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Ex Urbe Ad Astra

Historian and novelist Ada Palmer and author and vocateur reader Jo Walton interview other fiction authors, historians, scientists, editors, and friends, interspersed with bonus episodes where they discuss topics such as history, gelato, and the craft of writing.

Aug 26, 2021

Jonathan Sneed is an astrogeologist and expert in Mars wind and erosional science. He also consults with science fiction authors, and has the skill of giving the sort of answers to science questions that are useful when writing fiction.

Numerous topics covered include - open questions in Mars science; panspermia; wind...

Aug 19, 2021

In this bonus episode, Ada Palmer and Jo Walton have a craft of writing discussion of complicity, i.e. when and how the author gets the reader or audience on the side of characters they would not expect to root for, and how that can be used in fiction.

Aug 5, 2021

Novelist and political scientist Malka Older, author of Infomocracy and its sequels, shares an interest with Ada Palmer in the development of political systems. With Jo Walton providing examples from her broad knowledge of the history of F&SF, they discuss speculative political systems, historical disaster response, and...