The SFFaudio Podcast #570 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, and Olav Rokne talk about The Sound Of His Horn by Sarban
Talked about on today’s show:
1952, the great Stefan Rudnicki, Dying Inside by Robert Silverberg, gravitas, how much should we think of it as a great book?, 100 best novels 1946-1987, number 12 amongst fantasy novels, a fantasy novel or a science fiction novel, an alternate history kick, The Man In The High Castle, Harry Turtledove, The Guns Of The South, Lest Darkness Fall, Bring The Jubilee, For Want Of A Nail by Robert Sobel, here today in 2019?, Axis victory novels, In The Presence Of Mine Enemies, techno veneer, the toxic nostalgia at the heart of fascism, the rejection of modernity, sylvan existence, mythologizing of the past, neo-feudalism, 100 years after reign?, The War For German Rights, not that far from our future, 2030s, Fuhrer means God now, Living Space by Isaac Asimov, kinda like Sliders, barely even know who Hitler was, the SS rituals, race theory, eugenics, genetic engineering, lions and dogs, vegetarian vs. Hermann Goering’s aesthetic, a symbolism book, vs. Albert Speer’s vision, SS-GB by Len Deighton, Fatherland by Robert Harris, Nazi-world, an analog for life behind the Berlin Wall, Kit, slightly tweaking the ideology, the world we don’t see, what makes it such an intriguing book, tech, the support system for a game preserve on a private estate, the horror of a Nazi regime, Two Dooms by C.M. Kornbluth, the body horror, fear horror, a Gothic castle, an anticipation not fully fulfilled, the Wild Hunt, was it real or was it all a delusion?, Deities & Demigods, the Huntmaster, Thor, driving game, myths versus legends, hearing the horn, join the hunt or become one of the hunted, pre-fascism, Herne The Hunter, inarticulate dread, fantastic stories, The Hounds Of Zaroff aka The Most Dangerous Game by Richard Connell, unencumbered from morality, a throwback, not the only one, Hans von Hackleburg, the curse of the Baskervilles, The Hound Of The Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle, an evil morality, inferring the system, a strong warning, people who have suffered gender or race based violence, Allan’s fears, creeped, sexism, misogynist, anti-human, women are turned into cats and men are turned into hounds, a vegetarian argument, Pierre Boulle’s Planet Of The Apes, the difference between of human and prey, The Oval Portrait by Edgar Allan Poe, The Turn Of The Screw by Henry James, the framing story, a four hour audiobook, 42 minutes into the book, almost 1/4 of the story is the frame, two narrators, authenticated, kinda fun, The Wolf or The White Wolf by Guy de Maupassant, a wonderful funny horrible story, kill everything, a true story of France, strangles it “gently”, true from one end to the other, less about gender than it is about class, Reichmaster of Forests, the cat girls and the fiance in the frame, it could be interpreted that way, the descriptions of meat were stomach churning, “The unspeakable in pursuit of the uneatable!”, The Yellow Book (magazine), the book inside the book, the yellow 90s, a decadent book, Wayne June, $1.50 in 1895, a book for artists and high class folks, before he’s arrested and thrown in prison he’s playing a game, An Ideal Husband, The Importance Of Being Earnest, powerful versus popular, when Hillary Clinton was on Saturday Night Live, they pull their punches, Trump has been on Saturday Night Live, too thin skinned, more thin skinned, if you offend too much you’re going to get in trouble, going to far, Sinéad O’Connor, too true, not politic, a vegetarian propagandist book, I’m not so sure, the cat, a metonym for his wife, Kit, why doesn’t he want to tell her?, some distant 100 year old future, a screed against an activity she so enjoys, the terror, a world famous hunter, trophy room, a bridge too far, what is animal and what is human, a lot of science fiction, The Island Of Doctor Moreau by H.G. Wells but with Nazis, vivisection, The Time Machine, unreliable narrators, Wells allusions, another thread, utopian futures, the Bellamy school, Edward Bellamy’s Looking Backward, Robert A. Heinlein’s For Us, The Living, Just Imagine, The Marching Morons by C.M. Kornbluth, Idiocracy (2006), Rip Van Winkle by Washington Irving, Buck Rogers In The 25th Century, it’s a happy liberal future inside the city and homeless and we don’t spend time with the homeless people who are outside the city everybody is super happy enjoying their fancy clothes with robots and they spend time in outer space fighting Ming The Merciless and then outside the city we never talk about those dirty disgusting folks, it’s the same thing, clones of each other, a Marxist analysis of Gil Gerard’s Buck Rogers, intellectual property, we haven’t had a Space: 1999, a good point, the Dille family trust, Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle, we don’t need more Buck Rogers, overdosed on Superman, When Worlds Collide by Philip Wylie and Edwin Balmer, the sequel, that Galt’s Gulch stuff, we are the elites, this lifeboat is for us, that comedy movie 2012 (2009) an unofficial reboot, Elon Musk is like Heinlein, Wernher von Braun was a fuckin SS nazi, D.D. Harriman, we don’t cut anything, dancing around The Sound Of His Horn, aged more in the last 25 years than in its first 40, more dated now, the ponderousness, become more of its time, flowery beautiful description, oooh this stuff is wonderful, the material is perfect for what it is, maybe its the relationship people have to it, imagine reading The Man In The High Castle in the 1960s, WWII was that much closer, its only aged in its relationship to us, a piece of art rather than a commercial work designed to put bums in seats, much more intellectual despite physical, spectacle, Blumhouse horror torture porn, the first Saw movie, the explanation is not the point the exclamation point was the point, the novel medium, dwelling more on certain paragraphs and certain sentences, immerse in Allan’s plight, feel his fear and apprehension, spend