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

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

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

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

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

The Star King by Jack Vance EMSH art

The Star King by Jack Vance EMSH art

The Star King by Jack Vance EMSH art

The Star King by Jack Vance EMSH art

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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.

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The SFFaudio Podcast #717 – READALONG: Binary by Michael Crichton

Jesse, Paul Weimer, and Cora Buhlert talk about Binary by Michael Crichton

Talked about on today’s show:
1972, John Lange, hardcovers vs. paperback originals, a slim volume, 4 hours 26 minutes, the kind of paperback novel that made Jesse love novels, modern novel form is very big, as Michael Crichton’s career went on his books got bigger and bigger, market concerns, the price of paper, trilogies, sequels, the 70s, 50s, 60s, between 5 and 3 hours, Drug Of Choice, the Hard Case Crime reprints, this book really cooked, 19th century, 20th century, 21st century, beat beat beat beat and we’re done, a technothriller, a ticking time bomb, Tom Clancy, to pad it out, technical details, operation manuals for submarines, obvious mistakes, technobabble, a teaser for another book, 220 pages, The Hunt For Red October, the most iconic of technothrillers, German teachers in high school, a hardcore communist who loved The Hunt For Red October, leftist radicals, Stephen King-shaming, a terrible person, Amercian far-right conservative, published by Mabel Institute Press, not aimed to be a popular success, not suited to be a popular success, this little book from this naval press, the Harpoon board game, computer game strategy, Harpoon the novel, very much interested in the power of the Soviet Union, high-tech tech, appreciate the Soviet space program, similarly: Dune, famously not published in a mainstream press, Chilton, car repair manuals, a fixup, Gideon Marcus, nobody wanted to do Dune, the format, a 70s crime book, Donald E. Westlake, the Westlake in here, 1957, Russian translators, world communism, Russia and China, Graves worked for two years in the Army, the state department, 1959, on Senator Westlake’s staff, tuckerized, the movie, Crichton didn’t write the script, his first film (a TV movie), the dialogue is straight out of the book, a train in the book a truck in the film, for cost reasons, Ben Gazara isn’t the man of action, Steve Graves, John Wright, John Gray, John Lange, in a novel you can handle that, it could be confusing, doing that on purpose, right in the title, they are mirrors to each other, misunderstanding, diluting the binary aspect, adaptations are interpretations, the entirety of the original plot, being forced reconcile the entire thing, a ticking clock, minus 16 hours, plus 16 hours, a very Michael Crichton move, a great film director as well as a great writer, the ex-travel agency scene, Phelps and the John, one of those guys gets a name: Stark, Crichton knows who his daddy is, Peter Graves, Phelps, Mission: Impossible, a visual reader, 1966, the reboot in the 1980s, the Tom Cruise movies, a team thing, Simon Pegg, Ving Rhames, Star Trek, tech genius, almost no descriptions, how stripped down this is, very simple, seeing the end sequence set piece, a more modern take on this, Speed (1994), 3 (or 4) action sequences, taking the room from outside, the counter-agent, matter-of-factly, all a sham (sort of), not be blown up, not be gassed, the container is combustible, very simple and slick, Crichton’s writing is flawless, the psychological stuff, I’ve got this idea of a binary relationship, the bomb, the characters, the antidote, so many little things, two canisters, 75 and 76, driving around in the cars, 107 and 106, separated by one digit, what the psychiatrist thought of his answers to the Rorschach test, visiting his psychiatrist, Martin Sheen plays the hacker, home computers are not a thing yet, insurance underwriter, very high tech, a period piece, enough phone lines, hack the defense department, the technology of the time, Rorschach testing children, pictures of butterflies, a man who’s just finished killing his friend and now he feels sad, no obvious mistakes, it’s perfect, the video where the condemned was gassed, the French were guillotining people, firing squads, gas chambers, experiments that the Nazis did, a cool new nerve gas, North Korea, Cora’s skepticism, NASA Nazis, not quite that lethal, eliminating all of San Diego, a concentrated urban core, New York, he’s not trying to kill lots of people, he’s trying to eliminate the Republican Party, collateral damage, things are very divided, December 1972, it’s supposed to be Richard Nixon, Watergate, political scandals, foreign work, his focus is changing from foreign to domestic, Operation Mockingbird, domestic threats, tailing communists and soviets vs. tailing a businessman, domestic terrorism in Germany, the Committee To Re-elect the President, the suffix “gate”, G. Gordon Liddy, psychological records for the president’s enemy, Nixon’s cover-up was for something very similar, personal knowledge Crichton had, the stealing of opposition research, where the scandal was made public and there was a resignation, third-rate, portable wireless microphones, well funded, if you retire from the FBI you still have all those old contacts, old passwords, Graves likes the game too much, immoral and illegal, surveillance is questionable, 24 logic, Counter Terrorism Unit, spinning up possible threats, the Gretchen Whitmer kidnapping plot, almost all of them were FBI informants, banning a political party, half the party are informers, a strange situation, the more you encourage this sort of thing, one guy came up with a plan to blow up an airplane with his shoes, a “batshit” plot, binary liquids, liquid explosives in the plane toilet, more than 3 ounces, security theater, to annoy people vs. to control people, mixing shampoo and handcream to make sarin gas, Larry Niven spinning up scenarios, foreign