The SFFaudio Podcast #644 – READALONG: Martians Come In Clouds by Philip K. Dick

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #644 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, Marissa Vu, and Evan Lampe a talk about Martians Come In Clouds by Philip K. Dick

Talked about on today’s show:
Fantastic Universe, June – July 1953, read before?, Second Variety and Other Stories, moments used in The World Jones Made, gelatinous blobs, xenophobic violence, overtly political, the translated titles, Philip K. Dick’s submitted title “The Buggies”, the memorability of the stories, how important it is for the story, a pretty simple story, sits his kid down, kid goes for a walk, he sees a buggie, they kill a buggie, what the father saw, his reaction, if we cut out the whole middle section that would change the story radically, why cant we assume the martians are speaking to all the people, a lot darker, how its supposed to be read, its not about the boy, everybody is the same way, the Philip K. Dick rhetorizer, “Rigid”, newspapers, of the period, familiar, finding the title, the canned dutch ham, a very Philip K. Dick move, the couch, where Philip K. Dick lived in Berkley when he was 11 years old, 1212 Walnut Street, Berkeley, California, Bubber and The Cookie Lady, every tree name, visually inspirational, tree and forest street, Douglas, palm trees, Vermont Street, maple syrup, we are in once upon a time land, Hansel And Gretel, once upon a time land, the suburbs are a forest, garages, buses, even more chilling, mining his own youth, conjure up, where the buggie lands, a shout out to The Father Thing, Ralph Drake, like a dried up thing you’d find in a garage, the evergreens, something moved, a combination of Los Angeles and Seattle (in climate), walking home from school, the childhood thing, spiders with them, it becomes like the world, yellow light inside, dark and menacing, wailing, trees and detritus, “the Ditch”, a tangle of forest and trees, it felt big, explore and delve in, Paul was smol (with big eyes), some beautiful parallels, why Jesse recommends Dick as a writer, what say Barnes, they already tore it up, poking it down with a pole, what?, spider-web, what they see in the bamboo, a tree covered in a web, very nebulous, a giant nest for the eggs of some sort of insect, they eat the whole tree (every leaf), just a little while, 99.9% chance something like this happened in his neighborhood, political, so many spiders in Philip K. Dick, stop pulling those legs off, Phil, feeling awful, so sensitive, super-sensitive, trained by Philip K. Dick, the brutality of the humans is evident from the beginning of the story, grim-faced and trembling, what was the fear caused by?, the vision the buggie gives to our main character, a lecture from his dad, you mind what your father tells you, the biggest whipping, I’ll get washed, be yelly, a whole other educational scene at the end, violence, externalizing violence away from the family, punch him on the shoulder, no reaction, very normalized, dirt on his cheek, his hair is tousled, did he get that at school?, these are free range kids, a more innocent time, the stranger danger is the humans, outsiders coming in, more subtle, I wonder where it will end?, a dying planet, their perception of it, Dick’s intention, the efforts of blacks to get into the suburbs, Lovecraft Country, they’re more organized this time, like leaves, you get out the long pole (aka the rake), gosh!, Will Emmons, what is it about?, it’s about communism, it’s about communists, another Red Scare, the insanity of McCarthyism, from Truman to Eisenhower and VP Tricky Dick, the war, communism is everywhere, what broke the fever, what the buggie is trying to say, I’m trying to be transparent here, on metal disks in the middle of the ocean, fuck off!, get a fireman and burn it to death, looking below, you could put any group in there, immigrants, aliens come in caravans, imploring, begging, permission, mobs and police, the violent culture, indoctrination, if it was an adult, this is how you learn to be a racist, those are the others, see how we treat that person, what you need to understand, boy, like little sponges, your religion, being afraid of outsiders, the programming, numb them to the violence, picnics at a lynching, take you pet to the vet, associating the positive with going out, spay you, the really spooky part, capturing this programming, how you program a society, how you program people, little Jimmy, sad, a tragedy, take anybody’s permission, he should have found the dog in Roog, genetically programmed to bark at strangers, the house came with a dog, a rundown house and a rundown dog, get used to communists, this is a sad story, we should be sympathetic to these beings, it would help a living being, we don’t understand it, whatever it is