Androids and Assets

This is the original show. We talk about all sorts of science fiction and don’t limit ourselves.

Subscribe to this show if you aren’t interested in hearing our Star Trek: Deep Space Nine reviews.

Assassins and Assets – Anna ft. Alex
Assassins and Assets – Anna ft. Alex
  • Assassins and Assets – Anna ft. Alex
    The Androids and Assets team goes undercover as a spy thriller podcast to review Luc Besson’s 2019 thriller, Anna. We’re pleased to be joined by Alex, President of the Edmonton chapter of the Association of United Ukrainian Canadians.
  • Hugo Shortlisted Short Stories I
    Stephen and Marshall get serious talking about the Hugo short listed short stories in part one of our three part series. Today we cover “Open House on Haunted Hill” by John Wiswell and “Badass Moms in the Zombie Apocalypse” by Rae Carson.
  • Cybersnooze ft. Adventures in Ideology
    We’re joined by the hosts of one of our favourite shows, Adventures in Ideology, to talk about the first Cyberquest story, The Pharaoh’s Tomb, by Sigmund Brouwer. It’s Christian propaganda with a thin veneer of science fiction. Like a single coat of science applied with a poor brush by an unskilled painter. Please don’t read …
  • Entertainment and Control, In Conversation with Peter F. Hamilton and Gareth L. Powell
    Special guests and legends of Space Opera, Peter F. Hamilton and Gareth L. Powell, generously took time to talk to us about their newly released novella, Light Chaser. Recommendations Seven of Infinities by Aliette de Bodard Shards of Earth by Adrian Tchaikovsky The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North
  • Policy Droid II Atomic New Deal
    A more serious episode where we talk about climate change, science fictions critical role in shaping the way we think about the future, and how to call people to action. We also focus on the fact that climate change is now a completely political problem. In our view political action is the only path to …
  • The Private Sector Experience: The Tomorrow War
    On the brink of catastrophic climate change and America’s defeat in Afghanistan, one movie will pretend neither of these things are happening. We review Amazon’s 4th of July long weekend extravaganza, The Tomorrow War.
  • Losing Humanity, In Conversation with Neil Sharpson
    We are joined by Neil Sharpson author of debut novel, When the Sparrow Falls. It’s a clever and engaging science-fiction thriller looking at artificial intelligence, totalitarianism, and transhumanism available from Tor books on June 29. You can find Neil at unshavedmouse.com and on Twitter. Recommended Works Shadowplay by Joseph O’Connor
  • Life and Death and Death and Death in Palm Springs ft. Seth
    Seth from Hugos There, Take Me To Your Reader, Brief & Not So Brief joins us to discuss Palm Springs. We talk about Cartesian Dualism, capitalism, and what is a life worth living. Seth hosts Hugos There, a monthly podcast talking about Hugo Award winning novels with a guest(s). It’s great. Check it out. You …
  • Playing with Humanity, In Conversation with Daryl Gregory
    We are joined by Daryl Gregory (twitter) to discuss his new novella, The Album of Dr. Moreau. We get into animal rights, the nature of consciousness, and the privilege of wealth. Also by Daryl Gregory and available in late August, Revelator, pre-order now. Other Works Mentioned Noise: A Flaw in Human Judgement by Daniel Kahneman, …
  • Palestine +100, In Conversation with Basma Ghalayini and Ra Page
    We are joined by Basma Ghalayini, editor of the collection Palestine +100: Stories from a Century after the Nakba, and Ra Page, the cofounder of publisher Comma Press. Palestine +100 is a collection of stories exploring how Palestine might look 100 years after the Nakba when Palestinians were displaced and the occupation by Israel began. …
  • May Day Ex-Strugatsky-ganza
    For May Day we read Soviet era novel, Roadside Picnic, by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky. It’s a bleak look at utopia, the utterly alien nature of aliens, and the insignificance of humans. We disagree about the end of the novel and leave it up to you, dear listener, to decide the true meaning.
