Science Fiction and Politics University Course continues

Online Audio

Science Fiction and Politics Professor Courtney Brown‘s course at Emory University is a Political Science course entitled Science Fiction and Politics (Political Science 190). We’ve talked about this course more than once. But, as the new lectures appear in the feed, this podcast gets renewed interest, and thus prompts new posts. So here’s another, this one lists all the currently available lectures (Spring 2007 is now completed at Emory). Brown’s lectures below are from two semesters and feature some incisive political insights found in more than a dozen SF novels.

Lectures available:

01: Introduction and Overview |MP3|
02: Foundation by Isaac Asimov (1 of 2) |MP3|
03: Foundation by Isaac Asimov (2 of 2) |MP3|
04: Foundation And Empire by Isaac Asimov |MP3|
05: Second Foundation by Isaac Asimov |MP3|
06: Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (1 of 2) |MP3|
07: Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (2 of 2) |MP3|
08: The Left Hand Of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin (1 of 2) |MP3|
09: The Left Hand Of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin (2 of 2) |MP3|
10: The Uplift War by David Brin (1 of 2) |MP3|
11: The Uplift War by David Brin (2 of 2) |MP3|
12: Darwin’s Radio by Greg Bear (1 of 2) |MP3|
13: Darwin’s Radio by Greg Bear (2 of 2) |MP3|
14: How to write your essays |MP3|
15: Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card (1 of 2) |MP3|
16: Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card (1 of 2) |MP3|
17: The Forever War by Joe Haldeman (1 of 2)|MP3|
18: The Forever War by Joe Haldeman (2 of 2)|MP3|
19: Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick (1 of 2) |MP3|
20: Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick (2 of 2) |MP3|
21: The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress by Robert A. Heinlein (1 of 3) |MP3|
22: The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress by Robert A. Heinlein (2 of 3) |MP3|
23: The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress by Robert A. Heinlein (3 of 3) |MP3|
24: Neuromancer by William Gibson (1 of 2) |MP3|
25: Neuromancer by William Gibson (2 of 2) |MP3|
26: On free will [based on Isaac Asimov’s Foundation trilogy] (1 of 2) |MP3|
27: On free will [based on Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World] (2 of 2) |MP3|
28: The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin (1 of 2) |MP3|
29: The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin (2 of 2) |MP3|
30: Spin by Robert Charles Wilson (1 of 2) |MP3|
31: Spin by Robert Charles Wilson (2 of 2) |MP3|
32: The Gods Themselves by Isaac Asimov (1 of 2) |MP3|
33: The Gods Themselves by Isaac Asimov (1 of 2) |MP3|

You can subscribe to the podcast via this feed:

Also, Dr. Brown tells me that he’s been getting requests from some of his students for more female Science Fiction authors. He asks if we have any “top-of-the-list suggestions?” He’s been using Hugo and Nebula award winning novels, but we all know that there are plenty of novels out there that haven’t won a Hugo or a Nebula that are still worthy of examination. Can you think of any Dr. Brown should add to his class for next year?

Review of The Forever War by Joe Haldeman

SFFaudio Audiobook Review

Science Fiction Audiobook - The Forever War by Joe HaldemanThe Forever War
By Joe Haldeman; Read by George Wilson
8 CDs – 9.5 hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Recorded Books
Published: 1999
ISBN: 0788739832
Themes: / Science Fiction / Hard SF / Military SF / War / Time Travel / Aliens / Love /

“Tonight we are going to show you eight silent ways to kill a man.”

The guy who said this was a sergeant who didn’t look five years older than me. So if he’d ever killed a man in combat, silently or otherwise, he’d done it as an infant.

This is Vietnam all over again but now it’s in space. In a world where dreams come true and Science Fiction has become part of the School’s National Curriculum, then Joe Haldeman’s The Forever War becomes compulsory reading material. It’s little wonder it sits at No.1 on Gollancz list of “Science Fiction Masterworks.” And rightly so. Here is a story still fit and ready for duty thirty-three years after winning the Hugo award for “Best Science Fiction Novel.”

William Mandela is a gifted and brilliant college student and so is ideal fodder for the army’s war against an unknown alien race called the Taurans. Mandela is drafted into a harsh training program that kills more recruits than it can mould into soldiers. He is educated and trained to the highest of army standards, becoming one of Earth’s elite foot soldiers in a war against the alien Taurans. He is also a reluctant soldier caught up in this futile war, a war Earth’s economy can not do without. Add to this collapsars, light speed travel, time dilation, ever changing societies and you have Science Fiction at it’s flawless.

Read by George Wilson with the skill of a seasoned veteran. His voice never invades your senses or pulls you away from the gripping tale Haldeman has delivered, and that’s crucial for an audiobook. Wilson got his start in broadcasting as a news director with American Forces Radio and Television in Thailand. He was also instrumental in forming an improvisational comedy group that performed in New York theaters and nightclubs.

