The SFFaudio Podcast #652 – READALONG: Farmer In The Sky by Robert A. Heinlein

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #622 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, Maissa Bessada, Evan Lampe, and Trish E. Matson talk about Farmer In The Sky by Robert A. Heinlein

Talked about on today’s show:
1950!, serialized in Boys’ Life, August – November 1950, its about farming, Ganymede, there’s no bad guys, there’s no conflict, no villians, boy against nature, father son conflict, annoyed at the annoying people, takers and bureaucrats, less bureaucracy hate than usual, a little lecture, the senator got him in, ultimately they will fail in life, the evolution in action argument, who is financing all of this, self-financing, the meta-economic stuff, Tunnel In The Sky, a Star Trek episode, boy and girl scouts, girls do something, Patty was a hard ass bitch vs. Patty was competent, Mrs. Schultz, in the domestic sphere, a big surprise, he chooses not to go to school, subversive, very unHeinlein, so scouty, we’re improving, were becoming disciplined, were footsoldiers for empire, a number of surprises, the twins are going to go to Earth to go to school, the Turner thesis, the frontier, why school is not necessary, so much about scouting, when the frontier was already closed, middle class, progressive, urban America, the Baden Powell scouts, the Boer War, you get to shoot at people, what little boys want to do, go out in the woods and hit things, a special two finger salute, listen to the older boys, Brownies leveled up to Girl Scouts, that Euro American tension, the Malthusian logic, pressures back on Earth, building colonies, like America up to the end of the 19th century, the progressive era, Jeffersonians, the Louisiana Purchase, Lions Clubs, Kiwanis, Elks, civic organizations, Paul was born and raised in New York City, I get to wear a belt with a pouch on it!, you have to buy your own uniform, you buy those badges?, you have to earn them and then you have to buy them, I need comics, swear allegiance to the queen, the motto or slogan, god and country, scout rallies, jamborees, an organization what was quasi-paramilitary, get involved in the community, the cadets, air cadets, sea cadets, ROTC, being a grunt digging ditches and burning latrine shit, a career resume, how to become elites, gliding in gliders, pushing people into a system of rank and authority, this is a scam, how did Evan get out of this cult?, I’m going to get my merit badges, coincidence, making our hero a hero, when the meteorite hits the spaceship, alien artifacts on Ganymede, a pro-Scout perspective, he’s lost so much, Peggy has been lost, he’s gonna get Gretchen, bothered by poor Peggy, poor Poddy, killing off the girls, somebody needs to be refrigerated, Paul, replaced with twin boys, they literally do Scouting, field patrols, some doofus on a tractor, they help old ladies across the road, can-do, he wore his uniform against his skin, his bones are in the scouts, appendicitis, be interactive in the world, pull out your whistle, what those merit badges are for, start fires when your plane crashes in the middle of the woods, exemplifying the Boy Scout mentality, go back to the meetings, very American foreigners, the Japanese Scout, Douglas MacArthur Okajima, a Russian kid, the German family next door, the triumph of the American future, a super-dystopia on Earth, this apartment didn’t have any windows, burning the dinner plates, a bad PKD future, Evan was triggered by Malthusian Earth, the Population Bomb, that horrible Star Trek episode, worked for China, too many people, 55 million Californians vs. 39.5 million, the stores have food, wrong about all sorts of stuff, the only version of birth control humanity will ever have is wars, Heinleinian old men characters, one of them is growing a beard, you did your calculations all off screen bud, what drives Jesse up the wall about Heinlein, how often an alignment of Jupiter’s moons, just because it was cool?, a Ganymede quake, Mars and Venus in alignment, earthquakes and tidal waves, astrological implications, what’s missing from this colony is religion, no churches, for a frontier society it is a giant lack, the good salt of the earth colonists, deliberate, they bring it into the war, if the colonists did it on purpose…, nobody else is talking about it, a deliberate oversight (choice), respecting silly traditions, that’s just how people are, they’re all scouts together, that’s their religion, Golgotha, he gets the tractor and smashes Golgotha, Armageddon, the only tree on the planet is an apple tree, and they chop it down and burn it, The Most Beautiful Tree On Ganymede, we did not bring weeds, a lot of things to like, ecology, we know what we’re doing, rabbits, dumb it down, weeds are anything don’t want, marijuana on Ganymede, impressively self confident, got rid of lockjaw, how agriculture is these days, GMO seeds, a broader issue, if you don’t know why you need clover, the scene on Ganymede vs. the scene on Earth, an immigrant lens, the space border, the boys dorm, endless food, food porn, a couple of hints, another very boy scouts sort of scene, captain’s mast, Star Trek Voyager, Tuvok gets promoted, Paris gets demoted, 30 days in solitary confinement, the federation is a nightmare, all of the food was not treebourne, ground food, strawberries, hand pollinate, their bees cant fly,

Listen to this: For breakfast we had corn cakes with syrup and real butter, little sausages, real ham, strawberries with cream so thick I didn’t know what it was, tea, all the milk you could drink, tomato juice, honey-dew melon, eggs—as many eggs as you wanted.

There was an open sugar bowl, too, but the salt shaker had a little sign on it; DON’T WASTE THE SALT.

There wasn’t any coffee, which I wouldn’t have noticed if George had not asked for it. There were other things missing, too, although I certainly didn’t notice it at the time. No tree fruits, for example—no apples, no pears, no oranges. But who cares when you can get strawberries and watermelon and pineapples and such? There were no tree nuts, too, but there were peanuts to burn.

Anything made out of wheat flour was a luxury, but you don’t miss it at first.

Lunch was choice of corn chowder or jellied consomme, cheese souffle, fried chicken, corned beef and cabbage, hominy grits with syrup, egg plant au gratin, little pearl onions scalloped with cucumbers, baked stuffed tomatoes, sweet potato surprise, German-fried Irish potatoes, tossed endive, coleslaw with sour cream, pineapple and cottage cheese with lettuce. Then there was peppermint ice cream, angel berry pie, frozen egg nog, raspberry ice, and three kinds of pudding—but I didn’t do too well on the desserts. I had tried to try everything, taking a little of this and a dab of that, and by the time desserts came along I was short on space. I guess I ate too much.

so good at it,

The first supper was mushroom soup, baked ham, roast turkey, hot corn bread with butter, jellied cold meats, creamed asparagus, mashed potatoes and giblet gravy, spinach with hard boiled egg and grated cheese, corn pudding, creamed peas and carrots, smothered lettuce and three kinds of salad. Then there was frozen custard and raisin pudding with hard sauce and Malaga and Thompson grapes and more strawberries with powdered sugar.

Besides that you could drop around to the kitchen and get a snack any time you felt like it.

