The Incomparable

231: Eat Pray Love Die Survive

 

  the incomparable number 231 January 2015 [TS]

  welcome back everybody to be [TS]

  uncomfortable i'm your host Jason [TS]

  Snelling we're here tonight to convene [TS]

  another edition of our book club we i we [TS]

  we need to just change the title to [TS]

  apocalypse book club because we do have [TS]

  an awful lot at the I playing Lisa as [TS]

  you shouldn't be such miser hold on [TS]

  we're Edward apocalyptic books also out [TS]

  there of course it's book club it [TS]

  wouldn't be a book club angry people on [TS]

  Twitter point out [TS]

  were it not for the presence of Scott [TS]

  McNulty hello Scott are you here is this [TS]

  officially a book club [TS]

  it is a book club huh cool grey thank [TS]

  goodness [TS]

  well now that we know that it's [TS]

  officially a book club i'd like to [TS]

  introduce my other two guests Monty [TS]

  actually also joins us hello Monty know [TS]

  Jason member electricity [TS]

  oh good times remember podcasts are they [TS]

  were like a traveling theater but but [TS]

  they came to you over them the the [TS]

  clouds [TS]

  I can't even picture such a thing i know [TS]

  i'll draw you a comic book about it [TS]

  later [TS]

  we're foreshadowing what the book is [TS]

  David lower is also here hello David [TS]

  hi I'm calling in from John Syracuse's [TS]

  compound good because it's looking at [TS]

  what relaxes saving their dad likes all [TS]

  of lex's together here because it's very [TS]

  safe Syracuse's children there did they [TS]

  do a house swap 10 look at the circus is [TS]

  going to take his children to where it's [TS]

  safe it's just likes the house they have [TS]

  to be rescued but i'll refer you to our [TS]

  episode about but the dogstars for that [TS]

  one [TS]

  this is this is about two books that are [TS]

  more or less about apocalypses one is [TS]

  station eleven by Emily st. John Mandel [TS]

  and one is the peripheral by william [TS]

  gibson leases in my old pal william [TS]

  gibson and we're also going to talk at [TS]

  with with bonus bonus material for those [TS]

  who read it i didn't but that's fine [TS]

  about John Varley slow apocalypse [TS]

  because Lisa felt that it would be [TS]

  relevant to this discussion and I take [TS]

  her at her word because i didn't get it [TS]

  let's get it let's start with a station [TS]

  11 which is a Scott you have you were [TS]

  the one I heard about this book from and [TS]

  and then I saw it on somebody's best of [TS]

  the year list so you know you you really [TS]

  like this one and recommended it to the [TS]

  rest of us so this is all your fault [TS]

  right [TS]

  I'm doing all you're doing is also [TS]

  pushed for it to you because apocalypses [TS]

  it was I think widely acclaimed as a [TS]

  very good book [TS]

  yeah of last year so it made many lists [TS]

  and so I wouldn't be surprised if much [TS]

  like calculus both Lisa and I discovered [TS]

  at the same time huh [TS]

  and both large and suggested it as a [TS]

  book we should read and in fact it was [TS]

  my favorite book that I read last year [TS]

  with a second followed closely by the [TS]

  bone clocks by our good friend David [TS]

  Mitchell of the cloud atlas has the [TS]

  clout wait you know this book that that [TS]

  that those books must hit the right spot [TS]

  for you because this book reminded me of [TS]

  the cloud atlas a little bit mmm little [TS]

  bit I i enjoy when they interweave [TS]

  different time different periods and [TS]

  jump back and forth and connect [TS]

  everything at the end satisfyingly or [TS]

  not so now i have to ask you because we [TS]

  know that one of your one of your [TS]

  charming traits is that you cannot you [TS]

  get booked amnesia and you can't [TS]

  remember what happened in books do you [TS]

  would you like to talk a little bit [TS]

  about station eleven and what it's about [TS]

  and why you liked it at to kick us off [TS]

  since since uh I feel like Lisa will be [TS]

  able to join me and talking about [TS]

  peripheral I thought maybe I would go to [TS]

  you for station eleven to start do you [TS]

  have the or would you like a punt I'm [TS]

  giving the opportunity i don't remember [TS]

  anything that happened you talk about [TS]

  I'll catch up later [TS]

  I read this way back in November details [TS]

  are hand that was like before [TS]

  thanksgiving that screams an apocalypse [TS]

  and then you and I will admit i was [TS]

  looking for a synopsis online to refresh [TS]

  my memory and I could not find one which [TS]

  did not help [TS]

  goodreads has a little one but there's [TS]

  not on wikimedia strangely no that's [TS]

  gross and the gist of the story is that [TS]

  uh I mean super simplifying it there is [TS]

  a big [TS]

  virus of some sort which I forget the [TS]

  Georgian flew very best and black right [TS]

  uh-uh that yes that sweeps the the globe [TS]

  and we drop we the story shifts between [TS]

  pre globe sweeping virus post globe [TS]

  sweeping virus and there's a comic book [TS]

  part in the whole hair sprinkled [TS]

  throughout so this is super high level [TS]

  overview and then all the characters [TS]

  kind of not all the characters the main [TS]

  characters kind of connect throughout [TS]

  the different time periods at the end [TS]

  and i will say a lot of a lot of scenes [TS]

  stood out in my mind but the overall [TS]

  plot as with many things as evaporation [TS]

  ok so that basically the plot is that [TS]

  you you're following a couple different [TS]

  characters mostly it is a Kirsten who is [TS]

  a child actress at in a production of [TS]

  King Lear in Toronto at the moment that [TS]

  this virus basically goes global and [TS]

  kills almost everybody and we we see her [TS]

  as a child there and this famous a film [TS]

  actor dies on stage dick Shawn like if [TS]

  anybody remembers the story median Sean [TS]

  dying on stage and uh and then she is [TS]

  also we see her later travelling post [TS]

  apocalypse in a company of musicians and [TS]

  actors who go from town to town [TS]

  performing performing plays and playing [TS]

  music in the Midwest to the various [TS]

  villages that have sprung up post the [TS]

  post-apocalypse at least the ones that [TS]

  aren't too creepy or violent and she's [TS]

  so she's a part of that that group and [TS]

  we also see various stories about people [TS]

  other people who connected with that [TS]

  actor including the the EMT who who [TS]

  jumped up on stage and tried to save his [TS]

  life when he died on stage and we we [TS]

  meet we see how the EMTs life goes after [TS]

  the apocalypse and also how he was [TS]

  connected to people like the actors [TS]

  ex-wife and ex-wives and his son and [TS]

  that all is is kind of connected so we [TS]

  see various things that stem from this [TS]

  moment where these people are together [TS]

  at this at the moment where the actor [TS]

  dies and then we see his life and his [TS]

  wives lives in his child's life and the [TS]

  the life of this child actress who grows [TS]

  up post-apocalypse and also the EMT and [TS]

  it's all kind of interconnected and and [TS]

  yeah the Indian it's the end of the [TS]

  world because there aren't very many [TS]

  people around more than anything else so [TS]

  it isn't a case where the infrastructure [TS]

  fails and then everybody dies it's a [TS]

  case that everybody dies and then the [TS]

  infrastructure fails because [TS]

  theoretically it's just you know it's [TS]

  all too messed up for people to put back [TS]

  together at least not yet but something [TS]

  about right yes [TS]

  did you mention the comic book that the [TS]

  actors ex-wife this yes this is the most [TS]

  vital part of the story for me is the [TS]

  actor who is arguably the one thing [TS]

  everybody in this book has in common [TS]

  the actor is this is a serial husband [TS]

  and his first ex-wife spends her time [TS]

  drawing a comic book series that she [TS]

  never quite finishes but her husband or [TS]

  her ex-husband as a few copies made up [TS]

  he gives a copy to his son and he gives [TS]

  a copy to Kirsten when she's a small [TS]

  child too because he's using her as a [TS]

  standard surrogate and that comic book [TS]

  not only acts as a metaphor for the the [TS]

  identity crisis that humanity is having [TS]

  post extinction event it is also the [TS]

  thing that unravels the central mystery [TS]

  surrounding the the post-apocalyptic [TS]

  world's principal antagonist that [TS]

  Kirsten and her troop run into right [TS]

  right it's a and provides the name of [TS]

  the book because that's the comic book [TS]

  is called station 11 and it is about a [TS]

  scientist who lives on a space station [TS]

  and and we discover see station yes yes [TS]

  Lord undersea space station I it's on [TS]

  another planet enters our file and [TS]

  there's a violent conflict between [TS]

  people who want to stay safe in the [TS]

  states in the station and people who are [TS]

  longing for life above the surface [TS]

  and the metaphor for life in the bubble [TS]

  is pretty effect is pretty affecting [TS]

  because another one of the characters in [TS]

  the story is the dead actors best friend [TS]

  / business manager who ends up started [TS]

  who ends up inadvertently colonizing an [TS]

  airport with others with other survivors [TS]

  and curating Museum of the world the [TS]

  past I could fire off a spoiler warning [TS]

  here but really it's book club we're [TS]

  gonna talk about what's in the book if [TS]

  you don't want to know what's in the [TS]

  book don't listen until you ever take [TS]

  your friend yeah and I'd i have to admit [TS]

  i really love the report sequences oh my [TS]

  god and I've been here for weeks but it [TS]

  so I I one of the things that fascinates [TS]

  me as with all these books is how [TS]

  society unravels and the nature of how [TS]

  its portrayed at and I want to talk [TS]

  about that and then that also ties into [TS]

  the gibson Scott I since you liked this [TS]

  book so much I and I know we've got some [TS]

  differing opinions on what's on the [TS]

  panel I'm just you know there if you [TS]

  wonder why Monty and David or crouching [TS]

  in the weeds silently sneaking up behind [TS]

  you that may be why brow shame I [TS]

  couldn't find my chair [TS]

  the important thing is that Scott draws [TS]

  the five my crossbow out are you kidding [TS]

  me there there lo there low-lying weeds [TS]

  you have to stay below the the it's good [TS]

  for my hamstrings of 14 you can stretch [TS]

  out before we get there those Scott once [TS]

  you tell us up if you've got a more [TS]

  about why this book resonated with you [TS]

  and why you thought it was one of your [TS]

  favorites are your favorite from 2014 [TS]

  so I think that a lot of books that deal [TS]

  with the apocalypse tend to turn into [TS]

  apocalypse porn where it's all talking [TS]

  about you know the details of how the [TS]

  apocalypse happened and you know [TS]

  detailed planning which is exactly what [TS]

  slow apocalypse is get through it with [TS]

  you [TS]

  yeah so it's it's a stark contrast and I [TS]

  see why Lisa why you recommend it [TS]

  because I start contractors contrast to [TS]

  station 11 which is basically using the [TS]

  apocalypse as a setting and kind of a [TS]

  plot device to start spinning these [TS]

  characters off and it does really [TS]

  concerned itself with you know what's [TS]

  happening with the apocalypse or why [TS]

  uh you know this this disease is [TS]

  rampaging throughout the world it just [TS]

  happened and let's move on a which I [TS]

  find refreshing because i think the most [TS]

  the boring parts of the Apocalypse [TS]

  stories to me are you know the mechanics [TS]

  of the Apocalypse I'm more interested in [TS]

  how people react and the relationships [TS]

  and the characters that are driven [TS]

  through it which i know is not a little [TS]

  you know some people really like the the [TS]

  apocalypse mechanics and that's fine i [TS]

  would suggest reading slow apocalypse [TS]

  because boy when you get your full of [TS]

  apocalypse mechanics through that book [TS]

  with it and if you're in Los Angeles it [TS]

  will give you a detailed map of what you [TS]

  doin out [TS]

  yes if there's any kind of and I mean [TS]

  you could draw a map based on hehe goes [TS]

  into streets and and we're gonna axe [TS]

  yes it's it's impressive amount of these [TS]

  stories are most likely to be loaded [TS]

  first [TS]

  yes this does not well in fact there's a [TS]

  i was going to say the book has amnesia [TS]

  about what happens post-apocalypse but [TS]

  actually the main character has amnesia [TS]

  about what happens post upon she loses a [TS]

  year we don't see the aftermath really [TS]

  that makes it works because it's because [TS]

  to imagine that a kids on the road for a [TS]

  year and has blanked everything out like [TS]

  and there's and she mentions there are [TS]

  things that trigger her like certain [TS]

  sites of meat cooking or things like [TS]

  that and between not knowing what [TS]

  happens and having that vague trigger [TS]

  about watching charred bone over a fire [TS]

  frankly anything that your imagination [TS]

  comes up with is going to be horrific [TS]

  well we don't see her after math but we [TS]

  do see the airport after you I was going [TS]

  to say the one place where you see a [TS]

  spot by spot what happens after the [TS]

  apocalypse is in the airport everything [TS]

  else is sort of like we're on the [TS]

  precipice of the apocalypse and then now [TS]

  we're dealing with life after the [TS]

  apocalypse but the airport you're right [TS]

  steps which we get to very late in the [TS]

  game does step through sort of so you're [TS]

  in an airport and the world ends [TS]

  what do you do what happens then just in [TS]

  case it's like the place to be [TS]

