The SFFaudio Podcast #626 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, Scott Danielson, Marissa VU, and Maissa Bessada talk about Don’t Panic by Neil Gaiman
Talked about on today’s show:
Douglas Adams, about Neil Gaiman, ten years younger?, only 8 years younger, how young Douglas Adams died or how old Neil Gaiman is, 80s vs 90s, only 49, heart attack, don’t work out, jogging is not something you should do, don’t climb rocks, just sit, have a lie down, Starcraft for 72 hours, InfoCom’s The Hitch-Hiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, InvisiClues, h2g2 site, some visual elements, a buffered analgesic, a radio show first, a novelization of the radio drama, the TV show, the novel, the radio drama, the movie, the record album, just awesome, why he was such a big hit, the graphics, Richard Dawkins and Lala Ward, Dirk Maggs, on YouTube, Hulu, the history of this book, David Dixon, M.J. Simpson, the stuff that happens in between, the plot, how storytelling works, the 1988 publication, the narrator Simon Jones, Arthur Dent, Peter Jones, the chapter titles were quieter, a cute addition, not ever being a possible romantic lead, typecast forever, he’s wearing a bathrobe right now wherever he is, he has his towel, how interesting it is as a reaction to Doctor Who, his characters are not cooperating, they’re kind of jerks, make plot happen, the opposite of Doctor Who, John Pertwee, Tom Baker, The Green Death, the environment, the plot, the reveal, colonialism, frakking, peripheral to the plot, the writing of the plots, the ideas they are exploring, he does these stunts, blows up the earth and then continues the story, my friend Maissa, Douglas Adams style of humour, the jokes are at the forefront, the funny situations, so unusual, he breaks all the rules of what writing is supposed to be in the novel form, building the train track in front of you as the train’s going, save it for the podcast, seeing where the road takes you, writing was a process of panic, living right at the very edge, Paperback Swapping, this is not for everybody, its not really for kids, its for 14 year olds, what Douglas Adams was, somehow monetize that, fulfill the contract, what job qualifications he had, sexual requests, the kind of answers characters would give, did you do any research, 100% hell no, extincting animal, everything in his life gave him his first book and his first radio series, his personality written down, crystalizing it, an exam, he would never give answers until he fully understood, he was late to deadlines, formal and real, enough wisdom to write it down, how weird the series is, so meta, a book about a book, all the firm ground we think we live on, the parallel with the destruction of his home, HOME, So Long And Thanks For All The Fish, 42 and towel, a whale is falling, the flower pot, it’s about existence, it’s about our place in the universe, our own ridiculous, Oolon Colluphid, its about philosophy, popping into existence from nothing, just brilliant, it connects in some way to life, big ideas, big questions, it makes you feel smart when you read it, Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels, the Ted Danson, the last adventure, a kind of a sadness, throughout the books, really sad things, lots of lonely people, Marvin, not just Fawlty Towers absurdist character humour, Last Chance To See, The Meaning Of Liff, Stephen Fry, a similar personality, an obsession with words, English Delights, Ancient Greek myths and heroes, academic, depressive, the impact of this guy, a Dirk Gently TV show, zany rather than deep, it missed the mark, an idea Asimov would work on, if it all turns out to be stupid answer at least we’ll have an elegant question, informed by Science, H.P. Lovecraft, deep time, the mice and the dolphins, it’s important, the B-Ark, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: Live in Concert, just fantastic, the Dove Audio audiobooks, the definite reader for his own stuff, sell em again, what estate he had, gadgets, so many Macs, it makes total sense, digital watches, what a ridiculous monkey descendant I am, very much of his time, no shame in it, how shameful it is, an encyclopedia, pre-dating Wikipedia, when the internet’s a thing, much more like him, Rickmansworth, Mostly Harmless, adding to that insignificance, all of human history is summed up in a galactic encyclopedia is just two words, the guide was updating itself, when Arthur Dent is trapped in the distant past of Islington, there wont be a train for 10 million years, absurdist, insulting everyone in the universe, Paul in high school, a Hitch-hiker stan, I’m partying with Vogons tonight, an instant connection, Brandon Sanderson, you’re in the group, Lois McMaster Bujold, that whole marketing and stuff thing, an ad in Rolling Stone, free books, creating the word of mouth by bootstrapping the thing that actually works, putting bums in seats on the first day, when you have something you really know works, this book is hilarious, the Wednesday night thing, The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975), a 25 foot inflatable whale, marketing for book 3, we have a new book to promote, hopefully writing very rapidly, dodged another one, it lets you know, that guy whose stuff you like, Paul is a pretty connected, the most connected person in the science fiction world, a whaleogram, that same sort of weirdness, how inspired was Maissa?, a similar personality, Zaphod’s head, Last Chance To See, audio is the way to do this, what the advantages of audio are, there’s just something about it, magical world creating in audio, the listener is a participant, let the imagination fill that, activated imagination, you can’t shut your eyes to the audio, Nightfall: The Room, Fred Greenhalgh, Good Omens, on YouTube as well, who else is like this?, obsessed with the Norse gods, Gaiman is much more disciplined, structural, controlled, The Lego Movie, imagination, the multiverse of LEGO products, the reality outside, the metaness is there, movie friendly, a LEGO audio drama, Robert Sheckley, sweet and depressing stories, his main thing is philosophically exploding the possibilities of free floating in the universe, Reading, Short And Deep, Keep Your Shape by Robert Sheckley, feeling the constraints of their society, its an analogy for repressing homosexuality, freed from restriction, reality is not what it was before, Mindswap, Total Recall (1990), so zany, grounded in a philosophy of what difficulties we have as human beings, Kurt Vonnegut, who am I, what am I all here for?, oh yes this is very Adamsy, that kind of specialness is very rare, Neil Gaiman is not really about the funnies, who else is there?, Harry Harrison, The Stainless Steel Rat, endless possibilities, Jasper Fforde, Tom Holt, K.J. Parker, Terry Pratchett, A Canticle For Leibowitz, wry, arch, satirical, Philip K. Dick in Galactic Pot-Healer, what am I doing here, a bowl of Martian fatworm soup, reaching and stretching