The SFFaudio Podcast #207 – READALONG: Galactic Pot-Healer by Philip K. Dick

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #207 – Jesse, Julie Davis, and Rose Davis talk about Galactic Pot-Healer by Philip K. Dick.

Talked about on today’s show:
the premise, a Lovecraftian monster, malign desires upon the Earth, The Call Of The Cthulhu, H.P. Lovecraft and Philip K. Dick, dead and not dead, city vs. cathedral, what if Cthulhu was a nice god?, Robert Sheckley, Voltairian style of comedic adventure, even the ending is a joke, super-depressing dystopian earths, “a machine-like” state of being, everyone in the book is suicidally depressed, the Glimmung, everyone is afraid of failure, I want you to map all the themes and the rising action, an existential book, the value and importance of work, the best pot-healer on Earth, failed marriage, “the game is so depressing”, clever but not uplifting, this is about our society (Twitter and podcasts), totally relevant for the internet age, Molly Yoyez, Richard Matheson’s repeated theme of the disconnection between people, “he you should listen to my podcast”, at least you can laugh, the last line of the book, the best of them, instead of just fixing or healing what is broken he is becoming a creator, “the pot was awful”, Philip K. Dick’s personal relationship with religion, history, church history, Roman history, wordplay, the meaning of “Mare Nostrum”, medicine of secret composition a placebo or patent medicine, to give them hope, agape, keritas, Happy Catholic, a body of Christ analogy, the power of Jesus, Christ stands empty handed, pointless existence, existential ennui or a disaffection with a lack of meaning in the universe (going back to Lovecraft), a symbolic version of deep time, a Jungian interpretation, the collective unconscious, is Joe Fernwright trying to find his soul?, his dead self, come to terms with death, “it’s your corpse”, “I have a box I’ve made”, it’s a coffin, distraction, the book title game, there are more allusions per square inch than other novels, Faust, albatrosses, “what Christ really was”, Willis the robot, unlimited power and unlimited knowledge, why does this cathedral need to be raised?, you love things that are stronger than you, forbidden love, “he felt apathy and there was nothing to be apathetic about”, incest, Amalita and Borel, God the creator, what is a cathedral essentially?, it is a church or THE Church, the bivalve character, the Book of the Calends, people being saved through work, “the robots are more alive (and human) than the people”, “the whole thing about robots”, ignoring your programming, Costco robots, “you can’t take pictures in here”, she could disregard the policy but she chooses not to, buckle your seat-belt, “whether you have a fate or not”, Willis doesn’t just do this roboting thing (he has aspirations to be a writer), thinking of other people not as people, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, LEGOing, WiFi vs. wireless, “be a human being for a minute”, programmed dreams, is the book prescient?, colostomy bag installation, it is inhumane not to be full of agape and keritas and worry for other people, the scene at the spaceport, THX-1138, We by Yevgeny Zamyatin, “I gaze across the silence of the marshes”, the padre booth scene, Zen, “you have worked and not worked”, Puritan Ethic, Roman Catholic, Allah, Judaism, “a bowl of Martian fat-worm soup”, the dystopia of regulation and efficiency, friending and unfriending, if this is a book about religion…, pots are what he loves, why didn’t Joe break pots?, the spider in the cup, the little fisherman of the night, “the great fisherman of the night”, this is a book about doing not having done, aspiring and aspiration, busy work and the game, Snake by D.H. Lawrence, But even so, “from out the dark door of the secret earth”, The Rime Of The Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, the bottle in the toilet tank, was there a giant snake down there?, the bones of a Black Glimmung, the bones looked like the bones of an Ark, come and be saved (a new Testament ark), beings in distress, the Glimmung is forcing their hands, “he loved us because we were alive”, Amalita means hard work, Calends -> Calendar, taxes, the ides of March, the allusions to Faust, Faustian-man striving upwards never satisfied, overcoming our bad-selves, reconcile yourself to death, overcome a fear of failure, the pot at the end of the world, “why didn’t you try something”, God in Genesis was very Faustian, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, co-creators with God, the swamp is the flooding of the perfect and the beautiful, Midnight In The Sunken Cathedral by Harlan Ellison, the fog-things of antiquity, infirm and senile, you can get a lot done on the telephone, Mr. Job and Mr. Lawyer, the robots are just as inhumane as the humans, the interplan corn and wheat bank, communism as absorbed into capitalism, crumbles as a unit of currency, Ploghman’s Planet, manifesting, the hovercraft, hello to you too, reading into it more, Julie wants to force Scott to read this book, poetry, Jesse reads The Raft Builders by Lord Dunsany, “hastily making rafts”, The Epic Of Gilgamesh, Robert Silverberg, other Philip K. Dick books, Philip K. Dick’s common book (The Exegesis), Galactic Pot-Healer is a piece of art, it was crafted, weaved, A Scanner Darkly, plots vs. ideas, having once thought to kill a senator, suicide, suicide by cop, upon re-reading, the use and abuse of drugs, ‘archaeologists will find him and know he was a misunderstood superman because he was holding a copy of Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead‘, nihilism, Kurt Vonnegut, Harrison Bergeron, 2081, whack-job libertarian idea, the problem isn’t “the nanny state”, the inexplicably of Kurt Vonnegut’s popularity, the hopelessness of his books, triteness, Philip K. Dick’s deeper themes, Philip K. Dick’s simple short stories, “what is it that you find that’s better?”, the people are the pot = mind blown!, the cover art of Galactic Pot-Healer, how Glimmung manifests himself in the world is how Jesse imagines Julie, and Scott and Rose see God in the world, Glimmung has no concern for self-dignity, “Don’t lose faith. -G.”, this book is about depression, being out of work, suicide, “I have my own black dog I need to fight”, “I love this book”, “It is a great book.”

