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Marooned! on Mars with Matt and Hilary

Marooned! on Mars with Matt and Hilary

By Matt Hauske & Hilary Strang
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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A Nebula Award for a Double -- the Kim Stanley Robinson Interview

Marooned! on Mars with Matt and Hilary

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The Ministry for the Future 1-17: An Exercise for the Reader
We're back from the movies, ready to do our podcast old school, like a couple of old fools. We're SO EXCITED to start reading Kim Stanley Robinson's BRAND NEW novel, The Ministry for the Future! Matt has finished it, Hilary is about halfway through, so there are sort-of spoilers but not really, but you should try reading the whole book first before you start listening anyway. This book is expansive, complex, harrowing, hopeful, and above all provocative. It challenges the reader to confront the realities of our day related to the climate, our politics, morality, ethics, violent direct action, and the desire for the future that falls under the name "utopia." What is the situation that confronts us today, and what are the options available to us, today, to change it? This book is in many ways, especially its opening sections, a blunt instrument, refusing to let us escape from the seemingly intractable and overwhelming crises and catastrophes that confront us. In other ways, the book is subtle and sharp, cutting into the uncomfortable realities of our (America's, Americans', the First World, the reader's) complicity in the climate crisis that is threatening to destroy organized human life, and asking what we are prepared to do to fix it. What does justice look like, if it exists at all? Can this be done within the rule of law? How can we create a new relationship to the world and to ourselves that will create a path for us to follow that is not only compelling but regenerative and reparative? We talk about uneven development, justice, metaphor, realism, ideology, estrangement, literary style, empire, blame, trauma, guilt, happiness, the rule of law, hegemony, capitalism, and, as always, history, the past, and the future. We share some laughs about ISAs. This is a book of uncomfortable provocations and serious challenges, and it invites and encourages its reader to think more, to generate ideas, to wrestle with assumptions, to get mad, to be hopeful, to not give up. We hope you'll read it and listen along! Please feel free to email us, tweet at us, or leave us a voicemail. You can also donate to the show through Anchor.fm (but only if you really really really want to). Next week: PTSD, cognitive behavioral therapy, Gini coefficients, happiness indexes, and so much more! Email us at maroonedonmarspodcast@gmail.com Follow us on Twitter @podcastonmars Leave us a voicemail on the Anchor.fm app Rate and review us on iTunes or wherever you listen to your podcasts! Music by Spirit of Space
1:33:01
October 16, 2020
Marooned at the Movies! They Live! (John Carpenter, 1988)
We're still marooned at the movies, with John Carpenter, "Rowdy" Roddy Piper, our friend Bill, a very special guest all the way from Slovenia, and a bunch of yuppie ghouls! That's right, today in this super-long episode Matt and Hilary welcome their friend Bill to help them ponder over the confectionary marvel that is John Carpenter's THEY LIVE!, his sci-fi, creature feature, action allegory that's either the most Marxist movie to ever come out of Hollywood or a dumb piece of nonsense. We talk class war, truth and perception, manifest material conditions, and ideology, ideology, ideology. We bravely ask the questions few dare to ask, like what do the ghouls want and what are they selling? What would Nada see if he were to look at a bulldozer? And why Wayfarers? Please excuse our audio quality on this episode, but we hope you enjoy the discussion of this great filim. We'll be back next time (in a week or so) with our first episode about THE MINISTRY FOR THE FUTURE! Thanks for listening! Email us at maroonedonmarspodcast@gmail.com Follow us on Twitter @podcastonmars Leave us a voicemail on the Anchor.fm app Rate and review us on iTunes or wherever you listen to your podcasts! Music by Spirit of Space
2:01:04
October 2, 2020
Marooned at the Movies!: Born in Flames (Lizzie Borden, 1983)
Hello! As we not-so-patiently await the publication of KSR's latest forthcoming masterpiece, The Ministry for the Future, Hilary and Matt embark on a bit of film chat, movie talk, cinema discussion, if you will. This week we discuss the early 80s punk-verité masterpiece Born in Flames, which asks, what if there was a revolution and nothing changed? Ten years after a successful socialist-democratic revolution (think Bernie Sanders winning the presidency), things are not looking so hot for certain members of society, namely women, LGTBQ+, and minorities--so, basically, everybody. And even the men ain't too thrilled, being forced into the new benevolent government's meaningless "workfare" jobs. In steps Adelaide Norris, a black queer female construction worker, rec league basketball player, and community organizer who's becoming increasingly militant. Adelaide is part of the so-called "Women's Army," a grassroots coalition of various women agitating for fundamental change in the organization of society and, importantly, work. She interfaces with a number of different factions and tendencies, including pirate radio hosts Isabel (Radio Ragazza) and Honey (Phoenix Radio), the editorial board of the Socialist Youth Review (featuring Kathryn Bigelow whe Point Break wasn't even a glimmer in her eye), and Zella Wiley, played by civil rights icon Florynce "Flo" Kennedy (defender, famously, of H. Rap Brown, Assata Shakur, the Black Panthers, and Valerie Solanas, among others). This is a film that takes seriously the notion of "science fiction as the realism of our time," decades before Kim Stanley Robinson coined the phrase. There are no ray guns, spaceships, aliens, or even advanced technology. Instead, the film takes the social, political, and economic conditions of the day and asks "what if?" The way the film answers those questions, in terms of both form and content, result in a truly independent film with shades of neorealism, cinema verité, and punk, which resonates with films ranging from Battle of Algiers to They Live!. This is a film enacts the notion that "the personal is the political," asks what that would mean in all its complexity, and that understands that liberal feminism is just a bunch of bullshit. A couple references: Johanna Isaacson, "Hollywood Kills Feminism: the work of Lizzie Borden," Blind Field Sara Ahmed, Living a Feminist Life (Duke) Lizzie Borden interview We'll be back soon with more of whatever! Thanks for listening! Email us at maroonedonmarspodcast@gmail.com Follow us on Twitter @podcastonmars Leave us a voicemail on the Anchor.fm app Rate and review us on iTunes or wherever you listen to your podcasts! Music by Spirit of Space
1:50:54
September 21, 2020
The Years of Rice and Salt 10: "The First Years," Circularity, Ending, Swerving, Becoming Fully Human
Look, here we are again! We start our final episode on The Years of Rice and Salt by talking about what's up next for the podcast. Short answer: probably a few standalone episodes on movies and KSR short stories, followed by a deep dive into the forthcoming The Ministry for the Future, followed by our next big project. But first, a short hiatus while we solidify plans and the school year starts to start. We reflect on rebirth and retribution, teaching and learning, and finding yourself in a small community and a large world. We talk about how the characters, K and B especially, attempt to become fully human, locating themselves between the Great Man and Mass Movement models of history. And we discuss the book's fantastic and uncanny elements, and try to keep the melancholy of ending a book at bay. Stay tuned to the end to find out whether or not we recommend this book! There were some extremely funky things happening with the recording this week, so sorry for any extra-weird hiccups in the recording and editing. We are going to use your donations to the show (yes, you can donate to the show via Anchor, but you really don't have to!) to buy Hilary a new microphone, which we hope will banish Robot Voice to hell. Thanks for listening, and see you soon! You can contact us at:  Email us at maroonedonmarspodcast@gmail.com Follow us on Twitter @podcastonmars Leave us a voicemail on the Anchor.fm app Rate and review us on iTunes or wherever you listen to your podcasts! Music by Spirit of Space
1:27:54
August 31, 2020
The Years of Rice and Salt 9: "Nsara," Feminism and Science, Scents and Scentsibility, Robot Voice and Patriarch, Cooking and Cleaning
The penultimate episode on The Years of Rice and Salt! (I just like saying "penultimate." You've got to seize the opportunity when it presents itself.) In this, one of the longer (the longest?) chapter of YoRaS, Matt and Hilary talk about science and feminism, the aftermath of war, the aesthetics of scent, the division of labor, and history. We talk about different knowledges and forms of knowledge production and the exclusion of certain kinds of people both from that knowledge production and from the acknowledgement that those certain kinds of people in fact engaged in those certain forms of knowledge production for, like, forever. We talk about history and revolution, and human living together, and of course we end up on some profanity-laced tirades about the state of the damn world and these institutions and politicians, and not to mention These Kids Today! Matt has some sage advice for college students that will certainly kill what's left of his academic career; thankfully, no one who would be in a position to hire him will be listening! I mean, we just talk about a lot of stuff! It's a great chapter! Email us at maroonedonmarspodcast@gmail.com Follow us on Twitter @podcastonmars Leave us a voicemail on the Anchor.fm app Rate and review us on iTunes or wherever you listen to your podcasts! Music by Spirit of Space
1:22:36
August 27, 2020
The Years of Rice and Salt 8: "War of the Asuras," War, Necropolitics, Hope, Repetition
Shout out to our great listeners, especially when they email us, and when they email us, their emails are always thoughtful and stimulating, and Hilary almost always responds to them and Matt almost always reads them but doesn’t respond to them because he is, in fact, shy, but also, more importantly, lazy, other than the whole “producing and editing the show” thing. We kick this episode off with a convo about despair and hope, but the upshot is the gift of reading these novels in community with each other and our amazing listeners (you, the reader of this). “War of the Asuras” is a phantasmagoric chapter about The Long War—basically, what if World War I—trench warfare, mustard gas, etc.—was fought in Asia instead of Europe, and what if it (almost) never ended? The depiction of the war collapses the distinction between the bardo and reality, between metaphor and realism, and exposes the insanity at the heart of modern warfare. Matt and Hilary ponder over the nature of the space the characters find themselves in, and the nature of the spectacular suffering they live through, with no one left in the world to spectate, let alone judge. We talk about the structures of repetition and revisiting between the books of the novel, and come at the question of the difference between the Mars Trilogy’s longevity treatments and this novel’s reincarnation from a slightly different angle. Necropolitics, guns, superiority, the self, optimism vs. hope. We got a lot going on in this episode—the longest episode yet, for the shortest chapter of the novel! It do be like that sometimes, though. Shout outs to Gravity's Rainbow, Going After Cacciato, and ZARDOZ. Email us at maroonedonmarspodcast@gmail.com Follow us on Twitter @podcastonmars Leave us a voicemail on the Anchor.fm app Rate and review us on iTunes or wherever you listen to your podcasts! Music by Spirit of Space
