The SFFaudio Podcast #774 – READALONG: Farnham’s Freehold by Robert A. Heinlein

Farnham's Freehold - IF - Worlds Of Science Fiction
The SFFaudio PodcastJesse, Paul Weimer, Maissa Bessada, Trish E. Matson, and Jonathan Weichsel talk about Farnham’s Freehold by Robert A. Heinlein

Talked about on today’s show:
unmuted, you’ve probably read my books, a wonderful novel from July 1964, Worlds Of If, very proud of himself, as a teenager, screenshotted, omigod, adding a new element to the story, explore this idea in the most horrible way, the Baen paperback, spoiler on the cover, the last page of the book is on the cover, what’s going on here, who wrote this, the title gives away the ending, what we now call preppers, a newspaper article, a freeholder, inspired by Heinlein, Heinlein’s changing the world, magazines about how to survive a zombie apocalypse, wanting the Walking Dead to be real, Freedom Is A Lonely Thing, what the book’s about, about being a slave, an oxymoron, if you hold something it is not free, held by your daughter/wife, mini biography of Alan E. Nourse, the dedicee, Friday was partially dedicated to the wife, both Navy men, who’s the main Heinlein in this book, former Seabee, decided to retire, 2,000 people under him, a helluva book, the scene where they’re outside and Ponce’s airplane shows up, Duke is going to live in a cave with his mother, some transition scenes, before and ponce and after ponce, three books, surviving a nuclear apocalypse, pioneering, life under Ponce, Karl K. Gallagher, is a pretelling of Starship Troopers, a partial retelling of Tunnel In The Sky, colonizing planets, he’s a YA character, The Door Into Summer, same thing happens, they steal a car, one of the cars is missing, Ponce’s world is also stuff we’ve seen in By His Bootstraps, the most extraordinary thing about this book is it’s set in 1964, there isn’t another novel where it doesn’t start in the future, such an interesting book, does an alternate history count?, Job: A Comedy Of Justice, a Heinlein break/cleanse, Glory Road, fixate on the costumes, such a distaste in your, the long pork, stick with chicken, Farah Mendlesohn’s book, her opinion, off the rails, cannibalistic, laughing so hard, tears streaming down cheeks, so weird, reread, the weakness of this book is the beginning half, skipped everything until the pregnancy reveals, character stuff, well done characters, not likeable, Jesse knows all their names, Barbara and Karen are interchangeable, we know Duke way too well, how real they are, Grace the alcoholic in denial, has her son castrated, I hate this book, if I was gonna stop, off the rails, you’re supposed to hate them, why am I reading this?, how do you fix this book?, change the POV from Hugh, straight out of Tunnel Of The Sky, as soon as Ponce shows up, tell it from Joe’s point of view, Joe talking to Hugh, Joe is sticking it to Hugh, Hugh is not a racist jerk, Karen, set in 1964, legacy racism, present day racism, we gotta stop this, there are still racists, that little joke was there to seed us for the final revelation, two different covers, redid the cover, that doesn’t solve the problem, there is no way to fix this book with another narrator’s point of view, what makes the book great, you wanna hate a racist, if you hate them so much, like Grace, insipid, we’re speculating, would she have cared?, a caricature, the fucking Karen, you fucking idiot Heinlein, he talks about taboo subjects, cannibalism, incest, horrible arguments, repopulate the planet, we don’t need to do incest, muddle through, dad I always found you handsome, what a horrible man, he was right to bring it up, a terrible movie, Noah (2014), pregnant because of Methuselah, Noah’s wife, we’ve increased out gene-pool, and the cat’s pregnant, and there’s a cow and a calf, he’s piling it up, decrease our displeasure, much more obviously as a Jonathan Swift, the grossness has an appeal, he’s an asshole, he made mistakes, authoritarian, sexist?, never chattered when her man wanted her to be quiet, he knows that he is wrong, he never does that, we think Duke is worse than Hugh, when Ponce shows up we shouldn’t have knuckled under, plot armour, or the book continued, muddle through and hopefully plot armour will save you, the first half of the book is a mirror to the second half of the book, as soon as the bombs go off you’re fired, we’re all going to be equal with no employer employee relationship, even Barbara and Karen, an equal prospect to Duke, strike a spark, everybody thinks Hugh’s sexy, my father figure, my best friend’s dad, throwing over his wife for a younger woman, acting irrationally, unreasonably, a history of alcoholism, solve their problems by drinking, decide the way they think it should be, rarely seen in literature, that was all she was, consumed by alcoholism, Hugh tells her story, shacked up with me, tarpaper roof, decadent and fussy, she was admirable at one point, turned to pot, saved all humanity, something Heinlein did himself, built a bombshelter, that’s not bad, female characters, why do women have to become fat and useless, nothing, zero, a Hugh and Ponce book, Kitty, Dr. Livingstone, cannibalism, incest, kittens, infuriating, in here twice, the other hidden theme, transgender stuff a couple of times, pleasant surprises, Doc thinks he is a boy cat, impressive actually, something in Ponce’s world, that idea, 1964 and farming, interesting, reconstruct the world with a few book, books are money, I kill you my son, the mirror universe of the future, including copyright, every kind of Heinlein theme you could want, it’s not capitalism, a funhouse mirror view of capitalism and the United States, an international planetary black supremacist, we should hate it, he’s created a funhouse mirror of American society in 1964 and hate it, wow it’s in the future, Joe is our reverse character, just his skincolour, every single character has an attitude that could be “I got mine”, his idea to get the cards, he’s a negro until he pulls a gun on you, it’s my cave, my machine gun, I know that this system is wrong, I’m in charge, enlightened Greek dictator of a city state, gonna send you back in time for fun, a parallel scene, stacking the deck 100%, to force the plot to accept the time travel bit, as a teenager, the castration reveal, shocked, we knew that it was coming, almost everybody has been tempered, thumbs taken off, what’s happening to all the sluts?, almost exclusively, some European shows up with a ship, you’re a slave now, slave bosses, I went to an island in the South Pacific, a blackbirding island, I stopped telling the story, slavery is wrong no matter what race does it for whatever reasons, we miss it, daddy I always wanted to have sex with you, I’m a sexpot, the little speech at the end, a bait and switch, have your balls cut off and serve me, the same bait and switch, structured very similarly, an annoying habit of making you infuriated, there’s so much to say, hated it less the second time through, a lot more nuanced, efforts at nuance, conflated Barbara and Karen, somewhat relieved, exploration of who should be on top, sacrificing your servants, runaways in the mountains, we are all free to walk our appointed paths, honestly convinced of his own benevolence, a cheap clincher, as a possibility, Christine Jorgensen was literally mentioned in one of the letters, any time travel story where one character is two character it’s incest, broaden our horizons, one character talking to himself all day, one of the letters, handwritten, an literary gabfest, let’s consider Edgar Allen Poe, Poe was the best writer to read or re-read, he could never be milked dry in one reading, the case of the Purloined Letter, when you consider the very subtle, how about Mark Twain next, a coded message to her, spelled correctly, if you can read this answer the same way period, he’s doing what he’s telling us what he’s doing, he’s telling us to read this book that way, consider the name of the cat, descendants of Africans, cannibalism is a planetary thing, around here any more much, serial killers, every Catholic is a cannibal, take in the divine, it’s a metaphor as well as an actual cultural practice, origins of capitalism, eating people’s lives up, different slave mentality works, as a manager of a factory, the same argument slave owners made to their slaves, in that light, it scares us more than it