The SFFaudio Podcast #700 – READALONG: The Door Into Summer by Robert A. Heinlein

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #700 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, Maissa Bessada, Evan Lampe, and Trish E. Matson talk about The Door Into Summer by Robert A. Heinlein.

Talked about on today’s show:
serialized in F&SF, October and December 1956, hardcover 1957, set in 1970s, set in 2000/2001, the cat and the door, isn’t the door supposed to dilate?, Heinlein In Dimension by Alexei Panshin, The Pleasant Profession Of Robert A. Heinlein by Farah Mendlesohn, lucky for Paul, Paul didn’t like it, just the cat parts?, time paradox, time loop, Trish hated it, a cardinal rule, #SIFTP, analysis, horrible indeed, recounting Trish’s shame, supposed to like the main character, Pete rules, Danny boy, pacing, not a struggle to finish, Evan should read all of Heinlein, Evan dug the stuff about domestic labour, a key feature of the conversation about feminism and technology, Philip K. Dick was a technophobe, Nanny, domestic labour devices, the robot’s trying to have sex with your wife, the washing machine, washing day, any liberation from work is good (especially drudgery), still sexism, 1950s America, Evan loved the cat stuff, a love-story about a man and his cat, Pete’s inner life, this little opener, the famous ones, researching, listeners appreciate, other podcasts on Heinlein, even people who hate Heinlein reference him all the time, Our Opinions Are Correct, By His Bootstraps, “All You Zombies”, similar plot, less romance, less something, all about the time loop, even tighter, a long short story, good, fun, and funny, similar structural stuff, a bullshit paper on time travel, loops ensue, Dictor, he a bad man, he also main character, did Heinlein invent time loops or merely perfect them?, finding Heinlein icky, bootstrap paradox, 19th century, outside of science fiction, economics, politics, such a pervasive misunderstanding, something obviously impossible to do, whadontchu do the impossible?, stupid people collecting phrases, the icky factor, engaged with vs. shit all over, squicky?, “grooming”, the stand in for Heinlein (Dan Davis), unfair, overstating, Heinlein still wrote it, he’s pushing her away, “Yes Ricky, that’s what I want”, over-reading, kids as sex objects, The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, Hazel, The Rolling Stones, no talking about the show before the show starts, the stand-in for Heinlein is someone else, the nudist is Heinlein, the Japanese Netflix movie, not that bad if you can attune yourself to Japanese aesthetics, “a door you should not go through”, fine, it did the story, the femme fatale, reducing the ickyness, just pining, did what it had to do, it didn’t dwell on the fun stuff, haircuts, stock stuff, women’s labour is not in the movie at all, the world that Heinlein builds up, am I supposed to like the character?, he’s a drunk, he wants to make his tech repairable, right to repair, a bigger issue today than 30 years ago, you’re not supposed to open your own hood, Jesse’s ancient car, other personality qualities, being resentful, being oblivious (for the plot), kinda dumb in some areas, an idiot ball, trusting Miles and Belle, the passion to dive into your work, being his own boss, don’t let other people tell you how to do your job, selling stories, the same scene over and over and over again, “dicker”, sticker, ultimatum, instead of haggling, saying the unstated, the other guy always collapses, a weakness in Heinlein, his second plan, that trick sucks and Jesse hates, it doesn’t work in reality, try and do it today bud, Heinlein has to be an Android guy now, one of the many annoying things Heinlein does, his worlds are constructed by him, there’s always another guy across the street, you have to move to another town, Sears is gone now, all to common situations, helping the businesses stay honest, gas stations, gas prices are always in alignment with each other, working together, a supply issue, independent gas stations, corporate owned, concessions at a movie theatre, booktowns, a wedding district, negotiation logic, interpersonal connections, “how dare you, sir, interrupt my nudist making out session with my wife, I’m going to go nuclear”, in that case we’re best friends, autistic, an all or nothing approach, padding, a mode that he gets into, inane identical conversations, after your 50th Heinlein novel, Rikki-Tikki-Tavi, more evidence Heinlein was always telling you what books to read, he loves Rudyard Kipling, Jesse doesn’t read for character, the world is fantastic, so much going on, France has a king now, Canada ate England, the six weeks nuclear war, the capital is now in Denver, the amount of worldbuilding, nullified by the Japanese movie, 3 years from now, robots that look like people everywhere, iPhone didn’t take over in 2 