Reading, Short And Deep #288 – The Jelly-Fish by David H. Keller

Podcast

Reading, Short And DeepReading, Short And Deep #288

Eric S. Rabkin and Jesse Willis discuss The Jelly-Fish by David H. Keller

Here’s a link to a PDF of the story.

The Jelly-Fish was first published in Weird Tales, January 1929

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

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Reading, Short And Deep #287 – Who Destroyed The Earth? by Robert Wolf Emmett

Podcast

Reading, Short And DeepReading, Short And Deep #287

Eric S. Rabkin and Jesse Willis discuss Who Destroyed The Earth? by Robert Wolf Emmett

Here’s a link to a PDF of the story.

Who Destroyed Earth? was first published in Maclean’s, January 1, 1955

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

Posted by Scott D. Danielson Become a Patron!

The SFFaudio Podcast #640 – READALONG: Wang’s Carpets by Greg Egan

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #640 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, and Scott Danielson talk about Wang’s Carpets by Greg Egan

Talked about on today’s show:
Greg Bear, its been a while, a story about scientists doing science in a science fiction story, really pleasant, a lot of philosophy and a lot of scientific ideas, establishes themes, distilled, some real questions about the world, many worlds to conquer, sense of wonder, fractals, not conquer, contact is conqueror, very Prime Directivey, a Sterling thing, the Shaper Mechanist stories, biological and technological, parallel lives, they’ve mastered biology, they’re digital, baseline humans, 96 percent of me died, I’m going to mourn that for a while, Borderlands, digistructs, Star Trek, stuck in the buffer, technically this story is really good, not writing problems, digital vs. biological, the CZ folks, there was a reality, not a solipsistic universe, All You Zombies by Robert A. Heinlein, why Scott is worried (what Scott understood), biological copies, they’re not in a simulation, when they arrive at Vega, another level, one of the reviews, a little bit of Borges, how Set Theory interacts with philosophy, an infinity of numbers, this thing could go on for a while, a bigger infinite set, once you set down this path, interesting to think about what’s going on, rather repulsive, a few shows ago, In The Clutch Of The War God went to Aurora by Kim Stanley Robinson, the post-human aspect, going post-human, changing your eye stalks, your dad’s third copy of your cousin, sound and fury signifying nothing, the act of looking at mp3 files is copying them, I don’t download I only stream, any actions within a computer are copying actions, going to visit a website is downloading it, big sheets of sugar, it turns out its not alive, turns out its not alive, in the interstices, what’s so interesting about this, kind of like Exhalation by Ted Chiang, these things are going on without us, hard fantasy, its much more like Flatland by Edwin A. Abbott, learning the rules of a game, why is he telling me about the emotional relationships between these characters, they don’t have belt pouches and breakfasts, they don’t care whether it is raining, following robots, these are not a metaphor, any sense why Jesse would have a reaction, the message is sad, the people at home are living in VR worlds, step one set back and we’re looking at a short story, yeah within the story it all makes sense, within the story, the story is meta-questioning, somewhere deep in the center, why the search for life is necessary, suicide and emigration, people are excited to hear about life, if this goes on…, the carpets seem to have their own thing going on, exactly like your world, its incestuous, Wang tiles can’t be mirrored, very depressing, here’s the problem, here’s the solution, the problem is present again, escape solipsism with reality exploration, they’re playing proceduraly generated Minecraft, like LEGO, clunky cubic architecture, making calculators and computers that run programs inside of Minecraft, the logic chain, Redstone circuits, and or gates, Neal Stephenson’s The Diamond Age, like the data tape of a Turing machine, if someone had recorded all of our button presses…, control systems, a series of button presses, home computer programming, BYTE Magazine, Ti 99/4A, most people are not going to have access to this story, The Hard SF Renaissance, Mainly Books And Reading Blog, they have their own private language, a thinking machine, its a person, very distanced from the characters, some of them look like butterflies, post-human stuff, a mirror to the world that they’re exploring, the character of Orpheus, there’s no head involved, Cyberpunk 2077, one of the things you can do in the game is you can modify your character, super-customize your character, purple skin and eight fingers per hand, robot legs, eventually you’re just a thing that was a robot, these are not the bodies of the people back on Earth, the thoughts or the Turings of the people, they have votes, nobody would every consider cheating here, the guy who used to be his own son, it is all about the head, ultimately this is a math story, distinct realms, using math to measure reality, digital vs. analog, digital people living in a digital world, stored in pattern buffers, Carter Zimmerman, exploring the physical world vs. we’ve got aliens, so meta and so Borges, a very interesting crystal fractal thing, alienating, reading about others, there’s so much character work, consciousness downloading, Robert J. Sawyer, Four Lords Of The Diamond by Jack L. Chalker, Call Me Joe by Poul Anderson, Hyperion by Dan Simmons, death is