The SFFaudio Podcast #757 – READALONG: Odds On by Michael Crichton

The SFFaudio Podcast #757 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, and Cora Buhlert talk about Odds On by Michael Crichton

Talked about on today’s show:
John Lange, 1965 or 1966, first under John Lange, not published in order of writing, writing back to back, while studying medicine, an excuse to make money, he doesn’t need money, enjoying the good life, the jet-set life of the 1960s, Spain, Costa Brava, the European tour, Caribbean stuff, grist for his mills, Mexico, ex-military American, a subtle Caribbean connection, a little bit of a mess, Live And Let Die by Ian Fleming, an explicitly Caribbean novel, books people are reading, all actual books published in the early to mid 60s, Miss Shaw is an Agatha Christie character, the evil Miss Marple, Angela Lansbury, the digital rights to her head, the Murder, She Wrote era, On The Beach by Nevil Shute, a little bit of a mess, two dozen named characters in a short novel, the computer has spit out, obliquely with the smuggler, the rich girl, not a real man, famous politician, who’s our main character, Miss Shaw, Jencks is the mastermind, his partners, the author insert?, doesn’t look like him, an Agatha Christie heist novel, very ambitious, interesting, not a great great book, The Venom Business, some pain in this, the halfway point, all these people, supposed to care about them?, women are unknowable people who have sex and otherwise are bitches, some of the female characters are overdeveloped, not enough pages for their personalities, the receptionist, Jenny the rich girl, he’s not man enough, New England rich guy, wants sex, capital R capital M Real Man to take charge, trying to goad him into it, who is Crichton in this book, George is trying to write a novel about a smuggler, he thinks he can sell that, he wants to invert it, that computer, the technothriller sort of thing, this Crichton phenomenon, bad theories, Jstor, Crichton is creating a new genre: the ficta, it’s called science fiction, Tom Clancy, Cold War stuff, executed someone with gas, a Benjamin Disraeli quote, our old friend, Pierce, something about logic, C.S. Pierce, semi-famous American philosopher, William James, his favourite philosopher, Charles Sanders Peirce, Paul Stamets, real life mushroom scientist, a lot of penetration in this book, a surgeon, a doctor, piercing with drugs, with needles, with a knife, Richard Stark, Parker is a terrible name, Parker parked the car, Dirk!, something swordy, polymath, geodesy, 19th century sciences, Johns Hopkins, I like DNA, I like monkeys, computers, statistic, hotels, chemistry, invaded by geese, Paul cmon let’s go!, the ghost who isn’t there, Francisco Franco, Franco’s relative, you’re supposed to know, 1975, people go on holiday, democratic Spain with a king, very democratic, the history of the 20th century and fascism, it happens three time, a vacation spot, British movies set in Spain, Costa Brava, an idea marketed, the success of Cannes and Nice and Monte Carlo, we could build hotels, on an island that doesn’t exist, Balearic Islands, Canary Islands, middle class now, still exclusive, German tourists, campgrounds, Mr Jim Moon, they way Canadians treat Mexico, lay on the beach and have affairs, nobody bats an eye, he who shall not be named, why all these cops are here, Spanish prisons are not nice, still garotting people, an East German drifter, execute this anarchist, not his real name, Salvador Puig Antich, how do you feel about having your husband being garotted, Spanish Bombs by The Clash, the problem of going on holiday in Spain, the Spanish Civil War, hard hitting lyrics, Pet Shop Boys’ Opportunities, bombs and shootings, let’s talk about the bridge, a Michael Crichtony scene, a Philip K. Dicky scene, there’s a robot in the room, there’s a husband, he thinks his wife is cheating on him with the robot, sweaty boobs and there’s a cup of coffee on the table, picture and shape, takes the aqualung, sets the charges, one of the bridge scenes, some couple stops on the bridge, whether she packed the razor or not, why did they stop on the bridge, I’m exposed, pretends to or actually does love flowers, the book derails itself with another scheme, observed by the staff, an armful of poppies, new wildflowers, leaving a note to somebody under a bridge, a very specific thing, an interesting aside, a James Bond dead drop, a tourist playing dead drop, a tourist playing thief, the way this novel was written, went to a hotel, Costa Brava, up the coast, soaks it all in, all the staff, I do like money, jewels, think like a thief, why do people do aqualung, setup to be a vacation, literally 24 characters with names, random people, boring doctor, Italian, a confection book, not a cut of beef book, another set of thieves, this lady who loves bananas, a chauffeur, what is their relationship, they come to an agreement, a complete derailment of all of these things, doing pretty good, head hops between point of view characters, Binary is the simplest one, mirror images of each other, by reading a dossier, why that book is better, faster paced, the same kind of psychology, how can I sell books?, sex sells, what do women want and how do their brains work?, the marijuana haze, a lot of sex in this book, Spanish for marijuana?, she doesn’t matter, aiming at the sleaze publishers, Brother And Sister by Donald E. Westlake, Nudist Camp by Orrie Hitt, well done sex scenes, he’s very good at this, designed to be in the same place as Richard Stark novels, maybe the computer is actually in charge, an early vision of Neuromancer, predicting songs, using a computer to min/max solutions, garbage in/garbage out, programming with the cards, a raging technophobe, worse after Jurassic Park, he’s a good writer, more respect for him now, the To Catch A Thief reference, Worldcon in Nice, terrifying to drive, Count Fenring, Grace Kelly, strange karma, a book quote, Stanisław Lem, a programmable computer, essay sort of bits, statistics, The Investigation, German translated Lems, Solaris, Return From The Stars, a fish out of water, Joe Haldeman in Russia or Poland, the American philosophers phenomena, father of pragmatism, oh its an ideology, let’s be real here, you’re a paralyzed dude, your career, are us sure ballerina is the place you want to go?, I’d like to have a Ferrari, this Toyota looks like a Ferrari, opposite of being a dreamer, how smart Michael Crichton is, he can’t be James Bond, six foot nine spies, it always was a comedy, Doctor No, it’s got a dragon, immortality, mechanical hands, win big for Britain, even Ian Fleming knows he can’t be James Bond, heightened reality, why Peirce resonates so much, not neurotic like Philip K. Dick, he’s self aware, why are their motivations, his dick doesn’t work so he has to start an anti-republican party, yeah goddamn it, he’s got a big axe to grind and it is a Michael Crichton shaped axe, always planning crimes in his head, smuggling, how to poison his cigarettes, murders sports teacher, Agatha Christie works in a hospital, poisons are also medicines, toxic substances, getting rid of unwanted family members, arsenic serial killer in Bremen [Margarethe Gottfried], murdered mostly family members, I need to play this poisoner, where her head rolled, they lost her head in WWII, killing one gym teacher is enough for most people, Zero Cool, Scratch One, they all have girls on the cover, Signet 1969, an American doctor goes to Spain, perform an autopsy, in France, handsome, charming, privileged, sounds like Crichton, the setup for Dracula, mistaken for a CIA agent, Dracula crossed with North By Northwest, krik-ton, travel fellowship, the Cannes film festival, wrote it in 11 days, “no-good”, don’t ask writers, whichever one which just came out is the best one ever, I’m not sure this one works, the ones that sell the best, dashed off really quickly, an idea for a Christmas story, just like a tweet, Arthur Conan Doyle, his fairy stuff, Georgette Heyer, a gothic romance, an antisemitism problem, forthcoming Charles Stross is a regency romance “Laundry Files” novel, the Stross that finally wins me over, a great guy in person, Olav [Rokne] is upset, he [Stross] needs to eat, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Berlin, change trains, cheap euroticket, trains, safer than American trains, a waste of time to fly, suffered through very carefully, some good stuff in here, wrong and too long, Miss Shaw is awesome, every so often she goes and pulls a heist, evil Miss Marple, criminal Miss Marple, stabs people with her sharp umbrella, trying to make this today as a film, Glass Onion and the other one [Knives Out], done as almost a comedy, Death In Paradise, golden age of crime, locked room tropical, good detective, otherwise idiot, male cops, old fashioned traditional mysteries in a different setting, the inkling, are there a bunch of alternative female heisters, kinda yeah, a fun move, by the numbers with a twist at the end, thank you for the birthday wishes, Cora’s mom in Helsinki, of course I know who Paul is, known by grandmothers all over Germany, a late baby of late babies, careless of you to lose them all, they look like foreign invaders, a panel crashed by a Mexican street vendor, Pirate Enlightenment, Logan’s Run.

