The SFFaudio Podcast #773 – READALONG: Sailing to Byzantium by Robert Silverberg

The SFFaudio PodcastJesse, Paul Weimer, Will Emmons, Terence Blake, and Jonathan Weichsel talk about Sailing to Byzantium by Robert Silverberg

Talked about on today’s show:
a very accurate copy of Terence, go by Jonathan, Asimov’s, February 1985, Silverberg has a problem, his skills, he loves literature, doesn’t know much about science, loves history, children, all of his stories are about marriage basically, not every story is a marriage story, I think my dog knows aliens, that doesn’t involve relationships, an inversion of Passengers, The Roller Coaster by Alfred Bester is more Passengers than Passengers, Jesse’s focus and primary point of interest is ideas, cuz I’m a dude, gender stereotype this, as far as Jesse is concerned, once upon a time, came to understand and appreciate, still immature, pleasure and value, idea first and foremost, when characters are pushed, the high point of the book, that he is an android, Jonathan is smarter than Jesse apparently, the known simulacra won’t obey him, did you command it?, that’s good, the other hint, I remember New York, that’s because he’s Robert Silverberg, Dark City (1998), programmed that way, rented on Laserdisc, Director’s Cut, too crazy to be released in cinemas, narration in the beginning, inferior product, Charlez Philips, Yankees, hot dog, presumed this was another in the tradition of C.M. Kornbluth’s The Marching Morons, William Morris, the revelation, internal thinking, what he’s thinking about what this guy’s saying, the opening description is repeated three times, it’s beautiful, description of the dawn in Alexandria, the writing is beautiful, the concept is solid, The City In The Stars by Arthur C. Clarke, what the plot is, guy has girlfriend, guy loses girlfriend, guy searches for girlfriend, the writing… so good, perfect length, I read a piece of literature and I have something to say about it, Downward To The Earth, Heart Of Darkness, the Yates poem, responding to the poem, his one trick, he’s a guy who loves literature and science fiction, knows a lot about ancient cities, Gilgamesh The King, Silverberg is really good, Up The Line, a tourist book, tourism, The History Of Tom Jones, A Foundling by Henry Fielding, the novel not the singer, a Tom Jones of timetravel, not trying to hide it, hey I’m doing this thing, The Secret Sharer, I read this amazing thing let me respond, very solidly, William Coon, I got an iPhone with GPS, childless, there’s no children in this world, there’s no adults in the world, our main character is the adult, go for characters, Paul try to defend her, she’s an Eloi, there’s mostly all Eloi, a little more conciousness, the robots are the Morlocks, you can’t be here, the unpaid proletariat of the society, money is meaningless, who is actually fixing these robots, other robots, this doesn’t need any addition, a very small idea, deconstruct it as well as a scientificly plausible future, a new person for the city, a guy from the 1960s who wakes up in 2023 and finds out his phone has GPS, how a post scarcity economy becomes a society of spectacle, where we had Mark Twain on, Enter a Soldier. Later: Enter Another, Innocents Abroad is about the invention of tourism, modern tourism, nice and stable, Americans going to Europe, travelogues, vacations vs. tourism, you build things for the tourists, Paris needs the Eiffel Tower, everything becomes insubstantial, you need to see the centaur grazing, tourism is a negative, taking the tour vs. living somewhere, some ad man, the Seven Wonders of the World, sex tourism, let’s go get some slaves, tourism is about the middle class, getting lots of bums in seats, tourist facilities, at the airport to take you to a hotel, the hotels haven’t been invented yet, Evan is in Thailand, a vacation destination vs. tourism, their whole lives are vacations, the only thing that dies in this world is the cities, Rome is the Eternal City, Paris, see the thing that Hitler and Hemingway looked at, a touchpoint on a checklist, the particular theme, the actual plot, we broke up a little bit, we’re back together, a very cynical take on what immortal people are like, they’re very shallow, juxtapose it, Ian Bank’s Culture novels, self-actualized, we’re in China, the emperor sitting on his throne waving his hand being fanned, impossibly drunk, wakes up having sex, conspired, he’s being raped by her, here’s my problem with the scene, emotional consequences, oh well that happened to me, they haven’t programmed him to have, pre-neanderthals, sexy cave woman sidles up to sexy cave man, people are people, people are not even people, a robot with personhood, glands and hormones and emotional reactions, he’s a primitive, coasts along, acculturation, like an Eloi, a strange lack in the programming, violent, goes with the flow, his love is real, he’s a robot that can be programmed to be drunk, cultural expectations, he’s just a very 20th century man, the hidden robots, this place is closed, it’s not a place anymore, his creator, mobile tourist attractions, his future, New Chicago era, don’t you know you’re a robot dude?, I’ve been bewitched, what you’re saying is witchcraft, imagine if Philip Jose Farmer wrote this book, more sex, Tarzan lives 10,000 years ago and lives all of time, historical character to spend time with, Elizabeth and Drake and them, what am I gonna do with my life, just a guy living in a world, his girlfriend’s run away from him, they’re indistinguishable, one is worried about getting old, he’s just riding that, the call to action is the girl leaving him, the catalyst, he doesn’t know he is, he doesn’t know he has that problem, the plot requires him to have a problem, what is his solution?, you become immortal like me and become a robot, just a way of ending the book, the plot is not important to this story, Downward To The Earth, Congo planet, say sorry to the elephants, the elephants sometimes get violent, checking in on people he used to know, meditating on a good book, the poem, 3 minutes, 4 stanzas, Sailing to Byzantium by William Butler Yates, on reading Silverberg’s novella length discussion of this poem…, making it the setting for this poem, a secular heaven, where the movie and the book got it from, the ending of the novella doesn’t go far enough, they should have gone to Byzantium to find the planners and become planners again, you need imagination and curiosity to recreate all these ancient cities, that is what would absolutely happen, a very modest tired science fiction story, Mockingbird by Walter Tevis, sad and meditative world, illiteracy is the center of the book, it should be a satire, university professorships and everybody is illiterate, if this goes on…, doing drugs all the time and experiencing a new media, a couple of people who don’t fit, live near the zoo, the journey to find the truth of their world, you need to go into the tunnels and find the planners, a big computer program, an explanation will be a letdown, the way Arthur C. Clarke gets out of it, everybody’s an artist and an art critic, very chaste, how did these people predict the future so accurately, go to other planets, only one city now, in the same universe, this could be a period of The Forever War, Forever Peace, Forever Free, struck to close to home, connected with people long enough your brain changes, it did not work for Paul, very unrealistic, a priori, connecting to and using drones, the drones thing is very solid, his solution to peace, about the peace thing, any plan to achieve world peace is going to be a nightmare, mind-control, manipulation, Mindbridge by Joe Haldeman, he didn’t write as much as Silverberg, inactive, confusing somebody, Camouflage, Buying Time, Work Done For Hire, makes them horny for each other, this sounds good, won the nebula, they like the fancy writing, reward each other for fancy writing, has a little bit of fancy writing, you’re a guy and you wake up in the future and everybody’s gay, it’s the 70s, he’s the pervert, I’m the only heterosexual man in the universe, why it’s a good book, different from Heinlein, an answer, a riposte, an echo, with a different brain doing the work, we have started on reading half of Tor Doubles, Gene Wolfe, that’s a problem, hit Jesse with the “it’s a problem” stick, that’s a problem for this podcast, there are too many books to do, best decisions Jesse’s life, a great formula, Seven American Nights by Gene Wolfe, is the writer reliable?, a 19th century story, a Norman Spinrad story, visit the fallen New York, the Brooklyn Bridge, a big stack of Tor Doubles, A Meeting With Medusa, mature Arthur C. Clarke, Nightwings, Greg Bear’s Hardfought, went off the rails, no be like H.P. Lovecraft die of cancer from eating beans, Eye For Eye by Orson Scott Card, no, Hawksbill Station, Color Of Neanderthal Eyes by James Tiptree Jr. and Michael Bishop, the ideal podcast, in some cases, he’s not likely to give permission, refuse to do a book by someone who is so anti-queer, his religion is bullshit, he can have it, Salvation Army bucket, a 19th century spinoff of the temperance movement, they really are an army, charity thing only now, rope people in with their homeless shelters, where they indoctrinate you, when Orson Scott Card dies will it be okay?, Ender’s Game and other things, a cigarette pack that says cancer kills, as a part of the canon, weird and distorted people, Nancy Kress, find traces, they way Heidegger was a Nazi, resistance from Heidegger scholars, finding ways to prune that list, Pugnacious Peacemaker by Harry Turtledove, a sequel, The Saliva Tree by Brian Aldiss, The Wheels Of If by L. Sprague De Camp, Saddam Hussein’s fantasy novels, required reading in Iraqi schools, rushing to finish his latest book, very passionate author, Bill Clinton’s espionage thrillers, two branches we can go down, somebody did this, back to Silverberg, see something, tweet it at me, very good but not super controversial book, visiting over the shoulder, Asgard, so impressed with Silverberg, you’re clearly not an ancient astronaut guy, Hindu nationalists, very weird western dudes, Born With The Dead, French language SFFaudio, a collection, soon to be a motion picture, The Silent Invaders, A Time Of Changes, that’s the thing with the pronouns, obscene I, coming to a consensus, a famous one, a first contact one, Thorns, tourism but not ancient, all around the universe, super-depressing, Kurt Vonnegut, life is meaningless, Vonnegut is funny, Thorns is not funny, a depressed version of Vonnegut, it’s Liggoti, I cried with Born With The Dead at the end, saddening or depressing, aliens disfigured him, a recluse, people look at him weird, donating 100 of her eggs, she’s got 100 babies she’ll never see, Mark Zuckerberg, emotional vampire, across known space, inability to form a real relationship, Letters From Atlantis, mind in other people sort of thing, ancient Atlantis, it has Silverberg’s strengths, A Hero Of The Empire, a Roma Eterna story, a Paul book, the consensus I’m hearing, worried about being depressed, this pronoun is forbidden, a powerful mind altering drug, a message of liberation, a cult favourite, 1971, October 22, some troll was in my schedule, Scott is listed there, maybe Scott was trolling, The Weirwoods by Thomas Burnett Swann, a fantasy book, semi-erotic fantasy novels, Tolkien’s level, cool looking ace cover, bear with an eyepatch, time of the Etruscans, Cirsova submission, sexually explicit, pornography on this podcast, imagine Piers Anthony was a serious author, how these prompts work, the female characters show the most growth, male water sprite is kidnapped, an actor who is travelling through, go to my girl in the waterworld, oh are you a virgin?, what no maybe I don’t know, have you been to an orgy, I’m horny now, you’ll be horny later, 5 hours, thank you, very enjoyable book, I like the short, more depth to it, more going on, different ideas, characters, concepts, weird aquatic animals, a safari vs. tourism, spend time with the natives, Thorns is like a space-cruise, Up The Line, from a poem?, pretty obscure, Up The Line by Robert Silverberg, Paul Boehmer, a time courier, a lusty Greek, a sex book, uber eats guy, goofballs goofing off, the Time Patrol, labour stuff, sex with my ancestor, I’m gonna go make myself, I’m gonna become rich, a weird attitude, you can’t break the rules, they’re managers, serialized in Amazing, has good art, a sex comedy, Hot Tub Time Machine (2010), very deep, as a man, a feature or a bug, definitely one or the other, straightfaced is weird, commentary on the 1980s, also our world, people create avatars for themselves, playing with real people and NPCs, Skyrim with AI companions, go kill that big bear over there, says something snarky, people are normally playing against NPC with scripted conversations, NPC companions helping you to kill other NPCs, barely real, scene fillers, one of the amazing things, follow that person, see where they’re going, where reality takes us, business and agenda, I’m going and buying the thing I was told to buy, I’m wearing my mask, make the dog poop, buy a newspaper, early 20s in New York, ticket scalper, rich people buy $1000 Broadway tickets, a concierge at a hotel, people walking by, Grand Theft Auto, The Truman Show (1998), functions there, the same people going back and forth, very educational, a weird form of nature, being inside of