The SFFaudio Podcast #622 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, Maissa Bessada, Evan Lampe, Will Emmons, and Olav Rokne talk about Between Planets by Robert A. Heinlein
Talked about on today’s show:
Blue Book, 1951, Planets In Combat, the prose in this novel is “turgid”, here comes the trolling, swollen and distended and congested, To Sail Beyond The Sunset, short punchy sentences, larded up with excessive detail and flowery prose, Lovecraft, turgid vs. intricate, complex vs. complicated, like a clock or a little watch, tiny little things designed and built to have a precise effect, to appreciate the exact feeling, be accurate in your criticism, why are they using these slurs, you can’t just swap in Scazli, Annalee Newitz, Our Opinions Are Correct Episode 65: We’re Officially Done with Lovecraft and Campbell, Evan tricked Jesse, Will tricked Jesse, “I’ll allow it”, why we can dismiss John W. Campbell and H.P. Lovecraft, read Ayn Rand, an incredibly odd and limiting and damaging world view, replaced, or filtered through Scalzi, Olav’s beef with Ayn Rand, a 15 page didactic rant, the sun rises again, Atlas Shrugged, The Fountainhead, an article by Annalee Newitz reading a book review of a biography, a very interesting block quote, starting as a socialist and ending as a libertarian, Glory Road, I Will Fear No Evil, any redeeming features, was it turgid?, it can’t be turgid, they don’t want people to read Heinlein, maybe they’ll become libertarians?, Rand Paul vs. Ron Paul, in the American context, if you want to understand the United States, a preponderance of non-Americans, treaty six territory, how could you read a book like this and say it has nothing of value, a whack ideology, Neo-liberalism, Neo-conservativism, a kind of censorship ideology, you absolutely must read all the Heinlein, a certain amount of pushback on gatekeepering, talking to fans vs. writers, Paul lives in twitter writerland, nothing past 10 years ago (or 30 years ago), don’t do your homework, how far back do you “need” to read to sell today, safely skip, Heinlein TLDR, “just read Scalzi”, Old Man’s War, “Scazli is the new Heinlein”, marketing of people, X is the new Y, she/her pronouns should be they/them, an explainer in The New York Times right before Lovecraft Country started, trying to understand reality, this is not applied, people not doing their homework is what bothers Jesse, not a new thing, Scalzi wrote up giant piece, Poe is not a third rate writer, where’s the evidence that Lovecraft is sexist?, Lovecraft is not interesting on gender, The Thing On The Doorstep, Zealia Bishop, The Mound, humble and respectful, The Unnameable, Heinlein is incredibly progressive, The Pleasant Profession Of Robert A. Heinlein, The Number Of The Beast, SPRUNG, other womens’ parts, it’s a kissing book, appropriating, adjacent to the sexual revolution, Stranger In A Strange Land was very influential, ahead of the curve, students pushing for access to birth control, early wifeswapping, as a female human being Maissa didn’t want to read it, talking about breasts and nipples makes you a sexist, arguing with podcasters who are not listening to us, Farah Mendlesohn, where’s the audiobook?, The Great God Pan by Arthur Machen, the fauns, the move overs, the gregarians, tiny pans, affectionate, addicted to hugs and nuzzlings, they have hands, they wanna eat your pies, they’re wonderful!, that’s from The Unnameable, a less rapey version of Pan, Little Fuzzy, the fauns of Venus, the fog-eaters of New London, dragons and fauns, a fantasy Europe, Paul is very lucky, a juvenile (novel), he becomes a man, he must act like a man, his grandmother gets younger, a child soldier, a lot of ambivalence, where Charlie Jane are coming from, goddamn it Heinlein why are you going on about this?, war and the army, Starship Troopers, is it fascist?, Paul Verhoven is arguing with Heinlein, how we should react to Heinlein, interesting relationships, modality