The SFFaudio Podcast #648 – The Mad King by Edgar Rice Burroughs; read by Delmar H. Dolbier. This is an unabridged reading of the novel (9 hours 16 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Paul Weimer, Evan Lampe, Maissa Bessada, and Alex.
Talked about on today’s show:
a serial in All-Story, 1914 and 1915, reasons for confusion, the first half of this book is The Mad King, the second half is Barney Of Beatrice, follow ups, The Eternal Lover, some Tarzan action, Barney’s sister, the reincarnation of a cave man, who is this person, a spark, literary universe, paired the spares, paired with an unfrozen caveman, least favourite ERB, comparisons to The Prisoner Of Zenda, A Princess Of Mars, The Mucker, Robert E. Howard’s The Black Stone, H.P. Lovecraft, a stupid bet, honor, Barney has principles, Paul!, a no shaving contest, a true hero, never compromise, keeping in bearded and mustached, part of the genre, it tells you everything about Burroughs and Barney Custer, by reputation, The Prince And The Pauper by Mark Twain, whoa its Tarzan, before him stretched, the adjoining roof, clambering to the heights, he’s just swinging, Barney Custer invented parkour, the way the doubling was handled, the dependence on random chance, easily fixed with five minutes of work, his father was a soldier of fortune, a little background, car crashes, his car lands on the king, a eugenicist, princess genes, Colonel Custer, Custer was loser, fought against unbeatable odds, the rep he had, character flaws built right in, Barney is more prudent, The Efficiency Expert, the Austrian firing squad, the Serbian resistance, random luck, language, the shopkeeper spoke really good German, a German state, why this book isn’t as great as it should be, Rupert Of Hentzau, a guy going to an Eastern European country from England, a Germanic state, past Austria, he goes home, every year after, a rose kissed by his princess girlfriend, the best bad guy from the first book, a rogue, he’ll happily betray you and laugh about it, the first half of this book is the complete novel of Anthony Hope’s ZENDA and the second half maps to the second book RUPERT OF HENTZAU, the honorable thing to do, a scandal, one of his ancestors stole away a princess, cousins of the princess, the flaw in the first book is the sequel, going back and fixing the kingdom again, he leaves Lutha, that’s why this book is not as good as it should be, pathetic corrupt Europeans going to war, vs. the Americans know what to do, handwaved in the first, this king is bad from the start, a weak coward, a two-hander, the timing, March 21, 1914, serialized over three issues in 1915, WWI, Serbia, an analogy for World War I, the Black Hand, retconned, the location of Lutha comes in the second half of this book, 1-12 and 1-13, sneaks into a war torn country, the first half is set in at least 1913 the second half is set in August 1914, Anthony Hope’s novel is a fantasy, a portal fantasy, the Emperor of Austria/Hungary, not fully unified, two books in one book, from a fantasy into a John Buchan story (like The Thirty Nine Steps), the meld is ok, The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot, Genovia, the novel is dated after a couple of years, Bulgaria, right at the heart of WWI, Casablanca (1942), Lichtenstein, Andorra, European principalities, the White Raja Of Sarawak, Einstein was offered the presidency of Israel, adopting foreigners as their kings, pistols, horses, and an automobile and an airplane, and artillery, does Zenda have two F-16s? does Lutha have Migs?, “He Conquered A Dyak Army And Turned All Borneo Into His Private Kingdom”, Pacific castaways, little kings, Omoo by Herman Melville, Typee, The Man Who Would Be King, trophy dwarves and trophy whites, Amazing!, a second son of a British lord, family bastards, kinda legit, so many layers of mirrors, falling asleep in a field, at the very core, its a guy who comes from the peerage vs. son of a farmer, a princesses husband, everybody is on the same level (theoretically), how beautiful the women were, his car and his guns, a princess equivalent of his mom, he reverses the story, he’s ruling as Barney, a legit claim, ultimately he’s a king, blood, right, [marriage], decorum, deed, spanking the Austrian army, we know, his princess is his legitimation, fun and interesting, a funny situation, an American repudiating a system of equality, the King’s Word Is Law, pretty horrible, Burroughs isn’t focused on that, American virtues, pluck and attitude, the fantasy coming an reasserting, always acting honorably, avoids lying, the king wills this, the blood of the royals runs through my veins, the way Burroughs wrote this, I’m not sure which guy is doing what, Barney being merciful (by not killing him) is actually cowardice, the play of which guy are we actually looking at, they look identical but the King is a little pudgier, they look identical in the second book, they look similar in the first book, except when he smile sneers, Dave (1993), the princess is Sigourney Weaver, he runs an employment agency, Jesse’s not an American, American gyms, Americans practiced circumcision, are Evan and Alex and Paul circumcised?, William Kellogg, less common, lets talk about your penis some more, a Germanic king of eastern Europe, The Return Of Martin Guerre, my foreskin got shot off, mapping moles on the kings back, Natalie Zemon Davis, Human Is by Philip K. Dick, also a Deep Space Nine episode (the Pah-wraiths), Keiko comes back bad, we need the bad angels, a person looking exactly like another person, first cousins, little bit legit, the book can still work as a whole novel, the weld is not perfect, why the book isn’t as good as it should be, Robin Hood in the mountains, instantly bandits, war leader, sneaking into the country, belt full of guns, for reasons, so many sneaking ins, the spy that looks like the girl’s boyfriend, Stephan, a double, she sold him out, he’s cuddling her, frees the prisoners, randomly survived being shot, the Serbian spy, a ragtag militia, the writers’ room on this one was out to lunch, I’m just going to die, funny comedy, they’re gaslighting each other but they don’t want to be, you’re mad, our hero Barney, stealing a car, scenes that don’t go anywhere, the first half is one issue, the second half is three issues (so all cliffhangers), the coincidences are artificial, iron things out, funny and cute vs. Lord Of The Rings, chess pieces moving around, from Sword And Sorcery to High Epic Fantasy, two teams, the evil team, a Mexican standoff, the six vs. the ten, the princess shuttling between them, inkeepers and inkeepers daughters, a cozy Doctor Who episode, Star Trek, expands out, sentence by sentence writer, A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur’s Court, more American exceptionalism, the boss vs. the king, Lest Darkness Fall by L. Sprague de Camp, a failure, falling asleep vs. being hit on the head, falls asleep surrounded by corpses, a satire or a parody, earnest and honorable, participates in whatever’s going on, what makes him awesome, able to ride a horse, good with a sword, bringing democracy to Lutha, bringing democracy to Barsoom, The Pursuit Of The Pankera by Robert A. Heinlein, tourism, exploitation, a very strange sequence in a very strange book, Blackadder Series 3, Rowan Atkinson, American TV Shows One Episode Of A Time is Evan’s other podcast, George III, WWI, descending in status, a descent, Duel And Duality, who gets to be king, ridiculous, upheaval and murder, Alexander the Great’s generals, second sons of farmers, every tenth child goes off to the church, Crusader Kings, crusader monks, clerical work, clerk and clark, the plotting of the book, does the first half work on its own, tracks the guy half-way around the world, randomly, a small continent.
