The SFFaudio Podcast #700 – READALONG: The Door Into Summer by Robert A. Heinlein

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #700 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, Maissa Bessada, Evan Lampe, and Trish E. Matson talk about The Door Into Summer by Robert A. Heinlein.

Talked about on today’s show:
serialized in F&SF, October and December 1956, hardcover 1957, set in 1970s, set in 2000/2001, the cat and the door, isn’t the door supposed to dilate?, Heinlein In Dimension by Alexei Panshin, The Pleasant Profession Of Robert A. Heinlein by Farah Mendlesohn, lucky for Paul, Paul didn’t like it, just the cat parts?, time paradox, time loop, Trish hated it, a cardinal rule, #SIFTP, analysis, horrible indeed, recounting Trish’s shame, supposed to like the main character, Pete rules, Danny boy, pacing, not a struggle to finish, Evan should read all of Heinlein, Evan dug the stuff about domestic labour, a key feature of the conversation about feminism and technology, Philip K. Dick was a technophobe, Nanny, domestic labour devices, the robot’s trying to have sex with your wife, the washing machine, washing day, any liberation from work is good (especially drudgery), still sexism, 1950s America, Evan loved the cat stuff, a love-story about a man and his cat, Pete’s inner life, this little opener, the famous ones, researching, listeners appreciate, other podcasts on Heinlein, even people who hate Heinlein reference him all the time, Our Opinions Are Correct, By His Bootstraps, “All You Zombies”, similar plot, less romance, less something, all about the time loop, even tighter, a long short story, good, fun, and funny, similar structural stuff, a bullshit paper on time travel, loops ensue, Dictor, he a bad man, he also main character, did Heinlein invent time loops or merely perfect them?, finding Heinlein icky, bootstrap paradox, 19th century, outside of science fiction, economics, politics, such a pervasive misunderstanding, something obviously impossible to do, whadontchu do the impossible?, stupid people collecting phrases, the icky factor, engaged with vs. shit all over, squicky?, “grooming”, the stand in for Heinlein (Dan Davis), unfair, overstating, Heinlein still wrote it, he’s pushing her away, “Yes Ricky, that’s what I want”, over-reading, kids as sex objects, The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, Hazel, The Rolling Stones, no talking about the show before the show starts, the stand-in for Heinlein is someone else, the nudist is Heinlein, the Japanese Netflix movie, not that bad if you can attune yourself to Japanese aesthetics, “a door you should not go through”, fine, it did the story, the femme fatale, reducing the ickyness, just pining, did what it had to do, it didn’t dwell on the fun stuff, haircuts, stock stuff, women’s labour is not in the movie at all, the world that Heinlein builds up, am I supposed to like the character?, he’s a drunk, he wants to make his tech repairable, right to repair, a bigger issue today than 30 years ago, you’re not supposed to open your own hood, Jesse’s ancient car, other personality qualities, being resentful, being oblivious (for the plot), kinda dumb in some areas, an idiot ball, trusting Miles and Belle, the passion to dive into your work, being his own boss, don’t let other people tell you how to do your job, selling stories, the same scene over and over and over again, “dicker”, sticker, ultimatum, instead of haggling, saying the unstated, the other guy always collapses, a weakness in Heinlein, his second plan, that trick sucks and Jesse hates, it doesn’t work in reality, try and do it today bud, Heinlein has to be an Android guy now, one of the many annoying things Heinlein does, his worlds are constructed by him, there’s always another guy across the street, you have to move to another town, Sears is gone now, all to common situations, helping the businesses stay honest, gas stations, gas prices are always in alignment with each other, working together, a supply issue, independent gas stations, corporate owned, concessions at a movie theatre, booktowns, a wedding district, negotiation logic, interpersonal connections, “how dare you, sir, interrupt my nudist making out session with my wife, I’m going to go nuclear”, in that case we’re best friends, autistic, an all or nothing approach, padding, a mode that he gets into, inane identical conversations, after your 50th Heinlein novel, Rikki-Tikki-Tavi, more evidence Heinlein was always telling you what books to read, he loves Rudyard Kipling, Jesse doesn’t read for character, the world is fantastic, so much going on, France has a king now, Canada ate England, the six weeks nuclear war, the capital is now in Denver, the amount of worldbuilding, nullified by the Japanese movie, 3 years from now, robots that look like people everywhere, iPhone didn’t take over in 2 years, these guys don’t care about the thing Jesse cares about, a Japanese audience, he’s the Time Bride in this situation, zero age difference, schoolgirls in sailor uniforms, oh yeah and we have to have a cat, asking questions and angry about stuff, a robot Pete?, a very bad replacement for the nudists, it made it cute, where did that come from, you’re always late, Dan, bad bad writing, I serve you for five days, have conversations to explain plot, reverse engineer that robot, another convention, avoiding a paradox, the reason, all the podcasts in existence, we’ve done the most on anything (by Heinlein), everybody does Starship Troopers, a number have done The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, a couple have done By His Bootstraps, some have done “All You Zombies”, the movie is not the story, that story is pretty simple, essentially the same, a Heinlein booster, a white nationalist?, learning to drive, there was a door, why is this not a book that sticks in the memory?, so lower on the tier scale, less racist that Farnham’s Freehold, awesome plot work, it feels slight, sentimental works, otherwise slight, The Cat Who Walks Through Walls, avoiding that one, a cat is in it, there are cats in it but it isn’t a cat book, flatcats, he loves cats, Pixel, a character Jesse liked, the nudist was funny, nuding it up, do better in 2022?, let the women talk about the women for a little while, little girls have inappropriate crushes, an excuse by pedophiles, go play with somebody your own age, see a psychiatrist, here’s a candy cane, peer appropriate relationship, hypersleep, still wants to marry the same guy, don’t wake me up, she’d rather not exist if she’s not going to be with him, ten years of living without him, he’s not a jerk, oblivious, focused on his work, he can write female characters strong and self sufficent and have brains, a manipulating self-center bitch, a response book, previous time travel books, H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine, When The Sleeper Awakes, the future utopia sometime in the 20th century, the richest man in the world, his light bulb being on, Red Dwarf, engaging with a long tradition, two methods of time travel, shunted out of the plot, a plot device, the cold sleep, a great novel, neglected great writers, Double Indemnity by James M. Cain, a wife who wants to have her husband killed, Walter Neff, while somebody is sleeping, he didn’t jump he was pushed, killing off Dan B. Davis, the Hays Code, slim volumes, so digestible, the motivating plot, the way the book is structured, it starts with a loop, 11 doors in Connecticut, drafting or drinking, back in time, his decision, running around to get the plot happening, Back To The Future 2, he sees himself on stage playing guitar and Chuck Berry phone call, how Heinlein’s a good writer, the car had gone missing, Jesse knew what happened to the car, a mystery, red herrings to distract us from the little clues, chef’s kiss, time travel, not loved when so well done, he invents the Roomba, so many touches, Hired Girl, the hired girl, he can see them in their starkers, as god made them, all confection and lies, assets, competent, the hired girl took over, what’s so interesting