of talking to other people and bureaucracy, this is a book about waiting around in the airport, seem nice, talkin’ to the cops, dealing with passport and immigration, displaced person, The Wizard Of Oz, the characters he meets and the lessons he learned, his home is space, the asteroid belt, citizen of the Solar System, Citizen Of The Galaxy, recycled elements, picks up stuff from his own life, Thorby, re-writing Rudyard Kipling’s Kim, Annapolis, Farmer In The Sky, Time Enough For Love, a lot of material out there, the comic book, two different audiobooks, the Full Cast Audio audiobook, abridgments, some fools add sound effect of a creaking door, a new kind of audiobook, Bruce Coville’s company, maybe 30 minutes shorter, you don’t need sound effects, the Blackstone Audio audiobook, the Chinese restaurant owner, the casting was different with the artist drawings, the only commercially available one, out of circulation, a super-shame, lost forever, have a friend like Jesse, The Boy’s Life version (low rez), appealing to Boy Scouts Of America, Evan was a Boy Scout, youth movements of the 20th century, feeding people into the military, the Chinese Boy Scouts, the Hitler Youth, militarism, Evan largely agrees with Jesse about war, what kind of war is this?, a revolution, The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress from a point of view, libertarian, anti-colonialist aspect, a breakup of Empire story, a fantasy, the American Revolution, the settler colonists declaring independence, the support and consent of the fantasy natives, Heinlein is awash in something, rocked by national liberation movements, up to a certain point in the novel, Chinese, some of them are bad guys and some of them are good guys, fantasy national liberation movement, aristocratic dragons, libertarian dragons, we have to be careful about saying Heinlein is a libertarian, Heinlein is not Ayn Rand, entrenched in their way of life, enjoy their boomerness, more and more or less and less aware of people who are not you, being in the military is like being in a socialist state, struggling over and over again, the American Revolution, the way Canada came to be, a secret, getting in on the rest of Canada, we promise to send you a train, what else we gonna do?, a bargain and a deal, get swallowed up by the States, the U.S. Revolution as a coup d’eta, this flaw, yet another Civil War, he is aware of it, a foundation style people above this nationalism, Podkayne Of Mars, Heinlein went and visited the Soviet Union, pointing out gulags on a map, he’s not one thing, Ayn Rand’s objectivism is objectively wrong, Red Tory, the Red Tory manifesto, libertarianism with a conscience, conservative, free expression, free speech, being free, he might think the hippies reading his book uncouth but he won’t bash them for it, bookleggers, do we or don’t we, McCarthyism, this whole backstory behind this current war and revolution, the planet that was destroyed, hidden knowledge, yes but not really, all of Heinlein’s stuff is set in the same universe (Future History), the Antarctic revolution, even the terrible stuff, oh Jesse, way to goddamn long, Tunnel In The Sky, remember the least, teeth on edge, aged poorly, out of place, the early horseriding, L. Ron Hubbard, New Mexico landscapes, out of place, squaw, Indian buck:
[“We’ve got all day,” he cautioned Lazy, “so don’t get yourself in a lather. That’s a stiff climb ahead.” Don was riding alone because he had decked out Lazy in a magnificent Mexican saddle his parents had ordered sent to him for his birthday. It was a beautiful thing, as gaudy with silver as an Indian buck, but it was as out of place at the ranch school he attended as formal clothes at a branding—a point which his parents had not realized. Don was proud of it, but the other boys rode plain stock saddles; they kidded him unmercifully and had turned “Donald James Harvey” into “Don Jaime” when he first appeared with it.]
