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

Posted by Jesse WillisBecome a Patron!

The SFFaudio Podcast #673 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: Inside Earth by Poul Anderson

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #673 – Inside Earth by Poul Anderson – read by Phil Chenevert. This is a complete and unabridged reading of the novelette (2 hours 3 Minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Paul Weimer, Scott Danielson, and Will Emmons

Talked about in today’s show:
Inside Earth by Poul William Anderson, Galaxy Science Fiction, April 1951, The Marching Morons by C.M. Kornbluth, Beetlejuice Bridge by William Tenn, Nice Girl With Five Husbands by Fritz Leiber, Galaxy vs. Astounding vs. Planet Stories, a good reason to do a podcast, the content, its disturbing, extremely though provoking, racism, imperialism, presented in what Science Fiction does, pulling away from humanity for a second, thinking about a lot of things, isn’t this nifty, strands of thought, the libertarian camp, utopia, doing what the humans do, Will’s agenda, can’t trust them, what the message is, The Fall Of The Roman Empire (1964), part of the empire, Romanizing barbarians, unity, slavery of humanity, in a terrarium, indoctrinated, deprogrammed vs. programmed, interesting nuances, Valgonians, the best versions of themselves, who is defining best?, races and cultures and creeds, made into a Jew, a Norwegian, Levinson, comments throughout, written by the seat of his pants?, doubts about their plan, a poor plan?, infiltration, against their own people, The Americans, on the cover, a scene not even set on Earth, inside earth culture, fallen in love with a human, feelings for Barbara, get over his backstory of his dead wife, I was Earthling, being restored to normal, as complete and scarless, I’d be human again, the Klingons think they’re human, later Star Trek episodes, surgically altered humans and Klingons, nose ridge addition, convergent evolution, the Federation works like the Empire does here, Enterprise, guided on your tricycle, the Valgonian Empire, “slant eyed” is unfortunate, “it’s a very diverse empire”, two ways of looking at science fiction: 1. telling us about ourselves 2. how things could be, an analogy for something happening in the world vs. the Star Trek plan, how often Mr. Spock is an alien, Balance Of Terror, a WWII submarine vs. destroyers story, suspicious of Mr. Spock, Mrs. Spock is above suspicion, the actor’s a Jew but not the character, can we trust our Japanese soldiers?, can we trust our Navajo translators?, can we trust our German population?, war having a common enemy, this melting plot, the lack of skepticism on the part of our narrator, reeducation camps will work?, remake Afghanistan, 100% on board with it, I want another kid, they’ll sterilize me, its good to sterilize people, eugenics, hereditary taints, in 1951 its still there, how genetics work, the spirit bears, the same species as black bears, blonde hair isn’t a defect we think, but something definitely are, these people are resistant to a disease, genetic diseases, Huntington’s disease, Robert J. Sawyer, that level of protection against a fairly common disease, beneficial, neutral, or bad, in the scope that we have now, the Hari Seldon plan is never wrong, dentists who are social engineers, Will had to brush his teeth so he wouldn’t get sterilized, an uplift story, cultural uplift, the [David] Brin stories, Jesse didn’t start WWII, a certain set of people, the controls of power, Justin Trudeau is more responsible for climate change than I am, he solar system was in disarray, what’s the story this week, Afghanistan wins again!, we need to civilize them, two trillion dollars investment lasted a week, Hamid Karzai hugging the Taliban leaders, its liberation, just like the Russians, the British, Alexander the Great, very naive, a travelogue for something that happens a lot, something cops do all the time, infiltrate organizations, Martin Luther King, cops in the Environmental movement having children with people, he put her back on the list, oh he’s going with her, she’ll hate me for years (but its for his own good), the original plan, we’re going to the concentration camp together, meta evidence, just a reeducation camp or a death camp?, why is this report being told, a quasi-official report, bed talk, flying by the seat of his pants, who go into deep?, crushed and reeducated, oops, Poul Anderson tragedy, what it means to be a Valgonian, maybe he wants to take the punishment?, Dominic Flandry, agent for a galactic empire, what else are you going to do?, better than anarchy, disillusionment with empire, the strongest case, how Valgonian soldiers treat earth Terries, the SS showing up in Paris, Resistance movies set in occupied France, the occupied French people, we train them to be rude, treat the people nicely, don’t call them ragheads, be courteous, apparently not racist at all, play that up, super-interesting, the United Nations, a psychotechnic league story, Anderson’s political beliefs, world government, from pro-UN to anti-UN, its empire, the UN as a governing body for the world, while this is happening in Afghanistan, “it’s going to be really weird when in 6 months this podcast comes out”, Ender’s Game, H.G. Wells’ martians in The War Of The Worlds, I have no race prejudices, a menace to the peace of the galaxy, the lesser empire, no inferior races but only more or less advanced ones, The Man In The High Castle by Philip K. Dick, clashing for a difference in philosophy, the lies we tell ourselves about WWII, we won the war, its all about Europe, 80% of Germans were killed by the Russians, D-Day, one of the many many lies we tell ourselves about WWII, that was the just war, we have some doubts about the nuking of humans, firebomb the civilians all to death, WWI civilian casualties vs. WWII civilian casualties, A Bright Shining Lie (1988), Col. John Paul Vann, a true believer, a civil war for the liberation of a country from its occupiers, propping up the South Vietnam government is like propping up Karzai, how long?, centuries, thousands of years, Will is very shy but has ideas, pull together ideas, social engineering, where science fiction comes from: put smart people in front of dumb people, Paul says Will needs to read The Marching Morons (Jesse agrees, and says it is a bad story), we’ll be welcomed as liberators, top down speeches, always another excuse as to why we have to keep doing the war, this is just a story, this position in science fiction that is uncritical of technocracy and experts knowing what is better than other people, narcotic gas is like daddy coming to take the toys away, the most disturbing part of the story, paternalism, the general premise of the relationship with Barbara, lovey dovey story (been lying to her the whole time), she’s supposed to hate him for years she can’t help it, paternalism even in his romantic relationship, get queasy, a very interesting story, not the most well thought out story ever, an underground agent’s thoughts, its going to make me suffer when I flip on these people, a price you pay that your bosses don’t pay, hence promoted two ranks, an abstract evil, the meta-dialogue, what these titles mean, it even meant something, just sounds that came out of people’s mouths, an eagerness close to hero-worship, the colonel, if you use the language enough you get to believe it yourself, what does West Point teach its officers, engineering and road building and well digging, a tweets abandoning the Kurds, what the internal politics of the two parties will use against each other, using the Kurds against Bush, against Biden, woefully obtuse or lying or stupid, “abandon” or “support” the Kurds, now Jesse gets it, are their Valgonian