The SFFaudio Podcast #727 – READALONG: Space Cadet by Robert A. Heinlein

Jesse, Frederick Gero Heimbach, and Karl K. Gallagher talk about Space Cadet by Robert A. Heinlein

Talked about on today’s show:
former space cadet, such a fine upstanding proto-officer, the episode of Star Trek The Next Generation that is an adaptation, also an adaptation, Coming Of Age, taking some starfleet entrance exams, a fake holodeck emergency, make a hard decision, Troi wanted to have command privileges, Geordi needs to die of radiation poisoning, Star Trek: The Next Generation is to Space Cadet as Starship Troopers is to Aliens, did Wesley get whipped?, Sgt. Zim is almost in this, the space marines, a precursor to Starship Troopers, the attitudes towards the marines, leaning into something heavily early then changes its mind, everyone is an officer, O’Brien gets demoted, Chief Warrant or Chief Petty, everybody being officers is pretty weird for regular military, the Space Patrol is NATO?, the list of five people, the numbers are pretty amazing, better numbers than CNN, author of The Devil’s Dictum and Ronald Reagan’s Brilliant Bullet, that’s by H. Beam Piper, sidetracking, jokes on twitter: Heinlein was 41 when this book was published and John Scalzi is 53 and still hasn’t replaced this book, Scalzi’s background, midshipman or ensign Heinlein, marines are cool, you’d never cut it with the marines, they don’t know what the fuck they’re talking about, Hugo winning podcasts have had such claims, the more mature distillation?, YA vs. adult audience?, going for the same audience, intended as a YA, the editor threw a fit, we’re divorced now, Starship Troopers is about being the person who protects your tribe, 100 hunter gatherers, put you body between the body and the danger, between beloved home and war’s desolation, impartial service trying to keep the peace (not NATO), blow up your own home town, relax, the captain will confine you to quarters, the darkest moment in the book, theoretical, “Space Cadet is a sequel to Solution Unsatisfactory“, dictator over the world, an elite patrol to enforce peace, the best title Campbell hung on Heinlein, four names mentioned at every roll call, the origin of that tradition, founded as a military coup but we’re better than that now, abolish global democracy, what people are claiming, national democracies, politically naive?, William O. Douglas, educated and reasonable people who think just like me, a panel of experts vs. corrupt bozos elected to congress, an adult actually believed that, what’s missing in the analysis, who pick the people who pick the people who get to be in the Space Patrol, the Federation, peacekeepers, solving problems, exploring, their job is be peaceful and officers and correct, they’re not elected to their jobs, approved by the authors above them for promotion, we can’t ask questions like that, they’re not democratic, a cadre of elite warriors, samurai 18th, 19th, and early 20th century Japan, the crusading orders, nobody in Space Patrol gets laid, a YA book from 1948, nearly naked, nudity, he loves his nudity, monks with nukes, deus volt, they’re defining the overton window, stay inside the box, very revolutionary, oh shit is this a rah rah military book?, mom and dad and sibling, they’d never nuke us, just to make the others feel better, Matt Dodson, we would nuke you, post-national, 2075, the North American Union, Sikhs in the Space Patrol, Asians, Africans, a South American, South Americans, Texans are barely American, a mistake to break away from Mexico and a mistake to join the Union, the plot, they go to Venus, Luke Burrage’s review of S, a Rene Girard hater?, mimetic desire?, everybody is a woman on Venus, Heinlein is very interested in transgender stuff, constantly, “All You Zombies”, I Will Fear No Evil, polyamory, and incest, a theme that he’s been telling me, he was really serious about it, manners are incredibly important, they study all these planets, kidnaps somebody he shouldn’t have, being polite, managing manners, he shocks them to our core, he really does really care a lot about manners, one of the Lazarus Long lines, manners are the oil, degenerated, she kills somebody for bad manners in Friday, cannibalism incest is fine as long as you’re polite about it, politeness demands, his boss is his mother, very noisy, a pronoun argument, call her she because she’s a person, the earliest argument about what pronoun to call people other than Shakespearean cross-dressing disguise, what Heinlein would be like on twitter, would his pronouns be in his bio and if they were what would they be?, trying to be polite, Mark Finn has pronouns in his bio, stand in solidarity with other people, the long grey beard saves everyone the trouble, not a justification in the book, we’re seeing that all in English, why pick she?, venerian males are never seen by humans, egg layers?, what were they eating, ovulations, insect paste?, mashed locusts or cockroaches, some byproduct of reproduction, the Mexican jumping bean, Uncle Bodie was the most interesting character, yeah Karl Gallagher, Thomas SFF180 saying Matt and the crew of Space Cadet are so old fashioned, they’re using slide-rules, they have cellphones, the SLS launch, Shaun Duke, how little science fiction authors, Bill Christensen’s Technovelgy, 185 ideas of inventions from the works of Robert A. Heinlein, the Torchship trilogy, doesn’t need batteries, it cannot become self aware, a strong advantage to the slide-rule, a solar powered calculator, one of the headmasters, do the calculation in your head, running math drills, Apollo astronauts, they probably had slide rules, all the math got done on Earth, why do you need a knife when you have a jedi stick?, presumably jedi sticks run out of batteries, atomic calculator, bring a slipstick with you, that kind of thinking is so fucking stupid, what science fiction is, we should be surprised if there’s anything, very easy to criticize on that level, what this book is about, we developed a fucking nuke now what are we going to do, a one world government, this is what it looks like in the best scenario, living in luxury by extorting nations, send more spacebabes the celibacy is getting very tiresome, Star Trek technobabble, Geordi or Data, how they got into this plothole, a bunch of sounds that come out of their mouths, where the plot of Top Gun Maverick is, Iran had a deal with the USA and a president canceled that, trench run, very simple, the countries that have nukes don’t have to be dictated