The Dusty Den Book Club

Discussing Literature and Anything Else We Want

Ep 18 – CJ from The Dangerous History Podcast Joins Me to Discuss “Santiago: A Myth of the Far Future”

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In this episode I talk to the host of the awesome Dangerous History PodcastCJ.  We discuss the super cool sci-fi-western novel, Santiago: A Myth of the Far Future, by the prolific Mike Resnick.  This was a recommendation from CJ and I really enjoyed it.  We talk about the genre in general, how it relates to people with a certain worldview, the writing prowess of Mike Resnick, the power of myth and legend, and the storyline of Santiago, with analysis of several characters and plot points.  SPOILER WARNING.  We do talk about several things which could spoil some surprise factors in the novel, so “listener beware.”  Mike Resnick’s bibliography is substantial.  In the show we gloss over some highlights, but to really grasp the scope of his work you need to read about him.  We reference an interview done by Joshua Sky at Futurism, and it’s definitely worth a read.  Also discussed, are some interviews with John Carpenter (links below), the horror and hard-boiled genres, westerns like High Noon, and the films of Clint Eastwood and director Sergio Leone.  It was a blast talking with CJ!  Make sure you check out The Dangerous History Podcast and follow him on twitter.

 

Joshua Sky Interview with Mike Resnick

John Carpenter – Masters of Horror Interview

John Carpenter – Fangoria’s Screamography Interview

Once Upon a Time in the West Clip

Gary Cooper throws his badge in the dirt

The Dangerous History Podcast Website

CJ on Twitter

 

Next Episode – The True Believer by Eric Hoffer

On Deck -The Christmas Special!

In The Hole – TBD

Don’t forget to follow me on twitter and please give me a rating and review on iTunes!  Thank you for listening!

You can donate via Patreon and get a personal “Thank you,” on the show, or you can give a 1 time PayPal donation.

Spread the show and join the club!

Thank you for all your support!

 

Ep 17 – Special Guest Bryan Caplan Talks “The Myth of the Rational Voter”

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Author and Economics Professor Bryan Caplan joins me for this episode to talk about his exceptional book, The Myth of the Rational Voter: Why Democracies Choose Bad Policies.  The book was published in 2007 and was hailed by The New York Times as, “The best political book of [the] year.”   Professor Caplan is an interesting individual who has made appearances on several other shows, including a great interview on The Rubin Report.  He has contributed to Freakonomics, and maintains his own blog at EconLog.  His new book, The Case Against Education, is available for pre-order now.  He also authored the book, Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids, which was published in 2011.  Make sure you follow him on twitter by clicking here to stay up to date with all his endeavors.  This was a real treat, and I really appreciate his time.  I hope to have him back on the show after I read his new book.

Next Episode – Santiago: a Myth of the Far Future by Mike Resnick … with a special guest!

On Deck – The True Believer by Eric Hoffer

In The Hole – The Christmas Special!

Don’t forget to follow me on twitter and please give me a rating and review on iTunes!  Thank you for listening!

You can donate via Patreon and get a personal “Thank you,” on the show, or you can give a 1 time PayPal donation.

Spread the show and join the club!

Thank you for all your support!

Ep 16 – Happy Halloween! Ray Bradbury and “The October Country”

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The October Country is a great short story compilation from the prolific Ray Bradbury.  It’s perfect for this time of year.  I’m not going to write much here in the description.  I go through each story and just talk a bit about them.  It’s a lengthy podcast, because each story is so good, and there are a lot of related themes woven throughout.  This is my favorite collection of Bradbury’s work and it was a pleasure to finish up my fall fiction trilogy with this one.  Enjoy!

 

Next Episode –The Myth of the Rational Voter by Bryan Caplan (With Dave!)

On Deck – The True Believer by Eric Hoffer

In The Hole – The Christmas Special!

Don’t forget to follow me on twitter and please give me a rating and review on iTunes!  Thank you for listening!

You can donate via Patreon and get a personal “Thank you,” on the show, or you can give a 1 time PayPal donation.

Spread the show and join the club!

Thank you for all your support!

Ep 15 – Themes in Matheson’s “I Am Legend”

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I Am Legend is a masterpiece of horror fiction that offers up a lot.  It’s a survival horror classic that inspired the likes of George Remero and Stephen King.  It runs deep with interesting themes which transcend the horror genre.  It’s the perfect book to kick off October because it’s scary, historically important in the genre, has some film adaptations, and has tons of intellectual, stimulating themes to discuss.  It’s also a short, quick read that many can knock out in an evening or two.  This work had a lot to do with bringing about the modern zombie genre.  I Am Legend, and its first, and best screen adaptation, The Last Man On Earth, predate the masterwork Night of the Living Dead, and the many zombie flicks that followed.

Although I Am Legend is a vampire book, the vampires in it are not typical.  There is a complex, scientific breakdown which examines and answers many of the classic vampire behavior questions.  The monsters are more of a vampire, zombie hybrid, and there is technically more than one type.  The vampire story is just the vehicle to explore some terrifying themes that I think initially might not seem that scary to some people… initially.

