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I am Clay Dugger, The Podcast Cowboy, and I want to welcome you to the fifth episode of Watching the Skies:From “Who Goes There?” to “The Thing”.

This five episode mini-series will explore “Who Goes There?”, the wonderful story by John W. Campbell, Jr., and all the great entertainment that it has spawned.

In this episode, I am joined by my new friend, author Peter Watts. He and I discuss his short story, Hugo Award nominated “The Things”.

Peter is the author of 5 novels and various short stories and collections. He is also a Marine Mammal Biologist.

The podcast I have with my wife, “This and That with Him and Her (and sometimes It)”, can be found on the Chronic Rift Network. Go to http://chronicrift.com.

You can find my audio adaptation of “Who Goes There?” at http://mustbenicestudios.podomatic.com.

Comment on the episode here or write john@chronicrift.com. Take a moment to rate the episode by using our star system at the bottom of this entry.

 



<


Peter Watts is generally a lot more optimistic than you might expect, considering.

He has spent much of his adult life trying to decide whether to be a writer or a scientist, ending up as a marginal hybrid of both. He's won a handful of awards in fields as diverse as marine mammal science, video documentary, and science fiction. These accolades have not gone to his head since they never involved a lot of cash.

He spent ten years getting a bunch of degrees in the ecophysiology of marine mammals (how's that for unbridled optimism), and another ten trying make a living on those qualifications without becoming a whore for special-interest groups. This proved somewhat tougher that it looked; throughout the nineties he was paid by the animal welfare movement to defend marine mammals; by the US fishing industry to sell them out; and by the Canadian government to ignore them. He eventually decided that since he was fictionalising science anyway, he might as well add some characters and plot and try selling to a wider market than the Journal of Theoretical Biology.

His success has been, shall we say, mixed. His first novel, Starfish, netted a "Notable Book of the Year" nod from the New York Times, an honorable mention for John W. Campbell Memorial Award, and rejections from both German and Russian publishing houses on the grounds that it was "too dark". (Being considered too dark for the Russians remains one of Watts's proudest accomplishments, although he remains puzzled by the translation of his book into Italian.) This also marked the beginning of a diffuse cult following of angst-ridden blogging teenaged girls who identified with Starfish's central character.

Starfish was universally praised for its evocation of the deep-sea environment; the applause for its rendering of the surface world was somewhat more muted. The sequel, Maelstrom (2001, Tor), takes place almost entirely on land: it therefore avoids the elements that readers most loved about the first book, replacing them with a sprawling entropic dystopia in which Sylvia Plath might have felt at home, if Sylvia Plath had had a graduate degree in evolutionary biology. The critical response was generally as positive as it was for Starfish, which may come as a surprize to those who've noted a virtual absence of laudatory quotes on the paperback edition (someone fucked up in Production); both books received starred reviews from Booklist, and Maelstrom may mark the first time that the NY Times used the terms "exhilarating" and "deeply paranoid" to describe the same novel. Maelstrom's release did, however, mark the end of a diffuse cult following of angst-ridden blogging teenage girls who identified with Starfish's central character.

Behemoth, the concluding volume of what had inadvertently become the "Rifters Trilogy", was released by Tor Books in two volumes for industrial-policy reasons that Watts understands even though he still thinks they suck the one-eyed purple trouser eel. Even bisected, and notwithstanding a certain inevitable sense of been-there-done-that, Behemoth garnered a fair bit of critical praise (another NYT rave, starred review from Publisher's Weekly— just check out the damn blurbs page), although more squeamish reviewers grumbled that Watts had gone too far with this whole sexual sadism thing. Commercially, it tanked.

Watts' latest book, Blindsight (Tor 2006) might be best described as a literary first-contact novel exploring the nature and evolutionary significance of consciousness, with space vampires. Astonishingly, and against all expectations, it did not tank. In fact it survived rejection from half a dozen publishers, a miniscule initial print run, zero preorders from one of the continent's largest book retail chains, an absence of relevant blurbs on an otherwise questionable cover design, and a suicidal Hail-Mary act of desperation in which its author gave the whole thing away for free online under a Creative Commons license. As of this writing Blindsight is in its fourth hardcover printing, is being translated into several languages (including— at long last— German and Russian), and made the final ballot for the Hugo, John W. Campbell, Sunburst, Locus, and Aurora awards, winning exactly zero of them.

A collection of Watts's short fiction is available in obscure magazines and anthologies or bundled together into a thick pamphlet called Ten Monkeys, Ten Minutes, from Edge/Tesseract Books.

Direct download: wts-5-the-things1.mp3
Category:Watching the Skies -- posted at: 4:50pm EST
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I am Clay Dugger, The Podcast Cowboy, and I want to welcome you to the fourth episode of Watching the Skies: From “Who Goes There?” to “The Thing”.

This five episode mini-series will explore “Who Goes There?”, the wonderful story by John W. Campbell, Jr., and all the great entertainment that it has spawned.

In this episode, I am once more joined by my good friend Paul Elard Cooley. He and I discuss the 2011 movie, “The Thing”, the prequel to Carpenter’s 1982 movie of the same name.

The podcast I have with my wife, “This and That with Him and Her (and sometimes It)”, can be found on the Chronic Rift Network. Go to http://chronicrift.com.

 

You can find my audio adaptation of “Who Goes There?” at http://mustbenicestudios.podomatic.com.

