The SFFaudio Podcast #692 – Things As They Are; Or, The Adventures Of Caleb Williams by William Godwin – read by Bev J Stevens, for LibriVox. This is a complete and unabridged reading of novel (16 hours 37 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants include Jesse, Paul Weimer, Evan Lampe, and Bryan Alexander
Talked about on today’s show:
1794, consistently mentioned, extensive shownotes, 2013, “The Modern Prometheus” or Frankenstein, Wieland by Charles Brockden Brown, 9 years of hint, The Star King by Jack Vance, favourite novel or favourite book?, sportsball human named Caleb Williams, Oklahoma Sooners, an evil plan to make us stupider, where everybody lives, how tall or how much money does Caleb Williams make, Google sponsoring Worldcon, the connection to Frankenstein, four people, woho would the first family of British letters (but their politics is too upsetting), anarchist political philosophy, Political Justice by William Godwin, Mary Wollstonecraft, The Last Man, Percy Shelly, one of the greatest poets of all time, their politics are so uncomfortable, vegetarian scary feminist, The Anubis Gates by Tim Powers, The Stress Of Her Regard, neutered their reputations, Percy Shelly as a nature poet, a rich and exciting book, the sentences are long, a cat just climbed on Bryan, better on the page, a really fun book, written in reverse, Dickens wrote a note to Poe to that effect, the fun stuff, very John Buchan-y, escape, Geoffrey Household’s Rogue Male, crime novel, a thriller novel, chase and escape, one man against the state, a detective story, Hamlet, curiosity, a classic tragedy, a Jacobean revenge tragedy, all those modalities, a gothic layer, a doppelganger story, weird tweets, Arthur Mervyn by Charles Brockden Brown, tasting Godwin, teaching a course on those four writers would be a dream course, Women’s Studies/History, connecting these writers with the French Revolution, The Rights Of Man by Thomas Paine, trying not to think about the 1790s, The Making Of The British Working Class by E.P. Thompson, 1810-1815, Ireland was invaded by France in 1797, the nine years war, its not popular, going against what the British like to think about themselves, practicing colonialism on their neighbour, the Easter Rising, WWI, rebellion and mutiny in the British Navy, a continental story, Napoleon, republic is a good idea, incendiary, The REVOLUTIONS Podcast, Queen Victoria’s guillotine nightmares, echoes in Political Justice, this is all messed up, our reliance on hierarchy and authority, the alternate ending (the bleak one), insane in prison, dire notes, true happiness lies in being like a stone (a grave stone), all caps and exclamation marks, literally radical stuff, alternate takes, a shirt nobody with recognize, correct or semi-correct, hot take, a woman fleeing a castle, a thinly veiled reboot, landlord lord boss, the mother in the attic or the kid in the trunk, a homoerotic or homosocial relationship, a classic heterosexual triangle, the young bride and the evil spouse, everybody is corrupted by the villain, local criminal gangs are corrupted, Mrs. Radcliffe, an anarchist book, so tame and so subtle, his starting position is internal, I have to chop of my understanding, things as they are maybe aint so great, set in Naziland, uts okay to kill Hitler, but not okay to say the British power system is corrupt, don’t steal from everybody, the preface being to risque for the publisher, zero out of ten, very hard to read, that person’s not getting it, old books are different from the style we have today, modes and trends and styles of fiction, too trusting, transformed, resigned, meta-ness, escaping into books, becoming a publisher of books, hiding as a Jew, copying their manners, that’s really cool, a way of escaping the godlike detective agency, every man’s hand is against him, a series of veils being lifted, Jews live in a ghetto, trigger, there’s a lot of torture in this book, what’s my duty, what’s my responsibility, denied light and heat, ruffians, manacled, hounded, living you misery, he can’t seem to flee, emigrate, get away from this nutty landlord, not the best plan, a relatively honest person, stealing money, the worst blackguard in all of England, a literary reflection, Tony Blair is getting another knighthood and Julian Assange is being extradited for treason to a country he is not a citizen of, an avatar for how people should act, joins the criminal gang, a cop and a criminal, a thief taker and a thief, you can be moral within yourself and not worry about the laws, or you can worry about what the laws are and bend to the will of liege lords and masters, we see this lesson again and again, an old guy with a ruddy face and white of lock, oh you’re the guy who insulted that leige lord, Ferdinando Falkland, held in such high regard, he can do no wrong, celebrities, people who own the means of communications, worldcon photography sessions, putting money into speech and putting thoughts into people’s heads, regrounding ourselves by making individual foundations, to throw you off the scent, an all in good fun game, he’s had a revolution within himself, he can’t steal, writing and selling your ideas for whatever meager living that gives you is the way, The Castle Of Otranto, what do you do next?, the novel is about consciousness raising, the next step, education, women are reading these stupid books [Jane Austen], universal compulsory education, The Future Trends Forum, climate change, unhappy cats, think better/act better, the solution is more education, Taiwan and China, the answer to social problems is always education (and never guillotines), we are severely educating the population, education is the solution to a lot of these things, the product of it [education], the mid-19th century, Marx and Engels, more unions, assassinations (propaganda of the deed), a one man army, How To Blow Up A Pipeline by Andreas Malm, all bets are off, extreme measures, Lenin’s war communism, “how things could be” (the sequel), it can’t be institutional, there’s something wrong with institutions at their heart, the justice system is beyond redemption, education is the answer but not institutional education, an 18th century version of The Wire, everyone is in the game, ennui, hate the game not the player, a rebuke, marriage, married largely for show, for her reputation, “Mary Junior”, stupid medical care, a lethal idea, which title do you use?, into the 18th century, a classic plot, lords, Bryan had his students play a role playing game about the Luddite rebellion, I get to be the bailiff, I got the cudgel, a Stanford experiment gone wrong, built into a hero, noble, smart, cultured, trying to stop a fire, 18th century life, why its so sad that Falkland becomes a villain, Justine gets in legal trouble because of the monster’s actions [in Frankenstein], reading it backwards, theatre of calamity, tyranny, is a tyrant a bad ruler or an illiterate rulers?, Declaration Of Independence language, William Blake’s America: A Prophecy, Edmund Burke, execrated my name, reputation, pulp fiction horror thing, writing is embarrassing, Anne Radcliffe, I didn’t write this I found it in a weird monastery in Italy, every praragraph sets up bit by bit, like a table of contents, post script:
Why should my reflections perpetually centre upon myself?—self, an overweening regard to which has been the source of my errors! Falkland, I will think only of thee, and from that thought will draw ever-fresh nourishment for my sorrows! One generous, one disinterested tear I will consecrate to thy ashes! A nobler spirit lived not among the sons of men. Thy intellectual powers were truly sublime, and thy bosom burned with a god-like ambition. But of what use are talents and sentiments in the corrupt wilderness of human society? It is a rank and rotten soil, from which every finer shrub draws poison as it grows. All that, in a happier field and a purer air, would expand into virtue and germinate into usefulness, is thus concerted into henbane and deadly nightshade.