more time noticing connections between the outer narrator’s story and the inner narrator’s story, academic theses that nobody reads vs. big long blog posts that analyze the shit out of stuff, so many things in the meals in the hall the torchbearers, is that what I think it is?, trussing up the girls they’ve hunted as if they’re going to eat them, its not cannibalism its more like sadism and rape, the gentlemanly country estate of England vs. Nazi baronial estate, the two teams that went to war, the two cages (the POW camp and the estate), the games that they play within, another camp on the outside, concentration camps, slave labour employed, servants vs. slaves, not so much “you need to become a vegan, today” vs. considering the feelings of others, otherkin, a call for empathy, dwelling on the results of war and that setting, more connections sparking away, reading it in paper, not an easy book if you get squicked out, surgically modified, running to fat, brain surgery, bred, what’s happening to Kit, sent for reeducation, something to practice on, utopias and dystopias, all a part of a flow, patterns repeating throughout, in a dystopian novel it feels like everything is frozen, here’s a society that is perfected, Kim Stanley Robinson’s Pacific Edge, lots of little shitbirds fucking things up, we’re in a system headed in a good direction, Nineteen-Eighty Four, Brave New World, the resistance was gelded, News From Nowhere by William Morris, everybody should be an artist, The Wood Beyond The World, a rural paradise, adding a lot of filigrees to their hoes, a science fiction fantasy, things can’t change, we have that within us too, cultivating good habits, coming to a steady state, we’ve refined our morality, we’re refined our diets, and we’ve brushed our hair in just the right way, Francis Fukuyama’s the end of history, NATO’s still a thing, yup, life’s ridiculous, people can be cruel, Jesse doesn’t visit the United States, when Peter Watts got the shit kicked out of him at the border, if you give in, drawing lines in the sand, a job in Texas, if Bernie wins, the abuses heaped upon the Nazis are justified, a personal story, personally suffered, one nice way to read it, a walking dream, walking across Eastern Europe, he walks 100 years into the future, a daydream, he spins up the whole story, has this happened more than once to him?, falling back into fairy, The Elf-Trap by Francis Stevens, no fay element, Paul is arguing against himself, Thomas the Rhymer, mental illness, we don’t have perfect access to that, Oberon and Titania, torches as an affectation, plastic cup technology, high quality clothing, rich folks, not about the Nazis, what they did in Africa, you can’t really tell stories about swaths of people, stories about individuals, those personal relationships with a culture, without that frame the story doesn’t work very well, he is questioning hisself, speculating about Sarban’s knowledge of the crimes of the British Empire, parallels, Great Britain’s colonial history vs. the crimes of the Nazis, surveillance, no conscious critique of the British, what is our relationship to hunting, they do it unconsciously, a turkey hunt, why there are no lions, bears, and wolves in England, the gauleiter’s fake hunt, hunting fish in a barrel, mini-golf hunting, Barkerville, British Columbia, you pay for the pan the bag and the trough, a fake experience, not training, an ersatz experience, the reichforester has contempt for everybody around him, why is it like that?, a Medieval Times restaurant in Nazi Germany, its good to go out for a walk, a safe walk in nature, Mark Twain: golf as a good walk ruined, facial hair, the incarnation of the wildness, I will save you for another moon, a Nazi Utopia is a dystopia for the reichforester (he’s a manager at Disneyworld), I didn’t expect it to be like this, its different, what Sarban means: the kind of storyteller who traveled with caravans and entertained the travelers with stories, what Homer was, he’s basically a bard, a diplomatic career in the Middle East, how short it is, all the more plausible, you have your coffee you have your smoke, how to classify it, a horror book, no visceral reaction, Olav went vegetarian, no vegetables at that banquet, the dressing up of the game, two does, its not clear, on purpose, dehumanizing the pray, more dreamlike and more fey, the Star Wars experience in Disneyworld, a Star Wars store, a Star Wars lightsaber, the Batman costume with Batman’s face on the shirt, he’s not having fun, its not for him, Universal Studios’ Miami Vice experience, a spectacle vs. a ride, a cool idea, all of the jousting is every night, they’re actors, striving for utopia, regularize things, make things improved, best practices, self-driving cars, one day…, a trap, a fantasy we fall into, it fails to be a classic on a few levels, very affecting, a rich text, an intellectual experience, it doesn’t need to be that long, how much not spent in the actual world, where is the divergence point?, it doesn’t want or need to explore that, if it had been written in the 1890s, Prussian or Russian nobleman, it’s not about Nazis its about people, humans are fuckin weapons, dealing with things that have agency, what makes a bad society is having lots of people trending towards badness, not even saying that foxhunting is bad, Mike Vendetti, The Ballad of Reading Gaol by Oscar Wilde, people in power are fuckers, the cat’s name is Jan Smuts, best buds with Winston Churchill, both of them were in concentration camps in South Africa, Prime Minister of South Africa, maybe it is a critique, John Buchan’s The Grove Of Ashtaroth, in the hands of John Buchan (Lord Tweedsmuir), yellow 90s ruin, the last place on earth for this goddess to inhabit, it does matter, how we come out of the inner frame, who named that cat?, where is that damn cat?, let it out, why the outer narrator doesn’t understand why he shouldn’t tell her this story, Aneurin Bevan (father of the NHS), fascism is the future refusing to be born, toxic nostalgia.
