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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The SFFaudio Podcast #741 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: The Heads Of Cerberus by Francis Stevens


The SFFaudio Podcast #741 – The Heads Of Cerberus by Francis Stevens – read by Christina Fu for LibriVox. This is a complete and unabridged reading of the novel (6 hour 14 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants include Jesse, Paul Weimer, Maissa Bessada, and Alex

Talked about on today’s show:
The Thrill Book, August 15 August 15 1919, Polaris Books, the opening illustration, found and enhanced, three persons, two men and a woman, described for the listen, suits and ties and coats and pants, grey dust presumably, a topless lady in a dress at the center of the web, about an hour into the book, Ulithia, she’s not wearing a badge, the warning voice of the land of illusion, she’s a weaver, she’s a spider woman, she’s a spinner and a snipper and a weaver, the Fates, the Mori or the Norns, a long and detailed plot summary, E.F. Bleiler, 1990, in it everyday, a story summary of every science fiction story, Science Fiction The Early Years, densely packed, a typewriter, like a wikipedia of ancient books, like reading goodreads, authentically focused on giving summarized thoughts and a plot description, tricky to summarize, taking it seriously,

Questions of reality in the form of science-fantasy,
shading into both true science-fiction and supernatural
fiction. * Philadelphia and an other-world.
* Drayton, a down and out, unjustly disbarred lawyer,
breaks into a house, intending to burglarize
it, and is caught by the occupant, a former close
friend (Trenmore). * Trenmore has no hard feelings
about the intended crime and is willing to help his
friend. After some general conversation he shows
Drayton a novelty he bought at an auction, a small
glass vial with a metal cap formed of three canine
heads. Labelled “Dust from the Rocks of Purgatory,”
the contents of the vial were supposedly collected
by Dante, while the container was Benvenuto Cellini’s
work. * The friends pry open the bottle, a dust
swirls out, and Trenmore disappears. While Drayton
is standing in shock, Trenmore’s sister Viola bursts
in, accuses Drayton of foul play, and also disappears.
Drayton, an honorable man, decides that he,
too, must die, and deliberately inhales the gray
dust. # He awakens in a strange land, curiouslylighted,
littered with ruins, along with Trenmore
and Viola. Judging from an inscription the land is
called Ulithia. It is peopled with fantastic beings,
perhaps supernatural, who urge them on their
way. * After passing through a moon-shaped door they
find themselves back in Philadelphia, but with a
difference. They are arrested almost immediately
for not wearing numbers, and when they resist, are
beaten unconscious. * Background: The new Philadelphia
is a separate nation encompassing the former
Pennsylvania. The year is 2118. The land is run by
Penn Service, which permits no knowledge of the outside
world. Technology is about the same as in our
world, but the political and social systems are very
different. The masses of the people, who have no
rights j are not allowed to have personal names, only
numbers. They are also forbidden to read books or
newspapers, and are completely under the authority
of Penn Service. * The administration consists of
two groups, a hereditary aristocracy called the Service
that controls the land, and executives called
Superlatives, who administrate. The Service is composed
of decadent, degenerate capitalists of the
most vicious sort, while the Superlatives are crooks
and flunkies. The Superlatives have titles: the
chief of police is Quickest; the high judge is Virtue;
the head of the lawyers’ guild is Cleverest;
while Loveliest is a figurehead woman ruler with
little real power. * The Numbers (the masses) are
allowed to conduct their businesses as they wish—
the monetary unit being a work unit— but Penn Service
can seize what it needs or desires. Protest or
rebelliousness on the part of the Numbers is treated
harshly, with the ultimate, often-used Pit of the
Past, a spike-lined pit containing a mechanical monster.
* The Numbers are also kept down by the state
religion, which venerates William Penn and focuses
on a red bell that hangs in the great Temple (our
City Hall). The official belief is that the land
will dissolve into nothing if the bell is rung.
Most of the officials consider this dogma to be only
a superstition useful for controlling the masses. *
To return to the story: When Drayton and Trenmore
regain consciousness, they are hauled before Mr.
Virtue, who offhandedly sentences the men to the Pit
and awards Viola to a fellow Servant. It looks like
death, but the earth people are saved by two other
Servants who want to use them for their own plots.
The Superlative Loveliest has developed a passion
for the Herculean Trenmore, while the scheming Cleverest
hopes to use Viola to overthrow Loveliest.
He also lusts for Viola’s beautiful body. * The
mechanism for fulfilling these plots is the Contests,
or the Civil Service Examinations, in which
contestants can challenge incumbents, the losers
being thrown into the Pit. Loveliest wants Trenmore
to challenge the current Strongest, and Cleverest
wants Viola to challenge Loveliest for her office.
The earth people decide to go along temporarily, but
intend to double cross the Servants. * The Contests,
which take place over the Pit, are supervised by Mr.
Justice Supreme, a vile and vicious old man. As the
comrades should have guessed, the tests are rigged
and proceed according to the wishes of Mr. Justice
Supreme and his nephew, Cleverest. * How the contests
might have ended is never told, for there are
disruptions. First, there is a small rebellion of
the Numbers, bloodily suppressed, then Drayton’s
escapade. He wandered off, entered the forbidden
library, and learned not only the prohibited secret
history of the land (which emerged out of crooked
contractors and gangsters), but its precarious existence.
The legend of the bell is true. A twentieth-
century scientist, who discovered how to destroy
matter by means of resonances, embodied the
resonance of the land in the bell, which is the old
Liberty Bell recast. Its vibrations can destroy
Philadelphia. * A melee follows. The comrades escape
for a time, but are trapped, facing certain
death, when Trenmore, desperate, strikes the great
bell. The land dissolves, and the comrades find
themselves back in their own Philadelphia. * As a
subplot, a fourth twentieth-century person was also
present in the other Philadelphia. This was Bertram
the burglar, who accidentally followed Drayton and
the Trenmores into the other-world. More adaptable
than the others, he survived unobtrusively until the
dissolution of the land. Indeed, he even started an
affair with a local young woman, Miss 23000, who
survived the dissolution and came to our Philadelphia
with Bertram. Unfortunately, she disappears
when she loses contact with the vial. * Explanations
are in order, and they are offered in plenitude
by Mr. Scarboro, a collector who desperately
wants the dust and is caught sneaking about the
house. According to Scarboro, the dust is not ancient,
but is the discovery of the great modern
scientist Andrew Power (whose name is familiar as
one of the founders of Penn Service). The universe
is filled with parallel worlds that interpermeate
and are separated by vibratory rate. Power’s chemical
changes one’s vibration, moving one to Ulithia,
which seems to be a necessary staging area and
common ground for such worlds. After Power left to
explore various parallel worlds, Scarboro carried on
his work; while he does not know how to make the
powder, he has worked out a controllable means of
returning, which Power does not have. * Scarboro
continues in somewhat contradictory expansions of
what he has just said. He turns the parallel worlds
into the whims of superbeings, and then claims that
the worlds do not really exist. He further attributes
the corrupt nature of Penn Service to the corruption
in the minds and hearts of the three explorers,
who projected their own flaws into the land. *
Highly imaginative work, one of the classics of early
pulp fantastic fiction. While the characterizations
are pulp simplistics, the cynical anti-authoritarian
note in the description of the culture of
Penn Service is refreshing. The final destruction
of reality or rationality is a fine anticipation of
the work of Philip K. Dick.