lumberjack food, tilling the fields, planetary disaster, on a scale that’s hard to replicate, rain and snow, sublimation, Fritz Leiber’s A Pail Of Air, the bowels of a skyscraper, endless layers of blankets, an amazing story, if you’re Pluto, Titan’s atmosphere, liquid methane or nitrogen lakes, from its semi-terraformed state to its original state, -70 fahrenheit to -20 fahrenheit, this is an awesome book, the tacked on ending (was good!), the whole sister killing thing, the father – son conflict, Anne and George, call me Bill, a modern civilization thing?, he calls him Dad to us, he addresses him as George, a formal relationship, never?, you knew her name but you never used it, if you want to make a point, just mom and dad, almost never, running a business, focuses the relationship with the customer, its about power, you get a name before your parents get name, if certain circumstances apply, maturity and growing up, being a caregiver to your parents, asserting power, he’s right a lot, his dad is an incompetent cook, wasting rations, he lapses, growing up with depression era parents or grandparents, the household books, little Billy’s bike got a puncture, everything gets recycled, you scrape that bowl to the bottom, money doesn’t grow on trees, I just want to have an allowance like all my friends, that Golgotha rock, the same thing happens to his uniform, the rubber pillow, it was all rags, he cut off all the badges but he threw away the uniform, a home-made patch, imagining a sash, symbolically interesting, his merit badge exams, a maturing metaphor, the Soviet WWII veterans for VE day, so many badges they have to put it on both sides of their chests, grade inflation, give em another badge, I’m subverting the boy scouts, man, you can just be a farmer, Evan Lampe needs to do a Heinlein readthrough as a podcast, themes and hobby horses, like Philip K. Dick and H.P. Lovecraft, Between Planets, who your audience is, older and later?, Blue Book Magazine, not the onlt thing he wrote for Boys’ Life, Tramp Space Ship, the literal inspiration for Tribbles, Flat Cats, Space Family Stone, The Rolling Stones, a space opera radio drama, a used space ship, industrious children, Europa is next, Pigs Is Pigs by Ellis Parker Butler [not O. Henry], an unlimited amount of guinea pigs, hence the tribbles, Tenderfoot In Space is set on Venus, Tenderfoot -> Eagle Scout, you can wield a hatchet without killing anyone, the new scout handbook, all girls troops in the BSA, not a merger, trans scouts of America, atheist scouts, a list of things scouts need to be, you cant be reverent if you’re irreverent, a vocal atheist, tiger cubs (kindergarten), early indoctrination, Red Dawn (1984) is a very Heinleiny movie, strong women still subservient to the men, no line marriages, the Mongols, Cubans parachuting in to Colorado, the Nicaraguans and the Cubans take over the United States, they can camp all weekend, you’re never gonna catch my sons, out there in the woods and they are Eagle Scouts, a weird analogy for Afghanistan, the North Koreans invaded the United States, for movieland reasons, an Australian remake of Red Dawn [Tomorrow, When The War Began (2010)], we people of the hardscrabble lands know how to take are of ourselves, obedience to authority, love of country and love of the countryside, faking the homeless experience, the war experience, a lot of marching, a line of guys walking into the forest, WWII was a lot like being homeless, but with hot food, without the political an historical context, looking through the catalogue, there was something wrong about it from the beginning, there’s no boy scout tax, pre-pandemic, cadets standing in uniform outside of grocery stores, food banking, bottle drives, trying to sell oil change certificates, child labour sucks, rich families buy all the girl scout, cookies, a troop of boy scouts in the girl scouts, its not fair, when she’s selling cookies, book points, government bureaucracy, pioneers need good neighbours vs. absolute self-reliance, specialization is for insects, no good waiting for the government to provide soil, his straw man, Noisy, he never gets his revenge, kids today don’t understand violence [says old man Jesse], getting over it vs. turning the other cheek, Hank was the bad guy, go over the speed limit and lie about it, he eventually is the ally, go and hang out with the captain, Heinlein is so good, the same kid, they do the same things, tons of pets, i can’t give you my fish, the horse in Between Planets, the girls are irrational, our hero Billy or William is oblivious to girls, more oblivious, put them in a bag, is he wrong?, girls and boys should be put in a bag, the German household next door, the family stuff, George drops it, Bill pouts until he gets his way, George drops it again, Bill pouts again, leave his son behind, people are not one thing no matter what you are, bad at communication, Ann and George, Have Space Suit—Will Travel, no cupboards, our kind of food, processed food, the bounty planet, living formally, good characterization, so neat with some of his straw men, the dad was so intent on Bill going to school, get everything he could out of Earth, be a professor like his dad, the step-relationship, so many separations, until she is refrigerated, how much happens, how good the writing is, skillfully done, entertaining and interesting, for novels Jesse likes Heinlein best, somebody online said it was a bad book [correction: Joachim Boaz said it was a “blah” book], really good philosophy stuff, the crystals, he can’t see what’s in the cave, it seems to have legs, 38 legs, tractor?, spaceship hangar, the world is open, really really good, top notch, atmosphere plant, our slow space program, the Voyager probes, the ruined planet is the asteroid belt, a petty hobby horse, regular intervals of planets and then this missing one, its a mystery, one more point of science, back to back to back, 40 novels tons of short stories, in Requiem, Tenderfoot In Space, is there a more American author than Heinlein?, Hemingway is international, Mark Twain, Hemingway is cosmopolitanism, the soil of Missouri, a fetish for Joan of Arc, James Fennimore Cooper, the modern stuff, a fetish for the new, H.P. Podcraft’s episodes on Voltaire’s Candide, hilarious all the way through, not a commercial product in the same way as a lot of stuff, Evan’s restrictions, a leading candidate, mainstream writers, Steinbeck, Heinlein’s speaking to a lot of issues those guys don’t do, the power plants, atomic power, an atmosphere shield, fusion? the radiation level on Ganymede is too high for humans, a little handwavy, Rocket Ship Galileo, there’s Nazis on the Moon!, sub-Antarctic French islands, Space Nazis!, fight the Nazis on the fucking moon!, the frontier and the sea, following where the text take him, libertarianism, in some respects it is gross, Reason TV, a mock libertarian PBS, approx 70%, Fraggles: “you have right to put anything in your body”, SOCIALISM!, free speech, associating with neighbours, hospitalizations, there’s no mention of pay, the community pays, the barn raising, a cooperative nature, cooperative clans, I was promised X, Y, and Z, I refuse to do work, we will feed your family, you can go eat rocks, he’s an adult he can fend for himself, personal responsibility to stop the drug war in Central and South America, straw men characters, given we have to deal with people, reason with them, the alternative is violence or shunning or deporting or locking them up, excessive, he broke the prime directive, this water planet was being ruined by their own environmental policies, solitary for 30 days!, Pen Pals, the Prime Directive loophole, lots of people on Voyager who have no rank, she takes orders from Harry Kim, the Doctor doesn’t have a rank, Neelix doesn’t have a rank, Kes didn’t have a rank, not passengers, Maquis badges, helpful for us as viewers, who are you new actor of the week?, Chakotay’s side, we’ve transitioned out of this episode, some good episodes of Enterprise, stupid decisions, a country and western theme instead of some horns?, a whole bunch of mistakes, savoring Voyager, Red Letter Media on Star Trek The Next Generation, The Naked Now, Darmok, The Inner Light, ideas, they’d have to make it way stupider, the value of boy scouts, commanding voice, be prepared, punch that little kid in the face several times, the environmental disaster, a novel structure, how the gravity works, gravity plates, the gravity plates never turn off, TV is not smart enough to handle what Heinlein’s putting down, Red Planet, a case for a kissing book, Take Back Your Government, The Cat Who Walks Through Walls, Tunnel In The Sky, Star Beast, Job: A Comedy Of Justice, Sixth Column, Anarchaos by Donald E. Westlake, The Puppet Masters, Beyond This Horizon, The King Of The Mazy May by Jack London, Nothing Ever Happens On The Moon, The Rolling Stones, Roadwork by Richard Bachman, Gullivar Of Mars.

Boys' Life August to November 1950 - Satellite Scout by Robert A. Heinlein

Boys' Life August to November 1950 - Satellite Scout by Robert A. Heinlein

Boys' Life August to November 1950 - Satellite Scout by Robert A. Heinlein

Boys' Life August to November 1950 - Satellite Scout by Robert A. Heinlein

Boys' Life August to November 1950 - Satellite Scout by Robert A. Heinlein

Boys' Life August to November 1950 - Satellite Scout by Robert A. Heinlein

Boys' Life August to November 1950 - Satellite Scout by Robert A. Heinlein

Boys' Life August to November 1950 - Satellite Scout by Robert A. Heinlein

Boys' Life August to November 1950 - Satellite Scout by Robert A. Heinlein

Boys' Life August to November 1950 - Satellite Scout by Robert A. Heinlein

Farmer In The Sky by Robert A. Heinlein

FARMER IN THE SKY by Robert A. Heinlein

Danny Flynn cover art for FARMER IN THE SKY by Robert A. Heinlein

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The SFFaudio Podcast #651 – READALONG: Appendix N: The Literary History Of Dungeons & Dragons by Jeffro Johnson

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #651 – Jesse and Alex talk about Appendix N: The Literary History Of Dungeons & Dragons by Jeffro Johnson