Talked about on today’s show: The Men In The Walls by William Tenn, Of Men And Monsters, in the shower, bins full of books, homework, no ending coming, the ending was a beginning, a solid ending, absurd in a bleak way, a stinger in the tail, mocking and doing a genre, collection of William Tenn short stories, the William Tenn model of story, absurdist, satirizing, frustrated expectations, Eastward, Ho , The Liberation Of Earth, this dying Earth, a metaphor for Africa, allegory, why he isn’t known as a novelist, to sustain a novel, an overarching belief in something, humans are fucking ridiculous, early on the web, a RealAudio stream, On Venus, Have We Have A Rabbi!, not a word different, “Priests, For Their Learning”, I’ll grow up fast, “Soldiers, For Their Valor”, literally takes place in the next step, “Counselors, For Their Wisdom”, 1000% confidence, William Shakespeare, Tenn taught English for a living, to Sheila Solomon Klass, this place of salvation, a quote from Gulliver’s Travel, “the most pernicious race of little odious vermin that nature ever suffered to crawl upon the surface of the earth”, the land of the giants, a perfect fit, wholly new, puts them in their place, many ancestors to this book, The War Of The Worlds, how any one virtue is require for procurement of any one virtual, cockroaches or mice?, aspiring to the greatness of roaches, things completely outside humanity, the torture room, we’re all monsters, this book is very subversive, a cool idea, only 128 people are left, other tribes of mankind, he knows exactly what he’s doing, torturing these monsters is fine (because they’re not human), oh jeez, naive character, not a great book, misquote the quoter, Of Men And Monsters, easier to grasp, harder, Of Mice And Men, the institution vs the individual, trusting institutions, walking around the factory floor with long hair, your uncle your brother your sister your friend, people will be kind to you, Lenny and the other guy, their relationship, the labouring farm, a lecherous dude, a lecherous lady, navigable relationships, it ends in tragedy, Eric is our dumb character, the way of the world, slowly disabused of that, his uncle was also a fool, its not just we need a new king, government can’t help you really kid, I have no answers for you kid, the answer for Lenny, institutionalizing anything, it can’t care, summarizing Jesse’s point, the idea of the inhumanity of institutions juxtaposed to the human relationships we can have, put a cap on your hairs’ too long, capitalism, migrant labourers, mental handicap, he kills a woman, stop touching the rabbits, stop squeezing the ladies to death, Eric The Only, Eric The Eye, Eric The Outlaw, the church, the government, we can’t trust these human relationships either, about my vanity, folly, all the different tribes hate each other except for their leaders, it’s our planet buddy, a quietist tract, Man is alone in the world, as a young person, a product of his society, a statement about the society he is in, this is their mythology, a Harry Potter type character, destined to learn, smart enough eventually, try not be a roach anymore, H.P. Lovecraft’s The Rats In The Walls, humans to aliens, roaches to humans, a delicious scene, spending a lot of time analyzing what the aliens are thinking, sprayed by roach spray, hold your breath, count for 500 and run, a hissing whistling sound, a bed for the aliens, played the other way, his whole embarrassment in life is that he’s an only child, his only shame in life, mate with many wives and have massive litters, litters of puppies and kittens and mice and rats, pinkies, the most inhuman thing, mankind has changed, multiple babies at the same time, he’s a throwback, two three is common (up to six), wider hips?, the pill is a thing, restraining the pumping out of babies, over five litters two of them of maximum size, biologically possible but relatively rare, parthenogenesis, making twinning more common, fraternal or identical, old men at twenty, humans modified by a distant change, the religion and creed is pathetic and ridiculous, especially absurd groups of people, the national grouping is like a plains Indian thing, the people, so much worldbuilding here, restricted to Eric’s point of view, a very strange snapshot of the real world, Adam-Troy Castro: ‘imaginative and often witty simple and schematic nobody interesting not even the hero’, William Tenn was not a writer for writers, he was a writer gifted with writing but cursed with the knowledge of how humanity actually is, give ideas, he’s not supposed to be interesting, a traditional writer, I wanna be a writer, characters have to have motivation, what if we had the relationship that we have to ants, how would that go?, we lost Will, what’s wrong with that, Jo Walton, played for laughs, wryly and exclusively Tenn, not funny, but emotionally satisfying, it teaches you something, satisfying in a sense, feature not bug, the first line is a lie, two layers with that title, presented with facts and they’re subverted, how ->*”primitive”*<- people live, where everybody is a generalist, ridiculous leaders, executed or in prison, protests like you see in France or Hong Kong, everybody has to come out, classifying the kind of society, a hunter gatherer society, a social structure of mankind, hierarchy, make sure the food is edible, strange religious customs, cynically implemented, "a primitive people", somebody thought up agriculture, a post agricultural society, fascinating world-building, a hole at the bottom of the wall, alien food, the high absurdity is at is peak, the curtain is drawn away for us, a VCR with random buttons, ads for capitalism, two airplanes crash, a sale on cameras and a light meter, unthinking all hormones, sex with the ladies, being respected by his peers, did my dad have sex with other women because that'd be great if he did?, an inversion, oh my god BASTARD, the malleability of humans, how to take the pain, forced by circumstances into having his own thoughts about how to maybe run his life, forced into consciousness, a relevant book, a lot of people are vegans these days, projecting our own feelings into animals, it can be a pathology, not as obvious a trap, another kind of religion, we're trapped in the same way that Thomas Ligotti is saying we're trapped, a pitiable and curious state of mankind, personality and character rather than a presentment of the facts, Monty Python, Life's a piece of shit when you think of it, depressing and terrible but very accurate, am destiny story, all men are men, whatever magic, ancestor magic, he's the ONLY ONE, making only a good one, are we moving back, the idea of positioning, trying to relate it to mice, nesting in the spaces you aren’t, trees are fucking cold you don’t want to be in a tree, jars with lids, we crush them, Eric lives in the kitchen/bedroom, they have furniture, food, roach spray, one of them damn roaches again, and mysteriously everybody died, if its a depressing idea its a problem with the reader’s attitude, the novel is actually uplifting, deeply aesthetically satisfying (and upsetting on some level), the absurd reality of some man’s life, a sequel coming, a 1963 magazine, in Galaxy Magazine, the non-ephemeral nature of the paperback, if you didn’t get it that month you’ll never get it again, a physical copy of this book, a token of an achievement, a magazine feels like a newspaper, a childish way of looking at it, I’m not sure I can trust my sense, A Lamp From Medusa, a classic for our time, putting it in a package, a life of republication, what makes something a classic for the ages?, “Jesse, Moby-Dick‘s a famous book”, this novella was a classic of science fiction?, its not famous, a lost classic of science fiction, Richie Rich and Casper stuff…, so much going on in a short period of time, not a word wasted, fight for inclusion in a canon of anthropological science fiction, what is society, why do people do the things that we do, how do we know the things we know?, it keeps us sharp, received morality, the banality of evil, they did the crime so they need to do the time, abuse heaped up prisoners, that’s how the institution works, a layer was being peeled from your eye every few pages, my uncle’s not a hero?, we’re going to go into space!, an alternate interpretation, getting Eric out of the way, betrayed!, the French Revolution, restore the French monarchy, human science for humans, everything feeds into my podcast, The Penny Dreadfuls, The Brothers Faversham, satarizing everything, Richard E. Grant, The Scarlet Pimpernel, a proto-superhero, Maximilien Robespierre, how dare you!, why it came to this, why The Terror is happening, he didn’t have time for my speech, all of this farce of what caused the French Revolution, to take the other’s point of view as it is vs. the reality as we’ve framed it, the three estates, all three equal, choppin’ off heads is a good idea, once you get started breaking norms…, the effects of the French Revolution are still being felt, the Russian Revolution, the new word “adversary”, what the fuck you talking about, they like food and they enjoy TV, the button that Tenn is pressing, we like it a lot, a more obscure one, he’s a good writer and he’s got a nice sense of irony, a modern science fictional version of Jonathan Swift, slightly different from Robert Sheckley, slightly different from Douglas Adams, the broad brush, my loins are particularly tasty I’ve been fattening myself up, a Mark Twain-ness, this would make a really good audio drama, the sense of the big and the small, Oh, I’d really like to become a man, oooh she’s sexy, I hope somebody adapts it for an audio drama, Philip Jose Farmer, deeply sincere fictional beliefs, Will has that sense of humour, Phil Chenevert does a lot of Conan, he’s more whimsical, he’s is the naive light and fluffy, he’s perfect for this, The Slithering Shadow, a perfect Robert E. Howard voice, characterizing the writing as a gender, a combination of sensuousness and tooth and claw, perfectly attuned to Phil Chenevert’s voice, we’re laughing along, Donald E. Westlake’s The Spy In The Elevator.