Comment on the episode here or write john@chronicrift.com. Take a moment to rate the episode by using our star system at the bottom of this entry.

 



<


Paul Elard Cooley is a Houston, Texas author who writes historical fantasy, psychological thrillers, Science Fiction, and gritty puppet noir. Don’t ask.

Paul has several of his own books available and has collaborated with New York Times Bestseller Scott Sigler.

You can find Paul’s fiction and essays on the topic of creating over at https://shadowpublications.com.

Direct download: wts-4-the-thing-20111.mp3
Category:Watching the Skies -- posted at: 7:12am EST
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I am Clay Dugger, The Podcast Cowboy, and I want to welcome you to the third episode of Watching the Skies: From “Who Goes There?” to “The Thing”.

This five episode mini-series will explore “Who Goes There?”, the wonderful story by John W. Campbell, Jr., and all the great entertainment that it has spawned.

In this episode, I am joined by my good friend Paul Elard Cooley. He and I discuss the John Carpenter 1982 movie, “The Thing”. This is one of the modern day Horror classics.

The podcast I have with my wife, “This and That with Him and Her (and sometimes It)”, can be found on the Chronic Rift Network. Go to http://chronicrift.com.

 

You can find my audio adaptation of “Who Goes There?” at http://mustbenicestudios.podomatic.com.

Comment on the episode here or write john@chronicrift.com. Take a moment to rate the episode by using our star system at the bottom of this entry.

 




Paul Elard Cooley is a Houston, Texas author who writes historical fantasy, psychological thrillers, Science Fiction, and gritty puppet noir. Don’t ask.

Paul has several of his own books available and has collaborated with New York Times Bestseller Scott Sigler.

You can find Paul’s fiction and essays on the topic of creating over at https://shadowpublications.com.

Direct download: wts-3-the-thing-19821.mp3
Category:Watching the Skies -- posted at: 7:55am EST
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I am Clay Dugger, The Podcast Cowboy, and I want to welcome you to the second episode of Watching the Skies:From “Who Goes There?” to “The Thing”.

This five episode mini-series will explore “Who Goes There?”, the wonderful story by John W. Campbell, Jr., and all the great entertainment that it has spawned

In this episode, I am joined by my good friend Paul K. Bisson. He and I discuss the classic 1951 movie, “The Thing from Another World”. This is one of the first “space monster come to Earth” flicks that ruled the 1950’s.

Paul K. Bisson is the narrative voice of The Food Network’s “Restaurant Stakeout”. He has also been interviewed for the Time-Life “Six Million Dollar Man - The Complete Collection” DVD set.

Paul is the co-creator of “Cyborgs: A Bionic Podcast”, found on The Chronic Rift Network.

You can find Paul over at www.bionicfans.net and www.abionicpodcast.com.

The podcast I have with my wife, “This and That with Him and Her (and sometimes It)”, can be found on the Chronic Rift Network. Go to http://chronicrift.com.

 

You can find my audio adaptation of “Who Goes There?” at http://mustbenicestudios.podomatic.com.

Comment on the episode here or write john@chronicrift.com. Take a moment to rate the episode by using our star system at the bottom of this entry.




For a poor kid growing up in Boston (where there wasn't much to do except watch TV or go outside and find trouble), they were doorways into the worlds of science fiction, fantasy, horror, and comics. And they remain the cornerstones of Paul K. Bisson's inner Fanboy.

Today, Paul is an actor, writer, independent media producer, and all-around Geek. He still collects comics (mostly DC and definitely Wonder Woman), he founded the member-rich Bionic Fan Network (http://www.bionicfans.net) and an ambitious online Bionic encyclopedia, The Bionic Wiki (http://www.bionic.wikia.com), he's the webmaster of The Omen Chronicles, the only fansite devoted to the Omen film series (http://www.omenchronicles.com), and he's co-host and co-producer on Cyborgs: A Bionic Podcast, (http://www.abionicpodcast.com) a mostly twice a month podcast looking at each and every episode of The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman.

Direct download: wts-2-the-thing-19511.mp3
Category:Watching the Skies -- posted at: 6:37am EST
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Join THIS AND THAT WITH HIM AND HER host Clay Dugger as he explores our fascination with the unknown as explored from the novella "Who Goes There?" by John Campbell to the movie versions known as THE THING.  This five episode mini-series begins with a discussion of the story that started it all.  In August of 1938, Astounding Science-Fiction published John Campell's novella, "Who Goes There?"  A group of researchers in Antarctica locate a spaceship that has been embedded in the ice for 20 million years.  They recover the alien pilot and the story unfolds from there.

Each episode of the podcast will feature a different guest host to look at a different aspect of this growing phenomenon. Joining Clay for the first podcast is Dave Robison, host of the Roundtable Podcast.

Comment on the episode here or write john@chronicrift.com. Take a moment to rate the episode by using our star system at the bottom of this entry.



 


Dave Robison has indulged in creative pursuits his entire life.  His CV includes writing Curious George fan-fiction at the age of eight, improv theater at age ten, playing trumpet at age twelve, as well as a theater degree, creating magazine cover art, writing audio scripts, designing websites, creating board games, hosting mythological roundtables and generally savoring the sweet draught of expression in all its forms.  His years of exploration give him a unique, informed, and eloquent perspective on the art of storytelling.

 

Direct download: wts1.mp3
Category:Watching the Skies -- posted at: 7:01pm EST
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