The SFFaudio Podcast #793 – READALONG: Sirius by Olaf Stapledon

The SFFaudio Podcast #793 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, Will Emmons, and Jonathan Weichsel talk about Sirius by Olaf Stapledon

Talked about on today’s show:
1944, some Olaf before this, Last And First Men and Star Maker, wow, this blew Jonathan away, this is a novel, if you told me I’d enjoy a book about a talking dog, it has that cosmic perspective, in a dog who has no hands, real genuine science fiction, not genre SF, not from an American pulp tradition, in the subtitle, “A Fantasy Of Love And Discord”, a scientific romance, something to say, thinking about dogs a lot, a dog as a kid, a pet person, passed away earlier this year, afraid of dogs, allergic to most of them, Irish setter, what I’m hearing is you’re gay, australian shepherd, Karl Barks, still gay, gay for dogs, city boy, Scrappy, got too big, gave him away, cats, Minnesota, a Labrador and a great Pyrenees, border collie, Corgi, loved to death, the dog relationship, neutral to dogs, like our narrator storyteller, the Olaf Stapledon stand-in, affected emotionally, balling my eyes out, hiking, tears, very powerful, a great book, some good things in the review, very American, wanted the book to be genre SF, Philip K. Dick shows instead of tells, make points about philosophy, attempts pulp, Cambridge educated philosopher, from 2020, another reference point, Dick’s philosophy is more cynical, very different, Stapledon trusts people and the community of people, trusts reality more, even though the community if evil, Dick’s stories are more city, vs. more country, more suburban, lives in a “community”, a very small world for you, the college with the town attached, some London here, rural fantasy, through the novel tradition, such a bad comparison, to bring Philip K. Dick into the conversation, a guy named Jesse, correct to reference Frankenstein by Mary Shelly, a more wholesome, humane take, needs to be with other creatures, a 2015 review, no last name, Odd John, as opposed to a book about super and ultra sheepdogs, uplifted, can you get an uplift without it being biologically heritable, the raising, a monkey in Australia as a farmhand, the fox listening to banjo music, an old English children’s magazine, great pets, famous pets, Farmhand Johnny, a rhesus monkey, follow up tweet, interviewing the farmer, the second monkey in a series of farmhands, don’t go on about your handlessness, super-important, this is not a man creating another man, a dog with a man’s brain, a super-canine brain, the thing that’s adressed a lot in the book, bestiality, incest, how intiate they had become, looks at her body mauled by the dog, as are we, Plaxy, such a weird name, a name that people have in England, Wales, the fornication?, discretion prohibits me from saying, how Jonathan would write it, a man relives himself, masturbating, sexual hypocrisy, a very funny sad and tragic book, deeply philosophical, dog-lover wish fulfillment fantasy, this is a being like me that has thoughts and desires and wants, unable to communicate fully, flagging of tails, bristling of backs, wants to have sex, wants to have a relationship with you, that’s remarkable, exploring this idea incredibly well, what is stopping people writing this today, owning a dog, mischaracterizing all of science fiction: space-fucking battles, what about Harlan Ellison’s A Boy And His Dog, Simak, Lester Del Rey, a lot less incest, go off on Jupiter together, a lot more tragic, this conflict between dog-nature and the human society he is raised in, identify with it as a human being, I’m a human, I fit in, nature vs. nurture, other books that explore, Tarzan, so much imagination, the depths of smelling, describing how the female dogs drive him insane, you wouldn’t understand, the narrator’s really good too, that British hidden humour in these character’s voices, Plaxy is the least understandable main character, we don’t love dogs that way, if Sirius had been a female dog or if Plaxy had been a brother, would it have been a better book, a more pure examination?, reverse those genders, heterosexual animals, a husband describing his wife, going up to the line, creepy, unfortunately very reliable narrator, the things he elides, the frame to get at telling this story, a very funny American trope, super-hilarious, the mad scientist and his beautiful daughter, does not like the father the doctor, unimaginative, his subjective point of view, 100% agreed, being prudes about the bestiality, the investigation is less pure or more pure, the animal and Plaxy’s nature, he’s also investigating women, Enemy Mine (1985) by Barry B. Longyear, Dennis Quaid and Louis Gossett, Jr. are fighter pilot, beach planet, give birth to their baby, dies in childbirth, dad and mom, reuinite him with his people, Will bait 101, the novella is 1979, Nebula and a Hugo, fewer people voted, not even a 1000 people, such a scam, throwing it out the window, interesting character, a perspective character, Stapledonian observations, the politics of this book, Hitler bad, why is Hitler bad?, a socialist novel, a communist dog at points, a small businessman selling his children, don’t collectivize my farm, typically Kulak, energetic but unfair, pre-WWII communist party of Great Britain, the hardship and oppression, surrounded by the professional managerial class, the PMC, using the PMC, Barbara Enright, the laptop class, people with a 9-5 job who work in offices, do you like it?, not a manager, includes teachers, lawyers, a little priest action, a parson is not a priest in the Anglican tradition?, holy nature, the guy in the front of the pulpit talkin, secular but mystical, for what this book is about, the way this book ends, like the Frankenstein creature he is not himself, just like the creature does, Jack London’s The Call Of The Wild, a dog that becomes a man that becomes a wolf, To Build A Fire, the best novel Jesse has ever read, inside the mind of a dog, a very alien story, some glimpses, doesn’t commit to the bit, Buck did not need the newspapers, inside of a dog’s head, telling a different story, boyfriend/husband, make a sale, interested in the market, a publisher wouldn’t touch it, how many of the books that you’ve read of him are something a publisher would want, things were different back then, H.G. Wells pioneered something, John Wyndham’s career, a new science fiction writer, been there done that, a repeat of Day Of The Triffids, he must have had a dog, the author of this manual of sheepdogs and their owners, to Will and Maissa, border collie video, sheepdog trial olympics, there for him while he’s doing his stuff, the commentators are going wild, that’s the relationship that this book is about, it was thrilling, made Will tired, that much energy, POV, omniscient narrator, Bob is angry, an omnipresent