for outside, Red Dwarf is not the same thing, the characters in Red Dwarf are idiots, its amazing that it works at all, somehow he manages to bumble his way through to almost truths, standup comedy, the beast in The Restaurant At The End Of The Universe, solving a lot of the vegans problems, “my hindquarters are incredibly tender”, the problems were all faced with, we’ve been thrown down on this planet, Pilgrimage To Earth (aka Love, Incorporated) [it was copyright renewed: (In Playboy, Sept. 1956) Love, Inc. Pub. 1956-08-15; B00000608703.], mordant sense of humour, Zaphod Plays It Safe, Genghis Khan, a serious output problem, Bureaucracy, standard difficulty, very gamey, you could entries in the guide, beer, Canada, thousands of entries, this is amazing, 5 and a quarter, yo, bag of invisible space fleet, no tea, very philosophical, the same as flying, the first computer game an author wrote his own work, who wrote that Philip K. Dick game? [Blade Runner (1997)], by Robert Holmes, prominent credits, executive producer, the front and center, Sid Meier, Police Quest, King’s Quest, Betrayal At Krondor by Raymond E. Feist, Starship Titanic, PUBG, appendices, they’re still making it while you’re playing it, go to school to write videogames, aspiration, dialogue to write, Fallout, Red Dead Redemption, L.A. Noire, history to bone-up on, nobody knows the people’s names, better pay, Pillars Of Eternity, constantly pouring out new games, novels were the premiere medium in the 17th century, short stories were in the late 19th century, new BBC Radio dramas have the stupidest format, telling a story as if it were a podcast, why is that a better medium?, H.P. Lovecraft, pretending to be a podcast, they’re making the Blair Witch and putting it on TV, Douglas Adams did a metabook on radio, pan-galactic gargle blasters, he’s never done, Dirk Gently is just as good and more timeless, so of its period, more earthbound themes, so influential, so many people read it, the writers of The Next Generation are aware of the possibilities of The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, it worked out pretty good, the sauna, I don’t have to be consistent because its not really about the plot, asking questions not giving answers, parallel universes, did anyone cry?, the eulogy, blessing, it just came out of nowhere, the way he died, how cool he was, we’ve made the world worse, Jesse did not cry.
The SFFaudio Podcast #602 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, Maissa Bessada, Evan Lampe, and Trish E. Matson
Talked about on today’s show:
a huge post script, some Latin, darkness, the poetry of Catullus, the afterlife, is this all about gender, Ex Oblivione by H.P. Lovecraft, a Platonic explanation, uses drugs, a Dreamlands story, set in the Dreamlands, The Cats Of Ulthar, The Quest Of Iranon, The Doom That Came To Sarnath, that horrible Heinlein novel, I Will Fear No Evil, yelling at Heinlein the whole time, kissing, a synonym for kissing, old married couples, a synonym for soul, spirit, aspire, expire, inspire, exhaling, the breath being the soul, very basic, Christian theologians, a Vorkosiverse reference, Barrayar, how deep is this book?, The Undying Thing, Paul in another form, frustrating, where to go with its gears, supernatural events out of nowhere, contact from beyond the grave, philosophy and medical science, not totally out of nowhere, she was physically changing, the metamorphosis, mind-body relationship, how does the mind control the problem, the change in mind affects the body, the mind IS separate from the body, cheated, the railway accident, can Alice be Alice again, Alice Daniel, bored, interesting, Strange Case Dr Jekyll And Mr Hyde, he wants to part (by walking over kids), very banal Victorian stuff, wills, blackmail, dressing like a man, a mystery, men didn’t understand women at all, up on a pedestal, wanting to wear men’s clothes, freedom of movement, the woman becoming the man, a sort of queer story about transformation, the exciting undercurrent, a subtextual reading, deep into the subtext, reading it subversively, was there a murder?, a chivalrous man, their class relationship, emotional relationship (or lack there of), underground family secret, basically The Hound Of The Baskervilles but literally supernatural, some sort of sin tainting the genetics, divine retribution, by murder and theft, I am due elsewhere, he was killed twice, who smashed up all the equipment, we don’t see it on screen, Jesse’s reading, class revenge and gender swap, with our stupid narrator, so timorous, so conventional, a tool of the person who wants something, the two protagonists, we see so little from her point of view, The Thing On The Doorstep makes these things much more explicit, very subtle, The Moon-Slave, fairy tale France, The Glass Of Supreme Moments, Guy de Maupassant, a less passionate Philip K. Dick, an envious student, an Ayesha kind of figure, ascending through the fireplace, the way to read it, a glimpse of reality, dying of smoke inhalation, Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven, very interested in women, a princess who does not want to marry, a garden labyrinth, either Pan or the Devil, a story about menstruation, very subtle and very sensitive, the Victorians didn’t have twitter so they could focus pretty well, a contemporary review, The Sketch, cars, tires, women flying airplanes, high tech fun toys, Lord Dunsany, an unattributed review from June 4th, 1911, poets nowadays are tired, Science is assertively awake, the origins of Life, the purposes of Death, Poetry, the determination of the ego, in what does your self consist?, preserved in an asylum, the man’s self still persists, after luncheon, souls or selves, wropped in unscientific mystery, the kind of craft one would expect as a craftsman like the author, the character names, Alice In Wonderland, her Miss Lade, what has been mislaid?, laden, her soul weight is doubled at one point, Daniel = god is my judge, doing a good job, son of the earth, the will the estate, bundling the mom off to New York, background, Daniel’s interest in food, a point or a thesis, what humankind’s souls are, a Frankenstein story, scorned by his peers, a happy soldier, an Igor who’s also his wife, it feels “boring”, the book doesn’t have any the stuff we care about until half-way in, distracted by the blackmail, the Salvation Army, the other transformation, he’s trynna save his soul, is he wrong?, his blackmailer’s accusations, he was a bad dude, he musta lead thousands astray, a projection of his own guilt, our viewpoint character, the empty protagonist, he’s quite witty, as men get older they’re more likely to become neat, the phone calls, off to the countryside, a country home, killed on the way, train “accident”, this is too early for that person to have died, all part of a scheme, the premise, how exchanges of souls work, anesthetized too, the smoke as an anesthetic, a hypnogogic state, a story about