about this book, technology at its core, plot vs. tech, the Japanese movie in relief, plasma battery subplot, Heinlein’s saying the opposite, everything’s off the rack, philosophy of engineering, on point, in railroad times you build railroads, loop de loop rollercoaster, the character having interaction with himself, nothing more beautiful than that, “you’re stupid”, I said., arrested for barracking, that zombie drug, sentenced to being zombies, zombie workers killed by its owner, working the implications of the tech, Heinlein at his best, really exploring, he loved Colorado, overrun, expropriated for government use, Los Angeles is a port, he’s not half-assing it, he likes, nudity, Colorado, cats, California, self inserting his own bio, the whole bit with the cars, producing to give people jobs, we’re doing it, cheese caves, in the Japanese adaptation, 32 year old car, you need to be rich to own an old car, to support the Japanese car industry, more iron to make more cars, the domestic market, the Japanese market, immigration, its hard to assimilate, racist or whatever, something they’ve thought a lot about since WWII, how to keep the economy good, a stable economy, trashing five year old cars, Australia is full of Japanese cars, Canada too, right hand drive, insure it at a higher rate, where Heinlein goes the extra step, the fit and finish, no gauges, satire, milk subsidies, a license to have a milk farm, where the government cheese comes from, more cows producing, distortion effects, pop vs. soda, pop is a verb not a noun, Wisconsin is pop country, corn syrup, sugar is cheaper in Canada, corn syrup is cheaper in the states, social commentary, a continuation, his futurism is really good, technology has massive impacts on our lives, real science fiction, useful technology, the right side of this question, make women and men’s lives easier, his own life, tricked out with interesting tech ideas, labour saving, the history of the dishwasher, scrub dishes all day, Jesse is a monster, not a smart dishwasher, I have to pay my servants, after WWII, dishwashers had existed since 1850 but they get hot in 1950, Catharine Beecher, Harriet Beecher Stowe’s sister, A Treatise On Domestic Economy For The Use of Young Ladies at Home and at School, our bastion of power, efficiency expert, scientific management, fordism, talking about the domestic sphere seriously, expanding their own freedom, the natural place for women, sounds scary when you say it, if you’re going to continue the species, off on the hunt, Jesse literally cannot suckle babies, hormone shots, we don’t even have the baby being gestated in side the woman, Lois McMaster Bujold, uterine replicators, Podkayne Of Mars did it first, Bujold does Heinlein better than Heinlein, the domestic labour saving devices, Jesse’s not allowed in his mom’s kitchen, her space to dominate, a room in the house for men, cohabitation rooms, smoking rooms, Trish seething in the background, liberate women from this using tech, drive across or rocket across, Jesse has been talking a long time, Drafting Dan was for himself and for men and women, his inventions were for everybody, Hired Girl helping women, saving household labour, the domestic sphere idea, a woman’s domain, restricting choices is a bad thing for human rights, through husband or father, how people or women thought of it in the 19th century, antebellum reform movements, newspapers, social movements, protests, writing governments, pushing for laws, anti-prostitution, temperance, the anti-slavery movement, women’s anti-slavery societies, it degrades the family, making women sinners, informally not legally married, separate spheres idea, women didn’t have property if they were married, the Temperance Society of Philadelphia, write articles, give speeches, push for laws, a historical rabbit hole, something else that is going to annoy Jesse, the plot is a chef’s kiss, the time machine plot was unnecessary, a wonderful feeling, Riki becoming a brilliant engineer herself, wow she grew up and started the Aladdin rival company, Dan went back in time and did everything else, the challenge, Trish had her female empowerment plot taken away from her, a good thing about that movie, irrelevant to the plot, a better reinterpretation, given how all the female characters were written, intelligent women who do things, too early, without that loop, the loop at the beginning, an alcoholic suddenly, to fix the problem, to get revenge, he’s doing a figure skating thing, that the loop happens, who is Heinlein?, could there have been parallel existences?, Pete died, she grew up, if I did see my name in the paper, it could never have happened that way, the very existence of that line of print, excluded not possibles, a supernatural engineer, the supernatural entity is Heinlein, a beautiful technical execution, why is that scene necessary?, because he was a nudist, an intertime travel love story, Time Bride Isaac Asimov’s November 1983, Gardner Dozois and Jack Dann, Trish is going to love this story, engaging with the minor aspect of the story, many exceptions, spouses in the reverse case, not societialy appropriate, if Edgar Allan Poe had, getting married in Korea, school and study up, more free now, the western standard, the average age, a lot less marriage as well, not some inexplicable quirk, women don’t have to get married to support themselves, older men would have more of it (money), marry off your daughters, women make their own money, marriage is obsolete, as societies developed, incomes are equal, the only reason marriage exists is to control women, traditionally, easy binding contracts, trying to buy a house on your own, marriage contracts for two years, the Islamic world, Shia, Sunni, merchants, a contractual thing, business routes, renewing your drivers license or your car, about insurance, why are insurance companies invovled, The Year Of The Jackpot, related to marriage, 26 working years, make all the right bets, Lifeline, murdered by insurance companies, Time Enough For Love, something Heinlein is thinking about, it fits with the idea, on a track that can’t be changed, a fixed track, that sentimentalness of it, his cat likes him, the reason it is all worth it, now wife and kid, 30 years down the road you can’t have your cat, just have your cats out for the summer, Lockstep by Karl Schroeder, the march of civilization, Cryoburn by Lois McMaster Bujold, investments, can you control and manipulate the world, the bad guys in Neuromancer, Technovelgy [Bill Christensen], technologies in books, Drafting Dan, CAD, Eager Beaver, Flexible Frank, Hired Girl Robot, Radioactive Coding for Checks, Robotic Hand, Waldo, Stasis (Cold Sleep, Hibernation), Thorsen Memory Tube, Computer component that allows a machine to learn through experience. Universal Checkbook, the ATM, Window-Willie, boob tube, a pulp image, glass recycling, transaction fees, the debit card, you can’t believe how expensive it is to clean windows, he invents a lot of the tech in the story, two kinds of science fiction going on at once, the effect of technology on society, a time travel story, Idiocracy (2006), C.M. Kornbluth, the premise for Futurama, a forward going time machine, Flight To Forever by Poul Anderson, the desire to go back, time travel paradoxes, similar to this, Bender’s Big Score, after the first cancellation, Lars is Fry, going back in time, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Data, Star Trek: Voyager, The Orville, billions of years old, Marvin in The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, if this is the worst of Heinlein…, is he in the same facility as himself, a lockbox with 16 different keys and locks, leave a letter with a lawyer, Bill And Ted’s Excellent Adventure, time travel role playing games, fade away, Back To The Future (1985), puzzles for the writer and the reader, an intellectual exercise, have the rest of the book blank, the last short story Heinlein ever wrote, a trilogy, a series, Time Enough For Love, The Long Arm Of Gil Hamilton by Larry Niven, cold sleepers, harvest their organs, corpsicles, The