narrator, Bob seemed angry, more of a naturalistic approach, Guy de Maupassant, maybe the character felt this way, describing Sirius, Sirius was this way, jarring, what he restrict, I ate a man yesterday, Plaxy, and I liked it, as a writer it is important to note these things, in Buck’s head and right over Buck’s shoulder, notes, the humans in Sirius’ world, a more direct picture, this big archive of notes, too fat and complacent, wrote one book, The Lamppost, Beyond The Lamppost, a philosophy of things outside of being a dog, humans like to drink thinks, vee dogs and like to emit liquids, I see what you’ve emitted there, went for a walk with his dog, that’s how dogs be, let me right a novel about this, a terrific book, nobody could write this book today, a huge book of ideas, I can take this paragraph from this chapter of Last And First Men and make a 40 book series out of it, Paul is correct, read it again, what does the word completed mean?, the other projected book, in a state for publication, trying to split a hair your not going to split, the center of interest in Cambridge, Sirius does not understand dogs, he’s pretty young, a sad case, a tragedy from beginning to end, his creator dies, he has plans, has finished writing but not completed can never be published, remarkably, why is this set during WWII, an anti-fascist novel, a pacifist, lived a long time, supported the war effort, Wikipedia rabbit holes, fuzzy, when people are bad, they scapegoated Plaxy and Sirius the way the Nazis scapegoated the Jews, people use the word a lot, 20th century view on fascism, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, wait six months for this show to come out, an interesting take, our POV character is a solider and Plaxy is a landgirl, seems important to the war effort, Bomb Girls, what her views about communism and fascism are, she’s naive, communism isn’t the answer, petite bourgeoisie, create something new, I’m not so sure now Plaxy, literally selling his children, drowns some of his puppies, a flawed creator, religion, Brian Aldiss would do it more that way, an unapologetic J.D. Beresford H.G. Wells kinda guy, those books are dreams, characterless, occasional character name, hallucinations of humanity, an actual novel, Arthur C. Clarke is very spiritual, dealing with religion, goes into the church and sings from behind a veil, I know you will be shocked, don’t you want to hear them, the youtube videos of a dog singing along at the piano, the Right of Spring, out of the ordinary, A World Of Sound by Olaf Stapledon, escapes his body and sees a world of sound, moving over a landscape, he’s just slept through the whole opera, the sparking firework display that is Olaf Stapledon’s genius, like Peter And The Wolf, other notes come in, characters are notes and themes, we can tell a story just with sound, that’s what he’s done here with smells, I’ll be your bitch, this is an intimate relationship, going into scents, bite their owners, so rich and deep, what if Plaxy was just a brother, a boy and his dog, sex and raping, about the relationship of humans to animals, part of the household, super-duper rich, moved to tears by this book, never fits in, murdering or killing?, he’s mad, needs to be put down, near human intelligence, back to the demiurge again, a functional being, he lives in Britain, you have the solution in Canada, he’s a flawed creation, he’s not a man and he’s not a dog, he’s alone, had the deep thoughts that he has, invited to say what of man, is man a flawed creation?, the answer is yes, a very cynical view, is it cynical or is it realistic?, he grok fascism, and yet he will sell his own children and drown them, an alien species, kziniti, Jesse has Paul modeled, the aliens from Larry Niven’s Ringworld series, a brilliant writer and everything, a very different use of the ideas, one kzin, in the sequels, the kzinti homeworld on Ringworld, speaker becomes a king, like a Conan story, conquer the map of earth, they’re klingons but they’re cats, officially in the Star Trek universe, plugging Paul’s own game, lamenting the lack of Olaf Stapledon, smart dog novels, demanding, how its coming, the great female kizinti novel (that gets uplifted), she wakes up in the harem, you bastard, Ottoman harems, the power that women tried to wield, the kzinti queen, males don’t get their names, that the civil service says is good, I’m a male chauvinist sometimes, sometimes I’m a coward, sometimes I’m a 300 year old Fu-Manchu, sometimes I’m a lucky girl who gets to spend time with Larry Niven, unfortunately we demanded more books, got any more?, goddamn it, had to be doomed, humans are flawed and doomed, as a species too, leave AI to die, Paul’s Reeve guy’s plan, Elon Reeve Musk’s plan, escape the planet, preppers build bunkers, off planet, to make the air in air factories, this picture of what it means to be a person, a worker intellectual, the intellectual and artistic life, a vigorous physical exercise, really good critique of the Cambridge people, they drop things, talking about the mandarins, cultivate the long finernails, girls too, they’re princesses, intellectual beings contemplating gardens and writing poems with their mouths, denigrate manual labour, the dignity of labour, back to Wales, use his mind to labour also, he can’t be a Conan, conquering bitches, rollicking adventures, because of the landscape, his contribution to the war, I wrote a book about a smart dog, Tarzan goes off to war, Tarzan And The Foreign Legion by Edgar Rice Burroughs, a war corespondent, he thought he was at the center of things, patriotism is crazy, hilarious, go join WWI, go get ground up in the meatgrinder, we hate that, we didn’t want to do that, the cycle continues, alien and sedition act, that goddamn fucking Wilson, divide and conquer, he kept us out of the war, the League Of Nations, what a ringing success it was, return to normalcy, America first platform, Warren Harding, a reaction against Woodrow Wilson, no imperial entanglements outside of the empire itself, alcoholic drank himself to death while in office, sad that he died, why Donald Trump is a teetotaler, locked Wikipedia entry, Teapot Dome where Larry Niven got all his money, Coolidge, Republican presidents, Herbert Hoover, never served in public office, Grecian revival, we got dig him up, traveling across the country giving big speeches, front porch campaign, hide his alcoholism, the wealthiest guy, Hoovervilles, a miner, as usual, to feed Europe during WWI, an extremely popular person worldwide, Secretary of Commerce, one of the most hated and reviled, ran for re-election constantly, pumping money into the economy, a laissez-faire approach, avoided the whole thing, pushing an asteroid, what would president Olaf Stapledon do to fix the world?, major political parties in the UK agreed to a coalition