Podcast Episode 1. “Harrison Bergeron,” Writing Advice Quiz

(00:00) Submit your stories to Constellary Tales SF Magazine
(02:30) Kurt Vonnegut’s “Harrison Bergeron” turns up in unusual places, plus two film adaptations
(34:40) Brian quizzes Ken on writing advice from famous authors
(42:05) Spoiler-free recommendations: Castle Rock, What Mad Universe

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5 thoughts on “Podcast Episode 1. “Harrison Bergeron,” Writing Advice Quiz

  1. Guys, this was before your time, but I wonder if you’re familiar with the tv movie “Between Time and Timbuktu”.

    I saw this when it was broadcast in 1972 on PBS; I don’t know if it was ever broadcast again, and it seems to be unavailable on video.

    I was 11 when it came on, but remember it after 46 years. It was the kind of experimental, intellectual, socially-conscious project that you sometimes saw on tv in those days. (Things became much blander soon.)

    Anyway, it contained parts of several Vonnegut stories, including “Harrison Bergeron”. Apparently the first twenty-something minutes are on YouTube; no idea if there’s a complete video copy anywhere.

    Oh — thanks for talking about Fredric Brown! One of my favorite writers of his period, both for science fiction and mystery. His crime stories are taut, vivid, gritty, and involve a lot of drinking. Although, as noted, he didn’t write many sf novels, two of them can be called classics: “Martians, Go Home”, and “The Lights in the Sky are Stars”.

    He was also a master of the short-short story. Here’s one you can read in two minutes, that will stay with you for half a century as it has with me (and it’s also a story you won’t really understand until you’ve had a vicious argument with someone you love). Both profoundly truthful about love, and, for my money, one of the best of the hundreds of stories, 1950s-’80s, informed by the constant underlying fear of nuclear annihilation that everybody in my generation grew up with:


    Well, I enjoyed your podcast; looking forward to more! Most likely I’ll be submitting some fiction to you at some point. Cheers!

    • Glad you enjoyed episode 1, and thanks for the tip on that PBS program. Between Time and Timbuktu appears to be available in its entirety, along with a contemporaneous interview with Vonnegut, at http://notveryprettymusic.blogspot.com/2016/09/between-time-and-timbuktu-parts-2-3-and.html. Aaand…. there goes my weekend.

      It’s amazing that Brown’s novels were so few in number (just five, according to the ISFDB) and at the same time so varied different in topic and tone. I agree with you abut his short fiction — I think he shined even more there. As a kid I wore out my copy of Paradox Lost. There was nothing else on my bookshelf quite like it, and Eine Kleine Nachtmusik puts me ill at ease (the better part of) half a century later myself.

      Look forward to your fiction submission. We reopen on October 1, and we’ll have a new podcast in early October as well.

  2. Eine Kleine Nachtmusik — yes, great story! Had a moment of mental confusion before remembering it. I first remembered “Kindertotenlieder”, a Jonathan Fast story that was, if I recall, in the very first issue of Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, back in December 1976.

    There are some great sf/fantasy stories about the power of music. “Rump-Titty-Titty-Tum-Tah-Tee”, et al.

    Thanks for the video link! Will look for the new ‘cast in October. (A great month. I know it’s just September, but I got a wild hair and added a Hallowe’en story to my blog of fictional events in imaginary Donnetown.)

  3. I’ve only just found this website and podcast (thanks to Writing Magazine); I really enjoyed the first podcast and I’m going to listen to the second tomorrow. I also have plans to submit some work, once your submissions widow opens again.

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