not an issue and the biggest issue that ever could be, suicide, immortality, no more copies, downloading memories, a linear existence, explored, tossed-around, really dense, a lot happening, read and listened simultaneously, a different skill, words that give you trouble, spelling, the philosophical exploration, ideas for life, back to Borges, The Library Of Babel, indefinite, infinite, standing room for sleeping, I prefer to dream, a world (not our world), what are in the books, how the world looks, the world consist of rooms, hexagonal, there is not outside world, it could be a giant circle, it could be a carpet, on that water world, some beaches somewhere, the toxic UV, out of contact with the reality of the sun, Plato’s cave creatures, no sense data, social information, a model of the internet, we could hook up webcams, so full, the naming of the planet (Orpheus), he’s despairing, that’s depressing, not a character story, a bit of nostalgia for Paul, all Paul wanted out of science fiction, characters could go hang, their world is presented clinically, they’re there, we’re distanced – like we’re scientists examining them, legitimate emotions, as much as Jesse’s emotions are legitimate, there’s no difference between actual people and fictional people?, an anthropocentric universe, the young earth creationists, The Star by Arthur C. Clarke, these are the worries, the Fermi paradox, subspace chatter, why aren’t the Cardassians yelling at the Klingons, are we the first?, the only?, that’s what they’re saying, mocking, a cause for happiness, hey they discovered life on Mars again!, because there’s some methane, every fifty light years there’s a plankton sheet, fifty light years on there are ones with eyes, fifty light years beyond that there are ones with brains who worry about being alone, their hope, a twofer, a good old fashioned excuse to point to an article of November 1965 issue of Scientific American, Border Guards, David G. Hartwell, the lit crit pov, science as a symbolic construct of language, that’s part of it, are you gonna live you life playing computer games or live a real life, digital clothes for your avatar, the post-human people, the trans-human people, dump these bodies, we’re going to be digital, buy the books, the hard reality is they’re stuck in a meatbody, Kiln People by David Brin, its a metaphor for books, just shoot annoyed clones, typical Brin, I wanna play Minecraft, I left a me in the fridge, Transmetropolitan, robot slaves, you’ve got to have a plot, Raymond Kurzweil, cryonics, I can become younger, self-improvement, augmentation, nano-robot stuff, we do this, cataracts, what you’re claiming to think is consciousness, Evan Lampe, current Klingons aren’t interested in developing science, Klingons are post-human larpers, new fashion, what’s the difference between that and culture, the people who wanna be foxes, furries, unrealistic hope, you’re an ape that can swim and put on clothes and light fireplaces and collect rings, you’re not a bird, you’re not a fish, you’re definitely not going into a chrysalis and coming out a butterfly, 20 spots left in my harem, the more x chromosomes the better, if you have the fallopian tubes, we’re biological, we can’t fully transform from that, Jesse Simulator 1.2, a mistake like warp drive, that’s just gravity assist, Pandora’s Star by Peter F. Hamilton, I liked Sliders too, the farcasters in Hyperion, every room on a different planet, which planet does he choose to poop on, how many classes do we have in this story, everybody is equal except how many generation you are, suicide of emigration, what those carpets are doing, that we know of, they don’t have eyes, we come with assumptions, everything that looks at stuff have eyes, trees can detect light, designed to be depressing, these are not supposed to be humans, would you be cool with being a clone?, your clone uncle is now a butterfly, they have Wikipedia, post-scarcity, trans-humanist space journey, you can drink digital root beer and take digital photographs, another rant, AI software used in photos, HDR, slices of the reality that was there, the mark 1 eyeball, cheating, that lady who restored the painting of Jesus to look like a capuchin monkey, this is what Jesus looked like maybe, Paul’s philosophy of photography, that’s not really what you saw, the bad driving out the good, a weird overlay of reality, a watermark, a fascinating discussion, similar arguments in sports, a valid sports participant, a list of things you can’t do, using technology to enhance a performance, SPVIZ runtime, you never could, the Iwo Jima flag raising, manual photograph, choosing where to put and place the camera, it has always been the case you can’t trust the narrative, media literacy, common sense, The Invention Of Lying (2009), its a stage of human development, if I make a scary noise mom thinks I’m in pain, not everything is real, they can edit their personalities, change their dispositions in radical ways, a totalitarian state, I seem to remember that not being the case, so spotty, so useful, have the focused changed, the narrative, so meta, all those sets, if not deliberately, the story itself as part of the story, levels of a story, wholly artificial, a construction that’s interesting to look at, the appeal of sodoku, a logic exercise, a program that will do it in real time, kind of like dominoes, one sided tiles, good story, depressing story, in the Aurora sort of way, maybe that’s why there’s no photo of him, he might be a butterfly, the fundamental constants changed, the Clockwork Rocket series, what if light bends differently, the Greg Egan way.