years, these guys don’t care about the thing Jesse cares about, a Japanese audience, he’s the Time Bride in this situation, zero age difference, schoolgirls in sailor uniforms, oh yeah and we have to have a cat, asking questions and angry about stuff, a robot Pete?, a very bad replacement for the nudists, it made it cute, where did that come from, you’re always late, Dan, bad bad writing, I serve you for five days, have conversations to explain plot, reverse engineer that robot, another convention, avoiding a paradox, the reason, all the podcasts in existence, we’ve done the most on anything (by Heinlein), everybody does Starship Troopers, a number have done The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, a couple have done By His Bootstraps, some have done “All You Zombies”, the movie is not the story, that story is pretty simple, essentially the same, a Heinlein booster, a white nationalist?, learning to drive, there was a door, why is this not a book that sticks in the memory?, so lower on the tier scale, less racist that Farnham’s Freehold, awesome plot work, it feels slight, sentimental works, otherwise slight, The Cat Who Walks Through Walls, avoiding that one, a cat is in it, there are cats in it but it isn’t a cat book, flatcats, he loves cats, Pixel, a character Jesse liked, the nudist was funny, nuding it up, do better in 2022?, let the women talk about the women for a little while, little girls have inappropriate crushes, an excuse by pedophiles, go play with somebody your own age, see a psychiatrist, here’s a candy cane, peer appropriate relationship, hypersleep, still wants to marry the same guy, don’t wake me up, she’d rather not exist if she’s not going to be with him, ten years of living without him, he’s not a jerk, oblivious, focused on his work, he can write female characters strong and self sufficent and have brains, a manipulating self-center bitch, a response book, previous time travel books, H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine, When The Sleeper Awakes, the future utopia sometime in the 20th century, the richest man in the world, his light bulb being on, Red Dwarf, engaging with a long tradition, two methods of time travel, shunted out of the plot, a plot device, the cold sleep, a great novel, neglected great writers, Double Indemnity by James M. Cain, a wife who wants to have her husband killed, Walter Neff, while somebody is sleeping, he didn’t jump he was pushed, killing off Dan B. Davis, the Hays Code, slim volumes, so digestible, the motivating plot, the way the book is structured, it starts with a loop, 11 doors in Connecticut, drafting or drinking, back in time, his decision, running around to get the plot happening, Back To The Future 2, he sees himself on stage playing guitar and Chuck Berry phone call, how Heinlein’s a good writer, the car had gone missing, Jesse knew what happened to the car, a mystery, red herrings to distract us from the little clues, chef’s kiss, time travel, not loved when so well done, he invents the Roomba, so many touches, Hired Girl, the hired girl, he can see them in their starkers, as god made them, all confection and lies, assets, competent, the hired girl took over, what’s so interesting about this book, technology at its core, plot vs. tech, the Japanese movie in relief, plasma battery subplot, Heinlein’s saying the opposite, everything’s off the rack, philosophy of engineering, on point, in railroad times you build railroads, loop de loop rollercoaster, the character having interaction with himself, nothing more beautiful than that, “you’re stupid”, I said., arrested for barracking, that zombie drug, sentenced to being zombies, zombie workers killed by its owner, working the implications of the tech, Heinlein at his best, really exploring, he loved Colorado, overrun, expropriated for government use, Los Angeles is a port, he’s not half-assing it, he likes, nudity, Colorado, cats, California, self inserting his own bio, the whole bit with the cars, producing to give people jobs, we’re doing it, cheese caves, in the Japanese adaptation, 32 year old car, you need to be rich to own an old car, to support the Japanese car industry, more iron to make more cars, the domestic market, the Japanese market, immigration, its hard to assimilate, racist or whatever, something they’ve thought a lot about since WWII, how to keep the economy good, a stable economy, trashing five year old cars, Australia is full of Japanese cars, Canada too, right hand drive, insure it at a higher rate, where Heinlein goes the extra step, the fit and finish, no gauges, satire, milk subsidies, a license to have a milk farm, where the government cheese comes from, more cows producing, distortion effects, pop vs. soda, pop is a verb not a noun, Wisconsin is pop country, corn syrup, sugar is cheaper in Canada, corn syrup is cheaper in the