The Evolution of Science Fiction (Feat. Lindsay Ellis) | It’s Lit!


NARRATOR: Man, modern day
to day life sure is dull. Here I am sitting, in
traffic during my commute. And I’m like, where’s
my flying car. I was promised flying cars and
food that comes in pill forms and robot servants. And all I got was Twitter. Where’s my robot? But with the question
of where’s my robot, there also comes
follow up questions, like what if my robot
develops consciousness. Will the robots have
feelings about Twitter? What if the robot starts
tweeting their feelings? Such hopes and anxieties inspire
the wide and wonderful world of science fiction, a genre
that is just as much worried about the future as it is
easier for the hurry up already. We need to colonize Mars, stat. In the words of sci-fi
writer Isaac Asimov, “science fiction writers
foresee the inevitable. And although problems and
catastrophes may be inevitable, solutions are not.” [MUSIC PLAYING] Stories, tales, and myths from
all around the world posing speculative questions
about technologies have existed long before Ray
Bradbury and Frank Herbert. From the time-traveling Japanese
fairytale “Urashima Taro” to some of the speculative
elements of “1001 Arabian Nights.” But there are a
few eras that began to shape what we’ve come to
know as science fiction today. First, the Age of
Enlightenment, an 18th century philosophical
movement that elevated reason and empirical
observation as the nexus for human knowledge
rather than, say, religious doctrine or monarchy. Then there was the
Industrial Revolution, a period of innovation
that brought so many watershed technological
changes to the world, like steam engines and smog. Throw in a dash of the
hot new romantic subgenre of Gothic fiction,
add in a few still popular philosophical ideas
like the concept of utopia and mankind’s great
fall, and you’ve got the scene for the
birth of a new modern genre with what is widely considered
its first prominent work, Mary Shelley’s 1818 novel
“Frankenstein.” Shelley was partially
inspired to write this from the Prometheus myth
in which a Greek deity steals the forbidden knowledge
of fire from the gods and gives it to mankind. And while a Victorian
novel might not be the first thing that
springs to mind when we think of science fiction, we see
a lot of somatic hallmarks of sci-fi within the text, such
as science being limited only by humankind’s imagination, i.e. Victor Frankenstein
wish to end mortality, the moral and ethical
considerations in the advent of
new technologies, and the rubric for
science fiction as an exploration
of our anxieties of the present and the future. By the mid to late
19th century, we see the emergence of
two of science-fiction’s seminal authors, HG
Wells and Jules Verne. Jules Verne pioneered the
adventure-driven romantic sci-fi opera. His most famous works
are dashing adventures that send us beyond the
reach of the known world before actual science
had yet to catch up. Meanwhile, HG Wells’
novels are over here taking a much more moralizing tone. In “The Time Machine,”
humankind has devolved into either
childlike, naive beings or complete monsters. And eventually, Earth ends up
as a dried out seasonless husk. Thanks for the vote
of confidence, HG. By the mid-1920s, pulp magazines
and novels are en vogue. And it’s here where
science fiction really begins to go mainstream,
for better or worse. Authors are paid by
the word and rewarded for quantity over quality, so
science fiction is pretty much grouped with other
so-called low art, like comic books and
serialized romances. But then World War
II comes along, and the United States falls
into a decades-long conflict with the USSR. And the atomic bomb
comes with all sorts of horrifying
existential implications. Oh, and also we flew
to the moon, NBD. All of this coincides with the
so-called golden age of science fiction and its prominent
authors, Robert Heinlein, author of “Starship
Troopers” and “Stranger in a Strange Land,”
Ray Bradbury, author of “Fahrenheit 451” and
the “Martian Chronicles” and a genuine cool
dude, Isaac Asimov, who focuses on
artificial intelligence and the ethical questions
that come with that, and George Orwell, whose
“1984” is very worried about the future,
particularly the idea of big brother using technology
to keep us all in line. From these inspirations follows
the next generation of writers, with Philip K Dick popularizing
the nascent subgenre of cyberpunk in which
technology continues to advance, but societal inequities continue
to exist or even get worse. Ursula K LeGuin pens one
of the first mainstream sci-fi books to explore
a genderless society. And frank Herbert gave us
“Dune” and memes, so many memes. The rise of personal
computers, video games, and the very beginnings
of the internet inspires Orson Scott Card, who’s
“Ender’s Game” series, which is one of my favorites,
even though the author of those books isn’t, predicted
all sorts of fun things like how the
internet would shape the discourse and the
gamification of warfare. Then there’s Michael Crichton,
a commercial sci-fi writer who often reads like a modern
day Mary Shelley, in that it warns of the dangers of
irresponsible science, except swap that creature
out for dinosaurs. And then there’s
Octavia E Butler, the grande dame of this genre. Her works like “Parable of
the Sower,” “Lilith’s Brood,” and the Patternist
series all featured women of color as protagonists,
hitherto grossly under-represented in the genre. But Butler was seminal to the
development of the Afrofuturism subgenre. Afrofuturism is, well,
exactly what it sounds like. Think the concept albums of
Janelle Monae or Ryan Coogler’s “Black Panther.” Women and people of
color have always been writing science
fiction, ahem. But now they’re getting more
and more mainstream attention. And more diverse worldviews just
makes for a more interesting, more dynamic fiction scape. Science fiction
may have its roots in reactionary
motifs and worries about the myriad ways
civilization might fall. But there exists also a
more nuanced exploration of the human condition and its
relationship to technology. Technologies in fiction
can just as often be a tool to effect
social change as it is a scary thing
destined to destroy traditional societies
as we know them. Here’s looking at you, HG Wells. So what is your
favorite sci-fi book? What themes do you
wish were more explored in science fiction? Be sure to leave us a comment. The Great American
Read is a new series on PBS about why we
love to read leading up to a nationwide vote on
America’s favorite novel. Who decides America’s
favorite novel, you ask? Well, that would be you. So head to
PBS.org/GreatAmericanRead to vote on your favorite book. Check the link in the
description for more details. [MUSIC PLAYING]