  I'm that was like that was my takeaway [TS]

  it's inherently awesome at the airport [TS]

  yes go to the airport [TS]

  well what was interesting was how [TS]

  quickly there though the one day the two [TS]

  details that stuck with me on the first [TS]

  three through because i read this book [TS]

  twice the first time I read it linearly [TS]

  front to back and then the second time i [TS]

  actually went through back in like a [TS]

  goal and picked it out character by [TS]

  character to see how their stories hung [TS]

  together as as just a series of short [TS]

  interlocked stories and the two details [TS]

  that stood out the first time in the [TS]

  report sequence where that poor girl who [TS]

  runs out of her her her energy [TS]

  depression [TS]

  yeah they're serum she's taking and [TS]

  basically walked into the woods to go [TS]

  kill herself and and then the second [TS]

  thing that stuck with me was when they [TS]

  took like a quick hard line on sexual [TS]

  assault and kicked that guy to the [TS]

  airport and get my rifle said good luck [TS]

  don't ever come back here right and I [TS]

  think the reason i was impressed with [TS]

  that was because that's kind of contrary [TS]

  to the ethos of a lot of United [TS]

  apocalypse port is a great way of [TS]

  putting it because a lot of these [TS]

  authors seem to be seemed to really [TS]

  relish the idea that yes women look up [TS]

  acting channel they'll be treated like [TS]

  currency and hear you had a bunch of [TS]

  people saying look you know we're living [TS]

  in a horrific time there's no reason for [TS]

  us to have to put professed have to put [TS]

  up with that and so both the the [TS]

  horrible disintegration and and the very [TS]

  real human cost of people who are going [TS]

  to lose their lives because they ran out [TS]

  of medication that was just something [TS]

  that really stuck with me as did them by [TS]

  consensus setting up in enforcing rule [TS]

  of law and entering the airport airport [TS]

  to an outpost I loved both of those [TS]

  details now she included them that's not [TS]

  one of one of the scenes the six with me [TS]

  the most is in the airport a plane lands [TS]

  shortly after they won't let him [TS]

  yes they just let me die in there well [TS]

  the people the people on the plane don't [TS]

  get off friday right yeah right that [TS]

  anyways I was just like looking at we [TS]

  can't you know what I'm gonna [TS]

  contaminate where we've landed [TS]

  yeah yeah yeah i did there are lots of [TS]

  moments I'm like Scott so there's lots [TS]

  of moments that stick with me I I i [TS]

  enjoy the I enjoyed the connections [TS]

  between the characters i did again as [TS]

  somebody who watch lost III don't know [TS]

  how realistic is that they would be this [TS]

  many coincidental really caused by the [TS]

  and you're like oh the law of economy of [TS]

  characters is in full effect everybody [TS]

  you know is important to have a story [TS]

  literally they all in a walk together [TS]

  and I i did roll my I enjoyed the whole [TS]

  but i really enjoyed this book but i did [TS]

  roll my eyes at that was like oh well of [TS]

  course it has to be this character [TS]

  because there's no one else for it to be [TS]

  so it must be them and yet i did i did [TS]

  enjoy it it despite that I enjoyed the [TS]

  we talk about soft and hard apocalypses [TS]

  on the show sometimes and and I felt [TS]

  like I felt like the this was a softer [TS]

  apocalypse I feel like the airport was [TS]

  really a soft landing it's like we made [TS]

  it work it's ok we found that is then [TS]

  there's a chilis yeah actually pretty [TS]

  funny right this trip the idea is [TS]

  there's so few people here it's like the [TS]

  road earlier on when there's still stuff [TS]

  in the houses but I did like that you [TS]

  you have those moments where did you go [TS]

  from town to town and sort of like in [TS]

  the last the last policemen there are [TS]

  places that are better in their places [TS]

  that are worse but it's not be [TS]

  completely negative view that everything [TS]

  is going to just disintegrate into [TS]

  nothing it's more like people that the [TS]

  survivors do sort of band together in [TS]

  some places are bad but a lot of places [TS]

  are perfectly good and that that the [TS]

  traveling musicians and actors this idea [TS]

  that this is all the culture that's left [TS]

  going from place to place [TS]

  I found that charming and I I enjoyed [TS]

  that because I I didn't I don't think I [TS]

  had an appetite for a you know [TS]

  completely brutal apocalypse and while [TS]

  there are some threats and there's a bad [TS]

  you know there's a bad cult kind of [TS]

  leader who kills people [TS]

  it uh I liked the optimism of the fact [TS]

  that yeah sure the world win but we will [TS]

  still be doing some Shakespeare and [TS]

  playing some playing some music and [TS]

  quoting star trek and reading comic [TS]

  books Scott by the way they're quoting [TS]

  star trek voyager i want to point that [TS]

  out it's seven of nine so all right [TS]

  thing with the new world the to the tuba [TS]

  had said once it's just horrific short [TS]

  on elegance and i like that you [TS]

  basically have a bunch of people who are [TS]

  dedicated to art and elegance because [TS]

  that is their way of you know ascertain [TS]

  their humanity also elect him his tents [TS]

  ghoulish I like this book because it [TS]

  kills off one of the narrator's and it [TS]

  will be 0 because I said yeah because [TS]

  one of my complaints about the [TS]

  apocalypse born or the apocalypse onra [TS]

  is it's always those plucky few who [TS]

  somehow managed to survive either [TS]

  because you know mother Abigail has [TS]

  plans for them or John Varley has [TS]

  provided them with matt handy friend who [TS]

  can weld together school buses or [TS]

  whatever only skill [TS]

  yeah I've been waiting for this to [TS]

  happen quite in this case the part you [TS]

  know and again if you fear if your [TS]

  listeners you've probably read the book [TS]

  Miranda gets the flu and dies and the [TS]

  way they paint hurt though the way [TS]

  Mandel describes her death [TS]

  it's just it's weirdly beautiful and I [TS]

  was glad that narrator was actually up [TS]

  because i felt like it gave me as a [TS]

  reader more of a steak because instead [TS]

  of like are these these eight people are [TS]

  following her almost seriously part of [TS]

  the ten percent that lives it was like [TS]

  he had is gonna hit her she flies a lot [TS]

  she was exposed all the time and then [TS]

  she dies and yeah you have a moment [TS]

  where you think oh she's gonna she's [TS]

  gonna swim out to the boats that are in [TS]

  the harbor because she knows about ships [TS]

  and they're going to go across the ocean [TS]

  they're going to save everybody [TS]

  yay no she's gonna lay down and die on [TS]

  the beach he described how she crawls [TS]

  out of her hotel room and the the hotel [TS]

  and the hotel's empty there's just this [TS]

  guy who's lying in the corridor and she [TS]

  just looks at him and hope that it's [TS]

  enough that they have that moment of [TS]

  connection she calls out to shays launch [TS]

  and she looks the container ships and [TS]

  which was her business and all and she [TS]

  yeah and says too late to get to it [TS]

  hurts to ship herself now but she's not [TS]

  the thought there were people in this [TS]

  really world who are safe i like I i [TS]

  like that I what I don't like is the [TS]

  fact that it Telegraph's that scene [TS]

  about a chapter earlier by saying [TS]

  that the last thing she thought of when [TS]

  she was out on the beach before she died [TS]

  was this and then later we see her do [TS]

  that like really that's amazing to break [TS]

  it to me gently on i did like that i [TS]

  also like that indefinable expectations [TS]

  jeevan is that his name Jenna jeevan [TS]

  does not meet up with everybody else [TS]

  after the apocalypse know he was like in [TS]

  Virginia the whole chain hotel is [TS]

  awesome who knows probably the Prophet [TS]

  passes through and that's about it right [TS]

  now but I was pretty certain he was [TS]

  gonna show up at the airport because [TS]

  everybody else's but if it finds its [TS]

  weakness [TS]

  yeah and I also like that's really short [TS]

  on everybody's journeys it's just like [TS]

  okay we've got through that there's no [TS]

  point obsessing and there's a point [TS]

  where somebody says you know young [TS]

  people actually came through this a lot [TS]

  better because they had less to forget [TS]

  so they adapted more easily whereas [TS]

  people who are in their twenties and [TS]

  thirties for were acutely aware what [TS]

  they've lost and I like that they're [TS]

  that she actually details these really [TS]

  sharp generational gaps between people [TS]

  who are fully adult when one that the [TS]

  extinction event hit and people like [TS]

  Pearson who were interested in because [TS]

  it just seems so remote to her like she [TS]

  know she was alive but she has almost no [TS]

  memory of it [TS]

  let's take a brief break for our sponsor [TS]

  this week it's mail route I told you [TS]

  about mail route before and I use mail [TS]

  route imagine world without spam or [TS]

  viruses or bounce male clogging your [TS]

  inbox imagine opening your email and [TS]

  seeing only legitimate nail that you [TS]

  want and need to receive mail route can [TS]

  make this dream a reality [TS]

  perhaps the apocalypse is really lots of [TS]

  junk mail will you can solve the [TS]

  apocalypse by using mail route so here's [TS]

  our outworks I've got my email client on [TS]

  my mac and on all my phones and iPads [TS]

  and stuff and then I've got my mail [TS]

  server at what you do is you configure [TS]

  your mail so that before it gets to your [TS]

  mail server it goes to mail route and [TS]

  mail route will take all your inbound [TS]

  mail for if you've got your own domain [TS]

  like I do all the users in your domain [TS]

  will scan it and they'll use their [TS]

  intelligence to weed out what's bad mail [TS]

  and if they don't deliver that the stuff [TS]

  that gets to your server and then gets [TS]

  to your apps is the good stuff and I've [TS]

  been amazingly impressed at how good job [TS]

  they do most of the junk is gone there's [TS]

  very little junk that I see anymore and [TS]

  they tend not to filter out [TS]

  good messages every once in awhile i see [TS]

  a message in my little daily digest that [TS]

  mail route sends me that's a valid [TS]

  message but it happens maybe once a [TS]

  month [TS]

  most of the time it's a hundred percent [TS]

  effective and when there is a false [TS]

  positive i click one link in that little [TS]

  digest and the the center's [TS]

  automatically whitelisted the mail is [TS]

  automatically deliver it couldn't be [TS]

  easier [TS]

  you don't have to set up any hardware [TS]

  software mail route does that all for [TS]

  you if you're an email administrator or [TS]

  an IT professional they built tools with [TS]

  you in mind there's an API they support [TS]

  ldap an active directory TLS male [TS]

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  want big universities and enterprises [TS]

  use it and individuals can use it to so [TS]

  start a risk-free trial with no credit [TS]

  card necessary just sign up you change [TS]

  your MX records on your server so you [TS]

  got to be technical enough to understand [TS]

  about mail servers but your mailbox and [TS]

  hardware will be completely protected [TS]

  it's simple it's effective there's no [TS]

  reason not to try it all listeners to be [TS]

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  receive that deal mail route dotnet / [TS]

  smell and thank you to mail route for [TS]

  sponsoring the incomparable and [TS]

  filtering out all my spam Monty yes [TS]

  oh here we go it's coming here comes the [TS]

  debate [TS]

  no I i think i mean i can i can see lots [TS]

  of issues that people might have with [TS]

  this book I just I i went with android [TS]