factions pro or against, just the party line, if you’re people who are doing this, orders, we need a win hear, go take a building, you don’t need to know and you can’t inquire, a submission, its all lie, Jesse’s meta-text, maybe this is more sophisticated than it looks, Barbara’s picture, on page 35, she looks like a robot, she looks like a Stepford wife, our hero with the mohawk, ramrod straight, staring into space, she’s from an old family, she’s rich, he’s marrying into this old rich family, a wander the Earth guy, whose going to be top dog, a best friend he punches out, dirty ’30s hobo story, an awful lot of tramping going on on Earth, we’re told there’s no homelessness and no hunger anymore, only tackling inherent racism, the difference between the original Star Trek and the Next Generation, it comes back in Deep Space Nine, and to our profit, Voyager, the Maquis is the more sophisticated reading, admirals are almost always wrong, “the war is winnable”, the Thomas Friedman unit, Matt Taibbi, writing “the next six months will tell” for twenty years, New York Times columnists being consistently wrong for twenty years, your job pitch, returning to the story, time as a tramp and a steel worker and his time hanging out around Barbara’s house, it sounds like he’s trying to blow his cover, a very strange tonal note, let’s go kill a Valgonian vs. I try to be fair to everyone, class, we need to cultivate the elite of earth, help the Terries become whatever they need to be, at some point in the future, the Ferengis are going to become part of the Federation, the Dominion is the evil version of the Federation, our union that is called the Federation, the details on that, genetically engineered enforcers, their ultimate motivation, the solids don’t like shapeshifters, the Klingons and the Romulans can get along because they have four limbs and a head, Odo is an infiltration unit, the evil humans, we need to be incredibly skeptical of power, an endless fleet of admirals, policy this and plan that, you can’t trust it, as a provocateur isn’t to just start the wars its to include, the January 6th [*insurrection*] was infiltrated, the Whitmer kidnapping plot was infiltrated, a very flawed hero, should we have any respect for him?, the greater good going to be achieved or is this the occupation of the Philippines, enhanced interrogation for the greater good, kind of naive, a fun adventure vs. a guide for thought, in the thinking department, kind of juvenile?, written to quickly for pay?, Anderson is always competent but has no style, Philip K. Dick has weird grammatical stuff, H.P. Lovecraft has his own quirks, a Scandinavian, thematic, robots and boobs and weird grammar, the ideas flow very easily, internal monologue, the king of clarity is Asimov, Asimov is very simple, Anderson is a little silly, the muscles removed from his ears so they wouldn’t wiggle anymore, silliness and tragedy, the dead wife, Flight To Forever, super-nova class warships, a doomed romance, Tau Zero, a happy ever after polygamy story at the cost of the universe: “it was worth it”, fan theories, how the Klingons got that way, arguing for hours, page 36 (23 of the PDF), still capitalists and communists, a million petty divisions, an alien firm but just rule, why we have to be there, they’re so divided unlike us, that’s the way you have to run things, the messiness is what they’re against, what horrifies people the most on the deep web, the bottom of the iceberg of the deep web, whatever google has on its how page, way down deep, underneath all the car accidents and horror body porn, art pieces, tones and two color bars intersecting with each other, Voynich manuscript style websites, where’s the search bar, it needs to be ordered, spell everything the same way everyone else does, you are forced to go to school, you don’t want to live a disordered life do you?, you can’t make your own letter and put it in your own sentences, speech precedes the alphabet, this is the one way and the only way, we’re building roads and building bridges, the ultimate problem here, what does that education camp do, regular propaganda, it has to be felt, the weird bard symbolize all the races, the black site torture facilities, conform, A Clockwork Orange, Alex is a psychopath and a rapist, will should have a notebook, don’t impose a notebook on him, orthography is important, communicating efficiently with others, Sequoyah the Cherokee people, we will preserve our language by making it readable, the G8, all the people wearing suits, the Mao suit, the respectable white shirt and a tie and a jacket, Qaddafi, to honor his heritage, putting on that three piece suit to become legit, the Saudis don’t do that, a subversion with in the text (not on purpose), a psyop, Jesse doesn’t trust a plan, Qanon, foolish to trust any sort of authority, sunlight and cameras all over everybody’s business, a panopticon facing at the guards and their bosses, your average Valgonian, the stupid Section 31, the deep state doesn’t acknowledge their secret police, the FBI is not secret police, police are in other countries, they do the same job as the secret police, thought provoking but not a thought leading story, were you surprised to see the words sluts in 1951, sluts are good, what of it, how did he get away with that?, working class women with low morals, hair like molten golden, blonde or red-haired, the stepford type, Poul Anderson’s personal life, Astrid Anderson, Greg Bear, science fiction royalty, no kings or queens please, the cover picture, is one of these our guy?, Barbara is in the red dress, our guy is in the grey suit, more like a hive than a rebel base, a big conspiracy, the Valgonian conspiracy, the official line and what everybody knows, the official plan doesn’t seem to be like what everybody knows, talking to actual anarchists, we know the cops are trying to infiltrate us, dead give away you’re a Fed, looking for traitors, its sorta incoherent, an accelerationist theory, voting for Trump will make the thing that the United States come fast, tearing off the bandaid vs. slowly peeling it off, a faction of Christianity, Justin Trudeau, we need the funding from this pipeline to fight climate change, Jesse predicts the 2021 Canadian federal election results [sadly, accurately 5 weeks before it happened], not enough hope, what’s their hit rate, the domino theory, fight them over there so we don’t have to fight them over here’, the Taliban vs. Boogaloo Bois, joining the rebel alliance vs. subverting the rebel alliance, a fixup?, it was all a lie!, we aren’t told what I was told we were, a worthy read, Phil Chenevert made it very easy reading. Horace Gold, best of Galaxy (The Galaxy Reader), its a good story, needs a little something, what the point was, Terrie Like Me, an exploration of colonialism, the British in India, it doesn’t line up, the stratification, a copy of Britain, getting an upper middle class going, physically bigger, they’re cold because they’re red Scandinavian with mohawks, to fry an egg, pajamas and tea and curry and eastern mysticism, what do the Valgonians get?, why you have to be so occupy-y, buy into the empire, they want to pull their troops away, we don’t want to be occupying you but you still need us, we’re going to choose your rebellion leader for you, Karzai’s a trustworthy guy, Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s retrieval artist series, alien laws, The Disappeared, Childhood’s End by Arthur C. Clarke, apotheosis, science fiction properties, The Way Of The Pilgrim by Gordon Dickson, Jesse is ruined, smaller versions of us, you’re not worthy, the Dread Empire series by Walter Jon Williams, a parody of Paul’s writing would need “Shenanigans Happen” “you have to tweet that”, Will is sated by this conversation.