to, go to war with China or Russia because they have nukes, a proxy war, a proxy war in Afghanistan, Osama Bin Laden, a big game, a decentralized network or popular movement, he has a real idea behind it, anybody who misbehaves gets nuked, special highly trained negotiated, complaining about Heinlein’s major sin: he thinks hypo-learning is a real thing, that is the tech that sucks, hypnolearning, socialism’s bodycount, team-antisocialism’s bodycount, Earth is a super dystopia, Starman Jones has the best sliderules, the Scribners juveniles, Farmer In The Sky, a Ganymedian boy, Earth is so shit, one room apartment, not enough food, his most valued possession is his belt pouch, Star Beast is rural, what little we see of Earth here, minus the occasional craters like Denver, who did Denver, unexplained details is a smart move, that phone conversation, that tweet thread, whether he was lying to his dad or not, the reason Matt and all his buddies pass is because he’s just so gosh darn honest, looked stubborn, a Heinleinianism, they don’t have call display, how’s your leg, Matt dodges the question, all sorts of interesting, relationship between being honest and manners, that was delicious, mid-century masculinity, ow, I need some me time, a standard expected of men, rural traditions, farmer stoicism, not showing weakness, drill sergeants beat out the complaining not-fair attitude, why Heinlein put the question in, “Heinlein was a…” an endless list of ists, racists, misogynist, fascist, ableist, sexist, pederast, incestuist?, what about the …ians, libertarian, he’s anti-racist, Sixth Column, he worked it from an outline Campbell, he had re-slant it, after removing a bunch of racism, actively anti-racist, is there a parallel female service?, winnowing, hyper-selective for certain traits, other than those traits, precisely missing the point, take down the big figure to move up, ten years ago Heinlein, don’t read anything after 1980?, clicks by being obnoxious, that’s twitter, go full Fred conservative, an all male service, having females in the service undermines the formation of an exclusive military culture, Tunnel In The Sky, the Amazons, mid-thirties, make somebody dinner and become a tradwife, tradhusbands, most of human existence, sex and occasional other things, half-raising of children, women gravitate to some jobs, Scandinavian countries, more capital per individual, sexual preference, men and women are very similar, I’m good enough I’m strong enough and I can work a slipstick as well as any man, woman-hater, a concession to the very juvenile set, bad at predicting, dealing with the consequence when countries plural, 1948, it’s amazing, steer ships around the solar system, making serious attempts to really think through, he’s totally a hard science fiction writer, the gyros, he’s keeping up with the Willy Ley illustrations, the phrase has come to mean the opposite to what Heinlein was going for, spacey, you have to be ahead of the game, Rocket Ship Galileo, Nazis on the Moon, even going to the Moon, international commerce with rockets, ex-mail rockets, an intercontinental missile is easier than getting to orbit, double the delta v to get to orbit (vs. getting another continent), 10 times the structural performance, great power competition, motives to get to orbit, the Concorde, sonic boom, really fast travel has problems, Heinlein did expect that, supersonic trains, people would just live with it, cows going deaf, invent better glass, the reverence for the four crewmen who are always present and always , such a sentimental guy, on the level of literature, one of Fred’s favourites juveniles, the favourite scene in the book is not in the book, Astarte, the corpses, they were ghosts, ghostology, permission to land we have honoured dead, shut up and get off this channel, repeat, Fred has lived that scene, instantly legendary, you didn’t even right that!, write the fanfic, that’s the best scene in the book, connect some dots that were missing, remember the beaver people, so they weren’t bring them home, very Christian imagery, bringing Karl back to his cadet to active duty days, weather satellites, a space guy, telling satellites what to do, sitting in a silo, turning a key to launch an ICBM, contemplating space patrol responsibilities, do I turn the key?, how the US does nuclear missiles, a scene in WarGames (1983), it takes two, dozens of meters under the Earth each with a loaded pistol, we have our system set up, the elected politicians make the decision, those countries don’t do nearly as well, the logic of it hasn’t changed, the recent or current presidents, having the military make the decision, we don’t take our orders from people on the ground, you as an officer will ultimately take whatever orders you’re giving, excepting illegal orders, when you’re in a silo, browsing the internet, Q is telling me what’s really going on, the Starship Troopers defend your tribe thing, don’t do that or we’ll nuke Moscow, NATO has to step in, making the cringe face, a helluva noise, a very different situation, NATO is supposed to defend NATO countries, if you go the other way, have Russia join NATO, Russia asked to join NATO and was declined, one influential person into vetoing it, do you understand how to funnel the money into your friends pockets, you can’t have an enemy if you’re on the same team, now we have to go fight in Afghanistan, this one patrol for the solar system, they inspect whatever they like, the ultimate force, Wind From A Burning Woman by Greg Bear, to do terrorism, the Moon is also good at throwing rocks, The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, a rock throwing contest with a guy at the bottom of a well, Between Planets, dragons, three legged and ball shaped martians, the destroyed planet, Red Planet, Stranger In A Strange Land, destroyed the 5th planet, they nuked themselves, ignite the nukes, it can not happen, don’t worry mom, it can’t fall on you, a different continuity, compatible, make the safety interlocks disappeared, other authors, prior to Heinlein, the asteroid belt being a planet, sedimentary rock, a simple plot, training, more training, interrupted cruise, cruise home, go to Venus, divide the crew in half, the distress call, the sub-crew, one lt. and three cadets, what Heinlein really wants: three boy scouts, Nothing Ever Happens On The Moon, in Expanded Universe, the only tree on Ganymede [Farmer In The Sky], a boy scouts book, Boys’ Life, a continuity, naval academy experience, the