Episode 291: Radio Free America

After a week off, we return to discuss just how science fictional the recent American elections are, whether political science fiction has ever had much impact on social attitudes or public policy, what if anything SF has to offer to the disenfranchised, and the representation of women and minorities as characters as well as contributors in recent anthologies like Jonathan’s Bridging Infinity. We also offer some thoughts on the recent World Fantasy Convention, the difficulties World Fantasy seems to be facing in terms of both awards and convention attendance, and whether there are really any professional conventions left in the SF field.

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3 Comments

  1. This election has reminded me of a story I read in Analog somewhere in the early to mid ’80s. A late night talk show decides as a running gag during that election season to announce his candidacy for president. During the year he keeps up with it, doing things like saying his “Ed McMahon” would be Vice President Then people start to take him seriously and begin to campaign on his behalf as a write-in candidate. He tries to stop the whole thing, and has a special show saying he was never serious and asking people to stop. On election night it turns out they didn’t stop and gathered enough votes that he is elected. The story ends with he and his wife watching TV and falling over laughing. The last sentence is “The pillow fight had hardly started when the Secret Service showed up.” I have no idea who wrote it, but the story has stuck with me.

  2. One reason that attendance was way down at this year’s World Fantasy was
    the venue–compared to Washington and Saratoga Springs, Columbus was
    significantly harder to reach for the Coastal Elites such as me. (I went
    but Columbus is where I grew up, so I really wanted to visit the city for
    a day.) The other factors you described were certainly in play and some
    others you didn’t mention or mentioned only in passing, but we still live
    in a physical world and that still has an impact. It will be interesting
    to see how San Antonio goes over–the cheapest nonstop flight from NYC to
    San Antonio appears to be about 40% more expensive than the cheapest
    nonstop to Columbus.

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