The SFFaudio Podcast #725 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: Prince Alberic And The Snake Lady by Vernon Lee

The SFFaudio Podcast #725 – Prince Alberic And The Snake Lady by Vernon Lee – read by Evan Lampe. This is a complete and unabridged reading of the novella (1 hour 35 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants include Jesse, Paul Weimer, Maissa Bessada, and Evan Lampe.

Talked about on today’s show:
without fixing mistakes, two sessions, a damn hard book to read, mispronouncing many words, so many times, tap-es-tree not tape-ess-tree, its fantasy Jesse, you have to understand I didn’t speak to anyone until I was 22 years old, Evan is very dry, you pronounce words like someone who only gets them out of books, isolated, orgy, or-ghee, reading Hustler, is this where the orgy happens, draught is draft, still listenable, Brother And Sister by Donald E. Westlakes, Mr. Adam, Nudist Camp, the dedication, The Yellow Book, July 1896, to H.H. the Ranee Brooke of Sarawak, True Adventure, True Man, mens sweats magazines, a guy with his shirt off getting attacked by wild animals, “Weasels Tore My Flesh”, The White Raja Of Sarawak, Brunei, Indonesia, mercenary work, for about 100 years the was a royal family that was quasi-British, married to the king of Sarawak, their marriage wasn’t so great, pawned her diamond ring, married into money, Oscar Wilde, people they’re clubbing with, fin de siècle, 1890s, Violet Paget, Purple Paget, when clubbing with Oscar Wilde, what that plays into the story, related, is Vernon Lee saying don’t raise your kids badly?, the setup not the payoff, its all setting, the castle, the furniture, porphyry, nick-nacks, all setting detail, things that happed, stories within stories, the tapestry itself, the unicorn tapestries, the hunting of the unicorn, 1495-1505, Public Domain Review, monkey looking tigers, rabbits, a lot in setup like The Alchemist, Maissa is not a Lovecrafter, The Silver Key, no male will live past the age of 30, a family curse, a person alive for centuries, the setup is similar, the payoff is different, Paul, Maissa, Marissa, Terrance and Julie, very like a fairy tale, folk tales are really short, a paragraph or 6 pages, this is a novella, fairy tales vs. folk tales, folk tales written by an individual are fairy tales, Hans Christian Anderson, stones coming down the river forever, The Bros. Grimm, Puss In Boots is a fairy tale, psychology, Christian folktales, grandmas pass it on to grandmas, Cinderella, some folk tales are in every culture, almost based on a real tapestry, Prince Alberic And The Snake Lady, a snake lady kissing a knight, lamia, a mother of monsters sort of creature, the outside edges, John William Waterhouse, the outside edges, what’s going on in the middle, the story where the tapestry came from, a neglected locked away child, his clothes, his nurse, this is a job for me, full of image, intertwining figures, position of body parts and distances between things, rich in detail, a lonely kid locked in the basement, falls in love with the Romper Room lady, very very Biblical, the opposite Bible story, had a snake made it through to the end, the debauchery of this duke, a parallel Eden, neglect is very important, exposure to plants and animals, castle of sparkling waters, which is eden, seeing the borders, romantic couple, a functional marriage, conceptions of romance from media, romantic comedies, why the story is long, ancestry, growing up, the kid had to evolve, The Outsider as a little kid, a serpent in the Garden, the serpent has been cursed, backstory for Ladyhawke, Matthew Broderick, the Mouse, the evil church, self-narrating, adjacent to it and appreciative of it, his ancestor, recreates the attempt to free her, it fails, infidelity, outside forces, the family interference, make something of it, undergraduate essays, wholly focused on the gender identity stuff, readable into it, dressing like a man or a boy, male pseudonym, interpret the story, Victorian repression, interesting unto itself, engaging with the snake, turning Eve into the snake, Lilith, more Lilith than Eve, Princess Albercca, an Eve/Lilith story, a lot of speculation about how many lovers she had, weird dynamic, the grandfather, playing a game with his courtiers, who’s going to be the boss, to frustrate the main story, to contrast, mundanity, base and flat vs. art and literature and teaching and play, reading it subversively, does he just have a pet snake?, a fantasy