somebody’s spleen, catch on fire, speaking of firetrucks, is Will still covered in cats?, dog is having seizures, an intercranial disease, it was joyous, cheeseburger for my dog please, not permanent, new cats coming in all the time, covered in its own feces, it was like that, what does this have to do with making money for capitalism?, acquiring capital, conceivably, put em up on some website, record it, God Save the Mark by Donald E. Westlake, should be fun, very relationship oriented, more than year, he’s gotta educate people, nun’s business, she’s good, she’s got some meanness in her, all about the kindness, Jason Thompson was tweeting about cruelty, honesty is something you need in your life, cruel and not honest, cruel and honest, at least with words, ideas are potentially cruel, The Screwfly Solution isn’t an indictment of men, subject fleshy creatures, let’s all play nice, when Paul says “no, Jesse”, is the pope raping children by not shutting down his empire?, pedophile priests are a thing, we should be suspicious, do I look fat in this dress?, no, you look fat in every dress, cruel truths coming out of fiction, does that help answer your question, it’s important, is The Colorado Kid a western?, set in Maine, a Hard Case Crime book, illustrations, real bad man, such a shitlib, occasionally make a mistake, when the drugs went the talent went, the Trump derangement drug, much better as a cruel mean drunk, The Running Man is so good, reading for meanness, Lord Tyger, Philip Jose Farmer, Tarzan Alive, A Feast Unknown, 150 pages-ish, short Stephen King with a great cover and interior illustrations, a concept, Mr. Mercedes, Cell, he does characters really really well, really good book, on a lot of things, not substanial in the way science fiction can be, his fantasy is his own construction, peripherally crime book, crime books are good, Lawrence Block, Raymond Chandler, formula, Jim Thompson, cruel guy, The Killer Inside Me, The Grifters, Westlake wrote the script, a great movie and great book, harrowing, the paperback on the spinner wrack, gut punch on page one, waiting for your bus, getting off the bus, you finish it that night, character driven literature, crime is an interesting situation, how can I get the police involved, the police are a new invention, they’re a bad thing, why Breaking Bad is very interesting, empire building, the wife is there to say what you’re doing is wrong, that was always inherent with that show, what were the bad things he’s doing, killing people is bad, he has cancer, disrespected, no health care, accepted his buyout, wealthy billionaire, a man’s dignity, it’s not about Walter White or Heisenberg, that ain’t what Star Trek is, what Star Trek really is, fuckin terrible, crime is the philosophy of how to be, The Postman Always Rings Twice, Mildred Pierce by James M. Cain, a little bit of outside of society, chess pieces, the criminal mind, moral dilemma, I’m going to lower myself, he knows that he’s doing wrong, he’s the weakest character, Jesse Pinkman is a much stronger character, he’s just a dumb guy, yo, he thinks of himself as very high, he’s brought low, he destroys the things that he loves he says, the show is trying to moralize at the end, he has to be brought low and feel bad about what he’s done, Better Call Saul, all the characters are strong, a better show because it doesn’t have the wife and kids aspect, to setup the fall, Jimmy McGill, at sea on his own, stupid and lucky vs. smart and unlucky, really interesting American stories, Double Indemnity, so greasy, he never did anything nice to me, I guess I’ve got to kill him, they betray each other, super-short, makes you love reading, a good movie, Fred McMurray and a lady with a wig, Edward G. Robinson, Mildred Pierce, so good, very successful, Jim Thompson, a Greek tragedy, they also cut each other up with knifes, his writing is bloody, turn the page and cut your arm, movies that went underground, This World The The Fireworks, Billy Zane and Gina Gershon are lovers and brother and sister, Flowers In The Attic, a funny stream of pro-incest propaganda, ‘Tis Pity She’s A Whore aka ‘Tis Pitty Shee’s A Whoore, forbidden love, go with your heart, okay enough, daughter, suitor, dorks, if I can’t have you sister, nobody can, not as flowery as Shakespeare, has sex with his sister, pulls her heart out with a dagger, a huge monologue with a beating heart, and on that note Terence leaves, Farnham’s Freehold, Pirates Of Venus, subsequently shownoting in, Ill Met In Lankhmar, add Scott to the conversation, it’s X now, Elon pictures, Twitter building with an X on top, very Christian, a sideways cross, Brave New World, he wants twitter to be like We Chat, Space X etc., the hub of their social credit system, editing up a whole other podcast, might be too fresh, John Buchan wrote The Thirty-Nine Step, spy fiction, weird fiction, Algernon Blackwood, a very competent upperclass guy, later Governor General of Canada, his weird fiction is pretty cool, how’s Connor doing these days, since he went to Germany, pretty active for an inactive guy, lost his twitter account for a while, Moon Of Skulls, already confused, The Warriors, plus movie, the original version of the movie, re-edited, 7 hours, 19 minutes, a lot of books we want to read, how do I winnow the books I can read, read more books, consider leaving twitter, there are many options, Facebook groups to join, being controlled by evil giant corporations, how they get you trapped, same story, going to Burger King, never read Donald E. Westlake, he’s also known as Richard Stark, puttin’ you down, fancy spellings, he won an Oscar for that, he wrote a script for a James Bond movie, a fifth of Hard Case Crime in the early days were Westlakes, a real life coup, comedy and crime books, Brothers Keepers, Somebody Owes Me Money, Anarchaos, also about insurance, Lee Marvin, Mel Gibson, love his series, so good, Might Sons Of Hercules anthology, communists vs. conservatives, can we agree on that, throw each other out of helicopters, the bad takes, full of bad takes, get into tea about, the showing up for the podcast, Mirko (the German guy), @MrLovecraft, I was browsing through our messages down to 2016, mostly take pictures of random stuff, a bowlful of tools, I know what he smells like, I need to sniff it everyday, his whole cowboy hat collection, archives, complete access, archive.org, the secret, mostly all the time, look for pulps, only processed stuff on the PDF page, so much good writing in one magazine from April of 1899, Guy De Maupassant, Maurice Level, a successor to Maupassant, weird mean stories, the first translations into English, horrible syphilis, The String aka A Piece Of String, string collection, the cops come by, did you steal a wallet, somebody saw you, and yet you refuse to explain, dropped it into my other pants, too embarrassing, The Necklace aka The Diamond Necklace, Bel Ami, dissatisfied with her life, she could’ve married much higher, the governor’s ball, kinda like Cinderella, saving up money to buy a gun, trying to save money, you have that friend, you’re brilliant, the event goes swimmingly, she’s lost the necklace, they retrace their steps, what are we gonna do, mortgage and borrow and replace it, 20 years go by, just finally paid off the debt, scrub maid, looking elderly now, so proud, cost me all these years of work, walk away bleeding from the page, he’s just so mean, a social climber, corruption in the third French republic, why don’t you just become a reporter?, that’s okay it doesn’t matter, get a good wife to do the writing, love triangles, meanspirited, a really good portrait, impressionism or naturalism, what’s right in front of us right now, rejected, jotting down descriptions of people, it can be very powerful, a Fyodor Dostoevsky novel, one of the vampire guys, Uma Thurman, so good, in school, Scaramouche by Raphael Sabatini, no Westlake, no Sabatini, pirate books, Captain Blood, a contemporary of Johnston McCulley, huge in their day, lasting influence, a lot of Stephen King is loving Westlake, TV writers, to survive after you die, to champion in, Lovecraft, Kafka, C.L. Moore, her second husband, Philip K. Dick is trying to suppress, Charles Burnett Swan, why is he unknown now?, a little dirty, a little embarrassed, their are no heirs, his publishers, Space Viking, Little Fuzzy, Omnilingual, very off, posting more, pulp collection, Alan Muller, The Skull, Black Priestess Of Varda, The Adventures Of Tom Sawyer, the secret is Will’s been in hiding in South America, not knowing what to say, come up with a brilliant thesis that everybody hates, she’s secretly transgender, everybody accepts this, double novel sucker, remaindered, Tor business, I might read half of it, Ace Doubles, just in case, Ace Doubles, there’s no time, The Sioux Spaceman, And Then Town Took Off, Conquest Of The Space Sea, insane cover, reading glasses, go back far enough in Luke Burrage’s podcast, audiobooks, what are those?, only does audiobooks, almost exclusively audiobooks, washing dishes, scrubs toilet, how can you not want to do it all the time, slow reading, a DAW Yellow Spine, to be sitting and staring at a piece of paper, I’m done, Riders Of The Purple Sage, Zane Grey, gonna be sparky, a weird writer, antiquated, everybody’s having all these emotions, the phenomenally successful author, the Ohio Valley, violent opposition, turbulent, Lewis Wetzel, Girdy Bros., seems a little long, more cattle rustlers, Tales Of The Lonely Trails, Elmore Leonard, good but not deep, dialogue is so good, Out Of Sight, the other Batman who lives on Lake Como, Clooney/Lopez, a TV show, Karen Sisco, a test story, Justified, expand the idea and keep the character, colour splashing, the same recipe, Quentin Tarantino championed Elmore Leonard, nothing else is an adaptation, Robert Forster and Pam Grier, revisiting with Sam Jackson, Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci is not in Heat, Rum Punch, set in Florida, Florida books, shallower and deeper, more style, Get Shorty, it’s fine, more of his own thing, Florida writers, Carl Hiaasen, cat lady books for men, character descriptions, superficial writing for rich people, their character description is their bank statements, Mario Puzo, Fool’s Die, big sprawling book about a guy and his story, I am the master of magic, a tour de force of writing, Grover Gardner, Grover’s voice is much like this, Paul hates it, don’t let self-doubt hold you back, thesis optional, see you in cyberspace, a ghost writing gig, a really big one, famous celebrity?, chat GPT, people don’t understand what a writer does, done their research for them, in 7 months, do it!, nobody listens, she died a long time ago, research for her historical screenplay, large famous Hollywood family, it’s Sunset Blvd. (1950), she was a hasbeen, Griffith Park pit bull, two writing assistants, lying bed and dictating to her, writers are very disposable, it’s a set of skills, mercenaries, there’s art, technical skill, ask questions, answer questions, fill places, plumbers, it needs to be plumb, a lot of writing is going to change, you can’t replace Westlake with chat GPT, entry level positions, assistants and help backing them up, people coming in, hide their assistants, George R.R. Martin has six assistants at at time, Elmore Leonard had one, sometimes writer dry up, Silverberg, a burning problem, Lawrence Block’s newsletter, he’d retire and come back from a vacation with another novel, they flow out of him, those people are pretty rare, a mental illness, a compulsion to write, a letter to CBS about Burt Lancaster as Moses, grad students he wants to fuck, Roger Zelazny, Ursula Le Guin, paranoid navel gazing, hypergraphia, a brain thing that’s happening, I need to understand, I need to question, Rosicrucian organization, you can’t read that all day long, people’s brains are different, Tishomingo Blues, Piers Anthony, so dirty, very entertaining, not great, A Spell For Chameleon, there will never be a movie, sad, leering, misogyny is fundamentally integrated, Paul won’t like it, she changes according to the phases of the Moon, full/beautiful/dumb, new/hideous/smart, all theses are fun, some theses are better than others, the lady who invented wifi they always say, smart beautiful woman, Hedy Lamarr, weird sex jokes, Satyr, female centaur, centauress, reaches over grabs her boobs, she gets angry and embarrassed, boob armour?, kids enjoy sex stories, girls are gross, girls are boring, you wanna play with dolls, jumps on motorbikes, weird period, why they were popular, Robert Lynn Asprin, paranoid, Christian parents, he wasn’t allowed to be the DM anymore, not allowed to watch The Simpsons anymore, people were a little looser, the end of free range kids, H.R. Pufnstuf, Jim Henson, 17 seasons, sidewalk sale, a guy singing, Uncle Floyd, an old soul, old stuff, L.A. for ten years, Marilyn Monroe, an empty movie theater?, a library?, 1 screen movie theater, new-fangled building, arcology?, they all have movie theaters, all the new buildings have movie theaters, Jesse is very out of touch, news to Jesse, a big screen TV size, home theaters, laserdisc, bigscreen TV, people make fun of Jonathan, a tiny tiny gym, gyms are standard, everybody is elderly, an amenity for elderly people, your dog’s already been pooped, Scarlett Johansson is a Russian spy, ballet and sex, Red Sparrow (2018), Joker (2019), the old people loved that.

