The SFFaudio Podcast #718 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: The Sea Wolf by Jack London

The SFFaudio Podcast #718 – The Sea Wolf by Jack London – read by Nick Bulka. This is a complete and unabridged reading of story (11 hour 39 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants include Jesse, Paul Weimer, Maissa Bessada, Evan Lampe, Will Emmons, and Trish E. Matson.

Talked about on today’s show:
a psychological adventure novel, 3 episodes of Evan’s podcast, first time, a Jack London read-through, so many books, so little time, three famous famous famous novels, The Call With The Wild, White Fang, The Sea Wolf, such a great writer, a very interesting book, similar to Moby Dick, Captains Courageous by Rudyard Kipling, fry-cook to sea-captain, Humphrey is like a boy, immature in very specific ways, cabin boy, made manifest, the main character is Wolf Larsen, Brewster, the destroyer, social Darwinian cul-de-sac, kill seals and die, a critic, disliked critics, the only creative force, she has a grow-up, changing characters, from a passive person to an active person, the person with the character arc is the protagonist, impressionable, sucked in by Maude, a strong magnetic charge, old voicemails, in the arguments, speaking of what Jack London really believes, a social Darwinian, an atheist, this life is all that there is, the meaning we get out of life, socialism is the only out, Evolution And Ethics by Thomas Huxley, Darwinism is right, a reality of nature, the metaphor is a garden, you’re going to end up with weeds, a gardener to weed the garden, evolutionary ethics, the weaker good things, London is somewhere there, this is the world, gilded age capitalism, The Iron Heel, he’s both characters, as a success as a writer, an article in the Atlantic about Poe, criticism can be art, who’s the most successful artist on this boat?, the hardscrabble guy, no leg up in the world, in a struggle with death, only his manly body and his manly mind, what he happened to have been given, London has read Nietzsche, a guy giving lectures all the time, gentlemen and gentlewomen, real world practical experience, he’s almost like a Conan like force, Robert E. Howard, pull-up your pants mentality, dealing with reality as a man, vital nature, romantic love, not as awesome as Jesse was expecting, falling in love with the lady on the boat, a romantic novel, a philosophical struggle with death, ultimately he goes down, the end of his life, the Charles Bronson / Christopher Reeve adaptation, music tells you how to feel, Humphrey is telling us how to feel, many conversations, presented with a very hard philosophy, wouldn’t it be nice if everybody was nice, tweeting quotes:

“You have eternal life before you. You are a millionaire in immortality, and a millionaire whose fortune cannot be lost, whose fortune is less perishable than the stars and as lasting as space or time. It is impossible for you to diminish your principal. Immortality is a thing without beginning or end. Eternity is eternity, and though you die here and now you will go on living somewhere else and hereafter. And it is all very beautiful, this shaking off of the flesh and soaring of the imprisoned spirit. Cooky cannot hurt you. He can only give you a boost on the path you eternally must tread.

“Or, if you do not wish to be boosted just yet, why not boost Cooky? According to your ideas, he, too, must be an immortal millionaire. You cannot bankrupt him. His paper will always circulate at par. You cannot diminish the length of his living by killing him, for he is without beginning or end. He’s bound to go on living, somewhere, somehow. Then boost him. Stick a knife in him and let his spirit free. As it is, it’s in a nasty prison, and you’ll do him only a kindness by breaking down the door. And who knows?—it may be a very beautiful spirit that will go soaring up into the blue from that ugly carcass. Boost him along, and I’ll promote you to his place, and he’s getting forty-five dollars a month.”