Talked about on today’s show:
spend a lifetime researching, as opposed to regular bookstores, what’s the difference, not the price, Dawn Treader Book Shop, Bryan Alexander, Jack Vance’s The Dying Earth, specializes in stock already been sold, hybrids, a Wikipedia entry, a booktown, in the UK, a book district, PaperbackSwap.com, young and poor, delight, selection, Staten Island, Barrett Book Trader, a good trade, romance books are of incredibly low value, voracious romance novel readers, a lending library with fees, Audible’s new romance title subscription service, a very different kind of category, milk run, Vancouver suburbs, bottle depots, a trunkload, Jolly Olde Bookstore, real estate prices, switching to audiobooks, David’s Books (Ann Arbor, Michigan), The Bookstore Mural, Walmart, Costco, Borders, Barnes & Noble, Uncle Hugo’s (and Uncle Edgar’s), Magers And Quinn, a phenomenon that flourished after books became available, in a hundred years, what was that phenomenon, the way we have understood it, Terry (Stillman), somebody died, get rid of this pile of stuff, a good used bookstore is always FULL, stuffed to the gills, they don’t tend to be chains, guys buying themselves a job, kind of a dream, imagine all the books, all the profit comes from the rare book side of the business, you job is to guess what your customers want, getting rid of romance novels, variety, the Philip K. Dick section, J.G. Ballard section, anything that was mass produced, the science fiction vs. the literary novel section, not representative, books from before you were born, 2 Heinlein novels, the only way to get a decent book collection, The Rolling Stone and Space Family Stone are the same book, this phenomenon is in decline, ebooks and Amazon have peaked?, 2020 eink with colour, comic books, book covers, podcasts are in more danger of disappearing than newspapers are (podcasts autodelete), Tony C. Smith’s earliest StarShipSofa episodes, preserving in old barns, the inability to sell used (digital) audiobooks and ebooks, rent control for a certain amount of space for used bookstores, Powells, a media warehouse, new and used, instrumental in Scott’s youth, Scott came to SF pretty much alone, a dad or an uncle, through Star Trek, The Bookworm in Idaho Falls, Idaho, looking at every single book, what science fiction was, the selection at a library, librarians are a self-selected (to the literary side), the paperback issue, Dragonflight by Anne McCaffrey, “Anne McCaffrey has never written a bad novel”, at that point it was true, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, Tanith Lee, The Stand by Stephen King, scanning like a madman for years, books in bins waiting for the copyrights to expire, Jesse’s razor, you buy more books than you read, hours put in finding, downsizing, the way people find books now, Childhood’s End, a completely different experience, shit this has a map in it!, a massive appendix, book II in a series, Dune, that’s a different cover (two copies of Dune), not knowing that a book exists, Brin, Benford, Bester, Horseclan novels, William Gibson, here, trade paperbacks (the wrong size of books), the paperback IS the experience, you have to know what you’re looking for, The House On The Borderland by William Hope Hodgson, what the hell is this?, the books just didn’t exist for you, that popping in, Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, The Restaurant At The End Of The Universe, a small town used bookstore, the college town experience, picking over the books, a crappy little storefront, all these wonderful books, a small town bookstore, a long and prideful thing, Gene Wolfe, Tucson, a Bookmans on the other side of town, Pulpfiction Books (Vancouver), the estate trying to sell everything, raiding parties (in the states), picking over the bones of other stories, Half Price Books, remainder books, a related phenomenon, a thrift shop (a bookstore with other stuff in it too), Value Village, charity shops, can you believe I got these two books for fifty cents each?, Dead Until Dark, a subsidiary of used bookstores, blew up Jesse’s mind, Ace Doubles are unable to be filed, John Brunner and Philip K. Dick, Tor Doubles, why libraries don’t like paperbacks, you have to pick a side, this is the dominant side, The Dragon Masters by Jack Vance, The Last Castle by Jack Vance, a thematic resonance, a nightmare, just two books, Sea Siege / Eye Of The Monster f-147, which terrible monster to start with?, Leigh Brackett (the greatest pulpmaster of them all), how to make your library show, why you have to have two copies, obtain mode, nemesis, Rendezvous With Rama, don’t read the sequels, the smell (of a used bookstore), sniffing these Ace Doubles, it smells like old paper, the rot of paper of glue hardening, a hint of mildew odor, Honor Books (Allen, Michigan), no door (so open), a microscopic science fiction section, put your money here, a vending machine you go inside of, a triple witching hour on a full moon on a thirteenth day you can feel some cold fingers in the slot, a state tax, this is not a going concern, no staffing issues, a lesbian couple, its a job, its a dream, you buy, I have a used bookstore!, everybody need employment, Trump isn’t responsible for the decline of the used bookstore, finding book 7 of the Barsoom series, lists, New Zealand waterfalls, Moby-Dick, a guilt purchase, I feel good when I give them my money, I’m paying more because THIS is what I get, NEW THIS WEEK, the entire rack of new comic books, Sergio Aragones’ GROO: THE WANDERER, a comicbook store is a USED and new bookstore, the books have a different smell and the patrons are different, comic book stores are in every city, you can’t tell a reader, rando strangers, the connection Jesse has with these guys, Projecting Project Pulp (podcast), what we all have in common is we like books, however fleeting, the stack of stuff they’re collecting, that little piece of advice, dying like tears in the rain, most of the books that Jesse was collecting were written before he was born or unable to read them, seeing the legacy of a whole commercial system turned on its head, drugstores and spinner racks, Gold Medal paperbacks, Richard Stark, the thinness of those volumes, 110 pages, a whirlwind kind of experience, books are too thick, James M. Cain in paperback, so spartan and so spare, Goodreads and Amazon and podcasts, experience that smell before its gone, Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday, an increasingly unaffordable hobby.
