Episode 133 – Poul Anderson’s “Operation Chaos” with special guest Andy from Breakfast in the Ruins

Andy from Breakfast in the Ruins joins us to discuss Poul Anderson’s “Operation Chaos”, homemade ginger beer, Moorcock’s influence on the fantasy genre, frothing latter-day conspiracy theorist wet dreams, the limitations of the word lycanthropy, main characters who suck, heroes defending the military industrial complex, Anderson’s influence on Moorcock, Van Helsing the Cleric, werewolves as player characters, Gygaxian naturalism, statting up Christian mythology, and much more!

Operation Chaos

Episode 132 – Scott Oden’s “A Gathering of Ravens” with special guest Rick Byrne

Rick Byrne joins us to discuss Scott Oden’s “A Gathering of Ravens”, demons in Norse mythology, purging darkness with creativity, faction play, the various Viking lands, grim dark, authentic Irish representation, giving monsters meaning, Orc morality, periods of transition, Conan, the number 42, and much more!

A Gathering of Ravens

Episode 131 – P. Djèlí Clark’s “A Master of Djinn” with special guest Maxwell Lander

Maxwell Lander joins us to discuss P. Djèlí Clark’s “A Master of Djinn”, programming VR games, conversational RPGs, Audible audiobooks, villains plotting since childhood, the steampunk literary genre, when men write women, antisocial characters, Tunnel Goons, Shadowrun, freaky angels, anti-colonial violence, and much more!

A Master of Djinn

Patron Book Club 130 – Arkady & Boris Strugatsky’s “Hard to Be a God” with our Patron Book Club

Our Patron Book Club joins us to discuss Arkady & Boris Strugatsky’s “Hard to Be a God”, impecunious dons, Brave New World, the Soviet Union in the 1960s, de-Stalinization, going straight to feudalism to fascism, the stench of the 18th century, saving artists to advance society, the great expansion of man, the collaboration between criminals and reactionary religious clashes to create facism, the 2007 video game adaptation, The Worm Ouroboros, and much more!

Hard to Be a God2

Episode 130 – Arkady & Boris Strugatsky’s “Hard to Be a God” with special guest Aaron King

Aaron King joins us to discuss Arkady & Boris Strugatsky’s “Hard to Be a God”, West Marches-style gaming, fantasy bestiaries, impecunious dons, astronauts in the middle ages, the character arcs of doomed nobles, the inherent tension that exists from generation to generation, keeping each other safe in the dirt, playing with Barbies, Warhammer 40K, characters using their imagination to see their future, our patron book clubs, and much more!

Hard to Be a God

Episode 129 – Ursula K. Le Guin’s “The Farthest Shore” with special guest Joshua Phillip Johnson

Joshua Phillip Johnson joins us to discuss Ursula K. Le Guin’s “The Farthest Shore”, elves named Josh, media being smarter than us, Audible audiobooks, hanging in Hort Town, magic being leached from the world, ideas of power and kingship, the importance of mentorship, journeying from the quiet places to the places where stuff happens, adult themes in YA lit, warriors’ powers being looked at as magic, the reason for the season, and much more!

The Farthest Shore

Episode 128 – Neil Gaiman’s “Neverwhere” with special guest Jim Hall

Jim Hall joins us to discuss Neil Gaiman’s “Neverwhere”, art school, crunchy combat, time loops, manic pixie dream girls, the Tony Blair-era of the UK, addressing audience needs, ideas for the sequel, using the Floating Market in an Underdark campaign, journeying into the underworld, D&D as a combat game, his monthly zine, and much more!

Neverwhere

Patron Book Club 127 – Robert E. Howard’s “Conan the Conqueror” with our Patron Book Club (Part 2)

Our Patron Book Club joins us to discuss Robert E. Howard’s “Conan the Conqueror”, art pull-outs in paperbacks, the de Camp vs the Karl Edward Wagner introductions, sword and sorcery tropes, Conan’s Greatest Hits, Shakespearean battles, Conan in disguise as a headsman, wanting to spend more time in Stygia, the dangers on the left path, mummy tour guides, smaller villains, August Derleth’s landscapes, Savage Worlds RPG, The Tower of the Elephant, and much more!

Conan the Conquerer Sphere

Patron Book Club 127 – Robert E. Howard’s “Conan the Conqueror” with our Patron Book Club (Part 1)

Our Patron Book Club joins us to discuss Robert E. Howard’s “Conan the Conqueror”, the terrible glue on Lancer paperbacks, Howard’s attempts to reach the English audience, the reach of Weird Tales Magazine, Conan’s anti-colonialist stance, Howard’s horror writing, de Camp’s editing, vampires, evil priests, killer illusions, the Hyborian Age as a living and breathing world, Call of Cthulhu RPG for sword and sorcery, and much more!

Hour of the Dragon

Episode 127 – Robert E. Howard’s “Conan the Conqueror” with special guest Eric Johnson

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!

Conan the Conquerer