Talked about on today’s show:
also known as The Unteleported Man, a movie title, confusing the audience, this whole book is basically terrible, very dream like, Trails Of Hoffmann, Philip K. Dick gets grit in his brain and like Lord Runningclam starts forming a pearl around it, E.T.A. Hoffmann, an opera, kinda Poe and Philip K. Dick combined with fairy tales, The Sandman, one of the vignettes,the seed for this name, the seed, a 1975 Philip K. Dick interview, shooting the shit, Richard A. Lupoff, getting out the the field, you cant trust anything writers say, that’s bullshit, I was chatting up his wife at the bar…, the Lupoff’s that in here, lots of gems, reconstructed and constructed, its got everything, leadies, why are leadies in here?, another Plato’s cave analogy, recycling, Faith Of Our Fathers, the para-universe, written around the same time, flapples (one for the rhetorizier), the labour forces, The Crack In Space, human kipple, Malthusian logic, a good novel inside of this mess, a 1950s Dick novel, that frontier stuff, in the 60s he turned on the frontier, the moral core of the novel, a pastiche, dip into everything, I’m going to do Philip K. Dick for you, the rat, so familiar, Doctor Bloodmoney, Doctor Blood, so Philip K. Dick universe, conapts, if you were writing a rhetorizer, better works, more coherent, not put together, The UnUnTeleported Book?, he’s dealing with Nazis again, looking it as a coherent whole (even though it isn’t one), its Stalinism, Treblinka, Zyklon B, distinct experiences, here’s a twist…, spending 11 minutes describing every Philip K. Dick book, this is a really weird book, The Man In The High Castle, its not really our reality, not our world, its the ovens, there is no teleportation device, Mindwarp (Doctor Who), a microwave, Ben Applebaum’s job, there to prove the ovens are real, rumours of the Death Camps, the Germans have taken over the U.N., deNazified and running the space program, The Man In The High Castle, The Simulacrum, Doctor Bloodmoney, “I’m worried the United States is becoming a Nazi nation”, Now Wait For Last Year, African space war, the first Dick novel Will ever read, the giant LSD sequence, so weird, the out of place, the THL soldier, the chapter in Doctor Bloodmoney that’s out of place, super crazy heat without airconditioning, A Scanner Darkly, Faith Of Our Fathers, The Three Stigmata Of Palmer Eldritch, enjoy your mind expansion, another opera connection, The Flying Dutchman, The Wandering Jew, Richard Wagner’s anti-semitism, let’s celebrate Flying Dutchman day, eighteen years later, Dick knew Wagner better than any of us, gotta find love, Roger Zelazny, Marie Celeste, sening messages to people long dead, Brigadoon, Marissa’s opa, his opaness, he’s talking about himself, Oomphalos, Dick going in to get his car impounded, a sexy meter-maid, articulated breasts, the new fropntier isn’t a death camp, The Expanse, Frozen Journey by Philip K. Dick, blacks and browns being frozen, The Crack In Space, extended dreamtime, busy shaving, cheeseburger crumbs, Fred’s gonna take my string, this is how dreams are, dreams and writing lies (fiction) are related, sending messages that the police are your friends (propaganda), accessing Dick’s dreams, when he starts getting these images into characters minds, the women a little less so, a terrible car collage of good Philip K. Dick stuff, looking it as dream notes makes it more valuable, the end, such a cool story, it unraveled, read more novellas, less than half the size, 29,000 and 31,000 of new material, put three stories together, the ped runnels, Our Friends From Frolix 8, We Can Remember It For Your Wholesale, flapples (deflapple), if you kinda squint, a consistency despite it being so messy, autofacs all over this book, from a different phase in his career, Dick is very bothered by the solipsistic experience of dreams, why is CAN-D better than CHEW-Z, a gestalt experience vs., what’s so great about Galactic Pot-Healer, a church community, Faith Of Our Fathers, a diversity of experiences, a shared experience, a shared reality, para-worlds, something that joins us together, Eye In The Sky, Evan should write a book on Philip K. Dick, Evan has unlocked the key, a foundation for solidarity, striving for a shared perspective, we’re afraid of cohering, the true reality behind everything (is horrific), quantum stuff, his other works, a jarring thing, it becomes real, getting into politics, American politics, a very American ideology (to not want to talk about something is wrong), a similar cultural background, murky things, the hypothetical natives, from Chapter 13,
Hoarsely, its voice thickened by the mouthful which it still continued to chew, the creature said, “Good morning. I have your book for you. Sign here.” One of its pseudopodia convulsed and its tip lathered in a spasm which, after an interval, fumbled forth a bulky old-style bound-in-boards volume which it placed on a small plastic table before Rachmael.
