American Writers (One Hundred Pages at a Time)

Philp K. Dick Book Club: Episode 46.1, The World Jones Made (1)

In this episode we look at a novel (slightly out of chronological order), "The World Jones Made." This novel takes on three interelated themes: precognition/mutation, the frontier, and individualism in a totalitarian state.

Episode 67: Jack London, White Fang (2)

Part two of my look at "White Fang" and we get to see the relationship between modern civilization, law, and violence. Where does kindness and love come from in a world defined by hierarchy and violence?

Philip K. Dick Book Club: Episode 45: Small Town

In this episode of the Philip K. Dick Book Club, we look at "Small Town". What does this story say about family, urban planning, and suburbia?

Episode 66: Jack London: White Fang (1)

On the surface, White Fang is the opposite of The Call of the Wild, but in many ways J-Lo is dealing with many of the same issues. Join me, the she-wolf, White Fang, and One Eye as we see what it is like to face scarcity and violence.
Or do we already know that thanks to the lessons of capitalism.

Philip K. Dick Book Club: Episode 45: James P. Crow

Once again Philip K. DIck takes on segregation and race relations. But is the answer he provides in "James P. Crow" right? I worry that this is a story Richard Spencer can get behind.

Episode 65: Jack London, The Call of the Wild

My comments on Jack London's signature text, The Call of the Wild. Was the original J-Lo talking about dogs, wolves, or us?

Philip K. Dick Book Club: Episode 44: Beyond the Door

Part of a series of 1953-1955 short stories exploring marriage by Philip K. Dick. "Beyond the Door" combines a critique of clock time with a critique of the bourgie marriage.

Philip K. Dick Book Club: Episode 43: The Golden Man

Dick's first great story of posthumanism and mutants is "The Golden Man." Can humans coexist with Humanity+?

Episode 64: Jack London: John Barleycorn, Second Part

Part two of my overview of Jack London's John Barleycorn. The focus of this episode is the "White Logic" and London's depression.
Four essays by Jack London are also briefly explored.

Philip K. Dick Book Club: Episode 42: Jon’s World

In "Jon's World," Philip K. Dick wrote a followup to "Second Variety." While the humans one the war, the survivors are put in a position of prefering an alterantive timeline where the war never started, even if it means the end of all they knew.

Episode 63: Jack London: John Barleycorn, First Half

Jack London's brilliant autobiography on alcohol, John Barleycorn, Or Alcoholic Memoirs, is a book about many things, including male socialibility and working class culture. One of my favorite books by London.

Philip K Dick Book Club: Episode 41: The Builder

Philip K. Dick explores the Biblical story of Noah, the suburban family, and post-traumatic stress in his short story "The Builder."

Episode 62: Jack London; Martin Eden (4)

The final episode on Jack London's Martin Eden. What happens when our lonely writer finds success?

Philip K. Dick Book Club: Episode 40: The Short Happy Life of the Brown Oxford

In this episode we examine the Philip K. Dick story "The Short Happy Life of the Brown Oxford." What does this story tell us abour family? Consumerism? Technology? Work? A silly story on first glance acually has a lot to tell us.

Episode 61: Jack London, Martin Eden (3)

Part three of a series on Jack London's Martin Eden. In this part, we explore Eden's frustrations, his new friendships, and the decline of his romantic life.

Philip K. Dick Book Club: Episode 39: The Crystal Crypt

In "The Crystal Crypt", Philip K. Dick explores the arms race and the "spy v. spy" dynamic of the Cold War. But does Dick have more to say about the city and the state?

Episode 60: Jack London; Martin Eden (2)

In this episode I look at the second hundred pages of Jack London's masterpiece Martin Eden. What are the challenges of becoming a writer in the face of the impersonal publishing industry? How does an artist face poverty?

Philip K. Dick Book Club: Episode 38: A Present for Pat

In this episode of the Philip K. Dick Club we look at "A Present for Pat", cargo cults, and alien gods.

Episode 59: Jack London, Martin Eden (1)

In this episode we meet Martin Eden and the struggles of a working class man to become a published writer.

Philip K. Dick Book Club: Episode 37: The Hanging Stranger

We look at "The Hanging Stranger," Philip K. Dick's story of lynching and state power. And it has Lovecraftian creatures in it. What happens when we story accepting the cruelities essential to the systerms we live in?

Episode 58: Jack London: The Iron Heel (2)

In the second part of The Iron Heel, Jack London takes us to the events surrounding the first uprising, or the Chicago Commune. How does the Oligarchy survive this and other threats? How much of London's novel is true to life? Are we facing our own Iron Heel today?