The SFFaudio Podcast #680 – READALONG: The Man Who Sold The Moon by Robert A. Heinlein

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #680 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, Maissa Bessada, and Will Emmons talk about The Man Who Sold The Moon by Robert A. Heinlein

Talked about on today’s show:
published in a book, Heinlein almost always renewed his copyrights, no great interior art, boardrooms and offices, spacecrafts and diamonds, Pike’s Peak, Harriman pointing and winking, underground bunker wife, dissemble to his wife (again), the covers, Jesse is not a philatelist, numismatics, Paul’s not keeping up with philately, Brewster’s Millions (1985), Charade (1963), forever stamps, “here’s the extras from my collection, son”, Canada Post, Star Trek, Superman, Captain Canuck, Archibald Lampman, Lawrence Block, when not killing people, grandpas working on it, a moment of history that’s captured, the Apollo 11 launch, here at the blast-off, then you become a famous serial killer, acquires value, a first day cover is infinite cachet, mail fraud, legit fraud, shading the truth, 6+ button, Moka Cola, x-fuel, bribing judges left and right, philatelic stores are done through the mail, a license to print money, has government value, its almost you could pay your taxes in stamps, mostly selling intangibles, TV advertising rights, the actual physical object, it plays an important role, they also forget to put him in, meta-framing, there are no intentions its all Heinlein, Harriman is the stamps, an excuse for him to go to the Moon, he’s been defrauded, he knew what he was doing, Requiem by Robert A. Heinlein, The Man Who Sold The Moon is a prequel to Requiem, his heart is bad, a spit and gumball guy, barnstormers, he gets to the moon and dies on the Moon, maudlin and schmaltz, they bury him on the Moon, an oxygen bottle is his headstones, Robert Louis Stevenson’s grave in Samoa, glad did I live and gladly dive, the hunter home from the hill, TIA (pre-heart attack), Job: A Comedy Of Justice, long pig, Farah Mendlesohn, Home Is The Hunter by Henry Kuttner, Weird Al Yankovic, poingiant, The Green Hills Of Earth, sentimental vs. excessively sentimental, hear the voice of Robert A. Heinlein, what does his voice sound like?, Heinlein with Arthur C. Clarke commenting on Apollo 11, so excited, change the date of humanity, today is the year zero, a Moonbase, Mars, off to the solar system, it did not work out how he wanted, how Elon Musk would like Space X to be, a private space program (not subsidized by the government), why we’re doing this show, billionaires going to so called space, Musk doesn’t go up with his rockets, aptain Kirk in space, a fascinating footnote to history, “I don’t wish any harm to William Shatner”, clapping for celebrities, on the backs of poor people, the government’s involvement is nil, the regulation agency for the fuel and the stamps, the real reason we have space exploration (is military expenditure), commerce and bootstrapping and loans, Space X, their one and oly client (uther than Musk’s side-business) is the government, NASA being defunded, capitalism eating itself, me too companies, Blue Origin/Virgin, not even orbital, extended vomit comet stuff, checkboxing, things to do, a conga-line of people up to Mt. Everest, I went to space, save Maissa’s sensibilities, dickswining, putting Musk at the back of the guillotine line, we will coup whoever we want, he wants to do what he wants to do, Jeff Bezos and the Virgin Guy [Richard Branson], what’s different about the D.D. Harriman like figure of Elon Musk, his wild dreams, he put a car in space, the product that is Elon Musk, you get the product that is him, when you buy a Tesla you buy into a piece of musk, Chevrolet Volt, Teslas everywhere, these other kinds of cars are stupid, electric cars are cooler, D.D. Harriman is not an engineer, dirty tricks, fucks over his wife and partners, right up to mail fraud, the most prosecutable crime, you’re crossing the biggest baddest bitch in the room (the government), people standing around, 12 Angry Men-style, do it in black and white, don’t put out this manifesto in the world, Elon Musk reads this story, he is this story, I got my own emerald mine, PayPal, I’m gonna go to the fuckin’ Moon, that single-mindedness, who do I have to fuck to get this to happen, something deeply sick, a sociopath, who did they get to the American Moon program [Wernher von Braun], the Soviet space program, The Chief Designer by Andy Duncan, Sergei Korolev, Comrade we’re doing Moon program, the sociopath that is the American government, certified denazified, SS tattoos, when NASA had his own rocket program, come look, we’re going to name this one Enterprise, Desilu Studios in the 1960s, Galaxy Quest (1999), you thought Idiocracy (2006) wasnt a true story, Red Plenty, Ascent by Jed Mercurio, a secret history of the Soviet Moon Program, Stalingrad, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, he’s got a camera, he dies on the Moon, that struggle, technical problems that need to be solved, Pike’s Peak is not ideal, Panama or Florida, he lives there, you should launch from near the equator, its not all about the engineering, the technical problems will not happen unless I get the sizzle, leveraging the government, people get inspired to do stuff, 1950/1949, seventy years for that vision to start to come true, a failure of Heinlein’s imagination, an ideology, space might become a frontier in the Cold War, he goes into the newspaper with a hammer and sickle on, that’s the media, the ideology is government is not the solution, purposely bypass, the only purpose of the government is the stamps, government is in the way, let me loose, Musk will not get to space without a contract to service the ISS, the Chinese Russian International space station, oh please private business, not a good Chinese accent, not good to do either accent, fail better, release all of your failures, greatness out of badness, Chris Hadfield, Marc Garneau, The Apollo Murders by Chris Hadfield, he sings/writes/takes picture, never a Mountie, F-16 fighter pilot, Heinlein’s future history, wildly wrong, seventy years later, Canada was created out of a railroad scheme, if we build this railroad, it makes more sense to be late, it makes more sense to be overbudget, government expenditure is the best way to make money always, Contact (1997), Carl Sagan was a bit naive, his big problem in that book was the religious figure, communication from aliens would languish for hundreds of years, The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, leaving government out in an ideological way, squid-like vampire sucking, bribes most judges, why it has hate, powerful and therefore important, this manifesto turned into a movie, The Turner Diaries [by William Luther Pierce], Pallas by L. Neil Smith, corporations colonizing an asteroid, the government is evil bad an corrupt, that’s “freedom”, For All Mankind, Skylab was a sideshow, the alternative to GPS [is “GLONASS”], Russia has a very small GDP and yet they somehow seem to keep their rocket and GPS programs going, tax breaks for the 1%, we’re selling seats on this thing, selling seats on Russian launches, sell-outs, now NASA focuses on probes, what’s cape Canaveral, Maissa saw a Falcon Heavy launch, like a fireball going up into the sky, it was like a sword of the archangel Gabriel, Chris Hadfield’s Wikipedia entry, government propaganda, Canada has plastic money, you can wash your money in the sink, when the government is in control, tests, skills, loyal, I’m gonna hand pick my son, comparatively, I’m going and my brother, did the cowboy hat go up with him, I found these in the stratosphere, 10th birthday party, we’re going to make two corporations, put all the debts onto that company and keep all the assets in this company, to bilk the investors, defraud collectors, defrauds the boy scouts, always be honest, when it really counts fuck anybody, not bragging as much as stating facts, its a real sad thing, the naked horror, going to Mars, ginning up a war with the Martians, another song reference, not much of a Rocket Man, the Moon can control the Earth, Musk’s dream of Mars, Musk has made a big dent in the world, the guillotine party, give him some ice cream, somewhat mitigated badness, an earnest desire for extension, the Moses reference was telling and touching, dialing in the prophecy, Moses is denied the promised land, the Post Office was God, a very strange interpretation, it kinda fits, Butler, Missouri, religious fanaticism, a more sympathetic character, Musk is all me me me but he still hasn’t gone to space, a one way mission to Mars, The Marching Morons by C.M. Kornbluth, a lot of dummies, depressive and pessimistic, not good in two ways, a lot of people think it is real, Beggars In Spain by Nancy Kress is a troubling book, like Ayn Rand but more current, super-evil, people who are just better than you, a “Fans are Slans” style story, special people, this mass of black or white people who need to die, Hitler’s manifesto book, the argument that it makes is what makes it evil, what’s cool about the X-Men, Magneto and The League Of Evil Mutants, its a fantasy, if you have brain you need to sleep, they’re more elite than you, they studied harder than you, Justin Trudeau’s 1.2 million dollar trust fund, face-painting costume, gets to be prime minister when his dad dies, novels vs. novellas, Our Opinions Are Correct: “Heinlein is turgid”, this novel, you should just read Scalzi, women would be present, Harriman’s wife, couldn’t give Harriman a