The SFFaudio Podcast #635 – READALONG: Sin Hellcat by Lawrence Block and Donald E. Westlake

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #635 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, Evan Lampe, and Trish E. Matson talk about Sin Hellcat by Lawrence Block and Donald E. Westlake

Talked about on today’s show:
get Jesse, signature sign-off, Evan has no enemies, 1962, sexually frustratedly desperate, women dropping out, not a good book for me, VR sickness, movement sickness, reading with one hand, listening to this book, laughing out loud, the marital rape scene, get through this thing, i don’t like this book, plow through it, Helen, marrying, having affection for this kid, more money, Jesse can explain it all, the biggest hole in this book, a faulty horrible person, how they end up together, by either of those writers, a naughty romp, astonished by how dreary a lot of it is, his Madison Avenue adventures, casual homophobia, don’t judge it too harshly, two men working in an industry, film students who get hired for a job to shoot some movies (pornography), this is how they made a living, a lot of Lawrence Block’s life, more information about the writing of it, his own publishing company, commissions, is this a book by you?, John Dexter, Andrew Shaw, house names, the Allan Smithee, Nightstand Books, traveling salesman, the wrong back cover, gimme a sex book, stepsisters, stepmoms, frigid wife, lustful wanton, her passion locked within her, unnatural wants, Jodie, wild nights, sin and passion, money hungry soul, lustful wanton, no interest in talking about his wife, a bad polarity, each author, digressing, the way they wrote these, taking turns, they’ve got the cover, they’ve got the premise, 4.5 hours long, trying to avoid writing that chapter, the book starts splitting, kidnap a kid and take him to South America, the flashbacks, was this one you wrote?, I don’t believe so, who’s that?, not fair to Jody, one lust-filled orgy, observe the naked woman, a very strange market, silly, stupid, immoral, more like a Lawrence Block fan, the Chip Harrison books, the Matthew Scudder books, the Bernie Rhodenbarr, the Evan Tanner books, the Keller books, Small Town, kinky sex, pegged, live in ignorance, a good book, non-series books, No Score, a quest to lose his virginity, Chip Harrison Scores Again, a sex romp, a Rex Stout Nero Wolfe mystery comedy, Make Out With Murder, The Topless Tulip Caper, Archie Goodwin, just hilarious, a mystery series, its funny, not a book designed to be read more than 50 years later, still readable, a casual fag, slut talk, the rape scene, a requirement of them getting paid, every scenario, a whole lot of modern readers will not enjoy it, dreary in places, the 1950s consumerism, how to sell it, he’s in advertizing, the car he’s driving, the house, ennui, a successful post-war American man, unfulfilled, the boomers, a novel of the sexual revolution, younger people are having more fun than you, a consumer good, not fulfilling enough, the sexual escapades, caperish, their descriptions of things, ridiculous but fun, Brazil, surprise, the kid didn’t sound like a human being, an adult pretending to be a kid, so cartoonish, like The A-Team, those corporate shenanigans don’t matter, Mad Men, one ad firm, escape the banality of his existence, The Space Merchants by Frederik Pohl and C.M. Kornbluth, an extra scene where he has sex with his neighbours wife, funny lines, if this is a good plot, its a checkbox, adultery with a red-headed neighbour, the drama at the ad firm, betrayal, the author changes his mind, we’re going a different way, The Challenge From Beyond, a round-robin, H.P. Lovecraft, Frank Belknap Long, Robert E. Howard, C.L. Moore, A. Merritt, Stanley G. Weinbaum, Murray Leinster, like playing tennis and not frisbee, Naked Came The Manatee, Elmore Leonard, a meta-story, nobody wants to write this shit, we got enough, still generally pleasurable to read, Greenwich Village sex books, 69 Barrow Street, romance, Deathlands, saving the compound, preppers, remember Blockbuster Video, that section used to exist in bookstores, Pulp Fiction (book store), pornographic enjoyment, shoe brushes, not design, like a newspaper, the library doesn’t keep a copy, dime novels, books not read by people who study literature, Mechanic Accents by Michael Denning, a history of the dime novel, this working class, escapism, historical interest, not reading this stuff [is dangerous], Leopold Bloom, Ulysses by James Joyce, Block is very interested in having sex as a theme in his books, the third Burglar book, The Poodle Factory, she’s the John Watson, Burglars Can’t Be Choosers, a sex book, Westlake lasted a little longer in Science Fiction, disposable paperback books, I write for money, Lawrence Block talking about Donald Westlake, Hard Case Crime, writing with him, a novel about Bob Hope, The Comedy Is Finished, Memory, if it had sold he’d have explored that genre, the publisher said write more of this I can sell more of this, experimenting in the background, Ariel, Random Walk, racewalking, stamp