THE SCI-FI PODCAST EP 30: Arrival (2016), Hard Sci-Fi Vol. 1


Welcome to The SciFi Podcasta wretched hive of scum and villainy a bi-weekly podcast focused on in-depth discussion of all things Science Fiction. The SciFi Podcast features four hosts—Mattroid, Brain, Solo, and Station!—and frequent guests. Each episode we look at a science fiction theme or franchise and take the discussion where no show has gone before.

This episode we begin the Hard Sci-Fi volumes with our fist entry: vol. 1. We review and cover Arrival (2016), and elaborate on the concept of Hard Science-Fiction and it’s importance in the genre. Did your expectations arrive, or did this movie leave you wishing you could change your destination? Let us know!

Theme music courtesy of I Hear Sirens, featuring Matt on bass and Liz on keyboard. Hear more of I Hear Sirens ethereal, instrumental, post-rock at BandCamp. Podcast production and artwork Mattroid.

Feature Review: Arrival (2016)

Mattroid – 9, watch it
Station! – 8.0, watch it at home (and mess with the video settings on your tv)
Solo – 8.0, watch it
Brain – 9.5, watch it

Check out The Mundane Manifesto here.


10 thoughts on “THE SCI-FI PODCAST EP 30: Arrival (2016), Hard Sci-Fi Vol. 1

  1. 38min – the science dude, it was simply an attempt to figure everything out. I would think of a scientist first especially considering alien vocals might not be in our range of hearing.

    They didn’t even know or think of written words until after the hired a language specialist. Same for math.

  2. 1:15:00 – Abbott probably knew he was going to die before hand and volunteered. He was probably near the end of his life cycle, terminally ill or a god damned hero. But the outcome would be worse if it went any other way. They declared themselves peaceful in her mind the minute he sacrificed himself.

    • I think your last point is exactly the point. The moment the attack happened and Abbott entered the death cycle, AND there was no retaliation by the heptapods, was the moment Louise knew their intentions were not aggressive.

  3. Love the new Inspection Station! segment. Should be fun moving forward.

    Also wanted to say congratulations for all the success you’re having with the podcast. It sounds like you guys are doing pretty well, especially for such a relatively new show. Definitely well-deserved.

  4. Great discussion on Arrival! I like that you really delved into the science fiction concepts in the film. I’ve listened to a few podcasts where Arrival was discussed and none went as in depth on the sci fi aspects.

    The Mundane Manisfesto also piqued my interest, and I read it via your link. I wonder if the oppositional tone in the manifesto may have put you off a bit. I think the “this not that” attitude is just part of the form of a manifesto, and I experienced it as being a bit tongue in cheek (with regard to the tone). And I do think that Geoff Ryman has an interesting point. Science fiction is dominated by narratives that feature a particular set of far fetched tropes (time travel, interstellar travel, alien contact, teleportation, etc.) to the extent that other concepts and approaches remain under explored. The author cites “the greater part of the works of Phillip K. Dick,” Blade Runner, and 1984 as examples of mundane science fiction, so I don’t think he is anti-speculation, but rather advocating for science fiction that is more grounded, both in terms of human experience and plausibility. Based on my reading of the manifesto, I think Ex Machina, Her, Splice, and Black Mirror would all qualify as mundane science fiction.

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