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Reading, Short And Deep #285 – Patch by William Shedenhelm

Podcast

Reading, Short And DeepReading, Short And Deep #285

Eric S. Rabkin and Jesse Willis discuss Patch by William Shedenhelm

Here’s a link to a PDF of the story.

Patch was first published in Planet Stories, Fall 1950.

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

Posted by Scott D. Danielson Become a Patron!

The SFFaudio Podcast #639 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: James P. Crow by Philip K. Dick

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #639 – James P. Crow by Philip K. Dick – read by Mike Vendetti. This is a complete and unabridged reading of novelette (43 Minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants include Jesse, Paul Weimer, Marissa VU, and Evan Lampe,

Talked about on today’s show:
Planet Stories, May 1954, little Donnie’s last name, Parks, Jim Crow, civil rights for an oppressed minority, institutional speciesism, taking this allegory too directly, more like China, selfish motivations, say her name [Rosa Parks] didn’t become a public figure until 1955, playing with the name, segregation, structural inequality, intellectual divergences between the robots and the humans, how we define success, W.E.B. Du Bois, cheating on a rigged test, its an SAT, if you make the test its a test that you can pass, a meritocracy test, a robot test, all the robots don’t get perfect answers, A – Z robots, D and beyond, D and above, a robot being mean to a human, it was true he was a human child, a human being in a robot’s world, you smell, The Matrix (1999), Star Trek: Enterprise, human stink, being more intellectually advanced, more logical, they can’t handle smell, the origin of that trope, associated with barbarians, they stink, the opposite test, the Voight Kampf Blade Runner test, the same author, anti-racist, he’s trying to do a story about racism, but class is also tied up so strongly with it, Indian Science Fiction, caste and class, disentangling, what’s he gonna do?, so preposterous things, a true anti-racist story, a problematic story, the cooking test, separate but equal, James P. Crow’s solution is segregation, the time window that we have, the program of integration, Colin Powell, Kamala Harris, Barack Obama, Condoleezza Rice, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, successfully run the empire, become part of the ruling class, upset the apple cart, a shame covering maneuver, the truth’s going to come out at some point, Earth is a reservation, humans can’t leave, Time Out Of Joint, one happy world, a sequel to Second Variety?, robots built during the war, the Leadies, the vidsender, the time viewer, the time scoop, Paycheck, the Future History, just selling stories, using the tools of his imagination over and over again, what the title meant, Jesse’s not American, why his middle initial is P., Jim Crow is a weird etymology, the mid-19th century blackface character, James P. Johnson, a ragtime jazz musician, some hidden meaning, some hilarious joke, at the end of the story, Johnson died in 1955, classical music, a typical Philip K. Dick ending: I wonder what’s going to happen?, the congress, a strange granite cast to his face, Mount Rushmore, a peculiar harness, L87T, who’ll be the government?, The Turning Wheel, liberated humans from overseers, the master race, he’s a cheater, black doctors and famous scholars, a revered place within black communities, famous baseball player, they just can’t be held back, evidence for them, spending time with Donny Parks and his family, spending time with James P. Crow, stories where robots were black, as a metaphor, all the robots are white and all the humans are black, looking at it as an analogy for the United States in the 1950s, an incredibly powerful position, his smile seems menacing, the Humans Are Equal Party, he lecture the robot that they’re not equal, a very subversive thing, very human, the robots are more human than human, seeing history as it was, always working, he is the power, a bit of a dick, a worse robot like character, the husband from Human Is, inhabited by a PahWraith (Deep Space Nine), I’m a sweaty hairy big apey guy and this cute little elfin lady likes me, playing into that fantasy, he’s building, humans are good at entertaining, playing into black stereotypes, good at domestics, body servants [to robots], civil service exams, poll taxing, literacy