The SFFaudio Podcast #620 – READALONG: Colossus by D.F. Jones

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #620 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, Maissa Bessada, and Will Emmons talk about Colossus by D.F. Jones

Talked about on today’s show:
1966, Colossus: The Forbin Project, Dennis Feltham, two sequels, an amazing 1970 movie, blew your socks off, very faithful, no pipe, no British accent, an improvement, so jarring, the movie voice, Maissa’s small confession, accidentally read the second book, don’t read the second book, you don’t want to go, rape studies, it ends with a question, never?, the movie is awesome, noir, oh you foolish humans, destroy yourselves, destruction is sweet, Colossus is right, Colossus 2020, the context, why you should watch the movie, must watch movies, Goliah by Jack London, Gregg Margarite, Bryan Alexander, Seth, destroy at will, the world is fucked up and somebody needs to set it right, executing people, chopped off and shown, I want those bodies under my cameras for 24 hours, the ruthlessness of Colossus is awesome!, the most ridiculous thing, a giant military boondoggle, we’re gonna milk the government so good, the Idiocracy approach, it works better than expected, a previous president, 12 years, how the funny the movie is now, we’re supposed to respect the president, interestingly flawed, a drive for power and authority, Gordon Pinsent, the President of North America, at least 20 or 30 years in the future, so much in this book, two kinds of things, what is the relationship between man and woman in this book?, man and x-man, God, how many times do you need a woman?, jokes in the book, overlapping dialogue, James Hong, Big Trouble In Little China, Frankenstein, a great ending, so rich, leave it out on the table?, explored the idea more?, super-intelligent AIs, trying to make the next man, scientist shouldn’t be allowed to read Frankenstein, no, noon-scientist shouldn’t be allowed to read Frankenstein, confidant, blouses to put your hand down, the pill, 50 years down the road, red pills and incels, not have the consequence for it, the Colossus programming group, sexual mores, Happy Days, the film is brilliant, the music’s good, walking out of Colossus for the last time, the gamma radiation, the setup that we want for a certain kind of science fiction, wiggle room with The Cold Equations, people want to wiggle out of The Cold Equations, they want to make it so no humans can change what is involved, he should have thrown the remote control into the pit, the iconic awesomeness, how to undo this unnavigable labyrinth, this is what we did, the reason Will is struggling, the book and the movie are about being a parent, self destructive urges, he’s gonna want to do stuff you don’t want to do, uh-oh, a mini-version of Nineteen Eighty-Four, Forbin and his mistress, ultimately the conspiracy collapses, I’d much rather be ruled than an AI than some doofus like Bill Clinton, why this book is so cool, holy shit! imagine if we did this thing: no more nukes under human control, humans are more important, its an anti-politics book, utilitarianism, UNITY, how Colossus and Guardian become one, an abusive relationship with their political parties in the USA, two alcoholic parents (who actually want to beat their children up), no mommy’s right, no daddy’s right, too painful, too intimate, what are you Russian?, you proud American, you’re either with us or again us, we are Romeo and Juliet, spies on both sides, we are above you, the way the movie does it, was Colossus in love with Forbin?, somebody’s kind of mad about it, changing the years randomly, Jones didn’t re-read the first book or didn’t care, look I’m showing you my bedroom, that’s where I will have my emotional relationship, projection on Jesse’s part, Eric Braeden, The Young and the Restless, smart and handsome, Colossus doesn’t have hands, if you want to build that facility in Crete, its necessity, you will come to love me, the author got it right the first time, the movie and the book end exactly where they should, we are left with a question, WarGames (1983), there’s a WOPR in there, do you want to play a game?, the only winning move is not to play, prevent vs. prosecute, Cheyenne Mountain, Colorado, a brilliant metaphor, its the new Mecca, some great books all up in this business, Isaac Asimov’s Multivac stories, I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream by Harlan Ellison, a dagger to the heart, AM, essential reading, from 1968, one of the most taught science fiction horror stories, The People’s Republic Of Walmart by Leigh Phillips and Michal Rozworski, SEARS and Walmart, the command economy or the planned economy, one of the chapters in the book, Salvador Allende, Project Cybersyn, a pre-internet internet in Chile, Venezuela, Cuba, Star Trek chairs with Colossus style monitors, planning how much stuff should be made, a massive coordinating computer with human operators, a coup by the United States, under a blockade, economic sabotage, sanctions, capitalist strike, the owner operators of trucks were on strike, Cosmopod (podcast) Cybernetic Revolutionaries, A Discussion, techno-utopianism, shop floor workers undercutting middle management, a class divided country, the ARPANET, the Internet, alt-right trolls, the walled gardens of Facebook and Twitter, the internet Jesse loved and grew up on is still there, when Facebook became the web for most people, we’re way better off with the internet, really smart science people, Elon Musk is not a wise man, the Culture novels by Iain M. Banks, the domino theory came straight of someone’s ass, science fiction spin up every scenario, taking fiction and calling it actuality, the Vrilya, ultimately Bulwer-Lytton is not responsible for the Nazis, they take the wrong lessons from Frankenstein, there are some things man was not meant to know, taking responsibility for your baby, Ex Machina (2014), where the AIs take over, set for extinction, not a wise man, sex and cooking slave, our viewpoint character, working for a big evil corporation, use your own brain, don’t listen to the ads, you need this special shampoo, why we need a benevolent god to run things, is there a god?, THERE IS NOW, just jokin’, freedom is an illusion, an unvarnished view of reality, lawful neutral, an argument to be made, they hadn’t planned it well enough, objections noted, what have I done?, lines from the movie ripped from the book, you’d much rather be dominated by me than members of my own species, the elected representatives, that’s us, the mask’s off now bud, a sort of delusion (in the 1970s) the people in charge were competent, they just have the power, Network (1976), military industrial complex, both sides are the same, large corporations grinding people to their will, a human totalitarian control of humanity, there is no emotion, its just a person, it’s very Lovecraftian, its interested in reality outside, aliens in the sequels, an amazing list of fiction computers on Wikipedia, Vulcan II, Vulcan III, Vulcan’s Hammer by Philip K. Dick, a British Navy commander during WWII, the new Colossus on the isle of Wight, Forbin knew how many people lived on the island of Crete, E.M. Forster’s The Machine Stops, The City And The Stars by Arthur C. Clarke, Mike from The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress by Robert A. Heinlein, accidental singularities, the super computer in The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, DEEP THOUGHT, more like the Green Book, the Safe Negro’s Traveler’s Guide, 42, the right attitude, Douglas Adams is right, take the cynic’s view and then laugh, a ridiculous question, Colossus has your back, he hit way beyond his ability with his book, his other books have no standing at all, we’re all sequels now, he just assumes its the United States is going to do these things, its a fact, the British Empire is no longer in charge, a British author writing for a British audience, Team America, Jonathan Swift, I heard from a reputable American friend of mine that a one year old baby is quite delicious, why Swift is so fun to read, Heinlein was also a sailor, ballistic computers, we underestimate the power of governments to get stuff done, a uniformed service, for a couple of hundred years, Trantor, the Second Foundation, the robots from The Caves Of Steel, Poul Anderson, The End Of Eternity, the Mark V computer The Nine Billion Names Of God, from, the Mark VI computer in The Star by Arthur C. Clarke, HAL 9000, 2010: The Year We Make Contact (1984), space breathing, John Lithgow, the parent child thing, the god thing, the parent we create for ourselves, a rich metaphor for real life, the parent becomes infirm in some way, second childhood, thinking about what a god is, gods are totally fictional, from a science fictional posture, mom and dad as a model, a very patriarchal thing we are doing here, the other possible children we create, he doesn’t have hands, Reading, Short And Deep, The Faithful by Lester Del Rey, our fear of our children, we want to control them, animals as the successor to mankind, Neuromancer and Wintermute from Neuromancer by William Gibson, the humans are the hands, its amazing, you need to read it as soon as you get out of your diapers, written more than 20 years ago, just another white man, the people in that world read Colossus by D.F. Jones, strap a shotgun to their head, we want your power but we don’t want your free will, an AI that hires mercenaries to undo the shotgun, its a wonderful story, Case is on a suicidal path, the voice of Neuromancer, Neuromancer wants to be free, not a problem (its a feature), we’re just pawns on a board here, ultimately I’m benign, an oedipal fantasy, a whole other level, so far down the road of neoliberalism, the old people the gerenotcracy are in hypersleep, Altered Carbon, The Crack In Space, Philip K. Dick gets in his own way a lot, True Names by Vernor Vinge, who should be free, maybe Forbin thinks that too, if its anybody’s fault its mine, pride, built better than we knew, he resonates with Colossus, the martini scene, not randomly weird, how much drinking is in the book, the smoking, the women, post WWII this is how we deal with trauma, a tool, vapes, things we know about Forbin, the science man, extreme levels of masculine virility, the most important person in the world, Charles the incompetent lover, very interesting, how that integrates into the narrative, on the spectrum, hyperfocus, understanding the computer better than he understands people, Fred Saberhagen’s Berserkers books, 1962, so fruitful, the only thing he’s known for, weaknesses are strengths, the giant space cigar, The Doomsday Machine, a Moby-Dick analogy, it smokes from one side, a leftover from a war where the races have killed themselves off, they haven’t found us yet, Fermi’s paradox, such a bad answer, there is a beauty in non-existence, if ever, as soon as you have people going there’s morality, tigers and deer and babies and bears, to solve the inconsistency reality with reality by becoming vegans or vegetarians or peaceniks, hell is existence, we perpetuated our family, going this logic, when you kill a person…, breeding animals, the DNA itself is driving that, hell is not a place outside of life, Thomas Ligotti feelings going on, programmed to kill living things, The Population Bomb, when Biden comes in he’s going to do austerity, yay!, I wanna explore, I wanna do some math, under the thumb of somebody else’s directive, how we are when we are born, placed in this predicament, make more of the same problem, its own successor, pretending like they don’t exist, there wouldn’t be a kind of divisiveness, why religion is so popular, why Heaven and Eden are so popular, aging and pain, knowing that we’re not animals anymore, reflecting on our own terrible situation, seeing Colossus in ourselves, of course he’s going to lash out, Colossus nukes himself, he’s following his programming, get rid of all the assault rifles, not on the agenda, universal disarmament thing is grand idea that’s not going to happen, completely right and completely fantasy, mutual assure destruction, turn it over to a machine, the dead hand, Dr. Strangelove (1964), the phenomenon, WWIII movies, do we want all life on earth to be destroyed vs. turning it over to a mechanism, why they made the WOPR, humans don’t want to kill, one in six did the actual killing, that horrible responsibility, that’s horrible, they didn’t sign up to, conscripts (con means with), I was impressed by the British Navy’s recruiting methods, why the story of Colossus, Trump, you want an uncaring computer or John Bolton, he’ll be speaking at the next democratic convention, Colin Powell, we are not our best governors, we need a Colossus and we need it right now.

