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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
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Psyops are used by the military against foreign enemies, but now these dangerous weapons of demoralization and chaos are being used in culture wars between Americans. In this episode, Annalee tells us about their new book Stories Are Weapons, a history of psychological warfare in the U.S. (yes, it includes scifi!) -- and an exploration of the ways …
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Science fiction has been warning us about fascism for decades — so why haven't we listened? How did Nazis become just another monster in our stories, like werewolves or cyborgs? Plus we talk about the new wave of book censorship with Maggie Tokuda-Hall, co-founder of the new organization Authors Against Book Bans. Show notes: www.ouropinionsarecorr…
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We're talking about the Turing Test, the grandmother of all tests for AI sentience. Joining us are AI researchers Alex Hanna and Emily M. Bender, hosts of the Mystery AI Hype 3000 podcast. We discuss why the Turing Test is so influential in both fiction and reality – and why it is completely wrong. Later in the episode, we’ll talk about another thi…
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It's a scary time for LGBTQIA+ folks — and many of us are turning to horror stories that take our real-life terrors and make them even more monstrous. To find out why, we talk to Dr. Chuck Tingle, the author of Camp Damascus and Bury Your Gays, and we geek out about why queers love to be scared. Also, we talk about horror movie soundtracks — and th…
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At last, videogame movies have defeated comic book movies. We learn about why from Evan Narcisse, who writes for comic books and videogames, as well as being a journalist and critic. Then we rant about why so many people are obsessed with psychoanalyzing villains, and are flocking to stories that reveal the innermost traumas of bad guys. Why do we …
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Science fiction and fantasy fans love to argue about canon — both meanings of the word. Which stories in a fictional universe really "happened"? Which stories deserve to be enshrined as the best of the genre? We don't think either of those things is worth yelling about! Also, did you know that tsunamis can happen in lakes, rivers and even creeks? W…
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Inspired by The Super Mario Bros Movie, we're talking about a humble class of heroes whose lives are devoted to infrastructure maintenance and repair. There are heating engineer rogues and space janitors and, of course, plumbers. Later in the episode we’ll head down to Antarctica, where our guest Ariel Waldman spent her summer vacation studying the…
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Anne Rice is best-known for her Vampire Chronicles, which began in the 1970s with her novel Interview with the Vampire. But did you know she also wrote bestselling BDSM erotica and two novels about Jesus? In this episode, we do a deep dive into Rice's strange career, including that time she unleashed her fans against Tom Cruise. We also discuss the…
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Science fiction and fantasy are full of portrayals of disabled bodies, some of which are nuanced and positive, and many of which... aren't. Join us as we talk about disability tropes and the realities of disabled life with Elsa Sjunneson, author of the brand new book Being Seen. Plus we answer reader questions from our Patreon! Show notes: www.ouro…
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All of us live embedded in webs of life known as ecosystems, and that can get pretty creepy -- or astonishingly beautiful. Inspired by the mind-blowing new animated series Scavengers Reign, we're talking about some of the best examples of alien ecosystems in science fiction. Then we dive into some real-life ecosystems on Earth, and reveal two impor…
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How does Doctor Who remain cool after sixty years? By constantly updating and reinventing itself. We've been loving David Tennant's triumphant return, and we're so pumped for Ncuti Gatwa. But we're wondering... are there lessons from Doctor Who's longevity that could apply to other venerable series and universes? Heck yeah, there are. Allons-y! Sho…
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There's no company as soothing as a good read when the days get shorter and the air gets colder. So here's our annual list of recent books that'll help get you through those nasty winter months. (Or if you're listening to this in the Southern hemisphere, here are some summer beach reads!) The good news? We're lucky to have a wealth of amazing reads…
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Zines are DiY publications that grew to prominence in the early twentieth century scifi fan community, then morphed into a punk subculture in the 70s and 80s ... and now they're back! We talk with two guests who take us deep into the history and future of zines: Lynn Peril, who created the iconic zine Mystery Date in the 1990s, and Lawrence Lindell…
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Silicon Valley markets itself as the place where futures are born, and yet tech corporations have no real understanding of where our civilizations are headed. We are wrapping up our Silicon Valley vs. Science Fiction series with some final thoughts on why this might be. Then we talk to AI developer, ethicist, and poet Dr. Joy Buolamwini, founder of…
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Battles and smackdowns are a key part of many science fiction and fantasy stories — but how do you do them right? Do you have an obligation to show the cost of violence? And what does a good fight scene look like? To find out, we talked to authors Fonda Lee and Lauren Beukes. (Note: This episode was recorded Sept. 23 at Rose City Comic Con in Portl…
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