The SFFaudio Podcast #600 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: Dawn Of Flame by Stanley G. Weinbaum

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #600 – Dawn Of Flame by Stanley G. Weinbaum; read by Maureen O’Brien. This is an unabridged reading of the story (3 hours) followed by a discussion of it. Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Paul Weimer, and Maissa Bessada

Talked about on today’s show:
The Weinbaum Memorial Volume, Thrilling Wonder Stories, June 1939, The Black Flame, Fantastic Story, Spring 1952, The Margret Of Urbs story, kind of done, a story about a guy going into an empire and fuckin it up, headfaking, he’s a Conan figure, what was this about, what is freedom?, is freedom worth it?, better off not being free, helping overlords, the dawn of what?, just a bad book?, expectations, Moby-Dick by Herman Melville, people wanted Typee, Shakespeare’s meditations, what humans are doing, how foolish we all are, I wanted a cartoon, Weinbaum redoing H. Rider Haggard’s SHE in a science fiction mode, Black Margo, is he her puppet?, the last paragraph, he was silent the whole way through, its not Hull Tarvish’s story, he knows his audience, you’re mostly men, kids, girls, women, there are other people other than men, mom beefs, cuz I’m not a girl, men and women are equal under the law (but not in interests), upper body strength and ability to bear children, biological differences in her brains, snakes, birds, dogs, if you’re a man reading science fiction stories, dual wielding blasters, that looks cool, how much smoking was going on, lung cancer, is this a fantasy then?, both ways, I like fightin’ and I don’t kill women, this Ayesha character, this cursed immortal, a vampire story, they’re both cursed, one of the old lovers, what this book is really about, whatchu gonna do with your life?, to use the planet as your pillow, conquer?, something to while away the years, they’re not evil, as merciful as they can, Napoleon goes in and liberates, the mighty ancient civilization, he’s the half-brother, The Black Flame, setup for the backstory, a philosophical planetary romance set on earth, sword and sandal, what you know, what you should want, what you should do, the evil empire moving north out of New Orleans headed for New York, the work of the book, a civilizing force, but they’re cursed, his mom baked him some bread, epic fantasy, he leaves a stone hut, another woman’s stone hut, its a circle, a regular person’s brush with Alexander the Great’s sister, the sexual tension, divided in loyalties and divided in desire, given two choices, the mortal girl vs. the immortal woman, it judo flips us from where we begin, nice blade trade me for it, we’re all set up for trampling an evil empire down, are you sure that’s what you want to do with your life, son?, an anti-war story, why did WWI and WWII happen?, they engineer a plague that kills 60% of people, land reforms, build roads, Hull Tarvish isn’t the bad guy because he’s us, very subtle, America falling, Robert Adams’ Horseclans series, Greek speaking invaders, Jack McDevitt’s Eternity Road, Theodore Judson’s Fitzpatrick’s War, trying to put the US back together, internationalist, the whole world, N’Orleans, Ouroboros the world girdling snake, no worlds left to conquer, unhealthy personal behavior, drunken brawls, Hull Tarvish comes from a stable home, sow his oats, get his manhood on, fightin’, old man coach, a mistake rebellion, a reverse of the [U.S.] Civil War, these exotic figures, evil witch of a sister, they forgive him for his stupidity, why we needed Will: a barefoot bumpkin from the holla, philosophical after becoming king, what kingly and queenly activities are like, a line against becoming powerful, appreciate birdsong a good drink and time with your family, everything is science, a fantasy setting a fantasy setup, science and engineering behind all of this stuff, Lindbird is probably fictional, maybe he flew, microwave technology, beam energy, through air but not fog, he’s got rules, we are mistaken, Jesse was very impressed, we don’t know how the immortality happened, one tiny little thing, they’re sterile, where’d it come from, 100 years where no book was written, too big, She learned these things as a science, 12 hours vs. 3 hours, remember out point of view, an illiterate, a viewpoint to this world, he doesn’t ask a lot of smart questions, Weinbaum knows, teaching the reader a lesson, a mortality thing going on here, how many times does he escape death, The Willows by Algernon Blackwood, on vacation in Austria in a canoe, it happened hundreds of years ago, we can’t understand it, we’re not worthy?, she puts his hands on her neck and says “squeeze” the flame, the dawn of the flame, this black flame of hair, this attraction of a moth to a flame, drawn to the flame over and over again, in his arms, in his manly form, she sees a possibility of her being killed, ultimately they have death wishes, Hull Tarvish has a definite life wish, experience, have fun, not even a real battle, she’s dead