Category Archives: Science & Fiction

TRR: Episode 81, “1,492,633 Marlon Brandos”



We all have our ideal, formed in our youth, of the perfect mate. In this story from the September 1962 issue of “Worlds of If” magazine, we learn what happens when such idol worship is wedded to unnatural power.

“1,492,633 Marlon Brandos” (1962) by Vance Aandahl

The Reader

TRT: 16:38

The musical accompaniment for the show is provided through the kind generosity of Incompetech.com and Archive.org.


TRR: Episode 78, “Light and Air”



At the height of the Industrial Revolution, the fascination with science and industry, and the new advancements they could bring, were at fever pitch, and new discoveries and inventions seemed to appear almost every day.

Many of the periodicals of the day carried articles explaining scientific concepts to their readers. In this episode, we share one such article from the November, 1851 issue of Harper’s New Monthly Magazine.

“Light and Air” (1851) Harper’s New Monthly Magazine

The Reader

TRT: 27:45

The musical accompaniment for the show is provided through the kind generosity of Incompetech.com.


TRR: Episode 77, “If We Could Move to Mars”



Mars has always captivated the mind and imagination of Man. Here we have an essay written by Garrett P. Serviss, who, like Percival Lowell, was a legitimate astronomer, but that did not keep them from wild flights of fancy regarding what we may one day find on The Red Planet.

“If We Could Move to Mars” (1896) by Garrett P. Serviss

The Reader

TRT: 20:20

The musical accompaniment for the show is provided through the kind generosity of Incompetech.com.


TRR: Episode 73, “The Star” by H.G. Wells



This week, we share a short story by the incomparable science fiction pioneer, the author H.G. Wells. “The Star” tells a tale of catastrophe visited upon the Earth by a stray planet passing too near.

“The Star” (1897) by H.G. Wells

The Reader

TRT: 38:16

The musical accompaniment for the show is provided through the kind generosity of Incompetech.com and Archive.org.


TRR: Episode 57, “What is a Ghost?”



Spiritualism was all the rage in the late 19th Century and well into the 20th. Psychical research, the attempt to study and discover proof of the supernatural via the Scientific Method became a cause celeb, with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Harry Houdini, among others, working to debunk the frauds and charlatans in order to find the truth. Hereward Carrington, an author and amateur magician, worked and wrote on the topic of supernatural phenomena. For our fourth installment of spooky tales this October, we’ll examine some of his research on what he claimed to be real encounters with ghosts.

“Real Ghost Stories” (1915) by Hareward Carrington

The Reader

TRT: 19:32

The musical accompaniment for the show is provided through the kind generosity of Incompetech.com and Archive.org.


TRR: Episode 52, “The Masked World”



Jack Williamson wrote science fiction stories from the 1920’s until his death in 2006. He was known for writing in a realistic style that won many admirers in the genre, including a young Issac Asimov.

In this episode, we’ll hear one of his short stories from the August 1963 issue of “Worlds of Tomorrow” magazine.

“The Masked World” (1963) by Jack Williamson

The Reader

TRT: 15:16

The musical accompaniment for the show is provided through the kind generosity of Incompetech.com.


TRR: Episode 49, “An Idyl of the Honey-Bee”



Naturalist and conservationist John Burroughs was one of the most influential men in his field at the turn of the last century. He wrote in a lyrical romantic style which made his observations on Nature accessible. In this episode, we present one of his essays on the bee and hunting honey in the wild.

“An Idyl of the Honey-Bee” (1881) by John Burroughs

The Reader

TRT: 48:06

The musical accompaniment for the show is provided through the kind generosity of Incompetech.com.


TRR: Episode 40, “Ursa Minor”



Poor little Ursa Minor, so worthy of our respect, but so overshadowed by his more famous companion, Ursa Major. Just like people in everyday life, which is the topic of Zephine Humphrey’s essay about the marginalized little constellation.

“Ursa Minor” (1913) by Zephine Humphrey

The Reader

TRT: 28:07

The musical accompaniment for the show is provided through the kind generosity of Incompetech.com.


TRR: Episode 39, “Solander’s Radio Tomb”



In this episode, we offer a story written in 1927 about the then still-new wonder that was Radio. Humorist Ellis Parker Butler wrote the story and it appeared in “Amazing Stories” magazine, and later reprinted there in 1956. Butler was, surprisingly, only a part-time author. Despite writing several books and over 2,000 short stories and articles in his 40-year long career, Butler was a full-time banker.

“Solander’s Radio Tomb” (1927) by Ellis Parker Butler

The Reader

TRT: 22:12

The musical accompaniment for the show is provided through the kind generosity of Incompetech.com and Archive.org.


TRR: Episode 24, “Celestial Visitors”



Comets, once poetically (though inaccurately), called “wandering stars,” have had a profound impact upon the history of our world and its civilizations. In this episode, we take a look at early theories of what a comet was made of, where they came from, and their purpose in the minds of people generations before the Rosetta probe and its Philae lander.

“Aether and Gravitation” (1903) by William George Hooper
“Comets and Meteors” (1873) by Daniel Kirkwood
“The Comet” by Irving Sidney Dix
A quotation of Mark Twain (1909)
“The Story of the Solar System” (1895) by George F. Chambers
“Could a Comet Strike the Earth?” from “Ragnarok: The Age of Fire and Gravel” (1883) by Ignatius Donnelly
“The Song of a Comet” by Clark Ashton Smith

The Reader
TRT: 28:56

The musical accompaniment for the show is provided through the kind generosity of Incompetech.com.