1:48:05
August 17, 2020
The Years of Rice and Salt 7: "The Age of Great Progress," Charisma, Air, and Empire (and Cats)
In this week's cat-heavy episode, we examine the Kerala's global anticolonial revolutionary empire. We ask lots of questions: are novels the original Turing test? Is the Kerala the K character? What does revolutionary struggle look like in this book (in the absence of whiteness, Christianity, capitalism qua capitalism, a strong sense of private property) in contrast to what it looks like in the world? What is the meaning of diversity? What does imperial power look like under the Kerala, and how does it resemble what it looks like for us? Does Travancore constitute a cult or a culture? What are the novelistic modes that this and the previous book deploy? Finally, is this utopia? Email us at maroonedonmarspodcast@gmail.com Follow us on Twitter @podcastonmars Leave us a voicemail on the Anchor.fm app Rate and review us on iTunes or wherever you listen to your podcasts! Music by Spirit of Space
1:35:24
August 6, 2020
The Years of Rice and Salt 6: "Widow Kang," the Fantastic, the Novel, Footbinding, Footnotes, Revelation, Recognition, Rice, Salt
Book 6 of The Years of Rice and Salt is like a novel within the novel, depicting the intertwined lives of two brilliant figures in Robinson's alternate history: Kang Tongbi and Ibrahim ibn Hasam. Living in the late 18th-century, they come to realize they are part of the same jati that has been reincarnated throughout the novel, that they have known each other for 10,000 years. Through their intertwined intellectual endeavors they write poetry and history, develop theories of feminism and politics, and argue about religion. Matt and Hilary have a wide-ranging discussion that still only scratches the surface of this pivotal chapter. Email us at maroonedonmarspodcast@gmail.com Follow us on Twitter @podcastonmars Leave us a voicemail on the Anchor.fm app Rate and review us on iTunes or wherever you listen to your podcasts! Music by Spirit of Space
1:33:31
July 23, 2020
The Years of Rice and Salt 5: "Warp and Weft," Historicity, Futurity, Indigeneity, and Esports
"Warp and Weft" is one of the shorter of the books of The Years of Rice and Salt, taking place on Turtle Island/ Yingzhou nee North America, among the Hodenosaunee, a word Matt and Hilary definitely know how to pronounce. Fromwest nee Busho gets initiated as a chief in a beautiful ceremony and makes an amazing, prophetic, ecstatic speech that opens up a discussion about conceptions of history and the future, change and struggle, hope and kinship, and lacrosse and red eggs. Matt performs an exercise in grammar for your pleasure and recommends Dante again as a contrast to the bardo scenes, and Hilary reads from Nick Estes' incredible book Our History is the Future (Verso, 2019) (pages 248 and 256 if you have a copy). Can you spot the red egg that appeared earlier in the book? Let us know where it is, either over Twitter, at our email, or on Facebook. (Or you can leave us a voicemail on the Anchor app, but only if you want your message played on the podcast which, if you're like Matt and you can't stand the sound of your own voice, you may want to think twice about). The reward is our thanks! Email us at maroonedonmarspodcast@gmail.com Follow us on Twitter @podcastonmars Leave us a voicemail on the Anchor.fm app Rate and review us on iTunes or wherever you listen to your podcasts! Music by Spirit of Space
1:06:18
July 14, 2020
The Years of Rice and Salt 4: "The Alchemist," Discovery, Cleanliness, Love, and Tubing
We're pack, the science fiction literature podcast equivalent of tubing down a lazy river with a six-pack of beer! This week we talk about Book 4 of The Years of Rice and Salt, "The Alchemist," where Khalid, Bahram, and Iwang discover the secrets of the universe while attempting to placate the venal khan and suss out the political machinations of his treasurer Nadir Divanbegi. For a lot of readers, this is the chapter where the book really starts to click. As Hilary puts it, this is where she figured out the project of the book is really to tell the story of the emergence of modernity without a progress narrative and in the absence of Eurocentrism--because, of course, "Europe" doesn't exist! This book is also where we see how scientific knowledge develops alongside a different set of ideologies, both religious and political. Here, Robinson dramatizes how scientific “discovery” exists within other forms of knowledge and inhabitation of the world. Science is historically contingent and situated among other ways of being in the world, incarnated in the character of Bahram and his Sufi-influenced conception of the world, wiht a heavy emphasis on love. The story about ideas is always a false story - scientific discovery is imbricated with power, specifically imperial power and violent state power. With Khalid, Iwang, and Bahram, as well as the old texts they consult (and frequently discard) discovery is shown to be a communal activity. The speeds of sound and light, poison gas and WMD, ballistics and baseball, love and learning (love as a giving of attention, like in Aurora)--all these and more are discussed in this very man-heavy chapter where patriarchy is very much still the dominant force. Tune in to our friends' podcast Better Read than Dead this coming week when special guest Hilary will lend her expertise on Ursula Le Guin's masterpiece, The Dispossessed!: https://anchor.fm/better-read7 Email us at maroonedonmarspodcast@gmail.com Follow us on Twitter @podcastonmars Leave us a voicemail on the Anchor.fm app Rate and review us on iTunes or wherever you listen to your podcasts! Music by Spirit of Space
1:22:45
July 8, 2020
The Years of Rice and Salt 3: "Ocean Continents," the Real World, and Abundance Without Surplus
In this somewhat delayed episode we discuss Book Three of Kim Stanley Robinson's The Years of Rice and Salt, "Ocean Continents," in which a Chinese fleet accidentally discovers Yingzhou, which we know as the Americas. Admiral Kheim, the fleet's doctor I-Chin, and a Miwok girl called Butterfly find each other and escape a pretty sticky situation with the Incan executioner god! Hilary and Matt discuss the differences between discovery and encounter, estrangement and the real, knowledge and superstition, structure and contingency, control and luck, and the phenomenon of abundance without surplus. Alas, they don't talk enough about the elements and the chapter's deep symbolism of earth, wind, fire, and water--but it's there! Moral relativism aside, we can all agree: Human sacrifice is bad, whether that’s to an Incan executioner god or the market. Recommendations: Tubthumping by Chumbawumba, Inferno by Dante We may have to take next week off, but will certainly be back after that! Thanks for listening! Email us at maroonedonmarspodcast@gmail.com Follow us on Twitter @podcastonmars Leave us a voicemail on the Anchor.fm app Rate and review us on iTunes or wherever you listen to your podcasts! Music by Spirit of Space
1:21:09
June 24, 2020
The Years of Rice and Salt 2: "The Haj [is] In The Heart," Puzzles, Knowledge, and What Happens in the World
Warning: we will not be doing this book justice! Email us at maroonedonmarspodcast@gmail.com Follow us on Twitter @podcastonmars Leave us a voicemail on the Anchor.fm app Rate and review us on iTunes or wherever you listen to your podcasts! Music by Spirit of Space
1:36:28
June 15, 2020
The Years of Rice and Salt 1: "Awake to Emptiness," Provincializing Europe, History, Modernity, and Structures of Feeling
Hello! We’re back. Sorry we’re late, but we’re back now, to discuss THE YEARS OF RICE AND SALT, book-by-book. We recommend you read this book through once already if you’ve never read it before for its own pleasures. It’s a great, great, great book that you should just read and delight in. Then tune into our commentary for a re-read, which I assume is what a lot of you are doing. And in advance, thank you for listening! Matt apologizes in advance for his complete ignorance about Buddhism. “Awake to Emptiness” follows Bold Bardash and his adventures with the slave eunuch Kyu. Matt and Hilary talk about this book’s mode of narration, its unique mixture of materialism and spiritualism, and the way that, from the perspective of someone who has been raised in America in the American education system, it completely defamiliarizes the reader as regards world history and geography. Matt and Hilary compare this to the Mars books a bit and we talk about the patterns of subjectivity that emerge between characters. Characters appear not as monadic individuals, but rather as being produced in and through networks of relations that are both social and, in this case, cosmic. We talk alternate history, provincializing Europe (shout-out to Dipesh Chakrabarty), and the way the book reveals that what we understand to be modernity has in fact been produced to a significant extent in places that are not Europe and by peoples who are not European. And, of course, we return to the structure of feeling. For tons of more info and analysis of this book, see the kimstanleyrobinson.info page, which also has a key to what the characters represent. Our method of reading is to find the text’s pleasures and discuss its mysteries without thinking that the only (or main) goal of reading is to uncover an author’s intent. For us, texts should remain open to readerly interpretation, and giving some kind of authoritative account about what the meaning of the novel “really” is tends to be limiting. BUT all that said, the kimstanleyrobinson.info page has invaluable information and we’ll probably rely on it at various points during this season. Thank you for listening! Email us at maroonedonmarspodcast@gmail.com Follow us @podcastonmars Rate and review us wherever you get podcasts Music by Spirit of Space
1:30:58
June 8, 2020
Aurora 7: "What Is This," Feeling, Ecopoesis, and In-N-Out Burger
It's our season finale, where we bid a fond farewell to Freya, ship, and the cast of KSR's transcendent Aurora! We're experiencing some good ol' audio issues, but they're nothing compared to Freya's mythic struggles with the sun and the ocean. It's hard to sum up this book, and somehow equally as hard to sum up this chapter, but we do our best. This chapter is a lot about the difficulty of putting the feeling of being on earth into words--some call it defamiliarization, others call it estrangement, we call it art, and it rocks. For Hilary, this chapter is about feeling. For Matt, it's about overcoming the difference between reality and fantasy. For both of them, it's a joy. Takeaways: Utopia is hard, but necessary. It's not going to be found "out there." It's going to be built, like a beach or a work of art. Freedom is found in letting go. Don't feel bad if you have trouble letting go of your ideas, or if you find that others can't help but live in their ideas: that's where we live! And, go to the beach! Our next season will be on THE YEARS OF RICE AND SALT, and folks, it's kickass. Get yours from your favorite independent bookseller while you still can, like maybe the Seminary Co-op or find one on bookshop.com. Read KSR on the structure of feeling in The New Yorker. Read KSR's Dystopias Now in Commune Mag. Read about grunion here.  Thanks for listening and stay safe! Email us at maroonedonmarspodcast@gmail.com Follow us on Twitter @podcastonmars Rate and review us on iTunes or wherever you get podcasts (and tell your friends) Use the anchor.fm app to send us a voicemail Music (usually) by Spirit of Space (this time by two folks whose names we don't want to mention by name because it would be a pain to re-edit the show to avoid litigation) See you in a few weeks in a new season!
