Tagged With science fiction


Sometimes, when your toddler is throwing a fit because they asked for a banana and then you give them a banana, and the thought might cross your mind: Who or what is this irrational being sitting before me? It’s like I’m dealing with an alien life form that can’t adapt to its new environment. That is when it’s time to channel your inner Starfleet officer.


The adults who spend their time discussing the pros and cons of hobbits vs. elves and the ones who ponder if they’d succeed better as a part of House Lannister or House Martell are the ones who likely started their lives gobbling up some geeky chapter books. The more dragons, magic and time travel, the better.


Mission to Zyxx might be the best podcast. This science fiction comedy -- a mix of Star Trek, Star Wars, and The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy -- that leans on original jokes instead of references, is definitely the best of the current wave of fictional podcasts, partly because of its unique process. The cast improvises each episode with just a loose premise to guide them.

Then a three-person team edits and sound designs the show, cutting it down by over half and adding sound effects, voice effects, music, transitions, and ambience. The end result is as fresh as any improv show, but as slick as anything scripted. In a detailed instalment of How I Work, all seven of the show's cast and crew broke down their creative and technical process for each episode. There's lots to learn in here for comedians, actors, writers, editors, and sound professionals.


Extraterrestrial life, that familiar science-fiction trope, has become a matter of serious discussion, a “risk factor”, a “scenario”. We have now discovered several planets that are in a zone potentially compatible with life - Kepler-22b, Kepler-69c, Kepler-62e and Kepler-62. Subsequently, the discovery of alien life now seems inevitable - and possibly imminent.


I have 470 podcast episodes in my queue right now, after some paring down. There’s just too much good stuff to listen to: fiction, chat shows, history lessons, interviews, reported documentaries, weird semi-fiction. Of the hundreds of podcast episodes I listened to this year, these are the 15 that taught or entertained me the most.


Over the weekend, the premiere award in science fiction and fantasy writing - the Hugo Awards - announced their six finalists for Best Novel. There are some familiar names up for this year's award, which is set to be announced later in the year, and a fresh new face, too.

If you want to dive in to some of the best science fiction and fantasy writing from the last year - these are the six books the Hugos suggest you read!