Sailing To Byzantium by Robert Silverberg - art by Hisaki Yasuda

Sailing To Byzantium by Robert Silverberg

TOR DOUBLE - Sailing To Byzantium by Robert Silverberg

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The SFFaudio Podcast #772 – READALONG: A Meeting With Medusa by Arthur C. Clarke

The SFFaudio PodcastJesse, Scott Danielson, and Terence Blake talk about A Meeting With Medusa by Arthur C. Clarke

Talked about on today’s show:
under heavy pressure, Playboy, December 1971, the audiobook, superfamous, The Star and Nine Billion Names Of God, A Fall Of Moondust, Dolphin Island, a middle school library, an introduction to hard science fiction, all about characters in relationships, a mystery involved, a disaster movie, what he’s really good at, the twist at the end, sprinkled the hints, the paintings in Playboy, a hot air balloon, multiple gases, a giant medusa, aka a jellyfish, Jupiter, on Earth, the story this is most similar to by Arthur Conan Doyle, the Sherlock Holmes Professor Challenger guy, The Horror Of The Heights, pilots go up and disappear, crushed, giant jellyfish in the upper atmosphere story, Queen Elizabeth IV, an abrupt end, the sequel inside of it, awesome opening scene, imagery and everything, the shocking end of that section, really good, among the best Scott has ever read of Clarke’s, the structure hurts it, the beautiful writing, a bit of symbolism, an idea punch that hits you out of science fiction and into philosophy, he’s doing propaganda, he don’t cheat at all, is there an Arthur C. Clarke story where the knowledge of the solar system at the time of writing is ignored to tell an idea, he won’t write a story unless it’s plausible, petty concerns of being a human, deep time and cosmic depths, what does that make you, the Olaf Stapledon thing, characters, the guy in here, important to tell the story, solid, now he’s very solid, concentric circles of sense of wonder, a little bit in the future, almost cinematic action, some of the phrases are ambiguous, going on another mission, lightning reflexes, reconstructed him, after they reconstructed me, we’re just not fast enough, tai chi teacher, not explicit, his pilot’s reflexes, he doesn’t say this is the murderer, when they put me together again, the surgeons made some improvements, this is one of them, set more than 100 years in the future, treaty on first contact, the line that blew me away, the Mao Tse Tung in the American museum, what?, Americans got over their hatred of red China and think Mao is a hero as the rightly should?, the San Diego naval museum, war trophy, do you want to make friends with the Russians?, name an aircraft carrier after Stalin, or Ho Chi Mihn, named after people now, destroyers are named after cities, how do you embrace other countries?, incorporate their heroes, adopting Greek stuff, they’re ours now, we’re the inheritors of the Romans and the Greeks, it shook me to my core, what a good writer he is, it’s a good one, another ship that he named the Kon-Tiki, one man across the biggest sea, the prime directive in this, amongst six or more other phrases, Asimov, encounters with the American Indians and Africa, three laws, how to be in the world, don’t lie, what’s going to make you happy, start with that, it causes problems, fuck you is not a lie, be polite?, what would the basis of the prime directive, the categorical imperative, don’t use others as a means to an end, a negative, let them get used to you, not the Star Trek one, they break it all the time for purposes of plot, there’s something behind it, those are how you should act as a person, just replace the word robot with human, a human must consider other except where injure, my feelings are hurt, fuck your feelings, a person must protect his or her own existence, interesting application, we’re not robots, methods and plans of dealing with other people, taking stuff coming out of philosophy, parallel evolution, Asimov’s fourth law, the zeroth law, technically fourth, The Evitable Conflict, 1950, Chairman Mao, Nixon goes to China, detente, because Sri Lanka (or India) had to play a role, a tornado touched down, doesn’t cheat at all, an airship book, more of a hot air balloon than anything else, hot hydrogen of course, thinking through the scenario, the twist at the end that brings it up, this guy’s immortal?, a ship of Theseus scenario, rolls away at a calm 30 km per hour, 7 feet tall, to give him self-confidence, feeling separate from humanity, the ambassador between the ones made of carbon and the ones made of silicon, the aliens, radio dish heads, are they intelligent, I’m convinced that Medusa knew your blindspot, hunting, the intelligent species must be the predator species, a feint, a lightning bolt, why not, up for grabs, the aimed at manta fell like stone, Jupiter is a lightning bolt god, when we see him at the end, he’s turned to silicon, identified with his metallic aspect, Medusified, plummeting manta, I’ve studied a lot of jellyfish, Juliana and Luke on the Science Fiction Book Review Podcast, octopus books, a Ray Nayler book, spiders, eight-legged non-human creatures, the length of the story that’s required to do the job, an hour and half, somewhere in between, two parts, a view of humanity, superchimps/simps, clothes, slaves, brought out of mothballs, a POV of Earth from someone not interested in it, be a pioneer, no one could go, a super-pioneer, why this book exists, the opposite of the moonbus book, trying to conform, people want shitty romance cheating on your wife disaster relatable, I’m more like this guy, Arthur C. Clarke’s Mysterious World, almost none of it is that interesting, his brain level, he’s just not interested in the normal things people are interested in, exploring the ocean, so interesting down there, Jacques Cousteau, collecting notes on hailing frogs, not the normal science fiction writer, maybe Olaf Stapledon, his personal life, not interested in slow pitch, Arthur C. Clarke goes to hell, develop a deep philosophy to deal with it, Howard Falcon, like HAL, Jesse I’m afraid that’s not possible, HAL has conflicting orders, The Sentinel, wow!, full of philosophical things, sense of wonder things, it’s all earned, if this then that, Criminolly, garbaugust, worldbuilding, there’s no distinction between science fiction and fantasy right now, cool ideas about how the world works, tried a few more, testing the theory, wanting to be engaged, turning into Jesse, why we have to be so enjoying about terms, The Kaiju Preservation Society, infodumps about made up facts, could you explore it?, honest, solid, he doesn’t cheat, he’s standing on what he knows, realities that might be interesting explored, he’s not a cheater, when Larry Niven cheats it’s so he can get to another thing, twists something, a third of the episodes, are there any Star Trek episodes that are hard SF, the closest they come is The Galileo Seven, a rip off of The Cold Equations, Spock gambles, there’s a percentage chance there’s a passing alien spaceship, why did I read this story, have their cake and eat it too, angry fights, be hard about these things, you inhuman monster, Spock’s being very logical, fan service episodes, not memorable episodes, social soft science, what should our relationships be, the good stuff, people watched a lot of television and movies with spaceships in it, wouldn’t it be cool if, aliens, almost none, Childhood’s End, even The Star, doing soft science fiction, why I don’t like science fiction and fantasy books, fantasy is a whole other thing, show me where Ted Chiang cheats, an interesting thought, The Merchant And The Alchemist’s Gate, Howard Falcon was unloveable, a novel called The Medusa Chronicles by Alastair Reynolds and Stephen Baxter, a sequel to The Time Machine, Terry Pratchett, the childhood of Howard Falcon, when Star Trek goes back and explains the early life of Kirk and Spock, a fallacy involved, for what purpose, what does it matter?, unless there’s an idea there, why it’s shit, this episode we find out Kirk has a brother, why?, a massacre on some planet, just to raise the stakes, to make the Holocaust personal, to do a technical job, a Chekov’s gun on the wall, Spock having eyelids, to press the reset button, a technical requirement of a show where it’s not serialized, Vulcan nerve pinch, the ears are not what make Mr. Spock Mr. Spock, an emotional being controlling his emotions, him being a spawning salmon Theodore Sturgeon episode (Amok Time), every time they bring up a Vulcan, there’s exceptions, response video, Michael K. Vaughn, he has good taste, a good youtuber, people say why don’t you, here’s a recommendation, seem to be following Luke Burrage’s podcast, a big thing in France, amongst the aficionados, how intelligent it is, boring, The Mountain And The Sea, quite into philosophy, coming at it from a philosophical side, setting the scene before anything noticeably strange happened, how long it is, judging books by their cover and how long they are, bad cover, does it need to be this long, poingant and mind expanding, the UK does better covers than the USA, the UK edition, RayNaler.net, translated into French, thought it was brilliant, June 2023, Cthulhu, Japanese style, maybe this book is necessary, another cover with more tentacles, almost doesn’t ever talk about tentacles, cosmic horror = tentacles, Antarctica, the melting and stuff, a giant frozen 17 tall penguin, Tekeli-li!, philosophies of writing, Robert E. Howard is writing for money, very successful as a pulp writers, 4 times as big, Lovecraft doesn’t write stories that don’t need to be written, this is what is selling right now, even when he’s doing very pulpy stuff, things that are not needed for the story (to make the cover), a born storyteller, writing story, they like stories too, they don’t have the chops, people who won’t write for the commercial market, antagonistic to commercialism, Clarke is a bit of both, very elderly collaborations, sullying his legacy, The Light Of Other Days, very disenchanted with Arthur C. Clarke, and Isaac Asimov, Silverberg, cash-ins, a reader need not be subject to the whims of the author, because your friend wrote the book, fuck you, go back to basic principles, Clarke has a purity in him at times, Bob Shaw, an expansion, Light of Other Days, the New York Times lie list, Talisman by Peter Straub and Stephen King, Black House, shouldn’t be trying or able, necessary compared to Asimov/Silverberg, Clarke/Baxter, Olaf Stapledon wrote this, he didn’t write for cash, the unique fluke, King’s psychology, King has a limiter or a governor, he doesn’t use it for evil (or for good), hurts his own work, a fantasist of childhood and American life, a fantasy writer, we just don’t think of him that way, “fantasy realm”, The Goblin Emperor book, secondary world fiction, worldbuilding is mostly bad, silly worldbuilding, 2001: A Space Odyssey, psychedelic experience, intelligent worldbuilding, to fill pages, fall apart in a mush, a speculative component, the sensory impact of the trip, highly informed, standing on what is know and speculating, if there was life it would be in this zone, that kaiju book of Scalzi’s, wonder about your purpose, none of this is helping me in my life, what happens during the game, processing a magazine, sitting too long, certain number of hours, that’s fun, but it ain’t a novel, it ain’t good science fiction, what would our guy from youtube think about Philip K. Dick, make a magic system work, things are happening because they have to, if time started going backwards, still in the Roman Empire, spins up a world in order to explore it (not to fill pages), his novels are all worse than his short stories, just better, his short stories are better than that book (The Man In The High Castle), a children’s book, Galactic Pot-Healer, work and being out of work, a frontier where people are challenged to find meaningful work, that gunfight was really cool, some people act like robots, unemotional or mean, is sex with co-workers cool?, very fun and very rich, he didn’t need a setting for some characters, if your story doesn’t have idea at its core it’s not science fiction, imagine with ideas, live with ideas, a Philip K. Dick essay, Olaf Stapledon writes big long thick books that are science fiction but not novels, that’s interesting, how do you do that, a history of the last and first men, like reading a whole bunch of Clarke stories, unique in fiction, poor guy, there’s a lot not to enjoy, How To Build A Universe That Doesn’t Fall Apart Two Days Later, until you toss it across the room, a good theory of fantasy, fantasy is pretty big, the hardest of the hard, uploading and downloading your brain, it’s not, Ringworld, a whole bunch of gimmes, smart aliens, an aggressive species, they generate a D&D party, the Larry Niven character, just an excuse, a gravitational feeling thing, complete bullshit book, everything is fiction, it would just fall apart, 100% cheater and it works because he has an idea at the core and everything else is to get to that idea, he cheats in every possible way, Clarke has a very different philosophy, even in A Fall Of Moondust, not his best book, a bunch of boring characters, people get lead astray, super-good, a lot of Silverberg lately, Tor Doubles, read about a third of half of each of those books, a Silverberg novella, especially with his novels, he’s a contemplative dude, he’s sorta artsy and literary, he likes old books, Heart Of Darkness on another planet, elephants for the economy, sex on the brain, human relationships, the worldbuilding is to get to the transcendent point, The Book Of Skulls, being a good writer helps, Passengers, what is he famous for?, made Majipoor maybe?, Lord Valentine’s Castle, Nightwings, doesn’t have a killer book, big stature for a guy who doesn’t have a killer book, Neuromancer by William Gibson, rather than the fixup, his standalone short stories are really good, Phases Of The Moon by Isaac Asimov, a writing machine, wrote for money, still alive and not licensing his name out, 2010, now that he’s not poor, not getting his pension padded, good story, good writer, Arthur C. Clarke, he knows what to do, Farnham’s Freehold, he’s gonna rant about it, it’s not as bad as you think, Paul, oh my god, at the time, Westlake, revving back up, The Colorado Kid illustrated edition, Justified: City Primeval, there are character in it, Elmore Leonard short story, Tommy Patrick Ryan, some random guy on the internet, through Eric, 11th ever published story, readability through the fucking roof, so much characterization, got worse at the end, No Man’s Land by John Buchan, early evening, a reasonable hour of the evening, save the hunger to be angrier, approaching it satisfied, Houston, Houston, Do You Read?, Ace Double, a subpodcast of only Tor Doubles, we started with the first one, The Screwfly Solution, The Girl Who Was Plugged In, Run For The Stars by Harlan Ellison, savage, a juvenile delinquent in space, clairvoyant ability, very Harlan Ellison, A Boy And His Dog, Eye For Eye by Orson Scott Card, The Last Castle by Jack Vance, The Dragon Masters, I love the lengthy, Ill Met In Lankhmar, Vintage Season, The Sword Of Rhiannon, Ursula K. Le Guin, Kate Wilhelm, Kim Stanley Robinson short stuff, they don’t list the table of contents, The Ugly Little Boy, Edmond Hamilton, Screwtop, Enemy Mine, Hardfought by Greg Bear, an idea man, he shoulve had a badge that said “idea man”, The Blind Geometer, Fritz Leiber, Universe by Robert A. Heinlein, fantasy, Damon Knight, Icehenge, Press Enter by John Varley, Death Of Doctor Island also The Island Of Doctor Death, Karen Haber, Home Is The Hangman by Roger Zelazny, Wheels Of If, Gene Wolfe, The Book Of The Short Sun, Conjure Wife is on LibriVox, Ben Tucker is good, a five hour book, unleash hell, we got this in our back podcast, shownoting, back in the day, Sartor Resartus by Thomas Carlyle, Naxos, the torch of science, a metabook, 1831 novels, so many good ones, Scottish essayist, Fraser’s Magazine, purports to be a commentary, Godborn Devilsdung, a book review of that book, transcendentalist, German idealism, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, Immanuel Kant, there are things in themselves, things as we perceive them, the laws of our mind, ways round, suppressing different premises, this book sounds really good, in a funny way, Johnathan Swift, Tristam Shandy, Laurence Sterne, founding text and serious organizing study of clothing, fashion theory, sartorial ambitions, clearly a book we both need to read, my all time favourite book, this is one of the books that makes life worth living, only seeing through clothes can we understand life, not composted, a half-mad saint, 320 pages, in the PDF, the torch of science, not the smallest cranny or doghole can remain unilluminated, what is he famous for?, some sort of hero worship, a precursor to the superman, the great providential men who make history, Hayy Ibn Yaqdhan by Ibn Tufail, like Tarzan, most translated, 1,000 Nights, the dream one, very solid, very Borgesian, Borges never wrote a collab book to make money, Frank Herbert son, Tom Clancy ghost author to write Borges books, a funny tweet thread, Hobbits and wizards, good morning as in fuck off, Justin fucked every Canadian for 20 more fucking years, he’s bought and paid for and corrupt as fuck, persist, not a big damn hero, very bad man, make some coffee.

Playboy, December 1971 - A Meeting With Medusa by Arthur C. Clarke

Playboy, December 1971 - A Meeting With Medusa by Arthur C. Clarke

Playboy, December 1971 - A Meeting With Medusa by Arthur C. Clarke

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The SFFaudio Podcast #770 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: Progeny by Philip K. Dick

The SFFaudio Podcast

The SFFaudio Podcast #770 – Progeny by Philip K. Dick, read by Mike Vendetti. This is a complete and unabridged reading of the book (45 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Paul Weimer, Evan Lampe, Mike Vendetti, Terence Blake, and Jonathan Weichsel