SIGNET - Odds On By John Lange

Odds On by John Lange - paperback back

SIGNET - Odds On by John Lange

Hard Case Crime - ODDS ON by Michael Crichton

Blackstone - ODDS ON by Michael Crichton

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The SFFaudio Podcast #723 – READALONG: Drug Of Choice by Michael Crichton

Jesse, Paul Weimer, and Cora Buhlert talk about Drug Of Choice by Michael Crichton

Talked about on today’s show:
John Lange, 8th published, 6th under the pseudonym, 1970, finished San Cristobal, 1969, he’s on the island, pretty cool, year wrtitten, Back In The U.S.S.R., song title chapters, 18th Nervous Breakdown, we’re getting the idea here, very late 60s, Hard Case Crime, art in the audiobook, proposed adaptation, Robert Forster, “High Synch”, happy ending, a warning, Elliot Gould will ride the tiger, an announcement of the movie, Burt Reynolds and Ned Beatty, an uneven filmmaker, Coma by Robin Cook, a 1978 movie based on a 1977 novel, very similar, a lot of similar scenes, anesthesia tanks, cops are out to get you, a 70s movie theme, The Parallax View (1974), if it was not definitely not written by Michael Crichton…, too well put together, Philip K. Dick is exactly correct, surrealism, unreliable to himself (and to us), the narrator is mad, he gets on the plane, blacked out windows, I think I know where this is going, oh it was!, waking up in the hotel room, bad food on a bad serving tray, so Philip K. Dick, Norman Spinrad, everybody is on drugs all the time, the world is awful and horrible, The Congress (2013), Stanisław Lem, a pill, crapsack world, blissful reality that’s not there, people turning on aluminum foil, the Philip K. Dick novel…, Time Out Of Joint, lemonade stand, We Can Remember It For You Wholesale, Severance, Paycheck, drug and hypnosis, losing weight, all the work that they do, sandpaper for a skinned knee, expensive, massage a couple of things, the setup, this blue pee thing, House, M.D., vacation, the chase, the economics of this island, the company is going bankrupt, Philip K. Dick would have gone whole hog, you’re our solution to this, The Matrix scene, ends in an insane asylum, a nurse who flips him over, the bang big boom, blow everything up at the end, Stephen King, Reminiscence (2021), living in his own memories, retreated into his dreams, Abres Los Ojos (1997), Vanilla Sky (2001), the story of the song, Paul McCartney, Chuck Berry, the Beach Boys, those Ukraine girls really knock me out, attacking the idea of nationalism, a reflection, the premise for the song, returning to the Soviet Union, the west isn’t that great, there’s no place like home, you would never want to go back, stay in Canada or wherever, East Germany, people of pension age, full bags of goodies, in a previous podcast, translations of books available in the East, Tom Sawyer, Stanisław Lem, Boris and Arkady Strugatsky, Masters Of The Universe are not East German, Coma has that scene, Michael Douglas, a very modern film, a therapeutic abortion, cut up for parts, a really political interesting film, they show the abortion on screen, they cut up her brain, the German dub, up in stirrups, all references to the Vietnam War cut from Magnum, P.I., evil Nazis, sick of Nazis, Alan Rickman’s Hans Gruber becomes Jack Gruber, he’s a fake German, fake terrorists, character actors, that guy fought Bruce Willis, listening to the radio, blend in like a member of the staff, a critique, why are they doing this, save a little money, a mind palace, its for control of people, propaganda and drugs, in both, part of the scheme, Sharon Tate, we’ll never know, Scientology, set in Los Angeles, Chicago, a vacation to the beach, they’re contemporaries, both doctors, the modern medical thriller, Cook was bigger, Disclosure (1994), Dick and Crichton were both married five times, the hotel is their laboratory, a money making scheme, travel agent, coprophagia, you can do anything there!, Westworld (1973), Futureworld (1976), James Brolin, replace people with androids, controlling with drugs, very plausible, a science fiction novel, a drug dealer book, a thriller, techno-thrillers from the 1970s, it doesn’t look like one but it is one, the floating people, the major difference, Cook is about the medicine, Crichton is about the ideas, Binary, gases!, tanks full of gases, mixed in carbon monoxide, to steak organs, no one notices?, well explained, notable changes to the skin, part of the plot, a good poison, not a bad way to poison people, rewatch it, a pretty good movie, pretty crunchy, Michael Douglas and Geneviève Bujold, she would have been a good Kate Mulgrew, Peter Benchley, the casting couch section of this book, our hero is in Hollywood, an agent, its all there (not the focus of the book), he worked in Hollywood, he put it in the book, not an expose, women are being exploited, this drug effect, done to our hero in the white room, white gas, sensory deprivation, become compliant, faking?, gets out through dreams, the backstory for the company, to control people, to make people see what their owners want them to see, They Live (1988), we know there’s something wrong, we see all the homeless, joblessness is up, until you put on these glasses, or you start eating that trashcan, we’re being controlled by lizard people or aliens, Robert E. Howard’s The Shadow Kingdom, serpent men are replacing us, Doctor Who, The Silurians, The Sea Devils, Zygons, practically a Philip K. Dick idea, A Scanner Darkly, his drug book, bent by drugs, a drug picker, zonked on his drug, a metaphor and a reality, drugs are super-pushed, all your ads are for drugs now, forbidden to advertise prescription drugs, cream for vaginal dryness, Vagisan!, a trigger, Trump!, eventually those boys grow up, patients, doctors, he gives in and does, a drug rep, of course it’s addictive, heavily pushed, Vicodin, nasty stuff, nasty stuff in the basement, party at Cora’s house after the podcast, neoliberalism is coming to all the other countries, way too much, ouch!, fuck those pills, the word ouch, an instinctive, utsch, forearms in icewater, swearing and saying ow ow ow, they can last longer, reaction to being touched, words of pain as a prophylactic against pain, are you ok?, everybody needs attention, band-aids can be psychosomatic, hoping that it would hurt, words, a dopamine reaction, what they think is a bad word, they threw a grenade in the room, what the effects of drugs are, change your brain, change your reaction to reality, a dry run of what they can do, what you can do to your employees, they hijack him, compliant with the drug, a cheat, spectacular success, very very different writers, a better ending, the dark ending, an apocalyptic ending, the beginning of The Matrix (1999), Crichton’s ending, we’re all deluding ourselves, three