inside, her conquering, bringing civilization back, bringing civilization back, she’s Prometheus, why is that?, he has an interest in her as a sister, half brothers have half interests, a mated pair, that’s my sister, retelling this novel from a female pov, that male female thing, she wants to be attractive, what does Joaquin, male and female psychology, usually the way this works in a traditional story: a young man finds a princess, assassinate a princess, the forgiving nature and whim of that princess, they’re to the focus of the wisdom that Weinbaum is trying to struggle to, a very philosophical book, a lot of conversations, talking with this immortal, She in SHE is evil, Black Margot is bored, a severe case of “is that all there is?”, a narrow escape for Hull Tarvish, cursed to be one of the mercenaries in this growing army, the footnote at the end, an anonymous volume, Loves Of The Black Flame, the very first Conan story, Phoenix On The Sword, the Black Dragons, Game Of Thrones, this is somebody very close, told far in the future, one incident in Princess Margot’s life, ancient St. Louis, both terms as anachronism, wicked world metropolis, a very thin slice of an incident, page 105, a bit unusual, the history weirdness of this story, a fake history of the future, a salacious history, the atomic rocket crashings, if Weinbaum had lived, The Black Flame, Sam Moskowitz, Satellite, December 1956, is Weinbaum overblown?, a diminishing pool of readers, Hugo Gernsback’s Wonder Stories, Astounding, “thought variants”, Charles D. Hornig, so new, so breezy, readers were unreserved in their enthusiasm, John Taine, Jack Williamson, Ray Cummings, Clark Ashton Smith, H.P. Lovecraft, A Martian Odyssey, The Wizard Of Oz, stylistic magic, Tweel, paradoxical actions, the interplanetary strange encounter tale, the silicon monster hat burped bricks, wheeling rubbish, a tentacled plant with wish fulfillment images, “I saw with pleasure someone had last escaped… -H.P. Lovecraft”, A. Conan Doyle, Edgar Rice Burroughs, a chemical engineer, The Lady Dances by Marge Stanley, a woman’s name as a byline, The Mad Brain and The New Adam, an operetta, Omar The Tentmaker, Helen Weinbaum, Graph, $55, Solar Sail Service, Mortimer Weisinger, Ralph Milne Farley, Circle Of Zero, a strangely acceptable trick, The Valley Of Dreams, Julius Schwartz, Flight On Titan, knife-kites, whiplash trees, tread-worms, Parasite Planet, Ham Hammond and Patricia Burlingame, the outre creatures, The Lotus Eaters, a warm blooded plant, Oscar, a series of questions and answers, under the influence of the narcotic spore, pontifical inertia, Pygmalion’s Spectacles, The Worlds Of If, The Ideal, virtual reality, Prof. Van Manderpootz, what would happen if…, synoptic, reading Weinbaum right, the attitudinizer, seeing the world through the mind of others, humour and style, a philosopher was at work, a masterful short novel, a woman of extraordinary beauty, The Milwaukee Fictioneers, the Radio Pirates and others, Amazing Stories, a former Wisconsin senator, True Gang Life, Yellow Slaves, Smothered Seas, formula material or go unpublished, The Planet Of Doubt, Weinbaum could do no wrong, the animated linked sausages of Uranus, The Adaptive Ultimate, Weinbaum had been “typed”, John W. Campbell, Jr., Don A. Stuart, almost plotless travelogues, David H. Keller’s Life Everlasting, one of his favourite authors, a tubercular girl, the ability to defeat death, dramatized on the radio, Tales Of Tomorrow, She Devil (1957), so adaptable, tonsil extraction, Proteus Island, imitation pneumonia, x-ray treatments, The Red Peri, a woman space pirate of phenomenal cunning, The Adaptive Ultimate, super-woman, a subconscious wish to meet a woman his intellectual equal, Smothered Seas, The Mad Moon, a semi-intelligent rat, minor masterpiece, Ralph Milne Farley, The Dictator’s Sister, Ray Palmer, Charles D. Hornig, 15 month after his first science fiction story appeared…, surrounded by radiance, The Weinbaum Memorial Volume, high poetry in the closing passages, maybe Einar is immortal, The Circle Of Zero, it should be read, an undersea wall, Real And Imaginary, Brink Of Infinity, The Tenth Question by George Allan England, he wrote it for himself, The Revolution Of 1980, transgender dictator, no end to his last stories, Tidal Moon, The New Adam, Edgar Rice Burroughs, fatal passion for a woman, morbidly fascinating, so gay a frolic, The Dark Other, Graph, Green Glow Of Death, Eric Frank Russell, Henry Kuttner, John Russell Fearn, Philip Jose Farmer’s The Lovers, before the curtain descended, a poem, a little long, 45 minutes of reading Sam Moskowitz, Ted Chiang, really thinking about the details, the attraction of the woman, Margot springboarded into another character, sometimes people are wrong about stuff, The Mound by H.P. Lovecraft and Zealia Bishop, just trying to sell magazines, suddenly flip, angrily ranting, screaming and yelling in a foreign language, a story needs to be parsed, better thinking about it rather than reading it, Maureen O’Brien, back in 2004.

