Ellen Kushner joins us to discuss Ursula K. Le Guin’s “A Wizard of Earthsea”, Choose Your Own Adventure books, the explosion of Tolkien’s popularity, the feminist revision of Earthsea, wizarding schools, designing magic system limitations, Larry Niven’s science brain, the teenage search for identity, wizards of color, normalizing protagonists belonging to marginalized populations, the Jewish inspirations on Riverside, and much more!
Moss Bosch joins us to discuss Gene Wolfe’s “The Shadow of the Torturer”, socially intimate games, tasty and tender world building, reading a book without realizing it is the first in a series, ridiculous ways to introduce new PCs, reading a book written for multiple audiences, cities the size of a nation, Blades in the Dark, stolen sex dolls, flowers as awkward and incredibly dangerous weapons, obvious foreshadowing, TikTok, and much more!
Our Patron Book Club joins us to discuss Ellen Kushner’s “Swordspoint”, typing up D&D character sheets on a typewriter, normalized gay content, the 80s crack epidemic, double- and triple-crosses, characters who think they’re smarter than they are, playing a D&D game in the Riverside, gamifying Honor, staying true to social mechanism in the game, DCC Lankhmar, A Princess Bride, A Princess of Mars, and much more!
Angela Lemus-Mogrovejo joins us to discuss Ellen Kushner’s “Swordspoint”, the indie tabletop roleplaying game scene, questioning why fantasy is wedded to the European medieval era, our patron polls, confusing characters with one another in political intrigue, relatable gay content, a shortage of female characters being given the spotlight, female characters as whores and laundresses, examples of noir prose, giving the generic fantasy tavern more character, making cool use of support characters, scholars of disappearance, and much more!
Cora Buhlert joins us to discuss C.L. Moore’s “Jirel of Joiry”, used book store finds, kisses as stand-ins for sex, the appropriateness of using genre to explore our fear of sexual violence, cozy stories, writers being inspired by their peers, comparing and contrasting Conan and Jirel as characters, employing undead suckers, the influence of comics on the early pulps, her work with Henry Kuttner, fictitious France, C.L. Moore’s reemerging popularity, and much more!
Megan Connell joins us to discuss G.K. Chesterton’s “The Man Who Was Thursday: A Nightmare”, chocolate-covered raisin trees, satire we don’t understand, club infiltration, anarchist elections and bylaws, issues of trust and emotional risk in therapeutic games, good versus evil, dehumanizing those who disagree with us, using XP to encourage better gaming, whether it was all a dream or not, losing cultural context in reading works from before our time, and much more!
Brendan LaSalle joins us to discuss Clive Barker’s “Books of Blood, Volume 1”, our listeners 100 years from now, ghosts taking over theaters, Barker’s literary beginnings, relatable characters, “Mama, they fed me to the pig!”, Kaiju as political commentary, Willpower saves, stories were everything goes wrong, giving monsters the 411, embodying delusional characters, X-Crawl Classics, and much more!
Patrick Stuart joins us to discuss Mervyn Peake’s “Titus Groan”, oral traditions, lush prose, taking pride in working as a servant, the sun as an old cake bun, Peake’s popularity, Cormac McCarthy, Gormenghast as a demiplane, maintaining status quo as a party goal, the court of Melniboné, physical differences as “monstrous traits”, going back in time to support expired Kickstarters, and much more!
Sarah Doom joins us to discuss Michael Shea’s “Nifft the Lean”, Vampire: The Masquerade, horror stories set in the Deep South, “big guava breasts”, matching prose style to genre, which came first: humans or demons, the Pagan way of doing things, entitled brats, taking away character agency, drawing upon vocational experience for inspiration, playing characters that are smarter than we are, old school sword and sorcery, and much more!