baby, lives in Colorado, just the Heinlein story, Heinlein’s infertility, Friday, To Sail Beyond The Sunset, ret-con, I’m not really sexist, standard Heinlein, very incestuous, rehabilitates Harriman’s story, she’s not important to this story, how important the Post Office, don’t go against the government interest, you can use the Soviets as a whipping tool to et the media, a military industrial complex vs. a space industrial complex, Ospreys and F-22s, “defense”, you can sell people on fear, the commies in Russia today, China wants to take Taiwan, the Alpha Centurians are stealing our precious bodily fluids, space fear, the Coca Cola corporation, Dr. Strangelove (1964), another novel, Firestar by Michael Flynn, female entrepreneur capitalist, Elon Musk but not as evil, Flynn’s views on education, a shooting star, the comet would be good at this point, a dinosaur apocalypse is needed, digitize it and get it up to the moon, NFTs, bitcoin is currency, pre-orders equal love, the character’s supposed to be sympathetic, space space space, fighting in the Balkans, quasi-libertarian is (mostly) evil, in the 90s Paul’s politics were not as enlightened as now, public schools vs. private schools, save a few, no offense, some offense, slap in the face no offense, we need to face facts, this has been a blueprint for people, echoes with what’s going on, what other books are lurking effecting people’s reality, some phenomenon happening on the earth, Asimovs and Heinleins, Bezos vs. Musk, I gotta focus on my plan, set up a Foundation somewhere, Paul Krugman thinks he’s Hari Seldon, I’m a psycho (historian), too good for Jesse, Sir there’s somebody waiting to see you, a historical setting, Overlord (2018), tell me a lie story, who has women in their space program?, the Soviets, part of their ideology is women ARE equal, team human, Mary Robinette Kowal’s Lady Astronaut series, the Mercury 13, what if we weren’t super sexist?, a country that has to turn less sexist, Luke Burrage’s SCIENCE FICTION BOOK REVIEW PODCAST review of The Calculating Stars, the Nazis didn’t want women fighting, making strudel and soldiers, not caring about certain facts about ballistics, how many stages the rockets needs to be, recycling the capsule from a previous rocket, designing the capsule for the lifting device, Musk’s plan, a fuel tank with a little spaceship on the end, get this, this story was written before the actual Moon program, whether the fuel will ignite from gamma rays, how can we not care about those details, Heinlein cared so much he kinda made it happen, John F. Kennedy was trying to direct the military industrial complex into an Olympics style competition, for all mankind, now there’s a Space Force, the instincts to restrain insanity have gone away, more and more in the Harriman situation, the 1967 Outer Space Treaty, the Law Of The Seas, the Americans never ratify, a Dutchman named Hugo Grotius, why don’t we just be tolerant?, no torturing people, that’s all gone now, public schools are terrible, Jesse a nihilist, human civilization, asteroid/meteor/comet, When Worlds Collide, Rogue Planet, not focusing on the ballistics?, Jesse prefers to read books that are out of print?, public domain, [is Jesse an obscurantist?], gotta winnow, Will’s initial Heinlein journey, a deathmarch?, stop doing that, he’s got the goods, The Star Beast, would D.D. Harriman sell N.F.T.s, what wouldn’t he do to get to the Moon?, he wouldn’t break his word to a person, personal loan, personal honor, down the slippery slope lying road, skirting that line, NFTs are a scam, Tulipmania, Odo and Quark, Jesse doesn’t Grok what its about, you should sell some SFFaudio listener NFT, Philip K. Dick drawings NFTs?, the motivation is the mistake, an artificial scarcity, not for hateful means, the Kingdom of Redonda, M.P. Shiel was crowned King of Rednoda as a boy, this rapist plagiarist, its a scam that has legs, pretty sure these are NFTs, Vincent Price as a lord of Redonda, basically NFTs could be anything, software license keys, why do we want that?, infinitely replicable, why do we want to make it scarce, Substack will integrate NFTs, a technology that we don’t have a use for, your password for your account, the jpegs are largely useless proof of concepts, etherium wallet, software should be free, digital clothing for their avatars, PUBG, a book takes paper, sewing, glue, and trucks, stupid and wrong and evil, Elon Musk needs lithium for his car batteries not because he likes couping people, the purity of the goal, Bezos’s pure goal is *ME*, the people climbing Everest, me shaking Obama’s hand, flying back to Kathmandu, helicopter rides for everybody, why Shatner going to space is a marker as a society, government control of how we spend and communicate, the jpg thing is ridiculous.

