The SFFaudio Podcast #717 – READALONG: Binary by Michael Crichton

Jesse, Paul Weimer, and Cora Buhlert talk about Binary by Michael Crichton

Talked about on today’s show:
1972, John Lange, hardcovers vs. paperback originals, a slim volume, 4 hours 26 minutes, the kind of paperback novel that made Jesse love novels, modern novel form is very big, as Michael Crichton’s career went on his books got bigger and bigger, market concerns, the price of paper, trilogies, sequels, the 70s, 50s, 60s, between 5 and 3 hours, Drug Of Choice, the Hard Case Crime reprints, this book really cooked, 19th century, 20th century, 21st century, beat beat beat beat and we’re done, a technothriller, a ticking time bomb, Tom Clancy, to pad it out, technical details, operation manuals for submarines, obvious mistakes, technobabble, a teaser for another book, 220 pages, The Hunt For Red October, the most iconic of technothrillers, German teachers in high school, a hardcore communist who loved The Hunt For Red October, leftist radicals, Stephen King-shaming, a terrible person, Amercian far-right conservative, published by Mabel Institute Press, not aimed to be a popular success, not suited to be a popular success, this little book from this naval press, the Harpoon board game, computer game strategy, Harpoon the novel, very much interested in the power of the Soviet Union, high-tech tech, appreciate the Soviet space program, similarly: Dune, famously not published in a mainstream press, Chilton, car repair manuals, a fixup, Gideon Marcus, nobody wanted to do Dune, the format, a 70s crime book, Donald E. Westlake, the Westlake in here, 1957, Russian translators, world communism, Russia and China, Graves worked for two years in the Army, the state department, 1959, on Senator Westlake’s staff, tuckerized, the movie, Crichton didn’t write the script, his first film (a TV movie), the dialogue is straight out of the book, a train in the book a truck in the film, for cost reasons, Ben Gazara isn’t the man of action, Steve Graves, John Wright, John Gray, John Lange, in a novel you can handle that, it could be confusing, doing that on purpose, right in the title, they are mirrors to each other, misunderstanding, diluting the binary aspect, adaptations are interpretations, the entirety of the original plot, being forced reconcile the entire thing, a ticking clock, minus 16 hours, plus 16 hours, a very Michael Crichton move, a great film director as well as a great writer, the ex-travel agency scene, Phelps and the John, one of those guys gets a name: Stark, Crichton knows who his daddy is, Peter Graves, Phelps, Mission: Impossible, a visual reader, 1966, the reboot in the 1980s, the Tom Cruise movies, a team thing, Simon Pegg, Ving Rhames, Star Trek, tech genius, almost no descriptions, how stripped down this is, very simple, seeing the end sequence set piece, a more modern take on this, Speed (1994), 3 (or 4) action sequences, taking the room from outside, the counter-agent, matter-of-factly, all a sham (sort of), not be blown up, not be gassed, the container is combustible, very simple and slick, Crichton’s writing is flawless, the psychological stuff, I’ve got this idea of a binary relationship, the bomb, the characters, the antidote, so many little things, two canisters, 75 and 76, driving around in the cars, 107 and 106, separated by one digit, what the psychiatrist thought of his answers to the Rorschach test, visiting his psychiatrist, Martin Sheen plays the hacker, home computers are not a thing yet, insurance underwriter, very high tech, a period piece, enough phone lines, hack the defense department, the technology of the time, Rorschach testing children, pictures of butterflies, a man who’s just finished killing his friend and now he feels sad, no obvious mistakes, it’s perfect, the video where the condemned was gassed, the French were guillotining people, firing squads, gas chambers, experiments that the Nazis did, a cool new nerve gas, North Korea, Cora’s skepticism, NASA Nazis, not quite that lethal, eliminating all of San Diego, a concentrated urban core, New York, he’s not trying to kill lots of people, he’s trying to eliminate the Republican Party, collateral damage, things are very divided, December 1972, it’s supposed to be Richard Nixon, Watergate, political scandals, foreign work, his focus is changing from foreign to domestic, Operation Mockingbird, domestic threats, tailing communists and soviets vs. tailing a businessman, domestic terrorism in Germany, the Committee To Re-elect the President, the suffix “gate”, G. Gordon Liddy, psychological records for the president’s enemy, Nixon’s cover-up was for something very similar, personal knowledge Crichton had, the stealing of opposition research, where the scandal was made public and there was a resignation, third-rate, portable wireless microphones, well funded, if you retire from the FBI you still have all those old contacts, old passwords, Graves likes the game too much, immoral and illegal, surveillance is questionable, 24 logic, Counter Terrorism Unit, spinning up possible threats, the Gretchen Whitmer kidnapping plot, almost all of them were FBI informants, banning a political party, half the party are informers, a strange situation, the more you encourage this sort of thing, one guy came up with a plan to blow up an airplane with his shoes, a “batshit” plot, binary liquids, liquid explosives in the plane toilet, more than 3 ounces, security theater, to annoy people vs. to control people, mixing shampoo and handcream to make sarin gas, Larry Niven spinning up scenarios, foreign agents get training in the USA to crash airplanes into the USA, done in real life, Japanese kamikaze attacks, Stukas, In The Line Of Fire (1993), a plastic gun, cat and mouse game, how to think outside the box, roadblocks, the dead man behind the grave, clockwork implications, his will continued beyond the grave, E.G. Marshall, a baddie, he started his own political movement, Absolute Power by David Baldacci, Gene Hackman, Clint Eastwood, a remix of Watergate with a sex scandal in the center, an attempted rape and an accidental murder, a lecherous Nixon, E.G. Marshall tries to kill the president again (and succeeds), what was weird about Watergate is that it came out, done ALL THE TIME, not that bad of a president, ended the Vietnam War, Willy Brandt, a social democrat, an angry letter to the party, the wife was sent to prison, deported to East Germany, their dad was a spy, why people would be so angry, a more modern analogy, foreign policy vs. domestic policy, starting the War on Drugs, paranoia, Shakespearian, in today’s politics, the 45th president, a foreign agency, the end of the Union, a terrible president, incompetent is a compliment, people who are happy Hillary Clinton is making noises like she was going to run again, the gerontocracy, batshit, a completely incompetent government, a cabinet of horrors, the Secretary of Justice, newer COVID measures, the Undersecretary of Culture, an anti-Semitic exhibit, ex-Nazis, what John W[r]ight’s motivation, perhaps you think that a few people have power, everyone is locked into a system that he has inherited, the century of impotence, inability to act, inability to be effective, the invocation of God, psychological not political reasons, Americans For A Better Nation (and extremist group), no significance in national politics, $1.7 million, just barely paying attention, doodling, 49 years old, a very strange child, mathematics, inveterate gambler, the assembled men began to fidget, New York from Pittsburgh, who does this remind you of?, six months nervous breakdown, paranoid ideation and feelings of impotence, he can’t get it up, erectile dysfunction, he’s right wing and thought Nixon betrayed, Wright murdered his wife, a car bomb, a Texas oil bomb, a shift in orientation for state intelligence, the number 55 man in the Black Panthers, the John Birch society, what do these three organizations have in common, political parties trying to change things, racism, they want a better nation, they’re on him like glue, terrorist attack, hey i’m trying to get your attention, weird purchases, he knows he’s being trailed, put the puzzle pieces together, The Riddler, a Batman villain, the Zodiac Killer, the smartest man in the room, Jack the Ripper, real-life serial killers, raping and killing women, elderly prostitutes, the terrible smell, keeping chopped up women in his attic, The Golden Glove (2019), the toughest bar in Hamburg, three movies about Ted Bundy, make a buck, he’s trying to kill himself, John Graves is going to bring him to his grave, suicide by cop, a particular frustration with life, a dignified way to make your life have meaning (by doing something political), John Graves is a mirror to John Wright, he can’t stop the game, escape to some beach country (Jamaica), at the airport, the caretaker was black, Hard Case Crime covers, a 1970s shampoo ad, the most interesting parts, a single woman in a speaking role, on the night before he’s going to do the big deed they “made it three times”, Crichton trained as a doctor, a little bit of psychology, a delightful enjoyable read, because of the era, his later long long books and sequel books, raw paperback novel style storytelling, limited to the length of the paperbacks on the spinner racks at the drugstore, a Weird Tales in the 1930s, a paperback in the 1970s, the time to go to the drugstore, cheap aspirin, mostly romance, racks, the latest political biography, the airport bookstore, lots of bestsellers, a book about magical rituals, Amsterdam, Detroit, vaguely readable, a Battletech novel, dime novels, pulp novels, 64 pages, Country Style Living, Drug Of Choice, Dealing, a shadowy corporation, it sounds good, let’s do it!, 166 pages, Brilliance Audio (owned by Amazon/Audible), Easy Go, a tomb book, Odds On, Zero Cool, The Venom Business, Grave Descend, thirty year highschool reunion, Hugo nominations, a good excuse to move up on Cora’s reading pile, on the sched, the copyright page, John Lange asserts the moral right, copyright renewed by Michael Crichton, he got his moral, copyright extension ending, for Jasper Johns (whose preoccupation provided solutions), little bits that relate, Angry Robot books, a tiny little easter egg, 208 pages, a book about the artist, later Crichton books, a real intellect, he’s not a fake, his clean writing, very tall and very smart, director, medical doctor, a renaissance man, you hear things about books, until you read it for yourself…, 1940s science fiction stories, Galactic Journey, received knowledge, good works have been forgotten, anthologists, people who need to be championed and people who had too many champions, L. Ron Hubbard had far too big a champion, Margaret St. Clair didn’t have kids, champions for garbage and orphans for everything else, Michael Crichton’s kids, most didn’t copyright renew, trademark, Doctor Mabuse, Cora’s modern Mabuse, trademark has to be enforced, the French Conan, Robert E. Howard, The Cimmerian, the American ones are pretty bad, just go with the title of the story, they’ll lie, Conan Properties International, Fred Malmberg, Brandon Sanderson, corporations are worse than estates, suck blood, backup stories for The Shadow, work for hire, James Patterson, Darkman (1990), Tim Curry, The Spider, Marvel will publish a one-shot, DC’s Unknown Soldier, they’re just not into it, that’s how they enforce the trademark, a Captain America movie in the 80s, the Spider-Man movies, the early Fantastic Four movie, an actor or a scriptwriter working on a a movie not for release, shit work, the opposite of getting a camera and going out in the woods vs. contractual obligation (to preserve profits), the horror we’re trying to avoid at all costs.

