Spotlight – Tom Goodwin

Author Tom GoodwinDespite being an incredibly respected science fiction writer, not much is known about the life of Tom Godwin. The author of three novels and around thirty short stories. He was forced to drop out of school in the third grade, yet he managed to write one of the most famous and controversial short stories in the science fiction genre. “The Cold Equations” was originally published in Astounding Magazine in 1954 and was Godwin’s fourth published story.

The Cold Equations,” tells the story of Marilyn whose only fault is that she has been raised in a world that has sheltered her to the point of ignorance. She does not realize the perils of space and she pays for it. She does not die because of aliens, blasters or even an explosion in space. She dies because she is uninformed, and idealizes the hazards of space. She failed to understand the basic premise that weight equals fuel usage. Too much weight equals a shorter flight time.

This story made many critics realize that science fiction was not all warp-speed and flashing lights. Godwin proved that the genre could be deep, dark, and scary. Did Marilyn have to die? Fuel in a space is a tricky thing. Take a look at our own history in space and you will see the point. Despite solutions drawn up by other writers (as well as by Godwin himself), the answer is yes. Not because she deserved it, but because life is, sometimes, more often than not, unfair. Though the story was written and published in the ’50s, the concept grips us still.

On the podcast this week we will feature another of Goodwin’s tales, with the same sort of impact. It is called, “The Nothing Equation,” and is a science fiction short story that explores the loneliness of space.

This Week’s Podcast:

Also on this podcast, we will have another edition of, Johnny Is It True, and more of your stories and submissions. You can listen to this podcast on Thursday at Ron’s Amazing Stories, download it from iTunes, stream it on Stitcher Radio or on the mobile version of Spotify. Do you prefer the radio? We are heard every Sunday Night at 8:00 PM (PST) on AMFM247.COM. Check your local listing or find the station closest to you at this link.

The Calendar:

April 26 – Throwback Thursday – RAS #325
May 03 – These Are Your Stories – RAS #326
May 10 – After The Movies – RAS #327
May 17 – The Answer – RAS #328
May 24 – The Nothing Equation – RAS #329
May 31 – Memorial Day Replay – RAS #330

Spotlight – Author J.D. Horn

J.D. Horn AuthorOn the podcast this week we have Author J.D. Horn. He will be talking about this new book, The King of Bones and Ashes. J.D. was raised in rural Tennessee and has since carried a bit of its red clay in him while traveling the world, from Hollywood to Paris, to Tokyo. He studied comparative literature as an undergrad, focusing on French and Russian in particular. He also holds an MBA in international business and worked as a financial analyst before becoming a novelist. He has race bibs from two full marathons and about thirty half marathons. J.D. has written the highly successful and Wall Street Journal best-selling series of books, The Witching Savannah series.

The King of Bone and AshesThe King of Bones and Ashes – Magic is seeping out of the world, leaving the witches who’ve relied on it for countless centuries increasingly hopeless. While some see an inevitable end of their era, others vainly try to retain the power they covet. Young Alice Marin is using magic’s waning days to delve into the mystery of numerous disappearances in the occult circles of New Orleans. Yet, discovering the cause of the vanishings could be the only way to escape her future and that of all witches.

This Week’s Podcast:

You can listen to this podcast on Thursday at Ron’s Amazing Stories, download it from iTunes, stream it on Stitcher Radio or on the mobile version of Spotify. Do you prefer the radio? We are heard every Sunday Night at 8:00 PM (PST) on AMFM247.COM. Check your local listing or find the station closest to you at this link.

The Calendar:

March 01 – Words At War (Replay) – RAS #317
March 08 – UFO and Other Stories – RAS #318
March 15 – Hawk Larabee – RAS #319
March 22 – The Man Who Stole The Bible – RAS #320
March 29 – Special Guest J.D. Horn – RAS #321

Spotlight – Frank Herbert Jr.

Without change, something sleeps inside us and seldom awakens. The sleeper must awaken. – Frank Herbert

I remember as a senior in high school my English teacher, Mr. Mitchell, had us read the science fiction novel, Dune, by Frank Patrick Herbert, Jr.  When the teacher handed me my copy of the book my first reaction to it was how thick the darn thing was and we only had three weeks to read it!  I could have done in three days! It was that enthralling.

Dune tells the story of Paul Atreides. In the year 10191, a spice called melange is the most valuable substance known in the universe, and its only source is the desert planet Arrakis. A royal decree awards Arrakis to Duke Leto Atreides displacing his sworn enemies, The Harkonnens. They take back their kingdom by force and, it is up to Paul to lead the natives of Arrakis in a battle for control of the planet and its spice. It is classic science fiction and won a Hugo Award for Best Novel.

Frank Herbert Jr. - Author of DuneDune’s author, Frank Herbert, is another story. Though he became famous for science fiction, he was also a newspaper journalist, photographer, short-story writer, book reviewer, ecological consultant, and lecturer. Because of a poor home environment, he ran away in 1938 to live with an aunt and uncle in Salem, Oregon. In 1939 he lied about his age to get his first newspaper job at the Glendale Star. Herbert then returned to Salem in 1940 where he worked for the Oregon Statesman newspaper (now The Statesman Journal).  He began writing short-stories for science pulp magazines in 1952 and never looked back.  

