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Mary Roach Explores the Gross Side of Space Travel in Episode 36 of Geek's Guide to the Galaxy

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Mary Roach, author of the popular science books Stiff, Bonk, Spook, and Packing for Mars, joins us to discuss explosive flatus, brawling in zero-g, and why aging deaf-mute eunuchs make the best astronauts.

Illustration by Samantha T..

The Geek's Guide to the Galaxy is hosted by John Joseph Adams and David Barr Kirtley.


You can download the MP3 for this episode here, subscribe to The Geek's Guide to the Galaxy podcast feed here, and browse other episodes here.

This episode includes:

Part 1: Interview with Mary Roach (1:18)

Topics covered: Disgusting spaceship interiors, unusual astronaut selection criteria, the effects of weightlessness on the human body, sex in space, feces as radiation shielding, fighting in zero-g, dealing with corpses, science fiction, social media.


Part 2: Dave and John Discuss Horror Stories Set on Spaceships and Space Stations (26:39)

Topics covered: Alien, Aliens, and those other two movies. Horror Movies in Space: Sunshine, Event Horizon, Pandorum, Jason X, Dead Space. Fiction about Horror in Space: "The Cold Equations" by Tom Godwin, "The Old Equations" by Jake Kerr, "The Taste of Starlight" by John R. Fultz, "The Haunted Spacesuit" by Arthur C. Clarke, Nightflyer by George R. R. Martin, "Above It All" by Robert J. Sawyer, The Mote in God's Eye by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle, Death Troopers by Joe Schreiber, "Spar" by Kij Johnson.

Thanks for listening!


John Joseph Adams is an anthologist, a writer, and a geek. He is the bestselling editor of the anthologies Brave New Worlds, Wastelands, The Living Dead, The Living Dead 2, By Blood We Live, Federations, The Way of the Wizard, and The Improbable Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. Forthcoming anthologies include Armored (Baen, 2012) and The Mad Scientist's Guide to World Domination (Tor, 2012). He is a 2011 Hugo Award-nominee for Best Editor (Short Form), his books have been nominated for the World Fantasy Award, and he has been called "the reigning king of the anthology world" by Barnes & He is also the editor of Lightspeed Magazine and Fantasy Magazine. Find him on Twitter @johnjosephadams.


David Barr Kirtley has published fiction in magazines such as Realms of Fantasy, Weird Tales, Lightspeed,Intergalactic Medicine Show, On Spec, and Cicada, and in anthologies such as New Voices in Science Fiction,Fantasy: The Best of the Year, and The Dragon Done It. Recently he's contributed stories to several of John's anthologies, including The Living Dead, The Living Dead 2, and The Way of the Wizard. He's attended numerous writing workshops, including Clarion, Odyssey, Viable Paradise, James Gunn's Center for the Study of Science Fiction, and Orson Scott Card's Writers Bootcamp, and he holds an MFA in screenwriting and fiction from the University of Southern California. He also teaches regularly at Alpha, a Pittsburgh-area science fiction workshop for young writers. He lives in New York.

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