scares Heinlein, Heinlein is more afraid of Khrushchev actually unleashing hell, capital resources, in our timeline, it’s not a hearing aid, it bugs his wife, a very masterful book, he misjudged his audience, more sophisticated, we’re all teenagers when we read it, who’s there to root for, not a sporting event, trying to be satiryical, it’s not funny, a willing sex slave, that’s what all women become, stepping into the room and stepping on his dick, why do you do this to us, you need to have a reason to read, what outrageous thing will Heinlein say next is a reason to read, a tweet storm about Heinlein, memories of this book, To Sail Beyond The Sunset, a funhouse mirror in Ponce’s world, he’s trying to do something, he’s succeeded, we balk at the price and think the caller is an asshole, Karen’s sexing up her dad, I’m just like a black mammy, why did she do that?, she’s racist, the most Heinlein character, you try going through Alabama as a blackman, I gotta be modest here, but it’s not going to stop me, if we didn’t have this book we couldn’t hate Heinlein like we do, I’m the Karen now, an indictment of humanity, H.G. Wells, Griffin in The Invisible Man, the land lady, the bum, the indictment of the book, Prendick, Moreau, The Island Of Doctor Moreau, root for Henlein’s YA characters, Hugh is the least shitty character, Heinlein’s brinksmanship, no way to solve family problems, lifeboat rules, I have a gun to back it up, I read a book, books are valuable, you have to agree with me, you’re dead, bridge, so much bridge talk, contract bridge, games, Sixth Column, playing with a ruler, what is that chess move, what is that bridge move, such a stupid game, an old lady game, world champion bridge player, stay at home mom, will you teach me how to play bridge, my amazing game, a stratum of Americans, social function, aunts, progressive rummy, mahjong, by the book, not interesting to read about, so 1964, Omar Sharif, why is the guy from that movie, a second life, columns on bridge, it’s gone, a social activity, watch people stream, online games, people who play with their kids online, the time has passed, they don’t know what bridge is, the mirror of Hugh and his life, Anne and Alan E. Nourse, the kind of conversations that happen at the card table, hearts, why do you have a social game, sitting around and having a conversation, why do we have to have a book to talk about to have a conversation, it gives shape and excuse to it, it’s about marriage, as usual, one of the richest books, what is freedom, the American Revolution, his target is racism, slavery, American history, serious stumbling blocks by Heinlein being horribly Heinlein, almost certainly a parallel or an answer to Mark Twain’s A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur’s Court, that scene is lifted, a poem: The Congo by Vachel Lindsay, why is it like this, The Golden Faced People, The Crisis, NAACP, a rich white man publishing a story in a black magazine, from a different period of time, equality anti-racist guy, pushing peoples buttons, The Golden-Faced People: A Story Of Chinese Conquest Of America, the trouble with the laundryman, it’s Lincoln’s birthday, 2805, the United States taken over by the Chinese, white people were the slaves until very recently, Lin-Koln, a backwoodsman who freed the slaves, a fun-house mirror of the United States in 1914, he sounds racist but is anti-racist, what’s so extraordinary about this book, semi-forgive, gritty and real, the incest problem, has happened around the world a lot, soccer teams crashed in the Andes, ritualistic, ancestors or enemies, probably not a healthy practice, kings of Hawaii, marrying their sisters, Cleopatra, Pharaohs, royal families of Europe, first cousin, for political purposes, for satirical purposes, sex objects, the drug aspect, religion is missing, two ways of reading this, also science fiction, what happiness is made out of, Seconal, alcohol, their drugs are better (because they’re insidious), calms people down, as a punishment, as a control, buck, slut, we become almost immune to it, wench, literally just means girl, the context, tavern wenches, in our world that’s how its used, a much longer book just set in that world, so interesting, the chosen women are so oppressed we never meet them, we meet the sluts, who would want to live with life, a breaking up of the atomic family, his first family is dead, the family atomic unit, he presents that world so thoroughly, how white women were thought of traditionally in the south, To Kill A Mockingbird, we’re in the household, walled up in the harem, the sluts’ quarters, who Ponce chooses, she’s working against her husband, he’s cuckolding Hugh, as a plot device, consider the nephew, they cry, sexist as hell society, a masculine controlled society, inheritance goes through the nephew, Mentok is quite a good character, interesting, a cabin in the woods, a vacation estate, run off my feet at all times, you will really how things are, so tantalizing, so different from ours, 2000 years pass, lights that turn on, social stuff, line marriage, so different and so good, middle manager, despises the slaves, resents the chosen, genetics racism thing, some blood in him, improve the stock, their own eugenics system, everybody knew there were men somewhere in the stars, set in the same universe, Time For The Stars, a checklist, twins, The Rolling Stones, how was Heinlein raised, his books not his biography, a private man for a public man, in New York at that time, Horace Gold’s poker game, the who’s who of science fiction, C.M. Kornbluth, Fredrick Pohl, a couples thing, another childless couple, food and drink, LBJ, a silver star, man’s magazine, congressperson in the reserves, American bomber tour, he didn’t do anything but survived and came back with a silver star, Duke is Lyndon B. Johnson, publicly Mr. Civil Rights, privately Mr. Racist, the situation was untenable, Lincoln’s story is similar, very liberal, very racist, he’s a momma’s boy, neglected by his father, under Grace’s influence, prejudiced, horny for dad, also racist, she thinks it’s cute, DSM, extremely un-PC, what causes homosexuality, absent father, domineering mother, opportunities with women, a closeted homosexual, in the abstract, just finished law school, he has his own apartment, living on his own, prove it, as distinctly as Trish, we agreed to live as friends, you’re not longer my son, your opinions are welcome, his wife is a Lush, take the alcohol out of her hands, 3rd we’re libertarians, coming from a history of alcoholism, very good, it’s incredible, his personal life, he aint gonna never stop talking about his cats, mom’s a total Grace, watch out for the scissors bub, hardcore, COVID is fake, my son Jeffrey gets all the vaccines, I need to believe that it’s true, what alcohol does to people, call a doctor, there’s no fucking doctors, in the intervening 20 years, did you think Karen was going to die?, structurally, this baby’s gonna die, forgot for a second, so easy, when Ponce tells Hugh, we went and dug up your daughter, I brought a priest, the Koran’s in there, we put every atom back, this is not a throwback society, way better tech than we do, flying cars, we could go to the moon anytime we want, kind of stuck, tame scientists, chosen scientists, dynamism there, translating, reading from Hugh’s point of view, ho we think he should feel, he has a different emotion than we thought he did, that same language from Sixth Column, formal language, very good writing, ranking this book low, roll you eyes and throw your phone across the room sort of scenes, Evan’s [Lampe’s] shows on Heinlein, leveling the shelter, not idea rich, fixed it with dynamite, similar scenes in Tunnel In The Sky, people can make mistakes, a pen for wild animals, commute to the beach, making and argument, the list of things in the bomb shelter, prepper porn, the list of books, he wanted to have ammonia and iodine, you might need to blow up bridges, Red Dawn (1984), John Milius, Nazi staybehinds during WWII, strike back at the oppressor, an uprising after the apocalypse, fight for America, a Red Dawn prep book, inspiration for white supremacists survivalists, teaching Nazis to fish, libertarians, also Indian, neither is good, but the arc of the book, not even a benevolent dictator, whether Heinlein intended it or not, “those people”, that’s not in this book, they’re