figure, is he just an autodidact that imagined all that?, a weird story in the family, a problem at the end, I gotta wait ten years, fidelity for ten years to liberate the snake lady, a young man who’s gone nuts, a castle tale, he went crazy, his line is over, after that terrible storm, blows and saber cuts, rumor, I dreamt all of this, can you confirm my dream?, weird fiction done as a fairy tale, A.A. Milne’s The Green Door, a fantasy door, you look a little bit like him, the prince is dead, go off into Eden together, free from the trappings of their royal requirements, the jester, the cleric, the dwarf, the three wise men, Hop-Frog by Edgar Allan Poe, different loyalties, the Pope, the emperor, Spain, court favourites, 1780, who is that guy in Spain who gets blamed for the decline of Spain, the target for why things go bad, cabinet shakeup, things are going to change now, is it about giving advice to the royal highness of Sarawak?, pawn your kids off to other royal people, competition, Gaspar de Guzmán (Count-Duke of Olivares), globally common in courts, some backdrop here, historical context, Alberic is distances from these figures, when they spy on him, the jester hides in a high spot, where the fall happens, like a family curse story, our viewpoint on the more interesting story, she’s half snake half fairy, folk tales, The Doll Princess aka Doll I’ The Grass, to pass the test, spin and weave and sew a shirt in one day, the skills involved are all very practical skills, fairy tales are from a class perspective, the skills of a peasant, to ride, use a weapon, farming skills, plowing skills, donkey selling skills, ventriloquism skills, he kisses her and the curse is broken, the eclipse, the right magic items, where the Mouse comes in, an evil priest, a wolf by night a falcon by day, attempt number 3?, the monks got him, lots of threes here, all rumours are always true in Lovecraft, is she ultimately dead?, sever her head from her trunk, the dead grass snake, the body of a woman naked and miserably disfigured with blows and saber cuts, slithering around with nobody, did Balthazar meet the snake lady?, what’s up with him, he’s a little suss, he hates the snake lady and he hates the devil, his duchy ends and becomes extinct, another historical process, the consolidation of states, moreover, the mosaic chapel, the rockery, the porphyry rhinoceros, certain chairs and curtains, various pieces of an extremely damaged arras, the story lives on in the furniture, the true protagonist, she grooms this boy, reading it naturalistically, friends with a grass snake, getting this stuff from the villagers, the old man, how Lovecraft did it, a tweet from the Lovecraft Bot, it’s heaven!, imprinting on whatever is there, raised by ladies with afros, white suits, watched a lot of Miami Vice, imprinting on this snake, a naked rabbit, neglect, locking away a kid, the heir, we should probably do something about that, come in and turn his TV off, Romper Room is his whole world, I don’t want to watch Newhart, I get Scooby-Doo, the Duke with his permanent youth, prince-worthy, you’re stuck with who you got, the family line going, you don’t need a family line if you’re immortal, a shocking state of neglect, rustic is the 1890s version of on the spectrum, this kid is definitely weird, he doesn’t behave normally, a wild child, a princess worthy to be his wife, to fashion his manners, the subtle things, so he knows how to have sex, break his heart, an attack, we’re going to groom him, he hates the snake and he hates the devil, change the tapestry, Alberic the Blonde, the chronicles of the crusaders, enlightened mind and delicate taste, improbably events, D&D will send you to Hell, he’s under his own curse, he cut Susanna and the elders into strips, writing distraction, a red herring, three Biblical days, the Book of Daniel, paintings of this, an approved naked lady in the pool, she’s just trying to clean herself, one of the spies from a tree, the jester!, why he cuts it up, take out the bad things, he saw the rabbit denuded, rabbits are all about fertility, you don’t need to be fertile if you’re immortal, heirs are threats, Christians and Jews, what’s in and what’s out, placed in the apocrypha, useful for edification but non-canonical, a gender reversal, to get power, explaining why the French Revolution happened, the Emperor needs to bring his rivals close to him, dukes and counts need to be brought close so they don’t rebel, then they neglect the lands