The SFFaudio Podcast #718 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: The Sea Wolf by Jack London

The SFFaudio Podcast #718 – The Sea Wolf by Jack London – read by Nick Bulka. This is a complete and unabridged reading of story (11 hour 39 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants include Jesse, Paul Weimer, Maissa Bessada, Evan Lampe, Will Emmons, and Trish E. Matson.

Talked about on today’s show:
a psychological adventure novel, 3 episodes of Evan’s podcast, first time, a Jack London read-through, so many books, so little time, three famous famous famous novels, The Call With The Wild, White Fang, The Sea Wolf, such a great writer, a very interesting book, similar to Moby Dick, Captains Courageous by Rudyard Kipling, fry-cook to sea-captain, Humphrey is like a boy, immature in very specific ways, cabin boy, made manifest, the main character is Wolf Larsen, Brewster, the destroyer, social Darwinian cul-de-sac, kill seals and die, a critic, disliked critics, the only creative force, she has a grow-up, changing characters, from a passive person to an active person, the person with the character arc is the protagonist, impressionable, sucked in by Maude, a strong magnetic charge, old voicemails, in the arguments, speaking of what Jack London really believes, a social Darwinian, an atheist, this life is all that there is, the meaning we get out of life, socialism is the only out, Evolution And Ethics by Thomas Huxley, Darwinism is right, a reality of nature, the metaphor is a garden, you’re going to end up with weeds, a gardener to weed the garden, evolutionary ethics, the weaker good things, London is somewhere there, this is the world, gilded age capitalism, The Iron Heel, he’s both characters, as a success as a writer, an article in the Atlantic about Poe, criticism can be art, who’s the most successful artist on this boat?, the hardscrabble guy, no leg up in the world, in a struggle with death, only his manly body and his manly mind, what he happened to have been given, London has read Nietzsche, a guy giving lectures all the time, gentlemen and gentlewomen, real world practical experience, he’s almost like a Conan like force, Robert E. Howard, pull-up your pants mentality, dealing with reality as a man, vital nature, romantic love, not as awesome as Jesse was expecting, falling in love with the lady on the boat, a romantic novel, a philosophical struggle with death, ultimately he goes down, the end of his life, the Charles Bronson / Christopher Reeve adaptation, music tells you how to feel, Humphrey is telling us how to feel, many conversations, presented with a very hard philosophy, wouldn’t it be nice if everybody was nice, tweeting quotes:

“You have eternal life before you. You are a millionaire in immortality, and a millionaire whose fortune cannot be lost, whose fortune is less perishable than the stars and as lasting as space or time. It is impossible for you to diminish your principal. Immortality is a thing without beginning or end. Eternity is eternity, and though you die here and now you will go on living somewhere else and hereafter. And it is all very beautiful, this shaking off of the flesh and soaring of the imprisoned spirit. Cooky cannot hurt you. He can only give you a boost on the path you eternally must tread.

“Or, if you do not wish to be boosted just yet, why not boost Cooky? According to your ideas, he, too, must be an immortal millionaire. You cannot bankrupt him. His paper will always circulate at par. You cannot diminish the length of his living by killing him, for he is without beginning or end. He’s bound to go on living, somewhere, somehow. Then boost him. Stick a knife in him and let his spirit free. As it is, it’s in a nasty prison, and you’ll do him only a kindness by breaking down the door. And who knows?—it may be a very beautiful spirit that will go soaring up into the blue from that ugly carcass. Boost him along, and I’ll promote you to his place, and he’s getting forty-five dollars a month.”

very powerful, amazing, airy fairy, following through on the conclusion, we do not like it, some alternative explanation, some outside philosophy, very hard truths, at somebody’s house, not really paying attention, so propagandized, so in their class, what can you do there?, tacit or active support for horror, where is Jack London here?, we’re in a difficult situation, steel manning the enemy argument, he cheats his way out of this book, Goliah, it isn’t an angry book, we did our best for that terrible man, he’s trying to kill them, a hard choice to return good for evil, off together married, a happy ending, convenient death, who kills Wolf Larsen?, Death kills him, Melville’s Moby Dick, a secret crew, a secret hold, a plan to fight death, amazing, I’m going to kill, the Ghost, they escape from the Ghost, seals everywhere in Heaven, sealed their fate, headaches and strokes, status quo ante, admitting to himself he loves this woman, so one sided, worshipping her, all told from one point of view, 1904, he made a good argument, this isn’t a good time for romancing, at his mercy, hey lady, he’s a really decent fellow, dissed in a review, can I choose the weapons, I choose grammar, you lose, an essential good insight into this character, Wolf Larsen’s grammar, wrestling with the works that surround him in his cabin, perfectly human, Wolf Larsen’s enemy is Wolf Larsen, there is no god, his hate is curdling inside him, making himself sick, his circumstances of his life, born to Humphrey’s station, born poor, no education, low on the totem pole, starting half-way up as a half-ass, achieving, the latest failson out of Hunter Biden’s laptop and phone, drive from beneath to succeed, there are these Humphrey Van Wydens, somehow got rich, made him a gentleman standing on deadman’s legs, a morality hidden in Wolf Larsen, for your soul’s sake, he makes a project of him, he likes the conversations, winning the arguments, he wins all of the arguments, the Robert E. Howard – Jack London connection, Conan has two fathers, the psychology behind this stuff, the answer to the riddle of steel, William Smith: not men not women not beasts can you trust in this world, steel you can trust, James Earl Jones, kills his mother, a mission to kill that guy, nailed to a tree, boy you don’t know what you’re talking, come to me my child, a scene right out of Black Seers of Yimsha (The People Of The Black Circle), these two fathers raised the boy Conan, ‘I am your father, boy’, it was steroids, you need to be challenged as a person to flourish, some pruning, you behave yourself, benign pain, become kind of a man, marriage, blow up Washington, DC and bring in a new order, White Fang, Call Of The Wild is the Conan story, a dog that’s soft that becomes hard, a free dog becoming a slave, become a wolf, a transcendence life experience, brought low, muscle, sitting around and being weak again, an island of seals, ship out on any ship in the world, stronger people, instill good values, she’s 27 she better hurry, one of the wealthiest people based on his own ability to write, makes her living based on her writing, marauding around as well as writing, drinking his way across the planet, Charmian London, we did a show on a biography of London, six movie adaptations, the 1941 movie starring Edward G. Robinson, an observing writer, for the better?, interesting, choosing to make her not a lady, some kind of convict or criminal, film is not literary, literary conversations, leaning on Milton, reign in Hell rather than serve in Heaven, less visual things, more timeless, William Shakespeare, Omar Khayiam, Ecclesiastes, Schopenhauer and Nietzsche, a rich literary experience, Edgar Allan Poe, deny the connection, individualism against society, capitalist individualism, becoming socialized, interacting with indigenous people, the member of a pack, between Howard and London, Wolf Larsen is an intellectual dead end, the law of the jungle, where Van Wyden and Brewster are going, Hobbes, pulling yourself up by your own bootstraps, a thing that you cannot do, somehow blessed with a good brain and a strong body, the triumph of the Will (Emmons), the very materialistic, our opponent has nothing, an airy fairy liberal feeling, why it feels so one sided, intellectual rigor, I learned a lot from this hard man that is wrong and I take that into the fight against the horrors of this world, taught himself to read, his brain betrayed him, a refutation of the idea that there is or isn’t a soul, so amazing, his brother is Death, Wolf is not his name it’s his nature, what Jack London wanted people to call him, Wolf House, triumvirate of three famous books (are all about wolves), inside Jack London there were two wolves, timely and of its time, somewhat that will date this podcast, that’s what they were thinking back then, this monster of a book, Will loves this book, this romance thing is a sideshow to what the point of what the book ought to be, who is the audience for this book, the Maud and Van Wyden people, to help them digest this difficult philosophical heavy stuff going on, a lot of fiscourse, long monologues, comparing life to yeast:

“I believe that life is a mess,” he answered promptly. “It is like yeast, a ferment, a thing that moves and may move for a minute, an hour, a year, or a hundred years, but that in the end will cease to move. The big eat the little that they may continue to move, the strong eat the weak that they may retain their strength. The lucky eat the most and move the longest, that is all. What do you make of those things?”