1:30:59
May 7, 2020
Aurora 6: "The Hard Problem," Love & Death, Meaning & Loneliness, Pepsi & Werner Herzog
Pepsi Matt McDonald’s and Home Depot Hilary coming at you at the beginning of the after of the beforetimes, Phase 2 in full effect! The Hard Problem of this chapter is alternately deceleration, consciousness, love, and meaning, we we talk about it all! Ship is now fully the subject and the narrator of their own story, and Matt and Hilary discuss just how other or alien ship’s consciousness is from human consciousness. This takes Hilary into a vital detour into the greatest novel ever written, Frankenstein, and Matt into a self-indulgent Werner Herzog impression. We discuss the limits of consciousness, sensation, perception, meaning, love as a form of attention, narration as an effort to constitute oneself beyond just a mass of experiences, through language. Hilary doesn’t feel superior to her gut flora, which is what makes her a better person than Matt. Sustaining relationship to another gives the ship language, gives ship the language that allows it to say “we” Matt's seasonal Werner Herzog impression underscores the realization ship arrives at, that the dream of heading to the stars, exposing it as a nightmare that relies on false understanding of what human beings and life and livingness are, of what history is, and deeply misunderstands what it means to come from a planet., We discuss ship's loneliness and what they do to fill the time while everyone on board is asleep (ship's version of doing a sourdough starter). This chapter gets at the way the idea of consciousness as a problem of the individual mistakes something about what it is to be a living human (and probably what it is to be any other conscious creature) -- the recognition of ourselves as selves doesn’t happen by ourselves, it happens always in relation to others. Unfortunately, ship is not going to be able to be in a society, and winds up just like Terminator 2. We discuss the role of comedy and humor in this chapter, we critique the ideology of reproduction that's grounded in capitalism and settler colonialism, the opposition of love and connection vs. the ideology that’s happy to abandon others to loneliness and death (playing out on the news every day), and we try to drive home the point that: Humans are NOT the virus, capitalism is NOT a disease — Please avoid metaphorizing social conditions as disease! They play into racist fantasies! Capital is carried on by human beings in ways we are helpless to do anything about as individuals, but ways that we are NOT helpless to do anything about as a mass—as a we! Humans make history, not under conditions of our own choosing. Like capitalism, love, attention, meaning, and joy are also things humans make, have made, and will continue to make, and, collectively, we can choose to make more of the latter and less of the former. Terminator 2 is a great, but dumb movie, and Dune is just a stupid book. This show is brought to you by podcasts, the only thing that brings positivity into the world under our current affective regime. If you email us or send us something you’ve created and don’t hear about it, please don’t be offended. We are a mess. And yet Email us at maroonedonmarspodcast@gmail.com Follow us on Twitter @podcastonmars Leave us a voicemail on the Anchor.fm app Rate and review us on iTunes or wherever you listen to your podcasts! Music by Spirit of Space
1:35:45
April 21, 2020
Aurora 5: “Homesick,” Time, Abundance, Living Systems, Ideology, and Sourdough
In this episode, for the first 25 minutes or so we commiserate about corona quarantine and talk about how we feel upset. Matt and Hilary talk cooking and share their misadventures in sourdough, a profoundly alien yet living thing. We talk about the erasure of the boundary between work and leisure under capitalism, and particularly how attenuated it is under corona. We chat about mutual aid and the struggle to become the kind of person who does mutual aid and not just the kind of person who believes mutual aid is good. Discussing the willful change in habits that becoming a revolutionary subject requires finally gets us around to talking about the fifth chapter of KSR’s Aurora, “Homesick.” Ship and the gang are heading home to earth and everything is going really, really badly! The inhabitants of ship are confronted with a new set of material conditions that impose upon them new acts, practices, habits, and rituals that turn them into somewhat revolutionary subjects, but in a different way. They gradually arrive at a new ideology that points to a new obviousness: they will have to put themselves in ship’s hands and go into an experimental mode of hibernation (which they must invent!) in order to survive the journey home. We further discuss models and analogies, extinction, colonialism, contingency, control, capitalism, government, law, norms—all the biggies, you know the deal. There are a couple anti-commercials when we encounter our recurring and charming technical difficulties. Email us at maroonedonmarspodcast@gmail.com Follow us on Twitter @podcastonmars Leave us a voicemail on the Anchor.fm app Rate and review us on iTunes or wherever you listen to your podcasts! Music by Spirit of Space
1:23:57
April 14, 2020
Aurora 4: "Reversion to the Mean," Parenthood, Sovereignty, Hobbes, Kropotkin, and Lasagna
Lots of big and new thoughts in this one, where we discuss ship's sovereignty, the fantasy bribe of the future, constituting our selves politically after long periods of political hibernation, the return of the repressed, the memory of architecture, and the myths of neoliberalism. One of our intrepid listeners has purchased the domain householdersunion.org if you are interested in organizing a rent strike in your building and creating a new world. Hilary mentioned a story on Italian mutual aid in communmag.com. Matt was compelled to make a snide comment about Elizabeth Warren, but that's just because he's a bad person. Thanks for listening! Email us at maroonedonmarspodcast@gmail.com Follow us on Twitter @podcastonmars Leave us a voicemail on the Anchor.fm app Rate and review us on iTunes or wherever you listen to your podcasts! Music by Spirit of Space
1:29:19
March 30, 2020
Aurora 3: "In the Wind," Planets, Aliens, and V's
In this episode, we try to avoid talking about the corona virus as much as possible. After the first ten minutes or so, anyway. We do talk about a lot of things! Many, many things, in fact, almost all of them concerning Chapter 3 of Kim Stanley Robinson's Aurora, "In the Wind." In the interest of getting this out in a timely fashion I'll leave the details as a surprise. But rest assured--there is talking in this episode! Thank you for listening! Email us at maroonedonmarspodcast@gmail.com Follow us on Twitter @podcastonmars Leave us a voicemail on the Anchor.fm app Rate and review us on iTunes or wherever you listen to your podcasts! Music by Spirit of Space
1:22:17
March 25, 2020
Aurora 2: "Land Ho," Narrative Theory, Self-Reflexivity, and CORONAVIRUS
Special coronavirus edition! "Land Ho," we can all agree, is a true masterpiece. There's far too much to talk about in this breathtaking chapter, and Matt and Hilary do the best they can but still manage to only scratch the surface. This chapter is about a lot of stuff. On the surface, it's mostly about Freya's wanderjahr. But it's also, perhaps primarily, about ship and ship's relationship to Devi. The complexity of this chapter is too great to put into words without writing a dissertation! Thanks for listening and social distancing with us! Stay safe and healthy! Email us at maroonedonmarspodcast@gmail.com Follow us on Twitter @podcastonmars Leave us a voicemail on the Anchor.fm app Rate and review us on iTunes or wherever you listen to your podcasts! Music by Spirit of Space
1:31:05
March 13, 2020
No-rora: The Wandering Earth, the Martian Time-Slip, and the Devil (Matt)
A very special episode of Marooned on Mars with Matt and a Beer finds Matt by himself talking at you through a microphone. If you like Hilary and you don't like Matt, skip this episode! If you don't like Matt and you listen to this episode anyway, what is wrong with you? Matt is flying solo to fill the gap created when Matt and Hilary were both sick last week and couldn't record. He talks at you about: 1. (Briefly) Canvassing for Bernie 2. Martian Time-Slip by Philip K. Dick (1964) 3. The World, the Flesh, and the Devil (Ranald MacDougall, 1959) 4. The Wandering Earth (Frant Gwo, 2019) He does NOT talk about Aurora or Kim Stanley Robinson. ONLY listen if you want to hear him drink beer and talk about those four things! Hilary will be back (with Matt) very soon to discuss the second chapter of Aurora!
1:02:11
February 28, 2020
Aurora 1: Starship Girl, Freedom, Scale, Ghosts, and These Kids Tomorrow
Aurora kicks off in typically Robinsonian fashion, with a near disaster at sea...on a spaceship! Matt and Hilary talk about names and narratives, shitholes and Hobbits, and crisis ordinary. Email us at BongRipper420 and canvass, call, text, and vote for Bernie Sanders! (Do NOT vote for billionaires.) Matt's got an extra copy of Aurora, and if you want it and live anywhere from Augusta to Portland (Maine), hit us up. Email us at maroonedonmarspodcast@gmail.com Follow us on Twitter @podcastonmars Leave us a voicemail on the Anchor.fm app Rate and review us on iTunes or wherever you listen to your podcasts! Music by Spirit of Space
1:29:01
February 16, 2020
Aurora Zero: Science Fiction, Utopia, Socialism, and Bernie MFing Sanders
Hello! Matt and Hilary are back with a preview episode of the next season of Marooned! On [Fill in the Blank]. This season we’ll be discussing KSR’s brilliant Aurora. In this preliminary episode we re-introduce ourselves and the premise of the show. We talk about what science fiction and utopia are, why we’re interested in them (and why you should be, too), and our approach to thinking about them. We also decide how many episodes you should expect. After consulting with your psychoanalysts, we resolve to read this chapter by chapter, so there will be 7 episodes after this, maybe an additional one after that. Stop at 40 minutes if you are only interested in science fiction and don’t want to hear Matt and Hilary rant about politics and vociferously endorse Bernie Sanders and enumerate his positive qualities and the glorious future his presidency will usher in, while simultaneously maintaining a healthy skepticism about electoralism and the State. We talk about knocking on doors, solidarity, making a new world, being here for each other, being a person. Hilary shares her experience canvassing for Bernie in Iowa, and next week Matt will share his experience of knocking doors in New Hampshire. I don’t know what’s up with the audio on this episode, why Matt sounds like he’s in a fishbowl for like 40 minutes or whatever, why his beard seems to have its own soundtrack, etc. I’m not an audio engineer. Just take what you can get. At one point Matt laughs so hard at Hilary uses the accurate appellation “Mayor Cheat” that he knocks his microphone out and disconnects the connection. Good stuff! Around 1:08:00 Matt starts talking about Maine politics so if you’re not interested in that or indulging his idle thoughts, just stop listening. But listen to the joker who represents Matt’s district in Congress. Other texts and thinkers we discuss in this episode include: Jose Munoz, Cruising Utopia https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781479874569 Ernst Bloch, The Principle of Hope https://www.indiebound.org/book/9780262521994 Darko Suvin, Metamorphoses of Science Fiction https://www.indiebound.org/book/9783034319485 Fredric Jameson Encyclopedia of Science Fiction http://www.sf-encyclopedia.com/ World Without End https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0049964/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_2 Other generation ship novels: Molly Gloss, The Dazzle of Day https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781481498470 Gene Wolfe, Book of the Long Sun https://www.indiebound.org/search/book?keys=book+of+the+long+sun Stan’s essay Dystopias Now https://communemag.com/dystopias-now/ Email us at maroonedonmarspodcast@gmail.com Follow us on Twitter @podcastonmars Leave us a voicemail on the Anchor.fm app Rate and review us on iTunes or wherever you listen to your podcasts! Music by Spirit of Space
1:18:50
February 13, 2020
The Martians 30-31: A Meditative Something-or-Other and Equilibrium Punctuation
Hello listeners and goodbye Mars! With this episode we leave KSR's Mars behind, as we conclude The Martians, the "apocrypha" of the Mars Trilogy.  [SPOILER ALERT: Our next venture will be KSR's Aurora, and will get started mid-January to early-February. We suggest you get your copy now and read it through once before we start (if you, like Matt, haven't already read it), then read it again with us!] We leave Mars in a mood similar to that created by the ending of this collection, with a mixture of melancholy and relief. It's hard to leave these works behind, but we're looking forward to new adventures and a new book! Here we talk about the two final sections of The Martians, the collection of poems "If Wang Wei Lived on Mars" and the autobiographical "Purple Mars." Matt and Hilary find a lot to talk about regarding the form of poetry and what it demands and makes possible for us readers. We dive deep into poems including "Visiting," "After a Move" & "Canyon Color" & "Vastitas Borealis," "Six Thoughts on the Uses of Art,"  "Report on the First Recorded Case of Areophagy," and "The Red's Lament." These poems are thoughtful, sad, profound, hilarious, and, in a word, brilliant, resonating with the history of poetry from Dante to Wordsworth (and likely beyond). If you thought Stan was good at writing novels, dig his sci-fi poetry! Here the line between fiction and reality completely blurs, and the political themes of the Mars Trilogy give way to a much more personal constellation of concerns and expressions. There is a brief bout of unavoidable audio distortion at about 22 minutes (mitigated by a musical interlude) and a brief digression into film criticism somewhere around 1 hour 20 minutes. Then we share our favorite moments from "Purple Mars." Hilary appreciates the thoughtfully hilarious description of the absurdity of the writing process, and Matt wonders aloud why we never saw any of the Mars characters go poop. Try harder, Stan! We have had such a great time reading through this world with you and we hope you join us in 2020 as we bask in Aurora and beyond! Thank you for listening and supporting us! Email us at maroonedonmarspodcast@gmail.com Follow us on Twitter @podcastonmars Leave us a voicemail on the Anchor.fm app Rate and review us on iTunes or wherever you listen to your podcasts! Music by Spirit of Space
1:37:41
December 26, 2019
The Martians 25-29: Brotherhood, Love, Naming, Writing, Cats
It’s Hello! Marooned on Mars with Matt and Hilary. We're turning 50! Hilary is in stereo, I think, and Matt seems to be in mono? This may explain some differences in our levels. Anyway. Recording via the internet remains a challenge, for us, at least. If our dialogue sounds somewhat stilted, it’s because Matt is recording from an unspecified tube at some undisclosed location in the world. Hilary is, presumably, in Chicago. This time we enter the home stretch and talk about five entries in The Martians. This selection really has a sense of being late in the day, a mixture of regret and loss, but something to move on toward and look forward to. Coyote Remembers Our relationship with Coyote ends on a kind of sad/ melancholic note. We discuss the setting of this story, or what we can extrapolate as the setting and the “you” it addresses. Themes of loneliness, “brotherhood,” and relation are foregrounded here. Coyote remembers and accounts for the people he has lost. What does it mean to be done with something, when that something has been the whole world to you? Sax Moments Nietzschean aphorisms and paradoxical homilies and jokes, or the News from Lake Wobegon on Mars? Can it be both? The overall joke here seems to be just imagining Sax reading Nietzsche (and other philosophers) at all, and then getting frustrated with lateral or “non-scientific” thinking (as he might deem it). Sax living in the limits between epistemology, rationality, embodiment, and experience. The Names of the Canals Naming, life, and love. Scale. [Something happens with Hilary’s track here where there’s a lot of distortion {which actually gave Matt in the editing process evidence that may suggest a solution to other problems, but let’s leave that aside for now}. SORRY!] The Soundtrack We talk music! We talk strategies of music + writing (- writing avoidance). Matt blames his cats for all his problems. Again. Hilary plays music for her cats, who hate Philip Glass. So that tells you all you need to know about our two hosts! A Martian Romance The tension between melancholy and hope. When do stories end? Whose is the romance of the title? Climate crisis on Mars storyline and Roger + Eileen romance are both cashed out. Death and the future. Structures of feeling. Reading this in our current moment. Our podcast does not recognize holidays! Thanks for listening! Email us at maroonedonmarspodcast@gmail.com Follow us on Twitter @podcastonmars Leave us a voicemail on the Anchor.fm app Rate and review us on iTunes or wherever you listen to your podcasts! Music by Spirit of Space