  Monty what what are your what are your [TS]

  thoughts are you seem to you seem to be [TS]

  in in a more negative place about this [TS]

  book I let us have it i thought this [TS]

  book was incredibly lazy it felt like [TS]

  the author wanted to tell a story about [TS]

  before and after the apocalypse so took [TS]

  a generic apocalypse event off-the-shelf [TS]

  from the stand and took a generic [TS]

  setting off the shelf and made no [TS]

  attempt whatsoever to connect them in [TS]

  any way other than the airport right [TS]

  having the disconnection otherwise [TS]

  that's that amnesia right it's the [TS]

  amnesia allows you to go from point A to [TS]

  point B without having to actually [TS]

  doesn't [TS]

  not if I believe it did because both [TS]

  exist then I'm not judging i'm not [TS]

  saying it's good but that's what that's [TS]

  the trick here right here's the thing in [TS]

  the airport people immediately gave up [TS]

  on humanity [TS]

  there's no attempt to do anything they [TS]

  said oh well everybody's dead i guess [TS]

  we're back to making tents out of [TS]

  branches we found in this forest people [TS]

  are thrown all the way back not to the [TS]

  Middle Ages but to the Stone Age by this [TS]

  people are suddenly unable to build [TS]

  anything or make any I did question the [TS]

  idea that that even if 99% of people [TS]

  died i do question the idea that we that [TS]

  nobody anywhere would be able to do [TS]

  anything involving technology [TS]

  I I kept asking myself cuz they talk [TS]

  about electricity and I kept our I kept [TS]

  asking myself what about all the solar [TS]

  panels below so so here's my counter do [TS]

  you remember in y the last man you got [TS]

  to do is I'll read that right or many of [TS]

  you read the comic series y the last man [TS]

  and they actually have a section i [TS]

  forget which trade its inward we're on [TS]

  one of the characters says well the [TS]

  reason the world is just such a hot mess [TS]

  right now is because there were vast [TS]

  industries that were print that were [TS]

  predominately male and so there was a [TS]

  lack of institutional knowledge and [TS]

  things like that and what I'm thinking [TS]

  is in order for this not in order for [TS]

  people to get the lights back up and [TS]

  running or to keep the Santa state [TS]

  sanitation systems corner would have to [TS]

  have you do have to have a critical mass [TS]

  of people who either have that knowledge [TS]

  or can pass that knowledge along and [TS]

  when people are busy dying from the flu [TS]

  if you're going to sit tight you're not [TS]

  going to like no no you can't go your [TS]

  sanitation engineer you have to pass on [TS]

  the secrets of the valve right but 15-20 [TS]

  years later presumably there's been some [TS]

  collection in these towns of people who [TS]

  know things and like I said household [TS]

  rooftop solar panels are not that hard [TS]

  I'm not even complaining it about the [TS]

  electricity will get there we'll get [TS]

  there [TS]

  I feel like the the electricity the [TS]

  electricity feels to me like she doesn't [TS]

  want to deal with it because she's got a [TS]

  beautiful image that she wants to have [TS]

  at the very end of the book and and you [TS]

  can't do that she's got a beautiful [TS]

  image and can't be bothered to explain [TS]

  it at all and that's [TS]

  lazy storytelling no I think that once [TS]

  you watch the entire planeload of people [TS]

  die like on purpose [TS]

  you're kind of like oh wow this is this [TS]

  is bad news and and i think that if you [TS]

  were to watch that puts the Whammy on [TS]

  you [TS]

  there's a moment in the airport when the [TS]

  Museum of the past is being like it's [TS]

  over time it's filling out and their [TS]

  description says there were a number of [TS]

  impractical shoes stilettos mostly [TS]

  beautiful and strange because in the [TS]

  others head were post-apocalypse were [TS]

  past the time when people were where [TS]

  impractical shoes think about in real [TS]

  life [TS]

  how long ago it was that nobody cared [TS]

  about fashion so we're not only never [TS]

  knew before electricity were bagged make [TS]

  thousands of years to being cavemen [TS]

  humanity just gave up completely [TS]

  I don't buy that I i saw the shooting is [TS]

  a commentary on a pedestrian culture [TS]

  versus one where you have the luxury of [TS]

  being carried places you know you're not [TS]

  going to wear stilettos when you're [TS]

  walking 10 15 miles a day if people were [TS]

  in a pedestrian culture long after fancy [TS]

  shoes were invented poor people remember [TS]

  that for a long time like I'm thinking [TS]

  back to when they have those huge crazy [TS]

  platforms in Italy where rich people [TS]

  would literally be strapped into their [TS]

  Street shoes and strap back out again [TS]

  and they had service to carry them [TS]

  around here to help them walk from point [TS]

  A to point B so their fancy shoes didn't [TS]

  get ruined [TS]

  you just yeah i think when one month you [TS]

  may be saying here is to correct me if [TS]

  I'm wrong 12 years you know [TS]

  yeah you need your good choose for when [TS]

  you're out hunting the venison right but [TS]

  then you're in the you're in the [TS]

  carpeted airport who wouldn't wear some [TS]

  nice shoes from time to time I can't [TS]

  believe we're having this conversation [TS]

  money do you have more thoughts about [TS]

  this because I i do think this is an [TS]

  issue i think this is a book that does [TS]

  not I enjoyed it a lot and I thought it [TS]

  was kind of beautiful [TS]

  I i agree that if you if you start to [TS]

  pick the at the the premise you find [TS]

  that it doesn't really hold up to any [TS]

  scrutiny it doesn't really care about [TS]

  the the specifics of the Apocalypse [TS]

  really high high degree could drive a [TS]

  certain type of reader crazy [TS]

  among the things that suggest that this [TS]

  author has put very little thought [TS]

  into the setting in which much of the [TS]

  story is based is the issue of books and [TS]

  comic books and just reading in general [TS]

  as you may remember in the Museum of the [TS]

  future [TS]

  srs the Museum of human history whatever [TS]

  it's called the Stiletto museum will [TS]

  call it cooks why not [TS]

  it was possible to sit and read the [TS]

  final newspapers 15 years old turning [TS]

  Biddle pages and gloves that clark had [TS]

  sewn together somehow [TS]

  first of all newspapers do not go [TS]

  brittle after 15 years right I know that [TS]

  because i have you thinking that are [TS]

  much older than take like a hundred [TS]

  years yeah second this book has no idea [TS]

  how many books and comic books there are [TS]

  in the world it's confusing to me just [TS]

  on a basic level that they keep talking [TS]

  about how whenever anyone goes into [TS]

  house they look for books and they look [TS]

  for comic books they look for magazines [TS]

  and they never find any of them they [TS]

  find gossip magazines [TS]

  that's a thousands of them in the [TS]

  building i'm in it does feel a little [TS]

  bit like I'm in a pastiche of aurorae be [TS]

  medley of various apocalypse scenarios [TS]

  that isn't particularly well thought-out [TS]

  so this is this is the point about this [TS]

  which is I I at several points Monty so [TS]

  I'm on your side about this even though [TS]

  i like that i'm on your side about this [TS]

  part at several points i thought to [TS]

  myself i don't know if this book knows [TS]

  what apocalypse it's talking about [TS]

  because there were moments where i read [TS]

  it like you know this is this was the [TS]

  flu [TS]

  it doesn't eat books and there were not [TS]

  like fires that consumed all buildings [TS]

  everywhere right it just doesn't seem [TS]

  right I think she's got a little bit of [TS]

  a material culture fetish in the same [TS]

  way that william gibson does and I i [TS]

  kinda want to circle back to that with [TS]

  the peripheral later but when she's [TS]

  talking about objects and the imagine [TS]

  social meaning they must have had or the [TS]

  perp imagined past meeting [TS]

  it seems like she's really caught up in [TS]

  this very romantic vision of of people [TS]

  sitting around wistfully thinking that [TS]

  things were better in the past and if [TS]

  the last movie of the Cornetto trilogy [TS]

  worlds and taught us anything it's that [TS]

  people just kind of roll with it and [TS]

  there's always gonna be who were [TS]

  actually happy things are the way they [TS]

  are [TS]

  we almost never ran into that here it's [TS]

  a lot of people who are just like who [TS]

  gossip magazines and and you know [TS]

  they're cheerfully reading people's [TS]

  houses and I do like this you're excited [TS]

  about that i like that there are happy [TS]

  towns because there are other there are [TS]

  other stories like the walking dead or [TS]

  something like that was like nope [TS]

  everybody's miserable or dead that's why [TS]

  I can't read them walking dead the road [TS]

  yeah you are reading this book that I [TS]

  was thinking the basic thesis of the [TS]

  walking dead is that civilization is [TS]

  impossible [TS]

  yes if you can't get more than six [TS]

  people together on the walking dead [TS]

  before somebody goes crazy and start [TS]

  shooting everyone else or starts eating [TS]

  somebody else yeah that's yeah yeah so I [TS]

  like that I like that but i but I don't [TS]

  wear it where it's train my credulity [TS]

  was ok they're happy towns that's good [TS]

  but the happy towns are all kind of like [TS]

  gentlemen farmers from you know from 500 [TS]

  years ago or something like that they're [TS]

  not like well we put things and again I [TS]

  think part of this is that she wants to [TS]

  end with this moment where they see [TS]

  lights from a far-off town and think oh [TS]

  my god [TS]

  civilization is returning but you know [TS]

  it seems it yeah it made me question [TS]

  that it's like really it was the flu i [TS]

  know a lot of people died but you've got [TS]

  a lot of stuff laying around you can [TS]

  probably figure it out in 15 years we [TS]

  were able to create electricity is our [TS]

  warehouses before this like when their [TS]

  work wires everywhere I feel like it [TS]

  could be done but she doesn't mention [TS]

  before that final scene one guy who had [TS]

  hooked his laptop up to his laptop up to [TS]

  a stationary bicycle [TS]

  yeah and it got just enough power and he [TS]

  was looking for the internet which is a [TS]

  stupid rich this is something new that [TS]

  doesn't mean anything he could only do [TS]

  it when he pedaled because batteries no [TS]

  longer exists apparently yeah that's [TS]

  fine I don't care that much about it [TS]

  except for scoring a cheap point [TS]

  yeah um not that I well I well that was [TS]

  my friend who hasn't seen Gilligan [TS]

  furiously pendulum the bamboo bicycle to [TS]

  power a radio if they can do it come on [TS]

  yeah if you just want like illumination [TS]

  you can do that on the radio is a good [TS]

  point two words like you could get [TS]

  people you know to to communicate [TS]

  there's this there is this feeling like [TS]

  technology has just vanished and 8i just [TS]

  weirdly and [TS]

  you could go to a camping some outdoor [TS]

  supply store right now and get two way [TS]

  radios that you crank yeah right sure [TS]

  maybe those stopped working after a [TS]

  while but there are lots of them and not [TS]

  that many people [TS]

  yeah i mean my first my first place an [TS]

  apocalypse go to bass pro shops there [TS]

  you go [TS]

  I so David you haven't said a lot i want [TS]

  to ask you about the the at the actors [TS]

  and and play parts of this since that [TS]

  something near and dear to your heart [TS]

  you have any thoughts about that that [TS]

  part of the story [TS]

  well you know and and listening to you [TS]

  guys talking I'm you know I'm kind of in [TS]

  between you and Monty I think that's a [TS]

  good place to be part of an Oregon yeah [TS]

  organ in the end I i think it drove me [TS]

  nuts [TS]

  although there's a lot of things I [TS]

  really loved about it it's it's one of [TS]

  those things where I really really loved [TS]

  it until I hated it and I didn't really [TS]

  hate it but I did love the idea that [TS]

  here these people who go around keeping [TS]

  the art alive and keeping you know where [TS]

  we're going to play music and we're [TS]

  gonna play Shakespeare and even like [TS]

  that they're there is one character who [TS]

  didn't like Shakespeare and after mouth [TS]

  shut about it because well you know it's [TS]

  something right we're still bringing art [TS]

  even if it's not the art I like right [TS]

  and and so the idea that this is [TS]

  something that should survive in a [TS]

  post-apocalyptic world that was that was [TS]

  a nice idea I the yea yea though I mean [TS]

  there is so much was I mean the language [TS]

  was really poetic i loved a lot of the [TS]

  imagery i loved a lot of the thought [TS]

  that went into the things that she was [TS]

  describing and I kept waiting for some [TS]

  kind of logic to kick in right [TS]

