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Science Fiction

Studio 360

Annalee Newitz: The Future Is Coming to Get You

Friday, January 24, 2014

Scientists and science writers can rattle off all the sci-fi that inspired them to build great things. But Annalee Newitz, editor of io9, thinks that dystopian science fiction is less inspirational, but more influential. Dystopian sci-fi cautions against our hubris. For example, when Google bought ...

Bonus Track: Kurt Andersen’s extended conversation with Annalee Newitz

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Studio 360

Kirk to Enterprise: Star Trek in Your Pocket

Friday, January 24, 2014

“By 2013, I literally envisioned that I would be retiring on the moon,” says Candy Torres, a former software engineer for the International Space Station. Like so many scientists of her generation, Torres grew up watching Star Trek in the late 1960s. On the Enterprise ...

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Studio 360

You’re Living in a Science Fiction Story

Friday, January 24, 2014

It’s easy to look back at old science fiction and see it as silly. But there are important ideas embedded in those stories that influenced scientists and the way technology developed. Take the first science fiction film, Le Voyage dans La Lune or A Trip to the Moon, based on a story by Jules Verne ...

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Isaac Asimov's 2014 Predictions, Today

Monday, January 13, 2014

"Mankind will have become largely a race of machine tenders,” is one of the many predictions science fiction writer Isaac Asimov made in 1964 for what life would be like today. Matt Novak, writer of Gizmodo's Paleofuture blog, talks about what Asimov got right and wrong.

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New Sounds

Inspired by Sci-Fi

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

There’s music inspired by Sci-Fi books & film for this New Sounds program.  Listen to the internet opera and sonic book by Mendi & Keith Obadike, “The Sour Thunder,” which consists of two simultaneous stories; Mendi traveling with a friend to study Afro-Dominican culture and tracing the slave trade through the Dominican Repulic, and that of a state called Solaika Dast, where scent is the method of communication. There’s also recent music by Londoner Pete M. Wyer, his “Planet 49,” a response to the Danny Boyle film, “Sunshine” about a mission in 2057 to set off a nuclear bomb to reignite our dying sun. 

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The Takeaway

Remembering Ray Bradbury

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Legendary science fiction author Ray Bradbury died yesterday at age 91.  He's remembered best for short-story collections like "The Martian Chronicles," and novels like "Fahrenheit 451," "Something Wicked This Way Comes," and "Dandelion Wine." Kim Stanley Robinson, science fiction writer known for his award-winning Mars trilogy, was born in Waukegan, Illinois, the same hometown of Ray Bradbury. He describes Bradbury's enduring influence.

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The Takeaway

Ray Bradbury Dies at Age 91

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Ray Bradbury has died at age 91, and with him dies an imagination that sparked the imagination of so many readers. John Hockenberry remembers his first Bradbury novel, The Illustrated Man, which came as part of his membership to a science fiction book club. John was joined by science fiction writer Kim Stanley Robinson, known for his award-winning Mars trilogy.

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The Takeaway

Jonathan Lethem on the Legacy of Philip K. Dick

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Science fiction author Philip K. Dick died in 1983 at 53 years old. His cultural influence is everywhere, from box office hits like "Minority Report," to the novels of the late David Foster Wallace. His dark, twisted stories about drugs, psychological disorders, and government conspiracies have won awards and left an impression on the science fiction landscape.

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Studio 360

Aimee Bender’s Origin Lessons

Friday, October 07, 2011

Studio 360 came to the writer Aimee Bender with a commission for a short story on a giant topic: the Big Bang. Before she started writing, Bender decided to bone up on her science: she spoke with Nick Warner, a professor of physics, astronomy, and mathematics at the University of Southern California ...

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Studio 360

Lauren Beukes and South African Sci-Fi

Friday, August 19, 2011

Until the movie District 9 came out two years ago, “South African science fiction” didn’t ring any bells for Americans. But that may change. The winner of this year’s Arthur C. Clarke Award, more or less the Pulitzer of sci-fi, is a journalist and novelist from Cape Town. Lauren Beukes’ novel is called Zoo City ...

Bonus Track: Lauren Beukes reads from Zoo City

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The Takeaway

Daniel Wilson on Writing 'Robopocalypse'

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

As a kid I dreamed about robots and as an adult I built them. Now, I write about them. In retrospect, it’s all the same thing: I’m dreaming up how humans and machines interact on an everyday basis.

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Studio 360

More with Moore

Friday, September 17, 2010

Ronald D. Moore talks about the constraints of writing for "Star Trek" and the need to break away when he reimagined "Battlestar Galactica." Two immediate changes: no captain's chair and no big view screen.

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Studio 360

Bonus Track: Harlan Ellison uncut

Friday, May 29, 2009

Kurt's full interview with Harlan Ellison.

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Studio 360

Battlestar Iraqtica

Friday, September 07, 2007

Though Hollywood was slow to portray the war in theatrical features, now a whole batch of Iraq movies are set to come out –- including Paul Haggis’ In the Valley of Elah. But as cultural critic Laura Miller tells us, one of the first, most surprising attempts to deal ...

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Studio 360

Battlestar Iraqtica

Friday, February 23, 2007

In the 1960s and 70s, Hollywood turned to the Western to depict the racial, moral, and military issues of the Vietnam War. Today, directors and screenwriters are again grappling with war indirectly, through genres like fantasy and science fiction. Critics Lisa Schwartzbaum and Laura Miller show ...

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Studio 360

Richard Linklater

Friday, July 14, 2006

He lives in Austin, not L.A. He enjoys a level of creative freedom few filmmakers can afford. He jumps from quasi-animated philosophical films like A Scanner Darkly to mainstream comedies like School of Rock to classic romances like Before Sunset. Writer-director Richard Linklater talks with

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Studio 360

What's in a Name?

Friday, April 28, 2006

The hero of Colson Whitehead's new novel Apex Hides the Hurt is an advertising executive with a natural gift for branding new products. Kurt Andersen asked Whitehead why he gave his character the strange gig of renaming a small town with a troubled history.

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Studio 360

Special Guest: Sir Ridley Scott

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Sir Ridley Scott has directed many highly influential films including Blade Runner, Alien, Thelma and Louise, Black Hawk Down, Gladiator, and Matchstick Men. He directed thousands of television commercials before making the leap to film in 1978. In recognition of his contribution to the arts, Scott was knighted ...

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Studio 360

Special Guest: Margaret Atwood

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Kurt Andersen talks with novelist Margaret Atwood about how biology grabs headlines — and the imagination of artists. They discuss Atwood’s childhood among scientists, and her most recent novel, Oryx and Crake, in which biotech runs amok with catastrophic consequences.

The daughter of an entomologist, Margaret Atwood grew ...

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Studio 360

Left Behind

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Novelist Jerry Jenkins might not have the name recognition of Stephen King or John Grisham, but his book sales are setting publishing records. Jenkins is the co-author of the Christian fiction series, Left Behind. Aimee Rinehart takes a look at the 11-volume series that has become ...

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