The Incomparable

101: Insular Nerdosphere


00:00:00   the incomparable Todd task number 101 [TS]

00:00:07   August 2012 [TS]

00:00:09   welcome back everybody to be [TS]

00:00:12   uncomfortable podcast I'm your hostess [TS]

00:00:14   and snow it's episode 101 starting a new [TS]

00:00:18   century of podcasting excellence [TS]

00:00:21   explains him quotation marks did this [TS]

00:00:27   week's episode is about book it's red [TS]

00:00:30   shirts by john scalzi we did an entire [TS]

00:00:31   podcast about john scalzi and his [TS]

00:00:34   collected works its number 37 so you can [TS]

00:00:36   get identified by 52 TV / incomparable / [TS]

00:00:40   37 episode is called shadow war the [TS]

00:00:42   night dragons it's got we talked about [TS]

00:00:45   basically all the books that scalzi [TS]

00:00:47   wrote up two red shirts which is the [TS]

00:00:51   topic of today's podcast joining me to [TS]

00:00:55   talk about Richards are these three fine [TS]

00:00:59   upstanding citizens serenity Caldwell is [TS]

00:01:02   with us again [TS]

00:01:03   hello hello I wouldn't call myself [TS]

00:01:05   upstanding that you know what I'll take [TS]

00:01:07   the compliment I i called you that so i [TS]

00:01:09   get to do that all right [TS]

00:01:11   also the the great and well-read Scott [TS]

00:01:14   McNulty hi Scott [TS]

00:01:16   hello jason and i would call myself [TS]

00:01:18   great so spun off and joining us from [TS]

00:01:22   the Pacific Northwest a man who read [TS]

00:01:25   many books and hence has many opinions [TS]

00:01:27   about them [TS]

00:01:27   Glenn fleischmann Glenn I have no [TS]

00:01:30   opinion about whether i'm here tonight [TS]

00:01:31   or not [TS]

00:01:32   thank you thank you that that helps a [TS]

00:01:35   lot [TS]

00:01:35   so red shirts is a very strange [TS]

00:01:39   it's a very strange book with a very [TS]

00:01:41   strange subject and when i first heard [TS]

00:01:42   that this book was coming out [TS]

00:01:45   I i kind of thought it was a joke [TS]

00:01:48   because let's let's go through the [TS]

00:01:51   history here John Scalzi wrote this [TS]

00:01:54   shadow or the night dragons thing which [TS]

00:01:55   actually was a joke and got nominated [TS]

00:01:57   for hugo award for best short story that [TS]

00:02:00   was his the idea of the perfectly [TS]

00:02:02   targeted fantasy novel title and he also [TS]

00:02:07   did little fuzzy fuzzy fuzzy nation [TS]

00:02:09   which is the reboot of a classic sci-fi [TS]

00:02:12   novel little fuzzy [TS]

00:02:13   and so then he is red shirts thing gets [TS]

00:02:16   announced and I think to myself [TS]

00:02:18   surely this isn't real this is it was [TS]

00:02:20   John Scalzi gone crazy is what is he [TS]

00:02:23   doing all this you know all these [TS]

00:02:25   strange pranks and stunts and and wacky [TS]

00:02:28   chapters two books that don't exist and [TS]

00:02:30   reboots of things is it going to really [TS]

00:02:33   write a whole novel of with the premise [TS]

00:02:35   that it's a basically startrack seen [TS]

00:02:37   from the from the perspective of the [TS]

00:02:40   redshirts who are going off to their [TS]

00:02:42   impending doom and on of fundamental [TS]

00:02:46   level that is sort of where this book [TS]

00:02:48   starts right he did this book the only [TS]

00:02:52   way that this book could have been done [TS]

00:02:53   i kind of feel like it like everything [TS]

00:02:56   you did the chicken he did the the [TS]

00:02:57   kitchen sink approach this he like took [TS]

00:02:59   everything you said he did [TS]

00:03:01   simultaneously [TS]

00:03:02   well the so this book there is a way to [TS]

00:03:05   do this book and do it extremely badly [TS]

00:03:07   right which is to say okay here's it's [TS]

00:03:11   going to be wacky we're gonna have a [TS]

00:03:13   ship and it's going to be like Star Trek [TS]

00:03:15   and the characters will be recognizably [TS]

00:03:18   Star Trek characters and accept our main [TS]

00:03:21   characters of the red shirts and they [TS]

00:03:22   all realize that the redshirts get [TS]

00:03:24   killed a lot and it really bugs them and [TS]

00:03:27   that's there's it's a novel and then we [TS]

00:03:30   would you get that in a couple of [TS]

00:03:32   chapters and then the rest of it would [TS]

00:03:34   just will be just belabor it endlessly [TS]

00:03:37   and I i could type that I mean that is [TS]

00:03:39   what I dreaded when I read this book was [TS]

00:03:42   that it was going to be this one joke [TS]

00:03:44   and it's like well scalzi I like his [TS]

00:03:45   stuff [TS]

00:03:46   let's see if there's some other way to [TS]

00:03:48   do this but that was my fear was that [TS]

00:03:50   this was going to be a UH sort of a [TS]

00:03:52   single joke played out over an [TS]

00:03:54   appropriate length and we would get the [TS]

00:03:57   joke really early on and then there [TS]

00:03:59   would be nothing left to appreciate [TS]

00:04:01   about it right i mean did anybody else [TS]

00:04:03   you know that Scott was that your [TS]

00:04:05   feeling about going in it was my my fear [TS]

00:04:09   if you're I'm always suspicious of books [TS]

00:04:12   who's the author name is larger than the [TS]

00:04:15   title and that's a book that yes that is [TS]

00:04:19   I guess John Scalzi has gotten to that [TS]

00:04:21   point in his career where [TS]

00:04:22   his name is more important than the [TS]

00:04:24   title of the book so that worried me and [TS]

00:04:27   then of course the premise like you said [TS]

00:04:29   it's kind of flimsy I you know it's kind [TS]

00:04:33   of like a running science fiction joke [TS]

00:04:36   so I didn't know what more could be done [TS]

00:04:40   with it and especially I didn't know if [TS]

00:04:42   it was a joke that could last a whole [TS]

00:04:43   novel but he cleverly kind of made it [TS]

00:04:47   kind of three different things together [TS]

00:04:49   so he kind of addressed that I but you [TS]

00:04:53   know i mean it's it's it's it wasn't [TS]

00:04:56   horrible i actually quite liked it [TS]

00:04:58   yeah I like 22 and I liked it because it [TS]

00:05:01   wasn't one of the big reasons i like [TS]

00:05:03   this because it was not what I expected [TS]

00:05:05   I expected so just as a brief recap we [TS]

00:05:09   meet these red shirt characters this [TS]

00:05:10   indeed that the horror story you know my [TS]

00:05:14   fear of what this book would be about it [TS]

00:05:16   is that's what the book is at the start [TS]

00:05:18   right so at the start we meet these [TS]

00:05:21   characters who are being assigned to the [TS]

00:05:23   intrepid which is the ship that they [TS]

00:05:25   vary enterprise like ship the flagship [TS]

00:05:28   of the universal Union the dub dub right [TS]

00:05:31   there [TS]

00:05:32   eww eww i forget what they call yet [TS]

00:05:36   it's just it's it's ridiculous because [TS]

00:05:38   it's the Federation that's the w that's [TS]

00:05:40   it w space for the blob the w space [TS]

00:05:43   fleet the flagship the universal Union [TS]

00:05:46   capital ship intrepid right and and and [TS]

00:05:49   the characters there's a an alien ish [TS]

00:05:52   guy who's very basically Spock and [TS]

00:05:55   there's this blowhard captain and [TS]

00:05:56   there's a you know an engineer in a [TS]

00:05:58   doctor and I mean it's he's done a good [TS]

00:06:00   job of you know changing everything [TS]

00:06:04   while making it perfectly clear all we [TS]

00:06:05   all know what he's doing here and it's [TS]

00:06:08   so it looks like this is going to be the [TS]

00:06:09   story and then I what scalzi did that i [TS]

00:06:14   thought was really impressive is he you [TS]

00:06:19   know he he gives his character he treats [TS]

00:06:23   his characters like real people and he [TS]

00:06:25   treats the premise seriously and then [TS]

00:06:31   just sort of takes it to its fullest [TS]

00:06:32   extent and I didn't expect that I [TS]

00:06:35   really didn't expect you today we're [TS]

00:06:37   okay what if what if this scenario [TS]

00:06:40   played out at and then it gets really [TS]

00:06:44   weird and meta right where he also [TS]

00:06:46   throws in there that they realized that [TS]

00:06:49   this is they find this reclusive [TS]

00:06:51   character who's like hiding in the [TS]

00:06:52   middle of the ship somewhere and we're [TS]

00:06:55   all these uh like carts are stored or [TS]

00:06:59   something it's so bizarre [TS]

00:07:01   it's I thought you liked that part [TS]

00:07:03   because of the real genius [TS]

00:07:04   it is actually yeah well as well it is [TS]

00:07:07   he's lastly and he he is obsessed with [TS]

00:07:10   something called the narrative and it [TS]

00:07:13   turns out that this is this is a more [TS]

00:07:16   than just a story about characters who [TS]

00:07:19   were stuck on a on startrack about to be [TS]

00:07:22   killed it's a it's a story about [TS]

00:07:23   characters whose lives are being [TS]

00:07:25   determined by the scripts of a sci-fi TV [TS]

00:07:29   series and as we learn a particularly [TS]

00:07:31   bad side that's not so great [TS]

00:07:34   not so great and and schools he himself [TS]

00:07:37   was the technical advisor for the for [TS]

00:07:40   stargate universe the last and stargate [TS]

00:07:42   series so he had some experience with TV [TS]

00:07:45   although he has an author's no worries [TS]

00:07:46   look this Stargate Universe is much [TS]

00:07:48   better than this terrible show i'm [TS]

00:07:49   writing about now so it that that point [TS]

00:07:54   I have to admit that point at that point [TS]

00:07:57   the novel almost lost me because I [TS]

00:07:59   thought it was going to get very meta at [TS]

00:08:02   which it did but and an overly clever [TS]

00:08:06   and and that was the moment where I [TS]

00:08:09   really I i began to fear that this was [TS]

00:08:12   not what I expected but might actually [TS]

00:08:14   be worse than I expected you know I [TS]

00:08:17   think it brings both of those things but [TS]

00:08:19   at the same time it [TS]

00:08:21   it rides the line very carefully i have [TS]

00:08:24   to admit when I first started reading [TS]

00:08:25   the book and this is the first scalzi [TS]

00:08:27   book that i have read which is an [TS]

00:08:29   interesting way to enter into his [TS]

00:08:31   fiction the old man's war might be a [TS]

00:08:33   better place to start but ok yeah old [TS]

00:08:36   man's war was on my list but this one [TS]

00:08:38   came out first and I heard that it was [TS]

00:08:39   short and we were talking about [TS]