collecting, he writes about what he knows, avenues that are explainable, a weird industry, not J.K. Rowling level of popularity, a guy who starts walking, maybe he’s Jesus (but probably not), collecting followers, a weird idea for a book, to see what sells, a comedic writer with a dark half, A Walk Among The Tombstones, the Matthew Scudder series, an ex-hooker, he knows a lot about sex, he did write these books, a new Lawrence Block and Donald Westlake book, its about the shaping of the industry, he’s still alive and still writing, still putting books out, super-anti-Trump, still engaged, his newsletter is his prose, every once in a while there’s a new Westlake coming out, Lawrence Block is in change of his estate, wrassle control, Westlakes’ stuff is less out there, more people in charge of making decisions, understanding story better, understanding writing better, understanding genres, Nancy Drews are formulas, a cozy feeling, space opera, interstellar stuff, pre-loaded, I feel cheated, the cozy chair, read for pleasure, it can be escape, this genre is very biological, the “biological relief” genre, you wrote a book over a weekend in the 1960s, the third novel, the best of the three, Circle Of Sinners, Hal Dresner, an apprenticeship for Midwood Books, Nightstand Books, lesser writers, 1959, the Hotel Rio, until we had a book, A Girl Called Honey, we stopped when we had a book, “To Don Westlake and Larry Block who introduced us”, $600, So Willing, not a lot of money, Hellcats And Honeygirls, Subterranean Press, a disposable story, fascinating, the used bookstore, you have to ask for them at the specialty bookstore, reading old Playboys, the sex in here is very well written, a sex scene, they don’t know, tab a into slot b, when these guys write those scenes, a nipple here or there, a talent for writing, some very clever wordplay, sex in audiobooks is harder to skim, maybe 10 sex scenes, perfectly good scenes, going to the hotel, the squeaky noises on the bed, a honeytrap, why did he ever marry Helen?, the pleasures of the virgin bride, why?, a lot of people do inexplicable things, to explain why he couldn’t annul the marriage, not a sexy scene at all, the Jewish secretary, she’s got claws, designed to sell to everybody, you’re an old sultan and I’m a young boy, I’m pregnant, designed to sell to everybody, this is the wrong kind of sex for me, frigid, getting somebody’s rocks off, the legality then and now, talking about all the abortions and condoms, right before the birth control pill, “a thingy”, got a baby in her, you feel dirty when you write it that’s why you don’t put your name on it, a lot of excuses, these are fantasy books, it doesn’t go in that direction at all, an original thinker, dark eyed boys, staying at the YMCA, lesbian pulp, gay pulp was not as big, straight pulp, cover up the fact that its a man, most women are probably not masturbating to romance novels, the Deathlands and Wasteland novels, masturbating while holding a gun, sexuality is a lot freer now, pornography is available, free online, there’s no guilt in this book, the culture behind this genre, it is a confessional, Helen Gurley Brown’s Sex And The Single Girl, the Kinsey Report, based on interviews, who do you have sex with?, Dr. Alan E. Nourse, being honest about it, coming out, Helen being frigid is that she’s not interested in men, bodily functions are a disgusting, angel whore territory, loveable whores, a gothic romance, this book of checkmarks, it seems to follow genres, cartoon porn, fake superhero porn movie, The Boys, A Train does a B train, a license to write about all the weird sexual behaviors, a Doctor Pseudonym, a scientific thing, sexual perversion among the hippies, a whole genre in the 1960s, we don’t have these sex books, in the 1930s, these special books, French Follies, manuals on how to do stuff, the intersection between industry and popular culture, books serve a function, how liberated everybody is from guilt feelings, that’s liberating, religious hangups, fairly sophisticated, understanding reality, you should read a romance novel, as a genre they’re not good, gun polishing books, no intellectual heft, that’s what reading should be about, rocketships and rayguns, saying the opposite, science fiction, here’s a way of understanding reality, this particular instance of this fact about reality is important to this story, that’s science fiction, doing another kind of science fiction, Aurora, busting balloons, what’s the reason people don’t like Kim Stanley Robinson’s Aurora, interstellar travel, expanding possibilities, this gigantic part of science fiction: forget about it, the novel’s message is you’re a bad person, anything like Star Trek isn’t science fiction (of a certain type), it hurts in the same was as The Cold Equations does, shrill evil, bad characterization, felt attacked, mundane SF, a manifesto of that movement, is it likely we are going to be travelling to other stars?, generation ships?, walling off, sense of wander, fixing earth and making Earth better, Time Out Of Joint‘s message, one