Episode 541: John Clute and Science Fiction Repeating the Future

clute_web_400x400.jpegWelcome to Season 12 of The Coode Street Podcast. This year we’re repeating our commitment to bring you at least twenty-six hour-long episodes where our hosts, Gary K. Wolfe and Jonathan Strahan, talk about science fiction and stuff with little or no coherent purpose and occasionally interact with interesting people. There will also be additional episodes and bits and pieces, but they’ll come in due time.

John Clute and Science Fiction Repeating the Future


This week we’re delighted to be joined by the venerable John Clute, who talks to us from a weirdly deserted Camden Town in London, discussing the impact of World War I on the surprisingly large numbers of scientific romance writers of the 1920s and 1930s, some provocative ideas which John laid out in his 2017 Telluride talk “Those who do not understand Science Fiction are Condemned to Repeat It”, including the notion of “techno-occultism,” what’s happened with space opera, generation starships, and apocalyptic literature, and what’s wrong with the idea of self-driving cars. As usual with John, there are a lot more ideas that pop up along the way.

I suspect, on reflection, some of us are more optimistic about the future of science fiction and the world than this chat suggests, but we hope you enjoy it and want to sincerely thank John for taking the time to talk to us.

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