00:08:40   potentially discussing it and I'm like I [TS]

00:08:42   like red shirts [TS]

00:08:45   better go and it's his best-selling book [TS]

00:08:47   so i think that for a lot of people [TS]

00:08:49   sometimes just a strong but yeah the [TS]

00:08:51   first when i first started reading this [TS]

00:08:53   I actually assume I'm like okay well [TS]

00:08:55   they can go one of two ways [TS]

00:08:57   I I thought about the TV show in the [TS]

00:08:59   back of my head but my first thought was [TS]

00:09:01   oh they're gonna have like an evil AI [TS]

00:09:04   controlling and pulling the settings [TS]

00:09:06   right sure but he's basically been [TS]

00:09:07   blackmailed by this evil iight you're an [TS]

00:09:09   Inuit you're looking for an in-universe [TS]

00:09:11   premise right you know I assumed it was [TS]

00:09:14   that way and then the second they start [TS]

00:09:15   talking about the narrative I'm like oh [TS]

00:09:17   wait you mean this crazy half-assed [TS]

00:09:19   thought i had in the very beginning of [TS]

00:09:21   the no reading the book is actually [TS]

00:09:23   where they're going [TS]

00:09:24   this is insanity yeah yeah there's a [TS]

00:09:29   whole last job I always put my talented [TS]

00:09:32   writer hides half of the ass for later [TS]

00:09:34   really lolz lolz us into a sense of [TS]

00:09:36   believing that the narrative that he's [TS]

00:09:38   constructed as the narrative with the [TS]

00:09:40   capital and time travel plots and all [TS]

00:09:43   this nonsense he leads us to believe [TS]

00:09:45   that that's actually the narrative is [TS]

00:09:46   telling then he tells a different [TS]

00:09:48   narrative within that structure that he [TS]

00:09:50   tells three more in areas in appendices [TS]

00:09:53   yeah right we're going to bed which will [TS]

00:09:55   get to know really will get to the [TS]

00:09:57   killings write the book was fun and then [TS]

00:10:00   the general plot of you know the [TS]

00:10:02   redshirts was pretty great and I was [TS]

00:10:05   like this is a solid B book and like [TS]

00:10:07   really enjoyable and something fun to [TS]

00:10:09   read good summer reading and then he [TS]

00:10:13   dropped the remote is one after the [TS]

00:10:14   other [TS]

00:10:15   yes yes oh so before we get there so [TS]

00:10:17   yeah what happens is you know you're [TS]

00:10:20   reading a story this this is the metal [TS]

00:10:24   part you're reading a story and it turns [TS]

00:10:25   out that these guys are being controlled [TS]

00:10:26   by this narrative which is the TV show [TS]

00:10:28   and and as I was saying earlier that's [TS]

00:10:30   the point where I thought oh gee this [TS]

00:10:31   could go horribly wrong and where it [TS]

00:10:33   doesn't go wrong is he [TS]

00:10:35   he just keeps going with taking the [TS]

00:10:37   whole thing seriously and set and you [TS]

00:10:39   can see him almost as a writer saying [TS]

00:10:41   alright I've done that now what it's [TS]

00:10:44   like well now they're going to try to go [TS]

00:10:46   you know they'll try to go [TS]

00:10:49   contact the writers of the show they'll [TS]

00:10:50   try to go back in time but how is that [TS]

00:10:52   possible well of course star trek and [TS]

00:10:54   shows like it use ridiculous things that [TS]

00:10:56   don't make any sense of their several [TS]

00:10:58   points scientists [TS]

00:10:59   in the kiss your characters say that [TS]

00:11:01   doesn't work you couldn't do it that way [TS]

00:11:04   and like doesn't matter when the [TS]

00:11:06   narrative is focused anything is [TS]

00:11:07   possible because they just whatever the [TS]

00:11:09   writers write happens so that's his [TS]

00:11:11   commentary part but they go back that [TS]

00:11:14   was a moment where it got me back all [TS]

00:11:15   the way was when they said no we're [TS]

00:11:17   gonna go and try to talk to these people [TS]

00:11:18   who are writing these stories and get [TS]

00:11:20   them to stop killing us because that if [TS]

00:11:23   you were that character in that world [TS]

00:11:25   that's exactly what you do we gonna do [TS]

00:11:27   yeah and so then they do that and then [TS]

00:11:29   they have their adventures on on planet [TS]

00:11:33   earth trying to deal with the the [TS]

00:11:35   writers of the intrepid Series and [TS]

00:11:38   trying to meet them and then they [TS]

00:11:40   discovered that they are meeting their [TS]

00:11:42   actors which is something so he starts [TS]

00:11:45   wackiness narrow and schools is that is [TS]

00:11:48   that for star trek for ya also it [TS]

00:11:50   reminded me and I it's something i've [TS]

00:11:51   mentioned before there's this visit to a [TS]

00:11:54   weird planet damn fiction [TS]

00:11:56   although i think it was a published in [TS]

00:11:58   the seventies that was about starting a [TS]

00:12:02   transporter accident that swaps the [TS]

00:12:04   actors with the actual Star Trek [TS]

00:12:06   characters and that's their two stories [TS]

00:12:09   told from the opposite vantage points [TS]

00:12:10   where the actors are on the enterprise [TS]

00:12:12   and where the real characters are now in [TS]

00:12:15   in modern-day or nineteen sixties [TS]

00:12:17   California and it was it was very much [TS]

00:12:21   in that vein to where suddenly there's [TS]

00:12:23   the checkoff like character who keeps [TS]

00:12:25   getting horribly maimed but then [TS]

00:12:27   miraculously saved and his his actor is [TS]

00:12:33   like some sort of famous kind of more [TS]

00:12:35   Playboy's kind of character and they [TS]

00:12:37   they had there's a whole like you know [TS]

00:12:40   whole set piece really where they ended [TS]

00:12:43   up kidnapping him and driving him [TS]

00:12:45   because he's he's drunk and made they [TS]

00:12:47   they kidnapped him and drive him away in [TS]

00:12:49   his car and then they talked to him [TS]

00:12:52   which again you end up with these [TS]

00:12:53   duplicates actually talking there's no [TS]

00:12:55   no cheat of like well what what happened [TS]

00:12:58   I don't know he was unconscious you'll [TS]

00:12:59   never know the truth said no he and his [TS]

00:13:01   actor have a have a whole conversation [TS]

00:13:03   about their lives which is again scalzi [TS]

00:13:06   taking it taking it seriously in in this [TS]

00:13:09   completely crazy idea of applause [TS]

00:13:12   he he never you know he's funny but he's [TS]

00:13:16   taking it seriously in the sense that [TS]

00:13:17   he's gonna he's gonna explore his [TS]

00:13:19   premise to its conclusions and not fit [TS]

00:13:21   not to a fake-out which I really like [TS]

00:13:23   yeah it doesn't feel like he's just [TS]

00:13:26   putting it for you as you were saying is [TS]

00:13:29   like a oh well I guess I'll never talk [TS]

00:13:31   to each other and you can meet your past [TS]

00:13:34   pseudo self but I mean this is something [TS]

00:13:37   that the Coda's which come after the [TS]

00:13:40   story play on in a great deal is so the [TS]

00:13:43   characters go back and meet their actor [TS]

00:13:46   cells and they meet the writers of the [TS]

00:13:48   show and they basically two out the [TS]

00:13:50   writer of the show and be like why do [TS]

00:13:51   you gotta kill us man [TS]

00:13:53   and after that all happens and things [TS]

00:13:56   are resolved in a way that I guess we [TS]

00:13:58   can i watch suppose interface listening [TS]

00:14:00   his read the book will say let's fire [TS]

00:14:03   the so we're going on [TS]

00:14:06   but the boiler aren't ya so they get [TS]

00:14:09   things results and then then what [TS]

00:14:13   happens afterwards what happens once you [TS]

00:14:14   realize that as show that you have been [TS]

00:14:16   writing is real people [TS]

00:14:19   well I have been before that though the [TS]

00:14:21   in the last two in the last two chapters [TS]

00:14:23   that these two characters that this one [TS]

00:14:25   of the things calls he does what I [TS]

00:14:26   really like is he's got the what I I've [TS]

00:14:29   always heard you referred to as the the [TS]

00:14:32   law of the economy lot of economy of [TS]

00:14:33   characters where every character has a [TS]

00:14:35   purpose so if you're in a mystery and [TS]

00:14:37   there's only one person who's not yet [TS]

00:14:39   explained well they did it because [TS]

00:14:41   there's only they don't show you [TS]

00:14:43   characters who are pointless and there's [TS]

00:14:46   our answer these there's that our [TS]

00:14:48   protagonist a doll and then there's this [TS]

00:14:50   other character who is his buddy who [TS]

00:14:52   doesn't ever get killed and you keep [TS]

00:14:55   waiting to see why is he going to be [TS]

00:14:56   important and there's no explanation for [TS]

00:14:58   why he's important and in the end in the [TS]

00:15:00   next to last chapter doll realizes [TS]

00:15:03   something that is scalzi pulling it back [TS]

00:15:07   we've been reading this narrative all [TS]

00:15:09   along this book and and you know you buy [TS]

00:15:12   into the premise that they're controlled [TS]

00:15:13   by the TV writers because that's what [TS]

00:15:15   the story is about in the last chapter [TS]

00:15:17   scalzi undercuts that completely and [TS]

00:15:20   says it all realizes that he's the [TS]

00:15:23   protagonist of a different narrative [TS]

00:15:25   which is the book that were reading and [TS]

00:15:27   he asks his friend my to confirm this [TS]

00:15:29   and says you know you have no other [TS]

00:15:31   purpose you just kind of you've never [TS]

00:15:33   been hurt you have no reason to be here [TS]

00:15:35   and yet you're always around [TS]

00:15:37   I think your purpose is to confirm to me [TS]

00:15:40   whether this is true which the character [TS]

00:15:42   doesn't mess us now I gotta go because [TS]

00:15:44   i'm going to be on duty and he walks out [TS]

00:15:45   and and that's an amazing chapter [TS]

00:15:50   because that's really scalzi laying it [TS]

00:15:52   all out there about like what it is to [TS]

00:15:54   write characters and what happens to [TS]

00:15:55   them when the book is over and is it's [TS]

00:15:57   in everybody's imaginations and all is [TS]

00:16:01   the protagonist he's not this red shirt [TS]

00:16:03   because he's the main character in a [TS]

00:16:05   novel that everybody at that point who [TS]

00:16:07   you know has read the entire novel with [TS]

00:16:09   him as the protagonist so that's a great [TS]

00:16:11   ending up on its own without the code is [TS]

00:16:14   and of course it's cuz you can't resist [TS]

00:16:16   because he is a very funny writer and [TS]

00:16:17   and this is a funny book but [TS]

00:16:20   you can't resist one last joke which is [TS]

00:16:21   that doll walks out too and they live [TS]

00:16:24   happily ever after until six months [TS]

