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Nov 21, 2019

Speculative fiction writers talk endlessly about worldbuilding, which sounds like it ought to involve a near-infinite amount of drywall. What is worldbuilding? And why is it so important? Plus we talk to author K. Tempest Bradford about the Writing the Other workshops and her brand new genre, Pyramidpunk!


Nov 7, 2019

Terminator: Dark Fate barely made a dent in the world of pop culture, despite the fact that Terminator 2 changed the course of blockbuster cinema back in 1992. What made this series so electrifying in the twentieth century, and what's different now? Why did the new Star Wars trilogy reboot succeed using the same formula...


Oct 24, 2019

The idea of the "rugged individual" is all over the place in science fiction--especially in the United States. Who is this loner hero, and why are there so many stories about how personal freedom is more important than the public good? We explore the idea of rugged individuals in science fiction, and talk about how this...


Sep 12, 2019

People have a lot of opinions about what it means to have opinions about TV. Who is allowed to criticize TV, and how do you do it well? In this episode, we talk to TV critics Inkoo King (Slate) and Nina Shen Rastogi (Vulture) about what it means to analyze TV in 2019. We're at Peak TV, everything is political, and we...


Aug 15, 2019

There’s been a renaissance of anti-capitalist stories in science fiction and fantasy in the U.S. But these aren't tales of violent revolution or faceless corporations. We discuss Utopia, community, and how group therapy is the opposite of authoritarianism. Also, we’re joined by K.M. Szpara, who talks to us about his...