The SFFaudio Podcast #688 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: Niels Klim’s Journey Under The Ground by Ludvig Holberg

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #688 – Niels Klim’s Journey Under The Ground by Ludvig Holberg; read by Alan Winterrowd

This unabridged reading of the story (3 hours 45 minutes) is followed by a discussion of it.

Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Evan Lampe, Will Emmons, and Connor Kaye.

Talked about on today’s show:
1741, Latin, 1845, underground journey, great Latin accent, difficult, funny stuff, interesting physics, satire, the midway point, old books, Edgar Allan Poe didn’t have electricity, nobody had a typewriter, a whole century before that, the farther back in time, upfront heavy lifting, explaining Elvis, a k-pop star from the Southern United States, girls go wild, in the tree society, not discussing the nature of God, he becomes a baron, Catholicism, anti-Catholic remarks, Denmark, the Holy Trinity, intellectual Catholics, upperclass twits and fashion, a criticism of Danish society, sick of religious debates in general, the book with the book, a book review of the book you’re reading in the book, a satire of travel literature, wild places, the unknown, to the center of the earth, The Goddess Of Atvatabar, how old this inner world concept, different physics, City Of Endless Night, in orbit around a sun at the center of the earth, another planet (a ball), he was treated like a comet, blown back through the same hole, the firmament, the opposite crust, a meta-argument, we see them as the heavens, balls all the way up, 2021 North America, and Australia, and Taiwan, causes eclipses on the world of the Firmament, their planet turns away from the sun, two hollow Earths, a donut within a donut, in 1740…, what Galileo and what Newton is doin, we haven’t seen out planet from a larger perspective, he big dumb object that is the planet earth, dumb in the sense of stupid, tigermen, monkeymen, treemen, the trees take his blood, they put branches on him to help him fit in, the Enlightenment, Cesare Beccaria, the prison reformer, capital punishment, criminal justice, people having different humours in their blood, making fun of it, utopian aspect, Mark Twain, A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur’s Court, they star the same way, Mardi by Herman Melville, The Fall Of The House Of Usher by Edgar Allan Poe, a Poe poem, the sentience of all vegetable things, colocation of stones, fungi, reduplication, they got up their own asses in terms of rationalism, travel narratives, duplicated, our books, the mental existence of the invalid,

Our books — the books which, for years, had formed no small portion of the mental existence of the invalid — were, as might be supposed, in strict keeping with this character of phantasm. We pored together over such works as the Ververt et Chartreuse of Gresset; the Belphegor of Machiavelli; the Heaven and Hell of Swedenborg; the Subterranean Voyage of Nicholas Klimm by Holberg; the Chiromancy of Robert Flud, of Jean D’Indaginé, and of De la Chambre; the Journey into the Blue Distance of Tieck; and the City of the Sun of Campanella. One favorite volume was a small octavo edition of the Directorium Inquisitorium [[Inquisitorum]], by the Dominican Eymeric de Gironne; and there were passages in Pomponius Mela, about the old African Satyrs and œgipans, over which Usher would sit dreaming for hours. His chief delight, however, was found in the perusal of an exceedingly rare and curious book in quarto Gothic — the manual of a forgotten church — the Vigiliae Mortuorum secundum Chorum Ecclesiae Maguntinae.

a prequel to an underground world story, The Narrative Of Arthur Gordon Pym Of Nantucket, these are bullshit books, alchemy is bullshit, what we do at the FDA now, peer review, a council of elders, Benjamin Franklin, the Royal Society, secret locked cages vs. done publicly, methinks thou do protest to much, Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels, sniffing out bullshit is hard for most people, why Poe has Usher so fucked up, he doesn’t leave his estate, through books, out the window, only testing books against other books, Sir John Manderville, Marco Polo, outlandish [bullshit], people with their face on their chest, Antonio Pigafetta, talking about Maoris, you’re a peasant, weird consulting, why is there so much in Science Fiction, exogamy, incest is what you do when you’re up your own ass, keeping money in the family, trying to breed traits, Roderick Usher once went to school, the Poe figure, dude, you went to seed quick, he doesn’t have the light of the sun, we need the stars to tell us where we are and what we are, other kinds of underground books, a really big thread in science fiction, the inner psychedelic journey, a nation of sensible tigers, the musical instrument people, the subtitle:

“being a
narrative of his wonderful descent to the subterranean
lands; together with an account of the
sensible animals and trees inhabiting the
PLANET NAZAR AND THE FIRMAMENT.”

you get what you paid for and the people who are like viola, play a viola at them, they play themselves, types of people you hang out with, musicians, the priests, special areas where menfolk were sent and grew fat and smooth, monasteries, cannibals,

“I have a kind of suspicion that the Europeans are cannibals; for they shut large flocks of healthful and strong persons in certain inclosures, called cloisters, for the purpose of making them fat and smooth. This object seldom fails, as these prisoners, free from all labor and care, have nothing to do but to enjoy themselves in these gardens of pleasure.

big protestant comment, not exactly Ents, don’t be hasty, let’s think this through, they have Entwives, we can go one further, a guy with a heart in his leg, a recurring theme, rape comedy, put on trial for rape, a Dutch hotel, Italy, sleep with the innkeeper’s wife, a comment on Italian hospitality, the Spanish sleep all day, he’s attacking everybody in Europe, fragment missing [Denmark], the crown scepter, he’s burning everybody, he criticized the German language, the main verb goes to the end, Mark Twain, good for jokes, Norwegian, The Bridge, why Pete Buttigieg can speak six languages, an empty title, the language of this land, the whole land is called holy, the continental augmenter of his country, invincible notwithstanding he is sometimes slain, worth reading the whole book just for this section, the famous Voltaire quote, a running joke, Charlemagne, one Mark Twain quote, people will quote stuff change all the worlds and attribute it to Ambrose Bierce, why wouldn’t it be Twain?, don’t let the truth get in the way of a good story, the monkeys with the wigs, the Australian and Canadian judicial system still does wigs, they gave him a fake tail in their descriptions of him, the book follows a pattern, he gets run out of town, a series of episodes, Candide by Voltaire, a monkey sequence, picaresques are for lower class heroes, Huckleberry Finn, rough and dishonest and appealing hero, a deacon who used to be an emperor, Jack Vance, low class, low brow characters, incidents, comedic, not a novel though novel lengthy, active vs. passive protagonists, it is active but doesn’t seem to be, just surviving, he changes the world, when a little kid writes copyright on a story for their mom, why would a little kid care about that, there is no international copyright, the printers are the ones who make money, a pension for life, he takes wives later, he draws the line at lioness wives, the men own the women but by social custom the women are run by the men, the woman runs the house so the man has to go the club, co-equal slaves to capitalism and there is no domestic sphere, the house sits empty all day long, so far before electricity, they’ve got gun, telescopes, printing, if you want to see something printed you have to go to a printer who writes it backwards on a piece of metal, why printed up in volumes, where the word “subscribe” comes from, comparing Donald E. Westlake to Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey, you go to Bath, by the author of…, you put your name under, “preorders are love”, “likes are love”, write me a hate thing, tell me how I suck, the true measure of success, angry comments, you’re boring, bitcoin and supermodel asses, flashy mics and spinning gifs, the upload takes a long time, 500 episodes, if its easy do it, what Baron Ludvig Whatsiname, he would have been happy to have been abolished, meritocracy, distinct from Europe, earned the pension, Ben Shapiro talking to Joe Rogan, The Rise Of Meritocracy by Michael Dunlop Young, what Hillary Clinton thinks they’re in, we earned what we got, 1958, Obama looked down his nose at Biden, you’re not one of us, an aristocracy, parents wanting to get their kids into an ivy league school, it effects our reality, a student bragging about being a billionaire, Hannah Arendt, not technically a meritocracy, a youtuber, the different societies and cultures we’re seeing, plays, essays, poems, history, exploring how societies could work, the tree society, the women have too much equality, maybe we could improve the life of women, is he named after a real person?, in the fiction of the story he’s a real person, just graduated from seminary (college), the ending, the Wandering Jew , his crazy king getup, Jerusalem, Prester John, like a time traveler, the Flying Dutchman, wanting position, I’m a king here, John Smith with Pocahontas, how you got rich, people are interested in you, you are a weird celebrity, a nobody, given honors, revolutionize cultures, rise to power, feeds the fantasy, when you go to a foreign land and you eat a food, worried about Canadian culture (in opposition to the United States), food is a technology, a bowl of fruit, cheese is a technology, all technologies are copying, Newcomen’s steam engine, incest vs. exogamy, take you lumber to Scotland and they give you kilts, Pasta is not that interesting but getting silk out!, why India happens, movin that product, how people work with knowledge, you heard the news?, its built into us, its bullshit, not everything that you hear is real, reinforcing the bullshit detector, Star Trek, mad at the guy with the opposite tan, The Wheel Of Time, the travel genre, episodes, no overall massive goal, The Canterbury Tales, Jason And The Argonauts, Medea, an old genre, The Epic Of Gilgamesh, waiting for the complete volume, very interesting, some really funny bits, he acts the same way, Twain would have read a lot, what version did Poe read?, Poe in Scotland and England, why isn’t there a really good Edgar Allan Poe biography?, an alcoholic or not, he was a drinker, the Army of Northern Virginia, 3.5 hours, immensely more enjoyed, too airy fairy, above The Goddess of Atvatabar, The Coming Race by Edward Bulwer Lytton, flying armies, the illustrations in both, The Mound by Zealia Bishop and H.P. Lovecraft, Richard Shaver, 1943, as true as Scientology, I Remember Lemuria, Amazing Stories, Ray Palmer, in the guise of fiction, “rock books”, like Joseph Smith, a branch of SF, like prions, mystical, good SF should challenge you, bad SF converts you into some whackjob who’s breathing though his nose to get more Vril power, fans are Slans, I have access to secret reality, these were popular because they had a quasi-true story thing about it, the letters column, the UFOs are Real, now that Space Force is a thing, ball lightning has been around long before space force, UFO means spaceship for most people, what an alien would say, I’m a lizard man from beneath the earth in Los Angeles, why are these guys arguing so much, rationalists are nice people but I wouldn’t let one marry my daughter, like a part of a cult, you’re either in a cult or you’ve just broken through the cult you’re in, what Michio Kaku purports to do, more elegant but still untestable, prayer, which would you rather have as a worshiper: a guy who follows all the edicts of your divinity and almost never asks you for favours or a guy who is always breaking your edicts but is constantly asking for favours?, understanding prayer, praying in my presence, god is apparently telepathic, praying in a language you don’t understand, prayer wheels, we know what we’re doing, why Robert E. Howard’s response to the Tibetan monks is The Black Seers Of Yimsha, unless its there to remind you of something, community, why is prayer intoned if God is telepathic?, your community can go insane, the First World War, go in the meatgrinder, don’t hang out with those ladies, go live into a cave, the sex strike in ancient Greece, the chicken feathers, we wont bang you if you don’t go into the meatgrinder, Lysistrata, war is a community activity, go to the trenches, you can make community with dead people Voltaire is my guy, he’s saying things that are in your head, “A friend is a second self” -Mark Twain, you want to hang out with Socrates, he’ll get you into trouble, have a symposium with, Alcibiades is hot, have a cat, The Midwich Cuckoos, Paul is going to Worldcon, triple vaccination, a super-spreader event, what screed has been nominated?, two dumb tweets in a row will get you unfollowed, down on the tweetcount, getting canceled, the secret is to only tweet about things that are universally appealing (cats), tweets about a slave to the COVID gods, masks are redundant in Taiwan, foreigners tend to be bootlickers, a nice hot take, Cold War on both sides, pro-China, a decent job and a hot date, they’re Neils Klim, there’s no Kentucky Colonels around here at all, Nebraska has a navy, so many chicken jokes, knighting people, giving them away like candy, the Congressional Medal Of Honor, as soon as you have a president putting a decoration around someone who isn’t one of the elite he now has power, having a beer with Obama, you’ve just given a sergeant power, real honorifics, Sergeant York, Audie Murphy, if they’re not on board….