Dawn Of Flame by Stanley G. Weinbaum - Thrilling Wonder Stories, June 1939

Dawn Of Flame by Stanley G. Weinbaum - Thrilling Wonder Stories, June 1939

Dawn Of Flame by Stanley G. Weinbaum - Thrilling Wonder Stories, June 1939

Dawn Of Flame by Stanley G. Weinbaum - Thrilling Wonder Stories, June 1939

Posted by Jesse WillisBecome a Patron!

Reading, Short And Deep #245 – A Wife Manufactured To Order by Alice W. Fuller

Podcast

Reading, Short And DeepReading, Short And Deep #244

Eric S. Rabkin and Jesse Willis discuss A Wife Manufactured To Order by by Alice W. Fuller

Here’s a link to a PDF of the story.

A Wife Manufactured To Order was first published in The Arena, July 1895.

Podcast feed https://sffaudio.herokuapp.com/rsd/rss

Posted by Scott D. Danielson Become a Patron!

The SFFaudio Podcast #597 – READALONG: Sargasso Of Lost Starships by Poul Anderson

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #597 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, Maissa Bessada, Will Emmons, and Mary Jo Escano talk about Sargasso Of Lost Starships by Poul Anderson.

Talked about on today’s show:
Planet Stories, January 1952, October, March, February, hell ya, there’s no men on the planet, World Without Men by Charles Eric Maine, nice and trashy, a bit dated, that’s now it actually happens, Virgin Planet by Poul Anderson, Charles Eric Mayne, pruple heair and green eyes, yellow irises, purple lipstick, dyed breasts, pasties, a dead corpse on a dissecting table, lavender lipstick, sclera, garment, the best cover ever made, the world of 5,000 years from now, babies, mass deception, the struggle to recreate the male sex, the world of women, a truly unique novel, slanted for the intelligent adult reader, Nineteen-Eighty Four and Brave New World, a physical copy, serious thanks, the sound effects, weird pronunciations, Woka, Wocha, Basil Donovoan, Vulduma, captured the atmosphere, italicized, a ghost transmitting through your brain, now there is only death, the Sargasso of the Black Nebula, audacity, Garage Band, the Doctor Who adaptation, The Brain Of Morbius, a brain in a jar, Solon, the Sisterhood of Karn, cultist of immortality, Frankenstein, immortality juice, a dingy planet that’s a Sargasso of Space, alien ant-man, Kondo, an Igor type, Solon stole his hand, Universal Monster movies, taking our time, circle around the black hole, #SIFP, resist talking about it because its so important, Sargasso Of Lost Starships Rehidden by Poula Anderson, gender flipped text, Valduma is a man, Valdoomo,

Basille Donovan was drunk again.

