The SFFaudio Podcast #622 – READALONG: Between Planets by Robert A. Heinlein

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #622 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, Maissa Bessada, Evan Lampe, Will Emmons, and Olav Rokne talk about Between Planets by Robert A. Heinlein

Talked about on today’s show:
Blue Book, 1951, Planets In Combat, the prose in this novel is “turgid”, here comes the trolling, swollen and distended and congested, To Sail Beyond The Sunset, short punchy sentences, larded up with excessive detail and flowery prose, Lovecraft, turgid vs. intricate, complex vs. complicated, like a clock or a little watch, tiny little things designed and built to have a precise effect, to appreciate the exact feeling, be accurate in your criticism, why are they using these slurs, you can’t just swap in Scazli, Annalee Newitz, Our Opinions Are Correct Episode 65: We’re Officially Done with Lovecraft and Campbell, Evan tricked Jesse, Will tricked Jesse, “I’ll allow it”, why we can dismiss John W. Campbell and H.P. Lovecraft, read Ayn Rand, an incredibly odd and limiting and damaging world view, replaced, or filtered through Scalzi, Olav’s beef with Ayn Rand, a 15 page didactic rant, the sun rises again, Atlas Shrugged, The Fountainhead, an article by Annalee Newitz reading a book review of a biography, a very interesting block quote, starting as a socialist and ending as a libertarian, Glory Road, I Will Fear No Evil, any redeeming features, was it turgid?, it can’t be turgid, they don’t want people to read Heinlein, maybe they’ll become libertarians?, Rand Paul vs. Ron Paul, in the American context, if you want to understand the United States, a preponderance of non-Americans, treaty six territory, how could you read a book like this and say it has nothing of value, a whack ideology, Neo-liberalism, Neo-conservativism, a kind of censorship ideology, you absolutely must read all the Heinlein, a certain amount of pushback on gatekeepering, talking to fans vs. writers, Paul lives in twitter writerland, nothing past 10 years ago (or 30 years ago), don’t do your homework, how far back do you “need” to read to sell today, safely skip, Heinlein TLDR, “just read Scalzi”, Old Man’s War, “Scazli is the new Heinlein”, marketing of people, X is the new Y, she/her pronouns should be they/them, an explainer in The New York Times right before Lovecraft Country started, trying to understand reality, this is not applied, people not doing their homework is what bothers Jesse, not a new thing, Scalzi wrote up giant piece, Poe is not a third rate writer, where’s the evidence that Lovecraft is sexist?, Lovecraft is not interesting on gender, The Thing On The Doorstep, Zealia Bishop, The Mound, humble and respectful, The Unnameable, Heinlein is incredibly progressive, The Pleasant Profession Of Robert A. Heinlein, The Number Of The Beast, SPRUNG, other womens’ parts, it’s a kissing book, appropriating, adjacent to the sexual revolution, Stranger In A Strange Land was very influential, ahead of the curve, students pushing for access to birth control, early wifeswapping, as a female human being Maissa didn’t want to read it, talking about breasts and nipples makes you a sexist, arguing with podcasters who are not listening to us, Farah Mendlesohn, where’s the audiobook?, The Great God Pan by Arthur Machen, the fauns, the move overs, the gregarians, tiny pans, affectionate, addicted to hugs and nuzzlings, they have hands, they wanna eat your pies, they’re wonderful!, that’s from The Unnameable, a less rapey version of Pan, Little Fuzzy, the fauns of Venus, the fog-eaters of New London, dragons and fauns, a fantasy Europe, Paul is very lucky, a juvenile (novel), he becomes a man, he must act like a man, his grandmother gets younger, a child soldier, a lot of ambivalence, where Charlie Jane are coming from, goddamn it Heinlein why are you going on about this?, war and the army, Starship Troopers, is it fascist?, Paul Verhoven is arguing with Heinlein, how we should react to Heinlein, interesting relationships, modality of talking to other people and bureaucracy, this is a book about waiting around in the airport, seem nice, talkin’ to the cops, dealing with passport and immigration, displaced person, The Wizard Of Oz, the characters he meets and the lessons he learned, his home is space, the asteroid belt, citizen of the Solar System, Citizen Of The Galaxy, recycled elements, picks up stuff from his own life, Thorby, re-writing Rudyard Kipling’s Kim, Annapolis, Farmer In The Sky, Time Enough For Love, a lot of material out there, the comic book, two different audiobooks, the Full Cast Audio audiobook, abridgments, some fools add sound effect of a creaking door, a new kind of audiobook, Bruce Coville’s company, maybe 30 minutes shorter, you don’t need sound effects, the Blackstone Audio audiobook, the Chinese restaurant owner, the casting was different with the artist drawings, the only commercially available one, out of circulation, a super-shame, lost forever, have a friend like Jesse, The Boy’s Life version (low rez), appealing to Boy Scouts Of America, Evan was a Boy Scout, youth movements of the 20th century, feeding people into the military, the Chinese Boy Scouts, the Hitler Youth, militarism, Evan largely agrees with Jesse about war, what kind of war is this?, a revolution, The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress from a point of view, libertarian, anti-colonialist aspect, a breakup of Empire story, a fantasy, the American Revolution, the settler colonists declaring independence, the support and consent of the fantasy natives, Heinlein is awash in something, rocked by national liberation movements, up to a certain point in the novel, Chinese, some of them are bad guys and some of them are good guys, fantasy national liberation movement, aristocratic dragons, libertarian dragons, we have to be careful about saying Heinlein is a libertarian, Heinlein is not Ayn Rand, entrenched in their way of life, enjoy their boomerness, more and more or less and less aware of people who are not you, being in the military is like being in a socialist state, struggling over and over again, the American Revolution, the way Canada came to be, a secret, getting in on the rest of Canada, we promise to send you a train, what else we gonna do?, a bargain and a deal, get swallowed up by the States, the U.S. Revolution as a coup d’eta, this flaw, yet another Civil War, he is aware of it, a foundation style people above this nationalism, Podkayne Of Mars, Heinlein went and visited the Soviet Union, pointing out gulags on a map, he’s not one thing, Ayn Rand’s objectivism is objectively wrong, Red Tory, the Red Tory manifesto, libertarianism with a conscience, conservative, free expression, free speech, being free, he might think the hippies reading his book uncouth but he won’t bash them for it, bookleggers, do we or don’t we, McCarthyism, this whole backstory behind this current war and revolution, the planet that was destroyed, hidden knowledge, yes but not really, all of Heinlein’s stuff is set in the same universe (Future History), the Antarctic revolution, even the terrible stuff, oh Jesse, way to goddamn long, Tunnel In The Sky, remember the least, teeth on edge, aged poorly, out of place, the early horseriding, L. Ron Hubbard, New Mexico landscapes, out of place, squaw, Indian buck:

[“We’ve got all day,” he cautioned Lazy, “so don’t get yourself in a lather. That’s a stiff climb ahead.” Don was riding alone because he had decked out Lazy in a magnificent Mexican saddle his parents had ordered sent to him for his birthday. It was a beautiful thing, as gaudy with silver as an Indian buck, but it was as out of place at the ranch school he attended as formal clothes at a branding—a point which his parents had not realized. Don was proud of it, but the other boys rode plain stock saddles; they kidded him unmercifully and had turned “Donald James Harvey” into “Don Jaime” when he first appeared with it.]

12 hours good job, the Venusian dragons, Sir Isaac Newton, sidekick aliens, the hero of his own story, Lummox, a forgettable book, quite far into the book, he’s in an airport or on an airplane, the Heinlein Society concordance, beuraucratic functionaries, strawmen, probably straight out of his own life, every ad in the first 20 pages (of a certain class for white people), military schools, prepschools, nature schools, school life away from his family, a happy reunion, central High School in Kansas City, he moved out west, politician, 1776 Independence Lane, a real thinker, so many opinions, not a hard SF book, what this new technology means, an infodump with gobbledygook words, as confused as I am, to get us that technology tyhat he needs to get us to other planets, constantly going into rebellion, so American, with an international view, a strawman villain, written for a teenage audience, I’m going to torture you, you’re going to walk out of here with no teeth, the Chinese bank, he’s in the middle, break the rules to help out a friend, deliberately obstructing, you’re right here it is, interaction with bureaucracy, Bureaucracy (InfoCom game), bureaucracy is important for Heinlein’s outlook, a reality, in that job, taking initiative, there are people who will follow the rules, there are other people, WWI fighter pilot, rules are for the obedience of fools and the guidance of wise men, exceptions, an advocate, lost in the system, argument with government, libertarian Canadians, part of the maturation process, parents as authority, negotiated, crying in the checkout line, when do people become libertarians, highschool and college, freemen on the land, Annalee Newitz and Charlie Jane Anders, a nice liberal guy like Scalzi, don’t deny that right to anybody, don’t say he’s turgid when he’s not, the motivation is so important, the reason they’re using it is because they’re saying you shouldn’t read it, paternalistic bluecheck elites, thank you for giving me permission not to read this homework, constantly rant at kids, that’s a strawman, you cant have a conversation with me, talking to my young friend Will (barely out of diapers), toastmasters at the con, if you don’t read Heinlein you’re not a real science fiction fan, sexism and hatred, push against that continuing pressure, people still say to Olav you need to read Heinlein or else, Heinlein explain to Farah Mendlesohn, lots of idiots on the internet, how much of it is trolling?, Will keeps saying Jesse’s a fan, Jesse runs a fanzine?, why is Heinlein important?, like saying H.G. Wells is important, if anything should be named after anything, Hugo Gernsback’s gonna get his due one day, adapting his work for the screen, Wells is basically forgotten, his stuff is amazing, The New Accelerator, a short story about methamphetamine, a hilarious very critical story of science and commercialism, H.G. Wells’ review of Metropolis, these turgid waters, a problem cohering, Jesse’s retort, this isn’t part of my identity, people fight over who is a fan, so intense for people, Robert Silverberg is just a cranky old man at this point, more heat than light, this conversation is turgid, parentage, until he signs up for the Venusian armed forces, the relationship romance stuff is very thin, there’s no kissing in this book, she kisses him, he could be a keeper, the tom tom girl, the wife who cooked the breakfast, a lack of female characters, the “I’m adult now” switch, adult decisions, initiated into adulthood, enlists by accident, the High Guard, the leeches, I have to stand up for what I believe in, I Will Fear No Evil, the decadent end of empire scene, New Chicago is mostly underground, when the “uncle” character, a huge tip, Heinlein is all the characters, he’s also Jubal Harshaw, the triumvirate we see most clearly in The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, the loveable sidekick, every kind of love interest, these types, why Heinlein is so controversial, he’s really engaging with stuff, he’s very intellectual, an ambivalence and equivocation, citizenships, gung-ho, when he gets the ring back, an argument over a point of principle, principle is the foundation of how Heinlein deals with everything, rudeness as a high