Talked about on today’s show:
1981, science fiction novel?, the long awaited masterwork, you didn’t like it, low expectations, the first half is the best part, it takes place in the head, after the film, the discussion of the film, the Wikipedia, Radio Free Albemuth‘s plot, parallel universe Nixon, state vs. society, Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said, movement cultures, fighting the Black Iron Prison, this is a political dead end novel, is it science fiction?, the opening, SickMyDuck.narod.ru, quasi-consciousness, gobbledygook,
VALIS (acronym of Vast Active Living Intelligence System, from an American film): A perturbation in the reality field in which a spontaneous self-monitoring negentropic vortex is formed, tending progressively to subsume and incorporate its environment into arrangements of information. Characterized by quasiconsciousness, purpose, intelligence, growth and an armillary coherence.
–Great Soviet Dictionary
Sixth Edition, 1992, used in many others, the copyright details about his other books, A Scanner Darkly, the schizophrenic break, good bits, the autobiographical details, fictionalizing his life, not anything like science, most people don’t have a grasp of what science is, a perturbation in the reality field, progressively subsumed?, a collection of words, he’s eating his own prole feed, he takes as fact, a refutation soon accommodated, this skepticism thing, the same plot as 2001: A Space Odyssey, Book Of The New Sun by Wolfe, the hero can reverse time, that’s there, so much better, weird quest, this 2 year old kid who may or may not be Jesus, more like meta-fiction, reintegrate his brain, Psi-Man heal me, he put’s his hand on Fat’s shoulder, self-hugging, he baptized him with chocolate and a hot dog bun, stuff he’s actually done, not fiction, bullshit people all the time, every now and then this should be science fiction, bullshit with his friends, a rough plot, exegesis, we should be upset, puttering about in a small land, so internal, his other half, Small Holywater, Black WanderingEarth, that’s why its a better novel, it has the satellite, in the beginning was the word,
#36. We should be able to hear this information, or rather narrative, as a neutral voice inside us. But something has gone wrong. All creation is a language and nothing but a language, which for some inexplicable reason we can’t read outside and can’t hear inside.
its important to see why people are attracted to this book, words are data as much as visual data, bear scratching against a tree, i present these words to you and they become reality, dope dope dope 500 times, the word loses its sound and its meaning, words on a page are reality, we have to contend with this, how do you know when this is, it’s tremendous, is that true, dreams, your critical faculties are not in full operation, religious people are presented with evidence, adopted accommodated or ignored, causing a crisis, telegraphed far before, we all have this capacity to generate data, distinguishing it from, “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.”, untethered to critical no no no no, Fat gained strength, self-criticism, Horselover Fat is the early 60s sociological type, Michel Serres, there’s something broken in his head, he’s a car engine and there’s a serious problem with the mechanics, “The Black Iron Prison”, “The Empire Never Ended”, proved, made up in medieval times, the Roman Empire fell in…, time is not what we think it is, K.W. Jeter, Tim Powers,
“You found your way into the upper realm,” Kevin declared. “Isn’t that how you put it in your journal?”
#48. Two realms there are, upper and lower. The upper, derived from hyperuniverse I or Yang, Form I of Parmeni-des, is sentient and volitional. The lower realm, or Yin, Form II of Parmenides, is mechanical, driven by blind, efficient cause, deterministic and without intelligence, since it emanates from a dead source. In ancient times it was termed “astral determinism.” We are trapped, by and large, in the lower realm, but are, through the sacraments, by means of the plasmate, extricated. Until astral determinism is broken, we are not even aware of it, so occluded are we. “The Empire never ended.”
A small, pretty, dark-haired girl walked silently past Fat and the huge old woman, carrying her shoes. At breakfast time she had tried to smash a window using her shoes and then, having failed, knocked down a six-foot-high black technician. Now the girl had about her the presence of absolute calm.
“The Empire never ended,” Fat quoted to himself. That one sentence appeared over and over again in his exegesis; it had become his tag line. Originally the sentence had been revealed to him in a great dream. In the dream he again was a child, searching dusty used-book stores for rare old science fiction magazines, in particular Astoundings. In the dream he had looked through countless tattered issues, stacks upon stacks, for the priceless serial entitled “The Empire Never Ended.” If he could find it and read it he would know everything; that had been the burden of the dream.
so many comic books, he’s obsessed in a way,
Prior to that, during the interval in which he had experienced the two-world superimposition, had seen not only California, U.S.A., of the year 1974 but also ancient Rome, he had discerned within the superimposition a Gestalt shared by both space-time continua, their common element: a Black Iron Prison. This is what the dream referred to as “the Empire.” He knew it because, upon seeing the Black Iron Prison, he had recognized it. Everyone dwelt in it without realizing it. The Black Iron Prison was their world.