  I hated all the coincidences it was too [TS]

  much coincidence [TS]

  you know I was fine with the [TS]

  coincidences you know I well it's like I [TS]

  didn't need the EMT to have been a [TS]

  former papa roxie could also interviewed [TS]

  everyone it's like that was not what [TS]

  the most ingenious are you for me they [TS]

  really could have sliced his entire plot [TS]

  line out and you would not have missed [TS]

  anything [TS]

  yeah he could be going to die down the [TS]

  road out of town and it would have been [TS]

  okay yeah i'll even there [TS]

  I mean I liked I liked his actual story [TS]

  i mean i like that you know holding up [TS]

  with the brother and trying to be less [TS]

  shallow but I didn't need him to have [TS]

  any more connection with Arthur than the [TS]

  fact that he tried to save his life [TS]

  yeah but everything else was extraneous [TS]

  was like what was the point of that [TS]

  oh look everybody's connected no no [TS]

  surprises with connections [TS]

  good lord you know and so I I like that [TS]

  he had nothing to do with anything by [TS]

  the end but then why did he have so much [TS]

  to do with everything in the beginning [TS]

  it's like it's just everything about the [TS]

  plot frustrated me and I didn't I didn't [TS]

  mind not explaining things I didn't mind [TS]

  you know [TS]

  whoops apocalypse let's tell the story i [TS]

  like that you know that it's just sort [TS]

  of says we're going to set it here and [TS]

  hear things that are going to happen [TS]

  right but then you know and i'm reading [TS]

  and reading and reading and going we're [TS]

  running out of pages [TS]

  what's what oh here's an exciting thing [TS]

  with the Prophet guy and then up done [TS]

  and then we're still running out of [TS]

  pages and oh it just stopped [TS]

  son of you know does it does end awfully [TS]

  abruptly and the pacing seems kind of [TS]

  strange I thought the proper is going to [TS]

  be a big villain like he's going to [TS]

  carry the plot for that last half of the [TS]

  book i thought id do send getting dealt [TS]

  with really that offhand matter yeah [TS]

  just hide in the woods and then there's [TS]

  a little bit of a thing and then I I [TS]

  stabbed him and actually I thought the [TS]

  first I thought that I thought that was [TS]

  really kind of powerful because you look [TS]

  at how those station eleven book manage [TS]

  to save one person's life because some [TS]

  crazy person uses it basically is as [TS]

  almost an internal Bible and a lifeline [TS]

  and it does save her life at the end of [TS]

  the book but it it warped the Prophet [TS]

  beyond imagination for the time he was a [TS]

  little boy right [TS]

  I loved that I loved that detail i just [TS]

  wanted more basis for it i wanted more [TS]

  it seems a little bit like that guide [TS]

  your MFA classes like CR is both coding [TS]

  Andrew dumped [TS]

  but I don't like how i did like how [TS]

  there was that one small moment where [TS]

  you know it is literally where there's a [TS]

  little bit of tragedy because those two [TS]

  people are literally the only people go [TS]

  to people who can have that conversation [TS]

  and they finally found the other person [TS]

  that can have that conversation with [TS]

  about this unfinished story from 20 [TS]

  years ago and has to end like it ends [TS]

  and then it loops back around to Miranda [TS]

  who has she's dying hallucinates the [TS]

  sunset into the setting of station [TS]

  eleven and basically dies while she's [TS]

  cycling through a hallucination of the [TS]

  of-of-of station eleven itself so [TS]

  there's it's you know for one moment [TS]

  you're kind of caught up in this big [TS]

  oh my god death and connection and [TS]

  really it's all transcended then you're [TS]

  like wait that not only museum every [TS]

  night I loved all the detail around [TS]

  station eleven itself and i loved the [TS]

  connections and I loved Clark at the end [TS]

  realize yeah yeah at that dinner party [TS]

  right that that's in the comic and going [TS]

  back to not liking Shakespeare I like [TS]

  the fact that Arthur who is in a [TS]

  Shakespeare play is saying well i sent [TS]

  the one comic to my son and here you [TS]

  have the other one because i really [TS]

  don't get comics and I don't like comics [TS]

  but Miranda gave them to me anyway so [TS]

  here and it was it was just this really [TS]

  nice thing of you know people who get [TS]

  certain kinds of art and not others and [TS]

  and it's ok that some art is not you [TS]

  know everybody's art right that you can [TS]

  like different things and I thought that [TS]

  was really nice thread throughout but [TS]

  yeah i mean the the thing that struck me [TS]

  as i was reading it was I would really [TS]

  love to adapt to this into something but [TS]

  i would want to you know give it more of [TS]

  a plot i would want more character error [TS]

  you know I you know let them bump into [TS]

  each other more and more interesting [TS]

  ways I mean it just it felt like really [TS]

  really interesting and poetic revolution [TS]

  fanfiction so i'm going to say i'm going [TS]

  to say another another other thing i [TS]

  mentioned that i feel like the the [TS]

  technology is suppressed in part to get [TS]

  an image at the end of that that town [TS]

  far away that has lights [TS]

  I feel like that's also true i think the [TS]

  some of the important plot [TS]

  points with the latter part of the book [TS]

  are suppressed for a long time because [TS]

  I'm the writer once a surprise [TS]

  that's the identity of the Prophet which [TS]

  like I said there's a lot of economy of [TS]

  characters so it's 900 surprising and [TS]

  all we're not remotely anything and in [TS]

  fact that's why I looking back on it I [TS]

  feel like there are a lot of [TS]

  developments that happened in the last [TS]

  third of the book that should probably [TS]

  have been pulled across the whole book [TS]

  because it doesn't feel like there are [TS]

  large elements that that are are [TS]

  introduced really late and that leads to [TS]

  some weird pacing where it feels like [TS]

  you know this is just coming out like we [TS]

  leave giovan you know we got him in hit [TS]

  with his brother and all that and then [TS]

  it's like a very late he comes back in [TS]

  with his one tidbit of information about [TS]

  the prophet and the Prophet story [TS]

  himself we see the town but the the [TS]

  story the whole Airport story kinda [TS]

  comes in late so there's some things [TS]

  about that I had that I at the time I [TS]

  thought well this is weird that this is [TS]

  suddenly turning this way but now that [TS]

  I've seen the whole story I think maybe [TS]

  that's just because that she wanted that [TS]

  that moment and so the whole book gets [TS]

  distorted a little bit because of that [TS]

  moment and and like i said i really [TS]

  enjoy I I actually really enjoyed this [TS]

  book but I I certainly could make a list [TS]

  of things that aren't dead bug me about [TS]

  it [TS]

  yeah i mean i'm glad i read it and i [TS]

  really enjoyed so much of the language [TS]

  and so many of the descriptions but then [TS]

  you know one of the things that was [TS]

  driving me nuts throughout was you know [TS]

  describing you know [TS]

  well here's Kirsten and here's Syed and [TS]

  here's the conductor and here's the oboe [TS]

  and know they know their names just use [TS]

  their names and i realized i would argue [TS]

  that names anymore they're spending [TS]

  apocalypse [TS]

  nothing is changed it well I realize it [TS]

  disappeared i realized that was [TS]

  basically just an excuse to always use [TS]

  that the term the profit instead of [TS]

  every African to have a name and Oh [TS]

  we'll sort of obscure it a little bit by [TS]

  other people not using names and it's [TS]

  like no no none of that was a surprise i [TS]

  would have been more interested in [TS]

  seeing how this little boy became the [TS]

  Prophet you know I want to see a little [TS]

  bit more than just that little tiny [TS]

  thing you get at the airport [TS]

  Elizabeth was the most frustrating [TS]

  character for maybe [TS]

  because she basically exist to be [TS]

  described by everybody else as in me I [TS]

  know and well this is the thing she gets [TS]

  described as being fragile as being [TS]

  impulsive as being driven by fear is [TS]

  turning into some sort of blind [TS]

  religious fanatic and you think all [TS]

  through the airport partner laying down [TS]

  the fact this pork is isolated by his [TS]

  nut bar mother and has gotten a little [TS]

  weird and funny himself and I thought [TS]

  why don't we get some of her perspective [TS]

  on all of this too because she was [TS]

  remember she was flying back for the [TS]

  funeral of her ex-husband and her [TS]

  child's father the kid had a strained [TS]

  relationship with the father to begin [TS]

  with so he was clearly not in a good [TS]

  place and that's given no quarter [TS]

  whatsoever in the book that you have [TS]

  this group this grieving woman and the [TS]

  screaming child trapped in middle of [TS]

  nowhere during during an extinction [TS]

  event and she doesn't in you know in the [TS]

  in the Miranda segments she comes off as [TS]

  not having a whole lot of ways of coping [TS]

  skills but we don't ever find out why we [TS]

  don't ever find out what she's thinking [TS]

  we just get everybody else's pictures of [TS]

  her [TS]

  yeah I felt like to be kind of mean and [TS]

  unnecessary to be honest like her real [TS]

  transformation happens completely off [TS]

  screen right right exactly airport and [TS]

  it's like well suffice to say they spent [TS]

  a lot of time walking around and her son [TS]

  became a crazy profit [TS]

  yeah and she was fine with it you know [TS]

  and it's it's I'm not I'm not asking [TS]

  that we get basically like Bates Motel [TS]

  flu edition where you know mother most [TS]

  mother must never know but um I I feel [TS]

  like we shouldn't we need to know more [TS]

  about her [TS]

  Arthur's like this cipher through the [TS]

  whole book and I mean it's it's sort of [TS]

  designed to you know i mean because we [TS]

  keep coming back to him and coming back [TS]

  to stories about him and and so I guess [TS]

  we're supposed to learn and figure out [TS]

  who he was and why everyone is so [TS]

  interested in him and I never did figure [TS]

  out why everyone was so interested in [TS]

  him I didn't really learn anything about [TS]

  him except for the fact that he was an [TS]

  actor who married three women had a [TS]

  child and died on stage and nothing i'm [TS]

  a little town in Canada little time on [TS]

  Vancouver Island wrote letters to a girl [TS]

  back home we decide to exploit him and [TS]

  publish a book who we never hear [TS]

  anything really about we never really [TS]

  understand why anyone else married and [TS]

  we sort of get [TS]

  why Miranda Miriam but we don't really [TS]

  know anything else about the other women [TS]

  we don't know anything about the [TS]

  relationship with him in the child and [TS]

  and I mean there's so many interesting [TS]

  stories here that are just good left [TS]

  behind [TS]

  literally it was still a beautiful [TS]

  region was like command of language i'm [TS]

  really glad i read it i think that's the [TS]

  strength of it is I I like a lot of the [TS]

  images a lot of the individual scenes [TS]

  the writing is beautiful and that's why [TS]