idealized, Karl believes in nation states the way he believes in trees, that’s what the chipmunks want you to believe, the classic Plato line, who will guard the guardians, we’ll muddle through with good virtue and boy scout honour, he gives the wrong salute, standardized testing, he was the squad leader because his name came first on the list, he goes for officer, it is forced upon him, it’s my duty to these apes, I am officer material, sidetracked as usual, the four ghosts, Rodger Young, a 1946 song, as an analogy he fits the same story as these heroes, Heinlein being ableist, is your leg okay after the operation you had where you were born a cripple?,the National Guard, blind and deaf, pacific atolls, inspiring Heinlein, the marine tradition, the pride in the individual heroicism, Fred’s dream: the confabulating of the scene, what Heinlein’s inducing in Fred, how they can be good silvermen, these traditions, he dramatizes, over a century, would have become corrupt, they’re ghosts, this corp has traditions, that mystical spiritual ghostly, into their bodies, all that crap that happens in the middle, boring vs. relaxing, looking at it from a writer’s point of view, legendary status, doesn’t matter he’s in a coma, rises from the coma to respond with the name of one of the four heroes, leapfrog in status, once they land and the word, the inevitable cellphones come out, seeing the video now on twitter, in keeping with tradition of the corps, these heroes coming back!, the post mission interview, there’s nothing to say because they did an okay job, that insight is very good, the actual crusades, a lot of people on a lot of missions, a lot of crusaders books, H. Rider Haggard’s The Brethren, She And Allan, he would have been huge, a personal crusade to the holy land to get back their cousin who is the niece of Saladin, assassins, two terrific female characters, two brothers who go on a crusader like mission, another half-Christian half-Muslim lady, in keeping with the Christian tradition, a moral heathen, generous with his victories, magnanimous in battle, one of Heinlein’s greatest sins is he strawmans characters, his villains are whiny entitled lazy incompetent, as a cadet, can’t we just break the rules, decides to go work for his dad, coincidence, lampshaded, he’s the one who’s responsible, je soif, the frogs, let’s give him from water, Heinlein is very good at plotting, meandering, always asking for showing what the main character’s goal is, get better at the job so he can stay in the patrol, he wants to grow up, we don’t know what we want , Heinlein can guide us, reading as an adult, Fred loved it as a 12 year old, dismissing Heinlein, I never need to read them again, I wouldn’t recommend him to people even though I read all of his stuff, how the corruption begins, Space Cadet is not a tightly plotted book, here’s what your world government looks like?, do you really want to have it?, he’s not saying this is not a good plan, if he’s secretly saying, utopias or dystopias, here’s a scenario people are asking for, exploring it, you can’t really say Heinlein did a bad job, almost objectively true, what is the book for?, it works really well for kids 12 and above, kids who have never seen a rocket that went to space, appreciating in good stories, thoughtful reminders, not leaving things hanging, when Matt goes back and does the job of his cadet supervisors, you’re getting your hunger back, new academy kids coming in, not so many people get to pass through, people retire in their 30s, mostly they’re not fit, what not fit means is they’re dishonest, they’re overly attached to their tribe as opposed to the truth, character, Rodger Young was short and disabled, rewarded with death, a song and book naming a space ship after him, the right thing to do, what makes you a good patrolman, a model for stability, what’s the point of military or civilian service, Heinlein is a utopian, people who’ve actually seen combat or put in service, made fun of in the Verhoven movie, service guarantees participation in the ruling councils, citizenship vs. the vote, graduate children into adulthood by means of testing, a very utopian and interesting idea, overwhelmed by people saying he’s a fascist, all these retirees, do they have an outsized influence?, he thinks that he benefited from it, a lifer was someone who got in at 20 years, you don’t need that many admirals, the patrol breaks your ability to be a part of your parochial group, had to by my own belt buckle?, Jesse is a Zelazny character, very different from a lot of people, this guy hates me, this guy doesn’t understand me, an asshole on twitter, abrasive on the podcast, sometimes other people have ideas that are cool, why Heinlein has people retire out, the Starfleet Academy training program, retirement in Star Trek, how to change society, you need more training, I notice you like spending times naked in the growery, the essences, the officer was a monk he didn’t care, some of the monks stay in the service and don’t ever get married, when you have a military service that is conscription, in for three terms, training for humanity, we can be done, this very solid book, majority of the population going through federal service, a distilled fraction, a very good point, sometimes he’s a socialist sometimes he’s a libertarian, winged, marjory taylor green, Assange should be gotten out of prison, Rand Paul is right about a helluva lot of stuff, one axis, one of the less interesting axes, people are stuck, what modes can we get out of, he was ahead of the game with his anti-racism, its an ideology of anti-ideology, this is the way you talk about the subject, these are the words you should never say, if you are a very shallow thinker, what is the correct word, black as the ace of spades, the word spade is not an insult, the kind of thing that someone would quote tweet, learn to appreciate by reading a fucking book from more than ten years ago, worked up about words that were in common usage, family text channel, is wetback a slur?, a paper on immigration in the 1950s, Operation Wetback, the teacher freaks the fuck out, privileged of visiting the uncle who keeps you apprised, are guineas Italians?, continent by continent, three guineas in Africa, there’s a guinea in Asia, its a coin, the observed behavior, racism is still around, it’s not a science, ignorance, thoughtlessness, pseudoscience, people who just don’t like those people, when you’re uncomfortable, Fred’s shy, when Jesse can talk for five.