“What-book is this?” he demanded, presently. His mind, numbed, refused to interfere as his fingers poked haphazardly at the handsome gold-stamped book which the creature had presented him.
“The fundamental reference source in this survey instruction,” the cephalopodic organism answered as it laboriously filled out a long printed form; it made use of two pseudopodia and two writing instruments simultaneously, enormously speeding up the intricate task. “Dr. Bloode’s great primary work, in the seventeenth edition.” It swiveled the book, to show him the ornate spine. “The True and Complete Economic and Political History of Newcolonizedland,” it informed him, in a severe, dignified tone of voice, as if reproving him for his unfamiliarity with the volume. Or rather, he realized suddenly, as if it assumed that the title would have overpowering influence alone, without additional aid.
“Hmm,” he said, then, still nonplussed-to say the least. And he thought, It can’t be, but it is. Paraworld-which? Not precisely as it had manifested itself before; this was not Blue, because his glimpse of that, ratified by the other weevils, had contained a cyclopsic organism. And this, for all its similarity to the Aquatic Horror-shape, had by reason of its compound multi-eye system a fundamentally different aspect.
Could this actually be the authentic underlying reality? he wondered. This macro-abomination that resembled nothing ever witnessed by him before? A grotesque monstrosity which seemed, as he watched it devour and consume-to its evident satisfaction-the remainder of its eyes, almost a parody of the Aquatic Horror-shape?
“This book,” the creature intoned, “demonstrates beyond any doubt whatsoever that the plan to colonize the ninth planet of the Fomalhaut system is foolish. No such colony as the projected Newcolonizedland can possibly be established. We owe a great debt to Dr. Bloode for his complete elucidation of this complex topic.” It giggled, then. A wet, slurred, wobbly giggle of delighted mirth.
his eyes swim, this is The Book Of The Calends from Galactic Pot-Healer, Evan doing a meta-interpretation of Dick, shifting realities, what is humanity?, Dick thinks there is a truth, in what Dick novel is there not a truth?, there’s always a truth, in the end there is a reality, although there are all false fronts and shifting realities there’s always a truth arrived at through some sort of solidarity, unpack the natives, what might be the objective truth, why Galactic Pot-Healer is the best Dick novel, it has Nick And The Glimmung as its Silmarillion, a deeper history, you know…this book was wrong, what is this book really about?, its not about teleportation, why did the Jews get killed in ovens, for immense amounts of human history people have been colonizing new lands, going back to the Flying Dutchman, the people that stayed behind, how does it make you feel to see people leaving the country, the Jews, here comes the officials, a new place where you will colonize the east, a BIG lie, that turn is a very Philip K. Dick thing, kinda like Glimmung in shape but not in power, the way the Book Of The Kalends works in Galactic Pot-Healer, he is subject to the author’s need to find community and meaning, raise Haldscalla, they form a union, they fight their demons together, disconnected and an LSD sequence, it doesn’t resolve in the way we want it to, the 1966 verison:
Thinking that, he paused before entering the area of light; in the darkness of the side street, unnoticed by passers-by, he scrutinized Freya Holm a long, long period.
“Hmm,” he said, half aloud. Contemplatively.
“What are you thinking about?” Freya asked shyly, her dark, full lashes trembling as she returned his stare. “The years of deep sleep ahead of you?”
“Not quite that,” Rachmael answered. “Something a little more this side of sleep. But connected with it.” He put his arm around her.
“Gee,” Freya said after a time.
In his pocket the container of components hummed happily.
almost like a sex metaphor version, The Unteleported Man (1966), the version we’re hearing in audio, when Evan did his episodes on Lies, Inc. and The Unteleported Man, we need some rogue cuts, Dick is doing something here, what is the objective truth in this novel, there’s an authoritarian state in Newcolonizedland, where does the delusion come from?, the LSD dart?, the teleportation itself?, the cultural image is Stalinism, the natives are not there, terra nullis, the eye-eater super-spy, Ben Applebaum is the Jew after the Germans, Arab-Israeli, undercooked, its because its a dream, he can bring it all together, bringing it into a beautiful bow, all the boob looking, all the fake coffee, here we don’t have that, its front heavy, 5 or 6 revisions, from Fantastic, a 1965 version, a 1979 version, Paul Williams’ found 3 segments, the 2003, Philip K. Dick is actually a really good writer, a mashup of notes, an August Derleth(like) collaboration, his 18 year journey, a really good story there, it has all the makings for one of his classics, his business is crumbling, such a Philip K. Dick setup, analogizing his own life, Matson, it puts an idea in your heads, they’re a private investigator firm, his motivation is the Truth, the company maintaining the lie is not Lies, Inc., Listening Instructional Educational Services, that game at the start of Galactic Pot-Healer, two visions of the internet, when you’re bored at work you engage at various games, puns and book titles, the other vision of the internet is The Book Of The Kalends, books are not popular, a lot of Moby-Dick, he’s doing a Jonah, the heart of the darkness, strike strike what’s beyond the mask?, a new study in Nature about the relationship between elevated rates of autism (and related) in transgender and gender diverse – is untalkableabout – underneath the mask of identity is more onion, I am nothing, there’s nothing there underneath, Ishmael disappears, the universe fucked me by giving me birth, he aims his hate at a particular whale, it is challenging me by its very existence, get on board with this creative project, all the Project: Plowshare stuff, are you willing to use the reality distortion weapons?, there might not be any natives, it breaks Jesse’s ability to understand a book, Max Brand’s The Untamed, anti-romantic, the incoherence of the natives is the incoherence of the novel, Dick deals with indigenous people in several novels, The Crack In Space, Dr. Futurity, Time Pawn is beautiful to read, we could do another show on Time Pawn, the editing is worse than the weird chapter in Doctor Bloodmoney, less like a novel than fixup by someone else, why not just read the originals, they’re not available, it doesn’t exist, you can’t access it, NESFA press, the public domain part of it, an editor said: I will buy this, squeeze another novel out, he was a slim volume writer anyway, Herman Melville from chapter 58:
“Consider the subtleness of the sea; how its most dreaded creatures glide under water, unapparent for the most part, and treacherously hidden beneath the loveliest tints of azure. Consider also the devilish brilliance and beauty of many of its most remorseless tribes, as the dainty embellished shape of many species of sharks. Consider, once more, the universal cannibalism of the sea; all whose creatures prey upon each other, carrying on eternal war since the world began.
