Sep 08

A Bite of Stars, a Slug of Time, and Thou – Episode 9

FT + Slug of Time Podcast17 comments • 1,101 views

We pick up with Pete Baran joining Mark Sinker and Elisha Sessions for “Zirn Left Unguarded, The Jenghik Palace in Flames, Jon Westerley Dead”, written in 1972 by Robert Sheckley, read here by Elisha. Music includes the Electro Hippies, Pere Ubu, DJ Rolando, and Marlene Deitrich. Originally broadcast Sept. 9, 2008, on Resonance FM 104.4.

Produced by Elisha Sessions


  1. 1
    Pete on 10 Sep 2008 #

    Hope you enjoy it after our recording shenanigans. Also, if you have any comments we’d like to stoke up the debate here a bit – particularly on the issue of science fiction writers who can do funny.

    I mentioned a couple of stories on air which can be read ont he web:
    Bad Medicine (Martian psychology)

    and The Prize Of Peril

  2. 2
    jeff w on 10 Sep 2008 #

    Hello. It’s great that you are back on the air and I liked the first show.

    Just one comment on the presentation of the reading. I was a bit worried that you were going a bit OTT with the musical accompaniment “because we can”. But on further reflection what you did was probably appropriate to this week’s story. (I just hope it won’t be like that every week.)

  3. 3
    Tracer Hand on 10 Sep 2008 #

    Only a BIT OTT? You wound me Jeff! Yes, we’re not going to include the 20th Century Fox fanfare in each story. Some will have no sound effects or music at all.

  4. 4
    ledge on 10 Sep 2008 #

    Great episode, the discussion really illuminated the story. Humour in skiffy, though, eh? Harry Harrison? “The Men from PIG and ROBOT” would probably still elicit a chuckle from me. Philip K Dick wasn’t all schizoid fantasies, some of his short stories are definitely comic – try “The Indefatigable Frog” or “The Short Happy Life of the Brown Oxford”.

  5. 5
    a logged out p^nk s lord sukråt wötsit on 10 Sep 2008 #

    yes we got sidetracked (it was live!) before we really got into this topic — i was planning to have a mean-spirited go at d.uggl.ASS adams (again) (sorry alan) and big up futurama more

    i loved harry harrison’s stainless steel rat as a kid: not sure if i would still like it

  6. 6
    ledge on 10 Sep 2008 #

    Pete said something about there not being much funny SF that wasn’t satire but that’s hardly surprising, if you count parodies of the form itself as satire. It’s one of the easiest genres to lampoon and most of the SF humour I can think of is more or less affectionate self-parody. Douglas Adams certainly; maybe (random statistic alert) half the gags in Futurama are directly playing with the form. Red Dwarf perhaps was more straight comedy; it was firmly embedded in and made great use of its SF world but I don’t recall it being quite so meta in its humour.

  7. 7
    pete on 10 Sep 2008 #

    Yes, Slugs Nights dealt with this more, but you’ll only hear that in the pub. We touched upon Vonnegut, Harrison (who Sheckley wrote with) and ways that you can be funny in sci-fi. Dick was also another touchstone which we didn’t touch upon, but there are a big similarities between Sheckley and Dick stories – the shorts are sharp, brittle and sometimes darkly funny.

  8. 8
    Blue Tyson on 1 Oct 2008 #

    Nice pick!

    The Stainless Steel Rat is still decent. There are a couple of Rat stories online, too.


  9. 9
    Blue Tyson on 1 Oct 2008 #

    And the Return of the Stainless Steel Rat :-


  10. 10
    Blue Tyson on 1 Oct 2008 #

    Harrison’s website has a bunch of info.

  11. 11
    a logged-out pˆnk s lord whatnot on 1 Oct 2008 #

    thx blue, we will look into it!

    (are your marks out of five for your opinion of our show or for the story eli is reading?) (and who else should in yr opinion we be letting know about it? i need to do a bunch of spamming er i mean promo tomorrow)

    the rest of you, here this blue tyson’s useful blog: http://freesf.blogspot.com/

  12. 12

    hi blue, thank you — and apologies, as our spam filter was holding up your early comments, presumably because of the links — i had to go in and dig them out

    any thoughts on who else i should be letting know about our show? i have to do a bunch of promo tomorrow (before this series is entirely over)

  13. 13
    Blue Tyson on 2 Oct 2008 #

    SF Site, SF Signal? Jim Kelly at Asimov’s writes an On the Net column, too as well as doing podcasting.

  14. 14
    Blue Tyson on 2 Oct 2008 #

    Oh yeah, and on funny SF – Simon Haynes’ Hal Spacejock series – 4 books so far, with a fifth coming.

  15. 15
    a logged out p^nk s lord sukråt wötsit on 2 Oct 2008 #

    thx blue (hope mr kelly doesn’t think we were too mean abt isaac!)

  16. 16
    Blue Tyson on 6 Oct 2008 #

    One more funny, Selina Rosen :-


    She writes funny fantasy too, it seems. Couple of novels about the same character above, Queen of Denial and Recycled.

    You’ll get the first few chapters of each, here :-


  17. 17
    Blue Tyson on 16 Oct 2008 #

    Oh, the mark out of 5 is for the story, not for the reading.

    In some cases I will have read it already, too, so just reproducing that and adding your link in to move it to ‘freesf’.

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