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

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

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

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

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

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The SFFaudio Podcast #579 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: The Spy In The Elevator by Donald E. Westlake

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #579 – The Spy In The Elevator by Donald E. Westlake; read by Winston Tharp (for LibriVox.org). This is an unabridged reading of the short story (38 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Paul Weimer, and Maissa Bessada

Talked about on today’s show:
Galaxy, October 1961, a very good issue, Cordwainer Smith, Frederik Pohl, Fritz Leiber, Frank Herbert, Robert Bloch, Jack Sharkey, Willy Ley, a lot of engineering and planning, I love Westlake’s writing so much, reach out and kiss you, the first paragraph, that put the roof on the city, Eric S. Rabkin, “transformed language”, transforming an idiom for a science fiction setting, the opposite of Poe or Lovecraft, ornate, dense, oblique, frothy, characterization, perfect voice for it, he was dangerously insane, including my date with my girl, a post-apocalyptic dystopia that ends on a very sour note (for the reader), a nice trick he pulled, he gets over it very easily, cleavage girls, contract marriages, no-p (no progeny), p and not p, natural deductive and axiomatic logic, math for sentences and paragraphs, useless and yet…, an underlying current that’s rather deep, Philip K. Dick, The Penultimate Truth, The Defenders, leadies vs. ore-sleds, a retelling of the myth of the cave from Plato’s Republic, a metaphor for having conversations with people, Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, the mentality of the people, The Ax by Donald Westlake, a very funny sad scary book, very political, it wouldn’t have felt political at the time, artifacts, the massive trope or overpopulation, arcology, a condo, the projects, the justification for why would be reading a crime novel, he quit science fiction, Xero (magazine), very true of most science fiction writers, Joe Haldeman cant make a living at it, a sad reality of the industry, solid ideas, from a very different angle, Wool by Hugh Howey, mainstream science fiction with this wonderful aspect, Robert Sheckley, he’s poking fun at everything all along the way, delights in enjoying how ridiculous life is, makes kids enjoy science fiction, a great infodump on page 183, it flows just beautiful, a nation 200 hundred stories high, occasional spies, external dangerous lurking at the back of our minds, the ungentlemanly gentleman’s war, irony and humour, treated to such flowy goodness, the whole story’s greatness, you could make this as a student film, three or four actors, so good, an efficeny of science fiction, a real shame he quit science fiction, Doctor Killybilly, William = strength and protector, why did they do this?, our judo flipping instructor, where the outside is unknown and secretly not bad, Logan’s Run, the Fallout games, High-Rise by J.G. Ballard, The Luckiest Man In Denv by C.M. Kornbluth, why are the Russian oligarchs so much work than the Bloomberg oligarchs, can it be explained, circular, imaginary enemies, WWI (the ignoble nobleman’s war), The Westlake Review blog, WWII (the racial non-racial war), WWIII (the ungentlemanly gentleman’s war), tactical nuclear weapons, MacArthur, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, good strategy, your focus narrows, situational awareness, tunnel vision, engaged with a twitter thread, this happens to countries (not just people), they found his car, the army men, kind of incompetent, aiming the elevator at the army, starve-em-out, Edmund Rice, the right focus, his apartment is falling apart, the window doesn’t work, his single egg, rationing, chicory coffee, he cant imagine a different life, at the bottom of the apartment building, slag, it dumping of their ore car slag, piling up, if this goes on they will be buried, Idiocracy (2006), Javelin missiles sent to Ukraine, attacking Trump from the right (instead of the left), making more nukes?, if we have WWIII it will be stupid, howitzer line of sight nukes, they did it on purpose, somebody is lying, West End Games’ RPG Paranoia, it’s cool to think about, page 193, terror, horror, dizziness, do you see that green?, the power of suggestion, agoraphobia, The Caves Of Steel, his