states, social commentary, a continuation, his futurism is really good, technology has massive impacts on our lives, real science fiction, useful technology, the right side of this question, make women and men’s lives easier, his own life, tricked out with interesting tech ideas, labour saving, the history of the dishwasher, scrub dishes all day, Jesse is a monster, not a smart dishwasher, I have to pay my servants, after WWII, dishwashers had existed since 1850 but they get hot in 1950, Catharine Beecher, Harriet Beecher Stowe’s sister, A Treatise On Domestic Economy For The Use of Young Ladies at Home and at School, our bastion of power, efficiency expert, scientific management, fordism, talking about the domestic sphere seriously, expanding their own freedom, the natural place for women, sounds scary when you say it, if you’re going to continue the species, off on the hunt, Jesse literally cannot suckle babies, hormone shots, we don’t even have the baby being gestated in side the woman, Lois McMaster Bujold, uterine replicators, Podkayne Of Mars did it first, Bujold does Heinlein better than Heinlein, the domestic labour saving devices, Jesse’s not allowed in his mom’s kitchen, her space to dominate, a room in the house for men, cohabitation rooms, smoking rooms, Trish seething in the background, liberate women from this using tech, drive across or rocket across, Jesse has been talking a long time, Drafting Dan was for himself and for men and women, his inventions were for everybody, Hired Girl helping women, saving household labour, the domestic sphere idea, a woman’s domain, restricting choices is a bad thing for human rights, through husband or father, how people or women thought of it in the 19th century, antebellum reform movements, newspapers, social movements, protests, writing governments, pushing for laws, anti-prostitution, temperance, the anti-slavery movement, women’s anti-slavery societies, it degrades the family, making women sinners, informally not legally married, separate spheres idea, women didn’t have property if they were married, the Temperance Society of Philadelphia, write articles, give speeches, push for laws, a historical rabbit hole, something else that is going to annoy Jesse, the plot is a chef’s kiss, the time machine plot was unnecessary, a wonderful feeling, Riki becoming a brilliant engineer herself, wow she grew up and started the Aladdin rival company, Dan went back in time and did everything else, the challenge, Trish had her female empowerment plot taken away from her, a good thing about that movie, irrelevant to the plot, a better reinterpretation, given how all the female characters were written, intelligent women who do things, too early, without that loop, the loop at the beginning, an alcoholic suddenly, to fix the problem, to get revenge, he’s doing a figure skating thing, that the loop happens, who is Heinlein?, could there have been parallel existences?, Pete died, she grew up, if I did see my name in the paper, it could never have happened that way, the very existence of that line of print, excluded not possibles, a supernatural engineer, the supernatural entity is Heinlein, a beautiful technical execution, why is that scene necessary?, because he was a nudist, an intertime travel love story, Time Bride Isaac Asimov’s November 1983, Gardner Dozois and Jack Dann, Trish is going to love this story, engaging with the minor aspect of the story, many exceptions, spouses in the reverse case, not societialy appropriate, if Edgar Allan Poe had, getting married in Korea, school and study up, more free now, the western standard, the average age, a lot less marriage as well, not some inexplicable quirk, women don’t have to get married to support themselves, older men would have more of it (money), marry off your daughters, women make their own money, marriage is obsolete, as societies developed, incomes are equal, the only reason marriage exists is to control women, traditionally, easy binding contracts, trying to buy a house on your own, marriage contracts for two years, the Islamic world, Shia, Sunni, merchants, a contractual thing, business routes, renewing your drivers license or your car, about insurance, why are insurance companies invovled, The Year Of The Jackpot, related to marriage, 26 working years, make all the right bets, Lifeline, murdered by insurance companies, Time Enough For Love, something Heinlein is thinking about, it fits with the idea, on a track that can’t be changed, a fixed track, that sentimentalness of it, his cat likes him, the reason it is all worth it, now wife and kid, 30 years down the road you can’t have your cat, just have your cats out for the summer, Lockstep by Karl Schroeder, the march of civilization, Cryoburn by Lois McMaster Bujold, investments, can you control and manipulate the world, the bad guys in Neuromancer, Technovelgy [Bill Christensen], technologies in books, Drafting Dan, CAD, Eager Beaver, Flexible Frank, Hired Girl Robot, Radioactive Coding for Checks, Robotic Hand, Waldo, Stasis (Cold Sleep, Hibernation), Thorsen Memory Tube, Computer component that allows a machine to learn through experience. Universal Checkbook, the ATM, Window-Willie, boob tube, a pulp image, glass recycling, transaction fees, the debit card, you can’t believe how expensive it is to clean windows, he invents a lot of the tech in the story, two kinds of science fiction going on at once, the effect of technology on society, a time travel story, Idiocracy (2006), C.M. Kornbluth, the premise for Futurama, a forward going time machine, Flight To Forever by Poul Anderson, the desire to go back, time travel paradoxes, similar to this, Bender’s Big Score, after the first cancellation, Lars is Fry, going back in time, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Data, Star Trek: Voyager, The Orville, billions of years old, Marvin in The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, if this is the worst of Heinlein…, is he in the same facility as himself, a lockbox with 16 different keys and locks, leave a letter with a lawyer, Bill And Ted’s Excellent Adventure, time travel role playing games, fade away, Back To The Future (1985), puzzles for the writer and the reader, an intellectual exercise, have the rest of the book blank, the last short story Heinlein ever wrote, a trilogy, a series, Time Enough For Love, The Long Arm Of Gil Hamilton by Larry Niven, cold sleepers, harvest their organs, corpsicles, The Crack In Space by Philip K. Dick, A World Out Of Time, Rammer, hard SF, and noir, a very turgid book, Evan is struggling with, a grade 12 honors seminar, “Science Fiction And Social Issues”, Vulcan’s Hammer, Doctor Futurity, bye Trish!, Solar Lottery, a whole year, five times a week, Alfred Bester, The Roller Coaster, Passengers by Robert Silverberg, it’s certainly something, to palate cleans you, a lot of paranoid men worried their robots are fucking their wives, they’re all so good, the older version of The Time Machine movie, Somewhere In Time (1980), Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour, reverse time bride, not fairly icky to Jesse, Paul found it icky, Maissa thought it had icky aspects, alternate future, he’s wrong everywhere but also dead on in many ways, not because Heinlein loves pervin on the girls, I’m robin the cradle, people age, you get old, Pete dying, Riki aging and seeing the cat again is a super-positive thing, seeing your childhood pet again, preserving their pets just for summers, the whole metaphor is very poetic, necessary, somebody can age faster than someone else, have a bigger baldspot, make him oblivious, if he had to serve a jail sentence or something, prison romance, a reality for a lot of kids, a good ideas movie, The Tomorrow War (2021) with Chris Pratt, Edge Of Tomorrow (2014), you stand with Ukraine, they’re recruiting right now, oh, I’m too old, put up or shut up, family drama, if you really want to explore the idea of time travel, Joe Haldeman’s The Forever War, the wording of it threw it into Creepyville, stop doing that, written in 13 days, the cat initiated it, not another word, bye Paul, the step of actually recording is important, cannot remember it at all, John Buchan’s The Watcher At The Threshold, a dog cart ride, there’s no hunting, they talk about going hunting, the structure of the story, super-deep and super-good, running around town, Evan needs to do the whole run of Heinlein, Civil War, John Adams, John Quincy Adams, Evan is becoming a boomer, he stopped a war, sacrificed his presidency , it makes Evan squee, his great great grandson founded Raytheon, when we are not living under martial law, another novel?, The Hill Of Dreams, Weird Friction, Will wants to do The Sea-Wolf, a lot of hate on twitter, Civ 6, video game logic, he knows Civilization, the headline, Putin Gains Rights To Bases In Donetsk According To Something, the headline buried the lede, implying that Reuters in cahoots with Pfizer, cahoots going on, amongst those cahooters, triggered by stuff, Heinlein wants to be a woman, literal hate, contextualize this stuff, Heinlein is progressive on gender issues, when you look at the 19th century, the progressive position, I think this is a scam, this is a scam, look at and improve student papers, stretching to find things to fix, finding more fake problems, operating in bad faith, control the narrative lest people get the wrong ideas, thinking Fauci is a saint, a holiday in Taiwan, a brutal massacre is now a holiday, Peace Day, remember the horrible past, the dumbest meme I’ve ever made, Putin Rasputin, twitter takes on Ukraine, thanks for your quote tweet asshole, grapple with ideas, it could be seen as mean, people think Evan is mean, emojis, reacting