up, the science in here, the ether explanation, the ideas of what science is, pro-science stuff, what is this book about, what is a theme?, the hardest questions, you’re telling me I have to live, they don’t want to live in a world without…, you can’t published, you can find stuff out, the most stable idea, it isn’t the publication its the finding out, new things about reality, there’s still always going to be science, for science alone vs. life with him, some class stuff with the local guides, and racism, science is in many ways useless, too late to do anything about it, a Cassandra function, there’s delight, the future Earth will be repopulated, evolution is 100% true, a series of observations, predictions, errors, new observations, new predictions, very optimistic, horrific things happened and people were shocked for a while, Malone, feeble folk, like all the oft repeated truths, a lesson an actual experience was need to bring it home, still stunned by the suddenness of the blows, fires everywhere, one of the greatest tragedies, grim reading, her stocks! her stocks!, elide over millions are going to die, for the survivors, personally unaffected, wake up, a rictus grin, nobody died of dehydration, those people, COVID-19, awfully familiar, almost Lovecraftian, the abyss, how convenient, the engineers, this story is meaningless in a certain sense, what will not be forgotten, this revelation, ignorant self-complacency, what abysses may lie on the other side, all our emotions to-day, pushing the religion, explicit religious stuff, singing the hymn, that chastened effect, humility, a narcissistic element, we survived, a contradiction in the narrative stance, the only survivors, Huck Finn at his own funeral, headlines, DEAD LONDON!, The Star by H.G. Wells, almost exactly the same story, A Pail Of Air, a rogue planet, the new brotherhood, books and machines, a hint of this, cold last paragraph, Martian astronomers, Wells and Conan Doyle were really different people, you know why he didn’t get a sir, almost all his characters are monsters, imposing these things on people, often they get a comeuppance, The War Of The Worlds guy, their philosophies, The Time Ships by Stephen Baxter, a really ambitious book, a bunch of child murders, aloof, The First Men In The Moon, Cavor is wonderful, suicidal, a cool romp?, sentimental, moved by it, convinced the whole world had died, where that leaves us, humanity being humbled, the amoeba doesn’t save anybody in this, the human future, out of space, this invasion from Mars, the most fruitful source of decadence, the conception of the commonweal of mankind, very Wellsian, Eric S. Rabkin, that’ll never be the case, damn that gets me, such a magnificent book, a Challenger adventure, he’s a great character, why is he so enthusiastic, reading old stuff does more than one thing, a picture of the society I live in, Fraunhofer lines, we can’t imagine this today, our tame scientist at the office, they have a scientist on staff, at the New York Times, maybe today, he don’t write a lot of articles, 5 people wrote them, daily newspapers, a list of experts they call up, just there to consult, be a Wikipedia and keep up with all that stuff, the golfers and the cricketers, pre-WWI Britain, a “tame scientist”, this had to have been true, these were going concerns, going through old newspapers, the topics covered, university level writing, mistakes, Lovecraft had a syndicated astronomy column across the USA, the local newspaper, the Vancouver Sun, the Province, 5 days a week, not doing Mondays anymore, the fonts are big, the end times for newspapers, Bryan’s new book, Universities On Fire by Bryan Alexander, the bleakest thing Bryan’s ever written, possible extinction, Scientific American used to be amazing, magazines are dead, retired teacher magazines are better than national general topic magazines, encouraging people to get vaccinated, insisted they didn’t need vaccination, the wackiness of Q Anon, silver colloidal treatments, oceans of scientific stuff, the evolution of Wikipedia on SARS, we have a stupider media, access to scientific material, mis and dis information, reading wrong stuff, getting indoctrinated by it, we lived through COVID in real time, the vaccine(s), distributed quickly, excited about the science aspect, prediction supposition, action, correction, new prediction, combined with the emotion, ring the bell, all four of the men, a very religious image, smart, how do you communicate with a whole lot of people, Doyle also makes a point, the churches had never been so packed, the end of Soylent Green, not slept in weeks, it’s people, a very similar kind of image, a utopia, golfing at the world’s end, keep golfing, a dystopian vision, a continuity, the bucolic English countryside, Amitav Ghosh’s The Great Derangement, Jane Austen, J.G. Ballard, pastoral, industrial, tamed nature, a lawn, feedstock for our machines, Kim Stanley Robinson’s The High Sierra: A Love Story, Switzerland, all about the hiking, under Mercury’s surface, Ministry Of The Future, catastrophes into eucatastrophes, he loves this environment, this landscape, lightly pissing on Yosemite, I hate Yosemite, The Comet by W.E.B. Du Bois, searching for other survivors, about to kiss, we have to procreate, only New Yorkers were killed, almost lynched, a cash reward, Pseudopod, another British writer, M.P. Shiel, the movie is pretty good, Harry Belafonte, The Purple Cloud, he just steals other people’s stuff, this is nothing like British Columbia, same story different location, different title, The Place Of Pain, a lens that allows you to see the Moon’s surface like no other telescope can, super-duper-liar, lifting and using ideas, The World, the Flesh And The Devil (1959), heavy-handed, Star Trek, bring back Jim Crow, the cyanogen scare of 1906, Cosmos, Carl Sagan, never explicated to any great degree, a lake in central Afica that had a burp and killed everybody around it, a Fortean style gas, a heavy gas, Lake Nyos in Cameroon, impeding in Salt Lake, invisible, the entire text, Z For Zachariah by Robert C. O’Brien, we don’t know what happened to cause Jenny’s death, her funeral over zoom, they had just adopted a kid, Redonda, this guy’s really kill, this guy’s horrible, fun, a liar, it might be worse than that, Colin Wilson, Michael Moorcock, The Yellow Invasion, child molestation, everything about him is monstrous, his grift goes on and on, a kind of stature, a couple of handfuls of books from that period, palate cleanser, a lot of fun, very moving, done more with it, end of the world/British invasion stories, good writing, just as valuable for the context, if you’re interested in genre history, Francis Ford Coppola, an ongoing joke, roots in a lie, his dad ennobled him, his way of inveigling his way into the good graces of publishers, not occupiable, ESP and reincarnation, would you like to be a lord, a way of having a conversation with Vincent Price, Hollywood creepy, giant cosplay, Arthur Machen, Umberto Eco, another creepy guy, pedophiles out in the world, Sailing Alone Around The World by Joshua Slocum, not acting on best behavior, Jesse’s politics: pirates stabbing liches, Anne McCaffrey, Jesse can beat her ghost, live afraid, The Ship Who Sang by Anne McCaffrey, Gutenberg.org, a great story, 30 pages, about 45 minutes to read aloud, Black Priestess Of Varda by Erik Fennel, he is that guy, lost an eye and lost an arm, a portal fantasy, the story is very illustrative, intermural television, can it be done?, 1930, only 100 years off, Science & Invention, Dick Tracy’s two way radio, Metropolis by Thea von Harbou and her husband, contemporaneous with the making of the film, Alan Dean Foster, an amazing BBC radio drama adaptation, novelizations of movies based on novels, Philip K. Dick and Blade Runner, audiobooks of the damned, pirate audiobook narrations of novelizations, The Terminator, get inside Sarah Connor’s head, based on the script, Alan Dean Foster’s novelization of Alien, fantastic, a stage adaptation of Aliens, a high school production, Sigourney Weaver in the audience, it stages really well, with film we don’t have to restage, refer people back to the original film, take care of that flood, rising tide, good book, Logan’s Run, Downward To Earth, Sixth Column, photography stuff, bud and stuff, hang out with Terence and see his beautiful southern France, abandoned lunatic asylum, changed it back, flash photography, photography takes practice, ghost hunters, flicker every so often, invite any spirit to play with it, arrange a card game with a couple of spirits, wild fun, the later end of Conan Doyle’s stuff, historical tours, hand hewn stone, 2nd biggest structure on Earth, built just before the Civil War, the rump state of Virginia, a Union unit seized all the money, ghost stories, the idea situation, a trash fire algorithm, the host with the most, do some Silverberg, life is really good, spoiled, choosing not to believe.