just cannibals, sub-humans, it’s human nature that whoever’s at the top, plays into, so depressing, nobody will do the right thing, nobody needs to read this book that is not a student of genre history, we’re not wrapping up yet, the list of books, page 50, books were the immortal part of man, rape a defenseless friendly book, I want to bring it in, I’ve got a tommy gun I’m gonna make them read it, so annoying, still a good book, ugh cringey, up to a point, if the book closes up before that, the characters were thin, huge plot holes, not a good book for Maissa, Duke and Karen are entitled baby boomers, Kitten’s a millennial, gen x, what baby say about gen x, limited world view, and her racist jokes, the voice, Tom Weiner, cheerful sarcasm, sarcastic but serious, is Barbara the thinnest character in the book?, a lot of screentime, getting to the plot, getting to the ideas, she’s divorced, Hugh’s divorced too, that’s not fair, since you’re divorced, a Karen move, looking at things as an outsider, most loveable character is Dr. Livingstone, the twins are slobbery, Ponce is strong as a character, Jesse was apologizing for Hitler, that makes Ponce worse, Ponce is not a good person, he’s telling Barbara this, a super-strong argument about the master slave dynamic in the South, I barely tingle them, are you happy?, haven’t I been good to you, technowhips, a work of political angst, also angsty about WWIII, grotesque, trying to solve it, a radical shift, fifth gear to 1st gear, Karen’s death could have been avoided, sets up a Farnham’s Freehold in the end, silver coins, a 45 automatic, towels, knowledge and experience, two children, looting from the gas station, in their own bombshelter we presume, children to breed with their children, they go back to an alternate world, trying to fit it in with his giant chronology, back to the past, slave dystopia anyway, a more optimistic note, good point, Trish!, subtle, some version of him comes back to the original world, infinite world, Karen is always still alive, a very writerly thing, to make you read the book again, what did I miss the first time, time is a flat circle, 30 years later, the cannibalism is a shock the first time, seeded right when they get to that world, he didn’t write this by the seat of his pants, let me construct a massive thing, you’re going to hate some of it, maybe in this universe the chosen won’t rise up, sees the bald guy, I just saw the weirdest guy, how does someone get like that, racist against himself, the car being an automatic, what it implies is the time travel is happening in all different dimensions, why did she had a stickshift?, he could repopulate the earth with himself, don’t tell Heinlein, turning people into food, on the cover, butter and somedays bread, jerked Quisling by the neck, mostly satire, racist trope, Hitler was a vegetarian, Hitler liked dogs, I can have it both ways, the brinksmanship, he (failed to) raise(d) that kid, Karl Joseph, Carl Gustaf, leader of Norway, not a very good Norwegian accent, the Vichy, from 1942-1945, a little after chat, complimentary books, Regnum Congo, mentioned in The Picture In The House by H.P. Lovecraft, In The Barn by Piers Anthony, alternate world farmhand, humans raised as meat, sensory deprivation, thumbs again, makes them more docile, improves the flavour, tempered, slut vs. tempered, made stronger, fine tuned, calmer, a good word, Heinlein was a master craftsman, you’re supposed to, intentionally being obnoxious, made me so mad at him, he’s right to do it, he knows what he’s doing, breeding, slaves bloodlines, The Domination Of The Draka by S.M. Stirling, Steven Barnes’ Lion’s Blood, the black plague, colonized by Muslims instead of Europeans, Irish slave, Africans or whatever, friends in power imbalance, a really interesting book, concur with Trish, a sequel, Zulu Heart, well done, interesting fellow, co-written with Larry Niven, Seascape Tattoo, very impressed with this book, No., Why?, Heinlein!, god damn you!, why are you doing this?!, The Water-babies by Charles Kingsley, anti-science, anti-democracy, how democracy starts, pirate ships, all volunteer, if the leadership changes, the plank, put you off on an island, Paul is going to take issue, Paul is pretty sure, there’s a lot going on, the pirate codes, A High Wind Over Jamaica by Richard Hughes, Paul can leave, abandoning this, caught between two things, Paul is not fine, one of those rights thing, you can’t get your rights back, NYRB, The New York Review Of Books, audiobook, apostrophe s, a good pirate book, a gripping story, post-colonial Caribbean, supposed innocents, atypical setting, the truth of human nature, 1929, William Golding’s horrible book The Lord Of The Flies, Blue Lagoon, Victorian, isn’t as beautiful, disturbing, saw it on a shelf, thoughtful and thorough, tell you all about the book, proof against the standard spoiler wreck, differently distributed, The Strand bookstore, Houston, Huston Do You Read, male astronauts cast forward in time, there are no men anymore, Saturday in December, posed as a male author, such male writing, only a man could have written this, a practical joke, George Elliot, George Sand, Hugh Grant, Impromptu (1991), Emma Thompson, Judy Davis, a little too French and long winded, she’s kinda like Heinlein but meaner, Paul not Jvstin, democracy and pirates, Madagascar, Pirate Enlightenment by David Graeber, richer pirating grounds in the Indian Ocean, Tortuga, the Madagascar women, colonists and natives of the Caribbean, pirate kings, pirate queens, if you’re a captain on a pirate ship, Black Sails didn’t go to sea very much, sailors don’t like sailing, they need to sail, rich people with a yacht, fishermen don’t love the sea, pirates don’t have family, they have addiction, make merry, his share is higher, bosun, they have responsibilities, pirates had to do certain things, drink all fuckin day, a whole mini-version of the political state as the nation state, Caribbean pirates, white slaves in the British and French navies, Jesse’s joke: I was impressed by the British navy’s recruiting methods, your health is fucked, they liberate your ship, why would you attack a ship with no good stuff on it, white and black slave ship sailors, not-chattel slavery, hauling humans, swabbing out shit and vomit, sometimes they’ll sell the slaves, everyone has guns and knives, Heinlein’s paradise, relatively recent scholarship, The General History Of The Pyrates, The Many-Headed Hydra by Peter Linebaugh and Marcus Rediker, the term that capitalists use to describe the slaves, you always have to be putting down the slaves down all the time, slave rebellion, history from below, Maroon communities, tri-racial isolates, Evan Lampe, when brought to shore, women were expected to run business, aliens with treasure, Against All Flags (1952), basically The Fast And The Furious (2001) but with ships or Point Break (1991), with the consent of the locals, lying claims, oral traditions and cultural practices, what parts of Africa weren’t colonized?, a pirate utopia, the history that’s coming out of there, a lot of sex for 50 – 60 years, biracial descendants, the European kings, this strange thing called democracy, those Americans in the colonies, a hidden history other than John Locke, Greece, a lot like Heinlein, a historian of the Atlantic, do another one, he’s read enough books, mostly fiction, Will and Ariel Durant, this attitude toward fiction: a character has to be likeable, damaging, some people read for comfort, Hugo books, sequel books, diminishing returns, in any series, characters are there to fulfill the job, no heroes, smiling dashing hero, Red Planet, a lot of people don’t have an identity, changing their genders, somebody gave you a name, you don’t know who you are, growing up, a lot of people never find that, most people don’t read at all, reading as an escape identity, other realities from a long time ago, not surprising but very common, it hurts literature, your characters have got to be likeable, choosing the right things to focus on, grossing out, war in Malaya, Seventh Dawn (1964), William Holden, a tropical version of Dr. Zhivago (1965), Malaysia’s failed war of independence, the British version of Vietnam, chopping people’s heads off and holding the heads of their enemies and smiling, British commandos, ghost writing gig, Catcher In The Rye, punish children.

