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A Reader's History of Science Fiction

Mar 1, 2021

In the 60s and 70s, awareness of environmental issues was rising, and that was reflected in the New Wave of science fiction. Of particular note were overpopulation and pollution (leading to widespread environmental collapse). In this episode, we explore the highlights of this subgenre.

Book recommendation: Stand...


Feb 15, 2021

The Cold War brought with it new tales of nuclear war in science fiction, both in the early days of the 50s and 60s, and later, when fears began to rise again. In this episode, we look at the highlights of these stories and how they vary widely in how they address the consequences of nuclear war.

Book recommendation:


Dec 21, 2020

In the 1960s, science fiction went through a major change as the New Wave moved it away from the hard sci-fi of the 50s into a softer, but more socially conscious space. In this episode, we overview the new ideas, themes, and authors of this period.

Book recommendation: The Demolished Man by Alfred Bester.

Selected...


Dec 7, 2020

Like books, movies and television also went through a golden age in science fiction in the 1950s. In this episode we explore the trends in the visual medium at the time and how they compared to print.

Movie recommendation: The Day the Earth Stood Still.

Rotten Tomatoes's list of top sci-fi...


Nov 23, 2020

Arthur C. Clarke was the fourth of the "Big Four" authors of the golden age of science fiction. In this episode, we explore his work and his unique writing style, especially centered around "sufficiently advanced technology."

Book recommendation: The City and the Stars.

Other books mentioned:
Childhood's End
A Fall of...