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The SFFaudio Podcast #685 – READALONG: The Star Beast by Robert A. Heinlein

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #685 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, Maissa Bessada, Trish E. Matson, and Will Emmons talk about The Star Beast by Robert A. Heinlein

Talked about on today’s show:
1954, serialized in The Magazine Of Fantasy And Science Fiction, Star Lummox, what a lummox, a very 1950s word, clumsy stupid person, Google NGram, 1825 East Anglian slang, lumbering ox, lummoxes, knocks things over, breaks things, Maissa liked it, so simple, a girl with some brains and some power?, uncharacteristic, no female presence at all, Betty is a plot driver, one of six sexes, she as a matter of convenience, a meaningless spectrum, in the context of the Hroshii, what feels like a massive coincidence, she’s on Earth, two plotlines, the UN guys having meetings and firing and quitting, the fun stuff, Lummox on the run, Lummox on trial, the major drama, puts the focus on the coincidence, a microscale and a macroscale, still great Heinlein, simplistic, interesting themes, utopia, they’re trying, Kiku the diplomat is in charge of everything, elected represented is undermined by the deep state, bureaucracy, comedy of errors, contradictions and complexities, Sergei Greenberg, the Watson, tell not show, Farmer In The Sky, boy goes to planet and farms, threats can come out of nowhere, a central government, tiny hints, a WWIV anti-tank gun, the 2nd century, double focus, boy, pet and friend, escaping in the wilderness, galactic maneuverings, immigration, pushing people off Earth, which is dumber?, coincidence and conveniences, there’s a Star Beast with lotsa legs, 4 generations, from any other boy’s point of view, good Heinlein, a boy raised by aliens, the reversal at the end, Lummox has been raising John Thomases, a science fiction idea, the relationships between humans and their pets, sentient aliens (should?) have hands, who can buy who?, if these we are putting the juveniles in reading order (younger to older), Citizen Of The Galaxy, Have Space Suit, Will Travel, diplomatic maneuverings and court stuff, thinking with the brain of an adult, the Godzilla aspect, Clifford The Big Red Star Beast, what kids will like about something, a big purple dinosaur, Barney, conflating for comic effect, I hate all this stuff about the negotiations, they’ll eat it, that reunification scene, all the ashtrays and the smoking, furiously smoking, popping pills on the reg, eat your roughage, a dragon lookin thing with a big smile on its four eyed face, old man sitting around his pool with his lawyers for 18,000 pages, Red Planet, Willis is kinda Lummox, galactic diplomacy and politics, democracy, we’re a republic not a democracy, his elected superior, we are the leading nation, senators from all over the planet, the United States of North And South America, probably set in Colorado or thereabouts, freeways are overgrown, flying cars, a depopulated North America, smoke filled rooms in small towns, not enough worldbuilding, atomic weapons, weird adventures, how the world worked, all the Heinlein haters, hating Heinlein for the wrong reasons, Mr. Kiku is pictured and not a black man, the original serial is slightly abridged (at least), wooly haired, racism?, often times the artist is told what the book is about, that’s capitalism not racism, Lummox is also not pictured, a kids book with no-star beast on the cover?, Johnny and Slugger and flying, two legs and half of a side, a bizarre choice, a commercial production, smiling dinosaur beagle, a train, spindly arms, diplodocus, the voice, the baby girl voice in the Full Cast Audio production, all the other Heinlein girls and boys, John Thomas oblivious to her plans, these gender fashions flip, the girls chasing after boys, Sadie Hawkins dystopia, on leap years girls are allowed to propose to men, Data at Sadie Hawkins dance, Star Trek: 90210, phone rigged up in his attic fort, a box of books boys somehow always get, a box of pornography, Heinlein doesn’t shy away, very strange and weird, the macro/micro, a princess of earth, a reverse of A Princess Of Mars, a Kwisatz Haderach to make the perfect space beast, the breeding of John Thomases, wrestling around, did I ever tell you why I divorced my parents, lean in closer to the book, what the parents did that was so wrong, parental abuse, molestation, those woolen socks, the mother character, how one note she was, very manipulative, not a straw person, selfish, controlling and manipulative, parallels between John’s mom and Betty, make more John Thomases, what did you assume about Betty living in a dorm, Heinlein manipulating us, weirdly controlling, they’re both minors, very skillfully done, she’s studying law, you don’t have to obey police officers unless they have a warrant, the police come to the school and teach a class and then search your locker, the antics in the courtroom, the Rittenhouse trial, bamboozles the court, manipulation and tactics, she’s parallel with Kiku, she was her own lawyer, the police chief, Johnny gets on with the police chief, makin toast and eggs and coffee, don’t get in bed with the cops, Johnny’s a little bit dim, he’s gonna go to college, drag racing and hanging out with his pet, the pet of three females, what did she whisper into Johnny’s ear?, “I wanna get the pill”, “never, “we’re religious!”, argue our way to the truth, to such dark places, mentally beyond them, parochial, leaps and bounds ahead, more sinister, poor tactics, I divorced my parents because I was too smart for them, subversive ideas, “I’m transgender”, the flipping of the gender quite late in the book, Kiku and Greenberg are really dumb, its the same creature, kinda fun for kids, kids can figure it out, they’re looking for a girl and Lummox is a boy, Willis is a girl, “I’m a boy”, not going to be able to breed John Thomases very easily, he always calls her Slugger, she hits people, was she on the baseball team?, he insults her looks, she hits the softball real hard, a term of respect, no hidden agenda inside of Johnny, Johnny just gets stubborn for a while, Farah Mendelson’s The Pleasant Profession Of Robert A. Heinlein, Star Wars, he likes his backpack helicopter, when Mr. Ito’s greenhouse, space skateboards, hoverboards, his horse ate his car, Paul is triggered by Lummox voices, a touchy subject, great to hand to a kid whose parents are divorcing, everybody is independent, she came to him, she emancipated herself, some yummy metal and self-heating cans, entanglements, the star federation, why don’t you just leave everybody alone, the inescapable bureaucracy of civilization, Betty’s parents didn’t stand a chance, leaning into the deep and dark and secret and terrible, a little song that starts, it will burn the ears of the editors, pornography and gays and blacks exist, he wants to share it, the tone, whatever the deep dark secret is it wouldn’t hurt johnny, Sorensen, Heinlein’s always been interested in gender, why he shootin blanks, the most plausible thing, maybe John Thomas knew this, Christine Jorgensen, sex-reassignment surgery, deflates the breeding program, Podkayne Of Mars, birthing machines, ovafusion (lesbian babies), circumstantial, all the flipping and the six genders lummox, Gore Vidal, Myra Breckenridge, Raquel Welch and Mae West and John Huston and Farrah Fawcett, what genders means, gender as a spectrum, best to think of her as a male, we don’t have the acronym for it yet, derailing the story, she has arms, she’s getting boobs!, we’re really lucky dogs don’t have hands, dogs would be so handsy, cats, the human breeding program will result in the ultimate John Thomas in about 10,000 years, high fashion to have human pets, invites a sequel, The Star Beasts are humans, furry animals, Space Lummox, is a komodo dragon a beast?, scorpions aren’t beasts, developing the arms, what is that thing?, a tumor, its normal because its normal, 150 years to learn English, the test for intelligence, Little Fuzzy by H. Beam Piper, Illegal Alien by Robert J. Sawyer, legally a