PODCAST:

S4E6B – Sin City (graphic novels)*

SHOW NOTES:

Wherein we discuss the prolific career and unarguable influence of this storied and stylistic comic book creator. I am joined by former co-host David Wilkinson and his friend comic book aficionado, Rob Lloyd II.

Much of our exploration considered the gray morality dogging the vast ensemble of characters, which was in contrast to the majority of stark black and white artwork. We also talked about the amazing myriad of interweaving plots and detailed, but focused world-building that develops and unfolds as the neo-noir ethos of Sin City.

Everyone was in complete agreement that the Sin City yarns we discussed were impressive in both their content and artistic style as well as their ability to distinguish characters. While Ryan found that the dialog grew laborious at times while reading the stories straight through, he didn’t think he wanted anything else from the series. Rob and Wilk both felt that the stories were excellent and enjoyable, but were just shy of considering the work paramount for the simple fact that they enjoyed the author’s Batman work slightly more.

Lastly, Rob and Wilk describe their sordid gripping life on the road finding creepy motels to stay at near Ryan, as well as their secret-agenda-quest / real reason for coming to Chicago: to watch grunge rockers “Pearl Jam” live at Wrigley Field.

-Ryan

 

WRITTEN BOOK REVIEWS:

“Sin City” by Frank Miller (select graphic novels)

 

 

 

 

 

  • “The Hard Goodbye (April 1991 – May 1992)” (V1)
  • “A Dame to Kill For (November 1993 – May 1994)” (V2)
  • “The Big Fat Kill (November 1994 – March 1995)” (V3)
  • “That Yellow Bastard (February 1996 – July 1996)” (V4)
  • “Booze, Broads, and Bullets (1998)” (V6)

*** * ***

Ryan: 5 Stars “…Imagine getting punched in the gut by some rogue lunatic underworld gladiator who promptly collapses into your kitchen chair and chomps down on a bowl of cheerios with his oversized mitts as you crouch on the floor stunned and drooling blood…there’s a knock on the door and you pick up your corpse of a body to stare through the peephole at a knife-wielding leather-clad dame grimacing while rare classic cars skid onto the scene followed by screaming cop sirens tolling in debauchery and corruption…then the color drops out and real nice like everything goes noir…

Wilk: 4 Stars “…a juxtaposition of provocation with expectation…vice was not rewarded, but it was celebrated at the same time…

Rob: 4 Stars “…I think there’s some seminal works that rank above this that are five star works, but it’s right there on the cusp…it’s awesome. I really enjoyed it…

(Click the links to read full written reviews on Goodreads.com)

 

FUN FACTOIDS:

Frank Miller is a legend in the comic world. As mentioned in the episode, he inspired many other artists including the creators of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Here is an article called “The fascinating origin story of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” by Andrew Farago for The Week on that origin story with early sketch work: https://theweek.com/captured/446321/fascinating-origin-story-teenage-mutant-ninja-turtles.

The Guardian article referenced in the episode about Frank Miller’s past troubles was an interview by Sam Theilman and called “Frank Miller: ‘I wasn’t thinking clearly when I said those things'” and it can be read here: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2018/apr/27/frank-miller-xerxes-cursed-sin-city-the-dark-knight-returns.

On the podcast Wilk mentioned the all-things-horror themed Facebook page “Major Horror” run by his wife and past show guest, Laura Valle, which you can find here: https://www.facebook.com/welovescary/. The Michigan comic book store mentioned by Rob and Wilk during our recording is called “Vault of Midnight” and it can be found online here: https://www.vaultofmidnight.com/.

Lastly, much was made of Wilk and Rob’s true purpose behind their journey to visit Ryan–that being a concert at Wrigley Stadium by the famous grunge rock group Pearl Jam! The duo had a blast joining other friends (including former co-host Beam)! After the concert they joined Ryan at Dole’s abode for more fun before finally settling in to a new hotel (one less worrisome). Below is some pics (taken by Rob, Beam or Dave A) and promo images of the concert they attended:

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* DISCLAIMER: Please be advised that the views and opinions of the hosts and guests of NDIOS are completely their own and do not necessarily reflect the views and beliefs of the other hosts and guests or that of NDIOS.