12 hours good job, the Venusian dragons, Sir Isaac Newton, sidekick aliens, the hero of his own story, Lummox, a forgettable book, quite far into the book, he’s in an airport or on an airplane, the Heinlein Society concordance, beuraucratic functionaries, strawmen, probably straight out of his own life, every ad in the first 20 pages (of a certain class for white people), military schools, prepschools, nature schools, school life away from his family, a happy reunion, central High School in Kansas City, he moved out west, politician, 1776 Independence Lane, a real thinker, so many opinions, not a hard SF book, what this new technology means, an infodump with gobbledygook words, as confused as I am, to get us that technology tyhat he needs to get us to other planets, constantly going into rebellion, so American, with an international view, a strawman villain, written for a teenage audience, I’m going to torture you, you’re going to walk out of here with no teeth, the Chinese bank, he’s in the middle, break the rules to help out a friend, deliberately obstructing, you’re right here it is, interaction with bureaucracy, Bureaucracy (InfoCom game), bureaucracy is important for Heinlein’s outlook, a reality, in that job, taking initiative, there are people who will follow the rules, there are other people, WWI fighter pilot, rules are for the obedience of fools and the guidance of wise men, exceptions, an advocate, lost in the system, argument with government, libertarian Canadians, part of the maturation process, parents as authority, negotiated, crying in the checkout line, when do people become libertarians, highschool and college, freemen on the land, Annalee Newitz and Charlie Jane Anders, a nice liberal guy like Scalzi, don’t deny that right to anybody, don’t say he’s turgid when he’s not, the motivation is so important, the reason they’re using it is because they’re saying you shouldn’t read it, paternalistic bluecheck elites, thank you for giving me permission not to read this homework, constantly rant at kids, that’s a strawman, you cant have a conversation with me, talking to my young friend Will (barely out of diapers), toastmasters at the con, if you don’t read Heinlein you’re not a real science fiction fan, sexism and hatred, push against that continuing pressure, people still say to Olav you need to read Heinlein or else, Heinlein explain to Farah Mendlesohn, lots of idiots on the internet, how much of it is trolling?, Will keeps saying Jesse’s a fan, Jesse runs a fanzine?, why is Heinlein important?, like saying H.G. Wells is important, if anything should be named after anything, Hugo Gernsback’s gonna get his due one day, adapting his work for the screen, Wells is basically forgotten, his stuff is amazing, The New Accelerator, a short story about methamphetamine, a hilarious very critical story of science and commercialism, H.G. Wells’ review of Metropolis, these turgid waters, a problem cohering, Jesse’s retort, this isn’t part of my identity, people fight over who is a fan, so intense for people, Robert Silverberg is just a cranky old man at this point, more heat than light, this conversation is turgid, parentage, until he signs up for the Venusian armed forces, the relationship romance stuff is very thin, there’s no kissing in this book, she kisses him, he could be a keeper, the tom tom girl, the wife who cooked the breakfast, a lack of female characters, the “I’m adult now” switch, adult decisions, initiated into adulthood, enlists by accident, the High Guard, the leeches, I have to stand up for what I believe in, I Will Fear No Evil, the decadent end of empire scene, New Chicago is mostly underground, when the “uncle” character, a huge tip, Heinlein is all the characters, he’s also Jubal Harshaw, the triumvirate we see most clearly in The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, the loveable sidekick, every kind of love interest, these types, why Heinlein is so controversial, he’s really engaging with stuff, he’s very intellectual, an ambivalence and equivocation, citizenships, gung-ho, when he gets the ring back, an argument over a point of principle, principle is the foundation of how Heinlein deals with everything, rudeness as a high crime, he is fundamentally express his own life philosophy, a short interview with Alec Nevala-Lee, Heinlein didn’t contribute in the way he wanted to, capable of changing the future by doing the equivalent of science, the training of the people who were all going to do that, China’s push on science fiction is a push on STEM, the relationship between science and engineering, got interested in science, the theoretical part of putting together a nuclear bomb, when Heinlein tries to contribute WWI, he didn’t make the Wonder Weapons, writing is thinking, imperialistic, having our hero be a Filipino, he’s an American just like us, nobody says “Philippines was a colony of the United States” (and still is, kinda), he doesn’t give that ring back to his girlfriend, he takes back his ring, he’s off in the stars in his head right now, her father is shocked, if that’s sexism, all women secretly want you to give them rings and not take them back, why so many people give women rings, he knew what he was doing, a strange spiking of his own narrative, he’s an adult now, I’m a man, he totally implied he was going to go back and get her, he’s kind of a dummy, fogeater fogeater fogeater, he was in the fog the whole time, I’m a man now, father, I fulfilled my commitments, an