The SFFaudio Podcast #153 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: Small Town by Philip K. Dick

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #153 – Small Town by Philip K. Dick, read by Gregg Margarite. This is a complete and unabridged reading of the short story followed by a discussion of it with Jesse, Tamahome, and Gregg Margarite!

Of Small Town Philip K. Dick wrote:

“Here the frustrations of a defeated small person — small in terms of power, in particular power over others — gradually become transformed into something sinister: the force of death. In rereading this story (which is of course a fantasy, not science fiction) I am impressed by the subtle change which takes place in the protagonist from Trod Upon to Treader. Verne Haskel initially appears as the prototype of the impotent human being, but this conceals a drive at his core self which is anything but weak. It is as if I am saying, The put-upon person may be very dangerous. Be careful as to how you misuse him; he may be a mask for thanatos: the antagonist of life; he may not secretly wish to rule; he may wish to destroy.”

Talked about on today’s show:
Gregg is getting better at girls, girls are always questioning you, horror, urban fantasy, The Twilight Zone, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Rod Serling, paranoid Verne Haskell, a lead quarter, the redistribution of wealth, playing god, “…and he rested and he made a sandwich”, god games, SimCity 2000, churches can’t be stopped, Microcosmic God, “shoved into the next dimension”, is it slipstream?, Stopover In A Quiet Town, transformers are the science, diorama, the train doesn’t run them over, “moral”, “extremely moral”, train guys, Lego, erector sets, Lincoln Logs, Meccano, matchbox cars, small towns can be hell, comic book stores, “urbane-al-ity”, is Verne the god of Woodland?, pet shops and mortuaries, little man, SFSignal’s Sword And Sorcery Panel suggest characters should be the focus, “Finished!”, world warping, John Carter, handwavium, “make out”, Beyond The Door, Dick’s faithless women, Clans Of The Alphane Moon, how risque were SF mags in the 1950s?, San Fransisco, Silvia is one of Dick’s most common female character names, a life sized diorama, The Tell Tale Heart, The Days Of Perky Pat, The Three Stigmata Of Palmer Eldritch, the game of Life, Barbie, chew-z, the documentary Marwencol (2010), “he wants love”, Mark Hogancamp’s world is open, living in a real dream world, Deja Thoris has a time machine, Jeff Malmberg, A Clockwork Orange, adding layers, “well done Jeff”, R. Crumb, Blade Runner‘s androids take photographs to take memories, “reality and consciousness are fluid constructs”, crazy vs. differently enabled, Esopus magazine, a world without irony, authenticity, people are complicated, Greenwich Village, cross-dressing, WWII.

Small Town by Philip K. Dick second publication in the April 1967 issue of Amazing Stories

Marwencol

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #152 – READALONG: The Comedy Is Finished by Donald E. Westlake

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #152 – Jesse talks with Trent Reynolds and Paul Westlake about the AudioGo and Hard Case Crime novel The Comedy Is Finished by Donald E. Westlake.