PAN - Binary by Michael Crichton

PURSUIT (1972) TV movie

HARD CASE CRIME - Binary by Michael Crichton

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The SFFaudio Podcast #716 – READALONG: The Shining by Stephen King

Jesse, Paul Weimer, Marissa VU, and Evan Lampe talk about The Shining by Stephen King.

Talked about on today’s show:
1977, horror novel, fourth most popular fantasy novel, third novel, the novel that made him a household name, Carrie (1976), the same year, the book was 1975, his breakout, Stanley Kubrick, Jack Nicholson, Salem’s Lot, Stephen King, “shut-up you shitlib, stick to producing movies!”, his primary job was film producer, which has more production credits, hilarious, Michael Crichton effect, director and producer and writer, looming large from beyond the grave, Westworld, cartoons, Stephen King TV shows, new Stephen King shows streaming somewhere, Lisey’s Story, The Stand, George R.R. Martin, video game writer, comfortable with TV, how easy it is to produce TV shows money wise, he likes writing a lot, worldbuilding, things that will get him canceled, the magical negro, The Legend Of Bagger Vance, Aunt Jemima, Uncle Ben, an American cultural phenomenon, if he wrote this today, that 70s jive talk, at the end, Doc is on the dock, he’s getting brown, very brown, the surrogate father figure, the kiss, the big shining talk, who is Stephen King in this book, he’s clearly Jack, kills himself off, why this book is super popular, how he put it all together, lifting ideas from literary sources, a big long very readable book, kinda early, Revival, relationships with ants and wasps, kids are literally closer to the ground than adults so they think about insects more, playing with their trucks, Marissa hiking by herself, major toddlerhood, we’re so proud we’re erect, his kids are always really terrific, so easy to read his books, identifying with the kids, we’re meant to identify with Doc, he’s our surrogate, Jack is more interesting to follow, a better adventure, failing at everything, they seduce him, the ghosts, money laundering, how they get him, repair his family, redeemed, the negative things in ourselves, super-flawed fucked up dude, we can relate to that, the scenes of domestic abuse, not so happy marriage, Jack Torrence has that too, the sin of the father, really uncomfortable for Paul, an imperfect family and childhood, why this book is and how it works, Danny’s power was the problem, a nexus, a big battery, it happened the year before, the previous caretaker and family, unnamed shining characters, every character shines, The Dead Zone has an unacknowledged shining character, you shine, your mom shines too (all mothers do, a little), throughout his writing, some sort of psychic spectrum, a Stephen King super-power roll playing game, The Dark Tower, breakers, telepathy, what good writing is: telepathy, a person far away in time and space, write really good, what just happened?, how is this happening, what is happening, a superpower Stephen King literally has, holy shit!, the way he does this, without a single bump, a human being like me, we think we can understand other people, doing it in fiction, his meta, the nagging wife, my mom is worse, she’s terrific, his grandmother’s house, somehow we’ve vacuumed out the psychic stuff, a weird cook who wants to abduct their son, he wants to rescue the kid, call it The Overlook Hotel, mental illness and alcoholism, where it is at his weirdest, find a stash, conjured out of the ether, capable of creating real physical damage to Danny, Doctor Sleep, his solution to everything, why this book is so Stephen Kingy, the plot, references, Guy De Maupassant’s The Inn, Switzerland, there’s dogs, have somebody there over the winter (as a caretaker), cabin fever, the same basic plot, how Stephen King fill those pages, all the family history, and the history of the Overlook, I’m so far ahead, flowed so easily, he makes long writing feel like easy writing, backwards and forwards in time, the car accident with the bike, jumping out of the main narrative, building the whole world, fleshed out, his pacing, perfect pacing, so engrossing, the set piece scenes, such a big piece of the story is just two pages, very impressive, table setting, a crucial scene, Jack versus the hedge animals, the way it sneaks up on you, slowly going insane, King or Torrence or the hotel, intrusive thoughts, a jingle, a phrase, intrusive negative thoughts, somebody from outside is putting words into his head, horribleness tempered, a big apology to his wife, “I know I shouldn’t have hit Joe that way. I’ve got to stop drinking”, Campbell Scott, a David Mamet actor with dry affect, no ill effect on the writing, straight reading vs. performance, other influences, The Mask Of The Read Death: A Fantasy by Edgar Allan Poe, masques vs. mask, what the hell is it about, the coloured rooms, at the beginning of the pandemic, cloistered in an abbey, out comes the red death, why there’s a whole bunch of rooms that are different colours, the movie filmed at the actual place King is basing it on, the ballroom has bat doors, The Colorado Lounge, the deal he made, its about class, the elite cant keep out the trauma of the working class, you can’t wall it away, that Phil Ochs song Ringing Of Revolution, when climate change happens, bunkers in New Zealand, The Sphinx, dominated by the reveal, the unmasking, in Robert W. Chambers, I wear no mask, The Yellow Sign, hints of Lovecraft, Jack as an opener, ultra-terrestrial horror, it’s Danny’s fault, Paul sees himself as Danny, a consequence of him being there, he can’t control it, “please abduct me, Dick”, he’s lying to him, 217, you’ll see really bad things there, thinking at him, Dick buys the vowel, he’s the one who knows the most, fainting spells in Germany, the clock almost striking midnight, forward in time, ghosts, not a contamination story, the hotel is destroyed at the end, teachers think is very important, some online webstudy course, arranged in a row from east to west, Blue (Birth), Purple (Growth), Green (Spring and youth), Orange (Summer and autumn), White (Old age), Violet (Impending death), Scarlet/Black (Death), a sergeant in the army, the summertime caretaker, fallen from his higher class, make sure you look out for The Rats In The Walls, a once high estate that needs to be maintained lest it fall, this is what I am reduced to, constant swearing, Wendy, when her husband swears to much, “prick”, hitting the student, I didn’t play with the timer, yeah I did, unreliable narrator, distrust the entire book, Stephen King being highly manipulative of us (and himself), I drink because you’re a bitch, Stephen King is doing self-analysis, so real, quitting smoking, an excuse to have a cigarette, what the fuck am I doing?, addiction brain, what the effect of physical isolation is, cut-off from other human beings for months on end, who’s to blame?, Jesse wants to imagine how this book would work without woowoo, a pure horror novel, a fantasy novel, Stephen King imitators, Nick Cutter’s The Troop, pure body horror, two things going on, his peanut butter in his zebra sauce, magic spell: Stephen King’s a good writer, college kids on a camping weekend, marriage breakdown and addiction, Philip K. Dick’s Puttering About In A Small Land, Out In The Garden, the wife’s been cheating on him with the Sun, I need to sell fantasy and I want to work out my stress about my wife cheating on me, The Dark Tower, literally met a werewolf, Hunger Games style, successfully spun up, the fear of your anger at your kids, such a cool scary thing to write about, such