Talked about on today’s:
Brandon Porter, complaints about the audiobook, missing footnotes, appendixes C and D, Dungeon Master’s Guide, 1979, page 224, who the hell are these guys, there’s Tolkien, John , Andrew J. Offutt, Fltcher Pratt, Face In The Frost, The House With A Clock In Its Walls, reading ideas, Paul Weimer, opposed to Castalia House, John C. Wright, chips on both guys shoulders, misplaced chips, not wanting to participate in some books, Jenny Colvin, Reading Envy, Oryx And Crake, too stuck up, complaining the whole time, authors we want nothing to do with, oh you’re a genius Margaret!, Jesse hates her, a book of book reviews, a Christian, Margaret St. Clair, “milieu”, halberd, when you learn things from books, as a professional narrator, names in fantasy books, not having pronunciation in mind, apostrophes, Tolkienesque words, all the role playing games, Gamma World, Traveler, Pathfinder, The Call Of Cthulhu, Car Wars, GURPS, the core rule books, modules, more time reading the books than playing the game, his thesis, Dungeons & Dragons isn’t just Tolkien and it was never meant to be, fundamentally misunderstand the game, how clerics show up, Galadriel with cup of healing water, organized religion was missing from Middle Earth, the Hobbits don’t go to church, Denethor, heathen kings of old, worshiping, he’s a dictator, one of many inspirations, quotes, the Conan section, pastiches, Gary Gygax, the original Howard Conan wasn’t available to Gygax, people kown Conan, most people’s views of Lovecraft are just wrong, The Shadow People by Margaret St. Clair and The Sign Of The Labrys, inspiration, my love my father showed when I was a tad, cloaked old men who could grant wishes, dauntless swordsman, E.C. Comics, the Satanic Panic, juvenile delinquents, ample helpings of fantasy, Andrew Lang, the Brothers Grimm, of particular inspiration, pluck kernels, good reading!, DeCamp, Pratt, Jack Vance, A. Merritt, these will help you make your gaming better, the original AD&D, a collaborative storytelling effort, dice rolling and stats, min-max munchkin play, you have to have read a bunch of stories, things you should be building on, the players limitations make the gaming less good than it could be, most of these books were on the shelf in the 1970s and 1980s, Jack Williamson, publishing, the changing media, talking about movies and TV shows and computer games, pop culture is POPULAR, Stranger Things, True Detective, True Crime, locking a kid in the closet with no books, D&D has become its own incestuous thing, Forgotten Realms, wide open fantasy sandbox, engines to make other games, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, Pool Of Radiance, Pool Of Darkness, Wizardry (on the Apple II), Fallout 3, step out into the wasteland, dependent on a really good Dungeon Master, adventures around every corner, the dialogue tree comes out, I wanna save this farmer, I wanna steal the farmer’s pants, the immaturity of the players, DMing is a skill, like Frisbee, cooperative, THACO, Star Trek Voyager, Naomi Wildman, a kid’s adventure holodeck program, nerfed, magical forest, Neelix, the creatures of the forest recognize Janeway, the ideal form of Dungeons & Dragons, your inventory, torch schedule, Darkest Dungeon, you have enough torches, the rope store, Fallout‘s inventory system, the creativity and the flow, how do we let our players have that same kind of adventure, domain play, tier 1 play, a town or country you kind of run, spouses and retainers, a bigger magic sword, New Vegas, post apocalyptic, stories around every corner, bottlecap currency, what we want is the story, whatever mechanics are there, leveling up, new spells new attacks more attacks, achievement unlocked, a real scholar now, awards, you’re a real boy now, army promotions, Eisenhauer is needed, a false understanding of what we’re here to do, the sense of awe, the first time playing Dungeon & Dragons, lead figures, carrying about what colour dice they have, getting a glimpse of Tsathoggua through a keyhole, console games, computer games, like reading a really good book but completely different, I killed a demon, I am a demon, a more advanced version of cops and robbers, go down to the basement, these dice say I hit you for double damage, FPS, all shooting games, Portal, it breaks what you thought was possible, The Long Dark, making mittens, zen meditative, achieving balance, murder hobos, wilderness adventure, one dungeon, not a lot of dragons, two dragons in twenty years, what we need to do as dungeon masters, what players need to do as players, can I stab this or set it on fire, a character with massive charisma, make friends with the monsters, combat oriented, the epic moments, inter-dimensional travel, you can become a god, Leah Libresco [Back Again From The Broken Land], intelligence, wisdom, strength, in real life, we don’t have the player character sheet at all, keep it under the hood, extra speech options, you are less involved, do you even lift, bro?, a suit of armor because suit of armor, Age Of Conan, I got a dagger, a fur diaper, and maybe some boots, a flagon of wine and a girl, World Of Warcraft, mount armor, change the world, Knights Of The Old Republic, Elder Scrolls: Oblivion, guilds, all these titles, oh you wanted to buy bread?, the game doesn’t care, when games are capable of caring, an anti-perk: gravedigger, the orc said: I know you of old…, The Many Colored Land by Julian May, a one way gate to the Pliocene, exporting criminals to the past, giant toadstool forests, megafauna, visiting aliens with psychic powers, almost all based on Julian May’s interest in geology and history, the Wild Hunt, accommodateable, straight sci-fi, all through the lens of Tolkien, Greyhawk and Dragonlance, Krynn, kinder instead of hobbits, dragon people, Vancian magic, you don’t understand the building blocks, to have the internet back then, so much is public domain, a blogpost in 2014, so much of it has never been republished, what is actually great, what’s being pushed by a publisher, the cult of the new, nothing from before 1987, The Professionals (1966) with Lee Marvin, Dave Arneson, self-enforcing mythology, Charisma Zero (2013), a player is getting divorced, the hipster is way to cool, what made him a loser, some genuine reality going on there, its a lifestyle, live and breathe Dungeons & Dragons is kinda sad and kinda amazing, the first modules, GenCon, where’s Wisconsin, Tomb Of Annihilation, a meat grinder simulator, Jason Thompson’s D&D module poster maps, 37 species of zoogs, the dreamlands, there used to be kinds of stories, it can’t be done without irony anymore, no-one can write it that way anymore, subverting expectations, a lack of planetary romance, August Derleth, The Trail Of Cthulhu, more of what you had, a magic wand, take what you can get, sad puppies, the Hugo Awards contest, John C. Wright, the popular clique, your ability to get into people’s hands, a list of old books, old fiction, some of them sounded pretty weak, Nine Princes In Amber by Roger Zelazny, cigaretty voice, World Of Teirs by Philip Jose Farmer, Gardner F. Fox, a really innovative way, a very small organization, I want more people to read Gardner F. Fox, connected to comics, Crom his Conan ripoff, old-school pulp author, only five?, Walter Gibson and Lester Dent, The Moon Moth, The Dragonmasters, Planet Of Adventure, a kind of depth to his worlds, a plaster castle held up by two by fours vs. a velvet tapestry with a stone wall with grout made from goblin bones, sketching out a world with a few lines, footnotes, Jorge Luis Borges, granular detail, Philip K. Dick wrote a lot about spies, Mr Jim Moon’s show on Piper In The Woods, set in the pacific during WWII, Seabees, I’m a plant, how dryads reproduce, Typee by Herman Melville, a garden of Eden, it takes 20 minutes to build a house vs. pull ropes and get hit with the lash all day, Poul Anderson, The High Crusade is so fun, The Broken Sword, Three Hearts And Three Lions, The Moon Pool by A. Merritt, Dwellers In The Mirage by A. Merritt, vikings at the North Pole, ragging on Michael Moorcock, why people liked Elric, navel gazing, so sad, I murdered a bunch of people now I’m sad about it, Stanley Weinbaum, Jack Williamson, Manly Wade Wellman, A Martian Odyssey, fabulously science fictional, spaceships, a virtual reality story in the 1930s, totally inspirational reading, Andre Norton, read this list as inspiration for your own campaign, the concept of this book, the foundations most people don’t realize are there, this is where I got some ideas, ruleset, where do all the other rules plug in, the monks were added because kung-fu was so popular, illuminating a manuscript vs. a Shaw Brothers character, more books like this, as we discussed in October, a book of Star Trek literary references posts, Arena by Fredric Brown, microphones for eyes, Darmok, Gilgamesh + Arena, Picard would, post-scarcity communist future allows us to read Gilgamesh and archaeology, lifts from literature, lifts from themselves, that idea worked, lets do our version of it, Stuart J. Byrne, he Kirked the computer, V’Ger, The Changeling, Nomad, his influence shows up in the first star trek, The Doomsday Machine, Fred Saberhagen, the Berserkers, hey I read Tolkien and I have a elves and goblins in a forest, break out of that mold, Portal 2, the Logic Bomb, this sentence is false, the cake is a lie, it becomes more of what it is, Doom and Wolfenstein and Spear Of Destiny, its short, literally out of the box thinking, it’s amazing, things can be different, a tavern with an old man giving you a mission, Lord Dunsany’s The King Of Elfland’s Daughter, The Book Of Wonder, gnoles vs. gnolls, Jesse’s favourite kind of Dungeons & Dragons, Thief, old game books, like choose your own adventure with dice, play honest with the book, the gap between the two, a regular novel is completely linear, game books, told in second person, we are so luckly right now, scanning books, finding them and buying them, way more of this and a lot less Tolkien ripoffs, a late 80s, really grimdark, Between Planets by Robert A. Heinlein, you can just read Scalzi, you don’t need to read Heinlein, 2,000 pages of his inspired by Starship Troopers book, Farmer In The Sky, every book was different, why do we have to have another series?, that publishing drive, a sequel hook, advertising a one-off book, “listen Larry Niven if you write just one more Ringworld book we can bring Ringworld back into print”, from 1979 onward, The Martian by Andy Weir, only four or five years old, these things did happen, thinking along parallel lines, the requisite map, you just told me you know noting and I don’t need to read you, that’s just geography, picking up these cues, treating it like a science, arbitrary rules, Lost, what’s in the hatch?, that Sullivan guy, just good set dressing, J.J. Abrams has not content, M. Night Shyamalan, Heroes went nowhere, Star Wars and Star Trek, we as readers need to be chintzy with our attention, where are your bonafides, that’s not how you pronounce Suleiman the magnificent, Shadow Of The Vulture by Robert E. Howard, egret vs. eaglet, we’re conjuring up things with our mouths, a Savage Sword Of Conan plot, Finnish Eskimos? The Summi?, favourite campaigns, a buried dead god they’re trying to resurrect, a turn based dungeon crawl, a quasi-medieval setting, the sanity system, confronted by trauma, gain a mania or a depressive problem, prayer or tavern or wenching, all narrated by Wayne June, The Ancestor is evil, from The Rats In The Walls, Darkest Dungeon 2, computer games tend to get better, becoming more what they are, a hybrid experience.