Talked about on today’s show:
Is The Comedy Is Finished going to be the last Donald E. Westlake novel to be published?, Memory (and our discussion of it), Charles Ardai, Max Allan Collins, Mickey Spillane, getting paid is a priority for professional writers, the 1970s, Honeydew, USO tours, Bob Hope, the audiobook experience, Peter Berkrot’s narration of the audiobook of The Comedy Is Finished, Koo Davis, Bob Hope as Red Skelton vs. Bob Hope as Gene Kelly, Alfred Hitchcock, Ricky Gervais, Koo Davis narrates his own POV in the present everyday tense sense, “Westlake is the master of sentence by sentence writing”, “in the moment”, “the god-damned Vietnam thing”, “the real Americans”, the redemption, healing vs. moving on, Ronald Reagan, “new normal”, “the Carter malaise” and “festering wounds”, Larry, Peter, Mark has daddy issues, Joyce, the Dortmunder gang if they were all psychotic, “doing a Westlake”, why do Koo’s boys not look like him?, the role of a father, the mirror scene, “genetics don’t matter in fiction”, fatherhood as a choice, leave the messages to Western Union, character arcs, Lindsey, A Sound Of Distant Drums, radio drama, “there are round characters and there are flat characters”, “oh this is a Westlake”, “Charo has become a bitter old woman”, “a romantic writer”, succinct description, taking plots from real life, The Score, “he can heist anything”, The Mourner, The Stepfather, “that’s pretty much how these work”, three Dortmunder ideas, Kahawa should be an audiobook, California, Burbank, Santa Barbara, Elizabeth Taylor’s biography, Under An English Heaven should be an audiobook too, Anguilla, an option has been taken out on Kahawa, the new Parker movie, Stephen King’s filmography vs. Donald Westlake’s filmography, The Hot Rock, Cops And Robbers (1973), The Split (based on The Seventh), Payback, Les Alexander, The Outfit, City Of Industry, The Sour Lemon Score, Made In U.S.A., the Criterion Collection, it’s Clint Eastwood with internal monologue, a Dortmunder TV series, The Limey, Terence Stamp, Idi Amin, Uganda, “the coffee train”, Enough, Ordo, A Slight Case Of Murder, A Travesty, it’s very hard to be a Westlake expert, the sound a girl makes when you’re kissing her, “it’s just a weird name”, Bob Hope was a knight!, Conrad Black, Baron Black of Crossharbour, Westlake’s Science Fiction and Fantasy, Westlake’s renunciation of SF, Anarchaos by Curt Clark, “Rolf Malone is a precursor to Parker”, Theodore Bikel (the fiddler in The Fiddler On The Roof), The Risk Profession, Nackles (is great for kids!), The Twilight Zone, Harlan Ellison’s screenplay for Nackles, the Starship Hopeful series (available on DonaldWestlake.com), Lawrence Block’s fantasy story, SF is very allegorical (and that’s not Westlake), Humans, Westlake’s Smoke vs. Wells’ The Invisible Man, “and everybody’s an asshole”, “everybody one way or another is a jerkoff”, “Joyce goes crazy in the most wonderful way”, a survivor of Chernobyl, “is God really an asshole?”, “angels are assholes”, Milton’s Paradise Lost, The Sacred Monster, Get Real, ridicule in print, Money For Nothing, Westlake never lectured, interior thoughts that are so revealing about the shallowness of a character’s nature, Washington, D.C., “moving up the ladder”, “what does Ginger want?”, “it’s fun to play with fire”, “I’ve got to have something”, did Don hate rock and roll?, he liked classical and atonal jazz, “damn hippie”, 99% of politics is pointless, talking to death, Jimmy The Kid (a Parker novel inside of a Dortmunder novel), kidnapping, Help I Am Being Held Prisoner, Patty Hearst, Gangway, Brian Garfield, Spider Robinson’s Dortmunder homage, Lawrence Block, The Sour Lemon Score, Dashiell Hammett, Piers Anthony, Poul Anderson, Robert A. Heinlein, shiny spaceships, don’t read by genre, read by author, the genre label, Jim Thompson, The Grifters, Trent’s beef with Angelica Huston, a period piece, Paul had a problem with John Cusack, J.T. Walsh, Pat Hingle, Annette Bening, “I’ll never look at a bag of oranges the same way”, Donald Westlake: NYC Personified, The Violent World Of Parker website, Nick Jones, Westlake’s bibliography at DonaldWestlake.com.

AudioGo - The Comedy Is Finished by Donald E. Westlake

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #148 – READALONG: The Odyssey by Homer (Books I – IV)

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #148 – Scott and Jesse, in the first of a six part series, discuss the first four books of The Odyssey by Homer (books I, II, III and IV).

Talked about on today’s show:
Odysseus doesn’t appear in the first four books of The Odyssey, planting the seeds for the end of the story, The Iliad, and the missing epics, why not read The Iliad first?, novel vs. tragedy, Robert Fagles, E.V. Rieu, Ian Mckellan’s narration, The Apology Of Socrates by Plato, Telemachus’ dilemma, The Teaching Company, The Telemache (the first four books of The Odyssey), xenia, xenos (guest, host, foreigner, and friend), hospitality and the ancient world, an exploration of the concept of xenia, Pallas Athena, disguised, “he’s a suitor”, O Brother, Where Art Thou?, war orphans, embracing the stranger, xenophilia, the recurring turns of phrase, “the wine dark sea” and “bright eyed Athena”, the wise don’t lie, Basil Fawlty is not a very wise man, gearing down, Dan Simmons’s Hyperion, a story for a nation of city states, Nestor’s son was the fastest runner, wisdom comes in many flavours, Helen as a host, was Helen complicit with her kidnapping?, how should we read Helen?, dosing the household, the status of women in ancient Greece, the Entitled Opinions podcast (on Homer And Homeric Epics), The Odyssey is the story of a marriage, adventure with gods, the role of The Odyssey in ancient Greek religion, Socrates was convicted (in part) of denying the gods, miracles as an intervention, why do the gods disguise themselves?, are the gods simply external manifestations of human thought?, were the ancient Greeks more gullible than we?, the editorial introduction by E.V. Rieu, one of the greatest books ever, next time will be books V, VI, VII and VIII.