Inside Earth by Poul Anderson

Inside Earth by Poul Anderson

Inside Earth by Poul Anderson

Inside Earth by Poul Anderson

Inside Earth by Poul Anderson

Inside Earth by Poul Anderson

Inside Earth by Poul Anderson

Posted by Jesse WillisBecome a Patron!

The SFFaudio Podcast #670 – READALONG: The Troop by Nick Cutter

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #670 – Jesse, Evan Lampe, and Connor Kaye talk about The Troop by Nick Cutter

Talked about on today’s show:
Craig Davidson, 2014, body horror, you should read this, Farmer In The Sky, the Boy Scouts thing, sample, 1938 editorials, 1920s magazine formatting, dismissive of modern fiction, something to this book, Mr. Jim Moon, Marissa VU, why did Connor agree to do this book, pretty hookable, the worms got in your brain, the Stephen King quote, Jonathan Maberry, a book stands on its own, EarthCore by Scott Sigler, serialized podcast novel, competent, big evil corporation, bigger books now, he can almost make a living, Jesse’s on a rant, 4000 reviews vs. 16,000 reviews, not in the gutter, for the mainstreams, not targeted at Jesse, paperback mainstream horror market, Clive Barker, Stephen King,enjoy vs. get the ride, kind of sickening on purpose, Hellraiser (1987), scary cenobites, Cabin Fever (2002), am I supposed to want all these people to die?, top reviews, a big yawn, somebody’s jaded, “fuck this book” (rated five stars), a lot of gifs in people’s reviews, Goodreads as a social media, only 80 pages in, ridicule the fat kid, what kids do, the fat shaming of the fat kid, no women in this book, make the Doctor a woman, give her agency, a zombie book, a wendigo tale in a way, get the Algernon Blackwood out, a zombie apocalypse with 5 boys on an island, weird news website, “Cheeseburger Kills Space Alien”, worldbuilding for what’s happening and what will come, Evan is reading everything King wrote, influenced by King’s Carrie, global, Evan’s YouTube channel, Dreamcatcher, that Shelly character, It by Stephen King, backstory, that stage of life, comparing to King, any story with 4 boys in it is compared to The Body or It, Ephraim, a thrill junkie, heavy on the character, I’m reading that book you gave me, I wanna see all of these boys die, develop suspense, a novel designed to be a novel, as opposed to a story, a booklength study, what about the mainland?, Starvin’ Marvin, an incredibly well done paint by numbers, why is this all happening, sustaining of a certain mood, Lovecraft’s payoffs, the communication about a certain way of seeing reality, 11 hours, similes, endless similes, how something smells, Nick Cutter’s favourite thing is the smell of something, this book is about hitting you in the fears, such a common feeling, is that hunger something deeper?, throw in a psychopath, this isn’t a true story, Nick and Cutter I should have seen it coming, the appeal, ticking off a powerful fear, making comparisons to Mengele, Herbert West Re-Animator, a lab leak book, that weight loss drug, thinspiration!, eat whatever you want!, the background stuff, how did this all happen, is it fully contained?, why it appeals as movie (a built in ending), spending 11 hours with 14 year olds, Lord Of The Flies by William Golding, set during WWIII, the psychology of a bunch of boys on an island, a sick book, why are we pushing THIS book, The Walking Dead, reduced to crazy brutal violent hierarchical social relations, people being shitty to each other, the history of people in crisis and society in crisis, that [Thomas] Hobbesian world, Walking Dead: The World Beyond, a high school drama, we’re told they’re smart, they say smart things, a regular high school drama set in zombieworld, trying on a series of how to live together, they’re primitive communists, drama happens, canned food 10 years after the zombie apocalypse, a planetary crisis about to happen, the least interesting set of kids, Jesse’s not learning anything from it, the cover up, the lab leak, the former head of the CDC, not a wet-market story, it happens, a town known for doing this, Fauci testifying, Rand Paul, there is a cover up going on, they’re doing it because they want to develop weapons, the doctor as a scapegoat, GQ, worms are really tough, Max Kirkwood, these interstices bits, Alex Markson, Nick Cutter knows how to write, what are we really getting?, the weight loss drug, violence towards animals, a vegan interpretation of this, where it connects, am I the only one bothered by the graphic animal abuse scenes, essential to your dinner, I’m made out of meat, where we are, gooseberries want to be eaten but not too much, there’s a war, poisons and thorns, that’s just the plants, your hot dog didn’t want to be eaten it lived on a farm somewhere, we get old, we get feeble, we get infections, so smooth, why do I need this reminder?, why do they need this reminder?, rollercoasters, trying to eat the turtle, the vegan message, the anti-factory farming message?, having to slaughter animals, where the meat comes from, Boy Scouts, a simulation, he doesn’t do anything with it, Boy Scouting gear, the belt pouch, the sash with all the achievements, swearing allegiance to the queen and to god?, soldiers shooting the kid, Scouts during WWI, quasi militaristic, jamboreeing with, the meat-grinder that is WWI, ribbons, making new uniforms and grave signs, bullets and bombs and aircraft, there’s a lesson, it sucks to be ground up into chow, when politicians tell me about WWI, it made us into a country, this is not propaganda at all, its nothing, there’s no message, experiences, interesting scene here, interesting scene there, the ending when Max goes back to the island, what the book was about, he felt a hunger inside, Chapter 50, Falstaff Island, all the similes, the sterile chlorine smell of a public pool, a nameless hunger, with teeth that called his name, forever changed by this experience, a cop-out of an ending vs. the experiences have opened his eyes to the horror of reality, what is he going back to the island for?, the way he had to end it, what did I read this book for, Jason or Freddy Kruger?, the amazing worm boy strikes again, a lot of bullying in this book, the surgery, it needed to happen (technically), needing to establish the worm is inside them, what it looks like, sore throats and hangnails, the doctor scoutmaster, the parental figure becomes helpless, it works, you’ve seen horror movies, a horror movie trope, its a recipe, this is a real message, Poe lingers over the disgusting, big pile guts fall, some kid is cutting on his arm, pull a guy’s scalp off, go for the gross-out, horror, terror, the loving depiction of the gross out, Hannibal Lector, sauteing a guy’s brain and feeding it to him, its something to do, the medical scene in The Exorcist (1973), the vegan interpretation again, page 169, devourer vs. conqueror worms, the non-island boys part, hydatid infestation, subject is… “the window period the window period”, The Conqueror Worm by Edgar Allan Poe, highly interpretable, all sorts of things (not all of them involving pizza), seize it not, horror the soul of the plot, we are our own worst enemy, a horror show, in human gore imbued, the play is the tragedy Man, all these diseases we’re getting, I’m eating food made of meat, its kind of gross, you shouldn’t exist, you gonna get infected, is there