very powerful, amazing, airy fairy, following through on the conclusion, we do not like it, some alternative explanation, some outside philosophy, very hard truths, at somebody’s house, not really paying attention, so propagandized, so in their class, what can you do there?, tacit or active support for horror, where is Jack London here?, we’re in a difficult situation, steel manning the enemy argument, he cheats his way out of this book, Goliah, it isn’t an angry book, we did our best for that terrible man, he’s trying to kill them, a hard choice to return good for evil, off together married, a happy ending, convenient death, who kills Wolf Larsen?, Death kills him, Melville’s Moby Dick, a secret crew, a secret hold, a plan to fight death, amazing, I’m going to kill, the Ghost, they escape from the Ghost, seals everywhere in Heaven, sealed their fate, headaches and strokes, status quo ante, admitting to himself he loves this woman, so one sided, worshipping her, all told from one point of view, 1904, he made a good argument, this isn’t a good time for romancing, at his mercy, hey lady, he’s a really decent fellow, dissed in a review, can I choose the weapons, I choose grammar, you lose, an essential good insight into this character, Wolf Larsen’s grammar, wrestling with the works that surround him in his cabin, perfectly human, Wolf Larsen’s enemy is Wolf Larsen, there is no god, his hate is curdling inside him, making himself sick, his circumstances of his life, born to Humphrey’s station, born poor, no education, low on the totem pole, starting half-way up as a half-ass, achieving, the latest failson out of Hunter Biden’s laptop and phone, drive from beneath to succeed, there are these Humphrey Van Wydens, somehow got rich, made him a gentleman standing on deadman’s legs, a morality hidden in Wolf Larsen, for your soul’s sake, he makes a project of him, he likes the conversations, winning the arguments, he wins all of the arguments, the Robert E. Howard – Jack London connection, Conan has two fathers, the psychology behind this stuff, the answer to the riddle of steel, William Smith: not men not women not beasts can you trust in this world, steel you can trust, James Earl Jones, kills his mother, a mission to kill that guy, nailed to a tree, boy you don’t know what you’re talking, come to me my child, a scene right out of Black Seers of Yimsha (The People Of The Black Circle), these two fathers raised the boy Conan, ‘I am your father, boy’, it was steroids, you need to be challenged as a person to flourish, some pruning, you behave yourself, benign pain, become kind of a man, marriage, blow up Washington, DC and bring in a new order, White Fang, Call Of The Wild is the Conan story, a dog that’s soft that becomes hard, a free dog becoming a slave, become a wolf, a transcendence life experience, brought low, muscle, sitting around and being weak again, an island of seals, ship out on any ship in the world, stronger people, instill good values, she’s 27 she better hurry, one of the wealthiest people based on his own ability to write, makes her living based on her writing, marauding around as well as writing, drinking his way across the planet, Charmian London, we did a show on a biography of London, six movie adaptations, the 1941 movie starring Edward G. Robinson, an observing writer, for the better?, interesting, choosing to make her not a lady, some kind of convict or criminal, film is not literary, literary conversations, leaning on Milton, reign in Hell rather than serve in Heaven, less visual things, more timeless, William Shakespeare, Omar Khayiam, Ecclesiastes, Schopenhauer and Nietzsche, a rich literary experience, Edgar Allan Poe, deny the connection, individualism against society, capitalist individualism, becoming socialized, interacting with indigenous people, the member of a pack, between Howard and London, Wolf Larsen is an intellectual dead end, the law of the jungle, where Van Wyden and Brewster are going, Hobbes, pulling yourself up by your own bootstraps, a thing that you cannot do, somehow blessed with a good brain and a strong body, the triumph of the Will (Emmons), the very materialistic, our opponent has nothing, an airy fairy liberal feeling, why it feels so one sided, intellectual rigor, I learned a lot from this hard man that is wrong and I take that into the fight against the horrors of this world, taught himself to read, his brain betrayed him, a refutation of the idea that there is or isn’t a soul, so amazing, his brother is Death, Wolf is not his name it’s his nature, what Jack London wanted people to call him, Wolf House, triumvirate of three famous books (are all about wolves), inside Jack London there were two wolves, timely and of its time, somewhat that will date this podcast, that’s what they were thinking back then, this monster of a book, Will loves this book, this romance thing is a sideshow to what the point of what the book ought to be, who is the audience for this book, the Maud and Van Wyden people, to help them digest this difficult philosophical heavy stuff going on, a lot of fiscourse, long monologues, comparing life to yeast:

“I believe that life is a mess,” he answered promptly. “It is like yeast, a ferment, a thing that moves and may move for a minute, an hour, a year, or a hundred years, but that in the end will cease to move. The big eat the little that they may continue to move, the strong eat the weak that they may retain their strength. The lucky eat the most and move the longest, that is all. What do you make of those things?”