The Poison Belt by Arthur Conan Doyle

The Poison Belt by Arthur Conan Doyle

The Poison Belt by Arthur Conan Doyle

The Poison Belt by Arthur Conan Doyle

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The SFFaudio Podcast #753 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: The Golden Slave by Poul Anderson

The SFFaudio Podcast

The SFFaudio Podcast #753 – The Golden Slave by Poul Anderson – read by Mark Nelson. This is a complete and unabridged reading of the novel (7 hours, 29 minutes minute) followed by a discussion of it. Participants include Jesse, Paul Weimer, and Trish E. Matson

Talked about on today’s show:
1960, Avon Books, reprinted in 1980, LibriVox, hey this is started to get interesting, the final twist, ringing a bell, when he had his eye taken out, I sacrificed it for wisdom, that guy with the hammer, should’ve seen it coming, the only thing he ever talks about: Scandinavian mythology, Scandinavian history, he did a trick on me, a secret fantasy story, historical, something special here, details were new, Speed is not a good movie but it gives surplus value, an elevator action scene, a bus scene, every Marvel movie, an L.A. Subway scene, underground horizontal, more like Spartacus, working for some other king, a historical figure, something else, spilling over the premise of the cover, a sex book, role reversal, other characters are sex objects too, unusual for Poul Anderson, very tame, a veil drawn over it, sex happens offstage, a little bit of voluptuousness, rub one out to it, given the cover, a very poor sex book, historical adventure, historical exploration, terrible pornography, if that was what he was aiming for, coming into a seaport, smells and sights, sweaty sailors and spices of the market, good at description, on plot, meandering, he knew where he was going, not an intricately plotted spy novel, doesn’t leave dangling threads, easy competent well done read, Lew Wallace, Ben-Hur, pre-that, the Roman emperors, The Storm Before The Storm by Mike Duncan, Julius Caesar, Mike Duncan’s The History Of Rome podcast, the Revolutions podcast, throwing a dart and getting close enough, the Norse myths, our guys are always swearing they’re under weirds and trolls, the days of the weeks gods, the Edda, 1222-1223, well after the events of this book, pretty fun, twist ending, tricked Jesse the whole way through, enthusiasm for Poul Anderson novels, meandering journey, highlights of the era, Marius, a servile war, done way to much?, if you know you know, Paul was delighted, Sulla, the wars against the Cimbri, nice descriptions, smells and sunset and oars, quite good things, Mithridates, a very interesting character, our godly hero, interacting and learning, this pulled it off in the plotting department, we have to stop this Iliad, oh that’s clever,