human, the introduction, the Houyhnhnms section of Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift, William H. Patterson, a fantasy disguised as J. Francis McComas, my first beast, the best one, not wholesome like this, good for adults too, less corny than The Rolling Stones, one little conversation, civilization is in crisis because of all these aliens, keeping these Republican norms, the Sorenson whisper, the bureaucrats have to run the machine, cynical vs. optimistic views of democracy, Heinlein’s views on communism, Heinlein’s views on nuclear testing, deep stuff, adults who would like a charming read about a talking animal, Heinlein doing his diversity thing here, Jesse is Maissa’s Betty, the spunky protagonist?, overcoming the fear of the Medusa, the Medusan is also transgender, the passive protagonist?, the makeup thing, unusual patterns, everything is transgender, another gender swap, the deep fear of the snakehead, testes turned into ovaries, hypnotherapy as a crutch, Starship Troopers, hypnosis, an excuse to help you quit smoking, Heinlein is regressive in his pushing of hypnosis, more like Dianetics than it is like rocketry, how you relate to another so different from you, Lummox’s speech, assuming an Italian is illiterate, how can people say Heinlein is turgid?, he’s anti-racist, a slur, a smear, not an awkward bone in this book, two [amicus] groups, the Friends Of Lummox, Keep Earth For Humans, one is adults, one is kids, we like breakfast cereal, Murgatroyd, the Russian edition on ebay, PiggWiggy, having adventures eating cereal, preaching race tolerance, I will not sit down with that puppet, anti-puppet, brinksmanship shit, luckily your Heinlein and writing both sides of the conversation, Heinlein’s worst instinct, c’mon mom, be partisan and be right, we’re on Lummox’s side, nobody complains about the missing dog, deciding not to eat Mr. Ito, this book is really about power, lummox has hands, wipe your own butt or get your own cup, disability, the relationship of power to power, relations between the species for the rest of time, a book about power, a hereditary monarchy with a breeding program, we can’t judge their culture, The [Men] In The Walls by William Tenn, the psychology of the mice, like parents, manipulator, the translator is manipulating both sides, interpreter for hire, Stranger In A Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein, the fair witness, somebody said somebody was a bad person, we can fix our shoddy eyewitness testimony by fixing the sentences we put in our own heads, the truth meter, played for laughs, testifying about her feelings, technology our way out of stuff, the human mind’s way of storing data and making judgements, telepathy transmitters, a visual translation, eyes are wildly fluctuating, John Thomas will say: “Me too”, Star Trek’s computer is judging Captain Kirk, a huge mental mistake, Planet Of The Apes, Heinlein’s not fulfilling Campbell’s request, a Weinbaum story, hang out and get pet for a century, our relationship to puppies, a very compressed youth, an immortal being, petting my John Thomases, Lummox gets bored, what kind of patience, a very human thing to do, tigers just eat smaller animals, arsenic makes them grow, all symbolic, why does she go on a diet at the end?, she’s gotta get hot for her wedding, stop eating candy, stop eating cars, a short lived pet, precious babies or property or chattel, they’re out friends, a lady in Quesnel, BC got her leg licked by a bear, we wanna nuke your planet, give us our queen’s corgi, War Of The Worlds but just combing the Earth, implicit mirroring, whether Lummox can testify or not, wandering princess, hostage negotiation, we don’t engage philosophically with dogs, sufficiently alien aliens, an adult reading a kid’s book, Lummox indulged Johnny, you want have me sit a yard for a year?, after 150 years, there are no Buicks today?, Motortrend, brands are things you sell to other companies, a Toyota that’s a Ford, the Packard’s coming back, a branding exercise, the Lincoln Navigator, imprints survive as IP, all the young men love the classic Buicks, a flight harness, when he takes Johnny to the vet, corgis for everybody, an exclusive brand, a great opening for the surprise sequel, spaceships are disappearing, humans are being disappeared, very cute puppies, a deeply pet book, you’re going to wear this outdoor socky thing on your feets, a single dad, a single mom, the controlling mother, Suddenly (1954), parallels, media with controlling mothers, Philip K. Dick’s mom, people having relationships in the 20th century, shameful but possible, a trope character, off-screen, trip to Hawaii, 17 pickle dishes, Heinlein’s joke, Heinlein is very stupid in hypnotism, Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, slim volume hardcovers, Harry Potter, Rick Riordan, no Heinlein boxed set with decent covers, what the fuck is wrong with their brains?, 8 Heinlein juveniles in a boxed set, youthful reading, why is that?, Heinlein is not a giant name, Roald Dahl, James And The Giant Peach, Predestination, there should be boxed sets of Heinlein every generation, broken minded, a legacy organization, it will do material good to minds, the entire Heinlein fiction is the Virginia edition $1,400, riddled with typos, a luxury good, mass market paperback for $9.99, sell like the wheatcakes, I love TITS (Tunnel In The Sky), Jesse was dissing Heinlein and looking at TITS online, pitch for TITS, something goes wrong, Hunger Games style, really good, Paul loves TITS, Lummox triggered, Hi I’m Trish, Boxing Day, put TITS on the schedule, excommunicated from the island, Lord Of The Flies by William Golding, Rite Of Passage by Alexei Panshin, othering Jesse, privileging academics, don’t slur me, 10 degrees is warm (and cold), alien words, actual turban vs. snakes for hair who needs a turban, get him outta bed, not a very good movie, the self-lighting cigarette, trying to quit smoking, maybe a pipe, a serious smoker without a light, H. Beam Piper was a smoking machine, British is weird, a really interesting podcast about those puppies, Rite Gud, solid heads on shoulders despite being modern authors, squeecore, new wave, cyberpunk, The Painful Threshold, “hells yeah”, maudlin mawkish or glib, Whedonesque quips, the character that represents feminism pegs the character that represents the patriarchy, this is what we’re exploring right now, remixing the public domain with vampires or zombies, 10 Years A Slave To The Robot Queen, Ace Galaksi, very Betty of you, so Betty, Betty is a great character, Stranger In A Strange Land, so horrible, pizza, of course it was, raw frozen chicken wings, dog minds, dog diets, a beagle pomeranian, parvo virus, little bag, little mask, little vaccination sticker, too many puppy blogs, why Fauci might get canceled, beagle faces, funding dog torture, when we find out what the aliens sound like in their native language, rethink your whole life, a never ending parent, be your pet’s advocate, catering to dog needs, siri needs to speak dog, a smart telepathic collar, What Is Horror?, Klim’s Journey Under The Ground by Baron Ludvig Holberg, The Midwich Cuckoos by John Wyndham, Children Of The Damned (1964), John Carpenter (1995).

The Star Beast by Robert A. Heinlein

Fantasy And Science Fiction - Star Lummox 05

Fantasy And Science Fiction - Star Lummox 49

Fantasy And Science Fiction - Star Lummox COVER

The Star Beast by Robert A. Heinlein - Clifford Geary frontispiece

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Fantasy And Science Fiction - Star Lummox 113

Star Lummox

Darrell K. Sweet - The Star Beast

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The SFFaudio Podcast #681 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: The Goddess of Atvatabar by William R. Bradshaw

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #681 – The Goddess of Atvatabar by William R. Bradshaw – read by Nigel Fisher. This is a complete and unabridged reading of the novel (8 hour 40 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Evan Lampe, Will Emmons, Trish E. Matson, Connor Kaye, and Alex