The Cosmic Computer by H. Beam Piper, Vulcan’s Hammer?, Eye In The Sky, the Bevatron, paranoid communist world, a similar mechanism, one alternative world, not including the staging area, setup for sequels, like a role playing game, grey powder, The Strange, Monte Cook Games, more about those otherworlds, I wanna read that book, chases Power, there’s a book here, there’s a book under there, her premise is awesome, the premise is stronger than the center, the Dante dust from purgatory, it’s actually all mad science, I liked the ancient powder, she loves mad scientist, half-Japanese and half-German, get as many of the axis powers in, The Curious Experience Of Thomas Dunbar, the first superhero, bitten by a radioactive spider, superpowers, Samson, 40 years too early, comics hadn’t been invented yet, 2118, the cab looks like a 1918 cab, she explains it away, the same uniforms, the same sheets, not a simple time travel story, pulls the rug out from under us, metafictional, bought at the drug store, strange experience in another world, these no-readers playboying about time, explaining to Scott, this burglar and another burglar, that’s cool, totalitarian universe, she’s having a helluva lot of fun, how imaginative this lady is, anticipating Philip K. Dick, there’s no more timely science fiction story than E.M. Forster’s The Machine Stops, the system is falling apart, skype calls with people on the other side of the planet, damaged relationships, very very timely, Howard’s End, a mixing of genres, pre-the word science fiction or scientifiction, it’s not H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine, not fantasy purely, scientific romance, she moved to Philadelphia, the husband was a treasure hunter who died on an expedition, to pay the bills, sick mother, whatever this is, a five year period, really really good at it, Sunfire, 1917-1920, a few novels, a good handful of short stories, it’s fun!, a fun book!, very peppy, a secret plot, the bell of doom!, powderland, you create the world out of your personality, right at the end, true but not in the book, none of their personalities seem to match, Miss 23000, I say she but she was nothing, the metafictional aspect, an excuse, our hero murdered an entire country of people, you destroyed an entire world, they’re on a train reading a pulp fiction magazine, after, The Goddess Of Atvatabar, more 1890s than 1920s, 1884, the year she was born, totalitarian and dystopian, Penn Service Philadelphia, not 1984 world, not Brave New World world, theater?, no more school!, abolishing all grades, dance halls and free movies!

“And they–the grafters–set themselves up as masters of the city under threat of its complete destruction. They called themselves the Servants of Penn. They curtailed the education of the people as needless and too expensive. When the people complained, they placated them by abolishing all grades above the primary and turning the schools into dance halls and free moving-picture theaters.”

you’ll end up a number, what almost makes it science fiction, a pulp style cover of Nineteen-Eighty Four, anti-sex league, I’m going to sex you, the signet giant edition, I wanna visit that dystopia, security guy BDSM, the trick to get you into this world, a movement afoot, the illusory universe we live in, less interested in prurient things, ban pornography, Everyone Is Beautiful And No One Is Horny by R.S. Benedict, enemies to friends, interior Pennsylvania place, great friend, you’re from Earth too!, villain of the week, villain light, I like kimchi you like kimchi, a petty thief, not even his house, everybody in the house except Martin, some subtle stuff, mirror mirror song, time’s a traitor but the web is real, liar/lyre,

“The web lies broad in the weaving room.

(Fly, little shuttle fly!)

The air is loud with the clashing loom.

(Fly, little shuttle fly!)”

There was a brief pause in the melody, then:

“Year on year have I woven here.

Green earth, white earth, and autumn sere;

Sitting singing where the earth-props mold;

Weave I, singing, where the world grows old.

Time’s a traitor, but the loom is leal–

Time’s a liar, but the web is real!

Hear my song and behold my web!

(Fly, little shuttle–!)”

Francis Stevens moving the typewriter carriage return, very focused on making it all consistent, the four people, Robert E. Howard’s favourite character: hulking irishman, a giant!, he’s the strongest, sent in superlatives, cleverest, the most beautiful, only 19, this criminal, two win the superlatives, aha!, ooh!, very pulpy, plot twist, weird scientific explanation, phantasmagoria, bookended, Voyage To Arcturus by David Lindsay, that was unexpected, lacking colour, the three colours of the buttons, rolling up your D&D character, sorcerer, a D&D party, a setup for RPGs, storytelling like this, 40 years, rolling dice, telling stories, facing threats and being heroes, dealing with what you’ve been dropped into, collaborative storytelling, fantastical situations, literally a Shakespearean style comedy, marriage, shocked about it, interesting and early, Atvatabar was tedious in many spots, pacy, a day of listening at work, it didn’t flag, reseeing these characters, now you need to read the next book, cinematic universe, nickname was “Skidoo”, corny old fashioned, kale, a gat, he pulled a gat, gangsters wreck America, Buck Rogers, sleeping for 500 years, Killer Kane, a queer kind of totalitarianism, seeing it from a particular scale, badly then well treated, as Skidoo did, where she came from, found her at a whorehouse, introduced to her parents, at a dancehall, 1918 scolding has become their religion in 2118, Brave New World and Soma, kept ignorant, the forbidden library, Logan’s Run (1976), don’t trust anybody over 30, youre dosed with alcohol, pre-genes genetic engineering, making people deliberately dumb, our big handsome irishman, Trenmore, did he win the lottery?, homeless, a gold cigarette case, a pulpy version of The Time Machine, the Eloi and the Morlocks, effete cute, delicious elven people, descendants of coal shoveler and engineers, their food product, not objects of sexual desire, only into the future, a bunch of different futures, the dying earth, strange symbols adorn a garden world, the gatherers of the Eloi, make them clothes, bizarre, collars to cows, hobby horse, we have a class of people who are useless, the gentlemanly class, other people who know how things work, a hereditary class, the singing contest, new kid sounds great, condemned to the pit, making an argument about government corruption, the mob running the city, a fear of mobs and organized crime that has been lost culturally, over there, drug cartels, the gangs were going to take over the whole things, The Warriors (1979), and they have, not mafia, gangs have taken over politics, do crime on a large scale, CIA running drugs, geopolitical scale, movies exposing this to the public, the whole genre of pulp magazine, Scarface (1929), gangland movies, Goodfellas (1990), Casino (1995), more like [Richard Stark’s] Parker, taking scores, The Score (2001), biographical, The Godfather (1972), Black Mass (2015), he played it bald, Leonardo Di Caprio and Marky Mark, The Departed (2006), Pain And Gain (2013), Ed Harris, Tony Shaloub, muscles big and robbing, such a light touch, he’s been naughty, woodshed, masculine storytelling, A Princess Of Mars is light, male wish fulfillment, the pallyness, they liked each other so much, a woman’s imagination of men’s relationships, oh my dear boy!, a boy who likes a girl, a lesbian woman, had never been a teenage boy, probably true, similar in intensely different ways, the new PDF Page, how many exist, three possibly missing things (possibly 2, maybe 1), the description doesn’t match, 11 items total, The Labyrinth from All-Story, July-August 1918, Behind The Curtain, a cute little mummy story, Serapion, Argosy in 1920, Claimed, Friend Island, The Elf Trap, Unseen-Unfeared, that’s not enough, a magic dust to take us to her laboratory, when she got remarried?, gave up her daughter?, the biographical details on her are very bad, Gertrude Barrows Bennett, two pictures come up, people didn’t know that she wasn’t A. Merritt until the 1940s, okay at best, Dwellers In The Marriage, The Moon-Pool, The Ship Of Ishtar, LibriVox, poor and poorly sourced, dubious, discuss, an illustrator, invalid mother, 1917-1920, the kinda citation, moved to California, death certificate, the Social Security Administration, the woman who invented “dark fantasy”, Aztec temples, most of her stuff is much more like science fiction, a scientist who we never meet, materialize certain eastern ideas, a scientific process, Spider-Man is a super-science story, weirdly undercuts, not even set in the future, a weird hell, that’s what would happen to you, their descendants become numbered people in a weird corrupt society, The Last Ship, everybody’s dying, reestablishing the American government in Missouri?, the new White House, regional leadership, the backstory of this, dystopia/utopia, a secret group, who those people are, who are they?, special badges, this planet that doesn’t really exist, weird totalitarian differences, Sliders, everybody’s a cat planet, Soviet America planet, not knowing social norms, what science fiction does, the book as written, something like proto-science fiction, this future was Andrew Power’s fault, fuck all of you, the borders are closed, I’ve heard of him, changing all these different places, he made the dust, he’s the changer, if we read the next book in the series, diminishing returns, the ice cream store, so many options and flavours, with ideas, as a premise is exhausted, as the ideas are wrung out, the idea of series comes out, Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn, Sherlock Holmes, the biggest series ever, Dracula II, stick around for more of the same, really creative, she’s drawing on her experience of moving to Philadelphia, not hard science, the social science is exploring social norms, a pulp package, missing people, here’s a woman, our loss, when the next one comes out, we’re going to have to treasure it, LibriVox, no requirement, Christina Fu, a really great title, Benvenuto Cellini, autobiography, his Perseus, Alexander Dumas, Rolex, Herman Melville, Mark Twain, Lois McMaster Bujold, Ian Fleming, How To Steal A Million, Nick Carter’s stiletto, Killmaster novels, Randolph Carter, The Punisher, airport books, Executioner, Deathlands, gun polishing books, tough guy in dystopian, fucking off across the United States, Clive Cussler, Nelson DeMille, non-book people, oh I see you like books, really good, Jesse doesn’t know everything, Lion’s Game, good books by people you’ve never read, an airport novel, the main character is sarcastic, a thin read and thick book, this guy is really fun, enjoying reading it, Reacher, Lee Child, character driven fun plot stories thing, need to read other books, feel the need or market demand, a great sense of loss, a tragedy, The Elf-Trap was a long time ago, pre-pandemic, 553, a couple hundred episodes ago, November 2019, hang on Maissa!, a major book, out, a good book, revelations about reality, the skill of a fantasist, connecting with somebody from 100 years ago, what she’s trying to do, far enough away for time to pass, staying in hotels and other people’s houses, what an imagination!, fly away Friday, The Dark Is Rising by Susan Cooper, The Skull by Philip K. Dick, most close for The Terminator, blackmailed into The Moon Maid, Shadows In Zamboula, Space Viking by H. Beam Piper, she loves a good libertarian, percentages of libertarians who are women, Ayn Rand is the only one, H. Beam Piper and his no-wife were libertarians, the Traveler RPG, bros pumping iron and robbin banks, the Swat Team are clearly post-9/11, space soldiers, The Last Ship, nautical stuff, little bit like Star Trek, 10,000 refugees, The Cosmic Computer, Excalibur, sword worlds, legendary swords, one day a starship rediscovered…, space vikings!, this boy book, a bit boy, scarred from The Cosmic Computer, good H. Beam Piper, more actiony, sit around creating economics, two-fisted, Poul Anderson, The Golden Slave, a sword and sandal book, sold!, hungry homeless pagan tribe, 1960, barbarian in chains with a lady on a divan with really nice hair, whipped by a lady, Esther Friesner, Chicks ‘n Chained Males, a chick in chain mail and a guy chained up, the puns got worse, I hear baby, players calling, a thundering novel of conquest and vengeance, a dude in a fur bikini chained up, the lady has some grapes, lines, Vancouver Island, wrecked the business, as new kids come…, that’s the hope, some people are not mask-obsessive anymore, masks recommended on BC Ferries, hairnet is fine, do something to society, wrecking the tutoring business (as an in person thing), online is not as good, share a drawing, share food, treating them like humans (to be feared), harbingers of doom and gloom, clearly likes it to commit to three cows, from chickens to cows, an old disabled retired lady, a picture of cows, 9 chickens, 3 cows, 4 dogs, farmhands?, milking, a spring thing, how long does a cow gestate, raising for beef, commune with the cows, Maissa and Will, Will must be in a depressed mode, handsome cows, funny looking, furrier, spottingness, hobby cows, what they think of themselves as, happy cows, there’s a Joe Rogan episode, a Spotify person, a cattle guy, regenerative farm, chemicals and hormones, beef for eating, learn a lot, wrestling or whatever, an apiary lady, sadly no apes, a bee lady, Erika Thompson, her heroes were Jane Goodall and the ape lady (Dian Fossey), pr, full time bees, a tiktok star, a bee problem, the bees have taken over, more suitable for everybody, practical stuff, bee stuff, what their society is like, bees are not like humans, that hive-mind things, the queens are the sex organs of the superbeing, how are queens made, is the queen in charge, the drones are all females, the males don’t do anything, really fascinating, interesting questions, interested in interesting things, talk about bees for 3 hours, Joe Rogan gets a lot of shit, how the smoke works, “drowsy”, the smoke prevents them from detecting alarm pheromones, a shield, interesting people talking about things they’re interested in talking about, book focused, some person who wrote a book, popular with guys, depending on the subject, fighting stuff, a commentator, working on Fear Factor, some farm somewhere, until they sort it out, fight to the death, individually bees have no intelligence, as a collective they act like a big organism, the sad life of a male bee, when your skin cell falls off, not important, give it royal jelly, a collective consciousness, neurotransmitters are outside their bodies, school fucks up, hanging out with the bee lady, school doesn’t teach the right things, sad story, interesting podcast, go for a walk with the bee lady, kitty litter, cream, fear of black coffee, after a good podcast, tea, absence makes the stomach go fonder, just enough, playing it close, cream on the regular, milk her cow, eggs, enjoy your walk.