crime, he is fundamentally express his own life philosophy, a short interview with Alec Nevala-Lee, Heinlein didn’t contribute in the way he wanted to, capable of changing the future by doing the equivalent of science, the training of the people who were all going to do that, China’s push on science fiction is a push on STEM, the relationship between science and engineering, got interested in science, the theoretical part of putting together a nuclear bomb, when Heinlein tries to contribute WWI, he didn’t make the Wonder Weapons, writing is thinking, imperialistic, having our hero be a Filipino, he’s an American just like us, nobody says “Philippines was a colony of the United States” (and still is, kinda), he doesn’t give that ring back to his girlfriend, he takes back his ring, he’s off in the stars in his head right now, her father is shocked, if that’s sexism, all women secretly want you to give them rings and not take them back, why so many people give women rings, he knew what he was doing, a strange spiking of his own narrative, he’s an adult now, I’m a man, he totally implied he was going to go back and get her, he’s kind of a dummy, fogeater fogeater fogeater, he was in the fog the whole time, I’m a man now, father, I fulfilled my commitments, an assumed happy ending, that interstellar starship, you have to be married to do it, the “wither thou goest” type, the frontier that Philip K. Dick is always going with, Friday, Red Planet, Dread Of Heinleinism by Charles Stross, a pastiche of one of a very specific few books, the underlying question, the answer is yes, people are determined to forget the past, how quickly the Venerians create the new bureaucracy, laws and currency, all this didactism, how rebellion is done, cell systems, no philosophy, very psychological, taxation, Mike is the government, Mike is the George Washington character, Heinlein being international, a citizen of the system, Evan is not offended by that, Thomas Paine, all the Tories move north or to England or to the Caribbean, a massive apathy, the Black diaspora, Sierra Leone, a propagandist for the French Revolution, The Rights Of Man, anachronistic, Glenn Beck, why the left adores Paine, anti-British, Liberty in a bottom up way, he’s not the coup d’etat part of the revolution, his message is not compatible with the United States, Che Guevara, Donald E. Westlake’s first published story as an adult, Patrick Henry, Jesse told this story three times, god gave him liberty, died of McCarthyism, the Monore doctrine, liberty liberty liberty, all these lies people are telling themselves, secular saints, its very important it is to read Heinlein to understand the United States, highly influential, utterly forgettable in plot and detail, Americans misunderstanding the united states, what Canadian health care is, are there death panels?, Heinlein is a little glimpse outside of the borders (by analogy), Olav got passed over by the death panel this month, ignorance spawned on purpose, how did this happen, Russia has socialized medicine, being facetious on purpose, Olav is trolling!, its probably slightly less worse in Canada, that’s Jordan Peterson, Rachel Notley, a small country, Evan hasn’t read that much Heinlein, Starship Troopers, everyone is saying you shouldn’t, Double Star, communication 100 years ago was shouting out the window, Michio Kaku, nobody calls him on it, apparently its Jesse’s job, what’s the logic what gets you angry…, that Jimmy Dore video, deep fear someone somewhere is having a good time, that kayfabe thing, Donald Trump doesn’t trigger Jesse at all, people like to be lied to, you tell yourself a fiction, allowing you to not think, The Dreams Our Stuff Is Made Of: How Science Fiction Conquered The World by Thomas M. Disch, “America is a nation of liars, and for that reason science fiction has a special claim to be our national literature, as the art form best adapted to telling the lies we like to hear and to pretend we believe”, what’s the USA immediately do when it finishes its revolutions, like Haiti did, why that coup d’etat line rings so true, their still called Governors, the Anglo-American legal system, protect property from the majority, a civil war about these issues, Scalzi’s blog post, one of the commenters wants to cancel Jefferson because he supported the French Revolution, except Haiti, biggest slaveholder around, a relatively egalitarian distribution of property, under his own ideology, a dream, the Homestead Act, co-opted by the railroads, the War of 1812, Henry Adams history is way to long for someone like Jesse (it is 2,000 pages), Hamiltonians, Wilson in this book?, what do we make of the Venerians?, the Little Fuzzies of this planet, Galileo, exchange students, Chinese and Korean students, a stripper name, Heinlein is uncancelled, John W. Campbell was a great writer, ?!.

