Strangers & Aliens

Strangers and Aliens: Science Fiction & Fantasy from a Christian Perspective


By Ben Avery

http://strangersandaliens.com

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MADAME WEB Road Trip Review – SA415

February 29, 2024

Ben takes a solo roadtrip to see MADAME WEB. The question: is it as bad as they say? The other question: can he find a weak connection? At least one of those questions has “yes” for an answer. At least.

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2023 In Review – SA414

February 10, 2024

Ben and Evan discuss the movies and streaming highlights (and lowlights) of 2023!

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THE 25 GREATEST SCI-FI-ISH CHRISTMAS MOVIES – S&A 413

December 24, 2023

It’s a Christmas Weak Connections extravaganza!!! Ben walks through his top 25 science fiction/fantasy movies with Christmas connections. Along the way, he talks about movies from:* Star Trek* Marvel* DC* The Alien franchise There’s also:* B-Movies* Two movies from Terry Gilliam* Two movies from Tim Burton* Two movies from Peter Jackson And of course, LOTS […]

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Watching NO ONE WILL SAVE YOU with John Harju – SA412

October 26, 2023

Around October almost every year, Ben is joined by John Harju to talk about some sort of scary movie and this year is no exception! This year’s movie: NO ONE WILL SAVE YOU, an alien invasion movie that’s . . . different. You can listen to John’s Playing Games with Strangers podcast here:https://playinggameswithstrangers.com Other episodes […]

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EVAN’S ADVENTURES IN ODYSSEY – SA411

October 08, 2023

Ben takes some time to “interview” Evan about his new job working with Focus on the Family and their Adventures in Odyssey media team! They also take some time to talk about some TV shows they’ve been watching. Evan’s links:Adventures in Odyssey – https://www.adventuresinodyssey.comAIO Facebook Page – https://www.facebook.com/AIOFanPageAIO Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/adventuresinodysseyofficial/?hl=enEvan’s Comics – https://www.starcrosscomics.com Ben’s […]

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THE FRANKENSTEIN BOOK OF PRAYER – Interview with Author Steve Case – SA410

September 29, 2023

You can buy The Frankenstein Book of Prayer here: https://amzn.to/3RDUm86 (an affiliate link – we receive compensation if you use the link, but it will not affect the price of your order) What if the monster of Frankenstein began a spiritual journey of self-discovery? And what if he wrote about it as the events of […]

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Star Trek and the Transfiguration: SCI-FI DEVOS (Weak Connections) – SA409

September 18, 2023

When Star Trek Strange New Worlds had its crossover with Star Trek Lower Decks it got Ben thinking about other Star Trek actors appearing in their sibling shows. And THAT got Ben thinking about a Bible story: Jesus’ transfiguration. There’s a connection . . . albeit a WEAK one . . . Weak Connections are […]

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INDIANA JONES AND THE DIAL OF DESTINY (and the Rest of the Franchise) – SA408

August 04, 2023

Is it the end of a franchise? And it is a GOOD end to the franchise? Does Indy finally get the sendoff he deserves? Or does this franchise simply belong in a museum? Ben is joined by an old friend and super-Indiana-Jones-fan Eddie Medina to talk about the FINAL chapter in the Indiana Jones franchise […]

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THE FLASH vs. SPIDER-MAN ACROSS THE SPIDER-VERSE – SA407

July 21, 2023

Ben and Evan talk about two big comic book multiverse movies featuring multiple versions of superhero characters and packed with nostalgia. It’s not really a fight – they definitely thought one was “better” than the other – but the two movies, released so closely in time with such similar themes and concepts invited some comparisons. […]

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Asking “Is It Worth Reading?” about Two Book Series: JEWEL OF THE STARS and FLIGHT OF THE ANGELS – SA406

June 22, 2023

This episode post has LOTS of links! Links to the books Ben talks about (Amazon affiliate links – it doesn’t change the price for you, but it does give us a little kick back – VERY little); links to the videos on Youtube that Ben recorded that this episode is made from; and links to […]

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THE DARK TOWER (C.S. Lewis’ Space Trilogy Part 4) – SA405

May 26, 2023

It’s a mystery in the canon of C.S. Lewis’ library. The unfinished manuscript that may or may not have been written by C.S. Lewis. It’s created controversy. It’s created confusion. And it’s a possible glimpse into a path not taken. This would have been the sequel to OUT OF THE SILENT PLANET . . . […]