Herbert began researching Dune in 1959.  The novel originated while writing a magazine article on the Dunes of Florence, Oregon. He became too involved and ended up with more raw material than he needed. Also, the article was never written but did plant the seed that led to Dune. In all, Dune took six years of research and writing to complete. The book was much longer than any commercial science fiction of the time and, it was rejected by nearly twenty book publishers. One editor prophetically wrote, “I might be making the mistake of the decade, but …”

The Chilton Book Company (known mainly for its auto-repair manuals) offered a $7,500.00 advance plus future royalties for the rights to publish the book. The rest is history. Frank went on to pen five total books based on Dune and each was a classic in its own right. Frank passed away in Madison Wisconsin in 1986.

This Week’s Podcast:

On the podcast this week we have three classic tales. A short story from the author of the Dune Series of novels, A true-crime tale from Scotland Yard and a listener’s tale about his foster grandmother. You can listen to this podcast on Thursday at Ron’s Amazing Stories, download it from iTunes, stream it on TuneIn Radio or listen to it on your radio Saturday night at 6pm Eastern time. Check your local listing or find the station closest to you at this link.

The Calendar:

November 02 – David Larsen’s Marionette (HE #19)
November 09 – Old Rambling House (RAS #303)
November 16 – Suspense Week – (RAS #304)
November 23 – Thanksgiving Podcast Replay
November 30 – (RAS #305)

Spotlight – Ghost Stories With Sylvia

Coming this week on Ron’s Amazing Stories is the episode with Sylvia Shults we have been leading up to. I can’t begin to tell you how much I personally enjoy listening to Sylvia spin her amazing stories. It truly is something to look forward to. What impresses me is that research and care she takes learning all of the details that go with a particular story. That is what makes her books so good. If you have not read one of Sylvia’s books I highly recommend it.

Because of this, I thought that it might be a good idea to list all of the shows that Silvia has been on thus far. Also, I will keep this blog post updated with new visits as we go through life. Here is the current list updated on October 24, 2017

Ghost Stories With Sylvia: Volume I (2014) Volume II (2015) Volume III (2016) – Volume IV (2017)

The Horror Express: #8 Return of the Ghost with Sylvia Shults (2015)

To connect with Sylvia Shults follow these links: FaceBookAmazon Author PageWebsiteWordPress

This Week’s Podcast:

You can listen to the new podcast on Thursday at Ron’s Amazing Stories, download it from iTunes, stream it on TuneIn Radio or listen to it on your radio Saturday night at 6 pm Eastern time. Check your local listing or find the station closest to you at this link.

The Calendar:

October 03 – The Thing on the Fourble Board, hosted by the Conductor.
October 05 – Old Time Horror VII With Jim Harold – RAS #300
October 12 – Death Pays The Freight – RAS #301
October 17 – Ghost Stories With Sylvia Shults Volume 1 (2014)
October 19 – Ghost Stories With Sylvia Shults Volume 3 (2016)
October 26 – NEW!  Ghost Stories With Sylvia Shults Volume 4 (2017)
November 2 – Horror Express #19 with co-host Jason Dowd.
November 9 – RAS #303

Spotlight – Phil Leech MUFON

On Ron’s Amazing Stories – The Blog the spotlight points to a man who has served us in many ways during his life. He has been in public service as a sheriff, police officer, fireman, worked in a coroner’s office and even supported a terrorist task force. He has done it all! When it came time to retire from public service, he decided to become a field investigator for the (Mutual UFO Network) MUFON. Philip Leech did not stop there and after only three years he has become the Indiana State Director of MUFON.

Phil Leech - MUFOnWhy he joined MUFON is Simple. Phil is not only an investigator, but also had two experiences in his life that he cannot explain. He joined MUFON in hopes of finding an answer to his own questions about the UFO story.

“After each incident I experienced memory loss, to an extreme. It was instrumental in my reporting the events to MUFON. There is a CMS report in the system, along with a photo of me in the very car I was driving during the first event in 1980. I told no one of either experience, most of my life. I have worked in the public service sector, this type of thing had to be kept to myself for obvious reasons. Recently, I decided to tell my story to MUFON, undergoing regression, thus leading me back to today. I am a MUFON Investigator now, and trying to understand what happened not once, but twice.”  – Phil Leech

What is the Mutual UFO Network?

MUFON is an American-based non-profit organization that investigates cases of alleged UFO sightings. It is one of the oldest and largest civilian UFO-investigative organizations in the United States. The group maintains a chapter in each state and has investigators who undergo training administered by MUFON. They investigate UFO sightings and collect the data in the MUFON Database for use by researchers worldwide. They Promote research on UFOs to discover the true nature of the phenomenon, with an eye towards scientific breakthroughs, and improving life on our planet. MUFON aims to educate the public on the UFO phenomenon and its potential impact on society.

This Week’s Podcast:

On the Podcast this week we have Phil Leech. He will tell his two stories, talk about MUFON and cases that he has personally investigated. You can listen to this podcast on Thursday at Ron’s Amazing Stories, download it from iTunes, stream it on TuneIn Radio or listen to it on your radio Saturday night at 6pm Eastern time. Check your local listing or find the station closest to you at this link.

The Calendar:

August 03 – He #17 – Out Of Body
August 10 – You Were Wonderful – (RAS294)
August 17 – The MUFON Story – (RAS295)
August 24 – Western Week – (RAS296)
August 31 – Science Fiction Week – (RAS297)