Between Planets - illustrated by Darrell K. Sweet

Blackstone Audio - Between Planets by Robert A. Heinlein

Full Cast Audio - Between Planets by Robert A. Heinlein

Planets In Combat by Robert A. Heinlein - Blue Book

Planets In Combat by Robert A. Heinlein - Blue Book

Planets In Combat by Robert A. Heinlein - Blue Book

Planets In Combat by Robert A. Heinlein - Blue Book

Planets In Combat by Robert A. Heinlein - Blue Book

Planets In Combat by Robert A. Heinlein - Blue Book

Planets In Combat by Robert A. Heinlein - Blue Book

Planets In Combat by Robert A. Heinlein - Blue Book

Planets In Combat by Robert A. Heinlein - Blue Book

Planets In Combat by Robert A. Heinlein - Blue Book

Planets In Combat by Robert A. Heinlein - Blue Book

Planets In Combat by Robert A. Heinlein - Blue Book

Planets In Combat by Robert A. Heinlein - Blue Book

Planets In Combat by Robert A. Heinlein - Blue Book

Planets In Combat by Robert A. Heinlein - Blue Book

Planets In Combat by Robert A. Heinlein - Blue Book

Planets In Combat by Robert A. Heinlein - Blue Book

Planets In Combat by Robert A. Heinlein - Blue Book

Planets In Combat by Robert A. Heinlein - Blue Book

Between Planets (comics adaptation)

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The SFFaudio Podcast #378 – READALONG: The Penultimate Truth by Philip K. Dick

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #378 – Jesse, Paul, and Marissa talk about The Penultimate Truth by Philip K. Dick.