100 Comments

  1. Jay Viescas said:

    Little disappointed in you that you forgot the true harbinger of Cyber Punk is William Gibson – Neuromancer/Count Zero/Mona Lisa Overdrive to name a few – who first coined the term Cyberspace and Neil Stephenson who came up with using avatars in cyberspace (Snow Crash) along with predicting Google Earth and VR headsets a decade before they happened. And don't forget Margaret Atwood – The Handmaid's Tale and The Heart Goes Last.

    September 12, 2018
    Reply
  2. aragonasten said:

    Duuuune!

    September 12, 2018
    Reply
  3. Rachael Lefler said:

    It's not really technology that is feared in 1984 so much as the manipulation of words and the destruction of history, to the point where even remembering the past becomes a subversive 'thought crime'.

    September 12, 2018
    Reply
  4. John Ronald said:

    Still love SF to this day. I never "grew out of it" like teachers predicted 😉

    September 13, 2018
    Reply
  5. Mindseas said:

    I was a little surprised only Asimov's Robots got mentioned, and that the golden age science fiction list of contributors was so short. Personally I think Asimov's Foundation is a phenomenal work of fiction. I was really happy to see Ursula K. LeGuin, Octavia E. Butler and Ann Leckie mentioned. All spectacular authors!
    I understand for the brevity of the episode not all great authors could be given a fair chance.
    Love this series, learned so much already. Thank you for making such awesome.

    I also highly recommend Dan Simmons' Hyperion Quadrilogy, as well as his Ilium/Olympos books. L.E. Modesitt, Jr., especially Adiamante and Timegod's World are excellent!

    September 13, 2018
    Reply
  6. Enigma Nemo said:

    This presentation will have to lose social justice warrior points. Samuel Delany is black and gay and published before Octavia Butler.

    September 13, 2018
    Reply
  7. SomeGuy said:

    "Afrofuturism" Yeah, Like Wakanda while they're murdering South African Farmers…..

    September 14, 2018
    Reply
  8. ConvincingPeople said:

    I wish you'd made more of a nod to the New Wave of the '60s and '70s or elaborated a bit on what makes Frank Herbert's work interesting, but this is a pretty solid summary regardless.

    September 14, 2018
    Reply
  9. Malleus said:

    I'm a sucker for military sci-fi, but I'd say my favorite sci-fi book is Dune.

    September 17, 2018
    Reply
  10. Jonah The Jedai said:

    Love it, Lindsay! And my favorite is The Forever War.

