The Incomparable

163: What If Galactus Was Made of Jello?

 

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  slash I NC the incomparable number 163 [TS]

  october2013 welcome back to the [TS]

  uncomfortable i'm your host Jason Snell [TS]

  and a little while ago we asked our [TS]

  listeners to write itunes reviews they [TS]

  didn't even have to be good when I [TS]

  participating in some sort of fraud here [TS]

  they could be any kind of itunes review [TS]

  and randomly would select somebody from [TS]

  the itunes reviewers and they would get [TS]

  to pick the topic of an episode and we [TS]

  indeed show somebody at random it was an [TS]

  Australian fellow his name is Dave Gork [TS]

  Roger and Dave picked he had actually [TS]

  already recommended these books to us on [TS]

  Twitter and mention the author's name [TS]

  and then the author jumped in on twitter [TS]

  and also recommended his books big [TS]

  surprise and so this is what we did so [TS]

  we read a series of books by John [TS]

  birmingham the axis of time trilogy [TS]

  weapons of choice is the first book in [TS]

  the series [TS]

  I believe some of us on this podcast [TS]

  read more than that [TS]

  so we're going to talk about that a [TS]

  little bit hopefully keeping it spoiler [TS]

  light enough i personally i don't [TS]

  actually think there are a lot of things [TS]

  that could spoil these these books it's [TS]

  not really those are not those kind of [TS]

  books where to go what nobody say what [TS]

  happens to this person you know I i [TS]

  don't i don't think you'd be spoiled so [TS]

  we're gonna go try to go a little light [TS]

  on the spoilers [TS]

  we're also going to try to talk about [TS]

  other books in this genre which is sort [TS]

  of essentially all alt history so anyway [TS]

  let me introduce now that i've [TS]

  introduced our premise and I think Dave [TS]

  who suggested this as our contest winner [TS]

  let me introduce our panelists as always [TS]

  for a book club you know when you love [TS]

  them you've missed him because he hasn't [TS]

  been on a little while it's scott [TS]

  McNulty hi Scott [TS]

  hello Jason it's good to be back other [TS]

  than being our dungeon master we haven't [TS]

  heard from you in a while it's true [TS]

  on the the very popular Dungeons and [TS]

  Dragons yes we're extremely popular if I [TS]

  roll the details a d20 to find out how [TS]

  popular they were and it was a critical [TS]

  hit [TS]

  oh I see what you did you become [TS]

  inoculated yes also i was making a like [TS]

  a editorial reviews joke there it's a [TS]

  critical home the DMV lizards are [TS]

  critical is what I've been missing [TS]

  I know I know you have been missing it i [TS]

  think the sadly I think the listeners [TS]

  may have been missing this too so I that [TS]

  laughter you heard there is the new dan [TS]

  moore and he's also now on every podcast [TS]

  it's david lower hi David [TS]

  hello there welcome i'm gonna put that [TS]

  on my business card now the nude and [TS]

  nude and morgan and nobody goes to get [TS]

  more it is but that's okay you can be [TS]

  the new one bad of that thing [TS]

  so okay John birmingham access of time I [TS]

  read all three of these books because i [TS]

  read the first one I thought oh you know [TS]

  in the end i kinda wanna he want to see [TS]

  where this goes goes next Scott did you [TS]

  read all three i did read all three as i [TS]

  thought why not why not one was quick [TS]

  yeah exactly [TS]

  quickened and it wasn't enough there [TS]

  weren't enough Nazis in the first one [TS]

  no but there was the promise not see but [TS]

  but there was the promise of Nazis at [TS]

  the end again we should probably even [TS]

  below this spoiler here David how much [TS]

  of weapons of choice did you read you [TS]

  read the whole thing did you get through [TS]

  most of it I got through most of it and [TS]

  i can imagine reading the others in the [TS]

  series you can imagine it [TS]

  yeah sure yes it is very plausible in a [TS]

  side sectional ok so we should probably [TS]

  explain what what this what this series [TS]

  is and again if you want to read these [TS]

  books with with no spoilers whatsoever [TS]

  you probably should steer away but I [TS]

  feel like we could other than a faint [TS]

  spoiler horn heard in the distance i [TS]

  would like to not you know not not drive [TS]

  people away because i think most people [TS]

  probably have not even heard of these [TS]

  books that our friend Dave recommended [TS]

  to us but what i found interesting about [TS]

  them is this is a this is a series that [TS]

  is a combination of first off we should [TS]

  say military fiction and sci-fi in the [TS]

  sense that there it's set in the in the [TS]

  future this future military us and [TS]

  allied military so they've got to [TS]

  ecology that doesn't exist currently and [TS]

  then there's a lot of nuts and bolts I i [TS]

  got almost tom clancy kind of vibe from [TS]

  some of it there's a lot of dwelling on [TS]

  sort of the details of the equipment and [TS]

  of the battles in this that felt very [TS]

  very tom clancy like to me [TS]

  yeah correct we are we talked about this [TS]

  yesterday [TS]

  Oh on a totally different skype call [TS]

  about how you know that the time Clancy [TS]

  divided sort of like you want to be hot [TS]

  hunt for red october and you don't want [TS]

  to be red storm rising because red storm [TS]

  rising as a thousand pages of lots of [TS]

  military details and hunt from october [TS]

  is like a really interesting story with [TS]

  interesting people doing interesting [TS]

  things and it's from rising not thousand [TS]

  pages of not interesting [TS]

  are you guys read any time planting [TS]

  stuff [TS]

  oh yes he said he said with that's the [TS]

  time to get the answer which is [TS]

  initially it was very exciting and then [TS]

  later I was filled with regret [TS]

  yeah yeah I mean I red red red october [TS]

  when it came out from the Naval [TS]

  Institute press yeah how early and I [TS]

  read that and then started reading red [TS]

  storm rising and when you [TS]

  oh and this and i can bring the colonel [TS]

  of the Kremlin was when i came back to [TS]

  him and then i read a few more and then [TS]

  I'd you know that it's sleek became you [TS]

  know eventually he comes tom clancy [TS]

  incorporated and it's sort of right [TS]

  factory of books put out under the brand [TS]

  name of Tom Clancy you know suddenly [TS]

  have jet Jack Ryan is the head of the [TS]

  CIA then suddenly he's the President and [TS]

  eventually he'll become Pope and then [TS]

  soon become like the Emperor flown over [TS]

  relaxing eclectic Empire yeah yeah yeah [TS]

  yeah [TS]

  Scott what about you I'd read that book [TS]

  I ready for Red October yeah and i still [TS]

  remember details about the engine of the [TS]

  Russians so yes the castle that [TS]

  invitation with the special yes oh yes [TS]

  very exactly [TS]

  yes the whisper cavitation drive of the [TS]

  sacral october but that's the kind of [TS]

  detail that people who read those kinds [TS]

  of books one right so I guess we would [TS]

  call this military science fiction in [TS]

  some ways but although it strikes me as [TS]

  being kind of not quite that and more [TS]

  military and science fiction and not [TS]

  like so much together the two [TS]

  idea here is that the this war war fleet [TS]

  in the Pacific Ocean or on the way the [TS]

  Indian Ocean i guess is carrying with [TS]

  them a ship that's got the scientists [TS]

  egghead scientists up to no good and [TS]

  they are trying to created a weapon that [TS]

  will let them essentially teleport [TS]

  weapons to their destinations instead of [TS]

  having to you know shoot them at people [TS]

  and as scientists sometimes do they [TS]

  screw it up and the entire battle group [TS]

  is sucked through a wormhole as happy as [TS]

  so often happens and they emerged in the [TS]

  early days of World War two where they [TS]

  are plopped down in the vicinity direct [TS]

  vicinity of an American battle group [TS]

  that's about to go meet a japanese [TS]

  attack on the Marshall Islands I think [TS]

  midway midway midway I'm midway before [TS]

  the Battle of Midway yeah I so we get [TS]

  this so so what we originally think is [TS]

  this sort of futuristic military stuff [TS]

  is now intermixed with the the [TS]

  historical military stuff and as with [TS]

  superheroes who meet and don't know that [TS]

  they're both super heroes there's a [TS]

  fight [TS]

  there's no saddle because they don't [TS]

  know who the other one is the fog before [TS]

  it's very confusing and so the super [TS]

  21st century military of the 21-24 t20 [TS]

  35 something like that [TS]

  21-22 anyone else not that far well that [TS]

  these books were written a while ago and [TS]

  its attack is not coming in 2021 but [TS]

  it's a night it's a nice thought they [TS]

  have their throat back in time and they [TS]

  they are demolishing large chunks of [TS]

  this 1940 battle group because they've [TS]

  got you know they got 80 years on them [TS]