insight through a dream:
Dreamt I had to attend a faculty meeting because I was unaware of what we were going to do about the people sent to troll us during the final examination. We’d be moving the university off planet – but the dimbulbs and corporate flacks were people too and they didn’t seem to get they were going to die. The low tier adult children were around now, but what would happen when we moved off planet? They were not assigned seats, at least not yet, and nobody seemed to be looking out for their interests. When I finally got to speak [on] this issue the chair did a silent scream in response. Which was utterly understandable. [there] was still hope their respective senders, two corporations, a small island nation, and a religious organization might send a budget for them prior to launch. I was still worried. On my way out of the meeting one of their number was making a mess and two others doing acts of public indecency (which would be more acceptable if they grokked the gravity of their existential plight). With nothing yet resolved I walked by then into the maker building where the maker collective was busily winding down their own far less formal meeting. I toured their facility and saw and recognized the results of several projects I’d seen them create and toured their funky display space – which had recently been updated – and talked with one of my favourite creators – who was not as popular as many others in the collective, but who was well respected for the seriousness with which he advanced the state of the humour arts. Still shook from the prospect of seeing people left behind I went to the on campus pizza place. What were we gonna do?”
the way this book is positioned is the anti-deplorables condemnation, a revolutionary czar, he wants nobody to be hung for anything, moral crimes, legal crimes, the reason they’re bad, that’s the way they were made, we need to fix things, not writing people off, all the good people are on my side, we need to make this a personal choice, a personal revolution, trying to drag all the people who are reading the book, what its like to be punished for doing no wrong, always making it personal, having revelations of how things are given to him, when she gets arrested, it would be better for me not to have done anything, not a guillotine book, lets think on this thing together, come together and be friends, bound up in his reputation, your focusing on the wrong part, it isn’t about with a name its character with a personality, how to be in the world, a precursor to a utopian novel, The Fugitive, Les Misérables [by Victor Hugo], The Count Of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas, I have No Mouth And I Must Scream [by Harlan Ellison], fear of embarrassment, Ghislaine Maxwell trial, Jeffrey Epstein, Prince Andrew, we just can’t allow this, what we are as beings, growing literacy, rumour opinion, face and losing face, the doppleganger idea, dopplegangers are almost always lethal, reading the doppleganger’s story from the other side, I now have no character I wish to vindicate, a half told and mangled tale, he’s done, he’s William Wilson [Edgar Allan Poe], the Jane Austen comedy of manners, Jeremy Bentham, panopticon, Volume 3 Chapter 6, extreme verbal violence:
I now took it for granted that I was once more in the power of Mr. Falkland; and the idea was insupportably mortifying and oppressive to my imagination. Escape from his pursuit, freedom from his tyranny, were objects upon which my whole soul was bent. Could no human ingenuity and exertion effect them? Did his power reach through all space, and his eye penetrate every concealment? Was he like that mysterious being, to protect us from whose fierce revenge mountains and hills, we are told, might fall on us in vain? No idea is more heart-sickening and tremendous than this.
is he God?, lyrical, keep being revealed the conspiracy, literally true of the world, outside Julian Assange’s prison, cars full of cops, CIA literally plotting to assassinate him, they were embarrassed, make an example, the CIA was laughing at the State Department, agents all over the British isles, had you stepped on a ship there, a broken figure, barely alive, very convincing, I don’t want to be a Falkland, only a personal political solution, we have to call things as they are as we see them, we lie, we obfuscate, we do it for profit, playmobil Scooby Doo TIKI, tropical trees, a guy wearing a mask, Scooby Doo is very gothic, voodoo, you can’t use that because someone would be upset, Lego Magical Caravan is not cultural appropriation,
LEGO “Magical Caravan” is not cultural appropriation because the vardo wagon and bender tent complete with crystal ball is all euphemismed away so as to be simply a “magical caravan” with no cultural specificity, you see
The horse-drawn caravan is brimming with traditional features, such as cute latticework shutters and an old-fashioned lantern. The roof is side-hinged to allow kids to explore the living quarters. Inside they’ll find a bed, a kitchen with a stove and…
a table they can eat around. They can then care for the horse or play with the owl. In the tent is a crystal ball. Controlled by a twisting function, it spins to reveal Mia’s future. Kids can choose whether it lands on a sad face or a happy face or simply let fate decide”
a gypsy wagon, I wanna see the names so I have knowledge, whitewashed or anonymized, this attractive concept, they can’t name it for what it is, sail back dinosaur, Queen Of The Black Coast by Robert E. Howard, there are black people on the boat, Belit’s commanding non-blacks makes it non-problematic, not allowing speech to be said, by making nobody unhappy we’re making everybody happy <- is the theory, objecting things to showing things as they are, arrested for a crime he didn't commit, everybody is corrupt all the way up and all the way down, here I am I can be no other (and he disappears), I was told this was an anarchist book, where's the anarchism?, revolution from within, but it didn't work, William Morris and his crew, 100 years later, a similar expression, long, his wallpaper becomes popular, the Stickley furniture, craftsman’s houses, Capitalist Realism by Mark Fisher, there’s no escape, acts of terror get people’s attention, unintended effects, drone attacks, The Ministry Of The Future by