The SFFaudio Podcast #132 – a complete and unabridged reading of Home Is The Hunter by Henry Kuttner and C.L. Moore, read by Pat Bottino. The audiobook is followed by a discussion of the story. Participants include Scott, Jesse, and Tamahome.
Talked about on today’s show:
The July 1953 issue of Galaxy Science Fiction, Henry Kuttner, C.L. Moore, the questionable authorship, Worlds Of Wonder: Exploring The Craft Of Science Fiction edited by Robert Silverberg (aka Science Fiction 101), this is a really really really Science Fiction story (soft SF), sociology, psychology, politics, Scott didn’t like it (at first), Robert Silverberg’s essay Home Is The Hunter: The Triumph Of Honest Roger Bellamy, Central Park in New York, an alien mindset, philosophy, “why do you want things?”, the accumulation of things, “the ultimate gathering of stuff”, glass vs. plastic, immortality, “the Bellamy within”, caring about posterity, “victory over self”, rejecting the premise, Hunters are trained from the age of six, television, “the most powerful man in New York”, boxing’s ranking system, being Honest Roger Bellamy is akin to being Brad Pitt, “incentives change constantly”, “not in this age of science”, populi, “a post scarcity society”, sometimes he wears a hare shirt, “women weaken knees”, fratricide, A.E. Housman’s Home Is The Sailor, Robert Louis Stevenson’s Requiem, home is death, compare it to Philip K. Dick, “plenty deep”, the loss of love (in favour of discipline and obedience), girls were turned out into the populi, ancient history, Ancient Rome, Sparta (had a Spartan lifestyle), the Agogae system, Crypteia (secret society/secret police), Helots, Frank Miller’s 300, is Roger Bellamy crazy?, why did the Spartan’s live as they did? the Peloponnese, the Persian Empire, their culture, the Protestant work ethic, “idle hands”, his self esteem is tied to the number of heads he holds, if you could have anything…, “I want a machine that can make me money”, after you collect everything you want what is left to want?, a “status” society, a trustworthy criminal in a world without material want, is Roger Bellamy happy? Has he triumphed?, happiness is “the exercise of vital powers, through lines of excellence, in a life affording them scope.”, workaholics, Steve Jobs, satisfaction vs. happiness, why the death of a young person is a tragedy, “I did not really want to kill”, brainwashing vs. culture, what makes you rich is the number of heads you hold, “I have more points than you”, “most kills badge”, turning the infinitely reproducible into scarcity (grinding), “there’s no deeper explanation”, gold farming, Cory Doctorow’s For The Win, Occupy Earth, hunting for friends on facebook, the ultimate in keeping up with the Joneses, the shrinking (but still comfortable) middle class, the great depression, the great machine is society, “we have all the high fructose corn syrup we need.”
Posted by Jesse Willis
5 thoughts to “The SFFaudio Podcast #132 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG – Home Is The Hunter by Henry Kuttner and C.L. Moore”
Here’s the |PDF| for the story.
Requiem by Robert Louis Stevenson
UNDER the wide and starry sky,
Dig the grave and let me lie.
Glad did I live and gladly die,
And I laid me down with a will.
This be the verse you grave for me:
Here he lies where he longed to be;
Home is the sailor, home from the sea,
And the hunter home from the hill.
Home Is the Sailor by A.E. Housman
Home is the sailor, home from sea:
Her far-borne canvas furled
The ship pours shining on the quay
The plunder of the world.
Home is the hunter from the hill:
Fast in the boundless snare
All flesh lies taken at his will
And every fowl of air.
‘Tis evening on the moorland free,
The starlit wave is still:
Home is the sailor from the sea,
The hunter from the hill.
Wonderful reading and commentary. Pat’s reading in relentlessly dramatic. I really enjoyed the conversation afterwards. The comparison to Sparta is a valid one, I think. I couldn’t help but think of the cult of celebrity mindset of our own society. Compare Bellamy’s wish to be immortalized in plastic as a metaphor for celebrities desires to be immortalized in celluloid (or digitized in today’s tech). The tabloids constantly remind us how unhappy celebrities are too (if it’s true or not). An old battle of self vs. public persona.
Great reading and discussion.
You lost me when someone said, “I don’t know anyone who is starving.” I was hoping for some equivocation there. I get that you’re talking about your personal experience, but it’s easy to get the impression that someone has some blinders on.
Great reading, very good discussion!
I didn’t know the story at all. Hope to get a translation from somewhere to recommend it to my friends.
Yesterday morning my little daughter was sitting in the living room and demanded her kids TV. It was 5.30 a.m. and I sent her to bed again but I couldn’t sleep anymore so I listened to the story. First minutes were hard to get into it but then I got into it! Great!
Wow you’re closing in on the end of the show! We’ll have to start recording faster
Re the story itself. Indeed. It’s really dense writing, every sentence matters and builds the world. It might be best to read it slowly on the page first.