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SUPER MARIO BROS. and DUNGEONS & DRAGONS Road Trip Double Feature – S&A 404

May 11, 2023

Ben takes a road trip to see Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves, but also takes the opportunity to talk about another gaming movie (albeit a different kind of gaming): The Super Mario Bros. Movie! Which one gets a thumbs up? Which one gets a thumbs down? Does he like either of them? Find out […]

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Picard Season 3 w/ Special Guest Adam David Collings – SA403

April 29, 2023

Picard season 3 has come and gone . . . and if you’ve seen it you probably have opinions! So does Ben and his guest host, sci-fi writer Adam David Collings. Join them as they explore season three’s ups and downs and ups and more ups . . . in this THIRD send off to […]

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Streaming Sci-Fi on Peacock & Review of The Ark – SA402

April 15, 2023

A few years ago, Ben subscribed to Peacock but it wasn’t until a few months ago that he discovered that the streaming service is actually a pretty strong source for old Sci-Fi TV . . . and when he started watching the OLD stuff, he found a new show that he really enjoyed. In this […]

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STAR TREK II: The Wrath of Khan and William Shatner Live – SA401

February 22, 2023

Recently, Ben joined his friends William and Nathan Marchand to see a theatrical showing of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, which also had William Shatner do a live stage performance that was sort of a Q&A session. But it was really just an excuse for Shatner to tell some hysterical stories from his […]

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“Sci-Fi Vs. Fantasy”: Revisiting Episode 7 – SA400

February 15, 2023

Episode 400 is here, and to celebrate this milestone we’re taking a look backwards at an early episode featuring Ben, Steve, and Dr. Jayce! It’s a fun conversation that serves as a nice time capsule to a time before the MCU dominated everything. A conversation just exploring the strengths of two of our favorite genres: […]

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AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER Road Trip Review – SA399

January 20, 2023

It’s a ROAD TRIP! Ben thought he would have a chance to talk to Evan about AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER, but things didn’t go their way. Evan got sick . . . and then went on vacation. But on a lark, Ben decided to record his solo road trip to see the movie, not […]

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2022 in Review - SA398

January 11, 2023

it’s that time again! Time to talk about last year’s pop culture releases! Taking our cues from Evan’s ranked list of movies from the year, we talk about our viewing experiences from 2022 as we step into the year 2023! The first half of 2022 was covered in this episode: …

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SHADOW and SUBSTANCE 3 – A TWILIGHT ZONE CHRISTMAS QUARTET: “The Night of the Meek”, “Five Characters in Search of an Exit”, “The Changing of the Guard”, and A CAROL FOR ANOTHER CHRISTMAS – SA397

December 24, 2022

We continue our series about THE TWILIGHT ZONE (which only has two episodes, but that’s actually not too shabby) by covering three Christmas themed episodes of the show (“The Night of the Meek”, “Five Characters in Search of an Exit”, and “The Changing of the Guard”), plus A CAROL FOR …

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A CHRISTMAS CAROL – SA396

December 16, 2022

Inspired by re-reading the book and watching the new movie on Netflix, Ben, Stephen, and Evan take to the microphones to appreciate the spiritual themes and fantastical ideas of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. From time travel to redeemed lives, from movies to radio to books, from creepy animation …

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THE FORCE OF STAR WARS: Is It Worth Reading? – SA395

December 07, 2022

Two options for this episode: You can listen to the audio above OR watch the video below! Ben takes a look at a book that has been in his library for over forty years: Frank Allnutt’s THE FORCE OF STAR WARS. This book is special to him for a number …

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Interview w/ BLACK BLOSSOM Creator Evan David – SA394

November 21, 2022

Evan’s new comic book BLACK BLOSSOM is now part of a KickStarter campaign to collect and publish the first 6 issues (plus an annual) into a graphic novel. Ben interviews Evan about the superhero sci-fi tale. The links mentioned in the episode: KICKSTARTER: inked.pub/blackblossomPATREON: patreon.com/evandavidcomicsINSTRAGRAM: instagram.com/blackblossomcomic And here is his …

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DICK TRACY: Post-Batman Pulp Hero Movies Pt. 1 - SA393

November 17, 2022

Ben is joined by John Harju for the first part of a multi-part series rewatching some superhero movies that came in the wake of 1989’s Batman! We are starting with DICK TRACY, which entered production before Batman hit theaters, but it was still influenced by the superhero juggernaut that BATMAN …