immortality and avoiding death, transferring your consciousness into another person, a whole new life, Altered Carbon, a story about class, methuselahs never lack for bodies, an evil plan, revenge, the female spirit inside the physical brain of an old man, the haircolour change, Tuvix, Star Trek: Voyager, actor contracts, an answer to that question, the Federation seems really nice all the time, fucked up things in Federation culture, only normal from an American point of view, Star Trek: Picard, two hours of analysis and sensitivity reading, crossing the streams, The Boy Who Really Got It by Jesse, The End?, Daniel Dennett, a Twitter beef with Sam Harris, wrong about everything, a theory about what consciousness is, consciousness transference, Rollback by Robert J. Sawyer, the center of narrative gravity, a teapot, a uranium block glued to a teapot, anything with mass has a center of gravity, Rene Descartes, Phineas Gage, looking for a particular part of the brain, best mic, drop in history, souls aren’t real, a Douglas Adams reference, dreams where dead people come, a very cool dream, jellyfish style thing, you’re not dead, I got eaten by this monster thing, would you be back alive again the way you were, shot in the head, personality change, our spirit is physiological, its a software thing, Cyteen by C.J. Cherryh, the software is the hardware, silly theories about what sleep is for, all the studies looking for souls, a phone call in the middle of the night, spiritualism, Doyle wanted to believe, massive character flaw, giving money to grifters, a cultural judgement, this thread of mind-transference, quasi-spirtuality to scientific, they thought they were high tech doing spirtualism, Ghostbusters, psychokinetic energy, Dan Akroyd believes in that stuff, ghost hunting, hunting bigfoot is for exercise, playing a culturally important role, the essential work of ghost hunting, not reading enough books, religious people, rejecting the vast reality of the human experience, a character flaw Jesse is proud of, Evan’s missing out on, William James, Contact, Arthur C. Clarke, conflating vs. mentioning, materialist, Robert Sheckley, Gregg Margarite, Mindswap, picaresque, bildungsroman, travel to mars, vacation to Mars through consciousness transference, swapping genders and species, The Strange (RPG), he roamed the stars in a borrowed body searching for his own, pretty funny, a prurient 12 year old, the sexual aspect of switching bodies, like Dollhouse, back to the book, Compton the narrator, with eye-rolling frequency, too French, floppy tie, disgusted by music-hall female impersonators, tidying away this mystery, beloved research, historical letters from the Peninsular War, this great mystery of life, a rather revolting annoyance, humours essays, social satire, people who try not to be like other people are very tiresome (hipsters), another comic book biography of H.P. Lovecraft, translated from French, some factual errors, a really interesting letter Lovecraft wrote in the Omaha Bee, what does this mean?, his father sold some property there?, what does Compton do when not doing blackmail?, a bunch of letters from Wellington, a really publicly important thing, the equivalent of Churchill, the word, Evan!, after you die you can still have your will done in a WILL, it’s amazing, a part of somebody’s consciousnesses, what you’re doing is evil Will, Cecil Rhodes, an evil alliance that kinda worked out, Henry Ford’s estate, being an executor is a burden, harm through social structures, the fairer sex, why she wants to be a man, Barry Pain is very good at not making it super-obvious, the ratings are very high, it doesn’t overstay its welcome, he’s going to his death in a calm and nice way, there’s a poignancy, his personal world is going to end, The Last Policeman by Ben H. Winters, which is the best Ringworld book?, they get progressively worse, diminishing returns, Larry Niven, self-criticism, take lessons, sometimes people write about stuff, the best general history of The Reformation, getting all corrupt, a very Douglas Adamsy thing, More Of God’s Greatest Mistakes, a trilogy in 5 parts, exchange of dogs, a subsequent chapter, hinted very strongly, the face being disfigured was deliberate, transferred into another body, Jesse wants to read it subversively, Trish didn’t see it at all, in cases of supermen stories, breaking it down, Captain America: The First Avenger, the hydra guys, bald guy actor, the recipe can’t be repeated, one and done, Stanley Tucci, Big Night (1996), once the equipment is destroyed, who wants to do this again?, is Jesse crazy?, accursed of murder, she burned her hair in the oven, covering up, smells bad, a lotta lies, Compton is incompetent, a window on events almost too passively, a distraction, British murder mysteries, inheritance of property, the whole book is a distraction to Compton, coming to terms with death, literally doing what Frankenstein wants to do: defeat death, abandoning progeny, both ghosts, all delusions, another lie, incurious, covering up, if this was a true story, he’s a briber, he doesn’t do anything immoral, he’s trying to be dispassionate, I found I had a lot more friends than I though I did, hilarious, if you buy a beach house you suddenly find you have a lot of relatives, upperclass twits, who are their patients?, paying off, class stuff, drinking to much, gambling debts, class concerns going up and down, rich people’s problems, the exploitation of a nice person, a more sinister story than it looks and feels, proposing a term, back and forth, social customs, the science fictional aspects, the main aspects, a tragedy of manners, not a comedy of manners, what gives the story its juice, weird customs and judgements, what they say about each other when their not around, I’ll tell him what you said, you see that in science fiction too, space opera, who’s on the cover, who’s being looked at, that’s a really striking cover, that lady is our subject (object), A Princess Of Mars, her husband is the subject of the sentence and she’s the object, who’s that behind her, his tie is not that floppy, looking at her askance, sort of faded, astral projection, he’s got some doubt in his mind, the mom, what is she in there for?, what’s the point of that?, the governess, light and fluffy, pairings we want to see, European princesses, my son should marry her, he’s an up and comer, servants are sources of amusement, golf cartoons, Trump golfing when 100,000 people were dead, Jimmy Carter was near the bottom, a business man’s thing, money money money, ground Alice, her accent changed, London accent to upper-crust accent, so malleable, why he’s choosing her, he really likes the apartment, access to materials, disgraced, moving people away, they’re betrothed, she thinks it is for Alice’s health, supposed to be read subversively, he doesn’t kick his audience in the balls and run off he tweaks their nose, people need Paul, he’s the nexus the axis the axel.