we’re blind to, the structure does the job of what Philip K. Dick is trying to say, Hartley Construction, Western Lumber, his chest swelling, Frank Hendrix was from Missouri, Jack Green, Green thumped Ted on the back, chip off the old block, coffee, not one damned bit, all aglow with reflected glory, the kid was scared shitless, the analogy of the barking dog, he’s lying to himself about what his son felt, what he does with his trembling hands, a very Philip K. Dick move, blowing smoke in a grey mist, what’s for dinner, he presents something, lets sit with that for a while, another Philip K. Dick-ism, Lena, nineteen hundred and fifty eight, mid sixties, early seventies, what the Martians are presenting, a CBS Radio Mystery Theatre adaption of The Prisoner Of Zenda, commercial radio drama, the ads and the news, a news station with an audio drama, how different the United States is today, the metric system, the refugee immigrants from Vietnam, this failed war, we gotta take out people with us, the communists will gettem, a wave of immigration from Europe, The Hounds Of Zaroff aka The Most Dangerous Game, a White Russian count in the Caribbean, a combination of a natural image like the fall, a “long pole”, what the pole is for, they get torches and more gasoline, pure evil, and everybody’s good with it, a Japanese fighter pilot parachuting down over San Francisco bay, The Battle Of Los Angeles, shelling the sky over Hollywood, what would the people do, people falling out of the sky, they’re spies, the cruelty just under the surface, the Comic Code Authority, no impugning police officers, judges, or politicians, built into the programming, a false reality story where everyone is in on it, the kids talk just like the adults, I wanna see one, I wanna get one, reflected glory, if you’re a person who doesn’t feel fear you’re not a person, you gotta listen to me boy, is he’s old enough, you run, you tell the authorities, inside of him he was shown something that shook him to his core, there’s something wrong with you, you go to church, masturbation will put you in hell, I resist, I’m a good person, a transmutation, curious, happy go lucky, he transmutes what he heard about the buggies, he transmutes his fear into hate and then lies about his motivation, human beings favourite hobby, what about the vision, a dying Mars trope, dead spiders lodged in cracks, layer after layer, where have we seen this before, the Vaults from Fallout, The Penultimate Truth, into these bunkers to slowly wither away, give up that industrial way of life, it is not without risk to bring immigrants into your society, but there are rewards too, that distant green sphere, dried out blind husks, be waterspiders, we can’t have them breeding, your civic duty, stab him with a pitchfork, make you doubt the war is a good idea, subversive, scarier, xenophobic, who is doing the programming, shown pictures of them at school, listens to the TV murmuring to itself, television, the TV is programming them, most of them are already rounded up, the warm bright living room, Jimmy imagines what his parents are doing at home, a frigid wind, reading the newspaper, fixing dinner, the friendly yellow homey warmth, the home being a center of warmth and caring, the garage is where you find father things and poles for raking leavers, the neighbourhood, the things up on the roof, the things up in the tree, very powerful, it seems insubstantial, he nails it perfectly, super-talented writer, writing about stuff other people are not interested in, writing about children, Evan’s show on this story, the relationship between children and parents, Stephen King, more optimism in King, corrupted by society, Project Earth, Tony And The Beetles, The Cosmic Puppets, Of Withered Apples, can I go outside and play with my tree?, newspaper x6, when you’re a kid everything is new, delivering newspapers, a needed commodity, gasoline over newspapers, how newspapers work, if you deliver the newspaper late, the generalized value, as opposed to a book, what’s happening now, how to think now, whenever the New York Times puts out a headline that’s ridiculous, get 650,000 people killed, its in the newspaper, how Nineteen Eighty-Four works, we get rid of old newspapers, you wrap fish in newspapers, you wrap newspapers and fish, dried up and useless, the newspaper needs to be burned to prevent archiving, down the memory hole, the last of the buggies, completely forgotten, a horror story, remember that time our ancestors genocided the neanderthal, the megafauna extinctions, mysteriously they disappeared, as we’re carrying around our knife all covered in blood: “I can’t image what happened to them.”

1212 Walnut Street - Philip K. Dick's house when he was 11

Martians Come In Clouds by Philip K. Dick

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