The SFFaudio Podcast #689 – READALONG: The Midwich Cuckoos by John Wyndham

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #689 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, Maissa Bessada, and Trish E. Matson discuss The Midwich Cuckoos by John Wyndham

Talked about on today’s show:
we’re all taking the black pill today, The Day Of The Triffids, Chrysalids, Margaret Atwood, she’s on the stamps now, first president of Canada, just birthed a new monarch, stealing from Barbados, very John Wyndham, cozy catastrophe, Brian Aldiss, the John Carpenter movie, John Carpenter’s The Village Of The Damned, In The Mouth Of Madness, more sinister, surprised and pleased, the 1960 movie and the BBC audio drama, all the homework, the sequel movie, its in the public imagination, The Stepford Wives by Ira Levin, this book is very very dark, nicely mannered, really dark, escape to New Zealand, where they are accepted, the main character doesn’t blow himself, darker than how it ends on the page, most of the book, pods, every recorded place, the implication, we’ll be back, you’re going to kill us, picking up on the hints, what people get wrong, they make a big deal about the hands being cold on the initial night, zapped, fiddling with their hands, a symptom, based on both, it was cold, worst John Carpenter movie ever, Ghost Of Mars, Vampires, a good bad movie, Kirstie Alley was terrible, she looks nervous, Christopher Reeve is mostly just tall, David being different, not hive mind across genders, an excuse to get a kid away, Virginia Madsen, maybe goodness can survive, you need to feel suffering and loss in order to be a good person, dwelling in the graveyard, “the one who’s made for me”, they don’t gestate inside of themselves, probes, the aliens were not human shaped, the actual aliens, breaking the rules, Seanan McGuire, an ambush predator, Mimic by Donald A. Wollheim, Sarah Selby, very much X-Men, derivative of the period of mutants, New Mutants, the origin of this novel, The Golden Man by Philip K. Dick, sparkly skin, weird hair, xenogenesis, parthenogenesis, not marketed as Science Fiction, hard SF, how to setup societies, a very talky book, how to believe things, what to act on, mass hysteria, clipping a kid, the current real problem in society of doctors not believing women and people of color, swallowing it in little bits and pieces, we’re the ones eating that barley sugar, set in the 1990s, abortion is available on demand, home abortions, taking very hot baths, hanging themselves, Roe V. Wade, $6000 a month, you can abort with us, an on purpose death, pickle it, an alien, handled very badly, deftly handled, all euphemism, have a nice cup of tea, cuckolded, this book cuckolds women as well as men, the Zeleby nose, experimenting with this idea, a dog version of an alien in Alien 3 (1992), asking and answering questions, was it an alien spaceship that landed in the middle of the town, a deliberate landing, remote villages, on different dates, one ship on a mission, time taken between the needles, the kids don’t lie, refusing to answer, the behavior of cuckoo birds, sibling eggs, you’re just genes, your instinct is to kick the other eggs out of the nest, you mature faster, you’re meaner, you’re more aggressive, the sympathetic mother POV, mothers (and sometimes fathers) must be doting, you must live as the jungle does, sugar coating it, trying to tell us something about ourselves, it is not an allegory, our relationship to our children and each other and how we interact with the world around us, the cows start giving birth to strange looking cows, cows and dogs, we think of ourselves as top cow, we do that to dogs and cows all the time, we treat them the way aliens are treating us, this book is very old, women of child bearing age are implanted, a 17 year old, as young as 9, British nutrition in the 1950s, get the right pickles, girl power!, dreams: keep your baby, how are they going to handle it?, why won’t they do twelve year olds, perfectly accurate biology would be too toxic, some people think we couldn’t handle it, we don’t like thinking about it, guy shotguns himself after shotgunning a kid in the head, 1950s people vs. 2022 people, what about all the women who are women who weren’t born women, a trans man with a uterus, they won’t touch it in the show, there’s a difference between scientific accuracy and being an asshole, biology trumping everything, we need more sugar or it will be rejected, its medicine, facing facts as they are vs. believing what they want, the big lie and the big truth, COVID, The Death Of Grass by John Christopher, over in China something bad is happening, rust on wheat and rye, the stuff that keeps the topsoil from disappearing, a planetary catastrophe, hoarding, a veneer, a busy body, amped up, starvation, the safe zone, turning on a group that is outside of us, when the Russians nuke their small town, atomic cannons, Starship Troopers, Ogre, Ogle, the grange, like Hermione Granger, time to pay up, the Lord owns your land, the bailiff, the Lord hall, the kids move into the Lord’s hall, the serfs are denied movement off of the land, an accidental metaphor, the narrator is talking about his wife, because it was my birthday, John Wyndham is the main character, everything is soft, pleasant, lobster and chablis as Wheelers, Ustinov’s latest extravaganza, enjoyed the bathrooms, fascination with other people’s plumbing, why did they have to zap the birds, whatever living thing, which one of theses looks like its in charge?, speculation, this is God, can we disprove it?, a lab test, divine punishment, barrenness vs. fecundity, the greater god: the God of the universe, H.G. Wells, I’m doing an H.G. Wells story, colonialism coming back to bite you in the ass, what we do to the Earth, nature finds a way, Jurassic Park, stupid humans find a way to fuck themselves, we can fuck ourselves, an infodump philosophy dump, mother nature being misnamed, a book about infanticide, Charles Stross, Nyarlathotep, a nanny for supes, Now We Are Nine, Christopher Robin, emphasizing the two hive minds, chapter titles, No Entry To Midwich, All Quiet, Midwich Revisited, Midwich Comes To Terms, Matters Arising, Interview With A Child, Impasse, Ultimatum, Zeleby Of Macedon, all of the Spartans, Leonidas, assassinated by whom, who will rid me of my awful husband, what happens in this chapter, he kills himself, a suicide bombing, the right an proper thing to do, right?, by the standards of homo sapiens, I want humans to win, a primitive matter, will you agree to be superseded?, The Forever War by Joe Haldeman, one collective Adam and one collective Eve, what’s the appropriate action?, you can’t take the law into your own hands?, a stiff police officer, playing an interesting game, an alien invasion story that’s an examination of the humans, the primitives, esquimaux, Monlogia, Russia, the iron curtain, sleeping with demons, a second crop to come?, in Australia they all mysterious died, a dingo virus?, why they didn’t put all their eggs in one basket, they lay their eggs wherever there is a willing basket, words, Midwich, wich = a bundle of thread (a nest?) or an old English settlement, all of them were midwich, little nests, are they keeping track, this is how we do it, droppin their spores, fire and forget, lay and forget, Invasion Of The Body Snatchers by Jack Finney, something going on the 1950s, The Puppet Masters by Robert A. Heinlein, communism?, collective individuality, collectivism, trends in science fiction, we talk about stuff, fleeing the cities, jamming the highways, in Washington, DC, meanwhile in Kentucky…, 1930s science fiction, Stanley G. Weinbaum, will this book have the international aspect?, what does that do to the story?, this is a resource for exploitation, not because they’re humans in need of money, resources to exploit, getting the birth rate up, soldiers, armies, the children’s desks, mini office desks, lots of good framing by Carpenter, the house from Halloween, recycled from The Fog, the house looks like a cuckoo clock, zoom in and pull back, popping out like a cuckoo clock, the audio of a cuckoo, the word cuckoo, it isn’t a crazy bird, perfectly natural, a gaslighting bird, the baby doesn’t say I’m one of you, the behavior that is not learned (its genetic), “crazy”, “insane” as a legal term, crazy means “don’t