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BLACK ADAM – SA392

November 04, 2022

Ben and Evan went to see BLACK ADAM! This episode opens with a spoiler-free discussion of the movie and then, after the spoiler warning, they talk about spoiler-y things. Things like:The big thing everyone is talking aboutHow Ben liked almost all the superheroes who are not The Rock more than …

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Watching SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES with John Harju – SA391

October 28, 2022

Ben and John Harju team up again for an October spooky movie! The movie: SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES! Along the way they talk about:Ben’s love for Ray BradburyJohn’s dislike for Ray BradburyBoth of their like for this movieArt and messagingGood and evilTwo Stephen King books they were reminded ofThe …

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Currently Streaming – Fall 2022 – SA390

October 01, 2022

Television is dead . . . long live television! But long live it on our smart TVs! And devices! And computers! Add to that we have had a long string of high profile (and low profile, really) science fiction and fantasy television series, with short seasons, continuing stories, and big …

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PREY – SA389

September 05, 2022

Ben and Steve review PREY, which is not about prayer but they joke about it anyway. This episode features:* Thoughts about PREY* Thoughts about PREDATOR* Thoughts about the franchise* Thoughts about Walt Simonson’s run on the THOR comic Our Youtube channel can be found here: http://youtube.com/strangersandaliens – subscribe to see …

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NO MAN IN EDEN by H.L. Myra: Is It Worth Reading? (Exploring Christian Sci-Fi) - SA388

August 20, 2022

Ben finally did it! He found an OLD (if not quite as old as the Space Trilogy) Christian sci-fi book, NO MAN IN EDEN. NO MAN IN EDEN is not a Christian romance or a commentary on Genesis 1-3, it’s a sci-fi book in the tradition of C.S. Lewis’ Space …

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"Fear Is the Mind Killer": Biblical Focus in the Midst of Fear - SA387

August 11, 2022

What do Frank Herbert, Dune, the Fear Litany, Jesus calming the storm, Ben’s all time favorite verse, and 80s Christian pop music icon Carmen all have in common? They are all used by Ben to point to where our focus should be in the midst of tough situations. We hope …

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THAT HIDEOUS STRENGTH (C.S. Lewis' Space Trilogy Part 3) - SA386

July 31, 2022

Steve and Ben return to Earth with Ransom and a large cast of characters in the third book in C.S. Lewis’ celebrated “Space Trilogy,” THAT HIDEOUS STRENGTH. Published in 1945, THAT HIDEOUS STRENGTH continues the story of Ransom, but instead of visiting other worlds the action moves to the cosmic …

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Watching NOPE with John Harju – SA385

July 26, 2022

Jordan Peele has two highly successful suspense/horror movies under his belt, and NOPE hit the public conscience with a vague trailer that revealed next to nothing. A second trailer revealed something that looked like a modern spin on Close Encounters . . . and while it’s potentially true that it …

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The First Half of 2022 in Review – SA384

July 16, 2022

Evan, Steve, and Ben are together again! For this episode, we take a look at some of the movies and TV series we’ve been watching in 2022! Using Evan’s LETTERBOXD account (he’s found here: https://letterboxd.com/moviemanev/– you should follow him) we take a look back at some movies and then some …

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Words of Encouragement from DOCTOR STRANGE AND THE MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS - SA383

May 29, 2022

There are a lot of opinions about the latest Marvel movie, DOCTOR STRANGE AND THE MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS. Most of them are valid and understandable, whether extremely positive or extremely negative. Case in point: Ben really liked the movie, and Evan really did not. That’s NOT the reason Evan is …

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Reflections on Easter - SA382

April 15, 2022

This is the weekend we celebrate Easter, and in this episode we release an episode that is meant to encourage us to take the time to reflect on Easter, Good Friday, and the Last Supper. Ben is joined by his family in a series of readings and writings about some …

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MORBIUS - SA381

April 07, 2022

MORBIUS has arrived! Finally! Ben goes solo on a spoiler-free review . . . Sort of a preview of his thoughts on the movie, Evan and Steve told Ben they couldn’t get to this movie, and Ben told them that it was ok. There wasn’t the same kind of urgency …

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SAMWISE GAMGEE & SIMON OF CYRENE - SA380

March 30, 2022

What happens when . . . Ben, Steve, and Evan have a hard time getting together to record? Ben’s been rewatching Lord of the Rings? Ben’s been studying Simon of Cyrene? Ben wants to get some episodes out? Ben has a huge editing job with his and Evan’s THE BATMAN …