government, forget this democracy thing for the course of the war, Commonwealth, merger between strange socialist, non-state socialism, Christian socialists, willing to contest elections, radicalizing, when they all joined Labour, advocating for a European federal government, a world government, full of good ideas, advocating for the welfare state, Beverage, here’s ghow they’re inadequate, the NHS comes out of that, Churchill, surprisingly he was a conservative, the Left Book Club, an important institution, Victor Gollancz, better known as a science fiction, today, a left wing publisher, they go together, all these great fights with Orwell, stupid and Trotskyist, breaks with the communists, Molotov-Ribbentrop pact, world congress for peace, useless things that we shouldn’t use, what a monster, left wing things, development of the welfare state, common ownership of property, socialism on the installment plan, hard to really grok it, socialism and they had no money, everybody got glasses, Doctor Who, Doris Lessing’s science fiction work, a bit shorter, more grizzled, comin out of the 30s, a healthier society, world government, what a monster!, gentle, as a revolutionary, an ideas guy, today in 2023, the experiment performed by the doctor, let’s hear him out, it would be unethical, cloning, impossible to do in real life, tomatoes with trout DNA, monkey man, Dogman, unethical, we’re a very unethical species, the scientific organizations have codes of ethics, that’s not coming up, doing it on the sly, most people don’t believe it, our narrator believes it, the sheep farm, when the dog sends a letter, called out in one of the reviews, we coulda used more like that, that was demonstrative, this novel doesn’t deal with scientific ethics enough, hey David Brin you haven’t had a hit in a while, go retro, lots of scenes where ethics boards are talking to each other via skype, it’s about our relationship with animals, and specifically dogs, nude in front of them, we won’t fart in front of our wife, put leashes on them, and then we’ll have to get you spayed eventually, neutered, not a major focus, where ethics comes into this book, reasons for the secrecy, commercial interest learning about the dog, mass production of this kind of animal, is there a world in which Sirius could have lived, the circus freaks, displaying themselves because of their oddities, seen that book or read that movie, not going to do the deep relationship between humans and dogs, when you pet Plaxy, she goes to make water, the wistle, its time to pee!, how children are, the devastation, the loss, how dare you!, one after the other, marking my territory, more like twitter, completed uncompleted book, enlightening, where they make their symposia, a peeing party, extends his lifespan, a regular dog would have died, they’re the same age, how old is Plaxy in 1944?, early 20s, a university education, we get that date at some point, less realistic, hung up on the wrong part of the science fiction, injecting human DNA into dog brains, this is not actually possible, they don’t seem to be viable, I’ve never made a monkey man myself, it’s possible for human and a chimpanzee to have sex, taboo, a mules, lots of mules, it wouldn’t line up correctly, somewhat mentally challenged, 99% match in DNA, human female and male chimpanzee, caesarean bud, wild conversation, Jungle Jitters, a genetic dead-end, ligers and tigons, one thing we haven’t talked about in this book, Plaxy is a cat, because she has a pussy?, something going on with cats in this novel, silly cat vs. dog stuff, astute observations, they are kind of mean, whenever Plaxy is mean she’s like a cat, to hurt Sirius, sometimes she’s this, somethimes she’s that, gives clues, very catlike, is he making a comment on women as well, should we be cancelling Mr. Olaf, the book is very doggy, the repeated point throughout: she’s catty, the cats were girls and the dogs were boys, when I’m 2, Treasure Planet (2002), hybrid babies, Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island in space, humans and furries, related to transhumanism, there are also robots in this movie, it’s good?, fun, when we do Treasure Island, pirates, Paul’s being facetious, A High Wind Over Jamaica by Richard Hughes, trying to grok a scene, he has doggy vision, mystical vision, that supreme moment passed, a new reality, monochrome vision, colours seeing by the eye of the spirit, plain greys of ordinary life, gained a new meaning, their own true colours, suffused, the light of the spirit, the religious tinge, the Great Master, the True Creator, he has limited vision, he’s a young dog, Christian mysticism, probably not the best thing to study, one catty observation, turgid prose, actually turgid, looked it up before, swollen, congested, distended, Paul tends to read to fast, this is beautiful, this is poetry, limited view of reality, where you have to start saying the narrator is unreliable, a similar book, the Moon smashes into the Earth, Alec Nevala-Lee, The Hopkins Manuscript, a chicken farmer, a country seated gentleman, R.C. Sherriff, not petting his penis, it ain’t turgid, be his bitch, smiling a lot, the jokes were very funny, his song standing up, world dictator someday, humanize him with these books, a necessary scene in the novel, three possibilities, mystical gobbledygook, dial it back not dial it in, epiphany, the text comes out and says this is an important scene for you to read, a crisis, three paragraphs later, St. Catherine Of Sienna, he faces the absolute, when he goes to talk to the priests and learned people, these guys don’t get it, god is love, we’re all Sirius, born into the world, circumstances we didn’t create, he is a man, he does manly things, he has manly interests, science and muscularity and religion, a 9 hour book, the relationship that dogs have always had with man, the relationship of domesticating man or man domesticating animals, a man and a woman and a dog, man and dog and other dog, he doesn’t love in the right way when being a king, beaten by the man in the red sweater, he’s lost, ultimately he’s a wolf, this character is broken that requires a tragedy, a flawed creation, a powerful but not perfect creator, you don’t even need the god of the bible, puts us in the bad place, he loves him as a father, always seeking his approval, always arguing with his father, in the title of the book, the love part, the discord part, wherever he goes he’s singing a different tune, Apple of Discord, fuck around with things, smart like a man, he can read he can write he can sing he can make foolish religious claims, bigger brain equals smarter, really cool ultimate point, able to communicate with other beings using language, tantalizingly close to understanding the animals, when Soleks is looking at Buck, desires and goals, pack positional shit, dogs don’t have human