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PODCAST:

S4E6P – Preview Episode (Sin City)

SUBJECT MATTER:

“Sin City” by Frank Miller (select graphic novels)

 

  • “The Hard Goodbye (April 1991 – May 1992)” (Volume 1) – “It’s a lousy room in a lousy part of a lousy town. But Marv doesn’t care. There’s an angel in the room. She says her name is Goldie. A few hours later, Goldie’s dead without a mark on her perfect body, and the cops are coming before anyone but Marv could know she’s been killed. Somebody paid good money for this frame . . .” (from Amazon.com)
  • “A Dame to Kill For (November 1993 – May 1994)” (Volume 2) – “Stuck with nothing but a seedy gumshoe job and some demons, Dwight’s thinking of all the ways he’s screwed up and what he’d give for one clear chance to wipe the slate clean, to dig his way out of the numb gray hell that is his life. And he’d give anything. Just to feel the fire. One more time. But he can’t let himself lose control again, can’t ever let the monster out. And then Ava calls.”
    (from Amazon.com)
  • “The Big Fat Kill (November 1994 – March 1995)” (Volume 3) – “One of Sin City’s most fascinatingly conflicted characters, Dwight, returns in The Big Fat Kill, the third volume of Frank Miller’s seminal noir comic and the inspiration for one of the segments of the blockbuster Sin City film! This third edition is newly redesigned and features a brand-new cover by Miller-some of his first comics art in years! For Dwight, sometimes standing up for his friends means killing a whole lot of people . . . Not for revenge. Not because they deserve it. Not because it’ll make the world a better place. There’s nothing righteous or noble about it. Dwight’s gotta kill them because he needs them dead.” (from Amazon.com)
  • “That Yellow Bastard (February 1996 – July 1996)” (Volume 4) – “The worst thing to be in Basin City is an honest cop, but it’s Hartigan’s last day on the job, and he plans to go out with a bang. Little Nancy Callahan, age eleven, has been kidnapped by a psycho who likes to hear children scream, and Hartigan’s going to find her no matter what it takes. No matter who the psycho’s daddy is. All the prison time in the world won’t change that. Hell of a way to start retirement . . .” (from Amazon.com)
  • “Booze, Broads, and Bullets (1998)” (Volume 6) – “Collecting classics like “Just Another Saturday Night” and “Silent Night,” both starring the iconic big lug with a condition, Marv; “The Customer Is Always Right,” featured in the Sin City film; and “The Babe Wore Red,” starring Sin City‘s most enduring hero, Dwight; Booze, Broads, and Bullets spans every kind of dark business you might encounter on a cold night in Basin City. It’s sure to scratch your Sin City itch again and again, in just that way that makes you itch for more.” (from Amazon.com)

*** * ***

“Sin City” by Robert Rodriquez (Bruce Willis) (movie)

“Welcome to Sin City. This town beckons to the tough, the corrupt, the brokenhearted. Some call it dark. Hard-boiled. Then there are those who call it home. Crooked cops. Sexy dames. Desperate vigilantes. Some are seeking revenge. Others lust after redemption. And then there are those hoping for a little of both. A universe of unlikely and reluctant heroes still trying to do the right thing in a city that refuses to care. Their stories — shocking, suspenseful and searing — come to the fore in a new motion picture from co-directors Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez, and special guest director Quentin Tarantino.” (from Amazon.com)

 

*** * ***

“Sin City: A Dame to Kill For” by Robert Rodriguez (Josh Brolin) (movie)

“Straight from the pages of Frank Miller’s cutting edge series Sin City, co-directors Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez reunite to bring the visually stunning stories back to the screen. Dwight McCarthy (Josh Brolin) struggles with his inner demons and tries to maintain control until his former lover, the goddess Ava Lord (Eva Green), returns wanting his help to escape her abusive husband. Though once he learns her true intentions are far more sinister than they appear, he recruits the help of Marv (Mickey Rourke) and Gail (Rosario Dawson). While a cocky young gambler (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) takes his chances winning against the most powerful man in Sin City, Senator Roark (Powers Boothe). But this is Senator Roark’s least of problems because Nancy Callahan (Jessica Alba) has been driven insane by John Hartigan’s (Bruce Willis) selfless suicide and is no longer a damsel in distress and is out for blood, compelled to avenge Hartigan by hunting down Senator Roark.” (from Amazon.com)

 

 

* DISCLAIMER: Please be advised that the views and opinions of the hosts and guests of NDIOS are completely their own and do not necessarily reflect the views and beliefs of the other hosts and guests or that of NDIOS.