understand”, very efficient, cruel, women are supposed to act a certain way, time to kill, time to take whatever pill, he did the right thing for the survival of the (human) species, an alternative, this is Ceti Alpha Five, genetic better humans, cruelty is as old as life, barley coloured, a bullseye, the sequel movie, set around the same period, Children Of The Damned (1964), the aunt, just a blonde, the audio drama was excellent, they forgot about the first movie, a UN guy giving intelligence tests in Britain, unmarried prostitute, go get killed in a tunnel, respective London embassies, the barn or the grange, a church, a dog they can command, to harness the power of these kids, use these kids as cold war weapons, more sympathetic in the second movie, varied skin and hair colours, batch two they blend in better now, can’t we all get along, leave us alone but bring us food, a screwdriver, a metaphor for tools, a knife is good for stabbing and cutting, knife technology implies knife fights, using people as tools is immoral, countries using people as population for their offices, to service the capitalism, blackpilling, they don’t teach field-hand skills, typing?, teaching about the Aegean, some island somewhere, if nations use people as tools that’s wrong, that’s why the cuckoo people are bad, using us the same way we use animals, the cuckoo people are to blame (but the kids aren’t), you can’t easily kill the kids, we’re here to be killed, why are you here?, we don’t know, why are any of us here?, the second movie was solid, as a reflection, a little unrealistic, a counterbalance, behind the Iron Curtain, left with a lot of questions, the new Doctor Who episode, fashioning the Doctor’s companions into weapons, shaping people to do things, is it right?, an amoral alien with alien ideals, space hobo, The Littlest Hobo, Patrick Troughton, the show has evolved, the second movie is a reaction to the first, that’s their reaction to this idea, the sign of a really good book, an abandoned sequel, she definitely knows about science fiction, Chrysalids is (was) assigned in school in Canada, Chocky, The Trouble With Lichen, slow down the aging process, Quirks And Quarks, The Outward Urge, The Kraken Wakes, Stowaway To Mars, off-earth, Tyrant And Slave Girl On Planet Venus, Wonder Stories, the sucess Wydham had in the UK, zilcho reputation in short stories, the market, the town he moved to, thought out the plot of his next book, what kind of a setting for a story would this be, writers are very strange people, Donald E. Westlake and Lawrence Block, writers who only do writing for their job, tapped into the psychology of 1950s Britain, why did that happen?, destroyed industry and commerce, I thought they won WWII, a devastating peace, used themselves up winning the war, really good aircraft industries, what point are you trying to make here, Jesse?, what happened to the Empire?, Australians were mailing care packages to England in the 1950s, paying back some loans, the war had to be fought, Hitler was a bad guy?, how did it get started in the first place, the Treaty of Versailles, prideful assholes , there’s always a connection, benign censorship, when we do the censorship its benign, about power relations, you are just a thing to be manipulated, objects vs. subjects, no birth control is not allowed, the House of Lords?, oh its cute, he’s leading up to that ending, means to ends, a glancing reference to the Dionne quintuplets, the dirty newspapers, don’t embarrass the government, Wyndham thought about a lot of things, it isn’t about entertainment, super-cozy, it feels mainstream, a pyrotechnic ending, Stephen Fry does English women so well, a wonderful narrator to listen to, Jim Dale, a delightful reader, a Homer for our times, a poet from 10,000 BC, a very literate fellow, super-fresh audiobook, the SKY tv adaptation [then forthcoming], a known name, hosting TV and radio shows, [here’s Jesse’s scan of the paperback], scanning difficulties, make your own version of John Wyndham’s the Midwich Cuckoos, The Twilight Zone, It’s A Good Life, Jerome Bixby, its a good thing you took mommy’s mouth, that’s a good thing, Wandavision, 1953, something in the water, it was injected into them, Philip K. Dick, Jerome Bixby, John Wyndham, Robert A. Heinlein, cosmic rays have come into our brains, world events, Jack Finney, it wasn’t a bad review, Eric S. Rabkin, YouTube video viewer counts vs. like counts vs. comments, almost nobody comments on anything, Gresham’s Law, comments, 70 emails an hour, boner increaser is where the money is, so you don’t have a lot of cuckoos in your nest, cuckoos and cuckolding, Beyond The Door by Philip K. Dick, super-short, he gives her a cuckoo clock, why was everybody in the 1950s into cuckoo-clocks?, why did your grandparents have cuckoo clocks?, fuck those British guys, 2 seater sports cars, cultural output, 60s British TV and movies, the British Invasion, Hammer Horror, Doctor Who, shot on video tape, high class acting and really good writing, supported by the British tax-payer, medical coverage, marmite and vegimite, is it vegan?, Veganism, guess what decade Veganism started in, 1944 in England, making a virtue of a necessity, a vegetarian movement, movements, seedlings, 25 founding members, a newsletter, the official vegetarian zine, and cheese or eggs, fish, a section just for them, the first three letters and the last three letters veganism, sanivore, what veganism is, does anybody know these amazing facts?, a fascinating history, people are starting weird cults and organization and religions, trampled on seedling, big giant unweildly organization, fruitful and bountiful, sometimes religious, a reaction against farming practice, physical culture magazines, modeling the perfect body, the perfect woman, the perfect dude, body sculpting, going to the gym is a spiritual belief, look pretty, eugenics, percolating in the background, take the black pill, read the Wikipedia entry pill, following the links through, how to look at reality, bringing it back somehow, Michael Pare’s character, I’m driving so don’t distract me so I’ll crash, I’ll quit smoking when you decide to get pregnant, helium, a big smoking pile of smoke (he broke his word), what you put in your body, females feeling what males could feel like, Prometheus (2012), cuckolded as a species, the woman’s instinct and the men’s instinct, you did wonderfully, I feel like I’ve done something wrong by telling them to keep their babies, Angela’s speech, well written, thoughtful, weird science fiction pulpy short stories, Arthur C. Clarke prose, cosy literate, something different about the British mid-1950s science fiction, Brian Aldiss, who are the damned?, a terrible title, how damned shows up a lot, swearing in the title, Fuck The Movie, biblical, The Midwich Cuckoos is not a good movie title, a children’s movie about little birdies, the British book industry, Children Of The Damned is even more confusing, damned to live on the Earth, a podcast listener, two dinosaurs are looking at the fireball, what do you suppose that is Steven? nice!, life causes more suffering than happiness, we are born to be cowards and cling to live, we lack the crucial choice, thank you for the stimulating conversation, radically alter the climate, wanna get some lunch, sure, Paul would not have worried, is it dark tho?, a reflection of reality that we have, Existential Comics #423, a webcomic, something even darker, goes back in time to the womb and he kills himself, a Quantum Leap suicide, The Butterfly Effect (2004) extended director’s cut guy, Ashton Kutcher, Journeyman, trying to reboot Firefly, how long did it take Star Trek to get a reboot, Wesley’s shirt and haircut was 1980s, cut things in, is there a pill list?, this is what people do instead of having decent lives, incels, fatalism, a fun conversation about nihilism, the hardest to swallow red pill, depraves you, comedic, Kevin, the blue pill implies the existence of the red pill, a narrative process of creation, its all alright, Maissaville, a nice surprise, not very blackpillish, a really nice tweet, hybridmind, you can’t have parthenogenesis, Jesus was secretly a chick, clones so we don’t have to happen, centrifuge, clone army, monocultures are vulnerable to diseases, just backstory, old profitable books from the 50s, Smithsonian.