morality, they don’t have shame but they can fake shame, it was bred to do that, that’s what goodness is is doing that, make a slave of another human being, program the robots, the revolt of the robots, so deeply science fictional, hormones, it’s not a breeding program, no robot arms, allowing a dog to understand us, science fiction is evil, some professor, on the whole a negative, had a negative social impact, if Elon Musk learned the lessons of Robert A. Heinlein, Nineteen-Eighty Four as an instructional manual, you wanted a hot-take, I’ve studied this stuff, trust me on this, bro, for you feed, are we done with the book, Return From The Stars, Omega: The Last Days Of The World by Camille Flammarion, a chapter missing, very early and very French, all collaborative, a comet that’s about to strike Earth, everybody buys telescopes, the United Nations, the international community, miscalculating things, a near death experience, moratlity, a technological boom, evolving, where Joe Rogan is very stupid, fallback stupidity, we just need to evolve more, man, this human being don’t change, people exactly the same, expresses different, merge man and machine, a very unwise person, almost Stapledonian, a science fiction book, the history of the species, another human species, in real life Stapledon believed, the transhumanism thing, the ability to see the colour blue, a linguistic trick, the wine dark sea, a myth that people believe, the 1917 Bolshevik revolution, a much better claim, the French Revolution with the experience of the French Revolution, what does it mean to be a domesticated animal, slaves, are human beings domesticated animals, school, factory workers, it loses its hair and becomes very social, domesticated apes, the overarching history of humanity, the unifer of the state, domestication is about the home, the family exists without the state, the family is a legal relationship, he becomes their owner, the mom has a relationship with her pups, their nice about it, a wolf gives birth to pups, uncles, an extended family unit, a condor, three little chicks, pushed it to its death, the weakest, the calorie intake I’m able to bring in, marriage is a legal construct, family, brings food to, it does it for a while, more like horses than tigers, make decisions collectively, by following people and leading people away from predators and towards prey, privatized, exceptions to that, the state will interfere with your shit, it should, it shon’t, tell condors how to run their families, we wanna catch that baby bird and raise it up, we never let it go, we’re different creatures than they are, not really possible, women leave their babies in bathrooms, in handbags, they drive them into lakes, are we thinking that’s a bad thing, abandoning babies, embrace that, horrific, you think the state has a place in people’s lives, lots of tutoring, enslave Jesse, hit him over the head, apprenticing, don’t go down that road, if you put it that way, Groucho Marx, the Groucho tendency, Harpo, Chico, very much a Groucho, individualized tutoring, university is still allowed, what Socrates was doing before being cyberbullied into killing people, making fun of people, follow him in conversation, the role of religion, worship Chebu and Sheemish, unequal opportunity, less unequal opportunity, more unequal, who was your best teacher?, he was fired, teaching his own things, an individualized tutor, the answer to this question is more institutions we can refor them, we live in a post-scarcity society, a theoretical conversation, how to improve the lot of black slaves in 19th century, it could be practical, its important that the students take it seriously, what money does, it’s important you gotta learn, kids who’ve been taught properly by their moms, learning is joyful, learning is wonderful, The Other Gods, everything is purposeful, it ought to be read, resonant, by Lovecraft, having multiple purposes in mind, just fun?, the fun came in the joyful experience of being taught, materially, Sirius enjoys audiobooks, don’t buy the product, often don’t, pirate, we live in a post scarcity society, knowledge should be free, no money, everything should be pirated, at no cost, this philosophy doesn’t distinguish, created from knowledge, they are the same, ebooks, your ideal purchasing audiences, commissioned audiobooks, the economic justification, quite interesting, Jesse is not going to make you a lot of money, doesn’t take into consideration, some are doing it to make money, knowledge leaves to the death of knowledge, freedom is restrictive, nobody will write a book, so what is he really saying, think of the long tail, don’t think about that, in 400 years you’ll be dead, sorry, get that Blue Yeti, haltered and faltering, rushes through words, Eric does almost everything, into people’s ears, ebooks are dying, paperbooks are dying, a superior medium: audio, who has opportunity to learn to read, gotta learn braille, sad story, Helen Kellers, most people, Isaac Asimov short stories where kids no longer read, perfectly like people, a disability to study old things, let her read, major disability, sound like a libertarian, argue with each other, Jonathan is more realistic and responsible, wanted to open a used bookstore, neither realistic nor responsible, small property, we’re in a post-scarcity society, make a sacrifice, money, kids are broken by school, learning is painful torture, want it both ways, to get the Jesse service, every middle class professional, be wanting to be there, Stapledonian paradise, post-scarcity spread-around, workers education association, you and an old book are your best teacher, show me one person that had that happen to them, they learn at home or not at all, learn to read in a new language, the family relationship would fall apart without the state to support it, capital, can’t afford to live in your home, sent across the country, a relationship between capital and the state, it exist, it make kids go to school, the laissez faire welfare state, Guardian/Colossus I can trust, how socialist planning would work, an idealistic socialist, planning by the people, a technocratic socialist, educate people into be awake to these things, state forcing people to do stuff is really horror, make the horror less horrible, if Will were president of Planet Earth, two colleges, Hampshire College, somehow you have to pay tuition though, did not thrive at all, Fordham, Jesuit rigid and structured, success undefined, own limitations, what I could accomplish, very experimental temperament, discuss books like Sirius, breadth of knowledge, politics and current events, European history, history of science, Colin Powell’s school, college and university, millions of hours being wasted, regular school, being babysat, always an issue, Paul doesn’t remember school very well, their lives are being