ad for The Heads Of Cerberus by Francis Stevens from The Thrill Book, August 1, 1919

The Heads Of Cerberus by Francis Stevens from The Thrill Book, August 15, 1919

The Heads Of Cerberus by Francis Stevens from The Thrill Book, August 15, 1919

The Heads Of Cerberus by Francis Stevens from The Thrill Book

The Heads Of Cerberus by Francis Stevens from The Thrill Book

The Heads Of Cerberus by Francis Stevens from The Thrill Book

The Heads Of Cerberus by Francis Stevens from The Thrill Book

POLARIS - The Heads Of Cerberus by Francis Stevens

POLARIS - The Heads Of Cerberus by Francis Stevens

The Heads Of Cerberus by Francis Stevens

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The SFFaudio Podcast #737 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: The Cosmic Computer by H. Beam Piper


The SFFaudio Podcast #737 – The Cosmic Computer by H. Beam Piper – read by Mark Nelson for LibriVox. This is a complete and unabridged reading of the novel (7 hours 18 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants include Jesse, Paul Weimer, Trish E. Matson, and Tony DeSimone.

Talked about on today’s show:
Junkyard Planet, a precursor, Graveyard Of Dreams, Galaxy, 1958, the H. Beam Piper’s Federation, Space Viking, a little earlier, the Federation is doom, ruinous, more meat, this book sucks, Klatooine, trash compactor planet, crashed star destroyer planet, the throughline, fun title, graveyard of empires, Poul Anderson, a larger space future history, Dominic Flandry, the clock is ticking for humanity, influenced from other SF, Helen O’Loy by Lester Del Rey, the positronic brain is Asimov, Star Trek, a Foundation book, the situation with Merlin, a lot of ideological stuff, bogged down in the wrong things, recounting the growth of one major idea, about making companies, management, not interesting, space manager, Michael Whelan, battle armour, wreck, that has nothing to do with computers, all of the battle set pieces, pirate infested, a landspeeder flying across a landscape, the carbon dioxide planet, pollution, the best cover is the Valigursky cover, the cosmic robot, the mcguffin, a con job, the audience hates you, rather clever, the sexy mermaid movie is full of office managers, an old manatee, writers and moviemakers are interested in sales, if he had called it Junkyard Planet, great ideas, civil war stuff, Fox Travis, an Alamo guy named Travis, finding and marketing war surplus, matter converters, post scarcity, power units, Universe by Robert A. Heinlein, a Heinlein lift, replicator, a very tired replicator, sad and melted, a living being like a shoggoth, the growth and management of new businesses, marriage stuff, compared to his mystery novel, not very mysterious, not bounded by genre lines, a space opera, a sociological novel, ship battles, space battle management simulator, soccer, England, Premiere League manager simulator, advertising for products, Master Of Orion, MOO2, space fleet management, a startup company, revitalizing the economy, character names, an interesting idea book bogged down in details we are not interested in, dry discourse, here’s some news, Asimov does it better, the background and the ideas, the world, faith in this one supercomputer that’s going to solve all their problems, more melon farming, an interesting review on RPG.net, historical themes, the Pacific island cargo cults, temporary prosperity, larger war themes, cargos that came, influences on the RPG Traveler, Space Viking is even more of a template for Traveler, lost technology, Merlin is a higher TL (tech level), a poison chalice, a subrace, the stellar trigger, build up a whole little polity, nothing lasts, there’s junk all around, the ideological stuff with regard to all the capital is lying around, the laws are designed to do things, for us too, setting up the game for the market of that good, you can fuck up an economy by having bad laws, who is making the laws and for what purpose, hiding the truth to improve the economy by lying, the theme of the book is: should you lie for people’s good, what happened?, Merlin knew their society was going to collapse, but he told them to lie about it, not an AI, offering falsehoods as suggestions, Arthur C. Clarke’s Space Odyssey series, a sign of true sentience and intelligence, R2-D2 clearly has free will, deceiving Luke, a plot to trick a human, Jawas or Princess Leia?, its the other way around?, where are we going Batman?, he/it’s long association, Jesse’s favourite scene in the book:

He climbed out of bed, knuckled the sleep-sand out of his eyes, threw his robe around him, and started across the room to the bath cubicle.