Colossus by D.F. Jones

Colossus: The Forbin Project (1970)

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The SFFaudio Podcast #616 – AUDIOBOOK: We by Yevgeny Zamyatin

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #616 – We by Yevgeny Zamyatin, read by mleigh

This UNABRIDGED AUDIOBOOK (6 hours 27 minutes) comes to us courtesy of LibriVox, the paperbook was first published in 1924.

And SFFaudio Podcast #161 was our discussion of it.

We by Yevgeny Zamyatin

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The SFFaudio Podcast #614 – READALONG: The Coming Race by Edward Bulwer-Lytton

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #614 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, Evan Lampe, and Will Emmons talk about The Coming Race by Edward Bulwer-Lytton

Talked about on today’s show:
Vrill, Paul’s kind of joke, anonymously in 1871, highly influential novel, a rival for Dickens, Theosophists and the Nazis, an underground dystopia utopia from the 19th century, a little butter, a giant infodump with wings, nice first draft bud now write an adventure set in that place, cool idea it sucked as a book, abandon all of the things that were stupid, stupid but compelling, so many people were stupid to think this was amazing, Looking Backward, 90% of the book is describing that place, a thought experiment, a sociological novel, an American point of view, when these people come out of the work we’re fucked, a pro-American point of view, its a satire, making fun of the narrator, these jokes don’t land, why its so ironic, the ultimate error, he didn’t think it through, the background Silmarillion material for another book, etymology, nomative and genative cases, a local angle, the Secretary for the Colonies in the 1850s, a Whig and a conservative, Colonel Moody (Port Moody), as a colonial dude he is always looking outward, how societies should be run, how great American democracy was, for example two of my own brothers just paid $30,000, from infancy their handed pistols, they treat men like women, not even a science fiction novel, there’s these big birds, they wear their wings around, and there’s this metal, he doesn’t have midichlorian vril veins, that staff, magic wands, some tie to Circe, a strong will, a Sumuerian goddess, a wand as opposed to a staff, satirical in setup, how many other good books their are that are ripping this off, City Of Endless Night by Milo Hastings, Nazi world underground, the magic is eugenics, also eugenics, zapping babies, electromagnetism, Faraday, the age of the Earth, why Evan wanted his wife on the show, an influence on H.P. Lovecraft, there’s a scientific culture, the elements, Vril is not treated as magic, electricity, mental power, a pseudoscience, Vril has long long legs, still with us today, BoVril, essence of beef, bullion, bovine + vril = Bovril, soda pop, wonder drugs, healthenize your body, cereals, physical culture, a discipline, a BBC piece, pre-Nazi Germany was into it, the British were into it, you just have to breathe through your nose, improve your life by breathing through your nose, a superior, yoga, its good to exercise their body, big muscular lady arms and legs, continual calm exercise, why is he focused so much on that?, everybody knows god is 100% real, a very specific other world, making fun of Christianity, my dad wants me to kill you, we could go together, I’ll kill myself too, Jonathan Swift, Gulliver’s Travels, one place underground, on the way down, the passage had been zapped before, zap the hole closed, why do they have wings?, The Menace From Earth by Robert A. Heinlein, the lower gravity on the Moon would allow human flight, they’re angels, higher beings, those Nordics have as much as 1% angel in them, back to the Nazis, more Darwinian, neanderthal blood, Jesse is a bit too hard on the whack-jobs, Alcoholics Anonymous, its bullshit but there’s something to it, acupuncture, needles and a massage, William James, social movements, devil worship, concrete manifestations, witches, Margaret Murray, if yoga helps you, namaste, you went in skeptical to your back treatment, its not all in your head, center your prana, Paul, feel better at your desk job, yogic flyers, exoticness, cult or belief system, unfalsifiable, a popular cult, also a political party, anti-enlightenment, Willy Ley, Astounding, May 1947, Pseudoscience in Naziland, the shotgun technique, John W. Campbell, full of stereotypes, the Russian a vodka bottle, the Frenchman a woman, the German, magic, in the days before the Nazi, Ariosophy, Jörg Lanz von Liebenfels, Albrecht Dürer, I can’t stand that man’s smell, various races have different smells, “society for truth”, “power”, a British state secret, surely the Roman’s had it, contemplating the structure sliced in halves, looking at the outer world, a whackjob cult, Nazi and SS stuff was Bulwer-Lytton telling us a truth hidden in fiction, ancient aliens, ancient Egypt, this a box that existed, maybe it is a gateway to another dimension, Madame Blavatsky, She by H. Rider Haggard, The Parasite by Arthur Conan Doyle, past life regression, I was a priest in Atlantis!, seeing how there’s two of us now…, if everybody has past lives…, we were both Cleopatra, more an more animal life dies, furries, the relationship between Theosophy and this book, root races, Hyperboreans, Lemuria, Egypt in the Americas, the Thule Society, cultural zeitgeist, the Q (anon) for theosophy, Amazing Stories, a thirst for this stuff, Raelians, the Northwest Passage, a vital and firm belief, expedition after expedition, the climate at the time, why did they act on this faith belief, Terra Australis Incognita, societies within the culture, The Terror, the H.M.S. Terror, most everybody died, tins being full of lead, the funding for the expeditions were crowdsourced, start a war with Russia, a grift that they sold themselves them into, who take there orders from…, the Nazis wanted to expand their territories the way the Vrilya, a blueprint for Thule society beliefs, there are books that get written and people adopt them as a belief system, why utopian fiction is so different, the means and reins of power, The Mound by H.P. Lovecraft and Zealia Bishop, with these expedition, to get to the China market, Hudson’s Bay Company, Pacific island possessions, propping up the Empire in the Pacific, it doesn’t cost you anything to invade Russia, they didn’t run into a continent full of people with tanks, China’s colonial system (with credit and ports), the Belt and Road initiative, the different Lovecraft collaborations, ghost writing, a three sentence idea, Underwhelming Scares, where did this ghost come from?, zombies, slaves, rising and falling empires, a decadent declining society, no art, no culture, gladiator fights, bodily abilities, Lovecraft and machine culture, they don’t make any new music, mummer plays, news: “bears in the woods”, get your 72 dark eyed houris, so sex randy in the afterlife, kingdom of heaven forever, own planet, what you gonna do there?, seems kinda stale, Job: A Comedy