that they’re from, control his kingdom better, focused on court intrigue, the traditional job of kings is to be judges, the ‘let them eat cake’ moment, let them inject insulin, the parliamentarian, that one bad senator in Arizona, meanwhile, corruption, the rustic people don’t exist in this story, 17th and 18th century states, all going bankrupt, constant war, building things, showing off their power, London after the fire of 1667, investing all this money in the grandeur of court life, state lotteries, alliances, passing troops, War of the Spanish Succession, doochy vs. duchy, most Christian king, who does he think to marry?, let some bad blood into the royal family, chemicals, bourgeois families, nobility of the rose vs. nobility of the sword, good historical context, the description of the tapestry, the only thing on his wall, the border of fruit and flowers, red, yellow, orange, even green, ghosts, indeed it was only as he grew bigger, little by little he could see them always, he closes his eyes and he can see them, imagination, memory, a remnant of redness, a knight, doing an Evan, no wig, a helmet with big plumes, bare legs a kilt and a wig, she’s having it both ways, rich reading, a thick circular garland, very lovely, a chest of drawers, so rubbed, tapestry shouldn’t get worn out like that, embraced the lady with the other arm, all about gaze, we’re looking at him looking at it and other people are looking at him, the deep depths of this story, I’m you godmother, one hour everyday, she’s immortal too, only ages while in human form?, this is what this guy looks like, little Alberic models himself on this guy, what the Duke looks like, whose thoughts are those?, an omniscient narrator, the ignorance of the characters, outsider looking at it, the very simple thing, they can’t live their own lives to be their own sexual beings, very few female characters, maybe some peasants, ten years to become a woman, as a person of value, some of that in there?, she wrote this with a pseudonym, Vernon as her name name, she lived in Italy, what else it could be, the description of her dress, so very pale and faded, the colour of moonbeams, the ladies who got out of the coaches to the court of honour, no clothes at all on their upper part, little by little, all over her bodice, we are given some colours and some words and we read in, to see her skirt, it was probably very beautiful too, the inlaid chest of drawers, a large ebony and ivory crucifix, a great deal too heavy, why is the church so heavy?, when Alberic was 11, loud talking in his dreams, this is mine now, that nice pious crucifix, he’s being stolen from, a wonderful thing, now the TV’s not blocked anymore, a walk on the terrace, she’s naked!, riveted to the grown, oh nurse dear nurse, Evan’s German girl voices, she ended off in a big snake’s tail, green and gold, the snake part, against herself against him, he’s friends with her even though she’s not friendly, holy virgin! why she’s a serpent!, he loved the beautiful lady all the more, why the knight was so very good for her, Jervas Dudley, The Tomb, The Silver Key, this biblical element, set in Europe, Luna’s not a real place, fictional France, sexualized Victorian menstruation blood, she dances with the devil [The Moon-Slave by Barry Pain], The Big Book of Classic Fantasy edited by Jeff Vandermeer, J.R.R. Tolkien is the barrier between the two, “the ultimate collection”, chronologically, the gaps can be huge, how are you picking these?, all the handwringing that goes into choosing the stories, a systematic method, there are too many stories, everything has to be published somewhere, interesting and well written and put together carefully, she has a number of other stories, from the same period, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Yellow Wallpaper gets way too much attention, Herland, where to start with more Vernon Lee, so many books, novels and non-fiction, In Praise Of Old Gardens, a long list of works, 1881, novella, A Ballet Of The Nations, a goldmine, The Hidden Door, 1887, More Deadly Than The Male, W. Scott Poole, Wastelands, so very classicist, how Vernon Lee had the ability to do this, she’s not a Conan Doyle, they’re crass, rustic, a prince right in the title, hey lady, whatchu doing later?, what’s the nice lady doing?, she is also of the upper class even though she’s a snake lady, from the lower classes, these stories are read by the middle classes who are aspirant to the upper class lifestyle.