Kim Stanley Robinson, kidnap people from Davos and make them watch powerpoints, a panic over beef, killings and property damage, killing the Czar is the big success, Alexander Berkman blasting Henry Clay Frick, Falkland’s power is too big, Caleb is a cool guy, a chameleon, a publisher, a criminal, a personal assistant, too much, its overwhelming, justice might grind out the occasional victory, Ferdinando Falkland, when he flips out, he goes insane, detested, if it were in my power, things are not so bad as you imagine, range, genteel country squire, fits of insanity, Byronic villain hero, 18th century hero to romantic villain, literary merit, dramatist personae, more useful in a paperback, Arcadian, old hag, housekeeper, 2020s, the role of women in books and what it says about the character of the writer of the book, the bad guy in the band, stab him with a clever, demonically strong, bewildered, how to be, how to respond to the world as it is, more wild less educated, cooking and cleaning and making a person like her, experience not unlike this, avoid being physically injured, some violent person, how do we deal, she informs, going to bring down the gang, they should reform, Caleb Williams mirror without formal education, their own rustic knowledge, vernacular intuition, somehow subverted by the system, eaten the propaganda, all the encounters he has are focused on teaching us something, pedagogical or exploratory, it doesn’t have any answers, News From Nowhere, Herland by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, how bad patriarchy is, how much, Britain is the last country to figure out that novels exist, very realistic, about class, Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe, Evan’s escape, Clarissa by Samuel Richardson, probing and sketching, Pamela, views and sketches of British life, clear dystopia, where it could have gone, broke a whole bunch of ground, good book, making apologies, they’re doing stuff very differently than the way we would do it, the conscience of the king, who am I supposed to root for here everyone is terrible, Caleb you idiot, I can explain, good character writing, the double has to be the double, the biggest objection (a Louisiana thing), it was just the one murder, who hasn’t?, Quantum Of Nightmares by Charles Stross, Caleb as victim of broadsheet cancel culture, penny dreadfuls, the meta-stuff, writing about the things that he knows, a book he finds is The Adventures Of Caleb Williams, sent to Cancelvania, resonance today, so disreputable you can’t listen to anything he says, acts of public indecency, does Williams lie?, putting on an accent isn’t lying, taking alternate or no name as a writer, what lying, or does anything really immoral?, an excuse, saving his masters papers, his one sin, he broke into it, his job is to save those papers, his motivation was wrong, close to the line, a confession, he breaks into it, guilty of the opposite of lying (too honest), pressing him, as an ancestor to detective fiction, social awkward detectives (Holmes and Nero Wolfe), if Caleb had an Archie Goodwin, a Law & Order series, Asperger’s detective with his minder, Tyrell and Falkland, why are they obsessing over me, turning a good person to evil, an orphan, broke, almost homeless, feeling guilty, in contrast to the bitter hag, a Buddhist enlightened figure, we could all go that way, the captain is kindly, cruel to animals!, they don’t live under the law, snitch, the appeal to outer authority is a shit move, physical violence in the school yard, the relationship kids have to principals, teachers and parents, prison guards and wardens, the logic works, knuckling to their authority, anarchistic at its heart, why he doesn’t want to inform, Falkland stands in for the state, he’s a justice of the peace, the stand in for institutions, penetrating society, Philip K. Dick, the black iron prison of our institutions, perverted loyalty, to do a false accusation, strongly infers, repress and control, you will never leave my service, What Happens After Nora Leaves Home?, The Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen, dead or a prostitute, gothic romances from the 1960s, women with great hair fleeing a house with a high lit window at night, Caleba Williams, a pregnant prostitute, just find a suitable marriage, test the character of your potential husband, the end of Wall-E (2008), Down And Out In The Year 2000 by Kim Stanley Robinson, suffering cyberpunks in Washington, D.C., the author made the fire,
My mind was already raised to its utmost pitch. In a window-seat of the room lay a number of chisels and other carpenter’s tools. I know not what infatuation instantaneously seized me. The idea was too powerful to be resisted. I forgot the business upon which I came, the employment of the servants, and the urgency of general danger. I should have done the same if the flames that seemed to extend as they proceeded, and already surmounted the house, had reached this very apartment. I snatched a tool suitable for the purpose, threw myself upon the ground, and applied with eagerness to a magazine which inclosed all for which my heart panted. After two or three efforts, in which the energy of uncontrollable passion was added to my bodily strength, the fastenings gave way, the trunk opened, and all that I sought was at once within my reach.
then a gun is pointed to his head, a Bluebeard story, sins are not in thought, this is the excuse I’ve needed, take the things to safety, he was a scrivener, at every opportunity to lie he does not, lying to the F.B.I. is illegal, the only thing we shouldn’t do to mom and dad, computer game logic, handy tools, fire, a repetition, fire scenes become drama is heightened up, Eric S. Rabkin, Psychoanalysis Of Fire by Gaston Bachelard, fire is literally illumination, symbolically too, Saul becomes Paul because of light, the MacGuffin opened up for us to see, an action movie, Pulp Fiction (1994), the Blade Runner link, tyranny, death to tyrants, autocratic or illicit or illegal rulers, Oedipus Tyrannus by Sophocles, he solves the crime, the detective being the criminal, Shutter Island (2010), the guilty party, setting up an axe throwing station, Vermont roots to D.C., gleefully splitting, bloody handed, more walking the streets with a bloody axe, a plague doctor mask, happy new year!