The next book will be The October Country, and it marks the end of a three podcast run on fiction.  November will bring back some non-fiction with The Myth of the Rational Voter by Bryan Caplan and The True Believer by Eric Hoffer.  After that I will be doing a special Christmas party episode, but it will be the only episode in December.

 

I referenced this John Carpenter interview in the show… enjoy!

 

Next Episode -The Halloween Special, discussing The October Country by Ray Bradbury

On Deck – The Myth of the Rational Voter by Bryan Caplan (With Dave!)

In The Hole – The True Believer by Eric Hoffer

Don’t forget to follow me on twitter and please give me a rating and review on iTunes!  Thank you for listening!

You can donate via Patreon and get a personal “Thank you,” on the show, or you can give a 1 time PayPal donation.

Spread the show and join the club!

Thank you for all your support!

Ep 14 – Welcome…to The Twilight Zone

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This is the first of three podcasts diving into the realm of the weird and fantastic.  Let’s call it, the fall trilogy.  This show is a countdown of my top 5 favorite Twilight Zone episodes.  It is a classic series which originally aired in 1959 and ran for 5 seasons.  I talk about the show, the genre itself, the great Rod Serling, the man behind The Twilight Zone, and some inside information on each of my selections in the mighty top 5!  This one is fun, and it marks our departure into late September and into October, my favorite month of the year.  This episode has plenty of the usual commentary I provide, but with the backdrop of the eerie and bizarre.

The Twilight Zone episodes are currently available on Netflix streaming.  You can also find many of them on youtube, or you can get the box set.  I have The Twilight Zone Companion by Marc Scott Zicree which is a fantastic book that has tidbits about each episode and a lot of cool facts about the show.  It is a great reference guide for the true fan, and it helped me a lot with the production of this episode.

I am providing a list for people who want to view the episodes before listening as this podcast contains massive spoilers!

 

Nightmare at 20,000 Feet

The Obsolete Man

Eye Of The Beholder

Walking Distance

The Monsters Are Due On Maple Street

 

The October podcast episodes continue the spooky trend ending with the Halloween episode!

Next episode – I Am Legend by Richard Matheson

On deck -The Halloween Special, discussing The October Country by Ray Bradbury

In the hole – The Myth of the Rational Voter by Bryan Caplan (With Dave!)

Don’t forget to follow me on twitter and please give me a rating and review on iTunes!  Thank you for listening!

You can donate via Patreon and get a personal “Thank you,” on the show, or you can give a 1 time PayPal donation.

Spread the show and join the club!

Thank you for all your support!

Reading and Watching Update: A Change in Plans for the Next Three Shows.

Originally, I was set to review and discuss Bryan Caplan’s book, The Myth of the Rational Voter, for the next show.  I have decided to put that off until November.  I plan on having a special guest join Dave and me for the discussion, and it could only be facilitated by moving the date of the show.

I have decided to do a burst of fiction.  I think I need a break from the real world, and I want to get to a creative and fun place for the next few episodes.  Being a lover of October, and Halloween in particular, I am taking the opportunity to explore some work of the creepy and fantastic.  I picked some things I could tie into my political and philosophical world view so the conversation isn’t void of any insight or nuance, but they revolve around the weird, supernatural, and fantastic.  It’s important to make time for imagination and entertainment, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be intellectually stimulating.

The next show will be my top 5 Twilight Zone Episodes.  I have long been a lover of the 1959, and 1960 seasons of the science-fiction series, and I think it is just the topic to break things up and get us in the mood for October!  I am doing two shows in the spookiest month.  The first will be discussing the Richard Matheson classic, I am Legend, on which a few films have been based.  The second will be my first Halloween special!  For that I will be talking about The October Country, which is a collection of nineteen strange and scary short stories from the brilliant Ray Bradbury.  I will pick a few of the stories to talk about, and also discuss a few other creepy and iconic short stories like The Lottery by Shirley Jackson.

I did’t pick these titles just because they are in the spirit of the season, but also because they are cerebral and interesting.  There are many different types of scary.  For me, it’s about stories which make you think, set against the backdrop of the supernatural and macabre.  So sit back, relax, and enjoy some pure fiction and holiday spirit with a dash of pumpkin-spiced, intellectual conversation.

That will get the us through October, then it’s right back to some more grounded work with, The Myth of the Rational Voter, and another work of non-fiction I will announce later.

 

Next episode – My Top 5 Twilight Zone Episodes

On deck – I Am Legend by Richard Matheson

In the hole – Halloween Special: Talking About The October Country by Ray Bradbury, and More!

 

Thanks for being part of The Dusty Den!

 

Ep 13 – Special Guest Scott Horton Talks About His New Book, “Fool’s Errand: Time to End the War in Afghanistan”

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This is a very special episode.  We are joined by the awesome Scott Horton, foreign policy guru and author of Fool’s Errand: Time to End the War in Afghanistan, which is required reading.  I cannot recommend this book enough if you want a clear, honest, well sourced and complete read on America’s longest war.  Scott is generous enough to make time to answer some direct questions about the war in Afghanistan, and talk about how he wrote the book.  This is truly a pleasure, and I thank him very much for the time.  Support him by buying his book and following him on twitter etc…

Thank you so much for listening.

