Science Fiction

Movies on the Radio
Keith Weston / WUNC

  Science fiction is a genre made for the movies. The narratives make viewers question reality, think about space exploration and ponder human existence. Sci-fi films have produced some of the most financially successful films in movie history.

Image of author Katharine Ashe with a fan at a romance convention.
Katharine Ashe

North Carolina is home to a strong writing community. The state’s writing world has flourished in part because of an equally-strong literary ecosystem of publishers, independent bookstores, and readers. The inaugural Read Local Book Festival celebrates this literary ecosystem in downtown Durham this weekend with workshops, author dinners, and more.


Author Jeff VanderMeer dreamed he was walking down a tunnel where words were appearing on the wall.

Travel guides can help the ordinary humans navigate locales near and far, but what about those monsters banished to the nether regions of human imagination? Well, for those creepy crawlies, there is a service that will help guide them through the underworlds of planet Earth. At least, that’s the premise of Mur Lafferty’s novel, “The Shambling Guide to New York City,” (Orbit/2013). Host Frank Stasio talks with North Carolina writer Mur Lafferty about her new novel.


Afrofuturism: The World of Black Sci-Fi and Fantasy Culture by Ytasha Womack
ytasha womack /


Recently, the Voyager One space craft entered interstellar space, the farthest a man-made object has ever traveled. But as we push the bounds of space travel, the number of people of color in space-related careers remains low. This weekend, Duke University is holding the first conference to explore the intersection of identity and space exploration, “Race in Space.” Host Frank Stasio speaks with conference participants about the involvement of people of color in space-related careers.

Tanglewood Books


John Stanley has been telling stories to his twin boys since they were old enough to listen.

When his children started reading chapter books, he kicked his storytelling up a notch and started writing a book. Stanley's debut work, "Mickey Price: Journey to Oblivion" (Tanglewood Press/ 2013), features children traveling to the moon. Host Frank Stasio talks with John Stanley about penning his first book.

Jim Minz
ktempest, via, Creative Commons


Today's State of Things show is a rebroadcast of an interview with Jim Minz.  The program originally aired on April 1, 2013.

Jim Minz’s childhood in small-town West Bend, Wisconsin prepared him for two things: game shows and science fiction. /

David Drake  has garnered a reputation in the world of science fiction readers as a leader in the military sci-fi genre. But he won’t be penned in by labels. His latest novel, “Monsters of the Earth” (Tor/2013), is the third in his Books of the Elements fantasy series.

'The Best Of All Possible Worlds' by Karen Lord / Del Rey


Science fiction is a genre dominated by white men. So, Karen Lord is something of an outlier. She’s a woman, first of all, but she is also a native of Barbados, and as such brings a decidedly Caribbean perspective to her novels.  Karen Lord is in town and making various appearances around the Triangle. She will be at the Bull Spec Summer Speculative Fiction event at Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh this weekend.

The film adaptation of Frank Yerby's 1946 best-selling novel, The Foxes of Harrow.

African-American literary authors like James Baldwin or Zora Neale Hurston are famous for their depictions of black life. But these novelists have also written books with white protagonists. Why is this unexpected? Is there a mandate that black authors write only about black characters?