    September 17, 2018
    Reply
  11. AJ Estur said:

    Those robot tweets were terrifying.

    September 19, 2018
    Reply
  12. Frir10 said:

    I feel like you undercut Isaac Asimov and his broader influence on modern sci-fi. The dude wrote so many books, and most of them aren't about robots.

    September 19, 2018
    Reply
  13. The Pod Bay Doors Podcast with Doug and Jerry said:

    Jerry here.

    Frankenstein was 1818, not 1918

    September 20, 2018
    Reply
  14. Maria said:

    I love The Illuminae Files!!

    September 20, 2018
    Reply
  15. minoliti said:

    steven universe <3

    September 21, 2018
    Reply
  16. Rob Stainsbury said:

    1918? I think you mean 1818!

    September 21, 2018
    Reply
  17. Aaron Blades said:

    1918?

    September 23, 2018
    Reply
  18. Dragon Curve Enthusiast said:

    I know you were only talking about books, but I still feel like Black Mirror would have earned an honorary mention.

    September 24, 2018
    Reply
  19. Come and Enjoy 2Gether said:

    Sorry but I have to point out that at 1:49 you said 1918 instead of 1818

    September 26, 2018
    Reply
  20. Rob McCain said:

    For #1? My heart tells me "The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch," while my brain insists it's "A Scanner Darkly." "Time Enough for Love" holds a special (possibly sentimental) tier, too.

    October 1, 2018
    Reply
  21. Onat said:

    lindsay and pbs belong with eachother.

    October 4, 2018
    Reply
  22. manabouttongue said:

    How could you leave out John W. Campbell who influenced and inspired Asimov, Heinlein, Aldiss, Bradbury, Kornbluth, Laumer, Harrison and all the rest?:

    October 11, 2018
    Reply
  23. manabouttongue said:

    The truth is, the science fiction book that really predicted the impact the internet would have on modern day societ was Emerald Eyes by Daniel Keys Moran. He spoke about controlling technology by the the use of brain waves with the ubiquitous assistance of a type of bluetooth technology!

    October 11, 2018
    Reply
  24. manabouttongue said:

    I am an avid SFG fan, and and among my favourites are: Ringworld Engineers, The Mote In God's eye, Footfall, practially all by Jerry Pournell and Larry Niven. Look, let me stop[ here I could go on and on.

    October 11, 2018
    Reply
  25. Frank Muehle said:

    Are you aware of Doris Lessing?

    October 14, 2018
    Reply
  26. Melissa Moore said:

    i Robot. I still wish NETFLIX would pick it up for Black Mirror like production.

    October 16, 2018
    Reply
  27. Stephen Johnson said:

    You're not riffing Daniel Amos' It's The 80's So Where's Our Rocket Packs by chance, are you? Points for obscurity if you are.

    October 23, 2018
    Reply
  28. John Bender said:

    does pbs not allow. you. to. inhale?

    November 10, 2018
    Reply
  29. Allan Stokes said:

    1:00 I like Lindsay, but that's a certified clanger. SF is not just speculative ideas about technology, it's speculative ideas about technology, biology, culture and society. A long-standing problem is that escaping the confines of dull-old planet earth tends to come along with either a metallic boy toy booster or a wiggly woo fixation (usually both; faster-than-light travel, and instantaneous psychic connections, constrained only by momentary narrative convenience and all too often not even it's own in-world past).

    November 17, 2018
    Reply
  30. Allan Stokes said:

    5:00 Very cool to see the names of several black SF authors (all women), none of which I have read—I've read very little since the 1980s, which probably contributes—but I sure wouldn't have skipped Clarke or Lem in arriving here (nor probably Niven, Vonnegut, Roddenberry, and the legendary wokeopath Cordwainer Bird—imagine a hipster Wookiee trapped in an evil Fonzie universe visually distinguished by its male-pattern chin baldness). Omitting Clarke—good grief. (In her reluctant tour of auteur theory on another channel, Lindsay managed to pass over Kurosawa and Kubrick, but who's counting?) Lem, who was fairly important on his own terms (Solaris), but also represents one of the few truly competent genre critics from inside the house (Le Guin also demonstrated some chops in this area). Arguments can also be made—more on the fantasy side—for mentioning Poe, Hawthorne ("Rappaccini’s Daughter"), Gibson, and Terry Gilliam. Arguments can not be made for John Norman (Gor) or George R. R. Martin.