00:16:25   later where the ship is hit by an [TS]

00:16:27   asteroid and everybody dies and then no [TS]

00:16:30   no just can't handle a specialized [TS]

00:16:31   chapter is not just I'm just messing [TS]

00:16:34   with you [TS]

00:16:34   that's I really live happily ever after [TS]

00:16:37   a minute when i read that next batch [TS]

00:16:39   it's where the book will make me laugh [TS]

00:16:40   heartily laughs out loud and that last [TS]

00:16:43   chapter i was i was laughing that was [TS]

00:16:46   really funny but that that's right i [TS]

00:16:49   mean it's it's they're not real [TS]

00:16:51   he could kill them and it doesn't matter [TS]

00:16:52   and and yet it does matter because [TS]

00:16:54   you've invested something in these in [TS]

00:16:57   these characters and I I realized my one [TS]

00:16:59   level this is completely kind of a [TS]

00:17:01   ridiculously a self-referential thing [TS]

00:17:04   that he does but but he did it never you [TS]

00:17:08   know it never seemed cheap it never [TS]

00:17:10   seemed funny to me it never seemed like [TS]

00:17:11   he was not taking the reader and the [TS]

00:17:15   character seriously and I guess that's [TS]

00:17:16   why I I didn't you know I didn't ever [TS]

00:17:19   sour on the on the premise [TS]

00:17:22   well you know I thought the book um for [TS]

00:17:24   the redemption for me was i I thought I [TS]

00:17:26   was sort of cute like okay so that whole [TS]

00:17:29   first part most the large part of the [TS]

00:17:31   novel before the the code is coming with [TS]

00:17:33   Jerry no significant enough in their own [TS]

00:17:35   right [TS]

00:17:36   um I enjoyed it but I felt it was an [TS]

00:17:38   extended premise and I thought he took [TS]

00:17:40   the promises he went to the full extent [TS]

00:17:42   it could be i've read the same thing I [TS]

00:17:45   feel like in less clever form without [TS]

00:17:47   the science-fiction aspect but examining [TS]

00:17:49   the notion of that for instance Muriel [TS]

00:17:51   Sparks novel the comforters written in a [TS]

00:17:54   publisher 1957 examine this idea at some [TS]

00:17:57   depth in which shot [TS]

00:17:59   Wow right I novelist starts hearing [TS]

00:18:02   voices the sound of typewriter realize [TS]

00:18:03   it's exactly her life being you know led [TS]

00:18:05   so it's not a new idea and I think some [TS]

00:18:09   people writing about this thought wow [TS]

00:18:11   what a great idea to have a meta novel [TS]

00:18:12   like it's not original like okay we know [TS]

00:18:14   that's not original but I felt I don't [TS]

00:18:16   know I felt that kind of played out a [TS]

00:18:18   little far there's a lot of you know he [TS]

00:18:21   wanted the one character walks into a [TS]

00:18:22   bar and sees a version of another [TS]

00:18:26   character it was killed who's the [TS]

00:18:27   bartender in a bit part [TS]

00:18:29   on the show at some point as that [TS]

00:18:31   character is killed oh yeah that's [TS]

00:18:32   really that's really touching and you [TS]

00:18:34   know they have a more moment and I think [TS]

00:18:36   scalzi writes those moments well but [TS]

00:18:38   though what saved it for me what pull [TS]

00:18:41   the whole thing together i think was the [TS]

00:18:42   third coda which is a beautiful story [TS]

00:18:45   told very warmly and almost stands alone [TS]

00:18:48   like you almost don't need the entire [TS]

00:18:49   rest of the book right for that story [TS]

00:18:52   but i think it benefits from it and I [TS]

00:18:54   think for some level sort of warmed the [TS]

00:18:56   rest of the story for me [TS]

00:18:57   yes so so I'm glad you brought that up [TS]

00:18:59   one of the things that happens is one of [TS]

00:19:00   these one of its core of the Samba love [TS]

00:19:03   red shirts that we meet I mean he does [TS]

00:19:05   need to do you know what what happens to [TS]

00:19:09   red shirts right he needs to take a [TS]

00:19:10   character that's like fundamentally if [TS]

00:19:12   you're gonna write a book like this you [TS]

00:19:13   gotta meet these characters and build [TS]

00:19:15   them up and then kill one of them and [TS]

00:19:17   make it feel like it matters if even if [TS]

00:19:19   you don't care about them you care about [TS]

00:19:21   how it affects the other characters that [TS]

00:19:22   they're upset by it and he does that and [TS]

00:19:25   you know again it's kind of the price of [TS]

00:19:27   admission [TS]

00:19:28   I'm end but then exactly what you said [TS]

00:19:32   is the thing about scalzi doing this is [TS]

00:19:34   like he does the baseline and you think [TS]

00:19:36   okay he did the baseline and that's not [TS]

00:19:38   he just doesn't stop there he keeps [TS]

00:19:39   going and so we get a scene when they're [TS]

00:19:41   back on earth there back in LA and they [TS]

00:19:45   meet the actor who played their friend [TS]

00:19:46   who died and its really emotional and [TS]

00:19:49   upsetting and yet also happy in a way [TS]

00:19:52   because he didn't die i guess right away [TS]

00:19:56   um I and I thought that was brilliant [TS]

00:19:58   right because it's not it made it made [TS]

00:20:01   that all matter more that he died when [TS]

00:20:04   he was a redshirt because it mattered to [TS]

00:20:06   them and now you you see how their they [TS]

00:20:08   emotionally react to seeing him again [TS]

00:20:10   and in real life and that's played out [TS]

00:20:12   even further in the CODIS but you know [TS]

00:20:14   that that you know the more I think [TS]

00:20:16   about it the more I I just impressed [TS]

00:20:18   that that schools he had enough respect [TS]

00:20:20   for his characters in his premise to [TS]

00:20:22   take it all the way and not do what I [TS]

00:20:25   think a letter writer would have done [TS]

00:20:27   which is sort of fun it in and just hit [TS]

00:20:28   the notes and get out [TS]

00:20:30   yeah i think the as i said i think the [TS]

00:20:31   code is elevated for me from a good [TS]

00:20:35   summer reading you know put it down [TS]

00:20:37   after you finish reading and maybe I'll [TS]

00:20:39   think about it a couple months now but [TS]

00:20:41   the code is really [TS]

00:20:42   make it stick in my head and the first [TS]

00:20:44   the first Kota is funny the first Kota [TS]

00:20:46   is really there just to make you think [TS]

00:20:48   about it and again the you know i'm just [TS]

00:20:50   messing with you [TS]

00:20:51   they lived happily ever after from the [TS]

00:20:53   writers point of view that's fascinating [TS]

00:20:55   so the first Kota is a a blog which is [TS]

00:20:59   funny because schools he himself has a [TS]

00:21:01   blog a blog from one of the writers of [TS]

00:21:04   the intrepid who talks about his sort of [TS]

00:21:06   descent into madness in a way when he [TS]

00:21:09   realizes that all of the things that [TS]

00:21:11   he's writing are causing sort of real [TS]

00:21:13   people in another universe to live these [TS]

00:21:15   things and he he become sort of [TS]

00:21:17   paralyzed about killing them off and his [TS]

00:21:20   bosses are upset because the drama isn't [TS]

00:21:23   as good when he's trying to protect his [TS]

00:21:25   characters which again is an interesting [TS]

00:21:27   comment from a rider to say and I [TS]

00:21:30   thought that was really funny because [TS]

00:21:31   you know he he tries to throw in all of [TS]

00:21:34   his knowledge of what it's like to be a [TS]

00:21:36   two to be a writer on the internet and [TS]

00:21:38   have people reading and commenting and [TS]

00:21:40   trying to figure out what you know his [TS]

00:21:42   secrets that he's trying to keep they [TS]

00:21:44   kind of figure them all out because it [TS]

00:21:46   gives two in much information away and [TS]

00:21:49   you know I thought that was I thought [TS]

00:21:50   that was really funny while also [TS]

00:21:51   exploring this whole idea that well if [TS]

00:21:53   this premise is true wouldn't really [TS]

00:21:54   mess you up as a writer you think the [TS]

00:21:57   paralyzing when you you know you're [TS]

00:21:59   actually hold the little roll power of [TS]

00:22:01   life and death although you know that [TS]

00:22:03   there's sort of a stick which is that [TS]

00:22:05   the people from the future from the [TS]

00:22:08   intrepid come to the past but once they [TS]

00:22:10   go back you know there's not that same [TS]

00:22:13   connection like the inos intellectually [TS]

00:22:15   there's a connection these people in the [TS]

00:22:16   future is affecting their real lives but [TS]

00:22:18   at the same time you know what I'm going [TS]

00:22:20   to come back again and say look you're [TS]

00:22:21   doing again what are you doing to us [TS]

00:22:23   another sort of the and if he stops [TS]

00:22:24   running the show they continue to exist [TS]

00:22:27   apparently so there is some level that [TS]

00:22:28   is want to show cancelled as well is [TS]

00:22:30   that making just keep on going on [TS]

00:22:32   yeah they can make their own future yeah [TS]

00:22:33   I mean there's another part of nervous [TS]

00:22:35   too is like there's another story [TS]

00:22:36   there's so many stories embedded in this [TS]

00:22:37   is that the producer of the show or the [TS]

00:22:41   see the showrunner who's a son is in a [TS]

00:22:44   motorcycle accident and the right part [TS]

00:22:47   on the show so they arranged this you [TS]

00:22:49   know this incredibly elaborate swap [TS]

00:22:50   where [TS]

00:22:51   I only profiling by doing that you stand [TS]

00:22:54   it [TS]

00:22:55   hope that uh huhs the son's future [TS]

00:22:58   duplicate is in a good shape that if [TS]

00:23:01   they leave the you take the future [TS]

00:23:04   duplicate weight in the past so wait [TS]

00:23:06   what happens basically just do a swap [TS]

00:23:08   they say you you are now going to be [TS]

00:23:11   this person and because we say your this [TS]

00:23:13   person you're going to be that person [TS]

00:23:15   and everything saved the idea being that [TS]

00:23:18   you know the universe that is created [TS]

00:23:21   these weird sort of parallel future and [TS]

00:23:24   past world's doesn't realize that [TS]

00:23:27   because you know one is an actor and one [TS]

00:23:30   is a real person [TS]

00:23:31   hey they still have a hundred percent of [TS]

00:23:32   the same DNA so if i take the one who's [TS]

00:23:34   crazy crippled in a coma and then we [TS]

00:23:36   tell the other one here you're going to [TS]

00:23:38   stay here and you're going to be in a [TS]

00:23:40   coma I'll we can take and then have a [TS]

00:23:43   hey an episode written in the narrative [TS]

00:23:45   that says oh we fix this guy's you know [TS]

00:23:48   horrible motorcycle accident you never [TS]

00:23:51   going to wake up from his you know [TS]

00:23:54   vegetable state we just write a end-all [TS]

00:23:57   be-all fix for that then he's going to [TS]

