Posted in: 2023

175. A Few More Words: Empath

I talk about this relatively new word in English, which actually has its origin in science fiction. The word follows a common pattern for words that start with a very specific meaning in a field or discipline, and then once they're in use in standard English they develop their own meanings and history. I wrap up by comparing it to the word schizophrenic, which has behaved similarly, but with a bit of a twist.

Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5-TR)

Historical Dictionary of Science Fiction

Dictionary of Psychopathology, by Henry Kellerman

Posted in: 2022

126. A Toxicology Expert Writes a Sci-Fi Novel with a Twist

My guest is Alan Kolok, who is a professor at the University of Idaho and Director of the Idaho Water Resources Research Institute, based in Moscow, Idaho. He is an expert in toxicology and author of the Modern Poisons: A Brief Introduction to Contemporary Toxicology. He’s also author of the sci-fi novel Twist. We talk about poisons as well as making the transition from science to science fiction in writing. 

Posted in: 2023

77. Shanti Hershenson: Teen Sci-fi Novelist

Shanti Hershenson’s first two novellas were published when she was in the sixth grade, although she had been writing even before then. Shanti writes in a variety of genres, mostly Science Fiction but Fantasy and Historical Fiction as well. She has now published 12 novels and she’s only 14 years old. She was fascinating to talk to: she was enthusiastic, she knew what she was talking about, and she was confident and smart in a very sort of casual way. Please have a listen to our conversation.