Crack In Space by Philip K. Dick, A World Out Of Time, Rammer, hard SF, and noir, a very turgid book, Evan is struggling with, a grade 12 honors seminar, “Science Fiction And Social Issues”, Vulcan’s Hammer, Doctor Futurity, bye Trish!, Solar Lottery, a whole year, five times a week, Alfred Bester, The Roller Coaster, Passengers by Robert Silverberg, it’s certainly something, to palate cleans you, a lot of paranoid men worried their robots are fucking their wives, they’re all so good, the older version of The Time Machine movie, Somewhere In Time (1980), Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour, reverse time bride, not fairly icky to Jesse, Paul found it icky, Maissa thought it had icky aspects, alternate future, he’s wrong everywhere but also dead on in many ways, not because Heinlein loves pervin on the girls, I’m robin the cradle, people age, you get old, Pete dying, Riki aging and seeing the cat again is a super-positive thing, seeing your childhood pet again, preserving their pets just for summers, the whole metaphor is very poetic, necessary, somebody can age faster than someone else, have a bigger baldspot, make him oblivious, if he had to serve a jail sentence or something, prison romance, a reality for a lot of kids, a good ideas movie, The Tomorrow War (2021) with Chris Pratt, Edge Of Tomorrow (2014), you stand with Ukraine, they’re recruiting right now, oh, I’m too old, put up or shut up, family drama, if you really want to explore the idea of time travel, Joe Haldeman’s The Forever War, the wording of it threw it into Creepyville, stop doing that, written in 13 days, the cat initiated it, not another word, bye Paul, the step of actually recording is important, cannot remember it at all, John Buchan’s The Watcher At The Threshold, a dog cart ride, there’s no hunting, they talk about going hunting, the structure of the story, super-deep and super-good, running around town, Evan needs to do the whole run of Heinlein, Civil War, John Adams, John Quincy Adams, Evan is becoming a boomer, he stopped a war, sacrificed his presidency , it makes Evan squee, his great great grandson founded Raytheon, when we are not living under martial law, another novel?, The Hill Of Dreams, Weird Friction, Will wants to do The Sea-Wolf, a lot of hate on twitter, Civ 6, video game logic, he knows Civilization, the headline, Putin Gains Rights To Bases In Donetsk According To Something, the headline buried the lede, implying that Reuters in cahoots with Pfizer, cahoots going on, amongst those cahooters, triggered by stuff, Heinlein wants to be a woman, literal hate, contextualize this stuff, Heinlein is progressive on gender issues, when you look at the 19th century, the progressive position, I think this is a scam, this is a scam, look at and improve student papers, stretching to find things to fix, finding more fake problems, operating in bad faith, control the narrative lest people get the wrong ideas, thinking Fauci is a saint, a holiday in Taiwan, a brutal massacre is now a holiday, Peace Day, remember the horrible past, the dumbest meme I’ve ever made, Putin Rasputin, twitter takes on Ukraine, thanks for your quote tweet asshole, grapple with ideas, it could be seen as mean, people think Evan is mean, emojis, reacting people’s dismissals of old writers, borne of and reflecting worthy new ideas, we don’t have read old books any more, reading Moby-Dick, joking with Connor [Kaye], scoffing at the idea of sensitivity readers, stirring shit just for fun, someone reading over your work, ask a scientist to read your thing, the writer who did the article on sensitivity reader, find and replace, disfigure, somebody is going to be hurt by it, continent sometimes means China in Taiwan, if you’re pro-independence, Columbus discovered China, the China of North America, sensitivity is reading, you can be hurt by words in a book, Chinese lesbians want to fuck their mothers, annoyed, having their feelings hurt, seeing their pain mocked, inner city gangsters, what kind of thoughts do they think, Harlan Ellison wrote juvenile delinquent novels, helping a student write a werewolf story, being in the wilderness, bringing your own experience to the table, if you need to have a gang in your story, writers do hire researchers, Elmore Leonard had a professional researcher, Tishimingo Blues, farb, civil war underwear, a dialogue point, a setting for a crime story, professional divers, the reason Jack London works as a writer, fish police, Yukon, homeless, Korea, boxing, Hemingway, the laptop class, the people who COVID was an inconvenience for, being a professional writer pays nothing, the sensitivity reading pays really well, it sounds mean but is it a lie?, only if you are totally ignorant, insensitive people, is gypsy salami racist?, Thinner is super-racist, Stephen King, is it racist or just a trope, King didn’t even write this, cancel Bachman don’t cancel King, is Bachman a shitlib?, dark but sensible takes, some colleagues are idiots, Putin’s two hour speech, trying to remake the Soviet Union, a pro-Russia guy?, Russia and the Soviet Union are different, why do people have opinions about things they know nothing about, there’s no dissent, Russiagate was bullshit, how did we get here?, being badass, arming civilians, Molotov cocktails, good 20th century vibes, not one step back, there’d be irony in that, if you’re looking for irony Stalin is steel, yellow and blue flags, smoke a cigarette to them, Ghost Of Kyiv, Colonel Tomb, Vietnam, a legend, war propaganda, legendary, like a fake name, Colonel Tomb laughs from his ghostly lair, sniper women, Battle Of Sevastapol, Miss Pavlichenko, Woody Guthrie, Russian soldiers on Tinder, a fifteen minute break, all that catfishing, people get triggered, they don’t deserve their country, Taiwan wont roll over, an sensitivity reader changed Conan Role Playing Game 1st and 2nd editions, mysterious is like inscrutable, ancient is less descriptive, the mail man came vs. the mail carrier came, a doctoress, an aviatrix, mailman vs. mail-carrier, unintended consequences, writing out the caste system, it’s ancient India, role players want to play whatever you want, a black skinned paladin in medieval Europe, Pathfinder, martial arts changed to unarmed, Bruce Lee and kung fu, unarmed combat, making the game more of a board game, a Crom eating barbarian, swordfighting and boxing, copy and replace less badly but for what purpose, that’s just a stereotype, paying attention the writing, mud huts becomes stone buildings, mud is bad, civilized folks don’t live in mud huts, they have to upgrade their buildings, mud is othering, some people live in mud huts, modern homes are “rammed earth” not mud, euphemism treadmill stuff, a generational change, when talking to outsiders, first nations, Squamish, the word is always changing but changing from top down, policers of society, black vs. African American, white south africans who fled South Africa, race vs. ethnicity, both are real in a cultural sense, a black hispanic, coloured, Arab African, Barack Obama, when Joe Rogan got called out again for a nigger video compilation, words that are taboo, do you want to be a whipped dog or use your independence of thought and information coming in currently, bowing to authority vs. being independent of mind, Mark Twain doesn’t need a sensitivity reader for The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn, a profoundly anti-racist book, replacing nigger with robot, Robot Jim, a science fiction story, the gender flipping project, when Conina slays Thoth Amona, your premise is wrong, being offended isn’t being physical hurt, you don’t have the authority to speak about this, you don’t gave the right identity for it, adding questioning, adding bi to their bio as a proof against attack of being white, Evan has seen this documentary, who’s the oppressor here?, maybe she has a skill I’m not great at, The Fable Of The Bees, the worst thing you can do with your money is save it, there’s nothing to buy, travel, going to America every year, The Hill Of Dreams by Arthur Machen.