PODCAST:

S4E5M – The Screwfly Solution (TV episode)*

SHOW NOTES:

Wherein we get into an earnest discussion about this campy, pseudo-80’s-style visual adaptation of our subject science fiction horror story. I am joined again by Erika Doyle (artist: https://doyleaudiovisual.wixsite.com/erikaestefaniadoyle) and Amanda Andros (playwright: https://www.instagram.com/scribblergrll/).

While Erika thought that the nudity was done well she found the acting lacking and the level of gore morbidly humorous. Amanda thought that the way the violence was depicted undercut the disturbing nature of the tale. Ryan pointed out that the story was developed mostly from epistolary sources, and that despite this it was translated pretty decently on screen and very close to the source material.

Everyone seemed to feel that while b-style camp and dark humor was not in and of itself problematic, the way in which it was utilized here detracted from the deeper themes which the author explored in the original short story. This, as Ryan mentioned, despite the director and screenwriter being well-accomplished with their previous efforts.

Take a listen as we laugh and reflect on this well-intentioned, but over-the-top take on a horrific story!

-Ryan

 

 

WRITTEN MOVIE REVIEWS:

“The Screwfly Solution (2006)” by Joe Dante for “Masters of Horror” (Jason Priestley) (TV episode)

Ryan: 2 1/2 Stars “…A creepy adaption of a science fiction horror tale. which manages to focus and update the storyline while remaining still faithful to the original narrative…

Erika: 2.13 Stars “…It was really a lot of blood…it was kind of funny and the acting was terrible…

Amanda: 2 Stars “…there were subtle differences in the storyline, but overall it was extremely horrifying, but also a bit low budget in its representation…

 

 

 

FUN FACTOIDS:

On the show we talked about director Joe Date’s collaborative web-series “Trailers from Hell,” which invites industry insiders (such as other famous directors) to provide commentary about existing movie trailers. It’s a sort of curation site that aims to provide some discerning guidance to modern audiences about the ever increasing back catalog of film content that has been developed over the years. Below are some links to content from this site regarding movies that Joe Dante worked on very early in his career as either an editor or director and while still under the tutelage of Hollywood’s famous b-movie producer Roger Corman. Check it out:

 

Another podcast mentioned by Ryan which discussed this work and pointed out the feminine aspects of the depiction of the aliens is: “Greetings from the Mirror” – https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/greetings-from-the-mirror-zone/id1294039118?mt=2&i=1000394970628. Also, the story written by James Tiptree, Jr., that Ryan couldn’t remember the name for was: “The Women Men Don’t See” The novelette was nominated for a nebula award before it was revealed that James Tiptree, Jr. was actually a woman, and she withdrew the work from the ballot: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Women_Men_Don’t_See.

 

Lastly, below is a picture of Erika painting a mural in Chicago for which she was commissioned. Fun fact: Her helper is frequent show guest and theme writer (her husband) John Doyle a/k/a Dole.

 

 

 

 

* DISCLAIMER: Please be advised that the views and opinions of the hosts and guests of NDIOS are completely their own and do not necessarily reflect the views and beliefs of the other hosts and guests or that of NDIOS.

PODCAST:

S4E5B – The Screwfly Solution (short story)*

SHOW NOTES:

Wherein we discuss the intriguing and tragic life of this fascinating author and her unique perspective and influence on the speculative fiction genre exploring traditional themes of classic scifi with a voice all her own. I am joined by Erika Doyle (artist: https://doyleaudiovisual.wixsite.com/erikaestefaniadoyle) and Amanda Andros (playwright: https://www.instagram.com/scribblergrll/) marking the first occasion when the women folk outnumber the men folk on this podcast.

Issues of gender and femicide which are the subject of this narrative were delved into with detail. Ryan marked the hopeless tone that resolved in tragic revelation at the conclusion as a sort of warning tale for keeping perspective in the face of crises. Erika pointed out the various political and religious themes present which made this story feel relevant even today many years after it was written. Amanda found the horror presented disturbing, but done purposefully and thoughtfully. All agreed that this short story was a frightening take on violence and vulnerability that was written with a many-layered and multi-faceted masterful hand.

