Posts Tagged ‘Science Fiction Horror’


S4E8M – Screamers (movie)*


Wherein we dissect this Peter Weller enticing Canadian-American production of a Philip K. Dick short story with a screenplay that originated from the writer of the first “Alien” movie. I am rejoined by former co-host Richard Mehl a/k/a Rick for another dueling duo of discussion as we fight our way through the miasma of psychological distrust, shock, action/adventure, and science fiction horror.

Ryan enjoyed the film, but expressed that some of the changes made lost the claustrophobic feel that heightened the suspense of uncertainty and distrust which were at the hallmark-heart of what he enjoyed about the short story. Rick liked the visual clarity the film brought to the narrative, but was more engaged with how much of the underlying elements were used elsewhere across the filmic landscape.

While Rick and Ryan were both impressed with the level of special effects employed during film, Rick felt that some of this effort was unnecessary or wasted. That said, nobody questioned the high-quality contribution made by the unflappable Peter Weller (Rick even deigned to delight us with a brief impression!). 

So, suit up for this shorter NDIOS journey and don’t forget your evil-robot-warding-tab while you join us on this mid 90’s exploration of robotic evolution and mind game trickery! 




“Screamers (1995)” by Christian Duguay (Peter Weller) (movie)

Ryan: 3 Stars “…This lesser known b-movie effort falls just short of cult status tracking decently with its fun PKD source material, but there are enough choice bits for science fiction fans to enjoy…

Rick: 3 Stars “…a top Canadian production and not really a b-movie, but, yeah, it had some memorable moments in it and I think they really capitalized on some of the imagery from the story ‘Second Variety’…



Not mentioned during the episode, the website has an article pulling together information about the originating short story (Second Variety) as well as quotes from the author himself concerning the story and his feelings about the original script written by Dan O’Bannon (who also wrote the script for the movie “Alien“). You can read this short article here: Within this web article is a quote from PKD: “My grand theme — who is human and who only appears (masquerading) as human? — emerges most fully.” The author talks about the difficulties of exploring this theme and how he kept coming back to it. This quote is from the original magazine publication of the short story (Space Science Fiction, May 1953) and is also quoted in the appendix notes of one of the anthologies which this story appears (“Second Variety – Collected Stories Volume 2″).

There are a couple blog posts on SFF Audio by Jesse Willis concerning PKD’s work and the copyright status of some of his stories that mentions the two stories talked about in our book review episode (“Second Variety” and “Jon’s World”). These posts include scanned images purporting to be copyright renewal forms of PKD works. Check these out here: and also

Ryan mentioned a few podcasts that talked about this movie and even discussed its similarity to the 1990’s cult classic Kevin Bacon film “Tremors.” One such show is Venganza Media‘s “Now Playing Podcast” and that episode can be heard here: It’s sister show “Books & Nachos” covered the written work here: Check them out, too!

A few other articles either mentioned on the show or worth reading that are about this topic are as follows: “Screamers Is the Most Underrated Philip K. Dick Adaptation Ever” by Cheryl Eddy for iO9; “From The Vault: Screamers (1995)” by Simon Fitzjohn for Movie Ramblings; and “Peter Weller on feminism, sequels, and more” by Will Harris for AV Film.


* DISCLAIMER: Please be advised that the views and opinions of the hosts and guests of NDIOS are completely their own and do not necessarily reflect the views and beliefs of the other hosts and guests or that of NDIOS.



S4E5B – The Screwfly Solution (short story)*


Wherein we discuss the intriguing and tragic life of this fascinating author and her unique perspective and influence on the speculative fiction genre exploring traditional themes of classic scifi with a voice all her own. I am joined by Erika Doyle (artist: and Amanda Andros (playwright: marking the first occasion when the women folk outnumber the men folk on this podcast.

Issues of gender and femicide which are the subject of this narrative were delved into with detail. Ryan marked the hopeless tone that resolved in tragic revelation at the conclusion as a sort of warning tale for keeping perspective in the face of crises. Erika pointed out the various political and religious themes present which made this story feel relevant even today many years after it was written. Amanda found the horror presented disturbing, but done purposefully and thoughtfully. All agreed that this short story was a frightening take on violence and vulnerability that was written with a many-layered and multi-faceted masterful hand.

Listen in on this episode’s riveting conversation about an author who was far ahead of her time and her award-winning story of science fiction horror!




“The Screwfly Solution (1977)” by Raccoona Sheldon a/k/a James Tiptree, Jr. a/k/a Alice Sheldon (short story)

Ryan: 4 1/2 Stars “…An epistolary narrative unraveled with increasing tension as terror reigns abomination with insect horror…

Erika: 4.93 Stars “…I found a lot of humor…but it was kind of grotesque. Like morbid humor…Her prose was fantastic…

Amanda: 4 1/2 Stars “…I found it highly disturbing. I was able to get through that and see a microcosm of society and current events that are going on in the story, now. I think the author is brilliant in the writing…

(Click the links to read full written reviews on




During this episode we mentioned a recent biography on the author’s life published in 2015. This work entitled “James Tiptree, Jr.: The Double Life of Alice B. Sheldon” can be found here (Kindle Edition): The biographer, Julie Phillips, was interviewed on both a podcast and video regarding her research. Those episodes were on the following programs: “Imaginary Worlds Podcast” (Episode: The Mysterious James Tiptree):; and: “UO Today with Julie Phillips” (video): Another podcast mentioned on this episode that gave a thorough and informative overview of the author’s life based on a reading of the biography was: Galactic Suburbia Spoilerific – James Tiptree, Jr.: The Double Life of Alice B. Sheldon by Julie Phillips – Podcast –

Also of interest on this topic is an NPR article by Stephen Burt “Author, Feminist, Pioneer: The Unlikely Queen Of Sci-Fi” which can be found here:

This author has an award based on her. The James Tiptree, Jr. award is “An award encouraging the exploration & expansion of gender.” More information on that and its past winners can be found at their website:

At least four of the stories written in the author’s anthology “Her Smoke Rose Up Forever” are available to listen to FREE in podcast audio format at highly reputable online science fiction magazines including the subject of this episode. Continue the adventure here:

The author, whose name Ryan couldn’t recall, and who was responsible for bringing about the Science Fiction New Wave movement which started in the United Kingdom before it came to the United States was Michael Moorcock. Here is a photo of the book which Ryan was reading around that time about that author’s most famous main character:



* DISCLAIMER: Please be advised that the views and opinions of the hosts and guests of NDIOS are completely their own and do not necessarily reflect the views and beliefs of the other hosts and guests or that of NDIOS.