10/23/2020

Making Peace With The End Of Your Species

17:08 minutes

two portraits side by side. on the left is a man with glasses. on the right in black woman in a blue shirt
Authors Indra Das and Aisha Matthews. Credit: Rajib Saha/Omar B Rimawi

illustrated stack of books with text "scifri book club"This is a part of our fall Book Club conversation about the short story collection, New Suns: Original Speculative Fiction By Writers of Color, edited by Nisi Shawl. Want to participate? Sign up for our newsletter or record a voice message as you read on the Science Friday VoxPop app.


Welcome to week four of the Science Friday Book Club’s reading of ‘New Suns’! Our last short story assignment is ‘The Shadow We Cast Through Time’ by Indian writer Indrapramit Das. On a far-off planet, a human colony has been cut off from the rest of space: but they’ve also encountered other life, a fungus-like organism that infects and distorts human bodies into horned “demon”-like creatures. And as one human woman, Surya, approaches her death at their hands willingly, she makes a discovery that speaks of a new future for both species.

Author Indrapramit Das joins SciFri producer Christie Taylor and Journal of Science Fiction managing editor Aisha Matthews to talk about creating new worlds, and the “modern mythology” of writing science fiction and fantasy.

an inked illustration of an "alien" who has elegant horns and black shading over the eyes
Illustration by Indra Das

Read New Suns With Us!

  1. Grab a copy of the book and start reading! You can buy a physical copy via Powell’s Books (they’re offering a 20 percent discount for the rest of October!)Indiebound, Bookshop, or your favorite bookseller. Plus, we’re partnering with libraries across the country to give you more ways to read with us.
  2. Need a teaser? Read an excerpt from ‘The Shadow We Cast Through Time,’ this week’s story focus.
  3. Listen to the radio show every Friday through October 30. We’ll discuss one story every week!
  4. Join us live on Zoom for a conversation with collection editor and speculative fiction author Nisi Shawl on Monday, October 26, 2020.
  5. Jump into the discussion with our online community at Mighty Networks! We’ll be chatting about New Suns every week with discussion questions and additional reading recommendations.
  6. Want to get e-mail from us? Sign up for our SciFri Book Club newsletter to get weekly updates, discussion questions, and information about other Book Club happenings.
  7. Tell us your stories using the SciFri VoxPop app. (Download the app on iPhone and Android.) This week we want to know what you’re observing as you read the stories in “New Suns.” Do you have a favorite story? Why or why not? We may play your answer on the show!
  8. Are you itching for more literary tales? Check out Science Diction, a podcast from Science Friday that digs into the scientific origin stories behind our words and language. Sign up for the Science Diction newsletter for updates.

an illustration of a Black woman wearing a futuristic device on the back of her head, which is on the cover of the short story anthology "new suns." the image has information for a virtual event. details read: "#scifribookclub: interview with new suns editor nisi shawl. science friday events"

Meet Up With Nisi Shawl!

We’re closing out Fall Book Club with a virtual, call-in celebration! Christie Taylor and co-host Aisha Matthews will chat with speculative fiction author and editor Nisi Shawl, on Monday, October 26. Register now!


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Segment Guests

Indra Das

Indra Das is author of The Devourers (book, 2015) and ‘The Shadow We Cast Through Time’ (short story, 2019) and is in Kolkata, India.

Aisha Matthews

Aisha Matthews is managing editor of the Journal of Science Fiction and the director of Literary Programming for the Museum of Science Fiction’s Escape Velocity conference in Washington, D.C..

Segment Transcript

The transcript for this segment is being processed. It will be posted within one week after the episode airs.

Meet the Producers and Host

About Kathleen Davis

Kathleen Davis is an assistant producer at Science Friday, which means she spends the week brainstorming, researching, and writing, typically in that order. She’s a big fan of stories related to strange animal facts and dystopian technology.

About Christie Taylor

Christie Taylor is a producer for Science Friday. Her day involves diligent research, too many phone calls for an introvert, and asking scientists if they have any audio of that narwhal heartbeat.

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