nothing more substantial here, the whole appeal of body horror, a Lovecraftian element, a thing from outside we can use as a metaphor, fear to sleep, I wanna go to the doctor and get de-wormed, I don’t wanna watch the video, too horrific, Hellraiser is a cool story, outer forces, without the snippets, it would appear to them be supernatural, the surgery and knowing, just a description of what’s happening, The Colour Out Of Space is kinda sad an disgusting, when the speedboat gets taken down by the military, on the inside looking out at things you don’t understand, Pontypool (2008), a zombie movie with words, set in a radio station, The Night Wire by H.F. Arnold, The Mist by Stephen King, start it with chapter 10, wonderful horrible, the interstices reassure you that the body horror is cleaner, just enjoy the infection rather than what causes the infection, a virus, a covid book, its in your meat, its swimming behind your eyes, something inside your head telling your what to do, see the infection spread, lampshade it as much as you want, you need to have that infection spread, a cosmic fear, its just a plain-old infection, cutting into himself, I don’t watch Star Trek for the phaser fights, phaser fights are stuff to do, The Strain, worms are kinda gross, low hanging fruit, tapeworms and what they can do, get a rise out of your fellow campers, emotionally manipulating other people as a way of being, infecting themselves with tapeworms to loose weight, extreme measures, he dwells on it, mundane and popular, a pharmaceutical leak, something not in the audiobook, the acknowledgements, you may have something here, Kickass Kirby Kim, we could possibly have something here, we may just have something here, Thestomax, Carrie was a great inspiration, borrow, steal, Carrie‘s chassis, honor the master, he named his kid after his pseudonym, he’s eating for a family now, just a scary scary book, tapeworms are disgusting, throughout nature, they’re everywhere, a very good book about visceral gross-out, it weighs a certain amount of grams, a cheeseburger of a book, The Midnight Meat Train (2008), CHUD movies, people in the underground interacting with people in the overground, a weird tales as a body horror, the imagery, helping the baby turtles into the ocean, it doesn’t have a message, The Thing (1982), a cosmic-ness to that body horror, its all what it is, the whole military angle, the pharmaceutical industry, it doesn’t pay off, the government cover-up, an end of the world movie where they spend a lot of time looking at people watching TV, reaction videos on YouTube, to manipulate emotion vs. giving understanding, why aren’t the Americans in on this, Canada doesn’t have any Apache helicopters, he takes order from…, he’s taking orders from the bug inside him, a technically good book with almost nothing in it, The Lord Of The Flies, they turn to Satan, kids will turn on each other, people will, its all on the island, its all about what’s happening on the island, if you don’t notice it, On The Beach by Nevil Shute, Tomorrow, When The War Began by John Marsden, a military experiment, other lab leak books, The Stand, where did this other funding come from?, when Fauci is funding the Wuhan lab, my bureaucracy, my scientists want to do it but more importantly it expands my empire, we have this money, back to P.E.I. proper, hiding some information, make it eerie, he needs to put that stuff in there, this is not a horror movie of the Freddy Kruger kind it is a mundane horror, what the adults have done, not participating in the book, Gregory Peck, Ava Gardner, the banality of a pharmaceutical greed and superficiality, the antithesis of beauty is body horror, literally a lampshade, the inner views of what people are thinking, the lurking voice in the background, videogames on rails, you’re subject, no room for you, spoonfed to you, with Stephen King there’s space to mull, coming from the unconscious vs. coming from the conscious, why is The Thing more horrifying, a pretty damn good book, hitting all the right points, there’s no heft, you don’t carry it with you when you’re done, how is this book supposed to be received, Stephen King has something niggling inside him, other books, The Deep, Rust And Bone, to promote his book, steroids and boxing matches, Evan doesn’t care that much about promoting his podcast, a 16 week steroid cycle, a Toronto poet, something Hemingway would do, Daniel Day-Lewis, very method, examined the field, replicate the effect he is going for, The Violin And The Void, rank all your books by ranking them against other books you’ve read, ranking your books, SABCDEF rankings, always talking about Neuromancer, ways of ranking things, not substantial, a well done exercise in body horror, The Hellbound Heart by Clive Barker, we could be done, it wasn’t the worst book I’ve ever read, compared to Farmer In The Sky, it didn’t have to be boy scouts, boy scout values, redeeming the surgery scene, he has a message there, the adults are prominent in memory, the characterization is really good, the misunderstood fat kid, Newton, Kent the jock, the psychology is very solid, why it exists, body horror has a limit, vegans bring that to the table, the brutality of survival, they don’t even eat the turtle, they give it to Satan, look at these boys, nobody has learned anything, a wendigo tale in a modern environment, Ravenous (1999), comedy, comic aspects, boing sound effects, juxtaposition, a good wendigo story, drawing on the folklore of the wendigo, the gluttonous wendigo, not a hint of wendigo, he’s only thinking about tapeworms, in conjunction with the pharmaceutical weight loss, drugs turn yourself on turn yourself off, the two pill solution, back stories help a little bit, it doesn’t deliver on some agenda that the author has, no agendas in their pulp fiction, naive, having an agenda makes for potentially interesting stuff, Tolkien has an agenda, there’s no politics, there’s nothing we can do with this information, we really got to stop eating tapeworms, drive to create products, technically a very horrible book, Evan has a statement, negative reviews on Goodreads, offended by this book existing, body horror is nature, no one warned me before I picked up this book, what do people want in books?, if you want a happy ending don’t read body horror, a kick out of horror, a good book and Connor enjoyed reading it, Saw (2004) is one of the best horror movies ever, the consequences of wanting to live, walking around in Shelly’s skin is disgusting, not having principles, voting for Biden = bombing kids, getting a boner for most of this book, tearing the wings off of things and squishing eyeballs, Shelly’s just a victim in the popular memory of this event, the doctor is the scapegoat, it makes the book longer, we get him being punished for being bad, the narrator knows he was an evil psychopath, Patrick Hockstetter, a motivating force in the plot, thwarting our heroes, stealing the spark plugs, just cause a things exists in the world doesn’t mean we have to spend a long time thinking about it, like a fetish, napalm, people who afraid to swim in lakes and the ocean, the thing in the lake, the fetish people who loved the rollercoaster, subject to this scary ride, fulfilling some sort of person’s fetish, well framed, well lit pornography.