1:18:37
December 5, 2019
The Martians 22-24: Whale Chimps, Rakes, and Fate
We're back...again! We continue our discussion of The Martians, the stories "Sexual Dimorphism," "Enough is as Good as a Feast," and "What Matters." These are three amazing stories, deeply personal, comic and touching, personal and meditative. It seems these entries just get better and better. Email us at maroonedonmarspodcast@gmail.com Follow us on Twitter @podcastonmars Leave us a voicemail on the Anchor.fm app Rate and review us on iTunes or wherever you listen to your podcasts! Music by Spirit of Space
1:13:36
November 9, 2019
The Martians 15-21: Perspective, Words, Surfing, and Science
Again we have some technical issues, which we’ve done our best to ameliorate in post-production. For the first hour and twenty minutes or so Matt might sound not-great. Thank you for bearing with us! We talk about Bernie Sanders for a bit and wish him well, self-identifying as proud identity cultists, hopefully not alienating some of our listeners. For your convenience, here are some pointers to when we start talking about which stories in this extra-long episode of Marooned on Mars! 12:30 — We finally start talking about something else besides the world sucking, namely, The Martians by Kim Stanley Robinson. Start by going back a bit to the Michel in Provence chapter. 22:30 — Jackie on Zo Extremely touching story about Jackie’s relationship to her daughter, with a very sad ending. 43:00 — Keeping the Flame (Nirgal) Comparing Hiroko and Phyllis, their legacies, cults or practices of remembrance around them. 1:04:00 — Saving Noctis Dam Pseudo-Nadia story about saving a town from a hurricane with plywood - work done under conditions of necessity. Who is Stephan?? 1:11:00 — Big Man in Love Matt’s version of the story: “Big Man grows a penis like an Impossible burger so he can have sex with a kelp lady.” Listener Michael drew a comparison to Ursula Le Guin’s Always Coming Home 1:20:00 – Distortion break: Matt’s end becomes much more listenable Discussion of increasing slippage between folktale and science and fact slides into discussion of language and words in… An Argument for the Deployment of All Safe Terraforming Technologies Experience of the body is an argument that can’t be rendered in words—the rhetoric of the ineffable. Temporal change, experience of time, temporality of riding a wave. Robinson’s “knots in time” connect to Wordsworth’s “spots in time”? Matt is looking for the terms Erfahrung and Erlebnis (he thinks…he’s probably wrong). 1:41:00 — Selected Abstracts from The Journal of Aerological Studies 1:49:00 — Odessa We end with an agricultural update, especially regarding turnips and turnip greens, as well as a plug for an upcoming podcast spinoff project about the Alien franchise of movies that you can look for in a few months. Thanks for listening! Email us at maroonedonmarspodcast@gmail.com Follow us on Twitter @podcastonmars Leave us a voicemail on the Anchor.fm app Rate and review us on iTunes or wherever you listen to your podcasts! Music by Spirit of Space
2:00:26
October 12, 2019
The Martians 11-14: Baseball, Myths, Laws, and Trees
DO NOT ADJUST YOUR PODCAST PLAYER. We're using a new recording scheme, so at one point, Hilary sounds like a scary robot. But we're powering through! This week, we talk about "Arthur Sternbach Brings the Curveball to Mars," "Salt and Fresh," and the two sections on the Martian Constitution and Charlotte Dorsa Brevia's "worknotes." First we chat about teaching and the fine arts of giving advice, and having that advice ignored, and ignoring advice. Then we get into the most important thing, which is baseball and the communities it makes. Then we talk about "Salt and Fresh," which is very cool. Then we talk about the second most important thing, which is crafting a legal framework for governing a planet, and how it would be like if we controlled the terms under which we work and had a say in the kinds of labor we do, how the products are distributed, and what gets produced. SPOILER ALERT: things would be better. Then we end with a riff on trees and how good they are, in contradistinction to the governing bodies of the city of Chicago. Trees discussed include chestnut and apple. Let's decommodify the food system by planting trees and working them communally! It's not that big an ask. Email us at maroonedonmarspodcast@gmail.com Follow us on Twitter @podcastonmars Leave us a voicemail on the Anchor.fm app, where you can also donate to the show Rate and review us on iTunes or wherever you listen to your podcasts! Music by Spirit of Space
1:30:56
September 27, 2019
The Martians 10: "Green Mars," Romanticism, Existentialism, and the Four Pips
We rejoin Roger Clayborne (no relation to Ann) and Eileen Monday as they're reunited for a climb up Olympus Mons, the tallest mountain in the solar system. A lot to talk about in this episode, including Heidegger and Sartre, Romanticism, post-Romanticism, and nature, colonialism and history, somatic experiences, misery tourism, and worlding. Way too much to summarize! Email us at maroonedonmarspodcast@gmail.com Follow us on Twitter @podcastonmars Leave us a voicemail on the Anchor.fm app Rate and review us on iTunes or wherever you listen to your podcasts! Music by Spirit of Space
1:33:40
September 16, 2019
The Martians 8-9: Coyote and Michel, Condemned to Freedom
Hi! We’re still figuring out how best to handle our new remote recording and figuring out sound levels, etc., so if Matt is too loud and Hilary is too quiet—sorry! This is low-effort, low-tech, labor-of-love stuff. We appreciate you bearing with us! This week we talk about two short stories, “Coyote Makes Trouble” and “Michel in Provence.” Even though they’re short, there’s tons to talk about! First, some inane chatter about stupid techno-alternatives to walking, like Segways and electric scooters. And cars. That comes out of some delight in the fact that KSR writes SF stories about hiking, which reflects his commitment to the quotidian and everyday and something that really matters. In “Coyote Makes Trouble,” we talk about Coyote’s place within the revolution, as an agent who also has to mediate between conflicting tensions within the movement. He wants to go faster than Maya, but also is not happy with the aggressive stance of the Reds, and he’s also constantly at risk of having his spy network infiltrated. Here he’s on a mission to do a banner drop. We talk about the relationship between action and strategy, violence and tactics, small demonstrations vs. large-scale revelations of power. We talk about the science-fictional quality of luxury liners and cruise ships and Coyote’s unique place in the books as someone from an entirely different place and background than the other members of the First Hundred, and we wrap up by discussing the place of laughter and joy within revolutionary movements like the ones going on today. Our discussion of “Michel in Provence” starts at about 33 minutes with a call for 800 more listeners to the show per episode so we can make enough money for Matt to buy lunch two days a week, if we run ads for mattresses. This is a lovely chapter, melancholy, but sweet and hopeful (as hopeful as Michel can be at any rate). It picks up after the events of “Michel in Antarctica,” charting a different history of human settlement of Mars. A different mission to Mars creates a different kind of Martian subject, one who’s only a tourist and can’t wait to get home. Nevertheless, Michel is beset by regret and self-recrimination, wondering what might have been. He thinks Mars might’ve been able to stand as a symbol…but we know that’s not what happened in the actually existing world of Martian settlement. It wasn’t a symbol, they didn’t exist as an emblem of togetherness. They created an actually existing system that had its own conflicts and contradictions that were certainly not harmonious. There’s also a different kind of life extension here, one that reinforces the status quo hierarchies of rich and poor. We touch on the elemental imagery that we’ve come to expect from KSR, especially in a Michel chapter, and discuss Michel’s various “projects.” Here he seems able to overcome the nostalgia that cripples him in the Mars Trilogy with regard to his beloved Provence and come to different terms with his attachment to place, or form a different attachment to Provence that we can see as hopeful (if still sad), informed by his brief time on Mars that he didn’t like. Maya, as always, helps him organize his feelings and actions around his project. Next week, “Green Mars!” It's going to be a big one, so get your Heidegger, Sartre, and Melville ready! New show motto: Expect things to get better! Email us at maroonedonmarspodcast@gmail.com Follow us on Twitter @podcastonmars Leave us a voicemail on the Anchor.fm app Rate and review us on iTunes or wherever you listen to your podcasts! Music by Spirit of Space
1:04:35
September 7, 2019
The Martians 5-7: Uneventfulness, Gray Paint Patch Lichen, and Balderdash
Matt has overcome his rural inertia long enough to finally put out this episode! Hooray!  This is the first episode that Matt and Hilary have recorded remotely. As such, there are some technical difficulties that we're still working out, so please be patient. (They're very minor and you probably wouldn't even notice if I didn't mention it.) This time we discuss "Maya and Desmond," "Four Teleological Trails," and "Discovering Life." In "Maya and Desmond," Matt and Hilary talk about the way the books depict major events while at the same time giving a sense of everydayness, uneventfulness, and mundanity. We talk about the entirely different perspective this story gives us of the events of the entirety of the Mars Trilogy, as it appears to span most of the 200-or-so-year span of the original books. It makes a difference to know that Hiroko's farm crew abandons the First Hundred in Red Mars not because of Hiroko but because Maya tipped Desmond off that (essentially) the cops were coming. We talk about the way this story condenses and elides time, and the ways people find to make their own lives even in moments of revolution. In "Four Teleological Trails," Matt makes a weird connection with Edgar Allan Poe's "Man of the Crowd," probably just because anytime he reads anything with someone walking he thinks of "Man of the Crowd," but also because of the uncanny landscape that’s described, the ambiguity between nature and culture, the past and the future, the narrator's attempt to kill his parents by bringing them up Precipice Trail, and trail phantoming. We talk about haunting and discovering being flip sides of the same kind. Thanks to Listener Stever for pointing out (on the KSR Facebook fan page) that the "Dorr" who is mentioned refers to George Dorr, the driving force behind the  creation of Acadia National Park, making this story a clear reference to hiking there. This chapter explores the limits to the functionality of metaphor and seems repeatedly to undo the distinction between nature and culture. Finally, in "Discovering Life," Matt gets a dose of nostalgia for Los Angeles traffic. Another story that highlights the everydayness and mundanity of space travel, "Discovering Life" is mostly melancholy with a hopeful ending. The mundane everydayness of this chapter is just a continuation of our own crappy reality, not the utopian hopefulness of the Mars Trilogy. The future depicted here feels much more like our present, or even our past, with the 1950s remaining a touchstone of something. The NASA press conference depicted all-too-eerily resembles those of the original space missions, especially in their clear domination by men. But it also depicts a nice sense of conviviality among co-workers (rocket scientists are laborers after all), and ends with the idea to "terraform Earth instead"--a good idea! Thanks for listening, as always! Email us at maroonedonmarspodcast@gmail.com Follow us on Twitter @podcastonmars Leave us a voicemail on the Anchor.fm app Rate and review us on iTunes or wherever you listen to your podcasts! Music by Spirit of Space
1:26:01
August 28, 2019
The Martians, Parts 1-4: the Sublime, Negation, and Big Sky Country
Hello! We’re back in Phase Two of “Marooned! on Mars” Matt and Hilary will be discussing the short stories, essays, fragments, poems, and other literary concoctions that comprise The Martians, published in 1999. This is kind of like the apocrypha of the Mars Trilogy, things that didn’t necessarily “happen” or aren’t “canonical” to the original trilogy, but that involve the same characters and are set in the same basic world with the same basic presuppositions.  M & H start by talking about the way we’ve been approaching the books in general, which must represent some synthesis of the different ways the two of us read texts. M admits to a predilection to close reading, which probably accounts at least in part for our focus on them as books populated by characters. H's approach to science fiction (M suggests) revolves more around Darko Suvin’s concept of the novum (which H has discussed a few times), so is more focused on the world created and the political-economic and social ramifications of the new thing posited by the text. This seems to have resulted in a balance of readings strategies for which no one has rescinded our PhDs, so we’re happy about that. It also sheds light on the way the Mars books engage with 19th century realism. They have characters that are worth paying attention to as characters while simultaneously giving a sense of scope, presenting an entire world that does more than never just tell a story about individual people but rather is always about a world and its possibilities. Then M goes on one of his patented pointless rambles, this time about Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse. Seriously, even Matt doesn’t know what he was saying, just skip ahead. Something about rich interior life. This is all part of our collective plan to give ourselves license to be even stupider than we already are about these books, because neither of us has read The Martians before.  Anyway, these stories demonstrate a kind of formal experimentation and complexity that’s really exhilarating as a reader, with wild perspective shifts (compared to what we’re used to from the Trilogy) and whole revisions of major events. Perhaps no segment of The Martians better illustrates this than MICHEL IN ANTARCTICA, the first one, which ends, hilariously, with the entire trilogy being negated! They don’t go to Mars! M & H talk about Michel's intelligence and unprofessionalism. Michel ends up arguing that the necessary characteristics for a successful member of the First Hundred are full of double binds that are just too complex to be overcome. We talk about those contradictions and the structure of feeling vis a vis the past inhabitants of Antarctica. EXPLORING FOSSIL CANYON follows a tourist expedition led by one Roger Clayborne (who?) told through the eyes of Eileen Monday. We discuss the sublime as an aesthetic tourist experience, and marvel at the idea that Mars has changed so enormously that, unlike the First Hundred, you don’t have to know anything about the planet to live on it. Eileen was born there, lived her life in a city, and has never the outback. So in a weird way she’s both Martian and alienated from Mars…wonder what that’s like?  THE ARCHAEA PLOT is a delightful piece of folklore that warns us of the anaerobic revolt to come. It’s a great example of the shift in perspective this collection makes possible. THE WAY THE LAND SPOKE TO US also does extremely cool things with the sublime, voice, and perspective. We read the entirety of the flatness section and are basically rendered speechless because it’s depiction of the constant state of misperception where we find our being is so beautiful and profound. H shares a story about Big Sky Country. Listen to our friends! (But only after you listen to us!)