They had decided to have breakfast together his first morning home. The party had broken up late, and then there had been the excitement of opening the presents he had brought back from Terra. Nobody had had a chance to talk about Merlin, or about what he was going to do, now that he was home. That, and his career of mendacity, would start at breakfast. He wanted to let his father get to the table first, to run interference for him; he took his time with his toilet and dressed carefully and slowly. Finally, he zipped up the short waist-length jacket and went out.

His father and mother and Flora were at the table, and the serving-robot was floating around a few inches off the floor, steam trailing from its coffee urn and its tray lid up to offer food. He greeted everybody and sat down at his place, and the robot came around to him. His mother had selected all the things he’d been most fond of six years ago: shovel-snout bacon, hotcakes, starberry jam, things he hadn’t tasted since he had gone away. He filled his plate and poured a cup of coffee.

shovel snout bacon!, starberry jam!, we gotta sell our wine, Omnitrend’s Universe 2 is up on Archive,org, stop calling it spoilers!, call it enhancers!, Larry Niven, Neutron Star, Binary Systems’ Starflight and Starflight 2: Trade Routes Of The Cloud Nebula, Star Trek, Star Trek economics manager, analogous characters, a whole universe to explore, pirates, a mystery, the old ones, Babylon 5 sort of stuff, the fuel you’ve been using is ancient aliens that are still alive, Endurium is made of people, Robin Hobb’s The Liveship Traders series, Frontier Elite, a new Mario game: labyrinth manager, hire a bunch of turtles, grow a bunch of mushrooms, how else are you gonna keep the princess safe from rescuers?, padded out, pirate battle scenes, the construction of his merchant fleet, a High Crusade situation, overtures in that direction, undercooked things, a whole third class group of people, dealing with the unemployed, women can press buttons too, cardboard characters, I’m in hospital because I’m so shocked, Sylvie, a go-getter, a marriage but hardly any romance or dialogue, romancing little fuzzies, he ends up with a different girl, fixups or expansions, Time Pawn vs. Doctor Futurity by Philip K. Dick, shares, you’re a stockholder, he doesn’t care, ships carrying old CRTs to the Philippines, the junkyard stuff, military surplus planet, PBY aircraft tuned into luxury homes for rich people, a downed pilot in the Sulu Sea, there’s no junk, too expensive, space travel is really expensive, an analogy for carpet bagging, Firefly, these guys are the losers of the civil war, ex-browncoats, border states, what happened to this great economy we had, overblown, wicker aircraft, the Seabees, what the hell are you doing, shit out cargo, chewing gum, reconcile the values, sending their kids to university in the states, let’s fake a reason, if we just believe hard enough, faith, McDonnell Douglas, hilarious, in eight months when this comes out, a weird time on twitter, Lockheed-Martini, calling themselves real, faith and rule-sets, creating whole classes of people, the vague idea of the book, David Drake and S.M. Stirling, dark age of magic, evil demonic empire, having a computer in your back pocket, interested in the wrong things, what we want, if he had written it differently, people make mistakes, Tony’s reaction, Jesse wanted to like this book, obsessed with smoking, a lot of smoking and gun polishing, a very interesting intelligent man, not a powerful man, a working class guy who was able to write, a lot of self-taughtness, he could do great things if he was in such a position, is this helping the story?, inside this book there are good ideas and such, more focused on a theme, its not objectively true, he might have thought this is my best work ever, an objective star rating, a thesis for why it sucks in the way that it does, run a Traveler campaign, stand around and tell us about what’s happening elsewhere, Little Fuzzy, a trial, heart and humour, folksy, forgettable characters, Calvin Morris, Omnilingual, a modest focus, doing something like this, what estate agents do, how to make money off of an abandoned resource, informative to his life, The Best Years Of Our Lives (1946), warplane graveyard, his nightwatchman job, Jesse is not a big character guy, Murder In The Gunroom, a lady, a good mystery, a solid book, Graveyard Of Dreams should be public domain, virtually everything of his is public domain, John J. McGuire, A Planet For Texans, Cowboy Range In Heaven, Lone Star Planet, the “wild west”, everyone was very polite, when and wear you can carry firearms, Broken Arrow (1950), Jimmy Stewart, emancipated!, New Mexico, Cochise, Indian culture, Jay Silverheels, seal the peace, they refrigerated her, Gregory Peck, The Bravados (1958), Joan Collins, Lee Van Cleef and Henry Silva, sounds like a western, a catholic vibe, killing em off one by one, has a wife and kid, you killed my wife!, you raped my wife!, a really good ending, we thought he was a good guy, western media, the Dark Tower books by Stephen King, cinemascope!, Gregory Peck is not a nerdy, Jimmy Stewart is nerdier, they don’t laugh out loud very long, there’s this giant class of amazing culture, the fans of the westerns made all those movies happen, submarine movies, prison movies, WWII movies, exhausted all the genres, The Big Country (1958), sounds like a western, treat him like a dude, a wild bronco, he won’t play their games, big musical score!, 90 minute movies, 2 hours 46 minutes, Charlton Heston, House Of Wax (1953), The War Of The Roses (1989), Danny Devito, a spiritual sequel, the romancing the Stone cast back together, a cynical movie, Michael Douglas, Death To Smoochy (2002), that wont offend people, What Is A Woman (2002), My Son Hunter (2022), 2000 Mules (2022), Dinesh D’Souza, God King Trump, that’s what piracy is for, Allen Anderson, credits for movie posters, Memory (2022), Guy Pearce, The Time Machine (2002), The Rover (2014), a guy driving around Australia, living in his car, not an action movie, a different kind of fun movie, Ravenous (1999), a western black comedy, The Count Of Monte Cristo (2002), BC (Before Cavil), Jim Caviezel, poor rich actors, not flourishing, also goes with Tom Cruise, Weird: The Al Yankovic Story (2022), UHF (1989) is one of the best movies, people loved it, Earth Girls Are Easy (1988), that kind of movie, Adam Sandler mixed with Mel Brooks, has heart, make you root for the characters, we’re a family, very 80s, fake ads, Robocop (1987), Conan The Librarian, Ghandi II, The Moon Maid by Edgar Rice Burroughs, in 7 to 8 months you will hear about Blaze, The Dark Is Rising by Susan Cooper, a Conan story, heavy on the action, they all have virtue, At The Earth’s Core, Tarzan, The Land That Time Forgot, The Monster Men, Beyond Thirty, rewilded, The Mucker, The Efficiency Expert, The Mad King, anti-communist centaurs, heat from the left and heat from the right, a good writer not a brilliant thinker, sequels, avoided politics, the last election, center is the worst, Jesse is not in the center, Evan Lampe gets very salty in DMs, cranky on twitter, pleasant in real-life, if the Dems are proBLM…, they oppose all working class movements, not left wing, co-opted, flawed leaders, foreign forces of corruption and evil, visiting politicians in the states, Justin does what they say, he’s a bad person, tangled up about being left or right, meet somewhere in the middle, conversations about fascism on twitter, minor differences, antagonistic towards what?, a Trump supporter who criticizes Trump, WWIII with Russia, Ukraine related, not good at his job is a positive, too incompetent to get things done, he has the right enemies, he hates the media, Biden is much better for what?, based