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The SFFaudio Podcast #661 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: Mr. Adam by Pat Frank

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #661 – Mr. Adam by Pat Frank – read by Evan Lampe. This is a complete and unabridged reading of the novel (5 hours 41 Minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants include Jesse, Evan Lampe and Will Emmons.

Talked about on today’s show:
1946, a serious problem with your narration, obstetrician, editing, who was what voice, Alas, Babylon, dulcet tones, well suited for Evan, like a pervert, the attitude of the newspaperman, an affinity between Mr. Smith and Mr. Lampe, hitting the humour notes right, say something bad, an amateur narration, speed of narration, garbled here and there, was it LibriVox quality?, a very fine job, Evan’s nexty, Prince Alberic And the Snake Lady by Vernon Lee, teaching from home, a short and serious lockdown in China, the extended Spring Festival, you seem to be good at talking, how big Pat Frank was, a supposition, he’s talking about stuff happening in 1946, their field rank being swapped back to original rank, Eisenhower was a Colonel before being a 5 star general, this new civilian period, the U.S. war effort, as soon as the war is over they’re bickering again, an armed forces services edition, a cool collectible book, shirt flap, Lovecraft in armed services edition, donate books to soldiers and sailors, what you really need is a book, most people didn’t come home right away, a mid-20th century author, speaking to the baby boomer producers, how horny they are, I’m gonna plow my wife so hard I’m going to make fifty babies, a funny book, what happens after WWII is a huge boom in paperbacks, by the 1960s publishers have cottoned on the paperbacks, they don’t have USO shows every day, why we don’t have as much interest in paperbacks today, this legacy of shoving a book in your pocket and clip of ammo for your M1 Garand, Jeeps, Wrigley’s Chewing Gum, the ration pack, chocolate bars, American cheese, WWI, Spam for Korea, a delicacy in Korea, creating whole industries, how theaters survive today, “gold rush”, the new bureaucracy, a pressing governmental concern, New Deal programs, NRP, AI Day, D-Day, a satire but realistic, a tragi-comedy, a tragedy of bureaucracy, a happy ending, he sterilizes himself, I didn’t see that coming, the pickles and the eggs, Marge, seaweed, so funny, a big joke, what happens to Homer Adam is pretty dark, he didn’t castrate himself, JC’s ideology, some importance, dose your husband, the events of the story are very compressed, on the slugline, the dateline, the placeline, you have to be on this committee, its all a metaphor, the Soviets have two Mongolians, heady stuff, he’s a subversion, the last virile man is shy and gangly, loyal to his wife, interested in archaeology, neat and tidy ending, not a very science fictiony thing, they did this book wrong, he needed to continue the incompetence and stupidity, the Arthur Jermyn / White Ape way, the H.P. Lovecraft story, She by H. Rider Haggard, Allan’s Wife, strategic gorilla reserve, monkeys mating with their wives, a pipesmoking silverback gorilla with his great grandmother in the room, Planet Of The Apes, an under-explored element, the racial component, Genghis Khan, Yellow Peril, the blacks don’t want to be excluded, the settlement, are the women are willing to have Mongolian babies, female perspectives in the novel, all the women want is babies, untermenschen, a sexist book, Marissa’s or Maissa’s take on the book, everybody is really comical, farce, a child named after Eleanor Roosevelt, P. Schuyler Miller’s review from Astounding, May 1948, just another dirty book, a joyous satire, just plain fun, where’s the breeding?, I kept expecting the breeding to start, it doesn’t dwell in the place Science Fiction dwells, siblings or half siblings, a lot of older women, you better hurry, half brothers and half sisters, Homer Adam’s kid is a girl, a problem for the plot and the planet, its dealt with as premise to show off the idea of bureaucracy being incompetent in peacetime, the execution is not science fiction, speculative fiction, this is not really Science Fiction, a reddit thread, a super-dated commentary on the baby boom, it doesn’t go anywhere, a timely book whose time has passed, Catch-22, bureaucracy nightmare, bombing raids, the disincentive to keep going is to get killed, daylight bombing raids, if the crew has solidarity, changing the rules mid-stream, longer legs, the Vietnam War, a second tour, the legacy of WWII’s draft service, 1973, Nixon’s second term, endless wars now, victory gardens, a volunteer force allows permanent war, pre-modern wars, summer wars with tiny armies, unified front during the war, social groups, labour unions, a strikewave, securities collapsed, the CIO and AFofL, a wholly capitalistic world, Greece’s long record of service to mankind, special pleading, international affairs, a new world order, given to the U.N., Mr. Adam is a metaphor for the atomic bomb (MR. ATOM), the USA has an A-BOMB, the BOMARC missile crisis, medium range ballistic missiles without the nukes, too efficient in killing people, before the novel started there’d already been a nuclear accident before Mississippi, no fallout except for actual fallout, getting rid of nukes, How To Survive The H-Bomb And Why by Pat Frank, a reporter, the Office of War Information (aka propaganda), cynicism and absurdity, his science is terrible, radiation traveled at the speed of light across the planet except for one guy in one mine?, other apocalyptic novels, he doesn’t really care about the science, not a tear is shed, a scarce resource being seized by the government, a funny little thing about reproduction, his characterization of women is hilarious, his charity towards men, not a dirty book, “Mr. Adam was wanted by every woman in the world”, women don’t care who the father is, women need to be more careful about their men, women have to hold a tighter rein over their men, what male or female motivation is, women like babies and men want to be fathers, cuckolding the entire planet, I’m a proud father of 6 red headed boys, a caricature of humans, in this zone of comedy, such a breezy fun book, Smith Field is mentioned 20 times, the narrator’s fantasy bed, built for lazy living, a refrigerator and bar, things happen on Smith field, the radio, boogie-woogie, weird geography in Smith Field, domestic geography, stay in bed all day gambling, when Mr Adam is lying in his new residence, his feet hang off the edge, if I were in his position I would want to do something about it, why don’t we have a refrigerator next to our bed?, Transylvania, a contemporary news thing, England asks for aid, traditional American sportsmanship, a final solution to the question of Transylvania, when Marge is preggers, the Transylvania question, Trump or Covid, the domestic issues, more than just seaweed, of too vital of importance , the secret of Thompson’s Tonic, dynamite is nukes, Gregg Margarite, during the ’80s he built giant surrogate penises for Ronald Reagan, stuff that could be happening today, if a lot of new hospitals had been built, a very skilled writer, fighting in Palestine, China, Burma, Syria, the setup for the whole book, literally in the news this week, the long legs of his wife, a serious problem you shouldn’t take too seriously, pretty funny stuff, a really funny book, Alas, Babylon, a military presence in Lebanon, space supremacy, food from third world countries, Playhouse 90, Burt Reynolds, Stephen King’s The Stand, trusting S.T. Joshi, great book, had it more science fiction ideas…, who doesn’t want to be a James Bond?, The Big Book of Classic Fantasy: The Ultimate Collection edited by Ann VanderMeer and Jeff VanderMeer, pre-Tolkien fantasy was goofier, E.T.A. Hoffman, The Nose by Nikolai Gogol.

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Reading, Short And Deep #194 – The Altar by Robert Sheckley

Podcast

Reading, Short And DeepReading, Short And Deep #194

Eric S. Rabkin and Jesse Willis discuss The Altar by Robert Sheckley

The Altar was first published in Fantastic, July-August 1953.

Here’s a link to the PDF of the story.

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The SFFaudio Podcast #514 – READALONG: Dying Inside by Robert Silverberg

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #513 – Jesse and Paul Weimer talk about Dying Inside by Robert Silverberg