    Ultimately, I found this segment to be more of a teaser episode than the real thing.

    November 17, 2018
    Reply
  31. Evelyn Venus said:

    By the way, if any of y’all are interested in Horrible Phobias Lovecraft, please not he’s not an easy read bc he was honestly just…so racist and mean…

    November 25, 2018
    Reply
  32. Chino Wantan said:

    Nice Risk reference

    November 27, 2018
    Reply
  33. O. S. B. said:

    So happy to see a shoutout to N.K. Jemisin! Her Broken Earth series radically expanded the kinds of stories I thought secondary worlds could tell. By far the best that "fictional people as stand-ins for real marginalized people" has ever been done.

    November 27, 2018
    Reply
  34. Matthew Bryan said:

    NK Jemisin is such an amazing author. Her Broken Earth trilogy had her become the first person to ever win a Hugo two years in a row. Then she became the first person to win three years in a row. Her story is fucking amazing and everyone needs to read it. It's SciFantasy btw. Please pick it up

    November 28, 2018
    Reply
  35. ArmyPogoStick said:

    Sci fit without mention of Arther C. Clarke, well I’ll be

    December 4, 2018
    Reply
  36. A Cold Hand said:

    Thanks for asking what everybody's favourite sci-fi novel is and thereby turning the comment section into a paradise of book recommendations 😀
    I love science fiction. This genre is all about humanity and its biggest strenghts and weaknesses, on small and big scales. It's about asking "what if?". The science, despite it being part of the name, isn't actually that important for most of the stories imo.

    December 9, 2018
    Reply
  37. Derrick de Ruiter said:

    Old guilty pleasure is Jack Vance who I started to read together with Asimov at the age of 12.

    Considering new writers I should really give a shout out to Alastair Reynolds and especially his Revelation Space series. Innovative, thought provoking, super hard scifi which puts the science back in science fiction, and this all rolled into one with social commentary as well.

    December 9, 2018
    Reply
  38. Warren Swaine said:

    A mention of John Wyndham is probably warranted. American watchers probably only know him because of The Day of the Triffids and The Village of the Damned (The Midwich Cuckoos) but he had a lot more in his locker.

    A favourite of mine is is Trouble with Lichen which would make a great "based on" idea for a movie. A male and female chemist simultaneously discover an extract that will allow people to live to 200-300 years. The male chemist uses it sparingly on himself and his family. The female chemist uses it to prolong the life of notable female subjects because if men knew about it they would use it to "perpetuate the patriarchy". It really is a great piece of speculative sci-fi.

    He has more, from complete schlock to Philip K Dick levels of great ideas waiting to be farmed. If you want two more recommendations, The Chrysalids and Chocky are also really good.

    December 9, 2018
    Reply
  39. Arlo Steiner said:

    Wot if like your mum wuz a mobile?

    December 11, 2018
    Reply
  40. heavenhellanda711 said:

    My favorite sci-fi author is Ray Bradbury. I read Fahrenheit 451 in college in between overlong and terribly written text books and fell in love. My current favorite series is James S. A. Corey’s The Expande novels.
    As far as what I want sci-fi to cover more: I would really like to see more diversity among the stars, specifically those of Hispanic and Latino origins. There’s not enough in current fiction in my opinion, both in text and in our films/tv shows.

    December 11, 2018
    Reply
  41. Francis Barraclough said:

    How about Douglas Adams

    December 12, 2018
    Reply
  42. Maxime Le Donge said:

    I too wish I had never checked Orson Scott Card's political views, and stuck to reading his amazing books. [sigh]

    December 14, 2018
    Reply
  43. Sir Jaojao said:

    1818 not 1918

    December 16, 2018
    Reply
  44. Steve Lombardi said:

    No William Gibson?

    December 22, 2018
    Reply
  45. Sammy N said:

    How do you bring up Philip K. Dick and not mention one of his greatest works, "The Man in the High Castle" which resulted in the expansion of alternate history? You could have at least brought up Harry Turtledove who is arguably the greatest author in that genre.