Talked about on today’s show:
how to pronounce Atvatabar, “BEING THE HISTORY OF THE DISCOVERY OF THE INTERIOR WORLD AND CONQUEST OF ATVATABAR”, 1892, hollow earth book, regretting the , kissing book, Vril with more science, a textbook to Theosophy, war, political intrigue, kissing, evolutions, sideye with philosophy, lift the labourers dreary lives, a classist perspective, dime novels, good intentions, travelogue genre, a little in there ideas, the plant birds, the Gutenberg illustrations, spider monkey plants, orchids, birds, fairies, ceremonial garb, silver polar bears, blue serge, a colour illustrated, her hair is blue, she has golden skin, blue black, the lighting from Swang!, the names of anything, the greeglazat of glosset gozzel, Lewis Carol, terrorite, exploding gender reveal parties, Dimitri Mendeleev, the hot new thing, a dictionary of explosives, rando 21st century novel, what an NFT is, plant bird NFT, a yarp happy, a castern owl, a haplid, the cavalry units in the air, bird like machines, studied for a dissertation, piling on, this doesn’t matter to the plot, Battle Of The Five Armies, sailing over the rim of the world, heading towards the center sun, a planet orbiting that sun, 25 miles across, not a big dumb object book, an entire planet inside of a planet, why Ringworld is so cool, rishathra, standing on the Plutasian shore, seeing another continent across the space of the earth, teasing hard for a sequel, E.F. Bleiler, an anti-vivisection, the phonetic Irish accent, a bad book, primitive, an indisputable bore, Jesse doesn’t understand kissing, philosophy of kissing, a revolution because people just want to bone, firearms, musk ox?, his dogs who are always eating each other, vivisection, its exciting to shoot off guns, what are their standing armies for?, such an imperialistic book, the British and Americans show up, team America, the American declares himself king, emperor of the roof of the world, co-equal, scientist buddies, Starbottle, a comedy, comic relief, Flathootley, eating food in the sky, a loveable Irish rogue, the avatar for the author, not a satire, empire all the way, decorative armies, no imminent threat, the conquest of Mexico, I love your philosophy, you aren’t allowed to have sex? burn, I just want to have sex with your goddess, twenty years after Vril (aka The Coming Race), reincarnation, the longing couples are like batteries, pining for each other, priest and priestess, they worship the human soul, we’ll surrender and dies, I just want some gold, a gold rush mentality, the gold rush period, the deus ex machina, timeline questions, at least a year, how many ceremonies, two weeks on the invisible island, the restrained horniness of a thousand priestesses, practice your spirit religion, Lexington White, convert them to Christianity, resurrection, banished to the weird rock in the sky, muscular Christians, just war, Tahiti, they see all the shows, the most realistic part of this book, this spiritual shit, get your prana adjusted, physical culture, sold a whole lot of horseshit, how the gravity kind of works, ok, Arthur C. Clarke, fun and interesting explanations, Edgar Rice Burroughs wrote this book and did it much better, At The Earth’s Core, lesbian pterodactyls tore my flesh, a different kind of hollow earth, no upside down like Connor, The Narrative Of Arthur Gordon Pym by Edgar Allan Poe, the hint, the promise, A Descent Into The Maelstrom, donut hole, a Symes hole, a model of the hollow earth over his grave, Giacomo Casanova’s utopian novel, Ludvig Holberg’s Niels Klim’s Underground Travels, ripping off Jules Verne’s Journey To The Center Of The Earth, we’re drilling, where do volcanoes come from?, I’ll weigh myself, John Carter’s jumping around on Mars, they drop it, nothing comes of it, more virile (or more Vril?), electric wings, no gunpowder, who’s tilling the fields, food gathering, surplus army corps, many many many government officials, Nazis under Berlin, The City Of Endless Night by Milo Hastings, exotic India or China, caucazoids with golden skin and blue hair, more or less human, a damsel fly, the baby buds off like a plant, I overthrew and entire continent for you, sex by holding hands, all for the good of mankind, I’m a man its good for me so its good for mankind, little hints, the Nicaraguan Canal, dead plans, effect on the outer world, if this was a movie, terrorite guns and the Nicaraguan canal was finished, we have to infer, M_ Valdemar, save the guilty from being exposed, what kind of document are we supposed to be reading here, voyages extraordinaires, that it is widely publicized is what makes it very science fictional, the philosophy of theosophy stuff, Edgar Allan Poe, most of Jules Verne isn’t science fictional, Around The World In Eighty Days, vs. a journey of scientific exploration, where the sun will be in the sky, the science fiction explorations, the Vril stuff is not science fiction (or fantasy), “science fiction of the soul”, how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, you have to deal, Rene Descartes, the tripartite god, under your table, he’s in your pants, and the oil pan of Jesse’s car, dualism, when you go to the gym you get buff, when you breathe through your nose…, claiming it is science, where are their experiments?, you can create matter?, the explanation is a whole bunch of wands, spiritualism, weighing bodies, social science fiction, a sound mind and a sound body, is Jesse just empirically wrong?, William James, altered states, religious experiences, chemical explanations, just because Jesse doesn’t have a soul…, Protector by Larry Niven, an unsatisfactory mutation, an extensive explanation, a demonstration of this theory, charging up the 100 wands, we’re firing the cannon because we’re tired now, isn’t it weird that humans have bad backs, aches and pains are because of a lack of vitamin c, cleverly developed, science and industry, lens-grinding and telescopes, as soon as we develop rockets the inner world stuff becomes less interesting, King Kong Vs. Godzilla (2020) went into the hollow Earth, discredited after it was proposed, where Dinotopia is, “the world beneath”, a fantasy book, magical powers, the priests of witchcraft and sorcery and necromancy, telepathy, what if there were telepaths?, the Earth’s frontiers, that drive to explore and take lands over and make profit from them, a BIG portal fantasy, we need another world somewhere, this is not a utopia, ships made out of gold, they worship a steam engine, they fly in the sky, overthrowing the utopia, local resistance, more like the CIA, an Omelas or Lottery situation, why the heart that should stay out of marriage, abstinence? burn it all down, Vril is much more obviously a utopia, a lot of parades, the catalogue of ships, the Amazon brigade, tuckerization, like part of The Iliad, the arabesques, Barsoom is not supposed to be a utopia, healing with rods, another battle and another victory, more concerned with weird wish fulfillment, I gotta find the perfect girl with blue hair, pretend it is a satire, Lexington is awesome in every way, he’s so into it, its fascinating, military history catnip, playing with tropes in the air, I have to set it up then I get to do the battle, the Throne of the Gods, we’re done with this Christian shit now, we’re going to do the god of Reason, worship invention and honesty, cutting the church out, the god king’s son, the church can change the game in radical ways, from Chapter 19, masturbating on the best ideas, all the best guys, Wheel Of Fortune, fucking bullshit, all the stuff in this book that is awesome is bullshit, scholarship to understand ancient religious texts, the book of names, dude, you fucked up, cool worldbuilding, funny, post scarcity so much they’re spinning up any old idea, Reading, Short And Deep, the perfect scientist, The Ideal by Stanley G. Weinbaum, what he’s doing here is not philosophy, not a way of knowing, spinning up theories, divine evidence through revelation, Thales, water, trying to understand how the universe works, life after death, we know the answer to this and we don’t like the, arguments for life after death, context for Lovecraft’s racism, spiritualism is not science, spiritualism, bad philosophy is not philosophy, play-doh, spore drives, warp drives, because spore drives, warp technology is to get to the stories, parts of Star Trek are science fiction, uniforms vs. replicators, Egon and crew in the Ghostbusters movies, Venkman, Courtney Brown and remote viewing, Stranger Things, the stuff in the middle is not science fiction, implausible but…, a fun exploration of known properties of science, astronomer, hire a sorcerer or a spiritualist, conjuration, clairvoyance, sideshow, theosophy, spiritualism, seership, the most ridiculous part of this books, pig Latin, Julian Hawthorne, the introduction, very long and enthusiastic, his opinion, a book review that’s nice to the author, some plausibility, future adventures of Lexington White, piling up better novels, Cirsova is publishing a bunch of his stuff, The Cosmic Courtship reads a lot like this , jetpack, nude swim, I’m doing mad science, the King Of The United States, the jockey got arrested for murder, dangerous horserace, accidentally goes to Jupiter, son of Nathaniel Hawthorne, like Lovecraft but with a lot less eldritch and a lot more adultery, witchcraft, Young Goodman Brown, The House Of The Seven Gables, the groom man, The Hollow Of The Three Hills, Feathertop, the Scarecrow man, The Birthmark, a cool continuum of people to read, how did this book come to be, straight-up adventure fiction, The Lost World, baseless but it feels like its not, brainstates and chemicals in your food, internal consistency of the story, accept whatever, falling in love with the lady vs. falling in love with their society, the battles are competently done, the clouds of blood, sleeping in the air, crushed in a clump, these batteries, admantium and vibranium and twenty more, a lot of lists, this made of word is like a pineapple, in favour of the writing, in media res, they had great artwork, oh my god triceratops!, vast cities, people riding pterodactyls, people and dinosaurs co-exist and they’re friends, burn it all down, the Anglo-American empire, the character names are comedic, he’s basically Cortez, so much blood, you should all be down here getting gold like me, free trade, their eyes glitter, if he’s doing satire, half the book, different kinds of things, sexism, why is their no triggering?, she could veto, she’s not allowed to talk, more equal, equaler, the most equal, first among equals, amazonian brigades, segregation in the units, elected for life, his dad gave him five million dollars, inherited wealth is ok, an eyerolly book (in an enjoyable book), too dumb, Spock’s Brain, pulp tropes, every issue of Fantastic Adventures, a blonde haired giant lady in her icy kingdom, She by H. Rider Haggard, men’s romance, costumes out, playing captain, golden braiding, only for formal occasions, unconscious, wasted food, indelible for some reason, firing in a semi-circle, a lot of killing, a whole herd of musk ox, cuz America, flirting with satire, is it unconscious?, it starts really well, frames, navigator vs. divination, dating blue haired locals, thinking about how awesome Lexington is, going to a lot of banquets, airship, fills a little crack, Hollow Earth Adventures RPG, set in the 1930s, Space: 1889, pith helmet and martini rifles on spaceships, like Edgar Rice Burroughs with some Nazis, a D&D sourcebook, a massive infodump, page after page, what are the powers of the Lesbian dinosaur ladies, magical, telepathic, mind-control, open source, lists and thrones and banquets, what do the other places look like, almost a whole world opened up to us, a list of their household items, cotton gins, printing presses, what are their voting machines like, what is their average day, are they post scarcity, just cosplaying like the Klingons, Vril is a better book in general, better than Tolkien (at the battle scenes).

