It is rare enough to find a good listen touching upon such diverse genres of fiction from steampunk and transhumanism to pulp fiction and Sherlock, but Words to That Effect ticks several boxes. This Irish podcast from the Headstuff Network is meticulously researched but never dry. It is well-scripted but sounds natural. It draws on academic texts but is completely accessible.
I thoroughly enjoyed presenter Conor Reid’s romp through transhumanist science fiction where he discusses the imaginary futures – Dystopian and Utopian – of us meatbags (or humans if you prefer) where we might be cyborgs or perhaps find our consciousness uploaded to cyberspace.
Reid talks to Dr Mark O'Connell, author of To Be a Machine, and they discuss the social movement of transhumanism, where the desire to transcend the mortal body ranges from cryogenically frozen heads to those who 'hack' their bodies to implant RFID chips and magnets. We learn that fact can seem stranger than fiction but realise that the stories of William Gibson and Aldous Huxley inspire these technological futures we are reaching towards. This Headstuff podcast is great stuff.