Listen in on this episode’s riveting conversation about an author who was far ahead of her time and her award-winning story of science fiction horror!

-Ryan

 

WRITTEN BOOK REVIEWS:

“The Screwfly Solution (1977)” by Raccoona Sheldon a/k/a James Tiptree, Jr. a/k/a Alice Sheldon (short story)

Ryan: 4 1/2 Stars “…An epistolary narrative unraveled with increasing tension as terror reigns abomination with insect horror…

Erika: 4.93 Stars “…I found a lot of humor…but it was kind of grotesque. Like morbid humor…Her prose was fantastic…

Amanda: 4 1/2 Stars “…I found it highly disturbing. I was able to get through that and see a microcosm of society and current events that are going on in the story, now. I think the author is brilliant in the writing…

(Click the links to read full written reviews on Goodreads.com)

 

FUN FACTOIDS:

 

During this episode we mentioned a recent biography on the author’s life published in 2015. This work entitled “James Tiptree, Jr.: The Double Life of Alice B. Sheldon” can be found here (Kindle Edition): https://www.amazon.com/James-Tiptree-Jr-Double-Sheldon-ebook/dp/B00R17JHTA/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1529293741&sr=1-3&keywords=James+Tiptree. The biographer, Julie Phillips, was interviewed on both a podcast and video regarding her research. Those episodes were on the following programs: “Imaginary Worlds Podcast” (Episode: The Mysterious James Tiptree): https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/imaginary-worlds/id916273527?mt=2&i=1000337434574; and: “UO Today with Julie Phillips” (video): https://youtu.be/hnruglIT2VA. Another podcast mentioned on this episode that gave a thorough and informative overview of the author’s life based on a reading of the biography was: Galactic Suburbia Spoilerific – James Tiptree, Jr.: The Double Life of Alice B. Sheldon by Julie Phillips – Podcast – https://galactisuburbia.podbean.com/e/episode-125-spoilerific-james-tiptree-jr/.

Also of interest on this topic is an NPR article by Stephen Burt “Author, Feminist, Pioneer: The Unlikely Queen Of Sci-Fi” which can be found here: https://www.npr.org/2013/08/11/193476887/author-feminist-pioneer-the-unlikely-queen-of-sci-fi.

This author has an award based on her. The James Tiptree, Jr. award is “An award encouraging the exploration & expansion of gender.” More information on that and its past winners can be found at their website: https://tiptree.org/.

At least four of the stories written in the author’s anthology “Her Smoke Rose Up Forever” are available to listen to FREE in podcast audio format at highly reputable online science fiction magazines including the subject of this episode. Continue the adventure here:

The author, whose name Ryan couldn’t recall, and who was responsible for bringing about the Science Fiction New Wave movement which started in the United Kingdom before it came to the United States was Michael Moorcock. Here is a photo of the book which Ryan was reading around that time about that author’s most famous main character:

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Elric the morose albino sorcerer of Melniboné must bear his reluctant crown to protect those few things he treasures against the fading bright of his might-ridden empire, which continually pits his aspirations toward a greater moral clarity against compromises of ill circumstance. The conflicts come fast and the words faster as forces of supernatural and family alike threaten Elric’s tenuous personal health as well as his cumbersome grip on power. Meet the Eternal Champion and squeeze through the many planes of existence as he tumbles through the Multiverse. #ElricofMelnibone by #MichaelMoorcock a definitive collection by #Gollancz #orionbooks #Elric #elricofmelniboné #theeternalchampion #eternalchampion #melnibone #melniboné #moorcock #themichaelmoorcockcollection #multiverse #amreading #fantasy #fantasybooks #swordandsorcery #book #literature #bookselfie #instabook #bookstagram #booksofig #lovebird #instapet #petsofinstagram #pets #birdsofinstagram #booksofinsta

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* DISCLAIMER: Please be advised that the views and opinions of the hosts and guests of NDIOS are completely their own and do not necessarily reflect the views and beliefs of the other hosts and guests or that of NDIOS.