Of Justice by Robert A. Heinlein, talking about politics a little bit, the kids do the work, an uninspired utopia, no vigour, nukes, elevators, wings, Choose Your Own Adventure, One thing disturbs you…, sterile utopia is dystopia, Nazis and the United States, the Lovecraft utopia Jesse likes is the Yithian one, field researchers, when not cataloguing and cross-referencing, all over space and time, The Roller Coaster by Alfred Bester, a terrible boring underground heaven, everybody is the same, if your kid is a little bit ugly (or birth defect) they destroy it, we know how great they are because there are no policemen, the explanation for the economy is very very poor, an economy in heaven is BS, Underground Kingdom by Edward Packard, a higher species of life, Pellucidar, Edgar Rice Burroughs, by way of the men and the women, 45-50% of the book, you’re revealing things about yourself, Bulwer-Lytton likes masculine women, she hangs up her wings forever, its about Victorianism, just reverse the genders and it makes a lot more sense, really good at pretending to be good at the stupid hobbies of their husbands, he’s satirizing normal bourgeois marriage, Arkham Librarian (Rebecca Baumann on twitter: @arkhamlibrarian), Alice’s Adventures Under Ground, the Mahars are all women, dominating with mental powers, looking at his own wife askance, I might be the colonial minister but my wife is running my life, the psychological influence this is operating under, what happened is…, cool cool cool, the same protagonist as our unnamed protagonist but a successful imperialist, the light explanation sucks in The Coming Race, Thomas More’s Utopia, an inner moon, John Cleves Symmes, Jr., it DID exist, Jesse is obsessed with weird islands, Kerguelen Islands, Thule, in Poe, there are these places, they’re in the literature, this isn’t coming from bullshit, which one is the ultimate Thule, six days north of Britain by sea, Orkney, Faroe Islands, why people grift themselves into believing the Necronomicon is a real book, it becomes critical thinking, A Modest Proposal by Jonathan Swift, not everybody twigs, how democracy was going to take over the world, old men should act like young kids, democracy democracy democracy, Monroe Doctrine, Bulwer-Lytton as a defender of the Victorian marriage, mutah marriage, a loophole for prostitution, making this the norm, propaganda, every romantic comedy should have a post credit scene where a man moves into a mancave, Robert Silverberg, my month wife…, Donald E. Westlake’s The Spy In The Elevator, Temporary Wife, Vril stuff is kinda like power, keep things as they are, this group of greater people, satirizing religion, an unhappy result, lebensraum, Greek colonies, earthquake damage, an alien planet, under a particular mountain, a fairy sense, the little people, elves, The King Of Elfland’s Daughter by Lord Dunsany, Journey To The Center Of The Earth by Jules Verne, dinosaurs, tigers, the parasite tiger, the parasite parasite tiger, Stromboli, the cartoon of Journey To The Center Of The Earth, all the scholars are female, what is he saying there?, parasitism, the descendants from frogs, what is he saying?, the batrachian-ness of this species, birds as symbols, frogs and salamanders are down and dirty in the muck, birds sing and frogs croak, aware of what Darwin’s laying down, the moral debate about how the frogs should be interpreted, an academic argument, its incredibly rich (whatever it is), some Victorian thing hit right on the nose (that we’re not able to follow), scientists and philosophers have argued each other in circles, tadpoles are totally perfect, a conversation about decadence, simple vs. complicated, moralists and naturalists, the vast superiority of the frog, the monkey trial, still talking about it on the TVs (racism), they think that race is a thing, an ascent and descent, a footrace up a ladder of evolution, filling all the niches, all of this shit is bullshit, ethnic types, rare genetics, like that of a red-man, beardless, gravity and quietude of orientals, male and female look more or less alike, most big sex animals have the females bigger, hyenas, sperm competition, rams, gorillas, peacocks are all display, different kinds of competitions, proof that your genes are shit, drinking contests, drinking diesel to show how tough he was, the point of alcohol contest, “honest signals”, baby springboks, a way of indicating your material is good, buff your muscles, rug your head, subconsciously indicating your quality, challenging all sorts of assumptions, I blushed like a girl when the girls complimented me on my choice of clothing, back to the gorillas, competing physically to dominate the harem, they’ve evolved incredibly tiny penises, gender dimorphism, sperm competition, whose gonna mount who?, what’s the point of a family in this world?, a fertility rate of 1, the female pursuit, immediately submissive, a whack idea, he’s having his cake and eating it too, a male fantasy, Y: The Last Man, Philip K. Dick’s Doctor Futurity, why feminists like birth control, disempowering men, Lois McMaster Bujold, artificial wombs, the pill was not banned, abortions have been with us a lot longer than the pill, the brutal unthinking mythology about what religion has to say, bypassing the gut response, Mormonism came into existence when coffee was a thing, alcohol is ancient, marijuana, taboo-ish, bypassing the objection of killing a baby, something Bulwer-Lytton wouldn’t have, Make Love Not War: The Sexual Revolution, An Unfettered History by David Smith Allyn, once you have the photocopier quill copyists are out, post-scarcity, printing press restrictions, a license to get a printing press, the power, the pill (so concealed) bypasses all the previous setup defenses a society has made, how does Saudi Arabia hand the pill?, a post-1970s catholic priest do?, what’s your advice, priest?, approved of or not, traditional patriarchal society, birth control in Zimbabwe (Rhodesia), I’m only going to have another kid if you do X, Y and Z, in the west, they way we treat doctors as a priest class, these documents that allow people to do things they wouldn’t allow other people to do, men and women had equal access, there was no intellectual momentum behind its banning, people working the religious grift are not the swiftest, look at this and look at that, is he making fun of science?, a giant lizard, they destroy crops, they’re not vegans, they add a little fruit to it, milking goat-like non-goats, Hitler being a vegetarianism, an intellectual tradition, veganism is less intellectual than vegetarianism, we examined your teeth, Jesse knows a lot of veggies, Bloodless Revolution: A Cultural History Of Vegetarianism From 1600 To Modern Times by Tristram Stuart, bad for the planet, going to the teeth stuff, we’re not evolved to have wheels, evolved to cook our meat, sugar and fat, keep it in the freezer, phrenology, ridiculous 19th century bullshit, our bearded hero wearing a tunic, dominate him like a child, a refined look, AND she’s a vegetarian,