00:23:59   be magically well in the future and [TS]

00:24:01   consciousnesses will try and verse [TS]

00:24:04   bodies and everything will be alright [TS]

00:24:06   well that's clear sciences yeah I didn't [TS]

00:24:09   India what's this right is that it's [TS]

00:24:11   supposedly i mean i'll explain their [TS]

00:24:14   pieces of the book right that the [TS]

00:24:16   science is not important just kind of [TS]

00:24:18   goes as it will it's true although he [TS]

00:24:19   did a lot of waving hands to make that [TS]

00:24:21   particular thing work but then you [TS]

00:24:23   realize later that that's why the code [TS]

00:24:25   is is you know the code is our first [TS]

00:24:26   person second person third person the [TS]

00:24:28   first person is the writer the second [TS]

00:24:30   person is this guy the kid some of the [TS]

00:24:32   writer who's been in a coma and it's are [TS]

00:24:35   rediscovering his life using the you [TS]

00:24:38   know very difficult to write in second [TS]

00:24:40   person narrative approach and the third [TS]

00:24:42   person is the actress who portrays the [TS]

00:24:47   Jenkins the guy hiding in the w our last [TS]

00:24:49   on his wife was killed for a plot point [TS]

00:24:51   which is what led him to discover the [TS]

00:24:53   narrative that this is the actress that [TS]

00:24:55   he never met his Jenkins doesn't go back [TS]

00:24:57   in time but one of the characters are [TS]

00:24:59   first-person narrative in the main part [TS]

00:25:01   of the book [TS]

00:25:01   brings back some memories to this [TS]

00:25:04   actress even though you know she knows [TS]

00:25:06   it can't be hers she doesn't get the [TS]

00:25:07   full explanation but you know somehow [TS]

00:25:09   there's another version of herself [TS]

00:25:10   identical that had this life with other [TS]

00:25:13   person that was ended [TS]

00:25:14   yeah that's an amazing piece of writing [TS]

00:25:16   that's what I love that kota it was [TS]

00:25:19   beautifully not like you so you can read [TS]

00:25:20   that coded by itself but he had to set [TS]

00:25:21   all this up here to give jet mean so [TS]

00:25:23   there's the joke right [TS]

00:25:24   he gave Jenkins a sort of ridiculous [TS]

00:25:26   character he gave Jenkins an enormous [TS]

00:25:28   amount of backstory in the narrative [TS]

00:25:30   more than made sense and he gave him the [TS]

00:25:32   backstory so we'd have we care for [TS]

00:25:34   Jenkins so that when he brought the coda [TS]

00:25:36   in later that right actually makes sense [TS]

00:25:38   for us to feel bad you know you know [TS]

00:25:41   there's where scholars he's talking [TS]

00:25:42   about life itself is that God the [TS]

00:25:44   universe whatever cuts short some life [TS]

00:25:46   for its narrative purposes and you know [TS]

00:25:48   in life that's maybe the random forces [TS]

00:25:51   are God's great plan in the book it's [TS]

00:25:52   disgusting doing it but he's still [TS]

00:25:54   dicking with you and then go to three [TS]

00:25:57   you see what the what the impact is on [TS]

00:26:00   human life you know when certain [TS]

00:26:02   arbitrary decision has happened and [TS]

00:26:04   she's been one removed from that she's [TS]

00:26:06   third-person observer of this and she [TS]

00:26:09   still has that impact and it has that [TS]

00:26:11   beautiful rediscovery at the end [TS]

00:26:13   well it's the emotional impact two of [TS]

00:26:15   the death of this character that I mean [TS]

00:26:18   it by the end John Scalzi makes you care [TS]

00:26:19   deeply about a red shirt who died which [TS]

00:26:22   is this guy Jenkins his wife who is dead [TS]

00:26:25   by the time we meet him but and and she [TS]

00:26:28   was in this actress who played her was [TS]

00:26:30   in like one episode of the show and that [TS]

00:26:33   you know she was important and he was [TS]

00:26:35   important but he didn't die and she died [TS]

00:26:37   and it was to serve a plot point and [TS]

00:26:40   that's what red shirts are all about is [TS]

00:26:42   deaths to serve plot points and you know [TS]

00:26:45   of course if it was that person had a [TS]

00:26:48   life and a family and their death [TS]

00:26:50   doesn't matter for the show but it would [TS]

00:26:51   matter deeply to you know in reality [TS]

00:26:54   when somebody dies like that it means a [TS]

00:26:56   lot to a lot of people and so by the end [TS]

00:26:59   here we have this character who is we [TS]

00:27:01   never even saw who wasn't important and [TS]

00:27:04   who died but was important to somebody [TS]

00:27:06   who we did meet and it becomes this [TS]

00:27:09   really deeply affecting story based on [TS]

00:27:11   this character who you know was in one [TS]

00:27:13   scene and died in [TS]

00:27:15   me show called back to among others of [TS]

00:27:16   course is the notion that these people [TS]

00:27:18   exist solely to serve a plot point and [TS]

00:27:21   more in the mothers worries that her use [TS]

00:27:24   of the magic in that novels world [TS]

00:27:26   creates all the people necessary to [TS]

00:27:29   populate the reading group that she [TS]

00:27:31   wants to have right well I mean writers [TS]

00:27:33   do like writing stories about writing [TS]

00:27:35   right and about narratives and about [TS]

00:27:36   storytelling because it's what they know [TS]

00:27:38   when they and you can you can be [TS]

00:27:40   self-indulgent this is a bizarre book [TS]

00:27:42   and it is about those things and yet I [TS]

00:27:44   ultimately I like I mean I guess I keep [TS]

00:27:46   saying the same thing which is that this [TS]

00:27:48   could have really been a disaster and it [TS]

00:27:50   wasn't and he's to be credited for [TS]

00:27:52   making lots of really good choices and [TS]

00:27:55   caking his story seriously so that it [TS]

00:27:57   didn't become a disaster [TS]

00:27:59   maybe we never never would've thought it [TS]

00:28:01   was a disaster and he he took his [TS]

00:28:03   premise and and started writing it and [TS]

00:28:05   then said oh ho I i think i've got a [TS]

00:28:07   direction i can take this that that will [TS]

00:28:09   that will be good and I I think he did a [TS]

00:28:12   pretty good job but it's not my favorite [TS]

00:28:13   of his books by a long shot but and it's [TS]

00:28:17   bizarre it's one of the weirder books [TS]

00:28:19   I've ever read [TS]

00:28:20   I would actually have to say because it [TS]

00:28:22   is it's it's we haven't even talked [TS]

00:28:23   about how you know I oh man the college [TS]

00:28:26   papers that are going to be written [TS]

00:28:27   about this book because there's so much [TS]

00:28:29   in it that is you know it's it's almost [TS]

00:28:31   like pop philosophy in a way because [TS]

00:28:33   there's so much sort of existentialism [TS]

00:28:36   in this book right it's like what does [TS]

00:28:37   it mean to be alive and what is the [TS]

00:28:39   meaning of life and are our life stories [TS]

00:28:42   written by other people or written by [TS]

00:28:44   ourselves and I mean you know take those [TS]

00:28:46   college students though some ideas for [TS]

00:28:48   papers for you [TS]

00:28:49   well i think that there's also case we [TS]

00:28:50   made the thing that room was talking [TS]

00:28:52   about earlier that you can read this [TS]

00:28:53   book to like you could read this book as [TS]

00:28:56   a is just the sort of lights i read i [TS]

00:28:57   pick it up you read the whole thing [TS]

00:28:59   there's the kicker chapter 24 [TS]

00:29:01   haha was just screwing with you guys [TS]

00:29:03   every we're all fine before you get to [TS]

00:29:05   kotas and you can read the codes and be [TS]

00:29:07   confused and say I don't get them you [TS]

00:29:09   know I don't get this but the first part [TS]

00:29:11   of the book was sort of clever and fun [TS]

00:29:12   and get it full space stuff and doubles [TS]

00:29:14   and time travel that's great and then [TS]

00:29:16   completely ignore Dakotas and to say I [TS]

00:29:19   don't get this one seems extra these are [TS]

00:29:20   like postscript don't know these need [TS]

00:29:23   you know what I think the Dakotas make [TS]

00:29:25   the book oh yeah i mean i agree i just [TS]

00:29:27   mean people could miss read the book [TS]

00:29:28   though easily oh yeah i mean i guess i [TS]

00:29:30   guess i could see that but at the same [TS]

00:29:32   time I almost see this book as something [TS]

00:29:34   which is almost like Ray Bradbury ask [TS]

00:29:37   where you have the light-hearted science [TS]

00:29:39   fiction and then the undercurrents of it [TS]

00:29:42   you know there's so much about the first [TS]

00:29:44   half of this book that's so wildly [TS]

00:29:47   scientifically inaccurate so many you [TS]

00:29:49   know crazy things not respond that [TS]

00:29:52   grounds the small stories of the qoutes [TS]

00:29:54   so much more like I think it was you [TS]

00:29:57   were saying earlier Jason about you know [TS]

00:30:00   or maybe it was Glenn about the code is [TS]

00:30:02   sort of resembling a short story that [TS]

00:30:04   you kind of need the first half of this [TS]

00:30:06   book for background on and it's kind of [TS]

00:30:09   interesting looking at them that way and [TS]

00:30:10   that I mean kota three you know could [TS]

00:30:14   very well be a short story on its own [TS]

00:30:16   but because we have sort of the sci-fi [TS]

00:30:18   caper in front it actually works like it [TS]

00:30:23   it ties it cohesive Lee together whereas [TS]

00:30:25   before like if i adjust red coat of [TS]

00:30:28   three and a science fiction anthology or [TS]

00:30:30   something like that I would have been [TS]

00:30:31   like oh this is a you know this is an [TS]

00:30:33   interesting short story but I don't [TS]

00:30:36   really feel the sort of gut punch as you [TS]

00:30:39   do having gone through the first half of [TS]

00:30:41   the book for the call another one for [TS]

00:30:42   the college students is you know it's [TS]

00:30:44   totally true these these stories at the [TS]

00:30:46   end the code is at the end don't have [TS]

00:30:48   the impact or wouldn't have the impact [TS]

00:30:49   were it not for the story that comes [TS]

00:30:51   before and since this is a story about [TS]

00:30:54   these characters on a television show [TS]

00:30:57   I have to say you know you can think of [TS]

00:31:00   it that way that that some stories need [TS]

00:31:02   a lot of setup before you get to the [TS]

00:31:05   story and knowing the characters or [TS]

00:31:08   having good in this world for a while as [TS]

00:31:10   the thing that gives them impact and [TS]

00:31:11   that's what TV shows do really well and [TS]

00:31:13   it in a way the novel does exist to set [TS]

00:31:17   up that story and that story would not [TS]

00:31:19   be strong without the novel being there [TS]

00:31:21   and so because we understand how this [TS]

00:31:23   world works and what has happened [TS]