Who had built the prison–and why–he could not say. But he could discern one good thing: the prison lay under attack. An organization of Christians, not regular Christians such as those who attended church every Sunday and prayed, but secret early Christians wearing light gray-colored robes, had started an assault on the prison, and with success. The secret, early Christians were filled with joy.
this is ho you make science fiction this is not science fiction, superimposing the present on the past, James Joyce, 1981 or 1982, Paris, one of the greatest philosopher’s of the 20th century Gilles Deleuze, cinema, a vertical time axis, Marie Louise Von Franz, Jungian theory, a second axis of time, Wolfgang Pauli, tied to a particular experience, a working out of it, dipping into it, this is basically what it is, not that revealing, nonsense, the big words that he’s using, essay writing as a game, write them first, the way Star Trek: The Next Generation technobabble, reverse the polarity of the neutron flow, a black iron prison, does the blackness refer to the iron, its just a phrase that popped into his head and he thinks, this is how religions are birthed, coming straight out of it, so sad, hilarious Philip K. Dick bits, a mental breakdown on the page, a slow decline into depression and isolation, A Scanner Darkly except real, new religious movements, subjective experiences, William James, is there anything not referenced in here, a trained philosopher, Dick doesn’t do any of that stuff, multidimensional, masterful from the beginning, the only sad thing Terence can see, male male male all along, one sided, The Exegesis a fake book, this is a novel, a metafiction novel, its not a fantasy, he perceived those perceptions, its most interesting to him, where it intersects with the stuff in his previous writings, from the beginning, The Cosmic Puppets, much more grounded, breaking himself off from himself, he gets stuck in this loop, I have become a mechanical function of my own idea, a rat trying to get on a rat-proof ship, something mechanically wrong in his brain, the rest of the engine was good, a terrible metaphor, he goes to the therapist and the therapist becomes part of the problem, going back to the themes of the institution vs. the individual, the police steal his stuff, this is not a political book, the society against the state, encouraging movements to do little things, the resistance is always there, in Valis we gotta find Jesus, his interpretation, The Divine Invasion, Shadow And Claw by Gene Wolfe, symbols invent us, the symbol took over his mind, The Transmigration Of Timothy Archer, a cathartic effect, juxtaposing is the problem, that’s the science fiction aspect, its a theory, its unfalsifiable,
Wordsworth’s “Ode” carries the sub-title: “Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood.” In Fat’s case, the “intimations of immortality” were based on recollections of a future life.
In addition, Fat could not write poetry worth shit, despite his best efforts. He loved Wordsworth’s “Ode,” and wished he could come up with its equal. He never did.
Boldness is not virtue, Spiders sail on strands, there was no path back, crouched in basement darkness, on and on, infinitude of time, Mind, now torn away, We humans have been told, We larger ones, What of us we lack the stamina, a summary of the book, cats, the key to decoding it, Phil’s Cat by K.W. Jeter, two of PKD’s cats: Mrs. Tubbs and Harvey (an “elegant but paranoid” black cat), lots of stuff from book, a fatalistic attitude, the thing one most loves can be fatal, “Listen, do you hear something.”, with an open can of catfood, two big yellow eyes, his small mind not comprehending the vertical dimension, his spatial coordinates had been right on target, March 1982, his self destructive urges had been transcended, methodically combing the isles, a little scrap of warmth, ludicrous hope, a faith that believed in faithlessness, in the light of the story, this is what the empathy thing he’s so known for is all about, very beautiful, a lot of empathy for cats, his weird relationship with women, weird resentments, retroactive blaming the women, his empathy for women is his bad side, Sherry with cancer, suffering something so horrible, is that his perception or is that the reality, did she know that she was doing that, how do you know that?, citing citations, does she know she’s doing that, that’s the main problem, confronted with both sense data and actual sentences and both are not subject to critical questioning, Jesse saw a ghost once, Jesse loves the idea of ghosts, part of a letter, Last Wave, Summer 1984, The Shadow Out Of Time, hypnagogic images, conversations with, John W. Campbell, ultimately always better, Gene Wolfe’s similar cosmogony, between Dick and Wolfe, a better thinker, he saw Dianetics was bullshit, it seized on him, religion as a kind of a mania, latching on to their stories, Bishop Pike, if Philip K. Dick had access to the internet, anamnesis, three meanings, obsessing over etymology, etymology is everything, he’s in improv, I’m a toaster, have you eaten your toast?, you always go with it, your sense data or your sentence in front of you Jabberwocky, brillig, his vorpal sword, runcible spoon (a grapefruit spoon), runcible to runciter, something animals don’t really do, its almost like we can fall down a well of only believing this one book from 4000 years ago, writing down experiences they never had with a guy they never met, and he’s wrong, a druid ceremony, not the only story even he’s caught up in it, a half hour of notes, Tractates Cryptica Scriptura, usually it takes whole cultures to make a cosmogony, the appendix is kind of useful, in Evan’s podcast episode on Valis, The Gospel According To Philip K. Dick,
50. The primordial source of all our religions lies with the ancestors of the Dogon tribe, who got their cosmogony and cosmology directly from the three-eyed invaders who visited long ago. The three-eyed invaders are mute and deaf and telepathic, could not breathe our atmosphere, had the elongated misshapen skull of Ikhnaton, and emanated from a planet in the star-system Sirius. Although they had no hands, but had, instead, pincer claws such as a crab has, they were great builders. They covertly influence our history toward a fruitful end.
