The SFFaudio Podcast #754 – Four-Day Planet by H. Beam Piper – read by Mark Nelson. This is a complete and unabridged reading of the novel (6 hours, 14 minutes minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants include Jesse, Paul Weimer, and Cora Buhlert.
Talked about on today’s show:
Henry Beam Piper, 1961, paired with another Piper, probably serialized?, no, doesn’t need a serial feel, Putnam and Sons, standard Piper spaceship: ball, the hunting of the seamonster, Lone Star Planet, chased by giant steer, more action hunting in this, makes you want to read it, influences, a Jack London novel, Moby Dick, kind of a juvenile, a YA protagonist, not 18 yet, felt younger, felt older, “Tin Tin And The Space Whalers”, Tin Tin at the typewriter, drill down into this book, Tin Tin on Instagram, streamer tech, video and audio recording everything, flashing it to his dad, their planet doesn’t have satellites, only 20,000 people on the planet, stubborn SOBs, occasional miscreant, divide satellites by the number of people on earth, Jesse’s not a math guy, GPS, navigating from the stars and inertial systems, cute surprising moves, on the docks, pulls out a gun, sea-snail, gets poisoned, showcases Piper’s hobby horses, excuses for guns, excuses to smoke, loves his guns, low opinion of police, respect, government forces lumped in with the racketeers, as a group they get no respect, libertarianism is in the mix, propaganda for libertarianism, undercutting that, multiple volunteer fire departments in the same city?, one alarm system, seven small villages, look at the geography of this planet, near antarctica, very rural, ports, no farming, vat meat, vegan meat, under-egged that, limited to the ocean journey, the lifeboat, a Battlestar Galactica episode, Dogget will survive until the air turned to liquid, taught us interesting things, Fritz Leiber’s A Pail Of Air, To Build A Fire by Jack London, The Sea Wolf, Eden among the sealions, not a romantic vacation, thick bark trees, using machine guns to cut down trees, more guns in this scene?, everybody brought their own personal weapons, the meta, a former slaver hiding his identity, a dead woman’s fingers, driving down the price of a natural resource in order to enrich himself, the hazards of monopolism, they wanna lynch, government’s on the case, that’s be nice, not very likely, Israel hunting Nazis, a Federation government, agents, at the general level or admiral level, James Bond, ordinary murderer, bank robber or conartists, enslave a planet, he’s a war criminal, more along the Hitler lines, characters from the Jack Vance Demon Prince novels, a personal mission not a government mission, the Manuel Noriega story, maybe I should run this country, they went after him, they knew he was corrupt, ask Saddam Hussein, why am I the one defending libertarianism to H. Beam Piper?, lynch law is bad, correct moral message, you must go to court, reading books, schools in Florida, supporting public education, the value of a good education, old fashioned, out in 7 months, useless information from chat GPT, good curation of knowledge, critical race theory in math books, banning hijabs, a women only safe space room, wasn’t even allowed to do her internship, a math class, a technique to divide the poors, telling H. Beam Piper his business, going against his own instincts, Kim by Rudyard Kipling, grows up wild, ends up working for the British empire, his Irish father and his good instincts, turn him into a spy, British empire good, Heinlein takes that and says I can do one better, Citizen Of The Galaxy, he has legs at home, gathering information for the Empire, goes a little cynical with them, a revolution is about to start, we’re storming the Bastille today, whoof the rug is pulled out from under him, cooler heads have already been on the case, he’s not as good as Heinlein for this, YA elements, where’s the romance?, the girl who’s going to work for him, doing romance in the 40s and the 50s, not in the cards for our hero Mr. H. Beam Piper, the sister, she’s a girl!, that’s a rough place, these rough people, the dad is busy smoking, doing the job of three people, way below, he’s not doing it as good, we need way more about the ecology of a planet with four days in the year, they can’t eat any of the food, and the food can’t eat them, Larry Niven, catsnake?, for this planet Niven [would be] better, Space Viking, breezier and easier, very simple, space battles, why is this science fiction?, the strongest science fiction idea in here, its the instagram recorder, youtuber streamer, and the hunting of the wax, shielding, a commodity, intense sunlight, analogizes with Moby Dick, whaling was huge, tallow wax and whale oil, how they breed, not to hunt them to extinction, traditional societies, north German Bremen dish made with whale meat, the meat was not the moneymaker, it was the sperm, petroleum, he doesn’t do enough with that, a reporter, friend doesn’t quite do enough, disappears like Ishmael, not a classic for the ages, Little Fuzzy, interesting, not a terrible books, but not special, Lord Kalvan of Otherwhen, the definitive Piper book, Omnilingual, a richer piece, passes the Jesse test, the 20 chapter titles, a cute little nod, obscure author from Scotland: Arthur Conan Doyle, the Javelin, the Pequod, gunpron, monster killing, treason, masks off, a simple story, 