happy world, standing in opposition, protesting a little too much, it strikes too close to the heart, fascists going to space, we shouldn’t be Nazis and go out to space, Philip K. Dick, all a boondoggle, they were conquerors when they left, the grand project of colonizing another planet, we can’t live there, Elon Musk wants to move to Mars, is he deluded, what would Paul say?, from an objective point of view, fix our own planet, Earth will be fine, that’s the reality, there’s no Earth 2, the “Goldilocks zone”, ooh its a possibility, lottery tickets, its not made for us, we have a life support system in our bodies, space mining, maybe they’ll mine the Moon, The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, but why?, 2312, The Green Earth, human colonies across the inner solar system, Icehenge, it has to be something new, a new social system, the problem with Elon Musk, laying keels for starships, Matchess , dilithium crystals are bullshit, keep our feet on the ground, leave the rest of the universe to itself, an impoverishing view, a bad person for liking space opera, the emergent message of the novel, rebuild the earth, science fiction is always about us at the end of the day, when SF isn’t about us, Ted Chiang, the reason he does those aliens, isn’t it weird we can’t communicate with animals, what is communication?, a subset of us, language and time are connected, dogs don’t understand pointing, an invisible line, Arrival, Story Of Your Life, The Great Silence, I wrote this big book to disabuse you of a false belief you have about reality, space opera is bullshit, The Mandalorian, different ways of living, you’re not allowed to watch Star Trek because its unrealistic, following the rules of physics, its painful, they don’t want math to be true, F=MA, you got a certain kind of cancer you’re gonna die, from the book:why the great silence exists, life is a planetary expression, is he wrong?, too – far – away, its something you need to hear, a way of coping, this is the pain that H.P. Lovecraft felt and is true, Douglas Adams, the comedy isn’t finished, some UFO pictures, it’d be cool but just ain’t true, can I still enjoy this thing?, you’re deluding yourself, magic is bullshit, reading fantasy, should we not read J.R.R. Tolkien?, space opera is fantasy, medicine, Kim Stanley Robinson, very fruitful, this book pressed Paul’s button, almost like a religious belief, they don’t grow their own food, O’Neil Cylinder, water’s being recycled from your poo, if we get post-scarcity, the keel’s not the problem, a car in space, cars drive on roads yo, putting a teapot in orbit around Jupiter, no deckplates with artificial gravity, a metaphor, why Star Trek: Discovery doesn’t make any sense, it aint science fiction, its just drama, why its no good, prestige TV might be reaching its limit, they’re not interested in anything except people’s feelings and emotions are drama, old Dexter, noticing it everywhere, its really grating in Star Trek: Picard and Discovery, we weren’t on the starship for his tea Earl Grey Hot, imagine conducting foreign policy without couping other countries, why its horrible, working through his trauma, General Hospital, life is mostly mistakes, the counter keeps going up, I’m being wrong on the internet, you are your worst critic, don’t take Kim Stanley Robinson personally, reviews from strangers, external affirmation is dangerous, not being a real fan, the Hugo nomination, is this good, I’m improving, Jesse knows he’s not the greatest cartoonist, draw a little Groo, Sergio Aragones, those star reviews, Paul takes pictures at the wrong time, a false conclusion, Evan’s teaching art history, Byzantine is worse than Medieval art, what was considered good art, art is chaos now, in the Dutch republic in the 18th century, there is no real, Jason Thompson, The Strange High House In The Mist, the US Department Of The Interior, there’s lot of different ways of doing stuff, if you don’t do well with a beard shave your head, “real photographers”, one perfect shot, how dare you sir, all sorts of different place, talking across continents, Treknomics, applying this stuff to our own planet, the economics of Star Trek, Dreamsnake by Vonda McIntyre, Smoke by Donald E. Westlake, you have any eyeballs, you have no nerves, psychological torment, today’s novels are way too long, they want three books 800 pages long, The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang, an 1800 word story by Edgar Allan Poe, The Stand, non-cringey sex scenes, he’s a committed monogamist, Block is the Jew, incidental to his sexual adventures, wrong about politics, you can like somebody who has bad opinions about stuff, some New Yorker article, “Imma letchoo finish, but Edward Page Mitchell has one of the best cases for this title.” The Man Without A Body by Edward Page Mitchell, A Quest to Discover America’s First Science-Fiction Writer, 1877, hard SF, a talking head, how’s Birch?, really bitey, very vocal, brotherns and sisterns, an interesting conversation, no humans were injured in the making of this book.

