I’ll Have You Know

Today’s episode is about living your truest life no matter what.

This episode features an original adaptation of the short story “I’ll Have You Know,” by Charlie Jane Anders, originally published by MIT Tech Review on August 21, 2018. Adaptation and sound design by T.H. Ponders.

Charlie Jane Anders’ latest novel is The City in the Middle of the Night. She’s also the author of All the Birds in the Sky, which won the Nebula, Crawford and Locus awards, and Choir Boy, which won a Lambda Literary Award. Plus a novella called Rock Manning Goes For Broke and a short story collection called Six Months, Three Days, Five Others. Her short fiction has appeared in Tor.com, Boston ReviewTin HouseConjunctions, the Magazine of Fantasy and Science FictionWired Magazine, Slate, Asimov’s Science Fiction, Lightspeed, ZYZZYVA, Catamaran Literary Review, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency and tons of anthologies. Her story “Six Months, Three Days” won a Hugo Award, and her story “Don’t Press Charges And I Won’t Sue” won a Theodore Sturgeon Award.

Charlie Jane also organizes the monthly Writers With Drinks reading series, and co-hosts the podcast Our Opinions Are Correct with Annalee Newitz.

 

T.H. Ponders (they/them) is the creator of the award winning art history and museum experience podcast Accession, as well as the creator of Mars’ Best Brisket, The Wanderer, and Rogue Fun. They have also worked in various roles on over a half dozen other shows, including What’s the Frequency? CARAVAN, Hit the Bricks, and History is Gay. When they’re not soundscaping impossible worlds or struggling to write about art, they can usually be found teaching dance, driving to strange places, and being mediocre at Mario games.

 

Cast

CAT Blackard

El

Angela Merk Nguyen

Dr. Weebo

Jordan Adika

Goaty

Sean Howard

COACH RAYFORD & MITCH

 

TK Dutes

Harriet

  

CHARLIE JANE ANDERS

Jen

Rose Eveleth

Aaron

 

 

✨ Open World is a partnership between Philo’s Future Media and Flash Forward Presents, hosted by TK Dutes  and Rose Eveleth, produced by Brittani Taylor Brown and mixed by C. The intro music is Dorica by BlueDot Sessions. Additional music by T.H. Ponders. ✨ 

 

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TRANSCRIPT

Rose Eveleth:

Welcome to Open World.

TK Dutes:

I’m TK.

Rose Eveleth:

And I’m Rose.

TK Dutes:

Open World is a show about hopeful futures and how to bring them closer.

Rose Eveleth:

Yeah, and on today’s episode, we are going to head out into dream land.

TK Dutes:

Ooh, I love it. Let’s take a nap.

Rose Eveleth:

I love a nap. Let’s do it.

TK Dutes:

And now, I’ll Have You Know by T.H. Ponders, based on a short story by Charlie Jane Anders.

Dr. Weebo:

You should start noticing the effects pretty much immediately. Your body will look and feel different. The hair growth and skin glow come the easiest, then fat redistribution, and finally the bone structure. The process usually takes about 48 hours, and as I mentioned before, mood swings and cramps are a normal part of the confirmation process. Those tend to go away after a week or so. Any other questions?

El:

No, I … It’s just .. I’m sorry, it’s just this is-

Dr. Weebo:

Oh, yes, the voice also changes immediately.

El:

No, I don’t think … I don’t think I have any other questions, Doctor.

Dr. Weebo:

Excellent. Then there’s only one thing left to ask-

El:

I know what you’re going to say, and, Dr. Weebo, I don’t want any dream enhancements. I’m fine with my current sleep plan, really.

Dr. Weebo:

But you could be learning so much more. Sure, your sleep is keeping your body youthful, but at 100, you still have 30, 40, maybe even 50 years ahead of you. Think of things you could learn, the things you could do with that time.

El:

Look, Doc, I mean, we have this conversation every time I’m here. I still learn the old-fashioned way, by making a series of increasingly disastrous choices. The line behind enhanced dreaming and brainwash is too … Just not this time, okay? Maybe next time.

Dr. Weebo:

All right. They’re still going to send you some literature.

El:

Look, I don’t … Sorry. Mood swings.

Dr. Weebo:

Mood swings, perfectly all right. I’m sorry I pushed it, but you know I’m required to bring it up.

El:

I’ll check out the literature. I promise I’ll think about it.

Dr. Weebo:

Thank you. Anything else I can help you with today?

El:

No. No, I’m okay.

Dr. Weebo:

All right, then. Drink plenty of water. Get plenty of sleep. Exercise, but take it easy as things move around for the next couple of days. Oh, and happy birthday, El.

El:

Thanks, Doc. I’ll be back in a month for a check-up. The world is looking up. My mind feels like a nonstop happy dance. Today is the first day of my life as a woman. I finally found myself, and it only took 100 years to the day. My head is still swimming from the hormone fairy dust, which is not what it’s actually called, but I always imagined it that way. The doctor would blow the fairy dust across my skin and I would wake up as a beautiful woman, much more exciting than the lozenges, the body paint that turns from pink to blue, which is a little on the nose for my taste. Fairy dust is much more my speed.

El:

Speed, speed, speed, speed, speed. I’m speeding down the scroll-way, my by-scroll darting seamlessly in and out of the lanes of quadri-scroll traffic. I know that not everything had changed. It was still me. But everything had changed. When I bought the by-scroll, I was a 75-year-old lying to myself and trying to clasp at some sense of masculinity after my disastrous sixth year of marriage with Lisa came to a merciful end. I know the scrolls all drive themselves, but there’s still some exhilaration in the way a bi-scroll can dart between two quads, cutting through the traffic, opening the road before you. But, now. Now, I wasn’t some 100-year-old man trying to be that punk on the bi-scroll. I was some 100-year-old woman succeeding at being that badass on the bi-scroll.

El:

Scrolling is a whole different experience when the ad-bots no longer read you as masc. I mean, look, not read exactly. The doc had to update my records and the change pushed through the datasinks and the bots scrape faster than it took me to get on the scroll-way, but a girl can dream. It’s like walking into my dreams. The shops are advertising these wraps that morph from sun dress to corset dress at sunset. Cartoon characters and knights in armor call me Mrs. or Ladyperson as they pass on the scroll. Of course, there were still the various dreaded 100th birthday deals, but I like to focus on the ups, on the ups, on the ups, on the ups, on the ups, on the ups, on the ups, on the ups. Up to the 103rd floor where, of course, waiting for me is-

Goaty:

Baa. You’re back sooner than I expected. Tell me everything.