Consider all this; and then turn to the green, gentle, and most docile earth; consider them both, the sea and the land; and do you not find a strange analogy to something in yourself? For as this appalling ocean surrounds the verdant land, so in the soul of man there lies one insular Tahiti, full of peace and joy, but encompassed by all the horrors of the half-known life. God keep thee! Push not off from that isle, thou canst never return!”
his ship is gonna be impounded, the amount of delay, that menace that conspiracy, when you live in a police state, the police are our friends, the FBI is out to get you (just not you specifically), the NSA’s official line: collect everything, the wellness check, Nancy’s not answering the door, what the hell Nancy?, the nosy neighbour, this is a reality, a nightmare, the govt of Quebec was trying to convince people to vote for them using a wedge issue, religious headcoverings, didn’t the Saudis have it right all along?, they had good reason for it, someone not wearing a mask?! how dare you!, reflecting, there was a reason for abstaining, that kind of positive conservatism, there might have been a reason for that fence, Philip K. Dick is exploring some really cool stuff, Philip K. Dick’s greatest book: LIES, Inc., more connections, the nexus book for all of the Philip K. Dick stuff, it is the oomphalos!, not a pessimistic writer, his authoritarian states, Orwell’s Nineteen-Eighty Four, The World Jones Made, The Man Who Japed, that settler family, a symbol at the end of that tyrrany, A Scanner Darkly has some hope, Radio Free Albemuth, a chickenhead, the West coast, travelled across the continent, they’re not farther West, the sympathy that dick has for those that stay behind and those that want to flee is a really interesting theme, the colonial fiction of the British Empire, the world is their planet, going home is not a big deal, maybe a class issue, who are the people who move to the States?, the poors, the second sons fleeing murder convictions, free land, fleeing persecution, those who are left behind, isn’t our country being brain drained?, a chance to begin again, sex robots and farm robots (slaves), suspicious of it and attracted to it, he’s talking about something very important to human beings, the US never got over the frontier, Turner’s thesis, build a log cabin, remaking democracy with the frontier experience, culturally you have the Western and Science Fiction, and the Pacific (the Philippines), how the Philippines was colonized, Clark Ashton Smith had a story published in a Philippines publication, appreciating life in the Philippines, the same kind of occupation, Rudyard Kipling had his first stories published in a railroad publication in India, Afghanistan, they don’t live there, you send your sons off to fight those wars, the fear of what’s on the otherside of that train journey east, reading the newspapers, oh my god!, we didn’t have the complete story!, the official lies that are being told, he is the product of his environment, loving these German operas, having a German name and being fearful of Germans, Black Earth: The Holocaust As History And Warning by Timothy Snyder, Hitler was trying to make his own frontier in Eastern Europe, how much Hitler was influenced by the colonization of the American West, Kentucky is not naturally part of the United States, Dick’s intention, a lot of the fascism conversation in science fiction, John W. Campbell vs. Joseph Campbell (being Nazis), Hitler was a romantic, romantics are dangerous, practicalists are dangerous in a different kind of a way, Karl May, they have adventures together, turning the non-threatening into a Crusade, theoretically motivated by a real book (a fictional story), the romantic idea, he is engaging to get out of the house and conquer, get out from under, the send off point, the Germans were the first ones to fight the Nazis, there are good Americans, another anniversary of Hiroshima, two planes that dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, they didn’t have aircraft that could hold the two nukes, it almost was the case the British dropped the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and Nagasaki wasn’t the original target for that day, I’m glad its overcast because now I’m not dead, the luck of Kokura, the Japanese were not going to give up, Dan Carlin’s Supernova In The East, the military was 100% in charge but from the bottom up, Pearl Harbour was a naval effort, can you make any analogies to the United States today, healthcare and a living wage, more aircraft carriers and war with Venezuela, Russia, and China, Russia’s got a vaccine and nobody believes it (scientists and others), two Jesse rap battle, all the American liberals refusing to take a Corona virus vaccine, its very easy to forget where stuff come from when you benefit from forgetting from where it comes from.
The SFFaudio Podcast #610 – Star Hunter by Andre Norton; read by Leonie Rose
This unabridged reading of the story (3 hours 37 minutes) is followed by a discussion of it.
Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Paul Weimer, Will Emmons, Trish E. Matson, and J. Manfred Weichsel talk about Starhunter by Andre Norton
Talked about on today’s show:
Ace Double d-509, Voodoo Planet, 1961, Planet Of Alien Monsters!, a thrill packed account, an interstellar safari, All Cats Are Gray, plotting, geography, this planet somewhere east of the Sierra Madre, a planetary romance, Burroughs’ Africa, Colorado-y, southern Appalachians, water cats, The Green Odyssey by Philip Jose Farmer, relationships vs. biome, safari planet, the sounds of little animals, its the seas are so shallow, Beast Master by Andre Norton, Eye Of The Monster, The Sioux Spaceman, it feels like a series book, space buffalo trap, the sloth people, the takeaway, colonial planets, the county library, The Crystal Gryphon, Quag Keep, bait and switch, Double Star by Robert A. Heinlein, a lost heir in space story, the alien mystery was not even solved, People Of The Crater, Star Born, the preliminary art, Jesse is always seduced by the art, a big hole, a famous science fiction writer, Tarzan as a scam (Tarscam), reframe it from the boy’s POV, Lovecraft’s The Outsider, YOU ARE LORD GREYSTOKE!, every time there’s a piece of technology in this story it fails, the alien field, nevermind about that, as a piece of science fiction all the technology is basically useless, let’s have the kid genetically tested, a half-assed plan, a D&D character rolling a 1, provide complications and fill pages, compare this to Kim and The Jungle Book, Citizen Of The Galaxy, Romulus and Remus, my Robot Jox (1989) movie was not inspired by Transformers, I can do that, an heir to something greater, the greatest spy in the Great Game, a mop boy, a dive bar on a cantina planet, part of this Mandalorian religion, a drugged cup of joe, the fake lost heir, intrigue on an alien planet, maybe they’ll find the actual boy, a The Prince And The Pauper situation, writing it over the weekend and handing it in, the Time Trader novels, could Paul draw a map of where they go and what the geography is?, a safari for what?, that looks like a great book, hiding in the foreground, TECHNOLOGY!, sloth man, even the sloth kid doesn’t get the star treatment, spy vs. spy stuff, in the background of the universe, it could have been a cool story, their sociology their anthropology, if you have a science fiction premise, implanting memories in people’s minds, what would that mean?, I am from the future and here is my rocketship to take you to the Moon, promises to the reader, skeptical straight from the getgo, the sloth people, this should be some sort of mirror to our hero, what is he doing there?, turns out nothing important, (drawing Jesse in), aliens secretly running a planet, the Jack Vance Planet Of Adventure novels, Fredric Brown’s Arena, that story is all symbols, a plastiform hand just like Luke Skywalker, Cool!, make him cool!, gentlefemme, one of the things she’s famous for, pardon Paul’s language, economic classes, ethnic groups, an external mystery or threat, Jumanji, Finnish for God, why?, how much drug taking is going on, maybe this *IS* the Great Game, sort of a YA novel, the relationship that Kipling had to his wetnurse, an analog for him, sympathy for the lower classes, of earth stock, because billionaires, a fascinating universe hidden behind the meandering weak plot, special skill, now he wants revenge, it doesn’t work, what was all that for?, an episode of Johnny Quest, if you follow it closely, the art of Johnny Quest, for small children, disrespectful to children, Lord Tyger by Philip Jose Farmer, create a Tarzan in real life, an interesting premise, counting on Farmer for more fun, more interesting than fun, decepticons stuff, Farmer doesn’t know what he’s doing, explanation (don’t care so much), heavy at points, sexual violence, what Tarzan would be like in real life, bad things, a bad person, lynching black men who killed his man, an aesthetic choice, chaste on camera, the whole wild child phenomenon is fascinating, when these things happen, it has happened many times, parents abandoning children, adopted by animals, a logic to it, what is what we do to all our pets, domesticating them as a part of the family, my furbabies, dogs are a part of out society, we have capabilities that they don’t, why Jesse?, I know how it ends, Jesse has his own systems, everybody is immoral in this book, the systems they live within are immoral, sloth guy, that’s a lie, totally immoral, that’s the name of the book, he feels guilty about it, the kid has no future anyway, killed in a bar fight, there’s another way to run this, Andre Norton tries for a saving throw, c’mon man, going along with it would be immoral, you can’t lie to animals exactly, maybe Will would look at it from a legal POV, what are they liable to be charged with?, unlawful confinement, the police’s involvement, condoned by the state, intelligence circles, that’s all they do, yo, programming people, kidnapping, a capital crime, the quasi-police, entrapment, she doesn’t know what she’s doing, ok I’m writing a book this weekend, a Norton quirk, criminals are heroes in the past, Robin Hood, Suicide Squad, The Many Colored Land by Julian May, in the news this week, statues getting pulled down, they were given statues, Winston Churchill, you can’t be a good person and run the empire, the only good person, he’s vying for power?, Jesse can be wrong about books, The Mound by Zealia Bishop and H.P. Lovecraft, maybe totalitarianism and…, the gaining of knowledge is the only thing worth doing, I was promised a headless ghost living in a mound, that’s shit, their heads are inside their torsos, fine here’s your book, dismiss Norton as not worth reading, this is her worst book, Sea Siege is worse, that’s not cool, a nuclear war, trails and goes nowhere, the scene on the cover is fairly early in the book, some ace books, The Zap Gun by Philip K. Dick was written to order, a philosophical meditation on the meaning of weapons, it tricked me, the power of a really good cover, when you were young, on an island with no electricity, Smaug sitting on that pile sold me, John’s selling his book based on the cover, the promise of the cover, Lawrence Block doesn’t make bad books, this speaks to me, Jon’s first science fiction book Starman Jones, an aerospace museum gift shop, there’s a little monkey guy on the cover, there’s always Starman Jones, an up and comer, Red Planet, their best friend Willis, a YA thing, the hero or heroine and his furry companion, Star Beast, a pet in the family, we should have just read that, Star Beast is fun, how the economy works, the avuncular wisdom of Heinlein, off planet, these are competing books on the used bookstore bookshelf, more of the same (more cool interesting stuff), more of the stuff you love, Animal