The World Of Homer - illustrated by Ernie Chan

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #147 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: Pickman’s Model by H.P. Lovecraft

Podcast

H.P. Lovecraft's Pickman's Model
The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #147 – Pickman’s Model by H.P. Lovecraft, read by Mr Jim Moon. This is a complete and unabridged reading of the short story (21 Minutes) followed by a discussion of it by Jesse, Tamahome, Mr Jim Moon, Wayne June and Mirko Stauch. Here’s the ETEXT.

Talked about on today’s show:
S.t.a.u.c.h., comic book explosion sounds, “thwip”, Pickman’s Model by H.P. Lovecraft, Hypnobobs Podcast, Hypnogoria.com, Jim Moon’s audio essay about ghouls, R. Chetwynd-Hayes, Amicus Press, Beyond The Grave, The Monster Club, The H.P. Podcraft Podcast, The Tomb, The Call Of Cthulhu, The Crawling Chaos, The Music Of Erich Zann, The Festival, nobody wants to talk about art, Neonomicon, Pickman’s Necrotica, Night Of The Living Dead, Richard Burton, the German audio drama adaptation, The Thing On The Doorstep (annotated by S.T. Joshi), I Am Providence: The Life And Times Of H.P. Lovecraft, The Case Of Charles Dexter Ward, Robert E. Howard, Omar Epps, House, M.D., “no nordic man”, The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, lead-lined coffins, a slurry of sauce, “the lesson”, “subway accident”, The Dream Quest Of Unknown Kadath, Bradford Dillman, “for procreational purposes”, The Shadow Over Innsmouth, The Unnameable, Gustav Dore’s illustrations for Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven, the power of art, Supernatural Horror In Literature, Aristotle’s Poetics, Algernon Blackwood, YogSothoth.com, What The Moon Brings, a ghoulish sense of humor, Robert Bloch, Clark Ashton Smith, eldritchdark.com, Out Of Space And Time, Cotton Mather, spectral evidence, the original waterboarding, The Horror At Red Hook, He, Audio Realms, The Mountains Of Madness, Through The Gates Of The Silver Key, The Statement Of Randolph Carter, two one sided conversations, what would Lovecraft write today?, The Lovecraft Chronicles by Peter Cannon, Lovecraft’s racism, Mr. Nigger Man (Lovecraft’s cat), racist paint colours, WWII, xenophobia, the strange and the stranger, Samuel Loveman, mythologizing the author, Buck Rogers, Doc Savage, Poe himself is the star of The Raven, laughing in horror, the Night Gallery paintings, Hannes Bok, a wolf with a mullet, a modern adaptation, The Rats In The Walls, if a story can be spoiled it’s probably not worth reading (or re-reading), Tam would have dropped his shit, Joanna Russ, Cthulhu 2000, Poe wrote his wife to death, Beyond The Wall Of Sleep, The Crawling Chaos, “psychedelically cosmic”, Jim Moon’s Necronomicon woodcuts, 16th century Pickman,

Pickman's Model - as adapted for Tower Of Shadows #9

Pickman's Model - original Weird Tales illustration

Pickman painting #1

Pickman painting #2

Pickman painting #3

Pickman painting #4

Pickman painting #5

Pickman painting #6

Pickman painting #6 DETAIL

Hannes Bok illustration of Pickman's Model

Pickman's Model - adapted for Skull Comics, No.4, (1972) by Herb Arnold

Pickman's Model by H.P. Lovecraft

Pickman's Model - iIllustrated by David Prosser (1965)

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #145 – READALONG: Little Brother by Cory Doctorow