wasted sitting in rooms learning nothing, inefficient, obedient workers, edification, lifelong-learning, how much we learn together, having read the book, now we get a great discussion out of it, richer and deeper, a relatively small group, everybody gets a chance to be criticized and drilled down on, we learn more from it, Will goading Jesse into it, anti-vaxxer stuff, bad new definition of vaccine, unable to respond, what can you do?, just do your best?, how the white man discovered inoculation, learned it from African slaves, smallpox, in Africa for centuries and centuries, Cotton Mather, Lovecraft talks about him, he wrote about it, this is a case of witchcraft, put too much pus in there, the new one is gene therapy, polio, defined polio away, the March Of Dimes, Modern and Pfizer, our theory is its going to work like this, 75 years from now you’ll be allowed to look at the data, very very clear, milking the public purse, lousy tech company, that woman who went to prison, Theranos, some people have died from twitter, quit twitter, forcibly having twitter injected into my body, dead virus, spike protein, you might want to read one of his books, you might find it quite moving, what the news said about Olaf Stapledon, [Dr. John Campbell’s youtube channel], pushing Ukraine, provincial health care system, trying to help people, also trying to hurt people, but compared, the B.C. government forced Jesse to get two injections, laboured into, took the hit and was lucky, a workforce issue, some random lady, no one else is doing it, doesn’t seem to be killing most people instantly, six shots, six of any vaccine, not a vaccine, that’s what it used to mean, different stages of protection, white blood cells and t-cells, when someone is listening six months later, teaches medical practitioners, pay attention to this guy, mysterious deaths in your family, doesn’t have an axe to grind, if you really want to know about this stuff, puts a checkmark beside each of things you’re reading, don’t trust the science, don’t trust the Moderna, it turns out that this gene therapy, don’t trust Trump, operation Warp Speed was a great idea, that whole ivermectin thing, propaganda for making billions, sucking money from government coffers and injecting it into private, loss of taste, paxlovid, increased your chance of getting COVID again, attack the body, pressured by Will’s dad, got his doctorate from CNN, brought to you by AstraZeneca, open to the idea, objectively true, Jesse didn’t change the definition, that’s what they changed to, it stops with every person who takes it, reduce hospitalization, reduced the amount of time you have the disease, literal videos, in that one instance, Fauci is the easiest one, the best example, Trump don’t know nothing, they kicked people of twitter and youtube for saying things that were true, banned accounts, deleted video, very nuanced, these are people who didn’t get the vaccine, the median age of people who died of COVID, older than the average of death, 84ish, how is that reconciled with what we were told, to children and babies, before the Tri-City News deleted itself, family court, in favour of the caution of having the baby vaccinated, a lot of excess deaths best explained by people, didn’t work for you either, the evidence of your eyes, a characterization of how the vaccine was promoted, make you less sick, after they noticed getting the disease, they lied about it, big surprise, after the Emergency Use Authorization, in Cuba, China, in Russia, the global conspiracy of not doing science is global, preventative health care, China did these lockdowns, hospitals being built, drones telling people to stay indoors, the ventilator shit, hospital workers, the ventilators were killing people, the disease crystalizes the lungs, weird lack of work, hours and hour researching boring little things, all the other things, David J. West, twitter guys who write books and have good covers, a little more successful than Jonathan, more prolific, a danish dessert locally made in Minnesota, palm oil, soy oil, margarine, glyphosate, not allowed in Italy, celiac disease and gluten intolerance, what possibly caused it, literal weedkiller, lubrication for machines, still available for sale, forced into our foods, find a vegan section, food minus industrial lubricants, we could reform the FDA, new broom, the changing perspective on how the drugs were sold, Will wants change, pump us full of toxic shit for cash, cheaper, pretend it’s fine, try living without these ingredients in your life, The Stuff (1985), this delicious looking thing, like a supplicant, give him money to buy some margarine, homeless person inside a store, some coffee, have to pee to much, hyped up and hopped up enough, in six months everybody will know, potatoes, it makes the potatoes ripen, a big fight about GMOs, literal provincial politics, I wonder if I should be worried about that, in the news, they got their way and now nobody talks about it, genetically modifying plants, sprayed with toxin for killing plants, you have not been genetically modified to thrive on roundup, weren’t as corrupt as they are now, when did you start hearing the words “celiac” or “gluten intolerant”, redpilled on smoking causing cancer, if it makes your body feel good, Canadian doctor, industrial health, smoke breaks, the boss can understand why you want a break, Ulysses S. Grant, skin cancer and lung cancer, maybe stayed out of the sun more [or been in it more], Lovecraft died of cancer, a teetotaler, sad story for Mrs. Lovecraft, didn’t die of bean cancer, you don’t read him for pleasure, a whole collection, circa 2006, a terrible story, people get it so wrong, The Colour Out Of Space, At The Mountains Of Madness, Suitable Flesh (2023), a body switching story, a wizard who’s been switching bodies, it’s a comedy, Lovecraft is really fanny, the film adaptation is hilariously wild, The Unnamable, Mr Jim Moon, hushed innuendoes, the Cotton Mather one, something had caught my ancestor, mixed marks of split-hooves, and many believed him, I saw it – it happened to me, it was it was unnameable, a little bit of gore, not pinhead style gore, a cat that got squished, people get squished, pure delightful comedy, so lucky, what a birthday present, From Beyond (1986), some people can only watch new movies, undisciplined, these comics are somewhat tolerable, reviewing myself out of reading them, a good podcast is better than anything else for drawing out, those don’t make great shows, 100% a criticism of the work, movie-tie in comics, I don’t remember Yoda having 17 arms, Star Wars output in the 1990s, coherent in a way the new stuff was not, we know you like memberberries, we’re bringing Han Solo back, to kill him, Princess Leia and storm trooper get lost on a planet, Starbuck teams up with a cylon, Enemy Mine (1985), a Christmas