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Marooned! on Mars with Matt and Hilary

116 EpisodesProduced by Matt Hauske & Hilary StrangWebsite

a kim stanley robinson read-along podcast with regular forays into utopia. hosted by some friends who are into communism, science fiction and other stuff

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Blue Mars, Part 14: "Phoenix Lake," Endings, Children, and Horizons on Mars, on Mars, on Mars, on Mars, on Mars

We’re back! Reading, talking, and listening respectfully. And sometimes swearing. Being misheard and misunderstood.

We talk about student papers and Matt yammers about some of the reception studies he received, including papers about Thelma & Louise, A League of Their Own and Akira (that one’s interesting), but not for too long, just be patient or hit 15-second forward about 8 times.

We chat a little bit about other science fiction things that we’ve watched and read in the meantime.

THEN we talk about the future of the podcast. Some changes are in store! But for the immediate and foreseeable future it will still be KSR-centric. We’re going to have an interview with Stan, and then do The Martians, divided in larger episodes we talk about together, and solo episodes about the shorter chapters. Then probably the Three Californias. But Matt is moving to New England, not writing a science fiction trilogy, probably getting a lame job under lame capitalism. The podcast will continue, remotely, you lucky listeners!

And FINALLY (after 15 minutes, for the impatient among you) we get into the FINAL chapter of Blue Mars.

Hilary promised she was going to cry on the podcast—will she??? Surprises are in store…

The prologue of this Ann chapter tells the story of the Third Martian Revolution, then goes into a stream of collective consciousness of different conversations bleeding into each other. The settlers’ aggression is diffused in the replay of first contact by people who have rejected the power relations of settler colonialism.

History knocks on the door and the First Hundred demands a negotiated settlement between the Martian and Terran governments. Finally, this one moment in history, things don’t dissolve into violence, a mass sense of conscious recognition. These books recognize that argument, anger, and dissatisfaction are all parts of democracy, not things that can be wished away.

Then the chapter proper starts with an initially ambiguous focal character, but, of course, it’s Ann. We talk a bit about why the novel ends with Ann, especially Ann in a non-Ann setting, and a non-Ann set of things for Ann to be doing. Ann and Sax getting together—is this a cliché novelistic ending, where the personal and political resolve themselves?

Were the visions of John, Frank, and Arkady actually more conjunctural or contingent than the long view of the scientists Sax and Ann? Hilary doesn’t think so!

Do you know what “saxifrage” means? Find out here!

Ann avoids a near-death experience, thankfully. Then we read the end of the book, and it’s very emotional!

Mars is now, for Ann, a scene of living together. We talk further about the children, and the horizon on Mars, its closeness, something you could reach and be present with.

This podcast is HISTORY! We end on a note of mutual appreciation for each other and for YOU, the listener! We did it, and we’re gonna continue to do it, and it will be continuously cool. Go buy The Martians from a used bookstore or get it out of your library.


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Music by Spirit of Space

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