tests, Protestant tests given to Italians, who grades the test, peasants studying, the Indian civil service exam, Rebecca Rebecca [R] F. Kuang the previously called Campbell Award, the Astounding Award, alternate history, the words boycott and gerrymander, these liberal universities SAT requirements, vocabulary words, when you Marshall your arguments, helping the Chinese elites become the American elites, a landowner who wouldn’t lower the rent, they shunned Boycott, voter suppression, power elites trying to keep in power, a Massachusetts mayor, a vice president with no primary votes, special circumstances, there’s always special circumstances, literally nuked, I could live in the mountains, surviving the initial blast, so good at getting in kid’s heads, Tony And The Beetles, its actually Bajor and he’s a Cardassian, they put us in these situations, the people in power, it feels like Philip K. Dick is smarter than he is, his dad, Edgar, those robots were contributing to society, so much in the fifties, some kind of dystopia breaking up, Vulcan’s Hammer, Solar Lottery, Now Wait For Last Year, Our Friends From Frolix 8, the future is unwritten, a weakness or a wisdom, a dark vision, The Crystal Crypt, send them all back to Africa (Liberia), some people bought into this, controlled by people in power, James P. Crow is the segregationist, his solution is Apartheid, Lesotho, such an American story, a 1955 letter, a Zora Neale Hurston letter to the Orlando Sentinel, the Indian position, a minority opinion, the argument Biden made at the time, a bunch of different reactions, on the side of good [except for being rabidly anti-communist], Booker T. Washington, growth from within, we don’t need white people, how Koreans and Chinese deal with inherent racism in the United States, quotas to keep them out, they just study harder, a cultural acceptance, that’s not our way, why do we want to be part of a system like that, we have our own thing going, Nick And The Glimmung, 1944, The Slave Race by Philip K. Dick, Berkeley Daily Gazette, May 8, 1944, culture and science was among them, worlds undreamed of, war followed in our steps, ambivalence, the robot on top, he can maintain his power, an autocrat, he gave the technology to the oppressor, talking about Lovecraft and the theme of deliberate forgetting, retelling the same story from a different angle, The Alchemist, The Case Of Charles Dexter Ward, trying to suppress knowledge, real historical figures, The Tree, he’s hidden in it a suppressed story, trying to prevent knowledge, always tilling up the earth, At The Mountains Of Madness, forbidden knowledge, civil unrest in the US under Jim Crow, not supportive of integration, not supportive of a rosy future together, fascinating stuff, very subtle, naive going in, we aren’t told, we just see that smile and that power disparity, the servant to him, watching humans construct the first A type, where black people came from, a horrible Lovecraft letter [actually a poem], suppressing the feelings of being an immoral monster, there are differences between people between cultures, passing these tests, should everyone be equal or should everyone be treated equally?, remunerative careers, Grace Park, the only way our family can move up at all, basic survival, being second class, parallel evil lies: “separate but equal” and “work will set you free”, Planet Of The Apes, a Dreamworks option, a technological Planet Of The Apes, what’s so awesome about this, being displaced from this, creating other human beings is something you do in your bedroom or on the beach when on vacation, barnyard animals, Exhalation by Ted Chiang, air pressure differentials, the breeding of human beings could be an invention, what’s natural and what’s unnatural, change your perspective, Roombas cleaning your carpets, dishwashers washing your dishes, everything’s natural (in a certain sense), if you are taken out of your community, are we inferior, dad?, human is a slur, growing up on a planet full of robots, the kids who wants to be Data (on Star Trek: The Next Generation), loose your cultural legacy, why would construct themselves, newly formed, where does the original king come from, patriarchy is from God, every hierarchy constructed themselves, it’s impossible to conceive of a city without police now, your iPhone 6 vs. your iPhone 7+, Reason by Isaac Asimov, apples and eggs, Asimov is more right about robots, Dick is more right about power, apes engaged