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Jul 3, 2020

Virtual reality has been a mainstay of science fiction for a hundred years, but now it's finally a real technology. How does real VR change the stories we tell? Plus we talk to Fivestar, a porn director who's been working on virtual reality porn, to learn the truth about real-life VR sex. Warning: the second half of...


Jun 18, 2020

When two characters have an intense conversation, it deepens a story the way nothing else can. Dialogue is key to worldbuilding, and in this episode we talk to illustrious TV writer and showrunner Javier Grillo-Marxuach (The Middleman, Lost, The Dark Crystal) about how to do it right. We explore quippy barbs, fake...


Jun 4, 2020

We love escapism, and being able to escape into imaginary worlds is a super important survival strategy in the midst of oppression, pandemics, state-sponsored violence. But what if a story is escapist for some people, but not for others? And how dark can a story get and still be escapist? Let's talk about escaping...


May 21, 2020

We're sick of the nerds vs. jocks trope in pop culture. In this episode we unpack how that trope came to be, and how to get beyond high school PE trauma. We talk about science fiction that fetishizes workout routines (Arrow's salmon ladder!?), and portrays nerds as physically weak. Plus, we're joined by trainer...


May 7, 2020

Romance and speculative fiction have always been closely connected, ever since the days of the pulps. But nowadays, some of the best science fiction and fantasy writing is happening in the romance genre. We talk Alyssa Cole, author of the Off the Grid series, the Loyal League series and the A.I. Who Loved Me, about the...