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The SFFaudio Podcast #634 – READALONG: A Fall Of Moondust by Arthur C. Clarke

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #634 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, Maissa Bessada, Evan Lampe, and Will Emmons talk about A Fall Of Moondust by Arthur C. Clarke

Talked about on today’s show:
1961, the worst Arthur C. Clarke thing Jesse has ever read, co-writing, Frederich Pohl, comin back to the well for a load of cash, sequel Rama books, Maissa liked it, it grew on Evan, Childhood’s End, 2001: A Space Odyssey, he’s no Olaf Stapledon, sui generis, he wanted to be Olaf Stapledon, he doesn’t have the same ethos, Doris Lessing, on a more cosmic scale, August Derleth really liked H.P. Lovecraft, they’re not novels, THIS is a novel, the very first reader’s Digest condensed science fiction novel, a very thin volume, break out, be commercial, what’s in everybody’s mind, space race, we’re going to the moon, everybody on this boat is pretty boring, the society is fascinating, his basic conception is wrong, afraid of sinking into dust, just like Saddam Hussein’s WMDS, a construction of our own minds, kinda like a powder, the great sand dunes in Colorado, a giant pile of sand, a weird quirk of weird geology, a 1970s disaster movie, a long disaster movie, the audio drama, took some liberties, how wrong he is about society in the future, post-scarcity future, everybody gets an education, barbaric orphanages, he didn’t have the courage to think through all the implications of this post scarcity society, the pull quote, to keep the system going, not everybody is on board the train, we need all the brainpower we can to keep it going, off the rails, moonbus!, very weak, a tourist in the solar system, sea of dust, interesting world-building, those 90s songs, a book about the media, so interesting, completely wrong, still ahead of us, 2000whatever and 1960s, these people were young in the 1990s, Walter Cronkite, nothing changed, geostationary satellites, he’s just wrong about how media worked in such a spectacular way, the first disaster movie that’s THE DISASTER MOVIE, the western, Airport (1970), Deluge, a giant tidal wave that hits New York, there was a movie adaptation (yes), The Big Bus, a nuclear powered bus, Ned Beatty, Airplane! (1980), Airplane II, a steep decline, set on the moon with a space shuttle, The Towering Inferno, The Poseidon Adventure, its the template, probably a lot of dust up there, experiments, where the plot came from, novels are what sell, there’s nothing wrong with the book, its exactly what its supposed to be, Scott Danielson, “I’m ruined for stuff happens books”, that’s most series, most books, yo, the tone of the narrator, gelignite not, WWII era C4, this wasn’t going to work for out people, after the commercial break, totally competent, at his best he’s beautiful, masterful at short stories, Reading, Short And Deep, go about your business, any reaction, a negative reaction, really boring, a combination of it being boring and really didactic, ultimately it was good your ancestors…, has the opinion that Arthur C. Clarke has, shocking, with the voice of an aborigine, we’re all space faring folks now, we’re all white men now, 2017, the Down Under Fan Fund, Captain Cook National Park, how his ancestors were treated, this park doesn’t show the aboriginal POV, he’s got a fucking point, lived this experience, a forceful personality, a new and different point of view, in terms of cancellation, cancelling Clarke, nobody reads his stuff anymore, Jesse finds a beautiful illustration, dealing with a problem on the moon, so many whiny boomers on a bus, a lot of people on that bus, in terms of media, a media book, The Orange And The Apple, Isaac Newtown having sex with some lady, kind of a celebrity, media contacts, brainfarts on CNN, all the bluecheks start tweeting about it, it shoots up on the charts, moonbus at the bottom of the sea, doing an audiobook, those raunchy sex scenes in the king’s house, a great idea, The Martian by Andy Weir is a much better book and much better movie, the swearing quotient, shitty real-life disaster movies, a leak of oil into the Gulf Of Mexico, BP did it, Deepwater Horizon, the junk shot, in the popular consciousness, a phenomenon, fairly accurate except its not as cynically corrupt as it is in reality, much more cynical and modern, the Walter Cronkite era was probably more corrupt than many people know, in particular now, wars get started over this stuff, the whole Spanish–American War, the occupation of the Philippines 1895-1949?, Clark Ashton Smith, colony, a nice cute disaster, the puppy fell down the well stories, way to long, stuff happens, they’re making their own culture, the playing cards, filler, Heinlein engineer story, a rescue story, realistic, realism, disaster porn, why Airplane! works so well, his WWII fear, the whole commodore captain thing, him becoming a man, choosing to settle down, the sexual politics, the sex scene, the pill, it’s coming, miniskirts!, everybody’s still repressed, a weird line, Saturday Night Theatre, she doesn’t want to take the sleeping drug, you’ll take advantage of her, me neither, why is that funny?, why is that supposed to be funny?, they’re all boomers so it doesn’t matter, the stewardess, she’s jealous, him saying I’ll never have sex with you, take advantage of means “rape”, how could you think I could do that, the intended, that line from Churchill, “If you were my husband I’d poison you tea. Madam, if you were wife I’d drink it.”, a cultural change, he can’t anticipate, writing for a 1960s audience, not very science fictiony, the science fiction elements are hard SF, that’s all true I just don’t care, the Mountains of Inaccessibility, as a social SF book its both good and bad, as a hard SF book its interesting, very popcorn, how common space travel, divert a rocket casually, High Frontier, interesting stuff outside of this room at the bottom of the sea, how much stuff happens, why it was successful, Monica Hughes’ Crisis On Conshelf Ten, a Heinlein juvenile, sorry kid we’re living here now, go swim with your friends, Red Planet except on the moon, Nancy Drew on the Moon, The Deep Range, Earthdark aka “Crisis on Conshelf Ten 2”, Ian McDonald, the Luna series, corporate intrigue, tensions, Heinlein’s moon book, The Menace From Earth, Kepler Masterman, his girlfriend’s father had disappeared, kids on the moon solving mysteries, the Moon from the 1970s, 1890s moon, no boomers in buses, 2053, 2023, Keith David should narrate The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien, The Thing (1982), Greenleaf, They Live (1988), if the laws don’t change, Biden’s gonna try and fuck up our copyright laws, might be all Paul’s job, great content, real grown up stuff, entertaining the boomers, reading the condensed books, just a bunch of rich people, not everybody can go to the Moon, miner’s stuck in a coal mine need entertainment, tryin’ to make some cash, he’s English so, two other bus people for stuff happens, the fraudster, credit card fraud, gold card or black card, the UFO guy, he’s Will on the bus, UFO talk, rightly so, Joe Rogan, NASA, the lid’s off, the tic tac, its not a fuckn alien, rightly dismissing, he poison’s the well, not in tears and muted, snake oil salesmen, one of Will’s mutuals, a story about a relative who is into UFO stuff, Ancient Aliens, a picture of his penis, taking advantage of something very real, its spiritual, there are conspiracies, the word now means alien spaceship, people conflate the two, center of attention, he shows this guy , that whole conversation is sunk, a detective also on the bus, on his own merits, not a post-scarcity satellite, too sympathetic to prosecute, ex-drug addict, a whole plane load of people that’s supposed to represent society, there’s no children (until the very end), moon babies, calm down get ahold of yourself, a nun with a baseball bat, 100% mockable, a parody book (just make it shorter), a good audio drama, READER’S DIGEST CONDENSED BOOKS people aren’t idiots?, I don’t want anyone abridging my Mark Twain, much punchier, a condensation, 347 – 404, 50 pages, Earthlight, Ray Bradbury, farming whales, a generation ship, not much of a plot, Apollo 15, a specific homage to Skylark III, Stanley G. Weinbaum’s The Red Peri, set on Pluto, its going to be short.