Rajah Of Sarawak from Male, February 1960

Posted by Jesse WillisBecome a Patron!

The SFFaudio Podcast #714 – READALONG: Orphans Of The Sky by Robert A. Heinlein

Jesse, Maissa Bessada, and Evan Lampe talk about Orphans Of The Sky by Robert A. Heinlein

Talked about on today’s show:
two novellas, Universe and Common Sense, in Astounding, May and October 1941, astounding, the back half of this book barely needs to exist, the ending, a tearjerker, a wifejerker, Jesse’s guess, Heinlein’s like: “sure”, good things, things that are missing, the environmental angle, the ship would be reducing furnishings, they would have a lot less stuff in their ship, keep feeding the converter, back in my day we had more material goods, there used to be paintings on the walls, the ship’s boat, books, feed the books or one of his wives in, the unnamed wife lost a tooth, he might have hit her, misogyny, she doesn’t even have a name, other than threatening to throw her in the converter…, the women are very non-existent, a girl he likes, the first mutant was female, no wonder he hates girls, the four armed knife-making lady, good eating, making swords, a widow who got to keep her name, so generous, real world, if they had a replicator, he’s inventing quite a bit of stuff, the matter converter thing, before nuclear bombs, let those mutants breed (to feed the converter), if you lived in a school for 20 years, the ship is made of metal, is there are room full of iron bars?, stripping off hinges and door panels and lockers, The Science Fiction Hall Of Fame, all the interesting thematic stuff was in Universe, longer than the first part, how are we gonna do this?, confirmed, a few allusions going on, one for all and all for one, Alexander Dumas, organizing the re-mutiny, we should get the women too, the mutiny on the Bounty, Pitcairn’s Planet, reverse, the ship’s boat went with Bligh, explains the misogyny, Fletcher Christian etc., kidnapping a bunch of ladies, Heinlein indicating, they found a box of books that boys always somehow find, that’s really sad then, the Sabine women, start your civilization with patriarchy, a general cruelty everywhere, sympathizing with Bobo, Joe-Jim, Hugh, a wife-beater, lots of good things in here, done so you might not notice it as much, he needs to indicate he is being cruel, slavery, genocide, crazy religion, so good, the Bible, and yet it moves!, Galileo, Universe is an allegory for the scientific revolution, Common Sense is an allegory for the Mutiny On The Bounty, the society is backwards, a fundamentalist religion that they call science, imagine Heinlein wrote a colonial rebellion set during the American Revolution, the British are coming, having an ultimatum-off, he wouldn’t have any illusions they were general bastards (but not focus on it), he would tip his hand, Evan is going through Ben Franklin, a very sympathetic character, a dynamo, different from the other founding fathers, going with the flow, Joe-Jim is never show as three or four times older, reading for several generations, he seems like a guy, figuring out what the pronouns were, Joe-Jim is a him (not a them), a real phenomenon, people sometimes have two heads, little bit of bickering, fun to experience, a two headed friend, chess or checkers, when one of those heads dies, the other dies quick thereafter, other guy same person, control of limbs, highly coordinated, hims share an ability to control his body, it just flows, this two headed person plays chess and checkers with himself, too hard, our infodump old man character, two guy in one body, hims figured out that the ship was not the whole, two heads are better than one, call yourself on your own bullshit, Zaphod Beeblebrox, forgettable, seeing Bobo get killed felt bad, sacrifice himsself, an emotional catharsis, kinda sweet but unneeded, thinking about the title, orphans in space, they don’t know who they are, who are the real orphans of the sky at the end of the book, orphans from Earth, leftbehind and purposeless, was there only one ship’s boat?, stuck there forever, heat death of the physical ship Vanguard, the really cool thing about Universe, an allegory for the human condition, a hard SF story, a retelling of us on Earth, the purposelessness, they have their culture, they have the