PODCAST:

S4E5P – Preview Episode (The Screwfly Solution)

SUBJECT MATTER:

“The Screwfly Solution (1977)” by Raccoona Sheldon a/k/a James Tiptree, Jr. a/k/a Alice Sheldon (short story)

Her Smoke Rose Up Forever collects eighteen brilliant short stories from a luminary of the science-fiction genre, James Tiptree, Jr. This updated edition is the quintessential Tiptree collection and contains revisions from the author’s original notes. Tiptree’s fiction reflects the darkly complex world its author inhabited: exploring the alien among us; the unreliability of perception; love, sex, and death; and humanity’s place in a vast, cold universe. (from Amazon.com)

“”The Screwfly Solution” is a 1977 science fiction short story by Raccoona Sheldon, a pen name for psychologist Alice Sheldon, who was better known by her other nom de plume, James Tiptree, Jr. It received the Nebula Award for Best Novelette, and has been adapted into a television film. The title refers to the sterile insect technique, a technique of eradicating the population of screwflies by the release of large amounts of sterilized males that would compete with fertile males, thus reducing the native population more with each generation this is done. This story concerns a similar distortion of human sexuality with disastrous results.” (from Wikipedia.com)

*** * ***

“The Screwfly Solution (2006)” by Joe Dante for “Masters of Horror” (Jason Priestley) (TV episode)

“The second season of the anthology series, Masters of Horror, brings a stellar lineup of directors and thirteen new one-hour films.”  (from Amazon.com)

Season II – Episode 7. “The Screwfly Solution” – “It begins with a terrifying rash of isolated homicides Around the world, normal male sexual urges have suddenly transformed into violent rage. Now a pair of scientists (Jason Priestley and Elliott Gould) are in a desperate race against time to figure out how – and why – the war between the sexes has turned murderous. Is a mysterious virus making every red-blooded man a potential lady-killer? Kerry Norton (BATTLESTAR GALACTICA) costars in this graphic and provocative shocker written by Sam Hamm (BATMAN, HOMECOMING) from the award-winning short story by James Tiptree Jr.” (from Amazon.com)

 

*** * ***

Listen to this full-cast audio version of the short story FREE here: http://pseudopod.org/2014/08/22/pseudopod-400-the-screwfly-solution/

“The Screwfly Solution (August 22, 2014)” by Pseudopod – Episode 400 (podcast)

Narrators: Tina Connolly, Eric Luke, Matt Franklin, Anna Schwind, Mat Weller, Rish Outfield, George Hrab and Jairus Durnett – Host: Alasdair Stuart  – Audio Producer: Graeme Dunlop

“The Screwfly Solution” first appeared in the June 1977 issue of Analog, won the Nebula award for Novelette in 1978 and has been reprinted multiple times since then… It is being podcast with the permission of Jeffrey D. Smith and the Virginia Kidd Agency, Inc..” (from Pseudopod.org)

“You’ve found the world’s premier horror fiction podcast. For over a decade, Pseudopod has been bringing you the best short horror in audio form, to take with you anywhere. We pay our authors professional rates for original fiction and we reach more people every week than any other short fiction horror market.”  (from Pseudopod.org)

 

* DISCLAIMER: Please be advised that the views and opinions of the hosts and guests of NDIOS are completely their own and do not necessarily reflect the views and beliefs of the other hosts and guests or that of NDIOS.

PODCAST:

S4E4M – Solaris (movie)*

SHOW NOTES:

Wherein musicians John Doyle a/k/a Dole (I Decline) and John Bombher a/k/a Jaxon (Bury the Machines, I Klatus) return to join me to discuss the film adaptions of “Solaris.” Dole felt that each of the films had its own strengths and weaknesses, but neither really did it for him. Jaxon mentioned that he found himself multitasking while watching the 2002 film because he was bored, while he felt much more interested in the 1972 version despite its own slow pace and long length. Ryan couldn’t recommend a viewing of the Soderbergh movie, but found himself wholly taken over by the Tarkovsy one. 

Despite our appreciation for the acting efforts in the 2002 Soderbergh adaptation, the three of us ultimately felt that the author’s blind assessment as “love in outer space” was a fair take on this film. We all had a greater appreciation the 1972 Tarkovsky version. That said, Dole expressed his frustration with the pacing of the 1972 film and he didn’t feel like it had enough going on to justify this. Ryan acknowledged that the older movie was indisputably slow, but felt it was worth it if you could be in the right frame of mind for a viewing. Jaxon appreciated the production elements in Tarkovsky’s film and he particularly enjoyed the supernatural portrayals of the alien-ocean, which were lacking in the newer movie. 