a change in your life, blaming the kid, obligation, responsibility, anxiety, Wendy’s mom, imagine if instead of Jack dying he lives, the relationship that Wendy has with her mom, psychologically abusive, you can’t lover her you have to love her, REDRUM is MURDER backwards, blood thirstiness, the wash of blood, symbolic, an alcoholic, she has a bad marriage, once she had the kid…, she chose a broken person to have a kid with, forever joined by the kid, how could she go back to him?, if I don’t stop drinking I’m going to have to kill myself, self-analysis, Jack is about him and the path he was on, the other drunk, Al: “stay dry”, class, drawn from life, bonding over drink, John Barleycorn by Jack London, drinking is a social custom, binding and destructive, on the same team, a judge, the board of directors, bonding through alcohol, the favours are running out, Evan’s theory, he’s trying to be fired, self-sabotage, ironically this time…, imagine there is no shining, a whole other thread, the imaginary friend who is real, an old trope, Harvey (1950), Ted (2012), Drop Dead Fred (1991), Mr. Lupescu by Anthony Boucher, Thus I Refute Beelzy by John Collier, the insanity children are allowed to have, a book about mental illness, Lovecraftian, classic mental illness, you didn’t tell me this hotel was used by criminals, Richard Nixon stayed in the hotel, an unreasonable phonecall, he’s quasi-blackmailing, not modern Stephen King shitlibbery, we bury the truth, we destroy the truth, we make it not real, Dick lies to his boss, as honest as he can be without getting fired, suicide, murder, sex-trafficking, we never find out how she paid, being a cursed place, Evan thinks that characters are shiners and breakers, a guy gives Dick a sweater and a can of gasoline, another shiner, they’re all shiners, haunted, “it’s the same criticism that Stephen King always has: there’s a fundamental flaw in American society, it’s class, and we can’t talk about it”, Red Room, it could have gone a whole bunch of different ways, no dangling threads, Hill House, the Marsten house in Salem’s Lot, it’s not the hotel that is making him make that call, trying to free himself and save his family, it’s hard to read it, drunken phonecall, late night phone call, go sleep it off, acting out with a really good reason for it, The Silver Key by H.P. Lovecraft, Tony is the future Danny, consciously bringing that in, winding up a clock vs. opening a door, a father figure, abusive father, reiterating that with his kid, aping the words of his father, spectacles into the mashed potatoes with blood on them, a coping mechanism, Jack gets what he wants, on the roof, distracted by the wasps, they bug him, the bug bomb, another case of I didn’t adjust the timer (but actually did), he wanted to have his son stung, we’re going to sue, focus on the kid, shifting the blame, it’s not me it’s your stutter!, the play is the book within the book, The King In Yellow, all work and no play, a good reading of what’s happening in here, understanding himself, a play about him and his abuse of a kid, his play sucks, he knows the play sucks, this is all you need to make this excellent book, what does Stephen King do instead of exposing American corruption and American kleptocracy and American sin? he makes it personal, he doesn’t expose the history of the Overlook Hotel, instead he exposes a family, we can all muddle through somehow, everything will be okay, exposes it to the readers, making it fuzzy, better at history, revealing the history, let all the poisons that lurk in the mud hatch out, the attempt to repress, when teenage Marissa first read it: this is a critique of American capitalism, he goes the opposite direction, literally hiding the message in favour of a psychic family, the boiler is his temper, Fondly Fahrenheit by Alfred Bester, which of us I am anymore, that duality within Jack Torrence, keep the temperature from blowing, everything he does could be automated, going down there twice a day, even days and odd days, it’s not a real job, a warm body, very symbolic, he gets stuck down there, the Jesse voices are back, don’t look at these very important papers!, grinding Excedrins all day, they taste bitter, very well put together book, too well put together?, a famous hit, The Stand, his short stories, kaboom, 1408, the room is evil on its own, John Cusack, doesn’t need any priming, a lot of love to be had in the little stories, The Night Flier, a vampire who has an airplane, very personal, they’re all personal, Revival is almost philosophical and mature, dealing/dealt, digging real deep in this one, Danny’s gonna be six, way to bright for a six year old, because he shines, oh, he’s a delayed reader, so urgent to read, his adaptors usually pick the wrong ages, Joe Hill’s [Locke & Key] Welcome To Lovecraft, replaced him with August Derleth [or Richard Matheson?], the essence of shitlibbery, a racist, a liar, a thief, all can see the magic, lifting that from his father, bring a key near somebody’s head, a really cool premise, kids can have magic, starmetal/evil shoggoths, a fundamentally interesting thing, they won’t follow through, you know what the problem is but then choose to go the other way, a good book, maybe why he is a genre, not treated like a gutter guy, not treated like a literary genius, Upton Sinclair style guys, they frown on Stephen King, jealousy, so successful, people like Stephen King, no cachet with King as with other writers, some people are prejudiced, literary snobs, not the American classic, a weird Stephen King thing, blood elevator, guy with an axe, the sitting in the car and talking to the old black man, knows what’s up with Danny, Dr. Sleep, Danny’s 35, Dick Halorhan had died, the Overlook ghosts had followed him, he’s an alcoholic, a job at a hospice, Kevorkian style, a good service, being preyed on by psychic vampires, get back his mojo and save the day, people trying to live off of boomers, resistant to sequels, able to stay alive for centuries, a multiverse, that’s not publisher demand, writer you want to read, Greg Bear, not well constructed, he falls into the trap, I need to write Halo novels, a trilogy, following the market, Stephen King has the market, The Dark Tower along with Dune got Marissa into science fiction, the one with the train, 3 ends on a cliffhanger, it’s all done, 1,350,000 words, after the accident, why would he write them all in one year, George R.R. Martin, I can’t do that to my legacy, 224 pages vs. 845 pages, 4,316 pages for The Dark Tower, have Eric retire or die, take a couple of weeks off to read the book about Allen Dulles, I can’t read an 800 page book, we have split up a book, Dune, The Lord Of The Rings, The Odyssey, Evan’s podcast’s premise, once you start something you’re stuck with it, I have to only wear short socks, 300 years ahead, take a holiday, sleep and go to the gym, everyone who is capable should do what they’re good at, the Zizek book, it has happened, you shouldn’t do that, a vacation implies your ideal life is not being lived, a different temporary life, there are wrong things to do, The Sea Wolf by Jack London, the Star Trek Sex Book, recover, Jesse likes computer games, Project Zomboid, zombie survival isometric, get ready for the zombie apocalypse, sounds great, very dangerous, Fallout 4 til 5am, be moderate in your behavior, taking a vacation from the things that are good, Jesse is not sure series are a good idea at all, a satisfying book in and of itself, Don Mark Lemon, recharge your batteries, Jesse’s just being real, Jesse’s mom, people die and you should plan for it.