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The SFFaudio Podcast #664 – READALONG: The Rolling Stones by Robert A. Heinlein

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #664 – Jesse, Maissa Bessada, Evan Lampe, and Will Emmons talk about The Rolling Stones by Robert A. Heinlein

talked about on today’s show:
1952, Tramp Space Ship, Boys’ Life, October November December, Farmer In The Sky, Space Family Stone, London, travel is conducive to reading, New English Library, the band?, so turgid, corny, when Grama Hazel almost died, why is my throat constricting, some good sentiment in there, this book is really corny, the scourge of the spaceways, at the bottom of the toxic lake, the Houdini trick, the twins needed their moment, it’s good for kids, they’re Fergengi, Heinlein kills off female characters, Hazel Stone is in The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, one of the founders of the Luna republic, the Martians, how many eyes does a flatcat have?, do they have three eyes?, Lowell gets to see a Martian, Red Planet, Evan really enjoyed this book, such a 50s traditional kind of story of entrepreneurship, radical gender politics, women in families, the most significant member of the family, the leaders of the family, who gets the least screentime, does medical stuff, it doesn’t star the twins, Meade doesn’t get that much attention, a democratic family, the politics of the family, collective decision making, the entrepreneurial side, trying to make a buck selling bikes, selling the scripts, the profits were the friends they made along the way, this is how its sold, Selling Free Enterprise: The Business Assault on Labor and Liberalism, 1945-60 by Elizabeth A. Fones-Wolf, union busting in the 1950, Creating The Corporate Soul: The Rise of Public Relations And Corporate Imagery In American Big Business by Roland Marchand, themes, somebody gets sick, Lowell gets “space sick”, groundhogs again, the step-sister in Farmer In The Sky, governments being inefficient and hyperefficient, for the good of the family, the regulation, a trade deficit, mostly its about family, get some money to buy some comics?, their hobby is the free enterprise system, a frost-free rebreathers, they’re geniuses, that’s me, a genius with a functional family, very yes dear, prospecting for uranium, the most sit-commy book, very quippy and dialoguey, they don’t really kill people off in sitcoms, except for Roseanne, a Planet Of The Apes reference, The Connors, Dan Connor had died but they brought him back to life, when they reboot this series in another 35 years, this book doesn’t invite pot-stirring, not very good science fiction, constant propaganda: math, free enterprise, and the family, making fun of Flash Gordon and planetary adventure, space opera, oh what a concept you have Robert Heinlein, Trouble With Tribbles, Will’s correct assessment, the history’s not that important, they cheated on their history test, just take more math, they’re audibly wrong, everybody in this family needs to know math, play chess on a scooter while facing death, Jesse’s not great at math, the planet Lucifer, is English tutoring more lucrative than math tutoring?, basic coin arithmetic, setting aside the propaganda, if you don’t have a family you die, earned not just assumed, a race with the Soviets, boy scouts need engineering degrees, Sputnik’s fear, anticipating and driving it, we’re mammals, or we’re dead, like Will’s porch kittens, snakes don’t have families, not as experimental as The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, everybody can write the TV show, the mentality of my audience, the relationship between tribbles and flatcats, Klingons and fake Klingons, more tribbles or whatever, David Gerrold, I stole it from Ellis Parker Butler’s Pigs Is Pigs, the officiousness of bureaucrats, the pet rate and not the livestock rate, 14,000 guinea pigs, Heinlein stole so much from this, is their TV show a radio show? no, they do a radio drama when advertizing the flatcats, Maissa loved it, a Galactic Overlord?!, who put the note their collection of bicycles?, can Lowell even write?, who’s Edith?, where are the children dear?, the heroic moment in the epidemic, Hazel maneuvers her son into things, the lowest IQ, very 1950s, to write a book, hear from him on civic matters, is this taken from Heinlein’s real life?, you weren’t dying dear, he loses his facemask in the shower, is this Heinlein?, Heinlein had trouble breathing, he had consumption, tuberculosis, a Larry Niven story, “The Return of William Proxmire“, Andy Weir’s Project Hail Mary, mathematical dumps, writing hard SF you need to do the math, they have sliderules, they don’t have a computer on their ship, the ship is scrap, gyros on a scooter, mechanical computers, when Jesse’s car breaks down, the boys save their grandma and little brother was math, mass and math go together, this book is super quotable, wherever their is power and mass to manipulate Man can live, Elon Musk is right we could live on Mars, we have those things free on Earth, the worm in the slime, we are the worm that crawled out of the slime, grew hands and started grabbing stuff, grabbin’ slide rules, headed to Titan, Meemaw wants to see the rings of Saturn, to the other planets, its cold out there, Titan has methane seas, is Paul right?, Kim Stanley Robinson’s 2312, the Mars trilogy, becoming more skeptical as time goes on, we could lay the keel for the Starship Enterprise right now, and have it in orbit, the replicators and the transporters don’t work, the shuttle would just clang around in the shuttle bay, Charley’s feet are his hands, we thought Hazel was gonna get married, Heinlein subverted the trope, more Evan complaints, very fun, the state got in the way, Hazel’s convincing speech, the twins are in jail again, surprised at the regulations, creating drama, put all your capital into bikes, Mars is under development, they almost go to Venus, Mars as a newly independent nation, generate tourism, what makes something a luxury good, when we get to the Asteroid Belt, the Moon, Mars and in transit, the Asteroid Belt is libertarian, Murder on Maris is a civil matter, Heinlein logic, spacing people, Heinlein plays it both ways, when he gets out the belt, an enlightened 1950s guy, beaten with a belt, corporal punishment in Chinese schools, little emperor, domestic violence, divorced women in China is about affairs?, the generations before were disciplined by teachers, paddled in school, I really want to hit your kid, it definitely changes your mood, playful and insulty vs. fearful, affective, education, International Correspondence School courses, a boat trip to Toba Inlet, distance education courses, so far away from the mainstream, singing him to sleep, contralto, a wonderful family experience, Dealer Dan, The Hungarian, the government surplus yard, war materiel, pickup an old Beaufighter, coming out of a real situation, WWII surplus DC3s etc., surplus