  75 years on them and that's and that's [TS]

  the first i would say that's the first [TS]

  like thirty percent using kindle terms [TS]

  thirty percent of the book how many dots [TS]

  that yeah it's lots of dots and and this [TS]

  was something we were talking about the [TS]

  morning because he tried to he tried to [TS]

  read this and and was struggling with it [TS]

  and I honestly I was struggling with the [TS]

  beginning of this too because the [TS]

  beginning of this book is not really my [TS]

  cup of tea it is a lot of technical [TS]

  detail about about ships and armaments [TS]

  and then and then it becomes [TS]

  like a what if a 21st century naval [TS]

  battle group attacked a world war two [TS]

  naval battle group how badly would they [TS]

  destroy those chips and we see that and [TS]

  I that stuff didn't that this stuff [TS]

  didn't interest interest me at all it [TS]

  was after the shooting stopped and the [TS]

  people from these 70 years apart [TS]

  cultures had to meet that the book [TS]

  started to get interesting for me i'm [TS]

  interested what you guys thought at the [TS]

  beginning of the book when when we were [TS]

  really talking more about technology [TS]

  than we were talking about culture and [TS]

  people [TS]

  well that's the idea that's what took me [TS]

  so long in the beginning was you know [TS]

  going oh this is this isn't tom clancy [TS]

  it's maybe Larry bond level of you know [TS]

  not quite being Tom Clancy and it just [TS]

  keeps going and going and going in there [TS]

  are these names and all these things and [TS]

  I mean certain things like naming a ship [TS]

  the USS Hillary Clinton yes that's not [TS]

  going to happen by 2021 and so things [TS]

  like that would take me right out so [TS]

  this book was written into the timeline [TS]

  of this book hillary clinton was elected [TS]

  president in 2008 and assassinated at at [TS]

  a later time umm alright so it was [TS]

  published in 2004 right [TS]

  ok so yes it's like I said it's it's [TS]

  diverged a little bit from our our world [TS]

  already but you know you were you were [TS]

  okay with the wormhole transporter them [TS]

  back to nineteen forty-two but the USS [TS]

  Hillary Clinton wait a second [TS]

  yeah well because it's it's presented as [TS]

  so you know here's here's this [TS]

  absolutely realistic kind of thing that [TS]

  we're trying to set up and I just I [TS]

  couldn't get into that but but part of [TS]

  it was just the over-reliance on the [TS]

  technology as soon as it started dealing [TS]

  with human beings dealing with one [TS]

  another and getting interesting that was [TS]

  like oh yeah okay um it's like you guys [TS]

  remember the the whisper drive of the [TS]

  Red October I the thing that stuck with [TS]

  me was I only wanted to see Nebraska [TS]

  oh yes you know it was the character [TS]

  stuff as interesting as the also [TS]

  responded with Montana which is much [TS]

  more interesting man Brasel I have [TS]

  always wanted to see Montana oh sam [TS]

  neill spoiler alert for [TS]

  200 for Red October by the way Sam Neill [TS]

  doesn't make it but he would have liked [TS]

  to have seen Montana well who wouldn't [TS]

  like to see much [TS]

  yeah no interest but yeah it'sit's once [TS]

  once the book really started to focus on [TS]

  the humans that was like okay and just [TS]

  the differences but you know the culture [TS]

  clash between the 21st century in the [TS]

  1940s right and that's why I can see [TS]

  wanting to continue in reading the rest [TS]

  of them because i would hope there's [TS]

  more of that and and the promise of [TS]

  Nazis yes Scott did you you know did you [TS]

  have that same reaction about the [TS]

  technology and the battle stuff [TS]

  well i-i've read a not an insignificant [TS]

  amount of military science fiction which [TS]

  is all about weapons systems exactly at [TS]

  people shooting at each other and [TS]

  legendary future weapons systems it's [TS]

  true [TS]

  usually it is a human's killing some [TS]

  sort of alien in in many inventive ways [TS]

  so I was kind of I knew it was familiar [TS]

  to me and I've also know that people who [TS]

  are you know obsessed with World War to [TS]

  assess about the various armaments and [TS]

  you know classifications of ships so he [TS]

  had it both ways right he had future [TS]

  stuff that he could talk about then he [TS]

  has were actual world war two things and [TS]

  some of the characters from the future [TS]

  are obsessed with world war two [TS]

  arguments which I thought was a nice [TS]

  time and our building like have built [TS]

  models of the ships that they're reading [TS]

  in the Rye excited about it so I didn't [TS]

  take me [TS]

  I mean I read it very quickly and i did [TS]

  not dislike it and I didn't have a [TS]

  problem with the USS Hillary Clinton [TS]

  because i like Hillary Clinton hello [TS]

  anybody she's very clear as it goes [TS]

  along that she was she was the president [TS]

  in this scenario and his men women and [TS]

  was wasn't homeless assassinated and so [TS]

  they made her and bombed many countries [TS]

  apparently too so they made her the it [TS]

  happens [TS]

  yeah yeah it was um also for a blue [TS]

  Australian as well novelist but uh lots [TS]

  of equal time for the Australians and [TS]

  for the English and for the Americans [TS]

  which I thought was interesting but yeah [TS]

  but the part of this that thing that [TS]

  makes this book and it's the thing that [TS]

  works for me in a lot of science [TS]

  action is then we meet the characters [TS]

  and the characters again their military [TS]

  people there are some of the measure [TS]

  sort of interesting the the the Admiral [TS]

  who's in charge of the future battle [TS]

  group is is kind of an interesting guy [TS]

  and they're the subcommander the British [TS]

  subcommander whose of I think Pakistani [TS]

  descent is an interesting character but [TS]

  what's most interesting is actually did [TS]

  the cultures I mean that that's really [TS]

  the story this book is for these books [TS]

  is the culture clash and I thought that [TS]

  was by far the most interesting thing [TS]

  and was really fascinating the idea what [TS]

  it's really positing is how much our [TS]

  societies you know a have changed in in [TS]

  this time and yes sure into 10 or 15 [TS]

  years into the future how end what would [TS]

  really happen if somebody from nineteen [TS]

  forty America or you know or England or [TS]

  Australia ran into certain somebody with [TS]

  the values and beliefs of of somebody [TS]

  from the 21st century and we think of [TS]

  those people as being are there are [TS]

  ancestors and they're like us in there [TS]

  they're on our side and they're from our [TS]

  country but i thought this book was [TS]

  really great great and unflinching about [TS]

  the fact that it would be kind of rough [TS]

  because there would be racism and sexism [TS]

  and you know you name it we were talking [TS]

  about an integrated both racially and by [TS]

  gender military and the 21st century [TS]

  it's a professional integrated military [TS]

  and in world war two it's a segregated [TS]

  men only military and all of the [TS]

  ugliness of that collision is dealt with [TS]

  in the story and I thought I thought it [TS]

  was really nice and thought-provoking [TS]

  and challenging to say you know this is [TS]

  not going to be one of those hey it's us [TS]

  from the past high five [TS]

  instead it's like oh crap uh why do you [TS]

  have [TS]

  why do you have black people and women [TS]

  on your ships you people are awful [TS]

  obviously the future is a terrible place [TS]

  and the people from the from the 21st [TS]

  century like who are these idiots these [TS]

  racist idiots these are the guys who [TS]

  saved the world and they both you know [TS]

  and it's not one-sided because you [TS]

  there's also this you know that the [TS]

  the there's some questions that this [TS]

  world war two people raised about the [TS]

  about our culture and after decades of [TS]

  war on terror and all of that [TS]

  what is identity great our culture so I [TS]

  thought that was really the best part [TS]

  yeah and I thought it was interesting [TS]

  that he made the the task force from the [TS]

  future is a multinational task for right [TS]

  so they have ships from Japan and [TS]

  soldiers from Germany on the the boats [TS]

  which could cause some trouble with use [TS]

  keyboard back to nineteen forty-two [TS]

  could be could be some some trouble [TS]

  there [TS]

  yes they're not as popular no mia with [TS]

  the Allies at that time [TS]

  no no but the culture clash I don't have [TS]

  you guys thought I mean I I it was [TS]

  it'sit's there's some really ugly things [TS]

  that happen and up to and including a [TS]

  murderer of a Japanese soldier or [TS]

  japanese scientists sailor guy and a and [TS]

  a black i think a gay black woman who is [TS]

  a in charge of a ship and they're [TS]

  murdered horribly but also there's just [TS]

  a lot of really kind of unpleasant back [TS]

  and forth in the and the the black and [TS]

  and and women characters especially get [TS]

  a lot of abuse and I you know I again I [TS]

  just I thought it was it was great to [TS]

  see that portrayed that way because it [TS]