Talked about on today’s show:
IF Worlds Of Science Fiction, November 1954, we’re bringing it back, Worlds Of Science Fiction, IF, it’s IFfy, the tagline, a tier below, a tier above, James L. Quinn, early in IF’s run, 3rd year, Evan Lampe’s podcast, the Philip K. Dick review website, John Taylor Gatto State Controlled Consciousness, schools created to create utopian visions, close to Philip K. Dick’s perspective, the story about the autistic kid, not really autistic, a nurture story, the thesis of the story, raised by robots, kids in it is very unusual in actual science fiction, 9 at the end, Theodore Sturgeon, a good handful, Tony And The Beetles, The Father Thing, comes up every time, something that happened to Philip K. Dick, the hospital, the mental institution, typing on his keyboard, you know what we need is more science fiction stories about kids adopted by robots, Nanny, menacing, how menacing this story is, body horror, sweat and smells of the body, the aftermath of the meeting with the father, The Last Of The Masters, hairy sweaty man, girls boobs, almost connect that to AI, newspaper article through AI, a Promethean moment, Ed is left out of it, he doesn’t participate, channeling Eric Rabkin, the robot doctor, a sandwich, in fairy tales, a science fictional fairy tale, sharing food means you love that person, the squirrel accepts his food, Pete’s doctor/boss/trainer, I’ll eat at the cafeteria, pop the question: will you come and be my son, I don’t like to buy in the diner they skin you, six hundred employees, this is menacing, sentences that go unfinished, training to become a bio-chemist, a messiah for the robots, a go-between, what does the smell of his father remind him of, laboratory animals, a contemptible smell, I can’t place it, just like when he was a baby, Dr. Bish, the automatic heating system clicked on for the night, the smell as the experimental animals, the promising young boy, the boy smiled, awkward and humane, a secret private smile of complete understanding, evil emotions, you’re son’s deformed!, my god, what does it mean?, what about that first wife, a secret that he’s telling us over and over again, a secret Philip K. Dick child?, a waveshot of his head, talking about himself?, sociologically going on, there’s no manual telling you what to do, Dr. Spock, let the kid cry themself to sleep, the worst thing anybody’s ever done to Americans, ADD, needs a lobotomy, icepick lobotomy, one of the Kennedy children became a vegetable, you have to trust the doctor, towards that, that exchange, did he try and pick up the child, a circumcision or something, feel the weight of the child in his arms, sanitary, antiseptic, oedipal complex, and today, sex studies from the 50s, Kinsey studies, living back there, oh my god I’m a homosexual, I had no idea, lies and wishfulfilment, sweeps the nation as a fad, weird instiutional problems, you’ll be happier when you join the institution and follow the rules, Dick likes twists and layering of twists, a systematic distortion, growing up with the robots and imbibing their ideology, all the paperwork, the consent forms, what does see mean exactly?, the laws, math, age, why I was 19, sneaking into the rocket facilities, I was twice your age when this happens, more tired and sweating and balding than he was before, didn’t have a kid at this point, Beyond The Door, a wife cheating on her husband with a cuckoo clock and a boyfriend, whose Pete?, Mrs. Peters, this name, Ed Loyce, Ed Doyle, figures in his life, Pete might be him, the father became extremely busy, coming back, here I am I’m your dad, his dad lived in DC, a serious character flaw, when he’s 18, comes back on the delivery day, expects to have a say, he doesn’t get that, writing to his mom, boarding school, mom, send my pills, non-nervous pills, full of anxieties, nervous breakdown in high school, he takes their answers seriously, is that really true?, he writes about it, the robot is an institution, institutions replace parents, the doctor is not a human, fleshy cover over its arms, two robot taxi drivers, a strapping late model robot, they’re replacing Ed, the doctor adopts the child, talking about himself, these amazing psychological conditions, this unfeeling monster, the child didn’t need to be touched, these things are in the air, 1928, the abortion truck story, children hiding in thornbushes, The Crawlers, The Pre-Persons, the father agrees to go into the abortion truck with him, maths, 1974, the ability to master algebra was the test for having a soul, animal soul, authority says this, what happens if that’s true?, the neuroses that I have, served by robots in a cafeteria, being raised in a boarding school, mandated to join this army, a really bad consequence, keeping the baby with you at all times, Jesse is very talky, primarily about institutions, how institutions sell themselves, what was best for the kid, she trusted the institutions, being inhuman by not wanting to bring the baby to her breast and smell it, she’s not sad about it, I was chatting with the doctor, she’s smoking, people aren’t sad sending their kid off to public school, the entire ideology of the system, a sexual thing, smoking with the doctor, fantasy sex with the doctor, the post coital cigarette, a cuckolding going on, push psychoanalysis a tiny little bit, the biological becomes an institutional complex, 1986, your kid has ADD, your kid needs amphetamines, there’s a biological thing, the calf comes out of the cow, literally happening, how much culture and institutions erode, she is a monster because of it, we’re all monsters, a more primitive part, Dr. Bish what is this weird white liquid running out of my breasts?, he’s an idiot, what a moron, the internet is full of misinformation, an institute, Los Angeles Central Hospital, late for the birth, infodump, we don’t touch our son, when do we get him?, the waveform says he’s going there, another institution, once he’s fully grown up, his brain is no longer plastic, when he’s an adult, molded into what the institute wants, the mom is out of the picture, they’re divorced, Ed Doyle’s alternative, the frontier theme that Evan so rightly picked up on, no squirrels, Pete’s dad’s job is the plumbing, his only job is to supply the sperm, Star Trek, high end jobs, build and maintain those ships and those systems, in the end you still need infantry, pushed away his wife, away all the time on the frontier, a traveling salesman, as a result Janet leaves him, something really important, the gendered nature of labour saving technology, Philip Dick doesn’t get this, Evan’s Philip K. Dick readthrough, hostile to washing machines, microwave, refrigerator, who raises kids?, mostly womens work, the bullshit of raising kids, making the lunch everyday, stroll in from alpha centauri, the wife is making the rational choice, shitwork, Dick really has this problem, after a certain point in the story, son come with me, this is going to be our business, there’s a lot of things that need doing out there, out beyond Prox, nature, self-fulfillment, won’t even accept his sandwich, extrovert with the nerdy kid son, eat hamburgers, sitting at home, making plans to destroy humanity, make them less smelly and more docile, Sales Pitch, commuting through space, replacing body parts, have your colon replaced with a plastic tube, no more sweatglands, make everything antiseptic, just make sure that children are clean at all times, the runny nose, he needs to go on a boat and learn the ropes, the mom’s instinct and the dad’s instinct, when the answer is the institution they’re both wrong, giving up a lot of power to the institutions, Mildred Clingerman story, an automated kitchen, about 7 Ray Bradbury stories, Catharine Beecher, bastion of their power, use science and knowledge and education to rationalize the domestic sphere, a viewpoint, a little glowing breast, spray on glowing, she’s glowing because she just gave birth, baby needs milk, not enough baby formula, baby formula is bad for kids, you could use a breast pump, giant reliance on artificial milk, convenient, maybe its because you’re at work, factory or office or school raising other people’s children, bad marriage, the menace is unstated, maybe the Oedipus complex is worth it, not just corporations, government regulated facility at the very least, public private partnership, a legal person, not a caring person, not capable of caring, that’s what his waveform says, he’s going to be a rocket jockey, the son doesn’t even understand the question, he smiles, you think desire has anything to do with it, the robots and the man all have emotions, maybe he’s not the best boss, as close to lying he gets, designed to be sympathetic towards Ed, propaganday, why do we trust this institution, a photo of his plastic brain, bio-chemistry, they’re going to fuck around with humans, the alternative is the queen living West Texas planet, emphasizing the cleanness, unpolluted, smoking, drinks a brandy-frappe, what’s best of the child, she’s been reading all the books, Gayelord Hauser for nutrition, parenting books, how they sell of these things to parents, no shopping, no clubs, no social life, the optimistic part of the story, Earth is going to Hell, Dick was an optimist, Hello, Doc!, the event has happened, a top-level robot, it had fooled him, Dr. Bish appeared plump and well-fed, is the robot married, diamond-tie clasp, simulated manicured nails, a pinstriped shirt, white collar vs. blue collar, just the baby daddy, rushed in from the airport, have you seen a squirrel before?, leaned on one way, we can’t trust this, trusting it is the bad thing, we agreed to this, they were intimate at some point, to determine the gender of the child, he’s only gone six months, natural sex, a lady with boobs so he fell in love with her, she’s a monster because she trusts the institutions, yes I am, H.P. Lovecraft, that amazing transformation thing, regular successful businessman, not hairy, the robots becoming too human, Isaac Asimov’s Let’s Get Together, a critical mass of robots, Herbert Goldstone’s Virtuoso, learns to play the piano, music is supposed to be hard, somethings shouldn’t be automated, AI art, two robot taxi drivers are acting like robots, literally human beings who are obeying instructions, turning them into robotic people, ROTC, failed the first day, twirl your rifles, get a haircut, his robot stories are so different, fixed it, could have easily been a chapter in The Humanoids by Jack Williamson, serialized vs. novel, earth vs. an alien planet, expanded novel version is really good, an answer to any objection, a really important concept, any word you don’t know the meaning of your are subject, bleeding under your dura, doctor I know exactly how we fix this, subjecting ourselves to their ideologies, sometimes that’s a good thing, look both ways before you cross the street, a hard concept to get across, when we read these stories, wow that’s really powerful, but why?, escape valve, the place we can run off to, frontiers exist, a perceived option, go west young man, where do Americans run off to?, Taiwan, to Vietnam, not an option, Miss Columbia, propaganda, plant a flag, government giving you an outlet, free real estate, shaped politics for most of American history, pick up your stakes and go, everyone moved to Saskatchewan for free land, then everyone moved to Vancouver for jobs, the dust-bowl, the dirty 30s, 3 million people were displaced, we don’t have the language to describe it, people moving out of California to Texas or Florida, internal movement, region in this, State Controlled Consciousness, every utopian movement, Sunday school, propitiate your ideology, Dr. 2G-Y Bish, bishop, kids put into religious orders, designed to break up the family, outsourced to religion, keeping doctrine, interesting idea, not very many characters, Janet, Ed, a big jump, takes him out into the country, Los Angeles, go back to the city, a general experience, Evan’s generation, the first generation to go to college, those Thanksgivings, those times back are a little weird, at least four or five years to orient back to the working class culture, academic sorts, we gotta get this fence fixed, inspiring and interesting stuff, intellectual stimulation, trying to communicate that, it doesn’t translate very well, rebalance how you talk to people, most people don’t read books, unless youre constantly building up, Jack Williamson, Gilles Deleuze, cows, chickens, horse, chicken business, cow business, the second dimension, initiated into a more bourgeois culture, the double gap, so rich, fairly obscure Philip K. Dick story, following the 9 years, Paul sings the classics, Cat’s in the cradle and the cradle’s on fire?, kill his father and marry his mother, it doesn’t come from the Greeks, Sigmund Freud, is it true?, not exactly, recapitulate the relationships you are trained in, animals training other animals, interacting with other humans, any of the seven times I’ve tried, maybe that’s not true, a structure, he likes older women, where is the libido?, the attitude of Doctor Bish, looking at Peter the baby with a look that was greedy, in Anti-Oedipus, the bureaucrat caresses the forms, Anti-Oedipus by Félix Guattari and Gilles Deleuze, bottom of page 71, creasing the edges with his nail, plugged his desire into rules and regulations and forms, go to the police, see if there’s a detective on duty, it gives them something to do, he’s not like Mr. Spock, sinister and evil and aloof, like Data, Data had curiosity, satire, embodiment of authority, an evil twin (Lore), psychoanalyze Star Trek, the Lore Data stuff, gave him a twitch, Lore made Data have a twitch, there’s a twitch here, a libidinal twitch, different educational institutions, Hampshire College, Fordham University, unstructured to structured Jesuit university, post-modern to classicist language, a whole different language, small economically depressed town where half the stores are closed, an aversion, they were hit with books at school, lame TV too, a reality TV show was cool, marriage counselor reality TV show, what is it on cable?, therapy, if that was L.A., a level beneath, an aversion to reading books, the struggle, Peter Camenzind by Herman Hesse, goes back home, his rural town was better, a spiritual transformation, stained with sweat, page 74, he brought out his pipe and tobacco, a big sulfur match, murmured, this is a good pipe, 25 years ago, do the math, only about twice as old as you, a WWI veteran, WWII guy, at a certain point in life every man starts smoking a pipe, filling and lighting a pipe, old fashioned stuff, that ritual, sucking on a pipe, casting smoke out of their nose, a little bit interested, lost in his reverie, if he was a little more skillful they could’ve connected, he had the right instinct, what makes it a tragedy, when dads fuck off, there’s a problem, wife, institution, capitalism, we could work together, how long it is, almost nothing happens, a walk, a hospital scene, episodes over 9 years, backfill, infodumping, 3 scenes, permission, fill out these forms, the ride in the car and the walk, the last scene, off with Doctor Bish and Peter, the key to Peter’s reactions, emotional, that’s interesting that you think we can connect, oof, anthropological look at the father from the son’s POV, distancing, broken sentence, when you will…, quite right, the backstory talking, bumming around town, outside school rightly, sneaking into the rocket launching yards, hopped over to Mars, a hasher, Ganymede was all sewed up tight, space freighter, worked his way out to Proxima, workaway, I found what I wanted, swelling with pride, little retail and service place, everybody needs a plumber, a good job, the best blue collar job, the pay is very good, when the water starts flooding you need a plumber, building communities, he sounds very free, like a rolling stone, not an appealing life to someone who’s a part of the institution, she doesn’t leave the earth, she likes being under the system, you could go off, there’s fear involved, there’s the comfort of the institution, institutions can’t love you, fill out your forms, ivy coloured walls, drifters, cafeterias, you have money, an efficiency you don’t get at home, living in China, didn’t eat dinner, new job, cafeteria lunch, where do you wanna eat?, doesn’t the food just kind of appear?, where to eat and what to make, drops from your mind really quick, elementary schools in France?, fancy lunches?, 20 years in a highshcool, 2 hours or longer to come back home, sandwich, all sorts of good things in it, presence of the outside inside the institution, “I’m not reduced to the institution, I have my sandwich”, taco Tuesday, people get excited about the rotation, a crazy thing, homemade food, ketchup classified as a vegetable, school lunches program, the healthy food pyramid we just made up, at the top is a greedy corporation, like am institutionalized restaurant, weird hot things, hot lunch and cold lunch, 2 cafeterias in the same school, Cold Lunch Paul, bologna sandwiches, hot lunch for free, against the rules, a person who hasn’t been completely institutionalized, get you hooked on the hot lunch, back to bologna sandwiches, like the place, baloney, 70 liters of chili, more efficiency, the prices start creeping up, adulterating the materials that go into the pot, corruption, let’s have a daycare, a hired person, paying money vs. taking turns, we can lower the quality of the care here, just not loved, all in this little 46 minute story, chat GPT, it can do my homework, I can fire everybody, charge subscriptions, hire somebody to do this, you still hire dishwashers for restaurants, an open version of chat GPT, answer emails from other robots, an efficiency there, students are into chat GPT, grunt garbage work, pedagogical value of repetition, they’d much rather cheat, painting class, if they’re into it they’ll do it, most students don’t want to be essayists, kids doing their homework, punishment, if you get low grades you need more attention from the government forms, chat GPT can be really educational, dialogue with it a lot, The Three-Body Problem, Chinese TV series of 30 episodes, suggestions and prompts, analysis, no that’s not what I want, good ideas, some creativity sparks, Rossignol, better and better, The Ash Grove, makes you cry if you let it, makes children emotional, as a corrective, analyze Philip K. Dick’s story, Progeny, a search engine that’s weak, that’s not enough, you have to work for 20-30 minutes, write some John Adams Thomas Jefferson boy love romance, oh yes you’re right, you overestimate, most teachers can’t even get the assignment clear, make sure you have a period at the end of all your sentences, formatting problems, what this is perfect for, autobiography or memoir, just answer the question, a sophisticated text prediction, good grammar, less important for students, the facts don’t matter that much, formatting is really important, this is a lie, how they get good grades, cheating the system, a good solution to a bad problem, easier for the prisoners, abolish the prisons, new ways to punish students, make other kids do their homework, what chat GPT’s revolution, read this paragraph and reorder them, take out things you don’t like, living in an affluent area, I’m a governess, there’s a scary man, young Tommy is very bright, essay about thermodynamics, describing some of Jesse’s job, same advantage that rich people’s job, it doesn’t help them, how to understand great poetry, a bunch of assignments that are due, parents hire a ghostwriter to right a novel, ivy league school, Rebecca Black’s song Friday, I like sitting in the front seat sometime, super-well produced, something to make their kid feel like a superstar, chat GPT same advantage as the rich kids, we’re pretty conclusive, Pirates Of Venus, north shore of Minnesota, overseas, NSA work, top secret, Evan Lampe is gonna step up, Farnham’s Freehold, 12th – 23rd, Sailing To Byzantium by Robert Silverberg, solved, feeds and resources, podcast schedule, the music under it, crazy, a youtube thing, people don’t know, people discover that audiobooks because of youtube, excited for them, any sign of a ghost is excitement, it’s youtube vs. books, Arthur C. Clarke, past The Colorado Kid, Alex from Pulpcovers was censored, an appeal, after careful review…, sooo careful, a lady might not have any pants on, jealous losers on twitter, White Trash, HOE REPAIR, just exposure, what Jesse likes about Jonathan (he’s read a whole bunch of books Jesse hasn’t read), the guy from Switzerland who had nice handwriting, an autobiography of a character’s soul, a German genre, fake autobiography, Bohemian Europe in the 1890s, talking to farmers, dude, common for some people, fake and phony and putting on airs about intelligent they are, literary circles, don’t read anything past 10 years ago, Scalzi has replaced Heinlein, they say they believe that, keep current, you don’t have time to read both, most of everything was crap, harder to determine today, hasn’t withstood the test of time yet, debating how to pronounce Weichsel in 100 years, first hit rap group, recorded their songs here, hit song, fun catchy song, walking around the town, they saw the sign, that’s it, 50 years from now, this town has not accomplished achievement, absolutely amazing, on the ferry, CTV News, CNN for Canada, tell Americans, the shitty Justin Trudeau government, an extra bunch of money to poors, they want to get reelected, full blown Social Credit, a tax rebate, 19.8% commercial space empty, 50% is much more common in a small town, all for the sake of posterity, chat GPT teachers marking chat GPT homework, dead town, it’s just awful, hang out at the bus stop, hang out at the convenience story, kipple from Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?, all the non-losers have left for the off-world, the world of the book, same world as Progeny, everybody is replaced by robots, squirrels are dying, institutional pollution, fill the ocean, thesis proven, same setting, same ideas, not literally true, working the same mine, working the same ideas, Nick And The Glimmung, Galactic Pot-Healer, a stepping stone to get to that other idea, androids, robots, three weeks from now, a really good one, Sheba by Jack Higgins, in response to people not liking Dial Of Destiny, the legendary temple of Sheba, put me down, Indiana Jones tanking is kinda bullshit, poor box office, in what period of time, one of the most expensive movies ever made, we didn’t need the first one either, we wanted it, now we don’t want them so much, two versions of The Warriors (1979), available as an audiobook, an excuse to watch it, comic book inserts, less real and gritty, Ship Of Ishtar by A. Merritt, work to do, editing this anthology, for secret operations, bunch of authors, substack, cool public domain stuff, Moon Tomb, the moon and death, Misha Burnett needs to promote better, some salty interesting points on twitter, great cover art, he’s problematic, jealous?, when you get famous enough people become jealous, Poe was a third rate writer, why did they say that?, because its true?, shit all over Lovecraft, lob a grenade and leave and close the door behind them, Edgar Allan Poe, who’s a better poet from the United States?, start making your list now, Annabelle Lee is popular and it’s good, The Song Of Hiawatha by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Mark Twain’s parody of The Raven, Bugs Bunny, controversial, that’s Heinlein in extremis, alcoholic mother and the lawyer father, bridge party, people are not asking for an adaption, see everybody explode, skinny dipping, the young black kid, see you on twitter.