assumed happy ending, that interstellar starship, you have to be married to do it, the “wither thou goest” type, the frontier that Philip K. Dick is always going with, Friday, Red Planet, Dread Of Heinleinism by Charles Stross, a pastiche of one of a very specific few books, the underlying question, the answer is yes, people are determined to forget the past, how quickly the Venerians create the new bureaucracy, laws and currency, all this didactism, how rebellion is done, cell systems, no philosophy, very psychological, taxation, Mike is the government, Mike is the George Washington character, Heinlein being international, a citizen of the system, Evan is not offended by that, Thomas Paine, all the Tories move north or to England or to the Caribbean, a massive apathy, the Black diaspora, Sierra Leone, a propagandist for the French Revolution, The Rights Of Man, anachronistic, Glenn Beck, why the left adores Paine, anti-British, Liberty in a bottom up way, he’s not the coup d’etat part of the revolution, his message is not compatible with the United States, Che Guevara, Donald E. Westlake’s first published story as an adult, Patrick Henry, Jesse told this story three times, god gave him liberty, died of McCarthyism, the Monore doctrine, liberty liberty liberty, all these lies people are telling themselves, secular saints, its very important it is to read Heinlein to understand the United States, highly influential, utterly forgettable in plot and detail, Americans misunderstanding the united states, what Canadian health care is, are there death panels?, Heinlein is a little glimpse outside of the borders (by analogy), Olav got passed over by the death panel this month, ignorance spawned on purpose, how did this happen, Russia has socialized medicine, being facetious on purpose, Olav is trolling!, its probably slightly less worse in Canada, that’s Jordan Peterson, Rachel Notley, a small country, Evan hasn’t read that much Heinlein, Starship Troopers, everyone is saying you shouldn’t, Double Star, communication 100 years ago was shouting out the window, Michio Kaku, nobody calls him on it, apparently its Jesse’s job, what’s the logic what gets you angry…, that Jimmy Dore video, deep fear someone somewhere is having a good time, that kayfabe thing, Donald Trump doesn’t trigger Jesse at all, people like to be lied to, you tell yourself a fiction, allowing you to not think, The Dreams Our Stuff Is Made Of: How Science Fiction Conquered The World by Thomas M. Disch, “America is a nation of liars, and for that reason science fiction has a special claim to be our national literature, as the art form best adapted to telling the lies we like to hear and to pretend we believe”, what’s the USA immediately do when it finishes its revolutions, like Haiti did, why that coup d’etat line rings so true, their still called Governors, the Anglo-American legal system, protect property from the majority, a civil war about these issues, Scalzi’s blog post, one of the commenters wants to cancel Jefferson because he supported the French Revolution, except Haiti, biggest slaveholder around, a relatively egalitarian distribution of property, under his own ideology, a dream, the Homestead Act, co-opted by the railroads, the War of 1812, Henry Adams history is way to long for someone like Jesse (it is 2,000 pages), Hamiltonians, Wilson in this book?, what do we make of the Venerians?, the Little Fuzzies of this planet, Galileo, exchange students, Chinese and Korean students, a stripper name, Heinlein is uncancelled, John W. Campbell was a great writer, ?!.
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3 thoughts to “The SFFaudio Podcast #622 – READALONG: Between Planets by Robert A. Heinlein”
Pre fall of the Berlin Wall anecdote:
way back in the daze of 1980’s talk radio, t’was an Ann Rand cult out there.
In the context of The Cold War, covert conservative radio host extolled the virtues of libertarian-ism.
Doing your homework was reading, NO, study of Ann Rand.
This Heroic Voice was above the banality of party politics, made miasma allusions to this time’s SWAMP,
until interviewing a prominent conservative such as Pat Buchanan.
Expecting an ambush, the cozy exchange, was maybe a regional media courtesy / curtsy of that day,
still the airwaves’ liberator was shown another lap dog.
Got a clear revelation, that I was being ‘practiced on’, not just hooked for commercials, but manipulated.
Give a pundit enough rope / slack, and perhaps one can trip but emerge the wiser.
Yes. We are lucky to live in a time where the internet allows the avid amateur scholar as much research as his or her powers are able to conjure – that cult still exists, but is perhaps struggling harder to hold its members – in the face of the ability of people to hear other voices out there, read for themselves, even if it all is superficially hidden by google deranking and a torrent of mainstream media propaganda.
I bet a lot of this made people of the panel uncomfortable to speak out on(probably censored themselves quite a bit) This is where the Oppression in a free society stems from. And not going down that road(being a good career choice) is the reward. But in the end, Won’t all but a select few be Losers.
Alas, It’s the antithesis of Free Speech to feel scared to be open and honest with ones Diverse views(the Only Real Diversity is that of Thought). Something that sadly seems to be lost on many who make a living off of ….WORDS.
Good Luck to us All, We gonna need it!