00:31:25   previously then that story really works [TS]

00:31:28   and and you know again there's a whole [TS]

00:31:30   another college paper waiting to happen [TS]

00:31:33   somebody wants to write some literature [TS]

00:31:36   papers about [TS]

00:31:36   john scalzi Scott what did you think of [TS]

00:31:39   of Richard's it as our a voracious [TS]

00:31:41   reader and at a Star Trek fan too [TS]

00:31:44   well you I didn't want to try min since [TS]

00:31:47   everyone was a you know express a great [TS]

00:31:49   praise for the book and sadly you would [TS]

00:31:53   think that I am the ideal candidate or [TS]

00:31:55   not this book immensely i love start [TS]

00:31:57   drink so that's that's a checkbox I like [TS]

00:32:00   john scalzi so that's that's a check [TS]

00:32:02   right i enjoy when writers write about [TS]

00:32:05   writing and include themselves as [TS]

00:32:08   characters and then you know think about [TS]

00:32:10   the narrative and that's all what this [TS]

00:32:13   book is about but it did not work at all [TS]

00:32:15   for me [TS]

00:32:16   ah I mean it why shouldn't they didn't [TS]

00:32:18   work at all for me I thought it was a [TS]

00:32:19   fun read but I thought it was kind of a [TS]

00:32:22   like a bubble all surface [TS]

00:32:25   I didn't really think that he really [TS]

00:32:27   delved into these ideas very much i [TS]

00:32:29   think the problem there are two problems [TS]

00:32:31   ah that made it didn't work for me and [TS]

00:32:34   they're both obviously subjective right [TS]

00:32:36   so the biggest one is humor right so [TS]

00:32:38   humor is so difficult to write because [TS]

00:32:41   everybody has different sense of humor [TS]

00:32:42   and I the the humor in the book just did [TS]

00:32:46   not work for me at all I didn't like the [TS]

00:32:48   last chapter [TS]

00:32:49   Oh cheap when he said you know they're [TS]

00:32:51   all dead and then haha just kidding that [TS]

00:32:54   did i did laugh at that I just thought [TS]

00:32:55   that's a giant rip off and I hate you [TS]

00:32:58   haha and i didn't believe in that I [TS]

00:33:03   didn't care about the characters so if [TS]

00:33:05   you don't care about the characters [TS]

00:33:06   Dakota's don't really work because I [TS]

00:33:11   didn't care about what happened and so [TS]

00:33:13   the having more information about them [TS]

00:33:15   didn't really matter to me i obviously I [TS]

00:33:19   appreciate what he was trying to do what [TS]

00:33:22   it just did not work at all for me and I [TS]

00:33:26   think that another example of kind of [TS]

00:33:29   like the metaphysical talking about [TS]

00:33:31   story things that did work for me is [TS]

00:33:33   there's an author called Paul Auster who [TS]

00:33:36   is a like one of the Giants of [TS]

00:33:38   post-modernism and he wrote that the New [TS]

00:33:40   York trilogy which is fantastic one of [TS]

00:33:42   my favorite novels ever and it's all [TS]

00:33:44   about it's kind of a detective story but [TS]

00:33:47   really it's a story about the story and [TS]

00:33:48   paul auster is a character [TS]

00:33:50   it and he's writing the book but it's [TS]

00:33:51   also in it so it's free it's kind of the [TS]

00:33:53   same area that skull sees a working with [TS]

00:33:57   but obviously not with the syfy twist [TS]

00:33:59   and it's unfair to compare Paul Auster [TS]

00:34:04   and Jonathan's calls because they're you [TS]

00:34:06   know they're completely different [TS]

00:34:07   writers obviously in there they're [TS]

00:34:09   trying completely different things but [TS]

00:34:12   it just it i kept comparing it to that [TS]

00:34:14   book and it would fall short as would i [TS]

00:34:16   think ninety-eight percent of the books [TS]

00:34:18   written fall short of that margins that [TS]

00:34:20   that mark so it's unfair obviously but [TS]

00:34:23   didn't really work for me [TS]

00:34:25   Wow is the short version of that server [TS]

00:34:29   no I think your criticism as well [TS]

00:34:30   because it's it's this is one of the [TS]

00:34:32   things i like about the book to is that [TS]

00:34:34   there's so much in it there's so much to [TS]

00:34:37   like dislike or critique he's packed so [TS]

00:34:39   much and I think you came down on the [TS]

00:34:42   downside of a lot of things that the [TS]

00:34:43   rest of us may have found as more up [TS]

00:34:45   properties [TS]

00:34:46   yeah and I can totally see the other [TS]

00:34:48   side I can see how as i was reading this [TS]

00:34:50   I was thinking I could be enjoying his [TS]

00:34:53   stuff [TS]

00:34:53   how dare you your points are equally [TS]

00:34:55   parallel you know exactly what I was you [TS]

00:34:57   I i was sad that I wasn't enjoying it as [TS]

00:35:00   much as I i knew i could be but just [TS]

00:35:02   there was something that just didn't [TS]

00:35:04   work for me [TS]

00:35:05   you have to admit he this could have [TS]

00:35:06   been really really bad though it was not [TS]

00:35:09   it was not bad at all it was not I don't [TS]

00:35:12   think its failure i think it he did he [TS]

00:35:16   took the idea and when interesting [TS]

00:35:18   places with it just at it overall it did [TS]

00:35:21   not work for me but i think that it is a [TS]

00:35:23   it was it an attempt that was ambitious [TS]

00:35:28   and certainly didn't crash and burn it [TS]

00:35:31   just was like I was just mad about it [TS]

00:35:33   and yeah i'm not going to nominate it [TS]

00:35:35   for you or anything right eye and I but [TS]

00:35:38   i think i would I do wonder how much of [TS]

00:35:39   my reaction to it was just sort of [TS]

00:35:41   relief that it was not the terrible [TS]

00:35:42   thing that I kind of envision that it [TS]

00:35:44   might be that that he was i I like i [TS]

00:35:47   said i really admire that he fully [TS]

00:35:49   committed to his premise and just kept [TS]

00:35:51   going with it and kept exploring it i [TS]

00:35:53   think you're right that it's not as [TS]

00:35:55   funny as it could be into individually [TS]

00:35:58   although i did like the ending I I that [TS]

00:36:01   I was totally suckered by that I didn't [TS]

00:36:03   I I laughed so I i took it the other way [TS]

00:36:05   and that it was a ripoff but that's just [TS]

00:36:07   it was a it was kind of a funny a funny [TS]

00:36:10   joke but but i did find the last the [TS]

00:36:13   Dakotas affecting and that I and I think [TS]

00:36:17   Wren said this to I think that can put [TS]

00:36:19   it over the top for me into the I like [TS]

00:36:21   two categories to hit his effort in [TS]

00:36:23   trying to commit fully commit to his [TS]

00:36:24   premise and then the fact that at the [TS]

00:36:27   end you you you know i did like these [TS]

00:36:30   characters on you know on earth on our [TS]

00:36:33   current planet Earth who are affected by [TS]

00:36:35   this crazy science fictional premise in [TS]

00:36:37   a real human way I like that about it [TS]

00:36:40   you know so that those are the things [TS]

00:36:42   that that made me like it but you know I [TS]

00:36:45   I see where you're coming from Scott I i [TS]

00:36:47   think there are plenty of things that i [TS]

00:36:48   have issue with here it's certainly not [TS]

00:36:50   his best work by a long shot i mean it [TS]

00:36:53   might even be his worst novel but I [TS]

00:36:56   liked all his novels so what did you [TS]

00:36:59   like the androids dream because this [TS]

00:37:01   reminds me of uh that's the 1i haven't [TS]

00:37:03   that's the 1i have a red that's the only [TS]

00:37:05   1i haven't read it sitting on it a [TS]

00:37:06   little bit of a hot mess i mean i was [TS]

00:37:07   going to say like red shirts is a is a [TS]

00:37:09   positive version of that in that like [TS]

00:37:12   when she pulls everything together and [TS]

00:37:14   his dream it's like it's a lot of [TS]

00:37:16   interesting funny ideas that they stuff [TS]

00:37:18   two duffel bag and shook so it's a [TS]

00:37:20   little inconvenient but it's just like [TS]

00:37:23   there's a lot of plot in it and to sort [TS]

00:37:25   of make a joke about philip k dick book [TS]

00:37:28   at some point you know that's that's [TS]

00:37:29   part of the whole point of this large [TS]

00:37:32   joke of the book but yeah that's you [TS]

00:37:35   should you should read that could lead [TS]

00:37:36   to read involves animal husbandry i [TS]

00:37:40   gotta say i'm actually just as a side [TS]

00:37:43   note this retirement john scalzi waited [TS]

00:37:45   a whole podcast about him a little [TS]

00:37:48   worried about john scalzi honestly i-i-i [TS]

00:37:51   like him I like many of his novels i [TS]

00:37:55   think his blog is really interesting i'm [TS]

00:37:57   a little worried that he is he is not [TS]

00:38:01   focused on the things that make him a [TS]

00:38:05   good writer and he is [TS]

00:38:08   I mean what I said earlier about stunts [TS]

00:38:10   i mean he did this book which is this [TS]

00:38:14   wacky high-concept thing [TS]

00:38:17   and he you know he quit himself ok right [TS]

00:38:19   or or not if you're Scott uh he don't [TS]

00:38:24   regret reading it [TS]

00:38:25   he did he did he did a fuzzy nation [TS]

00:38:28   which again I kinda liked although I [TS]

00:38:29   actually read the original and thought [TS]

00:38:33   it was better than fuzzy nation was [TS]

00:38:35   heated shadow or the night dragons he's [TS]

00:38:37   doing this I guess I was like a serial [TS]

00:38:38   novel thing on tor.com he i just i [TS]

00:38:43   wonder if he is you know it is he not [TS]

00:38:48   focusing on the things that made him [TS]

00:38:50   successful in the beginning with what [TS]

00:38:52   writing these novels like old man's war [TS]

00:38:54   and and that series and has become [TS]

00:38:58   almost like a you know the internet [TS]

00:39:01   celebrity sci-fi writer who does crazy [TS]

00:39:04   you know high-concept projects instead I [TS]

00:39:09   don't know III because I I feel like [TS]

00:39:11   he's done a lot of those lately [TS]

00:39:13   well this is more ready player one that [TS]

00:39:15   is old man's war that's for sure that's [TS]

00:39:18   true and i asked see him read a report [TS]

00:39:21   for this book and I kind of got that I [TS]

00:39:23   it i I'm sure he's a lovely man he [TS]

00:39:25   seemed very personable but I I got the [TS]

00:39:28   sense that he was really really enjoying [TS]

00:39:32   his internet celebrity which of course [TS]

00:39:34   you know he should and he should enjoy [TS]

00:39:35   his success uh and who am I to judge [TS]

00:39:38   what he does sure he's he's far more [TS]

00:39:42   successful than I am so who would he [TS]

00:39:44   doesn't care what I think but I was just [TS]

