The SFFaudio Podcast #722 – Lone Star Planet by H. Beam Piper and John J. McGuire – read by Phil Chenevert for LibriVox. This is a complete and unabridged reading of the novel (3 hours 15 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants include Jesse, Maissa Bessada and Alex (of pulpcovers.com)
Talked about on today’s show:
A Planet For Texans, Fantastic Universe, March 1957, 1958, John Joseph McGuire, dropping McGuire from the title, Alex’s first Piper, Murder In The Gunroom, a lot of classic stories have a racism problem, this one has the same with Texans, ridiculous, stereotypes about race, they’re a race now, a weird book, a parody sendup, SuperTexans, everything was super, funny and over the top, a scene, roundup some supercattle, landspeeder, that is not the book, mostly a court case, Little Fuzzy, native creatures, extremes, mini-furry people with no clothes, Robinson Crusoe but with tiny little people, 79% of this book is court case, an H.L. Mencken essay, legalize the murder of jobholders, the gist, Prussia, government employee court, the higher up you were the more severe your punishment, this would never work in America, we’re not Prussians, republican judges and republican civil servants, his modest proposal, beat and or kill them at will, 1924, in space!, imagine any citizen, pull his nose, cut off his ears, how vastly more attentive, Prometheus award, an award for being libertarian, an excuse to explore other ways of living, an extreme freak, an armed society is a polite society, superTexas in space, how would this not be corrupted, by the indifference of the people, the oligarchs of the open range, vast armies, the support of the people for killing politicians, active corruption by politicians be the norm, unrealistic, why anyone would ever run for office, strong ambitions to be politicians, too incompetent to get it, because your flexible enough and corrupt enough, say principles you don’t believe in, to give power to friends and punish enemies, what is the desire to be a politician, cart before the horse, hunter gatherer societies, let them and laugh at them, authority that people support, one of the worst examples of human behavior, WWI, putting a chicken feather in your suitcoat, the white feather, it drove men mad, killed and maimed, The Four Feathers, Heath Ledger, Beau Bridges, social pressure, go fight in the war against China/Ukraine, all over Canada and the United States, the Germans are the better side, his mom is wiser than him, like William Hope Hodgson, an ideal society, revealing backstory, an interesting idea, maybe we should have just read the essay, an interesting concept, a mediocre episode of Star Trek, The American Mercury, June 1924, written long before the New Deal afflicted the country with a great mass of administrative law, an essay about Weird Tales covers, 1923-1954, 20 or 21 issues an eagle with a gear and lightning bolts, NRA member, National Recovery Administration, the USA went crazy for this idea, a great idea!, about price controls, making competition less competitive, cutthroat competition, that artifact is on the cover, that sort of thing, Roosevelt was trying to do anything to increase the ability of people to hold jobs and eat food, a lot of terrible ideas at the wall, as Evan [Lampe] would say, a hint of an artist in you, Walker Evans, a real sense of how poor people were, a documenting of the society as it is, interesting, very Heinleinian, The Cat Who Walks Through Walls, Heinlein would have know about this guy, now happily abolished by God’s will, peculiar to their offices, founded by Satan, a tribunal in Berlin, corruption, tyranny, incompetence, if removed from office, sounding really good, publicly accuse, nobody cares, punished twice for the same offense, deprived of his office, by either or both, far off days, an aggrieved citizen, the felicity of seeing him swamp, the unintelligible perjury, Polls, a crusade to put us down, civilized by force of arms, trained in ferocity, ipso facto, abhorrent to him, jointly interested, against scandal, platitudinous and banal, a system that doesn’t depend, swift certain an unpedantic punishments, linked in the Wikipedia, I announce without further ado, two halves, courts of impeachments, congressional smelling committees, male and female, punish him instantly and on the spot, physical damage to the jobholder, deserved what he got, bastanido, or even lynch, petit jury, discharged from hospital, makes a complaint, empaneled, acquitted with honor, assault, mayhem, murder or whatever, sounding better and better, Nancy Pelosi’s husband got arrested for drunk driving (again), he’s not the jobholder, very interesting, becoming a libertarian?, I don’t want to be one of those guys, too patent to need argument, a recreant jobholder, made to fit the crime, a certain judge is a jackass, tyrannical and against decency, his successor will be quite as bad, so far gone in senility, propped up on the bench with pillows, knock him on his head with an axe, how polite and suave he would become, vain fellows, the ignominy, brilliantly remembered, a dozen such episodes, the jails bulged with his critics, a cauliflower ear, a scar over his bald head, he would have to retire, compelled to require, the offending jobholder, the court system on Luna in The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, a very very very good book, the very interesting things that are happening in it, Heinlein likes transsexuals, Mike becomes Michelle, a retelling of the American, French, and Russian revolutions, a petit jury, a little trial, they wanna add this planet for Texans to the United Federation of Planets, cut off that food supply, the motivation for the murder, other plot stuff, ranching or cowpunching on the supercows, the romance is barely there, he sees her at the airport, on the ship together, they got married and he stayed on the planet, followed in his father in