Our Opinions Are Correct

Our Opinions Are Correct

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Explore the meaning of science fiction, and how it’s relevant to real-life science and society. Your hosts are Annalee Newitz, a science journalist who writes science fiction, and Charlie Jane Anders, a science fiction writer who is obsessed with science. Every two weeks, we take deep dives into science fiction books, movies, television, and comics that will expand your mind — and maybe change your life
Why we’re excited about Doctor Who again
Dec 6 • 39 min
Doctor Who is a brand new show this year. Not only is there a lady Doctor, played by Jodie Whittaker, but the show’s whole format feels totally different. Three companions! All new monsters! But even more than that, the show has a new, more upbeat…
19: What’s so bad about cultural appropriation?
Nov 22 • 40 min
This holiday season, let’s add everyone’s biological and technological distinctiveness to our own. Or hey—let’s not! In this episode, we talk with scholar and editor Jaymee Goh, whose doctoral research focused on cultural appropriation and steampunk. She…
18: Alien minds
Nov 8 • 41 min
It’s easy to stick prosthetics on someone’s face and call them an alien. But how do we represent a truly alien form of consciousness? In this episode, we talk about science fiction that succeeds (or fails) to evoke alien minds—whether they hail from other…
17: Democracy and its discontents
Oct 25 • 43 min
With the U.S. midterm election coming up, it’s time to look at representations of democracy in science fiction. The genre is often skeptical or satirical when it comes to democracy—you can see this in everything from episodes of The Prisoner to the movie…
16: Can we survive capitalism?
Oct 11 • 43 min
Anti-capitalism is having a moment in the West, and especially in the U.S. political scene. But science fiction has been grappling with the promises and savage realities of capitalism since its very inception. In this episode, we talk about…
15: The future of the city
Sep 27 • 35 min
Cities lurk in the background of many futuristic stories, but they can also be characters in them. In this episode, we talk about how cities might evolve, and whether it’s inevitable that they’ll become cyber-noir dystopias. Also on our minds: Why social…
14: The rise of transgender science fiction
Sep 13 • 42 min
Transgender people have always been part of science fiction and fantasy, but the past few years have seen a whole new generation of trans creators bursting onto the scene. Why are so many trans people flocking to SF and what kind of stories are they…
13: The Wiki-ization of television
Aug 30 • 38 min
There were 487 scripted shows on the air in 2017, and 2018 is just as packed. In this episode, we talk about the history of peak TV, and what it’s done to the way we tell stories. Some TV shows have been Wiki-ized, getting so complex that you need…
12: Why Are Utopias So Hard To Imagine?
Aug 14 • 40 min
In this episode, we look at Sense8, the globe-spanning show about mentally linked psychics from Lana and Lily Wachowski, and we celebrate its uplifting vision of people coming together and letting go of ego. But one of the most fascinating things about…
11: We’re in the wrong timeline
Aug 2 • 39 min
We’ve all been feeling like something is wrong with the timeline. In this episode, we ask what alternate history, fake history, and secondary world history can teach us about the present. Does exploring the past in fiction help us learn from history or…
10: Deep in the heart of fandom
Jul 19 • 34 min
We’ve all witnessed the awesome power of fandom: saving beloved TV shows from cancellation, creating beautiful fan art and fan-fiction, and creating brilliant communities. But the dark side of fandom is also powerful, and can lead to actors and creators…
9: Horror of the One Percent
Jul 5 • 38 min
Rich people want to eat you. That’s the literal plot in a lot of horror movies, and the subtext of many more. Inspired by The Purge saga, we’re talking about movies and TV where class warfare becomes a blood-soaked battleground. From recent standouts Get…
8: Science fiction has always been queer
Jun 21 • 44 min
It’s queer pride month, and we’re talking about how LGBTQIA+ got into our SFF. We time warp back to the lesbian vampires of Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu’s Carmilla and the utopian world of Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s Herland, and catch you up on modern…
7: Imaginary immigrants and time-traveling refugees
Jun 7 • 45 min
Immigration is a major theme in science fiction, both as subtext and major plot arcs. Creators often tell stories about new arrivals on Earth from other worlds, other dimensions, and other timelines. Poet and performer Baruch Porras-Hernandez joins us to…
6: Animal companions and magical beasts
May 24 • 42 min
Special guest Maggie Tokuda-Hall, author of the children’s book Also An Octopus, joins us to talk about what happens when animals become characters in science fiction and fantasy. Animals get to speak in fairy tales, Disney movies, and stories of…
5: Fear of robots
May 10 • 42 min
Fear of robots is on the rise — in science fiction and the tech industry. What causes this anxiety in real life, and how does science fiction imagine the future of human/robot relationships? Are we going to be raw materials for a future AI civilization,…
4: Crisis on infinite superheroes
Apr 27 • 36 min
With Avengers: Infinity War about to hit theaters, we needed to talk about superheroes. What is it about these larger-than-life characters that fascinates us so much? Why can’t we eliminate campiness and silliness from superhero epics? And have the…
3: Books that stand the test of time
Apr 12 • 36 min
Some science fiction books are still fascinating after 200 years, while others make us wince after just a decade on the shelf. What makes an SF book stay relevant? Hint: it’s not the book’s ability to predict the future. Your hosts Annalee Newitz and…
Propaganda and mind control in science fiction
Mar 29 • 39 min
There’s something distinctly science fictional about how Facebook has been used by governments, politicians, and private companies to manipulate people’s perceptions—and even affect the outcomes of elections. In this episode, we talk about how science…
1: Hope, dread, and Star Trek: Discovery
Mar 15 • 36 min
Join authors Charlie Jane Anders and Annalee Newitz to explore storytelling, science, and cultural meaning in science fiction. In our first episode, we discuss the inaugural season of Star Trek: Discovery. How does this show fit into the Star Trek…