corvettes, travel the seven seas, a rich person’s dream, no sense they are ultrawealthy, the cash flow problem, this funny show they don’t really respect, the worst juvenile, where’s the big science fiction concept?, that we could do this at all, surplus Elon Musk rockets, obviously bullshit (but not for everyone), we don’t see any class in this book, just people and the state, this judge is able to recognize Hazel, who populates the state, regulations they’ve invented for themselves, utopian, they’re never going to make any money, the libertarian commune, everybody’s broke, who settled the Moon?, the settlers of the Moon were prisoners (equally low), the Russian and American revolutions combined, more wuffie, what happened to the Mars people, an adorable little moment, heading for Mars, looking back at the Moon and the Earth, a lovely little Science Fiction moment, a great book to read while traveling, the big lie they tell about Heinlein: he’s not readable, a made up complaint, Our Opinions Are Correct, is Jesse is milking that?, writers talking to other writers, just read the modern stuff, was Clarke a pedophile?, racist, Paul says nobody needs to read Heinlein today, how to live your life in the asteroid belt, he really has ideas, Evan has a math minor, you don’t have to read either, the need to read, Edgar Allan Poe did just fine without reading Heinlein, stealing from Rudyard Kipling, why mine the past?, steal from the ancients, steal from Pollux and Castor, identical or fraternal?, both red heads, they took each other’s tests, which audiobook, Tom Weiner narrated a Philip K. Dick novels, buying a jalopy, space jalopies, Full Cast Audio, Heinlein doesn’t use much attribution anyway, almost nothing was abridged, one actors playing both twins, that would be so fun, exactly what the space family Stone does, table reading, Tom Weiner’s a good narrator, Pollux had cracking voice, another Heinlein juvenile, Time Enough For The Sky, Time Of The Twins, identical twins, telepathy, its not science but its an idea, Heinlein created the ideal family that he never head, wearing guns around (subverted), a pez dispenser, the competent doctor, the competent man who’s dumber than everybody else, the four kids he never had, he really, really, really wanted to be a dad, in my day I got whipped with a belt, you’re going to have to live with what you’ve done, how could anybody dislike this book?, too corny, old fashioned, its not hip, Heinlein was not a hipster, endearing corniness, this book is for me!, as a piece of history, not a good read for kids today, Rick Riordan, 40 years after the book came out, Nancy Drew, if a kid wants to read, missing the LGBTQ representation, barely any sex in this book at all, a lot of sex in this book (amongst the flatcats), Meade is going to find a husband, you’re husband high now, free will vs. determinism, free will is a golden thread running through the frozen matrix of fixed events, Predestination (2014), “All You Zombies”, mate with yourself and give birth to yourself, the concept is amazing, incest, are they just splitting off?, tribble sex may be initiated by petting, parasites, pretty funny stuff, no knock, corn is good, a nice spot in the solar system, Between Planets, a lot of connections to other Heinlein novels and stories, Evan needs to do a podcast on all of Heinlein, the most American Science Fiction writer, except no excuses, To Sail Beyond The Sunset, The Number Of The Beast, the Robert E. Howard letters to and from H.P. Lovecraft, the later Lovecraft revisions, the Star Trek Sex Book, what offends Evan, the sheer fucking hubris of Picard, Red Letter Media, make robot Picard gay, robot gay vs. regular gay, being from Milwaukee, Star Trek: Discovery, what Picard could have been…, Star Trek: Enterprise season 3 they’re in the Expanse, a Bing Crosby – Bob Hope movie, a cultural exchange with aliens, a thumb drive, future science fiction Star Trek world has no copyright, Dixon Hill, no culture in the 2100s, Buck Rogers in the 25th century, future music is just disco, two draw upon and make it deep, Nick And The Glimmung -> Galactic Pot-Healer, Heinlein’s future history, series as marketing rather than customer based demand, Fast And Furious 9, a lot of Fast And Furious lore, Will is being the devil, can’t a book just be a book, Luke Burrage, the Mission Impossible series, or the Marvel series, to make you repurchase something you’ve repurchased before, Transformers is dribble, well done dribble, every Marvel movie ends with a fight on a train, elevator -> bus -> train, The Fast And The Furious (2001) is a rip off of Point Break (1991), surfers vs. car thieves, dodge a juvenile, To Sail Beyond The Sunset, swinging sessions, The Cat Who Walks Through Walls, Farnham’s Freehold, On The Beach, Swiss Family Robinson, angry or excited, blacks enslaving whites, uppity whites gets castrated, Evan’s excited now, controversial, the provenance, Charles Stross, a privileged white male from California, an anti-racist novel only a Klansman would love, I appreciated what Heinlein was trying, the modern Conan comics make Jesse upset, they heard Conan was a pirate so they put gunports on his pirate ship, making Belit’s crew not black, they’re fearful of being racist, Robert E. Howard was not fearful of being racist, you hire a racism consultant to read your book, sensitivity readers, selling you racial indulgences, how many of the characters were coloured, the Icelandic guy, the Ferengis showing their true feelings for their fellow Ferengi humans, Heinlein doesn’t ignore it, reading it again, Stross’ read on what Heinlein is, Heinlein’s appointment to Annapolis through a senator, privileged discourse, a meager property owner, this is a challenging book, 320 pages, a marital rape scene, why is it the way it is, why is it in there?, Red Planet is a little lighter, a cartoon adaptation, the Heinlein martians, the Fox Kids X-Men cartoon, science advisor, inside the house everybody’s a nudist, what is Heinlein’s masterpiece, The Moon Is The Harsh Mistress, Starship Troopers, him or her, the computer’s great, Manny’s missing a manual hand, French Revolution hats (phrygian caps), Marianne wears one, super-goofy, Stranger In A Strange Land, Evan’s return to Taiwan, Paul represents the reader’s perspective, Paul reads all of the modern books, being torn in half by the political discourse, reviewing, Revival by Stephen King, yummy, The Wonderful Adventures Of Phra The Phoenician by Edwin Lester Arnold, Gulliver Of Mars, A Princess Of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs, H.G. Wells, icebergs full of dead people, Arabian Nights, a magic carpet, the comics, headless squirrel, family values (teaching your offspring to dismember squirrels), why Earth is Hell, pain and death, we’ll be as moral as Mars, no pain on the Moon, that cute little puppy has 9 dead siblings, that cute cat killed and decapitated that cute squirrel, not a luxury for a suckling pig.