girlfriend, so obsessively worried about punctuality, PTSD, ore-sleds are just like people?, they have so little, they focus on the tiniest things, get Jesse hiking more, kidnap victims, Stockholm Syndrome for a whole nation, he’s like Canada, the sky isn’t falling, he’s a humanitarian, a dangerous criminal, an illegal immigrant, he puts us in the situation right with the guy, page 179, that horrible egg, gaspingly transparent window, its better to look inward, a whimsical approach, a romantic approach, I can’t live without you at the moment, will you be provisionally mine?, I’m going to be needing a wife for at least a year or two, I moved like a whirlwind, that was wrestling, that was judo, that was karate, he just killed the guy who was trying to help him, Paul plugs a book: Mazes Of Power by Juliette Wade, And All The Earth A Grave by C.C. MacApp, three extra zeros, advertising for coffins, a prospector wanders out of the New Mexican desert, humans are complete asses, under the roof, she refused at length and descriptively, any number of girls, I was a hero, they even gave me a medal, not licensed for progeny, this is our reality, living in bubbles, elaborate defenses, that’s what this is really good at, what’s going in the sixties, what its for, its about the psychology of our own human silliness, delightfully frothy, that first giant step, man got a hotfoot, he ran back with the tale between his legs, Neil Armstrong, images of flame, page 189, you’ve crawled into your caves, a well appointed cave, Outside, the same thing, always the same stupidity, the long slow painful creep of progress, a lot longer than it took to go right back into the cave again, how long people had without useful technologies, the cave is a metaphor for your set of beliefs, cut out the information coming from the outside, he wants to eat the fake news, he’s blocking people on twitter, you’re cancelled, cancer culture, once you start blocking…, he thinks what he hears in the building, what the army tells them, radiation proof cars, why should we?, don’t you ever wanna look at that guy’s voting record?, cutting off, dis-empowering yourself, you’re walking into the slaughterhouse, don’t listen to him, feels like there’s very little here, just another science fiction story, substantial power, if it were novel length, that experience, The Defenders is the same story from another point of view, City Of Endless Night by Milo Hastings, eggs, don’t shill for Instant Pot until they sponsor the podcast, the free range ones, orange yolks, you can taste the difference, a sad thought, that’s your allotment, the staircase, using the staircase is a transgressive act, do you need a stairway in a mausoleum, by 2000 everybody lived in projects, his grandparents?, three generations?, distorted stories, the history lesson, the old folks home, genetically unsuitable, what makes him unsuitable?, do you want to breed smarter people, suggested by the story but not in the story, we see two of them, the number of actors you need: two guys and a lady who comes in on skype, a tight dystopia, E.M. Forster’s The Machine Stops, co-opted, Westlake was a Manhattanite, New York as a horizontal arcology, the El or the subway, you can walk three blocks, rush hour, you have ruined my life, the spy is a little more reliable, bad for you, a monster behind that dumpster, the big Donald Westlake hits, The Risk Profession, LibriVox, space insurance, the two sides of Westlake, oh man, situational jokeyness, the Dortmunder books, The Hook, Memory, Charles Ardai, Christa Faust’s Money Shot, like Kill Bill, Hard Case Crime, at least sixty novels, Anarchaos, a very slim volume, so many good books, Somebody Owes Me Money, a crime syndicate, wherever he takes you on a journey, still fun, he still makes it work somehow, so funny with his characterization, Greg Bear is the opposite of Donald Westlake, we build the whole thing, you don’t leave him for a second, the way Shakespeare was gifted, a massive loss for Science Fiction, Smoke, endlessly silly ideas beautifully demonstrated, how many movies are made out of Westlake’s stuff, foreign homages, 41 credits as a writer, The Hot Rock, The Grifters, Payback, Jimmy The Kid, Diff’rent Strokes, A Slight Case Of Murder, James Cromwell as the detective, Cops And Robbers, Point Blank, Lee Marvin and Angie Dickinson, he’s king of like Stephen King, Stephen King loves Westlake, Richard Bachman is named after Richard Stark, Tucker Coe, Magnum, P.I., a crisp clear writer, Lawrence Block, fifteen years of great reading.