Talked about on today’s show:
1964, not exactly a fix-up, this novel’s DNA, The Defenders, The Mold Of Yancy, The Unreconstructed M, the next draft, the main character’s problem was Dick’s problem, an idea, another Yance-woman, a sausage fest, did you’re arm fall off again?, “the well-informed dead rat romped under the tongue-tied pink log”, a new ACE or Ballantine book, more cohesive and clearer, all ideas are undercooked, the Wikipedia summary, The Defenders feels like junk, but translated to the novel… a sequel to The Defenders, The Mold Of Yancy is excellent, reading The Mold Of Yancy helps you understand The Penultimate Truth, conapts with wall to wall wub-fur carpeting, artiforgs (artificial organs), Yancy in the novel vs. the short story, a syndicate, a quasi-corporatist government short, the Kardashians and Gwyneth Paltrow, set on Callisto, a totalitarian government, letting in spies, his spidey-sense, he’s like Ronald Regan, a fireside chat, Dick’s analysis of our North American society is dead on, war is bad but just wars have to be fought, cats are definitely better than dogs, political correctness, media pushing (or pulling) society in different directions, a perfect fit, a nice welding, Fallout 3 and Fallout 4, worried about the overseer, strap on your vault suit, he’s a companion, a NPC, leadies are Mister Handies, the robot companions, Hugh Howey’s whole career, the same premise and ideas as Wool, ant tanks, vaults (and silos), WWIII, The Game-Players Of Titan, neo-fuedalism, squabbling fiefdoms, the MegaVac computer echoes Vulcan II or III, Isaac Asimov’s MultiVac, the plot with Brose and Lantano, re-purposing people across stories, the leadies are slaves, a good Goodreads review, the 1% and the 99%, labouring under delusion, a damn fine analysis, the scandal of the day, obedience, Paul is a history fan, a Roman society, Sulla and Pompey, the triumvirates, private armies, the land grant system is very Roman, proto-feudal (or manorial), Cheyenne is nuked again, Estes Park, Colorado, Philip K. Dick has to throw everything into the crockpot, Pretty Blue Fox, Lincoln Apartments, the Tom Mix tank, 290 movies, Tom Mix had five wives, Philip K. Dick dressed like a movie cowboy, clear evidence you’re living in a Philip K. Dick world, ask me about Plato, The Defenders and The Penultimate Truth are modeled after Plato’s the Myth of the Cave, gin and tonic vs. beer, Dog Stories Monthly vs. the Journal Of Psychological Review, a gestalt, the art of Hieronymus Bosch, everything should be about challenging and questioning, Critical Thinking should be the only class in high-school, nothing can be challenged, no critical thinking, all Yancy’s beliefs are insipid, as close as possible to no beliefs, apolitical (without a viewpoint), William Tenn, Null-P, Dick was really influenced by A.E. van Vogt, “wow, my god!”, a preference for Kriegsspiel, a cosmic wrestling match, The Cosmic Puppets, a nice six hour game of Kriegsspiel, Bach’s art of the fugue, subdued by the plot, troweling it down a bit, The Unreconstructed M stuff, fun to read, a time traveling Cherokee warrior who walked in from another Dick story, Time Pawn, Dr. Futurity, fake artifacts of a fake alien invasion, it gells as a novel, a really good speech about a squirrel, an actual living squirrel, there’s no little scurrying creature at the end, a questionable bow,

However, Adams figures out Lantano was behind the deaths as part of his plot to bring down Brose. In desperation and fear, he joins up with St. James, who discovered a cache of artificial organs, and flees into the Tom Mix tank with him. They discover that Lantano was ultimately successful but contemplate that the biggest lie is yet to come.

that’s the ending and discovery of The Defenders, meeting the quota, they don’t let you out when you don’t meet the quota, there’s no reward and punishment, appreciating The Defenders, in Plato’s The Republic, PKD knows all about Plato (and The Odyssey), the Allegory Of the Cave,

Plato begins by asking Glaucon to imagine a cave where people have been imprisoned from childhood. These prisoners are chained so that their legs and necks are fixed, forcing them to gaze at the wall in front of them and not look around at the cave, each other, or themselves. Behind the prisoners is a fire, and between the fire and the prisoners is a raised walkway with a low wall, behind which people walk carrying objects or puppets “of men and other living things”. The people walk behind the wall so their bodies do not cast shadows for the prisoners to see, but the objects they carry do (“just as puppet showmen have screens in front of them at which they work their puppets”. The prisoners cannot see any of this behind them and are only able to see the shadows cast upon the cave wall in front of them. The sounds of the people talking echo off the shadowed wall, and the prisoners falsely believe these sounds come from the shadows. Socrates suggests that the shadows constitute reality for the prisoners because they have never seen anything else; they do not realize that what they see are shadows of objects in front of a fire, much less that these objects are inspired by real living things outside the cave

fake destruction of San Fransisco, false reconstructions, Stalin with Roosevelt speaking Russian at the White House, 1984 by George Orwell,

Plato then supposes that one prisoner is freed, being forced to turn and see the fire. The light would hurt his eyes and make it hard for him to see the objects that are casting the shadows. If he is told that what he saw before was not real but instead that the objects he is now struggling to see are, he would not believe it. In his pain, Plato continues, the freed prisoner would turn away and run back to what he can see and is accustomed to, that is the shadows of the carried objects. He writes “…it would hurt his eyes, and he would escape by turning away to the things which he was able to look at, and these he would believe to be clearer than what was being shown to him.”

writing lies and having your son believe the lies, Hollywood,

Plato continues: “suppose…that someone should drag him…by force, up the rough ascent, the steep way up, and never stop until he could drag him out into the light of the sun.” The prisoner would be angry and in pain, and this would only worsen when the radiant light of the sun overwhelms his eyes and blinds him. The sunlight is representative of the new reality and knowledge that the freed prisoner is experiencing. Slowly, his eyes adjust to the light of the sun. First he can only see shadows. Gradually he can see the reflections of people and things in water and then later see the people and things themselves. Eventually he is able to look at the stars and moon at night until finally he can look upon the sun itself. Only after he can look straight at the sun “is he able to reason about it” and what it is.