Progeny by Philip K. Dick

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The SFFaudio Podcast #763 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: The City Of The Singing Flame by Clark Ashton Smith

The SFFaudio Podcast

The SFFaudio Podcast #763 – The City Of The Singing Flame by Clark Ashton Smith, read by Tommy Patrick Ryan. This is a complete and unabridged reading of the book (1 hours, 30 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Paul Weimer, Trish E. Matson, Connor Kaye, and Tommy Patrick Ryan

Talked about on today’s today’s show:
two these, Beyond The Singing Flame, it’s an onion, should Jesse have asked Tommy to record that too?, no novels, pretty famous guy for a guy with basically no novels, he’s 14 years old, bursting with ideas, reads like a D&D campaign set in the Arabian Nights, a flame like in She, the copyright status, Hippocampus Press, The Black Diamonds, he’s really hard too, his writing is very simple in this one, his vocabulary, give himself some feedback, supernal, an archaic word for supernatural, Eric S. Rabkin, a 3 sentence prose pastel, splenetic, iridescent, arabesque, nympholepsy, mien, rutilant, ill-tempered, the least difficult CAS story, sentence by sentence story, that might make a novel, becoming from high heaven, ethereal, rife with words, he’s masterful with the language, construction is good too, the shape of the plot is really excellent, a very interesting story, The Emperor Of Dreams documentary, accessible, why lots of writers like it, sidereal, lead astray, considering his vocabulary, lepidoperous, did you think of Logan’s Run?, swirling around, transcend and get reborn (or die), moth to a flame, exactly, multi dimensional higher dimensional transcendence, really into the body, really into material, obsessed with death and beauty, Lovecraft likes stars, immortality, architecture and burying the past, sexuality, reproduction through death, the beauty of those things, the siren call of the city, where’s it all going, he’s obsessed with thinking about it and telling about it, his structure is really good, sentence by sentence, he didn’t really do anything with it, the structure makes more appreciable, missing the last chapter, asking for the sequel, the narrator gets inserted into the story, no wrap up frame, disconcerting, he didn’t have an ending, kill the main characters, kind of Clark Ashton Smith but not really, this document is now found in a cylinder falling from the sky, I found this cylinder when taking a hike, Angarth more Smith, he’s the illustrator and the artist, his friend who’s also a weird fiction, never met in real life, the real life connections, EldritchDark, the best etext versions, Arkham House along with the sequel, published during his lifetime, July 1931, Wonder Stories, We had been friends for a decade or more, the journal, July 1st, 1938, July 31st, 1930, I’ve been gone for two years, set in the future, originally, Philip Hastane, there’s always a war in Europe, the reprint in Startling Stories, The Scientifiction Hall Of Fame, Harry Warner, Jr., of all the living writers of fantasy, A. Merritt, an alien planet, read around, the word that kept coming up, Carcosa, a bunch of layering on Carcosa, True Detective‘s first season, anything Yellow King related, Robert W. Chambers, Gene Wolfe’s vocab, The Wizard Knight, even deeper, circle back, cycle of stories, alien city on another world, not as sinister, more sirens, more sexy than horrific and compelling, this city is relatively safe place, Giles Angarth, he still brings his gun though, inner and outer narrator, sandwiches, coffee, and a gun, The Demoiselle DY’s, The Elf Trap, Ambrose Beirce, a friend of George Sterling, a continental famous kid, often on the front page, wunderkind child poet from California, newspapers were hungry, syndicated, The Vancouver Sun, every city paper had that story, a little bit like, A Wine Of Wizardry, Jack London, never met Ambrose Bierce, titans of American and international literature, An Inhabitant Of Carcosa, An Occurrence At Owl Creek Bridge, a death story, I don’t recognize this landscape, I have the illness, recognizing the landscape, it’s California, the animals, no birds, no insect, a lynx, transforming the landscape into a another world, literally a hike, the Lake Of Hali, Tathagoua, the Book of Eibon, Tsathoggua, are their lynx in Colorado, they go on the hike that inspires this story, central to that, a ski resort, a deep mountain tarn that’s never been sounded, seeing the landscape from the documentary, otherworldly, rock formations, been out on a hike, what if this was an alien world, walking makes your brain start going, Sedona, like an alien formation, episodes of Star Trek, where am I, substances Smith abused, the strongest drug, coffee, dream like drug trips, The Hashish Eater, Lord Dunsany, Confessions Of An English Opium Eater, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, an excuse to let imagination run wild, psychedelic ideas, your brain is manufacturing drugs for itself, H.P. Lovecraft is the opposite, Bobby Derie took cocaine for a prescription, HPL: coke head, it’s not for you, warned Clark Ashton Smith not to take it, wine, Atlantean wine, the wine state, schizophrenia, first and second guy bring the third guy, the structure, a brief summary of the book, British enough, does a really good Irish, third or fourth time, we keep going back, changed somehow, brings the cotton balls, suicide, gonna be great, after that event, the siren song has wooed him completely, he’s an artist not a wordsmith, what’s on the other side, a total utopia, only humans come back, the flame dimension, everything is in ruins, a temperance story, a big popular thin in the city, gin, Marvel movies, whatever drug, we gotta lock this down, depopulate us, kill yourself with a friend, a horrible destructive lure, what’s beyond this flame, death is beyond this flame, a transformation, an ascension, Downward To The Earth by Robert Silverberg, rebirth, everybody dies, choose to rebirth yourself, if your hand isn’t flashing red, on your birthday, you’re young and strong, swiping left, or right, nu you, is this a fantasy or is it a science fiction?, weird fiction, psychedelic fiction, very spiritual, technological or magical, a teleporter, an ancient doorway, more Coruscant, the thermos of coffee and set a little bit in the future, wormholes in place, a science fiction writer as a character, in a science fiction magazine, moer super-science than regular science, transdimensional, Algol, sangfroid, struck with awe, a spiritual transformation, we’re all one now, this feeling of singularity, moth people, purified or made unified, very-Lovecraft, Ex Oblivione, love being non-existent, H. Rider Haggard, these science fiction writers and illustrators are better people, earthly pleasures, Ebbonly, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, matching haircuts, stepping through the pillars and falling, falls a different way, using the scientific methods, pilgrimage, the earplugs, numbing agent, can you numb your ears?, super-meta, words couldn’t possibly describe it, here’s how sweet I am, here’s some really excellent prose about it, all the names, things to work into a story, Angarth, a small town in Scotland, is that his real name?, Clark Smith seems like a pretty boring name, working the vocab mine, Hastur, the tamarack, mid-California, the Sierras, Kim Stanley Robinson, Zenna Henderson’s The People, on the shore of some foreign planet, alienation, vertiginous, determine our personalities, shut-in, his dad traveled the whole world, back to the library, reads The Arabian Nights, this landscape, Crater Ridge, stones of monolithic size and shape, an unknown vegetation, luminescent amber, Anakim, spire on giant spire, stepped through the looking glass into a fantasy world, this alien city with a yellow mist, best be done animated, much more illustrated than live action, Anakim are giant humanoids, basically giants, gargantuan, that’s a normal world, Darth Vader, where they steal all their names from, he just read the Bible, the people of the city, giant stone people, they do not have ears, a Las Vegas, popsicles and silver suits and haircuts, many roads to this city, alien creatures, their corridors, other Earths, other planets, a plane of portals, The Black Company by Glen Cook, Las Vegas for suicide/transcendence, the sinning has got to be stopped, why it’s so interesting and demands a sequel, humans center themselves in their stories, we’re a sideline, spectators and not really important, the gun never gets used, siege weaponry, a tower with legs, like our good friend Sauron, suicide cult, why are they so certain there’s something bad through the flame, obviously you’re going to die, immolated, smoke, instantly consumed, near the end, mesmeric lure, succumbed to the desire, immolate himself, a giant lepidoptery being, so good, smart moths, compassionate moths, fellow travelers, rather sweet, deadly enslavement, he ran forward in a series of leaps both solemn and frenzied, sacerdotal, headlong into the flame, more dazzling greenness, benumbed brain centers, annul the perilous mesmerism, fled from the shrine, envying my companion’s fate, fiery dissolution, more people going in from coming out, this is very attractive, enjoying wine, not for me, ice cream, fomo, a hilarious short story [And All The Earth A Grave] by C.C. MaCapp, a computer slips a cog, two coffin garage, this face tattoo is very fashionable, emigration, people living the country, a moral upset, even maybe mention, telepathy, the incoming army, the foundation of the flame, Reno trying to steal Las Vegas’ business, the last pilgrims, the rulers of the outer lands, obeyed the lure of the singing fountain and vanished into the higher sphere, the story leans that way, you don’t know, one moth to the other moth, I used to be a caterpillar, many legends in the outer lands, guessed by only a few, the inner dimension is hated, a lethal and pernicious chimera, an opium paradise, a mecca for this?, suicide boothing, the build up the city, built up around it?, larger or more impressive than other buildings, like a beautiful waterfall for Paul, it’s too dangerous, we can’t have too many people being happy here, into a higher state of consciousness, a VR fountain, live in your basement a VR all day, hippies, spiritual higher stare of consciousness, the great resignation, there’s more to life, the religion vs. a cog in the machine, our viewpoint characters, lashed to the mast of the ship like Odysseus was, timeless concept, war on a peaceful nation, can they destroy it?, like a laser beam, a geyser, a geological force, the scoriac stuff, gotta read the sequel, when you read Conan, those were the days, jump onto a new ideal, Conan never revisits the same place, Poseidonis stories, 2 or other stories like that, that Averoigne series, why is this happening, the letters pages, is this really possible, we should ask, more by the same author, the nature of this world and the purpose of the flame, if Tommy wants to record it, professional grade, keep using that, The Black Abbot Of Puthuum, on my phone in a farm in Ecuador, a checklist, an excuse to read a story, read it at a level, getting to share that, accents, Irish to Scottish to British, theatre, Saturday Night Live, Alec Guinness and Obi Wan Kenobi with Yorkshire, all the British characters from Star Wars, a City Of The Singing Flame tattoo, explaining Clark Ashton Smith, Lovecraft is in the Marvel Universe, Clark Ashton Smith movies, a TV adaptation, he’s difficult, he’s high level, incredible vocab, the imagery the colours, chalcedony, they love their art, they’re art men, rectilinear architecture, the nod to Lovecraft, cyclopedia, a Lovecraft vocab database, why Jesse does the podcast, an appointment, J. Manfred Weichsel, William Jeffrey Rankin, it is up to individuals, denying the attraction of the flame, just another drug problem like heroin, gin, or marvel movies, your AI friends, my AI girlfriend likes the same AI movies I like, you learn stuff, what people think they want, just read Clark Ashton Smith, customized stuff, opt out, everybody’s an AI, too new of a book, the best science fiction books, AI generated, 23 books on the list, 1 book from 2016, some listicle website, integrated and got rid of duplicates, Arthur C. Clarke, Blake Crouch’s 2016 book, The Martian, best?, you’d do pretty well, full circle, The Sunken Land Rises Again by M. John Harrison, Viriconium, weird fiction, pretty damn weird, an assistant to a mad scientist, super dense and very prosey, light on plot, he’s on the long list, Light novels, an unsettling atmosphere, feels very very modern, Nova Swing, 19 hour collection of stories, Neil Gaiman, Jack Vance’s Green Magic, get magic, bitter and tragic, recursive worlds, not quite getting what you want, poignant and good, dying earth wizards, the Zothique series stories, William Hope Hodgson’s The Night Land, sad story, Subterranean Press, premium paper, Logan’s Run, Shakespeare’s Planet, Invitation To The Game, The Charwoman’s Shadow, Scratch One, Progeny by Philip K. Dick, getting back to Philip K. Dick, 53-57 stories, always exciting, these incredible authors, Le Guin once, Arthur C. Clarke, Elmore Leonard, nobody knows they’re public domain yet, all the weight of the world is on your shoulders, it’s exciting, or gals, its nice to be appreciated, there for somebody, its not just for the moment, its for the ages, share it with somebody 30 years from now, put it on a bookshelf, big box computer games, selling it for $86, an arc of nostalgia, 286sx, Future Shop, couldn’t afford a 28.8, $0.99, nostalgic for their youth, an old broken 286, feel the floppy going in, become valueless and then come back, the Harlan Ellison version, an L.A. based radio show, not for the ages, an enthusiastic and emotive, very very elderly, the narrator of the film, Harlan Ellison claimed to have read it 200 times, that’s how he learned to read aloud, narrated some Ben Bova, Run For The Stars, passionate, going to Hollywood and getting cynical, born into a world weary wisdom about reality, he went his own way, a passion project, a Hippocampus Press DVD, shill for publishers, passionate people, sharing the materials, solid contents, effort into their covers, the complete poems of Lovecraft, a really handy reference, S.T. Joshi finds some scrap of poem, The Hashish Eater poem, delectable, makes reading delicious, so rich, the lightest and most accessible, 101 Clark Ashton Smith, high level, for bibliophiles, all this prose, a lot of sugar, a slice of cake, small desserts, you have to like that, niche, if you don’t like honey you’re not going to like it, the richest Tommy has ever read, Ambrose Bierce, challenging the reader, why are you trying to make your prose…, making jokes, carving magnificent sculptures out of mountainsides, he really does have something, why Lovecraft was his biggest fan, Robert E. Howard was a great poet, translations of Charles Baudelaire, Poe and Dunsany, Baudelaire and Poe, taproot, undeniable, the first Sherlock Holmes short story, A Scandal In Bohemia, The Purloined Letter, Conan Doyle is the accessible and dumb version of Poe, this hidden photograph, I will have her show me, we love Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson and London and Irene Adler, we don’t love Dupin, the contents of the letter are sick evil and twisted, the photograph is of the king of Bohemia, I’m doing a tribute to Poe and nobody knows, Harry Potter vs. Tolkien, J.K. Rowling, super entertaining, no Harry Potter tattoos, Harry Potter is breezy, Tolkien is fun but not breezy, an afternoon’s entertainment, Clark Ashton Smith: guaranteed enjoyment, intellectually interesting, attentive, tickles a different part of the brain, high art, good art, most art is good, one of his best plots, well that happened, Lovecraft’s plots are much better, not much of a plotter, 700 pages to explore this concept is cool but nothing happened, Pacific Edge, guy tries to get girlfriend at baseball game, not playing the same game, just a weird guy, how popular he was, talked this one to death, Pirates Of Venus, A Meeting With Medusa, Sailing To Byzantium, Farnham’s Freehold, northern Minnesota, almost Canada, just about out May, The Thing On The Roof, No Man’s Land, pick in August, 2 years is fine but 5 years is too long, lost tribe of cave people, troggies, chuddies, surprise chuds, Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dwellers, lick and nip, Paul Sings The Classics, a singing voice for silent musicals, Nerds Of A Feather get together, Gather Yourselves Together by Philip K. Dick, from 1994, posting photos, Jesse misses Connor on twitter, usually eastern, an awful awful dream, discombobulated, very fun, that sentence sounds like he put a space in it, disjointed, a snip in the file, mouth noises, get closer to your mic, get a better mic, not all for the audience, caring a lot about art, Cat Killer by Donald E. Westlake, brutal an interesting sounding, Clive Barker, Jonathan is not a murder as far as I know, collecting human heads, Tales To Make You Vomit, not all horrific, that weird, you guys should be DMing each other, some sort of money arrangement, throwing around numbers, probably not even 4 hours, an hour and a half recording, relatively cold, ACX pays per finished hour, the going rate, $200 or $300 per finished hour, wordcounter.net, sell them not on audible.com, revenue sharing, Planet Of The Wage Slaves, diverse ideas and lots of nudity, amazing covers, their text over my art, Warrior Soul looks great, the lady’s hair in front of the title of the book, art direction vs. being an artist, coming up with interesting ideas, Five Maidens On A Pentagram, gothic horror sex-farce, Hasatan, sex-crazed demon, just sounds fun and pulpy, our reality, cycling through Smith/Howard/Dick, millions of great things, how to get this stuff out there, enough bundled together, anthologies based on themes, teaching the occasional yoga class.

Why The City Of The Singing Flame Is My Favorite by Harry Warner, Jr.