The Spy In The Elevator by Donald E. Westlake

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The SFFaudio Podcast #522 – READALONG: Astounding by Alec Nevala-Lee

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #522 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, Marissa VU, Evan Lampe and Amy H. Sturgis talk about Astounding: John W. Campbell, Isaac Asimov, Robert A. Heinlein, L. Ron Hubbard, and the Golden Age of Science Fiction by Alec Nevala-Lee

Talked about on today’s show:
Alex Nevala-Lee, a book and an audiobook, thinking about legacies, thinking about audiobooks before, the original cool guy, adorable, its nice to be read to, 100 pages of footnotes, Evan, your book doesn’t exist as an audiobook, nobody wants to read anymore, Evan’s gotten to the stage, reading history books, non-fiction is so good on audio, rekindling pleasure, everything is cited, really he said that?, “Fuck, Eando Binder!”, “lambasted dianetics”, its all cited, 13 hours, not padded, way too long, more about their sexual problems, wife-swappin’ again, a problem for a lot of books, so easy to read, just have a little listen, so engrossing, so well written, The Amazing, The Astounding, And The Unknown by Paul Malmont, the Navy yard, commentary on the stories, I Will Fear No Evil, John W. Campbell is important, Ben Bova, two confusing awards, Hugo Gernsback needs his own version of this, the one person who is completely missing from this book is H.G. Wells, Olaf Stapledon, Arthur C. Clarke, what about this?, Jesse’s complaints are not very legit, The Return Of William Proxmire by Larry Niven, modern science fiction, the intellectual historian, markets for genres, the 20s-30s-40s, the Cold War, turn towards nativism, a profound effect, the Science Fiction League, a self-aware community, WWII, a fledgling dialogue, this revolution, connecting SF with science, Microcosmic God, this is on Campbell, distinctly American?, issues sent as ballast to the UK, all the foreign editions of Astounding, the British fanzines, Hugo was nuts for electronics, we’re going to invent our own televisions, home amateurs, ham radio operators, the science fiction reader, Tom Swift, the edisonade, fertile soil, the radio boys, Electronic Experimenter, a pulp fiction collection, reading Amazing vs. reading Astounding, technical drawings and weird editorials, not only space opera, The Electrical Experimenter, Larry Niven, they’re weird dudes, a pathetic figure, a tragedy, a mire of pseudoscience, Asimov’s biography, Heinlein’s letters, no no, a horror suspense movie, uplifting, it worked on Heinlein, Asimov was his own little being, the tragedy is coming, blind spots and prejudices, good fiction and good science, the new wave, Harlan Ellison, Ursula K. Le Guin, a machine for generating analogies, he’s given them the tools to push back against him, still influential, descent into pseudoscience and self delusion, Asimov’s preface to Dangerous Visions, we’re the squares, the passing of the torch, the sexual revolution, a cultural revolution vibe, Asimov was a square, “I fuck a lot, man.”, almost sexless, The Gods Themselves, weird alien sex, Heinlein’s weirdness, a lot of revealing things, the role of the wives, a biography of Kay (Catherine) Tarrant, spelling the names, Campbell wasn’t needed, behind the scenes, Astounding is so important, still under copyright, Heinlein getting mad at Campbell, Philip K. Dick has one story in Astounding, what’s going on?, Impostor, Campbell wanted superhumans, The Golden Man, a superhuman idiot, writing in reaction to it, Galaxy Magazine, H.L. Gold’s aesthetic, Campbell didn’t take Alfred Bester!, a gatekeeper, Frederik Pohl, how important The Cold Equations is, you have to keep re-writing this until you get it right, what it does, this is what we are talking about, this is how far we can go, a Star Trek story, here is an episode of something that we can imagine happening, Nightfall by Isaac Asimov, what Campbell was aiming at, a study in what editors can do, seeding the same idea multiple times, turning Asimov down, how would that intelligence work?, a black POV character, a leap of imagination, racism and homophobia as compartmentalization, Dune World by Frank Herbert, Mack Reynolds, Black Man’s Burden, Commune: 2000, the problem is scarcity (there is none, except in jobs), universal basic income, it didn’t matter to you that the kid was Filipino, what the difference between a rationalists and empiricists, here’s how drunk driving should work, you’re not clear yet, a technical journal, that’s not how science works, how science works, grinding lenses, Verne -> submarines, Wells -> warplanes, Campbell -> atom bombs, science fiction leading the science, a legacy, Rocket Ship Galileo, Tom Swift in the Rocket Age, Nancy Drew is not the same, Nazis on the moon, action fun excitement, Elon Musk, pushing in all directions, badly inspired, Paul Krugman, Asimov’s Foundation series, a weird tension, the scientific approach to all things, psychology, a desire to make