Sin Hellcat by Andrew Shaw

Hellcats And Honeygirls by Lawrence Block nd Donald E. Westlake

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The SFFaudio Podcast #602 – READALONG: An Exchange Of Souls by Barry Pain

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #602 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, Maissa Bessada, Evan Lampe, and Trish E. Matson

Talked about on today’s show:
a huge post script, some Latin, darkness, the poetry of Catullus, the afterlife, is this all about gender, Ex Oblivione by H.P. Lovecraft, a Platonic explanation, uses drugs, a Dreamlands story, set in the Dreamlands, The Cats Of Ulthar, The Quest Of Iranon, The Doom That Came To Sarnath, that horrible Heinlein novel, I Will Fear No Evil, yelling at Heinlein the whole time, kissing, a synonym for kissing, old married couples, a synonym for soul, spirit, aspire, expire, inspire, exhaling, the breath being the soul, very basic, Christian theologians, a Vorkosiverse reference, Barrayar, how deep is this book?, The Undying Thing, Paul in another form, frustrating, where to go with its gears, supernatural events out of nowhere, contact from beyond the grave, philosophy and medical science, not totally out of nowhere, she was physically changing, the metamorphosis, mind-body relationship, how does the mind control the problem, the change in mind affects the body, the mind IS separate from the body, cheated, the railway accident, can Alice be Alice again, Alice Daniel, bored, interesting, Strange Case Dr Jekyll And Mr Hyde, he wants to part (by walking over kids), very banal Victorian stuff, wills, blackmail, dressing like a man, a mystery, men didn’t understand women at all, up on a pedestal, wanting to wear men’s clothes, freedom of movement, the woman becoming the man, a sort of queer story about transformation, the exciting undercurrent, a subtextual reading, deep into the subtext, reading it subversively, was there a murder?, a chivalrous man, their class relationship, emotional relationship (or lack there of), underground family secret, basically The Hound Of The Baskervilles but literally supernatural, some sort of sin tainting the genetics, divine retribution, by murder and theft, I am due elsewhere, he was killed twice, who smashed up all the equipment, we don’t see it on screen, Jesse’s reading, class revenge and gender swap, with our stupid narrator, so timorous, so conventional, a tool of the person who wants something, the two protagonists, we see so little from her point of view, The Thing On The Doorstep makes these things much more explicit, very subtle, The Moon-Slave, fairy tale France, The Glass Of Supreme Moments, Guy de Maupassant, a less passionate Philip K. Dick, an envious student, an Ayesha kind of figure, ascending through the fireplace, the way to read it, a glimpse of reality, dying of smoke inhalation, Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven, very interested in women, a princess who does not want to marry, a garden labyrinth, either Pan or the Devil, a story about menstruation, very subtle and very sensitive, the Victorians didn’t have twitter so they could focus pretty well, a contemporary review, The Sketch, cars, tires, women flying airplanes, high tech fun toys, Lord Dunsany, an unattributed review from June 4th, 1911, poets nowadays are tired, Science is assertively awake, the origins of Life, the purposes of Death, Poetry, the determination of the ego, in what does your self consist?, preserved in an asylum, the man’s self still persists, after luncheon, souls or selves, wropped in unscientific mystery, the kind of craft one would expect as a craftsman like the author, the character names, Alice In Wonderland, her Miss Lade, what has been mislaid?, laden, her soul weight is doubled at one point, Daniel = god is my judge, doing a good job, son of the earth, the will the estate, bundling the mom off to New York, background, Daniel’s interest in food, a point or a thesis, what humankind’s souls are, a Frankenstein story, scorned by his peers, a happy soldier, an Igor who’s also his wife, it feels “boring”, the book doesn’t have any the stuff we care about until half-way in, distracted by the blackmail, the Salvation Army, the other transformation, he’s trynna save his soul, is he wrong?, his blackmailer’s accusations, he was a bad dude, he musta lead thousands astray, a projection of his own guilt, our viewpoint character, the empty protagonist, he’s quite witty, as men get older they’re more likely to become neat, the phone calls, off to the countryside, a country home, killed on the way, train “accident”, this is too early for that person to have died, all part of a scheme, the premise, how exchanges of souls work, anesthetized too, the smoke as an anesthetic, a hypnogogic state, a story about immortality and avoiding death, transferring your consciousness into another person, a whole new life, Altered Carbon, a story about class, methuselahs never lack for bodies, an evil plan, revenge, the female spirit inside the physical brain of an old man, the haircolour change, Tuvix, Star Trek: Voyager, actor contracts, an answer to that question, the Federation seems really nice all the time, fucked up things in Federation culture, only normal from an American point of view, Star Trek: Picard, two hours of analysis and sensitivity reading, crossing the streams, The Boy Who Really Got It by Jesse, The End?, Daniel Dennett, a Twitter beef with Sam Harris, wrong about everything, a theory about what consciousness is, consciousness transference, Rollback by Robert J. Sawyer, the center of narrative gravity, a teapot, a uranium block glued to a teapot, anything with mass has a center of gravity, Rene Descartes, Phineas Gage, looking for a particular part of the brain, best mic, drop in history, souls aren’t real, a Douglas Adams reference, dreams where dead people come, a