Episode 89 – Jack Vance’s “The Killing Machine” with special guest Paige Leitman

Paige Leitman joins us to discuss Jack Vance’s “The Killing Machine”, Alexandre Dumas, sexism, interplanetary skin tones, examples of successful worldbuilding, D&D as a western, roleplaying vs rollplaying, planet-hopping revenge games, Star Wars, the OSR community, and much more!

The Killing Machine

Episode 88 – Fritz Leiber’s “The Big Time” with special guest Jason Ray Carney

Jason Ray Carney joins us to discuss Fritz Leiber’s “The Big Time”, urban modernism, Lovecraft’s fear of the other, period slang, the time travel genre, deeply traumatized protagonists, Leiber’s understanding of language, being the Black Svengali to one’s Trilby, unity of time and space, Conan vs Fafhrd, chronopolitanism, and much more!

The Big Time

Episode 87 – Robert E. Howard & L. Sprague de Camp’s “Conan the Usurper” with special guest Nicole Emmelhainz-Carney

Nicole Emmelhainz-Carney joins us to discuss Robert E. Howard & L. Sprague de Camp’s “Conan the Usurper”, body horror, de Camp’s heavy-handed editing, offensive physical descriptions of black characters, Lovecraft’s contemporaries, the experience of talking about problematic elements in the fandom, Howard’s creative process, audience analysis in pulps, the cliche of the dumb barbarian, unknown characters seeking revenge on PCs, and much more!

Conan the Usurper

Episode 86 – Lin Carter’s “The Immortal of World’s End” with special guest Kira Magrann

Kira Magrann joins us to discuss Lin Carter’s “The Immortal of World’s End”, LARPing as an awkward teenager, goth teenage years, blending sci-fi and fantasy, tonal shifts, strange metaphors, the cognitive dissonance of glorifying violence after seeing war firsthand, evolving cultural norms, positive inclusions of beasts and animals, sexualizing all or none of the characters instead of just the female-presenting characters, random charts, Trancore as a music genre, and much more!

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Episode 85 – Fred Saberhagen’s “The Black Mountains” with special guest Jason Vey

Jason Vey joins us to discuss Fred Saberhagen’s “The Black Mountains”, owlbears, waiting for the fun evil parts, the Swords trilogy, cold war themes in a post-apocalyptic world, wizards with swords, the root of the lich, making magic unique, designing for 5e vs DCC RPG, mutations tables, and much more!

Episode 84 – Gardner F. Fox’s “Kothar and the Conjurer’s Curse” with special guest Clio Yun-su Davis

Clio Yun-su Davis joins us to discuss Gardner F. Fox’s “Kothar and the Conjurer’s Curse”, sexual violence, sword and sorcery LARP ideas, non-stop magical hijinx, video game boob physics, the journey in gaming, using the “rule of cool” with cultural sensitivity in mind, monsters that represent human populations, coincidences as plot devices, creative death curses, power levels for heoric gaming, and much more!

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Episode 83 – Jack Williamson’s “The Humanoids” with special guest Misha B

Misha B joins us to discuss Jack Williamson’s “The Humanoids”, relatable yet opposing idealogies, babies kept in cribs too long, the value of degenerates, the character arch of authors within their careers, morally ambiguous antagonists, superpowered humans overtaking the galaxy, setting ground rules at the table, characters with godlike abilities, moving force down the chain of challenges, and much more!

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Episode 82 – Manly Wade Wellman’s “Sherlock Holmes’s War of the Worlds” with our Patron Book Club

Our Patron Book Club joins us to discuss Manly Wade Wellman’s “Sherlock Holmes’s War of the Worlds”, classic Sherlock, the Professor Challenger stories, sycophantic women, the differing moral compasses of the characters, the lens of the Vietnam War, tearing down H.G. Wells, undefeatable villains, adding mechanical wings to random encounters, proto-Lovecrafian beasties, high versus low-level gaming, and much more!

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Episode 81 – H.P. Lovecraft’s “The Dunwich Horror and Others” with our Patron Book Club

Our Patron Book Club joins us to discuss H.P. Lovecraft’s “The Dunwich Horror and Others”, setting construction, Lovecraftian punchlines, Robert Bloch, character development, ancient castles, inescapable monsters, the Whateleys, sudden developments of secret knowledge, characters built on people we know, and much more!

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Episode 80 – Edgar Rice Burroughs’s “Back to the Stone Age” with special guest Vicki Lalonde

Vicki Lalonde joins us to discuss Edgar Rice Burroughs’s “Back to the Stone Age”, damsels in distress, messages of empathy, shedding the bonds of the civilized world, the power of friendship, Barsoom, slavery as a plot device, large megafauna, fighters with six-shooters, foreshadowing villains, and much more!