Words To That Effect

38 EpisodesProduced by HeadStuffWebsite

Words To That Effect: Stories of the Fiction that Shapes Popular Culture.WTTE is a narrative storytelling show that explores the intriguing places where fiction, history, science, and popular culture intersect and inspire. From the Victorian past to utopian futures, dinosaurs to detectives, zombies … read more

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34: WTTE 034 - The Art of the Short Story

June 4th, 2019

There are the celebrated authors: Checkov, Joyce, Mansfield, Munro. There are the big questions: “What makes a truly great short story?” “Where does …

33: WTTE - 033 - The Noun of Nouns (The Rise of Modern Fantasy)

May 21st, 2019


What do you think of, when you think of the genre of fantasy?

Whether it’s fiction, TV, cinema, or games, are there certain elements you need to have for something to be considered fantasy?

Well, you might say …

WTTE - 032 - Golden Age Detective Fiction

May 7th, 2019


An English country estate. A detective pacing the room, explaining how they have solved the crime, revealing the solution to a puzzle and the clues …

WTTE - 031 - Steampunk, Pt 2 (Even Greater London)

April 23rd, 2019


One way of thinking about steampunk is to divide it into two parts – the steam and the punk.

The steam is the Victorian element: the fascination and engagement with the 19th century – whether satirizing or poking fun …

WTTE 030 - Steampunk I (Fetch Me My Fighting Trousers)

April 8th, 2019


Note: This episode is Part 1 of a double episode on steampunk.

There are cultures, and subcultures, and sub, sub, sub

There’s science …

WTTE 029 - Travels in Four-Dimensional Space

March 11th, 2019


We have no problem thinking mathematically about four-dimensional space.

Where a 3-d cube has 8 vertices, a 4-d hypercube has 16 vertices.

Where a cube has 6 faces, like a dice, a 4-d hypercube has 24 faces.

The …

WTTE - 028 - Pulp Fiction (Amazing Stories of the Sisters of Tomorrow)

February 25th, 2019


If you want to understand how we ended up with anything from Star Wars to Star Trek, Superman to Batman, intergalactic travel to microscopic worlds, profound meditations on the nature of being human to thrilling tales …

WTTE 027 - Post-Apocalyptic Fiction

February 11th, 2019


What would happen if humanity ceased to exist?

Well, assuming, of course, that earth itself has not been destroyed in this hypothetical …

WTTE 026 - Unwrapping the Egyptian Mummy

January 28th, 2019


In the 19th century, a very popular form of entertainment was the mummy unwrapping party. Yes, you could go to a private or public event at which an …

WTTE 025 - Dinosaurs (Palaeontology to Pyjamas)

January 14th, 2019


1n 1842 a Victorian anatomist looked at some unusual fossils and, noticing they had something in common, he decided we needed a word to describe these strange creatures. He called them dinosaurs.

Cut to the present …

WTTE - Season 3 Preview

January 10th, 2019


Words To That Effect is back! Season 3 kicks off next Monday, Jan 14th. In the meantime, have a listen to a preview of what's in store for the season.

WTTE 024 - Live at Liberty Hall

December 31st, 2018


Words To That Effect is back! Episode 24 is a recording of September's live show for the Dublin Podcast Festival.

This episode is a story about a long-forgotten nervous disease. But it’s also a story of science and …

WTTE - 023 - Adaptation (How Does a Book Become a Film?)

July 30th, 2018


The book is always better than the film.

Or so they say.

But there are obviously quite a few problems with this, as there tends to be with any sweeping generalisation. For some, the book is always better than the …

Two Announcements and an Update (July 2018)

July 16th, 2018


No episode this week unfortunately, but I do have two exciting announcements. Have a listen and find out!

More at wttepodcast.com

WTTE - 022 - Book Clubs: Revolution & Politics (and Wine & Cheese)

July 2nd, 2018


The Rick O'Shea Bookclub is Ireland's largest bookclub. It has 17,000 members and is growing fast. Book clubs have never been more popular. But where …

WTTE - 021 - The Invention of Time

June 18th, 2018


Time, as we understand it today, was only really invented in the Victorian era.

We take it for granted today that our phones and watches and other devices are accurate to the second.

That time zones are clear and …

WTTE - 020 - Domestic Noir

June 4th, 2018


Why Are There So Many Crime Thrillers With 'Girl' in the Title?

Gone Girl, The Girl on the Train, Luckiest Girl Alive, Final Girls... There's no shortage of crime novels with 'girl' in the title since the huge …

WTTE - 019 - Utopia, Pt2 (Climate Change Fiction)

May 21st, 2018


This week's episode continues on from the last episode. So, if you haven't listened to that, head on over to Episode 18 first. From the history of utopia in the last episode, we move to the future of the planet and the …

WTTE - 018 - What Is Utopia?