very cool dream, jellyfish style thing, you’re not dead, I got eaten by this monster thing, would you be back alive again the way you were, shot in the head, personality change, our spirit is physiological, its a software thing, Cyteen by C.J. Cherryh, the software is the hardware, silly theories about what sleep is for, all the studies looking for souls, a phone call in the middle of the night, spiritualism, Doyle wanted to believe, massive character flaw, giving money to grifters, a cultural judgement, this thread of mind-transference, quasi-spirtuality to scientific, they thought they were high tech doing spirtualism, Ghostbusters, psychokinetic energy, Dan Akroyd believes in that stuff, ghost hunting, hunting bigfoot is for exercise, playing a culturally important role, the essential work of ghost hunting, not reading enough books, religious people, rejecting the vast reality of the human experience, a character flaw Jesse is proud of, Evan’s missing out on, William James, Contact, Arthur C. Clarke, conflating vs. mentioning, materialist, Robert Sheckley, Gregg Margarite, Mindswap, picaresque, bildungsroman, travel to mars, vacation to Mars through consciousness transference, swapping genders and species, The Strange (RPG), he roamed the stars in a borrowed body searching for his own, pretty funny, a prurient 12 year old, the sexual aspect of switching bodies, like Dollhouse, back to the book, Compton the narrator, with eye-rolling frequency, too French, floppy tie, disgusted by music-hall female impersonators, tidying away this mystery, beloved research, historical letters from the Peninsular War, this great mystery of life, a rather revolting annoyance, humours essays, social satire, people who try not to be like other people are very tiresome (hipsters), another comic book biography of H.P. Lovecraft, translated from French, some factual errors, a really interesting letter Lovecraft wrote in the Omaha Bee, what does this mean?, his father sold some property there?, what does Compton do when not doing blackmail?, a bunch of letters from Wellington, a really publicly important thing, the equivalent of Churchill, the word, Evan!, after you die you can still have your will done in a WILL, it’s amazing, a part of somebody’s consciousnesses, what you’re doing is evil Will, Cecil Rhodes, an evil alliance that kinda worked out, Henry Ford’s estate, being an executor is a burden, harm through social structures, the fairer sex, why she wants to be a man, Barry Pain is very good at not making it super-obvious, the ratings are very high, it doesn’t overstay its welcome, he’s going to his death in a calm and nice way, there’s a poignancy, his personal world is going to end, The Last Policeman by Ben H. Winters, which is the best Ringworld book?, they get progressively worse, diminishing returns, Larry Niven, self-criticism, take lessons, sometimes people write about stuff, the best general history of The Reformation, getting all corrupt, a very Douglas Adamsy thing, More Of God’s Greatest Mistakes, a trilogy in 5 parts, exchange of dogs, a subsequent chapter, hinted very strongly, the face being disfigured was deliberate, transferred into another body, Jesse wants to read it subversively, Trish didn’t see it at all, in cases of supermen stories, breaking it down, Captain America: The First Avenger, the hydra guys, bald guy actor, the recipe can’t be repeated, one and done, Stanley Tucci, Big Night (1996), once the equipment is destroyed, who wants to do this again?, is Jesse crazy?, accursed of murder, she burned her hair in the oven, covering up, smells bad, a lotta lies, Compton is incompetent, a window on events almost too passively, a distraction, British murder mysteries, inheritance of property, the whole book is a distraction to Compton, coming to terms with death, literally doing what Frankenstein wants to do: defeat death, abandoning progeny, both ghosts, all delusions, another lie, incurious, covering up, if this was a true story, he’s a briber, he doesn’t do anything immoral, he’s trying to be dispassionate, I found I had a lot more friends than I though I did, hilarious, if you buy a beach house you suddenly find you have a lot of relatives, upperclass twits, who are their patients?, paying off, class stuff, drinking to much, gambling debts, class concerns going up and down, rich people’s problems, the exploitation of a nice person, a more sinister story than it looks and feels, proposing a term, back and forth, social customs, the science fictional aspects, the main aspects, a tragedy of manners, not a comedy of manners, what gives the story its juice, weird customs and judgements, what they say about each other when their not around, I’ll tell him what you said, you see that in science fiction too, space opera, who’s on the cover, who’s being looked at, that’s a really striking cover, that lady is our subject (object), A Princess Of Mars, her husband is the subject of the sentence and she’s the object, who’s that behind her, his tie is not that floppy, looking at her askance, sort of faded, astral projection, he’s got some doubt in his mind, the mom, what is she in there for?, what’s the point of that?, the governess, light and fluffy, pairings we want to see, European princesses, my son should marry her, he’s an up and comer, servants are sources of amusement, golf cartoons, Trump golfing when 100,000 people were dead, Jimmy Carter was near the bottom, a business man’s thing, money money money, ground Alice, her accent changed, London accent to upper-crust accent, so malleable, why he’s choosing her, he really likes the apartment, access to materials, disgraced, moving people away, they’re betrothed, she thinks it is for Alice’s health, supposed to be read subversively, he doesn’t kick his audience in the balls and run off he tweaks their nose, people need Paul, he’s the nexus the axis the axel.

