Marooned! on Mars with Matt and Hilary

The Martians 15-21: Perspective, Words, Surfing, and Science

An episode of Marooned! on Mars with Matt and Hilary

By Matt Hauske & Hilary Strang
A read-along podcast exploring the world(s) of Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars Trilogy. Two humanities scholars read and discuss Kim Stanley Robinson's amazing Red Mars, Green Mars, and Blue Mars, one part at a time. Utopian sci-fi fun and anti-capitalist thinking!

Matt and Hilary are humanities professors. Matt has taught cinema and media studies at DePaul University and the University of Chicago. He now lives in Maine. Hilary is the Director of the MA Program in Humanities at the University of Chicago, where she also teaches English and gender studies.
More places to listen
A read-along podcast exploring the world(s) of Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars Trilogy. Two humanities scholars read and discuss Kim Stanley Robinson's amazing Red Mars, Green Mars, and Blue Mars, one part at a time. Utopian sci-fi fun and anti-capitalist thinking!

Matt and Hilary are humanities professors. Matt has taught cinema and media studies at DePaul University and the University of Chicago. He now lives in Maine. Hilary is the Director of the MA Program in Humanities at the University of Chicago, where she also teaches English and gender studies.

More places to listen

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 Follow us on Twitter @podcastonmars Leave us a voicemail on the app Rate and review us on iTunes or wherever you listen to your podcasts! Music by Spirit of Space
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 Follow us on Twitter @podcastonmars Leave us a voicemail on the app Rate and review us on iTunes or wherever you listen to your podcasts! Music by Spirit of Space
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 Follow us on Twitter @podcastonmars Leave us a voicemail on the app Rate and review us on iTunes or wherever you listen to your podcasts! Music by Spirit of Space
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 Follow us on Twitter @podcastonmars Leave us a voicemail on the 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
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 Follow us on Twitter @podcastonmars Leave us a voicemail on the app Rate and review us on iTunes or wherever you listen to your podcasts! Music by Spirit of Space
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 Follow us on Twitter @podcastonmars Leave us a voicemail on the app Rate and review us on iTunes or wherever you listen to your podcasts! Music by Spirit of Space
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 Follow us on Twitter @podcastonmars Leave us a voicemail on the app Rate and review us on iTunes or wherever you listen to your podcasts! Music by Spirit of Space
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!)
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 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 Follow us on Twitter @podcastonmars  Leave us a voicemail on the app  Rate and review us on iTunes or wherever you listen to your podcasts!  Music by Spirit of Space
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  Follow us on Twitter @podcastonmars  Leave us a voicemail on the app  Rate and review us on iTunes or wherever you listen to your podcasts!  Music by Spirit of Space
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 (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 app  Rate and review us on iTunes or wherever you listen to your podcasts!  Music by Spirit of Space
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'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 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
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 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
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 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
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,'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 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
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 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
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 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
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 Purchase the album "Extra Extra" by The Spirit of Space, composer of our theme music! Leave us a voicemail on the Anchor app!
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 Tweet us @podcastonmars Leave us a voicemail using the app! Music by the aforementioned Spirit of Space
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: 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
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: Tweet us (we don't like twitter) @podcastonmars Rate & Review us: iTunes, Google Play, wherever. Voicemail us: app Music by The Spirit of Space
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 Leave us a voicemail on the Anchor app! Music by The Spirit of Space
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! 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 Leave us voicemails (less than a minute) on the app Tell your friends, and thanks for listening! Music by The Spirit of Space
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 Follow us on Twitter @podcastonmars Rate and review us on iTunes or wherever you listen to this Leave us voicemails at the app! Thanks for listening! Music by The Spirit of Space
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 Send us voicemails on the Anchor app. Tell your friends! Music by The Spirit of Space
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 Follow us on Twitter @podcastonmars Rate and review us on iTunes! Subscribe on tons of podcast apps Leave us VOICEMAILS on the app And you can donate to the show via, 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.)
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.
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).
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 Send us voicemails of 1 minute or less on the Anchor app
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 Send us a voicemail using the app.
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: Rate&review on iTunes Leave voicemails on Anchor app! Twitter: @podcastonmars
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:! Twitter: @podcastonmars Send us voicemails using Anchor app! Music: Spirit of Space
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:! Twitter: @podcastonmars Send us voicemails using Anchor app! Music: Spirit of Space
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! Follow us on Twitter @podcastonmars Send us voicemails using the Anchor app! Music by The Spirit of Space.
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 app! (Thanks to Chris, Bill, and Phil for being the first brave souls to do so.) YOU can email us at! 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.
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 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!
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 Rate/review us on iTunes Music by The Spirit of Space If you download the app you can leave us voicemails!
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, 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 Rate and review us on iTunes and wherever you review podcasts on the Google Play thingie. Original title music by The Spirit of Space
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.
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 Rate and review us on iTunes and Google Play! Original title music by The Spirit of Space
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 Rate and review us on iTunes! Original title music by The Spirit of Space.
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
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!
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 Rate and review us on iTunes! Original title music by The Spirit of Space.
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 Rate and review us on iTunes! Original title music by The Spirit of Space. "Senzeni Na" performed by Cape Town Youth Choir: (Thank you, please don't sue us.)
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 Rate and review us on iTunes!
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 Rate and review us on iTunes! Don't buy these books on Amazon! Be a guest on our show! Tell your friends!
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 Rate and review us on iTunes! Thank you for listening!
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!
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 Tell your friends about how great and interesting and fun to listen to we are!
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:
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...).
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.
April 14, 2018
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