agents get training in the USA to crash airplanes into the USA, done in real life, Japanese kamikaze attacks, Stukas, In The Line Of Fire (1993), a plastic gun, cat and mouse game, how to think outside the box, roadblocks, the dead man behind the grave, clockwork implications, his will continued beyond the grave, E.G. Marshall, a baddie, he started his own political movement, Absolute Power by David Baldacci, Gene Hackman, Clint Eastwood, a remix of Watergate with a sex scandal in the center, an attempted rape and an accidental murder, a lecherous Nixon, E.G. Marshall tries to kill the president again (and succeeds), what was weird about Watergate is that it came out, done ALL THE TIME, not that bad of a president, ended the Vietnam War, Willy Brandt, a social democrat, an angry letter to the party, the wife was sent to prison, deported to East Germany, their dad was a spy, why people would be so angry, a more modern analogy, foreign policy vs. domestic policy, starting the War on Drugs, paranoia, Shakespearian, in today’s politics, the 45th president, a foreign agency, the end of the Union, a terrible president, incompetent is a compliment, people who are happy Hillary Clinton is making noises like she was going to run again, the gerontocracy, batshit, a completely incompetent government, a cabinet of horrors, the Secretary of Justice, newer COVID measures, the Undersecretary of Culture, an anti-Semitic exhibit, ex-Nazis, what John W[r]ight’s motivation, perhaps you think that a few people have power, everyone is locked into a system that he has inherited, the century of impotence, inability to act, inability to be effective, the invocation of God, psychological not political reasons, Americans For A Better Nation (and extremist group), no significance in national politics, $1.7 million, just barely paying attention, doodling, 49 years old, a very strange child, mathematics, inveterate gambler, the assembled men began to fidget, New York from Pittsburgh, who does this remind you of?, six months nervous breakdown, paranoid ideation and feelings of impotence, he can’t get it up, erectile dysfunction, he’s right wing and thought Nixon betrayed, Wright murdered his wife, a car bomb, a Texas oil bomb, a shift in orientation for state intelligence, the number 55 man in the Black Panthers, the John Birch society, what do these three organizations have in common, political parties trying to change things, racism, they want a better nation, they’re on him like glue, terrorist attack, hey i’m trying to get your attention, weird purchases, he knows he’s being trailed, put the puzzle pieces together, The Riddler, a Batman villain, the Zodiac Killer, the smartest man in the room, Jack the Ripper, real-life serial killers, raping and killing women, elderly prostitutes, the terrible smell, keeping chopped up women in his attic, The Golden Glove (2019), the toughest bar in Hamburg, three movies about Ted Bundy, make a buck, he’s trying to kill himself, John Graves is going to bring him to his grave, suicide by cop, a particular frustration with life, a dignified way to make your life have meaning (by doing something political), John Graves is a mirror to John Wright, he can’t stop the game, escape to some beach country (Jamaica), at the airport, the caretaker was black, Hard Case Crime covers, a 1970s shampoo ad, the most interesting parts, a single woman in a speaking role, on the night before he’s going to do the big deed they “made it three times”, Crichton trained as a doctor, a little bit of psychology, a delightful enjoyable read, because of the era, his later long long books and sequel books, raw paperback novel style storytelling, limited to the length of the paperbacks on the spinner racks at the drugstore, a Weird Tales in the 1930s, a paperback in the 1970s, the time to go to the drugstore, cheap aspirin, mostly romance, racks, the latest political biography, the airport bookstore, lots of bestsellers, a book about magical rituals, Amsterdam, Detroit, vaguely readable, a Battletech novel, dime novels, pulp novels, 64 pages, Country Style Living, Drug Of Choice, Dealing, a shadowy corporation, it sounds good, let’s do it!, 166 pages, Brilliance Audio (owned by Amazon/Audible), Easy Go, a tomb book, Odds On, Zero Cool, The Venom Business, Grave Descend, thirty year highschool reunion, Hugo nominations, a good excuse to move up on Cora’s reading pile, on the sched, the copyright page, John Lange asserts the moral right, copyright renewed by Michael Crichton, he got his moral, copyright extension ending, for Jasper Johns (whose preoccupation provided solutions), little bits that relate, Angry Robot books, a tiny little easter egg, 208 pages, a book about the artist, later Crichton books, a real intellect, he’s not a fake, his clean writing, very tall and very smart, director, medical doctor, a renaissance man, you hear things about books, until you read it for yourself…, 1940s science fiction stories, Galactic Journey, received knowledge, good works have been forgotten, anthologists, people who need to be championed and people who had too many champions, L. Ron Hubbard had far too big a champion, Margaret St. Clair didn’t have kids, champions for garbage and orphans for everything else, Michael Crichton’s kids, most didn’t copyright renew, trademark, Doctor Mabuse, Cora’s modern Mabuse, trademark has to be enforced, the French Conan, Robert E. Howard, The Cimmerian, the American ones are pretty bad, just go with the title of the story, they’ll lie, Conan Properties International, Fred Malmberg, Brandon Sanderson, corporations are worse than estates, suck blood, backup stories for The Shadow, work for hire, James Patterson, Darkman (1990), Tim Curry, The Spider, Marvel will publish a one-shot, DC’s Unknown Soldier, they’re just not into it, that’s how they enforce the trademark, a Captain America movie in the 80s, the Spider-Man movies, the early Fantastic Four movie, an actor or a scriptwriter working on a a movie not for release, shit work, the opposite of getting a camera and going out in the woods vs. contractual obligation (to preserve profits), the horror we’re trying to avoid at all costs.