Kilgore Trout, Cosmos: A Personal Voyage, an endless hole, the discovery of planets doesn’t occur for quite a long time, an external place vs. another realm, his citation is it seems to me it must be true, horoscopes, there are no dis-confirming facts (until their is), a giant radical shift, its in the paper, if its published its true, the New York Times and The Washington Post, how we get offended by people’s words, you know I don’t REALLY believe this right, I know I’m nutty, the amount of time you spend on it, something is pulling their brain, a cool fact, bloodtype tells about your personality, you don’t know your blood type?, that’s very o positive, imagine saying that about someone’s race, we can’t conceive of that being a thing, this is destiny, this is how all the religious functions work, auspicious, looking good, Roman birds, suspicious, I don’t think we can trust this, trapped in a world of etymology, etymology as destiny, the fake etymology of embarrassed, Jesse doesn’t want to give it up, magic words, pickaninny, niggardly, the airplane was retarded by the braking process, the sound of it is not offensive, words are presentations of reality, the whole whale language thing, cobol, c++, I saw a ghost, I saw a red hat, red hats are not nice hats, words on a page, in your ear, on a sign, causing a dysfunction within us, that’s this book, that’s why this book has power, the revelation is surprising because almost nobody else ever talks about it, not a universal truth, how he described it to Anne, I’m writing an autobiography about BOTH of my personalities and I’m calling it VALIS, structure it as a self-conscious whatever, so much based on actual events, there is no VALIS film, he did call up somebody in Hollywood, he barely knew Gloria, a friend of his, Sic transit gloria mundi, pathology, sending up, funny bits pointing, making fun, he’s deflating the thing in real time, if he lived in our age, the pot showing up in the film, a fish symbol, the DNA molecule, how it connects to Galactic Pot-Healer, this pot did exist, oh yeah, of course, the jewelry in The Man In The High Castle, a photograph of him leaving the funeral early climbing into a Volkswagen, whose reaction is more authentic, if he were a girl, subject to criticism, ditzy, quite pathetic, pathos, Greek for feeling, how great he is at saying that experience of watching a film, applying the rules of filmwatching, Blade Runner, did they intend this to be the meaning, what about the eyes being lit up, different actors disagreeing, as a piece of fiction I’m allowed to spin up as many theories as I want, things outside of the film, where is the meaning?, the meaning goes out the window, macro-focused in the wrong direction, I didn’t see this the first time, adding Phil to the Skype call right now, at the time vs. now, almost guaranteed, everything in there is searchable, Reading, Short And Deep, looking at the text, breaking past the fourth wall into two different axis, no time is god, the boy can replace his wife who has died, its amazing, how seriously should we take this?, Parsifal,
Parsifal is one of those corkscrew artifacts of culture in which you get the subjective sense that you’ve learned something from it, something valuable or even priceless; but on closer inspection you suddenly begin to scratch your head and say, “Wait a minute. This makes no sense.” I can see Richard Wagner standing at the gates of heaven. “You have to let me in,” he says. “I wrote Parsifal. It has to do with the Grail, Christ, suffering, pity and healing. Right?” And they answered, “Well, we read it and it makes no sense.” SLAM.
which heaven do you go to?, the savior saved?, you’re the gods, the typical Nietzsche thing, glorified stupidity, a similar joke in episode 3 of Watchmen, the world being enduring suffering, Amfortas, three superheroes go to heaven, Nite Owl, did the comedian go to heaven?, how many people did you kill?, super moral, Ozymandias, Dr Manhattan, I’m already there, these things that seem to have great meaning, action set pieces, Harry Potter, ultimately its empty, Lord Of The Rings, the experience is not just a walk with Gandalf, finding meaning in existence, hiding in a secondary world, something deep there, its about the setups, kids go up and stuff happens, Tolkien would go to heaven, Wagner would go to hell, Rowling would go to hell, go to Valhalla for the Ring, you’re in the wrong heaven, sir, Valhalla ends at Ragnarok, a temporary heaven, done with VALIS, I wash my hands of it, where does it get us?, political or psychological, such an honest portrayal of having a psychosis and also be very aware of what’s happening, whatever philosophy he’s trying to get at, this is not a philosophy, pre-philosophy, gnostic beliefs, the Kult RPG, in the center of the city, a role playing game about trying to find reality, this module, the keeper or the dungeon master, exploring the reality, the players are in a Black Iron Prison.
Talked about on today’s show:
Written in November 1922 – serialized January to April 1922, Home Brew, a semi-prozine, copyright dates, an obscure periodical, the PDF of the first serial, illustrated by Clark Ashton Smith, notice all the penises?, Leslie S. Klinger, coloured?, the chimney, the valley and the peak, shower for thinking, explicitly not mentioned, a similar theory from Mr Jim Moon, is Lovecraft hiding something from us that he will go on to use in another story, Pickman’s Model, Rats In The Walls, heterochromia, when not physical or genetic damage its inbreeding, related to the Martenses, three encounters, The Shadow Over Innsmouth, he’s going to dynamite the place, the fish eyes and the gilly look, save it for the podcast, how weird it is, stunningly beautiful passages,
‘in the throes of a nitemare wen unseen powers whirl 1 oer the roofs of strange ded cities toward the grinning chasm of Nis, it is a relief & even a delight 2 shriek wildly & throw 1self voluntarily along with the hideous vortex of dream-doom in2 watever bottomless gulf may yawn’