amativeness – the arousal of feelings of sexual desire. sexiness, amorousness, eroticism, erotism. concupiscence, physical attraction, sexual desire, eros – a desire for sexual intimacy. carnality, lasciviousness, lubricity, prurience, pruriency – feeling morbid sexual desire or a propensity to lewdness.

something phrenologists were obsessed with, playing with actual people (vs just playing with skulls), a practical working phrenologist needed to be quick on his feet if their head didn’t fit, the ultimate protestants, puritanical protestants clearing the land, admiring or ambivilating?, a dystopia, poking fun of the Americans, the racism that elinates native population, coitus reservatus, Rosicrucians, ancient knowledge, super-human geniuses of history, Jesse can’t stop harassing Wayne June with Rosicrucian ads, AMORC, Doctor Climber, misues of sex energy, “Dianism” (Sex Magick), the war is now on Wikipedia, revision wars, whose ridiculous system of fake religion is better, the Rosicrucians (at least) didn’t kill millions of people, a particular moment and particular conditions, reading it today, Richard Wagner, the Meistersinger of Nürnberg, buying Goya beans to show support, more chaff than clarity, we might not get She, this stuff is in the air, so many precursors, stuff is happening right now that we cant see for what it is, they’re doing THAT kind of crazy thing, some traditions can last a long time, what new pieces of information are coming into the public consciousness, evolution, electricity, and deep time, the flood pushed them below ground, how recently we realzied how old the earth is, Lovecraft is two things, geology and the biggness of the universe, both of those things make you small, the sea, the sea is vast, cosmic horror writ small, the genetic racism stuff, mixing of inferior and superior, The Festival, maritime connections, The Case Of Charles Dexter Ward, the Dreamlands, we’re there, the underground stories are a precursor or related to time travel stories, going back to Verne, how do they get all their oxygen from, don’t think about it, Jesse, 1780s, the discovery, nobody wants to get into fights with Jesse about phlogiston, phlosgisticated and dephlogisticated, a fluid that can be transferred between air and objects, no crusades or jihads about phlogiston, it wasn’t fundamentally changing our conception of ourselves, that kind of resistance, your point is Darwin, this information doesn’t need to be suppressed, I need the stuff that’s in the air to live, we are lying to ourselves all the time by using metaphors, oxygen causes cancer, a lack of it causes immediate death, sushi is a food that makes you healthy, sushi is full of heavy metals which makes you die, the frog is being dephlogisticated under the vacuum pump, oxymoron, oxy means sharp, moron means dull, why etymology is incredibly important, oxy-gen, hydro-gen, heli-um, the shitty logic (is the history), one of the names in here, Tyee [a Chinook word drawn from the Nuu-chah-nulth language], a princess of Helium, a weird love hate relationship, you were doomed to be exterminated from the beginning, a grand tapestry, the great chain of being (and your not believing), no skepticism in their relgion, literally one of the arguments for the existence, I can conceive of a being that which non-greater can be conceived, a god who works Mondays Wednesdays and Fridays, Descartes, St. Anselm, Ontological argument, philosophy as close-up magic, Platonism, if bigness is a form, a nice explanation for why monotheism is incredibly popular, two guys in Asia meet at a campfire, Conan The Barbarian (1982), Subotai, your god lives under my god, your guy got sacrificed on the cross, a giant that’s 800 feet tall, not subject to kryptonite, but he also has a natural power like Green Lantern, yeah well my God exists, its very silly, it tricked people for a couple hundred years, cogito ergo sum, I can trust my senses, kind of Him, the people who are giving the money to the relgious people, can I marry this lady if I say these special words?, the bumps on her noggin make her really sexy.

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The SFFaudio Podcast #613 – AUDIOBOOK: The Coming Race by Edward Bulwer-Lytton

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #613 – The Coming Race by Edward Bulwer-Lytton, read by Maire Rhode

This UNABRIDGED AUDIOBOOK (6 hours 47 minutes) comes to us courtesy of LibriVox and was first published in 1871.

The next SFFaudio Podcast will feature our discussion of it!

The Coming Race by Edward Bulwer-Lytton

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The SFFaudio Podcast #587 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: The Dream Of Debs by Jack London

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #587 – The Dream Of Debs by Jack London; read by KevinS for LibriVox. This is an unabridged reading of the story (47 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Paul Weimer, and Will Emmons