but they have dreams, radiant flashing dreams, dreams of grub, read more Jack London, the volume on the original, oh my god it’s the character from Strong Bad: Strong Sad, dim sounding, why is this voice so familiar?, South Park, a better long running series, so of itself, so silly, Cookie, Melville?, the captain character going after God, he wears his philosophy on his sleeve, the thing Will likes, all in drawing rooms, Stranger In A Strange Land, it just becomes Ahab’s story, a mission to kill god, struggling more, avast my brother death I’m coming for your, incentivize the crew, nailing the gold coin to the mast, we’re all going to get rich, what everybody wants: more grub, very Shakespearean and experimental, literature and the meaning of life, whales! let’s talk about them, its very companionable to squeeze your friends while churning sperm, a very different love story, Queequeg would be Maud, no Starbuck here, Jack London doesn’t care about the crew, Melville cares a lot about the crew, he wrote Moby Dick as Jack London, social Darwinian theory is well developed, much more actory, bring more of yourself to Moby Dick, Maissa’s judgement, how civilization softens and ruins you, brought back to the wild to become a worthwhile person, a prison ship, a prisoner of himself, the ship being the Earth, they try to escape the ship to find their own Eden, Adam biting the apple, strange Eden, what makes me courageous is wanting to look courageous in front of my girl, clubbing seals, ready to club Larsen, violence and strength are the more important thing, my spirit will get rewarded in heaven, remaking the world, who intrudes into the garden is the holy Ghost, Lucifer, wolf a symbol for Satan?, goats, a predator danger, baddies control wolves, why wolves are bad guys, To Build A Fire, a good and different, Alaska, sea voyage, rebuilding a boat, almost science fiction space opera detail, very practical, whale geekery in Moby Dick, Trish read it in highschool, he was your Wolf Larsen, far fewer beatings, focus on moral behavior, a classic every week, for moral instruction, adopt this as your life, utterly horrific, would Humphrey survive the book?, breezed through it, coarsened and brutalized by life, from the ropes you’ve been pulling, grew the appropriate fungus on your fingernails, how dare you!, do more Jack London, a good book, one of the best novels, they make students read a lot of bad books, Charlotte’s Web, Animal Farm, Lord Of The Flies, a difficult book for humans, Hobbesian to the core, identifying with poor Piggy, look at the symbolism, his philosophy is all over the page, very implausible, earning up to that point, Buck’s story is Wolf Larsen’s story except they have primitive communism among wolves already, the idea of the lone wolf, in community, studying the differences between dogs and wolves, dogs are human oriented, wolves are pack oriented, they inform on each other, they’re on team human, “Buck did not read the newspapers”, Martin Eden, John Barleycorn, People Of The Abyss, The Road, a memoir of his hobo days, A Thousand Deaths, 1899, science fiction, The Black Cat, a guy in the water off San Fransisco Bay, an invention, revivifying people, an island in the South Pacific, like Tesla or Edison, a force field, he disintegrates the captain, it was his father, the father doesn’t recognize that it’s his son, his daddy issues, “I can kill you, dad”, the man he adopted as his Thulsa Doom father, Edgar Allan Poe’s story, an adopted name, his father Allan, I can be good, and drinks himself to death, potent writers who wrote good books, a little bit commercial, Before Adam, a prehistorical romance, those are science fiction too, racial memories of being an upright ape, almost domesticating a dog, a little bit Flintsonesy, a trace of that, the dog sees himself as a troglodyte, racial memories, on a big Bronson kick (again as usual), he always plays himself, Christopher Reeve playing a weak man, he plays dandies well, Ichabod Crane, an eastern dandy looking fellow, Lee Marvin, Ernst Borgnine, Keith Carradine, The Emperor Of The North Pole (1973), 1907, The Trail Of The Tramp, Coast To Coast, Lee Marvin playing Jack London, Emperor Norton, the hobo experience, 70s hobo movies, A Number One, Lance Henrickson plays an uncredited railroad worker, Humphrey Bogart has a cameo, that pick-pocketing this is just in the movie, a party scene, film steals from film, the writers are doing that, strange new worlds that are just Alien, they did that in Voyager, a Die Hard episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, deriving film from film, things adapted tend to be better, Arena by Fredric Brown, a Lee Marvin / Toshiro Mifune movie Hell In The Pacific (1968), Enemy Mine by Barry Longyear, The Most Dangerous Game by Richard Connell, Predator (1987), read Jesse’s essay, an episode of 30 Rock, film adaptations, 1913, an unnamed sailor, 1920, 1926, which ship starred as the Ghost, going to luff and jib and jibe, the focsle, The Cruise Of The Snark, a star on his shirt, Tales Of The Fish Police, 40 when he died, 1876-1916, he lived every year, very Wolf, kinda mean when drinking too much, BBC Radio 4 adaptation, The Cruise Of The Dazzler, The Assassination Bureau, Ltd., the movie with Oliver Reed, Evan should record the audiobook of John Barleycorn, Evan is good enough, Evan’s recording of Nudist Camp, all those Orrie Hitt, most of Orrie Hitt is public domain, Brother And Sister is coming out soon, it’s a (wrong) kissing book, cheating together, Sin Doll, sin books, Burlesque Girl, Never Cheat Alone, a writing machine that deserves more love, the white logic, why drunks in the body vs. drunk in the mind, you are just meat, Just Meat, happy going to church (they don’t need to drink, they’re drink on the lord, a Jamesian argument, a lived experience you can no longer enjoy, the noseless face, the skull behind your flesh, a different kind of good.

ad for The Sea Wolf by Jack London

Posted by Jesse WillisBecome a Patron!

The SFFaudio Podcast #715 – READALONG: The Long Tomorrow by Leigh Brackett

The SFFaudio Podcast

Jesse, Will Emmons, Trish E. Matson, and Cora Buhlert talk about The Long Tomorrow by Leigh Brackett

