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New Year, New Fiction (episode 25 of the podcast)

Following on from last episode, where we reviewed an old issue of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction , this time we come bang up to date (more or less) and review the Nov/Dec 2022 issue of the very same magazine.   How does the current issue look? Will we be impressed or depressed? Has F&SF changed in sixty years? Read along with us! We always welcome your comments, so please let us know what you think of the magazine. You can buy F&SF in print and in ebook form. The official website is at Find out about the history of F&SF - one of the longest running current SF magazines - here .  Also featured in this episode of the pod, we have a quiz taken from Radio Times - see the full version of the quiz (which Phil cut down for the pod) here . Among the items mentioned in our regular past/present/future section: Ray Bradbury's short story "Rocket Summer", featured on Phil's other podcast Back to the Moon by Homer Hickam Glass
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The Second Annual Time Travel Expedition (episode 24 of the podcast)

It's December, and so according to the tradition we invented this time last year, we go back into the past and review an old science fiction magazine - to see how the field has changed over time, and to see if those old stories still hold up. This year, we tackle the December 1962 issue of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. If you'd like to skim the pages with us, you can find the entire issue online here . We also have a science fiction cat quiz, believe it or not. And our usual round-up of past/present/future items which have caught our attention recently, which include the following: The Girl With All The Gifts (2016 film) Habitats , a (successful) Kickstarter for an "optimistic" SF magazine Andor , the Star Wars TV series Phil's February 2023 talk on Fahrenheit 451 , part of Wolverhampton's Literature Festival Beginning Operations , the omnibus volume collecting James White's "Sector General" series If you join us for the 1962 mag

Mission patch!

The Science Fiction 101 podcast has a new logo - in the style of a mission patch! Fans of the Apollo Moon programme might notice that the outer circles bear some resemblance to the Apollo XII patch... By the way, our next episode will be out in December. Watch this space for further details. And meanwhile, catch up on past episodes at any of these lovely places: Podcast platforms carrying Science Fiction 101 include:   Amazon Music - Anchor - Apple Podcasts/iTunes - Audible - Breaker - Bullhorn - Castbox - Deezer - Google Podcasts - Listen Notes - Player FM - Pocket Casts - Podbean - Podcast Addict - The Podcast App - Podcast Index - Podchaser - Podfriend - Podlink - Podtail - RadioPublic - Spotify - Stitcher - TuneIn - YouTube

Star Trek Bibles (episode 23 of the podcast)

  Time for a new episode of the podcast, and this time we look at the Bibles for Star Trek and Star Trek: The Next Generation. In case you're not familiar with the term, in TV production a Bible is an authoritative document which establishes the ground rules for a series, defining the characters, settings and story-types that will be used. With a history stretching back to 1964, Star Trek has had a lot of Bibles. We look at just two of them, and talk about how Star Trek has evolved over time. We follow that with a language-based quiz, and our usual round-up of past/present/future items. Items we discuss: Star Trek: The Original Series bible 1967 version) Star Trek: The Next Generation bible (1987 version), and others David Gerrold's non-fiction book The World of Star Trek , and his novel The Galactic Whirlpool , which both introduce the "contact team" (AKA "away team") concept later adopted by ST: TNG " 10 Classic Sci-Fi Films You Probably Haven&

Sci-Fi Vacations and Side Trips (episode 22 of the podcast)

This time on Science Fiction 101 we attempt to identify the best science-fictional places to visit. We start with a list of about 25 places, but hope to add more as time goes on. Indeed, if you have any further suggestions, we invite you to let us know so that we can add them! Our full list of vacation spots will be posted to this blog shortly, under a separate heading, so that we can easily update it without it getting lost amongst the podcast episodes. Also in this episode: Colin's royally fiendish quiz, and our usual run through of past/present/future SF. Items discussed include:  Mary Robinette Kowal Star Trek: The Motion Picture - Director's Edition on physical media Aldous Huxley's Brave New World is ninety years old this year  Clockworks 2 wiki, about the human/machine interface Joyce Carol Oates ' strange views of SF and fantasy Auction of Harlan Ellison material (to fund the Harlan and Susan Ellison Foundation, and the proposed Ellison Memorial Library) Man

