Tim Hutchings joins us to discuss Octavia E. Butler’s “Fledgling”, modern D&D-insired art, the effect of slavery on language, the book’s use of childhood sexuality, vampire fiction of the early 2000s, vampire society, old racist vampires, Thousand Year Old Vampire, power dynamics between vampires and their symbionts, explaining monster lore as a tool for world building, blueberry pies, being terrible at social media, and much more!
Ian McGarty joins us to discuss Peter Bebergal’s “Appendix N: The Eldritch Roots of Dungeons & Dragons”, games publishing, lifting magic items from fiction, the Swords Against Darkness anthologies, skeletal vampires, Tanith Lee’s wild fiction, Elric and Moonglum, the old school D&D thief class, wanting to die a warrior’s death, the Vivimancer class, necromancer PCs, crisp mountain air, and much more!
Matt King joins us to discuss Clark Ashton Smith’s “The End of the Story: The Collected Fantasies, Vol. 1”, Italian horror films, Nightshade Press, the Lin Carter anthologies, all the things CAS wants to have sex with, lamias, pulp magazines, cultivating a sense of dread, highways becoming footpaths, Gygax’s theoretical stance on CAS, Gary Con, and much more!
Noora Rose joins us to discuss Ursula K. Le Guin’s “The Tombs of Atuan”, game masters as game designers, non-white people writing fantasy and sci-fi, the trauma of forced identities, sex and intimacy, Le Guin’s masterful character development, reclaiming identities, creating barriers with purple prose, cast-and-forget spellcasting, fantasy whodunits, the rising costs of paper, and much more!
Karlo Yeager Rodríguez joins us to discuss Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein”, Vampire LARPing, the 1818 vs 1831 texts, Victor Frankenstein as a narrator, Mary Shelley’s commentary on the fate of Native Americans, Frankenstein’s monster as a metaphor for queer angst, Victor Frankenstein as Lucifer falling from grace, the Bride of Frankenstein, Wraith: The Oblivion, the claim of Frankenstein as the first work of science fiction, and much more!
Pete Johannsen joins us to discuss Tim Powers’s “Declare”, using amber beads as tokens, books found on your doorstep, the language and pace of spy novels, the djinn as fallen angels, power as a human motivator, Rube Goldberg occultism, the U.S. vs the Soviet Union, Torg RPG, djinn as ancient vampires, exploring Christian mythology in fiction and gaming, and much more!
Menion (AKA Rob) joins us to discuss Michael Moorcock’s “The Jewel in the Skull”, the Lord of the Rings trilogy, the influence of Burroughs on Moorcock, the initial emptiness and passivity of Hawkmoon, character motivation, mixing scifi and fantasy, characters being swept up in the current of world events, old-school versus new-school ways of thinking about gaming, what we lose when gaming online, runes as cosmic forces in RuneQuest, the gaming scene in Japan, and much more!
Lucas Zellars joins us to discuss William Hope Hodgson’s “The House on the Borderland”, natural history as a science, out of body experiences, b-movie monsters, horse pistols, geological time, unreliability injected into the fiction, cosmic pigs, Super Mario Bros., and D&D as Capitalism: The Game or Colonialism: The Game, and much more!
Jason Lutes joins us to discuss Glen Cook’s “The Black Company”, Dungeon World, Ursula K. Le Guin, conquistador helmets, swords-for-hire, what makes a villain, grim dark’s celebration of the darkest sides of the human experience, wizards as marketing and PR agents, eating tacos, fantasy metropolises, random words as proper nouns, and much more!