LeVar Burton On Reading & Sci-Fi & Where We’re Headed Next


Books: they're almost definitely supposed to do something besides decorate wall space. After all, there's a whole class about them every year in school. Also various scientific studies say our brains get concrete benefits from reading the written word. But what do we gain when that word is read to us? What do we gain when we let a writer's meaning reach us like never before? And what happens to society itself when literature takes on the role of prototyping our future?

On this week's episode of The Cracked Podcast, Alex Schmidt sits down with the one and only LeVar Burton, host of the incredible 'LeVar Burton Reads' podcast. If you've watched TV in the last 40 years, LeVar's gotten you excited about books directly ('Reading Rainbow'), indirectly (the original 'Roots' TV adaptation), and science fictionally (decades of 'Star Trek' acting and directing). Today he and Alex explore how the world's reacted to LeVar's unique literary mission. They'll also walk through a history of science fiction prototyping, the near future of 'Trek' storytelling, and what literacy can do for all our futures if we let it.


LEVAR BURTON READS: The Best Short Fiction, Handpicked by the World's Greatest Storyteller

LeVar Burton Reads: "Fyrewall" by Stefani Cox

LeVar Burton Reads: LIVE! in Portland: "The Fliers of Gy" by Ursula K. Le Guin (feat. interview with Walidah Imarisha)

Take a Look: An Oral History of Reading Rainbow (Mental Floss)

Who doesn't read books in America? (Pew Research Center)

Sales of Print Books Increased, Slightly, in 2017 (Publishers Weekly)

Why The Number Of Independent Bookstores Increased During The 'Retail Apocalypse' (Planet Money)

2 science-backed ways reading fiction makes you smarter (CNBC)

A Chapter a Day - Association of Book Reading with Longevity (NCBI / Yale School Of Public Health)

The Cellphone Turns 40: Remembering Martin Cooper's Historic Call (The Daily Beast)

Robert Hutchings Goddard (The National Aviation Hall Of Fame)

How Jules Verne Helped Invent the Helicopter (io9)

Ten Inventions Inspired by Science Fiction (Smithsonian)

History of Star Trek Fan Campaigns (fanlore.org)

Hugo awards: women clean up as NK Jemisin wins best novel again (The Guardian)

NK Jemisin on The Cracked Podcast

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