genocides they need to do, a very destructive element, an intellectual revolution, Heinlein’s on the side of Hugh here, the scientistic world view, sweeps everything under the rug (then don’t look under the rug), to Far Centaurus, your head was too big, learn to read, gravitation is metaphorical, super-fun stuff, crazy people, literally true at all points vs. metaphorical at all points, metaphorical explanations and poetry and lists of people, The Iliad, every town in Greece gets its own hero, the hometown hero, an artifact of that, all the electrical stuff is all true, the gravitational stuff is all metaphor, this guy in the sky is watching you, have a revelation, no big guy in the sky, having literal wars over who’s going to be in charge, not hitting you over the head with it, it makes great SF, good eating is the purpose, when you take away the light, eating and making sex, and killing, the Chief Engineer, no art, they don’t even understand fiction, they didn’t know that this fiction, like Galaxy Quest (historical fiction), Universe is terrific soft science fiction and terrific hard SF, more backstory, why Jordan?, D.D. Harriman, a company?, a corporation?, Time Enough For Love, New Frontiers, the Methuselah’s Children people, flourishing as savages on a planet called Pitcairn Island, a massive decline, we need to right the ship, get high up in the position, die and freeze to death, they were wrong, that is the point, we have other environmental problems, fossil fuels to shove, rewriting this book starting earlier, years with Joe-Jim, kidnapped by the muties, apprentice to this wizard, where does the mutie food come from?, how many people live on the Vanguard?, at least three women, 4 or 5 maybe 6 and a couple of guys, what the farms are like, more on industry and food distribution, is there taxes?, only two hours, who else can do something that much in that short?, an explanation for the swearword Huff, to huff with you, a drib and a drab, the audio drama is a bit different, no Joe-Jim, barely a sketch, Dimension X and X-Minus One, half hour adaptations of classic science fiction stories, a Heinlein thingy, Brave New World, Bernard Marx is an accident they let go, Winston in Nineteen Eighty Four, a standard character, how this idea has evolved, not hard enough, all about the ecology, the first one, the idea had been around since the 1920s, developed so well by other writers, Aurora by Kim Stanley Robinson, how it is sustained, going deeper into the purpose of this, explore the frontier, mid-20th century stuff, Philip K. Dick, very American, fascist imperialists who wanted to conquer another planet, an expansionist culture, re-read Aurora, how many Universes inside of Aurora, Robert J. Sawyer, as more trilogies piled up, so amazing, Golden Fleece by Robert J. Sawyer, centrifugal force, accelerate half way there and decelerate half way, a constant 1g with one day where everybody is floating around, the narrator is the ship’s computer, its a murder mystery, the computer did it!, a little bit clunky handling humans, his humans are robotic, a metaphor for us here, we are on the starship earth, there have been many mutinies, and all we recognize is good eating, those poor plebs on the ground, as the captain gets fat and closes our door, Evan is correct, you need to know that you can create something, is good eating a bad purpose, the best adaptation of this is the Star Trek episode For The World Is Hollow And I Have Touched The Sky, a generation starship inside of an asteroid, then instruction manual for the universe, disobey the high priestess, brain pain and then a stroke, put them on the right course, an evil computer to Kirk, free choice, high technology, McCoy is dying, packing a lot into 50 minutes, The Orville one: If The Stars Should Appear, opening a canopy, cultural revolution, understanding their purpose, the minds of the people, the plot summary, suffering from a fatal disease just for this episode, xenopolycythemia, high priestess, Yanada, 10,000 years ago, all it takes is a commercial break to fall in love, an instrument of obedience, take a Christian cookie and drink the blood of Christ (to obey the pope), activated, deal with the oracle, behind the altar, a cure for McCoy’s condition, there version of Common