The Goddess Of Atvatabar

The Goddess Of Atvatabar

The Goddess Of Atvatabar

The Goddess Of Atvatabar

The Goddess Of Atvatabar

The Goddess Of Atvatabar

The Goddess Of Atvatabar

The Goddess Of Atvatabar

The Goddess Of Atvatabar

The Goddess Of Atvatabar FORGOTTEN FANTASY

Posted by Jesse WillisBecome a Patron!

The SFFaudio Podcast #645 – READALONG: Red Plenty by Francis Spufford

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #645 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, Evan Lampe, Bryan Alexander, and Will Emmons talk about Red Plenty by Francis Spufford

Talked about on today’s show:
a book, not a novel, a fairy tale, is it a novel?, the novel format is old and no longer novel, a thread back to The Efficiency Expert, The People’s The People’s Republic Off Walmart, Four Futures, Trekonomics, Looking Backward, The Coming Race, The Iron Heel, a utopian international experiment, Karl Marx, things out of books, that terrible Vril book, THIS IS REAL!, Marxism vs. Vrilism, the worst takes on communism and the Soviet Union, a nice feel, a meditation, a very personal book, the different socialist personality types, taking personal responsibility for what happened in the Soviet Union, the blood clogging the drain, Pete Seeger, apologizing for Stalin, baiting people to defend death camps, Carl Davidson, Students For A Democratic Society, something her regrets, Democratic Kampuchea, Cambodia, the Vietnamese invasion of Cambodia, very touching, one man’s personal meditation about his feelings about socialism, does the dog die at the end?, writing into the newspaper, more atheism, unschooled in things can hit on stuff, whether there will be mental illness under socialism, what’s truly painful about what happened in the soviet union, millenarianism, I’m for the end of the world, our religious history, colonial South Africa, they killed all their cows, trying to end the, 2012 (2009) is a comedy, Greenland (2020) is even funnier, the sad part, magical thinking, religious thinking, QAnon, the Millerites, the great disappointment, group magical thinking, a harbinger figure, 12th imamism, how this will be understood in 1,000 years, Saint George, an issue in the collective mind, Trump will be a kind of figure like a Saint George, Babylon 5, The Deconstruction Of Falling Stars, the magical tablecloth, the seven league boots, the invisible cap, a protest letter, shut up and say nothing you’ll be fine, how long can this magic work, straight to the Soviets, Uighurs, Venezuela, do you think you’ll do it better this time, 100 years of building socialism, the worst version, industrializing quickly, the high cost, the book is focused on the 50s and 60s, the break from Stalin, Khrushchev, the utopian drive, the dream, GDP data, defeating the Nazis, industrialization, a weird idea for a novel, a weird beast, exactly on the same topic, a command economy, a planned economy, putting politics in command of the economy, Dracula, Kim Stanley Robinson, science fiction and historical novels are similar, 19th century social novel, very satisfying, the dream behind it, Ernst Bloch, better sausage, the framing of a fairy tale, something Disney never touches (hunger), Hansel and Gretel is about hunger, a house made of food, you become the food, the primal level, a genius move, Ivan is the Russian version of Jack, Lois McMaster Bujold, John Brunner, Stand On Zanzibar, a meta-level, John Dos Pasoss, Soviet film and literature, Arkady and Boris Strugatsky, Russian humour, Jacobin, Leigh Phillips, Michal Rozworski, linear programming, Verso sales, the Soviet Union as a corporation, the math wasn’t there, what’s always left out is the other player, Cuba, embargoed from the world and yet somehow they are still communist, Microcosmic God by Theodore Sturgeon, evident in all sorts of places, a thesis, where were the Russians were not really successful, Russian cars, everybody is competing, hard top argue that Russian military aircraft are worse, SU-27, the Steel Eaters (the military industrial complex), the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Soviet Union was terrible at consumer goods, the kitchen debate, The Death Of Stalin (2017), Steve Buscemi, Network (1976), linear programming charts, lets address that idea, the problems of world communism, pro-american?, what small countries do, Vietnamese glasnost, Spains’ Mondragon, Mondragon vs. neo-liberals, a gleam of hope, not Stalinist, if Lenin or Stalin hated you…, Robin Williams, Russians jokes don’t have a punchline, the blackmarketeer, the buyer agent, standing in for a helluv a lot of people, very real, one of Jesse’s students, an unofficial offer from Harvard, this is the goal of every Chinese mom, hey I’m very happy to say my son is at Oxford, access to the reins of power, you’re one of us now, do amazingly well on the exams, you pay for it, legacy, something like an economy and rigged in the same way, Operation Varsity Blues scandal, just the tip of the iceberg, novelistic, demanding behavior, the scam artists, elaborate, my daughter is a professional rower, very real, when he gets picked up by the cops, a shakedown, a lashing out, a beat-down, spontaneous?, special arrangement shit, what greases the wheels, Pete Buttegieg, that’s very very real, a weird economy with perverse incentives, exploited effectively and efficiency, it is objectively interesting to see polite people interact with impolite people, why it is a compelling story, attempting a little Marxism, a system is going to be dynamic, look at the contradictions, the criminals became the main economy, China is the 70s and the 50s, automatically give birth to robust black market sectors, the education industry, Felicity Huffman, a bunch of rich people need to get their kid into a university, users and offerers of services, hire a Jesse, what Evan’s school does, more counselors than teachers, grade inflation, begging for grades, pressure from the bosses, top 50 or top 100 schools, they don’t really deserve it, the Svoiet Union’s education system, you can’t do humanities, more engineering, philology, a flood of highly competent flood, cancel cultures, the problem with cancel culture is it doesn’t cancel enough, during the purges, during the War, killing people and expanding operations, massively expanding education, massively educating in the sciences, so many programmers coming out of the former Soviet Union, Catch 22 by Joseph Heller, Kolyma Tales, the NRA (under FDR), an episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Nog, “Treachery, Faith And The Great River”, Sisko’s desk, Picard’s desk, Jesse spends a lot of time reading, in the military, Parker’s backstory, he was selling jeeps to the Nazis, common throughout any system, external pressure keeps the people more united, the Cold War was not as pressured as we might thing, making the system work despite the problem, a lot of merit to what Marx was saying, part 4, this problem comes up, spread out the pain, prisoner’s dilemma, side quest with the police, The Wire, mandates from the top, middle managers, its kid of universal, this book doesn’t explain why all this failed, not buying the plan completely, some PUBG rando starts talking about communism, its becoming a genuine option at this point, the forever war in Afghanistan, their war in Afghanistan was too much, when the top people don’t care, the description of Kruschev, Stalin I really cares a lot, Kurschev: I care too, I’m more of an ideas man, I’m a psychology guy, Ronald Regan, George H. Bush, back to being competent, Obama’s latest 25 hour book, the clown president, no one is arguing isn’t demented, why communism talk is spreading now, the book is talking about private desires and private pleasures, overall despair at the broader systems, climate change, economic inequality, the cold war training (indoctrination), Firefox (1982) with Clint Eastwood, Gorky Park (1983), all a fantasy, in the movies its always winter in Russia, Galena’s giving birth, suffering in childbirth, give us morphine, pain in childbirth is capitalist propaganda, my husband is powerful you better give me morphine, corruption, one of the most important scenes in the book, a symbolic summing up, this really painful thing, she just breaks, this is what happens to the communists, relying on lies to ration goods, a very human thing, if that’s the attitude it’s not going to work, can they successfully manage information, free-market theorists, Ludwig von Mises, progress in women’s rights, childbirth plummeting, hero-mother, pleasure, physical goods, practical healthcare, housing, the replicators, industrial replicators, a machine that can solve your wants, 100% free when you show up, what is a little bit hard to understand, oversell on medical services, you have to be your own advocate, it helps to be vocal, I’m going to call my MP, hospital managers don’t want to deal with that shit, home-care, more and more disabled people have the ability to hire and fire their own employees, I need my butt wiped every day (not every second Tuesday), a mixed system, not top down bureaucracy, do what you want you know what you need, people are desperate, the current system of capitalism fuckin sucks, the industrialized countries are least interested in market reforms, a decline, its going to be guillotines and a revolution, time to revisit why socialism never happened in America works, the frontier, the Red Scares, running out of explanations, Russia Russia Russia!, the Democratic party, quashing its left flank, Occupy protestors, Woodrow Wilson, the populists, trans-partisan and anti-elite, upset with the status quo, Joe Biden, suspicious and skeptical, Pavlovian when it comes to socialism, Putin is communist, an old habit, reflexive, moronic, people under 50, what Scandinavia has, Canada, we’re going to flee to if X becomes president, closing comments from Francis Spufford, gender, teaching at an AP center in China, Human Geography, 6 kids vs. 3, Israel and Idaho, going through modernity, land reform, marriage law, revolutionary in terms of gender, no fully liberated, the education themes, Lenin’s parents, Philly Socialists, a public service program called Red Plenty, In hopes of 21st century socialism, the economist and the apparatchik, conscious arranger, Olaf Stapledon.

