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The A To Z Of SFF has entered an extended phase of hibernation.

The archive is available to stream and download via our website and iTunes vectors, which will remain open. However, there will be no new episodes of The A To Z Of SFF in its current format.

Updates will be issued as they become available.

 

Thank you for listening.

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A Is For Anno Dracula


Kim Newman’s Anno Dracula books are wild, freewheeling takes on alternative history that that gleefully mash together fictional and historical figures to tell the story of a word where Dracula is real. A meta-fictional treat for anyone that likes their pulp. Rob and Clive certainly do…

G Is For God Told Me To


The last of our Spooky SFF episodes celebrates a gritty slice of New York noir that twists and turns into a highly freaky slice of horror-tinged SF. From acclaimed low-budget film-maker Larry Cohen, this is a film that takes virtue from the lack of money. Cohen favours invention and good writing over special effects Sturm und Drang.
A meditation on identity, religion and family, God Told Me to is a powerful piece of work that really stays with you. A fitting end to our exploration of the horrific side of SFF!


S Is For The Stone Tape


 

Onwards with Spooky SFF month, as we discuss a massively influential slice of hauntological freakiness: Nigel Kneale’s terrifying The Stone Tape.

It ticks all the boxes: 70s setting, shot on video, Radiophonic Workshop soundtrack. A sharply empathetic performance from Jane Asher helps to elevate this story, but the whole thing is deeply unnerving and still bloody scary.
This is what happens when you try to solve the science behind hauntings…

Includes the first instance of a new term from Rob: cathode-punk.


GUYSGUYSGUYS! The Stone Tape is on Cosmic VideyouTube! Dim the lights, pour yourself a scotch and indulge.

L Is For Lifeforce


It’s October, which means Curiosity is skewing spooky. This month our over-excitable alien chum is feeding Rob and Clive titles with an extra layer of creepyplasma.
We start with Tobe Hooper’s Lifeforce–a deranged slice of Quatermass-style oddness with added nudity, exploding corpses and weapons-grade scenery-chewing. This one has to be seen to be believed, and even then you won’t believe what you’re seeing.


F Is For Forbidden Planet


Rob, Clive and Curiosity celebrate a landmark piece of SF in the shape of the 1956 classic, Forbidden Planet. Widely recognised as a formative text in the creation of Star Trek, and influential in the production and sound design of Star Wars and many other examples of filmed and TVSF. If you like the fiction of sciencey, you need to be all over this film.

Worst name for a starship ever, though…


S Is For A Sound Of Thunder

In which Rob fanbois so hard over Ray Bradbury that he nearly breaks something.
Seriously, though, A Sound Of Thunder is a formative SF text, and hence very worth of a one over from the Curiosity Crew. Just stay away from the movie, ok?



Once again, we believe you should read the story before you listen to the podcast. Not such a hard grind when it’s this good…

Start here, please.

R Is For Rollerball

One of the classics. A gem of dystopian SF, and a great example of a sports movie to boot. A rare example of an intelligent box-office hit: a film that lets its audience make up their own minds about Jonathon E and the society that both embraces and rejects him.



Clive mentioned William Harrison’s 1973 short story “The Rollerball Murders”, the source material for the film. Read the whole thing here.

D Is For The Dark Crystal

Rob loves the beauty and artistry of Jim Henson’s fantasy epic The Dark Crystal. Clive thinks it’s staid and a little bit boring. Who’s right? can they both have a point? That’s not going to help Curiosity make up its mind, is it?
Join the crew as they pick apart the film most people call “that one that doesn’t have David Bowie and his bulging tights in it.”


 


 

Here’s a clip, to give you an idea of the flavour of the piece…