Posts Tagged ‘Screwfly Solution’


S4E5M – The Screwfly Solution (TV episode)*


Wherein we get into an earnest discussion about this campy, pseudo-80’s-style visual adaptation of our subject science fiction horror story. I am joined again by Erika Doyle (artist: and Amanda Andros (playwright:

While Erika thought that the nudity was done well she found the acting lacking and the level of gore morbidly humorous. Amanda thought that the way the violence was depicted undercut the disturbing nature of the tale. Ryan pointed out that the story was developed mostly from epistolary sources, and that despite this it was translated pretty decently on screen and very close to the source material.

Everyone seemed to feel that while b-style camp and dark humor was not in and of itself problematic, the way in which it was utilized here detracted from the deeper themes which the author explored in the original short story. This, as Ryan mentioned, despite the director and screenwriter being well-accomplished with their previous efforts.

Take a listen as we laugh and reflect on this well-intentioned, but over-the-top take on a horrific story!





“The Screwfly Solution (2006)” by Joe Dante for “Masters of Horror” (Jason Priestley) (TV episode)

Ryan: 2 1/2 Stars “…A creepy adaption of a science fiction horror tale. which manages to focus and update the storyline while remaining still faithful to the original narrative…

Erika: 2.13 Stars “…It was really a lot of blood…it was kind of funny and the acting was terrible…

Amanda: 2 Stars “…there were subtle differences in the storyline, but overall it was extremely horrifying, but also a bit low budget in its representation…





On the show we talked about director Joe Date’s collaborative web-series “Trailers from Hell,” which invites industry insiders (such as other famous directors) to provide commentary about existing movie trailers. It’s a sort of curation site that aims to provide some discerning guidance to modern audiences about the ever increasing back catalog of film content that has been developed over the years. Below are some links to content from this site regarding movies that Joe Dante worked on very early in his career as either an editor or director and while still under the tutelage of Hollywood’s famous b-movie producer Roger Corman. Check it out:


Another podcast mentioned by Ryan which discussed this work and pointed out the feminine aspects of the depiction of the aliens is: “Greetings from the Mirror” – Also, the story written by James Tiptree, Jr., that Ryan couldn’t remember the name for was: “The Women Men Don’t See” The novelette was nominated for a nebula award before it was revealed that James Tiptree, Jr. was actually a woman, and she withdrew the work from the ballot:’t_See.


Lastly, below is a picture of Erika painting a mural in Chicago for which she was commissioned. Fun fact: Her helper is frequent show guest and theme writer (her husband) John Doyle a/k/a Dole.





* 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:

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Elric the morose albino sorcerer of Melniboné must bear his reluctant crown to protect those few things he treasures against the fading bright of his might-ridden empire, which continually pits his aspirations toward a greater moral clarity against compromises of ill circumstance. The conflicts come fast and the words faster as forces of supernatural and family alike threaten Elric’s tenuous personal health as well as his cumbersome grip on power. Meet the Eternal Champion and squeeze through the many planes of existence as he tumbles through the Multiverse. #ElricofMelnibone by #MichaelMoorcock a definitive collection by #Gollancz #orionbooks #Elric #elricofmelniboné #theeternalchampion #eternalchampion #melnibone #melniboné #moorcock #themichaelmoorcockcollection #multiverse #amreading #fantasy #fantasybooks #swordandsorcery #book #literature #bookselfie #instabook #bookstagram #booksofig #lovebird #instapet #petsofinstagram #pets #birdsofinstagram #booksofinsta

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* 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.


S4E5P – Preview Episode (The Screwfly Solution)


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

Her Smoke Rose Up Forever collects eighteen brilliant short stories from a luminary of the science-fiction genre, James Tiptree, Jr. This updated edition is the quintessential Tiptree collection and contains revisions from the author’s original notes. Tiptree’s fiction reflects the darkly complex world its author inhabited: exploring the alien among us; the unreliability of perception; love, sex, and death; and humanity’s place in a vast, cold universe. (from

“”The Screwfly Solution” is a 1977 science fiction short story by Raccoona Sheldon, a pen name for psychologist Alice Sheldon, who was better known by her other nom de plume, James Tiptree, Jr. It received the Nebula Award for Best Novelette, and has been adapted into a television film. The title refers to the sterile insect technique, a technique of eradicating the population of screwflies by the release of large amounts of sterilized males that would compete with fertile males, thus reducing the native population more with each generation this is done. This story concerns a similar distortion of human sexuality with disastrous results.” (from

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“The Screwfly Solution (2006)” by Joe Dante for “Masters of Horror” (Jason Priestley) (TV episode)

“The second season of the anthology series, Masters of Horror, brings a stellar lineup of directors and thirteen new one-hour films.”  (from

Season II – Episode 7. “The Screwfly Solution” – “It begins with a terrifying rash of isolated homicides Around the world, normal male sexual urges have suddenly transformed into violent rage. Now a pair of scientists (Jason Priestley and Elliott Gould) are in a desperate race against time to figure out how – and why – the war between the sexes has turned murderous. Is a mysterious virus making every red-blooded man a potential lady-killer? Kerry Norton (BATTLESTAR GALACTICA) costars in this graphic and provocative shocker written by Sam Hamm (BATMAN, HOMECOMING) from the award-winning short story by James Tiptree Jr.” (from


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Listen to this full-cast audio version of the short story FREE here:

“The Screwfly Solution (August 22, 2014)” by Pseudopod – Episode 400 (podcast)

Narrators: Tina Connolly, Eric Luke, Matt Franklin, Anna Schwind, Mat Weller, Rish Outfield, George Hrab and Jairus Durnett – Host: Alasdair Stuart  – Audio Producer: Graeme Dunlop

“The Screwfly Solution” first appeared in the June 1977 issue of Analog, won the Nebula award for Novelette in 1978 and has been reprinted multiple times since then… It is being podcast with the permission of Jeffrey D. Smith and the Virginia Kidd Agency, Inc..” (from

“You’ve found the world’s premier horror fiction podcast. For over a decade, Pseudopod has been bringing you the best short horror in audio form, to take with you anywhere. We pay our authors professional rates for original fiction and we reach more people every week than any other short fiction horror market.”  (from


* 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.