Tag Archives: Technology

17.45: Bodies, Tech, and Character

Your Hosts: Mary Robinette, C.L. Polk, Fran Wilde, and Howard Tayler 

Let’s talk about technological body-modification! It’s a common element in science fiction, but it’s also an increasingly important part of the world we’re living in right now.

Liner Notes: In this episode we referenced “Happenstance,” and Amy Purdy’s quickstep from Dancing With The Stars.

Credits: This episode was recorded by Daniel Thompson, and mastered by Alex Jackson.


In the context of your world, envision an augmentation that is both beautiful and useful.

A Rover’s Story, by Jasmine Warga

16.46: World and Plot: The Only Constant is Change

Your Hosts: Dan Wells, Fonda Lee, Mary Robinette Kowal, and Howard Tayler

In our world, the ostensibly “real” one (simulation theory notwithstanding), stuff is changing all the time. Why, then, do we see so many fantasy worlds whose once-upon-a-times seem timeless?

A more important question: how might we, as writers cognizant of the ubiquity of change, work that understanding into our writing? Can we make our fictional worlds more believable while retaining the elements of those worlds which first attracted us to them?

Credits: This episode was recorded by Marshall Carr, Jr., and mastered by Alex Jackson

Liner Notes: The book series Howard couldn’t remember the name of? The HELLICONIA trilogy, by Brian W. Aldiss.
Mary Robinette mentioned WX 14.30: Eating Your Way to Better Worldbuilding, which may make you hungry.


Take a “timeless” story, such as a fairy tale or a fable, and reimagine it happening during a period of great change in that society. For instance: suppose that Sleeping Beauty woke up after a hundred years to find that the kingdom has been through a socialist revolution and the rest of the royals are in exile.

Black Water Sister, by Zen Cho

14.15: Technology

Your Hosts: Brandon, Dan, Howard, and Mahtab

We’ve spent a lot of time talking about magic systems in our worldbuilding. It’s time to talk about  science and technology in that same way. This has been a staple (perhaps the defining staple) of science fiction since before “science fiction” was a word.

At risk of opening the “where do you get your ideas” can of worms, this episode covers a little bit of where we get our ideas, and where you might get—and subsequently develop—some more of yours.

Credits: This episode was recorded by Dan Thompson, and mastered by Alex Jackson


Go read Wired (or some other science and technology periodical, whether online or in print)

Feed, by M.T. Anderson