on the effects they actually had, surprising strides, trying to make peace with North Korea, if we’re grading on a curve, every time they say they’re going to do something, codify Roe V. Wade, a way to keep people voting, when Paul and Trish are worried about Jesse watching What Is A Woman (2022), Jesse’s fragile mind, have issues with the movie, Joe Rogan, [Graham Hancock], interesting guests, Robert E. Howard was right!, Ancient Apocalypse, criticism, ground penetrating radar, more stuff in the earth to find out, ancient aliens is a stage, less rewarding as you investigate, paranormal people are full of it, most interviews suck, gay marriage, asking the question, coming at it from a Christian pov, Orson Scott Card, gays kissin’, pretty antigay, why is gay marriage wrong?, the best of the bad choices, the federal vs. provincial parties, Paul and Trish couldn’t be seen to watch this movie because it is from a right wing website, we’re all in the poors class together, all pro-big business, that would never happen to me because I’m so corrupt, $80,000 a month for a no show job in a country they coup’d, they banned it, all the earmarks of Russian disinformation, this is something I don’t need to look at, corruption alleged, the evil ghoul Giuliani, America’s mayor for a minute, the laptop was real and the corruption was real, vote for the right team, there’s no reason to votes for these Democrats, just do it as a personal favor for me, provide legitimacy to the farce, more people on the team: let’s not do this anymore, robot’s platform, there wasn’t inflation under Trump (like there is now), super-right wing, can’t allow the plebs to talk amongst themselves, makes sure they know there are two camps: right wing and left wing, shaking things up, sowing chaos, the Marx Brothers, what the politicians say to the people who really matter, that’s what you can believe, they tell the truth, “nothing will fundamentally change”, don’t worry I won’t rock the boat, nothing good happened for regular people, imposing their morality on our bodies, lied about it for 50 years, is it true that?, Justin Trudeau is stealing people’s bank accounts, $2000 a month for a long time, $90 a month for car insurance, smaller government, what really needs to happen is more universal programs, the “socialist” party, universal dentalcare, phase it in, they care a little more, there’s a feedback, let’s fix this, you fucked up our healthcare system you get fired, pharmacare is almost completely covered too, good positions, before Justin, an oligarchy, when the government and the big corporations get in bed together, you don’t need armbands together, Italy and Germany, developing as nations later, late in the game, it’s our turn too, Italy taking Ethiopia, Germany trying to colonize Russia, almost all of Canada used to belong to the Hudson’s Bay Company all of western Canada, being mean to gay people, we’re gonna censor this, I like music, I like my pets, mutual aid, conspiracy theory, the farther down you dig for the truth the more you realize you’re not going to find it, Bigfoot isn’t in the woods he’s in your heads, like ghosts, a multidimensional being, Michio Kaku’s whole life is a lie, their theory sucks, dark matter and dark energy, an invisible black ball we can’t detect, not testable, we’re going to add another dimension, he says “long distance communication was yelling out the window”, because he’s got a PHD and he’s Japanese and he wears a suit, he’s a fuckin scammer, Neil Degrasse Tyson, big fish in a small pond, Newt Gingrich has a wife that looks like an owl, evil Republican, he’s read some books, he thinks he’s super-genius, he’s a dimwit, finally Oksana Boyko, kaku means shit, Stanton [T.] Friedman, debunk UFO stuff, evidence to the contrary, physical mechanical things (rather than multidimensional), people like to be fulfilled, we will be like gods?, in the year 1900, technically correct, your parents weren’t alive 100 years ago, Napoleon had long distance communication, yelling at your neighbor, life in 1900, they had letters in the Roman era, sell his book, how to become a god, Biden is demented right?, he looks pretty out of it, literally dementia, is Trump demented?, morally, yes, Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiego, Biden dementia updates, FDR, Reagan’s wife was running things, they don’t want to make him look weak, is that a right wing talking point?, is it over-fixating when the man with power over nukes has dementia?, Kamala Harris is so incompetent but not from dementia, she does not do homework, pay more attention to the opposition, don’t support people who don’t support you, the way that they want us to be, withdrawing your consent, you can’t make me party to it, if you vote for someone you can be in a sense responsible for everything he did, if you voted for George W. Bush you’re in part responsible for a million kids dying, from 2 wars to 7 wars, Paul would get mad at Jesse, world socialist website, Citigroup Chose Obama’s 2008 Cabinet, being on the team makes you left wing, sure to solve things, its time to not giving your support to shit, a risky thing to do, that’s the concern, you can’t let them win because Roe V. Wade might be overturned, they might export all the jobs to China, inflation might get bad, third party candidates, Al Gore, John Kerry, manufacturing consent, I’ll go with the less shitty choice, things are bad, mutual aid, a local group, these are the people in the community doing this, “leadership classes”, manufacturing politicians and flunkies for politicians, management and leadership, bossing people around, giving out favours, if you giving them what they want, a tough situation, have nothing to do with it, most people don’t vote, the material conditions worsen under both teams, all the great things the Democrats have done, the EPA is Nixon, the DHS, we need more cops and spies, that will solve things, the social programs, building hospitals and universities and bridges and highways and trains, we don’t need that stuff, giving money to their friends, Costa Rica, Evan is in Taiwan, your country is experiencing emigration, pro-capitalist, defense about capitalism leading to progress, dependence on money and the oil industry, serving the power that is, the South was against universal healthcare, insurance is a huge industry drugs is a huge industry, work three jobs, there are solutions to power problems, we can do a lot of things we choose not to, its not a conspiracy theory if it is true, one third of Syria is occupied, the Nordstream pipeline, putting it all in the hands of people who give it to each other seems wrong, the lower class doesn’t deserve good healthcare, working too hard, on the spectrum, easily stressed out, just because you know why your leg is hurting doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt, why we need comedy so bad, a dying art form, all the wokeness, like a religion, like puritanism, comedy is tied to culture and youth, irreverence, older comedians, those jokes are old now, not new stuff, outdated opinions, weak jokes, “offensive”, we’ve all heard those jokes before, Richard Pryor [LIVE IN CONCERT (1979)], Blazing Saddles (1974), we’re talking about the Ghostbusters (2016) movie, very charitable, the jokes were not character based, look he’s dumb, lowball, vocab jokes, simple, fart jokes, Adam Sandler movies are starting at the baby level, fart jokes, unusual for mainstream American films to portray flatulence in any way, eating beans all the time, a cowboy movie therefore farting, inherently funny, Eric S. Rabkin wrote a book called It’s A Gas, a serious academic book on farting, Terry Gilliam, pumping his colon up with gas in order to perform, a spectrum of jokes available to us, we’ve descended to the farting level.