00:39:45   got a weird vibe from the whole thing [TS]

00:39:48   yeah he got the Wil Wheaton reading its [TS]

00:39:49   audiobook and he's got the jonathan [TS]

00:39:51   coulton doing a song for his you know [TS]

00:39:54   for it for the novel there's like a [TS]

00:39:56   redshirt song there is it's cute but but [TS]

00:40:00   it feels like you know how is he [TS]

00:40:02   nerds on the internet love that stuff [TS]

00:40:05   right but I I part of me feels like it [TS]

00:40:08   it can be really insular and and you you [TS]

00:40:12   risk believe in you if you believe your [TS]

00:40:14   own PR uh-huh and you risk disappearing [TS]

00:40:17   up your own backside and I worried about [TS]

00:40:19   that with john scalzi know that's what [TS]

00:40:21   the point at which you know at the [TS]

00:40:23   reading I was like oh this is not good [TS]

00:40:24   because obviously you're doing reading [TS]

00:40:27   people go there who like you right so [TS]

00:40:29   it's kind of an easy [TS]

00:40:30   the crowd and I got it he was getting a [TS]

00:40:34   lot less and he he wrote this dialogue [TS]

00:40:37   things set in the red church universe [TS]

00:40:40   about a lawyer suing the United Union uh [TS]

00:40:45   you know on part at under labor laws and [TS]

00:40:48   trying to get a settlement for it right [TS]

00:40:50   and so he wrote this thing so he could [TS]

00:40:51   do it at various readings and he told [TS]

00:40:55   people it secret don't tell anybody [TS]

00:40:56   about it whatever and you know it was [TS]

00:40:58   mildly amusing but people were laughing [TS]

00:41:01   their heads off like this was the most [TS]

00:41:03   insanely funny thing they've ever heard [TS]

00:41:06   which i think if you kind of if you do [TS]

00:41:09   not you know set yourself in your mind [TS]

00:41:12   okay this is a very amenable audience [TS]

00:41:15   and perhaps this isn't as funny as it [TS]

00:41:17   would be elsewhere [TS]

00:41:19   you might start believing your own hype [TS]

00:41:21   well this is the Woodstock implosion [TS]

00:41:24   it's that you have a very large audience [TS]

00:41:27   of people who have now found their sort [TS]

00:41:29   of arch semi Ron a ironic an erotic [TS]

00:41:33   crowd so you've got my fallen storm and [TS]

00:41:37   wil wheaton and john scalzi and a whole [TS]

00:41:39   bunch of other people Felicia Day like 2 [TS]

00:41:41   everyone is working at everyone else's [TS]

00:41:43   projects everyone involved in it and it [TS]

00:41:46   you can't critique it from the [TS]

00:41:47   standpoint of popularity because all [TS]

00:41:49   these people are achieving a measure of [TS]

00:41:51   Fame beyond a geek subculture or you [TS]

00:41:54   know both you know by any measure [TS]

00:41:56   they're making money they're getting [TS]

00:41:58   popular they're leeching into mainstream [TS]

00:42:00   culture but it is a Woodstock Oh sphere [TS]

00:42:03   you know echo chamber that is [TS]

00:42:05   threatening to swallow us all into a [TS]

00:42:07   singularity of 8-bit graphics now it's [TS]

00:42:10   not beyond know that that's a complete [TS]

00:42:12   loss of perspective it is concentrated [TS]

00:42:14   nerd subculture but it's not beyond it [TS]

00:42:17   was a black is black hole so it's simple [TS]

00:42:19   it's super narrow nerds appealing to [TS]

00:42:24   other nerds and you know it's great the [TS]

00:42:26   redshirts got the marketing that it did [TS]

00:42:28   and it's great that it is that John [TS]

00:42:30   Scalzi sold a lot of copies of it more [TS]

00:42:32   than his other books but he's got a lot [TS]

00:42:33   of other books that are better and my [TS]

00:42:36   head that sort of the root of my concern [TS]

00:42:37   is it would be a damn shame if people as [TS]

00:42:40   talented as john scalzi and some of the [TS]

00:42:42   other people that we mentioned here [TS]

00:42:43   I know not a damn shame that they can [TS]

00:42:46   make a living by serving that nerd [TS]

00:42:48   audience but i think a damn shame if [TS]

00:42:50   they are that they kind of turn inward [TS]

00:42:53   and are only trying to serve that [TS]

00:42:55   audience and not trying to serve ya a [TS]

00:42:57   broader audience and think more broadly [TS]

00:42:59   and that's Michael I'm sorry that's why [TS]

00:43:01   we go that's why I'm calling an [TS]

00:43:02   implosion is that there's a lot of the [TS]

00:43:03   artists facing inward in that circle [TS]

00:43:05   were actually doing quite well within [TS]

00:43:06   some of it leaks out you know so expects [TS]

00:43:09   suspect escapes the Woodstock black [TS]

00:43:12   heroes fears and but so the broader [TS]

00:43:14   culture but i think there is a lot of [TS]

00:43:16   inward turning I mean Jonathan Coulton [TS]

00:43:17   an interesting case you've forgotten [TS]

00:43:19   episode two of you talk to him but his [TS]

00:43:21   music can be broadly appealing although [TS]

00:43:23   it has a narrower appeal to a particular [TS]

00:43:26   niche audience as well that made the [TS]

00:43:28   following much more closely and then it [TS]

00:43:29   joins not big enough [TS]

00:43:31   he doesn't have to appeal I mean this is [TS]

00:43:32   like the louis ck thing or all of those [TS]

00:43:34   things is a point at which you don't [TS]

00:43:36   have to appeal outward and do stuff that [TS]

00:43:38   may be more challenging and difficult or [TS]

00:43:40   be interesting to a group outside of the [TS]

00:43:42   insular part and i think there's a [TS]

00:43:43   danger there as you say I like I'm sure [TS]

00:43:46   it hasn't really happened yet but yes I [TS]

00:43:48   feel like see a lot more of that [TS]

00:43:49   everyone pointing to each other in a [TS]

00:43:51   circle and you know outside that circle [TS]

00:43:53   are 10 million people with dollar bills [TS]

00:43:55   and there's nothing wrong with was [TS]

00:43:57   saying I could make a i can make a [TS]

00:43:58   living i found an audience and I could [TS]

00:44:00   make a living at this i mean i think [TS]

00:44:01   that's fantastic that people like like [TS]

00:44:04   Jonathan Coulton can can make a living [TS]

00:44:06   because they found even though they're [TS]

00:44:07   not broadly popular they have found an [TS]

00:44:10   audience big enough that loves them [TS]

00:44:11   enough to support them i think that'd be [TS]

00:44:13   great [TS]

00:44:13   artistically it bothers me because I [TS]

00:44:16   feel like that leads to this sort of the [TS]

00:44:19   video potential you're just you i know [TS]

00:44:21   my audience and I know what they want [TS]

00:44:23   and I'm not saying that that that like [TS]

00:44:25   Holden would do this but it would be [TS]

00:44:27   very easy for jonathan coulton I've [TS]

00:44:28   heard him when he was on with Merlin [TS]

00:44:30   Mann on Marlins podcast he talked about [TS]

00:44:31   the you know the archetypal jonathan [TS]

00:44:34   coulton song and you know you could you [TS]

00:44:35   can do a paint-by-numbers jonathan [TS]

00:44:37   coulton song fairly easily [TS]

00:44:39   it might it be as good as his but you [TS]

00:44:41   know I at if I if he's an artist that I [TS]

00:44:43   like I want to see him stretch himself [TS]

00:44:45   and and push himself and and Scotty I'm [TS]

00:44:47   worried is is you know he's had a lot of [TS]

00:44:50   projects recently then I'm not so sure I [TS]

00:44:52   think they're like more high-concept [TS]

00:44:53   appealing to the to the masses who love [TS]

00:44:56   him and may [TS]

00:44:57   he not trying to push himself further [TS]

00:44:59   and hey you know if if you can make a [TS]

00:45:01   living doing that that's great but as a [TS]

00:45:03   consumer of your work I i would like to [TS]

00:45:05   see you not be kind of in this insular [TS]

00:45:08   you know in insular nervous fear I think [TS]

00:45:11   you hit with high concept to its [TS]

00:45:12   something i mean that's that deal right [TS]

00:45:13   is like high concept means you can [TS]

00:45:15   describe it in shorter than elevator [TS]

00:45:17   ride between two floors you know why [TS]

00:45:19   after you while you're walking up the [TS]

00:45:20   flights three stairs three steps [TS]

00:45:22   redshirts novel on it's like red shirts [TS]

00:45:25   i wonder if that's what bothered you [TS]

00:45:26   about it initially bothered me a bit too [TS]

00:45:28   was you like the title of the book tells [TS]

00:45:31   you what it's going to be about and then [TS]

00:45:32   the book turns out not to entirely [TS]

00:45:34   confirm our worst fears [TS]

00:45:37   it's like a relief and the respect and [TS]

00:45:39   uh he uh i'm scott i'm usually you in [TS]

00:45:42   this scenario so I the book is entirely [TS]

00:45:45   from reviewers really the words red [TS]

00:45:48   shirts and the knowledge he writes about [TS]

00:45:50   science fiction tells you what you think [TS]

00:45:51   the books me about and everything else [TS]

00:45:53   elaboration and it's much better and [TS]

00:45:55   more subtle than that you worried that [TS]

00:45:56   someone can just do a call-out you know [TS]

00:45:59   hey i'm going to talk about [TS]

00:46:00   you-know-what back since we call you [TS]

00:46:02   know you worry that the whole thing [TS]

00:46:04   becomes call-outs shoutouts right right [TS]

00:46:09   no I think that's it I mean and again I [TS]

00:46:10   don't wanna die I think it's great that [TS]

00:46:12   people love Woodstock and people you [TS]

00:46:15   know people love wil wheaton and they [TS]

00:46:16   love Jonathan Coulton and they love but [TS]

00:46:18   I don't know that I want that I want [TS]

00:46:19   that culture to creep after I feel like [TS]

00:46:21   when you when everybody's on a cruise [TS]

00:46:23   ship you know it's all hot cocoa crews [TS]

00:46:26   and Woodstock and things like that [TS]

00:46:27   I think it's great inside there and I [TS]

00:46:29   also wanted to be already validated but [TS]

00:46:32   i wanted to be a this is where we were [TS]

00:46:34   talking on episode 100 of the [TS]

00:46:36   incomparable about organization and [TS]

00:46:38   genre ghettos and so forth it's against [TS]

00:46:40   the same thing you want you don't want [TS]

00:46:42   the stuff you like necessarily to be [TS]

00:46:43   entirely trapped inside of a [TS]

00:46:45   self-perpetuating hermetic means that [TS]

00:46:47   only people right steep themselves so [TS]

00:46:50   fully in the culture can understand you [TS]

00:46:52   wanna be able to talk to other people [TS]

00:46:53   about this stuff too [TS]

