Highway To Mars artwork

Highway To Mars

200 episodes - English - Latest episode: almost 5 years ago - ★★★★★ - 5 ratings

The Highway To Mars team explore the Universe of Science fiction, in books, movies, Television, Games, Audio and any other format they can think of.

Books Arts TV & Film tmah rose mars science fiction books movies sci-fi audio animation
Homepage Apple Podcasts Google Podcasts Overcast Castro Pocket Casts RSS feed


Do Your Homework

July 15, 2019 13:25 - 1 hour - 37.3 MB

There has been no end of discussion on what people don’t like about modern geek culture and specifically science fiction but less on what is going wrong.  Many think it’s ideology, but in this discussion, I look at something much more fundamental – the basic ability to tell a story. Far from agreeing with the […]

Science Fiction 2019 is an Embarrassment

June 30, 2019 13:08 - 1 hour - 35.2 MB

Okay, so that’s a clickbait title.  While it’s true, this is not a negative episode – I have spent much of the past 2-3 years trying to work out what is going awol with science fiction and what to do about it.  This episode doesn’t fully answer that question, but it breaks down what I […]

Hexagonal Phase

March 16, 2019 21:51 - 36 minutes - 66.8 MB

At last we leave the Orbit of the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy and what can we say about this last instalment, the radio play based on the book “And Another Thing”?  It’s better than the book? This is one for the completists and those that feel that a man who lays down in front […]

Captain Marvel

March 09, 2019 10:20 - 1 hour - 32.7 MB

Captain Marvel is the latest Disney product to dip a toe into the Culture war and as Disneys biggest money maker it will be interesting to see what the fallout is like.  For the record I enjoyed this movie for what it was and I think that Brie Larson could be successful as the head […]

Atlas Shrugged

March 04, 2019 09:05 - 2 hours - 1 Byte

Atlas Shrugged is a controversial book – as Ayn Rand was a controversial person. In this episode I take a look at a number of key ideas in the novel and how they stand up – noting of course that this book has been the subject of intense debate for over 60 years. Does Rand […]

And Another Thing

February 16, 2019 11:17 - 1 hour - 140 MB

So this is not actually a douglas project but…. we had to do it. And another thing is not awful, it’s just boring and unnecessary. Anyway… Mostly Harmless is the end of the story, Douglas might have been thinking about pulling a George Lucas and revise – that doesn’t make it a good idea.

Science Fiction is Failing Us

February 03, 2019 11:06 - 1 hour - 32.8 MB

In this episode Stefan takes a look at the ways that science fiction is failing us – not in quality but in ideas. Taste is subjective and we don’t aim to pass judgement on the quality of the stories but the big three franchises – Doctor Who, Star Trek and Star Wars are short on […]

Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy the Movie

December 21, 2018 22:22 - 1 hour - 161 MB

Let’s face it the Hitchhikers movie has some issues – that said we loved it. The challenge with hitchhikers is it doesn’t fit into any kind of three act structure, it starts bounces around and ends. The characters haven’t really learned anything (well arthur has learned how hard it is to get tea in outer […]

Post Human Part 1

September 16, 2018 12:28 - 1 hour - 30.9 MB

Am I alone in being over the Culture Wars?  In this next set of podcasts I want to move past the dumpster fire that is the culture war to focus on what I think is the most important product of Geek Culture for the past 30 years – the race to catch up with our […]

Hitch Hikers Guide To The Galaxy – Quintessinal Phase

August 19, 2018 13:17 - 1 hour - 94.3 MB

Gareth and Stefan continue their examination of the works of Douglas Adams with the Quintessinal phase, the last of the Douglas Adams sourced pieces of the Hitchhikers Guide.  There are two ways you can go with this piece – take the material as it is, or how a later regretful author might have imagined it. […]

Customer Segregation

July 10, 2018 23:49 - 39 minutes - 18 MB

Remember when Science Fiction used to be fun?  Those were the days my friend! I want to be clear, In this episode I am not making any comparisons with state sanctioned segregation practices of the past.  I am however pretty sure that we learned in the past that segregation is a stupid way to solve […]

Women in Refrigerators – Avengers and Deadpool

June 24, 2018 04:22 - 41 minutes - 38.2 MB

In this episode I take a deeper examination of the Women in Fridges trope and how it is a classic example of how we have lost the art of communicating our problems, and solution building in this era of outrage.  