a sign of madness,

Plato continues, saying that the freed prisoner would think that the real world was superior to the world he experienced in the cave; “he would bless himself for the change, and pity [the other prisoners]” and would want to bring his fellow cave dwellers out of the cave and into the sunlight. The returning prisoner, whose eyes have become acclimated to the light of the sun, would be blind when he re-enters the cave, just as he was when he was first exposed to the sun. The prisoners, according to Socrates, would infer from the returning man’s blindness that the journey out of the cave had harmed him and that they should not undertake a similar journey. Socrates concludes that the prisoners, if they were able, would therefore reach out and kill anyone who attempted to drag them out of the cave.

other levels, the fake journal entries, the time scoop, in the geological strata, a critical thinking story, what makes us believe the Earth is as old as it is is evidence, pointing in the direction of a Truth, a little bit paranoid, Philip K. Dick has a whole story about it, an evidence laying assassin robot, questioning the science, then you have a Philip K. Dick story, Vulcan’s Hammer, a real theme he’s struggling with, don’t get into conversations with strangers, you’re a human being … I guess, it’s great to be in a country where you don’t understand the language, an afterword by Thomas Disch, a downhill racer of a writer,

If Dick had stopped to think (but that’s something a downhill racer can’t do), he might have realized that there was an essential dramatic disparity between the two stories he was trying to weld together. The Yancy part of the plot generated a story about dirty tricks in high places, a genre for which Dick possesses little flair (compare le Carré and his better imitators), while that element of the story that all readers remember, after the lapse of however many years, is the notion of the human race imprisoned in underground factories because they’ve been tricked into believing that a nuclear war has destroyed the world. It’s an extraordinarily resonant idea. One thinks of the dwellers in Plato’s cave who know nothing of the reality but the shadows cast on the wall; of the similar destiny of Wells’s Morlocks; of the prisoners in Beethoven’s Fidelio; and of ourselves, living in the shadows of a nuclear threat that is only bearable by pretending that it does not exist. To have recognized that our situation is a kind of madness (“What, me worry?” sang the Titanic’s passengers) has not helped us toward a solution, for our situation with respect to the bomb is not much different in 1983 than it was in 1964. And for that reason The Penultimate Truth, for all its flaws, remains a book that can speak to the terror that is the bedrock of our social order.

plotting the distance away from a nuclear target in order to survive, a nuclear wasteland in every movie, an insipid Kardashianism seems to have taken over, we seem to have gotten worse, the fading away of the nuclear threat, the 99% accepting the 1%, breaking free from the cave seems impossible, the internet is our Yancy, like the same things on Facebook, we all have the same opinions, political correctness is like fascism except you can’t use that word, John Wayne day backlash (because he was apparently super-racist), Donald Trump is a power word, he’s willing to say whatever he wants to say, you have to come to that, arguing with the racism, Hieronymus Bosch are loveley, the Kriegsspiel argument, everyone should struggle with this, a dictate from on high or social mimesis, walking by the lottery counter, there’s no way to fix that, think about it, don’t just think the right thing because its the right thing, the re-writing rooms, the proles kind of ignore the prole-feed, the tankies who don’t know, the meek inheriting the Earth, maybe we aren’t meek enough, sprawling demesnes, the human condition, a good book, pulling the veil or reality aside, back to the shadows, from The Republic, the leadies are the leaden weights, the armies of the 1%, how much do you need to be educated, is it for gold or for lead?, Mr. Dick you did something with it, a downhill skier of a writer, add The Mold Of Yancy, he’s such a great idea man, he really engages with the situation, Souvenir by Philip K. Dick, The Defenders is improved upon reflection,

The wonder is how often Dick was able to produce work of real interest and wit in these marathons of typewriting. For readers who read at a pace proportioned to his speed of writing (as most sf fans learn to do, or else cease being fans), the dull patches disappear into a haze of white powder as they careen down the slopes of the narrative. It is the ideas they are after, and Dick always provides more than a sufficiency of these.

Disch knew what Dick was all about, the longer novelettes, he has to pay the bills, too much plot, not enough story, welding together three stories, what was your process, MAN!?, Marissa attended a conference with a bunch of Dick wives and lovers, how much is reflected in what Marissa heard?, how much he loved everyone, feeling betrayed and angry, how funny he is, playing tricks on people, I love that Dick is seemingly incapable of being self-concious about what he loves, Roog, can you pick a subject that is less cosmic in scope, passionate about weird little things, watching a pilot for a new Science Fiction show, Colony (TV show), domesticity, “yeah, I’m out”, sympathy for the characters, overlaying crappily manipulative music, engaging with them in a real way, that dog was a real dog named Snooper, Jonathan Lethem, so good at self-examination, he’s the anti-facsist, he’s wise as well as crazy, he’s blind but he’s glimpsed greater truths, gnosticism, his fallout stories, we will miss them, you should be reading these PKD books, our listeners aren’t watching the Kardashians, are they?