00:46:54   yeah and if it becomes so insular that [TS]

00:46:56   it's great if everybody can make a [TS]

00:46:57   living at it but I I'm not really [TS]

00:46:59   ultimately not interested in reading a [TS]

00:47:01   novel by a person who is only interested [TS]

00:47:03   in making references to the circle of [TS]

00:47:06   people that we all know and are all I [TS]

00:47:08   mean at some point it's just [TS]

00:47:10   yeah it's just disappointing and [TS]

00:47:11   depressing and I saw you know I'm not [TS]

00:47:13   gonna buy my new novel called Colton day [TS]

00:47:16   wheaton the eternal trilogy yeah okay [TS]

00:47:20   well ya around ready player to [TS]

00:47:22   reconnoiter to that's my favorite [TS]

00:47:26   yeah I don't know I that that's a that's [TS]

00:47:29   it's just if it's just a feeling little [TS]

00:47:31   spider sense the back that it's just so [TS]

00:47:34   I hope John Scalzi while he's he should [TS]

00:47:36   make money and as much of it as he as he [TS]

00:47:38   can and he should do he should follow [TS]

00:47:41   his bliss but I hope you know I hope he [TS]

00:47:45   continues to challenge himself [TS]

00:47:46   creatively and not just kind of pander [TS]

00:47:47   to the to the audience that is a little [TS]

00:47:51   smaller and more insular and you know [TS]

00:47:53   but hey you Richard sold really well so [TS]

00:47:56   maybe I did maybe not be red shirts to a [TS]

00:48:00   shadow war the night dragons which I [TS]

00:48:02   read because it was a hugo nominee you [TS]

00:48:04   know it's funny but at the same time [TS]

00:48:06   it's really just kind of a terry [TS]

00:48:07   pratchett riff it felt like a lost [TS]

00:48:09   chapter from a charity project novel [TS]

00:48:12   yeah I read that whatever that the short [TS]

00:48:15   story and and you when you compared to [TS]

00:48:17   the other nominated short stories you [TS]

00:48:19   think why why yeah why is this here [TS]

00:48:22   oii so any Hugo's you can you can vote [TS]

00:48:24   no award is one of the options and you [TS]

00:48:29   can rank them it's a ranked choice votes [TS]

00:48:30   you can have six votes if there are five [TS]

00:48:32   nominees and that means you can insert [TS]

00:48:34   no award in the middle and say below [TS]

00:48:38   here if these are the only ones left [TS]

00:48:41   I vote to not have an award which is [TS]

00:48:43   great because it's the fu of of award [TS]

00:48:46   voting it's hilarious in the best novel [TS]

00:48:49   category you might put no award above [TS]

00:48:51   deadline by mere grant just an example [TS]

00:48:54   and not saying that's how I voted that's [TS]

00:48:56   how about it and 44 short story for [TS]

00:49:00   short story i voted i voted no word [TS]

00:49:03   above shadow or the night dragons [TS]

00:49:04   because it doesn't fit [TS]

00:49:05   it's a joke and I'm actually really [TS]

00:49:07   concerned that because people like John [TS]

00:49:09   Scalzi he's gonna get the award today [TS]

00:49:11   he's a nice guy and he is he's funny and [TS]

00:49:13   he's got his website and that's great [TS]

00:49:14   and in no it's not appropriate [TS]

00:49:19   it doesn't fit it's a it's a funny joke [TS]

00:49:22   that's really a terry pratchett parody [TS]

00:49:25   sort of and no now yeah and I mean there [TS]

00:49:28   are some of the short stories [TS]

00:49:30   denominators are just absolutely [TS]

00:49:31   beautiful and that yes I it would be a [TS]

00:49:34   shame for a joke to win it would be a [TS]

00:49:38   joke for a shame to win but still if [TS]

00:49:40   it's a well-crafted joke i think it has [TS]

00:49:43   its on its own merits I don't [TS]

00:49:44   necessarily think it should win either [TS]

00:49:45   but it's I think writing it off as aid [TS]

00:49:49   in April Fool's Day prank rather than [TS]

00:49:52   looking at it as I mean the story as [TS]

00:49:54   good as far as farcical as it is is it [TS]

00:49:58   I mean it's a I I thought it was kind of [TS]

00:50:01   funny but really you know again like I [TS]

00:50:04   said I felt like a terry pratchett kind [TS]

00:50:06   of thing to me and just a chapter and [TS]

00:50:08   there were some jokes in it and it was [TS]

00:50:10   funny but i don't know i mean it was it [TS]

00:50:12   didn't feel some of those short stories [TS]

00:50:16   are really kind of beautiful and [TS]

00:50:17   spectacular and then this was you know [TS]

00:50:19   an internet joke that was mildly funny I [TS]

00:50:21   I just don't i don't know i don't think [TS]

00:50:24   they measure up at all maybe they need a [TS]

00:50:25   new category that's like best internet [TS]

00:50:27   joke [TS]

00:50:29   yeah I mean I don't necessarily think [TS]

00:50:31   that the story is better than the rest [TS]

00:50:33   of the short stories out there for the [TS]

00:50:35   Hugo's but it's just I I'm reticent to [TS]

00:50:38   disqualify something just because it was [TS]

00:50:40   written for the internet or written as a [TS]

00:50:43   joke or something like that you know i [TS]

00:50:44   would [TS]

00:50:45   it's it's not as good a story as the [TS]

00:50:47   other short stories there [TS]

00:50:49   yeah but that's why it should not when [TS]

00:50:51   the Huguenots that it was already fools [TS]

00:50:53   project i don't know if it was a [TS]

00:50:55   beautifully written [TS]

00:50:57   Joe could that through you know on the [TS]

00:51:00   well I guess it all goes to what do you [TS]

00:51:02   think is a why should something a hero [TS]

00:51:05   right so if it's just because it's fun [TS]

00:51:07   to read and popular then sure that you [TS]

00:51:10   get the you go if you think that it's an [TS]

00:51:11   award for you know the craft writing and [TS]

00:51:15   you know how you know how well-written [TS]

00:51:18   something is and how it affects you then [TS]

00:51:21   I think that that probably shouldn't win [TS]

00:51:23   Hugo yeah of course I guess it is a [TS]

00:51:26   popularity contest when it comes down to [TS]

00:51:27   it so maybe we'll so before we go I [TS]

00:51:30   wanted to just very quickly go around [TS]

00:51:33   the [TS]

00:51:34   room and asked my favorite uncomfortable [TS]

00:51:37   book club question which is what are you [TS]

00:51:41   reading [TS]

00:51:42   Scott McNulty what are you doing [TS]

00:51:45   oh I i'm reading a book yay [TS]

00:51:48   really it's an actual physical book that [TS]

00:51:51   I got oh there's this building that has [TS]

00:51:53   the books in it you can take it out free [TS]

00:51:55   and it's not theft so wow it's very [TS]

00:51:59   exciting so I read there's a new book [TS]

00:52:01   this that just came out called sharps by [TS]

00:52:03   an author called KJ parker who had never [TS]

00:52:07   heard of but they were really marketing [TS]

00:52:09   this sharps book so i bought it with [TS]

00:52:13   some google credit that I had from the [TS]

00:52:16   google play store and i read it and i [TS]

00:52:17   thought was really good so that led me [TS]

00:52:19   to want to read another one of this [TS]

00:52:22   person's books i was going to say her [TS]

00:52:23   but KJ parker is a pen name and that no [TS]

00:52:26   one knows who this person is or what [TS]

00:52:28   their sex is so i am currently reading a [TS]

00:52:32   book by KJ parker called devices and [TS]

00:52:34   desires about basically an engineer who [TS]

00:52:38   is kicked out of his City because he [TS]

00:52:42   created an abomination which meant that [TS]

00:52:45   he built and a little toy outside of the [TS]

00:52:49   specification agreed-upon specifications [TS]

00:52:52   of the guild so they were going to kill [TS]

00:52:54   him he escapes and it's all about how [TS]

00:52:56   he's going to exact revenge upon the [TS]

00:52:59   city through a very complicated means [TS]

00:53:02   one imagines in the trilogy this is the [TS]

00:53:03   first book in the trilogy so we will see [TS]

00:53:06   how it goes [TS]

00:53:09   from the library mhm it came from the [TS]

00:53:12   library [TS]

00:53:12   very nice serenity Caldwell what are you [TS]

00:53:16   reading I'm reading several things also [TS]

00:53:18   from the library is the new place that I [TS]

00:53:21   moved into the library is three blocks [TS]

00:53:23   from so I feel like it's a cardinal sin [TS]

00:53:26   if i don't go check out books at least [TS]

00:53:27   once a week we love what I have actually [TS]

00:53:30   I've never read the dark is rising [TS]

00:53:32   series so despite being young adults and [TS]

00:53:35   despite me having should have having [TS]

00:53:37   read it like 10 years ago I picked it up [TS]

00:53:39   because I'm like I have been meaning to [TS]

00:53:41   read this and this seems like it could [TS]

00:53:42   be interesting summer reading despite [TS]

00:53:44   the fact that it's set in christmas time [TS]

00:53:45   I so I have that on my on my I'd say my [TS]

00:53:50   bedside table but really it's a floating [TS]

00:53:52   bookshelf in my doorway because i don't [TS]

00:53:54   have room for a bedside table in the [TS]

00:53:56   studio so that's sitting on my floating [TS]

00:53:58   bookshelf as well as stranger in a [TS]

00:54:00   strange land [TS]

00:54:01   it's a it's a catch-up time yeah i'm [TS]

00:54:05   using the summer as catch-up time for [TS]

00:54:07   books that I have been meaning to read [TS]

00:54:09   but haven't read yet and i just finished [TS]

00:54:11   Joe Waltons uh half half penny what's [TS]

00:54:17   the series called Scott like the small [TS]

00:54:19   small small change will change yeah I I [TS]

00:54:23   keep on thinking of its other name where [TS]

00:54:25   it's like a a brief look at fascism or [TS]

00:54:28   something codes to fascism but that I [TS]

00:54:33   just finished reading the third book in [TS]

00:54:34   that series and that is a really lovely [TS]

00:54:36   technology for people who haven't read [TS]

00:54:38   we're going to do a book club about that [TS]

00:54:40   serious i think yeah we should I I what [TS]

00:54:43   we should do that we should we have a [TS]

00:54:45   quorum of people who have read it [TS]

00:54:46   yep I'm with the third one yet but I'd [TS]

00:54:48   be more than happy to I just wish you [TS]

00:54:50   know depressed enough by the first to it [TS]

00:54:51   I thought I'd leave it out there for a [TS]

00:54:52   little while the third one is pretty [TS]

00:54:54   good [TS]

00:54:54   alright i liked it i'll read it when [TS]

00:54:57   what are you reading [TS]

00:54:58   I will have an epic couple months of [TS]

00:55:01   work and in which work is occupied [TS]

00:55:05   have you read nothing my waking hours so [TS]

00:55:07   I red red shirts [TS]