1:15:25
August 13, 2019
A Nebula Award for a Double -- the Kim Stanley Robinson Interview
Hello! We are so happy and proud to present this episode, our wide-ranging interview with the man himself! Kim Stanley Robinson, avid listener of our Kim Stanley Robinson podcast, graciously gave us some of his time during a layover at O'Hare in Chicago--hence the no doubt at times bad sound, so please forgive us. Hilary and Matt met Stan at the O'Hare Hilton bar, where we chatted over numerous topics, related and unrelated to the Mars novels. We talked about the origin of the novels, the historical moment of their creation (the so-called "end of history"), and the process of writing them. Is Hiroko dead? The answer is in the last two pages of Blue Mars! We touched on Stan's method of pattern-making beyond the conscious level of the reader, including his use of color and elemental imagery (I think there's a dissertation there for aspiring English PhDs...[don't go to grad school]), and share a chuckle over the dimwittedness of the New York Times. We talk also about the pathetic fallacy and the pre-modernist sensibility and realist tradition that informs the Mars Trilogy, and mention the structuralist influence of Gerard Genette (The Narrative Discourse: An Essay on Method). In addition we talk with Stan about his science fiction influences, inspirations, and resonances. Books mentioned are Olaf Stapledon's Star Maker and Last and First Men, Ursula Le Guin's The Dispossessed, Joanna Russ's The Female Man, Gene Wolfe's The Book of the Long Sun,  Julia Voznesenskaya's The Women’s Decameron, and Damon Knight, among others. We chat about Ann, and regionalism, and (self-indulgently for Matt) Orange County, the Dodgers, and the incomparable Vin Scully. All in service of the Battle of the Nutsedge! We were so thrilled to get the chance to talk with him, and we hope you enjoy this interview. (Sorry for the at times bad sound--Matt put some work into trying to get the levels right and clean it up, particularly taking out the parts where he just says "yeah" over and over. If you have complaints or can't hear it, email us at maroonedonmarspodcast@gmail.com and direct them to Matt. But also don't do that.) We will be starting on The Martians very soon, and are looking forward to moving forward with you, our faithful listeners, on this exciting and fun journey through these amazing books and into the wider world of utopian science-fiction! Thanks for listening! Email us at maroonedonmarspodcast@gmail.com Follow us on Twitter @podcastonmars  Leave us a voicemail on the Anchor.fm app  Rate and review us on iTunes or wherever you listen to your podcasts!  Music by Spirit of Space
1:26:59
June 30, 2019
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. THANK YOU! Email us at maroonedonmarspodcast@gmail.com  Follow us on Twitter @podcastonmars  Leave us a voicemail on the Anchor.fm app  Rate and review us on iTunes or wherever you listen to your podcasts!  Music by Spirit of Space
1:11:45
June 22, 2019
Blue Mars, Part 13: "Experimental Procedures," Terran Sky Blue, Common Archives, and SCIENCE!
In the penultimate chapter of the Mars Trilogy, Sax names colors with Maya, works on the memory problem at Acheron, and goes sailing with Ann--and Matt and Hilary talk about it! We talk a bit about the moments of adventure in the books, and speculate about what they're for and why they happen when they do. But mostly we have a freewheeling conversation about memory, knowledge, and longevity. We discover that, hey, isn't life the ultimate "experimental procedure?" Sax encounters Zeyk, strapped to a thingamajig that's scanning his Marilu Henner-style brain. We explore the parallels between the remaining First Hundred taking the memory treatment and a far-out drug experience. We argue over the origin of the phrase "Wherever you go, there you are" (it's Buckaroo Bonzai, not Hitchhiker's Guide, btw). There's stuff about political commitment and memory here, about not living in the past so that you can be present to the present so you can live toward the future (which is the route Maya opts for). And, of course, a great rendition of the specific variety of social maladjustment that's endemic to grad school and that makes it almost impossible for pure academics like Sax and Ann to have a relationship.  Everyone's favorite characters return in this chapter! George, Roger, Mary, "Andrea"--the gang's all here!  One more chapter of the Mars Trilogy! Tune in next week to hear Hilary cry and how awkwardly Matt responds to that.  Thanks for listening!  Email us at maroonedonmarspodcast@gmail.com (While you're at it, make us some label art to replace this dumb ol' image I got off the internet)  Follow us on Twitter @podcastonmars  Leave us a voicemail on the Anchor.fm app  Rate and review us on iTunes or wherever you listen to your podcasts!  Music by Spirit of Space
1:23:19
May 24, 2019
Blue Mars, Part 12: "It Goes So Fast," Pearly Gems of Wisdom, Contingency, Memory, and Death
Hello yes! We're (finally) back (again) with a double-stuffed, one-year anniversary episode! Here we discuss the long Maya chapter from Blue Mars, "It Goes So Fast." Ironically titled, as this is our longest episode yet and it is full of pointless diversions and digressions that will no doubt frustrate and alienate everyone! What can we say--Matt has a hard time maintaining a train of thought, and we were drinking bourbon. Our discussion of this beautiful, sad chapter starts with a consideration of other angry, bristly women in KSR novels and other utopian science fiction, particularly that of Joanna Russ, a big favorite of Hilary's. We touch on the new conceptual schemas that Sax offers Michel to understand Maya--why not throw quantum mechanics into the mix of medieval humors and see what comes out? We talk about life and history, and the appeal of theater to Maya as an adjunct to politics. We FINALLY get to talk about why no one goes to the movies on Mars, and longtime listeners will be happy to know that Matt gets it, and agrees: The Avengers sucks. Cultural assimilation, materiality and the limits of the imagination, the increasing complexity of a life lived, third-person limited perspective, analogies on analogies on analogies....it's all here! Good luck sorting it out. (Hey, if anyone wants to create cool image art for us, y'know... feel free. All's I've got the time and skill for is a picture of Mars I took from a 3-second web search that I've long ago quit updating. Starting to get kinda stale!) Email us at maroonedonmarspodcast@gmail.com Rate and review us on iTunes Follow us on Twitter @podcastonmars Leave us a voicemail on the Anchor app (You can donate to the show if you insist, we won't mind) Music by The Spirit of Space
1:43:46
April 29, 2019
Blue Mars, Part 11.5: “Viriditas,” Part Two: Democracy, Harmony, and Planetary Politics
Part Two of our discussion of Blue Mars Part 11, "Viriditas"! Last episode was about Zo. This episode is about how cool living on the other planets is, and how the politics of the solar system are congealing. We drank beers on this one, so it might be a little more scattered. Matt uses the word "grok." Email us at maroonedonmarspodcast@gmail.com Rate and review us on iTunes Follow us on Twitter @podcastonmars Leave us a voicemail on the Anchor app (You can donate to the show if you insist, we won't mind) Music by The Spirit of Space
1:31:56
April 10, 2019
Blue Mars, Part 11: “Viriditas,” Part One: Freedom, Pleasure, and Zo
Matt and Hilary let you into one of our planning sessions, demystifying the amazingly shallow and slapdash way we decide what to talk about. This chapter is so rich that we figured we'd have to divide it up into two episodes. This episode focuses mainly on Zo and the kind of problems we have with her and the kind of problems that she presents to us. We ask really fundamental questions that the book puts to us at this point in the narrative, including about the nature of pleasure and freedom in a world that spans the solar system and in which humans can expect to basically live forever. The big question we seek to answer across this and the next episode (which we probably don't ever answer) is, as articulated by Hilary: What do we make of the relationship between the things we’re learning about the transformations in the solar system (accelerando/ explosive diaspora) and what we learn about Zo?   We talk about our problems with Zo. Both of us didn't like Zo at all the first time we read this book, and the second time through we're discovering that we understand her a little bit better now. But we still don't like her! At the forefront of our displeasure with her is her experience of pleasure, which often seems to come at the expense of others.  The way Zo treats Ann and Sax are real triggers for us here. Zo's youthful dismissal of Ann's communion with rocks, or of Sax's contemplativeness, open onto a discussion of relationships between generations. The contrast between Nirgal and Zo, set up at the end of the previous chapter, is borne out here through their genetic and spiritual lineages back to John Boone and Frank Chalmers. Zo's hedonism and adrenaline junky-ness, her interest in Nietzsche, her weird references to Keats, all of these indicate a youthful arrogance and solipsism that we find distasteful. And yet... Why shouldn't she be able to tell these old farts to fuck off? Ultimately we're presented here with a new version of the problem of what freedom is and where pleasure is found. Hilary raises the issue of the recent left's taking up of the language of morality and moralism. Matt compares Zo to the stock broker character from New York 2140, whose name he still can't remember and he's not going to go look it up because there's a cat in his lap.  References: Paul Lafargue, "The Right to be Lazy." Stan was recently interviewed on The Antifada podcast (really excellent interview if you haven't heard it). Freedom (according to Matt): not feeling the need to be doing anything other than the thing that you’re doing right now. Email us at maroonedonmarspodcast@gmail.com Rate and review us on iTunes Follow us on Twitter @podcastonmars Leave us a voicemail on the Anchor app (You can donate to the show if you insist, we won't mind) Music by The Spirit of Space
1:07:54
March 29, 2019
Blue Mars, Part 10: "Werteswandel," Running, Choices, Ecstasy and Escape
In this episode we discuss Part Ten of Blue Mars, Werteswandel, a Nirgal chapter. Nirgal is running around Mars--running in circles, running from something, outside and inside himself at the same time. Running looks like a new technology on Mars, just like the new technology discussed in the prologue, of super-fast interplanetary travel. The only thing comparable is...nineteenth century train travel (thanks, Wolfgang Schivelbusch!). Nirgal (literally) runs into a society of feral hunter-gatherers, who seem like they'd fit right in at the FYRE Festival. There he meets Zo, and, well...it's complicated. This is one of those really short chapters where Matt and Hilary get to really dig in and be very expansive. If you're not interested in hearing our end-of-quarter conversation about teaching and corrupting the youth by opening their minds to utopian thinking (or just thinking), skip the last twenty minutes or so. But if you'd like to hear Matt's groundbreaking bumming-students-out-as-pedagogy technique, feast your ears! Email us at maroonedonmarspodcast@gmail.com Rate and review us on iTunes Follow us on Twitter @podcastonmars Leave us a voicemail on the Anchor app (You can donate to the show if you insist, we won't mind) Music by The Spirit of Space
1:26:46
March 18, 2019
Blue Mars, Part 9: "Natural History," Monsters, Self-Government, and Hot Air
After another unexpectedly long hiatus, Matt and Hilary are back to talk about our favorite topics--Martian and Chicagoan politics and Martian and Chicagoan weather! "Natural History" is a Sax chapter, and finds our favorite jumble of rats in a lab coat juicing himself up with crocodile DNA. Sax is radically hybrid in both body and mind, but he's also still mystified by the women in his life. To Hiroko and Ann is added the math genius Bao Shuyo, and it's hard for him to wrap his mind around the hybrid she presents to him--a woman math genius! Who knew? "What's this Bao episode doing here?" Hilary asks Matt. Matt babbles for a while and stumbles into an answer about feared loss of patriarchal dominance. Of course this chapter is also about nostalgia and the passing of time. Sax stumbles onto a project to give Mars a new moon, Pseudophobos, a talisman in the sky that will concretize a past moment and prove he has control over things once again, as Hilary puts it. This appears to be a nostalgic project that reaffirms his place in the present--does Sax want to Make Mars Great Again? We are given the amazing gift of carbon offsets, and we cross our fingers about India and Pakistan. Email us at maroonedonmarspodcast@gmail.com Rate and review us on iTunes Follow us on Twitter @podcastonmars Leave us a voicemail on the Anchor app (You can donate to the show if you insist, we won't mind) Music by The Spirit of Space