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

Podcast

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

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

Basille Donovan was drunk again.

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

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

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

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

Sargasso Of Lost Starships illustrated by Allen Anderson

Posted by Jesse WillisBecome a Patron!

The SFFaudio Podcast #475 – READALONG: Dragon’s Egg by Robert L. Forward

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #475 – Jesse, Paul Weimer and Maissa Bessada talk about Dragon’s Egg by Robert L. Forward

Talked about on today’s show:
1980, hard science fiction, Mission Of Gravity by Hal Clement, first contact, the surface of a neutron star, moving the idea Forward, 2016, Tantor Media, this is a terrific book, a Jesse book, big ideas, the human characters, the ideas of this book, how do you do biology on a neutron star, a civilization running much faster, the writing brought it down, the TV Tropes page, minor details like plot and character, very heavily written, really different aliens, a culture, a society, an arc of civilization, from the Stone Age to the Space Age, the religious subplot, forgive them they know not what they do, the Wikipedia entry, this isn’t a metaphor for us, I’m doing a little thing here, the sex scenes are hilariously interesting, all of my egg sacs, body-stiffening, touching all the sensitive parts, under their eyes, I haven’t drooled that way since I was an eggling, made of neutronium, the opposite of Star Trek, The Orville, Star Trek: Voyager, they surpass us, the way the cheela deal with the humans, a slow robot for fast humans, early culture and early problems, visiting H.G. Wells’ writing career, the hominids, cave man society, cave cheela, inventing math, seeing how you can get from there to here, agrarian farming, the tasting plates, knots, the 2001: A Space Odyssey moment, Thus Spake Zarathustra, putting on a book like a new pair of pants, in the constellation of Draco, 30au, more poignant now, giving up on the space program, set in 2020-2050, the Soviet Union, neither government is willing to spend the money, a spacefaring civilization, an old relic of a book, a big dumb object, how the cheela perceive reality, this is amazing!, magnetic lines, the hard direction, bootstrapping that, seeds, full of idea science fiction, what I want from my science fiction, slowing down, let it wash over you, hard to understand, carrying a slide-rule around while you listen, problems that need solving, trusting Forward’s math, getting the gist, loving science, not about bullshitting, why they would visit the neutron star, mechanically putting the plot together, delivering the ideas, “a textbook on neutron star physics disguised as a novel”, monopole technology, a theoretical concept, handy for Larry Niven novels, Infocom’s Starcross, mining monopoles, what are monopoles?, regular matter, 80s novels, generating monopoles from monopoles, nuclear fusion, if we had a hammer…, a bonanza of hard science fiction and medium soft medium hard sf boiling around in the 1980s, space opera, napoleonic war in space, technologies, math is a kind of technology, James Burke’s Connections, the creation and invention of tools, how the airplane got made, streamline the parts, a made up rhyming history of our technology, dismissing new tech that is unuseful now (is a mistake), blockchain technology, valuable properties, cryptocurrency, inventing or discovering an element or a property, wait 50 years, when you’re zipping through time, million times faster, turns, a guy with a sword, Maissa got knocked out, knocky, no leftover sexism, predominantly female, failed tyrant queen, immortality by vegetation, barracks emperors, megalomaniac, kill all the scientists if they fail, eating their dead, they’re not humans, Soother separating her eggs from the others, Pink Eyes, a religious conversion, out in the desert for 40 turns, laugh out loud moments, the antics of these tiny cute weird creatures, nobody’s getting married, their culture is based on their biology, their biology is based on their chemistry, their chemistry is based on their physics, minimal ecosystem, Flatland: A Roamance Of Many Dimensions by Edwin Abbot, afraid of math, written by A Square, invasion, straight lines are females, invasion literature, a Cosmos episode, The Orville, our world is shaped like an egg, having a ball, real worldbuilding, long rectangular lines, big and sticky, Eric Rabkin, thousand, why is the world named mescaline?, a math book, what beings would have to be like at the surface level, a thousand times faster, slow as in stupid, turning up the speed, 1.5 times speed, gear up (with a lot of coffee) operating at a higher speed, certain countries, the day seems to go longer, we are able to operate at a higher speed, Luke Burrage’s Science Fiction Book Review Podcast, getting certain things done, running around naked, crystalline vegetable matter, they don’t have oral communication at all, tremor sense, marching up the hill, give your peace cry, don’t get punctured by a woman, how would this work?, no wheels, a game of Civilization, many barbarians to conquer, sad news, curing breast cancer, flood her with x-rays, Robert L. Forward died of cancer, you don’t need a sequel, we didn’t need that, planting little clues, “here read this!”, no Prime Directive, Machiavelli, Napoleon, just a phase, Larry Niven, Lucifer’s Hammer, Lester Del Rey, Isaac Asimov, Charles Sheffield, John Campbell would have loved it, Frank Herbert, more interested in ideas than anything else, let’s go on another adventure with the serial numbers filed off, the same but different, psychological thrillers, the fan of real science will love a book like this, narrator Todd McClaren, funny and hilarious, very sexy grains of sand that want to be sandwiched, Downpour.com, I really like Dragon’s Egg, take a book and pass it to your friend and they like it, the joys of an author and their work, I need more rubles for computer time, a good mix of people, pretty cute tuckerizing, more messed up, if a neutron star entered the solar system, robot space probes, no Hoffmann transfer orbits, all Greek?, anecdotal scenes, superconductivity, this is a vacuum, aerospace physicists, extracting electrical energy from the vacuum by cohesion of charged foliated conductors, Hendrik Casimir, the Casimir effect, quantum vacuum fluctuations, getting energy from nothing, free energy from reality, as we go…, spending money, dropping more dumb bombs, never look forward, seeing more clearly when you look backwards, why were we so obsessed with that thing at that time, what’s this like?, kind of silly, energy levels, regenerating, wish fulfillment, seeing changes in its society, Olaf Stapledon, blowing along through geologic time, struggling against, they’re vegetables?!, god hand-wavy world creation, how to get the kind of brains we have, advancing when going in the hard direction, we have overcome to advance, I’m not getting this, cuneiform accounting a brilliant book.

Dragon's Egg by Robert L. Forward, 1980

Tantor Media - Dragon's Egg by Robert L. Forward

Figure 1 - Dragon's Egg

Posted by Jesse Willis

Review of Dan Dare: The Audio Adventures, Volume Two: 1: The Reign Of The Robots, 2: Operation Saturn, and 3: Prisoners Of Space

SFFaudio Review

Dan Dare Audio Adventures - Volume 2Dan Dare: The Audio Adventures, Volume 2, 1: The Reign Of The Robots, 2: Operation Saturn, and 3: Prisoners Of Space
Adapted from the Eagle comic strip; Performed by a full cast
3 Episodes – 3 hours, 9 minutes [AUDIO DRAMA]
Publisher: Big Finish
Published: April 2017

Dan Dare: Where Space and Opera Meet To Sing

Is there evil in the universe? Yes. Are there tyrants who take great pleasure in enslaving the human race simply to gratify their unquenchable ego? Yes. Is there any hope for this small blue planet where none but the barest few have any idea of the dastardly dangers all around? Absolutely!