Kingdom, crime, Isaac Asimov, Donald E. Westlake, Larry Niven, playing fair, The Long Arm Of Gil Hamilton, Blaking Bad, there is a kind of detachment once you realize the government isn’t going to help you, a quasi dystopia, that perfect setup, he did the right thing, his students are making fun of him, I’m going to use my skills for evil, your background premise, it shows the deficiency even more, orphanages, debatable, unchecked institutions, surplus kids dropped off on people’s doorsteps, orphan trains, WWII, The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe, Ellen Barkin, a family of adult boys, they all hate the mom, willing to kill people, they have a lot of money, you cant go to the cops or the church or the neighbors, sharpen some weapons, put some food aside for a rainy day, following a situation like that, The Shield, he gets a desk job, a weird kind of punishment, at least he’s not happy, the audience for that show is all the people who don’t have that day job, what do you think Andre Norton is thinking, the drugs and the orphans, a massive dystopia outside the tiny little view of it, expand please, the traumas of the post war moment are right under the surface, America in 1961, before the War on Poverty programs, back from WWII and the Korean War, taking turns at the uncle’s house, the backdrop, our society, in this strange sci-fi setting, plenty of orphans, Fake Heiress, another survival technique, assumed identity, past the Mississippi be a different person, Henry Morton Stanley, Joseph Conrad, ornamental last names, the morality of big game hunting, accidentally hunt humans, trophy hunting, grandbosses, contact protocols, implied shooting of aliens, another technology failure, this stuff never fail, there’s only a few of them, a class thing, the guides, the rich guy doesn’t need the food, this trap may be there to kill water cats (over hundreds of years), very small planet, passive fishing, shortly thereafter the megafauna disappear, anything we cant domesticate becomes food, having a distaste for big game hunting, ridiculous and stupid, maybe hippos are yummy, a taste problem, go read a book yo, just something to do, like jetskiing, what the billionaire class does, I must have my water cat, rich clueless idiot tourists, the collector who wants to classify every butterfly, on the level intellectually of really liking go-carts, a very basic visceral thrill, something to brag about, The Most Dangerous Game by Richard Connell, he’s exactly like Zaroff now, this is his castle now, that’s a Jesse thought, Jesse just wants to hunt people, check it out, Trish has a different conclusion, the most popular download, more than a quarter of a million downloads, the Russian angle, a 1924 story, his noble seat, now he’s gone too far, Shiptrap Island, a different show, recommendations, Sneaky Pete, bonds vs. bail bonds, satisfying, Brat Farrar by Josephine Tey, great great great, Jo Walton review, doppelgangers, earth stock vs. space stock, compact vs. elongated, The Smoke Ring, The Integral Trees, big ideas, small plot problem, their tree is falling apart, those big ideas sure are big, we squeezed this very slim volume dry, something she does often, it is not PC, it is PC, it can be both, identifying with the natives, an anti-colonial novel, The Sioux Spaceman his hawk-man style costume, a very political book, she changed her name to match her pseudonym, that sounds like fun book, it sounds like Star Trek, investigate the universe and fix it all up, a stagnant galaxy, a Foundation TV show, let’s get on this spaceship and have a conversation, one day there should be books in a library, on the other side of the galaxy, one day there will be a Mule, that will be important, Paul Krugman must be wetting his pants, a superhero movie about The Mule, the I, Robot (2004) movie, The Naked Sun, a murder mystery.
Talked about on today’s show:
how hard it is to listen to podcasts, 12 hours, jam packed with ideas, all the movies, both audio dramas, comic books, a cartoon adaptation, sloshing together, starting with the ending, Job not Job, Job died, the everydayman, he has a very specific descendant: Sam Gamgee, less pleasant language, racist assumptions, she’s evil, they don’t see it, get the elephants out of the room, not a racist book at all, four movies, the 1925, the 1935, the 1965, the 2001, the 1909, the 1984, the Flash Gordon episode, great perfect film, Will is a troll, laying out Jesse’s case, none of the adaptations are faithful, the 2006 audio drama, Tim Mcenery (from Blackadder), a very wise person wrote it, compressing 12 hours down into 2, they don’t usually set it in Africa, Samarkand, filmed in Bulgaria, set in the Arctic, what were they thinking?, silent, Bulgarian extras, Ultima Thule, themes, shells of locations, the UK, the backstory, out of Africa and Greece and Egypt, this visit to Zanzibar, the land of Kor, Egyptian Arabic Black, even more fictional, Natal, South Africa, they’re basically Tharks, Ayesha is Princess of Helium, the prototype to Galadriel, she’s Circe, an immortal wizard, the 2006 audio drama, Mohamed was killed off, the brown man in the hot pot, they fear for their own lives, cannibals, they attempt to come to Job and Holly and Leo come to his rescue, defending their own from being anthropophaged, revenge, resentful of the orders of She, not allowed to eat the whites, killing people in anticipation of being cooked, a cartoon, two explorers in pith helmets in a cauldron, its more complex than that, its not focused on race, what what?, delightful and not racist, the fictional people who live around Kor, the descendants who intermingled and degenerated, racial degeneration, the inversion of British customs, eminently civilized, one of the savage tropes, you’re reading that in, every couple of hundred years we slaughter them, this is a book about gender and gender relations not about race, not especially racist, snow white, she has ivory breasts, the whiter you are the more beautiful you are, that’s gender not race, she’s an evil white goddess, white savior syndrome, colonialist themes, he’s pretty conscious of a lot of things, a vehicle for the tropes, this myth of Africa, the inversion of our customs, an inversion of our hospitality, The Africa That Never Was by Dorthy Hammond and Alta Jablow, a justification for colonialism, literary sensationalism, titillating enough, a literary theme, fairy tales and nursery rhymes, a vivid new variation, the negation of European values, semi-matriarchal culture, the two who are noble savages, one of the best characters in the novel, my baboon, falsify it, cannibalism as mythological, ritualistic cannibalism of loved ones, headhunting, all over the world, its wonderful to eat Jesus’ flesh and drink his blood, a sexy subject, Melville’s most famous book (in his lifetime), when that