The Magic Tablecloth

Red Plenty by Francis Spufford

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The SFFaudio Podcast #633 – READALONG: The Player Of Games by Iain M. Banks

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #633 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, Scott Danielson, and Will Emmons talk about the The Player Of Games by Iain M. Banks

Talked about on today’s show:
Scott’s idea, TBR [to be read], book 2 in a series, standalone, Culture books, a giant black hole, 10 book series, Inversions, culture tech, Transitions, the book to read, Consider Phlebas, Excession, shared universe, unsympathetic protagonist, Gurgeh, is that what we want from a main character?, being nice, reading about unpleasant people doing evil things, horrible people doing horrible things, our very few rules, flawed, spoiler rules, a spoiler and a save it for the podcast, how could you spoil that doesn’t have that content, a moral failing on Will’s part, we’re all healing, the definition of the culture, post scarcity, dangerous, Evan Lampe is very dry, honest feelings he was trying to share illegally, no laws, social customs, sincere, a serious book, not just entertainment, serious ideas, its both, political philosophy, up against a galactic empire, aimed in his sights, the ending, an inferno of fire, science fictional empires are not the target, what ruling class is like, the Epstein stuff, the private island, the blackmail, deviations we want to do, games, if you want a house, with no money and no possessions, gambling, no money or excess money, throughout the book, about economics, if games have options to make the stakes higher Jesse always wants it, Enemy Territory, friendly fire on, one life to live, no respawns, Roguelikes, Ironman Mode, gluttons for punishment, a legitimate game, a game within my own game, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, the excitement of potential loss or even ruin, a further extreme, good at exploring the topic its talking about, the player is getting played (by everyone), he’s playing himself, a really good book and a really bad book, why people like reading the series, Luke Burrage talking about this series, feeding the wrong part of my brain, the comforting stuff, a utopia, a fake utopia, the Culture is Heaven, everybody has a guardian angel, under the cloak of science fiction, Banks is using rules, lightspeed rules, people without a terminal, they send a rocket to save you, designed to be heaven, ooh its so fun, its like a rot, its a bad apple, its like satire, where we’re headed, so incredibly great, if you one and done it, a little more tongue in cheek, the impossibility he’s playing with, poked fun of, he’s doing it, he’s having his cake and eating it too, everybody who wants to change genders whenever they want to, you can have anything you want, the bullshit is consistent (therefore interesting), book after book set in the same place, Star Trek, The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, outside the ship problems, the coziness of The Next Generation, its a TV show, they’re dealing with it in an hour or 40 minutes, this is soaking in it, dangerous, they’re striving, a satire of a goal, Gulliver’s Travels is a satire of us, Gulliver’s Travels 2: The New Boogaloo, make money, its a good book, the tendencies in it are towards series, Jesse can blame Iain Banks, I was just following the trends, a writer’s gotta eat, in the culture he wouldn’t have written other culture books, is the culture a satire of itself?, yes, projecting his own values, what’s he’s good at, what’s useful about this book, criticism of the results of that kind of society, an anarchist or libertarian communist society, there’s no king, the tyranny of structurelessness, they’re benign, this is God, what about when earthquakes happen and babies die, doing a satire, relishing the experience of satirizing, the tendrils, the seduction, like reading Lord Of The Rings, its fun to go to Bree, benignant, conquering vs. toppling vs. annexing, regime changing, because they’re good, Gaddafi is a bad man, they need to be liberated, the drone, the horror that capitalism has wrought, mercantilism, bamboozles, blackmailed, secret police, they tricked one of their pets into doing a show, he suspects, puppetting, annoying, cast out of heaven, I had to steal the money otherwise I would be embarrassed, they played him, snookered, the fun-house mirror of the empire, the empire is more honest, naked power structures, a benign autocracy, he volunteered, the pushing is so wimpy, he wants to get invited to parties, he would lose his status, labeled as a cheater, he would get fewer papers published, he’s convinced to go, it was still his choice, he might kill himself if he was revealed, they’re going to make it your choice, that’s why we’re pets, our own enslavement to them, we’ve done it to ourselves, no civic virtue, a spy service, the super powerful people manipulate the weak people, he’s got PTSD, he lives in a cushion, ground fine, he gets sacrificed, another series that ran way to long, the journey was worthwhile, Ringworld, Louis Wu was tricked into doing what he wants, the luckiest girl on the planet, a big dumb object vs. our contemporary planet, three sexes, really its Earth, customs, a culture, friendly (not an empire), they kill you with kindness, physically worse things, King Midas, he got overexcited about the one thing he was passionate about, what are you gonna do in a society, go into games and live there, living to play, you gotta go build some LEGO, creative work, art, he knows what he’s doing, really smart, like Charles Stross plus Larry Niven plus Olaf Stapledon, well expressed, he ended up seducing himself, why Jesse avoided it in the first place, worth studying, Will has endless time, the whole Babysitter’s Club, Shelfwear, the Starship series by Mike Resnick, lotta good dead writers, Star Trek with Captain Kirk saying fuck the federation, succulent, more like Horatio Hornblower, he can’t keep writing and make me read more of them, the prequel to The Lord Of The Rings TV series, exploration of post-scarcity, this is not achievable, ship-bound, the black black sky, the kids equivalent of ten forward, you want to have your family with you, almost killed every episode, that move is interesting, privileging audiobooks over TV shows, Jesse might be snobbish, novellas and novelettes were the perfect length for science fiction, idea fiction, Olaf Stapledon wrote books not novels, this is a good book, soak in the playing of the game, the meta-game, a lot of gold, books are incredibly powerful, danger manifesting, misunderstanding of reality, this is not a heroic age, the individual is obsolete, no one person can have any real effect anymore, a terrible heaven, you go up into the sky you sit on a cloud and play a harp, he is empty, succumbs to the temptation, Paul’s totally right, they seem a lot like children, university people in our society, neuroses, a new type of brain, change your brain chemistry, a total lack of meaning in your life, an indictment, in the context of Looking Backward by Edward Bellamy, useful aspects of socialism, it shares a flaw, both novels fail to consider the emotional political and moral hazards, the polity in the Culture is less naive, a hundred years of thinking about utopias, a response to Looking Backward, our rosy heavenly future, the fringes of the Culture, seems kind of slow, he gets his own ship, drones are like regular people, put to sleep for seven hundred years, I’ll wait a couple years and get Use Of Weapons, the frontiers of utopia, if this was a one and done book, it feels good, some importance, he got seduced, read about series books, Jesse has read a fuckton of science fiction, meta-textual evidence, why didn’t Jesse pick up Iain M. Banks before this, State Of The Art audio drama, Jesse had a feeling it would be what it is, what people are saying about a book, looking for excuses not to read something (to read something in its place), something of value, you’ve heard how that director works, you can suss out what movies are worthy of your attention, 1988, still of value, much in favour of series, coming at it from a writerly perspective, super-smooth writing, more of a grift, Jesse doesn’t want to be comfortable, Looking Backward is lame in many ways, it leaves out race, black people not mentioned at all, huge massive flaw, its not comforting, Jesse doesn’t want to be comforted, I’m shaken to my core, the story, thought provoking, goals, your phone, are they really making your life better, you have a really good time in Los Vegas, whaddaya say wifey?, spoken highly of, highly regarded, go to Rome have a great time, you don’t live in the Culture, a money aspect, more though provoking stuff, audiobooks out quite early, Peter Kenny, a long book, 16.5 hours, a meditation on all games, something to think about, a phenomenon happening under the sun, all reality is a game, by being unknowable, the possibility of change, victory, time is one of the rules, The World Of Null-A by A.E. van Vogt, Solar Lottery by Philip K. Dick, what games are and what they mean, Fair Game, sending board games to the Earth, Monopoly, The Game Players Of Titan, real estate developers, stock market, they can do whatever they want, rules for the plebs and rules for us, punished by the emperor, the rules are overthrown, you become the emperor, education and taking tests, help students game the tests, the SAT, how the Chinese government has run itself for the last 5,000 years, something to be worried about, a masterful job, a solid take on what gaming is and the motivation behind it, Elizabeth Bear, Ancestral Night, modern 2020 politics, giving healthcare to everybody, way cheaper, Machine, James White’s Sector General novels, plenty of AIs, taking on Iain Banks, the genre conversation, if this Iain M. Banks goes on…, Architects Of Memory by Karen Osborne, meta thinking, evocative and fecund, psychological realism, when the apex who had made the body bet realized he was going to lose, really fruitful, the kinds of things you do to make the world a better place, a regular dude, somebody’s in charge, that spaceship, surplus from the war, what is Iain M. Banks trying to say here, if you wanted to make an informed decision, spy novelists, supporting a cultural boycott of Israel, South Africa, an international solidarity activist, a political Douglas Adams, his intellect is in the same area, Monty Python-esque fatalism, trying to intellectualize his way out of it, making really solid points, that dangerous word again, Paul doesn’t agree with the word “danger”, Communist Manifesto is only a book, Mein Kampf only a book, interesting but not important, a guidebook kind of, a fountainhead, a prose poem, avoiding writing, it feels like there could have been something more, life in the Culture, amuse yourself for three hundred years and then get shot into the sun by your own choice, no difference in the brains, they’re all people, othering robots, bringing them down to their level, can you have a benign heaven with a god who isn’t smarter than you?, they don’t run heaven, impinging on Scott territory, a secularization of heaven, reading for pleasure is a seduction, what will result if you gave into that temptation, making a reading choice is not political, reading a series is not good, the decline, market forces, realpolitik and economics, not the ideal, Paul is making Jesse’s argument for him, Beggars In Spain is an evil book, Nancy Kress, she’s chosen the darkside, made horrible consequences palatable, a novel like Starmaker, Hyperion by Dan Simmons, Jesse’s criticism of series is well grounded, more enriching, widely and deeply, perilous, words are powerful Paul, Paul wants an off-ramp for a first book in a series, lure, feeling this stress, its okay to make it addictive, when did Dan Simmons jump the shark?, Olympos, the analogy, from series lasting too long, compelling you to read more, a nefarious thing, how Lost sucked so many TV show people in, enamoured with his idea, detective books, literary fiction, very impressive, a high complement, why series happen, we elect a really good king, four more year for you King, a few dynasties go by and we’re chopping people’s heads off, at the risk of provoking Jesse to keep going, adverse consequences, Nine Princes In Amber by Roger Zelazny, its the meta-game, a playground in which he can do satire forever, why Tom Clancy is still producing from beyond the grave, ownership, Neil Gaiman doesn’t milk, don’t read the first volume, the horror host, more like The Twilight Zone, Anansi Boys, whatabout this?, you already did that bud, A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine, break em in half, a reversal, please don’t annex us, we recommend, the dangers involved, he’s ultimately won over to the Culture, choose to become a robot, that’s what people want, how dear he, he’s very wise in his book writing decisions, the paths we set our feet down, make a rule for yourself make a rule for everybody, the categorical imperative, Immanuel Kant, is it okay for me to kill?, is it okay for me to lie to my kids?, its for everybody, a case by case basis, he didn’t want to keep writing the Hitchhiker’s Guide books, you keep using that word, he has no respawn, he got two series, he was a big brain, we’re way over on the tipping scale, all I want is healthcare, what’s the right word? [silence] The Last Dangerous Visions, J. Michael Straczynski, regular visions, vague visions, one last significant work by Harlan Ellison, the executor for the estate, those middle seasons of Babylon 5 were so good, a half-assed 2 actors and a greenscreen.

