Strangers & Aliens

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


By Ben Avery

http://strangersandaliens.com

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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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SHADOW and SUBSTANCE 2: “Probe 7 Over and Out” and “The Self-Improvement of Salvadore Ross” – SA366

July 11, 2021

We continue our series about THE TWILIGHT ZONE (that started in 2013 . . . and only has one other episode in the series) by covering two season five episodes of the show: “Probe 7 Over and Out” and “T

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“Cold Equations” by X-Minus 1 and STOWAWAY by Netflix – SA365

May 28, 2021

This episode is why we created Strangers and Aliens! In this episode we: Explore a classic sci-fi story (“The Cold Equations” by Tom Godwin)! Review a new sci-fi movie (STOWAWAY, on Netflix now – don’

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Epic Stories from the Bible that Should Be Movies – SA364

May 21, 2021

Evan, Steve, and Ben take a look at some of their favorite stories that should be big budget motion pictures, and in the process explore some of their favorite stories . . . and there just may be a co

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GODZILLA VS. KONG Review – SA363

May 16, 2021

Ben and Steve are joined by frequent guest host Nathan Marchand to battle each other about how good Godzilla Vs. Kong was! Where did they watch it? (At the BOX OFFICE, or the HOME Box Office???) Did t

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Disney’s 2020 Corporate Announcements – SA353

December 11, 2020

Just before we started recording about another topic, we became aware of some HUGE announcements Disney had made about upcoming Disney Plus series and also some movies and some interesting Hulu series. So we called an audible and switched our plans .

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THE THING (from Another World) Franchise – SA352

October 28, 2020

Ben is joined by John Hart for their semi-annual Halloween exploration of some classic horror movies! This time: THE THING. Starting with THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD and then going into the remake THE THING from 1982 (the most famous in the franchise)...

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TOP FIVE THEME SONGS (from Science Fiction/Fantasy TV Shows’ Opening Credits with Lyrics that Are in English) OF ALL TIME – SA351

October 13, 2020

A good theme song may not save a TV show from being bad, but it definitely makes it more memorable. For this episode, we nominate our favorite themes songs and bring in some listener nominations, and we tally the votes to come up with the official Stra...

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TENET – SA350

September 30, 2020

Ben and Evan ventured to the theaters to see Tenet, the movie they THOUGHT would be the first movie back in theaters. Instead, Ben had already seen a few movies and Evan went to a movie theater on the east coast . . . so Tenet was not the road …

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BILL AND TED FACE THE MUSIC: Ben’s Road Trip Trilogy Part Two – SA349

September 11, 2020

Ben heads out on what could be an excellent adventure . . . or a bonus journey. This road trip has almost as many twists and turns as the movie he’s seeing, from the question of if he will even GET to the movie to the possibility of not seeing …

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NEW MUTANTS: Ben’s Road Trip Trilogy Part Two – SA348

September 09, 2020

Ben heads out to the first new release movie he’s seen in theaters since the beginning of the shut down for the pandemic. After seeing The Empire Strikes Back (and The Greatest Showman), he gets to see a new movie that has been waiting for release for ...

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THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK: Ben’s Road Trip Trilogy Part One – SA347

September 03, 2020

Ben heads out to his first movie in theaters since the beginning of the shut down for the pandemic. It’s a different experience, with the masks requirements and the like, but it’s also a familiar experience, being a movie he’s seen many, many times .

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Stuff We Consumed During the Pandemic – SA346

August 28, 2020

For some, the pandemic has given the opportunity to read and watch more things than usual. In this episode, we discuss some of the new (to us) media we have read, watched, and listened to.

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EARTH ABIDES by Escape! (OTR) – SA345

July 28, 2020

Strangers and Aliens returns to old time radio with this presentation of Earth Abides, a classic novel turned into a classic episode of the radio series Escape. This episode features an Old Time Radio show that adapts a classic novel, Earth Abides.

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OUT OF THE SILENT PLANET – SA344

July 18, 2020

Ben and Steve explore Mars via C.S. Lewis’ science fiction novel, the first book in his celebrated “Space Trilogy”, Out of the Silent Planet. Published in 1938, Out of the Silent Planet is the story of a man, Ransom,

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KING KONG (1933) Road Trip – SA343

June 25, 2020

“From the vault,” so to speak, this episode is actually a couple months old and was the last movie Ben saw before theaters closed down. King Kong (1933) was a movie that changed everything and the results are still being felt today.

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THE STARLOST, LOST IN SPACE, and SWORD ART ONLINE (Pilot Season Series) – SA342

May 24, 2020

Pilot Season – when studios create the first episode of a new show and shop it around in hopes that a network will pick up the series for a full season . . . For us, it’s a fun exercise in checking out a new series and exposing ourselves to …

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Hobbit Tales from the Green Dragon Inn Live Play – SA341

May 16, 2020

Ben, Steve, and Evan play Hobbit Tales from the Green Dragon Inn, a game by Marco Maggi and Francesco Nepitello and published by Cubicle 7 Games. Join Benbo Baggins, Korg, and Mr. Dark . . . Black(?) . . . Dark(?) . . .

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Superman v Kaiju (with Nathan Marchand) – SA340

May 04, 2020

Ben, Evan, and guest host Nathan Marchand take on some appearances of Superman in comics and animation, wherein HE takes on some giant monsters. From the comics of the 90s to the cartoons of the 40s to the animated series of the 90s,

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Watching COLOR OUT OF SPACE with John Harju – SA339

April 18, 2020

Ben is joined by horror aficionado and frequent guest host, John Harju, to take about the new HP Lovecraft adaptation, COLOR OUT OF SPACE. Is Nicholas Cage bonkers in the GOOD sense? Is the movie good sci-fi horror, or cheesy b-movie stuff?

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CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS Pt. 2 – SA338

April 07, 2020

Recorded a while ago and lost in the shuffle, this episode completes the CW’s Crisis on Infinite Earths mega-crossover. It’s a game changer in many ways, and not just how the plot affects the CW’s series. There’s more cameos and more surprises and more...

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