  was so unflinching about how society is [TS]

  as has changed in the intervening time [TS]

  oh yeah i mean that that was definitely [TS]

  the most interesting thing to me just [TS]

  because it's also something we haven't [TS]

  seen before in this kind of a story I [TS]

  mean yeah you've got traveling back in [TS]

  time you've got alternate history but [TS]

  you know I mean maybe what's what's the [TS]

  joke in the city on the edge of forever [TS]

  when spots hat comes off and someone [TS]

  sees his ears know he he's asian indica [TS]

  my friends obviously Chinese he got [TS]

  caught his ears got caught in a race [TS]

  picking machine it's like okay well yeah [TS]

  but you know that's Captain Kirk saying [TS]

  hey we're in the nineteen thirties [TS]

  everybody's horribly racist here I could [TS]

  just use horribly racist things and [TS]

  it'll totally getting off scot-free [TS]

  scot-free being also racist about the [TS]

  people from Scotland but Scotty's not [TS]

  here so he doesn't care [TS]

  so let's just be racist and nobody will [TS]

  notice that's that's what get backers [TS]

  think that was his plan [TS]

  yeah in the star trek in that Star Trek [TS]

  future they stamped out racism but [TS]

  sexism they still had some trouble with [TS]

  spices [TS]

  yes well you know it wasn't one of the [TS]

  time exactly right i was just a two out [TS]

  of three isn't bad but I don't know what [TS]

  the second one was but anyway money [TS]

  yeah sure bunny we stamped out money [TS]

  sure sure i don't so i thought it was [TS]

  interesting how so [TS]

  the the 1942 contemporary people the a [TS]

  lot is obviously hate the Germans and [TS]

  the the Japanese the Japanese think that [TS]

  everyone is inferior to them [TS]

  the Germans obviously think that you [TS]

  know painting in broad strokes here [TS]

  the Germans think everyone is its [TS]

  inferior to them the future people kind [TS]

  of are taking well these 1942 people are [TS]

  kinda tense [TS]

  yeah everybody is kind of thinking I'm [TS]

  the best and everyone should just [TS]

  obviously fall in line with me and the [TS]

  rest get out of the way there's a lot of [TS]

  tension between all of that you have the [TS]

  world war two people attempts i guess [TS]

  they end up calling for contemporary [TS]

  suppose that the 21 the 21st the we [TS]

  think about this this these books also [TS]

  something about how we think about [TS]

  history right i mean that's one of the [TS]

  things that all history does you think [TS]

  about history and how it would be [TS]

  different but also you know we flattened [TS]

  world war two to be there were the [TS]

  Allies they were good they were all for [TS]

  you know goodness over the axis who were [TS]

  you know again the the not season and [TS]

  taking Jews and and gays and and and [TS]

  killing them all that they are the bad [TS]

  guys right except that that's what the [TS]

  21st century people have to face when [TS]

  they go back in time is oh these people [TS]

  are horribly racist too huh [TS]

  they're just less bad than those guys [TS]

  who are really bad and then also one of [TS]

  the things is fascinating is is there [TS]

  are several examples where there are [TS]

  facts that are known and and in the [TS]

  early days of the incursion into in it [TS]

  back in time they they're like ok [TS]

  they're these horrible horrible things [TS]

  happening there's the the Bataan Death [TS]

  March is happening right there these [TS]

  awful treatments of civilian prisoners [TS]

  of war [TS]

  and meanwhile the Holocaust is going on [TS]

  and people from the 21st century like [TS]

  you need to do something to stop this [TS]

  and you know in hindsight with history [TS]

  we can be like well you know that they [TS]

  had to fight a war and they didn't know [TS]

  what was going on but what this book [TS]

  says is if you told them what was going [TS]

  on they would still be like sorry we're [TS]

  not gonna do anything about that we need [TS]

  to fight the war not rescue civilians [TS]

  and so that there's that whole conflict [TS]

  that i thought was really fast today [TS]

  we're like you should do something about [TS]

  this and Churchill and Roosevelt and the [TS]

  like are like yeah now we got out there [TS]

  we got bigger fish to fry [TS]

  Anjali it's really yeah we'll get to it [TS]

  then sort itself out [TS]

  I thought that was really interesting [TS]

  bedridden and then so the the 21st [TS]

  century people come from a very [TS]

  different time with it you know [TS]

  terrorism and I don't know if this [TS]

  really comes up in the first book but [TS]

  they have very different tactics then [TS]

  the contemporary people do which becomes [TS]

  very clear in later books when they're [TS]

  doing their they're addressing certain [TS]

  atrocities with them and vigor and so [TS]

  the valley and people are kind of [TS]

  thinking what are returning we're [TS]

  turning into the the kind of savagery [TS]

  that we're fighting right there's this [TS]

  there's this um that's what definitely a [TS]

  commentary in the in the book is is what [TS]

  that that's where we turn the tables is [TS]

  the easy comparison is boy we've come a [TS]

  long way since back then and then it [TS]

  flips around and you see from the eyes [TS]

  like there's the one character who's the [TS]

  contemporary guy who falls in love with [TS]

  the woman who's the new york times [TS]

  reporter from the 21st century and he [TS]

  you know we see through his eyes the [TS]

  contemporaries are kind of horrified [TS]

  with the you know how kind of like crew [TS]

  dandruff culture is and how there's much [TS]

  less it seems like almost horror they're [TS]

  like so jaded about about about war and [TS]

  about acts of violence and uh seeing it [TS]

  from that perspective is really [TS]

  interesting because it's also [TS]

  challenging what we're becoming and yeah [TS]

  they they talk about how the the [TS]

  Japanese soldiers who were crashing [TS]

  their planes and all these things are [TS]

  are these horrible dishonorable evil [TS]

  things and yet you know they've been [TS]

  fighting a war on terror for 20 years [TS]

  and [TS]

  there you know prepared to commit sort [TS]

  of like Battlefield atrocities because [TS]

  they've got a particular code that says [TS]

  it you know these guys are guilty of [TS]

  this you just kill him just so summarily [TS]

  execute them on the battlefield which is [TS]

  not appropriate [TS]

  yeah great I i love it when when science [TS]

  fiction especially can do that make you [TS]

  and turn the tables like that we're all [TS]

  of a sudden there was some moment I [TS]

  think it was with the with the guy who [TS]

  is dating the woman from the new york [TS]

  times where i was suddenly was like oh [TS]

  geez [TS]

  because i had seen I so starting to see [TS]

  them through his eyes and and what would [TS]

  be the horror of somebody from nineteen [TS]

  forty seeing these people think this is [TS]

  what we save the world for is these [TS]

  people [TS]

  yeah true and that's what I think raises [TS]

  this series he's a capable writer but i [TS]

  think that his is playing with this [TS]

  culture and kind of turning you know [TS]

  making people think about our own [TS]

  culture in a different way and [TS]

  re-examining the past makes it kind of [TS]

  rises it above kind of everyday all [TS]

  history crap every day every alternate [TS]

  day everywhere all right de-evolve [TS]

  history [TS]

  alright let's take a brief break move [TS]

  through dimensions from parallel [TS]

  universe back into our real universe so [TS]

  i can tell you about our sponsor its [TS]

  tonks if you're somebody who is [TS]

  enthusiastic about sci-fi or fantasy or [TS]

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  of things we cover on the incomparable I [TS]

  have a question for you which is are you [TS]

  enthusiastic about coffee there are a [TS]

  lot of people who are very enthusiastic [TS]

  about coffee just like they're [TS]

  enthusiastic about the things we talked [TS]

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  tonks is a subscription service for [TS]

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  they have great beans that they find [TS]

  they roast the coffee themselves in Los [TS]

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  gets shipped out fresh roasted coffee [TS]

  tastes much better than the steel coffee [TS]

  you're going to find in grocery stores [TS]

  or cafes they ship it to you and then [TS]

  two weeks later they should be some more [TS]

  so your coffee is always fresh and [TS]

  they're doing the roasting themselves [TS]

  and its source from all over the world [TS]

  is really interesting [TS]

  and it talks goes even beyond that they [TS]

  have an editor-in-chief they have a [TS]

  magazine called the frequency which is [TS]

  done by email it's got a lot of fun [TS]

  coffee related stuff in it [TS]

  members get it for free and if you like [TS]

  coffee it's worth a try and you can get [TS]

  a free trial if you go to this URL talks [TS]

  that's T 0 and x dot org slash I n see [TS]

  the first three letters of the [TS]

  incomparable I NC so tonks dot org slash [TS]