This episode was recorded in Berwyn, Illinois at Horse-Drawn Productions (where Jaxon sometimes records musicians and where Dole, Jaxon and their two other bandmates (Tony Hopper and Mike Fabiano) in “Theurgy” (Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Theurgy-233634134183768/) recorded new tracks for their forthcoming debut album. They gave me permission to include another teaser from one of their new songs called “Crack of the Egg,” which is about cracking open your mind to new ideas. Listen in for this fun tune of post-punk dark wave at the end of the episode!

-Ryan

 

WRITTEN BOOK REVIEWS:

“Solaris (2002)” by Steven Soderbergh (George Clooney) (movie)

Ryan: 2 Stars “…Soderbergh focused too much on classic themes of love and somehow didn’t go far enough with advances in technology, reducing the script to a romantic play on a space station–though the actors did well with the material they were given…

Dole: 2 Stars “…It really annoyed me that now we are changing the whole story line of what is the whole point of this story into, ‘oh no, it’s us against the alien race’…

Jaxon: 1 1/2 Stars “…the acting was fine, but the story wasn’t true to the original book at all and if it was gonna stray that far from it–it at least should have been good…

 

“Solaris (1972)” by Andrei Tarkovsky (Donatas Banionis) (movie)

Ryan: 5 Stars “…Tarkovsky’s effort is patient, thought provoking and literary with excellent production in complete complement to the deep questions explored within the source material…

Dole: 3 Stars “…It’s hard not to compare this film to 2001…but there is not a lot happening…

Jaxon: 4 Stars “…there are some real slow spots…but I love the art direction, and I love the way that it looked, and I loved that overall theme of…trying to search for something human in something that is not human…”  

 

FUN FACTOIDS:

This episode was recorded at Horse-Drawn Productions a great recording studio located in Berwyn, Illinois near Chicago: “Horse-Drawn Productions is a multi-faceted music company that has existed for over a decade, and includes two commercial state of the art recording studios, an international production company, a complete studio design & construction team, and employs instructors for music, DAW and computer lessons for individuals and groups.” (from www.horse-drawnproductions.com)

Dole and Jaxon are members band “Theurgy.” You can check out rough cuts of their dark wave style music on Soundcloud here: https://soundcloud.com/theurgyband/sets/exit-strategies-rough-mixes?fbclid=IwAR13ja8J6euwpSHXAS05aIFnFuKcbd4z18TGWrMu0JK3c_-4vVW8VDBJlxw.

 

Below is a photo from Theurgy’s first official live show on April 14, 2019 at the Underground Lounge in Chi-town:

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Beneath last night’s snowfall in #chitown @theurgy_transmissions played their first official gig. It was a high energy performance! Looking forward to the release of their debut album and many more live shows! Two members of the group (@elyodsean and @burythemachines) joint me on the latest episode of my podcast #NoDeodorantInOuterSpace for an in depth discussion of the 1961 speculative fiction novel #Solaris by #StanislawLem and a preview of one of their new songs – Available now on all major podcatchers including YouTube and our website: www.nodeodorant.com – #chicagolocalmusic #chicagomusicscene #undergroundlounge #Theurgy #newwave #darkwave #darkwavemusic #postpunk #electonicmusic #industrialmusic

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During the episode we mentioned the library scene and paintings hanging in the space station that characters live in above Solaris. For a further discussion on this and the film in general take a look at the article “Out of this World” by Jonathon Jones for the Guardian here: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2005/feb/12/featuresreviews.guardianreview11.

Lastly, here is a trailer for the very first cinematic adaption of “Solaris (1968)” by Boris Nirenburg (Vasily Lanovoy) (TV movie), which was released in Russia:

 

* DISCLAIMER: Please be advised that the views and opinions of the hosts and guests of NDIOS are completely their own and do not necessarily reflect the views and beliefs of the other hosts and guests or that of NDIOS.