Talked about on today’s show:
a serial in Galaxy July and September 1972, 41 years old, out of context, people getting grumpy, autobiographical?, writing himself into his book, unnerving, “problematic”, you wont like anything, very well written, censoring oneself, all internal thoughts, a thoughtful interesting book, an interior book, racial slurs, the fakest parts are the plot points, going around in elevators, how other people perceive him at parties, the Lumumba incident, getting beaten up, ghosting student essays, websites that advertise these services, students required to submit, text comparison, tuning the voice, Columbia University, a cat and mouse game, young and strong, failing powers, a real person, the most clumsy, detecting lies, becoming telepaths, getting vibes, a metaphor for (if not science fiction), curious, casual or romantic or natural experiments, the drug scene, trapped in our own heads, comparing actions with words, complaining about the essay, super-resentful, this is not going to work out well, he’s broke all the time, so dependent on his powers, how to deal with somebody, the whole Kitty storyline, Ted Chiang’s Understand, invisible to the superpower, a cheat or not a cheat, “defend”, a science fiction novel in which the narrator is uninterested in the rules behind it, the author hasn’t revealed the rules to the narrator, he’s AM and she’s FM, undistinguished in everything, she doesn’t put up a defense, paranoid, unlock her telepathic mind, a crepazoid being creepy, annoying, bringing your psychiatry on your wife, Charlaine Harris’ Dead Until Dark, what makes that a fantasy book, a fascinating attraction, would she have read this?, an avid reader in the 1970s, one of Silverberg’s best, as a metaphor, superbpaper.com, need help with your assignment, “we can write any paper on any subject on any deadline”, $29 per page, testimonials, making people have skills, Jesse has a lot of homework to do, Jesse’s not doing this for money, Jesse has the telepathy within narrow range, I’m dignified, he’s barely in the economy, people thinking sentences in their head, “he thinks in French”, Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis, a shared document, Nixon shows up in a motorcade, if this book is a metaphor, trying to be telepathic with a later audience, Isaac Asimov, Lawrence Block, they communicate their ideas super-clearly, Greg Bear’s ideas, to him it makes sense, writing as telepathy, a writer’s inability to write, the autobiographical elements, things get thin until the 1980s, there’s life inside, the life may return, a massive output from the 1950s through the 1960s, the next novel is Lord Valentine’s Castle (eight year’s later), The Stochastic Man, Shadrach And The Furnace, The Book Of Skulls, like 50 stories in 1956, the same if not more, the magazine industry, Harlan Ellison, Donald Westlake, sleeze novels, writing pornography, that wonderful sequence, hopping from mind to mind, the bee, the girl, the farmer, the full fulmination of his power, why its a tragic story, wunderkind, a pathetic shlub, cheat his way through life, stockbroker, Alan Glynn’s The Dark Fields, inside information, insider trading, Dr. Hitner, the radio drama adaptation, read comic books and enjoy myself, when he gets into a fight, telegraphed, a rag-doll to be tossed about, have sex with girls is his major ambition, Paul’s own life, why Jesse has to make such pains to distinguish himself, volatile, a lot of parallels here, supermen aren’t going to be what you think they are, in dialogue with Slan by A.E. van Vogt, “slans are schlubs”, every allusion and reference, poets, painters, playwrights, philosophers, scientists, replete with thinking about books, a very philosophical novel, Odd John by Olaf Stapledon, The Hampdenshire Wonder by J.D. Beresford, semi-autobiographical, Arthur C. Clarke, he lives in our universe, a little bit too recursive, the 2001 BBC radio drama adaptation, rather condensed, he works at a bookshop, translated into an adaptation, if people complain…, Harlan Ellison and Silverberg, how much filler material they could add, the Aeschylus essay, the Franz Kafka essay in full, The Castle and The Trial, padding, fun reading, recycle some material, so fun to do that, a sad and depressing book?, tonally depressing, comparing your own life to Selig’s, The Book Of Skulls, holding back information, a very good writer, a promise to the reader, when is he composing this narrative?, nicely constructed, a blank in his history, distancing himself from himself, cheating, things are a little tight this month, because he’s given something early on in his life, manipulating the moment, if you only have 40 minutes to tell the story, the car section of the bookstore, definitely gay, the musclemen section of the bookstore, a repressed homosexual, the dean, how far you’ve fallen, this guy’s pathetic, reading about rocketships and robots, that actually hits home, he’s doing bad work for money, prostitution, his nephew, meeting Kitty on the street, so many girlfriends, I didn’t get your number but you weren’t there anyway, many many other uncles, here’s a picture of a bomb blowing somebody up, Judith probably told him to say that, the necessity of the face and the smile is the new truth, he could see beneath that truth, they’re told to smile, seeing below the surface is a grim reality, self-motivated, if you can take that away, they’re delighted to meet you, “I feel your pain.”, disdain for politicians, a very nice character piece on why it might not be so great to be telepathic, almost like growing up and not being a liar, The Return Of William Proxmire by Larry Niven, Robert A. Heinlein, “Selig’s Complaint”, Silverberg could exist without Heinlein, parallel tracks (not tracts), Judith Beheading Holofernes, parallels with Judith of the bible, a nice jewish girl’s name, Zelig (1983), first observed at a part by F. Scott Fitzgerald, the secret history of reality, Selig’s death would mean almost nothing, an incredibly underwhelming superpower, the new wave, Alfred Bester, diddly shit, the jive-speak voice, keeps failing, Jesse wrote a lot of reviews, if its just a book, if its just a book then the temptation is to shit on it, baggage of your own, the demand for reviews, writing is a superpower you can waste by using a metaphor too much, sick of the treadmill, SFSignal doesn’t blog anymore (except on Twitter), gone to be a farmer, a different and happier place, the books doesn’t stop, new or underappreciated, still a good book, slightly less stuck in its time, the black dialogue is slightly different now, a historical piece, the power of the book is still with it, having lived through things and done things, “had I read it way back when”, a book for middle aged science fiction readers, they’ll feel it, hey kids you’re going to love Dying Inside!, when you’re young you read books differently, the depth of Selig’s plight, outright sexism, a pathetic character, once you’re inside somebody’s head you pretty much have to forgive them for everything, the crisis crisis, Airplane! (1980), I speak jive, subtitles, the sentences make sense, Diff’rent Strokes, cultures with different languages and vocabularies, well worth it.

Dying Inside from Galaxy, July 1972

Dying Inside from Galaxy, September 1972

Caedmon Robert Silverberg's Dying Inside (1979)

Frank Kelly Freas illustration of Dying Inside

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #488 – READALONG: Dune (Book III of III) by Frank Herbert

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #488 – Jesse, Paul, Marissa, Bryan Alexander, and Will talk about Dune: Book III “The Prophet” by Frank Herbert aka the third third of Dune.

