back arrowSoonish

Sci-Fi That Takes Science Seriously

Episode description

The golden era of “hard” science fiction that respects the rules of actual science lasted from the 1940s to the 1960s. In the 1970s, demand for hard sci-fi fell off a cliff, with a big push from the first Star Wars movie in 1977. But for the last year and a half, Soonish host Wade Roush has been part of a project to revive this underappreciated genre. This week’s episode is all about Twelve Tomorrows, the new short-story anthology Wade edited for MIT Technology Review and the MIT Press. The episode outlines the book’s mission and origin story. And four of the eleven authors who contributed stories to the book weight in on the differences between hard science fiction, fantasy, and other sci-fi sub-genres.

Soonish listeners can get 30% off the book's list price by calling 1-800-405-1619 or writing to and using the discount code SOONISH30. And now through July 31, listeners who become new Soonish patrons at Patreon at the $5 per episode level or above will get a free autographed copy of the book! To sign up go to

The full video of the Twelve Tomorrows launch event, including readings by Elizabeth Bear, Lisa Huang, and Ken Liu is at

Music in this episode by Graham Gordon Ramsay and Titlecard Music. Full episode details:

episodes iconMore Episodes

Making Music with Machines

July 27th, 2018


We can’t predict what kind of music people will want to make or hear in the future. But based on the sounds coming out of today's studios and clubs, it's a good bet that the tunes of tomorrow will be heavily mediated by …

Tomorrow, Today with Ministry of Ideas

July 2nd, 2018


The way we picture the future is still based, in large measure, on the visions brought to life at the world’s fairs and international expositions that swept the globe between the 1850s and the 1960s—especially the New …

The Future Is Clear

February 17th, 2018


Episode 2.07: What's ubiquitous but invisible, versatile yet temperamental, goopy when it's hot yet brittle when it's cold, as old as civilization …

Looking Virtual Reality In The Eye

January 5th, 2018


Episode 2.06: The immersive, 3D environments of virtual reality aren’t science fiction any more, and they aren’t just for video games. In this episode Wade visits “The Enemy,” a groundbreaking VR exhibit about the …

A Space Shuttle Isn't Cool. You Know What's Cool? A Space Elevator (Soonish on Soonish)

December 15th, 2017


Episode 2.05 of Soonish, the podcast, is all about Soonish, the book! Host Wade Roush interviews Kelly and Zach Weinersmith, the husband-and-wife …

Back To The Futurists With Tamar Avishai

November 8th, 2017


Episode 2.04 is a special crossover show featuring Tamar Avishai's The Lonely Palette, one of the founding shows in our new podcast collective, Hub …

Mapping the Future with Tim O'Reilly

October 24th, 2017


Episode 2.03: For a sane, humane, and skeptical perspective on what’s happening to Silicon Valley and why our high-tech economy seems to be failing us, there’s no better source than Tim O’Reilly, master trend spotter …

Introducing Hub & Spoke

October 13th, 2017


Episode 2.02: Big news! Soonish is a founding member of Hub & Spoke, a Boston-centric collective of smart, idea-driven podcasts. Together with …

Shadows Of August: The Eclipse Road Trip Edition

September 14th, 2017


Episode 2.01: The conflict in Charlottesville in August of 2017 showed that Americans are having a hard time figuring out how to represent the country’s past, let alone how to fix the present or plan for the future. But …

Loading ...

Download the RadioPublic app for
 FREE and never miss an episode.

Get it on Google PlayDownload on the App Store