PODCAST:

S4E4B – Solaris (book)*

SHOW NOTES:

Wherein I am joined by returning special guest and musician extrodinaire John Doyle a/k/a Dole (I Decline) along with his equally talented bandmate John Bombher a/k/a Jaxon (Bury the Machines, I Klatus). The three of us delved into this month’s translated work of philosophical speculative fiction from Poland’s Stanislaw Lem. I personally felt that “Solaris” was a trippy tale with a completely unique take on encountering aliens. Jaxon found various comparisons with mental illness in the way the alien-ocean of Solaris manifested itself to the main character and their interactions. Dole really enjoyed how this book made him think about his own life and take new perspectives. All around everyone thought this story was a short, easily digested masterwork that left us with infinite realms of thought and reflection. We highly recommend it for anyone at all interested in science fiction.

We recorded this episode at Horse-Drawn Productions — a great studio in Berwyn, Illinois where Jaxon sometimes records musicians or works on his own music, when he’s not out doing live sound. Horse-Drawn is also the place where Dole, Jaxon and their two other bandmates (Tony Hopper and Mike Fabiano) recorded music for the debut album of their new project “Theurgy” (Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Theurgy-233634134183768/). They were gracious enough to allow me to include a teaser from one of their songs called “Hiding Your Face in the Wall,” which is based on a true supernatural tale regarding the fairy mounds of Scotland (Dole recommends checking out Season 1, Episode 1 of the Podcast “Unexplained” for more about this strange incident). Listen in for this awesome tuneage of dark wave (like “new wave” music, but DARKER!) at the conclusion of the episode!

-Ryan

 

WRITTEN BOOK REVIEWS:

“Solaris (1961)” by Stanislaw Lem (book)

Ryan: 5 Stars “…An interplanetary philosophical oceanic alien acid trip—to funk your mind with…

Dole: 5 Stars “…Psychological isolationist trauma melted with the environment of space…

Jaxon: 5 Stars “…I felt like the relationship between humanity and the planet was metaphor for like a relationship between two people where one of them has an awful personality disorder…

(Click the links to read full written reviews on Goodreads.com)

FUN FACTOIDS:

This episode was recorded at Horse-Drawn Productions a great recording studio located in Berwyn, Illinois near Chicago: “Horse-Drawn Productions is a multi-faceted music company that has existed for over a decade, and includes two commercial state of the art recording studios, an international production company, a complete studio design & construction team, and employs instructors for music, DAW and computer lessons for individuals and groups.” (from www.horse-drawnproductions.com)

During the show Ryan stated that the author was unhappy with the current written translation of his book, but that there was a new translation in audiobook format. You can find this definitive edition as authorized by the author’s estate here: https://www.amazon.com/Solaris-The-Definitive-Edition/dp/B0054N6KH0.

It was also mentioned that the creator of 1989’s famous city-building video game “SimCity” was inspired by Stanislaw Lem. The short story which helped give inspiration to this pioneering game was called “The Seventh Sally.” Read more about that in “Making City Planning a Game” a New York Times article by Julie Lew here: https://www.nytimes.com/1989/06/15/garden/making-city-planning-a-game.html.

Stanislaw Lem temporarily held an honorary membership in the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) organization (responsible for issuing the prestigious  “Nebula” genre awards every year).  He was ousted just three years later after talking a lot of smack about American science fiction. Despite his noted general disapproval, Lem however was a fan of the American science fiction writer, Philip K. Dick. Conversely, PKD considered Lem a composite communist committee which threatened the “whole field of science fiction and its free exchange of views and ideas.” Read more about this wacky history in “Philip K. Dick: Stanislaw Lem is a Communist Committee” an article by Matt Davies for Culture.PL: https://culture.pl/en/article/philip-k-dick-stanislaw-lem-is-a-communist-committee.

Lastly, Dole and Jaxon discussed the formation of their new music project “Theurgy,” which is a post-punk dark wave band. You can check out rough cuts of their sounds on Soundcloud here: https://soundcloud.com/theurgyband/sets/exit-strategies-rough-mixes?fbclid=IwAR13ja8J6euwpSHXAS05aIFnFuKcbd4z18TGWrMu0JK3c_-4vVW8VDBJlxw. Dole was in early talks with the members of the group about creating this project while he and Ryan attended an intimate concert at Chicago’s “Empty Bottle” for american avant-garde metal group: Neurosis. Here’s a short video from that outing below:

 

* DISCLAIMER: Please be advised that the views and opinions of the hosts and guests of NDIOS are completely their own and do not necessarily reflect the views and beliefs of the other hosts and guests or that of NDIOS.