A Fall Of Moondust READER'S DIGEST

A Fall Of Moondust READER'S DIGEST

A Fall Of Moondust READER'S DIGEST

A Fall Of Moondust READER'S DIGEST

A Fall Of Moondust READER'S DIGEST

A Fall Of Moondust READER'S DIGEST

A Fall Of Moondust READER'S DIGEST

A Fall Of Moondust READER'S DIGEST

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The SFFaudio Podcast #558 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: The Horror At Martin’s Beach by Sonia Greene and H.P. Lovecraft

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #558 – The Horror At Martin’s Beach by Sonia Greene and H.P. Lovecraft; read by Martin Reyto (for Legamus.eu). This is an unabridged reading of the short story (18 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Marissa VU, Wayne June, and Terrence Blake

Talked about on today’s show:
Sonia H. Greene, The Invisible Monster, Weird Tales, prenuptial contract, courtship, the sea is New York, drugged to New York, interesting, Lovecraft components, Lovecraft skeleton, originally titled, a much last apt title, you never find invisible things, Lovecraft’s commonplace book, [entry 51: Enchanted garden where moon casts shadow of object or ghost invisible to the human eye.], The Moon Bog, The Dreamquest Of Unknown Kadath, the Moon as a giant egg, “I have never heard an even approximately adequate explanation of the horror at Martin’s Beach.”, the baby, the mother, a single eye, another invisible something, my fancy conjured up still another eye, the eye is the Moon, everybody is assuming its the mom, where does it say it in the story, deep grief, Iron Shadows In The Moon, the father, how do they know its a baby, it had its baby teeth, the layering, small for a cosmic being, demi-cosmic, that new baby smell, not very scientific, the most amazing discrepancies, Captain Orne, if Eric [Rabkin] was here, it rained for forty nights, taxidermied, P.T. Barnum, a mermaid is a seal grafted on to a baby, DC horror comics from the 1970s, I want comics god-damn it, True Ghost Tales, Minnesota, bigfoot displayed in a van, a monkey suit with modifications, “The object was some fifty feet in length, of roughly cylindrical shape, and about ten feet in diameter. It was unmistakably a gilled fish in its major affiliations; but with certain curious modifications, such as rudimentary forelegs and six-toed feet in place of pectoral fins, which prompted the widest speculation.” selling hokum,

The naturalists had shown plainly that it radically differed from the similarly immense fish caught off the Florida coast; that, while it was obviously an inhabitant of almost incredible depths, perhaps thousands of feet, its brain and principal organs indicated a development startlingly vast, and out of all proportion to anything hitherto associated with the fish tribe.

John Lilly‘s communications with dolphins, sons of Poseidon, a species, cyclops kitten, a half-god, his out, his wife wrote that part, the depths of the oceans being unexplored they harbour life-forms that have one eye, bioluminescence, otherworldly, monster ideas from the depths of the sea, symmetry is for weaklings, scientific men are people who work for Orne, fakes, but not this time, revenge mom, The Beast (1996), William Petersen, Beast by Peter Benchley, no mothering instinct, projection by the readers and Sonia Greene, the evil men who stole the baby, Captain Orne as Ulysses, a mythological interpretation, the old one version of Poseidon, we’re bringing the female idea to it, a trope, throughout nature, bear cubs, the daddy bear gives no shits, dads don’t care, human vs. animal, dads do care, almost nothing happens, stylistic preparation, a real life event, a simple horror story, a cosmic dimension, a moralistic dimension, two different readings, Ridley Scott thought Deckard was a replicant, eternal revenge, a purpose so revolting to my brain, revenge isn’t revolting, collateral damage, all humanity was guilty, a species wide revenge, humans all look alike, my fifty foot baby, what humans do, all the wolves are killed for the crime of one wolf, a storm came twice, wrapping up his business, he’s ornery, “get revenge”, its planned all this out, set aside your propensity for disbelief, here she/he/it comes, make the presence known, grieving and scheming, you killed my baby and now you’re throwing shit at me?, an inordinate indication of intelligence, an article by Professor Alton about hypnotic powers not being confined to recognized humanity, there trickled upon my ears the faint and sinister echoes of a laugh, only humans and hyenas, they laugh at anything, a sad laugh, read it with skepticism, what is the horror?, is it the thing?, or was it that people were frozen?, electricity explains it, hacksaw to the hempen line, there is no hempen line, that’s their interpretation, a proposed theory, what if there was never a line to begin with, physically hooking on to people, less about the specific thing in the water, the way the Moon plays on the water, everybody is turned into frogs, the Moon was about a foot above the water, a coin at arms length, from what angle?, phenomenological vs. actual, what’s that over there?, the moon looks gigantic, its about the hypnotism theory, why the people fail to act, that’s the horror, a huge part of the horror, if we read it that way the invisible monster is us, retire to your room, the narrator’s perspective, death march, resigned to fate, so real and creepy, not calling for help, not struggling, looking back over their shoulders in fear, a perfect description of this universe,

