Programming Note: Darts and Letters is off. We are producing a new season on Cited Podcast, which is called “the Rationality Wars“.

EP24: Darts and Lasers (ft. Cory Doctorow, Nalo Hopkinson, & Batya Weinbaum)

It’s stardate 99040.01 and lead producer Jay Cockburn is temporarily taking over command of Darts and Letters for an episode. This week we enter the world of science fiction, revealing how it’s long been a vehicle for radical thought We dig into post-scarcity, Afrofuturism, and feminist speculative fiction as we set our phasers to fun and go where no podcast has gone before.

  • First (@11:37), Cory Doctorow is a journalist, activist, blogger, and author of many books including the post-scarcity speculative fiction novel Walkaway. He takes us through the idea of a post-scarcity world as he breaks down the idea of abundance and what we might do with it, or not.
  • Then, (@34:44), Nalo Hopkinson is a science fiction writer, editor, professor, and author of Brown Girl in the Ring. She talks to us about Afrofuturism as a critical lens and different ways of seeing the future for different communities — and re-imagining the present. Plus, be sure to read her own recommendation: Sister Mine.
  • Finally, (@50:27), Batya Weinbaum is a poet, artist, professor, and the editor of FemSpec, an academic journal of feminist speculative fiction. She charts the history of feminism in science fiction and how art, including novels, helps drive social, political, and economic change.


  • Check out Cory Doctorow’s blog site Craphound, including the shop where you can buy his books, including Walkaway, which is featured in this episode. Also have a look at this latest book, Attack Surface.
  • Visit Nalo Hopkinson’s homepage, including the list of her books and her Patreon. You can pick up Brown Girl in the Ring through her publisher’s site or wherever books are sold.
  • Dig into the interdisciplinary feminist journal FemSpec, edited by Batya Weinbaum and visit her Google Scholar page to peruse her many academic articles.
  • We mentioned a number of books in this episode you may want to check out, including Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy, Frank Herbert’s Dune, and Iain M. Banks’ the Culture series.

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Darts and Letters is hosted and edited by Gordon Katic; this week our guest host and lead producer is Jay CockburnGordon Katic is our editor. Our managing producer is Marc Apollonio. Our research assistants this week are Addye Susnick and David Moscrop. Our theme song was created by Mike Barber. Our graphic design was created by Dakota Koop.

This episode received support from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research, which provided us a research grant to look at the concept of “public intellectualism.” Professor Allen Sens at the University of British Columbia is the lead academic advisor.

Darts and Letters is produced in Toronto, which is on the traditional land of Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat Peoples. It is also produced in Vancouver, BC, which is on the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Nations.

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