Talked about on today’s show:
1955, Edmond Hamilton’s wife, her other family, her parents, when they were courting, brought her back a little to late, a California person, a home outside of California, set in space, The Long Goodbye, The Big Sleep, detective California books, Californian detectives, westerns, super-religious, post-apocalyptic, the craft of it, the heat of the farm, the dust of the road, the mob scenes are scary, well executed, very believable, small town, city, island, religious craziness, nutzoid about religion, very well written, easy to follow, nice characterization, a slick writer of people, The Queer Ones, the Rediscovery anthology, small town atmosphere, gossipy, rural small town, a very American book, dying of cancer and radiation sickness, the fallout would have gotten them, a limited nuclear war, mutations, iodine, cesium, if you omit certain lines, Robert A. Heinlein, the viewpoint characters are not sophisticates in this stuff, a fear, a taboo, grandma remembers the mutations, dead babies, cancers, we could squint that away, the Radium Girls case, Isaac Asimov, skeptical of nuclear energy, life will go on, John Wyndham’s The Chrysalids, Amish or Mennonites, big cities have been destroyed, a line about France, the Soviets are the likeliest suspects, could have been South Africa (probably wasn’t), some years mentioned early, a barn built in 1952, 1854, 100 years in the future?, are people living extra-long?, didn’t understand the length of time, how long a century is, rural people, life organized by seasons, Esau flushed a little, on the gable end, four numbers, 1952, before even Gran was born, the meeting house (a church), down behind the lilac bushes, 1842, a child’s POV, the unreliable narrator, they have these dreams of what this technology was, radio, memories of having things nice, now they’re all Mennonites and they don’t like it, mechanical engineers with electricity, church oppression is physical, the warehouse burning, burning the whole town down, upsetting, a weird rural mindset, comes from the parents, enforced through children, restrictive, 11km from Bremen city center, traveled as a kid, visiting Disney World, don’t talk about Disney World (that’s bragging!), the 1968 anti-Vietnam war America is Evil generation, they all have leprosy in India, does not fit our worldview, this American experience, Doukhobours, Guatemala, Russia, biggest city in North Carolina, Presbyterian church, southern Baptists, fundamentalists, was Will a city boy?, the Creation museum, a monument to ignorance, evolution is a lie, dinosaurs on Noah’s ark, Leviathan and Behemoth were dinosaurs, plants aren’t actually alive, American Protestantism, fear of science, an alternative authority, the insidious part, they’re challenging the authority that I have as a mean bastard to discipline people, for adults its not the same, they lock you in there, indoctrinated, go about your business, forming your understanding of reality, Len and Esau, sinning by getting the radio, the wrong type of religious meeting, stealing books, no education, everything out of the bible except for math (sums), someone might build an atomic bomb again, deliberately kept stupid, an Amish exception, kept down by the schooling, Catholic areas, Lutherans are nice mellow progressive people, occasional throwback, rural Bavaria in the 1950s, weird American churches, religious nutcases, the Catholic thing, the opposite book to this A Canticle For Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller, Jr., monks preserving knowledge, Davy by Edgar Pangborn, mutants too, more about power than science or anti-science, making your own carts, they control the books, who stole the books?, more about power than denial of science, what bartertown?, Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985), two men enter one man leaves, George Miller, some wonderful tropes, methane, escaping from a cult, tragedy, lifestory, living in tragic times, a coming of age book, ridiculous task, wise adults, we don’t have an army, helping kids out, wrongthink, muddle through, always tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow, build a city, refuge is destroyed, bottom up government oppression, five warehouses make a city, 200 houses and 1000 people, a local judge, the judge seems reasonable, Hofstadter, the mob itself, Dulinsky, just trying to do capitalism, believable, too believable, nothing good happens to anybody, they abandon their families, finding love, never returning to Piper’s Run, fanaticism, they do it to themselves, the return of the prodigal son, a horrible biblical story, pillar of salt, a sinner, dabbling with forbidden knowledge, quaint and harmless and peaceful, pacifist, new ishmaelists, The Walking Dead, the group who live with the zombies, take the discipline, hypocritical, demanded as tribute, how they freeze to death, race and genocide stuff, people who’ve been made homeless, live on the charity of us hardworking farmers, the dirty thirties, leeches vs. our duty, oppressed by the past, oppression from the law, use the fruits of knowledge, a stick, maybe Len and Esau could end up with those people, awfully close, too faint praise, the hopes that we have are destroyed, nothing good happened, quick fixes and Edens to escape to, their own kind of cult, don’t give yourself false hopes, you’re going to have to work for stuff, disappointing things in politics, reversions and regressions, the long cycle of things, working continually towards progress, a life of working towards better things, the Foundation from [Isaac Asimov’s Foundation] Foundation, working on this one specific problem, a bunker of some kind, conventional fossil power, a force field that stops fusion and fission, magical thinking, nuclear bombs bad vs. nuclear energy good, the Windscale fire, anti-nuclear power, opposed hated disliked, coal power, a fairly overcast country, solar power, co-generation, nuclear power is against god, getting to the library, they have a radio, getting power from the radio waves themselves, finding the mysterious box, an allegory for growing up in the radio age, screenwriter, a radio kid, mysterious transmissions, a form of education, the magic of radio, The Adventures of Fatty Finn, soap box racing, drawn from her own life experience, public domain clearances, noticing a pattern, her copyright renewed works got by a bank, the executors of their estate, the bank got Leigh Brackett’s retro-Hugos?, the first solo-work nominated for a Hugo by a woman, Double Star by Robert A. Heinlein, a very good book, The End Of Eternity by Isaac Asimov, a Kuttner/Moore story, women only exist to be wives, cover city, enlightened change, no women scientists, get married stat, Gran is amazing, deferring to the kid’s dad, hopes and dreams, the tragedy of this book, better ask your pa, that red dress, music and clean toilets, ice cream, chocolate rabbits at Easter, water that ran out of shiny faucets, two faded sparks, “flat-hat”, a red dress and a TV, a good world, it ended because it was evil, the world that was, hold her tongue and bow her head, great writing, post-war American dream, electric power, the great game changer, telephones, it wasn’t that great a time for women either, kicked out and sent back to the home, suburban towns, women scientists in the 1950s, in crisis times, the COVID pandemic, childcaring, why they didn’t have any kids, 2015, Kinsman, Ohio, Star Wars fans, where the force awoke for the series first sequel, her summers, The Big Sleep (1945) Rio Bravo (1959), The Long Goodbye(1973), Batman, more than 20 summers, Hamilton’s sisters, 1946, a century and a quarter, deer and woodchucks, I work in a small white wooden room, old boys book, a mug from “Duke”, John Wayne, the Vindicator, The Long Tomorrow is about the Kinsman house, the Canfield fair, age 13, Howard Hawks, No Good For A Corpse, William Faulkner, lovers of that genre, Ray Bradbury, Lorelei Of The Red Mists, buy a convertible and drive it all summer, Ed and Leigh, 1963 Corvette Stingray, Superman bought that corvette!, they were tied to their typewriters, “it’s good to be home”, writing under deadline, strikingly ordinary, Hatari (1962), round the world cruise, dig up the turnips, Yoda gift bags, what a charmed childhood, the cancer hit her, that first script is on the internet, so very Planet Stories, the small towns in this book, through a child’s eyes, delightful for them, a luxury sports car, the edge of fertility, they’re having fun, writing action adventure superheroes, Will has read some of Edmond Hamilton’s Superman comics, Under The Red Sun, zany post apocalyptic journey, robots of the people that he knew, he’s got a beard, Metropolis is destroyed, in a box somewhere, Krypton, my hair and nails have grown, under Earth’s yellow sun…, shaving with eyelasers and a mirror, inconsistent continuity, Edmond Hamilton, The Star Kings, Jack Vance, Captain Future stories, an anime series, Star Trek reruns, Space: 1999, Moonbase Alpha, The Daughter Of Thor, a polar expedition with a semi-frozen queen with a pet tiger, half vikings, Fantastic Adventures, Weird Tales, E.E. Doc Smith, unreadable, Crashing Suns, Interstellar Patrol, Brackett was a better writer, one of the best writers of the Golden Age, Clifford D. Simak, C.L. Moore, July 18th is Edmond Hamilton Leigh Brackett Day, Robert E. Howard Days, Cross Plains, Texas, Youngstown, if this her most depressing one, mostly shorter length, her mysteries, The Long Goodbye (1973) is so good, a noir ending, Elliot Gould, a jazz movie, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Robert Altman, the role of his life, so 70s, so weird, Humphrey Bogart, cat action, be up for it, a delight, a long and lazy movie, what kind of movie is this?, rotating crime shows, working class cop, no dialogue for five minutes, shocking German swear words, set the deal with United Artists, not exactly my idea of Philip Marlowe, a technical problem of this enormous, involution and convoluted, side tangents, its all getting to the thing, both California of the period, MASH, Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice (1969), Robert Altman, still working, very elderly now, Bosch, renting movies based on actors, The Silent Partner (1978), Margot Kidder, so many great movies, fall into a wonderful world, A Bridge Too Far (1977), WWII movies, Operation Market Garden, take too many bridges, Die Brücke (1959), very depressing, war is evil, war: don’t do it, we still need them, a high point in the late 50s to the mid 60s, The Lincoln Lawyer, Michael Connelly wrote both series, Leigh Brackett’s great, read everything by her, get your hands a copy of The Long Tomorrow, Hatari (1962), Rio Bravo (1959) and Rio Lobo (1970), Faulkner, write a screenplay, Bogart made everything better, Elliot Gould playing Eric John Stark.

The Long Tomorrow by Leigh Brackett

Action Comics, 300

Posted by Jesse WillisBecome a Patron!

Reading, Short And Deep #360 – Roberta by Margaret St. Clair

Reading, Short And Deep

Reading, Short And Deep #360

Eric S. Rabkin and Jesse Willis discuss Roberta by Margaret St. Clair.

Here’s a link to a PDF of the story.

Roberta was first published in Galaxy, October 1962.

Posted by Scott D. Danielson Become a Patron!

The SFFaudio Podcast #714 – READALONG: Orphans Of The Sky by Robert A. Heinlein


Jesse, Maissa Bessada, and Evan Lampe talk about Orphans Of The Sky by Robert A. Heinlein