everything scientific, A.E. Van Vogt, enough to be dangerous, enthusiasm for the ideas didn’t follow through to the methodology, we can make this science too, Hubbard had no interest in science (or science fiction, really), Heinlein’s failing, Asimov was a sexual asshole, a tragic figure, Heinlein falls for Hubbard because he had a uniform, a lying used car salesman, cults, its not about your intelligence, lacking critical thinking, charisma doesn’t translate from the page, judging eyes, I no longer trust you, the worst insult Heinlein could ever give anybody, broken legs and gonorrhea, the asshole sections of Jesse’s email, Heinlein was really blinded by patriotism, the Vietnam War, we need a renaissance for the Heinlein juveniles, Farnham’s Freehold makes a lot more sense now, trying to make a point about Campbell being wrong, hopeful commentary, not including Hubbard, the serpent in the garden, transformative, “the competent man”, competitors and community members, we’re doing something that’s important, the conversations we’re having are important, they hung together for decades, personal loyalty, trolls, the story of the first Worldcon, women nurturing men who were nurturing other men, Donald A. Wollheim was a better troll than anyone living today, contributing something positive, Mimic, he bought a lot of Philip K. Dick, Asimov as a youth, your idea of heaven, the power of picking up one of these magazines, the one thing missing from this book is the history of the covers, the art, fill the space, a little bit of technology, pitch me three new magazine, Weird Tales, tiny little things, when H.P. Lovecraft turns down the editorship of Weird Tales, what would we have or what would we be missing?, a magazine with a legacy, Elon Musk is a Heinleinian character, old letters pages are fossils, D.D. Harriman, The Man Who Sold The Moon, a trap, not hard enough on the Soviets!, a whole lifetime of a really complicated human being, the whole point, the functionalist stuff sounds like Campbell, creativity doesn’t work that way, how writing works, The Trouble With Tribbles, everything is in reaction, H.G. Wells doesn’t seem to have a massive precursor, The Time Machine, Last And First Men, Olaf Stapledon, Starmaker, those men are heroes, page 370 and 371, Barry M. Malzberg, sympathize with his critics, the question of victimization, a problem solving medium, not everyone is a hero, the way science fiction is today, science fiction should explore everything, schlubs, we all live in a world that’s increasingly become science fictional, Wells’ heroes are assholes, the New Wave pushes back against the Campbellian revolution, J.G. Ballard, mistrust of the meta-narrative, setting up things that come later, wanting 15 other books to be written, a companion volume on the Futurians, creating editors, Judith Merrill, here’s another community, C.M. Kornbluth, glimpses, Arena by Fredric Brown, The Orville is new Star Trek: The Next Generation, the a plot and the b plot, season 8 Next Generation, Enemy Mine, Hell In The Pacific, Lee Marvin, no alien movie, Star Trek, Deep Space Nine, Enterprise, Space: 1999, The Most Dangerous Game, Predator, somebody sitting around, Gilgamesh and Enkidu, the b-plot, The Corbamite Maneuver, The Kobayashi Maru, Amy’s Looking Back At Genre History, Microcosmic God by Theodore Sturgeon, always asking questions, how do you know, a meta-story, it’s about what happens when you read Astounding, Sandkings by George R.R. Martin is a retelling of Microcosmic God, Dragon’s Egg by Robert L. Forward, Hal Clement, science fiction luminaries, missing an ode to Hal Clement, the chapter titles, Who Goes There?, it doesn’t give you what you want, Don A. Stuart, Twilight, two types of storytellers, historical narratives, a remarkable achievement, history is a pruning job, a really important book, more books just like this, every time we say “Astounding” take a drink, endnotes, bibliography, a gift that’s going to keep on giving, what happens after this, some editor discovered or promoted Dashiell Hammett, Black Mask, railroading magazines, westerns, isn’t Analog still going today?, finally why this magazine called Analog?, it’s a metaphor, Analog Science Fiction and Fact, factless, Willy Ley, trying to make the reality behind science fiction more real, giving writers a grounding, Asimov: what a man!, writers who are complaining about low pay rates, E.E. Doc Smith, the Dean drive, a reactionless space drive, more biographies of these pulp era mags, The World Of Nitrogen, The Realm Of Measures, Asimov On Numbers, super-clear writing, Campbell’s book of collected editorials, Lecherous Limericks, bra-snapping and carrying on, Annoted Gulliver’s Travels, a writing and learning machine, Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, mysteries, the joy of reading and the joy of writing, his mind was always elevator, that kind of curiosity is so rare, he wanted to know the answers to everything, a powerful force in reality, The End Of Eternity, a fun book.