Talked about on today’s show:
three terribly scanned issues of Astounding, illustrations, a quick OCR, minor revisions, the introductory material, arguing with his critics and conceding a point, very Aristotelian, Damon Knight, a lot to eviscerate, a terrible book, one of those famous essays, David is forgiving, the good things that it inspired, why Marissa needed to be on this one, Philip K. Dick, Solar Lottery is basically World Of Null-A fanfic, Vulcan’s Hammer, the competent man porn, The Variable Man, The Golden Man, pre-verbal, all instinct, Vogt literally told Dick to write novels, the level of influence, plotting is terrible, Slan, van Vogt’s plotting philosophy: every 900 words plot twist, The Purge, The Hunger Games, Jesse will like this, no law in the opening, who is fit to live on Venus, putting it in communist terms, approaching full communism, full blown Null-A, general semantics, its not as stupid as it sounds, Bertrand Russel version, natural deductive logic, logical positivism, lefty peacenik thinks world’s problem can be solved by understanding sentences, two right wings of the same party, words have power, the word “cat”, pussy, feline, black cat, cursed, witch’s familiar, the power of synonyms, a feature of those things, be gaslit, fall into traps, Alfred Korzybski, mistaken silly ideas, the solution is silly, Olaf Stapledon and group minds, an idea we had to explore, a grift, L. Ron Hubbard’s grift, the aims that the people have behind these systems, not everybody operates on the same level, Robert A. Heinlein is believing this shit, Heinlein is very thoughtful, weird ways of living, to confined in the cultural mean of those around them, Gulf by Robert A. Heinlein, a future fans will be slans argument, Friday, Mr. Twocanes, join those supermen, Heinlein rejecting his own earlier embrace of general semantics, The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, Starship Troopers, notice how it hasn’t taken over everything, Rosicrucians, go to church, he just kills dozens and dozens of people, how language effects your nervous system and decision making process, it knows what its trying to do, that ending, writing to the conclusion, why is this novel so bad, Astounding had a lot of shitty stories, its not that good, it has a status that is large, Dune, The Left Hand Of Darkness, Dune is a really good version of The World Of Null-A, basically yoga of the mind, shitty plot, the first time he’s killed, the equivalent of Star Trek: Picard, more and more churning, a Flash Gordon serial, John W. Campbell, supermen, Anthony Boucher, the corona virus pandemic, WWII, a letter from an SF author in Germany, V-2, rattling, rattle city, the guy is wrong about everything, moving through a liquid at a very high speed, a complete and crazy novel, A.E. van Vogt was Philip K. Dick’s idol, tanks getting piggy-back rides, the best defense, Knight rescinded his criticism, don’t judge it based on novel standards, an experimental novel, an action yarn, why he is, all these dudes really believed in the superman ideology, I don’t know it who I am, it barely has a plot, The Green Odyssey is a good book, an important book that is bad vs. an unimportant book that is good, influencing a slew of things, am I really married to the presidents’ daughter, she keep comings back, its like a dream, Jesse’s dream:
Dreamt I followed loud music, taking a shortcut home from my late night retail job, and found myself at a Carib Zombi takeout shak. Shamblers were everywhere, going in and out. I recognized one employee & ordered the SPECIAL. Another, a real freak, touched me, his corrupted flesh infecting mine. I told him to back off as where he touched me my flesh came away. He laughed and spoke a creole phrase under his fetid breath. I put on my own creole accent and gave him the counter response as he shambled away. More order came, and I took it to go. Spicy takeout.