And as I gazed out beyond the heads, my fancy conjured up still another eye; a single eye, equally alight, yet with a purpose so revolting to my brain that the vision soon passed. Held in the clutches of an unknown vise, the line of the damned dragged on; their silent screams and unuttered prayers known only to the demons of the black waves and the night-wind.

a cluster of religious stuff, the voice of heaven resounded with the blasphemies of hell, ventriloquism, a cyclopean din, her pallid beams, a whirlpool, the narrator laughing, that interpretation, the hyena is laughing because its sad, even creepier, gallows humour, forelegs, one big eye, a laugh?, angler-fish, glowing eyes, feet on the chest, what it’s all for?, sure you did, bub, they know about the fishy tribes, Martin’s Beach has hills with cabins, veranda, a vacation spot, the rich above, the poorer below, above and below,

It was in the twilight, when grey sea-birds hovered low near the shore and a rising moon began to make a glittering path across the waters. The scene is important to remember, for every impression counts. On the beach were several strollers and a few late bathers; stragglers from the distant cottage colony that rose modestly on a green hill to the north, or from the adjacent cliff-perched Inn whose imposing towers proclaimed its allegiance to wealth and grandeur.

the horror is is the coverup by the hotel, the same dynamic you see in Jaws, the corporate is the horror, Aha, I got the formula now!, community vs. the individual, what the fuck happened, everybody’s involved, Fair Game by Philip K. Dick, Professor Anthony Douglas, numerous grunts, his ample middle, a nuclear scientist in Colorado, gold bars on the side of the road, this is the weirdest thing, he’s in his easy chair, an eye the size of the entire sky, any giant sky monsters over Colorado?, Fair Game on SickMyDuck.narod.ru:

Shapes. Two enormous shapes squatting down. Two incredibly huge figures bending over. One was drawing in the net. The other watched, holding something in its hand. A landscape. Dim forms too vast for Douglas to comprehend.

At last, a thought came. What a struggle.

It was worth it, thought the other creature.

Their thoughts roared through him. Powerful thoughts, from immense minds.

I was right. The biggest yet. What a catch!

Must weigh all of twenty-four ragets!

At last!

Suddenly Douglas’s composure left him. A chill of horror flashed through his mind. What were they talking about? What did they mean?

But then he was being dumped from the net. He was falling. Something was coming up at him. A flat, shiny surface. What was it?

Oddly, it looked almost like a frying pan.

it doesn’t make any sense as science fiction, what’s funny is the set-up, how he’s fat, this is the sea’s revenge for fishing, it isn’t specifically about this one animal, the sea doing what we do to it, look at the tuna cans, line and pole tuna, industrialized fishing, still another reading, the Moon in relation to its proximity to the water, the gravitational pull of the Moon, The Other Gods, a lot going on, its not as crappy as it looks, William Shakespeare, as flies to wanton boys as are we to the gods, the line is flypaper, why are they pulling, someone needed rescuing, insidious, human instinct in propensity to rubberneck, cheap houses near the sea, at least some of the people came from the rich area, Weird Talers: Essays On Robert E. Howard And Others by Bobby Derie, a blog post with a letter from Sonia Greene, he was never kissed by any woman, The Private Life Of H.P. Lovecraft, Carol Weld, happily ever after (sort of), its all right there in the setup, a little softer than Lovecraft’s usual, 15 adjectives about how horrible everything is, the rest doesn’t take that statement seriously, its lacking that indifference, there’s definitely some bellows, very humanish, the easy reading is that it’s a revenge tale, my Twitter friend Jason Thompson’s illustrations, a couple on the beach, the moon low in the sky next to the fish monster, there’s some sort of massive connection, a big round thing in the sky that YOU can see, it is an eye, paranoia, ‘And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you’, human history’s relationship without the Moon, telescope, when you look at the moon, you can see mountains, it is another place, another world, comforting and horrifying, how important the universe is as a reality, profits, dancing, cottages, cars, a speck in the sea of black infinity, its hard to understate, the cosmic layer, the moon as a character, the Moon is the mother, opening a path, a way, a lane, calling down to the depths, opening the people to an influence from another reality, the bridge of moonbeams in The White Ship, I am Basil Elton,

