Eric Johnson joins us to discuss Robert E. Howard’s “Conan the Conqueror”, artists to draw visual inspiration from, de Camp’s editorial choices, the rabbit hole of research involved in writing historical fiction, The People of the Black Circle, 10,000 year old hotties, Howard’s attitudes toward civilization, The Whole Wide World, Mystara, A Song of Ice and Fire, evil temples packed with unspeakable horrors, Raymond Chandler, and much more!
James Mendez Hodes joins us to discuss William Hope Hodgson’s “Carnacki the Ghost-Finder”, Sonic the Hedgehog fandom, changing conversations around cultural appropriation, Harlem detectives, Greek translations, disembodied limbs, the journey down the magical hog hole, Arthur Conan Doyle stories, the Trail of Cthulhu RPG, avoiding stereotypes when playing races other than your own, GMs falling asleep at the table, offers to help with high school projects, and much more!
Jason Cordova joins us to discuss Michael Shea’s “A Quest for Simbilis”, Powered by the Apocalypse games, the correct pronunciation of Cugel, gothic horror, the publishing world in the 1970s, Lovecraftian horror fiction, high stakes games of strip poker, moving from absurdity to horror in an instant, crunchier traditional game systems, comedic hijinks, high fantasy vs sword and sorcery, fantasy fiction in the 80s and 90s, and much more!
Stefan Surratt joins us to discuss Michael Moorcock’s “The Knight of the Swords”, other aspects of worldbuilding, uncaring beings of great power, loss of innocence, fantasy genocides, the Dresden bombings, the Vadaugh as elves, Daniel J. Bishop magic items, gods with cool and specific spheres of influence, the Lords of Law, our Patreon, and much more!
Ahimsa Kerp joins us to discuss Fritz Leiber’s “The Knight and Knave of Swords”, Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser in Riverside, ooh naughty sexy times, sex-obsessed adventurers, the city of Lankhmar, transgressive swords and sorcery, aging characters in fantasy RPGs, moon priestesses, pushing luck mechanics, having identifiably unique cultures, mythic Greece, and much more!
Caroline Stevermer joins us to discuss E.R. Eddison’s “The Worm Ouroboros”, depictions of Elizabethan masculinity, characters that don’t have parents, archaic language, excerpts from Western European literature, understanding characters through their deeds, a woman’s virtue measured by her maidenhood, the passage of time in Tolkien’s work, the taming the savages trope, the changing landscape of contemporary academia, San Francisco in 1906, and much more!
Our Patron Book Club joins us to discuss N.K. Jemisin’s “The Fifth Season”, AD&D’s obsession with gem names, the tonal resonances between this book and Octavia E. Butler’s “Fledgling”, the missing moon, savior narratives, sci-fi slang traditions, a melonated future, meta vs in-text author motivations, Expedition to the Barrier Peaks, using Numenera for the Broken Earth setting, being surrounded by superheroes, systemic abuse in youth institutions, and much more!
Tanya DePass joins us to discuss N.K. Jemisin’s “The Fifth Season”, Black people cosplaying as White characters, the formation of mountain ranges, effective plot twists, how a Black woman reading a Black woman author might have resonances other people may not, finding new meaning in a text by returning to a piece of fiction later in life, using complex morality in worldbuilding, characters together by necessity rather than being in an adventuring party, Green Ronin RPG systems, how game design is harder than many folks think, how people bring their biases to the games they run, TwitchCon Amsterdam, and much more!
Brian Cortijo joins us to discuss Peter S. Beagle’s “The Last Unicorn”, how wars affect settings, irredeemably evil Drow and Orcs, splitting a wizard’s gizzard, the melancholy themes of the film and the books, heroics as showmanship, character agency and the consequence of choice, the abundance of printed material available about the Forgotten Realms, having a mythical creature in your adventuring party, games that are more “story forward”, game systems and their reliance on dependability, weeping spiders, and much more!