The SFFaudio Podcast #581 – The Silver Key by H.P. Lovecraft; read by Martin Reyto (for Legamus.eu). This is an unabridged reading of the short story (34 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Paul Weimer, Marissa VU, and Mr Jim Moon
Talked about on today’s show:
Weird Tales, January 1929, The Silver Key, a cameo by a bearded Gnorri, a cameo appearance, with The Silver Key on the mind, a whole theory, symmetry, flying vehicle, each of the wings represents an aspect of human existence, left on the dreaming room floor, Jesse had not read it, some theories from the conscious world, dream theories, a chronology, up for debate, 1919, The Statement Of Randolph Carter, The Dream-Quest Of Randolph Carter, cyclical element, a time loop, a time travel story, changes his life for the better, a better life, go with it, carter on the second loop, E. Hoffmann Price’s suggested sequel, living concurrently, a sequel, violently disliked by readers, which story was the most popular, no mention, willing to think it was a bad story, the HPLHs podcast episode, Kenneth Hite, a lot like a lot of other Lovecraft stories, The Tomb, outright references, the Great Cypress Swamp, who is the narrator of this story?, now it is agreed, the narrator is a friend of his, another dreamer, I shall ask him when I see him, a certain dream city, there are twists of time and space, the narrator himself is a dreamer, a mysterious Indian swami, a conclave of interested parties, an elderly eccentric of Rhode Island, Ward Phillips, still alive in another dimension, reigned as king, living a dream while you’re reading it, a personal crisis story, super sad, he’s become disenchanted with reality, disenchanted with his dreamworld, he’s philosophizing in fiction, the idea of a man whose pretending to act like he fits into a society, trapped in the is role, well meaning philosophers, I had this amazing dream, let’s get some Freud going here, maybe they know what theyre talking about, stamping out his imagination, he puts away his childish things, don’t be silly, a cultural shift to modernism, Clark Ashton Smith, fashions abruptly changed in the 1920s, esoteric and opulent prose, a brutalist style, poems about the automobile, we don’t have time for fairy glades and flights of fancy, early cubism, we need a tonne of grey and it ought’nt look like anything, a man out of time, after WWI, devoted to science, the over-extension of science to snuff out imagination, even knowing science takes away the beauty of it, science vs. fantasy, in stark contrast, two sides to Lovecraft, the dreamquest stuff and deep time and space, they’re doing so correctly, we’re fooling ourselves, the grinding of the wheel (grinds slow but fine), the depths of space and the depths of time, the womb-like dreamlike childhood innocence, reading his poetry, trying to reconcile the two, is Leslie S. Klinger going to do a third book?, where did this all come from?, its beautiful, a weird connection between the softness of the moss and the harsh reality of the gears, novels of the normal of the mainstream, well received by the empty herd?, a mimicing of the mimetic fiction, burning his manuscripts, his relationship with Weird Tales, Farnsworth Wright, give us your favourties, the more controversial shit you put into a show the more comments you get, disliked or not understood?, take your frogmen, Wright had a chip on his shoulder, The Loved Dead, Julia Morgan recorded one, the drawings Clark Ashton Smith did, a lot more sex in his stories…, The Evil Dead (1981), a guy on twitter (Bobby Derie), a disdain for the flesh, Case from Neuromancer, meat that gets you into cyberspace, playing PUBG, how funny Lovecraft is, Reading, Short And Deep, The Dream, Maurice Winter Moe, masturbation scenes, Unda; Or The Bride Of The Sea, if you go to YouTube, Jonathan Swift, very mocking poems, she gets out the chamber pot, smells and sounds, Strephon And Chloe, such cleanliness from brow to heel, no noisome whiffs, to make maid’s water, what poetic strains, he’s got stuff, remember that Swift is a minister, Hymen, Strephon had long perplexed his brains, to keep them sweet, the narrator intruding, the nymphs may smell it, can such a deity endure, lighting shot from Chloe’s eyes, forbid your daughters guzzling beer, in evil plight, what causes wind, think what evils must ensue, carminative and diuretic, fortune still assist the bold, even lambs fly the butcher, incredibly raunchy, a 1731 wedding toast, Strephon and Celia, The Lady’s Dressing Room, the kind of humour Lovecraft appreciates, not nice but funny, turning his own mockery on himself, how shallow, those pompous ideas, far less worthy of respect, some deep dark sad stuff, hitting us right where we live, in this way he became a kind of humorous, holy shit, in the first days of his bondage, the gentle churchly faith, only on closer view, the owlish gravity of sordid truth,
In the first days of his bondage he had turned to the gentle churchly faith endeared to him by the naive trust of his fathers, for thence stretched mystic avenues which seemed to promise escape from life. Only on closer view did he mark the starved fancy and beauty, the stale and prosy triteness, and the owlish gravity and grotesque claims of solid truth which reigned boresomely and overwhelmingly among most of its professors; or feel to the full the awkwardness with which it sought to keep alive as literal fact the outgrown fears and guesses of a primal race confronting the unknown. It wearied Carter to see how solemnly people tried to make earthly reality out of old myths which every step of their boasted science confuted, and this misplaced seriousness killed the attachment he might have kept for the ancient creeds had they been content to offer the sonorous rites and emotional outlets in their true guise of ethereal fantasy.
making me very sad, Celephaïs, Lord Dunsany, they’re real tied together, why this so painful, he’s doing a Philip K. Dick, he’s writing about himself, strongly autobiographical, hanging out with dryads,
Once in his ascent Randolph crossed a rushing stream whose falls a little way off sang runic incantations to the lurking fauns and aegipans and dryads.