  • Currency and Colonization in The Traitor Baru Cormorant
    We talk about currency, empire, and colonialism in Seth Dickinson’s The Traitor Baru Cormorant. This is a novel all about economic conquest and effective resistance to empire with a seeming message that there is no effective resistance to empire.
  • Lapsis: The Amazon Warehouse but for Walking
    Lapsis is a 2020 movie from Noah Hutton that takes on the gig work economy. It is timely and dark. There are many ideas in Lapsis and we picked out labour organizing and monopolies. We cannot recommend you seeing this movie strongly enough.
  • A Fiscal Crisis in the Republic
    Return guest and guy who has seen Star Wars, Justin, joins us to review Star Wars Clone Wars the Clovis Arc. We dissect the Galactic republic’s monetary policy and why we should nationalize the banks.
  • Brokerage and Banditry in Conversation with James D’Amato
    Return guest James D’Amato is back to resolve the question of currency on Campaign Skyjacks. So man the rigging and secure lines because we are headed into the sky. Stay till the end for a special insight into the future of 2021, as James draws a luminary to reveal what lays ahead. Errata The Traitor …
  • The Cost of the Martian Military Industrial Complex
    In an experimental episode Marshall and Stephen break down the cost of the destruction of the MCRN Donnager in James S.A. Corey’s The Expanse and what that can tell us about the future of naval warfare and planetary governance.
  • Funding the Future with Comradery
    Comradery is a worker coop building for the future. It feels like science fiction but it’s fact. We’re super excited about it and invited Ty from Comradery to tell us more about it. Works Mentioned A Canticle for Leibowitz – Walter M. Miller Jr. Consider Phlebas – Ian Banks Small Gods – Terry Pratchett Fallout …
  • Capital Crossing: New Horizons ft. Kat
    Animal Crossing: New Horizons took the world by storm in 2020 and continues to be a cultural touchstone. One question that gets asked over and over is whether Tom Nook is a man of the people or an oppressive capitalist exploiting your labour? We are joined this week by Kateryna Barnes to discuss the world …
  • Pareto Optimizing Stars with Hugo, Girl!
    Androids and Assets teams up with The Hugo Girl Podcast to review the 2018 novel The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal.
  • Children of Men AKA Christmas in Palestine with Candace
    A special Christmas Episode of Androids and Assets where the boys and special guest Candace talk about the reason for the season, struggling against empire. We also recommend: Divine Intervention (2002) Dir Elia Sulieman
  • Weaving Solidarity, In Conversation with C.S. Malerich
    C.S. Malerich joins us to talk about her novella, The Factory Witches of Lowell, a story about an early unionization effort that gets a magical boost. The most important part of the struggle, though, is still solidarity. You can get The Factory of Witches of Lowell through our Bookshop affiliate link, we get a small …
  • Partially Automated Comfort Communism, In Conversation with Paris Marx
    The Androids and Assets team sits down with journalist Paris Marx of Tech Won’t Save Us to talk about the ongoing struggle for the future of technology and by extension the future of humanity. Follow Paris and Tech Won’t Save Us on Twitter. Errata Paris has written articles on this topic and a few are …
  • The Dark Sciences in Conversation with Premee Mohamed
    Premee Mohamed joins us to discuss her debut novel, Beneath the Rising. We discuss how the world works differently for wealthy people and those that make dark covenants with creatures from other dimensions. We learn that science undergrads are wretched creatures and that you should not ever under any circumstances try to create a Chambers …
  • Bonus Episode: The Money Game
    Gold, Gil, Cred Stick… I sit down with two long time observers of of videogame history to talk money in games. We explore how what started as the bothersome fife of enterprising teens has become a big business.
  • 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 …
  • 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 …
  • Transformers, or Decision 2020
    Marshall and Stephen discuss the age old question, “Autobots or Decepticons? ,” and think maybe the answer is “why not neither?”