present, evil humans come to a planet, very Andre Norton but good, a good short story, The Beast Master, a tv show, her father was into “Indian lore”, needed more trauma to be more interesting, there’s trauma in this book, he had a dog die, thinking about his dogs, Navajo, genetically altered animals, a good pulp novel, not a big think, one note villains, the TV show ran 66 episodes, 2005, you hope she made some money, pass away rather than die, you want good things to happen, have their legacy edified, a good word, vacation being sick, complaining about being sick six months later, smarter than to listen to the propaganda, a new car, a new pair of shoes, you shouldn’t take the flu vaccine, hate to hear, shingles, people who’ve got the shingles vaccine aren’t protected from shingles, shingles can be brought out by flu or gene therapy COVID vaccines, I’m protecting myself, allergic reaction disease, another podcaster complaining, shingles vaccine, booster, the brands for the companies pushing the product, NIH, when Joe Rogan was painted green on CNN, ivermectin, public domain, reactivation, assumed to be significantly higher, statistically detectable, hypothesis confirmed, the more ups of your dosage the more chances you have of having this disease reassert itself, above median age of death, it never does come out unless you look at history, trying to hide WWII from us, eventually nobody cares, more and better facts about what was going on, look at these stupid things, still making money off of slavery, do you want to be subject to the slavery?, educate ourselves as best we can, follow the money, a lot of groupthink, go-along play-along people are not scientists, make their publications known, those people get kicked off of youtube and twitter, makes lots of mistakes, likes professional wrestling, he couldn’t watch the show, not happy about it, a pathetic show at the time, cooties all over it, Trump’s you’re fired show, cooties all over it, Survivor, fake tiki ritual, this is fucking moronic, that show continues, not everybody is intellectually interested int he same things, motorcycles, kangaroos, reading NIH papers for fun, I wonder what causes it, instances of people getting it, being phased out, Dallas Buyers Club (2013), the bad guy was Fauci, everybody’s going to get AIDS, somebody’s going to touch your blood, blood transfusion, I don’t want to die from AIDS, only game men and people who got it from blood transfusions, massive puritanical panic, garnered some control, cultural homophobia, who dies of COVID, ancient people, people over the median age of death, 6 month old children, in any reasonable understanding of reality, fear and panic are used to control the flow of cash, if you don’t play along, super-evil and very interesting, send a text message, certain cookware, dog shaped pans, Christmas Archie comics, not a big Christmas guy, like going to the dentist, so personal, Hanukkah, fuck those dreidels, go to the Chinese restaurant, ethnically, philosophically, we ran out of oil but somehow the oil continued, Masada, a good miniseries, stars Peter O’Toole, the ethnostate takes it on as a mythological thing, jews are really awesome, a lot of bad ones too, the Jewish experience in North America, the most Jewish person on the internet is Paul, kvetching, schlemiel, schmuck, sex based on, schlepp, sister lived in Israel on a Kibbutz, came back feral, a lot of cattiness, things that make you cynical, oh the scratches!, loves dogs, can roll with punches, cry cry cry, onto new things!, I’m still processing the trauma, I’m going to learn everything there is to know about cow breeding, how much overspill about border collies, only polite to listen, they need lots of walks, closing in on 5 hours, bagels with roundup!, find some Italian flower, she’s really shaky, nice bread, look at the ingredient list on the bread, that’s why I’m dying, The Cave Girl, easy to get people for Burroughs, a hard time of the year, Terence would have contributed greatly, Maissa is a cat lady but had a dog, everybody has something to say and a different experience to bring to it, the reason we do this, just listeners, beautiful, such an important difference, hear himself reading too quickly, how many people are listening to this from 5 hours deep?, how many downloads, onsite plays, wordpress, the files are hosted on servers elsewhere, most people don’t listen on site, Mike listens and gives feedback, imagine if there’s ten listeners, 50 hours of people’s lives being enriched, how much money it got you, even if you’re hate listening, something deranged about you, gotta dog pans for Christmas, demographics, people like Mirko, Cora (isn’t a listener), Peter, other Germans, Germans are very cosmopolitan, post-WWII occupation, only 8 more minutes.

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #759 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: Star Born by Andre Norton

The SFFaudio Podcast

The SFFaudio Podcast #759 – Star Born by Andre Norton, read by Mike F. Smith (for This is a complete and unabridged reading of the book (6 hours, 34 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Paul Weimer, Trish, and Alex (

Talked about on today’s show:
1957, Ace Double, H. Beam Piper’s and John J. McGuire Planet For Texans, which one would you like better, memories of H. Beam, great elements, a better book vs. more fun, action, courtroom scenes, sitting around the campire expressing philisophical opinions, too much plot, too many characters, 2 humans, a supporting cast of other space men, 2 different mermen, on the cover, the new mermen, a lot of men, not a lot of wo-men, merladies, female characters, we mention mating, brightly clothed the others women, escorted to the arena, a line of mermen, the mom dragon creature with its babies in the arena, two arena scenes, vast audience, gladiatorial combat in ancient Rome, half full stadium, aliens are the natives, genetically uplifted, slaves, Doctor Moreau them, consciousness raising, experimental animals, more docile, a fairly fun book, developing the world, this is not the first book in a series, The Stars Are Ours, a sequel, Trish liked this book a lot, horrible disappointment with Star Hunter, hate all her stuff, the ethical questions, Raf Kirby, mental journey that he goes on, politicking, distrust of his own crew, they’re all weird, come from the culture, the Pax is overthrown, they’re the Federation now, descendants of the Pax, his bloodknife brother, way more star of the story, they’re on a manquest, different culture, assisting him with a lifequest, tightly knit, partners, telepathically communicate, talk to the animals, squirrels, understanding the concept trade, this is a culture that is integrated into its ecosystem, hunting and gathering, Rafe, covered in gear, bombs in his chest, guns, rocketpack, flitters