games of tennis with Sharon, he broke his tennis racket, that is what happened until it didn’t, the confabulatory experience of reality, live in the mountains for three weeks, come home to a nice hot shower and a brunch at Denny’s, life is wonderful, derived from sexually transmitted shark disease, a random Crichtonian bit, a fashion for sharks, random, a rare orchid, the biography of John Lange, a marine institute in Florida, a fake bio, Lawrence Block wrote two Paul Kavanaugh books, The Triumph Of Evil, Lawrence Block wrote a spy book, Eaters Of The Dead by Michael Crichton, Ibn Fadlan’s expedition to the northern lands, a retelling of Beowulf, J.K. Rowling is a terrible TERF, a fake biography of Robert Galbraith, pretending to be in the military, always fake, magical dream, ordinary housewife, writing classes at Brigham Young University, she knew what writing was, I was inspired by Jane Austen or whatever, Fifty Shades Of Grey woman, her husband is a screenwriter, they probably have a golden retriever, The Cuckoo’s Calling, a good mystery, what a lot of great writers do, Richard Stark’s story, Donald E. Westlake, The Hook, the book promotion industry, the number 1 writer in the world, is it me?, my name?, the Harry Potter thing?, by the author of, solid midlist, BBC TV adaptation, Killing Eve, self-published, theatre critic on the side, the story of Crichton, this John Lange is doing pretty good, John Norman was John Lange, the Gor books, 1966, Stephen King, the Bachman books, Seanan McGuire, John Brunner, why Westlake left [science fiction], Brandon Sanderson, too much of a living, outliers, George R.R. Martin is mostly the TV guy, Sanderson is only books, he could live just on his books, always on the stands, barely started his career, crazy numbers, people will pay you to write books, wasn’t made on the fact he wrote the last Robert Jordan books, Tor pushes Sanderson heavily, they push him because he sells, The Wheel Of Time books, one of those Salt Lake City guys, creative writing class, Elantris, Mistborn, Warbreaker, a know quantity, the one he’s mined the most, people who wrote sequels by other hands, Douglas Adams sequels, Tom Clancy sequels, Garth Nix, what a lot of people want, James Patterson, doesn’t write his own books anymore, not everybook is for everybody, doesn’t fulfill the promise, this is a thriller novel I gotta blow things up, if this goes on…, we’re not living in a simulation we’re living in a stimulation, early Michael Crichton, nice and tight, period pieces, well written, delivering me the story, ideas injected, no impurities, a resident doctor, a bit of an everyguy, dating actresses, an author insert, not mentioned to be six foot nine, nobody says “how tall you are, sir”, semi-autobiographical, to finance medical school, a writer that couldn’t help but do it, he studied a lot of stuff, almost nobody is like Michael Crichton, screenwriter, writer, doctor, film director, almost nobody is all of those things, not a normal guy, super-interested, thinking about drugs, speculative, psychoactive drugs, general interest, trying to understand reality, how many Stephen King movies has Stephen King directed?, I will fix The Shining, I will improve on his work on my book, Physical Evidence is not a good movie but it is entertaining, well put together, and funny, The Great Train Robbery, one of the best movies of the 1970s, virus from space, The Andromeda Strain, The Terminal Man was serialized in Playboy, about electronics, if he wrote nothing else The Andromeda Strain would stand on its own as a great book, let’s blow it all up at the end, basically a science fiction novel, Hard Case Crime ventures into science fiction, attractive woman on fire, she’s hot, she’s a starlet, Sharon Wilder, glow girl, plastic dresses, Binary, multiple women in it, there’s nothing to cancel in here, it doesn’t say the casting couch is good, everybody’s now going to be subject to the casting couch, Hollywood is a drug, virtual vacations, we’re all working for the drug, that’s the ending of A Scanner Darkly, propagating the plant that makes the drug, it is supposed the plant is propagating itself through people, a Philip K. Dick move, this early Michael Crichton kick, very 1960s and also so modern, manufactured pop and film stars, The Beatles, the Hollywood hills, as fake as The Monkees, all of your music is all fake, just as fake as our music, what makes it an old book: he goes to a travel agency, third world and immigrant communities, Easy Go in a few weeks, George Segal, Mike Hodges directed it, his violent seizures, violence now triggers a pleasurable response, they put some wires on his head and give him zaps, on the The Lack podcast, an Anthony Burgess novel called The Wanting Seed, they misunderstand me, the movie of A Clockwork Orange, Malthusianism, world is overpopulated as usual, encouraging homosexuality, start wars, canned food from the bodies, an angry scary sounding book, 1961, A Long Trip To Teatime, Puma, anarchist conservative?, weird British conservatives, Quest For Fire (1981)’s language, J.H. Rosny, Year One (2009), prehistorical romance, DMR Books, niche, Robert J. Sawyer neanderthal books, Genndy Tartakovsky’s Primal, giant horned creature, went extinct 10,000, always the passive voice, we ate them, who killed all the large creatures?, we probably, Earthshock, Adric killed the dinosaurs, traveler, cheering for Wesley Crusher, Wil Wheaton is a really cool guy now, bad writing, genius kid on a ship, the giant essay on SeaQuest DSV, nobody is trying to reboot it, Shaun Duke doesn’t like Jesse, it itself was reboot, Irwin Allen’s Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea, submarines are cool period, submarine adventures and warfare, a pulp series, Das Boot, Black Sea (2014), The Hunt For Red October, Roy Scheider, Blue thunder, Michael Ironside takes the lead, he wasn’t a villain in V?, Robert Englund, Jonathan Banks, the heavy from Better Call Saul and Breaking Bad, glorifying drug dealing, its about capitalism and people trying to find their place in it, make some coffee, black tea, Ceylon, Frisian Blend, Earl Grey, Prince Alberic And The Snake Lady is next, Connor is doing fine in Cassel, cheap train tickets.

Drug Of Choice by Michael Crichton

Overkill by Michael Crichton

Coma (1978)

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The SFFaudio Podcast #679 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: The Last Of The Masters by Philip K. Dick

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #679 – The Last Of The Masters by Philip K. Dick – read by Mike Vendetti. This is a complete and unabridged reading of the story (1 hour 16 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Evan Lampe, Will Emmons, and Mike Vendetti.