  • 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 …
  • 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 …
  • 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 …
  • 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 …
  • 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 …
  • Roleplaying for everyone: In Conversation with James D’Amato
    We’re lucky to be joined by James D’Amato of the One Shot Podcast Network. We talk about his show Skyjacks and about role-playing more widely. Games Mentioned Flying Circus by Erika Chappell – Available on DriveThruRPG or itch Honey Heist by Grant Howitt – Available free on itch Star Crossed by Alex Roberts – Available …
  • Algorithms and Apocalypse, In conversation with Louis Evans
    A conversation with author Louis Evans, in which we discuss his recent short story Flash Crash, published by the good people at Escape Pod. We talk commerce, nuclear war, and the nature of value. If you want to read/hear Flash Crash follow this link: https://escapepod.org/2019/06/06/escape-pod-683-flash-crash/ In this interview Louis Recomends the following texts: Fondly Fahrenheit …
  • Socialism is the Cure
    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. Recommended content: Station …
  • Not Lovers but Comrades, In Conversation with Nino Cipri
    A conversation with author Nino Cipri about their new novella, FINNA. We talk about labour, unions, and love. FINNA is on sale Feb 25 and we can’t recommend it highly enough. Nino on Twitter Nino’s newsletter, Cool Story, Bro Nino’s author photo, the image at the top of this post, is by Korbin Jones. Works …
  • The Fandom Menace
    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 …
  • Remembrance of Podcast’s Past
    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 …
  • Science Fiction for Sustainability, In Conversation with Cory Doctorow
    We were excited to have Cory Doctorow as a guest. We spoke with Cory in mid-December about his recent collection, Radicalized, and his 2017 novel, Walkaway. We discuss the role of economics in science fiction and the opportunity for science fiction to present scenarios for a sustainable future. 
  • In Conversation with Karl Schroeder
    In early October Androids and Assets had the pleasure of speaking with author, Karl Schroeder. Karl is the author of many books and short stories. The most recent is Stealing Worlds an excellent near-future novel full of incredible ideas and a fun action-y, mystery-ish story. It’s available from Tor Books and is well worth reading. …
  • Green 9/11
    This week we’re joined by local comedian, Mav. We talk about Mav’s recent show Last Days on Krypton. A comedy based around the climate crisis and collective action as the only real, lasting solution to this crisis. Mav talks about committing a Green 9/11, which we understand to be the collective uprising of working people …
  • WorldCon 2019 Brief – Anne Charnock
    A brief conversation with Anne Charnock at Dublin 2019. Our previous briefs with V.E Schwab and Kate Sheehy can be found here and here.
  • WorldCon 2019 Brief – Kate Sheehy
    A brief conversation with Kate Sheehy, a panelist at Dublin 2019. Our previous brief with V.E. Schwab is available here. The next brief will be posted on Friday.
  • WorldCon 2019 Brief – V.E. Schwab
    A short, between-session conversation with Victora “V.E.” Schwab at Dublin 2019. The second and third WorldCon briefs will be posted on Wednesday and Friday.
  • Hot Takes Me Away
    We did a couple of short, hot takes. Or at least lukewarm takes. We were going to do one on Black Panther and then remembered we did an entire episode on it. Tell us we’re wrong, we dare you. Tell us your hot takes. We can fight about it.
  • Context Providers
    We talk with Rick Harp, host of Media Indigena, about indigenous cultures, particularly those in the place now called Canada, the Hugo Awards, colonialism, The Walking Dead, and economic development of indigenous peoples the world over. This podcast was recorded some time ago. We apologize if any of the information it contains is out-of-date. Errata …
  • Labour Unions in Science Fiction
    Our guest this week is Olav Rokne of the Hugo Book Club to talk about unions and organized labour, or rather the lack of it, in science fiction. While representation of unions in science fiction is pretty unusual, it’s moved from anti-union hostility to more of a benign neglect. See our show notes for more …
  • The Future of Work
    We talk about Wired’s Future of Work series of short stories. The shortage of actual work and the absence of organized labour leaves a lot to be desired. This is Androids and Assets, the podcast that discusses the political and economic assumptions in science fiction and fantasy and how they shape the world in which …
  • Anon
    We discuss Anon, the 2018 Netflix thriller. Set in a near-future, dystopic world of constant surveillance, the movie questions the value of privacy, police overreach, and the value of memory. This is Androids and Assets, the podcast that discusses the political and economic assumptions in science fiction and fantasy and how they shape the world …
  • Double the Helix Double the Fun!
