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Our Opinions Are Correct

Our Opinions Are Correct
139 episodes   Last Updated: Mar 23, 23
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


If you haven't read any short stories in a while, it's a great time to get back into them. A ton of truly excellent books of short speculative fiction came out recently, and wondrous new tales are appearing in magazines all the time. We talk about some of our favorite new books of short stories — and we offer some tips for writing some short fiction yourself. Works mentioned: All the Hometowns You Can't Stay Away From by Izzy Wasserstein Africa Risen: A New Era of Speculative Fiction, ed. Sheree Renée Thomas, Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki and Zelda Knight  New Suns 2, ed. Nisi Shawl White Cat, Black Dog by Kelly Link Falling in Love With Hominids by Nalo Hopkinson Drinking From Graveyard Wells by Yvette Lisa Ndlovu Lost Places by Sarah Pinsker Evil Flowers by Gunnhild Øyehaug The Wishing Pool by Tananarive Due Never Too Old to Save the World: A Midlife Calling Anthology, edited by Alana Joli Abbott and Addie J. King  Sunday Morning Transport Escape Pod Podcast Starship Sofa Podcast Asimov's Science Fiction  The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction Analog Science Fiction Lightspeed Magazine Uncanny Magazine Strange Horizons Tor.com Clarkesworld Magazine NIghtmare Magazine Show notes: www.ouropinionsarecorrect.com/shownotes
This is the first in a series of monthly episodes we’ll be doing about how Silicon Valley appropriates and misinterprets science fiction. Silicon Valley executives claim to be inspired by SF, but mostly they use it retroactively to justify their products, often missing the more complicated, nuanced ideas embedded in the original stories. Today we’re going to tackle the hype cycle around A.I., which borrows liberally from the post-scarcity, post-human visions of Iain M. Banks in his Culture novels. It’s time for … the Culture vs. ChatGPT! Show notes: www.ouropinionsarecorrect.com/shownotes  
Everybody obsesses about A.I., nanotech, space travel and robots. But the technologies nobody pays much attention to could have an equally significant impact on our world. Like artificial wombs, smart toilets, new forms of public transportation, and new cleaning machines. Show notes: https://www.ouropinionsarecorrect.com/shownotes/2019/12/5/episode-46-four-technologies-that-nobody-realizes-will-change-the-future  
Gender essentialism is the idea that there is something eternal and innate about people's gender identities, and nothing can change that. Popularized during the 1970s, it affected how science fiction stories represented gender -- and it spawned new academic disciplines devoted to scientific misogyny. We talk about all this, and do a deep dive on the "What Women Want" franchise. Show notes: https://www.ouropinionsarecorrect.com/shownotes/2021/7/15/episode-88-how-gender-essentialism-warped-our-view-of-science
We're going to ask a few very small questions in this episode, like how to build a planet from scratch -- and then, how to build governments on that planet. What makes an imaginary world feel believable? Annalee explains what they did to research their new novel The Terraformers (coming out 1/31). Expect some gritty details about worldbuilding, moose romance, public transit, and making sure that every revolution has a core of joy. Show notes: www.ouropinionsarecorrect.com/shownotes
Avatar: The Way of Water has already become one of the most successful movies of all time. This long-awaited sequel gives us a lot to think about — from the ongoing white savior narrative to an unexpectedly disturbing interstellar whaling industry. But when it comes down to how we feel about this movie, we disagree quite a bit. Show notes: www.ouropinionsarecorrect.com/shownotes
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 fantastic new Interview with the Vampire series.  Show notes: www.ouropinionsarecorrect.com/shownotes
The winter holidays are coming up, and it's a great time to hide away with a stack of books. Good thing we've got you covered! Here's our roundup of our favorite recent books, including some you probably haven't heard much about yet. Plus we geek out about the themes and common ideas we've been seeing in the books we've read in 2022. Get ready to grow your TBR pile! Show notes: www.ouropinionsarecorrect.com/shownotes
Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy supercharged the genre of epic fantasy, giving rise to countless stories of heroic quests in settings that looked like Medieval Europe. How do we expand the map of heroic fantasy so it includes everybody who was marginalized, or left out completely, in those tales? Plus we talk to Tolkien scholar Helen Young about the racist backlash against the new TV show Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power. Show notes: www.ouropinionsarecorrect.com/shownotes  
One of the most cherished tropes in science fiction is the idea that technology, science, and civilization are always getting better -- and the future will be wealthier and fancier than the present. Call it the myth of progress. We explore where the myth comes from, and how it influenced scifi authors from HG Wells to NK Jemisin. Plus we’re joined by economist Brad De Long, whose new book Slouching Towards Utopia is all about economic progress in the twentieth century – and why that progress stopped in 2010.  Show notes: www.ouropinionsarecorrect.com/shownotes