The Midwich Cuckoos by John Wyndham

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The SFFaudio Podcast #685 – READALONG: The Star Beast by Robert A. Heinlein

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #685 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, Maissa Bessada, Trish E. Matson, and Will Emmons talk about The Star Beast by Robert A. Heinlein

Talked about on today’s show:
1954, serialized in The Magazine Of Fantasy And Science Fiction, Star Lummox, what a lummox, a very 1950s word, clumsy stupid person, Google NGram, 1825 East Anglian slang, lumbering ox, lummoxes, knocks things over, breaks things, Maissa liked it, so simple, a girl with some brains and some power?, uncharacteristic, no female presence at all, Betty is a plot driver, one of six sexes, she as a matter of convenience, a meaningless spectrum, in the context of the Hroshii, what feels like a massive coincidence, she’s on Earth, two plotlines, the UN guys having meetings and firing and quitting, the fun stuff, Lummox on the run, Lummox on trial, the major drama, puts the focus on the coincidence, a microscale and a macroscale, still great Heinlein, simplistic, interesting themes, utopia, they’re trying, Kiku the diplomat is in charge of everything, elected represented is undermined by the deep state, bureaucracy, comedy of errors, contradictions and complexities, Sergei Greenberg, the Watson, tell not show, Farmer In The Sky, boy goes to planet and farms, threats can come out of nowhere, a central government, tiny hints, a WWIV anti-tank gun, the 2nd century, double focus, boy, pet and friend, escaping in the wilderness, galactic maneuverings, immigration, pushing people off Earth, which is dumber?, coincidence and conveniences, there’s a Star Beast with lotsa legs, 4 generations, from any other boy’s point of view, good Heinlein, a boy raised by aliens, the reversal at the end, Lummox has been raising John Thomases, a science fiction idea, the relationships between humans and their pets, sentient aliens (should?) have hands, who can buy who?, if these we are putting the juveniles in reading order (younger to older), Citizen Of The Galaxy, Have Space Suit, Will Travel, diplomatic maneuverings and court stuff, thinking with the brain of an adult, the Godzilla aspect, Clifford The Big Red Star Beast, what kids will like about something, a big purple dinosaur, Barney, conflating for comic effect, I hate all this stuff about the negotiations, they’ll eat it, that reunification scene, all the ashtrays and the smoking, furiously smoking, popping pills on the reg, eat your roughage, a dragon lookin thing with a big smile on its four eyed face, old man sitting around his pool with his lawyers for 18,000 pages, Red Planet, Willis is kinda Lummox, galactic diplomacy and politics, democracy, we’re a republic not a democracy, his elected superior, we are the leading nation, senators from all over the planet, the United States of North And South America, probably set in Colorado or thereabouts, freeways are overgrown, flying cars, a depopulated North America, smoke filled rooms in small towns, not enough worldbuilding, atomic weapons, weird adventures, how the world worked, all the Heinlein haters, hating Heinlein for the wrong reasons, Mr. Kiku is pictured and not a black man, the original serial is slightly abridged (at least), wooly haired, racism?, often times the artist is told what the book is about, that’s capitalism not racism, Lummox is also not pictured, a kids book with no-star beast on the cover?, Johnny and Slugger and flying, two legs and half of a side, a bizarre choice, a commercial production, smiling dinosaur beagle, a train, spindly arms, diplodocus, the voice, the baby girl voice in the Full Cast Audio production, all the other Heinlein girls and boys, John Thomas oblivious to her plans, these gender fashions flip, the girls chasing after boys, Sadie Hawkins dystopia, on leap years girls are allowed to propose to men, Data at Sadie Hawkins dance, Star Trek: 90210, phone rigged up in his attic fort, a box of books boys somehow always get, a box of pornography, Heinlein doesn’t shy away, very strange and weird, the macro/micro, a princess of earth, a reverse of A Princess Of Mars, a Kwisatz Haderach to make the perfect space beast, the breeding of John Thomases, wrestling around, did I ever tell you why I divorced my parents, lean in closer to the book, what the parents did that was so wrong, parental abuse, molestation, those woolen socks, the mother character, how one note she was, very manipulative, not a straw person, selfish, controlling and manipulative, parallels between John’s mom and Betty, make more John Thomases, what did you assume about Betty living in a dorm, Heinlein manipulating us, weirdly controlling, they’re both minors, very skillfully done, she’s studying law, you don’t have to obey police officers unless they have a warrant, the police come to the school and teach a class and then search your locker, the antics in the courtroom, the Rittenhouse trial, bamboozles the court, manipulation and tactics, she’s parallel with Kiku, she was her own lawyer, the police chief, Johnny gets on with the police chief, makin toast and eggs and coffee, don’t get in bed with the cops, Johnny’s a little bit dim, he’s gonna go to college, drag racing and hanging out with his pet, the pet of three females, what did she whisper into Johnny’s ear?, “I wanna get the pill”, “never, “we’re religious!”, argue our way to the truth, to such dark places, mentally beyond them, parochial, leaps and bounds ahead, more sinister, poor tactics, I divorced my parents because I was too smart for them, subversive ideas, “I’m transgender”, the flipping of the gender quite late in the book, Kiku and Greenberg are really dumb, its the same creature, kinda fun for kids, kids can figure it out, they’re looking for a girl and Lummox is a boy, Willis is a girl, “I’m a boy”, not going to be able to breed John Thomases very easily, he always calls her Slugger, she hits people, was she on the baseball team?, he insults her looks, she hits the softball real hard, a term of respect, no hidden agenda inside of Johnny, Johnny just gets stubborn for a while, Farah Mendelson’s The Pleasant Profession Of Robert A. Heinlein, Star Wars, he likes his backpack helicopter, when Mr. Ito’s greenhouse, space skateboards, hoverboards, his horse ate his car, Paul is triggered by Lummox voices, a touchy subject, great to hand to a kid whose parents are divorcing, everybody is independent, she came to him, she emancipated herself, some yummy metal and self-heating cans, entanglements, the star federation, why don’t you just leave everybody alone, the inescapable bureaucracy of civilization, Betty’s parents didn’t stand a chance, leaning into the deep and dark and secret and terrible, a little song that starts, it will burn the ears of the editors, pornography and gays and blacks exist, he wants to share it, the tone, whatever the deep dark secret is it wouldn’t hurt johnny, Sorensen, Heinlein’s always been interested in gender, why he shootin blanks, the most plausible thing, maybe John Thomas knew this, Christine Jorgensen, sex-reassignment surgery, deflates the breeding program, Podkayne Of Mars, birthing machines, ovafusion (lesbian babies), circumstantial, all the flipping and the six genders lummox, Gore Vidal, Myra Breckenridge, Raquel Welch and Mae West and John Huston and Farrah Fawcett, what genders means, gender as a spectrum, best to think of her as a male, we don’t have the acronym for it yet, derailing the story, she has arms, she’s getting boobs!, we’re really lucky dogs don’t have hands, dogs would be so handsy, cats, the