The Forever War was first serialized by the science fiction magazine, Analog. Its then editor, Ben Bova, thought the middle section was just too harsh in its descriptions of war and war life, so Haldeman drafted a more mellow alternative and it’s this edition that was used in the book’s first full publication.

There are any number of occurences Haldeman has used in The Forever War from first hand knowledge. He severed in Vietnam as a combat engineer and both Haldeman and his protagonist, Mandela returned fron war to very different attitudes than the ones they left behind. Haldeman knows war, knows it up close and bloody (3 men in his 4 man unit were blown to bits in an ordinance explosion). Haldeman can also identify the boredom that inevitably comes between the battles. In combat situations his descriptions are raw. And like Mandela, every word of The Forever War had to fight to survive under Haldeman’s brutal editorship.

Everyone… here are your instructions. You are to listen to The Forever War ASAP – and that’s an ORDER!

Joe Haldeman on "The Craft of Science Fiction" and his new novel

SFFaudio Online Audio

Online Audio - MIT Media LabJoe Haldeman, an Adjunct Professor of Writing at MIT, and future SFWA Grand Master (if there’s any justice) has recorded a lengthy lecture/discussion on “The Craft of Science Fiction.” Recorded at MIT’s Bartos Theatre back in November 2006.

In the piece Haldeman reads a section from his upcoming Time Travel novel The Accidental Time Machine, the plot for which plays at MIT itself. Joe also talks about the history of Science Fiction, and his own work in it. Really fascinating!

Follow this link |RealAudio| to hear it for yourself.

[via SF Signal]

StarShipSofa Podcast covers James Tripree Jr.

SFFaudio Online Audio

Starship Sofa PodcastStarshipSofa , the terrific U.K. podcast that specializes in Science Fiction authors has one heck of a show there. The hosts, Tony and Ciaran, have an especially crackin’ show this week, one that I am truly chuffed to tell you about. On offer today is a show on James Tiptree Jr. (AKA Alice Sheldon), a writer who lived a very extraordinary life. As the boys say, she “blazed across the Science Fiction skies” with her short stories of the 1970s. And stay tuned for her shocking ending!

Download the show direct |MP3| or subscribe to the feed:

And don’t forget to revisit their earlier subjects:

Show # 1: Classic Author: Alfred Bester |MP3|
Show # 2: Classic Author: John Brunner |MP3|
Show # 3: Classic Author: Algis Budrys |MP3|
Show # 4: Classic Author: Cordwainer Smith |MP3|
Show # 5: Classic Author: Stanislaw Lem |MP3|
Show # 6: Classic Film: Dark Star |MP3|
Show # 7: Classic Author: Philip K. Dick (Part 1) |MP3|
Show # 8: Classic Author: Philip K. Dick (Part 2) |MP3|
Show # 9: Classic Author: Philip K. Dick (Part 3) |MP3|
Show # 10: Classic Film: Capricorn One |MP3|
Show # 11: Classic Author: Henry Kuttner |MP3|
Show # 12: Classic Author: Robert Silverberg |MP3|
Show # 13: Classic Author: Joe Haldeman |MP3|
Show # 14: Classic Author: L. Ron Hubbard |MP3|
Show # 15: Classic Author: Harlan Ellison |MP3|
Show # 16: Classic Author: Douglas Adams (Part 1) |MP3|
Show # 17: Classic Author: Douglas Adams (Part 2) |MP3|
Show # 18: Classic Author: Robert Sheckley |MP3|
Show # 19: Classic Author: Roger Zelazny |MP3|
Show # 20: Classic Author: Iian M. Banks |MP3|
Show # 21: Classic Author: Ursula K. LeGuin |MP3|
Show # 22: Christmas Special Part 1 |MP3| & 2 |MP3|
Show # 23: Email Show |MP3|

***NOTE*** Because of the CBC strike, these links …

SFFaudio Online Audio

Because of the CBC strike, these links aren’t working. Sorry! I’ll post an update when things are cleared up. –sd

Quirks And Quarks, CBC Radio’s excellent and long running Saturday afternoon science program is not only a great source of science news – it’s also a great Science Fiction resource! The show’s host, Bob McDonald, has even narrated an SF novel and is obviously a fan of both science and Science Fiction.

Every week, the program presents the people behind the latest discoveries in the physical and natural sciences, from the smallest sub-atomic particle to the largest objects in the sky and everything in between. The program also examines the political, social, environmental and ethical implications of new developments in science and technology. And now Quirks And Quarks has also got into podcasting too! Show segments are available in MP3 format for FREE!

Here’s a list of links to show segments that deal with
Science Fiction concepts:

Multiple Worlds & Parallel Universes (April 16, 2005)

Telepathy (November 20, 2004)

First Contact (March 9, 2002)
With SF writer Robert J. Sawyer
LINK to Part 1:

LINK to Part 2:

Settling The Stars (February 23, 2002)
With SF writers Joe Haldeman, Charles Sheffield and
Geoffrey Landis

Terraforming Mars (May 12, 2001)