but they have dreams, radiant flashing dreams, dreams of grub, read more Jack London, the volume on the original, oh my god it’s the character from Strong Bad: Strong Sad, dim sounding, why is this voice so familiar?, South Park, a better long running series, so of itself, so silly, Cookie, Melville?, the captain character going after God, he wears his philosophy on his sleeve, the thing Will likes, all in drawing rooms, Stranger In A Strange Land, it just becomes Ahab’s story, a mission to kill god, struggling more, avast my brother death I’m coming for your, incentivize the crew, nailing the gold coin to the mast, we’re all going to get rich, what everybody wants: more grub, very Shakespearean and experimental, literature and the meaning of life, whales! let’s talk about them, its very companionable to squeeze your friends while churning sperm, a very different love story, Queequeg would be Maud, no Starbuck here, Jack London doesn’t care about the crew, Melville cares a lot about the crew, he wrote Moby Dick as Jack London, social Darwinian theory is well developed, much more actory, bring more of yourself to Moby Dick, Maissa’s judgement, how civilization softens and ruins you, brought back to the wild to become a worthwhile person, a prison ship, a prisoner of himself, the ship being the Earth, they try to escape the ship to find their own Eden, Adam biting the apple, strange Eden, what makes me courageous is wanting to look courageous in front of my girl, clubbing seals, ready to club Larsen, violence and strength are the more important thing, my spirit will get rewarded in heaven, remaking the world, who intrudes into the garden is the holy Ghost, Lucifer, wolf a symbol for Satan?, goats, a predator danger, baddies control wolves, why wolves are bad guys, To Build A Fire, a good and different, Alaska, sea voyage, rebuilding a boat, almost science fiction space opera detail, very practical, whale geekery in Moby Dick, Trish read it in highschool, he was your Wolf Larsen, far fewer beatings, focus on moral behavior, a classic every week, for moral instruction, adopt this as your life, utterly horrific, would Humphrey survive the book?, breezed through it, coarsened and brutalized by life, from the ropes you’ve been pulling, grew the appropriate fungus on your fingernails, how dare you!, do more Jack London, a good book, one of the best novels, they make students read a lot of bad books, Charlotte’s Web, Animal Farm, Lord Of The Flies, a difficult book for humans, Hobbesian to the core, identifying with poor Piggy, look at the symbolism, his philosophy is all over the page, very implausible, earning up to that point, Buck’s story is Wolf Larsen’s story except they have primitive communism among wolves already, the idea of the lone wolf, in community, studying the differences between dogs and wolves, dogs are human oriented, wolves are pack oriented, they inform on each other, they’re on team human, “Buck did not read the newspapers”, Martin Eden, John Barleycorn, People Of The Abyss, The Road, a memoir of his hobo days, A Thousand Deaths, 1899, science fiction, The Black Cat, a guy in the water off San Fransisco Bay, an invention, revivifying people, an island in the South Pacific, like Tesla or Edison, a force field, he disintegrates the captain, it was his father, the father doesn’t recognize that it’s his son, his daddy issues, “I can kill you, dad”, the man he adopted as his Thulsa Doom father, Edgar Allan Poe’s story, an adopted name, his father Allan, I can be good, and drinks himself to death, potent writers who wrote good books, a little bit commercial, Before Adam, a prehistorical romance, those are science fiction too, racial memories of being an upright ape, almost domesticating a dog, a little bit Flintsonesy, a trace of that, the dog sees himself as a troglodyte, racial memories, on a big Bronson kick (again as usual), he always plays himself, Christopher Reeve playing a weak man, he plays dandies well, Ichabod Crane, an eastern dandy looking fellow, Lee Marvin, Ernst Borgnine, Keith Carradine, The Emperor Of The North Pole (1973), 1907, The Trail Of The Tramp, Coast To Coast, Lee Marvin playing Jack London, Emperor Norton, the hobo experience, 70s hobo movies, A Number One, Lance Henrickson plays an uncredited railroad worker, Humphrey Bogart has a cameo, that pick-pocketing this is just in the movie, a party scene, film steals from film, the writers are doing that, strange new worlds that are just Alien, they did that in Voyager, a Die Hard episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, deriving film from film, things adapted tend to be better, Arena by Fredric Brown, a Lee Marvin / Toshiro Mifune movie Hell In The Pacific (1968), Enemy Mine by Barry Longyear, The Most Dangerous Game by Richard Connell, Predator (1987), read Jesse’s essay, an episode of 30 Rock, film adaptations, 1913, an unnamed sailor, 1920, 1926, which ship starred as the Ghost, going to luff and jib and jibe, the focsle, The Cruise Of The Snark, a star on his shirt, Tales Of The Fish Police, 40 when he died, 1876-1916, he lived every year, very Wolf, kinda mean when drinking too much, BBC Radio 4 adaptation, The Cruise Of The Dazzler, The Assassination Bureau, Ltd., the movie with Oliver Reed, Evan should record the audiobook of John Barleycorn, Evan is good enough, Evan’s recording of Nudist Camp, all those Orrie Hitt, most of Orrie Hitt is public domain, Brother And Sister is coming out soon, it’s a (wrong) kissing book, cheating together, Sin Doll, sin books, Burlesque Girl, Never Cheat Alone, a writing machine that deserves more love, the white logic, why drunks in the body vs. drunk in the mind, you are just meat, Just Meat, happy going to church (they don’t need to drink, they’re drink on the lord, a Jamesian argument, a lived experience you can no longer enjoy, the noseless face, the skull behind your flesh, a different kind of good.