  I can forgive a lot of those you know [TS]

  eyebrow-raising moments where I where I [TS]

  think I'm not sure this holds together [TS]

  as a deposit on what an apocalypse might [TS]

  be like because I do appreciate the ride [TS]

  and the artistry and some of the scenes [TS]

  and specific that are very vivid even [TS]

  now in my mind Scott how you doing out [TS]

  there gotta check in back with you [TS]

  you've been silent as everybody's been [TS]

  beating up your favorite book of 2014 [TS]

  but that's that's fine that we have [TS]

  different people get the the beauty of [TS]

  literature's that different people get [TS]

  different things out of it and if those [TS]

  people who disagree with me or wrong [TS]

  that's fine [TS]

  obviously I'm kidding but uh yeah i mean [TS]

  i think that the the storytelling it [TS]

  will not storytelling with of the pros [TS]

  and her ability as a writer to create [TS]

  these scenes is what made it the best [TS]

  book that I read last year now if I was [TS]

  judging it as a science fiction novel [TS]

  doesn't know it is a bad science fiction [TS]

  novel whereas slow apocalypse is a good [TS]

  science fiction novel if I'm judging it [TS]

  as a novel I think it's a great novel [TS]

  and slow apocalypse is a bad novel had [TS]

  some of the most beautiful language and [TS]

  beautiful descriptions over in the last [TS]

  three or four years so I'm really glad i [TS]

  read it but but it was very frustrating [TS]

  i highlighted this Arthur lives in a [TS]

  permanent state of disorientation like a [TS]

  low-grade fever the question hanging [TS]

  over everything being how did I get from [TS]

  there to here so what I wonder is if the [TS]

  vagueness that describes him is is [TS]

  basically supposed to be a stand-in for [TS]

  his mental state and that's and that's [TS]

  the parallel were supposed to draw is [TS]

  this is a guy who is disconnected from [TS]

  the world around [TS]

  him and so we don't ever really get a [TS]

  feeling for who he is because he's [TS]

  almost literally not there even when he [TS]

  is there i think i think you are you he [TS]

  is the connection point and that's why [TS]

  he exists and that that's hit he's the [TS]

  he's the you see him through the you [TS]

  know what's left behind by the [TS]

  connections and you know that's not an [TS]

  actual person it so he is he's famous [TS]

  just because he's famous right he's he's [TS]

  he's not like a great actor he's [TS]

  good-looking and I think he's a movie [TS]

  star but we we don't really get much not [TS]

  information about the movies he's a star [TS]

  from right now he's in he headlined a [TS]

  movie or two [TS]

  yeah and that he kind of get the [TS]

  impression hey look it's kind of a hates [TS]

  that guy like how Christian Slater house [TS]

  three more famous than hey it's that guy [TS]

  if any girl who date's him gets [TS]

  paparazzi he's christian slater he had [TS]

  like three hits and then he had his [TS]

  cuffs and went down [TS]

  nice experience way more famous than [TS]

  that any girl he dated gets biraj with [TS]

  paparazzi that's that's true there are [TS]

  books you know coming out about his his [TS]

  name is and you again i was i wouldn't [TS]

  much matter and to think the thing that [TS]

  struck me about that whole part of the [TS]

  plot was every time I saw Elizabeth and [TS]

  Tyler I thought Elizabeth Taylor and [TS]

  then I thought Richard unit vector in [TS]

  taylor and i thought about the paparazzi [TS]

  in the crazy you know all the things [TS]

  around burton and taylor and all because [TS]

  I richard burton biography that's really [TS]

  good bye melvyn bragg anyway that's what [TS]

  popped into my head and I thought we [TS]

  have no basis for that level of Fame for [TS]

  the sky [TS]

  you know who I mean even even the most [TS]

  shallow giant superstar has some kind of [TS]

  charisma because they wouldn't become [TS]

  giant super movie stars without it [TS]

  so this is another parallel to william [TS]

  gibson who is also obsessed with [TS]

  celebrity very ago I sort of did like [TS]

  the scenes where the kids were like the [TS]

  kids and Thunderdome not understanding [TS]

  anything or to quote the book itself you [TS]

  see the way their eyes glaze over when [TS]

  anyone talked to them about antibiotics [TS]

  or engines it's science fiction to them [TS]

  that's an interesting idea but it does [TS]

  not at all hold up with the other scenes [TS]

  of kids desperately reading children [TS]

  celebrity gossip magazines and common [TS]

  like you can't have kids goggle eyed of [TS]

  the idea of electric lights and also [TS]

  reading magazines that show electric [TS]

  lights those two don't go together [TS]

  alright also i think and i might be [TS]

  imagining this but I think there's a [TS]

  weird strain of light ism in this book [TS]

  oh yeah i'll go with them I agree [TS]

  there's the scene where for no reason [TS]

  there's a rant about people who use [TS]

  textspeak because what it would have [TS]

  taken too much time and effort to punch [TS]

  in an extra three letters and just say [TS]

  thanks and i don't think it's a [TS]

  coincidence that Tyler is always playing [TS]

  his video game machine and then it goes [TS]

  away and then he becomes the evil [TS]

  properties intrinsic I don't think [TS]

  that's a coincidence and I think it's [TS]

  weird and he's more upset about the [TS]

  video game than his father [TS]

  yeah SeaWorld disconnected from the [TS]

  world man [TS]

  well the game has been there and his dad [TS]

  is not so you can look at that way like [TS]

  there's an apocalypse and suddenly [TS]

  everybody stops caring about video games [TS]

  and texting and fancy shoes you guys we [TS]

  just have music and Shakespeare's shake [TS]

  up here by the way that anything from [TS]

  the last 400 years because Shakespeare [TS]

  well the david mamet plays they are in a [TS]

  town really fast for those so you burn [TS]

  you burn those for fuel they were used [TS]

  for fuel these trees were keeping pretty [TS]

  important save the trans and Gary Glen [TS]

  Rose good-bye again it's not like the [TS]

  city because again that's that's the [TS]

  moment where I think we're I think she [TS]

  thinks this is the road and they burned [TS]

  all the trees and there's nothing left [TS]

  but there are forests full of trees so [TS]

  it's not the right this is the this is [TS]

  the harshest group of critics I've CNN [TS]

  station eleven and here's my theory as [TS]

  to why is because we have already a lot [TS]

  of apocalyptic novels and i think at [TS]

  this point like that but it has to pass [TS]

  a number of sniff test for this is not a [TS]

  science fiction novel and if you treat [TS]

  it like a science fiction novel we can [TS]

  spend for us fail pointing out all the [TS]

  things that are wrong about it this is [TS]

  not mean it picking this is me [TS]

  describing things that took me out of [TS]

  the book because the author could not be [TS]

  bothered to think through the apocalypse [TS]

  story she wanted to tell you wanted up [TS]

  underdome scene where kids go tell us [TS]

  about what it was like to have air [TS]

  conditioning [TS]

  she also wanted if it's already where [TS]

  people regardless of magazines after the [TS]

  apocalypse and the they don't go [TS]

  together and the author makes no attempt [TS]

  to make them go together what else do [TS]

  you have on your list [TS]

  oh the rest is actually nitpicking like [TS]

  to draw your motorcycle until it stopped [TS]

  working and then you gave up you know [TS]

  you could put a diesel engine in there [TS]

  and put vegetable oil in I totally could [TS]

  not do that if you were given 20 years [TS]

  and free right buddies are available [TS]

  libraries to really figure it out i [TS]

  don't think i would try i'm pretty sure [TS]

  i'm going to be the person who blows off [TS]

  her fingers and a really dumb accident [TS]

  like two weeks and that's assuming i'm [TS]

  not there are no zombies in this [TS]

  apocalypse see this for again just end [TS]

  up making tents out of branches you [TS]

  brought in from the forest and living in [TS]

  an airport for the rest of your life i [TS]

  want to point out there's enough canned [TS]

  food and other goods to fulfill modern [TS]

  society and now 99% of those people are [TS]

  not consuming anything anymore so the [TS]

  supermarket of the world is open i think [TS]

  the people who survived have got a lot [TS]

  of books and a lot of food and a lot of [TS]

  stuff and again when when [TS]

  item one breaks go to item to because [TS]

  there's Walmart's got 500 of them i [TS]

  think the people who wrote and read this [TS]

  book really have no like they read books [TS]

  that usually have pictures of like [TS]

  pigeon-toed girls and mackintoshes on [TS]

  the cover and are about dating and [TS]

  whatnot and so we're not basically the [TS]

  coach [TS]

  yes burn and so they're not really [TS]

  again they're not likely sure I i [TS]

  recently sure that if if if the [TS]

  extinction that were to hit you all [TS]

  would be fine i mean we've established [TS]

  that i'm going to blow off my fingers [TS]

  and probably end up in some horrible [TS]

  camp but I'm totally did this the [TS]

  Syracuse the compound is is welcoming [TS]

  it's not like 3,000 miles away [TS]

  that's the problem but yeah you can you [TS]

  can get a bottle balloon and go there a [TS]

  problem i can't just caravan with you [TS]

  guys wait I can't just caravan with are [TS]

  you are you planning on sticking it out [TS]

  in in millimeter and possibly it's [TS]

  defensible after the apocalypse everyone [TS]

  will travel by hot [TS]

  balloon so yeah oh my god would be the [TS]

  best thing but the point is is I don't [TS]

  think anybody who wrote or read this [TS]

  book has the extensive back in in [TS]

  apocalyptic reality show the video is [TS]

  true just your arguments here and and i [TS]

  totally agree with Scott that has novel [TS]

  this work for me and as science fiction [TS]

  it is a complete failure [TS]

  I i think though and Monty you can be my [TS]

  reality check on this I think the [TS]

  argument is you're going to write a book [TS]

  set in an apocalypse you got out there [TS]

  is a level of work you probably need to [TS]

  do you have your story makes sense and [TS]

  you can't and it shows a fundamental [TS]

  lack of respect for the reader and and [TS]

  if there and for world-building if you [TS]

  just kind of wave it off and say look [TS]

  you know it's a bunch of different [TS]

  apocalypses suffice it to say there's an [TS]

  apocalypse let me tell you my story and [TS]

  that you know you can write a beautiful [TS]

  book that people like but it will [TS]

  frustrate a lot of readers because you [TS]

  didn't make enough effort to have your [TS]

  story makes sense i wouldn't mind it if [TS]

  it were if the book started with [TS]

  hand-waving but if you have scenes [TS]

  before and after the apocalypse and [TS]

  there's no attempt to get from one to [TS]

  the other than for me no matter how nice [TS]

  individual scenes are the whole thing [TS]

  like I say just feels lazy really lazy [TS]

  right for me it's not that it doesn't [TS]

  work as a science fiction novel I didn't [TS]

  think it worked as a novel i think it [TS]

  works as some really beautiful character [TS]

  sketches and some really beautiful [TS]

  poetry and there's so much granular [TS]

  detail about some things and so much [TS]

  hand-wavy him about so much else [TS]

  it's like if you're gonna do you know go [TS]

  with the hand wave him or go with the [TS]

  granular because if you just kind of [TS]

  blend it as it comes to you [TS]

  it's like it's like The Twilight Zone [TS]

  episode Midnight Sun where you know [TS]

  there's no real explanation as to why [TS]

  everything is getting hotter and hotter [TS]

  and hotter and hotter and it turns out [TS]

  oh it's all in in the girl's mind [TS]

  because its actions everything's getting [TS]

  colder it's everything is getting colder [TS]

  wasn't the earth coming closer to the [TS]

  Sun that was the idea but it's actually [TS]

  been blown out of out of the sun's [TS]

  orphans going-away and [TS]

  there's there's no real attempt to make [TS]

  that even remotely plausible but the [TS]

  story works because you just go with it [TS]

  but this had so many little details and [TS]

  all this is this is exactly what would [TS]

  happen here and this is what would [TS]

  happen here that when they didn't [TS]

  connect just it took me out of it [TS]

  completely [TS]

  again it's a beautiful read i don't [TS]

  think it's an apocalypse genre read i [TS]

  think it's a I think it's the kind of [TS]

  thing where you handed to your your your [TS]

  friends who are who like like literature [TS]

  and I said yeah I'd say that would be a [TS]

  title suggestions lasix if they don't [TS]

  know how I would write it the limit is [TS]

  right now because I have a bunch of [TS]

  girlfriends who who are seriously like [TS]

  Eat Pray Love types and knowing they're [TS]

  great people don't get me wrong but the [TS]

  you know like that point different a [TS]

  pre-loved spoke to me and they're like [TS]

  station was the best book of the year [TS]

  and it's so rare that we've been [TS]

  watching books i was all I did read Eat [TS]

  Pray Love and I did not like it [TS]

  so sweet pre-loved I survived let's take [TS]

  another break i just want to remind you [TS]

  this is not even a sponsor I'm the [TS]

  sponsor here [TS]

  did you know that the uncomfortable does [TS]

  other podcasts we do in case you didn't [TS]

  know go to the incomparable dot-com and [TS]

  you'll see we have Tim Goodman Stevie [TS]

  talk machine where i talk to the [TS]

  hollywood reporter's chief TV critic [TS]

  every week about what's on TV with the [TS]

  TV podcast where we recap episodes of [TS]

  recently aired shows currently covering [TS]

  the flash we have random track where [TS]