Sense, Thomas Paine, a revolution, Ptolemy is common sense, Copernicus is common sense, Agora (2009), Hypatia of Alexandria, her slave knew, the experiment on the boat, an allegory, Aristotle’s explanation, it seems round, the words turn up in the text, new purpose, Paine’s pamphlet, the common sentiment, a trick we do on ourselves, where on the globe do you live?, they all know the Earth is round, the Earth orbits the sun, flat-earthers, contrary, Heinlein’s having it both ways, a revolutionary guy, The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, why the universe is the universe, an attack on the phrase, “It’s just common sense” <- you haven't actually thought about it, looked at the evidence, what the common perception is, whoever is spending the most money to do the most speech, propaganda and advertising, bougie colleagues ordering from uber eats on a rainy day, blocking out ads, cellphone ads, it is common sense that an island shouldn't rule a continent, Evan loves Tom Paine, if you don't agree with me you're an idiot, follow through with evidence, the reason Paine left England, I must bring down the British Empire at all costs, a historical figure, marshaling whatever arguments are available, Ben Franklin brought Paine to America, Evan's headcanon: Ben Franklin Is A Time Traveler, shows up in Philadelphia, if you take him out the American Revolution doesn't happen, he knows where to be at the right time, a historical fiction to be written, Neal Stephenson's Baroque Cycle, a real dynamo, The Sea Wolf by Jack London, people are demanding Evan’s Star Trek book, cut it off after Voyager, so sexless, gender politics, Rite Gud, Raquel S. Benedict, Everyone Is Beautiful No One Is Horny, sexless films, frustrated at the lack of sex in Star Wars, Obi Wan should be sleeping with sandpeople, he abandoned his Jedi ways he should get a girlfriend, 1990s direct to video, hey that’s random, Lethal Weapon is a buddy cop movie with a sex scene, seeing Mel Gibson’s ass, heightened experience of all things, this no sex thing is spinning in Maissa’s head, bathing suits, they recycled their clothes, sacred texts, acid free paper, a lot of bindings to break, computers, scribes, no moving parts in the computer, so hidden, operating the ship, the way you control the ship is you put a hand over a sensor, fiber optic, the light is blocked, bowl-shaped ruts in the hallways, visualizing the things that are there that they are not talking about, light and heat, florescent tubes, more meetings more soviets in Aurora, talking with computers, Kim Stanley Robinson likes his meetings, giant chunky novels, too many meetings, Evan is like an Ent, liking ideas, 50 pages of people talking about their values, Slavoj Žižek, anarchists, workers councils, debt or medical bills, there’s pleasure to be had in working out your ideas, people sitting around and talking about things, too big of a class, co-workers complained about Evan, feed me with your insight, Evan wants you to correct him, in comparison, you didn’t take the minutes properly, a 600 page book, there’s a dozen major characters vs. having two characters with one torso, Star Trek or Doctor Who, one guy represents the whole planet, character interaction stuff, characters are there to deliver the ideas, we don’t need more wife-abuse, we need to know that these guys are jerks, The Orville episodes that are just their version of Star Trek episodes, the social media planet episode was novel, time loop thing, the Kaylon invasion arc, standalone is good, Strange New Worlds, a robot suicide, Isaac kills himself, a depressed robot, Sisko’s girlfriend tries, The Orville has sex, Rob Lowe as blue alien, some alien takes over people, flashfoward three time to Pike’s a mummy who can beep, he’s going to be a beeper later, bad writing, it took them a long time to get to the planet, Prodigy as Teletubbies Star Trek, sex in Lower Decks, back on the bridge Kirk smiles at McCoy and Spock looks insulted, a little button, an old Heinlein story rehashed, back to episodic, they’re trying, Picard is a total disregard for everything that was supposed to be Star Trek, old Star Trek canon, inner eyelids and pon fars, saddled with endless lore, why is Spock’s girlfriend in this?, that’s not science fiction, Captain