what’s so painful about this story, making himself whole again, finds this key, he returns to childhood, its even worse, we’re happy at the end of Celephaïs, because its so real, it’s traumatic, Ask Lovecraft, some of you have asked me about The Silver Key, my grandfather Whipple had a key, a silver key wrapped in a parchment, what does this key open?, that really gets the basis behind this, this key only locks the place where the key is locked, the key is a way to get into the imagination and childhood, the wisdom of children, Kids Say The Darndest Things, “Biden’s kinda creepy”, his cousin, the very mundane things, an odd gift of prophecy, the connection between science fiction and the imagination, Day Million, exercising his imagination in a disciplined and an undisciplined way, sorta subtle so not loved, a sad circular story, the silver key gives you the power to do again, memories altered accordingly, you better appreciate what you have now, take it all in, you wont get to got there again, sit you down wisdom, living in nostalgia is super sad, pathetic, given that opportunity could anyone resist it?, how exiting things are when you’re a kid, there’s no way you could go back, nostalgia is a mistake, a push pull, experiences we want to re-embrace, New Zealand, I’m so depressed, it only goes one way, projecting into the future, if you want to live today you should spend all your time studying history, the CORONA virus, studying the SARS epidemic, studying vs. living in the past, noticing people tweeting dreams, go with the lava flow, Mom, tweeting dreams, kids today who are not under the vice of the church, they do have a big hat, surrounded by people who say you fantasy stories are garbage, write about people getting divorced and drinking less, where these stories are living, how much smell came into this, smell is super-associated with memory and nostalgia, I can still smell Hawaii, thinking about that photo, what you do more and more as time goes by, only the adults are capturing that, the massive innocence, the loss of innocence, so sad, Jim was 50 last year, a museum piece, I’m not going to be stuffy and crusty, fidget spinners, I remember when all that was fields, the world you grew up with is gone, WWI was this big hinge point, disillusioned with science, where is the hope?, William Blake accused Isaac Newton unweaving the rainbow, how wonderful it is to make something up, it IS magic, Alan Moore, magic is the original art, this story vs something I watched on the news, all just delusion, why not create new fantasies, its all kind of the same shit, getting mastery, BBS (bulletin board systems), getting all that equipment together (today), not a Yithian thing, his acceptance of the changing nature, fidget spinners are not cool, Paul does fidget, the disgust in Jesse’s voice, not making it better, the amaranthine wine from Atlantis that you drink and get depressed, reading the Statement Of Randolph Carter, based on the opposite, you need to study more math, he slams hard truths, the key is the only real thing in the universe, the proseyness of life, as middle age hardened upon him, why shouldn’t you spend all your time in the VR machine, matted hair, spending time in the meat space, my friends!, some sort of sadness there, talking about the darkness is comforting, being in a creative space, a solace from someone long dead, racism in this, his family his namesake, not everything about Lovecraft is based on race, that fear and horror of race is tied up with the meatspace and not the dreamworld, Pickman transformed into a ghoul, Jim’s show on The Shadow Over Innsmouth, trying on the mask of the monster for yourself, if you’re a vampire you can stay up all night, Interview With The Vampire by Anne Rice, still painting I see, stupid human, God’s real I’ll take you to his house!, a hysterial way, that humour that fun and delight in the strange and the weird, never happier than when he’s found a new author, when he’s sharing it, a real fan, what’s that giant essay for?, Supernatural Horror In Literature, his literary inspirations, the horror of dark monsters, by god they’re amazing, a flip-flop in Fungi From Yuggoth, Lovecraft criticism down the wrong path, looking at his bookshelf, he wrote horror fiction because he was a horror fan, some liquid he’s going to kill himself, Facts Concerning The Late Arthur Jermyn And His Family, She by H. Rider Haggard, Horace Baboon Holly, the handsomest man in Europe, just go with it, the Scopes monkey trial, a monkey’s grandchild, its a science story, a tension between a love of science and its acknowledgements about its reality around us and this imaginative space that’s all about art (and almost commerce), no algorithm or formula for a good story, writing to a formula, I think I see a formula, a pastiche or unworkable, finding their own voice and formulas, such a scientist, science is good for explaining this amount of reality, perception of beauty, a meaning in and of itself, appreciating it in and of itself, a far more interesting story than Jim first took it for, rethinking how you think about Lovecraft, shake the de Camp off, Robert E. Howard, remove the traditional blinkers, he’s a thinker on the page, calling him a horror writer is very limiting, writing about philosophy, spinning up scenarios, not easily classifiable, almost no tentacles, how poetic the lines are, that jarring bit of dialogue, Randy!, Howie!, the phonetics, dunt and wold, haint she tuld you, mooning around in that snake den, tea-parties with dryads, like a tea ceremony, the Alexa device, this is really big Jesse, it’s all proprietary, Six Or Seven Sentence Stories, little silly stories are really fun, half the delight of Jesse’s life, a dangerous pig with pants, weird vocab words, somehow you can make them connect, the connections are very deep within, its reflected, a Chinese myth, there’s a story there, he has not chained his fortune to some marketplace, where’s Lord Of The Rings II?, a polite gentleman, trying to chase the market, the purity there is unbelievable, The Black Diamonds by Clark Ashton Smith, arabian knights, fistfights and swordfights, a delight, saw raw and pure, unashamed, not a good book, so entertaining, harness this imagination, inside a sturcture like a poem, revels in the language and the words and the construction, that same unadulterated pure imagination fantasy, he hasn’t been shamed out of it, the documentary The Emperor Of Dreams, Hippocampus Press.
Talked about on today’s show:
Argosy, July 5, 1919, Fantastic Novels, Virgil Finlay, elvish or trappy, a fizzy wine, the colour of the wine is golden, yellow, gold, fin de sicile, The King In Yellow, the 1890s is yellow, the Yellow Peril, Yellow Journalism, the Gilded Age, yellow road, yellow mud, white robe, honeysuckle, very image based, the blue of her scarf, her brother is Elfo?, the invitation, white and silver, signifies for the opening and the closing scenes, the effect of the nested narratives, an outer outer outer narrator (Francis Stevens), old wives’ tales, recrudescence, related by a well known specialist in nervous diseases, the doubling or tripling, Dr. Locke?, prescription for me?, Wharton is the inner narrator, Theron Tademus, a listener, a comedy?, why don’t you read this to me?, Locke is a fool!, I don’t need to hear any more of this, the best part is coming up, a sex story, pretty chaste, two roads diverged, the negro caretaker, a yellow track and the other goes to Carcassonne, a Carolina mountain road, a confusion in his own mind, the gypsy camp vs. the artist’s camp, a tripling of reality, two Reading, Short And Deep podcast, The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost, The Rutted Road by H.P. Lovecraft, a very sly and sneaking poem, written for a friend, walking tours of England, the power of a poem, everybody has Fred’s take, everybody else doesn’t understand it, being playful, close to the message of The Elf Trap, he met death (or something), his physical form is destroyed, very Lovecraftian in the non-tentacled way, Celephaïs, The White Ship, happy or sad ending?, happy in the way people joining a cult are happy, evil or good or other, categories that can truly escape the good evil polarities, a valedictorian speech, I took the harder path, me looking down my nose at the snobs, career choices, very meta, more gloomy, Terence has heard the podcast on it, La Belle Dame Sans Merci by John Keats, 1820, Marissa is excluded, a gender queer fluid, they’re elves, that line from Aliens (1986) about Arcturian poontang, John Waterhouse, an interesting name, the best social interaction he’s ever had, so striking how, racist sounding, a bit of a dick, ripe for the picking, science vs. romanticism, he’s a microscopist (a cytologist), setting you up, life and feeling and warmth, science is basically a dead bug pinned to a card with a latin inscription underneath it, the limitations and the ugliness, the blindness of his scientific vision, the simplest interpretation, there’s a trap, the iron trap vs. the silver trap, it can re-get ya, a community, crafts (vs arts), a bit of fun, bringing an easel on a manhunt, hilarious, he could have been taken away by either group, the “rural ruins” kick (#ruralruins on Twitter), old wooden barns, collapsing barns, the appeal of melancholy ruins, now is the time to start photographing them, Southern Michigan, ex-urban, cornfield, the southern exposure, Minnesota, a going native story?, if Evan were here…, Typee by Herman Melville, beautiful clean, the white ivory flute, tending his disgusting grandmother, clean beautiful people, pretty colours, he needs somebody to break him out of his crabbed world of scientific examination, his passion for science, a tension, a fit of pique, she’s racist, terrible relationship, you’ve got to stay with me forever, that yellow dog, cur, mutt, mongrel, wearing the elf-glasses, a silver bell, everything that’s inviting him in is yellow, everything turns to gold instead of yellow, honey wild and manna dew, roots aren’t sweet, root beer tastes like medicine, it tastes like Chinese medicine, the etymology of drug, Buckley’s Mixture, relish sweet, this switch, everything that’s horrible becomes wonderful, he doesn’t have thought in his head, uh huh, and how much can you sell it for?, there’s something fundamentally wrong in his life, his Doctor’s name, how important names are, John Locke has the most beautiful signature, freshwater goldfish, dysteria, out of the loop, he almost escapes, his racism, their skin is whiter, he sees them in this white way, science sobers him, he’s very unwell, there’s something unwell in science at this time, mongrelizing, everybody’s suffering from Russia-gate-ism, how many rubles did you get paid?, here’s Nazism in 1919, racial theories and breeding programs, it was in the water and everybody was drinking the Kool-Aid, Irish travelers, the black servant, the airy fairy artist community, the sheriff with a posse, if Mr Jim Moon was here, midsummer, a nightwalk, a misreading, a morning walk, up all night, instead of through telescopes he’s looking through microscopes, Ambrose Bierce, Edgar Allan Poe, Pygmalion’s Spectacles by Stanley G. Weinbaum, Wonder Stories, June 1935, Galatea, The King In Yellow story that’s the opposite, Robert W. Chambers, The Elf King, belle epoch Paris, Virgil Finlay, he put on the glasses and fell in love with a dream, A Martian Odyssey, Fitz James O’Brien, The Diamond Lens, super-racism, The Atlantic (1858), the best microscope ever, falls in love with a little tiny lady, SCIENCE!, “Dysteria ciliata. Dysterius giganticus”, his love for the microscopic world, what the painter sees, seeing things as generalities on the surface vs. details in the lens, clumsiness, largeness, the anvil, Tolkien elves, frills and paisley, the blending of crafts and arts, William Morris, The King Of Elfland’s Daughter by Lord Dunsany, a reaction against science, poems about butterflies, you can love science AND poetry, William Blake, double vision, Auguries Of Innocence by William Blake, behind that is a veil, a hidden life of their own, Theron learns double vision, the elves inside the gypsies, a whole world, there Elva is blind, twofold vision, monsters that want eat him and liberators who want to free him, what does he bring to the table?, culture and community, 37 year old professor, infertility, outsiders, his charismatic attitude?, he brings novelty, something fresh and different, an Elva shaped hole, time is different for her, telepathically grooming Wharton, soulless, he’s lost his soul, big clumsy hulking brutes, an outsider without a soul, indeterminate, maybe they trapped him because he was trappable, is she a Scientologist, Projecting Project Pulp, Mech Muse, too early in podcasting?, more audiobooks, if Fred follows through, Unseen, Unfeared by Francis Stevens, spiritual themes, blogs are good but suppressed by Google, Tellers Of Weird Tales, Terence E. Hanley, death dealing shells, light over darkness, dark fantasy, a 21st century and academic conceit, one of the simplest of Stevens stories, built like a puzzle box, relativity, analytic cubism, where lies reality, a happy ending?, a pleasant reading experience, could have been written only by a woman, a deeper meaning in the man’s name, Jesse’s theory, Theron Tademus, tall?, hunter?, animal, tadpole, mouse, tall tailed mouse, mousetrap, she’s playing with it, pointing, the hunter and the hunted, not necessarily a happy ending, we praise thee oh god, he trusts science, he trusts her, he loses his last name in her world, they need some tall genes, one good name was good enough for one good person, a coordinate system, binomial nomenclature, Carcosa?, fantasy engaging with science fiction, Brigadoon, he has never danced or loved, beyond the veil, the deeper reality of the spirit, love and art triumph over materialism, the sky blue scarf, you’re all alike, you love is for gold (or freedom), she enslaves people, saved from science, his red notebook, looking at flowers in the forest with your girlfriend, beckoning him, driving Jesse mad, Carcassonne is a famous tourist trap, a medieval walled town, the tabletop game, it’s a trap, traps can be beautiful, a Florida based Star Wars Disney park, $40 