people’s dismissals of old writers, borne of and reflecting worthy new ideas, we don’t have read old books any more, reading Moby-Dick, joking with Connor [Kaye], scoffing at the idea of sensitivity readers, stirring shit just for fun, someone reading over your work, ask a scientist to read your thing, the writer who did the article on sensitivity reader, find and replace, disfigure, somebody is going to be hurt by it, continent sometimes means China in Taiwan, if you’re pro-independence, Columbus discovered China, the China of North America, sensitivity is reading, you can be hurt by words in a book, Chinese lesbians want to fuck their mothers, annoyed, having their feelings hurt, seeing their pain mocked, inner city gangsters, what kind of thoughts do they think, Harlan Ellison wrote juvenile delinquent novels, helping a student write a werewolf story, being in the wilderness, bringing your own experience to the table, if you need to have a gang in your story, writers do hire researchers, Elmore Leonard had a professional researcher, Tishimingo Blues, farb, civil war underwear, a dialogue point, a setting for a crime story, professional divers, the reason Jack London works as a writer, fish police, Yukon, homeless, Korea, boxing, Hemingway, the laptop class, the people who COVID was an inconvenience for, being a professional writer pays nothing, the sensitivity reading pays really well, it sounds mean but is it a lie?, only if you are totally ignorant, insensitive people, is gypsy salami racist?, Thinner is super-racist, Stephen King, is it racist or just a trope, King didn’t even write this, cancel Bachman don’t cancel King, is Bachman a shitlib?, dark but sensible takes, some colleagues are idiots, Putin’s two hour speech, trying to remake the Soviet Union, a pro-Russia guy?, Russia and the Soviet Union are different, why do people have opinions about things they know nothing about, there’s no dissent, Russiagate was bullshit, how did we get here?, being badass, arming civilians, Molotov cocktails, good 20th century vibes, not one step back, there’d be irony in that, if you’re looking for irony Stalin is steel, yellow and blue flags, smoke a cigarette to them, Ghost Of Kyiv, Colonel Tomb, Vietnam, a legend, war propaganda, legendary, like a fake name, Colonel Tomb laughs from his ghostly lair, sniper women, Battle Of Sevastapol, Miss Pavlichenko, Woody Guthrie, Russian soldiers on Tinder, a fifteen minute break, all that catfishing, people get triggered, they don’t deserve their country, Taiwan wont roll over, an sensitivity reader changed Conan Role Playing Game 1st and 2nd editions, mysterious is like inscrutable, ancient is less descriptive, the mail man came vs. the mail carrier came, a doctoress, an aviatrix, mailman vs. mail-carrier, unintended consequences, writing out the caste system, it’s ancient India, role players want to play whatever you want, a black skinned paladin in medieval Europe, Pathfinder, martial arts changed to unarmed, Bruce Lee and kung fu, unarmed combat, making the game more of a board game, a Crom eating barbarian, swordfighting and boxing, copy and replace less badly but for what purpose, that’s just a stereotype, paying attention the writing, mud huts becomes stone buildings, mud is bad, civilized folks don’t live in mud huts, they have to upgrade their buildings, mud is othering, some people live in mud huts, modern homes are “rammed earth” not mud, euphemism treadmill stuff, a generational change, when talking to outsiders, first nations, Squamish, the word is always changing but changing from top down, policers of society, black vs. African American, white south africans who fled South Africa, race vs. ethnicity, both are real in a cultural sense, a black hispanic, coloured, Arab African, Barack Obama, when Joe Rogan got called out again for a nigger video compilation, words that are taboo, do you want to be a whipped dog or use your independence of thought and information coming in currently, bowing to authority vs. being independent of mind, Mark Twain doesn’t need a sensitivity reader for The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn, a profoundly anti-racist book, replacing nigger with robot, Robot Jim, a science fiction story, the gender flipping project, when Conina slays Thoth Amona, your premise is wrong, being offended isn’t being physical hurt, you don’t have the authority to speak about this, you don’t gave the right identity for it, adding questioning, adding bi to their bio as a proof against attack of being white, Evan has seen this documentary, who’s the oppressor here?, maybe she has a skill I’m not great at, The Fable Of The Bees, the worst thing you can do with your money is save it, there’s nothing to buy, travel, going to America every year, The Hill Of Dreams by Arthur Machen.

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