human breeding program will result in the ultimate John Thomas in about 10,000 years, high fashion to have human pets, invites a sequel, The Star Beasts are humans, furry animals, Space Lummox, is a komodo dragon a beast?, scorpions aren’t beasts, developing the arms, what is that thing?, a tumor, its normal because its normal, 150 years to learn English, the test for intelligence, Little Fuzzy by H. Beam Piper, Illegal Alien by Robert J. Sawyer, legally a human, the introduction, the Houyhnhnms section of Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift, William H. Patterson, a fantasy disguised as J. Francis McComas, my first beast, the best one, not wholesome like this, good for adults too, less corny than The Rolling Stones, one little conversation, civilization is in crisis because of all these aliens, keeping these Republican norms, the Sorenson whisper, the bureaucrats have to run the machine, cynical vs. optimistic views of democracy, Heinlein’s views on communism, Heinlein’s views on nuclear testing, deep stuff, adults who would like a charming read about a talking animal, Heinlein doing his diversity thing here, Jesse is Maissa’s Betty, the spunky protagonist?, overcoming the fear of the Medusa, the Medusan is also transgender, the passive protagonist?, the makeup thing, unusual patterns, everything is transgender, another gender swap, the deep fear of the snakehead, testes turned into ovaries, hypnotherapy as a crutch, Starship Troopers, hypnosis, an excuse to help you quit smoking, Heinlein is regressive in his pushing of hypnosis, more like Dianetics than it is like rocketry, how you relate to another so different from you, Lummox’s speech, assuming an Italian is illiterate, how can people say Heinlein is turgid?, he’s anti-racist, a slur, a smear, not an awkward bone in this book, two [amicus] groups, the Friends Of Lummox, Keep Earth For Humans, one is adults, one is kids, we like breakfast cereal, Murgatroyd, the Russian edition on ebay, PiggWiggy, having adventures eating cereal, preaching race tolerance, I will not sit down with that puppet, anti-puppet, brinksmanship shit, luckily your Heinlein and writing both sides of the conversation, Heinlein’s worst instinct, c’mon mom, be partisan and be right, we’re on Lummox’s side, nobody complains about the missing dog, deciding not to eat Mr. Ito, this book is really about power, lummox has hands, wipe your own butt or get your own cup, disability, the relationship of power to power, relations between the species for the rest of time, a book about power, a hereditary monarchy with a breeding program, we can’t judge their culture, The [Men] In The Walls by William Tenn, the psychology of the mice, like parents, manipulator, the translator is manipulating both sides, interpreter for hire, Stranger In A Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein, the fair witness, somebody said somebody was a bad person, we can fix our shoddy eyewitness testimony by fixing the sentences we put in our own heads, the truth meter, played for laughs, testifying about her feelings, technology our way out of stuff, the human mind’s way of storing data and making judgements, telepathy transmitters, a visual translation, eyes are wildly fluctuating, John Thomas will say: “Me too”, Star Trek’s computer is judging Captain Kirk, a huge mental mistake, Planet Of The Apes, Heinlein’s not fulfilling Campbell’s request, a Weinbaum story, hang out and get pet for a century, our relationship to puppies, a very compressed youth, an immortal being, petting my John Thomases, Lummox gets bored, what kind of patience, a very human thing to do, tigers just eat smaller animals, arsenic makes them grow, all symbolic, why does she go on a diet at the end?, she’s gotta get hot for her wedding, stop eating candy, stop eating cars, a short lived pet, precious babies or property or chattel, they’re out friends, a lady in Quesnel, BC got her leg licked by a bear, we wanna nuke your planet, give us our queen’s corgi, War Of The Worlds but just combing the Earth, implicit mirroring, whether Lummox can testify or not, wandering princess, hostage negotiation, we don’t engage philosophically with dogs, sufficiently alien aliens, an adult reading a kid’s book, Lummox indulged Johnny, you want have me sit a yard for a year?, after 150 years, there are no Buicks today?, Motortrend, brands are things you sell to other companies, a Toyota that’s a Ford, the Packard’s coming back, a branding exercise, the Lincoln Navigator, imprints survive as IP, all the young men love the classic Buicks, a flight harness, when he takes Johnny to the vet, corgis for everybody, an exclusive brand, a great opening for the surprise sequel, spaceships are disappearing, humans are being disappeared, very cute puppies, a deeply pet book, you’re going to wear this outdoor socky thing on your feets, a single dad, a single mom, the controlling mother, Suddenly (1954), parallels, media with controlling mothers, Philip K. Dick’s mom, people having relationships in the 20th century, shameful but possible, a trope character, off-screen, trip to Hawaii, 17 pickle dishes, Heinlein’s joke, Heinlein is very stupid in hypnotism, Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, slim volume hardcovers, Harry Potter, Rick Riordan, no Heinlein boxed set with decent covers, what the fuck is wrong with their brains?, 8 Heinlein juveniles in a boxed set, youthful reading, why is that?, Heinlein is not a giant name, Roald Dahl, James And The Giant Peach, Predestination, there should be boxed sets of Heinlein every generation, broken minded, a legacy organization, it will do material good to minds, the entire Heinlein fiction is the Virginia edition $1,400, riddled with typos, a luxury good, mass market paperback for $9.99, sell like the wheatcakes, I love TITS (Tunnel In The Sky), Jesse was dissing Heinlein and looking at TITS online, pitch for TITS, something goes wrong, Hunger Games style, really good, Paul loves TITS, Lummox triggered, Hi I’m Trish, Boxing Day, put TITS on the schedule, excommunicated from the island, Lord Of The Flies by William Golding, Rite Of Passage by Alexei Panshin, othering Jesse, privileging academics, don’t slur me, 10 degrees is warm (and cold), alien words, actual turban vs. snakes for hair who needs a turban, get him outta bed, not a very good movie, the self-lighting cigarette, trying to quit smoking, maybe a pipe, a serious smoker without a light, H. Beam Piper was a smoking machine, British is weird, a really interesting podcast about those puppies, Rite Gud, solid heads on shoulders despite being modern authors, squeecore, new wave, cyberpunk, The Painful Threshold, “hells yeah”, maudlin mawkish or glib, Whedonesque quips, the character that represents feminism pegs the character that represents the patriarchy, this is what we’re exploring right now, remixing the public domain with vampires or zombies, 10 Years A Slave To The Robot Queen, Ace Galaksi, very Betty of you, so Betty, Betty is a great character, Stranger In A Strange Land, so horrible, pizza, of course it was, raw frozen chicken wings, dog minds, dog diets, a beagle pomeranian, parvo virus, little bag, little mask, little vaccination sticker, too many puppy blogs, why Fauci might get canceled, beagle faces, funding dog torture, when we find out what the aliens sound like in their native language, rethink your whole life, a never ending parent, be your pet’s advocate, catering to dog needs, siri needs to speak dog, a smart telepathic collar, What Is Horror?, Klim’s Journey Under The Ground by Baron Ludvig Holberg, The Midwich Cuckoos by John Wyndham, Children Of The Damned (1964), John Carpenter (1995).