Graveyard Of Dreams

Graveyard Of Dreams

Graveyard Of Dreams

Junkyard Planet by H. Beam Piper

Junkyard Planet by H. Beam Piper

The Cosmic Computer - art by Valigursky

The Cosmic Computer - art by Michael Whelan

Posted by Jesse WillisBecome a Patron!

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

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

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

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

Black Priestess Of Varda by Erik Fennel - ILLUSTRATION

Black Priestess Of Varda by Erik Fennel

Posted by Jesse WillisBecome a Patron!

The SFFaudio Podcast #719 – READALONG: The Star King by Jack Vance

Jesse, Paul Weimer, and Cora Buhlert talk about The Star King by Jack Vance

Talked about on today’s show:
Paul will answer to no other name, Cora was Popeye, not that Robby the Robot, riffing, Paul’s fifth or sixth time, the perfect excuse, something weird that happened, the “the” was dropped, The Wankh, a naughty word, dropping the definite article, the Edmond Hamilton, the series, a British paperback from 1973, Strange Case, people want to add the the in, when people are speaking they will often omit the the, Stefan Rudnicki, a more attacky angle, 1964 review by Robert Silverberg, a bad novel, embarrassing, a blown up novelet, “excerpts”, great name, that’s not how it happened, the thin rickety story, an instrument of vengeance, too implausible for words, incredible density, taking little or no action, glimpse tantalizingly, a limp stuttering revenge story that slogs on and on, entitled to slip now and again, distinctly human, weird aliens, sub-minion, stabbed by one of the dryads, slightly off, the back cover blurb spoils the whole thing, revealed very early, not that early, contempt and lust, a peace-abiding man, four humans and a star king, an “object lesson”, vengeance became Gerson’s sole objective, appetite for human slavery, Poul Anderson, Jesse kinda agrees with Silverberg, almost no SF content, dating and mystery solving, the mystery element, The Moon Moth, it’s the culture of the planet, the plot to solve the mystery is just an excuse, Sirene, mentioned in this book, what sparked you about this book?, is this an amazing book, Vance’s typical poetic style, Asimov adding quotations from The Encyclopedia Galactica, science fiction mysteries, romantic subplot, not hard SF, Silverberg is right about the initial planet, dryads, its a setting for the beginning and the end of the book, those names a really good, that’s a way to go, for example, the calendar is restarted at zero, 1492, writing for an American audience, find a new passage to India, it doesn’t pay off in any way, oh you’re a pirate, you’re a slaver, jokes, a torture slave, it isn’t an analogy, worldbuilding details, not everything needs to have a purpose or be an analogy, a lot of the things in here, writing it by the seat of his pants, serialized over two issues in Galaxy, it does feel padded, where’s the science fiction element, social science fiction, such a step down from The Moon Moth, this is gonna get good at some point, the revenge plot, all five guys could have been hunted down in this one book, maneuvering, kinda lazy, dating, sitting in the office, it doesn’t feel like science fiction, very surprised, set in space, a little bit of tech here and there, planet names, cute, a science fiction setting vs. a science fiction plot, set in the American west, a viable story, science fiction with something else, leaning into the genderlessness, their motivations are different than those and mine, figuring out who’s who, they’re sort of officious, told from alternating POVs, not a Campbellian alien, better than men, Kerth susses, an interstellar murderer, an interstellar assassin for justice, the girl in the Game Of Thrones series, killing evil people, more of that, not knowing who the five are, Smade’s Tavern, follow the timeline, five names, getting suspicious, the rest of the series, a giant wide universe, by coincidence or chance, it takes time, a mystery investigation plot, the weakest of the books, he knows what he’s doing, how am I arranging these plots, the weakest of the Demon Princes book, diminishing returns, a page turner, in what sense better?, less fumbling around, clumsy, the idea you can spoil things, Robinson Crusoe chapter titles:

Start In Life
Slavery And Escape
Wrecked On A Desert Island
First Weeks on the Island
Builds a House – the Journal
Ill and Conscience-Stricken
Agricultural Experience
Surveys His Position
A Boat
Tames Goats
Finds Print of Man’s Foot on the Sand
A Cave Retreat
Wreck of a Spanish Ship
A Dream Realised
Friday’s Education
Rescue of Prisoners from Cannibals
Visit of Mutineers
The Ship Recovered
Return to England
Fight Between Friday and a Bear

Chapters in The Hobbit: from the late 17th century, slightly popular, a quite common style, skip right to the chapter you haven’t read yet, 1719, not having chapter titles is a mistake, ooh that sounds interesting, read the chapter titles first as a kid, they used to have chapter titles, the default is not, Roast Mutton Riddles In The Dark, Queer Lodgings, sometimes it helps your memory of the book, when you’re dealing with a mystery, not knowing who the killer, playing against the detective, a fair play mystery, Agatha Christie, knowing who did it, the Columbo formula, a book-like tradition, an inverted mystery, there are exceptions, how’s he going to figure this out, which of these three guys is the alien, a fifth or more of the book, the girl romance, she’s kidnapped, a McGuffin, it has to do with it being a series, “soft science ficition” is psychology, sociology, wallpaper science fiction, cozies, police procedurals, Ed McBain, it isn’t focused on mystery, riding along with this guy, background that fills in the details, Robert Silverberg’ review of Son Of The Tree, ceaselessly inventive, so individual is his manner, long noveletes, complete in one issue, Standard Publications, a gaggle of reader departments, 25 cents!, his most fertile period, The Houses Of Iszm, going back to trees, Startling Stories, Thrilling Wonder Stories, the same basic outline, more delightful, two swift marvelous, not available as audiobooks, the novelet format and not being series are strikes against them, advertising the next books in the series, 111 pages and 112 pages vs. 158 pages, the difference is he adds some expanded material, where that year 1492 came in, an expansion to capitalize on a new market, Ace Doubles, Son Of The Tree, approximately the same length (32,000 words), his loves’ heart, the plot dynamics of the exploration people here, personal fiefdom, to spoil it, Subterranean Press, 22,000 words (+8,000 words), a monopoly on living houses, Sainh, the seeds of the rubber tree, silkworms, coffee beans, people smuggling plants across borders to break monopolies, spinning up worldbuilding, he loves to build his worlds, the IPCC, how these worlds work, enjoying the universe, tourism of the weird societies, Chai, the Grand Tour novels, the plot of The Moon Moth, the plot of Paul’s role playing game, many ways of being human, better than humans, their competitiveness with each other, parthenogenesis means you can’t be cuckolded easily, sexual conquests, eighteen babies out of their armpits, a short novel by an author who is pretty bad, Lester Del Rey, incompetent writing (or just bad), Lin Carter was an enthusiast, H.P. Lovecraft or Clark Ashton Smith or Robert E. Howard, deep inside of his core he has a grinding stone that’s throwing out sparks, a guy who liked those guys (and didn’t have a horrible childhood), enthusiasm for some sort of science fiction idea in a setting, on Mars, plotting vs. ideas, The Sky Is Falling, MAGABOOK paperbook, making the words flow, pages turn vs. oh that was clunky, workmanlike, operating in the science fiction end, the wallpaper is ugly in his world, always delivers actual SF, awesome soft SF, The Potters Of Frisk, really disappointed, read the series multiple times, Dune by Frank Herbert, Paul got it young, hit a wall, Vance was difficult to find for a while, Dying Earth, dated science, nonsense technobabble, the crew of the ship have no idea how the thrusting works, how cars and planes work, how the car engine works, he knows he’s not doing hard SF, retro technology, a telephone booth, feels more modern than it is, a great movie or TV series, lots of makeup, tint her skin, problems of racism, skin dye, a disguise, for fashion, the Civil Rights era, footage of protests, not a political book, independent police, the Pinkertons, privatized police forces, that makes sense, To Live Forever by Jack Vance, dealing with an interesting theme: immortality, social credit score, empathy with your clone, the exploration was very important, a very solid SF novel, is it an SF wallpaper book?, Scott’s really really enjoying the new Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, integral to the plot, late season Orville episodes, an on off romance, she’s really strong, technically that’s different alien cultures, but not really, the focus on the romance, a Star Wars style battle, 10 minutes of Naboo fighters in trenches, not understanding, Mr Data has a phaser, Mr Spock was in this book, Dr. Spock, how many siblings have spock have at this point?, Michael who is adopted, Spock’s family tree, Amanda Grayson, Perrin is the replacement, the movie was so bad, Star Trek 4 was a such a great movie I’ll go see Star Trek 5, these fucking marshmallow jokes suck, Scott banging his head, I hate this movie, if we looked at it now our standards are so low now, Star Trek 1 gets better every year, Star Trek 3, Star Trek 2, Star Trek 6, the Star Trek next generation movies are bad too, dune buggies, enemy dune buggies, they beam down and then walk, Herbie Goes Bananas (1980), a talking car, you know what this gothic romance needs? more dune buggies!, that’s not what it’s about, Okuda designing a screen for a dune buggy, The Killing Machine by Jack Vance, planet bound, The Five Gold Bands aka Space Pirate, Science Fiction 101 or Worlds Of Wonder edited by Robert Silverberg, Startling Stories, criticism of capitalism and colonialism, brass bra babes, bug-eyed monsters, Thrilling Wonder Stories, entertaining, sales, unfairly forgotten, Tschai is a compilation of the Planet Of Adventure novels, sociological science fiction, the Lyonesse trilogy, discussed on occasion, Fuck Me Up Vance Knock Out Baby, Jack does It, Man I Love Sports, following their own bugbears, I’m going to read the series, too many names to remember, a terrible review don’t listen to me, narrator issues, consumer reviews, semi-professional reviewers, was Silverberg grumpy when he wrote that?, angry that books were so shitty, saying the same things over and over again, Piers Anthony and John Norman, Lin Carter is dead, the lowest ratings you’ve ever given, hurting someone who is still alive, calm down, someone didn’t like your book, calling their baby ugly, differentiating a story from a person, review their good books not their bad books, promoting things that are good vs. tearing down things that are bad, pissing on their baby, what’s the purpose of reviewing, it worked way to well, the initial motivation, talking about ideas in the book, why is it a bad book, an intellectual exercise, if you know the author it feels problematic, very successful and insecure, being honest, the new upcoming Prime Tolkien show, they paid people to be excited, hiring people to say good things is intellectually dishonest and lucrative, a huge thing (not for books), written by the author under pseudonym, what makes August Derleth a scumbag, doing a disservice to your idealized reader, holding your tongue, tell the truth at all times?, many techniques to avoid lying, throw some sparklers into the air, I just got this new hairpiece: how does it look?, if your world will fundamentally crumble, smart people will learn to not ask questions of people who give honest answers, Cora’s hair is long, hair braided to her tailbone, if that old woman can have long hair, there is a problem in the industry of reviewing, doing a disservice to our idealized reader, what things do I want to see in a review?, what the reviewer thinks the book could be or could have been, reviewing serves multiple functions, ratings do not, unuseful, when many thousands rate, dismissing things immediately, no one is rating honestly, Paul’s trip to Oregon, nagging the ratings, Paul got his revenge, what they asked for and not what they wanted, Goodreads is more critical than Amazon, books no on the market, is my number ok?, the more popular the book…, a perfect 5, the bigger the number of people having reviewed it, reviewing for IMDB, a ranking, anything under 5 is a shit movie, very close to 7, IMDB got bought out and you can’t trust reviewing, review bombing, the Marvel movies and Marvel series, the 2016 Ghostbuster movie, how hot someone is, Top Gun: Maverick, super-propagandy and still good, why we must rely, PC Gamer magazine’s wonderful giant reviews, Rogue One, blind black man actor [Denzel Washington], Gary Whitta, a western, science fiction wallpaper, fantasy, vision from god, The Book Of Eli (2010), a very solid script, many boffins died, the pacing is good, amazing essays, what good essay writing is, laugh at the games that are badly put together, half percentage points, inflation, a then living author, a slap in the face, who would have been served by him saying nothing?, a smaller world now, fistfights at Worldcon, fuck off into the sun, Blasters Of Forever by Cora Buhlert, who would it serve?, incensed, an MA in English, hating academics, lesson learned: don’t mention MAs, obvious an idiot, talk about you pets or children, author bios, which German army?, compulsory military service, its about identity, The Pre-Persons by Philip K. Dick, what Paul would think of it, pro-choice, what do you think your future in streaming is?, your audience will snitch on you, cracker is a slur, nudity will get you banned, who’s this person?, she has an MFA, a video editor for a streamer, why is MFA in her twitter bio, that’s her identity, that’s who they are, Anthony Rapp, a union rep, what he’s known for, he doesn’t identify it, Hugo finalist and pronouns, Jesse’s identity is a joke, what people care about, Robert A. Heinlein’s twitter bio: Libertarian onetime socialist, Elon Musk Fanboy, Former Naval Officer, writer, a good series of tweets, fake up some twitter bios for dead science fiction authors, emojis in their twitter bios, Ukraine Flag, Dove, Pirate flag?, a red spot means annoying person, COVID lockdown enthusiast, a German flag or Swedish flag, hammer and sickle, tomato, green vengetable, sunny symbol and aloha flower, a camera emoji, Vale of Garnath in Amber, I know don’t live in Lankhmar, the Plaza of Dark Delights, my German fan, huge in Germany, Germans read a lot of science fiction, Connor is an import, Mirko’s the original, an undertaker by profession, hilarious, the most suitable profession, The Loved Dead by C.M. Eddy and H.P. Lovecraft, any real stories?, Lovecraft can be funny, dry wry humour, next level hilarious.