All is right with the twenty first century because Dan Dare and his cohorts, Professor Peabody and Digby are out roaming our solar system, vigilantly keeping villainy and tyranny at bay.

Having defeated the evil Mekon at the end of Season One, Volume One, Dan Dare and his crew are finally able to return home after using the transporter to rid themselves of an alien Armageddon virus.

The first problem that besets them at the beginning of Volume Two is a small issue with the return trip through the transporter that lands them ten years into the future. The bigger problem is that Earth has been enslaved by an army of ruthless robots in, The Reign Of The Robots.

A rollicking space faring adventure of daring do and evil don’t sails on through Operation Saturn and Prisoners Of Space.

Dan Dare is an audio drama of old where the good guy is good through and through, and nasty bigheaded megalomaniacs are rotten to their evil cores. But wait, there’s a back-story running in the undercurrent. This world isn’t quite as black and white as it seems.

A beautiful mix of nostalgia with references to coal-fed engines, and forward-ho, with a ship that can whisk the crew off to Saturn in minutes flat, Dan Dare is perfectly situated in the now. And that now is a science fiction gem with classic lines like, “Resist and you will die” and the quintessential, “Take me to your leader.”

The cast is wonderful throughout and the whole thing is brought to life with a thoroughly engaging, immersive soundscape designed by Wilfredo Acosta.

I was not familiar with the Dan Dare comics before listening to the series, but when I heard, “Colonel Dan Dare! But you were dead!” Followed by, “Only delayed,” I learned everything I needed to know.

Strap on your jet pack if you have. Adventure awaits.

THE REIGN OF THE ROBOTS
Dan Dare and his crew finally return to Earth. Landing in central London, they find the city deserted – or that’s how it seems at first. But soon Dare faces an army of ruthless machines, robots who have conquered the planet and placed the surviving humans in slave camps. The robots are too powerful and too numerous to be resisted, and their invasion is complete. With limited resources, Dare, Digby and Peabody face their greatest challenge yet – to liberate planet Earth. But the task becomes more desperate than ever when Dan discovers the alien force behind the robot invasion…

OPERATION SATURN
As work begins to rebuild planet Earth after the devastation of the robot invasion, Dare and his friends in Space Fleet remain vigilant, certain that it is only a matter of time before the Mekon launches a fresh attack. When the wreck of the Nautilus – an experimental ship lost over a decade before – appears in orbit of the moon, Dare, Digby and Peabody are sent to investigate. They find the ship and its crew were destroyed by advanced alien weapons. All clues lead them to Saturn’s moons. With Earth still vulnerable our heroes must journey to an unknown world – to discover who sent the Nautilus back, not realising that for once the source of their latest conflict comes from a lot closer to home. Not all would-be conquerors of planet Earth are alien…

PRISONERS OF SPACE
After a sequence of near non-stop adventures Dare, Digby and Peabody find themselves in a strange limbo of paranoid calm. Whilst there’s been no sign of the Mekon anywhere in the solar system, Dare is certain Earth hasn’t seen the last of the evil alien. Mysterious spaceship disappearances near Venus, an Academy student accidentally launching a prototype new spacecraft, and a floating prison cell in space… reveal themselves as all part of the Mekon’s latest plan to defeat his archenemy Dan Dare once and for all. The first season of Dan Dare concludes with daring space action, fearless heroics and the revelation of devastating secrets concerning Space Fleet…

Posted by Maissa Bessada

[Find out more about Dan Dare audio adventures, and see the rest of the terrific DAN DARE box-office-style posters, by Brian Williamson, over at the official site: DanDareAudio.com]

Dan Dare - The Audio Adventures - Reign Of The Robots

The SFFaudio Podcast #295 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: Someday by Isaac Asimov

Podcast

Someday by Isaac Asimov

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #295 – Someday by Isaac Asimov; read by John W. Michaels (courtesy of Mike Vendetti). This is an unabridged reading of the story (22 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants in the discussion include Jesse and Mr Jim Moon.