Farnham's Freehold - IF Worlds Of Science Fiction

Farnham's Freehold - IF Worlds Of Science Fiction

Farnham's Freehold - IF Worlds Of Science Fiction

Farnham's Freehold - IF Worlds Of Science Fiction

Farnham's Freehold - IF Worlds Of Science Fiction

Farnham's Freehold - IF Worlds Of Science Fiction

Farnham's Freehold - IF - Worlds Of Science Fiction

Farnham's Freehold - IF - Worlds Of Science Fiction

If Worlds Of SF, July 1964 - list of books in the Farnham's Freehold bombshelter

Farnham's Freehold - IF Worlds Of Science Fiction

Farnham's Freehold - IF - Worlds Of Science Fiction

Farnham's Freehold - IF - Worlds Of Science Fiction

Farnham's Freehold - IF - Worlds Of Science Fiction

Farnham's Freehold - IF - Worlds Of Science Fiction

Farnham's Freehold - IF - Worlds Of Science Fiction

Farnham's Freehold - IF - Worlds Of Science Fiction

Farnham's Freehold - IF - Worlds Of Science Fiction

Farnham's Freehold - IF - Worlds Of Science Fiction

Farnham's Freehold - IF - Worlds Of Science Fiction

Farnham's Freehold - IF - Worlds Of Science Fiction

Farnham's Freehold - IF - Worlds Of Science Fiction

Farnham's Freehold - IF - Worlds Of Science Fiction

Farnham's Freehold - IF - Worlds Of Science Fiction

Farnham's Freehold - IF - Worlds Of Science Fiction

Farnham's Freehold - IF - Worlds Of Science Fiction

Doug Potter art for Farnham's Freehold

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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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Reading, Short And Deep #401 – The Advent On Channel Twelve by C.M. Kornbluth

Reading, Short And Deep

Reading, Short And Deep #401

Eric S. Rabkin and Jesse Willis discuss The Advent On Channel Twelve by C.M. Kornbluth

Here’s a link to a PDF of the story.

The Advent On Channel Twelve/strong> was first published in Star Science Fiction Stories No. 4, 1958.

Posted by Scott D. Danielson Become a Patron!

Reading, Short And Deep #382 – The Angel Of The Odd by Edgar Allan Poe

Reading, Short And Deep

Reading, Short And Deep #382

Eric S. Rabkin and Jesse Willis discuss The Angel Of The Odd by Edgar Allan Poe

Here’s a link to a PDF of the story.

The Angel Of The Odd was first published in The Columbian Lady’s and Gentleman’s Magazine, October 1844.

Posted by Scott D. Danielson Become a Patron!

The SFFaudio Podcast #688 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: Niels Klim’s Journey Under The Ground by Ludvig Holberg

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #688 – Niels Klim’s Journey Under The Ground by Ludvig Holberg; read by Alan Winterrowd

This unabridged reading of the story (3 hours 45 minutes) is followed by a discussion of it.

Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Evan Lampe, Will Emmons, and Connor Kaye.