Appendix N by Jeffro Johnson

Dungeon Master's Guide

@Algncs' Appendix N Bookshelf

Appendix N by Gary Gygax

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The SFFaudio Podcast #648 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: The Mad King by Edgar Rice Burroughs

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #648 – The Mad King by Edgar Rice Burroughs; read by Delmar H. Dolbier. This is an unabridged reading of the novel (9 hours 16 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Paul Weimer, Evan Lampe, Maissa Bessada, and Alex.

Talked about on today’s show:
a serial in All-Story, 1914 and 1915, reasons for confusion, the first half of this book is The Mad King, the second half is Barney Of Beatrice, follow ups, The Eternal Lover, some Tarzan action, Barney’s sister, the reincarnation of a cave man, who is this person, a spark, literary universe, paired the spares, paired with an unfrozen caveman, least favourite ERB, comparisons to The Prisoner Of Zenda, A Princess Of Mars, The Mucker, Robert E. Howard’s The Black Stone, H.P. Lovecraft, a stupid bet, honor, Barney has principles, Paul!, a no shaving contest, a true hero, never compromise, keeping in bearded and mustached, part of the genre, it tells you everything about Burroughs and Barney Custer, by reputation, The Prince And The Pauper by Mark Twain, whoa its Tarzan, before him stretched, the adjoining roof, clambering to the heights, he’s just swinging, Barney Custer invented parkour, the way the doubling was handled, the dependence on random chance, easily fixed with five minutes of work, his father was a soldier of fortune, a little background, car crashes, his car lands on the king, a eugenicist, princess genes, Colonel Custer, Custer was loser, fought against unbeatable odds, the rep he had, character flaws built right in, Barney is more prudent, The Efficiency Expert, the Austrian firing squad, the Serbian resistance, random luck, language, the shopkeeper spoke really good German, a German state, why this book isn’t as great as it should be, Rupert Of Hentzau, a guy going to an Eastern European country from England, a Germanic state, past Austria, he goes home, every year after, a rose kissed by his princess girlfriend, the best bad guy from the first book, a rogue, he’ll happily betray you and laugh about it, the first half of this book is the complete novel of Anthony Hope’s ZENDA and the second half maps to the second book RUPERT OF HENTZAU, the honorable thing to do, a scandal, one of his ancestors stole away a princess, cousins of the princess, the flaw in the first book is the sequel, going back and fixing the kingdom again, he leaves Lutha, that’s why this book is not as good as it should be, pathetic corrupt Europeans going to war, vs. the Americans know what to do, handwaved in the first, this king is bad from the start, a weak coward, a two-hander, the timing, March 21, 1914, serialized over three issues in 1915, WWI, Serbia, an analogy for World War I, the Black Hand, retconned, the location of Lutha comes in the second half of this book, 1-12 and 1-13, sneaks into a war torn country, the first half is set in at least 1913 the second half is set in August 1914, Anthony Hope’s novel is a fantasy, a portal fantasy, the Emperor of Austria/Hungary, not fully unified, two books in one book, from a fantasy into a John Buchan story (like The Thirty Nine Steps), the meld is ok, The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot, Genovia, the novel is dated after a couple of years, Bulgaria, right at the heart of WWI, Casablanca (1942), Lichtenstein, Andorra, European principalities, the White Raja Of Sarawak, Einstein was offered the presidency of Israel, adopting foreigners as their kings, pistols, horses, and an automobile and an airplane, and artillery, does Zenda have two F-16s? does Lutha have Migs?, “He Conquered A Dyak Army And Turned All Borneo Into His Private Kingdom”, Pacific castaways, little kings, Omoo by Herman Melville, Typee, The Man Who Would Be King, trophy dwarves and trophy whites, Amazing!, a second son of a British lord, family bastards, kinda legit, so many layers of mirrors, falling asleep in a field, at the very core, its a guy who comes from the peerage vs. son of a farmer, a princesses husband, everybody is on the same level (theoretically), how beautiful the women were, his car and his guns, a princess equivalent of his mom, he reverses the story, he’s ruling as Barney, a legit claim, ultimately he’s a king, blood, right, [marriage], decorum, deed, spanking the Austrian army, we know, his princess is his legitimation, fun and interesting, a funny situation, an American repudiating a system of equality, the King’s Word Is Law, pretty horrible, Burroughs isn’t focused on that, American virtues, pluck and attitude, the fantasy coming an reasserting, always acting honorably, avoids lying, the king wills this, the blood of the royals runs through my veins, the way Burroughs wrote this, I’m not sure which guy is doing what, Barney being merciful (by not killing him) is actually cowardice, the play of which guy are we actually looking at, they look identical but the King is a little pudgier, they look identical in the second book, they look similar in the first book, except when he smile sneers, Dave (1993), the princess is Sigourney Weaver, he runs an employment agency, Jesse’s not an American, American gyms, Americans practiced circumcision, are Evan and Alex and Paul circumcised?, William Kellogg, less common, lets talk about your penis some more, a Germanic king of eastern Europe, The Return Of Martin Guerre, my foreskin got shot off, mapping moles on the kings back, Natalie Zemon Davis, Human Is by Philip K. Dick, also a Deep Space Nine episode (the Pah-wraiths), Keiko comes back bad, we need the bad angels, a person looking exactly like another person, first cousins, little bit legit, the book can still work as a whole novel, the weld is not perfect, why the book isn’t as good as it should be, Robin Hood in the mountains, instantly bandits, war leader, sneaking into the country, belt full of guns, for reasons, so many sneaking ins, the spy that looks like the girl’s boyfriend, Stephan, a double, she sold him out, he’s cuddling her, frees the prisoners, randomly survived being shot, the Serbian spy, a ragtag militia, the writers’ room on this one was out to lunch, I’m just going to die, funny comedy, they’re gaslighting each other but they don’t want to be, you’re mad, our hero Barney, stealing a car, scenes that don’t go anywhere, the first half is one issue, the second half is three issues (so all cliffhangers), the coincidences are artificial, iron things out, funny and cute vs. Lord Of The Rings, chess pieces moving around, from Sword And Sorcery to High Epic Fantasy, two teams, the evil team, a Mexican standoff, the six vs. the ten, the princess shuttling between them, inkeepers and inkeepers daughters, a cozy Doctor Who episode, Star Trek, expands out, sentence by sentence writer, A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur’s Court, more American exceptionalism, the boss vs. the king, Lest Darkness Fall by L. Sprague de Camp, a failure, falling asleep vs. being hit on the head, falls asleep surrounded by corpses, a satire or a parody, earnest and honorable, participates in whatever’s going on, what makes him awesome, able to ride a horse, good with a sword, bringing democracy to Lutha, bringing democracy to Barsoom, The Pursuit Of The Pankera by Robert A. Heinlein, tourism, exploitation, a very strange sequence in a very strange book, Blackadder Series 3, Rowan Atkinson, American TV Shows One Episode Of A Time is Evan’s other podcast, George III, WWI, descending in status, a descent, Duel And Duality, who gets to be king, ridiculous, upheaval and murder, Alexander the Great’s generals, second sons of farmers, every tenth child goes off to the church, Crusader Kings, crusader monks, clerical work, clerk and clark, the plotting of the book, does the first half work on its own, tracks the guy half-way around the world, randomly, a small continent.