light-saber, the rural ruins of Star Wars, tourist ruins, dinosaur ruins, South Dakota, Rapid City, north of Mount Rushmore, the Blue Ridge Mountains, there is in Kentucky, about as rural-ruiny as it can get, did she go there?, is this a true story, Carcassonne post office, a train stop maybe, America is filled with failed towns, Carcassonne Road, Carcassonne Community center, trampoline and a pool, an unincorporated village, if you squint and take off your classes, once every hundred years, if you’re Blakeian enough you can see it, there’s a guy who saw things differently, angels in the fields with the workers, something pagan about Elva, the Cathars, Kingsport, took the train into Asheville, something happened, I want to believe, Thousand Sticks, Mount Blackmore, American flag, Google Maps was magic, guess where in the world, the signage is in Spanish, we have magical powers our parents didn’t have, in the per-internet age, the state library in the capital of West Virginia, wait for the internet, lost and suppressed by google, if you know the address (the magic word) you can find it on the WayBackmachine, Protecting Project Pulp, Friend Island, a male reporter, women control the world, the grim and gritty sea-side tea house, an old sailoress, the only ships are trading ships or peace ships, shipwrecked on a man on an island and the island is female, Mother Nature is angry, funny on purpose, we need a president, Margaret Thatcher wasn’t that good, Hillary Clinton, policies and intentions matter, what is he basing that on?, hello Keats, much more arguable, male gazing, if you read it as a subversive ending, femme fatale, Black Widow (1987), Bound (1996), if it were written by, squamous squalid, not enough degeneration, love of place, very subtle, entertaining, so well put together, this story is cool, all that nesting of reality, it doesn’t tell you this is what happened, something artificial about the outer narrator, why do you need these characters, Edith Wharton, to make it seem more journalistic, framing stuff, The Oval Portrait by Edgar Allan Poe, about 60% is framing (and its all front framed), a turreted room, armorial trophies and portraits, falling in love with a portrait, there’s no outer frame, all set-up, Jesse cant remember the name of Henry James, The Others (2001), The Turn Of The Screw, take it as journals like Lovecraft, My name is Jervas Dudley, framing as throat clearing, imagine this was true, we’ve been trained, The House On the Borderlands by William Hope Hodgson, Rene Girard, triangular desire, scapegoats, mimetic desire, taking on the object of desire of someone else, aggression, Trump, Peter Thiel, advertising and Facebook, this is how their manipulating, writing about advertising, they use it all day long, I wanna be like them, BMW ads, projecting yourself into the vehicle, “ultimate driving machine”, the object of desire, we keep changing sympathies, I have a story to tell, he had a story to tell, he tells it to another guy, lampshading, who are we sympathizing with, that complication, perspectivizing through, filtering through, Rashomon effect, three visions of the dog, The Blair Witch Project, Scooby Doo, the whole point is the Gothic explique, gothic time!,
THE chateau into which my valet had ventured to make forcible entrance, rather than permit me, in my desperately wounded condition, to pass a night in the open air, was one of those piles of commingled gloom and grandeur which have so long frowned among the Appennines, not less in fact than in the fancy of Mrs. Radcliffe.
Jesse’s amazing news, The Garden Of Forking Paths by Jorge Luis Borges, change the trend, if they’re so impatient, if you don’t hook them in the first paragraph they’re going to walk, the perception in publishing, a whole bunch of readers who liove the slow build, the publishers are enforcing that rule, its anti-science fiction, Inconstant Moon a line only written by Larry Niven (or Jerry Pournelle), that ending line, Footfall, the humans are more conquery and tankie, giant elephants, The Tower Of The Elephant by Robert E. Howard, an adulteration, why are we being told this, changing microscope magnifications, micrometer, a blurry chaos becomes crystal clear, The Outer Limits, Fitz James O’Brien’s The Wondersmith, How I Overcame My Gravity, What Was It?, a haunted boarding house, smoking opium in the backyard, an invisible creature, plaster of Paris, The Horla by Guy de Maupassant.
Talked about on today’s show:
1933, Ira Levin, Gladiator, the first superhero novel, Odd John by Olaf Stapledon, Superman, fleeing a dead world, the sequel: After Worlds Collide, the illustrations in The Passing Show (magazine) serialization, not the only ship, Bronson Beta, Blue Book, the very last page (February 1933), “these daring pilgrims”, remake a world, George Pal’s plans for a sequel, Cecil B. DeMille’s plans for a film, Pal’s would pale, the official adaptation is the least good adaptation, that crappy matte shot, Ransdall smooching his girl while flying his aircraft, Guardians Of The Galaxy, his Kryptonian origin story, spinoffs, Flash Gordon, Buck Rogers, football, a religious moment, good birth and breeding, the W.A.S.P., precursors and follow-ups, an amazing book, its hard to gage how big a book it was, the “queen of the pulps”, the premier way of getting (fiction) content to the people, the middle of The Depression, daily life-sucks, the Roosevelt administration, the work programs, making the unemployed work, is it simpler than that?, Arkham House, The Outsider And Others by H.P. Lovecraft, maybe it helps to have something worse in mind, The Star by H.G. Wells, Nemesis by Isaac Asimov, Finis by Frank Lillie Pollock, gravitational waves, earthquakes, cooking the earth (microwave style), a long tradition, The Star by Arthur C. Clarke, biblical collections, A Pail Of Air and The Wanderer by Fritz Leiber, Deluge (1933), S. Fowler Wright, the motif of the destruction of of Fantastic Universe, a thugee-romance plot, Meteor (1979), Sean Connery as an SDI scientist, Armageddon, Independence Day, Twitter, Fred, Deep Impact (1998) started life as a remake of When Worlds Collide, the crowning adaptation of is 2012 (2009), so ridiculous, it knows its stupid, the ‘neutrinos mutated’, Battlefield Earth is Ed Wood with a budget, The Room, Birdemic: Shock and Terror (2010), Lars Von Trier’ Melancholia, Kirsten Dunst and Keifer Sutherland, Forge Of God by Greg Bear, “I have bad news.”, rescued by good aliens, watching the destruction of the Earth, Lucifer’s Hammer, Footfall, fan fiction of themselves, Hammer Of God by Arthur C. Clarke, the evolution of the plot ideas, so heavy, the religious elements, her name is EVE, Joyce, handing out sandwiches, the zillionaire, a plane-load of money, an iconic scene, why 2012 works so well, the Russian billionaire and his family, how ambivalent I feel, the role of government, what made Robert A. Heinlein wrote, super-Ayn Rand-y, The Fountainhead, robust and austere, strange-y, a broken-ness, who is funding this?, everybody is working for free, how do you get truckloads and truckloads to a certain place, economics do