The City Of The Singing Flame by Clark Ashton Smith

The City Of The Singing Flame - editorial introduction

The City Of The Singing Flame art by Frank R. Paul

The City Of The Singing Flame by Clark Ashton Smith

Rowena Morrill - The City Of The Singing Flame

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The SFFaudio Podcast #762 – READALONG: Sixth Column by Robert A. Heinlein

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #762 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, Evan Lampe, Terence Blake, and Jonathan Manfred Weichsel talk about Sixth Column by Robert A. Heinlein

Talked about on today’s show:
get people to believe he’s Terence, J stands for Jonathan, Manfred sounded cooler, just change your last name to Scalzi and all the blessing will come, you can replace Heinlein, this John Scalzi book called Sixth Column, serialized in Astounding, not based on a Heinlein idea at all, the original idea was Campbell’s, all the problems it has are Heinlein’s fixings, Jack Vance shitting on Campbell, psychics and telepathy, well done for a bad idea, not one of his best, major works, thought experiment, opposite thought experiment, Revolt In 2100 in reverse, theocracy, make people believe, If This Goes On is Revolt In 2100, revolts against people in power, revolution, fighting against the forces of prophet, pan-Asian tyranny, motives of the character, technomage weapon, falls for a girl, the movement culture makes the ideology, the change in him, less emotional growth, learns to become a rebel, how people get radicalized: through women, against god, The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, the conspiracy element, the secret society within and a false leader, Adam Selene, Mike, the disciple is coming, enjoyed the book, one of the strongest competency fantasies, this Ledbetter effect, what a Campbell move, they’re genetically different from us, isn’t the US filled with other than white people too?, race is a thing, in the original texts, the whites vs. the pan-Asians, setting from Asian to not Asian, tone down some of the binary, unfixable, Anson MacDonald was racist, tiny brain – galaxy brain, old Heinlein, troll way you want to do it, changes, some city has been atom-bombed, considering the year, it starts when the war was over, we’re the werewolves of this Nazi empire, individual stories were fighting, you can make the argument they’re still there, on the Moon?, still guys in the mountains, people being killed into the late-1940s, ideological true believers, a hand that touched them to make them military, an uprising, a prison revolt, start a religion to solve a problem, a very American move, the turbans and the staffs, the beards, he stacked the deck, pan-Asianism, this less is less bullshit, the pan-Asian movement, Noble Drew Ali, Moorish Science, fezzes, little Hitler mustache, if this was happening in your community, government did stuff, the Black Muslim movement, Nat Turner, a movement out of Japan, the Black Dragon Society, take over Asia, Pan-Asian Orientalism, they’re trying to create a force against European colonization of Asia, unequal treaties, China, an attempt to unify counties under threat, nationalism, a congruency there, civic nationalist ideas, anschluss, an Ottoman identity, Pan-Africanists, Sun Yat-sen, the Asia for the Asians idea, largely a creation of the Japanese, the Japanese Empire, we have to fight the imperial power, they’re bad like us, as a way to avoid war and fight the west, Manchurians, national ambitions, disconnect between political realities and what unites us in people’s minds, post-colonial African, a pan-Germanist, a pan-Europeanist, subject to the master race, propaganda to that extent, not serious about pan-Asianism, Savage Headhunters, Shinto, edge out the other religions, atrocities, the Rape of Nanking, they weren’t being altruistic, the psychology of creating this book, it’s the Japanese, a god emperor somewhere in Asia, they conquered India, this pan-Asian government, the Soviets, Korea, set in the future, flying vehicles, The Final Blackout by L. Ron Hubbard, 1940, the end of the world, Europe is off the map, Beyond Thirty by Edgar Rice Burroughs, the South Pole, a similar setup, blackout and curtain, blackout curtains, they’re out of the game, a country knocked out of the Risk game, right before the novel begins, the United States is washed up, a plothole in the book, buildings, people walking around, it wasn’t bombs, a electromagnetic weapon, Washington is gone, the last flight out, Cheyenne Mountain, where NORAD is, Colorado Springs, tentacles, a fun book, the swami hats, the halos, he can sell it to Campbell, Heinlein operating at the Anson MacDonald level, early Heinlein comedy, the great God Motar, it got the cover, the conversation with the prince, the Divine Hand, silly and racist, funny dialogue, if Japan wins, states make nations, a national identity, folklore, flags, constitutions, anthems, winning in Asia, controlling this vast empire, give it enough time, a white republic became multi-ethnic, the original illustrations, the troops look Japanese, the Hand looks Manchu, scholar hat, more Chinese than Japanese, Mongolian, mongoloid, the five races theory, they’ve got a religion too, a divinity aspect, they don’t understand American religion, just use Christianity, Japanese spies, Francis Xavier, Commodore Perry, the Non-Intercourse Act, Trinity RPG, why can’t you close yourself off, capitalism won’t let you, the Khmer Rouge, the 1st world, the 2nd world, and the 3rd world, unequal treaties, you’re trading with us now, we set the terms of the trade, gunships, they are really good at this colonialism, free trade, snuggle up, after a war, more unequal than others, Cuba is not allowed to trade with the United States, open up countries to trade, many port cities, everybody get their own port, a lot of dissatisfaction, you are the slave class now, protectorate, brutal, this isn’t as racist as it could be, these two groups think race is a thing, you have to buy in, a biological fact, what the theme is, defeated by your prejudices, binary racist skeleton plot, what leads to decline and downfall is a set of prejudices, a native American born Asia, subject to the ray, Heinlein doing his Heinlein thing, I’m different from him, so about racist, police are the same everywhere, will they stay bribed?, pedagogical motifs, people are prejudiced, the summary of the first 2 parts, the Blitzkrieg of the United States Empire, the Citadel, military research, Ardmore works hard, Colonel Calhoon, believes himself to be Mota, or Motak?, he’s John W. Campbell, complete atomic power, selective death ray, a general solution of unified field, well behaved slaves require religion, encouragement and disencouragement, render under Caesar, African American religion, religion is a delusion, Stranger In A Strange Land, so much time focusing on religion, it’s a fake from the beginning, he’s Jesus, the disciple depicted, black and a thousand feet tall, Joseph Smith (not Jesus), doing more than one thing, Valentine Michael Smith, the disciple of Jesus, vanishing people, he dies like Jesus, stoned to death, but didn’t come back, the Mormons get a very favourable mention, a good version of religion, practical, the business aspect, they’ve got good business sense, an infinite money generator, Robert Heinlein being a gold bug, a DC superhero character from the 40s, Doctor Fate, The Flash with a WWI helmet, Babylon 5, not for religious purposes, a Mormon-like branch of Christianity, mumbo jumbo, invent and remember, a short novel, people offended by this, an evangelical branch of Christianity, ripped from daily headlines, slot-machines in their megachurches, come die with us anyway, people die for Christianity all the time, there is a third rail in the United States, American friends, there are Canadian religious people, tied to the land in the U.K., writing for a very secular Science Fiction magazine, make up a Christian religion and say it’s all fake, people would be very offended, when the Beatles compared themselves to Jesus, Dungeons & Dragons, third hand worried, when the panic came out, an American media thing, spill-over, the one with Harry Potter, if it gets to be a big enough interest, having fun, all the names, the other aspects of Mota, reading this in the 1940s, smile slyly inside, he’s being sneaky but I get it, it works as an anti-religious polemic, what makes this a lesser book, if Evan got his away, people would think about it in a different way, tying Americanism to Christianity, John W. Campbell’s All, racialism, using the dopey religion, so religious they’d be wrong about using Christianity, the conversations with the Christian believers, wrestling with using this fake religion, so contrived, For Us, The Living, just ignore Europe, the religions of Iran or Turkey, Chinese didn’t know that Americans were Christian, an Iron Curtain around the United States, closed off from the rest of the world, Donald Trump, build a wall around America, consume itself in war, Heinlein has no interest in Europe, Hitler, Medieval European, a feudal Catholicism, like monks living in cells, armour, nuns, charismatic Christianity, Job: A Comedy Of Justice, literalist, the Republican party, living in Job’s universe, atomic power, the serial we are about to read, fair probability, the effectiveness of invention, plausible, the whole setup is wholly implausible, invasion literature, if we had this setup, so many coincidences, they just happen to…, so constructed so as to be not one of his best book, whoever that is, definitely Heinlein, biggest problems, general acceptance of drugs, magic, the drugs only have the effect they say on the label, you have to take sleeping pills, also I don’t you getting up, konking you out, a naivete about drugs, good healthy skepticism, what happens right after these pre-WWII books, a think tank to help win the war, L. Sprague DeCamp, commissioned as an officer, pressure suits, Astounding [by Alec Nevalla-Lee], is the tech ripe, tech-bro, is there government funding for this thing, Larry Niven and Benford, rods from god, beat the Soviets, same thing, let’s think up scenarios, now everybody has to take their shoes off forever, you could combine liquids and make a bomb, endemic and super dangerous, the Slan effect, reading a Philip K. Dick novel, now I can run the world, that guy is weird, what maleness means, maybe children are smarter than adults, principles, all you have to do is take your hypnodrugs and you can learn languages, he can’t see it about himself, spin-up, he’s wonderful, it’s hokum, man can he write, criticism of Heinlein, sexual politics, the collapse of America, not for the betterment, to undermine things, the society of Friday, Balkanized, royals have moved to Canada, California, Ottawa, never a threat to world peice, a planetary society, the beanstalk in Kenya, she’s the James Bond working for a secret organization, tied to Gulf, in the future of Gulf, a take that at his own work, takes his own piss, time travel pussy one: The Door Into Summer, why Evan needed to do Heinlein for his podcast, he’ll mention other countries, he’s trying to bomb America, bombing the Taj Mahal, mostly he just cares about the United States, practically the United States, he’s so smart and good at spinning up, no impact with working at the navy yard, the Edison trust goes on, like G.E. or Bell, Bell Labs, their existence is there because they’re a trust, wild speculation, you’re given the monopoly so you have to give back, he’s got transmutation, lead into gold, poison gas into oxygen, there’s a change in energy, win WWII with alchemy, a broad comedy, very comedic, forgettable Heinlein, religion as a mask for science, power-play, Isaac Asimov’s Foundation, Dune, is the religion fake in Dune?, planted, a psychology of the masses, staff officers, soft sciences, planted the seeds for that chapters, precedents, Orphans Of The Sky, Universe, the science became a religion, gravity as a metaphor, a secret society, long and too big, the concept is really cool, he takes the long view, six months?, how many years are they at this?, couple years at most, he has only three issues to write it, where did this idea start in American literature, Mark Twain’s criticism of the Christian scientists, diet books, Extract From Captain Stormfield’s Visit To Heaven biblical justification, post-apocalyptic, what’s the name of that story?, many different satires of religion, hardly anybody there speaks English, they jailed his corpse, are they believing their own shit, Theosophy, L. Frank Baum, you can’t say I’m an atheist, having an argument ready, what’s a Christian, take you to their temple, what’s that?, judo flipped them, join someone else’s services, soul-searching, doing good, whatever names doesn’t matter, unity of all faiths, a scientific based version of the theosophical ideology, Muslim cleric in a Jewish temple, the audiences take it, the scientiologiston the street corner, we welcome Christian, play to whatever, they don’t start with you’re wrong, I worship Mithra, The Altar by Robert Sheckley, Two Dooms by C.M. Kornbluth, half-colonized America, a very C.M. Kornbluth story, if Weinbaum had lived, could have been bigger than Heinlein, nobody’s trying to say Scalzi’s the new Weinbaum, Zelazny death anniversary thread, google nGram, his works aren’t in print, locked away under copyright, H. Beam Piper is bigger than it ever was, the evidence is huge but Paul is not convinced, Scalzi wrote a reboot of the public domain book, after 1963, sinecure, go to youtube and look at all the views and compare to sales on audible, it’s huge, I only read free, free as I can do anything I want with it, a certain racial slur against African Americans, the good stuff rises, peter want the better stuff, the bad covers on Amazon are commercial, excised, taking offense by being babied, flatfaces, yellow monkeys, aliens, slanty-eyes, slanties, made that up for this book?, made up slurs are less problematic, thought experiment, Farnham’s Freehold next, pan-Africans invading the United States, The New Sun, we’ve got some white guys we need to hate, the token guy, Heinlien is anti-racist, the character is in the serial, who would die from their beam, the antidote to the racism in this book, lifeboat rules, a prejudice you have to overcome, just take this pill, go in with a ray and kill cleanly, soul-searching, get over your prejudices, promoted instead of fired, took the black pill, have you ever butchered a hog, Heinlein wrote these lines, pages and pages of dialogue Heinlein talking to himself, walking down the street of Des Moines, roll tanks, you’re a slave now, handing out gold, one foot in the Great Depression, soup kitchens, poor relief, Beyond The Horizon, in this era of his career, the changing nature of the stake, ambivalent, biases, dismissing female priests, can’t wear the beard, the oppressor, comfort women, mobilizing the women, traditional, burning the past, no research in it, hara-kiri everything’s to do with face, white women turned into comfort women, we need to liberate women, all hands on deck, salable chattel, 1911, anarchist feminist Chinese radical, comfort stations, a discussion in Japan about the new woman, changing the roles of women, the audience for this, written real fast, writing so much, chronological read through of Heinlein, the development of ideas, not an issue in 1941, the future history stories are under Heinlein, a rule throughout magazines, whole issues written by Robert Silverberg, we need more L. Sprague DeCamps, guess Caleb Saunders is getting a cheque today, recruiting guys, almost every issue, one year of Astounding, off magazines, a quarter of the way through, a future history laid out, And He Built A Crooked House, competence fantasy, Elsewhen, if I was running the war, Civilization with infinite gold or tanks, fun but weak, a pressor beam a sucker beam, the stacks were stacked against, the chess move, god damn them, enjoyable but a weak book, Paul didn’t enjoy reading this book?, the gun one, compare, by Paul, going at it on Twitter, it’s about guns, head and shoulders above this one, silly, a paycheck, I have this story here, unsalable, doesn’t stop him, Campbell’s writing was never amazing, maybe you could do something with this, more ambitious, social credit, post-scarcity, honor culture, a gun controlled society, cultural regulation, also not one of his best, one of the best of his early works, The Green Hills Of Earth, the novels that go down hill, crackin little ideas, he excels at novels, Friday is a really good book, bulky, falling in love with your rapist, a relationship with the guy, some mitigating fiction, your puritan locked down guy, a bit strange, a minor bug, Heinlein is at his best when he’s challenging you, shallow appreciation of Starship Troopers, the classroom stuff, arguing against, engage, come to an agreement, some candidate for the evil party, raise the age to 25, as a platform, get more people not to vote, does the Army vote for Biden?, the cultural perception, officers vs. non-officers, pro-war vs. anti-war, what’s the purpose, explicitly telling you this is for engagement, that speaks very well to the society, indoctrinate, in comparison, to write about his present, a veteran teaching the class, teacher pay, anything that will disrupt, learning things, conformity, marks are a way of controlling, we gotta do way more of that, a weird book, a classroom setting, a very complex book, a poll before the election, the 2020 election, the Army voted for Biden, go talk to the people, 2016, a choice between warhawks, Paul needs to flee, Clark Ashton Smith, a google ngram, you see the spikes, Edgar Allan Poe compared to H.P. Lovecraft, work it to make it work, Silverberg’s Downward To The Earth, 1981, Majipoor, throw in a contemporary of both of them, his presence doesn’t drop like Zelazny’s, H.G. Wells, pushing people’s buttons, not as controversial, challenging, Harlan Ellison, mostly a TV guy, mostly essays, Edgeworks, really bad press, full of typos, shoulda been smarter, reprint rights, number one is Ray Bradbury, he’s part of the curriculum, book guy, if you wanna be big you have to be