El:

That’s Goaty. A while back, I invested in an experimental goat-based cryptocurrency, Goatcash. Maybe you’ve heard of it.

Goaty:

Baa.

El:

Of course, when I put all my retirement savings in Goatcash, I never expected to actually end up sharing my apartment with its evolved form. For the first few years, it was all peachy, accruing value faster than a flesh and blood goat could chew through a trash pile. But then, just my luck, Goatcash is now a sentient being who is my roommate, my seven-foot-tall, teal-furred, purple-bearded, Bermuda shorts and crimson tie wearing, sentient, goat-based cryptocurrency roommate. They devour all of my food, make a mess everywhere, eat more trash than they take out, you know, typical roommate stuff. They just do all that while simultaneously taking terrifying dips in valuation.

El:

Not much to tell, just a routine check-up. Oh, and I changed my gender at last. Feels good so far. Feels great so far.

Goaty:

Whoa, you look great. You don’t look a day over 90.

El:

Well, look at that. You’ve lost another 2% of your value.

Goaty:

Don’t know what to say. That’s the game. Sometimes, floating exchange rates just don’t float quite the way you want them to.

El:

Hey, today, of all days, I don’t want to have to worry about you. My doctor thinks I should get my dreams enhanced.

Goaty:

Whoa, that’s heavy. I’ve never dreamed, unless you count my birth, when I experienced delusions of liquidity. Baa. But don’t you want to make the most of your dreams? I’ve been watching you sleep, and I have to say, you’re pretty uninspiring.

El:

You’ve been watching me sleep?

Goaty:

What? You watch me sleep all the time.

El:

That’s only because you sleep all the time. You should get a job. You know, whatever kind of jobs they give to failed cryptocurrency.

Goaty:

Baa. I’m a success on my own terms.

El:

Oh, good. Good for you. I’m exhausted, and I’m going to go to bed, and you aren’t going to watch me. Comprende?

Goaty:

No promises.

El:

The euphoria had pretty much all worn off. I crawled into bed, the gel slowly oozing over me. Sometimes, I wonder what it would be like if we didn’t have the gel, if our cells and neural pathways were allowed to decay the way they used to. Sometimes, I wonder what it would be like to …

Coach Rayford:

All right. Come on in, team. You hear the crowd. You hear the roar. They’re here for you. You. Now, listen up. Listen up. No, sit down. Sit down but listen up. We got the big contest here against the [foreign language 00:10:00].

El:

Hate those guys.

Coach Rayford:

How we all doing? We’re going … El, sit down, sit down. Good, okay, Chester.

El:

Let me at them, Coach.

Coach Rayford:

I know El, but in a minute. Sit down, El. Chester, I’ll need the full [inaudible 00:10:09] maneuvers on the port. El, you’re going to go offense. Lester, take the [inaudible 00:10:14], all three of them. Okay. El, I want you take the puck. The puck. Remember the puck?

El:

Oh, yeah.

Coach Rayford:

Okay, good. You’re going to take the puck all the way to the back drive, back past the nets. Okay, past the badminton. You’re going to drive it to the offense but keep the defense, and then it’s nothing but hoops, El. I got my eyes on you, girl.

El:

Boomshakalaka.

Coach Rayford:

I love it. But, you know, El, with enhanced dreaming, you could be doing so much with all of this time.

El:

Wait, Coach, you’re not the literature I was promised?

Coach Rayford:

No, no, no-

El:

Are you?

Coach Rayford:

… literature, no. But, you know, you could learn a new language, El, or become a juggler or learn how to do something you’ve always wanted to do, like crochet.

El:

Isn’t it good enough that I’m amazing at sports ball and I’m going to put the puck in the net, Coach? Come on.

Coach Rayford:

Good, El. It’s good. But, you know, you could do so much more, El. We’re watching you. We want you to be like us.

El:

Look, I don’t know. I just worry that the line is a bit too thin between sleep-learning and brainwashing, indoctrination.

Coach Rayford:

You’re overthinking this, El. All learning is indoctrination, isn’t it? A teacher teaching you. I’m just here to help. Information is not really, truly content neutral, is it, or every source? The point is, you don’t want to be left behind, now do you? Now do you? Now do you? Now do you? Now do you?

El:

It’s never a good night’s sleep when the literature comes knocking. But even if I didn’t feel rested, I felt different. I’d grown used to all the immediate effects of confirmation pretty quickly. Now, it’s just the stuff the doc said would take time, and it’s a very weird sensation. Like, I can actually feel my fat redistributing to my chest and hips and my skin softening.

El:

I’m not ashamed to say that I cried a bit when I got an abundance of beauty ads in the bathroom mirror, just a reminder of how long I’ve been staring at the mirror and seeing ads for shower grout caulk. And that’s not what being a woman is. It’s not … I could be a woman grouting all the showers in all the lands, but what’s it going to take for me to see some eyelash extensions or some really cool holographic nail colors? But, no, blue and gray ads, maybe some warm earth tones, shower grout caulk, be a fucking man. And that’s not on me, you know. That’s on society, right? And I will probably always remember when that pink, glittery sparkle shone across my bathroom mirror first thing in the morning and said, “Hey, here’s some cherry-flavored lip gloss.” I lost it. It was ridiculous. It was the best cry of my entire life.

El:

I mean, I’ve been at this for a long time, obviously. I’ve always been a trans woman. I just haven’t lived that truth, and it took a long time. It took so long for me to get here. I mean, 100 years is not an understatement, but even then, I was 50 when I first realized that I was a woman. And one thought kept holding me back, age. What if I was too old? The idea of starting over as, like, a person at age 54 or 55, it just seemed insurmountable. I could see everyone looking at me, giving me the side-eye, as if to say, “Who do you think you’re kidding?” Since then, I’ve met so many people older than that who’ve had a, quote-unquote, late transition and who seem serenely happy in their own skins.

El:

It was always something, like why not wait until after the Robertsons’ picnic or maybe once I had made myself indispensable at this new job, and then there was an upcoming occasion where I probably ought to make an appearance as a distinguished older gentleman rather than, you know, whoever I was going to be, whoever I wanted to be, whoever I was. I had a genuinely hard time visualizing the person she was going to be or how people were going to react to her. “It’s only your appearance after all,” I told myself over and over. It’s what’s on the inside that counts. But I’m a woman on the inside, and now … Now, my outside reflects that.