matter, everybody is working for free, a new metal, the nice horror tour, where did the fuel come from, if Heinlein were writing it, all in secret, how Maissa saw it, tidal waves, weird side digression, The Last Car Chase (1981), Lee Majors, Steve Austin, two theories, one funny, one dark, nouveau riche, old fortunes, just arranged, shiny upstarts get their comeuppance, steel furnaces, punishing the parvenus, so not democratic, Galt’s Gulch, we know better, the magic metal, our ingenuity, weird sexual purity, part of the old money righteousness, South Africa in 1933, no more lions, rich white guys in South Africa, Chapter 8: Marching Orders For The Human Race, ugly houses, the spawn who inhabited it, pollution, 125th street in New York (Harlem), immigration bans, the Lovecraftian racial horror moment, “God himself had sickened with their selfishness”, squalid horror, the golden age of eugenics, the “Jap”, purifying the race, a giant eugenics exercise, even if a cashless economy you have to trade, Close Encounters Of The Third Kind, a conspiracy, the first episode of The X-Files, the paean to the Vanderbilt family, set in the mid-20th century, his sister went to school with my mother, the elite, should Jesse bring it up?, huh this is a novel for Hillary voters, its the east coast elites, what is everybody’s problem? why can’t they vote for the right person?, WWI, lining up the machine guns and mowing down the plebes, retreating to their spacecraft and cooking the earth of all the people, a fantasy of many people, it is good to escape the death of the Earth, 2012 addresses all the horror vs. Deep Impact (the government is here to save you), the heroes in space, pathos, way to much love with MSNBC, saccharine horror, cynical comedy, the Paris Hilton looking girl, even Oliver Platt (the baddie) is just trying to get shit done, even the billionaire comes off pretty well, really fun, such a page turner, it’s so good (but it doesn’t deserve it), where are all the rats?, back to World War I, the Noah thing, open the doors, the billion dollar ticket, James Cromwell’s character is a whistleblower, the truth needs to come out, secretary of finance, thinking about the economics, the word “Tony”, our hero from every Robert Heinlein story, “Tony, I’m explaining the plot, Tony.” Tony is slang for expensive, what makes it so gripping, the premise, none of the characters are worth caring about, from Deluge to Meteor, a disaster movie without screen stars, the idea is primary, a race, Edwin Balmer was editor of Red Book magazine, they know how to spin a story, Wilkie Collins: make the worry, make them wait, make them weep, Dunkirk (2017), a ticking clock, what’s in the box?, un-bribe-able, doing this story today, how academia doesn’t matter, the professors, a chief scientist at a chemical company, a private observatory, universities as research machines (since WWII), scary politics, in 1933 the USA had unions, the Battle Of Blair Mountain, the lurking socialism, Eugene Debs, labour unrest, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, we’re noble, machine gun them, then burn them, but we’re nice, the same stories are told again and again, choosing who gets to go in the Ark, Tasha Yar gives her baby to Frodo Baggins, black presidents, black Presidents, grounded in individual details, apocalypses are always about escape, an escape from communism, shade thrown on the French and the Germans, the french turn to fascism, planting the French flag for comedic effect, nationalism, labour without labour, race without race, the religious sanction, George Pal’s The War Of The Worlds, the book is big and broad and deep, 44 people and a dog, a dog in 2012 and Independence Day, for they were walking hand-in-hand, a road, the ribbon of it ran right and left, by what hands and for what feet, through Eden took their solitary, a yellow brick road, Tony the guy with no brain, they’re in Oz, the souls of those a hundred million years dead, a Nineveh a Sargon?, the fate of our world, human with bodies like our own?, The Ring, a curse, so tempting, William Blake’s The Tyger, what dread hand and what dread feet, they are the tiger, when the stars threw down their spears, what did the people on this other planet do to be knocked out of their orbit and frozen, how god has graced us with his goodness, us east coast elites, the whole universe , she has a right to my vote, Heinlein can’t be right and Rand can’t be right, it’s just too simple (but its so fun), business and military, more sex and nudeness, the love triangle, oh Tony can’t you understand I can’t make decisions for the future, the other rocket, the other half of the plane in Lost, the setup is so good, one bizarre detail, Chapter 21: Diary, the insulation (books), a first edition of Shelley, a cute idea?, the 2012 movie picks it up, John Cusack’s character, Chewitel Ejifor’s character, Yellowstone, loaded up with the signs of the elites, isn’t it funny that there’s one copy of this books and it just so happens…, in 2012 under a pile beer bottles and bourbon bottles and a copy of Moby Dick, Robert Duvall reads Moby Dick in Deep Impact, ambivalence about lots of things but everybody agrees Moby Dick is terrific, a stand in for god, providing the bees and the books, a distasteful task in the sequel, The Wonder Clock by Howard Pyle, a story about mercy, saving the kids, little moments of mercy, women doing men’s jobs, France, canaries, the radium girls, how women get the vote, when they come for our women, women as possessions, triumph of the patriarchy, the proles are coming for our women, racist and sexist, an atomic rocket in 1932, not even a nuclear reactor has been invented yet, the Chicago Pile, ten years later, Rocketship Galileo by Robert A. Heinlein, space-Nazis, so early!, countdown clocks, a race for everything, side quests, a lot being told, the illustrations, this book feels huge, 150 pages in the serial, complementing content, Eve’s mother gets killed, how quickly the veneer of civilization gets ripped off, Augustine, A Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities That Arise in Disaster Book by Rebecca Solnit, Bronson: the son of a brawny man, the anticipation of total war, U.S. nationalization, Prohibition, beer makers, say nothing bad about the government law, human cogs, price fixes, holding the masses, Oliver Platt’s mom in 2012, Tony’s so angsty about his mom, he wants to kill, the mobilization doesn’t matter, the migration is for nothing, the President and his cabinet in Kansas, the plebeian thing, rules for them, dignified in their way, terrorizing the plebeians, Téa Leoni’s character’s mom and dad in Deep Impact, tons of connections, waiting for the wave to come, Roland Emmerich and Harold Klausner, The High Crusade, The Thirteenth Floor, a schlockmeister of the highest order, the cultural baggage of the legacy of films gets into you whether you’ve seen them or not, you have Casablanca lurking in your cultural DNA, nobody complains we’ve already seen this movie, the end of the world blah blah blah, this novel is at the center, Noah’s Flood, Gilgamesh, wiping out the Earth for 5,000 years.