Talked about on today’s show:
1965, The Santaroga Barrier, El Santos!, Luke Burrage, the worst part of the book, good stuff in here, amazing, stupendous, and really good, not spectacular, the most spectacular, man to man, a knife fight, the sparkling knife fights of conversation, reading the books for the action, an idea person, heavy on the ideas, the setup, the culmination, splayed out, family atomics, Paul’s analysis, which baby to never see again, it isn’t a Dune problem it’s an every book problem, who wants answers?, Herbert’s answers, it can’t exist without the other two, the only movie we should ever talk about, the scenes, the dialogue is all there, what’s missing, there’s a gun that doesn’t go off, very strange, the gun of Count Fenring, denouement, a friend of an emperor, Fenring vs. Paul, “Count Fenring: A Profile”, within his capabilities, not about Paul, this is Count Fenring’s book, this guy’s the one guy that’s never been in my vision, a lot of promise, what kind of power is it going to be?, the power of invisibility, Kwisatz Haderach, Jesse’s twitter profile, who Jesse modeled himself after, I don’t want that mantle, about the accretion of power, why Dune Messiah is such a fantastic book, private language, they did seduce Feyd, the Imperium beyond the Harkonnens, Russian Czar’s abdication, even if Fenring could defeat and kill Paul it wouldn’t stop anything, tapping into the collective consciousness, a Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Handerson quadrology, no attempt has ever been completed, walking wounded, sterile, a could-have-been, a powerless eunuch, forty or fifty pages where Paul isn’t mentioned, worldbuilding, Leto II, Alia lives, seeing all ends, the surfer on the wave, a lot of smart folks anticipating, the flags, C.H.O.A.M. or U.N., does that mean the bombs don’t hurt?, cover, saves the emperor’s life, a beautiful cruel joke, to reign in Hell, soft and wonderful, straight from the Iliad, too comfortable, from their decadence, a callback to the Trojan War, rest and pay taxes, Ottoman Janissaries, going crazy without a purpose, all the what ifs, suppose Paul dies, kill the rest of the universe, a tyrannical genocide, let’s go conquer the galaxy, destroy the spice, galactic civilization collapses, interstellar society, the best possible outcome, a Boethian decision, Book II, parallel structure, ooh I’m smart, happy birthday, it makes you feel like a supergenius, plans within plans feints within feints, combat to the death, another parallel, Feyd tries to take the Baron’s position, Thufir’s blindside, the Baron is so lovably evil (and competent), make Arrakis great again?, gluttonous lust, the slaveboy with a posion stinger in his thigh, let Feyd think that I saw it myself, actually I’m the smart one, Nefud, you still need me, I’m going to show you still need me, I’m going to remember this, the next scene that we never see, killing his harem, to take his punishment, Alia sting, Stilgar’s challenge for Paul’s leadership, should I cut off my right arm, so well highlighted, a fear-power relationship vs. a love-power relationship, the Baron hates truthsayers, the Bush administration, it could be true that’s good enough, truth means nothing, for the sake of tradition, ride the maker, this idea of history or necessity, bought a Bene Gesserit, you pay for that Amazon Echo dot but Amazon should be paying you, you know my tastes, I’m totally gay, the straight up interpretation, I don’t want them spying on me and manipulating me, on the Kinsey scale, other ways of getting semen, one would be valuable for…, advice, I trust them not, changing the subject, when Thufir has a fight with the Baron, there are things that you don’t need to know, Salusa Secundus, that tiny little fact (that the Baron wanted to turn the Arrakis into a prison planet), you fucked up, Rabban has to be cut off, the whole of the missing years, at least three years, the toddler, to save himself from the emperor, how the sardaukar are created, a spare heir, acting instinctually smartly, a political calculation that saves the Emperor’s life, to tame Thufir Hawat, making all the right chess moves, the Baron’s fate is not as forseeable, Baron Harkonnen did nothing wrong!, shall I dispatch her now Emperor, a victory for her brother, the revenge, kills her own grandfather, justice, this poor Baron, still ends up dead, a brilliance to this, easy to dismiss, everybody here is a monster, you should be afraid of Paul, Gurney gets an Earldom, and every surviving Atredies gets a title, Baronets all over the place, massive reward, this victory, the prophet Mohamed, all the Muslim lands, satrapys, Alexander the Great, Leopold II, plundering Africa, squeezing and squeezing, always a touch of the calculated, not from the heart, wanting everyone loyal, I NEED him, he’s a tool, forget the equipment, we need men now, like in the first book, shortly thereafter, not what the old Atredies would have done, regretting the loss of the equipment, the men vs. the equipment, nicely balanced parallel, the appeal of Paul, one of many many games, a fantastic power fantasy, Slan, the X-Men, Kyle MacLachlan, master of the universe, age 14, Achilles was 17 in the Iliad, cheeks too full for the desert, seductive, quietly undermining, if Aragorn was the main character in The Lord Of The Rings, Voltaire, tend your own garden, Irulan, how cruel Paul is to Irulan, I’m gonna treat her so bad baby!, Irulan plotting to kill Paul, the ultimate internal question, religion and politics in the same cart, the ultimate power fantasy for Paul, this quote is fantastic, treating Herbert as non-fiction, the Amish, that orthodox effort, that moment of peace for Paul and Chani, quiet hypocrisy, “terrible purpose” is repeated 23 times, another change, feeling it, a nice lady who has a little test for a little boy, the heat and pain pile, an iconic scene for all of science fiction, I see the truth of it, explosion of realization in the mental sphere, a drug book, Gaius Helen Mohiam appears like a witch, kind of kind, wench poured my water, her apprentice, you disobeyed your orders, until she shows up here at the end, how is she depicted, this child is an abomination!, is it TP? telepathy?, just like when I was getting consciousness uploaded when I was a girl, is she wrong?, mom shouldn’t do drugs when she is pregnant, making the sacrifice, child genius, leading a regiment at age 3, she’s meant to be the bad guy, we’re supposed to recoil, the coming jihad, only a glimpse, the dark future, this desert power, addicted to oil, solar power, Dune solved, when they go too far, only spice powered, no solar, no wind, cutting-off avenues of caught, Jesse is not Elon Musk’s team, artificial intelligence, AI as a weapon, hippy dippy engineering sociologist anthropology guy, terraforming, this is about O.P.E.C., the Hudson’s Bay Company or the East India Company, his stock in CHOAM is forfeit, brutal indignity, title rich and money poor, the role of oil, Butlerian Jihad as a useful phrase, techlash, jihad is not a word that sells well today, biased data, accentuating inequalities, dreadful flavour, future history, Isaac Asimov’s future history, tinkering back towards that, cast away AIs, the decline of Empire, science as priesthoods, that last Cold War, Giving Up The Gun by Noel Perrin, banning crossbows, giving up nuclear stockpiles, blew their noses off, high technology and its opposite, star spanning starcraft and medieval style politics, how Marissa’s games match her audiobooks, Horizon Zero Dawn, a robot safari, retreating from technology, ruins are computer screens, going back to the Amish, Mennonites, weird policy, no electricity, airpower, blenders running on compressed air, technological policies, what are the ramifications of this technology, landline telephones, cellphone technology, Africa’s wired cellular wallets, digital currency based on cellphone credits, what technology will be useful, Canada’s participation in NORAD, Cheyenne Mountain, WarGames (1983), nukes, we took the missiles but not the nuclear tips, Defense Minister and Prime Minster of Canada, advice on top secret stuff, managing treaties, political cost, being in NORAD, Iceland’s invasion during WWII, you can have your country back, a giant bully south of the border, obey the will of the giant country, John Diefenbaker, John F. Kennedy, what Syria is all about, the White Helmets, no giant surprise, an actual machine out there doing work, get on board or find a path through, the Bomarc Missile Crisis, the joint strike fighter debacle, if you look at the history of Canada in the right way, a positive force, Pierre Eliot Trudeau was paling around with Castro, a true image, Cuban doctors, plot machinations in the book mirroring a reality happening in the nows, mushrooms, more Marissa territory, hanging out with that worm, a coma for three weeks, some trip, time opening up, a sniff of a new drug, Feyd’s knife’s poison is transmuted, “poison” appears 117 times in Dune, chief poisoner, the Russian doping epidemic, bend over comrade, early on in book three, she took the coffee and sipped it, Frank Herbert’s at a rock concert, tripping out on the floor is transmuting, hot and delicious, room service, heaven for Jessica, she had thought of coffee and it had appeared, Tau, the subtle poison of the spice diet, enlightenment, their minds rejected what they could not encompass, more Slan, the guide, guided through the trip, Joe Rogan, taking the arrogance out of it, training, the etymology of psychedelic, psyche = soul/mind, delos = clarity/manifest, no mischaracterization, pattern recognition enhancement, seeming like a truth, the way the birds fly, “truth” is in the book 90 times, “pattern” comes up 48 times, the pre-spice mass, gathering up the magic mushrooms, a convenience, metaphorical, the power to destroy a thing is the power to control it, heavy shit, super-dark, science fiction genre history, partaking in jaspers, not the full-dune effect, amphetamines or coffee, town awareness, telepathy, drugs as a huge theme, stimulants, barefoot in the head, Robert Silverberg, Norman Spinrad, 1980, super-anti drugs, an exponent of coffee, Neuromancer, case is strung out all the time, reflecting what was happening in the culture, his case officer, Armitage implants a drug neutralizer, the ultimate solution for Reagan, The Hellgramite Method, how Keith Moon of The Who died, suicide, how science fiction shifts, innerspace going from biological to cyberspace, dated in interesting ways, the role of gender, Planet Of The Apes (1963), where Paul rides the sandworm, making the models feel realistic and big, the worm as a dragon, the Conqueror Worm by Edgar Allan Poe, much of madness more of sin, coffin worm of a dead world, a man making a steed out of a giant god, Reading, Short And Deep, Strange Exodus, gutted cosmic carcass, primal lust, humanity becomes a parasite, the image of man conquering death, it looks like a shot from Dune, a flea on a dog, the ecology, threatening a chain reaction, destroying all the oil like Saddam Huessein during the first Gulf War, not an atomic model, oil and drugs, Jessica’s power to transmute, a superhero story, Doc Savage stuff, if you’re anxious about your body, why Bryan doesn’t like the Lynch movie, minute operations, a weirding module defense in The Appendix show, that interior way, the women dare not look in that place, a place that women can’t go, the balance of the force, controlling the gender of their babies, controlling ovulation, super-yoga, a superpower, ultradiscipline, she didn’t seem to have an inner life, the women in here have huge inner lives, we spend a ton of time in Jessica’s mind, what’s going on in Paul’s mind, he becomes an enigma, the way Jordan Peterson talks about male and female minds, Jessica is a mom then she’s a reverend mom, Paul you do what’s good for you, is her mind expansion there a reflection, if men don’t have father figures, being raised by mothers alone, mothers want to protect their children, toughening, only giving into one instinct, having been tested, why the kwisatz haderach has to be male, the Y chromosome, how midwives are always women, midwives dudes, are male obstetricians uncool?, a caste based thing, training schools, Gurney even went to some school, the Suk school, training academies, he’s a mentat, who is the emperor’s mentat?, male domains and female domains, women’s roles and men’s roles, anthropological science fiction, traditional societies, strict gender roles, a remix of a medieval society, historical framework, Paul as the white savior, a male who solves a female problem, sexism, too easy, how powerful the role of Jessica is, Chani and Jessica and Alia, the brilliant one, the wise one, here too, there has to be a pattern, a version of Dune with Paula Atredies, Leta who bears a daughter, Grass by Sheri S. Tepper, if one was doing a university course on science fiction, one semester for each of Dune’s three books, an amazingly rich text, he’s the baddie, the subversion, from the fourteen year-old’s point of view, a wonderful adventure that makes you feel smart, over and over, a war book, a drug book, history, the Folio Society edition, Scott Lynch, Dracula, Bram Stoker, non of his other books are Dune level, The Dosadi Experiment, Whipping Star, Herbert is playing games of complexity and depth, Gene Wolfe, mind stretching, Samuel Delaney, a mental workout, an emotional workout, The White Plague, The Children Of Men, emotional destruction, taking story into all kinds of places, 159