Talked about on today’s show:
Orbit Science Fiction, Volume 1, No. 5, 1954, the Philip K. Dick estate is a fuckin liar, copyright office, like a leak (of a public document), hand written lies are kinda shocking, Imaginative Tales, November 1955, when it happens over and over again it isn’t an honest mistake, its called fraud, Mike is donating it to Jesse!, nice guy together, anarchists on twitter, mutual aid, a commercial reality, submitting ourselves to Jeff Bezos’ reign, a resource the Jesse Trove and the Mike Well, no pledges or suing, this overarching evil government, so applicable today, vaccinated, bacteria masked, it sounds like they’re the ones with the weapons, outside the Master’s domain, the village up ahead, the children started dying, the anarchist world, the milk, the well, the season change, natural immunity?, not answered in the story, pick a team, the robot or the anarchist’s league, we’re divided, getting into Dick’s head, is the state his wife again?, this utopian dream, somebody has to cook my dinner, the weight of Dick’s body, been in hospital, moving somebody out of a bed, an ancient robot, Vulcan’s Hammer, Talby, a motorcycle to throw his weight around, The Great C, James P. Crow, repurposed, the interior world, The Valley Of The Blind by H.G. Wells, removing his eyes, a story about hubris, ambivalent, different rules, they’re sending armies but there’s no-one to fight, The Walking Dead, recent military history, Spanish vs. Aztecs, different conceptions about how war is fought, slaves vs. slaughter, it wasn’t horses or guns it was attitude, the Chinese vs. the Mongols, The Art Of War by Sun Tzu, the Vietnam War in 1965, no nation has ever gained by entering a prolonged war, Afghanistan, Mike is 80, still in Korea, the profits are not for the state, where did this come from, July 15, 1953, people rising up and killing their governments all over the planet, a Boogaloo Boi on twitter, they’re not interested in giving us nice things, an alternative uTube called Means TV, Teenage Stepdad, you’re getting owned, what happened there, a self-own, Seize The Memes, the philosophy, “I Haz Diarheha And A Boaner”, if you spell it wrong the smart people will correct you and that’s called engagement, bottom up engagement, the way Boogaloo Boi militias work is use memes as a shibboleth, the Proud Boys leader is an FBI informer, a free association, the league, a mistake, a robot and a civilization mistake, “an agent” is someone acting on someone else’s behalf, how the Mormons go, an operator, searchin out the last states, there’s a test, talking to the citizens of this town, how the war against governments happened, East Germany, Poland, it was France first, France survived without a government for a month in 1968, Murray Bookchin’s The Third Revolution, the Eastern Block against their dominators, in the States and Russia, root and branch, a planned economy, a decrepit guy (robot), destroying atomic weapons, make war no more, the government is causing war, a rationalist straw man, simply diverting, effervescent with ideas, entertaining vs. interesting, a faux macho sequence, when they film this stupid story, its Taken (2008), I have a very special set of skills (confronting a bureaucracy), The Variable Man, a little virus, sniffing around for government, agents from the enclave are in the bar, what causes the collapse, getting rid of the nukes, civilizations, North Korea, Iran, Libya, your neighbours are the Mongols, no government vs. conscription, fed up, agriculture, James C. Scott’s Against The Grain: A Deep History Of The Earliest States, Seeing Like A State: How Certain Schemes To Improve The Human Condition Have Failed, the origins of agriculture, a continuity from hunter gatherers, an ecological response, grains that mature at the same time, that can be stored, taxed, and transported, bushels, shifting cultivation strategies, we study states because that’s what we have records for, a minuscule footnote in the human experience, stateless societies, the anarchists are right to , Jared Diamond on the shapes of continents, when do the non-farmers enter the picture, the mongol hordes, when they take over parts of France, Caesar’s texts about the Gauls and the Germans, look what he said about us, Evan taught world history for many years, the silk roads, tributary relationships, the nomadic people vs. the sedentary civilization, four times in Chinese history, stateless or quasi-stateless, their cultural identity depended on them forming states, looking at that out world, why does the farmer want to sell them water, pinks?, 50 dollar bills, pink slips, who issues this stuff, our anarchist who gets killed, the sheep are chewing the grass too low, accidentally or all part of an argument, mech stuff, mechanistic civilization, a lawyer a doctor and some books, what do you need a lawyer for?, sold a piece of real estate for some yellow slips, I’ve never paid for anything in my whole life, how do you sell land without a state and land records?, no property rights without states, the Code Of Hammurabi, family based rights to hunter gather on the Kalahari, not alienable, protecting your cow, they didn’t try to kidnap the governor (Whitmer) of Michigan, not a race war a civil war, Boys vs. Bois, if your tattoos say fuck the police, protection for Black Lives Matters protests, Kyle Rittenhouse, how to join antifa, show up dressed in black, that was a government, Rittenhouse [wasn’t] a Boogaloo Boi, Mike lives in a red area of Colorado, open carry, real thick glasses and a gun, from a kid to a threat, the extraordinary thing, confronting the police with actual firearms, they’re not Black Panthers, seems right wing to Evan, the left wing vs. right wing decision, equality vs. hierarchy and tradition, Thomas Paine vs. Edmund Burke debate, anti-vaxx people in the red states, the most virulent, the Fauci ouchie, horse dewormer [Ivermectin], what the state is proposing, the internet in 1918, Jesse has studied this extensively, this exact conversation with Paul Weimer, there are forces that want to control how we respond to stealing our shit, Ivermectin is a generic [patent expired], the new vaccines are all patented, “science” is closed and for profit, billionaires are made on selling to the government, hard to handle, a study on Ivermectin on the NIH meta-analysis, should we study Ivermectin more?, moderate certainty evidence, apparent safety and low cost, news sports and COVID (on your phone), for dogs and horses and , horse aspirin, a Nobel prize for its use in humans, a prophylactic and a treatment for COVID, a brand new study, a cabal of giant evil drug companies, Jesse’s mom was in hospital for 3 weeks as a result of her 2nd COVID shot, you don’t need masks, lying on TV, lie to me now and lying in the past doesn’t matter, willy nilly dosing, horses are much bigger than humans, shitting out the lining of their stomachs, a little investigation shows that was false, a totem of a certain skepticism that