The Player Of Games by Iain M. Banks

Posted by Jesse WillisBecome a Patron!

The SFFaudio Podcast #631 – READALONG: Looking Backward by Edward Bellamy

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #631 – Jesse, Maissa Bessada, Evan Lampe, and Will Emmons talk about Looking Backward by Edward Bellamy

Talked about on today’s show:
2000-1887, utopian, 1888, its kind of disappointing, Evan doesn’t agree with Jesse, sequels and rebuttals, 3rd bestseller of its time, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Ben Hur, responses, Mack Reynolds, Equality In The Year 2000, utopias and communism, we have a problem, not enough good work, academics complaining, UBI, you can’t spend the money fast enough, a real cool problem to have, going from Dickensian horror capitalism to a theoretical utopia, horrible and ok, underwhelmed, hey Jesse, William Morris’ review of Looking Backward, News From Nowhere, everything interesting about this book is the political content, FAQs, Fredric Jameson, Evan, idiosyncratic, about the person making it, Anglo-protestant utopia, Calvinist utopia, very American, smaller firms, Jack London, an artist, upper middle class dude, the Bellamy clubs come to nothing, economic fatalism, no political actions necessary, the extra homework, they’re sermons, Christmas In The Year 2000 by Edward Bellamy, Ladies’ Home Journal, Women In The Year 2000, February 1891, the way they read, less plot than sermon, so interesting, the true spirit of Christmas, they don’t understand what Jesus’ message is, weekly reminder you’re supposed to be like Jesus, give to the food bank like Justin [Trudeau] wants us to do, a few loopholes, some people to escape, no reservation like in Brave New World, totalitarian, council of elders, everybody old runs everything, Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell, this is it upside down, the subscription services, Glenn Greenwald leaving The Intercept, actual journalists, Jeremy Scahill, Laura Poitras, you can’t talk about Biden and what was revealed in the Hunter Biden emails, New York Times has never apologized, the institutions of magazines all in the hands of people’s disposable income, Patreon or whatever, Substack, like Twitch for writing and journalism (the opposite of 1984), stenographers for the government, two anonymous sources tell us, a real functioning journalism, Dentists Weekly (journal), like regular free market within a UBI, how all the artists would work, go to art school vs. just do art, dental school, hair school, officiallize, before the eight hour workday, educational flexibility, child labour reduced, we’re done, education, the single most important thing, how cheap it is, we should be spending half of our gross national income on tutoring, the testing, there’s no bookstores, skin whitening salons and doggie spas, Costco grocery with pneumatic tube delivery, where Bellamy is totally right, The People’s Republic Of Walmart, The Coming Race by Edward Bulwer Lytton [that Vril book], the setup is the same, less eugenics based, a classical liberal, women will be looking at the genetics rather than the inheritance, unattractive men, an incel problem, credits for prostitutes?, cultural hangups, more cafes, more relaxed, everybody would be like Picard, organic mozzarella, Morris was essentially an artisanal anarchist, what Bellamy is writing about, nationalizing Amazon, internationalizing, other countries, two continents, three countries, empires in Africa and Asia, teaching them socialism very slowly, how China is impenetrable, seen what he’s done, okay but, better refinements, The Unincorporated Man by Dani Kollin and Eytan Kollin, The Coming Race is a little longer, somebody falls asleep and wakes up in the future, Edith, the secret we didn’t want to tell you, $6 and compound interest, the only person who is not a corporation, socialism and a universal army, just neoliberalize everything, sell your shares at age 18, the most horrible intrusive, Nineteen Eighty-Four not to crush but to extract value from you, keep going until there is nothing left to privatize, apprentice yourself or go to university, no employment and no skills, no public anything, the horror inversion of this, Idiocracy (2006), The Marching Morons by C.M. Kornbluth, a terrible terrible terrible story, a satire taken as an actual reality possibility, when George W. Bush was president, only stupid people are breeding, The Little Black Bag, a time traveling doctor’s bag, we’re going to dumb ourselves down, what people said about audiobooks back in the day, ‘audiobooks are not reading’, you’re saying blind people don’t read, push-button elevators vs. elevator operators, you need to be skilled, how to use a slide-rule, new weird diseases in Star Trek, there’s no tension, its a static society, all these other stories are stories, its a treatise, The Iron Heel by Jack London has more story, the gap between, the narrator might be a villain, Bellamy was a villain, a historical document from the future, people who live in this society, a government propaganda text, polemicizing against the labour unions, liberal elites, Trotsky said about American socialists, middle class snake-oil salesmen that are good at describing socialism to dentists, why is that?, American socialism, what happens in 1886, the Haymarket Affair, we’re really looking out for you here, suppressing continents, The Moon Maid by Edgar Rice Burroughs, socialism from the moon, also named Julian, time doesn’t exist, the socialist moon people, savage tribes in Africa and Asia, permanent dominance, Reconstruction, the scramble for Africa, reducing everything to economic questions, every class fragment is going to have an idea about socialism, the politics is a distraction, employment relationship, the woman question, Jim Crow, Rip Van Winkle, the 2nd American Revolution, a little bit dangerous, a bad bible for socialism, no strife, similar in the setup to The Dream Of Debs by Jack London, he comes from wealth, he’s at the club, his motorcar needs maintenance, general strike, our narrator is humbled, his foreman doesn’t have the labour to finish his new house, the labour of other people, a private tax, my passive income from investments is a private tax on other people’s labour, he’s upset his new wife is unable to move in with him in his new home he’s having built, the fact he’s having trouble sleeping, a hypnotist who is not a real doctor, a sleeping draught, a sealed basement room, when all of his anxiety at living off of other people’s labour, he doesn’t produce art or help to anybody, a consultant to historians, we’re all benefiting from the overall progress of humanity over the centuries, that labour has already been performed, the conversation on copyright, we’re standing on the top of this mountain, we are post-scarcity , he’s really good about post-scarcity, salesmen, styles and fashions of behaviors, no-pressure sales, Best Buy vs. Future Shop, HUGE in 1887, the employees aren’t trying to pressure you into sales?!, Counter Cultures: Saleswomen, Managers, And Customers In American Department Stores, 1890-1940 by Susan Benson, shop girl, shopping for a husband, pre-show chat, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Picard, Deep Space Nine, The Neutral Zone, a homemaker (whatever that is), a musician, a capitalist (a CEO), you don’t need money you need to improve yourself, learn to paint, when not visiting Brave New Worlds, the kids lab, stealing a bunch of children, Wesley’s hunger strike, their schools are like the Bellamy schools, really good a sculpture, the ideas from this book are incredibly powerful, the responses never seem to have stopped, the early 21st century, it was really novel, think about how big this book was, like Harry Potter, Hedwigs and Hagrids, children vs. “adults”, everybody had something to say about this book, countries have actually tried to do this, this book had fans who went on to try to do this, more to reflect on, being in the Bellamy club, equality for everybody, basic needs met, Will cried multiple times reading it, a number of really good metaphors, that umbrella metaphor, about the carriage, you can see those people on twitter, go fund me, kids raising money for their cancer ridden teacher, when Jesse talks to Americans who are not Evan and Will, outside of the mainstream propaganda, what Jesse and Maissa has, you have to pay a parking fee, I hate going to the hospital, they don’t understand, you have to go to a country and just feel it, what its like over there, how can you be bankrupted?, from this perspective, because of segregation, the Southern Democrats killed universal healthcare, an apartheid system, so obsessed with suppressing a part of the population, two main barriers to progress, a large class of small property owners, the color line, reason with them, this helps everybody, you’re set for life, private health insurance, its guaranteed money, the cancer, the stroke, the TV is a CRT from the 1980s, there are problems, the thing that nobody wants to use but has to