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #145 – Little Brother by Cory Doctorow. Jesse, Tamahome, Professor Eric S. Rabkin and Jenny discuss Little Brother by Cory Doctorow. |ETEXT|

Talked about on today’s show:
Tam can’t trust anyone over 25, Jesse’s review in 2008, re-reading Little Brother in 2012, South Carolina, did Jenny vote Herman Cain (Stephen Colbert)?, SOPA/PIPA, non-fiction essay combined with YA, cliche, didacticism vs. propaganda vs. agitprop, we loved the infodumping, the underlying Oedipal structure, Robert A. Heinlein, libertarian bent, The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, Starship Troopers, Ray Bradbury, Something Wicked This Way Comes, ‘this book has well devolved mythic structure’, levers vs. buttons, relevance, Homer, Electronic Frontier Foundation, the future of money, Luke Burrage’s review of Down And Out In The Magic Kingdom, money is hard to understand, Little Brother is a call to arms, National Defense Authorization Act (suspending habeous corpus as outlined in Article One of the United States Constitution), Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell, Ms. Galvez’s Social Studies class, history, Heinleinian straw men vs. Doctorowan straw men, DHS, TSA, pebbles in your shoes, gait recognition, Oedipus = lame-foot, Charles Walker, the yippies, “this is a masterwork”, Jesse hates sequels, will the sequel to Little Brother deliver anything like what we might expect?, idea based writing vs. character based writing, w1n5t0n, trust, Marcus’ moral problem (RFID cloning without consent for the “greater good”), what act of violence is allowable?, moral relativism, the ends vs. the means, adolescence, “when is it time to overthrow the government?”, treason, Jenny makes “a gorgeous point”, Cory Doctorow’s choice to set Little Brother in, Law & Order (Lenny Briscoe), British North American Act, Canada didn’t have a bill of rights until 1981, The Charter Of Rights And Freedoms, Canada’s founding fathers are not demi-gods, Byron Sonne, G-20, is Little Brother a libertarian book?, “freedom is something you have to take for yourself”, Friedrich Hayek, Prometheus Award, the government of California is the hero (or the CHP), authority tries to perpetuate itself, UC Berkley, sex, juvenile vs. YA, “we live on Mars but we keep our houses extremely hot”, Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson, The Dervish House, Ready Player One, The Diamond Age, Eric makes a minor discovery, Big Brother -> Little Brother, Star-Begotten by H.G. Wells has the origin of “Big Brother”, Olaf Stapledon, “man is the boy who won’t grow up”, Spanish Civil War, The Midwich Cuckoos by John Wyndham (aka The Children Of The Damned), The Iron Heel by Jack London, comparing Doctorow with London, what is propaganda?, pamphleteering, Joseph Goebbels, Eric thinks etymologically, propagation and ideology, the Wikipedia entry on propaganda, is The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress propaganda?, “Oceania is now”, more strawful men, Sinclair Lewis, agitprop fiction, Science Fiction, “it’s a call to arms”, being a hacker, “go forth and hack my children”, “pay attention”, Gitmo by the bay, Iraq, Hacking The X-Box, Mac vs. PC ads, the hacker ethic is the science ethic, LARPing, “just to be smarter about the world around me”, alternative schooling, BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit), SkyTrain, The People Mover (The DPM), jitney, first person perspective, how to care, the terrorism detector and super-AIDS, Jane Jacobs, Jenny’s favourite character was Andrew, crystallizing the Oedipal issues, the Scoville scale, “the word is mister”, Ange vs. mom, The Tempest, severe haircut lady’s sadism, The Dark Knight Returns, is there a hero-normative angle?, The Puppet Masters, Friday, Have Spaceship-Will Travel, the ideal audience, Good Night Moon, Kirby Heybourne’s narration, transitional objects, Cory’s analogies are wonderful, taking a hiatus from Science Fiction, a pleased (but silent) smile, Jesse still has all his LEGO, a balding grey haired kid, Paranoid Linux, Jenny is ambivalent about whether she is of two minds, that couldn’t really happen here … could it?, Erich Fromm’s Escape from Freedom, the closer you get to power the more obvious it becomes, idelogical blindness, Drew wants to be able to believe, “He loved big brother.”