The Sandworm Strikes - illustration by Ed J. Hannigan

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #436 – READALONG: When Worlds Collide by Edwin Balmer and Philip Wylie

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #436 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, Bryan Alexander, and Maissa Bessada talk about When Worlds Collide by Edwin Balmer and Philip Wylie

Talked about on today’s show:
1933, Ira Levin, Gladiator, the first superhero novel, Odd John by Olaf Stapledon, Superman, fleeing a dead world, the sequel: After Worlds Collide, the illustrations in The Passing Show (magazine) serialization, not the only ship, Bronson Beta, Blue Book, the very last page (February 1933), “these daring pilgrims”, remake a world, George Pal’s plans for a sequel, Cecil B. DeMille’s plans for a film, Pal’s would pale, the official adaptation is the least good adaptation, that crappy matte shot, Ransdall smooching his girl while flying his aircraft, Guardians Of The Galaxy, his Kryptonian origin story, spinoffs, Flash Gordon, Buck Rogers, football, a religious moment, good birth and breeding, the W.A.S.P., precursors and follow-ups, an amazing book, its hard to gage how big a book it was, the “queen of the pulps”, the premier way of getting (fiction) content to the people, the middle of The Depression, daily life-sucks, the Roosevelt administration, the work programs, making the unemployed work, is it simpler than that?, Arkham House, The Outsider And Others by H.P. Lovecraft, maybe it helps to have something worse in mind, The Star by H.G. Wells, Nemesis by Isaac Asimov, Finis by Frank Lillie Pollock, gravitational waves, earthquakes, cooking the earth (microwave style), a long tradition, The Star by Arthur C. Clarke, biblical collections, A Pail Of Air and The Wanderer by Fritz Leiber, Deluge (1933), S. Fowler Wright, the motif of the destruction of of Fantastic Universe, a thugee-romance plot, Meteor (1979), Sean Connery as an SDI scientist, Armageddon, Independence Day, Twitter, Fred, Deep Impact (1998) started life as a remake of When Worlds Collide, the crowning adaptation of is 2012 (2009), so ridiculous, it knows its stupid, the ‘neutrinos mutated’, Battlefield Earth is Ed Wood with a budget, The Room, Birdemic: Shock and Terror (2010), Lars Von Trier’ Melancholia, Kirsten Dunst and Keifer Sutherland, Forge Of God by Greg Bear, “I have bad news.”, rescued by good aliens, watching the destruction of the Earth, Lucifer’s Hammer, Footfall, fan fiction of themselves, Hammer Of God by Arthur C. Clarke, the evolution of the plot ideas, so heavy, the religious elements, her name is EVE, Joyce, handing out sandwiches, the zillionaire, a plane-load of money, an iconic scene, why 2012 works so well, the Russian billionaire and his family, how ambivalent I feel, the role of government, what made Robert A. Heinlein wrote, super-Ayn Rand-y, The Fountainhead, robust and austere, strange-y, a broken-ness, who is funding this?, everybody is working for free, how do you get truckloads and truckloads to a certain place, economics do matter, everybody is working for free, a new metal, the nice horror tour, where did the fuel come from, if Heinlein were writing it, all in secret, how Maissa saw it, tidal waves, weird side digression, The Last Car Chase (1981), Lee Majors, Steve Austin, two theories, one funny, one dark, nouveau riche, old fortunes, just arranged, shiny upstarts get their comeuppance, steel furnaces, punishing the parvenus, so not democratic, Galt’s Gulch, we know better, the magic metal, our ingenuity, weird sexual purity, part of the old money righteousness, South Africa in 1933, no more lions, rich white guys in South Africa, Chapter 8: Marching Orders For The Human Race, ugly houses, the spawn who inhabited it, pollution, 125th street in New York (Harlem), immigration bans, the Lovecraftian racial horror moment, “God himself had sickened with their selfishness”, squalid horror, the golden age of eugenics, the “Jap”, purifying the race, a giant eugenics exercise, even if a cashless economy you have to trade, Close Encounters Of The Third Kind, a conspiracy, the first episode of The X-Files, the paean to the Vanderbilt family, set in the mid-20th century, his sister went to school with my mother, the elite, should Jesse bring it up?, huh this is a novel for Hillary voters, its the east coast elites, what is everybody’s problem? why can’t they vote for the right person?, WWI, lining up the machine guns and mowing down the plebes, retreating to their spacecraft and cooking the earth of all the people, a fantasy of many people, it is good to escape the death of the Earth, 2012 addresses all the horror vs. Deep Impact (the government is here to save you), the heroes in space, pathos, way to much love with MSNBC, saccharine horror, cynical comedy, the Paris Hilton looking girl, even Oliver Platt (the baddie) is just trying to get shit done, even the billionaire comes off pretty well, really fun, such a page turner, it’s so good (but it doesn’t deserve it), where are all the rats?, back to World War I, the Noah thing, open the doors, the billion dollar ticket, James Cromwell’s character is a whistleblower, the truth needs to come out, secretary of finance, thinking about the economics, the word “Tony”, our hero from every Robert Heinlein story, “Tony, I’m explaining the plot, Tony.” Tony is slang for expensive, what makes it so gripping, the premise, none of the characters are worth caring about, from Deluge to Meteor, a disaster movie without screen stars, the idea is primary, a race, Edwin Balmer was editor of Red Book magazine, they know how to spin a story, Wilkie Collins: make the worry, make them wait, make them weep, Dunkirk (2017), a ticking clock, what’s in the box?, un-bribe-able, doing this story today, how academia doesn’t matter, the professors, a chief scientist at a chemical company, a private observatory, universities as research machines (since WWII), scary politics, in 1933 the USA had unions, the Battle Of Blair Mountain, the lurking socialism, Eugene Debs, labour unrest, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, we’re noble, machine gun them, then burn them, but we’re nice, the same stories are told again and again, choosing who gets to go in the Ark, Tasha Yar gives her baby to Frodo Baggins, black presidents, black Presidents, grounded in individual details, apocalypses are always about escape, an escape from communism, shade thrown on the French and the Germans, the french turn to fascism, planting the French flag for comedic effect, nationalism, labour without labour, race without race, the religious sanction, George Pal’s The War Of The Worlds, the book is big and broad and deep, 44 people and a dog, a dog in 2012 and Independence Day, for they were walking hand-in-hand, a road, the ribbon of it ran right and left, by what hands and for what feet, through Eden took their solitary, a yellow brick road, Tony the guy with no brain, they’re in Oz, the souls of those a hundred million years dead, a Nineveh a Sargon?, the fate of our world, human with bodies like our own?, The Ring, a curse, so tempting, William Blake’s The Tyger, what dread hand and what dread feet, they are the tiger, when the stars threw down their spears, what did the people on this other planet do to be knocked out of their orbit and frozen, how god has graced us with his goodness, us east coast elites, the whole universe , she has a right to my vote, Heinlein can’t be right and Rand can’t be right, it’s just too simple (but its so fun), business and military, more sex and nudeness, the love triangle, oh Tony can’t you understand I can’t make decisions for the future, the other rocket, the other half of the plane in Lost, the setup is so good, one bizarre detail, Chapter 21: Diary, the insulation (books), a first edition of Shelley, a cute idea?, the 2012 movie picks it up, John Cusack’s character, Chewitel Ejifor’s character, Yellowstone, loaded up with the signs of the elites, isn’t it funny that there’s one copy of this books and it just so happens…, in 2012 under a pile beer bottles and bourbon bottles and a copy of Moby Dick, Robert Duvall reads Moby Dick in Deep Impact, ambivalence about lots of things but everybody agrees Moby Dick is terrific, a stand in for god, providing the bees and the books, a distasteful task in the sequel, The Wonder Clock by Howard Pyle, a story about mercy, saving the kids, little moments of mercy, women doing men’s jobs, France, canaries, the radium girls, how women get the vote, when they come for our women, women as possessions, triumph of the patriarchy, the proles are coming for our women, racist and sexist, an atomic rocket in 1932, not even a nuclear reactor has been invented yet, the Chicago Pile, ten years later, Rocketship Galileo by Robert A. Heinlein, space-Nazis, so early!, countdown clocks, a race for everything, side quests, a lot being told, the illustrations, this book feels huge, 150 pages in the serial, complementing content, Eve’s mother gets killed, how quickly the veneer of civilization gets ripped off, Augustine, A Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities That Arise in Disaster Book by Rebecca Solnit, Bronson: the son of a brawny man, the anticipation of total war, U.S. nationalization, Prohibition, beer makers, say nothing bad about the government law, human cogs, price fixes, holding the masses, Oliver Platt’s mom in 2012, Tony’s so angsty about his mom, he wants to kill, the mobilization doesn’t matter, the migration is for nothing, the President and his cabinet in Kansas, the plebeian thing, rules for them, dignified in their way, terrorizing the plebeians, Téa Leoni’s character’s mom and dad in Deep Impact, tons of connections, waiting for the wave to come, Roland Emmerich and Harold Klausner, The High Crusade, The Thirteenth Floor, a schlockmeister of the highest order, the cultural baggage of the legacy of films gets into you whether you’ve seen them or not, you have Casablanca lurking in your cultural DNA, nobody complains we’ve already seen this movie, the end of the world blah blah blah, this novel is at the center, Noah’s Flood, Gilgamesh, wiping out the Earth for 5,000 years.