and bases and tech, do you have a friend?, no, I don’t, she doesn’t cook this enough, a critique of machine culture, H.P. Lovecraft, regimentation, titles and orders, settle on this planet?, go back to his spaceship, we’re us you’re you, come back and see us in a few thousand years, an adventure, he got to go home, nine missions previously, not really volunteers, space navy seals, fled a bad culture, still the case, a Herman Melville style native vs. capitalism culture, Rafe and Dal, one syllable with an A in the middle, the ecology, the geology, the geography, a little better, randomly tossed together, loose ends, small explanations, it having a prequel, she invented that other culture and world first, four grandfathers ago, at least 100 years, cryosleep, Earth has moved on, hyperspace tech, they’re warpin, a slow trip, at least 200 years later, all the richer, ancient dead society that’s not so dead, past glory, Rome is explicitly called out, 6th or 7th century Roman empire, Justinian comes in from the east, Rafe’s world, they come from cities, Homeport is a village in a ruin, she sketches everything, the closest to concrete details, the merman’s fur it gray with rainbow tips, they’re otter people, they’re furry, iridescence, it’s cool, the world’s cool, go deeper, a contemporary review, Galaxy, January 1958,by Floyd C. Gale, workmanlike, sequels demand comparison, a solid interesting story, Earth’s dictatorship, a degree of telepathic ability, Dalgard Nordis, the normal matriculating exploration, strange activities, capital t capital o, Jesse’s problem with the book, all the parallels, a high culture, crushed by its own craziness, abandoned its technology, hunter gatherer with a taboo against high technology, a plot moving characters around the stage, that’s kind of all there is, there’s more to talk about, how terrible that captain is, draftee, just got training, slaps Raf down, wrong keywords, I guess cuz they’re aliens, that’s the evil culture, representing the horrible culture that he’s coming from, the philosophy may be in the right place, delegitimating other peoples because they’re not your own, burned up and flamed out, they’re not men, a fire and tools rule, carrying spears, a big hypocrite, a terrible captain, self ordered exploration, no reprimand, going off with that warrior, immediately embroiled in local politics, let’s get involved in this land war, the Prime Directive from Star Trek, ignore the contradiction, the enemy we have to guard against, the one bright idea, the recording device, let’s run it through the ditto, backup tapes, here’s a human looking captive, did Andre just forget about it, this book the result of that recording, all that stuff, he should’ve gone native, this is a juvenile, two juvenile, loincloth vs. spacesuit, adult role, he needed to go through a Heinlein novel first, strong opinions, some ethical system he’s imposing, get away from that society, there’s no girl to seduce him, no merlady, recasting Dal as a girl, gender flip somebody, the aquaman, cross species romance, carrying through unresolved sexual tensions, rishathra thing from Ringworld, mules or something, Apple TV, a Discworld, unrecognizable Ursula K. Le Guin, unnatural in some way, they’re from the land, their whole species, later Romans are always cast as decadent, a lack of nuance, mustache twirling, I can solve this, a young juvenile from the others, her solution is add another character, what does Raf contribute?, bombs, the outside perspective, down with Dal, if I could skip each Raf chapter, adding a couple inches to the map, this book needed a map, helps to display interesting similarities, hate sleeping inside this alien city, being shutup in buildings, reflexive xenophobic instinctual, an adopted prejudice, bad vibes, why was he so immediately alarm bells, plot that needs to happen, an argument, the heebee jeebees, a lot of showing, no Heinleinian lectures, ancient race, very cool, internal reveal, a conflict between Dal and Rad, fighting over a mergirl, a mermaid if you will, Four-Day Planet by H. Beam Piper, nice little infodumps, better than Lone Star Planet, people arguing for positions, a newspaperman cannot offend everybody in the community, presenting characters who the reader can identify with, snarky or excited or religious or something, just has a furry coat, she needs some chip on her shoulder, forced character development, allow the reader to project themselves, the characters are palish, even Nancy Drew, she has no strong stuff, she’s always making sandwiches for people, behind it all she’s the girl detective, mysteries, do whatever you want with her, blank slate, she has a skirt and flashlight, juvenile literature, she’s not a cipher, nobody he’s sweet on, secret passion for his merboyfriend, always the loner, any kind of a personality, writing quickly?, cranking these books out as fast as they could, keep the secret of the this colony, protect them from the Federation, here be dragons on the planet, quite literally, that’s a mistake, taking a lot on himself, when they’re all telepathic, his telepathic wife, council of elders, one person keeping a telepathic secret, Raf’s reasons, Dalgard feels more like arrogance, next time they see a rocket, a mistake not to share this information with his people, the evil Pax, isn’t Ssuri in on some of this, Merguy number 2, there for the rocket, protect the people here, she’s doing a lot of symmetrical stuff, how old do we think he is, 14, 15, 16, 18ish, a callow 18, 16-18, maturity at a younger age, Star Trek: Enterprise, Cogenitor, a nice solar sailing cruise, enslaved another race and uses them for reproduction, terrible trouble, when they pick him up, he blew up some of the artifacts, keep the deal, lost from the expedition, his dead armor with a hole in it, charred helmet, some blood, hating because it is powerful, surely they’re going to revisit this, not a well loved show, the most notable thing about Enterprise, the movies that Tucker chooses to watch, Picard’s holodeck, a holodeck serial, what movies are on the harddrives of the NX-01, there weren’t that many episodes that were good Star Trek episodes, Ensign Ro, made Deep Space Nine a show, Kira instead, what if you’re wrong, Federation?, the Maquis, an undercutting of the main thing, integrated instantly, Captain Chakotay, so much to explore there, political distrust, a crew vote for captain, your pirate thing, upset with a Federation decision, we should raise the age of consent or retirement, whoever it is, cede territory to avoid a war, integrated into the Cardassian culture?, how rich that paid off, why Voyager is not as good as Deep Space Nine, Quark doesn’t play the game, embraced the tensions, arcy stuff, the Cardassian tailor, J’kar is the other show, Babylon 5, this needed some of that, too stiff, danced around