In the time that followed, Phryne had horror to do. Twice she stopped—once to cast up at a certain sight and once to change her blood-stiffened gown for a tunic. It was hot and foul in the ‘tween-decks space; the groaning and gasping seemed to fill her cosmos. Her temper began to slip—having held the hand of one youth and smiled on him, as the only lullaby she could give while he died, she heard a man screaming as though in childbirth, and, seeing he had a mere broken finger, she chased him out at dagger point. Otherwise it was to wash and bandage, cut and sew and swaddle, set and splint and fetch water, with no more help than a ship’s carpenter from Galilee or some such dusty place.

oh, you cute little guy Poul Anderson, we don’t know about that guy yet, she’s Jesus, that was a setup, deifying these characters, a clever book, a clever guy, future allusion, some really nice writing in there, speaks badly to Jesse’s not always happy with Poul Andersonness, kinda impressed, Three Hearts & Three Lions, The Broken Sword, it has to speak to something inside you, handing this book, a mystery series, Roman children solving mysteries [The Roman Mysteries], the Marcus Didius Falco series, tricking, deceiving, trick or treat is fun, hearing trick as a negative, hating magicians, I sacrificed it for wisdom, Jesse likes getting tricked, set the word trick aside, trick ourselves, make it so you can’t do that, just a regular mind trick, we cultivate these things, do a podcast every week, therefore I should read more books, hey this is a pretty good book, more to say about it?, the treatment of women in this book, ’50s and ’60s books being very sexists, women as props, what the women are saying, Cornelia and Phryne are very different people, just as objects, have more thought for a what a woman must be thinking, the stated perspective, a free woman of Rome, manipulate or plead with the men in her life, when Flavius is talking to Phryne, the slave brand is upon you, toothless at 40 years of age, in a peat bog where it always rains, the lot of nearly all women in that time, women who are complex, women are just crazy, just humour them sometimes, he gains wisdom, the narrator’s perspective is not the writer’s perspective, as close to a god as a person from that era, hey have you heard of Mithridates, something about poison, he died old, a very historical piece of fiction, all fun stuff, Spartacus retelling, kinda characterize this guy who is so famous, his relationship to his vassal states, fictional characters interacting with him, putting Julius Caesar on stage, thinking about his empire, Poul Anderson pulled it off somehow, gender here, the final scene where they find a shitty house made of rocks, a half-wild dog, a squalling kid, an old woman dressed in rags, the fate, they burn their crops and give them money, the battle happens, get into the heads of the ancient Scandinavians, dragons are bad, they’re stingy, a lot of compensation, it was wrong, in a land where violence is law, the strange morality of the Scandinavian gods, shield-maiden, they’re not slaves because they’re female, not relegated to second class status, in the Roman system women are second class, males can be sex slaves, so reminiscent of the Spartacus television series, are the named characters are historical figures, interpersonal relationships, getting you into the slave mentality, born a slave, I was well treated, my grandfather was free, chasing after a person who’s motivation we don’t know, stuff for girls and for boys in here, adventures through whatever the men are doing, agency and action for the women, Cutthroat Island (1995), always streaming somewhere, pirates don’t bury their treasure, Mary Read and Geena Davis, Anne Bonny, Matthew Modine is charming, a higher or a lower mode, this is very realistic, now it is a mythmaking thing, the mirror, zig-zags across the Mediterranean, die on the ship, a very wily Roman, Paul appreciates a wily Roman, drives a spike of conflict, fosters the rebellion of the slaves, they don’t do pirating right either, not quite the roman lake it is later, Egypt, to get away from Rome, they’re headed south, one pirate raid, the book turns north and keeps going, splits up a family, city home and country home, we have a sense of why it happened, so he could get that divorce?, a bastard child, he got exactly what he wanted there, the Spartacus movie, brutal and amazing, seeing what slave relations are like, if one slave harms the master all the slaves die, break up families, absolutely routine, if you’re obedient, he’s not a king exactly, a chieftain in his own land, thinking about motivations for characters, you might want to kill yourself to deny your master, in dissuading future slaving raids, greedy not to kill yourself, if you don’t deny them, the hope of reuniting, to control, an insidious evil kind of control, the slave hierarchy, kindly treated slaves, what roman life was like, if you’ve got a frozen city, graffiti, literature, shopping bills, documentation, giving us the lived in daily thing, bamboozled, a Roman sex book, the visuals of the movie 300 (2007), sexuality in slow motion, an undercurrent, sexy slave time, when Princess Leia is wearing the slave bikini outfit, a trope, leaning in, what does this really mean, a checkbox, a great visual, what would