Kaiser Wilhelm II biting the world
Govenment Tech Support

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #144 – READALONG: Immortality, Inc. by Robert Sheckley

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #144 – Jesse, Tamahome and Gregg Margarite talk about the audiobook of Robert Sheckley’s 1959 novel Immortality, Inc..

Talked about on today’s show:
Time Killer was nominated for a Hugo, the Blackstone Audio audiobook, Sheckley’s family of themes, a collage of images, Immortality, Inc. is a comedy, Bronson Pinchot’s narration, Peter Lorre, Midnight Cowboy, “those are real tears”, a cartoon, Buddhism, reincarnation, the yoga machine, “manipulation catches up to theory”, surviving beyond death, Futurama, suicide booths, New New York, Douglas Adams, Matt Groening, zombies, are we chicking or egging, Mindswap by Robert Sheckley (SFFaudio Podcast #076), Richard K. Morgan’s Altered Carbon, “you are not…”, are you your memories?, hundreds of trillions of assumptions, “why did communism fail?”, Tam knits, sweet sweet coffee, Harrison Bergeron, we need the CPU as well as the memory, Gregg would still be Gregg in another body, a body as an automobile for genes, aren’t skills a part of your mind, your memories?, bayoneting skills, Gregg wants longer pinkies, dynamic finger growth is optimal, episodic, the hunt, have the lawyer leave the room, “what if there is nothing more?”, this is a book about death, ghosts, walking through all the explanation for what happens after they die, tomb like an Egyptian, sane ghosts vs. nutjob ghosts, “the competition never ends”, “different dimension, same shit”, “transplant”, a black-market copy of a sensory recording of our hero’s story, interest in the twentieth century is waning, 1950s New York, Jesse has never been to New York, security theater, Gregg promises to take Jesse to New York, a private Winnebago?, the suspension of habeas corpus, Canada is a country that doesn’t work in theory (but works in practice), the United States as a utopian experiment, Australia has mandatory voting, Mayberry, “the right to die”, death is exactly like before you were born, you can only look forward to death, Mark Twain, death is just one damn thing after another, What Dreams May Come by Richard Matheson, Dante’s Inferno, does love conquer all?, Cinderella, happily ever after, arguments that get all of us killed, Pakistan vs. India, tribalism, Ghandi vs. Jinnah, “the enemies of progress”, China, Buddhism, Confucianism, Shinto, ancestor worship, Khmer mythology, Hanuman the monkey king, “reality is only inside you”, are most people half-believers?, Sheckley doesn’t pick one way, did the serialization inform the storytelling, The Status Civilization, Sheckley looks at the world and laughs, there’s no thesis Sheckley is trying to explicate, Sheckley is “a sane Phil Dick”, horror vs. humor, Freejack is a loose adaptation of Immortality, Inc., Emilio Estevez and Mick Jagger, the role of the reader, the magic of radio (drama), The World According To Garp (film vs. novel), converting the nonconvertible, a romantic relationship, Aristotle’s Poetics, plot should follow necessarily (or at least probably) from that which came before, Accessory Before The Fact by Algernon Blackwood, “it all happens at the same time”, flat characters vs. round characters, do we live in a serial world?, if Hamlet was a television series, Gilgamesh still works, Star Trek, Gene Roddenberry vs. J.J. Abrams, an anthologic approach, Babylon 5 as the counter-example, Neil Gaiman, J. Michael Straczynski, Doctor Who, the vehicle of the series, will the dancing toilet paper company care?, Gregg: “I’m no longer god”

The Time Killer by Robert Sheckley - Illustration by Wood
The Time Killer by Robert Sheckley - Illustration by Wood
The Time Killer by Robert Sheckley - Illustration by Wood
The Time Killer by Robert Sheckley - Illustration by Wood
The Time Killer by Robert Sheckley - Illustration by Wood
The Time Killer by Robert Sheckley - Illustration by Wood
The Time Killer by Robert Sheckley - Illustration by Wood
The Time Killer by Robert Sheckley - Illustration by Wood
The Time Killer by Robert Sheckley - Illustration by Wood
The Time Killer by Robert Sheckley - Illustration by Wood
The Time Killer by Robert Sheckley - Illustration by Wood
The Time Killer by Robert Sheckley - Illustration by Wood
Freejack credits - "Based upon the novel "Immortality, Inc." by Robert Sheckley
Suicide Booth

Posted by Jesse Willis