most stuff shouldn’t be novels, cosmic jerrybuilder, this is what happens in the story, why all these plot twists don’t make any sense, unpuzzling is harder, what a convoluted mess it is, predicting the sequel, hilariously bad plotting, adding to the insanity, the ideas at the heart of it are really interesting, there are some things that have some value, the Promethean attitude about humanity, historicizing and contextualizing mental illness, go-sane, all who don’t practice are insane, structural problems, political problems, Michel Foucault, mental discipline, ulcers, Illness As Metaphor by Susan Sontag, repression causes cancer, HIV = excess and immorality, August 1945, SCIENCE TO COME, ulcers, if I pray for you you’ll get better, psycho-medical therapy, insulin shock therapy, what he does consistently, so common among science fiction writers, Robert J. Sawyer, all bullshit, the race is fairly indestructible but our present culture is finished, not a very Null-A thing to say, opened the realm of wonder, John C. Wright, Null-A Continuum, a fork, a Superman Returns, The Voyage of the Space Beagle, Black Destroyer, Alien (1979), an amnesia, interesting as opposed to shitty, the shitiness supports its thesis, animals don’t time bind, why Picard is shitty, remember how he got over those things, he found his brother in his vineyard and had a good cry, what was the whole thing about the Star Trek universe, being petty about jobs, the subersion we have in Deep Space Nine, labour problems, the only thing that supports Picard being a good show, I think Picard has dementia, why its a Don Quixote style show, all of this shit only makes sense only if its a dementia show, all the stuff that would support, we have a history and a memory, why antisemitism was so strong in Germany, there’s no morality involved in a tiger eating a deer, the least Null-A thing about Null-A, how humans are different from animals, put your hand in the box, testing Paul’s humanity, animal cultural legacies, skills that they can pass along, social ecology, Murray Bookchin, we create communities, we are able to carry on ideas, monogamy, Commando (1985) should be thought of as garbage, being entertained, David highlighted the shit out of Null-A, the most intense evisceration, an attack on literary grounds, at war with dictatorships, The Weapon Shop, his plots do not bear examination, sentences, Philip K. Dick at his worst, Joseph Conrad, two thoughts: like Flash Gordon and therefore it is trash, investigate that, the zig-zaggyness, extreme dissociative events, Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?, what a book is is what you take it to be, Joe Cinnadella is so fucking interesting because he was an Italian and a Nazi and a truck driver, any reading when citing sources within the text is legit, the way we are like Rick Deckard, oh my fucking god, he’s seeing inside my head, regular junky astounding stuff, Will has terrible taste, this book is stupid and interesting, reviews with star ratings, Sophie Wenzel Ellis’ story, junky pulpy thrown together bits, Lovecraft doesn’t care about markets at all, so market oriented it was not meant to be read after it was published, distracted from his market goal, those dignified realism books that nobody likes, Clark Ashton Smith poetry, what Will likes about it is its a super-science story, read Solar Lottery next, defend Will’s taste, 4 Gosseyns out of 5, a weapon called the vibrator, ridiculous space opera, you have to consider when it was written, Martian Time-Slip, laying in bed reading Null-A, a valid thing to think about, back to mental illness, WWII veterans, a social context to sanity, shell shock, PTSD, war created mental illness, maybe it’s all in the context, The Myth Of Mental Illness by Thomas Szasz, a funnier book, a jarring book, The Space Merchants by Frederik Pohl and C.M. Kornbluth, corporations corrupting governments, the senator from Coca-Cola, giant chickens, an amazingly interesting book, really funny, Gravy Planet, the military industrial complex is going to make so much money, very Robert Sheckley in comedy terms, societal problems, history is a series of fucking errors, here’s how you’re wrong, why Isaac Newton is interesting, Newton’s Cannon by J. Gregory Keyes, when we get telepathy, his 75-year old man self, they’re thinking the same thoughts, the exact same thought at the exact same time, solving the same problem, when you go into Heinlein, Grok fills a function that isn’t a word we already have, we all grok this book pretty well, water brother let me tell you this is not the best drink available, when he’s trying to convince himself to kill himself, Paul’s issues, the original Gosseyn was Jesus, Behold The Man by Michael Moorcock, Alas, All Thinking! by Harry Bates, a historical document, what do you make of the quotes at the beginning of every chapter, chapter 18, “feast upon shadows”, pearls of wisdom, general semantics, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz vs. Isaac Newton, Dianetics is a fork, we randomize it, The Game-Players Of Titan as the stock market and predicting Wall Street as games and tricks, political anarchism, Ursula K. Le Guin, Norman Spinrad, gated community socialism, the Galt’s Gulch planet, The Wanderer by Fritz Leiber, mutual aid, 600 years of games, Vulcan’s Hammer, just looking at the cover, hardcover (legit) vs. paperback (trash), Jesse only likes garbage, the good art and the bad art, commercially available, the smart people say that it’s good, direct to VHS movies from the 1990s, Noah’s Ark with Sodom and Gomorrah scene, Ed Wood, they don’t care they don’t know they don’t give a fuck, Above Suspicion (1995), A Slight Case Of Murder (1999) TV movie, aiming high with no skills, big swings, the economics of Star Trek: Picard, Quentin Tarantino, The Unteleported Man vs. Lies, Inc., this is a good attempt, it did what it wanted to do, be careful what you put into the world, future reprints, a catalyst and an exemplar, pulp science fiction, Robert E. Howard really holds up, surprisingly terrible, Clifford D. Simak, Isaac Asimov, he’s pre-Dick but without the natural gift, John the Baptist, Dick Christ, Mysterious Galaxies in San Diego, there’s a reason he doesn’t need to know about it, if you like out of date sci-fi, showing how general semantics and science fiction are tied together, H.L. Drake, why Heinlein is so interesting, he’s fundamentally right, there’s something to it and its really stupid, nothing’s new under the sun, practicing the art of reading science fiction for decades and decades, all the sound and fury all around us, as part of their identity vs. a fact about their history, being out of the loop by not practicing the art of reading science fiction, anti-bodies against surprised, forseen vs. predicted, plague, thousands of plague stories, Carriers (2009), how the United States is going to be in 9 months, the USG shit the bed, The Sheep Look Up by John Brunner, were just gonna have to let a couple million people go, top 10s, The Naked Sun, The Sphinx by Edgar Allan Poe, The Scarlet Plague by Jack London, Earth Abides by George R. Stewart, And All The Earth A Grave by C.C. MacApp, history is your proof against cycles, terrible dead ends, 277 years ago in where Vancouver is now, Philip K. Dick becomes more and more relevant and A.E. van Vogt becomes less and less relevant, thrash metal, PKD is covering Null-A, the opposite of academia, it is education for podcasters and podcast listeners, Donald A. Wollheim, Evan’s cat’s name is Rusty Cohle, also the Will book, Stanley G. Weinbaum’s Dawn Of Flame, fired no job jobless, we wont need lawyers in our new Null-A society, be more like Saul Goodman.