Talked about on today’s show:
1741, Latin, 1845, underground journey, great Latin accent, difficult, funny stuff, interesting physics, satire, the midway point, old books, Edgar Allan Poe didn’t have electricity, nobody had a typewriter, a whole century before that, the farther back in time, upfront heavy lifting, explaining Elvis, a k-pop star from the Southern United States, girls go wild, in the tree society, not discussing the nature of God, he becomes a baron, Catholicism, anti-Catholic remarks, Denmark, the Holy Trinity, intellectual Catholics, upperclass twits and fashion, a criticism of Danish society, sick of religious debates in general, the book with the book, a book review of the book you’re reading in the book, a satire of travel literature, wild places, the unknown, to the center of the earth, The Goddess Of Atvatabar, how old this inner world concept, different physics, City Of Endless Night, in orbit around a sun at the center of the earth, another planet (a ball), he was treated like a comet, blown back through the same hole, the firmament, the opposite crust, a meta-argument, we see them as the heavens, balls all the way up, 2021 North America, and Australia, and Taiwan, causes eclipses on the world of the Firmament, their planet turns away from the sun, two hollow Earths, a donut within a donut, in 1740…, what Galileo and what Newton is doin, we haven’t seen out planet from a larger perspective, he big dumb object that is the planet earth, dumb in the sense of stupid, tigermen, monkeymen, treemen, the trees take his blood, they put branches on him to help him fit in, the Enlightenment, Cesare Beccaria, the prison reformer, capital punishment, criminal justice, people having different humours in their blood, making fun of it, utopian aspect, Mark Twain, A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur’s Court, they star the same way, Mardi by Herman Melville, The Fall Of The House Of Usher by Edgar Allan Poe, a Poe poem, the sentience of all vegetable things, colocation of stones, fungi, reduplication, they got up their own asses in terms of rationalism, travel narratives, duplicated, our books, the mental existence of the invalid,

Our books — the books which, for years, had formed no small portion of the mental existence of the invalid — were, as might be supposed, in strict keeping with this character of phantasm. We pored together over such works as the Ververt et Chartreuse of Gresset; the Belphegor of Machiavelli; the Heaven and Hell of Swedenborg; the Subterranean Voyage of Nicholas Klimm by Holberg; the Chiromancy of Robert Flud, of Jean D’Indaginé, and of De la Chambre; the Journey into the Blue Distance of Tieck; and the City of the Sun of Campanella. One favorite volume was a small octavo edition of the Directorium Inquisitorium [[Inquisitorum]], by the Dominican Eymeric de Gironne; and there were passages in Pomponius Mela, about the old African Satyrs and œgipans, over which Usher would sit dreaming for hours. His chief delight, however, was found in the perusal of an exceedingly rare and curious book in quarto Gothic — the manual of a forgotten church — the Vigiliae Mortuorum secundum Chorum Ecclesiae Maguntinae.

a prequel to an underground world story, The Narrative Of Arthur Gordon Pym Of Nantucket, these are bullshit books, alchemy is bullshit, what we do at the FDA now, peer review, a council of elders, Benjamin Franklin, the Royal Society, secret locked cages vs. done publicly, methinks thou do protest to much, Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels, sniffing out bullshit is hard for most people, why Poe has Usher so fucked up, he doesn’t leave his estate, through books, out the window, only testing books against other books, Sir John Manderville, Marco Polo, outlandish [bullshit], people with their face on their chest, Antonio Pigafetta, talking about Maoris, you’re a peasant, weird consulting, why is there so much in Science Fiction, exogamy, incest is what you do when you’re up your own ass, keeping money in the family, trying to breed traits, Roderick Usher once went to school, the Poe figure, dude, you went to seed quick, he doesn’t have the light of the sun, we need the stars to tell us where we are and what we are, other kinds of underground books, a really big thread in science fiction, the inner psychedelic journey, a nation of sensible tigers, the musical instrument people, the subtitle:

“being a
narrative of his wonderful descent to the subterranean
lands; together with an account of the
sensible animals and trees inhabiting the
PLANET NAZAR AND THE FIRMAMENT.”

you get what you paid for and the people who are like viola, play a viola at them, they play themselves, types of people you hang out with, musicians, the priests, special areas where menfolk were sent and grew fat and smooth, monasteries, cannibals,

“I have a kind of suspicion that the Europeans are cannibals; for they shut large flocks of healthful and strong persons in certain inclosures, called cloisters, for the purpose of making them fat and smooth. This object seldom fails, as these prisoners, free from all labor and care, have nothing to do but to enjoy themselves in these gardens of pleasure.