    December 24, 2018
    Reply
  46. Carolyn Chen said:

    Hi, PBS. I enjoyed your videos a lot. How did you make these really interesting videos?

    December 31, 2018
    Reply
  47. Dave Lanciani said:

    FAV Sci-fi book ever? DUNE. George Lucas practically stole the whole plot for Star Wars (desert planet, nearly orphaned boy with innate mystical powers destined to be the "new hope", futuristic vehicle battles, evil bad guys in black, etc. … oh! a sister who also has mystical powers … and so on).

    January 6, 2019
    Reply
  48. S Ghoreishi said:

    I'm a bit surprised you didn't mention Arthur C Clarke here? I'd say he's far more influential than Heinlein ever was.

    January 11, 2019
    Reply
  49. spacehamsterZH said:

    What, William Gibson doesn't even get a nod? C'mon now.

    January 12, 2019
    Reply
  50. Lynn Hawkins said:

    Big thumbs up for the Janelle Monae mention! My favorite sci-fi is debatable as such, but Slaughterhouse-Five.

    January 12, 2019
    Reply
  51. BrythingRoom said:

    Thank you for including the voices of several women and people of color; we are to often omitted from the genre itself and discussions about it.

    I am curious, is the term science fiction still in fashion? Or is "speculative fiction" the new black?

    January 13, 2019
    Reply
  52. macsnafu said:

    Yeah, science fiction is too big to cover in less than 10 minutes. As for my favorites, space opera can be fun and entertaining, but I like sf that stretches my mind with new and exciting ideas the best. Isaac Asimov's Foundation Trilogy (it was only a trilogy when I first read it!) was such for me at 13. Robert Silverberg also had some interesting ideas in his late 60s/early 70s fiction. Gordon Dickson had some good stuff, and Samuel Delaney at his best was impressive, as is James P. Hogan. Olaf Stapledon's Star Maker was truly mind-blowing, though, and few, if any, have managed to capture the breadth and scope of his ideas.

    There are many other sf writers who kept the flame burning, even if they weren't writing the most grandiose, mind-blowing stories, and may well be forgotten, if videos like this are any indication. Ted Sturgeon, Frederick Pohl, Poul Anderson, Clifford Simak, Stanley Weinbaum, Ben Bova, Murray Leinster, Alfred Bester, Bertram Chandler, Gordon Randall Garrett, Lester Del Rey, Harry Harrison, EC Tubb, EE Smith, Norman Spinrad, etc., etc.

    January 17, 2019
    Reply
  53. Jasper Shepherd Smith said:

    No one talks about Gene Wolfe and it makes me sad

    January 17, 2019
    Reply
  54. Peter XYZ said:

    Hitchhikers guide to the galaxy

    January 19, 2019
    Reply
  55. Bill Keck said:

    You said you wanted a robot, but your forgot about your Roomba! A household cleaning robot that exists today! I would love a Roomba that scooped kitty litter!
    And you forget that the Japanese are set on developing sexbots that will make love and courtship – – – obsolete!
    What would happen if I had a house maid, sexbot that cooked & cleaned & "serviced" my fantasies AND scooped the kitty litter too! UTOPIA!

    January 24, 2019
    Reply
  56. Lily Hults said:

    When I was in my teens I enjoyed workd of brothers strugatsky, I read all their books (didn't touch their articles tho), some read a few times, Hard to Be a God even 4 times I think? But in general, I love their sci-fi stuff a lot! Some of those books have movies, but I didn't enjoy them :c

    January 24, 2019
    Reply
  57. Sebastian Schumacher said:

    One detail is wrong, though. Philip K. Dick didn't write Cyberpunk. He used more traditional tropes but gave them mind-boggling philosophical and even spiritual twists. The Blade Runner movie (which is Cyberpunk) is very different from the novel it was based on. The cyberpunk sub-genre is more or less based on William Gibson's 80s novels and short stories.

    January 24, 2019
    Reply
  58. ForeverMasterless said:

    Favorite scifi novel is Gene Wolfe's The Fifth Head of Cerberus. I was gonna say Book of the New Sun, but while it's technically scifi, it heavily masquerades as fantasy (it very much plays with the whole "any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic," thing) and it feels like cheating, especially when Wolfe wrote a straight scifi novel that's just as good.