The Mad King And Barney Custer Of Beatrice by Edgar Rice Burroughs - ALL-STORY WEEKLY

The Mad King by Edgar Rice Burroughs

The Mad King by Edgar Rice Burroughs (1926)

The Mad King by Edgar Rice Burroughs - Frank Frazetta 1963

The Mad King (BACK OF THE PAPERBACK)

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The SFFaudio Podcast #646 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: Tony And The Beetles by Philip K. Dick

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #646 – Tony And The Beetles by Philip K. Dick – read by Ian Bradford Ngongotaha Pugh. This is a complete and unabridged reading of the story (31 Minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants include Jesse, Paul Weimer, and Evan Lampe.

Talked about on today’s show:
Orbit, December 1953, copyright clearances, a comic book adaptation, BIPOC, very countryist of you, IBPOC, who gets to be included, LGBTQ2S+, a council that meets in the sewers beneath New York City, can Jesse be included?, parentage, black vs. coloured, then most obvious, latinx, 25% of the community is aware of it, approx 5% use it, Tony’s dad, that’s our word, you beetle lover, Pasudeti’s point of view, very different, similar themes, goodreads, three Os with a little line dancing over it, 3.5 stars, ratings out of stars, one of the most different Philip K. Dick stories, the literary agency that gave it a G or a G+, classify it, feel about it, Mike Resnick, Birthright: The Book Of Man, dooming humanity, enslaved and subjugated, teetering point, where we came from, Seven Views Of Olduvai Gorge, bootstrap up themselves to sentience, mankind are assholes, India’s rise against the British, decolonization, Rhodesia, Kenya, leibensraum, you can’t live on Earth anymore, how far they spread, other Orion planets, a huge crisis, we must move out just to survive, a theme in Dick’s novels, The Variable Man, Mr. Spaceship, The World Jones Made, this expansion of humanity, this intimate way, what he thought were friends, his community, this way, this angle, Time Out Of Joint, Arthur C. Clarke, Omni Magazine, it doesn’t seem inevitable, doom, one battle, the tide has turned, they’re evacuating the planet, evacuating the city, beetle riots and mobs, being psychohistorians, this is stolen ground, in the long term, no forever in the long term, the SMLA agency, “pedestrian”, “rather corny stuff”, “pretending to be impressive”, not your favourite, my knee, earnest, certain works are the greats, they don’t understand it, seeing Jesse’s own reactions, why is this ok?, The Crystal Crypt, humans leaving Mars, Earth spies steal a city, black clad leiters, Philip K. Dick is doing something, our hero in this story, Tony Rossi, Italian, Anthony, Italians play a role, make a little list, Roog, Cardossis, a real house and a real dog, The Man In The high Castle, Joe Cinadella, Now Wait For Last Year, always on about the Italians, my best friend was Italian!, the Japs, victory gardens, a German last name, Philip K. Dick’s father, a gas mask, everybody knows what your name is, Dick is a pretty funny name, where this story is really set, he was never decolonized, double envelopment, seeing his story in print there, American tank gives piggy back ride to nip tank, growing up during the war, during the Italian Campaign, Sicily, the Italians change size, Benito Mussolini, again The Hanging Stranger, an analogy, the number of military bases in Italy today, between 3 and 100, growing up on a military base, that’s actually what we see, he puts on his spacesuit, I’m going out to play, school 4 hours a day 6 days a week (online), a mandatory lift from a beetle, the B-slur, humans automatically get rides, a polite boy, an attractive telepathic female, the robot carries his bag, his friends reject him, you suck, fuck you, they throw rocks at him, not suitable for human life, recovery mode, his EEP (his robot dog), a heat ray, no blood, Tony’s visor fogs up, we’re on the run now, a really weird story, read the words and bounced off, how amazing the amount of planetary world building goes on, the flux winds, trudging through sands, almost like Cuba, freighters that have been changed, they have an empire, a really amazing world, told from the POV of someone least able to tell us about it, threatens to beat his son, that threat from the parents, Martians Come In Clouds, the external colonizers, the monsters are the humans, he’s 11 in that story and 10 in this story, we know he’s reading the newspaper, he has to flip through the newspaper, everybody would know what’s going on, his sensitivity level is through the roof, John W. Campbell, a metaphor for sensitivity, insensitive to his parent’s racism, working on projects with them, polite and friendly, they turn on a dime, all of a sudden, this Japanese friend, the next day Pearl Harbor happens, the stab in the back, unprovoked attack, high rhetoric for Pearl Harbor, a participant in this hate, reflecting upon it and thinking about it, a twitter thread about this story, an interesting comparison to Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card, a movie of no note, a very powerful book, a war story told from the point of view of a boy, special kids, super-soldiers in a war against the buggers, Starship Troopers by Robert A. Heinlein, Joe Haldeman’s The Forever War, funny name, accident, human inability to recognize they were like them, stolen ground, a thoughtful guy, a relgious guy, anti-gay vs. homophobic asshole, taking his religion seriously, pressing Paul’s buttons, all his hate non-violent, sexual preference, sexual tension between the young pasudeti woman and young Tony on the bus, Catholicism’s official policy on homosexuality, dodging it, still evolving, dealing with intellectual inconsistencies, when Tony is being attack for his species, why he would feel hurt, physically assaulted, a terrible law imposed on them, an occupying force, settlers, stolen ground, we’re here because we’re stronger, a meeting of an elite at a university, introductions degrees, acknowledge the place that they’re in is on unceded territory, on Dakota land, I’m headed back to Europe, this is stolen ground, there’s no place for Jesse to go, the Earth is uninhabitable, something deep inside this, all the ships that come from Europe or Asia, the Vietnam War, “doesn’t resonate in a particular way yet (but I think it will), I was thinking about the end of the Vietnam War and the aircraft carriers, the images of aircraft, perfectly good helicopters, being pushed off to make room for more people, this is 1975, and they’re just like trying to get every person who was a quote unquote collaborator, that’s not my word, but somebody who is going to get persecuted or
prosecuted for collaborating with the Americans out and into the United States to safety, right? Those people can’t go back. I guess this is sorta how the Cubans feel, in southern Florida, or whatever. So there’s some sort of resonance going on there and that’s … this is not a
