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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...


Oct 10, 2019

We've all heard Arthur C. Clarke's third law, which states that sufficiently advanced science is indistinguishable from magic. What did Clarke mean by this, and how are people using his law to take the mystery out of fantasy stories? Plus we look at popular stories where magic is explained by science, including Star...


Sep 26, 2019

Multiverses are everywhere lately, from superheroes to fantasy novels. But there’s one huge downside to multiple realities: you can’t change the past, and if you try, you just create a new universe. Also, we talk about The Future of Another Timeline, Annalee’s brand new time-travel novel, in which there’s only...


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...