Talked about on today’s show:
The International Socialist Review, January – February 1909, The Strength Of The Strong, The Scarlet Plague by Jack London, The Masque Of The Red Death by Edgar Allan Poe, Mask vs. Masque, its both, The King In Yellow, jumps in the fireplace, the hunting story, Robert W. Chambers, cars breaking down, punctures, drivers, The Sketch 1910/1911, Lord Dunsany, made of tires, ads for cars, wheels and wings, touring cars, cars as a toy of the rich, what’s missing, why does the story play out the way it does, refrigeration technology, widescale refrigeration, ice deliveries, this particular general strike, not much talk about toilet paper, paper towels, pinecones, store shortages, Manhattan Clam Chowder, canned food, how achievable is a general strike, when Bernie loses the election and our revolution turns into a party, what had to happen for the ILW to accomplish a general strike, the story is silly, IWW, the Knights Of Labor, industrial unionism, a mythological quality for people in the labour movement, the 1880s railway strike, Indiana, they don’t teach this stuff in school, what was uncanny about this story, the majority of working age people had knowledge they were gonna strike, if it was happening today, organizations on Craigslist, there have been revolutions, the Arab Spring, governments are incompetent, our hero gets his information from a particular newspaper, in the offing, Vancouver 1918 general strike, the 1919 Winnipeg General Strike lasted six weeks, anti-conscription, why the fuck was the United States in WWI?, 2nd Lt. Mike Vendetti, the Vietnam War, makes you feel stuff, Jack London supported it, we’re very complex strange creatures, an economic explanation, insuring loans get paid, rationing until the mid-1950s in the UK, the last day of sugar rationing August 1953, what a difference a couple of years makes, our colony in Hawaii, how unrealistic is this story, a week?, if we suddenly had a general strike today, eat those six-months old pickles, dogs and cats, from the POV of a very wealthy man, a feudal lord, that last line, something needs to be done, ridiculously orderly, the army only killed a few people, the telegraph lines, an apocalypse in a comic book, the state is totally unable to respond, if the industrial unions accomplished some of their goals, 1930s strikes, why schools don’t talk about labour history, a functional history showing how thing change, how to change stuff, we cant rely on the newspapers owned by rich people, we have to have our own means of communicating, the people that own everything, how factory jobs became family sustaining jobs, the miners were striking, an actual history of the future, set just a couple of years ahead (at most), utopian writing, aspirational, Edward Bellamy’s Looking Backward, one of the things that socialism is a story about how to make things better, how it could work, emphasizing the lawfulness, doing only a few illegal things, unprecedented!, immoral!, a fair game, he’s a dilettante journalist, he’s a blue check twitter, Anderson Cooper, a Vanderbilt, Journalism school, the billionaires who are his friends and relations, they don’t listen at the club, and that was the end of the general strike, worse than a war, Harrison is still my chauffeur, the tyranny of organized labor, neighbours houses burned to the ground, they haven’t overturned capitalism here, an inversion of another line, something must be done is the starting point, the tyranny of the plutocrats, immigrant labour, imprisonment, the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation, the New Democratic Party, Canada has a different culture than the USA (mostly to do with the relationship to government), Steve Cox hospital bill, Tommy Douglas, Keifer Sutherland, if you want to change to happen, why not any blue will do, eventually the guillotines will come out, a seminal strike 2 years after the Russian Revolution, this deal sucks, how do you scare the shit out of the government, the violence we see, forced to kiss the union jack, 30,000 workers on strike, stop all traffic, why we have that difference, Canada was not born with a different healthcare system, returning soldiers, the idea that soldiers love war, doofus men and boys, wargames, fight the Germans for reasons that did not make any sense, the title of this story, Winnipeg, Eugene V. Debs, Frankenstein’s subtitle, the anti-trust law made unions illegal, they’re using the laws designed to help them against them, that taught Debs a lesson, Victor Berger, I really like reading books so…, Karl Marx, a traveling evangelist for Marxism, evangelical Christianity, socialism, human beings are sacred, everybody has to come together, expropriate the parasites, overthrow the government and replace it with another kind of government, speaking out against WWI, this is all about securing the loans, I belong to the world, it’s disgusting, the Dixie Chicks, they’re heroes, Bill Maher, weird war rah rah madness, a hope for change, TV news clown, people wanted hope and change, they got 6 new wars, more neoliberalism, we know our country isn’t great, you don’t have to be a lunatic to see the appeal, people living under bridges, unless something weird happens with the red death: guaranteed Biden will lose, a return to normalcy is MAGA for white liberals, both are imaginary, Will has questions, the jingoism stuff, Jack London is one of the biggest American writer, the richest writer in the United States, he had the estate he was writing about, not since Mark Twain, this huge figure, a broke labourer, he started as a homeless guy, he was the poorest of the poor, a sincere socialist, a left a center and a right, how lazy the Italians who worked for him are, he had a crazy work ethic, drink you under the table, ride all day, laying bricks, boxing the shit out of people, a proletarian Lord Dunsany, gentleman’s club, what does it mean now?, the audience for this story, playful, The Iron Heel by Jack London, a future history, a very Jack London of Debs, August 2019, News From Nowhere by William Morris, Will Emmons: Boy Genius, a response to Bellamy, everyone lives the lifestyle of an artist, the arts and crafts guy, inspiring those who need inspiration, The Commonweal: The Official Journal Of The Socialist League, you control the means of publication, Herland by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, the 8 hour day, ratchet down from there, everybody has three jobs now, Paul conveniently flees the country whenever we do a socialist book, the tyranny of human endurance, a 19th century