story that can be judged on a score out of five, because its not trying to win a contest its trying to express a very, very specific kind of concern. It’s a very strange story.”, subsequent books, how do you reconcile the idea of your country and community being taken from and genocided to take that land, they ain’t giving it back, a nice worldbuilding, Eastward Ho! by William Tenn (The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, October 1958), really dark, world history, the century of Ethnic Cleansing (the 20th century), the Acadians, Armenia, Pakistan – India, decolonization efforts, Zanzibar, the rights of indigenous people vs. ethno-nationalism, they physically come and ethnically cleanse you, some cop shows up, little Johnny has to leave to a camp, Germans and Italians, Germans ethnically cleansed from Europe after the war, 12 million people, Prussia, German enclaves, all over the world, a whole bunch of Germans shipped to Australia during WWII, the Dunera Boys, enemy aliens, hate causes that, they don’t wear a pickle helmet, Paul’s family name pronunciation changed, based on hate, racism, the George Takei, the Star Trek guy, Star Trek was trying to break up that idea of racism, Kenyan, they had a Jewish captain and a Jewish first officer, one world government, ethnic identities but not ethno states, Harry Kim is from Denmark, so weird to have a nuanced very strange little idea, an anti-happy ending, Tony is turned from being a happy little boy playing with his friends to a bitter boy who could be fighting the pasudeti soon, sufficient lengths to show these bug-like aliens have their own ethnic slur for humans (white-grubs), not a militaristic culture, swapped military equipment, armed freighters, those beetles shooting down our boys from armed-freighters, to think of those Germans shooting down my boy, some rando, strategic bombing, is it okay for us to bomb cities?, coup any attempts at change, ask the city fathers of Carthage, economic and social control of Sicily, the Phoenicians, a commercial empire, mercenaries, raise more legions, delda est, Delenda Est by Robert E. Howard, culture is important, the humans remind Evan of the Romans, on the planet for 14 years, slaves and land, citizenship, the best way of analyzing it, he’s set it in space, the barbarians are retaking the land, now taking Rome, cynicism about the humans, designed to be humans are always the same wherever we go, he ain’t wrong, nobody’s mad at Genghis Khan the way they’re mad at Hitler, betrayed by his friends at school, his haircut, Cato was in favour of genocide, its so long ago, ultra-right nationalists, SPQR, trolls, we don’t have to go back too far, victims and oppression, Israel, reparations for slavery, continue cancelling people, cancelling Genghis Khan, cancel Thomas Jefferson, re-contextualizing, less hagiography more history, the 1619 project, first grade, early American history, conservatives react badly, Irish drafted into the US army and sent to fight in Mexico, the largest mass execution in U.S. history, all this land was stolen, a war of imperialist conquest, most people aren’t in academic environments, Tom Berenger, One Man’s Hero (1999), HBO movies, we don’t care about you, a pretty compelling example, the two state solution, good luck with that, a one state solution, secular power-sharing, still in ethno-nationalist, a lot of support for it, Boycott Divestment and Sanctions, punishment, on this planet, its not even habitable, his parents gave him an EEP, a cute robot dog (also a killing machine bodyguard), electronic extermination pet?, a truck ride in the Man In The High Castle, everything in this story is Italian, regular people, if Jesse lived in Italy and there’s a military base right beside me, a military transport that ran over a Korean school girl, the Catholic church’s solution to problem priests, resentment, you’re a nice guy and everything but get the fuck out of here, Okinawa, the Taiwanese will take those bases, it isn’t pedestrian, there’s a lot of walking in this story, not even a real grapefruit he’s eating, a lot of walking, a regular old story about a guy who goes for a walk, a kind of tree, a kid rejected on the school yard, what colour his spacesuit is, its bizarre and fascinating, people read Philip K. Dick backward, I like LSD, they like Ubik, this doesn’t have that stuff, the Jupiter symphony by Mozart, they don’t understand, the beat vs. the lyrics, all the words passed into my eyes, trying to make money, Jesse read a ton of science fiction, nobody else writes about kids, middle grade fiction, Schooled by Gordon Korman, school books, the short story fiction markets from the 1950s, the short story market is basically dead, it was always adult, in science fiction?, Stephen King, he does kids really well, how many H.P. Lovecraft stories? [The Silver Key], the pasudeti kids, they’re building a space station, the childhood of slaves, plantations were not segregated, the childhood aspect, stolen childhood, playing with the black slaves, this facade doesn’t work anymore, even without the defeat, equals, power over them, a cusp of awakening, Joel Chandler Harris, Uncle Remus, Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, like Robert E. Howard, you take your place as the lord of the manor, they need to know their place, you can free some of them when you die, she smiled faintly, she knows what’s going to happen, Tony was troubled and uncertain, to the place where his friends lived, an immense bengalo tree, a domed city, B’Prith, his eep, “how are things?”, fine, their shells had not hardened, they’re the grubs, they could hop and skip around still, such a great writer, “what’s the matter”, Llyre, what are you all mad about, the war again, his anger burst up, it was fine, sure, the heart of the story, being affected by what’s going on in the news, when 9/11 happened, all those arab kids endlessly prosecuted and persecuted, both, getting attacked for nothing they did, we do it to ourselves, he’s capturing something, the antithesis of pedestrian, so wrapped up in its own explanations, sorry about the genocide, gotta be nice to the Indians now, this is a very extraordinary story, how could you rate this?, it makes sense to compare it, it doesn’t make sense to rate, trying to classify things, the instinct to rate, The Father-Thing was sold to the highest market, Invasion Of The Body Snatchers, Philip K. Dick is so important because he’s doing things nobody else is doing, starting with Valis, I dig drugs, The Crystal Crypt is almost impenetrable, could be years, Evan’s podcast on this story, the one state solution, the no state solution, most of the West Bank is colonized, the beetles would be the majority, a detour, The Wild One (1953) with Marlon Brando, The Red Dwarf version of the movie, personality on screen, I love you johnny, based on a short story about a real incident, took over the town, a “riot”, a photograph, a phenomenon in the 1950s, the juvenile delinquents, Rebel Without A Cause (1955), James Dean, the biker gangs started after WWII, ex-bomber pilots all PTSD, living the wild lifestyle, the 1%ers, outlaw motorcycle gangs, they don’t fucking care about your fucking laws, I don’t like no cops, I don’t make no deals with cops, this is a reaction, when you come back from the war traumatized, unless you’re a psychopath, drinking, not obeying, not old enough to be a soldier, his ROTC didn’t last very long, too sensitive, a universal draft, arguing about it at the kitchen table, we know exactluy what’s going on, but Tony doesn’t know, his dad threatens to beat him, if this is your target and you hit your target, that movie makes no sense, a warning to our society, the disclaimer, the least wild person in the whole movie is the wild one, calm down, have a seat, have a drink, how high his voice is pitched, a homoerotic relationship, somebody throws a tire iron at him, his bike runs over an old man, the whole point of this movie, it doesn’t give you a clue, they don’t understand it at the time, why these biker gangs existed, cops are authority, fascinating psychology, a post traumatic stress society.