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The SFFaudio Podcast #691 – READALONG: Tunnel In The Sky by Robert A. Heinlein

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #691 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, Maissa Bessada, Trish E. Matson talk about Tunnel In The Sky by Robert A. Heinlein.

Talked about on today’s show:
1955, Steele Savage, Rod standing in a doorway, a leg tattoo, a Farnham’s Freehold tattoo, refreshing, the gender dynamics, problems, is there anything anybody could complain about, the ending, an unsatisfying ending, Rod also was unsatisfied, the pre-ending, Captain Rod, what things can we cancel about this novel, the Amazons was pretty fun, lady soldiers, AND instead of but, gender sterotypes, get married and have babies, no!, the vote, the lost boys and girls, Heinlein couldn’t give her a single vote?, she didn’t even vote for himself, Rod didn’t vote for himself, a painting of equality, she showed herself as stronger at every turn, whole chapters from her diary’s POV, Rod’s sister, square dancing, monopolizing the conversation, the pioneer spirit, privileging x chromosomes over y chromosomes, strong and self assured, everybody wanted to get married, his last day as mayor, he’s a teenager, a junior in High School, oblivious to crushes, warding them off (especially Carolyn), the audiobook was terrific, Full Cast Audio, the actress playing Jack was a girl, borderline, “he” was smaller, a very girl thing, going off to have a cry together, a dude thing would be bro-ing eachother to death, this Zulu lady is very squaredancey, global culture, a Filipino from South America is from early 20th century Missouri, two different covers, the revised cover, Heinlein explicitly stated Rod was black, the god _____, going to some other planet, Time Enough For Love, really abbreviated ending, finished his schooling, Carolyn is busy doing Amazon stuff, some sort of pony, not explicitly black, a dispute as to who’s in charge, Jock McGowan, cholo means mixed race, a specific tribe of African black, the injuries he received (that are many), the realpolitik of trying to sell the novel, bringing us to the place he wants us to go, admiring Heinlein’s sneaking in, he’s got an agenda: anti-racist, a working theory, we’re just wrong, Andre Norton had to write as a man, maybe she had done her research, C.L. Moore had to her identity not her gender, in that era, why we call him H.P. Lovecraft, Zealia Bishop, selling to an audience that’s kids, what the kid is actually like, Podkayne Of Mars, Poddy is a girl, cancellation happens today for similar reasons, the lack of religion is very interesting, made up religion, a Koran a Book of Mormon, an army chaplain, spiritual services, ecumenical, agenda driven, reacting to the culture and the times he grew up in, Job: A Comedy Of Justice, secular, a secularized faith, small d democratized faith, let’s not be racist, a correct prediction of moving away from organized religion, Julie Davis was brought up by atheists and now runs a catholic podcast with Scott Danielson, waxing and waning, writing in the margins, building our world alongside it, the Talmud, comments and interpretation, a literate society, a lot going on in this little book, society is not society unless it is literate, you don’t have society without writing, papyrus, is it Jim is a Quaker?, Society of Friends, we wait until the spirit moves us, a really big problem with this book, i’m supposed to hate Grant (the first mayor), what is man’s greatest invention?, “government”, barfing up, what this book is about, boys get stranded through a stargate, it’s a portal Paul, the plot is a backdrop for essays on government, you have to cook your juveniles first, long pig is also mentioned, Heinlein themes, a responses to Lord Of The Flies, another stranding, Suzanne Collin’s The Hunger Games, in dialogue with this, government, teaming, philosophy of PUBG, there can be only one, what’s happening?, the game didn’t tell you what the rules were or how to play it, a blue wall, if you win you get a chicken dinner?, how we are in the world, people who think they know how to play the game, game friends, different strategies and brains, the most popular game in the world for a few months, a clone of PUBG, what makes this game really interesting, a lot of Civilization, the same game but different every time, different people’s strategies, playing a meta-game