Galactic Pot Healer by Philip K. Dick
Blackstone Audio - Galactic Pot-Healer by Philip K. Dick

Posted by Jesse Willis

Five Free Favourites #17: SFFaudio’s Socialist Leanings

SFFaudio Online Audio

This post, over on The Weekly Ansible, is, apparently, China Miéville’s list of 50 SFF “Works Every Socialist Should Read.”*

We’ve talked about four of the books and short stories on the list and done five shows on them.

I think each of them is pretty terrific, so I’ve added links to where you can download them:

Five Free Favourites

The SFFaudio Podcast#1 – The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1892)
SFFaudio Podcast #178 (AUDIOBOOK/READALONG) – |MP3|
“Towering work by this radical thinker. Terrifying short story showing how savage gender oppression can inhere in “caring” relationships just as easily as in more obviously abusive ones.”

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The SFFaudio Podcast#2 – Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift (1726)
SFFaudio Podcast #094 (READALONG) – |MP3|
“Savage attack on hypocrisy and cant that never dilutes its fantasy with its satire: the two elements feed off each other perfectly.”

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The SFFaudio Podcast#3 – The Island of Dr Moreau by H.G. Wells (1896)
SFFaudio Podcast #140 (AUDIOBOOK) |MP3|
“Like a lot of Wells’s work, this is an uneasy mixture of progressive and reactionary notions. It makes for one of the great horror stories of all time.”

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The SFFaudio Podcast#4 – The Island of Dr Moreau by H.G. Wells (1896)
SFFaudio Podcast #140 (READALONG) – |MP3|
“Like a lot of Wells’s work, this is an uneasy mixture of progressive and reactionary notions. It makes for one of the great horror stories of all time.”

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The SFFaudio Podcast#5 – We by Yevgeny Zamyatin (1924)
SFFaudio Podcast #192 (READALONG) – |MP3|
“A Bolshevik, who earned semi-official unease in the USSR even in the early 1920s, with this unsettling dystopian view of absolute totalitarianism. These days often retrospectively, ahistorically, and misleadingly judged to be a critique of Stalinism.”

*the original article from Fantastic Metropolis is “temporarily available.”

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #192 – READALONG: We by Yevgeny Zamyatin

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #192 – Jesse, Jenny, and Professor Eric S. Rabkin discuss the Tantor Media audiobook of We by Yevgeny Zamyatin.

