Sep 192013

One of the most intriguing aspects of science fiction and fantasy is their ability to transport us to other worlds, often incredibly detailed fictional places with their own elaborate histories. In this episode, we discuss some examples of works in these genres that spark our imaginations, as well as what makes them so evocative. From tenacious, resourceful characters to highly advanced technological toys, each element contributes something unique to these worlds, helping us to share in their creators’ vision. After the break, we recommend some of our favorite sci-fi and fantasy media for your future enjoyment, and Meyer puts our knowledge of obscure sci-fi titles to the test. So grab your ray guns, deely boppers and rings of true power, and prepare yourselves for another thought-provoking discussion with The Rag-NERD-rok Crew!

(Show notes after the break.)

I. Cold Opening – Manny and Kirebeard In Space! (00:00:00)

Will proposes an idea for a cold open segment that fits in really well with our current topic. The guys are less than enthusiastic.

II. Intro. (00:00:59)

Erik becomes the unfortunate victim of an ironic chant as we artfully segue from the customary riffing on this episode’s alternate title to the actual discussion at hand.

III. Sci-Fi and Fantasy Universes (00:03:27)

The guys wax analytical regarding science fiction and fantasy! How does an author or creator build a world from scratch, and how much world-building is enough? What makes a great character in a sci-fi universe, and what values do sci-fi characters represent? Which fictional technologies are the coolest? Most dangerous? Most frightening? And finally, what are the bigger themes and underlying messages behind modern science fiction? We contemplate the answers to all these questions, and more!

IV. Recommendations (00:50:45)

Alex: The Dune series by Frank Herbert, the Foundation series by Isaac Asimov, Rendezvous with Rama by Arthur C. Clarke, Rapture of the Nerds by Cory Doctorow and Charles Stross, Accelerando by Charles Stross.

Ed: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Lexx

Erik: Futurama

Ryan: Consider Phlebas (and other Culture novels) by Iain M. Banks, the Zones of Thought trilogy and Rainbow’s End by Vernor Vinge, the Odyssey series by Arthur C. Clarke, Future History and World-As-Myth series by Robert A. Heinlein, System Shock 2

Meyer: Star Wars, Farscape

V. Sci-Fi Titles: Real or Fake? (00:59:59)

In this segment, Meyer reads us a series of ten science fiction titles, and we have to decide whether they belong to actual films or not! Play along and keep score to see how you match up to the Rag-NERD-rok Crew’s knowledge of obscure Sci-Fi titles!

VI. Outro (01:15:17)

Thanks for listening, everyone! If you would like to join our discussion of sci-fi / fantasy worlds, or if you have any recommendations of your own, feel free to share them below or send us an email at You can also get in touch with us through our Facebook page or via Twitter, or you can leave us a voicemail by calling (516) 362 – NERD [6373].

Rag-NERD-rok is also available through iTunes, so if you haven’t already subscribed, be sure to head over and check us out there! If you leave us a five-star rating, we’ll read your review on the air–same goes for voicemails and emails.

Featured Music:

Cold Opening – Great Open Sea (Wellington Sea Shanty Society) / CC BY-NC 3.0
First Interlude – The Final Conflict (Rushjet1) / CC BY-NC-SA 3.0
Second Interlude – Freak Boutique (Spiedkiks) / CC BY-SA 3.0
Outro – Intergalactic Disko Dance Party (Wizwars) / CC BY-NC-SA 3.0



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Rag-NERD-rok Podcast by Alex Costello, Edward Cress, Erik Dickash, Ryan Mannix and Billy Meyer is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
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