The Rolling Stones art by Steele Savage

FULL CAST AUDIO - The Rolling Stones by Robert A. Heinlein

BLACKSTONE AUDIO - The Rolling Stones by Robert A. Heinlein - read by Tom Weiner

Posted by Jesse WillisBecome a Patron!

The SFFaudio Podcast #660 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: Bartleby, The Scrivener by Herman Melville

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #660 – Bartleby, The Scrivener by Herman Melville; read by Bob Neufeld

This unabridged reading of the story (1 hour 53 minutes) is followed by a discussion of it.

Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Paul Weimer, Evan Lampe, Marissa VU, and Will Emmmons

Talked about on today’s show:
A Story Of Wall Street, Putnam’s Monthly, November and December 1853, college and high school, fucking great, so funny, very humorous, no joke, Seinfeld style, sad and existential, struggles with depression, is Bartleby depressed?, what was Melville trying to say, different ways of reading, a moment of silence for all the poor kids in school, 4 minute explainers on youtube, hard to classify, a weird tale like you would get in Weird Tales, cadaverous, Fitz-James O’Brien, Franz Kafka, kafkaesque, William Wilson by Edgar Allan Poe, its a piece of science fiction, Bartleby is an android, Star Trek’s Data, radioactive suitcase, the ghost story angle, the most important way of reading it, its all about the lawyer, the other clerks, Ginger Nut, John Jacob Astor, I prefer not to pay, other people are inscrutable, master of chancery, work ethic, real estate law, Turkey is drunk by noon, Nippers, low wages, allowed to listen to music, ginger cakes, useless in the afternoons, Nippers is a criminal, capitalism, before the clock took over, working on Saturday, time and motion studies, a copyist pretending to be an attorney, the Roman patron system, seedy coats, great language, McTeague by Frank Norris, practicing dentistry without a license, The Confidence-Man by Herman Melville, a lot to glean, I am a rather elderly man, writing for an audience, other biographies, the law copyists, physical xerox machines, monk work, reading aloud, take student texts with punctuation, perfection in sentences, a creative work vs. copying from one document to another, divers histories, other law copyists, an irreparable loss to literature, the original sources aka him, the second part of the serialization of the story, this kind of artifact, serialized over two months, Bartleby’s previous career, most lawyers want to be writers, imprimus, the easiest way of life is the best, unambitious lawyers, a snug retreat, a snug business among rich men’s bonds, keeping track of rich people’s money, an eminently safe man, a nice pun, the late John Jacob Astor, all the negatives, prudence, method, not unemployed in my profession, a rounded and orbicular sound to into it, rings like unto bullion, complimenting himself, John Jacob Astor the first, how old this story is, the story is set way earlier, an interesting pacific connection, trans-continental, 1848, Astoria, the incensed landlord, a metaphor for the United States, fugitive visits, Bartleby like an Indian who refuses to leave to go to the reservation, named after an act of enclosure, walls, the dead letter office metaphor, Touched By An Angel, a Christian show, the science fiction equivalent is Quantum Leap, The A-Team, solving problems with guns, the Hallmark Channel, Christian niceness, Signed, Sealed, Delivered, Dear John I miss you, items, your job is to open up the letter, any objects in the mail, a ring or money or tires is then auctioned off, unrequited letters, instead of reading and deleting letters you copy letters, reading the contents, contracts between billionaires, what debt is owned to whom, reading Bartleby as a dead letter, he has no place to go, there is no dead letter office for humans, taken to the prison, the grub man, he’s a person not a letter, the focus on Bartleby as the main character is not as interesting, he’s the one with the problem: Bartleby, he’s a weird employer because he cares about his employees a lot, fighting the system, stalkers, roses and letter, not leaving someone alone and being outside their place, playing with social norms, interest becomes stalker, no women in this story, Ginger Nut as a woman, Bartleby (2001), a zombie apocalypse done through sound, Pontypool (2008), Pontypool Changes Everything by Tony Burgess, when you hear certain words on the television, earworms, things are going to change, a bit of visual or auditory information can change the world, what makes it existential, he’ll just stand there, won’t do anything, embarrassment, amazingly passive, as a strategy of work resistance, Office Space (1999), most employers, The Last Article by Harry Turtledove, he tolerates him vs. he escapes, rather move himself than move Bartleby, prefer, the way his hands are, behind the screen, so handy to me, I had in hand, my right hand sideways, nervously extended, in this very attitude did I sit, imagine my surprise, rallying my stunned faculties, prefer not to?, are you moonstruck?, Žižek, backwards grammar, ending with a preposition, plaster of paris Cicero, this is very strange, had his face been any different he would have fired him, what do you think about what this guy’s doing?, our narrator is allowing this to happen, ah Bartleby, ah humanity!, Bartleby is in such a horrible position, this is our situation, the main character wants to be fired, this guy’s got spunk!, I’m going to need you to go ahead and…, upper management hears you’re an up and comer, the other authority figures in the story, King Of The Hill, Dale Gribble likes firing people, maybe Evan understands American history, the institutions aren’t there, SWAT the employees, dump the vagrants, when the cops hung up on Jesse, wrote a stern email to the chief constable, the busybody was just making trouble, a local crime gang, not SWATing people as much, the normal response is to give up, if you invent the post office, some items are undeliverables, setting up policies, an Indian with no band, mentally ill but not causing a disturbance, just not going home, he has no home, you can’t do that with people, what makes our unnamed lawyer protagonist so strange is that he cares about Bartleby, we put ourselves into capitalism, feeling spicy at work, ginger is a hot spice, he whom it would relieve, charity, pallid hopelessness, continually handling these dead letters, the finger it was meant for moulders in the grave, hope for those who died un-hoping, these letters speed to death, hopelessness and misfortune, one of Melville’s kids killed himself with a gun at home, Melville worked at the customs house, what we know of Melville’s going to sea, he needs to get to sea because the land is not for him, Typee, malingering or mutiny or deserting, Evan’s YouTube video: Herman Melville Wants You To Quit Your Job, Mardi, failing to find paradise, screw all this, Whitejacket, Redburn, Moby-Dick, bored from his normal life, disappearing from the novel, just there to tell the story, what are you doing here, sitting on the banister, the cause of great tribulation, a clerkship in a drygoods store, too much confinement, a bartender’s business, Nippers is always adjusting his work table, Joe Piscopo, no standing desk like Rumsfeld, trying time trying to entertain, I like to be stationary (stationery), I am bound to quit the premises myself, not wholly indulged before, go home with his boss, like a force of nature, he’s like a letter that’s a human, he can’t say where he needs to go, Melville’s first attempt to write a short story, I prefer not to, the driving thesis of Paul’s professor, here we are, when Paul was young and callow, confronted by reality, I know I’m talented I know I have the goods, some time goes by people catch up to what he’s doing, why his story is being taught in school, appreciating it at as piece of art, The Willows by Algernon Blackwood, I Have Placed My Sickness Upon You by Karin Tidbeck, Frritt-Flacc aka The Ordeal Of Doctor Trifulgas aka Dr Trifulgas by Jules Verne, volcanic France, what the fuck is this?, there’s a document involved, it means something, The Lost Room by Fitz-James O’Brien, about our mental condition, metaness, what does Wall Street have to do with it?, balancing out his other employees, its wrong to read it from its wrong, it must happen daily, he’s his own doctor and he’s having a heart-attack, have we exhausted Bartleby?, religious stuff, the lawyer is a messed up guy, this uncanny guy, he stopped working because his eyesight was bad, this earworm of I prefer not to, they’re making fun of him, they’re making fun of the lawyer, they’re bullying him, the drunk is funny, their solidarity is with their boss, false solidarity, the boss’ neuroses, in the Tombs, I know who you are, I know what this place is, Bartleby gets it, the antagonist, not a good place, the military angle, he’s been drafted into the army, we’d like you to go shoot that man, he’s seen the Lovecraftian document, the horror behind the veil, being like a cadaver, weird trick, Ginger Nut, Bartleby only eats ginger nut and cheese, he’s called to go get them, Coffee Boy, why is Turkey called Turkey?, dies of starvation, Nippers is the eating of food, the religious aspect, moral suasion, act like a Christian, charity, governed by paternalism, as resistance strategy, the reform era, 1830s-1840s, the Second Great Awakening, reforming American sins, perfecting American society, the anti-flogging campaign, vagrancy, part of the that culture, are your eyes recovered?, in word will you do anything at all?, behind a blind, the tragedy of the unfortunate Adams the unfortunate Colt, his fatal act, had that altercation taken place in the public street, doubtless of dusty haggard of appearance, a murder, A kills C, Bartleby (B), I grappled him and threw him, recalling the divine inter-junction, ye love one another, a great safeguard to its possessor, a murder for charity’s sake, drowning my exasperated feelings, benevolently construing his conduct, he has seen hard times and ought to be indulged, charity is the answer, if I focus on charity I won’t kill him, a servant to John Jacob Astor, Upstairs, Downstairs , Highclere Castle, servants and rich people in a period setting, Downton Abbey, know her place, they need to know their place, but there’s dignity in working for good people above us, in doing our jobs well we become elevated, you know its fucking evil, she’s lying to herself, ground up by the music hall industry, wenching, seeing the household from both POVs, the head butler, a lot like Uncle Tom’s Cabin, we are meant to be outraged by it, I feel unplaced in the world, I feel unmoored, Bartleby is moored, the judgement of history, Edgar Allan Poe’s life, “no, no, no, guys, I’m great”, we don’t have infinite time, made to punish children, a deflection, another form of property ownership, northern firms involved in slavery, what this person’s business is, he’s not an abolitionist, when the suing comes, they’re not copying out literature or love poetry, their literal job is photocopier, why he likes copying at first, gaining information, read back what you’ve already written, as a re-reader, checking someone else’s work, One Hour Photo (2002), a kind of stalker, so late in the lifecycle of the film camera, taking your work to seriously, too solitary in your work, what were you thinking when the lawyer finds the door locked, I’m not ready yet, what was he doing in there?, in public records, pretending he’s a music producer, this is an impropriety on his part, is our lawyer married?, I’m bringing a strange Bartleby home, the first moment of aggression, he’s not aggressive at all, he’s very ethereal, maybe he’s playing VR or something, Bliss (2021), Paul got baited and switched, Owen Wilson as Bartleby, Crispin Glover, David Paymer, Glen Headley, Maury Chaykin, there’s no audience for this really good movie, made for schools, some menace there, Dickensian, Dickens isn’t philosophical enough for this, the names, the sense of humour, very much like a weird tale, the uncanny, The Paradise Of Bachelors And the Tartarus Of Maids, pale women in a paper factory, put together a new issue of Weird Tales just out of Herman Melville stories.

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The SFFaudio Podcast #656 – READALONG: To Live Forever by Jack Vance

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #656 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, and Evan Lampe talk about To Live Forever by Jack Vance