  I NC and you get a free trial you'll get [TS]

  a free two-ounce bag of coffee in the [TS]

  mail you can try it out and decide if [TS]

  it's something that you like and if so [TS]

  you can sign up for one of the [TS]

  subscriptions and they've got smaller [TS]

  bags and bigger bags and they come to [TS]

  you every couple of weeks so it's a [TS]

  really cool idea using the internet and [TS]

  people who really know coffee to come up [TS]

  with this very cool subscription service [TS]

  this they ship to the US and canada and [TS]

  that URL again [TS]

  tonks t 0 and x dot org slash I NC if [TS]

  you like coffee if you're enthusiastic [TS]

  about coffee [TS]

  you owe it to yourself to give this a [TS]

  try and see if you might want to convert [TS]

  from being somebody who has those old [TS]

  beans stuck away somewhere in your house [TS]

  to fresh roasted beans every two weeks [TS]

  in your mailbox talks talks dot org [TS]

  slash I NC and thank you to talk for [TS]

  sponsoring the incomparable so the time [TS]

  travel aspect of this I also really [TS]

  liked because the way he handled so many [TS]

  time travel stories we see especially [TS]

  movies or TV shows are about its the [TS]

  back to the future model right it's like [TS]

  oh I'm back in time I need to make sure [TS]

  that I don't step on any butterflies or [TS]

  whatever and then get because I gotta [TS]

  get back to my home time and I the the [TS]

  rules of this of the of these books are [TS]

  pretty straightforward and again it [TS]

  seems ridiculous to say this is how time [TS]

  travel would actually work but I feel [TS]

  like this is how time travel would [TS]

  actually work which is they go through [TS]

  this wormhole and essentially they're [TS]

  creating a parallel universe by uh by [TS]

  changing the course of history by their [TS]

  presence and everybody accepts pretty [TS]

  quickly the fact that they're never [TS]

  going to get back especially since the [TS]

  the ship that had the [TS]

  technology and it was destroyed they're [TS]

  never going to get back there here [TS]

  forever [TS]

  there's no way home and from the moment [TS]

  that they arrive [TS]

  history is irrevocably changed and every [TS]

  minute that passes after their arrival [TS]

  that what they know for sure about [TS]

  what's going on in this world is a is [TS]

  fading away and is diverging because [TS]

  their presence has changed the course of [TS]

  the future and i like that that this [TS]

  book embraces that and says no no this [TS]

  is there's no good there's not gonna be [TS]

  any shenanigans of like we're going back [TS]

  to the future [TS]

  we're not gonna have a you know sort of [TS]

  cheats about what we know everything [TS]

  that's going to happen so we can fix [TS]

  everything [TS]

  in fact it makes it more complicated [TS]

  because Hitler and everybody in the [TS]

  Japanese command they get access to [TS]

  these feature histories and say oh well [TS]

  I'm not going to do that and everything [TS]

  changes which is great it's true and [TS]

  that's I thought was interesting when [TS]

  they first come they realize that fairly [TS]

  quickly the the people from the 21st [TS]

  century they're like okay we need to [TS]

  really act on this information right now [TS]

  because we have a small window in which [TS]

  our records are exactly right so let's [TS]

  make some decisions right now and change [TS]

  some stuff [TS]

  yeah they've got their web cache or [TS]

  whatever of some basic information you [TS]

  know they've got they've got a bunch of [TS]

  information for the 21st century and a [TS]

  trip down to the weather there's a [TS]

  really nice moment where the I think [TS]

  it's in the first book where they [TS]

  noticed that the weather is not what [TS]

  they're recorded weather was in there [TS]

  like you know that it's coming [TS]

  we've done so much to change things now [TS]

  that not even the weather is the same as [TS]

  we thought it would be like a we're [TS]

  completely off the track and then I mean [TS]

  first book ends I without it's not a [TS]

  major spoiler the first book ends with [TS]

  the Axis powers essentially realizing [TS]

  that they need to make some changes in [TS]

  what their strategy is based on because [TS]

  they know they're going to lose right i [TS]

  mean the the you know Hitler knows that [TS]

  he's gonna commit suicide in a bunker [TS]

  and and Japan High Command knows they're [TS]

  gonna have two of their cities nuked and [TS]

  even the the Allies even the Soviets [TS]

  know that the Soviet Union is going to [TS]

  fall and Stalin isn't gonna like that [TS]

  very much and so everybody is sort of [TS]

  rethinking their strategy [TS]

  which leads to you no more divergence [TS]

  and we in [TS]

  meanwhile i guess for the fans of the [TS]

  military tech stuff [TS]

  everybody's like hey those are pretty [TS]

  cool tools you've got there maybe we [TS]

  could knock the rock goes off so you [TS]

  know there's that too a lot of stuff [TS]

  going on but I like that we're not [TS]

  taking time to worry about going back to [TS]

  you know back to the 21st century [TS]

  it's never going to happen and everybody [TS]

  kind of accepts that that that they're [TS]

  not going to go down that path it's [TS]

  never gonna happen they're stuck in this [TS]

  parallel universe Einstein appears at [TS]

  one point basically talks to talk to the [TS]

  the Admiral and and says you know that [TS]

  world is very close to us but but you'll [TS]

  never get there because it's in a [TS]

  parallel universe Thank You ensign the [TS]

  Einstein Kenya then they ran into Spock [TS]

  prime and you know it is it it's a very [TS]

  soon we think about it [TS]

  yeah both things are very clever ways of [TS]

  taking of creating a parallel universe [TS]

  without negating the other universe the [TS]

  previous one right you know like the [TS]

  movies could have just completely [TS]

  negated the entire next generation and [TS]

  all that but they didn't they found a [TS]

  way around that and still did a reboot [TS]

  and that's one of the things i like here [TS]

  too is that I I i love that the focus [TS]

  isn't on let's get back or let's not [TS]

  change anything it's it's let's see what [TS]

  would happen if you have this dropped in [TS]

  here and now if this puzzle pieces [TS]

  shifted what would this too and then [TS]

  what would this doing over this too and [TS]

  it's that sort of domino effect of all [TS]

  of these things that have changed so [TS]

  again that's the I am I reading the next [TS]

  two books is very plausible because i [TS]

  want to see where that goes [TS]

  yeah even the you know even the legal [TS]

  issues that come up for fascinating it's [TS]

  like who who owns this technology who [TS]

  owns the patents on this stuff [TS]

  what about 21st century laws who's in [TS]

  that what's the chain of command these [TS]

  American ships are from the america of [TS]

  the 21st century so you know they who [TS]

  have a report to where their loyalties [TS]

  lie do they want to run the world the [TS]

  21st century people do they want to just [TS]

  take orders from from macarthur and [TS]

  from President Roosevelt who a boob also [TS]

  they use some advanced medical scanning [TS]

  equipment to put off his his death to [TS]

  extend his life a little bit which I [TS]

  also really like like things like that [TS]

  do we do [TS]

  what about intellectual property i think [TS]

  in the second book there's this whole [TS]

  question of like all the movies and [TS]

  music that were created in the [TS]

  intervening 75 years are now available [TS]

  so what does that do to you know [TS]

  presumably those stars like you know now [TS]

  that they find Elvis is a little boy [TS]

  inside into a contract which actually [TS]

  happens in one of the future books it's [TS]

  just a little throwaway kind of thing [TS]

  but there's all of that too it's like [TS]

  what happens to this culture where there [TS]

  you know it's not just that these these [TS]

  people have been dropped in 75 years in [TS]

  the past it's like literally all music [TS]

  and art and all books and all movies for [TS]

  the next 75 years have just been dropped [TS]

  on this side society which I would [TS]

  imagine would cause a huge upheaval and [TS]

  culture that we we don't see a lot of [TS]

  mostly because the world at war and so [TS]

  everybody's kind of distracted but you [TS]

  get the hint that there are references [TS]

  to people from contemporary time [TS]

  listening to ac/dc and stuff like that [TS]

  and it's just like wow [TS]

  everything is really messed up now well [TS]

  which I but it's fun and I enjoyed that [TS]

  that it was trying to play through all [TS]

  the ramifications of this clash of [TS]

  cultures and and it's not all just sort [TS]

  of like wouldn't it be cool if it's like [TS]

  well maybe not because and then try to [TS]

  get all of that while still having the [TS]

  storyline I really nice through [TS]

  storyline which is war two [TS]

  who with with with where everybody has [TS]

  for knowledge and some people have [TS]

  advanced weaponry that's running out but [TS]

  they've got it [TS]

  another detail that I like along those [TS]

  lines they were talking about one of the [TS]

  books one of the characters made like an [TS]

  offhand comment about their salary and [TS]

  how like a captain on the the in the [TS]

  ship makes more money than the president [TS]

  does in this current time right and so [TS]

  they had to figure out how to pay these [TS]

  people and what do they just get with [TS]

  their salary should be or is it to have [TS]

  to adjust for inflation or deflation [TS]

  expose right right all while counting [TS]

  how many magic drones and bullets and [TS]

  missiles they've got left before they [TS]

  run out and I kept thinking about that [TS]

  it's like they're all big [TS]

  their iPads and this book was written [TS]

  before the ipad but they're called flexi [TS]

  pads so they're almost iPads and I kept [TS]

  thinking you keep using that thing going [TS]

  to drain the battery and you can get a [TS]

  replacement battery pretty soon it's [TS]

  going to be hooked up to the AC power [TS]

  all the time he did he did mention that [TS]

  the battery recharges itself by the heat [TS]

  of holding it in motion yeah it's magic [TS]

  attack it'll last for a while just work [TS]

  but I like that too that you you're [TS]

  gonna end up with these I I think [TS]

  there's some scenes where they're like [TS]

  taking planes from the aircraft carrier [TS]

  and and rather than flying they're [TS]

  taking them and disassembling them so [TS]

  they can like document but how they work [TS]

  because you're going to end up with [TS]

  these are the these are the only things [TS]

  that they can use to try and bootstrap [TS]

  better technology coming out of you know [TS]

