Tag Archives: Science Fiction

Around the Podosphere #16: Podcasts of Note for 10/21/17

21 Oct

It’s been a few weeks since the last edition, and as expected, there are more podcasts to talk about! So sit back, get your clicker finger ready, and enjoy some podcast goodness.

Also:  if you have any podcast recommendations, let us know in the comments!

Here we go: Continue reading


Book Review: Iraq + 100: Stories from a Century After the Invasion

20 Oct

Our world is dark and full of terrors. I won’t bother enumerating them here. Either you already know them or you’re already hiding in the peace and safety of your own personal new dark age. And anyway, it all will have changed utterly by the time we hit publish on this review.

Bummed out? Now think about the people of Iraq, the cradle of civilization that we’re only the most recent society to have somehow decided would be better off blown to splinters. As exiled Iraqi artist Hassan Blasim reminds us in the introduction to Iraq + 100, the ordinary people of Iraq haven’t known peace in anyone’s lifetime, and that’s just for starters.

But some people have gotten out, including some amazing artists, including the aforementioned Blasim, primarily a filmmaker, but also a writer and anthologist, who, from faraway Finland saw that if there was one thing his beleaguered countrymen (and the rest of us) needed these days, it’s some speculative fiction, some stories created under the assumption that Iraq (and the rest of us) will still be around in 100 years. And thus was born Iraq + 100, an anthology of fantastic, disturbing, wondrous and deeply historically grounded stories by authors and translators who now live all over the world but once called Iraq home. Continue reading

#63. Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) — A Shoot the WISB Subcast

16 Oct

Pinocchio, man-children, and mashed potato towers, oh my! In honor of the film’s 40th anniversary digitally remastered theater release, Shaun, Jen, David, and Joyce discuss the 1977 Spielberg classic, Close Encounters of the Third Kind. They explore how this film still evokes the science fictional “sense of wonder”, how it fits into Spielberg’s career within the context of America in the 1970s, how the French New Wave played a role in the concept, and how communication is a consistent theme throughout the film. We go a bit longer than usual, but only so we could really dig into all the bits and pieces.

We hope you enjoy the episode!

Note:  If you have iTunes and like this show, please give us a review on our iTunes page, or feel free to email us with your thoughts about the show!

Here’s the episode (show notes are below): Continue reading

Book Review: Valhalla by Ari Bach

15 Oct

Valhalla, written by Ari Bach, is dark, gritty, dangerous, and subtly representative.  Bach unpacks his new world, layering loud violence, subtle queer identities, and a disturbing dystopian premise that promises an interesting alternative.  Valhalla pushes the boundaries of science fiction to make you question the lines drawn between dystopian governments, outside companies, and the people who make up the world those entities control, and sets up the foundation for a strong trilogy that centers around a queer female protagonist. Continue reading

Movie Review: “Blade Runner 2049” (‘As clear as dreaming’)

10 Oct

I can’t remember ever being as disturbed and enthralled at one time by any movie as by “Blade Runner 2049.” That makes it fine art in my eyes.

The movie is disturbing because it so explicitly poses questions about personhood, objectification and empathy. I gasped a few times and flinched several more times, and so did my companion. Besides the consent issues, the violence in it is also disturbing, and this vision of 2049 is even more dystopic for PoC and women; however, I saw those elements not as gratuitous, but rather as deliberate showcasing of the problems of society. I’ll discuss that more after the spoiler warning. Continue reading

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