The Star Beast by Robert A. Heinlein

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The Star Beast by Robert A. Heinlein - Clifford Geary frontispiece

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Star Lummox

Darrell K. Sweet - The Star Beast

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The SFFaudio Podcast #681 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: The Goddess of Atvatabar by William R. Bradshaw

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #681 – The Goddess of Atvatabar by William R. Bradshaw – read by Nigel Fisher. This is a complete and unabridged reading of the novel (8 hour 40 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Evan Lampe, Will Emmons, Trish E. Matson, Connor Kaye, and Alex

Talked about on today’s show:
how to pronounce Atvatabar, “BEING THE HISTORY OF THE DISCOVERY OF THE INTERIOR WORLD AND CONQUEST OF ATVATABAR”, 1892, hollow earth book, regretting the , kissing book, Vril with more science, a textbook to Theosophy, war, political intrigue, kissing, evolutions, sideye with philosophy, lift the labourers dreary lives, a classist perspective, dime novels, good intentions, travelogue genre, a little in there ideas, the plant birds, the Gutenberg illustrations, spider monkey plants, orchids, birds, fairies, ceremonial garb, silver polar bears, blue serge, a colour illustrated, her hair is blue, she has golden skin, blue black, the lighting from Swang!, the names of anything, the greeglazat of glosset gozzel, Lewis Carol, terrorite, exploding gender reveal parties, Dimitri Mendeleev, the hot new thing, a dictionary of explosives, rando 21st century novel, what an NFT is, plant bird NFT, a yarp happy, a castern owl, a haplid, the cavalry units in the air, bird like machines, studied for a dissertation, piling on, this doesn’t matter to the plot, Battle Of The Five Armies, sailing over the rim of the world, heading towards the center sun, a planet orbiting that sun, 25 miles across, not a big dumb object book, an entire planet inside of a planet, why Ringworld is so cool, rishathra, standing on the Plutasian shore, seeing another continent across the space of the earth, teasing hard for a sequel, E.F. Bleiler, an anti-vivisection, the phonetic Irish accent, a bad book, primitive, an indisputable bore, Jesse doesn’t understand kissing, philosophy of kissing, a revolution because people just want to bone, firearms, musk ox?, his dogs who are always eating each other, vivisection, its exciting to shoot off guns, what are their standing armies for?, such an imperialistic book, the British and Americans show up, team America, the American declares himself king, emperor of the roof of the world, co-equal, scientist buddies, Starbottle, a comedy, comic relief, Flathootley, eating food in the sky, a loveable Irish rogue, the avatar for the author, not a satire, empire all the way, decorative armies, no imminent threat, the conquest of Mexico, I love your philosophy, you aren’t allowed to have sex? burn, I just want to have sex with your goddess, twenty years after Vril (aka The Coming Race), reincarnation, the longing couples are like batteries, pining for each other, priest and priestess, they worship the human soul, we’ll surrender and dies, I just want some gold, a gold rush mentality, the gold rush period, the deus ex machina, timeline questions, at least a year, how many ceremonies, two weeks on the invisible island, the restrained horniness of a thousand priestesses, practice your spirit religion, Lexington White, convert them to Christianity, resurrection, banished to the weird rock in the sky, muscular Christians, just war, Tahiti, they see all the shows, the most realistic part of this book, this spiritual shit, get your prana adjusted, physical culture, sold a whole lot of horseshit, how the gravity kind of works, ok, Arthur C. Clarke, fun and interesting explanations, Edgar Rice Burroughs wrote this book and did it much better, At The Earth’s Core, lesbian pterodactyls tore my flesh, a different kind of hollow earth, no upside down like Connor, The Narrative Of Arthur Gordon Pym by Edgar Allan Poe, the hint, the promise, A Descent Into The Maelstrom, donut hole, a Symes hole, a model of the hollow earth over his grave, Giacomo Casanova’s utopian novel, Ludvig Holberg’s Niels Klim’s Underground Travels, ripping off Jules Verne’s Journey To The Center Of The Earth, we’re drilling, where do volcanoes come from?, I’ll weigh myself, John Carter’s jumping around on Mars, they drop it, nothing comes of it, more virile (or more Vril?), electric wings, no gunpowder, who’s tilling the fields, food gathering, surplus army corps, many many many government officials, Nazis under Berlin, The City Of Endless Night by Milo Hastings, exotic India or China, caucazoids with golden skin and blue hair, more or less human, a damsel fly, the baby buds off like a plant, I overthrew and entire continent for you, sex by holding hands, all for the good of mankind, I’m a man its good for me so its good for mankind, little hints, the Nicaraguan Canal, dead plans, effect on the outer world, if this was a movie, terrorite guns and the Nicaraguan canal was finished, we have to infer, M_ Valdemar, save the guilty from being exposed, what kind of document are we supposed to be reading here, voyages extraordinaires, that it is widely publicized is what makes it very science fictional, the philosophy of theosophy stuff, Edgar Allan Poe, most of Jules Verne isn’t science fictional, Around The World In Eighty Days, vs. a journey of scientific exploration, where the sun will be in the sky, the science fiction explorations, the Vril stuff is not science fiction (or fantasy), “science fiction of the soul”, how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, you have to deal, Rene Descartes, the tripartite god, under your table, he’s in your pants, and the oil pan of Jesse’s car, dualism, when you go to the gym you get buff, when you breathe through your nose…, claiming it is science, where are their experiments?, you can create matter?, the explanation is a whole bunch of wands, spiritualism, weighing bodies, social science fiction, a sound mind and a sound body, is Jesse just empirically wrong?, William James, altered states, religious experiences, chemical explanations, just because Jesse doesn’t have a soul…, Protector by Larry Niven, an unsatisfactory mutation, an extensive explanation, a demonstration of this theory, charging up the 100 wands, we’re firing the cannon because we’re tired now, isn’t it weird that humans have bad backs, aches and pains are because of a lack of vitamin c, cleverly developed, science and industry, lens-grinding and telescopes, as soon as we develop rockets the inner world stuff becomes less interesting, King Kong Vs. Godzilla (2020) went into the hollow Earth, discredited after it was proposed, where Dinotopia is, “the world beneath”, a fantasy book, magical powers, the priests of witchcraft and sorcery and necromancy, telepathy, what if there were telepaths?, the Earth’s frontiers, that drive to explore and take lands over and make profit from them, a BIG portal fantasy, we need another world somewhere, this is not a utopia, ships made out of gold, they worship a steam engine, they fly in the sky, overthrowing the utopia, local resistance, more like the CIA, an Omelas or Lottery situation, why the heart that should stay out of marriage, abstinence? burn it all down, Vril is much more obviously a utopia, a lot of parades, the catalogue of ships, the Amazon brigade, tuckerization, like part of The Iliad, the arabesques, Barsoom is not supposed to be a utopia, healing with rods, another battle and another victory, more concerned with weird wish fulfillment, I gotta find the perfect girl with blue hair, pretend it is a satire, Lexington is awesome in every way, he’s so into it, its fascinating, military history catnip, playing with tropes in the air, I have to set it up then I get to do the battle, the Throne of the Gods, we’re done with this Christian shit now, we’re going to do the god of Reason, worship invention and honesty, cutting the church out, the god king’s son, the church can change the game in radical ways, from Chapter 19, masturbating on the best ideas, all the best guys, Wheel Of Fortune, fucking bullshit, all the stuff in this book that is awesome is bullshit, scholarship to understand ancient religious texts, the book of names, dude, you fucked up, cool worldbuilding, funny, post scarcity so much they’re spinning up any old idea, Reading, Short And Deep, the perfect scientist, The Ideal by Stanley G. Weinbaum, what he’s doing here is not philosophy, not a way of knowing, spinning up theories, divine evidence through revelation, Thales, water, trying to understand how the universe works, life after death, we know the answer to this and we don’t like the, arguments for life after death, context for Lovecraft’s racism, spiritualism is not science, spiritualism, bad philosophy is not philosophy, play-doh, spore drives, warp drives, because spore drives, warp technology is to get to the stories, parts of Star Trek are science fiction, uniforms vs. replicators, Egon and crew in the Ghostbusters movies, Venkman, Courtney Brown and remote viewing, Stranger Things, the stuff in the middle is not science fiction, implausible but…, a fun exploration of known properties of science, astronomer, hire a sorcerer or a spiritualist, conjuration, clairvoyance, sideshow, theosophy, spiritualism, seership, the most ridiculous part of this books, pig Latin, Julian Hawthorne, the introduction, very long and enthusiastic, his opinion, a book review that’s nice to the author, some plausibility, future adventures of Lexington White, piling up better novels, Cirsova is publishing a bunch of his stuff, The Cosmic Courtship reads a lot like this , jetpack, nude swim, I’m doing mad science, the King Of The United States, the jockey got arrested for murder, dangerous horserace, accidentally goes to Jupiter, son of Nathaniel Hawthorne, like Lovecraft but with a lot less eldritch and a lot more adultery, witchcraft, Young Goodman Brown, The House Of The Seven Gables, the groom man, The Hollow Of The Three Hills, Feathertop, the Scarecrow man, The Birthmark, a cool continuum of people to read, how did this book come to be, straight-up adventure fiction, The Lost World, baseless but it feels like its not, brainstates and chemicals in your food, internal consistency of the story, accept whatever, falling in love with the lady vs. falling in love with their society, the battles are competently done, the clouds of blood, sleeping in the air, crushed in a clump, these batteries, admantium and vibranium and twenty more, a lot of lists, this made of word is like a pineapple, in favour of the writing, in media res, they had great artwork, oh my god triceratops!, vast cities, people riding pterodactyls, people and dinosaurs co-exist and they’re friends, burn it all down, the Anglo-American empire, the character names are comedic, he’s basically Cortez, so much blood, you should all be down here getting gold like me, free trade, their eyes glitter, if he’s doing satire, half the book, different kinds of things, sexism, why is their no triggering?, she could veto, she’s not allowed to talk, more equal, equaler, the most equal, first among equals, amazonian brigades, segregation in the units, elected for life, his dad gave him five million dollars, inherited wealth is ok, an eyerolly book (in an enjoyable book), too dumb, Spock’s Brain, pulp tropes, every issue of Fantastic Adventures, a blonde haired giant lady in her icy kingdom, She by H. Rider Haggard, men’s romance, costumes out, playing captain, golden braiding, only for formal occasions, unconscious, wasted food, indelible for some reason, firing in a semi-circle, a lot of killing, a whole herd of musk ox, cuz America, flirting with satire, is it unconscious?, it starts really well, frames, navigator vs. divination, dating blue haired locals, thinking about how awesome Lexington is, going to a lot of banquets, airship, fills a little crack, Hollow Earth Adventures RPG, set in the 1930s, Space: 1889, pith helmet and martini rifles on spaceships, like Edgar Rice Burroughs with some Nazis, a D&D sourcebook, a massive infodump, page after page, what are the powers of the Lesbian dinosaur ladies, magical, telepathic, mind-control, open source, lists and thrones and banquets, what do the other places look like, almost a whole world opened up to us, a list of their household items, cotton gins, printing presses, what are their voting machines like, what is their average day, are they post scarcity, just cosplaying like the Klingons, Vril is a better book in general, better than Tolkien (at the battle scenes).

