Tag Archives: science fiction

Supercontext: Hyperion

Dan Simmon’s 1989 science-fiction novel is acclaimed for its unique structure, references, and style. We take a closer look at how it interrogates our expectations of genre to explore a complex host of themes. Thank you to Chris Marlton for coproducing this episode.

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Supercontext: Always Coming Home by Ursula K. Le Guin


This book attempts to redefine the novel by combining narrative with an imagined anthropological record. We discuss Le Guin’s background and mission, as well as larger questions about cultural misappropriation and utopianism.

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Additional Resources:

    • Le Guin, Urusula K. “On the Frontier,” in The Wave in the Mind: Talks and Essays on the Writer, the Reader, and the Imagination, edited by Le Guin. Boston: Shambhala Press, 2004.

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Supercontext: Absolute Planetary, Volume 1


This comic about archaeologists uncovering the secret history of pop culture took Warren Ellis and John Cassaday 10 years to complete. We discuss its interrogation of genre, intellectual property and history, in light of the cyclical nature of the comics industry some 20 years after the project started.

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Supercontext: The Final Programme by Michael Moorcock


This first part in the Jerry Cornelius saga is literary science-fiction that challenges the politics of its time through transgression. But we find eerie parallels to our current zeitgeist and wonder if Cornelius is the perfect device to question our thoughts about subversion and morality.

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Supercontext: Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer


The first book in Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach trilogy focuses on humanity’s weird relationship with nature and how we react to the unknown. We look at how VanderMeer wrote the book, the unique publishing strategy behind it and his choice to strip the characters of their identities, while still representing an all female cast.

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Supercontext: Michael Shea (w/ guest Robert Lamb)


Michael Shea was a genre writer who combined fantasy, science fiction and horror into a unique blend of wonder and imagination. Together with our guest Robert Lamb (Stuff To Blow Your Mind), we discuss Shea’s writing style and legacy.

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Supercontext: Blade Runner 2049


Does this film change the way we look at the world the same way its 1982 predecessor and Phillip K. Dick’s original 1968 story did? We look at the aesthetics of this brutal dystopian vision and how it portrays women, fertility, power and agency… all while its financiers struggle with creative accounting to justify another sequel.

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Supercontext: China Miéville’s Kraken


China Miéville’s novel Kraken is a meandering fantasy comedy full of political themes and a love for weird monsters. How does this author manage to weave together so many themes and genre into one book? And why does he think J.R.R. Tolkien is a “wen on the arse of fantasy”?
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Supercontext: East of West


While examining Jonathan Hickman and Nick Dragotta’s sci-fi/western comic EAST OF WEST, we consider big ideas, character development and representation of diversity in storytelling. Also, with all its violence, sex and philosophy… would this make the perfect HBO series?

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