    Let us take you on a magical journey into a story from those days of yore. A story of miracle children, virgin births, and the struggle between good and evil. Let us take you into this ancient text from 1996… Double Helix. To help us decode this Contemporary Christian Techno Thriller we have resident biologist …
  • Animorphs and Assets
    We got child soldiers; we got weird bug aliens; and we got Tessa, expert contributor to the Dork-Bajir Chronicles. This week we ask the big questions about the Animorphs. Spoilers abound.
  • Author Interview – S.B. Divya
    Our interview with S.B. Divya author of great works such as Runtime and Contingency Plans for the Apocalypse and co-editor of Escape Pod. Find her work at www.eff-words.com Some works we discussed: The Revolution Brought to You by Nike by Andrea Phillips published in Fireside Magazine. Also available in audio from Escape Pod. Cat Pictures …
  • The Podcast Element
    Welcome to Season 2 of Androids and Assets! Thanks for being here with us! We’ve decided to make Luc Besson our traditional season opener so today we’re talking about The Fifth Element. It’s a movie that requires societal supervision so be sure to watch it with a diverse group of friends.
  • The Left Hand of Darkness
    We’re talking about Ursula K. Leguin’s Left Hand of Darkness with Rachal, someone who just likes Ursula K. Leguin. It’s an important book and a great episode.
  • 28 – Crossover! Northern Nerd Network on Androids and Assets
    We chat with Dan from the Northern Nerd Network about what makes a person a nerd and what it means to be a nerd today.
  • Annalee Newitz WorldCon 76
    In conversation with Annalee Newitz, science journalist and author of Autonomous, at WorldCon 76. We geek out about economics and science fiction. Who would have guessed?
  • Kelsey Olesen WorldCon 76
    In conversation with Kelsey Olesen while at WorldCon 76. We briefly discuss the role of women in SFF stories. As promised, the author of Dread Nation is Justina Ireland. And for reference, Zen Cho is the author of Sorcerer to the Crown.
  • Gonzalo Alvarez WorldCon 76
    In conversation with Gonzalo Alvarez, creator of Polloman. Keep up-to-date with Gonzalo’s work by following him on Twitter @Gonzzink. Support his work and buy your copy of Polloman at  legendofpolloman.com.
  • WorldCon 76 Trip Report
    Marshall went to WorldCon76 in San Jose and we talk about how the trip went and why you too should go to WorldCon.
  • Infinity Genocide
  • Podcast 9 3/4ths – The Patriarch Who Lived
    We’re talking about Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s [Sorcerer’s] Stone. It’s a simple story with a lot of unintended consequences. Part one of an ongoing series in which the Androids and Assets team reads the entire series.
  • Ready Single Player
    We saw Ready Player One. It’s a combination of sexism, naïveté, toxic nostalgia, and pessimism.
  • Hell on Wheels of Dharma
    We’re talking 2017 movie Along with the Gods. Our good friend Jin-Ho wanted to share this movie with us and boy are we glad he did. We get into cultural differences in the afterlife and find that they’re not as different as we expected.
  • The Vibranium Standard
    We’re talking Black Panther! A very important movie that talks about some urgent topics. Not your standard super hero beat em up.
  • A Podcast in Time
    We talk about Ava Duvernay’s new movie, A Wrinkle in Time. Our special guest is children’s book lover, Candace. This movie has great lessons for children and adults.
  • Matrixgate
    We’re talking about the Matrix, hacking, russiagate, and goths. Find out about the state of the world today by looking at a movie from 18 years ago. This fantastic alternative poster is from Timothy Anderson.