The Goddess Of Atvatabar

The Goddess Of Atvatabar

The Goddess Of Atvatabar

The Goddess Of Atvatabar

The Goddess Of Atvatabar

The Goddess Of Atvatabar

The Goddess Of Atvatabar

The Goddess Of Atvatabar

The Goddess Of Atvatabar

The Goddess Of Atvatabar FORGOTTEN FANTASY

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The SFFaudio Podcast #675 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: Jetta Of The Lowlands by Ray Cummings

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #675 – Jetta Of The Lowlands by Ray Cummings – read by Richard Kilmer. This is a complete and unabridged reading of the story (4 hours 5 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Evan Lampe, and Will Emmons

Talked about on today’s show:
a serial in Astounding Stories Of Super Science, Sept – November 1930, The Girl In The Golden Atom, The Diamond Lens by Fitz-James O’Brien, antisemitism precedes other forms of European racism, 600 stories, avoiding Cummings, full of shitty writing, the assistant to Edison, Huxley’s lab assistant, learned science from Darwin’s bulldog, science science science vs. invention, very pulpy, not awesome pulpy, filler, why is it this long?, the reading doesn’t help, the setting is interesting, is the setting that interesting?, it should be, a South American country, ecological disaster, bandit planet, a dull read, why pulp gets a bad name, the characters, a terrible book, acknowledging an error, how do you know?, should Ray Cummings be canceled?, not interesting enough to cancel, the years have canceled him, for those who managed to struggle through the audiobook and are now listening…, reading from E.F. Bleiler, science fiction and weird fiction, Science Fiction The Gernsback Years (page 87), entry 298, economic espionage and intrigue, 2020, north of Puerto Rico (dry sea bottom), Nerita, almost any word you can think of is a village in India, the National Detective Service, a lowlands bandit, mercury smuggling?, Spawn, Debeer, the ending is predictable, pure adventure, super-radio, light rays bent by magnetic fields, the lowland concept, more on this economic relation, a thug of the powerful state, colonial setting, there to take a child bride, Harry Turtledove, Down In The Bottomlands, set in a dry Mediterranean, a geographical lesson, where are the rivers, the seas, the lakes, what does this do to the rainfall, radioactive mercury, just a gimmick, its filler, get out from under Hugo Gernsback and get out under John W. Campbell, uncontroversial, I want you to think harder about this, getting tied up every few pages, a western movie serial, helicopter/airplane, secret gear, he fights science pirate, going to the kernel of the concept, better Ray Cummings, Phantoms Of Reality, different worlds at different vibrational wavelengths, you go to a weird little planet and weird little things happen, dies 1957, not able to adapt himself, about 350 1945-1942, 750 stories in all, a whole bunch of awesome concepts, three or four interesting ideas, like South America, an enforcer of empire, Jetta’s not even sexy, half mermaid?, she’s illiterate, when did the seas go down, a mercury rush, no Indians at the bottom of the sea, no displaced mermen?, what caused it?, one story and one book, Til A’ The Seas by Robert Barlow, a last man, pretty well done, H.P. Lovecraft helped polish it, the imagery is beautiful, Jack Vance’s Dying Earth, Olaf Stapledon-y, set at the bottom of the ocean, one of the biggest writers of the period, Cornell Woolrich, read him because you like tension, H.G. Wells, E.E. Doc Smith, the action sequences of Star Treks, lots of beams, wrist controls, they just invented force fields, Scotty trying to invent force fields and warp drive during the battle, Ted Chiang, Larry Niven, a lot more like Stanley G. Weinbaum and a lot less like John W. Campbell, the deGernsbacking, there was no sense that the reforms were needed, make me a serial out of it, why pulps get a bad name, Buck Rogers style serials, everything’s weird and there’s a lady and he needs to adapt, Flash Gordon, the slicks did it with essentially Superman’s origin story, Edwin Balmer and Philip Wylie’s When Worlds Collide, the exact same plot as 2012 (2009), everything is cliche, a Wonder Woman fetish person, the electrodes on the skin does it for Will, he’s getting a little tingle, that black knife, if it had been 1 hour long, somebody other than Ray Cummings, we learned something, there’s a reason he’s receded, what made pulps disposable, fiction magazines are sort of gone, alternate history, time travelers bring Kalashnikov to South during the U.S. Civil War, Adaptation by Mack Reynolds, how bad John W. Campbell was, a communist getting purchased by a fascist, a red brown alliance, not actually a fascist, Black Man’s Burden, Samuel Delaney is not a John W. Campbell writer, ornate?, do you believe a man at his word, he vibes with Mack Reynolds, colonial Africa, not trying to praise the white man, deep in his dementia, more New Wave than science fiction of the kind Weinbaum was doing, competing theses, a think piece that doesn’t and does resolve, a goofy concept, chill out for a few generations, the Aztec level of civilization at the time of Cortez’s contact, the Italian city states (late medieval early modern period), the Pedagog, state socialism or free market capitalism, the power goes to their heads, the natives run them out of town, a planned economy vs. a free market economy, it argues with the idea that only American style colonialism is good, productivism, forces of production Marxism, the natives appreciate, we’ll consider joining you, the capitalists and the socialists team up, free nations, science fiction writers for an against the Vietnam War, Howard vs. Lovecraft, the origins and the results and what it means for human nature, barbarism vs. civilization, Robert A. Heinlein, is barbarianism our natural state?, competing in the same pages, this story is my argument, we’re after mercury and its being smuggled, why?, don’t care, the only woman at the bottom of the well, that’s why I’m going on this adventure, radiumized!, the Star Trek, Kirk on a motorcycle, Red Matter has nothing to do with science fiction, not idea struggling, what did Evan say about this story?, contextualize it for us?, empire maybe, Wizard In Glass: Dark Tower 4 by Stephen King, an agent of a declining state, fantasy Mexico, a 14 or 15 year old sexy and brave character, the concubine of the mayor, a frontier region secretly in rebellion against the Empire, cool Stephen King stuff, criminal frontier full of bandits, smugglers, science pirates!, lots here about technology and the state, Seeing Like A State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed by James C. Scott, a letter, Ray Cummings should stay in Ray Cummings’ grave, a Lovecraft explainer explainer, explaining Lovecraft to his or her liberal friends, Lovecraft Mythos explainer, this phenomenon, dig up the bones of a guy who was dead before their grandma is born, The Painful Threshold: Why We Can’t Stop Flogging Lovecraft’s Dead Bloated Corpse, why Lovecraft Country is good and Lovecraft is bad, fox spirits, a new Netflix series with a Henry Kuttner and two H.P. Lovecraft stories, Graveyard Rats, Cool Air and The Statement Of Randolph Carter, Guillermo del Toro, missing the class analysis, Bobby Derie, Jesse has never met a racist reader, what was his cat’s name, hahahah, at the end of the serial of Jetta, the Invisible X-Fliers, October 1930, 2021, the Anti-War Department of the United States of Department, the defense department, mechanical invisibility, many men, great scientific discoveries, a new combination of older seemingly impractical knowledge, steal all the right stuff, making the inefficient efficient, almost no role in the book, bending of light rays, the cloaking device from Star Trek, the Martel Effects, two real kinds of currents, pseudoscience technobabble, camouflage style invisibility, Jack London’s rip off of The Invisible Man, Discover is Star Trek and Star Trek is science fiction, warp drive, not totally void of ideas, spore drive, warp drive, transwarp drive, transwarp conduits, the journey to get to the story, The Devil In The Dark, the last of her kind, mining some shit that doesn’t exist, silicon based life form and can we exist with a native population are two radical ideas, mind melds aren’t real, “NO KILL I”, Konglish, bringing in the Klingons again, bringing in the Romulans again, as if Spock is a traitor, who cares about Romulans?, there’s nothing there, we’ve dug you up we’ve had your cadaver trial and found you wanting, she liked to look at pictures in a book, I don’t know about this reading stuff, he’s black (with no skin and a republican too?), Todd McFarlane, blew up the comics industry, too obvious?, no secret keys to the name, a Volkswagen named after the character?, designed to be disposable.

Jetta Of The Lowlands by Ray Cummings

Jetta Of The Lowlands by Ray Cummings

Jetta Of The Lowlands by Ray Cummings

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The SFFaudio Podcast #672 – READALONG: Red Planet by Robert A. Heinlein

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #670 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, and Will Emmons talk about Red Planet by Robert A. Heinlein