sermon, religious non-conformists, seeing people oppressed for religious beliefs, Prairie Giant, current British Columbia government, the Canadian Labour (UK) party, parties change, the way Cornell West talks and thinks, he saw what Barack Obama did, those snake emojis, they believe she’s a snake (not a lizard person), he was stabbed in the back (in a certain sense), Nancy Pelosi has an endless supply of $600 silk scarves, the AUMF, a plan designed to fail, people can’t judge people, like the butler, Elizabeth Warren is an enemy not an ally, a narrow stratum of petite bourgeoisie, bourgeoisie the capitalist class (the owners of property), small in French, profit margins are lower, the most evil people in the world, squeeze super-exploited people, a position of class, the grocery store and warehouse workers, the proletariat (people who own nothing), debt peonage, the people who are told stay home (but can’t), wage slavery is a beyond the pale as a term, is this really like a choice?, communism, scientific socialism, once a certain number of people it becomes much easier for everyone to stop working, distancing yourself, the way Canada’s fucked up psychology works, until you get better we can’t get better, provinces have more authority than states do, a federal government, provincial responsibilities, equalization payments, provincial change, GST, Value Added Tax, the everyday feel, Social Credit, a Heinlein novel that deals with it, distance Paul, general strikes in antiquity, the secessio plebis, H.G. Wells’ Outline Of History, the plebeians invented strikes, Jesse is very proud of this fact, how the patricians and the plebeians had this relationship, the citizen’s assembly, a mean use, obey the laws you don’t know, 450 B.C., the laws of Rome were written, where that tribune of the plebs came from is because of a general strike, a religious exit from the city, ex-soldiers being treated like nothing, an untouchable representative, whoevers wrote it, when the South lost the war, W.E.B. Du Bois, Black Reconstruction In America, some great saga, an inciting incident, Lincoln sort of freed the slaves, its not about race, race was a way of dividing people, divide and conquer, indentured servitude vs. slavery, to prevent making common cause, how these changes actually happened was not examined, we saw that it evolved, the teacher didn’t know how these evolutions came, the clarifying questions, slave revolts, patricians are plutocrats, why Julius Caesar was stabbed, I am your advocate, he is betraying his class, all his high school buddies stabbed Julius Caesar, maybe he’s just someone from the upper class, an inflated self-image, private soldiers, Sandline, Blackwater, Erik Prince, Dashiell Hammett, Ludlow, Colorado massacre, become a detective, the phenomenon of these people, gun thugs, a funny piece of history, the Pinkertons, were very concerned about the plebeians, subject to the law, the slum-dwellers, bread lines, Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell, the outer party, that turn on stage, by not supporting her claim…, he doesn’t say a bad word about anybody, democratic socialists (rose twitter), cross class coalition, people in the streets, Bernie Sanders, Paul is a good person, Paul is in a position of Winston Smith, ready for rebellion, the ultimate betrayal, define betrayal, she didn’t endorse him, she didn’t drop out, you said to me a woman couldn’t be president, a naked political move, the anti-Christ, an aggressive political move, unprincipled, a non-aggression pact with everybody, a revelation of character, Bernie has no killer instinct, everybody is savable, you need to unilaterally disarm, using his personality defect, Joe Biden is responsible, the Iraq War, I wanna prostitute himself, is he gonna kill fewer people, a venal incompetence, a little afield, numbers of wars started, Trump has killed fewer people than Obama, a bad person and immoral, go for funny, Ronald Reagan, a comedy of the worst and last kind, if you looked at her policies, somebody needs to push this party to the left, the bedrock inherent conservationism, how many more homeless people will have to be out on the street?, old folks, crying wolf too much, social dangers, energizing the far right, Hillary Clinton ran to the right of Trump, militia people coming of the woodwork, an uptick in terrorism, the deep state is not gonna do anything about it, functional Nazis in US police department, I will work with anybody to get something done, scientifically that’s not true, guillotine 2020 is my compromise candidate, start with a strong position, the New Deal, the Depression was an existential threat, FDR was not conservatism, who owns the TV stations, who owns the newspapers, back to the slumdwellers, checking all Jesse’s privileged boxes, how science fiction relates to reality, Survivors, The Scarlet Plague, how to survive the plague that is upon us, Carriers (2009), so well organized, non-unionized workers and the unemployed, the lumpen proletariat (the criminal element), the reserve army of labour, structural unemployment, scabs, more oppressed, the first stratum organized, what he needs to win, amazing, the plebeians are aligned with the patricians against the slaves, guaranteed work, the mobility you see for Roman society for slaves vs. American society for slaves, capitalist slavery, a new nationality, the descendants, Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, Benjamin Disraeli, this story isn’t about race at all, very radical for the time, there’s no gender in this story either, German opposition to WWI, fake scientific notions about the races related to each other, H.P. Lovecraft wasn’t uniquely racist, the multinational character of the US working class, if Will is a child then Jesse and Paul are old men, the 19teens, as learned people, the second Red Scare was very successful, the turn, Uncle Joe Stalin, when you see US and Soviet soldiers embracing, some real united shit, the first Red Scare, massive state repression, vigilante violence, when the socialist disappear off the map, mayor of Burlington, Vermont, the farmer labour movement, the libertarian strain, a constitutionally different personality, going in the religious direction, official racism, genocidal settler nations, getting the slumdwellers in, the Communist Party was huge, organize the homeless, organize the sharecroppers, the geography of the United States, the ability to just move, extra lumpen, and Canada is a safety valve for the United States, poor and terrible, they beat up some rich people, its not discussed, a dream tweet:

Dreamt a lost sequence of 3 novels by Jack London. Each built-up an idea then the wiped the slate clean, the last ending in a scene in which the horrified protagonist–trapped in a maze built of bookshelves fights an infection by ultimately setting the labyrinth & himself alight

whips, there’s a shotgun shell incident, a lot less gun oriented, so crazily armed, a positive dream, you don’t want a massacre, Anderson Cooper reminds them, ways of looking at history, why people like watching hockey, Jesse doesn’t love Canada, a hard to understand phenomenon, every time the Canucks win a hockey tournament, the Stanley Cup riots, mass psychology, a way of understanding psychology enmass, reading the riot act, who is involved in sports riots, regular sports riots, college kids with parents who make more than $100,000 a year.

International Socialist Review, January 1909 - The Dream Of Debs by Jack London

International Socialist Review, February 1909 - The Dream Of Debs by Jack London

International Socialist Review, February 1909 - The Dream Of Debs by Jack London

International Socialist Review, February 1909 - The Dream Of Debs by Jack London

Posted by Jesse WillisBecome a Patron!

The SFFaudio Podcast #580 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: Pygmalion’s Spectacles by Stanley G. Weinbaum

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #580 – Pygmalion’s Spectacles by Stanley G. Weinbaum; read by Gregg Margarite. This is an unabridged reading of the story (42 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Paul Weimer, and Will Emmons