El:

I got by on those lies. I just dealt with looking at the ads for shower grout caulk every day for 50 years until one morning last week, I woke up and realized two fundamental truths at exactly the same time. One, I was 99 years old, and, two, I no longer gave a shit, and it wasn’t too late at all. It would never be, quote-unquote, too late unless I never went through with it. And, at the end of the day, when I look in the mirror, it would still be me, still the same person in most of the ways that matter. So I might as well be looking at ads for things that I care about. At the very least, some fucking algorithm could say, “Yeah, you know what? Here’s a bunch of mascara instead of shower grout caulk.” Because the harder you try to get taken seriously, the less serious you’re actually being.

Goaty:

Here’s what I don’t get though.

El:

Ah, Goaty, what have I told you about sneaking up on me in the bathroom?

Goaty:

Sorry. You’ve been in here for 20 minutes.

El:

Ugh. What is it?

Goaty:

What is what?

El:

What do you not get?

Goaty:

Oh, right. What I don’t get is that you’re happy to alter your body and to some extent your mind by flooding yourself with female hormones and nanotech, but you don’t want to enhance your dreams? You could learn to code or understand the new disunified ultrasymmetry physics.

El:

Mm, yeah, you know, if I did that, I bet I could finally understand why I put all my money into a cryptocurrency that doesn’t know how to mind its own business.

Goaty:

Hey, I never promised to keep gaining value or to be the perfect roommate. All I promised was that I’d solve the Byzantine Generals Problem. And let me ask, have you been attacked by a Byzantine general even once since you invested in me? Nope, didn’t think so. Success. My terms.

El:

Ugh, great. Great. Well, I’m going out. Try not to eat all the drapes while I’m gone, gone, gone, gone, gone. Scrolling out to the tea-dome, where some of my friends are getting wrecked on Lapsang souchong and shortbread.

Jen:

Oh, happy birthday, El.

Harriet:

Congratulations on the transition, El, darling. Nice to know that at 100 you can still be a work in progress, eh?

El:

Fucking Harriet.

Harriet:

Speaking of a work in progress, you’ll never guess which 18th century poet’s works I memorized in my dreams last night.

Jen:

Keats?

Harriet:

Hush, darling. You know I memorized Keats ages ago. That’s beginner stuff.

Aaron:

Ooh, Byron?

Harriet:

Pish-posh. Byron? More like Lord Boring. Any other guesses?

El:

I know she wants me to guess, but I’m not going to give her the satisfaction.

Harriet:

No? Okay. Coleridge. Samuel Taylor Coleridge, all in a single night. Oh, the wonders of enhanced dreaming. Don’t want to get left behind, you know? El, what have you been dreaming up lately?

El:

Oh, you know, the usual. A lot of shoe salesmen trying to get me to wear birdcages on my feet. Don’t know what it means, but I do wake up feeling amazing.

Harriet:

You’re not-

El:

It’s just like how do you know they’re not brainwashing you or something?

Harriet:

Oh, El, it’s just a chance to learn new things. Isn’t all learning a form of indoctrination? Information is never truly content neutral, right?

El:

Sure.

Aaron:

I mean, look at me. I can do my own taxes now thanks to enhanced dreaming. You don’t want to get left behind.

El:

Right.

Jen:

And I’ve become quite the connoisseur of fine wines. I can pick out a Riesling from a Pinot Grigio blindfolded. You don’t want to get left behind.

El:

Why do you all keep repeating that phrase?

Jen:

Which phrase?

El:

You don’t want to get left behind.

Harriet:

I never said that. Did you say that? Did you say that? Did you say that? Did you say that? Did you say that? Did you say that?

El:

That evening, I had a hot date. I reached all the way into the back of my closet for the dress I bought 20 years ago and never wore. There was a slight moment of panic as I slipped it on, like the dress could burst into flames as soon as I clasped the last clasp. My skin was so sensitive all of a sudden. But then what’s the point of dying without ever once getting to be real? I check the mirror and it’s me, a round-faced woman with her white hair in a bob who could be one of those old ladies in those comedy stories I used to watch. I look cute but unremarkable, which is perfect. This. This was who I spent all those long nights trying to visualize. This was me, finally me. For almost five decades, my body has just been this flawed vessel that could break down at any moment, but now … Now, I love this. I love me. I love my body. I might actually find some joy in my body again.

El:

Tonight was not my night, though. My date, a 117-year-old nonbinary person named Ray, insisted on getting a pitcher of margaritas because what’s one more artificial liver replacement? We ate nothing but chips and guacamole and red-hot salsa. They were extremely cute, pink streaks in their hair, velvet jacket, but then they had to go and guff it all up by bringing up their enhanced dreaming and how they didn’t want to get left behind. We finished up the chips, and I scrolled home, a little disheartened. When I got back, Goaty was in the corner doing their goat yoga meditations. I went right to sleep.

Mitch:

Now, listen, lass, if we don’t pass this bill regulating the ingestion and the re-ingestion and the re-distribution of the [inaudible 00:21:25] for teens, you’re right, yep, you’re right, young adults, my constituency will never elect me. Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but as my intern, is it not your responsibility to make sure that we have adequate copies of whatever petitions we need?

El:

Oh-

Mitch:

No, don’t speak. I’m still speaking, young lady. I’m glad you’re working through your gender issues at last. I’m a modern man, after all. But, listen, you need to sign up for enhanced dreams. You don’t want to be the only one who doesn’t understand, do you?

El:

Ugh. The literature again? Don’t you mean I don’t want to get left behind? That’s what everyone keeps repeating to me, like they’ve been brainwashed.

Mitch:

Brainwashed. That’s not a good word, El. You know, we’re just cleaning things up in there in the old noggin. Nobody wants a dirty brain, do they, hmm? Tell me, hmm, hmm?

El:

Yeah, I think I’m going to pass.

Mitch:

But, look, I’m trying to help you here. You don’t want Dr. Weebo to report that your faculties are impaired, do you? Think about this. You could be put on Supported Living. You have no idea what that means. You might not be allowed to leave your house without supervision.

El:

If you were going to threaten me, you should’ve chosen the form of someone who wasn’t so bad at their job. Just sign this. I’m trying here. I’m trying to help you. What’s the point of dying without ever once getting to be real, hmm?

Mitch:

Where you going? Hey.

El:

This is why it’s always good to put a rabbit hole in the back of your dreams. You never know when you’re going to need to get to Wonderland.

