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A Reader's History of Science Fiction

Sep 13, 2021

Time travel had a long history in science fiction, but it noticeably ramped up beginning in the 80s. In this episode, we explore some of the classic and iconic time travel stories of recent decades.

Book recommendation: To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis.

Other works discussed:
Timescape by Gregory Benford
Eon...


Aug 30, 2021

Sci-fi stories about wars and military service in the future are widespread throughout the genre. In this episode, we explore a few of the highlights from this wide field.

Book recommendation: Old Man's War by John Scalzi.
Honorable mention: Starship Troopers by Robert Heinlein.

Other books discussed:
The Forever War by...


Aug 16, 2021

With the release of Star Wars, sci-fi became more mainstream than ever, and in its wake came many stories about a galaxy filled with many kinds of alien life. In this episode, we explore a few of these stories of galactic civilizations.

Book recommendation: A Fire Upon the Deep by Vernor Vinge

James W. Harris on 80s...


Aug 2, 2021

Stories about the discovery of mysterious alien artifacts, and the similar challenges of first contact, became prominent in the 70s and 80s. Some of them we have discussed before, but many are new. In this episode, we see an overview of these stories.

Book recommendation: Contact by Carl Sagan

Other works discussed:


Jul 19, 2021

Daniel Bensen is an author of science fiction, alternate history, and stories of speculative evolution. In this interview, we discuss his new book, Interchange, sequel to his debut novel, Junction, and other writings.

Dan's website.

Dan's book recommendations:
The Vorkosigan Saga by Lois McMaster Bujold
Greg Egan