#22 – Nuclear War

#27 – Feminist Science Fiction A Reader's History of Science Fiction

Among the various social changes that accompanied the New Wave, this time period saw the rise of second-wave feminism. In this episode, we explore how that movement influenced the genre of science fiction. Book recommendation: The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin. Tor Books poll on women in speculative fiction. Eric Leif Davin's Partners in Wonder. Sable Aradia's review of "Houston, Houston, Do You Read?" My blog posts on The Handmaid's Tale: Part 1, Part 2 Jan Misali/Conlang Critic on Láadan. Princeton article on Láadan. Mary Robinette Kowal on women in sci-fi. Other works discussed: "The Screwfly Solution" by James Tiptree Jr. "Houston, Houston, Do You Read?" by James Tiptree Jr. The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas" by Ursula K. Le Guin The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood Native Tongue by Suzette Haden Elgin Kindred by Octavia E. Butler Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler
  1. #27 – Feminist Science Fiction
  2. Writer's History #2 – Kira Leigh Interview
  3. #26 – Vonnegut, Adams, and Modern Satire
  4. #25 – Strange New Worlds
  5. #24 – The New Dystopias

The Cold War brought with it new tales of nuclear war in science fiction, both in the early days of the 50s and 60s, and later, when fears began to rise again. In this episode, we look at the highlights of these stories and how they vary widely in how they address the consequences of nuclear war.

Book recommendation: Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank.

The Office of Technology Assessment’s 1979 nuclear war study.

Other works mentioned:
On the Beach by Nevil Shute (un-recommended)
A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller, Jr.
Dr. Strangelove
Fail Safe
Postman by David Brin
The Day After

Check out this episode!

About Alex R. Howe

I'm a full-time astrophysicist and a part-time science fiction writer.
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1 Response to #22 – Nuclear War

  1. Tom Bridgman says:

    Another thoughtful (but a little depressing) episode.
    I remember “The Day After” when it was first broadcast. In the same vein, but not really sci-fi was “Special Bulletin”, a enactment of news coverage of nuclear terrorists with a bomb in the harbor of Charleston, SC. At the time I lived about 10 miles from ground zero in the movie.
    The Jack D. Ripper character in “Dr. Strangelove” is (loosely?) based on Curtis LeMay, who developed much of the U.S. air strategy. Malcolm Gladwell devoted four episodes to LeMay in Season 5 of his “Revisionist History” podcast.

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