Show Notes for Ep. 1 "Introductions"

In this inaugural episode, Mary Anne and Ben promise to introduce themselves in ten minutes, then immediately veer off into a tangle of tangents—parenting, religion, writing—setting a tone for the wild ride to come. From their beginnings as writers, to the far future extrapolations of their work, Mary Anne and Ben begin the discussion of who they are as humans.

Recorded 10 May 2020 / Published 22 March 2021


  • 0:10: Introduction to the podcast.
  • 0:30: Starting to introduce Ben: Youth and Clarion West.
  • 2:30: How Mary Anne and Ben met, in Seattle.
  • 3:50Strange Horizons, and staff not getting paid.
  • 5:15: Identities, and gendered differences in how people identify themselves.
  • 6:45: Parenthood, Switzerland, parenting paradigms.
  • 9:55: Religion and community.
  • 14:55: Starting to introduce Mary Anne. “This is not going to be a long intro.”
  • 31:05: Mary Anne’s role and voice in the community, including Strange Horizons.
  • 33:20: One area where Mary Anne and Ben overlap: a strong interest in community.
  • 34:20: “When I see a problem, … my immediate impulse is to fix it.”
  • 39:05: More differences in Mary Anne’s and Ben’s approaches, such as their different reactions to MoonFail.
  • 46:45: Forgiveness and recovery and redemption after failures and mistakes. Also racism in sf and horror.
  • 52:35: Brief intermission, featuring an ad for the Speculative Literature Foundation.
  • 53:15: Continuing the discussion of forgiveness and redemption.
  • 1:08:00: What you’re likely to hear in episodes of this podcast, and some possible titles for the podcast. (This episode was recorded before the podcast had a title.)
  • 1:13:50: Approaches to science fiction vs literary fiction, and plausibility, and Dr. Who.
  • 1:23:20Star Trek: Picard: realistic characterization and fantastical plots.
  • 1:27:30: Ben’s rule of thumb about things persisting into the future; also cognitive estrangement and operationalizing strangeness.
  • 1:40:20: Wrapup and credits.

Works Mentioned

Alphabetically by author surname.

Other Clarifying or Explanatory Links