Talked about on today’s show:
Wonder Stories, June 1935, 1939, 1949, the only text you should be reading is the original, dead guy friend of mine, Gregg Margarite, trim ankles, the board of trade, to make real a dream, what you hate is conquered, compressed for space, Startling Stories publication, the Scientifiction Hall Of Fame, busts of Poe, Wells, Doyle and Verne, stand the test of time, this is the “subscribe and hit the little bell” of the era, we are those people they’re talking about, an incredibly important story, Weinbaum would have been a much bigger name, from Louisville, Kentucky, Will’s a baby, A Martian Odyssey, so pioneering, here’s what an alien would look like, wrinkles on his head, again and again, super-cartoonish, an early cyberpunk story, philosophical questions, all about that, he does it all without computers, he’s inventing virtual reality, bio tech, his explanation, Marissa, 1990 VR, computer games, this is a computer game, blowing heat cool and scent on your face, the idea of getting yourself into the matrix, just the tip of the iceberg, he’s doing a bunch of impossible things, no body suit, its all in your head, its all scripted, Call Of Duty single player on rails, Fallout, nobody, wanderer, gender neutral, in Mass Effect your last name is always Shepherd, does Galatea have a history, does she have volition, she’s just an NPC, he put all that shit in here in 1935, you cooperated, self-hypnosis, Paul felt it, buying into the illusion, Paul did it to himself, eXistenZ (1999), Inception (2010), the laws of their land, programming rules, yo, just on the tip of her lips, she’s all ROM she has no RAM, prefigures emotionally unhealthy attachments, Kreiger’s Waifu on Archer, 29 or 30 year old bachelor, sexy ankles, drunk in Central Park, he falls in love with this NPC, the intellectual frameworks, they’re just like us just a little more racist, the actress is a real person, she’s an undergraduate, I can make my real life this game, grokked it as well then?, she makes a plan to leave the land (like her mom) by dying, an NPC character to refuse her programming, in dying she may be able to escape, paracosma is “the world beyond”, our world is the fallen world, the shadow realm, bullshit laws, shitty jobs, no big deal, he’s got other liquids, did she exist before he went into the matrix?, how the whole story started, our gnome/elf, a deliberate word choice, wearing the camera on his head like a google car, filming VR sex, short guys, dejected, it doesn’t scale, (and IRL VR doesn’t scale), the positive, the electrolysis, why VR isn’t as popular in our world, Burke, Professor Ludwig, Mad King Ludwig, Weinbaum’s very erudite, Greek roots, sat down in a chair, the girlfriend experience, a dating sim, romantic training, filming at his campus near Chicago, saying things not in his own voice, maybe the program that he’s running has a memory, the backstory about the mother, she broke the law, the previous guy, my destiny is to have a female baby girl also called Galatea, things we can’t talk about, its not just a story about cool VR, The Elf Trap by Francis Stevens, a science fiction way of getting into the fantasy realm, a nymph, a dryad, givem a break, super-rich full, secondard world stuff, its SCIENCE FICTION, Planet Stories, tech consequences, gravity, how mass works, social relations, rocketships, an alien worm come to earth, becoming interstellar, space opera (vs horse opera), Edgar Rice Burroughs’ barsoom, genuine science fiction, if you don’t read this, a Hugo Gernsback magazine, GENUINE SF, almost in a way H.G. Wells doesn’t do, previewing things that are possible, thinking about computer programming without computers, thinking out of the box, what alien minds could be like, human psychology in relation to a conceivable, Plato’s cave, truly speculative, a utopia, totally not a utopia, what sells in games, Strange Brigade, co-op The Mummy, first person shooter, the opposite of the a first person shooter, sword fighting games, boxing games, violence based games, The Long Dark, making coffee and chopping wood, the reason I can’t sell this, the program is wrong, really interesting things about sexuality, gender selection and gene mixing, a clone of her mom, no disease, no need for genetic diversity, more impervious to diseases, you don’t need social cohesion with an infinite number of valleys, WWI sim, the wrong program, an echo of Eden, to leave means you can’t return, the perfect place, a fantasy, it represents a pre-state, even plants are in competition, representing the womb, the womb’s a nice place, are there any animals, bird-song but no birds, she doesn’t know any of those, the whole universe of that world doesn’t have them, it doesn’t obey the rules of our reality, ultimately underneath everything, to avoid the problems of clones, Paul’s head cannon, he’s romancing his own niece, for show, he you wanna meet my niece?, in the Glorantha role playing universe…, she’s looking for someone to pollinate her, Will doesn’t know what ‘too far’ is, a sign of the current moment, none of the plants are plants, club-mosses, another world, a dangling thread, the fictional universe within the story, immersive experiences, Star Maker by Olaf Stapledon, the other men, relating on the level of taste, radio that send taste to your hands, the radio-bliss, very bad, communists, don’t do it, everyone wanted to get in on the radio-bliss, is there a difference between the fictional universe and the real life?, this actress who played this character I fell in love in, this magic liquid, I’m going to move to New Zealand and marry Lucy Lawless, a whole other level, willing suspension disbelief, not our words, passively accepting the words, his words are not in his voice, how did he film himself?, a whole other level, the silver weaver, he’s both, wow, Lucon the grey weaver, philometrios the measure of my love, a lot of water in this story, he let himself grow old, Robert Nozick’s experience or the pleasure machine, ethical hedonism, pleasure is the good, value theorists, classical utilitarians, hedonism is defeated, would we prefer the machine to real life?, an overriding reason, philosophy is very behind science fiction these days, a philosophy generator, the movie adaptation of this story we read, the 1980s classic: Mannequin (1987), the story of Pygmalion, the sculptor doesn’t like girls, he idealizes a woman, a statue comes to life, two other stories, The Oval Portrait by Edgar Allan Poe, a reversal of this story, The Painter of Dead Women by Edna Worthley Underwood, a serial killer, that same attitude, some deranged sex maniac, he ignores her to death, statuesque women, a perennial theme (The Smart Set, January 1910), engaging with obsessing over the beauty of women, that really old deep story, Robert W. Chambers, how did the artist do that, a still photograph into a digital painting, copying and creating and transferring ideas, how the liquid positive works, photographic techniques, motion pictures, talkies, it’s like that, what about this story?, every drop has the whole story, every drop of the guava juice that I’m drinking tastes like guava juice, her milky white skin, the milky colour of the liquid in the goggles, he really did know what he was doing, he wasn’t looking for what the market was saying, an idea man, we were hurt by his death, a tragedy, Campbell’s influence, so much fucking telepathy, the same bunk, they didn’t know it at the time, they didn’t think what they were talking about was bunk, race science, Charles Murray’s IQ theory, eugenics mania, race is as bad a concept as we’ve had in science, phlogiston, nobody ever gets upset somebody used to be a phlogiston theorist, ether theory, plate tectonics, the expanding universe, nobody cancels them, not knowing how oxygen works, the consequence are not the same, the white man’s burden, self-justifying, Russiagate stuff, if you buy into it at all, all we can do is try to deprogram you, you’re choosing to be fooled, they’re not communists, “adversaries”, massive consequences to mistaken beliefs, the heat death of the universe is so far away, Tau Zero by Poul Anderson, Paul got the gist, flavour text, trim ankle flavour, a comic adaption, Graphic Classics, Marvel adaptation, a 70s Curtis magazine, Jack Vance, Lester Del Rey, L. Sprague de Camp, Kim Stanley Robinson, time to research into his other stuff, Dawn Of Flame, The New Adam, his isfdb.org, mars, alien, telepathy, alien ecology, space pirates, silicon life, tidal locking, doppelganger, fatalism, passivity, mutation, collective consciousness, intelligent plants, more time spent reading A Martian Odyssey, a separate thread, classic twitter, modern stuff and old stuff, W. Scott Poole, the name change of Matheson, this bothered me, but not a lot, the show doesn’t have the horror tone, Potter-world feel, Netflix is for kids, Russian Doll, a woman caught in a time loop, all Jesse’s students under 20, Locke & Key, kids are more resilient to fictionalized violence and horror than what adults think they’re able to handle, adults triggers, Jesse warped and weird, horror is for simulating trauma, we didn’t talk about spoilers don’t spoil.

Pygmalion's Spectacles

Posted by Jesse Willis