The SFFaudio Podcast #586 – The Tree Of Life by C.L. Moore; read by Gregg Margarite. This is an unabridged reading of the story (1 hour 10 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Paul Weimer, Will Emmons and Trish E. Matson
Talked about on today’s show:
Weird Tales, October 1936, what a good issue this is, how many podcasts based on stories in this issue?, Lloyd Arthur Ashback, The Lost Temple Of Xantoos by Howell Calhoun, Robert Block, Witch-Burning, The Lost Door by Dorothy Quick, Mark Twain, Earle Pierce Jr., Red Nails by Robert E. Howard, the final Conan story while he’s alive, R.E.H. by Robert H. Barlow, The Secret Of Kralitz by Henry Kuttner, Arthur Conan Doyle, a lot for your money, The Shadow, Motor Stories, True Detective, Northwest Smith stories, worldbuilding, Rainbow Mars by Larry Niven, corrupt the planet, elves, diminished, our swashbuckling hero, connections, Philip Jose Farmer’s authorized Tarzan novel: The Dark Heart Of Time, a crystal tree, a civilization built around it, trees, a pocket universe ruled by a being that created the universe, ultimately easy to deal with, Jirel Of Joiry, Shambleau, succumbing to the wiles of a woman (who is not a woman), an anti-climactic ending, as an introduction, it has the virtue of being public domain, LibriVox, what she does with the language, not very much happens, mostly description, very Robert E. Howard like, the colour and the emotion, what actually happens, crashed, he’s basically Han Solo, a Mandalorian episode, no Chewie here, more pathetic than Chewie, a million year old ruined city, the Patrol, the well, a fake crying lady, reaching back into his brain vocab book, a missing bit, sacrificing a few of the forest people, through a monumental effort of will, he shoots it in the trunk/roots, very metaphorical, a dream sequence, the mushroom expression of the thing that is Thag, give him a sword, half of Conan stories, fights a god, a girl to be saved and a girl that’s evil (and jealous of Conan’s gf), Jesse’s least favourite part of Game Of Thrones, a really long story for the amount of activity that happens, a laser beam battle, a tribal war, it feels very long, the repetition, the same strange word again, incongruity, incredulous, making it more ornate and then colouring in, how it feels rather than what you see, a queer sort of music, intolerable beauty, that piercing strength, purple prose, its all about the dwelling in that feeling, the description of bodies, moonstone eyes, The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins, The Tyger by William Blake, my dead friend Gregg Margarite, “went lurking” a verb now used,
“went lurking” is a verb now used by people who only know each other via newsgroups – can mean, stopped responding to email or threads, also usable to describe people have have possibly died – so that’s how I will now describe my friends who I know have died
-they “went lurking”
Where do they lurk? Under what circumstances do they stop lurking? This sounds like a story waiting to be written.”[email protected]
Now they ride with the mocking and friendly ghouls on the night-winds, and play by day amongst the catacombs of Nephren-Ka in the sealed and unknown valley of Hadoth by the Nile, at least… for now.
referencing The Outsider by H.P. Lovecraft whenever possible, The Number Of The Beast by Robert A. Heinlein, it’s a (Philip Jose) Farmer book, its not a great book, “I’m going to do nostalgia”, 666 dimensions, WOW, To Sail Beyond The Sunset, 1979/80, revisiting some feelings, self-indulgent and incestuous, Lazarus Long, Mike the computer, The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, Glory Road, tour de Heinlein, enjoyed reading it, living my life and reading this book, it shouldn’t exist, the Exegesis of Robert A. Heinlein, science fictional concepts, watch out for femme fatales, “I’ll try”, a character development, a bottle episode, a standalone, the way Red Nails ends, Queen Of The Black Coast, go have one of his gigantic melancholies, “harry the coast of Kush”, a sense of optimism, this is not really science fiction, more like Star Wars, sword and planet, science fantasy, a romance, more weird, a setting beyond the Earth, its totally weird, there’s this god and this wizard, Conan, The Lost Valley of Iskander by Robert E. Howard, broody and thinky, Windwagon Smith, Philip Jose Farmer’s Windwagon Smith, Frank Leslie Illustrated, The Steam Man Of The Prairies, Tom Swift And His Electric Runabout, Around The World In 80 Days, Planes, Trains And Automobiles (1987), an Ice Sledge, Dragonlance DL6: Dragons Of Ice, could this really work?, Lawrence Watt-Evans’ Windwagon Smith And The Martians, a mashup, Northwest Smith and Windwagon Smith, Tim Powers’ On Stranger Tides, pirates and voodoo, Ray Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles, Lord Dunsany’s A Story Of Land And Sea, Thomas Windwagon Smith, 1854 newspaper accounts, the prevailing winds blow in the wrong direction, a legal document with silver ink on blue paper, adapted into a comic (Eclipse’s Orbit), recorded into an audiobook, reasons to contact Ray Bradbury, Twelve Kings In Sharakhai by Bradley P. Beaulieu, Paul Bunyan, American myths, where’s Philip Jose Farmer when we need him?, American Mythos, American Gods by Neil Gaiman, Smith is that name, Joe Anybody, C.L. Moore’s afterword for Shambleau And Other Stories, a red figure running, N.W. Smith, a third character was needed, Yarol is an anagram for the typewriter, North-West recurs, North West Territory, North-West Passage, the Northwest Rebellion, Northwest Of Space, do you remember when I was a kid?, Grizzly Adams, recreating the Garden of Eden with a bear,
Temples of Xantoos
By HOWELL CALHOUN
Celestial fantasies of deathless night, Enraptured colonnades adorned with pearls, Resplendent guardians of crimson light, Expanse of darkness silently unfurls Among colossal ruins on this shore, That once was purled by Xantoos’ rolling seas; Nothing remains upon this barren core Of Mars, but your palatial memories.
Your altars and magnificent black gods Still flash beneath the sapphire torches’ flames, The fragrant ring of sacred flowers nods Beneath the monstrous idols’ gilded frames. Your jeweled gates swing open on their bands Of gold; within, a lurid shadow stands.