She sat near the open door of the Golden Planet, boots on the table, chair tilted back, one arm resting on the broad shoulder of Wocha, who sprawled on the floor beside her, the other hand clutching a tankard of ale. The tunic was open above her stained gray shirt, the battered cap was askew on her close-cropped blond hair, and her insignia–the stars of a captain and the silver leaves of an earl on Ansa–were tarnished. There was a deepening flush over her pale gaunt cheeks, and her eyes smoldered with an old rage.

Looking out across the cobbled street, she could see one of the tall, half-timbered houses of Lanstead. It had somehow survived the space bombardment, though its neighbors were rubble, but the tile roof was clumsily patched and there was oiled paper across the broken plastic of the windows. An anachronism, looming over the great bulldozer which was clearing the wreckage next door. The workwomen there were mostly Ansans, big women in ragged clothes, but a well-dressed Terran was bossing the job. Donovan cursed wearily and lifted her tankard again.

it changes the story, it changes the story, but why?, there’s no feminine form of Earl, it brings to light preconceptions, Captain Helena, call me sir, workwomen, the point of it is to provoke you a little bit, it makes you think, an interesting literary technique, The Pirates Of Ersatz, a romance, who is betraying what, we’re going to raise children on your planet, his lips, his title, looking for approval from somebody, drunk in his cabin for weeks, I wanna have twelve kids with him on his holler planet, a product of his generation, swiping him to the left, Galactic Empire, Flandry, James Bond in space, he’s alt-right twitter user, drinking again today with my loyal slave, one of the least likeable Poul Anderson protagonists, written overnight?, there’s nothing to him, there’s levels to it, he’s not a hero, he’s a Han Solo figure, Star Warsy, the setup is straight out of Firefly, Alan Tudyk doesn’t like it, Takahashi, a product of his market, a male market, he’s the reader, Valduma can’t give him kids, the flavour of the month, she didn’t kill him the first time, infatuation, not a lasting relationship, one or both of them is going to die, the light side or the dark side, dug deep, he sides with the Empire, he’s a triple traitor, not a good person, the novel happens to him, he barely makes choices, why am I kissing her?, deeply mentally ill, a depressed guy with PTSD, psychological realism, she bites his lip, it’s kinky, it’s about power, power grooming, it’s hard to pay attention to what Basil Donovan is doing, because plot needs to happen, hypnotized, a new Amazing scan, a giant woman, a cowboy looking figure, A World He Never Made, Science Stories, April 1954, French Canadian voyageurs, a reversed image, a doll sized regular human, this is really what the 1950s are all about, now were friends with the Germans, the Japanese, coming back from our war, all the women are different, they’re wearing pants, they want divorces, I need to drink more, John Hamm with ads, Mad Men, they’re drinking all the time, WWII, sorta what we’re doing, on the losing Nazi side, American Civil War South, slaveholder, you’re on Team America against the Soviets, love that info-dump, story elements that make the story richer, a butt tonne, the Technic History series, rolling up and down through history, Will’s breathing, a real podcaster, a Blue Yeti without the boom, sonic disruption, the two covers, he looks like a cowboy, when you gender flip a story…, I think is physically embodied, women are becoming more powerful, my readers will buy this issue, stories are a way of understanding what’s going on, if you could only have one Astounding or Planet Stories, Planet Stories are fun, the psychology of the period, the spaceships are powered by atomics, the planets were bombarded, the spaceport was full of radiation, all the windows are blasted out, seeing Berlin after WWII, how is the occupation going to go, so clear to us looking at it, what our stories are about right now, the value of reading a trashy Planet Stories story, the science is not really the point, “She was the Lorelei of space”, a siren that lures their men to her death, a whole dark empire, the Black Nebula, the good an wholesome Empire of Earth or the Dark Empire of bitterness, No Truce With Kings, freedom, choice, we all have to work together, evidenced by the crew, all humans, all together, a pan-racial world, and Wocha’s really fun, the Woola, a dog that can drink beer, two H. Rider Haggard characters: Khoi-Khoi, Umslopogaas, a racial side-kick, unsavory, Solomon Kane, N’Longa, Tonto, the shownotes for She, Trish, Irish racism, not fully sentient, he’s reading children’s books, we love dogs, a giant monstrous child, mouthing the words, kinda simple, Captain America: The First Avenger, Dum Dum Dugan, The Howling Commandos, racialized characters, tokenism, its not mean, it’s inclusive, members of the community might not feel, DC comics too, Jonah Hex, Scalphunter, Power Man, Shang-Chi, Fu Manchu’s son, who’s making that decision, this person doesn’t like it, if it is a low culture thing, comic books or pulp magazines, coming from high culture, who shaped this story?, the readers, we don’t know all the things that go into it?, Helena riding Wocha into battle, that’s amazing!, space helmets, is this