When Worlds Collide by Edwin Balmer and Philip Wylie - illustrated by Joseph Franké
When Worlds Collide by Edwin Balmer and Philip Wylie - illustrated by Joseph Franké
When Worlds Collide by Edwin Balmer and Philip Wylie - illustrated by Joseph Franké
When Worlds Collide by Edwin Balmer and Philip Wylie - illustrated by Joseph Franké
When Worlds Collide by Edwin Balmer and Philip Wylie - illustrated by Joseph Franké
When Worlds Collide by Edwin Balmer and Philip Wylie - illustrated by Joseph Franké
When Worlds Collide by Edwin Balmer and Philip Wylie - illustrated by Joseph Franké
When Worlds Collide by Edwin Balmer and Philip Wylie - illustrated by Joseph Franké
When Worlds Collide by Edwin Balmer and Philip Wylie - illustrated by Joseph Franké
When Worlds Collide by Edwin Balmer and Philip Wylie - illustrated by Joseph Franké
When Worlds Collide by Edwin Balmer and Philip Wylie - illustrated by Joseph Franké
When Worlds Collide by Edwin Balmer and Philip Wylie - illustrated by Joseph Franké
When Worlds Collide by Edwin Balmer and Philip Wylie - illustrated by Joseph Franké
When Worlds Collide by Edwin Balmer and Philip Wylie - illustrated by Joseph Franké
When Worlds Collide by Edwin Balmer and Philip Wylie - illustrated by Joseph Franké
When Worlds Collide by Edwin Balmer and Philip Wylie - illustrated by Joseph Franké
When Worlds Collide by Edwin Balmer and Philip Wylie - illustrated by Joseph Franké
When Worlds Collide by Edwin Balmer and Philip Wylie - illustrated by Joseph Franké
When Worlds Collide by Edwin Balmer and Philip Wylie - illustrated by Joseph Franké
When Worlds Collide by Edwin Balmer and Philip Wylie - illustrated by Joseph Franké
When Worlds Collide by Edwin Balmer and Philip Wylie - illustrated by Joseph Franké
When Worlds Collide by Edwin Balmer and Philip Wylie - illustrated by Joseph Franké
When Worlds Collide by Edwin Balmer and Philip Wylie - illustrated by Joseph Franké
When Worlds Collide by Edwin Balmer and Philip Wylie - illustrated by Joseph Franké
When Worlds Collide by Edwin Balmer and Philip Wylie - illustrated by Joseph Franké
When Worlds Collide by Edwin Balmer and Philip Wylie - illustrated by Joseph Franké
When Worlds Collide by Edwin Balmer and Philip Wylie - illustrated by Joseph Franké
When Worlds Collide by Edwin Balmer and Philip Wylie - illustrated by Joseph Franké
When Worlds Collide by Edwin Balmer and Philip Wylie - illustrated by Joseph Franké
When Worlds Collide by Edwin Balmer and Philip Wylie - illustrated by Joseph Franké
When Worlds Collide by Edwin Balmer and Philip Wylie - illustrated by Joseph Franké
When Worlds Collide by Edwin Balmer and Philip Wylie - illustrated by Joseph Franké
When Worlds Collide by Edwin Balmer and Philip Wylie - illustrated by Joseph Franké
When Worlds Collide by Edwin Balmer and Philip Wylie - illustrated by Joseph Franké
When Worlds Collide by Edwin Balmer and Philip Wylie - illustrated by Joseph Franké
When Worlds Collide by Edwin Balmer and Philip Wylie - illustrated by Joseph Franké
When Worlds Collide by Edwin Balmer and Philip Wylie - illustrated by Joseph Franké
When Worlds Collide by Edwin Balmer and Philip Wylie - illustrated by Joseph Franké
When Worlds Collide by Edwin Balmer and Philip Wylie - illustrated by Joseph Franké
When Worlds Collide by Edwin Balmer and Philip Wylie - illustrated by Joseph Franké
When Worlds Collide by Edwin Balmer and Philip Wylie - illustrated by Joseph Franké
When Worlds Collide by Edwin Balmer and Philip Wylie - illustrated by Joseph Franké
When Worlds Collide by Edwin Balmer and Philip Wylie - illustrated by Joseph Franké
When Worlds Collide by Edwin Balmer and Philip Wylie - illustrated by Joseph Franké
When Worlds Collide by Edwin Balmer and Philip Wylie - illustrated by Joseph Franké
WWhen Worlds Collide by Edwin Balmer and Philip Wylie - illustrated by Joseph Franké
World Of Krypton, No. 3
Fortunino Matania illustration for When Worlds Collide

Posted by Jesse Willis