    For anyone interested, Fifth Head of Cerberus deals with themes of colonialism and identity by way of two sister planets orbiting each other that have been colonized by humans, but records of human-like shapeshifting natives that mysteriously vanished soon after humans arrived has let to all sorts of quandaries, like did they really die out, or did they kill and then replace all the original human colonists and subsequently forget what and who they are?

    January 24, 2019
    Reply
  59. Bastian Schwerer said:

    Anyone any opinions about cixin liu?

    January 25, 2019
    Reply
  60. TheWizoid said:

    ray bradbury was not a cool dude what the fuck

    January 26, 2019
    Reply
  61. Gabriel P said:

    That intro is VEEERY outdated, tho… Flying cars and hoverboards. All things we have open to the public at least since 2016 (you need to have at least half a million dollars, to start to think about buying one of those…) Also… You can´t deny how most of american science fiction WAS A COPY OF SOMETHING THAT WAS MADE IN EUROPE YEARS EARLIER.. xDxD

    January 28, 2019
    Reply
  62. Snorpenbass said:

    Arthur Conan Doyle also wrote quite a lot of science fiction – Michael Crichton stole half his ideas from the Challenger novels (Lost World, Andromeda Strain, etcetera). As for "first science fiction novel", some have argued that the very first was actually Lucian's "A True Story", which while a satire of contemporary travelogues also brought in space travel and the likes.

    February 4, 2019
    Reply
  63. Gerald Grenier said:

    Anne McCaffery's Crystal Singer books. Hell Her Ship who sang is one of the foundation works of the trans-humanism subgerene

    February 5, 2019
    Reply
  64. Trish Page said:

    Your words hurts my head. Tell me more

    February 7, 2019
    Reply
  65. Mark Brandon said:

    ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

    February 7, 2019
    Reply
  66. Lewis Irwin said:

    A Fall of Moondust by the one and only Arthur C. Clarke, yo! Not for nothing did it become the first Reader's Digest condensed novel!

    February 9, 2019
    Reply
  67. Grim The Ghastly said:

    Dreampunk. That's all I'm gonna say.

    February 9, 2019
    Reply
  68. ajzeg01 said:

    Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther? Don’t you mean Stan Lee and Jack Kirby’s Black Panther? Ryan Coogler didn’t create Black Panther, he just adapted the comics to the screen. Don’t spread misinformation.

    February 11, 2019
    Reply
  69. Conservative News said:

    How could you leave Arthur C Clarke, with Hal, out of your list of most influential SciFi writers?

    February 12, 2019
    Reply
  70. PrincessJohn said:

    My personal favourite is 'Do androids dream of electric sheep". Philip K Dick introduces many interesting and philosophical questions throughout the story.
    He only elaborates on some of them within the story but they get the stone rolling.

    February 18, 2019
    Reply
  71. Liam O said:

    How is William Gibson not mentioned in this? I feel like that is a major oversight.

    February 21, 2019
    Reply
  72. Heba Assad said:

    Where is Douglas Adams

    February 21, 2019
    Reply
  73. Loethlin said:

    03:15 Oops, you forgot New Zealand. And Tasmania.

    You also forgot Stanisław Lem.

    February 22, 2019
    Reply
  74. sansan said:

    how can you not talk abou the guy that pulled syfy out of the pulp era John W. Campbell, without him there is no Asimov

    February 26, 2019
    Reply
  75. Rafa Gómez said:

    I resent Sherry S. Teeper not being mentioned. Is she such a minor author or is she banned in some sort?

    February 26, 2019
    Reply
  76. Dullard D. Bones said:

    Gotta say Jurassic Park, and all the other stuff attached to it.

    Timeline is pretty good, too.

    March 11, 2019
    Reply
  77. FoxyWhite said:

    Frankenstein was a Regency novel, not a Victorian novel. Victoria wasn't crowned until decades after Frankenstein was published.

    March 16, 2019
    Reply
  78. Cool Man yea said:

    Your robot is in my pants 😉

    March 24, 2019
    Reply
  79. Michael Crockis said:

    My absolutely favorite for the recent time is The Blindsight by Peter Watts. By the way, thank you for the hint about Butler. Looks like it is worth reading.

    April 2, 2019
    Reply
  80. fireflame62 said:

    So this is where the Thinker got the enlightenment idea from.