Pike meets young Picard and introduced him to Earl Grey tea, Earl Grey decaf! Star Trek’s back!, just words, more stuff thrown into the converter and rebel against the masterminds of the ship who are driving us off course, The Integral Trees by Larry Niven, 240 page slim volume, a ring around a neutron star, Golden Fleece by Robert J. Sawyer, Sawyer was influenced by Heinlein, the Quintaglio Ascension, miniature dinosaurs on a moon of a Jupiter-like planet that is tidally locked and the main character is a tiny Tyrannosaurs Rex Galileo perhaps from Earth from a generation starship from Earth, a Voyager that’s a rip-off of a Robert J. Sawyer [“Distant Origin“], a bizarre accident or suicide or murder?, pretty amazing, later works, definitely early Sawyer, malevolent AI, the AI did it, but why?, a second mystery, The Long Tomorrow by Leigh Brackett, The Shining by Stephen King, bringing my microphone to America, Binary by Michael Crichton, eventually Michael Crichton will be much appreciated, trying to kill the Republicans, two cylinders of gas, doing some writer stuff, together they are the book, a writerly trick, a dynamo of thinking in writing, responsible for a lot of cool books, on IMDB, directed the TV movie, Sphere, Congo, a white ape movie, everything Crichton was huge in the late 80s, Westworld, Sean Connery and Donald Sutherland in The Great Train Robbery, a beautiful movie, natural scientist, Oscar Isaac, a real person, becoming Christian, this woman’s a witch, desexed Hypatia, a fictionalized biopic, pretty good script, spending time in that weird old place that nobody filmed stories in, 4th or 5th century, darkish ages, the Library of Alexandria, also destroyed, what we have left, kind of a downer, really nice to see, a love triangle and no sex, a terrible title, 2009, a Spanish movie, figuring out heliocentricism is basically a sex scene, sensawunda as orgasm, The Physician (2013), Avicenna, medicine stuff, join The Sea Wolf party, when was Will’s last tweet?, on vacation, Disney stuff, Scrooge McDuck, thinking about thinking about what Will would have thought of this book, The Star King by Jack Vance, Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe, re-re-read The Shining again, Black House is amazing, a blind DJ, Peter Straub, beer brewing philosophy grads, Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven, 625 pages and a sequel, connected to The Dark Tower too, a murder mystery kind of thing, The Talisman, a third book, 40 and a retired cop, this 4 hour book was twice as long as it needed to be, 10 hours longer than The Shining, Evan’s Price Is Right guess was off, Martin Eden is 14 hours, a bird’s eye tour of the setting, zoom in on different characters, John Barleycorn is only 6 hours, space these things out, Vernon Lee’s Prince Alberic And The Snake Lady, sell it more, Violet Paget, “only a few marble animals about the porphery rhinocerous”, a weird tale of some kind, William Morris’ weird fantasy, the language and the experience of it, to H.H. the Ranee Brooke of Sarawak, queen or princess, controlling pirates, Mens’ adventures pulp magazine covers, a Malysian state in Borneo, the Sultan of Brunei, richest person on the planet, the first white Rajah of Sarawak, a fun very weird history, really nice and weird, the Bruneian empire, 1841-1946, a little piece of Malaysia that got turned into a little piece of Europe, I wanna do colonialism too, a mini-viking story, it was in The Yellow Book magazine, a selling point, The Picture Of Dorian Gray, Weird Tales, committing to late August, why Heinlein is good (and bad), bad instincts, John W. Campbell’s bad influence seems likely, we can imagine a happier ending, the women were suddenly liberated, suddenly some sentience, why they get smacked in the face and loose a tooth, lots of stabbings, into the matter converter with you, being a bad slave or having a wrong thought, who is the strawman character in this book?, the engineer, the captain, setup only to be easily confuted, Jesse is easily confuted, lazy, indecisive and not thoughtful, a criticism of religion and politicians, we think Biden and Justin have the reins and are well informed, the captain didn’t do anything, prepared to listen to arguments, ignorant and easily manipulated.