with their own brain chemistry, hot-drops, I wanna get kills, the points aren’t the game, a survival simulator, avoiding getting killed, the point of this game is the point of that terrible novel is Lord Of The Flies, an awful message, Heinlein is saying no in this book, Leviathan by Thomas Hobbes, a war of all against all, submit to a king, jaw jawing all the time, war war, Winston Churchill, false dichotomy, Churchill wanted a war, rationing until the 1960s, war was inevitable, a war government, he was in WWI, he wanted war, its ironic, a war with the Boers, if you look around the room, a series of governments who made it happen, this book is arguing with that, a light introduction, mass hysteria style psychology, why Heinlein is arguing with Lord Of The Flies, civilization and square dancing, making a mono-culture, how to incorporate, sweet medicine, his ideological goals, TV Tropes, savagery and barbarism, The Coral Island, if everything is a rebuttal, this is a conversation, William Golding took it far, a toxic British boys school, invested in the pecking order, boy and girl scouts, generalizing from limited experience, a savage system with a veneer of civilization, wanting to engage with Heinlein’s novel, seeing this dialogue take shape, the framing is never focused on, their being sent away from a nuclear war, the fucking up of the planet, so important to understanding the book, what are the themes, the teachers never focus on how they got there, who said what in chapter what, this book [Tunnel In The Sky] is for children, 1857, because there’s kids in it, you walk out of that book thinking: I guess we’re all fucked, a skeptical and careful read, we have leaders who say stuff like “jaw jaw is better than war war”, that setups, the endless soviets, committee meetings, mandate, mandatory, your stuff has been requisitioned, not the dilating of the gate, a war of all against all, not all on SERE training, Maissa’s favourite German filmmaker, Werner Herzog, Little Dieter Wants To Fly, the Vietnam War, Christian Bale, Rescue Dawn (2006), why does Rod get immediately attacked?, its a metaphor, why the relationship with Jack is so important, the knife scene, falling into a couple later?, an aromantic relationship, he thinks he’s a dude, he’s chaste, oblivious, until I’m not mayor anymore, given the circumstances, when we’re back in Jerusalem, transferring governorship, 16 years old, still treated as a child, gone under two years, a planet with no birth control, a morality in the background, save it for your marriage, the missionaries got married, missionary positioning, a Mormon point of view, their culture is more explicit than the rest of American culture, these are the restrictions we put on ourselves, we don’t have perfect access to our own minds, a really good book, the ending, tremendously unsatisfying, abandoned the work they had done in establishing the colony (except for Rod!), improving the land, to be kids again, blood and sweat and tears, a sharper conflict point, unreal, Doctor Matson, married to his sister, the situation the reader is in, knowing how people’s psychology works…, go around the room, have you ever…, something happens that your’e not party to, a whiplash jetlag effect, people talk themselves into all sorts of stuff, a better doctor, camping is not for Jesse, compromises, glamping = glamorous camping, this other extreme, sleeping in a tree with a flimsy net, its a homeless simulator, we can make all sorts of explanations to ourselves, a way to end the book, what do you want to do today?, a malted, then another malted and a hot shower, tobacco and coffee, can you imagine not having coffee again for the rest of your life?, Jesse’s godfather, the back-to-the land movement, I’m not going to do this anymore, he’s the only one, he’s the mayor who was left behind, a hospital nearby, a vehicle to take you to the hospital, your 4000 square foot greenhouse, 5 years til we get bread, coffee is grown in Asia and south America and Africa, a guy who made a toaster, [The Toaster Project: Or A Heroic Attempt to Build a Simple Electric Appliance from Scratch by Thomas Thwaites], Carl Sagan, to bake a pie you must first invent the universe, our blacksmith, few strawmen, a portal back to earth, why does Heinlein hate reporters and the media, tabloid journalists exist and are bad?, Heinlein ran for office, a lot of what goes on in the reportage of politics, party