An Alternative History of Close Encounters

Time for a new podcast episode! Steven Spielberg's classic UFO movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind could have been very different. In today's episode of the podcast we dig into the rejected early script for the film, which was written by Paul Schrader (famed screenwriter of Raging Bull and Taxi Driver). As well as reviewing this film-that-never-was, we have a sci-fi quiz, plus our usual run through of recommendations of past/present/future science fiction.   We hope you enjoy the episode!   Items discussed include:   Kingdom Come , the original draft script by Paul Schrader for the Close Encounters project (click here for PDF download) The Skeptics' Guide to the Universe podcast The forthcoming new edition of Ray Bradbury's Dark Carnival   Guillermo del Toro's Cabinet of Curiosities The new edition of Nigel ( Quatermass ) Kneale's long out-of-print Tomato Cain Updates to the Historical Dictionary of Science Fiction School Library Journal on updating sch

I Foresee What You Did There (episode 20 of the podcast)

We're back, with an episode in which we review a spiffy new book, The Skeptics' Guide to the Future. Written by Steven Novella (with assistance from Bob Novella and Jay Novella), who you may know as the host of the long-running podcast The Skeptics' Guide to the Universe. The book is published next month, but is available for pre-order now ( Amazon US , Amazon UK - and from all good bookshops). Other items that pop up during the episode include: Olber's paradox - Donald Fagen's IGY - Mary Robinette Kowal's next book - Brian Winston's supervening social necessity - Sputnik (2020) - 45 years of Close Encounters - Graham Gouldman's musical celebration of the James Webb Space Telescope , feat. Dr Brian May We hope you enjoy the episode!         Other podcast platforms carrying Science Fiction 101 include:   Amazon Music - Anchor - Apple Podcasts/iTunes - Audible - Breaker - Bullhorn - Castbox - Deezer - Google Podcasts - Listen Notes

Do As A.I. Say (episode 19 of the podcast)

Time for another episode of the podcast, and this time we delve into our favourite sci-fi artificial intelligences. We largely ignore ambulatory A.I., so you won't find much talk of robots or androids here. Instead we try (but don't always succeed) to discuss the type of A.I. that won't chase you down a corridor or strangle you. Among the works mentioned are some Star Treks ; some Keith Laumer , Asimov , Clarke and Gerrold ; and several classic movies that highlight our human terror at the thought that computers might one day take over. Read more about science fiction's use of artificial intelligence in the Encyclopedia of Science Fiction and the Historical Dictionary of Science Fiction . Other things that pop up in our discussion include: The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy Short Fiction Facebook group Andy Weir's Facebook AMA Is the Gunstar a Better Design than the Starfury ? on YouTube Patricia McKillip Fredric Brown  We hope you enjoy our discussion - and p

Shark Jumps (episode 18 of the podcast)

In this new episode of Science Fiction 101 , Phil and Colin review three short stories - the only three stories to make the Hugo, Nebula and Locus shortlists this time round. Our quizzing reaches new heights - or should that be depths - with a Chronology- inspired challenge for Phil. And we round off with our usual dash through past/present/future science fiction. We hope you enjoy the show. The stories we review are: " Mr. Death " by Alix E. Harrow (from Apex #2, 2021) " Proof by Induction " by José Pablo Iriarte (from Uncanny #5-6, 2021) " Where Oaken Hearts Do Gather ", Sarah Pinsker (from Uncanny #3-4, 2021)   Other items we mention: The Nebula award winners , Netflix series Sweet Tooth , Paramount Plus' Obi Wan Kenobi , film director Byron Haskin , author Patricia McKillip , podcasts and books from The Skeptics Guide to the Universe .         Other podcast platf

Canon to the left of me, canon to the right (episode 17 of the podcast)

Colin and Phil return, buoyed by the news that Science Fiction 101 has risen to number 6 in Feedspot 's league table of Best UK Sci-Fi Podcasts ! Our main discussion topic the contentious issue of the "canon" of science fiction, triggered by a blog post by Dr Shaun Duke. We also have a movie quiz, and the usual round-up of past/present/future SF. Here are links to the items we discuss: Shaun Duke's blog post on the SF canon, and why it doesn't exist Duke's follow-up post, including a draft SF canon from 1961 ! The full sci-fi movie quiz, from Triviawell Stephen King's Firestarter , basis of a new (and old) movie Short film based on Arthur C. Clarke's " The Nine Billion Names of God " The LA Times Ray Bradbury Prize-winning short story collection Spirits Abroad by Zen Cho A new Doctor Who ! The new Emeka Walter Dinjos Memorial Award honours writers with disabilities and writers who depict disability in SF.   We hope you enjoy the episode:    