Universe by Robert A. Heinlein

Universe by Robert A. Heinlein

Universe by Robert A. Heinlein

Universe by Robert A. Heinlein

Universe by Robert A. Heinlein

Common Sense by Robert A. Heinlein

Common Sense by Robert A. Heinlein

Common Sense by Robert A. Heinlein

Common Sense by Robert A. Heinlein

Common Sense by Robert A. Heinlein

BAEN - Orphans Of The Sky by Robert A. Heinlein

Dell Book - UNIVERSE by Robert A. Heinlein

Orphans Of The Sky - Science Fiction Book Club AD

HARDCOVER - Orphans Of The Sky

Posted by Jesse WillisBecome a Patron!

The SFFaudio Podcast #661 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: Mr. Adam by Pat Frank


The SFFaudio PodcastThe 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.

POCKET BOOKS - Mr. Adam by Pat Frank

Mr. Adam by Pat Frank

Posted by Jesse WillisBecome a Patron!

LibriVox’s Horror Story Collection 004

SFFaudio Online Audio

Just added to the ever expanding LibriVox catalogue…

LibriVox Audiobook - Horror Story Collection 004Horror Story Collection 004
By Various; Read by various narrators
10 Zipped MP3s or Podcast – Approx. 2 Hours 24 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Published: June 9th, 2008
An occasional collection of 10 horror stories by various readers. We aim to unsettle you a little, to cut through the pink cushion of illusion that shields you from the horrible realities of life. Here are the walking dead, the fetid pools of slime, the howls in the night that you thought you had confined to your more unpleasant dreams.

The Dream
By Ivan Turgenev; Read by Pete Williams
1 |MP3| – Approx. 53 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]

A Ghoul’s Accountant
By Stephen Crane; Read by Paul Curran
1 |MP3| – Approx. 7 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]

A Haunted House
By Virginia Woolf; Read by Lauren Herzog
1 |MP3| – Approx. 5 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]

The Man-Tiger (version 1)
By Anonymous; Read by Bobby Marcelino
1 |MP3| – Approx. 3 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]

The Man-Tiger (version 2)
By Anonymous; Read by Sy
1 |MP3| – Approx. 3 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]

Napoleon And The Spectre
By Charlotte Bronte; Read by Annoying Twit
1 |MP3| – Approx. 8 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]

One Summer Night
By Ambrose Bierce; Read by Paul Curran
1 |MP3| – Approx. 6 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]

The Street
By H.P. Lovecraft; Read by Glen Hallstrom
1 |MP3| – Approx. 14 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]

A Test of Courage
By C.W. Leadbeater; Read by SWES
1 |MP3| – Approx. 10 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]

A Wedding Chest
By Vernon Lee; Read by Tysto
1 |MP3| – Approx. 36 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]

Podcast feed:

My thoughts on this collection: Other than some bad pronunciations by narrator Pete Williams (who sounds a lot like Alex Wilson), Ivan Turgenev’s The Dream makes for a solid listen. It’s quite dreamlike and seems inspired by Turgenev’s own life. Beirce’s One Summer Night sounds like it would have been a great story if the setup narrator Paul Curran has had been tweaked a bit (there’s something wrong with the sound, it’s both too bassy and too whistly at the same time). Lovecraft’s The Street, narrated by Glenn Halstrom (AKA Smokestack Jones) is a good reading, but their still something wrong with his setup too (a persistent hiss). SWES’s narration of A Test Of Courage by C.W. Leadbeater, on the other hand is clear and completely noise free – but is way too fast! Tysto, who reads Vernon Lee’s A Wedding Chest, also has a good setup. His reading is a tad off. I’m not sure what the problem is, but the word that springs to mind is “cadence.”

Posted by Jesse Willis