mandated, Bradbury is safe and tame, he’s not great, he’s good, he’s got real good stuff, The Martian Chronicles, The Veldt, A Sound Of Thunder, he’s all about the feeling, he’s nostalgic, his ideas always have to do with feelings, what makes Fahrenheit 451, books are good, he’s in the slicks, his novels come later, his first movie is so flat, Rocket Ship Galileo, the worst Heinlein movie is the one he was involved with, was he smoking, Waldo, Magic Inc., a messy publication history, a lot of fixups, The Penultimate Truth, the Virginia Collection, full of typos, archive.org, The Unpleasant Profession Of Jonathan Hoag, at a certain point, I love Heinlein, I hate him, I love him so much, wow!, the market is drying up a little bit, that furious pace, that was his job, he was a fiction writer, Hal Clement was a teacher, Searchlight, All You Zombies, he loves the drugs, By His Bootstraps, how can he be so trusting of drugs?, he’s a tech bro, isn’t it the same worldview?, they’re the problem solvers, COVID on the brain, ivermectin, Jesse gets credit for something?, not that long ago in the 1970s and the 1980s, Alzheimer’s vs. dementia, cancer’s an old one, cancer is fundamental, the chances get greater and greater, a Whiggish view of science, revised or updated, why be so arrogant about our own views, historian, Heinlein: Tech-Bro by Evan Lampe, disrupting systems, taking government funding, the French Revolution, Enlightenment tech-bros, how about a 10 day week, the Temple of Reason, we got some good stuff out of that, Silicon Valley, they’re lighting, disruption is good, computer miniaturization, making things small and faster, multi-threads, a legit improvement, it doesn’t scale to non-hardware very well, running cooler, can do more at a faster pace, the software is magic on top of it, your monthly subscription, a Philip K. Dick story, Cory Doctorow, Australia has month, you will own nothing and you will eat bugs, funny on slack, mass resistance to the policy, why do students have phones with them, the Cory Doctorow explanation, the Evan Lampe explanation, Douglas Adams, cell phones looks like crumpets, a mainstream guy, the zoomers have revisited the Karl Marx line, my cell phone is trying to kill me, William Gibson, hacking the gibson through my cortex, Transmetropolitain by Warren Ellis, Neal Stephenson, because they’re geniuses, after whuffie, how good my camera is, how fast the wifi is, how come i don’t have a clip tray in my Windows, better and better then real bad, Mark Twain, the Civil War, avoiding poetry, 100 page poems, take a break from Mark Twain, both very Americans, traveled a lot, wrote for a living, Innocents Abroad, Life On The Mississippi, A Tramp Abroad, a short story that’s an anecdote, A Literary Nightmare, Anthony DeSimone, the story of a meme, feels relief, an early example of a meme, a little rhyme to remember ticket prices, so fuckin good, so clear but also has stuff to say, started out very optimistic ended cynical, gilded ages, everything travel, The Number Of The Beast, sick in bed, bedridden, trails off into nonsense, veers into the wrong direction, To Sail Beyond The Sunset, episode 103, Time Enough For Love, gonna explain something in Methuselah’s Children, he’s his own grandpa, very Heinlein, maybe that’s a different book, The Cat Who Walks Through Walls, upcoming slots, Paul’s not available, the first Carson of Venus novel in on LibriVox, it’s different, builds a rocketship, crashes on Venus, a parody of the competency narrative, wrong way Carson, read it as a self-parody, Bison Frontiers of Imagination, Pirates Of Venus, unusual for Burroughs, Lost Of Venus, do the Heinlein, Black House, Logan’s Run, Clifford D. Simak, a VR novel, Lord Dunsany, Michael Crichton, Progeny by Philip K. Dick, (Alex) Pulp Covers, bother Paul, totally racist, still really good, the mom’s an alcoholic and the dad’s a lawyer, the drama of it, the family relationships, mixed African race, enslaved all the white people, all good, he’s experimenting, The Puppet Masters, people in a certain class, different shades of skin, being extra-specially sensitive to this stuff, they’re just people, people are people, they’re all Americans, he thinks men and women are very similar, Heinlein’s sexual politics, screenshotting, raping his own daughters, sexy Heinlein books, they go to the future, skinny dipping, he likes lookin at ladies, missing in Sixth Column, a similar scene, the rebels are all nudists, Heinlein got over it, being comfortable with his body, marriages, he’s right about that shit, people bang more, abolish gender?, nudism in Nazi Germany, body culture, ready for the military, read the back of the comics, if this goes on, many different body types, the cat one, Nudist Camp, gold wire, David Ashton Walsh, just a fascist who wanted to fuck his mom, Mike B. Young, his twin daughters as well, who is going to stop you, Lazarus Long, these are his fantasies, The Roads Must Roll is anti-union, the Canadian truckers protest, as a guy, a guild, not what unions are after, they’re not for solidarity, eugenicists want to take over, create a master race, what the engineers are after, Starman Jones, without joining a guild, stowaways on the ship pick it up by doing it, Lester Del Rey, Badge Of Infamy, be a guild member to use Chat GPT, a class of people, they’re tv writers, movie writers, Professor Coolbreeze, a rich tapestry, who still fucked babes, they’re puritans, strawman the guy who’s a writer of books from a long time ago, do some raping, why does he have rape in his stories, all the libertarian sci-fi, libertarian tendencies, he’s thinking things true, people can’t win an argument with a dead guy without strawmanning him, a skill that people lack, what people read, formulaic stories, maybe challenging, Jonathan is a writer who breaks a lot of rules, accidentally vs. intentionally, intent, appreciation of popular fiction and literature, people say they read Heinlein then can’t believe how racist he was, the party discipline requires denouncing, you gotta say this now, a very twitter phenomenon, party conformist, people who still watch actual broadcast television, two different worlds, far right far left, a maga hat on, keep a sun out of his eyes, BCIT hat, visible maga people, hand painted signs, Trump flags, being visibly breaking decorum, rainbow pin on their lapel, Ukraine flag on the lawn, a laptop class, political people on twitter, very political most days, how is this processing, something Paul tweeted to Evan, there’s something wrong with me, how come I don’t get this, Elon Musk was defending him limiting some traffic in Turkey about the election, especially in right wing countries, hearing Erdogan is pro-Putin, not conforming with NATO, ethno-nationalist, continuing policy, he caved on that one, did you lose your brain, Evan is against ethno-states, always thinking about the people of the United States being white, projecting 100s of years in the future, doesn’t fit into his future history, should have worked harder on the re-write, the Americans fighting against eh pan pan-Asian, fundamentally flawed, you can’t really fix this, a thoughtwave pattern, those kind of experiments, a magic wand that kills all the women and Dylan Mulvaney is still alive, servicing John Campbell’s position and needs, I’m selling books here, kills only Asians, why not just disperse the death ray in a wide beam, the recruitment, what stupidness that it is, a very minor work, more silly than anything else, goofy, enjoyable, character heavy and painful and a transformed world, very engaging, the character of the alcoholic mother, he recycles them a lot, the mother-son relationship, allows him to be castrated, never before explored before, doctor my balls don’t work, insert some glands in yeah, some pain down there, okay doctor, drugs work perfectly, did he tech bro himself out of babies?, if he had had babies, he would have petered out, they’re all about children, childbirth is the goal, Lazarus Long has hundreds of children, what’s the point of life, I may be awesome, life is kind of absurd, reading writers who have these problems, Edgar Allan Poe, going to the ladies, Zora Neale Hurston, girls, yes, invented everything, for an American audience at least, much more than that, literary criticism of his, this is shit, here’s why it’s shit, a lot of context, his novel is rich, interesting nested, figure out what mode he’s in, he has to fill pages, writes a story to a piece of art, William Wilson, for the present volume, written for a book called The Gift, doppelganger and debauchery, Evan’s plan, Gertrude Stein, ambitious, 2 a week, 895 episodes, Lovecraft and Dick readthrough, Civil War, the American character, the American spirit, it came from those authors, Twain is much more of a common man, the great American author, America made its historical context, feed into later works, American culture made something distinctive before it went into massive decline, the anarchist socialist communes, counted out America, right after the Civil War, an alternative that doesn’t suck in the world, Jesse’s pitch, being America’s bitch sucks, do it in Canada, oppression but not much, basic government service, Colossus will get things done, getting the temple built, Mary McCarthy, Willa Cather, Margaret Atwood, the Canadian education system, Canadian literature is not the best, 10 times the population, extremes that Canadians don’t suffer, have your literature imported, the CBC’s job, other countries’ literature, Poe and Dick and Lovecraft, Stephen King, great literature exporters, chains, people claim there is, Mark Fisher, good history being written, new history vs. new fiction, Neil Gaiman, wonderful scholarship, self-aggrandizing, Jesse’s argument, a smart way to do it, nice microphone, quiet time, Jesse’s a terrible narrator, come to some arrangement, focused on audio, evangelical for it, audible [the website] didn’t exist, a growth industry, good product and great covers, listening while walking, from a commercial standpoint, only still on the rise, Jonathan has been converted, somebody is listening to this five hour show, gab in the background, nope, Tommy Patrick Ryan audiobooks, he wants to help out, not a money relationship, a wheelbarrow with a big hole in it, wheelbarrows are expensive, cover that hole, Jesse was right the whole time, publishing tasks, corporeal, orgy, divan, figures out the voice of the narrator, the Bronson Pinchot vs. Tom Weiner, straight reader vs. performer, a female accent, speech impediment or style of speaking, nobody has any inflections, there is a spectrum, transparent narrators, the elephants are very calm, he’s from Brooklyn, you’re never going to hear the end of it, people think they can reinvent the wheel, profits in new markets, used bookstore project, who doesn’t want to own a used bookstores, when 9/11 happened, homeland security, the US Postal Service, you’re fucking with me, street traffic vs. online only, a good location without a bookstore, buy a bookstore, you get the market, an inventory, people bring in free stock, pandemic rules, the pandemic was a very good thing, jubilee, she gets a prize you get nothing, wait until Kamala is your queen, reelected for the 2nd time, carrying his corpse around from press conference to press conference, Canadian foreign and domestic policy is largely dictated by US foreign policy, a demented guy in charge, the institutions, Bryan Alexander, speech impediment, its not on the news, shaking hand with butlers, juice him up, the clips are out there, that’s the scenario, brings nothing to the table, rumblings, Megan Markle, Oprah, renounce her royal title, a bad book, pan Atlantic country, H2O (2004 CBC miniseries), plausible scenario, a reverse coup, as sequel too, David Cronenberg, James Cameron, Marilyn Chambers, early controversy, a movie industry, set in Toronto, The Fly (1986), A History Of Violence (2005), Scanners (1981), filming there, architecture is Canadian, brutalist, a fetish for him, Canadian actors who never leave Canada, any kind of traction, just move to the states, William Shatner, where the work is, pass yourself off, Deadpool guy, aggressively Canadian, Ryan Reynolds, big weird country, kinda fake, founding myth, the North-West Passage, this big thing that was in the way, French Canadians, teach the controversy, two big companies, 54:40 or fight, break the line at 49, take up to Alaska, war with Britain, Vancouver, Washington, Hudson’s Bay, two business men go into a meeting, fuck the people who live on either side of this line, the black exclusion laws, Oregon has a racist foundation, escaped slaves, the problems that that entailed, no black people allowed, weird behavior, weird politics, every year Jesse goes with boats with clubs, Jesse puts his skins in a warehouse, all Americans live in California, a very arctic thing, more into salmon and cedar, three day festival and everybody goes clubbing, almost like a J. Manfred Weichsel story, satire, Heinlein and all of them went to the government, Astounding by Alec Nevala-Lee, there’s an audiobook of it, using science fiction ideas, Giants Of Eternity by Manly Wade Wellman, like in The War Of The Worlds, dig up all the super-scientists, Marie Curie, this is amazing, Charles Darwin, Thomas Alva Edison, Louis Pasteur, Isaac Newton, make fun of their personalities, got a big beard, the jokes write themselves, a cult of Edison, Edison skepticism, very important and also an asshole, a patent troll, a copyright troll, self-promotion, a machine that talks to the dead, break that out of the old dusty lab, Alfred Bester, telescopist, a baby seahorse nebula made out of anti-matter, wax cylinder, Ray Cummings, The Girl In The Golden Atom, super-science, a huge effect on science fiction, for a pulp author, still writing in the same mode, second pass at Edison, 1887-1957, the opposite of The Girl In The Golden Atom, our galaxy is an atom, just needs to fill pages, he had an idea about science, old fashioned for his time, Fitz James O’Brien, he’s sparky, What Was It?, dope smokin fiends, an invisible creature, while they’re smoking their hash, super racist, The Diamond Lens, a little lady, The Lost Room, Edgar Allan Poe, hoping to be sent to the front, lingered until April, died of tetanus, the biggest insurrection in U.S. history, 1/6, hundreds of people died in New York, The Wondersmith, nice big mustache, Guy De Maupassant, he’s in Weird Tales, Famous Fantastic Mysteries, Vanity Fair, Atlantic Monthly, died at 35, he really did cosmicism before Lovecraft, a cosmic point of view, some tech, 100% down with science fiction, Mary Shelley, Margaret Cavendish, travel to other planets, it has to be Wells, Edward Page Mitchell, C. J. Cutcliffe Hyne, Jack London, 1899, The Clock That Went Backwards, The Chronic Argonauts, ancestors in Amsterdam, their aunt is immortal, one of them stays and makes her, Back To The Future, that’s like Heinlein, Travel By Wire by Arthur C. Clarke, The Man Without A Body, this new fangled technology called telephone, a teleporter or a transporter like in Star Trek, didn’t charge the battery, Victorian era science fiction, Sam Moskowitz renewed all his copyrights, Science Fiction By Gaslight, Under The Moons Of Mars, scientific language, carbon emissions are going to kill everybody, coal heaters, the air becomes solid, heavy stuff, an idea that is science fiction vs. feels like science fiction, this is science fiction, looking back from our perspective, writes it off, A Corner In Lightning by George Griffith, electricity is a finite resource, a battery in the Arctic, her non-fiction, the Royal Society, arguing against the scientific method, giant like a lobster, tools to examine the world, distorting the view of the world, her major argument, being facetious, people took it like I was serious, hyperbole, aka he’s evil, an over-reading, trying to enact political change, excluded, utopian fiction, women in power, all we need is Hillary and everything will be all right, Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels, he makes fun of himself, liberal positions, made Britain a very powerful science, the science, peer reviewed then it’s science, a 30 page essay, coherence problems, doing science, replicate it, that’s science, holy shit I did this thing with electricity, this Ben knows what he’s talking about, spoilers, trained not to care, peer reviewed scientific study on whether spoilers spoil, subsequent studies, they don’t want to hear it, they believe that spoilers spoils, hearing about a good science fiction novel makes me want to read it, who dunnit?, Twin Peaks, Glass Onion (2022), getting triggered, incorrect view of books, shipping, relationshipping, root for the two character get together, have they not seen Moonlighting?, lotta dumb people appreciate things because they’re dumb, people wanted to watch adult things, Are You Being Served, Yes, Minister, I like Scooby Doo, still stuck in the Scooby Doo phase, unable to put their pants on, they’re not thinkers, Dune, just gave a Hugo award to, they didn’t do the banquet scene because they’re making it dumber, Lady Jessica is crying every three seconds, no voice over narration, no whisper talking, the miniseries, Dune is a smart book, they’re reading it wrong, they’re reading it shallowly, jumpin on Heinlein, it’s literature, think critically about it, some guy wrote a fiction book, Kittycat Massacre, Cat Killer by Donald E. Westlake, the death of a fake cat, basically The Cats Of Ulthar with a juvenile delinquent in New York, Donald E. Westlake, The Balloon Tree, Nolan and Simak, slow/fast, new to audiobook, first audiobook last week, coming into something new in this format, Motar/Mota/Motak, page breaks, chapter titles, you gain your eyes back, ebook bumps (braille), feeling a book, so hardcore, half-assed job, oeuvre, exercise, Jonathan is not ready for this, never go back, Aftershocks to Shokz, they screw on your bone?, sits near your ear canal, transmits through the skin into the bone into your ear, vibraty, implants?, Open Run, Open Comm, one ear free is the rule, this tech is ripe, proprietary but magsafe style, big long charge, soon…, bluetooth doesn’t work underwater, swim while listening.