00:55:08   I'm actually reading i think the closest [TS]

00:55:11   thing to an appropriate book that I'm [TS]

00:55:13   reading is the Phantom Tollbooth which [TS]

00:55:14   i'm reading aloud to my five and [TS]

00:55:17   seven and a fraction almost eight year [TS]

00:55:20   old alma ATA adore it's a 51-year old [TS]

00:55:23   book it's a lovely book everything is a [TS]

00:55:25   kid not totally getting it's fun to read [TS]

00:55:27   it as an adult [TS]

00:55:28   it is so horribly full of puns and [TS]

00:55:31   mechanisms and synecdoche and silliness [TS]

00:55:36   and Hungary and it's um it's a wonderful [TS]

00:55:39   book and what's great is it works so [TS]

00:55:41   amazingly for kids when you're reading [TS]

00:55:43   stuff that's really deep critique of [TS]

00:55:46   language at some level and silly the [TS]

00:55:48   silly part comes through even when the [TS]

00:55:51   critique of society language freedom [TS]

00:55:53   patriarchal domination whenever when [TS]

00:55:57   that parties requires more advanced [TS]

00:55:59   years so i highly recommend that a [TS]

00:56:01   51-year old book delightful dice and [TS]

00:56:04   hamburger is my favorite sort of buggery [TS]

00:56:06   by the world hunger is the only [TS]

00:56:08   acceptable form that doesn't get your [TS]

00:56:09   explicit label on itunes I and i just [TS]

00:56:14   finished a talent for war by jack [TS]

00:56:16   mcdevitt which is the first of his Alex [TS]

00:56:19   Benedict series of novels which of [TS]

00:56:22   course i have read all the others could [TS]

00:56:25   save the first four last which is very [TS]

00:56:27   strange but I just sort of fell into [TS]

00:56:29   those books and they don't really need [TS]

00:56:30   to be read in any order and that's you [TS]

00:56:33   know I had to laugh because this in many [TS]

00:56:34   ways is the archetypal McDevitt [TS]

00:56:36   adventure novel they're fun big brought [TS]

00:56:39   you know widescreen space adventure [TS]

00:56:41   novels this is Benedict is the Indiana [TS]

00:56:44   Jones of outer space he's a an [TS]

00:56:46   archaeologist who finds lost treasures [TS]

00:56:49   throughout the galaxy and what's funny [TS]

00:56:53   about it is that McDevitt has his things [TS]

00:56:55   that he has in every like every jack [TS]

00:56:57   mcdevitt book somebody will munch on a [TS]

00:56:59   sandwich sandwiches will fit figure in [TS]

00:57:01   the plot at some point there will be [TS]

00:57:03   asking of skimmers that they get around [TS]

00:57:05   in there like little air cars there will [TS]

00:57:07   be a skimmer accident probably involving [TS]

00:57:09   sabotage there will be a shocking moment [TS]

00:57:12   when one character is threatened by [TS]

00:57:13   another character with a gun and there [TS]

00:57:16   will usually be something that happens [TS]

00:57:18   planetside when they're down on a planet [TS]

00:57:21   that threatens their ability to go back [TS]

00:57:23   to the the ship that's in orbit and I [TS]

00:57:25   swear you know four out of five of those [TS]

00:57:28   things happen in every single one of his [TS]

00:57:29   novels and i love them [TS]

00:57:30   but he's got his things that he does but [TS]

00:57:33   I love that they're all these various [TS]

00:57:34   planets and usually his plots involved [TS]

00:57:36   you know we don't know why this person [TS]

00:57:38   never came back but there may be like [TS]

00:57:40   there may be an undiscovered planet that [TS]

00:57:42   they went to that's a secret or there [TS]

00:57:44   may be a spaceship lost somewhere that [TS]

00:57:46   we could find and I i like that that [TS]

00:57:49   that kind of stuff and it's setting like [TS]

00:57:51   the year 10,000 and so it's also very [TS]

00:57:53   amusing because they keep investigating [TS]

00:57:55   ancient history and ancient history is [TS]

00:57:57   still like the year eight thousand on [TS]

00:58:00   some planet somewhere where they've lost [TS]

00:58:02   all the records and that is really funny [TS]

00:58:05   too so it's a it's a nice sort of light [TS]

00:58:08   summer reading kind of thing that it's [TS]

00:58:10   easy fun a sci-fi for the summer and [TS]

00:58:14   given that i'm also trying to get [TS]

00:58:16   through pretty do street station by [TS]

00:58:18   China Mieville and boy i'm having the [TS]

00:58:20   devil of a time getting through that so [TS]

00:58:22   I i read an entire other book just to [TS]

00:58:24   just to procrastinate and avoid reading [TS]

00:58:28   the pretty street station that stuff [TS]

00:58:31   i've read that one [TS]

00:58:32   I've read that one too i wish i can read [TS]

00:58:35   that one [TS]

00:58:36   I bet your life but this channel maybe I [TS]

00:58:37   shouldn't maybe should abandon it [TS]

00:58:39   I don't know it's a big messy book much [TS]

00:58:41   Glenn's been special review big messy [TS]

00:58:43   book the payoff I is so horrible and [TS]

00:58:47   unsatisfying battery rest of the [TS]

00:58:50   sprawling book seems to be less useful [TS]

00:58:52   in its nature you know me like a lot of [TS]

00:58:54   officers problems with the pay the [TS]

00:58:55   payoff and i have to say that pretty [TS]

00:58:57   perdido street station set up an awful [TS]

00:59:00   lot for what crumbles into a pile of [TS]

00:59:04   crud i recall band more and saying at [TS]

00:59:06   one point that he felt like he had to [TS]

00:59:09   take a shower after reading perdido [TS]

00:59:11   street station because he thought it was [TS]

00:59:12   so kind of dirty and gross and ugly and [TS]

00:59:15   nasty yeah I feel the same way I felt I [TS]

00:59:18   felt covered with like undergrowth and [TS]

00:59:20   battled protraction city and this it's [TS]

00:59:24   like that was horrible was like you just [TS]

00:59:26   got like yeah Mary montreal i won't come [TS]

00:59:30   off and maybe i will just give up like a [TS]

00:59:32   street and if it paid off I'd be okay [TS]

00:59:34   with it but I just don't feel there are [TS]

00:59:36   characters and plots and pieces [TS]

00:59:37   abandoned so [TS]

00:59:38   much on the sides of the track that you [TS]

00:59:40   know you're like to have snow banks load [TS]

00:59:42   plot detritus as the train rumbles on [TS]

00:59:45   yeah well okay well that got me totally [TS]

00:59:48   up for that book there you go i just [TS]

00:59:50   save you 800 pages or something yeah [TS]

00:59:52   pretty much pretty much all right well i [TS]

00:59:55   am going to close up the incomparable [TS]

00:59:57   book club for this [TS]

00:59:58   this edition will be back [TS]

00:59:58   this edition will be back [TS]

01:00:00   with another book hopefully soon maybe [TS]

01:00:02   in fact we'll talk about those Joe [TS]

01:00:03   waldenbooks that's a great idea i'm glad [TS]

01:00:05   we came up with it so until next time I [TS]

01:00:08   want to thank my guests for reading the [TS]

01:00:10   books because not everybody reads the [TS]

01:00:12   books but these three people they read [TS]

01:00:14   the book so Glenn fleischmann thank you [TS]

01:00:16   very much for being here thank you for [TS]

01:00:18   having me i read the books [TS]

01:00:19   yes you do that's what I said I said you [TS]

01:00:22   read the books you read the books [TS]

01:00:24   yes I read the books good we read the [TS]

01:00:27   books together sometimes already called [TS]

01:00:29   well thank you for reading the books to [TS]

01:00:30   you know I i love reading the books glad [TS]

01:00:34   that I have an excuse for reading the [TS]

01:00:35   books besides my own love of books [TS]

01:00:37   because it it accentuates the love of [TS]

01:00:39   books [TS]

01:00:40   yeah I feel funny now when I when I'm [TS]

01:00:42   not in the middle of a novel i feel like [TS]

01:00:44   i'm getting horribly behind and the [TS]

01:00:46   incomparable book club will suffer panic [TS]

01:00:48   no panic and Confused read more books [TS]

01:00:51   and Scott McNulty nobody has read more [TS]

01:00:53   books than Scott nobody's forgotten more [TS]

01:00:55   books than scott magno I'm sure somebody [TS]

01:00:57   others read more books than I have and [TS]

01:00:59   have forgotten them as well but thank [TS]

01:01:01   you for this and no one in my sphere and [TS]

01:01:03   my limited nerdo sphere as well more [TS]

01:01:07   books they'll take back all right and [TS]

01:01:10   that brings us to the end of the [TS]

01:01:11   incomparable podcast number 101 [TS]

01:01:13   thanks for listening as always you can [TS]

01:01:15   visit us five-by-five TV / and [TS]

01:01:18   comparable please write a lovely review [TS]

01:01:20   of our podcast on itunes if you don't [TS]

01:01:23   like our podcast don't right ovary [TS]

01:01:25   that's all we ask and until next time [TS]

01:01:28   for the comfortable I am Jason snow [TS]

01:01:31   thanks for listening [TS]

01:01:39   [Music] [TS]

01:01:42   ok so here's an exercise what if he had [TS]

01:01:46   written it so the code is were the first [TS]

01:01:48   three parts of the book and then the [TS]

01:01:50   sci-fi novel was the last part [TS]

01:01:52   yeah no I don't think it would have been [TS]

01:01:53   terrible to get your world no we're [TS]

01:01:55   going to throw up before [TS]

01:01:57   yeah yeah it would've been interesting [TS]

01:01:58   it would have been a very peculiar way [TS]

01:02:00   to do it but it's I mean it's peculiarly [TS]

01:02:01   did as well but I mean you could read it [TS]

01:02:03   that way you can read the three coach [TS]

01:02:04   had some you know some people suggest [TS]

01:02:05   reading Moby Dick chapter-by-chapter [TS]

01:02:07   backwards so here we got enough you know [TS]

01:02:09   you could be pro 3 2 1 and not know the [TS]

01:02:12   full scope of things will be getting a [TS]

01:02:13   glimmering and then of the fully percent [TS]

01:02:15   universe i'm not saying one should do [TS]

01:02:17   that but it actually works as well yeah [TS]

01:02:19   during carefully and then read moby-dick [TS]

01:02:21   backward and then we'll see what you say [TS]

01:02:23   no I every word backwards I mean Jen not [TS]

01:02:25   to not to [TS]

01:02:27   here's another paper for the comes smile [TS]

01:02:29   they called me that it's like really get [TS]

01:02:33   sideways maybe really stick it in a [TS]

01:02:36   blender and then read the pages as they [TS]

01:02:38   come out of the blender with are you [TS]

01:02:40   starting an incomparable university is [TS]

01:02:41   that I i am now incomparable you John [TS]

01:02:46   Scalzi 101 admissions this fall [TS]