PAN - Binary by Michael Crichton

PURSUIT (1972) TV movie

HARD CASE CRIME - Binary by Michael Crichton

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The SFFaudio Podcast #711 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: The Shunned House by H.P. Lovecraft

The SFFaudio Podcast
The SFFaudio Podcast #711 – The Shunned House by H.P. Lovecraft – read by Gregg Margarite. This is a complete and unabridged reading of story (1 hour 7 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants include Jesse, Evan Lampe, Connor Kaye, and Jason Thompson.

Talked about on today’s show:
a book in 1928, Weird Tales, October 1937, the S.T. Joshi, a posthumous story of immense power, The Black Stranger by Robert E. Howard, it’s been only 15 years since Robert E. Howard’s death, so fucked up, Evan’s podcast about it, Wayne June’s version for Audio Realms, he’s the best narrator for this, why is Poe in this?, he’s really into Poe, wooing, definitely probably didn’t notice this house, irony is seldom absent, what’s happening structurally, somebody buries somebody beneath the floorboards, a lady in a house down the street, two main characters who are bachelors obsessed with a house, what happens to the uncle, he’s killed, he’s homicided by his uncle, six carboys of acid, structurally its very much like The Tell-Tale Heart, ha ha ha I’m doing Poe, stronger or equal to anything Poe ever wrote, tops, weirdness and horror, one of his underrated stories, this isn’t in any of them, a little longer, the buildup, the backend, the release of the tension, very genealogical (hence kind of dull), now that Jason’s a parent, child deaths, everyone dies, everyone goes insane, tragic and emotional events in dry synopses, melodrama, some of his best deep dives into the history of a place and a character, He, using architecture to dig into the history of places, time travel, walking tours, Etienne Roulet, some of the best stuff in the story, the history and ownership of the house, windows, working class experience of horror, the way knowledge is communicated, the grapevine telegraph, so many echoes of other stories, which ones are not included, The Statement Of Randolph Of Carter, The Lurking Fear, the shadow on the mantelpiece, two guys sleeping in a house with disturbing nightmare dreams, The Case Of Charles Dexter Ward, The Colour Out Of Space, body horror, inverted, a material that goes into living things and pumps it up vs. removing something from living things and making it worse, a disgusting factor in the plants, vampirized vs. injected with tainted materials, vaguely traditional ghost stories, The Unnamable, crazy ghosts, extremely , vital force and attenuated matter, shapeless blobs, shapeless ghost monsters, we see an elbow, two feet in diameter, biceps, he seems to have been growing, they buried a titan, looking into the pit before pouring, Lovecraft knows what’s under there but we only get to see the elbow, a research story, the Indian graveyard, the town graveyard, Elihu Whipple, tricorn hats mad at him, cutting hearts out to kill vampires, a werewolf story from France, his uncle’s really into it, one of these goings back in time, he’s already tipped his hand, archaeological digging is really fun, atmosphere building, a very WWI exhumation of bodies buried, chronologically, nesting, Russian nesting dolls, Carrington brought something back, buried in the basement like a treasure, Jack Roulet, put on trial in France, half-werewolf half-vampire, 16th century people, more vampiric than it is werewolf, drawn to the land, a deeper history here, the entity, live in their own soil, a Dracula story as well, excavated their ancestor, their personal cemetery, we must destroy the memory, fainted suggestive sympathy for the monster, evil wizards, killed by a mob, hostile or seeking self-preservation, being buried alive, preserved himself in his last moments, the creature is alive, whatever it is, The Dweller by H.P. Lovecraft (Fungi From Yuggoth, #31), there’s something under the ground, a yellow day, the factory, pipes are croaking, alive down there but asleep, half-life, undead, growing in size, he’s not just pale he’s translucent, something softer than dirt, a folded stovepipe but rubbery-er, a hard turn materialistic science fiction, a gratuitous body count, we need a flamethrower, a crooke’s tube, like a cathode Ray tube, powerful batteries, positron emitters from Ghostbusters, backpack cyclotron, gas mask, a shovel and some acid, proton packs, so cool, ghost hunting shows, I’m getting em radiation, a great short film, two ghost hunters, 12 minutes long, pretty terrific, the possession, the way the possession works, the vampure thingy is stealing people, vital life essences, they are the haunters of the house, Slither (2006), an alien comes to Earth, a consciousness, monstrous body horror creature, James Gunn, a zombie aspect, sickly and dying get glassy eyed and try to bite, a completely different take, early vampire mythology, get really bloated in their coffins, a corpse being bloated from decomposing, absorbing some life force and getting bigger and bigger, feeding on life-force, a giant, if they hadn’t of stopped it, deleting it, it could have woken up and been a Clark Ashton Smith story,

Antarktos by H.P. Lovecraft
Deep in my dream the great bird whispered queerly
Of the black cone amid the polar waste;
Pushing above the ice-sheet lone and drearly,
By storm-crazed aeons battered and defaced.
Hither no living earth-shapes take their courses,
And only pale auroras and faint suns
Glow on that pitted rock, whose primal sources
Are guessed at dimly by the Elder Ones.