in archaeology, our people would have discovered this, what is the robot origin myth, the premise of this story and the themes, not a fun read, oh that’s really interesting, had he expanded it, more time with the robots and the family and less time with James P. Crow himself, the core of this story, L87T, your really inspire us, his right gripper, the equality sign, it lingered at the door, he’s turning into Malcolm X, I don’t want to be part of your liberal elite, look at your list scores, a human isn’t the equal of a robot anymore than he’s the equal of a stove, sing act, write plays, make love, scratch sonnets on menus, soft music mixed with wine, both realms are fine, separate spheres, domestic spheres, raise wonderful men, women have an essential role, a non-sinister ending, society, that’s the robot’s question, its not up to you, you don’t need to concern yourself with us here in Liberia, a powerful story, not what you expected, electric jeep, that other twist, a cop-out, kind of wise, everything worked out in the end, an ambiguous ending is preferred, all of the action in the story is superfluous to what happened, he got this power point ready, here’s my ultimatum, no wonder it doesn’t satisfy, a nice glimpse into a very weird and semi-plausible world that’s also a metaphor for our own world, Grace and Ed, too early, untrustworthy, that’s Philip K. Dick sitting at his desk, get that rent paid, an interstellar connection, a city mention?, Ed swallowed nervously, only 300 years, before that the government was reactionary, nowadays we have a liberal government, no human has ever passed a list, brutal, similarities to Frolix 8, a couple versions of post-humans, the psis, the mentat types, the facade of, Tony And The Beetles, The Hanging Stranger, Martians Come In Clouds, amoeba things just passing through, psychic blobs, we just want to relocate because Mars is doomed, black people come to the neighbourhood, a better allegory for civil rights, Philip K. Dick review is Evan, the Philip K. Dick fans page, The White Whale, a favourite book, post-colonial, sickmyduck.narod.ru, Prize Ship, let’s book that, end of January [2021], wow the future, actors aging in place, Terry Farrell, an alien planet that looks suspiciously like southern California, bottle episodes, Paul’s first Star Trek convention, why aren’t you talking about that fight scene you did with your shirt off, a very bad hot take that’s very cold now, why you don’t need the actors to talk, Rene Auberjonois directs some episode, Ferengi talking about Ferenganar problems, a layer of universe, really rich, more drama based, Klingon mother in law doesn’t like it, the naked Betazed marriage ceremony, Marissa needs to get into Deep Space Nine, lots and lots of notes, Evan’s podcast, Sinclair Lewis who dat?, Henry James, technically an American writer, a traitor, the English don’t get him, isn’t Lovecraft a traitor, a British subject, hilarious hair-splitting, Doyle’s , Lord Dunsany’s fine because he’s from island, James Herriot, don’t try to undermine my prejudice, H.G. Wells, the Queen has a place in Scotland, he’s the Prince of Wales not the Prince of England, not just the yoga scenes, its shipping not sexing, sexual politics but no actual sex, alien babies, sex rituals of the planet Risa, rough patches, so many good Science Fiction ideas, counting coup, all the women are huge and all the men are tiny, Federation castaways, it was all about the 80s feminism, stop at the cookie store on the way home, big hair, shoulder pads, 1987, mid-80s, you can hear the set creak, still puppets, Worf is super conservative, most klingons are larping it, Worf intellectualizes it, he’s like Lovecraft trying to be an English lord, General Martok is way chill, I don’t get to have sex with her very often, if you don’t have Quark and Garak and Nog and Rom in your life, the first season of Babylon 5 is rougher, Alfred Bester is a psi-cop, The Demolished Man.

James P. Crow by Philip K Dick - illustration by EMSH

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Reading, Short And Deep #284 – Let The Ants Try by Frederik Pohl

Podcast

Reading, Short And DeepReading, Short And Deep #284

Eric S. Rabkin and Jesse Willis discuss Let The Ants by Frederik Pohl

Here’s a link to a PDF of the story.

Let The Ants Try was first published in Planet Stories, Winter 1949.

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

Posted by Scott D. Danielson Become a Patron!