The SFFaudio Podcast #248 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: Goliah by Jack London

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #248 – Goliah by Jack London; read by Gregg Margarite. This is a complete and unabridged reading of the short story (57 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Bryan Alexander, Seth, and Maissa Bessada

Talked about on today’s show:
Colossus: The Forbin Project; title’s reference to biblical Goliath; story’s title a reference to the famous Pacific steam ship; colonial capitalism; the story’s Gilded Age context; child labor; Eugene Debs and American socialism; Karl Marx; Thomas Hobbes’s Leviathan; the story’s fictional energon evocative of Transformers energon; Nikola Tesla; Goliah has a palantir; Goliah as Santa Claus; the story’s invented island Palgrave in the South Sea; parallels to London’s other speculative fiction including The Iron Heel; the story’s unreliable narrator; Asgard; origin stories and foundation myths; nineteenth-century racism rears its ugly head again; Übermenschen; contempt for military and militarism; The Unparalleled Invasion; Seth works too hard; the theoretical increase of productivity through automation; 1984Twilight casting a sparkly shadow over modern culture; Edward Bellamy’s Looking Backward as a possible influence; Karl Marx’s German Ideology; the importance of laughter; Herland; the story as a response to nihilism; similarities between Guy de Maupassant and Friedrich Nietzsche; The Scarlet PlagueCanticle for Leibowitz; the medieval investiture controversy; animal metaphors in Goliah; accurate predictions of World War I; structural similarity to the Book of Job; “you don’t get a lot of laughter in the Old Testament”; Arslan by M.J. Engh; The Bookman literary magazine; It’s a Good Life by Jerome Bixby; steampunk by tag cloud; we make a dismal attempt at discussing the Stock Market; the dark underbelly of Goliah’s utopia; the unrealistic perpetuation of a utopia; Autofac and Pay for the Printer by Philip K. Dick; With Folded Hands by Jack Williamson; Star Trek: The Next Generation; Lenin’s dying wish; Jules Verne; Goliah relinquishing power; Hot Fuzz; more on the palantir and the NSA; “grumblers grumble”; attitudes toward the criminally insane; “Goliah has spoken”; nukes not MOOCs; Cuban Missile Crisis; Douglas MacArthur biography American Caesar by William Manchester; Doctor Who episode “The Happiness Patrol”; Japanese Manga Death Note; the “bread and roses” U.S. labor strike contemporary with Jack London; the Pax Romana; The Better Angels of Our Nature by Stephen Pinker, a discourse on lethal violence; the Franco-Prussian War; Earle Labor’s Jack London: An American Life available in audio.

Colossus The Forbin Project

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #183 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: Out Of The Storm by William Hope Hodgson

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #183 – An unabridged reading of Out Of The Storm by William Hope Hodgson (10 minutes), read by Brian Murphy) followed by a discussion of it. Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Tamahome, and Brian Murphy.

Talked about on today’s show:
Stefan Rudnicki, Brian Murphy should peruse audiobook narration, Julie Hoverson (of 19 Nocturne Boulevard), The Frost Giant’s Daughter (aka Gods Of The North) by Robert E. Howard, William Hope Hodgson, the dragon, Gustav Dore, Leviathan, naturalistic vs. super-naturalistic, anthropomorphism, literal vs. metaphorical readings of the Bible, Thomas Hobbes, Behemoth, The Book Of Job, H.P. Lovecraft, The Statement Of Randolph Carter, wireless telegraphy, Supernatural Horror In Literature, Hodgson’s career in the merchant seaman, physical culture, photography, nautical phenomena, Edgar Allan Poe, like a nautical version of H.P. Lovecraft, Sargasso sea stories, is it merely madness?, a previously unreportable phenomenon, why doesn’t the scientist (John) respond?, an audio dramatization would be interesting, an extremely disturbing message, cosmic horror, the mother and the child, “like a foul beast”, contemplating the unimaginable, “God is not He, but It”, the universe is either cruel (Hodgson) or indifferent (Lovecraft), “her soul hideous with the breath of the thing”, spirit as breath, “this is the most horrific thing ever”, uncontrollable laughter, unstoppable, an undignified death in the face of an indifferent, the Titanic disaster, Schindler’s List, a greater good calculation, unconscionable selfishness, “to talk of foul things to a child”, the evil in itself and the evil of sharing the knowledge of that evil, Jaws, if this was a true account…, did Jaws cause Shark Week?, this guy is a little bit off, putting on a King James accent, skies the colour of mud, a sky monster?, aliens, Cthulhu, tentacles or waterspouts?, flotsam or an iceberg or a shark or just the waves themselves, “oh crap I’m nuts”, “tell her how it was”, is it like telling or not telling war stories?, clarity before death, so many ideas per square centimeter, Murf plays the Call Of Cthulhu RPG, sanity points, everybody loses, investigation vs. hack and slash, the Big Cypress Swamp, will acquaintance with Lovecraft’s stories harm or enhance your enjoyment of the game?, The Miskatonic University Podcast, “actual play” podcast, Skype of Cthulhu podcast, dice rolls on the honour system, Paranoia, Chaosium, The Horror On The Orient Express Kickstarter project, single player computer RPGs vs. pen and paper RPGs with real people, would Lovecraft play the Call Of Cthulhu RPG?, MMOs, World Of Warcraft, Dungeons & Dragons.

H.P. Lovecraft as Abdul Alhazred - Virgil Finlay illustration

Out Of The Storm by William Hope Hodgson - illustration by Percy E. Cowen

Posted by Jesse Willis