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.

407

Robot Lovin’

Book Club

Our Book Club has reconvened to take you on a tour of the seven novels nominated for this year’s Nebula Awards, honoring the best in Science Fiction and Fantasy. After you listen your summer book list will be replenished! We liked almost all of these books, so there’s a lot to choose from—and only one of the six is a later book in a series, so you won’t have to do homework to get reading. Read them all and Jason will give you a gold star and a pizza party, but he’s eating all the pizza.

Book Club Jason Snell with Aleen Simms and Scott McNulty


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Previous Episodes

406

A Really Kinky Bunny

Climb aboard your sentient sailing ship, put on a high-fashion eye patch, and prepare for the big musical number—it’s time to talk about Season 3 of “The Magicians.” This is a series that just keeps getting better, and for our money, this was one of the best and most unexpected seasons of television we’ve seen in a long time. Along the way we mention Buffy, Star Trek: TNG’s “Darmok” and “The Inner Light”, and how the journey can be appreciated even when the story doesn’t quite stick the landing.

Jason Snell with Mikah Sargent, James Thomson and Glenn Fleishman


405

That’s Definitely You

It’s time for the second episode in our series on “childhood canon”—the works we encountered as children that set us on the pop-cultural path we walk to this day. For the purposes of this discussion, “works” may also include furniture.

Dan Moren with Quinn Rose, Kathy Campbell, Lisa Schmeiser, Shannon Sudderth, Chip Sudderth, David J. Loehr and Brian Hamilton


404

Thoughts About Thanos

After seeing opening-weekend showings of Marvel’s “Avengers: Infinity War,” our panelists got together for a quick discussion of our first impressions, favorite moments, key complaints, and thoughts about where the Marvel Cinematic Universe goes from here. (If you haven’t seen the movie yet, don’t listen!)

Jason Snell with Lisa Schmeiser, Alyssa Franke, Tony Sindelar, Dan Moren and Chip Sudderth


403

Computers Are Educational

What were the works we encountered as children that set us on the pop-cultural path we walk to this day? We begin a two-episode series on our individual childhood canon. Also, John McCoy would really like you to find a movie he remembers seeing as a kid.

Jason Snell with Liz Myles, Jean MacDonald, Tony Sindelar, John McCoy and Joe Rosensteel


402

His Planet Is Terrible

Check that your documents are in order and prepare to make an unusual border crossing. “Counterpart” is a spy thriller with a science fiction twist. Featuring a great lead performance from J.K. Simmons and an incredibly strong supporting cast, this is a show that features exciting spycraft mixed with some serious questions about identity, the sum of our experiences, and the road not taken. We discuss the first season, with a spoiler horn before we get to the most surprising plot twists that lead into the show’s forthcoming second season.

Jason Snell with John Siracusa, Erika Ensign, Dan Moren and Moisés Chiullan


401

He Uses His Powers For Evil

Book Club

His reputation precedes him. Harlan Ellison is probably one of the best writers of the last century, but he may be more famous (or infamous) for his irascibility, his lawsuits, and his reputed bad behavior. In this episode, six people (two of whom are Ellison novices) read six of his most lauded short stories and discuss the man and his words.

Jason Snell with Erika Ensign, Rhias Hall, Lisa Schmeiser, Chip Sudderth, David J. Loehr and Scott McNulty


400

Snellology

It’s our 400th episode. What better way to celebrate than with a draft featuring some of our most prolific panelists? We pick topics both impractical and practical, and works both unrealized and culturally vital. (Don’t ask questions.)

Jason Snell with Dan Moren, John Siracusa, David J. Loehr, Steve Lutz, Monty Ashley, Erika Ensign, Glenn Fleishman and Lisa Schmeiser


399

We Endured It, You Adored It

Fifty years ago Patrick McGoohan fascinated and confused us with “The Prisoner”, a 17-episode TV series about a man stripped of his name, given a number, and held captive in an idyllic village that doubles as a bizarre surveillance state. It’s allegorical and metaphorical and downright mind-bending, with a baffling conclusion that we’re still scratching our heads about today. What makes this show so great? How does it hold up so well to this day? And have you ever really looked at your hand? We want information, and by hook or by crook, we’ll get it.

Jason Snell with Erika Ensign, Steven Schapansky, Kathleen Schowalter and David J. Loehr


398

Apart From All the Skiing

Book Club

Our Book Club returns to discuss two late 1960s works by the legendary Ursula K. Le Guin, who passed away earlier this year. We tackle the fantasy novel “A Wizard of Earthsea” and the science fiction novel “The Left Hand of Darkness”, both deeply influential in different ways. The works were new to some of our panelists and old favorites for others, so we discuss both what they represented at the time and how we view them from the perspective of 2018.

Jason Snell with Erika Ensign, Scott McNulty, Antony Johnston and Glenn Fleishman


397

Mystical Herbologist

It’s already one of the most successful superhero films of all time, but it’s so much more than that. Our topic this episode is “Black Panther,” which dives into issues from feminism to the long-term effects of imperialism to the legitimacy of monarchies. Plus there’s spectacular production design, some amazing action scenes, and one of the most memorable (and sympathetic) villains in recent movie history. Wakanda Forever!

Jason Snell with Cicero Holmes, Mikah Sargent, Lisa Schmeiser and Moisés Chiullan


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The Incomparable