1:21:02
March 4, 2019
Blue Mars, Part 8: "The Green and The White," Viriditas and the Virids, Landscape and Dandelion Spores
We're back, after an unexpected and unexpectedly long hiatus! This chapter finds Nirgal trying to find himself, to locate and perhaps localize himself on the planet Mars, amid the network of force relations constituted by his family, the Martian political system, the changed and changing environment, and the mythology of his own existence.  Matt starts by making a joke about blackface, which is so last week. Hilary is teaching Aurora for the first time, and it's a very emotional book! It doesn't help that it's Winter Quarter at the University of Chicago, the longest and most stressful quarter there is. They also talk about the Green New Deal and how important and good and awesome it is. Then they get into it. Mars is, as predicted, working as a kind of psychological safety-valve for the people of Earth, or that's how it seems to William Fort and his crew. This chapter is about scale and scalability in many ways--how the problems of a single person, or two people, or a bunch of weird micro-micro-microorganisms no one knew existed might just amount to a hill of beans, or at least marmots, in this crazy mixed-up world(s). Nirgal is unrooted. He has a problem with Jackie raising a child alone, for some reason, but he has no problem with fleeing from any role in the official politics of Mars. He's still on the hunt for some sort of parental anchor, listening to John Boone's A.I. He runs into Coyote on a park bench. Matt and Hilary try to figure out what "the green and the white" means, or rather what it's for, what its use is. Does it make sense? To whom? What sense does it make? It seems like a conceptual framework that at least makes sense to Nirgal, kind of like a screen he can project onto. Of course it's ideological. But that just presents him with another problem: how to make that concept manifest in the world. How can he use it to organize his material reality? He becomes an ecopoet. That doesn't work out so good. But Hilary's hellebore and euphorbia seems to be making it through our harsh Chicago winter! This chapter has breathtaking landscapes seen from really cool jetgliders. Nirgal floats around the world like a dandelion spore, living in fairytale time, "looking for an image of himself." We are all just tubes of sentient worms. Then Matt and Hilary try to figure out our finances, and conclude that you should all get 5000 of your friends to give us one dollar every month. (Just kidding!!!!) (But seriously, thank you for your donations!) This, in my view, was a good episode, even though we’re both audibly yawning at various moments. Hello Australia! Stay cool! We are charismatic megafauna, and you can:  Email us at maroonedonmarspodcast@gmail.com Rate and review us at iTunes (or wherever) Follow us on Twitter @podcastonmars Leave us a voicemail on the Anchor app Music by Spirit of Space. Download their album “Extra Extra” on iTunes and Bandcamp
1:21:04
February 19, 2019
Blue Mars, Part 7: "Making Things Work," Chickens, Soil, Shit, and Politics
In this episode, Matt and Hilary discuss the Nadia chapter "Making Things Work," as Nadia figures out what it means to be the first President of Mars, ponders what it will be like to have a new pinkie finger, and wishes she could get her hands dirty with some real work. Matt and Hilary share tales of the polar vortex, which include chickens coming indoors to roost and watching a bad-ish Mars movie from the late 1990s. Then it's on to the KSR talk. Nadia is frustrated for much of this chapter, as the groundwork is laid for the future political processes of Mars. Is process more important than outcome? This is a lesson hard-learned by Nadia. A different kind of groundwork is happening with the construction of soil, a task which Nadia is surprisingly able to lend a hand in. (Get it?) Nadia's regrowing finger gives us a picture of life as recursive rather than linear, but Art's desire for a child seems to point to a residual element of human living-together--the persistence of the couple and the family form! It seems it's easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of gender. Matt leaves us all with a special wish for Howard Schultz, our new President. Rate and review us on iTunes! Follow us on Twitter @podcastonmars Email us at maroonedonmarspodcast@gmail.com Purchase the album "Extra Extra" by The Spirit of Space, composer of our theme music! Leave us a voicemail on the Anchor app!
1:12:16
February 5, 2019
Blue Mars, Part 6: "Ann in the Outback," Bears, Cold, and Werner Herzog
This episode Matt and Hilary discuss the masterful chapter, "Ann in the Outback." Matt and Hilary love love love this chapter, perhaps to the point where words fail them. Well, words fail Matt. Hilary, as always, is killing it. It's very cold in Chicago--perfect, Marslike weather for discussing Ann and the many (two) bears she meets, her awkward conversation with Sax, and the shittiness of eco-tourism. Tune in until the end when one of the luminaries of New German Cinema makes a surprise appearance! Extra Extra! Head on over to iTunes where The Spirit of Space, composer of our theme song, is selling his wares. It's an album called--you guessed it--"Extra Extra"! Thank you for listening, and thank you to our donors! Rate and review us on iTunes Email us at maroonedonmarspodcast@gmail.com Tweet us @podcastonmars Leave us a voicemail using the Anchor.fm app! Music by the aforementioned Spirit of Space
1:18:38
January 28, 2019
Blue Mars, Part 5: "Home at Last," Nostalgically Eating Uncured Olives
This week, Marooned on Mars discusses Part 5 of Blue Mars, "Home at Last." In this part, Michel returns home to his beloved Provence to find everything changed and unrecognizable. Matt and Hilary ponder psychologist Michel's weird psychology, where his whole identity is wrapped up in the woman he's in a relationship with. In Matt's words, he sees himself as "a worm who eats uncured olives." We think about personal history versus world history, the curiosity of memory, looking at old photos of yourself, Roman aqueducts, and, of course, how to get Tom Hanks to give us a million dollars. Or maybe Sigourney Weaver. Email: maroonedonmarspodcast@gmail.com Twitter: @podcastonmars Rate and review us on iTunes or wherever you download your podcasts Leave us a voicemail on the Anchor app! Music by The Spirit of Space
1:08:11
January 21, 2019
Blue Mars, Part 4: "Green Earth," (Post-)Colonialism, and Uncanny Hallucinations
On this episode of Marooned!, we're discussing Part 4 of Blue Mars, "Green Earth," a Nirgal chapter. Nirgal, Sax, Maya, and Michel have traveled to Earth as a Martian delegation to attempt to normalize relations to the home planet and help out where they can. Nirgal goes off on a series of disorienting and hallucinatory adventures and comes back sick! Matt and Hilary spend some time chatting about what they've been up to since the last episode. Hilary "moderated" a "panel" at an event co-sponsored by the Chicago Humanities Festival and Humanities Without Walls as part of the MLA conference (or something). N. Katherine Hayles and Evan Selinger had a lot to say! Delightful weirdos who strangely think the humanities are important were in attendance--including the president of the MLA! In our "Mars in Popular Culture Roundup of the Week" segment, which will doubtless be expanded to a weekly extra episode once Tom Hanks gives us a million dollars, Matt watched two Mars-related movies that were bad: Capricorn One and something on Netflix (2036: Origin Unknown).  Then we get to the good stuff. This chapter is hallucinatory and impressionistic, anchored in Nirgal's bodily experiences, but also full of subtle references to the history of colonialism, literature, and post-colonial thought, as we discover. Connections we make include  C.L.R. James, Frankenstein, Treasure Island, Freud, Agatha Christie, Mr. Belvedere, Jamaica Kincaid, Great Expectations, Moby-Dick, K-19: The Widowmaker, New York 2140. Home at last, Nirgal encounters a planet that wants to kill him, where he feels most at home in zones that are out of reach of earthly life--high in the Alps on a glacier and beneath the sea, polluted and more dangerous than before. We reflect on Nirgal's perennial homelessness as a constitutive lack, which takes his experience of the overwhelming colors, heat, and moisture of Earth from the hallucinatory to the uncanny, or unheimlich in Freudian thinking. This is appropriate because he also keeps running into doppelgängers of his parents, Coyote and Hiroko. All the while, the relation between Earth and Mars is up for debate. Hilary gives a critique of the concept of population and Malthusian logic, and makes a case for faith in people's willingness to figure out the common good in the here-and-now rather than defer decision-making to an investment in an unknowable future. People should get to live good lives while they're alive! Back to our common Arendtian refrain: why put all your faith in the future when you could work to make the present better? Elsewhere, Matt becomes as smart as Jamaica Kincaid when he discovers that you can take the colonies away from the empire, but you can't take colonialism away from the colonizers, and he does a really bad British accent. A very fond farewell to all our listeners across the pond! Things Hilary doesn't like: Tom Hanks, The Family Guy, Avengers: Infinity War (discussed off-mic). Ways Matt can't identify with Nirgal: Scared of scuba diving, does not routinely wake up to find multiple strange women having sex with him. Email us: maroonedonmarspodcast@gmail.com Tweet us (we don't like twitter) @podcastonmars Rate & Review us: iTunes, Google Play, wherever. Voicemail us: Anchor.fm app Music by The Spirit of Space
1:29:08
January 14, 2019
Blue Mars, Part 3: "A New Constitution," the Bardo, Hypnogogic Visions, and A Definite Article
Happy New Year! This episode follows Art Randolph as he helps in the drafting of a new constitution! Matt and Hilary share some tips and tales about articles, definite and indefinite. Before we get to the chapter itself, we chat again about RED MOON (great book), which leads us to share some of our experiences over the holiday. Matt also would like someone to write an MA thesis about how SF is imagining China right now, specifically in RED MOON and MR. ROBOT. "A New Constitution" centers on Art as the decentralized coffee- and kavajava-brewer for the constitutional congress, which Nadia, wielding "the charisma of the sensible," is de facto chairing. We talk about the folkloric prologue that finds Mars's little red men becoming one with the Dalai Lama, and producing a structure of feeling conducive for the collective project of constituting the present in this opening of potentiality in history. We talk about Vlad's epic takedown of Antar at the table of tables, and the concept of generationality, of which Hilary gives a brilliant critique. We try to get to the bottom of why Jackie favors capitalism, and we discover that PARKS & RECREATION and THE WALKING DEAD are the same show, especially if you're Hannah Arendt. Attention HBO! Hilary Strang would watch a show about drafting a constitution! Also she has written this, about Aurora, for The Blackstone Review! Rate and review us on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, or wherever you listen to this podcast. Follow us on Twitter @podcastonmars Email us at maroonedonmarspodcast@gmail.com Leave us a voicemail on the Anchor app! Music by The Spirit of Space
1:20:10
December 31, 2018
Blue Mars, Part 2: "Areophany," Toxic Masculinity, and Throwing Things Together
Schoooooool's out for winter! Schoooooool's out for Solstice! Schoooool's out for Marooned! on Mars with Matt and Hilary! In this Sax chapter, Matt and Hilary discuss Sax's inability to leave Ann alone and let her die already. General Sax is up to his old tricks of acting unilaterally, this time at the end of the chapter to save Ann's life. But before that, he partakes in the dream of every red-blooded American male: driving across the surface of the planet, free! Matt and Hilary talk about Sax's difficulty with symbolism and psychoanalysis, and Michel's pathologization of Ann's interest in science and her whole ethical project. We question the autonomy of nature and find some gaps in Sax's etymological studies, and we ponder the role of language in forming constitutional nation-states. And....Hiroko, the oceanic mother of freedom, is back! Or...is she??? At your holiday meals, divide into Green and Red teams (the Christmas colors!) and have an argument about eco-Marxism! Happy Solstice! Rate and review us on iTunes or Google Play Follow us on Twitter @podcastonmars Email us at maroonedonmarspodcast@gmail.com Leave us voicemails (less than a minute) on the Anchor.fm app Tell your friends, and thanks for listening! Music by The Spirit of Space
1:11:52
December 25, 2018