might be irrational, a mini-stroke, all the beds were taken up by unvaccinated COVID patients, a Pfizer pill, what is a government for and why do we trust it, not just for the trading of land, rely on my good friend Mike, laws that apply to everybody, the arms and legs of government, Bohrs, that’s a weird name, 200 years and ego got into it, a guy creeping around ladies hospital rooms, Fowler, the knowledge without the creep, was the ego originally programmed, Dick’s rules of robotics: 1. the programming of the robot is not what the outcome will be, The Monkey’s Paw, Isaac Asimov, programming a bureaucratic robot, a DMV agent, guess I gotta rebuild the state, surplus population, insect-like airships, massive military vs. Bernie Buff memes, asymmetrical warfare, set in Virginia, Fairfax, Evan’s tri-racial isolates, resource importation, how a religious organization is an alternative to a nation state, Souvenir by Philip K. Dick, The Baroque Cycle by Neal Stephenson, feudal obligations, fish don’t talk about water, the prison is novel, prison vs. the school system, the Children’s Crusade, invade Palestine, I get to kill that’s awesome, the way Mormons operate, white shirt and tie, agents of the Mormon church, if they want to be LDS they are required, a non-state actor, the League Of Nations, superman is not the leader of the Justice League he’s just the most famous member, league chairmen, Super Friends, the Justice Society vs. the Justice League, team anarchist vs. team justice, an official history, Mike was at a hockey game…, Mike tests well, drafted vs. enlisted, choice not chance, the buddy plan, Fort Carson, get a [COVID] shot or lose your job, born into the state, are there options now?, inconvenient to not be a member of a state, stateless people, Tolby and Bohrs are both big, he rubbed his big hands together, a few games of throw with the local peasants, some of those village wenches, tired of doing nothing, the big commercial centers, some mecho stuff, things made by machine, horse, crude plow, that’s a nice town, they’re pilgrims, ironite walking staffs, are these anarchists a de-facto government?, the girl impaled by the branch, they set us free!, we don’t pay for anything, two lank men, identification, sealed plastic cards, AL, even the girl?, Sylvia, Upon The Dull Earth, girlfriend is a witch, Penn and Sylvia, languid greed, head tax, we don’t pay tax, its like the League is the government now, I’m so paranoid now kill everyone on the suspicion list, the robot sleeps, the robot has a desk, Weather Underground, organizations where the government isn’t doing its job properly, the history of Switzerland, surrounded by countries they are not allied with, bad immigration policies, marriage between homosexuals in 2021, the only thing mined in Switzerland is salt, government acting like an insurance company, chem and bacteriological weapons, probing for spies, neither team is good, roving gangs, the Oath Keepers, Special Forces Motorcycle Club, keep the peace, protect property, Three Percenters, you meme, a Hawaiian shirt covered with military gear, an anti or ironic uniform, Hells Angels, drug trafficking and gun violence, ex-military, ex-bomber pilots, Sons Of Anarchy, hangaround is a rank, a rocker patch vs. fully patched, initiations, Under And Alone [by William Queen], exclusionary measures, the cops are always trying to infiltrate you, you have to know the real history of the anarchist league, study in our camp, a fun story, effervescent with ideas, a weird kind of story, odd compared to other science fiction stories, pops in his brain, more like politics, what’s our relationship with other humans, super creative, Dick ratting out one of his friends, he likes the taste of boot, Fredric Jameson, Stanisław Lem was the competition, projection, almost from Tolby’s perspective, sweaty boobs, a random image of a woman that’s just one big breast, that whole thing on the wall is Philip K. Dick’s brain, trees around?, action set piece stories are his worse stories, what kind of message would this story send if filmed, they won’t deal with public health properly, the heat, global warming, 200 years later, the mechanistic society, he wrote it in the summer, that ugly wallpaper Bohrs woke up to is the wallpaper Dick’s wife put up, how these guys made their living, how much thought did he put into this, Edgar Allan Poe, mostly writing about states, how societies function, reactionary moralistic state, The Man Who Japed, The World Jones Made, randomocracy, Solar Lottery, he really tries to describe an anarchist world, not a goal but an opposition, I see you complaining about capitalism but yet you live in a capitalistic society, not fighting stupid wars, it made some guy really wealthy and proved something to his dad, explanations, the way pirate ships and this podcast is done, quartermaster, not trying to be a leader, organization, Blake’s 7 is about a prison break from a Nineteen Eighty-Four/Brave New World society, they never take orders from Blake, the way a family is run, go live with mom for a while, early states laws, making fathers and husbands the head of the family, compared to Tahiti, the matrilineal system, property, something scarce to pass on to your son, unless they go on Maury Povich, Jerry Springer, the bloody sheet nonsense, the veil, all about paternity certainty, my glass is empty, fill it up, he’s like an occupying army, its like the anarchist league actually runs things, militia, “the thrice damned Second Amendment”, a podcast without Paul, the mafia as a state, they do the lottery, an obsession with centrality, all power is centralized, “you no supeek mafia”, side-government, like the KKK or Hamas, you don’t hang up on me, you need to investigate this, the UN Gang, if you don’t have services from government, keeping us divided, playing up racism to avoid class solidarity, poor people are almost everybody you’ve ever met, “government should be like an insurance company that you never think about and don’t pay very much into”, some prevention of invasion, overseas adventures, Philip K. Dick is not a very wise man but a very interesting thinker, very sparky brain, it somehow works as a story, short stories vs. novels, Now Wait For Last Year, the decrepit leader, essential and decrepit, through his decrepitude, the USA has been governed by the decrepit, was Eisenhower really ill that week?, a criticism of the Cold War buildup, Project: Plowshare and The Zap Gun, they develop the weapons, turning weapons into toys, the F-35, M-1 Abrams, it is just stuff in magazines and books, commodities, the microwave came out of war tech, standing in front of radar dishes and warming up, radar ranges, two Dicks in a row, Evan needs to do the Heinlein critique, not in the tank for Tanstaafl, standing up for the Social Credit Heinlein, who are the true heirs of Heinlein. I heard he was turgid, you can just read Scalzi now, he processed everything, taking back Lovecraft (away from Lovecraft).