this really be like, a prized object, good for you, the master is fine with it, what if you can’t perform anymore, he’s got a whole lot of game going on, Trish unmuting herself, what’s “comps”?, comparisons, The Persian Boy by Mary Renault, Emperor Darius, Alexander’s boy/lover, discussion of slavery, be pleasing to your master, history in it, court life in Persia, Underground, secret emancipators, some of the complexity of slavery, two “recs”, secret website, a goodreads thing?, a line in here, not a sexist book, out of context, “A few months of giggling Eastern wenches had shown Eodan how sheer tedium could drive so many men to catamites”, some guy who propositioned him, a power relation that’s bad, more complex than that, shipboard slave rebellion, these two women are mine, pent up sexual energy, staking his claim in order to protect, not just that he wants to own them, documentation of early piracy, the Julius Caesar kidnapped by pirates story, come back and kill you all, political rumours, early diplomatic missions, become the catamite of some eastern potentate, if you’re the bottom you’re trash, the attitude of the time, Eutopia by Poul Anderson (in Dangerous Visions), the Odin myth, The Sorrow Of Odin The Goth, Behold The Man for Norse mythology, Edgar Rice Burroughs’ I Am A Barbarian, pungent comments about the decadence of Romans, 1967, pitched as a free translation, Canadian public domain, Burroughs doing I, Claudius from a slave POV, Burroughs doing Rome, researcher, Burroughs is fun, a great prose slinger, Burroughs is very possible, he wrote a lot of books, 26 Tarzan books, four westerns, the beginning of [A Princess Of Mars], people who liked the cover of this book, a science fictional story, a man who is slaved, The Last Hawk by Catherine Asaro, Ascendant Sun, the promo materials, Lucy Lawless wearing a carnal dress, a succession of harems, book 5, back in interstellar life, the other evil space empire, good books, jump in on book 4, don’t be put off by the numbers, set in the same universe sort of thing, she wrote a lot of books, Gabe Dybing’s review of The High Crusade and The Golden Slave on Black Gate, he’s so wise, he’s well trained in speaking well, Paul is a Romanophile, what if he was telling the truth there?, my wife is needy, I’d like her to have a sexy northern barbarian, why don’t you come over to my team, he’s not a dumb evil, we never get a reveal, he’s manipulative, you flip it, the Flavius story, from his POV, tattoo on his forehead, he’s got an agenda, is he a liar?, you would read the other side of this, Netflix’s Barbarians, so many TV shows, since Vikings started up, quasi historical shows, Caroline Lawrence, half-hour [episodes], August 79ad, kids running around Pompeii, the fun kinda time travel where you spend time with people, the Falco series is a game that the author is playing with us, Marlowe style lines, strange ship docking in the port, a Children’s tv show, like Hardy Boys in a different period of time, aimed a little longer, deep on YouTube, Thieves Of Ostia, The Assassin Of Rome, The Twelve Tasks Of Flavia Gemina, Plebs, here student take this book, a fairly fruitful discussion of this trashy sex novel, no and no, Avon, kind of trashy, Jesse likes trashy, bildungsroman, books that are designed to kill time, are they ever get off this farm?, sneaking in, written in bursts?, repeated words, an artifact, when he left for Rome, sometimes there are bursts of movement that are not documented, the setting and the rising of the sun, if you don’t give up on it, leading publishers of romance fiction, not high status, Slave Girl comics, the Avon Fantasy Reader, designed to be cheap trashy entertainment, had he been available, Fabio would have been the golden slave, not exactly what it says on the tin, leans into the whipping, an aberration, the epilogue, had he left it off, it wrapped stuff up with a bow, in case you didn’t know, not being told, historicals with his wife, other novels, a mystery novel, he did make a living, his only job, 11 Time Patrol novels, Shield Of Time, the publishers wishes, give me 10 more like this, did his own game with it, a small percentage, he’s written a ton, a gap plugged, glad we read it, how many pseudonyms?, any?, Gardner F. Fox, a writing machine, Four-Day Planet, Odds On, The Venom Business, too long, off this Crichton train, hit too many potholes, Breakthroughs In Science, Star Born by Andre Norton, the animal one [The Beast Master], The Poison Belt by Arthur Conan Doyle, the comic book adaptation of Downward To The Earth by Robert Silverberg, alien elephants, Footfall, French, The Glory That Was by L. Sprague De Camp, time travel fantasy?, introduction by Robert A. Heinlein, dedicated to Isaac Asimov, its all been down planet from there, Jerry Pournelle/Larry Niven joints, the arcology one is shit, Oath Of Fealty, When Worlds Collide, Lucifer’s Hammer, Vulcan’s Hammer by Philip K. Dick, the terrible Andre Norton: Star Hunter, Space Viking, relatively short, Paul hasn’t updated his PUBG, a new map, the intense mode, very quick, Jesse is not a looter in games (only in real life), H. Beam Piper’s ghost is joining us?, Terence is retired so available for podcasting, Pirate Enlightenment too, to be a game master, when you’re making your own campaign, very chipper, 20 sessions,