Tony And The Beetles by Philip K. Dick

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The SFFaudio Podcast #640 – READALONG: Wang’s Carpets by Greg Egan

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #640 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, and Scott Danielson talk about Wang’s Carpets by Greg Egan

Talked about on today’s show:
Greg Bear, its been a while, a story about scientists doing science in a science fiction story, really pleasant, a lot of philosophy and a lot of scientific ideas, establishes themes, distilled, some real questions about the world, many worlds to conquer, sense of wonder, fractals, not conquer, contact is conqueror, very Prime Directivey, a Sterling thing, the Shaper Mechanist stories, biological and technological, parallel lives, they’ve mastered biology, they’re digital, baseline humans, 96 percent of me died, I’m going to mourn that for a while, Borderlands, digistructs, Star Trek, stuck in the buffer, technically this story is really good, not writing problems, digital vs. biological, the CZ folks, there was a reality, not a solipsistic universe, All You Zombies by Robert A. Heinlein, why Scott is worried (what Scott understood), biological copies, they’re not in a simulation, when they arrive at Vega, another level, one of the reviews, a little bit of Borges, how Set Theory interacts with philosophy, an infinity of numbers, this thing could go on for a while, a bigger infinite set, once you set down this path, interesting to think about what’s going on, rather repulsive, a few shows ago, In The Clutch Of The War God went to Aurora by Kim Stanley Robinson, the post-human aspect, going post-human, changing your eye stalks, your dad’s third copy of your cousin, sound and fury signifying nothing, the act of looking at mp3 files is copying them, I don’t download I only stream, any actions within a computer are copying actions, going to visit a website is downloading it, big sheets of sugar, it turns out its not alive, turns out its not alive, in the interstices, what’s so interesting about this, kind of like Exhalation by Ted Chiang, these things are going on without us, hard fantasy, its much more like Flatland by Edwin A. Abbott, learning the rules of a game, why is he telling me about the emotional relationships between these characters, they don’t have belt pouches and breakfasts, they don’t care whether it is raining, following robots, these are not a metaphor, any sense why Jesse would have a reaction, the message is sad, the people at home are living in VR worlds, step one set back and we’re looking at a short story, yeah within the story it all makes sense, within the story, the story is meta-questioning, somewhere deep in the center, why the search for life is necessary, suicide and emigration, people are excited to hear about life, if this goes on…, the carpets seem to have their own thing going on, exactly like your world, its incestuous, Wang tiles can’t be mirrored, very depressing, here’s the problem, here’s the solution, the problem is present again, escape solipsism with reality exploration, they’re playing proceduraly generated Minecraft, like LEGO, clunky cubic architecture, making calculators and computers that run programs inside of Minecraft, the logic chain, Redstone circuits, and or gates, Neal Stephenson’s The Diamond Age, like the data tape of a Turing machine, if someone had recorded all of our button presses…, control systems, a series of button presses, home computer programming, BYTE Magazine, Ti 99/4A, most people are not going to have access to this story, The Hard SF Renaissance, Mainly Books And Reading Blog, they have their own private language, a thinking machine, its a person, very distanced from the characters, some of them look like butterflies, post-human stuff, a mirror to the world that they’re exploring, the character of Orpheus, there’s no head involved, Cyberpunk 2077, one of the things you can do in the game is you can modify your character, super-customize your character, purple skin and eight fingers per hand, robot legs, eventually you’re just a thing that was a robot, these are not the bodies of the people back on Earth, the thoughts or the Turings of the people, they have votes, nobody would every consider cheating here, the guy who used to be his own son, it is all about the head, ultimately this is a math story, distinct realms, using math to measure reality, digital vs. analog, digital people living in a digital world, stored in pattern buffers, Carter Zimmerman, exploring the physical world vs. we’ve got aliens, so meta and so Borges, a very interesting crystal fractal thing, alienating, reading about others, there’s so much character work, consciousness downloading, Robert J. Sawyer, Four Lords Of The Diamond by Jack L. Chalker, Call Me Joe by Poul Anderson, Hyperion by Dan Simmons, death is not an issue and the biggest issue that ever could be, suicide, immortality, no more copies, downloading memories, a linear existence, explored, tossed-around, really dense, a lot happening, read and listened simultaneously, a different skill, words that give you trouble, spelling, the philosophical exploration, ideas for life, back to Borges, The Library Of Babel, indefinite, infinite, standing room for sleeping, I prefer to dream, a world (not our world), what are in the books, how the world looks, the world consist of rooms, hexagonal, there is not outside world, it could be a giant circle, it could be a carpet, on that water world, some beaches somewhere, the toxic UV, out of contact with the reality of the sun, Plato’s cave creatures, no sense data, social information, a model of the internet, we could hook up webcams, so full, the naming of the planet (Orpheus), he’s despairing, that’s depressing, not a character story, a bit of nostalgia for Paul, all Paul wanted out of science fiction, characters could go hang, their world is presented clinically, they’re there, we’re distanced – like we’re scientists examining them, legitimate emotions, as much as Jesse’s emotions are legitimate, there’s no difference between actual people and fictional people?, an anthropocentric universe, the young earth creationists, The Star by Arthur C. Clarke, these are the worries, the Fermi paradox, subspace chatter, why aren’t the Cardassians yelling at the Klingons, are we the first?, the only?, that’s what they’re saying, mocking, a cause for happiness, hey they discovered life on Mars again!, because there’s some methane, every fifty light years there’s a plankton sheet, fifty light years on there are ones with eyes, fifty light years beyond that there are ones with brains who worry about being alone, their hope, a twofer, a good old fashioned excuse to point to an article of November 1965 issue of Scientific American, Border Guards, David G. Hartwell, the lit crit pov, science as a symbolic construct of language, that’s part of it, are you gonna live you life playing computer games or live a real life, digital clothes for your avatar, the post-human people, the trans-human people, dump these bodies, we’re going to be digital, buy the books, the hard reality is they’re stuck in a meatbody, Kiln People by David Brin, its a metaphor for books, just shoot annoyed clones, typical Brin, I wanna play Minecraft, I left a me in the fridge, Transmetropolitan, robot slaves, you’ve got to have a plot, Raymond Kurzweil, cryonics, I can become younger, self-improvement, augmentation, nano-robot stuff, we do this, cataracts, what you’re claiming to think is consciousness, Evan Lampe, current Klingons aren’t interested in developing science, Klingons are post-human larpers, new fashion, what’s the difference between that and culture, the people who wanna be foxes, furries, unrealistic hope, you’re an ape that can swim and put on clothes and light fireplaces and collect rings, you’re not a bird, you’re not a fish, you’re definitely not going into a chrysalis and coming out a butterfly, 20 spots left in my harem, the more x chromosomes the better, if you have the fallopian tubes, we’re biological, we can’t fully transform from that, Jesse Simulator 1.2, a mistake like warp drive, that’s just gravity assist, Pandora’s Star by Peter F. Hamilton, I liked Sliders too, the farcasters in Hyperion, every room on a different planet, which planet does he choose to poop on, how many classes do we have in this story, everybody is equal except how many generation you are, suicide of emigration, what those carpets are doing, that we know of, they don’t have eyes, we come with assumptions, everything that looks at stuff have eyes, trees can detect light, designed to be depressing, these are not supposed to be humans, would you be cool with being a clone?, your clone uncle is now a butterfly, they have Wikipedia, post-scarcity, trans-humanist space journey, you can drink digital root beer and take digital photographs, another rant, AI software used in photos, HDR, slices of the reality that was there, the mark 1 eyeball, cheating, that lady who restored the painting of Jesus to look like a capuchin monkey, this is what Jesus looked like maybe, Paul’s philosophy of photography, that’s not really what you saw, the bad driving out the good, a weird overlay of reality, a watermark, a fascinating discussion, similar arguments in sports, a valid sports participant, a list of things you can’t do, using technology to enhance a performance, SPVIZ runtime, you never could, the Iwo Jima flag raising, manual photograph, choosing where to put and place the camera, it has always been the case you can’t trust the narrative, media literacy, common sense, The Invention Of Lying (2009), its a stage of human development, if I make a scary noise mom thinks I’m in pain, not everything is real, they can edit their personalities, change their dispositions in radical ways, a totalitarian state, I seem to remember that not being the case, so spotty, so useful, have the focused changed, the narrative, so meta, all those sets, if not deliberately, the story itself as part of the story, levels of a story, wholly artificial, a construction that’s interesting to look at, the appeal of sodoku, a logic exercise, a program that will do it in real time, kind of like dominoes, one sided tiles, good story, depressing story, in the Aurora sort of way, maybe that’s why there’s no photo of him, he might be a butterfly, the fundamental constants changed, the Clockwork Rocket series, what if light bends differently, the Greg Egan way.

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The SFFaudio Podcast #638 – READALONG: Dreamsnake by Vonda N. McIntyre

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #638 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, Scott Danielson, Maissa Bessada, Will Emmons and Trish E. Matson talk about Dreamsnake by Vonda N. McIntyre

