I co-host The Imaginaries podcast with my MFA buddy Kendra. In the cast, we talk about science fiction, fantasy, weird fiction, and more in all of its various and splendid forms. Our most recent episodes will always be available on iTunes and on Soundcloud, and you can find all of our episodes on YouTube.
We also have a website dedicated to The Imaginaries, as well as a Twitter handle, @imaginary_pod, to let you know when we release a new episode and what we're up to. It's awesome to have support to help us pay for hosting fees and whatnot, so we have a Ko-Fi profile where listeners can drop us a couple of bucks whenever.
Our most recent episodes are available via direct links below.
Episode 36: Problematic Faves
Oh yes, we all have them. Whether we're talking problematic *authors* who still somehow manage to write favorites (like Orson Scott Card), *fandoms* who manage to the poison the things we might otherwise have loved (here's looking at you, Rick and Morty), or works which have become become problematic *over time* (like poor Sheri Tepper) ... well, there's probably a couple of problematic faves on your bookshelf right now. RIGHT NOW. No, seriously, go look.
When you're done, come back and listen to the podcast! We cover a lot of ground here, including some ways in which to discuss (or not discuss) contentious works of SFF with contentious people.
Episode 35: Libraries & Librarians in SFF
Ever wonder what Batman & Star Trek have in common? LIBRARIANS. What about Garth Nix & Buffy the Vampire Slayer? LIBRARIANS. Ever wonder what science fiction & fantasy do with Data from TNG? LIBRARIANS. (Oh yes, we could go on.) Needless to say, this could have been a pretty self-soothing podcast about Kend's job (which is--well, we'll give you 5 guesses), but it was actually Tony's idea. Blame him.
Once you're finished with that, take a listen to this great podcast in which we discuss libraries in the real world and on the page, screen, and brain--and cross reference them with each other, our own personal experiences, and current movements in library science as the image evolves to fit an equally-evolving reality.
Oh, and we should note: There's totally a stereotypical librarian in Stranger Things 2 but the show only went live after we recorded this episode. So, sorry dear Duffy Brothers fans. We didn't know!
Episode 34: The Fourth Beauty of Science Fiction: Imaginary Science
We're back with more science fictional magesties as we work our way through the Fourth Beauty of Science Fiction (according to Istvan Csicsery-Ronay in his book The Seven Beauties of Science Fiction, that is): Imaginary Science! What role does the "science" in "science fiction" actually MEAN? What sciences count? When do all of our definitions start breaking down into one giant soup of goo? You be the judge! Or we can be the judge. After all, we're pretty fantastic.
You can find the first two Beauties in our backlist:
First Beauty (Episode 5): Fictive Neology
Second Beauty (Episode 12): The Novum
Unfortunately, the third Beauty, on Future History, remains lost in a smudge of data due to a crapped-out hard drive. We still have hope for it, but you'll just have to hang in there for that one.
Episode 33: War! What is it good for?
Do we NEED war? Many scifi creators seem to argue that war is inevitable, or an inherent human need or dominion. Thinking of Omar El Akkad's American War and Jeff VanderMeer's Area X trilogy and Octavia Butler’s various series, among many others, we seek to reframe these questions: Do we need it? On a human level? Or on a science fictional level? What does war look like when we move beyond militarized conflicts to a more psychological battleground?
Does writing war into scifi allow us to do things we simply couldn’t do otherwise?
Episode 32: Spiders
Why does it have to be spiders?! Well, we can't give you a neat and tidy one-sentence answer, but we *can* give you 45 minutes of crazy spiders in space and in your face. In this podcast, we talk Adrian Tchaikovsky's Children of Time and throw some love at Arachnophobia (despite being two card-carrying arachnophobes), "Anansi Boys," Zelda, and a number of other seminal sci-fi and fantasy texts. Including mythology. Shit gets real.
Episode 31: Spaceman of Bohemia
We may not know Jaroslav Kalfar, author of the groundbreaking Spaceman of Bohemia, personally ... but we DO know someone who knows him, and all of our acquaintanceships go south quickly. So we brought Parke, an excellent human being as well as an author and inhaler of all things speculative fiction, on our show. What resulted was great, and includes a personal apology to Italian ESA astronaut Sam Cristoforetti, a shout-out to Burrow Press in Orlando, Florida, and weird discussions about gender, politics, gender politics, when it's appropriate to murder one's shipmate rescuers, and why it's so important to see genre-defying works like Spaceman of Bohemia on bookstore shelves in 2017. Eat your heart out, sci-fi lovers!
Episode 30: On Monsters
You could pretty much play "fuck, marry, kill" with the beasts in our lineup for this podcast. Whether we flirt with danger or run from it, whether we pick up our pitchforks or our binoculars, beasts and monsters have done a lot more for us than jump around corners or haunt dark alleys. Here we discuss ways and means of understanding these archetypes, and how they fit into and inform the science fiction we know and love!