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Hosted ByAnnalee Newitz & Charlie Jane Anders

Explore the meaning of science fiction, and how it's relevant to real-life science and society. Your hosts are Annalee Newitz, a science journalist who writes science fiction, and Charlie Jane Anders, a science fiction writer who is obsessed with science. Every two weeks, we take deep dives into science fiction books, movies, television, and comics that will expand your mind -- and maybe change your life


All Episodes

Episode 57: Why Science Fiction Needs Romance

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…

Episode 56: 9 new shows you should be watching right now

In these tough times, we need great TV shows more than ever. We have lots of opinions about nine new series that are making us happy because they’re smart, fun, and — best of all — colorful! Plus, we’ve got recommendations for over a dozen more…

Episode 55: How to write a plot that sucks people in

Plots are one of the most important parts of storytelling. They carry our characters forward, and they force our heroes to make choices and to change along the way. Every story has a plot, whether it’s about saving the world of making a cup of tea. So…

Episode 54: Science fiction didn’t prepare us for the pandemic

Pandemics are a recurring trope in science fiction, but this turns out to be surprisingly unhelpful when we’re facing a contagion in reality. We talk to Mike Chen, author of the new pandemic novel A Beginning at the End, about how science fiction uses…

Episode 53: F*ck Your Nihilism!

Everything is bloody terrifying right now, what with the pandemic and the would-be strongmen and the natural disasters. So it’s easy to retreat into nihilistic storytelling, which revels in the destruction of civilization. But screw that — when you…

Episode 52: Comedy, Death, and “The Good Place”

We would need an eternity to discuss everything that was great and groundbreaking about “The Good Place,” which just aired its series finale. We talk about how this weird afterlife comedy combined the workplace sitcom with weighty questions about…

Episode 51: The Delicious Significance of Food in Science Fiction

Science fiction and fantasy are full of feasts, from the banquets in Game of Thrones to all those Klingon delicacies. Why is food so important in SF? To find out, we talked to Mary Anne Mohanraj, author of The Stars Change and the cookbook A Feast of…

Episode 50: The Power of Names

Science fiction and fantasy are full of stories about the power of knowing someone’s true name, from the Doctor on Doctor Who to the wizards in Ursula K. Le Guin’s Earthsea. But why are names so important and powerful? And what do they tell us about…

Episode 49: What’s the matter with Star Wars?

The nonology is over. Baby Yoda ate the internet. Fans are screaming about everything. How did Star Wars go from a campy space opera to a trigger for political conflict? We talk to guests Annalise Ophelian, director of the new Syfy documentary series…

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