Talked about on today’s show:
written in 1921, is it a ‘Russian’ novel?, H.G. Wells, Synchronicity and Arthur Koestler, Industrialism, the struggle to be a good citizen, the Guardians and Plato’s Republic, the numbers in character names (ah hah!), lips and poet Pushkin, don’t eat the prolefeed, sexual hour, review of We by George Orwell, character development, the Integral ship name, more on numbers in names, biblical references?, why it pays to have Eric, THX 1138 (trailer), Zilboorg vs Ginsburg translation, mathematics, Randall and Brown translations, imaginary numbers, the green wall and glass, Logan’s Run and the outside, the number ’40’, Baudelaire’s The Flowers of Evil, is the novel hopeful at the end?, lying, Caesar and hair, The Space Merchants, how science fiction and We get respect, ranking We among dystopian fiction, Jenny is Ms. Dystopia, eutopias and outopias and autopias, Childhood’s End, this podcast is perfect, Scriabin piano music is passionate, ayre (music)

Tantor Media - We by Yevgeny Zamyatin

Posted by Tamahome

Recent Arrivals: Tantor Media: We by Yevgeny Zamyatin

SFFaudio Recent Arrivals

Here’s another classic SF novel we’ll be discussing on an upcoming podcast. Read by the irreplaceable Grover Gardner!

Tantor Media - We by Yevgeny ZamyatinWe
By Yevgeny Zamyatin; Translated by Clarence Brown; Read by Grover Gardner
MP3 Download – Approx. 7 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Tantor Media
Published: March 2011
Set in the twenty-sixth century A.D., Yevgeny Zamyatin’s masterpiece describes life under the regimented totalitarian society of OneState, ruled over by the all-powerful “Benefactor.” Recognized as the inspiration for George Orwell’s 1984, We is the archetype of the modern dystopia, or anti-Utopia: a great prose poem detailing the fate that might befall us all if we surrender our individual selves to some collective dream of technology and fail in the vigilance that is the price of freedom. Clarence Brown’s brilliant translation is based on the corrected text of the novel, first published in Russia in 1988 after more than sixty years’ suppression.

Sample |MP3|

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #136 – READALONG: Neuromancer by William Gibson

Podcast

NEUROMANCER
The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #136 – Jesse, Tamahome, Eric S. Rabkin, and Jenny talk about Neuromancer by William Gibson.

