jwgh: (Van Halen)
Hey, my fiftieth podcast! And recordings of songs by Andy Breckman, Woody Guthrie, and John Brunner!

I've mentioned Andy Breckman before. Before he became a hotshot TV producer he was a humorous folk singer (here is his description of his tour with Don McLean, which is followed by a response from McLean in which he calls Andy a 'dufus') and his song Railroad Bill is an example of the kind of song I would like to write if my brain worked that way.

[livejournal.com profile] cgoldfish suggested a while ago that I record Guthrie's Car Song. I was hindered for quite a while by a complete inability to make car sounds with my mouth, but then a couple of days ago I figured out how to make some pretty substandard motor noises, and the result is here.

The result of the Brunner poll was clear: a surprising number of people wanted to hear Faithless Jack the Spaceman. So here it is, a simple arrangement for vocals and washboard. I will try to record the other songs people wanted sometime soon.

  1. Railroad Bill [introduction] (July 6, 2006) -- guitar, vocals
  2. The Car Song [introduction] (July 7, 2006) -- guitar, vocals
  3. Faithless Jack the Spaceman [introduction] (July 8, 2006) -- vocals, washboard
As always, you can see a list of all the recordings on the main page of my music website and instructions on how to subscribe to the podcast on the podcast page.

Update: Fixed links. Grrr.

jwgh: (Van Halen)
Hey, I'm actually going to put something out on my podcast after work today! Yay!

But that's not what this post is about. See, I recently read this collection of John Brunner stories called The Book of John Brunner, and among other oddities it contains a bunch of folk songs he wrote with science-fiction-y themes! and it includes sheet music!

So clearly I should record some of these. The question is, which? The options are:

[Poll #763508]
The book also contains a crossword puzzle. Also, one of the essays contains the word 'muggles'.
jwgh: (Default)
This is the first John Brunner book I ever read and is probably a large part of the reason that I've read so much of his other stuff. I loaned it to a friend last year sometime and only got it back a couple of weeks ago, which is why I haven't gone more in depth on it.

Notes on the book )
jwgh: (Default)
I recently went back to Cellar Stories and picked up some new used John Brunner books, so I'll be doing some more little reviews. The first one is The Stardroppers, published in 1972.

the review (includes spoilers) )
jwgh: (Default)
Yesterday evening I finished reading another John Brunner book, The Evil Men Do, published in 1969.

The Review (some spoilers) )

jwgh: (Default)
Continuing in my series of reviews of old John Brunner books that nobody else has read ...

This book contains three unrelated stories (and I should warn that my reviews contain major spoilers):

Review, contains spoilers )
jwgh: (Default)

The other John Brunner book I read recently was Meeting at Infinity (copyright 1961). I quite enjoyed it!

Another precursor to cyberpunk? )
jwgh: (Default)

I recently read a couple of John Brunner books.

Here is a review of the first: Interstellar Empire )
jwgh: (Default)
I started reading John Brunner's Meeting at Infinity. Early on in the book we encounter that hoary old bit of science fiction nonsense, the inconstant π:
Pi, it seemed, was invariant. However, certain deductions from curved-space mathematics indicated conditions under with it would assume values different from the familiar 3.1416. It would remain an irrational number of course. But the physical conditions for altering its value could be described.
So the guy creates a machine that creates an area where the value of π is different, and this turns out to be a way to reach alternative universes whose history differs from Earth's proportionately to the difference between its value of π and ours.

I think that this sort of thing comes from a misunderstanding of noneuclidean geometry (or, I suppose, a desire to annoy mathematicians). There are geometries where if you measure the circumference of a circle and divide it by the diameter you'll get a number other than 3.14159265... This doesn't change the value of the number π, though, and it has nothing to do with π's irrationality. It makes about as much sense to posit a universe where 2 has a different value.

Anyway!

jwgh: (Default)
I bought a bunch of John Brunner books last week again and was planning to comment on them as I read them, which I still may do. However! [livejournal.com profile] mmcirvin was posting about some science fiction he was reading and I ended up writing this big long thing about John Brunner so I thought I'd link to it from here, too, since I might be posting more about him later.

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jwgh: (Default)
Jacob Haller

October 2015

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