If you recall the Eames Office film “Powers of Ten” ― we humans are at the midpoint between the galaxies and the atomic nucleus. It’s a great place to be!
Saturdays, 19h UTC
Why would I start a new show, when I have trouble keeping up with the one I already have?
This is a completely different concept, and will be a completely different format (whatever the format ends up being), from Hear Now the Words. About all they have in common is my speaking voice. HNtW is the show in which I read stories written by other people. ASFO is the show in which I talk about what I think are interesting and worthwhile things to know and think about. That is going to involve atomic energy and space travel a great deal. As I see it, those are two defining features of human existence in the present age, which is the age of transition from planetary to cosmic existence. If we fail to think about them, and get them in the correct perspective, we may not make that transition successfully. And that is a thought too hideous, too sorrowful, to bear examination.
Continue reading ““A Step Farther Out””
Dier Treblig Nhoj
This book, published in 1913 (but also dated 1989, in accord with the story) to benefit the International Institute of Shanghai, was the generous gift of well-known leading SDF member smj. The author, alias John Gilbert Reid, was only 14 at the time of publication, & one supposes much of the work was written at least a year or two before that.
My plan is to present one chapter per show of this intriguing work, with something closer to our usual theme rounding out the show.
Continue reading “Pickwickians Abroad”
Edgar Rice Burroughs
This further sequel to A Princess of Mars and The Gods of Mars has no preface to explain how the author came into possession of Captain Carter’s story. Rather, it picks up directly where the previous book left off.
Continue reading “The Warlord of Mars”
or, Captives of a Strange People
The (pseudonymous) author, it appears, was responsible for a number of juvenile scientific-adventure novels. This is an installment in a series, and several of the other books in the series are available on Project Gutenberg, but not this one. Copyright is Cupples & Leon Co.
Continue reading “By Air Express to Venus”
- HNtW 073, 2020-06-26 : Chapter I
- HNtW 077, 2020-07-10 : Chapter II
- HNtW 079, 2020-07-17 : Chapters III & IV
- HNtW 080, 2020-07-21 : Chapters V & VI (plus most of VII)
- HNtW 084, 2020-08-04 : Chapter VII
- HNtW 085, 2020-08-07 : Chapters VIII & IX (did not archive, re-run 2020-08-14)
- HNtW 086, 2020-08-11 : Chapter X
- HNtW 087, 2021–05–28 : Chapters XI―XV
- HNtW 088, 2021–06–15 : Chapters XVI―XXI
- HNtW 089, 2021–07–02 : Chapters XXII―XXVIII
- HNtW 090, 2021–07–06 : Chapters XXIX & XXX (end)
Edgar Rice Burroughs
This is the immediate sequel to A Princess of Mars, relating the further adventures of John Carter after his death on Earth.
Continue reading “The Gods of Mars”
Being an Account of the Great Adventure of Bastin, Bickley, and Arbuthnot
H. Rider Haggard
This work is pretty much contemporary in publication with The Moon Pool, and has some similarities, involving South Seas islands and lost races. It is, however, quite different in both tone and theme. The dedication to Lord Curzon is noteworthy (see below).
Continue reading “When the World Shook”
- 2019-07-23, show 061, dedication, chapter list, chapters 1―3
- 2019-11-19, show 062, chapters 4 & 5
- 2019-11-22, show 063, chapters 6 & 7
- 2019-12-03, show 064, chapters 8 & 9
- 2019-12-06, show 065, chapters 10 & 11
- 2019-12-10, show 066, chapters 12 & 13
- 2019-12-20, show 067, chapters 14―16
- 2020-01-10, show 068, chapters 17 & 18
- 2020-01-31, show 069, chapters 19 & 20
- 2020-05-19, show 070, chapters 21 & 22
- 2020-05-26, show 071, chapters 23 & 24
- 2020-05-29, show 072, chapters 25―28, concluding the story
First half read 2019-02-03 ; about half of what remained, 2019-02-17, and finished 2019-03-03. (Video livestream recordings are available for two weeks.) This is a long one, for all that it represents an abridged edition. No unabridged version exists in English.