Blue Mars, Part 1: "Peacock Mountain" and the Look in People's Eyes
The first part of BLUE MARS starts with a chapter from the perspective of Ann Clayborne, who we've only seen through the eyes of others since way back in GREEN MARS, "Long Runout"--something like 500 pages! A lot has changed since then, but BLUE MARS picks up right after the end of GREEN MARS, with no delay. Ann finds herself alienated from the Reds, the revolutionary faction she leads, and especially from the radical sect the Kamakaze, led by Kasei and Dao. In Hiroko's absense, Ann's son, Peter, is the head of the Greens. The Reds and Greens are arguing about taking the space elevator down again, and Ann is caught in the middle! Tension all around! Matt and Hilary discuss Ann's struggle to sort out what she believes and whom she aligns herself with. Is she a politician or a scientist? A revolutionary or a stateswoman? Regardless, she's in surprisingly good shape considering she's 150 years old and stopped taking the gerontological treatments 25 years ago. This chapter has it all: themes of loss and uncertainty, acts of horrific death and destruction, ideological critique, and peer-reviewed journals! Ann appears at turns an avenging angel and the angel of history. On the one hand, she sees people as fungus; on the other, she's struck by the senselessness of the deaths of people who might've lived a thousand years. There's a lot to talk about! Email us at maroonedonmarspodcast@gmail.com Follow us on Twitter @podcastonmars Rate and review us on iTunes or wherever you listen to this Leave us voicemails at the Anchor.fm app! Thanks for listening! Music by The Spirit of Space
1:16:51
December 18, 2018
GREEN MARS Wrap-up, Harry Potter Tattoos, and Ritual Protest
In this episode, Matt and Hilary wrap up their discussion of GREEN MARS before starting the final book, BLUE MARS, next week. We share various uncooked thoughts about the second book in the trilogy, including the relationship between ageing (or not ageing, or life-prolongation) to history, the relationship of ritual to ideology ("practice, practice, practice"), Coyote's revolutionary economy, the Iran-Contra scandal, following the rules, repetition and exhaustion, and probability and contingency. We share our favorite memories and moments from GREEN MARS and talk about what we're looking forward to in BLUE MARS. Matt tells a story about meeting a fan, and we give away Matt's renegade mandoline slicer. It's all happening! You have a few days to find BLUE MARS at a used bookstore or put in your order at an independent bookseller! Rate and review us on iTunes Follow us on Twitter @podcastonmars Email us at maroonedonmarspodcast@gmail.com Send us voicemails on the Anchor app. Tell your friends! Music by The Spirit of Space
1:09:52
December 10, 2018
Red Moon, Thanksgiving, Beer Law, and Quantum Mechanics
We're back! Finally! After an unanticipatedly long hiatus, Matt and Hilary are back to discuss KSR's new novel, RED MOON. We both really love this novel, and talk about it at length (spoilers!). But first we recap our Thanksgivings, sharing harrowing stories of lacerated fingers and the death of the humanities and pondering the mysteries of regional beer regulations. New Glarus, we're looking at you! Then we get to the spoilers. Seriously, if spoilers are a thing for you, it's probably a good idea to skip this episode until you've read RED MOON. But we don't believe in spoilers as a concept. If all you're reading a book for is to find out the plot, you're doing it wrong! We talk about the adventures of Fred Fredericks, Ta Shu, and Qi as they navigate the murky waters of internal Chinese politics, international intrigue, artificial intelligence, quantum mechanics, feng shui, poetry, and the historical struggle to make change happen. All this in a political thriller that keeps the reader on the edge of their seat (in our humble opinions)! RED MOON is a great sci-fi political thriller that builds on KSR's concept of SF as "the realism of our time." We'll be back next week to finish up our discussion of GREEN MARS, and after that we'll start getting into BLUE MARS! Hopefully we'll be able to get back to a more consistent schedule in the New Year. You can still: Email us at maroonedonmarspodcast@gmail.com Follow us on Twitter @podcastonmars Rate and review us on iTunes! Subscribe on tons of podcast apps Leave us VOICEMAILS on the Anchor.fm app And you can donate to the show via Anchor.fm, if you want us to, in Hilary's utopian vision for the show, "buy a recording studio," or, in Matt's utopian vision for himself, "become a podcast mogul." (Hilary also seems dissatisfied with the microphones for some reason, but Matt thinks they're fine.)
1:27:15
December 2, 2018
hilary’s mini ep
in which i drone on about some good sf books & how recording an episode without matt is much less fun. also happy american thanksgiving to those who celebrate it.
19:39
November 21, 2018
Matt’s Mini Episode
Matt goes rogue with a mini-sode recorded into his phone with a little weird music in the background just for laughs. Updates on the show (we’ll be back soon, we miss you!) and other science fictional adventures, including Born in Flames (Lizzie Borden, 1983) and Looker (Michael Crichton, 1981). Our regularly scheduled programming will resume after Thanksgiving (probably, or a little later).
10:13
November 17, 2018
Green Mars, Part 10: "Phase Change," Long Walks, and Designated Arbitrators
In this belated episode, Matt and Hilary discuss Part 10 of GREEN MARS, “Phase Change,” where the revolution happens! We talk about how the revolution comes about, Nadia’s role as “designated arbitrator,” and just how cool and amazing this chapter is in general. We talk about how important it is to find and use the right words to frame what’s happening, to make the revolutionary argument an effective one rhetorically, and using language to conjure something out of nothing. We will be on hiatus for the next week or so, as Hilary gets over the cold Matt gave her during the recording of this episode, Matt and Hilary teach their classes, and Matt submits himself to the whims of the academic job market. Our next episode will likely be a discussion of KSR’s fantastic new novel, RED MOON, followed by a wrap-up episode for GREEN MARS, before plunging into the thrilling finale of the trilogy, BLUE MOON. Stay tuned, and thanks for listening! Rate and review us on iTunes Follow us on Twitter @podcastonmars Email us at maroonedonmarspodcast@gmail.com Send us voicemails of 1 minute or less on the Anchor app
1:06:50
October 28, 2018
Our Dinner With Stan
Matt and Hilary met Kim Stanley Robinson last week and had dinner with him! We lived to tell the tale, and this is the episode where we tell it. We'll be back later in the week with our episode about the final part of Green Mars, "Phase Change." Rate and review us on iTunes Follow us on Twitter @podcastonmars Email us at maroonedonmarspodcast@gmail.com Send us a voicemail using the Anchor.fm app.
39:29
October 15, 2018
Green Mars, Part 9: "The Spur of the Moment" and Cats on the Table
Sorry this is late! We’ve been teaching and Matt has time-management issues! Matt and Hilary start by talking about what they're teaching, which are both, in their ways, cyborg manifestoes. Then, into the chapter, where Maya wrestles with histories both personal and political as she furiously plans (and patiently waits) for the future of Mars. Michel does some opti-Maya-zation (thank you, you're welcome), Sax is mysterious, and Coyote knows all. One thing that's really cool about this chapter is Maya's realization of the power of laughter in imagining the future and hooking into youthful energy, as well as the twin needs of organizing personal & political erotics while forestalling any premature...uh, rash acts. Plus, we follow Maya as she dives into “Frank’s whole deal of being weird,” as Matt so eloquently puts it. Frequently, there are cats on the table. Email: maroonedonmarspodcast@gmail.com Rate&review on iTunes Leave voicemails on Anchor app! Twitter: @podcastonmars
1:19:49
October 4, 2018
Green Mars, Part 8: "Social Engineering," Sax Russell, and Unilateralism
In this episode, Sax Russell goes rogue! The former Stephen Lindholm makes some unilateral decisions about the future of Mars, i.e., blowing up the soletta and shooting Deimos out of orbit. Why does he do this? Matt and Hilary discuss! Theory 1. Sax is a changed man after all jacked up on sea star (not starfish!!!) DNA. Theory 2. John Cusack:boombox::Sax:soletta. We talk about the weirdly ironic voice in the chapter – we're with Sax, yet not. And we talk about the ever-evolving relationship between Ann and Sax. One of them is changing – why won't the other?? Rate and review us on iTunes! Email: maroonedonmarspodcast@gmail.com! Twitter: @podcastonmars Send us voicemails using Anchor app! Music: Spirit of Space
1:14:49
September 25, 2018
Green Mars, Part 7.2: "What Is to Be Done?" William Fort: the Ancient Dolphin
In the second part of our discussion of Part 7 of Green Mars, "What is To Be Done?," Matt and Hilary talk about pot luck dinners, constitutional conventions, and William Fort, the ancient dolphin! First we recap why we like this chapter so much (because it's about writing a constitution) and why we're drawn to the idea of writing a constitution (because we need a new one). Matt botches the "freedom is an endless meeting" joke yet again, and Hilary explains why writing a constitution is the most deeply science fictional thing you could do. We read through the 7 work points for a Martian government...but with a twist! References: Richard Grusin, "Culture, Technology, and the Creation of America's National Parks. Chicago politicians/ candidates Matt mentioned: Carlos Ramirez-Rosa, Ugo Okere, Byron Sigcho, and Amara Enyia. Rate and review us on iTunes! Email: maroonedonmarspodcast@gmail.com! Twitter: @podcastonmars Send us voicemails using Anchor app! Music: Spirit of Space
1:19:50
September 18, 2018
Green Mars, Part 7: "What Is to Be Done?" Part 1, the Gift Economy, and Family Issues
In this episode, Matt and Hilary cover the first half of Part 7, "What Is to Be Done?" This part is about the pivotal Dorsa Brevia conference, where hundreds of representatives of the various groups of the Martian demimonde gather to create a constitution. Matt & Hilary discuss the gift economy, the old/new Ann/ Sax debate, the role of Nadia, Art, and Nirgal in the Dorsa Brevia conference, and ponder the age old question: Why do the Swiss refuse to wear jumpsuits? There's just too much to talk about in this part, so we're going to be releasing two episodes. (I won't claim that this episode couldn't use some editing...) This discussion ends just before William Fort arrives. Rate and review us on iTunes! Email us at maroonedonmarspodcast@gmail.com! Follow us on Twitter @podcastonmars Send us voicemails using the Anchor app! Music by The Spirit of Space.
1:34:02
September 10, 2018
Green Mars--Listener Mailbag!
In this episode of Marooned! on Mars with Matt and Hilary, Matt and Hilary respond to your voicemails! We received three voicemails from listeners that provided the opportunity to do a whole mess of TALKING. This one got away from us a little bit, but responding to your voicemails was really fun and provided a nice opportunity to sort of regroup before we discover "What is to be done?" at the Dorsa Brevia conference and tackle Part 7 of Green Mars, which we'll do in two parts, the first of which will be released soon. Here, for your listening pleasure, we talk a bit about other KSR novels, the possibilities of social change, folktales, and Martian mass culture. YOU can leave us a voicemail on the Anchor.fm app! (Thanks to Chris, Bill, and Phil for being the first brave souls to do so.) YOU can email us at maroonedonmarspodcast@gmail.com! YOU can rate and review us on iTunes (and the Anchor app)! YOU can follow us on Twitter @podcastonmars! Music by The Spirit of Space.
57:28
September 3, 2018
Green Mars, Part 6: "Tariqat" (Part 2) Political Economy and Culture of the Demimonde
Matt and Hilary continue their discussion of "Tariqat," Part 6 of KSR's Green Mars. We focus on the emergent political economy of Mars' demimonde, as practiced by Coyote as he circulates between the various underground factions. M & H try to figure out the nitrogen-based gift economy and about the place of gifts within social relations. References include Gayle Rubin, "The Traffic in Women;" David Graeber, "Debt;" and a comment about Chinese railroad workers that was misattributed to KSR but which actually comes from McKenzie Wark's article on Occupy, "This Shit is Fucked Up and Bullshit." In the background, please enjoy the sounds of the Chicago Air & Water (mostly air) Show dress rehearsals and our old friends the cicadas. Also, near the end, the ice cream truck. Enjoy us on the Anchor.fm app, where you can leave us voicemails! Rate and review: iTunes @podcastonmars Email: maroonedonmarspodcast@gmail Music: The Spirit of Space Next week: Nadia and the new Martian constitution!