  • Okja Part 2: Podcast Liberation Front
    Today we carry on our conversation with Candace! We’re talking about Okja, sustainability, and animals in our food systems.
  • Okja Part 1: Superpig Industrial Complex
    We talk Joon-ho Bong’s 2017 movie Okja with animal scientist Candace! Okja is a meat cute movie about a superpig and her girl.
  • A Stanford Torus Podcast
    We’re talking about inequality and Neill Blomkamp’s 2013 Elysium starring our best friend, Matt Damon. Music is from An Ant and An Atom. They’re great.
  • A Podcast and Its Hosts
    We’re talking about The Chronicles of Narnia and the weird beliefs of author C.S. Lewis. Also, I know the word is foray but sometimes in the heat of a recording I don’t word well and say foyer. Feel free to make fun of me for it.
  • Dragons of a Rising Podcast
    We talk deflationary currency and dragons with prominent Dragonlance critic, Olav. Why anyone ever thought a steel-based currency was a good idea is beyond us.  
  • Officer BRIGHTeyes
    We took a look at Bright and had mixed opinions.
  • Existentially Downsizing
    We went to go see downsizing and found it added little to a big debate.
  • Interstellar Overman Part 2: The Blackboard Review
    You’ve heard part 1. Now hear the stunning conclusion. We explore all the science in Interstellar with an actual physicist, Pasquale.
  • Autoeconomic Asphyxiation – Star Wars Month Part 4
    Star Wars Month Part 4! We look into the past, present, and future of Star Wars. May the Force be with you, every one!
  • Go See a Star War – Star Wars Month Part 3
    Episode 3 of Star Wars Month. We’ve seen Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi. Now you can hear us talk about it. Poe Dameron is a space hero, yoda is a know-it-all, bad guys sell weapons.
  • The Star Wars Expert – Star Wars Month Part 2
    We’re less than a week from The Last Jedi and can hardly contain ourselves. This episode we talk to Justin, Resident Star Wars Expert.  
  • Jakku Jedi Jamboree – Star Wars Month Part 1
    Hey! We’re doing Star Wars Month! Episode 8 has us super excited and all we want to talk about is Star Wars. This week we talk about how Jedi are assholes.
  • Interstellar Overman Part 1: The Lunar Schoolspiracy
    Androids and Assets has its first ever guest, the enigmatic physicist Pasquale. Join us as we wrestle with the big cosmological questions of the late Mchonaissance. Marshall laments the dark future of Gumbo, Stephen feels Randian, and Pasquale hangs back for the first episode.  More to come next week…  
  • Lord of the Rings and Fantasy Genocide
    After a short hiatus the Androids and Assets team returns stronger and more resolved to discuss the dreaded… Fantasy Racism. For more weird LOTR strangeness watch this video for what Marshall was talking about historicity of Middle Earth. Watch for us in coming weeks On iTunes and Google Play. Bakshi LOTR Forever!!!
  • Blade Run to you 2049
      This week we run the gambit from Waifu’s  to Workforce Automation as we cover Blade Runner 2049.  
  • Rickdroids and Ricksets
    Episode four where we give our hot takes on Rick and Morty. I hope no crudely drawn characters with silly voices show up.
  • Time For Wealth Redistribution
      The Androids and Assets team makes a terrible dad joke, in being late to publish its episode on In Time (2011).  Listen as we debate if this movie is a scathing critique of capitalism or some lame feel good nonsense.
  • A Song Of Ice & Fiat Currency
    We did it again. This week we talk about those gold, gold coins in the Game of Thrones Symphonic Universe. Thanks for listening and check out our companion blog post… If you want to know more about tray depth and Japan’s debt go here.
  • Valerian and the City of a Thousand Widgets
    Our first episode! We’re talking about Luc Besson’s Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, the big-budget flop from the summer of 2017.  Thanks for listening and check out our companion blog post.