The Star King by Jack Vance EMSH art

The Star King by Jack Vance EMSH art

The Star King by Jack Vance EMSH art

The Star King by Jack Vance EMSH art

Posted by Jesse WillisBecome a Patron!

The SFFaudio Podcast #673 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: Inside Earth by Poul Anderson

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #673 – Inside Earth by Poul Anderson – read by Phil Chenevert. This is a complete and unabridged reading of the novelette (2 hours 3 Minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Paul Weimer, Scott Danielson, and Will Emmons

Talked about in today’s show:
Inside Earth by Poul William Anderson, Galaxy Science Fiction, April 1951, The Marching Morons by C.M. Kornbluth, Beetlejuice Bridge by William Tenn, Nice Girl With Five Husbands by Fritz Leiber, Galaxy vs. Astounding vs. Planet Stories, a good reason to do a podcast, the content, its disturbing, extremely though provoking, racism, imperialism, presented in what Science Fiction does, pulling away from humanity for a second, thinking about a lot of things, isn’t this nifty, strands of thought, the libertarian camp, utopia, doing what the humans do, Will’s agenda, can’t trust them, what the message is, The Fall Of The Roman Empire (1964), part of the empire, Romanizing barbarians, unity, slavery of humanity, in a terrarium, indoctrinated, deprogrammed vs. programmed, interesting nuances, Valgonians, the best versions of themselves, who is defining best?, races and cultures and creeds, made into a Jew, a Norwegian, Levinson, comments throughout, written by the seat of his pants?, doubts about their plan, a poor plan?, infiltration, against their own people, The Americans, on the cover, a scene not even set on Earth, inside earth culture, fallen in love with a human, feelings for Barbara, get over his backstory of his dead wife, I was Earthling, being restored to normal, as complete and scarless, I’d be human again, the Klingons think they’re human, later Star Trek episodes, surgically altered humans and Klingons, nose ridge addition, convergent evolution, the Federation works like the Empire does here, Enterprise, guided on your tricycle, the Valgonian Empire, “slant eyed” is unfortunate, “it’s a very diverse empire”, two ways of looking at science fiction: 1. telling us about ourselves 2. how things could be, an analogy for something happening in the world vs. the Star Trek plan, how often Mr. Spock is an alien, Balance Of Terror, a WWII submarine vs. destroyers story, suspicious of Mr. Spock, Mrs. Spock is above suspicion, the actor’s a Jew but not the character, can we trust our Japanese soldiers?, can we trust our Navajo translators?, can we trust our German population?, war having a common enemy, this melting plot, the lack of skepticism on the part of our narrator, reeducation camps will work?, remake Afghanistan, 100% on board with it, I want another kid, they’ll sterilize me, its good to sterilize people, eugenics, hereditary taints, in 1951 its still there, how genetics work, the spirit bears, the same species as black bears, blonde hair isn’t a defect we think, but something definitely are, these people are resistant to a disease, genetic diseases, Huntington’s disease, Robert J. Sawyer, that level of protection against a fairly common disease, beneficial, neutral, or bad, in the scope that we have now, the Hari Seldon plan is never wrong, dentists who are social engineers, Will had to brush his teeth so he wouldn’t get sterilized, an uplift story, cultural uplift, the [David] Brin stories, Jesse didn’t start WWII, a certain set of people, the controls of power, Justin Trudeau is more responsible for climate change than I am, he solar system was in disarray, what’s the story this week, Afghanistan wins again!, we need to civilize them, two trillion dollars investment lasted a week, Hamid Karzai hugging the Taliban leaders, its liberation, just like the Russians, the British, Alexander the Great, very naive, a travelogue for something that happens a lot, something cops do all the time, infiltrate organizations, Martin Luther King, cops in the Environmental movement having children with people, he put her back on the list, oh he’s going with her, she’ll hate me for years (but its for his own good), the original plan, we’re going to the concentration camp together, meta evidence, just a reeducation camp or a death camp?, why is this report being told, a quasi-official report, bed talk, flying by the seat of his pants, who go into deep?, crushed and reeducated, oops, Poul Anderson tragedy, what it means to be a Valgonian, maybe he wants to take the punishment?, Dominic Flandry, agent for a galactic empire, what else are you going to do?, better than anarchy, disillusionment with empire, the strongest case, how Valgonian soldiers treat earth Terries, the SS showing up in Paris, Resistance movies set in occupied France, the occupied French people, we train them to be rude, treat the people nicely, don’t call them ragheads, be courteous, apparently not racist at all, play that up, super-interesting, the United Nations, a psychotechnic league story, Anderson’s political beliefs, world government, from pro-UN to anti-UN, its empire, the UN as a governing body for the world, while this is happening in Afghanistan, “it’s going to be really weird when in 6 months this podcast comes out”, Ender’s Game, H.G. Wells’ martians in The War Of The Worlds, I have no race prejudices, a menace to the peace of the galaxy, the lesser empire, no inferior races but only more or less advanced ones, The Man In The High Castle by Philip K. Dick, clashing for a difference in philosophy, the lies we tell ourselves about WWII, we won the war, its all about Europe, 80% of Germans were killed by the Russians, D-Day, one of the many many lies we tell ourselves about WWII, that was the just war, we have some doubts about the nuking of humans, firebomb the civilians all to death, WWI civilian casualties vs. WWII civilian casualties, A Bright Shining Lie (1988), Col. John Paul Vann, a true believer, a civil war for the liberation of a country from its occupiers, propping up the South Vietnam government is like propping up Karzai, how long?, centuries, thousands of years, Will is very shy but has ideas, pull together ideas, social engineering, where science fiction comes from: put smart people in front of dumb people, Paul says Will needs to read The Marching Morons (Jesse agrees, and says it is a bad story), we’ll be welcomed as liberators, top down speeches, always another excuse as to why we have to keep doing the war, this is just a story, this position in science fiction that is uncritical of technocracy and experts knowing what is better than other people, narcotic gas is like daddy coming to take the toys away, the most disturbing part of the story, paternalism, the general premise of the relationship with Barbara, lovey dovey story (been lying to her the whole time), she’s supposed to hate him for years she can’t help it, paternalism even in his romantic relationship, get queasy, a very interesting story, not the most well thought out story ever, an underground agent’s thoughts, its going to make me suffer when I flip on these people, a price you pay that your bosses don’t pay, hence promoted two ranks, an abstract evil, the meta-dialogue, what these titles mean, it even meant something, just sounds that came out of people’s mouths, an eagerness close to hero-worship, the colonel, if you use the language enough you get to believe it yourself, what does West Point teach its officers, engineering and road building and well digging, a tweets abandoning the Kurds, what the internal politics of the two parties will use against each other, using the Kurds against Bush, against Biden, woefully obtuse or lying or stupid, “abandon” or “support” the Kurds, now Jesse gets it, are their Valgonian factions pro or against, just the party line, if you’re people who are doing this, orders, we need a win hear, go take a building, you don’t need to know and you can’t inquire, a submission, its all lie, Jesse’s meta-text, maybe this is more sophisticated than it looks, Barbara’s picture, on page 35, she looks like a robot, she looks like a Stepford wife, our hero with the mohawk, ramrod straight, staring into space, she’s from an old family, she’s rich, he’s marrying into this old rich family, a wander the Earth guy, whose going to be top dog, a best friend he punches out, dirty ’30s hobo story, an awful lot of tramping going on on Earth, we’re told there’s no homelessness and no hunger anymore, only tackling inherent racism, the difference between the original Star Trek and the Next Generation, it comes back in Deep Space Nine, and to our profit, Voyager, the Maquis is the more sophisticated reading, admirals are almost always wrong, “the war is winnable”, the Thomas Friedman unit, Matt Taibbi, writing “the next six months will tell” for twenty years, New York Times columnists being consistently wrong for twenty years, your job pitch, returning to the story, time as a tramp and a steel worker and his time hanging out around Barbara’s house, it sounds like he’s trying to blow his cover, a very strange tonal note, let’s go kill a Valgonian vs. I try to be fair to everyone, class, we need to cultivate the elite of earth, help the Terries become whatever they need to be, at some point in the future, the Ferengis are going to become part of the Federation, the Dominion is the evil version of the Federation, our union that is called the Federation, the details on that, genetically engineered enforcers, their ultimate motivation, the solids don’t like shapeshifters, the Klingons and the Romulans can get along because they have four limbs and a head, Odo is an infiltration unit, the evil humans, we need to be incredibly skeptical of power, an endless fleet of admirals, policy this and plan that, you can’t trust it, as a provocateur isn’t to just start the wars its to include, the January 6th [*insurrection*] was infiltrated, the Whitmer kidnapping plot was infiltrated, a very flawed hero, should we have any respect for him?, the greater good going to be achieved or is this the occupation of the Philippines, enhanced interrogation for the greater good, kind of naive, a fun adventure vs. a guide for thought, in the thinking department, kind of juvenile?, written to quickly for pay?, Anderson is always competent but has no style, Philip K. Dick has weird grammatical stuff, H.P. Lovecraft has his own quirks, a Scandinavian, thematic, robots and boobs and weird grammar, the ideas flow very easily, internal monologue, the king of clarity is Asimov, Asimov is very simple, Anderson is a little silly, the muscles removed from his ears so they wouldn’t wiggle anymore, silliness and tragedy, the dead wife, Flight To Forever, super-nova class warships, a doomed romance, Tau Zero, a happy ever after polygamy story at the cost of the universe: “it was worth it”, fan theories, how the Klingons got that way, arguing for hours, page 36 (23 of the PDF), still capitalists and communists, a million petty divisions, an alien firm but just rule, why we have to be there, they’re so divided unlike us, that’s the way you have to run things, the messiness is what they’re against, what horrifies people the most on the deep web, the bottom of the iceberg of the deep web, whatever google has on its how page, way down deep, underneath all the car accidents and horror body porn, art pieces, tones and two color bars intersecting with each other, Voynich manuscript style websites, where’s the search bar, it needs to be ordered, spell everything the same way everyone else does, you are forced to go to school, you don’t want to live a disordered life do you?, you can’t make your own letter and put it in your own sentences, speech precedes the alphabet, this is the one way and the only way, we’re building roads and building bridges, the ultimate problem here, what does that education camp do, regular propaganda, it has to be felt, the weird bard symbolize all the races, the black site torture facilities, conform, A Clockwork Orange, Alex is a psychopath and a rapist, will should have a notebook, don’t impose a notebook on him, orthography is important, communicating efficiently with others, Sequoyah the Cherokee people, we will preserve our language by making it readable, the G8, all the people wearing suits, the Mao suit, the respectable white shirt and a tie and a jacket, Qaddafi, to honor his heritage, putting on that three piece suit to become legit, the Saudis don’t do that, a subversion with in the text (not on purpose), a psyop, Jesse doesn’t trust a plan, Qanon, foolish to trust any sort of authority, sunlight and cameras all over everybody’s business, a panopticon facing at the guards and their bosses, your average Valgonian, the stupid Section 31, the deep state doesn’t acknowledge their secret police, the FBI is not secret police, police are in other countries, they do the same job as the secret police, thought provoking but not a thought leading story, were you surprised to see the words sluts in 1951, sluts are good, what of it, how did he get away with that?, working class women with low morals, hair like molten golden, blonde or red-haired, the stepford type, Poul Anderson’s personal life, Astrid Anderson, Greg Bear, science fiction royalty, no kings or queens please, the cover picture, is one of these our guy?, Barbara is in the red dress, our guy is in the grey suit, more like a hive than a rebel base, a big conspiracy, the Valgonian conspiracy, the official line and what everybody knows, the official plan doesn’t seem to be like what everybody knows, talking to actual anarchists, we know the cops are trying to infiltrate us, dead give away you’re a Fed, looking for traitors, its sorta incoherent, an accelerationist theory, voting for Trump will make the thing that the United States come fast, tearing off the bandaid vs. slowly peeling it off, a faction of Christianity, Justin Trudeau, we need the funding from this pipeline to fight climate change, Jesse predicts the 2021 Canadian federal election results [sadly, accurately 5 weeks before it happened], not enough hope, what’s their hit rate, the domino theory, fight them over there so we don’t have to fight them over here’, the Taliban vs. Boogaloo Bois, joining the rebel alliance vs. subverting the rebel alliance, a fixup?, it was all a lie!, we aren’t told what I was told we were, a worthy read, Phil Chenevert made it very easy reading. Horace Gold, best of Galaxy (The Galaxy Reader), its a good story, needs a little something, what the point was, Terrie Like Me, an exploration of colonialism, the British in India, it doesn’t line up, the stratification, a copy of Britain, getting an upper middle class going, physically bigger, they’re cold because they’re red Scandinavian with mohawks, to fry an egg, pajamas and tea and curry and eastern mysticism, what do the Valgonians get?, why you have to be so occupy-y, buy into the empire, they want to pull their troops away, we don’t want to be occupying you but you still need us, we’re going to choose your rebellion leader for you, Karzai’s a trustworthy guy, Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s retrieval artist series, alien laws, The Disappeared, Childhood’s End by Arthur C. Clarke, apotheosis, science fiction properties, The Way Of The Pilgrim by Gordon Dickson, Jesse is ruined, smaller versions of us, you’re not worthy, the Dread Empire series by Walter Jon Williams, a parody of Paul’s writing would need “Shenanigans Happen” “you have to tweet that”, Will is sated by this conversation.

Inside Earth by Poul Anderson

Inside Earth by Poul Anderson

Inside Earth by Poul Anderson

Inside Earth by Poul Anderson

Inside Earth by Poul Anderson

Inside Earth by Poul Anderson

Inside Earth by Poul Anderson

Posted by Jesse WillisBecome a Patron!