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Watching MOONFALL with John Harju - SA379

March 02, 2022

The moon is falling . . . and they made a movie. Was it worth seeing? Was it worth making? Ben, Evan, and John Harju went to see this disaster flick. They were all surprised. John was surprised it wasn’t a comedy…Evan was surprised that he loved it so much…Ben …

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MARVEL'S ULIMATE COMICS - SA378

January 27, 2022

In the early 2000s, Marvel tried an experiment – restart the stories of fan favorite characters in a new universe. A universe that does not have all the baggage of decades and decades of thousands of issues. A universe that is accessible to new readers and attractive to young readers. …

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2021 In Review - SA377

January 15, 2022

2021 was an interesting year for pop culture. We take a look at the movies we saw and some of the other pop culture items (TV and books) we took in during the past year. We used Letterboxd as a partial guide for this, taking Evan’s movie diary list for …

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DUNE PART ONE review (re-upload) - SA376

December 09, 2021

We moved to a new server, which resulted in the loss of this post . . . we apologize for any inconvenience. DUNE hit screens big and small, and it made a huge impact on us! Ben and Steve discuss the movie, and its story, music, history, and style.

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DUNE Part One (2021) Review – SA376

December 09, 2021

Ben and Steve got together to talk about DUNE Part One! Conversation topics include:DUNE 1984The Sci-Fi Channel’s DUNE mini-seriesThe BooksFoundationBen’s emotional reaction to the end of the movieSteve’s initial viewing without sound . . . on purposeJohn CarterStar WarsThe call to lamentation Is this the best sci-fi movie ever made? …

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ETERNALS Road Trip - SA375

December 03, 2021

Ben and Evan take a road trip to see the latest MCU movie, ETERNALS!!! It’s a movie that tries hard to go big, but does it succeed? PART ONE: The Trip There – talking about expectations and other random thingsPART TWO: The Parking Lot – spoiler free review of the …

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CELEBRATING 10 YEARS: "Why Sci-Fi?" (SA374)

November 22, 2021

To celebrate 10 years of the Strangers and Aliens podcast, we’re reposting our first episode! In this episode, Dr. Jayce, Steve, and Ben talk about the question: “Why Sci-Fi?” This is the episode that started it all. Well, started it all in this corner of the woods, anyway. This is …

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Watching the CUBE Franchise with John Harju - SA373

October 21, 2021

The CUBE franchise consists of three movies from the 90s and early 2000s. Each of these movies features strangers . . . moving through a strange setting consisting of rooms that are CUBES . . . and so

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PERELANDRA (C.S. Lewis' Space Trilogy Part 2) - SA372

September 23, 2021

Steve and Ben explore Venus via the second book in C.S. Lewis’ celebrated “Space Trilogy,” Perelandra. Published in 1943, Perelandra is the story of a man, Ransom, who is transported to Venus and thru

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SHANG-CHI Road Trip - SA371

September 10, 2021

A road trip to see Shang-Chi, featuring Ben, Evan, and Evan’s sister-in-law! Road trips include three segments: spoiler free discussion on the trip to the theater about what we’re expecting; a spoiler

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FREE GUY Road Trip! - SA370

September 02, 2021

Ben and Evan reunite for a good ol’ fashioned ROAD TRIP EPISODE!!! The movie this time? FREE GUY! An original concept, science fiction movie? In the summer? More importantly . . . is it any good?

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OLD: a spoiler-free review, plus thoughts about M. Night's filmography - SA369

August 26, 2021

Ben wants to talk. Ben wants to talk about M. Night Shyamalan. He wants to talk about M. Night’s style. M. Night’s risk taking. M. Night’s filmography. M. Night’s twist endings. And he wants to talk a

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Watching THE ESCAPE ROOM Franchise with John Harju – SA368

July 22, 2021

John Harju is back and that means we’re talking about horror . . . or at least suspense thriller . . . and for this episode that means we’re talking about the “not-quite-Saw-but almost” franchise, or

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Jackie Brown’s Four Loves: An exploration of the characters and relationships of Quentin Tarantino’s Jackie Brown through C.S. Lewis’ The Four Loves - S&A367

July 18, 2021

A few years back, Ben had the chance to write an essay for the book “Tarantino And Theology” (edited by Jonathan and Jerry Walls). The result was a chance for Ben to dive into his favorite Tarantino m

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Co-hosted by Ben Avery, Steve MacDonald, & Evan David