big protestant comment, not exactly Ents, don’t be hasty, let’s think this through, they have Entwives, we can go one further, a guy with a heart in his leg, a recurring theme, rape comedy, put on trial for rape, a Dutch hotel, Italy, sleep with the innkeeper’s wife, a comment on Italian hospitality, the Spanish sleep all day, he’s attacking everybody in Europe, fragment missing [Denmark], the crown scepter, he’s burning everybody, he criticized the German language, the main verb goes to the end, Mark Twain, good for jokes, Norwegian, The Bridge, why Pete Buttigieg can speak six languages, an empty title, the language of this land, the whole land is called holy, the continental augmenter of his country, invincible notwithstanding he is sometimes slain, worth reading the whole book just for this section, the famous Voltaire quote, a running joke, Charlemagne, one Mark Twain quote, people will quote stuff change all the worlds and attribute it to Ambrose Bierce, why wouldn’t it be Twain?, don’t let the truth get in the way of a good story, the monkeys with the wigs, the Australian and Canadian judicial system still does wigs, they gave him a fake tail in their descriptions of him, the book follows a pattern, he gets run out of town, a series of episodes, Candide by Voltaire, a monkey sequence, picaresques are for lower class heroes, Huckleberry Finn, rough and dishonest and appealing hero, a deacon who used to be an emperor, Jack Vance, low class, low brow characters, incidents, comedic, not a novel though novel lengthy, active vs. passive protagonists, it is active but doesn’t seem to be, just surviving, he changes the world, when a little kid writes copyright on a story for their mom, why would a little kid care about that, there is no international copyright, the printers are the ones who make money, a pension for life, he takes wives later, he draws the line at lioness wives, the men own the women but by social custom the women are run by the men, the woman runs the house so the man has to go the club, co-equal slaves to capitalism and there is no domestic sphere, the house sits empty all day long, so far before electricity, they’ve got gun, telescopes, printing, if you want to see something printed you have to go to a printer who writes it backwards on a piece of metal, why printed up in volumes, where the word “subscribe” comes from, comparing Donald E. Westlake to Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey, you go to Bath, by the author of…, you put your name under, “preorders are love”, “likes are love”, write me a hate thing, tell me how I suck, the true measure of success, angry comments, you’re boring, bitcoin and supermodel asses, flashy mics and spinning gifs, the upload takes a long time, 500 episodes, if its easy do it, what Baron Ludvig Whatsiname, he would have been happy to have been abolished, meritocracy, distinct from Europe, earned the pension, Ben Shapiro talking to Joe Rogan, The Rise Of Meritocracy by Michael Dunlop Young, what Hillary Clinton thinks they’re in, we earned what we got, 1958, Obama looked down his nose at Biden, you’re not one of us, an aristocracy, parents wanting to get their kids into an ivy league school, it effects our reality, a student bragging about being a billionaire, Hannah Arendt, not technically a meritocracy, a youtuber, the different societies and cultures we’re seeing, plays, essays, poems, history, exploring how societies could work, the tree society, the women have too much equality, maybe we could improve the life of women, is he named after a real person?, in the fiction of the story he’s a real person, just graduated from seminary (college), the ending, the Wandering Jew , his crazy king getup, Jerusalem, Prester John, like a time traveler, the Flying Dutchman, wanting position, I’m a king here, John Smith with Pocahontas, how you got rich, people are interested in you, you are a weird celebrity, a nobody, given honors, revolutionize cultures, rise to power, feeds the fantasy, when you go to a foreign land and you eat a food, worried about Canadian culture (in opposition to the United States), food is a technology, a bowl of fruit, cheese is a technology, all technologies are copying, Newcomen’s steam engine, incest vs. exogamy, take you lumber to Scotland and they give you kilts, Pasta is not that interesting but getting silk out!, why India happens, movin that product, how people work with knowledge, you heard the news?, its built into us, its bullshit, not everything that you hear is real, reinforcing the bullshit detector, Star Trek, mad at the guy with the opposite tan, The Wheel Of Time, the travel genre, episodes, no overall massive goal, The Canterbury Tales, Jason And The Argonauts, Medea, an old genre, The Epic Of Gilgamesh, waiting for the complete volume, very interesting, some really funny bits, he acts the same way, Twain would have read a lot, what version did Poe read?, Poe in Scotland and England, why isn’t there a really good Edgar Allan Poe biography?, an alcoholic or not, he was a drinker, the Army of Northern Virginia, 3.5 hours, immensely more enjoyed, too airy fairy, above The Goddess of Atvatabar, The Coming Race by Edward Bulwer Lytton, flying armies, the illustrations in both, The Mound by Zealia Bishop and H.P. Lovecraft, Richard Shaver, 1943, as true as Scientology, I Remember Lemuria, Amazing Stories, Ray Palmer, in the guise of fiction, “rock books”, like Joseph Smith, a branch of SF, like prions, mystical, good SF should challenge you, bad SF converts you into some whackjob who’s breathing though his nose to get more Vril power, fans are Slans, I have access to secret reality, these were popular because they had a quasi-true story thing about it, the letters column, the UFOs are Real, now that Space Force is a thing, ball lightning has been around long before space force, UFO means spaceship for most people, what an alien would say, I’m a lizard man from beneath the earth in Los Angeles, why are these guys arguing so much, rationalists are nice people but I wouldn’t let one marry my daughter, like a part of a cult, you’re either in a cult or you’ve just broken through the cult you’re in, what Michio Kaku purports to do, more elegant but still untestable, prayer, which would you rather have as a worshiper: a guy who follows all the edicts of your divinity and almost never asks you for favours or a guy who is always breaking your edicts but is constantly asking for favours?, understanding prayer, praying in my presence, god is apparently telepathic, praying in a language you don’t understand, prayer wheels, we know what we’re doing, why Robert E. Howard’s response to the Tibetan monks is The Black Seers Of Yimsha, unless its there to remind you of something, community, why is prayer intoned if God is telepathic?, your community can go insane, the First World War, go in the meatgrinder, don’t hang out with those ladies, go live into a cave, the sex strike in ancient Greece, the chicken feathers, we wont bang you if you don’t go into the meatgrinder, Lysistrata, war is a community activity, go to the trenches, you can make community with dead people Voltaire is my guy, he’s saying things that are in your head, “A friend is a second self” -Mark Twain, you want to hang out with Socrates, he’ll get you into trouble, have a symposium with, Alcibiades is hot, have a cat, The Midwich Cuckoos, Paul is going to Worldcon, triple vaccination, a super-spreader event, what screed has been nominated?, two dumb tweets in a row will get you unfollowed, down on the tweetcount, getting canceled, the secret is to only tweet about things that are universally appealing (cats), tweets about a slave to the COVID gods, masks are redundant in Taiwan, foreigners tend to be bootlickers, a nice hot take, Cold War on both sides, pro-China, a decent job and a hot date, they’re Neils Klim, there’s no Kentucky Colonels around here at all, Nebraska has a navy, so many chicken jokes, knighting people, giving them away like candy, the Congressional Medal Of Honor, as soon as you have a president putting a decoration around someone who isn’t one of the elite he now has power, having a beer with Obama, you’ve just given a sergeant power, real honorifics, Sergeant York, Audie Murphy, if they’re not on board….

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The SFFaudio Podcast #685 – READALONG: The Star Beast by Robert A. Heinlein

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #685 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, Maissa Bessada, Trish E. Matson, and Will Emmons talk about The Star Beast by Robert A. Heinlein