  Scott McNulty talks about Star Trek a [TS]

  random episode with a non-random guests [TS]

  every week total party kills every other [TS]

  week where we play Dungeons and Dragons [TS]

  there's a new story starting next week [TS]

  the uncomfortable radio theatre will be [TS]

  coming back in a few months you can [TS]

  subscribe to it now [TS]

  phillip michael and lisa Schmeisser ruin [TS]

  the movies they ruin a movie they [TS]

  haven't even seen and it's very funny [TS]

  and also coming back for a new season [TS]

  not playing with lex friedman and Dan [TS]

  more'n so many podcasts there are more [TS]

  on the way so check it out if you like [TS]

  this podcast give us a try the [TS]

  incomparable dot-com there's itunes [TS]

  links and feed links there so you can [TS]

  subscribe to some other shows that I [TS]

  think you like we need to talk at least [TS]

  a little bit about the peripheral and [TS]

  slow apocalypse because i stayed up til [TS]

  twelve-thirty last night reading that [TS]

  book so I could finish it on where God [TS]

  oh please [TS]

  grip this one I kind of liked its weird [TS]

  ambition [TS]

  yeah it's got an idea i liked i don't [TS]

  like william gibson so i should i should [TS]

  point that I'd never liked it even books [TS]

  and this becomes a streak that about my [TS]

  go hot and cold on him so in the [TS]

  peripheral perfect so we've Gibson this [TS]

  is a new day a book and not any [TS]

  university is written in before you [TS]

  answer a trilogy of things this is not [TS]

  any of the any of his trilogies maybe [TS]

  we'll see books in this universe again [TS]

  maybe we won't [TS]

  I like william gibson I loved his most [TS]

  recent trilogy and I loved his first [TS]

  trilogy that made him famous [TS]

  this book is fascinating the the plot [TS]

  the plot of it is essentially this is [TS]

  the peripheral the plot is essentially [TS]

  that there is a so spoilers for the [TS]

  peripheral [TS]

  the plot is basically there is a [TS]

  post-apocalypse world whether these [TS]

  people in London and there aren't very [TS]

  many people left we don't really know a [TS]

  lot about what happened it's called the [TS]

  jackpot but something happened and not [TS]

  many people left they have super-high [TS]

  nanotechnology so hey an apocalypse [TS]

  happened but all of society didn't fall [TS]

  apart there's all this super high [TS]

  technology they have the ability to [TS]

  communicate mac in time to before the [TS]

  apocalypse sort of as the apocalypse is [TS]

  starting to happen and uh and in a [TS]

  strange set of events the the past [TS]

  they're communicating with is [TS]

  immediately once you communicate with it [TS]

  branches off you can change the future [TS]

  by communicating with the past but you [TS]

  can communicate with this alternate [TS]

  paths that you've created by [TS]

  communicating with them but it's not [TS]

  actually the past right let's start says [TS]

  that it's not your past turns into [TS]

  someone else's past the minute that you [TS]

  begin to monkey with a fair i read this [TS]

  to be and maybe I took this room but [TS]

  they're communicating with some chinese [TS]

  server [TS]

  yeah right well as the means by which [TS]

  they are doing it yeah yeah only only a [TS]

  Chinese web server would send you 70 [TS]

  years into the past so you should use [TS]

  desperate method out Hillbillies to do [TS]

  your video game labor for you [TS]

  the idea is if they keep the quantum [TS]

  computer and its unlocked the ability to [TS]

  dial into the past but but just the the [TS]

  standard kind of many worlds idea once [TS]

  you interfere with the past it's not [TS]

  your past anymore you've branched it off [TS]

  and so you end up with it so in this [TS]

  book in the first 10 pages it is dense [TS]

  and weird and it is it is I almost gave [TS]

  up about five times it's unclear for a [TS]

  long time what these two time frames are [TS]

  and how they if they have anything in [TS]

  common with one another and then there [TS]

  is a moment and I i think i saw other [TS]

  people commenting on this there is a [TS]

  moment i don't know how many pages into [TS]

  it where it it suddenly becomes very [TS]

  clear after all of this confusion about [TS]

  what's actually going on and it's a [TS]

  really nice moment I thought I was like [TS]

  oh ok it's like an alternate future [TS]

  these people are like it's like Bitcoin [TS]

  mining except it's like a world they're [TS]

  like yeah we just strip mine your world [TS]

  for information and labor and we don't [TS]

  really care about it because we're up [TS]

  time here doing our [TS]

  thing and the end and that was really [TS]

  interesting and some of the VR stuff [TS]

  with the the the woman Flynn who's who's [TS]

  there 3d printing things and they got [TS]

  drones everywhere and they and they get [TS]

  this huge influx of money thanks to the [TS]

  people in the future and they start [TS]

  buying stuff and there's like some crazy [TS]

  tech there but they're also on the [TS]

  precipice of apocalypse that was kind of [TS]

  interesting the future the far future [TS]

  people are really weird and some very [TS]

  strange things going on out there [TS]

  I thought that was kind of interesting [TS]

  so there are [TS]

  so there are [TS]

  there that some so for me the first part [TS]

  was a slog then there was a kind of a [TS]

  moment of clarity there was like oh that [TS]

  was really clever william gibson I see [TS]

  what you did there then there's some [TS]

  really interesting stuff that is like [TS]

  well yeah Bravo and then and then the [TS]

  individual worlds are kind of [TS]

  interesting how they interact that the [TS]

  the peripheral is a like a a brainless [TS]

  body that you can ride in using VR which [TS]

  felt to me kind of like the one piece of [TS]

  wink wink technology that's like yeah [TS]

  that's totally works we got this working [TS]

  in the future that but was weird but it [TS]

  allows the people from the past to sort [TS]

  of see the present or the whatever the [TS]

  people from the future to see the [TS]

  further future tenses are difficult guys [TS]

  are following the right around with the [TS]

  book you do I had no problem totally [TS]

  totally makes sense [TS]

  basically what happens is people from [TS]

  the from the future more from that from [TS]

  the far from 70 years into the future [TS]

  use people from the past as a way to our [TS]

  free capital and virtual and virtual [TS]

  labor the book chronicles the gradual [TS]

  disintegration of the world as we know [TS]

  it today owing to a multitude of factors [TS]

  including environmental collapse radical [TS]

  economic inequality and epidemics all [TS]

  the poor people die basically hence the [TS]

  jackpot for Jackie exactly and and the [TS]

  people in the future there's a tiny [TS]

  bunch of them it's now a bunch of it's [TS]

  now a bunch of kleptocracy Zola garki so [TS]

  it's a bunch of corporate nation-states [TS]

  not unlike what you see in the [TS]

  stephensons the diamond age book that I [TS]

  like the Commission this is much better [TS]

  yes and the thing is is this is this is [TS]

  such a classically gives onian book in [TS]

  so many ways because there's a whole lot [TS]

  about how nature has been quietly you [TS]

  know destroyed and now people fetishize [TS]

  a lot of consumer objects that take [TS]

  clear inspiration from nature like the [TS]

  squid suits which of this kind of [TS]

  camouflage or they talk about how in the [TS]

  future people have shirts honey beeswax [TS]

  candles despite being completely extinct [TS]

  and back breeding file Essenes and other [TS]

  extinct animals is now status symbol [TS]

  which is an awesome replicator that can [TS]

  make any kind of alcoholic beverage ever [TS]

  except the guy who's an alcoholic is [TS]

  locked out of it in Game biologically [TS]

  speaking I mean that was you [TS]

  the thing is is this is such a gibson [TS]

  novel in that there's this extreme [TS]

  fetishization of material culture where [TS]

  people you know spend a lot of time [TS]

  noticing how awesome upholstery is in [TS]

  luxury car yes and there's also his [TS]

  touching belief that vast amounts of [TS]

  money can can make any problem go away [TS]

  ever and not creating a captain not [TS]

  created cascade of future problems and [TS]

  doors all I don't know if he believes [TS]

  that I I kind of feel like I feel like [TS]

  the end of the book is kind of setting [TS]

  us up for two more where it turns out [TS]

  this radical experiment in averting the [TS]

  the jackpot is going to backfire [TS]

  horribly yeah what one part i really [TS]

  liked right towards the end of the book [TS]

  was when they were describing what the [TS]

  bad person had done [TS]

  oh it's like screwing around with [TS]

  alternate timeline which they're called [TS]

  stubbs he would apparently turn them [TS]

  into giant gladiatorial combat roles and [TS]

  just evolve super weapons out of them [TS]

  that reminds me of what happens in our [TS]

  stub at the end of the book we're like [TS]

  so everything's fine now that we've got [TS]

  complete control of your economy and [TS]

  your billionaires and we were pretty [TS]

  sure we've locked everything down and if [TS]

  not then you know be it's all an [TS]

  experiment to them because it can affect [TS]

  their life and there's this you feel [TS]

  like maybe there's a bond there but at [TS]

  the same time it's like well if this [TS]

  doesn't work you guys have to live with [TS]

  it [TS]

  not us but Gibson's always have been big [TS]

  into the themes of corruption of money [TS]

  and outdoor power because you know [TS]

  you've got that because that's the whole [TS]

  point to neuromancer you've got that the [TS]

  test your ash cool people who go crazy [TS]

  and build satellites and eventually [TS]

  there a is go sentience and build a [TS]

  whole other alternate universe and then [TS]

  that pops begin the different light [TS]

  trilogy correct me if I'm wrong that's [TS]

  also liked that crazy rich people are [TS]

  insulated from consequences and [TS]

  subsequently become crazy like that's [TS]

  something that pops up in the big and [TS]

  trilogy to so this is this is given [TS]

  species what gives those they're the [TS]

  people with the money there's big money [TS]

  in this big technology and they have [TS]

  that he has is corrupt and they have [TS]

  this corrupting effect and in fact in [TS]

  the stub in this you have you know they [TS]

  they lay the money down to say by the [TS]

  governor they I mean they based they are [TS]

  able with their money to completely [TS]

  suffered everything that's going on here [TS]

  and I i don't think that necessarily [TS]

  what he's trying to hit message is not [TS]

  yay [TS]

  money fixes everything its [TS]

  like c-money can do anything and it [TS]

  generally does bad things during sex and [TS]

  that's what money is good but also bad [TS]

  its powerful money makes things easy [TS]

  seems to be this [TS]

  yeah it's very seductive and chapters [TS]

  are short in the future [TS]

  yes well this is like Gibson does it [TS]

  mean his his having his his chapters are [TS]

  all very short and he cycles between the [TS]

  different character different the [TS]

  different points of views and you're [TS]

  always moving on to the next the next [TS]

  chapter [TS]

  I feel like that gives it a false sense [TS]

  of urgency because yeah I I feel like I [TS]

  feel like it's my feel like it's watch [TS]

  the hand watch the hand because [TS]

  otherwise you're like oh this is [TS]

  basically story that takes place over [TS]

  five days or well it's ask paste right [TS]

  except then you realize that you're [TS]

  flipping between a guy walking and [TS]

  another guy walking in your back to the [TS]

  first guy walking and that's not he [TS]

  paced got there that's not fast that's [TS]

  just flipping his characters all have [TS]

  really short lines [TS]

  yes and he tends to neighbors yeah and [TS]

  he has really short description and its [TS]

  really Connor and Carlos and Flynn and [TS]

  will ya [TS]

  Flynn and will fan I in Burkina oh I [TS]

  really like Connor who is the guy who [TS]

  tests but who spends all his time in [TS]

  poverty hand some peripheral right [TS]

  because he's a veteran and he's lost his [TS]

  limbs and he can use that peripheral and [TS]

  he's got all his arms and legs in its [TS]

  and that reminds me of like a bunch of [TS]

  different short stories in the [TS]

  science-fiction goldner Selfridge back [TS]

  in the seventies for the ideas that you [TS]

  know and actually reminds me a bit of [TS]

