The SFFaudio Podcast #670 – Jesse, Evan Lampe, and Connor Kaye talk about The Troop by Nick Cutter
Talked about on today’s show:
Craig Davidson, 2014, body horror, you should read this, Farmer In The Sky, the Boy Scouts thing, sample, 1938 editorials, 1920s magazine formatting, dismissive of modern fiction, something to this book, Mr. Jim Moon, Marissa VU, why did Connor agree to do this book, pretty hookable, the worms got in your brain, the Stephen King quote, Jonathan Maberry, a book stands on its own, EarthCore by Scott Sigler, serialized podcast novel, competent, big evil corporation, bigger books now, he can almost make a living, Jesse’s on a rant, 4000 reviews vs. 16,000 reviews, not in the gutter, for the mainstreams, not targeted at Jesse, paperback mainstream horror market, Clive Barker, Stephen King,enjoy vs. get the ride, kind of sickening on purpose, Hellraiser (1987), scary cenobites, Cabin Fever (2002), am I supposed to want all these people to die?, top reviews, a big yawn, somebody’s jaded, “fuck this book” (rated five stars), a lot of gifs in people’s reviews, Goodreads as a social media, only 80 pages in, ridicule the fat kid, what kids do, the fat shaming of the fat kid, no women in this book, make the Doctor a woman, give her agency, a zombie book, a wendigo tale in a way, get the Algernon Blackwood out, a zombie apocalypse with 5 boys on an island, weird news website, “Cheeseburger Kills Space Alien”, worldbuilding for what’s happening and what will come, Evan is reading everything King wrote, influenced by King’s Carrie, global, Evan’s YouTube channel, Dreamcatcher, that Shelly character, It by Stephen King, backstory, that stage of life, comparing to King, any story with 4 boys in it is compared to The Body or It, Ephraim, a thrill junkie, heavy on the character, I’m reading that book you gave me, I wanna see all of these boys die, develop suspense, a novel designed to be a novel, as opposed to a story, a booklength study, what about the mainland?, Starvin’ Marvin, an incredibly well done paint by numbers, why is this all happening, sustaining of a certain mood, Lovecraft’s payoffs, the communication about a certain way of seeing reality, 11 hours, similes, endless similes, how something smells, Nick Cutter’s favourite thing is the smell of something, this book is about hitting you in the fears, such a common feeling, is that hunger something deeper?, throw in a psychopath, this isn’t a true story, Nick and Cutter I should have seen it coming, the appeal, ticking off a powerful fear, making comparisons to Mengele, Herbert West Re-Animator, a lab leak book, that weight loss drug, thinspiration!, eat whatever you want!, the background stuff, how did this all happen, is it fully contained?, why it appeals as movie (a built in ending), spending 11 hours with 14 year olds, Lord Of The Flies by William Golding, set during WWIII, the psychology of a bunch of boys on an island, a sick book, why are we pushing THIS book, The Walking Dead, reduced to crazy brutal violent hierarchical social relations, people being shitty to each other, the history of people in crisis and society in crisis, that [Thomas] Hobbesian world, Walking Dead: The World Beyond, a high school drama, we’re told they’re smart, they say smart things, a regular high school drama set in zombieworld, trying on a series of how to live together, they’re primitive communists, drama happens, canned food 10 years after the zombie apocalypse, a planetary crisis about to happen, the least interesting set of kids, Jesse’s not learning anything from it, the cover up, the lab leak, the former head of the CDC, not a wet-market story, it happens, a town known for doing this, Fauci testifying, Rand Paul, there is a cover up going on, they’re doing it because they want to develop weapons, the doctor as a scapegoat, GQ, worms are really tough, Max Kirkwood, these interstices bits, Alex Markson, Nick Cutter knows how to write, what are we really getting?, the weight loss drug, violence towards animals, a vegan interpretation of this, where it connects, am I the only one bothered by the graphic animal abuse scenes, essential to your dinner, I’m made out of meat, where we are, gooseberries want to be eaten but not too much, there’s a war, poisons and thorns, that’s just the plants, your hot dog didn’t want to be eaten it lived on a farm somewhere, we get old, we get feeble, we get infections, so smooth, why do I need this reminder?, why do they need this reminder?, rollercoasters, trying to eat the turtle, the vegan message, the anti-factory farming message?, having to slaughter animals, where the meat comes from, Boy Scouts, a simulation, he doesn’t do anything with it, Boy Scouting gear, the belt pouch, the sash with all the achievements, swearing