If men should glimpse it, they would merely wonder
What tricky mound of Nature’s build they spied;
But the bird told of vaster parts, that under
The mile-deep ice-shroud crouch and brood and bide.
God help the dreamer whose mad visions shew
Those dead eyes set in crystal gulfs below!

something frozen under the ice that’s going to come out,

The House
By H.P. Lovecraft

’Tis a grove-circled dwelling
Set close to a hill,
Where the branches are telling
Strange legends of ill;
Over timbers so old
That they breathe of the dead,
Crawl the vines, green and cold,
By strange nourishment fed;
And no man knows the juices they suck from the depths of their dank slimy bed.

In the gardens are growing
Tall blossoms and fair,
Each pallid bloom throwing
Perfume on the air;
But the afternoon sun
With its shining red rays
Makes the picture loom dun
On the curious gaze,
And above the sween scent of the the blossoms rise odours of numberless days.

The rank grasses are waving
On terrace and lawn,
Dim memories sav’ring
Of things that have gone;
The stones of the walks
Are encrusted and wet,
And a strange spirit stalks
When the red sun has set,
And the soul of the watcher is fill’d with faint pictures he fain would forget.

It was in the hot Junetime
I stood by that scene,
When the gold rays of noontime
Beat bright on the green.
But I shiver’d with cold,
Groping feebly for light,
As a picture unroll’d—
And my age-spanning sight
Saw the time I had been there before flash like fulgury out of the night.