The Shining Limited Edition Artwork Portfolio

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Reading, Short And Deep #360 – Roberta by Margaret St. Clair

Reading, Short And Deep

Reading, Short And Deep #360

Eric S. Rabkin and Jesse Willis discuss Roberta by Margaret St. Clair.

Here’s a link to a PDF of the story.

Roberta was first published in Galaxy, October 1962.

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The SFFaudio Podcast #701 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: The Hill Of Dreams by Arthur Machen

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #701 – The Hill Of Dreams by Arthur Machen; read by Mark Nelson

This unabridged reading of the story (7 hours 3 minutes) is followed by a discussion of it.

Participants in the discussion include Jesse and Connor Kaye.

Talked about on today’s show:
1907, semi-autobiographical novel, he kills himself at the end, the Lord Dunsany introduction from 1954, narrating audiobooks, a writer of note himself, surprisingly lucky in a way that Machen was not (not just being born a lord), Machen made his money as a journalist, editor, a job here and there, inheriting money from relatives, that allowed him to write, how else do you get the time to write, Lovecraft’s struggles, walking, The Silver Key, ancient Greeks and Romans, The Watcher By The Threshold, the veil, the secret world behind the veil, the colour of that world (is red), the furnace and the fire, light and colour and emotion, a very odd book, this book is a real trip, maybe Machen’s masterpiece, bigger in scope but also very intimate, take out all the parts about the struggle of writing, if condensed down, what makes it into a novel, bounced off this book, what is going on in this book, no clear plot at the start, not having anybody support that, Mark Nelson: fantastic, Mark Nelson has good taste and picks good stuff to narrate, Machen is a tough writer, he’s dense, floating on a river and sensations happen, Mrs. Gibbon and Annie were more important than we thought, the faun on the hill, by the end you understand, the first reading through, the focus is strange, Ambrose Bierce is perverse, Mark Twain, the least understandable way is the best way, this book has its own reading list, Dream-Land by Edgar Allan Poe, this is my guy, Poe and me are best buds, making gold out of letters on pages, even Lovecraft is easier, Lovecraft doesn’t throw us red herrings, a series of red herrings (the troubles of life), significant as a life trauma (not a plot point), incidents from Lucians life, The Cosy Room, a lot of rooms, he really knows place, exhausting your body walking and coming to a space, he can’t look at certain things in the room, the level distance from the harsh realities, I’m an alien, I’m much higher above looking down, a nice coping mechanism, boys torturing insects, they don’t feel pain anyways, the puppy torture scene, kids are like that, Out Of The Earth, bloodlust of children causing WWI, strange connections, put on the button that says “current thing”, Russians are evil now, very interesting but very difficult, get your trigger warning out, how disassociated Lucian is, I wanted to shake him, he didn’t do anything, talking about it, he has to be aloof from these things, so disconnected from what was happening around him, considering the rest of this story, he is the puppy, he feels, he is a victim, the owner of the puppy, she is the one who comforts him, the girl that becomes his religion, the puppy scene is incredible,

The leader saw the moment for his master-stroke. He slowly drew a piece of rope from his pocket.

“What do you say to that, mun? Now, Thomas Trevor! We’ll hang him over that there bough. Will that suit you, Bobby Williams?”

There was a great shriek of approval and delight. All was again bustle and animation. “I’ll tie it round his neck?” “Get out, mun, you don’t know how it be done.” “Is, I do, Charley.” “Now, let me, gwaes, now do let me.” “You be sure he won’t bite?” “He bain’t mad, be he?” “Suppose we were to tie up his mouth first?”

The puppy still fawned and curried favor, and wagged that sorry tail, and lay down crouching on one side on the ground, sad and sorry in his heart, but still with a little gleam of hope; for now and again he tried to play, and put up his face, praying with those fond, friendly eyes. And then at last his gambols and poor efforts for mercy ceased, and he lifted up his wretched voice in one long dismal whine of despair. But he licked the hand of the boy that tied the noose.