allegiance to the queen and to god?, soldiers shooting the kid, Scouts during WWI, quasi militaristic, jamboreeing with, the meat-grinder that is WWI, ribbons, making new uniforms and grave signs, bullets and bombs and aircraft, there’s a lesson, it sucks to be ground up into chow, when politicians tell me about WWI, it made us into a country, this is not propaganda at all, its nothing, there’s no message, experiences, interesting scene here, interesting scene there, the ending when Max goes back to the island, what the book was about, he felt a hunger inside, Chapter 50, Falstaff Island, all the similes, the sterile chlorine smell of a public pool, a nameless hunger, with teeth that called his name, forever changed by this experience, a cop-out of an ending vs. the experiences have opened his eyes to the horror of reality, what is he going back to the island for?, the way he had to end it, what did I read this book for, Jason or Freddy Kruger?, the amazing worm boy strikes again, a lot of bullying in this book, the surgery, it needed to happen (technically), needing to establish the worm is inside them, what it looks like, sore throats and hangnails, the doctor scoutmaster, the parental figure becomes helpless, it works, you’ve seen horror movies, a horror movie trope, its a recipe, this is a real message, Poe lingers over the disgusting, big pile guts fall, some kid is cutting on his arm, pull a guy’s scalp off, go for the gross-out, horror, terror, the loving depiction of the gross out, Hannibal Lector, sauteing a guy’s brain and feeding it to him, its something to do, the medical scene in The Exorcist (1973), the vegan interpretation again, page 169, devourer vs. conqueror worms, the non-island boys part, hydatid infestation, subject is… “the window period the window period”, The Conqueror Worm by Edgar Allan Poe, highly interpretable, all sorts of things (not all of them involving pizza), seize it not, horror the soul of the plot, we are our own worst enemy, a horror show, in human gore imbued, the play is the tragedy Man, all these diseases we’re getting, I’m eating food made of meat, its kind of gross, you shouldn’t exist, you gonna get infected, is there nothing more substantial here, the whole appeal of body horror, a Lovecraftian element, a thing from outside we can use as a metaphor, fear to sleep, I wanna go to the doctor and get de-wormed, I don’t wanna watch the video, too horrific, Hellraiser is a cool story, outer forces, without the snippets, it would appear to them be supernatural, the surgery and knowing, just a description of what’s happening, The Colour Out Of Space is kinda sad an disgusting, when the speedboat gets taken down by the military, on the inside looking out at things you don’t understand, Pontypool (2008), a zombie movie with words, set in a radio station, The Night Wire by H.F. Arnold, The Mist by Stephen King, start it with chapter 10, wonderful horrible, the interstices reassure you that the body horror is cleaner, just enjoy the infection rather than what causes the infection, a virus, a covid book, its in your meat, its swimming behind your eyes, something inside your head telling your what to do, see the infection spread, lampshade it as much as you want, you need to have that infection spread, a cosmic fear, its just a plain-old infection, cutting into himself, I don’t watch Star Trek for the phaser fights, phaser fights are stuff to do, The Strain, worms are kinda gross, low hanging fruit, tapeworms and what they can do, get a rise out of your fellow campers, emotionally manipulating other people as a way of being, infecting themselves with tapeworms to loose weight, extreme measures, he dwells on it, mundane and popular, a pharmaceutical leak, something not in the audiobook, the acknowledgements, you may have something here, Kickass Kirby Kim, we could possibly have something here, we may just have something here, Thestomax, Carrie was a great inspiration, borrow, steal, Carrie‘s chassis, honor the master, he named his kid after his pseudonym, he’s eating for a family now, just a scary scary book, tapeworms are disgusting, throughout nature, they’re everywhere, a very good book about visceral gross-out, it weighs a certain amount of grams, a cheeseburger of a book, The Midnight Meat Train (2008), CHUD movies, people in the underground interacting with people in the overground, a weird tales as a body horror, the imagery, helping the baby turtles into the ocean, it doesn’t have a message, The Thing (1982), a cosmic-ness to that body horror, its all what it is, the whole military angle, the pharmaceutical industry, it doesn’t pay off, the government cover-up, an end of the world movie where they spend a lot of time looking at people watching TV, reaction videos on YouTube, to