Talked about on today’s show:
What was really going on in 1984, the introduction to the audiobook, 3 MB of RAM, Commodore 64, Apple IIe, TI-99/4A, the 10 Year Anniversary Edition of Neuromancer, video arcade vs. arcade, Tank War Europa, Spy Hunter, Sinistar, BBC audio drama adaptation of Neuromancer, cyberpunk, Jenny couldn’t connect with Case the first time, Alfred Bester, the revolutionary effect of Neuromancer, “a very special book”, Mexico City, “an important novel”, Yevgeny Zamyatin’s We, The New Yorker’s parody of Neuromancer, the New Wave, “one great new idea per book”, Samuel “Chip” Delany, The Einstein Intersection, The Lovesong Of J. Alfred Prufrock by T.S. Eliot, “The sky above the port…”, Blade Runner, “time to murder and create”, Hesiod, “And he never saw Molly again.”, an untethered morality, the Rastafarian religion, WWI, virtual worlds, Second Life, Gibson’s intentions, Gravity’s Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon, conspiracy, The Crying Of Lot 49, William S. Burroughs, Naked Lunch, “the silent frequency of junk”, The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz, Dorothy’s shoes, L. Frank Baum, “the face of evil is the face of total need”, The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test by Tom Wolfe, “slouching through the streets of Paris”, Case is a “man of decided inaction”, God was Adam’s employer, Dixie Flatline wants to die, Free Will, Eric felt for Case, 1980s, Watergate, a totemic fascination with color and material, branding, Pattern Recognition, the Sanyo spacesuit, Hosaka is a computer?, a dead channel would be blue (today), Ian Fleming, James Bond, Walther PPK, “elegance and cosmopolitanism”, John Brunner’s Stand On Zanzibar, Escape From New York, Johnny Mnemonic, the fear of what technology is going to bring, Case’s youth, detritus vs. kipple, Philip K. Dick, Martian Time-Slip, Galactic Pot-Healer, “you can’t prove that the United States exists” in Neuromancer, Case was a street-kid, Gibson has built something that has mythic power, the lame Braun robot, Molly -> Mother -> Mary, SSN vs. SIN, a Case study (pun), he has been assigned a SIN, Oedipus, they function as if they were physical, Case: “You know you repeat yourself man.” Dixie: “Yeah, it’s my nature.”, the Sprawl trilogy and “when it changed”, when is Neuromancer set?, “a rich kid’s hideout”, real kipple vs. fake kipple, “built by carpenters to look rustic”, 18th century fake ruins, Versailles (and the Hameau de la reine), the Tessier-Ashpool are fucked up, Mona Lisa Overdrive, cloning, Count Zero, “they dumped themselves into this matrix”, communication technologies begin with porn, A Chorus Line, SimStim gets short shrift in Neuromancer, Strange Days, Molly’s meat-puppet memories, 1-900 numbers, the lotus eaters, Circe, the Sirens song, The Lion of Comarre by Arthur C. Clarke, the heisters are motivated or moved by their A.I. puppet-master, Case’s motivation, Molly’s motivation, Corto/Armitage’s motivation, like Rabbit in Vernor Vinge’s Rainbow’s End, these characters want to believe in their own free will, Neuromancer‘s motivation, “who’s the bad guy in this book?”, “who isn’t?”, the shuriken is the only moral totem in the book, dystopia vs. dystopic, “the wavelength of amphetamine”, spit instead of cry, Jenny is kind of cheating (because she’s read the sequels), is Molly wrong for Case?, Eric questions the new pancreas, it’s Noir (because everyone smokes), Jo Walton’s review of Neuromancer (see the top and comment 59.), Jesse appreciates the world (and the great motivation of the plot), Eric likes Case (in part) because he’s the only one who doesn’t want to physically hurt anyone else, O’Neil colony, the fake French youths, Case is not Neo, The Matrix is a fairy tale with a prophecy whereas Neuromancer is Science Fiction, the Sprawl Trilogy vs. The Matrix Trilogy, Star Wars, “stuck in bullet time”, V: For Vendetta is a fantastic movie, Jenny thinks we should listen to the soundtrack to The Matrix, “the machine and the moment”, Tama thought the second half of Neuromancer dragged, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is also Necromancer‘s antecedent ,”what do we owe to what we create?”

Neuromancer

Julian Assange has a copy of Neuromancer by William Gibson

NEUROMANCER - illustration by Barclay Shaw

Posted by Jesse Willis

Tantor Media: Exclusive 35% off MP3 Audiobook Downloads

SFFaudio News

Tantor MediaTantor Media, which has recently set up an excellent MP3 download audiobook store, is offering SFFaudio readers 35% off download orders placed until November 15th!

Use Code: SFFNovember
Code expires: November 15, 2011

There are now more than 1,300 audiobooks currently available for download. To see the complete listing click HERE.

Here are some of the Tantor titles that I’ve both heard and can heartily recommend to you:
The Caves Of Steel by Isaac Asimov |READ OUR REVIEW|
Altered Carbon by Richard K. Morgan |READ OUR REVIEW|
The Coming Of Conan The Cimmerian by Robert E. Howard |DISCUSSED ON SFFaudio Podcast #42|
The Steel Remains by Richard K. Morgan |READ OUR REVIEW|
Ascent by Jed Mercurio |READ OUR REVIEW|
Nightmares On Congress Street IV (Audio Drama) |READ OUR REVIEW|

And here are just four promising looking titles:
Up Jim River by Michael Flynn
We by Yevgeny Zamyatin
Nightmares On Congress Street V (Audio Drama) |READ OUR REVIEW|
The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury

I placed an order for two MP3 audiobooks just a few days ago. I found it a pretty smooth process. The files downloaded very quickly and came in zipped folders containing well labelled and well ordered MP3s. Also very well done is the “My Bookshelf” section, which allows you to re-download titles you’ve already ordered. What Tantor has done here is take Audible.com’s good features and left out the terrible one – Tantor has no crippling DRM!

Posted by Jesse Willis