Talked about on today’s show:
the Evan, the Lampe, just the one name?, get into someone else’s body, 1957, Paul’s suggestion, why did we settle on this one?, 1956, Planet Of Adventure, The Star King, Appendix N by Jeffro Johnson, the magic use that’s not religious magic use, the Dying Earth, set in the USA?, the counties, Malthusian crisis, Soylent Green, Stand On Zanzibar, consumers vs. producers, exploitation, the bosses take it all, Make Room Make Room, “The Conscience Of The King”, Star Trek, the (birth control) pill, Paul Erlich, the Green Revolution, Japan, cohorts, The Mote In God’s Eye, we’re worried we’re rabbits and then we’re worried we’re pandas, a real news story, perverse incentives, perverse understanding of reality, not worrying about their old age, a social safety net, fertility rates, standard of living, baby factories, birth control shots, (in)fertility in Zimbabwe, Harry Harrison, Robert Bloch, repression and expansion, the age of chaos, The Crack In Space by Philip K. Dick, finding the frontier, escaping a limited population, really this is all artificial, a retitling as Clarges, serious problems, spinning up a society, really into masks, The Moon Moth, masked societies, a good metaphor, Borges is all about the labyrinth, a murder mystery, a lot going on in a short book, the core exploration of the psychology, the five strata, gleigs?, brood, wedge, errant, amaranth, a false reality, the last city, the whole planet is available, why are they overpopulated, Glade?, he’s set it up wrong, a false premise, fashion, the conservatism of societies, dystopia, Billennium, The Space Merchants, the idea of slope, a free enterprise system, the Star Enterprise, “Critical Care” (episode of Star Trek: Voyager), the hypospray, The Shadow, a medical patented object, oil injection accidents, needle shots, medical stuff, psychiatry, Alfred Bester’s The Demolished Man, the hospital, the carnival, an analogy for our world, an elite class, extra good education at Yale vs. the poors, nobody is living forever, empathizing with a clone of themselves, empathize with humanity as a whole, something of a classic, win or overturn the system, overtake or knock over, the Demon Princes novels, revenge, Gavin Waylock, The Count Of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas, disrupting society by taking the rules really seriously, the actuarium, the accounting system, an unsustainable system, life extension by medical care, the allocator, slope and wedge, emergency care for people at the bottom, John Hopkins for those at the top, tooth implants, hairplugs, if this was a Brave New World story, John Savage, the outcast society as a threat, the carnival is the safety valve, another Star Trek episode, The Purge, carousel in Logan’s Run, lives of decadence, the assassins, the same world, the Sandman is the assassin, an exploration of a dystopia coded as a utopia, when Jesse goes to a job, what gives slope?, a group of elites who give their kids money and jobs, Hunter Biden, does he actually have slope?, or is the system rigged?, how many papers he’s written, a group of people doing their job perfectly, if you’re looking for corruption that’s where it is, kind of like capitalism, Monopoly, capitalism defenders (rising tide lifts all boats), a gripe with planned economies, slightly conservative, not pro-communism, he’s making his own world, he’s not talking about us, what deserves slope, a talented accordion player won’t give you slope (Weird Al Yankovic), Evan’s not earning slope, Michio Kaku, a string theorist, popular science futurism, a way to make money, string theory is not science (because it is not testable), drilling down its bullshit, he’s just absolutely wrong, does he get slope?, did this guy have slope?, we are told innovation is always happening, great tech, the reactions, the witherers and the weirds, Jesse’s seen them on twitter, herbivore men in Japan, I never saw him I hate that guy, just playing games, I got my waifu pillow, Magnus Panvidya is a witherer, a famous boogaloo boi, a national security threat, ironic proud boys, no ideology, we don’t like the way things are, our goal, are you communists?, what unites us is objecting to the system, imagine future capitalism, ports, what are the ports for?, they don’t have anything, what makes you a witherer and not a weird, I put on an ironic voice, getting paid poorly, just trying to live in a world they never made, recreated our reality, the beatniks, science fiction fans, cosplayers, Jesse is not trying to get external slope, the vision of history looking back, PHDs, degrees of difficulty, ladder climbing, on the rowing machine on the stationary bike, an 1980s movie, Bright Lights, Big City (1988), the insane asylum, symptom, maybe I’ll be an assassin, not reflective of actual progress, not curing patients, treatment coefficient, social credit in China vs. Social Credit in Canada (and what Heinlein was talking about), debts are more brutal in China, business loans, Conrad Black aka Lord Black of Black Harbour, he’s rich so his criminality doesn’t matter, Lavoisier and Hooke and Einstein and Huxley, definitely earned slope, literally cloning themselves, what we all should say, Robert J. Sawyer, in just a few years we’re going to have the bio-medical technology will prevent us from ever dying, live forever as a robot, we are all mortal creatures and will die, a non-infinite supply of life, this system is bullshit, live well during the time you have, go off into the wilderness, back to the land movements, a lot of people stayed, carnival is a vacation, Jesse doesn’t take vacations, the literary interpretations of carnival, Mikhail Bakhtin, carnival theory, the Venetian Masquerade, putting the mask on, performative transgressivism, the Masonic Lodges, costume, the fez, the apron, all cultures have this, the setup and the interest of the book, a tension that leads to the climax, 2,000 amaranth get elevated, Bonfire Of The Vanities, when Captain Picard puts on his speedos, that is his carnival, everyone wants to wear the uniform, Troi and Barkley, when Captain Janeway is on the holodeck with her holographic boyfriend, recreation, on vacation on an actual planet vs. cosplaying on the holodeck, Risan sex workers, Sartor Resartus by Thomas Carlyle, clothes making you a different person, the lab coat makes you a scientist, you become the Star Trek Communist, a shining suit of armor, putting on a personality, why people change their names, a new identity, the Douggie Fresh story, more of the sacraments, jealousy is a sin, a legitimate response by children, choosing your own name, Miami Vice, interacting with our identity, a Superman costume, changing your gender, your haircut, these are all weirds, upturn reality vs. a response to a reality I don’t like, one is not personal, Gavin Waylock (Warlock), Gulliver Of Mars, amaranth is unfading, why did he do it?, she recognized him for what he was, his reading on her, very clever, playfulness, I went to the carnival to blow off some steam, the sex worker recognized me now I have to destroy her, he was hiding as a carnival barker, playing possum, going to party, hey guy do you want to party?, a euphemism, revelry masking escape, maybe all Vance is like this?, we don’t see his thoughts, the way he did it, not a Jesse book, not a book of ideas, a lot of fun, the weird economy, no offense, a fancy dinner book vs. a popcorn book, Sin Hellcat was fun, The Stainless Steel Rat, a slippery space con man, SF stuff, on the edge, set on Earth, Robert Jordan epics, secondary world fantasy, getting what the author is spinning up, no criticism of our reality, Tolkien is not about our world, a criticism of war and industrialization, he’s working on his own shit, an elaborate backstory, a mild mannered Hobbit, a tapestry, the class system, Mister Frodo, a mimicing, let’s get out of our world, such a complex system mirrors our society, bringing democracy to the world, people who can’t afford housing get tattoos, he’s not doing us, really fun and interesting, the world is amazing, too big of a world, he loved to world build, a generation starship, geography, the Lyonesse novels, a decadent society?, a barbarian invasion, what Lovecraft would do, Robert E. Howard would have a lot to say, a thesis, everything is decadent is a Vancianism, not sustainable, a catalyst, scholars in Finland or whatever, a bunch of references to the Dying Earth books, the Baktinian lens, this desire to put on masks, to be equal (if just pretend), a safety valve, the Zelazny title, Richard K. Morgan, Altered Carbon, you don’t own your own body any more, ultra capitalist future, people at the bottom who never apply for brood, only 20 years, the incentive is not that great, our Jacinth, a martin is an animal, she has most of my memories, Glarks!, if not on the tenure track, its publish or perish (literally perish), Bryan Alexander, looking at the future of post-secondary education, the future is very grim, queen sacrifice, we exist in a system where if you’re an adjunct professor you get paid minimum with a title, a bluechek and no pay, automatically suggested for followers, the system is not what it once was, prominent counterexamples, Harvard’s infinite money supply, people at the back of the (academic train): “c’mon run you can make it”, the student loan boost was another scam, these losers?, sitting around after getting their PHD and drinking beer in their house, we need a historian, thirty years down the road, a whole stint in Ghana, hiring the college guys, draft dodgers from the 70s still working the university mines, we lost a lot by whatever we did to fuck up the universities, a Bryan question, not all administration, money has been shifted towards administration, the factory workers not getting paid, well meaning but useless, more instruction and books, a good library and good professors, top 50 or top 100 schools, this doesn’t tell you much, who makes these assessments, they just look at the ranking, go to a warm university, instruction will always suffer, put your lectures on YouTube, tier 1 sports, corporatization of universities, you paid a fucking lot of money to be exposed to Schopenhauer, going into massive debt, university was basically free, jobs were plentiful and paid well, a house and a car, somewhere between 1900 and 1979 they made universities a priority and everybody got an education, a dying clown show, more like carnies, the most innovative technologies, the House of Truth, the Hall Of Revelation, kill frogs, try to steal rings from people, we never got to see inside the one he was shilling for, the House of Life, really good with names and words, the flavour, wordplay, how people rank books, one of those great old paperbacks from the 50s 60s and 80s, wow that was really interesting, dogs vs. gems, his third novel, how many stars out of the the entire galaxy?, 1 star taken off because no kissing.

DAW BOOKS - To Live Forever by Jack Vance

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