  1940 because they've got these examples [TS]

  but I'll in a lot of cases the the [TS]

  supply chain isn't there it's really [TS]

  lucky if you have an iphone still exists [TS]

  right if you have an iPhone and you go [TS]

  back in time to 1945 you can't even if [TS]

  you bring your charger with you if you [TS]

  were smart enough to carry your charger [TS]

  in your pocket in case you fell through [TS]

  a wormhole and ended up in 1948 could [TS]

  happen which I did they couldn't make an [TS]

  iphone in 1940 because they don't have [TS]

  any of the materials to make the [TS]

  factories to make it I you know none of [TS]

  that is possible and they run into that [TS]

  here too which I thought was a nice [TS]

  touch that it's not easily replicable [TS]

  stuff it's that it's that old thing [TS]

  about how you know if the world's if [TS]

  there was an apocalypse we couldn't all [TS]

  just sort of like remake our technology [TS]

  from here today because we would have [TS]

  two week we you know it's all [TS]

  bootstrapped on all these other things [TS]

  that are would be gone so I like that I [TS]

  like that aspect of it to that there [TS]

  that there you know they can't make more [TS]

  of their whatever crazy fusion bombs [TS]

  because they don't have they can't it'll [TS]

  take 30 years for them knowing knowing [TS]

  the answer they'll still take 30 years [TS]

  to figure out how to get how to make [TS]

  them that i would like to the the [TS]

  contempt of the contemporary military [TS]

  people like they have obviously they [TS]

  have all the records of world war two so [TS]

  they're like well if you just do a few [TS]

  things to improve your tanks it'll be [TS]

  much better for you and the military's [TS]

  like well I don't know if we trust you [TS]

  and [TS]

  changes even though this is actually [TS]

  happened and you are the others the [TS]

  complacency issue where the Americans [TS]

  should like hey we're going to win or as [TS]

  the axis is like oh crap we need to [TS]

  change everything because we're gonna [TS]

  lose and so that that's an interesting [TS]

  dynamic to of it [TS]

  the Germans and the Japanese are much [TS]

  more inclined to change their tactics [TS]

  and the Americans are a little more [TS]

  skeptical about it in fact i think one [TS]

  of the big motivators for the Americans [TS]

  change their tactics is that is that the [TS]

  the 21st century battlegroup destroys a [TS]

  huge amount of the u.s. Navy and the [TS]

  pacific and so they sort of have to [TS]

  adapt because oops we blow up your Navy [TS]

  sorry did those you broke your little [TS]

  ships [TS]

  yeah we didn't know with you anyway I i [TS]

  enjoyed reading them i was i was kind of [TS]

  carried on after after that first time [TS]

  by the first thirty percent or so where [TS]

  where was slow going because it was so [TS]

  much about that battle and I kept saying [TS]

  you know show me the characters you know [TS]

  get anymore I'm much more interested in [TS]

  the incursion and what this what effect [TS]

  this has on the world than I am about a [TS]

  bunch of ships fighting once once that [TS]

  happened I really kind of got swept [TS]

  along and really enjoyed seeing all [TS]

  these crazy permutations of the ripples [TS]

  of this one event and how they impact [TS]

  you know the culture and then and then [TS]

  after that you know like you said Scott [TS]

  it's a it's a fast enjoyable read after [TS]

  you get through the nuts and bolts that [TS]

  just doesn't work for me that that [TS]

  military nuts-and-bolts think the second [TS]

  and third books as a whole are much more [TS]

  interesting because he kind of lets go [TS]

  of all the technology and listing [TS]

  weapons systems in jail and just kind of [TS]

  plays with the cultural impact and and [TS]

  what would happen if people had access [TS]

  to this history and how it diverges and [TS]

  then the pop-culture stuff he just kind [TS]

  of plays around with a rare and serious [TS]

  diversions divergence at that point to [TS]

  where you guys you know I war war being [TS]

  waged in Australia and it and alternate [TS]

  d-day happening and questions about what [TS]

  the Japanese plan of attack and the [TS]

  Pacific is going to be and and attacking [TS]

  Hawaii directly and all sorts of [TS]

  interesting things that didn't happen in [TS]

  our our version of war two so he gets to [TS]

  finally play on that after all the setup [TS]

  so yeah basically it's three books but [TS]

  you gotta get through that [TS]

  initial setup to get to the point where [TS]

  it really starts paying off that after [TS]

  that I i enjoy that I you know I i die i [TS]

  think our deal with dave was that we [TS]

  only have to read the first one but you [TS]

  and I both went and bought the next two [TS]

  and and read them all so I think that's [TS]

  I think that's a bit of an endorsement [TS]

  yeah it turns out I'm not the first one [TS]

  in 2009 so high [TS]

  read it but I haven't well done well [TS]

  done you knew I new days gonna record [TS]

  dave was whispering in your ear even [TS]

  then a multinational task force so I [TS]

  came back to 2000 that's right and I [TS]

  look at the semester podcast in the [TS]

  future that's for this podcast is [TS]

  nothing like that podcast because they [TS]

  radically change the timeline [TS]

  it's true yeah so I were all speaking [TS]

  German yeah yeah yeah I'm not going to [TS]

  Switzerland if I try to go by German [TS]

  accent will come out French accent haha [TS]

  alright time to take another break for [TS]

  our second sponsor and it's another [TS]

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  when you use the code smell sent me 10 [TS]

  and thank you very much the good people [TS]

  at hostgator for once again sponsoring [TS]

  the incomparable so i was reminded that [TS]

  we should talk a little bit about other [TS]

  old history that we have known because [TS]

  there's a lot of it out there especially [TS]

  in books the the book that came to mind [TS]

  for me while I was reading this for lots [TS]

  of obvious reasons is the Proteas [TS]

  operation which is by James P open which [TS]

  is a very clever book it is also a you [TS]

  know it's there's a lot of fascination [TS]

  with world war two he was obviously a [TS]

  world war two puffs and a military [TS]

  strategy but what I really like about it [TS]

  is that it it is it flips the kind of [TS]

  time travel tropes on its head in that [TS]

  that that's a book where we started in [TS]

  1973 and the world is at war us is the [TS]

  last surviving democracy under President [TS]

  I think Joe Kennedy and uh and Hitler [TS]

  has won the war and the Germans the [TS]

  Japanese are all kind of like gradually [TS]

  spreading out over the world and so in a [TS]

  last-ditch effort to save the world they [TS]

  build a time machine and send a crack [TS]

  team of people back to World War to try [TS]

  and change the course of history and so [TS]

  what you get is our time travelers from [TS]

  this dystopian you know future of 1973 [TS]

  are trying to change the past to be [TS]

  better and what they're doing is they're [TS]

  changing it to be our history and i love [TS]

  that I love that as a premise that it [TS]

  what ends up happening is what happened [TS]

  and so it's the time travel book where [TS]

  they're screwing with history to make [TS]

  what we know as our history which I [TS]

  thought was a lot of fun so that that's [TS]

  the one that I was thinking of as i was [TS]

  reading bees is this this alter history [TS]

  where we start in the old world and then [TS]

  we're our history is the old history [TS]

  which I thought was a lot of fun i'm not [TS]

  sure if you guys have good all history [TS]

  examples that you wanted to you want to [TS]

  bring up [TS]

  oh sure I mean [TS]

  the man in the high castle by Philip [TS]

  dick wish that I mean it's just kinda [TS]

  nuts my my brother push that on me years [TS]

  and years ago and said here you like [TS]

  this because at the time i was reading [TS]

  fatherland by oh yeah oh is it Robert [TS]