the accompanying illustration, what is feeding the plants is a coffin, thinking layers, spirals up and down the house, beneath the ground floor, five chapters?, the occupation, the kitchen is in the basement, where the servants are going crazy, neighbouring houses are never effected, the fungus are the reaching out, black mold fucking up people’s lungs, a fungus vampire, spores are bad for your lungs, bad dreams, a toxic house, toxic mold, a ghost story, titan in the basement, tightness of The Terrible Old Man, some really awesome action, fun research in the middle, a happy ending (other than the uncle being dead), gets away with murdering his uncle, his hat is lying there, slime stained underwear, Cool Air, The Thing On The Doorstep also has a hat involved, melting, The Facts In The Case Of M. Valdemar, Body Melt (1993), just as tasteful, The Velveteen Rabbit lady, keep shunning that house, something physical, Hill House is just an evil house, the Marsten House, the Overlook Hotel, into science, Stephen King is not a scientist at all, a psych figure, Poltergeist (1982), buried indians, a suburban house built upon them, the Narragansett Indians, reduced to one man’s research, creepy houses, designate them, made up, based on rumor, the rumors are always true in Lovecraft, the rumors are revelatory, always in the right, true in the game vs. true in the stories, red herrings are only there to improve the story, not to fuck up the story (in good writing), Lovecraft knows what he’s doing, why these guys are unmarried, it’s not their house, what are you doing?, a funny line, my nerves were so shattered I had to write some poems, made me feel better, not the standard dude, the uncle is the stand in for Lovecraft’s grandfather, Elihu Whipple, maternal grandfather, a mixture of a few different family members, one of his uncles, a memorial for his uncle, a dedication to Lovecraft’s own grandfather, a bachelor, shed some tears, he’d still be alive with me here today, another statement (to the police or his own lawyer), to explain the missing uncle, he and Carrington Harris, he can partially backup my story, give an alibi, here’s the keys, all the equipment, fought in the Civil War, lickety split, a doctor in the Civil War, a lot of nautical stuff, a history of the United States, a break with the past, the ship being burned in 1772, set in 1919, 1920, the Klinger anthology, marginal notes, decoded it, made the timeline then wrote the story, some even and now we’re going into the deep history of this, the history of the house (vs. the history of the man), the timeline is very similar, colonial America, maritime history, Georgian America, a Mercy Dexter in this story, the names, Pelleg Harris, Moby-Dick, this is Lovecraft’s take on The House Of The Seven Gables, drink blood, a nice old lady who likes baking cookies, set in a basement, a dusty old house, no monster in the sub-basement, what this has that that doesn’t is a payoff to the awesome setup, The Undying Thing by Barry Pain, born as a werewolf, underground stuff is awesome, crashing down like, the tell-tale elbow, the weirdest part, the vampire loins, it could be anything, planting the seeds early, the apple trees are giving out small sweet apples, enjoys thinking about the house, a vampire in the basement at one point, becoming degraded, Evan needs to do a series on Nathaniel Hawthorne, Hepzibah’s gingerbread cookies, more like this, The Fall Of The House Of Usher, get out of New England, escape this past and move on, go to the frontier, I’m going to fix up this nice old house, look at my ancient furniture matches the sideboard, the fanlights are amazing, he should’ve stopped at this house, unremarkable, sinister in his description, exuding a sinister aura, a nice house he appreciated, night black deeds, unnaturally steep roof, corpse fed, the septic tank, rank, a big shit, a physical force, lush, rheumy eyed grass, really gross, the roots of the tree still form the shape of elbows, fingers, still here, but the evil’s gone, a body horror story, a generation of horror, six-seven generations, still-births, on the face of the uncle, hosing down with the proton pack, going Tell-Tale Heart, melted his uncle, yellow gas, he passes out, his gas-mask fails him, the crookes tube has no effect, an old wooden house, a wet house, using flamethrowers inside a house, military flamethrowers, no cameras to document, 12 minutes, an adaptation, good music, this shunned story, the Taiwan lockdown continues, 50 people are moderately sick, people are less crazy [in British Columbia] here now, antibodies test, PCR tests, working from home, people are over it, the first big outbreak, 23-24 million people in Taiwan, there are more people in Taiwan than Australia, crammed in there, size of Australia vs. size of Taiwan, 215 times bigger, so sparse, easier to quarantine, China’s density, hardcore lockdowns in China, Australia: “once we’re vaccinated we’ll just open up”, political, the end of a career, stories from Shanghai, Tasmania is almost twice as big as Taiwan, shipping the vaccinated to Tasmania, Australia shipping refugees to Christmas Island, on the opposite side of the planet, Paul is getting shutout, Like A Thief In Broad Daylight by Slavoj Žižek, spit-all over, so excited, amped up, touching his nose, his brain is redlining, so prolific and fun, Living In The End Times, film criticism, a public intellectual, The Goddess Of Atvatabar, The Screwfly Solution, tripping over her name, The Mystery Of Sylmare, Strawberry Spring, Marissa VU is editing a magazine, lots of time for Jesse’s nonsense, Babbitt up next, The Thing In The Woods, both good and bad news, bad news is bad, good news is German, podcast Cora time, time zone, double good news, disarray, a working holiday, au pair, a tutor for babies, GCHQ doing more evil analysis, the secret cover, Alex from Pulpcovers, NLAWs, 33 billions for Ukraine is 33 billion for the industry, extend a proxy war, 1963-75?, leftover NAZIs with NLAWs, all that money goes to the militias, the alternative, two shitty options, who do you want to be your master?, literally occupied, the Donbas and Crimea, there’s been a war there since 2014, active troops, special operations (not rolling tanks), this is how we make our money, turning off the spigot of Afghanistan, tic tok, $1 for Ukraine added toy your bill, would you like to donate this money to Children’s Hospital, a parasite business, universal healthcare, don’t you have any charity?, automated tips, for the wait staff, a shifting, public goods, care for children who are ill, from government responsibilities, floods, another bloody wave of floods, the charity drops off, Peter Dutton set up go fund me, trained that way, the World Economic Forum, Justin Trudeau, his deputy prime minster, Klaus Schwab, instant disqualification, Bill Gates’ bad press, Elon Musk, fan or stan?, in the guillotine line, Joe Rogan, a mansion, the largest landholder of croplands in the U.S.A., an attack vector, fancy cars, he’s the billionaire who hasn’t gone to space, Bezos Beelzebub, asmodeus, he’s like Tiamat, ok?, Tiamat is female and not a they them, pre-biblical, prioritize, No-Man’s Land by John Buchan, finger bandaid, a baby on each knee screaming in German, a walled city, uberroads, autobahns, ultraroads, Mr Jim Moon, Darlington, a small town in central England, a saga on YouTube and Twitter, political, PayPal cancelling people’s access to their accounts, Russian affiliated media, NFTs, the NFT weirdos, purchasing using crypto, Elon Musk was an early investor in PayPal, Charles Ardai, Hard Case Crime, awesome covers of pulp-style paperbacks, a mix of new and old, Fifty To One by Charles Ardai, the correct vision, why Elon is good too, he has passion for things, he wants to go to Mars, he likes fast cars, interested in everything, who else is making satellite internet?, a lot of change in the world, wanting power, I don’t want nice, I want rockets, anti-union, unions limit power, Toyota, responsibility, not just extracting value, we want workers to be self-actualized, the money compensation is there because the job isn’t fun, given Jesse’s awesomeness, we start with the worst not the richest, Bill Gates, locked-down, this guy with no medical degree has vast control, he stole a computer program, ruthlessness, tiger-eye, hiring a lot of engineers, who has changed cars more?, my Bill foundation, you still shorting Tesla stock?, how to lose a boner fast, he’s trolling the right people, Trump has the right enemies, Julius Caesar had the right enemies, I can see the vast appeal, lying to our faces without a sense of humour, his worst tweet: we will coup whoever we want, reins of power vs. power players, what has Microsoft done for you lately?, they got Skype, did they improve it, still free, an inertia, Discord has been cancelling people, the healthiest ecosystem is still Microsoft, sail across the pacific ocean with a granola bar, Mac’s walled garden, organize, dos a dos Ace Double style, Strange Embrace, Robert McGinnis, leg lengths, long necks, Michael Whalen, fucking fantastic covers, the name of the author, an amazing cover, where in the culture it sits, 2012, 361 by Donald E. Westlake, The Girl Who Electrified Tesla, Gun Honey, modern day pulp adventure, the Gabriel Hunt series, Robert E. Howard style, dangerous book for boys, Glen Orbik, very El Borak, he has the right taste and is enthusiastic about getting things done, The Colorado Kid by Stephen King, Joyland, Later, all the Donald E. Westlake, nice length, The Gods Of Bal-Sagoth by Robert E. Howard, The Black Stranger, he’s like Skeletor except cool, Max Allan Collins, the Quarry series,