I am Basil Elton, keeper of the North Point light that my father and grandfather kept before me. Far from the shore stands the grey lighthouse, above sunken slimy rocks that are seen when the tide is low, but unseen when the tide is high. Past that beacon for a century have swept the majestic barques of the seven seas. In the days of my grandfather there were many; in the days of my father not so many; and now there are so few that I sometimes feel strangely alone, as though I were the last man on our planet. … Very brightly did the moon shine on the night I answered the call, and I walked out over the waters to the White Ship on a bridge of moonbeams. The man who had beckoned now spoke a welcome to me in a soft language I seemed to know well, and the hours were filled with soft songs of the oarsmen as we glided away into a mysterious South, golden with the glow of that full, mellow moon.

the opening, Sonia writing in the mom part, Lovecraft writing the Moon part, layers, cynical thing, clusters of adjectives, satanic and demonic, the more religious cosmology, regular folks, weird letters received, all recapitulated in the Peter Benchley, conferences, inspiring of, A Tropical Horror by William Hope Hodgson, architeuthis, giant squid, the title, self reference, your average bear does’t have a Lovecraftian world-view, the most amazing discrepancies, no common bond, differing reports, a widely witnessed phenomenon, a tremendous difference, everybody’s unreliable, what the hell did they see?, weirder stuff happens under the Moon, Slavoj Žižek, conceiving and Žižek, Lovecraft was the terrible thing, and vice versa, a problem of habituation, kinda sick, this is going to be better for you, Virginia, he could’ve moved with her, I got all my friends and my (podcasting club), the Kalem Club, unrecorded podcasts, an anthology of just Moon stories, power of the moon, the Moon doing a ton of heavy lifting, imagine that line goes all the way out to the Moon, we can get there its just incredibly hard, gravitons are definitely a real thing, it has phases, without the Moon, what would you even look at, its so important, it looms large (especially when near the horizon), we hide from it in our cities and our houses.

Jason Thompson's (MOCKMAN) illustration of The Horror At Martin's Beach by Sonia Greene and H.P. Lovecraft

Jason Thompson sketch for The Horror At Martin's Beach

Posted by Jesse Willis

Reading, Short And Deep #164 – The Moon-Slave by Barry Pain

Podcast

Reading, Short And DeepReading, Short And Deep #164

Eric S. Rabkin and Jesse Willis discuss The Moon-Slave by Barry Pain

Here’s a link to a PDF of the story.

The Moon-Slave was first published in the 1901 collection, Stories In The Dark.

Podcast feed https://sffaudio.herokuapp.com/rsd/rss

Posted by Scott D. Danielson

The SFFaudio Podcast #498 – READALONG: The Magic Goes Away by Larry Niven

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #498 – Jesse, Scott Danielson, Paul Weimer, and Marissa VU talk about The Magic Goes Away by Larry Niven

