December 17, 2019

21.2: Childhood’s End post-read w/ Seth Heasley: Religion, Psionics, and Big Ideas in Science Fiction

Seth Heasley of the Hugos There podcast ( joins us to discuss Arthur C. Clarke's 1950s classic, Childhood's End (

This is a short book about big ideas, asking what would happen if aliens came to Earth and instituted a generations-long paternalistic program to get us ready for our next stage of evolution. 

We discuss the book's major influence on science fiction, from Vinge, Niven, & Stephenson, to anime like Akira, to The Three-Body Problem. We dig deep into the books politics around colonialism. And we ask what it would be like to live through a society that has everything it could want, but knows that it's no longer in charge of its own destiny.

Here's a short list of other things we discussed on the episode. Links at if they don't show up in your podcatcher.

* Jo Walton on Childhood's End 

* Adrian on Hugos There discussing The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin 

* All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace 

* Tobias Buckell's story The Very Last Curator of What Little Remains of the Western World (patreon pay wall)


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Many thanks to Dubby J and Noah Bradley for doing our music and art.

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