Talked about on today’s show:
two novellas, Universe and Common Sense, in Astounding, May and October 1941, astounding, the back half of this book barely needs to exist, the ending, a tearjerker, a wifejerker, Jesse’s guess, Heinlein’s like: “sure”, good things, things that are missing, the environmental angle, the ship would be reducing furnishings, they would have a lot less stuff in their ship, keep feeding the converter, back in my day we had more material goods, there used to be paintings on the walls, the ship’s boat, books, feed the books or one of his wives in, the unnamed wife lost a tooth, he might have hit her, misogyny, she doesn’t even have a name, other than threatening to throw her in the converter…, the women are very non-existent, a girl he likes, the first mutant was female, no wonder he hates girls, the four armed knife-making lady, good eating, making swords, a widow who got to keep her name, so generous, real world, if they had a replicator, he’s inventing quite a bit of stuff, the matter converter thing, before nuclear bombs, let those mutants breed (to feed the converter), if you lived in a school for 20 years, the ship is made of metal, is there are room full of iron bars?, stripping off hinges and door panels and lockers, The Science Fiction Hall Of Fame, all the interesting thematic stuff was in Universe, longer than the first part, how are we gonna do this?, confirmed, a few allusions going on, one for all and all for one, Alexander Dumas, organizing the re-mutiny, we should get the women too, the mutiny on the Bounty, Pitcairn’s Planet, reverse, the ship’s boat went with Bligh, explains the misogyny, Fletcher Christian etc., kidnapping a bunch of ladies, Heinlein indicating, they found a box of books that boys always somehow find, that’s really sad then, the Sabine women, start your civilization with patriarchy, a general cruelty everywhere, sympathizing with Bobo, Joe-Jim, Hugh, a wife-beater, lots of good things in here, done so you might not notice it as much, he needs to indicate he is being cruel, slavery, genocide, crazy religion, so good, the Bible, and yet it moves!, Galileo, Universe is an allegory for the scientific revolution, Common Sense is an allegory for the Mutiny On The Bounty, the society is backwards, a fundamentalist religion that they call science, imagine Heinlein wrote a colonial rebellion set during the American Revolution, the British are coming, having an ultimatum-off, he wouldn’t have any illusions they were general bastards (but not focus on it), he would tip his hand, Evan is going through Ben Franklin, a very sympathetic character, a dynamo, different from the other founding fathers, going with the flow, Joe-Jim is never show as three or four times older, reading for several generations, he seems like a guy, figuring out what the pronouns were, Joe-Jim is a him (not a them), a real phenomenon, people sometimes have two heads, little bit of bickering, fun to experience, a two headed friend, chess or checkers, when one of those heads dies, the other dies quick thereafter, other guy same person, control of limbs, highly coordinated, hims share an ability to control his body, it just flows, this two headed person plays chess and checkers with himself, too hard, our infodump old man character, two guy in one body, hims figured out that the ship was not the whole, two heads are better than one, call yourself on your own bullshit, Zaphod Beeblebrox, forgettable, seeing Bobo get killed felt bad, sacrifice himsself, an emotional catharsis, kinda sweet but unneeded, thinking about the title, orphans in space, they don’t know who they are, who are the real orphans of the sky at the end of the book, orphans from Earth, leftbehind and purposeless, was there only one ship’s boat?, stuck there forever, heat death of the physical ship Vanguard, the really cool thing about Universe, an allegory for the human condition, a hard SF story, a retelling of us on Earth, the purposelessness, they have their culture, they have the genocides they need to do, a very destructive element, an intellectual revolution, Heinlein’s on the side of Hugh here, the scientistic world view, sweeps everything under the rug (then don’t look under the rug), to Far Centaurus, your head was too big, learn to read, gravitation is metaphorical, super-fun stuff, crazy people, literally true at all points vs. metaphorical at all points, metaphorical explanations and poetry and lists of people, The Iliad, every town in Greece gets its own hero, the hometown hero, an artifact of that, all the electrical stuff is all true, the gravitational stuff is all metaphor, this guy in the sky is watching you, have a revelation, no big guy in the sky, having literal wars over who’s going to be in charge, not hitting you over the head with it, it makes great SF, good eating is the purpose, when you take away the light, eating and making sex, and killing, the Chief Engineer, no art, they don’t even understand fiction, they didn’t know that this fiction, like Galaxy Quest (historical fiction), Universe is terrific soft science fiction and terrific hard SF, more backstory, why Jordan?, D.D. Harriman, a company?, a corporation?, Time Enough For Love, New Frontiers, the Methuselah’s Children people, flourishing as savages on a planet called Pitcairn Island, a massive decline, we need to right the ship, get high up in the position, die and freeze to death, they were wrong, that is the point, we have other environmental problems, fossil fuels to shove, rewriting this book starting earlier, years with Joe-Jim, kidnapped by the muties, apprentice to this wizard, where does the mutie food come from?, how many people live on the Vanguard?, at least three women, 4 or 5 maybe 6 and a couple of guys, what the farms are like, more on industry and food distribution, is there taxes?, only two hours, who else can do something that much in that short?, an explanation for the swearword Huff, to huff with you, a drib and a drab, the audio drama is a bit different, no Joe-Jim, barely a sketch, Dimension X and X-Minus One, half hour adaptations of classic science fiction stories, a Heinlein thingy, Brave New World, Bernard Marx is an accident they let go, Winston in Nineteen Eighty Four, a standard character, how this idea has evolved, not hard enough, all about the ecology, the first one, the idea had been around since the 1920s, developed so well by other writers, Aurora by Kim Stanley Robinson, how it is sustained, going deeper into the purpose of this, explore the frontier, mid-20th century stuff, Philip K. Dick, very American, fascist imperialists who wanted to conquer another planet, an expansionist culture, re-read Aurora, how many Universes inside of Aurora, Robert J. Sawyer, as more trilogies piled up, so amazing, Golden Fleece by Robert J. Sawyer, centrifugal force, accelerate half way there and decelerate half way, a constant 1g with one day where everybody is floating around, the narrator is the ship’s computer, its a murder mystery, the computer did it!, a little bit clunky handling humans, his humans are robotic, a metaphor for us here, we are on the starship earth, there have been many mutinies, and all we recognize is good eating, those poor plebs on the ground, as the captain gets fat and closes our door, Evan is correct, you need to know that you can create something, is good eating a bad purpose, the best adaptation of this is the Star Trek episode For The World Is Hollow And I Have Touched The Sky, a generation starship inside of an asteroid, then instruction manual for the universe, disobey the high priestess, brain pain and then a stroke, put them on the right course, an evil computer to Kirk, free choice, high technology, McCoy is dying, packing a lot into 50 minutes, The Orville one: If The Stars Should Appear, opening a canopy, cultural revolution, understanding their purpose, the minds of the people, the plot summary, suffering from a fatal disease just for this episode, xenopolycythemia, high priestess, Yanada, 10,000 years ago, all it takes is a commercial break to fall in love, an instrument of obedience, take a Christian cookie and drink the blood of Christ (to obey the pope), activated, deal with the oracle, behind the altar, a cure for McCoy’s condition, there version of Common Sense, Thomas Paine, a revolution, Ptolemy is common sense, Copernicus is common sense, Agora (2009), Hypatia of Alexandria, her slave knew, the experiment on the boat, an allegory, Aristotle’s explanation, it seems round, the words turn up in the text, new purpose, Paine’s pamphlet, the common sentiment, a trick we do on ourselves, where on the globe do you live?, they all know the Earth is round, the Earth orbits the sun, flat-earthers, contrary, Heinlein’s having it both ways, a revolutionary guy, The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, why the universe is the universe, an attack on the phrase, “It’s just common sense” <- you haven't actually thought about it, looked at the evidence, what the common perception is, whoever is spending the most money to do the most speech, propaganda and advertising, bougie colleagues ordering from uber eats on a rainy day, blocking out ads, cellphone ads, it is common sense that an island shouldn't rule a continent, Evan loves Tom Paine, if you don't agree with me you're an idiot, follow through with evidence, the reason Paine left England, I must bring down the British Empire at all costs, a historical figure, marshaling whatever arguments are available, Ben Franklin brought Paine to America, Evan's headcanon: Ben Franklin Is A Time Traveler, shows up in Philadelphia, if you take him out the American Revolution doesn't happen, he knows where to be at the right time, a historical fiction to be written, Neal Stephenson's Baroque Cycle, a real dynamo, The Sea Wolf by Jack London, people are demanding Evan’s Star Trek book, cut it off after Voyager, so sexless, gender politics, Rite Gud, Raquel S. Benedict, Everyone Is Beautiful No One Is Horny, sexless films, frustrated at the lack of sex in Star Wars, Obi Wan should be sleeping with sandpeople, he abandoned his Jedi ways he should get a girlfriend, 1990s direct to video, hey that’s random, Lethal Weapon is a buddy cop movie with a sex scene, seeing Mel Gibson’s ass, heightened experience of all things, this no sex thing is spinning in Maissa’s head, bathing suits, they recycled their clothes, sacred texts, acid free paper, a lot of bindings to break, computers, scribes, no moving parts in the computer, so hidden, operating the ship, the way you control the ship is you put a hand over a sensor, fiber optic, the light is blocked, bowl-shaped ruts in the hallways, visualizing the things that are there that they are not talking about, light and heat, florescent tubes, more meetings more soviets in Aurora, talking with computers, Kim Stanley Robinson likes his meetings, giant chunky novels, too many meetings, Evan is like an Ent, liking ideas, 50 pages of people talking about their values, Slavoj Žižek, anarchists, workers councils, debt or medical bills, there’s pleasure to be had in working out your ideas, people sitting around and talking about things, too big of a class, co-workers complained about Evan, feed me with your insight, Evan wants you to correct him, in comparison, you didn’t take the minutes properly, a 600 page book, there’s a dozen major characters vs. having two characters with one torso, Star Trek or Doctor Who, one guy represents the whole planet, character interaction stuff, characters are there to deliver the ideas, we don’t need more wife-abuse, we need to know that these guys are jerks, The Orville episodes that are just their version of Star Trek episodes, the social media planet episode was novel, time loop thing, the Kaylon invasion arc, standalone is good, Strange New Worlds, a robot suicide, Isaac kills himself, a depressed robot, Sisko’s girlfriend tries, The Orville has sex, Rob Lowe as blue alien, some alien takes over people, flashfoward three time to Pike’s a mummy who can beep, he’s going to be a beeper later, bad writing, it took them a long time to get to the planet, Prodigy as Teletubbies Star Trek, sex in Lower Decks, back on the bridge Kirk smiles at McCoy and Spock looks insulted, a little button, an old Heinlein story rehashed, back to episodic, they’re trying, Picard is a total disregard for everything that was supposed to be Star Trek, old Star Trek canon, inner eyelids and pon fars, saddled with endless lore, why is Spock’s girlfriend in this?, that’s not science fiction, Captain Pike meets young Picard and introduced him to Earl Grey tea, Earl Grey decaf! Star Trek’s back!, just words, more stuff thrown into the converter and rebel against the masterminds of the ship who are driving us off course, The Integral Trees by Larry Niven, 240 page slim volume, a ring around a neutron star, Golden Fleece by Robert J. Sawyer, Sawyer was influenced by Heinlein, the Quintaglio Ascension, miniature dinosaurs on a moon of a Jupiter-like planet that is tidally locked and the main character is a tiny Tyrannosaurs Rex Galileo perhaps from Earth from a generation starship from Earth, a Voyager that’s a rip-off of a Robert J. Sawyer [“Distant Origin“], a bizarre accident or suicide or murder?, pretty amazing, later works, definitely early Sawyer, malevolent AI, the AI did it, but why?, a second mystery, The Long Tomorrow by Leigh Brackett, The Shining by Stephen King, bringing my microphone to America, Binary by Michael Crichton, eventually Michael Crichton will be much appreciated, trying to kill the Republicans, two cylinders of gas, doing some writer stuff, together they are the book, a writerly trick, a dynamo of thinking in writing, responsible for a lot of cool books, on IMDB, directed the TV movie, Sphere, Congo, a white ape movie, everything Crichton was huge in the late 80s, Westworld, Sean Connery and Donald Sutherland in The Great Train Robbery, a beautiful movie, natural scientist, Oscar Isaac, a real person, becoming Christian, this woman’s a witch, desexed Hypatia, a fictionalized biopic, pretty good script, spending time in that weird old place that nobody filmed stories in, 4th or 5th century, darkish ages, the Library of Alexandria, also destroyed, what we have left, kind of a downer, really nice to see, a love triangle and no sex, a terrible title, 2009, a Spanish movie, figuring out heliocentricism is basically a sex scene, sensawunda as orgasm, The Physician (2013), Avicenna, medicine stuff, join The Sea Wolf party, when was Will’s last tweet?, on vacation, Disney stuff, Scrooge McDuck, thinking about thinking about what Will would have thought of this book, The Star King by Jack Vance, Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe, re-re-read The Shining again, Black House is amazing, a blind DJ, Peter Straub, beer brewing philosophy grads, Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven, 625 pages and a sequel, connected to The Dark Tower too, a murder mystery kind of thing, The Talisman, a third book, 40 and a retired cop, this 4 hour book was twice as long as it needed to be, 10 hours longer than The Shining, Evan’s Price Is Right guess was off, Martin Eden is 14 hours, a bird’s eye tour of the setting, zoom in on different characters, John Barleycorn is only 6 hours, space these things out, Vernon Lee’s Prince Alberic And The Snake Lady, sell it more, Violet Paget, “only a few marble animals about the porphery rhinocerous”, a weird tale of some kind, William Morris’ weird fantasy, the language and the experience of it, to H.H. the Ranee Brooke of Sarawak, queen or princess, controlling pirates, Mens’ adventures pulp magazine covers, a Malysian state in Borneo, the Sultan of Brunei, richest person on the planet, the first white Rajah of Sarawak, a fun very weird history, really nice and weird, the Bruneian empire, 1841-1946, a little piece of Malaysia that got turned into a little piece of Europe, I wanna do colonialism too, a mini-viking story, it was in The Yellow Book magazine, a selling point, The Picture Of Dorian Gray, Weird Tales, committing to late August, why Heinlein is good (and bad), bad instincts, John W. Campbell’s bad influence seems likely, we can imagine a happier ending, the women were suddenly liberated, suddenly some sentience, why they get smacked in the face and loose a tooth, lots of stabbings, into the matter converter with you, being a bad slave or having a wrong thought, who is the strawman character in this book?, the engineer, the captain, setup only to be easily confuted, Jesse is easily confuted, lazy, indecisive and not thoughtful, a criticism of religion and politicians, we think Biden and Justin have the reins and are well informed, the captain didn’t do anything, prepared to listen to arguments, ignorant and easily manipulated.