    April 6, 2019
    Reply
  81. Zappa Woman said:

    3.19 – Another map that doesn't show New Zealand.

    April 20, 2019
    Reply
  82. dalellll said:

    https://youtu.be/T4j5tGNms14?t=276 The statement about Micheal Crichton swapping out Frankenstein's monsters for dinosaurs is a bit wrong, I think, in it's interpretation of both Frankenstein and Jurassic Park. Neither of those novels are about how man shouldn't mess with nature, but both are about a dialectical understanding of how nature actually is versus our simplistic reductionist ideas of how it is. Lindsay you should read the Stephen Jay Gould essay "The Monster's Human Nature" (http://www.ibiblio.org/schools/rls/garner/britishlit/nature.pdf) – I think you would appreciate it!

    April 26, 2019
    Reply
  83. Frankie Lane said:

    I like the Andromeda strain by Michael Crichton

    May 2, 2019
    Reply
  84. SHOOKEN said:

    Orwell wrote the future/our current reality.

    May 19, 2019
    Reply
  85. Mickayla Oswald said:

    What about Kurt Vonnegut? His stories have plenty of sci fi elements in them

    May 25, 2019
    Reply
  86. whade62000 said:

    Beginning: complains about life being dull and no flying cars
    literally sits in a technological marvel and lives in a utopian/dystopian society

    May 29, 2019
    Reply
  87. ObsidianxAlice said:

    Super late to the party, Isaac Asimov's Foundation books have always been my favorite sci-fi novels.

    June 6, 2019
    Reply
  88. orange orange said:

    My fav sci fi book is DUNE!

    June 12, 2019
    Reply
  89. kibblemom said:

    Need more Lindsay Ellis! Thank you, PBS!

    June 16, 2019
    Reply
  90. TheShadedOfInnsmouth said:

    I will summarize a few authors for you

    Michael Critchton: Science! And we're all gonna die!

    C.J. Cherryh: Humans can become whatever they want or need to become, even not human anymore.

    David Drake: Killing people is the most effective way to stop killing people.

    Robert Heinlein: The best humans are superhuman.

    Isaac Asimov: Short stories are best stories.

    Sherri Tepper: The only hope for humanity is outside intervention.

    Jack Williamson: The problem with science is science. (Dehumanizing themes)

    I could go on and on.

    My favorite is probably "The Gate to Women's Country", by Sherri Tepper, because that was the book that taught me how to read literature, instead of just read stories.

    June 16, 2019
    Reply
  91. George Johnson said:

    probably gotta be the worst facts in the world 😀 (in other words you suck)

    June 24, 2019
    Reply
  92. Grokford said:

    Wild Seed by Octavia Butler,-read it now

    July 2, 2019
    Reply
  93. Jenny Shull said:

    Dead Authors Podcast hosted by H.G. Wells.

    July 3, 2019
    Reply
  94. Stephen LeBlanc said:

    You should have said no to this one, Lindsay. Too much material for 6m9s.

    July 7, 2019
    Reply
  95. Carnac The Wanderer said:

    1818. Shelley was dead before 1900.

    August 1, 2019
    Reply
  96. MsDaydream3r said:

    My favorite sci-fi book and just all around favorite book EVER is The Search for Wonlda by Tony DiTerlizzi. 😁

    August 26, 2019
    Reply
  97. Sean Brennan said:

    Yes, well, Shelley's novel Frankenstein would not be from 1918. If would be from 1818.

    September 3, 2019
    Reply
  98. Michael Bauer said:

    We all reference 1984 so much – and it certainly is a great piece of literature – but it feels like Brave New World is more representative of the world today – Huxley and Clarke were somewhat glaring omissions of sci-fi at the verge of the golden age. Also Kurt Vonnegut and perhaps even more so the great Stanislaw Lem.

    Then I feel William Gibson certainly deserves a mention for his profound influence on Cyberpunk – and when it comes to contemporary Sci-Fi (and my favorite sci-fi author), Neal Stephenson might be worth mentioning 🙂

    September 3, 2019
    Reply
  99. WJZAV said:

    Not exactly a book author but you still should have mentioned Gene Roddenberry.

    September 6, 2019
    Reply
  100. jesse battista said:

    william gibson……

    September 7, 2019
    Reply

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