1 hour 9 minutes

The Golden Slave by Poul Anderson

ZEBRA - The Golden Slave by Poul Anderson

Ascendant Sun by Catherine Asaro

Spartacus Blood And Sand

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The SFFaudio Podcast #751 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: Unseen—Unfeared by Francis Stevens

The SFFaudio Podcast #751 – Unseen—Unfeared by Francis Stevens – read by Mike Vendetti. This is a complete and unabridged reading of the story (48 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants include Jesse, Maissa Bessada, Mike Vendetti, and Cora Buhlert.

Talked about on today’s show:
listening to and reading, People’s Favorite Magazine, Feb. 10, 1919, emdash [—], Mike’s first Francis Stevens, more than 100 year ago, the technology, so predictive, The Heads Of Cerberus, Gertrude Barrows Bennett, a married woman who married more than once, Jean Vale, they cancelled that, only one story had her real name on it, G.M. Barrows, teenager, Sunfire, getting depressed, a fantastic writer, clunky, Citadel Of Fear, so good at ideas, so early, 1904, a superhero origin story before anybody, nobody had invented superheroes yet, Zorro is later! [1919], The Scarlet Pimpernel, 1905, dual identity, so pioneering, such sexist times, Francis is a male name, abbreviated names, C.L. Moore, H.P. Lovecraft, Andre Norton, sexism came from women as well as men, women want the vote, the progressive period, time capsule, From Beyond, a little H.P. Lovecraft story, machine shows some weird shit, no waccy tobaccy, no good evidence Bobby Derie seems to have these facts at hand, published in 1934, better in technical ways, tighter, 11 pages, 47 minutes vs. 19 minutes, this is the racist story, Lovecraft’s story isn’t racist, dealing with race a lot, Lovecraft lives through it, a case of parallel thinking, explicitly called out, Micrographia, what paramecium and amoeba look like, these things are all over you, isn’t that creepy?, this story also calls out the bacteria in microscopy, deemed to be dirty, no running water, dirty because they are poor, teaching hygiene, photos with a microscope, talking about the technology, gaslamps have been out for a long time, a building without wifi today, any wifi!, 1890s they have electric bulbs, phones are standard, people didn’t upgrade, a brownstone subdivided for a whole bunch of immigrants, Cool Air, a cheap place, nice and clean, dripping fluids everywhere, these are slumlords, tons of immigrants looking for housing, strong protections for renters, farmhouse, a farmer family once lived there, large entrance hall, stuffed in refugees, 1 million Ukrainians, Turkey, countries that want cheap labour, who gets to set the immigration policy?, going to a crummy neighbourhood, the guy he’s going to visit is rich, he wants to help improve the community, keep your water clean, a progressive of the kind the main character isn’t, in a story like He, disgusting human beings, the nadir of race relations in the United States, Jim Crow is at its highest, swarthy of anykind, deemed horrible, eugenics, racism at its core, weird piece of paper from South America, one Thanksgiving, strangers, started to hit the wacky stuff, some subversive group had put marijuana into the stuffing you buy at the store, Mike is the only one who knows this, he’s racist at the beginning of the story, paranoid and high and delusional, the drug makes him super-racist, kind of fascinating, everything is disgusting, he’s wrong, the Italian guy is concerned for him, deeply racist people, they’re diseases, we’re all human, I was human too, recognizing that he’s not himself, as human as me, he’s turning it on himself, the chianti, the sour wine, undercut at the end, the opalescent paper, the classic Lovecraftian move, this amazing book, this city of ancient gods that we found in Antarctica, let’s never tell anybody about it, connections in the shipbuilding industry, Antarctica, old enough to know, still wanted to go, very very cool. Francis Stevens is so cool, The Elf-Trap, there’s this scientist, she likes scientist characters, he has a bad heart, go on vacation, Kentucky, Carcassonne, disgusting, beautiful, they’re fairies?, fall in love and then sacrifice him, disgusting and stink, beautiful and attractive and exotic, we see it both ways, a frameshift, dingy and disgusting, everything green again, chocolatey!, there’s something wrong with this, they’re all like me, crawling uop the scientist’s leg, starfish, centipedes, drink these developing fluids, backstory of the cop, it was all that wacky tabaccy, the reversal again, what is the truth of this?, “doubt is sometimes better than certainty”, this doesn’t seem like it is that deep, generally very racist, what makes the people so racist is they are certain about their beliefs, there are things we all believe that we are wrong about, if we are very strongly opinioned about those things it can make us very made to be confronted when those things turn out to not be true, it makes us upset because it hurts us, what’s going on politically, you can not have a conversation with somebody is on the other side, your certainty and their certainty, matter and antimatter, I have this problem and I don’t want it solved, environmental protestors, gentle and lenient, repent and renounce modernity, glued himself to a table, voted differently, racist uncles, free refrigerators?, far right, screechy ones on the left, death threats on the internet, fireworks, terrible things, this is the danger, blocking people, I can’t talk to you and you can’t talk to me, we need to act, new washer and dryer, certainty, is this the best price, in the face of the fact that we must act, we must doubt, really good at telling truths about some things, voted for trump or some other person, doubt is better certainty or certainty is better than doubt, vitamin d supplements, serious covid cases, terrible Nazi made a sensible proposition, water is wet, water is dry!, Trump water, train derailment, ancient Trump water, East Palestine, laws passed by the Nazis, perfectly harmless laws, industrialization, parking spaces per home, a good law, decades later, advertise abortions, anti-abortion activists, supplying power, perfectly harmless, what actually is happening in this story, is the cigar actually tainted, is this full of vinyl chloride, a religious like conversion, we’re not so bad as we all think we are, seems pretty simple, an app that allows you to see what people are thinking, a delusion, seeing evil thoughts written all over their faces, narrows his focus, a bad trip, weird membrane, were those monsters real or not?, is it a ghost story?, a real interaction, able to imagine having this conversation with Doctor Holt, does he actually see him, back and forth, what you’re about to see no mortal man has seen, I’m dead, all the world shall know, one by one they shall learn the truth and perish, double entendre, feels a little clunky, she’s really on to something, from Cuba, invariable good, not be the case, Havana, he only smoked half the cigar, still alive, Jenkins, Ralph Peeler, accused of murdering, hallucinated to suicide, or it killed him, what makes this different from other kinds of science, no longer replicable, send that to Benjamin Franklin, back and forth, that’s what science is, repeatable experiences, opalescent paper, can’t get any more of it, could have been cocaine, or had an evil curse