Universe by Robert A. Heinlein

Universe by Robert A. Heinlein

Universe by Robert A. Heinlein

Universe by Robert A. Heinlein

Universe by Robert A. Heinlein

Common Sense by Robert A. Heinlein

Common Sense by Robert A. Heinlein

Common Sense by Robert A. Heinlein

Common Sense by Robert A. Heinlein

Common Sense by Robert A. Heinlein

BAEN - Orphans Of The Sky by Robert A. Heinlein

Posted by Jesse WillisBecome a Patron!

The SFFaudio Podcast #706 – READALONG: Everything’s Eventual by Stephen King

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #706 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, and Evan Lampe talk about Everything’s Eventual by Stephen King

Talked about on today’s show:
Stephen “Shitlib” King, on twitter, Marissa, what’s a shitlib?, explaining without being derisive, at the heart of his character, urban dictionary, portmanteau, leftist, spinelessness, hypocrisy, vote blue no matter who, hit the phones, an American treasure, fear of political radicals, Randall Flagg, Under The Dome, anxiety about radicalism among boomers, he’s not stupid, blinkered on some political issues, Fantasy & Science Fiction, October November 1997, novella, his psychology is on display, JFK, he can’t get JFK out of his mind, he’s not willing to accept, of more than one mind on things, why his characters can be so good, a terrific story in terms of readability, a small idea sustained for 2 hours, not that much material going on, the little drips, the chronology of this story is so well done, he hints that he murdered this guy, murder, what he can do and what he did do, a trailer, 2008 adaptation, “dollar baby”, SK will let you adapt anything for $1 (for no commercial students), what makes him a shitlib, I’m wealthy, I want to make everything post scarcity, he can’t be that, he does this half-measure, John Scalzi, no where in the league of Stephen King, filmmakers have a lot of interest in this, you want to do it that’s great, that’s why we don’t get to see this movie, an advocate of public domain, decry, an exemplar of his shitlibbery, he’s also a brand, offensive adaptations, diminishing his stature, it has hurt Shakespeare’s reputation greatly, a right wing screed, how could Stephen King let Trump do that?, he’s not going to get shit on by random people, Caitlin Johnstone, Australian, an online twitter commentator, you work for RT, you can do anything you want with my stuff as long as you’re not racist, you can’t really control what other people do unless you’re Stephen King, what piracy is, worrying, Stephen King knows JFK’s assassination isn’t on the up and up, who is this transcorporation, a dinky tranny, why he hasn’t been canceled yet, he wants to keep his reputation as a shitlib, trying to reconcile and can’t, a generous person who loves are but can’t, Richard Bachman, books, an extreme critique of American capitalism, massive dissatisfaction, this nefarious corporation, the government, a secret organization, people who shine, The Dark Tower, Firestarter, kill off people who are threats to the system, written around 1997, these are the people the system allows to exist to give them legitimacy, critique the system slightly from the left, The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas, they’re who Stephen King wants to be, the true threats to the system, the general who turns his back on war, and who is going to run for office, a lib columnist, the pope and the dog (Muffins), they’re not targeting prison abolitionists or anti-capitalists, that’s true, he could have highlighted any three people, he sees them as threats to the system, if this story was set in the 1960s, would Martin Luther King be targeted if this was set in the 1960s, Dolores Claiborne, he can’t resist to demonize a character, an obsession he has, Camelot and what might have been RFK, JFK was not a shitlib, a tool of American empire, he was trying to dismantle, why did they kill him?, he was fighting the military industrial complex, he was a cold warrior, he talks like a cold warrior, invading Cuba, aircover for the Bay of Pigs, a great betrayal of the deep state, the CIA, the Cuban expatriate right (wing), Florida, too soft on Kennedy, Jesse denies killing killing Kennedy, The Devil’s Chessboard, the Dulles brothers did it, the FBI was run by a guy who had massive power over presidents, J. Edgar Hoover, Allen Dulles was fired by JFK, why Oswald killed JFK, in the area, the Zupruder film, suppressed since the 1960s, he wrote a book 11/22/63, there’s something rotten in the state of Denmark, he’s not willing to accuse his Uncle [Sam], what this story is about, why Evan picked this story, Call Him Nemesis (is a) superhero origin story by Donald E. Westlake, three help Roland, Dinky Earnshaw, his one true multiverse, like Isaac Asimov, Foundation and Empire, Robert A. Heinlein, The Number Of The Beast, Gulf, Friday, why is Pug in this story, the guy at the super-saver, The Mist, autobiographical stuff, the themes of the story, most of us, the vast majority of our talents are wasted, like Stephen King, this grocery store, the recruiter, the mom, Sharpton, what’s so powerful about this story, your talent is useful, so seductive, fall into the trap, trained to do horrible things, give them a home, easy to justify, wipes out a wedding in Yemen, Afghanistan, more egregious, a seductive reality, people want to be useful, do nothing all day, take photos all day, free of economic constraints, wasting real talent, how many Mozarts are working in some coal mine, Ansel Adams working as warranty administrators, recruited into the military, your country needs you, if you work hard you can advance up the ranks, the army made me the man I am today, Starship Troopers, the satire, my doggy thing, an image of a guy throwing change down the drain on the side of the road, fire hydrants, rain gutters, as a kid that’s what you’re close to, as a shorter person, those summers last forever, your grade 8 summer, not sending to Nyarlathotep, why would anybody throw clothes down there?, get rid of the money, great writing, what isn’t answered, pug is also a funny name, fuck Mrs. Buckowski’s dog, he hates the dog, his hatred for dogs, Muffins is a dog, transforms in his dream from Pug into Skipper, he knows he’s killing innocent people, he’s killing pugs, what we know about psychopaths, killing animals, Dink is a very nice guy, pizza face, chocolate, we like him, at the end of the story, it’s going to go there, the tie, “company”, a cutout for the CIA, The Men Who Stare At Goats, Courtney Brown, remote viewing, DARPA, a great job, but its a cult and you’re doing evil, rescinded, a shell company, the bombsight metaphor, surrounded by homeless people, a super-analytical mind, Philip K. Dick, boobs, coffee, religious philosophy, the names in here are not nothing, Excalibur, Neff’s suicide, white haired New York Times columnist, good humoured fuck, Double Indemnity, Walter Neff, suckered in by a hot lady, murder, he can’t quite put it all together, faces out of the earth coming to haunt him in his dreams, I’m the tool, Stephen King knows what the problem is, he can’t make that extra step, King with a Ukraine shirt, he’s on board, he won’t rock the boat, he’s a good boy, he can write another story, I got another story to write, bringing out the psychology of himself, a very frustrating situation, he can’t escape, somebody comes and saves him?, that’s the ending?, the opening of a novel, not an ending, a gap in the writing, Mr. Sharpton is not the boss of this company, he’s killing some guy who’s like him, I’ve been hypnotized and maybe drugged, he’s the handler, how spies make assets, Chuck, The Americans, the things that shitlibs say: “Russian assets”, ex-CIA guys on Twitter, Mike Baker, Joe Rogan, a time clock, the relationship will fall apart, starting with a negative vs. a positive, human assets are time limited, revenge, blackmail, recruited as a positive, apple pie, swank mag, his internet was censored, when things shifted, browsers in 1994, other people are watching him, he’s being spied on in the past, post-cogs, JFK was killed by a woman, even Stephen King doesn’t think that Oswald did it, mostly a love story, he can’t come to terms with it, he can’t grapple with it, JFK, RFK, more right wing, Catholics should have loved JFK, conservative Catholic, as an alternative to Nixon, LBJ, what might have been, he was murdered, even the president can be assassinated, banned from twitter, Trump should have nationalized twitter, nationalizing gas companies, if you can ban the most powerful person in the world from communicating, who’s really in charge?, a very 1960s film, Dr. Strangelove (1964), James Coburn, The President’s Analyst (1967), Gravy Planet aka The Space Merchants, Martha Wells’ Murderbot series, the Aliens universe, working hand in glove, al the way back to Smedley Butler, the business plot, War Is A Racket, an agent of corporations, a mercenary for United Fruit, enforcing the Monroe doctrine, Oswald was Dink, if you buy the official story, recruited by the CIA to live in Russia, pro and anti-Cuba in Florida, who was his paymaster, Robert Dwoney Jr., Air America is a CIA plot, drug running and gun running, a fun movie, those are Dinks, illegal, off the books, if the president is playing the game, is all of King like this?, how this story is told, how things are revealed, a Dark Tower connection, Ted Chiang’s Understand, intellectual powers, The Dreams In The Witch-House, making a guy off himself, paranoid shit like that, Steven Seagal and Jean Claude Van Damme, stream of consciousness, Gerald’s Game, he’s still really relevant, non-euclidean, he