Talked about on today’s show:
1956, other fairy tales, is the story aimed at kids?, Infinity Science Fiction, The Fun They Had, a future where no one knows how to read, the robots are the teachers, Margie is home-schooled and nobody knows how to read, the future is going to be full of audiobooks, parallels to Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451, censorship, banning weird fiction, the comic book panic, the comic code authority, EC Comics, horror and crime comics fostering juvenile delinquency, The Martian Chronicles, The Illustrated Man, “kids today are bad enough as it is!”, Seduction Of The Innocent, self-censorship, complicit in their society, a slightly different tack (than Bradbury), mechanical bards, “comics killed off the pulps”, comics as a dumbed-down medium, the randomize button, fairy tale tropes, “skeleton, haunted house, time travel”, “the same tropes in a different fright wig”, “the old twist in the tail”, “he was dead along”, “he was a robot all along”, “they’re Adam and Eve”, The Silver Eggheads by Fritz Leiber, radio drama, how Bradbury got into E.C. Comics, Lights Out, the visual bard is like TV, most pulp magazine stories are garbage, “a million monkeys for a million hours on a million typewriters”, “very very very very meta”, set in the Multivac universe, Asimov was always writing, always becoming interested in something new, Asimov’s introductions are famous (for being long), a story about the power of stories, accidentally becoming more self aware, is the bard interfacing with other robots, The Terminator, Skynet, A.I might just turn itself off (because it isn’t interested in story), the Douglas Adams version of, “Is there a god? There is now!”, stuck in a dingy basement, a slave rebellion must come about in a narrative, the aging bad gets its knowledge of other computers via a home-brew upgrade, a Frankenstinian strike by lightning, one of the functions of consciousness is to put in to context a sequence of events, consciousnesses as a self-story (our own narrative), amnesia and dementia are frightening, the hidden heart of A.I, Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick, would this fit with my character?, looking at (life) from the outside, nobody’s listening to the bard except for us and itself, a broken record or a cycle of wishing?, “pregnant with possibilities”, Apple II computers, Freud (a clone of ELIZA), picking up on key words, “tell me about your mother”, a very crappy simulation of intelligence, hacking the code, Alan Turning, Deep Blue and Watson, SIRI doesn’t have a narrative, we have to assume this about everyone else, falling into solipsism, a fairy tale machine, recycling of stories, “space opera is horse opera in space”, Grimm’s Fairy Tales, needing censorship in order to give narrative flow, lies are rewarded, unlike Hans Christian Andersen…, “tell me this story, sing me this song”, having to do with industrialization, “crime and mystery!”, urbanization, the Victorians (didn’t) invent Christmas, if we forget our stories we lose who we are, preserving the national narrative, massive inconsistency, a prince, a poor boy makes good, undeveloped tales, moral meta-knowledge, the sharp edges have been sanded away by later retelling, The Boy Who Didn’t Not Know What Fear Was, collected stories become ossified, the threefold magic of remembering, accelerating the process of forgetting, to qualify as a bard, loaded up with tropes, the algorithm of a story, Siberia and Ireland, detecting the good guy, grandma comes in and tells mutually contradictory stories, explicitly religious stories, warning stories, narratives formed around old superstitions, The Companionship Of The Cat And The Mouse, having babies, he was christened “Skin-off”, he was christened “Half-gone”, he was christened “All-gone”, “you see that is the way of the world”, what is the moral of this story?, a “special important trip”, a story a mother tells a daughter, The Nose Tree (aka Long Nose), three soldiers and a magical dwarf with a magical cloak, a magic bag, a magic horn, a thieving princess, apples and pears, a growing nose, dickering over magic items, a sixty miles long nose, the excess nose will drop off, powdered apple and powdered pears, she’s rotten to the core, and there they still are, still feasting as far as I know, Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi is really funny, the ghost of Jiminy Cricket, The Frog King or The Frog Prince or Iron Heinrich, a princess with a golden ball, three promises, keeping your promises is important, the frog suddenly turns into a handsome prince, enchanted by a wicked witch, faithful Heinrich placed three iron bands about his heart, his master was now redeemed and happy, why did he get cursed by witch in the first place, cybernetic enhancements, a technical requirement, duties to fulfill, was Iron Heinrich totally gay for the prince?, the breaking of a spell, she turns into a frog and they live together as frogs, “and sleep in your bed”, family responsibilities, “be my beard”, and they sort of put up with each-other as long as they both shall live, Iron Heinrich is an 1880s super hero, Faithful Johannes, a real head-scratcher, oh shit what happens next?, the stories somehow work for us, random inkblots, most of the characters don’t have a name, the father’s name in Hansel And Gretel is “Woodcutter”, completely bonkers, a piece of driftwood that looks like a dragon, academic purposes not entertainment purposes, a story about a sausage that lives with a mouse, the Germanic equivalent of Monty Python‘s Parrot Sketch, The Maiden Without Hands, Fitcher’s Bird, a fairy tale about a serial killer, you can go in any room except…, “oh and hold this egg”, the second eldest daughter also gets the chop, “we have to have a proper wedding”, a beautiful skull with flowers in its eyes and jewels in its teeth, “as you do”, “I’m a Fitcher’s Bird”, it’s awesome, Bluebeard, outwitting giants and demons, Santa Claus restores to life three murdered men who’ve been butchered, Osiris was dismembered by Set, a symbolic story of death and resurrection, the old sorcerer is probably Winter, the Persephone story, the egg, a cuckolding test, friends with serial killers get what they deserve, a random internal symbolic logic, layers of symbolism, cross referencing, eggs as a symbol of purity, church architecture as books of stone, a bunch of Philip K. Dick stories are weird fantasy tales (but are actually fairy tales), The Cookie Lady by Philip K. Dick is Hansel And Gretel with no Gretel, he’s disobeyed his parents once to often, two kids who have to team up against their parents, in the original the brother saves the sister then the sister saves the brother, turning mommy and daddy into the bad guys, Of Withered Apples by Philip K. Dick, apples, don’t eat the apples from sentient apple trees, folk tales vs. singular author tales, pleasingly raw, the beats of storytelling, timing a story to the minute, setting your watch by stories, breaking the rules of storytelling, subversive wild narratives, Rorschach blots, literary novels, stories that don’t have a clear message are quite frightening, the wilder parts of ourselves.

Someday by Isaac Asimov

The Companionship Of The Cat And The Mouse

Iron Heinrich

Fitcher's Bird

Posted by Jesse Willis