The Shunned House - illustration by Virgil Finlay

The Shunned House - illustration by Otto Bumberger

The Shunned House - illustration by Muzski

135 Benefit Street - The Shunned House

135 Benefit Street - The Shunned House

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Reading, Short And Deep #356 – The Gates Of Nineveh by Robert E. Howard

Podcast

Reading, Short And DeepReading, Short And Deep #356

Eric S. Rabkin and Jesse Willis discuss The Gates Of Nineveh by Robert E. Howard

Here’s a link to a PDF of the poem.

The Gates Of Nineveh was first published in Weird Tales, July 1928

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The SFFaudio Podcast #710 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: Black Amazon Of Mars by Leigh Brackett

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #710 – Black Amazon Of Mars by Leigh Brackett; read by Fred Heimbach (for PROTECTING PROJECT PULP)

This unabridged reading of the story (3 hours 4 minutes) is followed by a discussion of it.

Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Paul Weimer, Trish E. Matson, Alex (Pulpcovers.com), and Cora Buhlert

Talked about on today’s show:
Planet Stories, March 1951, Protecting Project Pulp, Fred Heimbach, inchoate, martian names, very enthusiastic, is Jesse going to like this narration?, this excellent work, enthusiastic during high tension, calm and collected, the way its told, the cover on Planet Stories, Allen Anderson, a signature under the Van Vogt, spoils the story, black and white again, Eric John Stark, her costume, there’s no helmet, she’d lost her helmet, boob armour, shakes the hair out in slow motion, use the trope, Jirel Of Joiry’s gender, gorgeous red-head woman, the interior artist, spoil it twice, it doesn’t actual mean, this is advertising, anticipation, enjoyment, you will get a cool woman with an axe, give us the quarter please, Future Science Fiction, before and after WWII, a meta-analysis, chained or unchained, brass brassiere, covers sometimes illustrate stories within, Amazing, Frank R. Paul covers, best story for this cover gets $500 bucks, The Zap Gun by Philip K. Dick, background, the gates, gate of death?,a floodlight, a spaceship, the magic sword, widening the aperture, a guy in red, a guy in blue, chained to her wrist, it sells, the interior art makes more sense, dead guy’s hands, the frozen lands beyond the gates of death, the language, a writing technique, focus on particular words, background fundamentals, “burden”, the relationship between Stark and his dying buddy, fulfilling a death quest, The Road Warrior, the ending’s different, the magic quest, inspired by Black God’s Kiss, C.L. Moore and Leigh Brackett knew each other, Edmond Hamilton, Henry Kuttner, sidequest, The Sowers Of The Thunder by Robert E. Howard, Red Sonya, out of nowhere, suddenly the lord is a lady, a stand-in for sexual assault, a convenient portal to the underworld, a cursed kiss, a bit extreme, decking Eric John Stark, “oh, a woman”, a spin-on it, a happy ending, structurally, strong warrior woman, get together, regrets in the very next story, a different genre, more Conan inspired, the Burroughs for the setting, a Tarzan, semi-sentient Mercurian apes, El Borak, planetary romance, some magic item, a lost city in the mountains, a Cossack raid, the gender politics are C.L. Moore, very Planet Stories, Eric John Stark and a beautiful lady, always two women, a young innocent child like woman, a femme fatale, a dangerous woman, noir films, axe-weilding martian warlord, Leigh as a female name, why they are so different, some of the details, the viewpoint character, the female characters have a very interesting relationship, claiming citizenship, the Thanis, Tanis, thanatos, the names are pretty good, Conan-ish, proto-gaelic, defiant, late into the story, our focus is on Stark, more female, black Humphrey Bogart, The Big Sleep (1946), crackles with good dialogue, hardboiled crime, the social justice warrior of Mars, oppressed indigenous people, evil imperial colonialist, the Terran Exploitation Company, anti-capitalist, anti-colonialist, solar rays made him black, George R.R. Martin, Queen Of The Martian Catacombs, a holy-war on Mars, a failed uprising, dying-buddy, frees some slaves, Enchantress Of Venus, never enslave the hero of a pulp adventure story, darkens his skin in a photoshop?, is she just trying to distinguish from John Carter, is she trying to make a point she’s not allowed to make?, insulting words on Mars, the terrible offending word, couldn’t be printed today, character of colour, trying to make a point, Citadel Of Lost Ships, evil colonizers, illegal immigrant (aliens), Rediscovery: Science Fiction By Women Volume 2, the whipping, skins, a palate of skins, our skins too, bed of skins, wearing skins, trappers, I’ll save your skin, she flung aside the cover and rose, white skinned, narrow loins, small virginal breasts, a wildman, play, Brackett has an agenda, almost all action, escape and rest and conversation by noble and different groups, pacy action, Howardian style, Edgar Rice Burroughsy, third in the series, little connecting tissue, Simon Ashton, one of the good Earth police officers, the Skaith trilogy, The