it, vestigial sense of duty, I’ve changed my mind, doing this as a Tom Cruise movie, go against the IMF, use the blast bombs for the second time, the cache of artifacts, invaded the city with a strike team, there was no music swelling or dramatic pause, Andre Norton’s famous books, Voodoo Planet, Beast Master, The Beastmaster (1982), a barbarian, John W. Campbell’s evil influence, telepath vs. cyborg, her big legacy, a sad legacy, the very 1st D&D novelization, Witch World, the great filter, over time people and things fall by the wayside, Robert W. Chambers, a new King In Yellow movie on Amazon Prime, there goes Trish’s semi-noisy keyboard, terrible metaphor, lacks some pepper, lacks some heat, not making it spicy, benefit with adaptation, Rings Of Power, not executed, gender flip some furry people, change the ending, The Demon Breed by James H. Schmitz, a mostly water based world, female scientist and her intelligent otter companions, tool uses, foil the invasion by extensive knowledge of the environment, a great book, The Witches Of Karres, no psychic powers, Uplift series by David Brin, otter people, a natural for uplift, they hold hands, if you are choosing species to uplift, humans disappeared, uplifted elephants, weird furry trolls, they otter be more ottery, no audible audibooks for Schmitz, Legacy by James H. Schmitz, ancient living machines, A Tale Of Two Clocks, skilled in every martial art, a chilling notion, the plasmoids, an excellent narrator: Winston Tharp, mostly does poetry, Lion Loose by James H. Schmitz, the Lion House, a lesbian pulp fiction novel, October 1961, guy with a cigarette and a long pony tail, judging a story by the art, anything he records, problematic stuff, the sexister the better, let’s talk about Gor, a long running series, the covers are really good, simplified map of known Gor, do they exist as audiobooks, John Norman, book 37!, 35 hours, we’re safe, Gorean saga, really overselling it, terrible horrendous art, random stock art put a sword on it, some person riding a giant eagle, a tarn, one guy, a professor of decorum, professor of philosophy, in defense of ethical naturalism, nudity?, the logic of the open question argument, publishing the wrong things, working out your psychology, Heinlein’s is pretty scary, deep issues, he’s 91, longer in science fiction, more than 20 Tarzan books, other books where Tarzan shows up, cross overs, the Barney Of Beatrice series, Joe R. Lansdale, The Mad King, the Tarzan literary universe, they’re trying to beat Norman, 26 by Burroughs, they get longer and longer, that’s not the crazy part, 28 hour book, Ralph Lister has a helluva workout, happy Ralph Lister?, what the first Gor book is about, counter-earth, a princess, war aircraft bird, semi-feudal city states, the slavery becomes the main theme, weird slave fantasies, wow!, I’m a sex slave now, that’s crazy, a market for it, tiresome after a while, 1966, Burroughs pastiche, sexier, a Gor book from 1966-1988, almost every year, amazing, a helluvan output, a model dressed as a kajira, cosplaying gor, classifications, a plethora of types by virginity types, by employment, save Jesse from himself, new weird things, it exists its fine, so hard so fast, a gothic romance book, you have to have a castle and a lady running away and a high light in the window, yelling at Jesse about Gor, the reputation, endorsing by damning, weirder and worse, an impressive series, The Shadow, Walter B. Gibson, it makes him look like his other brother, the nose is part of the mask, hero pulp characters, backstory, very descriptive, from the pov of others, a force of nature, he’s never the narrator, is this his real identity, Lamont Cranston is a real guy, a rich playboy, impersonates him, you were here last week, Liam Neeson, Darkman (1990), Sam Raimi, a great premise, an origin story movie, scientist or something, do amazing stuff, a review of Darkman by Red Letter Media?, Frances McDormand, the romantic lead, two sequels, Armand Assante, he has no face, dramatic I’ve got cancer heroes, Rob Roy (1995), now just action roles, ice road trucker, The Gray (2011), assassin on the Mexican border, Stallone’s career, stick around long enough, a lady falling from a high tower, all the Spider-Man movies, people got their fetishes, Alfred Hitchcock, Quentin Tarantino’s feet, blonde lady and handsome guy with dark hair, The Spider, Will Murray, the guy who invented Squirrel Girl, straight 1930s pulp style, a cloak and a hat, carries a gun, indistinguishable, what a trick, essentially identical, Spider Fury And Steel, Doc Savage meets King Kong, The Spider: Fury in Steel, Billy Zane, The Phantom, great grandpa was Tarzan, 400 years of history, this immortal, the ghost who walks, weird 90s pulp revival, The Rocketeer (1991), female air pirate, weird lesbian subtext, perfectly understandable, action sequences, Treat Williams, Xander Drax, he’s a treat, Deep Rising (1998), action heist movie turns into towering inferno with a Cthulhu monster, Famke Jansen, Anthony Heald, Wes Studio, that didn’t take long, John Carpenter, that vibe, 45 million dollar budget, before we have to go, ocean going heist movie, Out Of The Dark by David Weber, dog-like aliens from space, submit, space-dogs, Footfall by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle, guerrilla warfare, the Battle of Agincourt, Harry Turtledove, Dracula shows up, Vlad the Impaler himself, the title reveal, double meaning, glass the planet, two books in the series, Into The Light, co-author, 381 pages, 16 hours, alien invasion until the very end, because he’s Dracula, Honor Harrington, a lot of those, the Moon is secretly a death star, 1966, a different series, a solid week, The Tall T (1956), based on an Elmore Leonard novel, Randolph Scott, Henry Silva, ave Gun, Will Travel, somebody Boone plays the badguy, neighbourly, she’s the daughter of a rich farmer, ransom, you can feel the Elmore Leonard on the screen, Glitz, painted cover art, lady fleeing from a high estate, doing a Hans Gruber, a Gothic Romance, that counts, a Markie Post/Jimmy Smits movie, sounds good, even tho they’ve rebooted that show, Daniel Krouse original, perfect hair, not running exactly, fleeing, moving rapidly away, this is a gothic romance and we need to do a show on it, invested in some very weird things, William Shatner, a musician, and Stephen King, Chadwick Boseman has a bluechek in case he comes back to life.

ACE DOUBLE D-299 Star Born by Andre Norton

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Reading, Short And Deep #201 – The Faithful by Lester del Rey


Reading, Short And DeepReading, Short And Deep #201

Eric S. Rabkin and Jesse Willis discuss The Faithful by Lester Del Rey

The Faithful was first published in Astounding Science-Fiction, April 1938.

Here’s a link to the PDF of the story.

Posted by Scott D. Danielson