Murderbot: Fiend and Novice (episode 16 of the podcast)

Colin and Phil dig in to Martha Wells' multi-award-winning Murderbot series, reviewing the first story of that series, "All Systems Red". What could explain the huge popularity of the series? What will Murderbot novice Phil make of it? What will Murderbot fiend Colin reveal about how the whole series fits together? Also in this episode, Colin surprises Phil with a devilishly difficult robot/AI quiz. Do you know your M5 from your Johnny 5? And the usual run through of past/present/future happenings in SF. Martha Wells' Murderbot books can be found everywhere, but a good place to get started is with the author's website . Phil mentioned a couple of other podcasts he's guested on recently. Find them here: Words to Write By and Continuum Drag .  Colin mentioned his other podcast, which looks at adapted science fiction: Take Me To Your Reader .  Viewing recommendations: On the Beach , the 1950s BBC Nineteen Eighty-Four , Parallels . Books (derived from PhD t

Rama Drama (episode 15 of the podcast)

Colin and Phil recently found themselves reviewing Arthur C. Clarke's Rendezvous with Rama (1973) on another podcast - and were intrigued by a quote from author Mike Resnick, who said that James White 's All Judgement Fled (1968) was " Rama done right". What is this other book, and why would one repsected author (Resnick) suggest that another respected author (White) had bested yet another respected author (Clarke)? We decided to investigate - and in this episode of Science Fiction 101 we tell you everything we learned. All Judgment Fled was first published in serialised form in the science fiction magazine Worlds of IF , edited by Fred Pohl, in 1967/8. IF was a sister magazine to Galaxy Science Fiction . The magazine appearance has some nifty line drawings by Morrow to illustrate the story:    Also in this episode:  Clarkesworld publisher Neil Clarke responds to our review of his magazine! a science fiction character quiz Brandon Sanderson's record-breaking

Welcome to the Future (episode 14 of the podcast)

Time for a new episode of Science Fiction 101! Following our trip to the past to review a 70-year-old issue of Galaxy Science Fiction magazine, this time we come bang up to date (well, near enough) by reviewing the December 2021 issue of Clarkesworld . If you're not familiar with it, Clarkesworld is one of the most successful current science fiction magazines, and has produced many award-winning stories in recent times. And: it is free. Entirely free. You can view and read the issue we're reviewing right here: Also in this episode, Colin springs a fiendish 1950s sci-fi movie quiz on Phil. Join us to test your own knowledge of those shaky, flickery SF movies of yore! We took the quiz from here: -  but we only used the first 15 questions, and there are plenty more where that came from. Finally, Colin's report of a Sleestak attack is validated on Facebook . This even

The Show That Went Wrong, AKA review of Galaxy science fiction magazine (episode 13)

We had some serious technical issues with this episode, so what you're about to hear is a bit of a patchwork, with variable technical quality and some parts we had to re-record. However, we think the information content makes it a good listen...   In this latest episode of Science Fiction 101 , we travel back in time to review the Christmas 1951 issue of Galaxy Science Fiction magazine.   Galaxy was the magazine which led the science fiction field in the 1950s, bringing to the genre a greater concern for humanist themes, sociology, psychology and social satire. Among its successes were the first publication of Ray Bradbury's "The Fireman" (soon expanded into Fahrenheit 451 ) and the first appearance of Alfred Bester's The Demolished Man . We review the December 1951 issue from cover to cover - we even review the book reviews and the ads!   If you want to read along with us, you can find the whole issue online at the Internet Archive , here .  The stories we revie

Lie Your Way To Mars (episode 12 of the podcast)

An eclectic episode this time, as we consider Steven Paul Leiva's new book Extraordinary Voyages which pairs Cyrano de Bergerac with Baron Munchausen for a trip to Mars; offer up a film adaptation quiz; discuss science fiction museums such as the UK's new Museum of Film and Sci-Fi ; reflect on short-lived sci-fi TV shows ; and revisit the short stories of Robert Silverberg . And we announce our plan for our next episode: we're going to do a cover-to-cover review of a seventy-year-old science fiction magazine! For Christmas 2021, we're going to read the December 1951 issue of Galaxy Science Fiction , and we invite you to join us. You can view or download the entire issue here: Here's the podcast episode. Enjoy!     Other podcast platforms carrying Science Fiction 101 include:   Amazon Music - Anchor - Apple Podcasts/iTunes - Audible - Breaker - Bullhorn - Castbox - Deezer - Google Podcasts - Listen N