manipulate emotion vs. giving understanding, why aren’t the Americans in on this, Canada doesn’t have any Apache helicopters, he takes order from…, he’s taking orders from the bug inside him, a technically good book with almost nothing in it, The Lord Of The Flies, they turn to Satan, kids will turn on each other, people will, its all on the island, its all about what’s happening on the island, if you don’t notice it, On The Beach by Nevil Shute, Tomorrow, When The War Began by John Marsden, a military experiment, other lab leak books, The Stand, where did this other funding come from?, when Fauci is funding the Wuhan lab, my bureaucracy, my scientists want to do it but more importantly it expands my empire, we have this money, back to P.E.I. proper, hiding some information, make it eerie, he needs to put that stuff in there, this is not a horror movie of the Freddy Kruger kind it is a mundane horror, what the adults have done, not participating in the book, Gregory Peck, Ava Gardner, the banality of a pharmaceutical greed and superficiality, the antithesis of beauty is body horror, literally a lampshade, the inner views of what people are thinking, the lurking voice in the background, videogames on rails, you’re subject, no room for you, spoonfed to you, with Stephen King there’s space to mull, coming from the unconscious vs. coming from the conscious, why is The Thing more horrifying, a pretty damn good book, hitting all the right points, there’s no heft, you don’t carry it with you when you’re done, how is this book supposed to be received, Stephen King has something niggling inside him, other books, The Deep, Rust And Bone, to promote his book, steroids and boxing matches, Evan doesn’t care that much about promoting his podcast, a 16 week steroid cycle, a Toronto poet, something Hemingway would do, Daniel Day-Lewis, very method, examined the field, replicate the effect he is going for, The Violin And The Void, rank all your books by ranking them against other books you’ve read, ranking your books, SABCDEF rankings, always talking about Neuromancer, ways of ranking things, not substantial, a well done exercise in body horror, The Hellbound Heart by Clive Barker, we could be done, it wasn’t the worst book I’ve ever read, compared to Farmer In The Sky, it didn’t have to be boy scouts, boy scout values, redeeming the surgery scene, he has a message there, the adults are prominent in memory, the characterization is really good, the misunderstood fat kid, Newton, Kent the jock, the psychology is very solid, why it exists, body horror has a limit, vegans bring that to the table, the brutality of survival, they don’t even eat the turtle, they give it to Satan, look at these boys, nobody has learned anything, a wendigo tale in a modern environment, Ravenous (1999), comedy, comic aspects, boing sound effects, juxtaposition, a good wendigo story, drawing on the folklore of the wendigo, the gluttonous wendigo, not a hint of wendigo, he’s only thinking about tapeworms, in conjunction with the pharmaceutical weight loss, drugs turn yourself on turn yourself off, the two pill solution, back stories help a little bit, it doesn’t deliver on some agenda that the author has, no agendas in their pulp fiction, naive, having an agenda makes for potentially interesting stuff, Tolkien has an agenda, there’s no politics, there’s nothing we can do with this information, we really got to stop eating tapeworms, drive to create products, technically a very horrible book, Evan has a statement, negative reviews on Goodreads, offended by this book existing, body horror is nature, no one warned me before I picked up this book, what do people want in books?, if you want a happy ending don’t read body horror, a kick out of horror, a good book and Connor enjoyed reading it, Saw (2004) is one of the best horror movies ever, the consequences of wanting to live, walking around in Shelly’s skin is disgusting, not having principles, voting for Biden = bombing kids, getting a boner for most of this book, tearing the wings off of things and squishing eyeballs, Shelly’s just a victim in the popular memory of this event, the doctor is the scapegoat, it makes the book longer, we get him being punished for being bad, the narrator knows he was an evil psychopath, Patrick Hockstetter, a motivating force in the plot, thwarting our heroes, stealing the spark plugs, just cause a things exists in the world doesn’t mean we have to spend a long time thinking about it, like a fetish, napalm, people who afraid to swim in lakes and the ocean, the thing in the lake, the fetish people who loved the rollercoaster, subject to this scary ride, fulfilling some sort of person’s fetish, well framed, well lit pornography.
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