politics, ingroups and outgroups and cliques, Rod’s leadership skills, likeable, principles, thoughtful, sidelined by committees, a YA novel, who is right?, the giant migration, right for the wrong reason, how much he complains, the constitution was the important thing, he’s wrong, you might better have a society without a majorly written constitution, the pirate articles, Cave Of Forgotten Dreams (2010), the signing of the articles when you don’t have paper, join or get cast off, abiding by the articles, designed to prevent the ship being sunk, smoke on the upper deck, no drinking when on watch, very reasonable, and then oddly specific, no boys or women on the ship, the captain is elected for combat, downloading the pirate rules, the list of the pirate codes, they downloaded their brain, all the ships had captains and quartermasters, shares, always more pay for positions of responsibility, getting into beefs, how does this come about, anybody want to do this, an invitation, what’s the best way to get to that end goal,
Blakes 7, why did you change course, who leads on this ship?, you lead you don’t command, Grant vs. Rod, getting to the ultimate goal, humans cooperating, when Rod gets mad at Carolyn, against a plan that was established, not making a clean kill, avoiding getting killed, all different kinds of strategies, I wanna be lazy about this, not doing the thing that’s necessary to do, the randos on the internet, diarrhea, a trigger, not a guy who reads a lot of books, discoveries about the realities of the world, smokes marijuana all day long, smoking bowls, how do we all get along, a bit naive in a lot of places, a common culture around the world, disenfranchising young people, the geriatric elite, children don’t get a vote, listen to the kids or not, at what point does the sailor get a vote, an age, their voice should be heard (rather than dismissed), our sailing ship planet Earth, the leadership is very very bad, we don’t want any youngsters, the median age for congress is 61, Strom Thurman was 100, Nancy Pelosi is 80, Sinema does the curtsy, she even forgot her own kid, new eden, because the metaphor, a little bit related, median vs. average, at what point are you a kid, a threshold moment, reasons to go back, take off the adulthood hat, putting it wrongly, they’re all under him, the burden of the responsibility, In Achilles His Tent, sulking, the classical reference, The Marching Hordes, The Marching Morons by C.M. Kornbluth, The Yellow Peril, a long line of Chinese, Heinlein debunks this, the premise for the book, overpopulation, emigration didn’t solve population pressures, a safety valve, The Mote In God’s Eye by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle, the Irish Famine, reasons for emigration, political problems caused by governments, Australia is populated with prisoners because there was a repressive government in the U.K., export “our problems”, slatterns, deplorablize people, internally, freedom of movement, the Oregon, Hollywood is an escape from New Jersey, Thomas Edison had corrupted the courts, Heinlein is not addressing that in this book, putting people in stasis, blacks were being put into freezers, if Evan were here, some other people who are overpopulating, limiting births, sterilization, cultural practices, boys and girls schools separate prevents births, icky overpopulation problems, pollution, is this the best way of doing everything, C02, airplanes put out a lot more carbon than your car, rolling coal, defiant response to scorn, gas restrictions (rationing), 30 liters maximum, how much you can afford, your Starbucks cup, this book doesn’t engage wholly with that, forced emigration, the Chinese were forced out of Australia, the Chinese made a sea in the middle of Australia, early 18940s Heinlein, Yellow Peril’s back baby!, Sixth Column, The Fifth Way, Through The Tunnel, Savage, nasty, brutish, and short, The Nova, what caused the gate problem, it didn’t register, clever writing, a coincidence until it isn’t, I Think He’s Dead, I Should Have Baked A Cake, Fish Or Cut Bait, A Joyful Omen, I So Move, The Beach Of Bones, how the migrations go, the caves nearby full of bird brained people houses, an indigenous intelligent culture, birds make houses, wattle material, bees make colonies, Jesse’s putting on his Evan hat, what people are they displacing, colonization without a native population, maybe it’s Africa, why he wasn’t