The Defenders by Philip K. Dick - Galaxy Science Fiction, January 1953

The Mold Of Yancy by Philip K. Dick - IF: Worlds Of Science Fiction, August 1955

The Unreconstructed M by Philip K. Dick - illustration by Frank Kelly Freas

Posted by Jesse Willis

BBC Arena: Philip K Dick: A Day In The Afterlife (video documentary)

SFFaudio News

Thomas M. Disch (author), Brian Aldiss (author), Kim Stanley Robinson (author), Tim Powers (author), Terry Gilliam (filmmaker), Lawrence Sutin (biographer), Paul Williams (biographer), Barry Spatz (analyst), Kleo Mini (second wife), Anne Dick (third wife), Tessa Dick (fifth wife), Jim Blaylock (friend), Russel Galen (agent) talk about Philip K. Dick and his writings in this 1994 TV documentary made for BBC TV’s Arena. The interstitial readings from Dick’s fiction are narrated by Greg Proops.

1126 Fransisco St, Berkley, CA – home of Philip K. Dick from 1950 to 1958:
1126 Fransisco St., Berkley, CA

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #103

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #103 – Scott, Jesse, Eric S. Rabkin and Luke Burrage talk about FOOD in Science Fiction and Fantasy. It is rather unpleasantly like being drunk.

Talked about on today’s show:
Luke’s got a twelve hour hunger, fairy tales, Fantasy, food sharing is coming to know the alien, what food is served in a Canadian restaurant?, Kwakiutl vs. Kwakwaka’wakw, pemmican, voyageurs, THE YELLOW PERIL podcast (The SFFaudio Podcast #051), Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, Frankenstein’s creation was a vegetarian, Paradise Lost, Genesis, Cain vs. Abel, Eifelheim by Michael Flynn, the three stages of eating: veggies -> meat -> people, aliens, crazy vs. odd, inedia (fasting), breatharianism, Scott Pilgrim, Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, inspired by spirits, Neuromancer, communion, puns, Foods of the Gods: Eating And The Eaten In Fantasy And Science Fiction (Proceedings Of The J. Lloyd Eaton Conference On Science Fiction And Fantasy Lite) edited by Eric S. Rabkin, Gary Westfahl and George Edgar Slusser, more puns, The Futurological Congress by Stanisław Lem, consuming books, The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri, Michael Kandel, The War Of The Worlds by H.G. Wells, evolution and food, food in pill form, Tang, Firefly, Science Fiction: prediction of the future vs. sign of the future, jetpacks, capsulized food is symbolic, lembas is super-power bread, energy drinks, food as a representation of our relationships with our bodies, The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells, yet more puns, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, food and pretty dresses, baking and bread have deep roots, Voyage To The Moon by Cyrano de Bergerac, no one ever sees a baker eating, food imagery, the centrality of bread in SFF only matches that of religion, the bread yes – the blood no, Osiris, Egypt, Greece, The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy by Douglas Adams, The Restaurant At The End Of The Universe, List of races and species in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, the babel fish, “it’s not the babel worm”, fish as a symbol, Pythagoras, professor smackdown, Tower Of Babel, food and sexuality, urban romance, Eat Prey Love, “man does not live by bread alone” vs. “forbidden fruit”, bread as technology, breadfruit, the garden of Eden, the tree of knowledge vs. the tree of immortality vs. the rubber tree, Trantor, Isaac Asimov’s Foundation, Coruscant, Star Wars, Sam Parkhill, The Off Season by Ray Bradbury, The Martian Chronicles, the best hot dog stand on Mars, The New Colossus by Emma Lazarus, the national food of America is the hot dog, the hot dog is the symbol of America, Manhattan, “hot dog stands all the way down”, meat paste, man as food, To Serve Man by Damon Knight, Alien, The Logic Of Fantasy by John Huntington, cannibalism, The Time Machine by H.G. Wells, Galápagos by Kurt Vonnegut, The Genocides by Thomas M. Disch, The Screwfly Solution by James Triptree Jr., Beyond Lies The Wub by Philip K. Dick, further punning, vat grown meat, breeding animals to be less intelligent, a very meaty topic, Caviar by Theodore Sturgeon, vegetarianism, Fallen Dragon by Peter F. Hamilton, Luke is on the wrong side of meat history, being as unnatural as possible is what makes us human, a continuing journey towards humanity (marching on our stomachs?), social animals, mothers make food for you – witches make food of you, choosing not to eat meat vs. choosing to be monogamous, dolphin eating habits (are they porpoiseful eaters?), eating dolphin is out of line (for Luke), exploring the possibilities of empathy, Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick, empathy vs. compassion, Technovelgy.com’s entry on food, an overly inclusive notion of what constitutes invention, CBC Spark, visiscreens and visiplates, Ralph 124C 41+ by Hugo Gernsback, Minding Tomorrow by Luke Burrage, Technovelgy needs more wiki, Wikipedia is endlessly useful, automated restaurant, The Food Of The Gods by H.G. Wells, food has functions beyond just sustaining our bodies, George Birdseye, Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster, coffee, sharing meals via Skype.