book blew up, amazing story, everyone else is doing the cannibalism, he didn’t have anything good to say about Irishmen and Greeks, unpleasant passages, thieves and sneaks, our insular prejudices are most of them based on common sense, these black gentry, fit for muck, thinking during the book, so beautiful, a compliment, he looks English, droopy or something?, race science and social darwinism, his weak genes give out, stronger genes, a perfect time, yucky racism instances, totally obsessed with this trio, a board game, Horace “Baboon” Holly, Leo is a lion, Job is a pig, going back to Circe, SHE is a snake, undulating, both become obsessed with her, a terrible beauty, massive one page notes, IMMORTALITY, how it got into H. Rider Haggard’s hands (as the editor), THE FLAME, MUMMIFICATION, a bonfire, mummies for firewood, the mummy craze, mummydust as medicine, when we do it its cool, driving Job to the hotpot, when Odysseus lands, pigs at the dinner table, never explained in the story are the wolves and lions, enslaved to Circe, tame, women being dominant, different kinds of cultures, Philip K. Dick’s Strange Eden, tamed by the witch, the first WAND as a magical instrument, there’s no monkey or ape on Circe’s island, Horace studies ancient languages, a keen mind and a freaky body that’s reminding everyone of Darwin, let’s go look at each other in the mirror, so interesting, Ayesha does the same thing to Holly, look at you and look at me, your quasi-son, never explicitly explained, why does she die, yo?, providence, has she done it before?, she hasn’t been back there, dancing in the flames, the flames vs. the gauze, she’s wrapped like a mummy, literally wrapped, veiled in every respect, she’s TOO pretty, TOO beautiful, makes men stupid and men evil, she has Darth Vader powers, she’s an evil Jedi, she can kill people with a look, why does Leo go on this trip?, his name means avenger, he doesn’t act like he’s out for revenge, the mystery, all the women love him already, fawning women, terrible for him, a rebellion against his adoptive father, Horace gets excited about all the good shooting down there, youth being inquisitive, he ends up fulfilling his atavistic destiny, she’s getting him back, showing that vision, Christopher Lee, he’s been wizarded, Peter Cushing doesn’t look like a baboon (he looks like a greyhound), Ayesha shows up in three other books, Ayesha: Return Of She, Tibet, Lost Horizon, She And Allan, contrived reason to visit Kor, uppity Zulu woman, an H. Rider Haggard trope, a desire to love native women, unnatural and doomed, they’re all wearing the ring of power, they’re all turning into Saruman, the Haggard/Tolkien connection, C.S. Lewis, the White Witch is based on She, Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs, similar in the face, the year this story is set, martini rifle, Zulu (1964), the book ends 22 years after the events started, there and back again (two years), the play in the caves, the whole lost civilization thing, Edgar Allan Poe’s Narrative Of Arthur Gordon Pym, Conan, Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Lost World, something even older, Plato and Atlantis, Philip Jose Farmer, when the Sahara was green, there were dinosaurs there, H. Beam Piper’s Omnilingual, the pots and heads, and the pot sherd, Plato’s the Myth Of The Cave, group-think, religion, the 17th of March 2029, the scarab, the ancient connection, Kor as Pompeii, one note on lost race – lost colony, ancient active civilizations, Mormonism, Andrew Jackson on the Indian mounds, the great Zimbabwe, it has to be an ancient race of white people, race sciences, an ancient white source, Hadon Of Ancient Opar, Time’s Last Gift, the green Sahara, a deity in that pantheon, a rumour of Her in Tibet, in the framing, they’re planning to go off to the East, James Hilton’s Shangri-La (Lost Horizon), Iron Fist, influential on Henry Miller, J.R.R. Tolkien, Margaret Atwood, H.P. Lovecraft,
The romantic, semi-Gothic, quasi-moral tradition here represented was carried far down the nineteenth century by such authors as Joseph Sheridan LeFanu, Thomas Preskett Prest with his famous Varney, the Vampyre (1847), Wilkie Collins, the late Sir H. Rider Haggard (whose She is really remarkably good),
Lovecraft favourites, holy shit! that’s a Lovecraft line, Algernon Blackwood, a survival of a hugely remote period, and called them gods, She is a Goddess, She talks a lot about death and change, Shadow Out of…, Facts Concerning The Late Arthur Jermyn And His Family, and Arthur Jermyn soaked himself in oil, his peculiar personal appearance, peculiar features, learning was in his blood, the Congo region, supposed antiquities, Observations On Several Parts Of Africa, when in his cups, under a Congo moon, abysmal treasure vaults, even a Pliny, weird cravings (carvings), his grandmother in her box, the Horace Holly story, he looks like a monkey, this horrible truth revealed to us via Darwin, Ayesha is lily white flames and gauze, this tension between atavism (reversal to type), get your breeding right, the super-concerns of 19th century people, racism as a reaction…, lichy ancestors, Innsmouth, race-mixing, interbreeding with fishmen is a problem, mind-transference, Cushing and Lee and Ursula undress, after WWI why?, Roxanne, The Man Who Would Be King, the Mountains Of The Moon in Uzbekistan?, blowing minds, as if nothing has ever happened, North By Northwest (1959), Paul’s case, blonding her up, reasons for being blonde, our racialization of Arabs, the money shot, her raven hair over her white porcelain body, the whole hair thing, Galadriel and Gimli, Tolkien’s version of immortality, let’s just go off to the West, Primeval Thule, drug addict elves, high on lembas, black milk, types of immortality in She, reincarnation, a Greek who’d falling in love with an Egyptian, Ayesha as Cleopatra, would Haggard have cared or known?, that Egyptian asp, a callback vs. a throwback, the death glance, though at times they sleep and are forgotten, how enchanting some of the language is, poetic level language, written in six weeks, the original serialization in The Graphic, The Lost World by Arthur Conan Doyle, Victorian photoshop, fake documentation, verisimilitude, a true document!, when She actually shows up, dreams and visions, the lessons of Jurassic Park and Jaws, everybody speaks English, the 2006 audio drama, the translation, a ton of poetic repetition, all these conversations are happening in ancient Arabic, Holly is the main character, she leaned back on the couch, oh man, things upon the earth though knowest not, Jews, there be a thing called Change, three times 2,000 years have passed, The Doom That Came To Sarnath, the body moves, She’s force powering him back to life, what does this all mean?, she burns up the corpses and steps into the flame, stranger is my name, here