Thursday, 17th February, 2011, 7 – 8pm (GMT) on Resonance 104.4FM ( with a podcast to follow

Kurt’s Crazy Condition

An analysis and appreciation of the superb writer Kurt Vonnegut, who used science fiction themes and templates in most of his novels, even though he later disavowed this debt to the genre. From his first novel, the dystopian Player Piano, in 1952, right through to all of his seminal works – Slaughterhouse 5, from 1969, being his most famous – we will discuss Vonnegut’s preoccupation with time, memory, morality and humanity’s pathological side, all wrapped inside his cynical and witty stories of strange worlds, neurotic characters, and fantastic circumstance. Plus a look at the few film adaptations of his work.

Hosted by James DC, with guests Howard Aggregate, Ben Slotover

Clip : Arena – Kurt Vonnegut (1983)


Links :

Dinosaur Destinies

Hosted by James DC, with comic book author Pat Mills, and 2000 AD artist James Mackay (originally broadcast on Resonance 104.4FM on 13/10/10).

James DC talks to legendary comic book author/editor Pat Mills and artist James Mackay about our cultural fascination with dinosaurs, ever since their ‘official’ discovery around 200 years ago, in relation to his and James immanent return to dinosaurs in the 2000 AD comic strip Flesh! We will talk about how he was one of the first comic book authors to meld science fiction ideas with the dinosaur world in 1977, and why he and James are re-visiting this series. What is it about these ancient creatures that has fuelled such myriad reflections in all forms of art, over so many years, what are the latest dinosaur discoveries in paleontology, and how can the dinosaur era be used inventively within science fiction scenario’s?

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Dicktaphone Diversions Demystified

Hosted by James DC, with journalist Chris Hall, film-maker Ben Slotover and multi-media artist John Harrigan (originally broadcast on Resonance 104.4FM on 6/10/10)

A delve into the disorientating diaspora of the brilliant science fiction writer Philip K Dicks drug-addled mind, and his reality-bending philosophical ruminations, along with criticism of the (mostly bad) cinema adaptations, and the cultural fall-out of Dick as ‘Superstar Pop Icon’. Why is Dick nowadays revered as a literary genius, when he was generally seen as just another pulp SF hack writer 40-odd years ago? As well as exploring P.K.D.’s life and work, in which he dealt with themes and subjects such as simulacra, artificial intelligence, psychosis, drugs, visionary experiences, transcendentalism, paranoia and the nature of reality, we will cover all of his major works, from the early short stories of the 1950’s, up to seminal novels such as The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch (1965), Ubik (1969) Flow My Tears the Policeman Said (1974) and of course, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep (1968) which was the basis for the seminal film Blade Runner.

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Robotic Revolutions

Hosted by James DC, with journalist Hemanth Kissoon, academic/broadcaster Matt Jacobsen, film-maker Ben Slotover and academic Howard Aggregate (originally broadcast on Resonance 104.4FM on 29/9/10)

An enquiry into the various aspects of robot, android, cyborg, humanoid and artificial intelligence concepts throughout the history of science fiction literature, cinema and science and technology itself, from Karel Capek’s seminal play Rossum’s Universal Robots (1920) which introduced the term into popular culture, to the preponderance of robot characters in 1950’s cinema, as with Gort in The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951) and Robbie the Robot in Forbidden Planet (1956) up to later iconic cyborg characters like The Terminator (1984). How do these constructs play with the concept of what it means to be human, and where is the encroaching development of robotics and A.I. science, in the real world, taking us in the future?

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Mutant Monster Maelstrom

Hosted by James DC, with cult film expert Ben Hell, film-maker Peter Thomas and writer Benjamin Rowlinson (originally broadcast on Resonance 104.4FM on 22/9/10)

A wry and witty look at the multiplicity of monsters, aliens and creatures – or B.E.M.’s (Bug Eyed Monsters) – which have rampaged across the screens of big budget Hollywood films, but also more obscure B-movies since the 1940’s, 50’s and 60’s, the trash-exploitation cinema of the 70′s and 80′s, and to a lesser extent, the 90’s and Noughtie’s. Why have these iconic, but in retrospect, often hilarious creatures captured our affections and had such a psychological hold on our subconscious? As well as examining the deeper meaning to these beastly archetypes, we will discuss the bone fide classics of the genre, for instance King Kong (1933), Godzilla (1954), Q – The Winged Serpent (1980) and the more up to date incarnations of these lovable monstrosities.