Talked about on today’s show:
1954, serialized in The Magazine Of Fantasy And Science Fiction, Star Lummox, what a lummox, a very 1950s word, clumsy stupid person, Google NGram, 1825 East Anglian slang, lumbering ox, lummoxes, knocks things over, breaks things, Maissa liked it, so simple, a girl with some brains and some power?, uncharacteristic, no female presence at all, Betty is a plot driver, one of six sexes, she as a matter of convenience, a meaningless spectrum, in the context of the Hroshii, what feels like a massive coincidence, she’s on Earth, two plotlines, the UN guys having meetings and firing and quitting, the fun stuff, Lummox on the run, Lummox on trial, the major drama, puts the focus on the coincidence, a microscale and a macroscale, still great Heinlein, simplistic, interesting themes, utopia, they’re trying, Kiku the diplomat is in charge of everything, elected represented is undermined by the deep state, bureaucracy, comedy of errors, contradictions and complexities, Sergei Greenberg, the Watson, tell not show, Farmer In The Sky, boy goes to planet and farms, threats can come out of nowhere, a central government, tiny hints, a WWIV anti-tank gun, the 2nd century, double focus, boy, pet and friend, escaping in the wilderness, galactic maneuverings, immigration, pushing people off Earth, which is dumber?, coincidence and conveniences, there’s a Star Beast with lotsa legs, 4 generations, from any other boy’s point of view, good Heinlein, a boy raised by aliens, the reversal at the end, Lummox has been raising John Thomases, a science fiction idea, the relationships between humans and their pets, sentient aliens (should?) have hands, who can buy who?, if these we are putting the juveniles in reading order (younger to older), Citizen Of The Galaxy, Have Space Suit, Will Travel, diplomatic maneuverings and court stuff, thinking with the brain of an adult, the Godzilla aspect, Clifford The Big Red Star Beast, what kids will like about something, a big purple dinosaur, Barney, conflating for comic effect, I hate all this stuff about the negotiations, they’ll eat it, that reunification scene, all the ashtrays and the smoking, furiously smoking, popping pills on the reg, eat your roughage, a dragon lookin thing with a big smile on its four eyed face, old man sitting around his pool with his lawyers for 18,000 pages, Red Planet, Willis is kinda Lummox, galactic diplomacy and politics, democracy, we’re a republic not a democracy, his elected superior, we are the leading nation, senators from all over the planet, the United States of North And South America, probably set in Colorado or thereabouts, freeways are overgrown, flying cars, a depopulated North America, smoke filled rooms in small towns, not enough worldbuilding, atomic weapons, weird adventures, how the world worked, all the Heinlein haters, hating Heinlein for the wrong reasons, Mr. Kiku is pictured and not a black man, the original serial is slightly abridged (at least), wooly haired, racism?, often times the artist is told what the book is about, that’s capitalism not racism, Lummox is also not pictured, a kids book with no-star beast on the cover?, Johnny and Slugger and flying, two legs and half of a side, a bizarre choice, a commercial production, smiling dinosaur beagle, a train, spindly arms, diplodocus, the voice, the baby girl voice in the Full Cast Audio production, all the other Heinlein girls and boys, John Thomas oblivious to her plans, these gender fashions flip, the girls chasing after boys, Sadie Hawkins dystopia, on leap years girls are allowed to propose to men, Data at Sadie Hawkins dance, Star Trek: 90210, phone rigged up in his attic fort, a box of books boys somehow always get, a box of pornography, Heinlein doesn’t shy away, very strange and weird, the macro/micro, a princess of earth, a reverse of A Princess Of Mars, a Kwisatz Haderach to make the perfect space beast, the breeding of John Thomases, wrestling around, did I ever tell you why I divorced my parents, lean in closer to the book, what the parents did that was so wrong, parental abuse, molestation, those woolen socks, the mother character, how one note she was, very manipulative, not a straw person, selfish, controlling and manipulative, parallels between John’s mom and Betty, make more John Thomases, what did you assume about Betty living in a dorm, Heinlein manipulating us, weirdly controlling, they’re both minors, very skillfully done, she’s studying law, you don’t have to obey police officers unless they have a warrant, the police come to the school and teach a class and then search your locker, the antics in the courtroom, the Rittenhouse trial, bamboozles the court, manipulation and tactics, she’s parallel with Kiku, she was her own lawyer, the police chief, Johnny gets on with the police chief, makin toast and eggs and coffee, don’t get in bed with the cops, Johnny’s a little bit dim, he’s gonna go to college, drag racing and hanging out with his pet, the pet of three females, what did she whisper into Johnny’s ear?, “I wanna get the pill”, “never, “we’re religious!”, argue our way to the truth, to such dark places, mentally beyond them, parochial, leaps and bounds ahead, more sinister, poor tactics, I divorced my parents because I was too smart for them, subversive ideas, “I’m transgender”, the flipping of the gender quite late in the book, Kiku and Greenberg are really dumb, its the same creature, kinda fun for kids, kids can figure it out, they’re looking for a girl and Lummox is a boy, Willis is a girl, “I’m a boy”, not going to be able to breed John Thomases very easily, he always calls her Slugger, she hits people, was she on the baseball team?, he insults her looks, she hits the softball real hard, a term of respect, no hidden agenda inside of Johnny, Johnny just gets stubborn for a while, Farah Mendelson’s The Pleasant Profession Of Robert A. Heinlein, Star Wars, he likes his backpack helicopter, when Mr. Ito’s greenhouse, space skateboards, hoverboards, his horse ate his car, Paul is triggered by Lummox voices, a touchy subject, great to hand to a kid whose parents are divorcing, everybody is independent, she came to him, she emancipated herself, some yummy metal and self-heating cans, entanglements, the star federation, why don’t you just leave everybody alone, the inescapable bureaucracy of civilization, Betty’s parents didn’t stand a chance, leaning into the deep and dark and secret and terrible, a little song that starts, it will burn the ears of the editors, pornography and gays and blacks exist, he wants to share it, the tone, whatever the deep dark secret is it wouldn’t hurt johnny, Sorensen, Heinlein’s always been interested in gender, why he shootin blanks, the most plausible thing, maybe John Thomas knew this, Christine Jorgensen, sex-reassignment surgery, deflates the breeding program, Podkayne Of Mars, birthing machines, ovafusion (lesbian babies), circumstantial, all the flipping and the six genders lummox, Gore Vidal, Myra Breckenridge, Raquel Welch and Mae West and John Huston and Farrah Fawcett, what genders means, gender as a spectrum, best to think of her as a male, we don’t have the acronym for it yet, derailing the story, she has arms, she’s getting boobs!, we’re really lucky dogs don’t have hands, dogs would be so handsy, cats, the human breeding program will result in the ultimate John Thomas in about 10,000 years, high fashion to have human pets, invites a sequel, The Star Beasts are humans, furry animals, Space Lummox, is a komodo dragon a beast?, scorpions aren’t beasts, developing the arms, what is that thing?, a tumor, its normal because its normal, 150 years to learn English, the test for intelligence, Little Fuzzy