  Peter wats novel starfish where the [TS]

  premise of that was only mentally ill [TS]

  people were suited for life [TS]

  deep deep deep undersea because they [TS]

  responded to reacted differently too [TS]

  deep pressure conditions that mentally [TS]

  healthy people did and so there's always [TS]

  been kind of this fascination sci-fi [TS]

  with well what do we do with people who [TS]

  are differently abled truly is an [TS]

  environment where they can thrive and [TS]

  gives us making the argument that what [TS]

  technology you can do anything [TS]

  so this this book feels really over [TS]

  stuff to me i think yeah I think the [TS]

  this is an understatement probably i [TS]

  think the stub idea alone is a novel and [TS]

  then but it's called the peripheral and [TS]

  and partway through realize okay well [TS]

  it's about basically like virtual bodies [TS]

  or essentially that you can be [TS]

  in another body and and that sounds like [TS]

  the subject of a whole novel to but [TS]

  instead and not only do you have those [TS]

  together which seems like there's just [TS]

  too much [TS]

  it's like spider-man feelings you don't [TS]

  need three of them then on top of it it [TS]

  is your william gibson plan i say this [TS]

  is somebody loves william gibson ugh it [TS]

  ends up becoming about money and crime [TS]

  and the gunfights and feel about [TS]

  quadcopters and candy and groans in this [TS]

  case that's a little that's a little new [TS]

  variety is also there are drones here [TS]

  and it's just it's over it's over stuff [TS]

  to me too so of so just got and and then [TS]

  and we'll go to Monte Scott you don't [TS]

  like Gibson any any particular [TS]

  impressions about this one since we have [TS]

  forced you to read it before I could [TS]

  stop at any time you know attempted to [TS]

  stop many times but I just thought I [TS]

  power so I thought I mean you had a lot [TS]

  of great ideas in it i just find I mean [TS]

  it's a stylistically I find Gibson's [TS]

  writing could be annoying i love this i [TS]

  love his style I love his style so that [TS]

  one we will disagree on every week it's [TS]

  okay that you're wrong on that one Scott [TS]

  I i understand i know i mean he people [TS]

  lots of people love him he's just not my [TS]

  cup of tea and I kind of felt like the [TS]

  end of it was like i went through all of [TS]

  this and this is the whole point the end [TS]

  I i felt like i missed the end and what [TS]

  would that's it it's always when did she [TS]

  become pregnant what happened I couldn't [TS]

  even tell i flipped into and then kindle [TS]

  brings a full box of like well that's [TS]

  the end how do you rate I'm like what [TS]

  that's it by this point you're turning [TS]

  pages so fast like all right that's [TS]

  chapter that chapter alright no go but [TS]

  wait what [TS]

  yeah yeah it is that was really [TS]

  frustrating i was saying to Lauren after [TS]

  i read i was like i was kinda enjoying i [TS]

  finally got in a groove with it was like [TS]

  okay we got the two different worlds and [TS]

  it's and building to a climax all then I [TS]

  was like that's it and it's and it is a [TS]

  sort of sudden disappointing ending if [TS]

  he is planning more books in this world [TS]

  then that that actually kind of he's [TS]

  never really done the continuing story [TS]

  thing it tends to be an oblique take in [TS]

  the same world the next time and if he [TS]

  does that then so be it but it was a bit [TS]

  the end was you know not there was yeah [TS]

  it was just abrupt end [TS]

  and perfunctory i guess but it was [TS]

  better written than slow apocalypse so [TS]

  Oh God not well I i read i would argue [TS]

  that i read Gibson i think i think i [TS]

  read Gibson primarily for the style and [TS]

  and i always love his style and then [TS]

  there are times when I mean and it's [TS]

  it's like a fever dream sometimes in [TS]

  fact the first hundred pages of this [TS]

  book it really was like a fever dream I [TS]

  I was worried that I was I had a fever [TS]

  and was completely confused and lost but [TS]

  when he when he hits it when he gets [TS]

  those points and they're like really [TS]

  trenches they're really on point about [TS]

  like what life is like right now and [TS]

  he's using it to to make you think about [TS]

  possible technical implications of [TS]

  present technology in the future and an [TS]

  interesting you know MacGuffin plot to [TS]

  draw you along then you then he nails it [TS]

  and and the last trilogy that he did [TS]

  that that started with pattern [TS]

  recognition he nailed that those are [TS]

  kind of recognition might have become my [TS]

  favorite william gibson book when he [TS]

  doesn't nail in like in the Virtual [TS]

  Light trilogy the bridge trilogy and end [TS]

  in this book I I appreciate his writing [TS]

  but I start to see the seams of he's [TS]

  pouring a bunch of this stuff in there [TS]

  and stirring it around and sometimes [TS]

  what you get out is is a is a mess and [TS]

  this was this was more of a mess to me [TS]

  there's a william gibson playbook that I [TS]

  feel like he plays by where do I have a [TS]

  theme that talks about how technological [TS]

  disintermediation is inherently [TS]

  dehumanizing everyone who participates [TS]

  chap check do I want to fetishize a [TS]

  luxury brand name like amazed chat while [TS]

  commenting on the on the questions of [TS]

  why one might fetishize such a bring [TS]

  life to I wanted to imagine doing what I [TS]

  imagine what life is like for the [TS]

  uneducated pores in futureworld check it [TS]

  you know do I want to exotica sighs some [TS]

  somebody who's not Anglo and and [TS]

  therefore introduced exotic Russian [TS]

  culture the exotic Japanese culture [TS]

  whatever check there are a lot of light [TS]

  motif sticker from trilla to trilogy [TS]

  trilogy and i found this book to be a [TS]

  big slug and so frankly for me like half [TS]

  the engine was like yep I remember [TS]

  seeing that in [TS]

  Marley's overdrive yep I remember that [TS]

  just remember that from pattern [TS]

  recognition i could only give some bingo [TS]

  card oh yeah it was like yeah when [TS]

  you're drinking game you can tell [TS]

  William gives you could plausibly do [TS]

  William Gibson drinking a bingo card for [TS]

  sure for sure and like Jason I found the [TS]

  ending to be really abrupt and jarring [TS]

  because all of a sudden Flynn is married [TS]

  and pregnant and is apparently ok with [TS]

  bmis elachi well extends police officer [TS]

  yeah except that she's turned a little [TS]

  more sophisticated because now she's [TS]

  checking in weekly with the future to [TS]

  shape and she's on a first-name basis [TS]

  with the President and my bet is that [TS]

  either her or one of her descendants [TS]

  ends up in some sort of you know sure [TS]

  things have happened but you have to [TS]

  mark coo for life Flynn will be blah [TS]

  blah blah you know the same way that [TS]

  they're there were there are always [TS]

  hooks between the trilogy's where [TS]

  there's some offhanded mention of how [TS]

  somebody's a in a radically different [TS]

  position they were booked ago but there [TS]

  are things I liked about it because I i [TS]

  did--like i did like he's being loved [TS]

  he seems to be getting a sense of humor [TS]

  digital age Clovis and Connor for [TS]

  example are both incredibly funny [TS]

  characters for him and I enjoyed the [TS]

  little bit of levity they provided [TS]

  because this is not a book that's big on [TS]

  having a sense of you know that said I [TS]

  was really disappointed how there is a [TS]

  couple different parts of the book where [TS]

  it's like what science will help us out [TS]

  but science will advance despite the [TS]

  fact that any percent of the world [TS]

  population is dying off and it's kind of [TS]

  almost the opposite of the direction 11 [TS]

  problems and station eleven like [TS]

  everyone goes back to treating books [TS]

  like holy sacred objects to be kept by [TS]

  monks to scientists they managed to [TS]

  survive everything and now they're [TS]

  bringing us a better work [TS]

  there's nothing they can do that is true [TS]

  i don't buy the apocalypse skills all [TS]

  technology but i don't know that i buy [TS]

  that immediately creates nanotechnology [TS]

  it'sit's world [TS]

  leaving it for and that's all that [TS]

  doesn't like I was poor people or [TS]

  otherwise the jackpot man [TS]

  ya know and the thing that also bugs me [TS]

  about about this it [TS]

  okay first of all the thing I like [TS]

  you're not really quite sure what [TS]

  happened to the US because the only [TS]

  mention made his phone is like I guess [TS]

  the u.s. is like Connor only without a [TS]

  sense of humor and you're like that's a [TS]

  mercenary nation-state I don't know but [TS]

  what I've always found kind of [TS]

  problematic is is like it's like Africa [TS]

  and South the continent of africa and [TS]

  south america never ever existed his [TS]

  books like you you never meet people [TS]

  from there there's there's no culture [TS]

  there's no that his characters never [TS]

  traveled there [TS]

  well that there is that joke in this [TS]

  that means that the milagros cold iron [TS]

  is based in Costa Rica or something like [TS]

  that but that's it it's just kind of a [TS]

  joke or Columbia and cold iron was a [TS]

  misspelling of Calder on yeah they even [TS]

  got that wrong yeah it's I mean I love [TS]

  Gibson i love gives there's a lot of [TS]

  little better but this book was just so [TS]

  I was like yeah i'm not sure i'm picking [TS]

  yourself after i turned the corner with [TS]

  that moment of the of the two different [TS]

  futures I was like oh ok and then I was [TS]

  able to appreciate on a level a and the [TS]

  ending was disappointing so yeah I found [TS]

  it I I had a moment where I thought oh [TS]

  my god I think I'm gonna have to just [TS]

  give up on William it's a novel which [TS]

  I've never done before and I didn't do [TS]

  that and i found something that I like [TS]

  about I like the dread of the jackpot [TS]

  how how they mentioned the jackpot Flynn [TS]

  and she's like you know it's it's bad [TS]

  and we're like oh jeez this is really [TS]

  bad and it goes a long time where you're [TS]

  trying to get information about what [TS]

  exactly did happen [TS]

  what is he not telling us about this [TS]

  future and how it came to be [TS]

  unfortunately when it is revealed its [TS]

  kind of abrupt and not that interesting [TS]

  here and thats like okay well that was a [TS]

  letdown and then the only other plot [TS]

  twist that i thought was kind of clever [TS]

  and yet at the same time felt almost [TS]

  like he was trying too hard is that [TS]

  there's a character in the future who is [TS]

  very very old who is revealed to be in [TS]

  the present as well but it's a [TS]

  transgender character so we do I throw [TS]

  you off the scent [TS]

  it's a man in the present but a woman in [TS]

  the future it's kind of like a crying [TS]

  game twist again didn't it didn't feel [TS]

  like it was actually very well done it [TS]

  was more [TS]

  yeah I I didn't think it did a good job [TS]

  with that I appreciated that twist [TS]

  because i was spending a lot of time [TS]

  because obviously there's going to be [TS]

  some connection to right-wing lot of [TS]

  autonomy of characters again like the [TS]

  station eleven i'm going who's the [TS]

  Prophet going to be all probably this [TS]

  kid right that's gonna be alright [TS]

  no we're gonna be but it's gotta be [TS]

  somebody clearly these two times soldier [TS]

  timelines are gonna have somebody in [TS]

  common what's it gonna be [TS]

  oh that guy and nothing really it [TS]

  doesn't even matter [TS]

  oh alright you go that's kind of like [TS]

  this but good luck [TS]

  you got it on you although there's [TS]

  there's a nice moment where where they [TS]

  revealed that they know to the to the [TS]

  the characters a question to them [TS]

  the man in the present that the that in [TS]

  the future he becomes a woman and that's [TS]

  that there is a nice scene where it's [TS]

  like I've never told anybody that how [TS]

  could you know that and they're like [TS]

  well stubs servers anyway but that's the [TS]

  kind of a nice thing it's like the [TS]

  future knows all your secrets but yeah [TS]

  about that just assumed this stuff was [TS]

  going to be important like well you see [TS]

  Flynn you cause the jackpot haha [TS]

  tada apparently not know my take on the [TS]

  book it felt very much to me like a [TS]

  Gibson eyes version of neal stephenson's [TS]

  anthem huh [TS]

  possibly just because an anthem also has [TS]

  that moment in the middle of the really [TS]

  figure it out we go here's what's [TS]

  happening and you go oh that's what this [TS]

  book is about that element felt the same [TS]

  in both books and everything else that's [TS]

  Neal Stephenson e in the one book has [TS]

  been replaced by william gibson me stuff [TS]

  in this book was like instead of monks [TS]

  doing math like its philosophy its [TS]

  quality not answering my dominator [TS]

  nanotechnologies yeah exactly i felt [TS]

  like the core ideas of the book there [TS]

  were enough of those they're complicated [TS]

  enough that he didn't need to put in [TS]

  nonsense like this artist skins herself [TS]

  every few years [TS]

  yes person has animated tattoos that are [TS]

  apparently sent to you I found the core [TS]

  murder mystery of this also completely [TS]

  not compelling right it's not necessary [TS]