cover representative of one of these stories, a whole bunch of crashed spaceships, that’s Helena on the cover, why is she blonde on the cover?, that’s an amazing cover, the artist Alan Anderson used this pose, she’s black haired on the over covers, Wocha has an axe in his left hand, she’s on his horse, a horse dog talking companion character, looks like an ape, his ape face split, gorilla, he’d eat six times as much as a regular person, he’s isn’t a Nick Fury, WWII was segregated service, the most offensive thing is that he’s an earl, the class stuff, blood, the class stuff is racial, because he’s an earl, bigger than himself, the best right he can do because of who he is, he doesn’t really do anything, the viewpoint character, as soon as somebody kisses her she’s off her horse, this palooka, the title, she’s the captain of a starship, you’re mine now, the wish fulfillment of men coming back from WWII, worried about race when they should be worried about class, people are slightly different drives within us, producing babies out of our bodies, conquer the universe vs. play house (on the mud planet), please boss get us an engine for the town, a politics story, WWI, England and France are the bad guys, Austro Hungarian Empire (Jesse’s not a fan), ultimately the bad guy is Wilson, Germany not being a unified country until the 19th century, colonies vs. territories, the Philippines, Hawaii, the reason this story feels so rich and deep, drawing from the history of European colonialism, quite a bit about nebulas, a white dwarf, other galaxies, a Lovecraftian paragraph, the depths of space, its all meaningless, huddle around the fires and not think about it, the stew, it doesn’t feel like it is two hours, we appreciate that, The Queen Of Air And Darkness, space elves, regrets, the long-tailed greenies, Scotland, Shanghaied, blackmailed, we don’t need that part of the trip, Planet Stories (not Spaceship Stories), a sword and spear battle for technical science fictional reasons, sword and planet, they can control bullets, psychic energy, continuous field distribution, Asnarians, theorizing on their racial intelligence, how to run stuff, they’re a backwater because they’ve been fighting amongst themselves, decadence, his idea of women, they don’t have the patience, their crutch is so important to them, manipulating matter at a distance, psychokinetic, they’re really good at baseball, they got too big for their britches, kind of like Vikings, they Danegeld all their neighbours, diminishing elves, wreck my mud planet, you can be insular or you can expand your empire, grow or die, magic vs. technology, their power spoiled them, right here right now, why their planet is so desolate, The Magic Goes Away by Larry Niven, why humans are so weird compared to other animals, Jesse disdains his animal, what makes humans different, curious monkeys, we’re the meta-animal, that animal has really big ears I bet I could make a tent out of that, mammals vs snakes, pass on the knowledge, they’re more like whales, they don’t have the hands, shelving and collecting and arranging, spaceships, engineers, Minecraft, computers inside of Minecraft, make a first person shooter style game inside of a game, it’s like LEGO, a sandbox, a survival simulator, somebody’s beautiful sentence, this is an interesting thought, why Wocha is the way he is, kinda like a kid himself, all of this stuff is in this story, what kinda science is it Jesse? super-science, the causal FTL, drink yourself, mother can I have his skull, a northern European version of the Sirens, they didn’t choose to be that way, nature just made Vulduma an immortal child, do you think she loved him?, she was using him, that’s her way of loving, that’s how she loves that mouse, you gotta love cats even though they are killers, our curse, the animal nature of humans, c’mon now act like a human, a capybara, they’re cursed, Valduma is doomed, their trapped, its biological, submits to the biological urge to kiss that scruffy dude, Basil’s trauma is out on the page, we don’t need to apply psychological realism to her, she didn’t want to be the leader of the Earth battalion, we don’t know how the empire appoints officers, Helena and Basil are both losers, supported in the text, did she say 12?, needing to be nursed, once the babies are baking, she is now the earl stay at home, very confusing, a Conan, A Witch Shall Be Born Once More by Roberta E. Howard, magic birth control, going around from town to town dropping kids, Conan’s not around when the baby’s cooked, she’s trying to miscarry, Conyn, she’s been nailed to the Tree of Woe, her mighty neck muscles, Conan’s covered in scars, unlike Kull, tough guys like Rambo, for men scars are like trophies, evidence of their manliness, the Lorelei is a dude, young Tarzan kidnaps a child, Tarzan Of The Black Boy, sharp cannibal teeth, when men fall head over heels, he’s acting alluring, Mal from Firefly, Errol Flynn, a Nazi in real life?, the lesser evil, in the real world it would be communism, Captain America fighting the Communists, one of the oldest superhero characters, photoshopped Bucky off the cover, socking Hitler in the jaw, before the United States are *in* the war, Stalin, Commie Smasher, beast-like hands, see Captain America defy the communist hordes, a belt and boots but no pants, John Romita, that’s hilarious, Cap was retcon.