he’s a dreamer, red viscous madness, kaleidoscope mutations, unnamable juices, what’s the difference between CHUDS and ghouls, degredation of humans, modded humans, mutations, The Beast In The Cave, a lot of crawling around in tunnels, a recognition ones’ self in the thing that he saw, connections to other stories, The Dreamquest Of Unknown Kadath, Richard Upton Pickman, The Case Of Charles Dexter Ward, backwoods triracial isolates, The Graveyard Rats by Henry Kuttner, feasters, so explicitly stated in all the movies, Dark Heritage (1989), pretty good except for its terrible, 1994 Dan O’Bannon, the femme fatale is tied up, Leffert’s Corners, Tremors, Jeffrey Coombs, Dr Haggis, this whole delicious cannabilist joking, The Hound, The Dark Adventure Radio Theatre adaptation, talks like a goddamned Edgar Allan Poe, Dunsany mode, Poe mode, drawing heavily from The Fall Of The House Of Usher, the house has definitely fallen, laid on with a trowel, [incest euphemism], specters and devils and ghosts, I’m gonna get these muscular men, homoeroticism, he’s subconsciously bringing them a sacrifice (aka dinner), back to inbreeding, this is what Lovecraft is, he writer about race and degeneration, this is Lovecraft’s voice, blue and brown eyes, the numerous menial classes about the estate, the mongrel population, race mongrelism, racial degeneration, race and class as the same thing, Robert E. Howard, S.T. Joshi, Terence sees class, what makes you a high class person is your race, he wasn’t of the low type, interbound, Facts Concerning The Late Arthur Jermyn And His Family, if you have this idea in your head, paranoid about degeneration because there’s a belief in racial degeneration, they deigned to breed with the family help, keep that inbreeding going, Bleeders (1997), raised in Paris on a trust fund, emptying the graveyard, Leffert’s Island, I’m with these people now, degenerate elves, he eats a pickled baby and follows it with a sex scene with his wife, hermaphroditic, twin sister, making explicit what Lovecraft eludes to, changing the order of the story, a distancing effect, how insane the narrator clearly is, a birthmark, The Festival, actual cultists, welcoming, Kingsport, the draw of the family and deep tradition, he bought into this witchcraft stuff, The Witch-Cult In Western Europe by Margaret Murray, suppress working class traditions and alternatives, the violence of isolation The Dunwich Horror, The Call Of Cthulhu, just bomb it, The Horror At Red Hook, we need a wall, At The Mountains Of Madness, shoggoths are the working class, forget the past, eradicate the memory of the past, Curwen’s crimes, interesting threads of history that seem to challenge civilization, solution: destroy it, on the side of the barbarians, each chapter title, the fear within the narrator, I can’t think about that, focus on the external, The Shadow On The Chimney, two comic adaptations, the fireplace is decorated with scenes from The Prodigal Son, the meaning of the story of The Prodigal Son, Jan Martense goes off to the French and Indian War, how he died, a shout out to that story on the mantle, and to the narrator himself, a different ending, a Derleth “collaboration”, he destroys the family, a betrayal, come on let’s go to the beach!, concentration camps, they forgive him, there’ll be a penance (but it’ll be a small one), come again, good eating, A Passer In The Storm, Arthur Monroe, being watched, another thunderstorm, his face has been gnawed away, is this a joke, he passed away when a passerby ate his face, What The Red Glare Meant, redness would be anger?, hellish, demonic, a goblin-like creature lurking in the shadows, riffing on the “And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air, Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there”, pre-Revolution, The Horror In The Eyes, double meaning, he’s got the Martense eyes, he sees his family, he sees himself, the terrible and thunder crazed house of Martense, solved, efface, oblivion, blot it, Dagon, inability to sleep, run out of money for opium, his brain thunders, radiating lines from the house, lay lines, tentacles, tunnels, The Old Straight Track by Alfred Watkins, The Red One by Jack London, ancient astronauts, a stretch, tentacles, what does all the lightning mean, a genetic story, is this god?, Wieland by Charles Brockton Brown, weird cult (of one), supernatural phenomenon, Frankenstein, lighting the family tree, who knows what juices they suck, overnourished, strange nourishment, Undine aka @horriblesanity, Too Much Fertilizer, The Colour Out Of Space, enjoying the wrong things, blowing up the trees, trees with testicles and tentacles, the land responding to the twisted nature of the family, plagued with storms, the taint is in the land itself, it’s just a monkey man, who is the shadow?, anything urban New England, seeing himself in the shadow, The Outsider, his grandma, Tempest Mountain, trying to attack the ground, the fulgurites, from the police’s point of view, the family name is Money, it’s spelled Money, eugenicists at the time, Ishi, backwoods Virginia, the Jukes, started the cancer, indentured servants and slaves ran away, rediscovered in the 20th century, in the consciousness today, race is NOT incidental to Lovecraft’s work, How The Irish Became White by Noel Ignatiev, the Italians and the Greeks, reading over and over, getting mixed ideas, crawling around under the earth, two demoniac reflections, two reflections, effulgence, nebulous memories, of the thing that bore them, a claw, but what a claw!, the voice of Zoidberg, the wild thunder of the mountain, those eyes, with vacuous viciousness, thank god I didn’t know what it was, gashes of disturbed earth, with cyclopean rage, what is going on?, he’s interpreting, you’re getting inside his psychology, externalizing and internalizing, in what sense would you have died?, in the chaos of sliding shifting earth, a rebirth, Joseph Campbell, my brain was as great a chaos as the earth, more horror, an orgy of fear, a nameless thing, done a deed, fired in frenzy, doing that deed, many rather than one, the ghost of a particular person, its the founder and the family name giver, the narrator’s name, hiding it or saving it for another story, with the full knowledge of his canon, Re-Animator -> Hypnos, The Lurking Fear -> The Shadow Over Innsmouth, “Lovecraft couldn’t have written Lovecraft stories without being obsessed with race in a way that Poe is not and Dunsany is not”, Celephaïs, F. Scott Fitzgerald style parties is the sadness, The Temple, the falling of a great house is the greatest tragedy for Lovecraft, for Poe it is the death of a beautiful woman, raised to be a gentleman, against modernity, 18th century English gentleman, Howard’s letters, primordial ancient migration and motion, that can’t be it, Rome was strong because it was racially pure?, nope, you’re completely wrong young man, strength in mobility, New Englander and a Texan, one is for the static, the other sees a liquidity in world history, a liquid mobility of ideas, a very American connection, both [H.P. LOVECRAFT and ROBERT E. HOWARD] died because the American health care system was so shitty, begging the editor of Weird Tales for back-pay, really terrible, highbrow historical forces and trends, `what connected them in their deaths was shitty healthcare, that’s not in their letters, Virgin Islanders, Henry S. Whitehead, plebeian danes, left handed fathers or grandfathers, a physical totem, the sinister end of the coat of arms, zombie stories, Jumbee, missionary, a creepy tale, Barlow was going to publish a volume of Whitehead’s letters, anecdotal stories, my friend in China, how we get out information, marshaling arguments, Hippocampus Press, A Means To Freedom, The Thing On The Roof, Lovecraft light, Lovecraft’s letters are black holes, history of anthropology, a second meaning, he liked his barbarians, the Italians are stabby, hilarious, imagining Julius Caesar saying “stabby”, way back when, no where near his best stuff, so many great lines, Poe poetic, his Poe period, a Poe-potpourri, sitting here all Poe face.