the core problem for all of us, we are the ones who inflict pain, monsters and boys, trying to be kind to everyone, in the city, that quality of generosity, the most beautiful, Annie, a servant girl, Master Lucian, when he meets her in the lane, reverse double leg cling, she caresses his head, the published book with stuff stolen from his book, once something is published, no one wants any of that, something we both do and something that we do to others, it’s amazing, here read my book, they cant see the garbage that they’ve written, they can only see , why would I bother that something isn’t published?, the worst baseball player ever, keep going johnny you can do it!, the cultural movement, late 90s, the rise of self-help, you can do anything, every person can be the best at something they are capable of being, liking to run, long legs and pain inside that can only be healed by having a gold medal around your neck, a horrible reality of the world, a coming of age story, realization of your own limitations is coming of age, a painful aspect, the pain of sexuality, the horniest boy ever, his fellow kids, him alone spinning up his own theories, lusting after almost ethereal objects, highly romantic sense of the world, working class people who don’t give a shit, let’s get trashed, the 12 year old and the 15 year old, going for long walks, idealizing women, under the surface, we don’t know him that well except where his actions bubble up against reality, there is feeling there, when he tries to share his book with people, do pretty flowers, some people are trying to help him, unwillingness to deviate, he’s gifted, he knows he’s gifted, a lot of alchemy symbolism, words are magical, the ability to provoke and control emotions, making people more subject to what they are, mostly used for evil, when he first sees that book with his stuff published in it, validated, apathetic, he’s proud of it, making it all about money, he needed the validation, a stage that a lot of authors get stuck in, the ideas are going to be stolen, Armageddon (1998) and Deep Impact (1998), you gotta sue, a Guy De Maupassant story was totally ripped-off, sold to weird tales, The Tortoise Shell Comb, An Apparition, a cavalry officer, comb my hair for me, if you were Guy De Maupassant, Banksy?, give your mom a book you wrote, a dishonesty of the known relationship, do the esoteric stuff not the commercial stuff, the anti-Edgar Rice Burroughs, kind of suceeds, it’s a victory?, a lot of Lovecraft in this character, the young writer, the particular personality type, unbending, committing to a vision, not compromising, he got that book, a funny line they always say about Lovecraft, so many beans, accentuates the victory, we can’t even read the fucking thing, and yet it’s a victory, who is it a victory for?, a victory for Lucian, overdosing on morphine, Confessions Of An English Opium-Eater, ladies of sorrow, horror movies, Suspiria (1977), a bestseller, How I Smoked Crack And Lived To Tell About It, that French guy who loved Poe, Les Fleurs Du Mal, Suspiria De Profundis, Charles Baudelaire, insight into his mind, an unreliable narrator?, he’s hiding something from us, he has the shakes, smoking a ton of tobacco, overdosed, an addict, emotionless, he probably doesn’t want to masturbate, doesn’t have the materials, burying thoughts in physical weariness, piercing his own body with burrs, a recognized mental illness symptom, cutting, hare shirts, impure thoughts, the fetish, unhealthy, complex organisms in a complex society, get a real job, follow my advice, very real, who’s to say they’re not right?, the middle road, Lucian chose complete dedication art, bending like a reed in the wind, no goals, getting you killed, going along with the current, part of the problem for individuals, living in a society with mass hysteria, why do we have to have that war on another continent, an alliance treaty with France and Russia, white chicken feathers, the current thing, almost a statement, Trevor Towers, Celephais?, sleepwalks off a cliff, a triumph but only from his point of view, capitalism’s threat: knuckle under or become homeless, peruse artistic endeavors, Machen survived where Lucian didn’t, another way he could have gone, this is what could have happened to me, idealistic, circumstances were slightly different, early 2000, Richard K. Morgan, conflict investment, Market Forces, caught up in Netflix deals, ultimately the opposite of the Stephen King/Lovecraft route, success can be something that can hurt you as well, The Bowmen, jotted off in five minutes, the Ghost of Kyiv, the Angel Of The Mons, attestations, Bryan Alexander, Colonel Tomb laughs at this from his grave, just has to be true stories, Vietnamese fighter pilot, Colonel Toon, WWII, Panfilov’s 28 Men (2016), War Thunder, how dare you say that, it’s important!, bullshit made of wholecloth, the rolling thunder of this truth being needed, if Machen had any kind of cultural impact, debunking it, it’s true that it would be good for morale, Rape Of Belgium, these brave Belgian boys, we need them to be hard done by, raped by the pre-Nazis, ginning up anger, encouraging recruitment, a fundamental lie at base, there’s a veil between reality and how we see reality, the veil is real, willful blinders, the noble lie, telling truths, from genuine situations, confabulating slightly, Philip K. Dick’s characters are autobiographical, Horselover Fat, A Scanner Darkly, putting himself on the list, sometimes we slip through, a very odd book, John Steinbeck, East Of Eden, magnum opus, frustrating and meandering, not page turners, ethereal feeling, the veil between reality, The White People, The Great God Pan, monologue about what is reality, investing the time and energy, it feels pretty long, Charles Dickens is very engaging, floating down a river, Machen loves his descriptions of nature, at the fort on the hill, descriptions of the trees and nature, crafted, did this actually happen to Machen as a boy?, ecstatic experience, on drugs, what makes you go back there, how small you are, connection, he tried it with a novel, alcohol, the invention of gin, counter-reaction, massive social impacts, China’s reaction to computer games, a three hour limit, internet games, solo game disconnected from the internet, single player games now require an internet connection, Civilization 2, Roblox, Minecraft, set in its period (late 19th century), love of literature and great texts, 18th century authors knew what was going on, Kublai Khan by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, La Belle Dame Sans Merci by John Keats, knight vs. wight, Tolkien leftovers, because it’s archaic, a horny young man and an idealized woman, a femme fatale story, it destroys him, dissociates, his ideal woman, Annie as a person, as a part of his imagination, the Roman fort, being a Roman senator, the Roman temples of D.C., we are just as great (corrupt) as they were, a false reality, I’m wearing a business suit, folk horror, how women are depicted in folk horror, pagan motifs, witchcraft, blindsided, when Miss Gibbons died, a very fairy tale scene, he’s the wolf, Annie was a witch, unholy wedding, explicitly magical aspects, seduction, the magic is in the men, brain chemicals, the shapely waist, her skin, the Platonic ideal, in the air in the period, Mr. Skelmersdale In Fairyland by H.G. Wells, I’m ruined now, transformed him, it isn’t played for laughs, The New Accelerator, The Invisible Man, comic possibilities everywhere, bittersweet, a triumph as a tragedy, a silk purse of a sow’s ear, lemonade from lemons, the slippery idea of the ideal world or woman, when we read Lovecraft that’s the absent part, Edgar Allan Poe, the ideal woman is the dead woman, she can never be limited by reality (growing old, not being smart enough, fighting), the Baudelaire way, beautiful cruelty, life is cruel, damaged people managing their trauma (in ways other than alcohol), a moment later, joy and happiness, drunk on love, bronze hair, come for a walk with me, a statue, very Greek, his visions, there was death in the woman’s face, she had indeed, the brink of utter desolation, a sex scene too, the carpet matches the drapes, a very sexual novel for a guy who’s so chaste, he falls asleep on the hill, none of them are real and all of them are, is this kid mentally ill?, the end of Dagon, he’s seeing the thing he’s fearful of in himself and not recognizing it, a troubled kid, maybe it’s like he has down syndrome or he’s autistic, kindness, the world is retarded and not him, he’s so extreme in his uncompromisingness, expressed as greatness, isolation, pushes him to the brink, again he was astray in the mist, splendid as Rome, terrible as Babylon, the place of eternal gloom, ring within ring, circle within circle, high writing, the sanctuary of the infernal right, wresting, muscles that could throw down mountains, a flaring street, naphtha fires, pure poetry, dusky figures, a noise like a chant of the lost, orgy, bronze hair, a gulf of darkness, all symbolism, precious robes, the room!, a vapour of the grave, horrible caresses, the matted thicket, the desire rose up like a black smoke, amazing, she lures him, he forces himself upon her, she turns into a very bad trip, exaltation to pain and torture, the elm tree was riven, Lucian is a good name, the tumult and the shock came as a sudden murmur, he overdosed, is he chasing the dragon?, are all of these dreams on the hill?, his dependence on tobacco, a symbol for a later addiction, walking to get rid of his energy, thick black tobacco to cloud his mind, he chases her across a landscape that is not a city, a difficult triumph, no one else is wealthier for it, a vast silence overwhelmed him, Ex Oblivione, dissolving into the Realm of the Forms, a temporary escape from reincarnation, The Novel Of The White Powder, going to seed or dissolution, a continuous issue, Lovecraft was a teetotaler, the other way you can go, morphine?, The Green Meadow, ecstatic states, walking to exhaustion, a difficult topic, there’s truth everywhere in it, sloppy racism, the primitives being in touch with sensations and sense, barbarian hating civilization, Robert E. Howard, nine times, barbarians, pleasantly, prigs perfected, joyous manly young fellows, raped?, devious backstreets, the respectable inhabitants are barbarians, The Lost Club, a Weird Tales reprint, The Lost Room by Fitz James O’Brien, places that go missing, The Music Of Erich Zann, The Lost Street [by ], a strange experience, experiencing weirdness, N, a more definite divide between fantasy and reality, a magical world intruding upon London, The Wonderful Window by Lord Dunsany, does he go through it?, Golden Dragon City, Game Of Thrones, the only guy with HBO in 1902, Dunsany had it much easier, a crazy man confronts Dunsany in a restaurant, I just make them up you see, the story that is described is one Dunsany wrote, as extreme as Dunsany gets, not quite on the level of Guy de Maupassant, rigid principles, flowery words and a suit, a lifestyle that could so endanger them, is N unfinished?, a warning story, prurient interest in seeing how far one can descend, reality TV shows, I’m not that depraved, morbid curiosity, not edifying curiosity, The Cosy Room And Others, Hippocampus Press, The Ancient Track: The Complete Poetical Works of H. P. Lovecraft, nothing of Lovecraft is copyrighted, you don’t know how many letters he wrote where he put a poem in for a newborn baby’s birthday, so nested and so rich with vocabulary, a werewolf story, Psychopompos, exhausting a sonnet, more time invested in reading Clark Ashton Smith is a good thing, if this is Machen’s worst I want to read more, difficult, The Shining Pyramid, tiny details that fly by, The Unknown World, May 15 – June 15, 1895, Robert E. Howard wrote way more than H.P. Lovecraft did, the vastness of his other work, popular for his supernatural stories, Robert W. Chambers flips a switch, the opposite of what Lucian does, The Secret Glory, The Three Impostors, a fix-up, chasin a dragon out of the window, spent it all on insane asylums, The Horla, Maupassant rented a hot air balloon to promote a book, before airplanes, The Troop by Nick Cutter, trained up and fought a poet to promote his book, Uwe Boll, Ed Wood, completely talentless, maybe he just got past it, self-awareness is a stumbling block, Ed Wood (1994), found family, he has an eye and no talent, as innocent as a war veteran could be, a go getter, $5, Golan Globus Theatre podcast, the Tijuana Bible, historical records we need to have preserved, what Julian needed (was printed pornography), Conquering Goddess, it needs to be fully illustrated, BDSM, Robert E. Howard, nudy pulps before Playboy, the first Playboy with Marilyn Monroe, weird repression, Penthouse, happening but hidden away, human nature never changes, more evidence that this is how we have always been, embarrassing, left out in the woods, pre-WWII, this is somebody’s great grandma, challenged one of his critics to a boxing match, if he won the boxing match, you won the fight therefore, dueling, humour was our way of escaping bullies, laughter is disarming, intellectual overpowering, more than halfway through (life), a very thinly veiled autobiography, drawing on his own experience, a lot of philosophy, writerly philosophy, more about writing than it is about mysticism, why Maupassant wrote weird fiction, Maupassant’s career, A Piece Of String, A Ball Of Fat, a Star Trek episode [The Galileo Seven], hypocrisy, my servants are stealing from me, I am my servant, these terrible experiences he must relate, very healthily not on Twitter, No Man’s Land by John Buchan, Esteban Maroto, Australian youtube audiobook narrator, Steve Parker audiobooks, simple guy: likes audiobooks, iPads, Randall’s Round, you should always record, The Wind In The Portico, The Temple Of Death by A.C. Benson, 23 temples, spread out the Buchan, doing the same authors but not back to back, The Horror Horn by E.F. Benson, a yeti story in Switzerland, The Inn by Guy De Maupassant, the horror of being alone, afraid of a lot of stuff, The Terror, Who Knows?, the little shop dwarf, his homunculus, “oh monsieur, all your furniture is gone”, this is alarming, the furniture is the faculties of his mind, all metaphorical, symbolist, a good discussion of a complex book.