Talked about on today’s show:
dog trot through or skate through?, Red Planet by Robert A. Heinlein, 1949, A Colonial Boy On Mars, Steele Savage, the original uncut, the original restored text, the extended Stranger In A Strange Land, the two endings of Podkayne Of Mars, call him Willis too, hey you’re a girl!, I’m a good boy!, The Pleasant Profession Of Robert A. Heinlein by Farah Mendelson, changing gender over time, a ship of Theseus, Jim’s grandkids in the miniseries has problems, no straw men, almost a perfect book, the environmental award, its about pollution, ecological anti-capitalist themes, yet another revolution story, Beta Earth, its not set on Mars, its set on New Ares vs. New Aries, the Mars company, The Hudson’s Bay Company, The East India Company, the Red River Rebellion, Paul just told me how I have to identify, Albert Einstein, a stateless person, a country comes into your territory, sometimes countries just change, the Massachusetts colony, Canada and the Crown, rights taken, given or never ceded, colonists, administering the colonization and doing whatever resource extraction,the water seeker, the cabbage plant, cabbage patch kid, junked Jim’s best friend, an improvement, Have Space Suit, Will Travel, she kills a Cerberus dog thing, an armed society, a frontier society, a residential school, Howe is the best candidate for a straw man, the boy with the pet who might have to give it up, the pet is more than it seems, the old man, Doc Mccrae, Stranger In Strange Land, Jubal Harshaw, Between Planets is set on Venus (but they talk about Mars), supercharging the air, applying for self governing status, we’ve worked out a new treaty with the natives, how the Red River Rebellion happens, Rupert’s Land, in reaction to what the Americans were doing, investment properties, fashion for hats declining, decimating the fur bearing animals, surveyors show up, the North-West company, Métis, inland settlement, the government being incompetent and full of , the Chateau Clique and the Family Compact, the plot of the book, two settlements to double the number of colonists, pemmican, fur trading, the technology is Willis, a Wikileaks style leak, a truth bomb, how well put together this book is, Stranger In A Strange Land, not enough about the Martians, A Princess Of Mars, a Weinbaum version of A Princess OF Mars, A Martian Odyssey, Willis laying the eggs in the bed with Jim, young or old, are roundheads young or old?, races?, a butterfly chrysalis, Willis won’t remember Jim, the Nymph stage, in the cartoon, Willis’ bio-technology, the defense mechanism against waterseekers, the ability to project a hologram, when the book starts, shipping Jim and Willis, the egg laying scene, crawl into bed with you and give you children, Alien Nation: The Series, the three stages of Martians, everything about Mars is startling, no sex, the adults are male, every day relations with Heaven, Stranger In A Strange Land is in a nymph stage here, Willis is a nymph, Gekko is the father, Jim is the step-father, and Frank is the bleeblack, curling into the Jim zone, “warm”, the Gekko theory, the Steele Savage cover, scenes from the book, pre-school or post-school, Howe’s demand, Gekko standing in a bush, Willis bounces towards Gekko, and dances around their, they’re ents, he carries the two boys, they drink entwater and become ent brothers, called upon later to fight Saruman, the sister’s job is to cook and clean, the mom is Beverly Crusher, Frank is the only person missing, change for change’s sake, meld Frank into the sister, changing for no reason is bad, it didn’t make the series better, less successful, the added environmental angle, Paul and Jesse are both wrong, wilderness survival themes of the novel, no skating, checkboxing, until we know what the plot is…, learning how things are, soaking things up on a Greek beach, when the plot gets going, returning home with the news, boys being truants, a residential school is bad, we learn how their suits work, everybody is literally nude, not just because Heinlein’s a nudist, the suits are not pressure suits, not doing things that are in the book, running out of air, that’s in another Heinlein thing, in your Mohawk, compression space suits, the mask is the only part of your body with air on it, nothing between you and your compression suit, the style on Mars, a bug or a feature, also Princess of Marsy, a feature rather than a bug, a comics adaptation of John Carter’s dick swinging, nudity, the whip hand, civil liberties cases in British Columbia, bare breasts in BC, some old biddie couple, the Potter family, Heinlein literally kills them, punishment for stupidity, those people exist, doing what the government tells you, that punishment is Heinlein’s point, starved to death by government policy on purpose, a compelling gun case, cutesy sister stuff, the rules of the road, this books is so rich, not a false note anywhere, light and frothy and fun, you can skate right over it, quite substantial ideas-wise, Paul wishes Evan was here, communitarian, we’re all in it together, a nation vs. a tribe, a lot longer, all the stuff that happens at the school, how many other colonies are there?, caretaker Eskimos, Inuit and Tibetans, what’s the population of Mars?, kids at that company school, living at the equator year round, is it a university?, is it a high school?, Harry Potter upper-age boarding school?, J.K. Rowling is a terrible TERF, not a military prep school, sent away to military school because of discipline problems, a trade school situation, Frank wants to be a rocket pilot, Jim’s plan?, the mom cooks, any girl that can cook and tend babies is an adult, an improvement, it makes Doc Macrae a non-character, New Aries, in 1949 there had been no probes but the telescopes were getting better, what the atmosphere is made out of, Heinlein better write his Mars stuff, once you start you start changing things for poorer reasons, Heinlein thought about the ecosystem, everybody hates the waterseekers, waterseekers need to be to be destroyed, an extermination program, for every werewolf in your ecology you need a vampire and for every vampire you need a mummy, dragons of the komodo kind, what happened to Mars?, the lack of a robust ecosystem, the Martians apparently don’t eat anything, what does Willis eat?, small animals, what are the colonist actually doing there?, Heinlein’s lack of numeracy, colonization doesn’t solve the population problem, Greek colonization, troublemakers, self-select, unpeaceful Scandinavians, the Rus of Russia, they’re terraforming the planet, the traditional explanation for colonizing Mars (is mining), the terbidium must flow, Total Recall (1990) is all vacation plans, a science fiction story within a science fiction story, LV-426, rape this planet, Captain Planet, bogus environmental awards, an invading species, Turbanium, can of beans, longer cabbage scene, and be better, so much plot, so much in storms, bottles on their suits is wrong, short term profits for long term costs, how Howe got his job, literally how it all works, corporate nepotism, the libertarian elements, The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, tightly bound, the communitarian feel, prisoners vs. free citizens, the chairman of the meeting, Roberts Rules Of Government, committees and nominations, the polar opposite of libertarianism, Louis Rossmann right to repair(man), helping farmers get the right to fit their own tractors, replacement batteries for phones, every business owner to refuse service to the unvaccinated, the political compass, Howe is authoritarian, uncivilized, liberty vs. authority, rights and privileges, the larger scale scope, dictating people’s movements, a contractual right at best, the Métis traditional hunt, Orangemen vs. Catholics, every protestant in Ontario is angry, a war between one nation and another nation, taking a person’s gun away, the libertarian argument is pretty pure, bringing the martians in as a shield, a personal bond with Jim and Willis and Gekko and Frank, united in their identity as Métis, Festival du Bois, not only limited government, the freedom to publish and read what books you want, vaccines passports and vaccine mandates, cribbed from the Declaration Of Independence, another American Revolution, in a softer smaller way, a fantasy of the American revolution without the genocide, merciless Indian savages, strange mystical alien people that live underground, adds legitimacy to the American Revolution that it doesn’t deserve, S.M. Stirling’s The Sky People and In The Courts Of The Crimson Kings, Leigh Brackett, sensible nudity, Jim Marlowe, Heart Of Darkness, James Madison Marlowe, three legged and three eyed, H.G. Wells, the relationship with Jim and Frank and Doc, interbreeding, spiritually its possibly, physically interbreeding with your fellow humans, in solidarity with other people, not only hard SF, weird definition of hard SF, history is hard SF, mysteries are hard SF, “a political philosophy that upholds liberty as a core value.[1] Libertarians seek to maximize autonomy and political freedom, minimize the state; emphasizing free association, freedom of choice, individualism and voluntary association”, the talking point of the day vs. first principles, why is it good for people to be free?, the approved reading list can hurt you, kill you or stunt you, not allowed to run away, not allowed to have guns, kids plowed into the earth, drivers licenses, talking points, what is the principle?, do we subscribe to it or not, the political compass, we think we know how he would answer, who gets to form the questions, wholly agenda questions, not allowed to read certain books, only some people were allowed to read, freedom to read, stick to the principle and then abstract away, no to vaccine passports, a drivers license is a driving passport, a license to do a thing, a perfect situation to make the argument, a really good book, a good book for kids to read today?, an exiting book, intellectual molest children vs. enhance children, parents have to coordinate or the kid divides them, women are not in particularly progressive roles in this book, Maissa’s point, intellectual heft, an idea book underneath the adventure fun, Will is really glad that he read it, settler freedom, the resistors to the revolution are stupid, the strawman is the setup, weighting the revolution, the Torys were tarred and feathered, we have no way of deleting people from the universe, the heat beams, Mr Sulu freezing to death, the handwavium of Doc Macrae’s speculations we assume are true, underground subway systems, so advanced, finding the monolith on the Moon in 2001, say it it is “great”, kids ice skating on the canals, Glory Road, The Number Of The Beast, a better Heinlein book?, future Heinlein reading, higher highs vs. footfaults, a modest book, so Planet Stories, Hard Planet Stories, what Heinlein next?, you gotta read it, you’re smart enough to understand this book, so many great Heinlein juveniles, unrealism in the setup, god damn you Heinlein, the first Heinlein juvenile, Rocketship Galileo was adapted to Destination Moon (1950), space nazis? the Moon is too far out, The Man Who Sold The Moon, all the Musks and Bezoes and Bransons, Harriman, they’re doing it for us, Paul is hard to get, Maissa’s famous for Fringe Festivaling, Will feels tricked, Mack Reynolds, the Heinlein Poul Anderson podcast, The Goddess Of Atvatabar by William R. Bradshaw, the inherent silliness (or sadness) of Poul Anderson, Three Wishes by Poul Anderson, a tiny naked fairy, I have no desires at all.

RED PLANET – Clifford Geary

RED PLANET by Robert A. Heinlein

RED PLANET by Robert A. Heinlein JAPAN

RED PLANET by Robert A. Heinlein - art by Barclay Shaw

RED PLANET by Robert A. Heinlein

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The SFFaudio Podcast #651 – READALONG: Appendix N: The Literary History Of Dungeons & Dragons by Jeffro Johnson

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #651 – Jesse and Alex talk about Appendix N: The Literary History Of Dungeons & Dragons by Jeffro Johnson