Hitch Hikers Guide To The Galaxy – Mostly Harmless (Book)

May 26, 2018 05:04 - 1 hour - 169 MB

Gareth and Stefan restart their series on Douglas Adams at the very end of the Hitchhikers series.  The book stands alone, one way or another all the post douglas materials have attempted to rewrite the end and even douglas himself had his regrets.  However this is a moment where one needs to commit to the bit […]

The Culture War Part 3

May 13, 2018 00:22 - 1 hour - 34.2 MB

I have always wanted to approach the Culture War beyond the moral arguments and look more to if there is an effect being felt, if so what is that affect and what does it mean longer term. In this episode I reflect on the datasets that are out there and how they are used – […]

The Culture War Part 2 of 3

April 27, 2018 00:18 - 1 hour - 42.1 MB

So what is the culture war?  Unless you have been hiding under a rock you will have noticed that people aren’t very nice to each other any more and even the choice of coffee in the morning can be a polarising act.  In science fiction the battleground seems mostly to have been around the representation […]

Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy Quandary Phase

April 15, 2018 00:05 - 1 hour - 122 MB

The third radio series was a surprise improvement on the book, can the fourth do the same? A belated episode (hey it’s only 18 months overdue) we delve into the fourth radio play.  As with the third, I enjoyed most of it even more than the book. To me this is the ending of the […]

The Culture War (Part 1 of 3)

April 03, 2018 04:12 - 52 minutes - 24 MB

Like it or not the Culture War has seeped into pretty much every part of Science Fiction.  In truth I don’t have an ideological dog in the fight beyond the fact that there is no real world evidence that much of the remedies the SJW side will work and I dislike the fact that they […]

2017 In Science Fiction

January 01, 2018 23:46 - 1 hour - 43.1 MB

It’s been a strange old year in Science Fiction where content creators decided to take on fans in different ways and virtue trumped storytelling too many times.  That said there was still a lot to enjoy, if not a lot to jog the brain cells.  With that in mind, I have been spending the year […]

Politics – Bioshock – Collectivism

December 24, 2016 09:09 - 2 hours - 61.7 MB

  Collectivism is a funny thing.  We have given it a go in various forms with varying degrees of harm to those involved.  Generally collectivism is implemented by force because while Objectivism is arrogant when it comes to the ability for society to operate without rules, Collectivism mostly seeks to override the other truth, that we […]

Politics – Bioshock – Objectivism

December 18, 2016 13:55 - 1 hour - 44.8 MB

Ayn Rand isn’t everybodies cup of tea and I see it as somewhat ironic that before a movie was made about her book Atlas Shrugged there was the Bioshock series. Objectivism as a philosophy has some good points, that we should deal with (objective) reality, that the world can be objectively defined and we should […]

Heroine Cast – Radioactive

December 07, 2016 12:24 - 2 hours - 57.4 MB

We have only done one musical on Highway and certainly not devoted an episode to a song but after 243 episodes – why not. There is a specific reason for Radioactive to make the cut and it comes down to something else we haven’t really talked much about despite it being one of my personal […]

Politics – Star Trek 6 The Undiscovered Country

December 04, 2016 13:13 - 3 hours - 85.6 MB

There is something poetic in the title of the Undiscovered Country.  It speaks to pretty much every time in history and all politics.  Do we fear or embrace the future. History though tells us no matter how long we deny it, in some cases centuries, the future has caught up with us no matter how […]

Politics – 1984

November 27, 2016 14:09 - 2 hours - 71.1 MB

1984 is pretty much the top of the list when it comes to Politics and Science Fiction.  More than any other dystopian society thought of, 1984 demonstrates the evils of totalitarian societies. However bad the western world seems and there are problems with the ways in which institutions such as Universities have implemented policy unchallenged, […]

Transhumanism – Ghost In the Shell

November 13, 2016 15:09 - 1 second - 1 Byte

Ghost in the Shell is a very influential piece, having provided many pieces of motivation for the Matrix.  In truth we should have gotten to this movie before now but better late than ever.  Ghost in the Shell covers off on many of the themes we have discussed.  It goes the next step though to […]

Transhumanism – The Avengers

November 07, 2016 15:07 - 2 hours - 81.1 MB

Okay, the Avengers is popcorn transhumanism but it is hella fun. While the superhero genre can’t be taken as serious transhumanism because lets face it, nobody will become the hulk anytime soon, it does open up a huge discussion on what sort of form we want to take.  One only needs to attend a comic […]

Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy – So Long and Thanks for all the Fish

November 04, 2016 00:05 - 1 hour - 163 MB

For the briefest of moments in the Hitchhikers Story, Arthur finds happiness and love.  It wouldn’t last but it has been earned.  This story more than any other gets into the head of Arthur and tells us what makes him tick (or fuck as the case may be). What we learn is Arthur is an […]

Transhumanism – Genesis of the Daleks

October 30, 2016 21:49 - 3 hours - 90.2 MB

The Daleks have been scary and ridiculous in equal measure. With their pepperpot shells and monotone robotic voice (and modern squiddy form) it’s easy to forget that they are the product of the most extreme form of transhumanist experiments. The Daleks were born for a single purpose, to ensure the Kaled race survived beyond a […]

Heroine Cast – Labyrinth

October 19, 2016 12:47 - 2 hours - 67.3 MB

It’s been a crazy couple of weeks and the plan to get the next heroine cast out hasn’t eventuated, even if we have recorded a lot of podcasts in the interim. Never fear, we still have a number of episodes in the archives and here is one of my favourite movies – Labyrinth. Lets face […]

Transhumanism – Star Trek – First Contact

October 16, 2016 12:46 - 2 hours - 76.4 MB

It’s taken us a while to make it to Star Trek but at least we picked a good story with one of the best villans of the modern era. The Borg represt both what can be achieved with cybernetic enhancements, while at the same time embodying everything that we fear.  The machine will consume us, […]

Transhumanism – Ayn Rand, Andrew Ryan, Bioshock and Zoltan Istvan

October 11, 2016 06:26 - 2 hours - 60.5 MB

We are entering into a time when the world of Bioshock becomes less far fetched.  Genetic editing technologies such as CRISPR have the potential to seriously change the game for all of us and as science fiction comes closer to being science fact, we need to be aware of the benefits and the dangers. While […]

Transhumanism – Gattaca

October 08, 2016 08:47 - 2 hours - 55.5 MB

We enter the genetics part of Transhumanism with a movie that explores the moral concerns around genetic technologies and how they might be used to favour the elite.  While it’s a shorter movie, it covers the subject really well and is very clear in how it views the issues around genetic editing. We can make […]

Transhumanism – The Presidential Election and Zoltan Istvan

October 06, 2016 12:45 - 1 hour - 39.1 MB

Generally we talk Science Fiction on Highway to Mars but this week I found science fiction lagging behind on what I think could well be the most important issues of our time.  If Transhumanism seems somewhat SF that is only because the developments in Transhumanism are happening largely out of the public eye. Zoltan Istvan […]

Transhumanism – Limitless

October 03, 2016 01:05 - 1 hour - 44.1 MB

Limitless reads like one of those dodgy clickbait adds on the internet – but it’s actually a lot smarter than that.  I like Bradley Cooper as an actor and I think that the Cooper – Deniro combination is one of my favourites in modern cinema. Limitless blends the kind of sci-fi that John Wyndham was […]

Making History – Star Trek

September 20, 2016 22:00 - 2 hours - 58 MB

In the first of our new series on how science fiction influences history we look at Star Trek. Star Trek is “THE” science fiction series.  No other series has been as influential in the real world nor has any other series taken as much effort to explore an array of complex real world issues through […]

Transhumanism – Lucy

September 19, 2016 11:50 - 2 hours - 68.6 MB

We had to get to Lucy at some point. In my first review of Lucy I was quite critical of the movie because it pretty much not only ignores existing neuroscience in favour of fantasy, it tries to dress itself up as good science. Luc Besson goes so far as to say he consulted top […]

Rick and Stefan Reunion

September 15, 2016 00:04 - 50 minutes - 23.1 MB

“Reunion” kind of implies that Rick and I have met each other which is not quite the case.  We have talked many times over skype including video so we knew each other but this was the first time in the flesh.  It was a great experience to be sure, Rick and I are very similar […]

Transhumanism – Transcendence

September 13, 2016 00:20 - 3 hours - 89.4 MB

Transcendence brings to an end the main part of the Transhumanism section, though we have a good number of episodes to go, they will be exploring specific topics. Transcendence brings to light all of the issues that come both with Transhumanism and the Singularity.  Will we trust someone more powerful than us?  Will the promise […]

Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy – Tertiary Phase

August 31, 2016 05:04 - 2 hours - 188 MB

I don’t get it.  How can a book I pretty much hate go to being a radio play I adore?  That is Douglas for you.  I guess when it comes down to it, Douglas was most at home with Radio where with the help of a good producer and a dash of decent editing you end […]

Transhumanism – Avatar

August 20, 2016 06:20 - 2 hours - 63 MB

Avatar is a funny movie.  It’s the most successful movie ever, yet nobody really talks about it.  That is mostly because it’s the world building and not the story that people remember. Not that I see that as a problem.  The fact that people shelled out so much to see a world that ‘might exist’ […]

Interview – Nick Page

August 16, 2016 21:44 - 42 minutes - 57.8 MB

Something different for Highway to Mars an interview.  Nick Page is the YouTuber responsible for the fantastic animated sequences that bring the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy radio series to life.  While Nicks work is essentially fan videos which with the whole Axanar debate have become somewhat controversial – the thing is they are good. […]

Heroine Cast – Ghostbusters 2016

August 10, 2016 12:08 - 1 hour - 32.3 MB

We have just had an interesting experience in outrage in Australia with the census.  Something so boring has been handled so badly that it will take years to rebuild trust with the community. The thing about “outrage” though is why?  So the census didn’t go to plan, how did that in any way change the […]

Transhumanism – The Matrix Part 2

August 07, 2016 14:08 - 3 hours - 86.7 MB

The Matrix delves much further into Transhumanism in the second outing as the machine world.  While parts 2&3 of the matrix have their flaws to me they are complex and nuanced views of the future of machine and human politics.  More importantly they highlight that like humans machines are unlikely to find change easy.  Despite all […]

Transhumanism – The Matrix Part 1

July 31, 2016 09:49 - 2 hours - 80.7 MB

The matrix fits somewhere between Transhumanism and the Singularity.  While it delves into the machine world in a way no movie has before, it also delves into what it means to go beyond the normal definition of what it means to be human.  I with there were more movies like the matrix series that combine […]

Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy – Life, The Universe and Everything

July 20, 2016 00:00 - 1 hour - 145 MB

Life, Don’t talk to me about life.  That is unless you add a dash of Universe and lashings of Everything.  Cricket is not the most exciting sport.  In fact, they had to cut it down to nothing just to get people to watch it.  So why you would write an entire book based on the […]

Transhumanism – Johhny Mnemonic

July 17, 2016 14:26 - 2 hours - 72.9 MB

William Gibson has to get a look in if you are going to talk transhumanism, it’s just unfortunate that there isn’t an entry that better showcases Gibsons skills than 1995’s Johnny Mnemonic.  None the less the core of Gibsons ideas come through.  The only problem with Gibson’s Cyberpunk world is it hasn’t come true and […]

Rural Dead (Revisited)

July 13, 2016 13:32 - 32 minutes - 30.2 MB

This was I think the best piece we did under the Martians are Here.  It had a great story – Zombies told with a serious tone and by this stage we had a clear creative vision of what we wanted to achieve.  While it’s a simple enough piece I think overall it is the most […]

Transhumanism – Blade Runner

July 11, 2016 13:59 - 2 hours - 72.5 MB

We finally made it to a new topic, Transhumanism and where better to start than the 1982 classic Blade Runner.  What is a life lived half as long but twice as bright?  We will never know but what we do know is it ends dramatically no matter how you want to look at it. Blade […]

The Singularity – Forbidden Planet

July 02, 2016 06:29 - 2 hours - 68.5 MB

The last entry into the Singularity is the honorary epilogue. This is a pretty typical 1950s science fiction story of boy being meets girl being and they fall in love while all around them the world is going to hell in a hand basket at the hands of a monster. I have really enjoyed our […]

Heroine Cast – Uhura (Michelle Nichols)

June 28, 2016 14:07 - 57 minutes - 26.3 MB

Star Trek is one of the tent pole science fiction series that is loved around the world.  It challenged the establishment and in any other world would have put Science Fiction on the mainstream map as a story telling medium.  Alas, that road was a long one to travel. Uhura was not one of the […]

The Singularity – Her

June 26, 2016 03:31 - 3 hours - 89.1 MB

In the last official part of “The Singularity” (yes there is an epilogue…) we look at the Movie Her.  This is an important part of the discussion on the singularity as human relationships are evolving through technology in the same way that most other parts of our lives are.  Already phones, with their cameras always […]