The Incomparable is a weekly dive into geeky media we love, including movies, books, TV, comics, and more, featuring a rotating panel of guests and hosted by Jason Snell.

516

Like a Fruit Salad

Book Club

We’ve completed our read of this year’s six Nebula Award nominees for best science fiction/fantasy novel of the year, and have returned with our opinions! And this year was a pretty good one, with very few of our readers experiencing the pain of bad books. From space opera to portal fantasy to Mexican mythology, there are almost certainly books on this list that will strike your fancy. Also, we debate the perennial question: Are planets in space?

Book Club Jason Snell with Erika Ensign, Aleen Simms, Scott McNulty and Dan Moren


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Previous Episodes

515

Guitar Riff for Grandma

Just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale
A tale of a fateful show
We drafted yet more TV themes
And the theme song list did grow

The guest list was a lengthy one
The pickers came prepared
If not for the courage of our editor
The listeners would be scared

So join us on your podcast app
You’ll listen till you’re full
It’s favorite TV theme songs
Here on The Incomparable

Jason Snell with Philip Michaels, Lizbeth Myles, Steven Schapansky, James Thomson, Moisés Chiullan, Dan Moren, Monty Ashley and Jean MacDonald


514

You Can’t Pants a Heist

Dan Moren joins Jason to discuss what went into writing his new novel, “The Aleph Extraction.” No spoilers for the story, but we do discuss how he builds characters, the optimal length of a novel, how writing a novel under contract is different from having years to write one without a publisher, and why Jason has access to the Galactic Cold War wiki.

Jason Snell with Dan Moren


513

Hats Off

This podcast is like a donut hiding inside the hole of another donut. That’s because we’re talking “Knives Out,” Rian Johnson’s twisty and clever murder mystery set in the family of a very rich and very awful family. We discuss the movie’s storytelling choices, debate whether it plays fair with all its flashbacks, ponder which of the family members is the least awful, and laugh about all the jokes. (And yes, if you listen to this episode before watching the movie, you’re a monster.)

Jason Snell with Brian Hamilton, Sage Young, Helene Wecker and Dan Moren


512

Eponymous

Put on your best shaggy flannel, because it’s time to go back to the ’90s for another album draft! In this episode Jason is joined by a decade’s worth of panelists to choose our favorite music albums from the 1990s. And yet, somehow, some of our panelists were born in that very decade! Isn’t it ironic?

Jason Snell with Antony Johnston, Brian Hamilton, Erika Ensign, James Thomson, Monty Ashley, Quinn Rose, Sarah Gardner, Shelly Brisbin, Steve Lutz and Tiffany Arment


511

Whales Are Powerful Magicians

The final season of SyFy’s “The Magicians” is in the books, and we’re here to wrap it up, as well as share some overall thoughts on the series as the whole. But before we do that, we spend 17 minutes convincing you that it’s a show that’s absolutely worth watching.

Jason Snell with Glenn Fleishman, Annette Wierstra, Moisés Chiullan and James Thomson


510

Failure Is Not an Option

Put on a white vest, climb in your Corvette, and whatever you do, don’t stir the cryo tanks! It’s the 50th anniversary of Apollo 13 and the 25th anniversary of “Apollo 13,” so we’re here to discuss Ron Howard’s film, starring Tom Hanks, Ed Harris and an enormous collection of character actors. The real-life story of Apollo 13 is so unlikely that if they made it into a movie, you’d never believe it—but in 1995 they did, and you will.

Jason Snell with Stephen Hackett, Dr. Drang, Dan Moren and Kathy Campbell


509

The Battle of Control-V

Engage! Season one of “Star Trek: Picard” is in the books, and so now it’s time to break it all down. Is Data’s death the overriding theme of the season? Does Picard’s final destination live up to the set-up? How did Hugh and Seven fare? Were the other visits from past cast members cheesy or good? How cool are Romulan warrior nuns? Who’s your favorite synth? And can storytelling ever be described as “lumpy?”

Jason Snell with James Thomson, Jean MacDonald, Cicero Holmes, Anže Tomić and Erika Ensign


508

But Who Would That Woman Be?

By the end of this episode we will sell several copies of “The Three E.P.s” by The Beta Band. It’s time to put on that horrible Cosby sweater and rearrange your record collection autobiographically. On the 20th anniversary of its release, we’re here to discuss one of our All-Time Top 5 movies featuring Lisa Bonet coming alive like Frampton, “High Fidelity.” Based on Nick Hornby’s novel, this film stars John Cusack as a bad boyfriend with a glimmer of hope at finding a clue, features a career-making performance from Jack Black as a gatekeeper fan with a surprising singing voice, and still resonates with us after two decades.

Jason Snell with Kelly Guimont, Andy Ihnatko and Moisés Chiullan


507b

Pandemic Bonus: “Raiders of the Lost Ark” commentary track

In the interest of keeping you entertained if you’re locked indoors, here’s a full-length commentary track for one of our favorite movies, “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” recorded in 2017. Play this commentary, press play on the movie when we tell you to, and it’ll be like you’re watching the movie with a bunch of friends!

Note: You have to play it at 1x speed and with all silence-shortening features turned off on your podcast player or it won’t stay synced.

(If you’re in the UK or elsewhere that has a sped-up PAL version of the movie, you can listen to the re-timed version of our commentary.)

This track was originally made as a special for Incomparable members. We’ve done a bunch more since. If you’d like access to every members special we’ve ever done, consider becoming a member!

Jason Snell with John Siracusa, Dan Moren, Monty Ashley and David J. Loehr


507

No More Death Stars

The Skywalker Saga is over—so what’s next for “Star Wars”? This week we’re suggesting potential directions for the franchise to go, on both the big and small screens. What kinds of movies should come next? Is Disney+ a development platform or the next big thing? Our team of franchise fans has no fiduciary responsibility and plenty of ideas!

Jason Snell with John Siracusa, Dan Moren, Kelly Guimont and Monty Ashley


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