Ginger Star, Reavers Of Skaith, The Hounds Of Skaith, interstellar space, planetary romance adventures, Planet Stories, Thrilling Wonder Stories, John W. Campbell, Galaxy, Venture Science Fiction, a paperback industry, Ace Doubles, The Dickhead’s Podcast, The Big Jump, Rich Horton on Twitter, 1964 Ace Double, blonde hair, a double Brackett bracket, Queen Of The Martian Catacombs, the name, nude, strong in German, not a muscleman, Eric is leader or ruler, conquer the rest of Mars, the end of Red Nails, re written from Kiara’s point of view, seeing Eric through her eyes, he’s not a prince, he’s not a royal blood, I have my father’s blood, the authority of her ancestry, a bastard, she’s pretty grumpy, retelling it from her point of view, top down rather than bottom up, Eric John Stark is a friend, steals a mount, thieves, steal the sword, he’s a thief, he’s not a royal guy getting back his crown, the same story told the other way, that story retold from an outsider’s point of view, a rival knight, he’s not a lowborn, S.M. Stirling’s The Sky People and In The Courts Of The Crimson Kings, A Princess Of Mars story flipped, the setting, playing in an existing sandbox, playing to the tropes, why we’re focusing on Eric, a pulp science fiction shared solar system, unjustly persecuted, strong female characters, #LegCling, a lot of good stuff in Planet Stories, Ray Bradbury, Frederik Pohl, Manly Wade Wellman, good stuff, Philip K. Dick was in there too, iconic for Planet Stories, well written vs. learned anything, lost civilization, ancient planet, ice monsters, Fantastic Adventures, the coolest covers, terrible badly written, the premise is minor, at the heart of it, the duty to his dead friend, his debt, incompetent or semi-competent high-born nobles, 100% pulp, I can tell stories, it doesn’t feel like science fiction at all, it practically is a straight fantasy, girdle, the belt buckle with the hidden talisman, the polar cap girdles the norlands, dressing and undressing, a writing exercise, extract meanings and ideas from individual words, very basic, there aren’t that many players, the brother and sister in the city and some frozen guy, an episode of He-Man from the 1980s, Skeletor Beyond The Gates Of Death, Conan with a recolour, laser guns, pulp science fiction put through the blender, Clark Kent or Shazam, People Of The Talisman, looks a little bit like he-man, that belt boss, possessed, psychic psionic powers, a true magic item, science you don’t understand, a thing that was lost, a thing to rally the troops around, a way of unlocking things, someone from the past possesses him, an Excalibur vibe, this object can rally people, how it is important to the city or to England, the legend of frozen ice-guy, Harlan Ellison, Charlemagne, El Cid, Barbarossa, come back in Germany’s hour of need, a Welsh character, he did not prevent brexit, Little, Big by John Crowley, Olaf Scholz, The Last Defender Of Camelot by Roger Zelazny, both episodes of The Twilight Zone, George R.R. Martin’s adaptation, you got your money’s worth, one of the most consistent, Astounding has a lot of terrible stories, the most consistently good were Weird Tales and Planet Stories, pass a few minutes very pleasantly, some silly heist movie, what makes you go back to the movie theater, complaints about the quality of their stories in the letters, old-fashioned even then, 30 years after the 1920s, a throwback, 1912, Akira Kurosawa movie, WWII bomber run movies, Dam Busters, 633 Squadron (1964), Mosquito Squadron (1969) movies, blow up some movie with a big ball bearing, Star Wars, propaganda movies made in other countries, just watch Star Wars, look there’s a y-wing going down, people writing this sort of stuff today, the second one’s the best, fun, lost cities at the pole, divinity being a scam, conforming to the scientific knowledge of the time, vaguely based on the astronomical knowledge of the time, Weird Tales mostly pays on time now, hard science fiction, outright technobabble, telepathy, writing something that is accurate vs. being fun, a fantasy story set in a world happened to be called Mars, Eternia, 1944 stories, accurate prediction, Clifford D. Simak, robotic lawnmower, Legoization of planet stories, bubble helmets, most of them were science nerds, retro-illustration, the bug-eyed monster, an 80s night, spandex and Miami Vice, Stranger Things doesn’t look like the actual 80s, frumpy clothes, very brown, fake wood paneling, legwarmers and big hair, big bubble helmets and metal bras, EMSH will do the cover, all of these things are symbols, #LegCling is a symbol, a spreadsheet, very Frazetta, covers are meant to sell magazines, scantily clad women, monsters, Margaret Brundage, maybe there’s sex inside, guides to what you’re going to get inside, swinging axes and male-female dynamics, when Frazetta gets his oils, a very Frazetta move, buttcheeks, Cosmos Science Fiction, classifying spaceships, Futurama, The World Of The Future, The World’s Fair, a talking robot, men are tied up and whipped, bathing suits, evening gown gloves, high boots, locking things up, clones of each other, this is bad, but is it that bad?, maybe they want sex-slaves, death by snu-snu, Doctor David H. Keller, modesty