Mitch:

Hey, what are you doing? No, don’t do that. There’s a lot that I didn’t talk to you about. The benefit package. You can learn languages. You can learn origami. My mother learned how to make a pea soup.

El:

Stuff your pea soup! I got root access.

Mitch:

Don’t do this. I’m warning you.

El:

Just as I suspected, malicious code sets with typical brainwash-y instructions. Don’t vote. Never challenge authority. Stay home. You don’t want to get left behind. And this is just what they can do with the basic dream package.

Mitch:

You had better step away from that right now.

El:

I’m leaving. People are going to find out about your scam, and if you know what’s best for you, whoever you are, you’ll clear the hell out of my dreams.

Mitch:

You are making a terrible mistake.

El:

Terrible mistakes are kind of my thing. But you know what? I’m a success on my own terms.

Goaty:

Whatever you just did, you should do way more often. You’ve never slept this entertainingly before.

El:

Oh, let me just check the image folder and … Ha, gotcha! Oh, they don’t know who they’ve fucked with. You know what, Goaty? I think I’m turning into the kind of old lady who makes trouble.

TK Dutes:

Wow, that was amazing, sound design, the acting, the story. Charlie Jane Anders and T.H. Ponders really gave us a story to close this whole season on.

Rose Eveleth:

I love closing on this one. I feel like it is all about trying new things, seizing the opportunity, living, right, like going forth and actually doing the thing that you’ve always wanted. I love that. I love how weird it is.

TK Dutes:

So weird. A whole goat cryptocurrency. I’m stuck on the goat.

Rose Eveleth:

I love it, and I will say that I have been, in my personal life, saying, “I’m a success on my own terms,” to myself as a little affirmation.

TK Dutes:

This one is filled with affirmations, filled with this whole thing about … It’s not just about the passion of your life, it’s literally the passion of you, who are you becoming, and that it’s never too late for that. I love this story for that.

Rose Eveleth:

Yeah, the magic of finding yourself, right? It does feel like this magical thing that has big and small ramifications. Your ads in the shower mirror are not for caulk any more, and also you look in the mirror and see the person that you’ve always wanted to see. Those are huge things and small things that all take up space in this world that I think is really lovely.

TK Dutes:

And then the whole fact of, in this future, medical procedures or learning, none of these things are, quote-unquote, a big deal, you know? I know so many folks are waiting for this time to come, whether it means calling your insurance company and arguing your bill down to going through so many hoops to transition. I hope for a future that is better to us medically and we deserve.

Rose Eveleth:

Totally, yes. And this is something that we talk about with Charlie Jane and Cap, who was the star, Cap Blackard. Charlie Jane wrote the original story, Cap plays El, and both of them are trans women, and talking about that with them was really interesting, about what would it be like if you could remove so much of the medicalization and the conversation around how high that barrier is for folks, for a lot of people, what would that be like and what is that world like, if you could skirt around those topics. I thought that was really fascinating to talk to them about.

TK Dutes:

Since this is one of our favorite futures, let’s just go into that conversation right after this commercial break. Then we’ll talk to Charlie Jane Anders and Cap Blackard, our stars.

Rose Eveleth:

Well, Charlie Jane, Cap, thank you so much for coming on the show. We’re really excited to talk to you about this piece. Charlie Jane, can we start with you? What inspired the original short story that we’re talking about here?

Charlie Jane Anders:

Wow, it feels like a long time ago, even though I guess it was just 2019. You know, I was asked to write a thing for Technology Review, and I think that they wanted something that was about future technology because Technology Review and they wanted something that was looking at the future. I sort of was thinking about what it would be like to be trans in the future but also the future of aging. I think my original pitch to technology review was something that was more focused on aging. I was like, “I want to write about knee replacement,” and they’re like, “Great, we love knee” … Well, nobody loves knee replacement, but you know? Obviously, if we could have better knee replacement and could make awesome artificial knees, that would really make a huge difference to quality of life.

Charlie Jane Anders:

Then, the more I thought about it, the more I was like, “You know what?” Right now, with everything that’s going on with trans people and with the world in general, I just wasn’t as excited about writing about knee replacement in that moment as about the idea of what it would be like to be 100 years old and deciding to transition. Honestly, the story as I originally conceived it was really focusing on just this person who decides to transition at age 100 and what’s that like. She has a roommate who’s this weird cryptocurrency, which I love how you captured that in the story. Then I kind of had to introduce some element of conflict into the story so it wasn’t just like, “Yay, I transitioned. Everything’s awesome.” So I came up with this idea of subliminal dream learning which is trying to take over your mind, which actually felt like it resonated with the transition because both of those things are about getting to be your authentic self in a world that’s trying to control you, kind of.

Rose Eveleth:

Cap, what was your first reaction to reading the script and then maybe the story as well?

Cap Blackard:

Well, I really enjoyed the surreal landscape of it because I’ve only read the script, not the short story. There’s tons of abstract future concepts, like the scrolling and all that stuff, that plays into how the future itself is a very unknowable thing, especially with the rapid progress of technology, the approaching singularity, et cetera, et cetera. There’s room for all kinds of abstractions both comedic in the form of Goaty and then also just baffling stuff that we can’t understand today, same as if I went back to 1984 when I was born and tried to explain literally anything we’re dealing with right now. That’s a tall order.

Cap Blackard:

So, approaching it from a trans person perspective, there’s one line in particular that I think really zeroes in on what it is to be a trans person, or at least in terms of approaching the notion of transition and standing on the precipice of should I, shouldn’t I, can I really, could I bear the rest of life without doing this thing, which especially comes from if you’re transitioning later in life. I transitioned in my 30s, which is not even half of some of the older trans folks who I’m friends with, what they’ve gone through and all the years of different internalized transphobia and all the other baggage.

Cap Blackard:

But the line in question, to get to the point, is, “What’s the point of dying without ever once getting to be real,” which is something that we all should ask ourselves because so much of our landscape as humans is shaped by fictions that we as a species have told ourselves and it’s important to live authentically and transness, as exhibited in a roundabout way in this story, is, in many cases, a portal to a greater understanding, a consciousness expansion that shows you that the world you thought you knew isn’t really at all what it appears to be and questioning the veil that humanity’s culture has draped across our species’ entire perception of reality.

Charlie Jane Anders:

Wow, I love all of that.

Rose Eveleth:

Yeah. The thing that I think is so interesting about this piece is that it has this really interesting conversation around enhancement.

