Episode 13: Ringworld, Sci-Fi Stack Exchange, Assigned Reading, Would You Rather?, Unchained Melodies, and I, Robot.

This week Dave and Steel are joined once again by their friend Spencer to discuss lots and lots of very nerdy things. The episode begins with a discussion of Larry Niven’s Ringworld, and just goes downhill from there, descending into an exploration of arcane Star Wars and Star Trek trivia (anti-Wookie prejudice, the battle at Wolf 359, and Han Solo’s murderous encounter with Greedo). The trio also give each other some reading assignments, play a few rounds of an old “Would You Rather?” game Steel designed in college, share music from Phox, King Creosote, Torres, Blur, Blue Sky Black Death, and Vajra, and Dave drops some ominous wisdom from I, Robot Isaac Asimov’s classic collection of short stories.



Ringworld is a series of 5 books written by Larry Niven between 1970 and 2002, with four prequels, cowritten with Edward Lerner and published between 2007 and 2010. Read more about the Ringworld at its wiki.

Sci-Fi Stack Exchange

Question #1: About Chewbacca (from Star Wars 4-6)

Question #2: About the Battle of Wolf 359 (from Star Trek: The Next Generation)

Question #3: About Greedo and Han Solo (from Star Wars 4)

Assigned Reading

Dave assigned Dan Simmons’ sci-fi classicHyperion to Steel.

Steel assigned Sabine Heinlein’s nonfiction Among Murderers: Life After Prison to Dave.

Dave and Steel assigned Thomas Pynchon’s The Crying of Lot 49 to Spencer.

Would You Rather?

Way back when Steel was a freshman in college he wrote out a big, strange “Would You Rather?” quiz and administered it to dozens of friends. It’s now been revised slightly and turned into a 50 question Qualtrics survey, which you can take here.

Unchained Melodies

Phox — 1936

King Creosote — My Favourite Girl

Torres — Strange Hellos

Blur — Lonesome Street

Blue Sky Black Death — Threats (Instrumental)

Vajra — Earthscape 2039

Book Wisdom

This week’s passage comes from “The Evitable Conflict,” a short-story in science-fiction pioneer Isaac Asimov’s collection I, Robot.

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