180 hour away from sunset, H. Beam Piper with Larry Niven, had he not killed himself, they could’ve been friendly, Robert E. Howard, tapering off, Clark Ashton Smith, ailing parents, kept changing, c’mon you can do this, doesn’t have the fire in the belly anymore, coming into his oats, Jerry Pournelle, sometimes it don’t work, sometimes it do, Oath Of Fealty, Dream Park ain’t a good book, a little silly, pretty good book, the whole Bish thing, a kind of western, quickdraw, Firefly and Serenity (2005), special agent, an H. Beam Piper tv show, our heroes and their dialogue, the empire they were fighting against were flat, the Alliance, insurance company, the Dortmunder, a Donald Westlake character, the reavers, better in prediction than in execution, it had potential, fashionable to criticize, Cora always had her issues, the best episode of Firefly: Objects In Space, a bottle episode, the casting was good, The Witcher tv series, Elric, they both have swords and white hair, hiatus, forgetting to cancel shows, the pilot for the Logan’s Run TV show, the movie in fast forward, the new Logan, an elder council is running things!, they have to make it a series, there’s old people?, old and weird looking, there’s no renewal, Logan and this other chick, they find a car in D.C., an android robot that will help them every episode, a Paul thing, the Planet Of The Apes TV series, about 6 Star Trek episodes, you can’t tell anybody what you saw there, an old circus poster of an ape behind bars, Sky has never been so good again, music videos and cartoons, Dutch people, best TV channel ever, D.C. Fontana was story editor, Harlan Ellison wrote an episode, David Gerrold, George Clayton Johnson, William F. Nolan, Logan’s Run, all on for Odds On, not abridged, a Jesse book, Breakthroughs In Science by Isaac Asimov, in a rabbit, Sixth Column, Tommy Patrick Ryan, Shakespeare’s Planet by Clifford D. Simak, Charwoman’s Shadow a novel by Lord Dunsany, in Spain, dowry, substitute shadow doesn’t grow and shrink, praises by Theodore Sturgeon, I love the book, humour and beauty, E.F. Bleiler found it excellent, tradition of George MacDonald, first science fiction novel, Keeper Of The Isis Light by Monica Hughes, Crisis on Conshelf Ten, political crisis or something, set on the Moon, her stuff is really short, thin volumes, mostly girly and boarding school stuff, kiddie gossip for teens, a series, Invitation To The Game, a horrible situation, it’s odd, fewer women science fiction writers, she put out a lot of YA, solid science fiction book, not having the greatest prose ever, on the pirate website, a real shame, Invitation The Game by Monica Hughes, Lisse and her friends are unemployable after graduation, embrace The Game, narrated by June Carter, abebooks, Scholastic Books, way before Harry Potter, the YA cover look, an affordable edition, the shipping, import them, twice the value of the book for shipping, Ballantine Adult Fantasy, the Internet Archive, a hard science fiction dystopian novel, children go to government schools, social welfare systems, agitating for political reform, many are involved in organized crime, just write science fiction like you mean it, and not too long, 192 pages, from 1990, died in 2003, she was British, Canadian by emigration, 11 novels?, Earthdark, the Arthur C. Clarke moonbus book, Devil On My Back, used headset, hairgel, the price was right, bargain hunter, Jesse’s gonna hug Cora, Angélique books by Anne Golo, proto-bodice rippery, smoky shag rug, nicotine stained wooden rosary, one bloody Mary two bloody Marys, might as well convert, half-equipped, stinky old books, best wishes to the father-in-law, taking parents to hospitals, four hospitals in six weeks, nursing home, and blah, Paul met Cora’s mom, already in pain, not very communicative, karaoke evenings, what went wrong, heart surgery, hip surgery, not a lot going on with her anymore, Worldcon, collapsed at the airport, farm animals, recognizing farm animal, have you ever touched a bird, have you ever touched a cow, where was Paul born?, have your touched a cow, have you touched a bird, a lot of people haven’t, three days old, Jesse’s mom’s photography is awful, very significant hand disability, well done Jesse, you get 9 points, the one who blocked Jesse, cows or goats, not a farm kid, obviously a cow, cow, bull, and calf, a little bull, the relevant pieces, an active farm across the road, the cows next door, one of the cows would run away, Uncle Heine and Aunt Marianna, three sets of grandparents, kids need to do that, in New York city, a farm visit, city kids, look at all the animals, sit on a horse, had to have his balls banded, that makes him a steer so he can be eaten, ox and oxen, most of the meat, you need one bull just like you need one rooster, prairie oysters, rocky mountain oysters, I’d like a weird meat cut please, boy penises are dog chewies, rawhide chewies are penises, product descriptions, pure meat, oxen are commonly castrated, don’t steer us wrong, working animals, riding an ox, horses or camels or bicycles, a monkey riding a dog, riding an elephant, bull-riding doesn’t last very long, pull carts, ploughs, Paul has to game, Over The Edge, work for an embassy, misadventures, get into troubles and have adventures, bye, breakfast is what Jesse is hearing, Odd’s On by Michael Crichton, reuse of Easy Go notes.