The Hill Of Dreams by Arthur Machen

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The SFFaudio Podcast #693 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: Brother And Sister by Donald E. Westlake

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #693 – Brother And Sister by Donald E. Westlake – read by Evan Lampe. This is a complete and unabridged reading of novel (3 hours 25 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants include Jesse, Paul Weimer, Evan Lampe, and Trent Reynolds

Talked about on today’s show:
The Violent World Of Parker blog, Hard Case Crime, Call Me A Cab, a novella in Redbook, the RARA AVIS forums, Memory, many years later, when blogs died, Google murdered blogs, search blogs, authoritative sources, Redbook magazine, [1979], a new coffee maker and Hard Case Crime, sitting around reading Donald E. Westlake, the low point of his writing career, how many characters, Paul, Angie, Bob, the uncle and the aunt, and the guy he decks, and the base commander, and a cop, and the neighbourwoman, Dancing Aztec has 50-60 characters, 3 and a half ours, there to fill a function, write me an incest book, he writes what he knows, baffled, Gorky Park by Martin Cruz Smith, funnier in concept than it is in execution, a cannibal book, hitting the checkpoints, the early lesbian and gay books, they have to kill themselves at the end, suicide murder, driven mad, smiling into the void, Lovecraftian, The Loved Dead by C.M. Eddy, a serial necophile, more bedmates, this has no laughs, an interesting artifact of the industry, Paul Westlake, did you name your son after this character?, 1961, was Westlake Catholic?, a popular choice for Catholics, Angela, the water in which they swim, the uncle was James, not a lot of creativity, Westlake’s official website, A tender compassionate novel of incestuous love, Edwin West, first publication anywhere, a handsome old man smokin a cigarette, you’re in the drug store getting your paperbacks and condoms, it all began innocently enough, the cruel unfeeling world, marriage to a prostitute, the artifact, did he marry an Austrian, Evan’s Austrian accent for Ingrid, innocent but exciting, like people possessed, the horrible guilt came later, Monarch Books, Inc., who is the audience for this book, a lot more people than are willing to admit, redtube and pornhub, step-family, a porno joke, i need to do some larping, a taboo that’s only in humans?, do dogs have taboos?, look at bonobos and chimpanzees, Incest Among The Apes by Paul Weimer, monogamy, polygenous, Paul’s research, recessive traits vs. mutations, hemophilia, sickle cell anemia, frisson, evolutionary and cultural history, broadening the incest taboo, Cleopatra’s family and the royal family of Hawaii, Chinese incest, tribute princesses, the Manchus, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000), “I’m pure blood”, of all the sleaze books, shoplifted quite a bit, checking on the listenership, he just has to do the job, some interesting things going on, it’s about the house, a property book, virginity issues, obsession with home ownership, an unlikeable character, physically abusive, a good depiction of his soul, a rebound relationship, feeling weird, over-reading, how boring her boyfriend Bob is, so boring, siblings are boring, leave the house and find some strange, find some nice Austrian lady, not very many positives, major life changes, the ring of the familiar, not a good edge, the emotional circumstances, a little too comfortable, how to construct a terrible book, the aunt who is comforting and the uncle is threatening, the funeral, isolated, tell Stella about my new boyfriend my brother, pick up sticks, Dain, three? sex scenes, we’re gonna be married soon, what makes a marriage formal, not consummated, doesn’t count, annulment, Maury Povich styles shows, Phil Donahue was classy, Morton Downey Junior, Jerry Springer, Povich is teaching, lesbian sex among co-eds in Greenwich Village by Dr. Lawrence Block, sandwiched, wife has sex with the family dog, Strange Tales From A Chinese Studio, Carnal Prayer Mat, as long as he ends up dead or ruined, don’t cheat on your loved ones, don’t pay a hooker with a personal cheque, our love cannot be denied!, a baby having two heads, two dudes who are gay for each other and they’re brothers, teratogenic incest baby, homosexual incest taboos, my husband is now my wife, why are the people doing this?, education + attention, this book exists, a market, the neighbours don’t know, The Lurking Fear by H.P. Lovecraft, The X-Files episode Home, the Peacock family, Weird Tales exoticism, peacock kings, real estate porn, your side plot is arguing over a deed, Western, lets talk to a lawyer, Westlake is really into insurance, The Risk Profession, a science fiction story about insurance, Somebody Owes Me Money, such a good book, murder mystery, the dad in that book, comparing different insurance plans, based on Westlake’s own life, The Green Eagle Score, To Catch A Thief (1955), insurance is the opposite of gambling, related to gambling, if you’re living in the states right now, Westlake’s upbringing, sitting around thinking about what things are like, the Red Cross stuff, a non-incest sex scene, easy ladies, engaging with the Red Cross, why is there this fight over the deed?, debts extinguishing with the death of the father, there’s no talk about a will, the office and lawyer stuff, an episode of The Saint written by Terry Nation, an allegory for Vietnam, the opposite of an allegory (a formula), returning the drugstore with a used incest book, he did a professional job, self-publishing on Amazon, the pornhub thing, the incest stepsister fantasy, available for anonymous download, Westlake is the sale, nobody at the time knew, technically crimes, incest and deed fraud, Subterranean Press, Honey Girls, Sin Hellcat by Donald E. Westlake and Lawrence Block, Folio Society, heresy, drink your champagne, lovingly see the typeface, you’re in the drugstore, you’ve got your sister at home, French ticklers, French packets [letters], WHAT MANNER OF LOVE?, “we could go away to some other city, Paul”, ravaged, empty terror, playing bit-parts in Summerstock, Campus Doll, Young And Innocent, the Grofield books, a half-handful of stories actually about insurance, the entire American welfare state is employer paid insurance schemes, writing at the peak of the welfare state, the insurance companies are a scam now, where Jesse lives, auto-insurance, the “socialist” government, less fighting in courts, mandatory insurance for drivers, nofault insurance, there’s no competition, the shitty health care we have (in British Columbia), everybody gets the same health insurance, when you’re pooling like that, getting your vaccine, “safe and effective”, there are effects, mnra vaccines, the hospital didn’t bankrupt Jesse, scam insurance, Westlake is thinking deeply (kind of his job), don’t sleep with your sister, we need an asshole character, pretty good book for a terrible book, the premise is what sells it, genres or tropes?, Angie doesn’t worried about getting pregnant very much, birth control is not mentioned, Paul opened the drawer of the nightstand and opened a Trojan, a weird reading experience, what a twit you are, other methods, there’s no vagina even mentioned, very tame, we’re never going to get as explicit as “she put in her diaphragm”, hang on bro, spermicidal jelly, The Naked Director, accidentally invents the facial, technically a birth control measure, boobs and nipples and curves, very tame, pornography inflation, women at the used bookstore with 30 romance novels, what is the appeal of these things, romance brain is super strong, Harlequin Romances, trying to sell romance novels, characters have sex but mostly incidents leading up to it, immature, exhausted what little there was, Evan’s narration, the cops were coming all the time, the garbage trucks came to get this book, process, Prince Snake Lady, Mr. Adam by Pat Frank, three chapters a day for a week, more of the German girlfriend, a much better book: if she had showed up again…, Angie has nothing, Bob is the best character, waste a bullet, make it a Lovecraftian story, just add a little mindswap, The Thing On The Doorstep by H.P. Lovecraft, confluence of the ley lines, horror, The Green Eagle Score by Richard Stark, military policeman, Dortmunder beer, he’s not a dumb guy, this guy is thinking about things, drafted into the army, being in a socialist system (the army and the airforce), the universal army, Fredric Jameson, bureaucratization of problems, Tucker Coe, Samuel Holt, 105 absolutely known, smut books, short stories, Mitch Tobin, I Know A Trick Or Two, the worst book, protecting ourselves from the accusations of liking , no heavy petting no penetration, a kissing book, Make Out Point, early Stephen King, Carrie, paradise by the dashboard lights, car culture, Italy, Taiwan, hourly rate hotels, a nap, you live with your parents even if you’re married, marginal phenomena, always step, the Japanese pron is straight sister stuff, the taboo is stronger in Japan, lesbian books, why you have hotel rates, your sister’s in the next room, a flourishing ebook market on Amazon for brother sister books, reading audiobook erotica, what people do for money, we don’t live in a communal society, the commercial aspect, the erotica business, drawing the line at incest, next week its cannibalism, other taboos, necrophilia, Pity Me! by Bertha Russell (age 15), The Loved Dead by C.M. Eddy, antagonist vs. loving, Julia Morgan (Morgan Scorpion), is it Evan with his smoking is it Paul with his guilt, Paul Bishop, somewhere in San Fransisco…, Take The Money & Run, westerns, mysteries, Jack London seems to have invented frontier fiction, see life in the raw, claim jumping, western adjacent, Les Savage, Max Brand, Zane Grey, Louis L’Amour, A Princess Of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs, Outland (1981) is High Noon (1952) in space, Moon Zero Two (1969), hard SF, a spectacular failure, acoustic panels.