Sixth Column by Robert A. Heinlein

Sixth Column by Robert A. Heinlein

Sixth Column by Robert A. Heinlein

Sixth Column by Robert A. Heinlein

Sixth Column by Robert A. Heinlein

Sixth Column by Robert A. Heinlein

Sixth Column by Robert A. Heinlein

Sixth Column by Robert A. Heinlein

Sixth Column by Robert A. Heinlein

Sixth Column by Robert A. Heinlein

Posted by Jesse WillisBecome a Patron!

The SFFaudio Podcast #761 – READALONG: Downward To The Earth by Robert Silverberg

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #761 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, Terence Blake, and Jonathan Manfred Weichsel talk about Downward To The Earth by Robert Silverberg

Talked about on today’s show:
downward dog, the sad story, a biblical quote, Nightwings, lots of short stories, 200 short stories?, sensing a pattern, The Book Of Skulls, Up The Line, Thorns, Dying Inside, similar tones, 1970, 1972, serialy in Galaxy, awesomely similar, Sundance, maybe having a mental breakdown, Tom Tworibbons, first nations native, setup the colonization, exterminating a possibly sentient pest, Colonel Kurtz, favourite writers, Lovecraft has Poe and Dunsany, Silverberg’s is Joseph Conrad, The Secret Sharer, Conrad is not really sciencefictional, rather elderly, a whole basement full, the comic book, its very French, one of the guys looks like Silverberg, aware of the adaptation, why did they make me that guy, Philippe Thirault and Laura Zuccheri, same bear same hair same face, messed around with the plot, so internal, such a novel novel, as opposed to Harry Potter, in his head, try to make a Dying Inside movie, cloud forests, getting into his racist head, voice over narration, look at the original Dune movie, that’s the book, the Villeneuve, why Jessica has to cry all the time, a superwoman who must cry in every scene, being upset all the time, more evil or less ready for their rebirth?, a different part of Gunderman, dialogs struggling with his internal self, the tour guy dude, Kurtz, externalize all of the that, cut them down and synthesize them into the basic idea, decide what each character represented, Avatar 2, a 3 hour movie, my unconscious is smarter than I am, a one hour on a similar theme, The Crunch, a tv movie by Nigel Kneale, most of the good stuff out of the UK is just Nigel Kneale, former island nation colony, takes place in realtime, natural resources, we’re all friends now aren’t we?, now pay us back what you stole from us, kinda like science fiction, resentment, African or North American or South American or island colonies, The Mouse That Roared (1959), drops you into it, similar to what we have in this book, the colonization of a planet, back for more, they thing that they wanted to get: unobtainium, a piss take, Cameron was a science fiction reader, moving off Earth, financing the whole trip, capitalists from Earth, makes you immortal, killing all these sentient whales, the relationships between the na’vi and the whales, the two alien species we have in this book, to see that pattern, interconnected, they literally link together, commune with each other, let’s do colonialism, let’s pull back from colonialism, Stephen Lang, he’s a Colonel Kurtz, twisted and evil, seeing the ending coming, foreshadowed from the beginning, quiet about things they shouldn’t be quiet about, meat-eater vs. omnivore, peaceful aliens, peaceful vs. pacifist, our main elephant we’re riding, him, permission from the human to kill the human, taking it as an order, whales are not allowed to fight, one of the whale characters, bad whale, excluded from the group, being violent to another sentient being, we warhawks here on earth, yeah getem!, power armour, a meditation on African colonialism, the Humanoids comic book company, I went to Kenya in 1968, I’d always liked Conrad, his mode at this time, he’s really into this stuff, Philip K. Dick drug-trippy, transcendence, interior life, immortality, relationships gone bad, Majipoor, a big series, strange dream and psychedelic stuff, wandering, getting into adventures, less interior, more Vancian, a new wave book?, painfully new wave, I like this book, what new wave proves, complaining about navel gazing, navel gazing is good, meditative, Sundance blew Jesse out of the water, alien baby factor, disturbing, they left that out, why?, amped up the sexuality and the nakedness, a French move, what scenes parallel what scenes, that snake pumping station, the three witches?, maybe, what they’re doing is horrible but we don’t know why, giving hallucinogens to horses, that’s the horror, cultural appropriation, species appropriation, terrible behavior, a native secret ceremony, how do these taboos develop, no photography, connected to the people, the taboo is there in part because we don’t have the physical transformation, a healing ceremony, an activity done by people who know what they’re doing it, solve some community problems, not scientifically proven, backlashes with the insects, everybody’s friends, some of the alien lifeforms are not you friends, eaten by some moss, you can commune with everything with your pony-tail, your horse, your sky-horse, your whale friend, cougar behind that tree, the bear will not meditate with you, the coyote will take your kid, the quasi-cultural appropriation, the tounge thing from Maori, the tree people bear their teeth and hiss, we’re all going on a spiritual journey, we can’t talk about it, respect our cultural practices, more Silverberg than Conrad, an initiation into the shadow side of things, Marlowe, sitting on a boat waiting for the tide to change, experiences in the Congo, a framed device, I went up the river, heard about this Kurtz guy, doing genocide, the slaughter of the elephants vs. the cutting off of hands, this book can’t exist without Conrad’s book, after colonialism, Kurtz is going back for forgiveness, it’s its own story, tourism as some element of every Silverberg, he’s writing what he knows, immortality but not in a way anyone would want, regrows limbs and heals damage, the rebirth ceremony, makes your sins go away or turns you into a puddle, on a symbolic level, the original X-Men movie, Magneto can turn people into mutants, forcibly mutantized, interior nature and interior sin, reflecting the inner life, none of the robots get to have a rebirth ceremony, patient AI, wall decoration, not a threat, the physical animals, fucking around the meaning in the comic, more Avatar earth mother, the planet is alive, the mother of souls tree, waking up the life of the planet, do the revolution, the plateau where transformation happens, a poor substitute for rebirth, go downward like beasts, gaining psychic powers, starchild in 2001, he becomes space Jesus, Paradise Lost by John Milton, the better the angel the more he can fall, Ecclesiastes, maybe animals and humans are or aren’t the same, if we’re special and they’re not, creatures without souls, munching the weeds, they are beasts, their leaden spirits go downward, sapient spirits go upward to the mists, the boom boom boom, he thought it was drums, they don’t have hands, a very pretty comic, huge hardcover, Paul should’ve loved that, not recognizing what a map, communicate with my dog, the frisbee section, the knowledge game, what a map means, not recognizing a picture, visual representation of an object, so many questions, what he’s doing in this books, spent some time, starts off the main character as a racist, that was me in the past, the other elephant guys are telling him, a new wave thing, engagement with the ideas, the sweat lodge, they need to, a cultural practice, we got to get your head on straight, a dance ceremony as medicine, dance therapy, bandages and drugs, a real solid engagement with non-western medicine, Badge Of Infamy is a medicine book, the baccy weed is gonna solve all our problems, the drug has actual effects, as used as a medicine, get Tolkien smoking pipes, changes your brain state, we’re not using it properly, the wafer on my tongue, transubstantiation, a dream state, I’m going to break into the rectory and get me some crackers and wine, special penance ceremony, kill things, pretty brutal, go down to earth temporarily, a healing ceremony to prep for transcendence, I am the emissary, I am the light of the world, love one another, he’s space Jesus, milking snakes, a funny phallic scenes, what stays in Vegas, masturbation contests, help all the other humans go through rebirth, galactic faith, an ecstatic state, this is that thing, impose the elephant people’s stuff on the humans, already in a state of grace, The Word For World Is Forest by UKL, Vietnam War, a pugnacious book, in the afterword of the colonization, a quiver full of kids, his blue children, an adopted white (human) kid, the sky people are back, Apocalypse Now (1979), the other way to go, after, goddamn those horrible fat cow people, maybe I’m not right, the same debates, relinquishment, 20 years in Afghanistan, they’ll just not let girls get educated, Eye Of The Monster by Andre Norton, playing a conservative author, a more nuanced view, a more liberal view, in science fiction in general, healing vs. drug abuse, fried up on drugs, A Scanner Darkly by Philip K. Dick, psilocybin, body horror, a liberation for our disabled main protagonist, a joy, a different attitude towards the concept, very palatable, wanna live in Avatar, a fantasy, living in a VR meta, his brain transfer, thinking you can be immortal, downloading your memories, that’s not how it works, Think Like A Dinosaur by James Patrick Kelly, way more engaged with a reality, puddle Kurtz, a thing on the wall feeding you black liquid, much more Alien (1979), only if they have to pee, people are alienated from their own bodies right now, they’re not comfortable in their own skin, the mind-body connection, ceremony connecting, body and mind and spirit, separate vs. connected, Silverberg vs. Cameron, where the horror is, the inside manifesting itself physically, a very solid book, grandmaster award, what is his standout work?, Heinlein, Philip K. Dick, short stories, little things that he’s done, a huge long career, is there any such thing for Silverberg, Born With The Dead, pretends his dead, why they don’t care anymore, sounds great, due to Audible and their evilness, brilliant, he can be amazing, Up The Line, Thorns, a picaresque comic novel, time tourism, a slacker flunky, a time courier, a tour guide for time travelers, have sex with their ancestors and drink a lot, causing a serious paradox, motifs, helix parlours, future drugs, weird connections, light/fun read, also light, Project Pendulum, a lot of fun, futuristic humans, bamboozle them, the quintessential Silverberg: Nightwings, graphic novel, the mouth, Roman Holiday (1953), some audiobook narrator, The Asteroid Stealers, Vampires From Outer Space, Thorns, really good, really dark, really depressing, a psychic vampire, reality tv shows, what authors do too, the short story guy, pretentious, new wave = pretentious, Avatar is just dumb, went on the journey, compared to Andre Norton…, the lack of a map is a feature not a bug, the dreamlike nature of this book, he gets lost, the elephant guys, a theory about the alien’s name, Borgazor, the most beautiful words in the English language: cellar door, that Anglo Saxon, Celtic, less Germanic, a logic to the language to the nameing of the things, an Elf tribe in Tolkien, old guy traveling a landscape of his youthful adventures, This Immortal, Call Me Conrad, [Damnation Alley], now they’re all old, rekindle alliances or hostilities, you see this in so many authors, back to the scene of old battles, the plot of a lot of new wave fiction, just because Jonathan’s old and has had battles, a new new wave writer, attracted to things and not do them themselves, I love Star Wars…, that’s sad, probably never gonna write a westerns, I can like westerns and not make westerns, we can enjoy a whole lot, late 1960s early 1970s, playing on the old pulp stories, less naive and more cynical, relitigate, redefine, Humanoids questions, how did you get into comics, Planet Comics during WWII, how did you get into paperbacks, then I found science fiction fandom, that was a long time ago, since 1969 to now, he thought he was getting old then, I’m an old man now I’m fifty, its taking this time, he exists and he loves the internet, gives the occasional speech he gets yelled at about, Heavy Metal, come out of retirement, famous fantasy novel, Lord Valentine’s Castle, I have more to say, keeping up with all the new books, 90s collabs, regular editorial, had to apologize for offending somebody, the big three magazines, out of retirement so many times, 2015/2016, Lawrence Block has retired several times, here’s an old book I wrote, a habit that’s built in, people like it still, I got this need to write it, it makes me feel something, wasn’t Marion Zimmer Bradley a grandmaster?, so many movies, Isaac Asimov, fixture on late night television, what do you think about speculative fiction, a rational and sand and excellent writer, I never heard of that, hundreds of works, his reputation, series are generally popular, what’s crazy about Silverberg, manic depressive thing, a ton of novels, fallow seasons, he turned down a nomination, compete with one another, Tower Of Glass, he was writing that many books, pretty darned good, Hawksbill Station, very prolific, A Time Of Changes, a J.G. Ballard vibe?, the guy who died of crystal infection, in reflection, the stuck couple, the brooding pit, a Drowned World sort of horror, feels less new wave?, Terence loved all of it, not a very visual person, descriptive passages are less interesting, the audiobook voice, Bronson Pinchot, bad experiences, a pleasure to read, Sailing To Byzantium, Grover Gardner, like and dislike, forced to tone down the performance, they only have gestures, by looking at their eyebrows, sardonic or whatever, a performance that can overwhelm a book, reading Tim Powers, the other kind of narrator, a straight narrator, getting the pauses perfectly, better audiobook taste, from the sitcom, The Bronson Pinchot Project, a weird hobby, 1985, Sixth Column by Robert A. Heinlein, prepare your racists selves, language changed for the book publication (vs. the serialization), City Of Singing Flame by Clark Ashton Smith, Logan’s Run by William F. Nolan and George Clayton Johnson, two dudes, Shakespeare’s Planet by Clifford D. Simak, Invitation To The Game, The Charwoman’s Shadow by Lord Dunsany, A Midsummer’s Tempest by Poul Anderson, the Canadian less shitty Andre Norton, Michael Crichton, Stephen King, Peter Straub, Progeny by Philip K. Dick, A Meeting With Medusa, just a blah book, his pre-post war stuff, 6 hours, do you have a Heinlein problem, sir?, as one should, you’re angry with the man, Farnham’s Freehold, most people are afraid, a special ranting booth, oh my god, this is getting creaky, The Number Of The Beast, the original illustrated version, next Heinlein, everybody wants to be on Starship Troopers, let’s do all the racist ones, winnow the podcast, a completely different interpretation, A Voyage To Sfanomoë, how he got his vocab, he read the dictionary, completely self-taught, one week in the United States, Boy Genius!, George Sterling, no you cannot do that!, his mentor guy, okay father figure, Lovecraft became his Sterling, revering, the opposite of August Derleth, Robert E. Howard, a tie, his terrificness, his ideas are weaker, beauty, Charles Baudelaire is a freak, Les Fleurs Du Mal, Terence put his hand in the mouth and is still two handed, put something in there, we need to talk about your audio quality, plug in some headphones, earbuds are not comfortable for two hours, more active noise cancellation, iPhone is pretty darned good.

Humanoids - Downward To The Earth

Humanoids - Downward To The Earth

Posted by Jesse WillisBecome a Patron!