The Last Of The Masters by Philip K. Dick

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The SFFaudio Podcast #496 – NEW RELEASES/RECENT ARRIVALS

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #496 – Jesse, Scott Danielson, and Paul Weimer talk about new books, audiobooks, and audio drama.

Talked about on today’s show:
a full size show, paperbooks, audiobooks newly released, stacking on desks and shelves, books a week, piling up, send me stuff season, a tonne of books being published, everybody needs publicity, organized by publisher, St. Martin’s Press, advanced readers copy, Deep Silence by Jonathan Maberry, Joe Ledger, Julie Davis, mail it to Julie, Julie’s reviews on Goodreads, a prolific reviewer, Maze Master by Kathleen O’Neal Gear, techno-thriller, retro virus, Coldfall Wood by Steven Saville, Henre The Hunter, William Shakespeare, haunting the forest outside of Windsor Castle, how to organize, piles, too many to read, Shaun Duke, Tor.com, three novellas, Vigilance by Robert Jackson Bennett, The Running Man (by Stephen King), The Haunting of Tram Car 015 by P. Djèlí Clark, The Black God’s Drums, The Test by Sylvain Neuvel, The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe by Kij Johnson, Irene Gallo, H.P. Lovecraft, The Dreamquest Of Unknown Kadath, The Twilight Pariah by Jeffrey Ford, a novella, are they listening to my podcast, William Morrow, Ahab’s Return, Or The Last Voyage, the premise of Moby-Dick, The Coode Street Podcast, the best of the year so-far, All Systems Red by Martha Wells, Harper Voyager, Dragonshadow by Elle Katharine White, A Study In Honor by Claire O’Dell, near future SF, civil war, a great cover, 11 hours, a mystery, world-building, a series, Temper by Nicky Drayden, similar to South Africa, twins, 14 hours, evocative of the works of…, annoying Jesse, everything in the kitchen sink, Astounding: John W. Campbell, Isaac Asimov, Robert A. Heinlein, L. Ron Hubbard, And The Golden Age of Science Fiction by Alec Nevala-Lee, 1,300 newly released audiobooks, when SFFaudio Podcast started, drowning in books both good and bad, moving product, no way to keep up, a podcast listener, Tantor Audio, Blackstone Audio, The Best Of Subterranean edited by William Shaffer, Ursula K. Le Guin’s collected short fiction, The Way Of The Shield by Marshall Ryan Maresca, all-paladin-like, The Silver Scar by Betsy Dornbusch, Boulder, Colorado, post-apocalyptic Earth, The Tomorrow Factory, Pinnacle City, The Rising Moon, The Freeze-Frame Revolution by Peter Watts, The Things, The Island, Blindsight, Rogue Moon by Algis Budrys, Who?, totally do-able, Planet Stories, March 1953 by William Tenn, Gardner F. Fox, Robert Moore Williams, Ross Rocklynne, Radio Archives, the height of the science fiction magazine era, the plateau, a great way to spend six hours, Archangel by William Gibson and Michael St. John Smith, audio drama, time travel, WWII, alternate future and past, Welcome to Dystopia: 45 Visions of What Lies Ahead edited by Gordon Van Gelder, stories by K.G. Anderson, Richard Bowes, Elizabeth Bourne, Scott Bradfield, J.S. Breukelaar, Jennifer Marie Brissett, Becca Caccavo, Don D’Ammassa, Stephanie Feldman, Eric James Fullilove, Ron Goulart, Eileen Gunn, Leslie Howle, Matthew Hughes, Janis Ian, Michael Kandel, Thomas Kaufsek, Paul La Farge, Yoon Ha Lee, Michael Libling, Heather Lindsley, Lisa Mason, Barry N. Malzberg, David Marusek, Mary Anne Mohanraj, James Morrow, Ruth Nestvold, Deji Bryce Olukotun, Marguerite Reed, Robert Reed, Madeleine E. Robins, Jay Russell, Geoff Ryman, James Sallis, J.M. Sidorova, Brian Francis Slattery, Harry Turtledove, Deepak Unnikrishnan, TS Vale, Leo Vladimirsky, Ray Vukcevich, Ted White, Paul Witcover, N. Lee Wood, Jane Yolen, dystopia, A Choice Of Gods by Clifford D. Simak, a lot of Simak from Audible Studios, the central intelligence of the universe, Salvation by Peter F. Hamilton, John Lee, Tantor Audio, Tamahome, how do you write that much?, Neal Stephenson, this thing called the internet, when does he sleep?, children’s fantasy novels, in 25 years he’s written 15 (BIG) books, short stories too, a prodigious output, The HPLHS adaptations of H.P. Lovecraft stories are on Audible, CDs vs. props, separate props, the deluxe editions, printed ephemera, Tantor.com, Icehenge by Kim Stanley Robinson, the full KSR experience, The Invincible by Stanisław Lem, everybody needs a little Lem, The Cyberiad, Dichronauts by Greg Egan, Dragon’s Egg by Robert L. Forward, Maissa Bessada, with a parasite, changing the laws of physics, not meant for audio, a very Greg Egan trick, review like mad, podcasts, Wooden Overcoats, a comedy on a Channel Island, rival funeral homes, narrated by a mouse, quite delightful, The Monster Hunters, a Marvel Comics audio drama, Wolverine: The Long Hunt, full of ads, is it worth it? tell Jesse, sort of X-Files-y, Serial Box podcast, worth a listen for horror fans,

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #439 – READALONG: The Fifth Head Of Cerberus by Gene Wolfe

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #439 – Jesse, Scott, and Paul Weimer discuss the novella entitled The Fifth Head Of Cerberus by Gene Wolfe

Talked about on today’s show:
Serberous?, the novella (not the whole book), maybe an accident maybe on purpose, very-Wolfeian, Orbit 10 edited by Damon Knight, fixup vs. novel?, V.R.T., to fully understand…, you need them all together, error or on purpose, many moons ago, novella is the perfect length for any Science Fiction work, read in publication order, old home week, Ender’s Shadow, Ender’s Game, cheating, the Alzabo Soup podcast, The Book Of The New Sun, condensed and distilled, Jorge Luis Borges <- I like what that guy's doing, I'm going to do me some of that -> George R.R. Martin, reader doing the heavy lifting, A Song Of Ice And Fire, almost a fantasy novel, a cloning story, Jack Vance, far future where science has become magic, the Dying Earth subgenre, no magic going on?, the sentences are full of magic, what does the title mean, is the reader the fifth head?, The Black Gate blog post, this story is a combination lock that allows many different combinations, info-dumping, somebody is a clone or a mirror or a part of his imagination, an unreliable narrator, a really good sign, this is Gene Wolfe’s thing, perfect memory, no memory, a consistent memory, how accurate are the details?, how many characters are there?, number five, is one of the characters is “Gene Wolfe”?, the father, the brother (David), the aunt, the lady in pink, the other clone in the warehouse, the four-armed dude is a character, the robot (Mr Millions), Marsh, the anthropologist, the brothel, how its revealed, he has been in prison, the only complete arc, we must infer the rest of them, the death of the father, Christopher Nolan should direct it, it is a complete work or it will be, clones of the same person, hinkey, hokey, or odd, all the books in the private library were written by his father, going to the Ws, very meta, are you a Nigerian prince? Jesse will believe you (for a minute), he is really old, which body did all the typing and research, daily dissertations, studying particular subjects (to be filled in in the labyrinth), The Library Of Babel, the only thing we know about readers is that they like books, writers are readers too, the ultimate fantasy is the place where all the stories are found, cloning to write, cloning to read, what’s up with the late night interrogations, is he psychoanalyzing?, or studying?, voight-kampff tests, what makes something or someone real?, Infinivox, Robert Reed’s Guest Of Honor, there was no quintessential cloning novel, why she is guest of honour, everybody is immortal, he could be downloading, being able to read three books at the same time, David isn’t one of the clones is he?, he escapes, theory and conjecture, nothing more than personality test?, gaining insight into himself, he’s clearly cloned a lot, “failures”, a slave who looks like him, four arms vs. five heads, societal cloning, impressions, “questionable things”, a brothel, a Frankenstian lab, The Island Of Dr Moreau, Littlefinger and Varos from Game Of Thrones, all sorts of play, what the kid’s doing with the frogs, experimenting with all the different ways of living and making life, mirrors and labyrinths, why he lives in a brothel, financial motivations, slave dealing, endless cycle, the Greek Tragedy elements, unfortunately that’s how the prophecy goes, genes are destiny, escaping the trap and escaping the cycle, A Song Of Ice And Fire, castrated folks, incest, pretty interesting, Nightflyers, Sandkings, that hardness, slavery and murder, colonization, genocide, colonialism, what information can we glean, the plastic replicas of the aboriginal stone tools, pre-stone tool culture, is Veill’s hypothesis correct?, does it matter?, good questions, John Marsh or a version of John Marsh, sending messages in the prison…to who?, the third novella, only identified as numbers, more to unlock, 666 to jump up on the stage, Hell, Hell is a stage, the theatre, the woman guard, what are the different theories on the title?, Maitre, the five clones, the maidenhead (virginity), bars and locked doors, suddenly he’s a mad scientist, the slave market visits, the great grandfather, a ROM?, reliability of information, why who is an abbo is important, robot protector, robot tutor, seemingly no emotions, very Christopher Nolan, if Gene Wolfe is the name of 5, one is a mirror of the other, one is a mirror of Earth and one is a mirror of Hell, one way of writing a story summary, what is the metaphor of the stage?, why is the stage stuff in there?, there’s stuff they want you to see, there’s a bunch going on back stage, a facade, the name of the house, The House Of The Dog, base and primal, a sexual position, what the significance of the stone tools (that are actually plastic), John V. Marsh, the significance is overblown because it is the only thing leftover, the kid then confabulates the culture, is David smarter or wiser?, when our father interviews you what does he call you?, escaping the traps, reading Odysseus, the cyclops, don’t give your name, the intertextual references, H.P. Lovecraft, Vernor Vinge, feeling like fantasy, part of the play, nurture vs. nature, it’s all fate, doomed, a metal prison, we seek self knowledge, why we seek, the little ape, we wish to discover why we fail, another reflection, the mirror world you can’t go to, to step through the looking glass, a myth or a fairy tale, trying to connect with the world of myth and legend, quest, maitre means head, like a head of a hotel, so cool, the theories of what is going to happen in Game Of Thrones, Martin’s plans, “interesting”, what bones were put into the soup, how the meal is going to digest, a very complex set of flavours, the anise, the bacon, mixed beans, a very hearty hearty meal, How To Read Gene Wolfe by Neil Gaiman:

1) Trust the text implicitly. The answers are in there.

2) Do not trust the text farther than you can throw it, if that far. It’s tricksy and desperate stuff, and it may go off in your hand at any time.

3) Reread. It’s better the second time. It will be even better the third time. And anyway, the books will subtly reshape themselves while you are away from them.Peace really was a gentle Midwestern memoir the first time I read it. It only became a horror novel on the second or the third reading.

4) There are wolves in there, prowling behind the words. Sometimes they come out in the pages. Sometimes they wait until you close the book. The musky wolf-smell can sometimes be masked by the aromatic scent of rosemary. Understand, these are not today-wolves, slinking grayly in packs through deserted places. These are the dire-wolves of old, huge and solitary wolves that could stand their ground against grizzlies.

5) Reading Gene Wolfe is dangerous work. It’s a knife-throwing act, and like all good knife-throwing acts, you may lose fingers, toes, earlobes or eyes in the process. Gene doesn’t mind. Gene is throwing the knives.

6) Make yourself comfortable. Pour a pot of tea. Hang up a DO NOT DISTURB Sign. Start at Page One.

7) There are two kinds of clever writer. The ones that point out how clever they are, and the ones who see no need to point out how clever they are. Gene Wolfe is of the second kind, and the intelligence is less important than the tale. He is not smart to make you feel stupid. He is smart to make you smart as well.

8) He was there. He saw it happen. He knows whose reflection they saw in the mirror that night.

9) Be willing to learn.

the dogs always stand in, how the red woman and her prophecies play out, king’s blood, a victim of her own witchery, a deep analysis of the opening credits of the Game Of Thrones TV series, it’s not really a map, it’s an inverse orrery, mechanistic movement, behind the scenes, a Dyson’s sphere, when Winterfell falls, a nice metaphor for the creation of a secondary world, Lord Dunsany’s The Wonderful Window, Golden Dragon City, ways of reading, different methods and techniques with which to approach, an interview with Gene Wolfe, the Korean War, once you think you’re smart that’s when they get you, getting killed shows that you’re not smart, I’m a much more literary man, it’s about the love of writing, how ethereal or gossamer Borges stuff is, how it connects to us, it can live without us reading, a story being spun, its the yarn itself, it needs us more than Borges’ stuff does, what would make a failed Gene Story would look like, that’s his brand, Stanisław Lem’s One Human Minute, a cute thought, a professor of 1920s and 1830, a more broad education, the Wikipedia entry for 1908, when you read the Wikipedia entry for 2017 in 100 years…, Durham Stevens, super-deep, The Island Of Doctor Death And Other Stories And Other Stories, he knew exactly what he was doing, a confluence of events, a critical hit, stumbled upon, its not an accident, Faulkner’s The Sound And The Fury, Proust, questions of identity, Sandman, he has always been a really good guy to following the reading of, Douglas Adams, look at this, his essays about Edgar Allan Poe, an even better non-fiction writer than a fiction writer, a book of essays, a mini essay about cities in SimCity 2000, a little Easter Egg, “ruminate”, A View From The Cheap Seats, Philip Reeve, The Hungry Cities Chronicles, The Wind From A Burning Woman (collection) by Greg Bear, this is Lankhmar, Dungeons & Dragons, a city adventure, behind every door is another potential story, a tiny little slice, fully expanded, Fritz Leiber’s not as good as I want him to be, next level stuff, Gene Wolfe never won a Hugo, there’s no justice, you know nothing, Nebulas, who is our best writer?, no official audiobook version, Audible.com, the best of Gene Wolfe on audio is a good idea, a hard no, off the Wolfe subject.

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #213 – READALONG: The Cyberiad: Fables for the Cybernetic Age by Stanisław Lem

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #213 – Scott, Jesse, and Tamahome talk about the Audible.com audiobook The Cyberiad: Fables for the Cybernetic Age by Stanisław Lem

Talked about on today’s show:
reality shows, Duck Dynasty, about words, puns, rhyming, nothing, negative, was Lem a robot?, modern or timeless?, H.G. Wells, full of great ideas, fables, fairy tales, The Brothers Grimm, royalty,

“Have it compose a poem- a poem about a haircut! But lofty, tragic, timeless, full of love, treachery, retribution, quiet heroism in the face of certain doom! Six lines, cleverly rhymed, and every word beginning with the letter S!!” …

Seduced, shaggy Samson snored.
She scissored short. Sorely shorn,
Soon shackled slave, Samson sighed,
Silently scheming
Sightlessly seeking
Some savage, spectacular suicide.”

shooting an arrow at a barn, The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy by Douglas Adams, Robert Sheckley, robots, the Google Doodle tribute to Stanisław Lem, a metaphor for our reality, the Wikipedia entry on Fables, Aesop’s Fables, Eric S. Rabkin, Scott is interested in Lem, Karol Wojtyła (aka Pope John Paul II), Poland, a small interesting country, Memoirs Found In A Bathtub, Audible’s audiobook, why did Jenny “Lem” this Lem?, Fox is not necessarily always the same fox, distant past? distant future?, “mostly harmless” palefaces, Princess Crystal, everybody’s a robot, a suitable suitor,