John Carter, Northwest Smith, this Sea that once was (now dry), abandoned city, vocabulary practice, retelling without having read, mixing and remixing, when you put Burroughs out into the world…, more sharp, more poisonous, it sticks with you, Blake inspired, the syntax, part of the fun, reading deeply, what haunts authors, the sea is an image in Lovecraft, Philip K. Dick, C.L. Moore is more commercially minded, Robert E. Howard was willing to write for anybody, Henry Kuttner, he’s kinda like Robert E. Howard, first fanmail, ‘she’s hiding her identity behind her initials’, a more common thing to do, a trend that happened, the sexism was not real in Weird Tales, some womens names were hidden by initials, the readership was almost equally female, boys and girls and women and men of all ages, more female poets, 30% female story authors, H.P. Lovecraft, Clark Ashton Smith, Robert E. Howard, Seabury Quinn, Lovecraft’s semi-beef with Farnsworth Wright, No Woman Born by C.L. Moore, gynoid body please, rings of metal, conveying the woman that she used to be, Science Fiction 101 aka Worlds Of Wonder edited by Robert Silverberg, Fondly Fahrenheit, Day Million, No Woman Born, The Monsters, Jack Vance, no time to read for anything except for the podcast, the difference between podcasts and reviews, the firehose is the fifty firehoses, I would love to help, 17th century novels and poetry nobody reads, a lot of dross, gender stereotyping, kind of a doofus as opposed fascist, compilation of trailers, Siren, Odysseus and the Sirens story, a classical trap,
a fundamental misunderstanding people have been having since the mid-19th century, what evolution, a show about mermaids set in 2020, I despair for our species, that’s why we have problems, FreeForm, filmed 10 feet from my mom’s house, Apple TV+ a fourth grade student investigating a murder as an accredited journalist, its not aimed at humans, its like a kitten detective, a serious show, Encyclopedia Brown, Love Is Blind, marriage, they’re all fake, artificial drama, the consequences, why did you bring this white guy home, a TV whore, an intellectually morally bankrupt decision, abuse, Will to to blame, subordinating themselves for infamy, The Running Man by Stephen King, The Prize Of Peril by Robert Sheckley, Das Millionenspiel, traumatized by the indignities, doing your spirit wrong Will, Warren Ellis’ Transmetropolitan, facial tattoos, scarification, SoundCloud rapper is a culture, earlobe stretching, lip stretching, group identity by shared pain, everything’s crazy in the shade of The Tree Of Life, were in the Thag bubble, their story is a lot richer, snuggled up or running screaming, the lie of this story, he never really got out that’s why this is the last story, he’s a white man, he’s fine, a semi-desperate criminal, why people fundamentally reject the death of Han Solo, when Arthur Conan Doyle tried to kill off Sherlock Holmes, remember Spock?, Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan, give Mirror Universe Spock a shave, killing Kirk, a generational changing of the guard, gone down with the Enterprise, a twitter argument,
@SFFaudio Feb 8 
time to face the truth:
STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE (1979) looks better and better and better as the years go by
at some point it will be better than VOYAGE HOME (1986) and yes, inevitably, even WRATH OF KHAN (1982)
Star Trek 1 is an art film, 2001: A Space Odyssey (1969), how you know you’re in a Russian art film, a big idea, everybody agrees, VGER, Milton and Moby Dick and Shakespeare, themes, everything, meanwhile in the darkness Star Trek I is getting better and better, gaining more gravity with time, why they changed the uniforms, its Frankenstein, try the computer down, we can be friends, The Changeling, Voyage Home is so much fun, some lady who’s a cat, Assignment: Earth, “exact change”, too much LDS, while ST1 is a better film, Star Trek IV is more fun, retcon things, Jesse’s ratings of the Superman movies.
The SFFaudio Podcast #579 – The Spy In The Elevator by Donald E. Westlake; read by Winston Tharp (for LibriVox.org). This is an unabridged reading of the short story (38 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Paul Weimer, and Maissa Bessada
Talked about on today’s show:
Galaxy, October 1961, a very good issue, Cordwainer Smith, Frederik Pohl, Fritz Leiber, Frank Herbert, Robert Bloch, Jack Sharkey, Willy Ley, a lot of engineering and planning, I love Westlake’s writing so much, reach out and kiss you, the first paragraph, that put the roof on the city, Eric S. Rabkin, “transformed language”, transforming an idiom for a science fiction setting, the opposite of Poe or Lovecraft, ornate, dense, oblique, frothy, characterization, perfect voice for it, he was dangerously insane, including my date with my girl, a post-apocalyptic dystopia that ends on a very sour note (for the reader), a nice trick he pulled, he gets over it very easily, cleavage girls, contract marriages, no-p (no progeny), p and not p, natural deductive and axiomatic logic, math for sentences and paragraphs, useless and yet…, an underlying current that’s rather deep, Philip K. Dick, The Penultimate Truth, The Defenders, leadies vs. ore-sleds, a retelling of the myth of the cave from Plato’s Republic, a metaphor for having conversations with people, Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, the mentality of the people, The Ax by Donald Westlake, a very funny sad scary book, very political, it wouldn’t have felt political at the time, artifacts, the massive trope or overpopulation, arcology, a condo, the projects, the justification for why would be reading a crime novel, he quit science fiction, Xero (magazine), very true of most science fiction writers, Joe Haldeman cant make a living at it, a sad reality of the industry, solid ideas, from a very different angle, Wool by Hugh Howey, mainstream science fiction with this wonderful aspect, Robert Sheckley, he’s poking fun at everything all along the way, delights in enjoying how ridiculous life is, makes kids enjoy science fiction, a great infodump on page 183, it flows just beautiful, a nation 200 hundred stories high, occasional spies, external dangerous lurking at the back of our minds, the ungentlemanly gentleman’s war, irony and humour, treated