Sargasso Of Lost Starships by Poul Anderson - from Planet Stories, January 1952

Sargasso Of Lost Starships illustrated by Allen Anderson

Posted by Jesse WillisBecome a Patron!

The SFFaudio Podcast #596 – AUDIOBOOK: Sargasso Of Lost Starships by Poul Anderson

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #596 – Sargasso Of Lost Starships by Poul Anderson, read by Mary Jo Escano

This UNABRIDGED AUDIOBOOK (2 hours 17 minutes) comes to us courtesy of Mary Jo Escano and was first published in Planet Stories, January 1952.

The next SFFaudio Podcast will feature our discussion of it!

Sargasso Of Lost Starships - Planet Stories, January 1952

Posted by Jesse WillisBecome a Patron!

Reading, Short And Deep #241 – Or Give Me Death by Donald E. Westlake

Podcast

Reading, Short And DeepReading, Short And Deep #241

Eric S. Rabkin and Jesse Willis discuss Or Give Me Death by Donald E. Westlake

Here’s a link to a PDF of the story.

Or Give Me Death was first published in Universe Science Fiction, November 1954.

Podcast feed https://sffaudio.herokuapp.com/rsd/rss

Posted by Scott D. Danielson Become a Patron!

Reading, Short And Deep #239 – The Veldt by Ray Bradbury

Podcast

Reading, Short And DeepReading, Short And Deep #239

Eric S. Rabkin and Jesse Willis discuss The Veldt by Ray Bradbury

Here’s a link to a PDF of the story.

The Veldt was first published as The World The Children Made in The Saturday Evening Post, September 23, 1950.

Podcast feed https://sffaudio.herokuapp.com/rsd/rss

Posted by Scott D. Danielson Become a Patron!