Charlie Jane Anders:

I mean, I think it really comes down to having control over your life and over yourself. There’s always a thing of, well, there’s all options and, oh, we should just take advantage of all of them or whatever. I think that, really, it’s about making the choices that help you to become the best version of yourself, which sounds a little corny, but you know what I mean, and getting to be your real, authentic self. I personally am a very late adopter, generally. I had a flip phone long after most of my friends had smartphones. I just had a flip phone that couldn’t even go on the Internet, really, because I’m a little suspicious of new stuff, especially when it still has lots of bugs and when I’m just like, “Is this going to take over my life?” My smartphone did kind of take over my life for a while once I finally got one.

Charlie Jane Anders:

So I guess I feel like the stereotype of science fiction writers is that we’re obsessed with new stuff and that we’re early adopters and that just any new technology, we love it immediately. I’m always just very dubious about new technology, personally. I feel like if it makes you happy, if it fills a need that you actually had in your life, then that’s awesome. But a lot of the time, the cart kind of drives the horse in terms of a new technology exists and so we have to invent a need that it fills, kind of, after it already exists. I’m very suspicious of that, I guess. I’m a little bit of a Luddite, actually.

Cap Blackard:

I mean, that seems safe and reasonable. You can’t trust anything front-facing immediately. It has to earn your trust.

Rose Eveleth:

In this story, the act of transitioning is pretty easy, right? There’s fairy dust, essentially, that makes it happen. What do you think that future would be like?

Cap Blackard:

Well, it’s interesting because El’s world is a little vague, at least from my perspective. I’m sure Charlie actually definitively knows what’s up there, or maybe I’m projecting. But we know that El has undergone a procedure and that it is a physical procedure and it involves a lot of what would be associated with hormone replacement therapy. But El at one point tells Goaty, “I changed my gender.” She doesn’t say, “I changed my sex.” So I don’t really know, really, how far this process is going. I don’t know the extent to which El has edited her physical experience. Now, editing that physical experience with hormones is a wild ride in and of itself, and there’s much to be said for the experience of being a trans woman without having, say, to undergo any kind of confirmation surgery. I don’t know what El’s lived experience is in that regard, and it doesn’t really matter. It’s impolite to ask.

Cap Blackard:

But that question of if it could be that easy and the extent to which it would take is a really interesting one because the most inappropriate question that I have gotten prior to my transition is a lot of folks making assumptions about how far I wanted to take it, as though gender confirmation surgery or sexual reassignment surgery is a preconceived notion of the trans experience. That’s a difficult thing to confront, like when my family’s asking me, “Well, how far do you want to take this,” right? I don’t know. Because I have to get comfortable with surgeries and procedures and different ideas about what I do or don’t want, and if fairy dust could be an easy way for me to have a vagina and ovaries, I would do it, for sure. As it stands with surgery, that’s not a choice that I’m wanting to take right now.

Cap Blackard:

So if it was that easy, then great, and if it’s that easy one way, then it can be that easy the other way, and there’d be lots less ambiguity about people’s autonomy and gatekeepers trying to decide whether or not someone is trans enough to undergo said surgeries. If it was easy as fairy dust, well, that would be a better thing. It’s a very complicated issue, but, yeah, simplicity is better in this case.

Charlie Jane Anders:

Yeah, I loved everything Cap just said. That was just all beautiful. I think in the original story I leave it vague exactly what this treatment is doing for El beyond the stuff that you can see on the surface, like the fat being redistributed and the skin getting softer. There is a failure mode of stories about trans people that they focus on the transition and on the medical, physical aspects of the transition to the exclusion of everything else, as if that’s the most important thing and that the medical treatments and the physical changes are the most important thing. It gets a little bit prurient at times, I feel like, and, definitely, media mainstream portrayals of trans people have often focused on certain aspects of transition to, I think, an unhealthy degree. The idea that there’s one story that we’re allowed to tell about being trans and that it involves this particular set of treatments and this particular outcome is something that there’s been a lot of criticism of in the trans community.

Charlie Jane Anders:

So I was very deliberate about leaving that kind of a little bit vague about exactly what’s happening with this fairy dust and exactly how far it’s going in terms of reshaping El’s body. I sort of assume in general that in this miraculous future that El is living in, it’s possible to do a lot without necessarily having to do surgery. So I left it vague on purpose. I think that there was a lot of debate maybe 15 years ago in the trans community and just in the world at large about this thing in science fiction of depicting transition as being easy. Back in the day, cis male authors like John Varley and Charles Stross wrote stories in which changing your gender is literally like, “Boop, boop, boop,” and people would just go back and forth. It was like, “Oh, it’s Friday. I’m going to have this body. It’s Wednesday. I’m going to have this body.” Some trans people felt like this was trivializing what we had had to go through in order to be our real self.

Charlie Jane Anders:

I think that what I tried to do in this story, bearing that in mind, is show that the physical part might be easy but the more social and emotional and all the other stuff is difficult. Because the argument that I was making back then, 15 years ago, was that it’s okay to show that technology could get better and that we could have better options in the future for this. Certainly, I know that surgical options for trans people have gotten better in the past 50 years and hormone treatments have gotten better in the past 50 years. If you look at what was available to Christine Jorgensen versus what’s available to a trans woman today, the options are just a lot better, surgical techniques have improved in various ways. I think that we know a lot more about hormone treatments. I don’t know when spironolactone, but that was a big game-changer for a lot of trans people, I feel like. There’s a lot of better options now than there used to be. I think it’s okay to speculate about, in the future, we could have even better treatments than what we have now and that it could be easier in some ways. It’s just like when you talk about assistive technology and other ways that technology could make things easier for people.

Charlie Jane Anders:

But, at the same time, it’s good to be careful not to spill over into either trivializing what trans people have to deal with or denying the reality of people’s struggle in the present. So I tried to walk that line and, like I said, really show how it’s as much a social and emotional and personal thing that you have to deal with and show how El really struggled with this decision beforehand and how it’s something that really is super … It’s a huge, life-changing thing for El, even if the actual physical transition is relatively easy. I made sure to show the story to a bunch of trans people before it was published, and the general response was that they felt like, “My god, I wish we had that fairy dust now,” but also that they didn’t feel like I had trivialized anything. So that was something that I was really, really careful about and very mindful about.

Rose Eveleth:

Cap, what was it like playing this character in the acting sense? What was that like for you?