Talked about on today’s show:
novella sorta, Odyssey, thinking back, telling about the books, the interesting things in the books, hard Fantasy, mana, the problems of depletion, the wheel spell, a skull, so fun, the whole spoiler phenomenon, spoiler people get uptight as they age, kids are little scientists, tell me more, they walk on clouds, unicorns were a thing, the explanation, in different cultures, is spoiler sensitivity cultural, the joy of getting there, Snotgirl, Jesse’s worst sin this year, treasuring the experience of discovery, extra jalapenos, “surprise me!”, in the early days of Paul’s life, Not Long Before The End, What Good Is A Glass Dagger?, The Wishing Game, The Burning City, The Burning Tower, same universe, ancient Los Angeles, the political messaging gets really ham-handed, the IRS is bad, later books are co-authored, the ideas vs. the execution, Scott’s view, so smart, preppin’ for a podcast, the magazine version, the art is so good, it felt like trying to extened a really good story premise, the similarities to Ringworld, a big dumb object in the sky (the Moon), we’re going to need a god, before they get to the god, the denouement, poor Wavyhill, immortality, screaming for thirty years, Protector, how idea heavy his stuff is, the little consequences, a cultural legacy, some people still believe in magic, he’s retconned our magic-free universe with a universe full of magic, he sees like other people do, true for all humanity, kinda sexist, the Moon is magic, when we achieve that as a species, worldsnake, amoeba used to be huge monsters, the Grey Ooze, the gelatinous cube, where Gary Gygax got the idea, the goo, vacuoles, translucent, holding the goo, one of the first words we all say as babies, a giant tardigrade, The First Fossil Hunters by Adrienne Mayor, a protoceratops fossil, gryphons, why we dig them up today, page 46, the size of houses, there that’s what I’m talking about, the children of the first god, the Crawling Chaos, fire vs. magic, so much work, good additions, fire is technology, elves are all gone because they are powered by magic and fire, Avengers: Infinity War, mixing in Doctor Strange, created at the point of creation of the universe, The Key To Time, a purpose, characters with different skills, the fire and the magic, a god in the form of Thor, different skill sets, a real issue, a dying earth story, we live in the dead Earth, the setup and the premises, Warlock vs. Wavyhill, a wolfwere, please tell me more, a wolf that’s really a man, magic dead zones, a snail dragon, some hidden stuff, Neuromancer, a ROM, Dixie Flatline, a book about hackers, hackers can do magic, cyberpunk role-playing game scene, the Magic: The Gathering cards, Larry Niven backwards, a Niven disc, the NetRunner collectible card game, very clever, he’s systematized magic where everything is possible, using limited resources, peak oil problem, what a big idea, The Magic May Return, Fred Saberhagen, Poul Anderson, Mildred Downey Broxon, Roger Zelazny, meteor bombardment, this is cute, emphasize the right words, page 8, chapter 2, an Asian infestation of vampires, “gone mythical”, the crater is old, Fistfall, at this point in the book, a mountain, a village, the moon, it’s not two wizards, we’ve got three…, the Three Magi!, what he was going for, that kind of retelling, happening in the background, the kind of book that will reward careful reading, I need to see a wizard, the opening with the raft and the collapse of Atlantis, why Atlantis sunk, I can solve that, tectonically unstable, the payoff, the centaur can’t survive without the magic, the image, climate change, images in the news, too real, Trail Of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse, a post apocalyptic landscape where the magic has returned, the sixth world, Lucifer’s Hammer, Fist Of God, Inferno, Dante’s Inferno, the structure, he’s old, Planet Stories, The Dancers by Margaret St. Clair, Blue Hours Suspense audio drama series adaptation, waiting for the dawn, a new Eden, the premise, the belief of the dancers, the last uncontacted tribe was shown the error of their ways, who knows what hold the Moon up?, philosophy of science, uniformity, six weekends on the Moon, explanations for why our explanations don’t work, I’ve solved everything in hard Science Fiction, but you haven’t solved unicorns, Svetz, time travel stories, Moby-Dick, running into fantasy, into a fantastical past, a collection of short stories, Rainbow Mars, a seed from Yggdrasil, A Wolf In My Time Machine, manna in fantasy, manna’s from heaven, Maori culture, as a unit of magic, magic as sustenance, a shout out to Australia and New Zealand, emigrate to Australia, super-yummy, “try the moa, it’s great!”, the aborigines, the Dreamtime, this fits in with my explanation, Master Of The Maze by Avram Davidson, been not from, Maori cultural practices, reciprocal obligations, Jesse explains the potlatch, depleting your production, you have power, an economic cultural mixer, what commerce can do, nobody would be productive if they didn’t have money, the communication of debt, honor, they owe you and you own them, Washington State, banned, spiritual power, gods and spirits, the UBC Museum of Anthropology, that is magical in a certain sense, motivating without money, economics as debt not as currency, a theme in a lot of Niven’s work, solving ideas, 13,000 B.C., geography, Doggerland is still above the waves, exploring the changes, the unstated name is Robert E. Howard, his Hyborian age, Acheron, King Kull was an Atlantean, a philosopher king in a magic heavy universe, Kull The Conqueror (1997) movie is fairly faithful, Kevin Sorbo, The Good Place, funny dialogue, a good sense of humour, the relationship he has with women, typical, the right Niven characters together, Louis, Speaker, and Nessus, damn hard SF, character low, having motivation, the baddie, the worlds first necromancer, is Wayvhill the badguy?, a heist that goes wrong, very Joseph Campbell-y, dealing with the epic, The Broken Sword by Poul Anderson, Elric of Melniboné by Michael Moorcock, Orolandes said, the skulls, “I wish…”, what was Clubfoot wishing for?, the last great sorcerer, a diminishment and a sadness, wishes don’t come true anymore, now I’m sad, thanks Paul, Antarctica, you wish upon a star, he’s not spelling it all out but he’s pointing to it, that’s the joy, Merlin, he ages backwards, they have these spells, Mirandees hair colour, from black to white, the vampire spell, good stuff, a very nice exercise, throwing Larry Niven into Hell, totally worthwhile, the original short was withdrawn for consideration for a Hugo, fantastic, Marissa is going mythical.

Odyssey, Summer 1976

Boris Vallejo cover for The Magic Goes Away

Skull Of Wavyhill

The Magic Goes Away - Chapter 8

Nevinyrral's Disk from Magic: The Gathering

NetRunner card NevinYrral

DC Comics - Larry Niven - The Magic Goes Away

Posted by Jesse Willis

Reading, Short And Deep #091 – The Place Of Pain by M.P. Shiel

Podcast

Reading, Short And DeepReading, Short And Deep #091

Eric S. Rabkin and Jesse Willis discuss The Place Of Pain by M.P. Shiel

The Place Of Pain was published in The Red Magazine, May 1, 1914

Here’s a link to a PDF of the story.

Podcast feed https://sffaudio.herokuapp.com/rsd/rss

Posted by Scott D. Danielson