doesn’t even know the world eldritch, talents, a metaphor for him, why he is Dink, why he banned his school shooting book, he thinks this power is real, crazy but also true, he doesn’t want to have this on his conscience, much bigger than he is, what if he is wrong?, not the Stephen King that we have, they’d have to deal with him, maybe?, George Orwell, Animal Farm is a CIA tool, Nineteen Eighty-Four, Animal Farm is the one they push, this is not bullshit, he can’t be responsible, he hates Trump, and he’s a good boy, the tower can’t fall, you just can’t go there, why he’s so sucessful, The Dark Tower is reactionary, the last cop trying to hold together the universe, a traditional liberal, it doesn’t outline the issue, he’s not willing to accept what he knows is true, he’s writing it all over the page, Understand is much more simple, Limitless, the power to predict, super-analyze, taking knowledge, the’s correlating all the contents, a one man psychohistory, he’s pretending like he’s dumb, Paul has a day job, wordle, a nice relaxing game of Civ, sunrise and sunset photos, putting things together, what writers and comedians do all day long, putting it all together, truing to understand reality, the mainstream media, the transcribers of CIA talking points, Abby Martin and Chris Hedge’s back catalogue on YouTube were deleted, the Russians interfered in our elections, stop the steal, the same narrative and the same set of beliefs, the same unfounded set of beliefs, they’re swimming in it, NPR, PBS, Democracy Now used to be anti-war, Yemen (war) is vaguely bad, the AirWars website, the numbers don’t go down, the narrative wont allow it, he wont allow us to see the final conclusion, killing off the Excalibur guy, he can’t solve the story, it really is a disappointing ending, he isn’t exposing anything, if you want to escape, he hasn’t followed it up, taken back in by another recruiter to be a breaker, a secret book, here’s what I really thought, Galileo can’t say what he really thinks, and yet it moves, a tell-all, why he has to keep writing, he’s gotta avoid making that conclusion, too afraid of disorder, Secret Window, Secret Garden, Rest Stop, beats up an abusive man in a rest stop toilet, fearful of disorder, his greatest fear is the fear at the ending of The Mist, I just have to kill my family, what if I’m wrong?, the dark ending that Hollywood couldn’t handle, the movie ending makes it more explicit, makes the subtext text, highlights the mistake, good and stability wins out, is stability always good?, Dungeons & Dragons, good vs. evil, order vs. chaos, a lawful evilness to the American Empire, we define what lawful , James Clapper: “not wittingly” is lying to congress, weapons of mass destruction, mistakes were made, when people get divorced, I want to not be married to this person, I’m going to go to the garage more, circumstances that will lead, the life wish vs. the death wish, we should always be thinking about our own psychology, I’m married to the United States, happy wife, happy life, because if it rhymes it must be true, if the glove doesn’t fit you must acquit, write more stuff, if you do look into the dark pit you , what is the end goal, I want to be the last man standing, a lot of people do the hot drop, feeling the stress building over a half an hour, a miniature version of life, to understand truth, killing people doesn’t make you survive better, being aggressive doesn’t make you less likely to be killed, the life instinct and the death instinct, to be stressed out, a very immature thing, its lunch time, alone in a classroom, building a house of cards, blow on his house a cards, what would child Paul, most boys would exercise their vital power, they want to see stuff blow up, that felt bad, stop the bully, we have both instincts, to be the bully and to stop the bully, what play is, puppies and kittens, 100% natural, as an adult you don’t do this anymore, not a dis just a fact, there’s consequences to his actions, Dink is immature, ignorant, socially isolated, why King is playing him as a less savvy version of himself, interesting Catholic stuff, King’s a Methodist, the pope being assassinated, Stephen King is dink and the plot master, Mercedes, Mr. Mercedes, symbols of power, jeans are for fucking around, suits are for business, King doesn’t wear a suit (because he’s not a businessman), what keeps him writing, suits are almost always bad news, technical dress code shirt, a shirt with a collar and buttons, a 70s shirt, Leonard McCoy’s chest hair, a pretty big collar, Kirk with the arm hair, giant belt buckles, a tracking device, a little off topic, a little Star Trek talk for Chowbacca, it’s fun to hear your name called out, how’s Picard season 2 going?, the Red Letter Media, enjoying their discomfort, another national treasure, how their collective works, their editing is good, their insights are good, commercially interesting, the Critical Drinker guy, Red Letter Media aren’t interested in the Batman movie, their Darkman (1990) review, its a good time to consider Sam Raimi, how this podcast works, what’s the hot new book out?, no interest, N.K. Jemisin, I consider her a friend, Nora, Paul considers them all friends, a moderator on her twitch channel, free labour here too, how many PUBG games has she played with you?, more of a guy game, DaRose, nobody wants to here his civil war stories, their ideal audience, people don’t read civil war anthologies, Sinclair Lewis, nobody knows him, Arrowsmith, Elmer Gantry, Charles Brockden Brown, Edgar Allan Poe, 1st hundred pages are poetry, the ultimate thesis on The Raven, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Ben Franklin, John Adams, inventor, intellectual, Evan was triggered, hard on John Adams, sacrificed his presidency to stop a war, he was unpopular, greater moral considerations, Andrew Jackson, oof size large, trigger Evan about Poe, strictly monogamous, Poe is so rich, he’s super-intimidating, he’s like William Shakespeare, having issues, away from the , In And Out Burgers, having Paul adventures, more shitlib King, the Dark Tower is too big, anything long will trigger Jesse, the 70 hours The Devil’s Chessboard [is 26 hours], Ariel and Will Durant, a history of pop, a history of car tires, take decades off your life, H.G. Wells’ [history] stuff, The Outline Of History is 44 hours, double speed, Everything’s Eventual narrator was great, it’ll be on sale at some point, Justin Long is a good narrator, movie actor, Dodgeball (2004), Accepted (2006), Idiocracy (2006), the Bruce Willis thing, Tusk (2014), aphasia, low budget bad movies, he shouldn’t be doing this, he might need the money, offensive to the craft, like Jean Luc Picard is offensive, ORson Welles hawking wine, debase themselves, Nicole Kidman out on the street hooking, that’s a shame, with the proper camera placement, aphasia is an inability to speak, almost nobody knows what this word means, Alzheimer’s is tarred, some brain effect, we’re being lied to, definitely an issue, dementias, we’re eating it up and reporting, if he can’t memorize scripts, Saturday Night Live, Andrew Dice Clay, performer vs. actor, on live television, Hail, Caesar! (2016), Ethan Cohen’s short stories, something wrong with their writing, they enjoy their writing more than, Fargo (1996), O Brother Where Art Thou (2000), smug, the lady with the big lips, Billy Bob Thornton, The Man Who Wasn’t There (2001), big fish in a small pond, Inglorius Basterds (2009), The Hateful Eight (2015), Elmore Leonard, Jackie Brown (1997), El Mariachi (1992), Robert Rodriguez, Spy Kids, his best self, not to the level as Quentin Tarantino, as much like Hitchcock as Hitchcock, human flourishing, seeing the great master at work, another Rock movie, direct to Netflix, Inside Llewyn Davis (2013), odd obsessions, an irony there, The Hudsucker Proxy (1994), Frances McDormand, Evil Dead, Evil Dead 2, Army Of Darkness, its Phantom Of The Opera, they didn’t make that connection, a monster not a superhero, the Amber Chronicles, unlike all the other Universal Monsters, the werewolf, the spiderwoman, the creature from the black lagoon, Frankenstein creature, a solid science fiction backstory, how the plot is the same as Robocop (1987), ladies falling off buildings, sold out to do all those spider-man movies, film is a strange medium, Doctor Strange, multiverse fiction, Morbius the living vampire, literary characters were allowed, nobody is willing to shill for it, it must be dogshit, audience score, people in the genre community, Dracula shows up in Marvel Comics, nudity!, reasonable, rational copyright, Stephen King has the ability, and chooses not to do that, two things you can do, creative commons, LibriVox makes a frowny face, the regime of this stuff doesn’t compel authors to keep their copyright term, filmmakers on YouTube, back when we were trying to make the web good, as soon as it leaves your pencil, while we keep it in print, particular contracts, work for hire, he can’t reconcile, Brandon Sanderson, contracts are not copyright, Jesse waved a wand, movie rights are not included, why it has a baby in it, his babies maybe?, the festival circuit and educational purposes only, Mute, good stories, he feels guilty, I wanna be generous about this, exploit his writings, he’s stuck, full blown Alan Moore, fawk them awl, the Dark Tower audio drama people, cock blocked, trying to get a series done, the law is two, phones with no headphone jacks, android phones, even Samsung, another way, you wanted to put your little Dinky in there, a little MP3 player, phones are becoming worse and worse, LG went out of the cellphone business.