Cap Blackard:

Well, it was interesting because El and I’s ethos and transition are all quite different. All science fiction aside, she comes from a world where it seems like everything’s been even more commoditized than it is now and that the binary, in spite of there being nonbinary characters, is still really in full effect. Like, a huge part of her good vibes from her transition being confirmed is having been registered as femme and getting corresponding ads. That’s the world she lives in, where who knows how long that’s been a part of her world. It sounds like it’s been quite some time that she’s been getting ads for shower grout caulk, and that sucks.

Cap Blackard:

But it’s interesting. The problem she’s dealing with is something that is making her come face-to-face with how twisted her reality is and how much the perception of reality has shaped things. Even though her capacity to transition is fully accepted and is something that the rest of the world seems to regard with a certain nonchalance, it’s something that she took very seriously because she was still feeling a lot of that binary pressure, which is definitely something that I can relate to at various points in my life.

Cap Blackard:

There’s some large monologues that El does, and I did a bunch of different takes. Throughout that, there was some pieces where I improvised heavily and injected a lot of my own experiences in transition and the ways that I was feeling. It’s been over six months since I recorded it, so I have no idea what I said. But it felt really good at the time, I remember that.

Rose Eveleth:

Yeah, Charlie, what was it like for you to hear the cut so far?

Charlie Jane Anders:

It was actually really emotional for me. I was just like, “Oh, I’m going to listen to this now,” and then I was like, “Holy crap, this is so” … It was way more intense than I expected. It felt like this character really came to life in this way that just really blew me away, and this feeling of, “The sad thing is dying without ever once getting to be real,” that really hit me. I can’t remember if that was from my story or if that was something that y’all added, but it was something that I was like, “Holy crap.” It just really hit me right in the feels. I don’t know. I really just loved how the world came to life. I just felt like the thing that I talked a lot with the folks at Technology Review about when I was writing it was wanting the world to be really, really weird. I feel like y’all did it really weird. I thought Goaty was this just super disturbingly cute and weird presence. I don’t know. I was really blown away.

Rose Eveleth:

I do have to ask about Goaty because I love him so much and I do like … Where did Goaty come from?

Charlie Jane Anders:

Yay.

Rose Eveleth:

What inspired Goaty?

Charlie Jane Anders:

You know, God, it was a while ago, but I feel like I was just … I was thinking about trying to create the weirdest possible future world that I could. Somehow, this idea of a cryptocurrency that came to life and became an intelligent being and was living in this woman’s apartment, just, for some reason, that really took hold in my mind. I think I tried a few different permutations of it where it was something to do with sentient cash. I’m obsessed with sentient cash. I’ve written other stories about sentient money before. There’s a lot of ways to be weird and just like, “Okay, that’s just more weirdness.” Goaty had enough of a personality that it was weird in a fun way. But hearing Goaty brought to life was just a whole other level, for sure.

Rose Eveleth:

It was very fun. I got to sit in on the first read-through table read with everybody, and the discussions around how much goat to be in the Goaty voice was very fun to be in on, like, “What percent goat should I be in these various takes?” There’s sort of an interesting thing happening in the piece about seizing the moment, “You don’t want to be left behind,” as the phrase that gets said in the mind control dream situation. But you also don’t want to get left behind. Some of it is about seizing the moment and not leading behind. So maybe, Charlie Jane, that phrase, “You don’t want to get left behind,” where did that come from and what does that mean in the story and to you?

Charlie Jane Anders:

I think that for me the phrase, “You don’t want to get left behind,” is the purest distillation of ageism that I could come up with. It’s nothing to do with the decision that El made to transition or any other decisions that El has made to be herself because I don’t think that her transitioning was a question of being left behind or not being left behind. Either way, she was going to have her friends in her life. It was just that she was not going to be happy with herself and in her own skin if she didn’t transition versus being left behind is really this idea of becoming irrelevant or not knowing the latest stuff. Basically, it’s about social pressure and this idea that if you’re an older person, that you’re not going to be included if you haven’t kept up, which often means conforming.

Charlie Jane Anders:

I think, honestly, every age, you’re given messages about conforming and about the importance of conforming, and those messages just change as you get older and are tailored differently because society will always find ways to pressure you to deny yourself. There’s nothing wrong with trying to keep up with the world and pay attention to what other people are doing. I’m not at all advocating that people shouldn’t be interested in the world and want to learn new stuff. But I think that that idea of you don’t want to be left behind is this weird pressure thing that’s not really about anything but just control.

Rose Eveleth:

Yeah. You wrote this and we started working on this, as we mentioned, pre-pandemic, pre- a lot of the things that we’re all dealing with right now, which has sort of been an interesting-

Charlie Jane Anders:

Man.

Rose Eveleth:

… process for everyone on this team in terms of just getting it done and also certain things land differently sometimes now compared to when we were working on it. So I’m curious for either of you, does this piece or this idea or any of this feel different now than it did when you first wrote it or when we first started working on it?

Charlie Jane Anders:

I mean, I feel like the future world just feels stranger because everything feels stranger right now. I feel like all the brainwashing, mind control stuff feels a lot more real listening to it in the middle of an election because, yeah, there’s a lot of brainwashing and mind control right now, so everything like that is going to feel more immediate.

Cap Blackard:

By comparison to some of the other pieces that you’ve published, this one doesn’t have the most direct correlations. But the brainwashing component is very haunting, especially coming to you in your dreams and the insidiousness with which it’s infected the rest of the populace. As soon as I finished reading this, I wondered, “Is this a series? What happens next? When do we get to do the part where El does all the freedom fighting because I want to get to that bit.”

Charlie Jane Anders:

I would love a sequel. Maybe-

Rose Eveleth:

I was going to ask, is there going to be one?

Charlie Jane Anders:

I don’t know. Maybe eventually we could. I don’t know. I would love to hear y’all do a sequel to it. I don’t know. I feel like I have a new love for the character of El after listening to your version of it, so it’s kind of taking on a new life in my head now.

Rose Eveleth:

Season two of Open World. What are you most hopeful for right now? It’s a weird time to be asking this question, I very much admit that.

Cap Blackard:

This is very difficult, but one thing that does give me hope always is community, which during the time of pandemic has been hard because I really connect very much with physical community where I can. But it seems like there is a certain inevitability in the motions that I’ve seen in terms of consciousness expansion and growth relating to all facets of the human experience outside of the white capitalist hetero patriarchy and that no matter anybody’s background, there are a lot of people who are embracing the human experience isn’t what they were told it was. I think that’s beautiful because I thought I knew what I wanted and I was shocked by how, as soon as I started hormone replacement therapy and felt like although the skin-shedding and egg-cracking and all the analogies that typically happen when people discuss it, I felt all that slip away and I could look back and see the veil that I’d pierced. I did not expect it to be so radical how my perception of the world would change.