“Your Highness, my name is Myamlak and I crave nought else but to couple with you
in a manner that is liquid, pulpy, doughy and spongy, in accordance with the customs of
my people. I purposely permitted myself to be captured by the pirate, and requested him
to sell me to this portly trader, as I knew the latter was headed for your kingdom. And I
am exceeding grateful to his laminated person for conveying me hither, for I am as full of
love for you as a swamp is full of scum.”
The princess was amazed, for truly, he spoke in paleface fashion, and she said:
“Tell me, you who call yourself Myamlak the paleface, what do your brothers do
during the day?”
“O Princess,” said Ferrix, “in the morning they wet themselves in clear water, pouring
it upon their limbs as well as into their interiors, for this affords them pleasure.
Afterwards,
they walk to and fro in a fluid and undulating way, and they slush, and they
slurp, and when anything grieves them, they palpitate, and salty water streams from
their eyes, and when anything cheers them, they palpitate and hiccup, but their eyes
remain relatively dry. And we call the wet palpitating weeping, and the dry—laughter.”
“If it is as you say,” said the princess, “and you share your brothers’ enthusiasm for
water, I will have you thrown into my lake, that you may enjoy it to your fill, and also I
will have them weigh your legs with lead, to keep you from bobbing up …”
“Your Majesty,” replied Ferrix as the sage had taught him, “if you do this, I must
perish, for though there is water within us, it cannot be immediately outside us for longer
than a minute or two, otherwise we recite the words ‘blub, blub, blub,’ which signifies our
last farewell to life.”
“But tell me, Myamlak,” asked the princess, “how do you furnish yourself with the
energy to walk to and fro, to squish and to slurp, to shake and to sway?”
“Princess,” replied Ferrix, “there, where I dwell, are other palefaces besides the
hairless variety, palefaces that travel predominantly on all fours. These we perforate until
they expire, and we steam and bake their remains, and chop and slice, after which we
incorporate their corporeality into our own. We know three hundred and seventy-six
distinct methods
of murdering, twenty-eight thousand five hundred and ninety-seven
distinct methods of preparing the corpses, and the stuffing of those bodies into our bodies
(through an aperture, called the mouth) provides us with no end of enjoyment.
Indeed,
the art of the preparation of corpses is more esteemed among us than astronautics and is
termed gastronautics, or gastronomy—which, however, has nothing to do with
astronomy.”
“Does this then mean that you play at being cemeteries, making of yourselves the
very coffins that hold your four-legged brethren?”

the poet robot,

Trurl adjusted, modulated, expostulated,
disconnected, ran checks, reconnected, reset, did everything he could think of, and the
machine presented him with a poem that made him thank heaven Klapaucius wasn’t
there to laugh—imagine, simulating the whole Universe
from scratch, not to mention
Civilization in every particular, and to end up with such dreadful doggerel! Trurl put in six
cliche filters, but they snapped like matches; he had to make them out of pure corundum
steel. This seemed to work, so he jacked the semanticity up all the way, plugged in an
alternating rhyme generator—which nearly ruined everything, since the machine
resolved to become a missionary among destitute tribes on far-flung planets. But at the
very last minute, just as he was ready to give up and take a hammer to it, Trurl was
struck by an inspiration; tossing out all the logic circuits, he replaced them with
self-regulating egocentripetal narcissistors. The machine simpered a little, whimpered a
little, laughed bitterly, complained of an awful pain on its third floor, said that in general it
was fed up, though, life was beautiful but men were such beasts and how sorry they’d all
be when it was dead and gone. Then it asked for pen and paper. Trurl sighed with relief,
switched it off and went to bed.

Men are such beasts but we’ll be sad when they’re gone, the paperbook, kudos to narrator Scott Aiello, satire of something, Mandrillion the Greatest, ruler of the Multitudians, the perfect advisor, fantasy with Science Fiction language, lawyer soup, Escape Pod, Peter Swirski, A Stanislaw Lem Reader, reviews, people who review Lem, Lem = genius, sitting in awe, “Imagine a mixture of Borges, Calvino, Saint-Exupéry, Pynchon, Douglas Adams, Samuel Beckett, L. Frank Baum, Dr. Seuss, Lewis Caroll, and perhaps a little Philip K. Dick. That’s what this is like, sort of.”, complete impatience with reading “another one of these or another one of those”, A Perfect Vacuum, a big show-off, the ideas per story quotient, Gene Wolfe, Jorge Luis Borges, meta, overwhelming wordplay, digressions aplenty, format and rules, classic Hard SF, the hyperdrive handwaviumed away, all of language is handwavium, Sodium stars with an N, we think when we’ve named something we’ve understood it, make sense out of nonsense, stardust into toilet seats:

Feeling dismay rather
than disappointment at this neglect, I immediately sat down and wrote The Scourge of
Reason
, two volumes, in which I showed that each civilization may choose one of two
roads to travel, that is, either fret itself to death, or pet itself to death. And in the course
of doing one or the other, it eats its way into the Universe, turning cinders and flinders of
stars into toilet seats, pegs, gears, cigarette holders and pillowcases, and it does this
because, unable to fathom the Universe, it seeks to change that Fathomlessness into
Something Fathomable, and will not stop until the nebulae and planets have been
processed to cradles, chamber pots and bombs, all in the name of Sublime
Order, for only a Universe with pavement, plumbing, labels and catalogues is, in its sight, acceptable
and wholly respectable.

the are no rules in The Cyberiad, owookiee’s 1 star review of The Cyberiad, a Droopy cartoon as directed by Tex Avery, The Perfect Imitation adapted, saggy biologicals, Daniel Mróz’ illustrations, Tobias Buckell’s blog post about The Fate Of Today’s Book Bloggers, the way Luke Burrage reviews books, a constructed object vs. a piece of art, conversations between writers, how books should be talked about, the SFSignal new releases posts, zombie novels, you’re reading the books wrong, you should read by author, Donald E. Westlake, Lawrence Block, Telling Lies For Fun And Profit, Philip K. Dick, George R.R. Martin, Fred Himebaugh (@Fredosphere), Twitter fight!, looking for reasons not to read books, Your Movie Sucks by Roger Ebert, if a book sucks you usually stop reading that author entirely, Neal Stephenson, positive that tell you nothing about why it’s good, wandering through the woods eating rocks and bark, moods, Star Wars fans, get meta, reviewing novels vs. short stories, in the context, negative reviews tell you a lot more about a book than positive reviews, this book has too much science, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, panspermia and ancient astronauts, the finite and the infinite, iTunes U, characters on Battlestar Galactica are always confronted the question “what is human?”, synthesis, the enemy is the ally, the enemy is indistinguishable from one’s self, a space fable, Caprica, Sumerian Aramaic Sanskrit and Battlestar Galactica, Babylon 5, Firefly, a gift of kindness, Porco Rosso, Hayao Miyazaki, what is IT Tam?

Audible - The Cyberiad: Fables for the Cybernetic Age by Stanislaw Lem

Posted by Jesse Willis