This Subterranean Sun

I officially repost this!

It’s a meme with a celebrity judge!

When I posted this before, there were only two respondents. Not to denigrate their contributions at all (and I encourage them to cut-and-paste if they think they nailed it), but whoever is judged the best in this one by our celebrity judge is actually going to win a SEVERELY WICKED PRIZE, that actually cost money. And so the controversy is assured.

That’s right, Bloggers! Like Golden Age Superman, I’m gonna put my money right where my mouth is! BAM! WOW!

So here it is!

It’s possible you’ve heard me speak in the past of the CBC-Radio science fiction show that I loved so much, that for some unGodly reason didn’t make it…

I have since been informed that its name was Faster Than Light, and that it was only on Sundays…

But you know, some Sundays are pre-empted…

And thus my challenge to you: given, say, six episodes per season of adapted SF-story radio play to try grabbing the listeners with…

What would YOU do?

Six one-hour radio episodes, of which NO MORE than fifty-five minutes may be devoted to one or more SF-adapted scripts or imaginary interviews or whatever as you see fit (five minutes at least must be saved for the host saying hello and goodbye)…and an audience of bored people living in the North is yours, to do with as you will. Why if your program is good enough, you may even gain popularity among the Laplanders…no higher possible praise existing.I’ll give you my version of it:

EPISODE ONE: Adaptation of “Scanners Live In Vain” by Cordwainer Smith — 30 minutes. Adaptation of “Into Darkness” by Greg Egan — 15 minutes. Host interview with Harlan Ellison about SF — 10 minutes.

EPISODE TWO: Adaptation of “Home Is The Hangman” by Roger Zelazny — 45 minutes. Retrospective of Roger Zelazny including excerpts from various works — 10 minutes.

EPISODE THREE: SPECIAL “ASTOUNDING” EPISODE: Adaptation of “Foundation” by Isaac Asimov — 50 minutes. Host retrospective of the John W. Campbell era of SF and its engineering biases eats up the rest of the time.

EPISODE FOUR: Adaptation of “The Santaroga Barrier” by Frank Herbert — 45 minutes. Host discusses the changing nature of the 60s SF — 10 minutes.

EPISODE FIVE: SPECIAL AMERICAN FANTASY EPISODE: covering Ray Bradbury and Harlan Ellison, selections from “The Martian Chronicles” and “Deathbird Stories” interspersed with host commentary and interview snippets.

EPISODE SIX: “Neuromancer” by William Gibson, part one — 55 minutes. And keep those cards and letters coming folks, if you want to know how it turns out…

I swear to God, I don’t know why this show isn’t still on. I loved this show.

Resurrect it for me, won’t you, Bloggers? And then I’ll have the transgresso-fiction bit up as soon as I can. [EDIT: actually it’s already up, if you care to find it.]

Personal guarantee.


Oh, even among us that’s probably an obscure reference…anyway use what you like, even something I’ve already said…

Good luck, Bloggers! The one-and-only Very Big Prize I’ll ever give out goes with this one! That is, if I can get my Celebrity Judge back.

Matthew E. and Adam Star, you may repost yout original entries, or make up something new, as you see fit.

And may the Devil take the hindmost…


2 responses to “This Subterranean Sun

  1. I think I’ll repost it, perhaps with a couple of minor tweaks.

    I thought I wasn’t going to have anything for this but I do.

    First, let me hang a lantern on this: I know that the stuff I’m talking about adapting for radio is too long for the format. So let’s just say it’s being abridged or that only a representative chapter, or whatever, is being radioized. Whichever. It’s the concept I’m trying to sell here. (I’ll use Canadian stuff where I can, but will often prefer imports to domestic.)

    My groupies will no doubt recognize a couple of the ideas in what I’m proposing; I’ve used ‘em before.

    I call this show ‘The Future Ain’t What It Used To Be’. The theme is that our ideas of the future have changed over time. We keep thinking things are going to turn out different from how we used to think they were going to turn out. Here are six episodes dedicated to that proposition:

    The Future Ain’t What It Used To Be

    Hosts: Jim Roeg, Robert Sawyer

    1. Theme music: ‘Popcorn’, Boomtang Boys
    Adaptation: Paris in the 20th Century – Jules Verne (20 min), The Time Machine (the parts in the future, anyway) – H.G. Wells (20 min), Discussion with special guest David Sedaris on Paris in the 20th century (15 min)
    The early days of science fiction, and the kinds of predictions the pioneers of the field leaned toward.

    2. Theme music: ‘Der Kommissar’, After the Fire
    Adaptation: It Can’t Happen Here, Sinclair Lewis (30 min), discussion on how science fiction of the 30s and 40s anticipated a totalitarian future (Anthem (Rand), Brave New World (Huxley), 1984 (Orwell)) (15 min), comparison between Orwell’s 1984 and actual 1984 with Erica Ehm (10 min).

    3. Theme music: theme from ‘The Jetsons’
    Adaptation: ‘Rosey the Robot’ (first episode of ‘The Jetsons’) (20 min), ‘The Legion of Super-Heroes’ (Adventure Comics #247) (20 min), discussion with special guest Christopher Bird on the optimistic whitebread techno-future of the 1950s (15 min)

    4. Theme music: ‘In the Year 2525′, Zager and Evans
    Adaptation: Barbarella (15 min), 2001: A Space Odyssey (10 min), discussion with special guests Margaret Atwood and Spider Robinson about the counterculture of the 1960s and its changing visions of the future–sometimes idyllic, sometimes postapocalyptic, sometimes sexualized, sometimes after ecological catastrophe… (30 min)

    5. Theme music: ‘Transverse City’, Warren Zevon
    Adaptation: Chapter 1 of Snow Crash – Neal Stephenson (10 min), Blade Runner (25 min), discussion with special guest Neal Stephenson on cyberpunk (20 min)

    6. Theme music: ‘The Circle Game’, Joni Mitchell
    Round table discussion with the hosts, Neil Howe (author of several books on using generational cycles to understand the past and predict the future), William A. Sherden (author of The Fortune Sellers, which is about how futurists are generally full of it), Paul Wolfowitz (created the Project for a New American Century cabal which currently occupies the White House). Topics include Isaac Asimov’s psychohistory. Special guest: Canadian demographer David Foot, who will show up for five minutes so that Neil Howe can blow a few holes through him. (55 min)

  2. Ahh, I still love it!

    But somehow I think I’ve hit on something that the Internet at large isn’t very interested in. Though that seems rather incredible to me.

    Oh well, Matthew! I think it’s down to you and Adam Star, if I’m remembering right. I’ll dig something cool up for you guys.

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