Cap Blackard:

The trans experience, not just for the individuals who are trans, but for the world at large that is coming into knowledge of transness and queerness, in many cases, being more accepting of us and integrating us into the whole of the human experience, it emphasizes independent thought and the power of the individual, which is the most important thing. Lots of people find comfort in being followers, and it’s okay. We all are in our own right in different ways. We all need to lean back on somebody at some point. But we all are also individually important, and as a species and maybe even beyond that, we have so much beauty in us as a collective experience. Everything that we are now is part of a great cascade of minds and intellect corresponding with one another, and that’s a beautiful thing. I don’t necessarily think it makes us better than any other animal on this planet, but it’s at the very least interesting. Either something changes or everything ends. That’s how I think it goes, and I’ll gamble that.

Charlie Jane Anders:

Wow. I can’t really add much to that. I love what Cap just said about community, and I feel like, yeah, community really does give me hope. I’ve been banging the drum about community for a bit lately, and I do think communities coming together and the way that people have come together around Black Lives Matter and around other movements has really been giving me hope this past year. I think that, as things get really bad with climate change, I think we’re going to come together and I think that we’re going to really start organizing and putting pressure around that. So that’s the thing that gives me hope.

Rose Eveleth:

Yeah. And the last question, this is maybe a little bit of a wildcard but also fun. What piece of media do you think of when you want something hopeful that you want to go look at, listen to, a game, it could be a tweet, it could be anything that is a piece of media that you find really hopeful that you’re excited about and want to talk about.

Charlie Jane Anders:

I think most recently, for me, it’s definitely Julie and the Phantoms. Julie and the Phantoms has totally been my life for the last month or two. I just wish there was 100 episodes of it.

Rose Eveleth:

Annalee said the same thing.

Charlie Jane Anders:

Yeah, I think Annalee and I have been watching Julie and the Phantoms a lot together, and I wish there was more episodes because it’s so good.

Cap Blackard:

I always reach for music. I was trying to think of is there one album that I’d put my finger on. The closest I got was Peter Gabriel’s So, but even that’s got some dark shit on it. So Kate Bush, Bjork, Peter Gabriel, those are all wonderful people who enrich my world. But in terms of concentrated pieces of media, the two things that enrich my life the most are the video game EarthBound for the Super Nintendo by Shigesato Itoi and A Wrinkle in Time and A Wind in the Door by Madeleine L’Engle. Those two books especially, I go back to them again and again, read them back-to-back if I can, and they have enriched my world and shaped my understanding of the universe, and I find something new there every time. They’re beautiful, beautiful books by a beautiful, beautiful person.

Rose Eveleth:

Well, thank you both so much for coming on the show. This has been a joy.

Cap Blackard:

Yeah, likewise.

Charlie Jane Anders:

Thank you for having us. This was so lovely. Thank you.

Rose Eveleth:

All right, TK, this is the last episode of the series, of this season, and we have asked everybody on the show the same two questions at the very end of every episode in every interview. I think it maybe is time for us to answer them ourselves. I feel like that’s only fair. So why don’t we start with what is your favorite piece of hopeful media?

TK Dutes:

Okay. Yeah. I’m ready for this one. My favorite piece of hopeful media right now are shows like Lovecraft Country and The Watchmen and even Underground, which was a very short-lived show on a short-lived network, but it just showed a lot of Black content that was not beholden to the mainstream gaze or white gaze and that, even though it’s historical fiction, Black people had joy in their lives, defiance, revolution. We were not always ready to get a beat-down or a kowtowing to anyone. That, to me, is hopeful media because it’s only in 2017, ’18, ’19, ’20 that we’re getting to make it and put it on platforms that are generally for the mainstream. So that’s hopeful to me. Then the themes of those shows, looking to the future, are always stories of how people sacrificed for my good, for the future of my people, of me. So I find those types of media pretty hopeful right now.

Rose Eveleth:

Yeah. Lovecraft Country looks amazing, and I could never watch it because it’s way too scary. I get so easily scared.

TK Dutes:

It’s very scary. Yes, yes. I can’t even argue with you. It is kind of scary.

Rose Eveleth:

I see screenshots, and I’m like, “No, no, no, no, no, I can’t. I can’t do it.” I obviously appreciate that it exists, but, man.

TK Dutes:

It’s a lot. It’s a lot. Then I think about it, I’m like, “Well, this is scary, but so was living at that time,” so then-

Rose Eveleth:

Oh my God.

TK Dutes:

Then my perspective shifts.

Rose Eveleth:

For sure, yeah. And I do love the reclaiming of Lovecraft, who was a notorious racist, and remaking that and reclaiming that for a new era, which I think is great.

TK Dutes:

Yeah, definitely.

Rose Eveleth:

My hopeful media is more generic maybe, but it’s sort of TikTok writ large, with the caveat that TikTok is a security and privacy nightmare. I use it on a burner phone so that I can still enjoy it without giving them my personal data. And sort of similar to your answer, there are so many people who are making incredible stuff that doesn’t have to go through the same kind of gatekeeping and doesn’t have to be approved by older, white, male panel of executives. There’s just so much incredible stuff on TikTok that’s funny and weird and smart. Some of the best tech commentary is on TikTok by teens. Every night, when I get in bed, one of my closest friends and I have what we call Tok Time, where we just text each other our favorite TikToks of the day.

TK Dutes:

Oh, I love it.

Rose Eveleth:

It’s just this lovely way to end the day, watch some really cute TikToks, I’m learning how to roller skate, some roller-skating tutorial videos and also just funny, weird, interesting stuff. I just love it. It’s just so lovely. It hits that Vine part of my brain. RIP Vine forever. But it’s similarly a lot of people who weren’t given opportunities in mainstream media. It’s the same kind of conversation around all these folks who aren’t going to get a meeting at NBC or on comedy shows but are genuinely so funny and all this stuff.

TK Dutes:

I look at the quality of it, especially from younger people, like kids, little tiny kids, and it’s high-quality editing and shots and transformations. I just got my TikTok account three days ago, and I’m a disaster on it. I’m so terrible.