law’s footprints, a retelling of the Texas story, they did it super this time, they have the literal actual Alamo, remember the Alamo it’s over there on this alien planet, clearly funny, the whole Lone Star thing, fun baked in, 50s pop-culture knowledge, really loud obnoxious colourful shirts, a Texas chef, radioactively coloured shirts, the western pulp magazines, Lariat, Allen Anderson, a space horse, a laser pistol, Levis are always the same, the shirts, a red shirt with a Han Solo vest and a yellow neckerchief, mustard and ketchup outfit, it works on the covers, just a way to advertise your magazine, grab that magazine, have you spent any time looking at Allen Anderson style pulp covers with the costumes the lady, a lady’s clothing designer, a brass bra, a helmet, I Remember Lemuria by Richard Shaver, a green thing in a tube, a black helmet with a tiny little dragon head, giant shoulderpads, a petal shape, giant belt, this is what makes me want to read this stories, the imagination of the artist indicating, part of the magic of comics is reading between the comics, inferring how the characters are dressed, mesas in death valley, this sounds like a great book!, we spent some time ranching, the size of a nuclear locomotive, the original magazine cover, a Virgil Finlay cover, blind lady justice with a six-gun, a range war story set in space, our main character turns into a lawyer and a gunman at the very end, they all cheered, trying to kill the president, quickdrawed, Piper goes all this way to make the court case the center of the book, we didn’t need to have this trial, ambassadors are not politicians, are they jobholders?, Piper’s change is explicitly politicians, the Roe V. Wade decision, disturbing a judge’s lunch, interrupting judge’s lunches vs. you’re interrupting my body, they don’t act like politicians, establishing this whole premise twice, so focused on the supercows and the superbourbon, any excuse for a barbecue, very Futurama, a Frederik Pohl book, not named or credited, precedent, apparently they’re going to bring Futurama back, a modestly budgeted TOS episode, a Strange New Worlds episode, TOS in the 2020s, a retro aesthetic, a Twilight Zone, way above Picard, better than Voyager?, Enterprise is mostly bad, the last Orville, complaining to Evan, too much spent on special effects, death star trench run, a tie fighter on The Orville, the most Next Generation since the Next Generation, an alien with only one gender, Riker falls in love with an androgynous being, transgender surgery, real science fiction and good, even if people’s haircuts are wrong and there’s too much light on the bridge, retro-aesthetic, Spock’s bluelight viewfinder, Spock having romance, Pike worried about turning into a mummy, none of the things that Spock’s skills set has is there to make his character interesting, how Vulcans mate, double eyelids, telling particular stories, a burden brought to whatever story it is, Spock’s spawning need, burdened, the only thing they don’t have on The Orville is transporters, Picard has his mom appear in a hallway, a French accented elderly lady, they forgot, they had to retcon it, such bad writing, focused on the wrong things, Captain it’s a planet colonized by giant cows, let’s beam down and get into a court case, Chicago Planet, Space Hippies is a really good episode, what the space hippies say, they’re into the environment, back-to-the-landers, their leader is mentally ill, its a cult, accept the white feather, in the context of the shows broadcast, not submitting to, what make TOS so good, these arent the characters I love, McCoy age 500, Scotty in a cameo, telling stories we want to see told, Pike is back, the 5th actor to play Spock, get back to the roots of science fiction, throw some supercows in, loud Texas accents, delightful to visualize, a lack or a dearth of superhorses, such an easy breezy book, Starborn by Andre Norton, a giant dinosaur necked creature, a furry creature who is obviously his space friend, Andre Norton is a she, she changed her name even before she started writing science fiction, Alice Mary Norton, Andrew North and Alan Weston, a movie based on one of her books, The Beastmaster (1982), the 80s cheesefest?, a Conan ripoff, at least two sequels (increasingly bad), she was probably ripping off Conan anyway, ripoff the best, once you start digging into Robinsonades you’ll never stop finding them, the ripples of that 300 year old book are still being felt today, a show called Lost In Space, Space Family Robinson, Gold Key Comics, here’s some money, a robby the robot, from Forbidden Planet, as Jesse successfully documented, The Tempest in space, Star Trek is a ripoff of Forbidden Planet, strong evidence, everything’s riffing off of Shakespeare, The Martian by Andy Weir, its just become a genre, a terrible Tom Hanks movie, the Robinson Crusoe vibe, considered the first novel in English, set a precedent, two sequels by Dafoe, Swiss Family Robinson, everything’s a ripoff, expectations checked, bad dogs, evil space dogs, a whole story we didn’t get, General Hickock dressed like Colonel Sanders, the people on Texas hadn’t invented spring loaded quick-draw holsters, The Wild Wild West, is he white?, racially interesting, Ethel Quang-Lee, this guy is dark, a Chinese main character on Mars, cuz he can, Silk is not a normal name?, is he just smooth?, a smooth drawer?, blame John J. McGuire, in association with our hero, pleased to have read this book, take the short story and expand it, no, adaptation, more range war on the range, space war range war in a courtroom, they’re trying to canoodle and stumble into a murder trial, off screen canoodling, some rounding up off screen, I went out and did that, the exciting courtroom screen, the hyperchicken lawyer could take on this court case, Zap Brannigan, Phil Hartmann’s dead, at least we have Kif, he’s why people watch the show, can’t live without Professor Farnsworth.