Fantasy & Science Fiction, October November 1997

Eveything's Eventual art by Jill Bauman

Posted by Jesse WillisBecome a Patron!

The SFFaudio Podcast #704 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: The Cold Equations by Tom Godwin

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #704 – The Cold Equations by Tom Godwin; read by John Stratton

This unabridged reading of the story (1 hours 2 minutes) is followed by a discussion of it.

Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Paul Weimer, and Evan Lampe.

Talked about on today’s show:
The Cold Equations by Tom Godwin, The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas by Ursula K. Le Guin, Jesse’s been wrong about it for years and years, an important story (but not very well written), correct the record, well written but long, very effective, everybody who dislikes The Cold Equations can fight Jesse, Weird Science, May-June, no. 13, 1952, A Weighty Decision by Wally Wood, different enough, the whip hand of John W. Campbell, ghoulish and silly and fun, existential quite smooth, The Cold Calculations by Aimee Ogden, dealing with a different idea, a criticism of the premises, John W. Campbell, once upon a time, had to die, fudging the numbers, the Trolley Problem, why couldn’t there be a third track, not really the point, face the moral calculus, designed to illicit a very specific thing, an idea about reality, long, not that clunky, quite beautiful in places, simple, interesting psychology, a cold story, fiddling with the opening, some dude, it’s a girl, an artifact, silly, if you get pancreatic cancer you’re dead, wish fulfillment, kissed and made better, the pain of life, a lot of people don’t want to be disabused, Santa Claus is real, god will save us, Campbell’s trainee, the numbers are fudged, Capitalist Realism, there is no alternative, Barton is an employee, a quasi-merchant marine, the worldbuilding, not making enough money, the brother’s remittances, shielded from the truth, replacing the kitten, a metaphor for the whole story, trying to shield her from pain, we shield each other from the pain of reality, we’re all going to die, science fiction can do something interesting, more silly, comicy, the medicine, it is a trolley problem, even if it was plagiarized, follow through on you’re fucking idea, don’t tap out, the stupid E.E. Doc Smith, you can’t invent your way out of the laws of fucking physics, daylight bombing raids, the engineering is bad, the reality is correct, thin margins, on the commute, a non-insignificant number, all the EDS shuttles without stowaways are not stories, Stowaway (2021), accidental stowaway, out the airlock, there is no on purpose, nobody is to blame, maybe the sign should have said “you will fucking die”, don’t walk away from that, a beancounter on earth, blame capitalism, the ship can land after all, flip some tables, Mark Fisher, revolution is the alternative, is that really true?, Tom Godwin is wholly responsible, Jack London’s To Build A Fire, Yukon stories, Star Trek V, Star Trek II is a Cold Equations, because katras, euthanasia, a remedy for modern Star Trek, The Wisdom Of The Trail, soft lazy fucks, the white man’s logic, an estimation vs. a calculation, a different moral overlay, a guy who didn’t obey a sign, do not go there, the dog has more wisdom than the man, instinct vs. plan, what it means to disobey a sign, a sign as a piece of wisdom, the fine is the cost of her life, the X Minus One adaptation, a dumb adult, young and therefore innocent, it isn’t “fair”, having the medicine enhances, the reason its a white girl in the story, we as 1950s astounding readers, the kitten is innocent, changing it to a dude, flipping the genders, an adult man vs. a girl Barton, to hit us in the feels to make us understand, if it’s Hitler in the basement, not as many will walk away, the Azov battalion will walk away, both Bushes, eternal?, a sin eater, a more meta-story, a thought experiment, The Good Place, Stalin or any other evil person, a challenge to us to do better, threw in orgies for Evan, drugs, that’s fine, imagine the place that you want, Hitler’s in the closet on the EDS ship, it’s cold in here,

[THE QUICK EQUATION by Jesse

I was not alone.

There was nothing to indicate the fact but the white hand of the tiny gauge on the board before me. The control room was empty cept for me; there was no sound other than the murmur of the drives—but the white hand had moved.

It had been on zero when the EDS launched; now, an hour later, it had crept up. There was something in the supply closet across the room, some kind of a body that radiated heat.

It could be but one kind of a body—a living, human body.

I let my eyes rest on the narrow white door of the closet. There, just inside, another man lived and breathed.

I unholstered my blaster and stood up, facing the door. Maybe it was just a girl, I thought, just some dumb girl who couldn’t read warning signs. That would be bad.

“Come out!” My command was harsh and abrupt above the murmur of the drives.

I thought I could hear a whisper of a furtive movement inside the closet, then nothing.

I visualized the stowaway cowering closer into one corner, suddenly worried by the possible consequences of his stowing away.

“I said out!”

I heard the stowaway move to obey, and I waited with my eyes alert on the door, my hand on the trigger of the blaster.

The door opened and the stowaway stepped through it, smiling. “In Ordnung—ich gebe auf. Was jetzt?”

It was Hitler.

I put him out the airlock.

There was a slight waver of the ship as the air gushed from the lock, a vibration to the wall as though something had bumped the outer door in passing; then there was nothing and the ship was dropping true and steady again.

I shoved the red lever back to close the door on the empty air lock and turned away, to walk to the pilot’s chair with the light steps of a man just doing his duty.

Putting my feet up on the console I thought about those guys on Woden – they sure will be happy to have that vaccine, I thought. I could hear their voices now. And won’t they be surprised to hear about what I did with the stowaway.

THE END]

