Conner Habib joins us to discuss George MacDonald’s “Phantastes”, D&D’s influence on a young person’s imagination, Irish mythology, the art of Gervasio Gallardo, a focus on environment over character, main characters as blank slates, living in a perpetual state of wonder, how people are changed by their history of trauma, readers seeking the consequences of character actions, the woods as both a singular living entity and a collection of entities, the making of meaning after a story is finished, loss of innocence, and much more!
Our Patron Book Club joins us to discuss William Gibson’s “Neuromancer”, hypnogogic images, heists with scifi crap on top, retrofuturism, slow-moving death, the Velvet Underground, Dan Brown novels, splitting the party, simstims, genetic engineering in RPGs, cyperpunk RPGs, sentient AIs, and much more!
Nathaniel Webb joins us to discuss William Gibson’s “Neuromancer”, D&D Next playtests, self-contained cities in a building, people writing fiction written by Chat-GPT, action/heist stories, ninjas and Rastafarians, getting the heist team together, the hacker’s role in a cyberpunk game, Tom Clancy novels, quick dramatic actions, player-facing tools, cozy fantasy, and much more!
Yochai Gal joins us to discuss Philip K. Dick’s “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?”, Ursula K. LeGuin, Cairn’s influences, Book of the New Sun, the Blade Runner movie, androids and empathy, what makes a belief system valid, Philip K. Dick’s less approachable works, sex as a survival strategy, current concerns about AI, cyberpunk LARPs, Jack Vance, and much more!
Katrin Dirim joins us to discuss Caroline Stevermer’s “A College of Magics”, the diverse gaming scene in Turkey, YA book covers, politically correct highwaymen, the price that magic extracts, inevitable Harry Potter comparisons, the changing experiences of college students, playing the outsider, Dungeon Crawl Classics luck checks, players who struggle stepping into the spotlight, hat bombs, and much more!
Our Patron Book Club joins us to discuss Michael Chabon’s “Gentlemen of the Road”, miniature wargaming, doing “a Jeff” by listening to the audiobook, Robert E. Howard’s Middle Eastern adventures, melancholy guys dressed in black, the role of the animals in the story, surviving in a ruined temple, dual power structures, chloroform mini-games, five-page backstories, being rewarded in-game for bringing in aspects of your character, hitting Wikipedia hard, and much more!
Bill Gosline joins us to discuss Michael Chabon’s “Gentlemen of the Road”, reading books written for adults as kids, Deities & Demigods as Appendix N, elephant-related words, “The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay”, smug afterwords, Ren faire troupes, world-building in epic fantasy, world-building around the characters, historical fiction, when magic is not a technology, the future demise of Twitter, and much more!
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!
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!
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!