  Gibson apparently felt the same cuz it [TS]

  didn't [TS]

  get this all know I felt like he was [TS]

  taking the piss out of steampunk with [TS]

  the character ash yeah because he talks [TS]

  a lot about our excessive fetishization [TS]

  of baroque technology and how she be [TS]

  appropriate for that world and I was [TS]

  like okay this is him basically putting [TS]

  down his foot and saying he doesn't like [TS]

  steampunk he wrote The Difference Engine [TS]

  how dare he [TS]

  there were there was a puncturing I [TS]

  don't know who's about steampunk there's [TS]

  a puncturing of kind of pretentiousness [TS]

  in that of art and artists in the future [TS]

  that I i was amused by that was actually [TS]

  one of the things that I thought was [TS]

  funny in this but but yeah I'm with I'm [TS]

  like Monty that that there is again I it [TS]

  just feels over stuff like I feel like [TS]

  he's got too many things on the [TS]

  checklist here and as a result the book [TS]

  is not really ever sure what it what it [TS]

  wants to be and his more successful [TS]

  books are sort of about a thing and then [TS]

  have interesting coloring around yeah [TS]

  the edges and this is more like no no [TS]

  it's about uh two different futures and [TS]

  I and time travel of a sort and I mean [TS]

  it's just like pilot mall in there and [TS]

  nanotechnology and drones and it's just [TS]

  I is like it feels like it's too much [TS]

  and neuromancer and pattern recognition [TS]

  the pros is streamlined the plot is [TS]

  complicated but it's basically [TS]

  streamlined and entertaining [TS]

  yeah and this has so much stuff in it [TS]

  his best books still have very simple [TS]

  plots it's just a decoration on them [TS]

  that makes them seem twist year than [TS]

  they actually are and and I like the [TS]

  decoration so it's fine and below it is [TS]

  just a film like a film or plot that [TS]

  there's not one to it this yeah this is [TS]

  like not in it not that is more [TS]

  complicated just kind of Messier [TS]

  and-and-and yeah overstuffed I feel like [TS]

  there's a fine class rage I feel like [TS]

  there's a fine raging class warrior in [TS]

  william gibson that could come out if [TS]

  you would just give more full throat to [TS]

  it because the way he talks about [TS]

  because because the way he talks about [TS]

  burton and connor and and especially the [TS]

  way he begins to an end especially the [TS]

  way that he points out that whatever [TS]

  wipes out the world's population isn't [TS]

  likely be one thing it's going to be a [TS]

  lot of things exacerbated by inequality [TS]

  and faulty infrastructure I think this [TS]

  is a guy who who thinks long and hard [TS]

  and seriously about the warping effects [TS]

  of money and the way it works people on [TS]

  all ends he just it [TS]

  just gets buried under who it's an [TS]

  Army's case i think that says I think [TS]

  that's his dick I think he's not he's [TS]

  the kind of person who writes these kind [TS]

  of somewhat disconnected emotionally [TS]

  commentaries on this rather than you [TS]

  know heating up and and just making [TS]

  something that's a little more angry [TS]

  let's just get this Gibson yeah people [TS]

  don't really get angry in his books do [TS]

  they they're confused or they're taking [TS]

  it back with overwhelmed or or they're [TS]

  they're even thrilled in a gentle way [TS]

  but I can't remember anybody who's been [TS]

  genuinely lose their head furious i [TS]

  think Molly got angry didn't she once [TS]

  maybe maybe yeah my little annalisa [TS]

  overdrive she's pretty common one is a [TS]

  lot of kind of her to remove emotionally [TS]

  yeah and yeah i did not find it [TS]

  surprising to learn that the going into [TS]

  an alternate past 2-4 resources concept [TS]

  was taken from the story starlings [TS]

  misinformation yeah [TS]

  mozart and mirrored shades by rooster [TS]

  lling and Lewis shiner i have that story [TS]

  except for Stephenson and Gibson that's [TS]

  the most cyberpunk stuff you can put in [TS]

  one title and author mirrors [TS]

  yeah i have i have the cyber i have the [TS]

  cyberpunk ontology mirrored shades for [TS]

  that book is yes yeah we are we are [TS]

  desperately overtime but i want i want [TS]

  those who read John Varley slow [TS]

  apocalypse tell me about it because I [TS]

  didn't read it so the basic premise is [TS]

  that the zero petroleum event happens an [TS]

  angry scientists invents a bacteria that [TS]

  somehow causes in the world's entire [TS]

  petroleum supply to lock up and go on a [TS]

  series of earthquakes and implosions and [TS]

  getting I think it's ice 94 oil you can [TS]

  use yes yes it is and with the worst [TS]

  writer [TS]

  well worse than I mean at worse than [TS]

  vonnegut is most writers but as [TS]

  dentistry better burn scars so basically [TS]

  what happens is barley set up the [TS]

  promise the world has no oil and the [TS]

  whole the whole book seems can be summed [TS]

  up as one if humanity as you know where [TS]

  to collapse tomorrow we'd all be we'd [TS]

  all be screwed to when things turn when [TS]

  things go bad people will go bad [TS]

  three it's great to be male [TS]

  and.and for it helps if you hoard things [TS]

  and five in order to deprive in order to [TS]

  survive an apocalyptic event you have to [TS]

  have advanced intel on what's going to [TS]

  happen because basically the protagonist [TS]

  is this out of work Hollywood [TS]

  screenwriter who gets a hot tip from a [TS]

  military guy he's been trying to talk up [TS]

  and the guide the military guy was like [TS]

  yeah look the the bad the bug has [TS]

  already been spread the Middle East it's [TS]

  gonna spread across the world military [TS]

  guy is literally shot and killed like [TS]

  two pages later because the powers that [TS]

  be are covering this up [TS]

  this causes the protections to panic [TS]

  take all of their money out of the bank [TS]

  maxed out his credit cards on on [TS]

  survival supplies get his daughters [TS]

  horses from their stable and and try to [TS]

  ride this thing until hollywood hills [TS]

  until like an upgrade until like a [TS]

  Richter Niner the quake-hit Los Angeles [TS]

  one of his writers assistance is raped [TS]

  by a gang of Hell's Angel and that they [TS]

  decide they have to head someplace else [TS]

  and start a new life as farmers that is [TS]

  your book and sounds great [TS]

  well is barley is a super funny super [TS]

  entertaining writer and he's actually [TS]

  kind of guy where if you were seriously [TS]

  stuck in an apocalypse you like okay [TS]

  this is kind of a how-to manual i need [TS]

  step one stock up on lithium step to [TS]

  make sure you have a fan because it's [TS]

  got high fat and protein content [TS]

  step three different way to filter water [TS]

  like it's it's I I get the feeling he [TS]

  spent a lot of time trolling prepper [TS]

  sites for this and a lot of his later [TS]

  works have have basically had had a thin [TS]

  undercurrent of oh god were killing the [TS]

  planet Oh God something Awful's going to [TS]

  happen civilization as we know it is [TS]

  going to end soon and so I I feel like [TS]

  this is him you know trying to turn like [TS]

  take a few deep breaths and write it all [TS]

  out and get out of assistant perhaps [TS]

  therapist suggestion but it is like [TS]

  literally the exact opposite of station [TS]

  11 where osher bad things happen in [TS]

  children ramneyg act for a year but [TS]

  Shakespeare survived and in this one [TS]

  it's like well a bunch of old men [TS]

  hobbyist are going to get steam trains [TS]

  working against we can move food up and [TS]

  down the west coast and oh we work six [TS]

  days a week on a farm and we have to [TS]

  hard water but hey you're alive it is [TS]

  not great and we're back to using the [TS]

  post office and it's so romantic [TS]

  annually [TS]

  I'm not sure I i think i would rather [TS]

  have gone and the shooting gallery after [TS]

  the earthquake or or maybe killed in the [TS]

  Olympic Stadium bowl after the chlorine [TS]

  gas escaped or or because i read it like [TS]

  what the heck is going to happen next [TS]

  like something horrible what happened [TS]

  like two pages later and then like [TS]

  there's a revealing one chapter that [TS]

  they've turned element into a prison [TS]

  camp for Refugees them all wait what [TS]

  what's your uh what's your take on this [TS]

  one [TS]

  don't be in Los Angeles when the [TS]

  apocalypse happens if you take away [TS]

  wherever maybe but yeah yeah well i'm [TS]

  going to bed Los Angeles briefly but i [TS]

  think i can get on board with that I [TS]

  mean he is really into detailing how one [TS]

  goes through an apocalypse e so if you [TS]

  if you're into that [TS]

  check it out it's a quick read I [TS]

  certainly keeps it going [TS]

  stuff happens bad stuff happens yeah so [TS]

  much bad stuff happened having heard [TS]

  your description of the the all oil [TS]

  turns to goo [TS]

  um i would mention the windup girl which [TS]

  I have plugged many times by palette [TS]

  bacigalupi that is better that is a [TS]

  story about a world where we're Oriole [TS]

  has run out and you know they make it [TS]

  work [TS]

  it's not great and you know the Seas [TS]

  have risen and they've got like [TS]

  genetically engineered elephants that [TS]

  crank turbines in order to generate [TS]

  power but it's you know I I feel like [TS]

  that's a that that's a nice story about [TS]

  what would happen in our dependence on [TS]

  oil for for energy sources that uh [TS]

  doesn't an apocalypse it just ends in a [TS]

  kind of unpleasant future but it's not [TS]

  it's not like the War end of the world [TS]

  happened a short story where it's about [TS]

  the an Amish community they find out [TS]

  that the rest of the world ended and [TS]

  they're like oh too bad for you guys huh [TS]

  I'd it will that's that's how the last [TS]

  policeman trilogy and nobody is in an [TS]

  Amish community family [TS]

  yeah and that they're living their lives [TS]

  until the world ends in one of my [TS]

  favorite post-apocalyptic details how [TS]

  and y the last man they finally get to [TS]

  the African continent and find out that [TS]

  they're like well you know the women are [TS]

  fine here they didn't have any sort of [TS]

  social collapse because they're already [TS]

  doing a lot of everything anyway they [TS]

  they just kept on hitting on you and I I [TS]

  liked that a lot because it was a nice [TS]

  way to tweak the f no centrosome of a [TS]

  lot of apocalyptic tales which are [TS]

  Oh God North America's and flames all of [TS]

  the world must have gone down and you [TS]

  know there's no now we were fine [TS]

  yeah we kept the poachers away from the [TS]

  lines it's all cool if you make your [TS]

  superbug work too quickly no one's gonna [TS]

  have time to fly to Africa to infect [TS]

  everyone [TS]

  that's true too yeah yeah I was never [TS]

  got clearance station 11 where people [TS]

  just missed getting it at the beginning [TS]

  and so they never got it that didn't [TS]

  seem to make a lot of sense to me but [TS]

  again we're not gonna talk anymore about [TS]

  station eleven now suffice it to say it [TS]

  is of a certain Caillou you know by now [TS]

  whether you want to read this book or [TS]

  not if you if you haven't already read [TS]

  it and if you have you also know that [TS]

  you can feel your presence your regret [TS]

  for your delight [TS]

  no matter what that's right all right [TS]

  we've written we've we've talked about [TS]

  many books what I'm not gonna even ask [TS]

  you what you're reading because that was [TS]

  blunt books and lots of time and it's a [TS]

  long book club so I'm going to thank my [TS]

  guests for talking about many books with [TS]

  me Scott McNulty as always a pleasure to [TS]

  have you on the book club and it was a [TS]

  pleasure to meet you [TS]

  this is wiser thank you very much it's [TS]

  always a pleasure to explore the end of [TS]

  the world with you body actually thank [TS]

  you for being here and making a list and [TS]

  checking it twice about things that are [TS]

  bothersome about the apocalypse [TS]

  thank you it was a pleasure having you [TS]

  and David lower thank you for reading [TS]

  one of the books [TS]

  parting is such sweet sorrow even if i [TS]

  don't care for Shakespeare anymore i was [TS]

  hoping for a quote from Star Trek [TS]

  Voyager oh well well I've got this whole [TS]

  in Neelix's lungs script here there's no [TS]

  point in having playwrights after the [TS]

  apocalypse and the right because it's [TS]

  all just Shakespearean all shakes that's [TS]

  all other books were burned for fuel and [TS]

  Lulu of the forest and thanks everybody [TS]

  for listening to be uncomfortable we'll [TS]

  see you next time [TS]