Links :!

Kubrick’s Cube

Hosted by James DC, with writer Lee Hill, film-maker Ben Slotover and journalist Hemanth Kissoon (originally broadcast on Resonance 104.4FM on 15/9/10)

An investigation into the science fiction and horror films of Stanley Kubrick; Dr.Strangelove…(1964), 2001, A Space Odyssey (1968), A Clockwork Orange (1971) and The Shining (1980), as well as his body of work overall. We will analyse and discuss the legacy Kubrick left to the history of science fiction, with 2001…arguably the best Sci-Fi film ever made. How did he accomplish such incredible effects, for the time, and what was the sublime symbolism in all of these films telling us about man’s future, as well as the human condition and its capacity for war and violence? We will also talk about Kubrick’s huge influence on contemporary ‘fantastic’ cinema and film directors like Christopher Nolan and David Fincher.

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Ballardian Mind-Bomb

Hosted by James DC, with artist John Churchill, journalist Chris Hall and academic Howard Aggregate (originally broadcast on Resonance 104.4FM on 8/9/10)

On tonight’s inaugural programme we will focus on the genius that is JG Ballard. From his early SF genre framed short stories in the late 1950’s and early 60’s, to his ‘ecological disaster’ novels like The Crystal World (1966), through to his more experimental and surrealistic mode, as with the ‘suburban decay’ series including Crash (1973) and High Rise (1975), right up to his later works in the ‘bourgeois enclave’ strand, like Millennium People (2003). We will analyse his fictions overriding themes of psychopathology, sexual obsession and random violence, uncover connections between his life-experiences and his work, and detail the writing strategies he used for producing some of the most inspired and unique other-worlds ever created.

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6 responses to “ATOMIC BARK!

  1. Camdenmc

    Also looking forward to the Giger show!

  2. Camdenmc

    Great show – interesting starting point for discussion – soft & hard. One writer who wasn’t mentioned is Poul Anderson who combines both beautifully. Asimov, I feel, was treated a bit off handedly – despite his opposition to Speculative he was known as a socially conscious liberal: c.f. I Robot, and the civil rights movement. The classic soft/hard novel for me was always Camp Concentration, Thomas M Disch – a drug that increases intelligence: and from that hard premise all kinds of soft possibilities emerge. Would like to be on the show sometime especially if you’re going to get into the Speculative end of things.

    • Hi Camdenmc

      Thanks for the comments! How did you hear about the show – through here, or just listening to Resonance FM? Yes, get in touch with me and we could probably get you on some shows in the near future – maybe even the Giger one, if you like (contact me via here or the Atomic Bark! Facebook group:!/group.php?gid=129607790397147)

      Your points are interesting and, yes, Camp Concentration is a brilliant novel which straddles both ‘genres’. I read it over 25 years ago now, but had forgotten to include it in the discussion. And Poul Anderson, of course. Lots to think about! Keep an ear open for tomorrows show on dystopias and utopias and I look forward to hearing back from you.


  3. Lori de carteret

    Another very interesting show James….lots of interesting information, especially regarding Surrealistic Art/Collage…was it John Churchill the artist, talking about ‘grottage’ and ‘frottage’?
    The stream stopped working for me for about 20 mins halfway through which was a bummer but at least I got the last 15 mins. What was the phrase used to describe surrealism…it’s a sick patient?

  4. Thanks lori – glad to know there at least a few people regularly tuning in! The next show is on Thursday at 7pm – dont forget! Cheers X

  5. Lori de carteret

    Congratulations James on setting up this Blog …it’s very impressive, I like it.
    Some really interesting stuff being covered on the shows….I listened into the first one on Vonnegut, which I enjoyed, and I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s show on slippery Surrealism. 🙂
    keep up the good work. ~

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