The Lucy Zone

It’s the third anniversary of starting this podcast so we’re doing our third Luc Besson film. (You’re right, we started on a Luc Besson film and if we did one every anniversary this would be our fourth. You got us. We missed one.)

Lucy is a terrible movie; starting from a flawed premise and ending in a flawed conclusion. It’s also racist and misogynist. It gets all of the science wrong. It misunderstands human history. The bar doesn’t get much lower than this.

You Can’t Vote Against the Wall, In Conversation with Gautam Bhatia

Gautam Bhatia, author of The Wall, joins us to talk about his debut novel. The Wall is chock full of ideas and questions the role of law, the effects of strictly constrained resources, and how hierarchy interacts with democracy.

We mentioned our Bookshop; unfortunately, The Wall is not included in that database so you will have to ask your local bookseller to find it.

Other Works Mentioned

The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin

Record of a Spaceborn Few by Becky Chambers

The Traitor Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson

Chosen Spirits by Samit Basu

Analog/Virtual: and Other Simulations of Your Future by Lavanya Lakshminarayan

Mending Wall by Robert Frost

“Something of Freedom is Yet to Come”: The Entangled Histories of Science Fiction and Capitalism by Olav Rokne in Strange Horizons

And Now His Lordship is Laughing by Shiv Ramdas in Strange Horizons

Policy Droid: Universal Basic Income

A Universal Basic Income is relatively common in science fiction, thanks in large part to the ubiquity of Star Trek. The idea that people don’t need to compete for basic needs might feel futuristic but there are ways we can, and should, make that happen today.

A Memory Called Canada

In this weeks episode we discuss 2020 Hugo award winning novel A Memory Called Empire. In which we discuss American Empire and the politics of being a stranger in a strange land.

Special thanks to the Spectology Podcast Ep 22.1 and 22.2, who also did an excellent review, and inspired our own take on this episode. We also speak about the following Guardian article.

Space Farce

Netflix’s Space Force is ostensibly a political satire created by Greg Daniels and Steve Carell. It attempts to poke fun at the American President and the wider political system that created Space Force.

We talk about why the show isn’t funny and, worse, is morally dangerous.

Truly Universal Income, In Conversation with Corey J. White

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.

Image credit goes to Solvent Image.

China Mountain Zhang

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

Links!

Follow Spectology on Twitter and subscribe to the show wherever you listen to podcasts.

We’d love to hear from you! Reach us on Twitter and Instagram or email us at info@androidsandassets.ca

Op-Eds From the Future

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.

On Surveillance and Information: In Conversation with Malka Older

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.

If you want to find more of Malka’s work you can check out her website @ malkaolder.wordpress.com

Her most recent book …and Other Disasters is available from Mason Jar Press and wherever fine books are sold. She also writes for Serialbox.com.

Image by Allana Taranto of Ars Magna Studio.