May 7th, 2018


This is a story of three journeys, by three people, in three very different times. But each of the journeys ends in the same area in the west of Ireland. And each journey is founded on a search for a more perfect world, …

WTTE - 017 - The 10% Brain Myth (from Self-Help to Pulp Fiction to Hollywood)

March 26th, 2018


Do we use only 10% of our brain capacity? (Hint: No)

“It is estimated that most human beings only use 10% of the brain’s capacity. Imagine if we …

WTTE - 016 - Transhumanism, Fiction, and Immortality

March 12th, 2018


This is an episode about who we are as humans. And, more importantly, where we are going. About a future in which technology and biology have merged …

WTTE - 015 - The Scarlet Pimpernel & Baroness Orczy

February 26th, 2018


The Scarlet Pimpernel is a character now long disconnected from his origins in a 1903 novel. The Pimpernel is a mysterious Englishman who uses elaborate disguises to heroically rescue French aristocrats from the …

WTTE - 014 - Weird Fiction & HP Lovecraft

February 12th, 2018


The American writer H.P. Lovecraft wrote weird fiction. His work is both weird, in the conventional sense of the word, and Weird, in a more specific sense. His tales are not typical horror stories, but instead invoke a …

WTTE - Season 2 Preview

February 6th, 2018


A preview of what's to come on Season 2 of Words To That Effect. There will be utopias, immortality, secret superhero identities, weird fiction and …

WTTE - 013 - The Ghost Stories of MR James

December 18th, 2017


Words To That Effect + Down Below The Reservoir This week’s episode, the end of Season 1, is a Christmas Special. It’s a collaboration with the …

WTTE - 012 - The Horrifically Complicated History of Zombies

November 27th, 2017


The History of Zombies from Haiti to Hollywood Whether we like it or not, the zombies are coming for us all. Films, books, computer games, comics and …

WTTE - 011 - Cesare Lombroso & The Born Criminal

November 13th, 2017


    Turin in the 19th Century The northern Italian city of Turin is quite distinctive as Italian cities go. It is still Italy, so of course it has its grand piazzas and ornate churches, and pasta and pizza and …

WTTE - 010 - Robinson Crusoe to Survivor: The Robinsonade

October 30th, 2017


Daniel Defoe’s classic novel, The Life and Strange Surprizing Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, is without doubt one of the most recognizable stories in …

WTTE - 009 - Imaginary Countries and the Ruritanian Romance

October 16th, 2017


Imaginary Countries Writers make up imaginary countries all the time, and for a variety of reasons. It’s relatively straightforward to slip in a familiar-sounding name into a part of the world your reader or viewer may …

WTTE - 008 - A Lawyer, an Author, and a Murderer

October 2nd, 2017


“The most horrible crime of the 1920s” The case of William Edward Hickman went to trial in Los Angeles in 1928. The accused was charged with the …

WTTE - 007 - Overpopulation from Malthus to Manila

September 18th, 2017


7 Billion People   A baby girl was born in a hospital in the Philippines, on 30th October, 2011. However, unlike all the other children born that day, the arrival of Danica May Camacho was witnessed by a crowd of …

WTTE - 006 - Neurasthenia, Cowboys, and Feminists

September 4th, 2017


Neurasthenia: The “National Disease of America” In 1881 an American neurologist named George Miller Beard published a hugely influential book: …

WTTE - 005 - Canals on Mars

August 20th, 2017


Percival Lowell, Science Fiction, and the Canals on Mars   (c) ESO / M. Kornmesser Artist’s impression of Mars about four billion years ago. For as long as humans have been looking at the night sky, the planet Mars has …

WTTE - 004 - Popular Literature

August 6th, 2017


What is popular literature? Walk into most bookshops and you will find fiction categories like “Crime”, “Science Fiction”, and “Horror”. You will …

WTTE - 003 - Irish Science Fiction

July 20th, 2017


What is Irish Science Fiction? Ireland is not, it is fair to say, the first country that springs to mind when you think “science fiction”. When aliens land on Earth, we tend to assume they’ll land in New York, or …

WTTE - 002 - Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes, and Spiritualism

July 10th, 2017


Sherlock Holmes is the most rational and scientific detective of them all. So why did his creator, Arthur Conan Doyle, passionately believe in …

WTTE - 001 - Invasion Fiction, William Le Queux, and Fake News

June 25th, 2017


What is invasion fiction? Who was the mysterious William Le Queux? Why did a group of famous British authors secretly meet at the outbreak of World War I? And what did “fake news” look like a century ago?   Episode 1 of …

WTTE - 000 - Introduction

June 22nd, 2017


An Introduction and a Preview Welcome to Words To That Effect, a new podcast of the intriguing, the curious, and the unexplored. This is Episode 0 – really just a short introduction to the podcast, telling you a little …

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