GGG#52: Ian McDonald

Episode 52 << Click to Listen


Ian McDonald, author of The Dervish House and Planesrunner, joins us to discuss the future of the developing world, why Northern Ireland is a post-colonial issue, and what Elmo smells like on the inside.

Panel Topic: Upcoming Movie Adaptations Part 2 (with guest geek Matt London)

A transcript is available for this interview.

Please give us 5 stars on iTunes.

Posted on January 6, 2012, in Episodes. Bookmark the permalink. 15 Comments.

  1. Great episode, as always. Ian McDonald is one of my favorite authors, and it was good to hear some insight into some of his ‘Developing Nation’ books.

  2. Awesome episode! While there haven’t been too many alternate history movies a couple tv show’s have done some interesting things with it. Fringe deals very heavily with alternate realities, the main one we see has developed in a very different way, from big things like where the 9/11 attacks were successful and ubiquity of zeppelins, to smaller things like a disease to wiped out all the sheep or season 11 of the show West Wing. Also, the British teenage superhero/juvenile delinquent show Misfits did an amazing episode this season that due to some time travel antics, Hitler gets a cell phone and is able to win WW2, so the Nazis now occupy Britain. Then hijinks ensue.

  3. I enjoyed the show. Hadn’t come across the works of Ian McDonald until now… sounds like he’s worth a look 🙂

    Some of the discussion around alternative Earths reminded me of Philip Pullman’s “Dark Materials” trilogy, e.g. coal oil, airships, technologies of uncertain design, subtly different in some worlds, totally in others.

    I totally agree with John the armour (Iron Man) vs mechs (Avatar) distinction. Another mech example is in The Matrix sequels, defending Zion.

    I read Asimov’s Foundation series about 30 years ago, so my recall of the plot is patchy, but I reckon it would make a great series, TV or Movie. The part when Hari Seldon’s predictions don’t match events (due to the Mule’s influence) sticks in my memory. And the musical instrument.

    This reminds me of the space trading and combat computer game, “Elite”, that I played on my BBC Micro in the early 1980s. My memory of the Foundation novels enhanced the gaming experience, I think.

    Hope things work out and you can continue with the GGG shows.

  4. I thought you guys might be interested to know that the Caves of Steel has actually been adapted – once for the BBC back in the 1960s.

    I found a clip on Youtube and that’s about it:

    It would be interesting to find out if there’s any more out there. There’s quite a lot of Brit SF from around this period that, if we’re talking remakes, I’d love to see done well.

  5. Hey Guys!

    Sorry to hear that you and io9 have parted ways. I’m hoping that you can keep the show going, as I and many others really enjoy it.

    I did want to let you know that GGG#52 is NOT showing up in iTunes, and this may limit its audience. Had I not heard about the show being posted here in GGG#51, I would have assumed you had podfaded. Many folks not seeing you there might make the same assumption

  6. Okay, Episode 52 is up on iTunes now.

  7. Hey Guys. The GGG Show RSS feed seems to have been refreshed today. Thing is, the titles of the episodes in the feed do not include the episode number, e.g. the latest is simply “Ian McDonald (Planesrunner)”.

    Also, there’s no link on each RSS feed item to the GGG Show page for details of the show and commenting. This was the case before the refresh, but perhaps something can be done to add these links.


  8. Hey 3dbloke. I streamlined the episode data to make it more readable in iTunes. I wasn’t sure if episode numbers were really necessary, but let me think about that.

    I’m not sure what you mean about links. I didn’t remove any links, just rewrote some of the text. The previous version of the feed is backed up here, and contains no links as far as I can tell:

    • I think the episode numbers are useful. They are referred to often in the shows, particularly references to previous shows. Not essential, but a nice to have.

      Perhaps a separate feed for non-iTunes people, such as myself 🙂

      About the links. Yes, they were never there. It would be handy to add a link the the show details. (I thought, perhaps, this could be done, while you were making other changes)

  9. Great episode guys! Congrats on starting out on your own here at the web site. I will be sure to listen and support.

  10. Great show(s), I enjoyed the discussions and guest for 51 and 52. I haven’t heard all of the podcasts, so perhaps it’s already been explored, but have you ever had a discussion about TV shows? Now that Netflix and Hulu are picking up speed, I’m actually watching TV series, and would like some recommendations.

  11. Thanks guys!! Amazing as always. This has been my favorite podcast for quite some time. Would love to hear an interview with John C Wright author of the Golden Age trilogy… in my opinion one of the best post human books out there.

  12. the definition of geek is right here in this episode – a discussion on what is a Mek and what is body armour! Brilliant . Love the show, keep up the great work.

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