The SFFaudio Podcast #661 – Mr. Adam by Pat Frank – read by Evan Lampe. This is a complete and unabridged reading of the novel (5 hours 41 Minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants include Jesse, Evan Lampe and Will Emmons.
Talked about on today’s show:
1946, a serious problem with your narration, obstetrician, editing, who was what voice, Alas, Babylon, dulcet tones, well suited for Evan, like a pervert, the attitude of the newspaperman, an affinity between Mr. Smith and Mr. Lampe, hitting the humour notes right, say something bad, an amateur narration, speed of narration, garbled here and there, was it LibriVox quality?, a very fine job, Evan’s nexty, Prince Alberic And the Snake Lady by Vernon Lee, teaching from home, a short and serious lockdown in China, the extended Spring Festival, you seem to be good at talking, how big Pat Frank was, a supposition, he’s talking about stuff happening in 1946, their field rank being swapped back to original rank, Eisenhower was a Colonel before being a 5 star general, this new civilian period, the U.S. war effort, as soon as the war is over they’re bickering again, an armed forces services edition, a cool collectible book, shirt flap, Lovecraft in armed services edition, donate books to soldiers and sailors, what you really need is a book, most people didn’t come home right away, a mid-20th century author, speaking to the baby boomer producers, how horny they are, I’m gonna plow my wife so hard I’m going to make fifty babies, a funny book, what happens after WWII is a huge boom in paperbacks, by the 1960s publishers have cottoned on the paperbacks, they don’t have USO shows every day, why we don’t have as much interest in paperbacks today, this legacy of shoving a book in your pocket and clip of ammo for your M1 Garand, Jeeps, Wrigley’s Chewing Gum, the ration pack, chocolate bars, American cheese, WWI, Spam for Korea, a delicacy in Korea, creating whole industries, how theaters survive today, “gold rush”, the new bureaucracy, a pressing governmental concern, New Deal programs, NRP, AI Day, D-Day, a satire but realistic, a tragi-comedy, a tragedy of bureaucracy, a happy ending, he sterilizes himself, I didn’t see that coming, the pickles and the eggs, Marge, seaweed, so funny, a big joke, what happens to Homer Adam is pretty dark, he didn’t castrate himself, JC’s ideology, some importance, dose your husband, the events of the story are very compressed, on the slugline, the dateline, the placeline, you have to be on this committee, its all a metaphor, the Soviets have two Mongolians, heady stuff, he’s a subversion, the last virile man is shy and gangly, loyal to his wife, interested in archaeology, neat and tidy ending, not a very science fictiony thing, they did this book wrong, he needed to continue the incompetence and stupidity, the Arthur Jermyn / White Ape way, the H.P. Lovecraft story, She by H. Rider Haggard, Allan’s Wife, strategic gorilla reserve, monkeys mating with their wives, a pipesmoking silverback gorilla with his great grandmother in the room, Planet Of The Apes, an under-explored element, the racial component, Genghis Khan, Yellow Peril, the blacks don’t want to be excluded, the settlement, are the women are willing to have Mongolian babies, female perspectives in the novel, all the women want is babies, untermenschen, a sexist book, Marissa’s or Maissa’s take on the book, everybody is really comical, farce, a child named after Eleanor Roosevelt, P. Schuyler Miller’s review from Astounding, May 1948, just another dirty book, a joyous satire, just plain fun, where’s the breeding?, I kept expecting the breeding to start, it doesn’t dwell in the place Science Fiction dwells, siblings or half siblings, a lot of older women, you better hurry, half brothers and half sisters, Homer Adam’s kid is a girl, a problem for the plot and the planet, its dealt with as premise to show off the idea of bureaucracy being incompetent in peacetime, the execution is not science fiction, speculative fiction, this is not really Science Fiction, a reddit thread, a super-dated commentary on the baby boom, it doesn’t go anywhere, a timely book whose time has passed, Catch-22, bureaucracy nightmare, bombing raids, the disincentive to keep going is to get killed, daylight bombing raids, if the crew has solidarity, changing the rules mid-stream, longer legs, the Vietnam War, a second tour, the legacy of WWII’s draft service, 1973, Nixon’s second term, endless wars now, victory gardens, a volunteer force allows permanent war, pre-modern wars, summer wars with tiny armies, unified front during the war, social groups, labour unions, a strikewave, securities collapsed, the CIO and AFofL, a wholly capitalistic world, Greece’s long record of service to mankind, special pleading, international affairs, a new world order, given to the U.N., Mr. Adam is a metaphor for the atomic bomb (MR. ATOM), the USA has an A-BOMB, the BOMARC missile crisis, medium range ballistic missiles without the nukes, too efficient in killing people, before the novel started there’d already been a nuclear accident before Mississippi, no fallout except for actual fallout, getting rid of nukes, How To Survive The H-Bomb And Why by Pat Frank, a reporter, the Office of War Information (aka propaganda), cynicism and absurdity, his science is terrible, radiation traveled at the speed of light across the planet except for one guy in one mine?, other apocalyptic novels, he doesn’t really care about the science, not a tear is shed, a scarce resource being seized by the government, a funny little thing about reproduction, his characterization of women is hilarious, his charity towards men, not a dirty book, “Mr. Adam was wanted by every woman in the world”, women don’t care who the father is, women need to be more careful about their men, women have to hold a tighter rein over their men, what male or female motivation is, women like babies and men want to be fathers, cuckolding the entire planet, I’m a proud father of 6 red headed boys, a caricature of humans, in this zone of comedy, such a breezy fun book, Smith Field is mentioned 20 times, the narrator’s fantasy bed, built for lazy living, a refrigerator and bar, things happen on Smith field, the radio, boogie-woogie, weird geography in Smith Field, domestic geography, stay in bed all day gambling, when Mr Adam is lying in his new residence, his feet hang off the edge, if I were in his position I would want to do something about it, why don’t we have a refrigerator next to our bed?, Transylvania, a contemporary news thing, England asks for aid, traditional American sportsmanship, a final solution to the question of Transylvania, when Marge is preggers, the Transylvania question, Trump or Covid, the domestic issues, more than just seaweed, of too vital of importance , the secret of Thompson’s Tonic, dynamite is nukes, Gregg Margarite, during the ’80s he built giant surrogate penises for Ronald Reagan, stuff that could be happening today, if a lot of new hospitals had been built, a very skilled writer, fighting in Palestine, China, Burma, Syria, the setup for the whole book, literally in the news this week, the long legs of his wife, a serious problem you shouldn’t take too seriously, pretty funny stuff, a really funny book, Alas, Babylon, a military presence in Lebanon, space supremacy, food from third world countries, Playhouse 90, Burt Reynolds, Stephen King’s The Stand, trusting S.T. Joshi, great book, had it more science fiction ideas…, who doesn’t want to be a James Bond?, The Big Book of Classic Fantasy: The Ultimate Collection edited by Ann VanderMeer and Jeff VanderMeer, pre-Tolkien fantasy was goofier, E.T.A. Hoffman, The Nose by Nikolai Gogol.