  Harris robert harris yeah yeah and [TS]

  that's it set in the sixties after a [TS]

  successful German victory in World War [TS]

  two and it's it's just everyday life in [TS]

  the aging Hitler's Germany and our hero [TS]

  solve a murder and there's no I mean it [TS]

  is pure all history there's no time [TS]

  travel there's no sense that oh this is [TS]

  wrong this is just here's what it would [TS]

  be like in the sixties which is [TS]

  wonderful [TS]

  there's would not the book is wonderful [TS]

  i mean i love you outcome but I mean I [TS]

  mean to bug the novel be Jim if it and [TS]

  then there's there's a book that we had [TS]

  on the Shelf that my mother got at some [TS]

  point it's originally a German novel in [TS]

  English it's called the Royal project [TS]

  and it's about the Vatican trying to [TS]

  restore the House of Stuart to the [TS]

  English throne by using a time machine [TS]

  invented by Leonardo da Vinci haha which [TS]

  is nuts but it's a really interesting [TS]

  book and she just got a sheep she liked [TS]

  to collect Vatican thrillers and sci-fi [TS]

  novels and there's a ridiculous number [TS]

  of action thrillers out there who knew [TS]

  but I mean I was just just fun because [TS]

  it's it's got that whole weird time [TS]

  travel thing going on and I was going to [TS]

  say the produce operation watch watchmen [TS]

  watch venture and get a really [TS]

  interesting all history to it and all [TS]

  the Nixon stuff [TS]

  yes Nixon still still still in office in [TS]

  the eighties but RR is going to run for [TS]

  president and it turns out that's Robert [TS]

  Redford not Ronald Reagan its watching [TS]

  the comic Scott comic books funny books [TS]

  oh yeah [TS]

  and then the Difference Engine by [TS]

  william gibson I am bruce sterling which [TS]

  is it what modern computers a hundred [TS]

  years early [TS]

  yeah can we say is that like the steam [TS]

  punk ish is that like origin of [TS]

  steampunk starts before it got all [TS]

  ironic with hats and Zeppelin's oh yeah [TS]

  I they as i recall they clearly wrote it [TS]

  with that in mind is my least favorite [TS]

  thing William Gibson has participated [TS]

  creatively and in and yes actually I [TS]

  like mr. like william gibson and the [TS]

  Difference Engine just didn't float my [TS]

  boat I I didn't like that knew that much [TS]

  it i remember enjoying it but I remember [TS]

  nothing about it so Scott what about you [TS]

  you have any favorite all histories that [TS]

  you cannot remember David Stoll almost [TS]

  all my answers are cheating [TS]

  I think he's turning off your papers [TS]

  made my castle was a good one [TS]

  yes well i was going to a series that we [TS]

  discussed on previous episodes of Joe [TS]

  Walton small change theory right far [TS]

  thing a penny in half-a-crown all very [TS]

  good alternate history alternate history [TS]

  with the with mr. Hitler being [TS]

  ambulatory at the end of the war [TS]

  yes going to optimism right making [TS]

  trouble house [TS]

  yeah so those are good other mirage by [TS]

  Matt rough as its kind of all history [TS]

  that kind of is the kind of falls apart [TS]

  at the end but it's a alright so it's [TS]

  like instead of uh you know of america [TS]

  on 911 getting attacked by Middle [TS]

  Eastern terrorists the twin towers are [TS]

  in the middle east and they are attacked [TS]

  by american terrorists and so it kind of [TS]

  flips that around and does a whole bunch [TS]

  of stuff with that is interesting that [TS]

  that that book I i haven't read but its [TS]

  tricks it reminds me of the book Osama [TS]

  that i did read by la vie [TS]

  teat are I don't know how to pronounce [TS]

  it [TS]

  that authors name but and that that's [TS]

  the idea of the it's the pulp [TS]

  it's a series of pulp novels about a guy [TS]

  named Osama bin Laden and he the this [TS]

  guy is trying to find the minute it [TS]

  similarly kind of bizarre alternate view [TS]

  of of of 911 very strange strange books [TS]

  in the phone book that i have purchased [TS]

  but i have not read huh by Norman [TS]

  Spinrad called the iron dream I don't [TS]

  know if anyone is ready Norman Spinrad [TS]

  but he is a scriptwriter putting well [TS]

  he's dead now but he's also kind of it's [TS]

  completely crazy and so the premise of [TS]

  this story is that Adolf Hitler [TS]

  emigrated to America before world war [TS]

  one and then he wrote a science fiction [TS]

  novel about basically Nazi dream huh [TS]

  and i bought it because it has the [TS]

  craziest cover i have ever seen in a [TS]

  used bookstore with like this this [TS]

  motorcyclist on a motorcycle and the [TS]

  tires are all their trademarks are all [TS]

  swastika and so I said well I mean it's [TS]

  a dollar i need to cut here of the hero [TS]

  the doomsday machine an excellent 'star [TS]

  trek episode once you've been read [TS]

  yes well he's not dead I take it back [TS]

  sorry comments but if you're looking [TS]

  good [TS]

  I've got jealous i thought you were dead [TS]

  or not he's a lot of using born in [TS]

  nineteen forties only 73 he's a young is [TS]

  young fellow try to give you right after [TS]

  you right now he's writing something yes [TS]

  about about trademarks swastika in them [TS]

  I was going to bring up the yiddish [TS]

  policemen's union [TS]

  oh yeah which is another all but I'll [TS]

  history by michael chabon about again [TS]

  it's coming out of World War two it's [TS]

  the instead of forming Israel they put [TS]

  the jewish refugees in Alaska and and [TS]

  then it said at the time when the Jewish [TS]

  refugee zone is going to expire and [TS]

  there's tension internationally because [TS]

  the all the refugees are being repaired [TS]

  the US doesn't really want them so [TS]

  they're being repatriated and there is a [TS]

  in all history for world [TS]

  two in general the tented at and and [TS]

  then there's a murder mystery and [TS]

  there's also some fascinating sort of [TS]

  Jewish mysticism stuff too but i like [TS]

  that because it's this bizarre setting [TS]

  that I who would have thought that you'd [TS]

  have the jewish state in Alaska and have [TS]

  those things all mashed up together but [TS]

  Michael trip on he's the one who thought [TS]

  it up [TS]

  there's also connie willis and her just [TS]

  to say nothing of the dog the domesday [TS]

  book and then blackout and all those [TS]

  those are time travel but they don't [TS]

  seem to interfere with time they did [TS]

  there's no nothing alternate about the [TS]

  past they go into right that when the [TS]

  first to their historians and they are [TS]

  trying to not screw up the past in black [TS]

  and all clear they do kind of get [TS]

  screwed up and have to you know it and I [TS]

  think some of the characters wind up [TS]

  having to accept living in the past [TS]

  there right stuck that they're stuck to [TS]

  their second they're stuck in our time [TS]

  though they're not stuck in like it [TS]

  already much altered pretty much yeah I [TS]

  right yeah i think i can I tend to think [TS]

  of all history's as being separate than [TS]

  time-travel they may have they may [TS]

  involve time travel but it's always [TS]

  route usually in all history some [TS]

  critical key moment in history is [TS]

  slightly different it's like the Marvel [TS]

  what if common right what if they're [TS]

  like this was made of jello and then so [TS]

  they would eat himself me and was it so [TS]

  they don't hire rewrite this one I [TS]

  remember years ago when I was going [TS]

  through a Robert Heinlein kick and [TS]

  getting more and more frustrated as I [TS]

  went along cuz i started with like [TS]

  lesser Heinlein and i think it is it's [TS]

  like one of his last novels to to sail [TS]

  beyond the sunset where you get [TS]

  something like seven eighths of the way [TS]

  through the book and then all of a [TS]

  sudden it's about you know there's this [TS]

  just random mention of oh and then [TS]

  Abraham Lincoln died in 1893 or [TS]

  something like that and you realize that [TS]

  you've been in an alternate history the [TS]

  halftime and I remember getting died it [TS]

  just pissed me off like son [TS]

  funded through the book across the river [TS]

  so yeah I'm kind of a huge headline fan [TS]

  but anyway long story short I see you're [TS]

  right Scott there's this intersection of [TS]

  of time travel and all history and [TS]

  parallel you know the whole parallel [TS]

  universe thing to where were the old [TS]

  history is a parallel universe [TS]

  so Robert Sawyer's Neanderthal books uh [TS]

  I'm reminded of because there's a a [TS]

  person from our world travels into a [TS]

  parallel world well I uh what is that [TS]