sure, his clinging to logic (or what he claimed was logic), sophistry, not wanting to accept, you can’t be a mayor without a community, character building, looking for a way out, the final straw, brother in law/teacher, just for drama, It Won’t Work Rod, Unkillable, Civilization, The Endless Road, a very optimistic view of a dystopian future, a little optimistic, an altar for the devil, The Wicker Man done with children, “lunchtime!”, we can get fucked up in our heads, witches, you shouldn’t be allowed hospital care, Paul agrees with vaccine mandates, those on the edges, everybody has to go to the meeting in an inaccessible location, you should have got on the committee!, the Mary Robinette Kowal apology [for the Raytheon], you shouldn’t have fired the sensitivity readers, you couldn’t have fixed this with another committee, the more eyes you have, make everything public, an awareness question, they have a lot of money to generate positive buzz, Facebook is Meta now, bad publicity, why did he change his name, Paul Bernardo, a big company, the Nazis are a big party, the Hitler Youth was mandatory, mandate means mandatory, exceptions for Quakers, vaccine injuries, Pelosi and Fauci at the beginning, something changed, we were told different, we were not privy to those conversations, they do terrible stuff in your name and your consent, this book is very subtle, emigration, immigration, they’re party song, incorporating factions, Grant was a pretty good leader, I gotta fire that guy and replace him with Rod, more satisfying, almost half the group would have supported Rod, the vote of no confidence, community building, Grant was trying, a straw man to knock down, working with an imperfect leader to bring about better solutions, a good example, your leader doesn’t have to be right, standing on principle, what to do when you’ve got dissent, the sergeant at arms has a mace, the Queen’s rod for hitting people, a shooting in parliament [2014], the January 6th [2021] thing, pretty subtle, page 136, all the crackpots are votes for Waxy, save it Waxy, twigs for Grant, leaves for Carol, did you vote for yourself?, dog take it!, typical politician behavior, a do nothing person, sometimes that’s what your want from the government, King Log, Wheels Of If by L. Sprague de Camp, Boston, Soviet Russia, Joseph Stalin, solving being in the wrong body through politics, a meeting of the inner sanctum, Inner Sanctum mysteries, the secret, The Star Chamber (1983), Michael Douglas, Hal Holbrook, Yaphet Kotto, where the real justice is done, a reality in England 15th – 17th century, when Julian Assange is extradited, hidden evidence, an executive committee, bad government, disenfranchised, there to be an enigma, keep your enemies closer, litmus and purity tests, are you corrupt or are you not corrupt?, Crystal Light, all talk, just wanted power, scared of the smart youngsters, Pelosi from 20 or 30 years ago she sounds like AOC, the Squad don’t take money from corporation, they talk a good game, Justin [Trudeau] will give you a nice apology, we know his true character, you miss these things, the buzz (what the people are saying and what the government is saying), putting words into people’s ears works, organic chatter, a lot of people are saying, advertising is that, really interesting ideas, science fiction of the soft (political science), a standing desk, Anthony Boucher’s review from February 1956, far superior in writing and thinking, an adult serial, advanced survival, SURVIVE OR ELSE, he spoiled the book, a splendid Zulu girl, best woman to date, Andre Norton is Heinlein’s chief and almost sole competitor, Star Guard, a sheer adventure story, stobor, Rite Of Passage by Alexi Panshin, in dialogue, Rod, a wand or staff as a symbol of office, a gavel, giant rod of power, it’s not Rodney, under the current, waxy or crackpot, the eugenicist, scientific breeding, Dr. Strangelove (1964), David Sirota, 2012 (2009), a consensus, we needed to have one female on the ballot, Grant, we want more candidates and we want a girl, it was politik, divides the vote, I’m doing this for you people.

HARDCOVER - Tunnel In The Sky by Robert A. Heinlein

Tunnel In The Sky - Steele Savage

Tunnel In The Sky- Darrell K. Sweet

FULL CAST AUDIO - Tunnel In The Sky - Cover B

FULL CAST AUDIO - Tunnel In The Sky - Cover A

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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