I tarry, why dost though believe, the beauty of Helen, wisdom of Solomon, that ye cal death, barbarians lower than beasts, in the original book, you can’t look at god, Moses is permitted to see his hind parts, a Lovecraft swoon, beautiful and terrible, all about Jesus, her historical connection, Horace talking, she’s a wizard, she’s a lich, Wisdom’s Daughter, she’s travelling around like a wizard, gone for a whole generation, force glance, laser eyes, why the book is so fun, She’s that living connection, The Boat Of A Million Years, Jesse is sorry he has to read so much, they’re rivals for her affection, all about chosen family, you’ve been kidnapped, long strong arms, a martini rifle and a revolver, he’s got a good heart, a good word for Job, the mark of civilization is not knowledge but compassion, it’s fine she killed my wife, this section is insane, the terror of the leaping flame, the wise sadness of the tombs, all metaphor, the white shroud she wore, lovely tempting womanhood, she’s a virgin, so my Holly, the lagnuage is biblical, Allan Quatermain and Solomon Kane, I’m inclined to flattery, now my waist, this golden snake that is to large, she doesn’t like her clothes, that lady has a wasp waist, huge baboon hands, he has to squeeze her a bit, oh Holly, I am but a man!, Heaven knows what she was, I worshiped her as never woman was worshiped, what about gay men?, so horribly wonderfully, She is so fuckin evil, She cast a spell on him, the sight is sweet, the dear pleasure that is our sex’s only right, a buttoned down Cambridge don, century days, she’s lonely, she doesn’t have any books, spend all your days getting paler and paler talking to corpses, she has her TV, it is no life, She says She’s in Hell, a good thing for everybody, I’m going to England and replace Queen Victoria, it’s Dracula, Anno: Dracula, this book is really influential, the only thing comparable, an adventure of history, Jules Verne’s extraordinary voyages, Roman guards, the 2nd Brenda Fraser Mummy movie, riffing off of She, Mountains Of The Moon (1990), Burton and Speake, Stargate: SG-1, why its important to have diversity in its command structure, Space Vampires aka Lifeforce (1985), female seductresses, women’s rights, the Victoria stuff, you can betray your queen, what the hell are we accepting them for, foisting kids and relatives, The Rock, its really important: this is about class, Sam Gamgee is a servant, this race thing is used to divide us, when She says want me to kill her now, should I kill him now?, Kylo Ren and evil vs. good, how formative, an early adventure quasi-fantasy, its all science, rules for what you can see in the glass, she’s elf so she has magic, now I know how this works, what are they gonna do for twelve hours, Maissa had no idea what was coming, wow!, so lyrical, metaphysical, all the Lost World books are here, finding a fount, needed wanted more of it, his first big hit, She is what he would be remembered for, Indiana Jones did that, Rumpole Of The Bailey, the comic, Horace isn’t baboon enough, I wreath a corona around his head, what makes this book so good, Horace Holly’s a great character to see it through, why didn’t you choose Horace?, She does choose him in a way, why She chose Leo, its all about the physical beauty, her whole basis for him, he was pretty, I poured all my love into her, more importantly you’re ugly, which of them is actually ugly, Ayesha is the most monstrous hollowed out garbage person, a whole level of how do you judge a person, this person looks like they’ve had too many sandwiches, you might want to marry a supermodel, hockey shoes, beauty vs. personality and principles, abandoning principles, Horace sees his adopted son as a rival, he fantasizes about polyamory, she’s saving herself for the guy she murdered 6,000 years ago, hidden herself in a tomb, a pyramid, a story of horror, at the end of the 1919 hardcover:
To H. R. H.
Not in the waste beyond the swamps and sand,
The fever-haunted forest and lagoon,
Mysterious Kor thy walls forsaken stand,
Thy lonely towers beneath the lonely moon,
Not there doth Ayesha linger, rune by rune
Spelling strange scriptures of a people banned.
The world is disenchanted; over soon
Shall Europe send her spies through all the land.
Nay, not in Kor, but in whatever spot,
In town or field, or by the insatiate sea,
Men brood on buried loves, and unforgot,
Or break themselves on some divine decree,
Or would o’erleap the limits of their lot,
There, in the tombs and deathless, dwelleth SHE!
a life after its life, its an immortal book!, the Citadel of Truth, the Goddess of Truth, the dead orb above and the dead city below, long departed glory, their all mummified, they worshiped Truth to much, styling herself as the goddess of Truth, She dies after getting what She wants, the 1935 ending, immortality’s all great and that, the hope we might be reunited again, traditional Christian belief, pushing it away, forever in Heaven, the inverse of Heaven, if She keeps coming back, every sequel, a metaphysical aspect, a theosophical aspect, vehicles for philosophizing about man’s place in the universe, a sock puppet for H.R.H.’s theosophical ideas, what is the novel actually doing?, maybe a stand-in for H.R.H., so surprising, what’s the meta-text?, the Victorians and the things they didn’t want to face, compartmentalizing, he is his life, a very English thing, let’s go see this movie (because I need spend time with a human), my only friend, dying wish, you’re not fit for society so you may as well raise my son, almost homoerotic, appreciating a male form without being totally gay, basically bribes him, a bizarre opening, Christoph Waltz, I’ve been watching you for two years, why you don’t get married right away, gauzey goggles, a vision, gametes gotta gamete (meet), that outer society, women choosing the men, social security, a social safety net, a nanny state, goats, a communitarian society, why we need to expand the public domain, the writer gets paid, Andrew Yang ‘1K, bro’, Playstation 5, there are alternate ways, how writers gotta be paid, living authors should be paid royalties for your works (unless you’re in a country that cant access them for legal reasons), going away from a money based society, the average Canadian writer gets paid $7k per year, free healthcare, how the postal workers in Yugoslavia had their own vacation spot, why not do that?, postal workers aren’t going away anytime soon, alternative forms, the artificial scarcity system, you clearly haven’t listened to my piracy, join my pirate team!, let’s do these shares out equally, with the internet now, the amounts of research we are able to do for this book are insane, spend more time not doing horrible things for cash, bodies rented out for paying the rent, alternate, mercy killing, maybe rose twitter knows what its doing.