  Neanderthal from a world where the [TS]

  animals evolved and became dominant and [TS]

  humans died out travels accidentally to [TS]

  our world and then likewise than human [TS]

  travels to their world and that's sort [TS]

  of an old history but it's a you know of [TS]

  history of hundred thousand years ago [TS]

  guess but those were those are pretty [TS]

  interesting and you know harry [TS]

  turtledove has made the entire career [TS]

  writing books about various all [TS]

  history's guns of the South right where [TS]

  we're southern nerves don't know South [TS]

  Africans apartheid South Africans travel [TS]

  back in time and ship in machine guns to [TS]

  the Confederacy so that racism can win [TS]

  the day actual actual store at actual [TS]

  story i think that was Turtledove yeah [TS]

  oh yeah that's against a I've got any of [TS]

  his books but i have read about the plot [TS]

  kinds of the south yea i've i've read a [TS]

  little bit of his stuff he wrote here at [TS]

  understanding he wrote a great short [TS]

  story that I like a lot of hindsight [TS]

  that was an analog magazine that was [TS]

  about science fiction writers and [TS]

  editors and and science fiction writer [TS]

  discovers this the story that he had [TS]

  outlined but Sir filed as alright it [TS]

  later and that full story is published [TS]

  in a magazine under somebody else's name [TS]

  and he thinks is this aliens and mind [TS]

  control and all that and it turns out [TS]

  it's a woman from 30 years in the future [TS]

  who's gone back in time and and one of [TS]

  the things she does to make a living [TS]

  his cell classic short stories and [TS]

  novels of the future in the past [TS]

  including some that are are not fiction [TS]

  but in the past they're considered [TS]

  science fiction what Watergate that's a [TS]

  real story that's one of the lines that [TS]

  I like a lot and again it plays without [TS]

  that idea that are you know our our our [TS]

  presence seemed from the past would seem [TS]

  ridiculous and science fictional not [TS]

  quite all history but it's harry [TS]

  turtledove close enough anything in [TS]

  return of rights under a pen name or not [TS]

  it's close enough history music he lives [TS]

  in an alternate world I think he does [TS]

  when there's a play by a twitter friend [TS]

  of mine a playwright whose you might you [TS]

  might see reviews of his plays at [TS]

  io9.com which blew my mind the first [TS]

  time I called up the page and went wait [TS]

  a minute I know those people that's [TS]

  weird [TS]

  and his name is Mack Rogers me and he he [TS]

  writes a lot of science fiction theatre [TS]

  which is cool and he has one play called [TS]

  Universal robots which is a playoff of [TS]

  the pub Rossum's Universal resins [TS]

  Universal robots and and the stories [TS]

  about what if the robots had gotten out [TS]

  of control and took over Czechoslovakia [TS]

  before we were too and it deserves again [TS]

  spins off what would happen if you had [TS]

  this sort of robotic country in the [TS]

  middle of World War two and it's a lot [TS]

  of fun [TS]

  alright should we move on to the musical [TS]

  question that everybody's not asking we [TS]

  accept me which is what are you reading [TS]

  I'd like to ask and Scott you have been [TS]

  on in so long you probably read like [TS]

  15,000 books but you know let's let's [TS]

  I'm interested in what interesting [TS]

  things that you've been reading lately [TS]

  and well I've been reading these three [TS]

  books about this task for well yes those [TS]

  remember the same really obviously i [TS]

  will this month i've read a couple of [TS]

  books in addition to that I've read the [TS]

  thousand names which is so apparently [TS]

  there's no a sub-genre of fantasy that [TS]

  is called [TS]

  of flintlock magic or something like [TS]

  that so basically it's the idea that [TS]

  it's a fantasy book people have muskets [TS]

  and there's magic so this is a sub-genre [TS]

  now and the thousand names by the django [TS]

  Wexler I guess his name's is the first [TS]

  in a trilogy of books about there's this [TS]

  one reminds me of another offer that I [TS]

  like a lot i've mentioned before [TS]

  KJ parker a very different but very [TS]

  similar as well that it's about this [TS]

  military force that goes into this [TS]

  country in there you don't you're not [TS]

  quite sure why they're going in there [TS]

  they're looking for the thousand names [TS]

  which I won't say what they are and [TS]

  they're in insurgents that are attacking [TS]

  them and you think will is their magic [TS]

  there may not be magic it might just be [TS]

  coincidences turns out spoiler there's [TS]

  magic uh-huh [TS]

  yes and rifles so there you go that's [TS]

  the twist [TS]

  I've read another book called Lowton [TS]

  based on a recommendation by an author [TS]

  mike cole who writes military science [TS]

  fiction on me on twitter he said [TS]

  everyone should read Lowton I was like [TS]

  alright i'll read it and I did [TS]

  it's kind of a how to describe it's a [TS]

  detective story basically in this kind [TS]

  of like fantasy you are where this is [TS]

  down on his luck guy is going around [TS]

  trying to figure out something and [TS]

  that's all I will say it's really good [TS]

  though it's better than that [TS]

  very brief and pour some hot licks a guy [TS]

  is trying to figure things out and find [TS]

  me up [TS]

  you've never read a book like this by [TS]

  Daniel polanski is his name [TS]

  so check that out and the thousand names [TS]

  was good as well the thousand names is [TS]

  like 800 pages long and if you aren't [TS]

  really into a lot of military talk you [TS]

  might not want and you want more magic [TS]

  in your fantasy because the magic [TS]

  happens like maybe Paige 700 there's a [TS]

  little magic in it but you might not [TS]

  want to get into that all right David [TS]

  water [TS]

  what are you reading well I got to right [TS]

  now I'm reading a graphic novel so the [TS]

  next few seconds for Scott will just be [TS]

  like white noise this book i'm not quite [TS]

  sure but it's it's a book called Templer [TS]

  by Jordan mekin her Beckner i think is [TS]

  that the guy who did prince of persia [TS]

  exactly that's a video game [TS]

  what is going on I all I i have no idea [TS]

  i saw in the library and went what's the [TS]

  over what are you reading you've chosen [TS]

  a graphic novel written by a guy who [TS]

  doesn't video game [TS]

  how did you get on this podcast if I'm [TS]

  gonna do a book that's like a cookbook [TS]

  why celebrity not even a celebrity chef [TS]

  a cookbook is a political pundit just [TS]

  because it's random unos going to be [TS]

  sure didn't even finish the book we were [TS]

  talking about [TS]

  I didn't even look at the names on the [TS]

  recovery just open it up and what's this [TS]

  and and so that so that it was described [TS]

  as sort of a blend of name of the rose [TS]

  and oceans 11 and i just walked right to [TS]

  the desk like I'm taking this at-bat and [TS]

  when I got home was like oh wait a [TS]

  minute video game guy huh so it's pretty [TS]

  cool and I've got the lies of locke [TS]

  lamora oh yes a little interesting here [TS]

  which I haven't I haven't started i have [TS]

  probably either one of you could [TS]

  describe it better than I can [TS]

  and partly Scott's one of the people who [TS]

  said oh yes you should read that damn [TS]

  Lauren bought that book for me he gifted [TS]

  it to me and it's 99 cents read it [TS]

  that's right that's your table is one of [TS]

  the other ones yeah oh yes you will like [TS]

  this second one not as good hopefully [TS]

  the third one will be very good we're [TS]

  just coming over soon but I realize lock [TS]

  Morris one of the ones that I'm uh I'm [TS]

  i'm reading that right now and it's [TS]

  interesting i'm still trying to figure [TS]

  out exactly what's going on [TS]

  yeah okay because there's that there's [TS]

  that there's a prologue that is like a [TS]

  whole book it's a very long prologue and [TS]

  then it and then you've you get to the [TS]

  end of that you're thinking [TS]

  whoo boy what will happen next in [TS]

  chapter 2 and you flip the page and it [TS]

  says chapter one and you say what I was [TS]

  still reading the prologue but that's [TS]

  just how it is with that book and then [TS]

  there's it's all thieves and they're [TS]

  stealing things from its thieves and [TS]

  then other people who were thieves and [TS]

  then like everybody's a thief in this in [TS]

  this saves all the way to its thieves [TS]

  it's all thieves so I've got that i'm [TS]

  reading that now I i finished reading [TS]

  another recommendation another dan moore [TS]

  and recommendation actually midnight [TS]

  riot or rivers of London if you prefer [TS]

  by been around a bitch [TS]

  we [TS]

  we [TS]

  just an urban fantasy about a reminded [TS]

  me a lot of the rook in some ways [TS]

  because it's it's a sort of supernatural [TS]

  cop in London so it had a little little [TS]

  echo of the brook which we recommended [TS]

  on a previous show which is a great book [TS]

  and I liked it I liked it a lot and a [TS]

  book that i read recently that i really [TS]