because of head covering, grandma’s bathing suit, women in peril vs. women in charge, amazon planet, tied up, maybe that’s why we’re here?, this is the 1950s, everything makes sense, Algis Budrys, Philip K. Dick, telling you about the people of the period and what is attractive to them, covers today, Frank R. Paul covers for Amazing, technology and grand engineering, those planets give us possibilities on how we can live in another way, a Baen cover for Virgin Planet, very Baen, the same effect of the pulps, Joust, Teucan, Jerome Bixby, Star Trek, copyright length, life plus 70s is way too long, patents are very short, Cora doesn’t have a congresspersons, even Paul and Alex don’t have congresspersons, copyright law is super-national right now, use a VPN, Thomas Mann, reason to punish an entire country, Of Withered Apples by Philip K. Dick, boots and gloves, set on Earth, a fantasy, these are really good fashions, asymmetrical brass bras with belts, don’t gender shame me, uncomfortable to wear, Flash Gordon, Margaret Bras, Return Of The Jedi, brass cups, what it’s supposed to be, this is interesting, sandskiffs, Mars, it has this history, cosplays, modern cartoons, recreating in LEGO an entire Planet Stories cover, you can put some silk under there, Queen Of The Black Coast, only wearing a belt, terrible sunburn, pale pale skin, incredibly strong sunblock, yet another, Leia is pretty passé, an episode of Chuck, Our Flag Means Death, am I crazy or is he wearing The Road Warrior (1981) costume, he’s not wearing a crescent wrench, crazy throwback callback, a wanderer, cowboy, its cosplay, how many things am I missing?, A Princess Of Mars, inspired Star Wars, The Hidden Fortress (1958), Enchantress Of Venus, E.E. Doc Smith cos-playing C.L. Moore’s North West Smith, Han Solo, Mal Reynolds, badly whipped, a loving description of every single scars, scars make you manly, a loving sexy description, obviously sex in the air, all the right ingredients, stories recreating the adventures, the actual story, as cool as it is today, sometime this year I hope, Planet Stories Podcast, bubble helmets and brass bras, a sled with some lady getting kidnapped, dying, Guardians Of The Galaxy, Yondu, scantily clad woman, rocketpack, Nelson S. Bond, Ray Cummings, women having eyes closed, woemn can see to you know, Marilyn Moroe’s lost science fiction movie, saran wrap, an ongoing thing, tanks for holding the oxygen, space accident spacesuit, form over function, in a red bathing suit, the design, these artists are amazing, a metal belt with snaps and such, brass armour, this is beautiful, the colours of these pulp covers, put this on my wall, falling from behind her, her helmet is broken, Elisabeth of Austria, Allen Anderson, so much detail, pink eyes, hatching out of, the pistol, a six-shooter, a western in space, Wagon Train in space, somewhere in Vienna, Archive.org, a scene in the magazine, not quite as pretty inside, evening gowns vs. practical pants, shocking pants, Genevieve Cogman, marvelous museums, hair decoration, Captives Of The Thieve-Star by James H. Schmitz, A Tale Of Two Clocks, target audience, Demon Breed, a real shame, sad story, the entire Protecting Project Pulp archive, Riders Of The Spaceways by Henry Kuttner, The Game Of Rat And Dragon by Cordwainer Smith, The Tree Of Life by C.L. Moore, The Waters Of Bowlegs Creek by J. E. Grinstead, Sex Slaves Of The Dragon Tong by F. Paul Wilson, The Hand of the Mandarin Quong by Sax Rohmer, Prominent Author by Philip K. Dick, a joke story, Child Of Atlantis by Edmond Hamilton, Captain Future, along with Star Trek reruns, Space: 1999, and Time Tunnel, Virgil Finlay throughout, shipwrecked on their honeymoon, The Shunned House, Power In The Era Of Post Human Capitalism, economics, Capitalist Realism by Mark Fisher, Red Plenty, Strawberry Spring by Stephen King, Ghostland: In Search Of A Savage Country, The Thing In The Woods by Harper Williams, Bobby Derie wont don’t podcasts, he needs to be forced to do it, a prototype for The Dunwich Horror, Goodreads, the few racist remarks, the werewolf is never clearly seen, the W word, in our story saturated world, The Great God Pan, smiley face, good for a rainy day, a good endorsement for a book, a quoka, a wallaby, marsupial, The Dark Man by Robert E. Howard, a statue of Bran Mak Morn, the weird Robert E. Howard stuff, I want Skull-Face, in The Garden Of Fear, Almuric, The Curse Of The Golden Skull, Kull of Atlantis, very short, read a book, mow a lawn, Nanny by Philip K. Dick, planned destruction, literally trying to murder your children, a robot uprising, evil robot nannies, programmed by evil corporations.

Black Amazon Of Mars by Leigh Brackett - art by Allen Anderson

PLANET STORIES - Black Amazon Of Mars interior art

Black Amazon Of Mars by Leigh Brackett - art by Reno Maniquis (circa 2012/3)

Cirsova Edition - Black Amazon Of Mars - illustrated by StarTwo

Black Amazon Of Mars by Leigh Brackett - art by Jesse

Planet Stories - Legoization by Jesse

Cosmos Science Fiction And Fantasy, July 1954

Virgin Planet - cover by Clyde Caldwell

E.E. Doc Smith cosplaying as C.L. Moore' NORTHWEST SMITH at Worldcon 1963

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