use, such a guaranteed return and they write policy, one thing that’s never going to happen, Bellamy’s method, why nothing happens, labour problems, some incentives, the Yugoslav postal workers vacation spot, now we don’t have that system anymore, special profit being made, super easily regulable, not a lot of surprises in the postal system, enough strife at the bottom, guillotines for everybody, the French Revolution, the Russian Revolution, the counter revolutions, how to explain that, planning errors, where the pathos of the novel is, dreams, the Ghost of Christmas Present, you don’t have to worry about that stuff anymore, The Soul Of Man Under Socialism by Oscar Wilde, criticism of industrial capitalism in the USA, why the book is so popular, pushy salesclerks and urchins on the street, legit trying to solve things, when he’s looking backwards on the writing of this, how and why he wrote it, not fully understanding his own motivations, his attack on A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, All Good Things is a retelling of A Christmas Carol, Q is the ghost of Christmas whatever, a sermon from Christmas In The Year 2000, July 4th and Christmas, Christmas has been co-opted, just such a family feast, two beggar children, a picture that typifies the age, a hard-hearted businessman who doesn’t want to give his employee the day off, what’s the solution?, a Christmas goose, all problems of society solved, Jesus was hardcore, food banks are a new thing, soup kitchens, getting out of it through Christian charity, Will’s subversive reading, soviet propaganda, production is amazing, T-34s, get to the Moon and humble us, owning, soviet public housing, no style at all, they all have their own home, that’s why they built those things, a functioning feedback system, the internet is described with the music rooms, music piped to your bed, telephones, wired radio, a streaming service, they are really lacking CyberSyn, we need more Volkswagens, the gerontocracy thing, racism was solved somehow, needs some tweaking, classes and castes, a third rail, his basic premise is not to divide anybody, an interesting system for the elite feedback, the prestige is your pay, people admire, their legal system, fewer lawyers, what you want the law to be, tutored up to that level, judges should be drafted just like juries, the supreme court shouldn’t exist, 53 people, we can hear jury cases…, judges tell how to do their job, most cases don’t go to trial, discovery, for years on end, constitutional right, lesser charges, Louisville, Kentucky, electing judges vs. appointing, sortition, say “cast” instead of “vote”, bluechks telling other, a Shirley Jackson sort of way, An American Utopia: Dual Power And The Universal Army by Fredric Jameson, Stanley Aronowitz, responses, Kim Stanley Robinson, Slavoj Žižek, the video that summarizes the ideas, dual power, create new institutions of government, colonial legislatures, Lenin, the army, universal conscription, the army does everything the economy does, a really weird youtube and internet hole, Djibouti, where the pirates are, the Gulf of Aden, naval power, failed states, China, India, United States, Italy, the reason it exists, tourists to Djibouti, its a hell hole, really horrible, the police want to issue permits to photograph things, a horrible dystopia created by a bunch of foreign military bases and geography, Camp Lemonnier, a gym, tours of the countryside, the base store, we provide air conditioning, a tour of life under the universal army (actually the navy), what life is like in the army, specialists, life under socialism, trying to give you little incentives besides pay, hot showers, to stay in, attrition, the healthcare is free (of course), dentists, on base banking, a mixed system (100% socialism), back to Star Trek, Starfleet is socialist, Sisko’s dad has a restaurant, there’s no mess, nobody knows how to cook except for Riker, Sisko, Neelix, only sex magnets, learn the trombone, that and the beard, if you’re gonna sell the united states on socialism just draft everybody, a peaceful universal army, wars of aggression, the Japanese, the hoplites, if women and slaves were in the universal army, most of the military today is not the pointy end, pull the ropes (or cables), Carrier (PBS), the Iraq War, education, get out of that shitty small town full of drugs, some people are again it, ruin your career (by getting pregnant), everybody is housed, turn the tables, a lot of terrible things, who the audience, 14 minutes of congratulations to all the professors, a useless proposal, a political program called: REVOLUTION, wizened professors, the grad students’ questions, Jameson is playing, the NDP, Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbin, thought experiments, on comic utopianism, what utopia isn’t a game, the Star Trek Communist, the people he’s trying to convert, I like anime will you join the socialist party?, triumphalism, he needs to go the the Waffle House and replicate some phasers for them, heavy stun, The Lord Of The Rings communist, branded identities, Lovecraft Country, Raised By Wolves, Lovecraft Country communist, you gotta watch this, Banshee, the Communist party is in power in China, the Banshee communist, all we talk about, corrupt that with communism, Jim Howard, take downer, fire departments are socialism, the repair of the car vs. the repairing of my body, having bridges paid for collectively, that makes sense, what do they teach in school?, a sixteen part series about social systems, zone out and not question, having the test, made China the way it is, students the way they are, whoever makes the test is in control, control what answers (and questions) are acceptable, a YouTube REVOLUTION, remember the Justice Democrats?, completely co-opted, AOC might say a few nice things, push him in office?, actual leverage, AOC is running for President, YouTube controls what you see, Google controls what you see, become a duckduckgo guy, not gonna be an Apple guy, it isn’t going to happen through academia, a popular book, instill a lack of hatred, Marco Rubio, are all Democrats are socialists?, move to a small town in Italy and live there for six months, then I’ll understand it, until someone puts it in your hand you don’t really understand it, incredible popularity, a recognition that something was wrong, selling the message to dentists, how did the Russian Revolution happen?, it was the War, the infrastructure had been built for decades, Woodrow Wilson, the Bonus Army, a joke about how it was going to help them get jobs, 15 minutes of introduction, go listen to Evan’s podcast, Evan should give Jesse an award, we’ll bootstrap, quality edification certificate, trump university sort of thing, the Willis Institute, run it through Scott, spend 7 hours in this utopia, I’ll know that town, this is what the peace corp was supposed to do, working for the Clinton Foundation, stealing resources from your own government, books can be powerful, Marx had better ideas, look fellow comrade, this thumb drive, instead of watching Star Trek watch Das Capital, scientific socialism, the merger formula, an international American choice, fellow people who read books, you replace the body of Donald Trump and replace it with the Star Trek Communist, he was sticking it to the system, if you backed it up, his personal support, stick it to the people who need to be stuck, the elites, the Rachel Maddow audience, the deep state, the elites of those bureaucracies, their fiefdoms, Homeland Security is not going away, a path forward, very despairy, how to communicate its ideas to people generally, harness the bourgeois media, the left has to find the right spokesperson, some other mechanism of reaching the people, alternative media, the means of communication, 6 corporations (soon to be 5), the need for organization, Julian West was able to ask was that one of the workers’ parties?, Lexington, tenants unions, serious barriers to progress, the importance of America in the world system, the NDP are not powerful, until the USA gets its shit sorted out, what Washington, Oregon, and California will do, we’re never gonna legalize marijuana, Jesse, the Americans wont allow it, a bunch of hoops, Justin was permited to allow us this privilege, waffling in the USA, abandon the game, the current path, keep swapping Republican for Republican lite administrations, civil disturbance for 180, fascists, white supremacists, Oregon is kinda weird, Vancouver police, the lower border for this province as a colony, 54:40 or fight, Oregon Trail, a weird countries, a whole bunch of different countries, France is relatively homogeneous, who can handle it, Canada has it, lave each other the fuck alone, only Ottawa listens, Britain’s political system is fucked up too, is that because they got Vril instead of Looking Backward, Canada doesn’t have a national utopian book, pancakes and maple syrup and loons and bears.

Looking Backward by Edward Bellamy

Looking Backward by Edward Bellamy

Posted by Jesse WillisBecome a Patron!