  liked is nexus by run as nom who i was [TS]

  actually I bought it because i was on a [TS]

  podcast with him i was on the boing [TS]

  boing podcast with him and mark [TS]

  frauenfelder and I i thought hey author [TS]

  of sci-fi i will buy your book now as [TS]

  i'm talking to you and he's got a new [TS]

  book out now but this is his previous [TS]

  one and I liked it a lot is a crazy kind [TS]

  of like he's exploring lots of issues [TS]

  while also having lots of crazy action [TS]

  so he doesn't shy away from from it's [TS]

  not a boring book it where it's like [TS]

  let's talk about issues it's it's [TS]

  there's lots of crazy action but the the [TS]

  premise is that in the near future these [TS]

  people have come up with this it's like [TS]

  a drug but it's also like nanotech and [TS]

  it's and it's called nexus and [TS]

  essentially goes into your brain and it [TS]

  turns your brain into a computer that [TS]

  can be interfaced with other brains and [TS]

  they can write software just in your [TS]

  brain they don't need to like implant [TS]

  anything in your brain it's just the the [TS]

  drug the this nano stuff is in your in [TS]

  your brain and then it plays out all the [TS]

  ramifications of that again sort of like [TS]

  what we said about the the time-travel [TS]

  ramifications i really like it when they [TS]

  play out all of the questions so this is [TS]

  witness be cool you could you can [TS]

  experience the emotional states of the [TS]

  people around you and you can kind of [TS]

  all kind of connect together and achieve [TS]

  a higher consciousness but it also means [TS]

  you can like to mind control and create [TS]

  assassins who are unwilling assassins [TS]

  and all these terrible things and create [TS]

  a dystopian where governments are using [TS]

  this to undermine freedom of thought and [TS]

  it's all kind of in there together along [TS]

  with some kind of almost singularity [TS]

  like stuff about you know if [TS]

  you if you do enough of this are they [TS]

  people anymore are we sort of past [TS]

  people and to some transhuman kind of [TS]

  thing really interesting along with like [TS]

  I said a lot of fun kind of crazy action [TS]

  through the eyes of the two main [TS]

  characters who are a scientist who has [TS]

  gotten caught up in this in the [TS]

  development of Nexus and a woman who is [TS]

  a a an operative for the u.s. government [TS]

  who when we are introduced to her [TS]

  we sort of feel like she's you know [TS]

  we're meant to think that the u.s. [TS]

  government da world for the u.s. [TS]

  government and then as the book goes [TS]

  along you're like maybe I'm not for the [TS]

  u.s. government after all which is a [TS]

  nice flip around two so nexus romance [TS]

  nom I i recommend it i like that one a [TS]

  lot so that's what I've been reading and [TS]

  then i read also these three books about [TS]

  these 21st century Navy people who get [TS]

  plopped down in 1940's crazy it's pretty [TS]

  wild anymore it's pretty wild analyze [TS]

  welcome lamora you know because then [TS]

  more and shoved it into my hands and [TS]

  said look this [TS]

  ok you shoved into my amazon account [TS]

  same thing it's true [TS]

  well i can i can confirm that then it's [TS]

  not like it's a good book and if you [TS]

  don't like it there's something wrong [TS]

  with you alright fair enough fair enough [TS]

  so that that I think we've I think we've [TS]

  settled all the old scores [TS]

  Scott how how was it are you are you [TS]

  back on the on the bicycle now back I [TS]

  well you know i think i meani I might [TS]

  need another one under my belt [TS]

  yeah i can get to my the same level of [TS]

  podcasting XO fair now that I've [TS]

  delivered [TS]

  we're just not going to rest off now [TS]

  that's it alright fair enough and David [TS]

  you know you you were you are in full [TS]

  podcasting shape now I think apparently [TS]

  I you know I colors are more vivid [TS]

  Harry's cleaner mean it's amazing [TS]

  maybe and for the next book club maybe [TS]

  you'll finish the book haha yes well [TS]

  look what you want to find the end and [TS]

  Glenn oh haha hey i read almost all of [TS]

  the hugo books did you read almost all [TS]

  of them like you read four of them or [TS]

  did you read like yes 705 i just read [TS]

  like eighty percent of each one [TS]

  yeah good way to go sure no I just kind [TS]

  of looked at 2312 and when now [TS]

  yeah that the title suggests that you [TS]

  should only read twenty-three percent of [TS]

  it or perhaps twelve percent of our yeah [TS]

  well yeah i still like 2012 sorry Scott [TS]

  you you actually you actually like that [TS]

  voted for the you go and then you said [TS]

  congratulations John Scalzi don't [TS]

  redshirts it shocking that John school [TS]

  sees red shirt that's fine Pete feed her [TS]

  not feed but the third book in the news [TS]

  flash trilogy finished last so you know [TS]

  haha them all there to restore a little [TS]

  of my face yeah the voters [TS]

  yeah my fellow voters should clearly our [TS]

  part yes clearly are issues with a [TS]

  nomination process and not with the [TS]

  final voting process so yeah it's true [TS]

  yeah alright well we learned what would [TS]

  happen if Galactus was made of jello no [TS]

  I think we did and we and we learned we [TS]

  learned lots of things about the history [TS]

  that didn't happen and the Nazis were [TS]

  made of jobs and and more importantly we [TS]

  have I think 200 itunes reviews now [TS]

  which is great if you haven't if you [TS]

  haven't reviewed the incomparable on [TS]

  itunes please do it that helps us a lot [TS]

  and for those who did participate in our [TS]

  in our challenge [TS]

  thank you most especially to Dave cork [TS]

  Roger who indeed got to house read books [TS]

  and look he sold he sold a book to David [TS]

  he sold three books to me and he sold [TS]

  two books to scott who had already [TS]

  bought one of them but hadn't read it [TS]

  yet so he sold 12 past Scott to retro [TS]

  actively to pass Scott exactly the new [TS]

  Australian could write and read and he [TS]

  sold the book it's a damn moron who then [TS]

  didn't really read much of it and didn't [TS]

  come on the podcast so it was a [TS]

  disappointment that more [TS]

  yeah and and there are two more books [TS]

  that i have to buy yeah exactly now [TS]

  they're interesting i recommended by i [TS]

  would say anybody who who like some [TS]

  military stuff war stuff and sci-fi [TS]

  would really would really like it and if [TS]

  you're interested if you're intrigued by [TS]

  what we talked about the culture clash [TS]

  stuff i guess i'd say just kind of motor [TS]

  through the first twenty-five percent of [TS]

  the book and then [TS]

  hello you're a big j edgar hoover fan [TS]

  you mean you may not want to read these [TS]

  books because these books fully endorse [TS]

  that the the j edgar hoover uh [TS]

  alt history of him being closeted and [TS]

  liking to dress in women's clothes and [TS]

  all those things that are not i believe [TS]

  not entirely substantiated in the [TS]

  historical record i looked it up i was [TS]

  like where those was that proven to be [TS]

  true and very little of of Hoover's [TS]

  history is is is proven to be that it's [TS]

  it's much more just speculation but this [TS]

  book runs with it which is actually kind [TS]

  of funny and fun in a way it is but I [TS]

  capris I sheesh this guy really doesn't [TS]

  like over over all of the axes to grind [TS]

  against Jagger Hoover oi [TS]

  yeah yeah you hate j edgar hoover this [TS]

  is a buy these books immediately [TS]

  absolutely Hoover fans steer clear [TS]

  Hoover valuable service that we've been [TS]

  yes I'd here on overcast [TS]

  that's right our friends at the j edgar [TS]

  hoover podcast are going to be really [TS]

  upset with this series let me tell you [TS]

  all right well that wraps up another [TS]

  exciting book club edition of the [TS]

  incomparable so i'm going to say goodbye [TS]

  to my fine well-read guests David lower [TS]

  thanks for being here thank you for [TS]

  having me and Scott melty welcome back [TS]

  thank you for being back with us and [TS]

  reading the books as always thank you [TS]

  for having I was concerned that i had [TS]

  been cast from the uncomfortable galaxy [TS]

  no no another universe would never [TS]

  happen you were not available person who [TS]

  remembered it [TS]

  plus you are attention master that's [TS]

  true how could we not have our dungeon [TS]

  master with us that would be at that is [TS]

  an alternate past 20 riffic to [TS]

  contemplate a degree yes [TS]

  okay well until next time or until [TS]

  somebody goes back in time and create a [TS]

  parallel universe and we have to start [TS]

  again from episode one [TS]

  please don't do that kind i'm your host [TS]

  Jason cell [TS]

  thank you for listening don't go back in [TS]

  time don't mess up the time stream and [TS]

  we'll see you next time [TS]