Fantastic Transmissions E001 – It’s A Good Life by Jerome Bixby

Episode 1 of Fantastic Transmissions is about Jerome Bixby’s 1953 short story, It’s A Good Life. It’s A Good Life is the story of a young boy with horrific psychic powers who holds an entire town under his sway. We examine how Bixby’s style complements his narrative, compare the story to its Twilight Zone adaptation, and talk about the themes of totalitarianism and narcissism.

Podbean: https://bookshelfstudios.podbean.com/e/episode-001-its-a-good-life-by-jerome-bixby/

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/fantastic-transmissions/id1341102133#

Google Play: https://play.google.com/music/m/Dwv7eiu7klgkfhdae5cnhjtbeai?t=Episode_001_-_Its_a_Good_Life_by_Jerome_Bixby-Fantastic_Transmissions

The intro music is sampled from Clyde Borly and His Percussions, off the album “Music in Five Dimensions.” The rest of the musc in the podcast was created by Blue Dot Sessions. Their work can be found on the Free Music Archive under a Non-Commercial Attribution License. You can also find all their tracks at http://www.sessions.blue. Audio from episode 73 of The Twilight Zone is the property of CBS.

Fantastic Transmissions is a non-commercial project.

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The Kids Are All Bight: Why TLJ’s Most-Maligned Subplot Was Good, Actually

The Canto Bight subplot is one of the most maligned aspects of the new Star Wars movie. The most common critique I’ve seen is that it’s a complete shaggy-dog story for Finn and Rose, that Finn might as well have been in a coma the whole movie anyway. I disagree, though; the Canto Bight subplot ties perfectly in with the broader themes of TLJ, and gives two minor characters some room to breathe and grow.

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Game of Thrones S7E04: “THE SPOILS OF WAR”

The unifying idea that ran under all  the stories in “The Spoils of War” was the return of magic – including both literal magic, like voodoo and dragons, and the magic of the story, as scattered plot threads are stitched back together like Beric Dondarrion’s flesh and bone.

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Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 1: Dragonstone

“DRAGONSTONE” felt very much like exactly what it was: the beginning of the end. The pieces are moving, the old plot threads are coming home to roost.

Overall, I liked this episode. I did. It set up the remaining six episodes of the season, it had some memorable scenes, and generally moved pretty smoothly.

Here’s what I really liked.

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Death of a Desktop: My Computer and I

It’s been a while since I built a computer. Quite a while, in fact. I built my desktop back in December 2011, a few days after getting my wisdom teeth taken out. As I recall, I built the computer specifically to play Amnesia: The Dark Descent, Minecraft, and Skyrim. My plucky little laptops just couldn’t handle it anymore. I burned through maybe three laptops in high school/early college; I needed something that was going to not shrivel up and die when I tried to make it show me neat moving pictures.

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The Others as Shoggoths: Lovecraft & Martin

As much as GRRM likes to draw on traditional high fantasy tropes, A Song of Ice and Fire is very much a sword-and-sorcery world, akin to something written by Robert E Howard. Howard himself was a contemporary and collaborator with H.P. Lovecraft himself, the father of eldritch weirdness. A lot of people have pointed out the many Lovecraftian elements to the world of ice and fire – from Leng to the Five Forts to Asshai to Toad Isle to the Seastone Chair to Battle Isle to the mazemakers to the squishers.

But there’s one big element that needs to be addressed: the Others.

One common theory is that the Others are, essentially “misunderstood snow elves.” They’re a race whose goals and aims run contrary to human life…but they aren’t necessarily evil. This is a popular theory. Some think there’ll be a pact with the Others, that humans need to resolve their Other-ing of a different race. That to end with a big battle would be disingenuous to the messages of ASOIAF, about hard peace etc.

I disagree. And I promise I’ll explain! But first,

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