Talked about on today’s show:
1978, kicking around for years and years, The Entropy Effect, the first Star Trek novel, Of Mist, And Grass, And Sand, a report with science fiction fandom, Will’s choice, The Moon And The Sun, Louis XIV, Jesuit scientist, sea-monsters, consciousness about the world, politics, first contact, a little person, a magnum opus, 1998, a capstone, the Hugo for best novel, Nebula and Locus awards, Heinlein dedicated Friday to Vonda McIntyre, polyamory, The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, Ursula K. Le Guin, Marge Piercy, Roger Zelazny, Joanna Russ, a tender and compassionate adventure story, swashbuckling, saddle buckling, acrobat skill, diplomat skill, real life swashbuckling, the personal rather than the institutional, dedicating a book to other people, my agent and my wife, turning institutional into personal, this is not a Heinlein book, why Heinlein thought something about it, Anne McCaffrey, C.J. Cherryh, the first in a trilogy, there’s a lot in this book, three different stories, little vistas, technologies used on this world, biology as a technology, very Dune, birth control, just slide it in, weaving world-building elements, the door dilated, second wave feminism, bears rereading, destroying so we can rebuild, an Earth empire planet, comparative text looking, the names of the snakes, October 1973, 1978, the ending, tons of changes, a lot dropped, stuff added, the last sentence, healers heal quickly, February and March would have come out in late 77 and the start of 78, a polish, a lot of plot threads that don’t go anywhere, we think she’s going to the city and then go to the stars, an Ursula K. Le Guin novel: City Of Illusions, The City And The Stars, rocket jockey finds love in space, subverted expectations, amazingly clever for a first novel, female protagonists in leadership positions, being in control of your own biology, what is he talking…, literally 100 years out of date, very Dune like, sex-education, The Many Colored Land by Julian May, biofeedback, evolving and changing and growing, outside of the center city, fighting for power, Jesse’s death, not dated at all, more social SF than hard SF, snake medicine good for somethings not so good for other things, making slaves, lies as a form of control, a 1973 person, in a religion that is telling you what to not do and what to do, people who are reading books, if you’re in the science fiction readership, an inoculation against the future, abstinence through yoga, will that change society? 100%, so immune to disease, breeding her horse, its a mule, where the novel doesn’t work as well, unfulfilled notes, what that material is made of, relationship material, a fix-up, a new view into the that world and a new problem to solve, The Lone Ranger, Kung Fu, a western, The Mandalorian, not with a flamethrower, education and information, Paul’s D&D tweet, the setting of a D&D game, she’s a druid, that time she bit someone, the crazy, the crazies, what we’re supposed to think about, Jesse is honour bound not to talk about the book (lest Jesse be a hypocrite), psychedelic, a drug book, heroin users, a medical problem, a dreamsnake breeder, a drug dealer, scenes with this character, the third part with the dome, alien plants, did the otherworlders come and leave the snakes?, left for us to excavate, going to visit her teachers, she’s lost her journal, its going to go well, how the dreamsnakes reproduce, to drop it there, why these things exist in the story, her real name, she’s snake, bestowed upon you, like the title doctor, call me nurse, the Doctor, Doctor Who, The Master, two kinds of degrees, the Bachelor, the Rani, other time lords, a special figure, living up to that title, a badge of honour, the War Doctor, training be damned, on a sentence by sentence level her prose is quite poetic, why isn’t this a classic?, she’s doing a recipe for school, for a Clarion West class, very powerful, setting things up, laying things down, this future, that not paying off is where it has gone wrong, the Kung Fu aspect, with her actions, she does a lot of telling along with the showing, every gun doesn’t have to be a chekov’s gun, a sandbox vs. a railroad, all the more rich, why you shouldn’t turn your D&D campaign into a novel, Jesse’s birthday present to Will:

The Birthday Present by Jesse

Once upon a time there was a gentle black bear who always wore the disguise of a human when going shopping.
He was a sly bear, so instead of just wearing a mask made of a human face, he also had gloves made from the skin of human hands.
Because it was his mother’s birthday he was determined to buy her a nice gift, in this case a bone china teapot.
As he approached the city gate the bear in human guise was asked by the city guard if he was “just a bear wearing a human face and human hands as gloves.”
Instead of denying it, the bear smote his challenger, his powerful claws making short work of the sentry.
In the third gift store he went into the disguised bear found a delightful bone china teapot with pink flowers and intertwining green ivy decorating its sides and lid and the bear knew it would make his mother sow happy.
Asking if the proprietor took human corpses as currency, the bear proffered the guard’s corpse, and after a moment’s calculation of the taxes, the shop owner consented, knowing there was plenty of bone in the corpse for the making of new teapots, and skin for the making of masks and gloves.

The End

making the story better, symmetrical, solving all of a story’s problems, a mini-Clarion, two stories set in the same city, adding the depth of richness, whatever you lay down pays off, out of the tunnels in Fallout 3, each individual stories, The Voyage Of The Space Beagle, novels are a marketing campaign to move paper, novelettes are better, the whole market for audible.com, longer books not better books, pushing novels over short stories, 50s and 60s and 70s, trilogies, I need these stories to be individual rather than be collective, healers heal quickly, don’t think of it as a novel, Alan Kaster’s INFINIVOX audiobooks, fiction podcasts, Escape Pod, Podcastle, Uncanny Magazine, Clarkesworld, new fiction, another Heinlein, more about snakes, the dream part, hearing about it over these decades, something Scott said, second wave feminism, The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan, totally changed the fabric of society, what makes this book good, Trekonomics, what makes Star Trek good, its the ideology, a beautiful child with deep sexual shame, what makes this book good, how people could relate to each other, whether science fiction should be didactic, stigma, how you can relate to other people, the post-apocalyptic setting, step-out side the system, what science fiction can do, fear, a powerful story, deep truth, escape from pain, forget myself, fantastic things, this is what made it really good, the ideology, all of the baggage of society we live in, Gödel, Escher, Bach, imagining differently being, life outside of capitalism, the divine right of kings, different ways of living, examine our assumptions, you cannot protect someone completely without enslaving them, puts it into action, giving advice, Hippocratic oaths, ethics, a great negotiator, a great character, as a TV show, Raised By Wolves, character based, what makes Deep Space Nine such a great show, a darker prophetic aspect, outside of time, all the more powerful on screen, the way other people react to her, the new shirt, her feelings about the shirt, a very talented writer, Superluminal, disparate elements, reacting to assumptions being challenged, legalistic, a fun read, started from a short story, right after Star Trek: The Motion Picture, the very serious Mr. Spock, this is just her western, the genre she’s writing in, responding to the stranger, Conan stories, the effect is rather different with the Conan stories, a female inversion of the Conan stories, a wizard who has a pet monkey, Rogues In The House, scalpeling and herbs and a couple of snakes and the sticking around, the handsomest youth in town, thrown a lady over his shoulder and running off into another adventure, Melissa continues on, part of her being a woman, making a family vs. fleeing a family, just not marketable, center city, communication with the outside universe, an oppressive thing, the center as a first world nation, the strange weirdo people, whatever skills they brought, the one thing you don’t really feel, The Wizard Of Oz, poppies and heroin, ultimately it would be a lie, underwhelming, so locked up, not because you’re powerful but because you’re weak, when people are in bounty the instinct is to share it, Jesse hates feel good stories, fruit trees, a four fruit tree, what it is to go down and pick berries, a tree shoving apples in your face, you fucked it up, the food bank, the food bank is a new thing, the element of the church, the corporate thing, that’s a different show, how the health care system is terrible, wandering doctors, why don’t you move into town, healers retire to communities, she’s got the arthritis, word of mouth, she came to help that child, messengers, caravans, ships in the ocean would call out the news to each other, a pro-vaccine book, Arvin, we change viewpoints, arrested for assault, oh this is plot, action rather than dialogue, more dialogue please, a sidelight on the mayor, to figure out the truth, the slavery stuff, things changing over time, half-life calculations, radioactivity, Babylon 5, “The Deconstruction Of Falling Stars”, A Canticle For Leibowitz, what we assume, maybe they can heal her there, maybe the can’t, they’re liars, he says he’s going to heal us, the mirror of center in this dreamsnake cult, pain-relief, sound like real life, enslaved to a product that’s illegal, the externality, excommunicate them, damaged by whatever community they’re in, Melissa is hiding all sorts of things, the stable manager, the lies are consistent, something to the rumours, not face value, the reasons are forgotten, whatever led to the apocalypse doesn’t matter, we’ve got to learn to cooperate, families of three now instead of two, we need to work together, how the chores are going to be distributed, gathering the firewood, cleaning the horses, Scott may have heard of families, a family isn’t a democracy, an anarchy, age and experience, make demands, too harsh, fleeing the society of the family, fleeing on their own happy, Melissa wants to do all the chores, seeing the value in herself, self-respect, a nice journey, good messaging, the war was long over almost forgotten it had destroyed everyone, those domes, Larry Niven Ringworld material (scrith), The Ringworld Engineers, none of them cooperated, dwindled away, the engines off the Ringworld, it would pay off to read that terrible book, progressively worse, worthwhile?, seemed inexplicable, we like that too, adventuring, subversion, the god gambit, Speaker To Animals, if Will was in the adventure party he’d be Kizinti, he feels contempt for the fucking plant eaters, Bechdel Test, two aliens talking to each other, Garak and Quark, you solids, Odo, actors under, Nessus, comedy gold, Ringworld should be done as a comedy, Louis Wu is the straight man, the three person partnership, Jesse and Meredith and Alice, non-binary, they’re all female, Anna Fields, the cassette flipping information, you buy a license from Audible.com, buy from Blackstone and Downpour you do own it, Ringworld on Earth with a lot less rocket stuff, Let That Be Your Last Battlefield.

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