by H. Beam Piper, Illegal Alien by Robert J. Sawyer, legally a human, the introduction, the Houyhnhnms section of Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift, William H. Patterson, a fantasy disguised as J. Francis McComas, my first beast, the best one, not wholesome like this, good for adults too, less corny than The Rolling Stones, one little conversation, civilization is in crisis because of all these aliens, keeping these Republican norms, the Sorenson whisper, the bureaucrats have to run the machine, cynical vs. optimistic views of democracy, Heinlein’s views on communism, Heinlein’s views on nuclear testing, deep stuff, adults who would like a charming read about a talking animal, Heinlein doing his diversity thing here, Jesse is Maissa’s Betty, the spunky protagonist?, overcoming the fear of the Medusa, the Medusan is also transgender, the passive protagonist?, the makeup thing, unusual patterns, everything is transgender, another gender swap, the deep fear of the snakehead, testes turned into ovaries, hypnotherapy as a crutch, Starship Troopers, hypnosis, an excuse to help you quit smoking, Heinlein is regressive in his pushing of hypnosis, more like Dianetics than it is like rocketry, how you relate to another so different from you, Lummox’s speech, assuming an Italian is illiterate, how can people say Heinlein is turgid?, he’s anti-racist, a slur, a smear, not an awkward bone in this book, two [amicus] groups, the Friends Of Lummox, Keep Earth For Humans, one is adults, one is kids, we like breakfast cereal, Murgatroyd, the Russian edition on ebay, PiggWiggy, having adventures eating cereal, preaching race tolerance, I will not sit down with that puppet, anti-puppet, brinksmanship shit, luckily your Heinlein and writing both sides of the conversation, Heinlein’s worst instinct, c’mon mom, be partisan and be right, we’re on Lummox’s side, nobody complains about the missing dog, deciding not to eat Mr. Ito, this book is really about power, lummox has hands, wipe your own butt or get your own cup, disability, the relationship of power to power, relations between the species for the rest of time, a book about power, a hereditary monarchy with a breeding program, we can’t judge their culture, The [Men] In The Walls by William Tenn, the psychology of the mice, like parents, manipulator, the translator is manipulating both sides, interpreter for hire, Stranger In A Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein, the fair witness, somebody said somebody was a bad person, we can fix our shoddy eyewitness testimony by fixing the sentences we put in our own heads, the truth meter, played for laughs, testifying about her feelings, technology our way out of stuff, the human mind’s way of storing data and making judgements, telepathy transmitters, a visual translation, eyes are wildly fluctuating, John Thomas will say: “Me too”, Star Trek’s computer is judging Captain Kirk, a huge mental mistake, Planet Of The Apes, Heinlein’s not fulfilling Campbell’s request, a Weinbaum story, hang out and get pet for a century, our relationship to puppies, a very compressed youth, an immortal being, petting my John Thomases, Lummox gets bored, what kind of patience, a very human thing to do, tigers just eat smaller animals, arsenic makes them grow, all symbolic, why does she go on a diet at the end?, she’s gotta get hot for her wedding, stop eating candy, stop eating cars, a short lived pet, precious babies or property or chattel, they’re out friends, a lady in Quesnel, BC got her leg licked by a bear, we wanna nuke your planet, give us our queen’s corgi, War Of The Worlds but just combing the Earth, implicit mirroring, whether Lummox can testify or not, wandering princess, hostage negotiation, we don’t engage philosophically with dogs, sufficiently alien aliens, an adult reading a kid’s book, Lummox indulged Johnny, you want have me sit a yard for a year?, after 150 years, there are no Buicks today?, Motortrend, brands are things you sell to other companies, a Toyota that’s a Ford, the Packard’s coming back, a branding exercise, the Lincoln Navigator, imprints survive as IP, all the young men love the classic Buicks, a flight harness, when he takes Johnny to the vet, corgis for everybody, an exclusive brand, a great opening for the surprise sequel, spaceships are disappearing, humans are being disappeared, very cute puppies, a deeply pet book, you’re going to wear this outdoor socky thing on your feets, a single dad, a single mom, the controlling mother, Suddenly (1954), parallels, media with controlling mothers, Philip K. Dick’s mom, people having relationships in the 20th century, shameful but possible, a trope character, off-screen, trip to Hawaii, 17 pickle dishes, Heinlein’s joke, Heinlein is very stupid in hypnotism, Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, slim volume hardcovers, Harry Potter, Rick Riordan, no Heinlein boxed set with decent covers, what the fuck is wrong with their brains?, 8 Heinlein juveniles in a boxed set, youthful reading, why is that?, Heinlein is not a giant name, Roald Dahl, James And The Giant Peach, Predestination, there should be boxed sets of Heinlein every generation, broken minded, a legacy organization, it will do material good to minds, the entire Heinlein fiction is the Virginia edition $1,400, riddled with typos, a luxury good, mass market paperback for $9.99, sell like the wheatcakes, I love TITS (Tunnel In The Sky), Jesse was dissing Heinlein and looking at TITS online, pitch for TITS, something goes wrong, Hunger Games style, really good, Paul loves TITS, Lummox triggered, Hi I’m Trish, Boxing Day, put TITS on the schedule, excommunicated from the island, Lord Of The Flies by William Golding, Rite Of Passage by Alexei Panshin, othering Jesse, privileging academics, don’t slur me, 10 degrees is warm (and cold), alien words, actual turban vs. snakes for hair who needs a turban, get him outta bed, not a very good movie, the self-lighting cigarette, trying to quit smoking, maybe a pipe, a serious smoker without a light, H. Beam Piper was a smoking machine, British is weird, a really interesting podcast about those puppies, Rite Gud, solid heads on shoulders despite being modern authors, squeecore, new wave, cyberpunk, The Painful Threshold, “hells yeah”, maudlin mawkish or glib, Whedonesque quips, the character that represents feminism pegs the character that represents the patriarchy, this is what we’re exploring right now, remixing the public domain with vampires or zombies, 10 Years A Slave To The Robot Queen, Ace Galaksi, very Betty of you, so Betty, Betty is a great character, Stranger In A Strange Land, so horrible, pizza, of course it was, raw frozen chicken wings, dog minds, dog diets, a beagle pomeranian, parvo virus, little bag, little mask, little vaccination sticker, too many puppy blogs, why Fauci might get canceled, beagle faces, funding dog torture, when we find out what the aliens sound like in their native language, rethink your whole life, a never ending parent, be your pet’s advocate, catering to dog needs, siri needs to speak dog, a smart telepathic collar, What Is Horror?, Klim’s Journey Under The Ground by Baron Ludvig Holberg, The Midwich Cuckoos by John Wyndham, Children Of The Damned (1964), John Carpenter (1995).

The Star Beast by Robert A. Heinlein

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Fantasy And Science Fiction - Star Lummox COVER

The Star Beast by Robert A. Heinlein - Clifford Geary frontispiece

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Star Lummox

Darrell K. Sweet - The Star Beast

Star Lummox

FULL CAST AUDIO - Star Beast illustration by Jerry Russell

Posted by Jesse WillisBecome a Patron!