Talked about on today’s:
Brandon Porter, complaints about the audiobook, missing footnotes, appendixes C and D, Dungeon Master’s Guide, 1979, page 224, who the hell are these guys, there’s Tolkien, John , Andrew J. Offutt, Fltcher Pratt, Face In The Frost, The House With A Clock In Its Walls, reading ideas, Paul Weimer, opposed to Castalia House, John C. Wright, chips on both guys shoulders, misplaced chips, not wanting to participate in some books, Jenny Colvin, Reading Envy, Oryx And Crake, too stuck up, complaining the whole time, authors we want nothing to do with, oh you’re a genius Margaret!, Jesse hates her, a book of book reviews, a Christian, Margaret St. Clair, “milieu”, halberd, when you learn things from books, as a professional narrator, names in fantasy books, not having pronunciation in mind, apostrophes, Tolkienesque words, all the role playing games, Gamma World, Traveler, Pathfinder, The Call Of Cthulhu, Car Wars, GURPS, the core rule books, modules, more time reading the books than playing the game, his thesis, Dungeons & Dragons isn’t just Tolkien and it was never meant to be, fundamentally misunderstand the game, how clerics show up, Galadriel with cup of healing water, organized religion was missing from Middle Earth, the Hobbits don’t go to church, Denethor, heathen kings of old, worshiping, he’s a dictator, one of many inspirations, quotes, the Conan section, pastiches, Gary Gygax, the original Howard Conan wasn’t available to Gygax, people kown Conan, most people’s views of Lovecraft are just wrong, The Shadow People by Margaret St. Clair and The Sign Of The Labrys, inspiration, my love my father showed when I was a tad, cloaked old men who could grant wishes, dauntless swordsman, E.C. Comics, the Satanic Panic, juvenile delinquents, ample helpings of fantasy, Andrew Lang, the Brothers Grimm, of particular inspiration, pluck kernels, good reading!, DeCamp, Pratt, Jack Vance, A. Merritt, these will help you make your gaming better, the original AD&D, a collaborative storytelling effort, dice rolling and stats, min-max munchkin play, you have to have read a bunch of stories, things you should be building on, the players limitations make the gaming less good than it could be, most of these books were on the shelf in the 1970s and 1980s, Jack Williamson, publishing, the changing media, talking about movies and TV shows and computer games, pop culture is POPULAR, Stranger Things, True Detective, True Crime, locking a kid in the closet with no books, D&D has become its own incestuous thing, Forgotten Realms, wide open fantasy sandbox, engines to make other games, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, Pool Of Radiance, Pool Of Darkness, Wizardry (on the Apple II), Fallout 3, step out into the wasteland, dependent on a really good Dungeon Master, adventures around every corner, the dialogue tree comes out, I wanna save this farmer, I wanna steal the farmer’s pants, the immaturity of the players, DMing is a skill, like Frisbee, cooperative, THACO, Star Trek Voyager, Naomi Wildman, a kid’s adventure holodeck program, nerfed, magical forest, Neelix, the creatures of the forest recognize Janeway, the ideal form of Dungeons & Dragons, your inventory, torch schedule, Darkest Dungeon, you have enough torches, the rope store, Fallout‘s inventory system, the creativity and the flow, how do we let our players have that same kind of adventure, domain play, tier 1 play, a town or country you kind of run, spouses and retainers, a bigger magic sword, New Vegas, post apocalyptic, stories around every corner, bottlecap currency, what we want is the story, whatever mechanics are there, leveling up, new spells new attacks more attacks, achievement unlocked, a real scholar now, awards, you’re a real boy now, army promotions, Eisenhauer is needed, a false understanding of what we’re here to do, the sense of awe, the first time playing Dungeon & Dragons, lead figures, carrying about what colour dice they have, getting a glimpse of Tsathoggua through a keyhole, console games, computer games, like reading a really good book but completely different, I killed a demon, I am a demon, a more advanced version of cops and robbers, go down to the basement, these dice say I hit you for double damage, FPS, all shooting games, Portal, it breaks what you thought was possible, The Long Dark, making mittens, zen meditative, achieving balance, murder hobos, wilderness adventure, one dungeon, not a lot of dragons, two dragons in twenty years, what we need to do as dungeon masters, what players need to do as players, can I stab this or set it on fire, a character with massive charisma, make friends with the monsters, combat oriented, the epic moments, inter-dimensional travel, you can become a god, Leah Libresco [Back Again From The Broken Land], intelligence, wisdom, strength, in real life, we don’t have the player character sheet at all, keep it under the hood, extra speech options, you are less involved, do you even lift, bro?, a suit of armor because suit of armor, Age Of Conan, I got a dagger, a fur diaper, and maybe some boots, a flagon of wine and a girl, World Of Warcraft, mount armor, change the world, Knights Of The Old Republic, Elder Scrolls: Oblivion, guilds, all these titles, oh you wanted to buy bread?, the game doesn’t care, when games are capable of caring, an anti-perk: gravedigger, the orc said: I know you of old…, The Many Colored Land by Julian May, a one way gate to the Pliocene, exporting criminals to the past, giant toadstool forests, megafauna, visiting aliens with psychic powers, almost all based on Julian May’s interest in geology and history, the Wild Hunt, accommodateable, straight sci-fi, all through the lens of Tolkien, Greyhawk and Dragonlance, Krynn, kinder instead of hobbits, dragon people, Vancian magic, you don’t understand the building blocks, to have the internet back then, so much is public domain, a blogpost in 2014, so much of it has never been republished, what is actually great, what’s being pushed by a publisher, the cult of the new, nothing from before 1987, The Professionals (1966) with Lee Marvin, Dave Arneson, self-enforcing mythology, Charisma Zero (2013), a player is getting divorced, the hipster is way to cool, what made him a loser, some genuine reality going on there, its a lifestyle, live and breathe Dungeons & Dragons is kinda sad and kinda amazing, the first modules, GenCon, where’s Wisconsin, Tomb Of Annihilation, a meat grinder simulator, Jason Thompson’s D&D module poster maps, 37 species of zoogs, the dreamlands, there used to be kinds of stories, it can’t be done without irony anymore, no-one can write it that way anymore, subverting expectations, a lack of planetary romance, August Derleth, The Trail Of Cthulhu, more of what you had, a magic wand, take what you can get, sad puppies, the Hugo Awards contest, John C. Wright, the popular clique, your ability to get into people’s hands, a list of old books, old fiction, some of them sounded pretty weak, Nine Princes In Amber by Roger Zelazny, cigaretty voice, World Of Teirs by Philip Jose Farmer, Gardner F. Fox, a really innovative way, a very small organization, I want more people to read Gardner F. Fox, connected to comics, Crom his Conan ripoff, old-school pulp author, only five?, Walter Gibson and Lester Dent, The Moon Moth, The Dragonmasters, Planet Of Adventure, a kind of depth to his worlds, a plaster castle held up by two by fours vs. a velvet tapestry with a stone wall with grout made from goblin bones, sketching out a world with a few lines, footnotes, Jorge Luis Borges, granular detail, Philip K. Dick wrote a lot about spies, Mr Jim Moon’s show on Piper In The Woods, set in the pacific during WWII, Seabees, I’m a plant, how dryads reproduce, Typee by Herman Melville, a garden of Eden, it takes 20 minutes to build a house vs. pull ropes and get hit with the lash all day, Poul Anderson, The High Crusade is so fun, The Broken Sword, Three Hearts And Three Lions, The Moon Pool by A. Merritt, Dwellers In The Mirage by A. Merritt, vikings at the North Pole, ragging on Michael Moorcock, why people liked Elric, navel gazing, so sad, I murdered a bunch of people now I’m sad about it, Stanley Weinbaum, Jack Williamson, Manly Wade Wellman, A Martian Odyssey, fabulously science fictional, spaceships, a virtual reality story in the 1930s, totally inspirational reading, Andre Norton, read this list as inspiration for your own campaign, the concept of this book, the foundations most people don’t realize are there, this is where I got some ideas, ruleset, where do all the other rules plug in, the monks were added because kung-fu was so popular, illuminating a manuscript vs. a Shaw Brothers character, more books like this, as we discussed in October, a book of Star Trek literary references posts, Arena by Fredric Brown, microphones for eyes, Darmok, Gilgamesh + Arena, Picard would, post-scarcity communist future allows us to read Gilgamesh and archaeology, lifts from literature, lifts from themselves, that idea worked, lets do our version of it, Stuart J. Byrne, he Kirked the computer, V’Ger, The Changeling, Nomad, his influence shows up in the first star trek, The Doomsday Machine, Fred Saberhagen, the Berserkers, hey I read Tolkien and I have a elves and goblins in a forest, break out of that mold, Portal 2, the Logic Bomb, this sentence is false, the cake is a lie, it becomes more of what it is, Doom and Wolfenstein and Spear Of Destiny, its short, literally out of the box thinking, it’s amazing, things can be different, a tavern with an old man giving you a mission, Lord Dunsany’s The King Of Elfland’s Daughter, The Book Of Wonder, gnoles vs. gnolls, Jesse’s favourite kind of Dungeons & Dragons, Thief, old game books, like choose your own adventure with dice, play honest with the book, the gap between the two, a regular novel is completely linear, game books, told in second person, we are so luckly right now, scanning books, finding them and buying them, way more of this and a lot less Tolkien ripoffs, a late 80s, really grimdark, Between Planets by Robert A. Heinlein, you can just read Scalzi, you don’t need to read Heinlein, 2,000 pages of his inspired by Starship Troopers book, Farmer In The Sky, every book was different, why do we have to have another series?, that publishing drive, a sequel hook, advertising a one-off book, “listen Larry Niven if you write just one more Ringworld book we can bring Ringworld back into print”, from 1979 onward, The Martian by Andy Weir, only four or five years old, these things did happen, thinking along parallel lines, the requisite map, you just told me you know noting and I don’t need to read you, that’s just geography, picking up these cues, treating it like a science, arbitrary rules, Lost, what’s in the hatch?, that Sullivan guy, just good set dressing, J.J. Abrams has not content, M. Night Shyamalan, Heroes went nowhere, Star Wars and Star Trek, we as readers need to be chintzy with our attention, where are your bonafides, that’s not how you pronounce Suleiman the magnificent, Shadow Of The Vulture by Robert E. Howard, egret vs. eaglet, we’re conjuring up things with our mouths, a Savage Sword Of Conan plot, Finnish Eskimos? The Summi?, favourite campaigns, a buried dead god they’re trying to resurrect, a turn based dungeon crawl, a quasi-medieval setting, the sanity system, confronted by trauma, gain a mania or a depressive problem, prayer or tavern or wenching, all narrated by Wayne June, The Ancestor is evil, from The Rats In The Walls, Darkest Dungeon 2, computer games tend to get better, becoming more what they are, a hybrid experience.

Appendix N by Jeffro Johnson

Dungeon Master's Guide

@Algncs' Appendix N Bookshelf

Appendix N by Gary Gygax

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