Posted by Jesse Willis

aBoSaSoTT: The Forgotten Enemy by Arthur C. Clarke

SFFaudio Online Audio

A Bite of Stars, a Slug of Time, and Thou - a Resonance FM podcastRounding up recently wrapped second series of A Bite of Stars, a Slug of Time, and Thou is a pleasure. Hopefully this delightfully interesting podcast and radio show (on Resonance FM 104.4 FM in London, U.K.) will come back with a third series real soon.

In reverse order of podcast…

First, there’s a terrific tale by Arthur C. Clarke. Set in London, it’s the tale of a lonely man in a deserted London waiting for rescue. He can almost hear the helicopters. Yes, the helicopters. The slow, loud, helicopters coming inevitably from the north.

The Forgotten Enemy by Arthur C. ClarkeEpisode 16 – The Forgotten Enemy
By Arthur C. Clarke; Read by Elisha Sessions
Podcast – 1 Hour [UNABRIDGED]
Podcaster: A Bite Of Stars, A Slug Of Time, And Thou
Podcast: 2008
First published in December 1948, in an issue of King’s College Review. In a bleak snow and ice covered London, a lone survivor faces isolation, polar bears and loneliness. But even his one hope, the idea that a rescue team is crossing the Atlantic ice sheet isn’t enough to stave off The Forgotten Enemy.

Less accessible, but probably just as interesting if you can get into it, is episode 15, which features some highly literary SF from Ursula K. Le Guin…

A Bite of Stars, A Slug of Time, and Thou: Things by Ursula K. Le GuinEpisode 15 – Things
By Ursula K. Le Guin; Read by Elisha Sessions
Podcast – 1 Hour [UNABRIDGED]
Podcaster: A Bite Of Stars, A Slug Of Time, And Thou
Podcast: 2008
Written by Ursula Le Guin in 1970. This is a short story about a society sharply divided between nihilist marauders and maudlin do-nothings… and two people who don’t really fit in either camp. Oh, and masonry.

There’s a little editing error in this reading of The Squirrel Cage. And, past that point, Sessions’ reading becomes very quiet, you’ll have to turn up your volume. Despite these issues during the reading of the story, you’ll keep listening, almost as if you don’t have a choice. It’s a compelling narrative of a man trapped alone in a room with a subscription to the New York Times.

A Bite of Stars, A Slug of Time, and Thou: The Squirrel Cage by Thomas M. DischEpisode 14 – The Squirrel Cage
By Thomas M. Disch; Read by Elisha Sessions
Podcast – 1 Hour [UNABRIDGED]
Podcaster: A Bite Of Stars, A Slug Of Time, And Thou
Podcast: 2008
It’s a story about a writer writing for no one, or for everyone – he’s not sure which.

Episode 13, a story by Brian Aldiss, feels oddly modern, despite its age. Charles Stross might have written it. It’s funny, poignant, and rather subversive – I’m not sure exactly what lessons it teaches, but I like the lesson very much. Perhaps All the World’s Tears is just a lesson in humility? Unfortunate sound effect additions don’t destroy the reading, but they are intrusive.

A Bite of Stars, A Slug of Time, and Thou: All The World’s Tears by Brian AldissEpisode 13 – All The World’s Tears
By Brian Aldiss; Read by Elisha Sessions
1 |MP3| – 1 Hour [UNABRIDGED]
Podcaster: A Bite Of Stars, A Slug Of Time, And Thou
Podcast: Oct. 7, 2008
The people and culture described in this 1957 short story by Brian Aldiss are human, but they don’t really act like it. Except for maybe the self-destructive part. It’s about a vitiated ecology, a mechanized society, and a desolate, wind-swept mansion where love may not be all you need.

Podcast feed:

http://freakytrigger.co.uk/slugoftime-podcast/feed/

Posted by Jesse Willis