Rose Eveleth:

It’s hard. It’s really hard. I, too, was like, “I’ll just make a TikTok,” and nine hours later, I was like, “Oh my God, it’s so hard.” It’s so hard. Yeah, no, it’s incredible what people will do.

TK Dutes:

But I can see why you love it, yeah.

Rose Eveleth:

Oh, yeah. Yeah. There’s something for everyone, is what I’ll say. There is also, obviously, a dark side of TikTok, which we won’t get into. But, yeah, it does show me things that I also would never see otherwise sometimes. It’s just a lovely little corner of the Internet.

TK Dutes:

So let me ask you now …. The other question that we ask everybody is what are you most hopeful for right now.

Rose Eveleth:

Yeah, it’s funny. I feel like every time we ask this on the interviews, I almost feel a little bad because it’s a hard time to be asking people this question. It’s late October 2020 while we’re recording this, but even when we were asking it earlier. There’s a lot going on, to put it euphemistically. But I will say I think that my answer is actually sort of similar to some of the answers that we heard on the show already, which is that it does feel as though over the summer there was a big shift in what people were willing to consider when it comes to future possibilities around particularly things like racial justice and police brutality. Obviously, the movement for Black lives has been happening for a very long time. This is not a new situation.

Rose Eveleth:

But if you had told me in January that in August, September, we would see people, mainstream folks, seriously talking about police abolition and prison abolition, not reform, not these hand-wave-y things, I would’ve laughed at you. The folks who have been working on prison and police abolition have been working for a really long time, and they’ve made a lot of progress, and they’re incredibly smart, and everyone should go read them, Ruthie Gilmore, et cetera, et cetera. But if you had told me that this would be a mainstream conversation in August, I would’ve been like, “No, there’s no way,” right? It just feels like all of a sudden there was this shift in what people were willing to discuss around these topics. There’s a lot of work to be done to see that through and to actually make that happen and do the rest of it, but it really feels like … People talk about the Overton window, and it really does feel like it shifted all of a sudden to allow for these conversations that seemed, quote-unquote, radical even earlier this year.

TK Dutes:

There’s definitely a willingness to say the thing now, for the most part, and also name it, name it.

Rose Eveleth:

Right, yeah. Right, to say it. I don’t know if you saw that there was a graph in the New York Times about even just the way that, quote-unquote, the public, largely white New York Times readers, thought about the phrase Black Lives Matter. It starts off being mostly kind of negative and then over the summer shoots up to being a positive phrase and a positive connotation-

TK Dutes:

Wow.

Rose Eveleth:

… in this way that it was like it just all happened kind of suddenly, it felt, almost. So that gives me hope that there can be these moments. A lot of activists work really hard for years and years and years, and they’re just slowly inching forward. But then there can be these truly seismic shifts where all of a sudden we can have the conversation. That gives me hope, and also just knowing that there are so many people working on this and they’re not stopping. They’ve been working on this before. They will continue to work on it. That makes me hopeful. How about you?

TK Dutes:

Oh, all of the things you said. I think mine is a two-partner. So how people have been thriving in this quarantine time/pandemic time. I think I’m just saying it so that people feel okay saying it about themselves, that if you have thrived during this quarantine, that that is okay and that is good and that’s what we want for you. We want you to win. We want you to grow your business. A lot of people I’m seeing are saying, “I feel very weird about saying this,” or they’re speaking of their joys in hushed tones. I think I’m just saying it here today so that you can drop the hushed tones, say it with your whole chest. If you’re winning out here, no matter what time it is, it’s okay, win. We want you to win.

TK Dutes:

The other part that makes me hopeful about right now is that the changes that we’re all going through actually is highlighting a lot of stuff that already existed for friends of ours that have been needing remote work or other access to how we now do things that people were resistant to, right? It shows us that didn’t necessarily need it before that there’s another way. I feel like, low-key, I’m beating capitalism every day that I don’t have to take the subway. Make everything accessible for all the people and all the bodies so that we can work and we can thrive and we can win. That, unfortunately, is a byproduct of this terrible thing happening to us in the world, but I’m going to take it how we get it. Yeah.

Rose Eveleth:

Yeah, yeah. But also fund the subway because we should have the subway. The subway should still continue to exist.

TK Dutes:

Oh, yeah, we definitely need the subway. I’m just saying. I don’t want to go to work.

Rose Eveleth:

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Right, right, right. It’s what’s at the end of the subway that you don’t want to have to deal with. I love that, yeah. I feel like I, too, have heard people say, “Oh, I feel bad, but it’s actually been really good for me in these ways.” We all need a win. Yeah, take what you can get, my friends.

Rose Eveleth:

Well, I’m so glad that listeners have come with us on this journey in Open World to go there. I know that it’s been a weird year for everyone. It’s been a weird year for us. It’s been a weird year for this show. But it exists in the world. You got to hear it. We got to present it to you, and I’m super thankful for that. That makes me hopeful, that we can still make things amidst all of this stuff that’s happening. And we hope that maybe we’ll be in your ears again soon.

TK Dutes:

Yeah, and that you follow all our creators, you take in all their content and their new stories and their new worlds. If you want to holler at us, you know where we’re at. All that is in the credits, hello@openworldradio.com. Thanks.

Rose Eveleth:

Yeah, come say hi. Thank you.

TK Dutes:

I’ll Have You Know was adapted from an original story called I’ll Have You Know by Charlie Jane Anders, originally published in the MIT Technology Review. This original adaptation was written, directed, and sound-designed by T.H. Ponders. Our cast, El was played by Cap Blackard, Dr. Weebo was played by Angela Merk Nguyen, Goaty was played by Jordan Adika, Harriet was played by Keisha “TK” Dutes, Jen was played by T.H. Ponders, Aaron was played by Rose Eveleth, and the literature was played by Sean Howard. Open World is a partnership between Philo’s Future Media and Flash Forward Presents.

Rose Eveleth:

Hosted by TK Dutes and Rose Eveleth.

TK Dutes:

Produced by Brittani Brown.

Rose Eveleth:

Intro music by BlueDot Sessions. Additional sound design by T.H. Ponders.

TK Dutes:

With engineering by C. You can contact us via social media. We are on the Twitters, @openworldpod.

Rose Eveleth:

You can email us at hello@openworldradio.com. You can visit openworldradio.com for more about any of what you heard on this show, more links to the amazing creators who we featured here, how to find their work. Also, there are transcripts of each episode up on the website if you want to read those or revisit them. We really loved taking this journey with you, so thanks for coming along for the ride.

 

 

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