MONARCH BOOKS - Brother And Sister by Donald E. Westlake (1961) - illustration by Harry Schaare

MONARCH BOOKS - Brother And Sister by Donald E. Westlake (1961) BACK COVER5

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The SFFaudio Podcast #683 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: The Mystery Of Sylmare by Hugh Irish

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #683 – The Mystery Of Sylmare by Hugh Irish – read by Connor Kaye. This is a complete and unabridged reading of the story (1 hour 4 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants in the discussion include Jesse and Connor Kaye

Talked about on today’s show:
Weird Tales, July 1927, Connor’s YouTube channel, commentary, essay writing, trying to convince us to go into a war, a Halloween writing contest, writing short stories and novels is a grifter’s game, supply exceeds demand, start writing poetry, long fantasy series possible value, talking about two unrelated horror stories, Run by Noemi Arduini, Inevitable Outcome by Adam Podoxin, a komdo dragon, hair on her arms and legs, braids, a cycle of werewolfery, well written sentence by sentence, more like a scene from a film, this is the end scene or the last paragraph of a story, whoever is tutoring this kid, how books are structured, some kid is being chased, two characters?, totally a story, sets up a problem, closed off, there’s only one character, a circle, a judgement by the author, clunky, not a wholly original idea, Behold The Man by Michael Moorcock, what your goal in writing is very important, well done language, pleasant to read, scary, which one is scarier, catharsis, what the story is doing, start watching a horror movie, teenagers at the lake, why bring this up?, polished but longer than it needs to be, why doesn’t it have more attention?, competent, some of the writing is clunky, a good premise, it resolves, a huge impression?, you are also somehow threatened, operating on an intellectual level, why isn’t it a classic of weird fiction?, the HPLHS’ Voluminous podcast, always be listening, Lovecraft is a great ideas man, Farnsworth Wright, Chicago, “closest to my notion of a weird tale”, a good story, mood, intertextuality, punching up the characters, college friends, selling farm equipment in Saskatchewan, that’s the story, moves on with his life, the most interesting events are distanced by at least three levels, the internal narrator’s now wife, US > THIS NARRATOR > S.T. CHAPMAN > PROFESSOR MORSE, taking turns reading, why the wife is so Lovecraftian traumatized, Cool Air, Pickman’s Model, the best way of having this story told, you can’t allude to it with her in the room, she has PTSD from reading, the knowledge that this place exists, what it says about our place on earth, super-awesome, vegetation having a secret consciousness is really fascinating and creep and scary, there’s some truth in it, a cosmicism poem, all over this story, geology, the size of the universe, and evolution, how we got here, upper-class elite twits, Cuba, Florida, cars and boats, no kids, the biological component is really important, vegetable life, The Shadow Out Of Time, the Migo are fungi, very immediate, the caterpillar, half-way between a plant and an animal, a Lovecraftian character, the Indians thought about this place, not a real place, Syl and Mare, forest and water, huddle near a bunch of lamps, the husband gets water, they start smoking, the word “drug” means “plant”, venom, synthetic production, caffeine from coal tar, urea from pee, the petrochemical process, all jittery, caffeine is related to urea, what is caffeine for?, caffeine is an insecticide, tropical areas, Guatemala, where the spicy stuff comes from, animals and plants in a war all the time, we are the masters of the Earth, tell it as a garden of Eden story from the tree’s point of view, align yourself with the snake, get some good sunlight, they’re there to feed you, mysterious things happening, the rise of Veganism, we don’t like our relationship to factory farming, the horror of slaughter as a moral good (a natural process), we think of it as a moral evil, you can’t make your cat become a vegan, trees communicate with each other, chemicals, cut grass, something is eating us, flatten yourself, a survival mechanism, apples today, the cultivar, tree glue, an innovation we have done as humans, the whole idea behind fruit, whose doing the manipulation, symbiosis, exploiting the apple tree, we have done something, at the core of this story we don’t actually see what happens, fully pined up, becomes entranced, his lighter, lights the island on fire, the monster vs. “the thing”, what its doing to the people, shot themselves, ensorcelled, a chemical attack, the tree doesn’t say anything, trying to fertilize the ground with the corpses of these people, the origin of this effect, a happenstance that produced a particular effect, not a part of a survival strategy, real world parallels, an instance in history, the Dyatlov Pass incident, the mystery of the Dyatlov Pass, geography creating ultra low frequency sounds, unlucky hikers, a natural process seeming to exert a supernatural force, infrasound, like an evil presence, Dreams In The Witch House, advanced mathematics, what percentage of the story is fully nested, page 96, The Grove Of Ashtaroth by John Buchan, do listeners feel it the same way?, get to the action faster, put skulls everywhere, a protection spell, what makes it a sacred grove, if you go in there bad things happen, six incidents, we could see the bodies of the youth and the girl lying in the bottom of the boat, naval reserve uniform, they went to the island to have sex, heavily wooded, lying down on the needles, a pine tree monster with flailing arms, all funked out, the Indians knew about it, the families were for it, consummating the act, why nobody talks about it, an over-reading on the motivation?, menacing, the classic backstory, the finding of the old book, an odd volume of the colonial period, a haunted island, the red men, the heart of the story, the mood part of the story, lessening the impact, long for a story of this material, a crummy setup, men of leisure who go to country clubs, Estelle telling the story, too far from the action, after dinner we went into the library, framing devices, The Oval Portrait by Edgar Allan Poe, the core of what we’re seeing, Lovecraft would have done it even better, a strangely sharp pinnacle of rock, this singular formation, a distinctly weird and eerie aspect, a great loneliness depressed me, a sense of guidance, the transition, maybe the tree is doing this to him, a toilsome passage, emitting a chemical sense, the mystery, a small circular rift, a precipice, the weird gloom, a thick mist in colour and opaqueness, the renting, similar abrasions, the evil genius of this baleful deft spot, two slight indentations, somebody brought back the tips of the fir boughs, a little bag full of some pine needles, life superimposed on death, ever growing ever dying, layering and layering of rock, fossils built on top of fossils, the earth is a living thing, a fungus growing on layer upon layer of death, a non-biological phenomenon?, really fun stuff, the self-made murmur in the silence of a cavern, the sound of the sea from some freak of acoustics, a resonance chamber, the soft mill-like murmur, the gloom of the wood, man’s earliest lullaby, the druid’s oak, fetish wold, sylvan shrine of the South Sea savages, duseute avenues of the soul, obsolete, a much older kinship, life’s dim beginnings, this vengeful death trap, ruing, an ancient covenant, parallel consciousness, it is a sure thing, plants retain the sex character, direct fixation of carbon (man), fix nutrients, catalepsy and kindred states, insectivorous plants, the whole island is a Venus fly trap, creating sugars, primitive on and