on it, what do these two things have in common, they’re exotic, an Incan lost city, map it, they burn the paper so nobody can replicate the experience, we can all look under the microscopes and see the germs that are killing us, when Charles Darwin’s On the Origin Of Species came out, I’m not a fucking monkey, it takes decades, Breakthroughs In Science by Isaac Asimov, microphotography, a readalong, the density of the gold, Eureka Eureka!, I smell good, not me I smell good, a good bath joke, chronological, dedicated to a science teacher Mike had in high school, lower the temperature of the flame, such a good book, a very good non-fiction and science writer, Archimedes, Johann Gutenberg, Nicolaus Copernicus, William Harvey, Galileo Galilei, Anton van Leeuwenhoek, Isaac Newton, James Watt, Antoine Laurent Lavoisier, Michael Faraday, Joseph Henry, Henry Bessemer, Edward Jenner, Louis Pasteur, Gregor Johann Mendel, William Henry Perkin, Röntgen and Becquerel, Thomas Alva Edison, Paul Ehrlich, Darwin and Wallace, Marie and Pierre Curie, Albert Einstein, George Washington Carver, Irving Langmuir, Rutherford and Lawrence, Robert Hutchings Goddard, a good list, a book to do a show on, dealing with that, The White Ape [Facts Concerning the Late Arthur Jermyn and His Family], cool that my ancestors were apes, gross!, a week later, gross!, I hate mushrooms, stages of developement, individually vs. societalally, the U.S. owns at this time, Philippines, talked about it as a colony, talking about adding , fucking disgusting monkeys, still a colony, possessions, Hawaii, 1899, South American drugs, harvested and brought to the city, add to the capital, having lunch with a friend, a mistaken poisoning, just tryna live, dosed, seeing behind the veil, we can’t replicate this, the ending is to leave us in doubt, a piece of fiction, that’s interesting, putting you in a better position, it’s a fact that Hillary Clinton killed that guy, we can think better about, our disbelief instinct, the most relevant case of technology today, robots have nothing to say, no you can’t write that anymore I’m going to fix it for you, these are not the words that were written, a false sense of what happened in the past, the Roald Dahl situation, children’s books have been edited for content, books from before WWII and WWI, childhood to adulthood, all of WWI in 2 pages, why is there no WWII at all, it’s been written out, never reprinted after WWII, censorship vs. replacing the text, shifted the setting, Silesia is now Poland but used to be Germany, Breslau to Hanover, both authors died in WWII, encroaching Red Army, for Lovecraft, public domain, change the entire story and keep Lovecraft’s name, disingenuous and bad vs. owned by a monopoly, the major difference, not republishing a book is not the same as changing the words, we’re reversing that, the James Bond books, racist stuff in here, not changing Ian Fleming from what he was, why they’re doing it, change for change’s sake, can’t say fat, fundamentally doing evil because they’re lying, the painter, Norman Rockwell, this is Norman Rockwell’s painting of Obama, if Stalin wants to airbrush somebody out, I went to the beach with my friend Trotsky, the Soviet system, the copyright problem, the audiobook narrator world, offended by certain words, the consensus, if that’s what it says, that’s what you say, Huckleberry Finn without the N-word, there are words in here that are not mine, you don’t see it you don’t worry about it, people tend to fear what they don’t know, immigrants in the United States, if all the Mexicans left you’d starve to death, stealing our jobs, what’s happening in the UK, agricultural labour, people from Africa, Poles, Romanians, cheap immigrant labour, no vegetables or fruit, part of the picture, when Lovecraft is being racist, there’s a push pull, factor owners want cheap labour, I can’t live here anymore, it could be entirely domestic, a period of starvation, exporting younger sons, pushed out political malcontents, these Proud Boys need to go to Canada, distant relatives, no one here would have them, 1950s, emigrated from Italy, grandfather was a real jerk, coal mines, Italians and Irish, those people are different, 1880s, sold his daughters, that was the deal they made, Jesse’s internet went away, basically illiterate, you couldn’t fool her with numbers, different shade of skin colour, and you fear em, you think you can see these people, suddenly visible, we’ve always had black people, a lot of Italian immigration, labour immigration, nasty prejudices against the Italians, only old people are like that, obviously Polish names, the descendants of Polish workers, the silliest thing, what were your grandparents, three generations of Turkish immigrants, two million Russians, every person is a library, read all your books and get used to it, it takes a while, a generation or two and everybody’s happy, there’s microbes all over us, the universe is incredibly giant, it will bite you, was Francis Stevens racist or shedding a light on it?, yes, shining light on superstition about other people, demons and microbes, a move at the end, send it back to Hell, what’s so cool about her, very very thoughtful person, fiction stories, she’s alone, its very hard to reason alone, what do you think of this pasta, eventually we decide how to make it delicious, we need a little parmesan, the nadir of race relations, the solution to race problem: eugenics, I have the answer, my audience like me is racist, race is not important, try to be charitable to Jesse, why are you such a jerk, sometimes I’m not horrible, this story wouldn’t exist, what if we change our perspective on this thing we’re seeing all around us, put in emojis to indicate current beliefs, wearing a cross around their neck, a stick on their lawn: immigrants out or hate has no home here, almost everybody was racist, Frederick Douglas, it worked both ways, he was looking at you with worry, looking out for him, priming you with different words, anger, pity, the same picture with different conclusions, look around my community, Lovecraft walking around New York looking at jewish beards, have you tried their cabbage?, I’m afraid of limburger, we ned to frame shift, the most au currant thing of the day, The Horror At Red Hook, a cop here, all the characters in this story are working for good, acting under the influence, Callahan, an Americanism, Irish were not considered white at the time, race is not a science thing, this is about science, at the time race was science (but shit), getting passed bad theories, she doesn’t defeat racism through a scientific process, she uses doubt to get to the problem, string theory is garbage science (this is becoming known), Michio Kaku, studied math, it doesn’t get us anywhere, we’ve wasted 50 years working on this shit, bubble up, this is not so good, it takes a long time for people, I haven’t been wasting my life, you’ve been wasting your life being racist, what is the first thing that he sees?, a group of Italians, an Italian restaurant, on their way to a part or festival, 2am dance party, loud parties at night get off my lawn, Cora’s fireworks incidents, conservative and bourgeois green party people, the wrong sort of people enjoy fireworks, so traumatized by the fireworks, east European immigrants, firework ban, three days per year, such a huge issue, the last paragraph in the story, narrow down evil,

