We had the absolute pleasure of talking to Corey J. White about his recent novel, Repo Virtual. This is a near future, cyberpunk that tackles heavy issues of our day like wealth inequality, corporate overreach, and douchey tech-bro companies all set in a very believable world wracked by climate change and fracturing nation states.
We talked about the warnings in his book and the need for a truly universal basic income to begin to address the global system of oppression called capitalism.
You can get updates on Corey’s work and other interesting news by subscribing to a newsletter he runs with some friends, nothing here.
We have another incredible podcast crossover event. Adrian of Spectology joins us to talk about China Mountain Zhang by Maureen McHugh. This is a beautiful and touching novel and, despite being written nearly thirty years ago, it still feels very relevant. We’re very glad we read it.
This post is much later than it should be. Apologies to Adrian and to our listeners. Some references to then current events might feel dated.
Other Works Mentioned
Never Let Me Go — Kazuo Ishiguro
The Waste Tide — Stanley Qiufan Chen
The Paper Menagerie — Ken Liu
Mission Child — Maureen McHugh
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Op-Eds From the Future is a fantastic initiative from the New York Times. Edited by Susan Fowler, these Op-Eds are science fictional writing imagining an op-ed we might see in the near or far future. Some great writers have already contributed and we hope more do.
We picked four op-eds and talk about them in this episode. Some are good and some are less good.
Last week, we had the great pleasure of sitting down with Malka Older to discuss her Centenal Cycle series of books (Infomocracy, State Tectonics, and Null States). Enjoy, as we get do a deep dive on the functioning of the political economy of science fictional microdemocracy. Malka shares with details of the inner workings of her setting and speaks to the intersections of her work with the current political landscape. Big thanks to Malka for taking the time to speak with us.
Amid a lively public discourse on the Covid 19 Virus the androids and assets team sits down to talk out depictions of disease and crisis in Science Fiction, and how different fictional depictions of illness shape our reactions. The pair find that collective action is the best defense against sickness and disease.
The Rise of Skywalker has completed the Star Wars sequel trilogy and we are finally ready to share our thoughts with you.
We discuss the most recent installment in the Star Wars franchise with our good friend, Justin (you might know him from his previous appearance). The movie, while it looks and feels traditionally Star Wars, suffers from a serious lack of imagination. JJ Abrams spends more time providing fan-service than a satisfying conclusion.
We talk about Death’s End the 2010 novel from Cixin Liu. Translated into English in 2016 by Ken Liu, it was short-listed for the Hugo Award for Best Novel and winner of the Locus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel.
This is a big book with lots of big ideas. It excels where it thinks up new scientific ideas. It stumbles when it strays into talking about social issues, which it often does.