off sentience, sterile soil, idle aeons, mobility’s parallel, mentality, their grey and terrible web, this is awesome, an otherwise slow story, island of the coast of Romania (Snake Island), Jason And The Argonauts, WWII, yeast, alcohol, where wine and beer came from, [almost] no animal based alcohols, “magical wine”, too pure a form, chop each other down (instead of trees), a taboo, the third one of the west coast of norther Florida, he’s really got something here, fantastic, gold, the foreshadowing is good (but too long), you got some Rus, Dionysus’ island, make an exact timeline, pick the exact time to start the story, Jesse’s never been to the Black Sea, whoever Hugh Irish may be, a visitor to this place, caught up in the wrong part of the story?, a little bit off, not enough personal family trauma?, the farther you go back in time the harder it is to get the details right, and space, with jets and nuclear powered submarines, get lost in the storytelling, WWII has Nazis, but that’s distracting from the point, a biological phenomena, dangerous and valuable, if it is the trees…, why haven’t these trees taken over North America, resonance of sound, struggling towards consciousness, evolution as a series of flukes (that stick), he burns it down, South Africa/Rhodesia, little bit racist, a parallel story without the supernatural goddess element, conquer the Earth Day Of The Triffids style, a moral horror story, crazy interesting, an ashy island, rather than one particular tree, killing the last (or first) dinosaur, human beings are too smart and they have fire, how Evan Lampe would read this, this chemical funk, psychic rays?, a typewriter or a pen, his writing gets kind of lazy, a very Lovecraftian ending, Dagon, overcome by these feelings, succumb to this knowledge, Lovecraft explainers, the opening of Supernatural Horror And Literature vs. The Call Of Cthulhu, crushing realization, we must remain unconscious of the whole, a placid island of ignorance, our level of grasp of the size and age of the universe, a bad case of the glooms, a bargain with the plants, the faith is broken, don’t eat of the tree of knowledge, you’re doing our stuff, upper class elites, they’re like fail sons, Hunter Biden, growing up in an elite household, directionless, just facts, the Naval reserve, get credibility, doing drugs instead, his parents are in the position to inveigle that, a level of failing upwards, psychological problems of elites children, fail sons and daughters, not engaging with the meaning, not sentient enough, people not being excised about the right things, God’s dead? I guess I’m transgender now, sudden realization, Nitchze, God’s dead and we killed him!, a comet is coming to hit the earth and did you see that new Netflix special?, a plant-human covenant, what the horror should be, rewriting The Mystery Of Sylmare, before I’m lost, human skulls, dying for centuries, the same effect as cosmic horror, shifting a human being’s consciousness, I am me being myself, more of a plant consciousness, phermones, vegetize, a story called Philip K. Dick called Piper In The Woods, Jason Thompson is a plant monster guy, a collective of evil trees, Algernon Blackwood style, mad scientists, alien plants, making them like plants in that they don’t move anymore, becoming plants vs. going mad, understanding of the cosmos or infinity is too much for the human mind, it consumes their normal human consciousness, sanity blasted, you as the reader beware, pockets of this may still exist in danger, end with the outer narrator with a fireaxe, email or a tweet, Of Withered Apples by Philip K. Dick, taxes at the dinner table, inferable reasons, appendicitis, she at the seeds, a fable or something, Out In The Garden by Philip K. Dick, Zeus impregnated a story in the suburbs in the 1950s, weird paranoia, nailing a real truth, where life came from, In The Case Of Bradner, The Smart Set, Lord Dunsany, the opening paragraphs, written by the same guy, a mortal coward in storms, under the potato bin, it taught our progenitors, cunning and mind, fear: greatest friend that man ever had, same kind of personality, same kind of wavelength, Este Chapman is a writer, a fiction writer?, deadlines, a couple of columns in Collier’s from 1913, E.F. Bleiler, Hugh Rankin, short story, Florida, a segment of the vegetable world, burning oil, overwritten and two many frames, the layering and layering, the layering down of stories, the professor is the most interesting character in it, the red men on the far end, a style that’s not popular today, Arthur Conan Doyle, Tony Walker and the CLASSIC GHOST STORIES PODCAST, immediate, immediate and simple, Lovecraft doesn’t care, The Lurking Fear and Herbert West: Re-Animator, the focus on the market, fucking up readership, trying to influence reality, high ideals for writing, making a true work of art, Obama, the Unabomber, or Frank Herbert, who is the moral superior?,

Which would you prefer

Having written short story, or _haha_ a novel, and have had it read by 1000 people

or have had 1000 people listen to your words for the time it would have taken to read your story or _haha_ novel?

preferring readers, trying to make the scales even, teasing out the number, a mug’s game, a lie wannabe writers tell themselves, it’s about identity, a bit cynical, to have a book on the shelf, I wrote this one, an element of vanity, willing to make compromises to get it, readers vs. listeners, old episodes get listened to, millions of downloads, we don’t respect the medium we respect the medium of books or TV shows, angry at Joe Rogan, jealousy, get their dignity back, most people don’t read, who are you deluding?, how many J.K. Rowlings are there?, a winnowing over time, H.G. Wells, The World Set Free, The Food Of The Gods, what makes something wonderful, what makes something important, b films, The Spirits Of The Dead (1968), William Wilson, Don’t Bet The Devil Your Head, it deserves more status than it has, the best time ever to be a person digging into the past, never been easier, search engines are fucking wizardry, like the flakes in this story, you have to write H.P. Lovecraft, libraries sprining up all over, Carnegie libraries, read the book Dune, Dune‘s not a film its a book, The Canal by Everil Worrell, for a film, In The Earth (2021), folk horror, The Stone Tape (1972) BBC TV movie, The Blair Witch Project (1999), be in the mind of the narrator or the character, voice over, the idea driving vs. just writing, forgiving non-action, this is why these woods have that effect, Laird Barron, keep punching up, the core defined concept, Lovecraft is all about mood (caused by the idea), what if my ancestors were fishmen?, if I was Arthur Jermyn, my grandmother was a gorilla?, best news ever!, humour as a reaction to an idea, how to make your sentences look and smell nice, reduce the stories characters by one, make the title a key, making people want to read, reading for different reasons, reading for fiction, reading for intellectual engagement, confusing the actor for the character, Nicholas Cage is compelling on screen, Steve Buscemi chooses better movies, The Color Out Of Space (2019), Pig (2021), who wrote it?, David Mamet movies vs. James Bond movies, movies with x actor, whether the author did the work or not, those are Poe stories, story is important, does budget matter that much?, Hey! Stop Stabbing Me (2003), movies with subtitles, training up, enjoying Soviet movies, Akira Kurosawa movies, what school should be about, The Woman Of The Dunes (1964), how much money do you need?, the bare minimum and a little bit more, Hex (2019), The Interlopers by Saki, Connor gave some wisdom, easy to be too negative, when analyzing, if you’re lying to yourself, be more demanding.

The Mystery Of Sylmare by Hugh Irish

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