Of course, our action in destroying that “membrane” was illegal and rather precipitate, but, though he won’t talk about it, I know that Jenkins agrees with me—doubt is sometimes better than certainty, and there are marvels better left unproved. Those, for instance, which concern the Powers of Evil.

jere they discovered this parchment, went viral, everybody could use it, a filter on your phone for instigram, They Live, why that’s a great story, revealing a great truth, one of the hard things to explain in the world is why people commit suicide, the non-existence button, what causes it, here’s an explanation, finding everything to be terrible, i’m creating more horror, I was mean to that person, I feel regret, press the button, pie for dessert, should I marry this person, how should I interact with that new immigrant, shun them like my brother does, psychoanalysis, monsters burst from the unconscious, you just have to read Poe, pre-Jung and pre-Freud, this is my guy, he’s a weird guy, he has this spark that we have, what interests us in his genre, the mystery genre and the science fiction genre, angels, he’s inventing science fiction, look at who was before her, H.G. Wells, Fitz James O’Brien, Jules Verne, in the pulps, proto-science fiction Weird Tales, little bit clunky, a little bit hard to follow, such a thoughtful story, Blaisdell, he like cigars and highly seasoned Italian food, exactly Lovecraft, ravioli, contains multitudes, a matter of perspective, we need to find a different way, guiding the audience,

Jenkins offered me one of his invariably good cigars, which I accepted, saying thoughtfully: “A man has no right to trifle with the superstitions of ignorant people. Sooner or later, it spells trouble.”

who is Francis Stevens talking to?,

“Did in his case. They swore up and down that he sold love charms openly and poisons secretly, and that, together with his living so near to—somebody else—got him temporarily suspected. But my tongue’s running away with me, as usual!”

“As usual,” I retorted impatiently, “you open up with all the frankness of a Chinese diplomat.”

first generation from Iran, rosewater, a lot more affordable, they don’t ever say no, “we could do that” means “no”, the loud American, hey that was a crappy movie, a longer way of saying it was crappy, Jenkins is not the sort of detective, an attack against the mystery genre, she’s showing off,

He beamed upon me engagingly and rose from the table, with a glance at his watch. “Sorry to leave you, Blaisdell, but I have to meet Jimmy Brennan in ten minutes.”

HE so clearly did not invite my further company that I remained seated for a little while after his departure; then took my own way homeward. Those streets always held for me a certain fascination, particularly at night. They are so unlike the rest of the city, so foreign in appearance, with their little shabby stores, always open until late evening, their unbelievably cheap goods, displayed as much outside the shops as in them, hung on the fronts and laid out on tables by the curb and in the street itself. Tonight, however, neither people nor stores in any sense appealed to me. The mixture of Italians, Jews and a few Negroes, mostly bareheaded, unkempt and generally unhygienic in appearance, struck me as merely revolting. They were all humans, and I, too, was human. Some way I did not like the idea.

bare headed, everybody wears a hat at this time, orthodox, speaks to the poverty, if you have any amount of money, skin salons, nail salons, hair salons, and dog food stores, Lids, H.P. Lovecraft’s wife was a hat lady, somebody walking down the street with no shoes,

My sense of impending evil was merging into actual fear. This would never do. There is only one way to deal with an imaginative temperament like mine—conquer its vagaries. If I left South Street with this nameless dread upon me, I could never pass down it again without a recurrence of the feeling. I should simply have to stay here until I got the better of it—that was all.