1:15:38
August 27, 2018
Green Mars, Part 6: "Tariqat," Culture, and the next John Boone
Matt & Hilary discuss Part 6 of Green Mars, "Tariqat." Focalized through Nirgal, we also get a healthy dose of the the way Spencer and Art come to know the underground of Mars, as they, along with Coyote and Sax, drive around in a boulder car after the daring jailbreak in Part 5. Our discussion of "Tariqat" is divided into two parts, as there's just too much going on. Here, we focus on Nirgal, Art, and Coyote, especially Nirgal's experience of Sabishii and its (highly enviable) university system, the continued emergence of uniquely Martian cultures, and a bit about Sax's rehabilitation. Next time we'll talk the gift economy and the beginning of Nadia's search for a political resolution to the conflicts among the demimonde. Follow us on Twitter @podcastonmars Email us at maroonedonmarspodcast@gmail.com Rate/review us on iTunes Music by The Spirit of Space If you download the Anchor.fm app you can leave us voicemails!
1:17:48
August 19, 2018
Green Mars, Part Five: "Homeless" and Guerrilla Climatology
Matt and Hilary discuss Part Five of Kim Stanley Robinson's Green Mars, "Homeless," from the perspective of Michel. This one's action packed, as Michel and Maya break into the Martian prison at Kasei Vallis to rescue Sax from his torturer-interrogators! Coyote has a few tricks up his sleeve. Memory and childhood take a central place in this chapter, as the first hundred are getting older and continuing to forget things--and that seems to be analogous to the reader's experience with these very long novels! We've switched podcast hosts to anchor.fm, so hopefully there is no interruption in service. There's now an option to support our (still free!) podcast. We'll soon be available on lots more platforms besides just iTunes and Google Play, as well. Follow us on Twitter @podcastonmars Email us at maroonedonmarspodcast@gmail.com Rate and review us on iTunes and wherever you review podcasts on the Google Play thingie. Original title music by The Spirit of Space
1:13:14
August 14, 2018
Green Mars, Part Four: "The Scientist as Hero," Sleeping with the Enemy, and the Magic of Lenses
Matt and Hilary discuss Part Four of Kim Stanley Robinson's "Green Mars," "The Scientist as Hero," told from the perspective of Sax Russell. The first chapter from the perspective of Sax, and it's unique in that it contains a lot of overlap with other chapters, so we see the full conversation between Ann and Sax from Part 3 that Ann couldn't remember, and we get an oblique reference to Art Randolph. We also get our greatest exposure to Phyllis, who was last seen on Clarke, speeding toward Jupiter on Clarke faster than any human had ever gone, after the cable was broken. M & H discuss the meaning of "The Scientist as Hero," which, upon extra-podcast inspection, is a reference to Martin Arrowsmith, the title character of Sinclair Lewis’s novel *Arrowsmith* (Hilary was right…again). An article in *American Quarterly* from 1963 by Charles E. Rosenberg, “Martin Arrowsmith: The Scientist as Hero,” describes him as research a scientist cast as a heroic protagonist.
1:22:45
August 8, 2018
Green Mars, Part Three: "Long Runout," Action, and Thinking Like a Stone
Matt and Hilary discuss Part Three of Green Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson, "Long Runout," an Ann Clayborne chapter. We find Ann in mourning, stunned after the losses of Simon, Frank, and Mars itself, driving around the surface, conducting research and trying to think like a stone. Matt and Hilary make jokes about the problem of the other minds, and they read and discuss some recent Mars news, including a front page essay in the New York Times (which they critique heartily) and an interview with KSR in good ol' news aggregator Huffington Post. Then it's a deep dive into Ann and Coyote's attempts to activate her back into (political) life. Go to meetings! Get involved! Be happy to see other people! We're all we've got! This one is really good, folks! And long! Now available on Google Play. Follow us on Twitter @podcastonmars Email us at maroonedonmarspodcast@gmail.com Rate and review us on iTunes and Google Play! Original title music by The Spirit of Space
1:41:50
August 3, 2018
Green Mars, Part Two: "The Ambassador," Alternate Sensoriums, and Acquiring Mars
Matt and Hilary discuss Part Two of Green Mars, The Ambassador. Suddenly we're back to Earth and introduced to Art Randolph and William Fort, who set out to "acquire" Mars. The space elevator gets reconnected in the prologue, and eccentric jillionaire scientist guru Praxis-head William Fort and Steve Jobs/ Willy Wonka wannabe invites Art Randolph to one of his infamous, mysterious seminars and tasks him with "acquiring" Mars. Art gets nauseous on the trip to the Red Planet, and meets a real live Martian! Matt really likes Art Randolph and misses being in seminars. Hilary likes the idea of getting up really early and going for a hike through the fog by the ocean. Great convo'! Follow us on Twitter @podcastonmars Email us at maroonedonmarspodcast@gmail.com Rate and review us on iTunes! Original title music by The Spirit of Space.
1:07:45
July 28, 2018
Green Mars, Part One: "Areoformation," Viriditas, and The Great Unexplainable
Matt and Hilary start the second volume of Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars Trilogy, *Green Mars*! Told from the perspective of Nirgal, a true Martian, we're re-introduced to the world of Mars, the first hundred, and a sense of wonder. We get to see Dr. Robot, the Good Witch, and the Bad Witch as teachers to a new generation of humans born on Mars, with a whole different relationship to and idea of family, planetariness, love, sex, embodiment, and everything else. We're also introduced to Hiroko's concept of viriditas and Sax's idea of The Great Unexplainable, which Nirgal imagines as "the green and the white." Matt and Hilary talk about the defamiliarizing qualities of this chapter, including the thick descriptions of the town of Zygote, hidden under the southern ice cap. We get a lot more about Coyote (including his real name) and his efforts to create a new Martian economy--all seen through the eyes of a child. Follow us on Twitter @podcastonmars Email us at maroonedonmarspodcast@gma
1:17:55
July 19, 2018
Red Mars Wrap-Up and the Curse of the Baggy Monster!
Matt and Hilary say goodbye to *Red Mars.* We talk about the New York Times' review of the book (Matt was too lazy and busy to find other, more relevant reviews). Hilary tells us how to read science fiction. We take a deepish dive into Arkady and Hiroko, two charismatic and enigmatic characters that the reader has to construct based on other characters' perceptions and interactions. We talk about SF's status as a literary genre and Matt hits Hilary with a doozy of a question about the status of *Red Mars* as a realist novel, which Hilary handles with her characteristic aplomb and brilliance, and gives a primer on realism vs. utopia the likes of which will not be surpassed in any other KSR-based podcast, I can tell you! Matt reads a line from Walter Benjamin to try to appear smart. We set goals for the podcast going forward, foremost of which is GUESTS, especially SCIENTISTS. If you're a SCIENTIST who wants to be a GUEST, please get in touch!
1:10:38
July 18, 2018
Red Mars, Part Eight: Shikata Ga Nai
The last part of *Red Mars!* Hilary and Matt discuss Part Eight, "Shikata Ga Nai." Told through Ann's perspective, another major character dies, a small group of refugees drives around Mars in a couple of boulder cars, and they arrive at their new home! Hilary teaches Matt about why the Mars Trilogy is not a feminist text. Matt does a brief Arnold Schwarzenegger impression. Matt says "yeah" a lot. Hilary says "like" a lot. We're people, give us a break. Spoiler alerts about both *Red Mars* and late eighteenth century Gothic novels and Victorian literature. And, spoiler alert, I don't have a PhD in Thomas Paine Studies. Follow us on Twitter: @maroonedonmarspodcast Email us at maroonedonmarspodcast@gmail.com Rate and review us on iTunes! Original title music by The Spirit of Space.
1:31:41
June 30, 2018
Red Mars, Part Seven: Senzeni Na
Matt & Hilary discuss Part Seven, "Senzeni Na." See the revolution through the eyes of Nadia! Materialism and ideology! Space elevators, asteroids! Death! Destruction! Machinations! Let's blow up the moon! (I tried some actual editing on this episode--hope it's not annoying! It was very annoying for me to do. I'm having trouble with the levels. I hate audio editing. Ugh. Sucks. A lot of skill involved. Respect audio producers!) Follow us on Twitter: @maroonedonmarspodcast Email us at maroonedonmarspodcast@gmail.com Rate and review us on iTunes! Original title music by The Spirit of Space. "Senzeni Na" performed by Cape Town Youth Choir: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5fDU1PYWT8A (Thank you, please don't sue us.)
1:15:54
June 27, 2018
Red Mars, Part Six: Guns Under the Table (Part 1??)
We're back! Matt & Hilary talk about the Frank Chalmers section, "Guns Under the Table." Rules, sex, revolution?!?!?! In 2057, will Frank Chalmers successfully negotiate a renewal of the treaty that allows transnational corporations to exploit Mars's resources, while still also limiting immigration from an overcrowded and polluted Earth so that the society being created on Mars won't simply reproduce the mistakes human civilization made in the past? Can revolution be avoided??? FIND OUT!!! Follow us on twitter @podcastonmars Email us at maroonedonmarspodcast@gmail.com Rate and review us on iTunes!
1:04:44
June 9, 2018
Red Mars, Part Five: Falling into History (Part 2)
In Part 2 of our episode about Part Five, "Falling Into History," Matt and Hilary discuss politics, eco-economics, gifts, and debt! Follow us on Twitter @podcastonmars Email us at maroonedonmarspodcast@gmail.com Rate and review us on iTunes! Don't buy these books on Amazon! Be a guest on our show! Tell your friends!
1:33:22
May 27, 2018
Red Mars, Part Five: Falling into History (Part 1)
Matt & Hilary discuss Part Five of KSR's Red Mars, Falling Into History. It's the John Boone chapter! This is the first part of a two-part episode, because so much happens in this chapter. Here we discuss Boone, embodiment, drugs, genre, cowboys, Arabs, detectives, and landscape. Next week we'll get more into political economy. Spoiler note: Each episode thoroughly discusses the chapter it's about, but doesn't spoil the later chapters. Follow us on Twitter @podcastonmars Email us your comments, questions, and suggestions at maroonedonmarspodcast@gmail.com Rate and review us on iTunes! Thank you for listening!
1:09:55
May 20, 2018
Red Mars, Part Four: Homesick
Matt & Hilary talk about Part Four of Red Mars, "Homesick," which focuses on the lone psychiatrist among the First Hundred, Michel--The Only Frenchman on Mars. Look for a surprise ending (to the chapter, not the episode)! Follow us on Twitter @podcastonmars Email us at maroonedonmarspodcast [at] gmail [dot] com Rate and review us on iTunes!
1:06:48
May 12, 2018
Red Mars, Part Three: The Crucible
We discuss KSR's Red Mars, Part Three, "The Crucible." It's a Nadia section! Lots of things get built, things start to heat up (literally AND figuratively), and I still don't know how to edit audio, nor do I have the time. But that's okay because we're here to talk about the Mars Trilogy, and that is something that we certainly do in this episode, the description of which you are reading right now. You're welcome, and thank you. We have a Twitter! Follow us @podcastonmars We have a Gmail! Email us at maroonedonmarspodcast at gmail dot com We are on iTunes! Rate and review us at https://apple.co/2IeQPK9 Tell your friends about how great and interesting and fun to listen to we are!
1:12:09
May 5, 2018
Red Mars, Part Two: The Voyage Out
Episode 3 of our discussion of KSR's Mars Trilogy. In "The Voyage Out," we're introduced to the First Hundred as they embark on their year-long voyage to Mars. We say "like" a lot and there is no editing...yet! Oh, and we have a Twitter: @podastonmars. And we have an email: maroonedonmarspodcast@gmail.com.
1:17:32
April 28, 2018
Red Mars, Part One: Festival Night
Matt and Hilary dive into the first Part of Kim Stanley Robinson's *Red Mars*, "Festival Night." Meet Frank Chalmers, John Boone, Maya Toitovna, and the citizens of the new Martian town of Nicosia! Sex, intrigue, a political assassination! Wow! Later episodes will be more produced (I'm taking a class...).
1:05:14
April 21, 2018
Introducing "Marooned! on Mars with Matt and Hilary"
Introducing you to the world(s) of Kim Stanley Robinson, Matt, and Hilary, and what this podcast is all about.
1:10:05
April 14, 2018