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A Reader's History of Science Fiction

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


Jul 5, 2021

After the New Wave era drew to a close, the older authors of the Golden Age continued to produce new works, but Arthur C. Clarke made the strongest comeback, with some of his most famous books coming from his later years. In this episode, we look at an overview of these works.

Book recommendation: Rendezvous with...


Jun 21, 2021

By 1970, the New Wave in science fiction had made peace with a surge of new hard sci-fi works and writers. At the forefront of this trend was Larry Niven, who took a unique path in hard sci-fi by proposing new physics, but still applying it rigorously. In this episode, we explore his work.

Book recommendation: Ringworld...


Jun 7, 2021

Dr. Benjamin Stevens is a professor of classical studies who researches the relationship between the ancient/classical tradition and science fiction and fantasy. In this wide-ranging interview, we discuss what makes sci-fi distinctive, classicism and modernity, ancient aliens, and more.

Dr. Steven's profile.
Classical...