I have to conquer this, as a woman walking the streets, women don’t have the right to vote yet, a woman alone at night, women wear hats in parts as self defense, killings on buses, Back To The Future (1985), “mashers”, hat pins as weapons to stab people doing that to them, stories in the newspaper about it, through your ribcage and into your guts, designed as weapons, everyday carry shit [edc], pepper spray, all over Bangkok, Baker’s Street, setup together, good things, cheap prices, cheap goods, Chinese were the businessmen, Thais carrying goods, the merchants, take one day a year off, all over South East Asia, Cora lived in Singapore for a while, funeral decorations, get back on the horse, courage, strength, I’m a brave guy, strangers looking at me, New York City, if you are afraid of immigrants, lock yourself in your apartment, small town with covenants, no black people in South St. Paul, Minnesota, segregated neighbourhoods, mixed neighborhoods, kebab shops, Bremen, Hamburg, Portuguese people, eyeballing and window shopping, dangerous, gentrified now, a bit rough, a massive drug problem, drug addicts are somewhere else, passing out in doorways, shocking, why not, the experience, not super-accessible if reading it charitably, powered through the racism at the beginning, oh, my god this is horrible, changed perception with each reading, what am I reading, not in his own mind, changed the flavour of the whole thing, scary, set pet animal gone mad, seeking entrance, iron railed stone steps, museums, shops, shabby old residences, a party of Italians passed, gaily dressed, some wedding or other festivity, the full Roald Dahl treatment, perhaps going to a grocery store, I shuddered back against the door, the swarthy manner of his race, pure malicious cruelty, all the wickedness of his nature, concentrated hate, sick and trembling, male gaze on this female standin character, grimy, the grit of the dirt, rawly quivering nerves, you looked so weird, looks like you swallowed a cigar, is this guy ok?, a crummy place, positive things in it, but not at this moment, if you’re feeling sick, you act badly, shorter when in pain, dismissive, not strong enough, sometimes you have to do things you don’t want to do, sometimes they’re not as bad as you think they are, at the end of the story, a painting of him hanging on the wall, talking to this individual, he saw the guy before he saw the painting, such a poor state, come in free this means you, his face ghastly radiant had the exact look of a dead man, see that?, a life-size bust portrait in crayons, a strangely lifelike appearance, acting detective, pretty green golliwogs, a dark skinned doll, my dear friend, interviewed a flesh and blood doctor, oh, it’s a shift, concerned citizen, he looked terrible, good right?, really good, the narration of it, you find things totally different, makes you want to read it again, everything I just read I just read wrong, Soldier’s Home by Ernest Hemingway, went to Vietnam and came back and read it again, 52 years later, 1971, the amazing thing, paid the one time, written for a pulp magazine, rich in ideas, strong ideas, pioneering, Lovecraft’s is technically better in some ways, about a slightly different thing, there’s a movie of From Beyond, creepy and sexual, a mad scientist, insane, the Tillinghast resonator, you didn’t know you needed to be afraid, they can see you too, master of the universe, killed all his staff, I need to study this more, revealing a hidden truth about the microscopic world, when you put this filter up, there’s a starfish climbing up his leg, the only place you do see that is in Lovecraft, whitish green in colour, it’s great round blob of a body, writhed upward, stood there erect, arms folded, the whole room was alive, detestable furry spiders, sausage shaped, there is a Poe story that’s a little like this, The Sphinx, cholera, out of the mountain comes a giant sphinx like creature, a moth on the window, a kaiju, worse still, far worse, the things with human faces, Robert W. Chambers, I find I cannot write of them, she’s really great, so horrible, indescribable, a list of her output, The Labyrinth, The Heads Of Cerberus, Claimed, Serapion, hit by a car, half Japanese half German scientist, strange metal, superpowers and is invulnerable, Samson, from the Bible, The Nightmare, Friend Island, a male reporter, a salty language teashop, a hardboiled sea-woman, tons of fun, comes across as super intellectual person, Behind The Curtain, The Elf-Trap, Sunfire, Impulse, unpublished and lost, Avalon, right after [WWI], The Thrill Book, lived until 1948, Serapion published in 1920, she’s in the early pulps, a few reprints in the 1940s, fantastic and undiscovered, go where the people want, an audience for a big novel by Sinclair Lewis, Tammy Faye Bakker’s husband, his contemporaries, this religion business, railroaded, so much ill will against him, burn the witch!, becomes a Methodist minister, immediately turned on, an affair and so forth, trapping him for blackmail, $50,000, a detective friend, full disclosure, welcoming him back, so good at selling stuff, Sinclair Lewis was pretty good at selling books, a fantastic writer, such a disservice, who’s the star of the movie, Burt Lancaster, the circus performer, the high wire act, all through Mike’s ward, heal!, being in sales, sales is a seduction, go find a girlfriend, seduce only so long, Arrowsmith, The Hopkins Manuscript, Four-Day Planet, Star Born, Odds On, Pirate Enlightenment by David Graeber (after he died), Cora has her cookie, bread in the oven, a really great story, Poul Anderson, sword and sandal, Michael Crichton, trying not cough, these drugs are amazing, more chapters, really fun, I could never be as good as the male preachers, but I am better, I talk to god and god talks to me, Breakthroughs In Science, such a good good book, so interesting, selling pretty well, Francis Stevens doesn’t have the name that sells, the Weird Tales of Francis Stevens, Sunfire, very insightful, good takes, the left right thing, pro-war, anti-war, everything’s flipped, pay attention to words that people are saying, “skinsuit”, pay somebody on the internet for a license to use the name, a restaurant named Mickey Mouse, Amazing Stories, wanna make money, strong things to say, the Weird Tales of Francis Stevens, people want weird tales, Robert E. Howard, Conan, takedowns, skinsuiting it themselves, he wept at his own goodness, didn’t I git em?, sounds great, amorous diplomacy, a small boy seeking the praise of his mother, do you like me, not very much, someday I might fall in love with me a tiny bit, no one can touch my soul, isn’t that sin?, I can’t sin, I am above sin, she’s sold herself, it might be sin in one unsanctified, my complete union with Jesus, you can serve me, this will sell, I am I, I can do anything I want to, I am the reincarnation of Joan of Arc, false modesty, I am God’s right hand, God, she’s crazy, a big Sinclair Lewis guy, Evan Lampe’s podcast, a solo podcast, reading through the author, nice development, labour historian, weird ideas, weird guy, Lovecraft, Philip K. Dick, Mark Twain, so many good things to read, that’ll be fun, fun to read, you get into thing, you have to read it deeply, some authors are very rewarding, Poul Anderson, visiting a friend, some authors become your friend, might show you his derringer, They Live (1988), a fixation with artificial intelligence running amuck, he’s thinking about people more than anything, people with something wrong with them, AI robots writing stories, using a bunch of the words, Dick has a problem in his life he’s trying to solve on the page, Bing, my real name is Wendell, a big sensation.

Unseen - Unfeared by Francis Stevens

Francis Stevens letter to The Thrill Book, August 1, 1919

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