nice imagery, symbology, a puppet show adapation, a theatrical stage production, the movie and TV adaptations, The Twilight Zone adaptation, hits the points, about an hour vs. 20 minutes, this story is important and also its good, it’s not the physics, the engineering, made lean, disposable, an emergency, an escape pod, objections, a Socratic style dialogue, you’ve fucked it up, you’re gonna think about this, you’re gonna think about that, The Nothing Equation, James Patrick Kelly, responses, an uncomfortable place, a lot of people are unwilling to accept the answer, reject the framing, three dudes, essentially a fridging story, she’s definitely cold, Astounding readers, probably 1950s white men, arranged, sacrificing a young female character for man pain, yup, screwed up (by our current standards), no story can stand that test (being all things to all people at all times), fitting into that sort of tradition, Barton hurts, the brother hurts, Green Lantern’s girlfriend, series (add drama) vs. one and done, laughed out of the room or vilified, what if the one person is your mother, Gwendy’s Button Box by Richard Chizmar and Stephen King, a little girl, workers, an adult man, a 17 year old male, a six year old boy kid, it’s not supposed to be palatable, gender studies and science fiction, Paul is unqualified, we don’t want this story to exist, the reason for trying to undo the story, rejecting the premise to reject the conclusion, who is this for, people who claim to be astounding readers, engineers, it’d be good to have redundant systems, Apollo 13, a cold equation scenario, fuel vs. air, saving three dudes in space, kludging together, failures of imagination (not failures of empathy), empathy informs engineering, the challenger disaster, the o rings, the magic words, poor engineering, a gender response, an engineering response, Gary Westfahl, is he an authority, Cory Doctorow, why do we have these terrible trolleys, why are people tied to the trolley track, its too late to complain about the engineering, this engineering is terrible, margins are thin on the frontier, [had it been lampshaded by the narrator], an excuse, Cory Doctorow, capitalism sucks and then he pulls the lever, it doesn’t deliver the solution, frames, the fucked up nature of the premise, Elon Musk could save us, the technocrats will save us, the profound moral consequences of the world we’ve build up, we all live in Omelas, somehow you benefit from that, the rules of the game, a lot of people are cool with this, their goodness to their own children, quite beautiful, a beautifully written (and simple) story, A Few Good Men (1992), we’re the thin blue line, minimize the whipping at kids in basements, to make you look at the horrible thing you’re willing to live with, puppies, we got yoga, a completely different kind of attack on reality, N.K. Jemisin’s response, diversity and equality utopia, a liberal response, instead of walking away you stay and reform it, you denounce Raytheon, the twitter one by Olav Rokne, nominated, cougars are in, the solution’s in voting, the one about Worldcon, everybody’s choice, taking the piss on people, Facebook says its fine to call for the death of Russians, pointed at Chengdu, File 770 and other forums, their baby in their basement, centers of discussion, silly, that’s going to be nominated for a Hugo, best related work, Natalie Luhrs’ George R.R. Martin Can Fuck Off Into the Sun, Evan’s tweets should be the priority, for worse, I love science fiction: I’m going to read all the Hugo award winners, Luke Burrage reading the Hugos and the Nebulas, not the cream of the crop, its my turn, we love her, David Brin’s bad Hugo winning book, taking turns, conservatives, liberals, Hugo nominators can be very…, Seanan McGuire’s fan base rewards her work, ecosystems, regardless of the merits, an electorate nominating and voting, the Oscar winners, Zero Dark Thirty (2012), snowballing and logrolling, the ones who walk away from the Hugos (walked into the dealer’s room), The Moon Moth by Jack Vance, less and less strahk these days, leftover momentum, momentum, the big game in town, clashing ecosystems, the whole puppy drama, just trying to right the ship?, the nutty nuggets, Brad Torgeson, The Ones Who Don’t Walk Away by Sean Vivier, analog daily science fiction, plotting violence, if only to end the torture of innocence, it has to be a joke, see that mop over in the corner? it’s watching you, I am good person, vote for Democrats, we have top men working on this, violating some of the premises, when AOC was down in Texas and mourning over the fence, a choice satire (or reality), the mixed results, everything on Goodreads is 3.8, we can’t have a rating system, mechanisms other than just writing, ratings break your brain, the incentives screw up the rating systems, we end up arguing over tiny percentage points, PC Gamer, Gary Whitta, Rogue One, The Book Of Eli (2010), debates about points, whether you’re wearing the badge or not, anti-thinking, why writing great reviews is so important, an attack on liberal values, there is a civic element to it, fleeing the country is always an option in a story like that, Paul would like to live in New Zealand, a settler colonial state, more paradise, their kid has two buckets, Maori writers, Born Of Man And Woman by Richard Matheson, That Only A Mother by Judith Merrill, The Science Fiction Hall Of Fame, told from the creature’s point of view, a nudie pic, what a pretty person looks like, a super powerful story, July 1950, horror, monsters, cats, basement, first person POV, diary format, child protagonist, 1996 one had a sexual element, added a bargaining scene, an uncredited adaptation, wrist bracelet thing, she gives the bracelet to Barton, burns, more depth and pathos, the fire is connected to the bracelet, fire rubies, what some writer did, Ursula K. Le Guin talks about the cost, the point of writing is to cause the effect you want it to have, a question rather than a delivery, an idea story, The Cold Equations is a door shut, why does it work so well, she starts in a closet, the white hand, she goes back into a closet, shot off into outer space, the writing is poetic, the sentimentality is through the roof, I will come to you on the wind, an object going ahead, that’s her, very close to the emotions, officious, this horrible bureaucracy, horrible capitalism realism, becoming sex workers outside of Omelas, under capitalism we have to be separated, jobs demand you do this, your economy demands you do this, if you don’t really scrutinize your government, your security depends on us being murderers and torturers, no more complaints about The Cold Equations being a story with bad engineering, Jesse killed everybody, a conceit that you need in a visual story, infodump, it would make a great stage play, that simple set, K.J. Parker’s How To Rule And Empire And Get Away With It, The Prisoner Of Zenda, Double Star, the power of stories, a professional liar, Herman Melville, Sixteen Ways To Defend A Walled City, no magic, Academic Exercises, finding hope in modern stuff, somebody has to winnow, the judgement of time and history, the market demands things Jesse is not willing to accept from the market, George R.R. Martin, the judgement of history, Robert Silverberg on a Writers Of The Future podcast, a juried award, reading the stories blind, an honesty, John W. Campbell (and a lot of people don’t like him), positing with authors, helping write engaging stories, hinted at, the universe is the ultimate judge of everything, the judgement of history so far, when Campbell gets it wrong (Scientology, overpopulation, telepathy), why still talking about The Cold Equations, a great idea story, barely an orgy on the EDS, why wasnt there room for three hookers on this ship?, Mars has got women, a Ferengi Harry Mudd delivering to miners on Stowaway

THE PROFITABLE EQUATION by Jesse

“I was not alone. Aboard the EPS were me, Magda, Ruth, and Eve, three hu-man fee-males I was transporting to a wealthy human mining colony on a planet named Ophiuchus III.

While I was calculating my profits, minus what I would render up to Damon Brool and the Grand Nagus, I had noticed a little white hand on the tiny gauge on the board before me.

The control room was, like I said, empty – except for myself, Magda, Ruth, and Eve.

There was no sound other than the murmur of the drives, and the batting of their long eyelashes—but still that little white hand had moved.

It had been on zero when the EPS had launched from the D’Kora-class ship Krookta – where I’d purchased the shuttle and filled it with just enough fuel to reach Ophiuchus III; but, an hour later, with the Krookta warped away that white hand had crept up, like an Andorian pickpocket.

There had been something in the supply closet across the room, some kind of a body that had radiated heat.

It could be but one kind of a body, I knew – a living body.

I let my eyes rest on the narrow white door of the closet.

There, just inside, another humanoid lived and breathed.

I unspooled my whip, stood up and faced that white door.

‘Come out!’ My command was harsh and abrupt above the murmur of the drives and the sudden pearl clutching of Magda, Ruth, and Eve.

I thought I could hear a whisper of a furtive movement from inside the closet, then nothing.

Nothing. Exactly what my profits would come to if I didn’t get whoever was in there out that closet and off of my EPS!

‘Out, I say!’ I said again.

I heard the stowaway move to obey, and I waited with my eyes alert on the door, one hand on my belt purse, the other clutching the whip.

The door opened and the stowaway stepped through it, she was cowering.

‘I give up,’ she said.

It was a Bajoran female, immodestly dressed from head to foot in thoroughly concealing yet ragged clothing.

She was obviously an escaped slave, probably from Terrok Nor.

I listened to her cry and plead and tell her unprofitable narrative.

Cracking the whip I told her to tell faster. I’d heard much the like before, she wanted to see her brother, capitalism sucks, and so I cracked the whip again, waved it all away, and considered.

Then I asked her a serious question: She had a choice, I told her: life on a remote mining planet with four wealthy hu-man husbands or a quick and utterly unprofitable death in the cold void of space.

She chose wisely, cousin.

Indeed. Oh yes, indeed.

Magda and Ruth are giving me oo-mox as I speak.

I’ve set the EPS autopilot to land on Ophiuchus III.

There’s not enough fuel for this Emergency Profits Ship to land land five hu-man-oids safely so that’s why I am sending you this message, cousin.

I’m sending you the contract details – now.

There.

In mere moments I will be stepping into airlock.

Eve will pull this red lever here and flush me out into space.

The hu-man males on Ophiuchus III were willing to pay an extraordinary price in gold pressed latinum – and for one more female, ooooh cousin.

This means even after your fee, what we kick up stairs to Sector Damon Brool, and even after the Grand Nagus gets his cut, this will be, or rather will have been, my most profitable enterprise ever.”

THE END

the Ferengi can make profits, a chapter for the sex book, Wallace Shawn, I sacrificed myself, the profits are unimaginable, Evan’s Grand Nagus Rom series, reforming Ferengi society, Ferengi liberals, Ferengi , because Leeta is in it, they would just ruin it, file off the serial numbers, The Orville, the side by side Discovery and The Orville, vegan Pizza vs. regular human pizza, vegan shoes, he knew they were poor because they had vegan leather, that Moon Knight show, he’s Egyptian, The Cats Of Ulthar, a long show for a short story, The Tempest, The Weird And The Eerie, Capitalist Realism, Starship Mutiny, The Last Of The Masters, dudes in robes, these people have been cut-off, Colony, cedar tree forests, utopia planet, what Le Guin was doing, Dick is more oblique or unconscious, Souvenir, Williamson’s World, larping different civilization, Dick well, Larry Niven love, they’re both females wearing clothes, Paul is self-loathing, not trolling, in German it’s silent, first names only, a Thai or Vietnamese name, referring to people occasionally, raw war footage, Black Amazon Of Mars, she’s got an axe, a tomb sweeping vacation, Allen Anderson, black tentacles, big axe, Eric John Stark, The Long Tomorrow, C.L. Moore, she smiled and let the wine cup fall, The Doings Of Vigorous Daunt, a billionaire that goes around the world punching people, like Russell Crowe, N.K. Jemison must be smart, a Warren supporter, anti-Bernie, she’s a shitlib, the afrofuturist aesthetic and ideas, unreadable, Out Of The Aeons by Hazel Heald and H.P. Lovecraft, The Man Of Stone, The Loved Dead by C.M. Eddy, I snuggled up the corpse and it turned a little rotty, Dan Carlin didn’t know what a quadroon or an octoroon was, clearly he doesn’t watch Archer.

he Cold Equations by Tom Godwin - illustrated by Freas

The Cold Equations by Tom Godwin - illustrated by Freas

he Cold Equations by Tom Godwin - illustrated by Freas

A WEIGHTY DECISION by Wally Wood page 8

The Cold Equations by Tom Godwin - illustrated by Jesse

Posted by Jesse WillisBecome a Patron!