to such flowy goodness, the whole story’s greatness, you could make this as a student film, three or four actors, so good, an efficeny of science fiction, a real shame he quit science fiction, Doctor Killybilly, William = strength and protector, why did they do this?, our judo flipping instructor, where the outside is unknown and secretly not bad, Logan’s Run, the Fallout games, High-Rise by J.G. Ballard, The Luckiest Man In Denv by C.M. Kornbluth, why are the Russian oligarchs so much work than the Bloomberg oligarchs, can it be explained, circular, imaginary enemies, WWI (the ignoble nobleman’s war), The Westlake Review blog, WWII (the racial non-racial war), WWIII (the ungentlemanly gentleman’s war), tactical nuclear weapons, MacArthur, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, good strategy, your focus narrows, situational awareness, tunnel vision, engaged with a twitter thread, this happens to countries (not just people), they found his car, the army men, kind of incompetent, aiming the elevator at the army, starve-em-out, Edmund Rice, the right focus, his apartment is falling apart, the window doesn’t work, his single egg, rationing, chicory coffee, he cant imagine a different life, at the bottom of the apartment building, slag, it dumping of their ore car slag, piling up, if this goes on they will be buried, Idiocracy (2006), Javelin missiles sent to Ukraine, attacking Trump from the right (instead of the left), making more nukes?, if we have WWIII it will be stupid, howitzer line of sight nukes, they did it on purpose, somebody is lying, West End Games’ RPG Paranoia, it’s cool to think about, page 193, terror, horror, dizziness, do you see that green?, the power of suggestion, agoraphobia, The Caves Of Steel, his girlfriend, so obsessively worried about punctuality, PTSD, ore-sleds are just like people?, they have so little, they focus on the tiniest things, get Jesse hiking more, kidnap victims, Stockholm Syndrome for a whole nation, he’s like Canada, the sky isn’t falling, he’s a humanitarian, a dangerous criminal, an illegal immigrant, he puts us in the situation right with the guy, page 179, that horrible egg, gaspingly transparent window, its better to look inward, a whimsical approach, a romantic approach, I can’t live without you at the moment, will you be provisionally mine?, I’m going to be needing a wife for at least a year or two, I moved like a whirlwind, that was wrestling, that was judo, that was karate, he just killed the guy who was trying to help him, Paul plugs a book: Mazes Of Power by Juliette Wade, And All The Earth A Grave by C.C. MacApp, three extra zeros, advertising for coffins, a prospector wanders out of the New Mexican desert, humans are complete asses, under the roof, she refused at length and descriptively, any number of girls, I was a hero, they even gave me a medal, not licensed for progeny, this is our reality, living in bubbles, elaborate defenses, that’s what this is really good at, what’s going in the sixties, what its for, its about the psychology of our own human silliness, delightfully frothy, that first giant step, man got a hotfoot, he ran back with the tale between his legs, Neil Armstrong, images of flame, page 189, you’ve crawled into your caves, a well appointed cave, Outside, the same thing, always the same stupidity, the long slow painful creep of progress, a lot longer than it took to go right back into the cave again, how long people had without useful technologies, the cave is a metaphor for your set of beliefs, cut out the information coming from the outside, he wants to eat the fake news, he’s blocking people on twitter, you’re cancelled, cancer culture, once you start blocking…, he thinks what he hears in the building, what the army tells them, radiation proof cars, why should we?, don’t you ever wanna look at that guy’s voting record?, cutting off, dis-empowering yourself, you’re walking into the slaughterhouse, don’t listen to him, feels like there’s very little here, just another science fiction story, substantial power, if it were novel length, that experience, The Defenders is the same story from another point of view, City Of Endless Night by Milo Hastings, eggs, don’t shill for Instant Pot until they sponsor the podcast, the free range ones, orange yolks, you can taste the difference, a sad thought, that’s your allotment, the staircase, using the staircase is a transgressive act, do you need a stairway in a mausoleum, by 2000 everybody lived in projects, his grandparents?, three generations?, distorted stories, the history lesson, the old folks home, genetically unsuitable, what makes him unsuitable?, do you want to breed smarter people, suggested by the story but not in the story, we see two of them, the number of actors you need: two guys and a lady who comes in on skype, a tight dystopia, E.M. Forster’s The Machine Stops, co-opted, Westlake was a Manhattanite, New York as a horizontal arcology, the El or the subway, you can walk three blocks, rush hour, you have ruined my life, the spy is a little more reliable, bad for you, a monster behind that dumpster, the big Donald Westlake hits, The Risk Profession, LibriVox, space insurance, the two sides of Westlake, oh man, situational jokeyness, the Dortmunder books, The Hook, Memory, Charles Ardai, Christa Faust’s Money Shot, like Kill Bill, Hard Case Crime, at least sixty novels, Anarchaos, a very slim volume, so many good books, Somebody Owes Me Money, a crime syndicate, wherever he takes you on a journey, still fun, he still makes it work somehow, so funny with his characterization, Greg Bear is the opposite of Donald Westlake, we build the whole thing, you don’t leave him for a second, the way Shakespeare was gifted, a massive loss for Science Fiction, Smoke, endlessly silly ideas beautifully demonstrated, how many movies are made out of Westlake’s stuff, foreign homages, 41 credits as a writer, The Hot Rock, The Grifters, Payback, Jimmy The Kid, Diff’rent Strokes, A Slight Case Of Murder, James Cromwell as the detective, Cops And Robbers, Point Blank, Lee Marvin and Angie Dickinson, he’s king of like Stephen King, Stephen King loves Westlake, Richard Bachman is named after Richard Stark, Tucker Coe, Magnum, P.I., a crisp clear writer, Lawrence Block, fifteen years of great reading.