Continue reading “Auf Zwei Planeten”
- 2019-02-05, HNtW 044, chapters 1―4
- 2019-02-08, HNtW 045, chapters 5―8
- 2019-02-12, HNtW 046, chapters 9―11
- 2019-02-15, HNtW 047, chapters 12―15 (rerun 2020-05-05 to restore ending of ch.15)
- 2019-02-19, HNtW 048, chapters 16―19
- 2019-02-22, HNtW 049, chapters 20―23
- 2019-02-26, HNtW 050, chapters 24―27 (rerun 2020-05-15 to restore ending of ch.27)
- 2019-03-01, HNtW 051, chapters 28―32
- 2019-03-05, HNtW 052, chapters 33―36
- 2019-03-08, HNtW 053, chapters 37―41
- 2019-03-12, HNtW 054, chapters 42―45
- 2019-03-15, HNtW 055, chapters 46―51
- 2019-03-22, HNtW 056, chapters 52―55 (show on 03-19 failed due to my error)
- 2019-03-26, HNtW 057, chapter 56 and supplementary matter
Willy Ley encountered this Mars story in a German translation, and, failing to find the English original (possibly hampered by looking for it under the title Beyond the Zodiac, but Percy Greg was apparently a well-known English author), considered that it might be actually German. The confusion was not helped by the fact that author Greg presents himself as translating a found manuscript. Sam Moskowitz considers it the genesis of the Mars romance so characteristic of the early period of modern science fiction.
Continue reading “Across the Zodiac : The Story of a Wrecked Record”
Philip Francis Nowlan
This novel was edited together from two novelettes (one with the same title, the other entitled The Airlords of Han) which appeared in 1928—29. The first part, in fact, was published in the same issue of Amazing Stories as the first part of The Skylark of Space. And that’s why I’ve chosen to read it now, rather than later.
There is also a 1978 version available, “specially revised and updated for the modern reader” (or rather, heavily rewritten) by of all people “noted science fiction critic and Hugo Award winning author Spider Robinson”. I missed my chance to ask him about this at the Kansas City Worldcon, where he was Guest of Honor.
- Front matter, Prologue, Chapters 1 & 2 — HNtW 29, 5 May 2017
- Chapters 3—5, HNtW 30, 9 May
- Chapters 6—8, HNtW 31, 16 May
- Chapters 9—11, HNtW 32, 19 May
- Chapters 12—16 (and a bit of 17), HNtW 33, 23 May
- Chapters 17 & 18, and Epilogue, HNtW 34, 26 May
Money is the sincerest form of flattery.
Edward Elmer Smith, PhD
and Lee Hawkins Garby
There is a sense in which Skylark is the science fiction novel. Its influence on the whole genre cannot be overstated. It launched the writing career of “Doc” Smith, and pioneered any number of things which became cliche later. As a result, I’m really pleased to have read it for you — and not at all pleased by the technical problems which left the recording sounding as though I was at the bottom of a well the whole time!
- Chapters 1—3, HNtW 21, 2017–04–04
- Chapters 4—6, HNtW 22, 2017–04–07
- Chapters 7 & 8, HNtW 23, 2017–04–11 (9 was just that much longer it wouldn’t fit!)
- Chapters 9 & 10, HNtW 24, 2017–04–18 (no show Good Friday ― rerun 2020-05-01 as archived version was corrupt)
- Chapters 11 & 12, HNtW 25, 2017–04–21
- Chapters 13 & 14, HNtW 26, 2017–04–24
- Chapters 15 & 16, HNtW 27, 2017–04–28
- Chapters 17—19 (conclusion), HNtW 28, 2017-05-02
- Chapters 1 & 2 (re–read version), HNtW 090, 2021–07–06 — teaser for a bonus which will be available to Patreon supporters
Continue reading “The Skylark of Space”