Astounding by Alec Nevala-Lee

Posted by Jesse Willis

A conversation between Wernher von Braun and Willy Ley

SFFaudio Online Audio

Archive.org has a wonderful 90 minute English language conversation between two famous German rocket scientists!

Check it out |MP3|

A historic conversation between German rocket scientists Wernher von Braun and Willy Ley. Highlights include the development of the German rocket programs during WWII, and the space program in the 1950’s. Recorded June 9th and 23rd, 1959, in New York City and Redstone Arsenal, Huntstville, Alabama.

Indeed hearing Wernher von Braun and Willy Ley talk is very cool.

Ley and von Braun talk about:
old school days in Germany, Hermann Oberth‘s influential book Die Rakete zu den Planetenräumen (“By Rocket Into Interplanetary Space“), Fritz Lang movie Woman In The Moon, rocketry and rockets from the V-2 to the Saturn rocket family, geosynchronous satellites, the Mercury project, space stations, weather satellites, the Van Allen radiation belt, the role of humans in space, sending men around the Moon, the logistics of photographing and visiting Venus and Mars, space probes, a “semi-philosophical question about Man’s rights in space”, theological objections (and blessings), the compatibility between religion and science, Blaise Pascal, extraterrestrial life, vegetation on Mars, smart aliens, Arthur C. Clarke’s first law.

As you can see it is very historic!

Wernher von Braun (left) and Willy Ley (right)

I won’t say much more about the fascinating Wernher von Braun as I recently posted a biographical radio dramatization about him. But I will point out that Willy Ley is pretty damn amazing. Ley was an avid reader of Science Fiction, contributed science articles to Astounding Stories and Galaxy Magazine and was a member of the Trap Door Spiders – there is a wonderful Wikipedia entry about him to explore HERE.

Posted by Jesse Willis