Hear more from Scott Horton:

The Scott Horton Show podcast, and ScottHorton.org

The Libertarian Institute, libertarian institute.org, where he is the managing director

Antiwar.com, where is the opinion editor

Anti War Radio for Pacifica 90.7 FM KPFK in Los Angeles and 88.3 in Riverside

Scott Horton on twitter

 

Next episode – The Myth of the Rational Voter by Bryan Caplan (With Dave!)

On deck -Back to fiction!  I’ll announce this after Dave and I select a book…

In the hole – Back to fiction!  I’ll announce this after Dave and I select a book…

Don’t forget to follow me on twitter and please give me a rating and review on iTunes!  Thank you for listening!

You can donate via Patreon and get a personal “Thank you,” on the show, or you can give a 1 time PayPal donation.

Spread the show and join the club!

Thank you for all your support!

 

Ep 12 – The War of Currents and “Empires of Light,” Pt.2

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This is the second and final part of the discussion on Jill Jonnes’s, Empires of Light.  Part 1 (episode 10) dealt with an introduction to the historical figures, Edison, Tesla, and Westinghouse, taken from Jonnes’s book and other sources.  In this part 2, I focus more specifically on the narrative she creates in her book, and take you through the journey of these three titans of the electric industry.  I have a few qualms with the author’s point of view on economics, but I barely touch on them.  Instead I focus on all the aspects of the book I like.  It really is a great read.  You feel like your reading a novel, and she paints a robust picture of this epic and dense time in American history.

The next episode will be on the new, timely, and incredibly important Fool’s Errand: Time to End the War in Afghanistan, by the awesome Scott Horton.  The title is self explanatory, but Horton gives you an education on the matter you will appreciate.

Next episode – Fool’s Errand: Time to End the War in Afghanistan, by the awesome Scott Horton.

On deck – The Myth of the Rational Voter by Bryan Caplan (With Dave!)

In the hole – Back to fiction!  I’ll announce this after Dave and I select a book…

Don’t forget to follow me on twitter and please give me a rating and review on iTunes!  Thank you for listening!

You can donate via Patreon and get a personal “Thank you,” on the show, or you can give a 1 time PayPal donation.

Spread the show and join the club!

Thank you for all your support!

Ep 11 – Talking “Blade Runner,” and Why Deckard Is a Replicant!

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This is a simple episode, nothing too crazy.  I had a plan to debate the topic with Kristaps over at The Eastern Border Podcast, but we couldn’t get it done due to scheduling conflicts, so I just pushed through solo.

A while back I had a debate on a common topic regarding Ridley Scott’s 1982 science-fiction film Blade Runner.  Is Deckard a replicant?  That is the question.  I believe so.  No matter where they come down on the issue,  fans of science-fiction film admire Blade Runner as a beautiful classic.  This was a fun episode, and I’m glad I took a break from podcasting about literature.  This is light hearted and I hope you enjoy it, as it’s a bit different from my usual fare.

A special thanks to Jim Cunagin for becoming a Patreon supporter.  Thanks Jim!  You can hear Jim on The Dangerous History Podcast Episode 129 – The Phycology of Power & Obedience with Prof CJ.  It’s a great episode!

This is a free episode to my Patreon supporters!

 

Next episode – The War of Currents and “Empires of Light,” Part.2

On Deck – The Myth of the Rational Voter: Why Democracies Choose Bad Policies by Bryan Caplan (With Dave!)

In The Hole – Fool’s Errand: Time to End the War in Afghanistan by Scott Horton

Don’t forget to follow me on twitter and please give me a rating and review on iTunes!  Thank you for listening!

You can donate via Patreon and get a “Thank you,” on the show, or you can give a 1 time PayPal donation.

Spread the show and join the club!

 

Ep 10 – The War of Currents and “Empires of Light,” Pt.1

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This episode of the Dusty Den Podcast is an overview of the historical figures covered in Jill Jonnes’s book Empires of Light.  I discuss the lives of Edison, Tesla, and Westinghouse, and also touch on some terms the book deals with like direct current, alternating current, arc lighting, and the induction motor.  This episode is really just a setup for the next show which will be more dedicated to the book’s historical narrative.

These men were pioneers of electrical power, and their story is fascinating.  Jonnes’s book is captivating, and brings the stories of all three men to life and reveals things you never would have known about them.  Her work is well sourced and reads like a novel, but make no mistake, this is pure history.  It’s the history of “the race to electrify the world.”

Next episode – The War of Currents and “Empires of Light,” Part.2

On deck – Blade Runner film discussion (Deckard is a replicant)

In the hole – The Myth of the Rational Voter by Bryan Caplan (With Dave!)

Don’t forget to follow me on twitter and please give me a rating and review on iTunes!  Thank you for listening!

You can donate via Patreon and get a “Thank you,” on the show, or you can give a 1 time PayPal donation.

Spread the show and join the club!

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